Thursday, November 24, 2005

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving Day prediction:

Wake up. Lay around. Bagel. Shower. Watch TV. Sit around. Hungry. Baby dill pickles. A few olives and some cheese. More hungry. Family. Big plump turkey. A little dark and a little white. Mashed potatoes and gravy. Sweet potato casserole with brown sugar. Green beans with the fried onions on top. Pumpkin pie. Scoop of whipped cream. Pumpkin pie II. More dark meat. A nap on the couch. Some football. A turkey sandwich. More green beans. More mashed potatoes. Pumpkin pie III. Sitting. More sitting. Still sitting. Cooped up feeling. Go out. Nothing open. Come home. More turkey. Watch TV. Go to bed.

What better way is there to give thanks?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

thoughts on Kyle Lake

I haven't been blogging in the past few months. I haven't been reading other blogs either. I am not sure why that is but right now I guess I just want to get some thoughts out about my friend Kyle Lake.

We weren't the best of friends. Not like my friends Jason and Chad. But he was my pastor when I was in seminary and he and I had some great conversations together. I often remember him over in the corner of Common Grounds typing away at his first book. I would be over on the couch doing my seminary homework. He would look up and give me a smile and I would return the favor. We didn't need some lengthy conversation. He had been where I was, a Truett Seminary student, and I knew he understood.

Kyle was the first to introduce me to church planting, the emergent church and the ideas of post-modern Christianity. He gathered future pastor type people together in his home one semester for a study on church planting and the post-modern church. He was way smarter than the rest of us in that room so most of us just sat and soak up his wisdom. We tried to chime in and give our two cents when the time was right. I am now a church planter with Horizon Church and that small group was the beginning of it for me.

I remember after one of the nights at his house most everyone else left. It was a cool Texas night with thousands of visible stars in the sky. He walked me out to my car as we talked. He said some life impacting words right then. He said something like, "Mark, I think you have what it takes to be a church planter. I think you are going to be a great pastor." I wasn't expecting those words from him but I needed them.

Kyle let me preach a couple times at UBC. He did that with a lot of the seminary students there. He was gracious like that. Kyle was the first example of what it looked like to be a young pastor in a young church. Kyle was also the first to show me how the arts can communicate the gospel.

But I don't want to make Kyle out to be perfect. Those of us who knew him knew that he wasn't. And there are plenty of people that were in that church longer than me who know him much, much better than I ever could. Kyle could be such an ass sometimes. He would let things fly out of his mouth which were totally inappropriate for a leader. But he was the kind of ass like Dave Reichley can be or like Clay Carver can be. The kind that you just have to smile at sometimes.

I am glad to have gotten to know Kyle over those two years at UBC. I wish now that I had spent more time with him. I am sure he could have taught me more. But God put him in my life at just the right time and the course of my life was adjusted just a little more towards Christ.

Kyle, you made it buddy. Well done. Your closest friends will be sure to take care of your wife and kids for you. You have fun up there with your Lord and Savior. Thanks for the encouragement way back when. Thanks for the example you set. Thanks for all the deep conversation. And even in your death, you remind me once again to give all I've got while I can. You finished the race man. Way to go! Pour a cup of coffee for me and I will be home soon.