Saturday, November 8, 2014

Jeff's Paintball Epics

I was talking to my boys this morning about Paintball & some of the fun stories I've had. Here is a list of my epic moments in Paintball for you to read and laugh with me...

1. The Outhouse- Mike Stinch was in the outhouse dropping some ordinance...if you know what I mean.  unfortunately for him, he left the door unlocked around the same time I got the brilliant idea of throwing a paint grenade in on him. 

Needless to say, it worked like a charm, he was covered in paint, it took me about 40 minutes to clean up, and we became a legend at Bull Creek Paintball.

2. Storm the Castle- I was leading a team to storm a castle, at Bull Creek.  I came up with a brilliant strategy to send everyone in and storm the last hold outs.  Within 10 seconds the entire opposing force (opfor) was eliminated, as well as half of my team. All of those who died on our team were shot by me when I went in.  Regardless, we won!

3. Dress shirt & tie- One day we played woodsball, and I decided to wear a white dress shirt and tie.  I still picture myself sprinting onto the bridge, taking the flag, and running back under a hail of paintballs.  They never did get me.

4. Airborne Rangers- we were playing a major World War 2 reenactment in Niles/Buchanan. It was DDay, there were 2 German strongholds, one on the beach, the other was their rear base.  There were claymores, a canon and about 60 Germans on the front wall.  Some were in pillboxes, some on the main wall, surrounded by hundreds/thousands of sandbags. 

I was part of the Rangers, who were dropped in the middle of the game.  A group of about 6.  Three of us were eliminated within 5 minutes.  The other three of us, me and 2 other guys, quickly moved in a leap from style to the front lines, where our guys would be finding heavy fire (we had about 30 advancing straight up the beach).  I came up to a German pillbox, dropped in a paintball grenade & then stormed in taking out the entire pillbox (their whole right front line).  Then I joined the other 2 to finish off the entire group of 60 (which took about 5 minutes).

After that, we headed toward the German back base. The two guys worked the middle, I swung out wide left, in the treeline, and flanked the base.  They engaged the front & I walked up the rear and depleted their entire rear force, ending the game.  All before our front lines could catch up to us.

5. The Hornet Nest- It was me versus 2 ruthless players, they had me pinned so I jumped into a bush.  Which ended up being a hornet nest.  I was stung 13 times on my sprint to the house.  Once safely inside, the hornets continued crawling out of my pockets. 

6. Shellie & the girls- I was with Shellie & three other girls.  We moved in a V formation & cleared out an entire forest of guys.

7. Speedball- We had about 30 v 30 once on a speedball course.  A LOT of people.  When the horn sounded, the noobs ran, but I stayed in back to survey the field.  Once I got a vector on the opfor, I sprinted up the right flank, to their rear corner inflatable.  I took out 5 guys from that point, grabbed the flag, took out 3 more, and headed safely back to base. 

8. Justin & Jeremy v. the white sniper- One early morning I knocked on the door of a couple homeschoolers, and left them some tubes of paintballs & a note that said, "Come find me."  I was camped in their backyard woods, with a white sheet over me to blend in with the snow.  After about 45 minutes, I heard a twig snap behind me & thought, "Clever girl" (a Jurassic Park quote) & got shot by, I think it was Jeremy.  Epic fail. Epic fun.

9. Bull Creek Run- We were playing capture the flag 15v15.  The flag was in the middle of the field and you had to lay it on the opfor flag return post.  The whistle blew and I took off into a full sprint.  I got to the flag & pulled it half way across the river before gun fire exploded. I managed to retrieve the flag & stayed on the side of the river bank, working my way deep into opfor control.  After slipping past their front and secondary (coward) line, I was in silence.  I had to lay low in the weeds as 2 opfor passed within 5 feet of me.  Finally I came up and walked calmly through their territory, thinking of Drew, who would most likely be hunkered down at their flag post, waiting.  When I got close I hid the flag and walked with a defeated look, as if I had been neutralized. At the last second I pulled to flag out and placed it on the post, about 1 second before I was shot by drew from close range.  Fortunately the ref saw how it played out and we won!

10. Marjorie & the epic run- we were playing close woods ball.  I was listening to "Ride of the Valkyries" and feeling pretty epic.  However, someone epic-er, ran right past me, past everyone, took the flag and won the game within 3 minutes.  That epic-er person was Marjorie Fink.  I still remember looking in awe at her fearlessness.

11. Castle & the scout- My brother Mike and I were working in the old Scottsdale Theatre.  I was on top of the castle, he was down below.  I would call out where he should go & where the opfor was. Then I would throw down cover fire & he would take the position.  Working together he quickly worked up the whole field and he took out 6-8 opfor before winning the game.

Maybe I will add some airsoft stories next.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A Pastor is...

I was talking with a friend of mine, who happens to be a Senior Pastor, about what a pastor is.  He said that there was a secular study done recently on what the perfect pastor is.  And, after looking at the expectations put on a pastor, this secular group decided that a pastor would have to be a sociopath.  In other words, if you want to be a pastor, in Today's church, you have to be nuts! 

So what is a pastor?  Here is what I have heard, experienced, placed on myself, and observed over the years.  A pastor is....a shepherd, caretaker, teacher, preacher, counselor, administrator, good with people, good with details, a leader, a servant, a follower, able to make difficult choices and lead people into those choices, yet someone who keeps the peace.  Progressive, yet holding to the deep traditions.  Able to connect with the elderly, yet draw in youth. A strong family, with kids who respect him and the Lord, yet someone who is always available & willing to work long hours. A CEO type, yet a lowly shepherd.  Quick witted, yet following the Spirit's lead. You can probably add to this. 

To all this I say, "Poppycock!"

Let's, instead, consider what the Bible teaches on this.

1. His Calling- What he does- The MAIN thing (Ephesians 4:11-13)

"So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, TO EQUIP HIS PEOPLE for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the who measure of the fullness of Christ."

What is the primary focus of a pastor to be? By which do the elders judge his effectiveness?  It is... is he equipping Jesus' people to use their gifts to serve & build up the body of Christ? 

Does this mean he is a people person?  Maybe, maybe not.  Does this mean he is good with details?  Maybe, maybe not.  We evaluate a shepherd by whether or not he is focused on equipping people to serve.  In stead of every churchie adding his/her opinion on who we think the pastor ought to be, we should offer our opinions up to God & be thankful that the pastor is teaching us how to build God's kingdom & grow in our faith.  Let us quit asking, "Are those Bugle Boy jeans he is wearing?" or whatever other irrelevant thoughts Satan throws our way and instead pray that our pastor would be a greater equipper.

2. His Character- 1 Timothy 3:1-13

A pastor, or any other overseer in the church should possess these character qualities.  The phrase "above reproach" is the effective phrase that describes these qualities.  The phrase literally means, "without handles".  It is not saying that a leader never sins or blows it.  Rather,  a leader lives with such character that there is no PATTERN of sin or handle that someone could grab onto and say, "Here is something they always struggle with.".

SO, does your pastor have 1 Timothy character?  Are the trying to equip you to serve Jesus and become like him?  Then praise God!!  If you don't care for his personality, or he may be a bit odd.  Well, I am sure some have the same opinion of you.  Let's keep the unnecessary judgments and opinions between us and the Lord.  And let us pray for our pastor's character & equipping ministry.  And be a blessing to them.  And even more, let's remember why Jesus gave us the pastor he did.  It is for you, for me, that we would be better equipped to serve others, to become like Jesus, and to build God's kingdom.