County Fair

October 30, 2008

I’ve been delinquent once more.  Finding time to update my blog has been a challenge this week.  I’ve also had a little trouble uploading (or is it downloading?) pictures of the picnic/county fair.  You can visit Jenni Catron’s blog (http://jennicatron.tv) or Pete’s (http://withoutwax.tv) to see more photos of the day.

It was an amazing afternoon.  A BIG thanks to each of you that participated!  I appreciate your willingness to share an afternoon with this family of faith known as Cross Point Dickson.  I am so encouraged by what God is doing in the lives of individuals and families.

I’d also like to express my gratitude for the “pastor appreciation.”  You guys are sneaky.  Generous but sneaky.  Rhonda and I are so privileged to be a part of this community.  Thanks for your friendship and example.

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My devotional life is filled with ups and downs.  I’ve never really settled into a genuine routine.  Over the years I’ve turned to a number of books and reading plans to help guide my study and deeper embrace of scripture.  Today I turned to a book by Eugene Peterson entitled God’s Message for Each Day.  Here’s what I found.  It spoke to me.  How about you? 

HAZARDS OF FAITH

It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going. (2 Corinthians 5:7, The Message)

“Flannery O’Connor once remarked that she had an aunt who thought that nothing happened in a story unless somebody got married or shot at the end of it.  But life seldom provides such definitive endings.  As a consequence, the best stories, the stories that show us true condition by immersing us in reality, don’t provide them either.  Life is ambiguous.  There are loose ends.  It takes maturity to live with the ambiguity and the chaos, the absurdity and the untidiness.  If we refuse to live with it, we exclude something, and what we exclude may very well be essential and dear – the hazards of faith, the mysteries of God.”

DCHS Service Day

October 20, 2008

About twenty-five folks gathered on Saturday to spruce up the campus at Dickson County High School.  Here are a few photos.

A BIG thanks to everyone that participated!

Bright Lights, Big City

October 20, 2008

As many of you know – Rhonda and I moved to Dickson just a few months ago.  In the quest to become Dickson residents, we spent countless hours searching for a home that would satisfy our needs (and our budget).  As we narrowed the search and talked about the prospective Roberts’ abode – several of you knew the property’s exact location.  There are several notable landmarks in our neighborhood.  We’re across the way from Walnut Street Church of Christ, a short walk from downtown, and a stone’s throw from the Police Department.  Yes – we’re in the thick of it.  Yet – none of these landmarks scored as the most popular reference point.  Nope – the most highly acclaimed point of reference belongs to the folks next door.  

 

Wait – not those neighbors.  These neighbors…

The folks next door rival the Griswolds from Christmas Vacation.  They make quite a statement with their festive lawn décor.  Rhonda and I have enjoyed getting to know them.  They are kind, friendly, and as you might have guessed – a lot of fun.  They have a steady reputation for bringing smiles to children with their colorful holiday decorations.  Last year they had somewhere in the ballpark of three hundred (300) trick or treaters.  That detail stresses me out greatly.  Rhonda and I failed to budget for that many candy seekers.  If you discover mass quantities of sugary treats at a drastically reduced price – please let us know.  

A Curious Twist

October 16, 2008

It’s not unusual to be asked about the student ministry opportunities at Cross Point.  Over the last number of months, we’ve been working towards a strategic and sound approach to reaching and developing middle and high school students for the cause of Christ. At Cross Point there exist environments for teaching, mentoring, corporate worship and some open time slots where we invite students to serve others.  We’re blessed to have great leaders and some truly remarkable students.  Last night we had an event known as Charge.  It’s a high-energy student gathering of all ages and genders.  At Charge we generally share in a time of music and teaching, often a game, and undoubtedly a selection of healthy food items (cookies, pizza, chocolate).  A curious thing happened last night.  There is a young man (a sixth grader) that I’ve watched over these last ten months or so.  He and his family serve at Cross Point in a wide variety of ways.  This particular son consistently serves and gives behind the scenes – just as his parents and siblings do.  That said – what I observed shouldn’t be so shocking yet it still caught my attention.  Two weeks ago – said young man attended his very first Charge United (a monthly gathering of both the Nashville and Dickson students) event.  The night seemed to create a little anxiety for he and his family – a sixth grader joining the youth group for the first time.  For the son it was a big step – for his mom and dad it generated a new season of parenting – as their child was growing up and entering into new ministry environments.  The sixth grader had even mentioned that he might throw-up.  I wasn’t quite sure if it was a bad dose of spaghetti or the anxious energy of meeting new people and visiting a new setting.  In the end – he did fine.  He did so well – that last night at Charge (a mere two weeks after his maiden voyage into student ministry) he played bass with our student worship band.  Again – he suggested that he might throw-up, but he didn’t.  Though perhaps a bit uncertain and nervous – he shared in an effort to lead our students in a time of worship through music.  He was willing to use his abilities to serve others and to honor God.  I am greatly impressed.  This is but one example.  When I observe our adults and students – I am often reminded that God is at work.  A community is forming and I’m honored to share in these special moments.        

