Thursday, December 31, 2009

Quotables Day 3

"It's not what you do once in a while, it's what you do day in and day out that makes the difference."
-Jenny Craig

Yes-I know that I just quoted Jenny Craig, but the principle is true on so many levels.

When I worked in athletics and was fortunate to be part of multiple state championships, coaches and athletes alike would tell you that championships were not won because we showed up at the big game and had good athletes.  It began in the offseason while in the weight room and in the preparation that goes into it ahead of time.

A successful marriage is not had because you do great things for your husband/wife on your anniversary or because you have a romantic date night once a week.  It happens when you love each other, pray for & with each other, and communicate on a daily basis.

Being a godly parent and raising godly children doesn't happen because we take them to church on Sunday or have a special day.  It's in the teachable moments throughout their lives and in the way that we show them how much we love them unconditionally each day of the week.

Being a pastor that makes a difference in the lives of those around you doesn't happen because you are a great communicator and preached a message that blew their socks off on Sunday.  It happens when you are daily in God's Word and when you are a minister to people each day of the week in the middle of their needs.

Becoming a committed follower of Christ doesn't happen when we turn God into a vending machine to be there for us when our times get tough.  It is through the daily discipline of constantly seeking His leadership and guidance and asking for Him to transform us into His likeness that we truly gain a relationship that is consistently authentic.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Quotables Day 2

"My life is my message."  Mahatma Ghandi

Seems pretty simple doesn't it?  No matter what we might aim to be or do, the life that we actually live will describe who we are.  I can stand and proclaim that I desire to be a dedicated Christ-follower, a loving and encouraging husband, a Christ-like father to my children, and a great pastor.  Unless the choices that I make each day reflect those desires, my life will send another message entirely.  It is difficult to see what we are sending to those around us (we are in the middle of our own lives after all and not merely spectators watching from the outside) but if we want to accurately represent our life ambitions, we must give thought to the life that we lead.  It brings to mind one of my favorite verses-Philippians 1:21, "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


When I worked at the high school I would gather my athletic training staff before our Friday night football games to give them their game-time assignments, pray as a group, and challenge them with a leadership quote for the evening.  I have collected those quotes throughout the years and thought that I would devote a week of blogging to throwing out a quote each day and issuing a challenge based on it.  Interesting to readers or not, here it goes:

"The great end of life is not knowledge, but action." T.H. Huxley

I heard a pastor share the thought that the American church is filled with the most well-read and educated believers that the world has ever seen.  The unfortunate part, he continued to say, is that the same group of believers is also less willing to put what they know into action.  If you were to venture into any bookstore you would find volumes of books dedicated to better prayer lives, healing, repentance, restoration, how to have a godly marriage, etc.  The question (and one that I like to ask people all the time) is: What are you going to do with it? 

It's nice to sit in church and not miss a Sunday.  It's admirable to say that you haven't missed a Bible study/Sunday school in the last 25 years.  It's good to know that you read your Bible every day and have read through the whole Bible 156 times.  What are you doing with what you have learned?  How has the knowledge of God transformed your life to the point where you care for others?  God did not call us to be students only.  The point of knowledge is to lead to a change of lifestyle that is more Christ-like and has an impact on the people around us.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Final Sunday Reflections of 2009

We are at the last Sunday of 2009 and the last blog of reflections.  There will be a blog reflecting on all that 2009 has brought to us at some point, but we'll focus on the weekend a few Christmas thoughts for now:

