Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Yesterday I took Mackenzie, her friend Kiara, and Allyson bowling. We had a great time and I really enjoyed the smoke free environment! Click here for some pics. There were three other NCBC families there and you'll see them in the slideshow.
Afterwards, Judy met us at HyVee for Chineese as we continue to celebrate Mackenzie's birthday.
Click on either the audio or video next to my name. Let me know what you think! Tye out.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
I came up with the title "Get out of the Church" when I was at Willow Creek's Small Group Conference because I have come to the conclusion that we have to keep reminding people that the mission of the church is to make disciples, not huddle and have Bible studies even though Bible study and fellowship with other believers is important. Here is the outline:
I have been the ministry full time now for almost 18 years and over those years my contact with unchurched people had become insignificant over the years.
· Ministry obligations – earning my wings
· Second job to pay off student loans and put kids in private school
· Separatist mindset
Don’t get me wrong. I engaged several of my neighbors in meaningful relationships whenever I could and even invited them to church on occasion. Then there was the dry cleaner who I had befriended. But most of the time I felt guilty for the time I DID spend with these folks.
You see, I know that I am supposed to be engaging the culture and demonstrating the love of Jesus to people. I know this as a fact, but trying to get it to happen in the real world is often difficult. What happens when the church leaves the building?
In the pursuit of life, especially in our fast paced society, it is easy to get tunnel vision and we are tempted to wall ourselves in because of the demands of life. Think about it. Our generation is consumed with consuming and providing as many opportunities for our families as we can while many of us would have difficulty giving you the names of our neighbors and what they do for a living.
When we get together with people, they are already believers and while this is good and healthy, we find that it is work to move beyond our comfortable surroundings and engage the culture around us.
If you want to measure how you are doing in this area, try to list the names of your neighbors and a couple significant details about them, like where they work or the names of their children.
Prayer Care and Share is a great idea – for everyone else! But if we are going to embrace a lifestyle of PCS we are going to have to get our hands dirty and associate with some folks people who we may not agree with. We may have to leave our “Fantasy Christian Island” and go to the mainland in order to impact our world with the truth claims of Christ.
What happens when the church leaves the building?
A Question - An expert in Jewish Law approaches Jesus and asks him a question: What must I do to inherit eternal life?
· An inquisition
· Jesus replies with a question because he knew:
· Remember, Jesus is not telling him how to earn eternal life. Eternal life is a gift.
· People who have eternal life should reflect these values found in the law.
Application – People often ask us questions in order to test us. We have to remember that questions come out of our own context and pain.
The Answer - The scribe answered Jesus right out of the Law from Deuteronomy and Leviticus proving that he truly knew the law.
· v27 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind.”
· v27 “…love your neighbor as yourself.”
And just like in the game of Jeopardy, the appropriate dollar amount was added to the scribes board for giving the right answer! But he had a little question about this whole matter.
The Qualifier – who is my neighbor?
· v29 But the expert, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
The scribe wanted to feel justified and if he could get Jesus to put some parameters on what it means to love your neighbor as yourself he could “feel justified.
Application – I have discovered that if I tell someone what to do based on my experience and through the lens of my paradigm. This is dangerous at best. Coaching technique.
The Real Answer
10:30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him up, and went off, leaving him half dead. 10:31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, but when he saw the injured man he passed by on the other side. 10:32 So too a Levite, when he came up to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 10:33 But a Samaritan who was traveling came to where the injured man was, and when he saw him, he felt compassion for him. 10:34 He went up to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 10:35 The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever else you spend, I will repay you when I come back this way.’
10:36 Which of these three do you think became a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” 10:37 The expert in religious law said, “The one who showed mercy to him.” So Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.”
Remember, Jesus is answering the scribe’s question “who is my neighbor?”
The players - A wounded traveler. “A man, two Jewish leaders, a Samaritan
· A wounded traveler – v30 robbers stripped him, beat him and left him for half dead. That is all we know about the traveler. What we do know is that this man is clearly in need!
· Priest – v31 Aaronic priest who had most likely been serving in the temple.
· Levite – v 32 A descendant of Levi who assisted the Aaronic priests in the temple.
