Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Please let me share this Blessing with you!

Most of you that read my blog know that I tend to get a little preachy and lean toward messages of salvation. This one is taking a slightly different twist. My church has been helping out by supporting Room In The Inn. Room In The Inn is a Homeless Ministry thru Urban Ministries in Charlotte. Once a week we have 10 neighbors from Charlotte come stay with us, have a meal, shower, and the like. This week was our 2nd week of participating this winter and I got to drive the bus to pick up and drop off our neighbors. My church developed a great reputation last year with the neighbors. By the end of the season last year, folks were actually trying to position themselves so they could be picked to come to MTZ. With this being only our second week so far this year, we have already started to regain that street cred! People that are utilizing RITI are already starting to look for our church bus each week and have commented on being "Blessed" to get to stay with us. Just hearing that warms my heart!! I think about how so many people in the church have pitched in and are helping out each week. I think about the genuine concern I've seen members of my church have for our guests. Just a week before our first guests arrived, our youth gathered and prayed in the house for the guests that would be staying with us this year. By the reactions I've seen from those guests, it shows!
Today as I drove the bus back to Charlotte, the ladies that stayed with us last night blessed me.
We pulled out of the church and they began singing. They sang soulful gospel songs for almost 30 minutes as we made our way to Charlotte. A few of them are part of a choir and were trying to convince others to join. The singing was absolutely fantastic!!! To imagine I get to receive a Blessing that so many members of my church deserved to be a part is completely humbling. I got to listen to over half of our 10 guests sing praises to God, with all of their hearts, while they are in the midst of a huge storm. They showed me true faith as they sang and praised God. Homelessness is growing and the resources just are not there to take care of the need. Today I received a Blessing because so many people did just a little more than what they normally do, and Praise God for allowing us to help just a little. I hope this Blessing I got to witness today warms you! All those that have helped with or are going to help with RITI, that Blessing came because you are doing what God has put on your heart! You are following His lead and I pray He put even more on your hearts!!! This is also the time of year where people scramble to give just before the end of the tax year. If you are looking to give, give to the churches in your area. What I have mentioned is just one of many ministries through my church and I know they have many others that touch people and are just as important as RITI. Please give your support, you will be blessed because of your actions and donations, more than you could ever imagine.

Thank you for reading, and All Glory to God!

Follow this link, it has the men members of the group as well as our ladies!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Just an Old Fashion Love Song, coming down in 3 part Harmony.........

I was reading an article from the Mountain Times this week and I really really had my heart burdened. My heart was burdened to the point I almost came to the office! In fact there were a few articles in that paper about the tough times we've all been having. One was about a Food Pantry in the High Country of NC that has run OUT of food. Another, the one that pulled so hard, was about a Homeless Shelter in Boone. They interviewed this guy who is/was a heating and air worker that is now homeless. They talked about how they have 20 beds and a fire code of 17. Many nights this shelter has to break the law to help people live. The shelter will allow those that have absolutely no place to go stay first, then those who live in cars, and then those that can find a place with someone. Every night the shelter has to turn people away. Have you ever experienced the weather in Boone during the winter??? As I read the articles I noticed the weather advertisement on the page...... At lunchtime that day when it was nice and toasty in the 50's in Charlotte, Boone was topping out at 28! Anyone that has been to Boone in the winter also knows about the unforgiving winds they have. The cold wind hunts you down and haunts you....there is no escape. Boone has already had several snows this year and severely cold temperatures. I guess it just sunk in, that in Boone the homeless don't have the programs folks in the Piedmont have and I know the struggles they have. Those in the same situation in Boone are basically out there to Die! How difficult would it be to turn people away on a night the reached single digit temperatures? In fact every time folks are picked to fill the shelter, others are inadvertently picked to face death. Jesus Commanded us to "Love our neighbors as we love ourselves"....... where is this love? Jesus said, in Matthew 25:34-40 (NKJV), 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
I just know I'm not doing enough. I know God has burdened my heart for a reason. That reason may be to call everyone that reads this to action. Maybe God has burdened your heart with this as well and has given you an idea to help (let me know what you have..). Maybe this is to bring you and me together to work as a team!? Please contact me with anything that God puts on your heart! I'm just at a loss right now! Please join with me in prayer as well so that God will put on our hearts the solution He wants us to work on. I hope you're reading this and you're drinking a hot cup of coffee, eating breakfast, and listening to the heat come on inside your house....... Just so you can remember those that don't have any of that.
Thank you for reading and God Bless you,

As I write this, it is 31 degrees in Cornelius NC. It's currently 23 in Boone with a High Wind Warning and a Winter Weather Advisory. ( the paper I referenced in this blog)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Are you really Standing or are you just Sinking?

That's a really good question to ask ourselves. Are we Standing or are We really Sinking? I heard a preacher talking a few months ago and his point was really a good one. How many people reading this either know someone or personally have a cell phone, PDA, or ipod? How many people have all three? Maybe it's all 3 wrapped in 1! How many people use these tools everyday? If these were forgotten at home, how many people would turn around to go back and pick them up? Now, how often do you personally use these products in your everyday interactions? Over the past several months I have just started "getting in the Word" almost everyday. I have an hour for lunch and I've started using 1/2 or less of that time for lunch and emailing, then I've been using the other half to read His word. I just recently, within the past week, got a Bible I carry that fits inside my coat pocket. Now I can carry a Bible everywhere! You see the whole point of all of the prior questions was to point out that we have certain things that we are attached to, that are really not so important. Now, who do you know that carries a Bible like they carry a cell phone, PDA, or ipod? Would they turn the car around if they forgot their Bible? Shouldnt the Bible take a Higher position than our ipod? Shouldnt we put more emphasis on studying Gods word, than the use our social tools? If I'm really trying to build a personal relationship with God, shouldnt I take the time I spend studying His word and the time I spend talking with Him more sincerely? I think maybe I should give Him the majority of my attention. It's has gotten so easy to get distracted from what is really important. We all have the electronic devices, but they may be driving a wedge between us and God...... But the Devil wouldnt give us a distraction from God would he? See the Devil takes something good and perverts it to the point that it isnt good, like it was originally intended. I hope you will all join me over these next few weeks of Christmas time to realize just how we've allowed ourselves to get "busy". Maybe as we spend times with our familys and the phone rings or we get a text, just put it off until later. Take one of the 15 minute breaks we get at work and get in His word, and ignore the phone, texts, and emails....just for that 15 minutes. Lets take this season and really prepare our hearts for what the season was intended.
Peace out my people,

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Can a Terrorist Go to Heaven?

