Friday, March 24, 2006

the shadow proves the sunshine

I was wandering around our church this morning (trying to warm up, it's cold here!) and I found some sunflower sprouts that were sitting by a window in our church kitchen. At first glance, it looked like the sunflowers were broken. Aren't flowers supposed to grow up straight? These little guys were straining and stretching towards the window to get more sunlight - they actually grew that way.

How about us? Do we strain and grow towards our Sunlight? Jesus says - "I am the light of the world." I made me think, how am I growing? Do I strain and stretch - even uncomfortably - to get into the light of my Savior Jesus? Is my knowing relationship with God shaping me and guiding me towards His truth and light?

I think that often times when we see God's light we don't grow towards the light like sunflowers, we grow away from it like mold. Mold thrives in the darkness. Left in the dark, it grows wherever it wants to...except of course in the light. Are we mold or sunflowers? When we see the kind of lives that we are to live in the light - are we growing towards God or away from Him?

All this metaphor and analogy makes me wonder if we are...if I am willing to grow in God's light even if it's painful. Even if I have to change directions and plans and submit to his growing path for me. It's the only way I'll bear fruit (or seeds).

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Doubt Night

For the next two Wednesday nights, our youth ministry is going to wrestle with the concept of doubt. I guess some pastors and Christian leaders would be nervous bring up doubts about God - after all, aren't all good Christians supposed to have faith and not doubt?

Well, being a Christian for most of my life, I've come to realize that it's not only ok to doubt God - but it's normal and healthy. God is Pro-Wrestling (no, he's not in the W.W.F.). God enjoys it when we care enough about our faith -our beliefs- that we seriously address the issues, wrestle with them, and doubts in our hearts. I believe that wrestling with God is an act of worship.

That is why we will be spending the next two weeks talking about our doubts. We recognize that as Christ followers, we will doubt...a lot. This week I am setting up a "Doubt-Box" in our youth room for teens to write down their questions and doubts about God. Next week I will open up the box and we will have "Doubt Night." We will look at our doubts with honesty and explore what the bible teaches about some of these doubts. I'm not afraid of coming to a question I can't answer. I don't know everything, but God does.

My hope is by the end of these next few weeks, we will begin to break down that attitude that Christians must know it all to believe in God. God is mysterious, hard to put in a box, and really, really big. Isn't it great?

Monday, March 13, 2006

Erik is a cowboy?

I got a chance this weekend to attend a rodeo in Montgomery, AL. I have never before attended a rodeo, so I didn't really know what to expect.

Rachel and I wound up getting good seats and the music wasn't all country (there was even some electronica and lasers). All in all - very entertaining and I even understood 50% of what the announcer was saying (with the help of Rachel).

For those of you who have never been to a rodeo (especially those of you up north), just picture the kind of crowd you would get at a state fair. Take out the demolition derby and add some bull-riders. There you go.

It's been a busy week and even busier weekend, but I managed to survive. At the end of the month I get to see family and friends back in Ohio for my friend Jason's wedding. On top of that, I get to preach at my home church (Chapel Hill). Hopefully I'll have something to say when I go, I'll be preaching on loneliness. I certainly have my way with happy topics!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

my bible software is a liberal

I was doing some bible research/study this morning and I came across this entry in Hitchcock's Bible names dictionary:

I really have no message to say here...Just thought it was funny. This can't help his approval ratings can it?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

new website needs beta testers

On top of being a youth pastor, in my spare time - I help design websites for people. Over the past few months, I've been working with Luke Camara on his church's website. It's coming along great and we're ready for people to try it out and to begin and put the finishing touches on it.

Here is what Luke wrote today on his blog:

Our new website is Up...and I need your help to test the site..

Please open up the link below and check for the following:

properly grammar and spelling

All the links are working properly

Images are compelling

Easy to understand what time we meet at, where we meet, what we offer for families.

Easy to navigate

Easy to load

Please note what you clicked on first, (you can leave all your comments below in the comment section of this post)

Thank you for your comments!

And here is the link...Enjoy! Safe Harbor Beta Website

So will all of you please check out the site and post your comments on his blog or mine. Thanks for the help!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

A touch of the flu or... I probably shouldn't eat at Dairy Queen again

So I'm a bit under the weather today. I'm not sure exactly what it is, but I know I had Dairy Queen for lunch and it has sad bad ever since. I lost my appetite and got a bit woozy. So yeah, please pray that I get better soon - we have a youth event tomorrow night and I'd like to be well by then.

Also, I just found out from my friend Paul about a Pro-Life search that seems to donate to the cause for everytime you search google. Check it out: