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Archive for April, 2008

More Prayer

My sermon prep for our MySpace series has really challenged me in the area of prayer.  It’s always good to be reminded of who this thing is all about.  It’s all about God and we need to have a hungry dependence on Him.  I’m thinking about extending it for three weeks.  I found some more good stuff on prayer during my devotional time with God.  We’ll see.

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My buddy Wes Johnson sent this to me via e-mail. It got my morning started with a good laugh. Hope it does the same for you. Enjoy!

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This Sunday, we are launching a new series at The Bridge on prayer called MySpace. We will discuss why and how we should pray for two weeks…at least that’s the plan for now.  I can’t wait to teach our people about prayer.  Prayer has become somewhat of a lost art in the church.  It’s so common place that it doesn’t strike us as a big deal.  There’s an old cliche that says, “Seven days without prayer makes one weak.” Get it?  A little corny now, but it resonated with me when I heard it in college.  A pastor once said to me, “I have people that come to me with problems all the time; marital issues, relationship problems, sin, moral shortcomings, addictions.  The first thing I ask them is, ‘Have you been consistent in your prayer life?‘  The answer is always no.”  Most of the challenges we face stem from our failure to spend consistent time with God.  We’re going to nail it starting this Sunday.

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I’ve posted some pictures from our last Expression. Click here to check them out. Shout outs to Alvin Lowe for taking such great pics! Appreciate you, bro. You can actually see the rest of the pictures in Facebook.

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Recently, I was walking by a Borders Book Store and saw, “A Diary of a Wimpy Kid” by Jeff Kinney in the window. This was a pretty emotional time for me. Jeff Kinnley was a cartoonist for the Diamondback, University of Maryland College Park’s student newspaper. He was the creator of Igdoof, which was the funniest comic strip known to man. I became disappointed as Igdoof’s popularity never expanded nationally. This was thirteen years ago.

On my way back from Los Angeles, I saw the book again at the LA airport. The cover stated that it was a #1 New York Times best seller! I picked up a copy and read the entire book before I got back to Maryland. It was so funny, I couldn’t put it down. Jeff has not lost his touch. Diary of a Wimpy Kid is extremely hilarious. It is the journal of a fictitious middle school student named Greg Heffley. Jeff takes normal adolescent situations and puts a hilarious spin on them. For instance, he speaks of a time that Greg and his best friend, Rowley, created a haunted house for Halloween. In order to get kids in the community interested, they advertised the haunted house as featuring real live sharks. The situations seem so real to life, though they are a bit far fetched. This is the formulat that makes it so funny. You often find yourself either saying, “I did the same thing when I was in elementary school” or “I knew someone who tried to do the exact same thing.” The illustrations are to die for! If you are up for some good laughter, a suggest checking this book out. I haven’t read the sequel Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, as yet. I’m sure I’ll be picking it up in the near future.

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Afterglow

I’m still amazed by the fact that Darren and I got an opportunity to share the same stage as amazing leaders such as Erwin McManus, Bill Hybles, Wayne Cordeiro, Dan Kimball, and Mark Batterson.  I’m especially grateful to Marcus Goodloe for making it all happen.  “Goodie” and I worked at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship together in the late ’90’s.  He’s a great leader and speaker.  God is using him in an amazing way.  I’m speaking at another conference this afternoon at People’s Community Baptist Church in Silver Spring, MD.  It’s a young adults conference, so I’ll get a chance to pour into some singles.  Looking forward to it!

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Today marked the last day of the Awaken Conference.  I got a chance to hook up with Eric Bryant and Octavio Martinez for breakfast at Panera. After our breakfast gathering, it was on to our panel session.  I enjoyed our session.  I was a bit nervous when I first went on stage.  I’m used to getting up in front of people when I’m prepared.  It was great to be confronted with the spontaneity of Q&A.  Everyone on the panel did a great job.  We got great feedback, as well.

I don’t remember everything we discussed, but here was a few:

1.  Live out your story.  We all have a story that plays a part in God’s story.  Our community in Silver Spring are filled with Americans and first and second generation migrants.  I’m all of the above. God has interwoven my story with that of the community.

2.  We all have accents.  God uses those accents in a unique way to accomplish His purposes.

3.  The people in our communities speak many languages.  We can decide to speak one language or learn the languages of others to connect with them.  It is going to require riskThe lower the risk, the lower the rate of return.  The higher the risk, the higher the rate of return.

4.  Here’s something I wanted to say, but ran out of time.  We have to die so that Christ can live.  However, we must also die so that others around us can live. 

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