Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Suffering Blog

During this EXTREMELY busy time in our life, some things have had to go. You just cannot do it all. For me, one of the things that have suffered over the last few months is this blog. I just cannot seem to find the time to get to it like I want to. I have ideas that I really want to share and things to write, but just not the time to do it. However, I AM keeping a running list and will catch up when I can...maybe in Africa. ;-)

Here is a sneak peak. Looking forward to blogging these titles:
  • God's Satisfaction Barometer
  • Success is NOT the Goal
  • Removing the Comma in Ephesians 4
  • Using Humor as Jabs
  • Levels of Faith
  • God's Testing is God's Loving
They are in the heart, just gotta get them on the screen.

Thanks for checking back and staying connected in the quiet.


Weight Loss for Missions. Week 7 Results.

Seven weeks ago today, I began a journey to destroy weight before moving to South Africa. CLICK HERE to read about it.

I asked people to sponsor and support me in the journey. Well, here is the update for week 7.

This week I destroyed 2 more pounds for a total of 33 pounds destroyed in 7 weeks. I am at 262 now and can see the 250's just ahead!

So, we leave Friday morning for a 21 day overseas trip. PLEASE pray that I can eat right and keep destroying the pounds. I hope to be well into the 250's when we return.

Here is something really cool that the Lord showed me last week. Hebrews 12:1 tells us to "shed off the weight that so easily hinders us." When I read it, I felt the Lord's voice gently nudge me toward continuing to shed off my weight-- that does indeed hinder me more than I know. Cool stuff.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sunday in the Outdoors-- THIS SUNDAY!

CCF's Sunday in the Outdoors event is coning in 2 days!

Here are some things you'll want to know about the day...

10:00am- 10:45am:
• Coffee & Juice
• Dry Games for Kids & Moonbounce!
• Games for the "Big Kids"
• Music
• Prayer Table & Guest Center
• Hanging out with your church!

• Worship
• Welcome
• Recognition of Students and Teachers
• Message by Pastor Noah

• Free Picnic Lunch
• Music
• Games for Adults (Badminton, Cornhole, Horseshoes, Board Games, and more!)
• Kiddie Pools, Games and Moonbounce for kids
• Prayer Table & Guest Center
• Halftime & AWANA Station
• Hanging out with your church!

Other important info:
• Parking will be split between the CCF lot and the lot behind Giant.
• Remember that your children are your responsibility at all times. Let's work together to keep everyone safe.
• All the children's activities will be closing at 10:30 a.m. for the morning service.
• We will reopen the children's activities at 12:00 noon.

We are so excited for this day! See you this Sunday in the OUTDOORS!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Heading to PA. Again.

Tricia and I are leaving in a few moments for Akron, PA where we will spend the next 3 days at the Eastern Mennonite Missions New Appointees Orientation. We will be coached on things like:
  • Spiritual Nurture
  • Culture Shock
  • Resiliency Skills
  • Policies and Budget
  • Security Training
  • Crisis Management
  • Conflict Management
  • And more...
We will also continue to build relationships and new friends. Davis is staying with Mom and Dad, so we are actually looking forward to the small break. Just don't tell him. ;-)

Hope to see all CCF'rs THIS Sunday at "Sunday in the Outdoors!!!"

Love you!

My Car Miracle

Everyone has different definitions of miracles.

Here is mine: When God shows up and does something you cannot!

I want to share my miracle from today.

I have been trying and trying and trying to sell a car that was donated to us for our mission! I really wanted it behind me and I had a deadline coming soon (by the donor). I prayed a few days ago and asked the Lord to PLEASE help me sell it by the time I go out of town...which is TODAY at 1:00pm!! Well, 30 minutes ago while working at Panera, I stepped outside an sold the car to a GREAT buyer (lady with kids) for all cash!! I used a Panera butter knife (at the advice of the manager) to remove the tags, handed the title over and it's all done! ONE HOUR BEFORE GOING OUT OF TOWN!! I asked God to sell it before we left. And he did...in his timing.

