Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I was sitting here thinking about the J-Men and wondering how everyone is doing and where everyone is on their spiritual walk?
I can tell you that my family life and walk with God has never been stronger.I believe fully that the J-Men were one of many steps I took that helped me move forward in my life.
I have been through a discipleship program, my wife and I lead a Home Group that we started21/2 years ago and I have been to El Salvador twice on mission’s trips.
I am now involved in the start up of a sustainable Men's Ministry at Hope Chapel and lookforward to meeting and working with many men and helping them along their walk.
Please keep all of the J-Men in your prayers and keep in touch.
Post something’s on the blog to let us know what is going on in your life.
If you need prayer, ask.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Strangers with Candy

For the last couple of weeks I have been reading the Maxwell book and learning how to be more of a people person. The book gave some helpful advice and what to do in special circumstances and what to with people at work.

There were three major interactions that i had during the past several weeks that really stuck out in my mind. Some were excellent interactions that reassured my faith in humanity, others were slightly akward.

First off, i have started playing Wallyball at the Y with Chris. It's a great oppurtunity to blow off some steam, get some exercise and interact with others. In case, you didn't know, i love to compete. To me, the bond and/or relationship (for lack of a better word) that is built (however illusory it is) among teammates is a strong one. I relish those opportunities and thrive in an atmosphere of friendly competition. During those games i attempt to be a leader that encourages others and plays well with everyone else no matter what their skill level. Then, during the breaks between games, chatting with individuals and getting to know something/ anything about them is great. All in all those exchanges with others have been positive and i look forward to them each week.

The second interaction that i had during this month that was memorable was with a complete stranger in the Hospital Waiting Room, while we waited for my niece to come into the world. I was sitting there minding my own business and reading the book "Darwin's Cathedral". Then, an older gentleman say down next to me. He asked what i was reading and i showed him. He then made some comments about how we would be talking about Darwin for that rest of our lives. I tried to stay focused on my book, but he then asked me where i went to school. I answered and we chatted about the benefits of living in an area where we have so many choices for post-secondary education. I asked him where he went and the conversation quickly turned to sports and the taut competition between the ACC schools. Before you know it we were chatting about careers and past experieces we had had and for whom we were waiting for there at the hospital. Then, turns out his daughter (the one that was not in labour, but was also waiting) runs a small business that places mentors with urban school aged children for after school tutoring. Needless to say her and i had plenty to converse about. As our conversation flowed she revealed that she had worked extensively with some children that my mom works with as well. They were introduced and hit it off well.

This interaction stood out for me, because it made my think about what kind of person i want to be. This older guy was a self-described people person ("My wife says I can talk with anybody.") and proved it. He started by chatting with me, but after some time the two families that were waiting were talking and passing the time together. What kind of person is able to orchestrate something like that. To be able to start a conversation with a complete stranger and after a while have lots of people interacting and conversing like friends. I want to be like that. It also made me think that you never know who you are sitting next to. They might be your new best friend or a new career opportunity.

As an aside, i also had a pretty "awkward" interaction with the check out girl at Caribou Coffee. I gave her my order and asked her how she was doing. I then asked her about all the dogs that were outside the cafe, while the computer processed my gift card. She said that every Sunday, dog lovers bring their pets to the cafe. I then said "Wow, good thing it's not bring your Caribou to Caribou Coffee Day." She barely even chuckled. Not even a courtesy laugh. Maybe I'm floating my own boat here but the thought of having lots of caribou at Caribou Coffee not only makes sense in some weird way, but is absolutely hilarious to me. However, for me i write off the non-laughter to her being distracted by the cash register. Turns out i still owed her 9 cents. Not having a dime on me (literally) and not wanting to put $0.09 on the debit, i started searching for the "Give a Penny, Take a Penny" tray. Turns they had one, but before i could take $0.09 out of it, she told me she could give me some kind of "discount". After that i still had a penny left on the gift card. Guess, she liked the joke after all.

The other memorable interaction i had was with two females outside of a B&N. They just approached me (See! The hair doesn't scare people away!) and asked me could they talk to me for a few minutes. Having nothing better to do i agreed. Turns out they are taking a class at their church and the assignment they had was to talk to individuals about Jesus (Why does this always happen to me?) Anyway, they spoke about the Ten Commandments and asked if i had ever broken any (Pretty, ballsy question, i have to admit). When i paused thinking about the 10 rules, another asked me if i knew them. I retorted with a terse yes and explained i was thinking about each one. Well, turns out i have (but none of the big ones!) and they liken Jesus being someone that would come into a courtroom and pay the fine for me having broken those laws. Conversation lasted only a few minutes and during that time, i was not a jerk in pressing them on their beliefs, but i was honest about mine. This experience got me to thinking about how brash these two ladies were in putting their faith out there for a complete stranger. What if they had or would come across a jerk that pressed them on their beliefs or rejected their ideas completely. Then i got to thinking about whether we (the J-Men) could do something similar to that assignment. Lots of scenarios played out in my mind as to how a conversation with a complete stranger about their faith would go. How do you think it would play out?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Two Interesting Websites

Fellas!

'Sup guys? Hope everyone is doing well. To those of you that came out on Friday, I had a great time chatting and hanging out wit ya. For those of you that did not come out, just to let you know, we had the most awesomest of times. Wow, I never knew that Brandon was such a "wild and crazy guy"! Just kidding. We missed you and i hope that we can all get together again real soon.

Been kinda a slow week at work. Had lots of time for paperwork and such. Also for unsupervised surfing of the web. Found two interesting websites. The first is titled Ten Verses Never Preached On. I do not have my Bible at my desk at work, so i can not double check, but these verses would make for some very interesting sermons. Jeff, has God ever told you to preach on any of these verses? Just wondering.

