Filed under: Church
In church life there are just some things that I believe God is pleased with us getting excited over. One of those things I believe is changed lives. Some of our detractors seem to get upset when we quote statistics in essence saying that lives don’t matter. Because the reality is, everyone of those numbers represent people. And you know what? God loves people. So, to be honest with you I don’t care what some people, that don’t share the same passion to reach others, might think. Therefore I’m getting ready to rattle off a couple of awesome stats.
As I blogged about last month, 16 people were baptized in a service in November! Guess what? There are 21 people scheduled to be baptized this Sunday. Praise the Lord! Our Lord and Savior deserves all the glory. Lives are radically changing at C3 Church. God is moving and people are experiencing Christ as they start their new lives. Changed lives are what it’s all about! This is what church is supposed to be about.
C3, don’t take this movement that God is doing in our community for granted. Continue to seek His face and pray for the staff and for God’s perfect will to be done in our lives, and the church’s. Without God doing the work nothing we can do will change people’s hearts. C3, continue to be the church that cares for others more than we do ourselves. As we prepare to move out into the marketplace let’s continue to be “The church that is tirelessly devoted to changed lives.” And let’s continue to thank God for His BARBARIC GRACE!
Filed under: Church
What can be said about a day like today? Today C3 practiced some Barbaric Grace. Pastor Byron talked about how we as a church need to put action to our words, “Love Christ and love others.” Today we were able to put a total of $10,500 in the hands of the congregation not to spend on themselves or to give back to the church but to reach out to someone else in need this Christmas with positively no strings attached. As every single person came up to the front of the worship center to pick up their envelope with what ever amount was in it to share with someone else, everyone had smiles ear to ear. As I watched people do this I couldn’t help but have pride in our church and the great people that make up C3 Church.
In fact I have a fairly new friend who has only been active at C3 for a few months and never wanted anything to do with church, come up to Andrea and I and said that he has never experienced anything like what is happening at C3 before. He specifically said that Church is the best thing happening in his life right now. This is a guy who wanted nothing to do with church only a few months ago.
The people at C3 were so pumped to go out into the community and be a blessing to others. We as a church staff are so pumped to hear and read the many stories that will take place over the next several weeks as the people of C3 reach out to the community.
There are those people who might think that what took place today is totally crazy but I think that we are in good company. People thought that Jesus Christ was crazy too. The religious establishment of His day felt threatened and vulnerable as Christ reached out to the everyday person to bring salvation to them without the strings the Pharisees attached to people’s religious experience. So as Christ reached out to the Hebrews of his day in a totally innovative way we must reach out to others in a totally innovative way. We must be barbaric as we reach out to others. C3 is all about practicing Barbaric Grace!
My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who has changed my life and given me grace.
My beautiful loving wife Andrea.
My wonderful, kind Mom.
My Dad who was the perfect example of what a Godly man,good husband and great father should be.
My mother-in-law Angela and my sisters Cassie, Brittney and my awesome little nephew Hayden.
My friends who know who they are, that love and support me.
My incredible Church, C3 Church.
My Pastor, Byron and Angie, who are great friends as well.
My colleagues at work, who I am proud to call my friends also.
My lovable cat. (Don’t be a hater, yes I love my cat, for those that might want comment about this. You also know who you are.)
My country, home of the free, land of the brave.
Everyone in the military that insures my freedom everyday.
The roof over my head, the clothes on my back and the food in my belly.
The many lessons God has taught me and continues to teach me on a daily basis.
…and the list goes on and on. Thank you God for all of it on this day when we look back and offer thanks for being so good to us.
It is really funny how things hit you when you don’t even expect it. I have just finished my lunch while sitting in my car at Publix waiting for my mom as she grocery shops. I had a 2 piece “original recipe” fried chicken dinner from KFC. Now you might be asking yourself why I am blogging about eating KFC? Well, like I said some things just come out of the blue and hit you when you are least expecting it. One of my best memories of my mentor/friend, Craig Stamper was the last time I had visited Craig and Susan in their home the week before Craig passed away. Brother Craig loved Kentucky Fried Chicken but was careful not to eat it too much. Therefore when he did it was like a special treat. On this particular night I was invited over to his house and was feasting with him and Susan on KFC. We ate and talked. I remember one of the big discussions was about my girlfriend (at the time) Andrea. I had shared with Craig and Susan that I thought she was the “one” and that when I did actually propose and then plan a wedding, that I wanted him to officiate the ceremony. We went on to discuss my plans to finish school (he was always pushing me to finish even when I wanted to quit at times). We also discussed how much he loved and appreciated his parents. In fact we were sitting on Craig’s back porch made from cedar posts that his dad had helped him build. I just remember it was such a special time together with he and Susan. Out of all the times I went out with or ate with Bro. Craig I believe that this particular time was my favorite. It is so great when you can live fully in a moment and have no regrets when you don’t get another one like it, because you made the most out of the moment you had.
So as I sat here in my car eating my KFC all of those memories came flooding back. Three years ago this whole thought process probably would have made me sad and nostalgic at the same time but now it just makes me happy. I had a big smile on my face as I recalled this special moment with Bro. Craig. So here’s to “The Colonel” who makes the best chicken in the world. And here’s to the great memories of my friend Craig. Who would have guessed of what could be blogged about by a couple of pieces of fried chicken?
Am I crazy or what? I’m standing in line at Ikea on this chilly Sat. morning in shorts and t shirt. So I am cold and I thought that Ikea opened at 9am but it actually opens at 10am. So I am here patiently waiting in line to get in. I am here to pick out some office furniture to put in one of our empty rooms since Brittney and Hayden (sister-in-law & nephew) have moved out. I must say I am pumped to see Ikea. Not because I love decorating or furnishings but for the cheap prices for the furniture. It feels like such a great deal you can’t help but get excited. So now I only have 25 minutes until they open up for their 99 cent breakfast and I feel happy. I think it’s called Ikea Deficit Disorder.
