Which bear is best

A few weeks ago I found myself in bed not sleepy, but too lazy to get up. So I grabbed my iPad and checkout what was new on Netflix. I am a big documentary fan. I love them, I think I watch them because I think they make me smarter or something. So I am browsing and I run into the movie “Grizzly Man”. It tells of the story of Timothy Treadwell and his journey to live with bears in Alaska. Most of the documentary is his own footage (over 100 hrs). He lived 13 summers with these bears, Grizzly Bears!

Tim got so close to the bears it was crazy. You can tell that he preferred the bears to humans. To his understanding he had a mutual trust and understanding with the bears, even naming a few, touching some and playing with some cubs. But it still didn’t take away the fact that these were WILD BEARS! Watching some encounters that Tim has would get your heart racing. In my head I am thinking “this guy is nuts!” You can sense the love he had for these bears, but again…THEY ARE WILD!

Unfortunately at the end of the summer of 2003 Tim and his girlfriend Amie were attacked and partially eaten by a grizzly. There were some factors that many think that caused this. Some stated that being the end of summer food was low and the bears were trying to get a good last meal before the fall. Others think that the bears that were normally in that area had moved on and the bear that attacked them were bears trekking north. Tim was never there that late in the season. Whatever happened that day meant the end to Tim’s life. In the film the director of the film listened to the audio of the attack. The camera was rolling but the lens cap was on. The audience doesn’t get to hear the audio of the attack, but the director couldn’t listen to all of it and says “turn, it off, just turn it off”.Not hearing it the audio still got my heart pumping as the audio is being described.  

After the movie ended I laid there for a bit, my heart still racing from the film and I began to think. How can I apply this to my life? The dude was living with wild Grizzly bears, no matter if you think you have a mutual respect and understanding with them, it didn’t matter if you named them like a pet or played with cubs…they are freaking wild grizzly bears! It doesn’t matter if you lived with them for 13 summers and feel like you are their protector…they are freaking wild grizzly bears!

It doesn’t matter if you think that you have the bad habit, that undercover sin under wraps. Sooner or later it WILL get you. It doesn’t matter how long you have controlled it…it WILL get you. It’s not a matter of if, but WHEN. Hiding faults, shortcomings or our sin is easy to do. This is what I got from this movie. It was heavy, but a good reminder that I am not on this faith journey alone. I am thankful for my wife, my parents and my church family, and I cling on to 2 Corinthians 5:17 “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”

Monday Rundown…

Yesterday we as a new church had our very first Easter service, and all I can say is WOW. There is something special about “The First”. I remember the first time I held my wife’s hand, our first kiss, our first date. Firsts are normally pretty important and special and today was one of those kinda firsts.

Words can not explain the joy in my heart about today. It is amazing when you catch a glimpse of “what could be” or shall I say “what will be”. It was awesome seeing so many new people, hands lifted in worship, conversations left and right. We talked so much after service that we had to hurry up and tear down way faster than normal, but that was quite all right with me.

You see, what I am learning is that “church” doesn’t end on Sunday at 12pm. No, Church is barely starting at 12pm on a Sunday. We as a body of believers have a mission that is placed upon us…to make disciples, to proclaim the Good news of Jesus, to love the Lord with all our heart, mind and soul…and the big one….TO LOVE OUR NEIGHBORS AS WE LOVE OURSELVES.

That is our mission…that is what we are called to do. While our service was Awesome…our numbers we near double, great worship, good word, the kids church was rocking, people connecting. All of that was awesome but my heart filled with joy and with a “Yes!” when I found out this:

1) We have some transplants that moved from San Angelo, Texas to join us on the plant and today we had a few visitors that live in the area but are from San Angelo. So what do they do? Well they all had an after service picnic on the lawn of the state capitol. Stinking cool!

2) Heard also that a couple who invited their neighbors to church (and they came) also enjoyed a meal after service with their family. Awesome!

3) A few families from revive headed downtown to join Austin New Church for their annually Easter service to the homeless of Austin. This is their fourth year in doing this. Every Easter Austin New Church cancels their morning service and have service with the down and out. It was so cool seeing people from all walks of life listening to music, chowing down some burgers, ice cream and watermelon. Seeing people not caring what status you hold or how much your car is worth. For that time, we were just people.

church doesn’t end on Sunday…it’s just the beginning.

Check out our special from Sunday…

 

[vimeo width=”550″ height=”300″]http://vimeo.com/39984142[/vimeo]

We Are Family…

As the launch team first starting meeting at the beginning of 2011, one of my main concerns was “Will these people all like each other?” The only common thread with all of them was me and my wife. So my prayer was “Oh, God please let them get along…and more than that, may we build a church family.”