Can a Terrorist go to Heaven? Imagine a man that hunts down and attacts the innocent. A man that Kills because of a Religious Law. A Man that thinks Christians should have their heads cut off just because they are Christians. This man is a wealthy, educated man. Does this sound a little like radical Islam? Maybe even Osama Bin Ladin? Well actually I was thinking of Saul of Tarsus, or the Apostle known as Paul......yeah the one that wrote the majority of the New Testament.
I heard an evangelist speak about this on a podcast, and he asked if we were praying for Osama?! He said imagine the reaction of the Disciple that got the call to approach Saul.
I believe the disciple was named as Aninias.... look that up.... I'll just call him the disciple. He got the call from God.... He's pumped up ready to serve. God tells the disciple where to meet someone, and the disciple is absolutely Stoked about it.... Then God tells him the name of the one He wants the disciple to meet...... I can just imagine the reaction. It would probably have been like Moses' "take my brother" statement when God called him to service, just more intense! I could hear the disciple say "Whoa..... that's the guy that has been killing Christians!!! and you want me to do what??? But ultimately he proved his faith in the Lord and did as he was told. Pauls heart was then changed forever, and in turn promoted the Kingdom of our Lord.
Paul was doing what he had been trained as being right within his religion....remember he was a Pharisee?!?
So What about Bin Ladin? He is doing the same thing! He is doing what he thinks is right based on a religion that believes that jews and Christians should be killed..... I have the data to back that up too...... (contact me for the reference). So what should we do? Pray! Pray for Bin Ladin, that he too would be contacted as was Saul/Paul. Imagine the witness Bin Ladin would have in the Islamic World! Prayer warriors you know what to do!
Now Let's Change this World!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Welcome to America.... Where you still reap what you sow!

As I mentioned before I wasnt shouting cheers of Joy for any candidate this year, and have kind of been a little discouraged by the choices that were available on the ballot. I did not want Obama as President!!! Nor did I want McCain!!! Obama as President isnt the end of the United States although some may claim to be able to see it from here. This is a matter of "Reaping What We Sow". When you live in a society that believes in Divorce is a cure all for marital problems, abortion is a form of birth control, GREED and Selfishness, that you've got to step on as many people as you can to climb the ladder of success......then there is our problem. How can we expect to have a representative that represents truth? In a nutshell it all comes back to us, the American people. We are not living a life that is representation of who we claim to be. "Oh I've been a member of that Church all my life"....... and then you're going to divorce court instead of working out problems with your spouse. What does that teach your children? We have gotten away from being pro life too! I have become a believer that abortion is no less than murder. I can understand the argument of rape, and life threatening situations, but Abortion should in no way be a "birth control" method! Just less that 30 years ago Corporate executives made a wage in the ratio of 30:1 of what there employees made, as of just a few years ago the executives were making several hundred times that of the average employee. The stats mean either the executive is making too much, or the employees are making too little, or both!!! And it is all rotate around greed. These are just ways we have been programed over the past 40-50 years. It has come a time that we Become who we claim to be. We need to be the Christian that we tell everybody we are.
As I will and have been doing, step back from your life for a few minutes everyday and analyze "HOW YA LIVIN". If you can see a Habitual Sin, Hatred in your Heart, or anything that doesnt represent who you think you are as a Christian.....Pray about it!!!! Pray that your life will change and you can be the Christian example that you have always wanted to be. Make the change from Hypocrite to Saint!!
If you contact me, I'll pray for ya! But be warned you might be given some sins I need prayed for too! We just absolutely got to come together and build each other up and hold each other accountable as Brothers and Sisters in Christ.
Peace and Love y'all

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Rock That Vote Baby!!!

I've been really praying and searching for answers concerning this election. I haven't been remotely impressed by any candidate in recent history. I think we have let our country fall in a rut. I think we are not getting the best people running for office. We are getting those that have compromised their beliefs and sold their souls for the almighty vote (or dollar). I've been thinking about this for a couple of days and the closer the events come, the stronger I'm feeling about it. There are 2 BBQ's coming up, both being a place of campaigning, one is large the other is huge! I've been praying on this and want to offer the idea out to the world. I plan on asking the politicians if I can pray with them as a group at both events. If I get refusals I have one answer to one question. I really hope to pray with and for all of the political warriors. Now as far as a Presidential choice, I'm writing in Chuck Baldwin from the Constitution Party. They are based on the Constitution and Christian Beliefs. I know he has no chance of winning and I refuse to pray that any particular candidate will win, but I will pray for all of their hearts and that they will experience great conviction with every choice they make. I am looking forward to meeting many people at the Mallard Creek BBQ, and at Mt Zion United Methodist BBQ. I would like everyone to pray that they will respond to me in a positive manner. I also have a prayer I have been praying for the last few weeks. It was written Pastor Thomas Trask and prayed at a fasting and prayer meeting in 1994. I think it is a beautiful prayer and is very much on target. Please join with me in praying this!

