Monday, December 28, 2009

Ichabod or Emmanuel?

In just a few short days we are going to be entering a brand new Decade! Can you believe that 10 years has already blown by? Over the last ten years here is what I have done with the time God blessed me with -

Started a Church
Got married
Had Children
Met amazing people
Led 100's of teenagers to Christ
Led the best youth church of the decade
And gained 40 pounds!

Now that was a great decade! But all of that is in the past and a brand new decade is arriving! So with that I want to say, Don't let the next Decade be labeled an Ichabod Decade! The bible defines the name Ichabod as "The Glory Has Departed!" That's a terrible name to label the next decade of life. Don't live life like the Glory Has Departed, how depressing! Rather, let's look at the name we will give this next Decade.

Emmanuel! Or, "God With Us!" If God is with us, then the next Decade of Family, Life and Ministry are going to be better than expected. Yes, we will encounter tough situations, but that's just life. Live this next Decade with and Emmanuel mindset. God is with us. I look forward to hearing what God is doing in and through you over this next amazing decade!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Does Size Matter? Blog Post By Craig Groeschel

I Read This On Craig Groeschel's Blog & Wanted To Share It With All You!!

I love small businesses. Four years ago, I bought my only television from a local, small business. They delivered it, set it up, and called a week later to see how I liked it. Great service.

I decided to get a second television so I could watch the Superbowl while my kids watched “18 Kids and Counting” or whatever they’ll be watching. So I went back to the small business. The sales guy remembered me and showed me four different televisions that might work. He quoted me a price. I decided to compare prices and went to a mega-store. The salesman showed me probably 40 different options, all priced considerably less than the smaller store. My heart was with the small business.

But I bought from the big business…

Why? They had more options and better prices.

In a multi-site church, you can worship with a smaller group of people at your campus. You can be deeply involved with Christ in your specific community. At the same time, you can experience the options and excellence of the large church.
This certainly isn’t the only or best means of doing ministry, but we have found it effective to minister to those God has sent and reach more along with way.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Church Planting

I know there are a ton of pastors out there right now thinking about starting a church. This excites me. I have been researching church starts, how to start a church, successful church starts, and all kinds of other resources on starting a church, and I have to be honest with you for a second, it can be somewhat overwhelming. There can be this feeling that creeps in that causes you to think, "Am I Able To Start A Church?" "Will Anyone Really Attend?" "Does This Specific Community Need Another Church?" And I am sure that many of you out there have many other questions that bombard your thoughts as you think about starting a church. Here is the question that tops all the other question for me as I get ready to leap into the unknown, "What If My Church Doesn't Become As Successful As Some Of The Churches I Have Read About?"

Don't Allow That Question To Paralyze You! Starting a church is all about reaching people for Jesus Christ! Yes, there have been some churches out there that have grown fast, and that might happen to you! I get stoked as I follow those pastors and see what God is doing through those Churches, but the thing that gets me even more excited is seeing what God is going to do through your church start! Your church hasn't hit the community yet, that means that anything is possible! If you reach 1 person, was it worth the start? If you reach 3 was it worth the start? If you reach 10,000 on any given weekend was it worth the start? The answer to this is obviously YES! I am right now working through this process myself, so stay with me over the next couple of months and let's start some churches together! I look forward to hearing what God does through your church start! Don't back down! Stay the course you believe God has put you on!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Don't Re- Tire, RE - FIRE!!

Inside of my little brain has been many thoughts that I sometimes don't understand. I have gone through a whirlwind of emotions and feelings about different topics that I have been faced with. I have prayed more than ever before in my life, and I believe it is time for us as leaders, bosses, business owners, teenagers, and Christians to refuse to Re- Tire, or accept the status quo with the thought that things will never work out the way we originally thought, and begin to position ourselves to RE - FIRE, get excited about our future, and move forward with a passion for the things yet to come. YOUR BEST DAYS ARE NOT BEHIND YOU!! Your best days are AHEAD!! RE- FIRE!!! Don't settle!! Let's position ourselves to RE - FIRE! The Best Is Yet To Come!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Little Extra

H Jackson Brown Jr once said, "A racehorse that consistently runs just a second faster than another horse is worth millions of dollars more. Be willing to give that extra effort, that separates the winner from the one in second place." I love this audacious statement. When you read this statement you can tell that there is a high expectation for human beings to go the extra mile. If you're in business, go the extra mile for your client or customer. If you are a pastor, go the extra mile for your community and congregation. If you are a teacher, go the extra mile for your students. If you are a mother or a father, go the extra mile for your children. There is no better time to practice going the extra mile than today! Be A Person Who Is Willing To Do A Little Extra!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Go The Extra Mile

In life, most of us walk the first mile. We'll do what's required. We'll perform what's expected. If you want to keep your job, stay married, and have friends, the first mile is the bare minimum. The first mile is secure, it sometimes feels like a very long mile, but none the less, it's secure and comfortable. But what about the Extra Mile? What about the mile that no one really sees coming? What about the mile that becomes a surprise to on - lookers? This is the mile where we find a ton of fulfillment. Why are so many people unfulfilled daily? Could it possibly be because the extra mile is the mile less traveled? I believe that when we decide we are going to go the extra mile on a daily basis we will experience a life of fulfillment. What can we do today to go the extra mile? Choose one thing, do it, and see what happens. This is going to be a ton of fun! Enjoy feeling fulfilled today. When your head hits your pillow, smile, you went the extra mile!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Do More Than The Minimum

Last week I talked about adopting a "Rubber Band Mentality." When stretched, a rubber band does what it was purposed to do. Here are some phrases that are intended to stretch us. No, they are not easy, but worth applying to our lives -

I will do more than belong - I will participate
I will do more than care - I will help
I will do more than believe - I will practice
I will do more than be fair - I will be kind
I will do more than forgive - I will forget
I will do more than dream - I will work
I will do more than teach - I will inspire
I will do more than give - I will serve
I will do more than live - I will grow
I will do more than suffer - I will triumph

Enjoy being stretched this week!!! Remember "Rubber Band Mentality!"

