Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Response- ability


January 28, 2009- This is like, the tenth day of our 21 day fast here at Victory and it is really amazing. When I started on this journey, I did what every good Christian does. I made a list. I listed all the things I was believing God for and all the circumstances in my life that I needed God to change for me. I'm just being honest. That's what I did. But God really spoke to my heart that I had part of that messed up. He's been really dealing with me in the area of ME.

I'm always praying for God to change a situation, or to change the way a person acts, or how they treat me. But how can I grow in that? I can't become the person God wants me to be if the road is soft and fluffy! The simple fact is this; God is trying to change something in ME, not my surroundings. I have the ultimate choice in my response to a given situation. That's what God is doing in my life on this fast. And if we want to really be overcomers in the world, we should welcome it. When situations arise and we are tempted to pray, "get em God", let's pray, " God show me what needs to change in me, so that I can effectively deal with it the next time around".

My prayer is that God increase our response-ability.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Useful facts

January 27, 2009- If you have ever wanted a history lesson about things that involve marriage, you'll love this post. Here are some things you really need to know before getting married. I'm sure you will never be the same...
1. Diamond Engagement Rings
Prior to the 20th century, engagement rings were strictly luxury items, and they rarely contained diamonds. But in 1939, the De Beers diamond company changed all of that when it hired ad agency N.W. Ayer & Son. The industry had taken a nosedive in the 1870s, after massive diamond deposits were discovered in South Africa. But the ad agency came to the rescue by introducing the diamond engagement ring
and quietly spreading the trend through fashion magazines. The rings didn’t become de rigueur for marriage proposals until 1948, when the company launched the crafty “A Diamond is Forever” campaign. By sentimentalizing the gems, De Beers ensured that people wouldn’t resell them, allowing the company to retain control of the market. In 1999, De Beers chairman Nicky Oppenheimer confessed, “Diamonds are intrinsically worthless, except for the deep psychological need they fill.”
In addition to diamond engagement rings, De Beers also promoted surprise proposals. The company learned that when women were involved in the selection process, they picked cheaper rings. By encouraging surprise proposals, De Beers shifted the purchasing power to men, the less-cautious spenders.
2. Valentine’s Day Candy
Greeting-card companies didn’t invent valentines. Candy suppliers, on the other hand, were very much behind the idea of giving out Valentine’s Day candy. In fact, the tradition almost seems born out of jealousy. In 1892, Confectioners’ Journal advocated persuading customers that candy was better than “cheap, grotesque” valentines. The floodgates were opened, and by 2004, consumers were buying more than 35 million heart-shape boxes of candy each year.
3. Wedding Registries
In the 1900s, it was customary for only close family members to give wedding presents. But gradually, newlyweds came to expect gifts from friends, as well. Detecting a trend, department stores started to direct engaged customers to their home furnishings and kitchenware departments, encouraging them to think of their weddings as a time to acquire the tools for domestic life. In 1924, the Marshall Field & Company department store in Chicago created the first wedding registry , and the “tradition” took off. Today, up to 96 percent of American couples register their weddings.
I just thought this was great. By the way, the candy is relevant. We are getting married on valentines day.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Drop the jar

January 23, 2009- When Christ frees us, we are free indeed! But too many times I find myself going back to try to do things like I used to. Not sin, mind you, just old ways of doing things. Let me explain. In John 4 Jesus has an experience with the woman at the well(really she had an experience with Him). She was at the well to draw water. He said that He had water that would quench her thirst forever. In our lives Jesus does the same thing. He says, you don't have to do it that way anymore. He has a better way. I say, "yeah, I know Lord, but I've done it this way for so long". Nonsense. We must learn from this woman. When she encountered the Master, she didn't try the same way. She dropped her water jar, and went to tell others about Him. Thirst was no longer an issue for her. She was full.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Motivate then Mobilize

