Monday, December 22, 2008

The greatest game every played

For the past five years I have played in a fantasy football league with some guys from church. I won it the first year I played but have yet to make it back to the big game since then. Well this year I made it to the super bowl only to face my younger brother. Needless to say this week consisted of a lot of trash talking and player bashing. To say the least I felt pretty good going into Sunday Night. I was up 81-50. I had J. Stewart (RB) from the panters and Carney (Kicker) from the Giants. Jordan had D. Williams (RB) from the panters, Steve Smith (WR) from the panters and the panters kicker (Kasay).Why he had some many players on the panters team beats me... Oh yeah he probably doesn't know either because he didn't draft his team. My problems started in the first quarter when Stewart got knocked out. He later came back but didn't get nearly as many carries as he normally does and ended up giving more to williams. As the game went on Williams ended up with 4 touchdowns. Entering into the fourth quarted we we're tied....93-93.
It was a epic match up, bro vs bro. It was like a manning vs manning super bowl, only fantasy football style. Williams had a 10 yard run to put Joe up 94-93. As time was expiring Carolina/Jordan decided to kick a field goal for the win. Luckly he missed it but unfortanitly you don't lose points for missing fields goals. Going into overtime the giants got the ball first. The best chance for me to win is to have the Giants kick a field goal. After both teams went 3 & out the Giants got the ball down to the red zone. At this point I was feeling pretty darn good. It was third down, they'll probably play conservative and run. Caroline will know it and stop them and Carney will chip in a game winner.
Not so fast my friend. On 3 & 7 the Giants run to the two only to give it to this Ogar who ran over the panters D for the touchdown. Your probably thinking "Don't worry you can kick an extra point to put you in a tie braker!" ummm no. Its overtime so everyone just runs on the field and ends the game.
Devestated might be an understatment for how I felt. I blew a 31 point lead going into sunday night. My RB got hurt only to give Joe's RB more carries. The Giants freakin score a TD instead of a FG. So I think they should make a rule that you have to kick the Extra point in overtime for Fantasy Football purposes.
Also its freaky how fantasy football can change how you view NFL football. One minute I'm going for a team the next I'm cheering against them. Needless to say it was an incredible game and in my book one of the greatest Fantasy Football games ever played. Congrats on the win Joe/Dad who drafted your team.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What I live for

A few weeks ago I got a facebook message from a old high school friend. To say the least it blow me away. Here is a quick history of our relationship
Me and my friend had gone to middle school together and were each going to the same high school (most kids at our middle school went to leon). So we naturally started to hang out, knowing we both didn't want to go to high school alone. After our freshman year she started to get into some worldly stuff while I made the decision to start living my life fully for Christ. Throughout high school I continually invited her to come to church and youth event. Occasionally she would come but never over a consistent time period. After High school we hardly saw each other yet she was constantly in my prayers. I didn't know why, but I prayed for her anyway.
As I read the message she sent me a few weeks ago I was shocked. As she said in her own words, "Its been a while, but just wanted to see how things were. Wanted to thank you from a long time ago, for inviting me to Calvary Chapel back in the day. I kind of strayed from the path after that and from you as a friend too. But I've found my way back to working on my relationship with God. I've stopped my partying and have been going to Maranatha Baptist Church. You were one of the first friends in my life after declaring Jesus as my saviour and without you (and God of course) I may have not gotten to feel what it feels like to be so blessed".
Often times being in ministry you forget what you do all this stuff for. I forget why I spend all this time preparing messages that middle school kids don't want to listen to. I forget why I spend my pre-game tailgates hanging out and serving kids. I forget why I want to do this in every aspect of my life. That is until I get a message like this. When I get to see the fruit of my labor, even when its 8 years down the road. To know the Lord used me and to actually hear about it sparks my desire to serve others as Christ would. God is so good. Good isn't adequate enough but what word really is? I live for moment's like this. Thank you Jesus.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Do it Big

Last night we had our big outreach of the year. This is our third year putting on "do it big" (second for me) but the first time we did it at Leon High School Gym, which is a more central location rather then KLUMC. In fact it was really a lot of first for us as a organization and a really big step in the direction we are looking at going in. In case you don't know what do it big is it is a outreach geared toward high school and middle school students to bring together the whole body of christ (blackes, whites, mexicans, asians whoever). This was by far our biggest Do it Big yet with over 420 kids there! Among those kids around 30% were african american which was awesome. The Lord really worked last night and I am excited to see where He wants to take us from here. Below I walked you through my day yesturday and I hope it helps you see how the event went last night.

