I'm currently reading through Ezekiel in my personal time with God. The other day I came across a passage that honestly scared me to death as a communicator. Most of the time people think of me as "the funny guy preacher." I'm trying to convince myself that it's okay as long as life change is happening. I don't want to be remembered as "the funny guy." Actually, I don't want to be remembered at all. I want the Holy Spirit's message of comfort and conviction to be remembered. But what I came across in Ezekiel was even more difficult than the idea of being known as "the funny guy."
In Ezekiel 33 near the end of the chapter God says the following:
"My people come to you as they usually do, and sit before you to listen to your words, but they do not put them into practice. With their mouths they express devotion, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice."
If that is the case here at Northwood I might as well shut my mouth and find a job doing something else. I'm convinced that I will do whatever is necessary to see God bring change in the lives of the people of Northwood Church. I will prepare everything I can prepare and pray as much as I can. I will lay down my position, rights, preferences and ideas at the feet of God. I will trust Him to do what only He can.
1. Sorry for spitting video after video at you but this one has to be shared. Thanks to Hollingsworth for once again bringing a smile to my face by sharing this video.
2. Sorry for over spiritualizing the following video but here I go. You’ll smile when you watch; you’ll wish you could have been there; you’ll wish you were in on it. That’s the kind of church I want to be a part of. A Church that just goes for it. When they do, the people watching not only see joy and happiness but want to stop what they’re doing and join in on it. Enjoy!
I’ve had Tim Steven’s blog post up about this for three days now but for some reason I kept putting it off. I wanted to watch it but somehow I knew that it would leave me a blubbering mess. I suppose it’s because if I share nothing else with these two great men I do share the burden and privilege of being a father of two beautiful and amazing little girls. I’m proud of my last President and I’m committed to praying and supporting my new one. More importantly, I strive to raise my girls with integrity so that in the end each of them can say that I loved them second only to my God and the wife he gave me. Enjoy the video.
As I sit hear studying for tonight's message a thought occurred to me. You see, I struggle to find the perfect reading and studying music every time I sit down. Today I pulled up "Party Shuffle" on iTunes and it brought me to an album that I was given a few months ago. So in good measure I in turn offer it to your ears.
I have and old and dear friend in Greenville, SC, who has the pleasure of working with a brilliant musician and all around great guy. The guy? David Walker. David is a great worship leader. He recorded a new worship album last year and if you're looking for something besides playing every Hillsong United song for the eighteenth time this album should give you the alternative you've been looking for.
Again, I just thought I'd give you the chance to listen to something great just like someone else did for me. I'm not getting any kickbacks and David doesn't even lead for us at Northwood but I do believe what he's allowing God to do through him could bless you personally and in your ministry. Check it out today.
Our FOCUS series is going pretty well so far. This past Sunday AJ, NSM Groups Director, was scheduled to speak but I had to draft him to the ski trip kind of last minute. So as a great leader and brilliant teacher what do I do with a rather novice communicator? I ask him to record his talk (not so easy) five days earlier than he would have to speak it normally.
We enlisted our Technical Director, Taurin Hurley, to shoot and edit the talk. All in all I think AJ did a great job of communicating the purpose and vision behind why NSM is committed to going “ORANGE.” AJ is a recent graduate of Charleston Southern University and a huge part of what God is doing here at Northwood Church. I believe God is going to do great things through him and I’m grateful to have him on our team. Watch his talk and let him know what you thought over at his blog.
What an incredible two days of skiing and fellowship. I'm so thankful for families and a church that care so much about students. We've had absolutely perfect weather for skiing. On top of that, NO INJURIES!! I've never had such great weather and low maintenance on a student ministry trip. What a switch from our last trip! Over the last two nights we also gathered for a time of reflection, discussion and prayer. I'm so hopeful for what God may do with these twelve seniors over the next five months. We'll be heading home tomorrow morning and leaving the snow still falling behind us. Thanks for your prayers. Can't wait to get back with our girls tomorrow. Thank you SOOOOOOOOOO much Rachel for watching them and allowing Anita and I to enjoy this trip together. See you soon.
Today was an incredible day. I'm so happy to be spending some quality time with a group of students that will be leaving in five short months. The weather here in West Virginia is perfect. Cold but perfect. We actually had powder to ski on today and tomorrow we should see some snowfall. Many of theses seniors are skiing for the first time ever and they're picking things up quite well.
Nothing eventful to update you on except that I missed the Senior guys singing a little Fergalicious to the entire ski lodge in the karaoke competition. I was carving up the slopes while they were serenading the group. Hopefully we'll have some more entertainment tomorrow.
After a nice little dinner we're back at the hotel for a group time and then off to bed. We have some rookies when it comes to ski trip stamina. These guys and gals are dead tired. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. We managed to make it through a day of skiing without injury. One more day to go!
To start 2009 off, we wanted to make sure that all of NSM is on the same page and has the same direction as we pursue God’s plans this year. In 2008 Northwood Church had two different Student Pastors and another in 2007. With all that transition, we felt it important to clearly state what, why and how we do ministry. We decided to do that through a four week series called FOCUS. At the end of this series we will have dicussed our mission statement, core values and our goals for the year. Each week our students will be able to discuss in small groups not only what this looks like for our Church and Ministry but what each of these values and goals looks like in their individual daily lives.
Taurin Hurley (Northwood Church Technical Director) and I worked together on the bumper. I’ll share each part of FOCUS when we’ve finished the series at the end of the month. For now, enjoy the bumper we came up with.