Jul 31, 2013

"The Story of God" by Matt Papa

Great reminder of the beauty and depth of the gospel from Matt Papa

Jul 23, 2013

An Update On Things...

So I have come to the conclusion that I basically stink at keeping up a blog. For the past two years, I have struggled with being disciplined enough to post anything of significant value multiple times a week. It's not that I don't have an opinion about a lot of things out there, it's just that I get so distracted by family stuff, delayed doctoral work, or mundane trivia on the internet that I never make time to blog much.  Anyway, I'm sitting here in my office watching a deluge out my window and thought I would start trying to put some stuff up here for the 2 of you that occasionally stop by here to see if I have posted anything only to be sorely disappointed:

Summer Travels
First, I just got back a little over a week ago from some busy traveling this summer.  My family and I spent 2 1/2 days being "house parents" for some orphans from Ukraine who were brought over here by Bridges of Faith ministry.  If you haven't checked out this ministry, you need to.  They are doing some great work trying to be the hands and feet of Jesus for some kids who desperately need it.  I know that several of the kids we stayed with are already in the process of being adopted by people here in the States that met them last month.  It was a great experience.

After that, my family and I drove all the way out to Houston for the Southern Baptist Convention.  Some asked me when I got back if I had a good "vacation".  My reply was, "If you think driving 14 hours with four kids for a three day Baptist business meeting is a 'vacation', then I would love for you to come with us next year."  However, we had a great time.  I hope to blog later about my experiences at the SBC and why my family and I like to go.

After a couple of weeks home, we were gone for two weeks to South Carolina.  First, we led a group from my church to Greenville, SC for the second year to do work with an organization called "Diligent Hands, Gracious Hearts".  If you are looking for a way to involve people in inner-city missions with multiple opportunities for a group, check them out.  Great week of ministry whenever we weren't dodging rain drops.  Then, my family and I headed from Greenville to Hilton Head for a week of vacation.  My sister-in-law lives in Hilton Head, so all my wife's family joined us there for a week at the beach.  All-in-all, we had a very good week mostly hanging out at the beach.  Hilton Head has great golf, but I couldn't fit my clubs in the Pilot with all the luggage for 6 people for two weeks.

Doctoral Work
I am trying hard to get my doctoral work finished.  Because I am a procrastinator, I have put off this work for far too long.  Ministry and family demands have kept me busy enough, but now I have to find the motivation to push forward to get it done.  I am in the process of developing lesson plans to teach my deacons on the subject of "helping deacons to be servant leaders."  I have had to read about 25 resources as part of my research.  I have also been carrying a large bin full of books, files, and papers around.  Pray for me to be disciplined to "get 'er done" over the next few weeks.  I hope to have the lesson plans developed soon to be able to start teaching soon after Labor Day.

Most of my reading has been limited to doctoral work this year.  However, once I finished my annotated bibliography, I was able to pick up some books I had set aside.  I will be posting a review here soon on "Faithmapping" by Daniel Montgomery and Mike Cosper.  Great book.  One of the best books I have read so far this year is "The Insanity of God" by Nik Ripken.  This is his encounter of over 20 years of working with the persecuted church around the world.  Warning: "If you read this book, it will shatter your perception of the current state of the church and cause you to be very frustrated with the shallowness and consumerism of the contemporary American church." However, if I had one book I wanted every friend of mine to read right now, "The Insanity of God" would be it.

There are a few updates for you if you happen to stop by.  I will try to keep some posts and thoughts up here soon.  Maybe I can give you some of the things I am learning about servant leadership as I am writing my lessons.

Go Red Sox!