Archive for October, 2010

I am 30 years old.  I am a completely different now than when I was as a kid.  In many ways I still act like a kid…  but my personality, likes and dislikes, have changed drastically.  Although I still love many things I loved as a kid, here is a list of things that when I was 10 years old, I NEVER thought I would say…

1) “I love flossing” – What kid in their right mind likes flossing?  That was always the worst part of getting ready for bed.  My gums were bleeding, fingers were going numb as they lost blood circulation because floss was wrapped so tightly around them, wondering how does a person put their whole hand in their mouth to get to the teeth in the back.  I was ok with the fact that according to dentist assistant “the germs are building a city in between your teeth”.  As a matter of fact, after about 2 tries, I don’t think I ever tried again.  I think I have figured out why I hated flossing as a kid though.  Floss picks!  If floss picks would have been around in the 80’s… no germs in my mouth!  I think floss picks are the greatest invention ever made and I really do consider the person who invented them a genius.  Now that I have the floss pick, I cannot stand the feeling of going to bed without flossing.

2) “I love onions” – I hated onions as a kid.  Maybe it was the texture, the crunchiness, the fact that they made me cry.  Whatever it was, I didn’t like onions on anything.  There were times when I scraped onions off of a cheeseburger at McDonalds.  As I have gotten older, I have learned to love the addition of an onion on certain foods.  Hot Dogs, hamburgers, sandwiches, salads, sloppy joe’s, are about 100 times better with an onion.

3) “I love going to church” – Growing up as a pastor’s kid, going to church wasn’t just something we did once a week on a Sunday morning.  We were there at least 3 times a week, sometimes 4 or 5, and sometimes every night of the week.  Back in those days, our church didn’t really have a kids program so I was stuffed in “big church” with all the adults.  I once thought about putting a tent in the back yard of our church just because it would have saved me the time and energy of getting ready.  Football season was brutal.  Revivals and missions conferences always seemed to fall on the same night as the “game of the year”!  I remember specifically taking matters into my own hands the year the 49ers and Cowboys played in an epic NFC championship game. I pulled out the old “earphone through the shirtsleeve trick”.   Best sermon my dad ever preached!  🙂  As I’ve gotten older, my passion for sports hasn’t changed, but my passion for God and fellowship with other believers has.  I love church and I especially love the small group atmosphere.

4) “I love reading” – Now I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that loving reading is high on my list.  When I was a kid, I hated reading.  With a passion.  There is a part of me that still does.  I think I will always naturally ask myself “hmmm, I wonder when the movie comes out” when I see a book.  But the reality is that as I have gotten older, I now see the value in reading.  I embrace it more than I did when I was a kid.  I understand the importance of reading in my life.  I’m still not disciplined as much in this area as I would like to be, but considering where I was as a kid… when Cliff and I were best friends…  you remember him right?  Cliff Notes.  Yea… me and him were good buddies in high school.

5) “I love giving things away” – Kids are usually selfish by nature.  Not all, but most.  It’s kind of a disease we get by being born in America.  After a few years we begin to buy into the philosophy that we are owed certain things, or we deserve things.  It’s no ones fault – it’s the result of being in a wealthy society.  Watching commercials during kids programming on TV is like a year-long Christmas advertisement.  There are always new, cool toys that we want.  And normally that doesn’t go away as we get older.  However, as I have grown up, matured, and gotten closer to Christ, I have learned to love the idea of giving things away.  Trust me… I’m still extremely selfish, and sometimes my inner child takes over when I see something cool.  But the reality is that there are 2 verses that I want to make more real in my life…

Acts 20:35 – In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ “

Luke 12:33 – Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.

So that’s my list.  There many others as well.  Playing the piano, drinking milk, saying “I love you” to a girl other than my mom.  All things I hated as a kid, but now they are as part of my life as going to sleep every night.

What about you?  Serious or funny…  What are things that you couldn’t stand as a kid, but now couldn’t see yourself living without?

As a youth leader and worship leader in our somewhat traditional, independent baptist church, I have a unique responsibility.  Leading youth on Wednesday evenings.  Leading adults in worship on Sunday mornings.

