10/31/07 - Life Journal - Garbage In...

Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a man can make him 'unclean' by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him 'unclean.'"
Mark 7:14,15

All of God's creation is pure. It only becomes damaging after it has fallen into the hands of men. Even further, once tainted by mens hands it still is not the cause of becoming unclean. It's how we process what we take in and how we let it settle in our hearts and minds.

Every bit of creation that we have perverted to our own desires or gains comes in to my body with the potential of making me unclean. Seen through my eyes and experiences, I have become desensitized to a lot of what is out there. With this view it becomes a carcinogen, slowly eating away at my mind, heart and soul. Once I can give myself truly to Him, the full benefits of the Spirit can take hold. Working through my conscious, the Spirit can filter out the trash that has made it's way inside of me and destroy it before it can do any permanent damge and before it can escape back out of me to infect someone else.

Lord, use your Spirit in me to cleanse me of all the garbage we have created out of your beautiful creation, to keep my mind clean and to stop me from being a "carrier" of this same garbage.

Peace on the Northside

Check out Chris Elrod's latest post. It goes along way to explain the previous post I ranted about earlier. The problem with humor sometimes is that without the background, the satire is lost and comes out, in his words, "....brutal and heavy handed...." In this case the parties he was aiming his words at would have gotten the message without the explanation, but his follow up helps us with trigger fingers on our blogs. The trouble with his first post is that in the blogworld everyone reads your words, not just the intended targets. The trouble with my post, is speaking without complete knowledge on the subject. (I know my wife could never believe I'd do something like that)

For those that don't click past the first page of your feed readers here's our comments from my post:

Chris Elrod said...
Nice points...good shots...a few too many assumptions about Compass Point since you've never been...but a good post nevertheless. Not that it would change your opinion...but you might want to check out today's post about why I wrote it.

Drummer Chris said...
Thanks for the reply, the only rebuttal I have is I really didn't make any blanket statements about your church or how you do things on Sundays because you're right, I've never been there. And trust me, I'm just as critical of Adam here at Journey when his weekly swagger doesn't match his Sunday sentiment.

I just get little ticked when I see someone who has a heart for people start acting like Ken Silva, Ingrid, Pyro and the rest.

Chris Elrod said...
If you call me Ingrid again I'll have one of my ex-imate church members break your legs. :-)

No harm...no foul...I'm an aquired taste. The thing that drives me in the area of praise music is that we have a powerful God...that provided grace through the death of a powerful Son...and speaks to us through a powerful Holy Spirit. Our music and preaching should be powerful also. The trend toward wimpy worship leaders just sends me over the edge....though not as much as people wanted free publicity on my blog. :-)

Finally...be nice to Adam...he's a friend of mine...and my ex-inmate church members. They like his weekly swagger. :-)

Chris, thanks for the comment about the band. One, we'd be nothing without Joe Rodda our singer and two our music can be purchase for only $15.99 at................

Awesome Testimony of an Old Pastor

Here's the latest three posts from someone I regularly read. It's one man's journey from the Mountain to the Valley and back again. Take the time, it's worth it where ever you are on your walk with Him.

Humble Beginnings


Home Again

Thanks Don

A Memo from Willow Creek

Brought to you by Kamp Krusty

What's this Wisdom?

Thought I'd post in it's entirety yesterday's life journal entry from Everyday Devo's. I particularly like the section I highlited in bold. Nothing in my entries are from me, they are insights given me by the Spirit and if I get anything wrong I hope the Spirit will help me see this or use others to show me my error. Here it goes:

When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. "Where did this man get these things?" they asked. "What's this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles!
Mark 6:2

Jesus' teaching was amazing! People asked the question about the source of His teaching. Where did He get such wisdom? Where did His teaching originate? Having received the Gospel, we know that it came from Heaven! What's interesting is how miracles are attached to His teaching. People WERE amazed!

I'd like people to ask that question of my teaching... and quickly find the answer! God's Word is the message of heaven and if there is anything amazing in what I share, that is the source! That is where the wisdom comes from. I, in myself, have nothing to share. What I do have is Christ in me.

Father, invigorate your good news in my life. Speak it in me and through me so that people will stand in awe of You!

A Huge Evangelical Mistake

Read the latest post from Chris Elrod? If you haven't, read it here before you go on.....

OK, you back? Wasn't that encouraging? First, I don't know why anyone's sending him samples of their music. Second, those that did obviously respect his opinion and now have been bashed into hiding and I imagine quite a few are reconsidering their loyalty to Christianity. If they considered Chris worthy of hearing their songs, how must they feel now that their music makes his "bowels move".

Personally, say it was me. I spent the first 30 years of my life in the secular world, doing as I pleased and really didn't have a care to go to church, even less to get involved. Thank God my wife changed all that and I started going. I'm glad my first trip wasn't to Compass Point. At first I might have got caught up in his hype, attended for a while and at sometime my wife would have convinced me to try getting back to drums (like she did). After reading that last post though and seeing the arrogance masquerading as passion and realizing he's a middle aged blowhard attempting to be the man of the 20 y.o. scene, it would be a long time before I put my trust in a person's image he's trying poorly to portray and the man himself that comes through in the crap he spews. He's like the ancient Roman Church with their "holier than thou" doctrine, except in the modern version his doctrine is "more awesome brah, than you freakin losers".

OK, so his methods may work in his church and that's awesome but if he's going to churn out clones of him and his buddy Gary Lamb that come across more bitter, angry, arrogant and pompous than loving it can't be a good thing.

I'd be on my toes if I were attending his church, it obviously doesn't matter what your passion for Christ and reaching the people of your town for His Kingdom. If you happen to do anything that isn't up to par in his "warped tour" brain, you'll be left wondering what the heck happened as you read about it online. I'll leave you with some song lyrics I feel our appropriate (although they might not be cutting edge enough for Chris), sorry to run but I feel my bowels starting to rumble.........

He said "Where's the love?
Where'd your love go my neighbors?

Where's the love?
Where's the love that you all preach of?"

Corey Smith - Where's the Love

(again, these are not the views of management, just of my keeping it real, straight out of the book, not caring if I'm hip or relevant, drumming for Him, sick of the hype brain. The words used in this message do not adequately reveal the anger, and sadness, in my heart right now but for the most part this blog is to encourage people and I'll leave the rest up to your imagination)

Be Salty

Here's just a portion of Brad Abare's latest over at Church Marketing Sucks:

I think this is what Jesus is saying. Get personal. Don't get too caught up in all the hype and hoopla of how you're going to reach people and just reach people. Right where they're at. And make sure when you're reaching people that you do it boldly. Shine a spotlight on the message and make it stand out. Don't hide it!

Be salty.
Be transparent.
Think local.
And keep it simple, so that ...

My house will be full!

And the people said.........AMEN!

He hasn't even started his promised series called "Lessons in Not Sucking" and he's already got me snared. Can't wait.........

10/30/07 - Life Journal - Satan's a Believer

"What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won't torture me!"
Mark 5:7

This verse brings me back to James 2:19, "You believe that God is One. You do well; even the demons believe and shudder." The demons within this man saw Jesus coming and were terrified! In their fear they made the wondrous decision to ask to be cast into a herd of pigs. How'd that turn out for them?

When I see this verse my mind reads it, "So you believe in God, big friggin deal, even the demons believe." It's not enough to just believe or call myself a "believer". It doesn't magically make me a Christian. The Jews believe in our God as do the Muslims. I have to devote my all to the risen Savior that died for my sins to be truly considered a Christ follower.

Lord I believe in You, I love You, I give my all to You, I am eternally thankful for You, I am dead without You.

Shaun Groves has it figured out.........

............I think.

Check out two of his latest posts:

No Good Reason

No Good Reason for that Either

Halloween Warning for Parents!