9:30am-3:30pm: Worked on all the media stuff. I made a promo video for the crosswild spring retreat, downloaded some videos from Amena Brown and made slides for our speakers.

4-6: Set up. The Lord really put this whole thing together. The Church of the hills let us use their stage, sound system, projector, lights etc. When I showed up nobody knew how to set the sound system up so the responsibility was given to me. Luckly it was really simple and we didn't have any problems.

5:30-6:30: The kids started to show up and eat. When I went outside I was surprised to see how many kids had shown up. I actually met kids from gainsville, jacksonville, east gadsen and Ocala who had heard about it on the radio and came out!

6:30: The program started with a 10 minute walk in/count down video. It was like a mad rush through the doors.

6:40: The Drumline got the night started. Our friend Eric does a inner city drumline with some kids from Centerpoint church. They were awesome. The kids loved it and it really got the night started off on the right foot. After them roshad, stuart and ben came up greeting everyone and gave away a few shirts. This part did involved stuart, roshad and some black girls dancing. I remember one of them was named red soxs.

6:50: Ben interviewed starting free safety for FSU Jamie Robinson. Jamie talked about where he is at with his walk with Christ and how he got there.

6:55: Showed the Crosswild spring retreat promo video. Followed by Roshad introducing Myron

7: Myron Rolle gave his testimony sharing how God has changed his life and what He is doing through him now.

7:10 Showed a Amena Brown video called "Ressurection". Amena is a poet who shows the real power of God's word through her poems. It is a new style of worship called Spoken word worship. Really power stuff. Also the video froze half was through but the audio kept going. Really weird but not a single kid got distracted from it. Praise the Lord

7:15 Peter Boulware shared the gospel/his story. Peter was a better speaker then I thought and really brought the gospel (Maybe he is called to be a preacher not a politician). Also right before peter came up to speak, the program we were using to run everything froze so I had to force quit it. Unfortunatly it decided to talk back to me, yelling "excuse me" across the gym. Not cool but luckly it didn't take long to fix.

7:30 Roshad came up after Peter and gave an opportunity for people to except Christ. When I got home that night I went through the decision cards and atleast 15 people gave their lives to the Lord and 20 or so more wanted information on finding a home church. Good to know the Lord was working. Seeing that made it worth all the hard work

7:35 We showed a last Amena Brown Video called "you". Once again Powerful and worshipful.

7:40 The drumline came out and played two last songs. This time people got up and danced which was fun.

8-9 Clean up!

Overall we had a ton of help from many parents and college students. Without so much help it wouldn't have been possible and would have been way for stressful. We have a lot we can improve on for next year but overall its hard to not be pleased with it. The Word went forth and people got saved. Not much more you can ask for.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Only by your blood

The past few weeks I have been reading through the book of Hebrews. It seems to be one of those books that I find myself wanting to go back to (probably because there is so much that I don't understand). Well this past time has been a real blessing and a true eye opener. Here is a little something the Lord has been speaking to me.
"But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come,
with the greater and more
perfect tabernacle not made with hands,
that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood
of goats and calves, but
with His own blood He entered the Most Holy place once for
all, having
obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and
the ashes
of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of
the flesh,
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through
the eternal Spirit offered
Himself without spot to God,
Cleanse your conscience from dead works

to serve the living God?"
The power of Christ blood is powerful. Often times when I sing songs about the blood of Christ I think about how it probably weirds some people out. When we say "wash me in your blood", "It's only by your blood" or "pour your blood on me" what do people think? Honestly most people probably sing it without thinking anything about it, but for the few that do think they are probably a little weirded or grossed out. But to understand Christ's blood is a real blessing. To know the importance of singing and meaning "its only by your blood". To see the power, mercy and joy found in those few words.
So next worship service you go into and you sing about the "blood of Christ" just stop and think about the beauty of it. Think of the priceless gift. Think of the freedom we now have. Think of the sacrifice. Think of how much more Christ's blood has saved you then those of bulls and goats.
Keep it real.

