Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Recap

December 31, 2009- Before I can move into 2010, I just want to take a breath and reflect on the great things that happened in 2009. Here goes...
1.Married the greatest woman in the world on Febuary 14-








2. We baptized 143 people @Victory World Prayer Center on April 11-







3. We dropped eggs from a helicopter for Eggstravaganza-







4. We started the Revolutionize campaign, remodeled the sanctuary, changed the name and direction of the church(it was awesome)!






5. Swine Flu epidemic-








6. Community Outreach-







7. Twitter marketing-







8. Fun with friends- and family-






9.Trip to Savannah-






The end of the year with family and friends. Truly this has been a great year. But the best is yet to come!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Ratio Perspective


December 28, 2009- This past week, my wife and I took some time off in the beautiful city of Savannah, Ga. It was wonderful! The whole place was incredible. It is a place where time stands still. The history of this city is alive and well even today. But there was one place that I was drawn to time and time again. It was a monument to "John Wesley" . I was drawn to this monument of this great man of God. So naturally I had my wife get a photo of me standing next to this giant of the faith. I was truly fulfilled with this accomplishment until I looked at the photo. No ghosts(it is Savannah you know), but what struck me was the difference in our sizes. Now when I say this, I am saying nothing to discount any men of God today, what I am about to say was merely personal conviction. So here it is. This man was HUGE next to me. I looked so tiny. And you know what? I felt so tiny. The thing is, where are these giants of the faith today? I am a minister, and after thinking of all the accomplishments and sacrifices of Wesley, I simply felt small. I felt inadequate. It seems it is so easy to get comfortable with church and how we do things, that we think we are effective for the gospel. It's not that we aren't effective, but this simple picture taken on my vacation stirred a fire in me not only to do more but to be more!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The weight of the world


December 16, 2009- Too many times we look @ ministry like we have to be the one to do it all. I do realize that nobody can do it better than you can do it. So it only seems right for you to do it. But let's try a simple exercise to see just how effective one person would be in the personal evangelization of our planet. Ok, so you are a good preacher. Heck no! You are a great preacher. You live your life as to tell everyone you come into contact with about Jesus. Let's say you reach 10,000 people a month with the gospel. Do you know it would take you 50,000 years to reach the planet. That's a task! But maybe you are more effective than that. Let's say you can reach 500,000 people a month with the gospel. Do you know how long it would take then? 1000 years. That is, if nobody else were born in that millennium. The simple fact is, you can't do it by yourself. Nobody can. That's why we need each other. Now let's try another exercise. If I tell you about Jesus, and we both tell 2 people a month about Him, and we get each one of the next people to do the same, then, guess how long it would take to reach our planet? Just under 3 years. Now that is do- able and the cool thing is nobody would have to reach more than 2 people a month. That is the point we have to reach for the furthering of the gospel. Now that is preaching!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Just for today

December 11, 2009- Last night we have a wonderful time in Recovery. I have heard many negative remarks concerning recovery in the christian walk, but those people make me laugh. I see on a daily basis people whose whole life has been wrecked by drugs, alcohol, or other bad choices, and recovery is a safe place for them to share their experiences and to have people around who share those same victories, as well as defeats. Recovery is NOT discounting what God can do, but recognizing that God is the only way!!! The problem is that along this walk we are not the only person who effects our process. We have people around us with agendas of their own, and sometimes these people can be very damaging to our walk. There is a great quote in recovery that says"Just for today". That is where we have to live.TODAY. Otherwise we get focused on either things we cannot change or dwelling on the past to the point that we forget to live in today and we miss the very important moments that God has placed us in. We miss things in the process that are essential to our growth. There is a great picture of this on the cross of Christ. Jesus hangs on the cross between two people. There is a thief on one side, and a thief on the other. What does a thief do? He steals? The thief on one side of Jesus asks "are you not the Christ? Save us and yourself" He appeals to the signs and wonders Jesus is known for in that day. He appeals to the past. Aren't you known as this Jesus the Christ? We have those kind of thieves in our lives as well. People who appeal to our past. They try to cause us to live in the past, and if they get their way, they steal our today from us. The thief on the other side does just the opposite. He appeals to the future. "Jesus, remember me WHEN You come into Your kingdom". He say remember me WHEN. He looks to the future and says when. Many times we are so caught up in what is going to happen tomorrow that we miss our today. But the cool part is that Jesus, in answering the mans request, says something profound. He says, "THIS DAY, you will be with me in paradise. Jesus is not affected by the thief on either the right or the left. He neither is pulled into the past or drawn to the future. Jesus stays in the day. THIS DAY! That is awesome. My prayer is that we live in the day. We can't let the thieves pull us to the right or to the left. We must live in the THIS DAY!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Do you hear what I hear?


