Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Digging in

Wednesday December 21, 2011- I just finished reading *Dug Down Deep*. I have to admit I was expecting more. I am not a theology book reader, but enjoy learning more about God, His character, and nature. The book started slow for me, but as I began to think about what Joshua was trying to accomplish with this book, it began to draw me in. The truth is, people do need more theology. When he gave the example of the parable of the builders, I GOT IT. I really got it. He found a way to put the dusty, dry, terms of theology into a book that anyone with a hunger for God will pick up and read from cover to cover. The reason the story grabbed me so hard is the truth that lies within. The average Christian has the desire but not the discipline to dig deep. But that is precisely what needs to happen for our life to line up with the nature and character of God. Joshua does a great job in accomplishing what he sat out to do. Overall a great book, Joshua has an incredible testimony that inspires many church leaders. His transparency and willingness to share his struggles helped me and I am sure it will help many others. Good book.
(Click here) to watch video promo.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Grace covers our finances...

Friday November 25, 2011- I've been doing some research on the economy of our country and it is really easy to get bummed out if we forget that we are CHILDREN OF GRACE. The world economy has been in real turmoil lately. The stock markets are swinging up and down. Housing markets are a mess. Currencies are crumbling. Unemployment is rampant. And none of this likely to stabilize any time soon. While this can be a bit harrowing to watch, it is key for every Christian to remember that we have a source much more stable, reliable and abundant than the world economy. We are plugged into the Kingdom Economy! The economy of heaven is an economy of plenty, of exceeding abundance. It never knows lack. It never experiences recessions or depressions. It is an economy based on God’s promise that He will meet all of our needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). All the silver and all the gold are the Lord’s. The cattle on a thousand hills belong to our Father (Psalm 50:10). And He promises that all that He has is ours as His children (Luke 15:31).

While the world economy is being shaken, Christians have nothing to fear — if they know how to plug into the economy of heaven. In Jeremiah 29:11 God announces that His desire is to prosper us. In Deuteronomy 8:18 He declares that He has given us the ability to make wealth. The way He does this is to teach us key kingdom principles that will allow us to plug into His economy of abundance no matter what is going on in the world. We see Him do this for His people all through the Bible. Isaac prospered in a time of lack. Abraham knew abundance in every land (and economy) he went into. Joseph received strategies from God on how to see a whole nation thrive in the midst of a time of terrible famine. The Lord is no respecter of persons, what He makes available for one He makes available for all! We just need to know His principles and promises so that we can plug into the economy of His Kingdom.
Our God is a God without limit. In Him there is an abundance of provision and blessing that we have not even begun to tap into. So I encourage you not to look at the situation going on in our countries economy, and dig in to God's kingdom principles.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I AM with you

Wednesday Nov. 2, 2011- Read a great post today and wanted to share it with you (Courtesy of Catablog). Here it is...
There are very few words that transcend circumstances. There are very few words that go beyond social, economic and marital status. There are very few words that hit all of us in the same way, at the same time and with the same potential for impact and change. But these 4 words do:

“I am with you.”

God is with us. Not distant. Not removed, but close. Not uncaring, but empathetic. Not far off, but living inside us. He is with us.

To the single mom working 2 jobs and still coming up short every month: I AM with you.

To the one filled with anxiety and worry in this moment right now: I AM with you.

To the unemployed: I AM with you.

To the one that hates the way their body looks and how they feel when they look in the mirror: I AM with you.

To the person that has no idea what their purpose or passion in life is: I AM with you.

To failure and the mess up that can’t see how they could ever recover from their mistake: I AM with you.

To the person that finds their value and identity in their career success: I AM with you.

To the insecure and unsure walking through life desperate for acceptance: I AM with you.

To the fake and the phony that has everyone believing that their life is more together than it really is: I AM with you.

To the depressed and the downhearted; the person that feels their is no light at the end of the tunnel: I AM with you.

To the single person that has a huge desire to get married and often feels loneliness and pain: I AM with you.

