Wednesday, November 29, 2006

What An Eye Opener!

I have been having some knee pain for some time now. I just kept saying it was an old football injury. Well, this past Monday I went to see my orthopedic surgeon to finally take care of the problem. During the exam, I thought that the headlines on the St. Augustine Record on Tuesday would read - "Priest Hurts Doctor During Exam". To say the least, my doctor discovered the source of pain and created even more. So, the testing process begins with an MRI and what ever else is needed.

The eye opener were his words to me, "If you don't do something about your weight you are headed for knee replacement in the future". That may not mean a lot for some, because it is done every day. But to me it was the "last straw that broke the camels back." For months and months I felt that God was telling me to do something about my weight. I would hear this "word" and say yes Lord I know but continue my bad habits. As a bi-vocational pastor, it's easy to let bad eating and bad exercise habits continue. You are always running from here to there. You work all day at one job to come home to the ministry and start all over again. It's easy to drive through and get some fast food and give an excuse not to exercise. But the realization for me and hopefully for others is - it is killing us.

What good are we going to be with our church plants, churches, and our people if we eat ourselves to death? The enemy of our soul doesn't need to take us out, we are doing it to ourselves.

Well for me, I had already decided that it was time to become disciplined in this area of my life. Between God speaking and the doctor's report, it's hitting home. But the most important thing was my beautiful almost 5 year old saying, "Daddy, I want you to be smaller so you can play with me on the playground". Want to talk about ripping your heart out. As I think about putting the food in my mouth I have to remember her face and her words.

I know that this has been really personal and it's been hard to say this, but I know that there are others in the same situation. Know that we can become healthy and live for years to build the Kingdom. Let's go for it!!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Come with ears wide open!

On Monday nights, I and 3-4 other guys meet and pray for the needs of our church and for the mission of St. Andrew's. Our major thing is we just want to hear what God is saying. We pray for awhile and stop and listen and I ask if anyone is hearing, feeling, or seeing anything.

Well, tonight we began and I kept hearing Isaiah 55. So I turned there and the first verse I look at is verse 3. It says, "Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life..." (New Living Translation) I began to think and ask myself the question, how many times have I come to God with ears closed shut. I really didn't want to hear because I wanted it my way. How many times had I been like a spoiled kid who always gets their way?

It made me remember that this is not just some spiritual exercise, theological discussion, or just another religious experience. This is real life. If I will listen to Him when I pray - he will speak!

New way to enjoy coffee

A new way to enjoy coffee. Just open the package and smell the Caribou Coffee. Got to get it where you can.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Thanks to Steve Sjogren

I want to thank Steve Sjogren (pictured at left) for his encouragement to write. I know that I have many things inside of me to say. But too many times I think nobody wants to hear what I have to say or it's not good enough.

Since I have begun this blog, it has surprised me the number of people who have made comments about the blog - friends, fellow priests, and people I don't even know. It seems that there are people who will read what I write and some even enjoy it.

Never give up on the dream (writing was my dream). Don't talk yourself out of it. If you listen to that voice long enough you will never live out the dream. Just go for it.

Check out Steve's websites - Outward Buzz , Growing Edge Buzz, Servant Evangelism, and Coastland Tampa.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I Have Entered the World of Podcasting

I now have entered the world of podcasting. My recent sermon, "Mad Money Part 1" is now on the web.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"Mad Money" Series

I began a series called "Mad Money" this past weekend. What a blast! Here is the "Top 10 Mad money list."

Ron Blue gives some really good advice: TOP 10 LIST
10. Evaluate you motives. Why move the target? Psalms 139

9. Run the numbers. Luke 14 Count the Cost

8. Consider your reputation - whatever we do with our time and money effects our reputations I Thes 5:22

7. Avoid get rich quick schemes Prov. 28:22

6. Give to the needs of others IICor 9

5. Never co-sign for a loan Prov 6:1-4

4. Avoid indulgences I Tim 6:6-8

3. Prepare for decrease because it will come Phil 4:10-13

2. Seek Godly Counsel
Safety in a multitude of counselor

1. Seek God's Presence
Not the stuff Matt 6:33

If You Don't Succeed - Do It Another Way

"If at first you don't succeed, then sky-diving is not for you." unknown

Got this quote from Kem Meyer, Granger Community Church.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Mad Money

I am so excited about the new sermon series that I begin on Nov. 19th. The series is called Mad Money. I do not think I have ever been this excited about preaching on money. I know that as our people catch it, they are going to be free in this area of their lives.

Also, this is our first time using invite cards. We have given out cards and personal letters were mailed out. Let's see what God does now.

