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Showing posts from May, 2008

Nothing happens the same way twice

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Another interesting line from Prince Caspian is when Lucy asks Aslan why things aren't working out the way they did the last time they were in Narnia. Aslan responds, "Nothing ever happens the same way twice."

I want things to always work the same way. In relationships with people, I want to always know what to expect. If I act in a certain way, I want to be certain people will respond the way they did the last time. But I really want God to act in the same way. If at a certain point in my past I received an answer to my prayers when I fasted - I expect that God will come through if I fast again. If I felt close to God by singing a certain song or reading a certain book, I want to re-create that experience time and again - but it never seems to work.

I remember going back on my 2nd tour with the Continental Singers back in 1989, having had such an incredible, life changing tour in the summer of 1988. The "sophomore" tour did not live up to my memories of the firs…

Where are you, Aslan?

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Took the family to see the "Prince Caspian" movie yesterday afternoon. The story follows Peter, Edmund, Susan, and Lucy as they are called back to Narnia for another adventure, only it has been 1300 years since they left as Kings and Queens. In those 1300 years, Narnia has undergone terrible changes. A race of men (the Calormenes) has dominated the land, and has tried to exterminate the Narnians. Prince Caspian is forced to flee his rightful Kingdom due to treachery and threats on his life, and he flees to the land of Narnia with a magical horn (which had belonged to Susan 1300 years earlier) with which he summons the 4 English children back to Narnia.

Throughout the story the big question that hangs over every scene is: "Where is Aslan?" He hasn't appeared in many generations. He didn't seem to do anything to stop the slaughter of the Narnians. And he doesn't seem to be very interested in helping save the day as the exiled Prince Caspian tries to…

Holding out for the best

I have a friend with whom I went running this morning. He's a 34 year old single Christian man, who has been dating someone for about 7 months. The big question whenever we get together is..."So...are you going to ask her to marry you?"

The problem is, he realizes that he and his girlfriend, though they are both good people, have some pretty major differences in life priorities. She doesn't want children (he does), she is very focused on her life goals and not too willing to accomodate someone else's dreams. I told him that as much as I want him to get married and start a family (since this is his desire) I'd hate for him to settle for less than the best. 50 years of marriage with someone you don't really agree on some fundamental life priorities is not a prescription for happiness or fulfillment, but rather frustration.

I pray that when my children are old enough to be considering such questions, they will hold out for the best in their future mate. …

Family

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Gary D. had a triple bypass last night. I really wanted to just get in my car and drive to Canby last night. I knew I couldn't really do anything, but I wanted to just be there with the Davis clan.
In the last couple of weeks the Davis clan has weathered this emergency of Gary's, Ashlie's broken back, and Josh's separated shoulder. As we talked about this, and Ryan prayed for them at dinner tonight, we talked about when you go through tough times family is what gets you through. You can handle just about anything if are not facing it alone.
We know our kids are not perfect, but we are striving to give them a strong foundation and the knowledge that no matter what happens in their lives, they are not alone. They have a wonderful extended family, and friends here and in Canby that are in many ways closer than family.
It's a blessing for them, and for me and Ann.

Put the ball in play

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I read tonight on my nephew's blog how as a worship leader for youth he consistently feels like something is missing from their times of worship, even though they are well planned and executed. Below is my response to him.

Josh,
Gotta say having led worship for years most of the time it felt like something was strangely missing. Very few home runs were hit. The key is to keep coming to the plate. Try to put the ball into play. Consistently getting "on base" as a worship leader or as a worship team will bring fruit over the longer haul.

I actually think one of the most difficult things about ministry work (be it leading worship or preaching or leading a small group or whatever) is that we always have these incredible ideals about what it SHOULD be, but we have to live with how it really is. So...my word of encouragement is keep guarding your first love, do your best to put together and lead meaningful times of worship, and leave the results to God. Your life is making a dif…

Jim & Casper go to church

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Originally written Dec. 29, 2007.

My friend loaned me a book called "Jim & Casper Go To Church". Basically it is conversations between a Christian pastor guy (Jim) and an open minded atheist guy (Casper) about their experiences at 12 different churches in America. A good read, and it's provoking some thoughts. Casper is very unimpressed with churches spending lots of $ on technology. Yes, use the technology that is available, but don't worry about doing a stage show rivaling rock concerts. Casper is also very impressed with churches that actually DO things like serve the poor and make a tangible difference in a poor community. To him it doesn't make much difference what people talk about or "believe" or sing about in songs. He keeps saying "is this what Jesus had in mind?" when he goes to megachurches. In my own spiritual journey I've felt that too much of my life was about proclaiming beliefs and not enough about actually DOING stuff to …

Back in the saddle

Originally written May 19

After nearly a year since I resigned my post as Pastor of CTK Oak Harbor, I delivered the message yesterday. Actually, I led worship (with Ann) AND taught AND did a pre-marital counseling session following church! How did it feel? Like putting on an old shoe.I felt like I was in my element - helping people understand the Bible, and sharing with them insights they found interesting and inspirational. God has given me a gift for teaching. And I need to be using it again. I want to be using it again.

I spoke on the life of Asa as recast in 2 Chr 14-16. Whereas in Kings he is held up as a hero, in Chronicles he is chided for lack of faith later in life. He traded faith in God for reliance upon himself. And he died a bitter, lonely, self-sufficient man. As I prepared and taught that message I realized I was preaching to myself. I have spent the last year or two running away from a life of faith that I have always lived. I have tried to figure out ways to provide for…

Life Is An Endurance Sport

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Originally written May 13
In just over 2 weeks I'll start my 2nd season of Triathlon racing. It's about time. Been spending too much time trying to train and it's getting boring! It's time for the thrill of the crowd, the surge of adrenaline at the starting gun, the thrill of competition!

Perhaps one of the reasons I've been so drawn to going into triathlons is that I enjoy the challenge and mental discipline endurance sports have forced me to develop. Just keep going. Keep pushing.

I reached a point in my spiritual life that I didn't want to stay in the race a couple of summers ago. I didn't care any more, and I've taken a hiatus. But I'm getting anxious to get back in the race. To use the gifts God has given me on more than administration.

I'm learning that life is an endurance sport. You go through times of boredom. You go through times of highs and lows. But you've got to keep going. You've got to keep your eyes on the finish line, where…