Monday, June 30, 2008

It was Going to be About YEC....

Friday and Saturday was spent in Garland, TX at the 40th annual Youth Evangelism Conference with students from the Well and Crestview Baptist Church. This time was well worth spent for several reasons, but hanging out with and getting to know students made the weekend amazing. We laughed, sang, prayed and told stories from a dislike of McDonald’s (which we did not stop at) to a passion for mission work.

It is so important to build relationships with young people, Christians and lost students, in order to cultivate and edify them in the faith. Cultivate is a word that has so much depth. According to Webster’s dictionary it means, “to prepare or prepare and use for the raising of crops; also : to loosen or break up the soil about (growing plants) 2 a: to foster the growth of c: to improve by labor, care, or study.” For those watching and leaning from other Christians, seeds are being planted, relationships are being built and this constitutes cultivating. In the lives of growing Christian’s, discipleship and mentorship helps mold baby Christians into spiritual Giants. Cultivation is necessary and students are hungry for God’s love, we just have to invest in their lives.

Jesus tells us to, “make disciples.” Salvation is the first step into the faith, but let us not lose sight of the important follow-up work; discipleship through cultivation and immersion in the Word, prayer and loving one another. Be encouraged to share your faith this week, tell someone “Jesus loves you,” and why. No matter where you are in your walk, even if you haven’t started it yet, Jesus is there ready to accept and guide your footsteps.

For a review on YEC…check back later (cause it was slammin’)…but God had different plans for this blog. God Bless.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Lions and Snow

I am currently reading several books, but most recently I picked up In a Pit with a Lion On a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson. I have not completed the book, but the below statement caught my attention:

"…God-given opportunities often come disguised as man-eating lions. And how we react when we encounter those lions will determine our destiny."

Wow, we can either tuck tail and run; or face the opportunity head on, which could be ANYTHING and allow God to use you however He wants. This statement alone will keep me reading the book because I think too many times in our lives we are scared or doubtful because we might be concerned with what others might think or what might happen to us; when ultimately, if we are doing what God told us, then He will do whatever is necessary to accomplish His goals, not ours.

Check out the book…let’s talk about it. I know I have enjoyed it so far. Have a blessed week.

Oh I almost forgot...the answer to the previous posts' baseball question:

Major League Baseball Question: How wide is home plate?
d) 17 inches

In 1900, home plate was a 12 inch square.

Jack in the Box is Amazing!

Jack in the Box is giving away two free tacos to anyone with a gas receipt. Jack said, "He wants to give some relief to diners feeling the pinch of soaring fuel prices." What a sweet deal, go check at your local Jack in the Box. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What I Like About Tuesday (+ more)

It’s not Monday and tomorrow is Wednesday.

I am blessed to wake up and have another day granted by God.

That’s all I got.

For the + more section:

Saturday was spent vacationing in our apartment. After a long week, Kari and I decided to take a little break at our home and relax. We spent the day snacking, playing with the dogs, watching a movie and surfing the internet. Later that evening, we took a drive out to Milano for dinner, swimming and a movie. We watched Fool’s Gold with Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson. This delightful romantic comedy/treasure hunt was definitely rentable and worth the time.

Sunday we started the morning at the Well. We enjoyed the time of cooperate worship and fellowship with the fellow Well members. Later that afternoon we went to Laguna Park, Texas for a sunset wedding on Lake Whitney. I had the opportunity to shoot unofficial wedding pictures for the bride. I used her Olympus Digital Camera and got some pretty sweet shots, hopeful I will get some to share soon. After the wedding, we took Kari’s grandmother home to College Station.

It was a great weekend of relaxation, family and friends! I hope each of you had a blessed weekend as well.

Major League Baseball Question: How wide is home plate?
a) 20 inches
b) 13 inches
c) 22 inches
d) 17 inches

Thursday, June 19, 2008

And the sickness continues…(and other news)

So, I started to write a paragraph on how I was recovering well, but this little bug is still holding on. Whatever it is…I need more little pills to make it go away. Thanks to those who left encouraging words about getting well, I pray that I am near the end of this sickness! Moving on…

Kari and I love Highland Lakes Encampment. I have been attending Highland Lakes (HL) since 1998 as a camper (once) and off and on since as a member of the Sound Production team for six years. Kari began attending HL in 1997 and than served on the Summer Mission’s Team (SMT) in 2005 and 2006.

This place has such a special place in my heart for a couple of reasons:
1. In July, during the summer of 1998 I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior.
2. I met my wife, Kari, in the old Miles Auditorium.

When considering what to do this summer about camp, Kari and I took all are questions, doubts and fears to the Lord. The camp asked if we could come out and join the production staff with Brandon and my first reaction was “gas is so high…no!” So, your might be thinking, “gas prices are going to hold you back from serving God…”

At first, yes, that’s one of the reasons we asked for guidance because our plans are not always God’s plans. In Isaiah 55:9 God tells is, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Many, many, many times we are guilty of thinking “humanly” and not seeking God’s wisdom in our actions. Our personifications and thoughts of God sometimes make him human, which this passage points out that He is NOT. God does whatever, whenever, however and uses whoever He see’s fit to accomplish his goals.