This story touches on the trend that Sheri and I have noticed and are rightly disgusted about. The halloween costumes for little girls! Seems every costume, from cheerleader to witch to pirate to rockstar consists of tiny skirt, long stockings and bare mid-section. Would you drag your kid behind a boat in shark infested water? Then why would you send them out as predator bait on Halloween? It's like the sicko high holy day! We dress them up, encourage them to knock on strangers doors and ask them for candy! At least we can dress them like kids and not call girls............

Here's the story............follow this link -

Parents beware: the pedophiles will be out in full force on Wednesday, while your kids are out trick-or-treating in their Halloween costumes

10/29/07 - Life Journal - Seeds Among Thorns

"Listen to this! Behold, the sower went out to sow; as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up.

"Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of soil. "And after the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.

"Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no crop.

"Other seeds fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold."

Mark 4:3-8

The seeds thrown on the rocky places and in the thorns probably represent 90%, at least, of believers in Christ. After salvation the journey has only begun, it's still a struggle to get into the good soil and bear fruit.

I'm a mixture I guess. I'd say I still have the joy but it hasn't really been tested against any real affliction so I could still be on the rocky place with a weak root. The again, I'm also still among the thorns, letting the worries of the world choke out my faith. Praise God that some of me has landed in good soil, I can see some of the fruits of my faith in the faith of my children.

Lord, continue to spread my roots over to the good soil!

10/25/07 - Life Journal - From the Valley to the Mountain

But on the night immediately following the Lord stood at his side and said, "Take courage, for as you have solemnly witnessed to my cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also."
Acts 23:11

In Acts 21:13, Paul's reply to the disciples of Tyre that were warning him not to go to Jerusalem was, "I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord." Just as Jusus knew of His fate in returning to Jerusalem, so now did Paul but he too was being led there and wouldn't trade his own safety for following God's plan. He received the reason in the verse above (23:11) straight from the living Savior. God used these trials to move Paul along to Rome to witness there.

It's easy for me to pray to avoid any obstacles, pain or sorrow that's in my future but if answered God might be short-circuiting His own plan. He sees from beginning to end all at once, He won't let our nearsightedness ruin the opportunities we'll have to reach who must be reached and thereby increase His Kingdom here on earth.

Lord use me as you have planned from the beginning and overlook my lack of understanding of Your ways. I must go through the valley to stand upon the mountain with You.

Even though the journey’s long
And I know the road is hard
Well, the One who’s gone before me
He will help me carry on
After all that I’ve been through
Now I realize the truth
That I must go through the valley
To stand upon the mountain of God

Third Day - Mountain of God

Great Insight from Mark Batterson

We need to make sure our attenders feel comfortable and confident in inviting their unchurched friends to our church.

That's the gist of Mark's latest post and I agree totally. He uses the title, "Turning attenders into Inviters". That said, I personally feel that trying to do this with a lot of "happy-happy, joy-joy" seeker sensitive crap is a turn off for anyone with a morsel of intelligence. (in no way am I making assumptions into Marks ministry because I know nothing about it, from here on I've given the controls to my brain) It's a transparent attempt to increase numbers and sets free a lot of immature Christians into the wild. Being the patronizing "older brother" to the immature seekers does less to draw people to Him than if you sat there and read straight out of the bible without any insight at all. At least they'd be getting His undiluted word. We need our attenders to invite people that want to hear the word of God, not a weekly gossip session.

That's what I love about Journey, yes we veer into topical sermon series, but they all have their foundations in the word and all lead back to the crux of the situation, salvation through Christ crucified. If the people want to invite their friends to a Sunday Morning Social, perhaps they'd better look elsewhere. Being at a movie theater we unfortunately don't have tons of time to socialize on Sundays in the normal sense. If that's what you want, you better be prepared to jump in and help out. We have great fellowship with each other during our early morning set up but not so much in our lightning fast tear downs. Coming to Journey is a lifestyle change for some Christians. Most of our communing with each other comes the remaining 6 days of the week. Life groups, band practices, creative team and staff meetings, community involvement. I don't get to meet many people "at church" but I've grown to love many brothers and sisters outside the walls of the theater.


I forgot the journal for 10/25..........I'll type it in when I get home..........don't have my journal with me............

10/28/07 - Life Journal - Serving with Joy!

And He came to her and raised her up, taking her by the hand, and the fever left her, and she waited on them.
Mark 1:31

While at the house of Peter, Jesus healed his mother-in-law. What does she do? She immediately begins to serve.

Jesus has also healed me! Through His ultimate sacrifice of self as the perfect lamb He has saved me from death! Have I been constantly serving Him from day one? Maybe at the beginning when I was "on fire" and all was new but I've grown stale. Living in this world, where my soul isn't meant to abide will do that. To rekindle the flame and resurrect my servant heart I must constantly be refreshed with His word, challenged by fellow followers and filled with the joy only He can provide through times of worship.

Lord, keep me fresh so I don't become useless like salt that has lost it's flavor.

10/27/07 - Life Journal - A Light in the Darkness

"Yet now I urge you to keep up you courage, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship."
Acts 27:22

Through a visitation by an angel of the Lord, more evidence of God's plan to see Paul through to Rome becomes evident. God used the dire situation not only to show His glory by saving Paul, He saves the entire ship, possibly creating more followers in the sailors and soldiers.

Even in the midst of storms I need to be aware of His voice above the winds, striving to get my attention to bring Him glory in the bleakest of circumstances.

Lord, may I be Your witness in darkness so that Your glory would bring forth the Light.

10/26/07 - Life Journal - In, not of, this World

"And now I am standing trial for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers."
Acts 26:6

Pauls trials were a gleaming example of how to deal with the authorities of this world without betraying his allegiance to his Savior. He said in Ch.25, Vs.8, "I have committed no offense either against the law of the Jews or against the temple or against Caesar. Back in Ch.21, he was purifying himself in accordance with Jewish law when he was taken into custody under false pretense. In Ch.26, Vs.22 he basically said that he wasn't saying anything that Moses and the prophets hadn't already said.

It is our duty (and honor) not to deny Jesus Christ before man though we may be incited to by many forces as we attempt to live in the world and yet not of the world. It may be something as massive as governments in Paul's case to as personal as friends or family. I must stand true knowing the Spirit will be with me with whatever words of wisdom are necessary.

Lord, please be in my heart and mind and on my lips at all times so I can be a worthy witness of You on earth.

Worship Sunday - 10/28

Here's the set list for Worship this Sunday, Adam will be talkin finance as we finish up the series on "Man Vs. Wild"

Hands and Feet - Audio Adrenaline
Marvelous Light - Charlie Hall
Blessed be the Name - Tree63
Whisper My Name - Jennifer Knapp
American Dreams - Casting Crowns
The Glory of it All - DCB

American Dreams should be a great launching pad for his sermon and could have been the theme song for my post on becoming a Man of God (dude's even on his laptop in bed! Blogging possibly?):

All work no play may have made Jack a dull boy
But all work no God has left Jack with a lost soul
But he's moving on full steam
He's chasing the American dream
And he's gonna give his family the finer things

Not this time son I've no time to waste
Maybe tomorrow we'll have time to play
And then he slips into his new BMW
And drives farther and farther and farther away

So He works all day and tries to sleep at night
He says things will get better;
Better in time

And he works and he builds with his own two hands
And he pours all he has in a castle made with sand
But the wind and the rain are comin' crashing in
Time will tell just how long his kingdom stands
His kingdom stands

His American Dream is beginning to seem
More and more like a nightmare
With every passing day
"Daddy, can you come to my game?"
"Oh Baby, please don't work late."
Another wasted weekend
And they are slipping away

'Cause he works all day and lies awake at night
He tells them things will get better
It'll just take a little more time

He used to say, "Whoever dies with the most toys wins"
But if he loses his soul, what has he gained in the end
I'll take a shack on the rock
Over a castle in the sand
Now he works all day and cries alone at night
It's not getting any better
Looks like he's running out of time
'Cause he worked and he built with his own two hands
And he poured all he had in a castle made with sand
But the wind and the rain are coming crashing in
Time will tell just how long his kingdom stands
His kingdom stands

All they really wanted was You
All they really wanted was You
All they really wanted was You

10/24/07 - Life Journal - Plant and Move On

But when some were becoming hardened and disobedient, speaking evil of the Way before the people, he withdrew from them and took away the disciples.
Acts 19:9

Paul was teaching in Ephesus for three months with good results but there were still some refusing to believe. It was time to move on. He planted the seed and let God takeover. The results are shown in verse 10, "...all who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord."

