Take Some Pride in Your Criminal Activities



If you're going to try to steal my Paypal account information, at least have the decency to check your grammar, geesh!

"According to our terms of service, you will have to confirm your account every 6 month.

Unless you don't want send us a copy of your personal id for verification, you have to confirm your account until: 27 September 2008"


Meet Brandt Russo



Here's a story out of my local paper about a dude traveling around the country, ministering to homeless people. The crap that went down with Ignited Church unfortunately enhanced the perceptions of hypocrisy in the Church that is all too often a barrier to all too many.

But that's a side story here. A necessary footnote that will bring to light Brandt's ministry. More importantly it will put a face on the faceless.

Journey Church, mentioned in the story and it's pastor, Adam Mayfield, are my church and pastor. The seemingly insignificant thing Adam did by letting them crash at our offices and continue is work there is the most important thing Journey has done in it's 1 1/2 years. But again, the story here is about Brandt's ministry so be sure you watch the video on the left and hear a little about his work.

Click the link…………
HERE

Latest Downloads..........


First let me thank Big Doofus for telling me about 89.3 Minnesota Public Radio The Current..........

Now to the songs:

Yeasayer - Sunrise (different but great percussion)

The Black Keys - Psychotic Girl

Mudcrutch - Scare Easy (the band that became Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers that came back together to release an album)

Tune in next time...........

Latest Downloads..........


Thought I'd share what's going into the iPod.

I've been listening to a public radio station out of Fordham University in New York that plays everything from Johnny Lee Hooker to Bjork. It's a great mix plus they have an all Irish show on the weekends...........

The website for online listening is www.wfuv.org


Here's todays list:

Eddie Vedder - Hard Sun

Coldplay - Violet Hill, Viva La Vida

My Morning Jacket - I'm Amazed

The Raconteurs - You Don't Understand Me

Death Cab for Cutie - I Will Posses Your Heart

Stay Tuned........

I'm Alive!


Thanks to everyone that's commented asking about how we're doing. We (yes we, the whole family arrived last Friday) are doing great! I got our apartment furnished and cable ready all by myself, just in time for my arrivals who would have killed me if they missed the premiere of "Camp Rock". (for those without young girls, it's the latest Disney movie, starring the Jonas Brothers)

We're living in a great little town named Ramsey, NJ. Five minutes north and we're in New York, twenty minutes east and we're in New York. Work is going awesome and I know Sheri and the kids have all of our weekends planned for the next 2 months. Saturday we might try to do the Museum of Natural History in Manhattan or maybe the Edison Museum in, uh, Edison, NJ.

I located a Redeemer Presbyterian church plant in Teaneck, NJ and hopefully we'll be checking it out soon. I can only hope that they need a stand in drummer from time to time..................

I don't know what our plans are for the future. I'm sure we'll make it back to Lakeland sometime, just don't know when! I hope to be on here more regularly, doesn't everyone say that?

Talk soon!

p.s. Pastor Eddy, I got your message, sorry for never getting in touch. Leave me a message if you still want to talk..........

Great Day in the Big Apple!


Had the ultimate NYC experience yesterday. At the last minute Sheri got me a ticket to the Yanks-Mariners game at Yankee Stadium. Got to test my driving skills in the City. First took the George Washington Bridge into NY, this became the Cross Bronx Expressway, then exited onto the Major Deegan which I took to exit 6 for the stadium.

Had a little adventure finding parking, got to see some streets in the Bronx that I never would have, on purpose at least. The game was awesome. My seat was in the lower level right behind home plate. The Yanks came back in the 8th to win 6-5 and I enjoyed a cup of Bud and a messy but delicious sausage, pepper and onion sandwich.

Afterwards, on the invitation from a guy at work, I left the stadium headed across a bridge (155th?) into Manhattan (Harlem), took a left on Adam Clayton Powell Ave, went down to 139th, left to Lenox Ave (Malcom X) then right down to a secluded little Jazz Club/Art gallery called 449 LA. Awesome music, fresh sangria and great people. I'm sure I stood out a little, white guy in a Made in Ireland t-shirt, but I had a blast. They let anyone get up and play so maybe next time I'll feel a little more comfortable and hit the congas or something.

Altogether it was a great time. Thanks to Sheri for getting me off my butt or I would have spent the day in my hotel room (like I'm doing now........)

New Move!


I appreciate the comments from those of you that read my blog. I've been going through some major changes lately and I hope to be back soon. I'm starting a new job next week and will be away from my family for a while. I plan on using the time away to get back into my bible study and hopefully my blog will kick back into gear. Talk to you all soon!

Haven't posted in a while...



...but that's a different story.

I couldn't pass up linking to this blog by Carlos. YOU HAVE TO READ IT!

Ranks up there with Chris' blog on Pete's baptism as posts I'll never forget.

Why are you still here? GO! NOW!

3/5/08 - Life Journal - Father God (yes I skipped a day...oops)


...and for a pretense make long prayers.

Mark 12:40


Jesus was calling out the people that put on a wonderful show of holiness, seemingly trying to prove how much better they are than everyone else.

I laughed at this part and I almost laugh out loud when someone gets into one of those prayers that's all, "Lord Jesus, I love you, and Lord Jesus, thank You for everything You, Lord Jesus, have given me, and Lord Jesus, did I say I love you Lord Jesus". It's almost as comical as someone you're with all the time busting out in King James english whenever they pray. Come ON! God knows who we are, he knows how we talk, he even knows what we're gonna pray about. Just spit it out.

Father, I'm not the best at prayer so I hope I'm not being too hypocritical, Father God, but I really do love You!

What's happening down at the Double Deuce?



While it's true that Patrick Swayze, star of "Roadhouse" and a few other minor movies, is being treated for pancreatic cancer, his physician says he is responding well to treatments and the rumors of him having only weeks to live are false. Continue praying for him.



Roadhouse happens to be one of my favorite movies (don't know why, just is). Fans of the movie and Rock N Roll have already felt a big loss this week with the passing of Jeff Healey. The awesome blues guitarist, blind from early childhood, died after another battle with cancer. He was truly amazing.




Let's just hope that Sam "I'll get enough sleep when I die" Elliott is taking care of himself.




3/6/08 - Life Journal - Eyes to the Sky


Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.

Mark 13:26


Doesn't sound like a quiet rapture of His church, but we won't get into the eschatological debate here. Jesus was warning us of the suddenness of His arrival and the hidden timing of His coming.

What an awesome sight if I'm still on this earth when He comes back. He's telling me to keep my guard, not to get lax in my quest for righteousness and also to warn others. With the up and down fluctuations of my faith and discipline it would be a safer bet to die now of natural causes, with time to solidify my faith in my heart than to get caught with my pants down (hopefully not literally) when His time comes.

Father, place the seriousness of these passages on my heart.

Craig Groeschel's talking to us at Journey


Check out this post, great addendum to Adam's message Sunday. Don't worry, it's short... (c:

3/4/08 - Life Journal - Can't Put God in a Box


And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!"

Mark 11:9,10


The people of Jerusalem greeted Jesus with cries of "Hosanna", a word to praise God. It means 'we want God to save us'. Seems like, for now at least, they recognize Him as their Savior, cheering Him on, laying palms before Him. Quite a different tune they'd sing when in the presence of the priests when they condemn Him to crucifixion.

We all, I, do the same thing all the time. Sunday mornings, hands in the air, the church is full of praise and worship. Then we leave, and we forget. We're not even out of the parking lot when we're yelling at our kids, honking at others, arguing with our wives, remembering work the next morning, etc, and He is forgotten. Jesus? Come on, it's Monday morning, who's got time for Him. He'll be waiting for us at church when we get there next week.

Hosanna. We want God to save us. Are we worth it? Thankfully He and His Son think so...

Lord, why do I compartmentalize my life. I put You in this box labeled "Sunday" and pack You away the rest of the week. And You let me do it! You're just waitin for me to come to You and say, "I need You always". I need You always.

3/3/08 - Life Journal - The Eye of a Needle


Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

Mark 10:21,22


Jesus wasn't necessarily telling all of us to give everything away, well not necessarily. Here He has pinpointed the one thing that this man values over all else. It didn't have to be wealth but in this instance money was this mans idol and proved to be the undoing of his salvation.

What am I holding onto that's keeping my relationship from being what He wants it to be. What's my camel I'm trying to squeeze through the eye of a needle? We all have one thing above all else. What would He confront You with?

Father, search me and convict me. I'm not where I should be, what's holding me back?

