Archive for February, 2007

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No bench players

February 26, 2007

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When I was a senior in high school, the basketball team I was on won the state championship.  I still have splinters from my time on the bench, (it was wooden not aluminum) but I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. 

Our team was good.  We had a great combination of size, speed, athleticism, and heart.  Looking back though, the reason why we won the state championship was my encouragement from the sidelines.  Just kidding.  The reason why we won state had everything to do with the coach.  He knew our strengths, he knew our weaknesses, and he knew exactly what we had to do to win.  He also knew the other team’s strengths and weaknesses, and how to maximize the others guys weaknesses and use those against them.

Your life is not a game…its more like war!  There are two sides, and there are two “coaches”.   One is bent on your destruction.  In any way possible, he wants you to experience hell.  He knows your weaknesses, knows what makes you tick, knows your ruts, your habits, and he is constantly at work attempting to bring YOU down by any means possible.

The other is bent on your salvation.  He has laid down His life for you to experience Heaven.   He has more power and more wisdom than the other coach.  And in the end, His team wins it all.  He doesn’t demand you play for Him though.  He gives you the choice to play for the other guy.  We play for the other guy any time we live for ourselves and not God.

Is this just a normal day, a normal week?  No.  Never.   That’s the strategy of the other coach, and its one I get caught up in often.   Every day means something.  Every moment is an eternal moment, with eternal consequences.  And you are a key player with a key role.  There are no bench players.

Don’t believe me?

Ephesians 6…

   10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we[c] are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

   13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.[d] 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.[e] 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

   18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.[f]

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The Winner

February 21, 2007

Trophy

Days before making it five months of no Diet Coke…Jay gave in to the silver bullet and indulged in a tall cold glass of the bubbly with bite.  Thus handing the victory to one DONNA KENNISH.  He put up a good fight…but in the end did not have what it took to compete head to head with who some are now calling the anti-coke. 

Way to go Donna.  We’re proud of you, and here’s to you making it a whole year.  (insert image of me pouring a bucket of diet coke down my mouth)

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So close….

February 9, 2007

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I came SO close to drinking my first Diet Coke in almost 5 months tonight.  My goal has been to make it one year.   Tonight…I had it poured..in a glass, filled with ice.  The fizz and bubbles threatened to run over the side.  I could smell the clean, crisp, bite of the silver bullet other wise known as Diet Coke filling the air and my senses.  I had all but taken my first drink when my wife realized what I was doing and began to try and talk me out of it.  She was quite cute actually…telling me how I would regret it in the morning and that if I didn’t I’d be thanking her…and that I should call a friend and ask if I really should…and on and on.

I have been in a contest with Donna Kennish, a co-worker at the church..and I kid you not…as I was holding the glass trying to pry it away from my wife….my phone rang…and it was Donna, calling about something else at work…but man her timing was uncanny.

Long story short…I didn’t drink it, but boy was I close.

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The heart of the matter

February 9, 2007

     

This new year has been quite an adventure for our church.  We have stuck our feet in the water of change, and at times the water has felt warm and inviting, and at times it has felt cold and numbing.

As I have watched, listened, experienced, rejoiced, cried, lost sleep, and stumbled along in blind faith at times over this last month a half, some things are becoming clearer and clearer to me.

And those things have everything to do with my heart, your heart, and the heart of God.  At the end of the day, no matter what programs, styles, service times, service formats, clothing, lighting, volume, hymn, chorus, or hair color changes around here, what matters MOST is what’s going on internally, in each one of us, not externally. 

So what is the condition of your heart today?  I can tell you this, regardless of how you or I would answer that question, the heart of the God we serve is intact, beating as strong as ever, overflowing with love, strength, justice, mercy, grace and compassion.  He loves His church, and He loves you.  And He is supremely interested in the condition of our hearts, the status of our relationship to Him. 

If your heart feels like it has taken a beating lately, you’re not alone.  Now, more than ever, I must, you must, we must, seek out the heart of the Lord.  And now more than ever, loving each other in the process is going to be our key to a bright future as a church.

Psalm 73:26 
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

               

       

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The heart of the matter

February 9, 2007

     

This new year has been quite an adventure for our church.  We have stuck our feet in the water of change, and at times the water has felt warm and inviting, and at times it has felt cold and numbing.

As I have watched, listened, experienced, rejoiced, cried, lost sleep, and stumbled along in blind faith at times over this last month a half, some things are becoming clearer and clearer to me.

And those things have everything to do with my heart, your heart, and the heart of God.  At the end of the day, no matter what programs, styles, service times, service formats, clothing, lighting, volume, hymn, chorus, or hair color changes around here, what matters MOST is what’s going on internally, in each one of us, not externally. 

So what is the condition of your heart today?  I can tell you this, regardless of how you or I would answer that question, the heart of the God we serve is intact, beating as strong as ever, overflowing with love, strength, justice, mercy, grace and compassion.  He loves His church, and He loves you.  And He is supremely interested in the condition of our hearts, the status of our relationship to Him. 

If your heart feels like it has taken a beating lately, you’re not alone.  Now, more than ever, I must, you must, we must, seek out the heart of the Lord.  And now more than ever, loving each other in the process is going to be our key to a bright future as a church.

Psalm 73:26 
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

               

       

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Middle of the night

February 7, 2007

Dangerous time to post….cuz at 3:30 in the morning, you say things you might not of on a full nights sleep.  But here I am, braving a blog nonetheless.

I’m a good sleeper…it’s never been a problem for me to hit the pillow and shut it down.  Never been a problem until recently that is.  And tonight…the problem has developed into a full on disaster, because I’m afraid I will witness the sun rise on a new day with no sleep.

What’s keeping me up??  Every little detail you can possibly imagine, mostly surrounding work.  I literally was laying on my pillow, telling myself to think about Disneyland or counting sheep or whatever…only to snap out of a train of thought five minutes later that was all about some relationship I wanted to fix, or some detail I didn’t want to drop etc.  This happened so many times tonight I found myself laughing out loud at my inability to shut it off.  I honestly used to pity people that shared this type of dilemma with me, now I have a lot of sympathy.  I am searching out how to live the verse "Cast all your cares upon Him".  It sounds good…and I love the verse, but sometimes it’s easier said than done. 

The upside is God continuing has been encouraging me throughout this night, letting me know He is with me, bigger than my problems, continuing to mold me and finish His work in me, no matter how slow it feels at times.

I’m thankful that He is continuing to work in my life…right now I just wish I was asleep while He was at work!  I have the same sensation at the dentist office.

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Disneyland, day 4

February 3, 2007

www.allimckenney.blogspot.com