Woodshop Update

I’ve been teaching woodshop for over 8 months now and thought it was probably time for a little update.


Long story short. I like it. I didn’t really know what to think when I was getting into it, but now that I’ve had a little experience, I can say that I like it a lot. Here’s a link to our class website in case you’re interested: http://teachers.brazosportisd.net/webpages/scorn/

Teaching woodshop doesn’t have the pressure of standardized tests like one of the core subjects. More importantly, my students enjoy coming to class and that makes all the difference in the world. For the most part, we move from one project to the next and I enjoy having the ability to work with them one on one as they work their way through the project. I have learned quite a bit about how to use the machines and I’m becoming a bit of a woodworker myself. I enjoy the creative side of it and like working with my hands. When I was a youth minister, much of my work was in my head. This is a nice change.

When I come home every day, Miranda says I smell “like a man.” Of course, the downside is that it’s not very attractive when you track sawdust onto every carpet you ever walk on. I’m also beginning to wonder if this sneeze that I’ve developed is somehow related to all the sawdust I breathe?

I love having a schedule like my kids and being able to be home every night. I’m also excited about the family time I’ll have this summer.


Jr High Shop Class Ingenuity

Last night I woke Miranda and the kids up @ 11pm. I had no idea the power saw could be heard in the back of the house – besides, it was just 2 quick cuts. . .well. . . that was a mistake. Anyway, we’re leaving tomorrow for a trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama for vacation. The Mathews (mostly Patti) love the beach and try to take a trip every year. However, it’s been a few years since we’ve had so many births recently.

We will be in the car with two kids under 2 for at least 8 hours. We are gonna need all the help we can get to keep them from crying (or at least distract them enough so they don’t realize they’re strapped into a car seat for that long.) I decided that there was no need to buy a portable DVD player (mostly ’cause I’m cheap) when we have our laptop, so the quest began. How could I set up the laptop in the car for Kasen to watch movies/tv shows/cartoons from itunes? I already have a converter so I can plug in the computer and the audio link could be run through the Aux input. All I needed was a little tabletop. Here’s where my old Jr High Shop Class ingenuity kicked in. Here’s a pic of what I ended up with. It’ll work this time, but maybe next time I should invest in a headrest monitor.

I even arranged for the shelf to be taken out when not in use.

Without the Shelf
Without the Shelf

With the Shelf
With the Shelf
Finished Product
Finished Product

A Vision in the Night

OK – I’m not even sure where to begin this one. If you’ve been reading this blog much, you already know that I’ve been feeling called to being a part of a church plant one day. I was talking to my father-in-law, Mike Mathews Saturday, Jan 20th! He is my greatest supporter. He wants to see me involved in planting probably more than anyone else I know (including my bride – his daughter). His excitement is contagious and he really believes in me. When we talk about it, I feel like I’m the one trying to be realistic (This is odd for me ’cause inside, I’m going crazy with excitement too.) and attempting to keep my feet on the ground. Of course some of that is natural – I mean, I’m the one going to have to come to a place where I’m willing to let go of a steady paycheck to risk chasing after what God has called me to. I think I have a healthy fear of it all, but regardless, I’m the one with my feet on the ground when I talk to him. I’m also not interested in being involved in a huge church. I’d be truly happy with a small little church that functioned in healthy ways. A church that transformed people and equipped them to go out and do ministry. A church that plants other churches/ministries. A church that was small enough that I could serve part-time and keep my feet in the culture a bit too with another part-time job. Anyway, when we talked that day, he made some flippant comment about me being known all over the country for what we’re gonna do with this church thing. I told him that was definitely not what I wanted. I’d much rather serve quietly among a healthy little community of people. I feel like I could handle that kind of thing – and it’s certainly a big enough stretch for my faith. He dropped it.

Well, on Sunday night, I had a dream. What follows is what I wrote at 2:30am when I woke up unable to sleep.

I just woke up from a horrible dream. I’m not sure what it
really was or means, but this is what I remember:

I was with a bunch of guys working on a project in some sort
of big mechanical warehouse/plant. We had been working on the project and left the room, but I went back around the corner to see it from a distance and it was gone. There was a flat world in its place with a bright light eminating from it. There was also a deep sense of emptiness, loss – the project was just gone, but it was more than that – like God was gone and all our relationships were gone.

I woke with these feelings rushing through me and with the lyrics to a song embedded in my head. (It’s a song from the “Once” soundtrack and the lyrics are “If you want me, satisfy me.” – that phrase repeats over and over – I guess I need to go listen more carefully to the song.) I woke up Miranda. She held me and my heart rate began to settle. I spoke verbally against Satan in the name of Christ and we went to check on Kasen to make sure he was alright too. We prayed for God’s protection and for good dreams. I realized that I had a headache and got up to get some Tylenol – now I’m writing this stuff down.

