Monday, December 31, 2007


I am not a morning person, I like mornings but I am still not a morning person. This morning I woke up at 6am, which wouldn't be that early but I am in Arkansas today and it according to my body it was 4am. It takes a couple of cups of coffee to get me going but once I pipe some precious caffeine down my veins I enjoy an early morning. The quietness of getting alone is a very and rare commodity. I was able to spend some time in God's word without being interrupted and received some great benefit for the day. Jesus made it a habit of getting away for some solitude and i think that we all could use more of that.
Hope you have a happy New year-- God bless


ps: here's what Jackson and I look like in the morning

Thursday, December 27, 2007

2008 almost here.

Looking forward to a great new year...
This year promises to be a great new year. Here a a few things I am excited about.

-Visiting my parents for new years day
-Elevate moving into the 210 building in mid-February
-One of my best friends in the world moving back to visalia
-Moving into our new house
-My sons first year of actual pitch baseball
-An amazing year of ministry at Crossroads
-My wife and I taking our first vacation (without the kids)

Hope you all are looking forward to an exciting year as well. Jeremiah puts it well in chapter 29 verse 11 "For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." God has great plans for all of us, the closer we stay to God, the easier it is to hear his plans.

happy new year everybody!!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Hope you all are having an amazing Christmas, we are having a quiet Christmas with just the 4 of us. Watching the kids open presents is truly a joy. I often say I learn so much about Gods love through my children. As crazy and mischievous as they can get I still have an unexplainable unconditional love for them. I get a great deal of satisfaction of making them happy and hearing them say "just what I've always wanted." Sometimes we get the misconception of God as being the angry schoolmaster keeping a record of how we do and waiting with sadistic pleasure to smack the back of our hands with his yardstick when we mess up. Jesus tells us in Luke chapter 11 that God enjoys giving us good gifts, he makes reference to how we give gifts to our children despite our proneness to be selfish, he says if we can do that, how much more does our heavenly father enjoy bringing us the things that we need and desire.
As you open gifts and give gifts this year, make it a habit to slow down and remember you have a heavenly father who loves you so deeply and is constantly looking out for your best interest. When you slow down enough to appreciate who he is and what he is doing, you will see the amazing gifts that he is always handing out.

Merry Christmas Everyone.

Monday, December 24, 2007


When we are moving so fast in life we often lose sight of who is with us. Jesus made a promise after he rose from the dead that he would never leave us- ever! When life gets tough we often feel abandoned by God or we get so caught up trying to fix things we make them worse. Jesus often asked his disciples- "who do you say that I am?" I think another way that could be phrased to us is "do you realize who you have with you." there is a great commercial on tv currently that shows a guys getting ready to perform surgery on himself with a butter knife, and it says "you wouldn't do surgery on yourself" and goes on to say something like why would you not let a professional handle your finances. This would be an excellent commercial for us to say why not look to see who we have next to us when we go through the dark times in life. The maker of the universe has said, I will never, i mean ever, leave you. Slowing down long enough to realize that God is with us the entire way would help save us a lot of stress and heartbreak in life. So put down the butter knife and let God do what he does better than we do- everything!

Friday, December 21, 2007


One of the best things about living life with a slow motion awareness is that you are much more thankful for the things you have. It is easy to get caught up in life trying to always get what we don't have. The secret to fulfillment in life is found in the book of Philippians chapter 4. Paul is talking about how he has achieved basically the highest status in his profession, only to find it left him empty (he actually calls it a pile of poop.) He says that in good times and bad times, in richness or in extreme poverty he found the secret to contentment, that is the coming to the understanding that God is faithful in all things. Philippians 3-4 is a great guide to understand what it really means to live outside of our circumstances and experience the fullness of a life lead by thankfulness for who God is and what he has done (and better yet what he is going to do.)

I am so thankful for my family, for his protection from a near accident today, for the fact that he loves me even though he knows all about me. The list goes on and on.

Thanks for slowing me down long enough to say thank you!!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

210 Update

I had the privilege of walking through 210 yesterday. It is coming along awesome. We are blessed to partner with an great church like First Pres. who truly demonstrates a kingdom perspective. Looks like the opening date is going to be around mid to late Feb. Hope all are well, i have a touch of the flu. Will try to write a little more later today.

