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Updated: 2014-10-04T19:26:21.735-07:00

 



It's Official

2007-08-22T15:53:29.735-07:00

The blog is moving. Everyone enjoys the new blogsite and I do to so there:)

The content at the new address is exactly the same. I have imported all posts, comments and categories from this blog into the new one, so all that new is look and address.

Here's what I would ask:

1) If you have me linked anywhere in your blogs (linked in a post or a blogroll) and you are able to, please switch my address to http://brenttrf.wordpress.com

2) If you are a subscriber, I am humbled. Here is the new feed:
http://feeds.feedburner.com/wordpress/GtAN

3) If you are not subscribed to this blog or my new one and would like to be, read this great post discussing how to subscribe. If you already have an RSS feeder/reader, would you be willing to add me to it?

4) Tell all your friends about the new address. This will be my last post at Blogger, but it will always be active in case you need to refer to this post for the addresses.

Thanks for any sort of inconvenience this has dealt you. I appreciate this community, lurkers and all!



Check Out The New Blog

2007-08-21T23:54:44.710-07:00

Ok, here's the deal. I've been working on a blog over at Wordpress. My wife has too. I have always really enjoyed the look and feel of their blogs. I have built a blog at Wordpress and I need you to check it out and see what you think.

Just follow this link and look through. Then comment there and tell me which blog you like better. I will make the decision to move based on what Y'all tell me to do.

I haven't changed the content of the blog, in fact you will see exactly the same material there as you do here. it is just look and feel.

Let me know!



Media Cool...God Bad?

2007-08-21T13:38:38.556-07:00

So, I am excited about the next 2 weekends at Table Rock. We are going to be spending 2 weekends talking about unwinding. If you want to see the bulletin for the series, head over here. I am excited because we are reaching out to the neighboring community. We have invited neighbors to join us. I am excited about visitors, people who don't come to church, people who have never been or would never go back because of what the church has been to them.

A couple of us were talking about who we are as a church this morning. We aren't cutting edge and innovative like Lifechurch. We aren't charismatic like Fellowship Church. We don't have the money that Lakewood has. And you know what...who cares. I am not discounting any other ministry, I am accounting for who we are and who God has asked us to be. When we started the church, Pastor Tom prayed that God would use Table Rock to be a refuge. A place for hurting, broken and dismissed. When we evaluate what brings people to Table Rock, sometimes we can say it is the teaching or the music. But people most certainly say it is the "come as you are" attitude and welcoming spirit. God has given us the desire of our hearts for Table Rock. We are a refuge.

I love media (Audio, Video, Projectors, Lights, Online Web Tools...Blogs!) But none of this should ever be why people come to our church. Hopefully I say this correctly so it makes sense. What should draw people to God's family is the people of God's presence in the community around them. If people come to Table Rock because we have great sound or cool videos or loud music, we are breeding expectations that draw attention away from the message of the Gospel. People come to church expecting good sound, great videos and loud music. When we don't deliver, they leave or even worse they just stick around and complain. But, when people attend Table Rock because we are a church that welcomes them as they are, expressing our interest in them as people, and then we turn around and care for them in their need, I believe those people will be changed by God's Spirit and will turn around and do the same. They will hear the message of the Gospel (whether by word or deed).

Media is a powerful and dangerous tool for expressing the message. It is something we use weekly and will continue to communicate the gospel. But, Table Rock will not be a church that fluffs up the gospel message with lights and sound just to attract visitors. That's the day, I need to reevaluate my leadership as a Worship and Media Pastor.



All I See Is Beauty

2008-12-09T19:27:57.571-08:00

(image) This is my wife. Today, August 18th we have been married 16 years. She will hate this picture (she hates every picture) but maybe it is my fault, because I can't see anything but beauty in her.

When I first saw her, I was very much attracted to her. I didn't know her yet, but I wanted to. When I found out she did not know the Lord, I had to be patient, because I knew if I got involved, I would stay involved. I wanted this relationship so bad, but I wanted it to please God. He blessed me. All I see is what God has given me. A beautiful, confident, gifted woman of God!

I had faith she would come to know the Lord and she did. When I got to know her, it was obvious to me that this was the one. She makes me better...she makes me want to be better...I have to be the best for her. She has always encouraged my walk with the Lord. When I have failed in my spiritual leading, she has reminded me to lead. When I have made mistakes, she was always waiting for me to learn and grow from what I had done. Whenever I am weak, she is picking up the slack. We work!

