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Archive for April, 2008

SIBI News/ Prayers

Greetings everyone! I forgot to post about this. I got accepted to attend Sunset International Bible Institute this Fall. School starts August 11th. I need to be in Lubbock sometime before that. I am very excited about being challenged and getting opportunities to develop some skills. I will post about ambitions to fulfill after Sunset at a later time. I am really excited about this great opportunity! Still need some support. If there is anyone interested, please email me (dxddgr9800@hotmail.com) and we can talk about it.
Also, please remember to be praying for the AIM students and my friends on the mission field all around the world. Thanks for that!
More news later. Grace and Peace.

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Greetings everyone! I guess most people already know this. The Pepperdine Bible Lectureship starts tonight in Malibu, CA. I pray everyone gets there safe and sound. And that everyone has a spiritually uplifting experience there. And finally that everyone will make back home safely and use what they learned in their churches back home.
Quite a few people I have met in the blog world are there. I wish each of them and everyone who is there God’s blessings. I hope to read about their personal experiences there. Lord-willing I will get to go to Pepperdine for the Lectureship at some point in the future.
God bless you all!

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The Shack Book

Greetings everyone! I hope and pray you are having a good day. Some time ago I finished reading a book called The Shack. It is really (and I mean REALLY!!!!!) intense! My parents got my brother, brothers in law, and I a copy of the book for Christmas. It took me a really long time to read it. The book was way too intense for me. I’ve heard of people who read The Shack in a day or two. I just couldn’t handle a huge chunk of it in one sitting. I could only read a chapter of it and have to sit it down to digest it, plus that it was INTENSE.
The Shack is about a man who takes his three youngest children (one son and two daughters) on a camping trip in the Cascade Mountains in Oregon near the end of the summer before school started up again. On the last day they were there the youngest child ( one of the two girls) is kid napped and brutally murdered. The body is discovered in an abandoned shack. A few years pass and the rest of the family has taken their time recouping from such a devastating tragedy. The wife (Nan) has developed a deeper relationship with God. She even calls Him Papa. That will play a major role into the book. The husband (Mack) seems to have drifted off from his relationship with God. The kids seem to be in different stages between their parents’ to extremes. Several years pass by and Mack discovers a note addressed to him from Papa, inviting him to meet Him at the shack, the site of the vicious murder, for the weekend. He discovers Nan is taking the kids to their grand parents for the weekend to spend time with them. Mack decides to stay home. He finally decides to go to the shack. What he finds there will change his life forever. He gets there and God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are all there in human form. God even calls Him self (in this case Her self) Papa. Jesus is Him self. And the Holy Spirit calls Her self Sarayu. Mack discovers the peace and love of God all over again, and discovers God had a plan in this devastating event. God still loved him and his whole family and wept as they wept when ever they missed their deceased family member who died so tragically.
I can see how this book could be such a great comfort to those who have lost family members in similar ways. I highly recommend this book.
Thanks for reading! God bless!

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Greetings everyone! I recently finished reading 7 Practices of Effective Ministry by Andy Stanley, Reggie Joiner, and Lane Jones. This book is very practical. It is very similar to Simple Church by Thomas Rainer and Eric Geiger. I highly recommend every church leader read those two books. I think I have blogged about Simple Church some time ago. I will blog about 7 Practices of Effective Ministry here now.
This book is divided in to two parts. Part one is Getting in the Game: Ray’s Story. This story is fictional. It is about a man named Ray. He is the Senior Minister of a church he helped plant ten years ago. The church has grown a lot over the years. With each step in the growth, the church has added new programs. Most (if not all) of these new programs are headed by Ray. Now he is simply worn out by all of these new hats he has to ware. And now the church has a board meeting about a new pre-school the church will host. Of course Ray would head that too. Another hat for him to ware. A friend of his gave him a ticket to a baseball game for Sunday. It was supposed to be a day game. But a current win streak has the home team with in a game of first place in their division. ESPN TV picks up the game and game time is moved to 7pm. Ray was excited about the game before the game time change. He is considering not attending the game and going to the meeting. His friend who gave him the ticket calls him and they talk about weather Ray should go to the meeting or go to the game. His friend says he needs to do what he’s got to do, but he thinks Ray and the whole church would benefit better if he went to the game. They hand up. The next call is from the head of the board. Meeting is canceled. Ray is very relieved and goes to the game at peace. He finds out he gets a pre-mo parking spot and discovers he’s siting with the owner of the baseball team in the owner’s box! Ray even gets the VIP treatment. Pretty awesome deal! During the game the team’s owner Pete gives Ray the 7 practices of effective ministry.
Part two is Putting the 7 Practices to Work. Now the seven practices of effective ministry are:
1. Clarify the Win: Define what is important at every level of the organization.
2. Think Steps, Not Programs: Before you start anything, make sure it takes you where you need to go.
3. Narrow the Focus: Do fewer things in order to make a greater impact.
4. Teach Less for More: Say only what you need to say to the people who need to hear it.
5. Listen to Outsiders: Focus on who you’re trying to reach, not on who you’re trying to keep.
6. Replace Yourself: Learn to hand off what you do.
7.Work On It: Take time to evaluate your work- and to celebrate your wins.
Each 0f the chapters discusses each of them in great detail. It is a wonderful volume that every church leader should read, along with Simple Church.
Let’s get in the game! God bless!

