Wednesday, October 31, 2007
After we got off work, Tricia and I assembled at home, got Davis ready and headed off for some Halloween festivities. First, we went to Davidsonville where my mom was cooking dinner for all who would come (my 2 oldest sisters live a few doors down from each other and supposedly their neighborhood is excellent for trick or treating). The picture on the above is of Dr. Daddy and the caterpillar sitting on my sisters front porch tonight.
After that, we quickly headed off to the church for the AWANA Fall Fest. It was neat to see the kids in their different outfits. Pastor TC took the award with his costume. He came dressed as a geek of some sort. It was quite a drastic look (teeth and all).
It was a fun night. Tricia and I just got Davis to bed. Before we sit down to watch Survivor, she is baking us a few cookies since we have no candy in the house on Halloween night (seeing as how we weren't home to pass any out). You know, I was thinking that life is so different with a kid on the scene. Halloween meant "the big fat nothing" to me for the last 10 years...and now...baby in the house.
You are my symphony, perfect in harmony.
You are my melody forever, that’s why I sing…you are my song!
Lord no other song, no other song compares to you.
No other praise, no other praise is as strong as you.
Your spirit speaks to my soul and that’s why I sing…Lord you are my song!
You're the tone of power in the key of honor filled with glory, Lord you are my song!
For you endless mercy and your loving kindness pull my heart strings daily, Lord you are my song!If you would have been with me at church in my car this morning, we could have called it "Avalon Christian Fellowship!" (Incidentally, I drive an Avalon, which means "heaven"...pretty appropriate for my line of work.)
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
- Even if I work all night every night, I will never accomplish all the things I dream of accomplishing. On the flip side, how many kids do you know that have looked at their parents and said, "Mom and Dad...I think that we have played enough. You really need to head in and get some work done." There is never enough time to do enough!
- Here's a trap we all find ourselves in: If I don't, it won't. If I don't, she won't. If I don't, he won't. If I don't, we won't.
- Especially for those in church work, we say this: "God, if you will take care of my wife and kids, fill the gap, protect them and care for them, I will build the best church you've got! I will build your church if you will build my family."
- Meanwhile the Bible still reads the same as it always has (no new edits have been made removing key ideas that Christ had in mind):
- Christ will build his church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it!
- I am to love my wife as Christ loves the church.
- So, do any of us ever get it backwards? We build the church and ask Christ to build our families?
- The best ministry decision that Andy Stanley ever made was12 years ago when he stopped cheating his family and started cheating the church.
- Stanley told God this: "Lord, I can give you 45 hours a week. That is all I have for you! If you can build a church on that, then I am your man! I will give you the best I've got in those 45 hours and then I will go home and love my family that way that you love the church!"
- After doing this his mind flooded with "what ifs." What if the church doesn't grow? What if my staff thinks I am lazy? What if the place falls apart? What if vital things fall through the cracks? What if people don't get cared for? What if they fire me?
Several things have pushed me into thinking these things out over the last year; Becoming a Dad, a deepening appreciation for Tricia, my desire for long term health and results in ministry and my desire to model a healthy home for the people who look to me as their leader. Lord, might my home be in line with your will for it and might CCF be full of healthy homes.
Monday, October 29, 2007
I called Tricia at 5pm this evening to tell her that I would be leaving the office and heading home within 10 minutes and her voice responded on the other end (sounding out of breath), "I am inside the hot tub scrubbing it and dinner is in the oven." It does not get any better than this. She left work, got Davis, met his needs, came home, made a casserole, put it in the oven and tackled the hot tub job that has been haunting me for weeks. (They need drained and cleaned every 3-4 months.) I came home to the smell of dinner and a squeaky clean spa on the back patio. What a wife I found...and for many more reasons than dinner and a clean hot tub!
Oh, and she LOVES Christmas and the decorating and traditions that go along with it, so this evening we ran out so she could "show me" this beautiful Christmas tree they had on sale at BJs. Needless to say, we bought a new Christmas tree tonight. It's OK with me though because ours look a bit "Charlie Brown-ish" and she's been asking for a new one since we were married.
He that finds a wife, finds a good thing, even favor with God.