This morning was another reminder to me...one that I needed again....that the Lord is in control and will do things on his schedule.

Had to share! Rejoicing right now.

Weight Loss for Missions. Week 6 Results.

Six weeks ago today, I began a journey to lose weight before moving to South Africa. CLICK HERE to read about it.

I asked people to sponsor and support me in the journey. Well, here is the update for week 6.

This week I lost 4 more pounds for a total of 31 pounds lost in 6 weeks.

I am at 264 now! Next stop...250's!!

This is getting fun now and I am just getting going.

Remember- I'm not LOSING weight! I am destroying weight. If you lose something, you can find it again. If you destroy something, it's gone forever.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Chevy's for Missions

We greatly hope that some of you can make it to Chevy's in Greenbelt this Sunday! Again, THIS SUNDAY from 12pm-3pm, Chevy's Tex Mex Restaurant will donate 25% of your check to our mission! Please come join us for lunch. Not only will it be great to raise funds, it will be even better to see you! Thank you for your support!

Note: all you will need to do is hand your server this little slip that we will provide you.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Our Facebook Page for South Africa!

We are excited to begin using our new Facebook page for our Mission to South Africa.

Exact title: "Kayes' Mission to South Africa"

We would love you to "like" it and "share" it with others, if you are on Facebook.

We will also be using this site, www.noahkaye.com in a whole new way beginning November 1st!

Jesus and the Kingdom of God

This is probably the BEST writing I have ever seen on the Kingdom of God. I shared this at the end of the message on Sunday. It is SUPERB!! It's an excerpt from the book, "Jesus Matters" and from the chapter entitled "Jesus and the Kingdom of God."

The good news of the kingdom is embodied in the life and witness, words and deeds, death and resurrection of Jesus. When Jesus cures a leper or a woman with an issue of blood and exorcises a demon-possessed victim, he establishes healing and wholeness as the essence of the kingdom. When Jesus fellowships with prostitutes and extortionary tax-collectors, he reveals that forgiveness and pardon are at the heart of the kingdom. When Jesus feeds the hungry and binds up the brokenhearted, when he upholds the importance of clothing the naked and visiting those in prison, he asserts that compassion and care for the vulnerable are at the very core of the kingdom.

When Jesus chooses to fellowship with ostracized women, like the woman at the well in John 4, and to enjoy the dinner company of sinners, he illuminates grace, welcome, and hospitality as fundamental to the nature of the kingdom. When Jesus loves the unlovely or touches the untouchable, when he engages the marginalized and reintegrates the outcast, when he highlights the welcome extended to the wayward (the prodigal son in Luke 15), lauds the generosity of the stranger (the good Samaritan in Luke 10), shows concern for the children and invites us to love our enemies or pray for our persecutors, Jesus is pointing to the radical newness of the in-breaking kingdom.

Jesus announces that the old ways of an eye for an eye, of neglecting justice and oppressing the poor, of disregarding the vulnerable and ignoring the hurting, of condemning the weak and caring only about self and status are in opposition to the kingdom.

The whole life of Jesus and all his works provided meaning and content to the announcement of the kingdom. Therefore, to declare Jesus is to declare the gospel. Jesus does not bring the gospel, he is the gospel--the good news that in him the kingdom has broken into history and accomplished everything necessary for the restoration and healing of our world.

Jesus taught about the kingdom of God in parables. He describes the kingdom as something that is near. It is something that should be sought. We may enter the kingdom; however, it can be shut up and taken away. It is preached. It is forcefully advancing. It comes secretly. It will come in power. It is to be looked forward to. And yet, it is already "among you." It is only for the committed. It is for children and those who are like children. It is for the poor in spirit and the persecuted. The poor disciple possesses it, but the rich man enters it only with great difficulty. It is above all a mystery!

The kingdom is about right, joyous, and reconciled relationships. Jesus describes the kingdom as a tiny mustard seed that becomes a tree where the birds live; it is like yeast that permeates and changes the bread dough. The unobtrusive, powerful and transforming growth of the kingdom in our lives often surprises us.

