Saturday, May 31, 2008

From Guest Blogger Glen Bryant

Have you ever noticed how people react to things that are shiny and new? It’s like we are drawn to physically and verbally react. Cars are a good example. When we see a brand new car with its shiny new paint and chrome, we almost always make some comment showing how much we admire the newness and the “shine”. Even with my older car, when I wash it, I always turn as I’m walking away to get another look at it because the shine makes me happy…it gives me a good feeling. The same principle applies to people we see.

A little over five years ago, there was an experience in my life that changed me forever. You see, I had been in the “party scene” for most of my life. Starting in high school, I began using alcohol and drugs and had continued far into my adult years. I knew a lot of people who “shined” when they were using, but they quickly lost that shine when the drugs wore off. I was the same way. I tried to make sure that the good feeling I had wouldn’t wear off by keeping a steady supply of drugs and alcohol at my disposal. If the good feeling starts to wear off you simply supply your body and mind with what it needs to maintain the feeling of happiness. Of course that didn’t always work. Sometimes no matter how much I used, the feeling of happiness was unachievable. The things that I had relied on to make me happy weren’t working like they used to…they were only temporary at best. That’s when God stepped in.

I received an invitation to go to church from a co-worker and for whatever reason I said yes. So the next Sunday I got up, got cleaned up and dressed, did some meth (speed), and headed for church. I felt pretty safe going to church high because I figured these church folk wouldn’t be able to tell anyway, but I’ll never forget walking into the sanctuary and seeing people I knew from the party crowd, even one guy I used to buy a lot of my drugs from! People were smiling and truly happy to see me, even people I didn’t know. But what really got my attention was when the music started and I began noticing the “shine” on the faces of some of the people up on stage. It was different. I stood there trying to figure it out. What was it about these people? It was like being in a parking lot…some of the cars stand out because they are shinier than the rest. This was people though, and they definitely were shining brighter than anyone I’d ever seen. They had something I wanted. I had to find out how to get it for myself.

A month later I threw away the drugs I had. I was figuring this thing out. The happiness I had while using was a lie. The happiness they had, seemed to be coming from inside. It was a “natural” high. How cool is that! No more hangovers! It all started with the “shine” I saw in the faces of some of the people. It’s like this. Have you ever been in a room with no windows when the lights go out? It’s completely dark, and you try to find some kind of light to focus on. Then you see a crack of light coming from under the door and you head straight for it. You know that’s the way to go so the fear of being in the darkness will go away, and that when you are in the light you will be safe and happy to be out of the darkness. I saw a light in these people I had never seen in any bar or at any party. I was drawn to it, and I wanted what they had.

You see, the shine I saw in those peoples faces was coming from inside…it was coming from their heart. It was real, it was natural, and I was starting to feel it myself. I could see the light in the darkness and I was headed straight toward it. It wasn’t sunshine I saw, it was son-shine. They were shining because they knew that the Son of God was living in their heart. They were shining because they knew that Jesus had sacrificed Himself to pay the price for all the wrongs they had done and will do. They were shining because of the promise of eternity in heaven with the one who shined brighter than all the others. But just like a car, it takes a lot of work to get and keep the “shine”.

Our cars get dirty, scratched, and dinged-up just like we do. Our relationship with God is what keeps us clean, like reading His word and doing what it says, talking to Him (praying), and leaning on Him through the good and tough times. Even though we have some dings and scratches that will always be there, through “Christ in our lives” we can “shine” like brand new every day, and just like that brand new car in the parking lot stands out among the others, my goal is to be a light to others just like those who shined the light for me when I was standing in the darkness of my sin. I want to be like the people who allowed God to use them. The “Son-Shine” in their faces and lives, saved my life.