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Church Life Part 3

Church Life Is Awesome! Keep that in mind as I talk about being stretched for just a minute. A rubber band is a very interesting tool we use in life. If a rubber band just sits on our counter top, it is not being used for its intended purpose. A rubber band finds its purpose when it is stretched! I Want To Be Stretched! I believe that if we adopted a "rubber band mentality" the word of God would spread like wild fire all across America. Our Churches would begin to fill up, our work life would be full of excitement, and our families would be stable. Be The Church Today, Allow God To Stretch You In Any Area He Desires, Yes, It Hurts, But The Payoff Is Eternal!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Church Life Part 2

Church Life can be summed up in two words "It's Awesome!" In order to capture the kind of energy Church Life Produces, we must understand there are some things Jesus never wants us to say, EVER! Check This Out -

Jesus never said:

"I Can't" or "I Won't"

"I'm Too Tired" or "I Don't Get Paid To.."

"It Doesn't Really Matter"

"Ask Me Next Month" or "Ask ME Next Year"

"I Worked All Week" or "It's Just Too Early To Get Up"

"I Quit!"

Thank God Jesus NEVER said, "Now that's just asking WAY TOO MUCH." So why do we as His Church, allow some of these phrases to be Barriers, or Busters, that keep us from the energy Church Life produces? Church Life Is Awesome, so get these words and phrases out of your vocabulary before it's too late.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Church Life Part 1

Church Life can be summed up in two words. "It's Awesome!" I have been thinking so much about church life due to some upcoming adventures that are going to be, well, very, very interesting, or a better word might be "stretching." What is church life, you might be asking? Well here is what I have come up with - It is understanding that God loves people, so we should love people, and do whatever necessary to stand with others while leaning on God. Mark 12:30 - 31 says it this way - "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these." It's amazing how just two little verses in the bible tells us what church life is truely designed for. This whole week I am blogging on Church Life. "It's Awesome, not always easy, but is Awesome!"

Friday, July 17, 2009

Produce Positive Words From Your Mouth Part 4

Well, it's been a pretty awesome week ay! ("ay" I know I can hear you laughing) Do you feel like you have been stretched at all with the theme "Produce Positive Words From Your Mouth?" Alright... I am going to wrap this up with one final thought. Producing Positive Words From Your Mouth To Your Self , Is Essential For Personal Motivation. Studies have shown that people talk to themselves through "thought talk" almost all day long. So what you say to yourself is extremely important. What you say to yourself will produce bad fruit for the day, or great fruit for the day. Example - If you are having a week where you are feeling defeated, what are your "thought talk" words saying? Are they defeating words? If you are having a week where you are feeling unstoppable, what are your "thought talk" words saying? Are they words of encouragement and exhortation. What you say to yourself matters! When you wake up you should speak words of encouragement from your mouth to yourself. You Are Important & God Cares About The Fruit You Produce. Produce Positve Fruit For Your Life By Speaking Positively About Yourself. Remember: If you like you, others will like you!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Produce Positive Words From Your Mouth Part 3

This week I have focused on what types of words come from my mouth. Here is an important tip when it comes to understanding the power of our words. Here it is - "Words Backed By Prayer Are Powerful!" (say it again) The bible says in Acts 2:14 "Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you: listen carefully to what I say." Notice that he was preparing to speak words that the bible goes on to say added 3,000 people to the church, that day! (Acts 2:41)

Why did these words produce such amazing fruit that day? Simply put; The Words Were Backed By Prayer. Before Peter said anything he spent time in prayer. It was not just a couple minutes, or a quick prayer over the dinner table. It was a calling out to God to bring power. If you need power behind the words that you are preparing to say today, spend some time in prayer. Don't feel weird or uncomfortable with asking God to put some power behind the words that you speak. Who knows, it might produce some amazing fruit!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Produce Positive Words From Your Mouth Part 2

WOW! Producing positive words from your mouth can be tough! Monday I spoke alot of positive things from my mouth, but I noticed in situations where I wanted to be negative, I stayed quiet instead of saying something positive in its place. There is a saying out there that I like, "If You Can't Say Nothin Good, Don't Say Nothin At All." This statement definitely has it's place, but what if you find yourself saying "nothin at all, alot?" Today, when I find myself slipping into a negative thought process, instead of saying nothing, I am going to substitute it with something positive, and speak it out. Remember, life is to short to produce spoiled fruit from our mouths, let's produce some positive fruit today!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Produce Positive Words From Your Mouth

We are surrounded by a world that loves to find the negative rather quickly. Our news stations broadcast the latest catasrophe or accident. Our church leaders critique each others ministries and then write books about it. Our friends get jelouse as we become productive and successful. Magazines exploit the latest affairs for the the world to read. Really, you could go on and on, but the bottom line is that we need to always cross check what kinds of things are coming from our lips. Are they super positive, breathing hope and love into the world, or are they status quoe, always speaking of the negative. I think the world would be vastly different if we all would monitor what kind of fruit we produce simply by the words we speak. Today, I am going to be positive about every situation, and conversation I encounter, and continually make it a goal to remove negative words that could potentially give birth to negative fruit that will spoil not only my day, but the day of those around me.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Roof Tearing Faith

Jesus was in a town called Capernaum. The house where he was staying was so packed full of visitors that there was not any room for one more person, not even outside the door. Jesus was preaching to them. Four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They could not get to Jesus through the crowd, so they dug through the clay roof above his head. Then they lowered the sick man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. Seeing there faith, Jesus healed the man.
(Mark 2:1 - 12)

This Is Awesome! These men had Faith that actually Tore The Roof Off! They were willing to do whatever it took (action) to get this man to Jesus (faith) to see him healed (miracle). I say it is time for us to have faith that tears the roof off! Let's be people of action, and have more faith in Jesus than ever before, and see miracles that Tear The Roof Off! That Is A Great Day!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Overwhelming Challenge? Or Amazing Opportunity?

