Thursday, November 30, 2006

I Saw the Turtle!!

It is official. I saw the turtle and we are having a boy. There is definitely no hamburger buns on that boy! Yesterday we had a sonogram. The boy is doing fine. He is healthy and moving around. Heartbeat is good. Yea!

Now we are starting the process of finding a name for our boy. This is a big deal for me. I go through the name book (at least when I get it back) and make sure that the name I am looking at is appropriate. If I can visualize my son having this makes the cut. Once this process is finished, I look at what I have and begin talking with Tanya. We will deliberate from there. The only thing I know at this point is...not 'Christopher Jr.' I can't stand that.

I am not sure if we will tell people the name beforehand or not. For Kayla we did. I really don't care if we do or not. I don't think it is a big deal if people know the name. Hey...its cool to know the name beforehand. Then we can talk about 'Kayla' instead of 'her' or 'the baby' before Kayla is born. I liked that.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Holiday Break

Oh...I can smell it now...turkey, stuffing, deviled eggs (do these smell?), ham, football, Cowboys, laughter. [I know you can't smell some of those, but work with me here.] Thanksgiving break is huge at our family. Maybe even bigger than Christmas...I'm not sure. All I know is that I get excited thinking about it!

A when the break finally comes, nice times. I don't typically think about anything except being with family...I go on break! [There was one year that I had to do an assignment during the Cowboy game, but I was on drugs that year. That doesn't count.] Last year was the same.

But, there is a danger lurking there that I don't want to come around this Thanksgiving break. It is called the devil's playground or "spiritual warfare break." I am amazed at how these "breaks" bring Satan out of the closet full force. He loves it I know! He knows that we have mentally checked out and most of the time we have spiritually checked out too. His voice whispers, "We just need to indulge and give in every now and then! Everything will get back to normal...after your 'break.'"

I have already been battling this battle. Since Tanya and Kayla left, I have kindof been on "break." I need to wake up to Satan's lie. Lord, keep me strong throughout this break. It is this break that I need to draw from your strength, not Satan's. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Your name be praised throughout our break. Marana tha. Amen!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

As a "Bachelor"

This morning I woke up and turned in my bed to see my dog snoozing away. There was music playing in the other room from KSBJ, the local Christian radio station, because I do that every time Tanya and Kayla are gone. I stayed up late last night after church just working on learning CSS, a language to help with building websites.

After my normal routine, I decided to go to the office a little early to read the Bible. Then my day started, and here I am.

I wouldn't trade married life or life as a dad for anything. I don't know that I could exist otherwise. But, there are certain days that come along that God gives us that are not "normal," whatever that means. Today has been an abnormal day because the two people closest to me are gone. I have not had to do my normal husband or father duties.

God has allowed me to quiet down enough today to hear him a little more. I plan on allowing God to speak more this weekend. I can only praise God for this brief season. This is also a time that I am going to use to think about next semester's plans. I pray that God gives me wisdom through his Spirit.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Why do students do that?

I don't want to judge too quickly because I myself am a sinner! But I logged into facebook this morning to find that two students were tagged in photos doing something I bet they are not excited that I saw. The title to the album was "Some Drunk Times/White Trash Bash." Actually, I have no idea what they were doing. The contraption is not something I have seen before.
I feel compelled to let them know that I saw the pictures, but what do I do from there? This seems like one of those moments where I need to hold out the truth of the gospel. They died to sin in their baptism; how can they live in it any longer? Let us put off our old self which is being corrupted in its deceitful desires and put on our new self which is created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
It would be easy to condemn, but the gospel puts me in the same condemned state as a sinner myself. When I hold out the word of life, we all have the chance to repent and turn to God.
I caution myself when I say these things because this behavior (if done consistently) is not proper for God's people. Reading 1 Corinthians 5, the community is corrupted by such ways of living. The call in this case is to cast this one out. Exactly what that looks like will be a learning process for me, but I know that healing should be the final outcome sought. I know reconciliation can happen.
[Note: I know that this is just one picture taken at one moment in time and should not necessarily be taken as an example of his behavior over a long period of time.]

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Holy Spirit Preventing

I have always wondered about the following passage in Acts:
"Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and
Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the
province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter
Bythinia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. Do they passed by
Mysia and went down to Troas." Acts 16:6-8

What? Why would God prevent them from preaching the word? I thought we were able to do that wherever we went. At least this is what I tell students! And what is going on with the Spirit of Jesus not allowing them to enter Bythinia? Why would this happen? Basically, I am full of questions concerning this passage.

Not only this, but I have similar questions regarding my recent frustrations with LST in Huntsville. My efforts are going nowhere! Is the Holy Spirit preventing this evangelistic opportunity in Huntsville? I don't know, but why would this happen? Does Friends Speak need to be up and running before LST will have a chance? What is going on?

As of now, it looks like myself and LeeAnn are the ones wanting to go on a project. Even in my commitment, I must wrestle with the familial sacrifices it would take. I don't understand what is happening. All I can do right now is wait...and continue to wrestle with God's will!

Give me understanding, Lord. Let me be patient as I wait on your timing. I am dumbfounded...please enlighten me.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Women in Ministry

I have mentioned Let's Start Talking on a few occasions now. I am finding out that women are my most enthusiastic students. They are the ones who take seriously the challenge involved with LST. They are the ones who seem halfway interested. They are the ones willing to go around the world to be used by God. Why is this?

