Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Eph 6

In Chapter 6 we see the responsibilities of children and their fathers. Another huge emphasis is that we are to put on the whole armor of God.

Paul quickly charges children to walk in obedience to their parents command, while father’s are charged to raise their children up in the ways of the Lord.

Lastly Paul challenges the Ephesians to stand in strength of the Lord, and withstand all the temptations brought forth from the devil.

I love how Paul starts to conclude the letter, he ask the Ephesians to pray for him. He states, “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”

Shouldn’t that be all of our prayers, THAT we would declare the gospel fearlessly?

Live to Love.

Chapter 5 Eph

In chapter 5 we see Paul place a high importance of walking in love. We also witness the responsibilities of wives and husbands in relation to each other.

In verse 1-6 we see Paul address the issue of walking in love when he states, “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Paul addresses the fact that we must rid ourselves of all impurities. As we continue to read verse 8 declares that followers of Christ should also walk in the light. Scripture states, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.”

The chapter ends with a declaration for husband and wives to walk in unity as they respect and love each other.

Live to Love.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Salvation Has Come

As I mentioned earlier this week, my grandfather is not doing so well. The team of Doctors gave him less than two months to live. Throughout my faith journey I have prayed and prayed for my grandfather to know Christ as his Lord and Savior. My grandfather, a hardworking man all his life was shot early on in his life in the neck in the Korean War. He returned to the mainland an extremely hardened man. He was very tough on my father and his brothers, and even us grandchildren at times. In the midst of it, we always knew he loved us. Months back I was able to have a private conversation with my grandfather about his faith. It didn't go exactly the way I desired, but I left there knowing I had shared my faith with him.(One thing I have never understood is why it is so difficult to share your faith with your family, even for me a pastor, it has been challenging.) Today joy came to the depths of my soul. A pastor in Odessa that had been visiting with my grandfather on numerous occasions let us know that my grandfather accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior today. Thank you Jesus for being faithful,for you see
I believe as long as someone is breathing there is still hope to be found...

Live to Love.

Chapter 4 Eph

In Chapter 4 and to the end of the letter Paul encourages the Ephesians to carry themselves in a manner that is worthy of their calling. Paul encourages and pleads with them to walk in unity with each other.

Ephesians 4:1-6 reads, “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Then Paul challenges them to walk in purity, Paul reminds them how they once were as Gentiles, and then he calls them to remember the truth which is found in only Jesus. He reminds them to put off the old man’s selfish ways and put on the new man of found in Christ. Scripture states in verse 22-24, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Live to Love.

Chapter 3 Eph

Chapter 3

In chapter 3 we find Paul praying a second prayer for the Ephesians. He petitions to the Father that He would increase their strength by His Spirit, that Christ might reside in their hearts through their declaration of faith, that they will know for certainty the love of Christ which passes all understanding, and will be filled with the greatness of God.

Meditate on verses 14-19 “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

May this be a prayer of all of ours,

Live to Love.

Chapter 2 Eph

Chapter 2 is a great wake up to all of us. Paul causes us to recognize that each one of us have been dead in our sin, but made alive as a result of our faith in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 2:1-5 states “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”

Another interesting portion of this chapter is the declaration that both Jews and Gentiles can both become reconciled through the blood of Jesus Christ. The Gentiles are now fellow-citizens and members of God’s family.

In Ephesians chapter 2 verse 11-13 it reads, “Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)—remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.”

Live to Love.

Chapter 1 Eph

Chapter One

Right out of the gate, Paul starts his letter off with praising God for the blessings that come forth as a result of Christ. Ephesians 1:3 states, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Then as we transition on down we read in verse 15-16 “For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.” The prayer that Paul prays is that the Ephesians would develop an increase in wisdom and understanding, his greatest desire is that they would know God more in depth. In all reality, this should be our desire for ourselves.

Live to love.

Monday, September 27, 2010

New Challenge Intro

The book of Ephesians was written by the apostle Paul. The key verse for the entire letter is found in Ephesians 1:3 “ Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Throughout the course of the letter we find Paul talking about the blessings that we can experience in Christ. I hope you enjoy reading the book of Ephesians.

Live to Love.

Time changes everything

As I grow older the more I notice how time changes everything.I remember my childhood days when I would travel with my parents to go see my dad's parents. They were the only surviving grandparents I had at the time. I remember my grandfather always talking about sports and selling cars. I remember loving to be around my grandma she was an incredible artist and cook. As time began to elapse more and more and years have fled by, I was forced to witness my grandparents health diminish, ultimately my grandmother passed away months ago. Now my family is faced with another tough situation, we were informed today that my grandfather has less than 2 months to live.