Note: It is assumed that the man was a fellow Jew and the basis of the law both of these men had an obligation to stop and help their fellow countryman.
· Samaritan man – v33 The Samaritans were despised by the Jews because their mixed Jewish and Gentile ancestry.
Love your neighbor
The Samaritan took a huge risk to stop and help this wounded Jew.
· He could have been attacked by the same group of robbers.
· Someone might have seen him with a pagan!
· He loved someone who potentially hated him.
· This act of love cost him time and money.
Application - What happens when the church leaves the building? If we choose to “love our neighbor as ourselves” it could become messy. We might be required step out of our comfort zone and take the PCS gamble. I can tell you that it is not easy to mix it up with “pagans.” They might use offense language. They might reject us. They might not show up to the big band concert if we invite them. But it is the right thing to do!
The Lesson – Jesus asked the lawyer a simple question:
36 Which of these three do you think became a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” 37 The expert in religious law said, “The one who showed mercy to him.” So Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.”
Congratulate the congregation – Flood relief tell - story of jukebox (benevolence, hands on help), Eight Days of Hope, SOS (Serve Our Schools), SWAT team, Christmas benevolence, etc.
But there are too many people to reach “corporately.” Each one of us must be about loving our neighbors!
This is really Prayer, Care and Share. This is one of the easiest concepts about the Christian life to understand, but one of the hardest to actually work out. When Jesus was asked which of the commandments were the most important he singled out two and said that they sum up all the others:
· Worship – love the Lord with all you have and worship him alone
· Fellowship – love your neighbor like you love yourself
Most of us get the worship thing. The difficulty lies in loving your neighbor. And some neighbors are harder than others!
Some little ideas
· Try little things. (hold a door, offer a smile)
· Pray that God would show you opportunities to demonstrate love.
· Keep an open heart to possible situations
· Give your waitress an enormous tip
· Send a, email, text or card
Some bigger ideas
· Snowblower ministry (slide)
· Big Screen TV ministry (slide)
· Community projects, clubs, etc.
· Find a tangible need and meet it (grass cutting)
Some huge ideas
· Start an organization like Eight Days of Hope
I want to personally challenge you to take God’s command to love your neighbor as yourself seriously and set a goal for yourself for 2009.
Take 2 minutes and write down 1-3 people you want to tangibly demonstrate the love of Christ and brainstorm ideas on how to you can do this.
What if it is true? What if the PCS concept works? What if you demonstrated love to someone and they crossed the line of faith?
Jaicey and Mackenzie celebrate
11 years ago today a precious little girl came into this world, Mackenzie Noelle Male. We loved the name Mackenzie Noelle and since she was born two days after Christmas we knew that Noelle would have to be part of her name.
Mackenzie received a pink desk chair, primarily due to the fact that she takes ours! Click here for a slide show of this evening's festivities. Jaicey was able to join us this evening.
Mackenzie is our fourth child, yet she exhibits a lot of the traits of a first born. She is a strong leader and has great critical thinking skills. She is able to intuitively dissect a task into parts, create a list and delegate responsibility. I'm describing an 11 year old! Yet, with the leadership gift I understand that the greatest leader is the greatest servant.
I thank God for his wonderful gift of Mackenzie. I love you Kenzie! Dad out.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
This year we made the trek to Cincinnati and had some awesome time with our families. Christmas Eve evening we spent time with my mom and dad, Tim, & Scott (brothers), and Jaime and Katie their kids respectively. You can click on the pic for a slideshow.
Merry Christmas to everyone! This is the traditional day we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, although most are certain it was the first week of January. As we prepare to share gifts with one another I always take a moment to remind myself that without the birth of a little baby in Bethlehem some 2000 years ago my life would be meaningless.
Jesus Christ has fused my life with meaning, purpose and value. You see, in his death, burial, and resurrection I received new life and eternal life at the same time. I have someone besides myself to live for and some day when I escape this earth's surly bonds I will spend eternity with the one who gave everything for me.