To the married person that wonders how their marriage drifted to such a lonely and painful place: I AM with you.

To the angry and resentful that have been rocked by hardship and hurt: I AM with you.

To the abused and the broken that have wondered why no one stepped in to stop the abuse: I AM with you.

To the isolated and lonely; the ones that feel left out and on the fringe: I AM with you.

To the ones that appear that they have everything, yet feel like all they have means nothing: I AM with you.

I AM with you. It is a game changer for all of us today.
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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Catalyst Take- Aways

GOD’S GREATEST SERMON: Judah Smith at Catalyst 2011

Exodus 33
Consider the glory of God. its implications in your life.

12 Moses said to the LORD, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ 13 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”
14 The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”
17 And the LORD said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”
18 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”

Possibly the most intimate question in the OT?!

19 And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”
21 Then the LORD said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”

Then compare that with this (John 1)

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

Jesus is the glory of God.
If that’s true, you can have a SURPLUS. You have everything you will need for living, leading and loving.


Did you know women have RULES. Verbally declared or not. And you are to somehow read their mind. figure out their rules – and obey them, then hey’ll feel love. And they are under no obligation to let you know the rules or that they’ve changed at any time.

On date night, there’s always a score.
And if you score high enough, you score at the end of it!

His idea of the best date night ever? Go and see a great action movie, then make love. That’s whe he feels most loved!

But she says, ‘It’s when you ask questions.’ men don’t like that, because it feels like an interrogation!

But what she’s trying to communicate is, ‘I want to KNOW you. I don’t just want to do stuff with you or for you.” And she’s right. Because marriage should be about KNOWING each other.

And Moses has known God. he’s seen him do stuff. But he’s on a roll… he asks for more.
I don’t just want your power
or your promises
or your presence with me
I want to see your GLORY. I want to know you.

And God says, ‘Well it’s a bit early in the game. I need to work something out. Don’t peek till I tell you. Then you get a glimpse – of my back!’ And he hides him. Covers him. ‘Now you ca look.

God is so radiant in glory and righteousness, and all that God is, was revealed. And that glimpse made Moses face glow in the dark for days.

Moses only got a glimpse in passing.
It was not until JESUS that God could fully answer Moses question.

That’s when Jesus showed us God’s glory.

I want to look FULLY in the face of Jesus. I don’t need what Moses saw, I’ve got JESUS. Moses wished in his day he could see what is ours.

Hebrews says Jesus is God’s greatest sermon.

1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

When Moses asked to see God’s glory, he’s asking to see his ESSENCE. What makes you GOD? And Jesus comes and he displays FULLY for us the divine radiance. You don’t have to beg for it. You don’t have to wait for goosebumps. You have all you’ll ever need, in Jesus.

All the sermons you’ll ever have to write.

Have you ever taken inventory – of yourself? And felt pretty empty and out of stuff?

Well, do I actually know what I have in Jesus.
Why do I go looking for some potion or magic potion? NOTHING can supplement what is available to us – JESUS! He’s available to you.

Jesus meets a scandalous woman at a well. A bad woman. He wants to talk to her.
Do you know who I am? I’m a Samaritan woman!
Then they have a conversation…it gets deep.
Then he says, ‘Woman – i am HE – you don’t have to wait any longer, or look any further.’
(Message version).
We don’t have to wait or look any longer.
It’s Jesus.
He IS what we need. Counsellor, Pastor, Friend, everything you’ll ever need.

God loves your city more than you do.
His name is on the line.
It’s just about Jesus
And if I come to him, he’ll do what I can’t ever do.

Has the information age brought us to this heretical place where we have to ad, to his all sufficiency. To look further than Jesus for what we need.

