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.

1/21/08 - Life Journal - His Chosen


Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, "Shall I go and call you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?"
Exodus 2:7


The next big player in God's plan. Moses started out with little fanfare but that would soon change. Born to slaves and saved from Pharaoh's edict with what seems to be an amazing chain of coincidences. Hidden for a time, set loose on a river in a basket, saved by the Pharaoh's daughter and then returned to His mother to be raised until being returned to become a Prince of Egypt. His chosen will succeed in His plan no matter the circumstances!

I am His chosen. He has an incredible plan for me. I'm not sure what it is and I may never know the results. Could be it has more to do with my kids....or their kids. Doesn't matter. I can't dwell, though believe me I do, on what my purpose is. I can't stop thinking there is more than my cubicle at work but maybe not. My part will come to fruition, He guarantees it. So I'll just keep floating on down the river......

God I question You, me and my weak faith. I know You have a purpose for me, why can't I just put my trust in that and let it be...

Worship Sunday - 1/20/08


All I can say is we are getting better every Sunday. Playing, timing, transitions, confidence............CONFIDENCE!!! OK, so we're all working on that one. Is it a matter of breaking out pride? "How'd I do?" and "How'd I sound?" All of us have talent, God put us in this position. We need to forget those two questions and sing to Him and play to Him and Him alone. If we get so caught up in worshipping Him that we miss a beat, play the wrong chord, our voice cracks........BRILLIANT! Striving for perfection is for practice. Sunday's are for the Spirit guiding us in leading people to Him. Us being tight on stage is going to transmit to the people and the connection between them and Him will be faulty. Sing, play, smile, raise your hands, cry, whatever.............!

Did I mention how awesome all of you are and I'm proud at how far you each have come.

Anyhow............here was the set........

Famous One - Chris Tomlin
Better is One Day - Kutless
Grace Like Rain - Todd Agnew
Amazing Love - Darlene Zschech
How Great is Our God - Chris Tomlin
All I Need is You - Hillsong

...if you can't get lost in that last song, check your heart, it is AWESOME and you guys nailed it and everyone of 'em this week. Thanks.

Blogroll


I've made some changes to my blogroll, no longer a repository of blogs that I read but of friends, people that link to me and people that actively comment on my section. More of an online buddy list than a list of the "big names" that I read and make me look smart. Thanks to all my friends out there, if I missed you it wasn't on purpose, let me know and I'll correct my oversight.

**if you're not on the blogroll, check the list of Life Journallers, you might find yourself there**

Jen Ledger was Amazing!



From the first note all trepidation in seeing Lori Peters's replacement, Jen Ledger, was completely wiped away. Is it wrong for a 36 year old to want someone half his age to give him lessons on the skins?

Jen was amazing, I don't know how long she's had to get ready for this but it doesn't really matter. Watching her play you could see the skills she has accumulated in her few years (comparatively) on earth. Jen was kicking out the rythmn with such power and more impressive, such control!

The entire band was awesome and the short set we saw at Winter Jam Friday night was enough to convert my daughter into the newest "panhead"!

Can't wait to see them again!!!




Previous posts concerning Skillet can be read here and here


Final Salute

If you don't shed a tear your heart's in a bad place.


The night before the burial of her husband's body, Katherine Cathey refused to leave the casket, asking to sleep next to his body for the last time. The Marines made a bed for her, tucking in the sheets below the flag. Before she fell asleep, she opened her laptop computer and played songs that reminded her of "Cat," and one of the Marines asked if she wanted them to continue standing watch as she slept. "I think it would be kind of nice if you kept doing it," she said. "I think that's what he would have wanted."


HT - DP - from - Digital Journalist

1/20/07 - Life Journal - Who am I?


When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?
Psalm 8:3,4


David looks around at all God has done and rightfully so asks Him how He could care for us messed up people when He is "majestic in all the earth". How? We are His children! We are the completion of "the works of His fingers".

No matter what my own kids do, won't I still love them with everything I have in me? Sure I might not like them a whole lot sometimes but that's temporary. I get angry and punish them when they don't obey. How then could God, who IS love, not love His own children, us? Again, I'm sure He doesn't like us all that much sometimes and we know from scripture that He has no problems with "sparing the rod" when we get out of hand but the bottom line is that He loves us and we must live our lives with this constantly on our minds. Everything we do should reflect this love back to Him.

Lord, thank you for the blessing of Your unconditional love. We do nothing to deserve it which makes it that much more incredible.

1/19/08 - Life Journal - Even the Rocks Cry Out


He answered, "I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out."
Luke 19:40


The disciples were praising the name of Jesus as He made His triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Naturally the Pharisees didn't like this and told Jesus to "rebuke" his men. Jesus then explained to them that it doesn't matter what men say or don't say, creation screams out the majesty of God.

We can't stop it! No matter how we screw up the Kingdom of God is here to stay. If we need a little help along the way nature will give us a kick in the rear. Whenever I have any doubts it seems the Spirit always puts the awesomeness of His creation in my thoughts. Something as simple as meditating on how a simple tree goes from an acorn to a full grown oak amazes me. I can't see how anyone can have any doubts about our Creator when simply taking a look at His amazing works.

