July 31, 2008

"Because you care"

I was just watching a rerun of a show where an FBI agent went off to solve a case that he had been working on for over 20 years. It was one of his first cases and he always returns to it on the anniversary of the case. He left his team behind without telling them where he was going or what he was doing. He asked a member of his team for some info but told her not to tell anyone what he was doing. She ended up telling someone that she was worried about what he was doing. The rest of his team flew out to where he was at and found him. When they showed up, he told them to go home.

He turns around for the first time and looked them in the eye and asked, “why do you care?” One of the team members answered, “Because you care.”

That is where us as followers of Christ need to be. We care for others and what they do because they care. We care, because they care, which means God cares. There is no other reason for doing and being who God has called us to be. God called us to care and love each other, and we do that by living and going through things with others just because they care.

Not because we want to feel better about ourselves. Not because we have to. Not because we want them to become followers of Christ. That is the end result we want, but it should not be the reason we do things. Our reason is because God told us to love God, and one another.

Matt. 22:37-40
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Enemies, friends, family, and we do that by caring for what they care about. From little things to huge, gigantic things in their lives.

Who do you care about enough to get involved with what is going on in their lives?
Who should you care about enough?
Do you need to find some more people to care enough about?

July 25, 2008

Family Days

We have had a chance to spend some time with family in the last 24 hours. We met Sean and Julie in Canton on our way through from Camp Gideon to home. We met for dinner and spent some time at a park.

Coming home seems to be just as hard as leaving in the first place. We spent all day washing clothes, chasing kids and running errands. We had to go grocery shopping because we haven't had to for the last month and a half. We have been in and out.

We spent this evening celebrating Eric's birthday. He turned the big 3-0 today. We went to Chili's and then went to Mom and Dad's for cake and more time to make fun of Eric for being old.

July 24, 2008

Good times

Climbing the huge "mountain" in Lisbon, OH.

Ok, maybe not quite a mountain. But I climbed it just the same.

Michael and Mommy coming down the water slide together.

Michael approving of the fears that God is calling the teens to give up. Not really sure why he decided to get in, but he did.

Yes, that is a pair of underware on his head. And yes, he does take after his mother and not me. Ok, maybe it is Uncle Sean that he takes after.

Good times... are worth 1000 bad times. When God calls you to do things, he wants you to take the bad with the good. Too many times we want think that when God calls us to do something, that it is going to be all roses. And I think it just might be. The problem is, there are also thorns on those roses.

I struggled with where the Spirit was going this week, and it was difficult, but I had some great family members and friends that backed me up with some much needed prayer and encouragement. Thank you so much.

July 20, 2008

Home comes to me, and Unchangeable

I was a groomsman in a wedding yesterday. Oh yeah! I was looking good in a beige, pin striped tux... wearing sandals. You know, that is how I roll. This wedding was in Canton, Oh which is about 2 hours north of Columbus. It was for my cousin Christopher Peters and his lovely new wife, Monica. It was a great wedding, a little warm in the church (no AC), but the fans were very powerful, especially when I was right in front of one of them. Ha ha.

But for me, it was really cool because home(Columbus, Water of Life, family, friends), came to me. Not being home for so long has disconnected me from some good friends and family, and this was a connecting point for me. I wish I would have had more time to hang out. You forget how much your friends and family mean to you, until you are away for almost a month and a half. Also, being on the West Coast, messed up the timing with family and friends. I got to be home for a couple of days and nights before going to Canton, but not enough to be with just my family, or to connect with extended family and friends. (Don't worry Barrett, I am looking forward to one of those famous cookouts when I get home).

For those of you at the wedding, I want you to know that I was not getting overly emotional there. I am still not sure why my eyes were so red. I am still dealing with it this morning. I am really hoping it is not pink eye, but I am not sure where the closest drug store is around here to run out and get something for it. You know, I am in the boonies.

About the boonies, I am now at Camp Gideon, the Evangelical Friends Church, Eastern Region sponsored camp. It is in Salineville, OH and just northeast of Carrolton, OH. I am speaking to teens coming out of 6th grade through 8th grade. The theme is :Unchangeable, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever," Hebrews 13:8.

It is good to remember that, when you are going through things in your life that are difficult because they are hard, or difficult in decision making. God will never change, whether you are a speaker, Youth Pastor, or you know what ever "you" are going through. As you make decisions, knowing that where God has been faithful in the past and provided for you, he will provide in the future, just maybe in a different way and/or different area that you need it. I am definitely writing this for me, and if you want, you can apply this to your situation as well. Maybe different issues, but the same big, awesome God.