I absolutely love worshiping with the youth.  Their passion and excitement for worship is inspiring.  We have some awesome experiences in our youth room.  There is freedom to jump around, dance, sit, stand, kneel on the ground.  It’s an intimate, family type atmosphere and I love it.

I also love worshiping with our adults.  Of course it’s a much larger group, with many different backgrounds and age groups.  It’s a completely different feel though.  A good percentage of the congregation really enjoy the modern worship songs.  Some raise hands, a few clap, we even have a deacon who likes to get “jiggy wit it”.  On the other hand, some stare, some glare, some like to sing “internally”, and some cover their ears.  The standing/sitting is all directed by the leader.

I love both settings.  The challenge I face is giving each group something that they can use to experience God and truly worship God.  This is a constant struggle and one that I admit has no easy solution.

I heard a great message at the Catalyst Conference by Craig Groeschel about the tension between generations.  I will admit this is a tense area.  I have to learn not to push my methods, preferences, opinions on those who have been brought up differently and have other likes and dislikes as me.  Craig’s message really helped open my eyes to some things that I was blinded about before.

So… I’m going to try something new.  One of my goals is to start integrating great hymns into our praise and worship times.  This will challenge and stretch our worship team, but I think we’ve grown so much over the past two years that we’ll do a pretty good job with it.

To help me with this project…  what is your all-time favorite hymn?  or 2 or 3?

If you go to our church, we just may sing it soon.

I will go first…

In Matthew 10:39, Jesus says “Whoever finds his life will lose it, whoever loses his life for my sake will find it”.

Francis Chan said this at Catalyst 2010…

“If you try to keep your children ‘safe’ or ‘happy’, there’s a good chance you will lose them.  But when you let go, and start pursuing the things God has called you to – it’s like God says ‘I’ll take care of them.'”

By definition, the word dedicate means:

…to set apart and consecrate to a deity or to a sacred purpose

…to devote wholly and earnestly, as to some person or purpose

…to set aside for or assign to a specific function, task, or purpose

This past Sunday, my wife and I had the amazing privilege to dedicate our precious 4 month old Naomi to God.

By dedicating her to God does not mean we will stop taking care of her, stop loving her, or stop providing for her… it simply means that as parents we will step out of the way.  We don’t consider ourselves radical, insane, or crazy.  We are Christ followers and love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and we desire the same for her.  We will pray for her and with her each day as she grows older and encourage her to do what on the outside seems impossible, and live a life of meaning and purpose.

  • If it’s God’s will is that she is a housewife, we accept.
  • If it’s God’s will that she is a teacher, we accept.
  • If it’s God’s will that she is a “Rachel Scott“, we accept.
  • If it’s God’s will that she is single her entire life, we accept.
  • If it’s God’s will that she is a “world changer” and moves to Asia, we accept.

Whatever God would want with her…  we hand her over.  As her parents, we commit her to be used by God and for God.

I was honored to sing the song “Lead Me”, written by the band Sanctus Real.  The song is perfect for dads and husbands.  It challenges us as men to be a man by asking God for help.  We cannot do it on our own.

If you have never heard this song… check out this video:

God gave me the strength to get through the song.  Numerous times I felt myself losing it, and I basically had to take my mind off the meaning of the song, and just sing it.  Truth is that I really have no idea what I’m doing, but I keep trusting God to LEAD ME, and I know that He will.

The fact that many of our closest friends and family were there to celebrate this awesome day with us was very humbling for us.  We are so blessed.

To end on a funny note…  as Pastor Sam was performing the dedication and speaking about Naomi, she let out one of her BIIIG yawns… as if to say “ok mister, let’s get the show on the road… I’ve got a world to change!!“.

That’s my girl!

If you watched the end of the Pittsburgh Steelers vs Miami Dolphins game you will know that there was a little bit of confusion that needed to be sorted out.  Basically the Steelers scored a touchdown, but because of an apparent fumble before the runner crossed the goal line, Miami challenged the ruling on the field.  They won the challenge, but still lost the challenge.  Confused?  Here’s the explanation from the official:

“Naturally the ruling on the field was a touchdown by Pittsburgh. After review it was confirmed in replay that the ball did come loose and it was a fumble prior to the ball breaking the goal line. That’s where we go into the second aspect of that. In order to overturn this and give another team the football, I have to have clear video evidence of the team recovering the fumble. … That is what I explained. We did have a fumble, but we did not have video evidence and a confirmation on who recovered the football so we changed an aspect of the play by not awarding Pittsburgh the touchdown. Miami is not charged a time out because we changed an aspect of that play, but we could not award the defense in this situation the football because we don’t have video evidence of the defense recovering the ball.”