Worship Sunday - 3/2/08


Here was the set from yesterday,

Love the Lord - Lincoln Brewster
Blessed be the Name - Tree63
Mighty to Save - Hillsong
Shout to the Lord - Darlene Szezch
It is Well - Jeremy and Adie Camp
Beautiful Contrast - KAZ

I missed the ending to Love the Lord and threw in some miscellaneous hits that ended up sounding like I just threw my sticks at my kit......gulp......I don't think to many people noticed.

3/2/08 - Life Journal - A Light Yoke


After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, "Why couldn't we drive it out?"

He replied, "This kind can come out only by prayer.

Mark 9:28,29


The disciples couldn't cast out this demon and had no idea why. They asked for help and Jesus went about healing the child. "Why couldn't we do it?" They didn't go to the Father. They didn't pray...

...they thought they could do it themselves. I think I can do it all by myself and I'm worn out. Why can't I cast my life before Him. I'm walking my Christian walk with a severe limp because I haven't given myself totally to Him. He wants to help. He wants to carry the load. He wants the pressure off of my back. Just give it to Him and follow. It's a light yoke.

Lord, help me, I can't do it alone anymore.

Now you know my quiet place....



I was sitting at my desk this morning, probably banging my head on my desk, when a co-worker came up to me. I recognized what was in his hand before he even asked, "Is this yours?" It was my trusty pocket ESV bible. Yes, forgive me Father, I left Your word in stall number 1. I looked up at him and said, "Yep, I left it in there for you to read." Pr-ett-ty cl-ev-er, huh?

Anyway, I just thought it was cool that after finding a bible in the bathroom, this person knew right where to look to find it's owner.

3/1/08 - Life Journal - More Brains than Faith


And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, "Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation."

Mark 8:12


The Pharisee's were like "Prove it, Mr. Big Stuff". All he could do was shake it head, I mean look at the situation. Jesus was THERE WITH THEM and they were still blinded, hearts were still hardened. More signs weren't gonna change a thing.

Where's the proof? That's the cry of the atheist. I can't see it so I don't believe it. I guess they've never read Hebrews, "...the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.", and all that. Like the Pharisee's, I believe the non-believer could be hit over the head with the most, well, miraculous miracle and still not believe. It comes from the heart and soul. The mind just gets in the way.

Father, let my little bit of love be a light for those who are too smart for their own good. I used to be one of them.

2/29/08 - Life Journal - Faker


The reading plan's got nothin for the 29th so I thought I'd throw out this tidbit. Ever feel like you're just faking it? It's all a show? No? Just me? ACK!

Anyhow, whenever the song "Fake It" by Seether comes on it gets me all screwy:

And just fake it, if you’re out of direction
Fake it, if you don’t belong
Fake it, if you feel like infection
Whoa, you’re such a f&#*&n’ hypocrite


Sorry, just one of my moods..............

Retro Cell Phone Handsets...


...that I will be buying for my wife when she sees them! These babies will give you the old fashion comfort you remember from those old land lines when you're relaxing with your cell. We all know you can't do the old "tuck the phone between head and shoulder" with your Q!



You can get yours at Perpetual Kid for only 15 bucks!

Kudos for George Bush...


...from Brian McLaren on the strides he has made in Africa, plus a hope that our next president continues his work.

What can I learn from our youth?


A lot apparently. Check out this blog on:

"...doing whatever He has put before you with all your heart, regardless of whether it appears significant or not, you will find yourself benefited and strengthened, ready for next thing."

Hopefully I'll take some of this to heart when it comes to my daily grind. Read the entire post over at The Rebelution.

2/28/08 - Life Journal - Simple Man


For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

1 Corinthians 13:12


Paul knew his knowledge was limited to his earthly mind. He didn't have all the answers, but eventually, when he met Jesus face to face he would be perfected and everything will be known.

I know nothing. Really. Compared to the vastness of God's wonder I know nothing. I can make a quasi-educated guess based on my study with help from above but it's just a fraction of what I'll know then. I think this was tacked on to the "Love Chapter" to emphasize how we need to go about our mission. I need to be humbled enough in the understanding of my limited knowledge to let love take the lead. Bashing people over the head with doctrine and man-made rules that I don't even fully comprehend when they are just infants in Him will severely retard their growth. There will be a time for all of that but first I must let them know the love of the Father and Son.

Father, of everything I've thought I've figured out and put into words how much of it is correct? I'm just a simple man with a fraction of Your wisdom. I pray that I'd never lead anyone astray or give false impressions. All I'm doing, out of love for my brother and for You, is the best I can.

Book MEME, part deux


Adam hit me up with a Book MEME.....Unfortunately I had already done it and dead ended it........the link's below.

Check it Out!

How to make a woman/man happy...


HOW TO MAKE A WOMAN HAPPY

It's not difficult to make a woman happy. A man only needs to be:

1. a friend
2. a companion
3. a lover
4. a brother
5. a father
6. a master
7. a chef
8. an electrician
9. a carpenter
10. a plumber
11. a mechanic
12. a decorator
13. a stylist
14. a sexologist
15. a gynecologist
16. a psychologist
17. a pest exterminator
18. a psychiatrist
19. a healer
20. a good listener
21. an organizer
22. a good father
23. very clean
24. sympathetic
25. athletic
26. warm
27. attentive
28. gallant
29. intelligent
30. funny
31. creative
32. tender
33. strong
34. understanding
35. tolerant
36. prudent
37. ambitious
38. capable
39. courageous
40. determined
41. true
42. dependable
43. passionate
44. compassionate

Without forgetting to:

45. give her compliments regularly
46. love shopping
47. be honest
48. be very rich
49. not stress her out
50. not look at other girls

And at the same time, you must also:

51. give her lots of attention, but expect little yourself.
52. give her lots of time, especially time for herself.
53. give her lots of space, never worrying about where she goes

It is very important:

54. Never to forget: birthdays, anniversaries, or arrangements she makes.


HOW TO MAKE A MAN HAPPY

1. Show up naked
2. Bring beer

2/27/08 - Life Journal - Hometown Zero?


And He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief.

Mark 6:5,6


Homecoming! Victor's parade, proud family, banners proclaiming, "Nazareth's got our Savior, what's your town got?"

...wait...back up the truck...let's start again...

Homecoming! Who does this kid think he is? Savior? Yeah, right. Just the son of a carpenter. Brother? No idea who he is. Healer? I'm not so sure, I think I was already getting over this leprosy before he got here.

They didn't believe. How could they not believe? He was right there, they'd heard the stories and seen the proof. I'm only a bit better. Yes, I believe. But do I live out that belief? Do I live my life by faith stemming from that belief? Not hardly. Always trying to do it on my own. Not living the example of a joyous life in my freedom in Him. Not thankful for all His blessings. Not sacrificial in my giving to help expand His kingdom and lukewarm in sharing my faith. My faith is dead.

Father, stir up in me a revival. Remind me of the fire I had when You first rescued me. Kill me so that I can live.

Worship Sunday - 2/24/08


OK, this'll be a quick one....here it is:

Marvelous Light - Charlie Hall
Live for You - Connersvine
East to the West - Casting Crowns
From the Inside Out - Hillsong
Your Love O Lord - Third Day
Glory of it All - DCB

See you next week......

......in two weeks be on the look out for a drummer on acoustic in a duet with Joe singing "If I Had a Million Dollars".......

gulp

"Pedal"


The Road of Life

At first, I saw God as my observer,
my judge,
keeping track of the things I did wrong,
so as to know whether I merited heaven
or hell when I die.
He was out there sort of like a president.
I recognized His picture when I saw it,
but I really didn't know Him.

But later on
when I met Christ,
it seemed as though life were rather like a bike ride,
but it was a tandem bike,
and I noticed that Christ
was in the back helping me pedal.

I don't know just when it was
that He suggested we change places,
but life has not been the same since.

When I had control,
I knew the way.
It was rather boring,
but predictable...
It was the shortest distance between two points.

But when He took the lead,
He knew delightful long cuts,
up mountains,
and through rocky places
at breakneck speeds,
it was all I could do to hang on!
Even though it looked like madness,
He said, "Pedal!"

I worried and was anxious
and asked,
"Where are you taking me?"
He laughed and didn't answer,
and I started to learn to trust.

I forgot my boring life
and entered into the adventure.
And when I'd say, "I'm scared,"
He'd lean back and touch my hand.

He took me to people with gifts that I needed,
gifts of healing,
acceptance
and joy.
They gave me gifts to take on my journey,
my Lord's and mine.