Jesus has been trying to catch your eye, saying, ‘My grace is sufficient.’
You lack NOTHING.
Jesus says, ‘Come to me! Pastor, Mum, CEO, if you feel empty, like you don’t measure up. I’ll give you REST. Take his burden.’ Simple message. Come again. In honesty and humility.
All I ever needed – was you.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Making Disciples Pt.2

Wednesday Oct. 5, 2011- Okay, so in the first post on this subject, we established that, according to the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20), making disciples boils down to baptizing them and teaching them all that Jesus commands us. We should find our curriculum for discipleship, then, by looking in the Gospels for the commands Jesus gave His disciples. Remember, the earliest disciples did not have the New Testament; therefore, we should be able to find all essential material for discipleship without having to go to the Epistles. I do not say this to devalue the complete Word of God in any way, but if Jesus told his disciples to teach new disciples all He had commanded them, this must be able to be done without the aid of the written New Testament.

Let’s look at seven major commands Jesus gave His disciples that we should be passing along as we teach others:

1. Repent, Believe, Be Baptized, and Receive the Holy Spirit (Mark 1:15; John 3:16; Matthew 28:18-20; John 20:22; Luke 24:46-49)
Repentance and belief are essential for entering into the Kingdom of God. If you look at the messages preached by John the Baptist, Jesus, Peter, Paul, and others in the New Testament, you will find that they always preached a message of repentance. As seen in Mark 1:15 and elsewhere, we are also commanded to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus told His disciples in John 20:22 to receive the Holy Spirit, and He told them to wait in Jerusalem until they had been clothed with power from on high. The importance of the Holy Spirit in the life of the disciple is confirmed through the early Church in Acts.
2. Baptize New Believers (Matthew 28:18-20)
Fundamental to being a disciple is making other disciples. If I am not making new disciples, I cannot rightly say that I am a disciple of Jesus. In making new disciples, we are to baptize those who are responding to Christ in repentance and belief.
3. Make Disciples of Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20)
The second part of making new disciples is to teach them everything Jesus commanded us, which would mean teaching them to obey these same commands that we are trying to obey.
4. Love (Matthew 22:34-40)
Jesus said that love for God and love for others was the essence of the Law and the Prophets. In many other places in the Gospels and throughout Scripture, we are given more precise instructions as to what loving God and loving others looks like.
5. Pray (Matthew 6:5-13)
Jesus gives basic instructions on prayer in Matthew Chapter 6. His model prayer found here gives us direction on what kinds of things should be the subject of our prayers.
6. Break Bread (Matthew 26:26-29)
At the Last Supper, Jesus gave His disciples an observance that was to be passed down through the generations.
7. Give (Matthew 6:1-4)
Jesus commanded His disciples to give, and this is emphasized in many places in Scripture outside of the Gospels, as well. It’s worth noting that the kind of giving most talked about in the New Testament is giving to those in need. (As opposed to building buildings, paying local church leaders, etc.)

Okay, so there is our curriculum for discipleship. Notice how everything listed above comes out of the Gospels. In fact, if you only had one book of the Bible with which to disciple a new believer to maturity, you could d quite well with Matthew. Again, this is not to say we should not be teaching disciples other things from Scripture, but we need to get back to majoring in the basics. Who cares if someone can debate all kinds of difficult doctrines, if they are not obeying the seven basic commands given above?

So what do you think? Are you able and willing to go make disciples according to the pattern Jesus gave? It’s not easy, but it is simple.

Next post, we'll look at the Holy Spirit's role in making disciples. None of it is possible without Him.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Making Disciples Pt. 1

Thursday September 29, 2011- Is making a new disciple something you feel you’re able to do? If so, how would you go about it? What does it take?

I ask that question because I get the sense not a lot of us in the Church feel very capable of making disciples. It seems we believe discipleship is something better left to professional clergy. After all, the clergy have been to Bible schools and seminaries, and they get paid for doing that sort of thing.

But did Jesus intend for disciple making to be left to an elite few? I’ll share some thoughts our team is developing on this subject.

First, let me point out that I’m talking about the ‘simple way’ to make disciples, NOT the ‘easy way.’ There’s a big difference. Making a good disciple takes time and energy. There are no shortcuts.

