Saturday, December 30, 2006

Mixed Feelings
Saddam Hussein is dead, hung and to be buried with his sons. New reports across the world are reporting this historic event, I flipped back and forth from CNN to TLC last night awaiting the news of his passing, and now I'm numb. In the beginning I spoke highly of taking him out, the things he allowed and was involved in were atrocious, if anyone deserved to die in my opinion, he did...But now that he's dead I'm not quite certain how I feel. Glad, relieved, saddened and concerned. A historic evil has been removed, his reign truly has ended, but he was a soul, a husband, and a father. The families of those he murdered must be relieved and rejoicing, but in Lebanon his children weep...I'm probably more for his death than against it, I am concerned about the response of those who favored him, how will this affect our world...and what about his soul? The scripture says that the soul that sins will die, that all have sinned and the wages of that sin death. It also states that the way of the transgressor is hard, this was definitely a tough way to go. My mind is racing on this issue, I don't want to lose out with God, for my life to become so self centered that I live without remorse or concern and lose my way. I read today on a message board where someone said that Saddam is today in hell, no doubt that is true, what is also true is that I don't want to go there...nor do I wish that on anyone else, regardless of how evil they are, I always pray that some how they have the opportunity to make things right with the Lord. Saddam's death was probably the right move, but I hope it serves to others as a wake up call, God is on the throne, He is coming soon, and we must be prepared, it's closer than we think!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Neil's Book Club
Last week our family was going some where and conversing about one thing or the other, you know how you do when you're in the car, talk about everything and everyone. At some point I mentioned that I haven't been reading like I should, I love to read and will read most anything, I've got books on my desk at the office, next to the bed, beside the bed and under the bed in our bedroom, then there's the bathroom reading, magazines in one corner, a Bible and a couple of books in the other...all neatly placed I must wife does not deal with a mess one iota! So I'm talking about not reading like I need to and that beginning the first of the year I'm going to get back on track...and Bam, the challenge is on, Kaitlin, our fourteen year old daughter says, "I'll read with you Dad, two books per month for a year, whoever loses buys dinner!" Of course, this is coming from an unemployed person, so regardless of the outcome, I'm buying...but it is a race and I will win! My mother bought me John Grisham's new book, "The Innocent Man", it is fantastic, 336 pages and I'm on 225, it will be on the shelf by the weekend...of course Kaitlin sets the rules as we go...this one doesn't count...the race begins in January...I will win...Have I said that already! I feel like my mind has become a bit mushy, need to get it renewed with some good reading, to stretch my thoughts and imagination and to fill my spirit with new stuff! Can't wait! Care to join the club...I'll buy you virtual dinner...which means I'll post a picture of what you would be eating!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Thank God For His Unspeakable Gift!
We are all hurrying and scurrying to find that perfect gift, to get it in on time, and make sure it's the right size. Perhaps your spouse has sent you with a list, cut out pictures so there is no mistake and told you where to go and where to find it at the store...My spouse has been known to literally lay my hands on the item so when I return without her there will absolutely be no question of what I'm getting. Shopping is warfare, we are battling time, prices, and crazy people, just to find the right gift...when the right gift has been with us all the time! I am the proud new owner of an Ipod Shuffle, it is cute and provides me with great entertainment and joy, but it's not the perfect gift. No, that gift came wrapped in flesh in a barn, God wanted us to know what He looked like so He put on a face and came when men needed Him the most. Inside of Him were all the ingredients that we needed to live our lives successfully; joy, peace, gentleness and kindness, healing, hope, the Holy Spirit, and more. Christmas isn't about a day it's about a person, it isn't about Ipods it's about incarnation, it isn't about Target it's about Truth, it isn't about wrapping paper it's about the unveiling of the Son of God to the sons of isn't about today it's about eternity! Thank you for visiting this blog, for allowing me to share my thoughts and prayers, my insights and my insanity, thanks for hanging out with me, you are my are my Christmas present! I honor you and wish you a Merry Christmas and a Blessed and Prosperous New Year!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

My New Toy
I got my first Christmas present yesterday, my wife bought me a Ipod Shuffle, it arrived yesterday afternoon...She let me open it up and play with's pretty cool! I've wanted an Ipod for quite some time, was too cheap to spend 150.00 on a Nano, so when I saw the Shuffle I knew it was for know it could become like so many other toys I just had to have and end up on the shelf or in the spend less until I know I'll use it is my motto. I loaded up a song list, I've got 36 songs and some sermon podcasts in it and wore it while going around the block. The only thing is I wasn't sure where my song list came from....come to find out my daughter has uploaded a CD on my Itunes and now I've got her song list...not too bad, Martha Munnuzi, mixed it with a few Christina Aigular, combined with Clint Brown and Pastor Bryan Cutshall, makes for some interesting listening...I'm pretty pumped least as pumped up as I get!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Consumed By The Journey
Tomorrow night is my night to preach at our church, as the associate pastor I preach the last two Wednesdays of each month...I'm up tomorrow. Last week as our senior pastor was teaching I was drawn to Deuteronomy 6, I was particularly drawn to verse 23 when it says, "Then He brought you out in order that He might bring you in..." Then speaks of something that follows something, that after certain things took place, then He accomplished what He promised them. Western Christianity is consumed with events and instantaneous blessings. Our prosperity is measured by the abundance of things, the amount of revelation, and our ability to testify of God's abundant blessings on our lives. Don't get me wrong, I believe in prosperity and abundant living, I appreciate revelation and believe it is operative today...but I also believe that we are in the midst of a process...a journey. Trek with me here for a minute, for every one person sitting in church on Sunday that has just received a great revelation, there are seven that can't feel God, haven't heard His voice, didn't understand what the pastor just said, and are wondering if they're spiritual or not. They read their Bibles and watched christian television as well as all the popular books, they may have gone to a Bible study where people are sharing their latest revelation and they're sitting there wondering...What in the world is wrong with me? To which I loudly am going to reply...Nothing, Absolutely Nothing...Enjoy The Journey! I'm not meaning to sound cynical and believe me when I say I believe God speaks, that He gives revelation knowledge, that He blesses His children, I believe in the prophetic and the power of God to do exceeding and abundantly above all that we ask or's in the Bible you know! What I also believe is that most blessing comes as the result of our ability to remain faithful during the journey...That while we were on our way to the blessing, we were diligent, we were obedient, we were considerate, we were generous, we kept our minds set on God and one day crossed the line into the place of wasn't a huge event, we were just where we were supposed to be and once we got there we didn't stop doing all the stuff we did before, we were just blessed to be blessed and then became a blessing to others...Journey and Process...There's something to think about!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