Still confused?  I completely understand.

Isn’t that how life can be sometimes?  Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, something goes wrong.  As soon as you learn to hit the fastballs, life goes and throws you a curve ball.  Learn to swim, then the waves come crashing down.  You learn to walk, and an earthquake takes over your life.  This could apply to any area of your life.  Could be with your husband or wife, your kids, your job, your education, your dreams, your goals, your finances, your future, etc.  If you are breathing right now… you have probably experienced something at some time that would leave you scratching your head and wondering what in the world just happened.

In life… when you get confused, let me encourage you to turn your confusion over to God.  Check out these verses:

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.  The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Psalm 46:1-3,7

These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Ps 37:4

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace. 1 Corinthians 14:33a

Don’t let a confusing time of your life ruin your whole season, or even worse… your whole career.  Sometimes the ball bounces your way, sometimes it doesn’t.  Sometimes the people around us see things the same way we do, sometimes they don’t.  Sometimes our kids are great, sometimes they’re not.  Sometimes the teens in our youth group are on fire for God, sometimes they’re not.  Sometimes I understand life, sometimes I don’t.

If you get confused about things…  don’t feel bad and think you’re the only one without a clue.  It’s normal.  Just continue to put your trust in God and He will show you over time why He has allowed certain things to happen.

For both sets of fans yesterday, the emotions went from one extreme to the other in a matter of seconds.  Next time that happens to you, don’t put your fate in the hands of a replay official. Put your trust and your delight in God.  Trust His decision, and rejoice in the outcome, no matter what.

Today for Fun Friday, I wanted to just talk about the blog for a few minutes.  This post isn’t intended to be funny, or make you think, or even help encourage you, but it may help explain some of the things around here and also help you stay more connected.

I started this blog a little over a month ago and so far I have loved every minute of it.  Some posts have obviously been more interesting than others, but I feel like I am consistently improving and getting better.  My purpose for the blog continues to be to become a better writer and communicator.  My goal is to create a community that includes more people than just some family members, New Life Church attenders, and facebook friends.  I want the readership to grow and include people from all walks of life.  I have very much enjoyed the reader feedback that you guys have given me.  You are all very encouraging and that is one of the things that motivates me to keep going.  So far I have had 31 posts, 77 comments and over 1500 total hits on the blog.  The average post generates about 40-50 hits.  I have had 2 days when I had over 150 hits – my largest traffic day was 168 hits in 1 day.

Just for fun, here are my top 5 favorite posts:

We Are The Champions

The Sea Was Angry That Day My Friends

Faith Promise Living

Creating Good Memories

Embarrassing Moments

Now to discuss a couple of ways you can stay better connected for future posts.  Most likely, you are reading this blog in 1 of the following 4 formats:

  1. http://www.mattriggins.wordpress.com on your normal internet provider
  2. Mobile Device
  3. Email
  4. RSS Reader

If you generally click over when I post a link on facebook or twitter – and you have enjoyed the posts so far – let me encourage you to do 1 of 2 things.

  • Subscribe to receive the blog via email.  As of now, 5 of you are signed up to receive my posts via email, so I thank you for that.  If you would like to be added to the list, just enter your email address in the box in the upper left hand corner of this window.  It’s completely safe and the only thing you will get emailed to you will be new posts, nothing else.
  • Subscribe to receive the blog via RSS.  If you’re unfamiliar with RSS, it stands for Really Simple Syndication. RSS can be confusing at first, but once you figure it out, it’s very nice, and ironically really simple.  You can get the RSS link for this blog if you look up and to the right where it says “stay updated via RSS”.  Then copy/paste that link into your RSS reader “add new link” window.  If you get your email via Microsoft Outlook, it’s very simple to implement RSS through Outlook.  I use this option for every blog I frequently read.  Research this option a little and you’ll figure it out in no time.

