online devotional tool – examen.me

i used a new online tool today for my daily devotional time, and i couldn’t be more excited. i’ve actually been waiting for something like this for a few years and was excited when a friend shared it with me last week. it’s called EXAMEN.me. 

examentitle

this is a simple-to-use web site that fosters your personal interaction with God. the site guides you to “examine” your life as you meditate on scripture, pray, and journal your reflections. you can choose from several different options, including a Gospel, NT, OT, or Psalm devotional. I have yet to tinker with the prayer or journal options, but look forward to experimenting with them this week.

you should take it for a test drive. would love to know what you think.

i want a snuggie

so, i just bought one. actually, i bought two snuggies because you can’t just buy one.  laugh if you want. i’m not embarrassed.  i might even take photos of wendy and i posing in our snuggies after they arrive. wonder if we’ll look as good as this couple:

snuggie-couple-standing

admit it your jealous.

Top 5 Friday

Top 5 places I’ve enjoyed visiting the most (in order):

  1. Maui, Hawaii (A-MA-ZING)
  2. Zermatt, Switzerland (i ate fondue at the base of the Matterhorn – heavenly)
  3. Evian, France (drinking water is excellent – just kidding. just beautiful)
  4. Disney World (the happiest place on earth – literally)
  5. Asheville, NC (just like Austin, but east of the Mississippi)

What are your top 5?

extending our reach

One of the issues we wrestle with the most in Family Life ministry is extending our reach beyond the hour or two that children and students are in our ministries each week.

One of the creative solutions that our LHC Kids team has come up with to extend our reach is called Route 6:7 (based on Duet 6:7). We used to send the kids home with a weekly “talk sheet” with questions for parents to cover with their kids during the week. We noticed that these 1/2 page sheets ended up in their Bible, purse, floor board, or trash.

The newest member of our team, Sara, had the ingenious idea that we could condense the questions and print them on a card that could hang from the rear view mirror in the car where they would be visible throughout the week. They contain a weekly memory verse, as well as a question for each day of the week.

Here’s a pic:

67-hangers

The feedback has been incredible. Kids think they are the greatest thing ever and are begging parents to hang them up in the car immediately after church.  And, parents are actually using them. Just today I stopped by the local grocery store and saw 3 cars in the parking lot with the most beautiful pieces of yellow paper dangling from the rear-view mirror.  I can’t tell you how proud I was of our team in that moment.

“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Deuteronomy 6:7

What are you doing that is extending your reach?

138 days

So, it’s officially been 138 days since my last entry in which i boldly stated that i agreed with Wired magazine’s assessment that blogging had jumped the shark. I still believe this to be true – for the most part.

My observation is that over the last several months there has been a decline in the frequency of blogging by established bloggers and an increase in other social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter.

However, for me, I have decided there are things that I want (maybe need) to say that do not belong on Facebook, or in which I need more than 140 characters to express.

So, I’m back. 

BTW – You like the new look?

going dark

according to THIS magazine article from Wired, blogging has jumped the shark.

i’d already been feeling like giving it up anyway, this just seals the deal.

if you’d like to keep up with me, you can find me a few other places:

i of course reserve the right to begin blogging again.  just likely not until Wired says it’s cool again.

outside the church

what do you do when they won’t come to you?

one of the things the Family Life team has been wrestling with over the last year is – how do we expose our ministries to more kids/students who don’t currently attend our weekly ministry events?  we’ve decided that no matter how great of an event we provide on a weekly basis (and we do provide great events), that not every child between the ages of 0-18 will participate in our ministries. we can have the hippest speakers, rockinest band, best facility, biggest budget, etc.. and the truth is not every kid/student will come to us.

we’re not satisfied with that. with a goal of reaching as many as possible for the Kingdom, we are beginning to focus on getting outside the walls of the church and into the community.

here’s just a few things we’ve been up to:

  • this afternoon our team will be kicking off red ribbon week at Lake Travis Middle School with a drug awareness presentation to over 800 middle school students. we have to walk the line between church/state, but the opportunity was too great to pass up.  Matt Williams our middle school director will be speaking and our LHC band will be playing.
  • our high school ministry, under the direction of Kirk Gentzel, felt the need to start an additional weekly Bible study/discussion. the decision was to have it outside the walls of the church and meet in a public place. you can catch them at Paciugo’s on Monday nights for some Jesus and java (or gellato if that’s’ your thing).
  • yours truly was selected to participate in Leadership Lake Travis. this is a regular monthly gathering of a select group of parents/leaders in the community who meet with the district superintendent and the elected school board to gain a better understanding of key issues facing the district and to offer support.

here’s the bottom line – it can’t be about getting as many people to come see you and your event. that’s only half the strategy. we have to go and meet people on their turf.

how about your team? what are you doing to get outside the church and into the community? seriously, we want to know so we can get better at this.

i need a revival

the other day i was reading the paper and there was an article about a recent mishap regarding Billy Graham. as i recall, i think he had taken a spill at home. anyway, my 12 year old son was sitting next to me and it dawned on me that he might not know anything about Billy Graham, crusades, or revivals.

this conversation reminded me of my Southern Baptist childhood and the church’s annual revival.  in the church world, a revival is a 3-4 day series of worship services designed to inspire active members and to gain new converts typically using a well-known speaker (and worship leader) to make the event “special”.  

i think what i enjoyed most as a teenager was the adventure that came with the thrill of the unknown that revivals brought with them. what was the speaker going to be like?  would he inspire me?  would i like the worship leader?  would my life change in some way?  would i learn something new about my faith?  would a friend i had invited come to know the Lord as his Savior?

call me corny, but i love revivals. 

i wonder why we don’t do them anymore?

i need a revival. who’s with me?

mark cuban for president

i know, i know. a few weeks ago i agreed to bow out of discussing politics on this blog, but i am thinking i might just “write in” mark cuban (yes, that mark cuban. owner of the dallas mavericks) for president. mark has been writing shrewdly in regards to the pending bailout package.

i have followed his blog for over a year now and my assessment is that he is a very smart individual. not lucky or fortunate as some have suggested.

check out some of these posts for some great info on the government’s proposed bailout plan:

For that matter, do yourself a favor and just subscribe to the RSS feed of his blog – here. You won’t regret it.