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1 Corinthians 10 and more – 7/20/09

Well, last week was great- hanging at the mall, visiting at the Davidhizars, seeing counselors, watching Kung Fu Panda, meeting with Brandon, seeing Jeff and Maggie, speaking in Jr. High and High School, and overall work…

So- what’s in the Word today?

1 Corinthians 10
We aren’t to fall to grumbling, sexual immorality, testing the Lord, or idolatry.
God gives us a way out each time– why did Paul list these four? Are they suppposed to be the definitive list, or are they just four of many sins?
Grumbling- God satisfies us. He provides for us. He gives everything- How can we grumble?
Sexual Immorality- God lives in us. Our body is a temple- How can we treat it in sinful ways?
Testing the Lord- God is faithful. He proves that over and over again. How can we lose faith?
Idolatry- God is God alone. He made everything, including our idols. How can we lose focus?

Of course, we can all come up with good enough excuses to stay in each of these sins (what I talked about in Jr High). But in the end, they don’t hold up. And why should we rely on them, when God gives us promises that endure much longer than Satan’s excuses?

In the end, we have freedom to partake of these things- But why would we want to? It’s not good for us, not good for others (and we must think about others first), not good for God’s glory.

31So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.

This has been my life verse (kind of) for a long time- It’s so good.
1. Do everything for God
2. Live an authentic life- pointing to God, not causing others to fall
3. Please others- Seek the good of others- Ultimately, that they might come to know Christ

Worship. Witness. Service.

I pray that I might be able to do this today, this week, for the rest of the summer- in all my life. Praying for the Jr. High and for the High School and for the Mexico Team- Work…



Up Late Thinking – 7/11/09

Three words, which individually are fine, come together and wreck havoc on a person’s physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
Up- Usually I like being up. It means I’m awake and living life.
Late- I’m usually late, in the day and at night. I’m used to that…
Up Late- I’m usually up late, watching TV or reading.
Late Thinking- I guess that’s procrastination in motion- and I’m used to that.
Up… Thinking – Positive Thinking? I like that as well. It’s a great thing.

But, Up Late Thinking means one thing and one thing only.
Brain Mush

I’ve enjoyed a simple day. I slept in, and I’ve been needing the sleep. Then I went to go see a movie with a good friend and we talked for a little bit. I spent the evening with my family, watching “Music and Lyrics” and “Knowing”- two very different movies. I relaxed and worked on my latest ru, and after a while, headed to bed. But, there’s a lot of thoughts racing through my mind. It didn’t help that a friend texted me as I was going to sleep and “perked my curiosity”… I was already thinking about where he is and it just fed the flames.
My friend’s out at Camp Good News, in Forest Glen, in Huntsville, TX, i.e., my home.
I’ve gone there since I was eight years old, worked there since I was 15, and made some lifelong friends there (although, I don’t think I can say “lifelong friends” til I’m 86 or something…). It’s where I was fed as a young Christian, it’s where I rededicated my life to Christ and really started my Christian walk, and it’s where I saw God move in many ways and help me understand my vocation. I love the place, the people, the principles, and the part I’ve been able to play at camp for the past few years. But this year, God did some recasting, and I’m no longer in that production. (To borrow more theater terms…)
He placed me here at Cypress, which has been good. I’ve seen little bits of good that I’ve done or experienced. But it’s not the same as camp. In many ways. I miss it. I wish I was there but also love being here. Like always, I’m torn between two places. Once it was England and Norway, then it was Norway and Cypress, then it was junior high and high school, then it was high school and college, CCS and Baylor, Cypress and Waco, CBC and… where? What’s interesting, is that for all that time, from age eight (when we moved to Norway) and onward, I’ve had camp as a retreat, a safe place, a home away from home. Twelve straight years. There’s very few things that have been that consistent in my life, after many moves and many changes in life, other than my family/friends and my faith. And my Father. Now that camp is “gone”, for me, for now, at least, what must I rely on? Those things that have been faithful over the years. My family- I love being here and spending time with them, even though we mainly only watch movies and TV and sit around together. For the first time in a long time, I’ll be around for my mom’s birthday– hopefully we can do something special. Friends- This has been hard, because I’ve had this huge chunk of time to be home and see people- but time has flown by, and there’s still so many people I want to spend time with. This doesn’t mean I’m popular- only that God’s given me many chances to serve and love others. Faith- I sure hope that I’m back on track, faithwise. College life has been hard, and knocked me out of consistent pursuit of God. I want to want Him more, I want to want my faith to grow- and I think it is. My Father- He is so faithful. So good. So present. I wish I could realize it more- more often, more potently, more consistently. He is the God that was there at Camp Good News and is there at Camp Good News- the God that led me through the years at Cypress Bible Church and is still leading here at Cypress Bible Church- the God that has me home- the God that gives me home- the God that is my home.
I must remember to make Him my rock, my refuge, my safe place- because in the end, He is the only thing that doesn’t change. He’ll always be there- and I hope to be there with Him.



