Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ringing in the new year the right way. Good friends and good snacks.

Ringing in the new year the right way. Good friends and good snacks.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

do they know Him by the love you share?

as i pray, read and plan for the upcoming semester... i continue to feel overwhelmed by the love of my Savior. as i attempt to prepare, this verse keeps running through my head, "by this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:35). you see, when you experience how He loves you... you are changed.

do they know that you are His disciple by the love you display?

the new year is upon us. how will you serve and love those around you?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

snow

Yes, I live in texas.

Yes, I live in texas.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Went to the corpus christi country club to look @ lights. This is what I found.

Went to the corpus christi country club to look @ lights. This is what I found. Either Christmas threw up... or it's on crack.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Friday, December 25, 2009

The infamous fudge pecan pie just showed up for the party.



-- Sent from my Palm Pre

I'm becoming domestic in my old age. I love it.

I'm becoming domestic in my old age. I love it.

some of the gifts i received from my family: new dishes and silverware (to go along with the new house), a cookbook and a ladder!

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

merry christmas, from my family to yours.

a new song.




i co-wrote a song with a friend this past year that she put on her recently released album. you should check it out...click here: http://bit.ly/6A1sOd.

if you would like to hear samples of the complete album (and purchase it of course), visit itunes. (artist: jodie wachsmann, album: hope in the unseen).

a followup to a previous repost.

yesterday i reposted a blog that i'd read by steven furtick about the significance of the life and ministry of john the baptist. here's part two:

Building on yesterday’s post, what does it look like to be faithful in your ministry and trust God for significant impact when you can’t see any tangible miraculous signs? How can you be more like John the Baptist?

I’ll answer by way of personal reflection. Let me tell you a little about a guy who’s a lot like John the Baptist. We’ll call him Chip the Methodist.

I can think of so many examples of people who made a dramatic impact on me even though I’m sure they couldn’t see it at the time. Chip was easily in the top five. He took time to meet with me for coffee every Wednesday night at Alex’s Restaurant before I went to choir practice at Moncks Corner United Methodist Church, where we were both members. Chip was about 20 years older than me, and he had roughly half of the New Testament memorized. Literally.

I was only 16 years old, had freshly trusted Christ as my Savior, and was reading through the Gospels for the first time at a rapid pace. I was hungry for truth, full of zeal, and in great need of wisdom, knowledge, instruction and insight. I would come armed with a notepad full of questions I had collected during my reading. Chip helped me master some basic hermeneutical concepts, and nurtured a deep love and respect for the authority of God’s Word.

You’ve never heard Chip the Methodist speak at a major church growth conference. That’s not his gig. You’ll never see his name on the cover of a New York Times Bestseller. He has no aspirations to be an author.

But Chip’s ministry is present in every word I write, every sermon I preach, and every accomplishment God brings about through my life.

I’ll bet there’s someone you could invest in like Chip the Methodist invested in me. You don’t have to have half the New Testament memorized. Just a willing heart and a passion for Jesus.

Who knows what miraculous signs your faithful ministry will ultimately produce?

Monday, December 21, 2009

i cooked dinner tonight

i figured that since i'm going to be at my parents house for about 2 weeks, i should earn my keep... so tonight, i cooked dinner.

the menu:
wedge salad with homemade walnut dressing (so good)
grilled asparagus
grilled stuffed cheese burgers with roasted bell peppers

here are pictures to prove that i'm not just sitting around expecting to be waited on hand and food.




I spent my afternoon here. Jealous?



-- Sent from my Palm Pre

a great reminder

this is a repost of a blog i read this morning by pastor steven furtick:

John 10:41-42
They said, “Though John never performed a miraculous sign, all that John said about this man was true.” And in that place many believed in Jesus.

I want to drop a word of encouragement for those of you who don’t feel very successful, noticed, important or appreciated.

Just because you’re not performing miraculous signs doesn’t mean you’re not making a significant impact.

John the Baptist died by decapitation in prison, wondering whether anything he had ever dreamed, declared or done made any difference in the end.
(See Matthew 11:2-3).

Apparently, John’s ministry made more of a difference than he would ever know on earth. By the time you get to John 10:41, the Bible says “manypeople” are coming to Jesus and placing their faith in Him- all because of John the Baptist’s faithful ministry.

