Thursday, February 28, 2008

Body for Life

About eight years ago a friend handed me a book called Body for Life. I was about 25 pounds overweight, out of shape, and feeling bad. Further, I ate like a garbage disposal. It wasn't a pretty picture. John Milner let me borrow the book the first week of June and after reading I decided I could actually do this easy program of fitness and nutrition.

Bill Phillips presents a fitness program of cardio and weight training that is more aerobic than anything else. And, you work out in the morning, on an empty stomach and then you wait for an hour before eating. This causes your body's metabolism to go up! Three times a week you do weight training, and three times a week its cardio.

The diet part is similar to a diabetic diet. You eat a serving size of carb and one serving of protein once every 2-3 hours throughout the day. And you use your fist or open palm to measure a serving. Sound easy? It is!

I started the program in June and I weighed a hefty 172 pounds. Four months later on Thanksgiving I weighed in at 146 pounds and could bench press 185 pounds!

I have slipped over the past year and a half and so I am getting back to the program and I'm loving it! I've already lost eight pounds and hope for about eight more. I'll let you know how it goes. Tye out.

General George Patton quote of the week

"Moral courage is the most valuable and usually the most absent characteristic in men."- General George S. Patton, Jr

The broken road

As I wrapped up the last blog entry, I was thinking about this whole embracing faith thing and how we wound up here in Iowa to begin with. Here are some of my random musings on the subject.

Last night I was driving home from an appointment and had some thoughts about the past three or four years. I wondered why we had to come to Iowa on such a broken road. I'm not bitter, but every now and then I actually give it some thought.

I am 200% positive that God wanted us to move to Iowa and to serve at NCBC - no doubt. This move has enhanced my family's life, my life and ministry, and has shown us what healthy ministry looks like. Our kids are doing great here in Cedar Rapids and the church has been good for them as well. You might not know it, but things were so bad at our last church that I had to instruct my family to find another church to attend where they would be loved and cared for.

But why the broken road?

Driving on Iowa roads right now is downright awful. There are huge clumps of ice and it's like driving on moguls on a ski slope so you have to slow down to a practical crawl and select your course carefully in order to keep from bottoming out or breaking something on the car.

Sometimes this is the way God works. The road gets all weird and hard to navigate and you have to slow to a crawl and trust him! You can't get in a hurry or else you will wind up crashing.

At First Baptist my pace slowed to a virtual crawl as we waited on him every day for direction, especially when the "road" was in terrible shape. It was a lonely time as well, yet I sensed the presence of my Savior on a daily basis.

Three years later we are still dealing with some of the financial repercussions of the move. Why? I don't know. I even think maybe we did something wrong - but I don't think we did. What I think is that God wants us to be in a place where we have to trust him for every single thing. That's my embracing faith challenge today - trust him. Tye out.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 NIV

Embracing Faith devo #17 - Jesus prays for me!

Click here to read John Herder's email devo for today.

Today's passage is right in the middle of what is called "the intercessory prayer of Jesus." In John 17 we find recorded Jesus' prayer where he prays not only for his disciples but also for everyone who would eventually believe which includes you and I!

Jesus prays that believers would be one as the the Trinity is one; God the father, God the son, and God the Holy Spirit - three, yet one.

How does this flesh out today? First of all, believers can experience unity when they are like-minded in purpose. The church's mission is extremely clear - make disciples. We are unified when we are fulfilling the great commission.

Second, believers can experience unity when we are loving one another. We are commanded to love one another and by doing this we can experience unity. This doesn't mean that I agree with everyone, but it does mean that I love them as Christ would love them.

Today's embracing faith challenge for me is remember that the greatest thing I can do is to love others and share the good news of the gospel.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Embracing Faith Devo #16

Today's devo writer is Pat Rieck and you can read her article by clicking here.

Here are my thoughts:

Our passage for today is the "the Great Commission" passage in Matthew 28:19-20 where Jesus tells the disciples to spread the good news (gospel) to the entire world:
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 28:20 teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 NET Bible

What a job for this little band of rag-tag, ragamuffin disciples to pull off! Evangelize the world!!! But then Jesus added that little phrase right there at the end, "And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Jesus promised his presence to them as they took on this monumental task.

The same commission is valid today for believers in 2008. And the same promise is available as well - Jesus' personal presence. If you want to experience the presence of Jesus today, try sharing the good news with someone.

And he is with us as we embrace faith on a journey to relocate in order to fulfill the Great Commission. Tye out.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Embracing Faith Devo #15

Click here to read Kim Pagel's devo for today. Kim is the executive pastor at NCBC.

