Friday, July 23, 2010

Live. Serve. Change Everything

At Crossroads Bible Church, I participated in Mid School Mission week. We had more than 50 kids plus their leaders going to a handful of locations throughout Dallas and Ft. Worth. The teams served in different ways. My group spent most of our time at a food bank that covers 13 counties in North Texas and also did projects at the church property.

First of all, I owe all of our Mid School Kids an apology. I underestimated them by a long shot!

When I first got wind that Charlie was planning on doing this my first thought was cool! My next thought was who on earth has programs where they are willing and interested in allowing Mid School kids to come serve.

I wanted to help, but it wasn't until mid June that I realized I was going to be able to.

I had coffee with Charlie to ask some questions and just listen to what he had put together! It was an inspiring conversation. He had no doubts about what the kids were capable of doing.

The team of parents and youth that stepped up and helped with this were awesome! A very enjoyable team to be a part of!

Over and over again, I heard leaders saying my kids are really getting along well and working well together. Common purpose is a great bonding agent.

Charlie (our Mid School Director) spent some time conversing with and then teaching to the kids in the evenings. He is both a good listener and a good teacher. It's hard to know how much difference those times will make in the kids lives. So, for any parents reading this... please send Charlie an email or have a conversation with him about what you notice has changed in your kid's perspectives. Some of the comments they were making during the large group conversations were very very good thoughts!

Last but not least, a shout out needs to go to North Texas Food Bank. I have tons of respect for what they are doing and for how they are doing it. If you are looking for a way to serve with a group of friends or a corporate event, don't even hesitate to contact them. Mike, Doris, Mario and Brandon were excellent teachers and helped us accomplish a lot. A conservative estimate of how many meals got put together by CBC kids is 35,000. Seriously! And the kids got that it was a big deal and were amazed by how much could be accomplished by pulling together.

As kids were leaving, one young lady with the biggest smile on her face said, "Hey Charlie, when I came here I didn't know anybody in the 6th grade. Now I know EVERYBODY!" Joy.

I haven't been as tired as I got in a very long time. But I also know that every ounce of energy expended was worth it! God provided strength, energy and abundant love for the kids and the events of each day!

If you were tempted to get involved this year but for whatever reason were not able to. Don't even hesitate to get involved next year!!!!

To those of you who prayed for me and for the other leaders, kids and the lives of people we touched...THANK YOU!!! AMEN. (mm hmmmm)

Thursday, July 08, 2010


I've been thinking about the word surrender. Not an easy topic to think about.

I do not like surrender, submission, trust, letting go. So sometimes I get close to some thinking and feeling related to surrender that is really important and then I run the other direction for a time.

I think about things like what chores I need to get done around the house or something that needs to be organized or chase rabbit trails on the internet.

But, I'm in one of those situations when the word keeps popping up everywhere. So while I run from thinking about it, for a time, the invitation to return keeps happening.

What is surrender?
Are there themes to the process?
Is it radically individual?
Is is harder for some than others?
If so why?
If it's easier for some what is equally hard for them?
How does prayer help?
What experiences with God help?
What truths revealed in scripture and in life have really helped me to surrender?
Why have some areas of my life gotten better on this topic and others seem almost untouched?
Besides running, when I get overwhelmed with the word surrender... what else am I doing to prevent the process from taking place?
What do my words have to do with my ability to surrender or not surrender?
What steps of obedience are going to be inevitable if I stop running and submit instead?
Why didn't God make surrendering easy for me to do?

If I am in a service anytime soon that starts to sing, "I surrender all". I might have to pray instead of sing.

My song should be something more like, "I want to be persuaded by God to even want to surrender all."

I realize this is sounding a little glass half empty. I do feel that way. I do know enough about surrender, to know that it is essential for truly living. I also know enough about it to know, that it is not what I want to do when I'm doing whatever the heck I want to do. This internal conflict is one of the greatest sources of tension in my life.

Since, the Lord doesn't seem interested in letting this word drop off my current landscape... sigh... there must be something important and intentional going on. Maybe even something life changing. Well, finally a glass half full thought. Maybe it will help keep me from running. :)

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Bo's Cafe

Bo's Cafe

This is a book I read on vacation. If you would have trouble letting go of the literary critic in you to read the book for it's intended message, then you probably shouldn't bother reading it.

But basically it's about a guy whose personal life is falling apart and his professional life is in jeopardy too.

God allows him to be reconnected with a man from his past. That connection leads to some perspective changing conversations in a variety of places. One of those places is called Bo's Cafe.

We've done a lot of talking about the benefits of Coffee Shop conversations and Pub ministries in Christian ministry books, magazines and seminars. I enjoyed reading a fiction book that used that kind of environment as the setting for the story.

The two themes I got from the book are that real change happens when people really want to end the misery of staying the same. The start to believe there some things about their faith in God they haven't figured out yet.

Real help comes from those who have walked a similar path and crossed through the light at the end of the tunnel ahead of them.

My personal dream of having a coffee/book store around here is motivated by these two themes. For now I'll keep taking up low rent spots (price of a cup of coffee) at the Corner Bakery, Aperitivos (Ap's for short), and Barnes and Noble.

Thanks Darlene for recommending the book. :)