Monday Brain Dump!

Hey bloggas! It’s been a while (understatement), and I thought I would just start off with a brain dump! (which upon reflection, sounds a little gross, but hey, I am going with it!) There is WAYYYYYYYYY too much going on in my life and ministry right now, so I thought I should share some of it. Here’s whats rattling around between my ears:

  • I have guilty blog feelings.  I had a pretty decent community here, and then I fell off the face of the blogosphere. My apologies.  But this time, I make no promises that it will be any different. (I can usually beat low expectations!) But I will try. (probably) (I like parentheses too much)
  • MASTERED. We are in the middle of a series at DCC dealing with addictions and other things we allow to control our life!  My intention is to GORILLA STOMP Satan’s stronghold in people’s lives. And let me tell you, he is pushing back.  You know you are moving in the right direction when Satan is pushing back at you.
  • Two more baptisms. That makes 3 in the past month!  So excited to see people starting a journey of faith! THAT NEVER GETS OLD!!!!!!!!!!
  • We are going back to Haiti in September.  That is never far from my mind.  We have alot of first timers getting on board, and that is exciting!!!! Wanna go?  Let me know and we’ll talk!
  • Praying about doing discipleship better at DCC!  Got a few great ideas, and some key people that are ready to jump in!
  • My mom is coming into town!  The kids are pumped. Roseann is pumped.  And we may even get to work in a mini-vacay at the beach while she’s here! FTW!!!!!!
  • I was the driver for our youth group last night!  The girls in the back seat were singing Justin Beiber. (BARF!) When I henceforth banned the singing of any Beiber ever again, they changed the words. “Billy, Billy, Billy, ohhhhhh.” (DOUBLE BARF!) I almost wrecked the van. (Not really, parents…..)
  • Pondering how to accomplish some local mission trips/events with the aforementioned youths…. Got an idea this morning.  We will see how she pans out.
  • WALMART. Yes, I have Walmart on the brain! Denton is getting our very own supercenter, and I was watching the construction while having coffee at Dunkin’ (mmmmm, coffee) this morning.  They have three walls up and that place is HUGE!
  • I have an awesome wife. wow.
  • In addition to the aforementioned (new favorite word) spouse, I was overwhelmed this morning by all the awesome incredibly, amazingly awesome people I am surrounded by in my life. I sent texts to a bunch of them this morning to let them know. (That’s a really good thing for you to do too. Just sayin’)
  • I could really go for some seafood. (Bobby, fire up the grill!!)

Ok, that’s whats on my mind this Monday. What are your brain circuits firing about today?


Day Off Together

So, I decided to take the day off.  A personal day, you might say. So, it is 7 AM and I am sipping coffee with my two oldest children and they are loving it.  They are actually drinking coffee milk, which is 9 parts milk and 1 part coffee.  But they love having coffee with Daddy anyway.  I told them we were going to write a blog post together, and they loved the idea.  SO, I will now let them speak to you:

This paragraph is being dictated by my 5 year-old daughter:

There’s a Valentine’s Marathon on Nick Jr.  We are Christians. And Will, my brother, stayed dry in his bed all night. Elizabeth is still sleeping.

This paragraph is being dictated by my 4-year-old son:

Noah’s birthday is on Monday. James is playing in his high chair with baby toys.  We drunk coffee today. Coffee Milk. Daddy is on his computer. Mommy is reading the Bible.

Well, this installment of random thoughts from kids is concluding.  Hope you have as great a morning as we are having.

Disappointing Dreams

“I once had a dream that I was eating a peanut butter and tuna fish sandwich.  And let me tell you something– it was delicious. So the next day I decided to make that sandwich.  And in real life it is disgusting.  It is a disgusting sandwich.” Michael Scott, Regional Manager, Dunder Miflin Scranton, PA Branch

Ever had one of those long sought after dreams blow up in your face?  Thought it was be the greatest thing ever, but when you got there it was horrible….

