Jesus loves me this I know. Debra Wants me this I know. My kids appreciate me this I know. My church encourages me this I know. My Life Group cares for me this I know. Everything else I know, I will share with you.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

I'm Not Sorry

"They" (my Life Group) tell me I say it too much. I guess I am always apologizing. I'm always saying that "I am Sorry" and I probably do. Maybe Sorry isn't the best word for me to express how I feel.
Maybe Sad would be better. I know they will chew me out for that as well but its true.

I'm sad at the state of Christianity ~ They really are negative
I'm sad at the spirit of some Churches ~ They really are Cold
I'm sad at the stands of some Self Righteous Pastors ~ They really are arrogant

and yes for years I have apologized not just for my own failures but the failures of others. Others who may have aided in creating a negative, cold, arrogant faith.

Christianity is the BEST Life we could ever Live
The Church is the BEST Place to Celebrate our Savior Jesus
and Pastors are in the BEST Position to recognize the greatness of Grace

So I am not Sorry ~ I'm Sad

Sad that those who do not know Christ, don't know how amazing being a follower of Jesus is.
Sad that many Christians spend their whole lives never experiencing an exciting church without judging it.
Sad that many Pastors hide behind their position instead of sharing their passion

But I can't be sad anymore.
Yes, I cant be sorry and I can't be sad.

Why? Because I'm a part of a group of people who believe that being a Christian IS the BEST Life we could ever live.
Because I am a member of a Church that LOVES to Celebrate our Savior Jesus.
and Because though I am a Pastor, my Church, my Friends, let me be a person.

Thank you newLife for the best year I have ever experienced as a Christian. I can't wait for 2014 and I'm not sorry, nor am I sad for thinking that.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

To my Grandaughter

Though I only see you through a vail, your the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.
Though I have never heard you laugh, I promise your life will be filled with laughter
Though I have never held your hand, I will never let it go
Though you have yet to meet your parents, they are amazing people
Though all you have heard your grandma say "oh my goodness" there is not a greater woman on the planet.

Yesterday I learned that you will be MY Granddaughter, and I have never been happier, and though you haven't heard me say it, mark this as your first time,  I LOVE YOU

Thursday, November 7, 2013

There is alway room for MORE

Last nights prayer meeting was a huge moment for me.

As I walked around the church, I noticed how much we have filled it.

The 6-8th grade room was filled with Possibilities thanks to Holly and Teresa, a team
The nursery was full of Laughter thanks to Randy and her team
The auditorium was filled with Worship thanks to Brendon and his team
The church was filled with Prayer thanks to the LG leaders and their teams
The Building was filled with Love thanks to our team of believers
Even those of us to went to Fultanos the fullness spilled over with Hilarity as two life groups tried to find a team name for one.

There was no where I could go where I wasn't being filled with the fruits of the Spirit.
There was Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness, and Temperance.

He was there, We were there, and there is Always room for MORE ~ Thanks Vanessa

Thank You newLife ~ and Team Nice Dynamite (I still think its a dumb name)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Time to Wake Up and Pray Hard

Daniel Chapter seven comes about for one reason. Daniel is a man of Prayer and this communication with God has opened Him up to even deeper communication than the average human.
It wasn't that Daniel was better, smarter, or a greater man then others, it was simply because his faith exhibited in a life of prayer made him worthy of more
and more he got.

In fact chapter 7 begins a prophetic section that goes through the rest of the book of Daniel. This passage outlines history from Daniels day to past our very own to the end of time and the return of Jesus Christ.

And while I could take the time to explain how the four beasts represent current nations and how the Stone cut out without a hand striking the image on its feet, literally destroying these kingdoms as Jesus returns and His Kingdom is restored. The most useful truth here is that Daniel was given this vision because of his prayer life.

God, shared something very intimate as well as important with Daniel. He did not share it with the King, nor the Rich men, nor the mighty commanders of war, but with a lowly slave who prayed without fear and without fail.

And it makes me wonder. Are our prayer lives worthy of God sharing deeper intimate things with us. Is our communication with Him by a Faith that moves God to trust us with such valuable and important truths? And what is God waiting to tell us if we would only be men and women of prayer?