And we were off again.
He said, "Give the gifts away;
they're extra baggage, too much weight."
So I did,
to the people we met,
and I found that in giving I received,
and still our burden was light.

I did not trust Him,
at first,
in control of my life.
I thought He'd wreck it;
but He knows bike secrets,
knows how to make t bend to take sharp corners,
knows how to jump to clear high rocks,
knows how to fly to shorten scary passages.

And I'm learning to shut up
and pedal
in the strangest places,
and I'm beginning to enjoy the view
and the cool breeze on my face
with my delightful constant companion, Jesus Christ.

And when I'm sure I just can't do anymore,
He just smiles and says... "Pedal."

- author unknown


HT - Neil Johnston

2/26/08 - Life Journal - Glory Be to God


Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, "Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?" And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock. And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them."

Numbers 20:10-12


Moses veered from God's directions a little here with dire consequences. First, listen to his words, "shall WE bring water....", like Aaron and Moses could draw water from a rock. Second, what's with the theatrics of striking the rock twice? More showmanship, implying to the people that he, not God, was the source of their good fortune. Just a little bit of pride slipping into Moses cost him plenty, "...therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them."

Might look a little silly but in reality every breath we take is reason enough to get on our knees and point to the heavens like a pro football player after a touchdown. Everything I have is from Him. Everything I have that I am able to bless someone else with is from Him. Whenever I hear, "Hey, check Chris out, he's done alright for himself" (happens at least once a.........never, but if it did) I should shout back, "I've done nothing except receive gifts from Him!" Great family, glory be to God. Nice house, glory be to God. Awesome playing today, glory be to God.

Father, you are awesome. Help me not receive praise to myself but reflect it back to You.

2/25/08 - Life Journal - Guide Me in Truth


They may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.

Mark 4:12


The parable's were for His disciples. Jesus was there to explain them to them. The meanings were lost on those that hadn't made the commitment to Him.

I read the bible before I was saved. Great story but the depth and truth it contained escaped me. It wasn't until I accepted Him by faith that I began grasping the message. I had to receive the Holy Spirit to guide me through His word. Still, if I read now with my thoughts elsewhere I'm right back where I started.

Father, I come to You with a mind empty of me. Fill me with Your Spirit and guide me in truth.

Can't let my daughter see this.........


My oldest has always said if she wins the lottery she wants a library in her house. This bed is the next best thing. It's a bed surrounded by an igloo made of books! How awesome!


HT Spluch

For more pictures go here

Nerd Factor of 10! (gotta have it)


Han Solo frozen in carbonite destk! Ultimate in geek furnishing.


HT Neatorama

Quotable Jon Stewart

Speaking at the Academy Awards on Barack and Hilary battling for the nomination:

"Normally when you see a black man or a woman President, an asteroid is about to hit New York City."

2/24/08 - Life Journal - No Fear


Only do not rebel against the Lord; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.

Numbers 14:9


Caleb's pleading with his people, telling them that God is with them, reminding them of His promises. The land is ours to take! It doesn't matter the size of our enemies. God has dominion over all and if He says we're to take the land then we take the land. He has lifted His protection from them.

If we find ourselves called by Him, whatever that calling might be, if we're assured of it's validity through prayer and study of scripture, positive that it's His will then we're bound to go for it! What do we have to fear? (yeah I know fear itself) Death? Jesus has already conquered death. Sustenance? He has promised to take care of our daily needs. Ridicule? The "world" hates us already. Ignoring His call only delays the blessings waiting us. All I know is I don't want to wander in the desert for 40 more years.......

Speak to me Lord, show me my calling. If I'm in the right place for now, well, Your will be done, not mine.

2/23/08 - Life Journal - With Arms Wide Open


Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, "We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it.
But the men who had gone up with him said, "We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us."

Numbers 13:30,31


The chiefs from the tribes had returned from scouting the land promised to them. Although it was everything the Lord said it would be only Caleb had the faith in God's word and the confidence to go on. The rest (excluding Joshua) proved to be unfaithful cowards spreading fear throughout the camp.

Unfortunately I would have been in that group. I've often let opportunities given me by God pass by, lacking confidence and a false comfort, living out my "change is bad" philosophy. Believe me, my life is awesome but who knows where I'd be if I was more receptive to the chances I've been given. My biggest fear is passing off my "squatter" mentality to my children. Borrowing some wisdom from Scott Stapp of Creed, I hope they're not like me, I hope they understand, that they can greet the world with arms wide open.

Father, thank you for not giving up on me and instilling enough wisdom in my stubborn brain to act on the most important opportunity you ever gave me, a new life in You.

2/22/08 - Life Journal - Where's the Beef


For they weep before me and say, "Give us meat, that we may eat".

Numbers 11:13


The Israelites, like ungrateful children, weren't satisfied with the blessings God put before them. It was always more, more, more! They had actually grown lazy in their captivity where all their daily needs were taken care of and they didn't have a drop of self sufficiency in them, let alone thankfulness.

I had grown lazy at my last church. I would complain about not being fed. "Where's the beef", I would whine. I expected to sit back and have all of the answers given to me. That's a lot of pressure I was putting on the pastor, who was in fact a mere mortal just like me. I don't know when it happened but one day it clicked. I have everything I need to feed myself and I was elevated to a new level of growth, understanding and maturity. I can listen to all the sermon's I want but nothing brings me closer or has greater rewards than personal time with Him.

Lord, thank you for Your Son, Your Word, and Your Spirit. They're all I need.

2/21/08 - Life Journal - Y'all Come Back Now, Y'hear?


"And I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and his sons from among the people of Israel, to do the service for the people of Israel at the tent of meeting and to make atonement for the people of Israel, that there may be no plague among the people of Israel when the people of Israel come near the sanctuary."

Numbers 8:19


After this section on conscrating the Levites God throws this little warning in his blessing, "...that there may be no plague among the people of Israel when the people of Israel come near the sanctuary."

We're so far from His sanctuary in this country it's amazing we haven't been taken over by frogs. If we've learned anything from the OT is that God will let us sit in our own mistakes for a time until we come to our senses and turn back to Him. He's not gonna beg. We have to do the seeking, only we can repair our relationships with Him.

Father, Your patience is amazing, please forgive us even though we DO know what we do.

2/20/08 - Life Journal - The Lord is My Shepherd


Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

Psalm 23:4


Imagery of God as our shepherd is awesome, especially here. The sheep are being led through a valley, the staff their guide, as His rod protects them from the wolves.

We are living in a world filled with evil. Sin, temptation and death are all around. Thank you Lord that we have you as our shepherd. Your staff, in the form of Your word and the Spirit that lives within me, is my guide. Your rod, used not only for protection but for discipline, leads me to righteousness and not into temptation. Your Son's life gave me the victory over sin and death. I am comforted, I will fear no evil.

Father, I pray that my life can help lead people to your green pastures and still waters with a restored soul.

Worship Sunday - 2/17/08

What an awesome day. Journey celebrated our 1 year anniversary with an outstanding message, "Slavery equals Freedom", followed by a picnic on the schools grounds. Churchwell is truly turning out to be gift from God.

For the topic Joe led us in "Irony" by Jonny Diaz. If you haven't heard him, stop, go to iTunes, and by some of his songs now..................OK, you back? Great stuff isn't it.

Carrying on, here was the set....

Trading My Sorrow
Not to Us
Lord Reign in Me
Empty Me
Sanctuary
Irony
Walk by Faith

Til next time...

2/19/08 - Life Journal - Aaron's Prayer


The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26


God's blessing for Israel. That's some awesome encouragement, assurance and comfort. They had to know (at least for the moment, you know those crazy Israelites) that they would succeed.

That prayer is for all His people, including me! I'm claiming it. 2 Timothy says "All scripture..." not some scripture, that old stuff's just for the Jews. It's ours. He blesses us, shines upon us, gives us what we need and we can find rest in His arms. Doesn't get any better...

Father, thank you.

2/18/08 - Life Journal - Stand with Confidence


If then I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death. But if there is nothing to their charges against me, no one can give me up to them.

Acts 25:11


There goes Paul, showing off his integrity again. He's done nothing against the Jews, the Temple or Caesar and he knows it. He can confidently stand before his accusers and proclaim his innocence.

Could I stand at the final judgement with the same confidence of innocence? Could anybody? Unfortunately the bible tells me no, all men fall short of the Glory of God. Fortunately I can stand with the confidence that my discretions have been forgotten, my guilt will not be counted against me ONLY because of my faith in Jesus Christ and his atoning death.

