Romans 5:6

Love, even if it hurts - Jesus Christ

Jan 27, 2010

What does it take to be a father?

"It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father." - Pope John XXIII

"It is much easier to become a father than to be one." - Kent Nerburn

I have asked myself that question quite a lot recently. However, before you jump to multiple conclusions Natalie is not pregnant, or at least we don't know if she is or isn't. Besides that I have wanted to be a father for a very long time and for a very long time I have wondered if, when the time comes, will I have what it takes. Millions of children are born to parents that have no right raising pets let alone human being, am I somehow better or worthy? What makes me different that I deserve to be a father to somebody that will someday have the ability to choose or deny God. Someone wiser than me once said that it is a great and frightening authority God has given us, to bring eternal people into the world. I have seen good fathers and I have experienced bad ones, I have seen the product of lazy, neutral, submissive, non existent fathers. The one thing I do understand quite well is the importance of a dad. When I see people that I wish to label as good fathers, I see one undeniable quality and it is not money or the financial security that they provide for their family, it is their trust in God. It is a trust in the father that I do not grasp but is tangibly seen. I understand that I know nothing when it comes to parenting or just about anything concerning raising children for that matter, but pray that God has patience on me, because I sure do want to try.

Jan 22, 2010


“Reconciliation is to understand both sides; to go to one side and describe the suffering being endured by the other side, and then go to the other side and describe the suffering being endured by the first side.”
Thich Nhat Hanh

How well do you reconcile? Do we know the mechanics of forgiveness so well that we have lost the heart to reunite. After we have forgiven someone of their abuse towards us do we seek reconciliation. Or do we forgive and then still hold onto our hatred, our bitterness and our wrath; looking for those slights and little holes in others. Do we forgive and then wait for the next abuse? Should we forget what others have done to us and like ignorant children, stumble yet again into the same ditch that ensnared us the first time.

Luke 23:32-33- two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. And when they came to the place that is called the place of The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. We have read this many times and we may even have seen enactments of this crucification scene. I have watched the passion of the Christ and I have seen many passion plays and devotionals. All of them are powerful and in their own way deep and refreshing to my spirit. However, when I see his beaten face, it is this next passage that really drives this forgiveness home. Christ does the unthinkable he forgives them. If that was all of that the story is, it still not as magnificent. Jesus Christ reconciles with them even excuses them by saying that they did what they without truly knowing who they were doing it too. This rich undeserving forgiveness was given to people that Jesus had known for the last three years. It was given to his apostles that left his side, it was given to those that abused him at every step, it was given to those that beat him.

I hope that when we forgive; and when we do forgive we reconcile and seek to understand and then truly rebuild the burned bridges and destroyed roads.

Jan 20, 2010

We Must be the Lesson

A. W. Tozer -
"Without worship, we go about miserable."

C. S. Lewis -
"We only learn to behave ourselves in the presence of God."

A couple of weeks ago I was having dinner at an older members home with another couple our age. after dinner we went into their living room and discussed the qualities and experiences of praising God. He asked me how much time I spend a week in offering praise and worship to God? That question, obviously triggering this blog post, led me to one of the greatest struggles that I have had sense working with youth. Both in Texas and in California teaching praise has been both difficult very time consuming. How do you teach praise, worship and giving God blessings? I mean, I have been in many classes that told me that I should and that I should do it often. I have been told of the hundreds of biblical characters, saints and historical Christians that have all been good examples of what a strong Christian does in relation to God and the honor due him. but how do I translate something that is so elemental to the foundation of ones Christianity to people being raised by our society today. Is God's authority the key to unlock the door of their world view command center; or maybe it is the landscape of God's glory that they must grasp before that frolic in the golden fields of putting praise and honor into human speech. For, to me, worship is the very air in my lungs. The more I grow and the older I age, the greater the desire, the more irresistible the need to give what I can in utter reverence and praise to God. Is it something you can give to another person? Is it like a gift given to an eager 10 year old on Christmas? I have come to think of the instruction of worship like teaching a man dying of thirst the important role water plays in one staying hydrated. The dying man does not need a college education or a degree in hydroponics to know its importance to him. He knows what he needs even if words escape him. He does not need further instruction, he merely needs that which will keep alive. We must be people who teach others through our actions that worship to God is a necessity to life. We must be the lesson that draws the dying from the dessert.

Jan 12, 2010

Game nights and Small Groups

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead

Well, I have been here in Simi Valley, CA for 5 months and I feel like I'm just now getting to the gritty work of ministry. Last Friday we started Game night and LORD willing it will continue for quite some time. Also, soon we will begin a small group for teens and their parents, which I am looking forward to very much. These two ministries are so important to me for the purpose of getting to know every body on a personal level and bringing church out of the building.

What I really need are ideas concerning ways and functions of these two ministries. Things that you have been done or seen done that might work or not work. I am an empty cup waiting to be filled by good ideas that are worth following.

Jan 7, 2010

New Years resolution- no more New Year's resolutions

Eric Zorn
Making resolutions is a cleansing ritual of self assessment and repentance that demands personal honesty and, ultimately, reinforces humility. Breaking them is part of the cycle.

Oscar Wilde
Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.

Well this is a new year and with it come the same responsibilities and concerns. Do not misjudge me, I am just as excited as you to usher in a new calender.
Last week I was listening in on to others as they were explaining to each other the reasons for their new years resolutions. Each went around the circle reassuring one another that this year will be the year that they actually do something different and that they will finally assert the change the want. When I was younger I was much more pessimistic and I would have laughed in their faces, but now I know not to do such things... out loud at least. I respect the want to celebrate the coming year with a declaration of difference and change from the last, but I do have a hard time believing it. Actually I have come to the understanding that we give these oaths and promises as a pagan would to the cosmos and stars, like it is expected from the very fabric of our surroundings. I do not think we should completely give up on the prospect of change and becoming something better than what we were. However, I want to challenge myself to be constantly looking for paths to crawl closer to the will of God. The word "crawl" was not a typo, this last year I have done more of that than walking or even running to God. I want all of us to change on a daily basis; becoming more like God and giving up on the parts of us that drag us away from the picture God had originally painted us to be. Instead of embracing change and resolutions of old standards one day a year, let us change habits and resolve problems daily and not annually.