While engaging in good conversation this afternoon with my Youth Pastor he shared this quote with me (one he shared with our youth group last Wednesday night): "Kobe Bryant lost his good name, almost lost his wife and lost approximately $100,000,000 (in dropped sponsors) for a 5-10 second orgasm!" What a thought. He lost all this over something he didn't really want! He wanted it, but he didn't really want it. Think about that! What do you really want?
Sunday, October 28, 2007
My trip Friday night was pathetic...I made record time from VFCC...almost 4 1/2 hours! But it was well worth the wait to walk in the door and see 2 beauties smiling ear to ear for Daddy! Davis changed a lot this past week. He is much more verbal and mobile. He is now saying "momma" and walking while pushing something. Too cool. It is so good to be home.
Yesterday flew by as we hung out, caught up and cleaned the house for company. Lawrence and Nereida Chiles (our guest speaker today) arrived at 3ish. We spent some time together talking and then we headed to the church where we had a dinner and conversation with the Pastoral Staff and their families. We hosted the Chiles last night and it was great to have them in our service this morning. He brought it!! His message was just fantastic (first standing ovation I can ever remember at CCF)!
After teaching Discovery 101 following the service, I headed home and watched the Skins get destroyed by the Patriots. What painful game to watch! Embarrassing! My friend sent me a text asking me where the offense was? My reply: I guess they are back in Landover.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Here's an interesting conflict I am having...I am torn between 2 homecomings...
This weekend is homecoming at my Alma Mater, VFCC. Old friends are all over the place up here today and it would be great to reconnect with them. I just ran into a group of old friends at a local restaurant on my lunch break. I have not been to a homecoming in several years.
On the other hand, today is also the day of my homecoming to Tricia and Davis.
Let me think...VFCC or Home...VFCC or Home...VFCC or Home...
--Off to Maryland!! (I am leaving here by 4:00)
Really, there was no conflict for me, but it would be cool if Tricia and Davis were here with me and we could be a part of homecoming together. This school represents a great time in our life and has a special place in our hearts.
I reflected on my gratitude for the chance to be in these classes where I can gain new tools and fresh perspective! I am also thankful today for the fact that those tragic wildfires have slowed down and been contained.
What can you T.G.O.F for?
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Oh, this helped...Tricia tells me on the phone today that while Davis was with her at her classroom today, he walked all the way across the room pushing a small desk chair. He was holding on, but so what!? He still walked and I missed it. I am out of here tomorrow and straight home to them.
Staying at the Cosme's again tonight. At least my luggage goes into the car in the morning.
It seems evident that empathy is what people want and need more than anything else in their journey through grief. In a recent interview with a Christian Counselor he said that true empathy is when you “…connect with the grieving person, get in their place, feel what they feel, try to walk what they are walking, and talk what they are talking.” We practice empathy most effectively through intense listening. Perhaps one of the most common ways to interfere with an effort to express true empathy is to give advice. By nature, advice giving can quickly undercut an attempt to communicate understanding of a person’s feelings. You cannot possibly know exactly what a grieving person is feeling since it is not happening to you. Therefore, if you give advice, you are suggesting that the way that they are feeling needs fixed or changed. As a result, you are failing to validate a person’s right to feel. This is a common and innocent mistake made by so many of us. One of the counselors that I interviewed said with conviction that “when you are dealing with a grieving person, you are either validating or denying their feelings…one or the other.” Remember, there is certainly a difference between validating and condoning. But, empathy means abstaining from blanket comments, mini-sermons and advice. Empathy means being in shock with them, maybe being angry along with them, and resisting the need to break silence with filler statements.
So, "what do you say"? Perhaps that's the wrong question. You may be supporting a grieving person right now. You may be supporting one tomorrow! You just never know. Life is a vapor.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Well, I am really violating Luke 10 this week! (Luke 10 says do not move around from house to house.) The last 2 nights I stayed with the Mortensen family. Tonight I am spending the night at the home of a good college friend (Dave Cosme) and his wife. People take just anybody in up here. :-)
A few years ago a friend at CCF purchased me the website domain name noahkaye.com so that I would have it to develop one day. One day (when I have more time...haha), I would love to design it and be able to share pictures of our life, church info, my blog, etc.
