Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
The larger-than-life myths surrounding Santa Claus actually emanate from the very real person of Saint Nicholas. It is difficult to know the exact details of his life with certainty, as the ancient records are sparse, but the various pieces can be put together as a mosaic of his life.
During the Reformation, however, Nicholas fell out of favor with Protestants, who did not approve of canonizing certain people as saints and venerating them with holidays. His holiday was not celebrated in any Protestant country except Holland, where his legend as Sinterklass lived on. In Germany, Martin Luther replaced him with the Christ child as the object of holiday celebration, or, in German, Christkindl. Over time, the celebration of the Christ child was simply pronounced Kriss Kingle and oddly became just another name for Santa Claus.
The legends about Santa Claus are most likely a compilation of other folklore. For example, there was a myth in Nicholas’ day that a demon was entering people's homes to terrorize children and that Nicholas cast it out of a home. This myth may explain why it was eventually believed that he came down people's chimneys.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
- we seldom (if ever) take a Sabbath.
- our schedules are crazy and hectic.
- we all have dealt with feeling overwhelmed.
- when we are overwhelmed, taking care of ourselves is the first thing to go.
- Fifteen hundred pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout, or contention in their churches.
- Fifty percent of pastors' marriages will end in divorce.
- Eighty percent of pastors and eighty-four percent of their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastors.
- Fifty percent of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.
- Eighty percent of seminary and Bible school graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first five years.
- Seventy percent of pastors constantly fight depression.
- Almost forty percent polled said they have had an extra-marital affair since beginning their ministry.
- Seventy percent said the only time they spend studying the Word is when they are preparing their sermons.
Watch Death By Ministry Part 9 - Mark Driscoll in Faith Videos | View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
"We should learn from this how stiff-necked and rebellious and unthankful we are...Each time they forgot God and went after other things. That is not just the story of Israel. It's the story of humanity. It's the story of my life and your life. Even as Christians, we are not steadfast in our affections for God. We have thankful days and unthankful days. And even our thankful days are not as thankful as they should be.
Just think of how joyful and thankful you would be if your heart responded to God himself and his ten thousand gifts with the admiration and gratitude of which he is worthy." (John Piper, from Spectacular Sins)
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
here's my upcoming schedule:
6/14-20 - abilene, tx: leading worship for super summer
6/22 - cleburne, tx: leading worship for crossroads church
6/29 - cleburne, tx: leading worship for crossroads again
6/30-7/3 - mexico city, mexico: BGCT mexico vision trip
7/4-6 - tulsa, ok: to watch my little brother sing in 4 productions
7/13 - justin, tx: leading worship at lakeside fellowship
7/13-18: corpus christi, tx - VACATION with the fam. finally get to see my parent's new house.
7/18-20: houston, tx - visiting my great friends melanie and richard
then back to denton to get to work for the fall. lots of stuff going on, but that's the only way i know how to live my life.
i recently joined a gym and have been going about 5-6 days a week in efforts to get in better shape. it's been a great addition to my day and i've really enjoyed going. i also purchased wii fit which has proved to be a fun addition to my time at the gym. all i can say is that i've learned that yoga is hard, even when you have a touch of athlete in your genes.
if you want to keep up with me as i jump into the rest of my summer adventures, check me out on twitter (and if you have no idea what that is, read this: old blog entry).
Friday, April 25, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
please pray for my parents as they search for their next house and get settled.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
my last post was about our spring break mission trip to reynosa, mexico. the trip went amazingly well, and we are already starting to talk through plans for upcoming mission opportunities. once we get the pictures from the trip up on our BSM picture site, i will put that link so that you can see everything we did.
one very hard difficulty for me during the trip was that i was battling an upper respiratory infection the entire trip (that came on 2 days before we left), and when we got back to denton my body revolted against me and i found myself stuck in bed for the next 4 days. the congestion in my head affected both of my ears, and the pressure in my right ear actually ruptured my ear drum. i can honestly say that i will now have much more sympathy for any child who has an ear infection. i was starting to feel like a wimp since ear pain was keeping me in bed (for some reason, it hurt a lot more when i stood up), but once i finally went to the doctor she was surprised that i had dealt with it with just advil... which made me feel better. my doctor then told me that if the hearing in my ear doesn't come back soon, that i will need to go and see a specialist. it is never a good thing when a singer hears that their hearing might not come back... it is getting better, just not all back yet. when people ask me how my ear is i describe it this way, "it's like the volume has been turned down and there is a little static," but the pain is pretty much gone so now i'm just waiting for things to get back to normal.
my parents finally got an offer on their house in cleburne (the offer was made right before easter), and we are now in the middle of getting things organized, packed up and ready to move. later this week i'll be driving a uhaul filled with the rest of my furniture, and some of my students have graciously stepped up to help me move the rest of my stuff to my house in denton. my parents should be out of the house in less than 2 weeks, so please pray for my mom as she gets everything together. they have found a house in corpus christi, tx (where my dad has been working for the past 20 months), and they are in the process of making an offer on it right now. i'm already looking at my schedule to figure out when i can go down and visit... you can actually see the ocean from their front yard. happy vacationing to me! my brother (scott) who has been living at home, is planning on moving into an apartment in euless (in the DFW area) next weekend, so we are all attempting to organize the chaos that is going on right now.
