Thursday, May 29, 2008

Commencement Speaker

Tonight my wife and I will be heading to Miami. I have the privilege of being the commencement speaker at the graduation of my wife's Alma Mater, Dade Christian School. My wife and I were also teachers there years ago. It is a great school, that has a long and rich history. I feel very honored to have this privilege tonight, but I would be less than honest if I said that I wasn't a little nervous. I have spoken for several different audiences and venues, but never a graduation.

I asked my wife several weeks ago what I should challenge this graduating class with? She said "just think if it were one of our kids graduating, what would you want them to hear?" That was a great response. The fact is I would want them to remember the values that I am desperately trying to build my life upon and the values that we as a Leadership Team are trying to build our ministry on; God, Truth, Love, Mission. I can not think of anything better to challenge this group of students with. I guess because these values have been driving me and challenging me to be the man God desires me to be. I pray that my words would reflect God's heart and Truth. I would appreciate your prayers.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


On Monday night my wife, Pam, and I went out by ourselves to celebrate her 3? birthday. We had a great time. It is always a pleasure to spend time alone with my wife. She is a constant reminder of God's goodness and faithfulness in my life. Over the course of dinner I asked my wife a couple of questions:
#1 What have been some of the greatest things God has shown you or done in you or through you over this last year? Basically, what have been those big God moments over the last year?

#2. What are you asking or hoping that God will do in you, through you or for you in this next year?

It was encouraging to hear my wife respond to these questions. It reaffirmed in my heart how closely she walks with Jesus and how sensitive she is to His activity and to His Spirit. I felt challenged in my heart because I thought I knew how I would answer had the questions been posed to me, but after listening to Pam I realized that I really hadn't even begun to scratch the surface of understanding how much God has been at work in my life and how much more He wants to do.

Every day God is at work, and every day He longs for us to see His greatness and His glory, but unfortunately there are probably more days than not that we miss it. We miss it, for a variety of reasons. Maybe we are too consumed with what the world puts in front of us, maybe we are too busy been stressed and burdened by the problems of this life, maybe we have grown cold and we no longer desire that which use to capture and amaze our heart or maybe we are to caught up in ourselves that somehow we have deceived ourselves into believing that we are the center of God's universe. Whatever it is I pray for myself and for any eyes that cross these ramblings that we would shed all of that quickly and begin once again the process of training our hearts toi focus on the eternal beauty of Christ.

Here's a challenge answer the questions for yourself...go ahead I dare you. Don't let a day go by where you miss God's activity. May He continue to enlarge your view of His greatness.

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him—"

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

"Devoted to do good"

This past Sunday we concluded our series, "Sound Truth Sound Life." Over the last nine weeks we have been studying verse by verse through the book of Titus. And, although I was not present in our services this weekend I am so proud of our people. It is awesome when as a pastor you can see the Spirit of God at work in the lives of His people. As a pastor you understand that it has nothing to do with you, but all to do with the power of God and so you are just so privilege to be a part of it. As we concluded this series this past weekend we felt as a Leadership Team that somehow we needed to be a small part of God's instrument of grace and blessings to the people of Myanmar who have been devastated by the recent cyclone. The death toll is just staggering and the images from this devastation just heart breaking. The pictures were just too gruesome to post. Through one of our guys on staff we were able to connect with a missionary over there who runs an orphanage that was destroyed as a result of this storm. As a Leadership Team we felt strongly that we needed to give this week's entire offering to help rebuild this orphanage.

The challenge was put before our people and they responded. Through the grace of God and through the obedience of His people over $30, 000 was collected and will be sent over to help rebuild the orphanage. Praise God! The key verse of study this weekend was Titus 3:14. My prayer is that as a people of God and as a church body we would strive to live this way for the glory of God and for the sake of every man, woman and child who need to hear the great news of God's amazing grace.

Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives. Titus 3:14

A Diary of Private Prayer

Three years ago a wonderful couple in our church gave me a wonderful book of prayers written by John Baillie. John Baillie was a Scottish theologian that died in 1960. He has an incredible testimony and his writings are inspiring. I pulled out his diary of prayers again recently and they have once again encouraged my heart. I thought I would share one with you...