The more and more I look at pictures that were taken in the past, the more I am faced with the reality how time changes everything. Today as you interact with those you love, cherish the time you spend with them because time changes things.

live to love.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Galatians 6

In Chapter 6 we see several things come up. First freedom in Christ involves the responsibility toward those we encounter and ourselves.

Another thing is we must recognize we are a new creation in Christ Jesus. Then we see a teaching on sowing and reaping.

Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap

Sow to the flesh desires, and you will reap corruption

Sow to the Spirit, and you will reap everlasting life

Don't grow weary in doing good, for in due time we shall reap

What are you sowing?

Gal 5

As I read chapter 5 there are several things that stick out in my mind. I believe the whole key to the chapter is “So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.

Another thing I pull away from this chapter is that our faith must be displayed through love.

Capture verse 14 for a moment, isn’t it amazing what it says, love our neighbor as yourself, this command fulfills the law.

If you haven’t ever focused on memorization of scripture try memorizes the fruits of the Spirit found in verse 22-23.

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Chapter 4

Chapter 4 of Galatians

We see early in the chapter 4 Paul addressing slavery, which I will be teaching on this coming Sunday. Jesus came and purchased us, redeemed us from slavery of the world to become a son of His. Clearly proclaims that we are all adopted sons of God. In the Roman custom of adoption, adopted children were given the same
As we continue to read, we find Paul reminds the Galatians of how they accepted him in the past, and he hopes by telling them the truth that he is not viewed as their enemy.

Paul finishes his proclamation by stating that those in Christ are free.

chapter 3 challenge

Galatians 3

In Galatians 3 we see Paul still battling with the Galatians on the reality of how they were justified before God. The Galatians had been exposed to some untruthful teaching and were buying into it. They believed they were still under the law. Wow, right out of the gate Paul addresses them boldly. Paul is kind of shocked how the Galatians missed the truth. Paul proceeds to go in depth what it means to live under the law, which he elaborates as being under the curse, pretty intense. Paul isn’t saying the law is bad, but what he is saying is God motive with the law was not created for us to find our approval before Him. God, all knowing, knew we could not keep up with the law, therefore that is why Jesus had to accomplish what he did at the cross.
Look at verse 23-24 “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
So much of humanity attempts to find their identity in so many different things, prosperity, materialism, popularity, work, etc. God’s word states our identity can only be found in one thing, In verse 26-27 scripture states “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
We can only have true identity once we put our faith in Christ.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New Project

Hey guys recently I had a revelation for a new project come to me. I would love your input and insight. The project will be composed of many different people's road to their awakening (salvation) experience. I would love for you to share your story with me. I can't guarantee you that I will use it for this project, but I can promise I will read it. If your interested you can either post it to the comment space or email it to me.

Saturday West Texas Book and Music Festival

Hey guys if you're bored this Saturday I would love for you to come out and support the West Texas Book and Music Festival. I will be at the Civic Center for most of the day.Al and I will be signing our new project Brother's Keeper. Come out and support your local authors, it should be a good time.

Live to Love


This week I had to fill out a thorough survey about my life for an upcoming charity event.One of the questions asked, was what is my all time favorite song. It was so tough to nail down one favorite song. I ended up choosing Give me your eyes by Brandon Heath. More than my favorite song, it's the message in the song that continues to convict me and inspire me all at the same time.

One of my biggest convictions in life is that we all need somebody to stand by us. Therefore it is so fitting that one of my favorite songs is Stand by me. Check out this video, I love the unity movement that they are doing with project.

Chapter 2 of letter to Galatia

In Galatians chapter 2 we see Paul explaining more in depth about where he got the revelation from, although he was not one of the original twelve he did receive the revelation of the gospel through God.
In verse 7-10 we see the church of Jerusalem approve the gospel Paul was sharing.
"But on the contrary, when they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to me, as the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter (for He who worked effectively in Peter for the apostleship to the circumcised also worked effectively in me toward the Gentiles), and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do."
Then like any good love story we see some tension arise. We see Paul explain why he stood up to Peter in verse 11-13, it got so intense that Paul stood up to Peter in public. Then as we transition on down we see Paul informing to Peter that they are justified before God almighty by the labor of Jesus Christ, not by keeping the law. It must have got intense for a few moments as this Paul’s public correction of Peter took place.
Check out what Paul states
“I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”
So how did this confrontation end up? Well read on to Acts 15:6-11, I think you will find that Paul’s stand must have influenced Peter.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Reading challenge chapter 1 letter to Galatia

