Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I haven't had the time I'd like for writing here lately, but I thought I'd share with you something that came in an email to me this week. Enjoy...


A Better Plan from a Better Planner
By John Ortberg
It’s almost Thanksgiving, with Christmas right behind. Often on the holidays we become aware that life does not go the way we plan. We think to ourselves:
I was supposed to be married by now.
I was supposed to be promoted by now.
I was supposed to have retired, or to have children, or to have achieved this dream-
Or, I wasn’t supposed to go bankrupt. I wasn’t supposed to lose my job, or get divorced, or get cancer.

What do you do when life doesn’t turn out the way you planned?

One of the great statements of the Bible reads: “For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD. Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope, and a future.’
Jeremiah 29:11
We all have plans. But God does not say: “I know the plans YOU have for you…”
In the Bible, God is always interrupting somebody’s plan.
Adam didn’t plan on getting created.
Noah didn’t plan on building an ark.
Abraham didn’t plan on becoming the father of a new nation in his 90’s.
Esther didn’t plan on stopping genocide.
Moses didn’t plan on defying Pharaoh.
Mary didn’t plan on getting pregnant.
Not a single story in the Bible begins: “Then someone had a great plan…”
But God has a plan.
Better than our plan.
So even if we have many disappointments, we have something else, something to be grateful for. We are part of somebody else's plan; a better plan, from a Better Planner. His plan is better than we could invent ourselves in a million years.
Gratitude is one of the best parts of the plan.


Be grateful my friends! Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Legend... wait for it... dary!

(or... "why awesomeness is imperative")

This past week Praxis Church sponsored its second annual Community Trunk-or-Treat. It was so much fun, but the thing that gets me, the thing I can't move past, is how many people were surprised by how great it was. Not that "our planning committee is all that and a bag of chips so of course it would be awesome," but the fact that excellence is surprising. I never cease to be amazed by the degree to which we EXPECT mediocre. Heck, half the time (if we're honest), we aim for it.

I love our local community, but I think somewhere along the way we decided average was acceptable. Not only that, but that mediocrity is the best we can hope for. Not that there aren't people or organizations that are exceptions to this, but on the whole, there seems to be this chronic apathy, a pervasive hopelessness. We live in a depressed area. When it comes to opportunities, job availability, school funding, economic development, etc. and there are many who are ready to throw in the towel or who have already decided we're circling the drain as a community and there's nothing we can do about it. Someone asked me the other day what my personal goal for Trunk-or-Treat was. I said I wanted it to infuse a shot of hope into our community, and a dream or vision of something better.

We have potential Oscoda County! Believe it or not, but there are creative, intelligent, wise, insightful, inspired people all over the place in our county. We have everyone we need in order to live somewhere phenomenal. We took less than 10 people and planned a great event. How much more could we do if we were ALL aiming for excellence? In our work places, in our homes, in our schools, in our churches, in EVERY INTERACTION, etc. As Cody said this morning at Praxis, we all have a "best version" of ourselves that God is desperate to see us become. A potential we have not yet attained. If we all start aiming for that, what could we become in the next 5 years?

Stop being surprised by excellence, start AIMING for it!

...and just so you know... I can think of at least 10 ways we missed the target with Trunk-or-Treat and we will be going over it this week to try and think of more. It is our intention to NEVER rest on what we have already accomplished, but to push ahead towards something better... maybe even something God hasn't revealed to us yet. We are not satisfied, but we ARE doing our best. :)