Monday, April 30, 2012

$5 Free Amazon, Thanks Swagbucks!

I've read a lot of people posting recently about Swagbucks and so I finally clicked to see what it was about.  Pretty much, its a search engine reward site that allows you to "earn" Swagbucks for completing online searching, watching video's, and other random things to earn rewards.  I log on every morning, make a few clicks, watch a few minute long videos and earn swagbucks.

I have been using Swagbucks for 10 days now and have earned my first $5 Amazon gift card.  Being that I shop on amazon about once a week, I'm excited about some free spending money.  If you're an internet junkie like me and want to spend about 5 minutes a day to earn some cool rewards, then click my referral link to sign up!

And then let me know what you redeem your swagbucks for!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Eric Trap

I love the approach of "The Eric Trap" because the writing style and variation between Eric's story and personal testimony, coupled with the challenging reflection, really gets you as a pastor involved in working through the traps. I love how each chapter concludes: "Don't fall into the same trap as Eric. Go beyond reading inspirational words and stories, and measure your life and ministry agains the traps many in ministry fall into as did Eric. Open up your journal or notebook, and take time to answer the questions below. Allow the principles in this chapter to translate into the context of your life and ministry." The book does just that. We read about the mistakes of Eric, learn how to work through those mistakes, and then take a look at our own context to see how we can improve.

The chapter that touched my life and ministry most was, "Leadership Under Authority."  In this chapter we learn about how our dreams and visions drive us. We want to find the newest resources and tools because we want our ministry to be the best. Often times we become absorbed in these driving forces and lose sight of God's call or the direction our Pastor is driving. We need to avoid this trap!

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is new to ministry, and not just children's ministry, or to anyone who is feeling the weight and pressure of working in a church. Maybe you too are falling into the traps that Eric faced. I encourage you to grab this book, and begin the process of getting out of the trap and back on track!

Friday, April 20, 2012

There Goes The Neighborhood

My wifey and I purchased a house in the Mountain Creek Subdivision. We chose this location because it is close to work, in a nice city schools neighborhood, and a good deal. We really like our new home and are very happy with our purchase. Come visit us, we finally have space!
One of the things that I was most looking forward to was sharing Jesus with our neighbors. Being that I moved to Carrollton knowing no one, and that I work in the church, I know very few people who don't know Jesus. Well, that was until we moved to a new community. One of the first things we did after moving in was to go door to door meeting as many people as we could. We introduced ourselves and got to know something about them. This was semi awkward but we had a goal, to share Jesus, and so it was worth it. After getting to know them, we invited them to our house for a block party. Some were skeptical, others were excited. It was easy to see those who weren't interested, but also equally easy to see those who were looking to make a new friend. Well the day arrived for our party and honestly I was quite skeptical if people would really come hang out. At first, a slow trickle of people flowed onto the property to grab some food and make some friends, but eventually the crowd arrived. With 80+ homes in the subdivision, we had no idea what to expect. 5 people could have shown up, or 200 people. I spent the next could of hours making new friends, serving, shaking hands, smiling, and sharing Jesus. The party was successful, in my eyes and the eyes of my savior.
Now comes the fun part, continually being a good neighbor, being someone to talk to about life, being a smiling face, and hopefully being a safe place to come to know Christ. If you're still reading this, pray for my neighbors to see Nicole and I as a light.

Matthew 5:14-16
The Message
"Here's another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing our the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hid you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand - SHINE! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.