I Fried Dill Pickles
Every time I go on a fast I look up recipes, not that I ever cook anything, I just look them up, write them down, and talk about fixing them when I can eat. Several years ago I found this recipe for fried dill pickles, it's really simple, take 1 cup of milk, put a teaspoon of flour, one egg, a little salt and pepper, and a few drops of worchershire sauce into the milk, dip your pickles into the solution, and then roll them in flour that you have also salt and peppered. Then put them into the fry daddy and wait till they float to the top...Awesome...That is a absolute truth...and an adjective! I made some and took them to work yesterday, our office manager loved them as did several of the people in our school. Last week a guy from our church brought me deep fried peanuts, you put whole raw peanuts, in the shell into the fryer, and then eat them shell and all...Pretty good, a little different, after my first one I thought I had a hair ball, but you get used to it! Last night my wife and oldest daughter wanted a few pickles so I fried us up a batch, I'll have to drink gallons of water and walk many miles to make up for this exursion off my diet...but it was worth it!
Walking Out The Adjectives
An adjective is a word that describes another word, it enhances the meaning of that word, allowing us to have a fuller understanding. For example, if I say, "My wife is so beautiful", I am saying that she is above average, beyond normal, something exceptional...and she is! This morning my mind was filled with the thought of walking out the adjectives in life, and especially as it pertains to my walk with Christ. The Word of God is filled with descriptive words concerning the Lord, phrases and concepts released through the simple addition of one word...adjectives! So when we read verses that tell us that Christ came to give us an abundant life we recognize that He desires for us to live beyond the average humdrum life, that when Paul says we are more than conquerors, we understand He doesn't want for us to just get by. If I read that the Lord is My Shepherd, I understand that there is someone guiding me personally, it's not just a corporate event. So when I tell some one "God Bless You!" I'm not just imparting my blessing, but getting God in on the equasion...adjectives count, they are more than fill in words, they enhance the what if we walk out the adjectives, living in the fullness of what God says to us about Himself, what He is saying to us about us, and what is He saying to us about others! We all have friends and then we have good friends, and then there are our close friends...what if we relate to these people according to what we say about them? If you are my close friend, we should be close, if you just a friend, or some one I've met, it will certainly be seen in how I relate to you...Am I making sense? Perhaps I am living in my own little world here, but according to my understanding of God's Word, life is a journey, filled with all sorts of events and emotions, we meet all types of people, and life isn't always what we planned it to be...but life never takes God by surprise, it's always what He planned for it to He adds adjectives to our normal everyday lives, spicing things up, increasing where there is lack, and encouraging us to keep walking when we feel like giving up...He is So faithful, His grace is Sufficient, and His mercy is Everlasting, His redemption is Plenteous, and in Him we are Complete! I think life would just feel a little bit better if we walked out the adjectives!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Julie and I have just returned from an incredible weekend in Alabama! We along with our daughter Kaitlin went to minister in a couple of our friends churches, but what we received while there is beyond words. First, I spent time with two of my favorite people in the world: Julie, my wife of almost 20 years and my very best friend, Kaitlin, my almost 15 year old daughter, who most of the time stays in her room...together we braved the cold Alabama was in the 20's at night, Kaitlin hoped it would snow...I rebuked that spirit quickly! Then we went to Moody, Alabama, where our good friends James and Debra Eason pastor, had a wonderful church service, ate pizza and fellowshipped after church, created a blog for James(see, and stayed out to after midnight. Sunday we were off to Sylacauga to Church On The Rock, the real purpose of our trip. The pastors there are Kevin and Diane White, awesome people! Diane had a breast removed on Thursday, was in church on Sunday, and is believing God for a total healing, it was incredible to see the working of the Holy Spirit in this family's life...these Alabama family's are just great and we are so blessed to call them friends! On our way home our friend Rick Sexton called and chatted for 30 miles, it is a great thing to have friends!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Alabama Here We Come!
Saturday my wife Julie, our oldest daughter Kaitlin, and myself will be taking off for Sylacauga, AL! It's rather unusual for Julie and I to travel together, and a sure sign that there is a God and He is soon to return that Kaitlin wants to go with us...perhaps it's the prospect of missing school...who knows? I for one am excited that she wants to be with us, most of the time she's shut up in her bedroom only coming out for food or to comment on the television program we're all watching on separate TV's...does that make sense? We're on mission, our good friends, Pastor Kevin and Diane White are going through a difficult time, Diane's health is not good, she's in a Birmingham hospital, Kevin needs to be with her not in the pulpit. So we're driving up to preach at Church On The Rock in Sylacauga, stopping off in Moody, AL on Saturday to preach at Praise Assembly for Pastor James Eason...I am excited! Pray that we minister to the people God is sending us to, that we are able to minister to them where they are and leave a deposit of grace, love, and comfort, a specific word for a specific people, and that beyond what we say, that what we do will be hope and strength during this time!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Surviving The Shift
This is the word that has been in my spirit throughout the day...not certain that I understand it completely or that it is time for me to explain it totally to myself...but for now this is what I'm hearing in my spirit...Times are a changing! If you read CNN online today you'll find an article stating that President Bush has heard from the Iraqi Commission and now realizes somethings need to change in our war in Iraq, it's time for a shift. You will also read of typhoons in the Philipines, weather shifts, and some of the most ridiculous attitudes in the history of mankind. There is a shifting taking place. Shifting speaks of movement, sometimes it is up and down at other times it's forward or backward, and it is also from side to's all about change...movement that brings us into new dimensions, new levels, it requires a response to an action that we may or may not have initiated, but we must react to. As a minister who doesn't want to come across overly spiritual, like one that has the word on everything or who has a red God phone next to his bed...I sense God is doing a different work in the earth...I'm just not sure what He's doing...Years ago it was revival, that was the watch word, and we believed that revival was going to escalate our churches into growth and maturity...if we could have revival everything would be all right...some churches had it and some didn't, some thought they did and didn't, some thought they didn't and did...we've moved on from that phase, and it was an important season...but now I sense God desiring to remind us that He is in control, and that church and being a Christian really isn't about us, it's about Him. The way that we do church and how we live as believers is being challenged, there are many streams of thought, some misguided signals and directives...we're all right and we're all wrong...we want to grow and be big...we're just not sure how...As individual believers we desire to put the principals we've learned from church and personal study into practice and live victoriously...really we do...until the car breaks down, the kids get sick, a payment is due, and the lists goes do we balance our faith between what we do in church and how we live at home...and then there's this shifting...we sense that something is on the spiritual horizon...but what? The question is can we survive the shift? As God takes us from where we've been to where we are, and from where we are to where we're going...will we move with Him? Can we accept His movement and allow Him to take us places we've never been, to unchartered territory, and trust Him that when it is all said and done...we will have fulfilled His purpose because we simply obeyed Him? I know I've rambled along...I'm just thinking out loud!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Reality TV...Gone Too Far!