We sought after God’s direction and He guided us to the camp for the summer. Although it doesn’t seem logical or humanly right, in my mind, we are doing what God wants us to do and serving Him at the camp by helping the production team. Kari and I ask to you continue to keep us in your prayers as we seek to do what He calls, by giving glory to Him and spreading His name among all the nations. God Bless.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sick of Being Sick: plus more

If I went to a doctor, which I avoid, he might tell me I have a sinus infection, but who knows. I know that at ten o’clock last night, my entire body ached and I was beginning to feel the effects of Tylenol PM (so at least I slept well). I am not going to dwell on this much longer; I just want to say, “I want to feel better because I’m sick of being sick!”

Besides being sick…Friday the boys at Phoenix Films and I had a great time getting some footage for more upcoming short films. My buddy Brandon joined us in our movie-making efforts and he turned up in a couple of the movies. After the shoot, Brandon and I went to the house and completed one film entitled The High Score. The High Score is a short look at what some video gamer’s experience while playing their favorite games. It is guaranteed to bring a few laughs, so check back soon cause it will be hitting Insert Title Here this week. Unable to sleep later that evening, I worked till about two and completed the second film, The IOU, which is due out next week. It is neat to watch the progression of our collaboration; as these newer films seem to be getting better and better. Let us know what you think, drop some comments, if you get a chance.

Saturday I rode with my Pop to Nacogdoches to take some furniture to my little brother. We loaded my dad’s truck down with a bed and dresser and headed east. I had never been to Nacogdoches before, so I was excited about the trip. After about four hours on the rode, we found Matt’s house and delivered the furniture. Matt was glad to see us and had been waiting to eat, so we found a local Chinese buffet to “chow down” at. We enjoyed good food and conversation. Matt offered to give us a driving tour of the Stephen F. Austin State University campus, so he got behind the wheel and gave us a great tour. The campus is nestled among the tall pine trees and almost every plant is green (minus the flower blooms). Several of the towers on campus were round and seemed to be in competition with the pine tree; I think both are looking for bragging rights. Matt pointed out many of the buildings by name and which buildings he had the majority of his classes in. He showed off the football, soccer fields and historically sites.

On one of the historical sites, the Shay Locomotive No. 2005 can be found, which was used primarily for moving huge pine trees to the mill and dates back to 1907. Unfortunately, I did not take a picture of the unique motor described in the historical marker, but on the other side of this train, it looks nothing like a normal train. Since I am not to mechanically inclined, I won't attempt to describe what I saw, so google Shay Locomotive sometime. It was neat to look at that bit of history and imagine the huge trees that were pulled on this machine to a mill in order to be made into lumber.

Pop and I headed home and arrived back in Cedar Creek around 8:00pm. It was a long day, but well worth the time.

Sunday, Dad and Donna joined Kari and I for Father’s Day at the Well. We celebrated the day by eating lunch at Furr’s Family Dining (one of my favorite “all you can eat” spots, not to mention, my dad’s too!). We had a feast and walked it off at a store of dad’s choosing. It was a great time! Later that afternoon, we joined Keith, Staci and Kamdyn for Phoenix Church and dinner. We enjoyed a time of worship, praise and teaching with the folks at Phoenix. It was wonderful blessing to a great and busy weekend!

Well, this turned out longer than expect. I hope you survived. Journey Youth Camp starts today at Highland Lakes Encampment…blog to come. Have a blessed day.

Oh, if you get a chance, check out my wife’s most recent post, it’s about my sister in law, Shelbi. You may have seen Shelbi in Scary Stories with Shel; check it out.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Let it Fade

As I drove home from my Life Transformation Group, God used the following lyrics from Jeremy Camp’s Let It Fade to remind me that I don’t have to let life weigh me down (see previous Time to Unpack). Isn’t it neat how God reminds and nudges his children to keep them on course? God is always working and moving, but are you looking for him and letting him guide you? One of my favorite lines is, “Have you been giving in to all these masquerades?” Instead of putting on the mask and trying to be somebody you’re not; we should live richly in the Spirit of God. Roman 8:4 tells us that Christ’s blood was shed, “in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.” Furthermore, these lyrics extend an invitation from Jesus, "…no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again" (John 3:3). Check out these lines:
Have you been walking on a surface that's uncertain?
Have you helped yourself to everything that's empty? yeah!
You can't live this way too long.
There's more than this, more than this.
Have you been standing on your own feet too long?
Have you been looking for a place where you belong?
You can rest, you will find rest.
You can rest, you will find rest.

Let this old life crumble, let it fade.
Let this new life offered be your saving grace.
Let this old life crumble, let it fade, let it fade.

Have you been holding on to what this world has offered?
Have you been giving in to all these masquerades?
It will be gone, forever gone.
It will be gone, it will be gone

Have you been standing on your own feet too long?
Have you been looking for a place where you belong?

