Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Golden hours

As I was reading this week I stumbled upon this quote, even though the author is unknown, there is no doubt he or she truly appreciated the life they were given.

"Every morning you are handed 24 golden hours. They are one of the few things in this world that you get free of charge. If you had all the money in the world, you couldn't buy an extra hour. What will you do with this priceless treasure? Remember, you must use it, as it is given only once. Once wasted you cannot get it back."

Tomorrow I challenge you to cherish your 24 golden hours!

Live 2 Love,

Deep breath

One week ago today I had surgery on my shoulder. Recovery has been challenging, especially not being able to hold Baby Sadie, yet has given me the opportunity to step back a little bit and grasp some clarity on a few things that I have been contemplating. Through the time away, I have came to the realization that one thing I truly miss is time without an agenda, just to breath and contemplate. Life is so much more enjoyable when you are able to pause, take a deep breath and reflect on the life that God has blessed you with.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Welcome to my story

He was in sixth grade, his friends that he ran with were much older then him. As a result peer pressure begin to set in. He remembers it as if it was yesterday the joint circled around to him and his older friend said “just try it, nobody will know.” He slowly took the joint from his friends hand and put the flame to the end of it. He took a deep breath and the next thing you know this would be a pattern for him that stuck with him through high school. His drug use increased throughout his middle school years, during highschool he began to work for his older friends pushing all types of drugs. Time and time again he began to kill people’s hopes and dreams as a result of his drug dealing and hunger to fight those that crossed him.

On October sixth, 1996 he attended an abilene high football game with the intentions of leaving attend a highschool party. For some reason he went home after the game. At approximately 3am his cell phone rang. On the other end was one of his friends Cory. He dropped the phone in disbelief as Corey told him what had just happened. John a buddy who went on to the party hit a telephone on his way home. John got out to look at the damage of his truck and met his fate. A dangling telephone wire electrocuted him to his death. One month later a buddy of his girlfriend broke up with him. His buddy at the age of 17 took a 45mm handgun and shot himself. Anger began to increase more and more inside him. His drug and alcohol use was intensifying rapidly. Three week later after his second’s friends death bad news met him face to face again for the third time. His friend David was passed out in the passer side of his car, his best friend driving. His friend David’s hit a parked truck at the bottom of the hill, ultimately 2 days later claiming his life. Anger stirred in him more than ever before. How could God be real if he kills such young people. God doesnt love people, all he does is kill them. Two weeks later he was notified by his best friend that another friend of theirs had killed himself. Four friends that were dear to his heart, gone in a split second. That summer another one of his close buddies died of caner.Lost confused, an angry more than ever before, he became even more dangerous to himself and others.

One night he came home highly intoxicated after a wild night of partying. He stumbled into his bed of loneliness. As he lie there hopelessness, anger, and a great deal of depression tried to execute him. He had made his mind up, his life was pointless. Even though he had one of the most popular girls as his girlfriend, even though he was a good athlete, and had great parents..his life was useless. He reached for the gun that he carried while selling drugs. His date with death had arrived.

He accidentally dropped the gun on the floor, as he reached for the gun he leaned over and saw a Bible that was given to him when he was baptized as an eight year old boy. He picked up the Bible instead of the gun. He said, “God if you real I want you to show me something.”

He gently opened the Bible for the first time, falling open at 1 John chapter two. He zeroed in on the words “ We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love[b] is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” Instantly tears streamed down his face, he fail down on the floor asking God to forgive him for all he had done wrong.

His life changed right before his eyes. He attended a church camp and eventually surrendered to the ministry. He began volunteering at a homeless ministry makign food boxes, he eventually served as the children and youth pastor. For the last 7 years he has served as pastor of Mission Abilene, welcome to my story.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I think I am caught up for the most part, and need to jump off the laptop due to leaving to go out of town in a few minutes. For those of you that are faithful in reading my chronicles I greatly appreciate you. If I could ask one thing of you, I am having shoulder surgery next Wednesday.I have several tears and cartilage that needs to be removed. I have constantly heard how bad surgery on shoulders are. If you could throw up some prayers for me. This is extremely difficult, due to the schedule I carry and especially having a newborn in the house that I wont be able to hold for some time.Thanks for your faithfulness.