Tammy, I love you so much. As a "completely NON-metro sexual" I should be embarrassed to say this...I am tearing up, BUT I am not embarrassed. I am not embarrassed to cry with you or for you. I am not embarrassed to take on someone or something for you. I am not embarrassed ever to call you my wife and best friend. I am not embarrassed to try harder and to admit I am wrong for you.

Happy Anniversary! I love you Tammy! I am so looking forward to hitting 50 years with you!



Dad and Book Update

2007-08-16T22:59:13.078-07:00

Thought I'd let you all know that my Dad went home today. They released him a day early. They felt he is doing very well. He feels much better. He is Still a little week and does not have a great appetite, but he is home. I think they are wanting to come down here to Medford this weekend to get away and check up on work around their house here. Praise the Lord for his quick healing!

The book I've been reading this week for "Reading Rainbow" was put on hold for a couple of days during all the events with my Dad, but I will be picking back up tomorrow and should have a review by Sunday. So far it has been very challenging...in a good way. It's not hard to read, but what is written is taking a lot to digest. I am really enjoying it. Check back for the review.



Do What You Will

2007-08-15T22:22:27.718-07:00

There is a song by Desperation Band called "Ready Now". I love the phrase, "I'm ready now, Do what You will."

An hour after we got back into town from seeing my Dad, I was on my way to soccer practice with my son. As we were driving along I felt comfortable. It was interesting. All I had to do was be back in town and I was comfortable. It was what I knew. I was in my "hood"...sorry.

Then I began to think about some of the things I have been reading lately. So many challenges to step out of my comfort zone and to be someone I haven't been. I then began praying. How do I start this? What should I be doing? Where should I be looking? If I am so comfortable with my lifestyle here, how am I ever going to know what to do? Do I have to move to be out of my comfort zone? Then I heard a loud and clear voice, "It's not what you do, it's who you become." Wow, where did that come from? I knew it was God, He was very clear. I suddenly knew what I had to do...nothing! I can't do anything to gain God's character in my life. He has to do it. Now, I understand that does mean I need to surrender, to Him, in everything. So I do have to do something. And I am "Ready Now".

As we were pulling off the freeway, I turned up the radio and this song was playing...

You come like you promised You would
I want to surrender for good
I know that I need You
And I don't want to keep living life alone

So take my heart
and make it new
make it true
And make it like You
Take my hands
I lift them high
They're Yours not mine to do
Do what you will
Do what you will
Do what you will

I'm ready now


WOW, what a conformation. Here I am, I'm ready, do what You will.

Look at the life of Christ. We all seek to be like Him...right? It was never about what Jesus did, it has always been about who He is. It wasn't about having Lazrus back, it was about His glory shining through. It wasn't about an issue of blood, it was about His mercy. He didn't come to die on a cross, He came to be a Savior! I had to think about that last statement for a while. The cross is a symbol that the world seems to love. They are willing to take on the comfort of an icon around their neck, but are they willing to surrender to the Savior that was nailed to it. I will never discount the cross and what it means to me as a Christian. But it isn't my salvation, Jesus is!

So, I surrender, I lay down, I am Yours, I am ready now, do what You will.



Youth Pastor Fined By FCC for Slip OF The Tongue

2007-08-15T10:39:13.476-07:00

I don't know how many of you saw this last year. But if you haven't watch this first...

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So, I guess there is this "prank" group that likes to prank religious people. I watched a couple of their videos and I'm not really sure what I think. Anyway, they decided to prank this Youth Pastor that had a slip of the tongue. I did think this was funny. It is a little long, but it just made me squirm. What would you do if something like this happened to you?

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Eugene, Oregon...Go Ducks!

