Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas Bumblings

This year's Kayos Christmas was great. Here are the Highlights:

Christmas highlight #1: I was finishing clean-up after our 6:00 Pm service this past Sunday and the band started rehearsing their Christmas eve songs. Everyone else had left. I sat down in the back row and just listened. Audrey, Kris and Heidi sounded amazing as their voices filled the sanctuary. I felt the Spirit of God move through our building as the three of them sang.

Christmas highlight #2: We hosted this year's Middle School Christmas party at our house. R. was the last student to leave. I have spent the last three years trying to make her laugh, say hello to me, something, anything. R. was having a conversation with one of our female leaders so I plopped my self down on the couch, next to them. R. looks at me and says, "So TK, let me ask you a question." And we proceeded to have a 15 minute conversation. The first of hopefully many. That may not sound like much but that was my Christmas miracle. It was a huuuuuggggge thing for her to engage me in conversation.

Christmas Highlight #3. December 26th, around 7:00 am, Jared, my six year old, sits alone, in the dark, on the living room sofa with his new optimus prime transformer. Gail comes out and sits down with him. He looks at the aftermath of the Christmas celebration around him then he looks at her and says in reference to our Christmas day festivities, " that party rocked!"

Here's hoping your Christmas highlights were many and your Christmas miracles amazing.

Peace and prayers in the new year to you,

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Living Victoriously

Sometimes, unfortunately more often than not, we who call ourselves Christ followers, can be a whiny, negative bunch. We forget that we play on the winning team. How great is that? No matter how badly a particular at bat, or series of downs or single race may go, the whole shootin' match has already been won.

We need to live like that. Not with a cocky swagger or worldly bravado but with a confidence in the victory that Christ gained on the cross. What would our daily lives look like? How would our relationships change? Whose life would we impact?

I have recently talked to some folks who have given up on fights because they are too hard; relational, emotional stuff that is just easier left alone. Too hard? Man up and fight the good fight!!

For me living victoriously has recently meant looking forward to each day because it is a chance to participate in the victory, a chance to live like a recipient of ridiculous grace and undeserved mercy. I don't think it's about being overly optimistic or having my head stuck in the sand. For me, it has been more about if there is fight let's fight it hard, if there is a celebration let's celebrate with everything we have. If there is loss, let's grieve the loss, cherish the memory, and what was, by moving on with character.

What would it look like for you live victoriously?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Church through a visitor's eyes

Guest blogger David Zimmerman, wrote a series on Church from a visitor's perspective, over at Church Marketing His third installment made me think of few church visits Gail and I have made.

Gail and I went to a big church right in the middle of town when we first moved to Arkansas. We liked the service and the teaching and all that good stuff. When we finally found the adult Sunday school we were obviously the only ones who didn’t know everyone else in the class. Not even the person running class said hello or introduced him self. We felt like we interrupted a personal conversation. It was quite frankly horrible. We didn’t go back.

The week after that we went to a much smaller church. The wall behind the altar was floor to ceiling windows. The altar boys stood with their backs to the windows. About half way through the service four birds started what appeared to be a strafing run right at the altar windows. Three of them pulled up but one must have not seen the window. It flew straight into window right at the height of one of the altar boys head's. The kid jumped about three feet. I don't think anyone else in the place saw it but I did and I laughed my silly rear-end off. Unfortunately that was the highlight of our experience there. We didn't go back.

Then there was the quaint little episcopal church on Cape Cod. We were by far the youngest people there, 30 something. During their announcements they asked any visitors to stand up. I wasn't going to stand but Gail elbowed me and we both stood. The ushers appeared from the back and handed us what appeared to be a loaf of aluminum foil. It turned out to be a loaf of somewhat stale cranberry bread. It was a nice gesture but not worth the discomfort of having to stand up in front of strangers. We didn't go back.

We went to this one church that met in a high school auditorium at the recommendation of a friend. I wanted to boogie as soon as the service was over. But someone stopped us and said hello, made some small talk, and introduced us to someone else. We went back a couple of more times. Someone invited us to dinner with some other young families from the church. We went back a few more times. And a few more after that and a few more after that. Eight years later we are still there.

Just in case you tend to be a little cynical, much like myself, we attended Crossroads for two years before I went on staff. This whole thing could sound a little self pimping that is not my intent. Crossroads is not without its faults but welcoming folks into our community is not one of them.

Looking back on it, and this isn't rocket surgery (yeah that's what I meant to write) it wasn't the preaching or music or children's program that led us to our church home. It was people who took an interest in us. And it wasn't obligatory faux interest either. No, the folks at Crossroads were actually interested in who we were and what God was doing in our lives.

What are your experiences, good, bad or ugly, with visiting churches?


Sunday, December 02, 2007


There is within me, a discontent. I cannot label it or quantify it. I cannot point to a person and say you are the source of this dissonance within me. Nor can I view an event through the 20/20 eyes of hindsight and say there "it" is, the source of my frustration.

At the same time this discontent feels somehow holy. It feels right. It has driven me deep into thought. The thoughts have begun to drive me into areas of prayer not before encountered.

I want this discontent to stop. I want this discontent to last.