Friday, December 30, 2005
Ethiopian Hailu Negussie wins the 2005 Boston Marathon
Today I finished reading my Bible (NIV this year) from cover to cover. I set this goal last January when I struggled reading every day. It's hard to know what to read each day when you don't have a plan. Besides, I like having a plan. It helps me to stay disciplined and to know what I am supposed to read each and every day. It also provides a level of accountability because you know if you are on schedule - if you are using a schedule.
This coming year I am reading through The Message. Maybe you would like to join me. Read my next blog entry for some tips and Let's read through the Bible the year!
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105NIV
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Morgan, Mackenzie, and Allyson doing their Michelle Kwan Impersonation!
Today was "family day" and we had a great time. First, we headed to Iowa City (about 30 minutes away) to Coral Ridge Mall and started off with some ice skating - yes they have an ice rink right there in the mall! Andrew and Judy opted for the safer option of shopping and Judy scored some fantastic bargains on our new Winterberry dinnerware.
Then was lunch at the food court. Morgan wanted Sbarro's, Mackenzie/Andrew/Judy went for Taco Bell, and yours truly wanted Subway - and we all got it OUR way! It was a lot of fun and filling to!
Then it was back to CR for a movie ($3.75 for movies from 4-6pm) and we saw Cheaper by the Dozen 2. It was really funny and we laughed a lot! The 4pm showing was sold out so we had to wait until 4:45pm - GREAT! Upstairs we went for some skeeball and air hockey. The movie was great and made us laugh a lot. There were a couple of tears in the ole eyes a couple of times, but that's a subject for another blog someday.
Making memories. Spending time together. That's what family is all about. Have you had a family day recently?
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Eight years ago tonight Judy and I were at Marymount hospital welcoming the arrival of our fourth child, Mackenzie Noelle. And what a wonderful evening it was as we celebrated her birth. I had been up all night and the entire day - Judy had rested comfortably through the night. An hour after her birth I sat down on the floor and fell asleep - happy, proud, and whipped!
Mackenzie -we love you more than words can tell!
Meet our NCBC Equipping Staff! I know! Most of us are making a "funny face" but at least my beautifcul wife is smiling in this one! (Click on pic for slideshow)
(Click here for more pics by our Xpastor Kim Pagel)
A dream come true! I have the awesome privilege of working with the greatest group of people I have ever met. Now I know what you are thinking, "Tye's still honeymooning at New Covenant Bible Church." I've been told by veterans here at NCBC that it really is true - this place is the real deal. And of course, they know how to eat! We had a wonderful time sharing with one another and just spending time together. That's what we enjoy doing!
There's nothing like serving in a church where the staff "checks their individual agenda's at the door" and works together as a team. Each person is a committed team player. Together we are all working toward one common goal; building the kingdom of God.
Calling all full and part time vocational pastors/leaders! If your ministry lacks servant-leading team players who love one another and work together for one common goal, take a trip to Cedar Rapids, Iowa and we'll give you a grand tour.
live together in unity! Ps 133:1NIV
First of all, I got sick starting Friday night and it was a rough weekend for yours truly. As a result, I was in bed Christmas Eve and missed celebrating with my family at our church. I also missed out playing in the band for all the services – two on Saturday night and one of the two services Sunday. I did show up for opening presents Sunday morning, but laid low most of the day.
For the family, it was a fun day of sharing gifts and a really good day together. I got a new coffee pot and Judy got new Christmas dishes (really personal gifts, huh!). The kids fared pretty good as well.
Traditions? We enjoyed a Christmas dinner together (using our new dinnerware) and then watched football. I read almost half of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and I’ll probably finish it tomorrow. Today (Monday) we just hung out and relaxed.
Another Christmas has come and gone. It’s almost sad, in a way. But then again, it was another opportunity to be reminded that the King of kings, became a son of man to die on the cross for our sins. Jesus was born to die. Now, we can live. That’s what Christmas is all about.
Because we owed a debt we couldn’t pay.
Thank God for this gift, his gift. No language can praise it enough!
2Co 9:15 The Message
Friday, December 09, 2005
I never read the book - allegory is not my thing. Neither was Lord of the Rings. But this movie was really good and gave us a glimpse of the genius of C.S. Lewis who wrote the book upon which the movie was created. My wife and I went to a private showing of The Chronicles of Narnia this morning and it was very well done! The way I understand it the same special effects group that did Lord of the Rings also did this movie (see Weta Digital Ltd.) Filmed primarily in New Zealand (I think) the cinemaphotography is absolutely phenomenal and reminiscent of Lord of the Rings. The children are all from the UK (in real life) and they have gorgeous accents. The White Witch is played by Tilda Swinton who hails from Scotland and puts in a wonderful performance.
