Thursday, December 31, 2009

The sound of holiness, Resounding around us, Thundering Your righteousness, The voice that is and calms the storm, The voice of the Lord And all that is Yours sings; Glory to You!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Some things that make me happy:

  • Being with my family
  • Spending time with friends
  • Breaking things
  • Playing video games
  • Singing
  • Eating good food
  • Getting to know people a little better
  • Going to church
  • Hanging out with the Youth
  • Snow
Some things I did this weekend:
  • Was with my family
  • Spent time with friends
  • Broke things
  • Played video games
  • Sang
  • Ate good food
  • Got to know a few people a little better
  • Went to church
  • Hung out with the Youth
  • Got out in the SNOW
So, I guess it was a happy weekend ;o)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Just In Case You Wanted to Know

  • I finally updated my phone! Its a Razzle. I didn't think I would like it much, but after a few days, I do. It's quite a relief to finally have it, its been a fiasco with dysfunctional phones the past month!
  • The postal service . . . well, we're not friends. Its a long story, but they basically have been messing with me for about 3 weeks now, so BOO to them! And seriously, why would you look at someone like they're crazy for ordering 10,000 bulk mail stamps? Its BULK mail. Large numbers are implied, just by the name alone!
  • I'm excited to see snow in the forecast!!!
  • Why is it so difficult to find a capital letter 'B' with just the right curvature? Come on!
  • Excited about CHRIST. Not so excited about Christmas. Okay . . . maybe a little excited. The tree is looking quite festive this year and my shopping is almost finished.
  • I've been writing bits and pieces of what is looking like three different songs, but I can't seem to focus enough on just one to complete anything. With that said, I'm praying for a creative project to come up that I can really just pour myself into . . . I'm about to spill over!
  • My Mac. Oh, my dear Mac. It seems to be slipping quickly. A moment of silence, please . . .
  • I'm okay with being 'closed minded' if that means I only believe what comes from the bible as definite truth. I think I've felt this way for a while now, but never really had to conceptualize it quite like I had to today.
  • I'm glad its time to wear my lion's paws slippers again!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Help Needed

Yep, its that time again. Here at CSI Ministries, we are preparing for a huge mailing which we're praying God will use to shine His love and glory. Wanna help? You can give me a call at 765-286-0711 or e-mail me at nharris@csiministries.org Thanks!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Picture Time!

The past few weeks have been packed full; my brother got married, we went to a church-planting conference in Louisville, we flew to Florida for a CSI Ministries retreat, had Thanksgiving with the Teshuva, spent time with friends and family . . . Of course, if you know me or read my blog often, you know I take lots of pictures. I've just been avoiding uploading them unto my laptop because I'm impatient and it seems to take forever. But there are some pics I wanted to post, so here they are, all at once.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today was kinda lame, as far as Thanksgivings go. But it was a good thing. Instead of all the distractions of the "perfect" holiday experience, I actually . . . gave thanks. So, really, it wasn't lame at all.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful: my parents

My parents love me. I used to think this was a given. Then I was introduced to a world of monsters who have children. I've never felt quite the same about my own parents since. Their love has shaped me and I am ever thankful. They are such a blessing.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thankful: lunch . . . no, it's not just about food!

Sometimes we just need a break. Time to . . . chill. At work, we call this lunch. In fact, in my office, I am the lunch-nazi. It's not always gauged by the growling of bellies, but sometimes the growling of my co-workers when their frustrations have reached a certain level. I sense it and know . . . its time for lunch. And so there are these occasional days where I push and insist and nag and coax until finally calling to place the lunch orders after convincing everyone it's time to take a break. Its okay to take a break. I have no doubt that on these days I am annoying. Everyone feels like what they're doing is important. And it probably is. But they need lunch. I see how much they need it. How much more productive they are afterwards.
In life, whenever I feel I've reached a certain point of exhaustion, something happens. Things change. I'm forced to slow. To stop. To be refueled. Sometimes I fight it, insisting on operating according to my own schedule. During these times, God gets in my face. He tells me its time for lunch. Sometimes I say, "no," but I'm learning that this isn't so wise. I'm starting to finally appreciate His timing, and learning to gratefully accept when He says "lunch," excited to see what's afterwards.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thankful: employment

I have been very blessed to have always had a reliable source of income. This is something I used to just take for granted and thought of as a normal part of life. But within the past couple years, after seeing hard-worker after hard-worker unemployed, I've come to realize what a blessing this is.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

This Day Update

The Turkey drop was a success! The Youth provided all the fixin's for FOURTEEN families' Thanksgiving meals! They packed them all up in boxes/baskets/totes, took them to pre-selected yet unsuspecting homes, dropped them off on the porch, rang the doorbell/knocked, then RAN. It's always such a blessing to watch the kids receive so much joy out of serving and sharing God's love with other people. Then we all gathered in the gym at the church and ate a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner. Kimberly did a great job orchestrating the meal. All the youth leaders and several awesome volunteers put forth a lot of effort and it all came together so well. My parents were great and came out to help, deep-frying 3 turkeys for us (mmmm). I snapped a few pictures, then my camera died, so what few pics I got I'll get posted after my camera's all charged up. I was right. This was a great day! God is awesome!

This Day

This day is going to be awesome! First, the youth group is going to bless several unexpecting families with everything they need for a Thanksgiving meal. Then we'll all meet back at the church to have a great big Thanksgiving meal together. Hopefully, pictures to come!

