Encouragement From Friends

It's good to be encouraged by other believers. Here are some of the words from many friends regarding the change in our life:

"Truth of the matter is with the age of many soldiers, chaplaincy and youth ministry may not be all that far removed. I'll feel better knowing that someone like you is caring for their souls."

"This trial will result in much glory for our Savior in yours and your family's life.... Consider it all joy (even though it hurts like heck) and stay in the battle. God has given you a strong gift"

"Praying for you and family and direction friend. You will weather this storm again brother because your roots are deep in Christ and He has something special for you as you seek Him with all your heart. I am looking forward to your next chapter and pray it is not full of so many storms but fruit and peace for you and your family. You are a blesing and have a great heart, education and love for Christ and you will make a fine Chaplain."

"I love the chaplain opportunity. It is a huge area of need and the kingdom impact is huge."

"One of the things that is great about a chaplaincy is the fact that it is really, for a great part, "young adult" ministry---so many of the recruits are late teenage, college age, or in their twenties---it is often just an extension of youth ministry and so much of your training and experience would apply. You will actually be doing a lot of "youth ministry" in a different context and with further duties in teaching and preaching, and counseling as you said---it could be really rewarding and much needed."

"I hope you know that God is seeing all of this and hasn’t forgotten about you. All in all, He’s probably more interested in who you become through this and less concerned about what you become (ie. Chaplain or truck driver)."

"I would think that a chaplain position in the military would be a good fit for you. You've shown an interest in reaching those who don't naturally seek God (I guess that's all of us at first), and you would find a lot of them."


Could Micro-Churches Be the Next BIG Thing?

Tiny churches are adorable symbols of understated Christianity. For the small communities that built them, they are perfect for small weddings or quiet contemplation. For frazzled travelers, fending off road rage or interstate ennui, wee houses of worship poke up suddenly from the asphalt firmament like little miracles.

How many tiny churches can one fit on the head of a pin? As a couple of grizzled road trippers, we can't spend too much time on such a dainty pursuit, since its logical terminus lies somewhere in the subatomic.

Theologians can debate that one -- we're just trying to snap a photo inside the Lord's houselets without elbowing a stained glass window. On cross-country trips, one of our ongoing missions has been to visit the smallest roadside churches in the United States. SEE THEM ALL

The Shirt I Hope to Buy

The World Champion Boston Red Sox and the Yankees are tied with 7 games left in the season. The BoSox are playing all the games at Fenway (they have the best home record in baseball) and the Yankees games are on the road.
"Every day, every night, every pitch, everything is the most important situation that could come up," said Red Sox center fielder Johnny Damon. "It kind of feels like the World Series a little bit. We need to try and get through this. It's going to be amazing. I just hope we play well enough. I know we're going to lay it all on the line."
I Live For This! Go Sox!


The Net Big Thing

Big props to Mike "Mikey" Atkinson of UNeekNet for being mentioned on Terry Mattingly's "On Religion" column and newsletter!


Next Writing Thing
It's off of Toby Mac's newest CD: Re:Mix Momentum.


Are Christians Trying Too Hard to be Cool?

September 23, 2005 -- Churches and youth pastors have long struggled to effectively communicate the message of Christ to young people. What's the reason for the disconnect? Traditional answers to that question might suggest that Christians aren't being "cool" and relevant enough, but a recent article in the Christian Century argues that the problem runs deeper than that. Part of the problem, the article suggests, is that Christians focus too much on areas of personal behavior, responsibility and the benefits of religion... and in the process overlook the true core of the Gospel message. It's a thought-provoking piece, and worth reading, especially if you're at all involved in a youth ministry or outreach at your church. Blogger Michael "The Internet Monk" Spencer's follow-up commentary on the article is equally worth reading. (From the Internet For Christians Newsletter)

Gay Men Ponder Impact of Proposal by Vatican

From the NYTimes

Word that the Vatican is likely to bar most gay men from joining the priesthood has set off a wave of anger and sadness among some gay priests and seminarians. Read Article

Hurrican Rita and our Little town

School was cancelled today for my girls. Not because we are in the way of Hurricane Rita but because a two lane highway goes through the center of our two light town outside of San Antonio. For the past two days there has been almost non-stop traffic going past our house as people bypass the Interstate and use the highway to leave south Texas. It was taking people 12-14 hours to get here from Houston. It's normally a 3-3.5 hour drive. Here's a story in the NYTimes about the traffic in TX

The two gas stations ran out of gas yesterday morning for an hour or so and school was cancelled because of the expected traffic. In CT they got Snow Days, today they have a "Hurricane Day".


Same Calling - Different Vocation

(I wrote a version of this to a few friends, thought I'd share it here.)
I have gotten a ton of e-mails from friends because of the news of my decision to pursue the chaplaincy instead of another youth ministry position. Some have encouraged me to continue with my calling, which they see as youth ministry and it's encouraging to know that my passion comes through. But over the last two years I've come to realize that my calling is deeper than youth ministry. I believe my calling is to show God's agenda to as many people as possible with a pastor's heart. So if it's preaching, teaching Bible study, hosting an event, writing or being a guest speaker somewhere, that's what I'm really about. It just so happens that the majority of my time and energy have gone into youth ministry but I believe my calling is to show God's agenda to as many people as possible with a pastor's heart.

