Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dancing Merengue Dog

You can teach some people anything...



Check it out HERE if you want!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Daily Read August 28, 2010

Ezekiel 18:20-22 (New International Version)

20 The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him.

21 "But if a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die. 22 None of the offenses he has committed will be remembered against him. Because of the righteous things he has done, he will live.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Tech that just works! - Dropbox

I love technology that just works. And especially technology that makes life easier.

Dropbox does that.

After a couple of people talking about it (thanks David), I checked it out. I'm playing with it... but I think it's going to work out well.

Basically it's server space for computers and smartphones that works across the Internet rather than on a local network. I can drop a file in the dropbox on my Mac and it will show up on my iPhone and my wife's Mac (when I get it downloaded and installed later). But if I know that I'm going to need a file on my computer on my phone, I can put it in there. (I'm testing out to see if I can do anything with digital media... like movies...)

But so far, it looks like it could be a very helpful thing. Especially the more mobile I/we tend to become. And the price is right... Free for less than 2gbs of storage.

Check it out.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Daily Read August 23, 2010

Lamentations 3:22-24 (New International Version)

22 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.

23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

24 I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Daily Read August 21, 2010

Habakkuk 3:2 (New International Version)

2 LORD, I have heard of your fame;
I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD.
Renew them in our day,
in our time make them known;
in wrath remember mercy.

North Terrace on YouVersion (it's back!)

We've got the sermon back up this weekend on YouVersion. If you have the YouVersion Bible on our iPhone, iPod touch, iPad or other mobile device, you can follow along with the sermon without the paper outline.

Just go to "live" at the bottom and follow along. Or you can find it HERE.

Easy as that.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Daily Read August 20, 2010

Jeremiah 31:33-34 (New International Version)

33 "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel
after that time," declares the LORD.
"I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.

34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor,
or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,'
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,"
declares the LORD.
"For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pace... for running and ministry...

Many of you who follow me on Twitter or are friends with me on Facebook know that I have been becoming a runner for the past year (in fact I had a student the other day that celebrated that I had tweeted about something other than running... thanks A.K.). I use the word "becoming" intentionally because I'm not sure that I have arrived yet... or when I will arrive. But I'm working on it.

This morning, I had a great run. It was one of those runs that I look forward to having, but don't have very often. I felt strong. I felt fast. I ran fast and strong and felt great the entire time. The temperature was great (about 58 and sunny) and everything lined up perfectly. In fact, for most of my run, I felt like I couldn't run fast enough to keep up with my body. My body wanted to go faster and faster and faster but I was running as fast as I could and couldn't run faster. It felt great. I had fun.

I've been training for a half marathon (Akron, Ohio 1/2 Marathon on September 25). As I am entering into my last month of training... which is going pretty good... my long runs are starting to get longer and longer (7-10 miles) and my speed/tempo workouts are getting longer too (6-9 miles). Which is good.

But this morning's run was only 2 miles. I loved it and I find myself looking forward to these 2 mile runs twice a week every week because I can really unload the speed that I am achieving. They are fun... like going out to play for a few minutes.

This morning, as I ran, I felt really good. But as I crossed the mile and half mark and heard Runkeeper update me on my pace, the thought crossed my mind "I feel really good... and while I wish I could run 10 miles at this pace, I know I can't."

The pace that I was running for my 2-miler would never work for a 10-12 or 13.1 miler. It just wasn't sustainable.

Right now in ministry, I'm feeling like I did this morning on my run. I'm feeling strong. I'm feeling good. I'm feeling like I can and should do anything and everything. I feel like I can set an 8 1/2 minute mile (which is fast for me) in ministry. The reality is, however, that pace isn't sustainable over a long period of time. The reason I could pull it off this morning was that I was only going a short distance. It wouldn't for long distances.

Ministry is a marathon... especially working with students... and not a sprint. Right now, I have to realize that I'm gong for distance and not for speed. I want to go the long distance and not the short. While it might be easy to pick up the pace and click off some impressive mile splits, I'll burn out.

So as I thought about that and my running... what can help make those long distances more achievable? A couple of things came to mind...

FIRST... Make a point of regular evaluation. Every mile, Runkeeper on my iPhone tells me how long I've been running, how far and how fast I am currently going. By hearing that, I know if I'm going too fast or too slow. Folks in ministry need regular time of stepping back and listening to our internal clocks. Chances are good that you know if you're going too fast or not. If you don't, ask your spouse and friends. They probably have a better perspective than you (since you have your to-do list in mind and they don't).

