He’s My King

2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”  4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.  6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ”
Mark 16:2-7 NIV84 

 

Happy Easter! This video makes it rounds every Easter but with good reason. I always love hearing it so I thought I would pass it along myself this year.

Thanks for ruining Christmas

I want to say thanks to the companies like Walmart, Target and other big companies that have pretty much ruined Christmas for me. Over the last couple of years I’ve noticed something missing during Christmas time and I have always wondered what it is. Is it lack of a White Christmas? Is it just living in a different city? What? After talking the other night with Misty, I think I have it. Things. Or the need of people in this world to have things. Hey what are you getting aunt sue? Well I think I need to get sister Jane this. I think grandpa Joe will want this.

The real meaning of the season is slowly being ripped away from us by people wanting things and companies pushing sales down your throat. Hey it’s our 1 day sale. Hey it’s our 3 day amazing Christmas sale. Well sale this. I’m tired of it.  You can’t watch tv or listen to the radio without hearing some kind of promotion for the next sale. Funny how if you add up all of the x day sales, you will end right at Christmas Eve. Now I know companies love Christmas time for their budget. I did live in a household that lived off of retail. I know what the Christmas season means to these companies. But I think we have reach a point where enough is enough. I mean people are fighting in Walmart for crockpots. People are willing to do just about anything to make sure little Johnny gets his new XBox.

Now I am also not against buying anything for people. In fact I love going after work someday and going shopping for Misty. I love taking a day and going out with Misty and going shopping for the boys. It’s just with so many people suffering in this world, fighting over a crockpot is just stupid. Hundreds of people are sleeping homeless tonight around Lexington but lets sleep over night in a tent in front of a store to get Johnny his Xbox. Families all over the US are homeless after loosing their jobs but lets get that credit card so we can save 10% on Aunt Sues sweater.

As I try and ignore the madness, I turn to the radio to listen to Christmas music thinking that will get me in the spirit. Nope, the radio station around here that plays non stop Christmas music started way before Thanksgiving and if you listen to it enough, you will get tired of it real quick. I bet I could list about 8 to 10 songs with the person who sings it and you would hear at least 1 or 2 within 15 minutes of turning the station on. And most of them are about how great Christmas is. Keep in mind that most of them don’t even mention Jesus at all.

Again I love hearing Rudolph and Winter Wonderland but not nonstop. Would it kill someone to hear Silent Night and Away in a Manger every now and then? I’m not going to go run around screaming don’t take Christ out of Christmas. It kills me to hear people scream that in December but never say a word the other 11 months.

So what am I going to do?  I’m going to start by doing what I think God wants me to do. I’m going to teach my boys that Christmas is not about getting gifts but giving them. I’m going to show them what it means to be the hands and feet of God. Our church on Christmas Eve is going to host a dinner for families that are less fortunate. But we will not stop in December. A couple of months ago we volunteered at the Lighthouse Missions in Lexington. The boys loved serving and so did me and Misty. I can see us doing that again soon.

So. What are you going to do? Are you part of the problem or are you going to be part of the solution?

Happy Thanksgiving

11 As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria.12 As he entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance,

13 crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”

14 He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.”t And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.
15 One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!”

16 He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan.
17 Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine?18 Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”

19 And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.”

Luke 17:11-19 (NLT)

Just wanted to take a minute to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and to list what I am thankful for this year. I sometimes feel like the 9 but I am working hard to be the 10th. Our Kidstuf service taught on this the other day. I am stealing the verse idea and this idea from a friend of mine so here is “My Gratitude List:

1. Thanks for a God that loves me unconditionally and would send his Son Jesus to die on a cross for me so that I can spend eternity with him.

2. An amazing wife, Misty, that loves me beyond belief. I in no way deserve a lady like her. I’m just thankful that she loves me despite my failures as a husband and father. The last almost 14 years have been great and I can’t wait to explorer our future together. Your love for our family is the glue that keeps us together.

3. My sons who I love. They are all unique in their own ways but all three love God and each other. I know sibling rivalry is real but in the end, those 3 boys love each other. God has gifted them each in their own ways and all three have been blessed with a great personality and intelligence.

4. An amazing church with an amazing pastor who is not afraid of teaching the Word of God for what it is and not sugar coat it to make someone feel better. Cameron, you are an amazing person and don’t ever change and don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are doing it wrong.

