Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Thoughts of the Day

2009 is quickly coming to a close and 2010 is just days away. Pastor Steve asked the question at the beginning of the year that is now coming back for review in my heart, he asked, "What history will you make in 2009?" Now that it is over there is the reality slap of looking back and asking that question in light of the facts and events of 2009. What did I build? What personal growth happened in my life this year? Who did I touch? Did compassion mark my life and actions? What books did I read? What relationships was I intentional in investing in? Who did I share Christ with? Did I open up my home? Did I feed the hungry? Was I a comforter to the broken hearted? Did I encourage and uphold the weak?

Question after question rolls through my heart as I look out the window into the early morning hours. Snow covers the ground and I know now is the time to evaluate the past year and begin to make the plan for 2010. A plan involves strategy, timing and hearing God. As King David asked time and time again during his recorded life "Lord, shall I go up? Will You go with me?" King David knew that without God going with him his efforts where in vain and any plan he made without the imprinting of God would end in disaster and barrenness.

I am prone to be the one who is landlocked for fear of failing, coming up short or missing the will and plan of God. Play it safe and do what you know you can accomplish so there is no chance of failing - that is the tendency I resort to. Last night I sat at the table in my room in the dark watching snow fall in soft waves as I brought this place in my heart before the Lord. How do you know what you are born to do? The place of dreaming and asking God His plan for my life has been mainly nonexistent for me. I believe I have not had the courage to look into what God has for me and believe that He could do it with my life. I who is broken and ashamed of places I have failed … and failed repeatedly. Could one such as I make a difference? Could it be possible to make a mark on the world that washes up on the shores of eternity? To live for something greater then myself, my own gain and agenda? On such questions I ponder in the back of my mind while my present contends to keep me living in status quo to preoccupied with the trivial pursuits and routine tasks of life to take action on such thoughts. But why not? If God's Word is true, as I believe it to be, then Paul rightly and accurately portrays the nature and character of God when he writes in Philippians 1:6 "I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will being it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Church Today

Today started like most Sunday do. Get up, find some breakfast and coffee if your lucky enough to have time and rush out the door to the house of the Lord. I love Sundays. I am always amazed that I walk into church and find myself in the presence of the King of the WHOLE universe! I mean think about that for a second - like REALLY stop to think about that! I have access to God Almighty anytime and anyplace I want to. Today, I was excited to join other believers in worship and be challenged by the Word of God that constantly comes to adjust and change my life. We are currently in a series called The Paramount Family and today was about God's heart towards the single parent homes. It was great. At the end, all of the single parents come forward and the church surged around them to ask first for some practical needs that we, as the church body, could meet and then to pray for and bless them. I prayed for a young mother of 3. When the Bible talks about it being better to give then to receive - it speaks truth (as the Bible always does). The single mother gave us a list of needs with everything on it from her children needing winter coats, a car payment needing made and a need for a day job so she could be home with her children at night. It changed my life to watch the 12 or so of us that had gathered around her dividing up the needs and all coming on board to help her and bless her. I looked around at all the pockets of people meeting both the practical and spiritual needs of the dozens of single parents and thought "Now this is church!"

Monday, May 25, 2009

Clear or Murky?

This week is the start of a new season in my life. I am starting a new job. One that, to be honest, I don't really know what to expect. There are many "new" things I will have to adjust to in the upcoming few weeks. Things like working for the State. I have never worked for the State or any form of government before...that is new. I have an "office cubical" for a work station. Also, very new. I will also be working in an office with people. This one might sound simple to you, but I have never been in this situation before. I have spent the last two years working for a family excavation company and was largely the only one in the office. My dad would spend some time in there drafting up estimates, but mainly...just me.

This week is the start of a whole new dynamic in my life and one quite frankly I am looking forward too. Its not because I love new things and am easily board, but because I love people. The last few years I have developed a deep love for people. Now, people are also the hardest part of my life to be sure, but I love them. I am amazed at how much God loves each and every person. Often I am very distracted when I am at a store or a restaurant and I start thinking about all the people that come and go around me. I wonder about their family. Did they laugh today? What is their story? Are they loved? Do they love? Do they know the purpose of God for their life? Do they know Jesus as Lord and Savior of their life? Are they hurting? I will walk through a store and at times forget why I am even there because I get so caught up in thinking about the people I see.

My new job is going to present the opportunity to love people in my work place like I haven't been able to do for the last two years. With that exciting thought I also have to think about how well I represent Jesus to them.

Proverbs 25:26
"A righteous man who falters before the wicked is like a murky spring and a polluted well."

According to Proverbs I will either be clear water that they can drink from or a polluted well. With all my heart I desire that people would find Jesus as a result of my life...and that is determined by the conduct of my life on my first day of work and all the days that follow.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Over the course of the Define Conference that The NXT youth church hosted I had an experience that was a "moment" in my life. What I mean by that is that there are times when the Holy Spirit drops something in my heart that is a loving rebuke yet has quite a sting to it...I call them "moments". The bible tells us that God corrects those He loves and as I look back on this experience I see that because God loves me is why He would come to confront and correct me.

You see, I was entrusted with a key. Not just any key, but one of great value - the master key. This key would open every door in the building and gave me full access to all areas of the church
and as the main administrator and coordinator for the Conference having all access was crucial.