god bless

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


"I can't believe I just said that." "I wish I wouldn't have said that." Have you ever thought that? I have on multiple occasions. Why does that question seem to make a frequent appearance in my life? One of the first things that goes out the window when we get caught up in the fast paced life is our ability to make logical decisions. When things are going on so fast around us, we (or should I say "I") tend to make decisions based on the here and now. One of the disciplines of being a Follower of Jesus is that we base our decisions based on what the future holds not based on how I feel at the moment. (that is living life in slow-motion) If we really think about it some of the worst things we say are when we get caught up in a situation and say something stupid without thinking about the consequences of our words. Solomon says it well when he says " There is more hope for a fool than for someone who speaks without thinking. Proverbs 29:20." I am making an effort to live life in slow motion which means not making quick decisions based on feelings and not responding quickly with my words. I hope this is something that will stick beyond just a seasonal effort, but rather become a habit in my life. The one thing you find in the word of God that we are supposed to do quickly and without thinking, is to obey God. I hope I am quick to obedience and slow. James chapter 1 has some amazing advice, the whole chapter is awesome nut specifically verses 19-20 "Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires."

Monday, December 17, 2007


Sometimes being still and waiting pays off. I shared last night that I was trying to beat the crowds and find that hard to get toy for my son the Christmas. After playing the game and not being very successful I decided I would just wait it out and wait for it to come to me or even past the Christmas season. I got a text from a friend who told me where I could get one this morning. So I went and stood in line for a few minutes and got it this morning. Psalm 46:10 says "be still and know that I am God." I am not saying that God was behind me getting the Christmas item I have been searching for (although he loves to bless his children) but the principle of waiting and listening applies well in lifewe can run around and search for things all we want. By true spiritual growth and blessings I believe are fond in the time we sit still and acknowledge that God is in charge and we are not. So my challenge this week is to start operating in slow motion a little each day to truly appreciate God and see his hand at work- because he is always at work.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


One of the first steps in living life in slow motion, (actually seeing things from God's perspective) is beginning to care less what people think and put God's perspective in top priority.
This is one of my favorite video's, it shows someone who is consumed with Jesus and unfazed by popular perspective. Everything is for our king.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


I cant believe we are less than two weeks away from Christmas, didn't we just finish taking down the lights from last year. This year is going to be an extremely busy Christmas, we are going to be trying to move into a different home 3 days before Christmas and still try to have a somewhat normal Christmas. Things could get a little crazy, but i am trying as I do each year to remember why we celebrate and also make sure my kids understand the meaning. I am going to start teaching a new series through December at elevate called "slow motion," based on Psalm 46:10 "be still and know that I am God." This verse is a challenge to us to slow down and focus our attention on God long enough to see that he is in charge and that his way is so much better than ours. When I am going in fast motion I miss out on the best things in life and begin to think that I am in charge of life.
Here is a challenge, the video posted below is 10 minute long, 10 minutes goes by quickly except when you are still. Take the time of this slow-motion video and Listen to God. (if your at work you may want to wait till you get home.) Listening doesn't necessarily mean hearing a loud booming voice, but just listening to what he spirit is telling you. 10 minutes seems an eternity when you are still.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Would you say something to a friend who had something stuck in his or her teeth? or had their fly open? I am very privileged to have some great friends in life. I have a amazing group of people who I am on staff with and we are not just co-workers we are friends and we have fun together. It is amazing to serve God together with people you actually enjoy being around. I am also blessed to have people in my life that tell me what they feel, not what they think I want to hear. That is a fine line to walk sometime, if we are going to be a good friend we might want to help them with something we see may be hurting them and that they are not aware of, yet we don't want to hurt they feelings or we are unsure of how they will respond. I am beginning to learn that honesty is always the best policy, even if someone responds unlike I would hope in the end, you earn respect. In proverbs 27:17 it says "As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend." All friendships be involve building each other up which requires honesty based on love. Next time a friend points out something that hurts your feelings remember another great proverb: "Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy." proverbs 27:6.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Worship Concert

Last night was an amazing worship concert. It was awesome to see a full house of people reaching out to God in worship. The night was all kind of based on the fact that God is pursuing us. We often think that we have to work harder, be better or do more in order to get God to notice us and to offer us the things that we need. The truth is that God is the one who is constantly pursuing us. We just seem to have a way of looking for him in the things that the world has to offer instead of taking the greatest gift ever, which is a relationship with him. That is more than just praying a prayer and expecting life to be perfect. It is the process of growing in relationship with him, and realizing that the greatest gift he has to offer is intimacy with him. I need to stop looking for the material or emotional things that i am expecting from God and look to him directly and enjoy his presence.
A challenge today: knowing that God is pursuing you, look around you for opportunities to see him at work in your life and the blessings he might be giving you that you might miss if you are looking elsewhere.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Worship Concert at Elevate

Are you Thirsty? Not for water to quench a dry throat. Is your soul thirsty for God's presence to fill your life? This Sunday might we have an opportunity to gather together and let God minister to our hearts through some amazing musicians, but more importantly some amazing people who have a passion to get close the heart of God. If you are dry spiritually or just in a rut, come join a group of people who are Thirsty for God's presence. Hope to see you Sunday night at 6pm.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

I am not in control!!!!!