I know this, I'm going to stop writing, and Start Praying. I suggest you do too and seek to go deeper.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dangerous Steps

Who could forget the bible story of Daniel and the Lions den? It was one of my favorites as a Child. The imagery of this innocent young man being falsely accused and placed on deaths door only to miraculously be protected. Then through the providence of God the bad guys all get eaten up. Love it.

But lets not forget.

Daniel was in this position because he was Faithful. (Verse 3)
Daniel was in this position because he was Fearless. (Verse 10)

It was Daniels Prayer life that got him noticed but also got him in trouble. I say this because I believe that most people think that their prayer lives ought to get them out of trouble but to be honest many times it only leads us to more.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego prayed BEFORE going into the Fiery furnace
Daniel Prayed BEFORE going into the lions den.
Jesus Prayed in the Garden, BEFORE going to the Cross.

I know that it was their prayer that protected them, but prayer didn't keep them from having to live by faith. And this made me wonder.

What difficult circumstance are you about to be led INTO and then THROUGH by prayer? What area of FAITH are you seeking God about that will end up with a Miraculous Provision through prayer?

Or are your prayers kept until a Lion is standing on your chest, or your already in the fiery furnace, or your already hanging on the cross.

Daniels prayer life was one that led him into danger, not just through it and its this prayer life that changed the heart of a king.

That should be our prayer ~ Lord, Lead me into a Step of Faith to show your Faithfulness.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dads Study Chapter 5

Daniel chapter 5 is the story of the handwriting on the wall. Belshazzar, a new King, went into his treasury and brought out the cups from Gods temple and began to get drunk with them. What happens next is important.

A strange figure of a hand appears and writes on a wall.  MENE, MENE, TEKEL, and PARSIN. This freaked the king out not only because a hand writing on a wall without a body would be strange, but the king didn't know what it meant and soon he was sending for Daniel.

Again because Daniel was a man of Character and Faith God gave him insight into the realm of God. The writing was a judgment upon Belshazzar's godless life.
Daniel 5:26-28 (ESV)
26 This is the interpretation of the matter: MENE, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end;
27 TEKEL, you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting;
28 PERES, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”

But how does that impact us today? I believe that God is still bringing judgment upon those who reject Him and especially those who mock Him. I mean what if God said to you.............
God has numbered the days of your Job and brought it to an end.
Or, God has numbered the days of your marriage and brought it to an end.
Or, God has numbered the days of your life and brought it to an end.

Why? Because you have been weighed in the balances and found to be stealing your tithe from Him
Because you've been weighed in the balances and found to be unloving to your wife.
Because you've been weighted in the balances and found to be an enemy of God.

and your job will be given to another.
and your spouse and children will be given to another.
and your life (blessings from God) will be given to another.

God is at work in the affairs of men and if we are paying attention to the WRITING ON THE WALL and repent, you will find that God is with you, supporting you, strengthening you, and honoring you. But if not don't be surprised when the wage of sin is death.

Praise God for men like Daniel who are open to seeing beyond the physical realm to understand and explain what God is doing in the Spiritual realm opening our eyes to what God might be saying to us.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Dads Study Chapter 4

How can anyone say that the bible is boring? Seriously, chapter four of Daniel is what blockbuster movies are made of.

The Greatest King ever to Live has a horrible dream. He dreamed of a Great Tree where the world was fed and kept safe under its shade. But then a "Watcher" came down from heaven can cut the tree down. He understood that the tree was himself and that the "Watcher" told that he was going to be changed into a beast to humble him to accept who the TRUE God is.

Really, this is good stuff.

The Kings pride led the dream to come true and soon he was eating grass for seven years until he humbled himself before God, to which by the grace of God, the king was restored to his kingdom

Daniel interpreted the dream perfectly but was able to because of Daniels Character and Connection with God.

Every human being is prideful and many like the King believe that they are godlike. You see it in how they live. Its as if they don't even need Him. But unlike the King, there are few Daniels whose Character and Connection with God cause those to whom God might be speaking with to be sought out.

That is our lesson for today. We who are believers, who are faithful (chap 3), who are prayerful (chap 2), and who are standing up for God (chap 1) ought to have the kind of faith life that exhibits the kind of Character and Connection with God that leads others to seek us out when God is speaking to their hearts.

