Thursday, January 28, 2010

God is BIG

Psalm 33:6 - By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Thought from Sarah..

I recently met up with a friend who just went through a very devastating loss. I was so excited to see her, empathize with her, and be God's hug of love to her. Not that I am overly special, but there is just something about us (including me) that is just awesome when we are at a low point in life. It's like we see life more clearly and for what it really is rather than complaining about petty things... like rain, snow, hair that needs to be cut, or a bad day at work. Through this situation God showed me that He, likewise, delights to meet us when we most need Him... when we are in the pit and see that for all we are worth, we are broken, needy people who are awful at planning out our own life.

Sometimes I really dislike being with people who feel like an obligation... there's no desperation or excitement... just obligation. Woohoo =( While thinking about this God showed me that this is sometimes how I see him (when I am most full of myself). I am thankful that he sees beyond my obligation and makes me desperate, needy, and excited to know Him! It is such a blessing... it is what matters! That to say... today I don't want to care about the snow or that my nose is running or that I have a million things to do before we have company over tonight... I want to be desperately in love with Him and open to where He leads me. To take up my cross (whatever that looks like today) and follow!

That's my 5 cents for the day...

How my sister gets me to call her back

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"Spuring" me on

From a Spurgeon devotional...
A prisoner of the Lord once wrote,
"O my Lord Jesus Christ, if I could be in heaven without You, it would be hell; and if I could be in hell, and have You still, it would be heaven to me, for You are all the heaven I need."

Along the same lines Jonathan Edwards wrote,
"The enjoyment of God is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, or children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows; but God is the substance. These are but scattered beams, but God is the sun. These are but streams. But God is the ocean.”

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Fun Day at the Office

Day in the life of a Junior High Pastor...

7:00 - Spurgeon and Hebrews
8:00 - Donuts and juice for the new Sunday morning class
8:15 - Drove past a hitchhiker
8:16 - Felt Convicted and picked him up
8:17 - Good conversation about Jesus with Dan Meremet - he's heard a lot about Jesus over the years!
9:30 - Fun conversations with Josiah Sabino (6th grader) about God and football
10:30 - 40 junior highers packed in a small room for our first Grapple Class -
11:00 - My intern Jase faked liked he was crying to get their attention
12:00 - Leaders Make-up session
1:00 - Call from a leader thinking meeting was at 1 and he's at my house
1:15 - Lunch
1:30 - 6th grade guy leaders meeting - lots of cool things happening in Stratford, IA
3:30 - 6th grade lady leader meeting - 7 ladies committed to almost 30 6th grade girls!
5:30 - Respond to texts from students
8:30 - Received a call from parents about disruptive boy

Say it

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Road Trip To Chicago

This past Tuesday my buddy Brandon Young and I set out to visit our friends - Brandon and Sydney Jacobson - and take in the ISU vs Duke bball game at the United Center. It is always random, fun, and crazy when the Brandons and I get together. I love how we can go from Cyclone/Hawk smack-talk to Christmas Vacation Quotes to car dancing to impersonating John Piper to discussions about Luke 3:21. We had a worshipful time talking about the Trinity after listening to the Mark Driscoll's message below...

We spent a few hours discussing how in Luke 3:21 the Father and the Holy Spirit affirmed that Jesus was God and that NOW Jesus and the Father are in Heaven affirming the Holy Spirit in us and how His job is to point back to Jesus. One BIG circle! Romans 11:36 - "For from him and through him and to him are all things."

After a long car ride to Chicago we were ready for some fun. You can have fun at Home Depot and Dick's Sporting Goods can't you?

I was sure to get my Dunkin Donuts in for breakfast. Sydney cooked up some special bacon from Wisconsin. It was the thickest, tastiest, most artery clogging bacon I've ever had!
We watched the Hawkeyes win a big one in the Orange Bowl that night. This was big for the trip. Brandon Young is a die-hard Hawk fan so this was key in everyone's sanity the rest of the trip!

Wednesday morning was a great time of discussion about God's changing power in all of our lives the past few years. We reminisced about the college days and thanked God for his continuing work through all of our friends - Phil 1:6. The Domino Gospel keeps going and it's really fun to hear more and more from B Young and the Jacobsons!

