Ten Lessons
September 28, 2007, 2:45 pm
Filed under: Personal

Alright, maybe it’s my melancholy personality and my introspection but I feel the need to share some personal thoughts with the world today. I look back over my life in the past two to three years and God has really brought about some changes and caused a ton of growth. Let me share some of the things God has taught me over the last several years.

Some of these things I have learned I have picked up easy and have caught on and it has been great. Other lessons learned have been hard and I don’t like but I have learned all the same.

Lesson 1: GOD IS IN CONTROL AND I’M NOT. This is one of those hard ones that I am still learning.

Lesson 2: MOST PEOPLE HAVE NO LOYALTY. I know this is very cynical but it is true. Since I have been a Pastor I have seen it over and over. As a Pastor you walk with people through some of their hardest times,(i.e. sickness, death of loved ones, financial struggles, all kinds of tragedy)and when you need their support when the going gets a little rough they go find a new Pastor. Who walks with the Pastor when he needs someone?

Lesson 3: GOD IS ALWAYS LOYAL. God walks with the Pastor when most everyone else abandons him.

Lesson 4: GOD’S CALL CAN BE A LONELY ROAD. When God calls to do a work you have to abandon it all for the sake of the call. I really did not understand this until these last few years.

Lesson 5: WHEN YOU SAY THAT REACHING LOST SOULS MEAN MORE THAN ANYTHING GOD IS LISTENING AND WILL CAUSE YOU TO PROVE YOUR DECLARATION. This is truly the heart of God and lost souls mean everything to Him so it should mean everything to us.

Lesson 6: THERE IS NO GREATER JOY IN THIS LIFE THAN SEEING PEOPLE COME TO KNOW THE LORD. When so many people are trying to steal your joy and destroy everything that you thought was precious you realize that life change in people that were not even alive is a joy beyond compare. And let me say this, if heaven and all the angels rejoice when just one person receives Christ then I think that we can celebrate and proclaim it from the rooftops, the numbers of people that are being saved. They are not just statistics they are lives, they are souls and if heaven set the precedent of celebrating then I think it is incumbent on us to follow heaven’s lead!

Lesson 7: CHRISTIANS CAN BE SOME OF THE MEANEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD. It’s funny how you gain knowledge from being on the other side of Christian’s scorn. No wonder the lost people of the world hate us. Me and my brother’s have been on the receiving end of some Christian ridicule and it feels like crap. I will do everything in my power not to perpetuate this view of Christians even though I have experienced it first hand. Love and honor should represent Christianity not ridicule and scorn.

Lesson 8: HEBREWS 11:1 FAITH IS THE CONFIDENCE THAT WHAT WE HOPE FOR WILL ACTUALLY HAPPEN; IT GIVES US ASSURANCE ABOUT THINGS WE CANNOT SEE. O, this one is a lot easier to quote than to live. I am still living it and learning it.

Lesson 9: IN MY WEAKNESS GOD IS STRONG. I feel weak all of the time now. That’s OK because that means that God is working in my life. Who would have thought that feeling weak would feel so good.

Lesson 10: A GOOD FRIEND IS A TREASURE AND GIFT FROM GOD. A true friend who has your back and stands with you in the heat of the battle and will even carry you if he has to is something rare and precious. When God gives those kind of people to you, hold on to them and love them. They are truly an instrument that God uses to strengthen you (i.e. Moses and Aaron). All of my “Aarons”, you know who you are and I thank God for you and love you.

So that’s it for today. Ten lessons that God has taught and continues to teach me on a regular basis. There are a lot more but I didn’t want to sound like a long winded Senior Pastor. 🙂

Until the next time, see ya!


September 27, 2007, 9:05 pm
Filed under: LOVE

Psalm 37:37
Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace

Psalm 86:15
But you, O Lord,are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.

Proverbs 10:12
Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love makes up for all offenses.

Proverbs 17:19
Anyone who loves to quarrel loves sin; anyone who trusts in high walls invites disaster.

Proverbs 18:21
The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

Isaiah 55:13
Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow. Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up. These events will
bring great honor to the Lord’s name; they will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.

Luke 6:27
But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you.

Luke 6:32
If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them!

John 13:34
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.

John 13:35
Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.

John 15:17
This is my command: Love each other.

Romans 12:10
Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.

1 Corinthians 13:1
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or
a clanging cymbal.

1 Corinthians 13:13
Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 16:14
And do everything with love.

September 26, 2007, 1:06 pm
Filed under: Church

I would argue with anyone that a person bases 99.9% of their decisions on personal preference. You buy a Big Mac because YOU like them. You purchase a Honda Accord because YOU like the way it drives and its reliability. You buy those shoes because YOU like the way they look on you. You vote Republican because YOU like what the party stands for. You live in a Orlando because YOU love the weather (It can’t be the traffic). Do you get my point yet? Almost always (yes, I am talking about myself too)we make our decisions based on what “I want”, what “I like”, what benefits “ME” so on and so forth. Just take a minute and think. What if for once you based a decision on not what “I want”, or about “ME” and focused on others.

