Welcome to the blog Elevators. Just wanted to say hi and thanks for checking in on my blog. I can’t wait to get to Charlotte and be a small part of what God is doing at Elevation. If you were around earlier this year you’ll remember me as the uber-talented dancer from the “Brining Sexy Back” series. Please pray for my family as we pack up and move. We’re looking forward to meeting you all.
Happy Halloween! Yes I’m a sinful, worldly person who observes this “the most evil of holidays.” We talk about politics being the most polarized organization but I say with full confidence that inside the body of people that subscribe to the Christian Faith, we get so hot and bothered about stuff that ultimately makes no difference long term.
Are we seriously concerned that by watching Harry Potter, our children are going to turn around one day and say, “Silencio” and we won’t be able to speak? The list is long and ridiculous of things that seem to put brother and sister in Christ on opposing sides of a Christian Conviction Civil War.
I have always celebrated Halloween (perhaps because it’s origin is Irish) and while I believe my daughters are much to young for Harry Potter I will most likely allow them to watch it at some point. Not a point that is determined by age but by maturity. That’s what I think is the bigger problem. Parents spend so much time today in sheltering and avoiding conversations instead of valiantly teaching and shaping children and teenagers into mature adults. Responsibility creates maturity.
After all, have we forgotten that Christmas started as a Pagan holiday?
Why isn’t anyone talking about the very strange situation of the Boston Red Sox winning the World Series again? I’m happy for them but seriously we’ve now seen the man behind the curtain. (random tribute to Wizard of Oz) The attraction is gone. The mythical draw of the Bean Town Bombers is no more. It has ceased to be. (random tribute to Monty Python)
The emotional feeling most of America, and by that I mean everyone that isn’t a Yankee fan, had to route for the Sox is no reduced to, “hey they’ve won two Series this decade.” I’m sure if I were a hardcore fan I wouldn’t care but from a business perspective one has to believe this won’t encourage a future fan base.
I guess there are always the Cubs to bring us back to reality. And one day when you know where freezes over and the Cubs to go to and win the World Series, we’ll still have the city of Cleveland. Poor Cleveland. Don’t feel too bad though, they’ve got Lebron and a small college you may have heard of…Ohio Stank.
Anyway, I wanted to see if anyone out there in the sports world felt the same way I did. All that tension…all that history…gone. It just makes for a less exciting October for this baseball fan.
As Anita and I begin the process of moving and saying goodbye, I’m feeling more and more like a pathetic little girl. Nothing against little girls but I’m not one and I shouldn’t be acting like one.
At North Point Community Church we baptize our Middle School students at a service called Family Birthday Celebration. It’s on Sunday afternoons every other month (for most of the school year) and is one of the most enjoyable parts of my job. Yesterday was my last one on staff at North Point.
As I waited to give the explanation and instruction to the students and children being baptized I saw one of our Small Group Leaders circle up with her girls and have a time of prayer. (pictured below) That started my emotions on the downhill. After baptizing my last student (incredible story by the way; seriously proud of you Martha) I went into the restroom to change and began sobbing into my towel. I haven’t cried like that in some time. I’m such a pansy.
We know moving to Charlotte is what we’re supposed to do. Having the opportunity to serve at Elevation Church is an incredible honor as has been working at North Point Community Church. Knowing that doesn’t make saying goodbye any easier.
I am so blessed. There are many other Godly, more talented, humble and solid people out there that God could have given the opportunities I have been given. I know none of what I have experienced is because I’m some “Billy Graham for Student Ministry.” I’m the lucky punk that said, “Yes God, I’ll go where you want me.” I also wasn’t afraid to ask Him to take me somewhere either.
Look closely at the picture of my sweet little Georgia Peach. A few times I have proclaimed my lack of creativity on this blog and today is no different. I have been purchasing, cleaning, picking up and using pacifiers for the last three and a half years. Never would I have thought of turning a pacifier into “Bubba” teeth. Creativity is amazing.
I want to surround myself with people who look at everyday life and see through all the current reality. I’m sure there are different levels of creativity but I want people from all levels. I want the dreamers who come up with brand new ideas. I want the innovators who push and create something different out of what is already in existence. I also want the ones who look back and figure out how to use the past in a creative way.
Most of all I want to experience, just for a moment, an ounce of the creativity that God is capable of. I have experienced His grace and His blessing. What a treat to be submersed in His creative genius.
Kudos to Western Carolina University. Bob, Uncle David, my Father-In-Law and I went to the Western Carolina verses Wofford game last Thursday night. To say we had a good time would be an understatement.
I don’t believe I’ve ever been to a football game of any kind with a group comprised of just guys. While I realize that is a sin against manhood I’ll bring up the fact that I have for the majority of my life missed out on quality guy friendships. Thankfully, I have a few now days and I’m still waiting for Randy to submit to God’s Will and move to Charlotte. NO PRESSURE!
Back to the post. We arrived at the school to find out we didn’t have to pay for parking. Anyone who’s ever been to a sporting event knows what a gift that is. We then made our way to the ticket office. A gentleman greeted us and asked if we were looking for tickets. We were looking for four and that’s exactly what he had. He handed them to us and said, “Enjoy the game,” as he walked off. UNREAL! Granted they were only $18 tickets but that’s $18 I didn’t have to spend.