There are times when I've done all I could. With the word sown I must move on to others who still need to hear the Gospel and put those I'm leaving in God's hand so He and the Spirit can work in them.

Lord, use the Spirit in me to show me when my time is up in one place and that it's time to sow elsewhere. I leave the reaping to You.

Concerning Mitt Romney

Everyone must remember we're not a commitee voting on our next pastor and Mitt's morals closely mirror that of Christianity. Martin Luther once commented, "I’d rather be governed by a wise turk (non-Christian) than a foolish Christian.”

Thanks for the quote TT

Alistair Begg

Someone else I have been blessed by is Alistair Begg from Parkside Church, Cleveland, OH. (shout out shawn) He's on WTBN 910 am weekday mornings at 7:30. Right now they're broadcasting messages from his series "The Pastor's Study" on the Benefits of Expository Preaching. Check him out at Truth for Life.

Sorry, if I was hip I would have said he was "Rockin My World"

We're Schizophrenic Moral Relativists

Listening to Danny Hodges of Calvary Chapel - St. Pete this morning on the way to work he explained the craziness in my head perfectly! It's because we as Christians are schizophrenic! Our new self is constantly in battle with the old!

This was in his sermon on Judges 17 & 18. In this he also brings up the fact that Israel during this time had the same problem that is infecting the church today. "Moral Relativism". Moral relativism says that morality is determined by the culture, by society. Because society is continually changing, there is no absolute right or wrong. The Israelites had no spiritual leaders at this time and it was a "do what ever feels right to you" situation. Sound familiar? Check out Judges 17:5-6,

5Now this man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and some idols and installed one of his sons as his priest. 6 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.

He commits two disgressions against God in this verse:

1. Creates graven images.

2. Installed one of his sons as his personal priest. Micah was a Levite, but only sons of Aaron (in his direct lineage) could be High Priest. With his own personal priest he could dictate what exactly was right or wrong.

We need strong leaders to sprout up in our church and say, "Yes there is an absolute moral right and wrong!" It's all spelled out for us in His word. Unfortunately this "post-modern" phase we as a culture and some segments of the church are going through aren't so much into absolutes right now. We gotta make a change.

Danny's on WTBN 910 a.m. (Central Florida) mornings at 8! Check him out.......

10/23/07 - Life Journal - Discerning Bereans Want to Know

Now these were more noble minded then those in Thessolonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examing the scriptures daily to see whether these things were true.
Acts 17:11

This is Paul we're talking about here, the greatest evangelist in history, and the Bereans still checked his words in the Light of His Word. We're talkin OT prophets here. They didn't have the benefit of the NT (uh...it wasn't written yet). This isn't stubborn disbelief, it's good, sound discernment. Like Peter says later, there were already false teachers within the church, and the people of Berea were wise enough to turn to God for guidance.

I should never, nobody should, take a sermon at face value unless I know, or check out, the validity of the words compared to the bible. Pastors can say a lot of stuff that sounds pretty good, but if it isn't God's word, and doesn't ultimately point to our Savior, Jesus Christ, it's at best a bunch of Dr. Phil psycho-babble, at worst dangerous falsehoods.

Lord, thank You for the Scriptures you have left for us and the Spirit to help us weed out the truth from the lies.

I Need to Mature as a Man of God!

Well, I guess in reality everyone does, but I only know myself and maybe writing some of these things down for all the world to see might give me a kick start. I know some people reading this will be able to add many more points to my checklist but I have to start somewhere and maybe others will get taken care of along the way. Here we go, my list of faults, addiction and obsessions keeping me from being 100% intimate with God and family (not in any order what-so-ever):

1. Work - in my case it's not spending too much time at work, it's constantly complaining about my job, not caring about my job and making the whole house miserable about my job. It's one big punch in the gut to my Father who has blessed me with an incredible career.

2. Sports - not a huge one for me but now I have to keep checking my fantasy stats on Sundays. (not to mention biting my tongue when my loving wife roots for the Seminoles)

3. Church (yes, church)- being one hundred percent involved in a church for the first time has really shown me that worrying about the day-to-day operations can seriously get in the way of spending time with Him (ironic isn't it). Throw in the added stress when my wife (who also works at the church) and I fall on opposite sides of an issue, yikes.

4. TV - Hours upon hours of trash filling my cranium, besides the fact that it keeps me up and makes me even more miserable. How much TV do I need? There's got to be something better! Plus, how intimate can I be with my bride if I stay up to the point of exhaustion every night?

5. The Internet - and all the crap that comes with it, checking stats constantly on my blog to see how I rate and getting some weird vailidation from seeing who's left a message or comment on MySpace. (Get a Life!)

8. Reading - another sleep, time and intimacy robber = more miserable again. It's not a horrible thing but I can get a little caught up in books and ignore everything else, even my wife, as she goes to sleep "by herself" again even though I'm laying right next to her.

9. Pornography -from the web and "friends" emails, plus many things non-sexually related, beyond that which normally comes to mind when we think of "porn". Anything that gives us some perverse satisfaction, it can be scrolling through page after page on ebay lusting after that bass guitar I need to have or even watching hour after hour of the Food Network feeding our idolation of food and feeding our sin of gluttony. Whatever puts up a barrier between myself and my God, my Wife and my Family needs to be eradicated from my life. Without consciously meaning to do it, every time my mind gets attracted by something other than my wife, her feelings self worth, self esteem and perceived attractiveness to me plummets. How can I or any other husband do this to our spouse?

10. Anger - I blame it on my malfuctioning brain, but the healing is there if I ask for it. I have a seriously low boiling point and a hair trigger temper. Most people reading this haven't seen this side of me. The bad thing is, if I sit back and see what get's me going off, it's usually habits and characteristics that I have passed on to my children. Now, they've seen my wonderful example on how to deal with any situation and are perfect little imitators. I pray it's not too late to turn them around because if I pass on the tornado that is constantly spinning in my brain to them, I'll hate myself.

11. Addictions of the past - loitering on the edge of my consciousness, waiting to jump out at me. (you name it, it's probably been there)

12. New Addictions - we'll call this the Idolatry of Food. I love food and when I put this love above the health of the body He gave me it's definitely idolatry. Besides that, what good would it be to correct everything on this list if I were to die tomorrow? I will be perfected by Him when I die and shed this screwed up body and mind, but if I wanna be around for a while I need to shape up, my brain along with my abs (I think I have abs somewhere)

13. The Bible - What? Well it is when you use it for evil.....mwuahahahahaha. Not really evil, but definitely to the detriment of my family. You know from reading this blog that I have been pretty faithful in my daily Journal entries, but is it for the right reasons? Am I striving for a better relationship with Him or is it some perverse appeal for human praise? My wife will tell you I write good words but have problems with the whole practice what you preach thing. Daddy come play, nope reading my bible, honey come to bed, nope reading my bible. Hey, it's God's word, I'm doing my journal, how is that wrong? I spend hours reading and studying the bible but am I listening to Him? I don't think so, but why? Probably has a lot to do with all the things listed above.

(From me to you, I'm sorry, I love you)

Lord, here are my chains and the various locks keeping them in place. You have the keys, set me free from the bondage of this world, I've done nothing good while enslaved by these addictions that rob You and my family of my devotion.

