Monday, December 8, 2008
03/12/2008 09:13:00 My study in the book of Proverbs began shortly after my conversion in 1972. And it wasn’t long after this that I began reading and learning from Dr. Derek Kidner’s little commentary. For decades now Dr. Kidner has been one of the scholars holding my hand, leading me through the book, and helping me to discover what he calls “the neglected wealth of the Proverbs” (p. 9).
One of the most distinct features of the commentary is his brief subject studies. In these summaries he covers the topics of God and man, wisdom, the fool, the sluggard, the friend, words, the family, and life and death (see pages 31–56). I wish all Christians could read these brief and pointed studies and experience the grace and wisdom I have derived from them.
When I began my Christian life, I held to a narrow and limited understanding of laziness. Then I read Kidner’s subject study on the sluggard.
I’ll never forget it.
As I began reading, I saw my face in the picture. My definition of laziness was expanded, and its subtlety was exposed. I discovered that I could be—and often was—a sluggard.
Here are the words I read:
“The sluggard in Proverbs is a figure of tragi-comedy, with his sheer animal laziness (he is more than anchored to his bed: he is hinged to it, 26:14), his preposterous excuses (“there is a lion outside!” 26:13; 22:13) and his final helplessness.
(1) He will not begin things. When we ask him (6:9, 10) “How long…?” “When…?”, we are being too definite for him. He doesn’t know. All he knows is his delicious drowsiness; all he asks is a little respite: “a little…a little…a little…”. He does not commit himself to a refusal, but deceives himself by the smallness of his surrenders. So, by inches and minutes, his opportunity slips away.
(2) He will not finish things. The rare effort of beginning has been too much; the impulse dies. So his quarry goes bad on him (12:27) and his meal goes cold on him (19:24; 26:15).
(3) He will not face things. He comes to believe his own excuses (perhaps there is a lion out there, 22:13), and to rationalize his laziness; for he is “wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason” (26:16). Because he makes a habit of the soft choice (he “will not plow by reason of the cold,” 20:4) his character suffers as much as his business, so that he is implied in 15:19 to be fundamentally dishonest…
(4) Consequently he is restless (13:4; 21:25, 26) with unsatisfied desire; helpless in face of the tangle of his affairs, which are like a “hedge of thorns” (15:19); and useless—expensively (18:9) and exasperatingly (10:26)—to any who must employ him…
The wise man will learn while there is time. He knows that the sluggard is no freak, but, as often as not, an ordinary man who has made too many excuses, too many refusals and too many postponements. It has all been as imperceptible, and as pleasant, as falling asleep.”
-Derek Kidner, Proverbs (IVP, 1964), pp. 42–43.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
I've been doing some serious mental retooling of how I think about youth ministry and sort of recasting the vision to myself. I learned in college that Jesus led by example and that therefore, relationships were key. I spoke very highly of this when in view of a call at various churches which I have served at. But somewhere along the way, my relational time shifted and gave way to more program based ministry...It happened subtly and I didn't notice it until one day I looked up and realized that the majority of my ministry time was spent preparing lessons and messages and not actually doing ministry with my students. I have taken immediate steps to rectify this situation and continue to do real, meaningful ministry, just like my first year here. As youth ministers, we must not get caught up in gathering a large number at the expense of the small. It seems that what I have been suspecting is true: some of the best ministry happens in one on one types of settings where you can really invest in someone's life.
I'm sorry that this blog has fallen by the wayside a bit. I've had a lot going on and have been sick for a few days. Hopefully I am on the mend. I've been jamming to some Christmas music of late. I've also been wanting to read more. It seems that this is always a desire but most times it stops at desire. It's time to put my money where my mouth is...so to speak.
Bethany is doing as well as can be expected under the given circumstances. We have another doctor's appt. on Tuesday. In the interest of conserving my time off, someone else will take her to it. This isn't optimal but it will help us save my paid time off from school for when the baby actually comes. We're getting things ready for Christmas. We have a good old cedar tree up in the living room with all the trimmings. I have most of the shopping done and have just a few more things to pick up.
I've been catching up on the new season of Friday Night Lights online and really liking most of it... (spoiler warning) I don't like what they have done with Lila's character and I was hoping that Riggins would finally straighten out. I am also really bummed about Saracen getting benched.
I watched the Mark Walberg version of Planet of the Apes today and though it really was not good, I would still like to see a sequel. They left it so open.