Here are my first thoughts at interpreting it all – the project (maybe this idea of a church plant) may have been destroyed because God wasn’t in it. Maybe the representation of the flat world with light coming from it was Satan’s false light which made us think the project was of God. The emptiness I felt – like God was gone, may have really been that very thing – the feelings that would come to lose your baby (project) and the feelings that you’d given your life to something that wasn’t of God. I’m wondering also if the lyrics to the song is God’s way of telling me that the project/dream/vision isn’t enough – it won’t satisfy Him. He wants more.

Interesting to think that nothing has really been defined about what this thing would be or become, and He’s possibly telling it needs to be more. More than what? I must admit that I don’t want a big church – I’ve always thought true relationships and intimacy and health were more important – it’s ok to be small if we’re doing what He calls us to. It’s also easier to grab the reins and lead a small group. In spite of this: God, I do want You and it is my desire to satisfy You!

It’s now 2:50 and my heart is still racing. Guess I’ll watch some infomercials/TV and let my mind go elsewhere so that I can get some sleep tonight.

Wow! That rambles a bit, but hey, it was 2:30am and I was pretty freaked out.

OK. . . now . . . as I look back on the situation, I’m even more confused – is God trying to tell me that a church plant is not going to satisfy Him, or is He telling me that my concept of a church plant isn’t enough? It’s not big enough? I want to be a man of faith who chases lions and gets to the end of life to hear God say, “Well done hyper-hopeful risk-taking servant,” but I also want to be smart. . . realistic. . . content. I mean, truly – I have already been saved. I have more than I could ever need or deserve in Christ alone – not to mention the other ways He’s blessed me. (OK maybe I will mention my bride and son, and family, and friends, and. . .and. . .and. . .) Who am I? I’m no Beniah. Or Moses. Or David. Of course the other side of it is that I am a child of God. I am His representative on earth. And I have been given this measure of faith which seems to make these kinds of steps pretty easily.

If you’re still reading this, pray for me as a wrestle with all this stuff. I truly want to do what He has called me to do, but I’m still in an “investigation posture” right now – trying to discover and discern.

If any of you are dream interpreters, I’d love to hear your thoughts too.

Here are the lyrics to the song:

Are you really here or am I dreaming
I can’t tell dreams from truth

For it’s been so long since I’ve seen you
I can hardly remember your face anymore
When I get really lonely and the distance calls it’s only silence
I think of you smiling with pride in your eyes a lovers that sighs
If you want me, satisfy me
If you want me, satisfy me

Are you really sure that you believe me
when others say I lie?
I wonder if you could ever despise me?
You know I really try
to be a better one to satisfy you for you’re everything to me
and I do what you ask me
If you let me be free
If you want me, satisfy me
If you want me, satisfy me


Our UM ARMY camp this year is using 1 Timothy 4:12 as their theme. It says, ” Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believes in speech, life, love, faith and purity.” This is a classic “youth ministry” verse which has been used for camps for years and years. It lays out really well to focus on each of the five examples for a week long theme too. (Anyway, I thought it was funny ’cause we’re studying Paul’s epistles right now at school too.) The director of the programs for the week sent me an e-mail asking me to put together a banner for each day’s theme. I used a program called the “rasterbator” (weird name huh?) to take the work I did on the computer and blow up the images to about 4 feet tall by 5 feet wide. The youth helped me put all the printed pages together today to make the large pictures. They turned out pretty well. Here are the images that we used. (I’ll attach them here tomorrow when I have the files.) UmarmyspeechUmarmyactions

Umarmylove_2 Umarmyfaith Umarmypurity

Project NOAH

06-07-18-01Last week was great! Here are a few reasons why:

1. We were priviledged to have God use us to bring hope to hurricane victims. NOAH = New Orleans Area Hope

2. We met some new friends from Baton Rouge.

3. Our own Mardi Gras Parade!

4. We saw Dawn Delany in New Orleans.

5. We heard about all the cool stuff God is doing to bring people together in that area. Dawn’s neighborhood was the murder capital of the country and she had a BBQ last week with lots of different races of people.

6. I got to hang out and work with my sister.

7. Some of our youth got to meet my sister.

06-07-18 028. The sunset on Lake Ponchatrain.

9. John from Baton Rouge was a true inspiration – I mean this blind guy snow skis and skydives.

10. Name that Tune!

11. Ms. Claudia.

12. The donuts Ms. Claudia brought us one morning.

13. Nail Guns!!!! Yes!!!

14. My friend Dustan says “If I didn’t sweat, I didn’t worship.” We “worshipped” alot on that roof.

15. Finally feeling like we were able to actually “do” something about the feelings we had when the hurricane hit.

16. Serving God.

17. Lousiana’s Best Fish Fryer.

18. Sharky, from the Good News Camp was AWESOME!