10/22/07 - Life Journal - A Father's Role

He said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" They said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, you and your household."
Acts 16:30,31

The jailer had just witnessed an earthquake brought on by Paul and Silas' worship and the doors of the prison fly open. He wanted the salvation that came through belief. The thing that stands out is that not only him, but his entire family was saved and baptized later that day.

As a husband and father, accepting Jesus as my Savior was the most important thing I could have done for my family. If I hadn't there's no way my kids faith would be so strong, even though Sheri would have taken them to church without me. Now I have to continue growing my faith so I can become a better example and be better prepared for the trials yet to come.

Lord, I need You every step of the way!

Dishwashers for Clinton!

Overzealous for campaign contributions, Hillary seems to be once again turning a blind eye at cash from communist China. This time the money is being funneled through the poor immigrants of our nation's Chinatowns. Read the story from the Washington Post, yes, that Post.

Dishwashers for Clinton

Sorry Shawn

The Red Sox pulled it out in huge fashion last night, winning game seven of the ALCS 11-2 in front of a home field crowd. Sorry to Shawn and the other Tribe fans out there but honestly, I probably wouldn't have watched one game of a Rockies-Indians World Series.

States Quiz

Can you guess the states from the clues below? Here's a hint, the first answer for "2,000 lbs. of laundry" is Washington.

1. 2,000 lbs. of laundry?
2. pirate of know return?
3. Ritter’s posterior?
5. no more mining?
6. Harry, for 3/4 yr.
7. graphite in the blood?
8. dirty player’s need?
9. Flash’s plea?
10. put to bed by Barb’s beau?
11. remember it?
12. a shade about nothing?

Don't peek at the comments, that's where the answers are!

HT - Mental Floss

Glory to His Name, Not Ours

Great piece on some Christian heavyweights passing on the Glory to Him from Church for Men:

"Some of our greatest luminaries in church history," writes Dean Merrill, a contributor to this week's devotional readings, "weren't cheerleaders for the segments of the church with which they've become identified. Martin Luther said once, 'I ask that men make no reference to my name, and call themselves not Lutherans, but Christians.' Two hundred years later, John Wesley said much the same: 'I should rejoice if the very name [Methodist] might never be mentioned more, but be buried in eternal oblivion.' And a hundred years after that, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, perhaps the greatest Baptist preacher who ever lived, said, 'I say of the Baptist name, let it perish, but let Christ's name last forever. I look forward with pleasure to the day when there will not be a Baptist living.'"

10/21/07 - Life Journal - We've Got our Umpire

"In truth I know that this is so; but how can a man be in the right before God? If one wished to dispute with Him, he could not answer Him once in a thousand time."
Job 9:2,3

Job wishes for his "day in court" with God to dispute his perceived mistreatment. Unfortunately, he feels that God, in the majesty of His creation and His overwhelming awesomeness, has no time to deal with one insignificant man. He also believes that "there is no umpire between us." (vs.32) No mediator between man and God.

Thank you Lord for delivering your son for us, we have the "umpire" we need in Him. We cannot stand before You alone but if we confess Your Son's name on earth, He will confess our name before You.

Lord...You truly are awesome...I can't comprehend it...Thank You.

10/20/07 - Life Journal - Bold in His Presence

Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
Job 7:11

OK, Here's the deal (shout out to Adam), Job has lost everything and amazingly his faith and trust in the Lord was sustaining him. That's until his friends started to "help". It started with his wife, then his buddy Eliphaz told him, "You gotta quit doin whatever you're doin cause you must be doin something!"

At this point Job has had enough. "OK, God," he was shouting, "You got me, why are You treating me this way? I don't deserve it, and to put it bluntly, I'm ticked!"

Job's starting to get persuaded into believing that God is against him but digs into his faith reserves, and like Jacob, does a little verbal wrestling with God. I believe that God wants us to be this real with Him. He's a big boy, He can handle it! When we're sure in our convictions, being bold before Him is part of our growing towards Him. We're to live to the fullest of our abilities to be Holy, and if we are we can say to Him, "OK Father, what's the deal? You know and I know that somethings not right here! I'm not testing you, but your end of the bargain is to treat me justly and "give me a future and a hope" and I'm doing my best to hold up my end."

Lord, let me be both bold enough to come to you for answers and humble enough to listen to them.

10/19/07 - Life Journal - Brother from Another Mother

About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. Then a voice told him, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat."

"Surely not, Lord!" Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean."

The voice spoke to him a second time, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean."

Acts 10:9-15

This vision preceded the visit from the attendants of Cornelius the Centurion that requested Peter to go to his house in Caesarea. The Spirit tells Peter to go with them and they travel to Cornelius' house. Once inside Peter says to the group, "You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection." (verses 28,29)

This chapter should be a sword slashing through any bigotry or hatred in my heart. Do I want to be standing there like Peter on the roof, waiting in judgement before Him and be accused of calling any of God's creation impure? We will have disagreements and their will be times of intense anger towards others (say.........muslim extremists intent on destroying our country) but this chapter shows us that all are God's children and we can't let that anger manifest itself into hatred. I'm not saying it's not incredibly difficult to do but we are to use the Gospel of Jesus Christ as our "compass", showing us the way, and the Spirit as our "thermometer", keeping us cool in temper so that His love can disarm our enemies. John MacArthur points out that it's a spiritual war we are engaged in as Christ followers, not a carnal conflict. Can love bring us together with all of His creation? Only through Him.

Lord, keep my head on straight. I definitely can't do it myself. Help me bring those that don't know your love to experience the freedom we have in You.

Leave Your Life Journal at Home?

Head over to New Hope Daily Devotions where they have the daily scripture readings tied in with Bible Gateway. When you hit the link to New Hope it takes you right to your readings for the day! No need to have the plan right in front of you......and better yet........NO EXCUSES!

Common Sense from Imago Dei

Here's a short clip from Rick Mckinley's take on the future of the emerging church:

"There will be important contributions made to theological and ecclesiological work. However if we insist that this young emerging church declare their college major right now, we may be killing the very thing that God is doing by putting a yoke upon them that God did not ask them to carry, but was one that we invented out of the fear of what they might become."

"Perhaps God is emerging something that is counter cultural to the way we have been doing it. He may be bringing about something that is seemingly small and insignificant but that will over time grow into something richer and fuller and more transformational than we have seen in some time.

We will never get to see it however, if we are impatient with the process, if we don’t have time or..................... grace to allow it to emerge..."

Here's the link to the post... "My Thoughts on the Emerging Church - Rick McKinley

Thanks - Emerging Grace

10/18/07 - Life Journal - I Got Some Explaining to Do!

Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. "Do you understand what you are reading?" Philip asked. "How can I," he said, "unless someone explains it to me?" So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
Acts 8:30,31

At the command of an "angel of the Lord" Phillip met up with an Ethiopian and overheard him reading out of the book of Isaiah. Seeing an opportunity Phillip confronts this man and questions him. Because of his boldness in Christ, Phillip was able to teach this man the good news and soon after baptized him.

I must be quiet and tuned in to the Spirit to hear the still small voice pointing me towards opportunities to expand His kingdom. Before this can happen I must be knowledgable and have my facts straight when put up against scripture so I can "explain" God's word to people. Teaching is our main task in discipling those less mature in Christ than us and in reaching the unsaved. It is also an incredible priviledge to be chosen by Him for the honor of spreading His message of saving grace. Finally, it is our command, like Paul said about the church, "I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness." (Colossians 1:25)

Lord let me be your teacher to my family, friends, coworkers and the world around me. Thank you for putting your trust in this imperfect servant.

One more update................

........on the left sidebar I've also added a link to my complete list of journal entries and a link to an overview of the Life Journal that I am using.........

Life Journals

I made a slight change on the left sidebar. I've increased the list of past journal entries to 20 and I've also added the titles to them so they'd be easier to navigate. Thank you, Chris' Brain.

