One Thing

Posted: 29 March 12 in Uncategorized

“Do not banish me from your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.”
Psalm 51.11

With a hot cup of coffee to awaken my sleepy eyes and a whimpering dog to distract mind this early morning… I received a rather timely gut punch that overwhelmed even the strong coffee and weak dog.

This morning’s time with Jesus found me reading through Psalm 51, David’s plea to God for Him to grant mercy and forgiveness due to David’s lapse of judgement and unthinkable sins (yes that is very plural– we are talking adultery and murder in a matter of weeks).

In a moment of weakness, in a moment of brokenness, David cries out to God, begging that he would forgive, purify his heart, and that he would not take the Holy Spirit away from him.

“Don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.”

I’ve read this verse time and time again, I even have it memorized.  It is one that I always bring up when dealing with students who have stumbled, who have fallen, who have sinned against our great God.  

But this simple phrase gave me a swift punch to the gut this morning.  I felt the Lord simply asking me “Is my presence in your life the MOST important thing to you?” The obvious answer is yes, but when phrased another way, it really struck a chord: “If everything in your life was stripped away except for ONE thing, what would you choose?” My wife, my phone, my job, my family, Freebirds… My mind began to wander with so many things that have found great value in my life.  But if God were to take His Spirit away from my life, would I miss His presence? Would I miss His Power? Would I miss His sweet whispers in my heart??

I finished my coffee and put my dog away for the morning, and have been mulling over this one question, “Do I rely on God’s Spirit living within my life to SUCH a degree that I would miss Him if He were stripped away?”

God, thank you soo much for your incredible power that is living and is ACTIVE inside of me today. Your Spirit is our comforter in times of hurt; our encourager on difficult days; our strength to complete YOUR task; Your Spirit is our EVERYTHING. God, I beg of You, I need your Spirit, I need your breath living inside of me. May I never take that for granted. Thank You

Advertisements

Project X

Posted: 06 March 12 in Uncategorized

Open Letter to Parents!

Over the weekend, my curiosity was piqued as I was seeing rave reviews all over facebook given to a movie that opened this past weekend, Project X, by several students from all over our area.

  • Project X was LEGENDARY! Great movie 🙂
  • Project X was legit!!!
  • Bridgeport needs a party like Project X ;D
  • I want to party like Project X

So, I decided to do a little looking into this “legendary” movie, and all I found was that Project X is simply another attempt at our media mongers doing everything they can to sway the essence of cool among our teen culture.  NPR chimed into the discussion by adding that the movie “has its feet firmly planted in the lo-fi luridness of Girls Gone Wild and Backyard Wrestling, where the camera is only a primitive tool for capturing grainy, trashy spectacle.”  It went on to say that the masterminds behind this movie went to “the depths of hedonism by giving their teenagers free reign in their pursuit of happiness.” (NPR Article)

Earlier this week, I ran across a verse in 2 Peter, where, in an effort to demonstrate how righteous Lot truly was, it shared a beautiful insight into his heart.  Of Lot, it said that he “was tormented in his soul by the wickedness he saw and heard day after day.” (2:7)

Lot was tormented by the wickedness, by the lewdness, by the hedonistic behaviors that were found within his peers day after day.  As I look at our teen culture, combined with the agenda that our media is propagating, it truly torments my soul, breaks my heart, at the ease with which we are becoming desensitized.

Having said that, I have found an incredible resource that sheds great light on each and every movie that is shown on the silver screen.  It takes a birds-eye view into the good, the bad, and the ugly… helping you to make informed decisions on what is appropriate and what is not when it comes to movies, music, and so much more!! Plugged In Online is an incredible resource put out by Focus on the Family, check it out and let me know what you think. (http://www.pluggedin.com/)

Parents, know I pray for you daily. I pray that God would continue to give you wisdom and discernment as you raise teenagers today. I pray that God would break your heart of the things that breaks HIS HEART. I pray that God would use YOUR TEEN to change what is normal and accepted in our current culture.

Parents, we are in a fight, we are in an all-out war… Know I’m fighting with you- and I AM FOR YOU!!

Thanks soo much for allowing me to serve you guys

Scripture Memory Challenge
Week of January 08

Every Sunday evening, I’ll post a new scripture for us to memorize.

Romans 11:34-36
“Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.”

Posted: 08 January 12 in Uncategorized
Tags:

Friday Five: Favorite Starbucks’ Drinks!

  1. White Chocolate Mocha
  2. Caramel Macchiato
  3. Tuxedo Mocha
  4. Vanilla Bean Frappuccino
  5. Pike’s Place Drip Coffee
What’s fits your fancy when you walk into Starbucks??
Do they know you by name yet??

A Little Jonah In All Of Us

Last night, we began walking through the book of Jonah with our high school students!

While the legacy of Jonah’s life involves him RUNNING from God and not being quick to obey God, his story strikes closer to home than many of us want to believe.  God’s message to Jonah at this particular time was simple, “Go to Nineveh and announce God’s judgment against it due to their wickedness.”  Rather than follow God’s command, Jonah found a ship and went the opposite direction.

What was Jonah thinking?
Why would Jonah think running from God was a good thing?
What an idiot?
I would have never made such a bonehead move!!
HA!!