When I get to thinking about this just in campus ministry, I see similar results. The women are more involved than the men. Women are more likely to talk to me after class about something that I mentioned than men. Women are more likely to think about how to coordinate events when I ask them to do that. [And they usually do a much better job at it than our guys!!]

I find this phenomenon interesting. This topic came up in a conversation I had recently and David mentioned that women are not given too many opportunities in ministry to make a big impact. As a result, they jump at the opportunity LST provides. I thought it was an interesting proposal, but a good one.

Looking realistically at our "student leadership" I see women AND men, but the women seem to step up more and more. I am looking to have a leadership team next semester when our intern leaves. We will see what happens.

God give me wisdom.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Let's Start Talking

Tonight about 7 are meeting to begin taking the commitment to an LST project to the next level. It seems like 6 weeks is scaring many people away from doing anything. Because of this, a 3-week project is what I am pushing for right now. I asked them to think about when and where they would like to go next summer. I would like to have our first official training meeting on Sunday if at all possible.

For a while now I have been discouraged about the enthusiasm of the students. It seems like they just didn't want to come on board with LST. I have let it rest for a little bit without saying much to the students (I don't want to be the one they avoid because they know I am going to talk about LST all the time). I am starting back up now with more enthusiasm because I seriously let it go. But time is getting pretty short now; people need to be making the choice to go on a project. We are less than a month away from the Dec 1 deadline.

Check out my personal LST webpage. You can begin making contributions to help me on my trip for next summer.

Lord, give me strength to answer questions and challenge students to get started with the application process. I want them to make the commitment because I know that God can do amazing things through them. May you be glorified, God.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Supporting Congregations

It is written in my job description, but I marginalize it all the time. I know that it is important, but I find myself doing other things. I might get it started, but put it off for another day that never comes. What is it?

I must write a report to our sponsoring congregations and people about the goings-on of Kats for Christ.

I don't know why it is not something I think about doing all the time, but it is difficult for me to actually do. I have learned (and will continually be reminded) through doing these reports that ministry calls me to do things that I don't normally find fulfilling. Yet, strangely enough, I think that these little tasks remind us that this is exactly what we are calling others to do. Namely, little things that they might not normally find fulfilling.

Give me strength this day, Lord, to fulfill my responsibilities as your minister.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Children and College Students

I mentioned earlier that I had talked to Mark Waldron about our students' willingness (or lack thereof) to serve. In that conversation I mentioned that I always struggle with a good, healthy balance between being the prophet and the pastor. The prophet calls students to change their lives. Repent before God's destruction comes! The pastor is the gentle one who offers understanding and guides the sheep in green pastures to quiet waters. Balancing the two is very difficult. When do I challenge? When do I be gentle?

I was mentioning this to Mark and he said, "Welcome to life as a parent! You will be struggling with this the rest of your life." I knew what he was talking about, but I guess it had not occurred to me that as I grow in my ability in raising Kayla and our other little one(s) my ability in ministering to college students will also grow.

The whole conversation made me realize that I do have some understanding in balancing prophet and pastor, but it will continue to grow as Kayla grows. John Huber mentioned that he could see the same thing in Barry, the previous campus minister. When he came he had one child and had two more while he was here. Through that experience, his ability to minister grew.

Cool deal. Thank you, Lord, for encouraging me to connect all aspects of my life. As I grow in one, another grows. You are so good, God.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Elder Teaching Class

Last night was a great class! It was the second of two classes that Mark Waldron (one of our elders) taught in our series on "Great Faiths." He and I met on Tuesday to discuss a few things that have been on my heart about our college students' lack of willingness to serve others.

In last night's class Mark was able to speak as one who had the authority to speak. He challenged our students to find their purpose in Christ by serving others. Mark even went as far as to say something like, "You are growing up in a world that just gives you everything. You are an audience generation! College age people now-a-days want what their parents' have right now. You are not willing to wait like your parents or work like your parents." His challenge was to not be the spectators, but the participants. God is wanting to accomplish something through everyone; we just have to be there while we can willing to be used.

I must admit that I wish I could say something like that and have the same effect. But it sounds so much different coming from Mark. He was born in 1955 and has many years of experience and wisdom in working with students in ministry. He was truly an elder leading our college students into a deeper relationship with our Lord. I loved it!

Lord, show me that you were active last night in class. Bring students to our group with a willing heart to serve you even when they are not asked specifically. May it be a joy for them to serve others here. Come, Lord Jesus, come!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Tidbits of Encouragement

In my ever-present desire to lead students into a deeper relationship with Jesus. I want to offer little words of encouragement every single day that students can take with them. It will kindof be like a little devotional thought that they can get by email. My hope is that they will read it as a way to remain focused throughout the week.

The thing that sparks this is my desire to slowly shape our students' way of thinking into that of Christ's. My hope of writing ONE email to say everything is not realistic. Especially seeing that students probably won't read something so long. Therefore, I think little tidbits here and little tidbits there will slowly guide students into God's presence.

Honestly, I don't know the best way to do this. I can just send out an email to our KFC group email list or put something on this blog group every day. The problem with the blog thing is that I don't always write devotional-oriented blogs.

Hey...I got it. On facebook I will create a group called something like 'thoughts on Jesus.' The group will be daily thoughts for college students to guide them in their journey toward Christlikeness. I can send out daily devotionals to them. I pray that God is glorified through these tidbits.