WOW where did the time go???
I know it has been way too long….life has been getting in the way of my writing here. Not that I think you have been waiting since April for my next writing..I hope you haven’t…cause you might be skin and bones by now…probably more bones than skin…
Well…let’s see…scale check…280 lbs this morning…not bad…but I have hit the wall..I just don’t have the want to to keep going right now..still good weight loss but it should be way more than that…but I will keep at it…just not as motivated…seems to be a consistent thing in my life…I heard this week from the pulpit that I am an otter personality…one that starts a lot of things…but doesn’t usually finish them…uh..like uh…blogs…and weight loss…and Bible study…and oh…wait…there is a few blog topics in there…..so OK maybe I do have a few things I could write about.. HEHE
Anyway…I will say that the past few months have been interesting to say the least…I think the best way to phrase it is I have been in a bit of a valley..and I can’t say what it is that is leading me there…other than my quiet time has been inconsistent to almost nil…and that, if I can be honest with myself, is where the majority of the problem really lies…I know that if I spend the time to seek God He is there…the great thing is that He is there even when I don’t seek Him.
I tell you this not as a way to publicly humiliate myself about not being a good Christian…but I say it to give my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ a bit of hope..to be a day in day devoted turned on for Christ Christian is tough.
I know this may shock some of you who are not believers but…ready?? I still sin ( cue gasp)…and sin will still be a part of my life no matter how much I read from Scriptures or how much time I spend in prayer…what I think we can lose sight of as Christians is how we should react when we don’t want to be Christian…
Yep…I said it..
There are times lately when life and those around me have made life hell that I have fleeting moments of chucking the Christian walk and just give into those sinful natures…
Well as I got back into my quiet time again this morning I remembered the apostle Paul struggled with sin…and I am not that far out to think I am better than him…
Struggles come and go…what we do with the valleys in our life can be a great time to look back and say…yep I stunk at this Christian walk for a bit but God was there waiting for me…and when I turned my eyes back to Him and placed my trust in Him…then that valley seemed not as big as it did yesterday…
What about you?? What have you done to get yourself out of the valley? Leave a comment and let me know.
Also if I can be praying for you…let me know as well…time to get groovin’
Top of the morning to everyone…glad you made it through he weekend.
I do want to start this blog off on a bit of a sad point. A friend of mine today is rejoicing, but we his friends and family are grieving. My friend Brent died yesterday suddenly at the age of 40. Brent was a co-worker of mine in the sports freelance world and was a good, hard, and dedicated worker. His smile was infectious and he always had a positive thing to say. I know he is rejoicing today because he is in the arms of Christ. Thanks Brent for your friendship and I can’t wait till we see each other again…
Now to the title subject…I posted on Facebook and Twitter last night that I was going to work at memorizing the entire book of Philippians before Easter. I decided to do this in a spur of the moment thing after reading another blogger’s decision to do it after he read another fellow blogger’s challenge. I had a buddy ask me “on purpose?” and another friend ask “why?”. Why indeed?
I had to step back myself and ask why for me?
John Piper has some great statements why to memorize scripture. In fact his statements are a part of the book you build to help you through the next 16 weeks. Like I said those are great…but still why?
Honestly I have struggled with being in the word for a good part of my life with Christ. I have spent more time out of it than in it. However in the past few years I have spent a bit more time in it and have seen my understanding not only of my life, but more importantly my life as a servant of Christ. Do I still screw up and stumble in my walk? Every day! Am I surrounded by His Grace? Every day! How do I know that? By spending time in His word. So there is one reason for me is to spend more time in His word.
Another reason for me is that I feel like I have needed to take the step of Bible memorization. I have tried in the past and done OK…but not great. I feel like the only scripture I have memorized is John 11:35 “Jesus wept.” I know it is better than that but still I need to step it up. I always have admired the story of basketball player David Robinson. It has been said he spent a lot of time memorizing scripture so that when he signed an autograph he could add a verse address that came to his mind in hopes that the person could be inspired to read it. Don’t know if it is true but makes a good story and a good idea.
Today starts a new time at Christ Chapel where I not only work but where I have attended for the past 15 years. We started the 3rd year of reading through the scriptures. The first year we read the New Testament…last year the 1st half of the Old Testament..today we started the 2nd half. So wouldn’t you know it today while reading the day 1’s reading of Psalms 111 I found another reason.
Psalms 111:10 ESV “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!”
Now this brings up a interesting point…fear of the LORD. Do you fear the LORD? My guess is most of you say…uh no. I totally understand. This time last year I said the same the thing. I didn’t think you still needed to be in fear of the LORD. But then I went through a depression and the way out of it was understanding that I feared man way more than I feared God. In fact I have spent my whole life with the fear of what others thought of me and how I was stacking up in comparison to others. I realized that the mask I had put on my whole life of not caring what others thought of me was cracked and falling apart, and what I really should focus on is fearing what God thought of me.