Live to Love.





Heroes to me are not defined by the titles they obtain. Heroes to me are the ones that at many times get overlooked. They labor without complaining, they spend tireless hours serving in the shadows, they constantly sacrifice without ever seeking recognition.

Even in the midst of a dark and gloomy world at times, I see heroes everyday.

One in particular is my wife.

For last 10 weeks or so, I have witnessed my wife take care of Sadie in a way that leaves me speechless. Late night hours of feeding, taking care of Sadie's daily needs without complaining, and the constant sacrifices she makes on behalf of her has been incredible to witness.She not only does this for our newborn, but she does it for our 10 year old as well. As I constantly witness this going on, (I do help by the I am reminded that we our shaping our daughters futures. What an incredible responsibility and honor.

Live to Love.

Col 4

As Paul wraps up this letter, he displays a great desire that his readers would dedicate themselves to prayer and thanksgiving. He even asks them to pray for him, that GOD would continue to be given the opportunity to make the mystery of Christ Known.

Colossians 4:2-4 Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should.

Paul then mentions several of his partners, Tychicus and Onesimus, who seem to be the carriers of this letter. Paul has given them instruction to update the Colossians on his current condition.

Colossians 4:7-9 Tychicus will give you a full report about how I am getting along. He is a beloved brother and faithful helper who serves with me in the Lord’s work. I have sent him to you for this very purpose—to let you know how we are doing and to encourage you. I am also sending Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, one of your own people. He and Tychicus will tell you everything that’s happening here.

I love the fact that in verse 10-15 we see so many people wanting to send their greeting to the Colossians, what a beautiful image of the body of Christ encouraging one another in love.

Paul closes out the letter with the words…

Here is my greeting in my own handwriting—Paul.
Remember my chains.
May God’s grace be with you.

I don’t know if there is a more powerful statement of faith that can be found…

Col 3

After Paul warned them of heresy in chapter 2, Paul in chapter 3 offers the Christian formula to battle sin in their lives. Paul declares to them instead of being lured by false initiatives, they must passionately seek the things above, where Christ resides. They must keep a Heavenly focus, not set their minds on things of this earth.

Colossians 3:1-2 Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.

Paul goes on to challenge them to put off the old self and put on their new found identity in Christ.

Colossians 3:5-10 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.

Then Paul transitions into giving instruction for the Godly household.

Colossians 3:18-20 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting for those who belong to the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly. Children, always obey your parents, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged.

Col 2

In chapter 2 we see Paul expressing a deep concern for the Colossians, along with others he has not been able to meet in person.

Colossians 2: 1 I want you to know how much I have agonized for you and for the church at Laodicea, and for many other believers who have never met me personally.

Paul encourages them to be founded in Christ while resonating in thanksgiving.

Colossians 2:6-7 And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.

Verse 8 of chapter 2 captures the theme of the rest of the entire chapter. Paul warns them of several dangers.

Colossians 2:8 Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.

Col 1


Paul starts out the chapter with expressing his gratitude for their faith, love and hope.

Colossians 1:3-5 We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people, which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the Good News.

Verse 6 is an incredible powerful and encouraging statement:

This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.

He prays that they will be filled with the knowledge of God’s will, walk in a fashion that would be deemed worthy of the Lord, that they would continued to be strengthened by God’s power, and produce fruit.

Colossians 1:9-10 So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.

I really like how the chapter concludes. Paul describes his ministry, which he took great joy in suffering on behalf of Christ and His church. Paul sees himself as a person who has been entrusted with a incredible mystery…

Colossians 1:24-27 I am glad when I suffer for you in my body, for I am participating in the sufferings of Christ that continue for his body, the church. God has given me the responsibility of serving his church by proclaiming his entire message to you. This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God’s people. For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.

Phil 4

Chapter 4

In chapter 4 we see Paul display passion for the Philippians to stand in the Lord. He charges them to rejoice in the Lord always, to be thankful, to pray about everything, and to allow the God of peace to work in their lives

Philippians 4:7 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Paul then challenges the Philippians to think about the right things, positive and excellent things.