I am an avid fan of television programs like Survivor, Super Nanny, and Wife Swap, reality television is fun...until today...I've seen it all! While surfing between commercials I found my way to USA Network only to find that rather than showing Monk, Law and Order, some movie or even a rerun, they're showing MLG Pro Circuit....Now we're supposed to sit on the couch and watch other people play computer games on their computers...Get A Life!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Remember To Read
This morning I received a devotional that quoted Dr. H.A. Ironside and John Wesley concerning the importance of reading, especially when it comes to believers and ministers in particular. From the time I was a child I've loved reading, read at an eighth grade level when I was is second grade. It has been my habit over the years to read everything I can get my hands on, often having books next to my bed, in the bathroom, in the family room, and at the office...I didn't say I finished them all, just read lots of stuff. Over the past few years I've slowed down some, gotten busy, and to be truthful, I've gotten lazy, by the time I get home from the office I don't want to think, so I sit in front of the television or even the computer, but don't stretch my mind. Today I was reading some blogs and came across the profile of one man who under the tab of favorite books put, "Love To Read". It stirred something in my spirit, the Bible teaches us to give attendance to Bible reading, the Apostle Paul while prison asked for books to be brought to him...I've never seen a bookstore that didn't absolutely have something I needed...or wanted at least...I'm going to give myself to a fresh dedication to reading! When our oldest daughter was entering kindergarten she wanted to know if she would learn how to read. For Kaitlin it was the highlight of her educational life to learn how to read, and now she reads all the time, is a straight A student and has determined that her life goal is to be an attorney...a mind is a terrible thing to waste! So my challenge today is Remember To Read!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Where Are Your Accusers?
I read something today that has got me thinking, the question was asked if the male prostitute that exposed Pastor Ted Haggard for homosexuality and drug use had been arrested...after all, while Pastor Haggards acts were illegal and sinful, so were this prostitutes...And, someone has to pay, it's the American's the way of humanity...exposure requires recompense! Don't get me wrong, I think Haggards acts are shameful, that he should be removed from the ministry and restored...and restored...and restored...To God, the church, and prayerfully his family, let's do it in this order: God, his family, and the church. Chances are he will never be in the limelight again, he may never have a national audience, and perhaps should never, but what a loss to the body of Christ it would be if this man was lost for eternity and if after a period of restoration, a time in which his issues are resolved, his family and marriage restored, and his wife in total agreement...was not given the opportunity to minister to others from the lessons he has learned from this tragedy in his life! Ted Haggard is out of the limelight now, forgotten by the media, and so is his accuser, he had a moment in history and now he's forgotten too. I wonder if anyone reached out to him? Do you think anyone shared with him the power of the Blood of Jesus and the Gospel to set him free? Wonder if he will face the music for his actions, for his sins, or will he ride into the sunset, laughing at the stupid christian that couldn't control his emotions? Should this man get away scott free? I don't have an answer that I can share, I'm asking you...what do you think? If it were you, where would your accusers be?
In The Mood Yet?
For some strange reason I am having a difficult time getting into the Christmas spirit. Our lives are fine, my wife and I are getting along and I even like my kids this week...but I just can't find myself in the mood for Christmas. Perhaps it's the thought of going to the mall and stores, the rummaging through racks and piles, looking for the perfect gift, or at least the gifts my wife has listed for me...I'm just not in the mood. Julie announced last night that tonight is the night for the Christmas trees to go up, notice that I said to have one for the living room and one for the den, and then we'll probably have to have them for the girls trees, but trees none the less! Am I sounding like Scrooge yet? I'll get over it and eventually into the Christmas spirit...about January!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Home Today
After a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday I'm home today with a sick wee one! My youngest daughter has been running a fever for a couple of days, I thinks she's worn out, so we've stayed home from work and school. A day of pampering and the Disney channel should cause her to feel better, and for me, a day of boredom from the Disney channel will cause me to appreciate work!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Black Friday
Well, I did it...said I wasn't going to, promised that anyone who did was crazy, but I did it...Went shopping this morning! Now, I didn't go at 4:00 AM, or even 5:00 AM....No, I woke up at 7:45, was out the door by 8:00 AM, eating coffee and a doughnut by 8:30AM, and back home by 9:00 AM! Pretty good huh? I went to Walmart, got a couple hot items, went to Lowes, walked right in and out....took longer at the local BP station to pay for my refreshments, thanks to some lady who needed to discuss everything from her credit card not working, her smoking history, and her dogs bone...why is it that people need to leave their stuff on the counter when others are standing in line and yap? Perhaps my day of shopping has ended, I got the things my wife felt were important, so maybe I can be never knows these things...but I did it and survived! Let me admit that it really wasn't all that bad, Walmart where I live is always crazy, especially when our northern friends have ventured south...and they are here....but that's a totally different post, one that will more than likely be written after a day of hazardous driving, one when my now low BP rises...Today it's all about shopping...I did...I'm Done! My next adventure will take place just before Christmas, when all in one fatal swoop I venture to the mall and stores to buy for the only person I buy for...My Wife...Takes 1-2 hours, all I do is go where she tells me, buy what's on the list, try to remember the clothes that she actually put my hand on and said, "This is the one I want!" After that, it's done for another year...I'm tired just talking about it!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Freezing To Death
It's only 60 degrees here in Sunny Florida! Last night it got down into the 40's, and I don't mind telling you that I am freezing my Yankee Butt Off! We turned the heat on last week and last night I turned it up to 75 degrees, so this morning at 5:46 AM every smoke alarm in my house went off, evidently the heat got the vents and lints warm enough to create a bit of friction and off they went! Our daughters were coming out of their rooms, I'm running, (Yeah, Right!) to turn the heat down and make sure we weren't really on fire...My wife, didn't phase her one bit...we did this last winter too! Hopefully we're going to warm up by the weekend...I have turned into a Floridian, came to the office this morning with layers of clothing, a t-shirt, a shirt, a lined jacket, and I wore socks! What is this world coming to?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What Is The Average Price For A Soul?
Gerald Fraller of Tampa is having some financial problems, as of November 13th he is no longer employed, his car blew up, he is unmarried, and has done all that he can to amass the necessary finances to no now he's selling his soul...Really! It is a contest and the reward is his soul, to the lucky person who wins Gerald's soul and helps him change his life goes the reward of: Certain control over his life such as: a percentage of his taxable income, at least 500.00 per year, the ability to plan his wedding, even the setting of the date, a profit ownership of any intellectual business he comes up with, the right to choose his children's first names, and much more, you can read it all on his web site: Of course, there is a buy back clause, Gerald can buy his soul back for the price of 1,000,000.00 I heard this on the radio this afternoon and thought certainly this must be a joke, I then read his web site and was amazed...How do you sell your soul? It then dawned on me that many have sold their souls for much less. Jesus said, "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and then loses his soul?" It makes one wonder what will you give in exchange for your soul?

