IN ALL ERNESTNESS


Just call me foolish…

Some have said there is a fine line between faith and foolishness…

What do you think?

  • It would be foolish to believe a 99 yr old woman could conceive and give birth but Sarah did.
  • It would be foolish to believe a slave could rise to 2nd in command and save a nation but Joseph did.
  • It would be foolish to believe a child could defeat a well trained warrior giant but David did.
  • It would be foolish to believe 3 men could be thrown into a furnace and walk away unharmed but “Rack”, “Shack”, and “Benny” did.
  • It would be foolish to believe that a group of slaves could escape Egypt and cross a sea on dry land but the Isrealites led by Moses did.
  • It would be foolish to think a virgin could give birth but Mary did.
  • It would be foolish to think a man could raise the dead but Jesus did (on numerous occasions…including himself).

Shall I go on?

Jeremiah 32:17, “Nothing is too difficult for you (God)”

Mathew 19:26, “with God all things are possible”

Luke 1:37, “For nothing is impossible with God”

Ephesians 3:20, “to Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all we ask or think”

Maybe I am foolish; but for me, I would rather be foolish for believing too much than not enough!

My God is a big god and I choose to trust Him for big things!



Do you know someone?
February 16, 2010, 12:03 am
Filed under: justice, life, love, ministry, missions, people, prayer, religion, Uncategorized, whatever | Tags: , , , , , ,

Have you ever thought there is more to life than what you were living? Have you ever thought there is more to following God than what you were experiencing? These are the thoughts that have led us to where we are.

A few years ago I was on staff at a church and we were doing all the “church” things. On the outside all looked well, but on the inside there were spots of emptiness. There had to be more to God than what we were living and teaching, if there wasn’t then church and God really were boring. Eventually this caused us to leave our church position. To what, we really didn’t know. In the time that followed we developed a deeper meaning of what it means to love God, love people. We have a deeper compassion for others. We have been moved to live more simply, want less, and give more (not only monetarily but with our lives as well). We have been introduced to the homeless in the Houston Montrose area. We have been introduced to Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere and our hearts burn for them. We have made contacts and friends there and have been privileged to make several trips. We have been introduced to others whom God is moving; kindred hearts and kindred spirits. We are not the same and we are thankful.

Complacency is no longer an option. We want to be more and do more for the cause of Christ. We don’t want to just play church, we want to be the church. We don’t want to play Christian, we want to be true followers of Christ. We want to make a difference.

In the past few years God has allowed us to do some really cool things and be a part of some pretty amazing stories as He used this time to change us and grow us. However, lately I have not been able to rest and my mind has been constantly going over all the needs and the injustices in this world. I have been thinking about what it really looks like to love as God loves and to truly follow Him with our lives. I’ve been thinking of my own life and where I am. I have been meditating, praying, seeking…and I feel God leading…leading me away from my cubicle and back to full-time service with my life. Not to just join a church staff or play church but to really serve Him and live for Him. To be a part of a ministry, organization, or group of people who are passionate about the same things I am and have the same hunger and desire to see things done, to make a difference and create change. Do you know someone/somewhere who fits that description? Do you fit that description? If so, I would love to talk with you. Below are a few things about myself…

What I am not: I am not perfect. In fact, I am far from it. I make mistakes and have made mistakes, some really big ones to be exact. But ,as much as I hate them, those mistakes have helped make me to who I am today. God truly can bring beauty from ashes. He truly does not waste a hurt if we turn it over to Him.

What I am: I am passionate, dedicated, determined, and hungry.

Passionate: I am passionate about a God that loves me so much He sent His son, Jesus, the Liberating King, to die for me. I am passionate about a Gospel that is relevant to today and about introducing people to that Gospel. I am passionate about being Christ to those around me; about loving God, loving people. I am passionate about the needs and the injustices of this world. I am passionate about family.

Dedicated: I am dedicated to the various obligations, tasks, and goals set before me. I am dedicated to sharing the message and the love of the Liberating King with others. I am dedicated to loving God, loving people and living that love out loud. I am dedicated to confronting the injustices and meeting the needs of this world in any way possible. I am dedicated to my family; to be someone who they can trust, depend on, and to be a leader they can follow.

Determined: I am determined to do more than just exist. I am determined to do more than just make a living. I am determined to make a difference. I am determined to create change in this world for the name of Christ. I am determined to see the church be the church God intended it to be and to see Christians living lives of faith that are real and go beyond our typical Sunday and mid-week routines and rituals.