Holy Father, from whom alone all good proceeds, let the Christian graces of faith, hope and love be every day more firmly established within me.
O God, I believe-
that You rule all things in wisdom and in righteousness:
that You have called me to be Your loyal servant:
that You do rightfully demand of me complete subservience to Your will:
that in Jesus Christ You have shown me a way of salvation whereby I may be delivered from my sins.
O God, I hope-
for the continuance of Your daily mercies:
for the lessening of sin's hold upon me:
for growth in grace and in true holiness from day to day:
for a day when I shall know even as also I am known.
O God, I love You-
who Yourself are love:
who in love did create me and in love does still preserves me:
who did so love me as to send Your Son to suffer and die that I may live for You and with You:
who has commanded me to show love to You by loving my neighbor for Your glory.
Help my unbelief, O God, give me a greater patience in my hope, and make me more constant in my love. In loving let me believe and in believing let me love and in loving and in believing let me hope for a more perfect love and a more unwavering faith, through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen!

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Yesterday my wife, Pam, and I celebrated our 11 year wedding anniversary. We spent our anniversary in Sarasota as I had the privilege to marry my friend and co-worker Levi and his fiance Julie. These 11 years have been awesome. I have been blessed with the world's greatest woman. She is an amazing mom, a wonderful wife and a great friend. Every year we take this week and go on vacation.

Well today we began our family vacation. We arrived in Orlando this morning and took the kids to Aquatica. I was a little leery to say the least. My wife and I enjoyed this park last month when we got away by ourselves. I was not sure if our kids were going to enjoy it. Man, was I wrong. My kids had an absolute blast.

It was such a joy to watch them playing in the water and going down the kiddie slides. They could not get enough of the water, the slides, and the sprinklers. It was so good to see my wife and kids just laughing and having fun. Ministry at times can become very demanding and if you are not careful it can come at the detriment of your family. One of my constant prayers to God is to always cause my heart to keep things in priority. The pictures that were captured in my mind and heart today will help in that quest.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!!!

My life has been blessed richly by the lives of incredible individuals. One of those such people is my mom. The woman is absolutely incredible. My mom has taught me so much about working hard, loving people and serving Jesus wherever He has you. My mom has been through so much in her life but like the energizer bunny she keeps on going and going. I thank God for my mom and for her endless prayers for me and her Christlike example and witness in my life. My mom is a woman of small stature but her life speaks loudly.

I am also blessed to have the greatest woman on the planet as my wife. My wife, Pam, is just an amazing woman. God teaches me and speaks to me in so many different ways through her life. I love watching my wife every night spend time with God through His Word. I love to see my wife and hear my wife pour into the lives of younger woman. I love to see my wife use her God given talents of singing and playing in the context of ministry. I love spending time with my wife, because she truly is my best friend. I love to see her heart each day as she plays, nurtures and cares for our two kids. She is an incredible mom. Even the challenge of having a child with special needs could not dampen my wife's spirit or heart. God has truly wired my wife to be a mom. I look forward to when my kids are older when they can fully understand how awesome their mom is...not to mention maybe they can start kicking in some funds for the Mother's Day gifts...I know that's wishful thinking.

Tonight I hope to take my wife out for a special Mother's Day date night, but right now I am sitting on the couch with her watching "Mary Poppins." Someone shoot me now, but it is Mother's Day and it was her choice. I thank God for my mom and for my kid's mom. Make sure that you take the fullest opportunity today to thank and show appreciation to those special women in your life. God Bless.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Staff Fun Day

Today we had a blast. We had the fist ever Summit Staff Fun Day. It was a half day of just silly games, lots of laughs and fun. It is such a great privilege to be able to serve God in a full time capacity but then to serve with a group of people that you love and respect is just icing on the cake. We have a great TEAM at Summit. No one is ever joking for position, trying to out do someone else. That just does not exists on our staff. It truly is a God thing. Everyone understands that this is a Holy Spirit thing and a team thing. I respect each person on our staff and I appreciate so much their giftedness, heart and spirit. God has truly brought us together for such a time as this. What I respect so much about our is that they not only understand the mission but they seek to live it out in their daily lives. There is such a commitment to the Gospel and to the mission of living it and sharing it with every man, woman and child. Today was truly a fun day, but the reality is that working with this team makes every day a crazy, and fun-filled day.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Blessings of God