By Glen Bryant

Friday, May 30, 2008

I am amazed at Gods love and how he could love me in spite of knowing everything about me. I know how selfish and egotistical I can be, yet that doesn't effect his love. We all have a variety of relationships in our life, some good, some not so good. I am looking forward to seeing what God has to say in his word about relationships and learning some practical things that I can put inplace to help make those relationships healthy.
This weekend my great friends Jonathan and Megan tie the knot. I am excited for them and all the life changes that they are experiencing. Congrats Jonathan and Megan.

-Tonight Jonah plays in the second round of the Ntional League playoffs, they are still undefeated.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I am Legend

Tonight we are going to be closing the series "I am Legend." We looked at some of the names God used to reveal himself to us. As the "I AM" he was the beginning of all things, and when we fall short, when we aren't big enough, strong enough, wise enough, patient enough, he not only says "I AM" he is "I AM." We also saw the mighty God, who created the heavens and the earth by simply speaking them into existence, this all-powerful mighty God breathed life into his creation and showed his magnificent artistry by hand crafting us into his image. We Also saw him as an Everlasting Father, a Father who is kind, compassionate, in love with us, and always there.

Tonight we will close with him revealing himself through Jesus, who came and said in John 14:6: I am the way the truth and the life." I am thankful that God in his unspeakable and indescribable majesty is not only willing but passionately pursuing a relationship with us.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

I really have a lot of respect for the men and women who give of themselves to serve our country. Today is memorial day a day to remember those who gave all a sacrifice for us. The whole thought of being willing to sacrifice all for the good of the whole country is an amazing thing. I cant imagine what it is like to be in battle, and to be on constant guard, with your life on the line. I had a friend who was in Iraq who began to understand a relationship with God which he would find when he came home. He shared with me that while he was ducking for cover with enemy fire exploding all around him, he felt a strange peace that there was a purpose in his life. After he came home his wife, who was attending a church I was a pastor at, brought him to church. After hearing about a relationship with Jesus, he said it finally all made sense; this is what God had had protected him for, and that strange peace he felt in the midst of undescribable trauma, was Gods hand.

Some of the stories he shared with me of what it is like in real life war still make me shutter. The amazing thing is that the God who made his presence felt to a soldier dodging bullets is pursuing an intimate relationship with all of us, and offers the same peace that he felt for the trials and struggles in our life. Today I pray for the thousands of men and women in this same situation that they would feel the peace that God brings a realize their purpose as well- to know the creator and experience the new life that he brings.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

From Guest Blogger Glen Bryant

Do you know how many people make their living off of being the “middle man”? The fact is our whole society is based in some way on this concept. When you want to buy a house you don’t usually contact the owner, you contact a real estate agent. Even when you rent a house you sometimes deal with a “management” company, instead of the owner. Everything from buying stocks to buying flowers has someone in the middle helping the transaction happen and making their cut of the profits. A lot of the time that’s the safest place to be. The risk can be much less for the people in the middle.

I worked for a family member once that had a business selling storage tanks. Mostly the big ones you see in mountain and rural areas. We would make some of the tanks on-site, but a lot of them we would simply take the request on the phone, call a bigger distributor, who would give us a discount so we could in-turn sell the tank to the customer and make some money on the deal. The tanks were even delivered directly to the site sometimes and we would never even see them or the person who bought them! It almost sounds dishonest but it’s become “the American way” of making money and we call that being a “broker”.

Now I’m not putting anybody down for how they make a living, I had just been thinking about a situation where I tried being the “middle man”, or “broker”, on a different level…on a spiritual level. You see, I had a co-worker that came to me one day because she new that I was a Christian and she was needing help with her son who at the time was 17 almost 18. He had gotten involved with the wrong crowd and had gotten in progressively worse and worse trouble with the law until he found himself going to prison for about 3 years. Yes, that’s right, adult prison. His mom was asking if there was anybody at my church that I could get to connect with him somehow, to encourage him and help him find a better way to live. I told her I would do my best, and I set out to see what I could do.

