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"Let us reason together…" Isaiah 1:18

Posts categorized Creativity

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Crazy Folks go to NFL Games

Yep.  That was me.  In the very first row of seats (from the ceiling) at the Thursday Night Football game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Minnesota Vikings.

bigstock-IRVINE-CA--JANUARY------81139793Experiencing the National Football League is a total emersion experience.  It may be impossible to simply stick your little toe into the ocean of one of the United States’ richest not-for-profit companies.  When the NFL is in town every one notices.  I’m not totally sure, but I think I saw an Arizona lizard wearing a Cardinal’s jersey this week.

So dominating is this beast that a whole region simply reduces the details into two words:  The game.  “In town for the game?”  They ask.  At first I thought they might be asking about my wife’s Words with Friends, but deep in my soul I sensed there was an earnest interest into a much more cult-like game.

The cults with which I am familiar demand….

  • Strong and blinded allegiance to a heroic figure regardless of the presence or absence of character.  For some very strange reason, I had a picture taken with a man dressed up like a bird.
  • Special clothes. I am not sure if the NFL has secret undergarments that are required of all fanatics or if a simple Larry Fitzgerald jersey will do. By the way, someone needs to let the out of shape middle aged NFL fans know that Brett Favre RETIRED and is an honored and decorated Green Bay Packer.  At the Viking’s game I saw way too many Favre Viking’s jerseys.  This is a bit like wearing the wedding ring from your ex-wife.
  • Face painting and costumes. This one dude looked like his face was pushed into a hot wax basin filled with melted red and black lipstick.  He thought he looked like an Arizona Cardinal, but in reality he closely resembled a drunken vampire.  True thing!  One lady, in purple and gold, was wearing a set of horns and I saw a guy with a Viking tattoo on arm.
  • Chants, slogans and adoration. When passersby see another cult member in the special cult clothes of their heroic figure, huge noise would flow from these folks who otherwise look semi-mentally stable.  Seriously, five guys walking in their purple and gold jerseys see seven or eight folks in similar garb drinking beer on an outdoor patio.  The five and the seven erupt into some kind of unintelligible, yet exuberant, whoop.  It sounded, to me, like the sound a cow moose would make when giving birth.  Of course, I have never heard that sound, but it seems fitting.
  • Body contact. Everyone wearing the same colors had instant approval to touch each other.  High fives, fist bumps, hugs and even more seem to be granted to every loyal member who ventured out in the same colors.
  • Lots and lots of spirits.  As if this experience is unbearable to a healthy and stable mind, I noticed eight or nine people at our hotel swimming pool gearing up for the big event many hours before kickoff.  When someone entered wearing the correct colors, everyone would holler and yell and then down another spirit or two.  One of the female fanatics entered the Jacuzzi because, “I was partying last night in preparation for the game and I think I can sweat it out.”  Not knowing exactly what that meant, I left the Jacuzzi immediately.  I couldn’t get over the image of “sweating it out” floating around in the bubbles.bigstock-Personal-Foul-Face-Mask-64690339
  • A specially revealed book and someone to demand obedience to the book. From time to time these folks in black and white stripes would blow whistles and throw yellow flags.  I’m not sure what all that is about, but the folks near me were yelling, really yelling, “That’s not the rule.  The book doesn’t say that.”  I’m just guessing, but maybe the guys in black and white stripes are considered the religious police.
  • A long time after “the game” had started, the intensity increased dramatically.  Honestly, there was a decibel meter on the huge screen that showed 106 decibels from the screaming fanatics.  As the Vikings moved down the field for an apparent overtime causing field goal someone said something like, “The end is near!  Stop the Vikings.  The end is near.”  Apparently, even the NFL has an eschatology.

Being in the first row of seats, next to the ceiling, provided me opportunity to do a little bit of thinking, sort of like a monk during the monastic movement, perched high up in the monastery.  Images of Saint Simeon Stylites the Elder, who lived for thirty-seven years on a small platform that was anchored to a tall pillar, floated through my mind.

First, I thought, the Seahawks Twelfth Man is far more sophisticated than this.

Second, I wondered what all I could learn from this experience about developing wildly committed disciples of Jesus.

From now on, I will be wearing an Apostle John jersey with the number 3:16 on the back so I am properly clothed for “The Game” set before me and so I can cheer wildly when I see others wearing the same colors.

Currently, I am studying the Rule Book and doing my best to imbibe the right Spirit.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the face painting/tattoo thing figured out yet.