10/17/07 - Life Journal - The Faith of Job

"Naked I came from my mothers womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed by the name of the Lord."
Job 1:21

Then his wife said to him, "Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!" But he said to her, "You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good fom God and not accept adversity?"
Job 2:9,10

Job was "blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil"; plus very well off. Satan basically went before God and said, "Well duh, of course he's so 'wonderful', you've given Him everything." God then gave satan permission (he couldn't do it on his own) to "touch all he has" (children, livestock, land) and Job responded with verse 1:21! Satan regrouped and said, "OK, but he still has his health, anyone would trade anything not to die." So God gave Job over to be afflicted by satan, but not as far as taking his life. The first thing out of his wife's mouth was, "Would you get it over with? Die already! How can you still stand by God? Curse Him!" Job, covered in boils from head to toe responded with verse 2:10.

If I lost everything would I have Job's faith to see through the tragedy and praise him, that He is using these trials for His Glory? Or if cursed with a horrible affliction be thankful for blessings passed? God wants nothing to come against us but will use the evil satan has let loose in this world. It can make us stronger in spirit or break us to a point where our only hope is to turn to Him. If there was no bad times how would we even recognize the good? Like spoiled children we'd live life expecting more, not having known the humble suffering of having less. I don't know anyone except my mother-in-law with a faith such as this. I'm trying through study and prayer to get there. On our journey to become more like Jesus, Job's example isn't a bad waystation on our route.

Lord, build my faith, though you may forbid, if in any tragic circumstance, I can stand with Job, blessing your name always.


For a decent selection of used and hard to find cymbals from Zildjian, Sabian, Paiste, Hammerax, Meinl and Bosphorus check out Mycymbal.com. It's an extension of the Memphis Drum Shop. (some of the Bosphorus are beautiful!)

BTW, the pic above is my Sabian 21" Hand Hammered Raw Bell Dry Ride. Crisp sound and LOUD bell!

The Haves and Never Hads.....

In an interesting bit of unintended(?) social commentary, these two stories showed up back to back on my google reader from Tampa Bay Online:

Early Morning Fire Destroys Family's Mobile Home

Former NBA Player May Appeal Helipad Decision

This is no slam on Matt, he was a friend back at Countryside High School in Clearwater, Fl and my wife met him at a party a few years after graduation. He's one of the nicest guys you'll meet. I just was struck by the tragic irony in these posts.

Worship Sunday - 10/21

The second part of our series, "Man vs. Wild", will be dealing with addictions. With that in mind Casting Crowns, "Set Me Free", jumped out at me. We haven't practiced it yet but the timing couldn't be better. We'll have Justin Grimes with us on his new Telecaster so it should be powerful. The lyric change the third time through the chorus hit's hard:

Do you want to be free?
Lift your chains, I hold the key
All Power on Heaven and earth belong to me!

He has it all, freedom is waiting for us when we're ready to put 100% of our faith in Him.

Here's the full set:

Trading My Sorrows
Sing to the King
Set Me Free
Holy, Holy, Holy
Whisper My Name
How Great is Our God

It's gonna be awesome, with His Spirit in our voices and instruments, leading people to the cross and giving Him glory.

What Kind of Bread?

This is a repost from Anna Thompson's blog. It points out that we could be missing something when concentrating only on material need and social justice when reaching to the poor and oppressed.

Today I've been reading the gospel of John and within my usual preoccupation with God's heart for the poor I spotted something a bit interesting. In chapter 6 Jesus miraculously feeds 5000 people with a few loaves and fish, clearly impressive but the response of the people is really telling. After the meal Jesus sneaks off for a bit of alone time and later that evening joins his disciples as they make their way across the lake to Capurnaum. The next day the 5000 people who had been fed by Jesus realise he has given them the slip and all get into boats and cross the lake to find him; but why?

When they get to Jesus he sees right to their hearts; 'I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.' It would not be too much of a presumption to suppose that this crowd were poor and lived at subsistence level; in Jesus they had not recognised the Son of God but just a meal ticket. Jesus urges them 'Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life'.

In our attempts to bring the kingdom through material provision and social justice, meeting the 'felt needs' of the poor in our society, we need to remember that food does not make disciples; for the poor and marginalised in our society Jesus is their source, but not only of food and clothing, also of something far more enduring, of eternal life. Jesus was passionate to meet their need for food but also to reveal to them their real need beyond their felt need, and ultimately to meet both through his miraculous power and presence. 'I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry'.

Awesome stuff, thanks Anna.

10/16/07 - Life Journal - 100%

But none of the rest dared to associate with them; however, the people held them in high esteem.
Acts 5:13

The people had witnessed the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira for withholding a portion of their offering and lying to God and the Holy Spirit. Only the whole hearted follower dared associate with the Apostles after this.

What a convicting verse. Am I worthy of calling myself a Christ Follower? Of leading people in worship? Is my less than 100% detestable to God? Am I truly saved or is my falling short sentencing me to death?

Lord, I can't do this alone.

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary - Progressive New Course Study for Women

Bachelor of Arts in Humanities with a concentration in homemaking

The College at Southwestern endeavors to prepare women to model the characteristics of the godly woman as outlined in Scripture. This is accomplished through instruction in homemaking skills, developing insights into home and family while continuing to equip women to understand and engage the culture of today.

The BA in Humanities with a concentration in homemaking provides a solid foundation for life. The woman who completes this degree and concentration will:

Be prepared spiritually – Through significant study of Scripture and theology, each woman will be prepared to be an evangelist and apologist focused upon reaching women, children and families for Christ.

Challenged intellectually – Intensive instruction in the history of Western ideas will challenge each woman to be familiar with the influential people of our past and to give a response from a biblical worldview.

Equipped practically – With four areas of focus, the homemaking concentration student will be equipped:

To nurture and care for the family.

In the area of nutrition and food preparation.

By developing a skill in clothing and textile design.

Through practical experiences for skill development for the most important job a woman may have: the nurture and care of the family.

Below is the actual(not really) recruitment video from the Seminary:

Dualism - The Death of the Church

"No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."
Luke 16:13


Jesus Take the Wheel...

...so I can trash my cheating boyfriend's car!

(Which market is Carrie Underwood shooting for?)

HT - Reformed Chick

10/15/07 - Life Journal - U-Turn Ahead

You have wearied the LORD with your words. "How have we wearied him?" you ask. By saying, "All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and he is pleased with them" or "Where is the God of justice?"
Malachi 2:17

The people ovbiously misunderstood the message of the prophets. Yes God loves everyone and wants none to die, but that doesn't mean He is pleased with them that embrace their sin and ignore the warnings of the prophets. Here is the God of justice, He will deal with those who harden their hearts to Him.

I can't use my salvation as an excuse to do whatever I please, with the false belief that He loves me no matter what. I believe in eternal salvation but also that those that embrace their sin were never truly saved in the first place. It is one thing to continue committing sins once giving your life to Christ, we all do it, but it's another thing to "love the sin" and not have the guilt that comes with the Spirit living in us and immediately feel the need of further repentance.

Lord, I'm a sinner, but I'm truly trying. I may feel like I'm doing better than before but that is not good enough. Only Your Sons sacrifice can perfect me.

10/14/07 - Life Journal - Through Him

"Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?"
Acts 3:12

The people had just witnessed Peter heal a man crippled from birth. They looked upon him with amazement, thinking he had some immortal power. He asked them about this amazement. They had heard the words of Jesus and about the faith that can move a mountain but they still think Peter and John did this themselves.

All things, great and small, can and do happen through Him. All we have is through Him. I can't let the praise of others blur my knowledge of where all things good originate and I can't let them continue in their ignorance, believing that any man deserves praise above Him.

Lord, all credit and glory goes to You. I can move mountain but ony through you, who gives me strength.

10/13/07 - Life Journal - Speaking of Tongues

And they all were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit was giving them utterance.
Acts 2:4

On the day of Pentecost (50 days after the sabbath of Passover) the Holy Spirit promised by Jesus before His ascension came down upon the twelve. The Spirit caused them to speak in "other tongues." Unlike the pure form of communication mentioned later, in this case the speaking in other tongues caused the people of all nations to heard them in their native tongue.

