Friday, January 30, 2009

Wrestling's Secret Weapon

Last night I went to see one of the teenagers in our church compete on his school's wrestling team. It was amazing. Each wrestler came out with all the excitement and adrenaline, shook hands with his opposition, and the battle began.

As the match continued, they'd go round and round, and then contact was made. Even though it didn't seem like there was alot of action at times, you could definitely see the fatigue that began to enter the match as well. Once one of the wrestlers got the other in a hold that put him close to the pin position, it was mostly just a matter of time. If he could just hold him there, the one on the mat usually did most of the work. You see, the one in control would just hold him there and let him wear himself out. The one on the mat would sqirm and fight to keep himself from being pinned. If there was enough time on the clock, he would eventually wear himself out and the referee would declare a pin.

In our lives, there is a conintual wrestling match. We face off with our fears, our struggles, our temptations, even our anger. Basically, we wrestle with sin. The concept is the same. If, in our own strength, we try to fight against it, with our own will power, we will wear down. 2 Corinthians 10:4 reminds us that the weapons of our warfare, or our fight, are not carnal. They are not our own (logic, strength, strategy), but they are might in HIM. The secret power to the spritual wrestling match is surrender. It doesn't make sense in the natural (as I'm sure it would never be coached from the side), but spiritually, it's the only way to win. We don't surrender to our opponent, we surrender to the One in whom we have the strength and the victory.

Remember, that it's not by our own might or power, but by HIS SPIRIT that we have been made overcomers and victorious!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Daddy, Dance With Me

This morning, my little girl, Faith, wanted to dress up in her princess dress. And of course, me being off work today, she wanted daddy to do it. So, I got in touch with my feminine side, put on her princess dress, complete with accessories, and we went to the living room to play.

Faith, immediately hearing the music playing in the living room, said, "Daddy, dance with with me, Daddy." I picked her up, and we danced around and around and around again. My little princess had a smile upon her face that was complete in Daddy's arms. She was dancing with her father. And you know what was really neat? She wasn't really dancing at all. I held her. I embraced her. I was the one moving here and there and all around. She just held on, looked in my eyes, and smiled.

It reminds me of our Father in Heaven. Just to dance with be held by Him, and to gaze into His eyes. He longs to dance with us. He longs to hold us. We don't have to do all the moving, just be held by Him and move with Him. What a beautiful dance.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Attention Deficit Dumbness Disorder

First of all, my appologies to anyone who might be offended with the title of this article. My reference is only to the one writing this article...THAT WOULD BE ME. Yesterday, I was given a great healthy dose of pride buster. You see, I'm a guy. I know, not really a huge revelation. But what comes with that is usually a semi-hardy helping of man-ego. You know, the "no I don't need to stop and ask for directions; no I don't need to make a list for the grocery store; no I don't need to write anything down; and yes I will remember!"

Yesterday, I went to return a car that I had borrowed while our minivan was in the shop. Now, you have to understand that my wife and I have three children (4, 2 &1), so obviously we have 3 car seats. Well, I remembered to transfer two of them and remembered the third one just after pulling on the PA Turnpike on my way home. So, what does one do? I'll tell you. I drove down about a half mile across from the church I where I used to be the youth pastor. My great idea was set. I would have the car seat brought over to the church, where I would cross over 2 lanes of traffic, jump over a concrete median, and cross 2 more lanes of traffic. Then I would have the car seat thrown down to me, and return the way I came, but this time carrying a car seat. By the way, this was about 4:45pm just as traffic is starting to heat up.

So, what did I learn from this that I can share with you. PAY ATTENTION! There's so much in our lives that God wants to do, and I believe that many times we are so focused on other things that we miss the obvious, and put ourselves in situations where we add to our own chaos. Sometimes, we just need to slow down.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Daddy, Would You Hold My Hand?

These are some of the best words my ears have ever received. Yesterday was my son, Vincent's, first day of pre-school. He was so excited. He's four years old, smart, funny, cute...well...he's my son, what can I say? Just kidding, please keep reading.

The anticipation and excitement had Vincent in a very goofy adn bubbly mood as I drove him from our home to Vision Christian Academy. When he had the school in his sights, his excitement hit an all new high of expression. "I see it! I see my school, daddy, I see my school!" And as if I had not seen what was straight in front of me, "O wow, where is it??? O I see it too!!"

When we got out of the van, his first words to me were, "Daddy, would you hold my hand, please?" Of course, my reaction was almost instintive as I reached out and grapped his excited little four year old hands that I believe God will use to change the world.