It seems to me that the end is near in the Apostle John’s game too.  Unlike Teddy Bridgewater, the Quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings, I must not drop the ball with only five seconds left on the clock.

“The Game’s” end is near.bigstock--the-End-Is-Near-Roadside-Sig-110547983

 

 

 

Posted on 13th December 2015 in Creativity, Discipleship, Evangelism, Events  •  Comments are off for this post
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God’s Bigger Picture

Our series title, Acts: Our Story, indicates that the Biblical book of Acts becomes the normative example for the co-authoring of our lives with God.  Your life book will be titled,

“The Acts of the Apostles and ____ Your First Name_______ _______Last Name__________.”

Consider the writing picture of 2 Corinthians 3:2,3.  There are twenty-eight chapters in the Acts of the Apostles.  You and God are authoring new chapters of His work in our world of today.

Acts 1:1 shows that Luke’s first volume was written to show “all that Jesus began to do and teach.”  By inference we can say that Luke’s second volume was written to show all that Jesus’ followers began to do and teach.

In the book you and God are co-authoring, “The Acts of the Apostles and ____First Name____________ ______Last Name_____________,” chapter one will be titled, God’s Bigger Picture.

Peter, in Acts 1:15 and following, addresses the exceptionally difficult emotions the group of 120 people were experiencing.

  • Jesus has been crucified, buried, resurrected, and now ascended.
  • Judas has connived, betrayed for thirty pieces of silver, and committed suicide.

Peter understood, to some measure, that in all of this there is God’s Bigger Picture.  Acts 1:16 shows that scripture had to be fulfilled and that it was written beforehand by the Holy Spirit about Judas.

Acts 1:21-26 reveals that Peter had an understanding, from Psalm 109:8, that they were to select a replacement for the apostleship vacated by Judas.

Did Peter know?

  • God was re-constituting Israel and that there needed to be twelve witnesses, just like there were twelve tribes?  Genesis 35:22
  • There are twelve gates in the New Jerusalem with the names of the twelve tribes?  Revelation 21:12
  • There are twelve foundations of the New Jerusalem with the names of the twelve Apostles?  Revelation 21:14

Acts 1:21-26 launches the book of Acts of the Apostles and ____First Name______________ ________Last Name_____________ into God’s Bigger Picture.

With patient (Romans 2:6,7) trust (Psalm 9:10), take action on the revelation God has given you (Judges 6:14) and you will be embracing God’s Bigger Picture.

For a more detailed explanation of Hyatt Moore’s Luke 14 Mural, direct your web browser here.

 

Posted on 1st March 2015 in Creativity, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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Considering the Downside of Progress

Sometimes the very things that are expected to help actually hinder and the things thought to destroy bring life. Progress sounds energetic and positive; often it is. Yet there is a possible dark and difficult component to progress.

All of “modern” technology was predicted to make the average work week shorter, end stress, and usher in global euphoria (maybe I exaggerate a small bit). Unfortunately, people work longer for less, are more stressed than ever, and are far from global peace and joy.

Have you considered the downside of your smartphone, tablet, or personal computing device?

People are, in fact, alone together.

Posted on 14th September 2013 in Creativity  •  Comments are off for this post
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Things Will Get Better

This teen makes a fantastic point about the passing nature of depression. Never allow yourself to get stuck in the dark valley. Keep walking and you’ll see the light of joy again.

I viewed this video here. http://gnli.christianpost.com/video/young-girls-inspirational-message-after-her-best-friend-commits-suicide-7080

Posted on 28th October 2012 in Creativity, Flourish, grief, Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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Porsche, Pink China, and Planting Gardens? Enjoy!

Why is enjoyment such a difficult idea for some followers of Jesus to embrace with enthusiasm?  It’s almost like God didn’t, indeed couldn’t, say of His creation, “It is good.”

The spiritual and the enjoyable are not polar opposites!

Have you seen people struggle with the question, “Should I enjoy this or must I be spiritual?”

Why not both?  At the same time?  With a touch of hilarity?

My hope is that our children enjoy their childhood, family, and home.  I trust that Paula enjoys her marriage, life, and ministry.

Of life’s blessings?  I say, “Enjoy them or give them away so that the other guy can enjoy them!  Are you no longer finding joy in your 1983 Porsche Turbo Carrera?  Give it away (may I suggest to whom?  LOL).  No joy left in great grandmother’s pink china set?  Give it away!  Has the joy departed from carrying those extra pounds around everyday?  Get rid of them.

