Thursday, September 21, 2006

Works of Art...

How do you define what is art and what is not? Why can one person look at a painting and say, 'wow that is incredible!', but then someone else say, 'man, that looks like garbage'? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder they say, and each of us has different taste and likes & dislikes, so art can take man different forms.

I want to show you my board. This my be blogged in the future also as it changes. But my board sits in my cubicle at work and I have a friend Joey who comes once a week or a couple times a week and draws something on my board. It is any number of different cartoons, or other stuff. And once he is done with drawing it, my friend Michael and I take the time to tear it apart and make it really good. The image to the left was one such image. Joey drew 3 super hero characters and Mike and I turned them into what you see. Who they are can be your interpretation... I just thought we need to show this to the world...

But as I think about what to write, that reminds me that we are like my boards. We start out with a drawing of sorts. Our lives are a shell of what they can be. If we leave it to ourselves, we become stagnant. Never really changing but just sitting there waiting. Waiting for someone to come by and make us mean something. We turns to different "artist" but never find the right one. Then God comes along and takes what we are and turns it into the most beautiful painting. Something that we could never have dreamed we would become. A painting so rich in color, and exact in detail that anyone who sees it, sits in awe. But God doesn't change us because He wants to impress other people. No, God's only purpose for working through us is that we might praise Him even more, that we might fulfill the purpose for which we were created in the first place. To bring glory and honor to God our father.

He is our puprose, everything else is just paint on the brush. Only God can take our sour, cheap board, and turn it into a glorious piece of art, to be shown to everyone and to bring glor to the creator.

2 Corinthians 3:10-18 - For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious. Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech— unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Life stinks...

You know there are just times in your life when you want to curl up and sleep, or cry, or yell, or whatever makes you feel better. The past 5 days have been really hard and really busy for me. Life is tough, and I am experiencing that. It is funny that a couple weeks ago I spoke to my teens about questioning God when things happen in your life, yet here I am questioning God because I am lost in what to do.

But because of that lesson and because I spent the time researching and explaining that to my students, I was able to question God about what is going on and God answered by giving me the peace that I need to make it through the rest of the day. I sat in the cafeteria at work yesterday and almost cried or screamed because of my life, but God calmed me down and I spent time reading His word and really getting into what I was reading.

God has a plan and a purpose for all christians. He has called each of us to do something specific. Some are made to be teachers, preachers, workers, and helpers. The Mary and Martha's are needed in our life to help us sort through and see different views of our situation. I have several friends I talk to. Some are youth pastors, some are pastors and some are just people that have influenced my life. I am truly blessed to have this network of people that I can go to when I am struggling and when difficult decision have to be made in my life. They give me perspective and help me to slow down and focus on what God wants me to do in my life.

God's plan is out there, we just have to sit and listen to Him when He tries to tell us. No matter how much our life seems to be falling apart, God is there picking up the pieces of our life and putting them together. I love the song by Stephen Curtis Chapman called "Sometimes He comes in the Storm". He talks about sometime God brings down the thunder, but other times he speaks to us in a whisper. Can you hear Him?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Just another day in paradise.

If you don't understand the picture right here -> then you haven't ever heard me talk. This is in reference to a video game I play called WOW (World of Warcraft). My kids know about it because I use it as a reference all the time. It is a very addicting game if you start playing, like having an xbox or playstation...

I wanted to use today's post to give my readers some tools that I use to do what I do. Everything I do is either done for free or very cheap, you just have to know where to look and find it. So here goes...

Google Page Creator - Google offers a free web creator that can be used by anyone that has a google account (also free). The church site www.cfcnaz.com is done using this service. This is a great product to use for small business, group, personal sites or whatever else you want to get out there.

Google Video is what I use to post my video messages, as well as Pastor's video sermons. Google's service is free and offers unlimited space and unlimted time span. Their service is great because you can start watching a movie before it has completely downloaded and they give you the code to paste the video on your site.

Switchpod is what I use to host our Podcast. Switchpod offers a free service that makes it easy to list your podcast, as well as the ability to upgrade and get more space/features.

