Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Emily...

Today is our little girl, Emily's, 2nd birthday. So in honor of her birthday I thought I would write a special post to my little Queen Bee.

Dear Emily,

Happy Birthday! Your mom and I feel so blessed to have you in our lives. You are such a joy. We know that God has great plans for your life. As much as we pray for your health, well being, protection and future, we pray even more for the ever most important decision of your life and that is Jesus Christ. We pray that as you grow, your understanding of who Christ is would grow as well, and we hope that at an early age you would place your faith and trust in Christ. Our hope is that Christ would be your greatest need, your greatest desire and your greatest pursuit.
Proverbs 30:31 states "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised." May you grow up to be a woman who always fears the Lord.

We look forward to see what God is going to do with your dare-devil attitude, joyful smile and outgoing personality. I am already praying for your husband, not only that he would be a godly man, but also a strong man who could handle a pistol like you...just kidding.

Watching you grow Emily has been such an amazing experience. I feel as though I get to see God's activity daily in your life. You get smarter and prettier by the day. I enjoy every moment I get with you. The scarey thing is that I think you already know that you have me whipped, that's something I will need to work on...I hope that as you grow you will come to discover and know that your mom and I love you very much and we will always be here for you. We pray that we will be able to live out Christ in front of you and we pray that our relationship would always be one that is centered and grounded in Truth. Happy Birthday Emily, we love you. I want to leave you with this prayer that I pray over you every night...

"The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace."

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Intimacy with God

I began reading the Book of Mark this morning. I love reading through the Gospels because no matter how many times you read through them God always seems to show you something new. This morning I got to verse 35 of chapter one and it got my mind racing..."Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went to a solitary place, where He prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, they exclaimed: "Everyone is looking for you."

The God Man, Jesus, in his humanity made it a priority to draw away from the crowd and commune with the Father. What I love about this is that the disciples say everyone is looking for you and yet Jesus knew that even the demands of the day or the needs of the people could NOT trump His personal time with the Father. Jesus knew what many of us fail to understand and that is what we do can not take precedent over who we are to become. So many times I jump into my day without realizing that the best thing I can do for my spirit, mind, soul, and life is to start the day pursuing intimacy with God. It is amazing how my responses, my perspective, my sensitivity to the people around me, my heart set, is so different when I don't spend that quality time with God through His Word and in prayer. I pray that pursuit of God and my discipline to seek a solitary place to commune with God in prayer and His Word would always be from a heart that is desperate for Him and not out of religious guilt or monotonous routine. Our guest speaker from this passed weekend said something that I thought was great and that was "we do not read the Bible to finish, we read it to change!" Don't allow your personal time with God to just be something you check off your to do list.

If you have not spent some time this morning or today with the Creator I would encourage you to invest the time. May God always be your greatest need, your greatest desire and your greatest pursuit. Fight for that solitary time and may the Lord increase your view of who He is and may He give you and even a deeper hunger for His Truth. If Jesus withdrew from the crowd often how much more do we need to...just another rambling. God Bless You!

Monday, October 27, 2008

My Prayer is Pure...

My reading plan has me currently reading through the Book of Job and the Book of Acts. Today I was reading in chapter 16 of Job and I was floored. If you are not familiar with the Book of Job, I would encourage you to read it some time, especially in light of all the problems our nation is currently facing. There is no doubt that we have problems, but when you read the book of Job, God has a strange way of bringing things into proper perspective. You see Job was a man who had it all and lost pretty much everything except his own life and his wife. His belongings were all taken from him, his children this guy with from sitting on top of the hill to being underneath it. But all the while God was present and even in the darkest and the hardest of times Job holds fast to God. In Job 15, Job again is taking a barrage of assault once again from so called friends and nay-sayers, and in chapter 16 we see his reply. What I love about his reply is that you can fully see it comes from a heart that lives in deep intimacy with God. Job recants the things that have happened to him and how they have made him much so that this is what he states in verses 11 & 12; "God has turned me over to the ungodly and thrown me into the clutches of the wicked. All was well with me, but He shattered me; He seized me by the neck and crushed me." Wow! Have you ever felt like that. Like some how God has allowed your walls to come crashing down on you. But here's what you got to catch. Job, never loses sight of who God is and never allows his heart to lose reverence for the almighty. The key verses for me that showed me the depth of Job's heart were at the end of the chapter. Catch this...

