Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
This is one of the more important leadership principles I've discovered...
"How you select people is more important than how you manage them once they’re on the job. If you hire the wrong people, for whatever reason, you’re in serious trouble and all the revolutionary management techniques in the world won’t bail you out.”
- Red Auerbach, Boston Celtics
I have to be good at selecting people, because managing them is not a strength of mine. I've seen this over and over- the good and the bad. Right now I'm reaping all the benefits of a rockin' staff team. I just finished doing evaluations with all of my staff, and the team is hitting on all cylinders. I don't see a lot of weak links. Well, except for... (just kidding)
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
We're trying to make this Christmas season as spiritual as possible.
(Above) Here's Mike, watching his masterpiece go down. He's a brilliant producer, and the mind behind the set. I'm excited for him to help produce Anthem this Spring.
(Below) So much for the "magic"... here are the lifts that a couple engineers designed and built. It's amazing the time that went into the set design/construction (all to be torn down in 7 hours). But it was all worth it... 6,000 people exposed to the life changing message of Christmas. As I worked in the auditorium today, I thought about all the work God has done in that room over the last 10 years. People being saved, healed, baptized and God regularly showing up. For the people who sacrificed to build it- do you have any regrets?
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
1. "the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight"
2. "he comes to make his blessings flow far as the curse is found"
3. "veiled in flesh the Godhead see; hail the incarnate Deity"
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
This is a part of that scene that ended up getting cut.
Actually, the TSC staff was asked to help tear some of the set down. Next thing you know we're hooking ourselves up to the flying equipment and seeing if we can touch the ceiling of the auditorium.
Why did we do it?
It was fun.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
I found this Ryken quote interesting:
I think that Christian readers should begin by reminding themselves that they live not only by a Christian world view but also by a Christian world picture. In addition to the great doctrines of the Christian faith, we live by the great images of the faith. Milton's poem puts us in touch with the images of the Christian faith—images of Satan and hell, of God and heaven, of Paradise and original perfection, of temptation and fall, of sin and salvation.
Our Christmas musical, Esmerelda, has really affected me. I saw a picture of Jesus had never seen before. It was a compelling picture that has changed the way I view parenting, pastoring, and, well... living. I want to know that person more. He's a person I want to spend eternity with.
I had this same feeling after reading The Shack.
But this quote made me think about the "world pictures" that shape how I think and live my life as a follower of Jesus. There is power in a story, a poem, a musical, a movie that can give us a new picture of life with God.
Ryken contrasts "doctrines" with "images." I was thinking about this as I just preached on Romans 8. To me, Romans 8 is a musical called "Esmerelda." Justification, reconciliation, and adoption converge in a man helping a lost, cursed girl find her way back to her Father. It's a chapter in which words seem to fall way too short. An epic fairy tale seems more appropriate.
Maybe I should start singing and acting out my sermons in story form...
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Tonight I spoke on "Adoption" from Romans 8:14-17. One thing that sticks out to me is God's method of compelling us down the path of righteousness. It's not by hovering over us to tell us what we're doing wrong and by "keeping score." On the contrary, it's by "testifying with our spirit" that we are "children of God."
"Holy Spirit, what do you do?"
"I remind you that you're a child of God. I tell you how much God loves you."
That's one of my favorite parts of being a parent. It's ending every day whispering into the ears of my children, "I love you. I think you're awesome." No matter what they've done, those are the words they'll hear.
Why do I so often make guilt the basis of my relationship with God?
Why do I question God's unconditional love for me?
I often have a jacked up view of God. That is why I need to preach Romans 8:14-17 to myself in the mirror everyday.
Nevermind. I don't like my sermons enough to do that...
But everyday I try to utter, "Our father..." as the first words out of my mouth.
Monday, December 8, 2008
This picture was taken this morning at our last prayer meeting of the semester. This is the only ministry in the history of the Salt Company that hasn't changed... 7 a.m. every Monday that Iowa State has classes, you'll find around 100 students seeking God in the Memorial Union.
There is no doubt that God has acted on our behalf (Is. 64:4)
Also, Leatha and I were privileged to see a dress rehearsal of Esmerelda (our church's Christmas musical) yesterday. I knew a little of the story line, special effects, etc, but I was totally unprepared for what I saw.
It was one of the most compelling and epic stories I've seen. I was emotional at different points as the story of redemption connected with my soul. I walked away thinking, "The Gospel is the most amazing thing ever. And what a God and Savior is ours."
Over 6,000 tickets have been sold for this. If you have someone in mind to bring, but don't have tickets, my suggestion is to bring them anyway. I'm sure there will be some open seats.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
My free Monday redbox dvd was The Good Life. I wanted to watch this because it was written and directed by a guy I used to skate with back in Omaha (thus the allusions to Nebraska in the movie). It was a solid drama, and the storyline kept me interested in where the movie was going. It's not a movie I'd strongly recommend seeing, but it gets into some of the issues of disappointment of life, and what brings about true freedom and happiness. Steve Berra has a typically Hollywood take on what that is.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
The only problem is that I'm a pastor and a person (I've met a lot of pastors and the latter is not necessarily a given...) and I didn't know exactly what advent was.
What's worse- we've had an advent tree the last 2 years.
Wikipedia to the rescue...
Advent (from the Latin word adventus, meaning "coming") is a season of the Christian church, the period of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus; in other words, the period immediately before Christmas...
Latin adventus is the translation of the Greek word parousia, commonly used in reference to the Second Coming. Christians believe that the season of Advent serves a dual reminder of the original waiting that was done by the Hebrews for the birth of their Messiah as well as the waiting that Christians today endure as they await the second coming of Christ.The second section is money- I've never thought of Christmas as a celebration of the return of Christ (Latin "adventus" is the translation of Grk "parousia")
Here are some pictures from our Advent family devotions that we started December 1st and do until Christmas...
Our first one was a total disaster. The kids didn't listen to a word I said.
Here are the kids by the advent tree with all the symbols on it. We use the book "Family Celebrations" by Ann Hibbard (Click here for the book)
Monday, December 1, 2008
I thought all the food, sleep and TV was supposed to make me rested, but now I'm sick.
Oh well, it's a typical winter cold I guess. But with the winter comes snow...and with snow comes- FROSTY the SNOWMAN! The kids went right to work after this first real snowfall...
Impressed? The prune eyes were my idea.
Now here's a picture of the snowman to scale (in case you can't find it- it's to the right of the miniature kids football).