Unsatisfied By Average

The Musings of a Stubborn Believer

Category: GYC (page 1 of 2)

The Next Challenge

Spinning through the universe is this little blue and green dot, sparkling like a gem against the black, wrapped with the wind, cradled by a life-giving firmament. 

And we’re here. This is home.
But why? Why did we appear here in this corner of the cosmos in the first place? 
Simple. God is love, and love cannot exist without an object. 
So, He made you. 
Created for love. 
And the search for life and meaning is defined by our origin, our purpose. 
Join us for the next GYC memorization challenge: At The Cross
The Gospel of Mark, and the Epistle to the Philippians. 
Because, as Philippians so aptly puts it, “To Live is Christ” Phil 1:21

See tabs above, or click. here.

Revolution to Revelation

Because every revolution,
every revolution,
goes somewhere.

Ends somewhere…

–  –  –  –  –

We’re going to do this again.

I sat there like some of you did, arms folded, but soft.
And when he said we should, this symphony in me agreed…

I’d only been home a day or two when the same girls who dreamed up the last audacious charge tapped me on the shoulder. That made three.
And that three has already become a little army.

Maybe I’m a big dreamer.

Or maybe, just maybe I dare to believe that this generation is actually willing to be different than the last.

And maybe, just maybe, that’s exactly what it’s going to take to get us Home.

Revelation: Before Men and Angels.

Because every revolution worthy of the name goes somewhere.
And in our case, and in the case of the last 12 men to turn the world upside-down, that revolution existed for this one purpose: that Christ might be revealed to a world in darkness.

Revelation is the goal.
And memorization is the challenge.

Again, count me in.

–  –  –  –  –
But I’m dreaming bigger than just getting all of my friends to join. 
(That is my dream. Already been up and down my street canvassing the neighbors. Ask them.)
I want all my friends to get all their friends to join. 
Because that’s how a revolution spreads. 
And just to be sure nobody can legitimately say “I haven’t got the time,” we’ve got two projects in the pipeline. Starting February 1st:
404 verses, or 1-2 a day.
OR (and? ;))
108 verses, you do the math.

I think you can. And what’s more, 
I believe you will. 

And I believe your friends will too.
Because the only thing better than winning is winning together. 

God’s Fortress

“…It’s not even American young people and European young people working together–“

“We’re Adventist young people.”
I sit and listen, fidget while tingles play tag up and down my spine. I brush tears away; squeeze fists together tight till my forearms bulge. 
I’m watching stone walls generations old crack before my eyes.
I’m watching the sun dip low on the heyday of materialism, secularism, postmodernism. 
Yes, even on the continent.
I’m watching a generation wake up and decide all those things are empty and they’ve had enough.
I am one of them.
Oh, and I don’t mean to say we’ll win without paying the ultimate price.
But I am saying, it’s as good as over. 
We can’t lose.
. . . .
I recline early, book in hand under soft glow of christmas lights that grace my office year-round. (Jet lag in my favor, I’m bright and eager at 0200)
My eyes hesitate at the end of this phrase, retrace and return. Revel:
“The church is God’s fortress”
 Acts of the Apostles p.11 | photo: JN

GYC Europe (From the i of my Phone)

Can’t be weary in this place. Nope.
Even when I am tired. 🙂

I pinch myself over and over. Is this Europe? Is that our logo?
And am I really here?

I am. And it is.

I tingle. We all do. I have seen —I am seeing something great.
Something history will remember always.

It’s a blur. But I’m doing my best to remember every waking detail.

coming home from outreach
friends from home 🙂

Another Great Awakening

A half-dozen Nebbletts merge into the foot traffic while checking apps for the departure gate. 
Charlie twenty-two.
We’ve got three hours. There’s no hurry. 
Soft, the hum of smooth wheels on polished floors fills my ears. 
These sights and sounds are almost familiar enough to be home, but still there’s a spark. I recognize wonder in it all… 
I watch faces. Note destinations. 
Count three 747s in a row, all in preflight at the terminal’s heart. 

Manilla, Narita, Seoul, 
London, Amsterdam…
From Detroit?
Suddenly, I’m struck.
The world is so small.
So small…

I finally settle into a sun-bathed seat at C22 after extracting a vibrating iPhone from my pocket.
And I’m reminded just how large is the family of faith we belong to…
Big family, small world.
That email was typed in Europe. As were the 6 before it. And 40 others like it I’ve received today. They’re proof that something is happening on the other side of the Atlantic, and around the globe, something it’s our privilege, our duty, to be a part of…
I call it another great awakening.
And it’s fueled by prayers, and tears, and sweat, and blood…
The question is, is it fueled by me?

