Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Fearless: Stephen (Acts 6-7)

Stephen is an example of fearlessness to us today because of three attributes he exhibited in His life and Martyrdom

1. Stephen Was Not Afraid to Serve (he served anyone and everyone)

"Everyone liked this idea, and they chose the following: Stephen (a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit), Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas of Antioch (an earlier convert to the Jewish faith). These seven were presented to the apostles, who prayed for them as they laid their hands on them." (Acts 6:5-6 NLT)

We have had for the past year a Youth Ministry Intern at Creekside who has served our Church selflessly and he has accomplished some amazing things in Service to the Lord. These are just a few of the things Abe Kuhn has done for Creekside while he was here...
1. Youth ministry meetings Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday 2. The landing Celebrate Recovery youth program on Fridays 3. Cox elementary after-school tutoring 4. Organized and helped with monthly youth outreaches 5. Set up and broken down chairs at least 160 times for our church meetings 6. Painted the lines in the parking lot so Creeksiders know where to park 7. Been in charge of the working order of the youth center and improved it in many ways. 8. Been trained in theology and Christian living by reading one book a month. 9. Helped overhaul our youth website 10. Helped plan and execute a successful houseboat camp and English camp in Germany.
11. Spoke to our youth 6 or 7 times 12. But more than all he has done is who he is that touches us. A young man who loves the Lord and is consistently grateful for the opportunity to serve him. Abe we have become so grateful for the opportunity to have had you in our lives for this year. And to have you as a friend from now on. Abe is definitely an example to us of Stephen and his desire to serve the Body of Christ.

2. Stephen Was Filled With the Holy Spirit (and faith)

"Everyone liked this idea, and they chose the following: Stephen (a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit), Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas of Antioch (an earlier convert to the Jewish faith)." (Acts 6:5 NLT) "Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed amazing miracles and signs among the people." (Acts 6:8 NLT)

Sin is what hinders the filling of the Holy Spirit, and obedience to God is how the filling of the Spirit is maintained. Ephesians 5:18 commands that we be filled with the Spirit; however, it is not only praying for the filling of the Holy Spirit that accomplishes the filling. Our obedience to God's commands allows the Spirit freedom to work within us. Because we are still infected with sin, it is impossible to be filled with the Spirit all of the time. When we sin, we should immediately confess it to God and renew our commitment to being Spirit-filled and Spirit-led.

3. Stephen Was Completely Bold (in the face of lies and persecution)

When I was a middle school intern after college I had a middle schooler named Michael. He was my bold and say anything middle schooler. One time we were on a rafting and camping trip. We were all in a 15 passenger van together. I know, it's crazy, a van full of middle schoolers! We were traveling down a windy dirt road along a beautiful river. Other people thought it was beautiful too. As we came around a bend in the road straight ahead of us was a couple having sex on a rock right in the middle of the river! At that moment I was desperately hoping that no one had seen these people, but alas it was too obvious and Michael shouted to the entire van "OH MY GOSH LOOK THOSE PEOPLE ARE HAVING SEX!" Chaos ensued on our van of middle schoolers. and for the next hours everybody was talking about it, and there was nothing I could do to diffuse the situation. Michael was very bold but a bad bold not a good bold. Stephen was bold and the right type of bold. He was bold for our Lord. Let's look at some things that he said. "None of them could stand against the wisdom and the Spirit with which Stephen spoke." (Acts 6:10 NLT) "You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That’s what your ancestors did, and so do you!" (Acts 7:51 NLT) "Name one prophet your ancestors didn’t persecute! They even killed the ones who predicted the coming of the Righteous One—the Messiah whom you betrayed and murdered." (Acts 7:52 NLT) "You deliberately disobeyed God’s law, even though you received it from the hands of angels." (Acts 7:53 NLT) While Stephen was being stoned by the Sanhedrin this is what happened "But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand. And he told them, 'Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand!'"(Acts 7:55-56 NLT)

"Jesus was standing on the right hand of God--Why "standing," and not sitting, the posture in which the glorified Saviour is elsewhere represented? Clearly, to express the eager interest with which He watched from the skies the scene in that council chamber, and the full tide of His Spirit which He was at that moment engaged in pouring into the heart of His heroic witness, till it beamed in radiance from his very countenance."
(Title: Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary
Author: Jamieson, Robert, Fausset, Andrew Robert, Brown, David
Copyright: JFB, E-text version from www.ccel.org.)

As Stephen was Martyred for the faith, Jesus received him into heaven with a standing ovation, and we can know he embraced Him and said "Well done good and faithful servant, now enter my rest." Will we seek to be fearless and only strive to please the audience of one, and one day hear him say, "well done good and faithful servant, now enter my rest."