2008-12-09T19:28:01.540-08:00

So, now that we can breathe in a little, we enjoyed a relaxing day here in Eugene, Oregon. My wife and I lived her for 2 1/2 years and my folks have been here for 17. My dad has been the Senior Pastor of First baptist Church since the fall of 1990. Which puts his retirement into perspective. He's been here for a while and it has been a wonderful place for him to end his Pastoral career.So Eugene is a College town. University of Oregon is here and we happen to be huge Ducks fans. We've gone through a tough time here the last couple of years with the football program, but the basketball team did just fine this year. I actually really enjoy this town. Lots of boutique shops and restaurants and lots of culture for Oregon. Of course with that culture comes some interesting people. This is a huge missions field here. Eugene is one of the least churched areas of Oregon. About 6-8%. Incredible isn't it.Anyway, my Son is the biggest Duck fan of all. We are staying at a hotel next to the hospital which is adjacent to the University, so we took some time walking him around today. This is where he wants to go to school. We had a great time with my brother and family and my Mom as well.Dad is doing well, but is anxious to go home now. They probably aren't going to release him untill Friday. He was feeling a little worse this afternoon, but that is expected with all he went through today. He just wants to be well and gets down easily when things aren't moving fast enough. Of course Dad and Mom are planning to travel down to Medford to be in our neighborhood this Sunday once he's out so they can start moving furniture into their house down there...We'll see!So, I thought I'd leave you with pictures from today. Thanks everyone for continued prayers and encouragement!Nice view behind the hotel.Ducks of course!I am not sure I should be offended by thisMy boy at the University gatesChecking out construction on Hayward field. Home of Prefontaine and the US Track and Field trials.Home of the Final 8 basketball team. MacArthur CourtI took this pic last fall when my boy and I went to a football game. I am sure he'd want the pic posted here. He loves him some Duck football.We walked through the cemetery on campus. Most of the people here passed away in the late 1800's or early 1900's. I would love to know some of the stories. There is a family buried here. Both children under the age of 1 and Mom died in the same year a couple of months a part. Dad is buried there with a cement slab that just reads Father and no other story. I would love to know the story. This one caught my attention as well.Remember "Animal House"? This is one of the homes used in the movie. Yup, it was filmed here. the main house from the movie is long gone. It was demolished years ago.My Dad's church owns two houses on campus a Sorority (The Trinity House) and a Fraternity (The AO House). Very cool. This is the AO House (Alpha and Omega).We had dinner with the whole family (minus Dad of course) at Pearl Street Ice Cream Parlor (originally a Farrell's). I love this place. Greasy burgers, BLT's, Huge fries and Ice Cream to die for. My daughter and I shared this.This is as far as we got![...]



Post Surgery Update

2007-08-14T10:13:54.926-07:00

Well, I think we have some good news today. They performed the angiogram on my Dad at about 7:30 this morning. We were told about 1 1/2-2 hours. To my surprise about an hour in, I went down to his room to grab my Mom her sweater and my Dad was there in his room awake and alert. It concerned me a bit that the surgery went so fast. Once I got back to the waiting room, the doctor was there talking to my Mom.

When my Dad had his bypass surgery, they did 5 bypasses. They new within a short amount of time that 2 of the bypasses had not taken. Our main concern in this process today was that the other 3 were failing as well. The doctor let us know that all 3 are in perfect condition. He noticed a lot of vasculitis in the original veins, which was expected. Lupus can attack the veins and scar them and they clog. The doctor was very confident that my Dad's heart is strong and he is not concerned at all of any heart damage or heart attack possibilities. The pain my Dad has been experiencing is caused mostly by the vasculitis. They are going to begin a process of daily pain management and lifestyle changes that should help my Dad be comfortable and allow him to live well for years to come.

There is so much positive in what happened today. I believe that God has answered my prayers of some good years for my Dad and Mom to retire. Also, I believe that my Dad will be well and able to leave the church here with a couple good weeks of teaching and leadership before he goes.

Thank you for everything you all are doing. the emails, calls, comments and most of all prayers have been heard loud and clear and I am grateful to you and to our God who heals and loves his children.

I will post later today and tomorrow with any updates!



More Info On My Dad

2007-08-13T22:01:15.379-07:00

Many of you have been checking the blog for updates and I thank you. I apologize that this comes late in the evening, but some very good friends of ours, here in Eugene took us out to a great dinner. Excellent food and excellent company...Thanks Jeff and Amy!

