Monday, November 29, 2010


In Galatians 5, Paul is writing to the church and refuting some of the legalistic actions that have been imposed by leadership. The argument here is over the practice of circumcision and whether or not the Gentiles who are coming to Christ must be circumcised before they can join the church. Paul makes a clear statement that if they are going to enforce the "law" that they must enforce all of it, but that Christ came and essentially made circumcision null and void. In verse 6 he says, "The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love."

The question that rolls through my mind this morning after reading this is, "How am I expressing myself?" If this is truly what counts as believers, then I should make it a focus to show love to those around me as a reflection of my faith in God. What happens instead is that I get focused on how I am feeling that day, whether I like something or not, how people treat me and my ideas, the value that I think others place on me, and the impact that I can have other people. These are all expressive emotions, but certainly not ones that reflect my faith in Christ.

Imagine how different our families would be if we focused on expressing our faith through love to each other. Think of how different our communities would be if we would show the same passion for sharing faith through love that we do for our hobbies, careers, favorite sports teams, TV shows or our children's athletics. How powerful and far-reaching would God's church be if we prayed each day for our faith to be expressed in love and then acted on it?

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Obviously I am few days late for an actual Thanksgiving posting, but in the spirit of the weekend I want to list a few things that I am grateful for.

  • My wife-beautiful, intelligent, God-loving, creative, passionate and puts up with me. 'Nuff said.
  • Three special daughters who are beautifully & uniquely made. I treasure the time we have with them at this age & look forward to what God is going to do in their lives.
  • A loving family that has always been supportive of me & has had a bigger influence on me than even I realize.
  • A supportive, encouraging & challenging staff to work with as we seek God's will for His church here.
  • A lead pastor that is willing to take a chance on me & my family and be patient as God refines us.
  • Northridge Christian Church-a place that opened up their arms to us and has made us feel welcome and a vital part of what God is doing.
  • Mercies that are new every morning.
  • The simplicity of shared times with family over the holidays.
  • New horizons & challenges in ministry.
  • Being comfortable with who I am as God continues to reshape & mold me.
  • Friends that are serving God in different states-all of us working towards the same goal even if we are in different zip codes.
  • Friendships that have not changed even though our address has.
  • A Savior who is jealous for me and loves me more than I can even begin to comprehend.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Face to Face

I was reading in Nehemiah this morning and in chapter 8, God's people have finished rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem and have gathered to celebrate. Ezra has found a copy of God's law and is reading it to the people. It's a powerful testimony to their faith as they hear God's Word read aloud and start to weep-not just a few of them, but the entire crowd. This is not a temporary moment however, as they return to the assembly three weeks later and make a covenant with God to be His people once more.

Reading this causes me to wonder about our reaction when we come face-to-face with God-whether that is through the teaching of His Word, through worship, other people or serving those around us. The Israelites who had been in exile were desperate for God's truth and the realization of how far from Him they had gone caused them great sorrow. The people in Nehemiah were not just reacting emotionally-they came back three weeks later to make a pledge to God to strive to be His people again.

What about us and the church today? How will we react when we are face to face with God and realize where we are in relation to where He wants us to be? Have we become so jaded in our Christian lives that we cannot create that same sense of longing when we encounter God? Will it be true repentance that we commit to following up with or simply an emotional reaction that is forgotten as soon as we leave the building?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Intelligence and wisdom are important assets to me. I value them in other people and work hard to increase them (to the extent that you can actually influence them) in myself. One of the worst insults that someone could throw at me would be to insult my intelligence. Obviously this speaks to the pride issue that is part of that battle, but that is a blog for another time.

This morning as I was reading in the book of Ezra in chapter 7, King Artaxerxes was sending Ezra back to his homeland. He was allowing him to return and reinstate their practices honoring God as well as sending him back with physical wealth. In the king's letter to Ezra, he stated that Ezra had wisdom and that it was from God. This was an obvious influence on Artaxerxes' decision to let Ezra return.

What a testimony to God being the source of wisdom! How often do we strive to know more than someone else and to flaunt our wisdom to inflate our own egos? If we were to follow the example of Ezra we would shift our focus to begging God to provide wisdom and then making sure that He receives credit for it.

When we are truly filled with godly wisdom even those who don't profess to follow Christ will recognize the power of God in our lives.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Time Like This

In the book of Esther, the young woman of the same name is presented with an interesting opportunity. She has been placed in a position of power and now has to make a choice. She can take a risk and save her people, but it might also lead to her own death. Her uncle Mordecai challenges her to take action in Esther 4:14 and says, "And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"

How differently would we approach each day if we would make decisions with this verse in mind? If we would realize that God continues to strategically place us in the right place and time for His glory it would alter our perspective. We would see the opportunities that are in front of us-both big and small-and would take advantage of them. Not only would this lead us to fulfilling God's plan for our lives, but we would see our faith increase, our families grow closer together and a church that is unstoppable in sharing the message of Christ.

We are here today for "such a time as this." What will we do with it?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Joyful Perspective

Needless to say, it has been an interesting week. There have been countless times of prayer and discussion as we seek God's vision for His church, planning sessions for the upcoming holiday seasons, budget revisions for 2011 and multiple coaching sessions. Sometimes the pressure of wanting to honor God through our efforts, bring people closer to Him and yet deal with human expectations can be overwhelming. In light of how much my head has been spinning and to help regain perspective, I thought it would be beneficial to make a short list of things that bring me joy this fine morning.

  • Confidence in a King who loves me for me
  • A beautiful, passionate & intelligent wife who is more than I deserve
  • Good morning hugs & kisses from three incredible daughters
  • A day off full of potential
  • A hot cup of coffee on a cool morning
  • Seeing my family in Orlando in a few short weeks
  • A meatloaf sandwich yesterday that brings back fond memories of my grandparents
  • A planned date night with my lover/best friend
  • Incredible friends here who make that date night possible
  • Friends from Florida who will be here next weekend
  • A chilly Friday morning
  • Working with friends that care enough about people & God's church to keep searching for answers
  • Family meals together
  • Too many other things to count, but still worth counting now & then