Thankful: songwriting

Sometimes when songwriting, I feel like the inspiration has come directly from God. And what an awesome thought that He would speak to me in that way! And it serves so many purposes in my life. Processing. Expressing. Releasing. Reflecting. Inquiring. Desiring. Praising. And every now and then, writing something that someone else needed to hear. And on the occasion that that happens, feeling blessed to be a part of that moment.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thankful: my wife

I have an amazing wife. She is very supportive and so loving, always pushing me to excel. As my bio says, our walk with Christ has been together, nearly step by step, and its been a wonderful journey. I am so grateful for God's blessing on our marriage.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thankful: brothers & sisters in Christ

God has provided me with an abundance of spiritual support; a network consisting of friends, leaders, and pastors who share the Truth and Love. God has revealed much of himself to me through these people. This list of names is long, and I am grateful for each person on it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

This is Hysterical!

Thankful: salvation

This morning I thought it would be good for me to spend a little extra time each day for a week focusing on one specific thing I am thankful for. Today I am going to reflect on the cross and what it means. Salvation through Christ is something I could never thank God enough for.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

rein in me

Chances are, I won't post this. Or if I do, I'll probably just get up in the middle of the night and delete it. Sometimes it just helps to write things out. Its hard to be vulnerable. And I don't want to be one of those people, but . . . I've been having a really difficult time with anxiety and depression lately. Some days its one or the other. Other days its a mixture of both. Probably why I have trouble sleeping sometimes. I use to be medicated and sometimes wonder if maybe I still should be, but that never really seemed to help me. Its irrational. Its really about nothing, but in the heat of it it feels like its about everything. Today I just felt afraid. I didn't want to do my job because I was afraid I wouldn't do it right. I was given the opportunity to lead worship this weekend but felt too anxious to do it. The thought of going to growth group made me feel like I had a pit in my stomach. And even though they are all great people and we had great conversations, the pit never went away until I was able to shut the car door behind me to head home. There is a lot to unpack. Some good. Some bad. Some just silly and no unpacking required. I've come to the realization recently that anxiety, depression, and the sense of worthlessness & uselessness I often feel play a big part in my walk with Christ. This is a weakness the enemy can use against me, or a way for God to be glorified, all based on who I allow to rein in my life. God, rein in me.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Romans 12:15

"Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn."
Sometimes this is really difficult.

Some Randomness

  • I love setting out decorations. Hate putting them back up.
  • It irritates me when my Facebook, Twitter, and Blogger profile pics aren't the same.
  • I will have two new sister-in-laws within a week (my brother is getting married tomorrow, and next weekend Kimberly's oldest brother is getting married).
  • I have a new car battery, thanks to my dad. Merry Christmas to me!
  • Next week, I will only be in the office for one day.
  • I like wind chimes (as long as they make a pleasant sound).
  • I'm thinking about (gulp) taking a class or two. Nothing specific. Just a thought.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

This is Funny . . .

but my wife does it way funnier. You should make her do the voice the next time you see her!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Jamaica Container

Today a lot of great people showed up at the CSI Ministries' headquarters to be the hands of God, helping us load a 20 ft shipping container. Around eight thousands pounds of cargo was ever-so-carefully packed, including the personal belongings of full-time missionaries in Jamaica, educational items for young Jamaican students, and other items that will be used in ministry there. Many people will be blessed when the container arrives to its destination. Thank you to everyone who stopped by to lend a hand!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sleep . . .

. . . has been improving. Its not there yet. But definitely improving.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Great Weekend

-Got to spend an entire day with my wife -Got to eat at my favorite restaurant, The Melting Pot -Got lost in a corn maze with the youth group -Got to play Grog and scare a bunch of kids -Got to hang out with some great peeps -Got to sleep a little bit -Got some new wooden beads -Got to make a new header for my blog -Got to start a new season of Supernatural on DVD -Got to write a little -Got to watch Prince of Egypt in Kidzone -Got to eat General Tso Chicken -Got to . . .

Friday, October 23, 2009

Russian Ice Skating Circus Bear

Anyone else hear about the Russian ice skating circus bear that attacked two people? Well, if not, you can HERE. So, I'm probably kinda evil for seeing some humor in this, but I can't help but think it's just a little funny:
"It is unclear what caused the bear to attack Potapov, 25, nearly severing one of his legs while dragging him across the ice by his neck."
Really? Yeah, its so mysterious as to why a circus bear on ice skates would be grumpy.
*Interject sarcasm as you see fit ;o)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tonight

Last night/this morning I slept for 3 consecutive hours, which is the most hours of continuous sleep I've had in a few weeks. I felt GREAT when I woke up, but the greatness wore off around 2pm and now I'm just exhausted again. I've tried taking drugs, but they just make me feel . . . drugged, as I lay there awake. Last night I got experimental, and maybe a little brave/stupid, taking a little dose of just about everything we had that's supposed to cause drowsiness and/or sleep. It didn't work. Just thinking about going to bed makes me feel a little anxious as I wonder and worry whether or not I'll doze off. I've even tried falling asleep in random places such as the couch or my favorite chair, to take the edge of the expectation that sleep should ensue. Yeah, that didn't work either. I've asked God if there's something in particular I should read in the bible, or something I should be thinking/praying about. But for some reason I haven't really asked Him specifically for sleep. So, tonight . . . I know. Duh.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

SO. TIRED.