We spent some time with my Dad this afternoon and we were there when the doctor stopped by so we were able to hear first hand what is happening and how he is doing. When we go there HE LOOKED GREAT! Tammy was here last week and at that time my Dad was looking and doing horrible. The new antibiotics have taken his temperature down to the 99 degree range. Better than the 104 temp he was dealing with for a couple of days. The doctor said that his X-rays look about the same, but he was happy with that. He would be concerned if had gotten worse, but he did not expect there to be a noticeable difference even if he was getting better. It takes time to clear Pneumonia. The doctor said my Dad has a lot against him (lupus, low immune system, medications that actually hinder him getting better quickly), but he is doing well. He is probably about 50% better. They are going ahead with the angiogram first thing in the morning. He will be in surgery at 7:45. They are expecting the surgery to take about an hour. I will do my best to post info as soon as I get it tomorrow.

Thank you SO MUCH for all your prayers. We are so grateful to have friends as all of you!



Update and Next Book

2007-08-12T20:46:29.990-07:00

I just want to say thank you all so much! I just sounded southern...maybe I shouldn't frequent Mandy's blog so much :). I really do appreciate all the thoughtful calls emails and comments regarding my Dad. I was overwhelmed at church this morning. So many of you care and it shows. Thank You!

We have a long way to go, but he was doing a little better today. The doctor's gave him a new antibiotic and they felt that X-rays showed it was helping with the Pneumonia. We will head up in the morning to be with them for the Angiogram surgery on Tuesday. My mom is doing well. She worked at church all weekend. I know my Dad misses being able to be on stage teaching the church he is about to retire from. It is something he loves to do and does well. If any of you would like to hear him preach, you can check out the his latest teaching here.

In the midst of everything going on, I do not want to take a break from the amazing reading journey God has me on. I began a new book last night for the "Reading Rainbow". "The Dangerous Act of Worship" by Mark Labberton will be this weeks book. I saw this reviewed over here. It looked like something I really need to dig into after coming off the book I read last week.

So, thank you for the prayers. It is amazing to know that my Dad is being lifted up. Literally all over the world. I will post tomorrow with updates.


edit-that's a crap load of links...hopefully they are beneficial for you.



I'm Asking For Prayer

2007-08-10T22:57:49.952-07:00

Some of you have followed along on either my blog or my wife's blog. If you have you know that my Dad has had a rough year health wise. He has been fighting an extreme case of Lupus. It has taken it's toll on him. Today he went back into the hospital. About 2 weeks ago he had a massive seizure caused by his fight with lupus. During his seizure, he aspirated and now is fighting pneumonia. We heard from my mom tonight that he is not well. The doctor's are concerned as he is needing to have an angiogram done as soon as possible to possibly put stints in to alleviate stress on his heart due to the damage lupus has caused to his arteries. Things have been progressing downhill over the last couple of months and I don't like to think negatively, but things are not getting better. The doctor's are concerned he will make it through the angiogram, because his system is so weak. They need to get him in on either Monday or Tuesday and the pneumonia is holding them back. He is 6 weeks from retirement, brought on by his health. I don't have a specific to pray for, just that as God leads us through this time that we would be patient, sensitive to His Spirit and that we would know how to provide for my Dad and my Mom in all of it.



Baby Leino

2007-08-09T17:05:29.544-07:00

I was looking through my blog reader today and I read a post by NewBoxes. After reading his post I immediately went over to check out the blog he referred me to.

There is a blog for Baby Leino. Issac Leino is a little guy that was born to loving parents in February of this year and he went home to be with the Lord this last Sunday evening. Issac was born with many medical issues and his parents decided to create a blog archiving his journey. As I read through post after post, I was impacted, saddened, in awe and most of all encouraged by this little family that found such hope and faith in God through this journey. And seeing the response to the blog, God has used them to impact 1000's.

