Sunday, November 30, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
- making it possible for me to know Him through faith in Jesus Christ
- my beautiful, awesome wife
- my incredibly cute son, my squooshy boy, a gift from God
- my parents
- my family, even my brothers, all of them
- that we have Tricia and Gwyneth with us, you go girls!
- my home, it's nice to have a roof and a warm house
- my dog, she's a loyal friend and likes me no matter what
- living in America
- our men and women in uniform defending our freedom
- my church family, Nags Head Church rocks!
- the ministry God has placed me in
- the pastors at NHC
- the nursery team
- the children's team
- the youth team
- Maui, Maui No Ka Oi
- Outer Banks
- friends, both new and old, by old I mean known them a long time, which makes them old
- food and clean water (many people today won't have either)
- only one class to go to get my graduate degree
- ice cream, let's not forget ice cream, especially coconut macadamia nut
- great Mexican food, especially rice and beans, can't eat one without the other
- Hawaiian food, local grinds are some onolicious brah
- the ocean
- Did I mention my wife and son?
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Often I’m blown away by the grace of God because he has given me what I do not deserve. Then I stop and think about my life and I wonder how He can love me and see me as blameless. I know I have sinned but God views me, Andy, His child, as blameless. When God looks at me he doesn’t see my sin, He sees His Son and God knows that my sin debt has been paid.
King David stated in Psalm 26 that he leads a blameless life. Huh? David committed adultery, murder and a few other sins I’m sure but he was a “man after God’s own heart”. I think David grasped the grace and forgiveness of God. David gives us some great things to teach our children in Psalm 26.
- Trust God without wavering (v 1)
- God search my heart and my mind (v 2)
- Walk always in God’s truth keeping His love in mind (v 3)
- Be careful whom you hang out with (v 4, 5)
- Give God praise and talk about the great things God has done (v 7)
- Love the place where God dwells. For us today as believers that would be our very lives. (v 8)
- God has redeemed us and shown us Mercy (v 11)
That’s right, it’s about God. Yet another holiday with God as the basis of the holiday, much like Christmas. Watch TV during Thanksgiving and we will see lots of people dressed like pilgrims and Native Americans. Watching the news this morning I saw that there are parents protesting their children’s school because of the making of the paper pilgrim hats and bonnets as well as headbands with feathers.
Now I grew up my entire elementary school life, which is a year longer than most Americans because I failed K5, making the construction paper hats and headbands. One year I even dressed in a complete native American costume. Look at me, it didn’t distort me or cause me any permanent damage. . . OK maybe I’m not the best example. But I do know that Thanksgiving isn't a negative towards our Native Americans. The Native Americans played a huge roll in helping the pilgrims survive, a relationship that was great for 50 years.
I hear a lot of “What are you thankful for?”, “I’m thankful for ______.” on TV but I don’t hear “I’m thankful to God for ________.” Again another holiday moving away from God and becoming consumer centered.
This year let’s make sure our kids understand that Thanksgiving is about giving thanks to God. The pilgrims recognized God, so should we:
"Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, among other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed upon our governor, and upon the captain, and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."
Side Note: I don’t ever remember being taught that Squanto, the native American who helped the pilgrims, already spoke English. Taught English by other European settlers and trappers and also was sold into slavery, sent to live in Spain and then was freed by his master and allowed to return to America. I learned this watching the Peanuts Thanksgiving special last night. See, cartoons are a great source of education and knowledge.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
It is important to share with our kids that indeed it is not our life. We have been bought with a price. Jesus redeemed our lives when He went to the cross and died for our sins. Jesus paid the purchase price so who owns us? Right. This life I have is not my own, I belong to God.
How do we teach this to our kids?
• Live it out ourselves. They must see in our lives that we recognize that our lives belong to God. Our hypocrisy as parents can cause great spiritual damage.
• Discover together. Show them from God’s Word. Read with them. Note I didn’t say “pound them I the head with the Bible” or “preach” at them.
• Recognize this lived out in the lives of others. Point your teen to someone who is living this fundamental of faith out in his or her life.
• Discuss together God’s right to our lives. How would recognizing this change our decision making process?
Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
3And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Yesterday I got a phone call from my 4 year old son. He asked me, "can we put up the kwismis twee?" Of course being the man of steel I said, "No way, it's not Christmas Eve yet!" Actually I said "yes".
I got home and immediately started bringing boxes up from downstairs. After we ate supper we started to put up the tree and decorate it. My son said, "If we put up the Christmas tree it will snow." He was pretty sure of it.
Living on the OBX we rarely see snow, maybe a flurry or two. One long time resident told me today he had never seen snow in November. This morning I rolled out of bed and walked into the living room, looked out the window and it was dumping snow! I ran and woke Mish up and told her it was snowing. I then went in and scooped up the little man. Brought him into the living room. It brought my heart great joy to see him smile and say, "It's snowing!" Then later he added, "God made it snow."
I must admit that often I don't have that kind of faith, the faith of a child. My son reminded me about faith and I'm glad he did. Sometimes we forget that God is a God of miracles. Did God make it snow because a little 4 year old boy thought it would? I don't know, I'm not God. Did God make it snow to remind me about faith? Quite possible.
I've heard people say that having faith in God is a blind faith. They mean it in a negative way. They are exactly right. If it wasn't blind it wouldn't be faith. Faith is trust in what you can't see. I have faith in gravity. I can't see gravity but I know it is there. Same goes with my faith in God.
Do you have the faith of a little child?
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
. . . well maybe not a craze. It's my latest invention. . .well maybe others have done this but I haven't seen this done so I'm going to lay claim to it.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
This weekend our family was up in Lynchburg, VA. I had a few students to take to College For A Weekend at Liberty U.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Currently at NHC we are going through 40 Days of Purpose. This is our second time, the last time was about 5 years ago, and we have had many new members since the first 40 DOP so we are doing it again.
Part of 40 DOP is to read through The Purpose Driven Life, each day is a devotional reading. Today I read Chapter 29, Accepting Your Assignment; this week's focus is all about ministry. Due to some lack of teaching by the church in the past, or incorrect teaching, many people have this institutionalized view of the church and that the "minister" is the pastor. The church isn't an organization the church is an organism. In this view of the church being organic each member is a minister.
I especially liked this paragraph from page 231:
The last thing many believers need today is to go to another Bible study. They already know far more than the are putting into practice. What they need are serving experiences in which they can exercise their spiritual muscles.
Dads and moms, what are you teaching your teen about ministry? Do your words match your actions? Do they see you going to Bible study after Bible study and putting what you are learning into action? What ministry are you involved in at your local church? Remember more is caught than taught. Your teen needs to see your sleeves rolled up and serving in ministry.
I'm pretty stoked because at NHC we have many students from our youth ministry serving in ministry in the church. I think we will see many more catch on in the near future as they see their friends growing spiritually because they are striving to be spiritually healthy and balanced by using the gifts God has given them in service. Parents, what are you doing to encourage your teen to discover and use the gifts God has given them as believers? Ministry is a vital part of discipleship, following Christ.
Some churches teach that students are the future of the church. I believe they are the church in the here and now and because of that they need to be serving and using the gifts God has given them. When we hinder students from using their gifts we hinder their spiritual growth.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Fifteen-year-old Kami doesn’t like what she sees in the mirror. She isn’t alone. Adolescence is a time when our kids need to be encouraged and built up. But by setting standards for beauty and body image that are largely unattainable, the media can mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually rip our kids apart. Read More Here
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
- Arrived at the voting poll location at 9:01AM
- Only 12 people ahead of me
- Lady behind me an obvious smoker
- Lady in front of me moved since last election and had to fill out a change of address form
- Gave my name and address verbally to the election officer
- Noticed the cookies and muffins and coffee for the election workers behind him
- Thought to self, "This wouldn't be a bad gig, I'd get coffee and muffins!"