God, your works are awesome! Thank you for these reminders you put on my heart, keeping my mind and heart in the right place.

1/18/08 - Life Journal - Like a Child


"Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it."
Luke 18:17


When the disciples tried to stop the people from bringing infants to Jesus he was like, "Hold up, what're you guys thinking?" (How did He find a teaching situation in everything that happened?) He told them that we must receive the Kingdom like a child. Huh? My handy, dandy study bible says to be like a child means, "With total dependence, full trust, frank openness and complete sincerity." I think it also speaks a lot about how children are so filled with awe when they are introduced to something new. It's a feeling that we should have continually, never loosing our wonder in how awesome He really is!

I can't lose any of these characteristics. If I need an example I can just look at my kids. They don't have a worry in the world because of their total trust in me. They never doubt that anything they need will be provided, they are kept safe all the time and only the best for them is what Sheri and I work and pray for.

You are everything for me; feed me, shelter me, protect me. I put my trust in you praying that I never lose my awe and fascination of you.

Come on Ashley? A Nose Job?


What could the pressure be like if a succesful teen star, Ashley Tisdale, feels the need to alter the face that got her there in the first place? I mean, I never watched any of the HSM's with my kids and thought, "WOW, what a honker!"


I just hope her new look doesn't do for her what it did for "Dirty Dancing" star Jennifer Grey............

1/17/08 - Life Journal - His Plan Plows Forward


"I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us, so that we may live and not die."
Genesis 42:2


God's plan is starting to come clear! All of Joseph's trials and successes led up to this point. God planned the 7 years of excess, 7 years of famine, planted it in Pharaoh's head in the form of a dream and had Joseph right where he wanted him to take advantage of this situation. Now, the famine has spread throughout Canaan which leads Jacob to send his sons to the Governor of the land of Egypt, who just so happens to be Joseph, to buy some grain! Brilliant! One more step on the people of Israel's journey to the promised land.

God's timing, God's timing, God's timing..........I gotta get a grip on this subject. His plan will come through when He has set it come about and nothing we do will stop it or even slow it down for a second. Joseph's brothers did all they could! Even if they had managed to kill him we'd just be reading a different historical account of how the Jews made it into Egypt or maybe they would have bypassed it completely, who knows? But it all would have worked out exactly the same. Moses would still have ended up on Mount Sinai, the people still would have made it to the Holy Land, etc, etc, etc. He's pretty awesome, huh?

I'm here to be used Father God, it may seem like I'm on a circuitous route, but I must know that it all fits perfectly.

Now THAT'S a Change!



An image of a piece of toast on the Virgin Mary!

Good One...


...from Bob Hyatt:

God has revealed exactly enough of Himself/evidence for His existence so as to ensure that you CAN believe but withheld exactly enough of Himself/evidence so as to ensure that you are not COMPELLED to believe, thus offering you salvation while protecting your free agency.

1/16/08 - Life Journal - Oh, for the Integrity of Joseph


The LORD was with Joseph, and he became a successful man...
Genesis 39:2


This is the overriding theme of the next 3 chapters. Joseph is constantly getting a raw deal. His brothers want to kill him, he's sold into slavery, he's accused of attempted rape and thrown into jail and then forgot about for 2 years. So what does He do about it? He continues his life as a man of integrity and of God. Because of this the Lord was constantly with Him. His brother talks the rest into not killing him, he's sold to a wealthy man that sees his value as a leader, he's put in charge of the prison, he's given the gift of dream interpretation which eventually leads him to being the second in command of all of Egypt! Out of his pitfalls, literally pits if you count the first his brothers threw him into and second the one where he was kept in prison, God raises him to positions of increasingly greater importance. All the while Joseph points all his gifts and successes back to Him that provided.

And I let the sound of the alarm clock ruin my day? I've been given blessings on top of blessings and still I act the role of spoiled kid to indulgent Father. How do I respond to his bounty? Great family? more work. Promotion? more work. Gift of music? more work. Position of leadership at work and church? more work. Bigger, more beautiful home? more work. Man, I'm a wreck! My answeres to the above should be HALLELUJAH, THANK YOU GOD, I'M NOT WORTHY, YOU ARE AWESOME, WHAT CAN I DO TO THANK YOU, YOU'RE AWESOME.

Father, I know I break your heart with my response to your blessings yet they keep coming. You are awesome, thank you for your neverending forgiveness.

When the Adulteress Went Home


Adam spoke this past Sunday about the adulteress that was brought before Jesus by the Pharisees. It was a great message of Grace, but have you ever wondered what it was like for her to go home?

Check out Jon Bloom take on it here at Desiring God.

YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME!!!!!!



Okay, so I was really psyched when I saw the original line-up for Winter Jam 2008. NewSong, Mercy Me, Skillet, Barlow Girl and Mandisa. Sweet, I've always wanted to see Barlow Girl.

oops, read the fine print, the Tampa show is the only one where Barlow Girl

WON'T BE APPEARING!!!

Okay, I can handle that, Sanctus Real puts on a great show. At least I'll still get to see Lori Peters, the drummer for Skillet, she's got some serious skills and to be able to finally see her was going to be awesome!

So picture me in my car driving to work this morning when I hear Carlos break the news on Spirit FM. Seems Lori has retired from the band, her last show being the New Years Concert they put on............

YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME!!!!

Nothing against Lori, she's ready to move on to the next chapter in her life and I can understand that. Seems they've replaced her with another female drummer, an 18 year old that is ready to "Rock your face off". Sounds encouraging, but it's not Lori.

Wherefore art thou, Lori?

So now I'm going to a show that has:

Mercy Me (already have seen)
NewSong (already have seen 3 TIMES)
Sanctus Real (already have seen)
Skillet (without Lori Peters)

and

Mandisa......

Don't get me wrong, I think I'll really enjoy seeing her. Not exactly my type of music but I imagine the energy in the place will be over the top.

So I'm not really bitchin here (well actually I am I guess), it's gonna be a great show and the whole purpose is to bring thousands of youth to what may be one of a few chances they get to hear the Gospel PLUS it gives Compassion International another platform to spread their story.

oh yeah, the bmx skate extreme team will be there, whoopie


1/15/07 - Life Journal - The One Lost Sheep


Then Jesus told them this parable: "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' "
Luke 15:3-6


The Pharisees couldn't understand the fact that this person, Jesus, who was said to be a prophet or the Messiah would sit down with sinners. He then used this parable to explain again that he didn't come for those that were "righteous" but for the lost. In other words the parable could be about me, leaving two of my kids to find the third if they were lost or lost their way.

Our concentration can't be on those that are saved. Yes we need to continue teaching, discipling and growing them until they can feed themselves and go on to be teachers and apostles on their own but our main focus must be on the lost. Spreading the word and planting the seed so God can work in their hearts.

God, put the lives of so many people around us in our hearts. Break my heart so I can be a better witness for you.

Maxine and God




Maxine was driving down the street in a sweat because she had an important meeting and couldn't find a parking place.

Looking up toward heaven, she said, 'Lord, take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to church every Sunday for the rest of my life and give up swearing and and tequila .'

Miraculously, a parking place appeared .

She looked up again and said, 'Never mind. I found one.'


Ha ha, great joke right? Not so funny when I look inside myself. Little things like this happen every single day and I write them off as coincidences, no big deal. Green lights all the way to work, elevator there when you really need it, that phone call you've been waiting for, just enough milk in the morning for breakfast and yes, a parking spot right up front. God does all these little things in our lives and how often do I stop and give Him a few props? UH, never.

This is one area where I need to take a lesson from Sheri. She's handin out little "Thank You Jesus'" all day long. It shows the depth of her personal relationship with God the Father and Jesus that I'm not even close to experiencing.

Back to Maxine, how many times have I said over the years, "God, if only you'd ______, I promise I'll never ______ again"? Every one has done it, and everyone has forgotten about it. I'm the little kid promising to do something I should be doing anyway to get something and in return give nothing of what I promised. Thank God He's a little more resolute in his promises, huh?

Life Journal Make Up (whew, made it)


Click here for December 30th's entry...

...and here for December 31st's...

ProMark Hot Rods



As you've heard, Journey has moved into Churchwell elementary school. We are meeting in the cafetorium (cool word) and as you can imagine the acoustics are a little different than the sound swallowing walls of the movie theater.

At our first service we had to turn off all the drum mic's. Not cool. For one, I'm behind a shield so the sound from the drums is muted while still being loud, two, I have headphones on so basically I was the only person in the whole place that couldn't hear my drums!

This is where the hot rods come in. Made up of individual birch dowels they give a lighter sound but still have some attach in them, unlike brushes. They worked beautifully, we're now able to use the mic's to control the volume of the drums without causing everyone else to crank up the volume.

(One problem, I don't get any volume from the bell of my ride and rim clicks are out of the question, any suggestions?)




1/14/08 - Life Journal - Grace > Law


And Jesus responded to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?"
Luke 14:3


Jesus wasn't really expecting an answer here. After He went on to heal the man he highlighted the Pharisee's hypocrisy, asking them, "Which of you, having a son or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?" It was a straight forward story of another healing but the message was that the law kept people trapped in their infirmities and deeper still, it kept them trapped in their sin. The law couldn't save.

Nothing I do should stand in the way of Jesus' saving grace reaching one who is lost. That is, above all else, our purpose here. When we start using excuses devised by man we are derailing His plan for humanity.

Father let me be a vehicle for Your grace and not an obstacle for the lost.

Happy New Years...a little late
















I Get to See Lori Peter's Rockin the House!



This Friday, USF Sundome, Winter Jam 2008! I've been wanting to see Skillet for years and it's happening now! Lori is an amazing drummer and I'm seriously psyched to watch her play. On top of that we'll see Mercy Me, Newsong, Sanctus Real, and Mandisa. Should be an awesome night!


1/13/08 - Life Journal - The Kingdom of Heaven


"What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough."
Luke 13:20,21


God's will is worked into the fabric of our lives and this whole creation. The Kindgdom of God cannot be stopped just as a pinch of yeast can't help but spread throughout the entirety of a hunk of dough. The Kingdom has slowly been infiltrating the whole, bit by bit. It's influence has been rising and ebbing, but never shrinking. It will one day be totally entrenched in this world when the old passes and He comes back to reign!

