Blocking out the noise in silence…

Catalyst… I was there!

Catalyst… It’s still bugging me!

Catalyst…        

I can either run to the Truth and embrace it… or I can run from it.  From all indications there is no running from it.  Total surrender is the only acceptable response.  God is on every street corner.  He is in the midst of every conversation since those two powerful days.  God was there before I got there.  He was waiting.  God was in the invitation for me to go.  God is here with me today.  God is.

This is not about Catalyst.

I have read several blogs from some who have attended Catalyst.  I hear their response.  I hear how God has dealt with them. But I still struggle.  I still cry.  I still sit here looking through my notes.  What is it I can’t let go of?  Why is it God will not let go of me?  (Not that I want Him to).  But He is always there – He is always here.  No matter where I go in my thoughts he is there. 

He was there December 1983.  He changed my life set me a part for Himself.  To lift Him up!  To tell His gospel story.   

I have the house to myself this morning.  I have sat here in silence.  Just sitting.  I dare not go outside and do anything as I have had bronchitis for the past week.  So, I sit… just listening to the silence.  When was the last time you sat in total silence?  Literally the only thing I can hear is the refrigerator and THAT is about to drive me nuts!  God is here. 

This is not about me…

In the silence, I have prayed for friends.  Friends who are sick.  Friends who are serving the Lord at this very moment.  Friends who are surrounded by fear.  Friends who are full of hope and encouragement.  Friends who God is reaching through me.  God has been doing some things I didn’t even know about until day before yesterday…. WOW!  But today – I’ve just sat here.  And so has God.  It took me a bit to notice He was here.  Oh – I was listening for Him but I had some things to deal with in this silence.  In this moment He is here.  He is there with you too.  It could be today or It could be tomorrow but He is there.  Kind of freaky – I know.  But it’s His love.

Is it noisy where you sit? 

Although I have been sitting here in this silence my mind has been filled with the noise that distracts me so much.  Now that I am here… now that He is here… I just want to stay here in this silence.  I have found a bit of peace.  The noise is gone (even the motor of the refrigerator is silent).

It’s all about God… His Son – Jesus…

Have you told anyone lately?  Is the Holy Spirit working through you today?  Or is there too much noise?  You know He will work through you even through all of the noise… don’t let the noise trick you to think otherwise.  Your life is His… let Him use you today… there’s another life waiting for the Truth.  They are looking for it.  They are on the street corner.  They are in the grocery store checkout line.  They are at your work.  They may even be in your church.  They are where you are.  Be abandoned to Him.  Run… go and tell what He has done for you.  Don’t let the moment pass you by.  It’s not about Catalyst… it’s not about me… It’s all about Jesus.  It’s about setting the captive free. 

The world is looking for a revelation
We’re always under their investigation
They look at us to hear we got to say
They can’t see Jesus when we stand in the way
They don’t need no more elevated speeches
We’re keeping Jesus just beyond their reaches
Can’t see the forest for all of the trees
They won’t see Jesus till we fall on our knees

(From, “Lift Him Up”, Petra – Bob Hartman, 1983).

Silence Broken

Kara just broke the silence with a very strange txt message:  “John McCain is at the Cartersville Airport until 1PM” I had to turn on FOX News and break the silence to find out for sure.  It was a scheme of the devil… to get me out into the cool breezy weather.   John McCain is in Albuquerque today!!  Which is ironic  – as I would love to be living in Albuquerque once again!!  Thanks for the diversion Kara. 🙂

Unfinished Business

During the lunch break on Thursday I was standing there and Tim said something to me like this, “Are you OK?  You look like you are in deep thought or something is bothering you…” 

I was OK.  I think I was stunned after that first message.  Andy Stanley talked about 3 specific things and how they relate to doing ministry.  They are:  Forgiveness, Family, and Finances.  God really got my attention right off the bat.

Just moments prior to Stanley’s talk I had a conversation about forgivenss.  Then to hear Stanley talk about it I was dumb-founded.  I was in shock… it was as if he had just read my mail… like he had been listening in on my conversation… this was such a God moment for me.  Literally I thought I was the only one in the room.  The element of Finances was the other key point to this power-packed threesome of points. As a family, we have made some decisions on this as well.

The mess was cleaned up with each message I heard afterward. Now that I am home I am trying to figure out what the purpose of all this was.  I think I know.  I am still praying through it.  I want to do what thus says the LORD.  I am making sure I’m not chasing after something Roye wants to do.

So I am back to making another decision.  I know Joel would have you think the decision still centers on whether I should wear Boxers or Briefs.  (If you need more info on this click here… then read the comments).

It’s kind of an exciting moment… not the choice of boxer or briefs.  That decision has been already made.

