Taken in Oahu March of 2009
(yes I realize that’s not a goose)
Our students were awesome tonite, they had a pastor appreciation ice cream party for me and Jess, unfortunately Jess was home sick this evening.
Corey Errett came and spoke tonite. He taught out of Luke 18 and 19 and asked us who we were more like… are we the rich young ruler who simply wants a ticket to heaven? Or are we Zacchaeus who wants Jesus and is willing to climb a tree to see Him.
Corey also taught from a book that has been instrumental in his life called “Wild Goose Chase.” by Mark Batterson. The premise of the book is that in the gaelic language the word for Holy Spirit is also the same word for wild goose. Corey explained that following the leading of the Holy Spirit is meant to be an adventure.
Corey outlined 6 things that hold us back from really following the leading of the Holy Spirit.
He asked the group to share which one they felt like they struggled with and how we can help one another along through these things.
This is what I took away from the evening.
While we cannot negate responsibility, we also cannot fall into the trap of trying to control everything, we still have to TRUST in God’s goodness and provision.
Mudane routine is only as mundane as we allow it to be, we have to seek the adventure of where God has us. Sometime it simply takes a perspective change. Seeing things as God sees them. And a willingness to step out and take risk.
Our assumptions need to meet TRUTH.
Our guilt needs to meet FORGIVENESS.
Our failures need PERSPECTIVE on what we are seeking to win and what our reward really is.
Our fear needs an encounter with BOLD PERSISTENT LOVE.
This weekend was Chris Hidey’s wedding. I snuck a quick pic of Hidey brothers and me in the bathroom right before the service.
Jess and I had the honor to attend one of the most fun and beautiful weddings we have ever been to. It was held at the botanical gardens in NYC.
I read scripture during the service in English and then Sharon’s cousin read it in Chinese. We read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Right after the wedding service we were taken downstairs for cocktails and finger foods which included a sushi bar. Then back up stairs for dinner, which was AMAZING. I had the filet mignon. You can tell by the number of forks how many courses there were.
Chris and Sharon were a stunning bride and groom. Congrats!!
And here’s an iphone pic of Jess and I from the hotel right before we went to the wedding. Third time wearing a suit in 3 months, and I’ve got to wear one next month too…
Grandpa Stiles (Jess’ dad’s father) on his 90th Birthday(iso 1600 shot with the g11 for you photo geeks)
We’re hanging out tonite in Youngstown Ohio. We just spent the evening with Grandpa Stiles who is ninety today. When I asked him how it feels to be ninety he replied, “I don’t know how’s it suppose to feel?” He said that when we turn ninety he’d be there to sing to us
Jess sitting with Grandpa as he opens his cards.
Just a quick update, back to Jamestown tomorrow and NYC on saturday. Baltimore on Wednesday for the Voice of the Apostles conference. Yup… on the road again.
When Woody Woodson was here speaking he spoke so much on vision.
“You can’t receive it until you can see it.”
We are having a ministry fair at our church this weekend (Jess and I will be in NYC for a friends wedding) but as I was preparing a dream list of needs for volunteers, I began to see these things taking place. I saw our sanctuary filled with teens. I saw small groups forming in peoples homes providing a place for teens to be transparent and real and form real healthy relationships and encounter Jesus.
Mike Montes has been working with our staff and has been trying to prepare us for when we add another zero to our number. Making sure that we have a framework in place that will be able to support that change. I feel like we have this season until 2010 to get ready and get prepared, to get a foothold and then watch out we’re running forward.
We’re headed out to Ohio in a little bit here to go to Jess’ grandfathers 90th birthday party. We had a great time with my grandparents last night. We spent some time doing some photography together. My Grandma is a digital photographer you can see some of her work here.
I’m actually off to go get that hair cut that I was talking about yesterday but never got because I canceled it.
Brianne, Decklin, Daylan and Corey.
the Errett Family
Hey everyone, just checking in. 3 days without posting a blog seems like forever.
Earlier in the month (where has october gone?) I did family portraits for the Errett family. Corey is the youth pastor at Lakewood Baptist in Jamestown and is a good friend of mine. He actually is coming to speak to our youth this upcoming week.
Check out the rest of the photos I took of the Errett family here.
Anyway, later this afternoon Jess and I are headed over to their house so Brianne can cut my hair. She runs her own hair studio out of their home. And then we’re headed over to my grandparents house to spend some time with them. They are graciously letting us store our all season tires in their garage since we don’t have room (yup the snow tires are on both cars) and do a couple loads of laundry since we don’t have a laundry machine and they are feeding us dinnerThen later tonight we might be getting together with some friends to pray.
Nothing super significant, just telling you whats up for our “day off.”
