Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Week '08

It is once again Christmas Week and I simply love it!!!! I remember when I would go home from college and the house would be decorated just right. I loved to go into our "Christmas tree room" late at night and read the scripture passages about Christ's birth in only the light from the tree. It was a blessing and I will do this again this Christmas as Julie and I travel back to see our families in Mississippi. Take some time this week, if you have not already, and read the various accounts in Matthew and Luke. See how wonderfully simple the story of Jesus is. The story is so simple but oh so grand!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Part Three: Thankful Thoughts...

I am thankful that God shows Himself to me in the "small things" of life. I love the fact that God is a part of the details of life. It is fun to see God, big and largCheck Spellinge, in the make-up of a flower or the laughter of a person... Now it really is fun... take a look around you during the day and begin to see God all around you...
Just this morning I was sitting on the deer stand and about 6:20 and looked over my right shoulder to see a brown Owl perched in the tree next to me and about an hour later I saw small gaggle of geese sounding off as they made their way to a near by field or body of water.
I paused at some point and just thanked God for the opportunity to be a part of what He was doing. It was good and I am thankful!! Aren't you?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Part Two: Thankful Thoughts...

I am thankful for my wife and for the relationship that we enjoy. I am amazed at the way God uses different experiences to draw us closer to each other. The truth is that challenging moments in the lives of any couple, have a way of either drawing them closer or pushing them further away. I guess it depends on how a couple responds to the turbulence they face.
Julie and I have recently trudged the up and down road of "trying" to have a child. For a couple desiring to be parents, this experience has been painful but fruitful in our lives. We have seen fertility specialists in hopes of having a child only to hear the news that it will not happen. This episode is still stings when the bill for their "services" finds its way into our mailbox as a nagging monthly reminder, "it did not work but you still must pay"... not much fun, but as I said we are seeing the fruit of this journey in our lives. I can truly say, that all of this is a small price to pay for the work the Lord has done in our lives and marriage. Though we do not have a child at this point, we are better on this side of the whole experience. Julie is my best friend!! This is not a cliche, but the truth. We have walked through the depths of despair together and are now enjoying some of our most joyful days together as we continue down the journey of that God has us on.

As a word of encouragement, let mention something that has helped me when dealing with difficult situations. Now, remember that this is not easy nor does it fix the situation, but does help in time with ones perspective in a situation.

Don't ask "Why?", but "What are you trying to teach me Lord?". This really has helped me as I have processed things in my life and may also provide you with a different take on the circumstance you may be facing.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Part One: Thankful Thoughts...

I was thinking just this weekend about different ways that I am thankful... I am thankful that God is patient with me... I think of how often I just don't get it when God points me in the right direction. It seems that I often find my way back to the wide road and leave the path He has marked out for me... Daily I fall and bump my knees, but God continues to work with me and encourages me to keep walking by faith. Learning to walk by faith is hard, but thankfully God is patient. I am not a very patient person and don't really have very much sensitivity to others when they can't pick up on something quickly... How about you? Are you hard on others... Most of us are terribly hard on ourselves. Aren't you glad that the Lord is patient with us?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Christ In Us

How did you feel this morning when you got up? What was your thought when your alarm went off or your baby started crying or your coffee was spilt in your lap or your car would not start or you were throwing up in the middle of the night or someone pulled out in front of you at the light or your homework was "lost" or you did not get the raise you thought you would or your spouse left you or a temptation set in that you did not expect or you gave in one more time to a habit that you thought was over... most us of think: what in the world?; where did that come from? why me? how the heck did that happen? not again!! not me! etc, etc, etc...