Hungry: I am hungry for something different, for change. Change in this world. Change in myself. Change in the church. Hungry to do something adventurous, amazing, and crazy for God and hungry to lead others to do the same. I am hungry to be a part of something bigger than myself.

Hungry to live out Isaiah 1:17 which says, “Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Rebuke the oppressor. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.”

Plea: If you know of someone or a ministry/organization (or if you are that someone) who could use someone like me please let me know. I know this may seem crazy but I am serious. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you!



God…boring…really?
February 12, 2010, 4:57 pm
Filed under: adoption, family, friends, fun, justice, life, love, ministry, missions, people, religion, Uncategorized, whatever | Tags: , , , ,

Why don’t people like going to church? Although there are many different answers to this, one of the ones that I have heard the most is that church is boring…

Now, I was thinking about this on the way to work this morning and I really don’t think God intended for church to be boring. God is not a boring god. When we look to Scripture we don’t see Jesus, the disciples, or any of the other followers of Him leading boring lives…so why do we?

We are the ones that make church boring. We are the ones that make God boring. If anything has been reiterated in my life during the recent events, its that following God is not boring…God does not write boring stories…we make them boring with our mundane, safe lives of complacency and comfort.

Church isn’t boring due to the lack of programs and activities, or the style of music that’s played, the version of Scripture that’s used, etc…it’s boring due to the lack of passion and unabandoned love for God and our neighbor.

When we throw aside selfish ambition, when we throw aside the pursuit of comfort and complacency, when we realize following God is more than showing up to church on Sundays and Wed. (or whatever days you go), when we realize that following God is more than throwing a check into a plate as its passed by, when we realize that following God is more than putting a fish emblem on our car or listening to Christian radio, when we throw aside our own agenda and fully sell out to God’s it is then the true adventure begins…

May we all climb out of our cocoon of safety and complacency and join the wild adventurous life of truly following God and living lives of true love!!!



Justice…
January 18, 2009, 10:48 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , ,

In recent years I have changed, have been challenged, have questioned, and hopefully have grown spiritually.
What I have found to be true is that God is a god of love. He is a god of mercy and compassion. He is a god of justice…ahh, this is one of the words I think we get stuck on. What does justice mean? Is justice judgment? Is it damning people and “giving them what they deserve” or is it as Cornell West defines it, “Justice is what love looks like in public.”? Or is it something else?
The way we define justice has a direct effect on the way we live our lives as Christians.
So, how do you define justice? Let me know, I am interested to see what you think.



“Nothing is too difficult for me!” -God
January 8, 2009, 10:04 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , ,

Jeremiah 32:17 is one of my favorite verses and God has time and time again proven it to be true in our lives. Most recently with our adoption. Take a look at a few of the things God has done for us with our adoption…

-Chooses us to be the family for wonderful and beautiful boy from Haiti.
-Allows Debra’s photography business to pick up (which we are using to help fund the adoption).
-When things got moved up and time became of the essence God gave granted us (through the help of various beautiful people) with about $3000 in about 3 weeks.
-A wonderful lady from our church who is a teacher uses our story as she taught her class about Haiti and orphans there. She was reading them a book in which she ended up giving us with messages from each of her students written inside. She also made a donation in honor of each of her students.
-When we went to get our stuff authenticated and stamped at the Haitian consulate we barely caught the man there and once he finished he wouldn’t allow us to pay him (it was supposed to cost at least $350).
-When we were about $2K away from us being able to tuen in our paperwork and have Debra deliver it in person I asked some of our dear friends and family to pray for us. The next day we received a note in the mail that was sent a month earlier…inside was a check for $2K.
-When we went to book Debra’s flight the price had went up. That same day we received another donation that covered the difference.
-He allowed us to be blessed by having wonderful and beautiful people, some of which don’t even know us, become a part of our story.
-Thank you to God as He is to receive ALL the glory and thank you to those of you who have been praying and giving and following our story.

Nothing is too difficult for God!



Violence and The Kingdom…
February 12, 2008, 10:47 am
Filed under: life, ministry, people, religion, whatever | Tags: , , , ,

I was reading this blog post from Seth Barnes, President and founder of AIM, and I thought it was good. He was going over how the enemy has really attacked different people recently and referred to the verse, “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.” -Matthew 11:12

It fired me up a little bit and I wanted to share an excerpt with you…

The good news is, we don’t have to go whimpering into the night. We are more than conquerors. Somehow, in God’s economy, we’re called to resist the enemy of our souls and fight back – to get some violence in our spirit.

