Archive for March, 2008

Weekly Re-Cap / Thoughts

- Did it really snow this week? 

- It’s been one of those “challenging” weeks where you do everything you can just to get through… Hey, we all have them! Right? It ended great though! :)  

- It seems like I spent this whole past week dealing with my car on top of everything else I have to do each week…

- Let’s just say that my car is running on three cylinders, leaking oil like a faucet, sounds like a sick lawn mower, and shakes uncontrolably while idling.

- Anyone selling a reliable car?

- I went to my friend Andy’s birthday party on Friday night. He is 30…ha ha! Oh wait, I’m almost that old!

- Leah and I had our first adult connection group meeting this past week. We are looking forward to hosting it this week.

- I spent a lot of time getting ready for the launch of our new student Connection Group program – Vertical and NINE12. We had a student led band and production team, as well as a relevant curriculum in both Malta and Clifton Park!

- It went great! Leah, Rich, Marti, Marc, Andre, Barb, Sammy, and Laura were incredible with leading our Malta campus groups!

Jeremy , Shelley, Perry, Liz and Pearl did an awesome job at our Clifton Park campus groups!

- We have some of the best adult leaders! If I had a kid, I would feel extremely confident with sending him(or her) to Northway Student Ministry!

- I’m looking forward to posting another QUESTION FROM A STUDENT on Wednesday.

- When you have a rough week, there is nothing better then ending it with a bowl of one of Leah’s homemade soups.

- Ever watch Seinfeld? Leah could move to NYC and compete with the “soup nazi“! (click the link!)

PARTING FACTS…New York style:

nyscounties.gif- Oneida, NY has the world’s smallest church with the dimensions of 3.5’ X 6

- The first passenger railroad in America ran a distance of 11 miles between Albany and Schenectady.

- New York was the first state to require license plates on cars.

- Joseph C. Gayetty of New York City invented toilet paper in 1857.

- Wade Boggs and Cal Ripken Jr. played against each other in Rochester vs. Pawtucket Red Sox in the longest game in baseball history. The game went a total of 33 innings.

An Octopus has three hearts. (Not a New York fact)

Northway Church in the Press…Again

Most of you have probably already read the article that was written about Northway in the Daily Gazette. (Everyone else has blogged about it) :) Just in case you haven’t read it, the article is worth checking out. It talks about our newest location in Colonie and about how Northway is not the typical church.

 CLICK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT!

Vertical / NINE12 Groups this Sunday night!

If you are a student at Northway Church, then you don’t want to miss our official launch of our new “Connection Groups”. The old Connection Groups = the new Vertical Groups (Middle School) and NINE12 Groups (High School). These will be in both Malta and Clifton Park locations. Make sure you go to the campus that you live near, or that you attend on the weekend. There will be a band, games, relevant video (see below), and a breakout group for each age group. We will see you this Sunday night from 6:00 – 7:15! Don’t miss it!

Check out this video promo of our High School series – REVOLUTION:

The Best Question Ever

best-question-pic.gifbest-question-pic.gifLeah and I had our adult connection group last night and learned all about the “Best Question Ever”. It is based on a book by Andy Stanley. It seemed like one of those things that you HAVE to buy the book in order to find out what the question is. Well, I am going to share the secret with the blogging world so that you don’t go about your life in agony just thinking about what “the question” is. We are only in our first week (sorry Chad) so I don’t know if there is like a “best question” for each week, or if the next few weeks just feed off of the one I’m about to share.

Okay…there is one question that we all should ask based on three perspectives in our life.

Here is the question: WHAT IS THE WISE THING TO DO? Pretty basic, right? We make thousands of decisions each month. Some of these decisions can really affect us (and those around us) in a monumental way.

Even deeper:

1. What is the wise thing to do based on my past? What is my track record? How has similar decisions affected me in the past?

2. What is the wise thing to do based on my present situation? How will this decision affect me right now?

3. What is the wise thing to do for my future? How will this decision impact my future?

So, this question seems to be a very “wise” one! Get it? (okay…no more lame jokes!) Sometimes we base our decisions on other people or what the current culture is telling us to do. We also sometimes will make impulse decisions without even really thinking about it. If we can filter our decisions through those three perspectives (past, present, future), and surround it with prayer, then we can be set up to make a lot of right choices.