"What you are calling an overwhelming challenge, God is calling an amazing opportunity" I love this quote taken from Perry Noble's Twitter update. It is a reminder that our minds can't comprehend the things that God has planned for us. The bible is specific about "great plans" (Jeremiah 29:11) that God has for our lives. In scripture we often read that God will never leave or forsake His people (Hebrews 13:5 & Deuteronomy 31:8). So, every morning I wake up, I have started with a prayer that goes something like this; "God grant me the capacity to receive the plans you have for my life, I surrender all my worries and fears, and put my trust in you." I pray that you are encouraged today! I believe that God is calling you towards amazing opportunity! Don't be down and discouraged, but live with the confidence that God is bringing His will to pass in your life! BE BLESSED!

Monday, June 29, 2009

She Said "Da Da"

This is my amazing 7 month daughter Jayci. ABSOLUTELY BREATHTAKING isn't she! The very first words out of her mouth are officially "DA DA." Every time she says that little phrase, my heart pounds a million miles an hour, a smile comes to my face, and I look directly at her beaming beautiful eyes. I am so proud to be this little girl's Father.

Being a father of this little girl has taught me something about God. The bible says that we are his children. A simple truth, yet very powerful. This means that every time we call his name, his heart pounds a million miles an hour, a smile comes to his face, and he looks directly at us. What an amazing reality! God Is So Proud To Be Your Heavenly Father!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The "Great Day" Challenge

Today has been an amazing day. It has been so amazing, I would almost give it the tag line - "My Perfect Day!" I -

Woke up and spent time with God
Did the dishes
Spent time with the kids
Took the cover off the pool for my boys and my niece and nephew
Spent time with two amazing future pastors
Checked my email
And will be going to the church later on.

Are there other things I love to do during the day? ABSOLUTELY! I love to read, write, vision cast, and plan for the future, but all of these things make a great day for me. If you are up for the challenge, take time to think about what your "Great Day" looks like. If you want to, email it to me. I would love to read about it!!

email -

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Fathers Day!

I know, I know, fathers day was yesterday! I just want to make sure you all you Fathers out there in Internet land had a great fathers day. I was blessed to be able to spend fathers day with my father, my family, and my church family. It was an amazing day.

My Father has been the number one influence in my life. I often ask myself this question "What Would My Dad Do In This Situation?" If you got to know him, it wouldn't take very long to discover that he has answers for everything, and they actually produce good results. As a kid I used to hate it when he would quote scripture for the situation we were discussing, but now I find myself studying the scripture he quoted, and I am finally gaining revelation as to what he was talking about.

So To Every Father Out There, "You Are Making A Difference In The Lives Of Your Children, Wife, and Your Friends. Stay True To The Honor Of Being A Father!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

You Deserve A Slammin Future!

I am going to be totally transparent with the entire Internet world by saying "I have been guilty of dwelling on the things of my past." That is the driving motivation behind this blog post, so grab a coffee, a pillow, and maybe even some cheese bread!

Isaiah 43:18 -19 says "Forget the former things of the past; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland...

God promised you that He is doing a NEW THING!! Say "NEW!" We can take it to the bank that God is providing a new way of life for you. Maybe it's a new job, new victory, new car, new house, new friends, a new relationship, new ministry, new bike, new college, new way of thinking, or new annointing! Whatever the case may be in your life, don't feel stuck! God is providing a "NEW" for you! Our job is to forget the things of the past. They may be great things, or they may be not so great things, but we must forget them and forge ahead!

Practical Application: This weekend, spend time with God. Ask Him, "What Do I Need To Forget, To Open Up The New In My Life?"

Friday, June 19, 2009

Don't Be A Grumpy!

Alright, we are all going to participate in an exercise. Ready? When I say "GRUMPY!" Who comes to your mind? Think about it for a minute.... OK, next, When I say "WHINER!" Who comes to your mind? Take a moment if you have to.... One more, here we go, When I say "COMPLAINER!" Who comes to mind? Kind of fun isn't it?

Philippians 2:14 - 16 says "Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life..

I expect my 7 year old (Ethan) to grumble and argue from time to time, I expect my 5 year old (Kaden) to whine and complain about things that are insignificant, and to be honest my 6 1/2 month old (Jayci) has her bad too. But I also expect them to grow out of Grumbling, Complaining, and Whining. I want my kids to SHINE LIKE STARS on this planet, and that is the desire of God for his children. You & I! He wants us to SHINE LIKE STARS! So today, do everything without Grumbling. You know that situation you want to Argue? Don't!
Today, Set yourself up to be a SHINING STAR!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

John Wesley Quote

Here is an inspirational quote to meditate on today. I want to segue this quote with a promise from God that dates all the way back to the Old Testament:

Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

(A Quote By John Wesley) - Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Living Good!

There are a ton of days that go by over the course of the year. 365 to be exact. Have you ever had those days that you feel are here and gone, and nothing really significant happened? Or maybe you have a week full of action packed events that make you feel like you are on top of the world, and then the next week, just the normal every day routine. Here are some encouraging thoughts -

I believe that God wants us to STAY DETERMINED during the action packed times in life and the times where everything seems like it is just another daily routine. BE DETERMINED to love God with all your heart, never lacking in zeal for the things he is bringing to pass in your life.

