Monday, December 6, 2010


"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

Points of Focus...
#1. Spend time praying for yourself. Ask God to reveal any unconfessed sin. Pray that God would continue to fuel your passion for Him. Pray that God would continue to give you the discipline to pursue Him and spend time with Him in the Word & in prayer. Spend time meditating on Psalm 63:1-8.

#2. 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.

#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 those who call Summit Church their home. Pray that those who do not know Christ as their Savior at this time would respond to the Gospel. Pray for those who do identify themselves as followers of Christ would continue to strive to build their lives on the values: God, Truth, Love, Mission and would seek to live those values out day to day through our five outcomes.

#5. Pray for Summit’s budget. Pray that God’s people would respond in obedience and faithfulness. Pray that God would grow us all in the area of stewardship of life and that as He does He would accomplish greater things in and through us as followers and collectively as a church.

#6. Pray for our Christmas Eve services at both of our campuses. Pray that God would draw many from our community to our church and more importantly to Himself. Pray that many would respond to the Gospel message and God’s extension of love and forgiveness.

#7. Pray for our Recovery Ministry that will be launching in January. Pray for Todd Wermers, our Pastor of Recovery and all of the leaders who will be serving in this ministry. Pray for those who maybe struggling with hurts, habits or hang-ups to find healing, hope and reconciliation in Jesus through this ministry.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Watchman of Sorts...

1The word of the LORD came to me: 2 "Son of man, speak to your people and say to them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and make him their watchman, 3and if he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people, 4then if anyone who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. 5 He heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life. 6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand. 7 "So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. Ezekiel 33:1-7

I read this passage this morning and could not help but to think of my role as a husband, father, friend, and pastor. In a way God has placed me to be a watchman in all of those distinct arenas. If you are a husband, father, friend, pastor, employer, coach, whatever it is, hopefully you feel blessed to be in such a position. I know I thank God daily for the wife I get to share my life with, the kids that I get to raise, the friends I live in community with and the church I get to help shepherd. All of these arenas of life are ALL wonderful blessings from God, and I am sure you have similar arenas of blessings as well.

But the question for me today and maybe for you is, what kind of watchman am I? If I am not careful I can dwell in these arenas, enjoy them and still not be engaged to level God wants me to be. If I am not careful I can dwell in these arenas as though they existed for me, and my needs and wants. If I am not careful I can become lazy and lax in my God-given role in those different domains, and as you can see from this passage, there could be grave consequences as a result of my spiritual laziness and indifference.

I know that as a husband, father, friend, and pastor God has called me to be a watchman of sorts and if I love those in my circle of care, then I must be spiritually alert not only for my own benefit but also for those God has placed me in life with. My kids are at an age that they are solely dependent upon my wife and I for their care and protection as is all kids their age. But, in regards to my friends, and the church I help lead, I can not make decisions for them. My job is to be faithful to instruct, encourage, lead and warn about impending dangers, the choice is theirs. But woe to me, if I see the "sword coming", if I see potential harm and danger beginning to encompass around them and I stay silent. I think we fail as watchman a lot of times because we care too much about the friendship than the friend, or we care too much about what they will think of us, over what God thinks. Not sure what tower, wall, perch God has you propped up on as a watchman, I just pray that you'll be faithful while He has you there. Just a rambling. God Bless You!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Are You A Leader?

In ministry all you tend to hear about is "leadership". Now leadership is a huge part of ministry no doubt. I believe strongly in leadership, I believe whole-heartily that as a leader, we must continue to grow, sharpen our gifts, challenge the process. I resonate with so much of the things presented, taught, "conferenced" around concerning leadership, I really do. The only caveat I would throw in there, is that to me, the greatest leaders, are the ones who are the greatest followers. Sometimes, in our desire to lead, and lead well and lead effectively, it comes at the expense and detriment of our followership. The greatest thing I can do as a leader is be more committed to following than to the actual piece of leading. Leading is important, but if leading becomes primary, over following, then my leading has just lost a lot of power and to be quite frank it might even be tainted.

The greatest gift to ministry, is not you, the leader, its not your gifts, its not your ideas, its not your strategies, the greatest gift is Jesus. He is the only one who is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. All of my so called "great qualities as a leader"pale in comparison to Christ. That being said, my acknowledgement of that fact should cause me as a leader to seek Him first. Everything I do as a leader should be an overflow from my direct followership of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul said "follow me as I follow Christ." That's the declaration I want to make as a leader.

Leadership that flows out of following, will not allow those they are called to lead, to put them on a pedestal. Leadership that flows out of following, will cause the leader to remember that the only one worthy to be exalted and held high is Jesus. Leadership that flows out of following, keeps at the center the mission of Jesus Christ and doesn't manipulate others for selfish gain.

So the next time you pick up that next great leadership book or attend the latest and greatest leadership conference and listen to the next big thing in the area of leadership, none of which is bad, remember, it will still boil down to this one's your followership? Your leadership is effectiveness believe it or not is in direct proportion to how well you follow. So keep leading and lead well, but strive harder to follower!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Connecting with God

My marathon training has officially started once again. Though I have not stopped running since my last marathon earlier this year, it is now time to bring some much need focused attention to my running. I took up running solely for the purpose of meditation and worship. It has become a very therapeutic(I hate that word because it sounds so humanistic, but bare with me)time for me. I have found that my time while running is a good opportunity to pray, clear my mind, meditate on God's Word, think through some of the things I am facing, things facing my family, places I believe God is at work and places I believe He is leading us to.

While I was running this morning I began to thank God for showing me, how in everything and in all things we could worship Him and connect with Him. God has designed us to live in relationship with Him, but unfortunately even as Christians we have designated that to be a weekend church experience, or midweek Bible Study, or private devotion, yet God desires that we strive to live in communion with him. The Apostle Paul stated in 1 Thessalonians that we "are to pray without ceasing." The idea there is to strive to live in communication with God. We are not to compartmentalize our faith in such a way that we only connect with God through our different forms of religious expressions. But, that we are constantly desiring to seek God and connect with Him in all things and in all parts of our normal walking around life.

What does that mean? Well, you like to work out, use that time to pray, to meditate. Are you blessed with a friendship, relationship, spouse? Figure out how that or those relationships cause you and others to get deeper connected to Christ. Do you have a job? Remember that the actual job is secondary, to why God has you there. The primary reason you are at the place of work is not to get a check although that is important; the primary reason you are there is to be a conduit and catalyst for God's redemptive mission. You see if we desired and if we took the time to recognize, there are so many outlets provided for us to live in authentic community with God.

I love our worship services, but I certainly don't want that 1 hour to be my full of God or my commune with Him. I want connecting with the Creator, who has made it possible for me to connect with Him through Christ, a high priority and focus of my daily life. I am sure you want the same. So before you take your next run, your next drive, have your next conversation, punch in for your next shift, ask yourself, how can I maximize this time for Christ and deepen my walk with Him. I know that's a whole of rambling, but I am praying to that end. God Bless!

"So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you." (Romans 12:1-2 The Message)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What do I live for?

I have been reading thru the book of 2 Corinthians right now and I have been really convicted by the verses of chapter five.
"And He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who for their sake died and was raised." (verse 5)

It is so easy as a Christian to embrace the Gospel, praise God for the message and promise of the Gospel and still miss the full depth of it. And I know that may seem as a huge overstatement but I know that in different seasons and moments of my life it is true. I thank God for my salvation, I thank God for reconciling me and changing my reality from enemy of Christ to friend of God. I truly am grateful for that, but my flesh is so cunning and my faith so weak, that I quickly revert to making the Gospel about me. I quickly put myself in the center of God's Gospel purpose instead of His glory!l. And then I come to a verse like this and my heart is just pierced!

