Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Faith Walks among Faith Talks

For over a month now we (the Berg's) have been exploring what it would look like to have a fun and creative Faith Talk each Friday night.  We, as a NB Families Pastoral Team, wanted to make it a commitment to really pursue these principles we are articulating and try to 'Be' before we ask you (the body) to 'Do'.  For the Berg's we are now on a rotation with the whole crew, in fact Creighton's pick for Berg Family Fun Night is this week (stay tuned, and pray for us, for this one)!!  This past week was no exception to our fun, however, building a house and discussing the wise & foolish builders (Matthew 7:24-27).  

But the ultimate blessing didn't come from my planning or even leading of the devotional (which I thought was pretty good)...In fact, it had nothing to do with me AT ALL!!  Instead it came from the sweet voice I heard on the other side of the "house" in something I couldn't explain in anyway short of "spontaneous worship" (I'm thankful I had enough time to grab my phone and begin recording)!!

The beauty in this song wasn't just my youngest singing worship but the fact that she inadvertently picked it up from her mommy!!  With the radio off this month (because of ourmedia fast) we have had a lot of acapella singing going on in the Berg home.  My wife isn't one to ever sing in front of folks but she has been in worship all month with her God, and in that time Charleigh has picked up a beautiful new song.  It wasn't because we sat down and taught it to her it is something she just saw, heard and now beginning to live out... That isFaith Walk to the core!!

The interesting part to me is if you asked Courtney what she did this week to focus our kids to Christ, she might tell you a couple things but probably end with I haven't done enough or maybe even "nothing".  It's hard being a mom!  It's tiring pulling laundry out of what seems to be a hamper with an endless bottom or not just making lunch & dinner each day, then having to clean up the messes that follow.  Being so tired from being a taxi service to activities and sports, homeroom mom, and the countless other errands that have to happen.  And though we (the family) might not always get to say thank you or even tell her what a difference she makes, Court got to catch a peek into what her impact really is... AND IT'S HUGE!!

Thinking about your week, what are some things your kids picked up on this week, either positive or negative?
How are you being intentional with your time to reflect the very presence of Christ daily?

**Want to purchase Jesus Culture's - "Set a Fire" Click Here 

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

I'm exhausted!!

I don’t know about you but I feel exhausted.  I overheard some folks say it was Spring Break but I missed the ‘break’ part and my dash thermometer this morning said 39 degrees!!  
Actually, I got some time off last week for the break and even went camping with the fam.  But since Matt stole that for his post I’ll just direct you there for the fun camping story and move on to why I’m so tired. 

I actually looked up the word while writing this… “Exhausted: Drained of one’s physical or mental resources; very tired; completely used up.”  Did you catch it?  ‘Drained of one’s physical or mental resources.’  That’s me in a nutshell this week.  I’m drained, tired, used up… EXHAUSTED!!   But it’s not because I worked over the break, spent time with my family or even because I haven’t slept well lately.  I’m shattered over our country!!  Before you re-post this (or flag me) for politicizing some stance, you might want to read the rest.  I’m sad for the people… all of us!! 

I’m really not even talking about gun rights, gay rights or even horse rights (which I saw a post about yesterday, right in the middle of the equal rights debate on Facebook).  What’s frightening is that there were more than a half dozen articles this week covering events going on that challenge religious freedomconservative morality and mock virtue.  Currently I’m in dialogue with several self proclaimed atheists that want to discuss (enemies argue friends discuss) everything from pro-life to the stupidity of believing a religious system that was “made up by rich rulers to control the poor” (or the “fallacy of an inerrant Bible”).  Top that off with a new generation (teens & young adults) that is “fleeing” the church.  All this adds up to make for an exhausted Family Pastor of High School!!

So what’s the good news?  

You mean you don’t know?  

We are actually celebrating just that, this Sunday (join us)!!  
But just in case, let me break it down for you simply:

1) God is very much in love with you (EVERYONE)!! Zephaniah 3:17
2) God was so in love, He sent His son!! John 3:16
3) His Son: Jesus, died, was buried, and rose again!! 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
4) All who humble themselves by committing 100% devotion to Him, will be saved!!Galatians 2:20

A friend of mine one time was on a vacation and while sitting out one down reading his Bible a lady walked by and said: “We win”.  My friend said, “Excuse me”.  The lady turned around and said: “The Bible, those that put their trust in Him win”.