A Prayer For Revival

Father God, we come before Your throne to humble ourselves and pray, to seek Your face and turn from our wicked ways.
We have sinned against You, O Lord. We have disobeyed Your clear commands. We have not loved You with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as we love ourselves.
Forgive us, O God. Heal our lands. Send a spirit of repentance. Let it sweep across this nation. Let the purging fire of revival begin in my heart and in Your Church. Let it spread through every community, every town, every city in America and around the world.
Establish righteousness, we pray. Let the bad roots that produce the bad fruits be burned out of our lives. Father, we ask that godly leaders would be raised up and elected to public office at every level. And that ungodly leaders will be removed. May Satan’s hold on government be broken and righteous rule be established. May Your kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
This prayer we persistently pray in the name of Jesus and for the glory of God. Amen.
That's it y'all!
Peace and Chicken Grease,

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sinners Like Me

The title of this blog isnt just a song by Eric Church, it's my life. Have you ever heard "your sin will find you out"? Well it will! I think back sometimes about my crazy years...... you know the ones where you say to the folks around you "I must have lost my mind for a few years back then" or "what the heck was I thinking". But I think back sometimes and it continually reminds me that God is Good ALL the Time! God and I have talked a whole lot over the past few years. While I was "in the world" or living for my own selfish reasons, I struggled continually looking to be happy. I continually tried to find what was missing that would fill that hole I had in my life. The more money I made, the harder I partied, the more crap I bought, the hole just got bigger! It's so hard to believe that a lifestyle change can give such peace, but it did for me and will for whoever makes that same change. I litterally made God my #1 priority in my life. God has become the one I talk to most everyday. All my sins from my "crazy" period have been washed away by the Blood of my Savior Jesus Christ. We saw just a few clips from The Passion of Christ on our youth retreat last weekend. I realize so much of that movie is Hollywood, but much of it follows Scripture too. As I watched the clips, I remembered that Jesus did that for me. The movie could in no way depict the actual events that took place during the crucifixion, but Mel Gibson made an effort. The torment and pain that was depicted in the movie that Jesus endured for us, was just a small part of it. The movie cant show it because it was so much worse in real life. At one point in the filming of the movie, the actor that played the role of Jesus, was hit with the cat of nine tails......with just one hit it took his breath and bruised his ribs. Just imagine (rent the movie), what is shown in the movie is not even as bad as what Jesus dealt with, yet in the movie it was very tough to watch and makes people cry uncontrolabley...and that is just a little bit of the Truth!....... Jesus did it to pay for me being selfish and greedy!!!!
Jesus did it all for you and everyone you know as well. Sometime over this weekend, maybe instead of hanging out with folks you know arent helping you in places that are kept dark for a reason, Seek out Jesus. Jesus is right there waiting for you. Enjoy the peace that He gives, that you cant find anywhere else! It's great for Sinners Like Me.
Peace and Chicken Grease Y'all

Monday, October 13, 2008

It's not too late, and the future looks GOOD!!!

We just spent a weekend with 20 awesome teenagers. Week #2 of Tsunami ministries Fall event was this past weekend and I really got to hang out with 20 of the coolest kids around. There were some folks that I wish could have gone and we missed them, but the ones that did get to go were a joy to be around. This has to have been one of the best retreats I've been on. I would recommend this event to any youth pastor looking to schedule an event for his/her group.
The big thing was when Steve "brought it"! The one two combo of the bands video, and Steves sermon made for a very fruitful alter call. Yeah the future looked real good on Saturday night! If you're a youth reading this, get involved in your churches youth group. If you're and adult, volunteer in some capacity with your churches youth. So Look up Tsunami ministries and watch their YouTube videos, and sign up for next years weekends! Also look up their Prime youth workers meeting this spring. It's at Mt Zion and is going to be a great event for youth workers.

I'm out

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Let's talk Revival!!!

Oh yeah I said REVIVAL!!! Looking at the problems that our country and world are suffering from, just add to the arguement for the need of Revival here in the United States. Churches are not growing as fast as the communities around them. Yeah many are growing but I dont see any growing at 22% or so. Our community here grew about 22% but the churches havent reflected that growth. North Carolina grew by more than 100000 transplants between 2006-2007. Many of that 100000 is considered un-churched. I heard a preacher talking about how the church has miss out on 2 generations of harvests, and seem to be stuck in 1950. I agree! We need to be reaching out every way that we can. We need to step out of our comfort zones, into the uneasy and harvest what is ready and plant for the future. We need to get fired up for Christian Witnessing and Christian Service. It's not about being Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, or Penacostal, It's all about being a Disciple of Jesus Christ and reflecting His Light. Revival is the only way our Nation will ever get back on the right track. Who says that Revival cant start in Cornelius NC? Who says that 2000 member church cant be where the next great revival begins? By exercising our Mustard Seed sized faith, the mountain will move. God will use that 2000 member church to reach the world! Now is the Time for "Gentle Boldness". It's time to be Loving yet very Honest and Leading. The Old and Tired have labored over the seeds they have planted, we have to Harvest a much over due Fruit!!! Then we need to replant immediately!!! I am asking everyone to pray for Revival! This is a important Prayer! Pray and Fast about it...... Yes, the Big Fella said FAST.... Look up online Revival and the early 1900's......
Get Passionate and introduce people to Jesus Christ!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Faith the size of a Mustard seed does move Mountains!

The title was from the lesson in Mark our youth pastor led this past sunday night. Believe it or not it's true. How often do we think things are too big to deal with? How often do we shrug our shoulders and give up on what's pulling at us? I just watched my churchs missions video from this past summer. Looking at the faces of those touched by these missions ministries absolutely drives this mustard seed theory. Just the smallest of things have meant so much to many of the people we were in contact with. One man gave us gum all week. That was all he could do for us but it was very meaningful. He would buy a thirty-five cents pack of that's a mustard seed. I grew a nasty crazy beard so that I would be more "approachable", that was a mustard seed. Those involved probably remember the "Taking it to the Streets" project we did with the youth, that was a mustard seed. We simply gathered items for the homeless and made hot chocolate for them and distributed the items in downtown Charlotte. Billy Graham started his ministry as a mustard seed. By putting your Faith in Jesus Christ, you have been given a mustard seed. What will you do with it? Will you feed the hungry? Will you house the Homeless? Will you Clothe the Naked? Will you teach the illiterate? Will you visit the lonely? God has given you a mustard seed. I'm excited to see you put your mustard seed to work.