Of life’s new interests?  Give it a go (to quote my Aussie friend).  Buy the camera and start capturing images of beautiful birds.  Plant the garden and see what grows.  Pick up the ukulele and start strumming.

Of your Christian faith?  Find happiness in your weekend worship experience.  Re-discover the delight of reading the Bible.  Celebrate the amazingly unique members of the Christian family.  Enjoy God.

“Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work, – this is a gift of God”. Ecclesiastes 5:19

PS:  The flower photos are from our hotel landscaping, in El Salvador.  Between our scheduled events I took time to ENJOY!  :0)

Posted on 23rd March 2012 in Creativity, Flourish, Simple LIfe  •  Comments are off for this post
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A Strategy for Ministering to the Next Generation

Children and teens are, without a doubt, the evangelism priority for effectively ministering in America today. With twenty-five percent of the United States population being under seventeen years of age and with the vast majority of those who become Jesus followers being under the age of fourteen, it is clear whom we should prioritize.

Becoming more effective in ministry to the next generation is one of the top priorities of the MCA worship community. We are seeking God’s guidance for more effective ministry to teens and children. Together, with God’s blessing, we will crack the ministry code for this generation.

On Sunday evening we showed a message by Pastor Rod Loy of the Little Rock, Arkansas First Assembly of God. The message was presented on Monday evening of the Influence Conference 2011. Rod’s talk is about 2 hours into the video. I recommend fast forwarding until you see Rod (wearing a green polo shirt).

Posted on 14th August 2011 in Children's Ministry, Creativity, Evangelism, Ministry Development, Missions, Parenting, Student Ministry, Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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Your Account Counts: Your Version of God’s Counter Story

MCA is totally fired up about the work of the Holy Spirit that is bringing blessing out of difficulty, benefit out of challenge, and purpose out of aimless living. God works often against and in spite of the dominant story line of the world’s culture.

We are collecting your counter stories for two reasons. 1. We believe it is good for you to write, memorize, and then share your story with many people every week. 2. We believe that other people can share your story and see many people come to faith as they hear of God’s abundant work in you.

You may read our published counter stories here. Notice the amazing transformation God has made in each author. When The Author writes the narrative of your life then you have a story to tell to the nations!

Please write your counter story in 100 words or less. Email your story to one of the MCA ministry team leaders. We will not publish your name, but will get your experience with God’s grace online ASAP.

The URL for our story blog is http://writeyourstory1.wordpress.blog

Posted on 13th April 2011 in Blogs, Counter Story, Creativity, Evangelism, Message Response, Ministry Development, Missions  •  Comments are off for this post
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MCA Kid’s in Training

Recently the Kids in Training (KIT) team presented an inspirational human video in one of the MCA weekend worship services. The talent, skill, and commitment of the children shone brightly in the presentation. Their work was impressive. But more impressive than their presentation is the deep love of Jesus and people that radiated from their eyes and actions. These children are in total love with Jesus.

Without a doubt, their parents have an influence upon them as do the adult ministry team members who give shape to their spiritual formation. Peggy and Janelle Crowe are the adult team leaders for this ministry and they are PHENOMENAL! Thank you, Peggy and Janelle!

Posted on 7th March 2011 in Children's Ministry, Creativity, Missions, Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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This is My Story, This is My Song, Praising My Savior……..

When we look closely at our lives we begin to comprehend that the story line of our life is His-story. God continually infuses our experience with a narrative that moves in directions we only understand by reflecting upon our yesterdays.

I bumped into this notion while studying pain at Northwest University. C.S. Lewis said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

Pastor Joany Bazemo was fascinated with the God story inside the lives of Boaz and Ruth. I doubt that these two key Biblical people had an awareness of the glorious and grand story God was weaving into the narrative of their lives.

May the Lord give us eyes to see at least a hint of the grand story he is including in our living.

Posted on 19th February 2011 in Counter Story, Creativity, Ministry Development, Missions, Musings, Peak Performance, Remarkable, Simple LIfe, Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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Becoming a High Performance Person

High performance people have at least seven core competencies for peak performance. These outliers understand that their peak performance is anchored in the nature of the One who created them. The first three chapters of Genesis reveal God’s (The Ultimate High Performer) way of bringing creation out of Himself.

The first thing we notice about God’s action in Genesis 1 is, “In the beginning God created…” Creativity is an essential communicable attribute of God. Creativity is in your DNA because the Creator has shared some of His attributes with His creation.

To hear my talk titled, “Your Peak Performance is Directly Related to Factors you Control,” direct your web browser here.

Posted on 28th December 2010 in Creativity, Peak Performance, Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post