December 8, 2009- In reading the book of Luke this season something really cool happened to me. We were in staff meeting this morning and Pastor Mark said that his devotional time had him in the second chapter of Luke. He begin to talk about the moving of the Spirit of God. We talked about how Simeon and Anna were moved by the Spirit and they were ready for years for the moment they met the Lord Jesus @ the temple when His parents brought Him for dedication as a baby. The words they each spoke were prompted by the Spirit, they were filled with the Spirit, and they were both led and empowered by the Spirit. That is amazing, but the most incredible part of this story is that God was showing me things like this in my own personal time with Him yesterday prior to this teaching. The Spirit of the Lord is so Awesome! And in all this, the thing that touched me most is the topic. What is being moved by the Spirit? Well I think between my devotional time studies, and the topic Pastor used this morning, and the text he used for it, God plainly showed me that being moved by the Spirit is simply hearing Him. That's what I've been hearing. What about you?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Peace on earth

December 3, 2009- Well, it's that time of year again. Yep, the time of "peace on earth" which is anything but that. So here's my yearly contribution of insight(well not mine, but someone very creative)
video

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Intimacy

November 18, 2009- I get really frustrated when I hear men and women of God blame catastrophe on God's vengeance. I have heard repeatedly that the disaster on 9/11 and hurricane Katrina were both acts of God done towards rebellious, Godless places, and that was God's way of turning those places back to Himself. Let me be the first to say that I don't know God's sovereign strategy, nor do I know the reason for these disasters, but what I see when I study the scriptures is that if we are in a place of intimacy with God, as we should be, then God would give us a word. He would show us when disaster is about to happen, and allow us, THE CHURCH, to intercede, and make a difference. Let me show you what I'm talking about. Abraham had the kind of intimate relationship with God that I am talking about. When God spoke, he knew who he was talking to, and he acted on God's word. In Genesis 18, God was so disgusted with the things going on in Sodom and Gomorrah, that He was about to destroy them. But in verse 17 God says, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do..."? He then told Abraham what was about to happen. Abraham then pleaded with the Lord on the behalf of his family that lived in the area, and God spared Lot and his family. Here is my point. We can never say what God will or will not do. He is God! But if we have the same intimate relationship with Him that Abraham had, then we can believe that, just like Abraham, God will show us the things that we can make a difference in, and give us the opportunity to do so. So the next time you hear someone proclaim God's strategy, ask them, "why didn't God use you to make a difference"?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Seeing the World

November 11, 2009- Let me ask you a question. When is the last time you looked around and did something nice for someone that everyone else ignored? There are people all around us every day, that go unnoticed, and many times, they are hurting because of it. We take these things for granted. Many people's lives spin out of control in an attempt to get attention. That is a shame. But even larger a shame in the eyes of God is, we don't do anything about it.
Think of this. When Jesus walked into a situation, He noticed the people nobody else did. He looked at the whole of a situation, and saw the person that had the greatest need. He had an eminence perception. He looked at the hurting, broken, lonely of the world, and He saw greatness in them. What kind of difference could we make in the world if we could see the world with a perception of eminence. It could be a great world. We have the chance to save lives, change direction, and be the catalyst of destiny in the lives of the many around us daily. We can be the hands and feet of Christ in the lives of many, and the world can be changed. All we have to do is change our perception.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Funny!

November 3, 2009-
video

Inquiring of the Lord

November 3, 2009- We really had a great time this weekend with DPB, Frank Vittolo, and some other guys and girls trying to take back a city for God.It is awesome to see people on fire for God.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Holidays




October 30, 2009- I just want to share a couple of photos. I am such a blessed man. We had a Trunk-or-Treat event last night at the church. It was amazing to see so many people(who would never come to a normal church service) have a safe place to enjoy trickortreating with their children.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Kickin' it Old School

October 21, 2009- Do you remember the things that you now consider to be "Old School"? I do. Things like parachute pants, Members Only jackets, the polo and oxford combo? Maybe you can take old school further back than that. Either way, we can get so caught up in doing things in the now, that we forget the really cool old school things. For example, what about faith? Is our faith an area that we continue to get more and more relevant to the world? Is that really effective, or is it dangerous? Or is it both? I have found in my life, that the more culturally relevant that I try to become, the harder it is to work out my salvation. I think in some areas that the church has tried so hard to become a cool place for people far from Christ, that it becomes hard for the world to tell the difference. That is a problem. How can we touch the world if the world can't tell us apart? We truly need to get back to some good ole fashioned "Old School Faith". So tonight in our youth ministry service, that's what we are going to talk about. Taking it back old school. Go back to where the Lord found you, and think on how cool those parachute pants were after all.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Just do it!