The benefits of the Gospel are amazing and so undeserved but the purpose of the Gospel must also grip and and cause my heart to be in awe of as well. The fact that Christ died not to make much of me, but to make much if Him and of the Father. I must stay focused on the fact that Christ died so that my old life would be crucified thru Him and my new life hidden in Him as well. I must set at the forefront of my mind that Christ died so that I in turn would live for Him. Living for myself is what was leading me to a road of destruction, living for myself is what caused me to feel empty, living for myself is what open the door for addiction, living for myself is what tainted every thing in my life, and yet while I was consumed with that type of living, God demonstrated His love towards me, but sending His Son to die on the cross for my sin and for my life, my true life.

There is no joy or freedom in living for self, true and peace is found in being hid in Christ and living for Him and Him alone. I am praying that The Spirit would lead me to not to distort the Gospel, but actually walk in the fullness of it. I pray that the Spirit continue to illuminate my heart and mind and convict my heart of the times when I put myself in the center of God's universe instead of His glory. The Gospel is the good news, not about me, but about God. So here's a question that we may not want to answer to quickly and that is what am I living for right now? And before we give the typical Sunday School answer, it maybe good just to take a moment to ask the Spirit to illuminate that answer for us and then respond accordingly. Just a rambling, but one that I hope will cause us to think about the nature of the Gospel and my full and true response to it. God bless you!

Monday, August 2, 2010

He is the same...

"Jesus Christ, is the same yesterday, and today and forever." Hebrews 13:8

I love how the Word of God can bring such encouragement and clarity right when you need it. In 10 words, my heart was gripped with the fact that we serve and worship a God that does not change. We have a God that is absolutely sufficient in Himself and a God who is never caught unaware, off guard or lacking in anything. The reminder that our Savior, who conquered sin, death, hell and the grave over 2000 years ago, is the same today. The Christ that we read about who extended forgiveness to those who were unworthy is the same Jesus who still extends His grace today. The Jesus who turned water into wine, multiplied the fishes and the loaves, calmed the storm with His spoken word, is the same God who does the impossible, provides in the midst of our limited resources, and who stands with us in the midst of life's storms. Our Jesus is greater and is glorious.

What great encouragement for the child of God to know, that we can rest in the faithfulness of our unchanging God. I am not sure what you may be facing or what uncertainties may have you feeling trapped in fear, but may the circumstances that you are standing in not overshadow the fact that your God, revealed to you in Christ and in His Word has not, and will not change! Be encouraged that in a world that continues to change and in a world that is so uncertain, ONE thing never does, and that is Jesus Christ. Take a moment today and celebrate that fact and may the Spirit of our unchanging God awaken us to recognize how awesome our God is. God bless!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

"Act Like Men"

This past week a 17 year old Phillies fan was tazed as he disrupted a game between the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies. There were mixed reviews and opinions by the public on whether the security at the stadium used excessive force by tazing the young man. My feeling is he broke the law and the security and police at these stadiums have one duty and that is to protect the players and the fans. Don't want to be tazed, don't run out on the field. Now for me, that is not the real story of this story. Guys and gals interupting sporting events by running on to the field, sometimes in nothing more then their sneakers is nothing new. We should not be surprised by the fact that so many in our society will do just about anything for 15 seconds, minutes, hours of fame, no matter how shameful it is. Why do you think "reality" shows are so big today? People will willingly debase themselves for fame, and we will tune in to watch.

That being said, the real shocker here, is that this 17 year old was at the game with his dad. And as this act of stupidity was brewing in the mind of this teenager, he leans over to share it with his dad, almost as if to say "what you think dad, should I go for it?" Now I am going to let that sit there for a minute............................okay, you got it. This kids asked his dad, what his opinion was of breaking the law. The dad readily admitted that he told the son, I'm not sure about it, but if you want to go for it, go ahead. WHAT? Is that where we are today, is that how far we've come...answer is yes. Now it may seem like I am coming across hard on this dad, but I am just using this moment to highlight a greater issue...the lack of men acting like men and leading themselves, their families, their homes, their kids. Do you ever wonder why there isn't greater movement for the Gospel, don't look any further than the men that make up our society, communities and churches.

