Archive for August, 2008

it’s not a fashion statement, it’s a freaking deathwish

Last month, my wife and I made a week-long trip to Washington D.C. to visit her brother and his family.  He’s in the army and is stationed at the capitol as an honor guard.  It was the first trip to D.C. for both of us and we had a great time.  The day that stands out most to me is the day that we took a trip to Ocean City, a beach town in Virginia.  It was a fantastic day at the ocean and there’s an enormous boardwalk that stretches across the sand several hundred yards from the Atlantic.  Along this boardwalk, there’s t-shirt shops, restaurants, a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not interactive museum, and much more.

As I walked with Teresa and her brother John along the boardwalk that evening as the sun was setting, we came across some sand art that was sculptured just a few feet away from wooden walkway.  There were three giant sand sculptures showcasing the Gospel in sand-art form, it was beautiful and truly amazing.  My wife pointed out to me a man (who turned out to be the guy who made the sand art) sitting on the boardwalk with a young woman reading the Bible and sharing Christ with her.  As we walked back by a few minutes later, he was standing in front of the sculptures, leaning on a shovel, and talking about Christ.  There were quite a few people crowded around listening to him as he talked about Christ’s love for people and His passion to see them know Him and find their satisfaction in Him.  John summed it up well as we passed, saying “that’s what I’m talkin’ about!”

As we approached the middle entrance of the boardwalk, we could hear a loud voice speaking through a bullhorn.  There were three men, all wearing white t-shirts with the word “Repent” written in firey letters.  One held a large sign, I’m unsure what it said, but another of the men held a large microphone connected to a big speaker that the other man held.  As we passed, he shouted things like “If you smoke marijuana, you’re going to hell!  If you have pre-marital sex, you’re going to hell!, etc.”  Needless to  say, there were no large crowds gathering to hear this man speak.  Instead, as they passed by, they yelled at the men and told them to shut up (only not quite as nicely).

Your first response might be that the Gospel brings resistance out of the human heart and that by nature, people don’t want to hear and are opposed to the Gospel.  I would agree.  However, what I saw that evening was not people speaking Christ in love to their fellow humans.

The man by the sand art it appeared, had successfully brought the Gospel to the people of this beach town through a form that spoke to their culture.  Instead of just blaring his message through a bullhorn in anger towards the people, he had built something that spoke to their hearts and he did it in love.  The other men appeared angry and unable to make any connection with the passers-by.  Not only had they not reached into the world of the people in this beach town, they failed to show the love and compassion that Christ displayed for us and instead gave even more reasons for the people to be driven away from Christ.

I’m not calling for some watered down, wishy-washy Gospel that tickles the ears and makes everyone feel good.  All I’m asking is that we take a good, hard look at the way we are engaging the culture around us and what kind of message we want to send.  Learn the world around you, see the needs of the people that surround you, and find a way to bring Christ’s love into their lives.  God wants us to be captivated by Him, and when we are captivated by Him, we find the kind of satisfaction that only God can provide, and in the process, we bring glory to Him.  What tools has God given you to help others be captivated by Him?  They’re there, you just have to look for them – and it might take a little more effort than putting on a t-shirt and yelling through a bullhorn, but as you who are already captivated know, it’s worth it.

no hardcore dancing in the living room

So I’ve got several new posts worked up, and they’ll be coming very, very soon. In the meantime, I’d like to update you on some exciting news for Teresa and I. Since I already sent out an email to several people and don’t feel like re-typing the story, I’m going to post the email here for you to read. Also, there’s a new Music Video of the Week posted, so go watch it, and for the love of pete, comment (if you want to).

Earlier this summer, Teresa and I came into a weird situation. I only need one more class to meet the minimum requirement for us to get appointed by the International Mission Board. However, we realized that with the higher cost of living and the decrease in our income, we couldn’t afford to live here another year while waiting for our appointment. After talking with several people, we decided that it would be wise of us to move back to Enid and for me to take my last class online. After basically making our decision, I decided to look at an employment bulletin and saw that there was an opening for two Americorps position with a group called YouthBuild here in Louisville. We’ve worked with Americorps before while we were with Project Transformation in 2005 and 2006. This group works with inner city youth (aprox. ages 16-22) that have felony charges or other criminal records and helps them through the court process and also helps them learn job skills so they will be prepared to get back on their feet.

We called, got interviews along with many other people, and to make an incredibly long story incredibly short, we got hired and start on Monday. It was amazing that even one of us got hired, let alone both of us. Our monthly income will increase by around 1000 dollars and we can afford to stay (not to mention we’ll have insurance for the first time in a year)! We’re super excited, and although it pushes our appointment date back since we have to commit to this for at least a year, we’re still stoked to have an awesome ministry opportunity here and we feel God has placed this in front of us for a reason. We’ve been praying for ministry here since we moved, and although we’ve had some, we haven’t had a big breakthrough until now.

Because the office of this place is located on the campus of a community college downtown, we get time off whenever the school is out. Therefore, if the Lord wills, we’ll be home for around two weeks come December and hope to see most of you then. If you want more info on the program, go to this website:

http://www.youthbuildlouisville.org

Thanks so much for your prayers and your encouragement. Feel free to keep us up to date on your lives as well, since we don’t always get to hear from everybody. Have a great day!

music video of the week

So one of the reasons I moved my blog over to WordPress (aside from the fact that I was the only one left who hadn’t, so I jumped on the bandwagon) is that there’s an option for multiple pages.  Not like I exactly need multiple pages since my blog is rather small, but I’ve always wanted a Music Video of the Week page and now I have one!  If you haven’t checked it out, click the link on the side and go give it a shot.  I’ll update it once a week (as you might have guessed) and it will be a grand ‘ol time.  Feel free to comment!

i never said i was a wizard, i just said i have powers

This past Wednesday, Teresa and I took our much anticipated trip to Cincinnati, OH for this year’s Van’s Warped Tour. It was hot, but not THAT hot. There were a million bands (somewhere in that neighborhood) including a few of my favorites – some I’ve seen, some I hadn’t. All in all, it was a pretty sweet time. Met some cool people and had some cool fun. Here’s some pictures of a few of the bands we saw for you to enjoy.

So there you have it. I’m officially wordpressed.