UPDATE- I got all the office furniture I needed for cheap, cheap, cheap. I have started to put everything together (it looks amazing) and it’s actually easy. Andrea is going to paint my accent wall for me in my office on Tuesday. Hopefully by the end of Thanksgiving weekend my office will be totally put together and complete.
Filed under: Personal
Alright, I am starting to process some of the things I heard at the Hillsong United Worship Conference from last weekend. I just couldn’t think on Sunday night since I was so tired. I won’t bore you with a lot of conference insight but I will pass along some great quotes from the weekend.
“Church is a community not a crowd.”
“The purpose of the church is to leave the 99 saved and go after the one lost.”
“You don’t see monuments built to honor “critics”.”
“Let your motivation be others.”
“We should be more loyal to the future than the past.”
“Cliches are the death of creativity and sincerity.”
“Jesus was a mold breaker, a difference maker.”
“Be a history maker, not a history server.”
Just some profound statements from the conference that I thought everyone might enjoy. Don’t be surprised if some of these show up again in future blogs. Sorry I can’t write them with the Australian accent in which they were spoken. Gooday mate!
Filed under: Veteran's Day
To all the veteran’s that have served our country and still continue to serve our country, THANK YOU! We owe a debt of gratitude for our freedom to YOU! God bless you and protect you.
It is late Sunday evening and I am just now winding down from a weekend that did not seem like a weekend at all. Firstly, I’ll talk about the Hillsong United Worship Conference at FBC Orlando. Let me say that I am thoroughly impressed with Pastor Brian Houston and the way that Hillsong Church in Australia rolls. Pastor Brian Houston really has a way of empowering future generations to lead the church and carry on the mission to reach a world for Jesus. Pastor Houston melds generational gaps to include the younger generation into leadership into Hillsong Church which keeps things fresh and exciting. Pastor Houston started Hillsong church over twenty years ago when he was only 29 but sees the need to pass leadership roles to younger generations to keep HIllsong Church fresh and relevant.
The music of Hillsong United was phenomenal. The worship of course was second to none. We do a lot of United songs in worship and it was great to hear the songs done by the original artist (In fact we did, “My Future Decided”, “Lead Me to the Cross” and “Fire Fall Down” in worship today.). It was so incredible to worship with about 5000 other people without any walls or barriers of expression in love for our Lord.
Then there is today. It was great to lead worship today and feel the presence of God in the place. As we started the sermon series, “Barbaric Grace” you could tell people were expecting a touch from God. Pastor Byron touched on Gideon and other characters in the Bible that were barbaric in their approach to fulfill God’s calling. Pastor Byron also spoke about how Christ was the ultimate embodiment of barbaric grace as He paid the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.
It was a fantastic weekend but I must say I am super tired and now we start another busy week in just a few hours. There is truly no time to be lazy as C3 gets ready for our relocation and we lay the foundation for our future as we reach a city like never before. I guess there is not any rest for barbarians. C3 it’s time for some Barbaric Grace.
Filed under: Personal
Am I a liberal? I don’t consider myself to be a liberal, but the definition of liberal varies depending on who or what you are trying to define. So let me define the content of what this blog will be addressing. I am going to talk about the environment in this blog. Now I must do a disclaimer as a precursor to my blog. These are my own personal views of which I am still trying to sort out in my head and heart as the Lord leads me.
I love the Lord and I owe everything to Him. He has changed my life through the work that He did on the cross. I am no longer a slave to sin and I am a new creation in Him. With that said, because I love the Lord with everything, I am motivated to live a life worthy of the sacrifice my Savior made for me. That means I should live like a Christian. Living like a Christ-Follower should be integral in every area of my life. I should be a good steward of my relationships, I should be a good steward of my finances, I should be a good steward of my time, I should just try to be the best that I can be through Christ with a lot of help from His grace. I don’t think anyone would disagree with the previous statement, so that leads me to my next question. Shouldn’t I, as a Christ-Follower, who is trying to be a good steward of all aspects of my life, be a good steward of the environment as well?
I am not advocating anyone to be a militant environmentalist but I am just speaking for me at this point. I think that there has to be a good balance. I can no longer live my life care-free from my impact on the world’s environment. God created this world and then created Adam and Eve to take care of His creation. God looked on His creation and called it good and then handed over the keys to the first man and woman, figuratively speaking. I know God is the creator and He has total control of His creation but I think that we should not mistreat something that God called good. I believe that if I mistreat something that God called good then I am sinning or in other words, I am not living like a Christ-Follower.
I realize that this is a political and social hotbed for discussion right now. I am just sharing what I believe God is showing me about this particular subject in my life right now. What God is speaking to my heart, He might not be speaking to yours. I do not claim to know how exactly God feels on this subject I just know what He is impressing upon me. I will not get into a debate about what “data” is right or wrong, cooked or uncooked, lies or truth. I am still trying to figure out exactly what I am thinking on the whole subject. I just know that as a Christ-Follower it is easy to stick my head in the sand and forget about the social injustices in the world. If good people don’t stand for social justice then who will. I think that Christ-Followers are “good” people. I love the Earth that God has so graciously created and given to me to enjoy. Therefore, it is incumbent upon me to help protect and care for it. So, does that make me a liberal, I don’t know, but I do know I want to be a good steward of everything Christ has given me and I think that includes our beautiful planet Earth, our home.
Filed under: Church
We had a great rehearsal last night. I can’t help but agree with Angie. LEAD ME TO THE CROSS! In light of the Cross, there is nothing else left to be said. Barbaric Grace!