Picasaweb & Picasa are what I use for pictures. Picasa is a program you install on your desktop that allows you to edit, modify and upload your pictures, as well as being able to order prints through online services like Wal-mart, Walgreens, etc. Picasaweb is Google's photo storage place. You get 250mb of free space with the ability to upgrade to 6 gigs. Picasa can upload directly to Picasaweb at the push of a button.

Blospot is a free blogging software (which you are reading now). It is also owned by Google and gives you a great tool to get your voice, thoughts and dreams out there.

ITunes is a free audio player from Apple. It allows you to list all your music that you have on your pc, as well as the ability to browse their store and purchase songs for $.99 or $9.99 per album (mostly). This is a great/cheap way to get legal music...

Google also offers: GMail (email client), Google Calendar, Google Speadsheets, Writely, Google Maps and Personalized Homepage. These are great tools that use a single login (mostly) to get between them.

As you can tell, I use Google tools a lot. Their stuff is very well designed and works well together. Plus, IT'S ALL FREE to use and they are continually updating them.

Hope this helps. If you need a tool for something, let me know and I can help you figure out what you are looking for.

Monday, September 11, 2006

I had an Initiation this weekend....

I finally feel like a real youth pastor...
Early on Sunday morning my house got rolled by 3 girls within my group. As you can see from the picture, the whole event ending incredibly. I guess this is what I get for having 3 boys in the group over at my house. You can check out the pics here. View Pics

Anyways, the whole deal ending up using 30 rolls of toilet paper, one bottle ketchup, mustard, chocolate syrup, mayonaise, and a dozen eggs. I can say it was a blast. The kids had fun, I had fun and the parent driving the girls had fun. We did get a little visit from the cops because the kids decided to chase each other down the street at 2am that morning. I expected it, but the cop was cool and the kids had a good talk with them. They still haven't cleaned up the yard. :(

I had actually complained about not being rolled yet by anyone in the youth group. I have been the youth pastor at Covenant for almost 3 years and just now got rolled. I was depressed, but all that is over now. I have been initiated by my teens and I thank them. Those 3 girls and guys who helped make my night memorable will never be forgotten.

So anyways, that night was great, it made for a long day on Sunday since I didn't get to bed until 3 and slept late until 8:30. It made me kind of grumpy Sunday morning but the afternoon was much better. The afternoon was good and instructional. I spoke to the kids twice about some issues that are going on within our group. We seem to be having a few growing pains and some relationship problems that are occuring. I think it will take some time to work through and some students to grow up, but we will come out on top.

The main theme this weekend was that we need to work on our relationship with God before we can worry about our relationships with friends and boyfriend/girlfriend. Once we get the relationship with God working and submit to him, then with the right type of relationship mindset, we can start to pursue the relationships around us. Teenagers get so caught up in having to have a boyfriend or girlfriend. I have seen it in the last week as it has elevated within our group. I told them last night if they had focused that same amount of time on their relationship with God, they would be scores above where they are now.

Teenagers aren't the only ones guilty of not focusing on God. Even we adults tend to focus on other parts of our life rather than focus on our relationship with God. I know I am guilty of it. I get wrapped up in church and youth ministry and tend to forget about working on my own personal relationship with God. God has really impressed upon my heart that I need to continue working on that and to make a focused effort to spend time with him. I have challenged my OTC group to spend 5 minutes a day with God, whether it be in praying or reading the Bible or meditaing, but to focus on God for 5 minutes a day. This would get the ball rolling to help them to eventually yearn to spend more time with him. Can you spare 5 minutes?

Matthew 6:33 - But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Friday, September 08, 2006

How to have a Successful Crisis?




Here is the video for our service on 9/6. We talked about the response from God to Habakkuk. I gave the teens 3 things to remember when dealing with a Crisis, the #1 being that God is in control and that He is there with us when we have problems in our life.
Let me know what you think and what things could be improved upon. Beth and I already talked about some of the things that we think, but I want to hear your opinion.
Grace and Peace, Pastor Roy

View my notes

PS Check out our website at www.leaddontfollow.org, lots of great pics of the group plus some new upcoming stuff.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Better late than never....