Philippians 4:8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Then Paul transitions into one of my favorite pieces of passage of all times. He declares regardless of what is to come, through Christ strength he will be able to endure.

Philippians 4:11-13 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

Phil 3

In Chapter 3 we quickly see a profound warning.
The warning is for those that place trust in the flesh, and their accomplishments. Paul, with his upbringing could be the first to boast about his distinguished heritage. Yet Paul compares all the accomplishments to garbage in comparison to knowing Christ.

Philippians 3:3-8 For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort, though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more! I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault. I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.

Paul then declares that no matter what he faced or will face he will continue with persistence and determination to stay his course.

Philippians 3:12-14 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

Phil 2

Chapter 2
What an incredible challenge right out of the gate in chapter 2… We should have the same attitude as Christ.

Philippians 2:5-8
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
In chapter 2 as we continue reading we see Paul lay forth another challenge to shine. He tells them to do this without bickering or whining, if they do so they will confirm that they belong to God in the midst of residing in a fallen world.

Philippians2:14-17Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy.

He transitions to writing plans that involve Timothy and Epaphroditus. Timothy will be launched shortly so Paul can be updated on their condition, YET Epaphroditus will depart urgently to them, he was once ill and by God’s mercy has been made whole again.

Philippians 2:19-24
If the Lord Jesus is willing, I hope to send Timothy to you soon for a visit. Then he can cheer me up by telling me how you are getting along. 20 I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares about your welfare. All the others care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ. But you know how Timothy has proved himself. Like a son with his father, he has served with me in preaching the Good News. I hope to send him to you just as soon as I find out what is going to happen to me here. And I have confidence from the Lord that I myself will come to see you soon. Meanwhile, I thought I should send Epaphroditus back to you.

Chapter 1 Phil

Chapter 1

In Chapter 1 of Philippians Paul expresses his joy to the church at Philippi as a result of their partnership in proclaiming the gospel. Paul is confident that God won’t abandon them, but will finish the work He has begun in them. Paul specifically prays that they will continue.

Phil 1:3-6 Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

Paul then experiences a sense of being torn, he greatly desires to be with Christ, yet he recognizes he is still needed greatly among humanity.

Phil 1:20-25 For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live. Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith.

Catch up

I am incredibly far behind in not my reading, but my posting due to me being out of town so much last couple of weeks, and even this week. I returned last night late from speaking out of town, and will be heading out of town again this afternoon. So let’s play a quick game of catch up.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Chapter of one life completed.

Just a couple of moments ago at 2:54am my grandfather departed from this earth. I can't thank you enough for your prayers for my grandfather and my family. A couple of days ago my grandfather asked Jesus Christ into his heart, as a result of that I am able to celebrate. My grandfather was a true American hero.
Live 2 Love.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Silver Star Recipent

Moving through an intense concentration of automatic weapons, mortar and artillery fire, he carried his machine gun to an exposed vantage point and covered a route of withdrawal with a heavy volume of devastating fire. Leading his comrades through the hostile lines, he repeatedly exposed himself to disperse enemy blocking attempts and to provide covering fire for the evacuation of the wounded. Private MITCHELL”S exemplary courage, aggressive spirit and selfless devotion to duty reflect the highest credit on himself, his unit and the American soldier. Entered the military service from Texas.

Answered Prayer

Yesterday early afternoon I got word that my grandfather took a turn for the worse. After packing as fast as we could with an infant we hurried to Odessa. My prayer the entire trip was that my grandfather would be alert enough to see lil Sadie. My prayer was answered, he got to see his great grandaughter Sadie for the first time and Lexie was able to tell her great grandfather that she loved him. We left his house last night around 1:30am, during the night his health changed even more. Today his breathing is shallow, his alertness has almost diminished completely. Yesterday he said he was ready to die, what a great place to be when your time to depart from this world is rapidly approaching. I'll share a few stories about my grandfather soon, he is truly an American hero.

Live 2 Love,