also, on march 27th... i was sitting at a stoplight and a girl couldn't stop in time and ran into the back of my car. not much damage was done, my car just needs a new bumper and thankfully no one was hurt, so now i am cruising in a kia rental awaiting the work to be completed on the acura. if a wreck has to happen, this is the kind to have. the girl has insurance, which is covering everything, and the only frustrating thing has been trying to get the adjusters to call me back to fill me in on what's going on... but i should have my car back on tuesday.
yesterday, i was the missionary speaker for a GA roundup event at camp copass in denton. they wanted me to share with the girls about what we do at our BSM and i brought 2 students with me so that they could tell about mission trips that they had been on. it went well, and it was fun to be around kids again.
as you can see, lots going on with me, and things won't slow down until school gets out. i will try and do a better job of keeping in touch with people, and i apologize if you haven't heard from me in a while. i do promise though, if you call me... i'll call you back.
Monday, March 24, 2008
here is an article written by one of our BSM students, Jillian Daniels, for the baptist standard. she does a great job describing the events of the trip. i'll post pictures and more about the trip soon.
click here to see the published article.
UNT BSM Spring Break in
By Jillian DanielsA college girl approached two young boys fighting over a soccer ball in the
“I don’t want to share because he doesn’t ever give me anything,” one answered.
The other looked down at his hands. “That’s because I don’t have anything.”
NT senior Chris Newby said that such a trip was a welcome alternative to the standard college vacation hot spots. “I wanted to do something new with my spring break,” Newby said.
This was the second time for the NT BSM to serve in this part of
“Last year the trip was so fulfilling and memorable for students,” NT BSM director James Quesenberry said. “It was almost natural to go back and do the same thing this year.”Quesenberry said that the group hopes to continue serving in the same area in order to build relationships with the communities and churches over time.
“The idea behind it is, we want [our students] to be able to see what it’s like to partner with other Christians and other churches,” Quesenberry said. “Hopefully, [we will] be able to see growth and change in areas and build momentum trip after trip.”For some of the students, like NT sophomore Yandira Tenorio, it was their first encounter on the mission field. “Even though I had no experience, I just knew that He called me and said, ‘You need to be my messenger,’” Tenorio said. “Sure I had fears and doubts of my abilities, but I had to remind myself that it’s not me – God works in and through me.”
Conversely, NT sophomore Brandon Falk, had been on previous mission trips and was left unimpressed – until this opportunity. “I wasn’t planning on going on another mission trip but when I found out that we were passing out rice and beans and going to an orphanage, I decided to go,” Falk said, “It was actually doing what Jesus said – showing people love – feeding the hungry and visiting orphans. God wants us to provide for His children and we’re God’s hands – the extension of God to this world.”
Monday and Tuesday mornings and afternoons the group was at Refugio Internacional de los Ninos, where students led a VBS and sang songs in Spanish, in an effort to show the children Christ’s love.
Six fluent Spanish-speaking students helped ease the language barrier, however many of the other NT students could speak limited to no Spanish. For this reason, the majority of the communication was outside of translators and communication was shown simply through loving the kids with play, hugs, and smiles.
“In the orphanage, just being with those kids, God put a huge love in my heart for them,” Tenorio said. “By seeing their smiles and their eyes sparkle so beautifully, I could just see Christ’s love and God’s beauty in them.”
According to Falk, the unveiling of beauty has been a typical reaction to service in his experience. “Everything around you becomes more beautiful when you’re doing God’s will,” he said. “You appreciate people more when you’re ministering to them and the people you’re ministering with are more beautiful. They shine, but in a very literal way.”
Upon the group’s arrival at the orphanage, BSM intern Stephanie Gates said she did notice some remnants of their trip last year through the call of recollected names and knowing gazes. “Those kids remembered us and that’s huge,” Gates said. “It’s so important to invest in those kids and let them know that we come back because they are important to us.”
A couple hours each day was reserved to pass out bags of rice and beans in different destitute neighborhoods. Each Spanish-speaker led a small group that went door to door with a slightly different goal than last year’s distribution, said NT senior Liand Cotto – “more quality than quantity.” “Last year we tried to help more families by giving out more rice and beans,” Cotto said. “This year the rice and beans were more of a gift to give the families after we had really talked and invested in their lives.”One such investment occurred when NT freshman Brittney Bell was able to share a life-story that related to a Hispanic woman dealing with a difficult situation. “I was able to take something that was so American and make it so Mexican,”
Tenorio, as a translator, said she also had an opportunity to see God overcome language barriers when going door to door. “The first day was hard because I usually don’t speak Spanish every day,” Tenorio said. “But I noticed how God reassured me that it was going to be ok. Even though no people were saved right on the spot, I planted a seed and God was glorified through that.”