Those are just a few of the questions that have flooded my mind in regards to Jonah and his poor choices.  But, after looking deeper into the life, into the story, into the narrative of Jonah, I found that this decision was not as simple as it might seem.

Nineveh! Nineveh is not just any city, it was the capital of the Assyrian Empire.  The Assyrian Empire is not just an ole empire, they were the foremost enemy of the Israelites at this time.  God’s command was to send an Israelite into the enemies territory and tell them how bad they are and that the God of the Israelites is going to judge them for their wickedness!

But that wasn’t enough.  The Assyrian Empire had the reputation of being the big bully, of torturing and overtaking anyone of their choosing.  At times, if it was merely rumored that the Assyrians were coming to your town, the unfortunate people within the town would orchestrate a mass suicide to avoid the humility and torture that the Assyrians would bring.

The Assyrian Empire was an extremely wicked empire.

And Nineveh, the chosen destination for our Jonah, was the capital of this wicked empire.

For all we know, Jonah’s fleeing from God’s command could have been based upon past encounters with this empire.  He very likely could have lost a family member or friend at the hands of the Assyrian Empire; fueling a deep seated hatred towards this people group.

Jonah, after hearing God’s command, decided that he knew best what to do.
Jonah, after hearing God speak into his life, decided that on this specific occasion, God’s command was merely a suggestion.

Just like God spoke into the life of Jonah, He is constantly speaking into our lives as well.  The Psalmist David reminds us that God’s thoughts and ideas for OUR LIFE outnumber the sand on the sea shore… God thinks about us, dreams about what could be, and challenges us regularly with his thoughts.  God speaks directly into our hearts with truth.

But- sometimes, the word God has for us doesn’t make since in our life, or might simply be something we that we have absolutely no desire to see accomplished.

God speaks into our friendships, our habits, our family, our relationships, our future, our EVERYTHING!!

But rather than trust God that HE knows best, it is easier for us to trust our own intuition.  God sees the whole picture in context- we see simply the here and now.  God’s hopes and dreams for each and everyone of us is not to make this life difficult and miserable, rather to give us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

Yet, we often find a little bit of Jonah in ourselves.

Jonah’s known for running from God, for fleeing from God.  When faced with a scenario that did not make since, when faced with a choice that potentially could bring harm to his life, Jonah did what almost any of us would do, he ran the opposite direction.

Let me contend with you, as we take on this new year, God has an incredible Word, an incredible challenge for you in 2012.  God’s challenge for you might not make sense in the here and now, but as we trust God and follow his direction in our life, we will truly see that God does know best!!

So Question to think about— What is it that God is asking of you? What is God saying to your heart of hearts?? Will you TRUST Him or will you run??

Scripture Memory Challenge
Week of January 01

Happy New Year!!

Every Sunday evening, I’ll post a new scripture for us to memorize.

Luke 9:23
“Then he said to them all:
‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves
and take up their cross daily and follow me.’

Posted: 01 January 12 in Uncategorized
Tags:

January 01, 2012…

With every new year, we find ourselves making resolutions, pseudo-commitments if you will, that will absolutely make us healthier, wiser, more spiritual if completed.  But rather than than boosting our morale, they simply beat us down and prove our inability to persevere.

So, with that being said, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Dr. Harry Piland, a former pastor and seminary professor, once put together a list of things he would do differently if he was given a mulligan at life and got to start his ministry over from the beginning.  I took his list, and rather than saying would, I made it an active goal for the coming year…

  1. I will spend more time with great men and women of God.
  2. I will spend more time with the Lord in prayer and Bible Study.
  3. I will spend more time with my family, take a regular day off and take my vacation.
  4. I will put people ahead of process and programs.
  5. I will make love my guideline in building relationships. The greatest force in the world is love.
  6. I will learn the lesson of the towel and use it as a leader.
  7. I will seek to maintain personal integrity no matter what!
  8. I will lift up evangelism as the priority of the church.
  9. I will absolutely build teams.
  10. I will take care of my body, mind & soul.
  11. I will never give up!
  12. I will trust the Father.

Wishing you a happy new year! May we, together, make 2012 a year of significant growth: spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally!

Scripture Memory Review

Posted: 25 December 11 in Uncategorized
Tags:

Scripture Memory Challenge: (Review)

Let’s look back at what we have memorized:

Keep it up- remain steadfast in your love for scripture and your memorization of it!!!

Dear Left-Lane Driver,

It is obvious that you have a gift, maybe not to drive… but to sing. Its soo obvious, it just naturally comes alive as you nod your head while dancing away in your seat belt… not to mention the rich cadence created by the swerving of your car over the rumble strips. Remarkable.

But one word of advice. Concerts are better suited for the RIGHT LANE than the left lane! For only in the right lane is it is a true treat for each and every passerby, rather than bringing a scowl to the face of each and every tailgater.

Signed,
Your #1 fan

Friday Five: Top Five Posts of 2011

Here are a few of the most popular blog entries from this past year. I hope you enjoy.

  1. It’s Just A Bracelet 
  2. Do You Know Where Your Wife Is?
  3. Friday Five: Books
  4. Silence the Questions
  5. The Be’s Of Ephesians

I hope You have a very Merry Christmas!!