I’m currently planning an adventure for me and Rebekah. (Can you really plan adventures? Isn’t spontaneity the main ingredient in an adventure?) Anyway, she decided she wanted to try her hand at backpacking. I used to backpack some when I was a teen in the Boy Scouts and with my dad, but that has been quite sometime ago! We are planning on doing the Art Loeb Trail. It will be a 3 day, 2 night trip. Hopefully my sister and her hubby will be joining us on this trip! Do me a favor and comment if you have ever hiked this trail or are an avid backpacker and give us some tips please!
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Tags: Art Loeb, backpacking
Categories : Backpacking
God gave me a new term based on John 4 and I want to share it here. Surprise Evangelism. This is only a synopsis of a sermon that I have developed around this passage. I have been wanting to teach evangelism to my youth group, but there are so many different methods available and most of them are great: Share Jesus without Fear, Evangelism Explosion, Faith, Roman’s Road, etc. They all involve certain questions to ask and steps to take. I’m so thankful for such methods because I certainly believe that they are necessary, but when I look at Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well in John 4 I don’t see Him using any of these methods. Actually all I see Him doing is surprising people.
First, Jesus surprised the woman (vs. 9) when she came to the well at noon, but all He did is speak to her. He didn’t beat her with His big Bible, and He didn’t preach to her or condemn her. This is what many lost people expect evangelicals to do. It’s an unfortunate stereotype, but Jesus didn’t fit the stereotype. He simply opened His mouth and spoke to the women about physical water. Once Jesus had begun a conversation with the woman He was able to talk to her about spiritual things.
Next, Jesus surprised the disciples (vs.27). The NLT says they were “shocked.” Again, all He was doing was talking to the woman out of a spirit of love, but because society said that He ought not be interacting with her for various reasons, she and the disciples (Christ-followers) were surprised.
Application: When you love people like Christ did, you will not only surprise them, but you will likely surprise fellow believers. Many times Christians are intimidated by evangelism because they have been led to believe that they have to memorize so many questions and scripture references. While these questions are helpful at a certain point, and scripture is completely necessary, evangelism begins with love. If you do not know the Roman’s Road, it’s OK! All you have to do is love people and act in love towards them. The lost will be surprised and unfortunately many Christians will be surprised. Hopefully, you will be an encouragement to other believers. I encourage you to surprise people with the love of Jesus today!
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Tags: evangelism, JESUS, surprise
Categories : Ministry, The Word
Rebekah and I were fortunate enough to take Avery to the beach with Rebekah’s family for week. It was a great trip! Avery really enjoyed her first trip to the beach. She wanted to eat the sand, which (“sandwich” lol) was a problem! She absolutely loved the water even though it was very cold. She wanted to run straight towards it. I have posted some pics below from beach week.
We came back from the beach in time to take our youth group to a concert at the Asheville Civic Center. It was by far the best concert I have ever been to, and I’ve been to many! TobyMac and Skillet were the headliners on the Awake Tonight tour. House of Heroes opened up for them. This was the third time that I had seen Toby and I had previously thought that he put on one of the best shows ever (and I still do), but Skillet totally topped him! Toby is very energetic and the Diverse City band is too. They do flips on the stage, crowd surf, etc. They have lots of lights and it’s kinda of a non-stop energy. Skillet has all of this, plus incredible pyrotechnics. They have explosions of fire, smoke, and elevating stages. The cake topper for the entire show is that both bands are unashamedly, unapologetically there to glorify God. They use hard rock (Skillet) and hip-hop/rap (TobyMac) to have a worship experience. It was truly an incredible time of head-banging and worship! I would definitely encourage you to check out these band if you ever get the chance!