What do you do when you encounter such disappointment?  How do you handle such a let down?  Share a story. Leave a thought.

Eleven in Twenty-Eleven

Lots of people have blogged about their fave things from 2010, and the things they want to carry out before they are 30 and so on.  But I don’t really remember 2010 (horrible memory!), and 30 is a long way off for me. (Not so far for my wife, but I won’t go there!)So, here are the top ELEVEN things I want to do in 2011.

  1. I want to get everyone around me saying TWENTY-ELEVEN, etc, NOT two thousand eleven.  Did we ever say nineteen hundred ninety-two, or one thousand nine hundred ninety-two?  NO, we said nineteen ninety-two. (Okay, silly rant over.)
  2. I want to honestly explore the feasibility of a giftless Christmas. No gift giving, no gift receiving.  Only one big act of generosity from my family to someone who needs it. (Don’t worry mom, I am not COMMITTED to this, but I want to explore how it would look/work.)  We talk so much about Christmas being about more than gifts.  Maybe it is time to prove it.
  3. I want to complete my Creole lessons.  I have had them for a year with little progress. While I know some, I have SO MUCH work to do. Mwen gen yon bann travay fè.
  4. I want to blog 40 times this year.  This is like once every 9/10 days.  I have lots of ideas/thoughts/perspectives that not only might be helpful to others, but would be good for ME to share.  But I am not a daily blogger, I need more space.  ha.
  5. I want to give away more money than I spend on my entertainment.  So every time I pay the cable bill, go to a movie with the wife, and buy music, I will be adding up and trying to surpass it.
  6. I want to take my wife to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.  This would seem like a simple enough task, but we have lived here 2 1/2 years and something keeps coming up.  Not this year. (Yeah.  I dig a little classical music. Go ahead. Make fun of me. I can take it.)
  7. Speaking of my wife, we need a day in downtown DC checking out the museums and monuments.  She is not originally an East Coast girl, so doesn’t have all the school field trips I have to look back on.
  8. I have a friendship that I haven’t been investing in.  I need to give it some more effort and time.  Maybe an hour a week or so. (There is a nice, vague goal for ya.)
  9. I want to win another double-header!  (My Friday night pals will get this one!)
  10. I want to take my kids on “Daddy Dates” at least once a month!  I almost cried today when I realized that my oldest daughter is 33% of the way to adulthood.  WHAT?!?!  They need memories and moments and talks and laughs with Dad.  More than they have been getting.
  11. A family camping trip.  Yep.  It HAS to happen.  Even if it just on the back porch. (kidding, Roseann.) Spring, watch out.  You are gonna get Johnson-camped.

So, those are some things I want to happen in 2011.  Which of these will you hold me accountable for?  What are some of your top goals for 2011? Tell me in the comments below.

I Love My Church

I am so stoked to be a part of Denton Christian Church!  I seriously wish we had football-type jerseys so I could wear it and paint my face when I come on Sundays! (Ok, maybe a slight exaggeration, but you get the point, right?)  I am so profoundly humbled to be surrounded by people who are sold out to helping the hurting, healing the broken, and finding the lost.  With all the AMAZING things that have happened in the last few months, I just keep asking myself, “What’s Next?”

What about you?  What do you love about your church?


Some things I am uber-thankful for:

  1. That God said yes when I asked for grace.
  2. That Roseann said yes when I asked for her to be mine.
  3. That 4 beautiful people know me only as “Daddy”.
  4. That I regularly eat and laugh with my parents and sibs.
  5. That people actually listen to me and look to me for some sort of spiritual guidance.
  6. That I have more people this Thanksgiving that I call ‘friend’ than I did last one.
  7. That I have great in-laws to hang with for the Holiday.
  8. That I have clean water and enough food, a reality not universally present.

What about you?  What are you most thankful for this week?