Since he was a young, Hispanic male, that had some gang background, I started trying to find someone in our church who would fit the order. The “middle man” was on the job. I talked to several people and even gave the address of the prison to a couple people who said they would try, but after about six months my friend’s son had received no mail. I was having trouble figuring out why no one would take an interest in helping this young, lost youth. I was failing at my job as the broker, the “middle man”. I had seen the mother’s tears, someone had to help!

So I did the only thing left to do. I took the address I had been given, wrote him a letter, and mailed it off. I had no idea how he was going to react. I didn’t feel like I was the right one for the job…I was much older, and Caucasian. In my mind I couldn’t see him connecting with some old, white dude…..but I was wrong. You see God had a plan all along. He set the whole thing up from the start. It was amazing. What I remembered was that even though we may be different ages or races, that God made each and every one of us in His image. So the idea that we have nothing in common with certain people is a lie from the get-go. We were made by God to be a family, to love each other like He loves us, no conditions, and no boundaries. As my new friend and I continued writing back and forth my eyes were opened to the fact that God didn’t want a broker, or a middle man, He wanted me, God new that not only did this young man need my friendship, but I needed his as well. He didn’t want me to find someone else to be his friend, He wanted me to do it. He new we both had something to offer each other…friendship, family, and the love of Christ. I am so happy God put this person in my life. We have been writing to each other since 2006 and next year he gets out. I have every intention of being outside the gates when he steps out, now 20 years old, and giving my brother in Christ a big hug, and on the following Sunday walking in to church with him.

Now this isn’t intended to be a pat on my own back, I just wanted people to learn from my mistake. Don’t always be looking for a “middle man” when it comes to God’s work. It may feel like the safer way sometimes, but you will never know the blessings God has in store for you…if you don’t see the path He’s laid before you.

Take the risk…be God’s “direct supply” to the lost.

By Glen Bryant

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I find myself getting sick quite a bit lately. I think there are a couple of reasons for that. 1. I havent been taking care of my body. (no gym and bad eating happens make for some sluggish days) 2. Improper time management, many times I will allow the tyranny of the urgent to take complete rule, and my unwillingness to say no, keeps me up late doing things I should have done or shouldnt have volunteered to do.
3. and Finally not taking one of the 10 commandments seriously. That being the Sabbath. I think the sabbath has nothing to do with going to church, but rather taking time to stop and let God rejuvenate my mind, body, and soul.

Here is what Louie Giglio wrote about the Sabbath:

That’s what today is all about. Sabbath is not about legalism and rule keeping. This holy day of rest is about the posture of our hearts...about laying at His feet the heavy weight of the world we’ve tried to carry all week long.

There’s so much to be done and so little time to do it. And that’s the point exactly. We can’t. But, then again, Sabbath reminds us that God is building the house that stands, not us. And having done our best at all we can, it’s time to be still...and by our very godly inactivity exalt Him as our all in all.

Breathe out weight and worry. Breathe in again the bigness of God.

This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength. Isaiah 30:15a

Today’s prayer:
Father we praise You today. Not because we are supposed to, but because we want to…we need to. We need to remember again today that You are Almighty. Limitless. Unchanging. Forever the same. From weariness and brokenness we look up to You. You are the source of life and peace. All of our help comes from You, Maker of heaven and earth. (end)

I need to take some time to take care of me: That is sometimes the best thing I can do for my family, my friends, and the people God has commissioned for me to lead.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Fathers-and the Everlasting Father

Last night John and I got to share a message on the "Everlasting Father." I have had the privilege of having an incredible father in my life, who has helped me understand what God means when he refers to himself as Father. John shared how even though he had a absent father as a child, God put a different amount of people in his life to help meet that need in his life. I really liked the verse that he shared from Psalms that said "I will be a Father to the Fatherless." We really do have an amazing God, a Father who is Compassionate, Caring and always there.

