I'm so pumped about the game. I think the Colts will win. Maybe that should read "hope". Anyway, the Patriots are evil. They cheat, they run up the score, and they are insanely good. I hate them. JM
Then you read about how these guys were imprisoned, beaten, threatened and ordered not to talk about Jesus anymore. Then, when they are released, they're so excited because they were disgraced because of Jesus and they keep on doing it.
I guess what's so exciting about it is knowing that you're really living a life that pleases God. I mean, people get frustrated because you're doing what God wants and people are reacting to the Jesus they see in you. That's kind of a cool thought. JM
It's even better when the person fighting for you isn't somebody that you know all that well, but is simply someone who respects who you are or what you're about. The more we can lead lives that deserve attention and respect, the more we won't have to fight our own battles because we'll have others fighting for and with us. JM
I'd rather just admit fault, accept responsibility, work to rectify the situation, and move on in a manner that will hopefully avoid the mistake in the future. I guess that's hard for some people. I don't really know why, it seems the easiest way to handle it, although I guess it can be a bit humbling.
Because I like things a certain way, it's tough for me to delegate. We have a huge middle school event tomorrow night. I'm running through all of the details in my mind right now. I think everything is ready, but I delegated some of the tasks and I'm scared that they won't get done, or at least not to the standard of quality that I would hope for. I guess that's part of leadership, though, learning to let go. JM
I was talking to somebody a long time ago about why we should do what God wants. I told him that I can be used by God, or I cannot be used by God and to me being used by God is way more fun. Yes, it's what God wants and it makes Him happy, but, selfishly, it's just fun and exciting. JM
Me - It sucks to follow God tonight huh?
She - Yea. It does.
Me - But you know we are right where He wants us right?
She - I was hoping you knew that. Because I do. And with that we shut the laptop and continued on the journey of Authenticity in the ATL. Knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are supposed to be here.
He had another interesting post a week ago about how God still moves people even when housing markets are not ideal. JM
The problem with this is that the focus the whole time was on me. Granted, I was 8, but I wanted all of the attention. We never grow out of that. We like to be recognized. To have people appreciate us. That's all well and good, but we get addicted to it. We like that everyone laughs at our jokes. We like that people think we're an engaging speaker. We like that people tell us they like to hear us sing or play guitar. Then rather than doing something to glorify God, it turns into doing something that brings us glory. And God sighs at how pathetic we are. We're just like the kid who thinks he's so smart because he can multiply faster than 20 other kids. JM
The problem is sometimes he forgets that I'm daddy. It's easy for him to remember the fun parts about daddy, that we wrestle, watch movies, go on walks, fix stuff, etc. And it's easy for him to forget the not so fun parts about daddy, mainly the discipline. So when he whines about not wanting to do something, I'll tell him that he needs to do it right now or he'll get a spanking. Then normally he'll start to do it slowly, or refuse to do it, until I get up. Then he becomes immediately compliant. He's remorseful. He's fully in line with what I want because he doesn't want a spanking.
But he forgets about that sometimes and needs to occasionally be reminded that although we can be a lot of fun, he still needs to fear me.
The same applies to our relationship with God. When things are fun and easy, we forget that God is God. Things are going great, so maybe we slip up on our favorite sin. Or maybe we don't honor God with our money. That's when it's good for God to remind us that He is God, and that we should fear Him.
I've really been getting frustrated with my video editing software lately. I mean, it's cute and easy and all, but it absolutely STINKS! It freezes up on weird things. It won't burn when I change the menu audio or image. It won't let me quickly move frame-by-frame. It makes me want to shoot something, and I'm a fairly paficistic guy.
So now I really want Adobe Premiere. It's only $800. Will you buy it for me? Thanks. Email me for my shipping address. JM
My family doesn't eat a lot. We're all fairly small people. But most of the recipes that my wife makes are made to feed like 5,000 people. So rather than us just throw out the leftovers, or eat meat loaf for 2 weeks straight, we invite people over. Tonight my wife made mostaccoli. It makes enough to literally feed 8 people. So we invited our neighbors from down the street. We didn't have to do that. They didn't need the meal. But I think God wants us to share everything we have.