5. My parents who have been there for me through the good times and especially the bad times.

6. Great friends who I can depend on. I know I can call my friends to help me with what ever I need at any time.

So, what is on your list? Post it in the comment section below.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!

RIP Steve Jobs


“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
– Stanford commencement speech 2005

So, I’ve went back and forth in my mind how I wanted to write a blog post to honor the passing of Steve Jobs. Did I want to take the path of you never know how long you have on this planet or what. That would be easy, especially with the quote from Steve above. And after seeing the movie Courageous, it would be even easier. But, I think that would be taking the easy way out.

I think I will take a different road. Fitting don’t you think? I mean the success of Apple is due to Steve taking a different road. Going places no one has ever been. Jobs and Steve Wozniak made personal computing a reality. I mean how many companies including IBM said no to personal computers? Sometimes if you want to make a mark on this world you have to take a different path. You have to be willing to take the road, not less traveled, but never traveled. You have to blaze a new trail and then have the leadership to take people down that road.

Now keep in mind that I don’t own any Apple products and probably never will. I am a Google/Android fan and will probably stay that way. But I have to honor what Steve Jobs has done for the PC and smartphone/table industry. He has pushed the envelope so far out that everyone has struggled to keep up. He has singled handily pushed RIM almost out of business. Google is being pushed by Apple and Apple is being pushed by Google. Both companies only get better with this which with Steve’s passing is the problem facing the world today.

Who’s next?

Who is now willing to step up and be the next great visionary? The federal government has already shut NASA out. Children these days don’t want to be astronauts. Why? We are taking the road always traveled. No more shuttle missions and nothing to replace it. Schools these days allow kids to take the easy way out.
If our children continue to take the easy road then we won’t have any more new innovations. We won’t have the wow factor anymore when it comes to new hardware or software. We must start pushing our children to be the next Steve Jobs.

Apple once ran an ad campaign title Think Different. Our kids must start thinking differently than we did. We must push them in that direction.

 

Joplin

Some good friends of ours just recently moved back home to Missouri just a few miles north of Joplin, an area that was just devastated by an EF-4 tornado. Bryce works for a church in Joplin and they are out loving on people and helping in any way they can. His latest post on twitter talks about how emotions are catching up with him and I can see why based on the photos coming out of the area. They are in desperate need of materials and also prayer. If you have time, please consider donating to the Red Cross but also please keep these people in your prayers, not only those effected by the destruction but also to those out helping. I haven’t forgotten Alabama, they are still in need so don’t forget them. It’s just this time to me, it’s hit a little closer to home. Keep strong Bryce and keep loving on those who need it. We got your back in prayer.

Gabe’s Bank

41 Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. 42 Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins.t

43 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. 44 For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”
Mark 12:41-44 (NLT)

The family of a classmate of Gabe’s lost everything in a house fire the other day. Gabe mentioned this to Misty after school one day and wanted to do something for him. Misty checked with Gabe’s teacher and sure enough, they lost everything they had. The teacher said they would be checking with the Family Resource Center and would be sending out a letter to the parents of the class letting them know about it and what they could use.

We got the letter today and Misty was reading it to Gabe about what his classmate needed. You know stuff like underwear, socks, books and of course money. Gabe stood up and took off upstairs. Misty was expecting him to come back with a pair or two of socks and some underwear. I mean he’s six right. What else would he think?

Well he came back with his bank and said “I want to give this all to my friend.” Every bit of it. Now there may have only been a couple of dollars in change but to a six-year-old, that’s a lot of money. When we started to pray over dinner tonight, I asked Gabe what he thinks he should pray for. Without missing a beat, he said his friend. He only prayed for him and didn’t mention a word about our food or anything else. Just his friend.

He also gave him a Dr. Seuss book which was on the list. He also gave him 2 pieces of candy and wants to invite him to the Easter Egg hunt at church.

Gabe has such a big heart and is always concerned for others. Gabe is also very smart. We somewhat joke that Gabe will become a doctor and go over seas and work for something like Doctors Without Borders and live in a grass hut all of his life. But sometimes I really think that he will. He is a very special little boy. I pray that he will change the world and at times I really think he will.

What does the Royal Wedding really cost?