October 16, 2009- What is it that you are attempting today? Has God placed a vision inside you that seems too big to accomplish? That is perfect! If it seems too big for you, then it is probably His purpose. The thing is, we are so easily discouraged when things don't pan out to our blueprint of it. We think we see how it could work and we try. But I think we miss an important principle when that happens. When it comes to doing what God places on our hearts, there is only one way to do it, and try is NOT in the equation. One of the wisest lines I ever heard came from the movie, "The Empire Strikes Back". And the famous quote came from no other than, Yep, Yoda! Here it is. "Do or Do not, there is no try". Awesome! When God gives you a vision, no matter how big it is, Do it or don't do it, but there is no try. Have a great day!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Walking with God

October 12, 2009- Isn't it funny that one of the greatest men of the Bible has so little written about him. Genesis 5:24 says, "Enoch walked with God, then he was no more, for the Lord took him away". One would say that not many people in scripture had the privilege of being taken away by the Lord. The only other time is with the prophet Elijah. Why? They walked with the Lord! But isn't that what we all look forward to? Aren't we waiting on the Lord to come and take us? Yes. So, how is your walk with Him? Earlier I was reading a paper by a lady named Pamela Kirkpatrick and came upon some wonderful insight in the matter. We must learn to walk with the Lord. In much the same way as we learn to walk as a child. The problem however is that we apply the principles of childhood learning to our Christian walk, when there is a huge contrast. Think of this. When we raise up our children, our goal is to teach them to walk by themselves. To stand on their own two feet. We teach them to feed themselves, to ultimately grow independent, because we won't be around forever. Right? Well, to grow as a spiritual child, things are rather different. While in the natural, we want them to get more and more independent, God wants us to grow more and more dependent on Him.

So, as we learn to walk with God, instead of trying to eventually walk on our own, we should lean more towards Him with each step of the way. Then, and only then will we truly walk with God.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Decision vs. Commitment

October 6, 2009- One of my biggest frustrations in ministry is that people start out in a serving role and then do not follow through with what they started. We go through hours of work and prayer to get somebody plugged in where they are most gifted and effective, only to have them not follow through with the commitment. But I guess the reason I'm so frustrated by this is I'm just as guilty in certain areas of my life. So, why is it like this? Why is the church so bogged down with the minors that we can't focus on the majors? I think it all boils down to commitment. The same way marriages fail, we make a decision to do something, but we never truly make a commitment. We teach people to make a decision to accept Christ into their life, but we don't follow the teaching with the importance of Commitment. So we have many people who accept Jesus into their hearts, but not into their lives. We must teach and encourage people to accept Jesus into their hearts, but then we need to tell them, "pick up your cross, and follow Him"

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Gametime


October 1, 2009- Last night I spoke to our youth @The City Church.
We had a great time with this discussion. The church seems to use the format of a football game when it wasn't designed that way. You find that there are 22 players on the field, and 80,000 in the stands, watching the show. The Church was not formed that way. We ALL should be on the field, in the game. Here are 3 types we find in the church, when we should only find 1.

  1. The spectator- This is the majority of church people. They dress the part, they talk the talk, but when the rubber meets the road, they are just consumers. They are here for the show. This is how we all come at first, but the sad truth is many people have gone to church for years, and all they have done is gone to church for years.
  2. The referee- Now this is an interesting character. The referee never runs the ball, never shoots a shot. He has no true experience with the win or the loss. All the ref does is run from one end of the field, to the other, blowing his whistle, and pointing his finger. The ref is the worst of the 3. In his defense, we do need feedback. But the ref usually says, "you guys need to change that", not "hey, we should really look at this change". Notice the contrast? The ref just needs to put up his whistle, and get in the game.
  3. There is no need to label the last person. We should all be in the game. We all have a part to play and we need to get out of the rut of consumer church. Let's get back to what we were called to. The ministry of reconciliation.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Time

September 24, 2009- What is the single most important thing we need to do today? Really think about that. The amazing thing is that once we think about it... Is that what you are working on? The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy, so when we look at our to-do-lists, how effective is the enemy on stealing our time? Or better yet, we are at wasting it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