I will continue to put links on facebook and twitter though.

If you like a post, or it encourages you, makes you think, or contains something that you would like to share with others – please repost on your facebook wall, retweet it, print it out, or email it to your friends.  After all – every blogger desires that you do 3 things when visiting their site:

  1. Leave a comment (in the box below)
  2. Share with others (see the links at the bottom of each post)
  3. Subscribe to receive future posts

Your feedback is greatly appreciated.  Just so you are all aware – every comment is emailed to me, so although I may not respond directly in the comments section, I do read them ALL and it means a lot that you take the time to leave comment.

So thank you so much for choosing to read my blog.  Ultimately, I hope you are encouraged as a result of stopping by here.

Have a great day, and a great weekend!

A man once walked into a church.  He was dressed quite casually and scruffy.  The preacher approached the man.

“Sir, we are really glad you are here today, but when we come to church, we try and look our best for God.  I’d like to encourage you to go home and pray to God and ask him how he thinks you should dress next week”.

The man returned home and followed the preacher’s request.  The next week he showed up; however,  this time looking even worse.  The preacher approached the man to ask him if he prayed about his appearance.

“As a matter of fact I did” said the man, “and God said – ‘I have no idea how you should dress, I’ve never been to that church'”

Funny story.  Probably true somewhere.

I open up with that to get us thinking about something.  October is national anti-bullying month.  There are a number of blogs and TV shows doing specials about bullying.  I spoke about bullying last night in youth group, and I would like to take this opportunity to discuss this topic on here.  I think many people are bullies and do not even realize it.  Consider the following Bible parable for an illustration:

Luke 10:30-37 (New Living Translation)

Parable of the Good Samaritan

30 Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling on a trip from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.

31 “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. 32 A Temple assistant [Levite] walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.

33 “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. 34 Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’

36 “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.

37 The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”

Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”

Counting the bandits as one, that would mean there are 6 characters in this parable.  I really believe that each one of us fit into this parable somewhere.  The question I want to ask each one of us (myself included) is, who are you?

The Bandits – These would be modern day bullies.  These guys picked on someone who couldn’t defend himself.  They beat him up and left him in a ditch to die.  Some modern day examples could include cyber bullying, making fun of someone, mocking someone, looking down on someone because of how they act, dress, think, believe, etc.  This could also include someone who is stuck up, prideful, or arrogant.  A “know-it-all”.  The old phrase “sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me” was popular when I was growing up.  Words are probably more damaging than any stone or stick – words get to the heart.  The book of James tells us that the tongue is like a deadly force strong enough to start fires.  Bullying is not limited to physical abuse, today people can use the internet, texting, and all sorts of other avenues to bully someone else.  Are you this character?

The Priest – Unfortunately many “religious” people fit the description of this character.  Religious people are sometimes quick to judge and their excuse is they don’t want to be associated with those types of behaviors and lifestyles.  Religious people can also be too busy attending their next seminar, conference, or service to recognize the real needs in others.  Unfortunately this type of behavior is not what Jesus taught us.  Jesus taught us to love our neighbors, in fact the whole point of this parable was to illustrate who was a good neighbor.  State Farm is better at this concept than some people who call themselves Christians.  This would include how we treat people who participate in lifestyles that we would consider “un-Christian”.  We sometimes put expectations on non-believers that are unreachable.  We must remember that non-believers have not had an encounter with Jesus Christ, they have not received the Holy Spirit and until they do so, we cannot expect them to think or act like true Christ followers do.  Instead of acting like the priest in this story, turning a blind eye to someone truly in need, we need to start reaching out and caring for all people of all walks of life, doing the same things that Jesus did.  The Casting Crowns song “If We Are The Body” is a perfect illustration for this.  Even though we never think about the priest in this way, I think the priest could be considered a bully because of his ignorant actions.  Are you this character?

