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Showing posts from 2007

Tagged...

I have been tagged; I’m it. Here is my response to the “Meme.”

One book that changed my life: Wild at Heart by John Eldredge

One book that I’ve read more than once: Leaving Ruin by Jeff Berryman

One book that I want on a desert island: The Bible

One book that made me laugh: Blue Like Jazz by Don Miller

One book that made me cry: No Wonder They Call Him the Savior by Max Lucado

One book I wish had been written: The Exact and Essential Keys to the Kingdom by Jesus

One book I wish had never been written: The Left Behind Series

One book I’m currently reading: Way of the Wild Heart & Desire by John Eldredge (I know, that's two)

One book I’ve been meaning to read: Seeing the Unseen by Joe Beam

Perspective

I stood at the bottom of the hill, looking upward. I checked behind me, but all that could be seen was that which immediately affected where I stood. The shadow of the building reached out to touch the shadow of the tree which reached the shadow of the cars, which joined with my own shadow. Everything surrounding me prohibited me from being able to see any further forward or backward of where I stood. The voices were also loud at the bottom of the hill. I could hear laughing and joking and all sorts of other human interactions that were taking place; coffee cups clanging together in rhythm with spoons and forks on plates creating a whisking sound. The animals were contributing to all the noise as I stood looking up from the bottom of the hill. I wondered inside my head and heart, what was the purpose of this trip if I were to just stand here and be distracted by the quieter noises of the country? Where I am normally bombarded with cars swishing by the windows of my office, the growl …

Exactly! i think?!?

I am not sure exactly what it is that is going on. I feel so strange, really I do. I realized today that I still do not completely understand or grasp all that God has done in me, to me, with me...
I struggle to understand what some rough, brash guy like me is doing preaching.
This blog is not about how I feel though, or maybe it is.

No it is not. It is about the growth that I am seeing in some of the men that I am studying with and getting to know. The neat thing is that they are moinistering to me as much as I to them. God has blessed me with men that are real and DEMAND the same from me. They do not let me hide behind a title or a desk or a podium. They call me out and do not let me back away. Today we had a frank discussion. Very frank!!!
After leaving them I had this feeling of letting them down, like the things that I had brought up were not enough. That they were simply some trite, idealistic, simplistic thomes that held nothing. Instead, I found out later that they were the exac…

Broken and repaired

“To do for yourself the best that you have it in you to do—to grit your teeth and clench your fists in order to survive the world at its harshest and worst—is, by that very act, to be unable to let something be done for you and in you that is more wonderful still. The trouble with steeling yourself against the harshness of reality is that the same steel that secures your life against being destroyed secures your life also against being opened up and transformed.” ---- Frederick Buechner
How are you at accepting help? I am not too good. I can remember in elementary school through college if something was too difficult I would struggle, and struggle until I figured out a way to “get it done and over with.” Not always the best approach. Yet, I apply this to my life in many areas and under many circumstances.
The unfortunate thing about this is, that I am robbing someone else of a blessing. I know the question pops up, “how can someone be blessed bt my problems?”
The answer is, that others…

Fresh and new

I got to witness a birth today. Not an actual flesh and blood birth, and not a Baptism, but the birth of desire for more of God in a life. A friend, a new friend, a man that I have been talking to today finished reading Wild at Heart. He came to my office after and his heart was brimming over and filling his eyes. It was so cool to see a man that wanted to be closer to the Father, for a man to come and desire so deeply an understanding of the will and purpose that God has for his life. I was blessed just seeing it, and was able to remember when Godly desire was born in my own life just a few years ago. I shared with my new friend some of the words of encouragement that God had given me through my Band of Brothers.
I am so thankful for this journey that God has placed my family as a result of that desire in my life. For the growth that my family and I are going through. I would not trade for anything else in the world.
I got to witness a birth today...

Where we are and where we are going

Some of us just do not know anything else. We have been Christians all of our lives, just like Mom and Dad. Most of our earliest memories are being at church, or church camp, or VBS, or any other of a number of things that are unique to being brought up in a church home. We feel as if we were found under a pew and bathed in the baptistery.

Others of us see all of this as something completely knew and maybe even foreign. We do not understand the subtle little references and the “code words” spoken often by those who have been in church their whole lives. We see things differently for this is all new and maybe even somewhat confusing to us. We have never been to a retreat, or a youth rally. We have never spent an entire day, much less a whole week at church. We think when we hear VBS that it must be a TV station like CBS, or TBS.

