More Laughs For Parent’s…

I promise this blog will not turn into a place to post funny videos about kids…primarily. However, I can’t help but share videos like this with everyone I know because they have truly become a source of great laughter around the Snow house. What makes this one so great is that the kid is British, and his accent makes the video all the more funny…

After a wonderful discussion with my wife this morning over bagel’s and coffee I have decided to write a second part to the “church, My Personal Lord & Savior” post. I started on it today, and will hopefully finish/post it soon. It will delve deeper into our tendency to always put things before Jesus…even good things like church. We replace the ONE true God who deserves all of our worship and dependency with idols. Those idols quickly become our drug, and we can NOT live without them. However, it seems tragically easy to live without Christ. We think those idols are what save us, and not Jesus Himself. Stay tuned…

Also, Morgan will hopefully be setting up a Snow Family Blog in the near future, which will be where you will find personal updates about our adventures in parenting, babies, travels, etc. I can’t promise, though, that I won’t take every opportunity to write about our new baby on this blog as well…

I Better Get Ready…

A lot has been going on since we have been in Texas. Right now we are in “waiting” mode; waiting for the baby to come, that is. Our due date was yesterday, and we still have no signs of active labor. Stay tuned…

While here we’ve stayed pretty busy catching up with friends, spending time with family, planning Student CPx in Austin, and taking care of some important things with our old I.G. Community in Ft. Worth. While I have had much time for deep thought & reading, I have NOT had the time or energy to get things out of my head into a blog post.

A friend showed me this video the other day, so I thought I would share it with you all. I am certain it will brighten your day with some MAJOR laughter. Morgan was in TEARS she was laughing so hard. I thought to myself, “I’m laughing now, but pretty soon our little baby girl will be this old and doing HILARIOUS things like this; I better get ready!” You gotta spend the 2 minutes it takes to watch this video…

Hopefully, the next blog you read here will include baby pics and info! Until then, keep us in your prayers that labor and delivery go smoothly.

Student CPx is coming to AUSTIN!

“Join us August 10th-20th to engage the diverse communities of Austin with the Gospel through a kingdom lifestyle of encountering God in community and planting churches among the lost.”

SCPx Austin promo simpleAugust 10-20. Cost: $250 (meals & lodging included)

Click Here for more details & info. about Student CPx Austin.

Click Here to register for Student CPx Austin.

Many of you are familiar with the Student CPx (Church Planter’s Experience) training that we, in partnership with several other organizations, host in different parts of the country. You may remember the “concentrated” version of SCPx we hosted in Vegas in January 09′. (More on what happened there HERE & HERE) Or, if you go way back with “aholydiscontent” you might remember me mentioning the first ever Student CPx training in Lawrence, Kansas last summer. You may have even watched powerful Baptism videos from these training experiences.

Either way, the Lord has been moving in the past year, and ordaining relationships that will hopefully lead to Student CPx trainings all over the country many times each year. The dream is that these training experiences would be led primarily by students who have gone through a previous SCPx.

That is exactly what has happened with the upcoming Student CPx in Austin. Lauren Nanson, a UT student who has gone through SCPx, had a vision to see this type of training experience brought to Austin. Many of you in the Austin area have already been pursuing this movement, and have been training students to start campus churches; we are BLESSED to partner with you in the city, and grateful to the many of you who have committed to being a part of making this happen!

I hope you will all check out the information about Student CPx, and consider being a part of this experience. If you know anyone who might benefit from SCPx please send them our way, or to the website for info/reg. If you are closer to Kansas then we encourage you to register for the SCPx in Lawrence, Kansas, which is taking place July 19-31.

Details:

Student CPx Austin: August 10-20. Cost: $250 (meals & lodging included)

Click Here for more information.

Click Here to register.

Feel free to email Lauren Nanson: l.nanson@mail.utexas.edu OR Aaron Snow: aaron@intentionalgatherings.com for more information.

church, my personal Lord & Savior.

“It was NOT church that died on the cross for us. In fact, church is one of the very reasons Christ died on the cross. He died, as our bridegroom, that we, a broken and dirty bride might be made pure and clean – ready for His return…”

Have you accepted church as YOUR personal Lord & Savior? Has church entered your heart, and become the leader of your life? Have you allowed church to “take the wheel”, & be in the “driver’s seat?” Have you committed your life to church, and begun to share about your faith in church with your friends and family? I trust that you have invited those friends and family into a personal relationship with church so that it may transform their lives, allow them to play a part in the kingdom, and grant them eternal salvation in heaven.

(Before anyone gets upset, or defensive please know that my ABOVE use of the word “church” is directed at all different forms/models of church – mega, simple, house, attractional, incarnational, institutional, conventional, traditional, missional community, etc.)

