Showing posts from December, 2009

The 12 Days of Christmas - Day 7

Day 7 - On the 7th day of Christmas my true love gave to me... Seven Swans A-swimming The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: 1) prophecy, 2) ministry, 3) teaching, 4) exhortation, 5) giving, 6) leading, and 7) compassion (Romans 12:6-8; cf. 1 Corinthians 12:8-11) Talk about the gift that keeps giving. God has given you a precious gift that is and will be a wonderful blessing to other people. When you ask yourself how you can make a difference, this is how He intends for you to do it. There are some who say, "Oh, I can't do that! or "I'll just make a mess of things." Then some say, "I don't have time right now. I'll get to that later." Whatever ones excuse is - it simply isn't true. First of all If you don't discover what your gift is and begin to use it - it hurts the church! God sent you to your church to do something, what is it? If God gifted you to do it, that means you have His full support and backing. Don't be afrai

The 12 Days of Christmas - Day 8

Day 8 - On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me... Eight Maids A-milking The eight Beatitudes: 1) Blessed are the poor in spirit, 2) those who mourn, 3) the meek, 4) those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, 5) the merciful, 6) the pure in heart, 7) the peacemakers, 8) those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake. (Matthew 5:3-10) I like how these are presented. Most people like to quote these beatitudes like this, "Blessed are the poor in spirit FOR THEIRS IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, Blessed are those who mourn FOR THEY WILL BE COMFORTED." We concentrate on the blessing more than the reason why we are blessed! Why? We don't like the reasons. Poor? Mourning? Meek? Doesn't sound like our cup of tea huh? Yet we just don't understand that the sacrifices that we make are not about our worldly comfort but our heavenly blessing. Sure, in the flesh it hurts, it's uncomfortable, it's tough. But the reward in our soul and spirit i

12 Days of Christmas - Day 9

Day 9 - On the 9th day of Christmas my true love gave to me... Nine Ladies Dancing The Fruit of the Holy Spirit: 1) love, 2) joy, 3) peace, 4) patience, 5) kindness, 6) generosity, 7) faithfulness, 8) gentleness, and 9) self-control. (Galatians 5:22) In 2010 what are you going to do? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. If you want 2010 to be different then you have to do something different. But as a mentor of mine was famous for saying, "You have to begin with the end in mind." I know that it isn't original, but it's good! What are you going to do in 2010 to produce the fruit of the Spirit in your life? Think like a fruit tree! Find good dirt! - Every good tree has good dirt under it. It feeds it the nutrition that it needs to grow and be healthy. We call it the Word of God. Fresh, clean water - No water, no life. Jesus said that He was the living water and that anyone that drinks from Him

The 12 Days of Christmas - Day 10

Day 10 On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me Ten Lords A-leaping... Ten Lords A-leaping The ten commandments: 1) You shall have no other gods before me; 2) Do not make an idol; 3) Do not take God's name in vain; 4) Remember the Sabbath Day; 5) Honor your father and mother; 6) Do not murder; 7) Do not commit adultery; 8) Do not steal; 9) Do not bear false witness; 10) Do not covet. (Exodus 20:1-17) The 10 Commandments are not only to be obeyed they also remind us of our responsibilities. The first 4 are about our relationship with God. The rest are about our relationship with each other. These 10 remind us that we are responsible to exercise self control, in body, soul and spirit. It is a shame today that our culture finds excuses to ignore our responsibilities. These 10 Commandments remind us that we are part of something bigger than ourselves. But our pride demands that we put ourselves, the individual first in everything. Jesus came to sacrifice His life,

The 12 Days of Christmas - DAY 11

Day 11 - On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me... Eleven Pipers Piping The eleven Faithful Apostles: 1) Simon Peter, 2) Andrew, 3) James, 4) John, 5) Philip, 6) Bartholomew, 7) Matthew, 8) Thomas, 9) James bar Alphaeus, 10) Simon the Zealot, 11) Judas bar James. (Luke 6:14-16). The list does not include the twelfth disciple, Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus to the religious leaders and the Romans. We owe a great debt to the faith of these 11 men. These who not only walked and talked with Jesus - but they were used of God to shape the faith we enjoy today. The first question I want to ask you is, Who has had a great impact on the faith of your life? Who has helped you discover and deepen your relationship with Jesus? The second question is, Who are you influencing today? Who are you investing your faith into? Who are you helping discover a real relationship with Jesus? As these 11 men embrace their faith of their Savior and determined to continue His mission

The 12 Days of Christmas - DAY 12

On of the things that bothers me about Christmas is that when we pass Dec. 25th we seem to forget what Christmas was is all about. Well we will move on to Easter and a few other Christian holidays (depending on your faith), but for the most part - that peace on earth and good will to all men thing kind of goes out the door. So I am reading up on the 12 days of Christmas and discover that it isn't about the 12 days leading up to Christmas, but it is about the 12 days after Christmas. Some believe Catholics used the song was used to teach their children catechism. (A body of fundamental principles or beliefs). In England, from 1558 until 1829, they were not allowed to practice their faith openly. So what do the 12 days mean? DAY 12 - On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me... Twelve Drummers Drumming The twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles' Creed: 1) I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. 2) I believe in Jesus Christ, his on

Merry Christmas to All!

