Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year...New Resolutions!

Here are my 2012 New Year’s Resolutions! This year I’m going to attempt to keep at least half of them…maybe.

  1. Eat less pizza.
I put this one every year, but it will not really be possible until I retire from youth ministry.

  1. Teach my bulldog Charlie not to bark at every little sound.
Again, pretty sure this one is impossible.

  1. Spend more time in God’s creation.
“The heavens tell of the glory of God. The skies display his marvelous craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known.” –Psalm 19:1-2

  1. Exercise more.
This is the token resolution that everyone must write down. So…here it is!

  1. Pray daily for my family and for the faithfulness and renewal of the Church.
A great prayer for the church can be found on page 574 in our United Methodist Hymnal.

  1. Read one of the gospels every month.
Be a lifelong student of Jesus…he’s pretty important.

  1. Dance as much as possible with my daughter Kenzie.
Our Mickey Mouse “Hot Dog” dance is epic.

  1. Have more dates with my wife.
And attending youth basketball games do not count.

  1. Attend a mission trip.
Since I’m the youth pastor I can make this happen every year. This year we’re going to inner city Nashville!

  1. Spend more time in prayer and scripture reading.
Granted, most people think it would be easy for a pastor to do this… “Aren’t you paid to read your Bible!?” However, it is very easy to spend the majority of our time occupied with other important matters. Nevertheless, ministry that is not rooted in prayer and God’s Word quickly becomes fruitless.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

David Crowder Christmas at YS

Our youth team went to Youth Specialties this year in Atlanta. And this year YS did a little experiment.  They told the 4000 youth workers at NYWC  to all record a David Crowder Band song and then upload it to YouTube. They then took all the footage and made this incredible video out of it.

Enjoy! Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dreaming Impossible Dreams

In Luke chapter one, an angel visits a young teenage girl named Mary. Mary was engaged to a young man named Joseph. The angel tells Mary that she is blessed by God and she will give birth to a very special child. He is the Son of God and he will have a kingdom that will last forever. Mary replies by asking, “How can I have a baby…I’m a virgin?” Which is a pretty legitimate question to ask. But look at what the angel says in response:

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she’s now in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.’ Mary responded, ‘I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.’”

Think about how impossible this all sounds: an unknown virgin woman, in the middle of nowhere, is going to give birth to the Son of God. Yeah Right!? Mary’s world is about to be turned upside down. How will she explain her pregnancy to other people? I’m not sure…“the Holy Spirit made this happen” is going to be real convincing to Joseph or her parents. There is no doubt that most people thought Mary was crazy. I’m sure someone told her that she just ate some bad sushi and had a crazy dream. We also have to remember that her culture is not like our culture. A woman suspected of adultery could get stoned to death. In fact, Joseph (her fiancĂ©) would have every right to make that request.

Mary’s calling would put her very life at risk. And yet, Mary believes the words of the angel and trusts that God can do the impossible…that God will use her in his plan of salvation. This is an impossible dream and yet Mary responds: “I am the Lord’s servant. I will be obedient to God’s calling.” Wouldn’t it be great if we had the same attitude and response as Mary? Where we could honestly say: “Lord, I don’t care where you want me to go or what you want me to do…but I’m in. I’m your servant.”