The best part was the allegory, even though I'm not good at that kind of thing. If you know the scriptures it was easy to tell what they were alluding to and what they were trying to illustrate. I especially like the part when Aslan "resurrects" and the stone cracks in two. The power of sin is broken and has been atoned by the sacrifice of Aslan.
Because the White Witch has taken over Narnia it is always winter there. But, word has it that Aslan has been seen and since his arrival winter is giving way to spring and summer. That's how I feel. Before the Lord came into my life, it was winter. When Jesus comes everthing is made new and your perspective on life changes.
Jesus came to die for our sins. Until then, it's always winter in Narnia. The white witch - satan - rules until the head of the serpent is bruised. Jesus was hung up for our hang ups. Have you received from him the free gift of eternal life?
Thursday, December 08, 2005
24 years ago this week I sat in a night club in Middletown Ohio playing 1st tenor sax in the Cecil Young Orchestra. We played all the oldies from the 1940’s when swing was king.
24 years ago I walked out of that Middletown club and gave my life back to the Lord and my career in jazz/studio music. It was a long drive home with more questions than answers, but I knew that God wanted me out of the clubs.
24 years ago I took my sax, placed it in the case, and laid it on the God’s altar for him to take. I NEVER dreamed that I would ever play big band music again, let alone in the church.
24 years later on the same weekend that I walked out of the night club I was back on the stage again, playing in a big band, for the glory of God!!! The Good News of the gospel was presented clearly through the drama and many prechristians heard the message.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord. Psalm 40:2-3NIV
Friday, December 02, 2005
Andrew and Stephanie (friend)
Andrew loves playing basketball and recently has become quite proficient in videographry. Let me explain. He started editing video in 9th grade and got really good at it. Then, he learned how to use special affects which we utilized in our last church. Now, he not only edits the video, he also films and does some acting as well.
He's a senior this year and is trying to decide what comes next in his life. I cannot tell you how thrilling it is for me to have a son. You're a cool kid Andrew!
I would like you to meet my wonderful daughter Morgan. She is a fascinating young lady God gave us some 12 years ago in a Cleveland hospital a little after 10pm on a Thursday night. (Actually, we arrived at the hospital a little before 10pm.) This year she decided to go out for volleyball and discovered that she has natural athletic skill! She took to v-ball like a fish to water.
Morgan also enjoys playing the flute. But I have to say that even more than all this, her favorite thing in life right now is her friends at New Covenant Bible Church in the cool middle school group. Hannah, Suzie, Brenda, and Morgan G. are among the many friends she has.
Morgan - we are very proud of you and thank God that he brought you into our lives!
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Allyson hugs her dad!
October 10, 1989 was a wonderful day in our lives as we welcomed a brand new baby girl into our family around noon in a Chattanooga, TN hospital. Allyson was born that day and has brought us MUCH joy over the years.
October 10, 2005 was Allyson's sweet 16 birthday and she requested a very special gift - a promise ring. What is a promise ring? It is a beautiful ring that is worn on the ring finger of the left hand symbolizing the person's commitment to sexual purity that will be replaced by a wedding ring some day. Pretty cool, huh!
We are so proud of our Allyson. As parents we were thrilled to present her with this ring and as you can see in the picture she was thrilled to receive it!
Mackenzie, Gurble, Bubbles, & Mrs. Pagel
My daughter Mackenzie (7) has two little "pets." She takes great pride in her two fish Gurble and Bubbles. Every morning she feeds them and they anxiously receive from their owner's gracious hand a tasty breakfast. I love watching her enjoy these two little creatures and to see the joy it brings to her.
I was just thinking. Do you think our Father in heaven gets joy out of providing for us and meeting our needs? When we receive from his gracious hand his provision for our lives I can just imagine the gleam he gets in his eye!
Well, since we were going to be gone for a week Mackenzie took the initiative to call for fish-sitters for Gurble and Bubbles. Mrs. Pagel was available so her and Mackenzie worked out an arrangement to care for her pets while we were out of town. Thanks Sharon for taking care of KK's fish. You are awesome!