On my side of being a father, my son Jackson is finally pulling through after a rough couple of days of an intestinal virus and dehydration, but this morning he is actually showing some signs of energy. It is a tough position to be in when your kids are sick, there is a feeling of helplessness and frustration because you cant make things better. It is great to have a Everlasting Father who is never helpless.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Elevate BBQ

come hang out at and enjoy some great Burger and Dogs at 210 this Tuesday evening at 6pm. This is a great opportunity to get connected with some new friends. As Elevate begins to grow it is important that we are not just another worship service to attend, but rather a community where people can belong and know that there are people who care... its basically just doing life together. Life is too tough to go through it without encouragement, our hope and prayer is that Elevate will become that for you.
See you Tuesday at 6.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

From Guest Blogger Glen Bryant

Enjoy the Ride

For years I have heard people say “life is like a rollercoaster”, full of up and downs. If you really think about it though, in our lives we consider things to be going well when we are at the top, and bad at the bottom, but on a rollercoaster the best part is leaving the top and screaming down towards the bottom. Overall, I guess you could ask if after all the up and downs, did you enjoy the ride? That’s what makes people decide if they want to keep riding, isn’t it? Life is full of up and downs, so how do we come out at the end with that same excitement we have after getting off a rollercoaster?

I guess it could be the way you look at things. When we are standing on the ground looking up at the rollercoaster, we hear people screaming and we wonder…are they having fun or are they scared to death? It could be both. That seems to represent life more than the actual “ups and downs” thing, doesn’t it? So maybe the secret is finding a way to have fun while you are really scared. In the mist of your fear to know that in the end it’s going to be all right, to know that you are not going to fall off the ride, because something is holding on to you, to “enjoy the ride”.

The other day I was trying to make a decision of whether or not to take the money I had saved and use it to pay off my car loan. It seemed like a good idea since I would save money on interest, but there was the thought of “what if”. You know, what if something comes up and I need that money for some unknown emergency. I’ve been through the ups and downs of finances, so I pondered over it for a couple weeks trying to decide what to do. I thought about buying some bank “CD’s” to earn interest on my money, but that didn’t make sense because the interest I was being charged on the loan was more than I would earn on the CD’s, but at least I would still have the money. Anyway, the good decision for me was to take a chance that I wouldn’t need the money and pay off the loan. As I hit the icon on my computer to send the payment it was a fearful, but good feeling. (Like flying around a corner on a fast moving rollercoaster).

How about when we struggle with loneliness? When we are alone it can be so overwhelming at times that you what to jump on that relationship “rollercoaster” without the safety bar in place, being on the ride is better than waiting in line. Even if we know it’s not safe, it’s better than being a spectator. On the other side, we get so discouraged because of past experiences that we don’t even get on the “relationship” ride because of the fear of being disappointed at the end. We hear the screams of other people and can decide it’s not worth it. We can choose to be a spectator, and the loneliness gets worse. So how do you have fun with this?

I do know that for me, as I go through life there is one thing that gives me comfort. I know as long as I do my best to live my life in a way that honors God, that he is my “safety bar”. (Psalms 37:23-24) I know that as I go through the “rollercoaster” of life, that God is holding on to me. I know that no matter what I’m going through now, that I won’t be disappointed at the end of the ride. I know that every time I’m going through a hard time, that God has something good for me around the next turn. I knew that as I paid that bill, that God had control over any emergency. I know that as I go through periods of loneliness, that God has a plan for my future and who I spend it with. It doesn’t make it “easy”, it makes it “easier”.

The other day I was coming back from a work site about 30 miles away and about half way home I ended up behind some slow moving vehicles. The front one was a truck pulling a trailer and the second was a school bus. So I decided that even though I was in a hurry to get back, that it wasn’t worth risking a dangerous pass. I decided to just kick back and enjoy the ride. (I get paid by the hour anyway). But there were some cars behind me that weren’t feeling the same way. The lady behind me was “chomping at the bit” to get around the slow vehicles and finally did come racing around with a couple others behind her. Well, about five miles down the road, as I was getting back into town, I pulled into the left hand turn lane, and guess who was sitting to my right waiting for the light to change? You guessed it, the lady who risked her, and her kid’s lives to pass had gotten no further than I had. In fact my light turned green to go before hers did! I had to laugh to myself, and I knew that because I chose to accept the situation the way it was, in the end, I had enjoyed the ride.

