LIFE Nuggets

The purpose of this blog is Essentially to Chronicle our personal faith journey and that of a place that we call LIFE House West. Why Life Nuggets? Because Nuggets bring to mind a sense of fun and enjoyment, show me a child who is sad when they get to eat chicken nuggets..... Things like life, and following Jesus should be fun and we want to explore those things in a light hearted and fun way, so please, enjoy...

Location: Hagerstown, Maryland, United States

30 years old, married, Father of four children (2 boys, 2 girls) 2 cats and 3 dogs (black lab, english bulldog, and pug)

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Man, it seems like Christmas has gotten here so fast this year. I have spent the day (along with one of the other guys on the team) handing out Christmas greeting door hangers to the neighborhood. If you are reading the blog because of that, welcome, I am glad that you stopped by. Feel free to read previous posts for more about myself and LIFE House West.

We only have a few more flyers to pass out, so when they are all out I feel like my "Christmas Festivities" can begin. I would like to, however, start with something that I think would be fun. Sharing Christmas memories. Either form childhood, or adulthood, it does not matter. You can post them in the comment section of the blog. it would be cool to share events that have made Christmas special for you.

I will start. There are so many that it is difficult to pick but I would have to say that having a child who is born in December (our youngest Samuel) is pretty cool. His birthday is two weeks before Christmas he reminds us every year of what a precious gift life is. He just turned one year old and this time is just so great because he, like our other three children is so full of life and enjoment of the season. We love to take our four kids and go out driving and look at all the Christmas lights. We listen to the same Christmas songs over and over (Veggi Tales Christmas) and drink coffee and hot chocolate. It is popbably my favorite thing to do around Christmas time with my family.

I know that it is not what may have been expected, people may have thought that I would have some great sermon or spiritual thought, so I will throw in a little nugget. We should remember first the gift God gave us by sending us his son Jesus. I do not want to just lecture on this everyone on this from some type of strange political stance. Christmas is about Jesus! Not just a church experience, or some religious article but a living breathing Jesus who came into this world and showed us a better way to live. When we trust him we not only get to go to heaven, we also have the opportunity to start over here. I know that many people tend to say that Jesus is the "reason for the season," sadly, many of those people can be the ones that get the grouchiest around Christmas. Look at the news, Christmas has become a time for confrontation, if we allow ourselves, we can miss the beauty of the message.

The message is that life can be new again. To me, each gift we open on Christmas represents the eternal newness that God wants for our lives. We do not have to live as if life is just mundane. We can wake up each day and realize that God wants us to experience him new each day. The gife of encountering God afresh through Christ daily cannot be worn out. This Christmas, I pray that as you enjoy family, friends, food, and fun, rediscover a relationship with God all over again. I am personally taking time to do this I hope you will to.....

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

All Quiet on the Western Front

Hey out there! It is odd, for once I do not have some type of profound thought that I want to put out there as a nugget for your mental digestion. Things here are somewhat quiet. We continue to work on the building and plans for LHW continue to move forward. With Christmas coming and my attempt to spend this time focusing on family, it seems like right now is a time for a deep breath before the new year and our efforts to launch more into our community. So by and large everything is cool. That is a good place to be. More soon.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Finding the Holy in the Ordinary

Once again it is time for another dose of LIFE Nuggets. As everyone would probably guess I am thrilled that the Cowboys won on Sunday. It was a great game that could have gone either way. It is strange to have your team back on top after having several not so good years. At least it makes the season more interesting.

While we did watch football Sunday, I felt that the evening had one other dynamic. Again it goes back to the idea of "tribe," if you have read the previous post. People were spread out in the house not only watching the game but spending time together. We were probably no different than millions of other households across the country in that respect. In a sense I found a holiness in the moment. Not because of the intense praying that Martin Gramatica was engaged in before the kick, but because of the sense family, of community. After the game we prayed for the needs in the group, we bore one another's burdens to the throne of God and as a group sought him for help. There is something special in moments like that.