I've been going through another sleepless phase lately. I'll toss and turn, until finally falling asleep. I dream a weird, random dream, then wake up and not be able to fall back to sleep for the rest of the night. I'm starting to feel the affects. Nausea. Emotional. Basically, I'm a big sleepy baby that's about to throw himself onto the floor and have a full-blown tantrum if he doesn't get a good nap soon. Wah! Wah! Wah!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Heart Song: After Thoughts

I am so thankful for our Heavenly Father who places songs in our hearts to sing, callings to answer, convictions to carry out, etc.! It's such a wonderful thing to praise Him for! I love our missionaries, Marggy and the Black family, and its been such a blessing to watch them respond to His call obediently. I hope this evening encouraged them in their journey. Everything seemed to run relatively smooth, with only a few audio issues here and there. Everyone did a good job of sharing their hearts with the audience through their songs and commentary, and we received a lot of positive feedback. This entire experience was great! I am exhausted and ready to sleep, but honestly, I'm a little sad its over. Oh well, I guess there'll be another project to work on soon enough!

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Picture and the Story it Tells

Today I've been helping to prepare for a pastors' breakfast that CSI Ministries is offering next week. I've been going through boxes of old pictures to display. These pictures tell a remarkable story of how God has changed lives through His obedient servants. This is one of my favorite pictures. The woman's name is Cathie Benson and she has been a missionary in Haiti for 14 years now. This picture was taken in '96. You can see her love for these young Haitians in her smile, and the joy it gives her to wrap her arms around them. I wonder if she had any clue when this picture was taken that this would still be her life thirteen years later.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Everyone Needs Some Love!

Text

Within the past 30 days, Kimberly and I have sent/received 3,669 text messages. That's 122.3 messages a day. 5.09 messages an hour. If we continue to text at this rate, we'll send/receive 44,028 messages in a year.
I remember four years ago thinking texting was absolutely ridiculous. And now. I just. Can't. Stop.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ahhtumn

It's chilly outside. The leaves are changing. Ahh . . . So nice!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Experimenting With a New Way to Present Pics

Heart Song Rehearsal

Tonight we had a rehearsal for Heart Song. It was an amazing experience. Five men who love God. Who want to share what He has placed in their hearts. It was a great time of fellowship. Very worshipful. Very authentic. Nate and I have spent hours reading through everyone's lyrics to make slides and create a song order, listening to short recorded clips here and there. But to actually hear them all in person for the first time was really cool. Derek Chalfant has written a great song called Its Not About Me, and we're all doing it together, which felt great. Now I can't wait until Saturday! Thank You, God, for allowing me to have this experience!

Columbus Day Weekend With -V-

Thursday, October 8, 2009

What a Blessing!

Today a faithful servant named Brenda Underwood stopped by CSI to deliver some items to ship to Jamaica. Brenda has an amazing gift to find much needed resources. As soon as she hears there's a need for something, she finds it. Or it finds her. Using this gift for God's glory, Brenda set out to find educational items for impoverished schools in Jamaica, locating a pre-school that was closing. God placed Brenda in the right place at the right time, because she is willing and eager to serve Him. Brenda & her church purchased every item in the school for only $300! Now many children will be blessed through these resources and the help of obedient Christ followers.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Another Test: Video Messages?

video This is a video from our last youth bowling night of awesomnes. *Nate

This is a Test: Sending Pic Messages to Blogger by Phone

I am learning how to send pix and text to Blogger using my phone. Its kinda confusing to get started, but I think I got it. Here's a random pic of Kimmy as a test. YAY for learning new things! *Nate

This message has been sent using the picture and Video service from Verizon Wireless!

To learn how you can snap pictures and capture videos with your wireless phone visit www.verizonwireless.com/picture.

Note: To play video messages sent to email, Quicktime@ 6.5 or higher is required.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Our Great Day With Mom & Dad

1812 Reenactment: if you've never been, GO! Christmas hat shopping: why not? Halloween fun: spooky! What a great day! Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Two days in, going strong.

The TV's built into the workout machines keep me motivated.
And the cup of coffee at work keeps me awake afterwards.

;o)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I Did It! Today, Anyway . . .

5:50am Alarm goes off 5:51am I GET UP and get dressed 6:02am I leave home to go to the gym 6:11am I arrive at the gym and workout 7:08am I leave the gym to go home 7:20am I shower, dress, eat breakfast 7:55am I leave home for work
I'm praying for many more mornings that look like this one did!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Rise and Shine. Or Not.

I have a new goal: to become a morning person. Or something like one, anyway. You see, I'm a hardcore night owl. Let me stay up until 3:00am and get up around 10:30am and I'm golden. But that's not really how the world operates. I've been adding more and more things onto my plate lately, and it seems like the only logical way for me to fit everything into a human life is by getting up earlier, which means going to bed earlier, which means . . . lots of things. I've been reading tips on how to become a morning person. Yes, I'm really that desperate. It's just so far from who I am naturally, I really didn't know where to start. I'd love to say tomorrow will be the day . . . but why set myself up for disaster? Maybe the next day. Or the next. Or. . .