It ought to be the cry of our hearts to see those to whom God has humbled through difficult life circumstances restored unto a new life through the Love of God and that our faith in Him is so trustworthy that we would be sought out as a part of it.

I love this book!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Dads Study Chapter 3

As I kid, this was one of my favorite bible stories as it contained all of the necessary parts to an exciting time in the word of God.
There was the Enemy ~ Certain Chaldean's in verse 8
A Prideful King ~ Nebuchadnezzar
Three innocent young men ~ Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
A Popular Band ~ verse 5
A dangerous situation ~ Fiery Furnace
A showdown ~ False god verses True God

and while most of us know the story and how it turned out, what do we know about these young men that would encourage us to hear more from God?

#1 They were Faithful ~ The would not bow down to a false god
#2 They had Faith ~ Verses 17-18

Real Faith
Not situational faith

What can we learn from their faith? There are things that are more important than life.
Their faith led them to believe that it was better to be DEAD and OBEDIENT to God, than ALIVE and DISOBEDIENT to Him. They truly believed that it was better to walk with God at the cost of your life than to live for yourself. They knew that God always honored faith and as a result they met Jesus in the midst of the Fire, came out of the Furnace alive, and were promoted by the world.

What a lesson ~ God honors Faith and its this type of faith that God speaks to.

How does your stack up when your tempted to compromise to protect yourself from the flames?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dads Study Chapter 2

If you have read Daniel chapter 2 you will find King Nebuchadnezzar having a dream that was troubling to Him. The problem the King had was though he was troubled, he forgets the dream. So calling upon his wise men, he asks them to tell him not just the interpretation of the dream, but to tell him the dream as well.

Tough job that of being a wise man. They are asked to reveal a dream they have not had, and interpret that dream they've never heard or else they would die. Makes sense though, whats the purpose of having wise men if they cant tell you what you don't know.

But its here that we find part of the reason for Chapter ones testing. One because Daniel didn't succumb to the pressures of life, and two because Daniels God was the only one who could give the answer the King is seeking.

But its what Daniel did next that can help us with our Faith walk.

Daniel 2:17-19 (ESV) Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions,
18 and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
19 Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

Daniel simply went to his friends and asked them to pray because he knew that the only one who could answer his need was God. Yes we have a God who has answers to questions that affect our lives and every believer is in a position to which if they are faithful (Chapter 1), and obey God (Chapter 1) they are given insight that others do not have.

As I have said over and over again, God wants to speak to us, to comfort us, especially when we are under pressure. He wants to give us wisdom.Why? Because not only does God want to reveal Himself to us but also unto the world. Our God is not Dead and He is at work in the lives of men.

James 1:2-8 (ESV)
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;
8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

As a Christian, we lack nothing that we cannot receive from God. Even the Answer to a dream we never had, to give an answer to a man who does not know God. It only takes prayer.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dads Study ~ Chapter One

As I shared yesterday that my father had a mini revival occur in his later years as he went through a study of the book of Daniel. It wasn't a study on Prophesy as many seem to do, but was a study of how Daniel received that Prophecy from God. It really was a study on Prayer. and with that lets begin.

Daniel Chapter 1

As we enter this chapter, we find some young men (teens) in a very awkward position. Captive in a foreign land, they are confronted with a change in their diet. For most of us that would be a good thing except the diet of these men was given to them by God. This diet was special to them as it was a form of obedience and the food to which they were being offered was actually foods that were offensive to their God.

What should they do? The King that controlled their lives was the most powerful king on the planet. If he wanted them dead it was as simple as a command. So they knew that they either had to comply or die.

What could they do? Oh the pressure. I am sure they heard all the things we hear today when we try to live by faith. "Everyone else is doing it" "So what, if God cared you wouldn't be in this position" With their country left in ruins, and their nation all but destroyed many said, "Who will know or care if we compromise?"

They felt that pressure, but these young men chose to hold on to their beliefs and God honored them. In the end, they were exalted by receiving authority and responsibility in the Kingdom.

Throughout this book the Pressure to compromise never lessened, but they never gave in.

What can we learn from this chapter?
If you want to hear from God, you will need to decide that no matter what pressure you face you will stay faithful.

Study your bible and you will see how many who compromised lessened their usefulness to God while those who stayed faithful especially in the midst of difficulties were rewarded with a closer relationship with God.