I am attempting to illustrate how we worship our individual church, or “form” of church sometimes MORE than, or ABOVE Christ. It seems as if we have become “Dependent” upon those things rather than Jesus Christ. The above sounds, and IS heretical. However, we have not merely replaced the word “Jesus” with “church” in this blog post, but it is evedent in our actions – we are guilty of heresy in our practices. Why is Jesus not enough for us?

Be it mega-church or house church we all tend to fall into the trap of thinking it is one of those things that is the answer, and not Christ. We want to give people one of those things before Christ. We want them to find “community” and relationship in one of those things. We will talk about our “churches” sometimes with more excitement and enthusiasm than our Savior Jesus. how often do we offer church to people before we offer them Christ? Sure, our well-intentioned desire is that they might find Christ once they “join” a church or get involved there. I would submit that they need to know Jesus through YOU, and therefore become a PART of the body of Christ-the Church-as a result.

Here is a prime example of what I am referring to: I have a friend who has a pretty intense drug/addiction problem. After being “clean” for a while I learned that he had “re-lapsed”, and was not doing so well. We were riding in the car as he shared with me how he had been clean again for 3 days, started going to AA meetings again, and wanted to start going to church again (By this he meant he wanted to start attending a weekly service on Sunday mornings). I immediately asked him why he wanted to “go to church” again , and he replied, “because I want to get right with God, get close to Him”.

It hit me that we have substituted church for Jesus. At best we have made them synonymous when they are NOT. Church has become the default way to get close to God. Church has become the answer, and not Jesus. My friend is not in the wrong; he didn’t know any better. I was extremely excited for him, and his PURE desire to clean up, and “get right with God”. This is not an accusation towards him, but us, as the body of Christ. What picture have we painted for the world? Have we offered people church before Jesus? Why is that the default “solution” before Christ?

I became very convicted after the conversation with my friend. You see, I immediately began to think of the best place for him to go that would assist him in his pursuit. I named several options, one of which was one of the simple churches we had started. I am not at all saying it would be bad for him to go to one of those places. I am not even saying that he would not encounter God and be discipled in one of those places. However, why was that the solution I presented him…FIRST? Not to mention, why did I try to “pawn him off” to others when here he was sitting right in my lap practically begging to be discipled? We do not realize it is also OUR job to disciple others into a saving knowledge of Jesus-not primarily an institution or form of church. We, as the body of Christ get to evangelize others into the body. Once there, we get to disciple them as new members of that body. Yes, the body as a whole plays a part in that discipleship, but we, as the evangelizer/discipler play a huge part in that process. Bottom line: I need to disciple my friend. I need to give Him Jesus.

Whatever pursuit of BEING the Church you subscribe to I challenge you to subscribe to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior first and foremost. May that be what dictates our pursuit of BEING a part of the Body of Christ. I will be taking a personal challenge this week to make a mental note of every time I have a discussion about “church” in comparison to how many conversations I engage in about my Jesus. For it is not church that we place our faith in.

“It was NOT church that died on the cross for us. In fact, church is one of the very reasons Christ died on the cross. He died, as our bridegroom, that we, a broken and dirty bride might be made pure and clean – ready for His return. May we worship Him, and not the bride for whom He was murdered.”

This is FUNNY.

Saw this tonight, and I though I’d share it with you all…it’s worth a few minutes of your time…

I hope we can all see the humor in this, not be offended, and pursue change. It’s interesting how we can get caught up in our way of doing things sometimes…and never realize how cheezy, and far from the truth what we’re doing is…

Dependent.

I have been thinking a lot lately about things that we are dependent upon as Christians in America & in the church in America. Sadly, my thoughts have not brought me to the person of Jesus Christ, and the leading power of His Holy Spirit. It would seem as if HE IS NOT ENOUGH.

I have had many conversations with many of you over the past few months about things that we are dependent on. These are things that, if they were taken away from us, we would not know what to do/how to function. We MIGHT survive, but you can forget a flourishing walk with Christ that usher’s in His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

It is very odd to me that most arguments or discussions I hear regarding “church” and what it means to follow Christ are rarely about an individual’s complete denial of self, and pursuit of the Great Commission. Instead, they are about things other than that…things that are seemingly irrelevant compared to the above. We will talk about “how to do church”, “church structure”, doctrine, staff, gatherings, elders, pastors, programs, worship, sermons, podcasts, etc. etc. etc.