In a few months time, I’ll be among the number flying to Austria for GYC in Europe. I hope some of you will too… 
But do you know what I hope even more?
I hope somehow we’ll all come to understand how small the world is. 
How much we need to pray for one another.

And I hope you’ll fuel the awakening in Europe especially, with your prayers, with your friends.
In your bible study group. Or youth group. Or on Skype. Whatever. 
Let’s fuel the fire, and change the world. 

A Heart for This Word

I’ve never had so much fun memorizing.

At dawn’s first light, over sink full of dishes, all breathless on the treadmill…
We’re hooked.
Oh, we’re feeling our limitations too… but there’s no turning back.

But really, it’s not five verses a day we’re hooked on. Or three.
It’s the constant preoccupation with the Word.
Truth be told, we’re all over the place. Some are straining their limits to the breaking point, and are still a bit behind. Likely some of you are too. I’ve just got one word for you:

Whatever you do, don’t stop.

In this quest, there is only one reason for regret:
Losing a golden opportunity to grow.

In the end the most blessed will be the ones who could barely manage 2 verses a day at the start, but who stuck with it anyway. Why, I personally know a girl whose mind became so thirsty for the Word (through relentless memorization) that she could finally nail down a chapter a day.

Try God.

If this were really about counting verses like dollars in the bank, we should never have started.
We need more than minds full of the Word.
Let this be a heart project.

Then we’re all winners.

P.s. I’ve promised the audio of the book of Acts to whoever needed it– Now easier than ever. Right click this link and click “download linked file” or “save link as.” You get the whole thing. 🙂

Triumph on Day 1

Did you catch what I caught?

Thirteen words into the book of Acts, and I’m already seized by the tenor of triumph. 
That one word, “began.” 
The whole (previous) Gospel full… 
Luke says it was just the beginning.
Just the start.
That’s really, really good news.

“Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour…” 2 Cor 2:14, 15a

It’s not too late to join us! 🙂 Check out the previous post for all the details. This is day 1.
Day 300, here we come!

Acts: The Revolution… Starts on Sunday.

Winter blurs into spring; projects blur into each other. And blogs sometimes fall silent while we trace the trail assigned us. (Texas and Minnesota being the destinations in the last 7 days.)

But always there are those moments in between…when we remember what’s really important.
Seattle skyline as seen from the hotel that will be hosting GYC.
Into the midst of our overflowing life, Tasha brought back from the most recent trip an idea destined to radically change our summer… Exactly how it was born, I know not. But a friend (and fellow GYC ECOM member) from Canada had something to do with it, and now the 5 of us are getting geared up for a challenge. 🙂
In the simplest terms,
The book of Acts:
28 chapters
1,007 verses
24,308 words
in 300 days.
And not just because GYC 2012 is going to be all about the book of Acts.
Because we want to enter in to the life of Acts.
Since after all, the book is still being written.
So here’s the big question: 
You want to join us?
Yes, you.
Consider it an investment in your mind. An investment in your spiritual life…
Three verses a day isn’t really that many, but only the absolutely determined will actually pull it off. And it will take more than 10 minutes a day. But what if it changed your life forever?
You don’t think you can. 
I know you can. You should. And we’d love to cheer you on. (and hear you cheer for us!) 🙂
So here’s the plan: 
1: Subscribe to our memorization and review schedules with any calendar application (iCal, iPhone/pad/pod, Android, Google Calendar, Outlook, etc) using the subscription links below.
Download and import these two .ics files (calendar will be static however, and won’t update if we change or adjust anything) (click the link, and on the page right click file and select “download”)
2: Just a suggestion… Get yourself an audio bible so you can listen at least an hour a day… to the chapter you’re working on, plus ahead and behind.
3: Let us know you’re with us!
GYC, here we come. 🙂
p.s. If you can’t keep up the pace, or if you’re reading this post late and we’ve already started, no worries! Take it at your own pace, or jump in in the middle… So what if you only have half the book memorized by December! You’ll never be sorry. 
p.p.s. Hint #1:
You’ll notice the memorization assignments fluctuate between 2 verses and 5. Three verses a day is the average. The daily dose is split by logical thought breaks, not by number of verses. But no worries, until the second half of Acts, 30% of the days have no new memorization assignments at all. They are just for just review. So if you can’t seem to grasp 5 new verses in a day, do three. There are review days coming. Just check the schedule to make sure you’re roughly on track. 🙂
Hint #2:
If you’re jumping in in the middle, or you get way behind, skip a chapter and get back on schedule. (or ahead) Nobody said you couldn’t come back to something. Your morale will stay higher if you don’t feel like you’re always trying to catch up. 🙂
Subscribe to our memorization schedule here: (iCal)
And to the review schedule here: (iCal) (Yes, you will want both.)
Or subscribe with Google Calendar:
Memorization: https://www.google.com/calendar/ical/8ko4ui9l5gjl6l825bencd20q0%40group.calendar.google.com/public/basic.ics
Review: https://www.google.com/calendar/ical/h0cet12jp99d2kufm7n97s615c%40group.calendar.google.com/public/basic.ics