Wednesday a.m. = Bowling Time. BY won. Sydney was 2nd. BJ was third - but only on a last frame strike! Ya... I got last

Wednesday night we hit up Gino's East - a famous Chicago style pizza place. I saw this restaurant on the Discovery Channel's "Man vs Food" show and had to go there.

It seems like any time Brandon Young and I road trip we get hooked up somehow. Below is our parking spot at the United Center. As we were heading to the game, we were discussing where we should park - the $17 spots or closer $25 ones. About 5 seconds after thinking I had no cash to contribute, a taxi Driver rolls down his window next to us and says, "Take it! It's free!" We were a little nervous but the closest spot possible is what we ended up with!
Cyclones got killed to Duke but we still had fun!
Being in the United Center and seeing the place where MJ won so many games for the Bulls outweighed the lackluster performance.
We had a fantastic time in Chicago and left at 7:30am back for Iowa. This is a picture of the accident that we waited 2.5 hours for wreckers to clear - 2 jack-knifed semis. We had just talked about how we want to be more patient men and better listeners - we get the point God!

We ended up making it to Iowa City and camping there Thursday night with our friends Andy and Lisa Bishop - 5 fresh cars in the ditch in a 1/2 mile broke my prideful desire to make it all the way home. I really was missing Sarah at this point and it took every car in the ditch to make us stay in Iowa City!I'm trying to get Brandon to consider moving to Iowa City to help with Cornerstone's church plant there. Meeting up with the Bishop's helped!

All in All - fantastic trip, great memories, and I'm challenged by my brothers to live more like Christ.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My 1st Year of Teaching

I am currently a first year teacher in a high school/middle school setting and I teach Family & Consumer Sciences (aka food science classes, nutrition classes, 7th and 8th grade exploratories, and various classes regarding 21st century skills classes [communication & conflict, career exploration & skills, lifespan development, parenting, financing, etc]).

On Tuesday I started teaching for my second semester. I feel like it has gone really well, thanks to the grace of God. At the end of first semester, while all of my students were taking finals, I took the time to really evaluate myself and how I was really doing as a first year teacher.

Some areas that were going well were in my relationships with students and other staff. This is really important to me, as I gauge a lot of life and how any certain area is going by how my relationships with people are in that particular area. Near the 3/4 mark of the semester some students asked me about my life and God allowed for me to share His Story in my life with a few students, some of which I sensed totally disliked me up to that point. Because of this, I now have really great relationships with these students. The quote, "They don't care what you know until they know that you care!" is absolutely true! God has also given me some great relationships with other staff members, some that are mentors and others that are peers.

An area that I needed to grow in was discipline. I am a people pleaser and sometimes, honestly, I allow things to fall through the cracks in terms of discipline. My principle says that "There is always one leader in a classroom, either you or the students". Sometimes I honestly wasn't. By no means was I horrible and there was never chaos, but as a first year teacher much of what I am about is survival. However, I DO want to improve and through the Proverbs our Father is showing me just how valuable discipline is. I know that honoring Him through discipline with my students now will really help me someday if we ever get to have children of our own.

That to say... here are a few of my rules that now apply in my class (most which have been borrowed from other experienced teachers, of whom I am SO grateful)!

1. If you choose to swear or use language to degrade others, you can choose to pay Mrs. Vint 25 cents by the end of the school day or serve 30 minutes of detention. (Note: I have a "swear jar" on my desk and $ will be used towards classroom materials).

2. If you choose to throw anything or hit people with anything, you can choose to do 25 pushups or serve 30 minutes of detention.

It is a struggle to know how to be merciful and when to be very bold in truth. Oh how I want to be like Jesus.... John 1:14 "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."

Pictures of my classrooms to come, but Joel is in Chicago and has the camera... and I have a snow day today! Stay warm!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Top 10 Reject Names for our Blog

10. Vintarific
9. V as in Victory
8. Vint View
7. Vint Times
6. Vint Villa
5. Viva la Vint
4. Vint Vine
3. The Vintastic Life
2. Vintliscious
1. Livin la vida Vint

Friday, January 1, 2010