SECOND... Find someone to run with. When I run with my wife, I tend to run slower and more intentionally because I can't just pick up the pace or slow down at random. When I run with her, I tend to run further because I run slower earlier in my run. Same is true in ministry... especially youth ministry. Find someone to run with... another youth pastor in the area would be preferable. Find someone who can tell you to slow down if you need to. Find someone that you can just have fun with... someone outside of your church context. Also, someone who understands what you're going through. Runners get runners. Youth ministers get youth ministers.

THIRD... Get the long view in mind. My mind is set differently when I'm running 9 miles than it is when I run 2 miles. I know that I'm going for distance. It's easy in the tyranny of the immediate to try to run 8 1/2 minute miles in the first two miles because it feels good. But you will pay later. Same is true in ministry. This week's to-do list feels like it has to be completely accomplished with everything crossed off. And there are tasks that need to be accomplished this week, don't get me wrong. But sometimes we only think about this week and don't realize that we can and should take years to accomplish the long-term goals.

So this morning... I want to run long in ministry. As I hear every day about youth ministers either leaving the ministry altogether or leaving youth ministry it breaks my heart. My hope is that I've encouraged you to run an extra mile. You might just find the fun around the corner.


Daily Read August 19, 2010

Jeremiah 17:7-8 (New International Version)

7 "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.

8 He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit."

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Daily Read August 17, 2010

Jeremiah 9:23-24 (New International Version)

23 This is what the LORD says:
"Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom
or the strong man boast of his strength
or the rich man boast of his riches,

24 but let him who boasts boast about this:
that he understands and knows me,
that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,"
declares the LORD.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Daily Read August 16, 2010

Jeremiah 6:16 (New International Version)

16 This is what the LORD says:
"Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.
But you said, 'We will not walk in it.'

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Daily Read August 14, 2010

Jeremiah 1:5-9 (New International Version)

5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."

6 "Ah, Sovereign LORD," I said, "I do not know how to speak; I am only a child."

7 But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a child.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the LORD.

9 Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, "Now, I have put my words in your mouth.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Student Room Renovation

The student rooms upstairs at North Terrace are getting a face-lift this week.

A couple of months ago the students expressed interest in giving the rooms that they call "home" an upgrade. We started that today. The beach theme is heading out (see the mural vanishing below) and a coffeehouse theme is coming (starting tomorrow with paint and later with furnishings...).

Today a ton of students showed up and worked like crazy. The room looks way different than it did this morning.

Tomorrow new paint arrives for all three areas.

More pictures to follow!!!


Daily Read August 9, 2010

Isaiah 55:8-9 (New International Version)

8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,"
declares the LORD.

9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Daily Read August 8, 2010

Isaiah 55:6 (New International Version)

6 Seek the LORD while he may be found;
call on him while he is near.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Daily Read August 7, 2010

Isaiah 53:4-6 (New International Version)

4 Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.

5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Daily Read August 6, 2010

Isaiah 52:7 (New International Version)

7 How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
"Your God reigns!"

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Daily Read August 5, 2010

Psalm 46:10 (New International Version)

10 "Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Daily Read August 4, 2010

Isaiah 42:1-4 (New International Version)

1 "Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him
and he will bring justice to the nations.

2 He will not shout or cry out,
or raise his voice in the streets.

3 A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;

4 he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
In his law the islands will put their hope."

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Daily Read August 3, 2010

Isaiah 41:9-10 (New International Version)

9 I took you from the ends of the earth,
from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, 'You are my servant';
I have chosen you and have not rejected you.

10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Daily Read August 2, 2010

Isaiah 40:26-31 (New International Version)

26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one,
and calls them each by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.

27 Why do you say, O Jacob,
and complain, O Israel,
"My way is hidden from the LORD;
my cause is disregarded by my God"?

28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.

29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.

30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;

31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Daily Read August 1, 2010

Isaiah 40:6-8 (New International Version)

6 A voice says, "Cry out."
And I said, "What shall I cry?"
"All men are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.

7 The grass withers and the flowers fall,
because the breath of the LORD blows on them.
Surely the people are grass.

8 The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God stands forever."