Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Texas High School Football

This is a must see clip.

Tyler John Tyler vs. Plano East (1994).

Plano East was winning 42-17 with approximately 2:42 left.

The commentators won an ESPY award.

Check it out!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Finally Better

I think I had a health-break-through last evening.
Kayci and I were on a date night in Austin, TX, and we chose to eat at Texas Land & Cattle.
I ate:
-At least 5 pieces of bread with extra butter
-8 jalapeno peppers with melted cheese...dipped in Ranch
-A salad with Ranch Dressing
-A 10-0z steak with peppercorn sauce
-Mashed potato with everything but Sour Cream

I woke up this morning feeling I think I'm ready for hot sauce.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Wishing all...

...a terrific holiday season.

We have already driven nearly 1,500 miles and we have a few more to go.

The family is healthier...though I can't seem to completely shake the stomach bug. I have yet to dive into a bowl full of hot sauce, but the day is coming soon.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Virus From Hell

I am convinced that hell is going to be a continual case of the 24-hour stomach virus. Maybe we should begin to use that as an evangelistic weapon.

Yesterday was the 2nd time in my 7 years of preaching that I came down with the virus on a Saturday night before preaching a Christmas sermon.

I preached...but from a stool. I had no energy. Gratefully, God is always faithful!

The bad thing about getting sick before a Christmas sermon is that if you can't preach it, you have to wait 52 weeks to preach it again. It's not like you can turn around the first weekend in January and preach the Christmas sermon you had prepared a couple of weeks back.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Does Paul Know What He's Talking About?

2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Indeed, we live as human beings, but we do not wage war according to human standards; for the weapons of our warfare are not merely human, but they have the divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ.
These words have transformed me over the past few months.
This phrase won't let me go--"the divine power to destroy strongholds."
I think E.M. Bowers is right, when he wrote in 1906:
"The church is looking for better methods...God is looking for deeper people."
"The church is looking for better organization and novel methods...but God is looking for people of prayer...people who are mighty in prayer."
"The Holy Spirit doesn't flow through methods, but people."
"The Holy Spirit doesn't anoint plans, but people."
This is not a rhetorical question, but a question worth pondering as individuals and as churches--"Do we pray as people who believe in God's power to destroy strongholds right here and now?"

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Having Healthy Eyes

Jesus takes a moment to remind his followers that having healthy eyes is vital to the life of a disciple.
Luke 11:34, "Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light; but if it is not healthy, your body is full of darkness."

Let's put the text in context while asking this question, "What does it mean to have healthy eyes?"

Back-up to 11:14. Jesus drives out a demon that was mute.
However, what drives the story isn't that Jesus has the power to drive out demons.
Instead, what drives the story is the question, "By what power is Jesus driving out demons?"
Some where claiming that Jesus was driving out demons by Beelzebul (aka--Satan himself). Jesus uses logic to dismiss this claim. The idea of Satan driving out Satan is ludicrous.

Others wanted another sign. They saw Jesus as a magician with the power to amaze the masses.
This is where they are clearly wrong.
While Jesus never met a demon he couldn't drive out or a disease he couldn't cure; he also met skeptics he couldn't convince and sinners he couldn't convert.
Jesus never turned people away who came to him asking for healing.
However, Jesus always turned down opportunities to "WOW" people with his power. Never do we see this more than on the cross. Jesus wasn't in the business of performing miracles in order to amaze crowds.
In fact, rarely do miracles seem to produce faith. Miracles usually cultivate a greater appetite for more signs.

11:14-32 is a story about people who want their EYES to SEE Jesus do something spectacular.

Then we have these words from Jesus in 11:34, "Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light; but if it is not healthy, your body is full of darkness."

After 11:34, we have this story in 11:37-38, "While he was speaking, a Pharisee invited him to dine with him; so he went in and took his place at the table. The Pharisee was amazed TO SEE that he did not first wash before dinner."

Here, we have a Pharisee who has trained his EYES to watch people in order to make sure that they are doing religion right.
When Christianity becomes all about "doing religion right" and intellect; it becomes a very dangerous thing.

On one hand--there are people who want TO SEE Jesus do the spectacular, even though they have already seen miracles.
On the other hand--there are people who want TO SEE people in order to make sure they are "doing right."

In the middle are the words of Jesus--"Your eyes is the lamp of your body..."

So, how healthy are your eyes?
Are you always searching for proof of God's existence? Are you always wanting God to do the spectacular?
Have you watered down Christianity to the physical?
What attractions in this world are serving as your distractions?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Pit Called Consumption

Time for a gut check. inspired and convicted...and remember the value of simplicity.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

God of this City

This is one of the best songs around right now. It ushers into the heart of God.