3 Don'ts in ministry

September 22, 2009- I know that 3 doesn't even scratch the surface when it comes to don'ts in ministry, but hopefully these will help with perspective...
  • Never settle- God has placed us as stewards with such great responsibility. This is nothing less than the Bride of Christ and we should treat it as such. Never settle for second best in attitudes, character, or drive. We need to guard our lives and our doctrine and never settle for second best with either.
  • Never forget- In all of our lives there is a place we were when God brought us out of our mess and brought us into His marvelous light. At that point there was a feeling of awe that we should never forget. We felt so grateful just to be part of His great plan and at that point there was nothing we wouldn't do. How quickly that changes. We forget, and the truth is, we can't afford to forget.
  • Never Quit- The truth is ministry is work, work gets tiring, and there are times when you just don't want to go on. Not because you don't love the Lord, but because people aren't the easiest to deal with. That is tough! That's when you have to go back to the place where you were called and remember the mission. The road is long, and at time the path is tough, but if there are 2 words we must always remember in ministry, they are these. NEVER QUIT!!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

3 Do's in ministry

September 18, 2009- Over the past couple of years I've learned a few do's and don'ts when leading in ministry. I would like to share some of these. Let's start with the do's...
  1. Pray- This is the single most important thing we should do daily in ministry. It probably sounds like an elementary thing but it's probably the most neglected. We get so busy with the work of the Lord that we forget the Lord of the work. And when we make bad decisions, we need to ask ourselves, did I ask the Lord His thoughts on this. Just sayin.
  2. Be merciful- It is so easy to forget the mercy and grace we have received, and to paint horns on people who slip up or make poor choices. We have to see everyone through the same lenses that Christ sees us. With that in mind, we should be pretty merciful.
  3. Keep the Fire burning. In Revelation 2:1-7, the Lord writes a letter to the church in Ephesus. They were a great church who reveared the Lord. They kept their lives and doctrine. They had it going on, but in this letter the Lord said that they left their first love. Wow! Never leave that first love. Never forget where you were when God called. Be like fire, and when the wind of the Lord blows, things change.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The picture of Mercy


September 16, 2009- There is such great application for our lives pictured in the "Ark of the Covenant".
This is the box that God told the Israelites to make that carried...
  • The Ten Commandments
  • A jar of Manna
  • Aaron's "budding staff"
This box is where the very presence of God dwelt among His people. But the great thing I see when it comes to application, is that the box is actually called, "The Mercy Seat". That is incredible because mercy is how we are able to be in relation with God. Actually mercy is how we need to be in relations with everyone! Just look at the cherubim(or angels) that sit on the mercy seat. Do you see that they aren't looking directly at one another? They see each others reflection through the mercy seat. Wow! If we could only do that. If we could only look at each other through God's mercy, wouldn't it be a better world. We need to grasp the fact that we don't always have to see eye to eye, in every situation, but we need to see each other through God's mercy. That is pretty simple, but I think it's enough.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Outreach 911

September 12, 2009- Yesterday was an amazing day. It started as an idea for a Celebrate Recovery Outreach, but as time progressed, the church, and other local businesses took part in an outreach called OUTREACH 911. We had the pleasure to say thanks to all the civil servants in our area on National Service and Rememberence Day.
It was a great day. Here are some photos...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Time Off


July 12, 2009- It has been a year now since I started this blog. Now I'm going to take a sabbath and get recharged. I need to spend more time with God and in His word, so I'm taking a break from blogging. I don't know how long. I probably will only take a couple of week off to really spend some time and hear from God. Now it's time to enjoy the summer...

Friday, July 3, 2009

Fun Facts for Friday


July 3, 2009- Thought you might want to know some fun facts about tomorrow...

* On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, starting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. As always, this most American of holidays will be marked by parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues across the country.
  • Eleven places have "independence" in their name. The most populous of these is Independence, Missouri, with 113,288 residents.

  • Five places adopted the name "freedom." Freedom, California, with 6,000 residents, has the largest population among these.

  • There is one place named "patriot" — Patriot, Indiana, with a population of 202.

  • And what could be more fitting than spending the day in a place called "America"? There are five such places in the country, with the most populous being American Fork, Utah, with 21,941 residents.
As with many holidays, the 4th of July celebration includes food, drink and the realization of how fortunate we are as a nation.

More than 66 million

Barbecue grillNumber of Americans who said they have taken part in a barbecue during the previous year. It's probably safe to assume a large number of these events took place on the Fourth.

