How To Be Single In A Tinder World

[This was originally written for wellspring.one and was posted on June 14, 2018]

Ok, so first of all, I’m married. It’s been a while since I’ve been single, yet I wonder sometimes how it would have been different had Tinder, Instagram, Plenty of Fish, and Gym selfies been around during that time. Facebook messages were a thing back then and that was enough to make me say “Gross”.

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Share the Love

It’s Bayside’s first ever LOVE Week and today was my turn to jump in. What’s LOVE Week? It’s a week where my church is committing time to serving our community in lieu of meeting for groups, watching TV, or whatever else it is we all spend our extra time doing. The service is purely to demonstrate love for nothing in return.

We can love because He first loved us.

Today a group of us headed towards the High School and passed out waters and snacks to the cars leaving at dismissal while they sat in traffic after a day of standardized testing. My kiddies joined us and it was incredible to see the youngest ones eager to jump in and show some love to the teenagers. Turns out after passing out our goodies the high school kids turned to snapchat to document that they were loved!

Pictures from the day will show you that even some of the buses got involved. Pretty sure there’s a lacrosse team somewhere with a whole variety box of chips, good luck girls!

 

Worship Team Building: Love & Respect

love-respect-large

[This personal content was originally published by thechurchcollective.com on 11.03.13. Make sure you stop by and see all the other resources they have.]

Have you ever had that moment on Sunday morning when everyone is strolling in on time, except for the drummer? Or what about the times when practice lands on the same night as Back to School night and your bass player, keyboard player, and acoustic guitarist can’t attend? In these moments it’s easy to remember how valuable each team member is, but with the hectic schedule of planning, practicing, and playing, it’s easy to forget.

Worship teams tend to retain their volunteers longer than other ministries. One of the main reasons is because the people in your ministry have already put in time and dedication on their own learning their skill. They are committed and passionate about music and enjoy being able to use their skill or ability in the church. However, worship ministries can be some of the most demanding and disheartening. Each member of your team is sacrificing something in their own life to be there. For some it may be family dinner, an extra shift at work, or even attending church with their spouse.

While God is the one who placed them on your team, as the leader, it is our job to both encourage them and show them appreciation.

My goal is to share with you some practical means by which you can implement with your team some encouragement and appreciation. But first, let’s see how love and respect play into this idea.

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139

139

I am always busy. Too busy for friends. Too busy to play with my kids. Too busy to cook a real dinner. Too busy to read. Too busy to think a real thought. And way too busy to talk to God.  “I can’t right now, I’m too busy.” should be the name of the fourth child I will never have. In a world where we can be reached via text, email, call, Facebook, Skype, twitter, all at once on one device, we are left with little time to sit quietly and chat with the One who made us.

 Today was different. I am blessed to be working at Bayside Chapel. Today the second half of our day was scheduled to be a half day of prayer. Intentional time to remove ourselves from our “busyness” and privately chat with our Father.

 It was in this time that I realized my conversations with Him, while limited have also been one-way, leaving Him no room to speak. I found that I tend to speak with Him about the needs of others and never mention myself or my heart. Does anyone else tend to do this?

 A true conversation happens when we are open and honest, both to the person we are talking to and ourselves. After praying for a little while I could almost feel that awkward moment. The moment when you’re done speaking but the person you’re talking to is clearly expecting more from you but you don’t know what to say. It was as if God was saying, “….Uh…Is that REALLY all you’ve got?…What’s going on with YOU?….” So Psalm 139 is where I began, because honestly I didn’t know where to begin and I saw Psalm 139 written down on a piece of paper near me, so I thought, “Sure, why not?” The whole Psalm is awesome, but the part that hit me, that broke me, was

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

When was the last time I prayed this? When was the last time I asked God to really search me? My response became an open conversation. One where both parties were heard. One where I was able to speak like me, because really, who else should I be speaking like? Our Father loves us each, individually and personally. He made us unique, with different callings, and different voices. Why in the world should I be keeping myself from Him? As if to what, hide my true self from Him….as if He doesn’t already know? I read this Psalm, I prayed this Psalm, and then on my stereo a song began to play by Gateway Worship titled 139. Guess what? It’s based on Psalm 139…how did I not get that before? Oh right, I was too busy.

I long to know my Father as intimately as He already knows me. I asked God today to be the desire of my heart, above all others. I pray that as God answers me, I can continue to be real with Him. I encourage all of us to take time with God today, talk to Him about the important things, about the silly things, about the things hidden in your heart, and leave some free air space for Him to speak too.

Filet O Fish

While many people are spending the month of January thinking about their diets and budgets, I’ve personally committed to New Thru 30, a YouVersion New Testament reading plan created by Elevation church. So you read through the New Testament in 30 days, New Thru 30, get it? So it’s January 23rd and I’m on day 7. I’ve read through Matthew, Mark, and am now reading through Luke. While reading the same two stories, for the second time, I noticed something (that’s right, it took me two times).filet o fish

In Mark 6, starting around verse 30 a familiar story begins. Jesus is hanging out with his disciples and a huge crowd of people, 5,000+, teaching them about the kingdom of heaven. The day wears on and his disciples go to Jesus and basically say, “Ummm, the people will need to eat. There’s no food here. Maybe you should send them out to McDonald’s or something so they have dinner?” Jesus looks at them and says “You feed them.” Uh…with what? The disciples knew they didn’t have enough food for all of these people, and they surely didn’t have the money to go out and buy 5,000+ people dinner. Jesus finds out from the disciples that in their possession they have 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.

We know the story right? Jesus blesses the small amount of food, breaks it into pieces, and gives it to the disciples for them to pass out to all of the people. The disciples handed out enough food that evening to feed everyone and walk away with 12 doggy bags (that’s a lot of leftovers). Amazing right? How cool for the disciples to be able to witness and participate in an awesome miracle?! I figure when people witness God’s miracles they must automatically have unfailing faith……and then we turn to Mark 8.

Seriously, just turn your bible a page or two and you will find something pretty funny in Mark 8. At this point Jesus has been hanging out with his disciples and another large crowd for three days. Jesus this time goes up to his disciples and says “So they’re all out of food. I can’t just send them away, they’ll probably faint from hunger on their way home.” His disciples reply with “What are we suppose to do about it?”. OK, maybe not exactly like that, but close enough. I imagine Jesus starts off the next line with a shake of his head and a sigh, “How much bread do we have?” Almost like, “Really guys? I just did this, not long ago, 5,000 people, remember? We had leftovers? We all ate until we were full? Remember?”

Didn’t the disciples remember what Jesus did? Shouldn’t they have had faith to say “Jesus we know you can feed them, can we do that bread and fish thing again?” Do I remember the times that God has so obviously been working in my life? Do I have strong enough faith to say “OK God, I know you got this.” While reading the beginning of Mark 8 makes me laugh at the disciples, I also had to laugh at myself. My ability to  forget God’s blessings is remarkable and my dependence on myself is laughable.

I would like to think that after witnessing God at work in such a remarkable way that my faith would be strong. That I would never doubt. That I would never again depend solely on myself. The truth is that I have seen God at work, I have been blessed by Him, and many times I remain to lean on my own understanding. I pray that my dependence would be on Him, and not of myself. I pray that not only do I remember the blessings God has shed upon me, but that I remember his faithfulness through all things. His faithfulness to never leave me, to love me always, and to forever be a Father who provides for his child.