For encouragement, Tenorio said she held fast to Galatians 6:9. “I would repeat it to myself constantly,” she said. “‘Let us not become weary for at His proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.’ So I never felt like any day was a failure because I wasn’t giving up.”
Gates said a ministry such as passing out rice and beans gave the group an opportunity to be the “hands, feet and mouth” of the undersized neighboring church with which they were serving, Borderland Calvary Chapel in
Wednesday and Thursday evenings the team held a VBS at Borderland Calvary for the local children in
“The last night of VBS I really wanted to focus on one kid – a little girl named Leslie,” Newby said. “And all she wanted to do was get on my shoulders and ride around.” However, he said that through countless horse-back rides he was able to communicate something a bit more profound. “Through translation I found out that Leslie really cared that I was there,” Newby said. “She really loved me and appreciated that I helping and focusing on her. I wanted her to realize how much Christ loved her.” After two days with Leslie, Newby said that he was just picking up and leaving without a second thought was not an option.
“At that point I realized that I can’t just stop there, talking to her just in Mexico,” he said, “but also keeping in constant communication through letters and pictures from the week. I want to show her how to pursue something more than what she has there in
While a trip such as this may not have the structure of a building, it has the benefits of dealing with God’s people and investing in lives in a different way than lumber and nails. “Each conversation is a chance for God to move in someone’s life, but we never get to see the end result,” she said. “The gospel tells us to go out and preach the good news and then to trust that God is in control of that. At the end of the day, without particularly seeing any progress, we are able to glorify God by being faithful to the call He has placed on our lives.”
Now as the group has returned to the
“I find that spending time with the kids and seeing the devastation with poverty has really changed my life,” Newby said. “Now I realize that as a poor, broke, college student I have it pretty good compared to people I’ve seen in
According to Tenorio, the root intention for this mission trip, and all of the life lessons learned there from, can be traced back to those first two boys fighting over the soccer ball at the orphanage. “It broke my heart but I know that I was put there during that situation so that I could reassure that little boy that he has Christ’s love,” Tenorio said. “He may not have material possessions but he has the greatest gift. None of those material possessions put together could surpass Christ’s love.”
Sunday, March 9, 2008
also, click here check out our photo album of our spring break trip last year.
i'll put pictures up and write about our trip when we get back.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
it usually takes me about 15 minutes to get from the BSM to my house, today it took me an hour. i saw cars and trucks running off the road into ditches, buses struggling to drive, etc. the worst part of the drive was driving up the street i live on. i live in the country... and usually the small amount of traffic is a plus for my location, but today i would have thoroughly enjoyed some tire marks to follow. once i made it the driveway that leads to my house i thought i was home free, little did i know that the adventure was just about to begin. i wasn't able to get my car up the driveway that leads to my house, so i had to pull out a trusty "shovel" (which was a lid to a big plastic storage container... no one in texas owns a snow shovel) and go to work on my driveway so that i could get my car into the garage. just so you know, i conquered and the car is thawing out while being safely parked inside. here are some pictures of our crazy weather:
my front yard.
more from my front yard.
my back yard.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Monday, March 3, 2008
my job at the baptist student ministry at the university of north texas continues to keep my plate full and my calendar booked. in january i was offered the associate director position at our bsm, by my bosses at the collegiate ministry department of the BGCT, of which i have accepted, so i'm officially staying in denton past my original 2 year intern commitment. ministry has been going well and it's been exciting to see all that is going on in the lives of our students. while programs and activities keep us from being bored, the best part about the job is having a front row seat to watch all that God is doing in each of the student's lives. currently, we are planning an air guitar competition to raise money for go now missions. check out our event blog for more information... check often, it will be updated as each detail comes together. also, you can give money towards texas student missions on the site as well. help us send texas college students all over the world as they serve God in missions.
along with my involvement in college ministry, worship opportunities have been abundant. just about every weekend has been booked with opportunities to lead, and currently i am serving an unofficial "interim" position each week at crossroads church in cleburne. it has been great having these opportunities, and i am praying for direction with my involvement in music ministry.
a few weeks ago i traveled to oklahoma city with my parents to watch my little brother, jeff, perform the male lead in the opera, the ballad of baby doe put on by the oklahoma city university. jeff did a fabulous job, and made his big sister proud. i've never really been a big opera fan... but when he's on stage, i enjoy it immensely. he's quite the talented guy, and i look forward to all that God is going to do through him as he continues to use his great talent.
recently, i made a purchase to help me keep track of my hectic life. after years of carrying a cell phone and a palm pilot, i decided to condense these two necessities into one device. so i am now the proud owner of a smart phone, of which i am still figuring out all of the functions it can do, but i've enjoyed only having to carry one thing with me everywhere i go.
it is snowing outside right now, so i'm going to end this update to go and look outside my front door and enjoy the snow (a rarity in texas). i will try and update more frequently, but i'm only going to say "try" because i do not want to make a promise that i can't keep.
until next time... i pray you experience God's love and grace in a new way today.