Monday, November 28, 2005
Me and Dad (John Male)
This past weekend we visited our families in the Cincinnati Ohio area. We had Thanksgiving dinner with my family and then drove 5 miles to Judy's parent's house for dessert. We stayed with Judy's folks - they have a huge house. It was a wonderful opportunity to spend time with the people we love and for the grandchildren to see the grandparents.
Saturday, my father, John Male, was driving a shuttle to downtown Cincy so I went downtown to ride with him. It was great spending time with dad and cathing up on life stuff. You see, dad had been a meat cutter for almost 50 years. Since he has a bad leg from a motorcycle accident, retirement looked good at age 66, so he did just that.
Now, dad drives a bus for a major touring company. He has transported Michael Flatley and the Lord of the Dance Troupe. Driving a bus is what my dad was shaped by God to do - no doubt. He loves travel and people. Dad is having the time of his life and I couldn't be happier for him!
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Mercedes & Morgan
(Click on photo for slide show)
This week we are in Cleveland seeing our friends again. It has already been a wonderful time of reunions as we get to see some very close friends we haven't seen in a few months. Pictured above is my daughter Morgan (12) and her friend Mercedes. It has already been wonderful to see my pastor Bill Cunningham and his wife Barb. What great friends!!!
But there's a catch - we have to say goodbye to them AGAIN! I really don't like goodbyes. On Wednesday morning we will pack up and head to our family's house in Cincinnati and again we will experience that sense of loss again.
The good news? One day we will all be reunited in heaven as believers in Jesus Christ and we will spend eternity together never having to say goodbye again. I am beginning to long for that day more than I ever have before. Are you? See you in heaven!
Tom and Me
Yesterday we traveled to Cleveland Ohio to visit family and friends. We arrived at my best friend's (see pic!) around 9:15pm Sunday night and had a great time talking about life and catching up on what is going on with our families. Tom helped me through one of the worst times of my life giving me guidance, friendship, and a listening ear.
Everyone needs a friend like Tom. I hope you have one.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Tye, Tom, Jane, Christine, Ed
At NCBC we are wrapping up 7 weeks of our fall spiritual growth journey called Impact: Connecting Your Community to Christ. We learned that Jesus reached out to the down and out, the immoral, the unlovely. We had nearly 80 adult small groups and 20 high school groups meeting each week. Each group was encouraged to find someone to demonstrate the love of God to by loving on them, meeting a need, etc.
On Saturday our small group divided up and delivered two Thanksgiving baskets complete with all the fixins for a meal plus some stock items as well. The family was absolutely overwhelmed and we even had the opportunity to pray with them. It was such an encouragement both to her and to us as well!
Friday, November 18, 2005
The Amazing Race
(Click on picture for slideshow)
This past weekend we had our fall men's retreat at Camp Wyoming. It was a great time to be together as men and to talk about things men care about. I had the awesome privilege of sharing three talks with the men around the theme of the Amazing Race. Here's a brief overview:
Friday night we talked about Rejection and Redemption. We shared about how we may have been disqualified from the Christian race through unbelief or life circumstances.
On Saturday morning we talked about Reconciliation and Romance. What we need is a DIVORCE! Not a divorce from our mate, but our current marriage. I challenged the men to give thier wives a new husband and see if they would get a new marriage. We even shared practical ways to romance our wives and to love them as Christ loved the church and gave himself....
Saturday afternoon we wrapped up an incredible weekend with our last session Renewed and Refocused. Our goal is the prize of our heavenly calling. One day we will be rewarded in heaven for our work here on earth.
Thanks to Jeremy and Brian for putting together some fantastic challenge games which were a great hit!
Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave.... Eph. 5:25NIV
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
In Lead Like Jesus we are learning that in order to be great leaders, we must be great servants.
But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are brothers. - Quote from Jesus in Matt. 23:8 NIV
What is a Rabbi? Today it would be a professor, or Ph.D. Did you hear that? Jesus told us not to allow anyone to call us "Professor" or "Doctor." You might say to yourself, these titles are important to get people to listen to me when I teach. How can I get people to follow me without the credentials? (Lead Like Jesus, Ken Blanchard, p 59.) I want people to follow me for who I am, not what I have done or accomplished.
The greatest among you will be your servant. Quote from Jesus in Matt. 23:11 NIV
So, just call me Tye. If I ever get a doctor's degree, I hope you never find out! If you must call me by some title, then let it be "servant."
