Sunday, November 30, 2008

Update November

This month has FLOWN by! As Thomas posted the BSCNC had their annual convention November 10-12 in Greensboro. The creative team was super busy leading up to it with tons of design jobs for people in our building. We not only redesigned the ncbaptist.org website but also designed many brochures, banners, booth graphics and signage for the event. I'm glad it's calmed down and not so crazy at work! Hooray for the holidays!

Our New Bed
A few weeks ago Mom and Dad brought Thomas and I our new bed from McGinnis Furniture in Cville. It's a queen size, complete with a new mattress. SO much room! It's so comfortable it's now even harder to get out of bed in the mornings. Thanks Mom and Dad!

On November 11 I flew to Atlanta and met our friend Catherine, who we taught with in Korea, to see the Coldplay concert at Phillips Arena. My gracious brother took the day off and was our personal taxi for the day. Thanks Brent! It was an amazing concert! We were sad when it was over...too short.
Coldplay ConcertThe following weekend, Thomas, Catherine and I rented a car and drove up to Washington, D.C. for a few days. The weather was nice and we were able to walk around and see the Washington and Lincoln monuments, the White House, Capitol building, Korean, WWII, and Vietnam memorials, Arlington Cemetery, Library of Congress, Supreme Court, the Natural History Museum and Modern Art Museums of the Smithsonian.
Thomas getting attacked
This week we took Catherine home for a real Southern American Thanksgiving. Tuesday night we met some friends from Cherryville for dinner at PF Changs and then spent the night with Natalie and had breakfast at the Original Pancake house. Yum!
Whitney, Natalie, Catherine, Me, Kristen, Summer

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving

A few nights ago we were watching 60 Minutes and Andy Rooney did a bit on Thanksgiving that I thought was very good. You can watch it or read it here.

So, in the spirit of saving Thanksgiving from our materialistic culture here is a brief list of things that Leslie and I are thankful for.

Leslie's Thanksgiving list: (in no particular order),(as recounted to Thomas on the phone and then edited for his pleasure)
1)My job, 2)my husband (she actually said these in this order so to comfort myself I wrote the previous disclaimer about the order), 3)our house, 4)the fact that we are geographically close to family during this holiday season and able to spend time with them, 4)friends 5)our new awesomely comfortable bed 6)such gracious parents and 7)in-laws (Leslie recently had a class where family was the discussion and so many women in her class voiced such hardships with their in-laws. Hearing the other girls recount their conflict and struggle really helped Leslie to appreciate just how blessed she is in the in-law department, now if she could just fix that rascally husband she'd be set ;)

Thomas' Thanksgiving list:
1)The blood of Jesus which covers over me and prevents a just God from sentencing me to the fate I deserve. 2)my smokin' hot wife, 3)SEBTS, and the wonderful scholarship which enables me to go there, 4)Turkey!! (I'm excited, only 2 more hours until lunch), 5)my parents (I have met so many people this year who have told me how much my parents have impacted their life. The more I learn about Mom and Dad the more I am impressed with them and thankful for them), 6)I'm also thankful for my in-laws (that bed is bloody fantastic!), 7)I am thankful to attend such a great church and be apart of such a quality small group, 8)I am thankful for the people who pray for us, God bless you, have a happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Best Christmas Video EVER!!



I ran across this video this morning while at my Grandmothers house. I love it and I hope you find it as fun and convicting as I did.
You can visit the website behind it here.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Leslie!!!


Today my beautiful wife begins the final year of her twenties. Oh how time flies!
I think a short survey of some of Leslie's accomplishment from this past year are in order. Having just returned from a well spent year in South Korea, she landed a job at the Baptist State Convention of NC. Being back in her preferred profession Leslie has produced an enormous amount of design work for the BSCNC. Some fruits of her labor can be seen through a redesign of the Conventions website found here. A few other pieces of promotional art can be found here and here. Believe me when I say this is just a sample of all that she has cranked out over the last ten months.

Leslie has also begun taking classes at Southeastern Seminary which will count towards a Bible Certificate. She has been doing very well in these classes, learning the good material and graciously sitting through the other stuff. She joined the Summit Church in Durham, NC where every week God uses the choir and Pastor J.D. to bless and challenge her. She also joined a Summit small group and has begun making some very meaningful relationships.

Leslie bought a house this year! By Gods grace we are now well planted in Wake Forest and enjoying our new home. Using her designers eye our house is well decorated and comfortable to live in. I am a blessed man, which leads me to my final point. Year three of marriage has certainly been our best so far. The first year was an adjustment, the second was in a foreign country with numerous health issues, but year three has been especially pleasant. Leslie is an amazing wife and I am so fortunate to have her.

For those of you who pray for us we want to say a big THANK YOU! Please pray for Leslie today as she celebrates her birthday and I hope that you will continue to lift her up throughout the rest of this upcoming year.

