11/30/07 - Life Journal - Hello Sin

For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
Romans 3:20

That last part says it all, the purpose of the law was to enlighten (or endarken(?)) us to sin. We weren't doing a good job on our own. That what is meant in verse 10, as originally read in Psalms, "None is righteous, no, not one; No one understands, no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;" This all powerful God laid out this beautiful creation then placed man among everything. You think He was a little ticked when disobedience sprouted from our will? Adam and Eve, Sodom and Gomorrah, Tower of Babel, Noah... He had to do something. Hello law.

This law was never meant to me a determining factor in salvation. We were in a perfect relationship with God, for a few days, the "The Fall of Man".... God's been trying to lead us back to that relationship ever since but we (I) keep trying to do it ourself and we can't. It's like this....screw up (sin), punishment (law), forgiveness (for a season), screw up (sin), punishment (law), forgiveness (for a season), screw up (sin), punishment (law), forgiveness (for a season).... get it? The law pointed to the sin which pointed to our complete inability to conquer it on our own. That was and is it's purpose. God doesn't want me to follow a set list of rules to be saved, he wants me to come to Him because I love Him, can't live without Him and want to get back to that perfect relationship one day.

(sorry if that doesn't make any sense, I get thoughts and know what I mean but sometimes maybe can't spit it out right. I guess it only matters ultimately if I get it but if you have any questions let me know)

Father I get it, I can't live up to your righteousness, my only chance is to be washed in the Blood of the Lamb.

11/29/07 - Life Journal - We're Not Worthy, We're Not Worthy

To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Thessalonians 1:11,12

God will make us worthy of our calling? What does that mean? Well, that we are not and could never be worthy on our own. Why? Why does he seek to fulfill all of our works of faith? So we can be praised? Adored by others? Uh uh, try again...keep reading. "...so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you..." He wants to help us succeed in our works to give glory to His Son and in return to Him.

So, I'm not worthy. (why am I thinking of Wayne and Garth) I'm weak, selfish, etc, etc, etc..... Don't have enough fingers. But like Paul I can praise Him in spite of my afflictions knowing that He will perfect me and make me worthy, if, I am resolved to do good and am employed in works of faith. How can I fail? The Creator who is above all and does as he pleases (what pleases Him) will fulfill my endeavors, evoking my praise and I in turn will reflect the glory of man to Him completing this circle I keep talking about.

He is awesome --> I am weak --> He strengthens me --> I labor in love and faith --> He fulfills my works --> I praise Him --> He receives glory --> He is pleased --> He is awesome

Father build me up to be worthy of Your calling, worthy of envoking Your Name, worthy of laboring for Your Glory.

Now this I might be able to afford...........

Pacific Drums 6.5x14 SX Series "Ace" Snare

Neil Peart Commemorative Drum Kit by DW


7X8 TT
7X10 TT
8X12 TT
9X13 TT
12X15 TT
13X15 FT w/legs
16X16 FT w/legs
16X18 FT w/2 mounts for stands
16X22 Kick w/mount for 16" crash



If you have to ask you can't afford it!

Gatorade Inventor Dies at 80

Dr. Robert Cade, the inventor of Gatorad3 passed away on Tuesday. It was 1963 when then coach Dwayne Douglas asked Cade, "Doctor, why don't football players wee-wee after a game?" Amazingly enough, that kicked off a product that now had, as of 2006, 81% of the $7.5 Billion/year U.S. sport drink market!

In other news, Dr. Cade will be cremated and his ashes will be dumped on Urban Meyer following their victory in their bowl appearance.

click here for the whole story.

Meet Ray Kelley and his wife Susan of the Daytona Outreach Center

Thanks to Church for Men for blessing me with this video. May God bless Ray and Susan with a continuing love for those they are reaching.

Uh yeah........Just like that.........

"Friendship is like peeing your pants. Everyone can see it but only you can feel the warmth"

HT - Matt Morgan

I knew it, Rudy IS a Democrat!

Giuliani Billed Obscure Agencies During Affair

^^ follow linkage ^^

A Fishing Story

Since I'm temporarily the Fishing Addict this post from Night Owl fits in perfectly! Thanks Mike.......

Not another Tebow hater!

Winter Jam 2008

OK, I'm psyched now! This'll be my third Winter Jam so I've seen NewSong a few times (although I never'll get tired of seeing theses talented guys) and I've already seen Mercy Me in concert but check it out..............Skillet! I can listen to them all day, especially Lori Peters destroying the drums. She absolutely rocks. Add to that BarlowGirl with sister Lauren on the skins and you've got two awesome chick drummers that I can't wait to see. Besides all of that, I'm not to modest to get my groove on to a little Mandisa. I'm definitely there............!

Worship Sunday - 12/2

Here's the set, I'm excited, it should be awesome!

Where's the Love - Corey Smith
Empty Me - Jeremy Camp
Salvation - Charlie Hall
Falling on My Knees - Waterdeep
When I Get Where I'm Goin - Brad Paisley & Dolly Parton
The Glory of it All - David Crowder

I know, we've done "Where's the Love" a bunch but it fits our series and this will be the first time we do it with the full band. It will be awesome!

Keep an eye out, we have some great stuff planned for the Christmas season.........

Time With God

"When was the last time you felt God calling you out?" This is the question asked by Bill Cornelius at his site. Read the entire post here to see his list of signs that he needs "to experience a fresh touch from my Heavenly Father". Don't worry, it's short and will go a long way.

11/28/07 - Life Journal - I'm a Tentmaker

For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.
1 Thessalonians 2:9

Paul and his merry band of evangelicals purpose was spreading the Gospel. Period. No permanent positions on a new church plant network, not as traveling motivational speakers going from conference to conference. These were guys with real jobs, Paul was a tentmaker, that took care of themselves. They gave 100% of themselves without taking anything in return. This was the missional church of Acts. Give all of yourself. Support yourself. No burden of responsibility on those you're reaching (totally unlike the Levites of the Jews). Preach His Gospel. Done.

That's my job. Spread the Good News. Possibly suggest methods of study to help new believers feed themselves. Give praise. Move on. No accolades, no paychecks, no titles, no best live's now. I'm a tentmaker, nothing more.

Lord, I pray that we can one day see that everything else will turn to dust. It just doesn't matter.

Fishing Knots!

Found a great resource for learning how to tie knots. This site has it all from boating to decorative but of course I was interested in the fishing knots. Head on over to www.animatedknots.com and check it out.

Below is the final result of the "Uni-Knot" which I use all the time. Works great with heavy test line and heftier hooks.

Target #5 - Scamp Grouper

Mycteroperca phenax

Size: generally smaller than gags or blacks.

Florida Record: 28 lbs

Of all the grouper I personally say this one has the best tasting meat. Another advantage is their 20 inch size limit! They have a real tough, almost shark-like, skin that likes dulling blades...

check out this post for details...

This Year's Must Have Present - The Hilary Nutcracker

Click here to see the rest of stupid.com's top ten "Stupidest" Christmas gifts.

Life Journal - Pistol Pete - from Supernaturally Pure

I'm reposting this life journal entry Wayne Wagner posted over at Supernaturally Pure. One because he nails me to a 'T', and 2, because I thinks it's pretty stinkin hilarious. Enjoy.

Psalm 125 / Matthew 26-27

The life of Peter the apostle is awesome. If you read through scripture, you find a guy who will look before he leaps, speak before he thinks, and react without hesitation. I love that about him. I am him in that respect. But, he like me, has gotten himself into a fair share of trouble, or situations that he had to back pedal out of in order to save face, and in some cases survive.