Scripture tells us... "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation ; the old has gone, the new has come!"
2 Corinthians 5:17

"...Christ in you, the hope of glory." Colossians 1:27

This is what scripture tells us is the truth about me as a believer. As a follower of Christ, I have Christ living in me. WOW!! Often I forget this or fail to live like this. Often my life circumstance gets in the way of this truth. How about you? How does this strike you? To know that Christ is living in you and daily you carry him around in your body and actually lives through you as you walk around in this world. Is this evident in your life. I mean do others see Christ in you? Are you aware of this reality?
It has been said, "It is the image of Christ in us that so enrages hell." The image of our Savior is in us and is on display as we live. As we grow closer to the Lord this reality becomes more and more evident in our journey with Him. So today remember... you are not alone in this world, but as a follower of Christ you have the Hope of Glory in you!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ahh... The Mountains

This past weekend Julie and I had the opportunity to get away for a couple of days. When the Eagles play Furman in Greenville, Julie and I usually make the trip to see the game. This year we decided to go a couple of days early in order to spend a little time together away from our hectic schedule. We had a blast and thankfully the weather cooperated for us. Yes it was cloudy and cool, but the rain stayed away and we were able to enjoy the sights and sounds of the great Smoky Mountains.

There is something about getting away that is refreshing and enriching to the soul. There is merit in pulling aside and allowing a fresh breeze to blow into our lives. Jules and I had a grand time and I hope that you too will take some time to do the same. There may be nothing better than laughter with the one you love the most.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Text Messages From God

We have begun a new series in the contemporary service, a two part series that speaks to way we utilize scripture and the role that it plays in our lives. So let me ask you what role does the Bible play in your daily life? I was reading in preparation for this week and was moved by a statement that I read. Now I am paraphrasing, but the statement went something like this; "We carry our Bibles around with us, we might have two or three stashed away some where, but when was the last time we can remember that our lives actually altered by it?"
Now that really kind of startled me... cause I really carry my Bible around with me every day. It is just a part of my life. Of course it is, this what I do. But when was the last time words of the Holy Text actually shaped or reshaped the way I live. Do I allow it access into the deep recesses of my life? Do I allow the ancient words change me and form me into who God wants me to be... How about you?
Are we so diligently carrying our Bibles around and even reading them that we have failed to let them read us? Can we honestly think that I think that because I am in a profession that uses the Bible that my life is some how automatically informed by it? May I/we never miss the point of the Great Message in all of our religious activity and fail to live a life truly informed by it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Where is Lonely

There are more people in the world today than ever before and yet more people are lonely than ever. How is it that we often find ourselves in groups but are not very good at building or encouraging community.
It has been said that stores are not just selling a product any longer, they are selling an experience. Say the coffee shop that I visit in town, I go there not just to get the coffee but to experience the cup of coffee. Life should be that way. We should not just go through life getting something out of it, but giving something back to it. We should experience life in the fullest sense of the word. Here is a great quote: "the essence of being human is participation in the essence of the divine being.
One of the best ways to participate in both this life and the divine is in relationships with others. God made us in His image. God is relational, therefore we are relational. When we participate in relationships with others we enter into a fundamental divine activity.
But we struggle with this as a people. George Gallup has said that his research shows that Americans are among the loneliest people. I just read a passage that speaks to this.
Ecclesiastes 4:8-12
"Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for
their work" vs.9

Monday, October 6, 2008

Leadership Team

I have the privilege of working weekly with student leadership team. Working with this team enables our ministry to do ministry in a multifaceted way. Each member of the team is able to be a part of the planning and implementing of our ministry objectives. It is so exciting to see what God is doing in the lives of each of these students and how they are influencing our campus for Christ. Below is a picture of our leadership team. While some were not present for the picture, this is a good representation of our team.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Clean Water Anyone?

This past Sunday the college ministry began promoting its African "well project". During the service we had an opportunity to hear from our Southern Baptist missionary, Paula Rehn, who has served with his wife, Heather, for nearly seventeen years. The Rehns have served the SuSu people of Guinea, West Africa through their work in the various villages. Some of the most recent work has been associated with building wells in these villages in order to provide clean water for the people.
The college ministry is taking up an offering through the end of the semester to help fund the building of two wells next summer. The goal to raise $1300 for two wells and to provide a local mission in our community with clean water as well.(Joseph Home for Boys, Boys & Girls Club, etc.) The project will help raise awareness of the need that people have for clean water both locally and globally. Of course if more money is given, the more wells that can be built. The money should given to FBC Statesboro and should not take away from your normal pattern of giving to the life of our church.
It is exciting to see what God is doing and will do in the lives of our college students as they give of themselves both financially and physically. This next Summer we will take a mission team to this area of Africa in order to help build a bridge for the message of Jesus. Wow!! What a great opportunity to see God at work. Please pray for the Rehns as they faithfully serve the SuSu tribes, for the "well" money to be raised, for students to sign up for the mission project, and for the hearts of the SuSu people to be open to the Gospel.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Following the Spirit