Let’s look at Jesus’ command to make disciples – the Great Commission:

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Matthew 28:18-20

Here are a few things I would like to point out about that passage:

“…Jesus came to them and said…go and make disciples of all nations”

Jesus gave this command to his disciples. We who follow Him today are his disciples; therefore, He has commanded us to make disciples of all nations. (If you check out the Greek for all nations, by the way, it translates to all ethnic groups, not just political countries. There are 200 some odd political nations in the world – 238, if I remember – but there are around 16,000 ethnic groups.) Okay, so we know that each of us, the rank-and-file disciples, have been commanded to make other disciples. So what do we do?

Jesus commanded us to do two things:

1) “…baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”

Baptism is an outward act whereby someone commits his/her life to Jesus Christ, demonstrating belief in Jesus and repentance of sins. This cannot happen until our disciple has come to some knowledge of the Truth. Of the two parts to Jesus’ command, I think we’re a little better at this one than the second one in the North American church. We have done a decent job of getting people to understand their responsibility to evangelize others and lead them to Christ. The second command is the one that gets a bit more problematic…

2) “…and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

This is where those of us who don’t feel like worthy disciple-makers start shirking our duty quickly. We’re usually quite content to tell the new believer they need to get plugged into a local church. Better yet, we invite them to our local church where they join a discipleship class for new believers. In this discipleship class, the well-educated teacher [sigh of relief] may proceed to spend a number of weeks or months expounding all the important and not-so-important doctrines of Christianity to our new disciple.

I see a couple of problems with that model:

1. It takes rank-and-file believers out of the game, because they don’t believe they have the necessary expertise to disciple a new Christian. In this case, it’s hard to feel confident about discipleship if I don’t feel ready to field questions about, say, the scriptural merits of pre-trib pre-millennialism versus amillennialism. Have you ever felt incapable of discipling someone else?
2. In many instances, the discipleship model I described above almost entirely boils down to head knowledge. Look carefully at Jesus’ words, though – He said to teach them to obey all that He has commanded us, not just to know all that He has commanded us. Commands are not mere doctrine; a command implies action!

(Note: I am certainly not trying to make a blanket statement about all discipleship in all churches, because there are many good things happening. The above problems do seem common, though.)

So discipleship, in its simplest form (and I do think the pattern in Matthew 28 is simple), means baptizing people and then teaching them to obey. Why is this difficult for many Christians to do? I would say because we make discipleship more complicated that it’s supposed to be.

One of the ways we overcomplicate discipleship is by emphasizing teaching vast amounts of doctrine in the early stages of discipleship. If you look at Jesus’ command, you see that He told us to teach them all that He commanded us. No more, no less. We need to figure out what things Jesus commanded His disciples, and then stick to that as our curriculum for discipleship. We often major in the Epistles and in doctrines supported by various Old Testament texts when teaching new believers, but all of Jesus’ commands are found in the Gospels. (Remember, when Jesus gave the Great Commission to his disciples, they didn’t have the New Testament available. In the first generation of the church, Jesus’ commands had to be passed along orally.) I’m certainly not saying it’s wrong to teach parts of the Bible other than the Gospels, but Jesus seemed to indicate that all the essential teachings were things that had come from His mouth.

In Part Two, I will discuss the specific commands Jesus gave us that we should be teaching our disciples to obey. Stay tuned…