Friday, August 29, 2008

Discernment......God is Good! All the time!!!

Tonight we had a God moment at our Friday night Bible study. We had a young woman show up over half way through the study looking for "assistance". I've learned that most folks in the World believe that Christians are stupid. Well, this woman got a little lesson tonight. She didnt get exactly what she wanted, but she got what she needed. After getting about half a Bible study where the lessons of life were flying directly to her unintentionally on our part, but remember God is Good.... Then she got to be part of prayer time, not once but twice. She got most of our youth pastors sandwich materials, and some bottled water to drink. She also got instructions on where to get more help. Granted she didnt go there, but why would she? Folks looking for a "fix" dont go to the Cops to get help even if that is where the help is. Fortunately my wife and I were at this meeting tonight. We werent going to be there but we were. As soon as she walked to the door, I knew..... I left the group at one point and went to pray about it. I was scared I was being judgemental. As I prayed a peace came over me and the feelings I had at first meeting were solidified. After inspecting the parking lot I went back in through the back door and into the study again. Then it became even more apparent what she was "really" after. She had the shakes, itching, and very jittery. I know I wasnt the only one that noticed all of this because she didnt get money from anyone. I hope everyone reading this takes time to pray before the become "charitable". Sometimes charity is helping keep the person seeking it from getting what they really need. I rarely give cash to anyone seeking help. Cash can buy Crack or Booze, Gift cards cant. Food may get thrown away, but you know they have an opportunity to eat. I really like gift cards!!! Here is why.... After they come down, they can eat. The gift card does not tempt them. Someone could have all intentions of getting food, but that devil drives them down. Jerry Garcia once sang, I went down to the levy and the Devil caught me there. He took my $20 bill and vanished in the air....... That happens too easily some times!!! I guess what I'm saying through all of this is be very giving as often as you can, but do it with Gods guidence. Be smart about how you give. I'm tired y'all so I'm out!
Hope this all reads okay!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

His will be done isnt always mine!

As you've read my wife and I were expecting a child. Well now we have miscarried that child. Not too long ago we saw a heartbeat and a baby forming in the womb. This past week we saw a yoke sack that was broken and no heartbeat. I've been jumping back and forth with my emotions. I just know my wife is probably taking it harder than I. I find it difficult to understand and I dont like it, but I have to accept it.... I have no other choice! I thought we were well on our way to becoming parents and then it was just taken away. This is our second miscarriage and is more difficult to deal with than the first, I guess because of the heartbeat.
I know God has not forsaken us. I know God has answered our prayers. The answer was a definate NOT NOW. We know we can get pregnant, so that's a positive. We know that prayer does work, that's positive. We know we have friends and family that love us and support us and pray for us, that's very positive! Even through the tragedy God reveals His love and grace. I just want to pray for everyone that doesnt know Him, and for those that know Him but have forgotten who He really Is! May God reveal Himself to you too.

On a slightly lighter note, did anyone notice how the Chinese divers looked hungry? How they looked like the Ethiopian that we used to see on the TV commercials? You know the ones that "for only the price of a cup of coffee a day we can feed them"? Something is wrong with that! Talk about China's injustice, it's right in front of the cameras!!! Those poor girls have been starved so that they wouldnt have a figure that would cause a splash.......

I'm done. So peace out my people!
Love ya, mean it!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Prayers that are fulfilled......Glory to God!

I've been telling this to several people since monday when my wife and I had an ultrasound. But it starts like this.....
Back in June my wife and I attended a Homecoming service at her grandmothers church in Boone NC. They had a special preacher doing the service that morning with it being the 50th Anniversary and all. The preacher is named Jim Henry and he is truely a man after Gods heart!
As he started to preach he mentioned that he had been bombarded with people wanting prayers to have babies. So he has been praying for people to have babies. Well that's when he said something to the tune of, I feel led to pray for that here (not a direct quote because I cant remember his exact words). This past monday we went for the ultrasound. They measure the baby and here is what they found and said...... The baby measures 6 weeks and 1 day......That's right! Praise God! That sunday was 6 weeks from the time of the sermon and prayer, and the monday added the 1 day. I know many people will discount this as coincidence, but my Faith tells me other wise! God is good, All The Time! I know God has blessed us once again through the power of prayer.
I keep finding myself telling about this, and I'll shout it from the mountain top. This is Miraculous and needs to be shared to everyone who will listen.
In return if you have a prayer request, I'd like to pray for you. I'll keep it on the down low unless you specifically tell me to pass it on to some prayer warrior friends of mine.
Thank you God for the many blessings you've given, and the opportunities I have that I came lift others up in prayer. Thank you for awesome men of God like Jim Henry that pray fervantly for your people. Thank you father and All the Glory to You! Amen

Peace and Chicken grease y'all!
And as always, go out and change this world!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Inspiration....Come and Listen to what is True

I have come to find a song that has become one of my all time favorites. Of course my wife and church family introduced me to it. The song is By a group named Leeland....great name if I do say so myself! The song is "Tears of the Saints". I'm adding the lyrics to this blog, but I recommend that you listen to the song and read the lyrics. It's STRONG!!!