In a book I just began reading the other day, the author tells of an of an old phrase for the Holy Spirit that originates with our Celtic brethren. An Gedah-Glas means "the Wild Goose" and provides and interesting depiction of the Holy Spirit and rather accurately describes my on personal experience in following the Spirit's leading in my life. It is challenging and strangely haunting to try and see God at work... leading my life. I want to stay in tune and on the path, but it seems a bit murky at times. There are moments that I feel like I am right in line and then other moments where I seem to be out of sorts.
Paul tells us in Galatians, "Since we live by the Spirit, let us stay in step with the Spirit." My desire is to stay in step, no matter what the days of my life bring me. Satan may throw all that Hell has to offer at me, but in the end I long to be found faithful.
May God be glorified and honored!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Spiritual Growth

When you think about growing spiritually, what comes to mind? For many people it seems vague at best, while for others it is simply overwhelming. To say, "I want to be more like Jesus.", seems like the unreachable elusive goal for many followers of Christ. The other day I had an encouraging conversation with one of our GSU football coaches. Let me tell you the story...
To tell you the truth, this semester has been quite refreshing thus far. I have the privilege of meeting with some of the coaches once a week for prayer and Bible study. We meet at the Parrish building at 6:30 for about an hour. The first week, one guy in particular seemed a little reserved for the first 15 minutes or so and then he began opening up about his life. The morning was filled with great conversation and discussion as we shared our thoughts while we read various Scriptures. Later that evening I saw him before the players Bible study and he was so appreciative for the morning's gathering. He said, "Stewart, I have had the God moment. But I want to know how to grow." I could sense his earnest desire to grow and deepen his relationship with Christ. He went on to say, "I have a lot of responsibility. I am a coach, a husband, and a father. I want to be the best I can be."
How about you? How about me? I mentioned that it is best to begin with a pattern of daily prayer and Bible reading. He had asked for a "workout" that would help him. So I emailed him a list of scriptures and a few questions he could pray through each day. I told him that the Lord would honor his desire to grow and that the Lord would begin working in his life. This is true for him and each of us... I need it!!
I read a great quote the other day... "If sin quenches the work of the Spirit in us, a daily dose of Scripture quickens the work of the Spirit in us."

Thursday, August 28, 2008

One by One Mentoring

I am so pleased that the college ministry has taken a step in a new direction this fall. We have begun a mentoring program focused on mentoring college students. The ministry will develop mentoring relationships between adults in our church with college students in an effort to see them grow spiritually. I have trained 31 adult mentors and have paired them with students for a semester long mentoring experience. I firmly believe that these relationships will encourage the students in their desire to grow in their walk with Christ. It seems that life on life relationships provide the greatest opportunity for sustained spiritual growth to take place. I believe that these relationships will further help our students to be all they have been created to be.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Here is the billboard design for the Contemporary service. This spring we bagan revamping the college service in order to reach young adults and young families in the Statesboro area. There are so many people in our region that have no connection to a church and even more that have never connected with God. We hope and pray that the service will serve as an on ramp for people as they begin the slow and the often arduous journey of faith.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hard to Believe

WOW! What a difference a week makes... GSU is rolling again and the students are back in full force. I am most excited about the new year... Worship went so well and our leadership team is really taking shape. We have a lot of plans for the new year and it really seems that we have good momentum right now.
I look forward to see how God works this year. Over the next couple of post I am going to give you an idea of the plans we have as the new school year begins.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I finished reading The Shack last week and was very intrigued by it. Certainly there are many people who do not like it and have differing opinions about it, but I must say that I was pleased. I would rather be pushed and challenged in my reading rather than just reading something that is vanilla.
I really enjoyed various aspects of the book, but none more than the reality of God being intimately relational with His creation. I loved seeing the joyful interplay of the Godhead and how we are drawn into their relationship as we walk with God. It is good to see God as being interested in our lives and how He wants us to interact with Him in deeply personal way.
Heaven is a mystery but I really like the the thought of knowing one another. How fun is it to consider that in Heaven we will know others and be known by them. Seems kind of silly now to think that in heaven there will be just a lot people hanging out with no names. Seems totally against that creative nature of God.
So I encourage you to read The Shack. Be stretched and pushed. Enjoy the fact that there is just so much we do not know... It is okay. Mystery is good for the soul.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Random Thoughts

Wow, how time flies. I can't believe that school is about to start back. The kids are getting their new clothes and the teachers are setting up their classrooms. It is so hard to believe that it will be August in two days. The summer has been good, but for some much to short.