He was the only one to get out of the boat when Jesus was walking on the water. I mean, he was the only one crazy enough / with enough faith / stupid enough / loved Jesus enough / strong enough / tough enough / silly enough or just down right brave enough to get out of the boat. He was the ONE who did it, but quickly, he lost his faith / bravery / strength, whatever and began to sink. I don’t think that it was a gradual sinking ether, i think that he slammed into the water hard. Like off of a high dive.

Today, Jesus is facing crucifixion in our reading, and Jesus tells all of the disciples that they will all scatter and disown him. I mean, this is the fulfillment of prophecy, so why shouldn’t they believe him. They all respond to Jesus with the same answer “Your crazy. That’s crazy. We would never leave you or forsake you.” That is what they all say, and I imagine that Peter said it the loudest. Then Jesus was like “No for real, you are all going to leave me.” Then as if acting out a scene, and with the timing of a Broadway actor Peter says “I will never leave you even if I have to DIE for you.”

In a red faced rant Peter is vehemently denying what Jesus says. I can imagine Peter standing over Jesus and the rest of the disciples with somewhat of a frothy mouth, angrily and staunchly stating that come hell or high water, I ain’t leaving. I imagine Jesus kinda laughing off what Peter says similarly to when a father laughs of the absurd claims of his children.

Well if you read it, or if you know the story, you know that Peter leaves. Kinda said. He weeps about it, when he realizes what he has done. In the presence of Jesus it is very easy to say things like that. I will never leave. I will never back down.

Here’s the point. It is very easy to be rough, tough, and ready when we are in church, or when we are with other christian people. The rub comes when we meet people in real life. For me, just Sunday I preached about not being annoyed with people, and loving them the way that God loves them. Just this morning I go to get gas and the card can’t be read at the pump, so I have to traipse inside. Then I get the question, How much gas do you want? How am I supposed to know, I just want to fill it up. Sir, I can charge you an amount and what you actually use can be taken off of your credit card. O.K. then, I want a thousand dollars in gas. Seriously, charge me 1000 bucks. Man, I was being a total JERK with a capital JERK. She ended up charging fifty to the card, and i went out and pumped my 45 bucks into the tank. Then, I had to go inside to get the real receipt. When I got inside, I made sure to apologize for being such a tail hole. I mean, I really was, and there was no excuse.

I need my faith and my actions to match my words more than they do. God change my heart. Help me to not be annoyed by people. Help me to never feel inconvenienced by anyone in my family. Change my heart. Make me brand new, amen.


11/27/07 - Life Journal - Give Me Barrabas

The governor again said to them, "Which of the two do you want me to release for you?" And they said, "Barabbas." Pilate said to them, "Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?" They all said, "Let him be crucified!"
Matthew 27:21,22

As was tradition at the Passover feast, Pilate offered up a prisoner to be released for the crowd. Jesus or Barrabas. Jesus, the Messiah they had been waiting for, or Barrabas, the notorious, murderous prisoner. Here the fear of losing rank caught up with the priests and they persuaded the crowd to have Barrabas get the reprieve. Jesus? "Let Him be crucified!"

Pretty harsh but all according to God's overall plan for us. Jesus would be crucified and ALL sin, past, present and future would be upon Him all at once. This choice made by the Jews hit me as one I make every single day. Whenever I use my own free will, to consciously sin, I declare "Give me Barrabas!" Another sin is then piled upon the suffering Christ, forced to sacrifice himself for my selfishness. I might has well be chanting along, "Let Him be Crucified". Why am I so weak? How can I add to the Father's disgust as He looks upon His Son and sees only my sin?

Father, how can I not see this? How does the image of Christ crucified not fill my vision when tempted into sin? More proof that I'm worthless without you. Thank you for Your undeserved mercy You have for me.

Worship Sunday - 11/25

OK, so this is a little belated, but here was our set:

Where's the Love
Love the Lord
By His Wounds
In Christ Alone

I had planned on standing in for Andy on bass but some last minute adjustments had to me made. I ended up on Cajon for most of the set with Joe on vocals and Carly and Nikki on female vocals. I did get to strut my bassist stuff on In Christ Alone. The song didn't lend itself to percussion of any kind and it sounded great with Joe on acoustic, me on bass and Nikki taking the lead on vocals. Carly was an awesome surprise. We weren't sure if she'd be there but we were all thankful and she busted out Breathe like she'd rehearsed it all week. Of course Joe rocked Where's the Love........I'm hoping to do our own version of that sometime with the full band behind it.

See you next time.............

Target #4 - Yellowtail Snapper

Family Lutjanidae, SNAPPERS
Ocyurus chrysurus

Size: common to 3 pounds.

Out there in the Tortugas there are some monsters, these definitely deserve the nickname "Flags" because of their massive tails. As told in previous posts, GREAT CEVICHE! Things get a little slow, tie on a chicken rig and load up on some of these great tasting fish....

check out this post for details...

11/26/07 - Life Journal - Hope Floats

And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.
Matthew 24:12

This is included in Jesus' response concerning signs of the close of the age. Christians would become outcasts, betrayed and hated by others. Thus the door would be opened for false prophets and teachers leading many astray. Without the foundations of a love and respect for Christ morality would be on the decline, respect for any authority would plummit and lawlessness would become the norm. The love and fear of God is what originally differentiated the civil from the uncivil. When this is taken out of the equation anarchy will reign and the love will fade from our hearts.

Sounds all to familiar. It's hard for my hope to stay alive just looking at the world around me. The nightly news tears me apart. What have I done? How could I bring children into this? The answer to that is the love I have from my Savior but it's that love that the evil in the world is trying to chip away. How can I stay strong? How can my hope float? Verse 13 tells us, "But the one who endures to the end will be saved". That's how. My question above makes more sense if I ask, How could anyone seperated from His love bring children into this?

Father...........What? How? When? Where? Why?

11/25/07 - Life Journal - Old Tricks, New Dogs

'The Lord said to my Lord,Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet'?
Matthew 22:44

Jesus tosses out a riddle to the Pharisees, "What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is He?" Stating what they thought they knew their reply was, "The Son of David". Jesus answered them with the quote above from Psalm 110. David here declares that Jesus is his Lord. So how is He his son?

A confusing bit of scripture here, mainly pointing out the fact that the Pharisees don't know as much as they think. What hit me is how many times Jesus uses the Old Testament (of course it wasn't called that at the time) to prove, disprove, teach, correct, etc.... This just shows how far I have to go, building up my knowledge, but also equipping myself to be a better witness. The answer to every doubter's questions are here, in the Word, for me to use.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16,17

Father, you have laid it all out for me, through prayerful study and with the Spirit as my guide, help me become a better witness and a stronger man of God.

Target #3 - Gag Grouper

Mycteroperca microlepis

Size: common to 25 pounds.

Florida Record: 71 lbs., 3 ozs.

Similar to Black - Main differences in telling the two apart are in tail fin and gill plate - I'd be happy with either - I'm not picky!

check out this post for details...

11/24/07 - Life Journal - Shut Up and Listen

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him."
Matthew 17:5

Peter had just witnessed one of the most amazing sights he'll ever see, and what does he do? Fall down in awe? Nope, he opened his mouth and started ramblin and ramblin. About now God spoke up, "Hey, this is My Son and even I am pleased so just shut up and listen!"

Back to fishing; I've been doing it my whole life but the first time I went on a Tortugas trip is was a new experience. New tactics, new bait, etc. I had to realize real quick to shup and listen. It's the captain and deck hands job to put you on the fish and show you how to catch them. In the bible, and more specifically the words of Jesus Christ, we have "The Captain"! The Son of the Creator! Where else can we turn? Especially when it comes to witnessing for Him. He will "put us on" the people that need to hear His word and will, through the Spirit, teach us how to catch them.

Jesus, you are my guide if I'd just shut up. On top of Your word You have given me brilliant men and women to walk me through it.