That leads me into our decisions about church. Just follow with me through a hypothetical. What if you were to choose a church based not on what YOU wanted out of it or what YOU liked about it or because of what the church could do for ME? What if you were not the big fish in the pond or the mover and shaker or the person in control of the choosing the paint color? What if YOU had no influence at all? What if you based your decision on what church you attend with the only criteria being “what is the church doing to reach those that don’t know about church or God”? What if you took “ME” out of the equation. Would you be at the church you are at? Maybe you would or maybe not but if you were to get honest and took all of your preferences out of the equation would you go where you are going? Don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying that my church, C3 Church, has it all down and is a perfect church. On the contrary, C3 Church is not perfect we get some things right and some things we don’t, but are we trying our best to reach un-saved, un-churched people? Unequivocally, YES! There is not a single perfect church and there will never be a perfect church because churches are made up of humans and none of us are perfect. I can say with all sincerity that we are doing our best to reach others. Other people that know nothing about church or God. Do you love your church because of what it does for YOU or do you love your church because it is not about YOU?

Raining In the Jungle
September 25, 2007, 3:19 pm
Filed under: Church, vacation

You will just have to put up with some analogies to vacation for the next couple of posts. On the second day of our cruise we stopped in Cozumel, Mexico. For those of you who have never been to Cozumel let me give you a little history. Basically it is a fairly flat island that sits off the coast of Mexico near the Yucatan Peninsula. It used to be a barrier reef thousands of years ago and now it is an island. The terrain is pretty rocky and 90% of the island is jungle. Cozumel is known for its snorkeling, scuba diving and crystal blue waters.

Now that brings me to our time at Cozumel. We had scheduled a 4 wheel ATV excursion through the jungle to explore un-excavated Mayan ruins. This excursion sounded fun and unique and we were looking forward to it. Well we get up and head down to the deck to get off the ship and it is pouring rain. We then learned that it had been raining the whole day before and it was expected to rain all day. At this point I am already expecting a miserable time in Mexico. We get all the way to the ATV booth at the end of the pier and I find out that you need your drivers license which I had left in our cabin to go on this excursion. So I ran back to the ship and go through all the security, get my license, pass through security to get back off the ship and book it to the ATV booth. I barely make it and by this time I am soaked. Needless to say I am expecting very little from this rainy day.

All that to say this. It turned out to be some of the most fun I have ever had. Was it raining all day? Yes. Did we get muddy? Yes. (We transversed ATV paths that were basically rivers) Did I have a stinking attitude? Yes. Did it turn out like I expected? NO. I expected to be miserable. I expected to be totally ticked off that I had spent a chunk of change to be wet and have a horrible time. It was totally the opposite. I could not have been happier to be wet and muddy. It was not hot at all or dusty like it normally is. And to be driving ATVs through little rivers (I was told we passed by several snakes swimming in the water. I am glad I did not see them) is a hoot and most people don’t even get to experience that.

It’s kind of like what we are going through at C3 Church. It seems like we should really be ticked off. People have left and have lied and said all kinds of crazy things about us. It has been raining BUT the experience of doing church in the rain is awesome. It might not be what we were expecting but the payoff has been the many UNSAVED and UNCHURCHED that have come to know the Lord. We might be wet and muddy but it has been an experience I would not change for anything. We are forging rivers that I never knew were there and it is exciting. So, is it raining in the jungle? Yes it is and God sends the rain and it’s a good thing. I’ll take wet and muddy any day over dry, dusty and hot. It makes the Jungle a bearable place to be! Let’s get wet and muddy for the Lord!

We’re Home
September 24, 2007, 10:07 pm
Filed under: vacation

Just a short blog to say that Andrea and I are home. Our cruise to Mexico was great and relaxing. I will definitely blog about our cruise in a few days with a few pics to share with everyone. We missed being at home and missing C3 on Sunday but had a great time. It’s always great to come home!

The Rewards Outweigh The Risk
September 21, 2007, 8:06 am
Filed under: Church, vacation

Here I am, blogging from beautiful Key West on board The Enchantment of the Seas. Now you might ask why one is blogging on a cruise? Well, because I feel like it! After being up late watching karaoke with hundreds of people (Andrea did “Oops I Did It Again & a Paula Abdul song I can’t remember right now) I have found a quiet spot looking out into the ocean to collect my thoughts.

As I look at a small private island here in the port of Key West my mind is just thinking. It’s a beautiful little place but I am sure you wouldn’t want to stay there if there were a major storm coming. Then I started thinking, the most beautiful, awesome places to live sometimes are accompanied with a certain amount of risk. Kind of like church. To get where we believe God wants us to go is accompanied with some risk. The risk of people criticizing us. The risk of people misjudging us. The risk of people lying about us, and the list goes on. But you know what? The risk is so worth it. The changed lives are and will be worth all the storms that come our way.

So just like the island with beautiful homes and an even more beautiful view, the rewards definitely outweigh the risk.

Mexico Here We Come
September 19, 2007, 3:54 pm
Filed under: vacation

I am totally pumped today. Tomorrow morning Andrea and I leave for a cruise. We have never been on a cruise before so we are totally stoked. I can’t hardly wait to take our atv excursion through the jungles of Mexico to explore Mayan ruins. Although I have to be honest. The thing I am most looking forward to is the food. I have heard great things so I will let you know what I think when we get back. Anyway, got to get packing, see ya and Mexico here we come.

PS This is the actual ship we are sailing on!