10 Things People Would Tell Us If We Would Listen

Just read THIS great post from James Emery White.  HAD to repost it here:

Ten Things People Would Tell Us If We’d Listen

1.      I do not consider myself (nor do I feel like I am) a “pagan.”  I mean, really? A pagan?  Not sure I like “unchurched” or “irreligious” either, though it’s a step up.  Ideally, how about John, or Mark, or Sandra?  In other words, my name.

2.      I honestly don’t mind it when you invite me to your church, or talk to me about God.  Just keep it, I don’t know, natural.  Like when we talk about sports or movies.  I hate feeling like a project.  Let’s keep it a conversation between friends, and as friends.  I could see doing that.

3.      Please don’t be threatened by my questions.  They really are my questions, and I’ve had them for a long time.  I would hope that if Christianity is true, it would stand up under any amount of intellectual scrutiny.  Anyway, I would feel a lot better if you were less threatened when I raise them.  I’m not trying to be a jerk by raising them, I’m just trying to sort it all out.  And that means asking you about all kinds of things.  I know sometimes it seems combative, or aggressive, but God questions aren’t exactly tame – much less safe.  And for me, the answers are everything.

4.      Don’t forget that a lot of my junk is emotional, not just intellectual.  And it took a lot for me to say that.  I almost don’t know how to get into this, but I’ve been burned, disillusioned, hurt…you may win some of our verbal contests, but it doesn’t usually move me forward.  It still leaves me feeling cold, mostly because some of the time the intellectual stuff is just a smokescreen for what I’m really battling.  Here’s the last five percent:  It’s not just whether I can buy into this intellectually, but whether I can buy into it relationally.  In other words, are you and your community really safe?

5.      I would like to belong before I believe.  What I mean is that I’d like to experience this a bit before signing on.  Is that legal?  I hope so.  I think that if I could “test the waters” a bit it would be helpful.

6.      There’s a lot I don’t know, and I know it.  Don’t make me feel stupid about it, like not knowing much about the Bible or Jesus or whatever.  If you could start at the beginning and explain it all to me, that would be great.  Like starting with Genesis and moving forward.

7.      Can we agree that there’s a lot of weird stuff attached to Christianity and the Bible?  Okay, it might be true, or real, or whatever, but can we just agree that some of it is a bit…bizarre?  For some strange reason, it would make me feel better to hear you acknowledge how it all looks – and sounds – to someone from the outside.

8.      What’s up with all the scandals?  I’m sympathetic to screwing up – I do it all the time – but what makes me want to puke is how they’re screwing up while they are telling everybody they don’t, or that nobody should, or…you get my point.  It just makes the whole thing seem like a joke.  Just own that you have screwed up (that’d be fine with me, really, I do it all the time), or just shut up about not doing it.   But this parading and posturing and then being exposed…it just turns me off.  It makes me feel like the spiritual one because at least I don’t pretend to be something I’m not!

9.      I like it when you help people – care for the poor, house the homeless, tend to the widow, protect the orphan, work for justice against the sex-trafficked – that gets my attention and feels authentic.  It’s also convicting, because I’m not doing much in those areas.  I agree with it, and write a check now and then, but I’m not on the front lines.  When you are, it makes me have to listen to what you have to say, whether I like it or not.

10. I’m really open to it all.  More than I let on.  In fact, I want to feel good about myself spiritually.  But I don’t think I could ever measure up.  When I really think about God, all I feel is guilt and shame, so I stay away.  It would be nice if there was something in all of this that would make me feel like I could…I don’t know….come home?

~James Emery White


done.  D-O-N-E.

there are too many days where this is the only word to describe how I feel.

done with the people around me.

done with being a dad. (those kids are impossible.)

done with being a husband. (i’m pretty bad at it.)

done with ministry.

done with life. period.  just done.

in those moments, i hear, i know there is a voice calling, “you many be done, but I am not done with you.”

so, deep breath in. let it out.  look forward to mountain beyond this valley.  to the sunrise beyond the night. and move on.  not quite done yet.

every been there?  there now?  what’s next?