Tears Of The Saints
There are many prodigal sons
On our city streets they run
Searching for shelter
There are homes broken down
People’s hopes have fallen to the ground
From failures
This is an emergency!
There are tears from the saints
For the lost and unsaved
We’re crying for them come back home
We’re crying for them come back home
And all your children will stretch out their hands
And pick up the crippled man
Father, we will lead them home Father, we will lead them home
There are schools full of hatred
Even churches have forsaken
Love and mercy
May we see this generation
In its state of desperation
For Your glory
This is an emergency!
There are tears from the saints
For the lost and unsaved
We’re crying for them come back home
We’re crying for them come back home
And all your children will stretch out their hands
And pick up the crippled man
Father, we will lead them home
Father, we will lead them home
Sinner, reach out your hands!
Children, in Christ you stand!
Sinner, reach out your hands!
Children, in Christ you stand!
There are tears from the saints
For the lost and unsaved
We’re crying for them come back home
We’re crying for them come back home
And all Your children will stretch out their hands
And pick up the crippled man
Father, we will lead them home
Father, we will lead them home

Now I leave you with that, So now let's all go out and Change this World!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Do da Do Sunshine day dreams

Caps off to the United States Olymic Team!!! Go get'em! I have a few events I like to watch, so I guess I'm excited about the games starting today....... I almost want to start a USA chant, but that would wake my wife and I'd really be in trouble. I wonder what protests will make the news. I know people will be protesting numerous things, like Tibetan Monks, Communism, and probably a whole slew of other issues. We really need to cover all of our brothers and sisters.....cousins, however you want to describe them, in prayer. I had wanted to get a handful of "Pray for China" Bands, but I'm a little tired of this whole big rubber band bracelett fad. I decided instead of getting the fashion statements, maybe I should just pray!
The need for prayer is "in your face" everytime I watch any news. Just now on the morning news they were talking about the terrorist threats at the Games. Our President is over there to cheer on the Americans. The smog in China makes L.A. look like the clean air city of the year!!!
So that was 3 things to pray about, and if I thought just a little harder I probably could think of the tibetan monks, christian persacution, and on and on and on..... But it is 6:00 am Eastern and my mind is still just a little foggy. Now, After we Pray this morning for China lets go out and be grateful that we are in the United States regardless of how bad things are here..... Thank the Lord we are living in China.

Go out and change the world into a place you want to be!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

We fired our guns and the British keep coming, but there werent as many as there were a while ago.....

Hello My Peoples! I have so much I want to talk about, but I am refraining from getting out of hand. So I'll just stick with a stick it to the man message. It finally looks like we have oil prices heading in the right direction! The price of sweet crude has continually dropped the past few days, and we need to keep them going that way. Now is not the time to get all excited about $3.60 a gallon gas. If we start buying gas like we did when it was growing to the point of $4 that made us start using less to begin with, we'll be in trouble again. We as consumers have to stay strong and not give in to the urge to start using more gasoline than we need. Believe me, my wife and I absolutely LOVE going to the mountains. The outragous gas price has made us stop going every few weekends. Continue to be good stewards of what God has given, and dont waste. We need to drive the prices down to $1.25 again! I know folks are just waiting for the pain to ease just enough to drive the price back up, but where will it stop next time? $6 a gallon? We will continue to try and find ways to save in my house. Even $2.50 is a shame and disgraceful. Stay strong, drive less, drive slower, and more efficiently.
That's all I'm ranting about tonight so peace out my people!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Going out singing walking in the Sunshine...............

How long have you truely lived? Someone commented the other day that some people live more in 18 years than others do in a life time.
That got me thinking.....hmm... How long have I truely lived? I lived when my nieces were born. I lived when I met my wife. I lived on top of a mountain when I realized this really is Gods creation. I lived the day I returned to living for God. I lived the day I realized what I should do when I realize I needed to leave the beer business. I lived when one of my friends told me he gave his life to Christ because of our conversations. I lived a few times when I realized that the time I was having with my friends was special. I lived when I fell in Love with my wife...everyday. I live everytime I see the wheels turning in the heads of the youth, when I've just shared some of the Gospel with them. I live everytime I see my people continually falling in love with The Lord Jesus Christ. I live when I get to fellowship and study with my Christian Brothers and Sisters. I live everytime I step out of my comfort zone.
Some of my living on the surface looks like I lived when I partied, but it wasnt the was the friendship.
Since I made a few of you mad last week and gave you something that will pop up when you least expect it and convict you, now I'm challenging you to think about when you've really lived. So it's another gut check from sweet lil ole me!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What a Long, Strange Trip it's Been......

Before I get into my blog topic, I want to expand on my last Blog. Reading the Blog it seems I was a little harsh. I was and probably will be in the future too! The reasoning is not because I'm disrespecting anyone, I'm actually very respectful of the whole deal, I just HURT really bad when this type of thing happens. I've been in situations that most of you never will experience and that's not a bad thing. To see another Kid die that affects my community, especially after seeing the families that are left behind to clean up the mess and to tie up loose ends, I get just plain PISSED OFF!!! I saw my people mourn over Dunni, that hurt. I saw the people closely involved continually getting in trouble and never really being punished. I've seen so many young folks die and the contributing factor is just being stupid. They know it will kill you because they've seen it in their friends deaths. I Hurt because I see the irresponsible actions and I know how hard it is to get turned back around. I'm not one of those that is totally against having fun, but I know that moderation with how you do it is necessary. Just be respectful to yourself and to those you care about! Now with the story.......

I imagine that everyone has heard the story of Jonah and the whale. This story is deep and has a few different schools of thought.
The story basically is about this dude Jonah. God tells him to go preach to his enemies and it scares Jonah so he runs away. Jonah goes way out of his way to get away from God and ends up on a boat and a storm comes up. As Greg Laurie (A popular minister) says, it was a "Correcting" storm meaning it corrected Jonahs direction, behavior etc. The Crew of this boat starts throwing stuff overboard trying to save themselves, because they are being pushed into the shore. Jonah tells them that it was his fault that they should throw him over and save themselves. Well they did, and were saved. That's where this big fish swallowed Jonah and dropped him off right back at the spot where he started running away. Then he went and did Gods work.
Looking at this story I immediately look at it as a story of life. God talks, we stray, we confess, we are "born again", and we go do Gods work. Did Jonah really survive in a Whale for 3 days? I know the story is about a man in a fish, and God can make anything happen, so I'm saying it's possible. Did he get swallowed be the fish from the start? There are some really big fish out there and some strange things have been found in their bellies.
One thing that jumps out at me is the Old Testament story of Salvation. If you look at Jonah repenting from his running from God, then the Being born again part point toward Christ. The Fish swallowed Jonah and had him in its belly (symbolism of a womb). Then Jonah is regurgitated on the beach (birthed). From that point on he lives for God and he was forgiven.
When Jerry Garcia sang of a "long strange trip" he had no clue did he!
Peace my People and have a great weekend!

