Sunday, December 6, 2009


Before the end of the year, I am going to give my blog a little facelift. Let's see if I can keep from overthinking this one and just get it done.


Put the Erector Set Down

I was sitting there today in church, and our pastor hit me with something I never really put a great deal of thought into until recently. As he was going through his teaching on Luke 8:26-39, he started to unpack the whole story and the impact people can have on others. That's when it hit me like a ton of bricks. I had a self-realization about me and how I try to talk with people about Christ.

Actually, it was a self-realization about something that has cluttered my head for a long time. Lately (that's a relative term, it's more like the past few years) I have had numerous people tell me that I try and analyze things way too much. You know, always trying to find the why or figure things out and it gets in the way of me doing. Most times I think too much instead of doing. It's been the death of so many ideas and plans I have had. I think things through to perfection and then stop achieving because I don't want to screw up the Rembrant in my head. And then it's rinse, lather, repeat like my shampoo bottle.........

So here was my 2x4 moment. The demon possessed man begged to follow Jesus after he had been saved, but Jesus ordered him to go home and tell everyone about what God had done. And then our lead pastor laid it out: this man had no training, no Bible (well, that would have been a little difficult but you get my drift), no concordance, no commentary, no (fill in the blank). He had nothing but this experience with his awesome Savior!

When I think about that, I just slump my head in shame. Then I lift it again and ask for the help of Christ in getting out of the way and letting Him do His work. Instead of focusing on MY power to meet objections against following Christ, instead of focusing on MY ability to coerce others about the good things of following Christ, instead of focusing on MY talents being used for His purposes, I must now turn aside and let Christ use HIS power. It's a power we will NEVER understand. I've tried it. It's a fruitless effort...............

And one more thing, this is for you Jeff B, we need to stop trying to figure out how or why He works, and just be satisfied that He does in so many awesome ways. Otherwise, Christ gets put back in that little box we only pull out on Sundays and holidays, and when we THINK we are talking with someone about His saving grace.

Putting my inner engineer out to pasture,

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thank You Day

What I am thankful for:

First and foremost, to God Almighty: thank you for sending your Son to die for all sin! The most awesome gift in the world. You can't buy what He gives on Black Friday! It's FREE! Without you, nothing is possible. With you, everything is possible. Your love is amazing!

To my wife: thank you for marrying me, putting up with me, teaching me, helping me, and bearing 2 beautiful sons! After that car ride, I am still baffled why you picked me!

To my sons: thank you for the fun, laughter, joy, heartache, pain, and most of all: your smiles!

To my parents, brother and sister: simply put, you are the best! I couldn't have dreamed of a better childhood. I couldn't have dreamed of better support and love.

To my church: what a journey it has been. But it's not over. Thank you for growing me as a man, husband, father, friend and Christ follower.

To my British friend JJ: thanks for the support and kicks in the butt. Thanks for straight talk and thanks for your ancestors coming over and inventing a meal for kings on this day. Oh yah, thanks for starting the best country on this planet!

To my friend and boss Danny: Thanks for your support in so many ways. Thanks for seeing a need, filling that need, and then giving me all the opportunities one man could ask for. You are an inspiration and a true role model for business, life, and family.

To all my friends: thanks for the good times, the bad times, the fun times and the weird times. Without you, I wouldn't be who I am. With you, well, it just would't be life.

On this day of thanksgiving,
Jesus Freak Out!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Arms Outstretched

I've been thinking about this for a while, but it never really clicked for me to write about until tonight. I was putting my 5 month old to bed tonight. He has finally learned to roll over, but when he does it in his sleep, he tends to either get a limb stuck in the bed rails or wake himself up. So what we do is wrap a blanket around his lower body and legs, but leave his arms out so he can inevitably chew on them and not wake himself up fighting a swaddling blanket. Plus, he is just to old to swaddle now. And I digress...........

Well, after his nightly routine of bath, bottle, and bedtime rocking (I love it when he sleeps in my arms where I get to watch him sleep while I play with those cute, chubby, little, dimpled hands), I went through the routine of wrapping him in his blanket while he lays on his back with his arms outstretched like Christ on the cross. It's just how I do it. But it really moved me tonight. What was God thinking as he watched his own Son on the cross, bearing the sin of the world, and suffering that pain and agony?

I couldn't imagine my son going through that, better yet, having to watch it from afar knowing that people would curse His name throughout the ages and drag his legacy through the mud because they could not see the sacrifice he bore for them. Personally, if I, a mere human had the power, I would .....................I can't say. It's just not what God would do.

Tonight just made me think about the sacrifice that Christ paid to fulfill his Father's will and save the world from the evil of sin. It makes my head spin just thinking about it.

Simply humbled tonight,
Jesus Freak Out!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Pain of Obedience

On Saturday, I decided to extend the number of miles I run in one session. For years, I have been running no more than three miles at a pop because of how I trained in high school for track and cross country. We trained short distances. I have only run more than three miles at a time 3 or 4 times in my life, and one time nearly kept me from running forever because of my knee and the pounding it took.

But yesterday, I decided it was time to up the ante and start training for endurance. After my son's soccer practice, I decided to run home from the fields. I clocked out the mileage and it was exactly four miles. Granted it's not a lot more than three, but it's a start. I hope to get up to an average of 6-10 miles, but that will be a while. After mile three, I started to hear that little voice inside that said, "Your body has had enough. Three miles is your limit. STOP RUNNING!"

But then I started to pray. Sounds corny, but I did, mainly because of the pain. I didn't have to pray long before God came back to me with something that hit me like a ton of bricks. I started thinking back to the interactions I have had with my 4-year old son. How my wife and I have been working on him obeying us more. What came back to me was this: "How do you expect your son to obey you if you don't obey me?"

You may be asking yourself why this would come to me during a run? Well, I wanted to quit running. When all was said and done, I didn't want to hurt anymore. I just wanted to do what I wanted to do, do what would feel better. But God was teaching me something. He was pushing me to obey and finish out the run. It was a simple test of my ability to do what God had asked. I felt as though He simply asked me to finish running. Not for Him, not to make me hurt, not to lengthen my endurance, or even bring about a Forrest Gump moment. It was just to see if I would obey when I knew how much it would hurt to do so.

And that's all He asks. That no matter how much it may hurt our ego or our pride or our self-confidence, we must obey and endure the pain. Look at how much pain Jesus Christ endured on the cross for us. To simply finish out a run, talk with someone we don't necessarily want to talk to, or give up something we have earned: is that too much pain to ask us to endure for Him?

Time to honor through obedience,
Jesus Freak Out!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Working Hard or Hardly Working?

For those of us with jobs, be appreciative right now, no matter how bad things may be or get. But, as someone I trust and admire once told me, take that job, kick it square in the butt and beat it until it is bleeding on the side of the road. Then kick it some more..............

In other words, do your job to the best of your ability, with diligence, drive, motivation, and most of all, joy in our hearts. Now that's not everyday. I know there are going to be bad days, but our overall attitude is reflected in our success. Strive to be the best, strive to do your best, work like there is no tomorrow, because there may not be. And while you are working diligently, don't forget that your work extends beyond that of your cubicle or office: your work extends out for Christ. I bet you can point to at least four people that sit around you that you are pretty sure don't know Christ. It's time to initiate some conversation.

I leave you with two passages to ponder and carry with you throughout your workday:

- Proverbs 10:4 (NIV)- "Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth."

- 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV)- "So whether you eat or drink or WHATEVER you do, do it all
for the glory of God."