So try to trust God, accept your situation the way it is, know He has a plan, and “enjoy the ride”!

By Glen Bryant

Sickness stikes again.

Having Sick Kids is not fun. I would rather be sick then have them sick, its tough when they are just helpless and there is nothing you can do about it. But thats part of life, and the less glamorous sides of having kids. Once again I am reminded about God's unconditional love.

Note: it you have a weak stomach don't read any further.

Last night, my one year old started throwing up, and was confused why stuff was coming out of his mouth - I mean projectile. His only reaction was to cling closer to me. So here I am having a child spewing all over me and trying to get closer to me. Pretty gross, huh. The amazing thing is that I responded not by being gross out, but wanting my kid to feel my embrace and wanting him to be able to be close to me. We ended up having to jump in the bath and the clean up was a bugger. My thought goes back to how God loves us, even though we have the stench and stain of sin all over us, he wants us to come closer and feel his embrace.

So today he is feeling better, just wanting to relax and snuggle, one of the tradeoffs for having to deal with the sickness is getting those snuggles that he is usually to busy to give.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mighty God

Last night at Elevate Scott (Skully), shared with us what the Bible teaches us about a "Mighty God." I really like the fact how he talked about God as a Creator and as an Artist. God came an breathed into the Dust he previously created to form us. The cool thing is that God takes that Artistic touch into each of our lives, and when we give him our lives as a blank canvas, the story he begins to illustrate is amazing.
I really like the whole concept of life being God's story and how he invites us to join our messy stories into his well orchestrated master plan.
Scott shared how the waves off the coast really brought to life his view of a Mighty God, made me want to go to the beach.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I really think I have learned more about God's love by having two sons, than I did in 37 years of Church, 4 years of College, 2 Years of Seminary, and 16 years of being a pastor combined. I had a lot of book knowledge about God, but it didn't really leave me with the genuine appreciation for how God really loves me until my boys were born.
Yesterday was one of the most proud moments I have had a as a father. My son has had a few tough games at the plate the last two weeks and was facing some discouragement. Yesterday it all started with one at bat in the 3rd inning; the pitcher dropped one right over the plate, and he crushed it... he really crushed it. I was so proud, he turned the corner at first and never hesitated and made a beeline for 2nd. As he was running you could practically see the joy on his face, the determination and relief from breaking out of the slump. He couldn't contain his Excitement as he took of his batting helmet and jumped up and down on the 2nd base bag, and raised his arms in triumph.
As a father I would have been just as proud if he had struck out again, in fact he struck out earlier in the game and I was so proud how he ran back into the dugout with his head up, he was gonna do it next time.
God's love for us in not based on our performance as a Christian or even as a human being, he loves us unconditionally, that means "no matter what. period.- and that will never change. I know from his word that he loves to rejoice with us when we overcome situations in our life with the strength and power he has promised to give us. The love that I feel for my son, and the excitement I feel for him when he succeeds can not even touch the Love that God demonstrated for us when he gave his life on the cross, and that he continues to pour out on us on a daily basis.
I am thankful for a earthly reminder of the love God has poured out on me that I all too often take for granted. I hope that My love to my sons is a constant reminder to them how much God loves them.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Living with Messiness

I am learning that life is filled with mess, everything doesn't fit in a nice little little package. I think sometimes Christianity is portrayed as cute little package of perfectness, which is a myth. The Christian life is often messier and more difficult than before.
The other day my son wanted some chocolate, I new he would make a mess but I was really looking forward to seeing the joy and excitement he was going to experience. He went at it and made a mess, but it was a great moment in our life. The clean up wasn't fun, but nonetheless we had a great time.
Life has a way of getting us messy, and part of life is us learning that God's presence is there even when it doesn't feel like it. I have been learning (or at least been put in situations hwere I should learn) that many of the situations in my life are not and will never be perfect. There are situations to big for me to handle and there are things that I cannot fix. I really hope that I can begin to learn to appreciate this mess of I life that I am living, and trust a mighty God who is bigger than any mess to take care of things the way he wants, rather than what I may be expecting.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Common Cents- Guest Blogger Glen Bryant