Building – 7/9/09

Many thoughts on this…

This summer, as I am interning at CBC, I am doing a lot of little things. Going to meetings. Making PowerPoint slides. Supervising games. Hanging out with students. Lots of little things- but little things can be oh, so important. The question is, when and how do they matter?
In all this stuff, I am building. Building up the Student Ministry. Building up my own experiences in my life. Building up students. Planting and watering seeds. Laying down boards and putting in nails. Each little bit matters. Like Paul says, “you are God’s field, God’s building”. If I were a farmer, and I focused on just one row of plants and made sure that one row was well planted, well watered, well tended—- well, that would be okay, but what about the other 95% of my field? Likewise, in building a house, I could make sure that I make a perfect wall, all the boards aligned neatly, each nail where it should be. Unfortunately, if I only cared about one wall, I wouldn’t be building a house, I’d be building a… wall. And likewise, in ministry, we can’t just do one thing well. Now let me explain. I don’t mean that if you are going into ministry, you have to work with preschoolers and middle schoolers and young adults and the elderly and you have to run the food ministry and the Bible clubs ministry and the worship ministry and you have to be on top of your prayers and your service and your Bible study and……… you don’t do everything. You can’t do everything. God has assigned each of us an area of service, of work. However, he rarely will give us one row, one wall. And rarely will we only have the responsibility of planting the seeds, or only having to buy the nails. In ministry, you are over a few fields and a few buildings over your life. Now, if you’re smart, you’ll be like Moses and follow his father-in-law’s advice— share the load! Jesus told us to pray to the Father for more workers- and we should! We can’t do everything. However, we will do alot. And it’s a little overwhelming sometimes. I’m not in charge of that much in this internship, but helping plan our retreat and working with students on other stuff, it’s amazing how MUCH stuff has to get figured out. Details. Bits and pieces. Odds and ends. But it all has to come together, we all have to do our jobs so that the building is standing strong and the field is thriving.

And in ministry, it’s sometimes a little annoying how little you actually can do. Now, normally during the summer I’ve worked at Camp Good News at Forest Glen in Huntsville, TX- this summer God has me here, but sometimes I wish I were back there (for different reasons). And one nice thing about camp ministry compared to church ministry is that you’re dealing with a microcosm compared to a macrocosm, a week compared to four years, a small group compared to hundreds of students. At camp, you can have campers come in, hear God’s Word, be encouraged, grow, and have a transformation by Friday. You get to see it all happen- it’s like putting coal under great pressure- you see diamonds emerge. God is mightily at work at camp, for many reasons, but especially because it’s directed towards Him- kids get to be away from family, friends, TV, games, the internet, the world. Here in church ministry, we work in the everyday, the normal, the regular world. We have students for a few hours per week, and each time once they go home, they’re back in the world again (not that they’re “out” of the world at church- it just means that they get a superconcentrated focus on Him while they’re at church… hopefully.)

So what’s hard is that we can really do so little. I go see movies, have lunch, have conversations, talk on Facebook chat, and do other stuff with a bunch of middle school and high school students- but will it matter in the end? It would be nice if I could change a student’s life through a deep conversation- but usually it doesn’t happen. Instead, what I must aim for is building a relationship with them. And I must be careful what materials I use. I can build a relationship in which they look highly upon me and I get the glory. I can build a relationship that tears us both down with bad stuff. I can build a relationship directed to idols or things that don’t last. Or I can build a relationship directed towards God.

Unfortunately, it’s an ongoing thing. I have to be careful and wise in how I build each relationship and spend each moment of hanging out. I’m laying boards and watering seeds- but are they the right boards and the right seeds? Time will only tell. And that is why we need faithful pastors and leaders that will continually build on students, help them grow, be faithful and see them through the middle school/high school/college years. But we can’t do it so we can say “Look at Johnny- he’s grown so much because of me!” Instead, we must humbly thank God for our chance to participate in Johnny’s growth, and prayer that God will continue to send people Johnny’s way to help him grow more and more. We have to do a lot of letting go in ministry, because God is constantly moving people in and out of our area. But that doesn’t mean we stop serving. We keep working where we are called—- and God does the rest… : )

Alot of thoughts. Even more… But I’ll stop here. And post the Scripture that influenced these thoughts.

1 Corinthians 3
1Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? 4For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere men?
5What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. 9For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.
10By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. 14If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.
16Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 17If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.
18Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. 19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”[
a]; 20and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”[b] 21So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, 22whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas[c] or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.

