Showing posts from 2013

Why the Best is Yet Come

Poetic cliché aside, it truly has been a December to remember. And given we’re now in the wake of Yuletide euphoria, I’d say it’s a fitting time to reminisce on the highlights and milestones of 2013. Truth be told, it’s hard to condense a year into a measly little page, but if the richness of life lies in memories we have forgotten, how much more richness would exist if we commit to retaining it*? Thus, in the spirit of good tiding and immense gratitude, I dedicate this blog to the many I hold dear to heart.
Now when it comes to assessing any period of time, I’m a fairly frugal judge. So for me to say 2013 was the second consecutive “best year ever” is worth noting...and celebrating for that matter. For the second straight year, I felt I wasn’t simply starting a new chapter, but an entirely new saga altogether. So one shouldn’t be surprised when I say I can hardly relate to the man I was two, even three, years ago. It simply comes with the territory of accelerated redemption. And whi…

The Champion of Hope

Do you ever feel like Charlie Brown bemused to what Christmas is all about, or like Hermey the Elf, wondering where in the world is my place amidst the holiday bedlam? After all, it’s easy to feel lost at Christmas time. We tread through our annual routines, hoping flickering lights, peppermint mochas and the dream of a white Christmas will offer a doubleshot of whatever we’re in desperate need for. Not to mention the marathons of personal enterprise we engage, trading sorrows for stopgaps, all for the sake of getting through the holidays.
Truth is: Some people need decked halls and falling snow for it to feel like Christmas at all. But although white pines, laced tinsel and December flakes are truly timely sights to behold, there’s merit in wondering who or what is driving the heart of Christmas. For instance: are we aiming to medicate ourselves through tradition and productivity or are we allowing the light of Christmas to impact our giving and benevolence? For almost anyone will do…

To be ThankFULL

We pardon this feast for a moment of ‘nation identification’…you’re listening to the sound of Thanksliving.
So stop, look around, breathe in the moment. What do you see? How do you feel? Are you snug in good cheer? Are you smittenly cozy? Or do you hear sound of one far from prosy*?
Today we gather as people of blessing, amidst the cranberries, the yams and the dressing. But I have a query that may sound quite quirky: What are you stuffed with and please don’t say ‘turkey’? 
It’s good to be full, but ‘of what’ is key.  If we’re made to “run over”**, I’d say start with glee. But a season of thanks goes way beyond joy. It’s loving a grace we’re called to employ. It’s being FULL of what is worth giving. And this, friends, is why I call it Thanksliving.
For today is not marked by Macy’s or glace, it’s finding delight in what tends to lose place. Like recalling how God has moved in your life, the glory of motion and favor in rife. So at the risk of sounding outrageous, let me say how this all …

Flash Weather: 2013-14 Winter Weather Forecast (Part 2)

Followup Notes: With only a few weeks of meteorological fall left, I continue to wonder about the -EPO and how it may be a saving grace for the Tennessee Valley this winter. With the QBO in a positive and falling state, I expect the polar vortex to start out strong but weaken as we approach winter, which is part of the reason I expect the second half of winter to be stronger and more intense than the first half. Since the AO/NAO is partly tied to the QBO, and since a +QBO would likely lead to a +AO/+NAO, I can definitely see warmer than normal temperatures to abound in December for the third consecutive year, with each subsequent month lessening in terms of positive temperature anomaly; however, with a strong -EPO, the pacific pattern allows troughing to dig into the southeast quadrant. My guess at this point is we could see a winter, temperature wise, similar to 2007-08. During this winter, December was a torchfest, but January evened out and February and early March featured some me…

Why Planting Seeds is So Important

As October fades into the yuletide preseason, I continue to be stirred in a rather unique way.

If you’ve been a follower of my blog for long, then you’ve probably come to realize how part of my heartcry is to grow as a “minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me…to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations…” (Colossians 1:25-26 ESV).
However, in this day and age, arguably the hardest time to pastor in church history, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to believe this desire can be wholesomely satisfied.
Let’s face it: people are busy…very busy. And though many can supply a résumé to support the fact, it’s not like a piece of paper can mask how we prize personal ambitions over fellowship. Within Christian community, many claim to value balance, yet wear loaded planners like a badge on the sash of misaligned priorities, oblivious to the growing discrepancy between what is hoped for and what is realized. And the most alarmi…

Walk the Cross

Last Sunday, we witnessed a video centered on the physical evidence of God's reality & nature (specifically God’s saving grace and restoration plan through the ark account).
Today we're going to focus on the spiritual evidence: a changed life - the greatest miracle this side of heaven.
In John 3, Nicodemus, a ruler and leader among the Jews and Pharisees, approaches Jesus and claims He must have come from God based on the signs and wonders worked through Him. In response, Jesus tells him: 
I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew, from above), he cannot ever see (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the kingdom of God.”
In other words, Jesus was challenging Nicodemus to change his worldview and belief system by “being born again.”
Consider the parallels:
Before you are born, you are conceived – an internal phenomenon which ultimately develops into an external presence.
Before you are born again, you are created, destined and pursued.…