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Another Great Sunday

Today was a wonderful day, beginning with great worship and an awesome sermon. I am so fortunate to belong to a church with people who love God and serve Him with such excellence! Nate really invited the Holy Spirit into the sanctuary and truly praised Him, while PK faithfully and passionately delivered a message so critical to being a part of the body of Christ. After service we had lunch (great food/great company) and made our way back to the church for youth group. Again, I'm blessed to be able to learn from some great servants of the Lord. Pink had a great game planned out that gave the leaders an opportunity to have fun with the kids in smaller groups and build onto our relationships with them. It was a blast! And we were blessed with a HUGE group of high-school attenders this week. The best moment of the day was when I was taking a group of middle-school kids on a scavenger hunt in my car. One of them couldn't figure out how to release the buckle of the seatbelt and was trapped in the backseat. He ended up squirming his way down, getting stuck at the shoulders for a few minutes before slipping the rest of the way out. It was hilarious, but as time went on, I think he started panicking a little, which, as a good youth leader, made me laugh even more!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Push

I always have a song in my head. Sometimes several. And right now, none of them are my own. Preparing for Heart Song has given me the opportunity to hear other people's original music; the lyrics forcing me to question if I'm measuring up to who I should be and where my reliance is, and reminding me that this life is not my own. I love how these songs are challenging me and helping me reflect. What's God using to push you right now?

Halloween Mah Jongg

My newest addiction. And lamest. But I. Just. Can't. Stop.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

HTML

I've been exploring HTML today and have discovered that its much easier to rewrite and edit than I thought. I've never used a blog template with a background before because the posts' column is always too skinny to display the streaming slideshows that I use so often. Well, today I figured out how to take a template and pretty much change anything about it I want, after some quick googling and a few minutes of trial and error, of course. So YAY! The options just became limitless, which means there's a lot more room for creativity!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Adjusts Need to be Made

Tonight I went to the Techno-Gym for a workout. I think visiting the wellness center has really helped me and I'm feeling the best I've felt in a really long time, so I thought I should take advantage of not being in pain and . . . cause myself pain (???) Anyway, I have this key that I insert into each machine, and it automatically adjusts to my settings. It's really cool, but the problem is, my settings haven't changed since 2007 . . . when I last used the Techno-Gym. So, needless to say, I'm way out of the routine of my workout and the settings are a bit challenging for me in my current, um . . . condition, or lack there of . . . The treadmill kept warning me that my heart rate was getting too high, but when I slowed down it warned me that I wasn't going to meet my distance goals. I thought my heart was going to explode! So, yeah. Adjustments need to be made to my workout. But YAY for day one . . . I think. ;o)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Do It!

I am surrounded and influenced by so many great people during this season of my life, and tonight I had the opportunity to hear one of them share their heart. Kimberly and I attended a dinner meeting for CSI Ministries this evening and Jamie Barton was the guest speaker. Jamie is a full-time missionary in Jamaica, and among other things, is the administrator of the Jamaica Student Support Program. This is a wonderful ministry that allows impoverished Jamaicans to receive an education, empowering them to pursue a higher quality of life. You can learn more about this program and how you can help HERE. Jamie spoke about faith and hope, and how lives are changed when these things are put into action. Jamie has applied this to her own life well, helping to equip others to do the same. I had to chuckle when she began to talk about how all we need to do to make a difference is to take action. I've had several conversations with people lately about how an enormous part of life is just about DOING things. In church we've been talking a lot about being 'doers' instead of just 'hearers.' I guess my point is: DO IT!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Boo!

Today we started decorating our house for Halloween. It's such a fun time of year! Some of my best childhood memories are from autumn and Halloween time; scarecrows, playing in the cornfield, jumping in leafs, the nice brisk weather, costumes, decorations... This is the first time we've really put out all of our decorations for a couple years, so I'm really excited. I'll post some pictures in a few days when its all done!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

1 John 5:3-5

This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

Monday, September 14, 2009

091309

Today I had a wonderful adventure with my good friend Super Sam. First we explored the universe in a rocket ship, but due to technical failures we crash-landed in a strange world, where we were nearly eaten by dinosaurs. We barely escaped alive, making the long journey back home before dark. And just in time to watch an episode of Wonder Pets, of course.

Philippians 2:3-8

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I was preoccupied . . .

. . . you know, just kinda having a conversation with God. I was getting cleaned up before work tomorrow, lathering up some shaving cream so I could shave. I'm still struggling a bit to, well . . . not be such a Whaa Whaa, and was talking to God about it. Apparently I was into the conversation more than I realized. I began applying the shaving cream to my hair instead of my face without even noticing. Thank God I realized what I was doing before I shaved my head! Despite being a Whaa Whaa, I had to laugh at myself. That is all.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Cantastics