A final thought: It is interesting that Jesus does not seem to need to resolve this tension of the kingdom present and the kingdom not yet fulfilled. He can handle that tension. And it just reminds me of the fact that we will never totally figure it out either, because it is NOT OUR KINGDOM TO FIGURE OUT! It's God! The Kingdom of God, not the Kingdom of Noah or John or Jane or your church.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Weight Loss for Missions. Week 5 Results.

Five weeks ago today, I began a journey to lose weight before moving to South Africa. CLICK HERE to read about it.

I asked people to sponsor and support me in the journey. Well, here is the update for week 5.

This week I lost 3 more pounds for a total of 27 pounds in 5 weeks.

I am at 268 now! This is the first time that I have been in the 260's in at least 7 years.

I am still looking for people who want to partner with me and sponsor me per pound for missions! Please email, FB, comment, call, or text if you can support me.

BTW- Decided I'm not LOSING weight! I am destroying weight. If you lose something, you can find it again. If you destroy something, it's gone forever.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Halftime at CCF! Starts September 8!

I am very excited about "Halftime" getting ready to fire back up at CCF on September 8th! Check out what we will have to offer. And spread the word!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

5 Questions of the Kingdom

Here is an excerpt from my message this morning. Here are the 5 questions that I shared to cast light into the ways of the Kingdom of God. How different or similar is your thinking from this?

1. Where's your Trust?

The kingdom of the world trusts the power of the sword, while the kingdom of God trusts the power of the cross.

The kingdom of the world advances by exercising "power over," while the kingdom of God advance by exercising "power under."

2. How do you treat people?

The kingdom of the world seeks to control behavior, while the kingdom of God seeks to transform lives from the inside out.

Also, the kingdom of the world is rooted in preserving, if not advancing, one's self-interests and one's own will, while the kingdom of God is centered exclusively on carrying out God's will, even if this requires sacrificing one's own interests.

To experience the life of the kingdom of God, one has to die to self (Matt. 16:24; Mark 8:35; Luke 17:33; John 12:25; Gal. 2:19-20).

3. Where is your loyalty?

The kingdom of the world is intrinsically tribal in nature, and is heavily invested in defending, if not advancing, one's own people-group, one's nation, one's ethnicity, one's state, one's political agendas. That is why it is a kingdom characterized by perpetual conflict.

The KOG is intrinsically universal, for it is centered on simply loving as God loves. It is centered on people living for the sole purpose of replicating the love of Jesus Christ to all people at all times in all places without condition.

The kingdom-of God participant has by love transcended the tribal and nationalistic parameters of whatever version of the kingdom of the world they find themselves in.

4. How do you respond in conflict?

The kingdom of the world is intrinsically a tit-for-tat kingdom; it's motto is "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth."

In this fallen world, no version of the kingdom of the world can survive for long by loving its enemies and blessing those who persecute it: it carries the sword, not the cross.

But kingdom-of-God participants carry the cross, not the sword. We, thus, aren't ever to return evil with evil, violence with violence. We are rather to manifest the unique kingdom life of Christ by returning evil with good, turning the other cheek, going the second mile, loving, and praying for our enemies.

We are to respond to evil in a way that protects us from being defined by it and that exposes the evil as evil, thereby opening up the possibility that our "enemy" will be transformed. Far from seeking retaliation, we seek the well-being of our "enemy."

5. Who are you in battle with?

The kingdom of the world has earthly enemies and, thus, fights earthly battles; the kingdom of God, however, by definition has no earthly enemies, for its disciples are committed to loving "their enemies," thereby treating them as friends, their "neighbors."