From the beginning Paul addresses some intense issues with the Galatians, therefore right out of the gate he has to establish his authority. That is why he states that he was appointed by Jesus Christ, which confirms his authority. In verse 6 we see Paul’s utter disappointment and bewilderment that the followers are turning away so quickly to follow falsehood. In verse 7 we read what his beef is with this quote “new gospel.” Then Paul addresses the fact that these presenters of the “new gospel” motives are only to pervert the one and only true gospel of Jesus Christ. Then as we transition through the reading to verse 11 we see Paul clearly states where he received the gospel that he shared, he received it as a revelation from God. Then Paul takes even a bolder step, he proves that his message did not come from humanity. I pray you will dig deep as you read this rich letter to the Galatians, and that you will apply it to your life.

Live to Love.

Intro to new reading challenge

Galatians. Paul wrote this letter to address a controversy that developed among the churches in Galatia. The controversy was based around the topic of requiring Gentile Christians to obey the Mosaic Law. So Paul steps in and addresses the issue through his letter written to the churches in Galatia.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

James overview

My favorite verse in the book of James is found in James 1:19 which reads "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” Perseverance is something that all of us as followers of Christ desperately need. This scripture also reminds us that our faith can be best described as a walk, something that requires us to keep moving.

James 2:17-18 is the highlight verse of chapter two, it reads, “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." Sadly enough throughout my lifetime I have been quick to speak and slow to listen. What a paradox in itself.

James 3:5: "In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, ‘You have faith; I have deeds.’ Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.” So many times in life people say they believe in Jesus yet their actions do not follow their convictions. It is so easy to talk the talk, yet for some reason it is difficult to walk the walk.

James 5:16b: "Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.” The tongue is such a small part of the body, yet one of the most powerful pieces of our body.
 In life too often we don’t realize that our tongue, even it is small has the power to bring life or death.

The book of James is powerful because it describes what sincere faith genuinely looks like which requires that our works and our faith go hand and hand.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

John 21 21/21 challenge

John 21 host one of my favorite stories of all time, Jesus’ disciples were out doing what they knew best fishing. Yet this time they were having absolutely no luck catching anything.

John 21:4-6 reads “But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Then Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any food?” They answered Him, “No.” And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish.”
What is so brilliant about this story is they were obedient and as a result of that obedience they were rewarded. Yet that is not my favorite part of this passage.
We find my favorite portion of the story in verse 15-16 we read “So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”
Through this act, Jesus once and for all in front of humanity restored Peter. Three times Jesus allowed Peter to proclaim his love for his Savior, sound familiar? Three times Peter denied Christ.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

John 20 21/21 challenge

In John 20 verse 19 we see an amazing moment take place.
Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, "Peace be with you."
Here are these disciples dripping in fear, hiding behind locked doors and Here come Jesus entering the room somehow…Could you imagine how quickly the disciples moods must have changed. In a split second they went from reeking with the smell of fear to being face to face with their Risen Lord, wow, how powerful.
Another piece of this passage that is interesting is found in the scripture that reads, “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name..”
John quickly admits upfront that in his journaling he provides an incomplete collection of things that Jesus did. In fact Jesus did a great deal more that was never recorded.

Could you imagine how large the Bible would be if everything Jesus did was recorded?

Live to Love.

John 19 21/21 challenge

In John chapter 19 there is so much to take away from reading this chapter.

Verse 38-42 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews’ Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby.

These verses get me every time. Joseph and Nicodemus display a great sense of courage as they tend to Jesus’ body after he was crucified. I don’t know if you know it or not, but the great majority of criminals that were crucified were left suspending on their crosses for their body rot or to be eaten by creatures. Yet, Romans had a heritage of releasing the bodies of the deceased men to family and friends for proper burial as a result of the Jews not wanting to see the display of the deceased body on the cross during Passover season.

