Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hide and Go Seed

This morning before coming to the office I thought I would take advantage of the warmer weather and spread some winter rye grass seed. We will see what happens with it. I'm sure my sandy soil isn't the most healthy for seed to grow. I also noticed a covey of dove on the high wire watching me I think they were talking to each other and I'm pretty sure I heard one of them say, "Free Lunch!".

Jesus talks about spreading seed in the parable of the sower. (Matthew 13) Some fell on rocky soil, some fell and the birds ate it up, some fell on thorny ground, some fell on good soil. For more on what the parable means check it out for yourself in Matthew 13:18.

I have a new one to add. Please don't freak out, I'm not adding to the Bible. I noticed this morning as I used my broadcast spreader that some fell in my socks. Now of course you won't find that in Matthew 13 because they didn't wear socks back in the day. The parable of the seed in the socks. Those seeds never made it to the ground, to the soil, as a matter of fact I think there are a few seeds still in my socks right now. There was a man that was sewing winter rye...

This is the meaning of the parable of the seed in the socks: The seed is the good news of how a relationship with Jesus Christ can radically change lives. The problem is often we as Christians, Christ followers, don't allow the seed to be planted. We don't share our faith, we keep it to ourselves. So that seed never has the opportunity to take root in the heart of our friends, neighbors and co-workers.

When I think of evangelistic efforts and events, such as Billy Graham crusades, etc., I wonder would those even be necessary if we as believers got the seeds out of our socks? Then the money we sink into big evangelistic budgets could be used to provide for someone in need or help bring water to a village in Africa. (which is also a way to spread the seed) I guess the point I'm thinking about today is that it doesn't take big budgets to reach the lost. We, the church, just need to be obedient, and that starts with me. What about you are you keeping your seeds in your socks?

Do you have a daughter or have an influence in the lives of girls? Read this

Monday, November 26, 2007

What was she thinking?

Recently in the news there was the story of the young teenage girl that committed suicide as a result of an online relationship with a boy. Later it was found out that the "boy" was the girl next door's mother. She was attempting to find out what the neighbor girl was saying about her daughter, the two girls had a falling out. What was mom thinking? Only the mom knows. She may have started out to innocently (deceptively) find out what was being said about her daughter. This mother took this opportunity to make this young girl feel horrible about herself to the point that the girl took her own life. This mom that was supposed to be the adult behaved like a middle school girl!

A few thoughts roll though my mind:

1. The Uncle Ricco Syndrome. We know of Uncle Ricco from Napoleon Dynamite. Uncle Ricco was stuck in his teen years, "I could have taken state". He was fixated on his high school football career and could not let his past go, "If only the coach would have put me in...".

Parents often bring baggage from their own childhood into their parenting style. We probably have all witnessed parents living their lives vicariously through the lives of their child. The dad that forces his son to play a sport that the boy really isn't interested in, not for the health benefits but because dad was an athlete when he was a kid (most of the time not really a successful athlete so he pushes his son to be a successful athlete). The mom that pushes her daughter to have a boyfriend, mom struggled with boyfriend issues as a child and that's where she found her "self worth" as a girl. The parent that pushes their child that is an average students to make straight A's no matter the emotional or physical toll it takes on the child because the parent was a "genius" as a child. The parent who lets their kid live "do their own thing" because the parent's parents were super strict (beyond reason) or they are super strict because their parents were not (no balance).

2. Parents need to know what their child is doing online. While the internet is a great tool and helpful to society it also comes with great dangers. Watch the news this week and more than likely you will see a story about a cyber stalker, twisted minds using the internet to stalk, rape and even kill. Know what your child is doing online, take advantage of some of the software available for keeping tabs on what your child is doing online. Put the computer in the family room never in the child's room. Most of the time when you hear news stories about an internet crime against a child the parent was clueless as to what their child was doing online.
Not to mention children can view something online that will be stuck in their minds and possibly lead into a dangerous addiction that could destroy their life.