Father I give my life to You for there would be no life if it wasn't for the gift of Your Son. I pray that I use this new life in You to it's max and am a fruitful servant.

2/17/08 - Life Journal - Man of Integrity


In view of this, I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men.

Acts 24:16


Paul, for one, knew He couldn't hide anything from God. That's where the "do my best" comes in play. The importance as a missionary comes with being blameless before men.

Staying blameless for me isn't only important, but freeing. If I can do this I don't need a good memory. What did I say to them? What did I do yesterday? What excuse did I use last time? I must stay clean, honest and open. A man of integrity.

Lord, You know my faults. Help me overcome them and be blameless before men.

2/16/08 - Life Journal - You're All Hypocrites


Then Paul said to him, "God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit to try me according to the law and in violation of the law order me to be struck?"

Acts 23:3


He points out the hypocrisy in this situation. At the same time, using the imagery once used by Jesus, he exposed them as righteous on the outside and old and rotting on the inside.

Troubling here is the fact that we Christians are seen in the same light. Everyone knows what we're against. Everyone knows we struggle. But we fail in letting everyone know the basics first. We all sin, Jesus saw this, He loved us enough to die for us and our sins are forever forgotten. The old cheesy slogan, "Not Perfect, Just Saved". We gotta do a better job with the latter and show our own forgiveness on the former.

Father, help us do a better job in spreading Your love and the Gospel of our wonderful gift.

2/15/08 - Life Journal - Guide Me in Truth


Make me know your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me. For You are the God of my salvation, for You I wait all the day.

Psalm 25:4,5


David longed for God's guidance and was constantly learning from Him. Above all David was human and needed repeated lessons from Him to keep him on the path.

Thank You Lord You have left me Your Spirit with us to continue Your teaching. Just one caveat, if I don't open my ears and listen the knowledge is wasted on me!

Father, you are with me, I know this, I pray that I will take advantage of this as I continue growing closer to You.

2/14/08 - Life Journal - Give Us Clean Hands


Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? And who may stand in His Holy Place? He who had clean hands and a pure heart.

Psalm 24:3,4


Some lofty criteria for being priest. The near unrealistic-"ness" of it basically left them no choice but to live in the temple.

Lucky for us real world saints the qualifications are a bit more lax. Clean hands and pure hearts are the ultimate models to shoot for, I'm not saying that I can't do it so I won't try. Just that the only man who had these qualities has died for me and one day I get to meet Him.

Jesus, thank you.

Great Post


FishHawk (in his Crackerhead phase) takes on 3 500lb Gorillas and tackles 'em to the ground in his latest post.

2/13/08 - Life Journal - Their Blood's on My Hands


Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all of you, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.

Acts 20:26,27


Through all the persecutions, stonings, imprisonments, ship-wrecks, constant travels, etc., Paul spoke the Word of God. The whole word of God. He never minced any words. Never dumbed down the message. Never sweetened it up. And above all He never backed down. Worry about offending someone? Are you kidding me? He knew the message he was entrusted with was a matter of life and death and he spoke it. He also knew that he could go into His rest with a clean conscious, his part was done.

Can I say the same? I'm new at this mission so I haven't had many direct confrontations from anyone but how will I react? What would I say if a family member asked if I thought they were going to hell? A co-worker? A seeker at church? Could I handle the risk of alienating someone I love for ever by speaking the truth? I guess the answer is wrapped up in the question. If I love them how can I not?

Father, this is a tough one and I'll honestly say that I'm not looking forward to confrontations like this. Give me strength. I shouldn't allow them to ignorantly continue seperated from you anymore than I would let them jump off a bridge. Both lead to death and do I want their blood on my hands?

Click here for today's reading.

2/12/08 - Life Journal - He's Dealt Bountifully With Me


How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?

How long will you hide your face from me?

How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?

How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and answer me, O LORD my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, "I have prevailed over him,"
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.

I will sing to the LORD,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Psalm 13


David's obviously in a bad spot. He feels as though God has left him. His enemies are upon him and he fears death. He's begging for life and though he doubts for a moment he testifies at the end that God will hear, His love's neverending and will lead him to safety. He's always been bountiful to him so his faith is strong even in sorrow.

I need to remember this verse and David's response to his trouble. God is good, has always been good to me. Even when things didn't seem to work out right, in the end God's plan has always led to a conclusion where I could say, "So that's why You did that, or allowed that to happen".

Lord, I pray for the strength and faith of David. I will sing to You for You have always dealt bountifully with me. (And when I forget this, thank you for Sheri who's always there to remind me)

The next "BRILLIANT" award goes to.......


As I was driving back from Guitar Center where I picked up a new mic clip for my kit I stopped at Hardees for a bland double cheeseburger. No, that's not what I ordered, but now I know that I have to specify flavor. Anyway, I'm driving down Dale Mabry, with burger approaching my mouth, and I thought, "Hmmm, I'd better be careful, I don't want to make a........." Picture a small bit of onion floating gracefully in slow motion towards my shirt and me yelling a slow motion "NNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" in my best Will Smith voice. Yes, though not very large, I now have a nice ketchup stain on my shirt. Sure, you might ask why I don't have any spare seltzer water in my glove compartment for such situations, but alas, me being of the XY chromosome, I don't.

That's when I remembered this!



"The Drib"


Perfect for all us starving Americans that can't wait until we've actually stopped moving at 60 mph to chow down on our lunch. Seems I can pick one up for only $23.95 at AutoSport Automotive Outfitters purveyors of fine automobile accessories since 1971. For this "outside the box" thinking I give the Drib a:




HT - Gotta Get One

Life Groups + Life Journal + Leviticus 15 = ewwww


The entries on my blog for my Monday readings are done in a Life Group setting. We read our verses, jot down our thoughts and then share. Let me tell you, Leviticus 15 is a beautiful piece of scripture to share with your close friends.........not! Needless to say, there was a little Beavis and Butthead giggling going on last night. Read it for yourself!

2/11/08 - Life Journal - Workplace Ministry


After this Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. And he went to see them, and because he was of the same trade he stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade.

Acts 18:1-3


After entering Corinth Paul ran into some believing Jews from Italy. They not only had their love for Jesus in common but also their trade. This put a depth into their relationship that made communing together that much easier.

This is a good verse to look at when I get that whole "stuck in my cubicle" feelin'. I'm surrounded by a group of people that already have one thing in common with me. No, not that they hate their job, well maybe, but that we are all in the same vocation. The first barrier to open communication has already been stripped away. I now just have to lead by example and stay receptive to opportunities to share my faith, the getting to know you part is done.

Father, thank You for trusting me with Your word. I know I'm a lousy verbal communicator but Your Spirit will instruct me when the time comes.

Worship Sunday - 02.10.08


Yesterday was awesome! I love listening to Jason Herndon. He always seems to hit me with a message relevant to that exact time in my life.

Worship was great! Our attendance is growing and more people are actively moving closer to Him through this time and it's awesome!

Here's the set list:

Brave - Nicole Nordeman
Live for You - Connersvine
Better is One Day - Kutless
Everyday - Lincoln Brewster
East to the West - Casting Crowns
To the Only God - David Crowder (Glory Revealed)

See you next week, live in constant worship, it's a 24/7 thing..........

2/10/08 - Life Journal - Remove the "Cancer"


"The leprous person who has the disease shall wear torn clothes and let the hair of his head hang loose, and he shall cover his upper lip and cry out, 'Unclean, unclean.' He shall remain unclean as long as he has the disease. He is unclean. He shall live alone. His dwelling shall be outside the camp.

Leviticus 13:45,46


This person, deemed unfit to be a part of the society because of his infectious illness, is "sentenced" to live outside of the camp. Cruel punishment? Or is it a symbol of protecting the people as a whole?

I'm not sure. At first I was going to write about the cruelty of the situation and how it reflects on people we feel aren't worthy to be a part of "our" church. But then something else came to me. Maybe it's a warning for us. Some people will come along and for whatever reason won't mesh with our gathering. Not saying they aren't devout followers but differing opinions will lead to gossip and slander, finally leading to a cancer that can tear up a once harmonious group of believers. We need to recognize the "symptoms" and lead these people, not "outside the camp", but to a group where they can fulfill their purpose more constructively.

Lord, I know there is a place for all of you children in Your church. I pray that you will help me guide them to the perfect spot You have chosen for them.

2/9/08 - Life Journal - Thank You for Our Women


One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay." And she prevailed upon us.