Speaking and God – 7/8/09

This last Sunday I spoke for the first time ever on a Sunday morning before the Jr High. Sure, I’ve shared my testimony, made announcements, led a little worship, acted in dramas, told stories, spoken on Wednesday nights, led Sunday school classes, and such– but this was my first time to actually speak on a Sunday morning before a large group. Now, I know- there’s nothing magical or outright special about a Sunday morning- God can use a Wednesday night as much as a Sunday School lesson as much as a message on Sunday morning. However, speaking on a Sunday morning feels, I don’t know, official. Like I’ve joined a special club or something. Sunday morning is the typical big message for any church or youth group- and now I had the privilege of giving the big message.
It didn’t go great.
The series I’ve started is called SLOGANIZED!, how slogans affect our lives in more than just our fast food choices. The first week was HAVE IT YOUR WAY, talking about our selfishness and pride and how we like to control our lives, when we should really live lives of surrender and selflessness, praying “Your Will Be Done” and living “Have It God’s Way”. Honestly, I think the idea rocks like granite. I first came up with it… I guess senior year, and shared it with David. He had another direction, and it didn’t happen. But when I got this opportunity to speak, and when I found out I could do my own message, I soon realized what I wanted to talk about. So, the message is solid. It’s about how we shouldn’t conform to our culture, but be Christ-like. How we shouldn’t treat God like an employee, a side order, or forget Him, but we should see ourselves as His servants, His fellow workers, His children, how we should see that He is fully satisfying, He is all we need, and He permeates every aspect of life, and how we should serve Him, follow Him, and glorify Him. How we should be on the guard for the lies in our culture and develop good habits of selflessness and surrender. So as I said, the mssage is solid.
But it didn’t go very good.
I was working on it late Saturday night, finishing my PowerPoint, finishing my outline, my thoughts. I knew my overall message was good, but the details were confusing me… I was trying to figure out what stuff I had to leave out, and what stuff I needed to keep. And I made my PowerPoint pretty much the basis of my talk, because I wanted it to be visual and a help to the kids as I talked. And then on Sunday morning, when I uploaded the PowerPoint to the computer, it wouldn’t load the font that I had used in 87% of the PowerPoint. So I looked through it, made a couple changes so the words would stay on the slides, and was ready to talk. The computer crashed or froze once or twice while I was talking, which meant that I was without my slides for a little while. And then, when I had them again, the font changes I had made weren’t there, because I hadn’t saved them. So the tech guys (God bless em!) changed the font sizes and types as I talked. And we had about 2/5 of our typical group size, so it wasn’t as big of a group- which meant I couldn’t talk at them, I had to talk to them (which is good, but hard). And it was my first time to talk up there with a mic, and so I was trying to walk around and talk but then my voice would falter, I’d kinda do some trembling, and I would have to take a break to breathe. I sometimes looked too much at the slides, sometimes talked too much about one point, sometimes didn’t talk enough about one point, didn’t put enough focus on Scripture, dragged out the message, went over my time, and more…
It really wasn’t my best.
I should have practiced during the week– using the mic, timing myself, figuring out when to look at the slides, when to look out, when to walk around. I should have made my slides and outline earlier so I could memorize them. I shouldn’t have been dependent on my slides- they’re good, but I can’t depend on technology, cause it can fail. I should have made it more from Scripture, more practical, and more relatable. I should have prayed more, prepared more, practiced more.
It could have been better…

And yet…
When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. 

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 

We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words

I need to be sure and make sure to be sure that I am resting fully on Christ and Him crucified. Let His sacrificial life be the example. I must be honest, and share my testimony of what God has done in my life. I must listen to God and speak His words. In the end, my fear and weakness and trembling didn’t stop God. He spoke what He needed to speak, touched the hearts of students, and used me along the way. Man, it’s encouraging to know that my eloquence isn’t the main strength of a message- it’s my focus on Christ and what He’s done. Yes, I do need to do my best. But in the end, it’s Him. It’s not me. It’s Him.



Esteemed, in lack of credentials – 7/7/09

1 Corinthians 1:18-31
18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” 20Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: astumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. 26Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.

