Mr. Big Stuff, Who Do You Think You Are?

God has called me to lead His people in worship. I would love nothing more than to be able to lead the people that God has placed me in front of in a way that they don’t experience me, but rather they experience Christ. This is my goal week-in and week-out as I lead here at church and other venues. I dream about creating music that the church can use to voice what Christ is doing in their hearts as an offering of worship back to Him. There is incredible power to be found at the center of a worshiping church that rallies around the cross each week, and I want to be a part of leading people to that experience. I also want to mentor the next generation of believers/worshipers so that long after I have gone on into eternity with Jesus, they are still worshiping the same Creator and Savior.  My identity is found in Jesus and Jesus alone.  It is not in music, an instrument, a certain church, a given preacher, a style, or a preference.  I am first, and foremost, a follower of Christ and worshiper of Him.

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Published in: on December 11, 2012 at 2:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Who Knows Where We’ll Go From Here

So I can’t really sleep right now for some reason. That stinks, but what are you going to do. I was just thinking about something that my wife said as a comment on my blog from the other day. It was random, but it got me thinking. She suggested that her and I start doing a blog together. I personally think that it is a great idea, so look for a link to it soon. But more so than that, the next thing she said is what got me thinking. She suggested that we do a blog together, because we might be more productive in writing if we work together. Okay follow me here. I think that it is such a perfect way to look at marriage initially and ultimately the Christian life. Of course, Kim and I are more productive when we work together, but I think that we are also more creative when we work together as well. This makes for great innovation in the way we parent the girls, and it makes for less dull time in our relationship as well. The work for the Kingdom of God would benefit greatly if we could follow this simple way of living. If we work together, serve together, and love God together we can accomplish so much more for Him. The Lone Ranger mentality truly has no place in the realm of Christianity. However, it has come to the point now where pastors and lay people alike feel they have to one up each other in order to get people to “their” church. Seriously?! I am pretty sure that is not what God had in mind when Jesus gave the Great Commission. Why does it matter if people you meet and serve in your community go to specifically your church. Just the fact that they enter any church, so long as it is a Bible believing, God serving church, is a good thing. So much cooperative community outreach ministry is hindered by the fact that each of the churches involved is too concerned with who will get the prospects from the event.

I did not mean to go on a rant, but I think that it is unhealthy, and unbiblical for that matter, for each of us to think that we have the corner on the outreach ministry market. Think of what we could do if we were willing to put aside the idea of growing “our” church and focused on growing His kingdom. This is the point that I currently find the American church, and I think these are questions that must be answered if we desire to continue to be relevant in the world.

Be encouraged to make alliances with other Christians in your community, and infiltrate your city with the love of Christ.

Published in: on December 12, 2009 at 4:10 am  Leave a Comment  
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You are holy, great and mighty. The moon and the stars declare who You are.

Have you ever thought about the fact that worship is not about us?  It really isn’t, you know?  It has everything to do with God.  We are pouring out ourselves so that we can be filled with Him.  Our worship is a response to all of the things that God has done for us.  When we weigh out all of the things that He has done for us, we truly have no other response than a genuine, biblical worship that involves thanksgiving, praise, and adoration.  I wonder if any of you have taken to time to think about what we are actually doing when we worship.  Worship should be an engagement between mankind and God, between the finite and the infinite, between humanity and deity.  It is an opportunity for us, as humans, to thank Jesus, as God, for the many things that He has done for us.  There are no rituals that must be performed or special words that must be said, only there must be a heart willing to connect with the eternal greatness of the Creator.  Think about that this week as we are inching ever closer to Christmas.  It is the point where the eternal God intersected with temporary humanity in order that we may have life.

