…one thing for the rest of your life…

When I was a child people would ask me the iconic question, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” I never said that I wanted to be a pastor.  I never did.  My dad was a pastor and it honestly seemed boring to me.

What kind of job was reading the Bible, preaching the Bible, singing songs, and teaching people about the Bible?  That is what he did and I didn’t want to do that.  I wanted to be a professional wrestler, or a GI Joe guy, or a ninja, or an artist for comic books, or something interesting like that.  Not a pastor.

And here I am…a pastor.  I’ve been youth pastoring for 7 years now come June.

I’m not being asked that iconic question anymore at my current age of 29 years.  Instead I’m being asked a different question.  Essentially I’m being asked, “If you could do one thing for the rest of your life and get paid for it, what would it be?” I like that kind of question way better.  But my answer isn’t as exciting as my answers to the other question asked when I was a child.

If I could do one thing for the rest of my life and get paid for it I would say: Talk to people.  If I could talk with people for the rest of my life I would love it.  I mean LOVE it!

Falling under that category of talking to people would be a few things in particular like teaching others the Bible, talking through the writing process, and having one on one conversations with people over a meal or coffee.  These are the things that I love and didn’t even know it until the fall of 2010.

I did some ministry coaching with a guy named Dave, who is now my friend.  He took me through a great process that has let me know what drives me in life, and what I need to do that will keep me moving and doing ministry.

So what about you?  I need to talk to people.  What would you do if you could do one thing for the rest of your life and get paid for it?


…to give one blessing…

Have you ever wanted to do something for someone?  Like do something for someone really bad?  Like you knew that if you had the money to do something specific right now, that would be the first and only thing you would do with that money?

In 2007 I went to Israel with my church for two weeks.  It was one of the most amazing things that I have ever done.  Now I want to clarify that deciding to follow Christ, getting married, and having a child were all better.  But this trip was in my top 10 for sure.

Before I left for the trip, people who had gone before told me that I was going to love it because going to where Jesus walked, lived, and ministered really makes the Bible come alive.  When they told me that I just kind of smiled and told them thanks.  The reason why I didn’t really like them telling me that was because ever since college the Bible has been alive to me.  I mean when you read the history books and go over the wars, fights, betrayal, infidelity, all that stuff…its alive!  The Bible is alive!

While I was there I knew what the people were talking about.  But in my mind the Bible didn’t come alive.  Instead the Bible took form.  I had ideas in my head about what places looked like and so forth, but now I was seeing it in real life.

While I was there seeing the Sea of Galilee, Nazareth, Bethlehem, the Temple, the Jordan River, Masada, etc., all I wanted was for my dad to be there to see it all as well.  He has been a pastor for close to 40 years and has never been given the opportunity to go to Israel.  I felt beyond lucky to have gone (for next to nothing on top of that).

The thing I would like to do for someone more than anything else in life is to take my dad to Israel someday.  Since 2007 the average cost of the trip has gone up between $500-$1000 on most trips that I have looked at.  But the positive thing is that God has a lot of money at His disposal.  I’m confidant that if He wants us to go, someday we will.

What do you want to do for someone more than anything else?


…my 2011 book list…

Hopefully by now we are done with the crop of “What all I read in 2010” type of blog posts.  I’m not knocking them though – after all I posted one of them myself.  (See here)  The reason why I hope that they are kind of done right now is so that this post won’t seem like it is a copy of anyone else’s.

Last year one of my goals was to read 20 books.  I accomplished that goal but I found myself struggling to complete it somewhat towards the end.  This year I don’t want to be rushed when I read.  I want to enjoy it.  So I’m bringing that number down somewhat and am only going to try and read 17.  I know it is kind of a weird number, but that is the number I am going with nonetheless.

So even though I am not going to go after 20 like I did in 2010, there are for sure 11 that I am going to try and hit in 2011.  Here they are.

  1. RadicalDavid Platt (The only person so far who I heard didn’t like it was Kevin DeYoung.  Thats a pretty good response.)
  2. ChazownCraig Groeschel (I loved It, and it is my first review for Multnomah.)
  3. Finding Our Way AgainBrian McLaren (Haven’t read too much emergent stuff, especially not him – but I’d like to.)
  4. Soul CravingsErwin McManus (I loved Chasing Daylight, hopefully I’ll love this one too.)
  5. The Next Christians – Gabe Lyons (unChristian was good and I heard him speak about this one and am very interested in it.)
  6. The Gospel According to LostChris Seay (I loved the show!)
  7. Prodigal GodTim Keller (This got a lot of traction in 2009 and my chiropractor gave me a copy of it for free.)
  8. No Wonder They Call Him SaviorMax Lucado (Never read a Lucado book so it is about time that I do.)
  9. Coffeehouse GospelMatthew Paul Turner (He is controversial and yet conversational.)
  10. Hole in Our Gospel – Richard Stearns (If you haven’t heard of this one, then where have you been?)
  11. The Grace of GodAndy Stanley (My wife’s cousin wouldn’t shut up about it. Definitely gotta read it now.)

There is my list.  I hope you approve.  And if you don’t, oh well.

What are you reading this year?