My mentor Andrew Shearman calls it “getting a spirit of violence.” We need to get angry and shout a bit at the forces of hell. Do a gut check and if you have difficulty fighting the accuser of the brethren, this would probably be a good day to make the following declaration, serving notice to the one who wants to wreck your life:

“Look, hell, you may have taken my loved one away. You may have robbed me of something I held dear. You may have marked me for destruction, but I sure as heck (go ahead and say “hell” if you’re feeling particularly righteous) am not going to sit here and take it! I am going to fight you for what God has given me. Society may place a premium on being nice and looking proper, but I don’t have any more room in my life for nice! I will fight you tooth and nail for what is mine, and furthermore, now that you’ve riled me up, I will exact a price for this. Where I’ve been complacent, I will start putting on the Ephesians 6 armor. Where I’ve been passive, I will start praying warfare prayers. Instead of sleeping in, I’m going to start getting up early and praising God. I’ve had it – I’m not going to sit still any longer! I know there’s a warrior’s spirit in me somewhere, and I intend to summon it up!”

This is not a prayer so much as it is a jolt of spiritual caffeine for your sleepy spiritual self that needs to slapped into a state wakefulness. And when you’re awake, start living in a way that truly does violence to the enemy camp. This is not weird or overly dramatic behavior – this is you waking up to your identity and to spiritual reality. It’s what normal Jesus followers struggling to navigate in this cynical world do.

And after you’re done declaring and praying and snorting or whatever, here’s how you continue the fight: Apologize to a few people you’ve offended. Hold an orphan, or sponsor one at least. Go visit some widows in a senior citizen’s home. Write a blog that tries to rile people up like this one. Turn off the TV. For God’s sake and for your own, do something!



My present battle…
February 11, 2008, 3:34 pm
Filed under: family, life, love, ministry, people, religion, whatever | Tags: , , , ,

Here it goes…maybe I am crazy, maybe I am not…but here is what I battle with right now…

For any of you out there that actually know us or have kept up with my or my wife’s blog at all know that we are in transition and have been for a little while. We came to Houston for what was suppose to be a couple of weeks before we headed off to a new ministry that awaited us. Well, that ministry fell through and the couple of weeks have turned to several months.

We have searched God and have been stretched by Him and have grown in Him in a lot of ways. Our eyes have been opened to many new things, new people, the needs of others, the importance and urgency of doing what we can to meet the needs of others, and so much more. Our understanding of loving God, loving People has deepened and grown. We are thankful for what God has done for us and what He has done through us this time. We truly are.

He has awakened in us a new passion and we feel Him leading us to do ministry that connects students to the “least of these” around the world. Think about it, the largest and wealthiest generation in American history having their eyes opened and their hearts broken for the needs of others all around the world! Think about the impact for change that would make! Incredible possibilities.

Pray for us as we pray and seek for the right people, the right organization, etc. to partner with in this journey to fulfill this vision and dream God has embedded in us. We are so eager and ready to do!

Here’s where I make myself vulnerable and show my humanity. I am tired. I am tired of waiting. I am tired of being in this place of transition. Several months with no place to call your own, no steady income, no job, 2 kids that come home everyday from school and one of their first questions is, “Daddy, did you get a job? Are we moving yet?”

Although I know it’s not true, sometimes I feel like I am losing my identity here in the land of in between.

I feel like God put this passion, this vision, this dream in us and we know what we want to do for Him. We fully believe it is He who has given us these desires of our hearts…and yet, He keeps us waiting still. “Here are we God, send us!” Waiting and trusting is the toughest thing to do. Life can seem depressing here in the wilderness! Don’t you see us God? Don’t you hear our cries? Don’t you see our willingness? Isn’t it You that has placed this desire in our hearts? I know that the answer to all of these is yes. And yes, He loves us and cares for us. Waiting just gets tiring sometimes. I wonder how the Hebrews felt doing it for 40 years?

We were going to Whitewater in Branson, MO, and on the way we kept passing these hotels with swimming pools and our kids would ask, “Can’t we just go there? It’ll be fun. Let’s just go swim there!” They had no idea of what lie ahead in the form of Whitewater Water Park. They were so willing to settle for a small pool when a whole water park awaited them. I know God sees the big picture and sees the “water park” that lies ahead in our future, and yes, the pools do look inviting and tempting. Lord help us to wait and trust You for what lie ahead and never settle for the pools in our life.