Until then, I have had the site set up to link directly to my blog. So, if you find it easier you can reach my blog at noahkaye.com.
So, in all there are 3 ways to connect to this blog:
Lord, protect and care for my sweeties today!
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
After debating with God about whether he would do what he is saying (regarding Sodom and Gomorrah), Abraham gets to hear these words from God...
"Shall not the judge of all the earth do that which is right?"Genesis 18:25
Wow! Strong words...a statement that makes anyone stop and think.
I guess I will just make the best of the class sessions by putting all my stuff out there. It's almost like a group therapy session. We all can be really honest in this class because we do not know each others churches. We can talk openly about what we deal with in our particular ministries (and those people that....). God will use it. By the end of the week I will probably have forgotten about my earlier disappointment.
Monday, October 22, 2007
I already miss my babies. I called them at 7am because I knew that they would be up and getting ready. I talked to Davis on the phone. Tricia says that he smiles and grabs the phone when Daddy is on the other end. Maybe Tricia is just saying that to make me feel better about being away. It worked.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
The church went the extra mile to express appreciation to our Pastoral Staff today for Pastor Appreciation Sunday. Tricia and I were really blessed this afternoon when we read the gracious words written in cards and received the gifts that folks extended to us in appreciation. It made us feel special. We do not take our great congregation for granted! Dear people, dear saints!
This afternoon has been spent (and this evening as well) finishing my Masters reading and Papers for class. I will leave at 4:00am tomorrow for Pennsylvania where I will be in a class for the whole week. The class is entitled "Special Studies in Pastoral Counseling." I expect to learn many fresh tools for effective counseling. The course books were great and I am looking forward to a great week!
Anyway, I am sure I will learn a lot this week and I will want to blog some of it out. Will write soon.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
For Real: Yesterday evening, we hurried up and ate dinner so we could take Davis to the Park to swing on the baby swing and play on the equipment. We were so excited to do this, because we have recently learned that he really loves the swing. (see picture from yesterday evening) It was a blast. This boy is super fun!
Sarcastically: I guess Davis loves being with us as much as we love being with him, because when Tricia and I snuck into his room to peek on him and cover him with his blanket that he has thrown off (which is our nightly routine where we ooh and ah and whisper, "can you believe he is our child"), he woke up. All the way. Sat up. Started talking (noises of course). Tricia immediately dropped to the floor in front of his crib hoping he did not see her. When neither of us could control our laughter anymore, we busted out loud and were caught...red handed...in his room. He had already been asleep for almost 4 hours, so it was game time!
I will not bore you with the rest of the details, but after trying all we knew to try, we were watching Barney at 1:00am. Of course, today would be a day that I had a 7am meeting!
Ah...the joy of parenting!
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
"Whoever thinks he has the ways of God conveniently tabulated, analyzed and correlated with convenient, glib answers to ease every question from aching hearts has not been far in this maze of mystery we call life and death. God has no stereotyped way of doing what He does. He delivered Peter from prison, but left John the Baptist in a dungeon to die....I accept whatever He does, however He does it."
Go figure! Figure out why God does what He does and allows what He allows. Go ahead, I dare you!
Lord, teach me to trust you even when I have no idea what you are up to.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Anyway, I am not a big fan of the "B" word. I feel like the word "Boss" has negative connotation. I'd prefer is they'd call it leaders day. Regardless, it feels good to be appreciated.
Throughout the busy day I had yesterday, I had to remind myself to stop and spend a few minutes in the word. I know, I am the only one that has ever had that problem. Anyway, I felt drawn to read a passage of scripture that I have read and heard so many times. A passage that defines love, what it looks like and what it doesn't. But something hit me differently when I read I Corinthians 13 yesterday and again this morning. It was the profound comparisons in the first few verses.
If I speak in the tongues of men and angels...without love...I am making a bunch of noise!
If I prophesy, understand mysteries, know everything, and have intense faith...without love...I am nothing!