Monday, November 13, 2006

My Greatest Florida Fear
We're having cold weather this week at night, it's supposed to be in the 70's in the day and the high 40's at night. My wife is already asking should be we turn on the heat...I fear I'll wake up to see my palm looking like this!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

USF FootBall Versus Oasis World Outreach Men
The University of South Florida played Syracuse this afternoon in Tampa athe Raymond James Stadium...It is a massive and quite beautiful stadium, I think it seats 60,000+ people, has exspensive but good food, and great seating all around...but I'm not sure they were ready for the 24 men from Oasis World Outreach. We converged upon them with excellent tickets given to us by a friend...two things in life you never pass up: 1) Free Food; 2) Free Ballgame Tickets!
We arrived around 11:00 AM for the 12:00 Kick-Off...mind you, I am not a sports fan at all, in fact, as we left we saw a Tampa Bay Buccaneers player, I didn't have a clue who he was, Rando somebody...nice Escalade though. Our seats were in section 133, rows C-E, on the 20 yard line, on the Syracuse side...needless to say, our group, a couple in particular ranted and raved, were actually louder than the cheerleaders, and we had a blast...and to top it off...USF Won!
What a delight it was to spend the day with friends, I hope to do it again sometime...I'll get my wife to tell me more about football before I go!
Several months ago I came to the realization that my health had entered a crisis point, my blood pressure was 176/110, my chest was hurting, my left arm was hurting, it was a constant thing, something had to be done. Over a period of years I had allowed this thing to get out of hand, I researched blood pressure, heart disease, symptoms of heart attacks and strokes online, knew what was coming my way...and I truly believe I was headed that way until I had a right now experience. My family and I were on vacation in Chicago, staying with my mother, I checked my BP, was in pain, got scared and started walking. That week I began to walk twice a day, for at least thirty minutes, pumped the water in, drank apple cider vinegar with water, all the herbal supplements like garlic and cayenne pepper, daily aspirin...and I prayed and promised...and for the first time in my life I followed through...I had to make a difference....Now!
The Bible is filled with Now moments, you read phrases like: "Now it came to pass", or "Now Faith Is", or "Today is the day of salvation, Now is the accepted time!" There is something about living and moving in the Now. The old saying never put off until tomorrow what you can do today really does make sense, but not to us procrastinators...we like to wait, put it off, look for a more opportune moment, hope for something to change...I had been telling myself what I needed to do for years...but there came a moment when I had to make a decision.
In the Kingdom of God I sense that same spirit arising within my spirit, that this is a Now Time. That God is calling us to do things we've known He wanted us to do for years...Now! That this is a prophetic season, things in our world are changing rapidly, and if we're going to make a must be Now!
By the way, I checked my BP this week it was 138/88, not ideal, but for the first time in several years I'm in prehypertension range rather than secondary stage...I'm still working on it, going to get where I need to be, I've lost around 30 pounds, got 5-7 to go...I'm appreciating the process...Now!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

If Not For Grace
I've finished reading an article by J. Lee Grady concerning the fall of Ted Haggard and the response we should have concerning this vital matter to the body of Christ. As I was scrolling down the page I saw the add for a book by R.T. Kendall on the subject of grace...and my mind stopped there...If not for the grace of God where would I be? If not for God's grace where would you be? Would you be reading this blog? Would you be concerned with the things that concern you now? Our nation has come to an intersection, a crossroads of sorts, it is a political crossroad as the power base of our nation shifts. It is a spiritual crossroad as the Body of Christ enters a time of shifting, the church as we know it is changing, it is shifting and adjusting itself to the times we are living in, the spiritual climate of our day is different than ever before...If it were not for God's grace and His keeping power...none of us could stand. This afternoon our worship pastor came into the office, she has been through more than most could stand, her kidneys began to fail when she was a teen-ager, over the past year she's been on dialysis, and in June she had a kidney transplant. Since that transplant she has been in and out of the hospital, dealt with kidney stones, calcium issues and other things. This afternoon she came in rejoicing, sharing of God's faithfulness and of His goodness...she spoke of how God has been faithful to keep her, of what she learned in the darkness of her's been the grace of God. Today my mind is strained, I'm stressed, my spirit is stretched...but God is faithful and His grace is sufficient. I am thankful that when we are struggling, His grace is sufficient, that when life is difficult...His grace is sufficient...when we don't what step to take next...His grace is sufficient...If not for the grace of God where would we be? I am thankful for God's grace, goodness, and faithfulness...and I encourage each of you to rest in His grace!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Shout One
Some Times You Gotto Shout!

Monday, November 06, 2006

The News
My addiction to CNN Online, Reality TV, and several news boards is beginning to wane, especially to church related message boards...I am frustrated with the religious crowd, the secular crowd isn't quite as lethal and at least you know what you're up against. Please forgive me, I don't mean to be negative, but I am continuously amazed at the attitudes of Christians, it's as if they gloat in another person's failures, are quick to draw conclusions and pass judgements, I sometimes wonder what is the difference between the believer and the non-believer...and then I remember...there's still good news amongst the bad news.
Two days ago Ted Haggard was the big story, he's out of the pulpit and out of the picture now, today's news is Iraq and the upcoming midterm Thursday my left shoe could be the never knows!
There is good news, it never changes, it is always relevant, it always works...Jesus is Alive, He is in Control, and His Word remains the best news we can ever hear. I'll get over my frustration with message boards and politicians...but I will always need to hear that Christ is the answer!
John the Baptist went through some frustration, found himself in prison and needed to hear a word from the Lord. The word was: "Even though you're in prison, and things are looking bleak, the blind still receive their sight, the lame still walk, and you're blessed if you don't get uptight and all offended in Me!" (NPS Version)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Who Will Stand?
1 Peter 4:18 (The Message) 17-19It's judgment time for God's own family. We're first in line. If it starts with us, think what it's going to be like for those who refuse God's Message! If good people barely make it, What's in store for the bad?So if you find life difficult because you're doing what God said, take it in stride. Trust him. He knows what he's doing, and he'll keep on doing it.
This morning I awakened to a devastating news report, Ted Haggard, a leading evangelical, charismatic pastor, has been accused of a three year tryst with another man along with an accusation of some type of substance abuse...laying in bed this morning I literally screamed...NO!
Understand my words here, I'm not sentencing the man, condemning, or saying that I have made a judgement of his innocence or of his guilt...I'm saying, not Ted Haggard...and then I'm saying, O God, let it not be me...while I believe in God's keeping power I also understand my personal responsibility to guard my heart...there are some things God isn't supposed to do...I am responsible for me, to me, to my family, and to those around those that I lead.
The thing that is impressed upon my spirit today is that this man has been accused of something horrendous, and that it is subtle reminder that all of us are a target of the enemy and of our own flesh...don't be offended, but you have to keep the little preacher in the pulpit! One man said that there are three things that will destroy a minister: 1) Self; 2) Sex; and 3) Silver
The things we are seeing today are nothing new, David had issues, one of his sons raped his half sister, and Solomon, wise as he was had women problems. Gehazai had money problems as did Achan, Judas, and Annanias and Saphira, and there are plenty of biblical examples of men and women in scripture that were full of themselves, pride destroyed their lives simply because they forgot God desires to be first.
I'm no judge nor jury in this case, I pray that this is a case of a man with a vendetta trying to destroy some preacher, and that he will be exposed and Pastor Haggard will be exonerated. I also pray that each of us will guard ourselves, pray for the protection of the Holy Spirit, and that we will remember that these last days are filled with opportunity, we decide which ones we'll partake in!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Being Missional
Ok, I sound like a broken record, talking about the same thing...again...Being Missional! Have you ever noticed how faddish we are in America? Have you ever noticed that few people, especially churches, follow through and simply become what they started out to become? It seems to me that we're constantly trying to reinvent the wheel and that it must be confusing to the people we minister to because one minute this is the way it should be, the next minute we were doing it all wrong and need to do it this way...and we wonder why we aren't getting very far.
Being a believer is totally about change, being new creations, about going from glory to glory, from one level to the next...but it's also about knowing who we are, what we're all about, and getting there...bringing as many with us as possible. It seems to me that being missional is about having a clear cut understanding of who we are, of what God desires for us to accomplish and developing that mission as our will require tweaking and adjustments, it will means some things remain and some things have to go, nothing in this life last forever, even the good stuf...I mean afterall, the chalk board was cutting edge at one point...not anymore...But being a missional person in my opinion means that I have identified who my loyalty is to, and am committed to carrying out His plan, adjusting my life and methods...but never losing my identity in that my ministry, the church or ministries I am associated with never lose sight of the goal, it never becomes lost in the is always clear...Or I am I just dreaming?
After almost 28 years in full time ministry I still want to win people to Jesus, to build a multi-ethnic congregation that has destroyed the barriers that have hindered previous generations. I desire to see people worship in total abandon to the Lord, for dynamic praise and worship to pour out of the lives of a people totally consumed with God. I pray for a church that is missions minded, one that reaches out of itself into the lives of others, a generous church, that loves and lives to give...a church that provides for others and itself all the things necessary to minister to the people that are presently in attendance and for those that are to come...a prophetic church, one that hears the voice of God and one that speaks like a lion roaring, sounding out the message of apostolic church, one that is not content to keep what it has inside, but sends out ministers, members, and missionaries into the harvest...a training church, one that understands the need to prepare before propelling...Am I dreaming? Am I missional?