Until later,

July 11, 2008

CSBY, Family and Elijah

I am now in Ridgecrest, NC at the LifeWay Conference Center.  I will be speaking at the Cambodian Southern Baptist conference to the youth and young adults.  I enjoyed a nice 8.5 hours traveling in a van yesterday with Keo and his parents.  I am still operating on West Coast time, so my sleeping and eating habits are off just a bit.  

God has given me some messages to speak this weekend that I am very excited about.  As I was talking with Keo last night and seeing what videos were planned, we realized that what God laid on his heart, is the same that I have on mine.  It is so cool when that happens.  Go figure, God knows what he is doing.  

It is always hard to leave my family.  I had to leave them in Oregon as I flew into Columbus this past Wednesday.  I am never prepared for the emotions that come up when I leave.  Michael had just woken up and wanted me to keep holding him.  That was very special for me.  

I am still walking through the possibility of a full time youth ministry position.  The senior pastor and I have been playing phone tag.  The biggest thing that I want to check out is if they are looking for someone with the gifts and talents that God has given me and able to accept and compensate for the lack of gifts in other areas.  I have not met a complete person that has it all.  I have met some that are really good though.  I believe that if we can operate in our strengths and let others do the same, we will be a complete church, but not if we are expecting one person to do it all. 

God has been good to me.  I was reading the story of Elijah, which is one of my favorite people in the Bible.  In 1 Kings 19,  he came to God out of desperation and looking for guidance, he mentioned that he has given everything that he is to serve God.  That is my  only request of myself.  That I give everything that I can, that I follow where ever he asks.  Then, and only then, can I be happy with who I am and where I am.

July 3, 2008


I talked with the pastor about the ministry position yesterday, and I have set some time aside to pray.  I got directions here in Newberg, OR to a State park, which you have to pay $3 to visit.  I started driving there and there was a detour.  I followed the signs and turned once, then twice, then a third time.  There was never a connecting road to get back to where I was heading.  My detour never got me going where I was going.  I ended up pulling over at a little spot where there was some parking and a place to walk a trail.  

I find this interesting because in some ways I think that is where I am starting to think this ministry position is heading for me.  I feel like it might have been a detour in my thinking of God's direction.  I think that if I continue to follow too long, I will end up being lost.  Like I was never suppose to make it to the State Park, and so was led on a wild goose chase with a detour.  Because my thinking involves so much more than just prayer.  Too much thinking in terms of "pluses and minuses".  Making lists of good and bad.  The question comes down to, "where does God want me to be".

I think we can be led the same way.  Since I have quit my "normal" job and gone into speaking, I ask myself everyday if this is the day to go get a job.  You know, one with a steady paycheck and a human boss.  I always want to entertain and think and pray through everything that God puts in my path.  I believe that God put my name on this pastors mind, and on the other person that he talked to that mentioned me.  This was definitely a God crossing road.

Please keep praying for Tauni and I as we seek God in this time.

July 2, 2008

Berries, chick and birthday

Michael is having a great time picking berries.  Here he is picking raspberries.

He filled up a fruit container.  He picked raspberries, strawberries, cherries and snap peas.  He ate them that last night and again this morning.

Ah, the baby chick.  The kids look forward to seeing it everyday.  The chick is a little blurry, and looks very uncomfortable.

Happy birthday Kirstin.  I may not be able to be with you in Guatamala, but I can still have desert, and enjoy the first piece.  Nah, nah.

Oh, yah, I also had to create a mess of the brownies.  Wow, they were good, and a very confusing order of eating.  Surprise, surprise.

I am disappointed about not being at Red, White and Boom in Columbus tomorrow.  Please eat some food for me.  If you can, take a picture or two and send it to me.  That would be awesome.

I am looking forward to hiking though.  We are going to climb Mount Hood.  We will begin around midnight and be using pick axes.  What do you think of me having a pick ax?  Kind of scarey, huh.

July 1, 2008


I am intrigued. I just received a voicemail from a pastor wanting to catch up. I have not been in contact with this particular person in a while and he called me out of the blue. He said that he has a Youth Pastor position open and wanted to talk with me. I am intrigued by what is going on.

Is God moving in this direction? Am I being called to do something else? Do I give up full time speaking?

I do need to say that there has not even been a conversation between this pastor and I yet, which means there is no offer or anything. I will probably call tomorrow.

The thing is, I haven’t had anyone contact me about any pastor position for the past 3 years. Why this one? Why now?

I am not worrying, just wondering.