Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Confessions of a Pastor: I Manuscript Preach

I confess; I'm a manuscript preacher.

I've actually been a manuscript preacher for most of my time I've been preaching.  The story most people don't know about me is from college.  After giving my life to Christ I was attending a JC in San Diego.  One semester I had a class that was just too tough for me; I couldn't seem to do well in it and had trouble finding motivation attending.  Eventually I dropped out of my public speaking class; it was the only class I've ever dropped.

What I've learned about myself is I prefer to think off the cuff when it comes to joking and conversing with people.  When it comes to matters of the Bible and Theological topics I prefer to have a guide to help me clearly communicate.  For most of my life my manuscript preaching was more of a guide than a manuscript but recently I've learned how important it is to have a manuscript when you preach.

I know guys who bullet-point their message and others who use mind mapping.
How do you do it?

6/23/2013 - Neal Benson | Worship changes us from Central Peninsula Church on Vimeo.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Family Friday /// Happy Hallow

With school being out for summer we are doing something every Friday as a family!  Last Friday we went down to a little amusement park/zoo with the girls called Happy Hallow.  Happy Hallow reminds me of a smaller version of Magic Mountian mixed with some animals from the San Diego zoo.

All of the rides are built for children.  Some of the rides are designed specifically for kids only.  The first ride we rode was their little roller coaster.  Sophie was not about to go on it but Leah mustered up the nerve to and we had a great time (I'm pretty sure she was terrified the whole ride and my knees were crammed).  After the roller coaster the girls drove the cars with the annoying bells and rode the swings.  We went on the family dragon ride and then they hit the ladybug ride.  I was surprised at how short the lines were for all the rides!

After eating lunch we headed to the playground they have tucked amongst the rides.  Sophie fell down and hurt her knee so we had to go get a treat.  With treats in hand we went down to the little zoo and had a unique encounter with the jaguar.  After the jaguar we went to see the lemurs, honey bees and pretty much were ready to move on.

We meandered towards the entrance and rode the carousel; Sophie rode the Okapi, Leah jumped on the Lemur and I tamed the Ostrich.  After an extremely close race we decided it was a tie and headed over to see the zebu (its a small cow).  We ended up feeding: the zebu, two ponies, a donkey and a handful of goats.  Once we washed our hands we decided to call it a day and head back home!

First family friday was a huge success!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Criticism Bites /// Book Review

Title: Criticism Bites

Author: Brian Berry

Pages: 122

Publisher: Group

Recommend: HIGHLY

Quotable: "Instead, when it comes to criticism, we need to think both practically and theologically about how God can use criticism in our lives and how we can learn to respond to it in healthy ways." Pg. 53

I'm no stranger to criticism... and if your have air in your lungs you probably have experienced your fair share of criticism.  I can recall many times in my life that criticism brought me down, almost left me debilitated.  Brian addresses a real issue many pastors are struggling with in the church.  As I was reading there were a few times I caught myself thinking: "I wish someone would have told me that 8 years ago."  It reminded me of situations I didn't handle so well and helped me think about ways I can improve on my leadership when those situations arise again.

See the previous seven years I pretty much only read books related to seminary but not anymore!  When I got Criticism Bites into my hands I thumbed through it and immediately knew I needed to read this book right away (If you know me, I would prefer to do almost anything before I pick up a book but there is something different about this book).  I put aside the other book sitting on my dresser, cleared my TV watching schedule and got to reading.

One thing I really appreciated about Criticism Bites is what's contained in these pages comes from a ministry veteran.  Brian isn't writing this book to just sell another book, Brian is sharing wisdom from his heart.  The best part is the wisdom he shares its super readable and applicable.  When you read this book you're going to think you're sitting at the local coffee shop talking with Brian over a latte.  Brian provides solid wisdom from someone who has been there and done that.  I could go on and on about how amazing this book is but the only way you're going to really learn how to deal with criticism in a healthy way is to shell out the $12 and start reading.

Bottom Line:  If you have ever experienced criticism in your life, you will know how much it bites!  Brian brings the truth of God and practically ministry experience to this book that I'm going to call a must read for every person in ministry!

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Family Game: Giants vs Blue Jays

(Selfie with Leah) 
Last week we went to our first Giants game as a family!  Now it would have been great if the girls sat through the entire game but that didn't happen! Even though it didn't happen we still had a great time (and great seats).

We packed up early and headed to the city.  We parked down the street and walked up the ball park.  It was great seeing Leah's face as we approached the park.  Charity had the best idea as we walked up; she suggested we enter the ballpark dugout to get our girls Panda hats (she's a genius).  We found them right away and also found out we could enter the park right there.  After cutting through the massive crowds we finally found our seats.

Sitting this close to the action was a huge blessing for us; it kept the girls engaged a little more than sitting in the nose bleeds.  The first two innings were the most exciting.  Tores hit a home run that went over the fence in right field and the crowd went ballistic!  I grabbed Leah (who was sitting on my lap) and started cheering with her held high in the air; needless to say she loved every second of that.

(Charity and Leah drinking hot chocolate) 
Eating: cotton candy, pretzels and hot chocolate helped to make our first Giants game even better!  Even though we choose to attend a late game, break all our bedtime rules and keep our kids out super late we had an amazing time.  We walked a few miles, cheered loud, took our kids to rid the coke slide and had a wonderful time as a family.

I'm convinced that spending time, like this, with my family is one of the best investments I can make into them.  I'm not trying to advocate for me to take them to more sporting events but I'm trying to remind myself about how excited they were.  I'm trying to remind myself that getting time with my family, like this, is a huge investment to show them how much I care about them and how important they are to me!

Love you family.