Thursday, December 27, 2012

Date Night: Joy Sushi

When Charity and I were dating I took her to sushi for her first time ever...

I had this amazing date planned where we would go to my favorite (most expensive) sushi place.  I saved up so we could go there.  I made sure we went at just the right time to miss the crowd.  I ordered all my favorite rolls for her to try.  She took one bite and literally spit it out.  

That was tough to deal with.

Now that we have been married for almost eight years Charity has learned to find a few items on the Sushi menu that she enjoys and we have had some great dates!  In San Mateo we just tried a new sushi spot for date night last week.  The place is called "Joy Sushi" and its in downtown San Mateo (about 10 minutes from our house).

Charity normally doesn't like to eat sushi for date night but since I was preaching for Christmas Eve she made an exception.  The place was pretty good; its not our favorite but its good.  We had been wanting to try it and my dad gave us a gift certificate to try it out!  I give the place credit for having a hilarious logo on their menu.  I think we will go back again to have some more!

Huge thanks to my wife for being adventurous. Big thanks to my dad for hooking it up!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Will the world end tomorrow?

Will the world end tomorrow?

I'm guessing probably not

Some people will disagree with me and that is fine; this is America we have that right

Before you condemn me for my thoughts let me share some of what influences my position on this hot topic.

Time Zones
People are talking about the world ending on December 21st 2012.  As we all know this theory is based on the Mayan Calendar.  I am not super familiar with the theory and I self confess that I know very little but I want to bring in the fact of Time Zones and what that plays into the date.  The time zone the Mayans occupied is located in what we would call the "Central Time Zone".  If the world will actually end on December 21st then will it end when the earth hits midnight for the time zone where the Mayans live?  I have not been able to find a specific time but I am curious at how time zones impact this.

Leap Year
The Mayans base their calendar on the Mayan calendar.  Americans base our calendar on the Gregorian Calendar.  Now I am no history buff but I'm pretty sure that there is a big difference in these calendars.  Whenever I have been asked the question about the world ending I like to bring up the fact about Leap Year and what role that will play in the end of the world.  From what I know I don't think the Mayans had leap year equated into their calendar which could drastically change the date to a much earlier date since we have been adding a day every four years.

I know that not every one reading this will consider Scripture to be a reliable source so I decided to save it for the end.  I am basing most of what I know about the end of the world on Scripture; the other two points I previously mentioned just give me an option to talk to people about it without bringing up God first.

When Jesus spoke about the end of time He was crystal clear that:
"But about the day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."  Matthew 24:36
I don't know when the world will end but I don't think its going to be tomorrow and from what I read I think its safe that say that God is the only one who knows.  This could be devastating to some people.  From the recent events in our Nation I can see heartbreak, confusion and frustration.  If you are experiencing those emotions today is a great day to call out to God.  God wants to have a personal relationship with you before the world ends and when you read the Bible you can clearly see that.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Ice Skating Date

Since getting married I have done my best to constantly date my wife.  There are seasons in our marriage where I have done better at this than other times.  Since moving it has been tough to find sitters, place to go and times to date but we are doing pretty good at getting a weekly date in our week!

Yesterday I took my wife on a pretty sweet date!  First we jumped in the car and headed down to the city for an exciting day time date.  Heading north on the 101 we went up to the Embarcadero where Hawaiian Airlines set up an ice skating rink in the financial district!  We arrived a little later than planned but had fun skating laps around the rink (obviously we grabbed a coffee before skating).  I enjoy ice skating and I have to admit that Charity did well; she didn't fall our entire date!

After mastering the rink we went over to get some clam chowder (in a bread bowl of course).  The chowder was perfect for a cloudy day in the city.  Finally we headed over to Ghirardelli Square to grab an ice cream sunday before heading back home to spend the rest of the day with our kids.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

90 Days Later

So I've been processing this post for a little while now...

Many of you know that on August 15th I resigned from South Hills Church Community in Henderson Nevada to take a new role in the Bay Area.  It was a bit scary leaving everything I had known for the last eight years but we are enjoying the new journey and new season in our life.  As I write this post its crazy to me that we have been in the Bay Area for over 90 days now.  As I have processed the last three months of our lives there are few major phrases that keep coming out of my mouth so I thought I would share them.

The main question that friends have asked us in the last ninety day is: "How's it going?"  To be honest its going great!  We love it up here.  One Friday we took the girls to the park and Charity asked me how I was doing with the transition.  I shared with her how much I love my role, love the area and love what we are doing.  She communicated to me how much she loved being up here and how happy she sees me in my new role.  I am feeling very blessed that God led us here.

About three weeks after we moved here one of the ladies in our office said something to the effect of: "Neal it just seems like you have always been here."  I was so glad to hear that because that is how I feel in my new role.  My new role is stretching me in my leadership in many new ways, it has been tough learning so much and being at a new church but I really sense that we just fit here.  Since she said that to me I have had others affirm that we really do fit in well here.

One day I was sharing with a friend that I feel like Central Peninsula Church (CPC) really under promised and has over committed to us.  Being in ministry for the last decade I have heard the horror stories of guys being promised a certain thing, moving their family across the country only to find out they were totally deceived in the role.  That has not been my experience here.  I feel like everything that was communicated to me CPC has delivered on, and even more!

As I process the last ninety days I cannot help but share my gratefulness to the people who have invested in me in the last decade of my life.  I am thankful for Eastlake Church taking a risk to hire me as an intern.  I am thankful for Hope Church giving me an opportunity to help church plant.  I am indebted to South Hills Church for letting me minister alongside them for almost eight years.  The lessons that I learned in ministry, the teams I partnered with and the people I served with were all key in preparing me for this role.
Thank you for investing in me to further the Kingdom!

Monday, December 03, 2012

Confessions of a Pastor: November 2012

November seemed to have been a pretty crazy month for us.  It brought about 3 months in our new location and it started the Holiday season.  As I processed this month something came to mind that I thought I would share on and see if anyone has ideas.

I confess that I didn't read my Bible every day this month

That may not be a major confession but as a pastoral leader I want to daily spend time in the word of God.  The words of Psalm 119:11 come to mind:
"I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you"
Now I know that verse doesn't speak to reading the word of God on a daily basis but its hard to hide God's word in my heart when I'm not reading it.