This week our special guest is my sister Amy Givens. Amy is two years older than me (26), and her birthday is, well, today when I am writing this (the 28th). Anyway, my sister and I have always had a very good relationship, we didn’t fight that much growing up, and still don’t. Growing up Amy enjoyed running and playing the violin, she still does those things, just not with the intensity that she once did. Most formative in her life, besides having me as a brother (I’m sure), has been church. She was very active in church growing up and continues to be as she is a youth director in Altus, OK. She has been married to Brian for almost 4 years now. Brian is a teacher and a coach in Lone Wolf, OK. One day I will ask him to share some of his coaching stories. Anyways, they are great to have family, and we love them. She is also wise, so I think that she can give us a good word for today. Continue reading
Monthly Archives: February 2008
In my second week of my series, I would like for you to meet my friend Chris Burkhart. Chris and his wife Emily are our good friends here at Asbury. We first met at a spouse and family ministries dinner during orientation week and have continued our relationship through classes, Lost, Noonball, and our mutual searches for a church home. Chris and Emily have been together since their High School days, and will be married 2 years in June. Chris is one day going to be a UM Minister, at least he thinks that is God’s plan. He also likes to play basketball, which he gets to do, and drums, which he does not currently get to do. He is a very good friend, who keeps us laughing and thinking, which is tough to pull off at the same time. So without further ado, on to the questions. Continue reading
I try to read my Bible. I don’t always do it as regularly as I should, but I try. When I read scripture devotionally, I try to let the Holy Spirit guide my thoughts to reveal something for me. Sometimes it is just the theme of the passage. Sometimes it is a word or phrase. Sometimes it is how something was said. I then try to journal about them for two main reasons. One, it helps me mediate more on what God is saying and lets me move to pratical application of scripture. Secondly, one day I will preach on these texts, and these could be a springboard for future sermons. I thought that I would share with you a little about what God taught me today in His Word.
John 4 is the story of the Women at the Well. I will try to sum it up quickly. Jesus and his disciples go into Samaria where Jesus stopped at the watering well, while his disciples went into town to buy food. He asked a local woman for a drink of water (a big cultural no-no talking first talking to a Samaritan and then a women double no-no) Anyway, Jesus starts talking about living water (she is confused) and then Jesus starts talking to her about her personal, shameful life (5 ex-husbands and current live-in boyfriend). Jesus explains a little bit about salvation and then she says that the Messiah will explain everything, and Jesus says that I am he. Continue reading
When I was at OCU, we had to do a Senior Paper as a capstone project. The paper itself was supposed to be about 25 pages. It was a 3 hour class that consisted just of the process of the Senior Paper. Earlier in my time at OCU, I got fascinated by John Wesley’s class meetings, and I wanted to look at their viability for the church today, so 30+ pages later, I had my answer.
However one of the unfortunate things about the Senior Paper is that I never got to share with it others. We did not have a Senior Paper presentation, and most people are not too excited about picking up and reading a 30 page paper, but I thought that I would be it out here, and if anyone is interested in high-expectations churches and John Wesley’s class meetings, then I think my paper is a worthy read. A side note is that it is an award-winning paper winning the award at OCU. So without further ado: Senior Paper
Welcome to the start of a new series of blogs for my site. One of the greatest opportunities in life is to be in relationship with other people; God created us to be in a loving relationship with Him and we are to live that out in our daily lives with others as well. Over the years I have gotten an opportunity to spend time with some incredible people, and I thought, “Why don’t I let you on the other side of the internet get a chance to meet and hear the passions of these people that have influenced my life so much”. So, every Thursday I will (hopefully) post a new “Being the Way You Were Made.” I hope that these people will touch your life, just like they have touched mine.
Since this Thursday is Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be only fitting to start with my lovely and talented wife, Heather. We met in early Fall of 2002 and have been together ever since, getting married on May 13, 2005. We have had numerous adventures, a few arguments, and a lot of love shared over the years. She is working on her Masters in Counseling here at Asbury and hopes to one day to be a ministry resource for the UM church and offer preventative family counseling and educational opportunities, as well as marriage and career guidance. She is a great writer (with a published poetry book, Leave a Light On, by Heather Cartwright to prove it) and editor as well, including this post. Continue reading
I’m taking a class called Vocation of Ministry this semester. It is one of those worldview classes, as they are hoping that we can enter the ministry with some certain essential character traits. It is also one of those dreaded require classes, so there is some resistance to the class, where some of the people have already tackled this issue for themselves, but Dr. Seamands said something interesting today and since I know many who read this blog are Christian leaders it is worth sharing.
Oswald Chambers said, ” Beware of anything that competes with loyalty to Jesus Christ. The greatest competitor of devotion to Jesus is service for Him…The one aim of the call of God is the satisfaction of God, not a a call to do something for Him.” Continue reading
I read about 7 newspapers every morning, but only for the sports pages. When it is time for me to watch the news, I watch ESPNews. When I talk to someone about the current events of the days, we talk about the latest game or trade, or the latest on Roger Clemens (which should shape up for a wild week at Congress, but that is for another column). But not this week.
I voted in the Presidential Election in 2004 and have voted a couple of other times as well, but I didn’t really get into it. Something has changed in me. Maybe I’m getting older and this is what old people do: watch CNN. Maybe it is because my sports teams are terrible (don’t get me started on OSU basketball) and I need something to pay attention to. But I think that it is something else. Continue reading