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!



Here I am! And here we are to stay…
April 8, 2008, 2:43 pm
Filed under: family, friends, life, ministry, missions, people, prayer, religion | Tags: , , , ,

It has been a while. I really don’t know why but I have taken a sabbatical from blogging. Not only have I not blogged in a while but I also haven’t even read any blogs lately. I apologize if you had something really important and/or interesting to say that I missed.

Anyway, I am here and so are we…to stay. In Houston that is. We recently found out that we will be staying in the Houston area and we are very excited about it. We really love Houston. There’s family, a beautiful downtown, an amazing church, friends, the Astros…who could ask for more? (we won’t mention the heat or humidity of the summers)

We are joining the team of AIM (Adventures In Missions). They are based out of Georgia but I will work from home here in Houston as the Texas/ Southwest rep. We will be working with youth pastors and pastors from different churches who want to be a part of change by mobilizing students to reach the “least of these” around the world. Today’s generation of students is the largest and wealthiest in American history, therefore giving it the potential to make the greatest impact (for the good or bad). Our belief is that by connecting today’s students with the “least of these” here in America and around the world the hearts and lives of both will be forever changed creating the opportunity for a real difference to be made.

We truly are excited for this opportunity and new direction God has led us in.

We will now be in search of a place to live. With me traveling as much as I will be it is important to us to find a place that is safe, family-friendly, has a lot of kids, and has friends close by. That is why we are looking to move to the Cy-Fair area. Pray that we will find just the right house for us. We will begin raising support soon. Pray for favor in that area and pray that we will raise the needed support as quickly as possible. Pray for wisdom and favor as I begin talking to churches and youth pastors about mission trips. And pray for another piece of the puzzle to come together that I am unable to mention right now but hopefully soon will be able to. I can’t thank you enough for your prayers and support!

<insert advertisement>

If you are a pastor, youth pastor, student, etc. who is interested in mobilizing students to make a difference feel free to contact me about mission opportunities.



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.



I’m home…
February 6, 2008, 11:27 pm
Filed under: fun, life, ministry, people, whatever | Tags: , , , ,

I am back in Houston! Last night in KY we had some friendly neighborhood tornadoes visit. They caused over 10,000 people to be without electricity…most of which were near the airport in Lexington where we were flying out of. We had to leave earlier than expected and I was tired.

When we arrived at the airport the deja vu began. We arrived at the counter to check in and found out that the flight had been canceled. It was going to cause me to get home later than originally planned but I talked to my new friend behind the counter and he worked some things out for me to go through Cincinnati instead of Chicago and actually got me home earlier than originally planned (I even was able to surprise my kids by picking them up from school). I was pretty happy about what my friend was able to work out for me but it was short lived as once again I was chosen to get the security “plus” package…(for details on the plus package refer to my previous post as I detail it out after winning it in H-Town as well).

The flight to Cincinnati was fine; it actually only lasted 16 minutes, but the flight from there to Houston put me next to another questionable suspect. He sat next to me and I look over and say, “Hey there, how’s it going?” He slowly turns my way, gives me a weird look, and said, “Making it!” A few seconds later he begins an argument…with himself! He starts making faces, arguing, making hand gestures, etc. all with and to himself.

In all actuality I am just glad to be home! Below are some pictures from the trip there (referenced to in my previous post)…

Terror suspect #1 (after the suspicious phone call he looked around and covered his head)
terror suspect

The great airline food…(I did good, turkey sandwhich with no mayo and carrots):
fligt-food.jpg

My seat (and head) literally inched away from lavatory door:
seat-by-restroom.jpg

Beautiful view from my window:
plane-view.jpg



Church people vs. Kingdom people
February 2, 2008, 10:32 pm
Filed under: life, love, ministry, people, religion | Tags: , , , ,
“Kingdom people seek first the kingdom of God and its justice; church people often put church work above concerns of justice, mercy, and truth. Church people think about how to get people into the church; kingdom people think about how to get the church into the world. Church people worry that the world might change the church; kingdom people work to see the church change the world.”

-Harold Snyder