Working to Glorify My Awesome and Wonderful God,
Jesus Freak Out!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Served or Servant?

Which type of person do you want to be? The one who is served or the one who is the servant.

To many times I have watched as "members" of churches sit back and wait to be served. They sit in the pews and wait patiently for the music to end. Maybe they sing a few of the words to the "cool" worship music and, God forbid (it says no where in the Bible that raising your hands in worship is a sin, although some of the stares may say otherwise), raise there hands a little so people think they might be "Christians." Then they sit down, listen to what the pastor has to say, write a few notes so it looks as if they are interested, and then finish out their "Christian" duty by talking a little after the service. Before they can get to their car, they have forgotten what the message was about and they are already thinking about the football game or the beach that afternoon. Their "Christian" duty is done. What duty? To come to church and be "served" their weekly helping of God?

Why do I know so much about this? Because I've been there. I was "that guy" thinking I had God all figured out and everyone else fooled into thinking I was a good "Christian." Sure, I did some "extra" stuff. I helped out with the youth group some and was on the Carpet Color Committee. But it was empty service. Why, you might say? Because I was not serving with my heart; I was waiting to be served. Waiting to be served that line, "You are doing a great job serving god" (notice the little G in god there).

I have found a new level of service over the past few years. Service is an attitude. Service is a mentality that permeates your entire soul. I heard a great quote today in church, "You discover the heart of God through service." I also self-discovered that I am not a drummer, I am a servant. Calling me a drummer implies that I have some sort of status over another. Not the case. I am but a humble servant of Christ, peddling my abilities in order to serve an awesome and wonderful God through music.

I also finished the book of Joshua today. In Chapter 24, Joshua addresses the tribes of Israel before his death and point blank tells them what will happen when they serve God, and when they serve any other gods. "Now therefore fear the Lord and SERVE him in SINCERITY and FAITHFULNESS. Put away the gods" (that's not just pagan gods) "that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and SERVE the Lord" [vs.14].

Serve the Lord. Serve the Lord with SINCERITY and FAITHFULNESS. We must serve with our whole heart. We must serve with a sincere heart. We must serve with unwavering faith that God is there for us when we need Him, not just for us and our selfish interests, but for us in what we are doing for Him.

Be the servant, not the served.

Your humble servant,
Jesus Freak Out!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cling-on Invasion

There needs to be a Cling-on invasion in this world. I'm not talking some Star Trek inspired, Beam Me Up Scotty invasion where some green monsters come down and attack. I'm talking a an invasion of souls. I'm talking an invasion of our lives and a consumption with everything that is Him, everything that is Christ.

In Joshua 22, Joshua is addressing some of the tribes of Israel as they return to the lands that God has set aside for them. Specifically, Joshua is addressing the tribes who kept all the Lord and Moses had commanded. But Joshua says something to these tribes that applies to our lives on so many levels (and some say the Old Testament is.............old): "Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, , to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments and to CLING to Him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul" (ESV). Jesus Christ commanded the same thing in the NEW Testament (Matthew 22:37).

We must "cling" to Him in all that we do. We must "serve" Him with all that we have. We must follow His "commandments" and live our lives for Him and in Him. He must invade our every thought, our every action, our every word and we must remain close to Him. It's hard enough to remain close to someone here on earth, let alone God. But still we must remain..........

Retreating from myself,
Jesus Freak Out!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Something Old, Something New

Renew. It's a word we use all the time. It obviously means to make something new again. Renew wedding vows, renew an insurance policy, renew a promise. There are things all around us that cna be renewed. What about our commitment to living our lives for Christ?

In Joshua chapter 8, Joshua and the Israelites defeat Ai by renewing their commitment to God to listen and follow. At the end, Joshua renews the covenant that Moses made in the desert by making new the law on new stones.

We too can renew our covanent with Christ. We can recommit ourselves to the promise of living our lives for Him, for His work, and for His people.

Keeping it simple,
Jesus Freak Out!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Give it all you got.......

For those who may not know, our church is about to take a step of faith in a huge way. And do I mean a huge way. We are not making a relatively miniscule decision to give to a new missionary, or start a new ministry. We are literally taking a huge step............out the door of our current location to that of a new one. This move has brought many challenges, stresses, timelines, and tests. Throughout this time I have taken on our lead pastor's challenge of reading through the book of Joshua. I have never read the book of Joshua (and I'm still not done) until now, but it has opened my eyes to the challenges that Joshua faced casting the vision of what God had planned for the Israelites. And I found one challenge that we now face as a church.

That challenge is one of intensity, tenacity, perseverance, and intention. We have it now, but can we keep it?

In Joshua chapter 7, Joshua sent men from Jericho down to Ai to spy out the army there. Before having Joshua bring the WHOLE army down there to fight, the spies brought information back that only a few thousand were needed because the army at Ai was not all that tough. Or so they thought. Maybe that was their mistake, they thought instead of trust. In the end, the Israelites who were sent to fight the army at Ai were destroyed because they not only sinned against the Lord (Achan had stolen some of the "devoted things"), they lacked humility and intensity.

In our daily lives and walks with Christ, we must never give in or give up. We must persevere and we must give it all we have for the Christ. Half hearted effort for Christ produces whole hearted shame from God. He doesn't want us just on Sundays or at the dinner table, He wants us all the time, full throttle, whole heartedly pushing the proverbial rock up the hill. As long as we rely on Him and trust in his unfailing and unconditional love, and as long as we give Him all that we have with every fiber of our being, then we have fought "the good fight."

This move for our church is a battle, not against the world or the challenges of the move. It's against ourselves. This battle is against our half hearts, our mediocre efforts, and our "spare time." The Israelites failed at Ai because of themselves, not because of the Amorites. They lost because they did put forth their all.

For this church, for God's church, for this life, we must give it all we got............

Ante up,
Jesus Freak Out!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


The church is not confined to the walls of a building or to a specific "clique" of people. The church extends beyond ourselves. The church is the "bride of Christ." We need to start thinking that way. If you can't, start reading the bible more and find out for yourself. Life in Christ is not about you or me. Life in Christ is about bringing people into relationship with Him. Life in Christ is about service, not to you but to Him and others. Did Jesus not say that the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, mind and strength? Oh wait, and He also said the second was to love your neighbor as yourself?

(For those who think this is not loving my neighbor, think again. Because if we went around not wanting to offend someone, that's not loving someone. That's catering to and God doesn't cater to people, He pushes them to their limits and makes them re-think their decisions. Scripture is full of examples, say Jonah).

So stop hacking down one another when a church decides to do something different. If someone doesn't want to follow the leaders appointed and led by our great Creator, let them go. Either God has led them in a different direction or they aren't following Christ in the first place. Stop being a naysayer and stop being a gossiper and stop threatening. LET IT GO! You are ripping apart the bride of Christ and it pains God to see that happen. It's like watching a family destroy itself.

We have to trust that the leaders of every "part" of Christ's church are doing as they feel God has led them. It doesn't take committees to run a church. It takes people after God's own heart. It doesn't take votes to run a church, it takes the vote of one person: Christ and that's it. Done. Over. Finished. If something is biblically wrong with a church, (i.e. the pastor preaches that it's okay to live together and not be married because marriage is a heart commitment), by all means speak out, and loud. But just because a leader decides to move the church, or change the wall color, or decides on a certain message series that we don't agree with, it's time to search ourselves for the real reasons why we follow Christ. Is it for us or for Him? And for those who want to question the motives of those who might decide to leave, search yourselves too..........and hard.