Nothing I do can speed up or slow down this process. All I can do is spread the knowledge given to my by the Spirit to as many people as possible to prepare them for something that I don't have any idea when it's going to happen. Piece of cake! It's not my worry. Jesus himself said that only the Father knows when it's going to happen. I just know it is going to happen and my faith in that is my impetus for completing my mission.

Father, faith in your plan is all I can go on and all I need. Work your grace in us and grow your Kingdom with whatever help we can give you.

1/12/08 - Life Journal - A Steward's Mentality


And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.'

"Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." '

"But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'

Luke 12:16-20


God had blessed this man with plentiful crops. Enough that it was more than he could handle. I don't think it was His purpose to have this man sack it away for himself so he could live the "good life". Jesus asks the people what would happen to this surplus if the mans life is demanded from him this very day? Instead of sharing this excess with those in greater need his selfishness, greed and worry led him to build even greater barns to keep it. We need to be able to recognize when our needs are met, not spend our lives worrying like the example in verse 30, "For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them."

I live way over the "need/want threshold" (that's my own term, now I'm a scholar). I could support, help, finance, whatever the word you want to use, a lot more people on my salary than I do but what's stopping me. Greed (I worked for it so I deserve it), Pride (my family is going to have everything they ask for) Selfishness (blowing everything I'm entrusted with) Stupidity, Ignorance, Sin. Yep, that just about sum's it up. I'm a dead end for God's blessings and it's an even greater blessing and example of His grace that He continues giving me everything He does. I need to change my habit's quickly and adopt a steward's mentality before He gives up on me or calls me home.

Father, I gotta put my faith in you. I have excuses, you've heard 'em. The best being, "once I get ahead of things I'll be a better giver", trouble is You keep increasing my blessings and I never get on top. Who do I think I'm kidding?

1/11/08 - Life Journal - Despite All My Rage


In your anger do not sin;
when you are on your beds,
search your hearts and be silent.
Psalm 4:4


It's hard to keep your mind under your own control when you get angry. You don't have to tell me this twice. When we're in this state it's easy to give yourself over to sinful situations like striking out, seeking revenge, screaming at your loved ones or getting physically violent. Like it says above the best course is to be silent. It's a fact that most everything isn't as bad as it seems if you give it a few minutes to cool off.

This really resonates with me. I have a terrible temper and it doesn't take much. I need to take the quiet time, lying in my bed and deeply search my heart. I have to pray and figure out what causes me to snap like I do, symptoms that it might be about to happen and ways to defuse my anger before I give myself over to some form of sin. 90% of the time I feel like a complete ass afterwards, realizing that my reaction was way out of proportion to the cause.

Father, search my heart and mind. I need your help in burning this horrible tendency I have inside of me. It does nothing at all unless you count alienating my wife and scaring my kids.

Life Journal Make Up (cont.)


Click here for December 23rd's entry...

...and here for December 24th's

I need, no really, I NEED these for work!



These "Quad-series headphones" from Qlick double as desktop speakers when you flip around the ear pieces.


I think I'll start a new series here on ITMOAWD and call it:



So here's to Qlick's new headphones, they're.......everyone now.......



Sad Commentary from the Comics Page




Books on the Horizon------------------->


Jotting down some notes on books I want to read soon, (got a nice Books-A-Million giftcard for Christmas).

Overcoming Sin and Temptation - This compilation from editors Kelly Kapic and Justin Taylor contain three works of John Own, "Of the Mortification of Sin in Believers", "Of Temptation: The Nature and Power of It" and "Indwelling Sin". Must reads for the Christian battling sin.

Culture Shift: Engaging Current Issues with Timeless Truth - Albert Mohler' book coming out January 15th on engaging our culture from a biblical perspective.

Pagan Christianity: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices - Frank Viola and George Barna's look at where the ritual's of our present day church came from and what the New Testament church actually looked like.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows The last Harry Potter, we just purchased it for my daughter and it's driving her crazy that she can't talk to me about it.

I'm still taking my time with Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist by John Piper...don't want to miss a single word, this book is awesome, and I just started with A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906 by Simon Winchester. I picked it up on a bargain table at WalMart and so far it's pretty good! A great mix of history and geology with the non-historian or geologist in mind.

Anything I should add to this list?

...just remembered that I uncovered Andy Stanley's Visioneering: God's Blueprint for Developing and Maintaining Vision sitting in a pile on my nightstand.

Adam
got it for me a while back and I lost track of it...............

Worship too LOUD?


Great post from Rick Ianniello on when worship is too loud. I love this quote:

I don't know ... when I ran the sound board we adhered to the adage, "Turn it to 10 and let God do the rest." Which reminds me of my favorite sound guy anecdote...(go to his post linked above to read the rest, it's worth it)


Thanks Rick, hopefully some people at Journey actually take the time to read my blog!





1/10/08 - Life Journal - My Birthright for a Bowl of Soup?


Jacob replied, "First sell me your birthright."

"Look, I am about to die," Esau said. "What good is the birthright to me?"

But Jacob said, "Swear to me first." So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.