Thursday, September 1, 2011

4 Enemies of the Heart Pt.1

Thursday September 1, 2011- Proverbs 4:23 “Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.”
The heart is an incredibly crucial part of the body. When it functions properly, everything else can. But when the heart isn’t functioning properly, it causes some serious issues for the health and well being of the entire body. Some of the symptoms of heart problems are back pain, loss of sleep, anxiety, indigestion, nausea, the list goes on. Doctors sometimes note the symptoms and are able to treat the symptoms without locating the true problem. Therefore leaving the major issue untreated for sometimes years. That’s BAD. Well that’s the physical heart. We’re not going to talk about that.
We’re going to talk about the other heart . The heart that got broken in the 9th grade. The heart I’m speaking of is that wonderful, confusing part of you that enables you to laugh, to love, to hurt, to experience life. It’s the place where relationships happen. It’s where relationships are broken.
But even though we aren’t talking about the physical heart, problems can be just as devastating. So we need to monitor our heart to locate the source problem and not just treat symptoms. The problem with doing this is that we were never taught to monitor our hearts were we? When we were kids, we were taught to monitor our behavior. Right? Behave well and good things happen, regardless of the condition of the heart. And this behavior modification produces – Great pretenders.
• You act a certain way around people, on the job, or even in the church because of certain ramifications.
• Some of these don’t necessarily match what we are feeling in our hearts.
• All this pretending can be problematic because it allows you to ignore the true condition of the heart
And these unresolved issues will eventually work their way to the surface in your…
• Actions
• Character
• Your Relationships
Have you ever said…. Where did that come from? Did I just say that? That doesn’t even sound like me?
You wanna guess where it comes from? Yep, the heart. We'll talk about that more next time.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Radical Together

Wednesday July 6,2011- I just finished reading David Platt's book Radical Together. Here's my review of it. I have officially been challenged...
This was a very interesting read for me. I haven't read Platt's book "Radical", but I thought I'd read this one to get the jist of the Radical movement. Boy was I ever taken aback by this one. This book really is a litmus test for true biblical Christianity. Church usually makes one feel better about themselves but the chapter that talks about the western church mentality being nothing more than a christian version of the American dream really got me to thinking. I have always considered myself a rather humble guy, but I walked away from this book with genuine conviction. I am guilty!I repent! David Platt you have given me a revelation about the great commission and about my part in the church and a conviction to do something. Of course I'm not going to sell all I have and move to a third world country because of this book, but I am taking a serious look at my dreams, resources, and giftings and how those can be better used for the glory of God. This is a book that everyone that calls themselves a Christian should read. Ouch. And at the same time, Ahhh. David Platt is truly a prophet to this generation. An excellent book. (Pick up a copy here)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Being the Church

Wednesday June 22, 2011- I've been confused lately wondering why the early church that we read about in the book of Acts looks so different when compared to the American church of today. I understand that culture has shifted. My question is why has the church? I think more than our methodology has changed. Our mission seems to have changed in the process. So I began to look at this study. Take a moment and go with me.
Let's start by defining the word. "Church" comes from the Old English and German word pronounced "kirche." In Scotland, it was "kirk."
The following entries are from the Oxford Universal English Dictionary:
Church [Old English cirice, circe; Middle English chereche, chiriche, chirche; whence churche, cherche, etc.: -Greek Kuriakon...]
Kirk The Northern English and Scottish form of CHURCH, in all its senses.
In the earlier Greek It was pronounced "ku-ri-a-kos" or "ku-ri-a-kon." As you can see, this word doesn't even resemble the Greek word "ecclesia" whose place it has usurped. The meaning of "Ku-ri-a-kos" is understood by its root: "Ku- ri-os," which means "lord." Thus, "kuriakos" (i.e., "church") means "pertaining to the lord." It refers to something that pertains to, or belongs to, a lord. The Greek "kuriakos" eventually came to be used in Old English form as "cirice" (Kee-ree-ke), then "churche" (kerke), and eventually "church" in its traditional pronunciation. A church, then, is correctly something that "pertains to, or belongs to, a lord."
Now, as you can see, there is a major problem here. The translators broke the rules in a big way. When they inserted the word "church" in the English versions, they were not translating the Greek word "kuriakos", as one might expect. Rather, they were substituting an entirely different Greek word. This was not honest! The word "church" would have been an acceptable translation for the Greek word "kuriakos." However, not by the wildest imagination of the most liberal translator can it ever be an acceptable translation for the Greek word "ecclesia."
Are you following this?
Consider it carefully.
This truth will answer many questions you've had about churches, and the kingdom.
"Ecclesia" is an entirely different word with an entirely different meaning than "kuriakos." In fact, the Greek word "kuriakos" appears in the New Testament only twice. It is found once in I Corinthians 11:20 where it refers to "the Lord's supper," and once again in Revelation 1:10 where it refers to "the Lord's day." In both of those cases, it is translated "the Lord's..." - not "church." This word does not appear again in the New Testament. Nonetheless, this is the unlikely and strange history of the word "church" as it came to the English language. Eventually, through the manipulation of organized religion "church" came to replace "ecclesia" by popular acceptance.
Again, we must emphasize the importance of knowing word meanings in order to know the intent of those who wrote the Scriptures.
Now, let's look at the word, "ecclesia". This Greek word appears in the New Testament approximately 115 times. That's just in this one grammatical form. It appears also in other forms. And in every instance, except three, it is wrongly translated as "church" in the King James Version. Those three exceptions are found in Acts 19:32, 39, 41. In these instances the translators rendered it "assembly" instead of "church." But, the Greek word is exactly the same as the other 112 entries where it was changed to "church" wrongly.
In Acts 19, "ecclesia" is a town council: a civil body in Ephesus. Thus, the translators were forced to abandon their fake translation in these three instances. Nonetheless, 112 times they changed it to "church." This fact has been covered-up under centuries of misuse and ignorance. The Greek word "ecclesia" is correctly defined as: "The called-out (ones)" [ECC = out; KALEO = call]. Thus, you can see how this word was used to indicate a civil body of select (called, elected) people.