Published in: on December 8, 2009 at 4:35 pm  Comments (1)  
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Life is full of light and shadows, oh the joy, oh the sorrows

It has been a while since I blogged.  I just get so busy sometimes, and sharing my thoughts falls to the bottom of the priority list.  However, I am here now, and I will share.  A lot has happened since I last blogged.  We are starting a Hispanic service at Westside Baptist Church.  I am really excited about it.  A Hispanic service is something that is really needed in our community, and I really think that God is going to use this to change lives in the Hispanic population of our community.  We have felt as a staff that God has been leading us to this point for several months, and it is now actually going to happen.  I pray that God will bless and direct it.  Another thing that has happened is that the new David Crowder Band album has come out as well.  It is a great album.  I highly recommend that you get it if you do not have it already.  I think that it is one of the band’s most theologically deep works to date.  The title of today’s blog comes from the song “Shadows”.  One portion of the chorus says, “When all seems lost when we’re thrown and we’re tossed, we’ll remember the cost, we’re resting in the shadow of the cross.”  I love that!  No situation that we come into contact with in this life seem nearly as significant when viewed from the lens of the cross.  I think that we, as Christians, lose sight of that fact from time to time.  We can truly rest in the shadow of the cross.

I hope to bring a word of encouragement from several other songs from the album.  I hope that everyone has a great day.

The universe declares Your majesty….

It has been a while since I have written to the seven people who actually follow my blog regularly, so I guess I apologize.  Anywho…I have been leading the youth in a study through the Book of Titus, and last night we covered Titus 1:10-16.  We talked about false teachers, and what they look like.  I really want the youth to understand that they need to know what false teachers look like and how they behave so that they can point them out when they see them.  I made the statement, “Whether you realize it or not, and whether you embrace it or not you guys are the future leaders of the church.  And you have to decide if you are going to lead in the right direction or the wrong direction.”  My prayer is that through this study of Titus the youth will get a good understanding of what it means to be a productive member of the local church.

I also want to write today about the latest Hubble space telescope press release that came out yesterday.  You should definitely check it out, click here.  These images are completely amazing.  There is no question in my mind that God has His hand in every corner of creation.  He is the masterful Creator of all the universe.  These images that have been released are breathtaking. My personal favorite is the butterfly nebula.  It is beautiful.  I encourage everyone to go check out the images.  God is amazing, and the universe is screaming it out at the top of its lungs.

You and I were made to worship…

We are created in the image of God to be His representation here on earth.  This is not something that should be taken lightly by anyone.  When we have this understanding of ourselves and what we were created as, it necessitates that we live a certain way.  Wayne Grudem wrote,

Every single human being, no matter how much the image of God is marred by sin, or illness, or weakness, or age, or any other disability, still has the status of being in God’s image and therefore must be treated with the dignity and respect that is due to God’s image-bearer.”

I truly believe that if people could get this concept into their minds, then the world in which we live would be drastically different.  There would be no problem between races, classes, cultures, or economic levels, because we are all created in God’s image and deserve respect as being His image bearer.  This fact should cause us to break out into worship, because we get the specific privilege of bearing God’s image.  The creator of the universe chose to impress His image onto us, and we truly have no other response than unadulterated and unhindered worship of that Creator.

How do I love her?

I really think that this blog corresponds directly with Kim’s Blog. I begin today’s post with a passage from Ephesians:

“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.” – Eph. 5:22-24

I begin with this because many people know it, and men have used this passage for centuries in order to lord over their wives in every way.  I am not in any way insinuating that this is not the way God intended it to be.  I think that this is the perfectly ordained order that God would have.  Wives should submit under the leadership of their husbands as equals in essence, but different in substance.  This is the way that God created it to be. However, many people, women included have an improper view of what this means.  I think that for too long people have laughed their way through the discussion of these three verses.  It think that the problem lies in the fact that people do not continue to read past verse 24.  Beginning in verse 25 we find:

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor , without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” – Eph. 5:25-27

Yes the wife is to submit herself under the leadership of her husband, but the husband in turn is to love her with a Christ-like love.  This does not mean that he laughs about the fact that she is to be made subject to him or that he treats her as if she is a slave to do anything for him.  I just think that it is time that men quit laughing their way through discussions about their wives’ submission.  Although the wife is submitting, the husband must love her in return the same way that Christ loves the church.  This really puts a huge amount of responsibility on the husband.

I guess what I am trying to say is that it is time for men, Christian men, to stop treating women as if they are inferior in every way.  Men and women are equal.  God has simply placed men in the position of leadership in the family.

I would love to know what people think about this subject.  Please comment and let me know.