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Unreached People in the Himilayas

This video is a striking visually beautiful picture of the most unreached people in the world. They live mainly in the Himalaya mountains. What will you do to SEND or GO to make Christ known to them?

Monday, October 17, 2011


Peter grew in fearlessness by experiencing a series of victories and failures

One of the greatest victories of my youth ministry life was this summer at Houseboat Camp.  There is a skit competition and the best skit wins a coveted prize, "The Golden Ski" (It's not really golden). The winning team gets to hoist the ski aloft and rejoice in the VICTORY!!!  The Apostle Peter also experienced great victory in his life.  His is one of the greatest stories in the Bible of turnaround, redemption, and freedom.  To help us understand how he became such a victorious leader of the Church let's look at some of his victories and failures. 

1. Victory #1 Calling Jesus the Messiah (Christ) (Mark 8:27-29)
"Jesus went out, along with His disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way He questioned His disciples, saying to them, "Who do people say that I am?" They told Him, saying, "John the Baptist; and others {say} Elijah; but others, one of the prophets." And He {continued} by questioning them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered and *said to Him, "You are the Christ." 

2. Failure #1: Walking on water and Falling (Matthew 14:25-33)
"And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid." Peter said to Him, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." And He said, "Come!" And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and *said to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, "You are certainly God's Son!"

3. Failure #2: Denying he knew Jesus  (Matthew 26:69-75)
"Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, and a servant-girl came to him and said, "You too were with Jesus the Galilean." But he denied {it} before them all, saying, "I do not know what you are talking about." When he had gone out to the gateway, another {servant-girl} saw him and *said to those who were there, "This man was with Jesus of Nazareth." And again he denied {it} with an oath, "I do not know the man." A little later the bystanders came up and said to Peter, "Surely you too are {one} of them; for even the way you talk gives you away." Then he began to curse and swear, "I do not know the man!" And immediately a rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, "Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." And he went out and wept bitterly"
I can remember a time in my life when I hurt so deeply that I told God one day, "If this is how bad it is going to hurt, leave me alone I don't want anything to do with you!"  That is one of the worst and awful things I could have said in denying God.  I denied God like Peter .  Thankfully He did not listen to that request, and even that same day God used me to lead a teenager to Christ!  Just like Peter God did not abandon me even though we both denied Him.  God is good and as as Timothy 2:13 says, "If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself." Denying us would be like Him Denying Himself...He CANNOT do it!

4. Victory #2: Starting the Church
In Acts 2:23-24 Peter preached his first famous sermon that started the Church.  The conclusion of his sermon was pretty powerful!
"this Man (Jesus) delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.  "But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power." 
Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook almost by accident.  Since it's inception it has easily been the most successful social networking technology. Facebook currently has 500 million users worldwide 50% of those are daily users. Those numbers pale in comparison to those who call themselves Christians.  Those who currently call themselves Christians is nearly 2 billion worldwide! Eat your hear out Mark Zuckerberg!  With Peter's incredible final victory he preached a great sermon full of passion and on that day won 3,000 men to Christ (not including women and children!).  That day was a start of a worldwide movement that is 2 billion strong.  You and I have faced victories, and failures.  Let's take heart that God is controlling and ordaining all things even the "bad stuff" to work toward the glory of his matchless name! we are promised this in Romans 8:28 "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to {His} purpose." Rest in his great and glorious plan through victories and failures!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

OXYGEN: Christian novel

John B. Olson a good friend of mine and member of Creekside has written this book "Oxygen" several years ago and is now re-releasing it in e-book format. If you have a kindle, or e-book reader then go buy this. I am sure you will love it. oh and it's $0.99. You can't beat that!