It was Tuesday night and I had been at the church since I had gotten off of work that evening setting up and tying up all the lose ends that needed to be done so things would go smoothly the next day. Time had raced by and it was after 2am when we battened down the hatches to all headed home for a few hours of sleep.

On my way home I realized that I had left my phone on my desk at the church. I turned around to go retrieve my phone since, after all, I had the master key. I reached down and picked up the key only to fumble it and drop it...not a big deal right? I spent the next 2o minutes in the dark parking lot of the church trying to locate the key. Unable to find it I drive home, pull out my caving headlamp and search for another 30 minutes. Still no key so I call it a night and head to bed for 2 hours of sleep. Morning comes and I again search for the key, my roommate looked for it and throughout the course of the morning there were 6 different people that combed through my car looking for the lost master key. The key was gone.

Let me tell you the sick feeling in my stomach knowing that I would have to tell Pastor Taunia that on the very night she entrusted me with the master key I lost it. All morning I stressed over the lost key - even in the crazy stuff that needed to get done for the conference it was this constant nagging in my mind ... where is the lost key and what will Pastor Taunia say when I have to give an account?

During my worries over a lost key the Holy Spirit dropped in my heart a very clear thought. The thought was this: "You are more worried about the lost key and how you have to face Pastor Taunia and give an account then you are over lost people and that you will face Me and give account for your life and time." Talk about the wind getting knocked out of you. The story of the 1 lost sheep came to mind and how the shepherd left the 99 to go and find the one. As I sat there stunned at my shallowness - I was way more concerned at how losing the key would effect what my pastors thought of me and my leadership then I was with the lost people I had contact with every day. The lost key was consuming my mind - lost people did not.

I was adjusted in my heart that morning and I had to ask myself, "why do I do what I do? What is the reason behind all this administration stuff and all these tasks?" People. It all comes back to loving what God loves and giving your life for something bigger and greater then yourself. The rest of that day at the Define Conference I tried really had to take time for the people that came across my path...because after all people are what count.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

If Today Was Your Last

February 9, 2009

I spend the better part of this afternoon in the ER with my grandpa. And in the course of blood test, doctors coming in and out, nurses doing what they do I had an abundance of time to ponder the thought of the fragility of life. There is nothing like staring death in the face to have the reality of life come to the surface. There was a magazine sitting on the counter of the ER room that highlighted some of the Hollywood stars and what their 2008 year was like. After an hour or two I picked it up and flipped through it and was shocked at what was “important” in the eyes of the world. I continued to look from the magazine to the tired pain filled face of my grandpa and was so disgusted with what culture was trying to pass off as the “important things in life”.

Growing up we didn’t have cable TV in our house and movies were the rare occasion when I was a young child. Mom and dad would be out for the evening and inevitably my sister, brother and I would talk the babysitter into letting us waist the evening and watch a movie or two. In the moment it would be great fun, but about the time mom and dad were supposed to be home it was the mad dash to finish the chores, clean the kitchen, read our proverbs and be in bed on time like we needed to. I remember the feeling of having done what I wanted to do and not what I needed to and when time ran out … time just ran out. Mom and Dad were home and we had to give account for our time and what we did…or what we didn’t do.

When you are looking at the end of your life and all you have to look at is what is behind you and the days you have already lived things like fashion, the perfect body, popularity, positions, vacations, cars, houses…everything that most of us spend our life trying to obtain are worthless, empty and at best a vanishing vapor.

James 4:14 “Whereas you don’t not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”

Before we left for the hospital grandma made the statement that God knows the day that is our last…on the tail of that she said “I wonder if we would live different if we knew the exact time and day that we would die?” That thought has been the fuel for the majority of my pondering today. If I knew that in exactly two years three days and ten hours I would be dead…how would I live? What would I do with that time? Who would I talk to? How would I treat people? What would I do with my money? What would be the legacy I would leave behind? Would eternity be marked in anyway by my life?

In Rick Zachary’s book The Master Of Relationships he makes a profound statement on what really matter in life - “There is only one thing I can give that will increase the kingdom, and that is the soul of another human being.”

The truth is I don’t know when my last day is…but I do know that it is a day that will come sooner or latter. What will I spend my life on? I am the one who will stand accountable for the days of my life and what I did with them. How about you? If today was your last would you be satisfied with the work of your hands and what your life represented?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Psalms 31:24

“Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the LORD.”

Courage: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty

I have found in the last few weeks as the church as a whole has been engaged in prayer and fasting that there are things in my life that have taken some courage to face and conquer. God is layer by layer working through some issues in my life that have been tackled before, but like a wave of the sea that comes in and then rushes back to the depths of the ocean, I have faced them with force, but lacked the courage and perseverance to follow them through to the end.

I read the story of David and his defeat of Goliath and the Bible never states that David was less then courageous in the midst of facing the biggest giant to date in his young life. But I have to wonder if there was a moment or two that David despite any fear or intimidation he may have felt had to gather his courage to face Goliath.

1 Corinthians 16:13

“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.”

Joshua 1:6-7

“Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you: do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.”

I find that there is the strength and grace to fully slay the giants in life when I am willing to gather my courage and face them head on with the intent to destroy and remove them…not just cause them recede for a time.