I have said all that to say this… We have a mercenary mentality when it comes to the Great Commission. We would rather pay to send someone else to make disciples of all nations than to do something about it ourselves. That is not the “ecclesia”. That is the reason the Church isn’t prevailing over the gates of hell. When the Church(ecclesia) moves from a mercenary mindset and grasps the missional mindset Jesus commands in Matt. 28:18-20 then the gates of hell will not prevail against the church(not the kuriakos but the ecclesia). We must ask ourselves this. “When can I get in the fight”?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

See the Positive

Tuesday June 21, 2011
Scientist W.I. Beveridge noted:

“The human mind likes a strange idea as little as the body likes a strange protein and resists it with a similar energy.”

Greek philosopher Heraclitus had a similar insight: “Dogs bark at what they don’t understand.”
Most people have a warning device in their minds to alert them to new ideas.

Unless the idea cleanly dovetails into what they’re doing, they’ll react by saying:

“It won’t work.”
“It’s dumb.”
“I don’t get it.”

When you evaluate new ideas, however, remember that your purpose is to help get good ideas produced — not to revel in the beauty of your criticism.

Thus, when you judge new ideas, focus initially on their positive and interesting features. This will counteract a natural negative bias, and help you to develop more ideas.

Exercise: list five benefits to wearing your clothes inside out on Mondays?*

— What are two positive things you can say about your issue?
— What virtue does the idea have that’s not evident at first sight?
— What’s interesting and worth building on?
— What might be fun about implementing the idea?

Tip: The playwright Jerome Lawrence had an evaluation technique, the “creative no,” that he used whenever he collaborated with someone else.

It works like this: either member of the partnership can veto the other’s ideas. However, when one partner exercises this veto, he also takes responsibility for coming up with a new idea that both partners like. Thus, it’s not only destructive, but constructive as well.


* A few benefits to wearing your clothes inside out on Mondays: Clothes would last longer because they’d be worn on both sides. It would allow you to see where potential tears and rips are. You could display your sweat stains as “art.” It might force you to have Monday as a “work-at-home” day. It would make you buy clothes that were “soft on the outside” (e.g., no snaps or zippers) because you’d have to wear them next to your skin once a week.
(Courtesy of Roger von Oech)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Awakening Review

Wednesday May 25, 2011- This week I finished reading "Awakening" by Stovall Weems. It was a tremendous book. Here's my review...