Although we do not have a fixed menu for the celebration of the Fourth, you can almost count on traditional favorites such as hamburgers and hot dogs, chicken, ribs, garden salads, potato salad, chips and watermelon. Following is a summary of where these foods come from:

  • There's a 1-in-6 chance the beef on your backyard grill came from Texas. The Lone Star State is the leader in the production of cattle and calves.
  • The chicken on your barbecue grill probably came from one of the top broiler-producing states: Georgia, Arkansas, Alabama, North Carolina and Mississippi.
  • The lettuce in your salad or on your hamburger probably was grown in California, which accounts for nearly three-quarters of USA lettuce production.
  • Fresh tomatoes in your salad most likely came from Florida or California, which, combined, produced more than two-thirds of U.S. tomatoes. The ketchup on your hamburger or hot dog probably came from California, which accounted for 95 percent of processed tomato production last year.
  • As to potato salad or potato chips or fries, Idaho and Washington produces about one-half of the nation's spuds.
  • For dessert, six states — California, Florida, Texas, Georgia, Arizona and Indiana — combined to produce about 80 percent of watermelons last year.
Fourth of July Fireworks Fireworks$128.8 million
The value of fireworks imported from China, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imports ($135.6 million) in 2002. U.S. exports of fireworks, by comparison, amounted to $13.5 million, with Germany purchasing more than any other single country ($5.0 million).

State Park
Lakes & Beaches

66 million
Number of visits in a recent year to our national parks — a particularly scenic locale for a July 4th picnic. There were 766 million visits in a recent year to another popular picnic venue — state parks or recreation areas. Those in California (80 million), Ohio (59 million), New York (56 million), Washington (48 million) and Illinois (44 million) recorded the highest number of visits.

You may or may not be able to picnic there, but a visit to a national historical site is a particularly fitting way to celebrate our nation's heritage. In a recent year, about 72 million people flocked to national historical sites and 24 million to national monuments.
Now that should really improve your intellect for the holidays. Have a great Independence Day!!!


Friday, June 26, 2009

Freak-out Friday

June 26, 2009- For all you guys that have tough weekends coming up... The deadlines have to be met, the mortgage is due, the company is downsizing, or maybe you just need to let off a little steam. Whatever you do, don't do this.
video

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Optimism

June 25, 2009- Ok, enough doom and gloom. Let's try this. You have 2 ways of seeing things. How do you see it?
video

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Effect (Absalom)


June 21, 2009- There was definitely effect on king David when the incident between Amnon and Tamar happened, but that was not the only person effected. It also effected her brother(David's other son) Absalom. When Tamar was raped, her brother Absalom took her into his house to live. The shame was great upon her shoulders. Absalom brought her into his house to live. He then awaited patiently for David to react, and to punish Amnon in a major way. That is perfectly understandable. I would do the same. But that isn't how it went down. David didn't react. What? What's his problem? Why hasn't he already done something? So after two years of waiting and seeing no results, Absalom decides to take matters into his own hands. Amnon needs to be punished for his actions. He needs to suffer and our father has done nothing. Have you ever felt like Absalom? Have you been wronged, and it seems like THE FATHER has done nothing about it? So bitterness creeps in and we take charge of the situation ourselves. So in 2Samuel 13:23-33 Absalom gets Amnon drunk and has him killed. He felt he was justified in doing this, but his father had other thoughts on the matter. David, instead of rejoicing, was furious. So Absalom flees to Geshur. From there a division between father and son begins and it results in one of the most infamous rebellions of scripture, and we know that rebellion never ends well.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Effect (David)


June 17, 2009- OK, Monday I shared a story of tragedy about Tamar and Amnon out of the Bible in 2Samuel 13. This event had a huge impact on several people and I'd like to share some of my perspective on the effect. You have the cause(see June 15 post), now lets look at the effect, or is it?
One of the people effected by this incident is David, their father. What was David's reaction to the rape of his daughter by his son? After it happened Absalom took Tamar in to live with him. He hoped that his father David would take vengeance and punish Amnon, but that was not the case. Sure David was mad, but in light of everything that happened, here is what he did-Nothing! WHY? Whats up with that? How could you allow such a terrible tragedy to go without any repercussions?
I think the dilemma for David is the same for many of us. We avoid confrontation because of guilt we have. It is hard to check somebody for something you've done yourself. That was the case. You see David, in chapter 11, lusted after a woman taking a bath, got her pregnant, and then had her husband killed in battle. Wow. To have that still in your mind, and then be faced with an issue like the one with his daughter. Talk about guilt.
That is the reason many of us still don't confront the sin that goes on around us. Guilt!
Now lets look at how that effected others. While David was dealing with his personal guilt, others were fuming about the injustice done to their sister. Particularly Absalom.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Actions and Reactions... The incident