There is a warfare the Kingdom of God is involved in, but it is "not against enemies of blood and flesh." It is rather "against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places" (Eph. 6:12)

Our battle is "not against flesh and blood," whether they are right wing or left wing, gay or straight, pro-choice or pro-life, liberal or conservative, democratic or communist, American or Iraqi. Our battle is against the "cosmic powers" that hold these people, and all people, in bondage. Whatever our own opinions about how the kingdom of the world should run, whatever political or ethical views we may happen to embrace, our one task as kingdom-of-God disciples is to fight for people, and the way we do it is by doing exactly what Jesus did. He defeated the cosmic powers of darkness by living a countercultural life characterized by outrageous love and by laying down his life for his enemies.

(Adapted from "The Myth of a Christian Nation" by Greg Boyd.)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Rick Warren's Twitter "Mistake"

When Rick Warren entered the Twitter/Facebook scene, he did so with commitment and intentionality. I wrote here about his philosophy on these things: Click here to read it.

Last evening, he posted this comment in a tweet/FB update:

I challenge any church in America to match the spiritual maturity, godliness & commitment of any 500 members of Saddleback.

After which the judgement began. Comment after comment has been made about this statement since last night. 345 on FB so far and many on Twitter. As I read the terribly judgmental comments that were made in response to Rick's statement, my heart broke. For him. And for many leaders. I connected to it deeply.

Over and over again, I observe people waiting and watching for leaders to do or say one thing wrong so they can pounce on them! Leaders are often criticized exponentially more harshly than others and offered practically no grace! Which is not only a denial of their humanity and need for Jesus, but is not even Biblical.

I have been the recipient of this type of thing plenty myself. You cannot have a bad day, make an off comment, vent an honest frustration or make a mistake without being harshly criticized. Look folks, whether Rick regrets or stands by his comment is beside the point. He is a sinner in need of a savior and he STILL makes and will keep making bad calls...as long as he shall live. The more love and grace we show leaders, the more like Jesus they will become. The criticism only drives (most) leaders toward rebellion, not change. It is just a reality of how most leaders are wired.

Here is my caution to those who read this: Be very careful if you find yourselves enjoying when leaders screw up. When you like and enjoy exaggerating their mistakes, it is probably a sign that you are looking to justify yours.

Offer the same love and grace to leaders as you would anyone...which would be exactly what Jesus would do!

I pray that Rick has a great day today as he responds to and fields this mess with a Jesus heart.

(Here is a picture of he and I in 2008. Great day of learning at NCC.)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Evernote...My New Favorite iPhone App!

I have a new favorite iPhone App! Evernote! I am not getting paid to say this, but I must give a big plug for the FREE software called Evernote. It totally rocks.

Evernote has taken my organization to a whole new level. It's a notes database that operates with cloud technology. It auto-syncs anytime you make any change anywhere!

Some of the stuff I store in Evernote now:
  • Sermon Notes and Sermon Ideas
  • Blog Concepts
  • Usernames and Passwords
  • Church Attendance
  • Meeting Agendas
  • Important pictures I want on the go
  • Travel schedule
  • Preaching Schedule
  • Budget Info
  • Jokes
  • Quotes (running list)
  • More....

There is an application for:
  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Blackberry
  • Droid
  • Many other smartphones
  • And your computer
Or...you can access, create and update your stuff online at www.evernote.com.

It supports text notes, photos, voice memos, and soon to be more. It auto-organizes however you like. And you can search, tag, favorite (which are offline), and more.

Ok, so there is my plug. Get Evernote! Even if it is just on your computer or online.

Their tagline is true. Remember everything.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Weight Loss for Missions. Week 4 Results.

Four weeks ago today, I began a journey to lose weight before moving to South Africa. CLICK HERE to read about it.

I asked people to sponsor and support me in the journey. Well, here is the update for week 3.

This week I lost 2 more pounds for a total of 24 pounds in 4 weeks. I am happy with a 2 pound loss in light of the fact that I was away and on the go so much this week.

I am at 271 today. My goal is to be well into the 260's by next week!

Pledges increased again this week to a total of $53.30 a pound with several other exciting offers pending that I cannot share quite yet.

I am still looking for people who want to partner with me and sponsor me per pound for missions! Please email, FB, comment, call, or text if you can support me.