This verse serves as an encouragement to me, because as I look at my credentials, I balk…
– Fun/Funny- and yet he can act as serious and boring as a stick in the mud
– Creative- but likes to stick with the old and the same
– Relational- but at times is very introverted and doesn’t reach out
– Loves God- but usually is in a period of not seeking Him
– Loves kids- but often forgets how to to connect with them
– Loves the Word- but doesn’t seem able to pick it up hardly
– Works with media- and yet has done very very little of it actually
– Interested in communication- yet stumbles over his words and thoughts
– Feels called to serve as a pastor- and yet is pulled in a thousand other directions
– Loves serving- but is often too busy to do it, because he’s watching TV or napping
– Intelligent- but barely studies or does his work or reading or writing
– Active- but lazy
– Engaging- yet distracted
– Compassionate- yet apathetic

and the list goes on…
So at times I question “Would I do well in ministry?” “Will I be a good father?” “Am I skilled at all at what I’m doing?”… … … … and the only answer I can give is NO/YES.

I can’t do anything- I am failing and falling more than succeeding. I am drowning in disappointment and can’t see the shore. I am weak and worn, tired and small. The things I do on this earth will amount to nothing- the friendships I make will end, the influence I have will fade, the works I do will be forgotten. I am simply vapor in the air, dissipating without a sound.


Christ has chosen me to do great things. Not for me, but for His glory. He has chosen me, despite my weakness, despite my foolishness, despite my inability to get it together, despite my apathy, despite my selfishness, despite my pride, despite my desires, despite my thoughts, despite my deeds, despite my failures, despite my mediocre attempts, despite my lack of accomplishments, despite my credentials— he has chosen me to do great things in His Name.
God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.

In our culture, we are what we do. What we have. What we look like. Well, I am simply a poor, ugly, motionless clump of dirt. And yet, in His love and His grace, God lifted me from the miry clay, set my feet upon a rock, and He breathed into me: love, grace, mercy, hope, purpose, peace, patience, life, light, understanding, strength, endurance, forgiveness… and he keeps breathing into me each and every day. He is making me, molding me, using me, working through me to do great works on the earth. I can’t see them. I won’t know them. I shouldn’t trust in them- because them I’m living a credentials-driven life. I will not seek out the works He’s doing through me- I will seek Him, seek His heart, and let His heartbeat be the rhythm of my life and let his lifeblood flow to every part of my being.

30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.





Well… it’s been a while since I used this… – 7/6/09

Haha- it’s now day… what, 36? I don’t know…

This internship has been good. But I haven’t used it as much as I should. I really need to make use of the next month…

– Working on stuff for SIMPLE
– Helping develop theme and devos
– Putting together worship elements
– Going to meetings with the TSMAC staff
– Getting lunch and hanging with people
– Working in the office
– Meeting with JJ
– Going to Port A
– Working with the sophomore guys
– Emceeing once or twice
– Leading the worship elements
– Signs, Wood, and Jewels
– Doing games for the luau
– Exploring the beach
– Playing Apples to Apples: Bible Edition and Spoons
– Going to the store for food… haha
– Talking with a bunch of the students
– Making our t-shirts- JESUS ES UNO!
– Putting up stuff in our meeting room
– Worship with the Tom Edwards Band
– Getting to know Dave better- and hearing him speak
– Getting a sunburn… not!
– The communion on the beach- holding the light
– Loading and redoing the trailer
– The siren going off on the way up- and in the room!
– Talking with Staja after the trip
– Meeting with Josh and Ryan about Bob Bickerson
– Hanging with Jr Highers and High Schoolers
– Going to Mountasia with Jr Highers- getting bling rings!
– VBS!
– Working in the Wii room
– Being the Bullhorn Guy with the cowboy hat!
– Arranging water days with Lindsee
– Working with the Jr. High workers
– Interacting with the kids with my bullhorn
– Jumping in and doing a water game now and again
– “Who are you…? … OoHh! Evan Weppler! I know you!”
– Trying to figure out problems with certain games
– Getting to know the Despres, the Austins, the Brewers, Sam, Hunter, and more
– Jr High Water Games Night! Tag, anyone?
– Having the kids thanks each of the water workers
– Going to the movies twice with some jr highers- Up! -Transformers 2!
– Going to lunch with Matt, Ryan, and Mark
– Driving round with Ryan- looking for good cowboy stuff- getting snow cones- talking Bob
– Broadcast, We Are Free, Children of God and more
– Helping pack up the food on Friday
– Getting my own cool backpack- and handing them out
– Going to lunch with the Despres and more families from VBS
– Going up to camp… “HI UNO!”… talent show… fireside… meeting… morning…
– Seeing new counselors, old counselors, old campers, new campers…
– Resting by the lake
– Connecting with Shmittles, Timber, Aquafresh, and Mr. Presidente
– Sunday Mornings and Wednesday nights
– Preparing for my first Jr High lesson
– Making posters and powerpoints
– Watching the weeks go by…
– Talking in Jr High— eh…
– Connecting with students and leaders and others…

It’s been a little more than a month… I hope this next month there will be more stuff in more areas… but now that I look at it… I guess it has been real good so far…
More to come…