My face is red with weeping,dark shadows ring my eyes;
yet my hands have been free of violence and my prayer is pure.
"Earth, do not cover my blood; may my cry never be laid to rest!
Even now my witness is in heaven;my advocate is on high.
My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God; on behalf of a human being he pleads with God as one pleads for a friend.

Job says even in spite of the hill of crap that I have had to go through my hands are free of violence and my prayer is pure! That is a heart that is centered and connected to God. Too many times I allow my circumstances to define my reality and because of that I miss the joy that can only come from Christ Himself. There is no doubt that in this life we will have problems, but Jesus said to take heart for He had overcome the world! May your prayer stay pure and may your heart find rest in God's grace and God's provision. God Bless You.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Do You Really Believe?

This weekend we had a guest speaker, Jeremy Kingsley, speak at all of our services at both campuses. Jeremy is an author, a true evangelist and the founder and director of One Life Ministries. Jeremy speaks to hundreds of thousands of people every year around the globe. He is one of the key speakers for Compassion International and he has a huge heart for God and a deep brokenness for the lost. Jeremy challenged our people to search their hearts and answer the question; do I really believe? Jeremy spoke from John 3:14. A really cool verse that Jesus spoke to Nicodemus. I have heard many evangelists use John 3:16, but this was the first time that I heard one use this verse and tie salvation in with the story of God's deliverance of His chosen people the Israelites out of Egypt. I encourage you to go to and take a listen. It will be well worth your 30 minute investment.

Our staff and ministry council were fasting and praying this week for Jeremy, for our services and for all those who do not have a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. It was awesome to see the fruition of our prayers as many gave their lives to Christ this weekend. The Spirit was so thick and so powerful in each of our services. It was so awesome to see God move in and through the lives of His people. I left so encouraged and so thankful that we serve a God who is so merciful and so gracious that He desires that none should perish, no not one. I ask that you pray for all of those who made decisions this weekend. Please pray that God would continue to work in and through the lives of these individuals. Please also pray for our ministry that God would continue to lead us to fight for the hearts of every man, woman and child.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cool Moments...

If for some reason you are a person who has stumbled across this blog due to extreme bordem or unability to sleep you may have read at times my challenge to enjoy the snap shot God moments that unfold right before our eyes. This morning when I got back from the gym was one of those moments. Usually when I get home the troops, Mom, Max and Emily, are still in bed. This morning they were all in the kitchen. My kids were sitting at their table coloring in their books, yeah, that right, in their books, not on the wall, not on the cat, in their books. That wasn't the best part. The best part was my wife, just racing around the house with them because they asked her. My super wife, is not only an incredible friend to me and amazing support, but she is an amazing mother to our two kids.

Everytime I see my wife, Pam, with our kids it is a powerful reminder of how truly selfless and loving she is. Even at 7am with sleep still in her eyes she can lose herself and serve our kids, just because they asked her to race and she knew it would make them smile. The snap shot came in the realization that she has and continues to do that for me. When I told her God was calling me into full time ministry she quit her lucrative career job and became a teacher so that she could have the time to be more involved in my ministry. When I told her that I felt God was moving us away from the only place she ever knew as home, she encouraged me to follow God's leading. When I told her that God was telling me to leave the highest paying securest job I ever had to start a church, she said let's go. These are just some of the moments, there have been too many to list, but today when I heard my wife respond to our kids request as hard as it may be to believe I thought of all the times throughout our marriage, that in my own way, I have said "let's race", and she confidently grabbed my hand and we were off. To my beautiful wife, in the words of Max, let's race...I love you!

So if you are not asleep yet, and you're still reading let me encourage you once again to enjoy those snap shot God moments. I am telling you they are a jolt to the heart and fuel for the soul. Just a another crazy rambling! God Bless.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Ups and Downs and In-Betweens...

This morning I was reading in the Book of Acts. It's a great book. I always enjoy reading through Acts and seeing the movement, passion and zeal of the early church. This morning I was reading through chapter 14 and in that chapter Paul and Barnabas were in Lystra and when they arrive they see a lame man who had been that way from birth. The man was so in tuned to what Paul was speaking and in a quick moment Paul makes eye contact with this gentlemen and says "stand to your feet." Could you imagine that. This man has never walked before, and he was probably seen as an outcast and yet in that moment, through the power of God he jumps to his feet and begins to walk. Now you can just imagine the amazement on the faces of those who were there to witness this. They were so amazed that the crowd begin to chant "the gods have taken human form and have come down to us!" Yeah, they totally miss what has just happened, but it doesn't stop there. They begin to call Barnabas Zeus and Paul Hermes and they want to now offer sacrifices to them.