I found a dime on the ground the other day and it got me thinking…cents and sense…two words that sound the same but are completely different…or are they? Let’s see. Common sense is something that you hopefully gain more of as you go through life. Dollars and cents is also something you hopefully gain more of as you go through life. What else? You use common sense every day. You use dollars and cents every day. OK. If you don’t have common sense, life can get pretty ruff. If you don’t have dollars and cents…well, you get the picture. It seems there are some similarities.

What about the differences? Using common sense can help you have more dollars and cents, but I don’t think you can use dollars and cents to buy more common sense. (In fact sometimes it seems like the more cents people have the less sense they have.) Common sense you can use over and over again, dollars and cents are gone once they are used. No one can steal your common sense, but they can certainly steal your dollars and cents.

Now I know I’ve already said one thing that is debatable. Do people really use common sense every day? What effects whether we use it or not? Do you think it’s possible that there are circumstances or objects that can block the flow of common sense? I think there might be. My research shows that being in a car can block the flow of common sense. My first car I bought in High School had this blocking effect. So when I was racing a friend of mine and wrecked into him, the lack of common sense, cost me some dollars and cents. In fact, every day I see evidence that being in a car can completely block the flow of common sense. I also have first hand experience that proves that using alcohol or drugs blocks the flow of common sense, and in fact can completely eradicate any sign of it.

I think the biggest problem is though, that we just don’t practice it enough, and we make conscious choices to not use it. I think we have all said at one point or other “I knew I shouldn’t have done that”. Common sense gets in the way of us doing what we want to do, or what’s best or easiest or most fun for us. Even though I can’t think of a circumstance where using it has turned out bad, it’s just not always the most attractive way to go. So who cares, right? God does. Read the book of Proverbs. If you read Proverbs and don’t get that God is urging us to use the gift of common sense (or wisdom), then you’re just not wanting to see it. Here’s one of my favorites…

Proverbs 27:12(NIV), “The prudent see danger and take refuge; but the simple keep going and suffer for it”

I spent most of my life in the second half of this verse, but now that I’m doing my best to focus on the first part…life’s getting better for me. It’s a daily workout though. It’s not easy, but it’s turning out to be more valuable than all the dollars and cents in the world. In fact the more I focus on God’s will for my life, and using His wisdom, the more peaceful and joyful my life becomes. I’ve even had a couple of pretty rotten things happen to me lately and been able to rest in the peace that God has given me…comfortably.

Anyway, what really got me thinking the most wasn’t finding the dime, but that at the end of the day I almost lost it again when I was carrying my work clothes out to my car. You see if I hadn’t been paying attention I would have lost the cents I gained that day, and it made me wonder…if I’m not paying attention is it just as easy to lose the sense that I’ve have? I know this much…if you could save up common sense and put it in an account when you don’t use it, like we save dollars and cents if we don’t spend it…I would have enough sense saved to last the rest of my life and to leave a large inheritance…but I think I’ll try to spend it before I go.

By Glen Bryant


I kind of understand what Jesus was saying when he encouraged us to have the "Faith of a Child" when I see my kids in action. This morning Jackson was just chillin' sitting in his chair with his special lamb (Lamby). He wasn't worried about what was going to happen later, he wasn't worried about next months mortgage payment- he was just chillin.
He knows that his mom and dad are going to make sure he is taken care of. He spends very little time worrying about stuff and a lot of time doing the things he's supposed to do. That being playing, eating, and being ornery; because that is what kids are supposed to do.
We adults are supposed to trust God (sometimes the word adult is very loosely used-especially with me.) Yes, we have responsibilities and jobs, but if we really want to live the type of life Jesus desires of us, we need to trust. Its not a do this or else command, it is the best thing for us. I have found that any command God has for me is not to give me rules and regulations, but rather to protect me and to provide for me. As a parent I have to make decisions that are not popular with my kids- but they are always to provide for and protect my kids.
I hope we can all get in the relaxing mood when it comes to trusting God.
I am thankful for the 2 little examples he has blessed me with.

