Thursday, June 30, 2005

Paid To Watch TV

I signed up awhile back to be a part of a Nielson survey on TV programs that I watch. They said it would be very simple - all I had to do was answer a few questions over the phone, and then they would send me the paperwork to fill out during my "week". And here is the kicker - they would pay me $10 to watch TV for a week! I was going to get paid - to watch TV! The irony is, I have satellite, so technically I usually pay them for the privilege of watching television. I finally get a return on my investment.

Today started my week of viewing. I am too nervous to turn on the TV. The added pressure of being paid has taken the joy out of something that usually brings me great pleasure. Am I watching the right shows? If I don't watch the right shows, will they cancel them? Will this finally prove that I am an addict? Should I return the $10 if I don't turn on the TV? 6 more days and counting...

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

God Sized Space

I am sitting in my office right now on a Wednesday night, in the daycare that we lease a few rooms for our new church plant. We have 4 rooms available to us on Wednesday nights - not including the office. Here is what is going on right now: There is a men's small group meeting in one classroom - guys getting real with each other and God. In another classroom, a group of people are going through the program Alpha to deepen their walk with God. In the auditorium, our brand new youth group is finishing up their study for the summer. The last room that we have is being used as a nursery for the kids of the adults involved tonight. 4 rooms is not a lot for most churches. But for us right now, at this moment, it's God sized space.

Fire Me...Please!

Last night, we watched the summer reality show "Fire Me...Please!" on CBS. I am generally not a fan of the summer reality fare. It did, however, birth my favorite - Survivor, so I will occasionally turn one on to see if it might be the next cultural phenomena. This one is not it. It was interesting though, to see how much people will tolerate from people working for them. If you have not seen the show, the premise is that these people try to get fired from their new jobs as close to 3:oopm as possible - without going over. Last night the bosses put up with:

- Sleeping on the job - complete with loud snoring in the showroom
- Purposely sloppy work
- Direct violation of company rules - i.e. taking personal calls repeatedly
- Extremely annoying behavior
- Rude treatment of customers

Even after all of that, it seemed like the bosses were very reluctant to fire the rogue employees. I am not sure what this says of our current working climate. Maybe people are more tolerant of others and willing to give second chances? Or maybe we're so afraid of confrontation that we will avoid it at all costs - even to our livelihood? Or more likely - I should turn off the TV and read a book or something.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Come With It

This is from a talk that I gave to our volunteers yesterday at our pre-service meeting:

John Ortberg writes in his book God Is Closer Than You Think about the Michelangelo painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel called "The Creation Of Adam". In the painting, God is rushing toward Adam on a cloud powered by angels. It is apparent in the painting that God's total desire at that moment is to reach this man. His hand is stretching out to touch Adam's hand, with only a small gap between. That's where a lot us are today - that small gap between. God desires to come to us. He longs to touch and have contact with His children, but He is not going to come all the way to us. He leaves that small gap for us to make a choice. We have to make the decision to fill the gap and come the rest of the way to Him.

Psalm 100:4 says:

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

Notice that it says "enter his gates with thanksgiving - his courts with praise". It doesn't say "come in, and when you feel something to be thankful for - do it". Or "when you start to feel the groove of the band, or hear the people around you, or hit that key change going into the final chorus - then start to praise." No, it says to come with it. Come with thanksgiving for the great things that God does for you daily. Come with the praise that should continually be on your lips. Don't wait this week for God to shake you up. Bring what you have to Him. Can you imagine if all the believers came to church this weekend with their thanksgiving and praise flow already on? God would rock the church! God wants to come to us, but He's waiting for us to fill the gap. Let's come with it this week!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Blogging Fun

I am very excited to be jumping into this new thing the kids call "blogging". Being a new church planter, I spend a lot of my days alone in the office - praying that someone will call me. I don't care why. Pray for them, answer questions about the church, sell me enviornmentally safe shower heads - it doesn't matter! I just need some human interaction occasionally. Thus, I have many pent-up thoughts and ramblings that need to be released somewhere. Why not cyberspace? It seems so much warmer now that people are sharing through their blogs. So, I will be throwing out my random thoughts occasionally, and I would love to get your feedback as we go. I feel so much more hip now!