While this is in no way a political plug for any specific candidate, I found Mr. Huckabee's answer to the Creationism question refreshing.
Friday, August 31, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
After breakfast we went to a petting zoo and almost scared a horse to death. That was interesting. Then we made our way down to Country Junction, the worlds largest country store. We picked up some fall fest costumes for the kids. They look adorable.
We spent the afternoon working around the house. I piled up sticks from our back yard for about 3 hours and Bekah made a phenomenal meal - pork chops with rice and black beans and homemade salsa. Mmmmmm.
I got the kids showered and to bed and just watched a little of the US Open. I'm a huge tennis fan. Well, the wheels are about the fall off so I'm headed to bed.
I feel like the luckiest guy in the world to spend an entire day with my family and enjoy every minute of it. Life doesn't get any better.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
I also spoke on Saturday for my good friend Pastor Emilio Quinterra at Elim Ministries. Pastor Emilio planted a Spanish speaking church in the Poconos 5 years ago. This past weekend they had a young adults retreat with students from NY, NJ, Maryland and PA in attendance. They are doing a fantastic work for God here among our Spanish-speaking community.
What a thrill to be used of God and to rub shoulders with great people. After speaking 6 times this weekend I'm exhausted. But God is refreshing me moment by moment. Have a great week.
Friday, August 24, 2007
- Pastor Kevin will be speaking on "Willing and Able" - Part 10 our "Do It" Series on the book of James.
- Special Children's Team Guests "Crosswalk" will be presenting a fun, high-impact experience for our children's program. You're kids are not going to want to miss this. There will be lots of great music, games, and Biblical stories through drama and video.
- A special opportunity will be shared to help some needy families in a creative way as families get ready to send their kids back to school.
Please remember to invite your friends to church this weekend and get involved by serving in one of our weekend ministry teams.
Monday, August 20, 2007
I've found that in life, it's often the small things that make a big difference. The extra study time on a message makes a good message a great one. The extra effort in trying to communicate effectively with my wife transforms our good marriage into a great marriage. Working out just 5 more minutes on the treadmill builds stronger muscles and greater endurance.
God calls us to excellence in this life. We are told to do everything as "unto the Lord." Jesus gave me His best so He deserves my best. I refuse to settle for mediocrity and perpetual half-hearted commitment. The greatest things in life (marriage, business, church, relationship, education) will always cost you something. And that little effort in the end - just when you feel like quitting and giving up - will help you realize your dreams.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
I'm also having lunch today with a church planter in Philadelphia. God has opened the door for me to work with church planters all across the country. I really feel honored to have the opportunity to speak into the lives of other pastors and help them avoid making a lot of the mistakes I've made in ministry.
In fact, tomorrow I'm flying to Nashville for a one day seminar to finish up my national certification for church planting/health coaching with Church Coaching Solutions and CoachNET. I'm excited about investing in God's Kingdom. I also think that there is a spiritual principle at work when you give your time and resources away to someone else for the sake of the Gospel that God will pour back to you.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Death has a way of making you deal with life. If we handle death correctly, it can actually be a great teacher. Here's a few life lessons that that I shared last night:
- the highest use of life is to love - John 3:16 - "For God so loved."
- the best expression of love is the gift of you - "...that he gave his Son"
- the best time to love is now - "Today is the day of salvation."
If you want to leave a lasting legacy that will far outlive your life, than commit yourself to love. Paul said in 1 Cor. 13 that "three things will endure: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is love."
Spend time today loving God and loving others. You won't regret it.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Rudy did an awesome job today speaking on wisdom. Here are a few of my take aways:
- wisdom and knowledge aren't the same thing.
- knowledge is based on information and it comes from earth
- wisdom is based on a relationship with God and it's a divine gift
- wise people experience peace in their life; unwise people experience conflict
- wise people can learn from anyone
- wise people are open about their weaknesses
My prayer this week is that God would help me to walk in wisdom.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
He told the story about this woman stripper who got saved in his church. He explained that on her first Sunday in church she was not exactly wearing "church clothes" and despite that fact, the Lord touched her heart and she gave her life to Jesus.
He reminded us of the story of the Prodigal son and the fact that if he would have ran into the elder brother first he would have never made it back into the father's house. Unfortunately, too many of our churches display the spirit of the elder brother. We want everyone to clean up their life before we welcome them in the church.