Sorry to all my bloggers that I haven't blogged anything lately. Things can be hectic, or I can be lazy, not sure which this is. Either way, here we go.

So I have been doing this whole evaluating thing with my youth group and my speaking, and I am very happy about it. The comments have been great. I have found out that I have to remember that people will have opinions of you but not all of them are right. I need to remember that I am working for God and no one else. If I am not doing what he wants, then I don't need to be doing it.

Over the last couple weeks I have spoken about Habakkuk and his struggles. He questioned God about the state of the people of Judah, and God responded but not in the way that Habakkuk wanted. I love the whole dialogue between God and Habakkuk because I think it really puts our relationship into prospective. I know that it helps me to view God as someone real who wants input into my life. No, I won't always like it, but I have to trust Him enough to know that he is going to help me. That my relationship with Him isn't just a one way street but a flow of communication back and forth. I know that some people think that God doesn't work like He did in the Old Testament, but I believe we just don't listen like they did back then.

I think we get caught up in our own lives. I know that I struggle with putting my priorities right, not because I don't know any better but because life seems to come at you all the time. We tend to go from one event to another event and then repeat that everyday. We rarely take the time to slow down and just listen to God and see where He wants us to be. In our OTC groups I have encouraged them to find just 1 minute a day to read and talk to God. If we can get started on just one minute the fire will start to catch on and we will crave more and more of God as we begin to spend more and more time with Him.

I have seen this change in my life. I have seen that the more I get into His word, the more I want to learn about His word and what it says and how I can apply it to my life. My last lesson on Habakkuk was probably one of the most researched because I wanted to know as much as I could about the situation, not just about what I thought it meant but what others before me thought. I looked at the culture and times when Habakkuk was alive, locations and settings for the cities and the nations around them. I was amazed and awed. And even as I started this blog, I was thinking that the book of Habakkuk could lead to another series of lessons about a relationship with God.

I love the Bible for that reason, while we may think a certain verse, chapter or book says just one thing. The more you read it, the more sides you see and the more ways you can apply those verses. The written word of God is amazing and mysterious. Better than any book out there for reading purposes. Our habits need to change in order for us to fully know what God is wanting in us. We must make purposeful advances to take the time to listen and read about what God wants.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Finding that perfect....


So here I am on a Sunday/Monday morning. Watching the perfect man while one of my teens is sleeping on my couch and the other one is jabbering away on myspace. Just finished a pretty refreshing day at church. We had special speakers today since Pastor was out of town. I thought they were both excellent. I will be posting their videos tomorrow on our church site, www.cfcnaz.com.

Anyways, today went pretty well. Hardly anyone was at church, but that seems to happen when the pastor isn't there, and it is a holiday weekend. I only had about 7 teens there today, kind of depressing but undestandable. On with the rest of the story.

I have gotten some great comments on my lesson from last Wednesday. I got good feedback from my friends, parents and some teens. Some of it I had already thought about, others were knew and useful. I keep getting comments about putting myself out there to be evaluated like that and how brave it is. I am the type of person who needs to know something is wrong so i can fix it. I hate it when people hide things behind your back, only to spring it on you later. I want to be better at what i do, but I can't be better when I don't know that things are wrong. Most of try our whole lives to prove that we are something we are not, or put on a mask so that people can't see the real us. I don't believe in that philosophy. Most people know that I am not perfect (as sad as that makes me), and that I have to work to better myself.

There is a children's song that I used to sing, saying "He's still working on me, to make me what I ought to be." God tells us that he is shaping us like the potter shapes the clay. Our christian lives are about being more like God and less like ourselves. Some people in the world will tell you that it is about you, but it is not. I am nothing without God. No matter how much I drink or earn, or party, or have sex, or anything else this world has to offer. So much of our life is spent worrying about what others think, rather than what God thinks. Part of that is the out of sight, out of mind concept. God doesn't sit and judge us like our friends, family and co-workers do.

God loves us the way we are. He sees me for what I am going to become rather than what I am currently. My goal is to reach my students and show them what God has for them and help them to realize that without him their life is nothing...