Thursday, May 18, 2006

First Wedding

Tomorrow night I am performing my first wedding. I am really excited! I thought I would be more nervous than I am right now. I hope there are some nerves that come, so that I know I am normal. I bet I will be more nervous once I do all the rehearsal stuff tonight. We will see, I guess. Either way, I am not worried about it because the focus really is not on me, but on Kyle and Jessica, as it should be.

Only the proud minister thinks that a wedding (or even a sermon, class, or something else) is about him. Lord, continue to guide me in journeying in your path. Keep us safe as we travel. Amen!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Ministry to My Family

Well, I mentioned that last night was a good reminder for me in regard to my marriage. Something happened in my mind last night for the first time. It wasn't the first time I thought about it, but it was the first time I actually pictured what it would look like. Let me explain.

I have said before that my family is my ministry. When I said this, my mind thought about spending time with them doing family things, being around the house, going out occasionally, and just being ourselves. That is what I "do" for this ministry.

Here is the shift that happened last night: if my family is my ministry, then I need to minister to my family. This may seem like a simple observation and obvious to some, but it is not so obvious when you are at home with your family. I thought that ministering to my family was just being myself. This is true because I always want to "be myself." But, I can't just let down my guard and say whatever thoughts come to my mind. I can't just vent my frustrations when they first come. I can't "go on pause," so to speak, when I am at home. I still need to be a minister.

At the Student Center, I would never think about venting to a student I am mentoring. If I did, I believe and pray that it would be done in a very pastoral and wise way. Why do I think that I can have this freedom at home? That is unfair to my bride and my little girl.

I need to work at home. I can't just go on pause and offer my raw self to my family thinking that this is ministry to my family. I must intentionally be the minister and leader of our family.

That is not to say I can't express emotions or be real with my family. No way! It is to say that I use pastoral care and ministry skills when I do so.

I pray that the Lord enable me to stay focused as I begin to intentionally minister to my family.


It really is important to understand my wife's needs. As I have been getting ready to do a wedding this coming Friday, I am reminded that it is not always about other people doing the things that I say. The message I bring is for me too. Imagine that!

I need to clothe myself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. I need to look for opportunities to forgive my wife without waiting for her to do it first. This makes for a great message for others at times, but how am I doing?

Last night was a good reminder for me to continue to pump energy into my marriage. Help me, Lord, as I learn to be a better husband.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Wed Class-Summer 2006

I have been crazily busy lately...hence why I have not posted in a LONG time.

At the Student Center, we have ended on a positive note. I think that the classes we went through this semester have been good. The feedback has been encouraging.

I am really looking forward to the summer though, specifically on our Wednesday night class. As I sent out feelers to see what students thought, I was somewhat surprised by the positive response. This is a good thing.

We are going to be having a class entitled "The Story of God in the Bible." I have found that so many students recognize stories in the Bible. Generally, they know the characters and what happens. Once you get into specifics, they haven't read the stories enough, if at all, to know little nuances. With that said, students (and maybe even many adults in our churches) cannot tell you how all the stories are connected. They know Moses and they know Joseph, but they don't know the relation between the two. Why are the people of Israel called the Israelites? Why is the book of Ruth important for Israel? Why did the exile happen? What is the exile? Where does God fit into all these discussions?

These are the types of things that will help us as we read the stories on our own time. If I pick a book in the Bible to read, what is happening around it to make it the book it is?

Ultimately, I want the students to be able to tell someone the story of God in 5 minutes. This is what God has done. I want the students to be able to tell how they fit into the story of God as well. Here is where I am. There is definitely an evangelistic element to what I want to happen in the class. We will see how it goes.