Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ready or Not....

Well I guess I should be writing more but this season of life has left me a little shell shocked. I have experienced the gamete of emotions. I was talking with a friend just yesterday and I was reminded that the heart is deceitful. Our emotions spring from our heart and they can not be trusted. Honestly, if I were going on just emotion there is no way I would be moving back to Florida. But in this season of life I am learning to truly trust God and lead my heart to Him. There are some emotions that have me going right now, excitement for what is going to happen with this new church plant, and anticipation for what my relationship with God will become through this new journey. Either way, there is no turning back now. I'm in Nashville and half way there. As I used to say playing my favorite child hood game hide n' seek, "Ready of not, here I come."

Father, do what it takes to keep working in me faith, don't hold back, I want to be used by you.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


So the reality of it all is that I am 4 weeks away from moving my family back to Tampa. I have never been more sure of this calling but at the same time never been more scared, worried, uncertain of the future, and the list goes on. The battle wages within. Paul was saying a mouthful when he said that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers we don't see. Everything for me is internal. But I find myself at war most often when I choose not to connect with God. Everyday I am becoming increasingly aware of my need for Him. When I don't connect I find my mind worried about a job, scared if our home will sell, wondering what this new place will be like. My whole day is consumed with the circumstances in life. In those moments I am not connected to God I am connected and consumed by the insurmountable circumstances I find myself in. But the opposite is true when I choose to connect with God, when I choose to put all of those circumstances aside and sit with my creator in the midst of chaos. It's not a denial of the fact that I need a job to provide or the fact that i haven't sold my home, but instead it is an acknowledgment of His peace. That's what the writer meant when He said there is a peace that goes beyond understanding. Today I am fighting to live in peace even in the midst of my circumstances. Today I am fighting within to connect to my creator and find peace and joy in this journey.

I pray God that today you would move my heart close to you before you move my hand to make a call or move my mouth to make a decision. Help me God to stop and consider you and the peace you have. Let my friends who read this blog stop and remove themselves from the circumstances of life and remember you are God. May we choose to connect with our creator today even in the midst of all that is happening in our worlds.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."
Lam 3:22-24 (NIV)

...Anyone else need this today?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What a night!

We showed up to the field at 6:30 as it began to rain. We knew the rain wasn't leaving so we braced for a running game against a large defensive line and when I say large I mean their smallest 6th grader was 135lbs. Their largest happened to weigh in at 260lbs! Rain continued to keep coming down as I pulled our offensive line aside to give a little "pep talk". I told them this was going to be a running game so that means we were going to have to give the best blocking of our season to prevail. We came out flat in the first quarter only rushing for about 20 yards and no pass completions. The opposing team scored on their first drive on what I would call a fluke play but all the less it was still a score. The second quarter gave way to an empty offense on both sides of the ball. We went into half time down 8-0. We rallied our team to come out an be more physical, and they were. The second half started off with some great blocking by our line while our star running back ran a pitch to the outside corner all the way into the house only to be called back for an illegal block in the back! Our defense went up against a much bigger offensive line all night and came out on top.
With less than one minute remaining we recovered a fumble and drove down to the 35 yard line giving the ball to our star running back who didn't disappoint. With no time remaining on the clock he broke 3 tackles and ran the ball in for a score. We were successful as well with our 2 point attempt to tie the game. It was an amazing game! Overtime did not fare well for us but in our hearts we overcame adversity, and while we did not win the game, the battle was ours! I am very proud of our team this year as we ended the season with a winning record but more importantly they all learned valuable lessons in life on that field! What a game!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Change has come

For those that may be living in the abyss and haven't heard the big news, we are moving back to Tampa. Moving to help my friend James start a church. In my spirit I have a huge holy expectation. So how did this happen? Where does all of this come from? In a short answer it comes from following hard after God. For the past couple of years I have been living the mantra that following God is risky, it's not comfortable nor do I believe God is interested in making us comfortable more than he is interested in making us contributors in advancing His kingdom.