When we focus on the wrong things, we take our focus off the real things: if you can't figure out what the real things are, you are not following after Christ. And I ask that you search your soul deeply.

Please do not respond or comment on this entry. Just think about it.

Something like Jesus in the Temple right now,
Jesus Freak Out!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

True Love (this will test your soul)

I will do this for me, but now, insert your name and do it for you:

"[Jeremiah] is patient and kind; [Jeremiah] does not envy or boast; [Jeremiah] is not arrogant or rude. [Jeremiah] does not insist on [his] own way; [Jeremiah] is not irritable or resentful; [Jeremiah] does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. [Jeremiah] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 13 ESV

Thank you F. Chan for making me do this. Now it's your turn. So what is your perspective on how you love now? I hope your heart will be changed forever as mine has.

Learning to truly love again,
Jesus Freak Out!

After thought:
Love is a mirror. How you love reflects how you live.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

My Journey's Beginning

Recently, I have been meeting with a group of guys one morning a week to just study God's word and talk about the role we play as men in our families, marriages, relationships, churches, careers, etc. One of our take-aways this week was to write down our story. So I have decided to write mine down for everyone to read. This is where my journey with Christ began.

First off, I was raised Roman Catholic. I went to the private school at our church from kindergarten through 8th grade. I was an alter boy from the 3rd grade and I was a member of our high school youth group. I did everything I was supposed to do. I didn't drink, I didn't smoke, I tried to do everything I was supposed to in order to be known as a "good person." But there was always something missing.

I went off to college and embarked on sewing my wild oats. Thank God none of them took root anywhere. I found the woman of my dreams about 6 months before graduation in June of 2000. By August, I was on my way to Arizona to start my career in the US Air Force. In January of 2002, I married that same woman of my dreams and 7 months later, our lives were changed. With family 1800 miles away, I left my wife in Tucson while I went on deployment to Kuwait and Afghanistan. At the time I left, I was happy to leave. We were having trouble as a newlywed couple and the time away was going to be good. I never knew how good for us it would be.

I started my deployment in Kuwait in September of 2002, but in October, I was forward deployed to an air base in Afghanistan. After about 4 weeks of deployment, I began to miss home. I began to realize what I had left behind. I began to long for something more in my life than my work. I had taken a small library of books along with me when I left. Among those books was a devotional by Oswald Chambers titled "My Utmost for His Highest." A friend of mine had given it to me before I graduated 2 years earlier. I had never picked it up until that time.

I started reading it every night before I drifted off to sleep in my single bed next to the hand made wooden bookcase that served as my home away from home. I went to sleep with the roar of jet engines, the occasional attack alarm sound, explosions in the background, and my thoughts of life without my wife and Christ. During this time, my beautiful wife also sent me Gary Chapman's "The Five Love Languages." I began reading that as well and I realized what I had left behind. I realized what was missing in my life besides my wife. One night, I found my way to Christ.

After so many years of playing the part and thinking that I was a "good person," I finally found the greatest gift available: God's amazing grace. And thus began my journey with Christ. My life has never been the same since.

From the beginning,
Jesus Freak Out!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Ten Things to Remember When Reading the Bible

1) Do not put into the Word what is not there
2) Let the Spirit speak to your heart and soul
3) When reading, cast aside preconceived notions of what you think it says
4) Read for quality, not quantity
5) Read both Testaments because it's all relevant
6) If you're gonna do the 1 Year Bible, take the time to do it (see #4)
7) It's not a novel, or story book, or history book; it's way more than that
8) Blessed are those who can read the Bible; some people in the world are killed b/c they own a copy
9) Take notes b/c we all forget
10) Pass the Word along..........

Focusing my mind on the Word,
Jesus Freak Out!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

This is going to hurt

I have been reading this book called Crazy Love by Francis Chan. A friend of mine's wife, along with one of our bassists and his wife, recommended the book (thank you April, Ashley and Justin). Reading the chapter that is titled the same as the book, I have come across some seriously "in your face" comments that are making me rethink my relationship with God and others. I just want to hit you with a couple of quotes from it, and my short commentary.

In this chapter, Chan talks about our warped sense of love for God. How twisted most of us have it. Here is what rocked me to the core:

"Jesus doesn't have to love us." (I'm sorry, did I read that right?)

"God treasures us." (I retract my previous question and will take my foot with ketchup please.)

"The irony is that while God doesn't need us but still wants us, we desperately need God but don't really want Him most of the time." (If anyone says this is not true for them, they are lying!)

"God doesn't force us to love Him: it's our choice." (My choices are not always the greatest, are yours?)

"Are we in love with God or just His stuff?" (Steel-toed boot right in the junk!)

Think about it.

Seriously addressing my love for God and holding my stomach,
Jesus Freak Out!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hot as Hell

I realized something today as I worked a friend's landscaping at 3 o'clock in the afternoon: it was hot as hell out there! I feel that hell will be something like Florida on a summer afternoon at about 3 p.m. It may sound cliched, but it really was hot as hell. Water did almost nothing for me today.

Talk about motivation, spend a day out there working without AC and see what you think. This gives me a little more motivation to ensure people who don't know Christ are introduced to His saving grace. Step outside some afternoon and then think about what hell is going to be like. It may just make you think twice. Just a thought...........

Sweating profusely,
Jesus Freak Out!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Peace of Mind

I was sitting on my couch today watching God's beautiful gift of my son, Nathaniel (better known as Nater Tater) sleep in my arms. It has been 4 years since my wife and I had a child this small and precious. I had forgotten what it was like to see and have peace in my life. During that instant today, I was at peace watching my newborn son sleep, at peace. I had to call my 4-year old over and just hold the both of them. I looked at Ethan, hugged him and just told him I loved him. I found peace today.

I started looking through all of Paul's letters this evening and found that except for three of them, he greeted his recipients with something close to this from Romans 1:7: "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ." Paul always wished for Christ's peace upon those he love and ministered. No matter the audience or the reason for his writing the letter, Paul always prayed for and wanted the best for people. That's exactly what Christ wants for us........His grace and peace.

We must seek His grace and we must lead others into that grace. Granted, we can't give that to them, but we can show them that grace through our actions. We can be that example for what it is to be in relationship with Christ, to be in His grace, to have His peace. Peace comes through Christ. Peace comes when we let ourselves go and we look toward Him.

I saw the peace of Christ today and I want more. But it's up to me to allow that peace into my life. What does that look like? What situations do we need to walk away from that are causing turmoil in our lives? What things in life are we holding onto that God is asking us to give to Him or let go of?

Peace of mind. It's the new "life" meat.

Ordering a peace of mind,
Jesus Freak Out!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Praise be to God in the Highest!

This IS one of the happiest days of my life. God has sent my wife and I one of the most beautiful gifts in the world: another son. I went into this morning with apprehension but I turned it all over to God like I blogged last night. And it turned out that everything has been wonderful. He is so precious, so beautiful, and so sweet. He is one of God's greatest creations. Okay, so I'm a little biased. (Blogger won't post the pic for some reason)

Here is my prayer:

Most awesome and powerful Father, thank you. Thank you for who you are. Thank you for what you have done, what you do, and what you are going to do. You are the great I Am. My prayer right now for Leah and I, and for all parents, is that you will give us the strength and courage to lead and raise your wonderful creations in the image that is your Holy Son. In the image that is a reflection of your awesome love, your unconditional love, and that we will teach them through your Spirit what it is to follow Christ and spread the gospel. You are an amazing and wonderful God, and we thank you with all that we have.