Names: Ellen, Isaiah, and Nate Canady Aliases: CATE, Ug, and The Hawker Family bio: Ellen lived the life of a normal girl, hiding her regenerative powers from her family and friends, but her ability to heal herself did not go undetected. Ellen, 23, was captured by evil scientists called The Bitter Nerds, who renamed her CATE (Cerebral Augmentative Technologies Experiment), placing a small electronic device in the base of her brain. Her regenerative powers made her a prime subject for the experiment. The operation was successful and allowed the Bitter Nerds to control CATE's thoughts, augment her senses beyond that of any living creature, and enhance her speed, strength, and agility. CATE was trained in many forms of hand-to-hand combat and became a flawless marksmen and tracker with her newly heightened senses. The Bitter Nerds used CATE as an assassin, wiping out the world's superheroes one by one, with a single goal in mind: world domination. CATE's life changed forever when she set out on an assignment to annihilate Nate Canady, known to most of the world as The Hawker, a humanoid mutant with the power to morph into a hawk, as well as expectorating a poisonous green, phlegm-like substance that paralyzes his foes upon contact. Born in the Appalachain Mountains and raised in a log cabin, Nate has a deep appreciation for the wilderness, using his powers to fight for nature preservation. When CATE sighted The Hawker and set her laser beam's aim, he sensed danger and began transforming into a hawk to flee. CATE shot him admist his transformation and he let out a shriek of agony. The hawk-like, piercing call sent sound vibrations through the device that the Bitter Nerds had placed in CATE's brain, damaging it. CATE instantly became aware of her actions and quickly went to The Hawker's aid, nursing him to health over several months. Injured by the laser beam's shot, The Hawker lost his ability to transform completely into a hawk, but was left in permanent form of neither hawk nor man, but both. The Hawker found that in this new state he was stronger than ever before, could fly even higher and further, and could produce his poisonous, green phlegm-like substance in greater quantities. Over the months that CATE had nursed The Hawker back to health, the two superhumans fell in love. CATE, no longer controlled by the Bitter Nerds yet still benefiting from the abilities they had given her, brought the evil scientists' rein to an end. The Hawker and CATE married and began a crime fighting duo known as the Cantastics. CATE fights evil restlessly to redeem herself from all the superheroes she destroyed while controlled by the Bitter Nerds, while her husband, The Hawker, fights with a passion to preserve Earth's natural resources and for his love of spitting on people while flying high above them. Two years after saying their vows, the superhero duo became a trio when CATE gave birth to Isaiah, better known as Ug. Ug grew and developed at a rapid rate, and at the age of two had reached a level of strength only surpassed by that of the Hulk. Despite his youth, Ug is an important part of the Cantastics' fight against evil, easily crushing enemies with his club. It is unclear what powers he will possess when full grown.
One after another, heroes rise: The Cantastics... Mimic Man... Wild Pink... Veranda French... The Cutman...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Plan B

Today I accidentally deleted some files I need. Everything in them can be easily recreated, except for one image I found online. "No problem," I thought, "I'll just find the same image again." And that is when the Internet swallowed the image into the abyss. I searched for four hours. No joke. Four hours and I could not find the image. So I guess I'll move on to Plan B. The problem is, Plan A has already been initiated. Oops! Dumb desktop trashcan . . .

HOPE

This morning I am putting some final touches on two packages I am sending out to some teams of believers who are going to Haiti for a short-term missions experience. One of the ministries God is using CSI for in Haiti is HOPE Orphanage, where orphaned girls are raised in a Christian environment as sisters. I love hearing stories from people who have visited HOPE, and I pray I have the opportunity to see for myself one day. You can learn more about the HOPE Orphanage by clicking HERE.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Me Against Me

Depression. Anxiety. Doubts. Deception. Spiritual warfare is real. And it sucks. God has arranged some conversations in my life this week that I needed to have. Some unexpected encouragement. Things said that I needed to hear. But I'm lame. And weak. These negative feelings are still there. Maybe I just won't let them go. With each step of faith I take, my comfort level grows, and so God calls me to step out even further. As I prepare to take new steps, I am attacked, much like my wife has been recently. But my attacks aren't coming from outside sources. They are within myself. Me against me. Boo to that.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mimic Man

Name: Kris Sorensen Alias: Mimic Man Bio: Kris, also known as Mimic Man, has a power referred to as instantaneous muscle memory, meaning he has the ability to acquire nearly any skill by merely watching it being performed once. Kris first learned he had this power when he was a sophomore in college, attending his girlfriend's dance recital. When the dancers began their routine, Kris found himself unable to stay seated, pirouetting down the isle. Kris' girlfriend was consumed with jealously as she watch him perform the splits with the utmost grace, like someone who had been training his entire life. Kris never saw her again after that night. Hurting from being left so abruptly by the woman he loved, Kris threw himself into his new found passion; dance. Kris quickly became an expert at all forms of dance and was world renowned, but he felt an emptiness in his life. Shortly after the incident at the dance recital, Kris learned his abilities weren't limited to dance; he could assimilate any activity. As Kris' discontent grew, he began watching old karate films, pairing martial arts with dance, creating a new fighting technique he calls groove-fu. Kris decided to put his new dance-fight to the test by entering a street fight, quickly realizing that he was unbeatable when he high-kicked and tap-danced all over his opponent within seconds. Now, using his abilities to fight crime as Mimic Man, Kris has never been happier; making the world a safer placed one beautiful dance move (and an occasional karate chop) at a time.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Heart Song

On October 17, a group of songwriters from our church will be sharing their music. I am very excited about this event, which we've named Heart Song. Nate Canady, Derek Chalfant, Brent Smith, Dave Reese, and myself will be sharing. We are so blessed to worship a God who not only hears our prayers, but speaks to us, and in so many different ways. Think for a moment how inconceivable that is; the Creator of the universe, Maker of all things speaks to us! Feeling that some of the songs I've written are messages that God has placed in my heart, I love sharing them. Its not something I do very often, but I feel God pushing me to share more. Even better, this will be a celebration of the song God has placed in the hearts of Marggy Hensley and Aaron and Melissa Black. It's a beautiful song of missions; a song of sacrifice and devotion. Its such a blessing to watch as they respond to this song in obedience, preparing to serve the Lord full-time in Jamaica. Hopefully, this event will serve as an encourager to them in this journey, and will result in some funds to help support their ministries. Planning this event so far has been great, and I know that Heart Song will be a wonderful opportunity to share the messages God has given us. We plan on explaining the inspiration behind each song and discussing what they've meant to us in our relationship with God. I am praying that all hearts will be receptive and that we, the songwriters, will be faithful in the delivery.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Who Should be the Next?