Two years ago I began to study the life of Jonathon. I came to a pretty wild conclusion that this guy wasn't a push over nor was he not capable of being King. He had all the qualities of a great king but gave up that right for God's annointed. One of my most favorite conversations in the Bible takes place between him and his armor bearer. Jonathon is not content to sit with his father and wait to fight the philistines but instead he takes initiative with one sword and his armor bearer and says, "Perhaps the Lord will act on our behalf". Jonathon not only defeats some 20+ men but he eventually gives up his heir to throne to David and choose to serve. The greatest act one person can do for someone is serve them. Jesus said I did not come to be served but instead to serve.

The more I study Jonathon the more God revealed to me that I was called to be one. God spoke to my heart clearly that I was called to be a Jonathon to a David. Through lots of prayer and conversations with close friends and mentors I knew that if God was showing me to be a modern day Jonathon than he also wanted to show me who my David was. Up to this point I considered it to be my current pastor and while I have complete respect for him and I think him to be an incredible man who loves God with infectious abilities, I asked God the dangerous question, "Who is my David?" It didn't take much for God to respond with a simple anwer but one that would wreck me and my plans. He spoke "James".

From that moment life began to change and more hard times were ahead as I knew that this calling would ultimately impact other people and my only prayer was that the enemy would not get an inch in those relationships. I continue to pray this prayer.

I want to be clear that I am not running from anything. I have not and am not disappointed with my current church or leadership. They have done nothing wrong, which why it makes this decision even harder. Following God just isn't very logical sometimes. For those of you who read this blog will you please be in prayer for me and my family. While we are excited about this move and what God will do we are also expecting Him to fill in all the pieces of the puzzle in His timing. I will need a job so that is a huge prayer request as well as I will be raising support in this new venture. Please pray for my kids and the transition and more than anything else pray this will draw our family closer to Him.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


2 weeks since my last post. Yikes. Life is busy but that is no excuse. I'll be back tomorrow with the BIG announcement and the impact it is having in my world. Peace.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hearing God's Voice pt. dos

As a kid I could almost tell you what my parents would say to any given question I might have for them. I knew them very well and even more I knew, in most cases, how they would respond to situations. Knowing what they would say when I would ask if I could spend the night at a friend's house or take the car out for the first time or call and ask if I could extend my curfew all came from and started from smaller questions. To this day I can still predict how my parents will respond. It all stems from how well I know them and there tendencies.

God is the same way. How well do we know His tendencies? Do we know what He will say even before He says it? I think the bigger problem is that we only ask God the big questions. We want to know who we should marry, or what college we should attend. And then we wonder why we can't hear His voice and get a clear answer. What if we began with the simple questions? God, what do you want me to do today? God, should I go to the beach or should I go to the movies.

This is definitely the first step in learning to hear God's voice: ask simple questions. How much do I want to know God's voice? Ultimately that will be driving force to the questions I have. I need to remember that if I want to hear God about the bigger questions in life I need to start will the simple ones.

Do I really hear His voice?

2 The shepherd walks right up to the gate. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate to him and the sheep recognize his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he gets them all out, he leads them and they follow because they are familiar with his voice. 5 They won't follow a stranger's voice but will scatter because they aren't used to the sound of it."

John 10:2-5 (MSG)

People in the Christian circles have been asking this question for decades, "How do I hear His voice?". Preachers have spoken about it, books have been written conferences have themed around it and yet the question still remains. Even I have wondered if at certain intersections of my life if it was His voice I was hearing or a stranger's voice. I know I'm not alone in this quest to know His voice. But I wonder if the real issue in hearing His voice is more in our upbringing rather than our hearing?

Let me explain. Our whole lives we are raised to think for ourselves, be self sufficient, and eventually become independent. Could this be in direct opposition of what God wants from us spiritually? Please know that I am all for people becoming adults and learning to be positive attributes in society by contributing to the ultimate good. But it has me asking the question, "Are we raising the banner of independence at any cost too high, even higher than the dependence God wants from us"?

God uses the illustration of the sheep for a reason, and yes, we all know they are simple animals (putting it nicely)but is that it or is there more? Their whole lives they are raised not to eventually leave their herd but instead by one shepherd to live in one family following one voice. There are no independent tendencies, no self sufficient upbringing. None of that is taught, just one family, one voice.