In the holy and awe-inspiring name of Christ our Lord,


Jesus Freak not-freaking Out!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

"The only thing we have to fear is........."

.........the unknown right? Sorry Jack (or should I say Jeremiah).Whoever says they don't, or never have, feared the unknown is lying. I tend to take things to the extreme and what pains me is that this pains Christ. I know that He looks down on me and shakes his head asking why. This has been the hardest thing for me to do. Let go of my fears, let go of my stress, and tell myself that God has the helm, I'm just a deckhand (sorry, Deadliest Catch is one of my favorite shows).

This last week has been a test of my will and a test of my ability to hand the unknown over to the only one who can chart my course for me. I have been successful (I think) on some days, but failed miserably on others. I have new job that is truly a Godsend. And, tomorrow is the true test of my will to allow God to have the controls. Tomorrow, our second son will come into this world. So what is going through my mind right now? Well, how can I be a good father to a second son when I feel like I have failed the first? It's easy Jeremiah: give it to God. Get over yourself and your dillusion of control. My dillusion has lead to fear. And my fear has driven me for too long.

If we look back in the Book of Exodus, when Moses and the Israelites saw Pharoah and the Egyptians bearing down on them in the desert, Moses had confidence in God's control of the situation. The Israelites did not. They feared what they did not know and that drove them to doubt and fear.

"(14:11)......What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? (12) Didn't we say to you in Egypt, 'Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians?' It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!"

So where are you fearing the unknown and not trusting God? I'm gonna try something new, fearlessness. I'll let you know how it goes.

".....fear itself,"
Jesus Freak Out!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"What we've got here is failure to communicate....."

(Title is taken from a sound bite at the beginning of Guns 'n Roses "Civil War")

How many of us have ever taken the easy way out and sent an e-mail instead of picking up the phone or just going and visiting someone? I know I have. It's the fast paced world that we live in where we have so much to do and so little time, we just feel we have done our duty by sending an e-mail, or a quick text message. We feel as though we have met the need of someone in quick, 120 character snipits. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our connected world is making us more and more disconnected.

Let's look back in time about 30 years. Rotary phones were still in and touch tone phones were just coming of age. The first "cellular" or "car" phones were being made and cost an arm and a leg to buy. How did we communicate back then? I can remember picking up the phone and actually talking with someone on the other line or getting the annoying busy signal and trying back later. Or, I just hopped on my bike and road over to their house.

Think about John and the the first century A.D. They obviously didn't have phones and tin cans were still years down the road. Pen and paper were the only means of communication over distances, besides actually visiting. Communication has become a lost art, contrary to what we might think.

I was reading through 2 John the night before last with a friend and 3 John tonight and it hit me. He concluded both letters the same way: "I had much to write to you, but I would rather not write with pen and ink. I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face" (3 John 13-14). Talk face to face? What an idea. Imagine what we can accomplish with new believers and non-believers when we invest time in talking face to face, or at least voice to voice, instead of fingertip to fingertip. I was guilty of the fingertip dance tonight as a matter of fact.

Guilty of communication failure,
Jesus Freak Out!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What do you want me to do?

God's will. At some point in our lives, we have all asked God the question, what is your wil for me? Well, maybe more than one point in our lives. At least I know I have asked that question way more than once. But what is God's will for each of our lives? What do we ask of Him? We don't have to read any further than 1 John 5:14:

"And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us." (ESV)

The key point here is "according to his will." Again I ask, what is His will? For one thing, obedience (I'm preaching to myself here as well). One of the hardest things to do is put ourselves aside and listen to what it is that God wants us to do, whether that's picking up shop and moving to another state, or simply talking to the nice lady in line in front of us. Another thing is having faith. That can be difficult during the hard times we face in life. Lastly, belief in Christ as our Savior. To me, it's that simple.

Simplifying my faith,
Jesus Freak Out!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Patience is a Virtue

So I have asked God for patience for a while now.

Here is my piece of advice for all Christ followers: Never ask God for patience because I am convinced that He will be more than happy to oblige you. It's the quickest prayer you'll ever feel answered and the longest answer He will ever give you.

My new prayer: God, please help me to be impatient.............with myself.

With elevator music playing in my head,
Jesus Freak Out!

Saturday, April 11, 2009


He is Risen! This day is an awesome day. This is the day of all days in history. This is our day of celebration! We celebrate the greatest, it's not a miracle, it's God........we celebrate the best thing that ever happened to mankind and all of God's creation. This is the day that Jesus Christ came back to life. This is the fulfillment of such an amazing and providencial plan, there is just no way any man can deny the Truth of the resurrection. On this day, we celebrate our salvation!

The gospels talk about Jesus and the many people he appeared to this awesome day. He appeared to the women at His empty tomb (John 20:11-18), He appeared to His disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35), He appeared to the disciples in their hiding place (Mark 16:14), and He appeared in many other places.

We cannot hide from the fact anymore, that Jesus came to this earth, died for our sins, and rose on the day after the Sabbath to fulfill the ultimate promise: taking on the burden of sin so that we might live again with Him! I am so excited, I can barely put into words what our Savior has done for us. I hope and pray for each of you this day as we celebrate this awesome gift. I pray for your devotion, perserverance, humility, and love for what Jesus mandated us to do: "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation (Mark 16:15 ESV)......that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name (Luke 24:47 ESV).......Feed my sheep...follow me (John 21:17,19 ESV).........and baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19 ESV).

It's time to go and do. The harvest is ripe and we must tend to the fields. God bless you on this wonderful and joyous day!

Singing His Praises,
Jesus Freak Out!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Joy in His Pain

A while back I talked about how we as Christ followers take so much joy in the fact that Christ suffered on the cross for our sins. Remember that this is not a joy in knowing that Christ suffered, but a joy and comfort in knowing that He sacrificed Himself for the sake of all of us lowdown, no good sinners.

Today we remember that day over 2,000 years ago, when God sent His son Jesus Christ as the sacrificial lamb and blood offering for our sins. I suggest reading the small book by Lee Strobel titled "The Case for Easter." Within these pages, Lee outlines the true medical facts of crucifixion's brutality, and medical experts explain in excruciating detail, the agony that is the ultimate form of capital punishment. If you have seen Mel Gibson's "The Passion," it doesn't do justice to what really went on that day. I love that movie in its accurate portrayal of events and its authenticity, but it still cannot convey the tastes, smells, atmosphere, or emotions that someone may feel when witnessing such a gruesome sentence.

When we look into the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, we consistantly see the pattern of injustices and pain that Christ had to endure to follow through on His and the Father's promise to become the final offering for the sin of the world. As we reflect on the events of this day, let's look at the meaning of today and what really happened. Read each of the accounts of His death when you get the chance and reflect on what was really occuring. Then ask this question: why is this day called Good Friday?

Pondering the obvious questions,
Jesus Freak Out!

Celebration Meal

So our church just finished the Daniel Fast after 21 days. I was on the mostly raw/cooked veggie diet for the whole time, with a couple of days mixed in where I ate within the guidelines of our churches commitment (no meat, no sweets, and no dairy). So last night at midnight, myself and two other gentlemen from our men's group went out to Village Inn for the best meal of the day, breakfast.

