Faith Goals (A.K.A New-Years Resolutions)

I know, I know. Everyone sets resolutions. Even fewer seem to keep them. Lose weight, run more, be a better husband/wife/parent. And then January 15th hits and we wonder what on earth happened. Well, I don’t know. This blog entry (by Thomas Nelson Publishers CEO, Mike Hyatt) shows you how to make your goals stick.

I’m not sure the best way to make your goals stick. Everyone is different. But I know how I’m going to attack them to at least add an element to them that will help me persevere.

Continue reading “Faith Goals (A.K.A New-Years Resolutions)”

Book Updates

I’m now a little over halfway done with the first installment of the Lord of the Rings story. I hope Evan has his acoustic guitar re-strung, tuned, and ready to roll.  Elrond will appreciate it. Am I using that right?

I’m also about 1/3 of the way through Radical. Still enjoying it. Challenges me just about every time I read.

We take Jesus’ command in Matthew 28 to make disciples of all nations and we say, “That means other people.” But we look at Jesus’ command in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest,” and we say, “Now, that means me.” We take Jesus’ promise in Acts 1:8 that the Spirit will lead us to the ends of the earth and we say, “That means some people.” But we take Jesus’ promise in John 10:10 that we will have abundant life, and we say, “That means me.”

In the process we have unnecessarily (and unbiblically) drawn a line of distinction, assigning the obligations of Christianity to a few while keeping the privileges of Christianity for us all. (73)

I am sure pictures of Ethan will come soon. . . 🙂

A book I’m reading. . .

Amidst trying to get through Lord of the Rings (unfortunately, I’m only on page 200) I have also picked up Radical by David Platt. I don’t ever recommend books, partly because I am not the most well-read, but I would recommend this to anyone.

Platt says (p.29):

The gospel reveals eternal realities about God that we would sometimes rather not face. We prefer to sit back, enjoy our clichés, and picture God as a Father who might help us, all the while ignoring God as a Judge who might damn us. Maybe this is why we fill our lives with the constant drivel of entertainment in our culture–and in the church. We are afraid that if we stop and really look at God and his Word, we might discover he evokes greater awe and demands deeper worship than we are ready to give him.

True for me. . .

May I not say that soon.

Suffering Families. . .

I am convinced of very few things in life. I ask about 10,000 questions before I make a decision; and it drives a lot of people crazy. One thing I know for sure: our two NICU stays would’ve been unbearable if not for the prayers of so many. I mean that. So please continue. But I want to also point you in the direction of three families who have been through much, much more acomplia money order than the Googer clan–and who are doing it with an enduring, God-honoring hope. I would exhort as many as possible to pray for them fervently. One family you may have heard of; the others you likely have not.

  • The McRae family: Six-year-old Kate McRae has been diagnosed with a very rare and difficult-to-treat form of brain cancer. I have been following this story for a few months now, and it has done much to soften my heart towards suffering. You can follow it  here, here, and here. The first link is one that you can subscribe to. That has been the easiest way for Courtney and me to follow.
  • The Jarrett family: Courtney worked at a law firm in Dallas. One of the lawyers at that firm is James, a part-time lawyer and full-time Lutheran pastor (is any pastor part-time?). A little over a month ago, their lives changed with huge health complications in their then 10-month-old daughter, Lucy. Their story grieves us greatly, but their hope proclaims a great God. Follow them here.
  • An unnamed family: During his first stay, Ethan was neighbors with a sweet, sweet girl in the NICU who has been there for eight months. The family, who we got to know, is one of the kindest, most loving, hopeful, joyful families I have met. Pray that their sweet daughter comes home soon with a fully-healed body. Ethan needs a playmate.

I hope you can pray for these families often. And when we pray we remind ourselves that Christ returns soon to right all wrongs. Come, Lord Jesus.

Baton Rouge’s Biggest Worship Service

One of the coolest parts of my job is my drive into work. It takes 10-15 minutes, but I always end up driving onto LSU’s campus (where the church is located). I can take Highland Road and cut right through the middle of campus. Old, historic oak trees line the road. I can take Sorority Row and look out over the (not-so-pretty) LSU lakes. Either way, the view is always unique.

Every other Friday night our international ministry has been hosting a dinner for international students on LSU’s campus. It’s actually pretty amazing. We’ll have 15 or 16 countries represented in any given evening (and between 50 and 90 people). Off the top of my head I can remember people from Chad, Congo, Germany, South Korea, China, Sudan, Venezuela, the Philippines, India, and Texas. All coming together to share a meal and get to know each other. Some Christians, some not. It’s exciting.

But that is nothing compared to my late-night drive home. Coming back through campus last night, the streets were lined with (1) cars, (2) tents, (3) ESPN GameDay’s gigantic contraption, (4) RVs, (5) people. It’s amazing to see. Over 100,000 people descend upon our campus beginning Friday afternoon and evening, all to prepare for a few hours Saturday get acomplia of 19-, 20-, 21-, and 22-year-olds displaying amazing feats of athleticism.


That’s right. It’s Saturday night in Death Valley. Tonight LSU plays Florida in what has been the most-hyped college football game of the season. CBS, who only gets rights to one prime-time game a season, has chosen this one. ESPN, who sends their GameDay crew to one campus a week, has chosen this one–and they can’t even broadcast the game. Over 90,000 people will watch the game from Tiger Stadium, and thousands more will watch the game from their own satellite dishes set up all around campus. That’s right. People come to campus and watch the game on their own TVs outside the stadium simply for the atmosphere.

Don’t get me wrong. I will be wearing my purple and gold. I will watch the game. And I love college football. It’s fun. But it’s not what I live for.

For many, many, many people, tonight is all they live for. In fact, my guess is that, depending on tonight’s outcome, the attitude at church tomorrow will be affected. It always is. We have as one of our church attenders a certain guy who people in Baton Rouge call “The Hat.” When LSU wins, people go talk to “The Hat” with smiles brimming. When LSU loses, “The Hat” may not show up. But regardless of that, people will be bummed out if LSU comes away with an “L.”

Why do we let what happens on a Saturday night steal our joy (or infuse us with joy) for a week? How come football seems to unify people (even Christians) more than Jesus? I’ve never seen anyone lose his voice at church, but I have seen people come to church without a voice because they lost it at a game.

Maybe it’s because football doesn’t ask you to give up yourself, follow after it whole-heartedly, and die for it. Maybe it’s because football never said it would not bring peace but a sword (but if you’ve ever been a visiting fan at another stadium, you don’t exactly feel peace). Maybe it’s because the world doesn’t put priority and value on Jesus. I’m sure there are many reasons.

Either way, it isn’t Jesus’ fault that many of us (including myself, if I’m not careful) will not give the same attention to knowing Him as we will to screaming until our lungs bleed on Saturday night.

What I do know is this: Those few international believers from last night (and hopefully those who weren’t yet believers) win out in the end. And we will be united under the One who told us to come and die in the biggest worship service of all time.

And Tiger Stadium will be a laughingstock.