But it got me thinking. What if, as we embark on every journey of this life, we were to look up to our Heavenly Father, with excitment, fear, anticipation, or anxiety, and simply say, "Daddy, would you hold my hand." What joy would flood His heart, and peace would flood our soul.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A New Day... is a new day for America. An historical day like none other. A day when equality has been tried, tested, and proven a little better than years gone by. A true testament to America's greatness.

Ok, let me be straight forward. I did not vote for Barack Obama. He wasn't my choice. But, let me be even more straight forward. That fact does not matter. He is, as of today, MY president. He needs MY support, MY prayers, and MY allegiance. I don't have to agree with everything he says or does...and I'm pretty confident that I won't. But, I believe that God has called us to be better than those who would choose to ridicule, mock, and disrespect those who have been elected to carry the burden of a nation.

So, I encourage and emplore you today, regardless of how you voted or what your feelings may be today, to stand beside President Obama, and to pray for him, that God would lead him and reveal Himself to him, his family, and this nation like never before.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Seth Franco

Today I had lunch with a guy that I have a lot of respect, admiration, and love for. Yeah sure, he's a former member of the world renown Harlem Globetrotters. And yes, he's travelled the world doing basketball tricks and speaking to large audiences. And well, yes, he's been on the radio and television. But that's not why I feel the way I do. You see, in a world where people will say and do anything they can to impress, this guy is the real deal.

Having lunch with him today was great, in that it let me see a glimpse of a heart that is so not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We ate a place, and while waiting for the food, Seth gets up and goes over privately, without saying anything as he left the table, and spends some time getting to know the guy and invites him to church. Yeah...this guy's the real deal.

And by the way, he's also the guy that replaced me as youth pastor to some really awesome teenagers. I am so thankful to God for him. He's the right guy at the right time. And of course he would hate to read these things about himself, but it's ok. He doesn't read blogs! But, if you get a chance, check out some more about this suthentic lover of Jesus Christ.

The Loose Goose

What an amazing story that occurred in real life yesterday! An American Airline aircraft took off from a major New York airport heading south. I know, that's not much of a happens everyday. What is amazing, is that shortly after the plane took off, it was forced to make an emergency "splash landing" in the Hudson River.

The amazement continues as pictures and video show heroic actions of the pilot and boats that arrived quickly to the scene to rescue every single passenger and crew member. In 40 degree waters, 20 minutes would have been enough to take any of them unconscious. Amazing!

Something else strikes me as amazing. The cause of the need for a splash landing that could have resulted in countless deaths of human life. Geese. Yeah, that's right...birds. Something so small in comparison to a giant aircraft actually had the power to put many lives into imminent danger.

What about in your personal life? What are the things that seem so small, but left unattended have the same potential power to ground you? We ignore and neglect the little things, because we think they don't matter. But, just ask the 155 lives on board that craft if little things don't matter. So, any geese in your life that need to be dealt with?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Father's Love

Check this out. I hope this reminds you of what a father's love is all about. I pray that this reminds you of what your Father in heaven has done for you. God bless you.

"Global Warming...hmmm"

Although I am sure that I will offend some people with this entry, I am going to try to make a point none-the-less. So, I just cancelled mid-week church services for tonight, right? And I'm looking at the online weather forcast, seeing that over the next few days we will be seeing zero degree temperatures (while the sun is out). And then of course I read online about global warming, inconvenient truths, and environmental radicals who sound more like chicken little proclaiming that the SKY IS FALLING!!

Why does this bother me so much? Well, first of all...IT'S STINKING COLD OUTSIDE!! I am global warming-ed out, and it's cold. What's more, is that so much has gone into this global warming non-sense, and temperatures are getting colder, and there are still people that are dying without knowing Jesus, destined to spend eternity in hell.

So, forgive me if I am tired of global warming, while "eternity warming" is heating up. It's not the planet I'm concerned about, it's where are people going once there time on this planet is over. The temperatures here are cooling off, but time is running out. And, there are people who are more concerned about things that don't matter while the people we love, work with, go to school with, or see around town or living their lives without the knowlege Christ. That my friend is the inconvenient truth. So...what about it?

Friday, January 9, 2009

It's Been A While...

Yes, it's been a while since I've posted a blog here. Wow, how things have been busy! We sold our house in November, moved in with a family for a month, during which time we were renovating a house that we hadn't closed on yet, closed on it and moved in 5 days before Christmas! God is GOOD!!

I am so thankful to serve a God who is faithful to His promise! Everytime He says that He will take care of me, He does, always has. There were many times during those 6 1/2 months or so that I battled discouragement over why hasn't God moved mountains to sell our house and let us move to the community He called us to? Maybe we messed up. Maybe we're not praying enough. Maybe... Maybe we just need to wait, seek, and trust. Yeah, that was the one!

God is faithful! I pray that as you read this today, you will be encouraged in no matter what leg of the journey you are traveling today!