"Sometimes I Feel Like a Nut..."
I was talking to a friend of mine the other day who had made some ice cream... Butter Pecan. Now say that out loud. Butter Pecan. The word pecan is pronounced in two distinctive ways. But I thought it interesting that even though she pronounced the word (pecahn) one way when describing her ice cream, she pronounced the word (pee can) another way when talking about the nut. I laughed and no that is not a "pee can", a "pee can" is something you set beside your bed. We both laughed and went on our way.

Mr. Toad
I have problem at the house... it is toad. A red toad has taken up residence in on of my ferns. I have taken it across the street, out to the back yard, and even to my neighbors house. I will admit that at first I threw the crazy toad, but now I gently carry it to another spot. This game has been going on for about a month now. I don't want to kill it, and if it comes back after taking if down the street... I will name it.

St Louis
Our trip to St. Louis went so well. The college team that we took really jelled and had a wonderful experience. I am quite thankful for the opportunity to be a part of mission projects like this. We were exposed to a culture that we don't see very often in our own country. We worked in East St. Louis. Like most large metropolitan cities, St. Louis was affected by the "white flight" phenomenon. The needs of the broken families and poverty are tremendous. We learned so much in just a week. One of my greatest joys and challenges was tutoring 5 year old TJ. He was a rambunctious kid with the need to be loved. I learned to patient and love him right where was. I hope that I can apply this when I have my own kids. I am thankful that my parents were and the Lord is patient with me... most of the time, I just don't get it.

"Me & TJ"

Monday, July 7, 2008

Today's Temperature

What is the temperature outside? Right now it is probably between 78 - 82. In my office I like to keep it a cool 64. This keeps me from sweating and feeling uncomfortable. I don't like it when my shirt begins to stick to my back or my arms. It just feels kind of icky.

So let me ask you a question. What is the temperature like in your office relationships or your marriage or your friendships or even with your children right now? Many times the temperature is quite hot and we are uncomfortable but still we do nothing about it. What if we began to pray that God would use us to make a difference. What if you and I began to pray that our attitude would change. But, I can hear in my mind now, "It's not my attitude that needs to change!!". Maybe it will be in the way you handle the situation that can bring restoration.

Now, let me ask you another question. What do people in your circles think about Christians. Often in today's culture people bristle at the notion of being Christian or even knowing one. What has made people feel this way? Many times it is the way act, the words we say, the attitudes we have, or even the way we treat people that look and act differently than we do. Consider with me the words people around you, those that are not followers of Christ, would use to describe people that claim to be Christians. A book I just finished reading, UnChristian, says that the words are not endearing at all. Words like judgemental, hypocritical, and insensitive are just three of the ones most often used.

How can we change this? How can we begin to live in way that people would be drawn to Jesus not repelled by His followers. I am not sure that I have a complete list of answers, but here is what I am considering. I may just begin with an honest assessment of our own lives. I know in my life, the journey has begun as I have prayed about my own attitudes and that the fruit of the Spirit would become evident in me. As I look at the life of Jesus, I am struck by the fact that the outsiders really were drawn to Him. Sadly, this is not true enough of our lives today. I dream that we can get on this path and that we too can begin reveal Jesus once again to the world here in 2008 and beyond.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Dog Days of Summer

