I am not a big fan of plants. Oh, I like them out in nature, just not in every corner of my home. To me I think of plants like I think of cats. Plant them outside and water them once in a while.
Knowing that I am not a big on plants, my mother-in-law gave me a plant a couple of years ago(as a joke) in a pretty cool "golf ball" planter. She was sure that it would be dead within a few weeks. I was determined to keep it alive and my dear little plant has survived quite well and even thrived at times.
My little plant surviving all this time has been somewhat surprising, considering that I usually forget to water the thing. I am reminded to give it some attention and that it is thirsty once the leaves turn brown. This happens about every three weeks. I will then throw in some water or leftover coffee, tea or soda. I think it craves Diet Pepsi.
Before leaving to Maui I had not watered my plant for a couple of weeks. The poor little guy received no water while I was gone. In other words, it was water deprived for about 5 weeks. Oops. My mother-in-law will be very disappointed.
However all is not lost. A Master Gardener was in my office yesterday and I pleaded for help. (Actually as she was leaving my office I looked at my plant and asked her what she thought). I assumed that the prognosis was bleak, but my favorite master Gardener pointed to some new growth and thought it could be saved with some TLC, new dirt, and of course a good drink.
I was informed that the plant is in Intensive Care and not out of the woods, but there is hope. I will keep you posted.
It is nice to have friends who know what to do... when you do not.
Several people have requested my closing comments from this weekend. Here they are: As followers of Jesus at Northern Hills we will be ready and willing to be used by God to make a
significant difference in our community and our world. We will continue to be a
church that is not processed, but possessed by the power of our living God and
through the work of the Holy Spirit.
Borrowing the idea form a call to worship from Christ United Methodist Church in Memphis, Tennessee:
Welcome to Northern Hills! Where we invite you to be part of the praise-offering,
hand-clapping, foot-stomping rhythm section of the Lord’s Most Dangerous Band.
But more than that, we invite you to open up to the mind-blowing, heartwarming,
life-changing power of God–a power that’ll disturb, delight, deliver, and lift.
It’ll make you young when you’re old, and live when you die.
And whether we’re black or white, rich or poor, upper class, middle
class or no class, whether we have Ph.D.’s or no D’s, whether we’re young or
old, male or female, Democrat, Republican or Independent, politically correct
or red-necked, you’re welcome here. Welcome to Northern Hills.
But be ready–at Northern Hills discouraged folks cheer up; dishonest folks ‘fess
up; sour folks sweeten up; depressed folks look up; closed folks open up;
gossips shut up; conflicted folks make up; sleeping folks wake up; lukewarm
folks fire up; dry bones shake up; and pew potatoes stand up.
But most of all, Jesus, the Savior of the entire world, is lifted up...
Welcome to the future of Northern Hills!
I am not sure why that reality never really hit me before, but it came to mind yesterday. As someone who is adopted it was a really cool moment and another way that Jesus understands me and identifies with me. I have always thought of my adoption as a wonderful event and one that I am eternally grateful for. For some people who are adopted, they think just the opposite. Maybe the realization that Jesus understands, would give them a new perspective. Maybe. Hopefully.
That is Jesus. He gets us. He knows us. He identifies with people who were adopted and people who hurt. He knows what it is like to be poor, abandoned, ridiculed, abused, taken for granted, and mocked. He was homeless and he struggled paying his taxes. Jesus was hungry and thirsty. He was sad, broken hearted, disappointed, and angry. He knows pain, life and death.
Through his life and experiences Jesus truly has empathy for each one of us. His compassion was seen through his serving and through his care for people. However, he did not come to only be able to identify with us and make us feel better. He came to save us!
Jesus came to bring life through his death and resurrection. Jesus came to transform us into new creations. He is the Way the Truth and the Life.
This was Vision Weekend at Northern Hills. I was amped and excited to share where we are headed. Saturday night (or technically Sunday morning), I awoke at 3:30 in the morning. Now that is not all that unusual. When this happens, sometimes I will pray, or God will put something on my heart that I will write down for the following morning's message. At other times I just take the awake time to go through the following days message one more time, then return to a wonderful sleep.