Genesis 25:31-33


Esau was exaggerating a bit here. Sure he was beat and "famished" but dying? Whatever he was feeling, with a little prodding from his clever little brother he traded his birthright for a bowl of soup! Seems silly but what would you say to someone who traded a ten minute high, or adulterous/premarital pleasure, or a few hours of risky thrill gambling away their savings or whatever for their eternal salvation? Or even trusting your own intelligence thinking you've got it made, you've done it on your own this far, who needs God?

I make decisions similar in consequence to Esau's way to often. Thank God He takes me back, seriously, talk about prodigal son syndrome. I think I have become the poster boy for a new spiritual disease. P.S.S. Unfortunately there are millions of people that don't have this relationship with the Father. That's my job, my part of the covenant, the only way I can even come close to repaying for the Gift of grace.

Father thank you with my life and for my life. I'm a pitiful witness for you but I'm working on it!

If drummin's so easy everyone can do it...


...then why does every church seem to be beggin for drummers?


Tim Haynes of NSW, Australia has some great insight on the trash we as drummers take.

Thanks Tim, I feel your pain.....

The old priest and the Clintons


The old priest lay dying in the hospital. For years, he had faithfully served the people of the nation's capital in Washington, DC. He motioned for his nurse to come near.

"Yes, Father?" said the nurse

"I would really like to see President Bill and Senator Hillary Clinton before I die," whispered the priest.

"I'll see what I can do, Father" replied the nurse.

The nurse sent the request to the Senate and waited for a response. Soon the word arrived; the Clinton's would be delighted to visit the priest.

As they went to the hospital, Hillary commented to Bill, "I don't know why the old priest wants to see us, but it certainly will help our images and might even get me elected President. After all, I'm IN IT TO WIN IT."

Bill agreed--it was a very good thing for her campaign once they put out a press release about it.

When they arrived at the priest's room, the old priest took Bill's hand in his right hand and Hillary's hand in his left. There was silence and a look of serenity on the old priest's face.

Finally Bill Clinton spoke. "Father, of all the people you could have chosen, why did you choose us to be with you as you near the end?"

The old priest slowly replied, "I have always tried to pattern my life after our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

"Amen" said Bill.

"Amen" said Hillary.

The old priest continued...
"He died between two lying thieves. I would like to do the same."

Freakiest Advertisement Ever!




1979 Pakistani Airlines advertisement


Man Finds Wife Working at Brothel


What are you doing here? That was the question a man posed his wife as he walked in the door of a brothel and saw that she worked there. Guess the question goes both ways. Shockingly =] they are getting a divorce.

Check out FOX News fo the complete story.

Life Journal Make Up (cont.) ----getting there!


Click here for December 21st's entry...

...and here for December 22nd's

1/9/08 - Life Journal - Leave it Behind


Yet another said, "I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home." Jesus said to him, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God."
Luke 9:61,62


In expaining the cost of following Him, Jesus makes clear the abruptness of the change that must be made. There's no slowly working your way into your walk with Him. You can't say, "Well okay, today I'll give up hanging out at the bars and spending all my money on booze and next month I'll have to think about ending that affair then I'll work on my people skills and we'll leave my gambling problem to the month after that." That's not the way it works. When you honestly repent it's a 180 degree turn. You can't guide the plow behing your oxen if you're looking behind you.

I'm trying, I've packed it up and left it behind. That's not to say I'm complete, or perfected yet. But I'm not "saving" some sins for "old times sake" until I finish up with the rest. They gotta go concurrently or not at all. It does no good to get rid of 9 out of 10 when that 10th sin still keeps you from the freedom we have in Him.

Father help me along my way. Especially this anger, hate and depression in my brain. There's no room for your love while the clutter is still there.

One Line Drawing of Jesus Christ - Enjoy




Click the picture for a full sized view


1/8/08 - Life Journal - Oh, for the faith of Abraham


After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I." He said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you." So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac.
Genesis 22:1-3


Abraham seems pretty calm here considering the circumstances. There's a reason he's listed near the beginning of "the faith chapter" of the bible, Hebrews 11. He exercised his faith in the covenant that God made with him like no one in history ever has. He was standing there, knife in the air, ready to strike down his son because he believed what God said. God would provide an alternate sacrifice or raise Isaac from the dead. Abraham had no doubt about this for God had said to him, "I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted." He knew his name would continue on through Isaac for God also told him, "...for through Isaac shall your offspring be named." Right up until God intercedes with the ram Abraham never lost faith. You can hear it in his words; "Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you" and "God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son."

God has made numerous promises with me; from his plans to prosper and not harm me (Jer.29:11) to not being tempted above what I can handle (1 Cor.10:13) to the ultimate in covenants in sacrificing His son, in whom if we believe, we will have eternal life. Can I live my life as Abraham did, free from this world because I hold the promises of God to be true? It's the only way to go. The liberation to live in Him is awesome. Anything else is treating God as if He has lied and His sacrifice is wasted.

God, I feel so free when I am living in You but I still recede to my past. It's happening less and less. I live for the day when it happens no more.

My Wii just called me...




...and said it NEEDS one of these...


Go to FOX news to read about Panasonic's new 150" Plasma TV. (Remember the tiny little 103 incher cost $70,000!)

Do you want to be healed?


