27 December 2008

Christmas Break

Just wanted all of you to know that I will be not be blogging during the next two weeks (12/25/08-1/5/09) since Deb, Caitlyn and I will be traveling to see our families for the holidays. I'll post some notes about our trips when I return. "See" you in January!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

05 December 2008

Have you ever had the feeling that you haven't had an original thought in months? That you have just been riding the wave of someone else's creativity and passion? That you just don't know where your next good idea is going to come from?

I'm getting close to being there and I don't like it. Am I getting MCD?

04 December 2008

Looking Forward to "Lasting"

I got my copy of Lasting Impressions yesterday and I can't wait to dive in! Thanks Mark!

03 December 2008

When Money Isn't the Most Important Thing

After Charge Conference last night I needed the morning off - so I took it. When I got back to the office and began to sort through a stack of mail and file through a bunch of emails, one email in particular caught my attention.

It was from my Music Director and it was a link to this story about personal accounting and asking the question: "Who's in charge of my future: my God or my money?"

The author, Shannon Vowell, made some very thought-provoking statements and I wanted to share my thoughts on some of them here.

Are we depending on our money to give us our sense of safety or are we keeping our eyes on Christ? In today’s financial climate, do we instinctively hold so tightly to whatever assets we’ve got left that we assure we cannot take hold of the outstretched hands of Jesus?

In light of the conversations around money last night I wonder if this is a question that more people need to wrestle to the ground before speaking about how much they trust God. If we depend on our money to be our security for the future, then I believe we have missed the point of faith altogether. If we fail to trust God with our future in the midst of economic uncertainties, when will we trust God? If we hold tight to that which we can see and bypass that which we cannot, are we not then idolizing money and ignoring God? Indeed, there is no room for Jesus' hands when we are tightly grasping our net worth instead of our Great Provider.

Jesus’ words to the rich young ruler [in Luke 18:22-25] suggest that for Christians, the real issue isn’t money even when it’s money that we’re talking about. The real issue is faith and focus.

When the church budget is tabulated, the members of the Finance Committee are responsible for making sure there is a way to fund that budget - either through tithes and offerings, rentals and fees, or non-donor sources - so the tendency is to begin to think about dollars and cents instead of ministry and mission. When it comes down to the bottom line, there needs to be money to fund ministries in the church, but the money is not really the crucial issue. I believe that when the God-appointed leaders of a church search God's wisdom for the direction of the church and compellingly cast that vision to the whole congregation, then the resources will follow. I believe that when God's people get on board with what God is doing in a local church, the blessings are endless and the money shows up in buckets.


Just a Recap of the Day

Today was a good day! I enjoyed a morning off (after Charge Conference last night) and got to head over to the Wichita Falls Public Library for storytime. This is the first time that I have been able to go with Deb and Caitlyn (who go every week) to the downtown "hot spot" for a few stories and a puppet show.

After storytime, we went to lunch over at McDonald's where I was very pleased to discover that the McRib is back! I am continually amazed at how social Caitlyn is - mostly because I have to know someone for a while before I start opening up to them. She has a number of friends whom she's met just by attending storytime on Wednesday mornings or by having lunch at McDonald's. I watched her play with another girl in PlayPlace until we had to leave. Caitlyn would call out this girl's name and invite her to stay with her in the little tube climber - it was just amazing. She has not worked up enough courage to climb all the way to the top of PlayPlace (where the slide resides), but I know she will get there soon.

After lunch Deb dropped me off at the office and I have been here ever since. Nothing terribly insightful in this post, but I must say that a morning away from the office helped heal my parched soul.

Love you girls!

I'm Back!

Now that my ordination paperwork and Charge Conference are behind me, I can get back to a regular blogging schedule. I am also looking forward to catching up on some blogs that have started to pile up posts in Bloglines - especially this one, this one, and this one.

Thanks for being patient!