Brothers and Sisters… We Win!! 

Join me TODAY in spreading the victory in love (let God sort out the rest)!!   

My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.

My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!

This is how we know we’re living steadily and deeply in him, and he in us: He’s given us life from his life, from his very own Spirit. Also, we’ve seen for ourselves and continue to state openly that the Father sent his Son as Savior of the world. Everyone who confesses that Jesus is God’s Son participates continuously in an intimate relationship with God. We know it so well, we’ve embraced it heart and soul, this love that comes from God.

God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.  We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first.

If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.

May this truth calm your spirit, like it did mine... May our families get the best of us because we believe that He is coming again... May our neighbors flock to our friendship because of the love we share... And may our kids be led by our example!!

"'s your favorite"

A few weeks ago I was sound asleep when a small hand was placed on my shoulder.  When my eyes adjusted I found another face nose to nose with mine and a sweet little voice followed saying: "Daddy... it's your favorite!"

There's two things that I love thinking about in that moment:
- Charleigh thinks she's my favorite
- It's true!!

Before you get mad stick with me... Keep reading!!  I remember when Jackson (our oldest) was born and thinking: "I can never love someone as much as I love this little guy right now"!!  In fact, when I heard we were expecting Creighton (our second) I remember thinking: "how am I going to love her as much as I love my son".  This wasn't because she was a girl and he was a boy but I didn't have a category for how my heart could handle loving something as much, or worse, was I going to have to love my son less to make room for some love for her!?  BUT, the craziest thing happened... Creighton was born and in an instant I held her and looked at her and thought: "Holy cow, I love her with everything I am"!!  I bet if you have kids, you know what I'm talking about...

However, if you're keeping score at home, you know we have one more... Charleigh!!  And she came to us a little differently... She's adopted (Read more about her story here)!!  Though, I had heard jokes like "you love your adopted kids more because you get to pick them and are stuck with the others" this isn't the thought that creeps in the hours before seeing the child you are to adopt.  For me, it was: "How could I ever love someone more than my own blood?"  Yet, that morning in October will forever be sketched into my mind when I picked up this baby girl and though I was trying to play it cool (because I knew 'failed adoptions' were fairly normal) I thought: "I will love and fight for you the rest of my life".  And for the first time I understood the true essence ofEphesians 1:4-5 "He chose us... to be adopted through Jesus"!!

I LOVE MY FAMILY!!!  And each one of my kids really is my favorite... I don't know how that works but I bet it has something to do with us having the characteristics of God.  You see, I'm God's favorite!!  BUT SO ARE YOU!!!  I know, I know... In our culture we are taught there's only "one favorite" but if you look up the definition it says: "one that is treated or regarded with special favor or liking".  Every one of us are treated with special favor and liking by the Savior--the question is whether you want to see it or not!?  Each one of my kids knows I love them and I hope each one of them knows they are, in fact, my favorite!! 

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Top 10 Moments of 2012 (and honorable mentions)

If the 'Titles' are different color click on them and read more about that event from Court's Blog (or other helpful places)!!

Honorable Mentions:
*) The Blue Whale of Catoosa

*) Being alive for 12:12p, on Dec. 12th '12

*) Washington DC (bonus to go with my nephew and his freshmen class)

*) Chick-Fil-A from Chelsea

*) Dr. Pepper Museum 

The Top Ten Moments of 2012:
10) Performing my first wedding of a former student

9) Getting Maced (Yeah, it was a DDW List!!)

8) Competing in Finishing a Triathlon

7) Live at Monday Night Football

6) Decorating for Christmas at MY home

5) Starting a Garden from the ground up

4) Taking Jackson to his first Dallas Cowboy game

3) Starting 'Seven'

2) Meeting Jacob (our 'My Life Speaks' sponsored child in Haiti)

1) Completing a 40 Day Fast