Saturday, October 18, 2008
Over the last week or so, I've noticed that Vincent, who will be 4 next month, has been craving more attention. Being the oldest of 3 can't always be that easy. So, after we got home from lunch and put the other 2 down for naps, I took Vincent to the hospital, parked in the lot, and waited for the bus. You would have thought that I had bought him tickets to Disney World. We got on the bus and went to the mall; a trip that would have taken me less than 10 minutes in a car, took us 50 minutes. But, it was my son and me, talking and laughing together.
We got to the mall, had 20 minutes before the same bus left again. We ran and got a cookie and hurried to the arcade where my son and I played a nascar racing game together. You should've seen us! I'm in my car and he's in his, but I'm using my left foot for my gas pedal and my right foot for his gas pedal. But oh, did we have a blast!
We got back on the bus for the ride back to my car, with Vincent wearing down and lounging in my arms. How I thank God for my children, and for such an awesome day on a city bus.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I was wringing out the story about Jesus' first miracle, you know, the controversial one about Jesus turning water into wine...or was it grape juice, kool-aide, or...who cares. It was miraculous! But what really got me, was that his mother, after telling Jesus the problem, looked at the servants and said, "Do whatever he tells you." Wow, what a statement. Think about it. He would tell them to take 20-30 gallon pots that were used to wash feet and to purify the people. Drinking out of what was used to clean feet, I'm a thinking...not so much! But they did it. And they were amazed.
Sometimes Jesus calls us to do things that don't make sense, disturb the comfort and logic within us. But He already knows the final outcome. He just needs his servants to pull through. So the question is, am I a servant who thinks I know more than my master, or will I surrender all to Him and do whatever He tells me to do? Oh, that we might be true servants!
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Last night, I was scheduled to speak at Crossfire, an awesome youth ministry in Monroeville, PA where I was the youth pastor for three years until May of this year. Unfortunately, due to my father's passing away, I was unable to be there, but sent this video over the internet. I thank God for what He had done during our time there, and am so excited for what He is still do.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Well, the day has begun early for me today. I awoke at 4:55AM. I didn't know that anything that began with a 4 also HAD an AM. Anyway, I know sit in a US Air terminal at Pittsburgh International Airport awaiting a flight to Philadelphia that will eventually lead me to New Orleans.
This will definitely be a long day and a long week. You see, my father passed away last week, and as his oldest, alot of the responsibilities have fallen to me. There is such a wide range of emotions that I experience today. There is sadness that the days have been cut short, but also sense of gratitude to the Lord of His amazing promise. I didn't grow up with my father, but had always prayed and believed the Scripture that spoke of turning the hearts of the father back to their children. For years this never happened. About 6 years ago, it began. The last siz years I have been able to be there for my dad. A few months ago he was diagnosed with liver disease and began a rapid downward spiral...and I was there. 3 weeks ago, I was able to be there to spend time with him in a nursing home, to clothe him, to love him, to take care of him.
What an awesome privelege to be there to honor my father. A long day, a long week, but what an honor...to thank God for being true to His Word.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Well, this weekend Maria, my wife, is gone on a much deserved pastor's wives retreat. She is such a great wife and mom! She is a stay at home mom of three children: Vincent (almost 4), Faith (2), and Nathan (7 mo.).
Today was day #2 of doing what she does everyday. I have the kids all to myself. Quite honestly, I was very nervous leading up to this weekend. What was I going to do? How am I going to keep myself from going crazy? Hey, I'm being honest here. But today, we just kept it simple. I took the kids to the park and had a picnic. No, I'm not going to win father of the year for doing that or anything, but it taught me something. There are a lot of simple pleasures that we take for granted.
Yes, it's been stressful at times, and I still have one day to go. But it has reminded me how grateful I am that God has blessed us with three wonderful treasures.
Thank you God for simple pleasures!
Friday, September 19, 2008
One of the most frustrating parts of driving, is when you get behind that large truck, that school bus that has to stop every fourteen feet, or that old lady that thinks driving 25mph is being aggressive. It's always when you've got some place to be, too. Sometimes, during the midst of my instense frustration, I began to think that maybe God's hand is in the placement of these vehicles in front of me.
Sometimes I find that I get so frustrated when things don't happen when I want them to. It makes sense that it should happen the way I thought. I would serve a great purpose to happen the way I thought. But somehow, and for some reason, it's not happening the way I thought! I believe that's God. I believe that's when He steps in to say, "just wait. There's no hurry...not if you really believe that I'm in control. I'm the One who's going to get the credit for this. In my time...you'll see."
Yes, it's hard to have great expectations and have patience at the same time. But, that's what trust really is...and I'm still learning. How about you?
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Reading this verse last night made me think of some of the clips that I've seen of the latest blockbuster hit that is expected to obliterate most records, even possibly delivering an Oscar posthumously to one of the key actors. The movie, The Dark Knight, is a thrilling superhero tale of Batman and his arch nemesis, the Joker.