I believe that God wants us to BE FRUITFUL. Yes, every day of life may have it's ups and downs, but BE FRUITFUL. Even if it is as simple as going to McDonalds and buying a Mocha Latte for your neighbor (if your my neighbor, I like those). The small things are often HUGE.

I believe that God wants us to STAY INTIMATE with Him. My wife loves it when I spend time only with her. She actually treasures those intimate moments. That is the same way God feels when we spend time only with Him. He treasures those moments. Don't be afraid to tell Him what is on your mind. Share your deepest thoughts with Him.

I pray that this year is a year that we STAY DETERMINED, BE FRUITFUL, & STAY INTIMATE. Do these things on the weeks that are action packed, those moments you feel like you are on top of the world. And, do these things when the days are long, and it doesn't seem like things are going as planned, or when you are stuck in a routine. Let's have an amazing year!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Desiring God

This last week I have found myself beginning to get stressed out about the finances of our household. This has led to feeling the stress of being a great provider for my family, which is something I take very seriously. As I was studying I looked up a great verse that brought a whole lot of comfort to me, and I pray that as you read this, it bring a whole lot of comfort to you, and whatever your stress is for the day, let this verse interrupt it and transform your way of thinking. Here it is -

Mathew 6:19 - 21
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth or rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there you heart will be also.

I promise you that one day we are going to see Heaven! Don't get stressed out or anxious about some of the issues that are going on in life right now. Rather, stay focused on what lies before you, a promise from God that you will one day spend eternity with Him. No more tears, no more disease, no more worry. God loves you more today than ever before. Stay focused on Him.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Uh Oh!! Summer's Here!

Nothing like 3 months of warm sunny weather. Time to get your volleyball on, get your tan on, and chill, RIGHT? I know a ton of people who go on major cruise control over the summer and then have a ton of "I wish I would have..." and a ton of "I wish I wouldn't have..." moments logged in their minds. So Check This Out -

Newton's first law of motion states that an object in motion tends to remain in motion, and an object at rest tends to remain at rest. This law applies to us. Some of us are naturally full of ambition and drive to complete goals and projects, and some of us are apathetic, requiring motivation to overcome inertia.

I want to encourage both groups of people by saying this - "Your Ambition To Persevere In Diligence This Summer Will Be Rewarded."

The Bible says it like this in Galatians 6:9 - Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

So there you have it! Take the thought of going on "Cruise Control" over the summer and throw it in the garbage. Instead, get TOTALLY AMPED to do great things over the summer season.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Great Mark Batterson Blog Post

One dimension of the journey toward authentic leadership is finding your voice. In other words, finding your niche, your groove, your unique contribution to the kingdom. I think many of us start out parroting others.

We sound like someone else. Over time, however, we find our preaching voice or writing voice. As a person goes through puberty, the voice deepens as the voice box enlarges. I think leadership is like that. The longer you lead the deeper your voice gets. Think of it as gravitas.One part of finding your voice is identifying your life themes.

C.S. Lewis said, "Every life is comprised of a few themes." Over time you identify those unique God-given convictions that drive you. For example, there are ways of doing church that no one has thought of yet. That is one of my themes. A life theme isn't something you know. It's something you ooze out of your pores. It's not something you define. It's something that defines you. It's more than head-knowledge. It's a gut-conviction.

Another part of finding your voice is getting out of your comfort zone and getting into your confidence zone where you have the courage to say some things that you know might step on some toes. If you want to see people dance, you've got to shoot bullets at their feet every now and then! Finding your voice is having the courage to offend. It is saying some things that you know will cause people to say, "You didn't just say that." To which we respond, "Oh yes I did."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Some John Maxwell Pointers

I have been reading a book titled The 360 Degree Leader by John Maxwell, and here are a couple things that I found were awesome in this book -

In your organization, or church become a "Go To Person."

1. Go To Players Produce When the Pressure Is On.
2. Go To Players Produce When The Resources Are Few.
3. Go To Players Produce When The Momentum Is Low.
4. Go To Players Produce When The Load Is Heavy.
5. Go To Players Produce When The Leader Is Absent.
6. Go To Players Produce When The Time Is Limited.

So there you have it. I think that if we become "GO TO" people, our organizations/churches will be absolutely thrilled. Being a "GO TO" person is an amazing opportunity, don't miss out!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

You, Me, & The Mona Lisa

I am reading a great book authored by Don Cousins. In it there is a great thought I want to share with you -

The Mona Lisa is considered priceless. What makes her so valuable? The Answer: "She was painted by Leondardo da Vinci." The painting itself wasn't so special; the person who created it was special.

Ephesians 2:10 says; For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. "If the painting is priceless - an inanimate object hanging on a wall created by a man who's been dead five hundred years, what does that say for your value, as a living work of art created by the living God?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Hold The Hand Of The Father

When I was young my mom and dad would take my sister and I to the mall every once in a while. It was a pretty big place in the eyes of a 5 year old. There we were going in and out of all the different stores. I remember reaching up and grabbing the hand of who I thought at the time was my dad. As I walked out of the store I remember looking up and realizing I had grabbed the hand of the wrong person, A PERFECT STRANGER, and it was instantaneous freak out mode for my little five year old mind. I was looking for my REAL FATHER and when I saw him, I ran to him and grabbed his hand... what a relief!

This story means a ton to me right now because God is calling us to rise up and do some big things. We have to be careful not to grab the hands of the wrong people, we need reach for the hand of our REAL FATHER, GOD HIMSELF, and take great comfort in knowing that he will guide us. Hold The Hand Of The Father this week, let him guide you through the big plans He has for your life, don't be afraid if you are feeling so small in the grand scheme of what you believe God is calling you to do, you will be led if you Hold The Hand Of The Father.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The "What IF" Challenge

This week in prayer the same phrase kept coming to mind, "What If?"