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Can I Just Be Normal?
I am in a readjustment period since returning from Kenya, their time is seven hours ahead of my inner clock is all messed up. Last night I fell asleep around 7:00 PM, woke up at 8:30 and didn't know where I was or how I got there, my own bed room seemed foreign to me...what an odd feeling that was. This morning I awakened at about 5:15 AM, which is a bit later than yesterday, it will take awhile to get back to normal...whatever that is.
There's probably a spiritual message in all of this, I just can't find it today...In fact, today I just think I'll be like everyone else...normal...I'm not fond of normal, think we should move beyond normal, don't believe we're called to be like everyone else...but today I'm tired, my mind is worn out along with my aging I'll just be normal!
Tomorrow I'll be abnormal, leap over hurdles and jump over obstacles, I'll fight devils and cast out own included...I'll give good advice and lead others into places they've never been...we'll continue to boldly go where we've never gone before...but today....can I just be normal?

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Just Call Me Wambua
We returned last night from our journey to Kenya, what a wonderful trip it was! Arriving last Friday, we began Saturday morning with a minister's meeting, there are fourteen churches under our covering and we were able to meet with the pastors and their spouses, their asociates and should hear them pray...sounds like the voice of many waters...awesome!
On Sunday I took Sean Watson, a twenty year old man who accompanied us, to Mbaani, a church located in the bush, with me to preach, it was a powerful service. After a lunch with several of our friends we went to Kengami, where I ministered that afternoon...another good service! On Monday we took Bishop Titus Kiilu with us and drove seven hours to Eldoret where we checked on our sewing school and met with pastors on Tuesday. We enjoyed a nice dinner with Neil and Jennifer Lawrence, Church of God missionaries that live in Kenya, a beautiful family. Wednesday we traveled to Nakuru and enjoyed an afternoon at the Game Preserve, we saw zebra, monkey, rhino, water buffalo, and giraffe...we looked for the lions but never found them...a baboon got into our van while we were inside the park office, stole some handiwipes and took off...a clean handed thief! Thursday we started back to Nairobi to return home, stopped in Gil Gil and met with a pastor and viewed his new sewing was there I received an honor, I was given a new name: Wambua. The name means rain, while preaching for Bishop Titus I spoke of the spiritual rain the Lord is pouring and going to pour out, he then named me rain and blessed me as a friend and brother...I am honored.
I continue to be honored by the opportunity God has given me to be a part of the Kenyans, they are friends and family...every one should go there, it will change your lives!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Feeling Anxious
I left home last Saturday like I do every month to fly out for a revival...when you live in Florida everything is far away...I love Florida and I love to fly, so it's a good fit for me...what makes this trip different is I won't be returning home tomorrow as I usually do...I'm leaving South Carolina, going to Miami, resting 3-4 hours, and at 5:15 tomorrow boarding a plane for Kenya.
For me going to Kenya is just like flying anywhere else, except that it's nineteen hour flight and eight thousand miles from home...I love it...but I'm feeling anxious today. Not that I think something will go wrong, that we're in danger, or that we won't come back...everything is going to be great...but I miss my family, hope my wife will tape my picture on the television so they don't forget what I look like, and that they paint at least one wall in my office hunter green...I'm color blind, but like the sound of hunter green and think it would look good in my office.
This is a quick trip, two days traveling there, five days of ministry business, and two days traveling back home. Our youth pastor and one of our youth are going with us for their first trip, it will be awesome...pray for us!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Uncomfortable Territory I am addicted to online news and blogs. In just a few days I'm off to Kenya and will be away from the internet for several know I'm to experience withdrawal symptoms...pray for me! Today as I was reading CNN Online I came across a phrase that leaped off the page at me, the article concerned a new book by one of my favorite authors, John Grisham, it talked about the amount of research he had to do while writing this book, research it said was "Uncomfortable Territory!" Our walk with Christ often brings us into uncomfortable territory, in fact, life itself brings us often into new places, areas that we've never been, areas that are not always the most comfortable. Do you remember your first day of school, high school, college? Can you remember your first date, the moment of your engagement, marriage, and the first family member who died in your lifetime? What about when you first realized your need for Christ or your first experience in church? Have you ever thought about the moment you realized that being a believer included issues and dealings with your flesh that you thought salvation covered? You know, life was going to be perfect because of Christ's entrance into your life...and then life took a strange turn! As I write these words today I'm sitting in a hotel room on a beach in Myrtle Beach, suffering for Jesus, having a great revival and believing God for good things...but there are moments when life is uncomfortable, territory that is unfamiliar, and places God is calling us that we've never been. The Book of Genesis describes the call of God to Abraham to leave his fathers house and to go sight unseen to a promised place, all he had was God's word, the promise that it would be a place of blessing, but little was said of what was in between. Uncomfortable Territory is that place where we know who God is, who we are in Christ, and we trust Him to be who and what He says He is...regardless of how we feel! We go, we step out by faith to accept the assignment and opportunity, making the journey in full confidence that we're not alone and that all along the way...He knows what He's doing in our lives and as our pastor always says: "It'll be alright!" Just Thinking Out Loud!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Does It Get Any Better Than This?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

It's Time To Go!
I'm preparing to leave on a huge trip, Saturday I take off for Myrtle Beach, SC where I will be conducting a revival for my dear friends Neigel and Peggy Scarborough...suffering for Jesus by staying on the beach...someone has to do it! Next Thursday morning I fly from Myrtle Beach to Miami where I meet our team, arriving in Miami at 1:37 PM, and then off to Kenya at 5:15! Thank God for Tylenol PM...right after the curried chicken!
Lately my spirit has been overwhelmed, I find myself becoming a deep thinker, I know you can't tell that by my writing...but I have a deep sense that God has a great desire to do something through on this trip. Recently I read a thread on a message board talking about our need for revival, I believe in revival, but I believe more in restoration, the process of putting things back in place, adjusting our lives to the proper order in order that we can fulfill God's original purpose for our lives. Our lives, much like our bodies, get out of adjustment, twisted and turned, contorted and manipulated, they need to rest, be rejuvenated, readjusted, and restored to the order that allows them to function in the manner God has always intended. Revival is a watch word of Charismatic and Pentecostal believers, it has roots in scripture and a place in the church, I simply fear that revival has become a series of services we have occasionaly in our churches that doesn't accomplish what most believers hope for...we need restoration and then revival will follow!
The Holy Spirit seems to be impressing me that renewal/restoration/revival are already taking place in this present time, not like we've expected it, and not in every life or every church, but it is taking place...where people are looking and open to what God is saying and doing. Do you remember the scripture in the Book of Revelation where continuously God says, "Let him who has an ear, hear what the Spirit says to the churches!"
Pray for us as we travel that God will grant us favor with God and man, for traveling mercies, and that the words of our mouths will bring healing, deliverance, and restoration in the places we go. Pray that the Holy Spirit will use us to touch the lives of the people we come into contact with, and that Kenya will experience a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit...a true life changing move of God.
Assante Sana (Thank you very much)

