06 August 2008

This Blog Is Moving!

For the two or three of you that read this blog:

I've decided to experiment with Wordpress, so I've moved this blog. You can find me now here.

24 July 2008

Family Vacation

We took a few days of vacation this week and traveled to Lancaster, PA. The highlight of our short vacation was a trip to Dutch Wonderland, a theme park that bills itself as a 'Kingdom for Kids.' That is an apt description as our children had a great time! Here are a few short videos of the highlight of the day for me: Annie and Allison's first roller coaster!

23 June 2008

IMPACT Virginia!

I'm at IMPACT Virginia! this week. IMPACT is a week-long (construction) missions camp experience. This year we are in Bluefield, Virginia. We're staying at Bluefield College - a definite upgrade over sleeping on a high school classroom floor. Things are going well. I hope to be able to post some more later. I also hope to get back to more regular posting after I return.

17 May 2008

The Perfect Alibi Trailer

Here's a trailer for a short film by one of the students in my youth group. She's a senior and she wants to major in film/media. I've seen the film and it's pretty good. I think she's got a future in the film business. Many of the actors and extras are also members of our youth group and college group.

We're showing the film at our church later this month. Let me know if you want to come and I'll get you the details.

09 May 2008

Are you a bigger loser than Marko? Final Results

It's been some time since I last posted to the blog. Going on two trips (to Kansas City and Atlanta) really threw off my schedule and I've been playing catch up for the past few weeks. A lot has happened in the last few weeks and I'll hopefully be catching up with the blog posting soon.

The Are you a bigger loser than Marko? contest ended during my trip to Kansas City. Since I wasn't taking my scale with me to KC, I did my final weigh in on Wednesday morning, April 23. The contest ended on Friday, with final weight and pictures due in to YS by 8 AM. I finished at 219 pounds - for a total loss of 32 pounds during the 12 weeks of competition. That put me in about 14th place among the men that completed the contest. I finished 4 pounds shy of my goal, but I am not disappointed. I am really happy that I lost 32 pounds! Unbelievable! Here are the pictures:

Click here to see the starting pictures. I can tell that I've lost a lot because my clothes do not fit anymore, Randa keeps telling me how skinny I look, and people at church and elsewhere have noticed and commented on the loss. It's been great! Marko won the contest. He lost just over 60 pounds! However, he was disqualified later - check out the video below to see why (and why youth ministry people are the best)!

I've not eaten as well or exercised as regularly since the end of the contest, but I had lost one more pound as of Monday bringing me to 218 pounds and the half way mark to my ultimate goal! I've eaten better and exercised more this week and I plan to stay on track until I reach my ultimate goal of 185 pounds. My new goals are as follows: I'd like to be at 205 pounds by the time we leave for IMPACT Virginia! on June 22nd. I'd like to be at 185 pounds by the time we leave for Summit Lake Senior High Retreat on September 26th. That would be awesome!

TRACKER: Starting Weight 251, Current Weight 218, Ultimate Goal 185

21 April 2008

Are you a bigger loser than Marko? Week 11 Recap

This week was not so good for me - no weight loss. But, no weight gain either! I'm hoping to make my goal weight, but realistically, I know I won't - especially for the contest (which ends this Friday). This experience has been great and I love that I have lost weight.

A Friend's Ordination

Sunday morning I drove down to the Roanoke area to participate in the ordination of my friend, Terry Goodnight. Terry is the Minister to Students at Vinton Baptist Church. I had the privilege to share in his ordination by giving The Charge to the Candidate. It's a little long, but I want to include it here because I really want to remember this special day in my friend's life.

Terry and I have known each other for 12 years. We first met in the Spring of 1996 at a preview weekend at Truett Seminary. We both enrolled in the Fall of that year and by the end of our first year of seminary, we had become life-long friends. This time of ordination has been a long time in coming and I am privileged to be a part of this service.