Julie and I drove over to LaGrange today for a wedding that we are a part of this weekend. The drive over was quite beautiful. The sky was full of those fluffy white clouds. The colors today just seemed to be exploding as we drove. Once we got to Macon and took Hwy 74 just to the south on Interstate 75 and got out in the rural countryside the scenes were just breath taking... Julie and I really did have a wonderful time visiting together as we drove through all of the little towns. Just about as long as we have been in Statesboro, Julie and I have had the privilege of being a part of student's weddings that have been in our ministry. It is such a blessing to see them grow up and move on to a new season of their life. Julie and I were talking tonight as we left the rehearsal dinner about how blessed we have been over the years by so many wonderful students. They have helped shape and change us as we have shared part of our lives together. I believe that is one reason ministry is so rewarding - the people that you meet and the way God uses them to impact our lives.
Tomorrow Brittany Bartley and Steven Tanner will be married... their lives forever joined together... as a friend of mine says, "Two Points Jesus!!"

Friday, June 20, 2008

Pilfering The Pages

Mom has stacked all of dad's library in our dining room. There are stacks of books two & three rows deep around the walls... book after book... old books that he collected over the years... commentaries, classics, as well as contemporary writings fill the room... I love the smell of an old book(one of my favorite smells) - The smell of an old book store is something to behold. Just walking in makes you feel smarter. I wish it worked this way!
Getting back to the point, when I was home I began to sort through the books. A day will come when I will gratefully add them to my own library, but for now they will just stay at the house. Except those that I randomly pick up on our visits home...
I brought one back by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison, which recounts many of his experiences in a German concentration camp during WWII. One of the best parts of looking through dad's books is to see the pages he has marked and dogeared.
One like this:
"Who stands fast? Only the man whose final standard is not his reason, his principles, his conscience, his freedom, or his virtue, but who is ready to sacrifice all of this when he is called to obedient and responsible action in faith and exclusive allegiance to God - the responsible man, who tries to make his whole life an answer to the question and call of God. Where are these responsible people?" Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I have never, nor will I ever face circumstances near what those in the camps were dealt... I wonder... What would have been my thoughts? How would I have acted? How would I have lived out my faith? How about you? For me, a brattish and selfish young American, would have more than likely buckled at the mere thought of the suffering...
God gives Jeremiah and us this advice...

"If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, who will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?" Jeremiah 12:5

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Long Time No Blog

It has been a while since I have blogged. Julie and I left for Mississippi last Thursday. While we had a wonderful time with our families it was a challenge to get near a computer for very long... I was unable to give any attention to serval thoughts that I had along the way, so I plan to blog on them over the next few days...

The timing of our trip was perfect for me to be with my family on our first Father's Day without dad... The weekend was not as hard as I thought it might be, but being at church without dad preaching was a challenge... It just did not seem right to be there and not hear His voice and the encouraging-challenging words that I remember from sermons past...

As I think about my family... each one of them, I feel so blessed! God has given us just a great bond that I know is grace gift from our Lord.

I have an excerpt from an article that I published in a local magazine...

"The moments I remember most vividly with my dad are the simple, subtle ones. These are the moments that seem to mean the most. I think the moments that make the best memories are those quiet experiences that we often overlook only to remember them after a person dies. "

To read the article in its entirety log onto:

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Engaging Culture

What does it mean to engage culture? How are we to live life within the context of our everyday existence? I am asking myself, "Am I helping shape the culture that I live in?" How is our community different because of my presence? How are you are making a contribution to the world we live in? Is our community a better place because you live here? Are people glad that our church is a part of this community? I read the other day that certain words come to mind when a person thinks of or hears of any organization. What do others think of when they hear your name, my name, our church's name, etc. My prayer is that we can live for Christ and make a positive contribution to the world we live in as we engage the world around us rather than remaining sheltered huddled in our little "holy mass".
"Christianity begins to shift its sheltered reputation when Christ followers are engaged, informed, and on the leading edge, offering a sophisticated response to the issues people face." UnChristian - David Kinnaman

Sunday, June 8, 2008

What's Going On Here?

So I read a quote just today by Oswald Chambers that made me really stop and think. Here is what is says, "Do not harken back to who you once were, when God wants you to be somtehing you have never been before." Where is God leading me/you? What is God shaping my life into? I love the mystery of it all. I pray that I never get satisfied with mediocre life that I would form. The Scriptures tell us that we are like clay pots, very common every day elements, so that the Lord gets the glory. May our lives be clay in His hands... to make of our lives what He desires.