John 18 21/21 challenge

In John chapter 18 we see a complete display of power.
Scripture reads, “And Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with His disciples. Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, "Whom are you seeking?" They answered Him, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus said to them, "I am He." And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. Now when He said to them, "I am He," they drew back and fell to the ground.”
When Jesus spoke to them “I AM HE,” the religious leaders fell to the ground. It still deeply shocks me that the religious leaders didn’t have an awakening experience at that exact moment when they fell down. How in the world could they not recognize that Jesus’ power was from the Creator of the world? Yet as a result of their calloused hearts, they were unable to acknowledge Jesus of Nazareth, as the Savior of all of humanity.
Another interesting portion of this chapter is Jesus even to the point of him being arrested still looked out for his followers. Scripture states, “He asked them again, "Whom are you seeking?" And they said, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus answered, "I have told you that I am He. Therefore, if you seek Me, let these go their way," Jesus willingly gave Himself up so He could protect His disciples. How incredible.

James in 5

New Mission Abilene Reading Challenge
Read the book of James in 5 days

Saturday, September 11, 2010

After Me

“What makes greatness is starting something that lives after you.” Ralph Sockman

A few weeks ago I stumbled across this quote, ever since I first came across it, I have really struggled with it. What have I started that will live on after me? Quickly I could list programs I created, ministries I have launched, books I have written, but in absolute honestly, that's not in my opinion true greatness. As my faith matures I have come to the conclusion that true greatness can be defined simply when one begins to grasp true self denial, and because of that self denial is willing to see others become more successful than themselves.I want people to be able to say at the end of my life, "Chad believed in me, when no one else did. Chad gave me a chance when most wouldn't. Chad shared his struggles and shortcomings with me and because of that I didn't make the same mistakes he did. I could go on and on about this, yet since it's late and I am so far behind on work, I'll close with one thought. There is one thing that I think will change churches around the world, I pray the one thing that lives on after me, is as a result of my honest confessions of my struggles, people will see that if God can save an imperfect soul such as myself, redemption can arrive on their doorstep as well, if only they would ask for it's arrival.

Live to Love.

Friday, September 10, 2010

John 17 21/21

In John 17 we come across Jesus praying.

In verses 4 and 5 of John chapter 17 Jesus prays with incredible confidence, “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work, which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was." Jesus clearly communicates to the Father that his work is done, he’s ready to head home. I pray that at the end of my time, I will have extreme confidence that I did all the work that was set out for me to complete. One of the great tragedy’s of life is so many lay on their death bed awaiting death in a sea of regret.
Jesus transitions his prayer to focus of his followers. He ask for God to keep his followers safe from the enemy and to keep them on target as one. What is really awesome about His prayer is He prays for you and I as well, "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word.” How incredible it is to know without a doubt that Jesus prayed for us. WOW

Live to Love

John 16 21/21

In John 16 we look at Jesus once again explaining what is to come.
In John 16:5-7 it reads "But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you."
The piece of passage above is quite interesting. Jesus recognizes that it is difficult for the disciples to take all the news in, and Jesus understands that it causes them pain. What is interesting in this portion of passage is that Jesus reveals to his disciples that he has a plan, and the plan is good, and it will help them out in the future. (The Healer is to come)
Then journey on down till you find the words "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
Even though a person becomes a Christian, doesn’t mean that they won’t ever encounter tough times. But Jesus words “I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD,” provides all of us confirmation and hope that Jesus is still in control, although he departed from the land, He is still with us and loves us. Even in the midst of our issues, he is ever present.

John 15 21/21

In John 15 we quickly find a familiar story that Jesus reveals In John 15:1-3"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you."
For humanity to become producers for God and not simply consumers we have to be rooted in Jesus Christ What is incredibly interesting about the word prunes in this context is in the Greek it actually translates to cleanse. The purpose of the branch is to bear fruit, the same purpose is valid for followers of Christ as well. We are called to produce fruit.
Then as we journey on down chapter 15, we encounter an interesting paradox. "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another."
The paradox is found in the incredible words stated by Christ. Even though our sin would cause him great pain and agony he is still willing to call us his friends, and not only that lay down his life for us, his friends.

Live to Love

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

NEW SERIES: Paradox starting 9/11/10

John 14 21/21 challenge

John 14 is truly rich of great insight into the heart of Jesus

John 14 I can’t tell you how many times I have read or heard the below passage in my lifetime. It is consistently read at celebration of life services. Even though I have both heard and read this passage countless times it never gets old. The reality that Jesus is preparing a place for all of us that chose to follow him is breathtaking.
"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know."
As we move on down the story, Jesus declares that his work will continue even though he must go to the Father.
"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it."
Once again Jesus gives us all a beautiful leadership lesson. His desire was for his followers become more successful than he was. I echo this desire, it brings incredible joy to my spirit to see people get it, and do things so much better than I EVER could. I wholeheartedly believe that every spiritual father’s ceiling, should be their spiritual son’s floor.
Although Jesus’ promise seems nearly impossible, when you really think about it, more people came to the faith during Peter’s first sermon then the amount of people that were converted during Jesus entire ministry.