Since I've been laying in bed sick, I got out the old Gameboy Advance and played some Final Fantasy I. That is still one of the greatest video games ever. I also checked out U2's new Christmas single on YouTube. As you might imagine, I had plenty of time to cruise the net as well as talking with a good friend to round out the day. I'm feeling a little better and I think I'm going to try working tomorrow. I feel like a big bum for missing church today but it was better for me to be in bed and try and rest the sickness away.
Well, there you have it...your update. For those of you who have been waiting...pretty much just Dave and Jed...(and their legion of protesters)... I hope you have enjoyed... See you next time.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
1. Ephemere by Rose Blossom Punch
After the demise of Poor Old Lu, prolific producer Aaron Sprinkle got together with some friends to form Rose Blossom Punch. This, their only full length, was a truly amazing post grunge, late nineties, rock offering. It still stands as one of the musically strongest albums ever to emerge from the Christian market.
2. Hooray for Now by Viva Voce
Viva Voce to this day, is still making music and to this day, they refuse to acknowledge that this album ever existed. It's sad because I prefer this to any of their modern day music. This is another must have.
3. The Hunger by Seven Day Jesus
I really can't say enough about this band musically and lyrically. Honest, good, dudely... Another must have.
4. This Beautiful Mess by Sixpence None the Richer
Before "Kiss Me", before the hype, and before Tess left the band. In 1995 Sixpence played a show in my hometown at our fairgrounds. It was incredibly hot and I'm pretty sure multiple members of the band were sick. My church fed them spaghetti and Tess threw her guitar down and kicked it. This is the album they were touring on and I'm pretty sure it was their best.
5. Love is Against the Grain by Dimestore Prophets
Some of my favorite songs are on this album. The songs, "Baby's Got a New Dress" and "Hitler's Girlfriend" have been in my head for many years.
This concludes part one...
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
...maybe I'll write more tomorrow...I'm tired.
Looking into self-publishing.
Sorry about the redundancy.
Friday, September 5, 2008
ADD THIS BANNER CODE TO YOUR PROFILE/SITE/BLOG!
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
I have two children and one on the way.
I just celebrated my 8th anniversary.
I am a youth pastor.
I am also a teacher at a Christian school.
I recently also became the high school class Sunday School teacher at my church.
I am busy.
This morning I spent some time freeing a small plastic pig from the belly of a plastic mechanical fish. (You know you're a dad when...)
Today Bethany alphabetized my physical cds for me. They should be much easier to find now. I think I have room on my shelves for about 83 more jewel cases. There are currently 7,290 items in my iTunes library... I listen to about 120 of them.
I have probably never heard about 2,000 of these songs.
Bethany pointed out that I own more physical albums by Starflyer 59 than any other artist. Over the Rhine came in second with U2 and Jars of Clay tied for third most.
I own many books that I have not read yet but still want to buy new ones.
I have never backed up my laptop computer.
Perry Noble and pretty much everything at Newspring Church is big for me right now. God has got His hand on these people. I want to be used like that also.
I'm trying to figure out what to do for Bible class at school as well as Sunday School at church.
I'm going to miss the Olympics being on every night but at the same time, I'm going to enjoy watching something else without feeling like I'm missing history.
I may have been wrong about Kobe Bryant.
I have really been digging this band called Future of Forestry...
I am so ready for football season. My teams: Iowa State, West Central, and the Oakland Raiders don't neccesarily look to win any championships this year but I'm always hopeful for something amazing. Actually, cheering for the Raiders year after year is getting a little depressing due to their lack of positive results and our ownership's decisions.
Anyway, as you can probably tell from the above, I could use your prayers. I will not make it through this school year without God's strength. I can't do it on my own. So, your prayers are appreciated.
That's it I guess...
Still callin' a spade a spade,
Thursday, August 14, 2008
This week is a short one for me but full of work to be done. I have a wedding this weekend and Voltage 110 on Sunday night where I am starting a new series based on who we are as a group and using our mission/process/motto as topical material. Sunday is Plug In, the following week is Charge Up, and the final week is Shine Out. I really think we are at a crucial time in the life of our youth ministry here where the students are going to have an opportunity to really take this thing and run with it. Please be in prayer for the students, the leaders, and myself.
Bethany has been having pretty constant headaches and there's not much she can take due to being pregnant...so there's another prayer request.
The boys are good except for the fact that Kbomb had a fever today, possibly connected to some bug bites, according to the doctor. We'll see how he does tonight and tomorrow. He seems to be feeling better.