11/23/07 - Life Journal - Sailor's Delight

But He replied to them, "When it is evening you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red'"
Matthew 16:2

An old mariners saying, "Red skies at night, sailor's delight; Red skies at morning, sailor's heed warning". We've come to learn many of the signs and mysteries of nature but can't see the troubles around us. Even worse, we have these signs, take them for granted and demand even more before we can see and believe in the Creator of all things!

Everything I have and all creation around me is all the "proof" necessary to justify my faith. It's my job to share this wisdom with others and show them that all the "signs" they could possibly need are given to us in nature. Every scientific discovery showing us the intricacies of creation should only increase our belief.

Lord, you are awesome, let my enthusiasm in witnessing your creation spill into those around me.

11/22/07 - Life Journal - The Lord's Dragnet

Again the Kingdom of God is like a dragnet cast into the sea, gathering fish of every kind;
Matthew 13:47

Perfect verse for the fishing addict! A dragnet isn't very discriminating, it snatches up everything in it's path, just as the Gospel discriminates against no one. But like the fisherman, God will sort his catch and toss the "bad" fish back.

I must also cast my net wide! When I'm fishing I can't tell my bait to only catch a certain fish, it's down there for any kind to take (accept). God will judge everything I catch using His Gospel as my net and seperate the good from the bad at the sorting table.

Lord, all need to hear your word, let me be your dragnet, spread wide to catch all.

Black Thursday = Free Coffee!

See everyone tomorrow as we at Journey will once again be handing out coffee to those crazy souls standing in line searching for specials. We'll be outside of Sears at Lakeland Square Mall and the Circuit City next door. Will be there from about 4 am to 9 am so stop my and say high!

Target #2 - Black Grouper

Mycteroperca bonaci

Size: common to 40 pounds, may attain weights exceeding 100 pounds.

check out this post for details...

Thanksgiving - Then and Now

Target #1 - Mutton Snapper

Family Lutjanidae, SNAPPERS
Lutjanus analis

Size: common to 15 pounds.

Common Nicknames: Sow's, Mutt's

Note: the larger fish offshore lose alot of the green coloration and are more of a bright pink when caught.

check out this post for details...

11/21/07 - Life Journal - No Time to Waste

And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town.
Matthew 10:14

Jesus knew the seriousness of the situation. He told his men to get in, spread the Word and if they got no response, to get out. Imagine denying the Gospel when Jesus was living among them? When they could pull up a blanket, hear His teachings directly from Him and have a nice fish dinner afterwards?

We must also realize that timing is everything. When will He come "like a thief in the night?" No one knows but the Father. We can't spin our wheels preaching His word on deaf ears. There was a time when I wouldn't listen to Him. It frustrated the heck out of Sheri but she gave in without giving up. She took my situation and lifted it to Him in prayer and you know what? It worked. After going to church herself for months I finally went with her. The pastor there, David Baxter, was the person I needed to hear. I listened to him. It sounds cruel but if someone isn't getting it we must move on and trust God to put someone else in our place that might have more success. A hardened heart will just solidify more if our methods aren't working and the discouragement we will feel will put us off from telling His story to others. Don't be afraid to "shake the dust off your feet" and bring the Gospel elsewhere. Things will happen in His timing but we are told "the harvest is great". Someone else is waiting for you!

Lord keep this fresh on my mind, there are millions who need to hear your word. I know you don't want me beating my head against a wall when others need me.

Free Rice

Play this game and free rice will be given to hungry people. The money generated by advertising pays the bill, and the rice is distributed by the United Nations World Food Program.

HT to The Ooze


Everyone has this but I wanted it too. Is that so wrong?

Temporary Website Name Change

For the next two weeks the site will officially be name, "Inside the Mind of a Fishing Addict".

Thank you, management

Dry Tortugas 07 - The Prelude

I still have 2 weeks to go until my fishing trip to the Dry Tortugas and I can't take it anymore. For those that don't know, every year around this time, myself and a group of guys (mostly Sheri's family) head down to the Keys for some big time Mutton Snapper and Grouper fishing on the Yankee Capts. Years ago we had as many as eight people going but we have recently switched from a 2 day to a 3 day trip and that culled the numbers a bit. That extra day makes a big difference if you get green around the gills and some didn't want to chance it.

On Tuesday, December 4th I'll hit the road and head on up to Deland, Fl. Yes, I know that's going north to go south but that's where I meet up with the gang. We'll hang out for a while and catch up on things then it's off to bed for the early drive. We strive for 8 am but something usually happens but fortunately we have some buffer in our schedule. Oops, I can't forget our wake up call, Roberts Bloody Mary's with his secret mix recipe.

The first portion of the trip is pretty monotonous, long straight highway, a few pit stops and maybe lunch in Miami (can't remember the BBQ joint we've been eating at recently). The excitement usually kicks in once we blow through Homestead and hit the Keys, it's still a long way to go but the scenery is better, well, there is a long stretch of Key Largo (I think I hear Bertie Higgins) that's a bunch of strip malls and tourist traps but that goes pretty quick.

When we arrive in Islamorada our vacation is officially under way. That's where we hit the "World Wide Sportsman", a gigantic offshoot of Bass Pro Shops that specializes in salt water angling. This place is huge! Like kids in a candy store we pillage the racks for everything we need (and want) for the trip then head up to the Zane Grey lounge for some refreshments and possibly a cigar during a magnificent sunset. The bar sits on the second floor with a huge balcony overlooking a marina and the Florida Bay (that's gulf side). A few time's our visit has corresponded with fising tournaments and we can add people watching to our list of activities. (I got Wade Bogg's autograph there a few years back).

The Zane Grey Lounge

The home stretch, nothing between us and the boat now but a few more bridges and a stop for bait and dinner. Last year was our first experience with the profession of "Bait Boat Captain". Sheri dug through the web and found us a guy that would catch us all the bait we needed. This gentlemen lives on a barge off of Key West and, well, catches bait. Might not seem like a great gig but the bait du jour is Goggle Eyes and these babies go for $3 apiece!(We cut them in thirds so it's not as bad) I hear the reason they are so expensive is that they are also the bait of choice for the sailfishing crowd and I guess they have more cash than us bottom feeders. Talk about convenient, the bait guy pulled up to the dock directly behind the site of our usual pre-trip meal......

...The Half-Shell Raw Bar.Great open air resteraunt, right on the docks that specializes in Florida cuisine, though I opt for the well done burger since I'm going to be off-shore for three days (see reason why there's only four of us this year).

From their website:

Set in the heart of the Historic Seaport at the Key West Bight, the Half Shell Raw Bar is an authentic Key West fish house. Once a shrimp packing building, it has stayed true to its blue-collar harbor front heritage. Fancy folks looking for fancy stuff will have to look elsewhere. No carpet on the floors. No expensive art on the walls. No air conditioning, for that matter.

To the boat - The Yankee Capts

We made it! All we need to do now is unload our fishing poles (+/- 8), our 100 qt. coolers, tackle boxes, blankets pillows.........ok, done. The fun part is getting the coolers loaded down with food, bait and ice up to the second deck. Anyway, now we can get our bunks ready.With this being a "limited load trip" it makes it a lot easier stowing our stuff. The below decks are very dark, very cold and very inviting. Warning......don't go down for "a quick nap" without someone designated to wake you up. I could sleep for days down there. Unfortunately this area also has some tomblike qualities if you happen to be one of those presupposed to sea sickness. Anyway, I digress. This is where we'll be for the next 4-6 hours as we head out to the fishing ground, approximately 70 miles west of Key West.But first, midship on the main deck is the cabin, restrooms and galley where our cook Renata(pictured) takes great care of us. On the three day last year, one night she cooked up some awesome black beans and rice. You can definitely eat out here when you're fishing non-stop and a hot meal is a great change from what you might have in your cooler. One treat you don't get that often is fresh out of the water, yellowtail snapper ceviche, Uncle Robert's specialty. What you do is filet up some severely fresh snapper, chunk it up and toss it in a container with LOTS of lime juice and an assortment of tomatoes, green peppers, onions, jalapeno's, etc....basically whatever you'd like. Then you just seal it, wait a few hours and voila, dig in! The citric acid in the lime "cooks" the fish and trust me, it is awesome! Hopefully, with the right bait and the right tides and the right moon phase and the right fishing holes and the right hooks and the right way I'm holding my tongue and the right fishing shirt on and right side of the boat and right line...............we should be in the fish by now! Here's some shot's I snagged off of their website:

Capt. Matt and a Big Daddy Grouper

Big Mamma Mutton Snapper

OK, now we're beat down and we stink, no actually, we STANK! For a small bathroom and one temperature, scalding, the shower feels awesome! I'm not sure what the bunks feel like right about now because I'm usually asleep before my head hits.