  • Our family celebrated our very 1st Christmas Eve service this past week-what a true blessing! We have always been out of town and it was incredible to take part in this worship with Northridge
  • We are surrounded by an incredibly loving group of friends & family-they amaze me with their generosity and true appreciation for our family
  • It was a great Christmas for us-blending old traditions and establishing new ones for our family
  • My wife put on one heck of a feast on Christmas Eve after service!
  • I love to watch the joy in the faces of those receiving gifts-that is why I prefer to give instead of get!
  • Christmas with cold weather is just the way I think it should be done-I love that we can have a fire rolling in our fireplace all day
  • I am so blessed to work under the leadership of a godly man like Mike-he has helped to make me a better pastor and communicator
  • We had a two-headed sermon in service today as Mike & I had a "Fireside Chat" style of message
  • I pray the people will take seriously their commitment to feeding themselves and feeding others this coming year
  • I love a good acoustic worship set-something about the simplicity of it that is a nice change of pace
  • I see great things in store for Northridge in 2010-can't wait to see God blow the doors off and do more than we could possibly ask or imagine

Thursday, December 24, 2009

More Than I Deserve

My 15th wedding anniversary was Tuesday of this week.  It's one of those odd feelings-I can't believe we have been together for that long & I also don't remember being without her.  We have been through tough times & times of blessing and God has continually reinforced our love for each other through it all. 

I can attest to the fact that we didn't think we would be where we today when we started this journey a decade and a half ago, but I couldn't ask for a better traveling partner.  She is a fantastic mother, loving wife, my best friend and lover, and most importantly, a woman pursuing God's heart.  I thank God for the gift of my wife and how He brought us together. 

I love you Dana.  Thank you for the best 15 years of my life so far.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sunday Reflections Again

Alright-it's official.  I am a blogging slacker.  Not only have I not blogged since last week I am also a day late (again) on my Sunday reflections.  I'm not a big resolutions guy, but I do want to be better about this and will be finding a way for that to come true.  Having said that here we go:

  • It seems as if we have Florida guests every week, but I can tell you that it never gets old
  • We spent the bulk of Saturday talking with Richard Walker & his nephew Aaron Breeding-Aaron has been to Arizona with me two times & is a truly incredible young man & I can't say enough good things about Richard and his friendship
  • We spent Saturday night talking away with the Herbruck family after they arrive-what great friends & it is so positive to see what God is doing in their lives-I miss leading worship with Sam & Jesse-what talented musicians that are gonna rock the house for God!
  • This was our first year seeing the Live Nativity @ Northridge (obviously) and it was a very cool experience-I am certain it impacted the community as we saw many people coming through
  • I love a church that is passionate about helping those in need-our Christmas party for Midway Elementary was a huge success-big shout-out to Tish McKenzie for pulling it all together!
  • I love sharing God's Word-not because of anything that it does for me (which it does), but because it is my calling and I treasure every opportunity to steer someone to Christ
  • Any time you can end (or begin) a service with a baptism it's a good day!
  • I truly have a sense of peace concerning our events of the past 3 months-our God is so good to work in our circumstances-I am truly thankful that He is bigger than our intentions!
  • God is starting to give me a vision of the future here at Northridge & I can't wait to see Him bring it into reality!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sunday Reflections....on Monday

Running a day behind in my weekly reflections, so without further adieu...

  • Tailgate party on Friday night was a huge success! Had about 60 people turn out for great food, fire & fun!
  • Another visit from good Florida friends-Jennifer Chamberlain & Mariah Dennis-always does me good to see friends who remain friends across the miles
  • The weather took a turn here in Georgia-cold and rainy and I enjoyed the change
  • We were able to have a fire in our fireplace here-looking forward to more of that!
  • It is an immense pleasure to worship here at Northridge each week-God is certainly moving!
  • Mike's message was dead on-don't live in fear, but have joy in God!
  • Who knew Mike was afraid of horses?  Go figure.
  • The video clip from Matt Chandler (pastor at The Village Church) was beautiful each service-I've actually seen it at least 1/2 a dozen times & it is powerful each time.
  • Being part of this team here is such a sign of God's great plan for all of our lives if we will just be obedient enough to follow
  • The generosity of people here continues to blow me away-someone anonymously gave our children's director & her family a brand new oven that they have needed for over a year
  • A lazy evening laying around with my wife is the perfect ending to a busy weekend-never gets old!