Today's passage is a familiar one: Ephesians 4:12-16. Once again Paul uses the analogy of the body and this time he talks about how the "offices" (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastor-teachers) were given to equip the believers for ministry. That is why I am called an "equipping pastor" at NCBC. While we may do ministry, we do not lead ministry. Our job is to equip believers and empower leaders.

The phrase that struck me this morning was the one in verse 16:

From him the whole body grows, fitted and held together through every supporting ligament.

As I am getting back to a work out regimen I am being reminded how important it is to have strong ligaments before your build muscle mass. Strong muscles will only hurt weak ligaments.

In the church, strong ligaments is the vision of the church and the amount of unity the church has regarding that vision. And at NCBC we are strong in that area and it shows. The second thing I think about is our love for one another. Our church is strong in this as well. Without the "love" factor, a strong church in mission, vision, and values would be quite legalistic. Not at NCBC!

My take away for today is that as I am trying to embrace faith I have to be open to God working in a way that I cannot see nor can I think of. With eyes of faith I am trusting God to do something I cannot do, cannot comprehend, cannot dream of, and something that has probably never entered my mind. Tye out.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Embracing Faith Devo #14

Ed Luebe wrote today's Embracing Faith Devotional and you can read it by clicking here. Ed and I serve together on our Men's Fraternity leadership team and he, Christine and I were in the same small group together.

Today's passage is a very familiar one in 1 Corinthians 12 where Paul makes the analogy of the body to the church. While the body has many different parts (eyes, ears, arms, feet) it is still one body and members belong and are significant. The same goes for the church body - many members, yet one body.

We have a tendency to think that those who have public gifts (singing, teaching, tooting their own horn like me!) are somehow more important than those who have less public gifts (praying, passing the offering plate, making snacks/crafts for the children).

This ain't true.

As far as Embracing Faith goes, I have taken from this that no financial gift is insignificant. Our financial picture is much less than the best right now and for us Embracing Faith will be just that. I have to quit thinking that I wish I could do more, but rather be thankful that I can what I can do - with God's help. Tye out.

For just as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body – though many – are one body, so too is Christ. I Corinthians 12:12

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Not feeling too good

I finally succumbed to the flu virus and I have been home since yesterday trying to get some rest, vit C and lots of fluids. I haven't felt up to writing much so I'll get back to the Embracing Faith topic when I feel better. Tye out.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Pinch Hitter at New Covenant Bible Church

Our senior pastor/teaching pastor wasn't feeling well all weekend and when I came in to listen to the 8 AM service he sounded pretty rough. We had already decided to cancel the service at Washington High School where I was the campus pastor for the day so I had some time on my hands. The weather was really bad out and the whole city practically shut down.

Well, I offered to listen to his 9:20 AM message and make notes so in the event he didn't think he could get through the 11 AM service I would be able to jump in and "pinch hit."

Btw, this is something the campus pastor does every week just in case the video doesn't work for some reason.

Pastor Bob asked me to share the message at 11 AM and it went pretty good thanks to his amazing outline, clarity, and excellent thought flow. Besides, I had already spent quite a bit of time on the passage Saturday as I was doing my Embracing Faith Journey Guide.

You can click here to listen to the message. Tye out.

Embracing Faith Update #9

One should think about us this way – as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Now what is sought in stewards is that one be found faithful. 1 Corinthians 4:1-2 NET Bible

In today's passage Paul tells us that there is one requirement for a steward - faithfulness. In verse one he states that we are "servants of Christ." The word for servant here is an interesting one: hyperetas. This word differs from diakonoi (servant/deacon) in that it stresses subordination and responsibility to a superior.

The next important word is "steward." This word refers to someone who owns nothing but is entrusted with someone else's "stuff."

As a Christ-follower, we are first and foremost servants of Christ - subordinate to him in every way. Then we are "stewards" of everything God has given us: time, talent, talent, and treasure.

I have to lay everything at Christ's feet every single day. Not a thing I own belongs to me; I am simply a steward of his resources. With this in mind, today my challenge is to be faithful in our finances in every way and to be careful not to want more than the Lord has given me. Tye out.

Btw, you can read the online devotional by Jeff Akey today by clicking here.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Embracing Faith update #8

I wrote the email devotional for Monday so I'm not going to repeat here. You can click here or on the graphic, or even the title to go to the Embracing Faith Blog. Tye out.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

General George Patton quote of the week

"If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn't thinking."
- General George Patton Jr

Embracing Faith Devo #7

I have often wondered and debated the whole "Arminian" versus "Calvinistic" argument and in today's passage Paul speaks to both:

12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Philippians 2:12-13 NIV

On the one hand he tells us to be obedient and to work (think "live") out our salvation. We are called to obedience to God as Christ-followers and should do everything in our power to live out our salvation. There is an implied reference to a sacrificial lifestyle of living for others rather than self.