Acts 16:14,15


Lydia's an awesome woman that doesn't get a lot of "media coverage". She was a godly woman and in the writings Luke doesn't mention the faith of her husband. The way the rest plays out I'll guess he wasn't a God-fearing man or at least not as strong as his wife. Her faith leads to her acceptance of Paul's message and this leads to not only her baptism but her entire family's.

If it's true that a majority of American men have stopped attending church then we have to look to our women as the anchor that has kept the church intact. My wife is THE reason my family has such an awesome relationship with God and women in general are the main reason many churches today can make it week after week. Because of the doctrines of a few major denominations they receive little or no recognition for this. It's a testament to their faith and trust in God's plan that they continue in this capacity letting all glory go to their Father.

Father, thank you for our women, they continue on knowing their reward is with You in eternity.

First Shall Be Last



But many who are first will be last, and the last first."
Mark 10:31

2/8/08 - Life Journal - We're Free! (so why don't we act like it?)


God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are."
Acts 15:8-11


Do you question the will of God? Are you putting Him to the test? Peter's questions betray his disbelief in the Pharisees opinion about circumcision. God released the Holy Spirit onto these new Gentile believers but still they continued to try to put the "yoke" of the law onto them. Peter reminded them that no generation has been able to overcome this weight and now they had the grace of God through their faith in Him to release them.

We are free. Free in the knowledge and faith that God gave His son, Jesus Christ, to die for us, a perfect sacrifice, releasing us from the bondage of sin and death and that belief in Him and that only through Him we may know the Father and one day stand before Them and revel in the light of their Glory for eternity in Heaven. We can all agree on that, right? Then why do we continue in the Pharisaical fashion by putting the burden of our "laws" on believers? Contemporary's the way to go, Traditional's the only way to go, Catholicism's the only true church, Mega churches are most like heaven, home churches are most like the Acts church, only hymn's, drums are bad, Pelagian's, Calvin's, Arminian's, seeker sensitive's, liberals, conservatives, relevants, emergents, TULIP, doctrine's, creed's.... Let's take the yoke off of ourselves so we can be free to follow Him.

Father, we don't get it do we? Like Peter told the Pharisee's, we have Your grace through faith that You have released us. Why do we keep fighting to put the chains back on that through faith in You we have already been freed?

One Solitary Life


He was born in an obscure village…

He worked in a carpenter's shop until he was thirty…

And for three years He was an itinerant preacher…

He never held an office…

He never had a family or owned a house…

He didn’t go to college…

He had no credentials but Himself…

He was only 33 when the public turned against Him...

His friends ran away…

He was turned over to His enemies…

And went through the mockery of a trial…

He was nailed to a cross between two thieves…

While He was dying His executioners gambled for His clothing…

The only property He had on earth.

He was laid in a borrowed grave.

Twenty centuries have come and gone and today He is the central figure of the human race. All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as much as that…

ONE SOLITARY LIFE.

Thanks Christian

SOAPY Life Journallers Unite!


I've added a few more Life Journallers to the listing on the left! That's OUTSTANDING! I love the fact that I can see multiple observations from multiple people on the same readings I've just finished. It's a world-wide, word for word bible study!

**Let me know if there are others out there!**

I'm Going Green...


...if I can have one of these!




The Tesla Roadster

100% Electric
0 to 60 in under 4 seconds
135 MPG equivalent
220 miles per charge
less than 2 cents per mile

All that for around 100,000!


Prayer for all the victims and the students of Union University


While keeping everyone affected by the recent violent storms in your hearts and prayers, here are two letters from Union University's Greg Thornbury and David Dockery to read. The college in Jackson, TN was hit hard, approximately $50 million in damages but by God's grace there were no fatalities even though there were 1,200 people on campus that night. Within their words are a story of the strength and faith the students there have and have exhibited over the past few days.....

Dear Friends:

To everyone who has thought of us, remembered us in prayer, or beseeched God on our behalf to spare the the lives of about 1,200 who were physically on campus last night, I want to thank you from the depths of my heart.

If you have been following the Union story through national news media outlets, you know that our campus sustained somewhere in the range of $50 million worth of damage yesterday. To get a sense of what we're going through, please do me the favor and take the time to check out the following slideshow.

More information can be found at uuemergency.blogspot.com & at uu.edu.

I arrived on campus with President Dockery as the tornado hit the ground last evening. One minute later, we felt transported into a scene from the London Blitzkrieg. Streams of students with bloody faces and limbs streamed past us as we walked toward the mountain of rubble that was once Watters Commons. 9 boys were trapped beneath the rubble. All of them made it out, by the grace of God. I spent least evening until 4 a.m. in the Trauma unit in my role as Campus Pastor as one by one they were brought in, and we prayed for mercy for them and their families.

All will, according to their doctors, and the Lord willing, recover normally.

Last night we had 86 injuries, 51 hospitalizations, and 7 in ICU. At the end of this evening we only have 3 still in the hospital.

The media coverage of the Union story has been amazing. Today, Good Morning America, CNN, Foxnews, MSNBC, and etc. have been interviewing David Dockery and our students today. These folks in the media have walked away saying that something is indeed very different about this university and these young people. I have been overwhelmed by their faithfulness and boldness.

Please do continue to pray for us.

Yours,
Greg

* * *

Dear parents and friends of Union University:

At 7 p.m. on Tuesday evening, the Union University campus was devastated by serious tornadic activity, resulting in extensive damage to the facilities. Following a nearly five-hour emergency effort, all students — including the 13 who were trapped in the fallen rubble — were rescued. Fifty-one students were taken to the hospital, nine of whom suffered serious injury. By God’s providence, no lives were lost. Seventeen buildings received some kind of damage.

Approximately 40 percent of the dorms were destroyed, and another 40 percent were severely damaged. Additional damage has been observed in other academic and administrative buildings. The damage from this storm exceeds the impact of the 2002 tornado by 15-fold. Classes will not begin again before Feb. 18. We encourage all Union friends to stay in touch with us through the Union Web site at http://www.uu.edu.

We currently are working on a five-fold strategy:

1. Today is a day of assessment.
2. Initial efforts to help students return to their homes or to a safe place also have started today and will continue throughout the week.
3. A major clean-up project will start on Thursday.
4. An intermediate strategy to help us begin classes on Feb. 18 is underway.
5. Plans to regroup and rebuild the campus will help focus us for the future.

The rebuilding efforts will be lengthy and extensive. At this time, we want to thank everyone who has given help, provided service and offered ongoing prayer on behalf of Union University. We thank God for His providential care. With the help of God, we will move forward together. Finally, I want to offer highest commendations for our students and the Student Life Team, who have handled this challenge in amazing ways.

For your friendship, your support and your ongoing prayers for Union, we are most grateful.

Faithfully,

David S. Dockery
President
Union University

2/7/08 - Life Journal - Extinguish the Flame


The fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it; it shall not go out. The priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and he shall arrange the burnt offering on it and shall burn on it the fat of the peace offerings. Fire shall be kept burning on the altar continually; it shall not go out.
Leviticus 6:12,13


The word that popped out at me was CONTINUALLY! The Israelites were in a never ending cycle of sin, offering, sin, offering, sin, offering...... The battle was constant and all they had was the hope of a future Savior to rescue them from this struggle.

But then that Savior came and they rejected him. What? Huh? After thousands of years of prayer, waiting, prophecy and hope the time arrives and God gives His Son to them and they're like, nope, don't believe it, can't be. But thank God that was His plan. The rejected stone became the cornerstone. His grace was passed on to the Gentiles and is the reason I'm sitting here typing this. It's the reason I can be assured of my future with Him. It's the reason I don't have a fire constantly burning to cleanse my sin. His blood washed me once and for all.

Father thank you for Your grace you continuously pour out on me. And for Your Son, who came to be my substitute, for He knew I could never meet Your righteousness, no matter how many bulls I laid before Him.

Joe gets back to his roots...




Our incredible, extremely talented, all around great guy worship leader Joe Rodda


2/6/08 - Life Journal - A Constant Diet of Worship!!!


"All fat is the LORD’s. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, in all your dwelling places, that you eat neither fat nor blood."
Leviticus 3:16,17


Looks like the Jewish people have something here. I know the New Testament puts an end to the dietary restrictions of Leviticus (it's was comes out not what goes in) but this one I should look into.