Back at the dock it's time for the fish rodeo. Picture 30 guys in a semi-circle with their coolers in front of them. Now picture the deck hands calling out numbers and tossing the fish at everyone, most of the time with nothing but net! It's kind of comical but extremely efficient.We don't bother with any fish cleaning now, just hit the store, pack em down with ice and head for the No Name Pub on, coincidentally, No Name Key. It bills itself as "A Nice Place...If You Can Find It". I'm talking some incredible pizza here, son. The complete history of the pub is on their site but here's an interesting tidbit: It started out as a general store/bait and tackleshop then an addition was added to the front which eventually became the Pub. For a while to attract business the second floor was converted into a brothel.Another interesting feature is the thousands of dollar bills all over the walls left by tourist over the years. One more thing, to get to the pub you first drive through the back roads of Big Pine Key, great for spotting Key Deer, but be careful, they take protecting theses critters seriously! They're the size of a big (well not so big) dog. I saw a "buck" once and it looked like the Grinch's dog with antlers strung to it's head. But seriously, keep your eyes open for them and DO NOT speed anywhere on this Key, they are on the look out and will pull you over.

That's the end of the tale for now, stay tuned for a report from the actual trip (just typing this was pretty honkin cool).

Here's to Tight Lines and Red Decks

11/20/07 - Life Journal - As the Foundation Crumbles

And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it."
Matthew 7:26,27

Jesus is telling the people that those who hear his words AND follow his teaching will be like the man who built his house on a foundation of stone, able to withstand the storms that he'll face in his life. On the contrary is the man above, ignorant to His word, who's life is scattered in the face of adversity.

When reading this it hit me, not on a personal level, but on a nation wide scale. It's amazing how many people I hear saying that they'd re-elect Clinton if the rules were changed. This man is the shining example of what is wrong. Our moral foundations in this country are squat. Talk about a castle in the sand, we've got an entire nation planted on shifting sand right now. People openly bashing the president, not saying that disagreeing is wrong, that's what a democracy is all about, but publicly tearing him apart. How is that good? Save your crap for the voting booth. What about these "geniuses" we have in Hollywood. Rosie saying Bush is a war criminal, Danny Glover and Sean Penn cozying up to that wacko dictator in Venezuala, blah, blah, blah....What ever happened to executing traitors? Add in the pushing of the homosexual lifestyle in schools, trash every night on t.v. and one of the biggest sellers in toy stores are those "mini-streetwalkers" Bratz. What's goin on? This castle is gonna collapse and great will the fall of it be.

Father give me a clue. What can one person do?

I'll take a shack on the rock
Over a castle in the sand.

Mark Hall

11/19/07 - Life Journal - Just a Little Patience

And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
Matthew 2:12

God is putting in overtime here in spoiling King Herod's plan. Claiming desire to worship the new born King he sends the "wise men from the east" to locate Him and report back with their findings. After visiting with Jesus and bestowing their gifts a dream told them of Herod's plan and they returned to their homes by what was probably a circuitous route. Not finished yet, God sends and angel to Joseph with the same warning and delays their trip home by sending them into hiding in Egypt.

Dude......I thought waiting in traffic was bad. These guys were delayed by YEARS! Though our set backs are minor compared to this, they are no less important and amazing. Think about the accident you saw this morning and I bet you can also flashback to a few extra minutes searching for your keys. Or maybe you can remember getting caught up at the grocery store just long enough to run into someone you had been meaning to talk to, or better yet, a person that really needed you at that moment. There are millions of examples that go unnoticed everyday, but they're there if you look. I have to keep my eyes open for God's little "detours" in my life. When I can see Him actually working in my day to day life my love for Him and faith in His plan will only increase, and maybe it'll be praise escaping my lips instead of curses.

Father, I know it, You know it and Sheri definitely knows it. I need the patience that can only come when I realize that everything that happens has been set in motion by You. Help me see you working in my life.

Those magic men the magi
Some people call them wise
Or oriental, even kings
Well anyway, those guys
They visited with Jesus
They sure enjoyed their stay
Then warned in a dream of King Herod’s scheme
They went home by another way

James Taylor

Just a little patience....oooh yeah

Axel Rose

How NOT to be a Missional-Incarnational Church - Lesson #1

I first ran acrossed this story in the comment section on one of Brannen Padgett's posts. He's a church planter in the process of figuring out Austin, Texas with his wife and new baby. Looks like he's gonna have his hands full. Not with the residents, but possible with the "established" church, specifically Hyde Park Baptist Church. They recently refused to host an interfaith Thanksgiving service because they have a policy of prohibiting non-Christians from praying on it's grounds. So much for people seeking out Christ! The service, which has been held for the last 23 years, was forced to move at the last minute.

Now FOX News has picked up on the story. You can read it here.

11/18/07 - Life Journal - My Hope is in You

Our help is in the name of the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 124:8

David is rejoicing! His God is an awesome God and if it wasn't for Him David's enemies would have swallowed his people up and rolled over them like a flood. As always, in his time of victory David is the first to point to the Lord and give him the thanks.

I love watching athletes point to the heavens after home runs, touch downs, whatever... Honestly, I can't see their hearts but the outward display of thanks is awesome, especially for my little ones watching. What if I was more like that? I get a raise, boom, I'm on my knees, finger in the air, giving Him praise. Make it home without any traffic, wham, jump out of my car and give an emmylike speech thanking Him for everything He did for me on my drive home. People'd think I was crazy, right? Isn't that the point? We are not supposed to be like everyone else and react like everyone else. We know where all things good come from so why don't we give a little love and point it out?

Father, when am I going to give You credit when You above all deserve it? I have no hope but in You.

11/17/07 - Life Journal - Gotta be Cruel to be Kind

As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting.
2 Corinthians 7:9

This thought is tossin and turning in Pauls head. ....I'm sorry I grieved you but I don't regret it but I do regret it but only for a little while did I regret it.......

Got it?

It's hard to be truthful, to discipline, to point out short comings. Sometimes you just have to clench your fists and be blunt. It probably will hurt some people's feelings, but if it is done out of love and a true desire for the betterment of the person it HAS to be done. Through their grieving, or more likely being ticked off at you, they might just take a look in the mirror and recognize what they couldn't. Anyone that is a parent knows exactly what this is all about. It's not an question of if, but when is your child you love so much going to run off into their room screaming that they hate you at the top of their lungs. It hurts! But I guarantee you this, if your kids aren't getting upset at you every now and then, you're NOT doing something you're supposed to be. Parenting them! I have to put my feelings aside no matter who I'm dealing with, if I have any love at all or concern for their future life here or their eternal life there.

Lord give me the strength to be a compass for my family and those around me, even though my own compass is way off and couldn't find north if I was standing on the north pole..........

You've gotta be
Cruel to be kind in the right measure,
Cruel to be kind it's a very good sign,
Cruel to be kind means that I love you,
Baby, you've gotta be cruel to be kind.

