Living the crazy life that God has given me!

Rants

Crazy Community!

So while I was looking through my Facebook feed the other day this is a video that was posted by Larry Leith from Tokyo Joe’s.  (By the way I love their food and I love the culture that they have created for their business.)  It is a great little coffee shop that is located down in Colorado Springs just an hour from where we live here in Aurora.  The whole idea of the video is that people would go and visit other coffee shops in the area because of the community that has embraced them and by doing so end up with a free drink at Loyal Coffee.  They are calling it the “Dis-Loyality Card”! What an amazing idea!

Here is where this video took me though – the church community.  Isn’t this what we should be doing as the church?  Letting people know that the community of faith is here for each other and build a community that is for the city not just ourselves?  I was recently a part of a conversation about two churches in a community coming together for an event that helps grow leadership for both the city and the communities of faith.  It was going to be an exciting opportunity to see the KINGDOM of Jesus respond in a way that would be a huge influence in the city.  Well unfortunately one of the churches was not willing to partner in this endeavor because the building where the event was being held was not good enough for their people.  Are you serious? The building is the reason that these two churches couldn’t come together to make a difference in the city like never before?

What if we decided to have “Dis-Loyalty” Sundays where we encouraged the people of our churches to go and support another church in the community?  What if we called them BIG KINGDOM Sunday’s and we showed support for the big kingdom of Jesus?

What do you think about the coffee shop idea? What do you think about the BIG KINGDOM Sunday idea?


Students are not an ADD on

aurora students

Over the last 20 years I have spent working in churches I have always felt that students have ben looked up on as just an add on to what we do as the church.  I was always asked as a pastor to students to make sure that we had something for the students to do on Sundays and then something to do during the week.  It always felt a little like we were just to add something on for them.  Just to keep people happy or keep the students out of the way.

Well when we started Elevation here in Aurora we felt that students shouldn’t be an add on but a big part of who we are as a church team.  So this is what we did:

  • Students are included in the main times on Sunday.  We try real hard to make sure that we have communication that will involved them and encourage them as followers of Jesus.
  • Students are asked to serve on our Dream Team just like the adults.  The middle school students need to serve with an adult.  The high school students can serve any where as an adult. (Sometimes better just because they can grasp technology quicker and they are quicker to reach out to new people.)
  • Students are invited to be a part of the church as Team-mates just like everyone else. They are not just an add on they are team-mates.
  • Students still need some time with there own age so we do that in Community Groups.  Just like we do the adults.

Students are not the church of the future they are the church of today.  So why not let them be a part of the church instead of just being an add on.  Let’s help them identify as being a part of the body of Jesus not just something in the back hall that as long as there are no stains on the carpet or holes in the wall we are doing something good.  What can you do to help make sure that students are a part of the church? How can we do things differently to enable them to grow as the body of Jesus?

(This is not a judgement on any church or any type of ministry. Just a process

of thinking through how we are integrating the students in our care.)


Making Dreams Come True

Go Bears!

As you read this I will be in our truck driving my son up to his first year of college and college football. It is has been an interesting week for both Michelle and I as we send number two off to school.  But I have to be honest I am so proud of Tyler and his dedication and drive. As he seeks to make his dreams come true to play college and then eventually professional football.

Ever since the days of Pop Warner Football in AZ, then high school football that got him going in Benicia, CA, to the great team and coaching staff at Rangeview in Aurora. They all prepared him for this day. As he has dreamt of playing football.

Here are some things that I want to encourage other younger dads to think about when it comes to encouraging your kids to dream.

  • Encourage them to hear from God about their dreams and goals.
  • Let them dream while they are young. (Don’t beat big dreams out of them because you didn’t get your chance.)
  • When it comes time encourage them to evaluate dreams and goals. (5’2″ and wants to be the outside hitter for volleyball in the Olympics, for my daughter Dani.)
  • Enable them to see the dreams and possibilities else where if things change.
  • Be their biggest Fan but don’t be the obnoxious parent thinking of a signing bonus. (I coach high school football and there are those parents.)
  • Help them to be disciplined if they want to dream big. (Going to bed on time, doing homework, and actually working out not walking around talking in the gym.)
  • Turn them loose.

By the way UNC starts this years season playing against Utah on ESPN. I dream that Tyler will be on that field at some point and time in the game. Tyler I am proud of you and I know that you are going to rock the house!

What are some things that I missed and that you would add to the list? Make a comment below.


When did marriage become a JOKE?

I recently read an article that was posted by a local news channel on twitter.  It disturbed me!