Everything we do for God is worship. Everything we give to God is worship. Now, I haven't figured out anything to motivate me to get into and stay in shape. I know it's horrible. You'd figure staying alive for my family would do the trick but for me and a million others it doesn't. I don't know why. Selfishness? Maybe giving my health over to Him would work. Imagine being so incredibly thankful for the gift of life He has given me I actually use my health and exercise as a form of worship? Bring my bad diet to the altar. Bring my lack of self control to the altar. Bring my laziness to the altar. And burn, baby, burn. The next step? Get on that treadmill with the iPod cranked and go to town, running in worship, sweating out thanksgiving...Good idea?

Father I abuse the earthly body you've given me. Let me praise you by honoring your temple.

Got this funny pic by email...


...then I recognized the guys in the photo from their blogs I read. Sorry Steve and Joe, this pic and caption below was emailed to me along with a ton of other photos with humorous captions. Hey, if you can't laugh at yourself.....


"A pose like this will get you kicked right out of the Convention."



BE DRENCHED



Awesome stuff from In the Quiet:

"Experiencing the present purely is being empty and hollow; you catch grace as a man fills his cup under a waterfall. " Annie Dillard

I read this quote and I am just struck with a vision of a waterfall and me in it...smack dab in the middle of it with my cup extended trying to fill it and of course you can't. The force of the water is so overwhelming, the force of Your Grace the same.Trying to take just a cup of grace, just a cup of water from the falls ...and being drenched in the trying. There is no taking a little grace, in the trying your hand is drenched, your wrist, your arm, your body, your hair and face and neck...the power of the falls is overwhelming. The power of Your Grace....staggering.I am drenched but the cup is empty, nothing to take away. Nothing to take away, I have to stay smack dab in the middle of the fall, in the middle of your GRACE. Maybe if I do and become so drenched w/love and grace....I won't be able to stop giving it to others???So as I am feeling SAD today step into the falls...BE DRENCHED...So as I am feeling DOWN tomorrow step into the falls...BE DRENCHED...So as I am feeling angry or joyous or jealous or content the next or the next day...step into the falls...BE DRENCHED....


Book MEME


It's the attack of the killer MEME's............!!!!

Sean hit me up with this one:

Book meme:

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).

2. Open the book to page 123.

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the next three sentences.

5. Tag five people. (Again, join in if you'd like.........no pressure)

Since I'm at work the only book I have within reach is my ESV Pocket Bible so here we go............


And the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land, who returned and made all the congregation grumble against him by bringing up a bad report about the land - the men who brought up a bad report of the land - died by plague before the Lord. Of those men who went to spy out the land, only Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh remained alive.

When Moses told these words to all the people of Israel, the people mourned greatly.

(Numbers 14:36-39)


Wow, have I obeyed God today??????

MEME about ME


Steve Forcum tagged me for a MEME.

Basic rules are to list 6 quirky facts about yourself

Link back to the person that tagged you

Tag 6 more people and link to their blogs (and post a comment on their blog letting them know about the MEME)

I'll leave the last part up to anyone that reads this. Join in if you feel like it, why leave it to only 6?

Here we go:

1. I'm a huge "BIG HAIR" 80's metal fan.

2. G-Strings on a guitar fear me.

3. I eat spaghetti with pickles and a glass of milk.

4. My wife loved me enough to marry me even though her name is now Sheri Carey.

5. My 20-year reunion is in June, I'm overweight and I don't care (because I'll have my hot wife with me)

6. I have an orange cichlid named Tebow but we think he's a she.

Well, I guess you now know all there is to know about Drummer Chris............!

2/5/08 - Life Journal - Part Time God


Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out till the day that it was taken up.
Exodus 40:36,37


I think God is getting sick of his little kids disobeying, unable to think for themselves and all together making a mess of everything. After giving instructions for tabernacle down to the minute details and placing competent people in the lead of it's construction He then decided to "reside" with them and guide them every step of the way. "OK, listen up, when the cloud goes up, move, when it doesn't, don't. Do you guys think you can handle that?"

Reading this I was wishing I had such simple guidelines to follow, then it hit me. I do, I just haven't been using them. I have His word, sure it takes time to dig into it, but am I going to get any help wasting time watching TV? I have prayer, sure I don't think I know how to do it correctly and I can't be sure when He's trying to speak to me, but again, I have to get away from my daily distractions and seriously spend time with Him. He isn't going to accept being my spare time God, called upon only if I have the time. Him and His word should be my priority, everthing can have the leftovers...

Father, I apologize, I've let the idols of this world keep me from you then I have the nerve to ask why you're not listening to me.

2/4/08 - Life Journal - Law and Order


The law of the LORD is perfect...
Psalm 19:7


Not much really to add to that. This one fragment caught my eye and I realized the truth it contains. His orginal creation was 100% perfect, then we came along. The entire Old Testament is the story of a peoples ups and downs, as they struggle to fulfill the law on their own merit. If it were possible they might have reached that perfect place again.

We all know that is a pipe dream. Not one of us is without sin and lives up to His standards. I don't even have the capability to imagine what a society would look like if we all had a perfect record. What I do know is that we will one day see this place. I know this because He sent His Son to die for our transgression, our inability to comply, and because of His sacrifice we will be perfected before Him when the time comes and we will gain entrance into the garden.

Father, I pray that I don't let my sin and Your forgiveness of it be an excuse not to still strive towards perfection in Your eyes. It's the least I can do.

2/3/08 - Life Journal - "Yes Father, I am here"


At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, "Cornelius!"
Acts 10:1-3


The yeast is rising! Of all the people God could chose to set His plan for the Gentiles into motion He picked this little known centurion in the Roman army. It was his job to contact Peter and bring him to his household. After Peter's recent vision's and the sight of this God-fearing family of gentiles, he knew that the Kingdom of God could never be held to just the Jews. His thought were confirmed when this family was overcome by the Holy Spirit and became the newest members of Jesus' following.

I don't understand God's thinking when it comes to His choosing of messengers but accounts like these give me hope when pondering my purpose. His choice fits His purpose exactly, right time, right place, right circumstances. He has a plan for me, His lowly draftsman, dad, husband, drummer, hack guitarist, fisherman. How can I not be excited as I wait to see what His plan is?

Yes Father, I'm here.

2/2/08 - Life Journal - God is Good, All Good is God


I say to the LORD, "You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you."
Psalm 16:2


David's realization here is the basis for understanding our place on earth. We are nothing without Him. Everything good is Him. On the converse, everthing evil is a lack of Him. We are spiritual beings trapped in our carnal bodies. Left to our own devices no good can come of us. Our primitive minds couldn't have come up with our belief systems on our own. It's the Spirit that has put them there. Here's a great quote from the new show Eli Stone. When Eli states that he doesn't believe in God he's confronted with this statement;

"Sure you do, you believe in right and wrong. You believe in justice. You believe in fairness. And you believe in love. All those things, they're God, Eli."


God has given me purpose. He's given me a belief system, a moral system, a conscious and love. Without Him we'd be living in chaos. How can I get this across to an unbeliever? How can atheists not see this? Where do they think these feelings and systems come from? Left to our basic instinct, the fight for "numero uno" would destroy these good impulses as we all fought for our own gain.

God give me the wisdom (and patience) to enlighten those that can't see these simple facts. All that is good is You. Bottom line. All we need to know.

Got me a new Git-Fiddle (throwing a little Kentucky slang at you)




Yes, another drummer thinkin' he's a musician. I picked up this Yamaha yesterday as my Christmas present. I played just about everything in the store, in my price range at least, and to my highly trained ear this guitar, the FG700S, sounded the sweetest. Now, a little more drummer humor........after arriving home I brought out my tuner. Everything was going great until I got to the final string. As I was tightening the E, bit by bit, nothing seemed to be happening. So, bit by bit, I tightened it even more. Nothing. Little more, little more.....TWANG, there goes the G-String. Yes, everyone can roll on the floor laughing. I was tightening the wrong string........... =[

2/1/08 - Life Journal - Jesus Take the Wheel


Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word. Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ.
Acts 8:4


The persecution of the church goes into full effect. Saul takes the lead in the unforgiving slaughter of Christ's followers (no they're not called Christians, that comes later). So, did the Jews accomplish what they wanted? Just the opposite. The "scattered" took their message on the road. Christianity started it's world-wide travels. It's ironic to me, not to God, that the first place mentioned was Samaria. Philip arrived in the same place where Jesus had told His disciples about a field ripe for harvest.

