Monday, February 12, 2007

What are we living for?

It's interesting. I found out today that things that used to be important to me are not longer that important. I used to be all about making the grade. I had to perform at my best so that I would make the grade. I found out today that I was docked two letter grades for an inappropriate remark I made in a homily that I preached for my preaching class. Now, normally I would be at my wit's end over that penalization, but right now it just didn't seem like that big of a deal. Maybe I'm being insensitive and maybe I'll be disciplined by the Spirit later about it, but right now I see more important things in my life.

I sat at dinner tonight talking to some of the guys on the team. We weren't really talking about anything significant, just shooting the breeze. I began to feel the tug of my rational side saying, "Davey, you really need to go to the library to do some work." But I just couldn't find the motivation to leave the conversation and go to the library right then. I began to feel guilty that maybe I was losing my motivation for school work (which may be true). But I realized in that moment that everything I'm studying right now is preparing me for what I'm already doing. I can simulate teaching people from scripture, and caring for their needs, and running the business of the church, and debating philosophies of ministry, but that does absolutely nothing compared to getting my hands dirty in ministry right here, right now.

If I live for the grade, or for the fleeting feeling of affirmmation from a professor or a colleague, then I've failed my calling, because all of that will fade away. II Corinthians 5:1 says, "Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands . . . So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it." The things that will have eternal value in my life are consuming much of my time right now, and I don't think that is a bad thing. (Disclaimer - I did go to library eventually tonight, and I got a bunch of work done - just in case you're reading this, mom.)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

I'm Back!

Ok so I'm back. I can't promise that I'll remain here for a while but I'll try. I missed blogging. It's a great way to get your thoughts out and just let the stream of consciousness take over for a while. It's an amazing thing to write and just let your thoughts flow from your head down to your fingertips and out on the screen for everyone else to see. Hmmm . . . that's kinda of scary now that I think about it. Ok this will be a censored version of my thoughts, don't worry.

So tonight was an incredible night. We've been seeing some amazing things happen on SWU's campus and on our baseball team and I wish that I could go into it all, but I really don't have the time. I've got some last minute tying up to do on a valentine's gift for my beautiful girlfriend (hope she's not reading this).

Back to tonight: One of my buddies on the baseball received Christ tonight!! It was awesome!! We've been praying for him and talking to him about Jesus for a while and he's been showing up at Bible study almost every week, but he's been holding off on a decision. Finally, tonight he accepted Christ into his heart to be the Lord of his life. As I sat and ate dinner with him afterwards I explained to him how this is just the beginning and not the end of the journey and how exciting the rest of his life is going to be as long as he makes Jesus his first priority.

I want to tell you a little about why this story is so cool, because I feel that God spoke more to me in this experience than he did to Bud (that's this guys name) or anyone else. A few weeks ago I mentioned something to my Media Ethics teacher that I really wish that God's hand would just write on the wall his will (in regards to what I'm supposed to do in the future). I was really frustrated because it seems that God spoke in all these awesome ways in the Bible and yet we don't get to have encounters like that with God anymore. Elijah saw him in fire from heaven on Mt. Carmel, Moses saw him in a burning bush, and Daniel saw his hand write on the wall. So I began praying that God would write it on the wall what I was supposed to do with all these decisions I'm presently making.

We went to Newspring last Sunday (great church; Perry Noble, the pastor, has a blog site and there's a link to it on my sidebar). Perry did a sermon about telling your friends about Jesus and bringing them to church (in religionese that's called evangelism). At the end of the sermon he had us go write a name or two on the wall of the sanctuary of a person that we would commit to pray for that week and to whom we would extend an invitation to church the next week. So I felt that I needed to write Bud's name on the wall.

As I approached the wall with the pen in my hand I had one of those de ja vu moments. It was like I had been there, or was expecting to be there . . . right there in Newspring sanctuary, facing the wall, I felt God speak to me. His words were few but powerful, "You wanted to see Writing on the Wall, Davey. There you go." Before me were hundreds of people's names who did not know Jesus, and at that moment I knew what God was saying to me through the writing on the wall. "Davey, I'll take care of everything. You just be concerned about bringing people to me." I can still feel those words resounding in my soul right now as I type. It stirred me to the core and for the first time I "heard" God speak to me as clearly as writing on the wall.