That deeper calling pours into my family as my first priority and I believe it makes the chaplaincy such a good fit. I will be allowed to be a minister and not just do ministry activities. I am looking forward to the majority of my energy going into caring for people's souls and encouraging them to discern God's voice and hear his comfort and plan amidst the madness of life.
I have to jump through many hoops to make the chaplaincy happen and I'm sure I'll blog about those developments.
I loved Scott McKnight's thoughts on The Pastoral Life



Fever Pitch!

We watched this Tuesday when it came out. Very funny but especially funny if you are a Red Sox fan.

Speaking of which, the dreaded Evil Empire is now only a game and a half back of the AL East.

Guess it wouldn't be a true Red Sox season without some drama.

Go Sox!


Remaining Faithful

Many people live with the unconscious or conscious expectation that eventually things will get better; wars, hunger, poverty, oppression, and exploitation will vanish; and all people will live in harmony. Their lives and work are motivated by that expectation. When this does not happen in their lifetimes, they are often disillusioned and experience themselves as failures.

But Jesus doesn't support such an optimistic outlook. He foresees not only the destruction of his beloved city Jerusalem but also a world full of cruelty, violence, and conflict. For Jesus there is no happy ending in this world. The challenge of Jesus is not to solve all the world's problems before the end of time but to remain faithful at any cost.

Henri Nouwen

From Bread for the Journey Daily E-mail


A New Blog

Tony Myles is blogging @ Don't Call Me Veronica!

Here's Tony's latest YWJ article Emergent Apologetics

One Fenway Tradition Has Ended

With a four game lead in the AL East, this weekend series against the Evil Empire should be a good and could be great if the Sox win at least two. On a sad note, it's been reported that the Red Sox have stopped allowing "Yankees Suck" shirts to be worn into Fenway. Of course thanks to freedom of speech, the chant will live on!


Katrina Victims in San Antonio

Labor Day weekend my daughters and a friend had a lemonade & cookie stand infront of our local grocery store to raise money for some 100 kids who are at a local Boys and Girls Club in San Antonio. They have not seen their parents and do not know if they are alive or not, yet.

They raised $232.78 through donations and a lady is going to give us another $250 this week to help buy them some things. My oldest daughter poured her entire piggy bank into the jar they used to collect the money. She gave around $57.

Yesterday and today my wife and I went with a couple of ladies to Kelly Air Force Base to volunteer with the Salvation Army by sorting donations. It's estimated that around 25,000 people are in the San Antonio area because of Katrina. Yesterday was just sorting food and baby items but today my wife and her friend found six 13-16 year old boys who were from New Orleans and they helped us work. The clothes alone were piled up to 15-18 feet high and the pile of bags and boxes probably took up a 120 x 150feet in one corner of the warehouse.

The boys were fun to be with and it helped to put a face to some of the suffering. The highlight of yesterday was talking to an army chaplain and having him pray with me about what's going on in my own life and the highlight of today was when a 5 year old girl from New Orleans asked us for a baby doll and we found one for her.

Interesting Stat

The average pastoral career lasts only 14 years and 1,500 pastors leave their assignments every month in the United States because of conflict, burn-out, or moral failure, according to the Christian research group, The Barna Group.

Found courtesy of Monday Morning Insights


Letter I Wrote on August 19th

(Now you know why the blog has been quiet for the past 2-3 weeks. I will not write anything more about my departure but I wanted everyone to know what is going on with us. I will share how things are going and what I'm looking into doing later this week.)

Dear Grace Bible Church Family,

On Tuesday the 16th, I was informed that my ministry was no longer needed at Grace. Royce shared it was a judgment that the Pastor Team had confirmed. The reasons had nothing to do with a moral failure, misuse of my position or any other kind of “scandal”. It primarily dealt with performing the Children’s Ministry components of my job description.

I came here in January with the hopes that I could work as the Children's, Youth, and Family Pastor for a few years until the Youth Ministry was large enough to justify a full time salary. The great majority of my experience has been in youth ministry and I knew handling the Children’s Ministry would be a stretch for my strengths, experience and passion but I thought it was achievable. In the end, I did not meet the Pastor Teams expectations in that area. I agree that I’m best wired for Youth Ministry. This is an example of not being a good vocational fit. If you should have any other questions about my departure, please see a member of the Pastor Team.

I was offered the opportunity to speak to the students on Wednesday night and the parents and students this Sunday. I declined, not because I don’t care or don’t wish to see anyone ever again but I was unsure of my ability to address everyone in light of all the relationships, prayers and dreams since January.

We are thankful for the severance that is being provided. We intend to live in La Vernia through the school year to provide stability for our girls. Feel free to call, email us or invite us to Sammy’s.

We are not sure what my next job will be yet, so please keep us in your prayers. God has always been faithful to us in the past and we know that he will continue to do so.

Keep Loving Jesus,

Len Evans

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