Now you would think this is pretty cool right, wrong! Paul and Barnabas tear their clothes run out into the middle of the crowd and try their best to instruct the crowd on where the attention needs to go, but even after their strong words of instruction it was difficult keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them. If that wasn't bad enough a group of Jews show up win the crowd over and they go from cheering Paul as a god to stoning him and dragging him out of the city and leaving him for dead. I would say that is some serious ups and downs. But I love verse 20 "But after the disciples had gathered around him, he(Paul)got up and went back into the city."

Here were the take homes for me...

#1. Even in our successes don't allow people to raise us up. In all that we do we must make sure that all the glory goes to God, He is the only one that is worthy of it.

#2. Don't get caught up in the applause of me, because the very people that applaud you today can be the same ones that stone you later... It is much better to live for the audience of one!

#3. Even when we get knocked down we must be willing to get back up. Whatever it is that God has called us to we must remain undeterred and confident that "He who has begun a good work, will complete it! Don't give up!

Just some ramblings! Hope you have a great day and remember that in the ups, down and in-betweens God is there and He reigns. God Bless You.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Halloween is not looking so good...

My friend Mike sent me this comic strip. I thought it was hysterical. Enjoy!
God Bless.

Halloween just may suck this year...

Sunday, October 19, 2008


This weekend was an absolute whirl wind of emotions. On Saturday morning I did a funeral for a 39 year old woman; faithful wife and mother of three. I received a call from her a couple of weeks ago asking me to speak at her funeral. She was very exact on what she wanted. She wanted me to clearly articulate the hope she had because of Jesus Christ and her deepest desire that her loved ones who had not come to know Christ would not wait another hour. She wanted every person who would attend her funeral to hear the Gospel and have a chance to respond to it.

It was incredible to me that this woman who knew her hour was fast approaching because of the brutal attack on her body due to pancreatic cancer, was concerned about her loved ones. She knew her future had been decided and she knew first hand that as the Apostle Paul stated to “live is Christ and to die is gain.” All that being said it was still tough to stand up at that pulpit and to see her youngest child just sitting on her daddy’s lap and weeping profusely and at the same time wipe the tears away from her dad’s eyes. It was a scene that just struck my heart profoundly. My heart and prayers go out to this family. May God’s grace that is sufficient for every circumstance comfort and strengthen this family during this time.

Four hours later I was marrying our pre-school director, Katie. Katie is not just a co-worker; she has truly become a part of our family. My wife has spent the last year and a half mentoring and pouring into Katie’s life. Katie has become like a big sister to our kids. It was a pleasure to marry Katie. We are so thrilled for Katie and Rob and I know God will do great things in and through their marriage.

Truly a whirl wind of a day. These two occasions got me thinking about how quick our time here on this earth can go. The Bible does state that tomorrow is not promised, that our lives are like vapor, but for some reason that doesn’t seem to take root, for some reason we live our lives as though tomorrow will be there and I will be around for years. I’m not saying this to scare us, but to wake us up. Today is important.

Today I must make sure that my wife knows that I love her more today than the day we stood in our home church exchanging vows. Today is the day that I make sure that I maximize every hug, every playful moment, every push on the swing with my kids. Today is the day that my family knows how blessed I feel to be a part of our their lives and how blessed I feel that they are a part of mine. Today is the day that my friends know that it is a privilege to share life with them. Today is the day to get on with what God has called me to. Today is the day to not miss the opportunities that GOD WILL present to me to be His extension and tangible expression of hope, grace and love.

What’s your today look like? I challenge you not to miss TODAY. I would not want to take this moment for granted by not telling you this, the greatest thing you can do with your today, is settle the issue of eternity. God loved us enough to send Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins and be our sacrifice. If TODAY, you haven’t settled that issue, TODAY is the day of salvation. Grab Jesus today and let Him fill all of your TODAYS!

In first 1 Samuel chapter 20 it states this “Yet as surely as the LORD lives and as you live, there is only a step between us and death."