I hope that this Christmas that Christ's birth will remind you of what life is really all about and that we live well when we live for something besides ourselves. Merry Christmas.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I often get these emails that manage around my spam folder that alerts you to the fact that some wealthy individual wants to bequeath you some major dough. I received this one yesterday.
Subject: A sincere request for help
Dear Friends, my name is Ndugood. I am a wealthy Nigerian prince who loves the jazz of music. I am seeking your help to move $200,000,000 from my checking account here in Nigeria to the United States. I too love the jazz of music and am planning to flee to America to open many jazz clubs at which I would like you to perform. You will receive $42,000 a night,plus a meal.
My new "Tribal Village Vanguard" clubs will be of great success and you will become rich like the rest of American jazz musicians. I have already applied for building code exemptions to allow thatched stages and the spearing of live animals.
But I desperately need your help. My tribe, the Swindlisi, a peaceful, jazz-loving people, has been horribly oppressed by the ruling military junta, which despises the jazz of music. My father, an exiled king and booking agent, was recently imprisoned under the draconian "three gigs you're out" law. And now I must flee my beloved country with all of my improbable wealth. But I need help in moving it. I have so much money that it will not fit in the allotted two checked bags and one carry-on. I am therefor want to transer the money through your ATM system. (The Nigerian ATM system cannot exchange international currencies; it only converts "antelope to money").
So please to just provide me with your full name and address, social security number, bank account and PIN numbers. And you will become incredibly (literally) rich from playing many jazz gigs.
(Note: normal Nigerian Musician's Union rules apply: three-hour performances, two 15-minute breaks allowed, musicians to provide their own mosquito nets, one open fire per bandstand, one free meal plus anything you kill).
Act now. The first ten musicians to respond will receive a free copy of the Nigeria's Greatest Jazz Hits CD, by our beloved 'Disoriented' Gillespie Band, which contains the hits:
The Night Has A Thousand Flies
Goodbye Shrunken Head
Here's That Rainy Season
Just Tribesmen (Lovers No More)
Take the 'A' Trail
When I Fall In Quicksand
Leopard Skins and Moonbeams
Almost Like Being In Lagos
Sunny Side of the Goatpath
I Didn't Know What Century It Was
Thank you for your many help.
Your inordinately wealthy Nigerian brother, Prince Ndugood.
Tye here. This story has me pretty jazzed. Tye out.
For years now I have had a little difficulty understanding the whole Santa thing strictly based on the science of the matter. I read this article that Dave Kvindlog posted on Facebook and thought it might shed a little light on the matter. Enjoy.
THE PHYSICS of SANTA CLAUS’ SLEIGH RIDE
2) There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. BUT since Santa doesn't (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total - 378 million according to Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million homes. One presumes there's at least one good child in each.
3) Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 822.6 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house. Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we >are now talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75-1/2 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours, plus feeding and etc. This means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second - a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour.
4) The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized Lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that "flying reindeer" (see point #1) could pull TEN TIMES the normal amount, we cannot do the job with eight, or even nine. We need 214,200 reindeer. This increases the payload - not even counting the weight of the sleigh - to 353,430 tons. Again, for comparison – this is four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth.
5) 353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance - this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as space crafts re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy. Per second. Each. In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.
In conclusion - The physics of Santa's Christmas eve journey are a little beyond our present technology levels. Who knows maybe someday we will figure out how he does it.....
Merry Christmas everyone! Tye out.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
(Looking out my office window)
I came into my office early this morning after a breakfast meeting and was enjoying some time in the word when I realized how beautiful the view was out the window so I thought I would share it with you.
This got me to thinking that we often walk right by "God moments" in our quest for the "next thing." Here are a few things that I have to intentionally stop and thank God for:
- Great neighbors
- A great job/ministry
- The gift of leadership - it is just that, a gift
- A wonderful wife and family
- Jazz music - seriously
- Air in my lungs
- A mind to think with
- A motorized carriage with heat
- A home and stuff in it
- The gift of God - Jesus
- An incredible church ministry and church family
- Good coffee
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Chris offers a list of good vs. not-so-good leader characteristics.