Fearless: Jesus
Jesus was fearless in the face of the cross
1. What was the cross?
     Physically the cross was excruciating and we actually get the term 'excruciating' from the word 'crucify'.  The night before the cross Jesus spent the whole night praying and the scripture says his sweat was 'as drops of blood'.  This is actually a physical condition called Hematidrosis. It is a very rare condition in which a human being sweats blood. It may occur when a person is suffering extreme levels of stress, for example, facing his or her own death. Several historical references have been described; notably by Leonardo da Vinci: describing a soldier who sweated blood before battle, men unexpectedly given a death sentence, as well as descriptions in the Bible, that Jesus experienced hematidrosis when he was praying in the garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:44).  So before His trial even started He had lost a lot of blood.  So He then was sent to the high priest's palace, later that night. The arresting party brings Jesus to the Sanhedrin (Jewish supreme court); according to Luke's Gospel, Jesus is beaten up by his Jewish guards prior to his examination. The court then examines him, in the course of which, according to John's Gospel, Jesus is struck in the face by one of the Jewish officials; the court then determines he deserves to die. According to Matthew's Gospel, the court then "spat in his face and struck him with their fists". They then send him to Pontius Pilate. At the governor's palace, early morning. Pilate, the Roman governor, examines Jesus, decides he is innocent; so to try to appease the crowd Pilate flogs Jesus.  This practice was commonly called 40 lashes minus one.  The Romans had perfected a way to torture someone, and leave them at death's door but not kill them.  They would whip or flog a person with a whip called a "cat of nine tails".  This had dried clay, glass, bone, metal, and other sharp objects within it to produce the most severe amount of carnage possible.  Doctors have researched this form of torture and have concluded that much of a persons flesh would be removed during the process (the Journal of the American Medical Association, March 21, 1986, Volume 256, William D. Edwards, MD; Wesley J. Gabel, MDiv; Floyd E Hosmer, MS, AMI).  Jesus returns to trial, Pilate hoping that the punishment would appease the Jews, but the Jewish leaders and the crowd demand Jesus’ death; Pilate gives them the choice of saving Barabbas, a criminal, or saving Jesus. In response to the screaming mob Pilate sends Jesus out to be crucified.  Jesus then is made to carry his cross to Golgotha (which means 'place of the skull') and there is crucified.  Crucifixion was a slow and painful death.  When hung on a cross you would have to pull yourself up to even catch a breath, and then fall back down, and typically a person would not be able to pull themselves up anymore from the exhaustion and then die a slow death of asphyxiation (not being able to breathe). Jesus is crucified and the same day dies.  This is just a picture of the physical side of the pain of the cross.  I cannot do it justice in a blog. 
     Then came the emotional side of the cross.  Why should there be an emotional side of the cross?  Because God is an emotional being.  It says in John 3:16 "For God so loved..."  Love is an emotion no mater how you want to spin it. So if God is an emotional being than Jesus is as well.  The scripture says that Jesus on the cross cried (shouted, screamed, with tears I imagine), "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me"?  This has to be more painful than even the physical torture of the cross.  He was emotionally stricken as well.  Seperation from a Father that can only be known as the best relationship in the universe must have been emotionally painful.  God at this point must turn his back on his Son because he is carrying our sins.  Which leads me to the spiritual side of the cross.
     If you take the worst thing that you have ever done in your life...Think hard...Think really hard...you got it?  Then take the worst thing that everyone in the whole world has done, rapes, murders, torture, molestations, thievery, corruptions, Genocides, abortions, adulteries, etc, etc, and put all those sins into a cup, lets call it the 'cup of wrath' or 'suffering', and Jesus drinks that cup, that is just a fraction of the 'sins of man' and Jesus drank in all the pain and spiritual suffering of all that sin combined.  Just take rape or murder for instance people's lives are ruined from the consequences of these sins, and I am just thinking about the victims and what they go through.  What about drinking a cup of the wrath of God for the sins of the world!  This is too much even to grasp, but he did it for us. To free us from the penalty, power, and persuasiveness of sin for all time!
2. Why the cross?
     So why does Jesus need to die on the cross for us?  because of that great sin that we have committed and that we inherited from Adam, we are separated from God.  We cannot have a relationship with God, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God". God cannot relate to us because of our sin.  We need a sin substitute.  Because of the broken relationship we are needy, and God wants to have us back again.  "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9). So God desires a relationship with you through Jesus Christ as seen in John 3:16 "For God so loved...the world that He gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life".  and The eternal life that is described here is a ralationship with Him in unity forever.
3. Why was Jesus fearless in the face of the cross?
     He was fearless in the face of a terrible cross for YOU and for ME!  As it says in Isaiah "Yet it was the lord's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the lord will prosper in his hand." Isaiah 53:10.  Who is Christ's offspring?  YOU and ME! Put your faith in him today.  Come to the foot of the cross and place your life in Him at His feet, and you will find true life!  Maybe as you watch this video below you can say with the music, "Lead me to the Cross!"

Thursday, September 15, 2011

This is an Awesome worship video with a clear creative presentation of the gospel through the spoken word.  Pass it on!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fearless: Samuel

Fearless: Samuel

Young Samuel became a fearless man because he practiced three habits in his early life

1. He was available
     "Speak Lord for your servant is listening"
Does anybody remember the Y2K scare?  There actually was a scare even high level pentagon officials were saying they were not quite ready if embedded chips do not function properly anymore.  was a scare and so my family stockpiled just to make sure we had everything available that we would need.  It might have been a bit excessive, but we had a five car garage full of supplies that just now are all being used up ten years later.  Like I said it was a five car garage full of supplies.  That is pretty funny and you laugh, I do to now, but say something had happened?  We would have been ready, and we would have had stuff available for our needs.  Samuel had that same readiness and availability to serve God and he shows it in his first encounter with God where he says, "Speak Lord for your servant is listening".  Are you available for what the Lord would have you do?

