Romans 5:6

Love, even if it hurts - Jesus Christ

Sep 28, 2009


On Saturday, I had the extreme privilege of spending the day with my amazing sister and brother in-law at Pismo beach in southern California. Sense living in Texas for 3 years I hope to take any excuse to spend any time at the beach or any large body of water for that matter. It was quite refreshing to “get away” and spend time with my wife just having fun. I have been here in Simi Valley for 2 months now and it feels like I have been here a lifetime. I absolutely love the mission work here, it is challenging, it is important and it is rewarding. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts.

Sep 23, 2009

Somewhere between frustration and joy there is Coldplay

Youth work is interactive. What I mean is that if you wanted to you could quite easily disconnect from the actual problems these people are suffering with and just stick to the class prep and activities, and none would be the wiser. To rephrase it better, youth work must be interactive. I am finding more and more teens surprised that someone spiritual would actually want to know what is happening in their life and then apply Christ in an healing way. I must admit I believed that I would be most frustrated with the people’s lack of faith or lack of understanding; however, what frustrates me the most is people’s infectious apathy for everything. Life no longer contains real viable joy; it now only contains momentary happy events that sustain you from one smiling picture to the next. As I am sitting in Starbucks I want to scream at the top of my lungs, IS THIS ALL YOU WANT? IS THIS WHAT LIFE IS TO YOU? I wish I had the ability to fix people like the song by Coldplay. I see so many families, people, friends, children, sons, and daughters hoping that someone will give them a magic serum that would fix all their problems. And it breaks my heart that the one thing that could is the one thing they will not accept.

Sep 16, 2009

Sep 15, 2009

ministry pains (literal)

Today I have burned through day light laying in bad recovering from a sprained ankle. As horrible as that is I am thankful that I put myself in the position so that was possible. One of the hardest parts of full time ministry is making yourself open. You don’t want to open yourself to be used as a tool but you do want to make yourself approachable and useable. Finding the balance is hard but necessary. Another aspect of this is that the more you make yourself open the more likely you will be hurt for fear of inadequacy or keeping the pain of ministry inside. I wish I could give some insightful scripture or a smart encouraging note, but I can’t. Ministry is worth the pain and worth the time. Keeping yourself open and keeping yourself available to the opportunities that God opens up is essential to ministry. I pray that you find the harvest field and I pray that you always stay alert to the needs of the people around you.

Sep 14, 2009

God, as always, shows me on a weekly basis just how much he is capable of doing through the smallest of means. On Sunday nights, Natalie and I are attempting to start a college group because in the past this has been a hard spot for the church to keep consistent. So we have advertized and personally approached people for the last three weeks in order to gather a following and to encourage excitement once again for a college program. From the start we have had 3 come one night, 4 will decide to attend another night. Last night only one came; now it's easy to be dissuaded and turned off to the whole thing because only one person decided to come. However, last night was one of the most powerful studies I have ever been a part of. If more people would have come I doubt that the truthfulness we shared and the life that we discussed could have happened. God is good because he challenged me to decide if something was worth doing if he only brings one person. I want the red sea to be parted and the dead to be raised in front of my eyes, but when the real miracles of lives changing and lies are revealed, I wonder if God is working. To God, he is used to splitting seas and healing the sick and stopping the sun, but I underestimate God’s love and dedication to the one who is in need of reassurance and desires the support of a brother and sister.

Sep 9, 2009



-The ideals which have lighted me on my way and time after time given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. . . . The ordinary objects of human endeavour -- property, outward success, luxury -- have always seemed to me contemptible.

-Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.

What is truth that we should cling to it so desperately? Wouldn’t it be better for us if truth was like clay and each person could mold what they wanted to see and believe? Imagine, if you will, the very truth you created become living and breathing and made its own decisions. What if that truth denied your existence or worse denied your authority. Jesus, in the book of John, makes a crazy statement that if you abide (live) in him then you will know truth and truth will set you free. I have often wondered what truth will set me free from. Can it set me free from sin, guilt, hate, angry? Will truth help me become a better husband, father, son, minister? To really understand this statement you must read it in the context of what Jesus was saying. In John 8:24 Jesus is trying his best to convince the Jews that he is the One in whom they must believe in order to be saved. These Jews were living in a lie perpetuated by their belief that it is because of their connection to Abraham that is going to save them and not because of the Messiah’s redemptive work. Now remember, Jesus is in the minority telling the majority that they are wrong and that he is the truth. On Sunday mornings we have been going through the Old Testament account of Noah and his family. In that story we see the same dilemma, Noah is preaching the truth (minority) and no one (majority) is accepting anything he has to say. So again I ask what about truth set Noah free or set you and I free? The answer is everything. Truth sets you free from absolutely everything, because truth is not something that you can create, manipulate or destroy. In John 14:6 Jesus shows how it sets us free, it is because he IS truth. As difficult as truth can be to except it still is truth. The reason we cling to Christ as the standard of truth so desperately is because without it we are lost. Truth, The Truth gives us purpose, direction, and a foundation to base our life, morals, and consequences on. If you are tired of the lies that the world is telling you, I pray that you find and search for Truth. I pray that we as the Body of Christ never cease to show and teach Truth through our lives, our families and our message.

