Today I took Hope downtown to see the Holiday Bowl parade and then we walked to Horton Plaza for lunch. While walking around Horton Plaza, Hope declares that she wants to get her ears pierced. At first I thought it was a passing thing but she kept coming back to it. And continued to do so at home. So ... we went to Parkway Plaza tonight with Tonya and Hope got her ears pierced. These pictures prove it!
I had breakfast this past Thursday with an old friend (Scott) and a friend of his from college. It was exciting to hear how God had been working in Scott’s friend’s life.
Raised in a non-religious Jewish household, he has only recently begun exploring matters of Christian spirituality. He told us how he had known very little about Jesus and was really hungering to know more. Prior to beginning his exploration, what he had known about Jesus revolved around cultural displays — the commercial symbols and bits and pieces of Jesus’ story.
I stopped him at one point and asked him this question: “What do you think about Jesus now?” I loved his answer: “He’s a radical.”
He went on to talk about when Jesus spoke with the Samaritan lady at the well — the lady who had had multiple husbands and was now living with a man she wasn’t married to. He said, “The other people were blown away that Jesus would talk to a lady like that. That’s radical.”
Indeed, Jesus was a radical and he brought a radical message to earth. He called us to love our enemies and to bless those who curse us. His radical definition of leadership was to be a servant. He included in his list of friends those that others excluded.
As 2006 ends and 2007 begins, may we rediscover the true Jesus — the radical Jesus.
I purchased Tony Campolo's "Letters to a Young Evangelical" yesterday and am half-way through it. So far it's been pretty engaging and fun to read -- if you've read any of Campolo's stuff you know what I mean. In his chapter on why the church is important, quotes from Augustine: "The church is a whore, but she's still my mother." A good reminder that although far from perfect the church is still very important. I'll post more as I progress further through the book.
I've created a new multimedia page on kenhensley.com where I'll upload occasional video clips. Right now it has two: a snippet from the Barenaked Ladies concert we went to and one of Hope learning to ride her bike (sorry, no crash clips).
It was sixteen years ago today that Tonya and I were married in Memphis, Tennessee. The weather did not cooperate and a raging thunderstorm swept through West Tennessee. The wedding itself was very elegant and included many family and friends. If I felt so compelled, I might have scanned a few wedding pictures and uploaded them with this blog -- but then I would have been bombarded with all these comments about how skinny I was back then and why I don't wear the really big glasses anymore! And once a picture is on the Internet, who knows how it might come back to haunt me if I ever decide to run for President.
Following our wedding, we finished out one semester of college and then headed for the West Coast -- San Diego, to be specific. Our first real home and ministry job was with the now defunct Allied Gardens Church of Christ. They were small enough and brave enough to hire a 21 year-old preacher and we were crazy enough to move across the country. It was a match made in heaven.
From there we moved to Walnut Creek, CA (near San Francisco) where our two daughters were born at the local Kaiser hospital. We also bought our first house during this time, a 3 bedroom beauty in the town of Concord. I can remember laying in the middle of the living room as we were moving in and thinking, "Wow, there's so much space." Tonya became a stay-at-home mom and a very good one at that.
We left Walnut Creek and moved to Covington, GA ... as we also left the church denomination we grew up in for a new one. It was our first time living outside of California since we had been married. Our oldest daughter began school in Covington, played on her first softball team, and so much more. We loved our church family at Covington Christian Church and I think it's safe to say, they liked us, too. We also bought our second house in Covington and acquired a wonderful set of neighbors in the process.
In the summer of 2004, we accepted an invitation to explore the option of starting a new church back in California. We underwent assessment with Stadia: New Church Strategies and was subsequently offered a job as church planters. After much prayer and consideration, we accepted the offer.
That started us on the journey that eventually returned us to San Diego -- our first home as a married couple! In fact, we live and worship less than five minutes from where we did the first time around. LifePoint is the new church we are privileged to serve.
Through these sixteen years of journeys and adventures, Tonya has been a constant source of encouragement. We covered a lot of miles, experienced highs and lows, and entered in to parenthood ... and we've not only survived but have thrived ... though parenthood has nearly killed me a time or two.
Proverbs 31 says this ... " A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies." I have found that to be true more times than I can remember.