Of course when I did start focusing on this fear I also realized that no matter how I messed up, no matter what I have done in the past He still loves me. So the fear that I now have is not being on the path that He wants me on…and the only way to know where He wants me is from reading His word and understanding it.
So to sum up this rather lengthy post…of why? Because I know that in my study of His word and by memorizing His word I will come to understand more and more why He loves me, why His Son died for me, and how and where I can best serve Him. Hope that helps…
His praise endures forever!
Time to get groovin’
So anyway…as I wrote yesterday this has been an interesting year. I have written about some of the struggles…but now that I got that out of my system….what about the new year???? What am I going to really focus on in the new year???
Well I have to be honest…I hate the new year stuff….resolutions are such a beat down….we all attempt to make ourselves better and do this or that….but seriously…how many of your resolutions this year are the same ones you had last year?? I know I have a couple…I need to lose weight…(DUH!)…I am going to continue in growing closer to God…(that could also be a DUH unless you don’t believe in God…but I do…so DUH!)…I think we all want to be a better spouse and a better parent…I mean think about it if your resolution was to be a bad parent…and really try to tick off your spouse…you may need more than resolutions in your life…(see the one about closer to God…just sayin’)
So now that I got the obvious ones out of the way what does that leave?? I honestly don’t know….I do want to do all those things…so…if I just focus on those might that be easier than having a 10-15 list of things to improve..but I have a suggetion…for myself…(and you can listen in…)
Work on the one about God…cause I think…if I work on my relationship with the Creator and not the creation….then the rest of my resolutions would fall into place. In fact I dare say that if I continue to be a better follower of His word and His direction I might even get some resolutions that I hadn’t counted on…so what could be some growing closer resolutions??
I do know that I plan on being more committed to prayer…and more importantly committed to praying for others…how often do you tell friends I will pray for you?? I do a lot…but when the time comes…how often do you go back and follow through…sometimes I have struggled with what/how to pray for others…I suggest taking a look at Paul’s letter to the Colossians. Paul is great with bringing down to my level of focus. In Colossians 1:9-14 he ives us a step-by-step guide how to pray for others. It is awesome…give it a shot.
Oh boy…is this a tough one…why? Simple I work at a church…yea I know it sounds strange that a person who on staff at a church and he struggles with Worship. Well I am a behind the scenes guy…and when the folks are here to Worship…what am I doing?? Working to make it a good experience for them. I will give you an example…my kids were recently baptized and I sat with my wife in the Sanctuary and we watched them get dunked then we were joined by the kids during the Worship time once they dried off and we listened to a great message. Now that may sound normal to you but my wife and I realized that it was the first time we Worshiped as a family in 4 years. Nice Spiritual leading by me…ugh…but I can’t worry about the past I can only work better at the future…so I will step out of the control room and Worship more with my family this year.
3. Quiet time
This one up until about late October would not have been on the official list. I have been very good at working my way through the Bible for the past 2 years as CCBC is going through the Bible in 3 years. Well for some reason I got out of the habit…and now I struggle just doing the study I need to to prepare for the small group I am leading. So I will re-aim and get back at having my Bible…and my coffee and start the day by listen and reading His word!
Ok so there are 3 good resolutions to have…at least those are mine…like I said earlier if we all make a resolution to focus more on the Creator this year than on creation….I know that the other resolutions that we all think are important will seem unimportant or take care of themselves in a year….
How about you? What are you resoluting this year? Let me know….
Well time to get groovin’
So anyway…today is a struggle for me. I am looking back over the summer and thinking…where did it go? I had great plans for this summer…I was going to going to spend a lot of time with the family…I was going to clean out the out of control room which doubles as my office….I was going to dive deep into the book of Colossians so that I could start a small group this fall made up of video volunteers…what the heck happened?
Life…life got in the way…we had a real busy time around the house… seems like every week there was one kid going one way and another going the other…and then there was stuff happening all around Christ Chapel…we had over 1000 kids during our Kids Kamp…another 350 during MusiCamp….plus we are getting ready to celebrate the church’s 30th anniversary…while planning for new buildings to be built…oh and we are also starting a new Worship service. So yea it got a little crazy.
But I have come to realize that life will get in the way…my problem is I feel like I am never ready for it to get in the way…what is more important is that I am realizing that plans that are important to me and my ego are not as important as to what God has planned…which not going to lie..can be a bit of a bummer…we want to get our things done…it is easy for us to be “I” orientated…but when God brings things to us that He wants done…we say not now Lord…but we need to quit that and say, yes Lord.
I know that it can be tough but God wants us to be ready for Him…now I am still wanting to get some of these things done…I think God is wanting me to get better organized and prioritize my life…which as a creative brain thinker is going to stink…but I am starting to see the good side of it…I just struggle with that kind of thing cause I want to be loose and let things just flow…but I guess I can’t…RATS!!! This will be a fun exercise in how does someone who has never wanted to organize anything…organize something..just one thing…that will be the baby step…
I want to say yes Lord….He is the one who brought me the life I have…His grace is so powerful in my life…and some of my friends who read these humble writings and knew me before He grabbed a hold of me…y’all know what I am talking about…So yes Lord…whatever You need…I am sorry if I whine a bit cause my ego is hurt and my life plans don’t seem to match up with Yours…but yes Lord I am here….time to get groovin’….