The question posed to the paralytic in John 5:6 seems a little dumb at first with the answer seemingly being an obvious yes, but Dan Phillips over at Pyromaniacs points out the reality behind this question. Whether it's concerning a person's salvation or a handicap/weakness/addiction they may have the answer might not always be what you think. The following clipped from his blog goes a long way to explain why some seem to always drift back to, or never want to leave in the first place, situations or afflictions that most of us would flee from in an instant if we were posed this question.

Much as you and I might recoil from another's state in life, that person might not share our revulsion. One can grow to identify with a condition, to find meaning and individuality and significance in something that of itself offers nothing desirable whatever. Whether it be a natural handicap or a totally different weakness, failing, misery, affliction or sin, we can come to think of ourselves as Noble Sufferers, as Tragic Victims, as Tormented Souls. So (pathetically and unhealthily) rewarding is this identification, that we unknowingly have no real desire to be parted from our badge of uniqueness, our gimmick, our shtick.

This is particularly the case in our American culture, where we have come to prize, seek out, cultivate, and luxuriate in the status of victimhood.


Thanks Dan, it brings a little light on a puzzle lot's of us are faced with in our lives.

Life Journal Make Up (cont.)


Click here for December 15th's entry...

...and here for the 16th's

The Gospel in 40 Languages


Just found a little nugget on Pulpit Magazine that may be useful to someone out there. Here's a link to John MacArthur's church, Grace Community, that has Gospel presentations in 40 languages.

1/7/08 - Life Journal - Pillar of Salt


But Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
Genesis 26:19


In a moment of hesitation Lot's wife took one last glance at her old life. One second of disobedience was enough to include her in God's wrath upon the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Thank God we are living under His grace. How often have I looked back on things I've done in my past with longing, remembering all the supposed fun and good times I've had. I'm still completely slipping into my old self, forget about just reminiscing. I should have been a pillar of salt a long time ago. I have been freed from the destruction of this world, the most incredible gift of grace and salvation and I still look back! What am I doing? Will I ever stop?

God, why? All you've done for me and still this disobedience?

Tarpon Springs teens have it easy!



Men jump into the icy water of a lake in an attempt to grab a wooden cross on Epiphany Day in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia.

1/6/08 - Life Journal - The Nation of Ishmael


The angel of the LORD also said to her:
"You are now with child
and you will have a son.
You shall name him Ishmael,
for the LORD has heard of your misery.

He will be a wild donkey of a man;
his hand will be against everyone
and everyone's hand against him,
and he will live in hostility
toward all his brothers."
Genesis 16:11,12


Islam traces it's roots back to Abram, just as Christianity and Judaism but the "family tree" shoots off from there. Their genealogy flows through Ishmael, the son of Abram and Hagar. It's interesting that God's grace can be seen here also. He could have struck down Ishamael but he didn't. He made a separate covenant for him through his mother. We have the Muslims to always remind us of the lack of faith on Sarai's part. Our hands are against them and they do live in hostility with us.

We christians and jew have thousands of years working against any efforts we make towards peace or conversion. The "mother" of their race was cast out of her house for obeying the command of her master. We can't expect that their be no animosity between us and that we can easily convince them of the divinity of Jesus. We need to hear where they're coming from, listening with respect while still asserting our beliefs. A writer on the Desiring God blog wrote, "Should we tiptoe around with sealed lips to avoid offense? Definitely not. But the cross should be the only stumbling block, not our refusal to listen well. By showing respect through our willingness to listen to Muslims' thoughts, we may also earn their respect. If we listen to their message, they are far more likely to listen to ours. I bet you'd be surprised just how willing a Muslim friend or co-worker would be to have a conversation with you about your faith in God when you ask him about his.

Father, again it comes down to love, but do I have it in me?

Life Journal Make-Up (cont.)


Click here for December 14th's entry

B.Y.S.S.



A new mantra for me courtesy of Eddy Williams of Tampa Baptist Church. Click his name to read his entire Life Journal entry for today and learn more about Simon Peter and B.Y.S.S. (because you said so).

His question to us is "What do you need to say that to this morning?" Is Jesus telling you to do something that sounds absolutely impossible if not completely insane? Remember this group of fishermen, then meditate on Luke 1:37, "For nothing is impossible with God."

Is this girl cool or what?



Typical Florida girl, less than a week old and already sunbathing! Everything is going absolutely awesome with little Ansley. She's putting on some weight and her vital's are getting all sorted out. Thanks for all your prayers!

You can get updates from her new website www.ansleymayfield.com

Is this generation amazing? Already has a website and the rumor is that Adam has already put an iPhone on order for her.

1/5/08 - Life Journal - Drop Everything


So Abram left, as the LORD had told him;
Genesis 12:4

So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
Luke 5:11

"Follow me," Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.
Luke 5:27,28


Three great examples of unquestioning obedience. Abram, Simon and Levi. All secure in their lives. Living with family, doing well financially. All of them dropped everything and followed the command to get up and go. They immediately recognized the authority and started a new life in line with His plan for them. In hindsight we know they would later become significant leaders of a people and a world-wide movement as Abraham, Peter and Matthew but all they had was the word of God spoken to them and the faith to go through with His wishes.