"What If Every Day That We Woke Up We Thanked God For Another Day?"
"What If Every Conversation We Had Inspired Others To Seek The Face Of God?"
"What If Every Thing We Listened To Was Uplifting And Praise Worthy?"
"What If Every Time We Spotted A Need, We Met That Need?"
"What If We Slowed Down And Listened To What People Are Really Saying?"
"What If We Filled Our Minds With Scripture Every Morning?"

"What If" is such a small statement, but I can't get away from the power that rests in this little phrase. This week I am going to take the "What If" challenge and do some of the things mentioned above. There are other "What If" statements that you may be thinking of right now. Join with me on the "What If" challenge. Do it for a week and comment back on what happened during the course of the week. I believe that together we will catch a glimpse of the power of God and be inspired to live a life above and beyond what we could have ever thought or imagined. God Bless And Enjoy The Challenge!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Ahh! What To Do!

Have you ever felt like your resources are limited and drying up? If this is happening to you right now I have a new view that you are going to want to ponder.

If you open your bible to 1 Kings 17, there is a great story about a prophet named Elijah. Ok, check this out; this is the very first time Elijah shows up in the bible, and his mission from God is to go to King Ahab, and tell him that there will be no rain in the land because of Ahabs obsession to worship a false god named Baal. This led the nation of Israel into idolatry.

So God sends Elijah to an awesome place called the Kerith Ravine! This is where God would take care of Elijah, and he would be able to eat steak and bread, and drink water from the brook. Elijah had it made! But the Brook Dried Up! Why? Cause there was no water. There was no water because Elijah obeyed God and told King Ahab there would be no more water in the land. So you would think that Elijah would not have this problem of a dried up brook because he was simply obeying God. Well, this is where the story gets good. In the second half of 1 Kings 17 we learn that God moved Elijah from the Kerith Ravine to a poor widows home. She and her child were going to die because of no food, but Elijah obeyed God and went to this widows home. It was there that Elijah learned there was a greater purpose and moving from the Kerith Ravine to the widows home was the best thing that could happen. The widow was blessed by God through an infinite supply of food, and the widows son became ill and died, but wait!! Who was there to help? Elijah! He prayed over her son and raised him from the dead! That Is Awesome!

What would have happened if God had not dried up the resource in the Kerith Ravine? Elijah may never have gone to the widows home. See! God has a greater purpose for us in life. We don't understand why our resources dry up sometimes, but praise God for greater purpose. Think about where your life is right now? Does it feel like your "brook" is drying up? Maybe God wants to move you to a different place to do greater things.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Application Application

James 1:22 - 25 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

Today I have watched a teaching on line, listened to a podcast, and had a great conversation on the topic of applying what we read from scripture to our every day life. It is awesome when we gain revelation from something we read from scripture, but the power is released through the application. Let's be a group of people who apply the truths of scripture to our lives on a daily basis. Real Change Comes Through Application.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Direct Obedience

I was reading a great story in the bible about Abraham. In Genesis chapter 12 God told Abraham that he was going to be a great nation. Abraham was a man that God blessed in a huge way. The interesting thing is that Abraham had another deep desire in his heart, and that was to have a son. I would think being told by God that I was going to be made into a great nation and I will be blessed and He will make my name great would be enough to keep me stoked for a lifetime. But Abraham wanted a son. So at the age of 100 years old Abraham had his son. But wait! Go to Genesis chapter 22! God asked Abraham to take his son and sacrifice him! That's insane! God asked Abraham to sacrifice his deepest desire, his great dream.

I love this next passage of scripture. Genesis 22:3 "Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey." No questions asked, Abraham immediately obeyed God. You find later in the reading that God spared Abraham's son.

So let's get to the point. Sometimes there is a time to put your dream and deepest desire on the alter before GOD to see what He wants to do with it. Maybe it is His desire to see your obedience, and open you up for an amazing blessing. Maybe in your act of obedience your dream will be one step closer to becoming a reality. I know that it is worth placing it on the alter before God, so give it a try...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Internet Silence

Many people have wondered why in the world I have not been online for quite a while, so you get to hear the answer. Isn't that awesome?? Ok, so there have been a ton of changes in life, and sometimes I think that if you're not careful, change can really take a toll on your brain. So I have spent many hours in prayer and seeking God for guidance. He has definitely been helping my thoughts stay focused, and for that I am grateful. This is a really weird season of life for me. I am seeing the true colors of many people, and for lack of a better word, WOW. So as you read this, just remember that during uncertain times in life, keep your prayer life strong. Don't shrink back, but prayerfully seek God in the decisions that you make. They might be the toughest decisions of your life, but God is faithful! Thanks for listening to my ramblings!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hasty Decisions STOP!

I watched an awesome video by Wayne Cordeiro. He is the pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship in Oahu Hawaii. He talked about the importance of making major life choices during the stable times in life. He went on to explain how we should write those choices down. I really appreciated how he brought this simple truth back to the table. How many times do we jump into "major life changing choice mode" when our lives experience a major storm? This is not the time to make choices! Making major life choices during the storms of life are often Hasty Decisions. Hasty Decisions lead to an unsure result. Unsure results lead to second guessing. Second Guessing leads to regret. So, the purpose of the blog is to bring the simple truth back to the table. STOP, & don't make life choices when you feel your world is crashing down on you!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Cross Key

While taking a prisoner from a correctional center to be arraigned on charges of attempted armed robbery, an officer noticed a cross around the prisoner’s neck. Knowing that the man was not religious, the officer took a closer look. The prisoner attempted to conceal something protruding from the top of the cross, saying it was good luck charm. But the officer thought the ornament looked like a handcuff key, and he was right. When he took the cross, he discovered that it would open almost any set of handcuffs! That cross had the power to set a prisoner free. (author unknown)

I like this story alot! The Cross has the power to set us free from the bondage of sin and death. I guess it could be said that through Christ the handcuffs of sin are released and no longer able to hold us prisoner. I really, really like this story!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Preachin F.I.R.E.