Friday, December 11, 2009

If It Makes You Happy

Isn't it an interesting little paradox that many of the people walking around in this world that have this great hope in Christ actually act the most miserable? I've often thought it ironic when we profess this confidence in Christ and in God's plan for our lives and yet don't act as if we believe it to be true. Every time I hear Sheryl Crow's old song it rings true-"if it makes you happy, why the heck are you so sad" (edited here for children's sake).

If we truly believe that our souls are saved and that we need to share that truth with others in the world, we should probably share the joy that comes with it.  Having that peace that Jesus describes means maintaining our attitude through good & bad times-that we are consistent in our joy. Kind of hard to convince others of the right way of life if we don't act like we believe it either. 

"Rejoice. And again I say-rejoice." Philippians 4:4

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

God With Us

Who are we--- that You would be mindful of us?
at do You see--- that's worth looking our way?

We are free--- in ways that we never should be.
Sweet release--- from the grip of these chains.

Like hinges straining from the weight,
My heart no longer can keep from singing.

All that is within me cries
For You alone be glorified:
Emmanuel, God with us.

My heart sings a brand new song.
The debt is paid, these chains are gone.
Emmanuel, God with us.

Lord, You know--- our hearts don't deserve Your glory;
Still You show--- a love we cannot afford.

Like hinges straining from the weight,
My heart no longer can keep from singing.

All that is within me cries
For You alone be glorified:
Emmanuel, God with us.

My heart sings a brand new song.
The debt is paid, these chains are gone.
Emmanuel, God with us.

Such a tiny offering
Compared to Calvary;
We lay it at Your feet.

All that is within me cries
For You alone be glorified:
Emmanuel, God with us.

My heart sings a brand new song.
My debt is paid, these chains are gone.
Emmanuel, God with us.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Big Prayers

I am praying big prayers this morning & want to continue to do the same each day.  It is easy to fall into the pedestrian trap of simple prayers with easy answers, but that is not the faith that God is calling us to have.  I see the need for the mighty hand of God to be upon us and for us to lift up petitions to Him that when answered, will surely show how incredible He truly is.  Some of my prayers are for my personal life & many are for ministry here at Northridge.  I know that I am incapable of answering them on my own & I trust that my God is faithful to hear me and to provide the answer.  Here is a brief list of the things that I am praying for:
  • My children to grow up into godly women who are passionately in love with Christ
  • For me to be the Christian husband that my wife needs for her own spiritual development
  • For my relatives to discover Christ through whatever means necessary so that they too can know what it means to live with Him and for Him
  • For us to be rid of a house in Florida so that it no longer hangs over our heads
  • A youth ministry at Northridge that is bigger than we could ever dream about
  • A youth ministry that has a reputation of being genuinely & passionately in love with Christ
  • A youth ministry that brings their friends to Jesus through their open & transparent relationship with Him
  • A church that understands it is not about us-it is about the King of Kings and His calling & mission for our lives
  • A church that continues to grow quickly-not just in attendance & numbers of decisions, but in depth of spiritual relationship with God
  • A church staff to increase with the right mix of talents & gifts to see God's great work done here in Baldwin County
  • A revival to take place that puts Baldwin County on the map as a place that belongs to God.
For any of these to happen I know that I (we) need to commit ourselves to prayer.  The efforts of men will only carry so far, but with the power of God nothing is impossible.  Show us, Father, things that will rock our world and blow our imaginations!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sunday Reflections

Alright-I truly have to get better at blogging my thoughts throughout the week and not just relying on the Sunday tradition.  Having said that-here goes:

  • Weather has turned deliciously cool here-woke to 26 degrees this morning!
  • Got another visit from Florida friends-Cody Davidson & buddies stopped by on their way to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game-I'm very proud of the godly man that he has become!
  • Thoroughly enjoyed the staff Christmas party at the Waers house-what a great family to be part of!
  • Celebrating Advent as a church is a great reflection on some of the traditions of Christmas
  • Mike flat out brought it in teaching about love this morning-way to challenge a church let go of prejudices!
  • I love it when we can start or end a service with a baptism-lots of young people committing their lives to Christ
  • Had our first team meeting for the Arizona mission trip-23 excited people preparing to head out in to the mission field-many of them for the very first time-I know God is going to do great things through this group
  • My oldest daughter is growing up far too quickly (they all are) and finding her place here in the youth at Northridge
  • I am so blessed to have an incredible wife & daughters-much better than I deserve

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday Reflections-Thankgiving Style

Been a busy week with Thanksgiving so I'll cheat a little bit and throw some of that in there too:

  • Traveled to Nashville, TN to spend Thanksgiving with my in-laws-first time we were close enough to do that
  • The trip to Nashville is only about 5 hours from our house, but with traffic took 6 1/2.  'Nuff said.
  • My mom & stepfather made it up for their first visit on Saturday-long drive from Fort Pierce for the
  • With my family in town we had our 2nd Thanksgiving dinner-this time at our place-I seriously have to lose some weight
  • Set up our Christmas tree today-made my wife & children very happy!
  • It is always an honor to speak God's Word whether it is for the adult worship services or for youth-today was no exception
  • We are celebrating Advent as a church & also as a family-it is a tradition we have observed as a family for several years now
  • The message of hope from Isaiah 9 is one that I need to be reminded of daily & I pray that people at Northridge heard that from God today
  • What a great worship set this morning-we have truly gifted worship leaders able to adjust on the fly!
  • It is always an incredible blessing to start a service with a baptism-especially one of our youth stepping forward to commit her life to Christ!
  • God is doing an incredible work here in Milledgeville-praying that we don't do anything to disrupt what He is doing!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Not my normal nature to be cliche, but here is the list of things I am thankful for:

  • A God that loves me in spite of my many faults & wants me to be with Him
  • My best friend & wife-my life wouldn't be the same without her beside me
  • Three incredibly beautiful & gifted daughters-my heart fills with love every time I think of them
  • A family (mom, step-father, sisters, brothers, in-laws) who simply love me for me
  • Northridge Christian Church accepting us so quickly and pushing forward together as a team to reach the lost in Milledgeville
  • Friends from Florida that still love us across the miles & regardless of recent circumstances
  • A beautiful home to help ease the transition to a new life
  • Fond memories of family that are no longer with us-grandparents & parents that have helped to shape me into who I am today
  • A God that promises not to waste any hurts that we have experienced, but to instead turn it into something powerful for Him
  • Good food to celebrate a day of thanks

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Another Sunday edition of reflections from Milledgeville, Georgia
  • Very chilly & rainy day here--good for blankets & chilling at the end of the weekend
  • Middle school bonfire last night was a blast
  • Middle school girls showing up to help decorate a tree for Angel Tree blesses me-the youth ministry here is gonna blow up!
  • Unique service today-songs of praise with prayer, communion & thanksgiving throughout
  • Michelle poured her heart out for families & being thankful-great stuff!
  • Matthew brought a phenomenal focus on communion & salvation as part of worship
  • We are blessed to have Mike leading us-the church is heading in the right direction!
  • God is doing incredible things through Northridge-it is humbling to be a very small part of it!
  • Excitement for the Arizona spring break high school mission trip is ramping up-several deposits paid today & more people signing up this week!
  • Today has reminded me of the many things that I am thankful for-it has been a tough 3 months, but God is still good

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Man I Want to Be

I think quite a bit about the man that I want to be.  Not that I am totally dissatisfied with who I am, but I also know that there is great room for improvement.  I think it is important for me to have that personal vision so that I know what I am working towards.  For accountability and clarification sake I have a short (albeit incomplete) list, in no particular order:

  • Financially wise
  • Giving & generous
  • Even tempered
  • Prayerful
  • Loving & faithful husband
  • Loving father
  • Disciplined
  • Healthy habits
  • Visionary
  • Confident in God
  • Compassionate
I'm sure that some people could add things to my list, but it is more important to have your own.  It's difficult to go on a journey of discovery and growth if you don't know where you are headed.  So many people flounder in life (both physically & spiritually) because they don't have a clear vision for where they are going.  I see youth and adults continually make bad decisions that cause pain and anguish because they don't have a concept of who they want to become and more importantly, who God desires them to be.

Spending the time to prayerfully consider the person you want to be might seem discouraging when compared to your present state, but I find that it motivates you down the path that God truly wants you to travel.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday Reflections

God just keeps doing it and it is amazing to be a part of something that is so powerful!
  • Three baptisms to open up the 2nd service today-three young people leading the way with their commitment to Christ!
  • Intense message on true worship from Revelation 4 & 5-the Holy Spirit was teaching through Mike this morning
  • It blesses me every week to see people coming forward being impacted by God's power-I pray that He continues to draw people to Him every week-let us be broken and see our need for the King!
  • The worship songs today were amazing and the anointing of the Holy Spirit on the worship team was palpable in the room-definitely one of the most powerful times of song since we have moved here
  • We wrapped up the New Testament Challenge this week as a church-people are already clamoring for something else-Advent is on the way
  • It continues to do my heart good to see friends from Florida come to visit-thrilled that they were able to share in worship today
  • If you haven't eaten at Grits yet-you gotta.  Good southern cooking.
  • We are so blessed with our house-sitting on the back porch with the love of my life and enjoying the simplicity of a book and the sounds of God's creation wrap a Sunday up perfectly.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I managed to push through all of our recent history maintaining a strength and focus that was certainly beyond me.  We dealt with the news of our departure from our Florida church and the fallout by committing our family to God and His ultimate plan for our lives.  The process was quick--within a month of the resignation we were here in Georgia and working.  There is no doubt that God orchestrated it all to lead us here and I know that the future is bright with Him leading the way.

Believing in that is one thing, but a wounded heart takes a whole lot longer to heal.  I can honestly admit that I was at peace throughout the entire turmoil and subsequent process.  I never lost my temper nor was I really tempted to do so.  Now that we are here and working I do find that I am hurt more than I wanted to admit.  Being forcibly ripped out of our lives there and the lives of people that I care about leaves gaping wounds that don't become whole overnight.  Constant reminders of what once was cause an ache in my heart and soul.  Resentment flares up and then dissipates.  The friends that have decided that our previous relationship was only pertinent due to proximity bring about heartfelt disappointment.  I liken it to the grief process-denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.  In no way does it compare to loss of life, but my heart doesn't know the difference.  It grieves for what is lost-a status, a place, a church, and relationships that will never be the same.

I know that He will make me new again-He does it every day.  The process itself is painful though and I know that I don't have the strength to do this on my own.  I will simply trust in my King and take comfort in how He is already doing His work on my heart.

If anyone belongs to Christ, there is a new creation.  The old things have gone; everything is made new.  2 Corinthians 5:17

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday Reflections

Wow.  That is all that I can say (well, not all-that's a short blog otherwise.)

  • It was so uplifting to see good friends from Florida this weekend-good for my heart & yet heartbreaking at the same time
  • I do love me a fire on a cool night-can't get enough of them-especially with great people to share it with
  • God absolutely broke me in the middle of our 9:15 service this morning.  I was so overwhelmed by the greatness of who He is & how He shows it to us. I had to stop & simply share my heart before preaching.
  • There is simple beauty in the Doxology that resonates with my soul
  • Preaching a sermon titled, "Trashing Tradition" makes people nervous.
  • Not trashing tradition, but instead focusing on the heart behind them hopefully challenges people to live a real relationship with God.
  • Your lips are movin', but your heart ain't groovin'.
  • Praying for the things that people wrote down today that they want to get rid of-sins & the ill-focused traditions that keep us from a true godly relationship
  • Our God is greater than we can imagine & I am grateful that His grace is enough for me.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sunday Reflections-a day late

Sunday reflections posted on Monday are still about Sunday.  That's not necessarily deep wisdom, but it's workable enough for a Monday morning.