Maybe this all seems a little trivial but for me it's monumental. Realizing that my attempts at becoming independent are not in God's plans for us. Yes he wants us to contribute to life but not at the cost of dependence. It is when I become completely reliant on Him that I can hear His voice and know it to be Him. When I remove every self pretense, every prideful ambition, it all comes back to one thing...following. How can I follow if I don't know His voice and how can I know His voice if I'm living my life independently?

Thursday, September 11, 2008


We will never be the same.

Friday, September 5, 2008


I have often been one to say that my faith in God can not be dependent on the circumstances swirling around me. But I sometimes wonder how well I do in this department in my life. Do I allow circumstances to overwhelm me when I know God is speaking? Am I really willing to listen and follow even when it doesn't make sense or the conditions are uncomfortable? These are the moments of testing in our lives and the moments I can't stand yet I know that they are necessary. Sometimes we can make assumptions based on the circumstances in our life and say "it must be God". We get ready to go somewhere and our car breaks down and think to ourselves, "well maybe I wasn't suppose to go because if I was then my car would be working, so it must be God". Is that really how God works? Maybe but maybe not. How crazy is Noah for building the ark but how different would the story had been if he measured God based on the circumstances, or Jonathon going to fight the philistines with an armor-bearer and one sword.

I'm learning some valuable things in this season of my life:
1. Just when you think you have God all figured out, you don't
2. Circumstances will never dictate a response from God so you better pray before you assume because you know what happens when you assume?
3. Logic questions God, faith, real faith questions assumptions. (Mark Batterson Wild Goose Chase)

Saturday, August 30, 2008


My wife goes to work at Starbucks at 5am so I got up to make her coffee but then it hit me that she is going to the mecca of all coffee joints to work. What was I thinking. Oh well, I guess the good husband part still applies.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

House Party

Hung out with some of my favorite people tonight. I love students and love the students I get to hang out with every week. Tonight we talked about James 3 and the power of the tongue and our inability to control it. So if we can't control it then what are we to do? Here is what we came up with:

Pray- Fill our mouths with something other than gossip, profanity, slander, complaining so that our words can make Him smile.
Practice- Write out the areas we personally deal with and work towards the opposite (i.e. if I complain than work on speaking positive or if I gossip speak encouragement of others)
Patrol- Enlist others to hold you accountable for what you say. Tell them where you struggle and ask them to hold you to it and remind you to get back up when you fall.

I really love the fact that I get to share my life with these students and more importantly I get to share my passion for Christ with them. I can only hope that it rubs off and they are transformed by a God who is crazy about them!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Francis Chan...

Got this video from my friend Roy

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Worth It!

In my front yard is a tree that we just planted and somehow it is already dead! So here is the conversation between me and my wife:

Her: Why are you watering that tree?

Me: The lady at the tree farm said this might happen but to keep watering it.

Her: Jaime, it's dead, let's just call them and get a new one.

Me: No, Babe, they said this might happen and that it would blossom in the spring. We need to keep watering it even if it looks dead on the outside.

My point. I wonder how many people we minister to that just look dead on the outside and no matter how much we seem to pour into them nothing seems to change. I will admit that it gets discouraging to stand in front of my tree and I'm sure as people drive by it just looks plain stupid but the lady said it would be worth it. And God says it worth it to not give up on a life even when it looks dead. For those of you who live life to minister to people, don't lose heart when you don't see life, spring is just around the corner.

It's official!

The olympics are really messing up my internal clock but I have to say that I'm loving these games and I am totally hooked into the story lines.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Diving In!

Several years back I got the idea (can't remember where from) to ask some key people in my life to evaluate me as a person, and a leader. To help in the process I gave them specific questions to answer such as: If I worked for you where in your company would I best fit, and what role would you not put me in and why? Some of the answers I got back were, for the most part, accurate of my abilities. Deep down inside I knew what they were going to say before they said it. It was their assessment of me and it was their truth but it wasn't "defining truth". I may have wanted to be the CEO in their eyes but it wasn't the case for me.