Here are some pics of our Christmas Eve service along with some pics of Anneka opening presents! Merry Christmas!!

It's Christmas Eve!!!

The day is full of activities preparing for tonight's Christmas Eve service. I am looking forward to this year. A time dedicated wholly to thanking Jesus for coming to this earth as one of us. Jesus came to this earth to make a difference. What can you do today that will make a difference in the life of someone / anyone? Christmas isn't about what you will get. Because if we get what we deserve, well let's not go there, OK? Christmas is about what you can give. But why do we give? To impress someone? Sounds like your still trying to get something in return. Christmas is about mercy. God, in His mercy sent His Son to us. When we give, give in mercy - not because we think they deserve it - but because we want to bless them. Christmas is about giving that which you cannot buy at Wal-Mart. It's about hope, joy, peace, love and forgiveness. A gift given may place a smile on ones face, but does it warm their heart with the love of God?

Primal - Mark Batterson

I have to be honest, I was a little skeptical of Marks approach to his new book Primal. I have read In the Pit with a Lion on a Snowy and Wild Goose Chase. Loved them both. But when I started reading Primal, Mark pulls no punches. He is raw, honest and in your face with the premise that the church needs a reformation and that the only way to do it is to return to our original, primal roots. For a few pages you might think that you are listening to the rants and raves of an opinionated pastor. Then you begin to see what he sees. I have had the privilege of interviewing him before and conversing with him online a few times. Mark is focused, which is a family value of his. Determined to serve God with everything that He has. It shows in this book. Believe me when I say that Mark practices what he preaches. Mark isn't going to ask much of anything that you probably haven't already asked. He is, however, going to give you a new point of view on it that you may have never

Appreciating Christmas

Places that I have noticed and I appreciate them saying Merry Christmas! Wal-Mart Best Buy The Martin County Building Dept. Office Depot Home Depot Publix El Toros (Feliz Navidad) Fugu Tie (Thanks for Annekas Zu zu pet and "Gun Tso Sun Tan'Gung Haw Sun") Plaza Paints (PSL) They don't have to say it, they are not required to say it - but it's nice that they do. The whole world hasn't gone to hell in a hand basket yet.

10,000 Visitor

I don't know who you are. But you live somewhere off Graham Street in Stuart, Fl. You are the 10,000th visitor to my blog. Thank you very much!!

The Silent Monks

This years new Christmas Special. The Silent Monks.

The Dark Side of Christmas Part 3

I was going in a different direction today, then I wake up to this tweet from Rick Warren. RT @RickWarren: "So many will be ashamed 1 day that they wasted so much of life criticizing other believers instead of reaching unbelievers." The holidays have the capacity to either bring the best out in someone, or the worst. Why? It a pressure cooker that's why! If your life is already under a great deal of pressure, the holidays can be the very thing that pushes you over the top. As one of my teachers and mentors said, :If you want to know what a person is really like, put them under pressure - it always tells the truth." Jesus said in, Matthew 7:3 "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" Ouch! Jesus apparently experienced this too, and it wasn't even His birthday. Nobody's perfect and we are suppose to take comfort in that. Not because we can make mistakes, but becaus

The Dark Side of Christmas Part 2

So what do we do that can make Christmas sooooo dark! A lot of it has to do with our perspective. How do you see your life right now? Good? Bad? Is it getting ugly? When all we can see is the dark, then guess what? Christmas is going to be dark for you and everyone you can influence. Here are some lines I have heard this year (so far). - I can't afford a 10 foot Christmas tree, I guess I will have to settle for the 6' foot one. (Followed by a string of curse words.) - I can't believe had to wait in line at Wal-Mart for an hour to check out. I hate Christmas!!! (Followed by a string or curse words.) - We just can't afford to go see our relatives up north this year, I guess they will have to come down here. (Nope, no curse words here.) - My kids are not going to get as many presents as they got last year, they are going to have a horrible Christmas. (This one is usually followed by self loathing or out right anger at their boss, the government, the economy, the

The Dark Side of Christmas

If Darth Vader were Santa Claus what would Christmas be like? Emotionally draining, budget breaking, joyless, mindless actions that seem to lead no where and leave you wanting - but never satisfied. Oh! I see you have been standing in line at Wal-Mart too! This Sunday my sermon title is, "Christmas Never Changes." Why would this be important? Very simple. Jesus never changes, so what is it about Christmas that makes us "measure" it success with previous years or other people? To be honest with you I wouldn't be that surprise if I heard in that deep breathy voice, "Santa, I am your father!!" emanate from Darth. But the force does seem to be reaking havoc on peoples lives this season. So what can you do that will make a difference?