June 15, 2009- I probably shouldn't spend these next few posts on what I would consider a Bible study, but I think there are some very good examples of how an action causes a reaction,which causes another, and so forth. So for the next few posts I want to look at a story from 2 Samuel starting with chapter 13. It is about King David and some of the dysfunction that surrounds him.
King David was a great man of God, a key chosen ancestor of Jesus Christ, but David's family situation, particularly the headstrong and cutthroat-competitive behavior of his many children,and many around him, caused him much trouble and grief. One of the most despicable incidents of that was when Amnon found himself in a state of lustful infatuation with his young half-sister Tamar, and after she consistently rejected his advances, he brutally ravished her. Thereafter his "love" for her immediately turned to loathing and contempt, manifesting the very-common human trait of someone hating a person they have injured or wronged, a warped psychological maneuver in an attempt to soothe a guilty conscience. After David found out about it, although furious, he did nothing, except to keep it quiet, but Absalom did not allow Amnon's crime to go unpunished. He patiently bided his time, and when the opportunity for justice came, Absalom avenged his sister Tamar by having their elder brother Amnon killed.
So the first thing I want us to look at is...

Tamar and Amnon

Jerusalem The incident:

"Now Absalom, David's son, had a beautiful sister, whose name was Tamar; and after a time Amnon, David's son, loved her."

"And Amnon was so tormented that he made himself ill because of his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin, and it seemed impossible to Amnon to do anything to her."

"But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David's brother; and Jonadab was a very crafty man. And he said to him, "O son of the king, why are you so haggard morning after morning? Will you not tell me?"

"Amnon said to him, "I love Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister."

"Jonadab said to him, "Lie down on your bed, and pretend to be ill; and when your father comes to see you, say to him, 'Let my sister Tamar come and give me bread to eat, and prepare the food in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it from her hand.'"

"So Amnon lay down, and pretended to be ill; and when the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, "Pray let my sister Tamar come and make a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat from her hand."

"Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, "Go to your brother Amnon's house, and prepare food for him." So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house, where he was lying down. And she took dough, and kneaded it, and made cakes in his sight, and baked the cakes. And she took the pan and emptied it out before him, but he refused to eat. And Amnon said, "Send out every one from me." So every one went out from him."

"Then Amnon said to Tamar, "Bring the food into the chamber, that I may eat from your hand." And Tamar took the cakes she had made, and brought them into the chamber to Amnon her brother. But when she brought them near him to eat, he took hold of her, and said to her, "Come, lie with me, my sister."

"She answered him, "No, my brother, do not force me; for such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do this wanton folly. As for me, where could I carry my shame? And as for you, you would be as one of the wanton fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray you, speak to the king; for he will not withhold me from you." But he would not listen to her; and being stronger than she, he forced her, and lay with her."

"Then Amnon hated her with very great hatred; so that the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, "Arise, be gone."

"But she said to him, "No, my brother; for this wrong in sending me away is greater than the other which you did to me." But he would not listen to her."

"He called the young man who served him and said, "Put this woman out of my presence, and bolt the door after her." Now she was wearing a long robe with sleeves; for thus were the virgin daughters of the king clad of old. So his servant put her out, and bolted the door after her. And Tamar put ashes on her head, and rent the long robe which she wore; and she laid her hand on her head, and went away, crying aloud as she went." (2 Samuel 13:1-19 RSV)

Think about this incident and how that would affect someone. Then I want us to look at some of the other people it affected.

David, Absalom, and a few others.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Soup- Twitter Fever

video
Oh hush! You know you watch it too...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Ezra and fasting

June 9, 2009- Fasting is such a wonderful thing. As we make a decision to give up the things that we think we need, God begins to show us the things we truly need-HIM. In the book of Ezra chapter 8:21-23, Ezra proclaims a fast. In that, not only did he say he needed to go on a fast, but the people needed to as well. When we are in the midst of a move of God, people are part of that movement, and those people need to be unified and attentive to the voice of God through others. The cool thing is that in this fast Ezra was very specific about what they were to do and what they were asking God for.
  1. That we might humble ourselves before God vs. 21b In the grand scheme of things, we really don't have much control. God does! So for the breakthrough He has for our lives, we must humble ourselves before Him.
  2. To seek from Him a safe journey vs. 21c There are many things coming against our lives to steer us from the course set before us. This reference signifies both protection and deliverance. The amazing thing is how specific Ezra is...
  • for ourselves
  • for our children
  • and for ALL our goods
You might not be the type of person who believes in fasting or even in God, but you are on a journey, and the protection and deliverance is available for all those who ask. Try it, and see if God doesn't show Himself mighty in your life and in your journey. It will be well worth the effort.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Invisible


June 8, 2009- Not many words today, but you have to check this out at invisiblepeople.tv

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Get rid of the Excuses!

June 3, 2009- Reading earlier I ran upon some thoughts shared by Roger von Oech. Excuses really keep us from achieving greatness, so lets get rid of them...

What was the last good idea you had that you didn’t execute? What reasons did you have?