Nick Lowe "Cruel to be Kind" 1979

Piece of Cake

If every week could go this smooth..........

A few weeks back I was informed that Joe, our extremely talented worship leader, was going to be gone for the week. His sister was getting married and we knew it was coming. Honestly, he needed the time off, his dedication has been nothing but outstanding. No problem, I'd figure something out.

First call. Kyle Ashcroft. Kyle's another music savant that goes to a local high school and can fill in for any instrument we need and as leader. I haven't asked but wouldn't be surprised if he could jam on the bagpipes or accordion if need be. Kyle had filled in for Joe before and I knew if he was available that he'd do what he could to help out. Steeeeriiiiike One. Turns out the worship pastor and his wife at our old church were going on a trip to the Middle East to lead a group in song as they visited the various sites and Kyle had graciously stepped in.

Okay, no problem.

Another gifted singer, Tim Stevens, is always there for us and I was sure he could do it. He had some question on whether he'd be able but was checking on it. In the meantime, a teen at church, Alyssa jumped at the chance and volunteered. So, while I was waiting on an answer from Tim I gave the shot to her. She's sung for us before and I have all the confidence in the world in her. The days go by..........

Oh, did I mention that neither Tim, nor Alyssa play guitar. Gulp.... Andy came through with the suggestion of using another teen we knew, Brittany. Turns out she's pretty stinking good on the acoustic, so we have it nailed. It took two, possible three people but we have the replacements for Joe.

As we get closer it's becoming clear that Tim might not be able to make it and I really didn't want to throw Alyssa to the wolves by herself so I come up with the obvious solution, I'll sing a few of the songs...... while drumming..... and no, I had never led worship before. No worries, I got the set together and started working on the songs I'd sing. After going through them for a few days, I was feeling pretty confidant.

Until practice.....

Let me back up a bit. Normally we practice at Joe's studio but with him busy with family that wasn't going to be an option. This wasn't too much of a problem, we'd use the youth space at our offices. Our Thursday practice ended up being postponed due to transportation issues so we moved it back to Friday. As I was pulling into the drive of the house that serves as our church offices I noticed something peculiar. The door to the portion that we share and is sometimes used by the church we are renting from is open. Okay, cool, maybe Adam is here. It was then that I saw women carrying in platters of food. Outstanding, the people from the church were using the space for a baby shower, Friday nights practice is cancelled.

Fast forward to Saturday, the day before Alyssa and I were leading worship. While setting up the sound, the absence of Joe is becoming even more apparent. Getting the chords straight for the songs is our first set back. Some of the songs are written with the guitarist using a capo. Problem is transposing them so Andy knows what to play on the bass. Next.... Alyssa is struggling with some of the keys and really needed us to change so she'd be in a more comfortable octave.... again, no Joe.

Now for my lesson in humility. A combination of factors were working against me, from my lack of experience drumming and singing at the same time, to a not so minor case of nervousness. If I got the song kicked off vocally my hands and feet forgot what to do and if the drumming was going straight my vocals froze up. I couldn't even remember the proper note to start the songs! Now a bit embarrassed, angry and worried for the service I was completely at a loss. What can I possibly do the night before church?

Alyssa ducked into the other room and made a phone call. I didn't think anything of it until she came back and said, "Tiffany will sing tomorrow, she knows the words to everything and has the voice for the songs." I had played with her before when I used to drum for the youth group CORE. Honestly, I was pretty psyched because she really does have a great voice.

Once arriving home and discussing the adventures with Sheri the phone rang, "Hey Chris, it's Tim, you've been trying to reach me?" Actually...........YES! Turns out he'd also be available for the morning. So now I'm pumped and thinking about how we're going to run through the entire set before the service. To top things off we get a call from Adam stating that they'd been out late at the USF football game and we're going to push set up back an hour. I hate pressure, pressure sucks.

Sunday morning. The stage is set and the musicians are filtering in. Because of the late start I'm still setting my kit and haven't entered the words into LiveWorship. Deal with it Chris.... We're ready to go when Brittany gives us our last little surprise, "Does anyone have the chords?" Wonderful............Andy......go make copies....what's that...you don't have the chords for "Came to the Rescue"........well will figure them out..........ok..........done. Practice commences, everthing's going great. Sure, they're some hiccup's with the endings and arrangements but we get it done. PHEW, time to relax.....

Crap! I gotta type the songs into LiveWorsip.


Now, deep breath, relax, coffee....WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT'S 10:15!

We're on stage and the timer clicks to zero. The opening notes to "Trading My Sorrows" thump out of Andy's bass and it happens.....Worship was Awesome! The Spirit took charge like usual and drew everyone into our songs and hopefully led them to a place where they could spend time in thanks and truly praise Him.

Piece of Cake!

Guitar Solo Quiz

Guitar Solos Quiz

Score: 100% (16 out of 16)

Shouldn't take you more than a few notes............

11/16/07 - Life Journal - Christ's Ambassador

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.
2 Corinthians 5:20

I am Christ's ambassador? That's some pretty heavy responsibility. He put His trust in someone He knew was not perfect, who's free will would probably screw up more times than not and has no clue what he's doing. Is He crazy? The way I see it is who is a better spokesperson than someone who has screwed up a lot of things but has seen a better way and is struggling with the flesh just like everyone else?

Though I personally have received the gift of life from him, I can't use this to lord over anyone else. I'm still the same as them except for my relationship with Him. Nothing turns someone away faster than a holier-than-thou attitude. Stressing our similiarities with another and the fact that His gift is for anyone that will accept it, no matter the past, seems like the way to go. What do you think?

Father, I am still an imperfect man though I will be perfected in You. Help me show that no one is below receiving Your love.

What Would Jesus Blog?

Well, it just so happens I found his blog! Really! Here's a post:

Hallelujah, whatever

Once you become friends with Me, part of Me literally moves into your body. I can do that. I’m very powerful. So, that part of Me helps you out all the time. If you listen close, you can her Me talking to you through that little version of Me that lives in your heart. When you talk to Me, this hobbit-like mini-Christ is what translates your conversation into the language of angels. It’s the perfect language, very pure. I’ll teach you it when you get up here. Anyway, this translator is able to take the awkward prayers you attempt to send up to Me, and deciphers it into what you really mean. For example, you wouldn’t believe how many people pray nightly for Me to “bless their day”. That’s pretty vague. You want sunshine? You want to win the lottery? What does that mean? Well, that’s one of the reasons I move inside you, so I can figure out what you are saying. That’s also why you can worship Me by singing words you might not understand like “hallelujah” or “hosanna in the highest”. I can figure out what you think you’re saying, and through your odd prayers or worship songs, you and I can have a relationship that is stronger than you realize.

That being said, I gave you all “great” voices. Just because you don’t think you’d make it to the judge table on American Idol doesn’t mean you have an amazing voice. Ever hear of Bob Dylan? His albums sell more than Chris Daughtry, and he sings like a duck… seriously, when ducks talk, it sounds like “Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall”. The voice I gave you, I hand picked for you, and if you use it to sing to Me, it’s more moving than any other earthly sound.

Thank you Jesus, I'll remember that last bit when I sing from behind the kit on Sunday.

No License for Illegals

Has common sense invaded our government? Nope, that's the rule south of the border. All of Mexico's 31 states require foreign residents to hold a valid visa if they want a Mexican license, according to a survey published Thursday in The Arizona Republic

Again, check out the story atFOX News.

Saudi Rape Victim Ordered to Undergo 200 Lashes

What a peaceful religion Islam is, where do I sign up?

Read the whole story at FOX News.

