Need I say more?
By the time you read this, I will be in the air – with the help of modern technology and a big engine – headed to Texas.
Today is the beginning of Vineyard National Pastor Conference – and if it is anything like the Missions Conferences, it should be awesome!
I am not sure if I will have internet or not… if I do, then I will try to post some updates throughout the conference… if not, you all will have to wait until I get back home.
Smile – I just founded out that I get to go last week and already my time there is booked… wow…so much to do and lots of people to talk too..
I’m going to the Vineyard National Pastors Conference next week!
Granted – it’s been a whirlwind as the conference starts next Monday and I just got asked to attend on Sunday… This week is going to be busy getting things ready – wrapping up work projects and the like. Wow…
The good news is that we are very, very close to being released as an independent church. Just a few more hoops and we are on our way.
In a nut shell (walnut), we decided that instead of a having a “traditional” Easter service – we would host a Passover Seder for entire church on Easter Sunday.
The idea to do this started when our pastor bumped into a guy who leads a Messianic Jewish group in his home at a Vineyard Boise men’s meeting. After talking to this man and his wife, we invited them to come to Sweet and speak at the church.
It was amazing!! [@more@]
We set up tables throughout the gym with grape juice, water, horseradish, eggs, charoset, matzo and saltwater. (hmm…there were some other items but I can’t remember them all). At the head of the room was the Messianic couple with their table – fully decked out with all kinds of cool stuff.
After a few a cappella worship songs, we launched into the Seder meal with references to Jesus’ Last Meal 2,000 years ago. The faces of folks as they begin to understand and see the connections that the Lord put into the meal leading to Jesus were wonderful. =)
For me, the biggest ah-ha moment was near the end when I realized that Jesus’ drank the third “wine” cup – the cup of redemption – but did not drink from the fourth cup – the cup of praise.
It brings a new light to the Eucharist.
Nope – I wasn’t a rap star and while I loved beef steaks, that wasn't the point.
The words were in reference to the fact I played both the trombone and the tuba. It’s kind of funny actually – I played the trombone because it was what my dad and brother played. The tuba came later in high school when I realized that I could never beat my brother (he was first chair trombonist; I was sixth out of six), so I switched instruments (did I mention that the only tuba player was graduating that year?).
It wasn’t like I was causing the “first chair” or anything….well…maybe a bit…
Anyway, fast forward many years.[@more@]
Here I am struggling to get the strumming rhyme down for a six string guitar. I practiced and practiced – talk to folks – bought dvds and books – yet, it was like hitting my head against a wall.
One day a light bulb turns on above my head – I had just turned on a switch – maybe I should learn the bass guitar. It would be similar to the tube only cooler. So I bought an electric bass – along with some cds, books, ect, ect…
And it sat…and sat…wait…no…I practiced. A bit… umm…do I see a theme here?
Finally, at the encouragement of my wife, I took the bass down to our church’s worship practice. The piano player (also the only musician in the “band”) gave me a few pointers and way we went.
Boom, boom, boom-boom….
It was like a duck to water. Everything just flowed!!
The beat was there – the cords where there. Perfect.
Six days later was Sunday – and there I was, part of the band – hitting the beat perfectly!
I’ve never felt better in my live. The bass guitar is, at this moment at least, my heart instrument. The tube was too crazy – the trombone was not it – and the six string..well…I’m still practicing.
But the bass – that’s were Ardell fits.
He tricked me!!
Yelp. I was tricked.
Yesterday was the “dreaded” foot washing sermon – only instead of talking about 1 John like I thought – the pastor brought out Ephesians 5:25-27:
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
I guess this is a good place to repent and say that the pastor never officially said he was referring to 1 John when he mentioned the water… my head picked that passage…
‘cause, as you see, Eph 5 fits the whole foot washing deal better then 1 John….
In a nut shell – folks walking barefoot or with sandals through the streets will get dirt on their feet. In the same way, we Christians get “dirt” on us as we walk through this world. [@more@]
Jesus’ blood justifies us before the Lord; the “water” cleanses us on a daily bases – or sanctification.
I wish I could post the mp3 online so you could all listen…but I can’t.. sigh.
Oh – be the way, I didn’t have to have my feet washed in public yesterday. The pastor asked for volunteers and had a guy step up to the plate – something neither of us thought would happen!
God is good.
Many years ago in another life, a bunch of us gathered at the top of a mushroom to have our feet washed by our chaplain. It was awkward, strange and, frankly, left me wondering what the heck was going on…
It’s almost like foot washing as some sort of rite of passage for Christian leaders:
“To be a true leader, you must humble yourself and wash the feet of those under you – just like Jesus”.