  • Reading some A.W. Tozer for my devotional time-love me some Tozer!
  • One of the big questions raised yesterday-what are you going to do with Jesus? It will be answered by all!
  • No doubt that Mike was filled with the Holy Spirit yesterday-he just flat out brought it at each service-in a tough passage no less
  • I am enjoying the creativity of weaving together worship experiences & praying that it is impacting people
  • We are blessed with a passionate and talented worship team!
  • Are you a deserter, a faker, or a follower when it comes to Christ? There will be evidence in your life that proves which one you are.
  • I love it when people come for prayer & decisions at the end of the message-it shows their willingness to respond to God's leading
  • Enjoyed a good southern buffet lunch yesterday with friends as we continue to adjust-and then stood around talking for almost another hour!
  • A lazy Sunday afternoon with my family tops off a good day
  • Can't wait to see what God has planned for this coming week!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Words from Peter

"Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust.

So don't lose a minute in building on what you've been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can't see what's right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.

So, friends, confirm God's invitation to you, his choice of you. Don't put it off; do it now. Do this, and you'll have your life on a firm footing, the streets paved and the way wide open into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ."

2 Peter 1:3-11 (The Message)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bold Prayers

Prayer is such a valuable part of a relationship with God-a time of communication and interaction where our spirit speaks to His Spirit.  I don't pray as often as I would like and I don't always have the depth in my prayer life that I desire either.  I think that part of my up & down prayer life is a result of what I am praying for.

I pray for people a lot-for healing, for God to get their attention, for restoration, for forgiveness.  Scripture tells us to spend time praying for others in front of God, but is that what our prayers are limited to?  Are we so focused on the simple prayers that we forget to pray for things that are bold-things that certainly couldn't happen without God's incredible intervention?  Are we praying for big things to happen-for a seriously ridiculous, God-given vision that will blow our minds and reveal His true nature to everyone around us?

I feel challenged to ramp it up-to stretch my own prayer life to a point of boldness that can only be answered by God & His power. 

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday Reflections

Another great day ending here in Milledgeville & time for the new tradition of Sunday reflections:

  • Crisp morning driving in-got to love this Georgia fall weather
  • I love an early Sunday morning being the 1st one at the church-great time of prayer & coffee
  • We are so blessed with a great staff here-everyone pitching in and helping out-what a team!
  • Prayer with our elders each Sunday morning is a true blessing-the way that these men's hearts are broken for God is amazing
  • True internal conversion doesn't happen by accident-it has to be an intentional effort
  • It doesn't matter what you do on the outside if you aren't changed on the inside
  • If we want to make an impact in our community we have to be transformed from the inside out first
  • I'm excited about the future of youth ministry here-great parent meeting today-lots of potential!
  • Good end to a Sunday with a family dinner & tucking my girls into bed-never gets old!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


In reading through the New Testament Challenge here at Northridge, I read through Acts 16 this morning.  In this chapter Luke writes of Paul and his companions and the journeys they went on.  In two instances it is noted that Paul and company attempted to do something and were stopped by the Holy Spirit.  It doesn't go into great detail, but those phrases jumped out at me this morning.  It certainly speaks to following the vision of God's leading, but it also speaks to being spiritually connected to God enough to hear His voice.  Paul's ambition (and what he perceived as vision) led him to two places, but they were not where God wanted Him to be.  Paul and his friends were obedient enough to the Holy Spirit that they could see that they were being led somewhere else. 

