Thursday, January 31, 2008

Back in December I had the privilege to go to the Holy Land with 26 other evangelical pastors. It truly was an amazing experience. One of the men I was there with who I have truly grown to respect wrote the following entry on his blog. It tells of one of the experiences we had while we were in Jerusalem. It was one of the experiences that I found quite interesting. If you have a moment I would encourage you to check out some of the links. God Bless!

In December, 2007, I was able to visit Jerusalem for the first time. We had an extremely unique and even historical moment when we were able to observe the Menorah, that has been made by the Temple Institute for the future rebuilt Solomon’s Temple, moved to Temple Square. I was able to take a few seconds of this prophetic moment and posted it on You Tube. (You can see it HERE.)

More recently, the
Temple Institute, made a video of the journey to the Menorah’s new location as well and someone has posted it on You Tube as well. You can view it HERE.
If you are ever in Jerusalem, you should make visiting the Temple Institute a priority. It is fascinating to see how Jewish Rabbis are preparing even now for the arrival (actually RETURN) of the Messiah. For the Christian Believer, such actions should cause us to live like we actually believe the Doctrine of the Eminent Return of Christ.
For additional videos of some of my sights in the streets of Jerusalem that night, click

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Living with Purpose

One of the things that I use in the morning in conjunction with my personal study through the Scriptures is Henry Blackaby's "Experiencing God Day by Day". Most devotionals can be extremely cheesy or very superficial, but Henry has a way of bringing the Truth of God's Word to light in a very powerful and convicting way. I wanted to share a brief excerpt from this morning's writing.

"God does everything for a reason. God met Saul of Tarusus on the Damascus road for a purpose. Saul had planned to persecute Christians, but his encounter with Christ changed him forever. God did more in that encounter than save Paul from his sin. God began to reveal His will for Paul's life."

I just love that. I think a lot of times as Christians we fail to realize that God has a purpose and plan for us and so we meander through life aimlessly without passion, urgency or direction. I hope that I will never lose sight of God's purposes and plans and I hope that as a husband, father, pastor and friend I can help and assist others to discover theirs. One of the powerful things about the Apostle Paul's life is that he pursued God's plan with fervency, and tenacity and in all things he sought to be faithful to the Lord. I pray the same for my life. It's great to start well, but it is even better to finish well! So if you're reading this my question to you is, do you know God's plan for your life and if you do what are you doing about it and if you don't what are you doing about it? May God reacquaint your heart even today with His plans for you and may you be relentless in pursuing Him and His plans. The Lord Bless You!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

A McDonald's Moment...

Today was a great day. We had a very powerful worship service. I truly admire our band for their commitment to usher people into God's presence. As wonderful as the service was the experience that my wife, my kids and our extended daughter Erin had at McDonald's was even sweeter. We were sitting enjoying our expensive lavish meal when we struck up a conversation with one of the employees who was cleaning the tables around us. I remembered her from one of my many previous visits...what can I say I am in training! Anyway we began to ask her about church. We invited her to try out a service at Summit, that's when God really opened the door to a cool time of ministry.

She was hesitant to the invitation because she has a four year old daughter who is autistic and she was worried about whether we would be able to handle and accommodate her. We immediately began to share about our little man, Max, and his diagnosis. Immediately a door opened and we were able to take the conversation deeper. The pain and discouragement in this woman's eyes was very noticeable. She looked like a person who was in desperate need of support and encouragement. At one point she even asked us if God was punishing her for her sins by giving her this child. My heart broke and my wife was so quick to address that question and reassure this woman of God's love. There is so much more that I could write about this encounter, but I think I will just ask you to pray for this woman and her child. Pray that God would intervene and encourage this woman's heart, don't worry that you don't know her name God does.

Today's divine appointment brought greater clarity to why God has blessed us with Max. You see my wife and I have been introduced to an entire new world. Every man, woman and child has a new face for us and we want to be faithful in holding God's heart in this new circle God has us in.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

My Super Woman...

