Thursday, February 21, 2013

Compassion International

Who would have guessed that a ministry started in 1956 would have such an impact in my home today

In 1952 Everett Swanson visited South Korea to preach the Gospel.  During his visit he encountered children orphaned by the war.  While in South Korea Everett was challenged by a missionary friend: "You have seen the tremendous needs and unparalleded opportunities of this land.  What do you intend to do about it?  Four later Everett did something; he started Compassion International

In 2003 I met a beautiful young lady named Charity Fairfield who was passionate about Compassion International.  As time progressed I made her my wife but I honestly think one of the unwritten prenuptial agreements was that I would have to sponsor a child with Compassion.  In 2005 I started sponsoring Edgar.  This passion to help out children in need started with a man I will not meet on earth and continues in my home.

The sad thing for me is that after 8 years of writing letters with Edgar he is going to graduate from High School.  Now I know I am supposed to be happy but I am going to miss him.  I enjoy reading his letters.  I've been blessed to pray for him every night.  I love seeing how he has matured as a young man and I've been able to walk alongside (from afar) though some difficult times.

I am thankful Compassion gave me a heads up but I am going to be sad in December when Edgar graduates.  Until then I will keep praying for him, sending him letters and encouraging him in life.  The impact that Edgar has had on me, as a person, I am unable to put into words.  The only way I can express this is to invite you to sponsor a child and live life beyond yourself.

Thanks for letter me help out Compassion!  You are amazing.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Morning of "Firsts"

This Sunday morning was a morning of "firsts" for me

I feel like I have done most pastoral responsibilities in my life.  I have preached sermons, officiated weddings, helped ordain pastors, preached Easter, baptized people, preached Good Friday, officiated funerals, lead staff meetings, preached Christmas Eve, helped license new pastors and done my fair share of counseling.

This weekend was a weekend of firsts for me as I did my first baby dedications.  I have never done baby dedications before; probably because no one wants the High School Pastor to dedicate their kid and say something dumb.  This weekend I dedicated 5 babies at our church and I'm pretty sure I didn't say anything dumb.  The best thing is I feel like I was able to play a huge role in the lives of these families over the last couple weeks and I hope that continues.

At Central Peninsula Church we are in a series right now called "Come and See".  In this message series we are looking the first twelve chapters of John.  This weekend I preached on John 2:13-25.  Now it wasn't my first time preaching but it was my first time being on video at one of our other campus'.  To be honest I was a bit nervous.

I have never had to be so prepared in my preaching before hand.  I had to make sure to look at the camera, a few times, to help the campus feel engaged.  I had to make sure my jokes were funny (they weren't).  I wanted to make sure the campus felt included.  I did my best to make mention to our South Campus and what God is doing there.  Its fun being a part of one church that meets on three locations!

Here is a link to the message I preached (same morning; second service)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Snow Valley; Snowboard Day

While at Pondo, this winter, I had a cool opportunity to hang out with some of the boys (who are now men) that were in my small group at high schoolers.  Thankfully I had a GoPro so we could record our time snowboarding together.

Here is the footage

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My Top 10 Books

Lately it seems like more people have been asking me for book recommendations.  I got to thinking about this and decided to make a list of ten books that have impacted my life in a significant way.  So if you asked me about a book to read it would probably be one of these:

If you're looking for a book to help you grow, daily, in your personal life than you need to order this one!

For a long time I struggled with saying "YES" to everything.  In this book Doug talks about the value of saying "NO" to things! 

This book radically changed my thoughts on the unseen world around us

Looking for a good little read to show you how prideful you are?  Look no further!

If your single and need some advice stop, buy this book and read it

The first three times I read this book I was utterly confused.  I'm not saying I understand it all right now but it has helped me grow in my walk with Christ

4. Refuel 
Are you having trouble staying connected, and refreshed, in your walk with Jesus?

This book came at just the right time in my life.  Peter Scazarro shares what he has learned about becoming an emotionally healthy person

If you're gonna read one; you gotta read them all!  This was the first novel I remember reading on my own desire and boy did I love it!

Yep, still the #1 best selling book of all time (I saw that stat while watching Pawn Stars the other night)

What would you add to the list?

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

What we've tried to do to make it work

Friday night Charity and I had a really cool opportunity.  Our church has a ministry for young married couples.  There is no worship team, no formal greeters, no offering plates being passed and no sermon is preached.  For a few months we have been trying to go but it hasn't worked out until now.

See on Friday night we were planning to just go and be a couple who gets to know some people at our church.  A few days before our pastor asked us if we could share for 15 minutes about our married life. After praying about it we decided to do it!  Here is one of the things I shared that night.

Make My Wife Feel Chosen
Over the years I have neglected Charity in many ways.  I'm not trying to say I am a bad husband but that I need help being a husband.  In the last couple years I have been learning to help Charity feel chosen in our relationship and there are three ways I have been doing this.

The first I do is tell Charity she is beautiful.  I think this many times, in my head, and fail to tell Charity.  I constantly see my wife and think "WOW you are hot!" but I forget to tell her.  I may think "that new shirt looks nice on you" but I fail to say it out loud.  Now when I think those thoughts I just vocalize them.

Something I have been working on, in my life, is being present.  When Charity is around I need to focus on being present with her.  I can so easily get distracted with: TV, my phone, computer and the Wii.  I need to be remember to be present and fight to keep my attention on her so she feels chosen in our marriage.

For most of our marriage I was working on my master's degree.  That meant there were many nights I had to read a book, write a paper or book travel.  When our anniversary would come up Charity would kindly ask me if I wanted to plan it.  I usually took that to mean she was willing to plan it so I let her (bad idea).  This year I planned out our anniversary and it was so good.  I could see how that made Charity feel chosen when I made all the plans, figured out the financial cost and took care of the details.

Note: I didn't have a manuscript when I spoke about this; there were a few things I wrote on a piece of paper but I realize that my marriage is so much better when Charity feels chosen!