Friday, March 27, 2009

Peru Trip

I am currently sitting in the Lima airport waiting until our next flight into Iquitos, Peru to depart. Since I have three hours I figured I would throw up a quick post. I have had the privilege of going on several mission trips. I am so grateful for Summit's commitment to bring the Gospel to every man, woman and child and because of that I have been able to be in some great places to see God's activity up close. For the last ten or so months I have been specifically praying that God would give me a specific area of the world that me and my family could adopt. An area of the world that my wife, my kids and I could pray for, invest in and visit.
Most of the partnerships that Summit is currently involved in are literally half way around the world. I wanted something close, that I personally could visit more than just once a year, an area of the world that my kids who are two and three could visit with us within the next year. This has been something that has been extremely heavy on my heart. Two years ago I went on a mission trip to Boma, which is a village deep in the woods of Dominican Republic. The poverty that we saw and experienced was almost unbelievable. We slept on the floor, went to the bathroom outside, bathed in a river, drew our water from a well that missionaries had dug years before our visit to that area. We were literally dropped off and had to hike 2miles with our backpacks into this remote village. It was an incredible experience. At the end of the week, the town mayor, the man of peace, addressed our team and said this..."this experience for you has been like going to the moon, but let me remind you that the world you live in is not the world, this is the world. The majority of the world lives like this. We ask not for your pitty, but for your commitment to not forget this fact, fight to remind those in your circle of influence of this fact that you have just experienced." I am telling you that I have never forgotten that man's words.

Those words have stuck with me and have affected me to the point that not only do I not want to forget them, but I want my kids at a very early age to understand the plight of the world and the personal and global need for the Gospel. So this trip to Peru is huge for me. I have been praying that God would show me if this is the place that He would have us give our lives to. I have been so focused on this that I asked my wife, Pam, to accompany me on this trip. Which by the way is no easy thing. My wife hates to fly and absolutely loves being a mom, so leaving our two precious kids and facing her fear is a huge ask. Yet, she was willing...I am so blessed for a godly wife. I wanted Pam here because I really want God to speak to her as way. I would love for God to speak to us and for God to show us His will. I know this a pretty long rambling, but if Pam and I come to your mind over the next couple of days, we would covet your prayers and please pray for our two little ones Max and Emily. I thank you in advance. God Bless You.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

By Faith...

This morning I spent time reading and reflecting in Hebrews 11. Many have labeled this chapter of Scripture as the "Hall of Fame of Faith" because it list some of the men and women that God used mightily in the Old Testament. Before each of the individuals names are the words "by faith". Everything that these individuals were able to accomplish done because of their faith. It wasn't "their" ability, their knowledge, their plans, it all centered and stemmed from their faith in God! Their faith in who God was, is and what God had told them to do propelled their life into action, that in some regards transformed the landscape of human history. May your faith in God lead you to become fully engaged in God's activity. I will leave you with the a few of the last verses found in Hebrews Chapter 11. May God jolt your heart with these words like He did mine. Just another rambling. God Bless You.

32And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, 33who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. 36Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.39These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Weekend in Review...

I had a busy but extremely fruitful weekend. On Saturday night, I had the privilege of marrying one of my son's teachers. It was a great honor to perform their ceremony. My wife and I appreciated the time we got to enjoy during our pre-marital counseling sessions with them. We have been asking God to give us opportunities to share our faith and lives with these teachers who have given so much to us and have done so much for our son, Max. Saturday night was a great opportunity and on top of it my wife and I enjoyed ourselves at the reception...

This weekend we also started our new series entitled "Mixed Up, Messed Up, 'Fess Up". We will be going through the Book of James and looking at what it means to live as a citizen of the Kingdom. Jamin was kind enough to fill in for me on Saturday night and from all reports did an excellent job as always. Sunday I had the privilege to share God's Word. God was faithful and the Spirit was truly working in the hearts of people, I know He was working in mine.

Later that afternoon, my wonderful wife and I took the kids to Disney Playhouse live. Our kids loved it. It is always a joy to see my kids smile and laugh. I loved watching them call out to Mickey and Goofy and wave to them. It was awesome. The best part is that they actually made it through the entire show...what a God thing. It truly was a great weekend.

Hope you enjoyed yours... Make it a great week. God Bless You.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Quick Re-cap of the Weekend

Here's a quick run down of the weekend. Mission Uganda at our Naples Campus went extremely well this weekend. We got 83 of the 100 children sponsored for the Home of Champions orphanage in Nabukala. We are confident that we will get the remaining kids sponsored hopefully by the end of this week. If you are a part of Summit and would like to get in on what God is doing to bring relief, education and hope to the kids in need in Uganda, please drop Jamin an email at The Bible says that true religion is taking care of widows and orphans. I am so proud of our people for desiring to be a part of God's amazing love and grace.

The Legacy Church preview weekend also went extremely well. I think there was a general excitement about what God is leading us to do. The reports I received yesterday and today were all extremely positive. I think our people got a fuller picture of why we need to continue to plant churches even within our own circle of accountability. Hopefully this weekend will be a good momentum boost for Legacy Church as we continue to build a launch team and look forward to our official launch later this year.

