Monday, September 27, 2010

The End

I've been in ministry now for almost 8 years and I have to be honest that I have been scared to ever broach the subject of end times... until now.
Almost four weeks ago we started our series "The End" with a goal of teaching students what the Bible says about the end times. Students are being bombarded, on all sides, with what society thinks will happen at the end. We have movies like; "I am Legand", "2012", and "The Road" that attempt to speak about what will happen at the end and what that may look like.

In our High School Ministry we chose to dedicate four weeks to teaching through this topic to help students grasp, Biblically, what the need to know about the end. Here's how the four weeks has broken down:

Week 1: "Be Prepared"
Main Text: Matthew 24:1-35

Week 2: "Are you Ready?"
Main Text: Matthew 25:1-13

Week 3: "The End of Everything"
Main Text: Revelation 20

Week 4: "After The End"
Main Text: Matthew 25:31-46

The sense I get is that this series has been helpful to students in their understanding of what the end will look like and what they can do in preparation for the end. You can check out our podcast for this series to hear some of the messages that we have done (Pastor Chase spoke week 2).

This is the video we have used to intro the series

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Family

I'm currently reading a book for a Fall semester class at Tozer Seminary called "The Family".  The course is on Marriage and Family Counseling.  I just got to chapter 17 and began reading about divorce and single parent families.  I come from a divorced family and some of the things that I am reading are really sticking out to me; figured I would blog about them to help them stick in my mind.
"They discovered that adults who said they were unhappily married in the late 1980's and got divorced were on average still unhappy or even less happy when interviewed five years late as compared to those who stayed in their marriage.  Most of those who stayed in their marriages had on average moved past the bad times and reached a happier stage."
I found this interesting because I think so many times we come to marriage thinking that it is made to make me happy.  Before getting married my father-in-law gave me a book to read called "Sacred Marriage".  One quote has stood out to me from that book:
"Marriage is like a mirror that shows us all our flaws"
Not the most encouraging quote but realistic.  Marriage shows me how completely selfish I am and how much I need the truth of God in my life and help to squash that selfishness.  Here are some up to date statistics on divorce:
  • About 40% of marriages will end in divorce
  • The average length of marriages that end in divorce are 7 years
  • America has the second highest divorce rate (beaten by Russia)
  • Since 1980 there have been approximately 1.2 million divorces a year
  • There has been a decline in the divorce rate since 1980 due to cohabitation 
  • Those who marry in their mid-twenties tend to have a more stable marriage
  • The divorce rate is highest in Blacks, moderate among whites, and lowest among other ethnic groups
  • Divorce is lowest among Jews, moderate in Catholics and highest among Protestants 
The book goes on to share about the pain that children bear from divorced homes.  Something that sticks out to me, from personal experience, is that boys who live with their mother tend to be more aggressive and non-complaint.  This has been a personal struggle that I have dealt with for years and wish I could say have conquered but still have battles with.

This book brought good insight on divorce and the stigma that goes something like we are able to fail in business, school and other decisions but not in marriage.  We have all made unwise choices and marriage is a union between two imperfect people.  My goal for marriage is to honor Christ, put Charity's need before mine and point my daughters to Christ.  Please pray I will be able to do that well.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Navigating the Journey

I've heard many quotes on how life is a journey and its what we learn along the way. Life is a journey its just a matter of how you take it. Life is a journey make you stop at In and Out for lunch. Ok the last one is my personal take.

Life is a journey and I have been riding that journey for over 30 years now which the last 10 of those years I have done as a Christian man, the last 5 1/2 as a married man, and the last 2 as a father. Over the last 10 years there has been great changes in my life; the transition to following Christ was by far the biggest change ever!

Recently I have been going down a path trying to learn more about myself, who God has called me to be, how to implement that, how to grow as a Christian, how to be a better leader and what all that looks like. I cannot say the journey has been easy; I learned early that nothing good is easy but it is worth it. The journey for me has been very much so "worth it". It has been difficult, trying, stretching and convicting. God has done some huge shaping in my life in Vegas in the last, almost, 6 years now and especially the last 18 months.

With all that said to intro this, I have been reading a book called "Emotionally Healthy Spiritually" that a trusted friend recommended to me recently and it has been rocking my soul. A quote that has stuck out more than anything I have read recently (beside the Bible) is:
"I was a Christian for twenty-two years. But instead of being a twenty-two-year-old Christian, I was a one-year-old Christian twenty-two times! I just kept doing the same thing over and over and over again."
I mention this quote, three months after reading it, because it is profound and I think a good indicator of where the Church is at. From a leadership standpoint I see many people that have merely accepted Christ and fail to do much more than that. To battle that I am making a commitment, as a young leader, to be different than that. To not allow students to sit on the side line with their faith; to do more than just wear the team jersey but to figure out how they can play.

The world is crying for us, as Christians, to do something with our faith and I think now is the time!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sophie is 2

Ok so Sophie has been two almost three weeks now.  We were on vacation in San Diego when her b-day hit so here are some pics of the day
Sophie woke up to balloons 

Then we fed a Giraffe

Whats a b-day without a cupcake!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Something Amazing

On Sunday September 5th I was able to teach on big stage at church.  Here is the message:

09/05/10 South Hills - Weekend Message from Axis/Brio - Henderson, NV on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Quotes from Sophie

Recently Sophie has been saying some of the greatest, funniest and cutest things ever. Here is a chance for you to laugh with me:

The other day we are driving in the car. I told Sophie what we were going to do and she responds:
"Good idea daddy"

Today Sophie came to my office. She pointed to our student ministry room and said:
"Want to sing to Jesus"

I was leaving for work this morning. Sophie came to me and said:
"Sophie go to work daddy?"

At the Zoo we were feeding the Giraffe and Sophie said:
"He tried to eat my finger"

I gave Sophie a cracker and asked her if Leah wanted one. She replied back:
"Leah's a baby daddy"

These are just a few, random, things that Sophie has said lately.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Sophies First Sea World Visit

Last week we took a family vacation down to San Diego for the week and had the best time of our life!  I'm going to have to take a few times to post the entire trip but wanted to start with our first day and our visit to Sea World.  I am stoked on how much Sea World has for kids!  We were able to pet bat rays and Sophie totally loved them!

After we pet the bat rays we went and checked out the penguins.  Sophie loved looking at the penguins and watching them swim under the water.  After that we made our way to see Shamu!  I don't remember Sea World being this cool when I was growing up but I love it for my daugher

After "petting" Shamu we went to the Shamu show and I have to say that I was almost in tears watching the joy that Sophie had watching Shamu "do flippies".  When the Shamu show as done we went over to the new Sesame Street area that Sea World put in since I was kid where we met back up with my sister and her son Blaze.  Charity took Sophie on the Gabby ride there and she was totally loving it!

We all know that the toddlers in our life need a nap so we went home for lunch and nap but we had to come back after dinner (I mean it cost $12 to park so we needed to get our monies worth).  After dinner we came home and watched the Sea Lion show that was just as funny as I remember it.  After that we went to see the Polar Bear.  Sophie was loving it and then we saw the Walrus.  While looking at the Walrus Sophie told me "I need more Polar Bear".  I loved that so we went back and she just sat there with him

Well once we saw the Polar Bear it was time to head home for the night and get ready for our next day going to the San Diego Zoo!