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Beard, the glasses, and a smile on empty space....

What will you leave behind? What will people remember about you? I dont mean in the weeks following your death, but years later how will you be remembered? I bring this up because a young man lost his life this past week in my area. It was all because he made big mistakes. I pray this young man didnt die in vain. I pray that my young adult friends learn from his mistakes. One post on facebook referenced " rolling a doobie together last week"..... It seems so many people idolized him, but for what? Because he drank and smoked pot? Because he buzzed a football game in an airplane and endangered hundreds of people? Because he wasnt as good a driver as he thought he was? Did he ever really live or did he just throw it away? I know several people that look at this have never heard of the guy. I know several of you knew him and some of you may be one of those that is putting him on a pedistal. How is is cool to admit smoking a joint or drinking a beer with someone much more respectable than to admit you led someone to Christ? Maybe you didnt lead them to Christ but you introduced them or planting seeds as I like to say. What if other than just having a wild party boy lifestyle, what if he never knew Jesus loved him? What if he never knew about the free gift of forgiveness that Christ has given us? Had he ever heard the scripture known as the suffering servant? Isaiah 53:5 states, "But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our sins, the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, by his wounds we are healed."
Right off the bat that sounds just like so much of the other scripture in the New Testament, but that is what makes it even more important that our friends know it...... It's in the Old Testament and was written several hundred years before Jesus was ever born!!! Did I mention Isaiah was a prophet? This scripture was talking about JC, but was told to Isaiah by God.
I really hope one of my friends shared the truth with Tad. I know I have friends that knew him, I just hope the didnt start that "slow fade" and not tell him the Truth they already knew. I'm offering once again to anyone that has doubts, contact me! I dont care what time of day it is, get in touch with me if you have been affected by Tads death, or if you are not sure about where you are going when you die. Trust me, we are all sinners that fall way short of God.....but God loves us and wants to have that personal relationship with us hence Jesus.... and that's why it's called the Good News.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What if the Road you're on is the Detour?

I traveled down a long highway more than once, only to find out I was going the wrong way. Sometimes I stopped and turned around, other times I took turns off the main route, other times I just continued aimlessly. The last choice sometimes seems like the best of the choices, I know, I've made that one. When I was 18 or 19 years old I dropped out of school. College just wasnt right for me. I basically followed the "good times" and spent a whole lot of money. I remember times I rolled pennies and hooked all my homies up with $.30 draught. I met so many people and partied so hard, I thought I was on the right was fun!!.... that's what's important right? If it feels good do it?! So I did. Sometimes one of my friends and I talk about the old days and think about just how easily we could've been "locked up"..... but we werent. I worked my way into better jobs that paid more, so I spent more and partied more. I finally ended up working for a Beer Distributor in Charlotte and made a pretty decent salary. By this time I was pissed off everyday (deep down inside). I met people that really didnt fit in with who I really know, the one I had lost somewhere along the way. I started dating my wife while I was working for "The King". By the time we got married I had started to get back involved in my church. After the wedding we both became involved in the Youth Group at church. Yeah who would have thought! I had two people put in my path that absolutely lit me on fire from that point, Both were Youth! One of our youth at church challenged me every week. Every week she would come in with a different question and she wanted an answer. Many weeks all I could tell her was, "I dont know, but I'll find out". The more she asked me, the more I learned and wanted to learn about my faith. Finally we went to a Youth Rally at Lake Junaluska and the Methodists were doing alter calls! Yeah Shocked the poo out of me too! One particular night the good pastor asked a question just before the alter call. He said turn to someone beside you and ask, "Is this the Jesus you'd like to know". Well I looked around and so many of our youth were going up and I kinda got a little teary eyed. I turned to my right and there was a little boy at the very end of the row next to the isle, completely chomping at the bit for someone to ask him. People kept walking by and I remember thinking how cool it was to see this kid right before he was going up. I turned to my left and looked at my wife.... you know just to see if she thought all this was cool too, but all she said to me was, "Are you going to ask him"? Being all knowing as I am, replied with, "ask who"? As I turned back to my right I realized this kid had covered the distance of about 14 chairs and was now about 6 inches from me looking up at me. I turned back to my wife and told her "I can't remember what I'm supposed to ask", and she kindly responded, "Ask whatever your heart tells you". Well that was it! I asked this little boy a question as closely to the correct question as I could. As I asked, He began to cry and answered YES! My Life made a Big Change!
I like to think back on that part of my story now. It's been a little over 4 years now and I've learned that some how I made it from the "Dead End" to a Detour to the Road I should've been on all along. It's awesome how the drunken prayers I prayed, the prayers when I was lost, the prayers others prayed for me got me back to where I could build on a Christian Foundation that had been poured so many years before.
Some one told me when I was young I'd be rich one day.....which I translated into millions of dollars by a certain age, but now I get it! My wife and I live on a meager income and are becoming better stewards of what God has and is giving us.
Before I end tonight I want to encourage my friends to examine where they are in their journey and if they are living in a way that satisfies their inner most ambitions. These are most likely the things God has gifted you to do and will satisfy you the most. As always I am available anytime to talk. So if you have a burning passion and you're not sure if it's right get in touch with me.
At this time I'd like to Thank my Family, my wife, my church, Shelly, and the little boy I've only seen once! Thanks for doing Gods work in leading me back to Him!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