The Levite – This could be anyone who notices someone in need, possibly even feels compassion, but feels helpless or afraid, so they walk on by.  Notice the verse says this character actually looked, but chose to keep walking instead.  The Levite got close enough to perhaps feel the mans pain, maybe even hear his groans.  He may have even thought to himself, “Well, I’ll pray for him as I walk down this path”.  How many times do we see someone, feel compassion, perhaps even sense the pain in their eyes, or see their struggle with life, but then we assume someone else will come along and take care of them.  I believe this type of behavior is also a form of bullying.  It’s very unintentional and many times we are not even aware we are doing it.  But it’s real, and in many cases we are missing out on opportunities to make a real difference in someone’s life.  Are you this character?

The Jewish Man – In this parable, the Jewish man was the victim, the target.  Today many people (perhaps even yourself) are victims of bullying.  Perhaps you have been physically abused, verbally abused, or sexually abused.  The list could go on and on.  I believe in our lives we have all been the victim somewhere, somehow.  The Bible tells us in the book of Proverbs that there is safety in having many advisers.  If you are a victim or have been a victim and have not yet taken care of this – talk to a few trusted friends or Pastors.  Be willing to receive help.  God wants to restore your life and get you back onto the path of living a fruitful, abundant life.  Don’t let the way someone treated you in the past ruin who God created you to be.  Are you this character?

The Inn-Keeper – the inn-keeper is a very important character in this story that gets overlooked many times.  The inn-keeper had options that could have went against the Good Samaritan’s requests.  He could have refused vacancy for the Jewish man.  He could have told the Samaritan that he didn’t allow these types of people in his hotel.  But rather than react in that way, he chose to help the man. He provided assistance to the Samaritan and offered a place to recover.  It is really key to have a support system that includes an inn-keeper.  This could be anyone who provides comfort, security, and encouragement to those sticking their neck out to help others.  We need to walk beside, provide for, and give confidence to those willing to walk the front lines.  Sometimes when someone is helping others out, we need to walk up to them, put our arm around them and tell them how proud we are of them and let them know that we have their back.  This type of encouragement can go a long way in someones life.  Are you this character?

The Good Samaritan – The good Samaritan is obviously the main character of the story.  He and the Jewish man had nothing in common.  In fact, there were many reasons why the Samaritan should have rejected the Jewish man and walked the same route as the Priest and Levite.  However, he put their differences aside and it was because of that ability to do so that made Jesus say that these men were neighbors.  Do you look past the differences you have with people.  Are you helping people out regardless of their beliefs?  America is beginning to become a very diverse country.  On one hand, this is very scary as we consider our safety and comfort zones.  But on the other hand, this opens the door for many opportunities to be a “Good Samaritan” in someones life.  Are you willing to go there?  Perhaps you already are, and if this is who you are I just want to commend you and say thank you!  It’s because of people like that put a smile on the face of God.  Are you that character?

Jesus was called a “friend of sinners”.  If Jesus was attending the church where the scruffy man showed up, how would he have reacted?  Would he reach out his hand, welcome him, and make him feel safe and secure, not an outcast?  Do we react the same way?  How about in our neighborhoods and communities?  Where we work?  Where we go to school?  Are we treating people like Jesus would want us to?

This is very tough for me to write this post.  I don’t want to come across as acting like I have it all together.  The truth is that I fit the character of the priest or levite more than I would like to admit.  I really need help in this area, but God is working on me to continue practicing faith promise living in all areas of my life, especially the way I treat others who aren’t “like” me.

I am the Bandit.  I am the Priest.  I am the Levite.  I am the Jewish Man.  I am the Inn-Keeper.  I want to be the Good Samaritan.

Who are you?

Creating Good Memories

Posted: October 19, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Our lives are filled with memories.  From the time we can begin remembering things, memories are being created.  The problem with memories, is that some are bad and cause grief and regret.  Unfortunately, it’s the bad memories that seem to be easily remembered.  I believe this is common for many people including myself.  Many times Satan will remind me of bad memories and try to get my mind to go back the places filled with guilt and shame, when in reality, there are so many good memories that I could be focusing on instead.  It’s one of the toughest thing to do, but we should continually be practicing at remembering the good things in life and handing the bad things over to God and allowing Him to “Forgive and Forget”.

One way to practice erasing bad memories from our minds is to work extremely hard at creating NEW good memories in our lives.  This past weekend we had the opportunity to do multiple things with our daughter Naomi that I truly hope to remember for a long time.