When you have a chance read through Isaac's journey. It will bless you



"Reading Rainbow" Book 7 - Week 7

2007-08-09T12:25:09.341-07:00

This week for "Reading Rainbow" I read "Under The Overpass" by Mike Yankoski. I was referred this book by my best friend/older daughter Rachelle. She works with FCA and has been taking some amazing foreign missions trips. Thank Shell!I say I read this book this week , but the reality was I read it in a day. I came home from work on Tuesday and started reading. I spent a little time with it and loved it. I took off that evening for some volleyball and when I returned I dug back into the book. I then could not put it down. I finished about 2:30 in the morning. I've never done that before. I was hooked with the story this book had to tell. I was so anxious to hear what would happen next, who the next character they met would be and if they were going to get enough money to eat today.This book is basically Mike's journal from his trip. He was challenged while sitting in church one day that he was not sure his faith would withstand a true test. He then went on for the next year planning his trip to leave everything behind and live on the streets with the intention of seeing how God would work in and through Him when there was absolutely nothing for him to rely on except God.The people he and his traveling partner Sam met were diverse. They met rude people, kind people, homeless, addicts, convicts, ministers and everything in between. What a way to see people. They saw people at their most vulnerable point. Not just the people living on the street with them, but the people around them making a decision as to what to do with this homeless man in front of them. I think that is the most challenging thought for me. How do I care for those in front of me.This book wasn't a "how to care for the homeless" book. Mike did take time to share with us his thoughts on all of that, but it was more A journal of a journey. It was Mike's "fleece" before God to reveal Himself. It was Mike's personal test to approve His trust and faith in God. Here are some quotes from the book."I felt my frustration rising until I realized how unentitled I really was. No one deserves mercy. And no one walking by owed a dime. Mercy, is by definition, undeserved, or else it isn't mercy."" A hungry man can be a fast learner. When you come to a table with nothing but need, you are grateful for things you might have pushed aside before. And when you kneel hungry and broken at His table, you receive a grace from Him you might at some other time, have completely missed.""I wonder how much we miss because we are unwilling to pick it up...It's like asking God to bless your day, then when He puts a needy, smelly person in front of you that you could really help, you wonder what you did to deserve such rotten luck.""Why do we so often overlook obvious ways to show the love of God we so proudly proclaim?""Having everything 'just because you can' is a trap. It numbs and blinds the human spirit. It can separate us from our calling and our privilege as Christians in this needy world."Sitting there with Sugar Man, I felt my carefully established definitions of a Christian, crack and expand. Here was an admitted addict and user openly proclaiming Christ in his community and asking how he could serve us...what's your definition of a Christian? Is it broad enough to encompass the drug dealers, pimps, prostitutes and broken people of the world? We all struggle with personal ways in which sin plays itself out in our lives...Why do we reject the loving, self-sacrificing, giving, encouraging, Jesus-pursuing drug addict, but recruit the clean, self-interested, gossiping, loveless churchgoer?"[...]



Marriage Meme

2007-08-09T13:28:25.443-07:00

Some of you may be saying...What the heck is a meme? I know I did the first time I saw it. Simply, a Meme is a series of questions passed around from blog to blog. There are a whole lot of other definitions to it, but we will leave it at that.

So my wife and I have a friend named Mandy. She tagged us yesterday to participate in this meme. Mandy is a worship leader a a church in New England. She is attending seminary. She authors two blogs, one personal and one that highlights the discussion regarding blended worship. Mandy asked me yesterday how I have time to read books...back at you :)

Anyway, I am to tell you 8 things about my marriage. I am sure these will be quite profound and littered with depth and wisdom...or not.

1) I am married to my dream girl. I dated a few girls through my high school years. One I was very serious about. And let me preface, they were all wonderful women. When I met Tammy, and got to know her I had found everything I was looking for. I didn't even know I was looking for it. When she and I got together, God blessed me. She makes me a better person.
(I could probably stop right here, but I will continue on :)

2)Tammy and I met at church. When she walked in (remember this was 1989), she was an LA Gear ad. She wore a tank top with a high cut jean jacket, a jean mini skirt and LA Gear high tops. I melted.

3) Our first official date was in a car driving back from JesusFest in Riverside. We then went to In-N-Out and had dinner at like 1AM, after that we headed to her and her rommates apartment and stayed up all night talking.

4) We were engaged after 5 weeks of dating. I was not the one who "popped" the question. But my answer was yes! We didn't marry for another 10 months.

5) Our favorite thing to do is to enjoy Friday mornings together. I have Friday's off. During the school year when the kids are gone, we have nothing to focus on but ourselves. We may window shop, run errands or grab our computers and go down to the local WiFi coffee shop and relax. We may not even talk much, we just love to be together.

6) The best vacation we ever had was to Hawaii. One year we had a tax refund that allowed us to go to Waikiki and spend a week there. That was one of the most relaxing things we have ever done together. We have been back since with the whole family (In-laws included). it was amazing...but not as relaxing. It is my goal to spend our 25th there.