Monday, June 2, 2008


I read a quote the other day by C.S. Lewis, "Obedience is the road to freedom..." Often we think of walking in obedience as something that is actually keeping us from the freedom that we long for and were actually made to experience.
In Psalm 119 we actually find that the Psalmist says in verse 32 that to follow the commands of the Lord sets us free.
"I run in the path of your commands,
for you have set my heart free."
Psalm 119:32
To walk in the truth is to find the freedom that we so desperately desire. God longs to lead us to freedom. He does not want us to be held back but set free to be all that He created us to be.
I know that often I rebel against the Lord. In action or thought or even in speech. I need to be aware of how the Lord is leading me daily into the life that He longs for me to have. Each of us must realize that each day the Lord's desire is to lead us in a way that is most fulfilling. I don't want to miss out... Do you?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Current Reading

Typically I write out my thoughts about a book only after I finish the work. But I am reading three books right now that are excellent, so I thought I would provide commentary as I make progress.

Christ Plays In Ten Thousand Places, by Eugene Peterson

Early in the book, Peterson mentions that God is at work around us. God is always at work. In fact the miraculous happens all the time in our daily lives. "The miraculousness of the miracle is obscured by the familiarity of the setting, the ordinariness of the people involved." Lord give me an awareness of your work around me. Peterson says that it is not by fireworks or special effects that God displays his great work, but by His subtle movements around us.

Hidden In Plain Sight, by Mark Buchanan

"Faith has fruit to bear. Faith alone can get us to heaven, but its purpose between now and then is to birth something in us that makes a difference on earth." What am i doing that makes a difference daily on earth? I want to give myself those things that touch eternity. Life is too short to be caught up in those items that don't really matter.

"Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty." Zechariah 4:6 Of the the person guided by the Spirit Buchanan says, "He pays attention to the Spirit's quiet movements like some men do to the stock market fluctuations and others to sports scores.

Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference, by Philip Yancey

This has been a great read on prayer. Yancey will challenge and inspire. He has given me an opportunity to think deeper about my prayer life.
"In three years of active ministry, Jesus changed the moral landscape of the planet. For nearly two thousand years since, he has been using another tactic: prayer." There is more to our prayers than meet the eye. We live in world that puts so much emphasis on the flash and dance, but Jesus taught us that the quiet, personal, and private moments with God are more desirable.

Friday, May 23, 2008


What are you most tempted by? We all deal with temptation. Daily we have choices to make. Temptation takes us all to places that we don't want to go, but lures us with the thought of what might be.
I have been preaching a sermon series over the past few weeks that speaks to this. This series has been challenging me to consider my own temptations and how I process them in my own life. How do I as a "mouthpiece" for God, deal with the struggles in my life with all that I have going on. I struggle just like any man. I must take the varnish off and see that yes I too am fractured in side.
I like the fact the Scriptures tell us that since Jesus suffered when he was tempted that He is able to help us in our time of temptation. Man, do I need it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Gospel According to Starbucks

I just finished reading a Leonard Sweet book. I feel as though it could have been said with half of the words, but still a pretty fair read. He frames the book around the philosophy that Starbucks uses in their stores... He says that Starbucks stores are EPIC in nature.
"Live Life On an EPIC Scale"
E - Experiential
P - Participatory
I - Image-Rich
C - Connective
Sweet says that Starbucks knows what it takes to sell a good cup of coffee. They are not just selling coffee they are providing an experience. An experience that the customer can participate in. An experience that is visually stimulating that invites people to connect with others. The experience is not in a Starbucks' store per say, they are in a Starbucks' "living room".
As Sweet goes on, he says that the evangelical community should follow the same pattern. He says that life with God, is "the best part of waking up." Sweet says this is what walking with Jesus is all about... EPIC Lifestyle
Experience - A Christ follower experiences life with Christ.
Participatory - A Christ follower participates with the work of God.
Image-Rich - A Christ follower values the rich images of the Cross.
Connective - A Christ follower connects both with God and others.
Certainly we can gain wisdom and insight from these assertions. This has allowed me to see life through this lens... Ponder these concepts as you go through your day... See just how EPIC your life really is.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

good days...

it has been a great day... drive conference has been good, i am very thankful to be here... we had a painter lead worship tonight... it was amazing...
i love to see how God uses different mediums to communicate His love and grace...

check it out...

i think you'll like it...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

God is Green... Are You?