Friday, May 9, 2008

When God is in our life he is the "I am" when we are not.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Waking up tired and and even after multiple cups of coffee is not a great way to start your day. That is how may day started today, not sure if its allergies in the air, lack of sleep (actually went to bed at a good time), or lack of physical exercise- most likely all the above. Anyway, I am learning that my physical condition has a lot to do with my spiritual well being. Something I am needing to make happen in my life is balance, looking to develop wisdom and grow closer to the heart of God is not easy, but when I am a whole person I am much more receptive to the plans and changes that God has for my life.
I believe that God does a whole lot more with his strength than we can ever think of, but he has given us the freedom to choose what we will do with the gift of our bodies. I need to treat his gift a little better and discipline myself. Not out of Guilt! but out appreciation for what he is planning to do in me and through me- If my broken down body can handle it.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I am not, but I know I AM!

I feel very in adequate a lot, I am learning that that is a good thing. Its not a thing to be little myself and make myself feel holier for having a false humility. But when I realize that I am weak and that God shows his strength best in my weakness that can be a very healthy thing for me emotionally & spiritually. The key is to remember that on a daily basis, so that I don't get so busy doing things for God that I forget about the thing that is most important to him, my attention.
So I am starting off today with the thought being I have a lot of things going on right now that I cannot handle, but God wants to show his strength in these situations and my job is to find the balance in life of trusting him and responding in kind with the gifts and abilities he has blessed me with so I can be a part of what he has planned.
So I want to live out a story worth watching, my story is a boring story that would bore people to tears, God's story is amazing and full of excitement- I think I'll join his.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Life happens fast, sometimes when you stop and take a breath and look back its hard to believe how quickly time has elapsed. It seems like just Yesterday we were having our first baby, all of a sudden I have a 7 year old and an almost 2 year old. Years go by so fast, but even faster go the days. The sad thing is that many of us just allow life to happen, we miss out on living intentionally and making the most out of everyday. Survival and making it through to the next day take over and living each day with meaning and purpose go by the wayside.
Looking back at life it is amazing to see evidences of God's presence making themselves evident at many different intersections of life.
In the new series "I AM" at Elevate we are going to study how God makes himself known to people throughout history through His name. Nowadays, names something we use to get someones attention or attach somebody to a story we are telling. God's name however is something that goes deeper, it describes his character, who he is, what he has done, and what he has promised to do. Over time names have lost their significance, people used to be called something to signify what was happening in the family's life at the time or something great they were called to do. My name translated means "declarer of God" I hope that is something I can actually do in life and live up to. In looking at God's name in the days and weeks to come, I want to really grasp who God is, so that I can not only see evidences of him, but take advantage of the promises he makes to those He loves- Us!

Monday, May 5, 2008


Here is a clip from Loiue Giglio (my favorite speaker) We have an amazing God who created a amazing universe bigger than we can comprehend, but yet he desires to have a intimate relationship with you and I. Crazy but true.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

From Guest Blogger Glen Bryant

Just Kidding…

“I was just kidding”. How many times have we used that phrase shortly after hurting someone’s feelings? Well, being the joking type of person, I’ve found that I need those words more often than I’d like. I guess the problem is knowing when and with who you can joke around with. Or maybe it’s what you can joke around about. Or maybe it’s all about timing? Well, I don’t know all the answers to this, but I have learned a few things about it lately. The lesson for me started
a few weeks ago when I made a comment during a conversation that hurt the feelings of someone I cared about. Now I was really “just kidding” when I said it, so in my mind I couldn’t understand what the problem was. Why is it that something could be funny to me and not to everyone? I guess that’s the question.