The young adults in St Cloud are absolutely on F.I.R.E.! I love FIRE! For instance, think about camping. When you light that FIRE you can sit there and watch the different colors that it produces. Think about the last time there was a home on FIRE in your community? Isn't it kind of interesting how many people drive to see who's home it is and how raging the FIRE might be?

Jeremiah 20:9 says "His word is in my heart like a FIRE, a FIRE shut up in my bones I am weary of holding it in, indeed, I cannot.

When you read the bible, those scriptures get inside your bones and light a FIRE. At that moment we need to realize that there is going to be a secondary reaction, we are going to let those words out, so others may here and be inspired. When we are prompted to speak, let's speak. F.I.R.E. stands for FIRE the INSIDE REVOLUTION EVERY DAY. Be the person unashamed of starting a revolution through speaking the word of God!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

5 Small Loaves Of Bread & Two Fish

Tonight I had a "Chill Moment." Let me define a "Chill Moment" for you. You are sitting in silence thinking about some things that you would rather not think about, but it's impossible to stop thinking about those in particular things. So here I am blogging my thoughts.

Jesus took 5 small loaves of bread & two fish and fed an entire community of people. How? He took what He had and performed a miracle. I believe that Jesus wants to perform a miracle in your life, but the first thing you need to do is take inventory of what you have? What is it that you can give to Jesus, and watch Him do what He did with the 5 small loaves of bread and two fish? Jesus wants to take what little you have and perform a miracle with it. Give it to Him right now.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Thought That Exploded

Currently I am reading a book titled, Becoming A Contagious Church by Mark Mittelberg. There is a thought in the book that is so amazing I have to blog about it. Many of us in the church world are familiar with Mathew 12:13 "...For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks."

When I read this next thought it was like an RPG went off in my head and shook the walls of my cerebrum (suh - ree - brum). Ok here it is.
"Out Of The Lack Of Overflow Of The Heart, The Mouth Doesn't Speak." Interesting thought ay?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Great Night

Just finished up an awesome night at church. Genesis Youth Rock my face off. If you wanna talk to a bunch of passionate people who love Jesus talk to those teens! I don't care what anyone says, the teenagers of today are a group of people who desire to seek the face of Christ. So a big shout out to the BECKER MINNESOTA TEENS!

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Great Wayne Gretzky Quote

I was reading online today and came across one of the greatest quotes ever. Here it is.. say it out loud with me... ok ready?? Come on clear your throat.. Alright here it is - "You Will Miss 100% Of The Shots You Don't Take!" To take a shot something is better than to never take the shot at all. REMEMBER THIS! Life is way to short to wonder "What If?" Maybe it's time to take a shot at that sport, or maybe that church, or that job, that you have kept yourself away from. Maybe you have family that could use an apology, or a friend that needs to be held accountable to the things they do over the weekend. Maybe your husband or wife needs to be told how much you care about them. Whatever the case may be, You Will Miss 100% Of The Shots You Don't Take!" I challenge all of us on these computers to take more shots in 2009 than we ever have before. Watch how life gets really great, really fast!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Three Life Changing Words

Mathew 4:19 says - "Come Follow Me," Jesus said, "And I will send you out to fish for people."

These life changing words were spoken to 12 men that had absolutely no idea what their lives would represent.

Peter - A fisherman.
Andrew - A fisherman
James - A fisherman
John - A fisherman
Mathew - A tax collector
Bartholomew (aka Nathanael) - occupation unclear
Philip - occupation unclear
Thomas - occupation unclear
Simon The Zelot - occupation unclear
James (Son of Alphaeus) - occupation is unclear
Thaddaeus (Son of James) - occupation unclear
Mathias - occupation unclear

These were the 12 disciples that to whom Jesus spoke the words "Come Follow Me." Every one of these men, with the exception of John, who died of old age, popular or unpopular were killed because they said yes to Jesus. You and I will probobly never have to suffer the persecution that these men suffered, but I pray that everyday we see people continue to say yes to "Come Follow Me!" These are three life changing words. Answer yes to Jesus today!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

So Stoked!

I have been away for 12 days, and tomorrow I finally get to preach. If you are a preacher that loves to speak you know what I am sayin when I say "Let It Go Brotha!" There is a time that you have to let it all go. There are so many things flyin through your brain that you want to say to people, and if it collects for too long you are going to go crazy! That is where I am at tonight. I am preachin in the morning and I can't wait!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

One Of The Proudest Moments Of My Life

I have been out of town away from my family, my church, and my youth group for about a week. Back home there is an amazing ministry that we started in 2008 called DC. In that ministry is a man by the name of Josiah Lumley. He has been in our youth ministry for around 7 years. Tonight he spoke to the youth group and delivered what I will label a five star teaching. He spoke on what it means to be in Christ. Even though I am currently away, I have received numerous reports on how awesome he did. This is one of my most proudest moments because I have seen this young man journey through his spiritual life and now he is speaking out what he believes to the next generation of world changers. I have to say that I am so proud of Josiah, and I will never forget this moment. Keep preaching Josiah, I believe that God has called you to this and has prepared you for this. You Are Amazing! I praise God every day for allowing me to be apart of your life all these years, and I look forward to the future God has planned for you. Let's all allow this year to be a year that God stretches us. "It's Not Always Easy" is the slogan I am using for when God is trying to stretch us, but when it's all over we can sit back and say "It Was So Worth It!"