I would say yes... God is green. He does care about the planet. God does have an opinion on how we treat the world we live in...
The problem is that being "green" has become a political issue... a way to find out if someone is liberal or conservative... whether they are democratic or republican... Being green should not be reduced to some arbitrary indicator that reveals a person's political slant...
Being green should be more about caring for the creation that God has provided for us all to enjoy - As a Christian, caring for the environment is a part of my devotion to Him. A tangible way for me to reflect that I care about what I believe God cares about.
So I ask you... Is God Green?

I believe God is Green... Are You?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Spirituality For All The Wrong Reasons

The other day I was reading an article by Eugene Peterson, Spirituality for all The Wrong Reasons, and it got me thinking about why I follow Christ. Am I seeking the heart of Christ for all that He can give me or am I walking in the reality of a true relationship with Him.

I think I am very selfish in my spirituality. It seems that most of us are for that matter. It seems that most of the time all that we humans think about are ourselves.

Tomorrow I will get up and begin looking for ways I can satisfy this drive I have and then I will seek to satisfy my hunger and then I will try to feel important and manipulate a favorable comment or two and that is not even the half of it.

I guess that it comes down to placing our lives before Jesus and asking Him to give us the humility that He displayed on that curiously glorious day He left the friendly confines of Heaven. We would all be better off, the world and all of us in it, if we thought less of ourselves and more about others. Our spirituality would be more on target if Jesus was more the aim...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Book Review - Too Busy Not Pray, by Bill Hybels

Over the past couple of weeks I have been rereading a book that I first read in 1993 as a senior in college. I can remember reading it and thinking, Lord help me never put prayer aside. Well, several years later, I picked it up again because I felt the Lord telling me that I had forgotten just how vital prayer is. The book is an easy read. You could easily read it in a week, but I recommend taking time to just walk through it a little at a time. Don't rush through it, rather take you time and truly practice the discipline of prayer as you read it. Certainly, there are many classics written on the topic of prayer, but Hybels in a very simple way reminded me that prayer is the vehicle by which God releases His power to us. We all want to live lives that are characterized by the power of God, but we seldom take the time to pray. So I encourage you over the next five days to pray every day and experience the difference that it will make in your life. Your circumstances may or may not change in five days, but I know that your life will be affected. God will give you a sense of His nearness... and that is just what we need in world that will never satisfy our soul cravings.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Life of Faith

What does it mean to live a life of faith? I mean, what does it mean to live - not by sight but by being led by the Spirit of God?
Paul tells us in Galatians... "Sense we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." How can I keep in step with the Spirit? I want to live a life that is characterized by a distinct leading of the Christ.
When Simon Peter stepped out of the boat onto the water... this is what I long for. I want to step out of the boat and to give myself to more than just what I can give myself too. I desire for the Lord to empower me to do more than just what I am capable of in my own strength.

Why do we resist challenges in our lives? I am not sure. But I do know that the Lord is always at work in us and around us to develop our faith... without any pressure we will slowly experience faith atrophy.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Looking Around the Trash Pile

I take out the trash every two or three days at the house. Except when Julie prepares a chicken dish, then I take it out the very next day, because raw chicken smells very bad after a while. You know that smell. It is putrid and suffocating. I wonder what the tomb smelled like when the ladies went to put the spices on Jesus. He was not there, but was there a lingering smell of decay or was the smell whisked away in the Resurrection? I just wonder?
A little further on in this same passage, I just love what the angel speaks to the ladies; "Why do you look for the living among the dead?" I think that they must have been taken a back to say the least and wondering what must have happened. They expected to find the body of Jesus in the tomb but He was nowhere to be found. He is alive... they said, just like He told you!
What a strong reminder that in my life that the life that Jesus offers in not where I often look for it. I must let Him lead me to the life that is only found in him. I look too many times in the wrong places, only to find that I am not satisfied in the end.