Oh what a treat to douse my palate with sweet tea first. Then came the ham and cheese omlette (loaded with extra cheese, could have used a little more ham) and the scattered hash browns topped with a little ketchup and some Tabasco sauce to spice things up a bit. I finished that course of my meal off with three buttermilk pancakes (they were nothing compared to IHOP's though). Then it hit me. I was sitting there and the dessert menu began calling to me. I couldn't resist. Village Inn makes some of the best pies around so I had to order up a slice of French Silk. Lord, I am putting in my request right now. I hope the chef in heaven knows how to make French Silk pie because that will be all that I will eat when I get there!

Hallelujah what a meal. The fast was an awesome experience and something that I will duplicate in the future. Praise our awesome and wonderous Creator for what He is going to do this weekend in churches all around the country. May this be the year that Christ comes home to America and resides in our hearts. My prayer is for all those who do not know Christ, that when they attend church this weekend, and there will be many, that they will answer the knock at the door to their hearts.

Praying for the souls of America and the World,
Jesus Freak Out!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Last Meal Request

I was watching a show the other day about a murderer on death row who claimed his innnocence until the day he was executed. On the night of his execution, his last meal request was pizza and soda. Respectable request. I, on the other hand, would have preferred a nice 20oz ribeye steak, medium rare, with a fully loaded baked potatoe, fresh steamed broccolli doused in butter, and a hot fudge sundae to top it all off. The symbolic American steak meal, at least in my eyes. The death row inmate chose a more symbolic meal in terms of simplicity and commonality. Again, in my opinion. But there was one last meal request that rocked the world because of its simplicity, its audacity, and most of all, its symbology: Christ's Last Supper.

When we read Matthew chapter 26, or Mark chapter 14, or Luke chapter 22, we read about Jesus sitting down to his last meal with his disciples. It was the simplist of all meals, both for that time and ours: bread and wine. But the sheer magnitude of its symbolic nature outweighs that of any other last meal on earth. During this meal, Jesus was not just eating with His favored guests right before he was to be crucified. He sending the world a message to be passed from generation to generation. That message was to be our new covenant with Christ when we meet Him again. The bread, representing the body, broken and handed over to us all. The wine, just as red, just as staining as human blood, representing what was to be poured out in sacrifice for the whole world the next day. Jesus was not just eating: Jesus was portraying the sacrifice of His body and blood so that we could memorialize that gift and remember His gift for all ages until we meet Him again.

There is no other final meal in history with such a sucker punch of symbolism. God has asked us to remember Him in a way we can all understand. As we remember this day when Christ ate his last meal, let us remember what it means to us, because come Friday, Good Friday, we will remember what he did for us in the flesh so that we all could live. Just as this is called Passion week, let all of us carry that passion around like a badge of honor; honor for the God we serve and the people we serve. Let's honor Him by remembering the broken and bloodied sacrifice for our sin and the world's sin. And let's not make Good Friday and Easter a holiday we remember once a year.

Remembering the meal,
Jesus Freak Out!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Beauty of Creation...........from 24,000 Feet

The other day I had the distinct honor of helping a gentlemen fly his new aircraft out to Bend, OR for some repairs. It was literally a cross country flight and I can tell you that I have not stopped talking about it since I got back. It was an 11 hour flight with 2 stops in between. I must say, I was privileged to see some of the most beautiful scenery this country has to offer..........from an altitude of 24,000 feet! This flight really made me reflect on Genesis and what our wonderful Creator really sculpted out for His people.

"God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that is was GOOD" (ESV Gen 1:10).

I had plenty of time to marvel at what things God created. We flew directly over the Grand Canyon, Meteor Crater, the Rocky Mountains, the Gulf of Mexico, the plains of Texas, and the Cascade Mountains. Throughout this entire flight, I was able to marvel at what God had made for us and how small I really was. What really amazed me was that in all of this, he decided to create a little nobody like me. But what's even more brain teasing is that he knew who I was from the dawn of time. He knew I would come into this world. It blows my mind.

What does this have to do with bringing people to Christ? So much. People don't realize that God, from the dawn of the ages, knew who was going to be born and when, who was going to die and the precise moment in which their last breath would come. He knew the precise timing of their heartbeat and circadian rhythm of their sleep pattern. He knew it all. He orchestrated it all. He CREATED it all. We must let people know how much God loves them and how much He really knows about them, whether they want to believe it or not.

In awe of His power,
Jesus Freak Out!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I Just Want to Talk..........

It's been a little while since I last posted. Life is not a good excuse so I will not try and make on up. God should be foremost and He is the reason I started this whole blog. So I must rededicate my efforts to keep this going as strong as it ever was before, if not stronger. So now, I just want to talk for a minute about action.

What is the definition of the word action? It can mean one thing to me, yet another to someone else. It all comes down to context. When it comes to Christ, action is way more than most of us can fathom. It's a change of attitude and a change of heart for doing as Christ has instructed and as He has moved us to. Lately, I have tried to explain away my IN-action as life getting in the way. It's been more like me getting in the way. Don't get me wrong, life can drain us of our drive to take action for anything, let alone Christ. But Christ should be the whole reason that we take action in all that we do.

Look at all the examples we have in Scripture for those who decided not to let life take away their ability to act for Christ: Peter, Paul, Moses, David, and I could go on and on. We must look at their example and model our lives after their strong will and love for the God.

As I go about the next 15 days in fasting and prayer, looking forward to celebrating the awesome day when we remember the priceless gift Jesus gave to us on the cross, I am going to work harder than ever and kick myself into action.

Jump starting myself,
Jesus Freak Out!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Purple People Pleaser

For as long as I can remember, I have been enveloped by a cloud that follows me like the little rain clouds that follow cartoon characters. This is not one of those torrential downpour type rain clouds. This is just one of those London, dreary day clouds that pours on some days, drizzles on others, yet on others, just keeps a shadow over my life. I have fought myself and fought the humiliation of others, only to find recently that I was truly disobeying what God commands.

"(5)Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, (6) not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, (7) rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man........" (ESV, Eph. 6:5-7).

The Son is peaking through my cloud a little more each day that I read Paul's words. But what is Christ really saying through Paul's letter to the church at Ephesus? He is not saying that we run around and do everything that we are told like robots on an assembly line. But we must respect our authority figures, respect and adhere to the commands of those appointed as our leaders and "masters." We must work in a way that is not only evident when our earthly "bosses" are looking, but those same "bosses" are not looking and when God always is. Our service to others here on earth is in direct correlation to our service to God. What I am saying is that they are interrelated. Serving those in authority is "doing the will of God from the heart."

We may not always agree with decisions that are made and we may not always agree with the ethics of those appointed over us, but when we live out our own integrity through Christ and for Christ, we begin to lift the basket off the lamp of our Christ following lives and show this world who He really is.

In 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 (ESV), Paul also talks about making it our "(11) ambition to follow a quiet life, to mind [our] own business........(12) so that our daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that [we] will not be dependent on anybody." This does not mean that we become an ostrich and stick out heads in the sand when adversity comes along. This means that we do not make unnecessary waves through disrespect and animosity. We "win the respect of outsiders" by exemplifying Christ through our work ethic in everything that we do. I for one must be someone who stops looking for kudos from the world and starts looking for kudos from the One.

It now makes me uncomfortable when I get praise for playing the drums well during the worship service or when I get an attaboy for working hard to serve. It's not about me anymore, it's about Him. I serve for only one: Jesus Christ. We must also commit to serving our "bosses" just as if we were serving Jesus Christ himself, whether we agree with who they are or not. Warning though: don't compromise your integrity, values, or beliefs just to serve an authority figure.

Serving the One now more than ever,
Jesus Freak Out!