Ordination is simply the setting apart by formal recognition to an office or special service. Of course, ordination is not essential to ministry. Charles H. Spurgeon and D.L. Moody were never ordained, but both had wonderful ministries. Ordination is however, important for both the church and the minister. I was ordained almost one year ago to the day (mine was on April 22). For the longest time, I resisted being ordained. But then things changed. Let me share with you a passage from my blog that I wrote back on November 29, 2005, that I feel illustrates the importance of ordination:
"My pastor has encouraged me to consider ordination not only as part of God's calling on my life, but also because it would be good for our church. Although he didn't use these words, ordination would be a part of God's calling on our church community. I think I feel comfortable with that view of ordination. After all, being a pastor is about living out a shared calling with my church community--it's our calling!"
In the words of Baptist historian Leon McBeth, "It's a good thing to recognize God's call on a person's life. It's a way to say, 'We recognize God has called and gifted you for ministry. Amen, and more power to you.'"

With that in mind, Terry, I’d like to share a verse that reminds me of you. It is Ezra 7:10:
"For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel."

Terry, I think of three things when I think of you as a minister: you are a life-long learner, you are a passionate teacher, and you love teenagers. With those things in mind, I want to leave you with these challenges:

FIRST, deepen your love relationship with the LORD. Make daily time for God and spend daily time with God. Live out James 4:8 – Come near to God and he will come near to you. This is the foundation that you must have in order to be successful as a minister. After God, comes your family, and then your ministry. Don’t fall into the temptation to reverse the order. Terry, I charge you to Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

SECOND, continue to be obedient to the word of God. As you study the word, make it a priority to be diligent in obeying its commands and truths. Live by the saying attributed to St. Francis of Assisi – Preach the word daily; if necessary, use words. Terry, I charge you to make the Word a lamp to your feet and a light for your path, to make God’s statutes the joy of your heart, and to set your heart on keeping God’s decrees to the very end.

THIRD, continue to love people and care for them. Terry, I have experienced your friendship, love, and care first hand. You have made a difference in my life. Continue to make a difference in people’s lives. Always let people know you love them. Terry, I charge you to keep loving and caring for people.

FOURTH, continue being a person of integrity. As Paul Powell says in his book, The New Ministers Manual, “Effective ministry is based on integrity.” Ministries crumble to pieces when integrity is lacking. Terry, you are a man of integrity and my charge here to you is to keep being the man of integrity that you are.

FIFTH, be sincere in your ministry. Be yourself; don’t put on a front or wear a mask. Now, I don’t think this is going to be a problem. I have never experienced you as anything other than the real deal. You are not false or superficial or full of pride. You are a man of your word and you are someone who can be counted on. The charge here is to keep doing that and to GIVE GOD THE GLORY!

Now, the church has a responsibility to you as well. Church, I charge you to take care of Terry—financially meet his needs, give him time for himself and his (future) family, support him in prayer, accept him as a leader, do your part in the work of the ministry, encourage him, and cooperate together in setting goals for the future of Vinton Baptist Church. Remember that in ordaining Terry, you are all in the ministry together.

FINALLY, with apologies to Paul, In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge Terry: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. Love God with your whole being. Obey the Word at all times. Love and care for people. Live with integrity each and every day. And give God the Glory in all you do.

That night, Terry's youth "ordained" him in their own special way. You gotta love youth ministry!

14 April 2008

Are you a bigger loser than Marko? Week 10 Recap

Week 10 was great! I lost 4 pounds and now I'm down to 220 pounds. I am only 5 pounds away from my contest goal with two weeks remaining! I'm almost halfway to my ultimate goal of 185 pounds. I wasn't expecting to lose so much this week because even though my eating was good I didn't think my exercise was that great. I was pleasantly surprised when I stepped on the scale this morning! I'm feeling better physically and people, especially at church, are starting to notice and say nice things about my weight loss. Of course Randa has been the best. It's great to hear your wife gush over how good she thinks you're looking! With only two more weeks to go and beating Marko an unattainable goal at this point (he's lost close to 55 pounds), I have firmly set my sights on reaching my goal of getting down to 215 pounds - a 36 pound loss over 12 weeks. Here's to a great two remaining weeks!

TRACKER: Starting Weight 251, Current Weight 220, Contest Goal 215, Ultimate Goal 185

Contest Rank: I'm currently in 11th place among the men - not too bad!