When it comes to communicating with God, its important to remain faithful no matter the pressure you face to compromise.
When someone says it doesn't matter, it does to God.
When you hear, "God forsake you, give up" know its a lie.
When you get tired, scared, weary, worn down and want to give in to the flesh, please, HOLD ON. Don't Let Go. God will never leave you nor forsake You.
God is there, no matter the temptation.

This is not about God showing up but God already being there. For these young men, they knew that no matter what was going on in their lives, God still LIVED and LOVED them.

This lead to even greater communication with God.

Step one to Hearing from God ~ Stand Up for God and Stay True to His word

Monday, October 14, 2013

Its nice to Share

When I was a younger man my father experienced an amazing Spiritual transformation. He was always a strong Christian or so I thought until one bible study changed him forever. So great was this change that my father could not help but tell everyone he knew about it, but to me it was just another irritating bible thing that he was pushing on me. (I think I have seen Every Billy Graham Special ever done~Ugh)

I understand why my father Loved Jesus so much as he played a huge part in my falling in love with Him as well. I also understand that while as a younger man, all of this bible stuff irritated me, the change in my father has never left my mind.

Why am I sharing all of this? Because God has done an amazing work in my own heart recently. I began a similar study as my father had and have come to the same conclusions as he did so many years ago And over the next couple of weeks I want to share parts of what I have learned to encourage you as well.

I do want to add this though. Thank you NewLife for allowing me the time to seek God on these matters. Your service as well as your sacrifice gives me the opportunity to spend time with God that without you would be impossible to do. It is my hope that you see the benefits through a growing personal relationship with God through our Savior Jesus Christ.

I do "Love my Life"

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

WWF of Angel Wrestling ~ Just Lay Down

Last Night a question was asked in LG wondering how someone who has experienced a relationship with God could so easily (seemingly) fall away. While I do not think that there is always an simple answer as we are complex beings, I do know this for sure.
No matter WHY we do it, WHAT He responds to and is waiting for is this...

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Monday, September 30, 2013

No One Man

This morning my heart was broken as a very important man from my life moved from here to there. His name is Rod Hockley and was the first song leader I ever knew. He was a gentle soul with a huge heart. A man who helped me take many positive steps in my relationship with Jesus Christ.

Listening to a message he preached he made a very important statement. "No one man builds a church." I know this because early on in my walk it was men like Rod, Duane Banks, and Ed Jasper who encouraged me to keep on keeping on. You were no "one man", but one of the important men who made a difference in my life.

Rod was a man of Faith, a man of Love, and a man of Hope. and now He is a man of Heaven.

Thank you Rod for loving me, encouraging me, and helping me along the way. You taught me to want a Mansion over the Hilltop, I just know that yours has solid tires and a good radiator.

You faithfully lived for God, now you live with Him. I'm happy for you.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Good < God

There are so many good people in our world. Nice People, Caring People, Loving People, Honest People and many of these people we come into contact with everyday.

But to find a God Person is truly an amazing experience. While they are nice, caring, loving, and honest there is something extra in them.

Its called Faith. Good things do not have to happen to them for them to be good. In fact a God person is good, especially when things are not so good.

They are nice when others are nasty. Some good people can do this but its so much harder without God.

They are caring when no one cares. Again, good people can do this but its difficult when you believe your the only one.

They are loving even in the face of hatred. Good people get hurt because they don't understand how someone can hate you when you love.

They are honest in the face of dishonesty. Good people expect if you are honest, people will be honest with you and are discouraged when treated wrongly. Rightfully so. But not for a God person.

God People put their FAITH in God believing that when people are nasty, uncaring, hating, and dishonest, God is there for them. God people have a foundation in Him that cannot be shaken or moved. Built on the Solid Rock, Nothing washes God People away.

I Love Good People but I want to be surrounded by God People as I know no matter what the storm, they will always be there ready to bear Love, Joy, and Peace in a world in turmoil.

and if I could add, I Loved the Good people who gathered together yesterday at newLife. You are Good People who make much of God.

Monday, September 16, 2013


This morning I was thinking about something that God led me to years ago in ministry and I thought that this morning I would reiterate it.

Ducks run with Ducks.
Its not that ducks can't run with geese, but they tend to prefer ducks.