After walking in and being handed free Propel we thought we might need to find the nearest lottery booth and bleed this luck dry. I mean, who goes to a game and doesn’t spend a dime until they eat?
On top of all that, Western Carolina almost pulled off the upset after an abysmal first half of football. The winless Catamounts were down 37 – 3 at the half to the Conference leading Wofford Terriers. Apparently the crowd was used to that because once the marching band was finished (very impressive in their own right by the way) two thirds of the crowd left. Suckers they were though because WCU came back and almost pulled ahead losing in the end 47 – 44.
A great night of football and fellowship. I don’t know many guys who get the chance to enjoy time spent with his In-Laws. Thanks for the pizza Bob. And thanks for having such a great family Anita! (and for encouraging me to go to the game. You’re incredible.)
I’m going to a football game tonight with some of my extended family. There are two weird parts of this. One, a college football game is on a Thursday night. Two, I’m going to a game in which I have no interest in either team. The fun of watching a football game is reason enough to go but being invested in one of the teams makes the game that much more interesting.
Apathy is defined as absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement. This is why I will probably make some agreement with my Father-In-Law so the game will be more enjoyable. The reason I bring this up is because I think there is something to be learned about church from this situation. Apathy is a selfish emotion. It says I don’t care or this isn’t important enough for me to care.
I’ve seen so many people involved in church who are apathetic about it. Some would argue that I shouldn’t judge others about their show of passion at church. I say you’ve got no argument because the same man or woman who stand there unemotional during a church service get on fire if someone dares change something about the building and grounds or the fellowship hall.
People are naturally passionate. The problem is that we are often times passionate about the wrong things. Passion is both an innate and acquired trait. There are some things we care about without even being taught. Health and the safety are examples of innate passion areas. Sports and hobbies are acquired.
(Sidebar – Racism is an acquired trait.)
On the other side of the equation we must also be careful to manage our passions well. This has historically been a problem of mine. Is Zeal the opposite of Apathy? I’d rather have lived and cared too much than to have simply existed. I’m pretty sure none of Jesus’ disciples were nicknamed “Jim Bob the Apathetic.”
I was up in the middle of the night for a while last night. Rylee woke up and needed a diaper change. Savannah Grace woke up coughing. Since we didn’t have any cough medicine I figured the best way to treat SG was by letting her climb in bed with us.
The next half an hour to an hour I couldn’t get back to sleep. I just lay there staring at the ceiling as three major topics competed with my mind to have first place.
Topic 1 – Everything that needs to get done at North Point in the next week or so.
Topic 2 – Everything that needs to happen at Elevation to get the Family Ministry to the next gear.
Topic 3 – Everything I’m going to have to do to sell our house.
Overwhelming to say the least. That is until I read my boy Rich’s blog entry this morning. He gives a great insight into God’s will when you and I are following God’s instruction. I’m going to have to hold fast to this one for a while. Thanks Rich.
Just saw this. You’ve got to see it. I’m not sure on the accuracy but it is very cool.
Click here to see it big.
Finally I need to thank several people for their love, support and wisdom as we navigated this decision. First of course is God for seeing fit to allow me to serve Him in such amazing ways at now two of the most dynamic churches in America. My wife Anita has been an incredible helpmate as we discerned God’s Will for our future.
Dave Lewis is my mentor and hero. Thanks for all the perspective and counsel. My counselor Troy Snyder. If you’re in the Alpharetta/Johns Creek area and you’re looking for a great group of Christian counselors I highly recommend Troy at Paraclete Counseling. (Yes, I go to a professional counselor. I think everyone should. It’s been very helpful.)
That leads me to Tom Shefchunas. My friend and former boss has brought a great deal of encouragement and advice. The Directors of North Point Ministries, Inc Middle School: Ashley Kirkman, Britt Kitchen and Clint Nowery. The last couple of years have been challenging and fun all at the same time. Kevin Ragsdale and Bill Willits the men leading the charge of Student Ministry for NPMI. Thank you for your prayers and suggestion. Also, I must thank the team of people I have been serving with for the last three and a half years. Heath Bennett and Cara Shroyer; thanks for hiring me in the first place. Donny Joiner, Jayce Fincher, Scott Kitchen, Caroline Grace, Jason Carr, Sarah McDonald, Kelly Clements, Julie Kent, Drew Sheintal, Liz Velasquez and all the families represented by those people.
Our small group and specifically Steve Taylor. Thanks for being a great friend a pretty decent third baseman. Sara Molchan. Thank you for believing in me and caring so much about this change. My boys: Randy Loveless, Rich Butler, Robby Ott, Phud Chambers and Baker Ratliff. Thank you for being Godly men in my life. We’ve been through quite a lot and the best is yet to come. (Man that sounded cheesy.) Thanks to Pastor, Chunks, Larry B., John, Wade and Hubatka. I’m honored to serve with ya’ll.
Finally, my family. To my Mom and Dad, Mom-in-law, Dad-in-law, Aunts, Uncles, brothers and sisters-in-law, sister and extended family. I would never be able to do what I do without you all. God has used each of you to shape and mold me into who I am today.
I love you all. Please continue to pray for us as we start our preparations to move. Come visit anytime (preferably the weekend we move so you can help.)