Looking Around the Trash Pile
Longing for Life
Haunted by Emptiness
Surprised by Grace
Filled with the Eternal

Lord lead me to the path daily that leads to life. I want to experience the life you offer even it takes me down a path that I am unfamiliar with or that I don't naturally consider. Jesus I need you and long for you!
This is my prayer... is it yours?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

the normal routine of life

In Luke 22:39 we are told that Jesus goes out to pray on the Mount of Olives. We are told that this happens "as usual". I think that this is significant because Jesus is going to the cross and he goes out to commune with the Father as he normally does. Jesus found the strength to go to the cross during his usual communal moments.
All of this speaks to me for it is out of the normal routine of life that the craziness of life takes hold of us. We are completely caught off guard when we arise to shower and feel that lump that was not there before or we the phone call come as the unexpected has happened to a loved one. The job promotions comes on Friday and over the weekend you realize that you must move and uproot your family.
Regardless of the challenging events that happen in our lives, many of them arise during the normal routine of life. As Jesus found his strength during usual time with the Father, I too am encouraged to make sure that I find my way to the Father so that I am not at a loss when life goes into a spin... I want to experience the intimacy of the Father when life goes up or down.
May we each find our way to Father's side and deepen our walk with Him daily...

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Hola from Santiago, Domincan Republic

I traveled yesterday to the Dominican Republic. The day was long but I had a fine day. No problems with connections and thankfully no delays. It was so good to see Trey and Laura and their kids; Olivia and Grady.
I will checking out the city of Santiago for our college mission trip in March. We will have twelve on our team and we will work to help their mission efforts here in the city. I am excited about just being able to see the area that we will be working in.
I have a couple of prayer request:
Pray for me as I finish up pre-site.
Pray for our team as we prepare and plan for the next few weeks.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

On the Go...

This afternoon Julie and I are going on the marriage retreat on St. Simons Island. We are so excited about the trip and just really believe that it will be a meaning time for us. Being able to get away for some much need R&R is really challenging right now. I am really praying that Julie and I will have a significant experience this weekend. I know that this is the right thing to do. I am so very grateful to be able to be a part of the retreat.

On Sunday I leave in the late afternoon for Jacksonville. I will fly out for the Dominican Republic on Monday for a pre-site trip for our Spring Break mission trip in March. I will be down there for two and half days just checking out the situation. I am excited about the trip and know that it will be beneficial. I look forward to returning with a good update near the end of next week.

Until then... GO GIANTS!!!

Monday, January 28, 2008

SNL - Sunday Night @ Legends

We began a new ministry opportunity last night. Legends has long been a university hangout near GSU. Our ministry is beginning a worship service there that will be strategically positioned to reach students and young adults that are not currently a part of any Christian ministry. We are praying the evening will grow as we continue meeting throughout the semester.
As we go along I will give updates and provide other thoughts on our plan and purpose.

SNL meets each Sunday night at 7 in the Legends building across from the RAC. Except this week due a previously scheduled event.

Friday, January 18, 2008


It has been quite a while sense I have been able to write. The last few days have been a blur... I need a nap... I need to slow down and it is only the third week of January... I do not want to be controlled by schedule, rather I want to live at peace with my comings and going...

I Need to Rest

I long For Space

If I could Just Press Pause

To Feel the Breath of Heaven

To Sense the Gaze of the Father

To Acknowledge My Need

Oh Great God

Deliver me... Deliver me

From myself

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Here It Comes

I wish that God would tell me every time I was about to a left hook from life. I mean it would be so much easier if we were told what when life was going to take our pants and pull them to our ankles, but it does not always happen this way.
No, I learned this year that it rarely, if ever happens this way. No, we don't get the "notice" in the prayer box, we are left to walk through it as it happens. I believe that this is why we have faith and believe in the idea that God is in control and He will walk with us as we deal with junk that hits the wall of our life.
God takes the ugly portrait from our cellar and puts on His mantle and makes it a masterpiece. How many of us if we took all the ingredients for a cake would enjoy each of them by itself... not a chance... baking soda does not taste good nor do cloves... but when you mix the ingredients together the tastes is amazing...
I believe that this is how it is in life. God takes all the experiences that we have and makes a beautiful life as we look to Him and trust that he really is the author and perfecter of our faith.
Praise be the Lord!