I still go back and read those words, not to remind me of what I'm not good at or what I might need to improve, but instead I read those words to remind myself of what it is that not only others see in me but what I know to be true about me. For too many years I have focused on the areas of my life that need improvement when all along I should have been focusing on what is good and natural and how I can do that better. Paul said it best when he said, " my weaknesses His strength is made perfect".

The things I'm not good at or don't come natural just pave a way for God to be God in my life so I don't need to focus on my weak spots. Over the past year I have been pushed and prodded by God to be a better dad and husband. So I'm taking the plunge and I'm asking them the questions. Yes, it's going to be scary but I think for me it would be even scarier to stay ignorant to what they already know. So I'm diving into their truth so that I can focus on my strengths as a husband and father and let God be God in those weak spots!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Don't take this personal but....

Those are words at some point we have all heard. We prepare ourselves for what comes next and in the rush of a moment there is a flood of thoughts. Mostly, I attempt to detach myself from the non-sequential truth and cling to my defined truth in Christ. He says to me, "Sometimes you're pretty abrupt and you can come across like you know it all which only pushes people away". What a bomb shell. I guess deep down inside I knew that but I didn't want anyone pointing it out. In that moment I had two choices, take offense or take it to heart and change. It's been five years since that conversation and I still remember it like it was yesterday. I chose not to let those words define me but instead help to change me. It wasn't defining truth but it sure was a defining moment. I'm still not there, I still have moments where I can be a supreme jerk but every time I am the Holy Spirit reminds me and quickly takes me back to where I was. I wonder how many of us need some defining moments of truth that don't necessarily define us but they do changes us? Do you have anyone in your life that can speak truth like that even though it is hard to hear?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Floating thought

So this question popped in my head the other day and I've been trying to flush it out ever since:

Are we as people more afraid of rejection or more afraid of the truth of that rejection?

I'm going to try to dive into this thought over the next few days but it really has my head spinning so I have to consider it. Here is what I have so far:

When I was a kid I filtered everything I did through the lens of "what my friends would think". What I wore, what I said and how I said it was determined by them. I remember having to sell candy for school going from door to door and just hating it. I was always afraid of the "no" response but in my mind I pictured some big man screaming at me for disturbing his Swanson frozen dinner. Was it the no I was afraid? There is more to it than that. For me I was afraid of the possible truth associated with that rejection. Here is what I mean. I was the youngest of 3 sibling so that made me the baby of the family. I was fed well as a child which gave me a little pug. I had in the back of my mind thoughts of what people might say about me. You see, I knew I was fat I just didn't want anyone else to point it out for fear of embarrassment. My association to rejection, and for I believe many people, is tied to a truth. Let's face it, I was chunky. My life revolved around what my friends thought and the so-called truth of their thoughts. What I have learned over the years is that while it may have been truth it is not "defining truth".

Those truths associated with that fear of rejection absolutely never define us. Fat, ugly, dumb, not good enough, cocky, never wanted, annoying, uncool, and the list goes on. I might be chunky and yes I may not have been grace with Michael Phelp's body but so what! There is a truth that trumps that non-sequential truth. It's God truth. Who does he say I am? Who does he say who you are? Do you know? Have you bothered to look or are you walking around wondering what others think? In the end their truth won't matter. So who are you...really? What is your "defining truth"?

Monday, July 28, 2008

The taste of sin

It came on me like a flood. One minute I'm sitting talking with my pastor and the next I'm getting the sniffles. Within an hour it was a full blown head cold. I woke up this morning feeling like I had been hit by a mack truck. Sometimes i think these are good moments for me. I typically loose my taste buds and with those gone so is my appetite. I suddenly come to the realization that if food didn't taste and smell so good I probably wouldn't eat so much of it. In that moment I am reminded of the sin that so easily entangles us. The personal sins that each of us struggle with. We probably wouldn't struggle with it so much if it wasn't so good. It has been determined that eating food can give off a euphoric feeling that only last for a moment but leaves you wanting more. When we give into sin it has the same effect, leaving us wanting more. It smells and tastes good. Maybe I need more spiritual colds to remind me of my great need for a God who can cure my ailments.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Open Game

I received an email the other day telling me they couldn't leave a comment on my blog b/c they had to have an account. Not so anymore. I turned that feature off so feel free to comment!