I began to think…in my thinking I began to discuss these thoughts with some individuals. I began to introduce scenarios that lacked the above elements (“church”, structure, institution, pastoral staff, programs, worship services, sermons, teaching, childcare, youth groups, small groups, Bible Studies, etc.) and those I spoke with started getting VERY uncomfortable. They began to speak back at me as if I had just denied Christ and the Cross. It was as if it were THOSE things that mattered, as if THOSE were the things that held the most value in the kingdom. It was as if THOSE were the things they were dependent upon, and if they were taken away there would be no way to function as a follower of Christ.

My mind began to wonder to other countries where the believers there have NONE of the things in either of the above lists. They have Christ. They are LUCKY if they have a few pages of the Bible, and enough food to eat on a daily basis. Chances are they do have a thriving community of other believers who are in the same boat as them, completely & utterly dependent upon Christ. You see, Christ is enough for them. They have nothing BUT Christ, and it’s enough. They don’t “need to be fed”, or tickled by some fancy guitar riff in the middle of a Hillsong….song. They don’t need to be entertained by funny sermons or podcasts, and they certainly don’t need a group of professionals planning out their monthly service project or weekly program. (Not all of these things are BAD, however, when we become dependent upon them, and cannot fathom life without them it is DANGEROUS)

It would appear as if we, as Christians in America, are dependent upon a lot of things; Christ does not seem to be one of them. We seem to be too wrapped up in idolatry to notice our need for a risen Savior. Yes, I said IDOLATRY because that’s what we do. We don’t worship Christ. We worship the things in the lists above. We worship & idolize & are dependent upon them because if they were taken away from us our “faith” would fall to pieces. We would be left in shambles.

“Christ, forgive us for our idolatrous hearts. Turn us back to you. Do whatever it is that you must do to cause us to place you above any other gods. We need you.”

What are some other things that you can think of that the church in America may be dependent upon? (Things that an average Christian might not know what to do without if it were taken from them)

Texas. Baby. Daddy.

I just put my wife & mother in law on a plane to Texas. Yes, it’s ok to fly when you’re pregnant. I will head out tomorrow morning in the car with our dog, and enough stuff for a month or so of life in Texas. I wanted to post this to let you all know the “game plan” for the next bit of our lives…(If you know all of this feel free to skip down to the little “survey” at the bottom of the post…)

Our baby is officially due on June 28th, however, we’re praying for her to come a bit earlier. As many of you who have been pregnant or have children know, Morgan is beginning to feel a bit uncomfortable with this rather large baby growing inside of her. We have been reminded lately of how gracious our God is to provide us with such amazing friends & family who have supported us in everything along the way. From baby showers, to prayers for our marriage & pursuits of what God has called us to you have all been a reminder of the Grace of God in our lives.

I have been reflecting over our time in Vegas for the past few weeks. I can’t believe we’ve been here for a year and a half now. God has done incredible things here and all over the place. We have learned a lot, fallen down a lot, been humbled A LOT, and sanctified for His namesake. We have about 8 months left in Vegas, and will be packing up to move to Austin sometime in December of 2009. We will leave behind several thriving new communities of faith here in Vegas that will, by the grace of God, multiply into many more pockets of believers who will continue to proclaim the kingdom of God in Vegas.

We’re excited to return from Texas to Vegas with a new life in our arms. Up until now “how to handle children” in an “organic church setting” has been mere theory with a small amount of practical experience being involved with other communities with children. Our church here in Vegas is excited to pursue this experience with us…

While in Texas we will be spending time with our families, and old I.G. Community in Ft. Worth. It will be refreshing to say the least. I will be getting some things put into place structurally for “Intentional Gatherings” as an organization that will help to propel the vision and purpose forward. (Website, etc.) We will make a few runs down to Austin to prepare for Student CPx, which is coming up at the end of the summer. After the baby is born I will have a few places to go and teach on simple church planting. To say that things will be busy, fresh, and new may be an understatement!

I’m sure I am leaving some things out. I’ll bring this to a close for now. I hope this post answered some of your unanswered questions. I will be on the road for the next couple of days, but will do my best to update the blog. I have a few topics that I’m really anxious to write about. Hopefully, I will have a chance to do so once I arrive in Texas. For those of you who are quite a bit more interested in our new baby than anything else: don’t worry, I will be taking many pictures, posting many blogs/twitters, Facebook updates, etc. as the time comes.

To close: we’ve been playing a little guessing game around here. Would love for you to chime in…give your best guess for the following:

1) When do you think the baby will come based upon the June 28th due date? (early/late, & feel free to give a specific date as long as it is not a prophetic word claiming she will arrive AFTER June 28th!=)

2) Will she look more like her daddy, or mommy?

3) Will she come out with tattoos and/or piercings as many of you claim?

4) Will she have hair, and if so, what color will it be?

5) What color will her eyes be? (her mom has green eyes, and I have blue eyes)

6) Last but not least: Will she have me wrapped around her little finger…?