stop motion animation

well, i haven't attempted such a thing since i was in high school (maybe junior high actually) so i'm performing at that level or lower, but here's a video i made for our sunday gatherings last week. anyone who's ever been a kid will recognize that legos are the medium of choice. this video is summarizing the first 6 chapters of nehemiah, from the bible.

by the way, that picture on the previous post is really freaky.


seems strange now

from where i sit today things are looking different. yes, it is physically a different place, but primarily what i'm referring to is my state of mind. the blog post below this one was once a source of pride for me, even 6 days ago when i posted it, but today it seems strange. i'm a little sick and very tired, and these 2 factors combined equal a justin who is not terribly interested in much more than whatever i feel like right now. it's not a great state to be in and i typically do a good job man\aing it, but when i feel worn down as i do today i have a tendency to slip into this funk more easily (and unfortunately more comfortably).

my goal is to be in a place in lfie where this mood comes as seldom as possible. i doubt i'll ever ditch it for good, but until then, i'll be hoping God decides to give me the strength to be a decent person, and not the total prick that i feel like i want to be (and am entitled to be).


something good i said once (allegedly)

Eric, my friend/boss/pastor, emailed his staff a while ago asking us about ways that we are leading our church to become "missional." he sent a list of 8 questions to help on our quest. when i replied, my friend colin said my reply was really good and i should post it on my blog, so i decided to wait until i forgot about it and lost it in my inbox then come back and post it.

working definition for "missional:" being intentional about living a life that points people toward jesus christ.

1. Have you always had a missional mindset or have you gone through a change in thought sense you started ministry? Can you describe that?

We have always had a missional mindset. What that looks like continues to change.

2. Have there been challenges in helping your church focus on the main thing? How are you navigating these?

Sort of. I think we made strong statements about being outward focused in the beginning that are still carrying us pretty well. The challenge now is keeping the leadership focused on the main thing; finding ways to make the daily grind a missional quest.

3. How have you helped your congregation connect with people outside the church and remain externally focused?

Placing a high priority on community involvement with a missional mindset. Downplaying church involvement.

4. What are some practical things you do that are working well?

Sunday gatherings?

5. How do you build relationships with people in your community?

By being involved in existing community stuff and by offering our church resources (building, man-power, etc) to the community

6. Is there a story of life change that you’d like to share?

Cyndy (someone who's a part of cedar hills) has a friend who, about a year ago, started asking questions about the Christian faith. She and Cyndy began meeting regularly to discuss issues of faith and questions that she had. She was curious and just wanted to dialogue. Cyndy would share occasional stories at our weekly staff meetings about conversations they were having, all the while praying that God was drawing her friend closer to Him.

Last Sunday night, Cyndy’s friend was a part of her first church gathering in many years. She sat way in the back by the door with Cyndy and another friend of hers. I watched her throughout the gathering, not knowing who she was, but excited because I didn’t recognize her as a regular part of our church. As we were hanging out afterwards, Cyndy came and invited me to meet her.

The next day in the office Cyndy shared that her friend had a great experience in the gathering. She told Cyndy that she really liked it and thought that though she wasn’t ready yet, she might be able to work her way up to going on Sunday morning. Cyndy explained to her friend that there was nothing to work up to; that Sunday night “counts.” her friend said she was excited to make this a regular part of her life.

7. Who are the people you network with to help keep you missional? Internet? Books? Conferences?

Local people outside a relationship with Christ; maintaining a life outside the church so that i don't get isolated into a christian bubble

8. Is there anything that you are learning that could help the rest of us?

Being missional CAN NOT be a program that’s implemented or a strategy that’s taught. Being missional must stem from an understanding that Jesus loves people who don’t know him as much as he loves people who do. It MUST grow out of interpersonal relationship with people who don’t know Christ and be an expression of love for them. The style and pace vary from person to person and time to time but if being missional is about who I am and not how I act, that’s the ticket.

quite a weekend

the last 6 days have been crazy here. it's been really good though. i spent some time last week lining up some stuff for jen's brithday. it's on the 21st so i'm way ahead of the curve for the first time in my life. i can't offer any more details about her surprise though. suffice it to say there'll be more info later.

last thursday joosung, who was in uganda with me, came over here to visit before returning to yorba linda. he was here for the weekend and left on sunday. we had a great time and it was pretty chill. i think when we head down to california in august we're gonna stop by and see him.

this week should be fun. i think this weekend i'm gonna reveal a part of jen's present to her. hopefully she'll be as excited about it as i am.


america the beautiful

i really wanted to title this blog after one of the songs on the team america: world police soundtrack but it seemed a bit crass, even for me... or at least more crass than i'd like to be known as.

anywho, reaclimating to life in america has been good and busy. i think one of the main reasons why we're one of the most developed and richest nations in the world is that we NEVER TAKE A BREAK!! i know, i know. i'm choosing to live this way. you're right. i know you are. it's just been challenging for me to relax because i know that my only worth comes from what i accomplish not from who i am. so i'm working hard to become someone better than who i am.

i haven't done much to compile the footage and photos from the trip yet. joosung is coming over here tomorrow and that'll be really good. we can at least get started.

also, i got a cel phone, so... another status symbol for me. (are cel phones still considered status symbols? i certainly hope so.)