Now before you think I am trying to raise myself as the alpha-male, I'm not. I've got a long way to go, and a story like this serves as a wake up call. As a man who is striving to live for Christ and His glory there are no days off. Days off, slips in character, minor compromises in character are never minor and are always detrimental to me, my walk and those God has called me to lead. I pray that I as a man, would strive to be the man that God has called me to be, a man of Truth and of integrity and I pray the same for all my Christian brothers. Its time to start acting like men, because our lack of doing that will have a ripple effect and no telling how many the enemy will taze and enslave because of it!

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
1 Corinthians 16:13

Monday, May 3, 2010


Today is Summit's prayer and fasting day, FastForward. We believe strongly that if we truly want to see the mission of God move forward then we must be individuals and a collective body that is devoted to prayer. Below are the prayer points that we are asking our people to pray through throughout the day.

"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

Points of Focus...
#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 for the people of Summit. Pray for those who are in need of employment or other provisions. Pray for those who are hurting emotionally, spiritually and physically. Pray for the many marriages in our church that they would be strong & kids to be wise.

#3. Pray also for those who call Summit Church their home and who do not know Christ as their Savior at this time. Pray that they would respond to the Gospel. Pray for those who do identify themselves as followers of Christ. Pray that they would continue to strive to build their lives on the values: God, Truth, Love, Mission and would seek to live those values out day to day through our five outcomes.

#4. 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.

#5. Pray for the Elders of Summit as they continue to seek God in regards to future expansion plans of another campus and a space in the Naples area that would give us greater opportunities for deeper community impact. Pray that God would grant them wisdom and lead them to His desired agenda, plan and mission.

#6. 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.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Looking forward to spending the way with my amazing bride. God is so good. I love that I can see and be reminded of God's goodness thru my spouse. I am blessed!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Evan's Story

Yesterday I had the privilege of doing the baby dedication for a couple who have been a part of Summit for a while now and who have come to be friends that I respect. Below is the challenging story of their first child, Evan's, journey. His story truly points to the power and glory of God.

Evan’s Story

We found out in December of 2008 that we were pregnant with our 1st child after we had been trying for over a year. At 17 weeks we got an ultrasound done that showed we were having a boy. We went to the Bahamas trying to enjoy a last vacation before having our son. We got a phone call from our Dr. that there was a problem with our son and we needed to call them. They told us that our son had enlarged ventricles in his brain filled with fluid. Later we got the diagnosis of severe hydrocephalus. In the Bahamas, we decided on the name Evan because we wanted our son to fight, and his name “Evan” means “Young Warrior”.

We were sent to a high risk pregnancy group that discussed what was going on. They asked us numerous times if we wanted to terminate and literally scared us to death trying to persuade us to terminate. They gave us information on X-linked hydrocephalus which had an extremely poor prognosis. They also told us that Evan had a high chance of dying before he could even be delivered.

We were crushed and so we talked to Orlando & Todd at Summit. They prayed with us and they cried with us. They took our story to prayer teams and stayed in touch with us throughout the whole pregnancy. I remember Todd saying “God hasn’t written this story yet”! We also sought prayer from family and friends outside our church. The word got around quickly and we heard about families and churches around the country that were praying for Evan!

So at this point, all we could do is research hydrocephalus as much as we could. We found a neonatal neurosurgeon in Orlando with a really good reputation with shunt surgery for hydrocephalus infants. When we saw him he was very sympathetic about our situation and gave us all the facts that he could. He told us that when Evan was born that he would have to have a shunt inserted into his brain to drain the fluid and release the pressure in his brain to survive. This shunt would be with him the rest of his life. He also said with the amount of fluid and the size of Evan’s head that we should sign a DNR before he is born. He explained that if Evan could not breathe on his own then he would pretty much be a vegetable and that we should strongly consider signing the DNR.