We spent Saturday evening at the Dillsburg Farmers Fair Parade.  This was Naomi’s first fair experience and she seemed to enjoy herself very much.  The best part about the evening was that we were able to tag along with our good friends the Stough’s and their son Owen.  Owen is just starting to get to the age where he knows what is going on so to watch him pointing at different things as they went by us was very special to watch.  As the cars, tractors, and horses passed by – Owen watched, pointed, smiled, and said what he always says “what’s that?”  Daddy Chris held him the entire time and we laughed, joked around and had a great time together… creating good memories.

Then on Sunday afternoon, we were privileged to go with my brother and sister-n-law to go do something I’ve never done before: pick apples and pumpkins.  We visited Paulu’s Orchard – again in Dillsburg.  I have to admit, what I thought was going to be semi-boring, ended up being a really good time.  There was plenty to do for all ages.  This would be a great place to take your kids if they are at a  young age.  There was a playground that included pedal carts on a mini race track,  a corn maze, wagon rides around the orchards, rows and rows of various apple trees, enough pumpkins to make Charlie Brown jealous, this place had it all.  There was even a cool little country store to buy snacks, gifts or apple cider.  The best part about the experience though was getting Naomi her first ever pumpkin.  We searched and searched until her Uncle Jason found her one that fits her perfectly.  She may never remember this pumpkin, but her mommy and daddy will… creating good memories.

Last night, as the two of us were sitting on our porch, I was holding Naomi in my arms.  She was silently staring out into the yard and looking towards the sky.  I searched my mind for good memories from my childhood and began telling her stories, just so she could hear my voice.  It was a joy to share that moment with her.  My desire is to keep creating good memories so I can continue telling her stories and one day as a grandpa tell her kids stories.

It is now 6:50 am and as I was just wrapping this post up, I heard her began to wake up.  I ran upstairs to find her squirming in her crib.  I comforted her, picked her up and held her tight.  She needed her diaper changed so I quickly took care of that.  She is now sitting right beside me literally watching me type.  She has no idea what I’m typing or what is going on through my mind but as her little blue eyes watch these words mysteriously appear on the screen, I hope she will one day understand how memorable this is for her daddy.

Thank you Naomi for creating these good memories.

Oh… and Naomi… One more thing.  Whatever that was, that noise you just made?  Let’s work on saving those memories for when daddy is already at work. 🙂

We all have routines.  Some are good. Some are bad. Some really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

Lately, with this whole blogging experiment I’ve been on, the majority of my posts have been written the 1st half of my lunch break.  I enjoy it as it takes my mind off work for a few minutes and allows me to just relax and discuss something that is currently on my mind.  Today, however I will not have that chance.  This may confuse you – because after-all if you are reading this right now – well then apparently I did something.

Today I am going to get a hair cut at lunch.  It is WAY past due.  Therefore my blog post today is simple.  What is your normal lunch time routine?  Do you normally eat at your desk?  In the cafeteria?  Where ever you are near-by (you travel a lot).  Do you exercise at lunch?  Read a book?  Read blogs?

Discuss…

With news coming out recently that ABC is bringing back the INCREDIBLE HULK, I thought we would put our VCR’s in rewind and look at some of our favorite TV shows from the 1980’s.  The late 1980’s were my cool childhood years and since I had an older brother there was no Sesame Street in our house.  Think for a second about the awesomeness of the Incredible Hulk and the impact he left on your life.  If you’re anything like me… when someone upset you, you’d simply respond by saying “don’t make me angry… you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry”.  Then proceed to flip over their car, throw them into a dumpster and run into the woods to calm down.  Everybody did that when they were young… right?