Wild Pink. Veranda French. The Cutman. It's been a long time. Who should be the next hero to rise from among us? Suggestions?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Nates Have Songs

Nate C. and I have been working together on songs a lot lately, which is not only a blast, but helps me develop more as a singer, a songwriter, a friend, and as a Christ follower. Nate is a great person who loves God and is a wonderful musician and writer. I've learned a lot from him since June 2008, when we first worked on a song together called The Edge. We are taking on a bigger project now called Heartsong (more on that soon to come). I am enjoying the process and am already looking forward to more projects in the future. The gears seem to be turning a little too fast for two minds to keep up with, but it seems like the more obedient and disciplined we are in our music and writing, the more God provides His inspiration.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

So Far So Good

Well, today my pain level has been significantly lower, after just one treatment at the wellness center. So far, so good! Yay for less pain!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

LOB BOB: Volume IV

The saga continues. And continues. And continues. So, not much has changed. Same old symptoms. Well, actually, I lie. Something has changed. About three weeks ago I woke up with awful stomach cramps. It felt like my guts where being twisted. It was literally the worst pain I've ever felt. Everyday since then I've had these cramps off and on. The pain is still intense, but the cramps are becoming fewer and far between, which I am grateful for. When my stomach is not cramping, I just feel very . . . blah, and it doesn't take much activity before I am completely exhausted. This is along with all previous symptoms. My employer is in transition so I have no insurance right now, and I cannot afford medical services alone. So today I visited a wellness center in Wabash that was highly recommended by friends. It is focused on homeopathic remedies, particularly acupressure. The doctor I saw today told me I was having issues with my liver and gall bladder just by feeling lymph nodes in my back, something that has previously required hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars worth of blood tests and ultra sounds from other doctors. He gave me his acupressure schpeel, did some gentle rubbing, and 'shot' me with his acupressure gun here and there. Then he sent me home with some minerals and an appointment to come back in two weeks. It was completely painless, which is more than what I can say for the "Poke. Does that hurt? Poke. Does that hurt?" approach of all the other doctors I've visited for my stomach issues in the past. And its affordable. I'm just praying its affective.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Foreign

Yesterday I received a phone call at the office from the counselor I worked with when supervising a residential treatment program for sexually maladaptive adolescents. She needed help remembering an occurrence between two residents we worked with about a year ago and needed to remember how we responded to the situation for an upcoming court date. With all my new co-workers nearby, in my new office for my new job, and my seemingly new life, I couldn't bring myself to slip into that old vernacular. And so I just laughed. A lot. My old co-worker, seeking my help, apologized for calling me and mentioned that I had probably "blocked all this stuff out." I assured her that this wasn't the case (not really possible), but that it just felt so foreign for me to speak about such things. Which seems strange. Just three months ago I spent at least 40 hours a week talking about nothing but those things. And now I spend a majority of my week talking about sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with the world through our missionaries and their supporters. Its funny how easily things begin feeling familiar, and just as easily begin feeling foreign.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Connect the Dots

Dots; seemingly random, isolated and obscure are beginning to connect. Not all of them, in fact, not most of them. But some of them, and no doubt, the greater picture will be much more awesome than a cat in a hat.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Two Hands by Jars of Clay

I love songwriting, and as a result I hardly ever actually listen to music. Instead, I'll spend time silently (or not so silently) mulling over lyrics I'm writing. Well, for a few weeks now I've tried broadening my horizons a bit by actually listening to the radio, hoping to grow as a songwriter. Two Hands by Jars of Clay has been playing a lot, and it really speaks to my heart as I feel God calling me to a higher commitment of serving Him fully, living in worship and ministry.

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Putt-Putting and frozen custard with the Youth. Good times.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Modern Miracles

Yesterday evening I went with Kimberly to listen to a speaker she knew, named Marsha. Marsha gave a testimony of how God has delivered her from physical pain, not with a mysterious flash of white light, but with the skills he placed in a surgeon's hands.
Marsha's spine was deteriorating and she feared she would die as a quadriplegic like her brother had. But Marsha pushed her fear aside and trusted that God would heal her. Marsha likes to say, "Jesus didn't just show up, He showed off!" Although I have poorly summarized Marsha's beautiful testimony, it was a wonderful reminder for me that modern miracles occur everyday, mistaken as medical marvels or scientific achievements. I am so comfortable, so accustomed to my wonderful life, that I often fail to see God's hand at work.
Mark 5:24-34 A large crowd followed and pressed around Jesus. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed." Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who touched my clothes?" You see the people crowding against you," his disciples answered, "and yet you can ask, 'Who touched me?' But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Will Work for Food: Awesomeness!