John 13 21/21

In the first portion of John 13 Jesus gives us all a free leadership seminar. In John 13:2-5 it reads, “And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’” As Jesus began to wash the disciples feet, I’m sure the disciple couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed. I mean this was absolutely crazy that their leader, the person they had been following, would take the position of servant on and wash their feet. There is no doubt Jesus loved his disciples, regardless of the fact that in just a few moments they would abandon him. Jesus displayed an incredible example of what it looked liked to be a servant leader, an example that we all should follow.

"The measure of a leader is not the number of people who serve the leader, but the number of people served by the leader." ~ Adapted from a quote by John C. Maxwell

Live to Love.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

John 12 21/21

Right at the beginning of John 12 we see Lazarus sitting with Jesus at the table which is pretty amazing considering he was dead a few days prior. Another interesting fact the dinner is a less than a week prior to Jesus death. What incredible faith Mary displayed as she cracked open the expensive oil and anointed Jesus’ feet. She EVEN wipes his feet with her hair. What a beautiful image of worship and loyalty. Then leave it to Judas to complain about the sacrifice of worship. One thing that is interesting as we continue to read in chapter 12, the crowd greets Jesus as the coming King, HOSANNA! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, yet in just a few days their praises would turn to curses.
Jesus expresses his troubled soul, as he communicates with the Father through prayer. Then he transitions the prayer into glorification of His Father, “glorify YOUR name.” Jesus was all about the Father’s business.
I love how this chapter closes out, Jesus declaring that he has come as light into the world. We must consistently ask ourselves as we journey in our faith as a result of the way we live, do we add light to this world?

John 11 21/21

As we open up Chapter 11 in the book of John we discover an incredible story about a man named Lazarus, who is very ill and ultimately dies. As we read, we are reminded that there is no doubt about it that Jesus had a close relationship with this family. As we journey on down in the story, I love Thomas’s faith he even states let us also go, that we may die with him. What a beautiful example of what a true disciple of Jesus Christ looks like, he will follow even if it will cost his life. As Jesus comes upon the scene, his path crosses with Martha, Lazarus sister. It is obvious that Martha is disappointed because her brother had already died, if Jesus would have been there she is definite that the result would have been different. “I am the resurrection and the life,” what an incredible factual and powerful statement Jesus declares. This statement gives all of us that believe, it confirms the reality that Jesus has demolished death for those who sought out salvation through him. Jesus goes on to say, “He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.” What a beautiful promise! Then later on in the story we see Jesus’ compassion as the word of God states, “Jesus wept.” I also like the fact that Jesus told them to remove the stone once again Jesus got humanity involved in his miracle efforts. Then when Jesus determines the correct time he raises Lazarus.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Staff assignment: Review of the book of Titus

The Book of Titus was written by Paul as a letter to Titus. Titus was laboring on an island named Crete. Paul commissioned Titus to delegate people to the office of leader for church. Paul encourages Titus to chose the leaders wisely, Paul also provided Titus with great guidelines to help discern which persons would most likely be the appropriate leaders to handle the needs of the church. Paul also in his letter encouraged Titus not to get involved in disputes with those who were false teachers. As I reviewed the book of Titus for our staff reading assignment, I was greatly challenged, convicted, and encouraged with the words Paul shared with Titus.

Live 2 Love

John 10 21/21 challenge

I love the story of the good shepherd in chapter 10 for many different reasons. First and foremost, by the shepherd knowing the sheep by name displays that there is a relationship between the two.I wholeheartedly believe this is one of the greatest attributes of the God I follow, we can have a personal relationship with him. Then the good shepherd leads them, he doesn’t order them, he doesn’t yell at them, he leads them. Jesus did this time and time again throughout the New Testament he led by example.

I love how Jesus compared himself to the door. In a sheep pen the shepherd stretched out his body across the only entrance of the pen to keep out threats to his sheep. Jesus is our great protector.

Then as we follow along in chapter 10 we Jesus accused of being demon-possessed. As a result of the bold claims Jesus made people were torn in deciding whether he was a lunatic or the Lord. A question we all must ask ourselves...

