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Showing posts from April, 2009

A conversation with Mark Batterson

I just wanted to let everyone know that I am the cool guy today. I got to talk to Mark Batterson. If you don't know who he is, you have a computer, you have google, you know what to do. For the rest of us who want to know why I was talking to him today it's actually very simple. Mark Carrara, pastor at Highpoint Community Church in PSL has a online blog entitle www.churchleadershiponline.com He let's me in on podcast interviews that we do about once a month. Thanks Mark. So in the next week you will be able to hear this interview too! Really, one of the best interviews that we have done and with that - that you Mark B.

What's The Point?

Last Sunday I announced that the Holy Spirit had changed my series of message for the month of May. The title of this series is "What's The Point?" Now simply, we need to answer the question, "What The Point?" about being a Christian, the existence of the Church and the reason why we do what we do. I believe that the Church of Jesus Christ, here in America, is at a crossroad. They are asking who are they and what do they really believe? In recent months the church has struggled to make its voice heard, the elections seemed to send a message that this country really doesn't want or think that it needs the church. Atheists are pounding their pulpits all across our university campus' in this country saying that religion is the cause of our societies ills. Every day we see the church being marginalized in our society. Last Sunday I preached about the last words that Jesus spoke on this earth. That how in Acts 1:8 represents who the church is and who

Houses we are NOT considering.

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Even though I do like the musical house a little. Click on a pic to see a larger image.

House Hunting???

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I'm not sure if I'm house hunting or not? We have placed an offer on a house, but so far nada, nothing! It is a bank owned property so I can't even tell you if the people who are making this decision are even in this state. So what have I learned? If the other relators lips are moving - they are probably lying. Oh well, I'm really not upset about this. It's all in God's hands anyway. Our pray that whole time has been that His will would be done in all of this. Factoring God into major decisions really take a lot of stress off of you.

Divine Appointments

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I believe that it was George Wood who said that God makes divine appointments for you. You know these kind of appointments. You didn't schedule them, in fact you didn't even see them coming. They are never convenient. But they are some of the most precious and most important that you will ever have. You never have time for them, but the reward is well worth it. So how do you have a divine appointment? First of all admit that God doesn't care that much about your day planner. He has one too and His is more important than yours. Second, make sure that your attitude is as follows. People are more important that your schedule. Attitude is everything and if yours stinks, forget it - you're going to miss out on a bunch of divine appointments. Thirdly, LISTEN!! You will never know what the divine appointment is for unless you listen. Some people can come right to the point, some have to work up the courage to do it. Listen for what is going on and show some

Youth Camp Trip

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All seems to be going well!

The Teenage Song

In honor of our youth group who is going camping tonight here you go. It's an Aussie song so if you don't understand the cricket line, just replace the word cricket with the word baseball. It will work. Thanks to Sharon Gadfield-Snavely who posted this on FB.

Now we wait

We're making an offer and see what happens. I have to tell you that due to this economy, house hunting isn't like it use to be. Well we will see what happens and will probably find out something the first of next week. If anything, the respite from the hunt will do me some good! Ha!

House Hunting

We out to see some more homes today. One is actually $42K. Makes you wonder what is wrong with it huh? But we appreciate everyones prayers that God will help us find the right house, in the right place at the right time.

More House Hunting

No wonder Jesus didn't own a house. It would have taken him a few years to find one that everyone would have liked. We looked in some new areas today - we also found some possibilities. I am going to download the pics tonight, sleep on it and look at them again tomorrow. Here is what I have learned so far. - Price means nothing. Some houses are priced to sell and some are priced for stupid. That would be the person who would be stupid enough to pay that much for it. - People are mean. We went in one house where they took the door knobs, the cabinets, the light fixtures and anything else they can get out of the house. - Paint people paint. Here is the rule. If you want the house to sell, paint it and paint it well. Do not, I mean don't even think about using cheap paint. - I do feel for some of these people who are losing their house. They really put a lot into these homes and I can tell that they weren't finished. If you are one of those people all I can

Hunting is Exhausting!

We looked at five houses yesterday. I have pics, but they are bad. I will take a different camera next time that will do a better job. House 1 is a possibility, House 2 was bad to the bone (bye,bye). House 3 was different. A short sale, but think of it as a blank canvas. It is just exactly they way the builder made it in 03. House 4, lots of room and lots of work! Not crazy about the location. House 5 was a surprise. Very inexpensive but was in great condition. Very small though. What have I learned so far? - If you live next door to someone trying to sell their house. Do them a favor and clean up your backyard. - Your yapping dog may be cute to you, but it isn't to me. (Sorry, dog lovers.) - I am painting something, somewhere soon - there's no getting around it. - Why are all the mirrors in most of these houses missing?