Or check out the Acts: Memorization tab on either thenebblettfamily.com or seannebblett.com

Go get yourself an audio bible from a place like this.
Or, listen to it streamed on demand, here.
Or, download an audiobible app for your iDevice here.
Or your Android. here.

Strength is Song

Oh Lord our God, little children praise you perfectly,
And so would we. 
And so would we.

Some songs keep singing long after the baton is back in its sleeve.

Jared Westbrook
I awake early to two simultaneous trains of thought, perhaps leftover from the night’s dreams…

In one, my heart strains after more perfect service, and my lips silent form the morning’s plea.
In the other, the lyrics to my all-time favorite choral anthem run over and over; warm, fill.

I roll out of bed.

My thoughts merge on the 8th Psalm. I play the words of the incredulous poet over in my head.

“Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings has thou ordained…”

What’s the word?
Neato (the iPad) comes into service. I memorized the 8th Psalm as a boy, but perhaps it was a different version.

“…Hast thou ordained strength.”

Hey, were did my praise word go?
I switch to Strongs.

The word is Strength. The word is also Praise.

Same word.
Same thing?
I squint at the screen, thinking, not seeing. My finger dances at the edge of discovery.

Strength and song go together.

“The LORD is my strength and song…”
“Give unto the LORD glory and strength.”

Wait… Give Him strength? Make that praise.

“Give unto the LORD…glory and strength.”
“Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing…”
“Sing aloud unto God our strength…”
“Thou art the glory of their strength.”
“For the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song”

I lean back in the futon, satisfied.

Praise is strength. Song is strength.

It “stills the enemy and the avenger.” (Ps. 8)
That’s perfect service.

Both trains of thought are satisfied.
To praise Him perfectly is to serve Him perfectly.

City of Miracles

From home to Houston, and back again.
The words of my brother Sebastian ring in my ears still–

It’s a new day.
It’s a new day

What a way to start the year.
My stare rests blank on blank journal pages… Empty lines pleading to be filled with the fullness of days behind me.

Of waking high up, under Hilton-branded down, exhausted. Of learning to trust each new logistical catastrophe with the Ultimate Authority. Of joy overflowing while directing thousands of people through registration line. Of listening to 7,000 people sing I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go right at my feet. (There is nothing, nothing like it in the world.) Of praying with seasoned soldiers, and nervous musicians. Of watching eyes water at God’s goodness. Of investing in beautiful young lives. Of having my burdens lifted by the Merciful God through my humble, brilliant team. Of hearing God’s name praised over my broken efforts. Of 190 voices and instruments singing Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah!
Of quieter moments. Behind a lens. Behind the stage. Discussing purpose with one friend, and the 85 Prime with another. Of grabbing my little sister’s arm every time I saw her. Of the joy of walking back over to the Hilton and finding 5 other Nebbletts in the room at random in the middle of the day (if only for 45 seconds). Of sunrise over Houston from the skyline patio 23 floors up. Of words– words from old friends and new that gripped; moved; changed.

My spine tingles.
And that’s not even the start. I don’t know where to start.
So I won’t even try… not now.

I’ll just tell you the bottom line. The thing I most want to remember from GYC 2011.
You’ve heard of Murphy’s law, no doubt?
I’ve learned there’s one greater.

Maybe we should call it Houston’s law.
Houston: City of Miracles. Where almost every dept. encountered some kind of logistical catastrophe, but nobody ever noticed. But called it instead the conference of conferences…

Because when the enemy is against it, but God is in it

Anything that can go wrong, will be extra fuel for Glory.

It’s a new day.

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