The Devil's Playground

Have you ever had a great day almost derail after a blindsighted brush with a self-justifying spirit, a backhanded stab or a condescending remark? Have you ever had a solid rhythm going only to be cut short by the whiplash of an impulsive assault, like an unexpected downpour on a bright, autumnal day?
No doubt, these precipitous moments can have the most sharpening and defining effects on our character and the way we believe. Yet, despite what our default affinities may be, sometimes it’s perfectly healthy and necessary to wrestle with the lies we collide with.
Such was the realization after a recent happenstance, when my leadership was tactlessly grilled by an extreme case of overprotection. Having aced my part in the first encounter by means of a cordial greeting and genuine smile, the temptation for offense came knocking once my hand drew the spat of a person bursting into a flame of finger-pointing. And though some understandable concerns were mixed in, what started as a friendly…

Flash Weather: 2013-14 Winter Weather Forecast (Part 1)

This is the first installment of an ongoing series this fall concerning the winter weather season ahead. Although the meteorological elements are still coming together, there is a convergence of signals indicating this winter will be one heck of a ride...

Note: With respect to the video, I forgot to mention the difference between El Nino and La Nina when discussing the ENSO forecast for the upcoming winter. If you note the image to the left, you'll see a general map depicting the variances we see during both occurrences (ex: the northern Pacific low during an El Nino versus its high pressure counterpart in a La Nina).

Thus, the greatest opportunities for a colder winter in the southeast take place during a weak El Nino or weak La Nina, as the jet stream is allowed to buckle down further south to promote colder temperatures. If the ENSO is notably displaced from neutral territory, the jet streams tend to not engage each other, thus, keeping the moist air from merging with the colder…

Awkward Rain

Has anyone noticed when awkwardness rains, it pours?
Like that moment when you order a Chicago dog and a drink from Sonic and they happen to throw in an unordered vanilla cone...
But you're not in the mood to bring it up, let alone eat it up...
So you just accept it despite the fact you don't have the room to consume an eight-inch tower of spiraling decadence...
And you're a downtown TDOT employee, which by default, requires a seven-minute walk from parking lot to main entrance...
So you're on the clock to contain what is now a melting eight-inch tower of drooping decadence...

And as you finally make your way into the break room…

A stranger asks you if you're married...

And instead of being predictable, you emphasize the glorious fact by flashing the hand laden with bling, forgetting to utter words as you make the hastened gesture, which in turn, appears to offend the person…
But you don't really know for sure...
So you then decide to say something to the tun…

Fully God, Fully Human

Last week, a LEGACY youth asked me if Jesus was 100% man and 100% divine. Without hesitation, I answered: He was most certainly both, for Christ's nature can't be divided (To help drive this point home, I used an illustration of how men and women are 100% human when they are married and become 100% one flesh); however, I couldn't help but wonder if a better analogy existed as I plunged deeper into the question.

After all, the query is one of the most divisive in the 21st century church. And though many would agree in the bottom line - Christ did not forsake his divinity in the incarnation - the route to the conclusion is notably spread out among believers (see graphic below). Yet, despite the denominational divide, there is a foundational truth we can all adhere to: the duality of Christ's nature was accomplished through the laying down of His prerogative, by yielding to the same Holy Spirit we all have the privilege of yielding to on a daily basis. 

Several scriptures,…

Parable of a Parody - "Ho Hey"

Previously, we looked at Pink’s “Try”, and discussed how trying can only take us so far - how trying should lead to doing because of our being (i.e. 3D Principle meets 3B Principle). But while we may know and believe this fact, often times, it’s the application – the real-life troubleshooting that provides our toughest challenges.

This week, we’re focusing on “Hey Ho” by the Lumineers, and as we listen to the song, note some of the repeated words and themes laced throughout the lyrics.

Upon further review, it’s no secret the Lumineers capitalize on strong emotional conditions, especially the desire to belong and be loved. And as the case with many songs streaming through the airwaves of pop culture, the Lumineers hit this popular tune in pulsating fashion.

Let’s face it: some of us don't know where we belong. We don't know what true relationship looks like. We’ve heard hundreds of sermons on what makes a good person, yet we haven’t learned how to sustain them over the course …

Against the Grain - Why the 2013 Tennessee Titans Will Make the Playoffs

Tennessee Titans 2013 Game-by-Game Breakdown
Click image for better view

1) Improved, revamped roster - Like the Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccanners and Cleveland Browns, the Titans carefully executed strategic roster moves that could easily translate into 2-3 extra wins in 2013. Now, I expect the Chiefs to improve by 6 games next season, and finish as the most improved team in the NFL. I actually have the Titans losing to the vastly improved Chiefs when they roll through Music City in early October (more on how the Titan's schedule later on...)

As far as the players go, the arrivals of Levitre, Warmack and Hill will help elevate the Titans' defensive performance in 2013, following a historically astrocious defensive output last season. I believe as chemistry increases throughout the season, the cynergy will inspire better play from veterans such as Casey, Martin, Morgan, McCourty, McCarthy, Brown, Roos and Stewart. Speaking of McCarthy, I'm interested to see how he fa…