Project Isaac Update

February 22, 2010

I thought I would just leave a quick post about project Isaac and something that God had shown to me last week and this earlier today.  It’s almost the end of February and for the longest time I had no idea why God put the idea on my heart.  Sometimes I asked myself was it just a pointless idea that I thought I would challenge myself to complete?  Until last week I might have answered yes, but then God opened my eyes to something and allowed me to see a little into the past and into the future with the respect of Facebook.  Without going into personal details here is some of what the Lord showed me.

I had allowed my desire and passion for relationship with the youth and others to get to me to a place where I thought I had to be constantly connected to them via, Facebook, texting, and other ways and had put way to much emphases on the relationship with the students as well as giving them the truth of God’s word.  A good relationship with the students you minister to is ok, but you can’t allow it to get out of balance. 

In his book, The Disconnected Generation,  Josh McDowell has a formula in his research that says;

Rules + Relationship = Positive Results.

This relational formula works for parents, teachers and ministers.  This can be also seen in the area of teaching students God’s word.  I think a similar formula would be something like the following;

 Teaching the Word of God + Relationship = Positive Results.

You need both to create that hunger and thirst for a growing relationship with God, but if you have them out of balance you don’t get the same results.  If you have too much relationship it can lead to a too comfortable relationship where you lose some of your teachable position.  If you keep the proper distance, you can maintain that in a good way.  If you have too much Teaching of the Word of God and hardly any relationship then the students can often lack the feeling of affirmation and other feelings that you as the student pastor care for them as a student.  The old saying goes “They don’t care what you know, until they know how much you care.” 

In my recent past I have made some mistakes in this area and I think that God has allowed me to see again through Project Isaac the folly of my past mistakes.  I have recognized before that i must keep a good balance between my relationship with the students I teach and continue to preach the Word to them week in and week out.  I have a big burden upon me about the way I had interacted with some students this past fall and how I treated them.  I will have to answer to God for my actions with them and I hope that maybe some day I might get the opportunity to make it right with them and sit down and talk with them again about what I have learned.  I only hope that my actions don’t have lasting consequences for those I may have hurt.  That would be the worst fear knowing that I pushed someone away from the Lord.

So in closing, after the month is over you can expect me to not to be back on Facebook as often as I was before and the same goes for texting, emailing, Instant Messaging, Faxing or any other new way they come up with in the future.

Jerkin, Homemade T-Shirts, and Wheelies in Wheelchairs

February 18, 2010

Had lunch with Tommy today, he was out of school this week.   After lunch we went back to the church and had a little fun.  We watched videos of the power rangers doing some jerkin moves and then we tried some of those sweet moves ourselves.  I just fell on the floor and hurt my knee. 

After that we went to Wal-mart got some white T-shirts and made some homemade T-shirts with my Sharpe collection.  I think we are going to go into business and sell them for $5 each and make a shared profit of $3 for each shirt.  It will be a total waste of time and we will probably never be famous or sell more than 10 shirts, so we will only make like $15 each.

We also tried out skills at poppin’ a wheelie in the church wheelchair that sits in the back of the sanctuary.  Got some great video’s and not to mention a good whack on the back of the head.  The carpet in the church is surprizing ly thin over a layer of hard concrete.  Ouch!!

What’s the point to this senseless blog?  I’m not sure there is one, but I do know that I had a great time with Tommy today.  I will not forget the fun we had today for a very long time.  Relationships are very important in ministry.  You can have the greatest nuggets of truth, but if you don’t have a good relationship those nuggets of truth will fall on deaf ears.    Enjoy the pictures!!

The Soloist and Going Solo

May 19, 2009

I caught another great movie last weekend and it moved me to write yet another blog from the ideas that were spun deep within myself.  I took a group of youth to see “The Soloist” staring Jamie Fox.  The movie centers around a homeless man who plays the Cello.  The youth that went with me all play a string instrument and I thought they might enjoy it.  I played the cello in school and majored in music education, so this movie was right up my alley as well.

The movie was not exactly what  I was expecting it to be, but, it was still a great movie.  I recommend that you go see it.    I had seen a movie called August Rush last year and really enjoyed it.  When I saw the preview for The Soloist  I thought it might be along the same lines as that movie, but it wasn’t.  The Soloist will “wow” you with great music and instruments, but the bigger part of the story is not the music, it is the relationship that forms between the 2 main characters.  Steve Lopez (Robert Downey Jr) a well known Newspaper Columnist chooses to write a story about Nathaniel Ayers (Jamie Foxx)  a homeless man who plays a 2 string violin quite well.  After watching the movie the following thoughts came to mind.

Relationships, a part of life.   Just as much as Food, Water, Air, and Shelter are a basic needs in life, I think that there should be a 5th category added; relationships.   Relationships can be simple  or complex thing.  Take a look at your friendships and you will see the different levels of friendships you have with your friends.  Some require little to no work, while others need a lot of TLC.   There is a under-lying rule with relationships, the more you put into them the more you will get out of them.   This is true with any relationship, husband and wife, parent and children, friend to friend.  This is even true with our relationship with God, more on this later.

Being a friend as well as having a friend.  I don’t know about you, but sometimes I can get rather selffish with my relationships.  The two-way street of friendships becomes a one-way street of  what have you done for me?  I think that this feeling a natural one because of our introspective view of life.  We have to make that effort to break out of that mentality and still “give” as much as we want to “get.” 

What do we give in relationships, here are a few things that you can start with.  I remember going to a student ministry conference years ago and a session leader shared something so simply, yet profound for student ministry.  The big questions teens wants to known in life were; First,  Will I be accepted by others? and second, Will I be loved by others.  Both of these questions center around relationships with others.  I’m also willing to bet that as those teens get older the same 2 questions follow us into adulthood as well.  On a side note, acceptance does not mean you have to agree with someone to accept them as a person.  You can have friendships with different opinions about many things.  The degree at which you agree on things in life will help you become closer, but are not totally necessary for friendships. 

I think back to the story of David and Jonathan in the Bible.  These two were great friends even though they came from different families and life styles.  They gave each other things as a sign of their friendships.  They didn’t let a disgruntled family come in the way of their friendship either.  Later in life after David was King he looked after the son on Jonathan and always welcomed him into the kings palace and at his dinner table.   You can read more on the story of Jonathan and David in 1 Samuel chapters 18-20. 

Well the last relationship I’ll mention before I end this Blog, soon to be novel, is a relationship with Jesus.   My faith is about a relationship with Christ, it’s not a religion.   I hope that anyone reading this blog would know God desires to have a relationship with you too.   If you could sum up the Bible in a paragraph, it would be that God created us to have a relationship with Him, sin entered the world and messed that relationship up.  God sent His Son to the earth to live and give His life as a atoning sacrifice for payment of our sins.  If we choose to accept  that gift from God as payment for our sins and we repent, place our trust in Jesus, and surrender our life to Him ,we too, can have a relationship with God that will make all other relationships in life pale in comparison.   If you want to know more about starting a relationship with Jesus please contact me and let’s talk.  This is only a a short blog and I cannot go into enough details right now.