I need to keep an eye out for these seemingly dead ends. Is God pointing me in a new direction? Is the next chapter in my life starting? Is there someone else out there that needs me to share my story and the Gospel with them? Whether in my evangelical mission, my career or my family life, I need to prayerfully study whether what first appears to be a dead end is actually God steering me on the path of His plan.

Father, thank you for being with me on my journey. Show me the path You would have me take. Give me the wisdom to see opportunity where there appears to be only obstacles.

1/31/08 - Life Journal - Father Forgive Them...and me..


And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
Acts 7:59,60


After retelling the history of the Israelites and the path that led them to this point in history, Stephen condemns the Jews, lays the deaths of the prophets on their heads and the blood of Jesus on their hands. They were a little ticked to say the least. While be stoned, Stephen, filled with the Spirit, saw the Glory of God and Jesus at his right hand. Reminiscent of his Lord, without fear of death, he released his spirit to Jesus and begged forgiveness for his murderers.

I can't even forgive the guy that cut me off this morning! Holding grudges only hurts myself. The other party has no idea! How long a road I still have to travel I don't know but on the day I fall asleep in Him I pray that I'll go with longing, ready to meet Him and with forgiveness for those left behind on my heart.

Father work in me, if I can't forgive others how can I expect Your forgiveness? I've done much worse to You than anyone has done to me.

I've found the car for Jason...


...you just gotta know him...



1/30/08 - Life Journal - Power of His Word


But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.
Acts 6:10


After being chosen Stephen was confronted by Jews from all over. They hit him with everything but like his teachers, and with help from the Spirit, he preached the word of God and the story of Jesus Christ with such authority and knowledge they couldn't find reason to dispute him. So they did what the Jews had been trying to do from the beginning, spread rumors and lies and stirred up a crowd against him.

Another example of trusting that God's word and the Holy Spirit being an irresistible force. People's only choice is to believe or fight it with lies or the excuses of a hardened heart. I can't do anything about a lack of faith, that's God's job.

Lord, let me be an acceptable partner in your plan for saving of the lost. I'll do what I can but leave the hard work to you.

1/29/08 - Life Journal - Take My Life


Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife's full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles' feet.
Acts 5:1


They promised the cash from the sale but in typical human fashion kept back some for themselves. Whether it was out of greed or belief that it was theirs (hey, they worked for it right), it boils down to not having faith that God would provide what they needed.

I hold back everything from Him. My finances, my life, my talents. I don't feel like I'm giving Him 100% of anything. Thankfully we're living under His grace. I have no reason not to trust Him so why can't I?

Father, I love you but my actions speak otherwise. Help me give my all to you. It's not mine to keep, it's all been given by you.

A Theologions Guide to Changing a Lightbulb


(From the Lighter Side of Theology)

CHANGING A LIGHT BULB THE RELIGIOUS WAY

How many members does it take to change a light bulb?


Charismatic: Only 1 - Hands are already in the air.

Pentecostal: 10 - One to change the bulb, and nine to pray against the spirit of darkness.

Presbyterians: None - Lights will go on and off at predestined times.

Roman Catholic: None - Candles only.

Baptists: At least 15 - One to change the light bulb, and three committees to approve the change and decide who brings the potato salad and fried chicken.

Episcopalians: 3 - One to call the electrician, one to mix the drinks and one to talk about how much better the old one was.

Mormons: 5 - One man to change the bulb, and four wives to tell him how to do it.

Unitarians: We choose not to make a statement either in favor of or against the need for a light bulb. However, if in your own journey you have found that light bulbs work for you, you are invited to write a poem or compose a modern dance about your light bulb for the next Sunday service, in which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent, 3-way, long-life and tinted, all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence.

Methodists: Undetermined - Whether your light is bright, dull, or completely out, you are loved. You can be a light bulb, turnip bulb, or tulip bulb. Bring a bulb of your choice to the Sunday lighting service and a covered dish to pass.

Nazarene: 6 - One woman to replace the bulb while five men review church lighting policy.

Lutherans: None - Lutherans don't believe in change.

Amish: What's a light bulb?

1/28/08 - Life Journal - Strangers in a Strange Land


"You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt."
Exodus 22:21


Other versions say "strangers". The first sermon on how to treat your neighbors? The Israelites were "strangers in a strange land" (wow, didn't think I could include the title of an Iron Maiden song in a devotional, did you?). God was reminding them of this to teach them how to deal with others, just as He once dealt with them. "I did this, so you shall also do this".

"He forgives us, so you shall also forgive others". Great lesson here. As followers of Jesus Christ we can't forget where we came from. We once were lost...... When we come across people who haven't accepted Him we need to remember we were once just like them. Remember our questions. Remember our doubts and fears. Put ourselves in their place and walk along side them as their minds are turning and the Lord is working.

Father, never let me forget the place where you found me and rescued me. If I ever think of myself as greater than anyone else my mission for you will fail every time.

1/27/08 - Life Journal - You put ME to the test?


So they quarreled with Moses and said, "Give us water to drink."
Moses replied, "Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the LORD to the test?"
Exodus 17:2


After all that has been done for these people, after all the signs God had shown them in their release from captivity, still they complain. They continue putting their God to the test. They had no faith that He would provide and get them through the desert.

I don't have much to say, I can't. I am them! I've been given so much and squandered just as much. He's always provided for me but still I put Him to the test. Any little thing get's me going, constantly worrying about tomorrow and neglecting today. Why can't I just be still and know He's here?

Father, you've blessed me on top of blessings. Somewhere inside I know you'll always provide, I pray that confidence will take over my whole body so I can live free from fear.

1/26/08 - Life Journal - Pray for a Modern Pentecost!


Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
Acts 2:41


What an awesome day that must have been. 3,000 people giving themselves to Christ! People were definitely on fire! The apostles didn't do any tricks or have any new plans they came up with, they just let the Spirit work through them, spoke the Word of God, told the people the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the crowd just knew......They knew the truth being told on that day and responded!

I can't explain the feeling I get seeing one person baptized in His name, forget about 3,000! We can get this fire back. The Spirit is still with us. We have His story. We have His creation all around us testifying for us. Getting bogged down in the infighting over doctrine could be just what ole Lucifer is trying to accomplish to steer us off our path. Let the Spirit lead, put our lives forward as an example and let His word do it's thing!

Lord, if I lose sight of the goal, get me out of the way. Your will before mine, the Kindgdom will grow. I pray for a movement of people on fire for You.

1/25/08 - Life Journal - Sing the Psalms of David


O LORD, in your strength the king rejoices,
and in your salvation how greatly he exults!
You have given him his heart’s desire
and have not withheld the request of his lips.
Psalm 21:1,2


David wasn't exactly an example of a man full of morals, I mean look at him, he sent a women's husband to the front lines of battle to hide his adultery! The deal is, God knew he wasn't perfect, He knows we all aren't perfect. What David was though was thankful. He loved His God with all his heart. He praised Him every chance he got and knew exactly where all his blessings came from.

I, too, am not a perfect man. No, I've never sent anyone to his death but every sin I commit keeps from holiness and separates me from my Father. Thing is, He loves me just as He loved David. For this I need to live in a constant state of thankfulness and the Psalms of David are a perfect example to go by. Every gift is from Him, especially His gift of eternal life through the sacrifice of His Son.

O LORD, in your strength Drummer Chris rejoices,
and in your salvation how greatly he exults!
You have given him his heart’s desire
and have not withheld the request of his lips.

Chololate Skittles - A Warning




Imagine a mouthful of a chewy ickyness with a slightly chocolate, mostly chemical taste and there you have it! I wouldn't offer these to my worst enemy! No matter what flavor in the bag, they're all gross. S’mores, Chocolate Pudding, Chocolate Caramel, Vanilla and Brownie Batter. ACK!!!


In the World But Not Of It


Tullian Tchividjian just posted a great piece on being in the world but not of it. He begins with an anecdote about D.L. Moody:

The great nineteenth-century evangelist D. L. Moody was once asked to describe what he thought the relationship between the church and the world ought to be. Should the church reject the world altogether — separating from it so as to avoid contamination? Or should the church embrace the world wholeheartedly — becoming just like it so as to reach the lost? The evangelist answered, “The place for the ship is in the sea; but God help the ship if the sea gets into it.”

You can (should) read the whole post here.

relevant.