Lastly, the duathlon was a lot of fun. I appreciated Jay pushing me to do it. We essentially did everything wrong leading up to this event. We spent the two days prior to the race at amusement parks in the hot sun and essentially ate anything and everything but nutritional stuff. All that being said, I wouldn't of changed a thing and I know Jay feels the same way. The time with our wives and kids was priceless. We truly had a blast and some how God gave us the strength to finish the race. Jay finished third in his age group for the triathlon and I finished first for my age group for the duathlon. It was an all-around great weekend. God is good!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Huge Weekend For Summit

This weekend is going to be a pivotal weekend for both of our campuses. At our University Campus all of our services will be led by the team that will be giving leadership to our newest church start Legacy. Nolen Rollins who is one of the guys on our Leadership Team will be leading this effort. Within a five mile radius of our University Campus there are over 46,000 people and we are committed to our mission of "glorifying God by presenting the Gospel to every man, woman and child" and giving them the repeated opportunity to see, hear and respond to the Good News of Jesus Christ. We know that one church is not going to be able to accomplish that mission, that is why we strive to partner with the existing churches in our area as well as start new churches. Legacy Church will have the same mission, vision and values as Summit but they will be strategic in targeting a different demographic within our Circle of Accountability. Our hope is to officially launch this church this fall. Thus far we have over fifty people committed to this new work. We pray that as a result of this weekend more people will catch a vision and heart for what God is calling us to do. Please lift this weekend and this new work up in prayer.

I am also excited about what is going to be taking place at our Naples Campus this weekend. This Sunday is Mission Uganda weekend. A few months ago our Naples Team Leader Jamin Stinziano took a mission trip to Uganda and was absolutely broken over what he saw. As a result of God's leading, Jamin and Jay Richardson, another key Leadership Team member who gives primary leadership at the Naples Campus, felt like God was calling us to respond. So this weekend we will be challenging our people to adopt an orphanage in Nabukalu, Africa. The orphanage is called "Home of Champions” which I believe is so providential because if you saw the faces of these kids you would quickly realize that they truly have all the potential to be just that. The statistics of children without parents, without food, clothing, decent shelter and hope is staggering. This weekend we get the opportunity to partner with God in striving to be a part of the solution and an extension of His grace. The orphanage currently houses 100 children through shelter, food, education, and discipleship. Another great thing about this orphanage is that it has a strong partnership with a church in Kampala who are fighting hard to bring the hope of the Gospel to that impoverished area. This weekend our people will be challenged to hear from God and consider adopting a child from this orphanage for just $34 a month. I believe whole heartedly that we will get these children sponsored. If you by chance would like more information about the "House of Champions" check out this link or drop Jamin an email at

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Awesome Group Last Night

My wife and I are leading a small group on Wednesday nights for married couples at our home. We have enjoyed every group that we have had the pleasure to lead and have always felt we got more out of it than what we put in. We still have strong connections to people we have done life with through the different groups we have been a part of. This current group has been a breath of fresh air for Pam and I. This group enjoys living below the surface. There are no pet "Jesus" answers. People have been real and authentic with one another and we all have been encouraged through our times together. It has been amazing to see God's activity in the lives of each of the couples that make up this group. I am excited to see what God continues to do through each of our marriages as we strive to live out our Biblical roles, keep Christ as the center and challenge one another on this journey. God is good. Hey if you follow these ramblings, let me challenge you to get connected into a small group. Not only will you be blessed but hopefully your life and authenticity will bless other as well. God Bless!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Chik-Fil-A is now open!!!

This morning my family and I went to Chik-Fil-A for breakfast. Today was the grand opening for the new Chik-Fil-A on US 41 just south of Corkscrew. It was a great time. My son fell in love with the Chik-Fil-A cow. My daughter, Emily, wanted nothing to do with that joker. She went into death grip mode every time he came around. Of course as daddy, I loved it because I know a day will soon come when it is no longer cool to hug daddy.

The owner has been attending Summit and is a great guy who loves the Lord. It is extremely encouraging to see God's people incarnating the Gospel in their every day lives. The owner of this establishment truly wants nothing more than to use his business in a way that furthers the Kingdom. I love that. I pray that God would truly give him deep access into the community and favor with people. If you get a chance stop by, enjoy a good meal and let Frank know that you are praying for his business. God Bless You!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Love Your Enemies...

This weekend we continued our series entitled "Engage". Throughout this series we have been looking at the four core values of Summit Church: God, Truth, Love, Mission. We believe that values should be central to the heart and life of every follower of Jesus Christ. Last week we look at God's love for us. The aim last week was that for us to understand the depth of God's full engagement of love, we must understand the depth of our depravity. There was and continues to be no reason for God to love us. Apart from Christ the Bible describes us as sinners, ungodly, the enemies of God and objects of His wrath. But the amazing thing is the Bible also states that "God demonstrated His love towards us that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us." That is incredible and joyful news to those who have placed their faith in Christ. This weekend we looked at the fact that if God loved us, His enemies than we must strive to do the same. We looked at Luke chapter 6 where Jesus commands us, His followers, to love our enemies and do good to them.

It was a convicting and challenging passage for me. This morning in my quiet time I came across this passage in Romans chapter 12 and it convicted me even further. I love how The Message reads...

14-16Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they're happy; share tears when they're down. Get along with each other; don't be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don't be the great somebody. 17-19Don't hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you've got it in you, get along with everybody. Don't insist on getting even; that's not for you to do. "I'll do the judging," says God. "I'll take care of it." 20-21Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he's thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don't let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.

May God give you the grace and strength to love your enemy today, Jesus said in Luke 6:35 that if we love our enemies the world will know we are children of the Most High. Don't minimize the fact that as we strive to love like Christ there is a redemptive power in that love. Let Christ love for you and in you be unleashed even on your enemies. Have a great week. God Bless!