Maybe God will allow you to do miraculous signs in the name of Jesus. Or maybe He’ll simply call you to a faithful ministry that will prepare the way for someone else to make a significant impact through miraculous signs.

I have a feeling that when we get to heaven, we’ll discover that much of the heavy lifting for the advance of the Gospel was done by those who never performed a miraculous sign, but through years of faithful ministry, had a miraculous impact.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

NEW THRU 30 - day 1

day 1 (12/17) - matt. 1:1-12:50

here is an email i just sent to my UNT BSM leadership team after reading the above mentioned section of Scripture.

---

As I mentioned before, I am reading through the New Testament in 30 days, today is day one. Tonight I read through Matt. 1:1-12:50. It's amazing how much sticks out to you when you read huge sections of Scripture at once. The section tonight covered: the birth of Jesus, calling of the disciples, the Beatitudes, the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus' miracles, the sending out of the twelve, etc.

While there is so much that I could write about (believe me, you should see my journal)... I want to focus on one thing, Matthew 4:18-22, the Calling of the Disciples.

Here's the text:

18As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." 20At once they left their nets and followed him.

21Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Here's what stood out to me tonight:
  1. At once they dropped their nets and followed Him.
  2. Immediately they left behind careers and families to follow Him.
  3. There was an instant following. They didn't question Jesus. They didn't stop to "pray about it." The heard & obeyed.
Let me repeat that, they HEARD and OBEYED. Instant obedience.

Their responsibility was to follow Christ. His responsibility was to make them success fishermen. Their following of Christ involved more than physical nearness. It included their imitation of the character of Christ. Theirs was to be a ministry of character. What they were was more important than what they said or did.

In following Christ, the disciple learns:
  • To go where the fish are swimming (Where are the lost people around you? Take out a piece of paper and all the people who don't love Jesus yet in your life. If you can't list anyone, you have a problem!)
  • To use the proper lure (How do you communicate the Gospel to each person you interact with? The message stays the same, sometimes the method is different.)
  • To endure discomfort and inconvenience (It's gonna be awkward and hard and you will have to rearrange your schedule to be obedient.)
  • To be patient (Be intentional, persistent and filled with grace... and pray.)
  • And to keep out of sight (It's not about you and me... it's about Him.)

In true faith, they responded immediately. In true commitment and devotion they followed Him. They acknowledged the priority of Jesus over all earthly ties.

They recognized who Jesus was... and by responding to His call they became key figures in the evangelization of the world. You see, recognition of the lordship of Christ makes all the difference in the world.

Ask yourself, how's your obedience to the call of Christ?

Praying for growth in each of our lives,
Stephanie

Trying to figure out how I can add this to my make-shift office ups tairs!



-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Set up a desk to study from while I'm @ my parents.



-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Jesus wants the rose - AMEN.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

hope and desire - an update on Matt Chandler

the following are reposts. one tells an update on matt chandler (the lead pastor at my church), the other is a response to the update... and it was a reminder that i needed today.


Dear church,

In the first chapter of Philippians, the Apostle Paul writes that whatever imprisonments, beatings and trials he may have suffered, they all “serve to advance the gospel” of Jesus Christ. We implore you to keep the gospel of Christ as the main focus as we walk with Matt and Lauren through this trial.

On Tuesday, Dr. Barnett informed Matt and Lauren that the findings of the pathology report revealed a malignant brain tumor that was not encapsulated. The surgery to remove the tumor, the doctor said, was an extremely positive first step; however, because of the nature of the tumor, he was not able to remove all of it.

Matt, who is being released from the hospital today, is meeting with a neuro-oncologist this week to outline the next steps of the recovery process. There is a range of treatment possibilities but the exact course of action has not yet been determined. He will continue outpatient rehab.

The Lord is calling Matt and Lauren and The Village Church body to endure this trial. It will be a challenging road for Matt, his family and our church body. The gospel is our hope and the Lord is our strength. Matt and Lauren continue to find solace and hope in Christ. They weep facing this trial, but not as those without hope and perspective. The gospel clarifies their suffering and promises more of Christ through it all.

