Monday, June 27, 2011

Mobile Ready. Ready?

"...isms" is now mobile ready. Now you can browse from your mobile device without having to zoom way in and scroll around like an idiot to try to read the worthless content. If you use Paperlinks App or another QR reader, you will see tweets and other updates periodically with a QR code for you to jump to. Thanks for reading and following! TMF

Monday, June 13, 2011

I Wash My Car

     In an effort to lighten our debt load, my wife and I made the decision to sell our newish cars and get two oldish cars. My new old car is great. It's been reliable so far, and we bought it from a friend for a very reasonable price. It is a 1997 Ford Taurus station wagon in a burgundy color with a few dents and dings - a far cry from my favorite car from a few years back. That was a 2000 Volkswagen Golf 1.8T.  It was fast, fun and black. I kept it in really good condition.
     I have always loved keeping my cars clean. This past Christmas, I received 3 free inside-out wash coupons for a local detail shop. This came up in conversation with an acquaintance recently and I mentioned how I wanted to use one of them on my new, old car. He simply said, "Why?" He had a point. I mean, there is nothing I can do to this vehicle to raise its value. It's not going to get any prettier. But today as I drove away from the car wash, I thought to myself, "I wash my car."
     If all of my actions were simply a response to what I get, how would I know that my actions are ever based on some deeper value or core belief? If I only take care of the things that are "valuable", how will I ever add any value to anything? There are so many stories in scripture that teach us a very important idea: Value is found in what we bring, not in what we take. The man who sold everything he owned to have that beautiful pearl brought that pearl's value to it in his desire. The man who buried his one bag of gold did so because he couldn't think outside his own "value box".
     Here is a cool concept, what others see as enviable in our lives comes from the love and care and value that we bring to the people and things in our life. If a person sees happiness in my life, I hope that it is coming from the great worth that I've added by giving my energy to my wife, my kids, my friends, my job, my house - my car.  We shouldn't love these things so others will envy us, we should bring love, give care and add value because we are thankful and have abundant love from Christ that overflows from a grateful heart. I wash my car.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

God Is On Our Side

Here is a post I wrote for the Saturate blog. You can check out the Saturate 20something Community at LCBC Here. Hope you enjoy it.

Every so often I hear people ask questions like, “Why is this happening to me?” Or, “If God really cared for us, would there be disease, catastrophe, etc.?” I understand that questions like these are really an expression of individual pain – questions born out of experiences that are extremely difficult to deal with. It is hard to answer these questions satisfactorily, mostly due to the fact that the answer we are looking for when we ask difficult questions is the one that eases the pain of our situation. The thing that we sometimes forget is that God, while He is looking out for our interests, is also looking out for the interests of every other person on earth. In our small minds, it is difficult to imagine a scenario where God could act to the benefit of all. But if there is one thing that scripture shows over and over again, it is this: God is on our side. He promises us in so many ways that he will care for us. Does this mean he will make everything work out the way we want them to? Probably not. But the question is, do we trust Him? The measure of weather we trust him is if we can say the words we read in The Book Of Psalms – 

Ps 86:11 – 12
11 Teach me your ways, O Lord,
That I may live according to your truth!
Grant me purity of heart,
So that I may honor you.
12 With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God.
I will give glory to your name forever,

Realizing His awesome power to create the world and knowing that he holds us in His hand is a comforting thought. Trust is the answer to the difficult questions. As difficult as it may be to trust Him, it is a decision we will not regret. TMF

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

You Can Do ANYTHING!!!

Here is a great video I saw on Collin Hanks' blog.

Wade Into The Water

Once a month, the LCBC Music Team, which I am privileged to be a part of, get's together for a songwriting session. Usually, there will be some sort of discussion centered around a passage of scripture or a thought that guides us and focuses on a topic about which to write. After our time of discussion, we split up into teams of two or three and we are given an hour to write a song. Sometimes there is a great song written, sometimes there isn't, but it's ALWAYS a good time.
Last week, I was paired up with Ryan Holmes, another of our associate worship leaders, and we wrote a song called "Deep". I love it. It is an interesting process, writing a song with Ryan. He is forever saying, "That's good, but I think it needs to be more simple," and I am forever saying, "I think it should have a more clever (read: wordy) hook right THERE!" As we come together and throw out ideas (and many times, throw away ideas), we can usually find middle ground that's solid enough for the both of us to stand on. I wanted to share the lyrics of this song with you. I am hoping to record a demo of this song soon so we can all share in it together. Enjoy. TMF

Ferrari, Michael; Holmes, Ryan

Forget me not oh Lord
In my weakened state
With all the power you hold
you still hold my fate!

I'm still crying out
Would you hear my voice
Please show your mercy now
To this humble boy

Deep, deep, deep
Down past what I can see
Deep, deep, deep
Deep is your love for me

I'll wade into the water
Even though I cannot see
What's underneath the surface
Right in front of me
I'll wade into the water
Wash away what isn't true
When you ask me too.