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Praying

Greetings one and all. I pray everyone is having a great day today.
Today is Wednesday so please especially remember to pray for the AIM students. I think many (if not all) of them have gone back home now to begin fund raising for their time on their mission fields all around the world. BTW, if any one knows where all them are going, please email me (dxddgr9800@hotmail.com). Thanks! Pray for those who are planing to go to Lubbock in August to begin there own adventure in missions. Pray for those who have been on their fields for some time now. And please pray for my friends that I usually ask for (the Hindmans and their team in Moscow, Russia; the Peters and their team in Auckland, New Zealand; and others). Thanks everyone!
Tomorrow I’ll write about a book I just finished reading called 7 Practices of Effective Ministry. Until then, God bless!

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Do Hard Things

Greetings one and all! I just finished reading a very exciting book called Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations. The book is written by 19 year old twin brothers Alex Harris and Brett Harris. It is written by teens for teens.
The book is broken down in three parts: Part One is Rethinking The Teen Years. Part Two is Five Kinds of Hard. And Part Three is Join The Rebelution. Let’s take each of these one at a time and chapter by chapter.
The first section of the book is Rethinking The Teen Years. It has four chapters. The first chapter is Most People Don’t: A different kind of teen book. This chapter serves as an introduction to the book with a brief overview of what you find. Chapter two is The Birth Of A Big Idea: Rumblings of a rebelution. This chapter tells how they got started with this refreshing ministry of the rebelution. Actually, the term “rebelution” is the joining of the two words “rebellion” and “revolution”. Thus you get “rebelution”, or rebelling against low expectations. They rightly say that the teen years were intended to be a training ground for what we want to be in life. It will certainly force us to grow up fast. Search for your purpose in life early and start fulfilling it. The third chapter is The Myth of Adolescence: Exposing the low expectations that are robbing our generation. This chapter greatly expounds on the idea of the second chapter, that the teen years are to be a training ground for life. They tell the stories of George Washington, David Farragut, Clara Barton. All three were just kids and very shy when they were thrust into responsibility and grew up into there respective roles in life. In chapter four ( A Better Way: Reclaiming the teen years as the launching pad of life) tells what all three of them became later in life due to there young life training they received as children. This expounds more fully on the teen years as the training grounds of life. It introduces the term “kidults”meaning those who are all grown up, but have never accepted responsibility for themselves or their actions. It also talks about Five Kinds of Hard (things that are outside our comfort zones, things that go beyond what is expected or required, things that are too big to accomplish alone, things that don’t earn an immediate payoff, and things that challenge the cultural norm).
All five of those hard things (see above in the perentheses) are the subjects of the second section (Five Kinds of Hard) and each one is talked about in great detail in the five chapters. Chapter five is That First Scary Step: How to do hard things that take you outside your comfort zone. It talks about finding out what you want to do and taking the first (and scary) step to work at it. When that first step is taken most of the others are a lot easier. It can be a major step of faith just to get started. The sixth chapter is Raising The Bar: How to do hard things that go beyond what’s expected or required. Better known as going the extra mile Jesus talks about in Matthew’s gospel. This talks about setting the expectations bar high and achieving excellance in what ever you do. Chapter seven is The Power of Collaboration: How to do hard things that are too big for you to do alone. This is about dreaming big things and working with family members and friends to accomplish those big dreams. There are a ton of awesome examples of teens who dreamed big, and got the help and encouragement of family and friends to accomplish those big things. Chapter eight is Small Hard Things: How to do hard things that don’t pay off immediately. These things include things that many people don’t think of as that important but really do build character and integrity in ourselves. And those are things we will all need later on in life. Chapter nine is Taking A Stand: How to do hard things that go against the crowd. This chapter talks about truly living as Jesus would live. In many other countries around the world those who live for Jesus are being persecuted all around the world. Culture accepts immorality across the board, but to truly live for Christ we have to turn away from all of that and make an impact for Him in that culture.
And Part Three is Join the Rebelution. It has three chapters here. Chapter ten is Generation Rising: Creating a counterculture from scratch (and a dash of salt). This is where the rubber meets the road. It is about finding your purpose in life and doing something about it right now.
Chapter eleven is A Thousand Young Heroes: Stories of new beginnings, impossible challenges, and the teens who are living them. This talks about finding the answers to how to get started on how to solve our purpose in life. As other chapters have discussed, get together with family and friends on a project together and solve this. In this chapter you’ll read about several teens who have. In chapter twelve we read World, Meet You Rebelutionaries: Transforming your mission from a decision into a destiny. This chapter is truly about letting the rubber hit the road and get started on rebelling against low expectations. Let’s encourage each other to reach higher than we ever have before. To live outside our comfort zones. To truly walk by faith and not by sight (as Paul says in 2 Corinthians). To learn more about this book, the others, and the teens they talk about please see their website at therebelution.com.
Thank you Alex and Brett for writing this fantastic and refreshing book! Peace and God bless!