Monday, March 2, 2009


Energy comes in all shapes and sizes. 55 gallon drums of oil from beneath the ground, a 16 ounce can of sugar and taurine flavored like coffee, a little black rock from the hills of West Virginia, the raw power of carbohydrates. All of these things are sources of energy for us as humans and the world as a whole. But where does our energy for life come from? I'm not talking about the food we eat or the workouts we do. I'm talking about our spiritual lives.

"In your steadfast love give me life, that I may keep the testimonies of your mouth" (Ps 119:88).

The energy drink for our spirit comes from no where else than the very love that God bestows upon us because we are His. His "steadfast love" is what fuels our spirit and should drive our lives everyday. When this happens, when we truly believe and God looks upon us like a loving Father, our life becomes energetic and alive. When we nurture that love by relying on Him and devoting our lives to the work of His kingdom, then we can keep "the testimonies of [His] mouth" because we want to and we love to. We live out Christ in our lives because we are pumped up for Him. And then the world's eyes will open..................

Cracking open a can,
Jesus Freak Out!

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Tailor

Did you know that God is the tailor of our lives? He formed us perfectly in the womb of our mothers and knew from the dawn of eternity the day that we would come into this world. God had His hands in it all. I sat down with my friend David tonight and I have been shaken to my very core about what the Creator has done to make me who I am.

In Psalm 139, David is praising God for what he has done in creating the man he is. "For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb" (vs. 13). Imagine what it takes for a tailor to sew what amounts to a masterpiece in fine thread. It take hours of hard work, constant measuring, precise cutting, painstaking threading of every seam. Now imagine what it took for God to create you from 2 cells into who you are today.

God painstakingly "knitted" every cell, every system, every organ, every thought, every experience, every person into the fabic of what is now our life. He created everything that is us from the day he dreamt of us so long ago. We are his unique masterpiece, signed and authenticated as a creation of the most artistic, the most inspired Creator of all time. We are created for Him to do His work.

So I ask this question: How would you handle a piece of precious artwork that could never be duplicated by it's creator again, because he died doing what he loved? That is how God looks upon each and every person on this earth. They are His creation. They are His artwork. They are His. If only we could look at others as God's creation and not the discarded practice work of our awesome and wonderful God.

Viewing the artwork of God,
Jesus Freak Out!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Funny Jesus Videos

I am going to leave you to your own thoughts on these, but I find them enlightening and downright hilarious.

Funny Jesus 1

Funny Jesus 2

Jesus Freak Out!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Check this out!

This is one of the coolest things I have seen in a long time. Give it a minute and you will see what this really means.

The Truth Spelled Out in Contradiction

Jesus Freak Out!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Pass the Grace, Please

Lately I have been learning a great deal about the grace and mercy that God bestowed upon us when he died on the cross. As long as we would simply claim aloud that Jesus Christ is our Savior, it's the free-est gift in the world (I know, free-est is not a word but it works here). There is no other gift in existance here on earth, or anywhere else for that matter, that comes with no strings attached and a love so unconditional.

In 2 Corinthians chapter 8, Paul goes into the reasons that he sent Titus back to the Corinthians with this second letter. It was to complete an act of grace that Paul had been wishing for some time. "So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part." Paul sent Titus back to show the Corinthians that no matter what, he was gracious towards them and that he loved them unconditionally. God has bestowed His grace upon those who will BELIEVE AND FOLLOW Him. Note, that doesn't only say believe.

Now, for those of us who have accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior, and for those who have committed our lives to following Him, we have one other thing to do with that grace: Pass it on to others! God's grace does not stop with that which he gave through our Savior Jesus Christ. It STARTS there! Now it's our job to extend that grace beyond as a testament to the grace God has bestowed upon us. Did Jesus turn His back on the prostitute, or the blind man, or for that matter the Pharisees? No. His grace extended to all who would receive it. But, for others to receive it, it must be given. So, as Christ followers, we must be willing to extend the grace of God to those who are hurting, to those who are in the ditches of life, to those who are misguided by this culture. Who are we to hoard a gift when someone else could use the same gift. Share it, and share it generously.

Working to pass it on,
Jesus Freak Out!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Who's #1?

Throughout my journey as a Christ follower, I have had many people ask why I believe the things that I do: Do you really believe that Jesus was a real person? Do you really believe that the Bible is fact and not a collection of fiction writings by men bent on controlling others? Do you really believe what the Bible says and that it doesn't teach fear? Do you believe ALL of the Bible or just some?

"Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith" (Rom 1:5 NIV).

It's hard for someone who relies only on themselves to have faith in anything but them. This world teaches total reliance on #1. But in the life of a Christ follower, #1 changes its face. That face now turns from a broken down wreck of a person who could do nothing, as hard as they might try or think they are doing it right, into the image of one who laid his life out for the sins of the world and died on a slab of wood. #1 turns into the face of Jesus Christ. Our life now depends on the faith we have that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, not on the faith we have in ourselves.

Many so-called Christ followers struggle with this everyday. Faith must shift from our own abilities to His abilities. It must shift from the things that we can do to the things that HE can do.
So how do we get it through their thick skulls about our faith? We might as well bang our heads against a wall if we think that we have anything to do with it. We are just the planter, not the seed or the water. Jesus Christ has everything to do with it, not us.

Judge our own faith first, before we judge that of someone else.

Heart Searching,
Jesus Freak Out!

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Shoulder

I was talking with my wife last night about what a dork I was in high school. I was (or should I say still am) the geek who befriended all the girls, yet never dated a single one of them. I was always the one they would turn to with their relationship problems because obviously I was not a threat or someone they thought they could ever date. I became the wet shoulder. I became adept at listening and not solving the problems for them, just suggesting. I also got myself deeper into some problems than I should have and probably made the situation worse over better.

Fast forward about 14 years and now we are in today. I got a bizarre call last night from someone I have only met once. I am not going to go through the circumstances of who and what and where, but let's just say the people involved are a young married couple facing some tough challenges that are not insurmountable, yet worse than anything I have had to deal with or understand from the first person. I was the one that both basically turned to, including one of their parents.

Over my years of being the shoulder, I have learned some hard truths about being a listener: don't put yourself into the situation-it's not yours to fix; and don't get emotionally attached-you will end up the bad guy some how, some way.

The simplest scripture I have is this: "Do to others as you would have them do to you." (Luke 6:31 NIV). In other words, would I want someone walking up to me and asking me intimate details about a life problem if I did not already entrust them with a certain level of intimacy or privacy? There are men that I would trust to come up to me and challenge me with the hard questions and we should all have these people in our lives, but there are other men whom I would not. It's finding those key people in your life and being that person in someone else's life that makes the difference. Lastly, remember to temper all advice with the wisdom of God's word, and not that of this culture.

Drying my shirt and praying for someone's salvation,
Jesus Freak Out!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Budweiser Clydesdales

Imagine watching the Super Bowl commercials coming up this weekend. There on your HD TV (of course I still have a tube jobby), you see the beautiful Clydesdale horses toting the Budweiser wagon across your screen. Just as the last row of horses comes into view, their's a jackass (no, not Johnny Knoxville) tied to the last harness. That would look kind of odd wouldn't it? It just doesn't fit together.

"Do not be yoked together with unbelievers........." (2Cor 6:14)

What does yoked mean? Well, think back to the days when people used oxen as their trucks. They had to yoke multiple oxen together to get the goods where they needed to go. They needed a team that worked off the same principles and towards the same goal.

Some people see this verse and go, "So I can divorce my wife now who doesn't know Christ and marry that good looking women I have been talking to at church?" WRONG.