The Gospel, like the Spirit inspired tongues at Pentecost, is the true experience that can unite the people of every nation. It is the universal language of love. I have to do everything possible to teach this language to anyone when the opportunity arises.

God, fill me with the Spirit so that every ear will open to and comprehend you word.

10/12/07 - Life Journal - Happy Re-Birthday to Me!

They found written in the law how the Lord had commanded through Moses that the sons of Israel should live in booths during the feast of the seventh month.
Nehemiah 8:14

The Jews were rediscovering their past and the traditions of their ancestors as the law was being read to them at the temple dedication. The feast of booths commemorated the time when they were led out of Egypt and as a homeless nation lived in temporary structures.

The only custom like this I have is Thanksgiving, but over the years it's become another excuse for us Americans to drink beer, overeat and watch football. Then we prepare our hearts for the celebration of our Savior's birth by blowing a few months salary on "Black Friday". I declare a Feast of Salvation. Why do we celebrate our birth that brought us into this world with the only guarantee being our own death? Should we not celebrate the day of our rebirth? Let us party with thanks on the day that conquered death and brought us into our new bodies with the guarantee of eternal life!

Lord I love you with all I have and give you the glory you seek. I gotta rearrange my priorities in this world and celebrate the blessing of salvation you have given me.

10/11/07 - Life Journal - He Is Risen

"Why do you seek the Living One among the dead?"
Luke 24:5

Mary Magdalene and the other women returned to the tomb Sunday morning to find the stone had been rolled away. Standing there were two angels who greeted them with the words in the verse above. They basically were asking them, "Don't you remember? Jesus told you all this was gonna happen back when you all were in Galilee."

I need this same reminder! How many times have I read and listened to Jesus' words but still treat Him like some historic figure, studying His history and words without truly having a relationship with the Living Savior. Why do I seek Him among the dead of encyclopedia's when He is here with me?

God, take the intellectual blinders from my eyes so that with a childlike faith I can truly have a longing friendship with Your son and my brother in You, Jesus.

Synchronicity II

A song lyric came to me on my way home today....

...trapped like lemmings into shiny metal boxes, contestants in a suicidal race...

Lord I thank you that my ultimate destination in this crazy mixed up world is not my ultimate death but living with you for eternity!

John Piper on Ayn Rand

John's take from Desiring God, on the 50th anniversary of Atlas Shrugged, sums up the fallacies in her philosophy when put into the light of Christianity. I love the book, also her other works, including Anthem and The Fountainhead. At their most basic the books put forth her argument for "egoism". It all goes along well, with her points on using your abilities to their fullest to your ultimate glory and not allowing others to get a free ride on your ideas, living off your genius without putting forth effort of their own. Where she veers is a result of her atheistic beliefs. We should use our God Given talents to the best of our ability for His glory, and while not allowing the freeloaders to steal your earthly reward is good business, not using the fruits of His gifts to better the lives of others and draw them to Him is an unforgivable offense.

The Price is Wrong, $#%&%!

Sorry, if you've never seen it, that's a line from Happy Gilmore, when Adam Sandler and Bob Barker get into a little throw down. I'm just using this post to give some love to my cuz Drew. His first broadcast of "The Price is Right" will be Monday. Actually he's not my cousin and I've never met him. I'd like to. I think he's very talented. Plus, he's from Cleveland. Which doesn't really mean anything. I want to go to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I'm rambling.

Way to Go Drew!!!

It's not easy being Muslim.....in outerspace..........

Who knew there would be so many problems involved in sending a Muslim astronaut into outerspace? Read the link below, it's kind of interesting. I like the "if all else fails" solutions for prayer positions (just imagine you're doing it) and eating food your not sure is "halal" (just eat enough to stave of hunger).

How does an Islamic astronaut face Mecca in orbit?

What Would Jesus................Download?

Okay, I really like GodTube. One, it's a great source for music videos and it also has some good teaching on it if you wade through the extraneous. BUT. This is a little corny! This is a banner that was on their page today:

I'm sure the folks over at A Little Leaven and Christian Cheese would love this.

10/10/07 - Life Journal - I am a Thief

Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."
Luke 22:42,43


Done deal.

No questions asked!

The thief on the cross next to Jesus, by his faith in knowing Jesus would soon be in His kingdom on the right hand of God, was saved from death, seconds from the end, and ushered into eternal life.

I gotta keep this verse on my heart at all time. One of the main objections I've come across from people I'm sharing with is, "...Man, if you only knew the stuff I've done, there isn't any hope for me...". This person, guilty of crimes severe enough to warrant crucifixion, went from death to life in an instant and is in Paradise with Jesus and the Father right now, probably in tears when he hears people use the excuse of past sins for not persuing Christ and being reborn.

Lord, give me wisdom when sharing my story. Let me stress the simplicity of this verse, proof that You and Your Son want that none shall perish, and a simple leap of faith will secure a future with You in Paradise.

Thief - Third Day

I am a thief, I am a murderer,
Walking up this lonely hill.

What have I done? I don't remember,
No one knows just how I feel.

And I know that my time is coming soon.

It's been so long. Oh, such a long time,
Since I've lived with peace and rest.

Now I am here, my destination,
guess things work for the best.

and I know that my time is coming soon.

Who is this man? This man beside me,
They call the King of the Jews.

They don't believe that He's the Messiah,
But, somehow I know it's true.

And they laugh at Him in mockery,
and beat Him till he bleeds.

They nail Him to the rugged cross,
and raise Him, they raise Him up next to me.

My time has come, I'm slowly fading,
I deserve what I receive.

Jesus when You are in Your kingdom,
Could You please remember me.

And He looks at me still holding on,
the tears fall from His eyes.

He says I tell the truth,
Today, you will live with Me in paradise.

And I know that my time is coming soon.

And I know paradise is coming soon.

10/9/07 - Life Journal - Brothers in Unity

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brothers to dwell together in unity!
Psalm 133:1

What an awesome verse. It speaks into my heart with joy, but also with sadness for it seems that is the farthest thing from the truth. Seems that all the various denominations within the Protestant church and different sects within all seem to be battling more with each other than against our common foe. It is true that we are in the midst of a "Truth War" but the war should be focused on the basic doctrine's of belief that we MUST follow, not the peripheral bickering.

The Holy Trinity (Father, Son and the Holy Spirit),

The virgin birth,

The deity of Jesus,

Jesus' bodily resurrection,

The atonement of our sins as a result of the life, and particularly the death, of Jesus,

Personal salvation by faith alone (though without works our faith is dead),

The inerrancy of the Bible,

God's inspiration of the Bible's authors (and the men that compiled the canonical scripture),

The anticipated second coming of Jesus.

Number one is Love! I truly love my Savior. From this all else will spring and, vica versa, faith in the above truth's blossomed my love in the first place. Strip me of my unfounded prejudice's, if a church uses corny drama, so be it, if they're charismatic and speak tongues and prophecy, so be it, if they hang with gang bangers and use rap music to reach their flock, so be it, if they're a multi-million dollar mega church or a network of home churches, so be it. If they love the Lord and adher to the basic statement of faith, they are for Him, not against Him.

Lord, make us Brothers (and sisters) in Unity! We can't do this alone.

10/8/07 - Life Journal - No Fear

But not a hair of your head will perish. By standing firm you will gain life.
Luke 21:18,19

Jesus was describing the persecution His followers would have to face in His name, false prophets that would come before Him and terror that will fill the world at the signs of His returning. But He also reassured them that they would have His strength and wisdom with them. They needn't fear even death because as the body died on earth they would be gaining eternal life. While everyone around them is running for their lives he tells them to "stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."