Over the past few weeks God has affirmed my calling to Memphis.
My calling was more than just me becoming the Preaching Minister at SVC.
It was a calling to be a voice for God in the city of Memphis.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

102 Fever Isn't that Bad

He woke up with a runny nose on Monday morning. The poor kid doesn't know how to blow his nose yet, so Kayci and I wiped it dozens of times yesterday.
He is just now learning how to cover his mouth when he coughs and to turn his head when he sneezes. When your 19-month-old sneezes while eating chocolate teddy grams, your sweatshirt reaps the benefits.
The worst day in my life as a dad came on December 22, 2007. Kayci and I were exchanging presents on the end of our bed with Truitt (6 months old at the time) sitting beside us. He made a sudden move and before we knew it, he was on his way to the floor. We felt like the worst parents in the world.
He refused to lift his arm why crying hysterically for an hour.
I tried to get Kayci to wait until the Maverick game was over to take him to the ER, but she insisted that we leave right then. (I am totally joking!)
We waited for about an hour in the ER, at 10:15 at night, in Houston, TX. The wait time was approximately 4 hours! As we looked around the ER, we saw kids coughing, sneezing, wheezing, and pale-faced. We left thinking that a few hours in the waiting room at the ER was just going to make him worse.
The next morning we went to our doctor, and long-story-short, he just had a bruised collarbone.

Truitt woke up this morning with an awful cough and a 102 fever.
And...I have spent time thanking God.
In 19 months, the only other time we have had to take our son to the doctor (other than a check-up) was when he fell off a bed a few days before his first Christmas.
A few minutes from my home in Memphis is St. Jude's hospital. For me, I am grateful for bruised collar bones, a respiratory virus, and a fever.

I will pray for Truitt's healing, but I will also thank God for 19 healthy months.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sports...Sports...and Sports

The Cowboys blew it yesterday. Had the Steelers in the palm of their hand going into the 4th quarter and blew it.

The Mavericks have turned it around this season and are playing some great ball. However, they will be good for a 6-8 seed and won't be able to make it past the 2nd round of the playoffs.

The Huskers are 8-4...are playing in a New Year's Day Bowl (Gator Bowl)...and have a chance to get to 9 wins. They were two plays away from being 10-2. I'll take it!

I still haven't been to a Memphis Tigers game yet, but I'm hoping to pretty soon.

Sam Bradford will win the Heisman, but Colt is just as deserving.

This is funny--Colt McCoy was awarded the Offensive Player of the Year in the Big XII, but he was also 2nd Team All Big XII.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Most Influential People

There is no right or wrong answer...but I'm curious:

Who are your top 3 most influential people in America?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"When Was the Last Time?"

The following was an article written by my mentor and good friend, Mike Cope.

  • When was the last time a Christian college named a blue collar worker with a modest income to its Board of Trustees because he or she was a devoted follower of Jesus with much wisdom to offer?
  • When was the last time Robert Schuller bumped a celebrity from his television program to interview an elderly widow who gives generously from her Social Security check?
  • When was the last time special visits were made by the ministers and elders to an unemployed family, encouraging them to "place membership" at their congregation?
  • When was the last time one of our institutes of higher learning named a building for someone who never was able to give $100 but who modeled the life of costly discipleship?
  • When was the last time the shepherds of a church confronted someone over a covetous, materialistic lifestyle?
  • When was the last time a brother or sister was disfellowshipped for being greedy (1 Cor.5:11)?
  • When was the last time a church moved from the suburbs to the heart of the city to try to reach the poor?
  • When was the last time a Christian family "downscaled," not because they couldn't make their high payments any more but because those high payments stretched them to the point of being unable to contribute to the church or to help people in need?
  • When was the last time a confession was read at church confessing love of money?
  • When was the last time a Christian "made it big" without it affecting the size of their house of the model of their car?
  • When was the last time a Christian college named as their "alumnus of the year" a single mother who, out of great love for God and her children, had managed to juggle both a secretarial job in the marketplace and a parenting job at home?
  • When was the last time we really listened to the haunting words of Jesus: "a person's life does not consist in the abundance of possessions" (Luke 12:15)?
  • And when was the last time we faced up to the piercing implications of James 2:1: "as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism"?

Monday, December 1, 2008

We Arrived

After 9 hours on the road, we arrived in Memphis around 7:00pm tonight. Though Truitt had his moments, he did pretty well. Hey, I don't blame him. It would be torture to be strapped into a seat for that long, especially after 17 days with grandparents.
Please pray for us as we prepare for a full week of detox with our son. :)

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of preaching at Highland Oaks in Dallas. I worked at this church back in 2000 and 2001. This church has played a pivotal role in forming me in my life, my faith, and my ministry.
I will admit that it was pretty intimating preaching the week before Randy Harris fills the pulpit for 4 weeks.

Tomorrow, I am back to work:
-Preaching from Luke 11
-Planning worship (something Kip and I do every of the highlights of my week)
-Praying for vision for 2009
-Preparing a two part Wednesday night class I'm teaching on racial reconiliation (one of my deepest passions)
-And booking lunch appointments over the next 3 weeks
-Oh...and working through 9 days of emails (at least an hour long task)

Back to Tennessee

After a week in the DFW area, we are on the road to Memphis this morning. I'll be back in blogging land tomorrow.