Archive for February, 2010

February 26, 2010

Does size matter…

by Kyle Smith

Exactly 15 days until we board our flight for…VEGAS!!!!!!!! We’re having our planning meeting with the group this weekend. A few are staying at Ceasars, a few at The Mirage and Nicole and I are staying at the Encore. Nicole and I visited the strip when we went to her brother’s wedding in Vegas but we didn’t really do too much while we were down there. I’ll be curious to see if I can handle the larger crowds, I’m more of a low key sports bar type person, so the strip just sounds outta control for me. It’s funny but I keep comparing it to my church preferences.

Many people enjoy the mega churches and don’t mind just being another face in the crowd, but for me, I want that smaller environment where I can genuinely get involved with the lives of those in my church. I like the slower pace of smaller churches, how much more relaxed everyone is, people noticing that you weren’t there on Sunday, but for others they want the complete opposite.

Something that really took me by surprise is that as Nicole and I have been visiting churches the one we actually have felt the most comfortable at is a big church. When we decided to visit New Hope, I went in expecting to not make it through worship before I was ready to start looking for another church. But this church was different. It was a big church but had the sincerity of a Bible study. Could this mean that I have had big churches pegged wrong all along. Growing up I always had this thought on mega churches, “They’re wanting to grow THEIR church not The Church.” I don’t think this is the case at all at New Hope. Though we haven’t been consistent in attending every Sunday, I’m thinking it’s where we’ll call home for awhile. I’m curious what your experiences, preferences with different churches has been.

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February 21, 2010

Eat with mommy…

by Kyle Smith

Tried to get him to say “eat with mommy” but I couldn’t get him to say it on video. He kept telling me “daddy eat mommy” like it was an order… oh well…he’s still the cutest kid ever!

February 21, 2010

Church or Jesus…

by Kyle Smith

I was browsing some past drafts that I’ve started and never finished. So here’s one that i think is worth a share. I honestly can’t remember where I was going with this one. Maybe a venting session. Maybe I was actually working up to a point. Who knows.

Well a lot has happened since my initially beginning this blog.  I got a new job, things were great, wife is amazing, son is my world, and then it happened. Nicole got laid off in April. Sparing boring details, I’ve been dormant for five months. In my faith, relationships, everything.

It wasn’t really even the layoff itself. It was just the cherry on top. The main root of my discontent was church. Not Jesus. Church.

I’ve gone to church since I was in the second grade, when my dad met my step-mom. I’m thankful everyday that they met, but for my own selfish reasons. If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t have met Jesus. It was a CHARISMATIC church, but it was the only church I had been to regularly. Speaking in tongues from the pulpit, dancing down the isles, waving banners, people passing out in the congregation, rock music is of the devil, Yaga brand clothes were satanic. But this was church, this was all I knew. For me, this was Christianity.

Now I’m not starting a theological debate, well I guess I am. But I’m not going to debate speaking in tongues. Read the Bible on that one. I’m not here to decide what is or isn’t “Biblical”.

We stopped going to that church, don’t really remember why. We went on down the road to a Baptist church. It was so weird, people acted kinda normal at this church. Not everything was so over the top. Now is this a good or bad thing, well that’s kinda where I’m at in my road in life. But we’ll get back to this.

I met people that weren’t sheltered. I met people that didn’t scoff at me for liking The Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Bush, Puff Daddy, The Offspring. I could still be a Christian and like rock music? But how can it be? I thought it was satanic? I got in trouble for wearing a Hard Rock Cafe shirt to my old church, does this mean my new church likes Hard Rock Cafe?

Our church moved cities and we stuck with it. I was in high school at this point and started to actually read the Bible and start thinking for myself on Christianity. Something now, even though pastors would say otherwise, I’m noticing most churches don’t want you to do. Not that I’m calling out any pastor, youth pastor, children’s pastor that I’ve ever met or gone to church with.

My main problem was that I had the “I go to church and I’m better than everyone else” syndrome in high school. I missed out on so many opportunities, so many relationships, because they didn’t go to church so I couldn’t possibly be friends with them. I also had the “I go to church but I don’t really want to tell anyone else about it because I might not keep all my friends syndrome”. Little did I know I would not really keep in close touch with hardly anyone from high school. Huge opportunity missed.