So my prayer is that through these thoughts and words, you too will be stirred. That if there is someone out there in this wild cyber world who is down on their luck and their life is in shambles, they would run across this blog and it could somehow offer them encouragement. There is a God out there who longs to live inside each and every one of us and if you turn your life over to Him he will radically revolutionize your life!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Spinning Wheels . . .

So we're shooting this video for camp (that's coming up in 2 weeks) and it seemed like it should be easy. Have you ever seen those new Mac commercials with the one guy who represents a Mac and the other guy who represents a PC. Well, we're spoofing that with one guy representing NTS Camp ("Never the Same) and some nerdy guy representing another camp (like math camp or chemistry camp, etc). Very simple commercials, but it requires a solid white background and solid white floor.

We get to the church to shoot this thing and spend literally five hours spinning our wheels. We could not get the background and flooring right. To be honest it looked really ghetto (not to bring race issues into this) and cheap. We want it to look exactly like the Mac commercials. So after setting up and tearing down set after set, sifting through idea after idea we finally called it a night, having not taken even a frame of video.

I obviously went to bed last night feeling like a failure, feeling like I would never be able to pull this one off and then my boss would be ticked at me (he had already yelled at me earlier that day for the first time). Ahhh! It was such a good idea too!

This morning I have the brilliant idea of checking a photography studio to see if they have what we would need. "Oh that will never work, Davey. We'll never get into a studio."

I left the studio this morning feeling like an accomplished, triumphant, valient hero. We have a time slot tomorrow from 12-3 in the studio to shoot it and the guy offered to help with lighting techniques. HALLELUJAH!! (don't know if that's spelled right; sorry, Handel).

It's amazing what you can get if you just check. Granted, we had the idea of shooting it in a studio right off the bat but we dismissed it immediately, thinking it would be impossible. It would have saved us a lot of time, hastle, and frustration had we just checked on that to begin with.

Lesson learned: Dream big, make connections, and try, try, try! You never know what could come out of it if you strive for excellence!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Wow . . . Must be a God thing

Ok so right after I posted that last blog, I opened up the Bible and read a little in my quiet time (I hate the term "quiet time" because I get loud sometimes when I'm spending time with God). Anyways here's what I read:

Job 21:7-16

"Why do the wicked live on, growing old and increasing in power? They see their children established around them, their offspring before their eyes. Their homes are safe and free from fear; the rod of god is not up on them. Their bulls never fail to breed; their cows calve and never miscarry. They send forth their children as flock; their little ones dance about. They sing to the music of tambourine and harp; they make merry to the sound of the flute. They spend their years in prosperity and go down to the grave in peace. YET THEY SAY TO GOD, 'LEAVE US ALONE! WE HAVE NO DESIRE TO KNOW YOUR WAYS. Who is the Almighty, that we should serve him? What would we gain by praying to him?' BUT THEIR PROSPERITY IS NOT IN THEIR OWN HANDS, so I stand aloof from the counsel of the wicked."

. . . and . . .

Psalm 90:10

"The length of our days is seventy years - or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away."

Verdict: Life is fleeting, money is not eternal! How are we going to serve others today?

It's a shame . . .

Yesterday I took some time to read some people's blogs. One blog I love reading is Perry Noble's, the pastor of NewSpring Community Church. I was scrolling through some of his archives and found this blog post. It's from a few days ago but it caught my attention I guess because of all the youth work that I've been doing lately. READ IT!

The funny thing is I only read point #4 about fundraising and how the church should never make youth raise money for trips they go on. Interesting concept.

Then something extraordinary happened . . .

Not ten minutes after I read that section (remember that I read only THAT section of that blog post) a boy walked into the office telling Derek (the Junior High leader here) that he wouldn't be able to go to camp because he and his parents couldn't afford it. I was dumbfounded! I had just read that! So immediately God grabbed my heart.

Allow me to chase rabbits for a second . . .with blow-torches . . .

It's a shame that the church is known as a power-hungry money-grabbing institution. The same kids who "can't afford" to go to camp have parents driving nice cars, living in nice houses and buying new toys to take out on the lake (seadoos, jetskis, boats, etc.) "250 dollars to go to camp! Dang, that church just wants ALL our money!" So they instill in their kids that spirituality and the Church is not worth investing money in. The truth is THIS church (Daybreak) as well as most do (or at least should) find a way to get kids to camp no matter what.