4 The word of the LORD came to me, saying, 5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." 6 "Ah, Sovereign LORD," I said, "I do not know how to speak; I am too young." 7 But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, 'I am too young.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the LORD. 9 Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, "I have put my words in your mouth. Jeremiah 1:4-9

Over the last year these verses and a host of others has been a great source of encouragement to me in my regards to my son Max. Just over a year ago my son was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. He was eighteen months of age and severely delayed in almost every area of development. My son was withdrawn, detached and in his own world. It has been quite a journey for my wife and I, but God has been so faithful and good to us through this time. I know these are select verses that were spoken directly to the Prophet Jeremiah, but I can tell you that God has used these verses to speak to my heart concerning my son and God's purposes for his life.

It has been incredible to see God's power and healing in my son's life. Over the last year we have seen God draw him out of his own secluded world. Today my son engages us, his friends and his peers. Today my son responds to his name, follows one, two and even three step commands. Today my son is learning to communicate more with signs and words rather than tantrums. Today my son can give and receive affection from us. Today we have a toddler who runs, jumps and climbs all through our home. Today we have a toddler that loves to laugh, smile and play.

Now we know that we have a long road ahead of us, but it has been amazing to see God's faithfulness and power at every turn, every step and every bump. I am trying desperately to cling to God's power and promises. I try to remind my heart every day that long before I knew my son, God knew him and set him apart. There is so much comfort in that. God has me still dreaming and believing great things for my son, not because of therapy, or special schooling or alternative medicine, though we are grateful for all of that. No, I am believing and trusting in God and believing that He alone has huge plans for our boy! Wherever you find yourself today and whatever hurdles stand in your way, don't lose hope. Cling faithfully to God and rest in His power and promises.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Great Day!

Today my wife and I had the privilege to go down to our Naples Campus which was moving locations. We had been meeting at Barron Collier High School, but today we moved to Pine Ridge Middle School which fits our needs a lot better. The principal is a believer and has been so accommodating to us, which is so great and the rent is cheaper. God is truly good!

We are still in our study of the book of Titus entitled "Sound Truth Sound Life". I was given the task of communicating on verses 11 through 15 from chapter two. I really enjoyed studying this passage and reflecting on Jesus Christ our Salvation and Hope. We had Restoration Church join us today. It was fantastic! Their new facility on 951 is ready to go but the county has not released/approved their CO yet. Finding themselves without a place to go, their pastor who is a really good guy decided to bring his congregation over and to worship with us. It was an awesome time. It was so great to see the body being the body. We say it all the time, there is only ONE church in SWFL and today it was awesome to have a small taste of that fact. It is so wonderful to be a small part of what God is doing in SWFL and to be a part of the mission to bring the Gospel to every man, woman and child in this region.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

African Aids 5k Race

Today I ran in a 5k race in Fort Myers. It was hosted by New Hope Presbyterian and all the proceeds went to help World Missions efforts in bringing relief to individuals living with aids in Africa. They had a pretty good turn out with almost 200 participants. The weather was great and I truly had a good time. I ran with our most recent addition to our Summit Staff, Jay Richardson, who is serving as our Naples Campus Pastor. Jay has been training for the Iron Man. Today he served as my coach. He helped me keep my pace and he pushed me every step of the way and it worked. Today I posted my best time and my fastest mile to date. It is amazing what we can accomplish with just a little push and encouragement.
It got me thinking about whose life in my circle of influence could I be pushing and encouraging right now. What was funny was that once we were finished Jay turned to me and said "you still got more in you." Could it be that those around us have more in them, and they don't even know it. What they may need is just a little encouragement, push and a word of vision spoken into their hearts and lives. Just a thought, but worth taking a minute to think and look around your circle right now. Who is it that God could be leading you to push and challenge. Don't miss out on this opportunity. Let's get as many to finish strong as we possibly can for the glory of God!