Sunday, December 18, 2005

Getting Ready for the Party

It started a few weeks back. I got ready for the first Christmas Party of the season. I went through my usual pre-party warm up:
Leave the office at 5:10
Arrive home @ 5:15
Shave, shower, brush teeth by 5:25
Dress and book it out the door by 5:30

Not too much prep there. It wasn't a big deal.

But as the season has progressed, so have the scale of parties. Tonight Kim and I are attending one that requires considerably more preparation. It is a big party. Suffice it to say that I had to rent a tux and will engage in a tad more grooming prior to my departure. To be honest, I haven't always been overly excited about all the parties & functions I've attended this year. This one is different. I've been really looking forward to it.
But this won't be the biggest party of the season for me. Neither will the all church party this upcoming Wednesday and I'm really looking forward to that one! No, the party I'm most excited about is tomorrow night. Kim and I are having the staff and shepherds over and we can't wait! They don't know what is going to happen, but I do. And it will be a very special evening.

But this morning as I met with God, I was reminded that all these parties with the party prep and the anticipation that comes with them is really small beans.

Reading in 1 Corinthians, I unwrapped this gift:

"as it is written:

'No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for
those who love him'

but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit."

I've read it many times prior, but today the realization of that truth was stronger than ever. We can know, through the Spirit, what awaits us. We are privy to the plans of the Party Host.

I'm not waiting until 5:15 to get ready. In fact, I'm not waiting to go to it either.

Let the party begin today!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

1400 Things That God Told Me

Trust me on this one.

Just click here.

Then click BOTH the phone call and the remix version on Dan's post.

Again, trust me. This is funny stuff!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Minister: the Verb.

One Word: Minister. Two primary functions:

Noun: (Main Entry: 1min·is·ter Pronunciation: 'mi-n&-st&rFunction: nounEtymology: Middle Englisministerre, from Old French, from Latin minister servant; akin to Latin minor smaller1 : AGENT2 a : one officiating or assisting the officiant in church worship b : a clergyman especially of a Protestant communion3 a : the superior of one of several religious orders -- called also minister-general b : the assistant to the rector or the bursar of a Jesuit house4 : a high officer of state entrusted with the management of a division of governmental activities5 a : a diplomatic representative (as an ambassador) accredited to the court or seat of government of a foreign state b : a diplomatic representative ranking below an ambassador)


Verb: (Main Entry: 2ministerFunction: intransitive verbInflected Form(s): -tered; min·is·ter·ing /-st(&-)ri[ng]/1 : to function as a minister of religion2 : to give aid or service )

I like the verb better.

Don't get me wrong, I'm good with the noun function too, but being called a servant isn't as fulfilling as serving when called.

A constant blessing of sowing service is reaping the witness of other people who serve. In other words, my antenna are most up to the servant nature of others when I'm the least concerned with myself (i.e. serving). I have no shortage of wonderful examples in my life.

My wife Kim is, in my unbiased opinion, a master servant who has the "other chromosome" in her DNA. Some people remind me of Jesus. Kim is often Jesus to those to whom she ministers.

My kids, John, Laura, & Emily take after their mother. John is always ready to help someone with a computer problem. Laura serves her youth group by leading praise every Wednesday night. Emily is our gift maker who blesses others with handmade creations. Were I to list 10% of the times my family has modeled Christlike service, you'd be in for an hour-long-blog read.

When I leave home and arrive at the office I am surrounded by three more servant hearts: Stephen, Matt, & Karen. Working with them is my weekly sermon on service!

A couple of Sundays ago a team of 30+ helped our family move. I'm sure there were people with greater needs but we were sure grateful for their incredible service. Those of you who have experienced the "joy" of moving can agree! Matt brought a chunk of the youth group and they rocked! Mike & Tammy made a meal and Kevin and Lisa blessed us big time!

Last week I saw incredible acts of service done by Amy & Brian as they brought a blessing to Kevan and the kids. Stephen walked along that road of real relationship with us too. And praise God for Mike who is one of those strong soldiers who exemplify "extra mile" service. And Alex is a tremendous servant. Both of their help on Thursday night was awesome!

One of the powerful images of service burned into my mind is that of a talented team of ladies who lead our Children's Ministry: Melanie, Jenny, Rhonda, Leslie, Laura, Cindy & Jimma. They lead by serving and our children are blessed by their loving sacrifices.

I could go on and on with stories of people "pouring out" themselves for the sake of others. Our church is full of people who pick up crosses; a fact that does not surprise me. Our shepherds, Bob, Ron, David, Steve, & Rick are people who lay down their lives daily for their flock.

Like I said earlier... I like the verb better.