In John 10:40-42 we find more and more people starting to believe…
“And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was baptizing at first, and there He stayed. Then many came to Him and said, "John performed no sign, but all the things that John spoke about this Man were true." And many believed in Him there.”

Regardless of what the Pharisees tried to do to keep people from believing in Jesus, it didn’t work…His movement continued…

Live to Love.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Miss Sadie Justice

Here is her latest picture.

Chapter 9 21/21

In the early part of John chapter 9 Jesus performs an incredible miracle in an incredibly unconventional fashion. Jesus spits on the ground and made clay out of the dirt and his spit, pretty unconventional huh? Another cool thing about this specific miracle is Jesus initiated the relationship with the blind man. After the healing takes place there is quite a disruption that arises. The blind man is ushered into the Pharisees presence and interrogated about how he received his sight. The true drama was birthed as a result of Jesus performing a miracle on the Sabbath. Another interesting thought about this passage is the blind man takes to Jesus defense. The blind man answered, “Whether he is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see?” Check it out for yourself in verse 24-24 the once blind man continues to confirm the power of Jesus. Then the religious leaders cast him out. Jesus hears that the man had been cast out; once again their paths cross and Jesus ask the man does he believe in the Son of Go? The passage goes on to reveal that the once blind man, went on to worship Jesus. This story is a beautiful image of what transformation truly looks like.

Live to Love.

What you going to do about that?

Around my house there is this game I play with my 10 year old daughter, Lexi. Whether we are just giving each other a hard time, or when a serious crisis arises there is a phrase that consisently comes from our lips. Just yesterday Lexi came to me and said, "I can't find my pump for my soccer ball, Daddy." I smiled at her and before I could even get the common phrase from my lips, Lexi chimed in and said, "What you going to do about that," which is our little catch phrase. I say that phrase to her consistently because I want her to be a greater activist than I ever could, I desire her to experience situations and react to them.So this week I gave my staff the blog assignment to free write about the thought "what you going to do about that?" Here are some of my thoughts about this statement.

David all throughout the Old Testament he acted. A bear tried to eat his sheep, David chased after it. A lion tried to attach David's sheep, David lit into the lion. Goliath tried to bow up and wreck havoc on David's Bros, David attacked. In other word's David did something about that(each situation he faced.) Are we like David, when we see situations arise do we act, or do we turn the other way acting if we didn't see them?

My question to you is what are you going to do about that? Four thousand children die daily from drinking unclean water, "what you going to do about that?" There are more and more homeless people that live on the streets of our city weekly, what you going to do about that? There are children that don't have proper mentors, "what you going to do about that?" There are tons of non profit organizations that are struggling to acquire volunteers, "what you going to do about that?" The cycle of needs continue, but the question is, "what you going to do about that?" What am I going to do about that?


In John 8 I am going to focus on the first story revealed.

At the beginning a trap was attempted to be set. The scribes and the Pharisees brought to Jesus a woman caught in adultery and ask Jesus, “what do we do with this woman caught in adultery?” If Jesus said, “let her go” he would break the law that says terminate her as punishment for her crime of adultery. If he says execute her he breaks Roman law, because Romans had taken the law away to execute according to religious offenses.
Jesus ignores them and writes something into the ground, man I wish I knew what he wrote. It must have been something intense, because the accusers left his presence.
I love this story because this story led to the launch of my first ministry called second chance. After my conversion experience I realized that everybody has stumbled and mad mistakes in life and that many truly desire the chance to start over and live life differently. Then the revelation came to me that is exactly what the Gospel is all about. God through Jesus Christ gives a second chance, just as he said to the woman caught in adultery, “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared, “Go now and leave your life of sin.” In essence, Jesus says, “I am giving you a second chance.”

Live to Love.

chapter 7 21/21

Right out of the gate in John chapter 7 we see a challenge taking place. Jesus is challenged by his brotherhood that if he really did have all of this superpower then he should go and display it in Jerusalem. How difficult it must have been for him to witness his own brotherhood not believe in him for a substantial amount of time. I love the fact as the story unfolds people began to talk about Jesus some said he was “good,” yet others declared that he was just the opposite. What’s ironic is as a result of the their fear of the Jews, they wouldn’t say their perspective out loud.

I love as we journey down in chapter 7 we see in verse 37-39 Jesus declaring boldly for people to come to him, that he was the one to quench the inner thirst of humanity.

Then in verse 50-52 we see Nicodemus take a small stand on Christ’ behalf. Any stand is better than no stand at all.

Live to Love.