It's easy for me to take a "risk" when I know the outcome of the situation. So why is it so hard for me to make this leap? If my faith is true there is no risk. Jesus told me to drop everything, pick up His cross and follow. I know the end of the story already, the victory is won and I will stand before Him one day. Where's this hesitation coming from and what exactly does following mean in my circumstance? Become a missionary? Go into full time ministry? Continue my "day job" and be a tentmaker like Paul for the rest of my life? The only answers will come through prayer and diligiently paying attention for that still small voice.

Father, speak to me, what is my cross to bear for you?

Worship - Sunday 1/6/07



The big day has arrived! We kick off our first service at Churchwell Elementary school this Sunday @ 10:30. We'll all be there getting it ready on Saturday so hopefully it looks like we know what we're doing. I'll be honest, we'll need all the help we can get, beginning with prayer. It's for Him and we can't do it without Him. Pray that we become an intrical part of the North Lakeland community and we become a church that is first on people's list when they have a need or help with anything in there day to day lives. We're here to serve you. Our door is always open.

On to the worship...

It's going to be great getting in a rehearsal at the school on Saturdays. Now we can really dial in our sound so there will be no obstructions between you and the Father. Here's our set for Sunday:

Made to Worship
God of Wonders
Indescribable
Whisper My Name
Matchless
Came to the Rescue

Come help us kick off a new era of the Church and community working together for the betterment of everyone!

Small World artist dies at 84



Joyce Carlson, who helped create the sickening sweet "It's a Small World" ride passed away at 84. They should close the ride permanently in her honor. No, seriously, close the ride!

...It's a world of laughter
A world of tears
It's a world of hopes
And a world of fears
There's so much that we share
That it's time we're aware
It's a small world after all


ACK! Now that's gonna be in my head for days!!!!!!!!!!

You can't imagine the hatred I receive when people find out I don't like this ride. Again, my thoughts don't represent those of Journey Church............ =]

1/4/08 - Life Journal - I WANT MY RAINBOW BACK!


And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth."
Genesis 9:12,13


There are few things that get people to stop and stare in awe more than God's gift of the rainbow. It's an amazing reminder of the Noahic Covenant He made with us. Noah's faith rekindled God's faith in humanity and he made this promise never to wipe out all living things in a flood every again. A reminder of His love in stormy weather.

That being said....I WANT MY RAINBOW BACK! First it was hijacked by the Rev. Jackson with his coalition. Great idea, bad results and even worse the power hungry, race dividing impulse behind his plan. Next His bow has become the symbol of Gay/Lesbian pride. How the heck did this happen? Honestly, the rainbow is a great symbol of unity, all the colors of the prism united. But they are united in one goal. Not in individual agendas.

Father, thank you for the visual reminder of your promise. I pray that I'll remember that and your love for me whenever I see one.

Life Journal Make-Up (cont.)


Click here for December 13th's entry

Life Journal Make-Up (cont.)


Click here for December 12th's entry

1/3/08 - Life Journal - Fruit from the Vine


Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Luke 3:8


The Jews thinking they had it made were like, "Hey, we're sons of Abraham, what do we have to worry about?" Sounds familiar. "Hey, I'm saved, I've got it made." That kind of thinking is what James must have had in mind when he said, "Faith without works is dead." John the Baptist was telling these people that their repentance was false without bearing fruit.

There is no way I can have received His saving grace without having the overwhelming desire to live my life for others. Anything else and it is just me crying out, "Hey, I'm a son of Abraham". I have to search my heart to see if I am truly in it for an incredible relationship with my maker or just hoping for a "get out of jail free card" and a free trip to the promised land. Without His love in me their will be no fruit, without fruit my faith is indeed dead.

Father, I keep saying it but break open the dam I've built inside me and let your love flow out so I can begin a fruitful relationship with you.

Livin' on the Edge!




I have a feeling my wife will have this ordered before I get home! Buy it here.


HT - Tony McCollum

The Parable of the Two Broads



? I don't recall this one in the Gospel anywhere ?


HT - Giggle Sugar

The Force is strong in this one.........




A padawan yielding his toy light saber chased off a man attacking his mother in Swardeston, England today. Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi Wan would be proud.

If you don't know what I'm talking about you'd better ask somebody!

May the Force be with you.

(the story above is true, all joking aside, read it here)

Mark Batterson's theme verse for 2008


...actually an excellent verse for us all...

Be strong and very courageous. Obey all the laws Moses gave you. Do not turn away from them, and you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of the Law continually. Meditate on it day and night so you may be sure to obey all that is written in it. Only then will you succeed.

Joshua 1:7-8


Check him out at evotional.com

Clayton King on Evangelism Done Right


Later during the weekend, late at night in their hotel room, all 4 of those girls decided that what they were really searching for was unconditional love and acceptance. They found that when they prayed with their christian friends and asked Jesus to forgive them of their sins. When the youth pastor shared that story with me the next morning, I realized that is how you do evangelism. You love people just as they are, right where they are, expecting nothing from them, showing them the mercy and grace of God. He will take care of the saving.

That's the guts of it, for the story of how the girls came to this decision read the whole article here. It's worth it.

We are the "oyayubi sedai"



That's what the young people in Japan are called and the title fits for people around the world. Translated it means "The Thumb Generation". Albert Mohler reports that we are using our opposable thumbs like no previous generation.