2. He listened to the Lord
     "Your servant is Listening"
"So Samuel lay down until morning. Then he opened the doors of the house of the Lord. But Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli." (1 Samuel 3:15 NASB).  This was a difficult message that God gave Samuel to deliver, but he listened and lay down in the temple until morning just in case God might give him some other message.  We go on a Houseboat Camp every year with our youth ministry and toward the end of the week we are able to have a 3 hour alone time with God.  I love this because it gives me a chance to listen to God during three hour solo time.  I hardly ever get that chance just to listen to God for an extended period of time.  What is God saying to you and are you listening?  Maybe you need to turn some stuff off and be quiet and just listen to God.

3. He delivered a dangerous message (even though it was a message of judgement)
If God called me to go to the Pope and deliver a message that he was disobedient to God and his children are scoundrels and they are going to die, and the Pope will eventually die after seeing his children die and he will fall backwards and land on his head and die! Wow I don't know if I could deliver a message like that if God asked me to.  Can you deliver a dangerous message?  1 Corinthians 1:23 says, "but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness."  Our message is not safe you have to stumble over Christ or you may not have received Christ at all.  If you have not stumbled or dealt with the foolishness of our message you may only have received moralism.  "Be good and God will like you".  That is NOT the gospel!  Jesus is good for you! receive His goodness and righteousness! 

Close: "Thus Samuel grew and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fail. All Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the Lord." (1 Samuel 3:19-20 NASB)  Will you as a young person grow in fearlessness or will you strive to be liked and accepted?  If you are available, if you listen to God, and if you are willing to deliver a dangerous message you will grow as Samuel did and God will "be with you and, let none of your words fail".

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fearless: Ruth

Fearless: Ruth
Ruth was fearless because she made decisions to love three people in her life. You can have a look at the video about love in the video I have posted.  I have to admit I love Veggie Tales and especially silly songs with Larry.  The video is called "endangered love".  After watching that video I want to ask the question what do you love? We love some pretty silly stuff, like manatees, but I want to propose that what you love will make you fearless. And on the other hand what you don't love can also make you a coward. Ruth, a character in the Bible became fearless because she loved the right things.  Let's look at her story

Ruth was a foreigner married to an Israelite, but her husband dies which is one of the worst positions a woman could be in in that culture.  She then travels to Moab with her mother in law Naomi.  she has to work the fields just to put food on the table.  So she goes to work and she collects a ephah of grain the first day she works which is like a bushel or about 36 liters. Leviticus 19:33 shows how Israel was supposed to treat foreigners, and Ruth was a foreigner so the people treated her well. "'When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them.  The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the lord your God."  Ruth shows her fearlessness in her love.

1. She loves her mother (in law)
Her mother (Naomi) was a little bit bitter. She said let my life be called Mara (which means bitter) I like giving nicknames but this one sucks as a nickname.  Nicknames can be awesome for people, but Naomi is content with 'bitterness' as her nickname.  
But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.  Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me." Naomi needed Ruth more than Ruth needed Naomi and Ruth saw that and listened to that need.

2. She loves her mothers people
"Your people will be my people"
Simone my wife is German and I have made her people my people, and her culture my culture. This has become a great joy to me to be included in her family and culture.  I have even learned a language in the process.  I can now say "I love the German people!  All of Naomi's people's customs became Ruth's customs. Gleaning, kinsman-redeemer, laying at the feet of a prospective husband, all the laws of Israel became her culture. She took on all 600 and something laws as her own.  She loved her mother's people.

3. She loves her mother's God
"and your God my God.  Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me."  What do you love? How do you know what you love? What do you spend your money, time, effort, energy, and thought on? That is what you love. Do you love the Lord in this way?

Chris Tomlin wrote a song about the covenant that Ruth makes with Naomi.  Check out the video below and cry to God like Ruth did "Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God".  Let us say it like Ruth did, "I will follow you". 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Elisha Foundation: Disability Ministry

Here is the Website of the Elisha Foundation for more information

The Elisha Foundation from Moonshine Park on Vimeo.
This is a new friend that I met at a conference.  We became instant friends because of our commonality in the Down Syndrome community, but we also have a deeper connection in Christ, and I love their ministry.  Check this video out and love and pray for their ministry with me.  Here is their Website Elisha Foundation

Fearless: Samson Judges 13-16

Fearless: Samson
Judges 13-16
Samson was altogether a pretty rebellious person. We have started to see some rebellion in our 5 year old daughter Ana.  We have started to count to three.  If you are a parent you have done the same thing.  Just the other day I was asking Ana to come to me she got the idea that I don't want to come to you Daddy.  So I proceeded to count to three.  I said "1...2..." and when I got to three she plopped herself down on the ground and cried out "3" in defiance!  I almost had to laugh, but it was pretty serious rebellion nonetheless. Samson seemed to do the same thing by rebelling against what the Lord had asked him to do, but to his credit he turned to the Lord when it counted.  Samson grew in fearlessness by overcoming three areas of weakness where he learned to lean on the strength of Jesus Christ