The beauty of it is when you really do this, and enjoy the community that it creates, it really doesn't feel like sacrifice. JM
Moisturizing the air with a vaporizer or hydrator
Using saltwater nose drops to dry up a runny nose
Using a rubber nose bulb to clear up congestion
Feeding the child chicken soup
Consulting a pediatrician
I'm not sure if we'll stop giving our kids cold medicine, but that rubber nose bulb is no fun. JM
I certainly believe that these racial tentions in this town are wrong and the white students were horribly wrong to do what they did. I am equally appauled that the black students jumped a white student and now are litterally being given a stage at the BET awards.
What if we prayed that we would be brave and that God would provide us with signs to show that God was real. I think our lives and our evangelism would be massively different.
We have neighbors down the street that we have become close friends with. They don't go to church anywhere and have no real relationship with God. But I don't pray for them with any sense of passion. And I definitely have never prayed that God would give me the ability to heal as a sign that he is real. Maybe that's not literally the answer (praying for the gift of healing), but prayer has to be more than just selfish requests and passionless intercession. JM
I had heard of it and thought about taking Noah, but didn't feel like it was worth me spending the money. But this guy was so pumped about it. He felt the need to talk to me about it. He probably felt the need to talk to everybody about it. He probably couldn't stop talking about it.
That's the kind of excitement that I see that people have about God in the Bible. They can't not talk about it. But we don't act that way. We are so far removed from the spiritual and from the power that the Holy Spirit gives.
We are so the opposite of how the New Testament church was. Talking about God is not natural for us. It's not exciting for us. And it all probably comes back to the lie that we are self-sufficient. That we have earned all that we have. We refuse to see the miraculous and are mired in the mundane, so we live lives of passionless mediocrity. JM
So teens want to commune with the spiritual, but be taught the practical.
The problem is that most youth ministries seem to teach the moral/theological and ignore the spiritual and practical. We tend to ignore how a Christian teenager should live their life.
I would rather talk about what a Christian teenager looks like. How they respond to real life situations - boyfriend dumped you, parents yell at you, best friend betrays you, etc. I think that's what students desire too. JM
The thing is we've gone back to how the pharisees wanted it. We don't take the message straight to the people anymore. We hide our message up in our own little Christian circles. We shy away from any kind of spiritual conversation outside the walls of the church. Church is where we talk about God, but we don't bring it home, or to our neighbor's house. JM
The plan -- the general outlines of which were approved by the City Council earlier this year -- is not the radical remaking of the city urged by some urban planners who wanted to see a New Orleans with a much smaller footprint, and with people moved out of flood-prone areas.If you had any questions as to whether Ray Nagin was an incompetent leader, I think this settles it. Why not say we're not going to resettle areas that are 10 feet below sea level? Or come up with a plan that costs less, but still moves people out of flood-prone areas? Horrible. JM
Instead, it largely embraces Mayor Ray Nagin's settle-where-you-will philosophy, while also endorsing the removal of blight and the creation of parks, affordable apartments and vibrant communities.
Civil rights activist Al Sharpton, who has championed Bell's case, denounced Thursday's decision as "revenge" by the judge and called on Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco to intervene.
If you view the world through negative eyes, that is all you will ever see. Being positive is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Resolve is a choice. What are you going to choose. JM
I slept badly the night before church: I was scared because I had never been before, and everything I know about Sunday services comes from David Lodge novels and Garth Ennis's Preacher series. "Are they gonna make me confess my sins?" I asked my boyfriend. He promised me they would not. "Can I eat beforehand? Can I get up to pee?" I was sure I would stick out.
