Jesus is our peace

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Just a few days into December and work is exploding. The environment is tense as a major project must go out soon after the beginning of the year. In other words, a typical stressful December here in my office. Knowing that things will get harder before they relax, I find my anxiety kicking in, causing my chest to tighten up. Feels like an elephant has taken up permanent residence on top of my heart. In the midst of fight or flight, God has reminded me of a snippet from Micah I read yesterday.

Micah 5:5A

I want His peace. Peace that surpasses all understanding.

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Ecclesiastes 5:18-19

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I remember coming across these verses in college. I had always heard that wealth, money, and even work were somehow negative/bad. Thankful for the freedom and truth found in the Old Testament.

The Bible App (YouVersion) Events – Sermon Notes

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This past week, I plugged my pastor’s sermon notes into The Bible App as an Event. I wanted to see if having the sermon notes (which we already have on the back of our printed bulletins) available via The Bible App, would be helpful to our members.

YouVersion Events - Sermon Notes

Above, you can see what it looks like once you have all of your information plugged in. You can add:

  • A Sermon Series Graphic
  • Church Name
  • Sermon Title
  • Location and Times
  • Sermon Bullet Points + Associated Scripture
  • Links for Giving, etc.

I made sure to tell a few members, before the service, that I had made the sermon notes available via the app. We’ll call this week part of a test run.

YouVersion Events - Sermon Notes

So, I intentionally sat my Bible down and only used my phone during the service. I liked that I could:

  • Take notes by typing
  • Read the corresponding scripture in the same version as the pastor

As someone who does not normally interact with a personal device during the Worship Service, I felt a bit awkward being on my phone though. But looking around the auditorium, I could see many members using their phones/iPads to read the Bible on.

I’m going to keep plugging the sermon notes into the app for the next few weeks. I would like to see what type of feedback I get. If your church is looking for another way to help your members engage, The Bible App – Events, could be a good thing.

Leading Family Worship

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Read a quote this morning that was a bit convicting:

Lead family worship It doesn’t need to be extravagant or long or particularly deep. But it does need to be consistent and it does need to be led by you. Set a time, sing some Psalms, read a Bible passage, ask each kid a question about the passage, and then pray together. Even if this wasn’t the Biblical pattern for Christian families, could you give me a decent argument why it’s a waste of time or unnecessary? – Read more here

Leading family worship has long been a struggle for me. One of those areas where I could easily lay blame on it not being modeled growing up–my parents did the best they could–. But at some point, I’ve learned, one has to forgive their parents and accept responsibility for what one is doing with their own family.

So what am I doing to lead my family spiritually? / How can I take the lead?

How are you leading your family spiritually? / How can you take the lead?

Away from the lights and fellow believers at church, in our homes, how are we leading?

I’m not sure what a family worship time looks like for my family. I can’t imagine us all sitting around singing songs. Sure, we’ve tried a few things in the past. When Wyatt was younger, we’d read Jesus Calling and pray before bed. More recently, we’d sit down and read scripture/pray in the evening. Consistency has always been my enemy. Kind of like with a personal quiet time. An evening would pop up that was out of our regular schedule and the first thing that would end up going were family devotions.

Jon Acuff, in his book Finish, talks about the day after perfect; the day after everything hasn’t gone 100% well. He asks what you will do after that day? Will you accept defeat or continue on?

I know personally that I often complicate things. Simple can be my enemy. And yet simple has to be the starting place for leading family worship. The simple acts of:

  • Taking/scheduling time for the family to sit down
  • Opening the Bible
  • Reading the Bible
  • Discussion
  • Prayer

I know that these are all things that I can do. I simply choose not to make them important nor do them.

It’s time to change that. Let’s consider this the day the family worship vehicle was put into gear.

Zoom, zoom.

Don’t Pull That!

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For those of you who do not know, I am a games director, at church, for a Bible verse memorization program (Awana) we have. Over two 30 minute sessions, I get to play all sorts of crazy games with the kids.

My Goal: Tire the kids out while having fun.

Last night, our schedule was a bit different. The kids are singing during the worship service on Sunday. Which means they needed time to practice:

  • Song cues
  • Hand motions
  • And becoming acclimated to standing on stage

Due to the practice time, game time was going to be reduced for the evening. The kids were scheduled to head out to the outdoor playground after worship practice. My wife, who runs the Awana program at church, told me I had the night off.

I ended up driving out to church anyways. Figured I could help corral kids and be there just in case it rained (we had a 40% chance) to run game time.

All was going well, I arrived early and ate dinner with Tabitha. We were sitting there talking when the fire alarm suddenly went off. A prerecorded voice told us that there was an emergency and that we needed to evacuate the building.

Turns out, a little kid pulled the fire alarm that is conveniently located on the indoor kids playground; the fire alarm that is right at kid height. With strobe lights going off in tandem with the alarm, I found myself Googling how to shut off a pull alarm. Turns out you need a special key.

In the midst of all of this, my pastor, who was supposed to be teaching, was having to deal with the alarm company. I ended up taking over for him in talking to the alarm company so that he could return to teaching. The gentleman on the phone guided me to a closet, where the fire alarm’s central panel was located. There I found two wires that were not connected to the battery that powers the fire alarm system. The alarm company told me that in the process of the system trying to reboot, that it tried to reboot/use power from the battery, somehow unplugging the wires. Plugging the wires back into the battery, I restored the system, and thus saved Jurassic Park.

Did I mention that the volunteer fire department sent a member over to check on things? Apparently he lives across the street. He was telling dispatch that he didn’t see any smoke coming from the church and that there were lots of cars in the parking lot. I’m thankful that he came over to check things out… and cancel the fire trucks that were about to be dispatched.

Once the alarm was shut off, I walked into the Worship Center to listen to the kids sing. On the way over, I noted that it was now raining outside. Great.

We ended up having a shortened game time. Lots of running around and screaming inside our kids worship area. It was crazy but helped the kids burn off energy as the barometer fell.

I’m thankful that none of this happened on a Sunday morning. While the lighting effects from the strobes might have been cool, the overall alarm would have killed the worship vibe.

Surf Report – 10/24/2017

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Welcome to the Tuesday edition of the Surf Report.

.: God:

Imagine spending 40 days and 40 nights with God on Mount Sinai. Your people, whom you’ve led out of Egypt, have given up on you. They’ve decided to build their own god, a golden calf, with the help of your brother. God interrupts your meeting and tells you what the people are doing. They have violated His commandments.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, ‘These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’

“I have seen these people,” the Lord said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people. 10a Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them.

God then says something that I’ve never noticed before. Notice the rest of verse 10:

10b Then I will make you into a great nation.”

Let’s pause for a moment. God has just said that He is going to destroy the Israelites and make Moses a great nation.

What would you do?

Would you want to be freed from a people who had made your life miserable? Would you tell God, sure, kill them, fulfill your promises in me?

OR

Would you make your case to God for your people?

You can pick up the story here (Exodus 32:11)

.: Life:

Over the weekend, Tabitha and I removed what was left of the handicap ramp off the front porch. I love how every small thing we do makes the house feel more and more like ours.

Photos courtesy of my wife.

.: Gaming:

Wyatt and I have been playing Little Big Planet 3.

Little Big Planet 3 demands that you bring your best platforming skills to the game. Anything less than your best will end in failure.

Wyatt and I played the above boss at least ten times. The first night we got stuck on the boss, we were both tired. Thankfully, I decided to quit that night. Wyatt wasn’t happy about that decision. However, we were able to beat the boss in a quick and efficient manner the next day. Sometimes you gotta know when to quit.

That is it for this weeks Surf Report. Make sure to comment below and have a good week!