Feeling Old

The longer you travel the journey of life the more things start to make you feel old.  Recently at our middle school group I introduced them to Simon, a popular toy from my childhood.  I asked them to raise their hands if  they had ever heard of it and over half of them had not.  This got me thinking there is alot that makes me feel old:

  • Students I had in middle school ministry getting married
  • THIS Radio Shack commercial
  • “Throwback” Mountain Dew
  • You can no longer ride the Demon Drop at Cedar Point
  • Working with students who were born in the year I graduated High School
  • Everyone in your family says you look just like your father
  • My phone has more memory than the computer I had in High School
  • It has been 14 years since Y2K
  • This blog is a decade old

What about you? What stuff makes you feel old?

Broken Vessels

Loving the new Hillsong worship album “No Other Name.” As usual there’s usually one song that rises to the top and is constantly on repeat. Check this one out: Broken Vessels.

Floating Thoughts

  • Had a good holiday weekend up north with friends…as usual it went by too fast!
  • Ministry expectations have to shift during the summer…while you would think with students out of school they would have more free time…I have found their attendance is much less predictable.
  • THIS is my next smartphone…out next Thursday.
  • Been shooting the past couple of weeks. My goal this summer is to become proficient with my handgun. I still am thinking about getting my CPL license.
  • Finished A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. Reminded me a bunch of meeting and hearing him speak at a Men’s Retreat years ago while he was writing the book. Best was disc golfing with him and Austin.
  • I cannot believe it’s the middle of July…summer is going by sooo quickly.
  • We got a bunch of hand written thank you notes from residents we met during Impact Week at Grace Centers of Hope. So thoughtful and I couldn’t be happier with our team.
  • Seeing Hillsong Young & Free at Northridge on August 5th…want to join me? Get tickets HERE.
  • Read this in my daily reading this week…powerful when you think about it. Might blog about it someday soon:

    They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless.  2 Kings 17:15b

4 Years Ago

Was recently introduced to the TimeHop app from a friend which is great…it uses your social media accounts and shows you stuff you shared over the past few years. This week it reminded me of it being four years ago when I left Wildfire & Sunset.  Crazy it’s been that long…but in another way it feels like sooo long ago as well.  Few weeks go by where I don’t think of Oregon and my friends there…cant wait to visit next month.  Here is my goodbye video which features a bunch of students and volunteers.

Impact Week: POST

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Wow what an awesome week serving at Grace Centers of Hope in Pontiac! Everything went so smoothly and I was beyond impressed with this organization and our students.  We met prostitutes, drug addicts and homeless people. We met Godly men and women who work tirelessly serving this community: feeding them, clothing them, housing them, teaching them and preparing them to live on their own. God is good and I am excited about new opportunities to serve this community in the future.  No doubt God is at work in Pontiac!

 

Impact Week

GraceCentersOfHope-LogoThis week I am serving at Grace Centers of Hope in Pontiac with a group of 20+ students and adults. We will be doing a variety of things from: VBS, serving lunch, repairing homes/landscaping, cleaning, participating in a church service and more.  Appreciate your prayers for safety and that God uses us to make an impact in this community and also in our hearts.

 

Prayers I Pray

Personally it has been helpful to have some prayer formulas to help me regularly connect with God.  The challenge is to keep your prayer life fresh rather than solely focused on asking God for stuff.  I have four prayers I pray, really two prayers and two prayer formulas.

ACTS -

This goes way back, probably the first prayer formula which I learned as a young believer.  It is an acroynom designed to structure your prayer time.

Adoration – Praise God for His character

Confession – Tell Him the sins you have committed

Thanksgiving – Share what you are grateful for in your life

Supplication – Ask Him for help, for stuff (tends to be our default prayer mode)

PALMS

Another structure for prayer…this one begins with placing your palms down towards the floor. In this posture you release things to God, asking Him for help with whatever is troubling you…releasing it to Him.  Finally you turn your palms towards the ceiling and take a posture to receive from God.  You might ask Him to give you His love, wisdom or simply sit in silence listening for a prompting from Him.

