Friday Stream of Consciousness – 104

stream of consciousness

Here are some things on my mind this Friday morning:

  • This Sunday is Vision Sunday at New Vintage Church. It’s something I’ve done for the last ten years or so wherever I’ve served. It’s a time to thank God for all the great things He’s done and recalibrate our vision for the year ahead. I also reveal some new initiatives for the upcoming year.
  • We get to formally introduce our first staff hire since our founding this Sunday. This is a big deal for us relationally, systemically, etc. But, it’s going to be such a good thing. She’s awesome, and we’ll benefit greatly from some fresh perspectives and gifts.
  • I’m on a special diet and fitness plan to return to the shape I was in roughly four years ago. That would put me about twenty pounds lighter (even though my current weight technically doesn’t qualify me as ‘overweight’), with far more muscle strength and body fat in the high single-digits. More importantly, I felt great–and had tons of energy. This is all a ways off to be sure, but I enjoy challenges and exercise. We’ll see. I’m targeting 5 months for the goal. It seems doable to me.
  • Chris Christie handled his crisis the way a good leader handles crises. He admitted how bad it was, told us how he felt personally in non-politician wah-wah-wah, told people what would be done, and did it (fired those responsible).
  • Having said that, regardless of fault–Is there anything worse than the abuse of power when you’re not the one in power?
  • I hope this isn’t taken the wrong way…but it seems to me the quality of people entering the field of church planting is increasing. By this I mean there are fewer ministry novices and more who’ve got some experience, education and know-how already on the hard drive. To me, this is a really, really good thing for the advancement of the Kingdom.
  • American Hustle was a brilliant, but extremely crass movie.
  • I’m glad Maddux and Glavine got into the Hall of Fame. I wish Jack Morris would have made it.
  • Tony Gwynn put on a baseball camp for our high-school baseball team each year–he was an alumnus. I asked him which pitcher he found the most difficult to hit (this was 1992, I believe). He said, after a half-second: Greg Maddux. The reason was he threw a ton of different pitches with laser-like accuracy. He could throw anything anywhere he wanted to–with a professor’s intellect.
  • I would vote for pitchers in the steroid era–except for Roger Clemens.
  • I would vote for hitters from that era not named Sosa, McGwire, Palmeiro, or Bonds.
  • Unless we’re ready to let Pete Rose in.
  • I’m so happy to see the spiritual strength in my daughters at 11, 9, and 3…especially the older ones. They aren’t perfect (like their parents ;0)) but they are strong in faith.
  • It’s nice to have blogged long enough that I can repost older posts no one remembers or newer readers have never read when I’ve got nothing to say on a given day.
  • I’ve also preached somewhere well north of 1,000 sermons. But, it’s so much different from blogging. I still don’t like re-preaching old stuff. So, I generally don’t, unless I’m preaching outside the local church I’m serving. I might reuse illustrations, but re-preaching full sermons isn’t something I do locally.
  • Having said that, I don’t see anything wrong with it when one is desperate or something one has already prepared is actually the perfect fit for the occasion. But, that’s rare.
  • That reminds me of a story from about ten years ago. A woman who loathed me as the new “change agent” preacher went to the elders with the charge of plagiarism. Her charge was that I plagiarized–myself. She thought it was wrong of me to tell a story from a book I’d written without giving…me?…the credit. The elder who had it out for me at the time took up for her–but was laughed at by the others. One of the weirdest things I’ve ever been through. But, it helped prepare me for this truth…
  • When someone is after you–you can’t say “Jesus is Lord” and be right or honest about it in their eyes.
  • I’ve been so blessed with church members who listen attentively with spiritual hunger. I can’t tell you how much that means to a preacher.
  • I’ve preached places as a guest where I felt people would rather be anywhere else but at church. At every church I’ve ever served–people have been generally respectful, attentive, and encouraging of my preaching.
  • That’s a blessing I don’t take lightly. People always talk about the importance of the preacher being engaging–but overlook the vital piece of the preaching process–the church engaging with expectation of  hearing a word from the Lord.
  • It isn’t just what the preacher says that matters–it’s what you hear. That is shaped by attitude, fatigue, the fertility of the soil of one’s heart, and other factors. If you’re not getting anything out of the preaching, make sure you’re doing what you can to engage.
  • Congratulations to Florida State. You helped end the already ridiculous SEC supremacy mythology.
  • It’ll be interesting to see how many titles the SEC wins now that they will have to earn their way into the title game the way everyone else does–with quality out-of-conference wins to go with their conference championship. I bet they don’t win another one for ten years. #yeahisaidit.
  • Having said that, I still think Alabama was a better team than Auburn, and think they might have beat Florida State by ten.
  • I love Nozbe, but I’m going to attempt to manage life completely in Evernote now that they’ve added reminders.
  • I use a PC, an Android phone, and a Microsoft Surface (1st ed.) tablet. I think if I had my pick, having used virtually every system on earth–I’d have a PC, Windows Phone, and an iPad. Android still has too many bugs and all the variety leads to time wasted playing around with it. The new Windows system is awesome–including the phone that makes doing business with the iPhone’s panache super easy. However, the iPad is still ahead of the other tablets by miles. If only it didn’t shatter when I breathed on it.
  • Mac lovers–I know you threw your hair product at the screen when I said that. It’s OK. Apple makes great stuff. No hate here.
  • Pitchers and catcher report soon. Padres vs. Dodgers at Petco Park March 31. I will be there. I can’t wait.

What’s on your mind this Friday morning?

Dr. Tim Spivey is Pastor of New Vintage Church in Escondido, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on numerous websites, including:, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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