We put on a cutting edge, grade-A camp so we can create an environment where the kids have a great time and learn how they can apply spiritual truths to their lives. We create an environment that appeals to them and pumps Jesus up! And it costs a lot of money to do that. Daybreak Student Ministries definitely does not pocket even a dime of that money. But for some reason the Church nationwide has built up a reputation of being pocket-stuffers.

This kid that walked into my office, however, struggles financially. We put out memos in the church that there are some kids that don't have the financial capacity to get to camp and yet we still have people walk out the doors of this church after being "filled by the Spirit" on a Sunday morning and they never even give these kids a second glance. I see offering bucket after offering bucket go by me empty with a hundred people passing it in front of me!

SHAME ON THOSE PEOPLE who think life is about what WE can get out of it. News Flash . . . whoever dies with the most toys still dies! And I've never seen a U-Haul being pulled behind a hearse.

Wouldn't it be nice if the Church was known as the most self-sacrificing, selfLESS, giving, serving institution in the world? Wouldn't it be nice if people recognized a need and met those less fortunate where they were at? Wouldn't it be nice if the Church's focus was to bring heaven to this wretched world instead of worrying about "when we all GET to heaven?" Wouldn't it be nice if people saw Jesus when they saw the church?

Let me promise you this (I can say this because God himself promised it) that if Jesus' name is lifted up and people see Jesus through our actions and words - there will be NO mistake - He will draw ALL men to Him, period! And HEAVEN WILL CRASH INTO EARTH WITH COSMIC EFFECTS!

Monday, June 26, 2006


I learned a valuable lesson the other day. . .I'm not Superman! Wow it took me a while to figure that one out! No seriously, I'm not Superman, I'm not Batman, nor am I any other superhuman hero dude. I'm Davey. Your average American, twenty-year old, un-married, and I have limits.

We had an event this past Wednesday called "Super-Soak Me." We played all types of water games outside and got absolutely soaked! It was a blast! And while we pulled everything off, I was about to pull my hair out during the planning and setting up of everything. Why? Because I was in charge of everything, and I tried to do most of it myself! BIG MISTAKE!

You always hear things about delegation and how it's a MUST! It seems like when it comes down to it, it would be easier for me to do it all so I don't have to entrust someone else with getting it done, and then discover that it never got done. WRONG! My mindset up until now is that I can carry through MY ideas and MY visions better than anyone else because they're MINE. Sounds familiar doesn't it? The two-year old mentality of mine, mine, mine. That's exactly what I sound like. What happens when you take a two-year old's toy away? "No! Mine!"

HaHa. Oh I crack myself up drawing parallels to my attitude and a two year old's but seriously, that's what it's like. Inside I don't want to give away these things to other people after I've put in the time and energy to plan and envision, but the reality is, these people could probably take these ideas, run with them, and make them into something far more creative than I could have ever come up with.

So I learned a lesson in empowering. How do I become a Superman? By not thinking that I am one, but by entrusting other people with my vision, and they can in turn propel me to think bigger and better than I ever dreamed of. I want to be the kind of person that people are drawn to because of (1) the way Jesus shines through me and is made famous in my life (it's not about ME becoming famous but about JESUS being so) and (2) the way that I empower people by entrusting them to excell in areas that they're passionate about.

I read in John chapter 4 today two instances in which Jesus delegated jobs to his disciples. The first is in verse 8 when it says in parentheses that the "disciples had gone into the town to buy food." This was during Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman. Jesus' disciples had to do certain jobs so Jesus could concentrate on what HIS purpose and HIS destiny was on Earth, ministry. It's funny how John puts this little piece of "insignificant" information in his gospel in parentheses. It's like he says, "Oh by the way, even Jesus had limits in his human form. He got tired, he got frustrated, he couldn't DO everything." So if Jesus had limits and delegated, how much more limited am I, and how much more do I need to pass responsibility on to other people. EMPOWERING!!