The House Hunt Is On!

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We have pre qualified! In fact our mortgage broker said "It was easy!" Calling our credit report, "stellar" and "clean". I only say this to give credit to Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. We did what he said and it paid off!! So we are looking at houses now. This is what I have learned. - Don't look in the window if someone is living there. Oooo! That's embarrassing, not to mention something that will get you put in jail. We got away before we got caught. - If the picture on the web is taken from across the street from the house - wait until you walk up on it. - Some homes are ugly and some homes are ugly to the bone. You can't fix ugly to the bone, just walk away. - If the AC unity outside looks like it came off the ark. Just plan on replacing it first thing. - Don't trust the pictures on the web. It was probably before the people moved out and if they were mad about being foreclosed on, they probably took i

Still Pre qualifying

We did speak to a mortgage broker yesterday but we haven't heard back from her yet. I suspect I will soon. However, did you know: - The USDA makes home loans? There are only certain areas that qualify (rural), but really? And do the guys who inspect our meats also going to inspect our homes too? - There are some banks loaning at 4.25%. Wow! Did any of us ever think we would see that ever again? - There is a website, www.financialstability.gov, where you can get information and contacts about refinancing your home. Even if you are upside down. So we are looking, but no touching yet. I think Betty to going to blow a gasket soon if she doesn't get to look inside one of these homes soon.

Today we prequalify

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What have I learned about house hunting so far? - There is a guy named "pending" and why is he buying all the houses I like? - There are ugly houses and some houses are ugly to the bone. - The phrase "What were they thinking when they did that?" is spoken quite often. - Who thought up the names of some of these streets and would you live on Dileo Ave? - 12 x 12 is a master bedroom? and my favorite.... - Handyman special is code for " Oh Lord No! " Today we get to pre-qualify. This is a little odd to me, but apparently they will not let you in the house without it. I understand that the relators don't want to waste their time on people who don't have any money. The part that strikes me odd is the celebration that usually follows pre-qualifying. "You are pre-qualified $200,000!!!!" and your thinking to yourself, "Wow, and all I do is deliver pizzas for Dominos." Just because you get 200 grand, doesn't mean your su

House Hunting

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It's official, we're looking to buy a house. I don't know who is more excited about this announcement. My wife or the rest of the church? So we will covet your prayers as we proceed with due diligence. We can't spend much, but fortunately this market is offering some homes at affordable prices - well at least affordable for us. We are looking in PSL - Martin county's market is to high. Just a few minutes a way though. So I will let you know how this goes for the next few weeks. Next step - pre approved financing.

Sunday Reflections On Monday!

Easter Sunday was a great day! 83 people attended. 10 - 12 people accepted Christ into their hearts. The new Hospitality Suite was a big hit! We sent through 8 pots of coffee. We got to meet some old and new friends. I really think that this was the best Easter we have ever had!

Jesus is Alive

Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, the Son of God, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the Rose of Sharon, the Lily of the Valley, my Healer, my Redeemer, my Salvation, my Hope, my Joy, my Love and my Strength. He's alive and here with me! Jesus isn't in the tomb - He has risen from the dead, just as He said! He is my Life and everything I hope to be - He is Jesus!

Jesus is Dead

Evil was rejoicing. The Pharisees were pleased. The people were confused. The disciples were scared. All hope had been lost. Life had been changed forever. In their darkest hour it seemed that Jesus had failed. That God had quit. That faith wasn't enough after all. Most of us know what that feels like in some way. I our darkest hour we wonder, "Where is God?" "Doesn't He care?" "Why did He let this happen?" But Sunday is a coming. You may feel that there is a stone between you and your victory. But that stone can be rolled away. Don't lose faith! Sunday's a comin! See you tomorrow!