Then there are us who were drug to church each and every time the doors were open by our Moms, and maybe Dad (for special occasions; this arrangement can be reve…

A Wonderful Savior

I am touched this week with how wonderful our God is. Nothing special has happened and nothing earth shattering has been halted, I am just in awe of Yahweh. It is so neat to see the moments when God becomes clearer in our lives, those brief moments of clarity that we find when alone and quiet. I think that God calls us to these times to show us His glory.

I know I am rambling, but in the last two weeks i have witnesses and read of people hearing and seeing God in new ways. He answers our prayers in ways that are meaningful to us as individuals, and to see that in the lives of people you know is simply amazing.

I am so glad for this journey that God has put my family on, and so joyful for all of you that have participated in the journey with us.

May God bless you all, and may you feel His presence in a new way this week.

A new round of questions...

I bought this album the other day, Todd Agnew Better Questions, and while not everybody's cup of tea stylistically, I must say the thought that goes into the lyrics stirs me. I remember as a young man coming up in the church, that I had questions that were just not supposed to be asked ou loud. If you were bold or nieve enough to ask them out loud, the answerr was "because we have always done it that way," or "that's just the way it is."

I think that there are questions like these that just come naturally, and we are afraid sometimes to ask, because God's answers to these questions force even tougher questions. The hard questions that examine my motives for ministry, my heart for the lost, or my love for my Savior. These questions are more than about, "am I doing everything I can to get to heaven," and instead lead me to examine if I am doing everything God wants me to do to call out and help bring freedom and life to the lost and dying around …

Time...

The time is here. Graduation has come to the class of 2007 at SIBI. WoW! It feels so surreal, and amazing. I want to take this opportunity to thank each of you, all of you for the prayers and support for Dawn, and me as we went through school, and for Dalton and Rebekah as they put up with us while we were in school.
The time draws nearer and nearer to our departure to the Bear Flag Republic (California) to preach the word of God and work with the family at the Central church of Christ in San Jose.
We still covet your prayers and desire for each of you that are able to visit us.
Love to you all,
Johnny

Let's keep living for Him, the King who uses us donkeys.

This was the message from one of my classmates to me the other day. It is such a challenge for me to think that God is getting such a great servant, and that Central in San Jose is getting such a good minister, but the truth is, I am getting the opportunity to serve God. I am also blessed to have a church like Central to work with.
I am thanlnkful for the opportunity to serve a King who uses donkeys.

redirecting...

I saw the word redirecting after logging in and going to the site, thought that it fit our situation. As we head into the final term, and preparef for graduation, I realize that I am anticipating the move and the beginning of the job in San Jose, but that there is a great amount of fear as well.
I feel confident that God had the Central church in San Jose planned for Dawn, the kids and me as we were training to minister to them. I solicit all of your prayers and hope that all is well with each of you.

I would like to encourage you all to check out Chris Robey's blog, it is an awesome self exam for those of us who struggle with evangelism.

A job.

It is official. The Central church of Christ in San Jose, Ca. has hired me to be their pulpit minister. The preparations and plans now focus on not just finishing school strong, but also making the necessary arrangements to move in June.
Wow. God is good. We are looking forward to the next leg of this journey that God is sending us on...
The trip to Santa Barbara went very well. The people there were wonderful and the weather was beautiful. I would like to ask that you join Dawn and I as we take Mondays to pray and fast for God's direction in our lives. There are difficult emotions when it comes to moving so far away from family; however, there just have not been any Texas churches answering our resumes. It is a little frustrating and aggravating.
This week however we are privileged to attend the Sunset Workshop.This is exciting as we are able to visit with family, Gary & Robin Blakeney, friends Ken Wilson, and others and are able to meet new people who are attending.

Looks like I made it...

Well a week later, I am finally in Santa Barbara. last weekend we were stranded in Lubbock because of ice, but this week the snow held off long enough to let me make my flight. I have arrived here in Santa Barbara, and have an 8am breakfast with the aElders and then I have a few hours of free time. I ask that all of you would pray for me and for my bride and my children in our time apart from each other.

Look Up, that is where the story started.

Yeah I'm a travelin man

Asking prayers as I fly to Santa Barbara, Ca. to interview for the pulpit position there. We are in the beginning stages of the new term, and I am trying to juggle the schedule and the interview.

In the year 2007

No Resolutions!
That is my one resolution this year. Snap! Already broken.
Actually, I hope to become a more consistent blogger on this space.
I would like to take this opportnity to any readers that are still checking in to all of you a happy New year, and more importantly that each of you would relish in the glory of God and a new understanding of His purpose in your life.