Today I was thinking about direction. As some of you may know I have been invovled in the TV industry professionally since I was 13. I started running camera on the weekends at a TV station in Midland, TX called KMID. My dad had been the weekend weatherman for a few years and before that was the 6 pm sports anchor. So that is how I ended up running camera at such a young age.
I know it sounds strange that they would turn a high dollar piece of equipment over to a 13 year old but really the uh camera was barely that. They started me out running the slide camera which was an old, and I mean old, camera that would shoot the slides which were put over the anchor’s shoulders. This camera was held together with cables, seriously, two cables wrapped around from top to bottom. If the slide was crooked you could just pull one cable and the camera would lean one way or the other.
Anyway all that to say I learned right away that I was going to have to pay close attention to the director or I bring down the show. I mean it sounds small but if you had a slide of a fire over the shoulder but the story was about a carnival in town it could send the wrong message. Directing in TV is hard, I understand that now more than ever because that just what I do now. I direct the video portion of our servivces at Christ Chapel. Telling people where to go and where to be can be a bit nuts but I have a great bunch of volunteers who understand when I say “get me the women choir leftside” they follow.
Direction in TV is important but direction in life is way more important. Christ Chapel is spending the next two years reading through the Old Testament. It has been awesome at times and sawdust at times, but I am enjoying reading parts of the Word that I have never dove into and seeing what God wants me to learn. Today in my bibletime I was reading in Numbers chapter 2. This can be a bit dry since it is basically God directing the Israelites on where they will put up their tents and what order those tents shall be, and finally who is in charge of each tribe.
I came to verse 34 which states, “Thus the sons of Israel did; according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so they camped by their standards, and so they set out, every one by his family according to his father’s household.” (NASV) Now I really like what the Message version says, “The People of Israel did everything the way God commanded Moses: They camped under their respective flags; they marched by tribe with their ancestral families.” This struck me cause they actually did it. The Israelites took God’s direction and did it. “Everything the way God commanded…” God gave the direction and they followed. I really wish I could be that obedient. God wants to direct my life but I get in the way thinking I have a better shot or a better way to get what I want and not what He wants. Then I screw up and there is the replay right there in front of me. The replay of God directing me, but my choosing to go another path.
If I understand how important submitting to a director is when I am working a TV show….then why can’t I understand how much more important it is to submit to the ultimate director. The good news that God give me Grace. Grace to screw up…swish pan…pop zoom in..put the wrong subject in my lens…Grace…He can gives us Grace to cover those replays that we wish we did not have in our lives. All we have to do after the replay is submit and listen for His direction….time to get groovin’
So anyway….this morning was good to the point I actually prayed. “Yea so” you say…well..for me it is. My prayer life has always been shaky at best. Yes I pray for others but not consistently, and I feel like it is always a repetition prayer. Please God help me with this or that…oh and mix in some help for this person. In my weekly Bible study we have been challenged the last two weeks to change our prayer life…like start one maybe??
Why must we pray? Because this is a relationship between a Father and His son/daughter not a boss/employee relationship. While I have a great relationship with my boss the purpose of my walk is to have a better relationship with God. How did I get that relationship with my boss? We are friends and talk. How do I better my relationship with God? Talk to Him. It is a struggle though. I feel like I have to have all the right words to say, have the right frame of mind, be in the prayer zone. I am starting to realize He doesn’t care what I say, where my mind is, or if I am in a zone of anything. He just wants to talk with me. Today in reading Exodus 34 I actually prayed at the same time through what I was learning and it opened a new door that I had heard about but never really thought I was going to get there. The passage that jumped out was verses 6-7: “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” God felt this way even after the Israelites had made the golden calf. Pretty forgiving God…yea and He still is towards me even when I make things into a golden calf. That was good to read but better to use that passage as a way to pray to Him.
Something else that I am having to work on is listening. Ever been on the other side of a one way conversation? Well that is fun isn’t it? You spend most of the time going…”Yea…mmmm hmmm…right…I see…yes….no…uh…” Fun times. Now think about how you pray to the Father? Anytime to in that time to being still and quiet? Nope me either but I am working on it. Good news I still can and He is waiting to talk to me when I am ready to be quiet and still.
I just know that the more I talk to Him and the more I listen then hopefully I can stay in touch with the direction He wants me to go. Just remember the easy part of any prayer life…start talking…He is always there..which is just AWESOME!
Anywho just thought I would share a few things. Next week I will be at NAB. Should be fun since I have not been there a few years and I love going to look at all the new toys for TV stuff. I might wait to the end of the week when I get back to write something about the cool stuff but I will be tweeting from the floor with pictures for all my tech buddies who can’t make it….well…time to get groovin’….