Nothing on this earth can hurt even a hair on our head. If we stand strong in faith, preparing for the day we stand before Him, He will be with us as we stand up to the persecutors and false prophets. Why can't I live victoriously with this knowledge? He is an unending source of joy! Even when life gets "tough", when things happen we don't understand, we need to shrug it off. When He created this world and gave free will to His children He immediately saw every bad thing that would ultimately happen because of our sinful nature and turned it all to good. He knows how it's going to end. Nothing we do will change that so when everything is else is going crazy around us we should just lift our hands and shout "God, I don't know how you're going to turn this one around, but it's gonna be awesome when we see it!"

*I don't know if any of that made sense to you, or if it was relevant to the verse I read, but it's the words that came to me as I was writing*

Lord, give me strength to say "bring it on", shrugging off the things in this world that try to break me, giving it all to you to turn into and ending for Your Glory.

10/7/07 - Life Journal - Tend His Vineyard

What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others." When the people heard this, they said, "May this never be!"

Luke 20:15,16

The master had sent his servants to receive the fruit of the vineyards he had rented out to some farmers. After returning beaten with nothing to show for it owner sends his son whom they not only throw out, they beat and kill. I think the people realized that Jesus was referring to Himself as the Son of the Owner. He knew the plan His father had for Him. He was going to be rejected and killed by the Jews (the tenants of the vineyard) and for this the rewards of the Savior would be given elsewhere.

Jesus and God the Father love me in ways I can't imagine. They have entrusted me with their vineyard on earth and with the blessings of my life. But, if I don't yield fruits in my management and return the first of the blessings I have reaped my faith is dead. Their promises have fallen on deaf ears and my rewards here and the everafter will be transferred to a more worthy servant.

Lord thank you for everything and may I be a faithful steward over all you have made me responsible for.

Church Planting Success Story

I just did a search for "lakeland church" church on Google and below you can see the sponsored responses that came up. Pretty cool, we've all sprouted from the same branch and are now blossoming on our own!

The websites for these churches are:

Church of the Highlands, Pastor Don Dodge

Journey Church, Pastor Adam Mayfield

Go Church Lakeland, Pastor Robert Beckman.

From this same branch but growing farther from the source are

Church of the Highlands - Port Orange, Pastor Hal Haller, in Port Orange, FL

Church of the Highlands - Four Corners Pastor Ricc Connor, in Haines City, FL and

Church at the Bay Pastor Hal Mayer, in Tampa, FL.

Welcome our newest limb that we are praying for, a church that is just now coming to life, Fellowship Church, Pastor Jason Herndon, in Wesley Chapel, FL.

I could never forget the church that planted the seed in my soul to join in this mission of church planting, Innovation Church, Pastor David Baxter, in Orlando, FL.

Join us as we pray for these gatherings and pastors as they fulfill their life's mission of growing His kingdom here on earth.

Worship yesterday........

....was great. Everyone came together and hopefully our music helped lead some to the foot of the cross.

Andy is picking up the bass amazingly fast, Joe nailed "All I Need is You", Tim was awesome on "Everyday", "Grace Flows Down" was made for Kira and Lora fought through morning sickness AND a cold to recreat Martina McBride's version of "How Great Thou Art" and hit it on the head! Thank you all, seems the only mix up this week was mine as I dropped a stick for the SECOND week in a row. Special thanks to Kelly and David for filling in on slide duty and the sound board.

Next week we'll be playing:

God of Wonders - Third Day

How Great Thou Art - Martina McBride

Everyday - Lincoln Brewster

Whisper My Name - Jennifer Knapp

Holy, Holy, Holy - Steven Curtis Chapman

All I Need is You - Hillsong

Worship Set for Tomorrow - 10/7/07

Everyday - Lincoln Brewster

Grace Flows Down - Passion

Salvation - Charlie Hall

How Great Thou Art - Martina McBride

Madly - Steve Fee

All I Need is You - Hillsong

Short but sweet sermon.....

One Sunday morning a usually long-winded pastor gave his shortest, but one of his most effective sermons ever. He said, "My sermon this morning has only three points. First, over three million people in the world today are homeless and many are starving. Second, most of you don't give a damn. And third, it is a shame that more of you are upset by the fact that I said the word, 'damn', than by the fact that over three-million people are homeless and starving."

HT - Powerhouse Ministries

10/6/07 - Life Journal - An Investment of Faith

"I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one that does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.
Luke 19:26

Sounds a little harsh if this is all you read but like most verses you have to take this in it's aontet. Jesus was speaking of a nobleman who gave some money to hes servants to do business with while he was gone. One doubled his master's money, a second increased by 50% but a third held on to it and earned nothing. his money was given to the one that made the most.

Like the nobleman that gave nomey to his servants, Jesus, through His sacrifice, gave us the figt of salvation. What do I do? Double, triple, quadruple His "investment" in me? Or do I hide it away, letting dus cover it and create a dead end to His grace? Will I be bold at the gates of heaven, as the story of my attempts to increase His kingdom are told? Or will I meekly cower before Him when it is revealed that I did nothing with His gift after He entrusted it to me?

Lord, give me boldness to invest the gift you have put in my control and the wisdom to increase Your return for Your glory.

10/5/07 - Life Journal - Humble Contentment

When Esther's words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: "Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"
Esther 4:12-14

Esther had been chosen from all the virgins of the territories to be the wife of King Ahasuerus (Xerxes). Not of choice but because of a random event brought about by a royal edict. She humbly submitted to her new circumstances and from this we can assume it was her faith in God that kept her content in her new surroundings. Not until the plans of Haman to eradicate the Jews of the kingdom was God's reasoning behind her elevated status to Queen revealed. Still humble to her authorities (the King) she was hesitant to approach him with her request to save "her" people. Her Uncle Mordecai summed it up in the verse above when he said, "And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"

God knows exactly where he put me and the purpose of this placement. I just can't seem to get it through my thick skull. Boo-hoo, I don't like my job....Who does? For whatever reason I'm here, be it salary to help me continue living in Lakeland and serve His kingdom there or maybe someone here at work I'm to be reaching out to, only He knows! I have to digest this and understand this. How many verses must I read before I realize what God's telling me. Like Esther, I must be loyal to my authorities, humble among my peers and patient in faith, knowing that God's plan will be revealed, be it here or in heaven.

Lord, it might just take an anvil falling out of the sky and hitting me on the head like Wile E. Coyote to get your message through to me. Empty me, then fill me. Empty me of the so called ideas of success in this world and fill me with the promise of eternity with you and the purpose you have for me, here and now. I'll get it eventually, I promise.

Beware...It's Addicting!

As if you didn't waste enough time on your computers check out Spacebar 2000! Warning it's like crack for the bored.....see how many times you can hit your spacebar in 5 seconds.....I got 60 and am still trying, hint, try two hands like a drum.....

HT to Nathan Gaddis.

Why Men Shouldn't Take Phone Messages!

Exponential 08

The line up for the 2008 National New Church Conference is looking pretty awesome! Already on the list is Tim Keller, Andy Stanley, Alan Hirsch and Dave Ferguson. Now, if it all pans out Rick Warren will also be there! This is "inside info" (j/k) from Dave's Blog.

I was there last year and caught Alan in a breakout session but with him leading a main session it should be incredible!

See you there?


ok, so some of the logos are out dated, you get the idea...

10/4/07 - Life Journal - Let Everything that Has Breath Praise the Lord

Praise the LORD!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty expanse.
Praise Him for His mighty deeds;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness.
Praise Him with trumpet sound;
Praise Him with harp and lyre.
Praise Him with timbrel and dancing;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and (I)pipe.
Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD!

Psalm 150

Dude, that is what I'm talking about! Talk about going out with a bang! Psalm 150 is the final chapter in the book and wraps it all up in 6 verses. Praise Him at church, but also in the mighty expanse of His creation! 24/7 365 Days a Year. Praise Him for His works you've seen, read about and are yet to see.