Here is the cliff notes of the story (Read it here). There is a woman who has been a part of a movement of people who are trying to keep a local building from being torn down.  So in an effort to save the building from being torn down this woman with the support of the people around here decides to marry the building. Now at first I thought this is interesting. But the more I thought about the more bothered I became that marriage today has become more of a punchline to a joke then a commitment that is to be made between a man and a woman to God.

Michelle and I will be celebrating 20 years of marriage in May. I don’t want one the best things in my life, my marriage to my best friend to be a punch line in a joke or a way to save a building from being destroyed.  It is my hope that for the many of those of us that have had marriages that are a powerful statement to commitment and to marriage before God will continue to encourage those around us to see marriage as important.  It is my hope that as we lead in our homes and in our commuities that people will see the joy that comes from a marriage that is based in God’s love for one another and a commitment to live together through the good and bad is important.  Just a little fired up!

What do you think?


Father Christmas for Fatherless

As we get ready for Christmas this week I have been spending a lot of time thinking of being a father.  Some of the greatest memories I have had as a father has been watching my kids on Christmas day.  They each have allowed me to see some amazing moments of pure joy as well as great excitement for the time of the year.  We have special traditions that my wife and kids have come to almost be so excited about that when we expereince them they are ready for next year.

But what I have been walking through is that over 1/3 of children today are living in fatherless homes.  Now I want to say something that I think is very important. If you are a single mom, I want you to know that you have the toughest job in the world.  You have to fulfill two very distinct roles in the lives of your kids.  I pray every week for the single mothers that I know attend Elevation.  But I do believe that we need to let those kids know that there is a father for the fatherless and he came on Christmas to be the everlasting Father.

Psalm 27:10 (NLT) 10 Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.

I pray that through out this Christmas season that each and everyone of us takes the time to think of those that are walking through this season with out knowing the one true Father, Jesus Christ.

How can you this week love on the fatherless?


Sandusky, Sullivan, and Scott

It has been one of those seasons in life where more and more that we are reading or hearing about another individual that has fallen in a position of leadership.  In some cases they are things that just down right tick you off or shock you. Whether it is Sandusky and his abuse of his position that lead to the abuse of young boys, Sullivan being a sheriff and a person that is to protect and serve, not enslave through addiction and abuse.  The thing that amazes me is that each of these men were at the top of their game, they were seen as men that were top notch in their area of leadership.  So it really challenges me to say, “What about me?”  What if my life, my career, my family, were all to become majorly successful?  How would I handle it?

As I was reading through, “The Five Levels of Leadership” by John Maxwell a quote by Henry Ford really made think.

“More men are failures on account of success than on account of failures.  They beat their way over a dozen obstacles; overcome a host of difficulties, sacrifice and sweat.  They make the impossible the possible; then along comes a little success, and it tumbles them from their perch. They let up. They slip and over they go. Nobody can count the number of people who have been halted and beaten by recognition and reward!”

So many times we have seen great men and women take a tumble; why is that?  Unfortunately, I believe it is because they start believing it is all about them. They believe because of their accomplishments they can begin to relax in the areas of importance when it comes to character and discipline. A couple of verses in the bible that I cling to daily is this;

 Proverbs 30: 8&9, “First, help me never to lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs.  For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” And if I am poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.”

The more and I lead and watch other leaders around me I always come back to remember that “God is God and I am not him”.  I always want to be a person that is satisfied with who I am in Jesus Christ. Because let’s be honest each one of us could very easily be the next person that tumbles and falls.  May we each take the time every day to pray Proverbs 30:8&9 over our lives.


Good Friday and Good Feet

Today is a day in the Christian faith that carries a lot of power and relevance to what is believed.  This is the day that Jesus was brutally beaten, was brutally tortured, and brutally crucified.  So why in the world would this day be called Good Friday?  It is a Good Friday because this was the day that Jesus paid the price for our sins.  This is the day when each and everyone was given the opportunity to be set free from the sin in our life.
So why is it that more and more followers of Jesus have chosen to not say anything to their friends and families about what happened on Good Friday.  Why is that more and more followers of Jesus have made the decision to keep their mouthes closed when it comes to the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. Maybe it is because we have forgotten that there is beauty in sharing the gospel.
Romans 10:14-15 (NLT) But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? [15] And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
We have been called to be the ones to carry the gospel and it is beautiful.  Who can you share with this weekend about Jesus and who can you truly celebrate a risen savior with on Easter.  Let’s carry the beautiful message of the gospel to the world.