Still others see this verse and go,"So this means that I have to dump all my friends who do not know Christ because I am now at a higher level spiritually than they are?" WRONG again.

God was not talking about the unbelievers in our lives with respect to who we socialize with. Those people still need us. God was referring to those whom we choose to minister with. Do you think that it makes sense to start spreading the Truth to teenagers with someone who believes that oral sex is not sex because it is not specifically quoted in the Bible? Do you think that it makes sense to try and minister to a divorced man with another man who thinks that it's okay to divorce because sometimes people just don't get along? That's crazy. It doesn't make sense. This verse goes on saying:

"For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?" Now that right there makes some sense. These things don't go together. I'm not saying that we get it right all the time and there won't be disagreements among us. But, we must not compromise what we know to be true just to stay on someones good side in the church. We're not doing God any favors.

Cinching up my harness for Christ,
Jesus Freak Out!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Moved by the Spirit

I have a story to tell about how the Spirit moved me the other day. This feels like one of those stories you only see in your e-mail, but I must say that I never felt this moved by God before in my life. It's a little long, but bear with me. There is no great climactic scene of someone coming to Christ, just a cool story about what it's like to really do as God has moved us. By the way, thanks to BH for letting me know this was a bigger deal than I really thought it was:

It was this past Sunday and the unpacked boxes from our move were starting to annoy me in the garage. So I decided it was time to get rid of them, as well as some of the Goodwill stuff I had been meaning to deliver for about 2 weeks. As I was breaking down the boxes to put in my truck, I was still debating whether or not I should wait and take them to the closer trash dump on the next major street over when they opened Monday morning, or just take them over to my old Dunedin stomping grounds. My wife looked at me and asked me what I was going to do and I had to think for a minute. And another minute went by as I started thinking of other things I could do with my time instead of driving all over Pinellas and Hillsborough counties for 2 hours. Then our awesome God laid something on my heart: go to Dunedin because there is someone I want you to talk to at the recycle place. So I did, not thinking that anything would really happen.

I got the truck packed up, tucked Ethan into his car seat, and headed to Goodwill and then on to Dunedin. It was cool to see the old hometown. We pulled into the dirt lot where the recycle bins were and started to put all the stuff into its respective bins. As I was putting some of the newspaper into the dumpster, I noticed an older gentlemen thumbing through the old papers looking for articles of interest. I had 2 office paper boxes full of old magazines so I proceeded to ask if he wanted to thumb through them and take what he wanted. He obliged and we walked over to the bed of my truck. He wasn't interested in most of them because of their aviation nature, but he took the TIME magazines. As I took the rest of them over the proper bin, the old man offered to help me with the boxes and we struck up a conversation. He told me how he was from upstate New York and about the old dairy farm that was turned into an airport near his childhood home. We exchanged pleasantries over jobs, and background, interests and family. I thanked the man for his help and went about my task fo buckling my hyperactive son back into his car seat.

Just when I finished this task, I told Ethan to hold on for a second. I had to go over and talk with the nice man for just one more second. God was still pushing. I wasn't done with Steve yet. I grabbed one of the invite cards to our church out of my wallet and walked over to the man again. I asked he had a church and he said he did not. I asked if he was married and he said that he was not. I told him about our church a little and that we would love to have him join us this weekend. He knew the area where it was and seemed to be pretty receptive to coming on over. What's more important, he seemed very happy to talk with someone. I felt content with myself: the operative word being MYSELF.

Then I started driving. About ten minutes down the road to see the grandparents, I realized something: God pushed me to do something earlier didn't he. Wait a minute, he laid it on my heart that someone was there to talk with me and I didn't even realize it was happening, I just followed as I was lead! Whoa. This doesn't happen to me. I "follow" God all the time and he doesn't necessarily listen. Or is it the fact that I am following my own inhibitions and God is waiting on me to do what he wants, not what I want?

What happened on Sunday shook me up and made me start REALLY "listening" for the Spirit. What about you?

Turning up my spiritual hearing aid,
Jesus Freak Out!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Earliest Known Ultrasound

I didn't really send out a message on Christmas day, and as usual in my life, I am a little slow to get things rolling. But I am working on that and it is also a post for another day. But yesterday, actually this morning, I started thinking about the day Jesus was born and the time leading up to that in Mary's and Joseph's lives.

It must have been hard, trying to keep the pregnancy quiet since conception happened outside of wedlock (bad juju, especially in those days when they would have most likely stoned her to death). But I realized something this morning, after contemplating the amazing things I was privileged to see with our technology today. I was able to see and know that my wife and I will be having another son. Mary was afforded the same privilege by God: she knew she was going to have a son and that he would be the greatest man to ever walk this earth. He would be the Son of God. Until modern technology, no family about to have a new child ever knew what sex the child would be before it was born, except Mary and Joseph. Isn't that awesome?

I wish I could have been living in the time of Mary and Joseph, to watch the birth of Jesus. But I ask myself sometimes, without the honor of knowing what the Bible says now, would I have believed that Jesus was the Messiah? Would I have become a follower of His teachings without seeing the miracles he performed? It's the same for our time, only we have the Truth in written form for us to look at, and yet it takes faith to believe what it says. Do we believe wholeheartedly or just the portions that fit our lifestyle and "beliefs"? Think about it. I have been.

Reforming my presuppositions,
Jesus Freak Out!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Guts to Do

Yesterday was a historic day for this country. The first African American president was sworn into the highest office of this country. But what's even more amazing is the publicity that Pastor Rick Warren's prayer received all because he invoked the name of Jesus at the end of his prayer and actually recited the prayer that Jesus Christ taught his disciples to pray. In the face of great political pressure, this man after God's heart followed Jesus' example over doing what was politically correct. Do we have that audacity for Christ?

So what was Rick Warren saying to all of us Christians when he stood up in front of the whole country and told them who the name of the one and only God was? It's right there for us in the book of Matthew: "Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven" (10:32). Rick Warren was not afraid to tell this nation that Jesus Christ is our Savior. Are we? It's that simple.

Shifting gears,
Jesus Freak Out!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I'll Kill You, Daddy!

Tonight was an interesting night in our household for one reason or another. But something my little three year old son said to me really got my blood boiling and my heart breaking. Tonight I was on the receiving end of the words I just used in the title of this post from my own son.........and it scared me as a father. As well as a Christ follower. Now he had no idea what he was saying, he was just repeating what he heard at day care. But it still scared me and pierced straight to the core of my heart.

Sometimes we joke about these words with friends. Other times we may think about them momentarily in the deep dark recesses of our concious thoughts and then brush them away as easily as we do the dust from a shelf. Tonight, though, I think I caught a brief glimpse of what Christ experienced the night before and the day of his crucifixion. In no way am I implying that I could remotely feel what Christ went through becoming sin for us and dying on that hunk of wood. But for that brief second tonight, it gave me a teeny tiny glimpse of that feeling.

Think about this, though. When we take Christ out of all that we do, in essence we are saying to Him, "I'll kill you!" I'll kill you from my everyday life. I'll kill you from my family life. I'll kill you off from how I make my decisions. I'll kill you off from where I am going to take my life. I'll kill you off from every moment of my life except for my 1 hour on Sundays, and maybe 20 minutes a day during the week when I am asking for what I want and not what You want. I'll kill you again Jesus because of my own disobedience.

Will we keep on killing Jesus from every aspect of our lives and tell Him that He died in vain for us? We might as well go back 2000 years to the day of his crucifixion and just be one of the other Jews spitting and tormenting Him as he bears our sin and we yell, "I'll kill you!"