I was very involved with the youth group and really didn’t have any complaints with my life. It was really ok with me that I spent most of my time at church, but I didn’t spend a lot of time trying to get others into church. It seems to me that so many churches suffer from this. It’s all about me. All about MY salvation. All about MY church. I don’t want anyone new at MY church because I’m comfortable. But I was in the in crowd so it was all good.

I then went off to college. Had the freedom of not having to go to church. Not that I didn’t like going, but sometimes you just don’t feel like waking up. That’s where Campus Crusades for Christ came in. I could go to church on Thursday night and be good for the week. Well sorta. I soon realized…after a year…that I needed a church. I went to Grace Bible church in Nacogdoches and got a taste of something I never had before. A church that didn’t push a religion. It just taught the Bible and taught you how to read and break down the Bible. It was amazing. I was actually reading the Bible and learning about my faith, my God, my Savior. And guess what else. I actually made genuine relationships with people. I did have a few from my youth group, but they never reached the level as the ones at Grace did.

I know what you’re thinking. I want to know where I was heading with this too. We left our church a little over a year ago and I think that had a lot to do with this post. The main thing was that when we left we had to start looking for a new church. I’ve always overly invested myself in my church but was never putting enough back into me. So, over the past few years I’ve admittedly become jaded with the church. I guess time and time again people and churches have let me down. Or did they? My entire life I’ve always placed my church relationships on a pedestal. It’s taken me up until these past few years to realize that everyone at a church is a human. Shocking, I know. But I’ve had pastors that have deeply disappointed me. But when they did, I treated it like it was God that was letting me down. Though pastors have a greater responsibility for their church, they’re still sinners. They still screw up. But why is that so hard to accept?  Still don’t have the answer to that one. But I think knowing this helps me with my church relationships. Nothing bothers me more than for people to be something they’re not at church. All my life everyone at church puts on those smiling faces and speaks only of their perfect lives. Never of their problems or struggles. So no wonder I think that everyone at a church has to be flawless. For a few years in college I was able to experience the true relationships at church. But that was it. I constantly feel judged at church. I feel as though if I’m not involved with something I’m just not a good Christian. I’ve never just gone to church. I’ve never just been a regular attendee. I’ve always taught Sunday school, bible study, small groups, played in the worship team, helped set up chairs, interned, taught kids church…but I’ve never just gone to church. So, that’s what I’m doing now. I’m just going to church. I’m not saying that I’ll never to any of aforementioned things again.

So for now, it’s me and God time. I’m being selfish and I know it.

February 3, 2010

i hate change…

by Kyle Smith

that’s it. i just wanted everyone to know i hate change. kthanxbuhbye

February 3, 2010

Neglected blog…

by Kyle Smith

Ummm, so it’s been waaayyy too long since I’ve posted. I’ve realized that I’ve just been way too busy lately, so it’s time to slow down and start bloggin again. Since my last post a lot has change. The main thing is that Nicole is now in the BACC2 accelerated Nursing program at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, TX. Thankfully it’s only a year program, but since it’s so intense I’m basically living the life of a single dad. I could definitely focus on the negative aspects, but I won’t. So lets look at the positive. I get to spend every minute outside of work with Jackson! When he was staying home with Nicole I almost felt left out because they were always together and so naturally he wanted his mommy all the time. Now I get to “make-up” for not being able to be home with him all the time. He got into the children’s center at the college again and he rides to and from work with me every day. We sing and dance and scream at the top of our lungs, it’s awesome. Then everyday when we get home we play hide-and-seek until our stomaches can’t take the hunger any longer. That’s where I need to improve, dinner. I really don’t mind cooking and on the weekends, I’ve been cooking up a storm. But on the weekdays I’m just flat out lazy. Oh well. guess I’ll figure it out eventually.

On another note, Nicole and I started a diet. We got a spinning bike from a friend for free and I’ve dropped 10 lbs since the beginning of Jan. It’s actually pretty easy to diet. The main rule, don’t be a fat pig when you eat. Portion control, fresh food and exercise. At work the have the “Biggest Loser” competition, so naturally I signed up. Weighed in yesterday and have 12 weeks to drop 17 lbs. If I win I get $200. So I have more motivation than usual to actually stick to the diet. Well happy 2010 (I know it’s a little late).