Christ can take away the “old life” and fade it away, all you have to do is seek and accept him. May God touch your heart and have a blessed day.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Jack in the Box on the Brain (a bit of randomness)

I am not craving any food at the moment; nor did I eat there recently, I am just considering one of my favorite fast food restaurants. I cannot pinpoint when I actually began preferring Jack in the Box to any other fast food burger, but I know that the majority of 2008 I have enjoyed eating Jack in the Box. Now, you might be asking yourself, “why and really who cares that Jeremy likes Jack in the Box.” My response to that is, “I’m just glad you reading my blog, please come again.”

Seriously, the Ultimate Cheeseburger from Jack in the Box is amazing. Two piece of meat and two slices of cheese smashed between two slices from bread covered in mayo, mustard and ketchup. I think my heart just skipped a beat. In addition to the burger, I find that Jack’s egg rolls are better than most Chinese food restaurants. I can’t explain it, I just say, “Ya, I need an ultimate cheese burger, three egg rolls, oh and two tacos, please.” I don’t normally eat all three egg rolls; I share them with my wife, who often times orders two tacos (which are great too).

I was reminded by a friend, Lynda, how much I enjoyed Jack in the Box. She said, “My Asian grilled chicken salad from JACK was really good. It was better than McDonalds & Wendys!” I’m not the only one who has a Jack craving. If you haven’t eaten at your local Jack in the Box lately, drop by and check out the menu, I am sure you will find something you’ll like.

Another blog to come this week, so check back soon. God Bless you.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Outback Steakhouse Review

Blessings and thanks to Aunt Martha and Uncle Doyle for the gift card to the Outback.

I have only been to the Outback Steakhouse one other time and it must have been more than ten years ago. Kari got home later than expected from the first day of school and we decided it was time to call on the card for a quick meal.

The evening did not start as well as we had hoped it to, but in the end, it was the great food that won us over. The hostess sat us at a dirty table and took their time cleaning it. Our waiter seemed to avoid are table after another hostess, who was apologetic, came and cleaned the table. Finally, we ordered a round of water and the Bloomin’ Onion. Similar to the Awesome Blossom, the Bloomin’ Onion must be fried a little longer because it was darker and crispier. The dipping sauce wasn’t too bad, but we preferred just dipping into a bowl of ranch instead.

Kari ordered a steak and seemed to enjoy it. I had the Alice Springs Chicken. It was a chicken breast smothered in mushrooms, bacon and melted cheese. A sweet honey mustard sauce came on the side for your dipping pleasure. This simple plate packed an enjoyable flavor punch to the mouth. After a dip into the honey mustard, you first get the sweet flavor of the sauce. Then as you continue to chew, the cheese and mushroom combination stands out. To finish the bite off, the savory chicken hits your taste buds. I highly recommend this plate to anyone interested in another twist on the preparation of chicken.

We passed on desert because our plates had plenty of food on them to fill us up. Tonight we will be having left over steak and whatever else we can find in the pantry to add to it. Overall, it was good food and good times and I would recommend checking out your local Outback Steakhouse.

I hope this has been helpful to you. Personally, I love reading reviews…and its fun writing them (oh, and I like eating good food too). God Bless you.

Monday, June 02, 2008

What’s Really Going On?

For the past few weeks my wife has been “vacationing” at the house. Really, I mean she has been organizing, cleaning, decorating and enjoying her time out of school. It was delightful to go home to a prepared meal during lunch time, enjoy a brief moment with the puppies and say “hello,” to my wife. Today vacation ended and summer school began. Kari is taking summer school for the first and last time. Once completing both summer sessions, she will start student teaching at Pflugerville ISD.

On Thursday, we carpooled with my grandparents to La Grange to attend the last Lueders’ graduation. Courtney, one of my first cousins, is the youngest of four, walked the stage on Thursday and is ready to dive into college. Although, still undecided at press time, she is a track star and hopes to continue running in college. Kari and I were able to spend quality time with my family late into the evening.

Friday was spent unloading a buddy’s U-Haul. Moving from the East Coast back to Texas, my friend and his wife will be living a mere 10 minutes from Kari and I. We completed the job rather quickly, but found ourselves in dire need of food. Chuy’s was mentioned and reservations were made at the famous Tex-Mex spot. We were blessed by the Patterson’s company and graciousness.

The weekend took an unexpected turn when we learned that our nephew was being dedicated on Sunday morning. We had planned on visiting with Kari’s father on Saturday and than returning home late that evening, but it was important that we be in attendance for the ceremony on Sunday. We enjoyed good food, fellowship and were apart of making a commitment to be at our nephew’s side as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ (in addition to being super an uncle!) encouraging him and loving him in such a way that reflects Christ.

In other news…I have several new movies to post. Crown and Phoenix films have completed a total of seven short films, but due to lack of internet connection (which we intend to remedy today) these new films have not been posted. One of my favorites, featuring my buddy David, is entitled TV News should be hitting the blog sometime soon!

Comments are always welcome and don’t forget to have a Blessed week. God Bless.