I'm also looking at trying to record my messages using Audacity. It's pretty simple I guess but it might work for putting it onto our website. Just another way to make us a little more accessable to outsiders.
Well, that's about it. I hope all of you are doing well.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
In other news, I'm very excited for our vacation. It should be a lot of fun.
I've mentioned this before but the ministry of Perry Noble is really awesome for me. I have been listening to the podcasts from his church and I really think you would benefit greatly from listening to his "no holds barred" preaching. It's awesome and God is really using this guy. You can check it out via Itunes or you can watch video on the website at www.newspring.cc or you can check out his blog at www.perrynoble.com. Be blessed!
Section of blatant honesty
I've been dealing with some stuff for a few weeks within myself that's just been kind of a bummer for me. I'm going through one of those "where am I at" times. I suppose lots of people have these times. The good news is that hopefully on the other side of it is some amazing ministry. We have a lot of great things planned for this coming school year with Voltage and I'm really excited to get things going. Please pray for me personally as well as our ministry here. I have seen God working in my life over the last year and in the life of my family getting us into certain things and forming circumstances to put us in the place where we need to be. It's pretty awesome to look back and think about it. The thing that blows my mind is that Jesus knows exactly who I am, what I do, and what I will do...and HE still chose to save me. What a great GOD!
Monday, July 28, 2008
I am in the process of planning out what the next year or so looks like for our student ministry here at Cornerstone. It involves small groups in some fashion and I'm trying to figure out all of the ins and outs of that.
I met some really cool people at WC and am looking forward to communicating with them regarding student ministry. It was definently a recharging and revisioning time for me. I was able to be recharged and refreshed by some of the things I experienced. As usual it was the people that I encountered that made the week special. I got to have some good conversations and that makes me really happy. The worship services were great as well. Please pray for my students that they would live boldly for Christ in light of what He has done for them.
My book reading has fallen a bit behind and I'll be trying to catch up some on vacation. I haven't cracked some of my new stuff yet and am looking forward to getting into them.
Well, it's about time to head back home. I've been holed up in the church building trying to get a few things done.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
I hope and pray that this coming week is life changing for our students. I'm also hoping that they will show up big time for each other. I want them to grow together as a group and experience the unity that Jesus calls us to.
Seriously, www.perrynoble.com has been a big blessing for me.
I'm excited about the new ESV Study Bible coming out. I really would like to have one. I think it would help my personal study as well as my preaching and teaching.
This could be my last blog for about a week. You can keep track of the World Changers project on www.worldchangersspringfield.blogspot.com
Friday, July 18, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
A few things going on with me:
I'm at the point in life where I just really want to reflect Christ's love to the world. I want to love my family with Godly love and show the world that love. I want to make real strides in my spiritual life and not plod along like so many seem to do. I want to continually be TRANSFORMED into what He wants me to be. I have a real desire for students to worship and for them to see the need and have a desire to serve.
I want to write some songs and then record them.
I have about 30 new cds from Cornerstone but at the moment I only want to listen to something worshipful that points me toward God.
I wish I could loose some more weight... it seems to have slowed down.
I am really digging these things right now:
Matt Chandler and Perry Noble on podcasts... Great preachers... check perrynoble.com for his blog. Chandler is a Driscoll buddy... I love those Acts 29/Missional guys.
Flatfoot 56-they preach unity in the body at their shows and are really great to watch... there is an amazing youtube video from Cornerstone 2008 of them at mainstage... you should look it up.
Taking notes in church...opens up new avenues of listening and understanding for me
Being able to hang with people this summer
Things I need prayer for:
My sickness...don't know what's wrong
Our upcoming mission trip and the Bible Study preparation meeting tomorrow night
That I would take lots of real time for my personal spiritual life amidst all of the ministry going on.
That God would continue to show up big in my life.
That my kids would do well with me being gone for another week.
We are needing to buy a bigger vehicle (minivan) due to baby number 3 coming... we have an offer on our car and need wisdom with what to do.
We are hoping to take a vacation back home to Iowa in August... pray we can do it financially...would love to have a van by this time
that I would be sensitive to the Spirit's leading in all things
If you would, please pray for me. Also, pray for my friend Glen and his family. Thanks.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I'M GOING TO BE A DAD AGAIN!!!
That's right, we're having a third baby. It was a good day.