Question From a Student (#1)

I have been asking students to send me questions that they have about God, the Bible, their faith etc… I will be featuring one of these questions each week on my blog with what the Bible has to say about it. I love it when students care enough about their faith to ask questions. This is going to be something that I will love doing since it helps me dig and find the right answers/direction from the Bible, as well as see what our students have on their mind.

guilt.jpgQUESTION: Why do I still feel guilty for the things I already asked God to forgive me for?

This is a question that I think we all can relate to! We sin…we ask forgiveness…so why all the guilt? Did God not really forgive us?

The Bible says that when we ask for forgiveness, God wipes that sin away.

1 John 1:9 says, “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.”

If you are true to God and yourself and are turning from your sin, where do those guilty feelings come from?

I personally believe that it has to do with the spiritual battle we face every day. Once you cross that line and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, the Enemy knows that he has lost you for all of eternity. The Enemy knows that the only thing he can do now is try to make you ineffective as a Christian. Why would he not want to bring up that old sin in your life? He knows that your guilt will spiritually paralyze you.

Through Scripture we know that if we could have a conversation with God about our guilt, He would tell us that He has already forgiven us and covered that sin (see verses below)! We are to move on and not let that guilt destroy us.

On the other hand, a lot of Christians just keep doing the same thing over and over again. When they feel guilty, they just pray to God and ask for forgiveness each time. The cool thing is that God will forgive us, but as we keep doing the same things we start to not feel that guilt anymore. Our conscience becomes numb and hard towards those things.

Here are a couple of final thoughts:

- The guilt doesn’t miraculously go away once you become an adult!

- ACCOUNTABILITY is everything! We are not meant to live life in isolation. This goes with the things we struggle with too. If we can confess to God, but then tell someone we trust, then we can have someone to hold us up. Get into a Connection Group!

- Look to the facts that God gave us in the Bible about guilt. (Psalm 103:12, 55:22) (1John 1:9, 2:1) (Romans 8:1) (2 Corinthians 5:17) (Ephesians 1:7)

The Nation Anxiously Awaits…

redsox.jpgThe Red Sox Nation, that is! I can’t believe that it is already time for another baseball season! The Sox are kicking off the season in Japan at 6:00 a.m. Yeah…that’s A.M.! No more NCAA tournament for me. We have our church staff meeting tomorrow morning, so I guess I’m going to miss the last half of the game. What are the chances of us watching as a staff? Okay…probably zero! Is anyone else out there as excited as I am to start another season of Red Sox baseball? What team do you follow? Hopefully not the Yankees!

Weekly Re-Cap / Thoughts

- Is the week over already?!

- I spent a lot of my week in Westchester County for work…

- Sleepy Hollow is an interesting town. Everything is about the headless horseman!

- I got locked out of my car and apartment in the same day! I used a butter knife to get into the car (it’s a long story), and a credit card to get in the apartment. That felt good!

- When you order a water, why does every waitress on earth automatically put a gross nasty lemon in it? Grrrrr!

- I think we got all of the v8 juice out of the carpet!

- Our church was getting ready all week for ten Easter weekend services!

- It was amazing! Pastor Buddy did a re-cap about it… (Check it out)

- I got to go to all three campuses again…

- Northway Church – Colonie had it’s grand opening on Easter Sunday!

- They were packed with standing room only. I got to stay for most of the first service!

- Brian is doing an awesome job! He will post more about it today.

- We literally had hundreds accept Christ between all 3 campuses!

- I think we were the only church in the country to play How Great Thou Art and The Final Countdown by Europe in the the same service!

- I wish I didn’t have to work today! I’m pretty exhausted!

- We had some good friends come over last night for Leah’s award-winning Corn Chowder.

- Award winning? Yeah…she won first prize in the Kevin and Leah soup recipe throwdown! There was only one entry, but she really pulled it off!

- We actually practiced the ancient art of Pysanka. Go figure…

PARTING FACTS:

- The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is “uncopyrightable.”

- No piece of square dry paper can be folded more than 7 times in half. (Try it!)

- Floccinaucinihilipilification, the declaration of an item being useless, is the longest non-medical term in the English language.

- Virginia has more ghosts registered with the Ghost Research Society than any other state.

- Thomas Edison, light-bulb inventor, was afraid of the dark!

8 More To Go / V8 War Zone

We had our first two services of our Easter Weekend service “marathon” last night! I don’t want to give anything away yet, but there was one element in the services that I believe is one of the most creative and powerful things I have ever seen! It’s something so basic, but so thought provoking about what happens when we come to Christ. You have to try and make it this weekend! The rest of the service was amazing! The music never sounded better!

