RESOLVES

So one of my goals coming into 2016 was to blog more-ish.

Every new year, I kind of set goals. Sometimes I write down (or think about writing down) things like, “I want to get healthier,” or “I want to be a better husband,” or “I want to be a better leader,” or “I want to get closer to God.” But these things don’t really happen to the level that I know that they could. If I’m being honest, I’ve probably allowed myself to be a bit too unintentional, and even year after year.

But I wanted to approach this new year a bit differently and actually resolve to grow. The word resolve means to decide firmly on a course of action. I don’t want to repeat another so-awesome-that-I-can’t-even-articulate-what-was-so-awesome-about-it kind of year. I’m beginning this year with resolve, and I’m going to look back on this year and be able to say that what I resolved to grow in, I grew in.

So this morning Noelle and I sat down and set some goals resolved to make some changes this year. Individual goals, family goals, ministry goals. Together we came up with a ton, but I wanted to share my top three… and I give you all permission to hold me to them!

1. Ignore the small stuff. If you’ve been around me, you know that I *sometimes* have the tendency to get frustrated at really annoying things. Bad parking jobs, BECU commercials, bad smells, fruit flies, crooked chairs at church, things in UNDIVIDED not working the way I wanted them to, things out of my control. And that’s the thing. I’m coming to realize (with the help of Noelle) that I need to be okay with things that are out of my control. The more I let these little things get to me, the more little things I see. The more I ignore them, the more I realize that they really don’t matter.

2. Empower people. As a leader, this is really important. The longer I’m in youth ministry, the more I realize that I can’t sustain the growth we’ve seen. This year I’m resolving to empower people to do what I used to do, so that I can do what only I can do. This is where the first point comes in… I have to be okay ignoring the small stuff. I’m thankful that my youth pastor empowered me as a 20 year-old youth leader to plan a junior high event. And I’m thankful that when he found out the event was to an arcade that had been shut down and a pizza place that was closed, with 5-too-little van seats available, he let it slide and encouraged me. I’m going to remember to do the same this year.

3. Encourage. A lot. Both my mom and my wife are really good at finding opportunities to encourage people any chance they get. My mom sends what she calls “love notes” to people all the time, just because. Noelle leads the funnest team with the least “turnover” in our church, mostly because she’s so encouraging and uplifting. I want the same to be said about me. I want people to not quit because they serve with me. I want people to be great because they know I believe in them. That’s going to be me this year!

Honorable Mention: Make another baby.

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In Response to Cosby’s Response to Victoria Osteen

Ephesians 4:1-4 Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.

So you’ve probably seen the video going around lately of “Cosby’s reaction” to Victoria Osteen’s short exhortation at their church. Some guy thought he was doing Christians everywhere a great service by adding an old clip of Cosby saying, “That is the studpidest thing I have ever heard” to the end of the video. And the response has been pretty overwhelming in favor of Cosby’s side. YouTube comments have ranged from “That IS the dumbest thing I’ve heard in my life” to “I need a paper bag,” etc.

What’s most alarming to me is not the poor choice of words of Victoria Osteen (yes, just a poor choice of words – NOT heresy as some want to call it), but the haste in which many Christians shared this video. I’ve had bible college friends, pastor friends, people from high school, etc. share this video, all thinking that they were somehow helping people in their walks with Christ by doing so. In reality, though, they were causing great damage and disunity in the Body of Christ.

I have a few thoughts on this that I hope you’ll consider before being quick to side with Cosby (I’d actually love to hear Cosby’s actual thoughts on this). Continue reading