Monday morning I took a group of five of my youth guys and headed for LaGrange/Canton, Missouri for some sandbagging and help with the flood fight. It was two days of tough work but it was so great to be able to help try and save these communities that are filled with people that I love. I'm home now and very tired. Perhaps I'll give a bigger update later... and maybe some pictures.
Have a great one!
Friday, June 6, 2008
Today I took a couple of the guys from Voltage and headed to Springfield. We had a great time. Later, we headed for the Smith compound to watch game one of the NBA Finals. I'm stoked to say that the Celtics won. It looks to be a really good series. I thought for sure that Paul Pierce had broken his leg during the game but he came back out just fine.
I haven't updated this in awhile so I'll let you know that our soccer season is over. I think we ended with a 4-1 record. I'm not really sure if we won that last game or not but another guy and I decided that we probably ended up with more points. Javan said he wished that soccer went forever. He sure likes playing that game.
Today I went to Walmart to get some groceries so I don't wither away while the wife is away. Lately I've been reading again. I finally finished a Mark Driscoll book I had been reading for a long time, read the first 19 chapters in Hood by Stephen Lawhead, started The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis, and read some in Here I Am to Worship by Tim Hughes. so far all these books have been fantastic. I'm hoping to get finished with the Narnia series in time to get my Lawhead books back (loaned them out) and finish them. I also found out that I can get a sticker on a Winchester library card that allows me to check out books from the Jacksonville Public Library. That's exciting and means that I'll have more reading material at my disposal in the near future.
Youth is going along as normal. I'm pretty excited because it looks like we have some people really looking at where God wants them. He is definently working on people. I can feel Him working on me as well...even in the midst of times when I mess up. God is so good.
Well, this is just a bit of an update for the two or three of you who will actually read this. Peace to you.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
I still need to dig deeper into it but as of the first listen and a half...I dig it. I think Coldplay, like U2 before them is one of those bands that in today's culture are making great music but it's unfortunately lost on our youth driven-fast excitement culture. They still sell millions of albums but most of the students in our local high schools probably prefer the latest jam from 50 cent or Panic at the Disco. It's a deeper audience that this music reaches out to... it looks for those interested in lyrical content and artistry...not just a "phat beat" and danceable hooks (not that there's anything wrong with that). Food for thought. I'm sure this same principal could be applyed to other points in culture...
Last night we had a pretty decent discussion about sin at youth group. If you're the praying type, pray for my students from Voltage. Pray they would take God at His Word and that their lives would explode with faithfulness, worship, and service.
Monday, May 5, 2008
My problem was that I didn't do the maintanence stage of Phase 3 very well. Instead of splurging once in awhile, I did it all the time. Eventually, (and a couple of weeks in Slovakia didn't help) I was eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted...even late at night.
Another benefit is that I think I'm more active now. I coach my son's soccer team and play basketball with my students at church. Hopefully this increased activity will add to the pounds lost. I'm hoping to be doing some walking/jogging also.
In all of this I have been praying that God would help me and be my strength. It might sound trivial to some (to spiritualize a diet) but I have learned that I need to trust God even in seemingly small things because I know that I can't do it on my own... but I can rely on God as my strength. It is only by Him that I was able to loose the first 81lbs a couple of years ago... see www.xanga.com/butterneverbleeds (my old blog) for details on that.
I weighed in a few days ago on Thursday at 238 lbs. I am currently at 230. Only 22 lbs to go till I equal my lowest weight. Exciting!
Anyway, have a great week!
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Below is a video explaining the ministry of MCYM/Younglife/Youth For Christ. This is the organization that I was working with while in Slovakia over Spring Break. Hopefully, this video will give you a little knowledge about the students that I was directly working with while in Europe. I am hoping that my next few posts can describe some of the awesome things that happened on Service Project 2008 - Presov, Slovakia.
When I watch this my heart breaks for these students who go through everything our students over here go through with the added stress of being in a foreign country, having your parents go down range, and moving around all the time.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
Tonight after dinner, I got Kenan ready for bed. He wanted to sit on the potty so I, of course, obliged and let him try being a big boy. He didn't do anything so I changed his diaper and put his jammies on. I carried him in and we sat down in my big recliner. He was kind of laying sideways in my arms (baby like) and gave me a very strange look. Then he started vomiting. He threw up what appeared to be green slime from "Double Dare". For supper we had chicken fajitas and then he had a piece of Laffy Taffy for dessert. The LT was green. The next yak came right after the first and this one landed right in my lap. So for the record, my two year old son threw up Christmas colors in my lap. It was green and red and had bits of tortilla in it. My lap immediately became warm. It was DISGUSTING! The poor little guy felt fine after that. Bethany changed him and I hit the showers. I even had to clean puke from down in the crevice of my recliner. NASTY!