So what do I do now? I could dismiss the whole thing based on a lack of a “sense of humor” on the part of the offended person….that would be the easy way. (I like that one.) I could just wait for them to “get over it” and forget it ever happened. (That might work!) Or I could try to figure out where I went wrong and learn to avoid the situation in the future. (That sounds too hard.) Well, I chose the last one. So I’m sitting here after the phone conversation that opened my eyes to the problem thinking, “what do I do now?” I thought maybe I could turn on some worship music. That would make “me” feel better. That wasn’t the answer, so I turned on my computer and went to a website for Andy Stanley’s church (Northpoint Church), seeking to watch a sermon…any sermon. T
he website had changed a little since I had been on it last, so I was maneuvering my way to the sermon list, and when I found it, right there, on the very top of the list, was a sermon titled “Beware of Mouth”. It was one of those “you got to be kidding me God” moments for me as I asked God if this is what He had for me.

So I clicked on the sermon and for 45 minutes sat squirming in my chair as the Lord convicted me through the words I was hearing. I almost turned it off a couple times, but I knew God was sending me a message, and that I should listen. For anybody who has sat in church and felt like the pastor was speaking straight to them, and looking right at them, you know how I was feeling. I was so thankful for that sermon mesage. (Just kidding) Well let’s just say I learned a lot from it, but the lesson wasn’t over yet. I called my daughter later and was talking to her about what happened and she immediately told me how mean what I said was, and it didn’t matter if I was just kidding around. I could actually hear the pain in her voice as she told me of her first hand experience with being on the other side of the joking. My heart broke as my mind starting thinking about how many people I might have hurt in the past with my words and not even known about it. People will even laugh with you as you hurt their feelings, and so you don’t ever even know you did.

Ok, so how about this thing where we say to them, “I was just kidding”, does that help? The sermon I listened to, said that saying that is like pouring fuel on a fire. It also said that we can’t demand forgiveness, that it has to be given willingly to us. That may take time. I look at it like this. If you spray someone with a water hose that didn’t want to get wet, chances are they won’t be willing to forgive you till they are dry. And it’s how badly you sprayed them that determines how long it takes for them to dry off. In the mean time you have a choice. You can accuse them of having no sense of humor, or being “thin skinned”, or you can seek God’s guidance. Seeking guidance from God in a crisis is always a good idea. It really helped me in this situation. (Read James 3:1-12)

When I think about the way the sermon message title just popped up first thing like it did, it makes me laugh and shake my head. God’s way of doing things can be funny sometimes….no kidding!

By Glen Bryant

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Getting Close to God- & a 7 year olds logic

Growing up around the church one of the goals of in living the Christian life is to get closer to God. Sometimes there are phrases that people just kind of say because that is the expected thing to say in religious circles. I said it in a conversation with my 7 year old son yesterday, and he responded in a "unchurch" like manner, he said "how can you get closer to God he is everywhere." I was forced into a situation where I had to explain a "Christianese" phrase. What does that mean: getting closer to God? I fumbled around a little bit; its easy to throw out religious words or phrases a little harder when a 7 year old is hanging on your every word waiting for a definition he can understand. My basic conclusion is that the more time we spend getting to know God, the more our lives start to reflect who he truly is." This then took a different direction when he started asking how Jesus shrunk himself to fit in our heart. So I also tried to explain that its a spiritual thing that he is not actually little mini Jesus camping out in our left ventricle, but that our heart was a symbol of our life, its what makes us live. So in this new series of getting to know God better through his revealing himself to us through his names, I want to be extra careful not throw out "churchy" phrases, but rather unpack the amazing revelation God has given us about who he is, and that this amazing all-powerful being seeks to be a intricate part of my boring everyday life.
Thank God for 7 year olds, I think I am going to have him proof my messages so I don't confuse people with some of the age old trite saying I have accumulated in my years in the church.