Back in it!

Yikes! That was a big break from blogging! I found myself submersed in camp and then a nice week vacation. This is my first full week back at it and I feel completely recharged. So here is the rundown of vacation. The first couple of days we vegged and caught up on some sleep. One of those days we pitched our new tent in the back yard (not much of a camping family...yet...but we wanted to get our feet wet). I didn't think you would need the tarp to go over the top so we could look at the stars. Nice. By 3:30 in the morning we were all wet from the dew that formed and dropped the the screen mesh! But still a good time. Sunday we went to this small water park in southern Iowa and spent a couple of days there. After that we headed even further south to Peoria, Illinois to get our DVD player in our van fixed (no circuit city in Iowa, ugh!). Our plan was to go there get it fixed and drive home. But we found out while in route that their installation bay closes early and wasn't opening again until 2 days later. Oh well, we enjoyed a little unexpected vacay by going to the zoo, seeing the movie Walle and swimming in the hotel pool! And that was our vacation!

Monday, June 23, 2008

"It's Your Camp"

T-minus 4 days and counting. Can't wait, I know God is going to explode some paradigms and create some new relationship, take old ones deeper, and raise a generation that owns their faith!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Floods of '08

So here is some footage I shot while driving down the road. All of downtown is shut down. They are saying this is comparable to Katrina. Literally all of downtown is underwater. Pray for people who are losing everything. Pray that the churches in Cedar Rapids will be the church to the people of Cedar Rapids.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Grace isn't grace until it is given to someone who doesn't deserve it. Think about it, if someone wrongs you and apologizes grace is no longer there. But if someone wrongs you and never apologizes that is where grace is applied. God applied grace in my life long before I apologized and he still does it today knowing that I will make mistakes. Who in your life has wronged you and needs grace today?

13 For there will be no mercy for you if you have not been merciful to others. But if you have been merciful, then God's mercy toward you will win out over his judgment against you.
James 2:13 (NLT)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Much needed R&R

This Thursday I leave to go north with some families from church to some cabins in Wisconsin. Can't wait! It can't get here soon enough. Like most of my vacations I'm busting it to try and get all my stuff done. It's hard to focus when I know I have a break coming. Can't wait.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Kurt Warner @ CRFC

Kurt Warner spoke at church today. When his football career is over I can see him starting a church. He was a great communicator. You can listen to the message here.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Keeping track of the moment

So last night me and the boys were sitting in front of the t.v. being bums when their mom yells out, "Time for bed boys" and Caleb, my middle kid yells back, "Just a sec". Two minutes later Tami yells back, "Okay boys, it's really time for bed" and again Caleb yells back, "One sec" and then Tami responds, without hesitation, "No more secs!"....just say that word out loud and you'll get it!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Another one...

Here's another video we just did to raise money for camp. The things I will do for youth ministry...

All For Her

My wife, I don't deserve her but somehow I have her. The boys and I made this video for her.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Wow, what a day! Finally spring is in swing! Perfect weather, 75 degrees, no humidity. Awesome. I ran outside for the 1st time to the gym. Mowed my lawn, got a haircut and then just hung out outside the rest of the evening. And then I topped it all off with sleeping with the windows open. This is when I love Iowa!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Blueprints to Revolution

The blue prints of a building tell you a lot about the building itself. They define the space and everything within it. I can't sleep and my mind wanders sometimes. Tonight I'm thinking of who we call the "great men of faith". What set them apart? What made them different? As I began to probe that question I realized that all of them had unique encounters with God. They had their own "burning bush" experience. God met them individually right where they were. I look at some of them and nothing special comes to mind, a sheep herder, family man, loner, youngest of the bunch, cupbearer, christian hater, and the list goes on. For the most part they (those great men of faith) were anyone of us. So what really set them apart and made them be memorialized in the Bible? Simple, availability. They answered the call regardless of convenience, ability, or even rational thought. They trusted God's way was higher than theirs. No matter how you slice it even back then some of them had to have gotten some weird stares and funny comments.