Is that true of us? Many of us have a vision of where we should be going and how we should be doing things, but are we in tune with the Holy Spirit enough that we can hear when it is time to change direction?  Are we faithful enough to His call to be willing to walk away from a place or to not do something that we have planned because God has something better for us?

It's only when we realize that it's not about us, but about Him is this possible.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Reflections

Another Sunday is coming to a close here in Milledgeville, Georgia-here are a few highlights:

  • Good time in the book of Proverbs this morning in my quiet time
  • Spent some time in the high school Bible study hanging out
  • Had an impromptu time of teaching in the middle school Bible study
  • We have youth that are hungry for God's truth!
  • Two powerful services this morning
  • The baptism of Eugene-can only say "Wow!" at how God has worked in his life in 90 days
  • Two families partnering with us at NCC today-one who started visiting three weeks ago
  • Good small group training-thank you God for all of our small group leaders!
  • Reconnecting with friends from Florida that we have missed a great deal
  • A chilly night closed with smores, hot chocolate & family time by the fire pit.
God is so much better to us than any of us deserve.  I can't wait to see what He has in store for us this week.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cultural Christianity

In one of the books I am reading, Patrick Morley talks about God's leading saying, "He has important work for you and me, and He must squeeze the cultural Christianity out of us."

That's a tough phrase to take.  It is saying that perhaps we have a misguided view of what following Christ is supposed to look like.  Maybe what we have built Christianity up to be is off the mark.  What if our understanding of following Christ has been misdirected due to the influence of American culture instead of the other way around? 

Christianity in the New Testament certainly wasn't pretty-it cost those believers more than we can imagine in our comfortable world of today.  They were willing to follow God's leading & His Word regardless of the cultural and personal consequences.  The church in the book of Acts had a different feel than the majority of American churches today because of those risk-takers.

Looking like Christ is not so much of a focus on church attendance, the number of Bibles in your home, how many Christian t-shirts you have, or the Jesus sticker on your car.  I believe it is reflected in the individuals (and families) who are willing to say, "I will follow Christ no matter the cost."

When God can create that cultural shift in each of us, Satan better be on guard.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What Are You Thinking?

As part of the New Testament Challenge here at Northridge, I was reading in Romans yesterday.  Romans is one of my favorite books-very challenging and not necessarily an easy read.  Paul's letter lays some pretty hardcore truths out there for us and certainly hits home in a lot of ways.

In Romans 8 Paul writes about the battle of the Spirit versus the flesh.  He says that if we focus on the things of the Spirit that we find life & if we are emphasizing the flesh that we find death.  I think the parallel is pretty clear in terms of where we place our faith-if your main emphasis is on seeking pleasure and not finding God's will and purpose it will most certainly lead to a less than pleasant end.

I honestly believe that it refers to our mindset as well.  If we were to truly analyze what it was that we were focusing on regularly & where we were putting our energies we would see definitive differences.  When our focus is on the leadings of the Spirit we find ourselves more at peace and able to cope with difficulties.  When our focus is on the leadings of our own desires & other parts of that earthly battle, we struggle in everything-relationships, patience, satisfaction, self-confidence, etc. God was telling us this not to condemn us, but to protect us.  He knows what is best.

So the big question is then-what are you thinking?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Reflections

A few Sunday reflections from Milledgeville, GA:

  • We serve at an awesome church with loving people-no doubt about it!
  • We are all in need of God's forgiveness
  • It is amazing to see God's people broken for Him
  • It is even more amazing to see how He restores all of us through His grace
  • Eirene--the peace given by God that makes us whole
  • We are messengers of grace!
  • The worship set & team were off the chain today-powerful stuff!
  • I am excited about the future of youth ministry as a part of the church at Northridge
  • High school forum today was a great way to talk specifically to our high school youth-God is going to do great things through them!
  • Many people missed Mike & Kathy today-praying that they got the rest that they desperately need
  • Can't wait to see what God is going to do this week!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Best Intentions

I had intended to start blogging more regularly and then the week happened.  It has been a whirlwind of different things-none of them bad, but it has taken a lot of energy to get things accomplished.  I thought about it each day at some point, but just couldn't get around to sitting down and typing out a few thoughts.