Weakness Area #1 Women
First wife was a philistine which was prohibited by God.  He visited  prostitutes, and the worst wife in the bible (maybe besides Job's wife and Jezebel) was Delilah. How could this guy be such a dummy when it came to women? I am a one woman man I don't even look at other women. I have never even had friends who are women that are not also the friends of my wife Simone.  This is the only way to go.  I just make sure that there is no other way.  Not even the opportunity or possibility to be tempted in this area.  This is how I lean on the strength of Christ.  I make my wife my main accountability.   
Judges 14:3-4
Then his father and his mother said to him, "Is there no woman among the daughters of your relatives, or among all our people, that you go to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?" But Samson said to his father, "Get her for me, for she looks good to me." However, his father and mother did not know that it was of the Lord, for He was seeking an occasion against the Philistines. Now at that time the Philistines were ruling over Israel.
God was at work even in Samson's terrible weakness to do His righteous plan. Even though Samson may have never recognized it.

Weakness Area#2 Discretion:
Discretion is the the trait of judging wisely and objectively: this guy had hardly any discretion. He hung out constantly with the enemy. There was a wedding feast where he told them a riddle and told his wife the answer to it. After they figured out the answer to the riddle, by asking his wife, he got so angry that he burned their crops down with three hundred foxes. His biggest failure in discretion was that gave up the secret to his strength after being asked three times.  You would think on the second time being asked he would get the picture that they want to capture him, but no he tells them anyway.  
Judges 14:4
However, his father and mother did not know that it was of the Lord, for He was seeking an occasion against the Philistines. Now at that time the Philistines were ruling over Israel.
Judges 15:3
Samson then said to them, "This time I shall be blameless in regard to the Philistines when I do them harm."
He was growing in discretion here. He basically says I'm gonna kick major butt and I'm gonna do it with discretion and blamelessness! I'm gonna take care of business this time!

Weakness Area #3 Loss of physical strength
after he killed 1,000 Philistines Judges 15:18 Then he became very thirsty, and he called to the Lord and said, "You have given this great deliverance by the hand of Your servant, and now shall I die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?"  God Delivered him and gave him something to drink.  After he was blinded and captured Judges 16:28 Then Samson called to the Lord and said, "O Lord God, please remember me and please strengthen me just this time, O God, that I may at once be avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes."
In his greatest weaknesses he called on God.  My area of weakness now is patience with my family.  It is becoming so hard to have patience with a two year old and a five year old getting into so much mischief.  Last week my youngest daughter decided to bring the sandbox into our house bucket by bucket and pour each bucket into our easy chairs and onto our carpet.  It is hard to be patient, but I am asking God to turn this area of weakness into an opportunity for an "occasion against the Philistines", or better put an "occasion against my flesh", What is one area of weakness in your life right now? And how can you lean on the power of Jesus in that weakness?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fearless: Gideon Courage for Wimps

Fearless: Gideon  Courage for Wimps

Do you remember sissy tests growing up?  We used to do the stupidest stuff like rubbing the back of your hand with an eraser until it bleeds, knuckle fighting, hand slaps, shooting bottle rocket fireworks at each other.  As I look back at things it seemed pretty stupid to do those things.  Abe Kuhn even told me about a guy who his mother helped in the hospital that she worked in who was drunk and was dared to put a fire work in his mouth and it exploded adn he lost almost half of his face.  We do some pretty dumb stuff and call them "sissy tests".  In the Bible Gideon a man who God really used started off as a wimpy sissy.  How do I know Gideon this man of God started off as a wimp? The angel of the Lord met him in a winepress where he was sifting wheat. You are supposed to press grapes in a winepress not sift wheat. The bible even says he was hiding from the Midianites Israel's oppressors (Judges 6:11-12)

Gideon the wimp became courageous and fearless by asking God to reveal himself by passing three sissy tests Gideon asked God to pass.  He became courageous not because He was a courageous guy, but because He saw God was a great God!

Sissy test #1:
Is this really you God? (Judges 6:16-17 angel of the Lord burns up an offering, fleece: Judges 6:36-40)
  • The angel of the Lord revealed His power to Gideon by burning His sacrifice
  •  The Lord showed Gideon it was really him in making the fleece dry and wet
  • Gideon's confidence in God started to grow
Sissy test #2
Are you really gonna use me God? (cutting down the Asherah pole at night judges 6:27)
  • Gideon was scared to follow God's directions to cut down the Asherah pole so He did it a night
  • Later on His father had to come to His defense. Gideon Hardly stood up for Himself
Sissy test #3
Are you sure you only need 300 God?
  • God delivering Midian into their hands with rams horns and torches 
  • They started out with 32,000 men they went down to 10,000 men and finally down to 300 men
  • These seemed like good odds for God 300 men with torches vs. an army as many as a swarm of locusts or as many as the sand on the seashore (Judges7:2)
How is God showing you his greatness and overcoming your fear.  If you are honest you and I are really wimps at heart, and are totally afraid in so many ways.  We need to put God to the test and see how great and big he is, and our fear will slowly disappear.  