Species tend to have fellowship and relationship with each other because of a commonality.

and this is as true in the world of men as it is in the animal world.

People who are Faithful tend to be drawn to faithful people.
People who are Hopeful tend to be drawn to hopeful people.
People who Love tend to be drawn to loving people.

While they might not always agree with each other, their commonality overrides their attitude towards each other, keeping them together.

and it made me think. Who has been cozying up to you?
Who is following, listening, communicating with you?
And what kind of Person are you drawn to?

I think that it says a lot about not who you think you are, but who you really are. I see this in Church life and I am always surprised that people don't recognize that the duck their running with or whose running to you speaks to who YOU are.

So today might be a good day to check out the kind of people to whom you have in your life and ask if they reflect positively on the Jesus you also claim to run with.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Egyptian cell phones get no reception in heaven

In the bible there are many words that God uses as pictures to help describe a deeper truth.One of those words is Egypt.

I have always understood that when God uses this word in the bible it describes not only the physical nation of Egypt but it is a word picture for the world or worldliness. Meaning that as a Christian I never want to live loving the world. I never want to put the world before God. The world speaks of immediate pleasure and indulgence.

But this morning God opened my eyes to maybe a clearer view of this word. Beginning in Jeremiah chapter 46 we find God delivering a series of messages to the nations around Israel. Israel has already been taken captive because of their idolatry and God now turns His attention to the nations that encouraged Israels sin. and Egypt is the first nation God speaks to.

While most of what is said speaks to God's punishment, there in the midst of the message is a clearer description of Egypt than I have ever heard.

Jeremiah 46:17 (ESV) Call the name of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, ‘Noisy one who lets the hour go by.’

Isn't that kind of a strange name to give someone? Literally God is calling Egypt the "Noisy one who loves to kill time"

That is the characterization of Egypt -- and the world. It is one of the ways we can recognize the world: it loves noise, because it does not want to stop and think. And it loves to kill time, is always seeking ways to pass the time.

Think about how Egypt affects us everyday, even those who think that we are not worldly. Every day we seek to drown out the quiet with noise as we are uncomfortable in the silence. Music must be playing, TVs are on, Cell Phones constantly beeping and ringing. So many people I know can't rest without having ambient noise in the room. Even this morning in my prayer time I was drawn to a ticking clock in the living room telling me time was marching on and to get busy.

and Every day we seek to drown out our problems by killing time. Texting, TV, Video games and face book are not in themselves bad if used in a healthy manner. But when they are used to kill time, when time is wasted doing these things, time that could have been spent with God or family or Live people is forever gone.

and Everyday, our Egyptian lifestyle drowns out the still small voice of God.

Egypt only leads to slavery and bondage. (give up your cell phone for a day and see if your not in bondage to it)

God did not save us to live there, but with Him.
Go ahead, turn them off, Get Outside and Listen to the Voice of God.

Problem is, like the Israelites we prefer Egypt.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Big things do come in small packages

Today is my Daughters 24th Birthday and in honor of her I want to share how she changed my life forever.

#1 I am different because I am the father of a Daughter. Little girls have a way of making grown men weak. Much of my loving nature came from her coming into my life.

#2 I am different because I am the father of a tough Daughter. She has been through so much and still has room to smile. At times when I wanted to weep watching her go through so much, she would be smiling and giggling. Her smile is usually because she is up to something but its a smile none the less.

#3 I am different because I am the father of a Challenging Daughter. Her health (especially when younger) has always been a challenge. Her physical problems made me grow up, man up, and step up.

#4 I am different because I am the father of MY Daughter. She is so much like me and I love that about her. She can be funny, she can be confident, (others say arrogant ~ only the insecure ones) she can be Crazy, she can be Caring. (OK the caring part came from DJ.) I can see so much of me in her and it makes me happy.

#5 I am different because I am the father of a Beautiful Daughter. She takes after her mom there, both inside and out.

#6 I am different because I am the father of a Daughter who will be an amazing wife.
I look at here and see so many strengths that will make her a great addition to any man. (Love You too Darrick)

#7 I am different because I am the father of a Daughter who will be a GREAT Mother.
I watch her with children and know that they will be loved, and cared for, but also be challenged to be greater. I am so Proud of her.