Jesus Freak Out!

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Bible Thumper

The other day at work I was talking with one of my managers and during our conversation, he called me a bible thumper. I hadn't even quoted a single Scripture to him yet. Let me tell you, I was a little less than happy because the first thing that comes to my mind is the folks I used to see on the campus concourse while I was at Auburn. We all know who they are, the ones at pro football games and other sports events who hold up the signs that say repent because the world is coming to and end and hurl insults at the people passing by. At Auburn, they were even worse. A fellow cadet from the ROTC detachment was walking by one of these "thumpers" in his uniform one day, when they looked right at him and called him a baby killer. When I heard that it, it about sent me through the roof. Now I wasn't a Christ follower then, although I liked to call myself one, but this was going too far and for a long time, I never wanted my name associated with Christ because of the negative connotation it brought along with it.

My story on following Christ has changed quite a bit from 10 years ago and so has my outlook on how we should share Him with others. In Luke chapter 10, Jesus sends the 72 disciples out across Israel to all the towns and villages. He gave them explicit instructions on how they were to conduct themselves and how they were to treat those they met. In verse 5, he gives straightforward answers on how we are to introduce the Truth to non-believers: "When you enter a house, first say, 'Peace to this house.'" Peace is what God intends, and that is where we are to start.

Jesus was not just talking about the 72 disciples. He was referring to all of us who are commanded to go out and teach the Truth. When we walk up to someone, anyone, and start pointing the finger and rambling off bible verses as if we were Christ incarnate, we alienate, belittle, and put ourselves on a pedestal. We are no better than the person standing next to us. The only difference between us and them is that our eyes have been opened and our hearts have been captured by the amazing and powerful God of this universe. That's it. Plain and simple.

Peace to this heart is what we should be praying as we approach a soul who is in desperate need of the one who sent His Son to this earth to die for the sins of the world. What an honor to be working for such a great God. What an honor to be working for the one who gave me so much and expects so little in comparison to His gift. What an honor to take up my teeny, tiny, itsy-bitsy little cross for Him daily, and follow His word and Spirit. It brings me to my knees, literally.

"Peace to [your] house,"
Jesus Freak Out!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A New Perspective

Monday I met with a friend of mine from church who is just about to finish up his degree at Trinity University. Well, through him, God has really rocked me to the core once again and showed me just how humble I need to be. That night, he showed me a new way to read the Bible that takes an intense look into the living Word of God. And I do mean LIVING!

I found meaning in verses I never thought was there. And when I read them again, I found new meaning that is totally different from the other night. You see, it changes. Not the context just the viewer. Every word of the Bible tells us something greater about our awesome and mighty God. It's not a book that sits on a shelf and we pick up every once in awhile when times are tough. It's not a book with some great stories about God's power and the history of the world. It's a book, inspired by the Holy Creator and written through the hands of men to show us the way to Him.

My friend David (what an awesome and strong name by the way) challenged me last night to read Luke 10:1-15 again like we had the other night. I barely got through v.7 before my head was spinning and God was gently saying, "See?" (Plus, my hand was wore out from writing down the thoughts on 3 AND A HALF PAGES!!!!) My perspective has changed and the Bible is no longer just the inspired Word of God. It is the divine, holy, insurmountable, awesome, profound, living and BREATHING Word of God. This book has life that I can only describe as powerful if we read past the words on the page and seek the meaning in our lives for what HE is saying.

Like a man waking up,
Jesus Freak Out!

Monday, January 5, 2009

It's an Earthquake

So, I have been working to find new direction with the Jesus Freak blog in order to grow all of us and take us to that next step in our journeys for Christ. It's time to get intimate, hard nosed and unadulterated. It's time for things to get a little uncomfortable. In the mortal words of the great Perry Noble, "God is in the process of rocking my world."

Since the new year has begun, some things have been happening to me that are shaking up my spiritual and family life more than anything else. I am finding and learning new ways to read the Bible and to finally "see" what God is pressing me to do.

It's rocking my world.

I'm starting to get uncomfortable, but I am also getting pumped and excited about taking the bull by the horns for Christ.

It's rocking my world.

I know that my purpose is now the "lamb among the wolves" (Luke 10:3).

HE'S rocking my world.

I am working to take my family to new heights of spiritual and relational excess. I'm not talking money, and stuff and activities. I'm talking investment in their future, their lives, their love, their relationship with Christ.

HE'S rocking my world.

I have been shaken to the core like no other time in my life. I have been at high points with Christ and I have been at low points with Christ. I have seen God do some amazing things in my life for me. Now He is showing me that it's time for me to do amazing things in my life for Him.

HE'S rocking my world.

I hope that you will stick with me as we dig way deeper than you have ever seen, and I pray that in some way, Christ will knock on that door to your heart, you will open it and you will say,"Yes Lord, I will follow."

Let God rock your world and you will see an abundance from God like at no other time in your life. And I'm not talking of this world. I'm talking through the abundance that is of Christ, for Christ, and with Christ.

Feeling like I'm in a paint shaker,
Jesus Freak Out!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Let's Get Physical

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?" (1Cor 6:19).

If anyone was around in the early Eighties, they will remember this song by Olivia Newton John (the post title, not the verse). I remember buying my mom this record (yes, I said record) for Mother's Day that year because I wanted it. I learned a lesson about giving then, but that's a post for another day. In this video, there were people working out and doing aerobics, and I'm sure that's not what the song was all about but there is a point here.

Every year, many Americans make the resolution to work out and become healthier. According to the IHSRA (haven't found what the means yet), the first three months of any new year is when the most memberships to a gym are bought, 12.4% in January, 9.5% in February, and 8.7% in March. What does this have to do with anything related to following Christ and bringing people into relationship with Him?

A whole bunch! Paul talks about treating our bodies as a temple to God, mainly from the context of sexual immorality in this chapter of 1 Corinthians. But, this applies in all sorts of ways. For me, it's gonna be a new year. But, I really hate the gym. I don't have fun at the gym because it's painful, there are no windows normally (except to the parking lot where my car calls me to go home), and there are too many mirrors showing me how pathetically scrawny I really am. There are many more ways to get healthy without having to go to the gym. So here are my milestones for the year:

1) I am getting back into running. I love running. I ran track and cross country in high school and ran all throughout college. When I started working, I stopped because I was tired and lazy. I am going to work to run for 90 minutes a week. For me that translates to about 10-15 miles a week. The goal is to be ready for a half marathon (that's 13.2 miles) by the end of year!

2) Eat healthier. I am cutting out as much junk as I can, and add in all those good tasting things like green leafy veggies and fruit. Now, since ice cream is one of the 4 basic food groups and provides a wonderful source of calcium, it will stay on a limited basis.

3) I am going to get a home workout from my friend Jamy that I will do at least 2-3 times a week. It will involve the basic calisthenic excercises like push-ups, sit-ups, crunches, and pull- ups to just get healthier. I am not going to be some massive strong dude like Hal Mayer or his son so that's another reason not to go to the gym. Did I mention I hate the gym?

4) Lastly, quit the habit that I have harbored for over 12 years and that I have held myself a slave to. NO it's not pornography, it's tobacco. I have fought this for a long time and kept it farely quiet because of shame. I only tell you so that you will help me and not judge me while I kick it square in the you know what. I have quit and started again numerous times. It's this year that it becomes permanent.

So here are my milestones for the year. What are yours?

Going ONJ on myself,
Jesus Freak Out!