Thursday, July 17, 2014



Last March my family and I decided to spend our spring break, in my old stomping grounds of Nashville, TN. Nashville is one of my favorite places on earth, so we decided to make the four hour trek from the bustling metropolis of Bedford, IN to the beautiful and creativity-filled city of Nashville. It had been a long time since I had lived there or visited there, so I was amazed to see just how much everything had changed. Areas that were once just normal everyday streets have grown up and been transformed by the continued economic growth. Because of all the changes and the amount of time it has been since I last sojourned through the streets of Nashville, we relied very heavily on our GPS to get us around the city. Each day was a journey of experiencing all that Nashville had to offer and the GPS was our ultimate guide to finding whatever we needed and showing us the best possible route to get there. It was a great time spent with some of the most precious people in my life. But something struck me powerfully on the last day of our time together. We had just driven around the entire city of Nashville, going from one coffee shop to the next, when I looked at the Google Maps app on my iPhone and amazed at how much it had helped me the last few days. I even said to myself, "What would I have done without such an important app in my life?" Then it hit me. This app had done an amazing job of guiding us, directing us, letting us know where to go and how to get there, but how much more important is God than this app in my phone. God is the ultimate GPS in our lives. Imagine this, that the creator of the world is so alive that He can guide us, direct us, let us know where we need to go and the best way to get there! Hallelujah! But yet, we are way less dependent on Him to get us where we need to go in life than a GPS that we downloaded for free on a smart device. OUR GUIDE FOR REAL LIVING John, one of Jesus' 12 disciples and in fact a part of Jesus' inner three, wrote in his gospel of the guidance that is made available to us through the provision of the Holy Spirit. He says in John 16:3, "But when he, the Spirit of truth,comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. " A lot of times we have no idea where we are going because we cannot clearly see. We are confused by what is around us, what we need to do, how we need to live, what is right and wrong, or the reality that we are walking in. But here is the truth we need to know. Jesus died on the cross, rose again victorious, and ascended to the right hand of the Father, so that the Holy Spirit could come and GUIDE US into all truth and beyond that, tell us what is yet to come. This is what makes a GPS so convenient, it not only gives us the best route to take but it also takes into account the construction that is ahead of us that we can't see and if the traffic is light or heavy. It guides us through the best way to avoid the troublesome things that lie ahead so that we can get to where we need to go. How much more important is the Holy Spirit then? What is available to us through the gift of the Holy Spirit is not just guidance through the perils of a journey on the road, but the troublesome things that life has to bring before us that a lot of times pop up out of nowhere and take us by surprise. So the question is before us all. Are we willing to fully rely on the true GPS that is available to us through the Holy Spirit or would we rather place our lives in the hands of the temporal things of the world to get us through the myriad of obstacles in our lives? I choose God. How about you?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

In the Midst

Perusing through the headlines released by news outlets all over the world at and one can come across many news headlines that can be quite overwhelming:

  • "Obama has Proposed 442 Tax Hikes Since Taking Office...."
  • "Russian Fighter Jet Buzzes Navy Warship..."
  • "At least 15 dead, 500 injured in Chile port city fires"
  • "Police Release Chilling Details on High School Stabbing"
  • "Hunger in the Land of Plenty"
  • "Gunman kills 3 at Jewish centers outside Kansas City"
And this is just a small sample. Hundreds of thousands of news stories are released everyday to millions of news feeds updating continually on millions of smart phones every where. And it's not just news stories that seem to overwhelm. People all over the earth are experiencing social, emotional, relational, economical, and spiritual hardship. With all these things going on in the world, it wouldn't be surprising to become overwhelmed with the feeling that everything is slowly but surely crumbling down.  This leads to the ultimate question. In the midst of it all, what do we have to help us hold on?

The Apostle Peter gives us the answer in 1 Peter.  He writes in 1 Peter 1 verse 3b, "According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." In this letter Peter is writing to a host of believers dispersed throughout the region of modern-day Turkey, to encourage them through their circumstances. These weren't just overwhelming feelings derived from the morning newspaper after is was thrown upon their front door step. These believers were located in regions where they were experiencing real persecution, tribulation and trials. Peter, being led by the Holy Spirit, took the opportunity to encourage them in the midst of their trials. Peter encourages them by revealing to them an important truth that produces an important result. Through God's great mercy, and the work of Jesus Christ, there is a hope that they can intimately know, that is alive and not dead. In the midst of what they are experiencing, there is a hope that they can hold onto.

Here are some of the reasons given by Peter in his letter:

  • In the midst of it all, know what God keeps for you. No matter what circumstances you face, know that what Christ did for you, God keeps for you, and nothing can take it from you (1 Peter 1:3,4).  You can be encouraged in the midst, because the gift given to you, through God's abounding love and through the resurrection of his Son, is kept for you. God, the omnipotent one, is continually holding onto the eternal life paid for us by His son. There is not one trial that can take that away.
  • In the midst of it all, know that you can rejoice. God, in his infinite wisdom, has a purpose for the struggle. We can rejoice because the trials we face have a positive impact on our faith. It tests our faith, it purifies our faith and it results in praise. Our perspective can change when we are in the midst of all that surrounds us.
  • In the midst of it all, know that what the angels long to look into, we get to experience. 1 Peter 1:12 says "even angels long to look into these things." The Greek word translated "to look into," reflects the deep desire of the angels to see for themselves what we get to experience.  And what we get to experience is salvation for our souls and eternity in the presence of the Author of Life.