Monday, October 09, 2006

As The World Turns...or...Prophetic Panic?
North Korea has successfuly conducted a nuclear test, another teen-age boy has found a way to get a high powered gun into his school, kids need more time to play, and the Sudanese have discovered My Space...Our world is evolving quickly before our eyes. As I listened to the Schmitt Show this morning I realized that everyone has an opinion, an opinion that will be right in their own eyes, accepted and rejected by others...and thought totally out there by many...and then there are the christians!
Does the arrival of nuclear weapons open the doors for the rising of the kings of the East as prophesied in the book of Revelation? Has the sudden increase of voilence among youth fulfilled the prophetic word of Paul to Timothy when he spoke of last day attitudes, including the disobedience to parents? Are we in an end time decline and is it time to panic? Is the world as we know it coming to an end?
There was a time in my life when events such as North Korea would have spoken volumes to me, I would have taught a Wednesday night Bible Study right out of Time and Newsweek Magazine, and God forbid that I find an article of interest in our local newspaper, combine all of this with a couple end time Bible verses and we'd have an hour of discussion like you would never believe. But today, I don't think it's time to panic, I think it's time to prepare. This whole thing of living in what we believe to be the end times is not about panic, it's about discovering the Prince of Peace in the absence of true peace. It's about being the church rather than going to church and leaving unchanged. Some of the things we see are the results of a evolving world, a world that is constantly turning, advancing, and discovering itself, while other things we see are a part of God's prophetic plan. All of it is under His authority and control, none of it takes Him by surprise, and most of it shouldn't shake us much either...He told us what would happen.
I am convinced that there has never been a better time to live as believers than the times we now live. The Lord is sure to come, maybe now, maybe later, but now is the time to prepare, now is the time for believers to become missionaries...right where they live!
Call it my soapbox, but church members will get all excited about a missions project in a foreign land...I believe in that, I am a missionary of sorts,leaving for Kenya in a week, and I have a new project to promote...but what about family, friends, co-workers, and people that God places in our paths? Are we truly missional if we only send a check and pray for God to help us touch others, and never tell the story here at home?
Will the church of today panic in the midst of our days events or will we rise to our finest hour until all have heard the message of the King and His soon to come Kingdom?
Just Thinking Outloud!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Connect The Dots
When I first began blogging I thought it would be more of a online diary, something I would blurt out stupid things on, yell online, and vent...Now I see blogging as a means to express myself and to develop spiritual connections with people I would have never connected with. In the short time I've been blogging I've had visitors from many states, Australia, China, Germany, and the UK...some comment and some don't, but they come and read...hopefully they receive something, a blessing, a laugh, or they leave thinking about something in a different way. Isn't that what the Kingdom of God is all about...Connections? Years ago I went through evangelism classes, we learned how to canvas neighborhoods going door to door taking religious surveys...didn't win many to Christ, but tried, knocked on a lot of doors, and felt like we'd done something for Jesus. As I grow older I've come to realize that true evangelism is the development of relationships...connecting the dots with people. As a pastor I've given many altar calls asking people to come to Christ, I believe in that and will do it again...But! What I truly believe is Biblical evangelism is the connecting of one person to another, and allowing the Christ in us to be seen in everyday the point that while sitting at lunch in your office with your friend you develop an authenic relationship that leads by example into a conversation and then a conversion to Christ. Wouldn't it be powerful if our lives so exemplified Christ that people began to ask how we could be so joyful in spite of our circumstances and we could share the gospel? From there we could introduce them to our cell groups and churches, help them progress in their walk with God, and eventually make their own connections? This thing of being missional in our spiritual purpose speaks volumes to me, that rather than being a "Commando Evengelist" rushing in for the kill, putting down a statistic, and leaving them to make it on their own while we're off hunting down another convert...we should be connecting the dots...intentionally developing friendships and relationships with purpose! And while I'm at it, while I would like for them to attend my church, our friendship isn't based on where they attend or if they attend...I just want them to enter the Kingdom of Heaven...Just Thinking Out Loud!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Whose Fault Is It?
This morning I was called upon to chat with a fifth grader who was caught swinging on the bathroom door of our school. This is his fifth trip to the school office in the last week, twice yesterday, and this morning he was there by 9:30, school starts at 8:30...what's wrong with this picture? When I asked him why he was swinging on the bathroom door his reply was that there was another smaller child doing it and it looked like fun. the feeling I got as I listened to this young man was that it was probably the schools fault that he was in trouble...we have bathrooms! If we didn't have bathrooms, and a school with children he wouldn't have had to swing on the door, get caught by a teacher, sent to the office, chat with the Chancellor, or write 200 hundred's all our fault...He didn't say that...but you get the picture.
So after dealing with all of this I get online to read CNN and do a survey poll, my morning ritual, only to find that now it's the Speaker of the House's fault that Florida's Mark Foley wrote perverted emails to an underage page...He knew about this and should have dealt with, so now he should resign...before it's over it will be someone else's fault and they should resign too! Foley has been quoted as saying that he was molested by a clergyman when he was a child, so now it's that preacher's fault that he was sending nasty notes...Where does this stuff end?
The Bible says that one day we will give an account of what we have done, both good and bad, can you imagine what some people are going to say? Can you imagine standing before God with Him asking why I lied, cheated and stole, and replying, "My first grade teacher used to tap me on the head with an ink pen, it broke my concentration, and now I abhor all authority!"
We are responsible for our actions!The Apostle Peter said it this way: "Don't easily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. you didn't know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God's life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God!" (I Peter 1, The Message)
The devil didn't make me do it, a lack of attention from my parents doesn't make me do it...I am responsible! Just thinking out loud!

Monday, October 02, 2006

I've been reading various blogs and articles concerning the church world, where we are and where we're going, and to be honest, it wears me out. A few years ago we were either Protestant, Catholic, or Jewish, now we're all of these plus, Muslim, Emergent, Seeker Sensitive, Charismatic, and the list goes on and on. As I sit at my desk today I've come to realize that we have learned to live under labels that create an attraction to what we represent. We are known by what we advertise and who we represent. What I also recognize is that I am not identified by what people call me, but by what I answer to...I have to know who I am. Our purpose on this earth is know God, to love God, and for the love of God to shown through us. How we get there, and the methods that we use to accomplish God's purpose for our lives certainly vary and take different shapes...the goal is to get there, to glorify God and to touch the lives of people for the Kingdom. Missional is a phrase that burns with me, I'm not completely sure what means in the general scheme of things, what it means to me is that we are accomplishing the purpose for which Christ died, that none should perish and that all can come to experience eternal life! Our mission is to point men to God, to make Him known in a relevant manner, and to never destroy the foundational principals of the Word of God. If we're not careful life becomes quite complicated and I am convinced that living for God isn't supposed to be complicated, He wants us to S.K.I.S., to simply keep it simple! Jesus said it this way, Love the Lord with all of your heart, soul, and strength, and Love your neighbor as you love yourself...Period Not a dynamic or super thought provoking is a thought though!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Akeelah And The Bee
I watched this movie last night and it was absolutely fantastic. Call me a sucker for a cute kid and a ending that wins, this is the movie. I love movies that talk about destiny, of pulling what is buried deep inside of a person out of them, this movie generated something inside of me to stretch more. Movies like Hook, the story of a man who forgot who he was, Rudy, a little guy with a huge dream that refused to take no for an answer, The Rookie, you're never too old to become who you were meant to be, Remember The Titans, you can overcome all opposition and win in life...and now, Akeelah and the Bee, the story of an eleven year girl that can absolutely spell the paint off a wall, so starts out by winning a school spelling bee and ends up going to the National Spelling Bee in Washington DC. Perhaps I watch too much TV and read too many things into it, but programs like this get spiritual to me, I see how God places dreams and drives within us, we don't always know how they got there, or what to do with them...But He always sends someone along to help us recognize who and what we can be if we recognize and develop what He has placed within us. It also reminds me that my two daughters have awesome gifts...I must always make sure those gifts are released and developed! Watch the movie!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