11/15/07 - Life Journal - Grace and Peace to You

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 1:2

Paul addresses each of his letters to the churches with this line (or a close variation). Before anything else he states the utmost of the Father's and the Son's desire for us. Through their grace and the peace we receive while living in that grace we can live our lives out in the greatest joy we can imagine. From this comes our desire to thank and worship the Father and Son, completing the circle as their desires are then fulfilled.

Everything I do and say should reflect this. Every person I come in contact with should come away from the encounter knowing that they have received the wish of God's grace and peace without me even uttering those words.

Father, I'm eternally alive because of your grace, let my awareness of this bring me the peace you desire and may it radiate out of me. Let people see my peace and initiate their desire to seek your Grace. (somebody cue Elton John singing "The Circle of Life...nah, nevermind)

Attitude Adjustment - Flyleaf - Fully Alive

Telling Layla's story spoken
'Bout how all her bones are broken
Hammers fall on all the pieces
Two months in the cover creases

Fully alive
More than most
Ready to smile and love life
Fully alive and she knows
How to believe in futures

All my complaints shrink to nothing
I'm ashamed of all my somethings
She's glad for one day of comfort
Only because she has suffered

Fully alive
More than most
Ready to smile and love life
Fully alive and she knows
How to believe in futures

This song was inspired by Trust Company vocalist Kevin Palmer's wife, Layla. Flyleaf went on tour with them a while back at a time when Layla was really sick, and those times when she could get out of bed she was always smiling, always happy about the little things most people take for granted every day. I pray this one line hits me everytime I hear it:

All my complaints shrink to nothing
I'm ashamed of all my somethings

11/14/07 - Life Journal - The Least of the Apostles

For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
1 Corinthians 15:9

In a moment of self-deprecation, Paul bows to the faith of the Apostles and Jesus' brother James. Paul, the notorious Christian persecutor Saul before Jesus appeared to him, goes on to say that God's work in him wasn't in vain. Because of his past he has worked non-stop for His kingdom

Now I never stoned baptists in my past, but my lifestyle enough persecuted the church of God. Everything I did was contrary to His teaching. I could argue that I never knew His teaching but creation was witness enough to lead me to Him. My sinful body fought Him for a long time without even realizing it. If I can modify vs.10 a little, "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and I PRAY that his grace towards me WILL NOT go in vain".

Lord, I know who I was and though I also know you have forgotten all of that as though it never happened, let it be a stimulus for constantly striving to live up to your Glory.

11/13/07 - Life Journal - The Way of Love

And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:2

The ESV titles this chapter "The Way of Love". In it he stresses the emptiness of any gifts we may have been given if we do not have love. "Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." The three important things to keep on our hearts are faith, hope and love. But Paul ends this with "...but the greatest of these is love".

No matter what I do, from tithing to helping on the streets of Lakeland, all are done in vain if they're not done in love. The love given to us from the Father. The verse above convicts me. I have the gift of obtaining knowledge, but is it a lack of love that keeps this within me? I feel His love in me, but letting it shine out of me is my biggest obstacle on my walk.

Father, I don't know what else you can do. You have showered my with your love and taught me the meaning of loving unconditionally. Break my heart open so your love can be released.

11/12/07 - Life Journal - Our Family in Christ

If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
1 Corinthians 12:26

In his analogy Paul uses the human body to show how various pieces, big and seemingly small, come together in God's perfect plan. One cannot do the function of another, when one fails the entire body suffers and when another part does something "extraordinary" the body as a whole is celebrated. This perfectly describes the church as a living body of different parts each with a particular purpose.

The verse that hit me is the one above. True, we are all different parts working towards a common purpose but there is more to that in Paul's analogy. As a church family, as in our own family, there will be those that "rub us wrong". We can't avoid any fellow followers just as we can't avoid any family members. On top of that, we must always be there for one another. When someone in our "Christ family" is going through times of trouble it is our God given duty to be there for them everytime. It's easy to rejoice when one is honored, but the image of Christ in us will show by how we treat a member that is in suffering.

Lord, thank you for the family in Christ that you have given me. May I be everything for them all.

United States Redneck Special Forces

The Pentagon announced TODAY the formation of a new 500-man elite fighting unit called the United States Redneck Special Forces(USRSF).

These boys will be dropped off in Iraq and have been given only the following facts about terrorists :

1. The season opened today.
2. There is no limit.
3. They taste just like chicken.
4. They don't like beer, pickups, country music or Jesus.
5. They are directly responsible for the death of Dale Earnhardt.

The Pentagon expects the problem in Iraq to be over by Friday.

Nick Saban is right at home in Alabama

Nick's really settling in to life in Alabama. I bet he never thought he'd personally usher Mississippi State back into the post season! (You can see Sylvester Croom scoutin in the background)

I LOVE the mullet, nice look Nick

HT for the pic to - Dave Anderson

One Honest Man

Read this post from Christian Gowan at Desert Thirst and get a new perspective on your own pastor:

Hello fellow readers, greetings from the land of DESERT THIRST! In the awareness and foreknowledge of impending turbulence, I must inform you to buckle your brain seatbelts. Shortly we will be commencing randomness galore and a shoot off of complete utter confusion even the driver of this journal does not understand will be indefinitely established.

Welcome to the wrapped up looming thoughts of a crazed lunatic who feels like a moth caught within a light fixture, rapidly moving about with its wings little by little burning away to the intense heat. This moth would like to excuse himself while he brushes aside the substance of DESERT THIRST as it has become a hidden hindrance in the ‘light’ of smouldering circumstance. I wish I could say I’m on fire for God right now…but it’s more like I’m pleading with Him to put this fire out. No, never mind. I take that back: there is no plea it’s more towards the reality of an ignorant man who knows no need for supplication. You want honesty in the midst of community so continue to listen to the human hearts appeal of injustice: I feel engulfed in my own conformity, penetrated by selfishness and chained by oppression, succumbed to my own private world of disorganized chaos, living a life of deception and deceit, despair and desolation. This church worker is enveloped in a world of computerized madness, mingling in technology more than people, every morning persistent in office work as he checks email, facebook, and multiple blogspots. He researches his sermons online and looks at the lectionary via google, does his scheduling within a cell phone and relaxes under the glare of amazing realistic computer graphics. His day can be composed of a series of numbers: 10010100 101 001001 011001. This is my light fixture, my burning sensation, the trapped slot of impeding doom while franticly trying to escape its sickening glow. Does this look like a man on fire for God? Apparently it does.

Why? Because I stand up at the pulpit and preach a life of freedom, get introduced as a young man who has a “charismatic passion”, and live a life “transparent to the eye and open to anyone and everyone.” I lead bible studies and confirmation classes, do a junior church program, and plant Saturday evening churches, present amazing PowerPoint presentations to multiple groups young and old. I’m bold, courageous, and challenging within these church walls. The whispers can be heard all around “He is an ‘evangelist’ who isn’t afraid to go out and get his hands dirty. He’s got a fire within him.”

I sure do have a fire within me wouldn’t you like to know. But it’s the wrong kind of fire: a fire that’s burning away at these skeleton wings of mine. I can’t even stand up, my legs are weak and my body is worn. The sincere heading of a blank bewildered face sits behind a mouthful of lies, a moth desperately crying for help: “God- I haven’t spoken to you in days! I want to fly to the depths of Your unconditional love but my heart is singed.” My eyes are glazed in the sucking powers of technology. I read my bible on a screen that’s 1024 x 768.

I feel like a caged animal fervent for the Gospel and passionate for the lost yet chained to a curate’s office chair. Does this bother me? Of course not, because the pastor believes I’m doing a good job, the congregation believes I’m doing a good job, and my national director is hearing and believing I’m doing a good job. I’m happy and content to be in the satisfaction of those who watch my every move. Do I really feel like a parish evangelist? Not really, more like a pastor assistant, yet everyone is informing me of the great job I’m doing as ‘parish evangelist’ of St. Andrews. Indicative to the time I spend within the church and church people I sit back in my own compromising life of complacency and satisfactory effort to just do what is expected.