January 21, 2009- While reading a passage in the gospel of John, chapter 3, I stumbled upon what I think is a great problem that we have in the church today. If we were to walk down the street and randomly ask people if they were Christians, most would say yes. Sure it would depend what street you walked down, but I'm talking about your average street in America. So why do people, that call themselves Christians, live defeated lives? Why do people go in and out of churches every week and still struggle with the same issues? They are(we are) being motivated without being mobilized. When we are in those churches, we hear the vision. We listen to the story. We receive the truth. But when the action statement comes, our mind is already on what we are having for lunch. And in this process we are never activated.
In John 3 Jesus has a conversation with Nicodemus, a scholar. Nicodemus knew all about motivational speeches. He talked about God every day. We all know the conversation, but the interesting thing I find is that Jesus...
  • Gave him the vision- vs. 3 " Truly, truly, I say unto you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of heaven
  • Uses a story to illustrate- vs.5-8 Explaining the Spirit in comparison to the wind
  • Shows him the Truth- vs.10-17 He gives him the reason for salvation.
  • Action statement- vs.20-21. " For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been carried out in God"

This blew me away. Not because of the obvious. But the fact of when He said this to Nicodemus. You see Nicodemus had to sneak over to see Jesus, of all times, at night. Sometimes to mobilize a person, you have to step on their toes...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration


January 20, 2009- Today makes history. Abe would be proud. God Bless you President Obama...

Monday, January 19, 2009

21 days of Action

January 19, 2009- The year started great. I made commitments to change certain things in my life, and then I began to think. It is very hard for a person in everyday life to manifest a thought. What I mean is, we think good things. We have good intentions. Our motives are even pure(sometimes). The problem is, we don't follow through. We don't bring our thoughts to a physical manifestation. Why? Our decisions take action, and often we don't have the strength or the will to walk out our decisions. That's where God comes in. We can't do it, but He can.

So the thing to do is get as close to God as possible. The catalyst for this in our church is the 21 day Daniel Fast. We are believing that God will give us the power to put into action those decisions. So, over the next 21 days I will be commenting on the fast and on the things God places on my heart. I'm really excited that God is going to mess me up over the next 21 days and then gather up all the pieces and put them back together where they should be.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Something Good

January 16, 2009- Well, the news ratings should go up tremendously after this. Every time I turn on the news, I get depressed about the condition of the world. Yesterday, however, the news had a positive report from the Hudson river in New York. Check it out for yourself.
video

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Go

January 14, 2009- I really didn't know there was a 14th string of Olympic Hopefuls...
video

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Inspire to aspire


January 13, 2009- Tomorrow afternoon is our monthly TEAM meeting for Celebrate Recovery. The purpose of this meeting is to look at where we are, where we are going , and how we are going to get there. The team is coming up with creative things that we will be doing this year to add salt to our weekly meetings, as well as outreach. My job is simple. All I have to do is, well there are 2 things I have to do. The problem is the 2 things are tough. Inspiration and aspiration.


  • Inspiration- This involves the inward motivation that moves things. Inspiration can also be called influence, which can be called leadership. This all sounds easy in theory, but for this to take place, you have to have something inspirational inside. My prayer is that God reveal to us how to inspire people to help reach our city for God.

  • Aspiration- This is almost the same thing. It could be described as hope, and to cause aspiration, you cause one to move upward. This creates vertical movement. It causes one to reach higher, past the norm of what is comfortable, and to stretch their capacity to achieve greatness.

That's where we are headed with our leadership meeting and we are expecting great things for life, ministry, and the body of Christ in the year of 2009.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

celebrate 2009

January 11, 2009- I must apologize for my lack of Celebrate Recovery blogging. When I started this blog, I started it as a tool for communication for our Celebrate Recovery ministry. So, let me just set things right with an update. We finished 2008 strong with people really catching the vision of reaching the hurting in our city. We left 2008 with the desire to do something, but without a plan to do it. We are meeting this week with our plans to do just that. Here are a couple of things we are going to focus on. These things, however, can transfer to any area of life and ministry.
  • What has God spoken to your heart about this year? Do you feel a drawing to do something really crazy this year? Do you feel the need to impact the world? If so, what are you going to do about it?
  • Were is God trying to take you? Is there an area of your life that your level of comfort seems to diminish and you are being stretched? Is it something that you seem unable to accomplish? That's great. That means God must do it. If it's God's will, it's God's bill.
  • How am I growing? No matter what area of your life, growth is inevitable. To continue to stay relevant in a world that continues to change, growth has to happen. Growth is healthy, and it only makes us better people. So, in what way is God saying grow up? Pay attention and make the changes necessary.