You Still Move Me

Do any of you remember the Old Dan Seals song, You still move me? It is a song from the Country genre that was recorded in the early 80's. Sometimes there are things that you see again for the first time in quite a while, and they pull at your heart and take you back to the very first time. All the emotions are there, they are just as strong as before, and It Still Moves Us.
There is a video floating around the internet that does just that. I hope I can embed it, but if I cant..... Look it up on youtube or Godtube. It's an interpretation of "Everything" by Lifehouse. I hope you all enjoy this and I hope it brings you all to tears as you realize it's the Truth!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Where is your Ministry

With hopes of achieving a B.S. in Religious Studies with in the next few years, I've been frequently asking myself and others "Where is your Ministry". So many people have found the ministry that they are called for. I know some of you right now are backing away from the computer screen, shaking your head, and saying I'm not a preacher! That's okay, you dont have to be a preacher to have a ministry. There are so many opportunities to minister to people and more and more people are not responding to the call. Your Ministry could be as simple as buying Bibles and donating them to little churches in the mountains, to buying bags of burritos and handing them out to the homeless. Maybe you are an awesome baby sitter....maybe your ministry could be working the nursery at church or even tending a child so it's parents/parent can attend church or just get a little bit of rest. What if your ministry takes you to Vietnam or Lebanon? Maybe you feel the burdens of others and really have a knack for making them feel better in times of pain. Maybe you can really keep things organized for people, making their jobs easier. All of these things are different ministry opportunities that God as given us the gifts to do. Not everyone is gifted the same, but each ones gift makes them compatible for certain tasks.
The Bible discribes this using the Human Body. It talks about the Hand not being a Foot and the Eye not being a nose. Basically saying we all have a special gift given to us by The Spirit that makes the whole "Church" work. This all brings me back to the Question, "Where is your Ministry"? I pray that you will all explore what really pulls at your heart. I dont want you to think about what makes you the most money, but what gives you the most spiritual happiness. You know the deep down feeling that tells you, "I just did something very right"! "and I want to do it again". Then, I pray that when you find your ministry, you'll as closely as possible build your career with that ministry in mind. If you love making people feel better and want to help the a doctor.....dont do it for the money.

Father, You are the one that leads us in ways that we sometimes ignore. Please open all of our hearts and minds, so that we will know what you are telling us. Let us know what our gifts are, and the ministries that we are to use them in. Let us closely position our careers so that the two may be the same or very closely related. Thank you Father. In Jesus Name~Amen~

I read from Oswalt Chambers book, My Utmost for His Highest, after I origanally posted this blog. Here is the scripture that was the Heading of the reading I did.

"We know that all things work together for good to those who love God....." Romans 8:28
I dont believe the scripture was an accident. I think it was something I was to read for myself and to share with you!
Now go out and make the world a better place!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Evangelical Christians....We have a problem!

I saw this last night on CBS news....
"Among the more startling numbers in the survey, conducted last year by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life: 57 percent of evangelical church attenders said they believe many religions can lead to eternal life, in conflict with traditional evangelical teaching."

That right there tells me that 57% of Evangelical church attenders are in trouble! That is part of the problem of this whole religion thing. SO many people only hear what they want to hear. They believe the parts that dont push against their comfortable lifestyles that are full of holes that they just dont see right now. Satan will lead you to a church and let you listen to what is said, then he'll try to pervert it and make you think "that part isnt so important, and that part doesnt apply to me". Look at Adam and Eve, Satan led them astray by twisting the words..."Is that really what He said.....Is that what God meant to say?" "He just doesnt want you to be as good as Him".
Folks with all my Heart and Soul, Here is the Truth. We are not as Good as God. We can not make it on our own. We continually fall short of the glory of God. We can not make it to Heaven without Jesus Christ! We can only be with Jesus if we believe He is the Way, He is the Truth, His Blood was shed to wash away my Sin.
If you have doubts where you will spend eternity, you better seek God NOW! If you have doubts you're probably not going where you're hoping!

Monday, June 23, 2008

For the Love of Christ!

Well campers, we're back from our yearly trip into the Appalachian Mountains to work on homes. This year we went to Tennessee to a little town that had a population of 600 (maybe less depending on the age of the signs). The jobs moved out of this town and the surrounding towns, so there is very high employment. The poverty rate there is hugh. Ya see Tennessee is probably one of the worst places for poverty, because it is practically hidden from view. You dont see the poverty on the main roads like you do most other places. Somehow the impoverished are off the beaten path, but yet the path is actually very beaten just because of the numbers of people in bad situations. Most folks would never know it because you cant see it from the bigger roads.
We spent the week with folks from church working on various homes in east tennessee, and built relationships that helped people in more ways than just keeping them dryer, warmer, and safer. We made friends up there in the hills of tennessee. It's amazing watching the youth and adults from three churches go out and love on people. This year we had 2 NC churches and a Church from Texas on the trip. The organization is known as ASP or Appalachian Service Project. This organization uses college aged young adults to run centers all through the Appalachian Mountians. I love ASP! They tend to be very good stewards of the resources that God gives them.
This year the man my team served was in his lower 60s and had pushed God away years ago. But you see that was all in God's plan. Our group was the least talented in construction, but hey....that's why we considered ourselves the Evangelist Team! The man we worked for needed to hear the message God had given us. He kept saying he wished he could pay us. Through the week he did keep us well equiped with gum. It doesnt seem like much but that was what he could give and he saw it make us happy when he gave it to us. He would go from person to person distributing the gum (he went to the girls first but then again can you blame him). To see God work in just simple ways was so miraculous. The ASP staff has a picinic every week for the folks we help and our man didnt go the first week. Well, he went this past week! You see God put some special folks in the element He had trained them for last week. There were two teams side by side working (the 2 sites were literally side by side), and I think everyone invited our guy to the picinic. The last time he said I wish I could pay, I told him he could pay me by going with us to the picinic. On our last day we took our new friend out to eat at a local joint, and the lady there knew who we were, and who we were working for. As Volunteers we try to be as discrete as possible even to the point of giving code names to the locations where we work. But this lady made a comment about how our friend enjoyed drinking more than anything. That really wasnt new news to me, but like I said, God had this team where He did for a good reason. Before we left the burger joint I told the lady how I had asked my friend about this place and that he only had great things to say about the food and the people that owned it. This lady then looked down toward the floor (kinda in conviction), and then looked up in a small smile and said,"I've known him all my life".
If you go through my little story and pick through it, you'll see little moments where God spoke. If you werent looking for it you'd miss it. I have come to look for times when God speaks to me regardless of the size of the voice He uses. Thank you Lord! I encourage everyone to check out ASP (Appalachian Service Project) it is a mission that is worth doing. If you cant go this year find something that you can do this year, and plan now for next year. Sometimes the small things like giving out sticks of gum just mean so much!
God Be with You!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Four Scouts Down