Our heavenly father calls us to love EVERYONE. Dary challenged us to love people before they change or clean up their life. That was worth the entire trip this week!
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Monday, August 06, 2007
- 15 people give their hearts to Christ! (that's almost 30 people now in the past 2 weeks)
- over 100 people were serving in ministry from setup/tear down to children and music and multimedia and first impressions teams
- i don't know the numbers on first-time guests, but there were a lot!
- a gentleman named Gonzalo gave his heart to Christ yesterday - he was visiting family from Columbia and he responded to the altar call with the ASL translator - i'll never forget that moment
- 2 teenage girls visiting from France gave their hearts to Christ yesterday
- the worship band and singers were kickin' yesterday - they rock!
- the testimony Doug shared about his mother being healed on her death bed was simply miraculous. God answers prayer!
If you have a story to share or a cool testimony about what God is doing in your life through PCC, please post a comment. I look forward to hearing from you.
I love you PCC!
Thursday, August 02, 2007
When I was 12 years old my dad had to rescue me from the undertow in the ocean right off of a Tampa, Florida beach. I remember the power of the water as it tossed me back and forth with no regard for my need to breathe. It was a very scary experience...no matter how hard I tried I could not break free to make my way to shore. At the point of total exhaustion I finally just gave up.
The next thing I remember was my dad grabbing on to me and pulling me toward a breaker wall. At first, I didn't know what was happening and I found myself fighting his efforts to save me. But, through a series of frantic commands compelling me to relax and let him do the work we found ourselves on the breaker wall, finally reaching a point of safety.
It seems that my near-death experience as a kid has some similarities to our everyday experiences with people who are spiritually drowning. They are caught in an undertow of sinful deception and God has called us to help them. But, what about those people who don't want help. You know the ones - you grab onto them and instead of allowing you to bring them in the boat, they fight you with all they've got! What now? Let me give you a couple of practical things to ponder.
- Don't give up! When we come across these people in our lives, it is so important to remember that we can't let go...we can't give up. No matter how much they fight God's saving power coming into their lives, perhaps because they are blind to the perils that are all around them, we have to hang on tight! As hard as it might be at times, never let go!
- Be relational! We have to continue to nourish the relationships we have with people. One of the most important lessons we learn from Jesus is that He was a friend to those who were lost. People want to know that you care before they care what you know. We should respect them seeing them as people created by the Father, not succumbing to petty disagreements about doctrine. Remember, it's not about who's right, but rather, it's about them discovering righteousness.
- Be prayerful! Praying for them on a daily basis. Ask God to not only give you wisdom as you spend time with them, but also, ask Him to give you opportunities to speak into their lives as they experience the waves that make life so difficult at times. And when we do get those "divine appointments" making sure we are mindful to turn our conversation towards spiritual things, in creative, non-threatening ways. Listen, you don't have to be outgoing or even articulate...you just need to be available as a friend who loves God and prayerfully communes with Him. Just be the person God has made you, because it's really hard to argue with someone's testimony.
- Be patient! Hang on, don't give up, and always keep in mind: the ocean is big, and some rescues take a little more time. I know that we get tired too, but our Father has promised that He would always strengthen us in our time of need.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
I have to admit that this experience in contrast to the metaphor of "rowing a boat" that I have been sharing this week, is certainly much more desirable. But, should it be?
It seems that there are so many believers in Christ who really love the thought of God's grace, mercy and power being made active in their lives, and yet, "cruising for Jesus" is the attitude that prevails as a lifestyle instead of "rowing for Jesus". I wonder if there are many who think that the ocean of blessing is found lounging on deck sipping God's gifts at our leisure. Of course, it's true that there are times when God gives us opportunities of rest and relaxation, but how fulfilling would our life be if all our days were spent on a cruise? Consider this before you answer:
The apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:10-11, "I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead."
Paul's implication is that the most fulfilling experience on this earth is found in giving our all for Christ, even if it means living a lifestyle that is counter to our flesh! It's then that we experience the life giving, resurrection power of God in our everyday living.
Now, don't get me wrong, taking a vacation is great. In fact, it's essential to make time to get away and be refreshed. But, it might serve us well to remember that the greatest gifts in this world are not found on the "Lido Deck" of life, but rather, on the quiet waters of steady rowing.
If you've been cruising and haven't been rowing...why not give rowing a try? You won't be sorry!!