Kurt’s Prayer

Each morning while in the shower I pray a modified version of the “Lords Prayer” which I came up with years ago.  I had someone teach me to mold the prayer into my own words and then memorize it. After all Jesus told His disciples this is HOW they should pray not WHAT they should pray…there is a difference. It is a valuable exercise if you haven’t done it I encourage it.

My dad in Heaven, perfect is your name

Your will be done, on this planet as it is in Heaven.

Give me today to do exactly what you want me to do.

Forgive me and help me to forgive others.

Keep me far from temptation, even farther from the Enemy

             Amen

Serenity Prayer

I pray this one occasionally,  on an “as-needed” basis. Made popular by Alcoholics Anonymous, I think it has wide application and all of us can benefit from releasing control over stuff we cant control anyways.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.

 

What prayers do you pray? Any formulas that have helped keep your prayer life fresh?

 

Let it Be Jesus

Really digging this song right now…

Should I ever be abandoned
Should I ever be acclaimed
Should I ever be surrounded by the fire and the flame There’s a name I will remember
There’s a name I will proclaim
Let it be, Let it be Jesus

Floating Thoughts

  • Man it has been a really stressful couple of weeks…between moving grandpa, work stuff and medical issues…whew glad a bunch of it is in the rearview.
  • Tis the season for grad parties…going to 9 this year.
  • Speaking of parties got an all-night party this Saturday night! Years ago I swore I would never do one again…but whenever you ask middle schoolers what event they wanna do it always comes back to the allnighter! Prayers appreciated.
  • My back is much better…thanks to those of you who have prayed for and encouraged me.
  • A dear friend of mine got the news recently that his cancer is back…few things bring me to my knees quicker than praying for a friend with cancer.
  • Getting excited to visit Oregon at the end of August. Speaking at my friends summer camp and will be in town the following week: 24-29th…would love to see as many as I can!
  • Finished reading “Waking the Dead” for the third time. Great book! Highly recommend it!
  • My phone upgrade is now just a month away…this is most likely my next phone: LG G3

Lesson at the Infusion Center

Today I had my Remicade infusion for my Crohns disease at the University of Michigan Hospital. This IV treatment is important, expensive and happens every 8 weeks.  While I never look forward to these appointments, I remind myself of the effectiveness of the drug and how thankful for access I have to such treatment.  The staff at the infusion center are great. They are a highly trained group of individuals who care for the sick everyday of the week.

ICU_IV_1Some appointments are tougher then others.  The only painful part of the appointment at least physically is getting your IV put in.  If you have never had an IV be thankful for that small gift. Basically it’s like getting a shot but the needle stays in you (I know it’s actually not a needle but the metaphor still works).  Most of appointments they comment how wonderful my veins are and quickly get it in, sometimes with literally zero pain.  Occasionally they miss your vein and have to try again….never fun but it happens.  Twice I have had to get poked three times…which even for the toughest of people tends to get you a little worked up…near tears.  Today was one of those two times.  It’s hard to say whether it is inexperience or incompetence on the part of the nurse or just bad luck…we all make mistakes at our jobs. This got me thinking today as I sat in the chair clenching my arm in pain as she dug deep into my muscle…at least when I make mistakes in my job it doesn’t bring instant pain to those I am leading.  I am not sure how nurses deal with this kind of stress. Even though I had a roller-coaster of emotions today (which I was good about expressing I might add) I did find myself empathizing for what it must be like to do her job day in and day out.  It was great how they worked as team, she was always positive and caring…after the second attempt failed she gave me a break and called the other nurse to take over.  I think this strategy is brilliant for it forces me to start fresh with another person. I am not sure I would have allowed a third attempt from the original nurse anyways :)

What is the application of this in your line of work? Do you have a strategy to fix things when you make a mistake? When I mess up how can I fix it? How can I hit reset, refresh and begin again? Nurses have a tough job and I thank God for them (literally just did)…ministry is tough too.  While I don’t bring physical pain I can bring emotional strain by the decisions that I make and the way I approach students, volunteers and parents.  In this season God is reminding me of my most important roles…to be a pastor, an encourager and a servant of all.