Monday, December 15, 2008

Advent Conspiracy

I recently came across this website(, and was blown away at this video! It was the day after I was teaching our students a series on "'Tis the Season" where we looked at this well known phrase and what it means and could mean. 'Tis the season is often associated with "to be merry." Our spin was that the season should not dictate our attitude, but our attitude should dictate the season. We have the power and ability to tell our attitudes that it is always the season to be giving, to be merry, to have joy, to be kind to others, and to ultimately spend ourselves on behalf of the poor and satisfy the needs of the oppressed as outlined in Isaiah 58.

    Well on this particular night, I stated that we should consider that Christmas is not about presents, but about presence. 'Tis the season for presence. When I saw this video, I wished I had seen it 24 hours earlier. It illustrated everything that I wanted to show to our teens, and even to our volunteers. We have made it a priority to be people who give often. We decided to adopt a family in our church as a youth ministry, and this year, we are going to be able to give them almost $300 in cash and gift cards thanks to the generosity of our teenagers and volunteers. People are taking the gift cards they received as presents, and giving them away to this family in need, so that they can have a nice Christmas. Praise God for the generosity of people, and for the conspiracy of advent. The coming of Christ represents the ultimate present, and the ultimate presence. May I strive to be like Christ and offer my presence most often, and give more freely.

Monday, November 17, 2008

the iPod…how did I ever go without it?

Man! I LOVE my gadgets. It's interesting how much "stuff" a person can have! I was at Ross the other day with Jenni and I noticed a dozen different cases for an iPod. I picked them up and perused through them, and found one I liked! I didn't really need a new case for my iPod, but I couldn't turn this down…after all, it was only $5. As soon as I got to the car I put the new case on my iPod, and found out my iTrip didn't fit it now…so, I had to switch with Jenni. After I looked it over one last time, I decided to check out the website of this case. Now, there are tons and tons of more cases on here! And I like about 5 of them better than the one I just bought!!! Grrr!!! Yeah, I saved almost $15 by buying it at Ross, but if I'm honest, I'd rather have a different one now. How ridiculous, right?!? I mean, I don't even need a new case. My old one is fine, and yet, I get one, and then I'd rather have a different newer one.

Well, needless to say, they've got every gadget imaginable to go with our gadgets. The iPod alone probably has at least 100 different products that can go along with it. I even saw an iPod dock attached to a toilet paper holder…so you NEVER have to go without your music.

Can you believe that? Wow! You can get your cases, your docks, your earbuds, your iTrips, and anything else you can think of to go with your iPod. Which makes me wonder? Do we REALLY need all this stuff? Don't get me wrong here. I like to have nice stuff just as much as the next guy, but I wonder if I can literally do without it. Absolutely! I CAN do without all this "stuff." What does God want us to do with our stuff? Is He OK with us having all these things? I mean, He talks about meeting our needs in Matthew 6, and not only just meeting our needs, but how the lilies of the fields were clothed much more beautifully that even Solomon, who was stinkin' rich!

I believe that God wants to take care of us, and that every good and perfect gift comes from above. However, He wants to use us to take care of others, too. Which is why I believe, rather than spending my hard earned money on a bunch of "stuff," how much more should I spend it on the "least of these" in Matthew 25.

Boy, only if it was as easy to live this, as it is to write it down.

Lord, help me to be the kind of servant whose focus is not on the "stuff" of this world, but on the people who inhabit it. Let me be the kind of man who helps those in need, and shares the Gospel with his life. Make me a man after your heart, not a bunch of "stuff." Amen.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

40 boxes…gone!

I am sooo proud of our teens at Collision! Last night, we made the plea once again to create and fill a shoe box for needy children through Operation Christmas Child, and all 40 of the boxes that I had hoped would be filled were gone after the service! Teens were taking 3 and 4 boxes each with promises to fill them and make a difference! Awesome! I hope they make good on those promises and bring them in next week to our dedication service!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Operation Christmas Child

Jenni and I went to dollar tree last night to shop for our Operation Christmas Child.  And as we were going through the store filling our cart, I couldn't help but think that the things we are giving are just material things.  As I thought about that some more, I realized that the idea behind the gift was much more than just giving material things.  We are giving our love, but more so, we are demonstrating the way that God gave Jesus to us.  Jesus was a gift from God wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.  While we are just buying balls, or toy cars, or candy, God is working in the hearts of the children that will receive these boxes, and ultimately He is drawing them to Himself. 

Do you want to be a part of that?  I know I do! 

Yeah, it's going to cost you some of your hard earned money, and some of your time, but isn't it worth the money and time to change a life?  Do a box!  Do it!  And bring it here this month on the 19th and dedicate the box and its contents to the Lord, so that He will do what He wants with the box, and more importantly, with the life that will receive the gift.

I still have this blog?

I was browsing through my new blog on (which I'm not particularly fond of the module), but I realized that I still have the blogspot on Wow! I guess I need to update this a little more. It's really cool because with Microsoft word it will actually update it for me! So, I guess I might be blogging a little more often here!