So, while we are on the subject I think I will try out this new feature here on wordpress…

Post Catalyst Blues

Alright, so why does someone have the blues after attending such an incredible conference?  I don’t know… I guess I’m messed up.

There was so much covered during those two days.  I have been able to apply some of what I have gained to my life at work.  The 2 books I picked up are going to keep me moving forward on the “business” side of the conference. (Tribes by Seth Godin and Saving the World at Work by Tim Sanders)  Still there is this unresolved portion of what happened while there. 

I was reading Jayme’s blog this morning and she definitely hit on some of the nerve surrounding this that I feel.  I highly encourage you to read it!

There’s an “emptiness” to what I feel now… some unfinished business maybe. 

Joel read to us in our men’s group this morning Psalm 107.  It’s the “cried out to the LORD” verses that keep ringing in my head right now. 

I’m not sure I have really “cried out to the LORD” yet.  It is time to…

Obedience: an act of love

The following are some words I wrote down in my journal during Worship at Catalyst Day 2 – October 10, 2008:

God, You are beautiful.  I am limited with my words.  I do not know how to truly express my love I have for You.  I can’t find the words.  The only way I can truly express myself to you would be through a life of obedience.  Yes – obedience – this is the word… the action… to express my love for You.

In this moment, I recall the words of My Utmost for His Highest this morning:

Even the smallest bit of obedience opens heaven, and the deepest truths of God immediately become yours.  Yet God will never reveal more truth about Himself to you, until you have obeyed what you know already. (Oswald Chambers, October 10).

Catalyst Day 2

There is so much to reflect on for Day 2. 

First, these are most of the people we had the pleasure of learning from today:  Tim Sanders, Jeff Foxworthy, Franklin Graham, Dave Ramsey, Matt Chandler, and Andy Stanley… There were others who spoke or shared I don’t have my workbook in front of me right now.  The icing on the cake was the experience of a lifetime in worshipping the Creator of all things and the King of kings.

I stood there on several occasions during worship and just looked around at the 12,000 people attending this conference on Leadership.  The noise that 12,000 people can make is amazing.  I leaned over to Brad at one moment while everyone was clapping and said something similar to this, “Listen to all of the clapping.  It’s kind of strange to hear how we humans have found a way to express our approval and gratitude to others.  We are no different from other animals in this regard.”  We want to express to people and to God in a manner that shows our approval of them and one way we do so is by clapping.  I paid attention a lot today to how people responded to what they were hearing. 

One of the greatest rounds of applause came for a Staff Sergent from the Army on a 15 day leave who was at Catalyst.  WOW!  He spent 2 of his 15 day leave at this conference… He left the war in Iraq and got his spiritual and leadership batteries charged.  It was an amazing moment to witness his introduction.

There is so much to say as to what I gained from this 2 day conference.  If you have never been to Catalyst I highly suggest going… Catalyst 2008 is by far the BEST conference I have ever been to!  For those of you on the West Coast, Catalyst is coming your way in April 2009!!  Catalyst will be in Orange County, CA. 

Seth Godin gave us his latest book, Tribes.  I have begun reading it tonight and haven’t been able to put it down.  I know I will finish it this weekend.  I have already gotten several ideas on how to implement his ideas in this book to my own “tribe” at work.  I look forward to being stretched this way… my title may be “Area Manager” but my function is to be a leader of those who make up my tribe.  As I apply some of the thoughts I have jotted down tonight as to steps I will begin taking I hope to write on how my team of employees respond. 

The short story about today’s sessions is this:  Missions was a large thrust of today’s topics.  I was challenged to preach the Word, reach people with the preached Word and not to be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.  The goal of proclaiming Christ is Christ.  Nothing less.  For it to be less would be to lead people to think “you” (or I) did a great job in the presentation.  Doing a great job in presenting the Gospel should never be the goal.  Preach the Word and watch God do the work!

There was so much more that was communicated today that will apply to so many areas of my life.  I look forward to sharing this in the days ahead. 

I am so very thankful for the opportunity to go to this Catalyst.  I words can’t express my thanksgiving.  Thank you!

One more thought about both days.  God orchestrated so much for me over these two days.  From conversations with new and old friends, each of the sessions, the worship, the quiet moments by myself journaling, and the many tears that were shed…  I know everything I experienced was planned by God.  I am so looking forward to unwrapping all of this…

Catalyst Day 1

These are quotes I have walked away with today:

Jim Collins:

“Not all time in life is equal.”

“The difference between good and great is discipline. In greatness you’ll find a culture of discipline.”

Steven Furtik:

“Stay faithful and pure and God will use you to reach people for Christ.”

Furtik was phenomenal!

My take away from Furtik’s talk was that God gives the vision – God takes us through a process until “there is nothing there.” Once we have walked through this process God leads us to the payoff of the vision.

For me, God is reminding me of the vision… God’s hand on my life.