Well even if you didn’t, in honor of David Banner – here were my favorite TV shows from my childhood:

  • Macgyver – Was there anything Macgyver couldn’t fix?  Seriously… you could put that dude in a room with a kite, a toothpick, a paperclip, his belly button lint and the clothes on his back, and next thing you know he is setting the timer on the bomb he built with those supplies.  2 minutes later, ka-boom!  Bad guys dead.  There was no trap he couldn’t escape from. Honestly though, I think the best part about Macgyver was that it was usually on right before Monday Night Football.  I always made sure my homework was done by 8 pm on Monday Nights.
  • Airwolf – Airwolf was the Mike Tyson of helicopters.  Every other copter was like Glass Joe.  It was not even a competition.  Airwolf toyed with them, flying through canyons just playing games as the much wimpier copters chased him around.  Next thing you know, he’s in your rear view mirror.  Done!  Although, just like the real Mike Tyson… Airwolf would eventually meet it’s match and have it’s Buster Douglas moment.  The helicopter was eventually sold after the show ended and became an ambulance helicopter in Germany, where it crashed in a thunderstorm and was destroyed on June 6, 1992, killing all three crew members.
  • Knight Rider – Back before David Hosselhoff was selling chart topping CD’s, he was the star of the hit show Knight Rider.  How cool would be to have a car that you could talk to through the watch on your wrist?  Or in 80’s lingo… how RAD!  Seriously, to this day, I would love to be able to call my car to come pick me up and rescue me from danger, and based on this information that google is working on… we might not be too far away from having our very own KITT’s. I just hope my KITT is also Mr. Feeny from Boys meets World.
  • A-Team – “I pity the fool who wanna fight me”.  I had a friend in high school who consistently ran around and said that line.  Only problem – he wasn’t 250 lbs of pure muscle with 50 lbs of gold around his neck.  I think the wimpiest kids in our class could have taken him.  But that was the impact the A-Team had… it made you feel like you could take on anyone.  All you needed was 3 crazy friends and a jacked up black van.  Which reminds me – I was terrified of black vans as a kid.

So what did I miss…  what were the best TV shows from your childhood?

And as a reward for reading this far… Here are the intro’s for your enjoyment:

In our church, we are in the middle of our annual missions emphasis.  It has been a sweet time meeting some of our missionaries and spending some time in “their world”.  I love missions.  My wife and I are committed to missions, and we believe that some day we will be used some how, some way, on the mission field.

As part of the missions emphasis, the members (and non-members) of our church are encouraged to take a step of faith, and make a commitment to give to missions (above our tithes/offerings) a pre-determined amount of money.  This promise is meant to challenge us to do something that on the surface may seem impossible.  It is known as Faith Promise Giving.  The idea is simple: Make a PROMISE, to GIVE, by FAITH.  My wife and I have been faithfully giving to missions each year of our marriage, and we have consistently seen God bless us, and we believe He will continue to do so.

I love the concept of Faith Promise Giving so much that this year I’m proposing that we take this a step further: Faith Promise Living

This still has to be thought out some, but I’m thinking that here at the blog, in our church, and possibly spread to wherever – we could see Faith Promise Living become a reality in people’s lives.  Here are some examples of a Faith Promise Living commitment you and possibly your family could make to God this year:

  • Go on a missions trip
  • Sponsor an Orphan
  • Adopt a child from another country
  • Start a Non-Profit organization
  • Start a blog
  • Volunteer somewhere in your hometown that would give you the opportunity to help those in need
  • Make dinners for neighbors or friends who just have a baby
  • Start a neighborhood bible study / or help group
  • Start a group that gives free oil changes to single moms

The list of possibilities could go on and on.

As you can see… some of these are simple, others would require a serious commitment.  But, if we’re creative enough, we could all do something.

When committing to Faith Promise Living, this may require that you remove something that is currently in your life.  It could be a club, or sports team that you are part of, or perhaps another hobby that you routinely partake in.  You may even need to cut back a few hours at your work.  Would it be hard?  Yes!  But if you choose something that you are passionate about anyway, the joy of serving would be so much more rewarding.

Remember the old saying… if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll be what you’ve always been.

Next time you see a rubber band, pick it up and STRETCH it.  Point it straight into the air and LET IT FLY!  That rubber band cannot fly to it’s max height until it is stretched almost to it’s breaking point.  Sometimes that is how God works in our life as well.  He wants to stretch us and then….

They will soar on wings like eagles;

They will run and not grow weary,

They will walk and not be faint.

Would you be willing to step out on faith?  What will your Faith Promise Living commitment be?  Toss it in the comments section and we can discuss and pray about them together.  I’m praying about what my family and I can do to make a difference this year.

Ask God to stretch you.  Nothing impossible through God.