We had an interesting atmosphere at our Clifton Park campus last night! Our church is in a plaza right next to a popular night club that brings in many popular bands. Well, last night they had Third Eye Blindplaying. This means that on top of our service traffic, there were literally hundreds of people lining up outside to get into the concert. Oh…and it was like 35 degrees outside. Some people at the church decided to BE the church and wheel out a cart of coffee and hot chocolate to give to the freezing fans! Some of them came in to ask questions about the church, use the bathrooms, and get warm. I got to invite a bunch of teenagers to UNITED. We even had one of the band members from Third Eye Blind come in and check out our worship band doing their sound check! What a night!

v8juice.jpgNow I am getting ready to go to two more services tonight in Malta! It has been a good day so far except for spilling v8 juice all over our tan carpets and ivory couches!!!!! This wasn’t just a spill, it was like a V8 Tsunami came crashing down over our living room. After a quick run to Price Chopper, sore hands, and two rolls of paper towels, you can barely tell that our living room looked like a complete war zone! Ha Ha…I know what you are thinking…You think I spilled the juice! NOPE! It was LEAH!!! Yep…you read that right! It was LEAH! I think I just earned a get-out-of-jail free card for the next time I spill something! Believe me…I’ll need it!

Pre-Easter Weekend Thoughts

easter-1.jpgI can’t believe that Easter weekend is already here!

- Northway has 10 weekend services starting tonight! (see pics below)

- We are giving away concert tickets to whichever student brings the most friends!

- We will hit camp hard this weekend again at our camp booth!

- I can’t wait to get a white chocolate Easter bunny from Saratoga Sweets!

- No one seems to sell the white chocolate ones anymore. I’m with the 76% of people that eat the ears first. I really probably shouldn’t eat any though…

- Pysanka is a specific term used for the practice of Easter egg painting. I don’t paint Easter eggs, but if I did, then I would use that term!

- I am so glad that my “god” is THE GOD and that we get to celebrate this weekend!

easter-1.jpgeaster-1.jpg

easter-2.jpg

My Fault or the Dog’s Fault?

Okay…I collect a lot of “funny” videos and pictures. After all, I am hoping to some day start a clean website for funny pics and vids. That might have to do with the fact that I am a student pastor and used to also be a children’s pastor, but either way that means that I will probably post funny videos on here from time to time.

Well…I posted a “funny/scary” video a few days ago (the ghost post) and scared my mom half to death at 3:00 in the morning. Wait! Wait! Before you boycott my blog and refuse to be my friend, you must hear the context.

First of all, I posted a “warning for people that might scare easily”. My mom jumps if you even touch her shoulder. Second of all, you have to understand more about my parents dogs!

181757420307_0_bg.jpgI have three older siblings and as each one moved away, my parents got a dog, or so it seemed. Go figure! :) I guess that is a normal trend for parents. The first dog that replaced my older sister was the best dog that ever walked the earth. Really! He died a while back and I don’t want to talk about it. The second dog (dog on the left of pic with eyes closed because she thinks the camera will eat her) that they got was okay, but was scared of EVERYTHING! At one point I wanted to take her for an MRI to see if she had a brain. The latest dog (the drunk one laying down on the right) that they got walks into walls, falls down stairs, can’t sit without falling over, wakes my mom up a few times a night to go out (we will get to that in a second), and is constantly drugged up on meds so he doesn’t have seizures. Sad, right? My mom is a hero in the dog world…and the real world.

So…all that to say that the other night Willie (the drunk dog) woke my mom up as usual at 3:00 am to be let out. As the dog was out, my mom decided to check her e-mail…please remember that it’s in the middle of the night and she is half asleep. She saw that I posted a video on my blog and played it out of curiosity, totally ignoring my warning. My mom leaned in to see the “ghost” and then the scary guy jumped out. Oh…and the volume was all the way up on the computer. Let’s just say that I feel really bad.

She said that after she jumped and hit her head on the ceiling (okay maybe not the ceiling), she laughed harder than she has in a long time. I haven’t laughed hard like that since I heard that Willie (yep! that’s right, the drunk dog)  one day was running and stupidly ran straight into the deep end of the pool!

Mom, I am publicly apologizing for startling you so much! I will take full responsibility since the dog can’t even stand straight. :) Next time, just try to heed my video warning!