Enjoy your day,
I walked out after church to see a bunch of the cupcakes my wife made left over on the bake sale table. Everything else sold
Not knowing we were selling things individually, I brought the cupcakes to church in a tin. We then ended up at the last minute putting each cupcake in the only thing available, plastic bags. The bags ended up hiding and smearing the original design, making them quite unattractive to the potential buyer. Packaging is important, because it forms our first impression.
Woody Woodson is here at our church sharing with us this week. He is talking a lot about “what we see.” We need to expand our vision and see what God is seeing.
When we look at people, do we see what God sees? Or do we judge the “book by its cover?” It’s our call as Christians to look past the plastic bag that is stifling peoples inner calling and beauty and call those things forth.
When Woody prayed for me today he said a few things, that there is a depth with me and God, that I would have creative bait, and that this week people would come to know who they were because of being around me.
While I’m not fond of the word “bait” and don’t consider myself uber creative, (like my friends Jon Barnes and Cory Pampalone) I’m more than okay with people coming to know who they really are .
My heart for ministry is rooted in people finding out their real identity. Stepping into what they were created for and falling in love with their creator. So stop and ask God right now, what was on your heart when you created me? What was my original design? And now ask God to help you walk in those things because it is where you will feel alive.
Some of my students came to me after church and said that the did not want to go to Woody’s meeting on monday night, which will replace our regular meeting time. When I asked them why, they said he was hard to listen to. I replied two things. First, that I’m under our pastors authority and he asked that we be there, so we would be there. And secondly, myself included, we need to learn how to look past a persons style of communication and get the truth out of what they have to say.
God help us to look past the packaging.
p.s That’s a lot of revelation from a cupcake.
Tomorrow our church is having a bake sale to support the
New York City School of Urban Ministry
trip that Jess and I will be going on in November. Two of our students will also be going on this trip.
Jess being the creative one that she is decided to make these cupcakes in hopes that the kids like them and persuade their parents to pay tons of money for them
frosting (thanks donna adelgren) the first batch didn’t really work out.
large gum drops
(does this answer your inquiring questions on facebook as to why I was going out to get large gum drops?)
Frosting the cupcakes.
Decorating one of the cupcakes with more frosting.
(yes thats a chop stick, sorry we didn’t have any paint brushes)
and the final product! My wife is amazing. She is quite the BAKER isn’t she?I had nothing to do with this whole project at all, just taking pictures and sharing it with you all.
canon sd870 (Dec 2007- Oct 2009) R.I.P
Notice all the wear and tear, owned the camera for about 2 years and it got a ton of use.
The lcd took its last breath earlier this summer (I’m actually surprised it lasted as long as it did, in 2008 i got hit by a pretty big wave with camera in hand, and the lens has mechanical problems from time to time, probably caused by sand)
I was looking into getting it fixed but recently decided it’s time to put it to rest.
I’ve had some great memories with this camera.
Click here to see all the pics I posted on flickr with this camera
My 365 days project
(a self portrait every day 2008 and some of 2009)
and here’s a pic from Oahu that I took with this camera. Hopefully this will help keep us warm and joyful since the last post I posted had a pic of snow.
If you had some good memories with the sd870 leave us some love.p.s had an awesome day today with my beautiful wife, just relaxing and getting some things done in erie that we needed to get done. I might blog about those things tomorrow.
(view from my back window)
ya know… i spent the last two winters in hawaii…
this is a little different.
Jess and I were suppose to go to a ministry training seminar all day today and tomorrow but we are taking the day to just rest and recuperate instead.
(click on the picture above to see the story behind it)
I spoke in church this past sunday about John 15:9.
“As the Father has loved me, so I love you, now abide in my love.”
This has become a life verse for me, that has changed how I do things.
It’s Jesus speaking, and He’s saying that with the SAME amount of love that God the father loves Him, that He loves us with that same amount of love. Stop and think about that, let it impact you a bit because its a huge statement. Maybe even stop and repeat those words… Jesus loves me the same way that God the father loves Him… and thats A LOT!!!
But it’s the last part that gets me. It says abide (or remain) in my love.
Jesus is telling us to just stay in that place of being loved by Him.
I’ve tried to stay consistent in loving God and my level of love never stays consistent, but when I just focus in on the radical loving pursuit of Jesus… my natural response is to love Him back. I don’t have to try or strive anymore, it’s simply natural.
Dan Baumann a good friend of mine who was imprisoned in Iran for preaching the gospel says this…
“Everything we ever want to do for God should be the natural overflow of intimacy with God.”
I think a key element for the Church to move forward in power is this. It’s time to put away simply doing things out of obligation and duty, and it’s time to be radically loved by Jesus and live in response to that. Not indebted as a servant, but freely giving because we’ve been freely given.
check out Pastor Rick’s recent blog post on
“Everyone is a worshipper”