This is going to be a year in which God does great things in our lives, and in the lives of the many that are now hurting in this city. This is the year that we follow God's calling, and we here His voice. This is the year that we reach this city.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Lord's Prayer 2

January 6, 2008- I'm really being dealt with on the subject of prayer. As followers of the Lord we have so many questions about praying, when it's pretty simple really. Jesus gave us a format when asked how we should pray. It can be found in Matt. 6 & Lk.11. The thing is that when we pray, we talk to God about our life with about as much passion as we do when we order take out.
That's the thing that has been bothering me. "Um, God, could you fix my financial problems, make my wife and kids listen to me, and develop me into a super hero but hold off on requiring me to work for any of it. And you know God, just make me responsible. That's it. Now when can you have that ready"? God must really have a sense of humor, to not zap us right then and there.
Matt. 6:10" Thy kingdom come, thy will be done". We are asking God to bring His establishment, and to walk into our lives with it. His kingdom is one of complete perfection. In order for His perfect kingdom to come into our life, we can't think that we call any of the shots. God does. His kingdom is all powerful. When His kingdom comes, He takes over to rule. The tough part is that if we try to hold on to all those old dear ways, we find ourselves in rebellion to the new King. But the great thing is that He works all things out in His kingdom. Also if anything comes against it, He is on the front line. We know that He will even lay down His life for the citizens. What a great King!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Lord's Prayer 1

January 5, 2009- Well, the holiday season is over and now it's time to tackle all the commitments we have made for this year. We started this year by praying through an outline pastor created on the Lord's Prayer. Certain parts spoke volumes to me as I prayed. Here's one.
I remember being a kid and going on a trip to a place called Rock City in Chattanooga, Tn. My dad was doing his version of the "tour guide of the year", pointing out all the places to eat on the way, the proper way to navigate the trail, and facts about the place. But the only thing I remember about the place is how gorgeous it was. It was one of the many times in our lives when we need no explanation. We need no commentary, or description. Some things can only be done justice by our silence. We are in awe. That's how it is when we enter God's throne room. We should be in awe. Matt. 6:9 Pray then like this: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name..." How do we hallow the name of the Lord? We start by realizing who He is and it's pretty easy from there. God created everything we are and everything we see. That in itself is reason enough to hold His name in reverence and be quiet. It's reason to stand in awe of our Lord.
That's not to say we have to be quiet in our prayer time or anything of the sort. I'm saying when we come to Him, we need to be aware who it is we 're talking with. Hallowed, Holy, above our ways and thoughts. And the kicker is, He's our Father.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Thirsty?


January 2, 2009- Day in and day out we find ourselves in the same predicament. We are thirsty. False fountains pacify our cravings with sugary swallows of pleasure. But there comes a time when pleasure doesn't satisfy. What? Yes, there comes a time when the world comes crashing in on us and we are left parched and dying.

You might have a hard time admitting it, I do, but only when we admit it, can our thirst be truly quinched.


  • Do you have a dream that's gone unfullfilled for years?

  • A career that never made it to the place you had hoped?

  • A family that just can't seem to get it together?

  • Promises that you haven't kept?

You know what? You're thirsty! So what are you thirsty for? Possesions, position, promotion?What about righteousness. The bible says that he who hungers and thirsts after righteousness, shall be filled(Matt. 5:6) You might not even believe the Bible ,but let me encourage you. Try it!


John 7:37-39 For starters. Check it out for yourself (here)


Jesus offers the satisfaction we need for the thirst that dries us up and steals our lives. Try Him. Come thirsty,Leave Happy!!!