We do it everyday, but if you haven't done it in a long time, or have never done it, you don't know what to expect or how to act or even what to wear. If the church is ever going to truly reach out, we have to discover new ways to make them feel comfortable, or at least as uncomfortable as possible.
It's also interesting to note what the visitor thought of the "health and wealth" church
If you're thinking of attending a church, I beg you not to attend the CFC—find one that understands humility and grace and charity. I'm an atheist, but the CFC brings Bible imagery to my mind. Standing in all the gaudy sound and tacky fury, all I can think of is the perverted temple that Jesus Christ ripped to pieces with his bare (expletive) hands.
We should certainly hold other Christians to these standards, but we step into some messy territory when we take those standards elsewhere. We need to let God do that and relegate ourselves to helping them simply find God. JM
Even people that like felt-need ministry still like to make people jump through hoops in order to have their needs met. You have to show up at certain times and do certain things and meet certain requirements to get what you need. Or making it more personal "I am willing to meet your felt-need of being your friend so long as I've had a good day." If it's going to drain us, then we don't want to do it.
I think the point of living in community is that we sacrifice ourselves and any rights we have so that we get to struggle through things together. That's the beauty of it, and the difficulty of it. It's easier to go it alone, but it's not nearly as rewarding and definitely not as much fun. JM
1. Community is attractive to outsiders. People want to belong. They want to connect with something larger than themselves. I think that's part of the draw of attending sporting events, concerts, helping causes, etc. When people see people living in community, they desire to be a part of it, at least on some level (certainly there are some things that people would just think are freaks).
2. The church didn't cloister itself. We've created our own little Christian subculture. You can go to a Christian gym, Christian bookstore, Christian school, Christian employer, etc. All this as well as worship in a church that is not welcoming to outsiders. But that's not how the early church did it, evidently. They went to the temple everyday (which was a Jewish temple) and lived among everybody else.
What would it look like if we really lived in community among everybody else? I think a whole lot more people would be attracted to Jesus. JM
So what is the Ghost Of Mediocrity? Well, it's the spirit that haunts us, tempting us to do just enough to get by or all that is required. I'd like to make sure that he doesn't get me, so I wanted to create a spot where I could write down thoughts and to-do lists in a searchable format.
So why should anybody read this? While there's certainly no gun to your head, (or at least I hope not) this is mainly just for my own personal utility. If you can derive any form of meaning from it and apply it to your context, then more power to you. I hope it will help you avoid the GOM as well. JM
While not all of these will work in every context, I think it is an interesting read and will make you think about how you can intentionally create community within suburbia and how you can show the love of God in your everyday life.
Still, Kinnaman claims that however defined, the number of non-Christians is growing with each succeeding generation: His study found that 23% of Americans over 61 were non-Christians; 27% among people ages 42-60; and 40% among 16-29 year olds. Younger Christians, he concludes, are therefore likely to live in an environment where two out of every five of their peers is not a Christian.
In reality that's not long at all, but it's amazing how much you can miss something. Makes me wish I owned my computer, or any computer at all. Maybe when I'm rich I'll go buy one. JM
I wish I could see and seize opportunities like God does. It's scary, though. A lot of times it's easy to see opportunities, but it can be tough to step out and seize that opportunity. And a lot of times we can't see the opportunity because it's more than we could ever dream of doing. I wonder how different our lives would be if God opened our eyes to the opportunities we have and we stepped out in faith on them. JM
It's also interesting how powerful the Holy Spirit was compared to how much we limit the Spirit's power now. We like to box it in and say that if we get a tingly feeling that's the Holy Spirit, as if that's all that it can do. How pathetic. Perhaps we should adjust our view of what the Holy Spirit can accomplish and pray those things to fruition. JM
I don't think that's the problem. The problem isn't information. The problem is inspiration. Kids don't care. They don't see Christ as being relevant in their lives. They're not inspired or awed by Jesus. That's the problem.
