a perfect gift

Lindsay watches the two cutest kids on the planet, William and Jackson. I got to hang with them a little bit today. William’s three and Jackson’s 9-months.

Go ahead and soak in the cuteness for a sec…

They went to lunch today at Burger King. I got a call from Linds saying I should come outside to the driveway because Will had a present for me. I thought maybe it would be some leftover fries, an apple turnover, or maybe one of those sweet crowns. Nope. It was a necklace from one of those toy capsule machines… you know the ones.

The truth is that it’s a goofy necklace. It’s market value in somewhere in the range of about a penny. Even if Justin Timberlake wore the thing and started a new sweet trend, the trend would pass in a few months, as all trends should.

But to William, it was a perfect. And that makes it perfect to me. I didn’t tell him about the market value or trend-setting potential of the necklace he chose for me. He loved it, so much that he bought one for himself too, so that we could share in the joy of this Burger King treasure.

Why would it be any different with our relationship with God?

His gift let me take a deep breath and worry less about the font on my resume’, or which sermon on DVD I would mail to so and so that might impress them, or which outfit to wear for my next church visit… Because “man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

hope

I’ve been digging into NT Wright’s latest this week, “Surprised by Hope“. If you’re a reader, this is worth reading. Especially if you’ve read any of the Left Behind gibberish. The book is all about future judgment, and how the church has screwed the whole doctrine up.

Check this ditty out from page 141:

“The main point to notice, once more, is that all future judgment is highlighted basically as good news, not bad. Why so? It is good news, first, because the one through whom God’s justice will finally sweep the world is not a hard-hearted, arrogant, or vengeful tyrant but rather the Man of Sorrows, who was acquainted with grief; the Jesus who loved sinners and died for them; the Messiah who took the world’s judgment upon himself of the cross.”

When you think of JESUS and JUDGMENT at the same time, what sort of picture comes to mind? Even if your picture of Jesus includes him in a tuxedo t-shirt, you may be closer to the truth than many pastors I’ve heard speak on the topic.

all things new

6 years, 2 months, and 6 days ago that I started working at Cornerstone.

2,257 days later… I’m done. Today was my last day.

If you like big numbers (wink) then maybe this will help. It has been 195,004,800 seconds, 3,250,080 minutes, 54,168 hours, or 322 weeks since day one.

That accounts for roughly 21% of the 10,697 days I’ve been alive.

Thank you to my friends who have been a part of that 21%. Whether for weeks, months or years, I’m so grateful for you today. I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat!

Linds and I are headed up north for the weekend. No phones, laptops, meetings, alarm clocks, floors to mop, weeds to pluck, or anything else.

Enjoying a peace that transcends.

I’m busy even when I’m unemployed

I put my hook in the water a week ago, and I’ve had about twenty bites already. I was sorta hoping to just sit with my line in the water for a month, read a bunch of books, walk the dog, pull the weeds, paint something? Just about every bite is from California or Florida. Apparently God wants me to have a tan.

If you’ve got the hookup, tell IJM to stop sending me rejection letters!

I’m busy even when I’m unemployed

I put my hook in the water a week ago, and I’ve had about twenty bites already. I was sorta hoping to just sit with my line in the water for a month, read a bunch of books, walk the dog, pull the weeds, paint something? Just about every bite is from California or Florida. Apparently God wants me to have a tan.

If you’ve got the hookup, tell IJM to stop sending me rejection letters!

three more days

…until everything changes.

I’m excited to wake up on Friday and discover who I am when I’m not paid to be a Christian.

I’m excited to see how God takes this muddy mess of a situation and breaths life into it. I’m excited to be a part of that restoration.

I’m excited to be a stay-at-home husband… for at least a month.

I’m excited to walk into the unknown, and to be completely dependent on God.

I’m excited for my marriage. This has brought so much good stuff. Painful, but good.

I’m excited to not carry this burden any more.

I’m excited about the change that I think this whole situation is going to bring for the church that I’ve loved for so long.

I’m excited to go to bed…

loved

I’ve never felt more loved, valued and affirmed than I do right now.

If you aren’t up to speed on why that might be, I announced today that Cornerstone has asked me to step down from my position in the high school ministry. That’s a nice buttery way of saying that I was fired. When the parents heard the reasons why, it got very interesting in there.

I know I’ll want to write about this in detail soon, but for now, I just need to say thank you to the parents, students, and friends in that room today. Today made everything I’ve ever done worthwhile.