“I didn’t have time.”
“I couldn’t sell it.”
“I was afraid to fail.”
“I wasn’t committed.”
“I didn’t get support.”

These are all valid reasons. But valid or not, they’re the excuses that prevent you from getting your ideas into action.

Sometimes it takes more creativity to get rid of excuses than it does to come up with the idea in the first place.

For example, when the Spanish explorer Cortez landed at Veracruz, the first thing he did after unloading his equipment was to sink his ships.

Then he gave his men a pep talk. “Men,” he told them, “you can either fight or you can die.” Sinking his ships removed a third alternative: giving up and returning home.

— What three factors will make it difficult to reach your objective?

— How can you get rid of these excuses? — On what project can you “sink” your ships?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Who Are you?

June 2, 2009- Every one of us tries to stereotype the other people in the office or in our lives, but do we ever categorize ourselves? Take a look at the examples below and be honest. Which one are you?
(Images posted by Kathy)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Cussing Pastors

June 1, 2009- Here Pastor Ed Young shares some great thoughts on the language some ministers use and his feelings on that.
video

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Attention Pt. 3

May 26, 2009- The Lord uses distractions to get our ATTENTION, He uses mentors to get our ATTENTION, and He uses another great way to get our ATTENTION and that is the way of DIVINE INTERVENTION.Judges 6:11-7:25 tells a story of God gaining the ATTENTION of a young man named Gideon. Gideon finds himself hiding to do his chores as the nation of Israel is being oppressed by the Midianites, and the situation looks pretty grim...But God sends an angel to Gideon,to let Gideon know that He will use him to defeat the Midianites and relieve Israel. In gaining his ATTENTION, God shows Gideon a few things that I find interesting...
  1. He shows Gideon who he truly is- vs.12 the angel calls Gideon a mighty man of valor. Now Gideon didn't think He had the right guy for the job. We might think the same thing, but if God says we will, we can, we shall, then you better bank on that. He will watch over His word to perform it.
  2. He shows Gideon what He needs- chapter 7 Gideon started with 22,000, then 10,000, but God shaved the number of men down to 300 before He said Gideon had his army. Why? Because God was showing Gideon what he needed.
  3. He shows Himself mighty- 7:19 God finally has Gideons ATTENTION and he is ready to move into battle, when God tells him the weapons he will use(clay pots & trumpets) There is no way to win a battle with those weapons unless God shows Himself mighty. But that is what happens and the nation of Israel is freed from the oppression of the Midianites.
So how is God trying to get our ATTENTION? Will we recognize it when He does. My prayer is that I be ready and my ATTENTION span be increased for the tasks God has for me and for you.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Attention Pt. 2

May 22, 2009- The Lord uses distractions to get our attention of course but I want to look at a couple of other ways He does this as well. In a world that wars and economic turmoil constantly hold our attention, the Lord is saying to us, "WAKE UP". He is trying to get our attention to show us that He should be the focus, that He is in control, and that if we give Him our undivided attention, He will show us that sin is the ultimate problem, and that He has a formula to stop it dead! Just look at the cross. So, here's another way He uses to get our attention...


2. He uses mentors to teach us to focus- ( 1Samuel 3) Samuel, while living in the temple heard a voice calling to him in the night. It was the Lord calling to him. He said, "Here I am", and ran to Eli. Why? Because the word of the Lord had not been revealed to him yet.

Many times we look to our mentors to explain to us what God is saying. We are off base in this. Samuel heard what the Lord said just fine, he just didn't know it was the Lord speaking. That's what we need discernment about. Are we hearing from the Lord? How do we test that? When we establish when it is the Lord speaking, we will know His voice, and another we will not follow. So we need men and women of God to teach us, not so much what the Lord is saying to us, but how to know when the Lord speaks to us
.
So who is in your life to play the role of Eli? God is using those mentors to get our attention, and we truly need to listen up.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Attention Pt.I

May 20, 2009- When I was younger, it was very hard to get my attention. My focus was on things I considered very important(like a video game or a phone call to the love of my life) and to place attention on anything else was an unneeded distraction. The same is true today, only now it is God trying to get my attention. And you know what? I really try to listen. Is He trying to get yours? I think so. I think He is trying to get our attention to let us know what we need to do. The problem is, we are distracted by other things, and if we're not careful we'll miss it. Here are 3 ways I think God tries to get our attention and like these examples, we need to listen...
  1. With a distraction- In Exodus 3 Moses is just walking along when God sets a bush on fire to get his attention. Moses didn't have any doubt seeing God in the distraction and listening to His instruction. So, is God using a distraction to get your attention. What is it He's trying to tell you? Chances are, He will show you a few things about yourself that you weren't aware of previously...
  • He will show you your potential- He asked Moses, " What is that in your hand"? Moses said, " a staff" . God will show us our potential and our strengths. Whether it's in the form of a staff( that would be a staff on the job, your not Bruce Lee) a friend, or a talent, God will show us our strengths to encourage us that we are empowered to do the job.
  • He will give us instruction- He gave Moses specific instruction as to what He would have Him do. Many times we think God hasn't given us instruction when in actuality, we haven't even paid attention to the distraction.
Chances are God is using a distraction right now in life to get your attention. He didn't place the distraction there, but He will use it to get your attention, to show you the task, and how He has prepared you to handle it...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

