Thursday, January 29, 2009

Is it of God?

Things at Summit continue to roll. I continue to be overwhelmed and left in awe of God's movement and manifestation of power in and through our ministry. Right now in this season we have a lot going on. We are in the process of launching a new church, revamping our college ministry, finalizing what we believe is God's plan for us in regards to spiritual formation, and the list goes on, these are just some of the things we are currently working on. I love the agressive nature and position of the Leadership and Staff of our church. We always sit ready to respond to God's activity and invitation.

I was continuing my reading through the book of Acts today and a verse jumped out at me. Peter and John even after being thrown in jail and released by an angel continue to preach the Gospel which just enrages the religious leaders. These religious leaders begin to plot on what to do with these guys when a Pharisee named Gamaliel steps up and saysverse 39) Leave these men alone! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God."

This for me reemphasized the importance of not trying to run ahead of God, not putting plans together and then asking God to bless it as though He was an after thought. The most important thing for us and what I mean by us is not just pastors, but all followers of Christ is to make certain that what we are doing and are about to engage in is in direct response to God's invitation and leading. Because if it is not it is doomed to fail and on the bright side if it is nothing can thwart it. So how about it, is your activity or the purposes you are currently pursuing of human origin? I pray that they are not. Just another rambling. God Bless You.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Being with Jesus

I was reading through Acts 4 and I was caught by a familiar verse that I am sure many have read and it is found in verse 13. Acts chapter four is the story of Peter and John who have been brought before the Sanhedrin because of the commotion they caused just outside the Temple gates by healing a lame man who was sitting by the gate begging for money. Peter in chapter 3 turns to this man and says" sliver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." Incredible, unbelievable moment, this man the Bible states gets up and walks. Now you can just imagine the scene...many people knew this guy, they passed day after day week after week. And here he is now, the Bible states walking and jumping around. People were absolutely tongue to the ground astonished. Not everyone was happy about this joyous event. You see Peter and John used this divine moment to proclaim the Gospel and the religious leaders of the day were having none of that. So Peter and John are brought before this council and interrogated.

Now I love this, instead of shrinking back and becoming sheepish, Peter and John continue to remain bold. And in verse 13 the Bible states >"When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus." Now as we pastor types like to say...that'll preach.
These religious leaders, these anti-christian, anti-gospel, ancient day thugs, the Bible states were ASTONISHED. Astonished at what? It wasn't their schooling, their articulation, it wasn't even the miracle. It was their COURAGE and it was the fact that their lives looked different. They weren't lives just professing Christ, but lives that had actually been with Him and had been transformed by Him.

I read that verse and meditated on it for awhile this morning. And a couple of questions quickly came to my mind:

#1. Does my life relect the fact that I have been with Jesus?

#2. Do I show courage/faith that reflects that I truly believe that Christ is bigger than any crisis I face?

#3. In this season is pursuing intimacy with Christ my highest priority?

For the sake of time I will spare you the answers, but I would challenge you to read verse 13 again and reflect on these questions for yourself. A longer rambling than ususal, but I pray it will stir your heart and mind. God Bless You.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

WE did it!!!

I just wanted to let you all know that WE did it! On Sunday I completed my first marathon. I met my goal and finished just under five hours. It was a beautiful and extremely emotional day. Crossing the finish line yesterday and seeing my wife, Pam, cheering and thinking about what all this was for was to much to keep inside. It was a moment I will soon not forget.

I wanted to thank the many of you who were a part of my team. Your donation meant more to me than you could ever know. Thanks to your donation, I managed to raise $1,562.00 for Organization for Autism Research.

But, above your financial support in this endeavor I could never thank you enough for your prayers for my son, Max. You are greatly appreciated. God Bless You!

Grateful Beyond Words,

Orlando Cabrera

"Running For Max and the Many Others Like Him"

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Today my family and I head to Miami. Sunday is the Miami Marathon that I will be participating in. There are over 15,000 people registered for this race. It's the largest marathon to date ever held in Miami. It should be quite crazy. I am thrilled that my friends Todd and Jonathan will be running with me. I am running in honor of my son, Max, who lives and continues to strive through his diagnosis of autism. God has taught me so much and continues to show me so much through my son's life. I will be running for Max and for the Organization for Autism Research. I am very close to my fundraising goal. If you would like to be a part of the team please visit my fundraising site at It should be a challenging day, but I am looking forward to it. I would covet your prayers.

“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)

I pray that this verse will bring you comfort and encouragement today as it did to me.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Experiencing God

This week as a staff we committed to go through Henry Blackaby's study "Experiencing God". For the next twelve weeks as a team we are committing to invest the time to this study and discuss as a staff in our regularly scheduled staff meetings. I am pretty pumped to go through this study. The last time I went through this study was seven years ago and shortly after it, I knew God was leading my wife and I to leave Miami and move to SWFL. I find myself in this stage of my life and ministry in a similar state as I was seven years ago. Don't get me wrong, I love what I am doing and I love where I get to do it, but there is a little restlessness in my spirit and I am hoping that through this study God will reveal to me what He has for my wife and I in the near future.