Are you all worked up by now? Well, first of all, I am NOT the benevolent dictator of my wife - just a partner and a servant to her. I am speaking about our children at this point. I get the best seat in the living room, the dining table, and the best bed when we travel. I figure that the children will someday have their own families and they can then be the benevolent dictators of their family.
NO MORE! Today is a NEW DAY! It's easy to be a servant leader at work, but it is not so easy at home. But, that is what Jesus did. He was a servant leader all the time.
So, on the way home from work I stopped at the music store and bought my daughter reeds for her saxophone that she asked for months ago. I'm planning on sitting on the floor a lot so my children can enjoy the better seats. I want to get hooked on serving my family. I truly want to lead like Jesus.
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: ...made himself nothing. Taking the form of a servant...humbled himself. Excerpts from Philippians 2:5-8 NIV
Sunday, October 23, 2005
I'm kinda dense, so I'm a sucker for these "puzzles." The worse part is that I can never figure them out and I feel so stupid when someone points out the solution to me. Has this ever happened to you?
Nobody likes to be tricked or fooled. Yet I believe that there is an Enemy who's purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy, we must be careful not to fall prey to his evil tactics. The Bible says that he transforms himself into an angel of light. In other words, Satan gives the appearance that his plan and methods are good. Yet we should not be fooled because as believers we should be aware of his schemes and devices. When sin looks good to us we have to remember that it is like a mirage, an illusion. In the end it will only destroy us.
Psychic Mind Reader? Click here to check it out. It is quite captivating, but trust me, it is merely an illusion. See if you can figure it out and let me know if you do. In the meantime, don't let the Enemy deceive you. Keep your eyes on Jesus and live for him!
Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! Hebrews 12:2-3 The Message
Monday, October 17, 2005
John's Disciples Sent to Jesus
Have you ever had doubts about God? Have you ever doubted his goodness? Well, if you have you are in good company. Often circumstances have a way of clouding our view of God. Check this out.
John the Baptizer (he wasn't a Baptist by denomination - I threw that in for my Baptist friends!) was thrown into prison and was cutoff from the world. Meanwhile Jesus was out healing people, preaching the gospel, and demonstrating by his deeds that he was clearly the Messiah. But John was cutoff from the "press" and was beginning to wonder if Jesus was truly the Christ.
He sent two of his disciples to enquire of the Lord if he was in fact "...the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?" (Lk 7:19 NIV) Was he feeling sorry for himself? I don't think so. I think he was asking a very simple question: Is my life counting for something significant? Am I in prison for a just cause? If so, I don't mind suffering. Just please tell me - has my life counted for something of eternal value?
John's doubts led him to ask questions of the Lord. Let me encourage you today to allow your doubts to ask questions of the Lord. He can take it! (Besides, he already knows your thoughts) The catch is this: we have his promises all thoughout the Bible ensuring us that he loves us, will provide for us and will meet our needs (not necessarily our wants). Then, face your doubts honestly and allow the Lord to meet you where you are. And know this too that the Lord has a good plan for your life and ultimately our reward is not here on earth, but in heaven.
Since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Col 3:24 NIV
Monday, October 10, 2005
My daughter Mackenzie horseback riding
This past Saturday was a busy day around our house. On top of that, our church (www.newcovenantbible.org) was having a nationally known speaker from Bryan College in Dayton, TN John Stonestreet speaking at the church on topics I am very interested in. I had to allow my personal priorities dictate what I should do. What are your priorities? Here's two of mine.
My first priority is God. More than ever I am realizing how dependent on God I am and how much I need to continue cultivating a deep relationship with him. My time alone with the Creator and Sustainer of the universe is something I constantly work on.
My second priority is family. My family and I have just walked through two of the most difficult years of our lives. Since January 2004 we had to look for a new ministry position which caused a lot of difficulty. We felt rejected and betrayed. We circled the wagons and I spent a lot of time focusing on ministering to my wife and children as we looked for another church to serve.
Having our priorities in order will help us as we try to juggle the many responsibilities of life. In a world where we often have many good choices to choose from, it helps guide us to the best choices.
The picture of Mackenzie, our 7 year old daughter? Well, instead of attending a really wonderful seminar that would have served me and my career, I'm happy to share that I took my daughter to go get a pumpkin and a pony ride. I'm glad I did.
Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. Mark 10:42-44NIV