New Breed Of Preachers
I am thoroughly convinced that we are living in some of the most exciting times in human history. God is revealing himself and calling us to really walk with him in a fresh and intimate manner. What makes it fresh is not some new super duper revelation, it's that our journey with God is not a religious experience, a ritualistic movement, but a concentrated effort on our part to really live for God and love Him with all of our hearts.
I am also convinced that he is raising up a new breed of ministers, he is using people across the globe...people that simply are ready to speak what he is saying boldly.
Two of those people reside in my home, my beautiful wife Julie...she doesn't claim to preach, would never call herself a preacher...but she does, and God uses her. And then there's my daughter Kaitlin, she'll be 15 in January, is going on 40 right now, but a few months ago when our youth ministry went to minister in Tampa, she preached like a wild woman...and tonight she spoke in youth group on depression...she'll probably not call herself a preacher either, but she is ready to speak what the Lord is saying to her...and God uses that.
I think that New Testament ministry is about everyone being a minister, some called to specific areas, but everyone called to share the good news. It will come out different ways and various methods and styles, but the goal is to expand the Kingdom and win the lost...there is a new breed rising!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

While I Was Thinking
There is a road deep within each of us that very few are allowed to travel. It is a place within the deep recesses of our souls where the outside world is forbidden and we often wonder if we should go. It is within that place that our dreams and visions are birthed, it is there that our fears are either faced or fed, and where our issues are recognized and our faith becomes more real. The older I get the more aware I become of me, of that voice deep within me, I hear the questions of my soul, the what if's, the why's and the how's...I hear myself wondering and telling myself it will be ok, I hear the voice of my spirit reminding me that I'm not alone...I hear it telling me that my wife loves me, my children need me, and that I need them. I hear it often reminding me of how much I need the Lord...sometimes I hear telling me that I really need Him bad.
Often we excuse that inner voice, calling it ourselves or the voice of reason. We believe that it is a compilation of all the voices we've heard that day, or perhaps all of the voices we've ever heard, nevertheless, we're listening to that voice.
I was reminded today as I read the blog of a friend( that within that voice is a voice, it isn't our voice, it isn't our reasoning, it isn't the voice of those around us or of those close to us, it is the voice of the Dream Giver, it is the voice of the Lord. It is a voice of encouragement, a voice of instruction, of inspiration, a voice that imparts wisdom and direction, it speaks life, it spreads light, it is a voice that causes us to know that we are not alone.
The Psalmist said it this way in Psalm 39: "My heart was hot within me; while I was musing the fire burned: then I spoke with my tongue!"
It's as if he was saying I had all of this energy pent up within me, a dream bursting, trying to get out...but I wanted to think about it, I was in deep thought contemplating my actions, and it burned inside of me and when I spoke... I spoke with conviction and fire!
These are days when there are plenty of hot heads around, people that speak without contemplating their words or actions, people who say the right things, words that bring surface comfort, but do little on the inside where it really counts.
Perhaps this is a time for musing, for deep thought, for contemplation and the stirring of the inner man. Could it be that God is speaking to those that are listening and to those that are stirring the fires of the soul?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Without becoming too political here, have you seen the interview with former president Bill Clinton and the Fox network's Chris Wallace? President Clinton almost blew a gasket, veins were popping out, his eyes got huge, as if he were testifying in a pentecostal church he would have foamed at the corners of his mouth...I know, I'm a pentecostal, I've seen it before! This guy was livid, hot under the collar, defending his stance, his actions, and his thought was amazing! He tapped on Wallace's notes, might have patted his knee a time of two, defended his record and then he said it, "I almost got him, I was closer than anyone else!" That's not a direct quote, but it's what he said. It reminded me of children playing games, we almost won, I almost made a touchdown, I almost made the basket...I wanted to email and remind him that almost only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and marriage engagements...almost really doesn't count...does it? The Book of Acts recounts the conversation between the Apostle Paul and King Agrippa of Rome. The Bible says that after Paul had shared passionately his testimony that King Agrippa said, "Almost, thou persuadest me to become a christian!" I'm close, I can see what you're saying, and I think that I understand what this is all about...I'm almost there...just not quite! Almost...I've been there a few times, and I suppose I'll be there again...hopefully not when it comes to something as important as my eternal soul...or the catching of a terrorist!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Leave The Devil Out Of It!
Have you ever noticed how that many believers blame everything negative on the devil? If Walmart is out of something they were looking for it must be that the devil didn't them to have it. Do you really think the devil cares if you use Charmin? Today I heard a lady talking about falling down and how she was all bruised up, her next words were, "The devil was just trying to get me!" I leaned over to my wife and said, "It wasn't the devil, she fell!" I'm not meaning to minimize the existance and the scheming of the evil one, I know and believe that he is real, and that he constantly seeks to kill, steal, and destroy. God's Word identifies him as one seeking to devour, his work is described as wiles and schemes, he is a real foe, but everything isn't the it? Scripture indicates that if your mother was a woman and you were born of a woman, that your days are full of trouble. If I fall down the steps it may be because I slipped or tripped, misstepped, wasn't paying attention, you get the idea...but everything that happens may not be may just be life! I am convinced that satan gains entrance into our lives by our own personal invitation, that when we constantly talk about him and all that he is doing, we are actually,( without meaning to) giving him access to our lives. Perhaps we need to give him less press, less credit, and less opportunity to enter our atmosphere, and to talk more about the Lord...give Him access and entrance into our lives...It's just a thought!
I love reality TV, watch stuff like Wife Swap, SuperNanny, Survivor, $40-Day Meals, I enjoy the real stuff. About a year ago I started listening to 970 AM, a talk radio station that includes Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, The Schmidt Show and a host of others, I find it interesting most of the time and enjoy hearing what others have to say...most of the time. Today I am frustrated, let me preface this statement by saying, I appreciate the right for every person to have an opinion, to share that opinion, and to have a political party affiliation, even if it is the opposite of mine...really. But what frustrates me is this continuous bashing of our country and our president. Do I agree with everything he says and does, absolutely not, would I do things differently, sure, do I think changes need to be made, of course. What gets me is the absolute lack of respect that Americans have developed for people in authority...and it starts young. When I was a child, the bus driver was a person of authority, now kids will cuss them out, if the bus driver doesn't cuss them out first. You never called an adult by his first name without permission, now schools are being told not to make a child call you sir or mame, and to not make a child say "I'm Sorry". Is it just me or have we lost something? Again, like or dislike the president, disagree with his position and when election time comes, vote someone you like better in, but while he's here let's support him, pray for him, and assist him...that's not agreeing with his every move, it's respecting the position, and that my friends is politically least I think so! Thanks for letting me vent...back to the real stuff now!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

