Friday, February 20, 2009

Incredible Week Not so Incredible

Well here we are at the close of another week and I do not know if you have ever felt this way but for me this week has been anything but remarkable or incredible. Sure I finished my first Triathlon in under an hour and finished in the top 50, Sure Ashlyn had an MRI on her knee that came back pretty clear, just a minor problem. Sure Anthony pitched his first 2 innings of baseball and got 6 outs, no hits, and no walks. But for some reason I have had one of those weeks I would like to forget. You may ask Paul did anything bad happen? "not really". It seems like I have just allowed things to get in my life this week and rob me of my joy. Now that may sound cliche but I really think it can happen. Things are going along pretty well for us and then all of a sudden something comes along and bam our day is shot. Well that has been my week. Multiple times Susie has asked me if I was ok to which I responded "yeah, I feel like I am just in one of those moods" (Fun week for Susie HUH)

So as I was basking in my funk. I decided I would read the Psalms because it seems to me that the Psalmist had some of those funk days as well. So I wanted to share with you what I found. Here is a small portion of it but is you want the whole passage click HERE.

Psalms 66:1-6 (NLT)
1 Shout joyful praises to God, all the earth! 2 Sing about the glory of his name! Tell the world how glorious he is. 3 Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! Your enemies cringe before your mighty power. 4 Everything on earth will worship you; they will sing your praises, shouting your name in glorious songs. 5 Come and see what our God has done, what awesome miracles he does for his people! 6 He made a dry path through the Red Sea, and his people went across on foot.Come, let us rejoice in who he is.

For me these passages told me that even when I am in a funk I need to just keep shouting out all the wonderful things that God has done and then maybe I will not focus so much on the small things that keep robbing me of my joy. And this week at Relevant we have a ton to be joyful about. Here are just a few.
as crazy as this may sound to you we are launching our very first satellite campus via our live video stream in Centerville VA this weekend. That is right!! I was contacted this week by a couple who has visited Relevant several time who lives up there and they asked if they could launch a small house church in their home and watch the live stream with their friends who need Christ. WOW!!! I am so pumped about this I just know God is all over this and we are going to see him do great things through this. Pray for them this week their names are Alex and Charlotte Wright. You can like to their group via Facebook. Let them know that you are praying for them.
Our church blog has been taken over by some of the most creative writers I have ever read. There is a group of about 7 different people who write ever week about what God spoke to them about in the past weeks message. All I can say is that when I read what God is doing in the lives of people in our church I flipin go nuts. God is so Good. If you have not been to the blog in a while check it out here. You can follow the staff via Twitter from there as well.
This week at Relevant we will have a special guest with us. Dr David Clarke Phd. Dr. Clark is an incredible communicator and is going to share with us the craving that we all have as men and women for communication but for some reason our craving does not usually turn in to authentic communication. I cannot wait to hear him. Trust me you do not want to miss this opportunity.
Next week many of us will be traveling down Bayshore Blvd. Not in a car but on our feet. Yes that is right the Gasparilla Run is Coming up February 28 and if you have signed up for the race could you please shoot me an email so that I can make sure that we have your shirt for you. This is going to be a blast. I look forward to running with you all.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Crave Week 2 update

I trust all of you are having a wonderful week. I personally have been enjoying the incredible weather we have been experiencing and getting pretty excited about my very first Triathlon tomorrow. (Pretty awesome Valentines Day gift for Susie huh? a day in the sun watching the kids while I race.) Trust me I have some ideas on how to make it up to her. I think if someone would have told me a year ago that I would enjoy swimming, cycling, and running for over an hour I would have told them that they were crazy. Funny how things change isn't it. This is kind of like our cravings as well huh. They change all the time.

Last week we began the journey of "Crave" a series that is helping us discover our deepest cravings and then look at them through some spiritual lenses. We unpacked the idea last week that cravings can be both good and bad and it is the object of the craving that determines weather it is good or bad. This week we are going to look at a particular craving that all of us seem to have and it is directly from God, because He has the same craving. It is this craving for community. And I am not talking about this surface community that many of us experience I am talking about a true authentic community. How can we experience this? What does it look like? Why would God even care about this? All of theses things and more are going to be discovered this week. So come on out and join us and invite someone to join you as well.

I wanted to leave you with this portion of an email I received this week from someone in our growth group. it is incredible that they were feeling the same things that we are going to talk about this week and we were just talking about the community of our group. I can hardly wait.

"We were SO excited to meet everyone last night...makes you wonder why it ever took so long! This is such an amazing opportunity to build the "community" that Paul was referring to last night.

On the way home, Kevin and I were discussing how much more community our country really does need...people live such isolated, divided lives. No one seems to know their own neighbors anymore, and unfortunately much less their friends, and sometimes family. When people live divided lives, they are unable to share their personal gifts, the gifts that make them who they are--the gifts God gave each one of us to use in this life to make up ONE entire body of believers that operate as a WHOLE."

My prayer is that this week we will begin to crave the real community that is offered through Christ.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Greeting from the Snowy White North

Well I am writing you this update from the Cleveland International Airport. And yes it is cold outside and there is a ton of snow on the ground. (scratch that I am finishing this from the Houston International airport, got bumped for a $200 voucher. Still not sure if that was a good idea.) I have been in Granger Indiana for most of the week with about 15 other pastors from around the country discussing church leadership and the changing role of missions in the church. All I can say is WOW! God is really at work around the country and around the world and I am so glad that we get to be a part of it.


This week we are launching our new series "Crave" and I trust that many of you have been using the evite or postcards to invite you friends and family to join you this Sunday. This whole idea of Crave was brought to light in a devotional that one pastor shared yesterday morning. He said that about a month ago he was praying before a service and was asking God to give him strength and wisdom and courage to speak. He was craving for God to do something special in his life and ministry that day. Have you been there lately? Well he said that all of a sudden he really felt like God said "Mike stop asking me to give you strength and wisdom and courage, that is not what you need" Obviously he was puzzled but he said that this impression continued and he felt like God said "stop asking me to give you all of those things and start asking me to be your strength and be your wisdom and be your courage. WOW!!! I think so many times our craving are all about what we need or what we desire or what want to happen. All of it revolves around us. Maybe it is time to evaluate our cravings.

I think that During the next few weeks God is going to do some reshaping of our cravings. I am so excited about what we are going to be discussing this weekend as we unpack the first week of Crave. Please join us as discover what authentic cravings should be.

See you all on Sunday.