From the moment I picked this book up, I have felt not merely impacted by it, but activated. Fasting has been a regular practice in my Christian walk, but I don't think I have ever read a more applicable piece of literature on the subject ever. Stovall is brilliant with weaving the practical information and the spiritual benefits through testimonies and personal stories in the church. This was an incredible read. As a matter of fact, last week my wife and I started the 21 day Awakening plan. It has been incredible to see the freshness that comes with prayer, fasting, and devotion to the Word of God. I will say this, this book challenged me, my wife, and those that I serve. Thanks Stovall.
Remember "...Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning." Psalms 30:5 You see, morning comes when you wake up!!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Thursday May 19, 2011- This morning my wife forwarded me her daily devotion. Here it is... I was reading my devotional this morning from Oswald Chambers in my Utmost for HIS Highest.

It was awesome and thought I would share.......

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" Romans 8:35

God does not keep a man immune from trouble; He says - "I will be with him in trouble." It does not matter what actual troubles in the most extreme form get hold of a man's life, not one of them can separate him from his relationship to God. We are "more than conquerors in all these things." Paul is not talking of imaginary things, but of things that are desperately actual; and he says we are super-victors in the midst of them, not by our ingenuity, or by our courage, or by anything other than the fact that not one of them affects our relationship to God in Jesus Christ. Rightly or wrongly, we are where we are, exactly in the condition we are in. I am sorry for the Christian who has not something in his circumstances he wishes was not there.

"Shall tribulation . . . ?" Tribulation is never a noble thing; but let tribulation be what it may - exhausting, galling, fatiguing, it is not able to separate us from the love of God. Never let cares or tribulations separate you from the fact that God loves you.

"Shall anguish . . . ?" - can God's love hold when everything says that His love is a lie, and that there is no such thing as justice?

"Shall famine . . . ?" - can we not only believe in the love of God but be more than conquerors, even while we are being starved?

Either Jesus Christ is a deceiver and Paul is deluded, or some extraordinary thing happens to a man who holds on to the love of God when the odds are all against God's character. Logic is silenced in the face of every one of these things. Only one thing can account for it - the love of God in Christ Jesus. "Out of the wreck I rise" every time.
Hope this encourages someone else like it did me. God Bless!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Soar- Are you ready to accept God's Power

Wednesday March 9,2011- Just finished a review on the book Soar by Kenny Luck. If you are a man that wants to embrace all God has for your life, then you want to read this book. There is a story in the book(actually several stories) that is great. It talks about a hand gliding trip that Luck took for research for the book. In flight he(Luck) tried several times to control the glider himself and would over compensate with the controls causing the instructor to flip out on him. It is often the same with our walk with the Holy Spirit. When we let Him have the controls in our life, then things go smooth and effective. But when we try to control it ourselves things become more erratic and out of control. This was a good read that I would recommend to any man wanting to grow deeper in his walk with the Lord.

You can grab the book (Here)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Understanding conflict

Wednesday February 16, 2011- I am really excited about a new class that my wonderful wife and I have the opportunity to host on Tuesday nights. It's called "Boundaries in Marriage" with Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. It is so insightful and just seeing how many families are interested in improving to impact others(dude, that's what it's about). Anyway, one of the things common in relationships is conflict. Not only in marriage but in every walk of life. Conflict must be dealt with in a healthy manner to ever grow through conflict. This isn't part of the curriculum but while studying today I ran across something really cool.
Everything behaves according to it's nature... That's not to say that we are all troublemakers, but it does speak to where conflict arises from. Check this out.
Anytime you have disappointment, it’s from having false expectations for something to produce something it was not designed to produce. In fact, you will find that any time there is conflict in a relationship, you’ll discover that the conflict is simply the gap between expectations and reality. Here’s a visual that I hope will help and stick with you, the next time you find yourself in conflict:


Finding yourself in conflict in a personal relationship, or in a relationship with someone you lead, or who leads you? Step back from the minutia of the conflict, and write down the expectations you went into the current conflict with prior to the conflict arising. Now try to write down the expectations you think the person you’re in conflict with had. Compare them, then compare them to the current reality, and each other’s reality. You might gain a better understanding of their perspective, and of your emotions. Remember: “In all thy getting…get understanding.”