This public accountability thing is a huge help! Thank you for your support!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Our Nomadic 2010

Have you ever been through something in life where you are not sure whether to laugh or cry? Sometimes it's funny, sometimes it's not...and you just feel torn about whether to laugh or cry? Well, we have felt that way a few times this year.

We have been homeless since April 1 of this year. That's 4 months! And we have have 5 to go before we move overseas! That is a total of 9 months of nomadic living!

There are multiple intentional reasons that we decided to do this. You can read more of the rationale by CLICKING HERE.

The dictionary defines nomad "a member of a people having no permanent abode, and who travel from place to place to find fresh pasture for their livestock; a person who does not stay long in the same place; a wanderer." Sounds about right.

Since April we have lived at my Sister, Selah's home and now at the Okanya's home while they are in Africa. August 15, we move to my sister, Joeley's home. September we are overseas and need no home. October we are planning to stay with a dear friend in our church. November, we are traveling south to bid farewell to some close friends and family. December we will likely stay with my Sister, Harmony and eat all her Christmas cookies (oh, wait...we are losing weight, not gaining it).

In all of this, Tricia and I have realized that even after arriving in South Africa, we will remain in transition. We will likely be a family in transition for the next several years. So, we have accepted that we will not really be able to offer Davis environmental stability. As a result, it makes it all the more important that we offer him emotional stability, spiritual stability, and relational stability. Over the last few weeks, we have taught him to memorize this statement: "Home is where Mommy and Daddy are." If you ask him where home is, he will tell you.

We welcome your continued prayer...for the days that we laugh because this is crazy and for the days that we cry because this is hard!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

How do you Carve an Elephant?

I recently heard this question asked: If you had a large concrete block, how would you carve an elephant out of it?

The answer: Chip away everything that doesn't look like an elephant.

This answer seems sarcastic, yet also simple, powerful and strangely encouraging.

The same approach and thinking can apply to the spiritual journey.

How do you sculpt and shape a believer?

Chip away everything that doesn't look like Jesus.

James 1 has some good stuff on this...be encouraged that your shaping is a process. The Potter is at work. Cooperate with him today.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Weight Loss for Missions. Week 3 Results.

Three weeks ago today, I began a journey to lose weight before moving to South Africa. CLICK HERE to read about it.

I asked people to sponsor and support me in the journey. Well, here is the update for week 3.

This week I lost 7 more pounds for a total of 22 pounds in 3 weeks. I am pretty excited about the results this week. I have averaged over a pound a day so far!

Pledges total $44.30 a pound with several other exciting offers pending that I cannot share quite yet.

I am still looking for people who want to partner with me and sponsor me per pound for missions! Please email, FB, comment, call, or text if you can support me.

The fact that you care and are watching holds me accountable and makes a difference. Thank you!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Our Schedule...

There have been enough questions and enough confusion, that I thought I would just share some of the components of our schedule for the rest of the year for those who wish to know.
  • The rest of the month of August: In Maryland and totally connected at CCF.
  • September 3-25: Tricia, Davis and I fly to Shanghai China for a 2 week Missions Event. Then, to Cape Town, South Africa for an exploratory trip (picking Davis a school and meeting some All Nations staff--excited to spend some time with Floyd McClung- just confirmed).
  • September 26- October 4: In Maryland and at CCF.
  • October 5-9: Catalyst Conference in Atlanta, GA with 10 CCF leaders.
  • October 9-24: In Maryland at CCF.
Note: November and December will be spent traveling to see family, finalizing our last items before leaving and speaking at churches to raise support.

Another Note: We will be moving on or about January 12.


Dates to note:
  • Sunday, August 22: Our Vision Sunday where Tricia and I share and a fundraiser Lunch at Chevy's in Greenbelt to follow.
  • Sunday, October 17: Commissioning Sunday at CCF. Commissioning service at 10:30am. Commissioning Dinner at 5pm.
  • Sunday, October 24: Our last Sunday at CCF and a second Chevy's Fundraiser Lunch.