7) We will be married 16 years on the 18th. I our 16 years of marriages we have lived in 5 apartments and 6 houses. That is ridiculous!

8) The greatest thing about our marriage is that we are best friends. i have never once wanted to hang out with someone more than my wife. We love to talk, think through ideas, we are both dreamers, we both have a passion for our gifts and our relationship with God, we have amazing children that bless us every day and we love who God is making us into. Love ya Tam!



Next Book - Week 7

2007-08-07T14:50:00.489-07:00

The next book I will be reading for "Reading Rainbow" will be "Under The Overpass" by Mike Yankoski.

Here is an excerpt from the back cover of the book.

"Mike Yankoski's life went from upper-middle class plush to scum-of-the-earth repulsive overnight. From the United States Capital to San Diego, Mike and his traveling companion, Sam journeyed as homeless men for five months. Not for a project or even in response to a dare. He needed to know if his faith in God was real-if he could actually be the Christian he said he was apart from the comforts he'd always known.

So with only a bag on his back, a guitar in his hand, and Sam by his side he set out. And like any traveler in a foreign land, he returned a different man."


I think this should be good!



Daily Dose Of Imagery

2007-08-07T11:03:15.637-07:00

I have a link for the Daily Does Of Imagery Blog in my Blogroll. I Don't know if you've checked it out, but you need to. I am a fan of great photography. The ability to know your equipment and what it can do, use the natural lighting that God provides and then frame up exactly what we need to see, is amazing! This guys has done this well. Everyday there is a new picture he's taken and they are always exactly what I described. Todays picture is gorgeous. Makes you want to disappear from city life forever.

Check Him Out!



"Reading Rainbow" Book 6 - Week 6

2008-12-09T19:28:01.991-08:00

Last week I read through 2 books. I spoke of the first here and then I made mention to the second here. The second book was “Stand Against The Wind” by Erwin McManus. It is interesting to read this book the week after I read through Bill Hybels book. They both are essentially speaking to the same thing, the character of God, alive and well within us. I told Pastor David today that it was as if someone handed Hybels and McManus the sermon notes and I got to here them both teach the same sermon. Needless to say, this book, as was Hybels, was very impacting. It is hard to read through these books and really soak everything in. I am going to find myself looking back through every once in a while and reminding and rereading things, just so they stay fresh.Anyway, the first page of the book begins with our challenge to really live. Erwin made the statement that to truly know God is to have His character in our lives. I have heard Erwin speak a couple of times and have read one of his other books. He is so passionate about us as believers living fully as God intended. He is concerned how “the world” has completely affected us and limited us to living this way. He says, “To discover what it means to be truly human, the only one we can turn to is God.” He goes on to say, “A person God Himself deems as wise is one who not only hears His voice, but immediately begins to act upon His instruction.” I love that statement. It is a challenge. It is not enough to hear, but we need to also act. Erwin said, “You cannot follow Jesus and remain the same...It’s nothing less than leaving the fake for the real.” There is the overwhelming message in this book. “Real” life is not the aches and pains, the ups and downs, the family issues and joys. It is the character of God “alive and kicking” in our everyday life. God intended for us to live through “life” not as sitting ducks, but as beacons of hope and love.Erwin speaks to aspects of God’s character and how to allow God’s character to transform our lives. He says that it starts with a complete surrendering to God...a “revolution of the soul”. Here are some great quotes from the book.Humility – “When a person has an attitude problem, what he or she really has is an arrogance problem.”Gratitude - “When we are grateful, we are most fully alive. Gratitude allows us to absorb every possible pleasure from a moment.” “When we embrace bitterness, we reject grace.”Perseverance – “Transformation is both the miracle of God and the stewardship of man.”Integrity – “Integrity is not just about who we are, but who we seek to become.” “Integrity is not about being ‘flawless’ but being ‘falseless’.”Belonging – “When a person is whole, he or she sees love as limitless. We are designed to be conduits of love; the problem is we’ve been disconnected with the Source of love.”Courage – Re: Joshua 1:1-9 – “God’s part...I will never leave you nor forsake you, and Joshua’s part...be strong and courageous.” “It was God’s promise, but it was Joshua’s responsibility.” “When God speaks, it requires immediate attention.”Generosity – “generosity isn’t about how much we give but about how much it costs us.” “The generous see themselves as stewards of God’s treasures. They are not cautious in giving themselves away.” “They are the true investors in the human spirit.” “In giving they find themselves rich.” “The givers are unexplainably full.”Fear of God – “When the fear of God is absent from our lives, we become slaves to lesser fe[...]