At LifePoint, we do something called "Pizza with the Pastor." It's a chance for newcomers to hear our story and interact with me. One of the best parts is the Q&A time. We had a diverse group of people at this one ... some who had been with us since day one and as recent as a few weeks ago. The best question would have to go to Cody:
"If you could do one of the following things, which one would it be? A) Have a teleporter. B) Be able to breathe under water. C) Be able to remember everything you've read."
Which one did I pick?
This morning I was watching the Discovery-Times channel (one of the blessings of 300+ channels) and it had a show about the New York subway system. While I've never been to NYC, much less been on the subway, I'm fascinated by these types of shows. It's the same reason I watch How Things Work, Modern Marvels, etc.
I digress. One of the segments was about subway preachers -- a calling many of you didn't know existed. It featured this one older couple who spend their days riding the subway and preaching to the lost. It mainly focused on the lady who would quote from the minor prophets passages of damnation.
Their name: The Kooks. I can't remember their first names but that was their last name. My first thought was, "That's impossible." But then again ...
Just a few random thoughts about commercials I've seen over and over and over. First of all, you would think that guy on FreeCreditReport.com would have raised his credit score by now. What's wrong with this guy?
Why does that lady keep losing her car after all these months? Didn't she get one of those personal voice recorders months ago?
Who doesn't feel pity for the Geico caveman? I have to give it to Geico for consistently producing some of the funniest commercials on tv. I've even found myself singing the song that plays as the caveman goes through the airport ("everywhere I go, there's always something to remind me"). Plus, the mock news interview with the split screen is a classic.
Among pastors, Monday mornings can be tough. It's on Monday mornings that we recover from Sunday mornings. It's on Monday mornings when we analyze and reflect on what went well and what didn't on Sunday mornings. You can usually gauge how a pastor perceived the previous Sunday by a Monday morning.
We had a great time of worship this morning at LifePoint. Quite simply, our band rocks! We did a mix of jazzed-up Christmas carols, a contemporary worship song, and a song written by our worship leader's dad (in 1975). We had new faces and many more familiar faces. We had people stick around for a long after worship had ended.
And we also had a few lows ... like attendance and offerings. As a young church, we're still trying to gain traction and reach critical mass. We're not quite there yet and the clock is ticking. But God is faithful and has a way of doing what we least expect when we least expect it.
Here's to your Monday morning!
I've seen this commercial for Florsheim shoes lately that has caught my eye. The tag line at the end says, "The Best. Again." This made me wonder ... did they experience a period of time when they weren't best and have just now recovered? Are they admitting to putting out sub-par shoes that were less than the best? Did I miss their "Yay, we're not as crappy as those other shoe manufacturers" campaign?
Now to be far, I have never purchased a new pair of Florsheims though I did wear a pair of my dad's Florsheim wingtips when I was in high school. I may not be the best judge of whether or not they are the best but I do chuckle at their tag line.
For auto manufacturers ... "It Runs. Again."
For restaurants ... "A Clean Bill of Health. Again."
I took Tonya and the girls last night to our first Barenaked Ladies concert. It was at UCSD's RIMAC arena and it was a great concert! I've listened to BNL for about the last 12 years and this was the first chance I've had to see live in concert and we were not disappointed. The girls have listened to their Christmas CD ("Barenaked for the Holidays") many times over. In fact, you'll see them holding a sign that reads "Elf's Lament" in one of the pictures below.
People who write bumper stickers must be masters of the obvious. One of my favorites read, “All Generalizations Are False.” Irony is another gift most bumper sticker writers must have.
I once saw a bumper sticker that said, “Change Happens.” As I thought about it, I realized that it’s true — change does happen.
Life is filled with changes. Children are born and then are walking and before you know it, are graduating from college and getting married. Jobs change, styles change, cable channels change.
Entrepreneurs are by nature drawn to change. Sometimes it’s incremental; more often than not, it’s radical change. It’s busting a well-established paradigm in favor of a new one.
Spiritual entrepreneurs are no different. As Christ-followers, our world is filled with change. The Bible calls it transformation. We are ever being changed into what God wants us to be.
As a new church, one of our core values is to embrace change. We do not need to feel threatened by change — it is often a gift from God to move us where he wants us to be. We welcome change because it creates opportunity and with opportunity comes growth.
Now if I could just figure out how to condense that down to a bumper sticker ...