#8 I am different because I am the father of a Forgiving Daughter. I made so many mistakes in raising her. I led us into Bad religion and busyness of life, and yet she still loves me. That changes You.

On September 9 1989, a small package came into my life and changed it forever. I love you Kasey and so proud of the woman you have become and look forward to watching you be changed by your children as well. (he he)

You truly are a Gift from God and are one of the Biggest things to ever happen to me

Happy Birthday

Friday, September 6, 2013

Cannibals, Cannabis, and Can we Care

I have this deeply rooted belief that a church ought to be a safe place to land for a sinner. It ought to be the last place you would find Judgementalism and the church should be the first place where you would find understanding.

Because all of us have the potential to fail God.
Peter knew this well as he wrote this after his famous denial of Jesus

2 Peter 3:17 (ESV) You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.

But traditionally the church is known more for two things. Cannibalism

Galatians 5:15 (ESV) But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

and Cannabis usage. (Ignoring the reality of the problem)
See First Corinthians

Why can't we have a biblical balance where we care so much for the soul that when a person falls from God our goal is Restoration and not Rejection? I am not saying that we ignore the situation but we surely shouldn't shoot the person by either ignoring them because of what they have done or igniting a fire around them through gossip and here say.

If they come to us, its because they believe that we care and that we can help point them back on the right path. If they come to us, usually its because they are repentant and they are seeking restoration.

Lets give them a safe place to land. Lets not be the church that stones people, nor the church that's stoned about people.

Lets be the Church that leads them to the ROCK.

Have an Awesome day

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Something that just touched me today, Enjoy

Holly Ann
Door of Hope Church

At my worst
yet You are always by my side
And still my doubts
they get the best of me

Consuming fire
It seems I am cold as ice
Come lift me higher
I long to follow You

Heal me
Comfort me
in these storms that I create
When I turn away
will You follow me?
Seems I’m always walking away
but its always, always Your grace
that leads me back home

Protect me, oh Lion
Comfort me, oh Lamb
I need You, I’m crying out
Lift me up on eagles wings


You are my home


Holly Ann - piano / vocals

Braden Spotts - camera / editor / director
Matt James - sound / mixing


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Happy Anniversary Gary and Cindy

One of the greatest blessings of this past year for our church was the Lord's adding to our pastoral staff. Gary and Cindy have truly been a "Gift of God" to newLife and we have been honored to partner with them in reaching our community with the gospel.

But today is their day. Their Anniversary.

To Honor them, Please take a few moments out of your day and thank God for them and the testimony of Love they have for each other!

Monday, May 6, 2013

His Gift of His Glory

One of the most beautiful things ever to happen in any church is when the people decide to work together.
There is one Father ~ God
There is one Savior ~ Jesus
There is one Spirit ~ The Holy Spirit
There is one Purpose ~ Bringing those who don't know these three together.

All because there is one Focus ~ Heaven

I believe God was very pleased with our gathering yesterday and that it was nothing more than a body of believers who have been blessed by a simple prayer made by Jesus.

John 17:20-23

20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me

Yesterday ~ All of Yesterday, was a Gift of His Glory given to us by Jesus
Lets never lose our First Love of Him.

Awesome day newLife, You did well.

I can't wait till next Sunday

Monday, April 1, 2013

Why do we do Easter at the Liberty?

I get this question all the time and there are several answers.

#1 Its an amazing Venue.
#2 They are wonderful to work with.
#3 Its Fun.
#4 Visitors like it.

but the most important reason we like doing Easter at the Liberty is we get to see the truth about people.

This was a text sent to be from Suzy Jackson in regards to the Children's Ministry.

I cant even begin to tell you how wonderful it was to see one reading a story to the children, one sitting down at the table coloring and drawing with some other children, one rockin a baby, one walkin a crying baby, one feeding a baby, and those that taught the little ones the chicken dance, to the ones that signed in and out the children, and the ones who kept an eye on our new little line backer who was new today and running all over the place. We all worked together, we were all engaged with the children and the Spirit was Amazing. The kids had fun and we got a work out, but I would serve with these ladies any day :)SJ

Suzy was describing a group of ladies from our church, most of whom were supposed to be IN THE SERVICE because they are ALWAYS in the Children's Ministry, but CHOSE to serve the children.