You have done a wonderful job respecting the family, and we ask that you continue to do this. They are processing all of this together and need you to give them precious space. Please do not visit them at their house unless personally invited by the Chandlers. The best way to serve the family is to continue to be faithful in prayer. Specifically, pray for the following:

  • Wisdom for all the coming decisions

  • Strength and peace to endure

  • The kids’ (Audrey, Reid and Norah) hearts; pray the Lord is merciful as they process and that their little hearts do not grow embittered

  • The Chandlers and The Village would suffer well because of the gospel and for the sake of Christ’s name

As you hurt and weep for the family, do not do it alone. Gather with your home group and with other believers in homes and pray together. This is a time to walk together with others and to endure this trial in community. If you wish, send cards and letters to Matt and Lauren at 2101 Justin Road, Flower Mound, TX 75028.

We will continue to keep you informed as new information is made available. Please be patient with the frequency of the updates. May God strengthen us all and may His glory shine brightly through this.


Thinking of my friend Matt Chandler and the difference between Hope and Desire

I write this today because I need to. I need to tell myself these things. I just read the pathology report from the Village Church on Matt Chandler (http://ow.ly/MM81). I have known Matt for many years and love and respect him deeply. I am praying for him and for his sweet wife Lauren, and their kiddos, and the Village. And, I am praying with this in mind: there is a difference between desire and hope.

I am praying with great desire. My desire is that God would heal Matt, hand him to Lauren and the kids to be her husband and their daddy, restore him to the pulpit, empower him to preach his heart out for the magnification of Jesus, and one day let him play with his grandkids. I think God wants me to desire those things and ask Him for them, knocking until my knuckles bleed, making it clear to God how I desire Him to respond. And, those desires are good. But those desires are different than our hope.

Sometimes desires are not fulfilled. But, our hope is. Hope does not disappoint us (Romans 5:5). Our hope is certain and sure. Our hope is that none who trust in Him will ever ultimately be put to shame. Our hope is that in Jesus we are forgiven, given his Spirit, adopted as sons and daughters of God, and will one day be revealed as such (Romans 8:14-16; 1John 3:2-3). Our hope is that Jesus has defeated our greatest enemies of Satan, Sin, and Death and through Him we will triumph (Romans 8:37). Our hope is that God is sovereignly moving heaven and earth to secure the good of his elect and bring about their glory and joy (Romans 8:28). Our hope is that we who are in Christ are the eternal objects of God's love and that nothing, absolutely nothing, can change that status or rob us of its privileges (Romans 8:38-39). Our hope is that these momentary and light afflictions are preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison (2Cor 4:16-17); that the things we suffer are not worth comparing to the glory that God will reveal to us (Romans 8:18). Our hope is that God will not leave us nor forsake us so that even as we experience ten thousand shadows of death come over us, we shall not fear because He is with us (Psalm 23). Our hope is that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us into his presence (2Cor 4:14). Our hope is that if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united to him in a resurrection like His (Romans 6:5). And, our hope is that Christ, who is our great treasure, will be exalted as such whether by life or by death (Philippians 1:20). This is Matt's hope. He knows this hope; he lives this hope; he preaches this hope. Lauren knows and lives this hope as well, and Matt is blessed to have her at his side.

I just needed to tell myself that today. I need to remember that as I voice desires to be fulfilled and as I plead with the "God who is able," for Matt's strength and healing and restoration, I must not confuse my desire and my hope. I am holding tightly to hope and finding my comfort in the God of Hope. Praying we all will. Apostles Church will be praying for the Chandlers.

Happy birthday to me!

Happy birthday to me!

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

i won.

so i was perusing through twitter updates this evening and came across this one:

JesusNeedsNewPR The 10,000th Tweet winners are: @Jessetheradical @3Hill @stephaniegates @Mattdantodd@katiebessaot (@WaterbrookPress will DM u tomorrow!)

i was quite surprised to see my name in the list. here's the contest... and all i had to do was "retweet" about it to win:

WATERBROOK PRESS NEWS Waterbrook Press News RSS

Author Matthew Paul Turner celebrates 10,000 tweets!


Help us celebrate Matthew Paul Turner’s 10,000th Tweet on Twitter and you can win!

We’re giving away advanced copies of Matthew’s new book releasing in February 2010, Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and the Holy Ghost and $25 iTunes gift cards to 5 winners.

To enter, simply re- tweet Matthew’s message:

RT@JesusNeedsNewPR: Help me celebrate my 10,000 tweet! Win a copy of my new book Hear No Evil & $25 in iTunes $: http://j.mp/4snIXu


'

Check out matthew paul turner's website for more information about the author and other books he's written. i read his book, churched, and it's one of my top reads for the year. i highly recommend it.