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fearless: Deborah and Jael

Fearless: Deborah and Jael (Judges 4-5)
Two women who delivered Israel were fearless because they were zealous (marked by active interest and enthusiasm) for God in three actions

1. Deborah listened to God
  • Under the palm tree of Ramah she listened to God and judged the people with what God was saying to them (Judges 4:5) As helpful as technology is sometimes I have to turn my phone off to hear from God.  
  • Have you ever had to just turn everything off and listen.  Silence is a spiritual discipline, and we should practice it more often
2. Jael acted on behalf of God
  • Jael invited Sisera (an evil King) into her tent and killed him with a tent peg!  She took the tent peg and a hammer and drove the tent peg through his temple and into the ground, OOOWWWWW! (Judges4:17-24)
  • I think of Jael and I think of maybe a modern day Jael in the famous missionary Gladys Aylward.  She lived from 1902-1970 saving children in China.  She traveled from London to Peking which is 5,000 miles on the trans Siberian railroad, adopted nearly 200 children and fled to the mountains to protect them when the Japanese invaded China.  What is God making you zealous for like Jael was for the deliverance of Israel.  What if we were as serious about our sin as Jael was about delivering Israel from a wicked King?  Would we take a tent peg through the head of our sin and kill it?
3. Deborah worshipped God (when he acted)
  • Deborah wrote a song about how God acted (Judges 5:1-end) She gave credit to God as being the sole mover in this deliverance (5:2-5)
  • Worship: sometimes we don't worship God because we don't really believe that God is the prime mover in our deliverance from sin. We think that we have a part in our own deliverance. Worship demands we believe that that God has wrought a miracle in our deliverance from sin!  These two awesome women of the Bible believed God had delivered Israel and they worshiped Him for it.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

U2 Oakland Coliseum Show

I went to the U2 Concert last night at the Oakland Coliseum. I have to say it might have been the most spectacular stadium show I have ever been to.Here are some picture and thoughts to follow at the end.
Simone and Me at U2

I am not one to try to create controversy or put people on pedestals...o.k. maybe I am, and maybe I will. U2 got together in 1976 (the year I was born), and released their first album “Boy” in 1980. Since "The Joshua Tree" they have been on the fast track. I remember seeing them when I was in high school at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina when I was 16 or 17 years old.  And since that time I know they have not ever not done a “Stadium” tour.  That means basically have been playing every time they do a show to 60,000-80,000 people for the past twenty years!  That is incredible! The thing that most struck me, besides the awesome music and lights, (oh and by the way have you seen the stage!!!) was their uncanny ability to connect with everyone in the stadium.  That has really defined their career.  Someone asked me today, “What makes them so appealing?”  I think it is actually a Biblical principle that makes them appealing.  They are “all things to all men” (1 Corinthians 9:22).  Their lyrics are so appealing and so inviting everyone feels like they have experienced what U2 has experienced (The music is pretty awesome too).  But for the sake of context the rest of the passage says, “To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some.”  This passage of scripture is not talking about just relating to people just to relate to people.  I do think U2 is so popular because they do relate to people becoming “all things to all men” (thus the name U2), but have they won people to Christ with their music?  I do know they are Christians and they have shied away from the pedestal that I am trying to put them on, and I actually thank them for that, but how have they fulfilled this passage.  I have been encouraged by their Scripture laced songs (like Yahweh).  I did not come to Christ through their music I have just been encouraged in the faith.  So I wonder if there are people out there who have come to Christ through their music in some way or another.  Please comment and let me know how you might have been won to Christ through the awesome music or lives of U2.  

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Fearless: Joshua

Joshua became fearless because he trusted in God's ability In four areas

1. He trusted in God's plan (Jericho 1 and Jericho 2) Marching around the city of Jericho every day for seven days and then blowing trumpets is a pretty ridiculous battle plan, but as veggie tales tells he trusted in that plan, oh I mean as the Bible tells us. (numbers 14:6-10 Josh 6:1-7) What are some pretty ridiculous things that God asks us to do? Why do we think they are ridiculous? Do we think they are ridiculous because we don't want to do them or are they ridiculous because God is mainly testing our faith?

