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!