I am convinced that not only did God write about those men to show us who he is but also to give us a blueprint for living. God never operates according to the rational person or for the sake of convenience and it's definitely not about ability. But somehow in this day and age a lot of "christians" are looking for God and at the same time expecting all of the pieces to the puzzle. We want God to act on our behalf but the truth is that whatever He does it has always been done to bring Him glory. Imagine if we stopped praying for God to fix our circumstances and started to pray for God to use us, no matter the cost. Yes, I'm sure we would see an influx of missionaries and ministry vocational people. But maybe we would also see people taking more risks in the current world in which they live. More men leading their families with passion and strong convictions. Maybe we would see a real and new movement of teenagers taking back what the enemy would try to steal from them. Revolution, is it possible? I believe so. I'm pulling the blueprints out, taking notes, letting go of inability and embracing availability. Imagine what it would be like if we stopped trying to rationalize our faith and embraced the uncertainty of our God. I want to make Him famous, how about you?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

3 words

There are a lot of things that God has gifted me with...okay maybe not a lot, a couple. Being a handy man is not one of them. It's so foreign to me. I'm a huge fan of HGTV but probably because they make it look so easy and deep down inside I wish I could do that stuff but it just isn't there. I have spent an entire day putting up a ceiling fan only to watch it fry from not being hooked up right. I once almost burned down my house with a simple power cord from a washer and the list goes on. I wish I was more, correction, I wish I was even a little handy. We just had a piece of our facia tear off our house and it looks like it's back to the 3 word motto that I tagged in our home, "pay the man". And that is my tip of the day.

Friday, April 25, 2008

I wonder....

What if one church decided to shut their doors for one weekend and told the people to go be a blessing to the community by taking their resources and their tithe to people in need? Maybe they were encouraged to go bless a single mom and buy her groceries and take them to her or seek out a low income hosing area and buy everyone a fan for their home. Or just show up to another church and let them know they are part of another church and take their tithe their for the week. What kind of impact would that have? I wonder....

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Just how big is the "C" in circumstance?

Life is riddled with circumstance, good and bad. I love the good stuff but don't we all? Yet in moments like today I'm not loving the bad but I'm learning to welcome it. More and more as I read scripture I'm struck with how awful some of those people had life and how circumstance was woven into the stages set for words to fall on pages. I believe all of us are fascinated with adversity and victory. Probably more fascinated when it is not our own but all the same still fascinated. We will watch a news cast to get the story, listen to a great communicator share his life or just watch a movie that depicts the adversity of life and victory over such things like Cinderella Man (good movie). Adversity draws us into the story but victory inspires us to live our own story. If this is true than it is circumstance that is the variable. I'm overtaken today by Christ. The circumstances he faced, the desire to give in and the will to follow his Father. He was a man, just a man. I'm reminded that this too shall pass. Circumstance fades and when the dust settles where are you? For me the reality of circumstances are overwhelming, the desire to give in is there but my will to follow my Father remains. Just how big is the "C" in my circumstance? Not nearly as big as the "C" in my Christ.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

One Prayer

Just read this off of Tim Stevens blog (Granger Church) Thanks Sam! I have never heard of anything like this before. I just talked to my pastor and we looked at the month of June when it happens and we are really considering this.

A Little peice of Home

Driving down the road the other day with the family we passed by a new building complex and happened to glance over and see what looked like the Beef O' Brady's sign. I was so stoked I had to turn around and make sure I wasn't seeing things and I wasn't! They are not open yet but by the looks of it I can tell they will be soon! I can't wait.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What are we teaching them?