Perhaps it is just a place that I find myself in right now but I am convinced that we miss moments to connect with God every day because we are not even aware of the opportunity. While there is, and should be, time set aside to worship God in the context of a public gathering (a service), I think we use that weekly gathering as a crutch. I feel that it is a detriment to the idea of following Jesus to see his revolution reduced to just attending a service. That is one piece of a larger picture. Where I think that we fail is that when we leave a gathering, we turn off our ability to sense God. It is almost like we quit looking for Him once we leave church.

When we attempt to un-learn that bad habbit and strive to encounter God in the simplicity of our lives, to strive to become aware of him, we will be on to something. Perhaps in our own little ways we can stop our day, even for a little while, and spend some time with God. It is almost noon so I am wrapping up to go apply my own advice and spend a little time with God in prayer. Try and do something similar at a time which is good for you. Meeting God outside of the church walls is great. It is helping me to grow closer to and become more like Jesus. It will do the same for you. Let God disrupt the calander for a minute. You will not regret it.



Friday, December 01, 2006

The Power of Tribe

Greetings once again to those of you who are stopping by to chomp on a couple of LIFE Nuggets! I am in such a great mood this morning. Some of the men on the team came in last night and we continued to paint inside the building. Being here last night I could not help but watch somthing powerful happen. We are beginning to see something take shape that is part of what I feel God wants LIFEhouse West to be about. Family, or what I personally like to call, tribe.

Let me explain, it is my opinion that as believers we have missed out in the past 20 or so years on the idea of living life together. Church has become a place, or a club, where we get together once a week or maybe twice. The relationships that we tend to have as a result are at best superficial and at worst dysfunctional. How many times have we heard of churches that are so split that people on one side of the sanctuary will not speak to those on the other side. Somehow all of these people live under the amazingly stupid notion that God is pleased with them. I do not believe for a minute that He is.

Or how about churches that are so focused on internal politics that when a visitor comes in and starts to get connected, the people who have been a part of the church for a while begin to share "behind the curtain" stuff. Saying things like "well this church has a lot going for it, but out pastor is such a ..............(fill in your own phrase here)." Then upon hearing this stuff the new person either becomes a party to it, or leaves thinking that all the stuff that he heard about Jesus must be a load of hogwash because the people who claim to represent Jesus sure don't sound like Jesus. Or how about a church where spiritual authority and ministry are oriented around position. Everyone becomes so focused on what they do or who they are "in church," that the Gospel is left on the shelf because everyone is focused on their personal agenda. Let's all be honest here, in some way, shape, or form, we have all encountered some variation of this stuff. Maybe even been guilty of being a part of it.

Perhaps that is why I find what I am doing now so refreshing. Some of the people who have shown up to help with the birthing of LHW, are so fresh and new. When something is new and fresh, it is easy to be idealistic. We have the opportunity here to be idealistic in our approach because of this newness. We can rediscover what it should look like.

This idea of tribe is one of those things. Here are my thoughts. Have you ever watched one of those shows on tribal communities or just picked up a National Geographic magazine? They show all of those "primitive" people living life as a community, working to hash out a living in a difficult environment. They work together, they help one another, they play together, they celebrate individual moments like marriage as a community by building the new couple a hut in which to start their new life together. They handle discipline as a group. They fight as a unit when the community is in danger. They celebrate victory together. Tribe is tribe no matter what.

This is what I feel we have missed and what I hope to see at LHW. Granted I have neither the resource or the ability to build everyone whom I marry a house, so no funny ideas here. We can however live life together. I pray that we will see a real family atmosphere among the people who embrace the idea that is LIFEhouse West. Is it Biblical? Yes. Look at Acts 2:42-47. These people shared, they lived together, laughed together, cried together, loved together, brought outsiders into the family, they did ir right. For most today, their model has become an inconvienent truth. As the guy who is responsible for guarding the ideals here at LHW, may it never be said of us that we lose the togetherness that is forming. As we all, as individuals and as a community, strive to be more like Jesus, our passionate following of him married with the idea of family can change a city. Let it be so.

Viva Revolution!!!!!!!

Go Cowboys!!!!!!!