Can You Do This?

October 9, 2008

I’m in Atlanta attending a conference known as Catalyst.  It’s been fantastic thus far.  It’s late and I’m tired so I’ll plan to circle back at a later time to share thoughts about the actual teaching content of the day.  Between speakers – these guys showed off some of their mad basketball skills. What do you think?

Increasingly Nervous

October 8, 2008

I first started playing tennis around the age of ten.  My uncle spent quite a bit of time helping me to develop my early ground strokes and understanding of the sport.  Sadly my game peaked in 8th grade.  This isn’t a critique on my uncle’s coaching – it’s more a commentary of my limited ability.  In more recent years, I’ve devoted my discretionary (recreational) time to running, cycling, and swimming.  Tennis was pushed to the backburner.  My wife has taken a recent interest in the game thus tennis is now a big deal around the Roberts household.  I’ve hit around with Rhonda on a number of occasions over the years.  While I love my wife greatly – I owned our time on the court.  Even though I play like a well-tuned middle school student – I never worried about her surpassing my tennis skills.  Now – I’m a little nervous.  She has already defeated me in Wii baseball and bowling.  Earlier this week we took to the courts and I found that her forehand is really getting good.  She strikes the ball with some solid pace and wise placement.  If she ever develops a strong serve – there could be trouble.  I’m not real happy about the prospect of losing to her.  Is your spouse competitive? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questioning My Sanity

October 6, 2008

 

I’m sure there exists a distinction between intellect and sanity.  Without unpacking these terms I’m going to share that I’m questioning both right now – at least as they pertain to me.  I detest yard work.  I don’t enjoy pulling weeds, mowing, edging, or planting.  A freshly manicured yard is nice to look at – but I don’t find much joy in the pursuit.  Over the weekend – against my better judgment – I decided to sow our yard for the winter months.  Yes – I’ve deliberately increased the requirements for a well-kept yard.  Summer grass is beginning to slow its growth and prepare itself for a long winter’s nap.  But wait – kid genius here decides to spread 50 pounds of new seed to keep his yard green for the coming months.  I’ve lost my mind.

 

Baggage – Envy

October 2, 2008

Ben Goolsby takes top honors at the Shelby Bottoms Boogie 5K

 

Last Saturday I met up with Ben Goolsby to participate in the 9th Annual Shelby Bottoms 5K race.  We payed the same fee to enter, received similar commemorative t-shirts and started on the same starting line.  This is where the commonalities cease.  After the gun was fired (actually it may have been a bullhorn sound) Ben exploded like a rocket and I chugged along like an injured sea lion on tranquilizers.  Ben moved through the course with ease and efficiency of movement.  The distance between us grew as the race continued.  He finished a full three minutes ahead of me and was the outright, overall champion.  I was excited for him but a little envious as well.  Why can’t I travel distances with such speed and enjoyment?  I have great respect for Ben and his character.  It’s hard not to like him but I do wish that I could finish in front of him just once.  

Here at Cross Point we’re in a teaching series called Baggage.  This coming Sunday we’ll be setting our focus on the subject of Envy.  Some quick yet profound considerations to process as we approach this week’s message…

Envy is not a STUFF issue.

Envy is not a PEOPLE issue.

Envy is a SPIRITUAL issue.

 

Is ENVY an issue for you?