My Baby Turned 7 Today!
I'm a forty-four year old man with a nearly 15 year old daughter and one who turned seven today. I am also one of the proudest Papa's you've ever met...I've got great girls. Julie and I wanted to be married five years before we had children, Kaitlin was born in January and our fifth anniversary was in March. We loved and poured ourselves into this beautful child, I didn't want anymore and could not imagine loving anyone else like I love that wife wanted another child sooner, but it took me five years to come around to the thought, and then almost three for her to concieve...and then it happened...We had the most beautiful blond haired, blue eyed baby girl you've ever seen...and when I woke up this morning she was seven and in January that beautiful dark haired and dark eyed baby will be fifteen and in the wonderful state of Florida it means she can start driving with an adult. Today we passed her dream car, a VW Bug, and of course it only costs 7800.00...Dad! So I say with great pleasure and the knowledge that I will have a child at home almost into retirement...Happy Birthday Madison...I really love you! Dad

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Are You A Missionary?
I have become consumed with a term that is new to me, but one that seems to keep popping up in the places I'm going...It's called, "Being Missional". I'm not completely certain of all this term entails but in my spirit I think it has to do with being people on a mission, of having a desire to move from being a traditional christian that sits on a pew, put an offering in the plate, sings a few songs, nods and amens at the right point in the sermon and going home until the next time...if that's what being missional is...Count Me In! The Kingdom of God is progressive, it is constantly moving forward, encouraging us to progress with what God is doing. It's not faddish, it's not even modern, it's real, relevant, and refreshing. The church must progress, it must minister to the needs of humanity where they live, and the answer is always found in an old book that is always new...The Bible! The words of Jesus in John 17:18 from the Message Bible come to mind when Jesus says: " In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world, I give them a mission a mission in the world." Read Paul's encouraging words in I Thessalonians 1, "Do you know that all over the provinces of both Macedonia and Achaia believers look up to you? The word has gotten around. Your lives are echoing the Master's Word, not only in the provinces but all over the place. The news of your faith in God is out. We don't even have to say anything anymore---you're the message! Being a missionary doesn't mean that you move to Timbuck Too and live in a hut, it means that your purpose in life, the driving force of your existance is to love God, love people, and to share what God has done in your life with others in order for them to experience the life of God themselves! Are we winning souls or are we warming over cold's just a thought!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Which Is Harder? Being...Doing...Going?
I've got a burr in my saddle and need to get it out. I've been a christian since 1977, I've been in the ministry since 1979 and in full time ministry since 1982...things have changed since I first began this journey...and sometimes I really wonder where we're going.
I consider myself modern, love the term "Cutting Edge", am the associate pastor of a church who's motto is "Real...Relevant, and Refreshing", and I love new stuff...change is an inevitable and integral part of life...not just the christian life... just life in general.
With that said, I have noticed that there is a great emphasis these days on leaving what we know as church, not just upgrading or updating, No, absolutely moving away and stepping into new territories...I'm not against new territories, what I'm concerned about is abandoning the absolutes of scripture and developing a "religion" that says everything we've been and taught previously was rubbish, let's explore and develop something new.
People aren't coming to church much these days, and those that are walk in the door as if they've entered a spiritual Super Walmart...their first question is what programs do you have, what can you offer me and my family? I truly believe that church must have programs, and those programs must be relevant to those we are ministering to and to the culture and climate we live in...believe me, relevance is relevant...but how do we differentiate between being the church, going to church, and doing church? Is there a place where we simply remember that we are the church and that our local church and the church at large will only be as dedicated and as spiritual, and as biblically sound, and as vibrant, and as we are? I'm just asking a question, is the church lost in the dust of days gone by? Have we lost relevance in todays society, have we ventured into a new day where we need to catch up...Or do we need to discover who we are and what God is calling us to be at the place He has planted us and be the very best we can be...I'm just asking!

Friday, September 15, 2006

All I Can Say Is...Thank God It's Friday!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Hot Dogs...Get Your Hot Dogs!
I love hot dogs, chili dogs, corn dogs...just love them. I know they're not the healthiest or the best for you, but every once in awhile you need was that day. I'm in the Toledo, Ohio area for a conference, went to Detroit to pick up our senior pastor who is also speaking in this meeting and we stopped by Tony Paco's for lunch. Perhaps you will remember this better if you watched Mash, Klinger was from Toledo and always looked forward to hot dogs from...Tony Paco's...a quaint little restaraunt in the Hungarian section of Toledo, today's special was two chili dogs and a cup of chili with a drink for 5.99..that's what I got! The chili has quite bite to it, and the hot dogs are Hungarian sausage style, but wonderful...followed them up with two extra strength Tums...what a day!
Our conference is going well also...I love the Northern Ohio area...though it is much colder than Florida!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Don't Lose Your Shine
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him. But Moses called to them; so Aaron and all the leaders of the community came back to him, and he spoke to them. Afterward all the Israelites came near him, and he gave them all the commands the LORD had given him on Mount Sinai. When Moses finished speaking to them, he put a veil over his face. But whenever he entered the LORD's presence to speak with him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded. Exodus 34:29-34 NIV
When I first met the Lord there was a radical or drastic change in my life. In fact, my mother always said that I shined, that there was a glow about me. As I began my walk with God there were times that I like most christians...struggled. Sometimes I tried to hide it, other times I simply showed my struggle, or at least it came through whether or not I meant for it to or not. Mom would sometimes say as I walked by, "How's your shine?" or I would spend time with the Lord and come back asking her, "How's my shine?"
The truth is that when we walk with the Lord, live in His presence and dwell in His glory, there is a noticeable presence about the child of God, a peace that identifies us, we don't have to announce it, discuss it, and most of the time, don't even recognize it's just there!
I want to live in the presence of God, to allow my light to shine, for others to see the Lord in me, without me having to prove that I'm a believer...does that make sense? We are the light of the world, light simply shines, it doesn't announce, "I'm shining here!" We have a responsibility to share the message, but our greater responsibility to be the message...actions speak louder than words...I believe that they precede our words..."Let your light so shine that you may glorify your Father which is in heaven!"
Moses hid behind the veil so long that he never realized that the glow was gone, I don't want to come to that point...I want to glow and flow...How's your shine?
I had a bad day yesterday, I'm glad it's over. Yesterday was my day to be depressed, I was trying a new hairstyle and it didn't it cut. Thought I preached bad Wednesday night, and then got emails from church members saying it was just what they needed...reminded me it's not about's His Word...not mine! I know that the Beatle's say that they believe in Yesterday, I like Today. Yesterday had some incredible moments, good and bad, but they were...Yesterday. The scripture says that Today is the day of salvation and that now is the accepted time. My best days are not behind me...they're right now. I think it's alright to have a bad day here and there, just as long as it was yesterday...our days are numbered and we can't afford to have too many bad Yesterdays....I love Today!