Sep 8, 2009

Noah's dilemma

I underestimate the story of Noah on a daily basis. Sense childhood I have been fed this fluffy story of smiling animals entering a giant sail boat with a radiant Noah looking down from the upper deck. There is no sign of people around watching, waiting to see if he’s right or not. We don’t see any tormenting and name calling or any sign at all that Noah was having a hard time with building a boat he knew could only fit the animals and his family. Noah didn’t get any floor plans with hundreds of rooms, just the three for his son’s families and his own. I could only imagine the frustration cloud Noah’s face as he tried for 120 years to save his people, only be laughed at. I wonder if Noah actually wanted to be saved, after he gets off the ark one of his first actions is to get so drunk he passes out naked. Is it because of gladness to have survived or because they were the only ones to survive. I wonder what was worse, the one on the ground watching the ark float away or the one on the deck watching all the people doing the same. Through all of this I must remember the living nightmare God must have been enduring, to watch all of his creation destroyed. I have been sorry for many things that I have done in my life. However, to be God and to be sorry for his creation is something to big for me to grasp. I challenge you to look at this story as an actually, living story of pain, suffering and salvation.

You are not alone

Noah lived in a society so bad that God found no other option than to destroy every man and everything man ever came into contact with. We believe that today we live in such a society. However, we have each other to cling to when the tide of angst, death, and apathy crash against our lives and our homes. Noah had only his family amidst a sea of hate, destruction and sin. We can stand together in our proclaiming of God’s love and judgment. Noah had no one when he was sent preaching to a world of people calling him a liar. I often underestimate the aloneness that Noah must have been going through as he was building the ark. As he tried to convince his family, his friends, and his neighbors that life would soon end for them if they did not get on the ark themselves. Remember that Noah had to convince the people around him that the ark, His ark, was the only acceptable escape route. It would have been easy to justify hog tying people and dragging them into the ark, with some help from the lions and tigers of course. Then as the destruction rains down, watch the realization hit their face that he were right and they were wrong. Sometimes we feel like we are the only ones that have the truth and the entire world is against us saying we are the lairs and sinners. Truth becomes relative to the people trying to justify their lives and facts and proofs become obscure and hard to read. However dark the world gets or how deep this culture might dig we are not merely speaking our own opinions or our own truths. If that were so the world would be right and we are to be pitied above all others. Instead, we speak the truths of God, because truth is not relative. It is exact, it’s painful at times and it hurts. I wonder if Noah was ever tempted to tell other people to build their own ark or their own boat. The truth is we have the ability to change the outcome of people’s destinies. Jesus Christ does not provide for us (mankind) many ways to survive the wrath of God. Actually, like Noah we have only the one to tell through our actions, our lives, and our message to this community. If we tell no one destruction will still come. May you remember Noah when you feel alone, when you believe that you are the only one and no other is by your side. I pray that we all discover that if our culture is against us, and if God is the only one behind us. When the whole world come crashing down around us and everything we know is proved to be false, when the world tells us we are wrong that we are inadequate, always remember that God is God and he is always enough.

Sep 4, 2009

Holy Crap?! (Redux)

In the view and very presence of God something must change. It seems that the very nature of God demands that you cannot remain the same after you have come in contact with the one who created you. In Ex. 3:5 Moses was commanded to take off his shoes when he approached the "holy" burning bush. In the presence of God even the dirt around the bush became holy ground and therefore worthy of respect. In the presence of God Jacob became Israel, Rehab found salvation, Joseph found purpose, and when Abram's faith accounted him righteous he became Abraham. When people came in contact with Jesus or his apostles they were forever changed, some for the worse and others for the better. In Corinthians Paul calls Christ a fragrance, for some it will be bitter and for others it will be sweet.which ever sent you smell, as soon as it touches you, you will then and there be forced with the decision to react painfully or joyfully. Either reaction will change your destiny forever. For those effected positively by the fragrance a change in environment is noticed and new title and a new role in life is given. This title and role is simply called Holiness. When coming in contact with God the "thing" that changes in you is the environment of being unholy or holy. Holiness is not a thing you can touch, never was. Holiness is a purpose given to things by God. It is a new direction in which your life was originally meant to go. We live our lives going in the wrong direction and being in the dark for so long. When people came into contact with God or an angel; it makes sense that they believed they would soon die. Living as unholy has become not only accepted but expected and therefore being holy is foreign and to be shunned by the non believer (sssshhhhuuuunnnnn). Holiness is not a halo, or a glowing aura that gives you +4 to caste time. Holiness is the quality of reality in view of the eternal, having a spiritual purpose alongside a physical direction with an attitude of following God.


I hated rules when I was in High School, especially the ones that the teachers never explained to us. What made it worse for me was coming home and finding out that my mother has been adding rules of her own while I was away. We live in a society of rules and laws that seem to govern everything that we do from paying tax to how you should ride your bike, from how to pay your bills to how you spend your money. right now I’m taking this course through our church called financial peace university in which we are learning all the rules that come with credit, debit, and having a lack of it. Knowing that our world is based on rules, regulations and how-things-are-done mentality, we in youth work neglect setting up any type of structure or consistency for our teens. On our first Sunday with the youth of the Simi Valley Family, Natalie and I laid down some ground rules for how we will be doing things here at "church". The feedback I got back from teens and parents alike is utter shock. No other minister they have had, had such tenacity as to lay down rules for "church". Inconsistency and lying down no guide or common law in a class room can and will spell certain failure for any ministry and especially for youth work. I beg you if you are a youth worker or want to be a youth worker, begin your work by laying down some foundation for which the teens in the ministry can begin to build their own faith on.