As most of you know Four midwestern Boy Scouts lost their lives this week in a terrible storm. As usual as soon as the storm had passed the other Scouts sprand into action...... I wouldnt expect any less. I'm one of those, although I didnt earn the award, that still see's the Eagle Scout rank as a very prestigious award. I have several friends that have made that rank and I'd trust them with my wallet! My deepest thoughts and prayers go out to the peers and family of the fallen scouts.
This latest casualty reminds me of a flood a few years ago that swept away a foot bridge as some scouts were crossing. They too parrished. All this brings me to one question. If you were to die today, where would you go? Did you answer "Heaven I Hope"? Or maybe "I'm not real sure". "I've been pretty good, and there are several people worse than I am". Unfortunately if you answered Heaven I hope....Then you're probably not going there. If you were going, you'd know.
If you really have given your life to Jesus, then there is no doubt what happens when you die. So many people leave here everyday and dont make the cut. Heaven is so easy to achieve that many people just cant believe in a salvation that is just so simple. All we have to do is turn our hearts to Jesus. Truely ask Jesus to be in your heart and that you accept the forgiveness of your sins that He granted while He was hung on the cross. I am open to discuss this with anyone. I have made the Choice to follow Jesus Christ. I still fall short, but I really strive to be the best Christian I can be. I am a work in progress! Although there are 3 major religions based from the Blood of Abraham, only one is in line with the continual grace provided by God in the Old Testament. Israel prophesied about Him, & Muslims try to overshadow Him and both say He isnt who He said He was. But it is amazing how the Christian Church began as a sect of Judaism, and the Esa (Jesus) movement is huge in Muslim countries.......considering to claim Christianity would be instant death, they follow Esa. If anyone has doubts about what will happen to them when they die, post a comment. Leave an email address and let me know if you want to keep your comment discrete. God Bless You and all those you may contact!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

My friend Russell

Some of you have seen my myspace blog and have commented on them. I love to hear your feedback! I wanted to start one here so I could put links to it everywhere.

Yeah that 's me to the left there...looking kinda scraggley....

Today I wanted to tell everyone about my friend Russell. He is the coolest dude around. He has all the ladies just melting in his hands, in fact they cant keep their hands off him! I met Russell back in the winter and I have thought about him ever since....He's just that kind of guy. I'm sure you know the ones, they just capture your heart the first time you meet?! I often worry about Russell, I wonder if he is okay. I havent seen my friend Russell since March. It was like clock work, we'd meet up on Tuesday nights and fellowship on occassion. Some weeks he'd be there and others he couldnt make it. And on those nights I worried about him. Russell has unlimited possiblities, except for those things society limits him to. He has the whole world ahead of him, literally, and he has quite a different view than most of us. You see Russell is a Young Black Man........ Well let me change that.... Let me tell just a little more into this situation.....

Russell is a child! I met Russell last year when my church started participating in Room At The Inn. Russell was 6 months old and He and his mother are homeless. We saw Russell on a number of Tuesday nights while my church opened up it's youth house to give the homeless a place to eat, shower, do laundry, and bed down for the night. We would head to Charlotte and pick up 10 or so neighbors and bring them 20 mile out of the city so they could have atleast one night where they felt safe and loved. Russell was in our last group we housed and his mom would pass him around to all the folks visiting the know so she could have just a few moments of Mommy time. That Boy stole the hearts of everyone he came in contact with! He is just that cool of a kid.

You see this is a big problem!!! Like Russell, there are children living on the streets that have no choice! They have no say and are given a very unfair chance in this world! But I guess that's just one more good reason not to hold on to this world!!! " For it too shall come to pass". We had a young mother bring her 6 day old child to stay with us one night, and I promise you! I thought the child was dead!!!! He finally cried later that night when he was hungry, what a relief! But this child was so small, so young....and was born in a hospital and then kicked out onto the streets. Brothers and Sisters we've got to make a change. Where are those striving for a life of Holy Living? I'm not there, but I want more so everyday to get closer to a Holy Life. I want to pull away from so many things this world offers that we are convinced that we need, and all the time it's just getting us one step closer to Hell! We need a Wii or we need an ipod, or we need to eat at that upscale restuarant......NO!!!! We need to feed our people!!!! We need to lead people to Christ and to teach the about Christ! We need to stand up against $4 a gallon gas! We need to Vote out The Republicans! And dont replace them with Democrats!!! We need to find folks that are willing to be held accountable if the crap on the people that voted them in! Party Politics is a SCAM and deep down we all know it! "But I'm voting for the lesser of the two evils" That's Crap too!!! Vote against all evil! Vote for people that care about people! Vote for Truth!!! All this runs together it all stims from greed. Why are we too greedy to give the man at the off ramp a gift card to Chic-fil-a? Why do we judge him on whether he "deserves" it or not? Why dont we simply "feed my sheep"? Why dont we Love one another? Why do we continually push away God?

Peace my People!