Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Father's Day 2010

This year for Father's Day we had a rad time spending it with Charity's parents in Santa Maria.  I was up in Redding working on school and flew down for the weekend to see the family.  So basically here is a quick rundown:

Woke up and ate (I think the food was good)
Went to church, late, and just sat and listened
Ate some more
Played outside with the girls


Took a nap
Ate some steak (Leah wanted to try it)

Ate those steaks
Practiced our amazing balancing tricks

It was a good Father's Day for me!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Growing Through School

So far I have posted a few blogs about school and how that has been going.  I am currently attending Tozer Seminary in Redding, CA and the last two weeks of class have been pretty amazing for me.  When I get home and am able to process through all I have learned, what has challenged my thinking and the material I enjoyed I think I'll write a summer school wrap up blog but today is about what I've been learning in my "Exploring Science and Scripture".

The first day of class was pretty interesting for me because my prof, Dr. Hugh Ross, starting talking about some ideas of creation that are new to me... that were different for me... that were interesting for me... that rocked me... that were hard to grasp at first... that shook the thoughts I had in my mind already.  Dr. Ross presented ideas about creation that I had never thought about and, honestly, had disregarded as stupid made up lies that didn't seem possible.

Well as I began thinking more about God in creation and what Dr. Ross was presenting it became evident to me that if God wanted the universe to be 13.73 billion years old He can do that.  If God wants the universe to be 6,000-10,000 years old He can do that also.  See Dr. Ross has his Ph. D in Astrophysics (that means he is much smarter than I am) and he has a cool thing about him; he has Aspergers which allows him to focus on a subject and topic and learn as much as possible about that topic.  It is evident that Dr. Ross has done his research and knows what he is talking about!

I could share all the info that Dr. Ross gave to me and write some big words that really don't make sense but the best line that I am going to leave this class with goes something like this "The issue of Young Earth or Old Earth creation has no bearing on salvation".  That line is freeing for me.  You may hold to one of those positions or none at all but either way salvation is not contingent on them; salvation is found in Jesus Christ and that is what we need to share.

I'm not sure this accurately shares what I am learning here but this is one way I am growing through school.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Today it Clicked

Today is clicked
Have you ever had one of those times in your life when it just clicked?  Maybe you were riding a bike and you finally got the feeling of pedaling combined with your balance so your dad let you go on your own.  Maybe you were skateboarding and when you realized how to stand on the board it just finally felt right.  Maybe you relate that question to doing a math equation and the realization that the formula really does work.  We all have times in our life that things don't make sense.  The reason our brain tells our eyes to focus is because it is trying to make sense of the world around it; it wants to know!

Today in class we were talking about Learner Sensitive Preaching, the need to put Scripture as the primary source/authority while engaging the culture... and that's when it clicked.  I was thinking about teaching students and how to keep them engaged in the truth of God when I'm speaking.  It clicked that my role as a pastoral leader is to create an environment where students can connect with God in a real way; a way that uses the culture they are used to to help point them to Christ and the culture we live in is a fast paced culture that requires our brain to constantly be thinking and learning.

See when I first came back to church I needed something that: was relevant to my life, met me where I was (I didn't know the Christianese), but kept me engaged in the message.  This is what we have been talking about this week and today it all finally clicked for me (hopefully it still clicks tomorrow)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Summer School 2010- Update #1

Not to sure how to begin the update for Summer School 2010 because I have a feeling I could write way too much and no one would read it; therefore I'm going to try to keep this simple but informative for how the last two days have gone up here.

If you don't know I am currently in Redding, CA attending a two-week intensive summer school session at Tozer Seminary. The courses I am taking are "Preaching the Word" with Dr. Rod Casey and "God in Science and Scripture" with Dr. Hugh Ross. The cool thing is that both of the professors are totally different in their teaching style and both totally amazing men of God.

Dr. Rod is teaching us about how to preach to a postmodern generation and I feel like from day one in class him and I just connected. He took the time to find my blog and learn about me even before I stepped into class. The first thing he said to me was: "I"m sorry to hear about the speeding ticket". It took me off guard but I realized the he was intentional to find out about who I am and I believe that he has learned from the class and tailored his teaching to fit who we are. He is legit; I love the material we are learning and totally resonate with where he is going and the discussions we have about our role as pastoral leaders.

Dr. Ross is probably one of the most intelligent men I have ever met in my life; and I don't say that lightly. He has a Ph.D. in Astrophysics from the University of Toronto and the guy is a scientist at heart. I appreciate his lectures and the material he presents. When he speaks it draws it me into listening to him (if you know me that can be difficult to keep my attention). He has presented some new ideas that are challenging the way I think about God and what I think about the age of the universe and the earth.