God did amazing things last night with the youth. Seventeen kids gathered at the church to simulate homelessness and rally for food items to be donated to our food pantry. Our congregation gladly accepted the invitation to participate and brought in TONS of food and gave over $50. The kids also played games to earn points which CSI ministries will exchange for food items (175 points/items to be exact :o)

Many people will be fed.

God rocks!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Will Work For Food

This Saturday, August 15 at 8:00pm, our youth group will be gathering at the church to simulate homelessness, spending the night sleeping in cardboard boxes. There will be games to play and activities to take part in, but I'm mostly excited about what God will be doing in the hearts of these young people throughout this experience; The fellowship they'll share together. The appreciation they'll develop for the blessings they have. The passion God will ignite in them to do good works that He has prepared in advance for them. If you're interested in helping in some way, we are in need of some scrap materials such as old tarps or sheets of plastic; anything that could be used to make shelters. You can drop these items off at the church anytime on Saturday after around 6:00pm. You can also e-mail me at nathanharris0413@gmail.com to make other arrangements. Most of all, it would be great for people to support our youth through prayer and by bringing non-perishable food and household items to church on Sunday morning to give to the kids. All items will be used in the food bank. Thank you!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Home Again

After two cancelled flights, two hours on standby for a delayed flight that we didn't even have tickets for, and after losing our lugguage somewhere in New Jersey, we have finally made it home! Although it's great to have our own bed to sleep in and all the other comforts of home, as well as being close to our family and friends again . . . I already miss Ireland.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Ireland: Day 7

On day 7 of our trip, we visited Belfast, the Giant's Causeway, and Dunluce Castle. It was fantastic! Then we made our way back to Newcastle and ordered a take-out pizza. We took a taxi to the National Trust, where the Murlough House is. The taxi took us as close to the house as it could, and we walked the last couple miles, stopping at a picnic table to eat our pizza. Afterwards, we finished walking to the house to pack up and say goodbye to everyone.

Ireland: Day 6

Day 6 of our trip was great. Evelina, a missionary at the Murlough House from Poland, took us to the Ross Trevor Christian Renewal center. Then we stopped at a cool coffee and sandwich place called Grounded and did some shopping in a town called Newry. Afterwards, we had a barbecue and game night with the youth of Dundrum, busing them into the Murlough House.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ireland: Day 5

Castles. Countryside. Cuisine. Kids.

Ireland: Day 4

On day four of our trip, we went into New Castle to visit the post office to exchange money. We stopped by the market as well. Afterwards I took a walk and enjoyed the great scenery. Then we went to Downpatrick and saw where Saint Patrick may or may not be buried, and visited the Downpatrick Cathedral and a museum. We ended the day with a visit to another youth ministry called Cross Point, then ate fish and chips.

Ireland: Day 3

On day 3, we visited Annesley Garden and Arboretum. It was absolutely beautiful. There were flowers, fountains, stone walls with iron gates, exotic trees and bushes. Then we went past Castlewellan and stopped to take pictures. It's a relatively new castle, only a couple hundred years old. After snapping a few shots of the castle, we went to a maze in Castlewellan Park. I had never been to a maze like this before, so it was a lot of fun. In the center of the maze there is a staircase that leads up to a bridge high above the maze, and the view is incredible. There is also an old bell on the bridge with historical value to the Castlewellan Park grounds. After dinner, we were able to visit some ministries in Ireland. First we visited the Oasis, a great coffee bar out in the countryside, used as an outreach. Then we spent some time with the youth in Newcastle that is currently participating in a two-week program called Fused, where all the local churches and groups unite their youth for fellowship. I really enjoyed the beauty of Annesley Garden and Castlewellan Park, but its most awesome to see some of the ministries that God is planting in Northern Ireland.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ireland: Day 2

Day 2 was a wonderful day of exploration. Kimberly and I ventured through a forest fitting the description of a well written fairytale, finding ourselves on a pristine beach of the Irish Sea. The presence of God feels so strong when in awe of His creation! After some peaceful moments listening to the waves crash on the beach and a game of fetch played with a friendly dog that seemed to appear out of nowhere, we found a path that led through the beautiful countryside. We casually strolled about for around an hour before making our way back to the Murlough House.
Later that evening, we visited Newcastle. Kimberly and I, along with another couple, were left there for about an hour and a half to freely wander. And wander, we did! The small city was an amazing sight, nestled snuggly between the sea and mountains. I can't wait to see what God has in store for us for day 3!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Ireland: We Have Arrived!

Kimberly and I arrived in Belfast, Ireland this morning. For the most part, the journey was pleasant. We are staying here, at the Murlough House in Newcastle. Although we are absolutely exhausted, the accommodations are great and the scenery is breathtaking. We spent most of the day getting settled in and rested up. Despite my three wonderful naps, I am still sleepy and am turning in for the night! Here are a few pictures of where we're staying. More to come, I'm sure!

Friday, July 24, 2009

I was amazed and blessed this week by the number of people willing to give their time to our ministry. We are very appreciative. Thank you!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Help Needed. And Appreciated. Thanks!

