Wednesday, January 12, 2011

January 12, 2011

I am not sure about you, but I thought this weekend’s service was really good.  The worship through music was great, the message was a challenge to me personally (hopefully to you too), and it was great to be able to let you all know about our upcoming move to V Sue Cleveland High School the end of February.  Also, I am not sure if you noticed, but we had the largest attendance in Paragon’s short history… 162.  That is exciting.

The only thing I felt bad about as I walked away from our gathering was the fact I didn’t mention anything about the shootings that took place the day before in Tucson, AZ.  It wasn’t that I forgot it’s that I honestly didn’t know what to say.

Now, 3 + days have passed and there has been plenty of news coverage and almost too much said about the whole incident. I do, however, want to add my two cents to the conversation after the message from Sunday.

On Sunday night, Christy and I were watching Dateline NBC to find out more about what had happened.  The news crew was bouncing from doctors to friends to political aides to whoever else had some insight to what had happened and how it all unfolded.  The one part of the show that had really caught my attention was when they did a piece on the 9 year old girl who was killed during this tragic event.  They had her parents on for an interview to talk about her.  I was blown away at how calm they were and how they were sitting there answering the questions in such a composed manner.  

As the interview progressed, I learned that her dad was a baseball scout for the LA Dodgers and her grandfather was a former manager for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1980, when they won the World Series title.  To me, and maybe it’s just because I am a sports guy, those are pretty big accomplishments.

And then, because of the way my mind works, I started to think, what if that were me… what if I were sitting there doing and interview… would I be calm or would I be a mess? (most definitely the latter)  and then my mind went to… what if I had a big Scouting job with a Major League Baseball team and my dad was a World Series winning manager… would any of that really matter if I had just lost my nine year old?  The answer to that is NO… I would give up anything and everything on this earth to have my kid back… I would give anything to even just one more day with my kid.

THEN… the question became… then why do I put so many other things (small insignificant things) in front of each of them now?  Just a little more work… just a little more TV…a little more alone time…  why don’t you guys go outside and play and just leave me alone for a little while… etc.

That old saying is so often true… “You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.”  Why do we wait until they are gone to realize this?  Why do we put the meaningless things in life in front of the things that mean everything?

If you want to go back to Sunday’s message… why do we spend so much time worshipping our false gods (money, sex, stuff, sports teams, etc.) that give us nothing in return when instead we should be putting our focus on the one true God that has given us everything we could ever need?

Just my two cents...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Leap of Faith

Last night, Christy stopped by the Redbox and picked up Inception.  It was a movie that I wanted to see in the theater but wasn’t top priority on the list… so we waited.

If you have seen the movie, you may have had the same thoughts and questions I had… “What is going on here?” – “Is everyone else as confused as I am right now?” – “How is this going to end?” - “How much Nyquil did the writers drink during the planning stages of this movie?”

The movie intrigued me and as with most movies I watch I looked for moments of spiritual significance (and in this movie I found quite a few).  Most of them dealt with the past and how when we hang on to it… whether fabricated or realistic… it can hold us back.  But the one that stood out to me was the line that was asked a handful of times.

“Do you want to take a leap of faith?  Or become an old man filled with regrets…”

What a powerful line.  What a powerful question.

Think about it with me… how many of us have come to a place in our lives where we have to ask ourselves this question.  Do we push forward, not really knowing the outcome, or do we sit safe always aware of what the outcome should be?

When do we take that leap of faith… when do we not?

I was thinking about that while watching the movie… and thought the reason he (DiCaprio) did take that leap of faith was because of his passion for what he was leaping into.  Even though he knew it could cost him his life (or at least a life in “limbo”) he went all in.

That led me to these next questions… what are you passionate about?  What are you willing to risk it all for?

Do you have that passion for God and His Word and sharing it with others… so passionate that you are willing to risk everything for Him and His mission?

“Do you want to take a leap of faith?  Or become an old man filled with regrets…”

I will be 35 in a few weeks and according to the stats that say the average American male lives 70 years – my life is at its midpoint.  I am getting closer and closer to being an old man (and for my kids and their friends, I probably already am) – but even with that – one thing is for sure… I do not want to be an old man filled with regrets.

The Paragon Church plant was a big leap of faith for me and my family but I do not want to rest on that past accomplishment as my sole source of “look what I did” for my life.  I am passionate about leading this church to where God wants us to go.  Every day I am excited about what God is going to do next.  I am ready to take that next “leap”.  Are you?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year... New Post

It’s a new year and finally a new blog post.  I honestly cannot believe it is already 2011.  It was this time last year that I was meeting with some guys to figure out how we would transform a school gym into a church.  How time flies!

2010 wrapped up very well.  At the end of October we started a series going through Philippians.  It was a good challenge on finding JOY even in the worst situations.  Our average Sunday attendance was over 130 for the last few months (not bad for a church that is only eight months old).    For our Christmas Eve service we had over 150 friends and family members… it was awesome.  God is blessing Paragon with new families every week.

I am extremely excited about what 2011 has in store.  It started off this last Sunday (January 2) with a remembrance service.  What better way to focus on what we need to do in 2011 than to look back at what Christ did for us 2000 years ago.

Over the next three Sundays we will be looking at the life of Elijah and the man of God he was… how he got that way… and what he did to prove it.  It will be a great challenge for each of us to step up in 2011 to do something with our lives.

God has a lot in store for us as a church.  We are moving ahead and reaching out and we need you to be a part in whatever way you can.

Look forward to weekly updates to the blog… a little 2011 resolution on my part.   Happy New Year and God Bless!!!

BTW - we have a little announcement you will want to be a part of this Sunday... so make sure to be there.