At 26 weeks, Michelle was in a car accident where some teenagers pulled out in front of her and she had to stay overnight because she went into pre-term labor. Pre-term labor came and went throughout the pregnancy with the doctors prescribing bed rest several times. But Evan amazingly survived a high speed car accident at around 40 mph!

We were told that with the size of Evan’s head that he would not make it to delivery….again. We had to go up to Orlando to deliver because they didn’t have a neonatal neurosurgeon in Ft, Myers. We also had to go up early because of the pre-term labor from the accident & the increased size of Evans head. The delivering Dr said we had to deliver early because his head was getting too large and it would become increasingly dangerous to wait.

In Orlando we stayed at the Ronald McDonald house and scheduled his C-section delivery for August 3rd, 2009.

On the day he was born, the doctors had a respiratory team in the delivery room because they weren’t sure if he would breathe on his own. When he came out, we were so scared but he started crying & breathing on his own and we both cried with him! He weighed 7 lbs 5 oz being 6 weeks premature. He scored a 9 out of 10 on the apgar scale which is near perfect.

That wasn’t the end. The day before his surgery they told us that they couldn’t do it because his blood work came back with some issues. After many blood transfusions they finally did a bone marrow test that came back with 10-15 percent abnormal bone marrow cells. They told us that it would either get better or get worse; leukemia is 25% abnormal bone marrow cells so they thought he could be headed that way.

He ended up having his shunt surgery on August 11th because his head started to increase in size and they couldn’t wait any longer. Evan came out of the surgery on a respirator having tubes coming out from all over but he was so strong throughout. We again had to worry about infection because his immune system was still so weak. We had to wear gowns, gloves, and masks just to be in the same room with him. At one point, they had to put his IV in his head because they had poked him so many times in the arms. We spent our days & nights in the NICU feeding him and just spending time with him, praying every day that somehow Evan would be ok.

When we were able to bring him home, his immune system was still weak and we had to get his blood work done every week. Finally in December, his immune system finally recovered and again he made it through yet another obstacle. The cancer doctor we had to go to said “you can’t rule out prayer” and with the support of family and our church family we felt that we were very well covered in prayer.

Evan is now 7 ½ months old; he weighs over 18 lbs, and is in the 90th percentile for his height. He is truly doing amazing; his neonatal neurosurgeon said he expects Evan to be a “normal independent functioning adult”! What a day that was, we cried tears of joy that could not be held back. We finally got to see God’s introductory chapter of Evan’s story that He is still writing.

Evan is a true miracle that can only be described as a gift from God.

We want to thank our family & friends, the Leadership team, and all the people of Summit church for all their prayers and support through this difficult time in our lives. Thank you to the families that brought us meals and the endless words of support that we received. Every time we felt discouraged someone or something would give us a little boost of hope, the timing of which could not be explained other than God guiding our family through this. So thank you for allowing yourselves to be the work of God to our family.

We cannot thank you enough,
Jason, Michelle, & Evan Plucker

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Why do you read your Bible?

The other day I was sitting in a coffee shop and there was a gentleman reading his Bible and a stranger walked up and asked him why he read the Bible. I quickly leaned in with great expectation to what the response was going to be. I thought, wow, what a divine appointment. Man, this is going to be great, bring the heat man, go for it, set it off, paint that picture of the grandness of the God we serve...and the guy answered because that's what we do as Christians...what? That's it, that's the best answer you have to why you engage in God's infallible and eternal truth. Well there were no fireworks there and there was certainly no amazement on the face of the guy who asked the question.

Now before you go judging me, understand I am not judging the man, for his answer. I am not questioning his walk or love for Christ, I was just shocked that there wasn't more to his reason and motive. Well that got me thinking. Why do we read the Bible? What would I answer? What would the people who I help to pastor answer? Reading the Word each day is great and we at Summit encourage it greatly. But obedience to the Word is the key.

