and then there were two…

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So this past weekend was one of the most eventful weekends ever. My wife Sarah went into labor 1 week early last Thursday night and by 8:30 Friday morning, baby Jonathon Matthew Burke was here.  He was 7lbs. 15 oz. and 31 in. long.  So now I am a dad of two.  I am really proud of my wife.  She did an excellent job in labor and delivery.  In an age where drugs are the way most people go, she did the whole thing naturally.  I was/am way impressed.  She is way stronger than me, that is for sure.  I would have stubbed my toe on the hospital bed and said “epidural please!”  anyway… we are the parents of two healthy little boys… just in time for march madness!

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don’t be stupid!

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so in OSM in April & May we are doing a series called “Don’t be stupid!”  This series is one of those ones where I lived it so I have a lot of resource to pull from.  I was trying to think of what Bible character/story I could use to sum up one of my first talks “stupid choices = stupid consequences” and it dawned on me: SAMSON.  So I started to re-read his story in Judges 13-16.  I get almost to the end of his story when I came across this little gem that I had never seen before (or wasn’t thinking enough like a middle schooler to appreciate.): “So Delilah said to Samson, “Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.”  Samson answered her, “If anyone ties me with seven fresh THONGS that HAVE NOT BEEN DRIED, I’ll become as weak as any other man.”  I can just imagine the giggling… the laughter… the 7th grader with the bright red face.  this is going to be student ministry at its best.  I’m probably going to have to explain it… of course, but you have to admit… it’s hilarious.  just thought I would share that.

a call to die

I picked up a 40 day journaling book by David Nasser called “A call to die.”  It’s a challenge to live out what it means to be a Christ follower.  I was reading matthew 16:24-27 this morning: “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.  What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?  Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?  For the Son of Man is going to come in His Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.”  As I was reading these verses and reading Day 1 in the book… a question stuck out to me:  “IS MY COMMITMENT TO OBEY GOD GREATER THAN MY DESIRE FOR PERSONAL COMFORT AND APPROVAL?”  

Following Jesus is a daily call to give up my life, my dreams, and my pursuits and follow His.

that is my prayer today!

March Madness – play-in game

honestly… does anyone actually watch the play-in game besides sports analysts, the university student section, and the players parents?  I always feel sorry for these teams because they know that, even if they win this game, they have little to no shot at going anywhere in the tournament because they are fed to the lions {in this case… the cardinals} right out of the gate.  So here’s to you Moorehead State and Alabama State… at least one of you will be able to say you got 1 win in the tournament. 🙂

march madness – final four picks

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okay people… it’s time to put it all on the line and give my final four picks and my national champion pick.  So my absolutely favorite team probably won’t make it past the 2nd round… {Sorry UCLA… I still love you} but I picked based upon my observations of the entire ncaa basketball season.  So… here they are: Louisville, UConn, Duke, & UNC.  I have Louisville beating Uconn and UNC beating Duke.  And after a long debate… and watching both the Big East and ACC tournaments… and weighing all options… I don’t think UNC has the depth to handle Louisville.  Green and Ellington have been slumping for a while… and I don’t think Lawson will be 100%.  if he is even 80% he’s better than most point guards… but they’ll need him 100% to beat Louisville.  Hansbrough CANNOT carry the load of the whole team to a national championship.  He’s good, but not that good.  Louisville is deep, strong, can shoot outside and have a a big inside presence in Clark, and they played in, what could have arguably been the TOUGHEST conference in the NCAA.  That is why I think Louisville will be the national champ.  What are your picks?

MARCH MADNESS

if you know me at all, you’d know that I LOVE Basketball and I LOVE March Madness.  My 2.5 year old son Nic has come to love it as well.  So, in honor of March Madness every year, we go out and buy a new Nerf basketball hoop.  This was the first year that he can actually shoot it at the hoop at the top of the door.  This is an exciting, monumental occasion for me.  So what did I do?  I documented it.  This is what happens when the perfect storm of me, nic, basketball, and march madness all collide.  enjoy.

Consistently leads consistency

Some of our OSM leaders have been surprised by the fact that week after week we are now consistently hitting the same kind of numbers student-wise.  This is shocking to them because just 2 1/2 years ago numbers fluctuated up and down like a 12 year old girls emotions.  I, on the other hand, am not surprised by this at all.  I have learned over the years of doing ministry that when you lead consistently you lead consistency.  Consistency precedes health, and health precedes growth.  This is the discipline of habit.  Habit brings trust.  This is also true in our own lives.  When we are consistent in… lets say our quiet time with God… it brings health to our life.  And that health brings spiritual growth.  How consistent are you being in your ministry or life?