This story brought to you by fatherhood.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Friday, March 7, 2008
I got married.
I had kids. (see previous point)
I became a youth pastor.
I got liscensed to the ministry.
I performed at Youthlink 2000.
I graduated college.
I had a distended colon.
I saw U2.
I lost 81 lbs.
I gained 20 lbs.
I went to Europe. (1998)
Bethany was put on bed rest with a tough pregnancy. (for more on this see www.xanga.com/butterneverbleeds historic posts)
I experienced some of the best of Christian behavior and service.
I experienced some of the worst church experiences.
I got paid to do what I love.
I moved 6 times. (since being married)
I read all of the Bible and kept track of my progress. (finally)
I attended the funerals of my final two living grandparents.
I spoke at my uncle's funeral and read scripture at my aunt's.
I performed my first weddings.
My parents got divorced.
I decided I'm neither cool nor punk rock after all.
I realized kind of who I am.
After realizing this, I decide I don't like myself very much and begin to change and let God change things about me.
I realize that I still need help with all of this.
I got my first acoustic guitar.
I directed 4 youth camps.
The last ten years have been very busy. They've often times been uneasy and difficult because things seemed so uncertain. The more I think about it, the more I can see the one constant through all of those years. God was fathering me. He was letting me spread my wings and He was also clipping them where they needed it. In all of my life I have never been more amazed by God than right at this moment in life. I have agreed with my friend John that once you become a father, you understand God's love for us much better. It's like I can feel what it's like to watch that child take a first step and then start to run. I can also feel what it's like when that child looks up at you and raises their arms for a hug. Sometimes I think we forget that we just need times of saying "here I am Daddy", and letting God love us. It is my hope for you that you would experience God's love today and everyday. I'm so grateful for the last ten years and look forward to what God teaches me in the next ten.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
He was a staple around our home church. His handlebar mustache was always present and for many years he served as a deacon. Many in the church respected him as an older man in the faith. I remember spending time at their house and seeing him studying the Bible, intent on teaching a good lesson. Papaw was strict and expected good behavior, but he had a generous heart and an incredible sense of humor. One of my favorite pictures is a computer printout (pretty high tech in the 80s) of Papaw and me from when we went to the county fair together and I got to ride the ferris wheel. They had this little booth where you could get your picture made right there on the spot! (yeah for technology) There are so many other stories to tell about my papaw. But the most important story he would want to tell you would be about his Savior, Jesus Christ. There was never a doubt in my mind how Papaw felt about God and his pride in the fact that I went into the ministry was always apparent and voiced. He taught me to love people and to pray for God to make me love the ones I didn't. He was quite a man.
On Thursday Feb. 21, 2008, my papaw C.C. Cannon went home to live forever with his Lord and Savior. I can't begin to tell you how much I miss him, but the indellible imprint he left on my life will remain until the day I too make my transition to my eternal home. So often, we don't realize the impact that those around us actually have on us. I encourage you to look around you for people who are making a positive impact on your life and are directing you to Jesus. Thank God for them and feel a freedom in telling them what they have meant to you.
We also have the opportunity to be the impact on the lives of those around us. It is my hope for you that you would look around you to those lives that you can impact for Christ and that your heart would burn with a passion to see those lives changed by the One who can really change them: Our Lord Jesus Christ.
May God bless you.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
It's been a long couple of days for those of us around the Callison house. I've been sick for about a week and last week the whole family was sick. Javan has been coughing so bad, even after the doctor's appt. that they sent us to the hospital for some chest xrays and bloodwork. Anyone who has ever been with a 4 year old getting bloodwork done knows this is not a great experience. I feel so bad for the little guy. He was up all night again two nights ago coughing and we gave him nebulizer treatments every 2-4 hours or so. I took the 2 am shift and Bethany covered the rest.
It turns out that Javan has a little bit of pnemonia. The new breathing treatments seem to be helping him. We are going to be doing this for a week with treatments every few hours. My medicine makes me feel like throwing up unless I eat something with it. I'm hoping to finish my income taxes tonight. I still need to pick up a couple of w2s.
I had a lot to write about yesterday but not a lot today I guess. Maybe I'll add more later...