The question remains: do I do what is expected…or do I follow my calling? Curate Christian or Evangelist Christian. Do I pride myself on the happiness of my boss and satisfaction of St. Andrews or walk in my own apparently surreal expectations: ‘the lord added to His numbers daily!’? What is my true calling here at this church and am I willing to go beyond people’s expectations, seeping into the realm of unexpected results and kingdom initiatives. What would happen if I took ALL technology out of my life: surely everything around me would crumble.

All you would see is a broken and confused man lost in a world full of questions.

…I know the equation. I even know the answer. But I’m not sure if I’m ready to flesh the two out and put the solution in my shoes. …excuse me while I check my email account, I haven’t checked it all day.

Giant Squirrels Terrorize our Forces in Iraq

Check out this shocking photo, taken by military journalist Al Gore.

ASBO Nails it Again!

I have faith in Him, but I doubt myself.

I have faith in His word, but doubt mine.

I have faith in His plan, but doubt my motives.

I have faith in His gift, but doubt my salvation.

Here's the cure........

I have faith in Him, as He does in me.

I have faith in His word, and it's His word in me.

I have faith in His plan, plans for hope and a future.

I have faith in His gift, salvation is here and it lives in me.

Thanks ASBO

Hey everyone, Chris is leading worship this week! [shudder]

Through a battle of attrition the task of leading falls to me. Joe will be at his sisters wedding and I'm not sure where Tim is. Don't get all upset and everything, I'm psyched! The front of the stage will actually belong to Alyssa, I'll still be behind the drums, just mic'ed this time. Trust me, it's going to be awesome.

Here's the set list:

Sing to the King - Alyssa
Mighty to Save - Me

Here I am to Worship - Me
O Praise Him - Alyssa (she really wanted to do the la-la's)
Came to the Rescue - Me

Amazing Love - Alyssa
Sing to the King - Alyssa

Piece of cake, I only picked 2 Hillsong song's and 1 Chris Tomlin for me........=[

We also have guest guitarist Brittany along with Andy the Cripple Bassist.

Don't miss it! (it might be the last time)

Go Wildcats!

With wins against Georgia and Tennesse, Kentucky can put the Gators into the SEC Championship game. Have I ever told you I've always been a big Wildcats fan?

The losses by UGA and UT would creat a three way tie, with Florida being the big winner. They would win the division by virtue of having the best record in the SEC EAST among the teams locked.

In Heisman news, Tim Tebow was second in a poll behing Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon. Tim is 173 of 255 passing (68 percent) for 2,532 yards and 23 touchdowns. He has also rushed for 718 yards and 19 touchdowns on 170 carries.

Humor in the Face of Tragedy

Banner seen at a Breast Cancer Awareness 3-Day Walk.

"Stop the War in My Rack"

Laughter is sometimes the best medicine.

WWJS....To Me? The meme!

Sorry Night Owl, but I'm a meme dead end. I'll give my answers and leave it up to others to carry it on if they'd like or just post their answers in my comments.

So, what would Jesus say to me................hmmmm.........

1. Practice what you preach! You come up with some great stuff through reading scripture and filling out your life journal but you're not so good at personal application.

2. How many times to I have to bail you out of your habit of trying to screw up your life!

3. I gave you an incredible wife, don't let me find out I wasted her on you!

4. You think you have it rough? Don't push me!

5. Are you really going to lead worship Sunday? (shudder)

6. I can see you're trying, but I know you can do better, my Dad made you remember.

Check out Jim's Blog, he was the originator, and has a list of everyone that has responded to this meme. If you do it, shoot him a comment and he'll link you up!

11/11/07 - Life Journal - The Temptations aren't just a 70's Funk Band

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13

There is nothing under the sun that is a new temptation for us. Somewhere somebody has gone or is going through the same things we are. In turn, there is nothing God has not seen or dealt with. Our problems often come when we try to do things ourselves when is is Him alone that can see us through. There is a wonderful promise in this verse, "He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability...He will also provide the way of escape."

There is a way out, but the verse doesn't promise that it will be easy. Problem with drinking? Don't go anywhere alcoholic beverages are served. Problems with eating? Fix every meal you eat at home (never, I repeat never, go to Golden Corral, Ryans, et al). Pornography? Never go on the computer when you're by yourself and cancel cable. Laziness? Have your wife make sure you're the only one with a key to the theater so you have to get your butt out of bed so the church can get set up. (wow, these are starting to sound familiar) I can beat anything! ...hold on... I can beat anything, with help from Him who gives me strength!

Lord, you are my ultimate account-a-bili-buddy! You'll know everything when I stand before you and boy won't I be embarrassed! (hopefully embarrassed is the only thing I'll be....)

11/10/07 - Life Journal - Spiritual Gifts

Only as the Lord has assigned to each , as God has called each, in this manner let him walk.
1 Corinthians 7:17

You can look at this verse in two ways; First, that each person has a talent or spiritual gifting place upon him by God and we commit a major injustice towards Him when we squander theses talents. Be it in a ministry at church or in our everyday life and workplace. Second, sometimes because of resources we can be placed in an area we are uncomfortable with. Every effort should be made to avoid this. It makes for unhappy volunteers and disgruntled employees. My pastor in Orlando, David Baxter, called this a passion killer.

We each know our talents and giftings and should strive to put these to use whenever we can. I've been blessed with the gift of music and the love of knowledge. Being involved in the worship ministry is my gifting and it is keeping me passionate. My love of learning is something I have to tend to all the time. If I'm not learning something new, whether at work or elsewhere I virtually go crazy. I get bored and tortured with feelings of discontent which lead to depression. This is something I have to deal with myself. As far as my knowledge leading to teaching, that's something we'll have to wait and see. I'm comfortable in this media (blogging) sharing insights but vocalizing this in a classroom or pulpit forum scares the crap out of me. There's probably a reason I like drumming. I'm hidden behind the drums and in the case of Sunday mornings I have the plexi sound shield in front of me. I know there's something to stepping out of my comfort zone but also to following what God has called me to do.

Lord I thank you for the gifts you have bestowed upon me, I pray that I will use them to their fullest to glorify Your name.

11/9/07 - Life Journal - To Judge the Quick and the Dead

"For He does not need to consider a man further,
That he should go before Him in judgement."
Job 34:23

Elihu is taking Job to task here. He says there is nowhere to hide, God knows and sees all so why is Job pleading his case and demanding an audience with the Father? His life is testimony for him and the minutiae of Job's every act is already known to Him that will judge him. By asking for a face to face, Job is actually adding to his sin by doubting God's omniscience.

Scary thought! When we are told we will stand before Him in judgement this doesn't mean a court-like setting like we are used to seeing. He will judge us quickly and definitively. Guilty or innocent. Life or death. Bam, just like that. Kind of makes you reconsider your lifestyle. Every little thing I do is known by Him. In 1 Corinthians 4:5 Paul reminds us, "...wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men's hearts..." There will be no, "Well, you see, I did that because........".

Lord, my future life with you is at stake. May the fear in you and the thought of being separated from you for eternity keep me in line.

Marc Driscoll on the Church's Lack of Humility

Here's a portion of a sermon Marc Driscoll gave recently. He speaks of his lack of humility being the one thing he'd change if he could do it over. Here he is sharing a problem he sees sprouting up in the church:

And I believe that it is showing up in our church in the lives of men and women who have sound doctrine but not sound attitude. They may contend for good things but their motives are bad and their methods are bad and their tone is bad and their tactics are bad and their actions are bad because their attitudes are bad even though their objective is sometimes good. I see this in particular with the men. I see this with men young and old, men who have known Jesus for a long time and should know better, and men who are new to Jesus and are learning sometimes the hard way.