Good leadership vs. Bad Leadership
1. Passionate about one’s job vs. It is just a job
2. Values one’s team vs. Has employees
3. Knows one’s team vs. Should not be personal at work
4. Takes time to develop their strengths vs. Focuses on their weakness
5. Gives people a chance to fail vs. Controls every decision
6. Takes time to reward good work vs. It is their job
7. Click here to read the other six.
Tye here. So, how did you do? Let me know. Tye out.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Needless to say, they eventually let me go unharmed.
When I saw this article today it made me think of that day.
MIRAMAR, Fla. – Police say a pizza delivery man fought back with the one weapon he had handy when a gun was pulled on him in a stickup: A large, hot pepperoni pizza.
Delivery man Eric Lopez Devictoria, 40, flung the steaming pie at the gunman, buying time as he ran for safety, police said.
At least one shot was fired as Devictoria fled, but the deliveryman wasn't hurt and was able to quickly call police, according to authorities.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I read these words from the The Message bible and thought I would share them with you today:
Love never gives up
Love cares more for others than for self
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have
Love doesn't strut
Doesn't have a swelled head
Doesn't force itself on others
Isn't always "me first"
Doesn't fly off the handle
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others
Doesn't revel when others grovel
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth
Puts up with anyuthing
Trusts God always
Always looks for the best
Never looks back
But keeps going to the end.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 The Message
Let me encourage you to pick out a couple of these phrases and determine how you are going to love someone based on what this passage says? Be specific. Let me know how it goes. Tye out.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Last Sunday night I figured that there would be a low turn out because of Thanksgiving weekend, so I asked if we could have a party (old school "fellowship") at our house. Since I am a terrible party planner I decided to just wing it and we wound up having Skyline Chili for everyone. Click here to read a post about our fave chili in the whole wide world.
Click here for a slideshow of our par-tay!
I saw this video recently from ABC News "Person of the Week" that features Burt Brady who goes to the Dallas/Fort Worth airport to welcome home up to 100 veterans who are returning for some R & R. He went to the airport 300 times last year. If you are ever in the Dallas area you might consider heading on over to welcome home our heroes. Click on Welcome Home a Hero for more information. Enjoy the video! Tye out.
Today I am remembering those who gave their lives that tragic day 67 years ago in Pearl Harbor.
According to Wikipedia (I know - keep your comments to yourself):
The casualty list includes 2,335 servicemen and 68 civilians killed, with 1,178 wounded. Included are 1,104 men aboard the Battleship USS Arizona killed after a 1,760-pound air bomb penetrated into the forward magazine causing catastrophic explosions.
This attack brought the USA into a war with Italy, Japan and Germany, a war that would eventually cost the lives of some 600,000 soldiers. Yet, the Allies won.
I hope our new president has the wisdom to know what to do Iraq. I hope he supports our troops and pushes for a "win" in that country. While you are remembering our fallen war heros, perhaps you could say a prayer for those serving today, those who have served in the past, and those who made it home but were injured. Tye out.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
I follow a prayer outline from Family Life Publishing for my wife and it concludes with a simple prayer for me as her husband. Perhaps you would like to say this prayer along with me today:
Father in heaven. help me to be the man my wife needs me to be today. I know that I cannot meet her every need - only you can do that - but help me to always be caring and attentice toward her. Help me to be sensitive to her concerns and to provide for her as I ought. Enable me to listen to what she says, and to always be courteous and thoughtful toward her and encouraging to her in all her efforts. Help me always to be alert to her and defend her against harm or insult. Please give me the will and energy to share my heart and my thoughts with her, and to tell her the things that seem obvious and self-evident to me but may not be clear to her at all - help me to be kind, appreciative, and fun to live with. Amen. (Excerpt from How a Man Prays for his Family by John Yates.)
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Jdimytai Damour was working at Walmart. This is really sad.
I was just watching the news when I heard about Mr. Damour who was working at Walmart was trampled to death by shoppers trying to get in the door at 5 AM for the best deals. Click here for more info.
This is so sad. Maybe you could pause a moment and say a prayer for this young man's family, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and parents who will celebrate Christmas with one less person at the table. This is sad.