I've been in youth ministry for 15 years now and I still haven't arrived at that auspicious place of knowing it all. So saying that here is the question, are we teaching them to run from those bad influences in life or are we teaching them to stand. I have to admit and say I think I've been teaching them to run. When talking about negative influences I've been teaching them to walk away or even run. Hear me out, I'm not talking about possible situations where someone might get hurt, I'm talking about the worldly influences. The everyday friend who doesn't have a relationship with God. The "bad apple". But again I always encourage them to be a "witness" but when I have a teenager or a group of them that seem to be getting pulled in by the influence the first thing I say is "run".
But what is that really saying? I think more than anything it says, "Hey, when the tough get". Don't pass go, don't even think about collecting 200 bucks, just run far from that situation and influence. But could we be sending the wrong message? Could we be telling people that when life gets tough, even as a christian, than run? Maybe what we should be doing is teaching people to stand in the midst of their adversity, to face it head on with Christ, to rejoice in suffering because we know suffering produces perseverance and that produces character and that in turn produces hope! The writer goes on to tell us that hope doesn't disappoint. Maybe it's time to rethink what it means to stand and what it means to run. Maybe this generation needs a renewed hope.

Worth a thousand words!

Friday, March 7, 2008

I quit!

This is one of those days! Honestly quitting is not hard for me to do. My dad would always say to me, "You can quit your job as much as you want as long as you get up and go to work tomorrow." I've learned to quit every once in a while, if anything it's therapeutic. There are days how ever that you wonder if all that you do is really worth it. As a pastor I am constantly putting my life out there being vulnerable in front of the masses and there are times when students or people connect with that. In those moments a mentor relationship is created and sometimes as life moves on it becomes a real friendship. I have enjoyed over the years being a mentor and then a friend to teenagers and then adults. But at the same time it's painful to watch them choose a path that leads them away from God. It hurts to know they are walking away when they were so close. In moments like that you just want to quit. You wonder why and what it's all for. There is hope, it's what I fight for everyday. I believe that God is working in his life and I hold to the hope he will come back to him. Today I quit and tomorrow I'll be back.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Growing Pains

I was reminded yesterday about growing pains from my oldest son who asked, "Dad, did you ever have pains in your knees when you were growing up" and I answered, "yes" and his next question, "How do you get rid of them?" and my answer, "You don't, they are a part of growing up and the pain comes with the territory". Our church is going through serious growing pains.There are changes in our worship team coming, growing out of our current facility, finances being tight, ministry on a shoestring budget and the list goes on. At points remembering back to my own growing pains as a kid I would give anything just to make them go away but now I realize that I would look much fatter at 4' than I do at 5'11". I'm thankful today for the growth even though I had to endure the pain.

We know that growing pains hurt and we also know that, for the most part they are worth it after we see the results. But what if we could see that in the midst of the pain. Could there really be joy in the midst of the journey? What would that look like? Well, I'll let you know so stay tuned...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

What's it like...

To have a place that you can call home and be so proud of that you would shout it from the mountain tops, telling everyone you know about how awesome your church is. That's what was happening in Thessalonians ch. 1. Paul is saying how wowed he is by all the stuff he his hearing about 3rd person. I love it when that happens. To this day I am still hearing about cool thing that are happening at my old church in Tampa and I think to myself, "How cool is that?" We need more people and more churches doing this. Churches that invite people into a place where they can meet God and have real transformation because of the cross and people who are so radically changed that they are telling everyone they see. Man, that is cool!

Knight Rider Rides Again

So I'm still on the fence with this one. I'm going to watch it but I'm a little skeptical. I mean, come on, who can replace Mr. Hasslehoff?! Okay any thoughts? Are you going to tune in?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Try this!

Found this on Corey Mann's blog. I can't do it but it really makes me laugh.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Go know you want to

James Chapter 4 says a mouthful but what gets me is what he says in verse 8:

Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you.
James 4:8 (NLT)

I know what it says but do I know what it means? Remember those Suzuki commericals where the kid is coloring and something is saying "stay within the lines" but the kid doesn't listen. I think it's more fun to color outside the lines but even more than that it's more creative. God made us that way. We are creative beings not intended to do the same thing over and over again. Variety in my relationship with God has been the best thing for me. I'm not sure I could handle the monotony of drawing close to him the same way everyday. I know that we must have some staples in our lives like healthy habits in order to connect like maybe a specific time of day or a particular place, but maybe it's time to explore some new ways to connect. Maybe it's showing up for a prayer meeting that you wouldn't normally go to or taking a walk through nature. I'm not sure what it is for you but for me I like to change it up and it works. So I'm going to keep getting creative and draw outside the lines a little more and watch God show up. Draw outside the lines.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Stop braggin and get wise!