Guerillas of Grace

I have been reading this book by Mark Batterson - Lead Pastor of National Community Church in Washington D.C. I came across this today. Ted Loder wrote this piece called Guerillas of Grace.

"How shall I pray? Are tears prayers, Lord? Are screams prayers, or groans or sighs or curses? Can trembling hands be lifted to you, or clenched fists or the cold sweat that trickles down my back or the cramps that knot my stomach? Will you accept my prayer, Lord, my real prayers, rooted in the muck and mud and rock of my life, and not just the pretty, cut-flower, gracefully arranged bouquet of words? Will you accept me, Lord, as I really am, messed up mixture of glory and grime?"

Can you relate to that? When I first read it, I was saying that's me. God hears us in our best times but more importantly in our worst times. Recently another priest had a prophetic word for me. He told me many things that no one would have known. One thing he told me was that God had heard me crying out to Him. Even the times that I was screaming at the heavens. He went on to tell me that the Father was happy because there was passion in my crying out to Him.

Go ahead and scream! God already knows that you want to. He doesn't have a problem with it. Our religious mind is where the problem is. Look at David in the Psalms. We read every type of emotion. It's o.k. Stop being so uptight about it all.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day

I just began reading this book by Mark Batterson, Lead Pastor of National Community Church in Washington D.C. Awesome book! I have already been challenged by the first two chapters. Many times the struggles we have in life are just opportunities for God to show up and show His glory and power. As a friend of mine says, it gives God a chance to "show out."

This is a must read.

Fr. Joe and Barry Scott

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Destiny in Selma, AL Part 4

The last night of Convocation was a real encounter with God. After the teaching, Abp. Jones began the ministry time. He had several "words of knowledge" and began to pray for people. He had the priests and deacons come up and pray for people. I know of at least 3 people who were deaf in their left ear and God restored their hearing. Many other miracles occurred.
Abp. Jones prayed for everyone and asked God to empower us to walk in this type of power in our home churches.

This past Sunday, after the worship through music time God began to give me several "words of knowledge" and I began to pray for healing. We have a man in our church that had a stoke 10 years ago and has not been able to move his leg without help since the stoke. After prayer he lifted the leg off the ground by himself. What a miracle! For 10 years he could not move the leg by himself and now he is moving it! Thank you God!!!

Thanks Jill

My friend and former member of St. Andrew's let me know that we had some typos on the blog. Thanks for your help. All this is new to me and I am reminded that I must have someone proof everything.

To those of you who have been reading the blog, sorry for the mistakes.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Destiny in Selma, AL Part 3

The picture shows some of the events of "Bloody Sunday" 1965. This day was a day of destiny for the Civil Rights movement in the U.S. But some 41 years later history and destiny are coming together in Selma, AL again. The Gospel of the Kingdom is being proclaimed and lived out.

Over the days that we were at our Convocation we experienced the fresh fire of the Spirit of God. The fresh wind of the Spirit blew over us and began to refresh and change us. I will talk more about this over the next few days.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Destiny in Selma, AL Part 2

What a day in Selma. Bp. John Holloway spoke this morning on Evangelism. It was great to hear him saying the same things I have been saying at St. Andrew's. Thanks be to God we are hearing what God is saying.

Great fellowship this afternoon. This evening the young adult band Surrender led the worship through music. Man it was great. The presence of God was very real tonight. Bp. Mike Davidson from the Central Province spoke and had the Word of the Lord.

After the service we discovered that someone broke out the glass on the drivers side doors of our truck and stole our DVD player. Talk about a let down. Coming from the presence of God to have to deal with this. But this is what it's all about. Learning to deal with the realities of a fallen world. Did I deal with it right? In some ways yes. In others no.

With all this happening, something really good must be right around the corner. God, I am ready for it.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Destiny in Selma, AL

Yesterday my wife, girls and I loaded up my truck and made our way to Selma, Al for our church's fall convocation. It was a long drive with a 4 1/2 and 3 1/2 year old but they were wonderful.

During the night I got sick with some type of bug and was sick all night long and part of today. But I made it to the opening service. What a night. As the worship through music began I began to feel better. God spoke through one of our Bishop's wives that God was meeting us for a very special time and there would be healings and people beginning to walk in freedom. We would know His glory.

Abp. Jones preached about Peter. He said that Peter was a surrendered failure. Peter blew it many times but he always had a heart to do the will of God. Sounds like many of us. But we have bought into the perfection thing and live a life of guilt and shame because we don't measure up. Let's become like Peter!!!