On the other hand, Paul says that it is God who works in us to pull this thing off. In other words, without God's help this is impossible without God working in us.

My take away for this day is this; I want to continue to work and do everything in my power to live a life of obedience to God including my finances. But if I am to do this it will take God energizing me and giving me the wherewithal to pull it off. That is what I am trusting God for today. Tye out.

(I retracted a statement here that was false regarding calvinism and arminianism)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Embracing Faith update #6

As I sit here getting ready for a long day working at Panera, I have contemplated the 1 Corinthians 15:12-20 where Paul is making a case for the resurrection. Our hope of the Christian faith is futile if Christ did not raise from the dead. In fact Paul states that without the resurrection of the dead we are to pitied as men. why? Because we lived a life of sacrifice, followed a false leader, in Paul's case he had received many beatings and been treated terribly - all in the name of Christ. If there is no resurrection of the dead then why are we going through all this suffering?

I am "Embracing Faith" today because of a person, Jesus Christ, who did in fact raise from the dead on the third day. My faith is rooted and grounded in him.

My challenge today is to have a good attitude as I work at Panera all day today to provide for my family, to thank god for the strength and health to be able to do so. And then again, I can never base my faith in my ability to work and earn a living. My faith MUST be in Jesus Christ alone!

If you see me working at Panera today, ask me if I am "Embracing Faith!" Tye out.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Embracing Faith update #5

Today's passage is 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 and the apostle Paul is telling the people at Corinth that his message is simple: Jesus Christ and him crucified. The "sophists" of that day used eloquent words and persuasive speech to get their ideas of "wisdom" across to the people. And Paul could have done the same thing because he was an absolutely brilliant man but he refused to use their tactics to share the message of Christ.

(Erin Bird wrote the daily devo today and you can read it by clicking here.)

Take a moment and think about the Christian message. A man, the God-man, Jesus was born in a stable, lived 29 years of obscurity as a carpenter's son, and then had a public ministry of just three years and led only 12 men, one who was a loser. He never owned a house or any mode of transportation. He was a great leader, yet had no formal education and lived from "hand to mouth." Then he was betrayed, crucified as a criminal in the company of criminals, and rose again on the third day.

"Believe in Jesus!" we say. Then we are told to "take up the cross." This is not a very popular message by man's standards. In fact, it requires that the "adherent" lay down their life and find their life in Christ alone. It's all Christ!!!

I have to occasionally remind myself that I have been bought with the high price of Christ's shed blood on the cross and I no longer own my life...

or my finances.

The challenge for me today is to trust God with everything I have, and don't have. This was brought to my attention this morning when the mechanic said that the radiator would cost $500+ to replace. Thankfully it is not my car, or my problem. I think I'll let the Lord handle this one. Or, at least I am going to try. Tye out.

2:1 When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come with superior eloquence or wisdom as I proclaimed the testimony of God. 2:2 For I decided to be concerned about nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 2:3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and with much trembling. 2:4 My conversation and my preaching were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 2:5 so that your faith would not be based on human wisdom but on the power of God.
I Corinthians 2:1-5 (The Net Bible)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Embracing Faith update devo #4

I hope you were able to read Doug Forret's devo on today's verse, Colossians 2:6-7. Click here to read it. He talks about how a tree that is planted by water does not have deep roots and he compared this to how we can begin to trust in God's blessing rather than in God himself.

As I read the verses, the thing that stuck out to me was the fact that I have a tendency to compare myself to others and then I become less thankful for what God has done for me. If my life is truly rooted and established in Christ only, then "things" matter less and less.

As I wrestle with this "Embracing Faith" stuff I am going to have to truly rely on God to see us through. In fact, we are going to be making an Embracing Faith commitment totally by faith. There is no way around it. Tye out.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
dColossians 2:6-7 NIV

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Embracing Faith update

The passage today was Colossians 1:15-20 which I have read numerous times and have even studied it in the Greek. But this morning as I was doing my devo a verse 18 spoke to me: that he himself may become first in all things. Colossians 1:18b NET Bible

The "he" is Jesus Christ. He deserves to have first place in all things, including my life. I have a tendency to throw myself into things without first asking guidance from my heavenly father.