Sex camp...WHAT?!?!

2008-12-09T19:28:02.243-08:00

(image) So most of you know (Thanks Tam), that my son and I went camping the last couple of days. We had a chance to stay up at our churches new camp facility at Howard Prairie Lake. What a beautiful setting. This picture is the view from the beach at the camp. This is a side story, but our church has signed a lease with the county to operate the facility as a church camp. It needs a ton of work, but it is fun to see what has already been done. It should be officially operational by next Summer.

The staff at church were giving me a hard time, because they new the intent of the this trip. The plan was to talk with my son about the "birds and the bees". Pastor Ron affectionately entitled this trip "Sex Camp". I am not sure I can go with that one :)

Anyway, I wasn't at all nervous about talking to my son about this, but I definitely wanted to be appropriate and had questions of how much info is enough. I am not going to go into details on this post, but I think it is safe to say that the info I did give was more than enough. He responded numerous times with, "that's not right", "ewwww" and my favorite..."this is awkward". If you ask him, I am sure he would tell you the same, but I am thankful that he respected the talk and listened well.

Pastor Tim (Who was up at camp working while we were there, He is in charge of seeing the camp through), graced us with his presence at our evening smore-out. He was also kind enough to extend the talk my son and I were having. While we were sitting there, I asked my son to tell Tim what we had talked about. after he explained it the best he could, Tim made the statement, "so you understand the Bee-thing now". My son looked confused, so Tim went on. "You know how a bee sticks his stinger in you to sting you and when the bee pulls away the stinger tears off and then the bee dies? Well that is what happens." THANKS TIM! I think at that point my son officially freaked out. He still is asking me if Tim was serious.

I am not sure what to say???



"Reading Rainbow" Book 5 - Week...6

2008-12-09T19:28:02.516-08:00

So this week I've been reading through, "God's Blogs" by Lanny Donoho. I started picking away at this earlier in the week, then last night I started reading and couldn't put it down. Needless to say this is a quick read.So, I think this is one of the most creative books I've ever read. the whole premise is that God is blogging and here are excerpts from that blog. God is pouring out who He is and what he intends for us, He is dispelling myths and wrong thinking and He speaks boldly and honestly to those that have done a disservice to him and his church. I do wish that hearing from God was this simple. Wouldn't it be great if their was a daily update.Anyway, this book was fun, there are little nuggets of truth and encouragement all over through book. I think the author may take some liberties with theology(just my opinion), but it is not really sacreligious. There are great thoughts from start to finish. Every chapter is kind of a glimpse into God's thoughts on a specific subject. The chapter entitled Tsunami's responds to the questions, where is God when there is tragedy. This chapter ends with the statement, "Some people are asking me, 'Where are You when disaster hits?' I'm asking you the same question." Here are some qoutes from chapters I really enjoyed.Anger - "Next time you feel yourself tighten up, and you know your face is red, and you're ready to yell or lash out, and you know that your anger is just abbout to take over, think about what it is that you want that you can't have (the thing that is making you angry). Then try to remember: The only way to really get what you want is to give up."In His Image - "If you've read my book, you know that you guys...all of you...we're created in My image." "Reflections happen best when you are standing near to that which you want to reflect (That which you were made to reflect)."Bubbles - (I think I am going to write a whole new post on this one. It really speaks to the "Christian Culture" discussion that we've had lately.)Death - "...and then someday when you sit in a doctor's office and you hear what to so many is sobering news...you might even smile. Because you decided a long time ago to live like you were dying. And that included getting to know Me...and that means that you already know there is no such thing as death for you...There is just moving from your house to mine. I'll see you soon."Another thought on this book is that it is visually a lot of fun. think of a scratch pad a writer would use to scribble down thoughts, highlight mistakes and circle main points. This book is printed this way. i would definitely recommend this book. It's light and easy to read and it is packed full of great little thoughts and sayings. you could use this almost as a little daily read. Just pick a chapter a day, it would take about a month to go through in that routine.[...]