The truth is these ladies don't come to church for themselves, they come to love God and others and the Liberty only exposes the depth of that Love.

I think my work is done here.

Have an Awesome Day.
P Rob

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Bare with me, this is a little sappy

What do you do when you see something about yourself that you do not like but you believe that no matter what you do, you can't change it?

Like my genetics. I look just like my father did when he was my age.
Hair in the ears, growing gut, scruffy face.

Like my attitudes. I act just like my father and my brothers do.
As the baby of the family I have the scary ability to see how I am going to act when I get older on multiple levels.

Like Me. I am my father and my brothers.
I think like they do, I talk like they do, I limp like they do (hip problems)

and while I loved my father and look up to my brothers there are some things that I see in them that scares me a little.

My Father always had Hopes and Dreams and did some crazy things in his younger years, but once he hit 50 it seems as if he stopped acting on them. And my brothers (at least most of them) are following in his footsteps.

I have hopes and dreams but struggle with whether I want to pull the trigger on them or not. The craziest thing I do now is ride a Harley. Five years ago I moved to change this church from what I created it to be to something God created. I was fearless in my pursuit of Jesus and the best for His church. But I look at my family history and wonder, is wisdom comfort, and is it time to begin seeking a rocking chair and as my Brother would say, get out the cigars?

I also struggle with the fact that so many of the greatest things men accomplished for God were after 50.
Moses and Aaron
Joshua and Caleb
Zacharias and Elizabeth

God used them not to maintain but to conquer more.

Psalm 92:12-15
The righteous flourish like the palm tree
and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 They are planted in the house of the Lord;
they flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They still bear fruit in old age;
they are ever full of sap and green,
15 to declare that the Lord is upright;
he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

The only thing holding me back is what I am full of.

Would you pray this verse for me today.
Ephesians 6: 18-20 Fill Me God

Monday, February 18, 2013

Listening through loveless ears

I recieved this quote from my nephew on facebook and really appreciated it.
It speaks volumes.
A very convicting quote from Charles Spurgeon:

"How happy you used to be in the ways of God. Your love was of that happy character that you could sing all day long; but now your religion has lost its lustre, the gold has become dim; you know that when you come to the Sacramental table, you often come there without enjoying it. There was a time when every bitter thing was sweet; whenever you heard the Word, it was all precious to you. Now you can grumble at the minister. Alas! the minister has many faults, but the question is, whether there has not been a greater charge in you than there has been in him. Many are there who say, "I do not hear Mr. So-and-so as I used to,"—when the fault lies in their own ears. Oh, brethren, when we live near to Christ, and are in our first love, it is amazing what a little it takes to make a good preacher to us. Why, I confess I have heard a poor illiterate Primitive Methodist preach t...he gospel, and I felt as if I could jump for joy all the while I was listening to him, and yet he never gave me a new thought or a pretty expression, nor one figure that I could remember, but he talked about Christ; and even his common things were to my hungry spirit like dainty meats. And I have to acknowledge, and, perhaps, you have to acknowledge the same—that I have heard sermons from which I ought to have profited, but I have been thinking on the man's style, or some little mistakes in grammar. When I might have been holding fellowships with Christ in and through the ministry, I have, instead thereof, been getting abroad in my thoughts even to the ends of the earth. And what is the reason for this, but that I have lost my first love."

Monday, January 21, 2013

What a Change!

I saw the older Bride I spoke of last week again, but wow what a change. She was nothing like the week before. She was vibrant and so full of life. She was open and free to express herself. What changed you ask? Simple

Those who surrounded her did so because they loved her and were more concerend with her needs than thiers. This always makes you feel better about yourself.

She was blameless. None of those who use her as an excuse for thier failures were around. Its nice to have people next to you who appreciate and love you.

The people who engaged her were loving, not only of her but of the others who have befriended her. They welcomed each other and gave life to each other. Oh how her heart was warmed seeing her friends love one another.

Now I don't know how those who came to her supported her, whether they gave crumbs or cakes, but I know that if she continues to love and be loved it is inevitable that people will give thier lives to make sure that she is cared for.

Did you see her?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

"She" is the Church, His Bride, His Beauty

Yesterdays post spoke of someone whom I love very much, the church. She is worthy of that Love as she has changed my life ~in every way.

