Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Anthem Pictures Round 3

This picture captures the heart and soul of Anthem. It was taken during the 1.5 hour concert of prayer.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Our house is for sale by owner...

I just started our marketing campaign to sell our house. Check out our house (click here) or copy/paste: http://2505claytondrive.blogspot.com/

Monday, December 14, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Anthem Reflection

It's been a week since Anthem, and I'm finally sitting down to reflect on all that God did.

Going in, there were two scriptures that I felt God was pressing in...

2 Chronicles 16:9, "the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him." This is a cool verse lodged in a frightening context (Asa, a king who lost faith toward the end of his life). Going in we prayed fervently that the gaze of Christ would stop on the corner of Interstate 35 and Highway 30 as over a thousand young people gathered for worship and prayer.

The second verse, which is sort of a running theme, is from 1 Corinthians 14:25, where the unbeliever sees the body of Christ in action and “will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, ‘God is really among you!’”

Here's a recap...

We started at 8 p.m. and finished at 11:30. Three and a half hours of worship and prayer with over 1,000 teenagers and college students... the atmosphere was electric. For the first hour and a half, we did the usual non-stop worship set with the full band. Then, we did a musical intermission where we let people take a break, or leave if they were ready to go. Then we came back for an hour and a half of prayer as some of the team led an acoustic set. There were three movements of this prayer time: Adoration, Communion, and Intercession.

It was beautiful to see the auditorium turned into a house of prayer as 300-400 students were spread out around the auditorium, some praying in groups, others as individuals kneeling, sitting, or standing with arms outstretched. It was a house of prayer for the nations.

Then the Anthem Warriors- those who stayed to the very end (about 300)- rushed down to the front as the band kicked in "He reigns" at about 11:10. That bled into "Glory" and then our set was done. At that point I said, "Whatever you start singing, we'll sing with you."

The crowd spontaneously broke into the intro of "One Life." They were even in the right key! The place erupted and got rowdy with the worship of Jesus and "one life, one love that saved us, we trust in the promise of salvation..."

Here's how God answered prayer...

As to the first prayer (2 Chron. 16:9)- as one couple left halfway through the prayer time, they were turning north onto I-35 when they saw a display that looked like heavenly fireworks. Falling from the sky over Cornerstone was a bright green shooting star. As it got closer, the thing just exploded in the sky right over the building. They looked at each other stunned and silent. Oh the pleasure of God in the prayers of his people. I think there's a special place in his heart for children who are praising him!

Regarding our second prayer from (1 Corinthians 14:25), there were three direct answered prayers that we know of.

One high school student came in as a skeptical atheist. But as a musician and songwriter, he was interested in hearing original worship music. He was talking to one of the high school leaders during the intermission and said he wanted to become a Christian. Asked why, he said, "As a song writer, I know that music comes from the heart. To hear these songs written as an overflow of love for God and to see people worshiping from their hearts, I cannot deny the truth of this."

One girl came with a friend and was a meth addict. She turned to her friend during the first set and whispered (or maybe yelled over the music...), "I want to become a Christian." During the intermission, she prayed with her friend and Todd Wallace in his office.

A Chinese guy came with his Chinese and American friends In the middle of worship he asked Brian Cheney, "Why does everyone lift up their hands?" Later in the worship, there he was with outstretched hands in worship. During the intermission, he also prayed to receive Christ in the office.

It was fun to see friends visiting from Kansas, Nebraska, and other parts of Iowa. Here is a picture of our drummer Clint Robinson with Giri Nam, from South Korea. She's a gifted song writer that we met when we were leading worship for a conference in Kansas. She has an amazing heart of worship, and a gift to put it to music.

I'm a little hesitant to post these, since it's raw footage and bad audio, but it will give you an idea of the first set.

For every person that came, there is another story of how God spoke and acted on their behalf.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Story time with James and James

James and James... funny cats indeed. They showed this video last night at Salt Company. You gotta love Pastor Tom sporting his tattoos. And the hand shake at the end was over the top :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Church Planting Quote

Here are some great thoughts on church planting. I first read this over the summer and it was one of the puzzle pieces in the Iowa City church plant. Click here for the whole article by Tim Keller. Here's the quote:

"The vigorous, continual planting of new churches is the single most crucial strategy for 1) the numerical growth of the Body of Christ in any city, and 2) the continual corporate renewal and revival of existing churches in any city. Nothing else- Not crusades, outreach programs, para-church ministries, growing mega-churches, congregational consulting or renewal process will have the consistent impact of dynamic, extensive church planting. This is an eyebrow raising statement. But to those who have done any study at all, it is not even controversial."

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Blogging Slump is Over

One of the bummers in this life is that when you have the most on your mind, you have the least amount of time to process it.

Because I use this blog as an outlet for my thoughts on family, ministry, life... there's so much I've wanted to write over the last four weeks but never got around to it.

So it's time to break the slump.

There's no better way to break out of it than with some random thoughts and pictures. My blogging forte.

Below: Makai comes over to me and says, "pusssups." I thought, "I have no idea what you're talking about but I'll just pretend I know what you mean." A few minutes later I go over and see the superheroes all lined up in the living room doing pushups.

Sucks to be Aquaman, being relegated to one-armed pushups while naked.
I looked at my dinner plate tonight and thought, "Seriously?" A little salmon and squash. It's times like these when I realize how spoiled and overfed I am.
Below: Guess what the stain is. Multiple choice:
A. Grass stain
B. Mustard
C. Part of the American Eagle design
D. The aftermath of Jett's blowout (i.e. poopy diaper)

When the kids get quiet, it's bittersweet.

On the one hand, you have a chance to get something done. On the other hand, you know that you're going to have to do more work because they are causing problems and making a mess of something.

In this case (nice pun), Makai ruined a perfectly good pair of contacts.

At least there weren't any condoms in the sink this time (click here and just scroll down to the last picture...).
Every once in awhile Leatha makes our butter. It doesn't look like butter. More like a big ol' white...
However you ended that last sentence is a good indication of your maturity level. If you answered:
"Turd"- Junior high
"Log"- Adult
"Stick of Butter"- Organically inclined adult.

What does it say for the person who typed the question?

Below: I love visiting Omaha because my parents have a family pass to one of the world's best zoos. And with the pass we can stop in for an hour and not feel bad about it. That's about my zoo, shopping, museum (anything boring) threshold.
Thanks to my redneck friend Stan (click here), I got my first (legal) kill. We had a lot of squirrel and rabbit deaths in our back yard growing up in Omaha.
Speaking of rednecks. Our lead pastor, Troy, recently caught a snapping turtle. He power washed the poor thing and had a plan to put it in the baptistry and then pull a prank on our facilities guy. Thankfully, the thing escaped from the back of his truck before he could do it. Here's a video of our pastor Troy hunting for the turtles...

This is "spiritual intensity week" for our college ministry as we prepare for what God is going to do this Friday night at Anthem. It's 9:14 and I'm with you, Makai.

Time for bed.