Take a step TODAY toward Christ!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Red-Neckin' It

I love my Fridays because it is usually the day that I just get to hang out with my wife and kids. Even though at times my kids can get crazy and loud and even annoying I love that Fridays we just get to hang out as a family. Today while my wife and daughter were shopping, my son, Max, and I went over to the wonderful outdoor world that is Bass Pro Shops. He absolutely loved it. He had a blast looking at all the fish in their giant fish tank. He went bonkers each time one of the fish just stopped right in front of him. It was awesome to see my son's face light up at the sight of these freakishly looking creatures. If that wasn't enough we ventured up to the second floor and played around in their tents. I was just waiting for it to collapse on us. Yup there we were ruffin' it. There is nothing like enjoying the great outdoors in the comfort of some nice cool AC. As we are laying in the cots in the tent a thought did pop into my mind; what if when Max gets older he actually likes this outdoor stuff then what? I am a city kid, I know nothing about fishing, hunting or camping, nor do I have an interest. I guess we will cross that bridge when we get to it, for now Bass Pro Shops is our place for some great outdoor adventure...Next week we're gonna see if they will let us test drive one of their four wheelers through the store and grill some dogs!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Calling ALL Prayer Warriors...

The below announcement and challenge will be shared this weekend at Summit. As a Leadership Team we felt that God was calling our people to a time of prayer and fasting. I hope that you will consider joining us in this time of personal renewal and corporate pursuit of God. Blessings to you!

Calling ALL Prayer Warriors…
We are in the midst of one of the most crucial times in our nation’s recent history. We are seeing all around us the effects of the stock market, job market, real estate market, and an overall down turn in our national economy that has not been seen since the days of the great depression. With one of the most important elections of our life time quickly drawing close it is so crucial that we as a body of believers seek our God in prayer on behalf of our nation.

Regardless of your political views or stance, we all can agree that what we need is for God to send His grace and mercy to heal our land.
2 Chronicles 7:14 states this “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” That is exactly what we are seeking, healing for our nation and spiritual revival to sweep across our country for sake of the Gospel and for the glory of God.

Therefore, the Staff of Summit Church would like to encourage you to participate in our 10-4 FAST…

Beginning on Saturday, October 25, 10 days before the election and concluding Monday, November 3rd, the day before the election on the 4th we are hoping to have at least 10 people fasting and praying each day during this time. If you are physically able we would love for you to consider signing up and committing to fast and pray on one of these days.

Please stop by the Connection Center today sign up and pick up your prayer guide. We will gather at the University Campus in the main auditorium as a corporate body on Tuesday, November 4th from 7am to 8am to pray as a church. We serve a God of prayer!

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Joy of the Lord is Your Strength

This morning I was reading through chapter 8 of Nehemiah and a verse jumped of the page and jolted my heart. I knew God wanted me to share it with my lovely wife and I did, but I began to meditate more on the verse as the day went on and what God showed me was incredible. "The joy of the Lord is your strength."

God desires that we experience His strength as we delight in His joy. That sounds so simple and yet so many times I lose sight of that. I fall victim to the business, the stress or just the general noise of life that chokes out or suffocates the joy that God desires that I delight in which would give me the strength to endure and win over these very things that seem to press in on me. The joy of the Lord gives us strength again it sounds so easy, but what is about us that does not believe this or does not live in this truth daily? I am not sure what it is for you, but for me it at times can be the trap that I am too busy doing for God that I miss just being with Him. No amount of doing will ever compare to just being, truly just being still and KNOWING that He is God.

Psalm 16:11 states this "You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." God wants to lead us to the place of joy which is His presence and give us eternal pleasures that are at His right hand. That is awesome stuff and great truth that we as followers of Christ need to hold on to and baste in daily. Again, I know I am being redundant here, the joy of the Lord is your strength. As I meditated on that today here is one thing God said to me about delighting in His joy and therefore experiencing His it is. Don't miss the God moments!

I know that may not seem profound, but it encouraged me. I run almost every morning and as I head back home I see the effects of the sun rising in the east...that is a God The same God who created that sunrise and causes that to happen daily, holds my life. This weekend my son, Max, initiated play with his sister all weekend long for the first time...God A reminder that God is at work in my son bringing healing to his body and no diagnosis is going to trump God or rob my son of God's glory being seen in His life.