We shouldn't be wondering how we can give kids more information, we should be wondering how we can inspire more students to fall in love with Jesus. JM
Notice anything odd? The ad is for "Chic Nursing Covers". My guess is that the average fantasy football player is not breastfeeding in public. Maybe I'm wrong. I'm sure it's a great product, but why not advertise it in a better spot where mothers of newborns might be online? If you're going to go through the trouble to build a website and promote it, you might as well do a little bit of research to find out where to promote it.
Taking that further, I bet this ad didn't get a lot of click-throughs because it wasn't relevant to the audience. Sure it might be a nice product, but why should I care about that, I'm not breastfeeding? This is so how the church acts. Let's do our presentation and get it out there. It's such an amazing message that people will accept it. Well, not really. You have to tie it back to their life. Show them how it's relevant. Make it meaningful to them. Make them want to hear it. If the church is going to be survive, it must be relevant to its audience. JM
That's what I get out of this. They cast lots to figure out who would replace Judas. Pretty important decision. And they couldn't make it.
I do think that they made a mistake here, though. I mean, where's the leadership? Why not say "Both of these guys are great, but we have to choose one, so it's going to be this one and here's why..." Now that's leadership. Not, "Uh, we can't make up our mind, so let's do it by chance and then nobody can get upset because it's just the luck of the draw..." JM
So competition reared its ugly head and I decided that I need to race against him and crush him into the ground. So hopefully tomorrow I will wake up and run. We'll see.
A lot of times we get sidetracked in what we are doing. We start out serving God because we love Him. Sometimes we get sidetracked by beginning to love how we're serving. Sometimes we get sidetracked by the attention we receive. Whatever the distraction, it takes us away from our true purpose, to love Jesus and serve Him. JM
They are trying to prevent their CD from getting leaked like it has the past few times. What's cool about the download is that you pay whatever you want for it. It just has a blank where you can tell them how many pounds and pence you want to pay. It says "it's up to you" and "no really, it's up to you". Awesome idea. I mean, they don't need the money, and they are going to sell crazy amounts. It's just awesome to see independent musicians fighting the system.
I'm going to get the download, I just don't know how much to pay for it. JM
Then I got to see him a little later on while his class and another 3-year old class were on the playground. I was inside and upstairs looking out a big window, so nobody could see me spying. Noah played with some kids, then went over to the swings for a little bit, and then he went and started playing with this tonka truck in some sand.
As he was playing another boy came over and tried to take the toy from Noah. Noah tried to put his body between the other boy and the truck. But the other boy wouldn't let go. I'm upstairs starting to get upset and wondering how Noah is going to respond.
So then Noah picks up the truck to try to get it out of this other boy's hands, but the other boy pulled it away from Noah and started playing with it. I resisted the urge to go down there and take the truck back for my son and instead just watched from my spying perch.
Noah walks over and tells the teacher and she evidently told him to go tell the boy to please give it back. Noah walks over to the boy and says something, but he ignores Noah. Noah walks back over to the teacher and tells her that he still won't give it back. So the teacher walks over and evidently told the boy that when he was done playing with it that he needed to give it to Noah. Noah walked off and started playing on something else.
It was so sad to watch. Noah did what was right, and he didn't get what was rightfully his. Now that's injustice. So Eryn and I talked and decided to get Noah a special treat since we caught him doing what's right. We bought a cake mix and Noah, Ana, and I made a cake tonight, iced it, and then ate a little bit to celebrate a job well done.
I'm so proud of him. I think it's important to make a big deal about when you your kids do what's right. We like to do the opposite and freak out when they screw up. It was so cool to watch him, though. Here's some pictures. JM
Taking that even further, the closer we are to somebody the easier it is to not fully appreciate them. If someone I work with everyday accomplishes amazing things, I get used to it and forget just how amazing it is. What if we continually thanked and appreciated people for the things they do everyday from the mundane to the remarkable? I bet people could accomplish more with all of that encouragement. Just a thought. JM