2. He trusted in God's presence (tent of meeting exodus 33:11) He really believes that God will go with them into the land that he promised to them. I think of Jesus in Joshua's story when Jesus promises the disciples and us that, "I will be with you until the end of the age" in what ways do you feel God's presence? What are you trusting God for until the very end of the age? Take time to meet with God in your tent of meeting regularly, Seek encounters with Him to be affirmed of His presence with you.

3. He trusted in God's courage (be strong and very courageous Josh 1:6-7;9). When I was a youth pastor in Lexington, South Carolina I would have an appointment with a student once a week and we would go out to eat at a different fast food joint every week. Our purpose was to learn how to share Christ with the employees at those places. It took a little bit of courage. But God gave it to us every time. We were able to share with someone almost every time and God came through with a great deal of courage. What is one area you need to trust Christ in to have courage? What is he asking you to do that takes a little more courage than you have to give? Lean on His courage like Joshua did.

4. He trusted in Gods law (1:6-8). What is one area of obedience right now that is hard to trust God with. What I mean is, what is one way that you are having a hard time obeying God in right now? I will be honest I am having a hard time right now being patient with people. I am asking God every day to give me His love and kindness toward people. Ask God to give you his righteousness and he will do it!

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Promise of Jonadab a great Fathers Day Gift

This is a book that my dad wrote about dads and having a vision and desire for a godly lineage. Amazon has it for $8. For that price you have enough money left over to get you dad a swell tie too! Click on the picture on the right to go to amazon and order it.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Fearless: Moses
Moses became fearless because he built three habits in his life

Habit #1: He listened to God
(burning bush Exodus 3:1-9 tent of meeting Exodus 33:7-11 all the times he listened to God to accomplish the plagues in Egypt)
Lydia my two year old daughter knows ABC's but sometimes she doesn't listen and gets it confused like when Lydia was potty training she confused counting and ABC's. Simone my wife thought to help her she would count to ten to get her to go potty and on the count of ten she would go, but after she counted to ten Lydia said "no more ABC's Mommy".  Lydia had it wrong because she didn't listen.  We also need to listen and especially to build habits of listening to God.
Building habits of listening to God
a. Taking time for silence
b. Taking time for worship
c. Taking time to Chew on the word (cows chew the cud to receive the nutrients so should we chew on the word to receive all that God has for us.  Meditating on a verse that speak to you is helpful)

Habit #2: He sought encounters with God
(burning bush Exodus 3:1-9; tent of meeting Exodus 33:7-11; Mt Sanai Exodus 19:2-9)
a. Taking retreats: One time I took a weekend retreat as a part of a prayer class.  At first it was awkward, but I warmed up easily in the silence, and by the end of the weekend I did not want to go home I wanted more of God. Retreats and silence before God will always grow a hunger for him.  Simone (my wife) also experienced a weekend retreat where she was ready for lightening to strike and God to speak clearly and loudly, she only felt His gentle presence in the steady crash of the waves on the beach, and through that He showed her His faithfulness.  We need these experiences like Moses did in seeking encounters with God.  How and when do you seek encounters with God (post some creative ideas in the comment section)?

Habit #3: He grew in humility before God
"Moses was the most humble man on the face of the earth" Numbers 12:3.  It sounds like a pretty high standard to live up to.  It's kind of like me saying, "I'm the most humble person I know". "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6-10 and 1 Peter 5:5-6) How does humility make you fearless? if God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble then you can become fearless because you know God is on your side and does not oppose you. But if on the other hand you are proud, God will oppose you that should make you very very afraid!
Practical ways to build humility in your life
1. Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought to (Philippians 2:1-4)
2. Look at others as better than yourself
3. Avoid things that grow pride in your life (or make you feel better or more accomplished than others)
So maybe I will stop blogging...? Or, Lord help me see this a a blessing for readers to grow in their faith.  Until Next Time...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Fearless: Joseph

We just started a series at GENERATION 24/7 on Sundays called FEARLESS
about the fearless characters in the Bible. I am posting my simple notes for Joseph. I hope they encourage you.

Fearless: Joseph

Joseph was fearless in the face of God's favor (which didn't look like favor it looked like trial) in three different situations

Situation #1: Being sold into Slavery
Genesis 37:28 20 He was sold for twenty shekels of silver about $3500-$4,000 current value which would have split ten ways between ten brothers into about $400 per brother! Pretty sketchy of brothers to sell your little brother for $400. I know sometimes you might want to get rid of a sibling but aren't they maybe worth more to you than your XBOX 360? Wait don't answer that.
When you think of slavery what do you think of? I think of Amistad and the horror that slaves went through. This must have not been very fun for Joseph, but He endured through and God turned it into favor

Situation #2: Becoming slave to Potiphar
Genesis 37:36 Sold to Potiphar
Genesis 39:2 The Lord was with Joseph, so he became a successful man (still a slave). And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian
Genesis 39:4 So Joseph found favor in his sight and became his personal servant; and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he owned he put in his charge.
As you see, Joseph became very successful, but notice how this came about. It wasn't because Joseph was "Ridiculously gooooood loooooking" (shameless Zoolander line dropping) but because "The Lord was with Joseph". As Romans 8:28 says God was turning this for Joseph's good and God's glory.