3. Use relationship conflicts as an opportunity to teach your child how to deal with others in life. Apparently this mother never learned how to properly resolve conflict with others. In life we are going to have conflict with others. As parents we need to teach our children how to get along with others which includes resolving conflict. What do our kids see when we as parents have a conflict with another adult? More is caught than taught.

4. Know the warning signs of teen suicide:

Threatening to hurt or kill oneself, or talking about wanting to hurt or kill oneself.
Looking for ways to kill themselves by seeking firearms, available pills, or other means.
Talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide.
Feeling hopeless.
Feeling rage or uncontrolled anger or seeking revenge.
Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking.
Feeling trapped -- like there's no way out.
Increasing alcohol or drug use.
Withdrawing from friends, family, and society.
Feeling anxious, agitated, or unable to sleep, or sleeping all the time.
Experiencing dramatic mood changes.
Seeing no reason for living or having no sense of purpose in life.

5. Pray for wisdom as a parent.

It is sad when we hear news of something that could have been avoided.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

My Thanksgiving by Andy Lawrenson

Something amazing happened this past week. I literally gained 5 pounds. How is this possible? The answer is very simple: High food intake and low energy or exertion of any physical sort. (lots of eating and no exercise)

We went down to SC to spend some time with Misha's grandma, she is still kickin at age 95. We had a great time. Misha doesn't get to see her family often so I was glad we got to take this trip. Grandma's parents and oldest brother came to America through Ellis Isle on a ship from Hungary in the very early 1900's. Pretty cool! They were legal aliens. She had a cabin with a dirt floor! Why sweep?

We chilled at Misha's uncle and aunt's home during the day and stayed at a fantastic Embassy Suites at night. Ty was diggin the sofabed and the elevator. The hotel was very "swank" complete with glass roofed 9 story atrium, fish ponds and waterfalls in the atrium, cooked to order breakfast (hence the weight gain. can you say omelette), USA Today at my door each morning, two room suite, glass elevators. Nice, very nice, the total opposite of the Microtel I stayed at last weekend where I was afraid to walk on the carpet without my shoes on.

On the way home we stopped at our best man's home in SC and spent a few hours with him and his family. Ty had a blast playing with his 4 year old son. It occured to me Friday night, as I was getting ready to fall asleep, that Andrew and I became friends when we were twelve years old. It then dawned on me that our parents at that time were the age that Andrew and I are now. But they couldn't have been as cool as we are now. I'm getting old.

Andrew has a great dane named Bruce. Bruce is huge, he can rest his head on the door of a pick up truck or on the top of the kitchen counter. Bruce is a gentle giant, he, Ty and Andrew's youngest were curled up together on a bed (pictures to come). Bruce took a jog with Andrew and I, we were in a truck and clocked Bruce running a steady 34 miles an hour, good thing Bruce is a friendly beast.

We had a great visit with friends and family and I didn't check my e-mail for 5 days!
I came home to find out I had been elfed!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Freaked Out!

This weekend we attended a youth event in Elizabeth City. The band was Jonathon Project and the speaker was Craig Tackett. Both the band and Craig did a great job.

Illusionist, Drew Worsham was there as well. Drew wasn't your usual Christian magician doing the typical and predictable magic tricks. Drew did stuff that freaked my mind out! I got a headache trying to figure out how he did his tricks. He also used his tricks as illustrations for a spiritual application.

Here is what impressed me about Drew, he was doing illusions that were every bit as good as some of the magicians I've seen on television that do those mind boggling tricks. So often I've seen the church's illusionists do their performances and they are more like the magician at the 6 year old's birthday party. I was pleasantly surprised. It's also super cool that Drew has taken this talent that God has given him and is using it to spread the good news of Jesus Christ and His love.

I'm still freakin out!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Reality Show Idea

The other night we were watching one of these those on a cable network that features these huge families. The family they were featuring the other night had 17 kids! All were birthed by the same mom. The youngest was 4 and the oldest was 30!