However, this past weekend when I awoke, I had the unmistakable impression that I was to take some time to worship God. This really did not make sense, so I just started going over the message that I would be giving in a few hours. Doing so proved useless and my restlessness was growing and I wanted to go back to sleep, but I could not.
It took nearly 30 minutes to give in and do what God was asking. So I simply started to praise God silently for who he is and what he is doing. Then after several minutes I grabbed my iPod and listened to a playlist that I titled God's Glory. It was really an incredible time of intense focus and praise toward God. Around 5:15AM I went back to sleep and woke up at 7 AM ready to roll.
In reflection, this time of worship was required to make sure that my focus was where it needed to be while speaking about the future of Northern Hills. Not sleeping, brought rest, comfort, and instilled within me a God given passion to communicate his mission. God is good!
This past week at Northern Hills we finished up our study in Matthew by talking about being Salt and Light. I relayed the story about a six year old kid named Oscar I once heard sing the song "This Little Light of Mine". His version went something like this: Hide it under a bush, HELL NO! I'm gonna let it shine...
Personally, I like Oscar's version best. It has more passion than the original "hide it under a bushel ...NO" that I learned growing up.
When we refuse to hide our God given light under a bowl of apathy, fear, inconsistency, and silence, then we make a huge impact for God's glory not our own. Sometimes we need to cowboy up and go for it through God's strength and grace. Be who you were reborn to be. The results may surprise everyone! HT to Josh for the Video.
I love being a parent. Being gone for so long I really missed my daughters even though two of them no longer live at home (most of the time). The few days spent with my daughters after Maui were awesome.
Reconnecting with them reaffirmed my long held belief that every stage of parenting is a blessing. Some recent highlights of having college age and teen daughters.
The other night I was at home and Bethany and Elise were just jamming for about two hours on the piano and bass. It was so good because they are talented like their mom. What a blast to listen to them play, sing, laugh, try new sounds and songs.
A few days later Bethany calls and wants to go to a Nuggets game. We went down, bought some great tix from a guy on the street for a few bucks and had a blast!
My daughter Robbin is started her last semester in college this week. One of the classes she is taking is "The History of Baseball". How cool is that? I am really anxious to vicariously take the class through her.
Elise gets up early every morning and moves with great precision and is out the door at about 6:45AM every day. It is a bonus that she loves coffee and gets it going before she leaves.
Robbin came over the other night to redo her budget. It is pretty simple because she has no money to speak of, but.........she also has no debt and plans to keep it that way.
Elise and I had the chance to talk through some dating stuff - very cool (mostly)!
Bethany and I are going to the symphony in a couple of weeks. It will be time to get dressed up and make a super cool memory.
Robbin is interning at the Denver Rescue Mission and we are talking through future possibilities at DRM or maybe Italy, or who knows where.
Yes, parenting is challenging and is full of frustration, heartache, and disappointment at times. However, I think that parenting is mostly what you make of it.
I heard about the "terrible two's" but they were awesome times of discovery. People find out I have three daughters and sometimes it is as if they feel sorry for me. Are you kidding? A dad with three girls is a blessing beyond words. "Three teenage girls - yikes"!No, it is a blast and demands my best as a dad.
More than I ever imagined, I get to share a ton of life with my girls. Music, movies, sports, tears, laughs, hurts, mistakes, relationships, academics, adventures, and most of all a pursuit of Jesus.
For someone who is pretty independent, this shared life is, Life-Changing!
Despite the silence on this blog, I have safely returned from Maui. It was a great trip and Maui is now my favorite vacation spot.
The filming of Gospel Journey Maui was an incredible experience. To protect the integrity of the final product, I can not say much here, but it was a privilege to be on hand and help however I was able. When the final product comes out, I have no doubt that it will make a huge impact and be a great tool for student ministries and beyond. Greg has more.
I feel like I am almost caught up (at least my inbox is empty) and back in the groove. However, I really miss the island.
Great Food ~ Running with challenging elevation changes has been a blast ~ Weather........not cold! Perfect ~ Amazing sunsets ~ Snorkeling is pretty much the coolest thing I have done in the last few years.
Tomorrow more snorkeling and we head out to harpoon, check out whales. Friday some golf and a Luau.