This Embracing Faith stuff is going to be a real stretch for us as a family. But I want sooo much to be part of this journey and I am going to be asking God to guide us through this time.

Lord, I want you to have first place in EVERYTHING in my life. Give me the strength to trust in you completely. Tye out.

General Patton quote of the week - for last week

"If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn't thinking."
- General George Patton Jr

Embracing Faith has a blog AND facebook

Our Embracing Faith series has many facets and the one we are really focusing on is the daily devotionals in the Journey Guide. The Elders & Equipping staff have written 30 devos to accompany the daily readings in the Journey Guide.

But, perhaps you did not receive a Journey Guide, and you still want to join us in the 30-Day Challenge. Here are a couple easy ways to do so.

1. Facebook - most of our staff are on Facebook and many of you are too. You can go to the Embracing Faith Facebook page and do the daily devos right there. Perhaps you would even join the group! And you can even leave comments. I did!

2. Embracing Faith Blog - we even have a blog for you to check out every day and take the 30-Day Challenge. There are links there and an opportunity to leave comments as well! I did!

I hope you'll join us in the 30-Day Challenge no matter where you are! From Belgium to Bedford, Cedar Rapids to Cleveland! Tye out.

Embracing Faith Update

Our church started the process of relocating New Covenant Bible Church in March 2004 after every other possible solution to our space issues were exhausted. Last fall we worked hard on the master plan and this was presented to our congregation May 2007. This whole relocation is called Faithful Endeavor.

In order for our church to relocate we must raise over 10 million dollars - that's a lot of dough. This is where Embracing Faith comes in. Click here to read more about this.

One of the features of Embracing Faith is the 30-Day Challenge. We are challenging our church family to read a have a daily time of prayer and Bible reading every day for the next 30+ days. Every person at NCBC was given the opportunity to pick up a "Journey Guide" that is packed with info on the relocation and the 30 days of Bible readings with room for journaling.

In addition to the journey guide you can subscribe to 30 email devos written by our Elders and Equipping Staff. Click here if you have not subscribed yet - it's not too late!

There's the scoop. I am going to be journaling my journey right here at Tye's Jazz dot com so you'll want to check back for regular updates on what God is doing in my heart and life. Tye out.

Where in the world is Tye?

I'm a little behind on my blogging because I have been spread kinda thin here the last couple weeks. It's all good stuff, but just a lot of stuff. In my younger days I would just sleep less and get everything done, but no more of that! Here's an update on some cool things that are going on the life and times of me:

1. Saturday week ago I finally got back on my bike (on a trainer in the newly remodeled basement) and it feels GREAT!
2. I have also started weight training to tone up.
3. I've already lost 5 pounds and I'm feeling great!
4. Welcomed home a soldier from Afghanistan - Travis Klopfenstein! I am thankful for your service Travis!
5. Welcomed home our somewhat sick daughter, Allyson, from Poland Saturday night.
6. Led training session at Leadership Community this past Saturday.
7. Did training for small group hosts on Sunday.
8. Took Monday off to work on my long overdue finances/bills/taxes/filing at home.
9. #9 because Judy's birthday was the 9th.
10. Shoveled snow
11. Shoveled snow
12. Shoveled snow

Consider yourself briefed. : )

Monday, February 11, 2008

Cletus take the reel

(I changed the title from "Cletus take the Wheel" to "Cletus take the Reel." Thanks Sara and Gina for the heads up.)

If you are not a country music fan, this will make no sense whatsoever. And even if you are, it might not make any sense. Thanks to Gina Green for sending this one.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Poland trip update - Allyson ski's for the first time

Our high school mission's team has been in Poland for a week now and they had the opportunity for a little R & R so here is a vid of Allyson skiing. To my knowledge she has never skied before so it looks like she did a pretty good job. Lexi is one of my saxophone students - she was screaming down the hill! Enjoy the vid and if you have a minute to go to YouTube and leave a comment I know the team would love it. Tye out.

General George S. Patton quote of the week

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. - General George Patton Jr

We have been doing Yogi Berra quotes for a while and I thought it might be time to take a break. I was searching the web for a quote by General George S. Patton, Commander of the 3rd Army in France during WWII when I came across a whole page of quotes by the late Patton and many of them are really good and relevant to leaders today.

Disclaimer - I do not agree with everything Patton said or did. He had a vast vocabulary that I will be editing so as not to offend anyone. However, his military successes speak for themselves and some of the things that make a leader successful are immortalized in some of his quotes. I will be taking the quotes from a website that you can see by clicking here. I hope you enjoy these quotes as much as I have.