Click here for an interesting read on the cellular phone generation.

1/2/08 - Life Journal - The Fall


...she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
Genesis 3:6


That's it right there. The death sentence for millions over the ages. The first time man uses his free will to make a decision he screws it up. This one act enslaves us all to sin for eternity and separates us from the Father. Not fair you say? You weren't there? Well that's true but I guarantee you've been screwing it up yourselves, I sure know I have. One bite of the apple and we lost the image of God we were first created in and became just as wicked as the world we are exiled in.

(It's kinda condemning to all us men that Adam was the first to use the old, "Wasn't me, didn't do it, it was her" excuse. I guess it's wired into our system.)

The awesome thing here is that it is all in God's overreaching plan for us. Instead of robots he now has people that can make a choice to be with Him or against Him. A true love between Father and child, not a forced love from our Creator. He knew that second that He would send His Son to die for us and redeem us from the sin that we can't escape on our own. Only through acceptance of Jesus into our hearts and the belief and faith that through Him we have eternal life will we be allowed passed the cherubim and flaming sword and back into the garden to tast of the Tree of Life.

Father, let me be part of your plan in that I spread this beautiful story of loss/redemption, punishment/grace and judgement/mercy. If we could see with Your vision the beginning and the end it would be a no brainer but we can't. That's where faith comes in and where so many of us are lacking.

Life Journal Make Up (cont.)


Click here for December 11th's entry

Ansley Michelle...



...and the power of a community of believers prayer.

On Monday, December 31st, Ansley Michelle came into this world. She is the daughter of my pastor Adam Mayfield and his wife Lora. She was 1 lb. 15 oz.

That's correct, 1 lb. 15 oz. You see, she wasn't due to be born until February but God had other plans for her. Lora entered the hospital this past Saturday after some routine tests revealed that she had preeclampsia which is a narrowing of the blood vessels restricting the flow of blood to her major organs. Normally this isn't quite the emergency situation but with her symptoms accelerating the doctor's determined that her case had progressed to H.E.L.L.P. Syndrome which is a life-threatening obstetric complication considered by many to be a variant of pre-eclampsia.

With this news it became obvious that we would be meeting Ansley even sooner than we expected. The only question being how long could she stay in the womb. Ansley was never in immediate danger but it was becoming serious for Lora. A protocol of steroid shots was begun to help develop Ansley's lungs and steps were taken to control Lora's vitals.

Monday morning it was determined that an emergency C-Section would have to be performed and a new batch of emails was sent around the world, spurring thousands of prayers to heaven. The first answered prayer came when Lora's doctor decided that a local anethesia would be sufficient and Adam would be able to be by her side for the birth of their first child. Words can't describe what this meant to the young couple.

The next sign of God's presence was apparent in the skilled hands of the doctor. The C-Section was an incredible success and Ansley came out crying. The next few minutes and hours revealed more than prayers answered, more along the lines of an absolute miracle. Though Ansley was just under 2 lbs and at what was determined a gestational size of 28 weeks she was nothing short of perfect. Her first apgar score was an EIGHT! And a few minutes later a NINE! These would be awesome for a full term baby let alone a little girl that decided it was time almost TWELVE WEEKS EARLY!

Perhaps the greatest sign of God's hand in Ansley's birth is the fact that she hasn't been on life support for one second and has been breathing on her own since birth. The only thing that might signal the fact that she is a preemie is the feeding tube and this is only to help her rest as much as possible. They feel there is no need to attempt feeding her now in that it would just wear her out. She is truly a miracle and a result of a strong group of family and friends sending up prayer and having the faith that our God is bigger than anything that can happen in this world.

Please continue with your prayers as Ansley will be in the NICU for quite a while still and mommy is healing from her surgery let alone getting back to normal from the preeclampsia.

Thank you everyone, God bless. He is Awesome!

Life Journal Make Up Time (cont.)


Click here for December 8th's entry

...here for December 9th's entry

...and here for December 10th's entry

1/1/08 - Life Journal - Lord, Thank You for My Eve


The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."
Genesis 2:18


Seems like a no duh situation now, but God definitely used his omniscience on this occasion. Bad enough what happens with the snake with Eve calling the shots. Imagine what would have happened if Adam was left to his own devices?

New Years Day is a great time to remember how important our wives are to each of us. We can boast all we want about bringing home the bacon and all that but stay at home mom or full time worker, our wives are the CEO's of our households. Everything would get messy real quick without them around.....getting the family up - dressed - and out of the house, running any errands needed, keeping everything in order, making sure we all have clean underwear, keeping the frig stocked and food on the table, seeing to all the school situations, keeping a smile on her face when we say what a tough day we've had, loving us no matter how big of an idiot we are and how un-handsome we look when we're "just lounging" around the house, actually using the same toilet and shower as us and basically just being there for any of us whenever we need them. On top of that many of our wives have probably saved our lives. I often say that if I didn't meet Sheri I'd be dead or in jail and that's not all kidding. I wouldn't say getting married has made me grow up but I've matured and gotten some priorities in order. The number one thing my wife has done for me is bringing me into my relationship with Jesus and there's nothing I can do to repay her for that.

Father, why do I take the things that mean most to me for granted? Thank you for blessing me with such an incredible person.