The second comes from a guy by the name of Richard Dawkins. Now i know some of you are groaning right now over the fact that he is a famous and devout atheist. He also has some controversial thoughts and arguments on the existence of God. Nevertheless, i am of the opinion that if i'm reading Richard Foster then why not also read Richard Dawkins. Two men of differing opinions who challenge me to think. When i read those two, (or any nonfiction for that matter) I take their opinions and rationally weigh out what they are saying. The short of it is, they make me think, which is a good for all of us. Again, keep an open mind when reading this, because for a lot of us he will push some buttons. However, in this letter to his then ten year old daughter, he poses good and bad reasons for believing. For me it asks a very important question: "Why do we believe?". He then tells of three very dangerous reasons for believing. Let me know what you think of those three. Do you believe for those reasons?

For me, that is where i am right now in my life. Questioning and thinking about, why i believe.

Monday, March 5, 2007

NY Times Article and Healthy Competition

Hey guys! Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I know I did. I had some quiet time walking around Apex Community Park. While I was walking two young guys (19 & 20 yrs old) stopped me and chatted about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They were nice enough and i was not confrontational/belligerent. We chatted for a couple of minutes and they told me about their faith, invited me to church and gave me a copy of the Book of Mormon. I might check it out later this week. Don't worry i'm not converting. Has anyone had a good/bad experience with Mormons? How about a time when you were witnessing to a complete stranger?

Anyway I was checking out nyimes.com during my lunch break and the most emailed article is: Darwin's God. I have not read the whole thing yet (it's 11 pages long). but the author poses some very interesting questions is her thesis. If you do read it, keep an open mind (that's all us scientists ask you to do) and see if anything interests you. I know for me, the connection or link or non-link that is between science and religion is fascinating. Check it out.

Also, I'm trying to think of stuff that we can do when we get together on the 16th. I am trying to get a ping pong table moved in to the spare bedroom, so we can play. Also if you have a gaming system we could hook that up (i know Malik has one/several, maybe we could persuade him to bring one). Or if you have a board game for a group we could do that. I do have a DVD player if need be. If you can think of anything else to do that would be cool. i'm open to suggestions.

Alright guys. Have a good one.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

The Discipline of Fasting

Hi guys, I hope everyone is doing well. I just finished the chapter on fasting (Celebration of Discipline) and think I'll give it a serious try. I have fasted before but didn't really know what I was doing. I think I'm ready to try this slow approach of;

1) Lunch to Lunch... then
2) 24 hrs at a time once a week for a month or more... then
3) A few days at a time ..... and so on

Does anyone fast on a regular basis? Do you feel it is as important as praying and tithing as suggested for consideration (in the book).

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

What's Going On?

Hey guys!
I am so ecstatic to be a part of this group. I have already felt God working in my life. Each day I feel like I am growing closer to Him. I know that talking with you guys and developing lasting friendships will be life changing for me. I am excited that we now have a way to communicate with each other throughout the month. Great idea Steve! Have a blessed night and know that I am praying for each of you.

Books!!

Hey, Hey, Hey, sorry it is taking me awhile to respond, I am not in front of my computer as much as I was before Freedom. The books are in and they are ready for you to pick up, I will have them at church with me on Sunday or you can call me and come by the house and pick them up. Thanks and happy reading!

Getting Together Plans and Question

Hey guys,

Blogging is awesome Steve, cool idea for keeping us together! Greg, everything is copasetic . I'll try and give you a call tonight.

Also, let me say that I agree with Greg that we should get together more often. Sooooo, I'm proposing that we all meet at my place on Friday, March 16. Time ~8p. It's about halfway till our March meeting and it could be a chance for us to chill together. I'll send out an email as well. Let me know what you guys think either via blog or email.

Lastly, with my previous blog I would try and post a question to get a discussion going, so here we go. Jeff, after your last presentation on prayer, it got me to thinking about why we pray. Then i got to thinking about how God is in control of everything. Sooooo, if God is in control of everything, then why do we pray and ask Him for things? My point being is that we do not know God's plan and we could be asking for something to happen and it's not in His plan. Therefore, why even ask at all? Just wanted to get everyone's opinion on that.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Where are the books?

I am very much enjoying this group and wishing our schedules allowed us to meet more often!
Jeff, Did you get the new books yet? I would like to get started. I need lots of time!
Kevin, call me back. I want to make sure all is ok? 612-8196
This is great. I never Blogged before today and now all of sudden I have 2. Welcome to the modern world.

Awesome Group of Guys

I am so excited about this group! I already see God doing great things in our lives. NOTHING is impossible with God. We will have better relationships with our wife and children, we will be stronger leaders, we will find and fulfill our purpose before the end of our year together. Be encouraged and keep praying for each other. Love to each of you! Pastor Jeff

Before Joshua Was a Leader He Was Willing to Serve

- For forty years he served under Moses in the Wilderness
- He was known as "Moses' assistant", "his servant"
Exodus 24:13; 33:11

- Great leaders are people who have no problem with serving others
if that is their lot in life; indeed, it helps prepare to them to lead.

"Sermons from the Old Testament:
The Leadership Qualities of Joshua"

Saturday, February 24, 2007

February 2007 - Developing the Leader Within You

What an awesome book! So many aspects that we can apply to our lives. I found the entire book an excellent resource, especially the chapter on "Vision". I thank God and ask God every day to continue guiding my life with his Vision for my church, my family and my team at work.

John Maxwell has other excellent leadership materials both in print and on the internet. See his links on this page under our links section.