Thursday, October 29, 2009

Poetic Thursday

I am a big fan of poetry, particularly when it is so wonderfully couched in appropriate music. Here is one of my all-time favorite poems (songs) by the great band The Fray off their recent self-titled album.


Happiness is just outside my window
Would it crash blowing 80-miles an hour?
Or is happiness a little more like knocking
On your door, and you just let it in?

Happiness feels a lot like sorrow
Let it be, you can’t make it come or go
But you are gone- not for good but for now
Gone for now feels a lot like gone for good

Happiness is a firecracker sitting on my headboard
Happiness was never mine to hold
Careful child, light the fuse and get away
‘Cause happiness throws a shower of sparks

Happiness damn near destroys you
Breaks your faith to pieces on the floor
So you tell yourself, that’s enough for now
Happiness has a violent roar

Happiness is like the old man told me
Look for it, but you’ll never find it all
Let it go, live your life and leave it
Then one day, wake up
and she’ll be home
Home, home, home

You can find a great live version of it on Youtube here. Enjoy!


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

10 Things That Increase My Love for Christ: #4- Responsible Sleeping

I have a natural bent towards procrastination and laziness. I am told that this comes from a combination of intelligence and ADHD, but I think there is a spiritual component as well. If I am not careful, I easily start to waste my life and the time that has been given to me for the work of the Kingdom, which is why I try to be very deliberate about my sleeping patterns and habits.

When I make a habit of going to bed early (before midnight) and getting up early (before or around 8) I find that I utilize my entire day much more effectively and Christ-like. I am not sure what it is exactly, but it even increases my desire and ability to seek, pursue, and love Christ.

So, even though responsible sleeping is not something that most would consider a moral issue, I have found it to be very influential in my Christian walk.

How do you handle sleeping? Is there another example from your life of something that does not seem like a moral issue but is influential to your relationship with Christ?

Friday, October 23, 2009

10 Things That Increase My Love for Christ: #3- Good Sermons

I started listening to sermons on my Ipod about 4 years ago and began with a guy named Paul Washer. That’s right, I liked Paul Washer before it was the “cool Christian thing” to like! Paul is an older gentleman with a feisty spirit and absolutely no fear of saying what he means.

I was then introduced to Matt Chandler at Focus (a Christian conference for college students). He absolutely blew me away and I began listening to everything I could find of him. In fact, it was hearing Chandler that made me see how effective speaking and preaching can be and desire to have God use me in that same way. For a good period of time, I would go on nightly bike rides around my neighborhood and listen to Chandler’s ‘Ecclesiastes’ series.

Chandler is still my favorite speaker by far, and I podcast him weekly. I’ll still listen to Washer occasionally, though not often and every now and then I will listen to Driscoll or Piper or Keller though not often as well. The only other person I podcast weekly other than Chandler is my good friend Jason Hess, over at Southway Community Church. Jason is a good friend and just as good of a preacher.

What I consider a good sermon, and worth my time, is a message that is biblical, exegetical, and engaging.

For those interested, my sermons are available online here or you can podcast them in Itunes (search ‘First Colony Christian Church’) and I have heard that there are a consistent few that habitually podcast me.. which is weird beyond description. You can also find Chandler’s stuff here and Jason's stuff here.

Do you listen to sermons? Why? When/Where? Who are your regulars?? Please comment and share!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

10 Things That Increase My Love for Christ: #2- Preaching/Teaching

Let me throw three facts your way.

1- I failed Speech class in high school.

2- I have historically struggled with anxiety.

3- I make a living as a public speaker.

Yes, it is odd and strange and largely unexplainable but God has seen it right to call me to preach and teach His Scriptures to His people. I get to exercise this calling at First Colony Christian Church almost every Sunday as well as local schools and youth events around Texas.

Preaching is one of my favorite things to do, for many reasons: It is incredibly energizing for my spirit (while taking a toll on my physical energy) and it is incredibly rewarding to watch God work through His Scriptures. The call to preach is also a guarantee of constant conviction- there is no way to engage the Scriptures without be convicted like crazy of your own sin.

I have found that when Christians exercise the gifts and callings God has given them- they find a surreal amount of joy and closeness to Him. What has God called you to? What are some ministry activities that increase your love for Jesus?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

10 Things That Increase My Love for Christ: #1- Passionate Music

Music has had a large impact on my life. Growing up, I was a rap fan and yes, I will publicly admit that Eminem was indeed my favorite rapper. I did, however, have to listen to him “underground” as my parents did not approve in any way, shape, or form of his music. When Christ found me during the summer of ’05, my music tastes did not change much beyond switching to mostly Christian rap (John Reuben, KJ-52, Manafest, Lecrae, and a little Thousand Foot Krutch). It wasn’t until I started playing bass in our church’s praise band that I developed a taste for other forms of music.

As I learned about music through playing it- I became less captured by hip-hop and more moved by rock music, typically very hard rock music. What I have found over the years is that I very much appreciate music that has passion. Whether that passion is found in the music itself, found in the vocals, or found in the lyrics- there is something about it that stirs up my heart and mind.

And indeed, as this series is all about, it stirs up my heart and mind towards Christ. Whether it is Christian in nature and/or lyrics or not, music with a passion- with an angst- stirs me up deeply to live and to live for Jesus. I think it has to do with reminding me that life is worth living, that there is something to strive and work for- and as a Christian I believe firmly that goal, the prize, is Jesus.

Here are some bands (Christian and not Christian- which, btw- I think is an awful label for music) that increase my love for Christ:




Dave Matthews Band

30 Seconds to Mars

The Fray

David Crowder*Band


Taking Back Sunday

Killswitch Engage

Notice that only one of those bands is unanimously labeled Christian, while many have some sort of Christian background, or affiliation, and some are not Christian at all. Also notice the different genres represented: metal, hard rock, folk, piano driven rock, indie.

How does music influence you? What types of music increases your love for Jesus? What are your favorite bands right now? Please comment and share!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Great Start to the Week!

First off, let me apologize for being so bad at following through on my promised blogs! The past two weeks have been rough for me physically, emotionally, and spiritually. But God is good, and I am recovering and feeling less overwhelmed each day! =) Once I recognized that I was a little too extended, I found someone to preach for me this coming Sunday and will spend the week catching up on other (much needed) stuff and resting/seeking Christ.

This week started off on a very good note! Our two services at Fc3 went well, despite a somewhat low attendance due to sickness and travel. My fantasy football team won again- putting me at 4-1 and in sole possession of first place! Yes! (If you know how competitive I am you understand the seriousness of that praise... haha) And then today I found out that I won an online contest that I had forgotten I even entered!! I never win things, so this was really cool!

My favorite preacher, Matt Chandler, did a video teaching series on the book of Philippians through an organization called The Hub- and I was chosen to receive a free boxed set copy of the teachings! You can see me listed on the winner announcement site, as well as mentioned in the video blog, here.

Anyway, it is a great start to what will hopefully be an even better week full of Christ. This week I will start my "10 Things That Increase My Love for Christ" series, so be on the lookout for that!

Much love,