If I give everything that I have to the poor and after that even sacrifice my own life...without love...I don't gain a thing. (This one is especially interesting when you compare it to John 15:13 where Jesus says that "there is no greater love than to lay your life down for your friend". However, reading this text in I Corinthians, I understand that if I lay down my life for my friend "without love"then it was a worthless death.)
Wow! In my opinion, tongues, prophecy, knowledge, faith, total benevolence and life sacrifice are some pretty phenomenal things. But without love, they are nullified. Think about that! How many times do we do things...maybe even great things...with motivations other than love? What does that mean for the things that we just did then? Are these words in I Corinthians true for us today? Is there anything that we have done or are doing that is nullified...worth nothing? Or is everything you do done in love? Just something to think about.
Friday, October 12, 2007
While driving through Valley Forge National Park this afternoon, Tricia and I reflected on our days when we would go to the park and.......
We both remarked on how glad we are that we took things in phases. There is a season for everything. The dating years, 5 years of marriage (just us) and now there is a little man in the back seat making noises. Feels good, real good!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Tonight we will stay with the Dan & Shelli Mortensen (my ex-boss and dear friend). Tomorrow we will hang out at our Alma Mater (Valley Forge) and show Davis where Mommy and Daddy fell in love. I am sure he will remember everything we show him. Friday night we will travel west of Harrisburg to spend some time with our friends, Tim and Michelle Czaja. Saturday we will spend time with them before heading to Chambersburg to Tricia's best Friend Tracy and her husband Dave (Tracy is 8 months pregnant and I grew up with Dave at Trinity). We will stay overnight with them on Saturday. Sunday I am preaching 3 renewal messages at Salem Ridge Mennonite Church in Greencastle, PA. I am excited to spend some time with this congregation who is desiring transition and growth. I hope to inspire them and encourage them along. I will share on the theme of Preparing for Transition as a church. I have been asked to speak 3 times, but I have 4 messages in my bag. I will choose which three will fit best once I meet the audience. The messages are:
Preparing for Transition:
Open to Change (the story of CCF)
Open to the Spirit (where Pentecost meets peace, Acts 1 & 2)
Open your Hearts (Intimacy with God, Rev. 3)
Open your Hands (Moses Staff, Exodus 4)
We will be back home late Sunday night. Pray for our safe journey and effective ministry. Maybe I will get to blog a bit over the weekend...we'll see.
I just stepped outside to make a call and I got the chills. Maybe fall will come after all.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
I just returned from a breakfast meeting with Dr. Larry Mercer, the President of Washington Bible College. He has been in leadership there since 2005. The selection of an African American President for this local PG County Bible College has already paid big dividends.
As I returned back to the office, I felt that I needed to engage a few thoughts. First of all, I was thrilled to see that WBC has made some big strides forward in the last few years. This summer they were granted regional accreditation! There is a real sense that good things are happening and God is moving there. The new President, Dr. Mercer is a super guy with a great heart for this community, the lost and the expansion of the Kingdom of God in the DC area. Perhaps one of the highlights for me as a Pastor of a church sharing a zip code with the college is that he said that he has heard many great things about CCF, is attracted to what God is doing here and wants to strengthen our relationship. As we continue to connect in the weeks and months to come, we will be exploring ways that we can relate to one another. I cannot help but wonder and dream about how we can participate together in making impact for Jesus in 20706 and beyond.
How many churches are in the same zip code as an accredited Bible College on the outskirts of one of the most important cities in the nation, and perhaps the world? What would happen if local churches and institutions of education worked in harmony with one another for the sake of Christ? This excites me even more when I factor in my personal passion for the Christian Higher Education experience that flowed out of my years as a Student and Staff Member at Valley Forge Christian College.
On a personal note, there is something very special about this connection with WBC (maybe silly to some, but very profound to me). About 27 years ago, I was carried into Trinity Assembly of God at 6705 Good Luck Road as an infant. Several years later, Trinity moved a few miles down Good Luck Road to 7800 into a new large facility just a few doors down from WBC. Then, 1994-1998 I attended High School at Lanham Christian School located at 8400 Good Luck Road. These were very formative years for me. Add to that the fact that I am still very connected to Lanham Christian School (just spoke there last week and CCF has kids there) and I am personal friends with Paul Mutchler, Pastor of Grace Brethren Church (this is the guy who connected me with Dr. Mercer).