Dang, sometimes you can read a scripture a hundred times and miss something. I love that about God. He never ceases to amaze me! Our culture and people in general have learned the how to's of just about everything from losing weight to boiling a pot of water. Read the fine print! James said in chapter 3:

13 If you are wise and understand God's ways, live a life of steady goodness so that only good deeds will pour forth. And if you don't brag about the good you do, then you will be truly wise!
James 3:13 (NLT)

Bam! You want wisdom go ahead and ask for it but here is the practical side of your prayer. This could be equated to the portion of us drawing close to Him. In black and white "live a life of steady goodness...and if you don't brag about the good you do, then you will be truly wise!" Hot diggity Dog! I love when God's word just slams unto me like that! I've gotta keep this in mind for today.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mercy vs. Judgment

James chapter 2 prescribed to me this morning a healthy dose of mercy. Verse 13 says,
"because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment."

That leaves me wondering, when am I not merciful? Than answer is when I forget my judgment. Stick with me. Recently I have found myself becoming a little frustrated sometimes with the students I minister to. They have so much great potential for God but they either don't see it or choose to ignore it. In moments of my frustration I want to jump up on my soap box and tell them what they are doing wrong and how to get it right. Can I stop right there for a second. That's where mercy escapes me. I've forgotten the fundamental thing I deserve, death. I'm flawed and always will be to some degree or another. I haven't arrived as much as I think I have. I'm not all that. But when I get around people that are flawed in areas that maybe I used to be but not so much anymore I get an unrealistic expectation that they should not have that flaw. Why is that? Do I think my flaws aren't as bad as theirs are? How dumb is that.

Mercy comes down to one word, awareness. If I am aware of how flawed I am and how much I need God's mercy in my life I will be more quick to extend the same mercy that I am so in need of. Father, may your mercy prevail over my life and may I become evermore aware of the judgment I deserve and yet the mercy you have given me. Help me to be filled with that mercy today. Amen.

Monday, January 21, 2008

James Ch. 1

What a Chapter! I think I could spend a month digesting it. But what stands out this morning is not what has hit me before. I know that life is more about addition than it is about subtraction. But at the same time it seems that Christianity is relegated to subtracting things from our lives. It's almost as though we sometimes measure holiness by how much sin we remove from our lives. For me it was easy to get caught in this trap. But today I'm challenging that thought in my life. While I know I have sin and I'm not attempting to remove the idea that I must stay away from it, I know that the Christian life can't be just about that. Where there is subtraction there must be addition. If someone wants to lose weight they subtract certain foods from there life but it can't stop there. I have seen that scenario so many times, I've even tried it, but it never works. Why? Because we forget the addition part. Lifestyle change. In order to have a real change than we must add something to our lives as well, exercise. I think we all know this but honestly I think it's harder to add than it is to subtract. Think about it, subtraction requires us to stop doing something but addition requires us change the way we do things.

All of this random thought because I read from James 1 this morning, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may become mature and complete, not lacking anything."

For me, I think I have spent too much of my life trying to subtract things from my life thinking that will bring holiness and keep me from trouble and make my life complete. But James tells us that a complete life and a mature life only comes from trials we face. It's not about how much sin I have subtracted from my life that will mature me. The complete life, the life lacking nothing is one that involves addition. Trials coming into our lives will do one of two things. It will either make us bitter or better. May I today count my trials as joy because the addition of perseverance in my life will mature me and leave me lacking nothing. That is my prayer today for all of my friends.

Friday, January 18, 2008


Dang, I'm 35 today! How did this happen? Life moves so fast that for some of us we live in regret. Doing the "I wish I had" or "If only". I made a promise to myself to never do that. The ride so far has not disappointed me. I can't wait to see what the next 35 years has to offer. Sorry for the long pause in my blogging.