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

7 Non Negotiables Of Leadership from Perry Noble

Check out this post that Pastor Perry Noble posted on Leadership. It's awesome.

#1 - Passion. I'm not talking about false excitement over an event that you would not attend if you were not on the payroll at the church! But rather raw, unfiltered, emotional and unapologetic passion...a white hot fire inside that consumes, controls and configures us into who Jesus has called us to be and what He's called us to do!
Be warned-passionate people make for easy targets because no one has to guess what they stand for! However, passion, if handled correctly, can be one of the best friends a leader can have.

#2 - A Desire to Please God. One of the first verses I ever memorized was Galatians 1:10. I remember reading it and feeling like it literally jumped off the page...and something inside of me kept screaming, "You are going to need this verse for yourself if you are going to be truly successful in ministry." A true leader in church would understand that God is our Leader...and in a passionate pursuit to please Him you and I will often disappoint people.
We can't please committee's and Christ-a choice must be made.

#3 - Wisdom. James 1:5 has been a verse that I have also had to cling to as a leader! What a promise! God has called us to leaders I feel that we need to be doing as much as possible to learn...that means going to conferences, reading books...and not being afraid to meet with and learn from people who "aren't like us!"
What are you personally doing right now to grow and develop yourself as a leader? To add to your wisdom?
I am in the process of connecting with other church the past several weeks I've been involved in numerous learning environments with people who know SO MUCH MORE than me...and God has used each experience to shape me in an awesome way.
If all we tell our people is what we know...and we lead out of our limited knowledge, never seeking wisdom from others or God-then we will raise up some very shallow people.

#4 - Courage. I don't think the tag "leader" should be put on anyone who hasn't had to make tough decisions on a consistent basis.
I once heard Andy Stanley say that a leader isn't necessarily the first person to see an opportunity, but rather the first person to act on what they see.
So true! There are lots and lots of people who see what is wrong with the world, church, etc...however, very few are actually willing to do anything about it.
Leaders step up and make the hard calls...even when it's unpopular.
On a side note-courage is NOT the absence of fear! There have been so many situations in my leadership journey here at NewSpring that have just about caused me to pee my pants!
However, courage is KNOWING what God has called you to...and then DOING it...not knowing the outcome...but KNOWING who is in control of the outcome!

#5 - Humility. This is a tough one cannot actually brag that they are humble!
Too many times in the past I know that this was a quality that was NOT in me! I wanted the credit for all of "my ideas!" If something went right and I was involved-I wanted people to know about it. If an element of service programming went well and it was my idea...I took the credit.
And then one day I had a conversation with John Maxwell that ROCKED MY WORLD...he said to me, "Perry, you are where you are for two reasons. The first is the favor of God. The second is the giftedness of God. And Perry, please understand that God didn't owe you either of these. You are where you are because of Him!"
DANG! When it comes right down to it...I don't have good ideas-God gives them to me. I don't have the ability to think or act...OR LEAD...unless HE leads me!
John 15:5 is SO true...and I have no right to boast in anything that I feel like I accomplish!
If a leader doesn't care who gets the credit...but is obsessed with God getting the glory-awesome things can happen!

#6 - Honesty. One of the things the corporate world has seen lately is a lack of integrity...and the lie that "this is my life and how I live it doesn't really impact anyone else" has been exposed over and over and over again! As leaders-we've got to be honest with...
* OURSELVES - how are you doing? Really? Can you keep up the pace you have right now? What changes need to be made?* OTHERS - is everyone around you doing a good job? Is there a tough conversation that needs to be had-but you won't because you are afraid of the outcome?* GOD - Is life and ministry REALLY "all about Him?"

#7 - Simplicity. I once heard Ed Young say, "If you want to impress me as a leader-don't tell me what you're doing, tell me what you're NOT doing!"
I think a leader who is worth his (or her) salt will admit that they are not good at everything...and as a result they will stop trying to be.
Reality is that everyone of us only do a few things well...and our leadership will be maximized when we focus on what God has gifted us and called us to be rather than what everyone else in the church expects us to be!
I can't do everything...but I can do something...and the something that I can do...I will do!!!
What is on your plate that you KNOW you aren't good at? You hate it? Go ahead and admit it because everyone around you already knows it and are probably praying that you will stop it anyway!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Click Your Heels Together

I have currently been away from home for 1 week. When you have a wonderful wife, an amazing 6 year old boy, an awesome 4 year old boy, and a beautiful 6 week old little girl, being away from home is tough. I found myself thinking about Dorothy in the Wizard Of Oz clicking her ruby red high heels together saying "There's No Place Like Home, There's No Place Like Home, There's No Place Like Home." Make sure that you build your home into a place that you miss while you are away. Take time to restructure your priorities right now if your family is not at the top of the list. The home should be one of the greatest places on earth.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Acknowledge God, A Tough Life Lesson

Proverbs 3:5 - 6 says "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Not leaning on our own understanding is one of the toughest life lessons to be learned. I want to break it down a little so that we can see the benefit of not leaning on our own understanding.
My little girl, Jayci, is about 6 weeks old. She is not able to do everything on her own. In fact all she does really well on her own is eats, sleeps, and fills her diaper like a pro. Everything else she leans on our (her mom and dad) understanding to help her grow. She knows that we are going to do what it takes to make her healthy if she is sick. To feed her if she is hungry, and to change her diaper so she doesn't sit in her own mess for too long.

