So this entry tonight is me procrastinating! I’m sitting at a Panera Bread trying to finish an attribute study of God’s mercy for the Doctrine class I’m taking this week and next. So needless to say I need to get to my homework and not be blogging, but I couldn’t resist! I’ve averaged around 6-7 hours/day of studying over the last 4 days as we are taking these two courses! It is good stuff! I’m loving it but I didnâ€™t study this much in college! Granted these are masterâ€™s courses!
As promised here are some observations from the very first talk we listened to at the New Staff Training conference down here in, at the moment, chilly Daytona Beach, FL. I have been very impressed by the quality and level of teaching we have received thus far, and it only looks like it will get better from here on out!
On Monday morning at 8 am we are beginning the two seminary courses that Campus Crusade requires New Staff to take; the courses are entitled â€“ Doctrine Survey Course and Bible Study Methods. Iâ€™ve just been looking at the notebooks, requirements and notes for the two courses and it appears that it will be a lot of work. So pray that I can get back in the â€œschoolâ€ mode, do well in the courses, learn with a humble heart and spirit, and not get puffed up by the knowledge I acquire.
Here are some thoughts about Marc Rutterâ€™s talk entitled – A Foundation for Ministry.
Today Reid and I have been hanging out at Panera Bread Company in Franklin, TN, which is just outside Nashville. It has been great to catch up with Reid and talk theology, apologetics, the toilet water of the emerging church, and life. But as we were chatting I noticed a Christian celeb walk in the room. Now Iâ€™m not too big into clamoring about any human being because I realize they are just that human, but as I sat and worked it was an odd sight for me.
The flowing blond rock star hair that is reminiscent of the hair bands of the 1980â€™s just drew my attention to this Newsboy. I actually had to google his band to find his name, which happens to be Phil Joel.
My good friend Joe Gabriel likes to think of a Czech soccer superstar, Pavel Nedved (see pic), as the most beautiful of men. I think Joel might give old Pavel a run for his money. Hmmmmâ€¦ Czech Soccer Superstar or Christian â€œrock starâ€ that is holding on to the 80s a bit to tight? Okay it isnâ€™t an argument â€“ Pavel wins!
Well, I hope this made you laugh! I have to get back to writing my â€œCalling Testimonyâ€ for the training Iâ€™m beginning next week but I needed a break and to laughâ€¦
By the way I didnâ€™t ask for Phil Joelâ€™s autograph, sorry!
Tonight as Iâ€™ve been sitting writing about 200 or so Christmas cards to those who have joined my team of ministry partners Iâ€™ve been watching the NFL Networkâ€™s coverage about the passing of Tony Dungyâ€™s (the coach of the Indianapolis Colts) son, James. Here is an email that the AIA staff at headquarters sent all of our staff today:
Last night I drove from Oshkosh to my parent’s house in the Lake Geneva area to find a lot of mail! I love that feeling! I heard back from several people who have joined my team of ministry partners! It has been so encouraging to see how God has provided for me and my work with Athletes in Action! Thank you so much for all of you that have joined my team and welcome to OUR ministry. Please do remember if you have committed to prayer or giving financial support you have become part of what God is doing in Czech and throughout the world! This is as much your ministry as it is mine!
I did get a piece of mail that was truly amazing! My friend Ondra sent me a Christmas card and I wanted to share a short portion with you. It is hard to share just a piece, because there is so much packed into this card that he sent me! But here is a very cool section:
I pray you manage the goals you’re struggling for! I believe Jesus will give us a chance to see each other again. Jesus wants you to come here cuz it’s for God’s sake and for people’s sake and for the world’s sake!
That is so awesome! Thank you so much Ondra for maybe the best Christmas gift I will receive this Christmas! The gift of seeing God change a life and the gift of someone being so fired up to grow in his relationship with God! Thank you Lord for calling me into a relationship with you and for calling me into the work that you have called me to! To the right is a picture of Ondra from a recent concert with one of his many bands! Well, I need to get to the ski hill! My sister, Megan, and I are coaching the high school team this evening! It should be fun! Merry Christmas and I’m so stoked to be part of the Revolution!
One of the great things about working for a great organization like Campus Crusade is that they have a ton of resources to help their staff members. Today I was doing some work on the Ministry Partner Development (a.k.a. support raising) website and a great quote fell into my lap!
Have you ever had the thought go through your mind, while you are in the midst of doing something God has called you to, â€œIâ€™m crazy.â€ Well, most of my young walk with the Lord has been made up of this voice in my brain. I donâ€™t want to muse about what that voice is, but what takes place as Iâ€™m doing these things and hearing this voice.
The latest undertaking Iâ€™ve dove into headlong, in attempt to follow Jesus, is raising support to come on staff with Athletes in Action for 6-8 years in hope of getting back to the Czech Republic and seeing a country of 89% atheist worship Jesus as Lord. In the past 3 months as Iâ€™ve been on the â€˜support roadâ€™ Iâ€™ve thought often to myself that Iâ€™m crazy. This week has been one big thought of â€œIâ€™M STINKING CRAZY.â€
Last week I was blessed by my former boss, Curtis Riskey, the owner of Basic Books in Oshkosh, WI. Curtis is one of my favorite people! He seeks to resource and provide the means by which people can grow closer to the Lord by operating a Christian bookstore.
The great thing about Curtis is that he is aware of the crap that is coming out under the umbrella of Christian Consumerism. When I worked for Curtis I struggled mightily with stupid t-shirts that we sold (I’ll confess I even wore some, like the own that was the Volkswagen rip-off that said “Disciples Wanted” instead of “Drivers Wanted” and the VW logo was tweaked and turned into a cross), the scripture mints and the rest of the so-called “Jesus junk.”
Right now Iâ€™m sitting in the Reeve Union of the University of Wisconsin â€“ Oshkosh looking out through these huge windows on the UW-O main strip. Iâ€™ve always loved this campus during the fall, and it feels kind of comforting to be sitting here. You may be wondering why I would be back here and there is an easy answer â€“ FREE NET. I just got done doing some support calls and other work on the net. Now Iâ€™m going to open my Bible and get some time with Jesus. I wanted to post a couple sections of some emails I have received from Ondra, the one student that came to Christ while I was in Czech.
As I write this Iâ€™m looking out of a Starbucksâ€™ window out to one of my most favorite city squares in all of the United States. It happens to be mere miles from the home that I was born in. Iâ€™m sitting in Woodstock, IL. If you have never been here it is a fun place to escape away to and enjoy the small town America feel that is Woodstock. It happens to be the square that the majority of Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day was filmed. Anyway, today has been an interesting day and a very encouraging day as well. Here is the run down, I hope it makes you laugh, cry and moves you to take this world by storm.