Sunday, July 16, 2006

"Why do people like my name?"

I'm nearing the end of my journal and bought a new one tonight. I decided to go back and read some of the one that I'm about to finish. I started it in the fall of 2003 and it's really neat to see the beginning stages of how I got to this crazy place where I am about to leave full-time youth ministry to go and sell insurance. As interesting as that may or may not be, that really isn't what I want to post here. The follow is from my journal, dated October 23, 2003:

"As I sit here drinking coffee and reading Romans at the Wegman's Cafe, I can't help but do what I do so well. I over hear a conversation. It's between a mom and her son, and as they catch a late lunch I can tell this boy is wise beyond his five or six years. It doesn't take long to hear where his wisdom comes from. He asks his mom, "Why do people like my name? It's just Br-ian." This is what his mom said, "It's not the name they like, it's the boy named Brian. 'Cause he's smart, he's funny, and they like to be around him." The love of his mom will take him far in this life."

I have been thinking so much lately about why it is that God loves us. I know that he doesn't love us because of what we do or don't do, but what does that really mean. I think this mom has a sense of it. God loves us because of who we are. He is the parent that knows how immensely gifted we are. Like Brian, maybe it's our humor or intellect, or it could be any number of things. The point is God sure likes being around us because of who we are. It seems that it would serve us well to try and figure out what it is that God sees when he looks at us.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Packing Day Emotions

Today was a really rough day. I packed up my office at the church after almost six years as youth pastor. I’m on this crazy ride of trust that has been rolling since last summer when I knew God was leading me away from full-time youth ministry into something new. Some days have been harder than others, and today was definitely near the top of the list.
As I packed up my books it hit me that I won’t be going to that well of knowledge regularly like I have so often in the past. I love to teach and the act of searching the things of God and trying to put his truth into understandable bits that others might apply to their life is so exciting to me. And here I was packing up these tools. Sure, they’ll get unpacked at the new home sometime soon, but not for regular use. I felt like I was boxing up a part of me to store away for this season in my life. This sucks.
I’m excited to see where grace leads from here, and I know that I won’t be sitting on my knowledge and teaching ability forever, but this all hit me rather hard. It is so final, my walk as a youth minister is just about over. I wish I could say I leap into the next part of my journey with more enthusiasm, but I admit I have a hard time believing that this next step is one that I will be very comfortable with. But that’s part of what this current adventure is about for me. I have let my faith get too small, I have put God in this box that works very well for me and is very safe and comfortable as I work behind my desk at the church and hide behind the title of pastor. This new life out in the open without that protection is scary. But my trust should be in Jesus, not my job title.
All this is still growing on me and I’m sure I’ll have more days of back and forth on this all. But if it were up to me I would be calling churches in the area today begging them to hire an associate. I have been faithfully led this far and I cannot start doubting that God knows best know. What a lovely day to walk on water.

Monday, July 03, 2006

I have entered this new world.

Well, here I am in the blogosphere. I'm sure in time I will post very exciting, deeply intuitive, and provocative thoughts, but for tonight I will not. If your reading this I would love to know how/why you found me.
Because of Grace