Ok. So I have today off and was watching the morning news programs and a story came on about the Royal Wedding and again I have to say, I really don’t care. But then I got to thinking about how much that wedding cost. One source I found said that the wedding will cost about $48 millions US dollars. $48 MILLION. What impact could we have in the world if we took that money and put it somewhere else. So I did some quick number crunching and came up with two quick impacts.

charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. The average cost for one well is about $5,000.

Compassion International exists as a Christian child advocacy ministry that releases children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enables them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults. It cost $38/month to sponsor a child.

So lets break down those numbers. You can build 4,800 wells or sponsor 2,923 kids from birth to age 18 with that money.

Each well can serve a small community and can keep people from traveling all day just to get enough water to last one day. A clean well can help prevent disease and put a smile on a kid’s face. A clean well can free kids and women from the daily trek in search of water and allow the kids to go to school. A clean well can reduce violence associated with people fighting for water.

And from the Compassion International site. What specific benefits does a child receive through sponsorship?
The children Compassion serves receive, among other things: the opportunity to hear the gospel and learn about Jesus; regular Christian training; educational opportunities and help; health care, hygiene training and supplementary food if necessary; a caring and safe Christian environment to grow in self-confidence and social skills; personal attention, guidance and love.

So again imagine the impact.
4,800 wells or sponsor 2,923 kids from birth to age 18 with that money.

But wait. Do those numbers seem a bit low? Well they should. That is the impact of only half the cost of the wedding. Yes that is the impact of only $24 million. So double those numbers.

9,600 wells or almost 6,000 kids.

But no. We have to have this huge blowout of a wedding just to say that my family was able to take down another family and take ownership of the throne of England. I’m sorry. I just don’t care. People all over the world are just going crazy over this wedding and people saying how much they would just love to go. Why? They don’t know the couple. The couple doesn’t know them and in all honesty probably don’t care for them.

What kind of wedding could they have for half? Not that anyone with the wedding will ever read this but I will do this anyway. I challenge you. Cut the budget in half and take the other half and build 4,800 wells or sponsor around 2,900 kids. What say ya Royal Family?

Taking down the giants

40 He picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them into his shepherd’s bag. Then, armed only with his shepherd’s staff and sling, he started across the valley to fight the Philistine.
41 Goliath walked out toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him, 42 sneering in contempt at this ruddy-faced boy. 43 “Am I a dog,” he roared at David, “that you come at me with a stick?” And he cursed David by the names of his gods. 44 “Come over here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” Goliath yelled.
45 David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! 47 And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!”
48 As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him. 49 Reaching into his shepherd’s bag and taking out a stone, he hurled it with his sling and hit the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank in, and Goliath stumbled and fell face down on the ground.
50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with only a sling and a stone, for he had no sword.
51 Then David ran over and pulled Goliath’s sword from its sheath. David used it to kill him and cut off his head.

1 Samuel 17:40-51 (NLT)

A group of guys I regularly meet with decided this year to take the “Love Dare” since we are always looking at ways to improve our marriages. One thing I didn’t count on when starting this was killing some of the giants in my life. If by any chance you are a regular reader, you know I mentioned these giants during the summer of last year.

Through all of the lies of the enemy, these giants seemed impossible at times to overcome. But through the “Love Dare” I found the way to beat them. Pretty simple really. Just talking. One of the “Dares” in the book is to have your spouse right down three things that they are irritated with about you. That in itself is a huge undertaking. I mean, you are to give your spouse free reign to let you have it and you can’t say anything negative about it. But I told Misty to go ahead and let me have it. Of the three, 1 I expected and 1 I should have but didn’t expected it at all.

The 1 I expected did involve one of my giants that I needed to take down. Misty told me she would do this for me if I did it for her also which I did. Between these two list, we had two great talks. One of these talks really helped me in taking down this giant. It was lies and deceit from the enemy which he tried to focus on Misty. Down deep I knew they were lies designed to do nothing but destroy our marriage but talking about it killed it. Funny how bringing things out in the open really can show you the truth. The enemy just wants you to keep things in the dark. Don’t talk about them because he knows the truth comes out in the light.

Jesus tells us He is the truth and the light. I have always had a problem telling her how I feel but over the last year or so I have seen how much relief and truth comes out by talking. Communication is one of the most important things in marriage and I’m seeing now just how important it is. I have to get past my pride of being a man and thinking that I can handle this myself. I can’t. That is why God gave me Misty. God knows we can’t do this ourselves. We need that person that God created to walk with us.