As much unrest I may sense at times I was so glad to get the word I did today from the study and it was this..."My primary concern should not be, what should I do with my life tomorrow? but, What does God want me to do today? As you follow Jesus one day at a time, He will keep you in the center of God's will."

Reading that today was like finding my keys after one of toddlers had hid them and could not tell me where they threw them. It was complete relief and joy. It was a powerful reminder to me that though there maybe some unrest because I so desperately want to know the step by step plan and full picture of what God is going to do with me, the key is to trust Him and follow Him today. Now of course I knew this, but for some reason I had forgotten it, or neglected it. God in many ways is more likely to call us to follow Him daily than He is to give us the detailed plan before we begin to obey. The challenge for me is to follow today and believe that as I do that God will lead me to the center of His will. Sounds simple enough...right, but as you know the key is to put it into practice, to live it out.

So if you find yourself today, in a place where you are desperate to discover God's full plan for your life, don't allow your heart to grow so frustrated that you forget that God has called you to follow Him today and today's obedience will lead you closer to what He has for you. Just another rambling...God Bless!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Snap Shot

Sometimes a picture truly is worth a thousand words...I am feel so blessed to be dad to two amazing kids. God is so good and I pray that He would continue to give me wisdom and strength to steward my kids, these precious gifts well. If you keep up with these ramblings then you probably have read about "snap shot" moments, moments that you just know you want to capture in your heart and mind because you don't want to forget them and because you know that when you think of this moment it will always in some way warm your heart. This picture is one of those moments. Yeserday, my daughter received a package from her birth father and as you can see from the picture she loved the gift. The Elmo doll is almost as tall as she is...As she embraced Elmo, I could not help but to think and hope that she would also embrace her adoption as God's story. I know that God has great things in store for her life and I pray that she would pursue Him as her greatest need and greatest treasure.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year

I am currently reading through the book of Genesis. And right now I am reading about the life of Abram as he was known before God changed his name to Abraham. He has always been one of my favorite old testament characters. I have always found his faith and trust in God to be inspiring. This morning I was reading in Genesis 12where God comes to Abram and says "Go from your country, your people and your father's household to the land I will show you." Crazy stuff right off the bat. Abram's entire life was grounded and centered in his home land of Ur of the Chaldeans. Yet in a moment his entire world is flipped upside down. He has to make a decision to let go of all that he had found his security in and follow God. Now there was a great promise given to Abram from God...
"I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all the people on earth will be blessed through you."
Now I would say that is a huge promise given to him by God. But the fact still remains it required some things of Abram. I believe that God is going to do some amazing things this year in the life of our church, in the lives of our people and in me and my family as well. But as I read and meditated on this passage this morning the Lord showed me some principles that I need to keep in mind if I truly want to see God's plans for my life come to fruition.

#1. Faith must be put into action...Abram had to obviously step out in faith. He had to be willing to let go of the things he found security in and place his life in God's hand. Remember God said I want you to leave your country, your friends, your home, everything. Basically God was looking for full surrender. We see in verse 4 that it states that "Abram went, as the Lord had told him;" I love that. No delay, just immediate obedience. When God speaks there must be a response from us. God doesn't reveal His heart and will for our entertainment, but for our benefit, obedience and His glory. If we are going to get to the place God has called us to or achieve the things He has placed on our hearts, its going to have to start with faith that leads to movement. We must be willing to live a "no safety net life", a life that rest in the fact that He who has called me is faithful to see me all the way through to the other side.

#2. The journey and the vision that God calls us to is one of worship...I think we sometimes confuse worship with just being the songs we sing in church. That is only a small piece of worship. Worship is my entire life lived in response to God. Worship is giving God the honor He is due. Worship is recognizing that there is a force much greater than me that is worthy of my life, devotion, gratitude and attention. Throughout this journey that Abram is on you will read this statement "So he built an altar there and called on the name of the Lord."Abram never allowed the vision to overshadow the One who had given him the vision. Abram remembered that as great as the promise was, the One who had made the promise was and is much greater. Sometimes we can become so fixed on God's plan that we fail to acknowledge God and worship God through the journey. If we are not careful the very promise and plans of God can become the idols that keep us from Him. It is important that we recognize that God is and will forever be our greatest need, our greatest joy and our greatest delight so therefore we must make sure that daily God remains our greatest pursuit.

#3. The plans that God has for us stretch a lot further than us...In God's promise to Abram He states "and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." What God wants to do in us and through us stretches much further than we can imagine. Our faith today and our undivided worship of God can be blazing a trail for generations to come. I know that may sound crazy, but just imagine this for a second. My faith and life of worship today will have an impact on my wife, my children and my friends. My obedience to God's call and His Truth will affect the lives of those I am intimate with. Leaving a legacy of faith is just as important if not more important than leaving a will. Don't minimize the fact that what you are doing today in the realm of obeying and worshipping God will echo loudly long after you are gone.

Just another rambling, but I pray that you are expecting God-sized things in this new year of 2009. And as you seek those things remember some of these principles, they may serve you well. God Bless.