What I found so interesting, is that mirrors accurately how the enemy of our souls sees his own attacks in our lives - as a joke. He enjoys making fun, and gaining enjoyment out of the sufferings of other people.
But then I came across this verse in the Message paraphrase. No matter what we face, and no matter how tragic, how disappointing, how unexplainable, God is NOT asleep, He's not loosing sleep, He's well aware. And you know what else? He sees the situtation for EXACTLY what it is, and how HE will be able to turn it around in order to accomplish something so great, it will make all of hell tremble and regret that they ever interfered. "...like a joke with no punch line."
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
Ok, let me be up front with you. I'm not a handy man. I'm a good "look in the yellow pages, call the right guy and write a check" kind of man. Well, with three kids (2 in diapers and one on formula) money isn't growing on trees. So, in the past few weeks, I have been weeding, mulching, edging, painting the foundation block, the front of the house, the shutters...Ok, wait. Need to talk about this one. Climbing up two stories on a flimsy ladder trying to take off shutters Noah himself must of put on after the flood subsided, scared me half to death. Anyway, got it done.
I have put in many hours, sweat more than I have in a long time, and probably own a controlling share of stock in Lowe's. But, I have learned, that prepping a house for sale is a lot of HARD WORK...but it's worth it in the long run. I can't give up. I can't quit, because I believe that it's going to be worth it.
It's the same way with our lives. The Bible says that WE are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We are the house that needs prepped. It's not easy. It's not easy. It's not easy. But it's worth it. We have to spend lots of time and energy and SACRIFICE in order to prepare ourselves to be who God has intended us to be.
Oh, but don't give up. In due season, you will reap the rewards...IF YOU DON'T GIVE UP!
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
Well...for what ever reason, I was unable to see the grand finale. But, thanks to http://www.hulu.com/, I was able to watch it, and just finished as a matter of fact. How incredible to see all of the before and after pictures. The transformations were truly amazing!
How true it is in our own lives. Sometimes it's the things we need to lose that makes us the biggest winner. What are the things in your life that you need to lose? Maybe it's some baggage from the past. God knows that's been the case for me at times. Memories of hurt, lingering anger, disappointments, oh the list can go on and on and on.
So...go ahead and lose. Yeah...lose the baggage. Shake it off. It may not come off easy, but it sure didn't get there all at once, so it may take some time. But God will give you the strength and His freedom will be your motivation. So go ahead and be the Biggest Loser!
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
What an exciting verse this is. It's amazing to know that God really does have everything under control, and that He DOES have a plan for our lives. Sometimes we don't understand it, but when we surrender to Him, what an amazing plan we begin to live out.
This past Sunday, my family and I officially joined the congregation of CrossWay Church as their lead pastors. I'll be a little transparent. My stomach leading up to the first Sunday had become a major home for wayward butterflies. I began to be nervous and entertained far too many thoughts that began to play tricks on me. But on our way to the church that morning, Maria and I closed our eyes and prayed (I left mine open...I was driving on the turnpike.) We prayed for God's presence to be totally revealed that morning. It wasn't about me. It wasn't about our new beginning. It's about the new beginning that Christ gives each of us. It's about the power of His presence that never leaves us or forsakes us. It's about the forgiveness and the mercy that He offers us.
I thank God for all He's done in my life up to this point. I'm thankful for the challenges, the blessings, the disappointments, the moments on the mountain top AND the ones in the valley. I am thankful for all that God has used to prepare us for this moment. It is a new day. I am excited about this opportunity to be with this awesome church family. It's a new day.
Friday, May 2, 2008
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Unfortunately, that's just not the way God created life. He didn't create it to be controlled by us. He calls for us to TRUST in Him, DEFER to Him, LEAN on Him, TRUST in Him, SURRENDER to Him, YIELD to Him, and of course, to TRUST in Him.
Trust doesn't mean we understand. Most times it means we don't. If we understood, there would really be no need for trust. I remember being at a place in my life, doing what I love to do, that had me surrounded by situations that I definitely had no comprehension or understanding of. What I understood, was that I was not happy, I was hurt, felt mistreated, frustrated, and well...you know...some times very, very mad. But God had a plan.
Yes, God had a plan. He always does. Always will. It's funny, because people always love to quote the verse in Jeremiah 29:11 that reminds us "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans to bless you, not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future." What they fail usually to quote, is verse 10 which reads: "This is what the LORD says: "When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans..."
Interesting isn't it? Sometimes, we just need to trust, because He really does know the plans He has for us, even when it means a season of time in a place we don't want to be. I thank God for those places in my life. Without them, I would have never been ready for where God has my family and I for the last 3 years. It's been a place of healing, learning, and observing an awesome God do awesome things. And now, He's at it again. He's moving us again. This time to do what we've never done. My heart aches as we prepare to say "goodbye" to those we have poured our hearts out to. But my heart beats rapidly with fear and excitement at what God is doing in our lives.
God calls us to trust when we don't understand. It just works better that way.