- Then I changed my mind
- They had the A/C off, it was 80 degrees
- Signed a form
- No Identification was needed
- Any guy could have said he was me and voted in my place
- Was handed my ballot
- Went to my little booth to vote
- Black pen was tied to the booth
- Left handed people are being discriminated against in this voting process
- Pen was tied to the right hand side of the booth with a string
- Difficulty filling in black circles with black pen due to discrimination
- Had testing flashbacks from my school days
- Felt relieved because I knew all the answers (ie. voted for the right people)
- Election judge was taking ballots from voters and putting them in the counting machine
- "Not with my vote Buddy!" slid my ballot in all by myself
- Got a sweet sticker (see picture)
- Told the election official that Starbucks was giving out free coffee
- She announced to the whole room
- Also Tropical Smoothie is giving 10% off; Ace is not charging sales tax to voters
- I was the 209th voter in our precinct
- Back in my pick up at 9:22AM
- Still thinking about the muffins
- Not thinking about the muffins anymore
- Found a muffin in the church fridge
Monday, November 3, 2008
I posted this following the last debate and with election tomorrow it is on my mind again today.
Last night I watched the debate, thankfully it was the last one and I can’t wait for the election to be done with for several reasons. I would have to say that of the three debates last night was my favorite but the one I liked best was the civil forum hosted at Saddleback. The moderator last night did not hold back any punches and I believe asked tougher questions than the other two debate moderators had. But my post today is not about politics.
Senator Obama said last night, “abortion is a moral issue”. Please allow me to take Senator Obama’s statement and take a logical run with it. We all know that there are two sides to the issue of abortion. There are those that believe a mom has the right to end the life of the fetus. There are also those who believe that ending the life of a fetus is basically murder, the ending of a life. We also know that there can be endless debates about this issue.
So take Senator Obama’s statement on abortion on a walk down the trail of logic.
Since abortion is a moral issue that means that one view of abortion has to be moral and one has to be immoral.
Where do we even get our ideas on what is moral and what is immoral?
Now if we are the result of some random act of collision out in the void of darkness millions of years ago and have evolved into who we are today with the all the incredibly intricate functions and systems our bodies have then morals are what we as humans have made them to be. Problem with this is we know that humans aren’t perfect and that we don’t always make the best choices. Right and wrong would be what we made up as humans. The only thing I can think of if this is the case is that we are in a world of hurt because there is no absolute standard. Take that line of thinking logically and that means what is moral for you may not be moral for me. What is immoral for me may not be immoral for you because there would be no moral absolutes. This view of morals leads to a huge mess in society because there is no standard. One person could view stealing as immoral and another may see no problem with stealing. Where does this slippery slope lead us? (by the way if evolution is true how come we aren’t still evolving? Just curious because I could certainly use eyes on the back of my head and extra set of hands)
If we were created by God, and not some random collision in the outer void of darkness millions and millions of years ago, then our morals would come from God. God would set the standard. God’s standards are found in His word, the Bible. If this is the case then God lines out what is right and what is wrong. There would be moral absolutes, standards to live by. If this is the case I see more order and direction in how we should live as humans and operate as a government. If this is the case and if as Senator Obama says, “abortion is a moral issue” then we need to look to where we get our morals.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.
Did not he who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?
In going back and thinking about this presidential campaign:
- I'm glad that it will be over tomorrow
- I'm concerned about the outcome and what we will have to deal with for the next 4 years
- The issue that is a deciding factor for most is the politics of the pocketbook (and from what I hear on the latest our power bills are about to increase dramatically should O'Bama become our next president)
- The war in Iraq, Afghanistan, and abortion has taken a back seat on the issues in comparison to issues like taxes.
- Cap and Trade will suck more money out of my checking account.
- Which candidate can I really trust? Politicians are politicians and will say anything to get in office. Make a speech saying one thing then meet a constituent on the street and say another.
- Be careful who you associate with in life, even if it is on a superficial level. You never know, you may run for president one day.
- Who cares where a candidate gets their clothes? Uhhh, I guarantee one or two of the suits our candidates wear cost more than my entire wardrobe. But I don't care. If I was a millionaire I would probably have expensive clothes too, but for now I'll stick with my Wal Mart clothes, besides I'm more comfortable in shorts and flip flops. If you see me in a suit someone is either getting married or buried.
- The media's influence is incredibly huge and could be damaging
- Concern on voting fraud. How come no one asks for an ID when I go to vote? What's going to happen wen I show up to vote and my name has already been checked off as having voted? That day is coming, if not in this election it will be in the next unless something is done.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
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...