Monday, October 27, 2008

blue or black

I went shopping yesterday and got these really comfortable blue khaki pants. Once I got home and tried them on they looked black. I was so confused because at the store it wasn't even a question, they were defiantly blue. I put them up against a blue shirt, they were black. Up against a black shirt, they were blue. So I wore them today not knowing if they are black or blue, wearing a white shirt to play it safe. So what is the real test to tell what color they really are?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Keeping it fresh.

One of my new pet peeves is what I like to call "Filler Worship". Worship that we play just to fill in time. To play a song or two here just to allow people to come in and get seated. To use worship as a backdrop. So I have been thinking about what I would want a church service to look like to eliminate the filler songs and to allow church to be fresh. So here are a few ideas I came up with that I hope to implant in the near future.
1. Don't have a routine/mix things up. When we do the same thing every week it makes it really easy for people to lose focus. When we sit down after two songs, teach for 45 minutes, have a ending song, do announcements before the teaching every week our brains get used to it and it makes it easy for us to tune things out. A fresh schedule every week or two will allow us to stay alert. Think of SNL. If they did the same skits with different meaning in the same order, the show wouldn't last. They have to mix the order up. Mix the type of skit up. They have to keep it fresh.
2. I would love to mix the teaching and worship. As I spoke to my best friend about this this weekend he reminded me of storytellers. The show is so popular because it allows the artist to talk about the song he/she wrote, what was going when he/she wrote the song and the meaning of the song. The song becomes much more meaningful when it is explained and the concept behind the song is taught along with hearing it. The idea being to not separate the pastor teacher from the pastor worship leader. Both are teaching in different ways so why not connect the two. I feel like this will help us not zone off. Maybe even worship in spirit and in truth.
3. Not have musical Worship. We can worship in many ways... and it doesn't always have to be through music. Lets have a time where we sit in silence and pray. A time where we break into groups and talk. Think outside of the box.
These are just some ideas that I have that I feel like will help keep things fresh. God doesn't want his house full of the same old stuff. We should give the best we have for Him and just because we are Christians doesn't mean we can't be creative. Keep it real.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The forgotten side of Worship

As I think about worship I try to figure out what makes a "successful" Worship service. This week the Lord showed me these two things that I feel are crucial yet often missed out on.   
"There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His." Hebrews 4:9-10 

Rest. We all need rest from our busy lives. For me this normally means sitting at home for eight hours watching college football. But just as our physical bodies need rest so do our spiritual bodies. True Worship brings us a spiritual rest that we can't find anywhere else. It brings a peace that surpasses all understanding, a real comfort from our spiritual father. We should feel refreshed when we leave a true worship service. Not bitter, cold hearted or anxious to talk to someone about how bad it sounded. 
As a worship leader its not all about having the rockin band behind you, the four piece harmony or the best sound equipment. Its all about the heart. Do I want to lead God's people into His presence and allow Him to give them the peace and rest they are looking for in this stressful life? Do you come to church looking for that rest or do you come looking for your style of music. 

"I've been broken down. I aint giving up love will come back around. I've been holding on. All that is inside me, screams to come back home. If you feel lost, sing along. If you feel tired, sing along"- robbie seay band

Honesty. This song says what most worship songs don't. Life can wear on you. If we want that rest, that true worship we need to be honest with ourselves and with God. But most of the time we aren't. We are focused on what people think about us. We are scared to show emotion. Scared to show that we are broken down and that we feel lost. Worship is not always a pretty and happy time. It often can be a time of confession or just a spiritual battle. But if we aren't honest in our worship it makes it very difficult for the Lord to work.