This is how God views us. We are his children. He loves to take care of us and be the amazing father to us. We need to make sure that we continually put our trust in Him and not lean on our own understanding. He knows what is best for us to grow, gain health, and He will not let us sit in our own mess for too long. Today lean not on your own understanding, acknowledge God!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Turbulent Experiences

We all go through Turbulent Experiences in our lives.

Loss of a loved one
Loss of a child
Loss of a job
Feeling overwhelmed by loneliness
Feeling like we don't measure up
A failed marriage
A friend who bailed out

Whatever the case is, we all eventually face something that beats us up a little bit, or rips hope from our hearts. Instead of giving up and losing all hope, take these moments and give them to God as an opportunity for your faith to grow more than ever before! Is it fun going through Turbulent times? NOT AT ALL! But we will, and when we do our response still needs to set us up for an infiltration of hope. I believe that some of the greatest opportunities are born out of turbulent times. You see life differently and in those moments something small but priceless may be revealed.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Avoid Drifting

Today about 1:00pm I was driving through Wahoo Nebraska, ok, get it out of your system and repeat "Wahoo" in your head again. Funny name, I know. I was hit with an interesting thought.

Have you ever been in a boat fishing, or just parked in the middle of the Ocean, Lake, or River, getting your tan on? The boat will actually move on it's own if the engine is off. How does this happen? It's called "DRIFTING." There are so many times I believe that we begin to drift in our spiritual lives, home lives, and school lives. We just shut off our engines, (our core values, our goals, our common sense, our beliefs) and just drift. Drifting is dangerous in the sense that it often leads to an undesired location. Undesired locations produce undesired results. This year set some locations, and develop some routes for your life that are solid, no drifting! Do whatever it takes to keep your engine on, and stay the course. Everyone will arrive somewhere in life, but not everyone will arrives somewhere on purpose. Avoid Drifting, set your route, and arrive on purpose.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

An Awesome Thought

I heard a teaching the other day by pastor that I absolutely loved. He said that when he was a kid he wanted an "Atari" game system so bad. Atari was even before Nintendo, so this was an older system. But all he wanted for Christmas was an Atari. One day his mom looked at him and said, "son, you are not going to get an Atari this year for Christmas, so stop thinking about it and don't get your hopes up." Devastating for a young kid, don't you think? So Christmas morning came, and it was time to open presents. As he opened his gift, his eyes lit up, and he was over - excited by what he saw. His mom and dad bought him a "Super Nintendo!" Way better system than the Atari!

Point being - Maybe the things you want for your life this year are like the Atari. Don't be devastated when God doesn't give you those things. He might be setting you up to receive something way more SUPER! Take every day and thank God for what he is doing in your life. Start to get excited about the Super things that God is going to bless you with this year.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I Am Proud Of You!

I recieved some news tonight that a friend of mine and his wife are going to work on saving their marriage! That gets me stoked! I love what he said, "I spent alone time with Jesus, and my perspective changed." Jesus is incredible!!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Biblical StokeAtion (I made that word up)

I am stoked!! I recently watched a video by Louie Giglio called FRUITCAKE & ICE CREME. In the video Louie brought a verse to the table that many of us know, and many of us are hearing this verse for the very first time. Here is the verse, check it out:

2 Corinthians 5:17 - 19 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come. All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

If we are in Christ, we are NEW! This is a New Year! Get in Christ like never before and become NEW! I love the promise that God is not counting men's sins against them. Talk about a powerful verse! No it does not release us to do whatever we please, but the truth is, that God desires a deep connection with us, and therefore if we are in Christ, He commits to us the message of reconciliation. I encourage you to check out Louie's video, it brings the whole verse to life!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Freeing Entanglement

Everyday life can be feel like what some of our junk drawers look like. Do you have a drawer in your house that you only keep chords in? You know the old car phone adapters, car phone chargers, or small extension chords? When you pull out one chord they are often tangled around another chord, and instead of pulling out one chord, the whole drawer comes with. Usually, unless you are a very "special" person, you begin to feel the heat on your face as you become frustrated.

Everyday life can feel like an entangled mess. The demands of the world can be consuming. I know we are supposed to do all our work "as to the Lord" (Ephesians 6:7-8) but if we are honest, sometimes it's tough to keep one eye on heaven when it seems we always need both eyes on earth. So here comes the good news - When we are patient and begin to untangle one chord at a time, we eventually work our way out of entanglement. This is a freeing feeling. Remember to be patient and untangle one chord at a time this year.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Another Great New Year Start!!

I can't think of a greater book to read than the bible. I know at first you are probably thinking, "well, the Harry Potter series was good," or maybe, "Twilight" was awesome. You may be thinking to yourself, "I never really understand the bible when I read it." Take the challenge this year to pick up the bible and read it a ton. When you don't understand what you read, stop, and call someone who you can trust to answer those questions that are brewing in your mind. Don't quit!! Keep reading even when you don't understand what it means.

For those of you who are reading the bible all the time, here is an awesome site you can go to and read the bible through in a year. ( So Here We Go!!! Let's Rock This Year!

Hey It's A New Year!

A BRAND NEW YEAR!!! Thank God for another year that we all get to live. I would encourage you to put all of things from last year in your mental journal and look forward to the new year.

There are two parts to a movie that critics say are the most important, the Beginning and the End.

There are two parts to a book that authors say are the most important, the Beginning and the End.

There are two parts in public speaking that are often noticed by the audience. The Beginning and the End.

Galatians 6:4 says - Let everyone be sure that he is doing his very best, for then he will have the personal satisfaction of work well done and won't need to compare himself with someone else.

So here we go!! The first day of a brand new year. Let's be sure we are doing our very best. At the end of each day take a look at how the events unfolded and ask yourself, "Did I Do My Very Best?"