I am so blessed to have the wife that I do. Not only is she a wonderful mom and an amazing wife, but she is an incredible follower of Christ. Her passion and dedication for Christ convicts me and pushes me. There are not many days that go by that I do not see her spending time in the Word and building her personal intimacy with God. As busy as she is with being a full time mom, part-time employee and keeping up with me, she still finds time to disciple and pour into the lives of three young ladies. Through it all she never complains. She has this amazing knack of pressing forward and doing all she can do to honor God, not out of duty but out of a pure desire to maximize the life God has given her.

Last year, my wife decided to take up the guitar for her own personal time of worship. She already knows how to play the piano and key board and her voice is just awesome. Like everything else she sets her mind to, she gave us herself to learning how to play the guitar. I have been amazed at how good she has gotten in such a short amount of time. What I love about my wife is her humility. You will never catch her boasting about any of the things she can do. My wife though she serves in a fashion that keeps her in front of people would much prefer to be in the background-behind the scenes. That fact at times becomes a challenge in stepping out to take new roles. Over the last few months she has taken the role of lead worshipper for our women's ministry. Last night she led worship for our women's gathering, and even though she was not feeling well she pulled through and allowed God to use her. I continue to be amazed at God's activity in and through my wife's life. I feel so honored to share life with such an incredible woman. I just pray that I can love and serve her the way God calls me to.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Young Guns

One of the things that is awesome about working at Summit is it's commitment to raising, training and giving the up and coming generation a taste of ministry. Our staff here at Summit is made up of some really sharp young men and women who lead in the areas that range from pre-school, to college all the way to our worship ministry. And if this band of young people remain grounded in the Word with their hearts geared and focused on Christ then there is no telling what this group will go on to do. One of the things that I love about this group is their vision and passion for the future. I met with the group that I am directly responsible for overseeing a couple of days ago for lunch. They all went to the Orange Conference last weekend and they came back absolutely charged and ready to take the hill for Christ. I was totally pumped by their excitement. I was impressed by the fact that they had actually processed through the things they learned at this conference and they had also filtered through what we could be doing here at Summit. It was a great meeting, but now it's time to put feet to these ideas.

It's time to ramp things up even more because there could be nothing worse to a young leader then not to be empowered and not to be given the opportunity to challenge the process and affect change. I am looking forward to what this team of young people come up with in the next few months. I hope I can keep up and channel some of their energy and enthusiasm with the limited experience I have been able to gain through my journey in ministry. God is doing some amazing things in and through Summit and I am so grateful for the Team He has assembled here. I pray that we would continue to strive to glorify God through presenting the Gospel to every man, woman and child. What a ride!!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Woe is me...not really

Today I am in Orlando for a church planters and pastors conference. The goal of this conference is to really understand God's heart to reach every man, woman and child and to take that heart and mandate and flesh it out in the context of our ministry. The conference has gotten off to a good start. I have to admit that my attitude about being here was less than godly to say the least. As my buddy Jordan always says, I just wanted to take my football and go home... The fact is I hate being away from my family and I had a fear that the time was going to be extremely lame. This morning I read the verses below and I have got to say that God convicted my heart over my bad attitude and narrow mindset.

“Behold how good and how pleasant it is For brothers to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, coming down upon the beard, Even Aaron’s beard, Coming down upon the edge of his robes. It is like the dew of Hermon, Coming down upon the mountains of Zion; For there the Lord commanded the blessing—life forever.” Psalm 133,1-3, NAS

The very heart of God is that we, His children, His church would live together in unity. In John 17 we find one of the most heart-rending prayers recorded by Jesus, where He prays to the father that He would make us one. Today I was reminded that my role is to strive to live in unity with my brothers and sisters in Christ. Had God not changed my heart and attitude before I got here there would of been no way that I could have been any form of vessel that God could use to promote unity. It is interesting how easy it is to miss the purpose of God and His commands when you are so self-absorbed. Regardless of what happens over the next two days I pray that God will keep my heart and attitude right. I pray that I would remember that I need to strive to build unity in His body. The irony of all of this is one of the purposes of this conference is to build unity. I have got such a long way to go, but I appreciate God's grace. My advice the next time that you begin to whine about something, take a step back and ask yourself what does God want and what does God want to do in and through me in light of this thing? At least that is what I hope I will learn to do.

Friday, January 4, 2008

I think my daughter has a future as a Disney Princess...
I love this woman crazy...
Seriously, my son has game...