Situation #3: Being thrown into prison
Genesis 39:21-23 "But the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailor...and whatever he did, the Lord made to prosper"
He was thrown into prison so that he could become second in command in Egypt and save Gods people
Genesis 45:1-9 Joseph says to his brothers "you meant this for evil, but God meant it for good". God turned the life of Joseph around for good

What are the areas where God is giving you favor, but it might not look like favor at the moment. In fact it might look like a trial, difficulty, or temptation. Know that God is "turning all things for your good and His glory to all who are called according to His purposes". Trust him through the trial until he gives you victory like he gave Joseph.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Leeland - Follow You with special guest Brandon Heath (official video)

This looks like a great trip and cool song to encourage us to spend our lives like Jesus did. God change our hearts to have your heart for the nations of the earth. "We will follow you into the homes of the broken, Follow you into the world, and meet the needs of the poor and the needy God!" Make this true in our lives!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Jesus the perfect Shot

Second shot for glory but not quite the glory that Jesus receives from His perfect sacrifice

Jesus the Perfect Shot

The Scriptures says, Let us fix our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. "(Hebrews 12:2) I felt after several shots at this that I had finally got a shot perfect. God has done the unthinkable and has made His Jesus the PERFECT shot for our faith. There is no one better to put faith in. There is no one who has done it better. He also saw the Joy set before Him which was YOU and I, He loves you deeply madly and has made us perfect for all time it's a pretty perfect shot on His part! Check out Shot number two in the next post It took me a little longer to make this one because it was further away. Abe and I are going to try other crazy shots so look for more to come. Until later

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


This has to be the most amazing thing I have seen in quite some time. Do you love God's word? Are you a world Christian? Do you believe that Jesus loves the nations? Then this video will really touch you. These people love the word of God as we should; taking it as if it were Jesus Himself walking into their village and right into their midst. AWESOME tell me what you think.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Are you kidding me?

My almost two year old daughter is learning all kinds of phrases now and this happened to be one of them. She went around saying it all day. It was pretty funny I was trying to prepare her for the national championship game when we would see an incredible play she would say, "Are you kidding me!" but she was silent.

Toilet Smashing

This was one of the best things we have done in our youth ministry in a while. We used an old toilet for a prop in our camps a few years ago and I have been looking for what to do with them ever since. So for our Turkey Bowl this year we thought of giving the winner the opportunity to smash it with a sledge hammer! Little did I know how great it would turn out. It as AWESOME! Have a look and I am sure you will say the same thing!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Church Planting For Manly Men!


Talk by Mark Driscol on the requirements of a Church Planter! Pretty Funny! Enjoy!

Project 86 - Solace in your Silence?

Just listened to this song on the way back from my trip to South Carolina. I was sleeping during most of the song but one line actually woke me up and I even sat up to pay attention. The line in the song goes, "We will find our solace in your silence". Now Project 86 has been one of my long time favorite bands. I know they seek to imitate Christ like my info here in this blog seeks to do. I know the lyrics to this song may not be where I am going with them. These Guys are spirit filled and so the Spirit of God can say things to people that the authors maybe did not intend. So I will seek to understand what it might mean to "find our solace" in the silence of God. What happens in our faith walk when it seems like God is silent? I love Psalm 46:10 it is quoted a lot but the whole thing is sometimes not quoted. "Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations!" Sometimes it does seem as if God is silent in our times of pain especially. But the command still lingers Be still, and from that solitude and solace that He (Christ) will be exalted in our lives among the nations. We can as the psalmist says find our solace in the "shadow of His wings". Keep me as the apple of the eye; Hide me in the shadow of Your wings (Ps. 17:8) How precious is Your loving kindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings (Ps 36:7). Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, For my soul takes refuge in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge Until destruction passes by (Ps 57:1). For You have been my help, And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy (Ps 63:7). This is the climax of the Solitude. In Him do we find our only true and lasting solace. Solace is defined as comfort in sorrow, misfortune, or trouble; alleviation of distress or discomfort. If we seek to find other avenues of alleviation of pain and suffering or quick fixes we are disallowing our great God the right and honor of being that comfort that He desires to be for us. What will bring great glory to Him is when we find our solace in silence and in His silence and sometimes when we are patient in the shadow of his wings...if we are patient we will hear that still soft voice speaking words of comfort to our hurting, broken, and needy souls. Wait on Him my friends He will never disappoint our needy souls.