She gave me a Greater Purpose than myself.
Prior to meeting her, my life was lived for me and me alone. She taught me that I needed others and they needed me. As someone who struggles with people there has always been a strong desire to pull away and be selfish but she won't let me. She knows what I really need.

She gave me a Greater Power than myself.
While on the outside I may have looked as if I was very confident but the truth is I was very insecure and it came out as arrogance. But she wouldn't let my insecurities control me, instead she taught me to trust her with my heart. If I faced a fearful situation she would lovingly coax me to step into it because she believed in me. Through her I overcame my fear of people and of public speaking. She taught me of strengths that I never knew I had and weaknesses that I needed to overcome. She knows how Great I can really be.

She gave me a Greater Love than myself.
I know that sounds bad but lets be honest, when we don't feel cared for we tend to take care of ourselves as we are the only ones who are capable of love. Yet that love was sad and short lived and brought me nothing but bondage. Her love came in the form of acceptance as I am, appreciation for where I've  been, and compassion for where I might be soon. There is no one that Loves me as she loves me. She knows how to love me for who I am, not what I do.

She has changed me, and I love her for that. This is why I pray that I never hurt her. I never want her to feel as if I have betrayed her and I never want to be abusive towards her. We need her, I need her, our community needs her.

Ephesians 5:25

The Message (MSG)
25-27 Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness.

Let's bring the best out of her

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Prayer Request

I met an older woman this week that broke my heart. Her husband who loves her so works out of town and she lives here in Astoria. She is a vibrant soul who loves all who enter her doors, always willing to give what she has to make their lives better.

But she is abused.
With her spouse gone many offer to help her with different needs but the truth us most of them are only doing so for their benefit. Helping only makes them feel good about themselves. They care little for her real needs.

Though she has never hurt anyone, she is often the target of peoples pain being blamed for a multitude of problems, even the lack of world peace.

Many come in and out of her life depending upon whats best for them. Few ever really think about her.

She is so loving that she just wants to take in everyone under her roof but many who live with her won't allow it making life difficult for those who don't live in her house their way.

At times she needs support but rarely does she get it. People eat cake while offering her crumbs.
Some even go so far as to Beat on her for no reason at all.

I wonder, how does her Husband feel about all of this?

Mark 13:34-37 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house (where His Bride Is) , and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

Would you Pray for her?
Would you Pray for those who might be irresponsible towards her?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

May we have a Good Partnership for 2013

This morning of 2013 my son woke up in a strange place, Kandahar Afghanistan. Never in his young life did he ever believe that this is where he would one day be, but the truth is that is where he woke up.

My son has been married over three years and this morning of 2013 he woke up without his wife with him. She cannot go where he is and he does not want her there. But never did he believe when they got married that they would have to ever be apart like this, but the truth is that is how he woke up.

My son is in the Army and he personally chose this life. While he knew that these things would be a possibility, I think in the back of his mind he hoped it would never happen, but the truth is this is the way that he will wake up until his time is done.

I am proud of my son, but I know that this is not easy and so I pray for my son.

Many of us this morning are waking up in strange places.
I woke up this morning with my life unplanned. I am a planner and so this is very uncomfortable for me this living by faith.
Debra will wake up this morning without physical pain allowing her to jump out of bed for the first time in 9 years.
Gary and Cindy woke up this morning with their life split between family in Snohomish and ministry in Astoria.
Some of you are waking up today and for the first year of your life your sins are forgiven.
Some of you are waking up today and for the first year of your life you will not be alone as you will be walking through 2013 with Jesus.
Others woke up this morning farther from God than they have ever been. Choices that they have made have created a separation and they've never been so alone and so 2013 looks so dark to them.

Even the church is waking up to a strange place. We've never been here before.
We have never had two pastors like we do.
We have never had the number of worship leaders as we do.
We have never had so many saved at a Christmas service as we did.

I am thank God for all of you, I am thankful for the Church, but 2013 will not be easy.
And so as with my son, I will pray for you in those strange places that though our lives may not be where we thought they would be when 2012 started, its because of our choice to follow God into 2013.

Philippians 1:3- 6
3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,
4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,
5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.
6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

It will be a Happy New Year