So we are 9 months from our first meeting as a group and 3 months in to the launch of Revive…and you know what? Our relationships are better than I ever could have imagined. It is so awesome!!! While I am close to my family, I can honestly say that these people are my family. Not by blood of course, but by vision, purpose, sweet, tears and living our christian walk together. 

I can not tell you how much I love these people. We have each others backs…

we baby sit each others kids

we hang out together…a lot (two ladies, who didn’t know each other until March of 2011 now hang out every Wednesday all day)

we play together…(One guys is really into disc golf and has gotten about 5 of us hooked on the game now)

we influence what we wear…(One lady loves to wear scarfs, and now other ladies like to wear? Yup you guessed it….scarfs)

we pick up on words…(One lady likes to say the word “BOOM”, and that has picked up on a lot of us…even one couples baby)

we influence what we buy…(We have quite few more iPhones and one couple got a MacBook Pro…I like to think I influenced that…lol)

I could go on, but I hope you get the point. We truly enjoy being around each other, oh and I forgot to mention that we all literally live within 5 minutes of each other…seriously…we do.

We are living life together…not just church life…but life, life. I love it.

So this got me thinking about Ephesians 5:1-2 (MSG)

Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.

We are to watch and then do…but how can we do, if we are not watching. Watching means that you have to be in the presence of God. When you are in the presence of someone constantly, their influence is there and you begin to like a sport you never knew or wear something new or say words like “BOOM!”

If we aren’t in the presence of God daily, then plain and simple we are big trouble because…

WE HAVE TO WATCH WHAT GOD DOES…THEN WE DO 

 

Finding out stuff I didn’t know…

  • I didn’t know that planting a church would bring up such things in my past
  • I didn’t know that I would be so tired on Monday mornings after church. I guess there is such an adrenaline rush from speaking that I am completely drained until Monday afternoons.
  • I didn’t know that we all would be so excited when a new visitor responded “Yeah, I got your door hanger and checked out your website and decided to come” would make all of us so happy
  • I didn’t know that I had the greatest team in the world (I knew they were great, but this is phenomenal)
  • I didn’t know that it would be so hard for me to make a weekly schedule. I need to make one and stick to it
  • I didn’t know that it would be harder to eat right and keep in shape…I need to stop making excuses
  • I didn’t know how emotionally draining all this would be. Believe me it is.
  • I didn’t know how awesome the feeling would be every Sunday. To see a group of people transform a high school cafeteria and classrooms into a church.
  • I didn’t know how much of the encouragement the team gives me really helps (not stroking the ego, but genuine encouragement)
  • I didn’t know how fantastic my bride is…don’t get me wrong, I knew she was great, but she is my rock, my friend, my help mate.

There are many more but just wanted to jot these down for now…

ALL MY LIFE

So I am at the Gym lifting and I have my workout mix going in my iPod and if you know me I like my music rather hard and agressive. However there is one song that I do sneak in there…it is K-Ci & JoJo circa 1997 with their hit song “All my Life” Take a listen

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXvMT_mVbqw&feature=artist[/youtube]

Major Cheese? You bet…

But this isn’t the version I listen to…it’s this one with a bit more hair on it…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1g79h8my7fI[/youtube]

While the song is very 90’s in it’s content, I still love it and here is why…

Back in Bible college I remember turning 25…I was single, recently broke up with a current relationship and….drum roll please….fathered a child out of wedlock (before I went to Bible College). So there I am working with the summer youth camp at the bible college sitting next to a close friend of mine and I remember freaking out…

“I’m 25, I have no prospects, I’m getting older, I have a kid out of wedlock…this is not good…this is not good”

While I didn’t say all of that to my friend, my friend got the point and comforted me. But still the thought ran in my head…”Will I ever get married? Will I really know what love is/means? Will she understand my past mistakes?

Little did I know at the time…but that friend…about a year later became my wife. The hardest thing I ever had to do was after telling her…”Hey, I really, really like you” was “Before this can even go forward I have to tell you…(big breath) I have a son”

So as we go back to the song “all my life”…this is my Anthem to my wife. 

She is the most wonderful thing God has blessed me with. A woman with infinite patience for me and our kids. A woman who believes in me, a woman that is a great wife, mother and friend. A woman that has been right by my side for all these years.

I can not believe that someone so awesome can love me! But yet…this is true. I am so blessed…Thank You GOD.

 

All My Life 
I Prayed For Someone Like You 
And I Thank God 
That I..That I Finally Found You