City Church


May 17, 2009- This is the final product! Great week.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Alexander solution


May 13, 2009- Sometimes in life we are faced with things that seem too tough to accomplish. This, I have to admit, happened to me this past week. We are doing a MAJOR EXTREME CHURCH MAKEOVER, and I have really been overwhelmed with doing this in the frame of one week. But, I saw a great example of how to handle this.
The example happened around 333 AD. There was a country in the area of Asia Minor, ran by king Gordius. Gordius, was a poor farmer, who became king because he fulfilled a prophecy by driving a wagon into town(some way to become king, huh?)Anyway, he made a shrine with the knot that he hitched his cart with. This knot became famous. It was known as the
Gordian Knot, and it was said that whoever untied the knot would be the king of Asia. In 333 AD, Alexander the Great came into town, and when faced with the challenge, he simply pulled out his sword and cut the knot in half. His tactic was honored and he became king.
You see, he didn't face the challenge through normal perspective, he changed the rules. And sometimes that is what we need to do. Things might seem impossible, but by changing the rules a little, the whole game changes, and the impossible becomes possible.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Abiding

May 1, 2009- This has been a crazy week for Meg and I. Sunday night we were in a car accident. It seems that from there a chain of unfortunate events have taken place. Those were definite distractions to our every day life, but I think they were needed because the results shook us both to the very core and have rekindled a fire in our life. Let me try to explain.We both ran to the first place any Christian runs when something bad happens.THE BIBLE. Sounds really good and spiritual huh? Well check this out. While reading Psalms 91 I was convicted by just two very small words. Verse 1 says,"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide in the shadow of the Almighty". Two words really touched me, Dwells and Abide. They mean virtually the same thing( to remain stable or fixed in a state or to continue in a place), but to dwell implies your mind matches you geography. That is my problem so many times. I treat my dwelling with God the same as staying in a hotel. I want the bed made, the air just right, and snacks and drinks available, as well as room service. But to abide is not temporary, it's eternal. And just as it is in my Home, I must maintain the place of residence. I must make the bed, I must create the environment. It's my responsibility to maintain the relationship. If I dwell, then I abide...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mountains and Vallleys


April 28, 2009- When I first made the choice to follow Christ, I did it for selfish reasons. First, I didn't want to go to hell. Second, my life was a wreck, and I needed it fixed. But soon after that I found that God called me from the valley of my fears to His High Place(Is.57:15). In that transition, I found that it not only changed my SPIRITUAL LOCATION, but my very IDENTITY. I also found that this trip to God's High Place isn't an easy trip. But even through the difficult times and the situations that seem so overwhelming, I have found that there is something in my heart that won't let me stop the journey. The thing that is in my heart, and in your heart as well, is a voice. It's the voice of the creator of all things, and He calls to us. Ps. 24:3 says, "Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in His Holy Place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart...".
So despite the things that happen in life, Sorrow, suffering, resentment,bitterness, self-pity,_____________(you fill in the blank). No matter what comes, I will listen to that still small voice, and then I will obey. And remember, the High Places are great. That is where we encounter God, but the valleys can't be counted out. You see, fruit doesn't grow on the mountain top, it grows in the valley.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Misappropriated Wisdom

April, 22, 2009- When I look around at all the things going on in the world today I feel like Solomon must have felt when the book of Ecclesiastes was penned. One has to feel sorrowful for the state of things in the world( especially this country). How did it come to this? I think it is simple. It is misappropriated wisdom. You see, in our quest for power, we have become weak. In our climb up the ladder of finance, we have become poor. In our strives for freedom, we have placed ourselves in bondage. In our moral standards, we have become perverse. We, as a country, must return to a place that we honor God first and foremost. He alone can return us to the state He designed for us. Misappropriated wisdom is more easily stated- wisdom of man!!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Ask me what happened...

April 20, 2009- Yesterday was one of the greatest days I've ever seen in ministry. We did spontaneous baptisms and saw 143 people follow the Lord in baptism... Awesome day!!!