Published in: on August 23, 2009 at 10:29 pm  Comments (2)  
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Take my life and let it be all for You and for Your glory…

I love those lyrics.  They fit in perfectly with what I am talking with the youth about tonight.  I am really excited about the possibilities of what God can do through our group.  I am talking with the youth this evening about John 17 and The High Priestly Prayer of Jesus.  There are several things that we can learn from Jesus in the way that He prays to God.  In John 17:4 Jesus states, “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.”  God take my life and let it be all for you and for your glory.  That is all about doing the work that God gave me in this life. I plan on challenging the youth to begin coming about an hour earlier on Wednesday evenings so that we can become a group that does great spiritual battle through prayer.  I think that so often teenagers are so focused on themselves, and I want to try to get them for at least an hour to be focused on the Kingdom of God.  I believe that God can use our group in a mighty way.  I know that as we pray, His presence can fall on us, and we can be changed.  My prayer is that we can come together each week with an attitude of expectancy, and that God’s presence is so heavy on us that we cannot even open our eyes for fear of being encountered with the very image of the Lord.  I want God to use us, and I want for the youth to grasp hold of the importance of interceding on behalf of our church, our families, our country, and our world.  I will let you know how things go tomorrow.  Have a great night.

Back in the saddle again…

I am back in class for the first time since the beginning of May.  I feel like it has been forever since I did any school work.  I just wanted to let everyone know that I am still alive.  Youth camp did not kill me.  These past couple weeks have been a whirlwind.  With camp and VBS being back to back I am drained of energy right now.  Now I am in class, and it is tough to stay awake.  I love seminary classes, but I am just so tired right now.  I will let you know how the week goes.

This week is also very exciting for me.  Thursday is Kim’s and my fourth anniversary, Saturday AM kim is graduating from Georgia Tech, and Saturday PM my college roommate is getting married in NC.  It will be a busy week, but a very rewarding week.  I am also very excited about the fact that kim and I have felt led of God to sponser a child through Compassion International.  Through a great amount of prayer God has introduced us to a five year old little girl from Uganda named Lunkuse.  I know that God has placed a love in our hearts for her and her family.  I cannot wait to learn more about her and tell her about us.  I am really looking forward to being a part of helping Lunkuse and her family come to know Jesus.

I hope that everyone has a great rest of the day, and I will check in later on this week.

All our hope is in You, all our hope is in You

Day two of camp has been amazing!  God is most definitely here.  This morning focused around the question, “What are you fixing your eyes on?”  We get so caught up in the visible and tangible world that we completely overlook the spiritual world that is just a s real s the physical one.  If we are fixing our eyes on the things that are visible, then we have lost sight of the things that are important.

This afternoon we had a great time enjoying God’s creation at the beach.  We had a little accident where one of the adult leaders ending up at the hospital getting four stitches in her shin, but I promise that everyone is doing fine, and she will make a complete recovery.  I don’t even think that she will need physical therapy to relearn how to walk. 🙂  The free time outside was cut short by an afternoon thunder storm, but that let us have some great time hanging out at dinnertime getting to know each other a little better.

This evening center on four things that happen when we are in God’s presence.  We looked at Exodus 33:7-16.  In His presence our posture changes, our focus changes, His presence becomes necessary to us, and our faces are changed as a result.  I firmly believe that God is doing something in the hearts of the youth from Westside.  They have all stated that they want to ask God to show them His glory.  I told them all during our church group time this evening that I hoped they are ready to face the consequences of voicing that desire.  I mentioned that I was not discouraging them, but rather trying to help them understand what will follow a request like that.  I read the kids a quote that Louie Giglio said during my youth pastor’s meeting just before the service this evening.  He stated, “I want your students to know that it is okay to let Jesus do something crazy in their lives.  Don’t think that it will be wrong for Jesus to radically change their lives.”  I pray that the kids will understand that.  It is completely  okay for Jesus to radically change them.  He can call them to serve in a currently unknown village in the jungles of Indonesia to be the first person to reach a people group for the name of Christ, or He may call them to serve in their neighborhood by helping cut the grass of an elderly person down the road.  GOD CAN DO AMAZING THINGS! Especially when we are willing to give up our plans for life, and follow hard after the Lord.

Everyone is doing great, and please know that God is doing a mighty work in our lives.