Do I live like this, in a state of constant praise, well........ not really. How many times have I sung these lyrics:

Blessed be your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's all as it should be
Blessed be your name

Blessed be your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be your name

Do I even listen to what I'm saying? I can probably count on ..er.. zero fingers the amount of times I've thanked Him in times of sorrow OR "Praised Him in the Storm".

Another thing, has anyone that has labeled contemporary worship at heretical or blasphemous ever read this verse? This is a party and there is no organ in sight (I'm not downplaying the organ or hymns at all, I've recently been seeking hymns to put to "my" style of music because of the outstanding lyrics) but there are some serious noisemakers in this book! Trumpets, Stringed Instruments and the always evil percussion section -- TIMBRELS AND CYMBALS -- not just loud cymbals but "resounding cymbals"! Timbrels are a wood hoop with a parchment stretched across (can you say drum) or with two parchments and bells (woo-hoo, the tambourine). Don't forget the dancing. Is this a RAVE? Well yeah, a "worship rave" (thanks for the term goes to the guys of Rock n Roll Worship Circus).

Praise Him like you mean it. Praise Him because He's awesome. Praise Him in thanks. Praise Him with the dance. Sound the trumpets. Bust out the lyre. Kick in the rythmn section. Now Sing your hearts out.

Sorry, I gotta go pop in some Hillsong and get my worship on!

Lord, let me worship like no one is watching but you, let me be "undignified", You made my awkward dancin, bad karaoke singin, rockin drummin self. You know when I'm giving you my all. That toe tapping, finger drummin, lip-synchin can't cut it with you.

I thought I'd kick in the lyrics to "Let Everything...." by Matt Redman today only at no extra charge:

Let everything that, everything that,
Everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Let everything that, everything that,
Everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise You in the morning,
Praise You in the evening,
Praise You when I'm young and when I'm old.
Praise You when I'm laughing,
Praise You when I'm grieving,
Praise You every season of the soul.
If we could see how much You're worth,
Your power, Your might, Your endless love,
Then surely we would never cease to praise.

Let everything that, everything that,
Everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Let everything that, everything that,
Everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise You in the heavens, joining with the angels,
Praising You forever and a day.
Praise You on the earth now, joining with creation,
Calling all the nations to Your praise.
If they could see how much You're worth,
Your power, your might, your endless love,
Then surely they would never cease to praise

The Sponge Mic! I Need One of These!

How in the World?

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

10/03/07 - Life Journal - Serving Two Masters

"No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."
Luke 16:13

Like the bad manager that relieved his debtors of some of what he was owed so that he would have friends and a place waiting for him when he was fired and hit rock bottom, Jesus tells us in verse 9 to "use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings".

Why do we store up our blessings? Why do we blow them on more, more, more? It will all rust and turn to dust. The poor of the earth will be there with me, standing before His throne in judgement. Will they sneer at me? Will they condemn me as a good talker but a terrible steward who wasted my wealth on materials instead of people? I am so guilty of trying to serve two masters..."I'll give next week but I need to do ---- first" or "I really need that new ---- to help be serve Him better". I really don't think Jesus meant to use our wealth to buy friends or influence here on earth but to prove our love of Him and His creation. How amazing would (will?) it be when I reach the gates of Heaven and there is a mulitude of people I never met cheering me on because my life or resources reached them on earth in ways I never knew?

Lord burn away the crippling hold that money and material desire has on my heart. I only want to serve You, only you can give the true riches of Eternity, teach me to use my earthly possessions to increase Your Kingdom here on earth.

10/02/07 - Life Journal - The Prodigal Son

But the father said to his slaves, 'Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.' And they began to celebrate.
Luke 15:22-24

We've all read the parable of the prodigal son, if you haven't check it out here at Bible Gateway. It is a story, not of taking for granted the son that had stayed with the father, but of the joy in seeing the lost son who figuratively has died and come to life again. The father had to be literally be standing on his roof to see the son coming home when he was "still a long way off".(verse 20)

We spend so much energy in joyful praise with our fellow Christ followers but how many of us are standing on the roof of our house day and night searching for the lost son, waiting and praying for his return to life? Yes, Sundays we need to dig deeper into His word and refresh ourselves with learning, worship and fellowship but the rest of the time we need to be on mission. We spend so much of our "spare" time bogging ourselves down with small groups, classes, prayer groups, support groups, etc. that we have no time to search for the lost sheep! Prepare the banquet and get the fatted calf ready for slaughter. Be searching and waiting with a glorious robe for the lost that we can lead back into His eternal life. Go into the public, we can't hole ourselves away and keep patting each other on the back.

Lord, like the prodigal's father, put me on my roof searching for the sheep I can bring back into your fold. The saved are yours, the lost are mine.

10/01/07 - Life Journal - Humble Servant

"For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted"
Luke 14:11

The man who assumed his place was at the side of the host was humiliated when someone of greater importance arrived while the man who assumed nothing and sat at the foot of the table was exalted when told his seat was at the host's side in everyone's presence.

I gotta keep humbly marching on, not assuming greatness or expecting praise. It seems the greater a person sets himself up to be (entertainers, athletes, politicians, pastors) the more humiliating their fall. I can't set myself up as a picture of perfection to those I'm shepherding because I'm not, no one is! But humbly living in Him, I will one day be exalted as my name is read from the book of life.

Lord, I'm your servant, for Your glory, not mine.

9/30/07 - Life Journal - Drawn to Him, Through Us

Thus says the Lord of Hosts, "In those days ten men from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew, saying, 'Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.'"
Zechariah 8:23

In the new age of peace and prosperity after the exile, Judea would once again be a light to the world and the envy of the nations. To His glory many would be drawn to Jerusalem.

Like Judah, our lives should be a light that glorifies the Lord. If we all could influence "ten men to grasp our garment", this world would change and He would reclaim His place of honor in the heart of the nations.

Lord, let me be your light and not a stumbling block for others.

9/29/07 - Life Journal - Spirit, Give Me Speech

When they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not worry about how or what you are to speak in your defense, or what you are to say; For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you are to say.
Luke 12:11,12

Jesus was instructing and warning His disciples. They would be questioned by the authorities and if they denied Him they would be denied by Him before God.

We also will be questioned by people intrigued by our life. It's sometimes hard to foretell what we could possibly say in these situations but have faith, the Spirit will give us the words we need. These will have a much greater effect than any pre-rehearsed speech.

Lord, keep me aware and have your Spirit with me in any opportunities.

9/28/07 - Life Journal - Stay in the Word

"And when it comes, it finds it swept and put in order."
Luke 11:25

Jesus is talking about a man possessed who was cleansed of the unclean spirit. When finding nowhere to go the spirit returns and finds the mind "in order", but empty and brings in seven more with it.

When we (I) accepted Jesus into our lives it was an amazing time for us. We had this new found freedom in our salvation. Then, life happens and our old self comes creeping back. Our mind along with our souls were born again and finally in order but remain empty unless we fill it with the word of God giving the "spirit" of our past an opportunity to come back like a lion.

Lord thank you for my new eternal life, keep me in your word, my mind full.

Think about this over your next cup of Starbucks...

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, were talking at a reunion and decided to go visit their old university professor, now retired. During their visit, the conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in their work and lives.

Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups-- porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain-looking, some expensive, some exquisite -- telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the alumni had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said, "Notice that all the nice-looking, expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases, it is just more expensive, and, in some cases, even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups, and then you began eyeing each other's cups.

Now consider this: Life is the coffee; your job, money, and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life. The type of cup one has does not define, nor change, the quality of life a person lives. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has providedus." God makes the coffee, man chooses the cups. The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything. Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.

An Insatiable Appetite

NL East Champ Philadelphia Phillies

Talk about saving my weekend! After the Gator's crushing loss to Auburn things were pretty glum sports-wise (yeah, I know, USF won and that's awesome, really, but I can't become a fan overnight).

It took the Phillies the entire 162 game schedule but they clinched the East Sunday night. I'm totally psyched about the playoff too, the Phils are peaking at just the right time!