You might be thinking to yourself, "Hmm, what am I going to do this week?" Well, I have an idea! How about e-mailing me at nharris@csiministries.org or give me a call at 765-286-0711 and set up an appointment to volunteer some of your time! CSI Ministries will be sending out 12,000 letters this week. By offering some of your time to help with the printing, folding, stuffing, sealing, and stamping of these letters, you will be playing an important role in our ministry to support the men and women who have answered God's call to long-term mission work and sharing the saving gospel of Jesus Christ with the world! We will begin this process tomorrow and the letters must be completed Friday. I am accepting volunteers any day, any time, for however long you'd like to help. What? Printing, folding, stuffing, sealing, and stamping letters doesn't sound completely awesome? You're right. Its not. But supporting the mission of God's call to share the gospel with the world by offering just a couple hours of your time? Totally awesome!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

For When I am Weak

I've been thinking about reliance the past few days. Reliance is a wonderful thing. Trust and confidence are sure to follow. And faith grows in dependence. The more effort I put forth to be consciously aware of my reliance on God for everything, the more joyful and at peace I feel. By worldly terms it's senseless, but with God it doesn't have to make sense. It just is.
The Lord said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 7, 9-10

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Few Quotes from Mother Teresa

-Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.
-I do not pray for success, I ask for faithfulness.
-Intense love does not measure, it just gives.
-I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Ephesians 2:10

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Illuminate

This was the second year Kimberly and I participated in the Relay for Life. My favorite thing about the Relay is the luminaries. One of the ways Relay raises funds to fight cancer is by selling these paper bags. You pay $10 to be able to write on one or decorate it, then have it placed along the path of the walking track where the event is being held.
From a distance its beautiful, seeing all the lights together forming a path, and sometimes words of encouragement.
But up close they are even better, being able to read the bags, looking at the pictures on them. Sometimes they are in memory of a loved one who has died from cancer, while others are in honor of survivors. Occasionally you'll come across one representing a child's life that has been lost. It's very sad, but what a beautiful way to remember a loved one!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summer of Doom

Beach ball volleyball with the Youth Group. Good times.

Life's a Buzz

Spring has sprung and summer seems to be reaching its peak early this year. There is a buzz of excitement in the air. God is doing many wonderful things, and although much is left unseen, it is undoubtedly all part of His master plan. So often I've prayed that God's will for my life would be evident, hoping that someday He'd guide me to that one place to do that one thing He has called me to do to serve Him. But as my understanding of God begins to grow, I'm considering that perhaps this one place, or that one thing doesn't exist. For me, at least. I'm noticing people of God all around who's purpose in life remain constant, but the means to meet that purpose are shifting, serving to grow the Kingdom, where and how God leads. I somehow always expected my servitude to God to be stationary, that one day He'd plant me in the ground like a tree and I'd set roots. This is where I'd grow, this is what I'd do. Fixed. Forever. For some reason I used to find this idea comforting, the hope of one day being a tree. But now I'm beginning to see that serving the Lord is more like being a bee. From flower to flower. Wherever I'm led. But always for one purpose. And it's a peaceful thing, not always fretting about finding that one thing. Buzz. Buzz.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Bonsai

A couple weeks ago Kimberly surprised me with a Bonsai tree for my new office. Well, the other day a co-worker kindly pointed out to me how badly it needs pruned, so today I googled how to do it appropriately without killing it, and learned that Bonsai is not actually a tree, but the art of planting a tree or bush in a shallow pot and pruning its roots to dwarf it growth. Who knew!?!?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

You Are My Portion

Does anyone out there know of a different artist who has recorded this song? I'm wanting to use it for a creative project, but I'm hoping to find a version with a slightly different feel to it.

You Are My Portion - Darrell Evans

Friday, June 12, 2009

Psalm 118:15

Shouts of joy and victory come from the tents of those who do right: "The Lord has done powerful things!"

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A New Song in the Works: Victory is Yours

Surrounded by the enemy, looks like defeat/ But I won’t surrender, I will fight for life/ Humbly I am a servant of the Lord/ Proudly I will call to Him my battle cry/ Hosanna! //Chorus 1 // The world could shatter but You can’t be shaken/ Like a fortress that cannot be taken/ You alone are worthy of all praises/ We will shout to You in celebration /Victory is Yours! // Surrounded by the enemy I’m not afraid/ Armored in the truth I bare, the blood of Christ/ You alone are worthy of praise and fear/ Together hear Your people call Your battle cry/ Hosanna! //Chorus 1// Unworthy of Your mercy, yet in desperate need/ You humbled Yourself as a man to die for life/Unworthy of Your mercy, yet in desperate need/ You humbled Yourself as a man, crucified //Chorus 2// Your body shattered and the world was shaken/ You rose and death was overtaken/ You alone are the one salvation/ We will shout to you in celebration/ Victory is Yours!// Victory is Yours!//

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Whats Wrong With Me ?!?!

Today, someone mentioned something about a snow storm, and I thought to myself, "Man, a big snow storm sounds great." What !?!? Whats wrong with me!?!?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Blessed

I started my new job at CSI last Tuesday, May 26th. I love it. I have so much to learn, but I feel an incredible peace that this is where God wants me at this moment. It's wonderful to have this opportunity to serve God by supporting the men and women who have accepted His call to mission's work. The work environment is so different than what I'm accustomed to. Within the first hour at CSI we had already had an all-staff bible study and prayer. So different . . . Kimberly and I are also being abundantly blessed with an opportunity to participate in a mission's experience in Ireland. We will be leaving in late July and will be gone for about a week. Life is good. God is awesome. Link