Something I've noticed about these huge families is that the older kids usually continue living with the family long after they graduate from high school and they work in some sort of "family business" and are home schooled. Not that any of these are bad they just seems to be common threads in each family featured on these shows.

On the show the other night the family had a 24 year old son. They never knew where he was or what he was doing yet he lived in the same house. They discovered he was break dancing. He was on a break dance team that competed. He wasn't good at all at break dancing yet break dancing was his life. He sat around the house and was a grump because he hurt his toe and couldn't break dance. That's when I said, "Get a Life!".

I then realized that would be a great idea for a reality show. The host would travel to observe people like a 24 year old break dancer that couldn't dance. Half way through the show the host would say, "Get a Life!". Then there would be a team of 3 or 4 professional coaches that would help the individual change their life, clothes, hair, find a job, clean their house, mow their yard, etc. and turn their life around. Help them get a life.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

And The Light Bulb Turns On

We have all had those moments when that little light bulb that hovers over our head actually turns on, "I GET IT!"moments.

I saw some light bulbs come on the other day. Our church just wrapped up a ribbon cutting ceremony with the Chamber of Commerce. Sandwiches and cannoli were great! Members of the Chamber came for the ceremony and to check out our new facility.

The other day I was explaining to someone why we had a bunch of our members running around doing a thorough cleaning on the building. We are getting ready for a ribbon cutting ceremony. I could see the look of puzzlement and bewilderment (I like the word I think I created "bewilderness) on their faces. I then let them know we joined the Chamber. Still puzzled. I then explained that it was a way to get into the community as a church (outreach). It was at that very moment that I saw the light bulbs come one.

Thanks to all the fantastic members of NHC that showed up to spruce the place up. It is incredible to be part of a church with so many members willing and ready to serve whenever and however needed. You guys ROCK!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

More on Method

It appears each year that we dive into the holiday season even earlier than the year before. While I don't know that this is true, I haven't seen the data, it does appear to be so. Usually I don't drink my first eggnog until close to Christmas. This year is different, a lot different.

Now you can look at the history of eggnog if you are so inclined, but you will see that this is a drink that has been around for centuries. It's possible eggnog started in Europe and headed across the big pond to America. We do know that this was a popular drink among the colonist in Colonial America. They would often mix rum in with the eggnog to warm things up a bit on a cold winters day. Can you blame them? They didn't have heat pumps!

For centuries eggnog has been the same. No change. Sure there are different recipes but in the end the eggnog is just that eggnog. This year my life has been radically changed. My recent trip to Food Lion I discovered something amazing. Gingerbread Eggnog!! This stuff is incredbily, unbelievably fantastic.

Another fine example of change. While it is still egg nog it has been changed to reach a broader spectrum of consumers. It's still egg nog only more contemporary and culturally relevant.

Some churches are still using methods that are centuries old in an attempt to reach a new culture. Some churches are using new methods without changing the message to reach the new culture. If Nags Head Church were eggnog it would be gingerbread eggnog! Fantastic!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

This was a Burger Chef in Indiana.
See the earlier post from today.

Today's Message


What a great message we had at church today. The method should change but the message always stays the same. Top it off with someone trusting Jesus as their Savior, that's the icing on the cake. I guess that goes to prove that the gospel is not watered down at NHC. I've always wondered when I've heard that comment made about PD churches. I know we teach that salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, I've never heard it watered down. The salvation today at church was (in my mind) a way of God putting his seal of approval on the message. We are doing what He has placed us here to do.

Methods changing. Methods changing. Methods changing. That phrase has been ringing through my mind tonight in the middle of reading text book material for school, playing with Ty, and eating leftovers.

I think we can relate this to the business world to help us better understand why it is important to change. Of course I'm talking the fast food business world.