The goal in reading the Word is not to finish, but to change. I hear so many Christians post, update, or even say that they read their Bible, but I wish I would read or hear as frequently about people's struggles and enlightenment's of the Truth they are claiming they read. Now before you go labeling me a "Bible thumper" or a "Debbie-downer" that's not my heart at all. My fear is that for so many reading their Bibles has become a "have to" and the wrong "have to" at that. For many they have to read their Bible because their Pastor told them to, or their small group leader, or because that's what a good Christian does...And I just wonder where the passion and power is in that. I think God's "have to" would be, because without it, we would be lost, we would be left to ourselves, we would never fully experience the joy and wonder of intimacy with God, without it we would continue to struggle with the lure and grip of sin, without it we would be lulled to believe that what this world has to offer is better than the pleasures God holds in His hands.

You see if we read the Bible because as a Christian we "have to", we may miss the wonder in communing with the eternal and connecting with the divine, and therefore we may end answering like the gentleman at the coffee shop. Why do you read the Word? Are you passionate about it? Do you see it as your map and guide? The next time you sit down to read, ask yourself, why am I doing this? Don't be in such a hurry to check your box and pat yourself on the back for doing the "have to". Ask God to show you His glory, illuminate your sin, and draw you closer to Him? Don't worry so much about the quantity of what you read as you do the quality. Remember don't read to finish, read to change. Just a rambling. God Bless!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

No More Crutches...

Could my life stand on it's own? That is the question that God has been using in this season to challenge, convict and prune me. What area or areas of my life, in this season could not stand on its own, but needs explanation? My buddy, Todd, and I started a discipleship group for men on Tuesday mornings, and the challenge has been to be men of the Word, men of prayer and men of integrity. Well, if I am growing in those areas my life should be able to stand on the goodness of God and reflect the transforming power of the Gospel. I want so desperately to be a man whose life reflects the character of God, and yet as you know that is a lot easier to say than to live out. But, why is that? I mean, God has promised us His grace, His Spirit, His Truth to lead us, and empower us over sin and yet there are still so many fumbles.

I don't claim to have the answer, but one thing I have come to realize in my own life is that there is a huge difference between managing your sin and image and living transparently before God and others. I think a lot of times as Christians we spend the majority of our time trying to explain away our actions than pursuing holiness and Christ-likeness. God hasn't called us to guard our image or manage our sin, He has called us to bear His manage and deal ruthlessly with our sin. That is totally different than the way we as Christians live sometimes. I know what you're thinking, this post is already five sentences too long, so let me go back to the beginning...yes the beginning.

Can your life in this season stand on its own? Could people look at your life all facets of it and walk away and say I know what that man/woman is all about? Or would they be confused that your life which is to resemble and reflect Christ looks no different than the unbelieving world. I don't ask the question in judgment, believe me, its the question I ask myself daily...whether I am at the gym, outside with my kids, out to dinner with my wife, or even sitting a lone at Starbucks could my life stand on its own. If the answer is no, or not in this area, it's time to stop talking to cover ourselves, and start talking to God for forgiveness, and change.

The Gospel is the power of God to bring salvation and transformation...maybe it's time we stop confusing people not so much with our doctrine, but with our lives. Just another rambling, but praying hard our lives will be able to stand without the crutches of excuses...God Bless.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


This morning I was reading in Psalm 27 and God really encouraged and challenged me with these verses...
"I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."