He gave his life for the "me" generation. He gave his life for consumerism. He gave his life in the name of "the person with the most toys when he dies wins." This is sad.
Followers of Christ have a different set of morals we are supposed to follow. Jesus put it this way:
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions use their authority over them. It must not be this way among you! Instead whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. Matthew 20:25-27 NET Bible
Back in the day I was one of those lining up at 5:30 AM to do my Christmas shopping, but I have to admit I found it very unpleasant and difficult to "fight my way" through the doors. I haven't been back since.
Take a minute with me and imagine a world where people see themselves as servants of everyone else? I just came back from SE Asia and I saw a little slice of this with my own eyes. The Asians are excellent at serving others, so much to the point that when I arrived back in Minneapolis I was taken back by the rudeness of people. Tye out.
Lord, help me to serve people rather than seeking to be served. It is not always easy so please give me the strength to do so. Amen.
Friday, November 28, 2008
My cousin Cindy and I try to get together whenever I am in town, but this time I didn't think there was time so I didn't even call her. Well, she called my parents when I was there and when she fould out we were in town she wanted to get together. So, we carved out a few minutes to hang out at Panera and catch up with one another. We had an awesome time as usual. Tye out.
Pictured on the Jumbotron - Erica, Andrew, Shelley (Judy's brother), and Judy. cool
This afternoon the Nickloes clan headed on downtown on their annual trek to see the Christmas train display at the former Cincinnati Gas and Electric building at Main and 4th. The train layout is an amazing O-guage model that is set up every year since 1946. You can see more about the layout at www.duke-energy.com/train. I took a ton a pics because I continue to this day to be enamoured by trains of all sizes. Click here to see my pics.
Then we walked one block over to Fountain Square where an outdoor ice rink is set up and the kids did some ice skating. Yours truly slipped on over to Starbucks for a delicious beverage.
At the outdoor skating rink there was someone taking pics and then they were being displayed on the jumbotron. Click here for pics.
Then we headed on to Skyline Chili for some of the world's best chili! I'm not sure why, but I can't ever remember it tasting as good as it did tonight. Click here for pics of Skyline.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
"What doesn't destroy you will only make you stronger."
I would add "if you allow it to make you stronger" to the above statement.
So, here goes my list, in bullet points as usual:
- Thankful for my salvation in Christ
- For my wife of 23+ years and that she is able to pursue her dreams
- My four incredible kids and a future daughter-in-law, Erica.
- New Covenant Bible Church - I love serving there!
- The incredible bounty we enjoy: house, cars, hobbies, lots of extras. I think we could do with A LOT less.
- Opportunities to play jazz music in the community (Iowa Vanguard Jazz Collective, CR Jazz, others)
- NCBC - opportunity to lead men's ministries and small groups. Can it get any better than this!
- Food on the table
- Good neighbors
- A hope and a future
...give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV
Friday, November 21, 2008
CR Jazz is hosting Fareed Haque Saturday night, November 22, at 7:30 PM in Ballentyne Auditorium on the Kirkwood College campus. We rehearsed with Fareed tonight and he is an incredible guitarist who is also a really nice guy. I took a few shots of the rehearsal as well as some video. Click on the pic for some pics of CR Jazz rehearsing.
It should be a good concert. I hope. Tye out.
On Sunday prior to leaving I had the opportunity to speak at Crossroads International Church, the church Rick Griffith founded just two years ago. I shared a message about servant leadership based on the model of Jesus. I met many new friends there and had an awesome time meeting so many people from different countries. I met Shannon Sandquist who is from Cedar Falls, Iowa and knows a few people I know at NCBC.
Can I tell you about the flights? I woke up at 3 AM Monday morning and caught a taxi at 3:30 arriving at the Singapore airport around 4 AM. Singaporeans pride themselves on efficiency and let me tell you they were efficient AND friendly. I can't say the same for Northwest Airlines when I arrived in Minneapolis. The signs were confusing and the attendants were rude. Welcome back to the States!
The jet lag has been really tough this week, just like everyone warned. It has been a very busy week with meetings every night except Thursday. I am hoping that by the weekend I will be back on schedule. Tye out.