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Showing posts from July, 2011

Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)

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7 Days of Delight - Day 7.

Sweat brings me closer to God. 

Didn't see that coming did ya? As it turns out, one thing that really gets my heart pumping is... getting my heart pumping!  Exercise. Walking, working out at the gym, aerobic dance... Zumba!  When my blood gets pumping I feel awake and alive.  Maybe it's the endorphins.  Maybe it's the increased oxygen intake.  Maybe it's the overall "feeling better."  Whatever it is, it brings me closer to God. 

So, log off your computer and hit the gym! ...or take a brisk walk! ...or put on some C & C Music Factory circa early 1990's and start MOVIN'!

Coffeeversation

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7 days of Delight - Day 6:

I started to write "coffee" for number 6 of 7 things that bring me great delight, and cause me to delight in God.  But the more I think about it, one of the best things about coffee is sharing it with friends.  I do delight in a good cup of coffee (and detest warm, brown water), but I delight even more in CONNECTING!

Some of my favorite moments are sitting with a friend, a group of other pastors, or a random seeker, at my favorite local spot, engaged in conversation with a cup full of liquid bean awesomeness... or in my own living room with Cuban Coffee!  As matter of fact, it was during an evening of great conversation that was first introduced to my favorite addiction - Cafe Cubano!

Coffeeversations about relationships, sports, current events, and entertainment break down the walls of solitude that threaten my delight in connected community.  But my greatest delight are in those coffeeversations that center on spirituality and what it means to li…

Music to my ears

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7 Days of Delight, Day 5

Since I was a kid, especially since I was a teenager, music has spoken to my heart immensely.  Songs have a way of moving me not just closer to God, but moving me with God.  Electronica is my genre of choice; synthesizers and drum machines often move my spirit to bliss!  In the 80s we called it "new wave," then we called this "alternative."  In the 90s it got labeled "techno."  My favorite label for electronic music is "aggressive smile pop."  I know, I know... people say they hate this kind of music.  Meanwhile, I close my eyes and soar with God.

I'm not a one-genre music lover, though. I also love rock, pop, jazz (smooth and classic), blues... and a fusion of all of the above.  Not to mention world music, reggae, and zydeco. I love it!  But, my most common music of choice involves a dance beat, soaring strings, a driving bass line, and a rock guitar!

I also adore intelligent lyrics. On the other hand, cheesy-catch…

Tell me something I don't know

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Week of Delight: Day 4.
I love learning!  Discovery of some new idea, or a "deeper understanding," actually brings me tremendous joy.  It's not just learning for learning's sake, but there is something about a new discovery that brings me closer to God.  It is a big part of my job, which is one of the reasons I have the perfect job for me, but discovery helps me in so many other ways as well.  Conversations deepen, vocabulary expands, knowledge increases, adventure continues... and I get really great at trivia-related games!  :)

So... tell me something I don't know!

How can I bring You doubt when You bring me the sky?

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"How can I bring You doubt when You bring me the sky?" What a great line from the Echoing Green song "Supernova!"

It's Day three of my Week of Delight, and checking in at number 3 on the list is - you guessed it - THE SKY!

A clear blue sky causes me to delight in the vastness of God.  This must be what the ancients celebrated when they spoke of the God of the heavens.  He is so vast, so huge, that only the expanse of the sky could possibly be His home.

On the other hand, clouds cause me to delight in the ever-morphing creativity of God.  It is when I take time to enjoy the clouds that I am reminded that God is not only holy and love, but ridiculously creative! And storm clouds fill me with awe at His power.  I love storms!

Then there is the sky at night.  Always beautiful, at times absolutely stunning.  At 1 AM, when you catch me gazing at the moon and stars, rest assured... it's a God thing! (moon pic taken by my friend, Paul Tanner, with his telescope and…

Walk on the Ocean

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Day two of my Week of Delight, and it will come to no surprise to anyone who knows me at all, that next on my list of things that I delight in, and cause me to delight in God is my love, the Ocean!

"Ocean" a poem I wrote 11-29-07, at South Beach in Boca Raton, FL.
As the warmth of the sun covers me,
I sit in a sand castle only God could create.
What is this feeling?
So bizarre in its essence,
Is it the love I have for your beauty?
Or is it the loneliness of knowing you'll soon be far away?
Upon your surface I glide,
Beneath the depths, I hide.
I never want to leave this place
And in my heart I never will.
Seashells and sand
Mementos of moments
So rare and fleeting...
And yet everlasting.
Wash over me.
Wash over me.
And as the warmth of the sun covers me,
My gaze upon you wonders, "Could this be the last?"
All the while, the wetness on my face and the salt upon my lips
Is a hopeful mixture of Ocean and tears.

How do you say Dee-lite?

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Kicking off a "Week of Delight!"  I'll be blogging this week about 7 things I take delight in, or 7 ways I delight in God.

Numero Uno on the list is my Family.


SeaShell, C-man, J-dawg, and (almost with us) N-crowd light up my life like nothing else! 

When my wife looks into my eyes, I feel closer to God.  When she takes my hand in hers, there is an electricity that overflows my heart with joy!  I delight in her gaze and in her touch - and I respond by thanking God for sending me an angel.  God uses my wife to encourage and inspire me daily, a fact of my life that I refuse to take for granted.

Our boys are amazing!  I feel so blessed to have such a wonderfully fun family.  C-man, my 14-year old, is so smart its scary and so witty for his own good.  He makes me smile - always has.  The fact that he has yet to grow out of "Hey Daddy, watch this," delights me to no end.  J-dawg, my 1-year old, is so full of energy its ridiculous! I wonder where he gets that from?  …

Keeping the Camp Fire Burning

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My Facebook page is overflowing with photos and comments about summer youth camps!  I love seeing the passion and fire for Jesus of youth, volunteers, and youth pastors after a week (or weekS) of camp. 

Why is it so much easier to get a spiritual boost at camp than the rest of the year? And why does that spiritual boost seem to diminish within a week after camp (or convention, retreat, rally, IYC, etc)?

I started working with students (teenagers) in 1994.  I became a paid "professional" Youth Pastor in 1998.  Since taking the role of Lead Pastor in 2007, I have still been actively involved in ministry to students.  In these 17 years, I have seen methods change - rapidly, and often drastically.  But one thing that has remained constant is the general inability to "keep the fire burning" after camp. (DISCLAIMER: I know there are exceptions to the rule, please don't email me how you're different.  I'm sure you are.  ;}) 

Can anything be done?  YES!  Here a…