I love you!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Interesting Quote

I'm currently reading the book The Pirate's Dilemma, How youth culture is reshaping capitalism and came across an interesting quote by Machiavelli that I think accurately applies to the current state of the SBC and State Conventions with their bloated bureaucracy and the younger generation's want of change.
It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to management than the creation of a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new ones.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wycliffe's Incredible Gift

An anonymous donor has given 50 million dollars to Wycliffe. The gift is going to expedite Wycliffe's work towards translating Scripture into the remaining languages of the world which do not, as of yet, have a Bible. The gift is even more amazing considering the tough economic environment. Personally I think using ones money for the spread of God's Word is a safe and wise investment.
To read a more complete article click here.
Thanks for thinking it but I am sorry to disappoint you, Leslie and I were not the anonymous donors :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

NC Baptist State Convention Annual Session Highlights: Part 1 Young Leaders

An easily made observation of the Southern Baptist Convention is that we are a grey, balding, pasty white group of people. The plateau in growth within the SBC over the years has left many leaders scratching their heads over what to do and where the future of the denomination is heading.
This week is the Annual Session of the North Carolina Baptist State Convention. Today our Executive Director Treasurer gave an address and had a few comments which he directed to younger Southern Baptist. I found these words to be encouraging:


Finally – let me speak to the younger generation of pastors who are here or who might read these words later.
We know you are there. I wish more were actually here with us today.
There is research to indicate that we are now living in a post-denominational time in the history of the church. I have read that research and I believe much of it to be true.
But lovingly I want to say to you that denominations are here to stay. Please notice what I didn’t say. I did not say that this denomination – the Southern Baptist Convention – is here to stay. I did not say that the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina is here to stay. I do believe denominations are here to stay.
I can look to Scripture and see that believers denominate together. That is they cooperate based on certain key theological principles and ideas which help them in their ministry.
This has always been the case. The churches in Corinth helped other churches. The church in Jerusalem helped other churches and other churches, in turn, helped them. They were bound together not by geography, but theology not a party spirit but the Holy Spirit who worked in and through their church to reach out to other churches to strengthen and support them. This was commonplace in the early church.
If I were to count the new networks, denominations, pastor’s schools, church planting movements, or other organized efforts to cooperate in a common mission I could easily present you at least 50 new denominations.
They may not be denominations in the formal, organized, and incorporated sense with offices and large staffs, but Christians will denominate until the Lord returns. It is at the heart of what it means to live in a community of faith.
As you know the main-line denominations – the United Methodists, the Presbyterian Church USA, and the Episcopal Church have experienced dramatic declines over the past thirty years.
And as you probably know – the Southern Baptist Convention has now reached a growth plateau which has many concerned that the denomination is dying a slow death. If demographic trends hold, they are right as we are losing young leaders at a faster rate than we can re-produce them to assume positions of leadership in our current structure.
It would be easy for me to say in fact many of you probably expect me to say - that we are changing things to reach a new generation (and we are) or that we are streamlining our ministries to better reflect the needs of the churches (and we are) or that we are working to better serve churches and actually see ourselves as their servant not the other way around (and we are), but there must be more. Something must happen to us as God’s people as North Carolina Baptists which is beyond the boundaries of what human beings can produce. The latest corporate strategy or tactic can never duplicate or even resemble a genuine work of the Holy Spirit.
We have much for which to repent. We can no longer ignore the obvious, and it is difficult to hear your sins plastered in the Press, but I am thankful that we are again getting serious about regenerate membership in our churches. I am thankful we
are once again concerned about our methods of evangelism to such a degree that we are prayerfully looking at the way we communicate the gospel to a lost world.
We must repent of denominational pride and call to God in the assurance that He will never turn away hearts that are truly broken in sin. And that is what we are attempting to do while God gives us breath and strength.
I call you to help in that mission - to advance God’s mission on this earth through the churches of this Convention to the glory of our God and the advancement of His Kingdom.


The entire message can be read here.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Kenyans on Obama Victory

Here is a first for our blog! We are proud to say that my Mom actually wrote an email. I thought it was so timely and interesting I'm posting it for all to read.

Kenya Update

You would not believe the celebrations going on in Kenya since Obama has been elected as president. Tomorrow has been made a National Holiday by the president of Kenya, "OBAMA Day" No one has to work and there is no school. Parties going on everywhere! Schedules are being rearranged to free people up to celebrate. The Kenyans I have talked to feel there problems are now over. This is so strange!! Some really feel like he is going to change the world!! You are speaking to yourself if you try to say other wise. I have never seen anything like it.


I'll be amazed if he can pull America out of its financial crisis much less have time to think about Kenya. But somehow they have it in their head that he is bringing "change" not only to America but Kenya as well.
If you want to read some more on the Obamamania going on in Kenya here is an article from the national newspaper. For those still interested here is an even more disturbing article regarding some of the practices of the "Pentecostals and pagans" in the hysteria building up to the Obama win.