Christian On-Air Personalties Are From Mars...Or Are They?

2007-08-01T13:33:00.476-07:00

Based on a lot of the discussion the other day over here, here and here.

I thought this was kind of another...thinking about it...post.



I Want To Really Live

2007-08-01T13:26:40.915-07:00

After reading My last book and also digging into one of the new ones I am working on, I am convinced of our need to be changed to reflect the character of God. I wouldn't say this is a new revelation for me but one God is having me focus on more intently. I love this quote from the McManus book I am reading. "God formed us in his image and then breathed life into us. God's life in us is sustained by character. When we lose the character of God, we lose the life of God in us. But to have his character, we must first die to ourselves, because to become like Him is what it means to really live."

I read this today and I was prompted to pass this info along to you. Let God examine your character. If we are not becoming more like Christ, He is not "living" in us.



Next Book - Week 6

2007-07-31T11:52:13.014-07:00

So this week I am reading through a fun book. It is "God's Blogs" by Lanny Donoho. The premise of this book is that God has something to say and he wants us all to hear it. So, God has started a blog :) It takes time to hear God speak(truths from His word) about His character, His love for us, His passions and desires. It should be a lot of fun. I will start digging into it tonight.



Table Rock on Facebook

2007-07-30T22:44:03.810-07:00

If you are not famliar with Facebook, it is time to check it out. It is a new contender in the online community movement. I've been playing with it for about a month now. At one time I was a part of MySpace and found it to be too juvenile and sexual. It was not the place I wanted to blog and find relationship. Face book was originally created to connect students at a college, but now has grown to one of the largest and definitely fastest growing online community. It's kind of fun to invite friends and meet new people, like-minded people and reconnect with old friends. I've created a new group on Facebook for Table rock Fellowship people. If you'd like to join and add me as a friend, head here. If you are an attender of TRF and you'd like to join the Table Rock Fellowship group, head here. If you'd like some great practical info on getting started with Facebook, head here, here and here
Enjoy!



Jesus...On Sale, Aisle 6

2008-12-09T19:28:02.966-08:00

Have you seen shirts that have the really clever phrases that speak of our "Christian" culture? I am sure you have. There are all kinds. Some look good, some look terrible. Some are clever, some are dumb. I have been ranting in my head lately over what seems like and increased volume of "Christian" marketing. It drives me nuts that there is a "Christian" music style. What is that anyway? Does that mean that it is a certain musical style? Does it mean it is because the lyrics are Christian? Does it mean that the person performing or writing the songs is Christian? (unfortunately, most CCM experts would say that last one does not define a Christian musician.) See my confusion/frustration. We (and I say this, because I support this industry by buying it's products) have successfully created a box in which we have placed the Gospel of Jesus and then have slapped a price tag on it. Has the marketing of Jesus truly spread the Gospel of Jesus? Has a t-shirt, claiming that "Jesus Is My Homeboy", led someone to the transforming Grace of God? Maybe? If none of these "products" were available, would the Gospel of Jesus still be heard and preached...Yes.This is all something that is extremely confusing and also frustrating to me. I have bought into the Christian celebrity. If so-and-so has written it, it must be God breathed and valuable, especially cause it's the biggest and most expensive item here. I don't know how you guys feel about all this. Please hear me. There are amazing authors and songwriters and poets and teachers out there. we need to hear from these people. There is a ton of wisdom that can be gained by their experiences with God. In the same way, are we limited to this knowledge and wisdom by how much we can spend or what a publisher or record label or radio station thinks we should read, see or hear? It is a maddening circle.I have been so encouraged lately to hear of churches like Life Church and New Spring and many others that have decided that there resources should be free and there should not be a price on getting the Gospel of Jesus into their community's hands. I respect this so much. I have been thinking about, what if, our church offered all the sermon CD's for free? Have we limited the spread of the Gospel by a price on a CD? I know the heart of our staff and they would be horrified if that were the case. I don't know if it is, but it is something that should be discussed.So anyway, I don't know if I gotten anywhere with this besides taking on a good rant. I read this post today and it made me think more about what has been on my mind for the last week. I was referred to that post by this guy here. Take some time to read these articles and comments. I'd like to hear what you think.[...]