Remember when McDonald's only sold burgers and the occasional fillet-o-fish? (I personally know no one who eats those fish sandwiches) Remember when Arby's only sold roast beef sandwiches? Remember when Wendy's only sold burgers and chili and baked potatoes? Remember when Hardees was Hardees and not two different chain names at one time? (how does that work anyways?) Remember when Burger King along with all the others didn't open until lunch time?

Now you go to these burger joints and you can get sandwiches on regular bread, in wraps, and chicken. Now they serve salads, yogurt, fat free junk. You can go to Hardees and get a South beach burger, no buns, the thing is wrapped in lettuce. Breakfast biscuits are the bomb diggity!

This didn't all happen at once. One of the chains, possibly McDonald's, started adding some different food options to the menu. Why? Times were changing and people wanted more options, some even wanted healthier options. Then once this started catching on other chains jumped on the bandwagon because they didn't want to get left behind. Time changed so their menus changed. Change was necessary to meet the growing and diverse desires of the public.

Still wondering if I'm on the right track with this correlation?

Remember Burger Chef? Didn't think so. Burger Chef was a chain that existed in the 70's and early 80's. Their burgers were delivered to you on your tray in a clear plastic bag wrapper. They were one of the first ones to have the ketchup station out in the dining area. But what happened to Burger Chef? They didn't change! The world changed and they stayed stuck in the 70's along with orange shag carpet (I hear it is making a comeback) and velvet paintings.

Great message Rick! I hope NHC always strive to be relevant. Don't want to be a Burger Chef!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I'm on the World Wide Web! Check me out watching the Walking on Water film. You may spot a few other famous guys in the first two rows as well.

Castaway


No boat, no light, no motor car, not a single luxury...

I have felt like Tom Hanks, the castaway, for the past 5 days. Our internet server went down affecting hundreds of sites and it appears that the internet engineers are clueless how to remedy the problem. Some how these geeks need to pull their collective minds together into one giant mass of brain power and fix the problem.

It's amazing how in the past several years I've become internet dependent. 8 years ago this really would not have affected me all that much. I feel sort of like I'm on a road trip without my cell phone. Ever feel that way? Open, bare, almost technologically naked? Ok, maybe I'm not Tom Hanks. Perhaps I'm more like Gilligan (I said what you were thinking).

Today I figured out how to connect my temporary e-mail account to Outlook so now I feel like I just hopped on the bamboo raft and am heading out to see.

Ever wonder why the tourist on the Minnow packed suitcases and trunks of clothes for a "three hour tour"? I'm trying to figure out why some of the island residents wore the same clothes every episode and others had like entire wardrobes. It's puzzling to me and yes this is something I think about. Have you considered it?

Other things bother me like how small boats with small motors, which means small gas tanks, and small planes made it to the island yet they couldn't be rescued. If they were close enough for small boats and small planes to get to them that means they couldn't have been too far from civilization. How far can you go on a 5 gallon tank of gas on the open sea?
Why were the Russians interested in the island? There are soooo many questions left unanswered by that show.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Trunk or Treat


I was just at the Butcherblock getting a sandwich (strip steak wrap, really good) and Johnny (the owner, it's a family business, small town feel, I like it a lot) asked me how Trunk or Treat went. Johnny had put up a poster for us as well as the cards on his counter. So I told Johnny about TOT and from behind me the rings a familiar voice, "Where was this?" I turned to see Senator Basnight standing there (he apparently likes good sandwiches too). So I described TOT to the Senator. He was diggin it, he and his bud seemed amazed at the turn out.

Welcome to my blog!


Welcome to my blog! Everyone is blogging so I thought I would as well.
I've chosen the ADD youth pastor because it describes my inner self. Wow that pelican is huge!
Oh, sorry about that. Hope you can follow along.
Blogs are all about sharing thoughts but most of the time I find my self thinking, "Uhhhhhh....."

New Site is up and Running

My new web site which now hosts my blog posts is up and fully functional. You can check it out at andylawrenson.com . There is also a mon...