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

ReNew Conference

Wednesday February 2, 2011- This Saturday February 5th The City Church is hosting it's first "ReNew" conference. We are so excited to see the response and expectancy of the church. We are compressing alot into 3 short hours so here is a breakdown of what will be happening...
8:30- Doors Open
9:00- Welcome
9:10- Breakout I
10:00- Break
10:10 Main Session
11:00- Break
11:10- Breakout II
12:00- Conference ends

(Coffee and refreshments will be available upstairs in the City Cafe)

If you've asked these questions you need to be here-

*How can I strengthen my marriage?- Breakout I you can attend "Personality & how it affects Marriage" and Breakout II "Components of a Godly Marriage"

* How can I make my money go further?- Breakout I you can attend "The Blessed Life"

* How can I make time to grow in my relationship with God?- Breakout I you can attend either "Grow"(Our discipleship growth track) or "Serve"(becoming a servant leader)or Breakout II you can attend either "Connect"(becoming connected to God, the church and your community) or "Go" (the true mission field)

* How can I be a better parent?- Breakout II you can attend "Shepherding a child's Heart"

Also you don't want to miss our Main Session. If renewal is what you need then renewal is what you can get this Saturday February 5th @ The City Church

Register Online- (Click Here)
or RSVP on Facebook (Here)

Hope to see you Saturday!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Soulprint Review

Monday January 24, 2011- I just finished Mark Batterson's new book "Soulprint". I have to say this was an awesome book(perhaps his best yet). Both my wife and I loved it and we will suggest to everyone we know in our church. Great read. Here's the review I posted...

Identifying the you you've been searching for

Mark Batterson really hit it out of the park with "Soulprint". Absolutely his best yet. I, like so many others, have spent my life in a search for the purpose for which I was created. The way Mark uses the story of David to show how we can discover and walk in our true purpose is brilliant.

The story of *the crags of the wild goats* illustrates so well that our actions in private define who we are in publice. David was such a great example of the person we all want to be. He was the man after God's own heart. Also, when David danced before the Lord, Batterson explains that sometimes we have to get out of who people want to see, and into who we were created to become.

I have to say that I walked away from this book changed. Not changed by 10 steps to purpose, but changed because "Soulprint" helps us to look at ourselves in a different light. This read helps us to identify that we all have a unique makeup and calling. Mark Batterson is a genius of research and illuminating illustrations. From start to finish it is a great read and it as a book that I would recommend to anyone.

Go out and grab it. You won't be disappointed. (Click here for the book)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Get a Word

January 20, 2011- Wow. The new year has taken off with such speed that I haven't really had the chance to post anything(I know that's a poor excuse, but it's the only one I have). With that said, I have heard alot of doom and gloom about judgment and things continuing to get worse with our economy and with the nation in general. You've heard the same if you listen to the so-called future thinkers or "prophetic" voices in christian circles. I don't know where you stand on all this but I know one thing. Everyone wants a word form God. We have such a tremendous hunger for "a word". It blows my mind that people travel all over the country to hear something from "a prophet" or someone that claims to have prophetic insight, get this, not for their lives, but for mine! That kills me. Here's my stance. If you are a child of God, He has a word for you. It's in His WORD(the Bible). Get into God's Word in 2011. If you are looking for a Word in 2011, I suggest 3 things...

1. Fasting- The beginning of this year is a perfect time to go on a fast. When we deny the flesh and gratify the Spirit, we will grow in the Spirit. Is.58 is a great place to study what fasting is and isn't.

2. Prayer- Fasting is just dieting without prayer. Set aside some personal time for prayer. Get alone and talk to God just like you would your best friend. John 10 say,"My sheep know my voice". If you need a word from God, prayer is a great start for the conversation.

3. Study God's Word- The greatest tool in hearing from God is His Word. I believe God speaks in many ways, but the easiest way to hear form Him is reading His Word.

If any of this has pricked your interest, here is a link to our church website with some info on the "Daniel Fast". Hope this helps. Enjoy!

"21 Days of Fasting"