Love that faith...I am confident, that I will see the goodness of the Lord. I think so many times, the weakness of my faith and the immaturity of it is seen when I allow circumstances to define my reality. When I allow the pressures, disappointments or frustrations of this life choke out or block out the reality that God is good and that we as His children will see His faithfulness and goodness. But, what are the necessary prerequisites to experience His goodness and baste in it, well here's one WAITING! Now it sounds easy enough, but let's be honest how good are we at waiting. I have seen almost wars breakout in department store lines, drive thru's and even counter tops at Starbucks because people have had to wait. Maybe you have been one of those individuals, sadly enough I know I have been one. Waiting, sounds so nice, but spiritually it can be one of the toughest things to do. We want God to act, respond and move according to our time table. In our impatience we almost treat God like a genie in a bottle and guess what God will not NO part of it. I'm just messing with you. Here's the question, how good are you at waiting, no not just in line or at a restaurant, but more importantly, waiting on God. Are you confident in this season, that you will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living or are you to busy looking at your circumstances and too busy growing impatient? Well, I think God would say to each of us, WAIT! Watch my glory, rest in my strength, and don't you dare try to be me...WAIT. It's not a passive word, it's actually a word of strength.

"but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles;they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

Just some rambling, but praying we will soar today as we WAIT on the Lord.

Greater Things...

Yesterday we completed week two of our 5 weeks series entitled "Greater Things". It was a privilege to teach down at our Naples Campus and see some of what God is doing there. The people are excited about God's mission and the campus is growing. There is a fresh excitement in this season of ministry. The vision continues to be refined for us as a Leadership Team and we continue to see the activity of God in and through the lives of His people.

Though the wrecking that God has been doing in my heart and life are far from being over I can't help to feel a sense of restlessness. Restlessness that is stemming from a deep conviction and belief that God is about to truly blow the doors off of this place. Greater things are truly yet to be seen for the glory of God. I am desperately asking God to train my heart to say yes. I am not letting go of the fact that I believe a more permanent residence for our Naples Campus and the launch of a third campus are non-negotiables. It is going to require sacrifice, faith and obedience. And as I am praying that God would prepare my heart, and I am praying for the hearts of those who call Summit their home as well.

Over the last 6 years this ministry has lived and operated on the edge of faith, but my spirit has been letting me know we really haven't seen anything yet. I am so pumped for the next part of this journey.

"Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground." Psalm 143:10

Monday, February 1, 2010

ING Miami Marathon 2010

Yesterday, I ran my second marathon with my buddy, Jonathan. This is the fourth race that I have had the privilege to run in conjunction with Organization for Autism Research in honor of my son, Max. Though I did not reach my desired goal, I was so pleased to just finish. Being sick all week and on the day of the race added to the hardship of doing a race of this magnitude. One of the great things about yesterday, besides crossing the finish line, was just reflecting on how much the Lord has done in my son's life over the past year. It is nothing short of amazing. Every day, my wife, Pam and I get to see the activity of God in and through our little boy's life. There are so many unknowns with autism, but one thing we know for sure God is faithful and He is good. There was so much frustration I felt yesterday with being sick, wanting to quit, and knowing that I was not going to meet my goal, that it was at times upsetting, but it was in that moment that I got a glimpse of the frustration that my son must feel at times, when he can not understand or do something. What I love about him though is he continues to plug away, so I figured as long as I could breathe I would press on.

I told my wife yesterday that there was a team of runners that had this slogan printed on their shirts...
"Run when you can,
Walk if you need to,
Crawl if you must,
But don't you dare quit!"

That was pretty much what I was feeling yesterday. I would not classify myself as a runner though I have run quite a few races now, nor would I say I am some great athlete. Running has become quite therapeutic for me and running these races in conjunction with OAR in honor of my son, has been a powerful reminder that my family and I are on a marathon of a journey and quitting is not an option. God will continue to give us the strength and the wisdom that we will need to meet the challenges that come our way, and as long as He is on the throne, we will always hold on to our hope. I am so grateful for my kids and my wife, who make this life God has given to me that much sweeter. And, I am also grateful for our friends and family who share this journey with us. To each of you, thank you for your love, encouragement, and support. WE did it...we pray that you will continue to run this journey with us.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Summit's Haiti Relief Efforts