So no matter how heavy the weight of the world and the circumstances of our lives is, be encouraged because there is hope through what Christ did for us in the midst of our greatest trials. All glory goes to God!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What do we reflect?

There has been a constant theme emerging during my daily devotional time. The theme consistently being communicated to my spirit has been: Are you living out what you are reading? In other words, it's not enough that I believe anymore. I must be able to take what I believe and translate it to how I live. It's a disservice to God's kingdom if what I receive each day through His infallible word is not converted or be made known through my thoughts, words and actions. Who do I reflect to the people around me?

I remember listening to an older DC Talk song (still a big fan by the way - AWESOME!) called "What If I Stumble?". At the beginning of the song is an audio clip of a quote given by author and pastor Brennan Manning. The quote goes something like this:

"The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians. Who acknowledge Him with their lips, and walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simple finds unbelievable."
- Brennan Manning
This quote has always challenged me. But it seems the crux of the issue hasn't really been revealed to me until just the past few months or so. Over and over and over in scripture this warning has been given to the church. Whether you read the command of Paul to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:13, about setting an example to believers through every aspect of our lives or you look at countless other references in scripture that urge us as believers to live out what we believe.

So what do we reflect? James 1:22-23 says, "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what is says. Anyone who listens to the word, but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror". If people were to look at you, who do you reflect to them? Do you reflect someone who is living out loud the belief that is in their heart or do you reflect someone who says one thing but lives in a different way? What do you reflect?

I believe the world is looking for something authentic and for something that is different from what they experience in their everyday secular lives. It's not enough anymore for us to merely listen to the word, we have to live out what we read and believe. So let us shine our light.

I leave you with this quote:
"If you're saved and you know it, then your actions ought to show it!" - Pastor Bill McKee

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Your Kingdom Come

Matthew 6:33 - But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matthew 7:7,8 - "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."

You know that I mean business when I start off with scripture right? Well I heard a message last Sunday morning that has been very challenging to me ever since. The main part of the message was not about Matthew 6:33 or Matthew 7:7,8. A small portion of the sermon I heard did mention it though. But it has been that little portion of truth that I have been ruminating on ever since.

When it comes to church processes or models of church growth, I am sure we could pull out a plethora of data that shows us the best way to build a church in the era in which we live. There's a number of theories or plans that we could follow that could easily put us on the right path toward mega-church status. God revealed something to me last Sunday morning that makes some of these processes or models seem a little bit trivial. The idea that He revealed to me was simply Matthew 6:33: Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.

I believe this revelation is a simple one. One of the main keys to seeing the church become what God intended through His son, to reach the masses God intended and to have the impact God intended, is to simply seek His kingdom first. Don't seek the money it takes to raise your budget, the tools needed to do the job, the advertising it takes to get the word out, etc. Simply seek His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.

I bring up Matthew 7:7,8 because this portion of scripture paints a clear picture of the type of seeking we are supposed to do. Our seeking is supposed to be CONTINUAL. The Greek verb tense used in this portion of scripture, especially in verse 8, implies continued action. So according to scripture, we shouldn't just fall to our knees once to receive a Cadillac Denali (I hope you get the hint of sarcasm - because a lot of the time when we think of this verse we always apply it to monetary or material gain), we should continually fall to our knees, continually asking, seeking and knocking. In fact try this sometimes, don't fall to your knees for a material or monetary boost. Fall to your knees and start to continually seeking the Kingdom of God here on earth, and watch all the things that God can give to you and to the church.

It's all a matter of priority I guess.

Monday, February 8, 2010

REVEAL:make previously unknown or secret information known to others

My heart and my prayer for this blog is simple: I want to see God revealed to all the world in such a powerful way that our natural response is WORSHIP!

The definition of reveal is : to make previously unknown or secret information known to others.

Your response automatically could be: "God is not a secret!", "I know who He is!", "Why do you think it needs to be made known because most people already know?".

My contention is that most people are like me. My life is full of so many things: work, family, entertainment, relational obligations, education, etc. I wear many different hats: father, husband, son, brother, friend, pastor, etc. I think you get the idea. But I have find out through my own walk with God, that because my life is so full I tend to lose sight of who He really is. I have jam-packed my life with so many different things that I haven't given myself enough opportunities to experience God for all that He is. With so many things going on and so many things to do it is almost like I have slowly but surely covered my eyes from seeing God for who He really is.

I believe it is time to remove the veil, don't you?

Today marks the start of a new adventure. The journey to experience God and see Him for all that He continues to be. I invite you to go on this journey with me. Share your testimonies. Share your heart. Share your experiences. As often as possible I am going to be sharing different revelations that I have gotten, whether through the written word or through life experiences, in hopes of it helping to remove the veil from your eyes. Feel free to share yours as well. God bless and I look forward to seeing what God is going to do!

2 Corinthians 3:15-17 - Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.