I'm telling you the list goes on and on and I know it does for you too. So here it is, yes once more, "the joy of the Lord is your strength." Did you catch that? It is your strength, not could be or it should be or even hope to be; no it is, but the fact is we must each experience this joy that leads to strength for ourselves. So my prayer for you is that today you would not miss those God moments. Just another rambling. God Bless!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Things that are on my mind...

I have been truly slacking on my blogging as of late. My schedule the last couple of weeks has been insane. I thought I would blog about some of the things that have been on my mind these days. These are in no particular order...

#1. The Presidential race. To be extremely honest I am not really excited about either candidate. There is just something about each of these gentlemen that rubs me the wrong way and that leads me to believe that what we see is not really the whole truth...that's just my opinion. In any regard I will take full advantage of my right and privilege as an American and cast my vote. I hope you will too.

#2. The ever increasing down turn in our economy.
I have seen so many families in our church lose their jobs and homes as a result of our dying economy. I have been praying that God would use this time to bring about spiritual revival. It is usually in times like this that people begin to discover their desperate need for God.

#3. My kids...every day it seems like my children are changing more and more and growing up faster and faster. I can't help but to think about their future and about God's plan for their lives. I can't help but to think about my role and responsibility as their father. I desperately want to be a consistent model of God's heart and character to my kids.

#4. The Dolphins...that's right we're 2 and 2...because we're the Miami Dolphins, Miami Dolphins, Miami Dolphins #1...we're in the air, we're on the ground, we're always in control and when we say MIAMI we're talking SUPER BOWL!!!

#5. family and I are scheduled to get out of town to enjoy a few days at Disney and attend the candle light vigil at Epcot. I also want to get away for a couple of days with my beautiful wife without our kids...oh, that would be nice right about now.

#6. The future of Summit Church and my own role in the mission and vision of this ministry. God has done some amazing things in our short five year history and He continues to work in these recent days. I believe that the best and most effective days of our ministry are ahead of us and I believe that God is calling us to a greater commitment and greater dependency upon Him. It is going to be crucial in the next couple of months to get more of our people fully involved and engaged in the mission. It is really important to get more of our folks from being just spectators to being devoted players in this journey. I praise God and thank Him for all He has done, but there is still so much to do for the Kingdom and for God's glory.

#7. My personal walk with Christ...
the last few months God has really been dealing with my heart and expanding my mind. I feel as though God is truly molding me in this season and preparing me for the next leg of the journey.

15 I am the LORD, your Holy One, Israel's Creator, your King." 16 This is what the LORD says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, 18 "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Praise God...

Yesterday, while I was out of town, I received an email that was just one of those shots in the arm that can only come from God. It was a powerful reminder that God is alive and at work in the hearts of His people. It is things like this that give me such a great joy and remind me what a privilege it truly is to serve at Summit. There is still much to be done for cause of Christ and for the sake of every man, woman and child, but we would be remiss if we did not at times stop and celebrate and thank God for what He has done and is doing!

I don’t know what you all are doing at your church, but whatever it is, it’s working! You should be extremely proud of the members of Summit Church. We had 30 people show up, in the pouring rain, for the orientation class last night! 19 families signed up for MAPP class! And I don’t think that is going to be the final number. I just got off the phone with a member who said that they were not in a position to foster, but wanted to buy clothes and shoes for foster kids when it was needed! (I have chills and tears in my eyes as I type this.) Last week as we prayed for the weekend we prayed Ephesians 3:20 – that our God would do exceedingly, abundantly beyond what we could even ask or think of. He did! I’ve been around churches all my life – my dad was a pastor, I served as a youth pastor for 10 years - & let me tell you something pastor, churches like Summit Church are few and far between. It is obvious that the membership understands the concept that “church” is so much more effective when it moves beyond the physical walls of the building. I’ve done church work long enough to know that the membership mirrors its leadership. If you have ever doubted the effectiveness of what you and your staff are doing, this response and outpouring should put that to rest. I truly believe we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg. You should be very proud and very humbled by how your church has responded. Please share this with your staff. We look forward to a long & blessed partnership with Summit Church! To God be the glory!!

Chris Green
Director of Regional Ministries
Florida Baptist Children's Homes

Way to go Summit and way to go God!!! I pray that our people would continue to be faithful and obedient to the cause of Christ and to the mission that He has given us.