Summit's Haiti Relief Efforts

As many of you know, in the aftermath of the catastrophe in Haiti, Summit is aggressively looking for ways to respond through our partnership with Mission of Hope Haiti. MOH Haiti has been designated by the State Department as their base of operations for medical relief. We are currently organizing multiple teams of professional medical staff to respond with aid. Teams will be leaving Saturday morning. If you are in the medical profession, equipped for trauma response and have a valid passport please contact Michael Girado at Because of Mission of Hope's influence with both Haiti's government and the U.S. government they have the opportunity to make a huge impact in responding to this crisis. What they need now is our prayers, medical personnel and financial support. If you would like to donate you can directly give through Mission of Hope's site here or you can donate through Summit Church here (add a gift and choose Disaster Relief).

For updates on the relief efforts at Mission of Hope please visit
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Monday, January 11, 2010

God Ain't Playin'

I am still working my way through the book of Amos and today I read something that just jumped out at me. In the early verses of chapter 5 you see the Prophet Amos speaking to this way-ward people and proclaiming God's heart. A few times Amos proclaims this...God says "seek me and live", yet it falls on death ears and people continue to seek everything other than God. Then at the end of the chapter God rebukes them with a strong word when the people try to treat Him as an add on or after thought.

21 "I hate, I despise your religious feasts;
I cannot stand your assemblies.

22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them.
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
I will have no regard for them.

23 Away with the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.

24 But let justice roll on like a river,
righteousness like a never-failing stream!

25 "Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings
forty years in the desert, O house of Israel?

In essence God is saying you have been openly and blatantly rebelling against me and now you want to do religious acts and think that everything is going to be okay...not going to happen! God is gracious and He desires fellowship with us, but we must respect Him as Lord and not think for a second that we can have our sin and have Him without consequence as well. Worshiping God when our hearts are not pure is just giving God lip service and He won't have any of it. God does not want our lip service, what He desires is our obedience. It was a good reminder for me this morning and a great challenge.

16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
17The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:16-17

Monday, January 4, 2010

Spiritual Lessons from a Bear...

This blog has been lying dorment for so long, not out of lack of things to write or even lack of time or desire. I have been in a season where I have been capturing more of my private thoughts and challenges and desiring to focus on those things rather than the public forum of blogging. And, let's face it, I am not really that interesting to read, but it is a great exercise in communication.

This past weekend my wife and I averted what could have been a huge catastrophe in the life of our three year old it wasn't that she fell of her swing set, jumped off her trampoline, it wasn't that we lost her in the mall or anything like, those things are definitely horrible, but this would probably rank right up there in my daughter's heart. You see her bear, her ragged, dingy, sleepy bear that she has had since birth, went missing. She took it to Publix with her while her and her mom went grocery shopping and somewhere in the store she dropped the bear---no where to be found. My wife, did a mad search, up and down every isle to no avail. She spoke to the store manager and explained the dire situation and left her name and number in hopes that maybe a good samartian or faithful employee would turn it in.

My daughter was crushed. That night she was a little restless as we put her down for her bed and there was no bear. Now I want to give you a picture of how my daughter views this bear. You see this bear has no legs and again it has taken such a beating, that there really is no redemable value or beauty to this thing. Yet in spite of what we see and how we feel, my daughter loves this bear. She talks to it, dresses it. Brings it to the dinner or lunch table and places food in front of it. Every night when I put her to bed and pray for her, she asks me to pray for bear...yeah, I kid you not, to my sweet 3yr old, this bear is valuable, is lovely, is worth being loved.

Now catch this, if you are still daughter loves this thing, and it got me thinking, what a picture of how God loves us. There may have been many and still maybe some that say, you are beat up, you're dirty, dingy and there is no redeemable quality in you what's so ever. And yet, God says I love you. In fact, I love you so much I gave my only Son for you (John 3:16). Jesus says, I love you so much I would leave the 99 to go find you. Now, don't get me wrong I am not trying to say we are the center of God's world, but we are an aim of His affection and love. Where ever you are today, may the fact that God pursues you with an everlasting love be your encouragement and hope today.