While I’m being a bit sarcastic – there is a ring of true in that comment… (check out Wikipedia – there are groups who literally use foot washing as a sign of ordinance)
Now imagine my reaction when I was told that Sunday’s sermon was to be about John 13 and, oh by the way, would I volunteer to have my feet washed as an illustration?
(insert awkward pause here)
After overcome the sticker shock, I voiced my discontent with the whole “foot washing” idea – noting, in my defense, how cultures have changed and how this particular action no longer held the same message as it did during the 1st century.[@more@]
*smile* The response given was pretty good in that he agreed that most of the “talk” about Jesus’ foot washing action was simply "surface level".
He then pulled a fast one on me and brought in 1 Josh 5:
This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood.
The washing of the Twelve’s feet was more then just a leader humbling himself, it was an act of purification by water in advance of the purification by blood.
Think about it – Jesus is getting ready to die. This is His last evening together with his disciples before their greatest trial – and he washes their feet… If this was simply a lesson in being a servant leader, it was a poor one.
I mean – come on – Jesus just spend three years with these guys, if they didn’t get the whole servant leadership humility thing before hand, I doubt a simple foot washing would do the trick!!
Yet, if looked at through the purification by water lens…hmm…that brings a new light to the comment Jesus makes about being “clean”. I know that the priests of old had to purify themselves with water before entering the Holy of Holies…maybe this action was somehow connected…
I don’t know… I will see what happens during the sermon tomorrow – weather the pastor develops the “purification by water” theme or if he says with the “servant leadership” theme.
They are both there – which one will he pick?
Last night marks the beginning of a six week couples groups based on the Fireproof movie.
Yelp – leave it to the Baptists to not only make a great movie, but to provide the rest of us with a step-by-step guide on leading a marriage group.
Shoot, if it was up to me – we would be sitting around in a circle with guitars singing kumbia, drinking tea and cluttering the room with theological sound waves.
Let us say that the 11 folks who showed up last night are busying thanking the Good Lord for logical people who create Bible studies.
Every year the community puts on a live nativity play in our front yard…. well, not ACTUALLY in our front yard. But very, very close to our front yard – seeing that our "yard" or dirt is seperated from the community park by a fence.
In addition to the live nativity, the whole community goes on a hay ride through the area. This year we had four long hay trailers filled with people (compared to the two we usually have).[@more@]
About twenty minutes before the hay ride was to start, it begain to snow. Huge, white flakes of all shapes. It made the hay ride perfect! (if not a bit cold…)
After the hay ride and nativity, we all gathered at the local syringa hall for coffee, hot chocolate and cookies (lots of cookies).
The sad part was when they (the infinate they) made ALL the guys get on stage and act out the Twelve Days After Christmas. If you have never heard the song…lets just say that "true love" didn't work quite work out.. Yet, it was pretty funny!!
Saturday was the first day of my telecommuting career. Yelp I am now working Tuesday through Saturday with Sunday and Monday off.
It was a bit strange at first working from home. But I liked it.
Telecommuting is peaceful, more productive (in some cases), saves money, and where else can you work in your undies?
There are lots of things you have to get in place to be able to successful work from home, but it doesn’t take too much setting up.
Obviously, you need somewhere to work from, so a desk or table is essential as working with a laptop on your lap just isn’t sustainable for every day. You’ll also want to make sure that you have other essential office equipment at home, such as a good filing cabinet like the ones found at Office Monster, as this will help you when it comes to your working day.
Also, you still need to be able to collaborate with colleagues and access shared documents as you would if you were still in the office, but using something like Sharepoint makes this possible. If you aren’t familiar with Sharepoint, it might be worth seeking some Sharepoint consulting services – click here to continue to a website which could help.
But that’s about it. It takes some getting used to, but I personally think the pros far outweigh the cons.
Yelp it was quite amazing. No tomatoes, boos or otherwise un-ethical behavior. What did happen was the Spirit of the Lord descended upon the Church service that evening in an amazing way. It was… how do you say, beautiful? [@more@]
There were not fallen bodies or people jumping up and down it was a sweet, sweet spirit that descended at the end of the service that just touched hearts. It was fun standing up front watching people react some with crying, some with stone faces, still others with a sweet smile upon their face.
Ah. God is good.
Oh I must mention that Sunday was also the first time the Pastor and I team taught. As in, he started the service off with a 10 minute intro and then passed it of to me to flesh out the details. This allows us both to play to our strengths me with the historical background, and him with the personal impact and call to action. We are going to try it a few more times and see how it works.
Too many choices. However, I may have found the perfect flight or flights. =)
I am going to Colorado Springs in two weeks for the Vineyard National Missions Meeting on behalf of the Paraguay Partnership. Lord willing I will met some folks who want to join with us on supporting the work of the Kingdom in this country.