Can I get an Amen!

For you daddy's of little girls...The Dove Self-Esteem Fund

See the world through their eyes.......

Say a Prayer for the Little Ones at Home........

Video of a surprise homecoming between US Navy Ensign Jim Haas and his son....

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Share Photos - Free Video Hosting

11/8/07 - Life Journal - One Love, One Goal

I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be unite in the same mind and the same judgment.
1 Corinthians 1:10

Now I'm a new kid on the block, no not Donny Wahlberg, just haven't been a testifying Christ follower all that long. Can someone answer me this, has there always been this much dissention between people that supposedly have the same goal in mind? Paul's a little ticked at the church in Corinth. They were arguing over who they were following, was it Paul, Apollos, Cephas (Peter), Christ? Paul shot back with, "Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?" (vs.13) We are just His messengers, if we claim to be anything more will be made foolish, "...so that, as it is written, 'Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.'" (vs.31)

As far as I can tell if we're doing three things, we're in line with Jesus' wishes:

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength (Mark 12:29-30)

Everything else will flow out of this. "Love God and do as you wish"

You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 12:31)

From the verse above you will naturally flow right into this one. We were all created in the womb by the Father. He loves none above another.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

"Faith without works is dead". If we're not glowing with our new found freedom, living out in the community as an example of His love, our faith is dead. We are a waste of His gift if we are not producing fruit.

How we go about witnessing to the ends of the earth is secondary and if we are truly working in the Spirit we will bear fruit. Who am I to say one way is better than another. If I feel something could be done better in my local church, I'm not supposes to run away to another, bad mouthing the whole way. It's my job to address what I feel is being neglected, suggest a solution, possible start a new ministry within the church and then if all else fails maybe I should go elsewhere. Bashing people as I go is not an option, it only hurts His church as a whole, better I rip out my tongue than to lead one of his children astray. If anyone reads this and hears me deriding anyone in the future feel free to deck me.

11/7/07 - Life Journal - What's your Spiritual Age?

I am young in years,
and you are aged;
therefore I was timid and afraid
to declare my opinion to you.
I said, 'Let days speak,
and many years teach wisdom.'
But it is the spirit in man,
the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand.
It is not the old who are wise,
nor the aged who understand what is right.
Therefore I say, 'Listen to me;
let me also declare my opinion.'

Job 32:6

This young dude, Elihu, was hanging aroud these guys and biting his tongue. He didn't want to say anything, deferring to his elders until he couldn't take it anymore. He basically said, "Listen, I'm not as old in years as you guys but from my understanding wisdom is breathed into man from God, into those willing and listening to hear it and receive it. So basically, shut up for a second and let me speak my peace."

There are some really wise young men in the ranks of those leading the charge in Christianity and unfortunately the converse is also true. We have an awesome pastor at our church that is very wise in his theology and grasp of scripture in spite of his youth. Some people might have a problem with this and it's a shame if they won't give him a chance and hear him out before drawing any conclusions. He's ten years younger than me but he has ages more in knowledge since he has been living in the spirit longer and studying His word longer.

The other side of this issue is people like me. I was introduced to God and accepted Jesus into my life a mere 7 years ago. I'm a 36 year old infant, but that doesn't mean I should hide my opinions for fear of being scoffed at or belittled. The more time I'm spending with Him the more of His wisdom I'm acquiring and the more receptive I am to His teaching. Too many people take age or length of service into consideration without hearing what people have to say.

Father open my eyes to your Word, put blinders over my eyes to block out any prejudice's I may have and ready my mind to receive Your wisdom as you feel fit to give it to me.

Your Remind Me of Someone.........


11/6/07 - Life Journal - Abraham's Son

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
Galations 3:27-29

After accepting Christ into our hearts we are all equal heirs in the Abrahamic Covenant. We are not bound by the law but freed with the promise. "In you (Abraham) all the nations shall be blessed". All the earthly trappings, our sex or our privilege because of what race or social status we were born into are nullified. As Paul uses the offspring of Abraham figuratively in Ch. 4, we were once born of the flesh, like Ishmael unto Hagar, but now we are reborn according to the promise like Isaac unto Sarah. "So brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman", Ch.4 Vs.31

OK, so what does that mean? The promise from God came first, then the law which showed that it is impossible for us to live up to the righteousness of God and we were enslaved by the law, then Jesus came as the fulfillment of the promise, freed us from our sins through faith, and we became equal sons of God. The irony here is that by "binding" ourselves to God is how we find true freedom. If I give myself completely to him, in turn I am no longer a slave to the temptations of the flesh.

Still a little murky.....hmm.......OK, how about this, Born dead. Slave to the flesh. Faith in Jesus as my Savior. Give myself completely. Free in Him.

Lord, I think I have the gist of this here, please clarifiy it in my soul.

Journals from the Blogosphere - Men on Mission

As you can see on the left sidebar I try to read as many online journallers as possilbe. I get some great insight from the way others see the same verses I'm reading. Here's one from Chris at "Men on Mission":

When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares. . . . This happened that the Scripture might be fulfilled which said: "They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing."
(Jn. 19:23,24)

Have you ever thought about the sad irony of that? Fighting over Jesus' clothes, when he was offering them forgiveness and life that is truly life! The God of heaven and earth is there before them in human form and all they are focused on is who gets to wear his suit. Somebody walked off wearing Jesus' outfit. But the clothes didn't give him the life that their original owner possessed, and while the clothes wore out, the life he would have given them is forever.

Is it just me, or do a lot of people today continue to "fight over Jesus' clothing" and miss the essence of his life and mission? All they seem to care about is the externals, the trappings, the way things look. They love to dress up "Christian," and their eyes never really turn upward to take in the Man himself. Why do you suppose that is? I used to be one of them. For me it was just a whole lot easier to argue over the clothing than to be confronted by the real heart of Jesus and what he was asking of me.

Jesus, clothe me in your deep, inner goodness and your grace, your compassion and your reckless love. Amen.

Amen, Subject Closed, Let's Move On......

Here it is, spelled out perfectly by Jason E. Robertson. (Now if we can figure out how to get the "truly reformed" in on this Christianity might be able to get some where)

"Evangelistic" is the adjective form of the noun "evangelist."
An "evangelistic" church preaches the gospel calling people to repentance.
An "evangelistic" church exhorts the gospel and calls people to a decision.
"Evangelistic" churches strive to be attract the lost that they may come, hear, and be converted.

"Missional" is simply the adjective form of the noun "missionary."
A "missional" Christian lives his/her life with an attitude of a missionary, going into a culture to bring them the gospel in the context of their culture. Just as Jesus was incarnational, becoming a man in order to redeem man, missional churches love their missional field (as Christ loved the world) and brings the light of the gospel into its darkness.
A "missional" church lives the gospel in her culture, in her society that people may come to faith in Christ.

Therefore a healthy church strives to be both "attractional" and "incarnational" in her ministry design.
"Incarnational" means that the church goes to where the people are and brings them them the gospel.
"Attractional" means that the church brings people into the church to join Christianity.

To be biblical/mature/comprehensive/balanced a church must be balanced in both evangelistic/attractional and missional/incarnational.


11/5/07 - Life Journal - The Word Received from Him

For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
Galations 1:12

By saying that the Gospel he preached was received through a revelation and not from man, Paul described God's work in him to open his heart and give him the wisdom necessary to fully comprehend. It all seems like a mystery when hearing the Word for the first time but by reading scripture and praying for understanding we too can receive the gift of revelation.

All the sermons and secondary books in the world can't replace personal time with the Father. This journal is the best thing I've ever done as far as digging into the Word and praying for clarity in what I'm reading.

Lord, light up your words for me so I can comprehend Your plan and see what it is I'm supposed to do.