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Greetings one and all. I hope and pray all of you who are reading this are having a great day.
I have read the remainder of Blue Like Jazz and will finish blogging about it here.
In chapter 11 Miller talks about Confession: Coming Out of the Closet. He said he and several friends made a confession booth for the students at Reed College. He later explained that the students weren’t going to confess to them (the Christians on campus), but the other way around. The Christians (Miller and his friends) were going to confess to the students. They were going to confess that they weren’t being a good example of Christ on the campus. They confessed to all the terrible things that other Christian groups had done in the name of Christ, and other things as well. This was received very graciously by those they confessed to. Miller said “it was relieving”.
In chapter 12 we read about Church: How I Go Without Getting Angry. In this chapter Miller talks about church is supposed to help us to change our behaviors and actions from worldly points of view to that of Christ. We’re supposed to be out there making a difference in the world. Developing Christian habits that help us build ourselves stronger spiritually.
Chapter 13 is Romance: Meeting Girls Is Easy. Here Miller talks about all the guys he’s been friends with over the years and about the girls they met and got married to and how happy they are at the present. Then he talked about his own view of girls and marriage in general. He discovered that while marriage is a beautiful thing, he didn’t want that for himself.
Chapter 14 is Alone: Fifty-three Years in Space. Miller talks about being alone and how unhealthy it is for all aspects of our lives. Miller discovered that God never meant for man to be alone. God made us to live in community with other people. He never wanted us to be alone.
In chapter 15 Miller talks about Community: Living with Freaks. Here he talks about some of the people he lived with through the years and the impact they have had on him.
Chapter 16 is Money: Thoughts on Paying Rent. Here he talks about the importance of giving money to the church were you are a member at. The Bible calls it tithing and it should be the first thing we do every month. When we put God first, we will never lack anything we need.
Chapter 17 is about Worship: The Mystical Wonder. This talks about all of life as worship. That all we do should be focused on God and give to glorify God.
Chapter 18 is Love: How to Really Love Other People. This about living in community with other people and learning to deal with them and love them as Jesus would love us.
Chapter 19 is a spin off on that. It is Love: How to Really Love Yourself. Miller says you can’t love other people if you don’t love yourself. It’s like what Jesus said numerous times, “love your neighbor as your self”. You can’t love others unless you love your self too.
And the last chapter in Blue Like Jazz is chapter 20 Jesus: The Lines on His Face. This is about really and truly knowing, loving, and following Jesus. When we seek to be true disciples of Christ.
Sorry it took be so long to finish this book on the blogging community.
I am reading other books right now too and hope to blog on them in the next couple of days or so. Please be looking for that.
Lastly, please be praying for the AIM students, their mission fields and coordinators. And please pray for all missionaries around the world who preaching the whole counsel of God. Thanks!
Grace and peace to you!

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