I woke up today having a productive day planned out, everything was set up nicely... until the phone rang. My day is now upside down and I am having a reminder in the version of a two by four across the forehead that I am not in control of my surroundings, much less my own life. I wouldn't consider myself a control freak but today I am realizing that at my core I am trying to be the "boss of me" and not surrendering myself to God. The phone rang again and I am having to deal with the fact that my stuff is not really my stuff... or at least its not supposed to be. (ever have a high dollar item stolen? not fun.)
As a pastor I must admit that it is easier to preach about something than it is to actually live it out through experience. There is a passage that I am being convicted to apply in my own life, which to tell you the truth I don't feel applying right now, but if I am gonna be submitted to the God that I serve I must apply it and live it even though I don't feel like it. It comes from the book of Philippians chapter 4 starting with verse 4 it goes like this:

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I don't feel like showing Joy right now, I feel like banging my head into the wall, I don't want to be gentle I want to scream. I am anxious, I want it fixed right now.

"Lord, thank you for what you have given me, and what I have, thank you for turning my schedule upside down. Thank you that you will bring peace to my craziness when I slow down long enough to accept what you have for me. You are amazing thank you for all you have done."

Could you hear my teeth grinding together as I forced that out? Time to practice what I preach. don't live your life by your feelings- live by the truth of who God is and what he says about you. God's peace is on the way... Hope your day is going better than mine.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Take some time and look at the Lyrics from the song Marvelous Light by Charlie Hall.

I once was fatherless

A stranger with no hope
Your kindness wakened me

Wakened me from my sleep now
Your love it beckons deeply
A call to come and die
By grace now I will come

And take this life take Your life

Sin has lost its power
Death has lost its sting
From the grave You've risen,

Into marvelous light I'm running
Out of darkness out of shame
Through the cross You are the Truth
You are the Life You are the Way

My dead heart now is beating
My deepest stains now clean
Your breath fills up my lungs
Now I'm free now I'm free
My dead heart now is beating
My deepest stains now clean
Your breath fills up my lungs
Now I'm free now I'm free

There's no more shame
No more shame
And now we show the world
Christ in you

Into marvelous light I'm running
Out of darkness out of shame
Through the cross You are the Truth
You are the Life You are the Way

We have been given an amazing thing in the person of Jesus. He desires to take away our blindness and move us into light. Take some time to show your thankfulness, and look at the light that Jesus moves us into rather than the Darkness we once lived in.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Persistence is a rare quality. It can be annoying when other people are persistent in getting something from you. There was a lady at a church I went to a couple of years ago she was one of natural health dealers. One winter I came down with the flu. She gave me all kinds of natural remedies, I never will forget these garlic things that she swore by, I smelt like a Arabian kitchen for a week. The funny thing I eventually got better, not sure if the remedies had anything to do with that, but she saw me and asked how I was feeling, I told her, "fine." She said I told you it would work and then proceeded to hand me a bill for all the items she had given me. I was nice and paid the bill, she then started bringing me refills and making all sorts of other suggestions. I had to fight her off every week from giving me new bottles of turtle livers, or hippopotamus belly lint, or whatever was the new thing. Even after I moved hundreds of miles away, she got a hold of my number and wanted my address so she could send me more items. I now know why she was driving the pink Cadillac given to the highest grossing sellers in the country. I will have to hand it to her, she was persistent. If we could show that kind of persistence and faith in seeking God for what we desire him to do in our life, i believe we would begin to experience a whole new realm of Gods grace. God appreciates persistence and says in his word that we will have some amazing blessings in store if we practice this quality. In the book of Luke chapter 11 Jesus challenges those around to be aggressive in seeking what we need from God, and that God rewarded persistence- Check it out (Luke 11 especially verses 5-10). I am challenged today to be persistent in seeking God for the Miracle I am praying for this season.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Nick-Names are always an interesting thing to me. I call both my sons by names other than their given name. For some reason I have attached a little name to them that expresses my love and affection for them. My 7 year however does not allow me to use his nickname in public, and if I write it in this blog I will be in trouble. I wonder what God calls us. His love goes deeper than any parent can love their child and he knows all of our little quirks. One time he expresses a name to young gal caught in adultery and thrown naked into public, he calls her daughter. Jesus called two of his disciples Sons of Thunder, he called Simon Peter. I think that if we were to listen closely we would hear that Jesus has some names for us, that would help us understand the depths of his love.