1και υμας οντας νεκρους τοις παραπτωμασιν και ταις αμαρτιαις υμων 2εν αις ποτε περιεπατησατε κατα τον αιωνα του κοσμου τουτου κατα τον αρχοντα της εξουσιας του αερος του πνευματος του νυν ενεργουντος εν τοις υιοις της απειθειας 3εν οις και ημεις παντες ανεστραφημεν ποτε εν ταις επιθυμιαις της σαρκος ημων ποιουντες τα θεληματα της σαρκος και των διανοιων και ημεθα τεκνα φυσει οργης ως και οι λοιποι 4ο δε θεος πλουσιος ων εν ελεει δια την πολλην αγαπην αυτου ην ηγαπησεν ημας 5και οντας ημας νεκρους τοις παραπτωμασιν συνεζωοποιησεν τω χριστω χαριτι εστε σεσωσμενοι 6και συνηγειρεν και συνεκαθισεν εν τοις επουρανιοις εν χριστω ιησου 7ινα ενδειξηται εν τοις αιωσιν τοις επερχομενοις το υπερβαλλον πλουτος της χαριτος αυτου εν χρηστοτητι εφ ημας εν χριστω ιησου 8τη γαρ χαριτι εστε σεσωσμενοι δια πιστεως και τουτο ουκ εξ υμων θεου το δωρον 9ουκ εξ εργων ινα μη τις καυχησηται 10αυτου γαρ εσμεν ποιημα κτισθεντες εν χριστω ιησου επι εργοις αγαθοις οις προητοιμασεν ο θεος ινα εν αυτοις περιπατησωμεν

(Ephesians 2:1-10 Tischendorf’s Eighth Edition Greek New Testament)

See how relevant the untainted scriptures are to our culture? Who needs contextualization?

Nathan over at christianresearchnetwork.com, the watchdogs watchdog, posted this humorous look at the importance of centextualization. Some ain't gonna like this, but wasn't the KJV Bible the first "relevant" printing of His word?

p.s. the above scripture is in Greek. If you don't have a certain font installed it will look...well...Greek to you =]

1/24/08 - Life Journal - Pharaoh, Pharaoh, Oh baby, Let my people go!


Then the LORD said to Moses, "Pharaoh will not listen to you, that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt."
Exodus 11:9


It seems obvious that God was performing these acts through Moses to convince Pharaoh to let the Israelites go free from their captivity but why then does it look like God himself was hampering His own plan? It says in verse 10, "...but the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let the Israelites out of his country." What? The obvious isn't always the right choice, is it? Could it be that this was all for the benefit of the captive Israelites? None of the plagues affected the land of Goshen, where they lived. When Moses said the people wouldn't listen to him and God told him that He had his back, I doubt he was expecting anything like this! But I bet it woke His people up!

Why is it, that I also sometimes need something big to remind me of the power of my God! Doesn't he give me enough everyday just breathing, looking at my family, viewing everything He's created, the stuff we've created with the intelligence He's given us and yes, true miracles like Ansley Mayfield? Wake up son!

Father, let what you've done for me already be enough to sustain my faith. If it's not I've never had true faith in the first place.

Get Your Chomp On



GATORS > WILDCATS > VOLUNTEERS


1/23/08 - Life Journal - Can I Bear it?


And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus.
Luke 23:26


That dude had no idea the honor he had and the place he would hold in history. Jesus's own disciples didn't understand the significance of Jesus' sacrifice and what His death on the cross meant in terms of the salvation of millions, so why should we expect any different from Simon. There's no written proof one way or another (correct me if I'm wrong) in Luke at least that can help us determine if he was a follower of Jesus or not so we can't really say what he was feeling. Whatever it was I can almost guarantee it was bass ackward! If he was a follower he was drenched in guilt, being the man carrying the cross that He would be nailed to and if he was loyal to Caiaphas or Caesar he was thrilled about the honor in helping do away with this rabble rouser.

I know the outcome. I know why Jesus was nailed to that cross. I enjoy the spoils of His victory. Yet I still disobey. I'm the inverse of Simon. When I DON'T carry His cross my body tells me I should be honored, I'm doing it myself, look at everything I have, I'm awesome! Then, with a swift kick from the Spirit, my soul tells me of the guilt I should be feeling, he's dying for me, take the cross from Him, the weight of which is my sin in the first place.

Jesus, it was for me that You died that horrible death and endured the heinous torture. Let me be Simon. Let me carry your cross and follow.

Summer Sports: Paradise Island for Wii - Coming in March!



For all you Wii Sports fans, and who isn't, the new Summer Sports: Paradise Island game should be just as addicting. It's gonna have volleyball, lawn darts, croquet, horseshoes and mini golf! Pop open a cold one and turn on the air conditioning! Below's a screen shot from Game Spy.



HT - geeksugar

B-Sting speakin the Word


I was just listening to a sermon presented by a good friend of mine, Bryan Stiverson. He was very instrumental in getting me where I am now in Worship Ministry. Anyway, I downloaded the message and realized he must have acquired some land in England or something. His message pops up on my media player as "Lord - Bryan Stiverson". Ha ha ha ha.........

Check it out here.

Betcha didn' know I was OG for the Clemson Tigers




You know I knew I'd lose some bulk after retiring but amazingly enough I've also lost 9 inches in height! I gotta get some HGH, anyone know Roger Clemens #?


Okay, so here is the real page...... =[

Fred Thompson Withdraws from Race



Back to Law and Order for ole Fred? As late has he was joining the race seems fitting that he's the earliest in leaving. Who knows what he could have done if he actually took it more seriously early on. Here's his statement:

"Today I have withdrawn my candidacy for President of the United States. I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort. Jeri and I will always be grateful for the encouragement and friendship of so many wonderful people."

Thanks to The Reformed Chicks for the tip and The Ward View for the pic!

The New York Giants Better Watch Out





The above picture was taking of Tom Brady, quarterback of the New England Patriots. Seems he got a little banged up last weekend. He assures everyone that it's just the typical bumps and bruises you can expect in the game of football.

Instead of cheering, if I was a Giants fan I'd be a little worried. I remember another incident involving a star player on a Boston franchise and his foot.





Have I Ever Told You...


...that I have a HOT wife? I definitely married up! Add to that the fact that she is almost 4 years younger and I'd say I did pretty good. I must have been pretty good at the old schmooze 13 years ago. All that to say, because of this, I can never understand when she wants to do something along the lines of hairstyle, diet, etc...

Probably has a lot to do with how I treat her. When I fall into the rut of taking everything I have for granted, happy with being married instead of constantly pursuing her and romancing her like I did in the past it's no wonder her ego takes a hit. Everyday I need to remind her of all these feelings I have for her and not keep them bottled up and ASSUME that she knows how I feel. "SHERI, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, I DON'T DESERVE YOU AND I LOVE YOU WITH EVERY BIT OF MY HEART".

She has in the past few months made a drastic change her eating habits and has somehow repressed the love for food that we both share (i have no idea how and can't come to grips with this myself). She now looks like she did 10 years ago and I.....well......did I say that I love food?

The other day as I was pounding down some unhealthy, but oh so tasty trash, she looked at me and said, "I'm gonna look so much better than you at your 20th High School Reunion!"

I replied.....................


"That's all that matters!"


Is that wrong? Does it make me a pig? =]

1/22/08 - Life Journal - Teach Me to Speak


Then the LORD said to him, "Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak."
Exodus 4:11,12


"How am I supposed to convinve these people", "I'm no great orator", "What will I say", "What if I say the wrong things", "What if they laugh at me or worse", "I'm no genius, I have no credentials"; Just a few of many thoughts that could have been running through Moses' head after hearing God's mission for him. After voicing his opinion God reminded him of who the creator was, who made his mouth, who makes him speak, who is with him at all times. Basically, "Moses, open your mouth, I'll do the rest."

Have you ever wanted to say something to someone but didn't in fear of looking foolish, ticking them off, alienating them or appearing to seem "holier than thou"? I know you have, we all have. What if the words don't come out right? What if I can't remember a word of scripture to back up my word? God tells us above that He will put the words in our mouth that we need, doing this through the Spirit but also through His word that we have to study and meditate upon to make us more confident. If there is something I want to say to someone, first, is it really God's will? Will this help the person out or just demean them? Am I doing it for their betterment or a sick pleasure in feeling better about myself? If it's determined that it is something God wants them to hear.........let er rip!

Here's a thought from Steven Furtick from his website: "When God wants to say something through me, there’s always a rich reward when I speak up. I wonder who you can speak encouragement and hope into today? What difference would it make? What’s stopping you?"

God, I don't want to hold anyone back from living a better life just because I don't have the guts to open my mouth and speak. It's your words I will say and your truth they will here. If I open my mouth, teach me what I am to speak.