Monday, December 14, 2009

new thru 30

i am a blog follower. google reader makes it possible. i read a blog by a church planter pastor in north carolina named steven furtick. while hanging out with google reader this morning, i saw what this church (elevate church) was challenging their congregation to do...

read through the New Testament in 30 days.

i'm going to jump in and do it too. if you'd like to do it with me, click here to get the reading and study plans. instead of waiting to start in jan, i'll be starting early, so that i can be finished before we start back to school.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

my God is faithful. now, if only i could return the favor.

sometimes it hits me. the realizations of where i've been and where i am. the reminder of the laughter, growth and pain that accompanied me along the way, remains vivid and etched on my heart. memories captured in the frames in my mind cause me to pause and praise God for all He's done in and around me… and then, they remind me of how far i have to go.


man, do i have a long way to go.


the darkness in my heart, the pride i keep hidden, the selfishness that takes up more of my day that i'd ever admit… thank God for grace. oh how i need it.


i'm sitting here on my $20 couch… in my new house. experiencing God's provision in new ways everyday. i'm so thankful for moments like this. the events of the year led to this moment… and even though they made no sense and hurt more than I'd ever like to remember, i praise God for His faithfulness.


my God is faithful. now, if only i could return the favor.

Finally found a bedside table that I liked that was tall enough!



-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Sunday, December 6, 2009

an update on Matt Chandler.

here is a video that was shown at church this weekend during The Village worship services. It was made before Matt's surgery.

i am so thankful for his continual leadership and pastoring, even in the midst of this.

if you are viewing this blog via facebook, click the link above to see the video).


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

a repost...

My pastor, Matt Chandler, will be having surgery in a few hours to remove a tumor on his right frontal lobe. Here is the blog entry that was posted from him today.

--------------------

My Heart is Full... I am Thankful.
By Matt Chandler

The last seven days have been some of the most interesting of my life. I have felt anxiety, fear, sadness and a deep and unmovable joy simultaneously and in deeper ways than I have felt before. I am grateful for this heightened sense of things. Today at 10:45 a.m. CST I will have a good portion of my right frontal lobe removed. I head into that surgery with a heart that is filled with gratitude and hope.

Here are some of the things I am thankful for in no particular order:

  1. I am thankful for the thousands of you who have prayed and fasted for my health. It has brought far more tears to Lauren’s and my eyes to receive this kind of attention from the Church universal than this tumor has.
  2. I’m thankful for health insurance because I’m guessing they aren’t doing my five-hour surgery for free!
  3. I am thankful that I have deep, real friendships at The Village with Michael Bleecker, Josh Patterson, Brian Miller, Chris Chavez and Beau Hughes. They have been such a comfort to me and my family this past week. Pastors should have good friends on their staff. It’s risky but worth the risk
  4. I am grateful for the men of God in my life, namely John Piper who taught me to hold my life cheap and to join with Paul in saying “I don’t count my life of any value or as precious to myself if only I might finish my course and complete the work that He gave me to do to testify to the Gospel of the grace of God. I’m nothing, I just have a job. God keep me faithful on the job and then let me drop and go to the reward.” Without this strong view of God’s sovereign will, I’m not sure how you don’t despair in circumstances like mine.
  5. I am thankful for my wife Lauren. “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.’” “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”
  6. I am thankful for my children. Audrey the Beautiful, Reid the Valiant and Norah the Joyous. Being a daddy to these three is one of the greatest joys of my life.
  7. The privilege of seeing and appreciating all of life through the grid of a heightened sense of my own mortality.
  8. I am thankful for brilliant doctors and surgeons who have been given a real gift by our great God and King to repair things as complex as the brain.
  9. I am thankful for The Village Church. If there is a place that loves Jesus more, takes sanctification as seriously and wants to see the lost love the great King deeply I am unaware of it. These last seven years have been a spectacular joy!
  10. More than anything else I am grateful to my King Eternal, my Lord Immortal, for my God invisible. He alone is God. All Glory and Honor, Forever to You O God. I am overwhelmed in these moments by God Himself and the assurance of a future inheritance of a Kingdom that cannot be shaken and where all things are made new (Hebrews 12).

Christ is All,
Matt Chandler

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009