Jesus didn't even baptize people according to John (ch. 4 ver. 2). He had his disciples do it. Why? Cuz Jesus had to preach. Who was going to get the people to come and here the message of the Kingdom and get baptized if Jesus didn't preach? The disciples didn't know jack squat at this time about the Kingdom because Jesus had not EMPOWERED them yet with the Holy Spirit. Hmmm. Never thought about that one. Pastors, Youth Ministers, church staff can't do it all. The church is a community and its survival is dependent on volunteers. Everyone has a part. Davey, get off your high post and let someone else get involved!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Let me just say that kids these days are CORRUPT! I sound like one of those old men who are always walking around complaining how morally corrupt every generation is except mine. HA! The only difference is I don't wear dentures, I don't play chess in the park everyday, I don't feed the pigeons, I don't make frequent arrangements to pick up my Meds, and I concede that my generation is corrupt too.

Let me explain. I was hanging out with a bunch of 4th graders this weekend. Keep in mind that these kids are in 4th grade. We took them bowling Friday night and I had 4 kids in my car with me. Naturally I'm thinking I'll be the cool college guy that lets them listen to "cool Christian" music. So I start playing stuff like Relient K, Grits, Kutless, Switchfoot, etc. All of a sudden I hear this one of those little snot-nosed pip-squeaks yell out from the back, "This stuff is lame!" LAME!? Time-out. I consider myself to have a pretty good taste of music and a pretty good hold on the music industry and a 4th grader is telling me that my music is LAME?! UNBELIEVABLE?

So I chuckle and ask what kind of music he likes. He then informs me that he likes Greenday, Young Geezy, The Franchise Boys, Eminem, Nelly . . . you get the point.

So we get to the bowling ally and the only music that is played is secular MTV music . . . unedited. These kids are singing every word to every song ("Lean Wid It, Rock Wid It," "In Da Club," "Grills") THESE KIDS ARE IN 4TH GRADE! I didn't even know what MTV was in 4th grade! I listened to Rebecca St. James, Steven Curtis Chapman, Carman, Michael W. Smith. Talk about lame!

These 4th graders are so disrespectful too! I would never have talked to adults the way these kids talked to us! I wonder where they learn this stuff!

I wonder why our world is so messed up. Read Kenneth's blog. He'll tell you! He watched the news for about 12 hours the other day and witnessed first-hand how screwed up things really are in this world. I've figured it out! I know why!



You thought I was going to say MTV right? It's not their fault. They're just pointing the camera at what people want to see and at what parents are letting be shown in their house. They're doing their job.

It's bad parenting. And I would blog and tell people how to be parents but I have NO IDEA! Why? Because I'm not a parent. Call my parents up and ask them. They take people to school on that stuff!

Amanda Update:
Another great day with Amanda on Sunday. After her graduation we hung out at different open houses all day messing around with little kids, jousting, and throwing water and smoothies all over each other. We made a campfire Sunday night and sat under the stars by the fire just talking about our dreams and aspirations for life and just giggling with each other.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Film-Making 101

So I learned how to use Final Cut yesterday. Ok well not entirely but I've learned the basics and now I'm fooling around with the advanced stuff. For those of you who have no earthly idea what I'm talking about, Final Cut is a video editing program for Macs. IT IS OFF THE HEEZY!

I made my first two movies yesterday. Nothing special, just a couple interview-type videos that we're showing tonight for the 4th grade graduation (the 4th graders are moving up from the kids program - HIPTOWN - to the 5th &6th grade program - SWITCH56 (website not available yet because I haven't designed it yet).

My task was to shoot film from 3 different angles of the 4th grade small group leaders telling about their experience that year and any advice they want to pass on to the kids. I then was to cut them up, edit them, put touching music in the background, and make them flow in a coherent sequence that will move the parents to tears tonight. Umm. . .hardly. But I had fun doing it and learning Final Cut!

Last night we went and saw X3 (the new X-Men movie). It was awesome. I haven't seen the first two so I was a little lost at the beginning but I am definitely gonna rent the first two and have a movie marathon with Amanda, Gavin, and Amber. That'll be a blast (even though the girls aren't too into Sci-Fi flicks).

What's even cooler is that I met the producer of that and got to hear him speak about film-making and story-boarding here at the Creative Infusion Conference. He was amazing! The best part is he has a great heart for God and seeing lost people come to know Christ. It's very evident in his films that he is a film-maker who is a Christian (he doesn't like to be called a "Christian film-maker" only a "film-maker who is a Christian"); the Spiritual undertones of the movie are unmistakeable.

It was nice getting to hang out with the guys up here too, making some new friends and just having a good time.

I have to go shoot another video right now. I'll keep posting if ya'll keep reading!