Remember Christmas

- We are working on the house tomorrow. Painting and cleaning. - Anneka has two presentations of the Nutcracker this weekend. - Have to go to Benjamin Moore, Wal-Mart, Home Depot and I'm sure somewhere else. - Get the hedge trimmer, electric cords and water hose from church. - Prepare Sunday's sermon. - Sunday School lesson. - Print the bulletin, prepare powerpoint and announcement DVD. - Schedule Nursing Homes for the afternoon of the 20th. - Pull music for the Christmas Eve service. - Try to find Betty's Christmas present. And that's just today. My point is this. I am stopping right now to thank Jesus for coming to this earth as a child. "Jesus - what you did for me is nothing I deserve nor earned. You love me so much that you came to this earth in human form to be a sacrifice for my sins. You lived life and was tempted in all things as I am. You came to get the victory you now give to me. I am saved from my sins, healed of my diseases. I live in peace wit

Sign Update

While I am waiting on hold with AT&T (so they can explain to me why they sold me a product that doesn't exist) I thought I would give you an update on the church sign. Here it is. When will the sign arrive? Well we don't know. We have to apply for a revised permit now. Some of the paperwork wasn't in order as it turns out and we have to give them the right paperwork now.

New Church Sign

Doesn't look like much? Well just keep watching for further updates.

How To Frustrate Your Morning

Step #1 - ACCEPTED a call from AT&T three months ago saying that you can now have U-verse. Internet access that is faster than DSL at a much cheaper price. Step #2 - Accept their offer to have U-verse installed here at the church. Step #3 - Wait and wait and wait and wait. Step #4 - Receive mail on how to access my U-verse account online. Huh? What U-verse? Step #5 - Call them and ask them where my U-verse is? It hasn't been installed yet. Step #6 - Take to many operators across the country. All confirm that I can get U-verse but they don't know how to sign me up. Step #7 - Talk to someone in India via online chat and find out that he can't help either. Step #8 - Finally someone gives me the number to a back line in Atlanta to U-verse. Step #9 - They tell me that I have to wait another two weeks before they can install it. Step #10 - I suggest that they move that date up since I have been waiting for three months now and I don't think it's worth that kind

What Do You Expect The Holiday Season?

I just posted on facebook the question, "Do you find that the expectations people have about the holidays is being dashed by the realities of a recession?" For years people have been complaining how Christmas has become so commercialized, that it's true meaning was being drowned out by Santa Claus and long lines at Wal-Mart. Others have been saying that it is an insult to their belief system (or lack thereof) and that the word "Christmas" should be banned from their presence. (I don't see them walking around with t-shirts saying, "I don't believe in Christmas.") However, I think that the recession has had a positive effect on Christmas. No not the retailers who for some reason put all their eggs in this basket every year and expect this holiday season to put them over the top. I mean the real Christmas. The holy holiday that observes the announcement and birth of Jesus, the Son of God - who came to this earth as a baby so He could grow u

Another One Bites The Dust

There was a car accident, a golf club, a brief stay at the hospital and then Tiger Wood's whole life came unraveled. First there were accusations of an affair published in the National Enquire. (Thus the reason why people doubt the validity of story). Now another magazine "Us", says that there is another woman who can prover her story. Tiger Woods, as an icon of integrity, goes down in flames and people are again left disillusioned and disappointed. He has made the following statement, " I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves. I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect. I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with my family. Those feelings should be shared by us alone." Well there you have it. An admission of guilt without admitting to what your guilty for. No I'm not chastising him for his confes

When Life Changes

Ok I admit that I am probably a little different when it comes to this. But when life begins to change they way I live and what I do and how I do it - I actually like it. Sometimes its a struggle to deal with, changing schedules, routines and such. However, it results in a life that isn't boring or dull. It isn't predictable or "safe". When we bought the house over a week ago, things began to change. Everyone felt the need to come and tell me that, "things are going to change now!" Ya think? They are probably a little irritated at me because I revel in the change, I don't despise it. When we work hard to make our life "safe" and predictable do we really achieve our goal? How safe are we, really? The security of our life isn't found in our money, possession or position. It is found in our relationship with Jesus. This one who rules and reigns over kings and kingdoms. I find that it is interesting that the Bible declares that we