I guess it is not that different from our spiritual lives.  I believe that a lot of us enter a week with good intentions of being in God's Word, spending time in prayer, and focusing on His plan for us.  Then our week happens and we look back and find ourselves disappointed in the actual amount of time spent. 

God desires time with us too.  I am sure that He wishes we would find ourselves investing in that time with Him more than we do.  I plan on taking steps along the way this week to help make sure that I am focused on Him each day.  We'll just have to see what happens with blogging.

Monday, October 5, 2009


The most feared word in the dictionary for a lot of people is "change." It is not always comfortable and it is definitely not always easy.  Sometimes we are the ones who seek change and then other times we find out that change has sought us. 

Our lives have certainly undergone a lot of change in the past six weeks and we continue to face more of it here in Milledgeville.  Things never go exactly as you planned (that is one of the many reasons that God is King and we are not) and you have to learn to react to change in a positive & godly way.  It's much easier to type that than to actually do it.

This is a challenging time right now in Milledgeville.  God is most certainly at work and Satan isn't taking a day off either.  There are many cultural differences between Georgia & Florida-none of them bad, but definite differences.  I appreciate the style of life here and recognize that some things are going to take more time than others to implement.  I love to get after things and work hard, but there is also a time of respect for the past and concern for other people's feelings and thought processes as change approaches them. 

I do know one thing. Our God does not change and even as we join the team to build up His ministry here, the need for Him only increases.  The people of Georgia are in just as much desperate need of Christ as those in Florida (and anywhere else for that matter.) 

I am firmly committed to boldy teaching His Word here and doing whatever it takes to see a revival take place that will bring souls & glory to the King.  And nothing Satan can do will change that.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

In the Middle of It

It is high time that I get back on the blogging bandwagon now that we are settled here in Milledgeville (I have a Georgia license now-that must be settling.)  I don't know that we'll ever see the end of the boxes, but we are able to live & work in the environment we have finished right now and that is all that matters.

I am excited about what God is doing here & specifically what He has done in the life of my family in the past month.  It was only just one month ago that I resigned from Tomoka without a plan for what was next and now I find myself sitting here in Georgia being blessed beyond what we deserve.  It just amazes me how God's plan is always better than my own and how He orchestrates every detail to blow me away if I will simply be obedient and follow. 

I don't want to lose sight of that now as we serve at Northridge Christian Church.  I know His plan isn't finished yet and I certainly don't want to think that we have "arrived".  I pray that we would be obedient to His guidance and that He would continue to do more than all we could ask or imagine.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Coming Together

The plan is now finally coming together as we will be heading to Milledgeville, GA to be part of the Northridge Christian Church family next week.  Our housing situation is almost finalized for GA and I am eager to get back to work and be part of a team that is working together.  It's pretty phenomenonal to see how God has turned an unpleasant situation into something so powerful.  It is good to know that we trust in a God who has it all under control and will guide you where He wants you to be if you are faithful enough to follow.  Our family is so excited about the future-even though we can't see all that it will be.  Praises to God for still being on His throne and maintaining His position as Lord over all.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


When you fully commit to following God's plan for your life you often end up in situations that you did not anticipate. I can certainly attest to that. It presents the opportunity for us to actually live out what we say we believe. We are in that spot right now-a chance to say to God that we will follow Him wherever He leads and that we believe in His plan for us more than we believe in our own ambitions.

There may be things that are unexpected for us in life, but they are not a surprise for God. I trust in what He has for us and can already see the beginning of the victory that He will bring. Our King is all about new beginnings and I can't wait to see how this one starts.