So far I am loving the integration of my courses; you may be curious on how these courses integrate with each other. See Rod is helping me shape my skills in speaking to High School students and Adults; he is passionate about people communicating God's truth accurately. So I take that and when I sit in Dr. Ross's course I am constantly thinking about how I can break this material down to make it understandable to a person who is new to Christ or curious about Christ. The next 12 days of class are going to rock me and I am so excited about that!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Drive

Today I made the drive from Vegas to Redding, CA (I haven't done a long car drive like that in about 10 years).  I left home at about 8:15am and chose to drive the 95 North to Reno.  I ate some Burger King in Tonopah and I'm pretty sure it gave me bad gas.  So about an hour outside of Tonopah I was heading down a grade and saw a long line of cars.  At the end of the line I saw a car pull over and wasn't sure if he was ok.  When I saw the lights come on I knew that he wanted to talk with me; yep I got my first speeding ticket in 11 years.  I was kinda bummed but I was going 82 in a 70 and made a dumb choice to not follow the rules.

I headed on from there and went to Reno.  The sad thing about that drive is the brothel's on the side of the road.  Being that I was driving alone I had a bunch of time to think about the hurt that those ladies face and what has caused them to end up in that situation.  I think being a dad of daughters it just broke my heart to think about women living in that situation.

So I continued my trek and had dinner in a little town called "Susanville" and got some more gas.  From there I drove through Lassen National Park and it was SO beautiful.  I rolled my window down and just smelled the amazing air and looked the trees.  I pulled over to see Mount Lassen and it totally covered in snow!  I passed a little creek called "Hat Creek" that I used to fish with my dad when I was a little kid.

So I finally made it to Redding and I'm staying with some amazing Friends up here; Matt and Kendall Klutz, for the two weeks I'm up here in Seminary.  I'm going to miss my girls but I'm excited to be up here and excited for what God wants to do in my life!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Conversations From the Tattoo Shop

Its probably no surprise to anyone the title of this post; I get tattoo's and therefore I spend time in the tattoo shop.  If you have never been to a tattoo shop you are missing out!  There are some crazy people in there; and I mean literally crazy (there are also some amazing people with great hearts in there).  Although that is not the focus of this post I had to start it off that way because I think this will become a more common topic I write about.

The main focus of this post is something that has stuck in my mind from my last tattoo sitting.
It was late on a Saturday night and I was sitting in the chair being tattooed.  My artist was working on the top angel tattooed on my arm, more my shoulder, and I was talking with a female who was sitting in the room waiting for my artist, Johnny, to finish the tattoo.  Johnny loves to tell people that I am a pastor and that he tattoo's me; I think its cool he is stoked on it and I love the guy.  Well this lady and I began to talk about church and God and where she is at with Jesus.  She told me she went to church when she was young and was super connected.  She mentioned that she went to the summer camps and winter camps and it sounded like she enjoyed them in her tone of voice but something happened after high school that caused her to leave the church (we never got to what happened).

So while Johnny and I were talking about how to finish up the bottom of my arm I shared I only want to do "half sleeves" because I preach in the big room at church and don't want to turn people off to Jesus and the hope in Christ because I have tattoo's. 
The lady looked at me and said something to the effect of "Its because people will judge you huh?"

That line has stuck in my head the last 4 days and I can't stop thinking about it.  Is the church really just known for being a place that judges people?  It broke my heart to hear that; I grew up in a church that judged me for being a skateboarder and snowboarder.  I was lumped in a category where the majority of the thought is that "those people do drugs" so I just did drugs because I was treated that way.  I wonder if something to a similar effect happened to her and caused her to leave the church; maybe I will see her again and find out.

As for me; I have come to the conclusion that I have no desire to get full sleeves on my arms because I do a good deal of overseas missions and tattoo's are not as acceptable overseas as they are in the States. 

I would love to hear thoughts, if you have any, of how we, the church, can be a place that lacks condemnation and promotes love and grace because if all we are known for is judgment then we are in trouble.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Angel Tattoo: Almost Done

So in a previous post on the Angel Tattoo I shared why I was getting it and what the reason behind the tattoo was all about.  Since then I've had two more sessions on my arm and one more to go. 
Here's the progress:
(First session we did the outline)

(Second session we did the clouds)

(Third session we did the Angel)

The entire tattoo is done in black, gray and white.  I love how Johnny Five is using the white to really make the tattoo pop out and have some cool definition.  I have one more session and then hopefully we will be done; I'm super excited on this tattoo and how its turned out!