Sunday, May 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Babe!

Yesterday was the anniversary of my wife's 21st birthday...there is no way I would post my wife's age, I don't have enough lives to do something that stupid. The reality is it doesn't matter how old she gets, she is still as drop dead beautiful as the first day I met her. I enjoyed a long morning of shopping for gifts with my son, Max,. Although, he didn't chip in a dime, he was a huge help believe it or not picking out some stuff for mommy. The best thing is that Pam actually liked the things we got for her. I still have a few gifts to give her and if you are wondering why I have not given Pam all of her gifts, its because she has this running joke of May being her birthday month, so this year I decided to honor that and spread her gifts out...I'll keep you posted on how that goes!

Last night we went to Carrabba's with our good friends Jamin and Vicky and had a
great time. We always seem to laugh a ton when we're with them, which is pretty shocking since Jamin is really not that funny... I am so grateful for the friends that Pam and I get to do life with. I am grateful for a godly wife, who is amazing in so many different ways and who is a blessing to me that I certainly do not deserve. Pam, I love you and thank God for you. Happy Birthday and may the Lord continue to bless you and show His heart to you daily.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Twelves years ago I married my best friend and the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. It has been an incredible journey and I continue to see the goodness of God through the eyes and life of my wonderful wife. She is an amazing wife and incredible mom to our two kids. When I look back over the last 12 years I can not help but to think of all of the sacrifices that she has made for our family. I can't help but to think of all her continued support that she extends to me as I pursue God's call. I can't help but to think of all the laughter, tears and special moments we have shared together. I can't help but to think of all the crossroads we have experienced and storms of life we have endured through the grace of God together.

My wife is such a refuge for me. She makes our house a home and a place I can not wait to return to after I leave for work. Pam's smile, her genuine faith in the Lord, her concern for others are only some of the things that I appreciate about her more and more with every passing day.

I love that my wife allows me to be me, but loves me enough to never allow me to settle. I love that my wife believes as I do that God is our greatest need and our greatest treasure so we should make Him our greatest pursuit. I love that even though she is extremely busy she always has time for others. I love that she never tires of getting down on the floor with our kids to play and be silly with them. I love that even when I fail to see God's beauty in a situation she can quickly remind me of it. I love that regards how hard or difficult a sacrifice that we need to make to follow God's leading she has always been willing to follow me. I could go on, but I'll just say I am so grateful to God for His wonderful gift. I look forward to the days ahead...Happy Anniversary Pam! I Love You Crazy!

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Four-fold Franciscan Blessing

Many of you asked about the prayer that I shared to end yesterday's sermon with, so I figured I would put up on my blog. May we continue to strive to be an aircraft carrying church that continues to care about the sufferings of others and lives bare before the Lord in all things and in all ways. Have a great week. God Bless.

A Four-fold Franciscan Blessing

May God bless you with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships, so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart.

May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for justice, freedom, and peace among all people.

May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed with those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.
May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you really CAN make a difference in this world, so that you are able, with God's grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.

And the blessing of God the Supreme Majesty and our Creator, Jesus Christ the Incarnate Word who is our brother and Saviour, and the Holy Spirit, our Advocate and Guide, be with you and remain with you this day and forevermore. AMEN.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Jesus was amazed...

At times as you read thru the Gospel you will come across the phrase “they were amazed”. And most of the time it is referring to the fact that those who were present during Jesus’ earthly ministry were amazed by either His teaching, His confidence, His miracles, His love. And every time I come across that phrase I think, yeah, absolutely I would totally be amazed also if I was there and saw and experienced these incredible things first hand, yes certainly amazed would be a great description for me. Or I reflect on how God is amazing me today through His teaching, His revelation, His power, His miracles, His love, but this morning it was a little different. The phrase was a little different this time in Mark chapter 6.

This time the phrase was not in reaction to Jesus but the phrase was used to describe Jesus’ reaction to the people. You see in Mark chapter five Jesus had just healed a demon possessed man, than He heals a woman struggling with an issue of blood and then He brings a little girl who had passed away back to life and yet there were many who were saying, who is this guy. He is just a carpenter, He is just the son of Mary, the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon. In other words they were saying what is so special about this guy, in essence they were trying to say He is no one. And the verse that jumped out at me this morning was Mark 6:6 “He(Jesus) was amazed at their lack of faith.” I was floored by that this morning. It is easy to criticize that crowd and say what are you thick in the head or something- this is Jesus! But as soon as those thoughts quickly passed the Spirit convicted my heart with this question “what about you?”

It seems at the surface to be a simple question, but the more the Spirit pounded on my heart the more I realized that the question had depth to it. As I unpacked that question I realized that what the Spirit was trying to get across was this; would that be Jesus’ reaction of me today? Would Jesus say wow, I am amazed by your lack of faith. It was a humbling thought. I began to reflect in what areas and in what ways does my life reflect great faith in a great God and in what ways does my life reflect a lack of faith. It was a painful but a very helpful exercise, I challenge you to try it. Ask yourself the question “what would Jesus’ response be to my faith in this season? Then let the Spirit reveal those different areas of your life that God wants to break in and break thru. Just a thought and certainly just another rambling. God Bless You.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Fast Forward

Today is Summit's church wide prayer and fasting day. As a Leadership Team we decided to make the first Monday of every month a day where our church rallies together and fast and prays for the needs of our church and community.

"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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14

We understand and recognize the importance of prayer and yet as believers we do not put this much needed discipline into practice. Prayer is not bending God to our will, but God bending us to His. Prayer is our proclaimation of dependence upon God. Nothing of eternal worth or weight will happen absent of prayer. We pray that this prayer initiative will awaken and stir our hearts to be more vigilant prayer warriors. Below are the points of focus for today and this month. God Bless You!

#1. Pray for our community, specifically for those who do not know Christ. Pray that God would continue to draw those who do not know Him into a loving relationship with Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ.

#2. Pray specifically for those in your Circle of Accountability who do not know Christ. Pray that God would continue to give you access and influence in to the lives of these individuals. Ask God to give you continual opportunities to share the Gospel both in word and deed.

#3. Pray for our mission partnerships and missionaries around the world. Pray that God would work in mighty ways in and through these different organizations that are striving to bring the Gospel to every man, woman and child. Ask God to continue to meet the ever growing needs of these different organizations.

#4. Pray for our latest church plant, Legacy Church. Pray that God would continue to give the Leadership Team wisdom as they seek God's guidance for this new work. Pray that God would continue to develop a core group of people that will be instrumental in the launch of this church. Lastly pray that God would provide the initial financial resources needed for the start-up.

#5. Please pray for our age appropriate ministries, Big Enuf, Kid Zone, Reality, Crave and Ignite. Pray that God would increase the faith our students and move mightily through their lives. Pray for all of our volunteers that serve faithfully in these areas of ministry.

#6. Please pray for the families of Summit Church who are hurting financially as a result of the economy. Pray that God would meet their needs and pray that they would hold fast to Christ during this time.