Good Friday

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Why is it called Good Friday? What is good about it? My Savior was crucified on this day. A tragedy of truly Biblical proportions. Evil wins, the world wins and hope losses. What is good about all of this? Nobody really has a clear answer on how we came to putting "good" in front of Friday. There are a number of other languages which have other titles for this day. The Germans for example call this Mourning Friday. Anyhow, there are a couple of thoughts I would like for you to ponder about. A) Have you taken the time to think about what Jesus did for you today? You might Google the medical aspects of a crucifixion, if you don't understand it. That should help you understand what Jesus physically did to save your life. B) Do you live in Friday or Sunday? Some people are all about the cross. That isn't a bad thing unless you leave Sunday out of the picture. Jesus isn't on the cross and He isn't in the tomb either! Somebody say AMEN!

Easter Sunday!!

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Easter is coming together and it is going to be a GREAT Sunday! I am so excited about what God is going to do. As Easter Sunday's go it isn't the BIG event, it isn't the GREAT musical or the MOVING drama. It is a CELEBRATION about Jesus. He's Alive and all things are going to be new! This Sunday is about real change, in real people in a real way that really will make a difference!!! Bring a friend and be ready for what God is going to do this Sunday! It is going to be great!!

I Need Your Help!

I could use your help for our Easter services this Sunday. The theme of our Easter service is, "New Beginnings". The question I would like for you to answer is, What has Jesus done for you that gave you a new beginning? It could be your health, your marriage, your future or your life. Your testimony will be incorporated into the powerpoint portion of my sermon and altar call for Easter Sunday. Just follow these instructions. 1) Email to: pastorruss@bellsouth.net 2) In 10 words or so write down what Jesus has done for you. (i.e. He saved my marriage. He delivered me from drugs. He released me from depression - etc.) 3) If you can, please include a pic of yourself. It helps the testimony be more credible when people can put a face to the praise. (Only first names will be used in the presentation.) 4) Send it to me. I will let you know how it goes next Sunday.

I have to fly Southwest

The Sound System Is In!!

We've got the new sound system up and running. It will take a few weeks to get all the bugs worked out, so be patient with the sound man. I promise they will work hard to get it right. It sounds better and with a lot more quality! And for those of you who didn't think there wasn't enough bass to the system, don't worry - your bassless days are over!

4 Lepers - 2 Kings 7 (Part 3) Real Friends

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Which decision do you make if you know that you are going to die anyway? There are 4 lepers at the entrance of the city gate. They, like the rest of the city are starving to death, plus they are dieing a slow and painful death from leprosy. So they have a conversation that could go something like this. "Hey Frank, what do you think will happen if we go back into the city?" "Well,..." Frank responds, "... we will either die from starvation or they will kill us for going inside." "So Charlie, what do you think will happen to us if we stay right here where we are at?" Charlie quickly snips back, "We're going to die here you fool! Don't you know the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. If you think that things are going to change here then....." "OK Charlie we got it, settle down." "Harry, got any ideas?" Harry thinks about it a few moments and s

4 Lepers - 2 Kings 7 (Part 2)

Yesterday we learned that the King of Israel was seeking to behead Elisha the prophet. Life in Samaria, which the King of Aram was laying seige to, was so bad that people were cannibalizing their children and eating the heads of donkeys. As the King of Israel arrives to deal with Elisha ever so severely the prophet, speaking for God says that that time tomorrow they would be buying flour and barley, cheap! One of the officers who came with the king commented that God couldn't do this, to which Elisha replied that God would but that he wouldn't get to partake of this blessing. Here are a few lessons I can see here: - The King wanted to kill Elisha, but it was the faithlessness of a officer that got God's attention . As I had said yesterday, we really don't know what set the King of Israel off - but apparently he hadn't lost faith. He was just mad at God. Yet he doesn't get rebuked! Don't lose faith in the midst of economic hard times. When God sa

4 Lepers - 2 Kings 7

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For the next few days I want to focus on a passage from the Bible that my friend Danny Baggett (pastor, Oceanway A/G in Jax. Fl.) share with us in presbytery the other day. You can read about this story in 2 Kings 6 and 7. Ben-Hadad king of Aram had mobilized his entire army and laid siege to Samaria. The town of Samaria was under extreme famine. There was no food, no help and no hope. I liken this passage to the current economic conditions of our world today. People are hurting, even in our own city - people are going hungry. Life isn't as good as we use to define it and our future is changing everyday. The king of Israel was beside himself. He was told of two women who the day before had eaten one of their sons with the promise that the next day they would eat the other womans son. But that woman backed out of this nightmare and hid her son so he wouldn't be eaten. Whether out of grief or anger, the king declared that this was all God's fault and that El