Here’s a slide show of pics from beach week:
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Categories : Uncategorized
So two weeks ago I informed you of our decision to try the Hallelujah diet (see my previous post for info). We have been fairly successful at keeping this basically vegan diet. However, we have decided to scale back and not be completely vegan for the time being. No, it’s not because we don’t like the food. We actually have really enjoyed some of the meals we have had, and I LOVE carrot juice (which we are going to keep doing). The problem with the Hallelujah diet is the expense. It took nearly 4 weeks of budgeted grocery money to buy 2 weeks of vegan groceries. It is unbelievably expensive!!! So, until we can afford the Hallelujah diet as is, we will be on our own modified version which will include some meats (chicken and turkey), and some dairy products. We are not completely abandoning this endeavor, only modifying it fit our budget. Thought you might like to know! 🙂
Oh yeah! I haven’t had coffee in 2 weeks! That is a major accomplishment for me!!!
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Categories : Hallelujah Diet, Week in Review
Rebekah and I are embarking on a new lifestyle, and frankly, I’m a bit scared. We are attempting the Hallelujah diet together. She actually was on it faithfully for about six months, but then she got pregnant with Avery and gave it up. Now she and I both are going at it. If you are not familiar with it click here. It is actually based out of Shelby, NC where the Hallelujah Acres are (Rebekah and her mother took a class there on Saturday).
The Hallelujah diet is basically a totally vegan, raw food diet. 85% is raw and 15% is cooked. Nothing that comes from animals is permitted. Unfortunately this includes dairy products. [I’m getting depressed writing this!] We went to Ingle’s yesterday and bought a 25lbs. bag of carrots and the bag boy asked me if I had horses! Embarrassed, I told him ‘no’, that the carrots were for us. I get a glass of carrot juice for breakfast (instead of coffee – bye, bye, starbucks), but it was actually pretty tasty this morning. Rebekah’s mother and step dad have lived this way for about 3 years now and are very healthy as a result. Despite my negativity, I’m actually excited about living healthy. I have wanted to do this for quite sometime in an effort to be a good steward of the body that God has given me.
Anyway, I’m sure you will hear much more about this lifestyle change as I get more into it. Please pray for us as we do this, especially me!
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Tags: Diet, Hallelujah
Categories : Hallelujah Diet
I want to take a minute to update you on what I have read and what I am currently reading. The last book that I finished was Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I highly recommend this book to those of you claiming to follow Christ. This book completely rocked my world. Chan is an excellent, down-to-earth, communicator. He seems to have a tight grasp on what it means to love Jesus. No matter where you think you are spiritually, I encourage you to read this book!
I am now reading a book that is assigned reading for Theology 525 at LBTS. It is God in the Wasteland: The Reality of Truth in a World of Fading Dreams by David F. Wells. I am about a third of the way into the book. It is a much to challenging read to be considered pleasure reading, though it may be enjoyable to you if you appreciate theological study. I am personally enjoying it so far, although it quite slow. Wells is basically identifying the hijacking of the evangelical church in postmodern America. It seems that it might be a profitable read for pastors and church leaders. I will try to give more information about this book when I finish it. Until then, happy reading!
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Categories : Reading, Uncategorized
I have been wanting to write about this all week, but I’m just now getting a chance. This past Sunday, after church, Rebekah, Avery, and I went to the local Mexican restaurant, EL Pobre. As expected, when we walked in we saw several families from our church there. We were led to a table that was right beside one family from church that has two young boys. These boys are great kids and are very involved in our children’s ministry at church. The youngest shouted, “There’s God!” when he saw me. I couldn’t help but laugh! I think his parents were a bit embarrassed. He later said, “God has a mohawk,” again referring to me and my hairdo. I thought about the incident for a little while and I was deeply humbled. I have always known that children look up to me, but this made realize how elevated I am in some of there young minds.
The application that I gleamed from this event is simple: What impression do I leave on people? A child might mistakenly believe me to be God, but can an adult see God in me? They should be able to! Do I live a life that portrays Christ? Pastors: the kids in your congregation know who you are! They know that you are God’s messenger! You and I both better make sure that we are living like it! It was a humurous expeirience, but it taught me a valuable lesson!
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Categories : Churches, Ministry