OK, this is wild to me! I am actually having a moment right now as I am writing this! In so many ways my faith was developed and my life was formed on Good Luck Road in Lanham, MD! And now, is it by accident that I have committed my life to serve in leadership at a church ½ mile from Good Luck Road?
Accident? Coincidence? I think not! What is God up to?
Monday, October 8, 2007
After dropping Davis off, I swiftly headed to visit a member in the hospital who is not doing well. Brought love and hope to them and left with them a plan for our community to care for them for the next few days. A quick stop in the office and out again for a meeting with a member near their workplace. After 80 miles on the road today, I was back to the office for 2 more meetings. A few urgent items and the sharing of these thoughts and I am headed out the door to be home with my babies tonight! I will leave all the many tasks that I did not get to behind as I leave and they will be sitting here waiting for me in the morning (after I go get my tooth fixed which broke yesterday...what fun).
Lots on my heart today, maybe I will catch up later. Good Stuff.
“Hey folks, you gotta eat to live right? Well, you need me to live too, you just may not fully know it yet. I am the bread of life and I am the water that quenches your thirst. You need food for life, like you need me for life. So, whenever you eat…at some of those moments where you commune…because you are going to have to…remember me…what I did, how it felt, what I promised you I would do later and PLEASE don’t forget what is most important to me, after you loving me…you loving others. So, look around and get right with people. Share together, eat together, as one. I love you, and remember you won’t be doing this for long…I will be back soon”
I feel like it happened...Thanks, God!
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Maybe you just started reading my blog...am I a football fan? Yes? I watched the Skins with my Dad from 8 years old until 18 when I left for college. I could not pick up the Skins on TV in PA at College, so I stopped watching or keeping up with it from 1998-2004 while at Valley Forge. Since moving back to MD, I have been into it more each season. I really enjoy it!!
Friday, October 5, 2007
I felt better today when Ginny McGill (a friend form church) told me that if a baby has a good fall the first year of their life, they will live long! In that case, long live Davis!
Thursday, October 4, 2007
I have been in too many evangelical worship services where the sharing of communion felt individualized and rushed, when it seems that scripture defines it as relational and sacred. This Sunday at CCF, we will share in communion together. As I began to discern what to preach on, it dawned on me again that communion is more than an add-on at the end of a service. I know we know that...But, I feel like we too often do our thing on Sunday; 5 songs, welcome, greet, announce, pray, offering, preach and then the Pastor tries to make the message he preached somehow connect us to a time around the Lord's table and then...Communion time. And you better hurry because you are already 4 minutes past the end of the service. I am guilty too, by the way!
You know, I am thinking communion itself could take 90 minutes (and the "the service") if we would let it. Here are some of the words in scripture (in Luke 22 & I Cor. 10-11) associated with the communion experience:
- As One
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
So, here is my prayer tonight: Lord, help me realize that I will never get it all done and that anything of worth that is accomplished through me is really done by you anyway since you created me. Continue to teach me to be present wherever I am. Teach me to love my family the way that you love your church! Father, give me the wisdom to know what to tackle and the strength to do it in a way that shows you off!
Just got off the golf course. (and everyone behind me says "thank the Lord"!!) This is the weirdest thing! I love this sport! I have been playing now for about a year and half. But, I am still horrible...I mean really bad! But I love it. I love being out there, exercising, hanging with the guys and forgetting about everything else. (This morning I golfed with Lew, TC and Eamon, my brother in law.) One good hit is all I need for it to be worth the money. In that case, I guess it is never worth the money:-)!
I really need lessons. If you are dying to buy me a gift, there you have the perfect idea!
Monday, October 1, 2007
As I observed Mom last night loving on and being loved by her 5 children, 5 children-in-law, and 5 Grandkids, I was reminded again how blessed we are as a family! So many people have no living mother or no relationship with their mother. So, today I celebrate the fact that Tricia, Davis and I have a mother figure like my mom in our lives.
God, bless Mom BIG today, I pray!