Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Greetings in the name of the One who alone is worthy of nothing less than our very best each and every day! I lead a men's Bible study every Wednesday morning at 6am. It is a blessing to me. I admit when the alarm goes off at 5am, it doesn't always feel like a blessing but it truly is a blessing to me.

This morning we talked about living a life without the fear of death. We talked briefly about dying not being the end but the beginning of "real life". I thought that this would be our focus for the Bible study. It turned out that it wasn't. We spent the majority of the time talking about our perspective on life, death and eternity. What do I mean? Well, I'll try to explain it this way......If you found out today that you only had 1 month to live or 1 week or even 1 day...would it cause you to live differently? The correct answer would be, "no".......but I think most of us would use the wrong answer.

We get tangled up in the fabric of stress, money, high expectations from ourselves or others, regrets, and leaving a legacy worthy of discussion for years to come. What really matters? What are we living for? Who do we seek to please with our lives?

So, is fear of death to be a concern? Absolutely not, but please let the thought of dying challenge you to ask yourself if you are living every day as if it could be your very last day on earth......because we have no guarantees, do we? Live your life to please our Heavenly Father and all of the mess that entangles us will simply disappear. God bless you today as you refocus and gain true perspective on this life.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Running Persistently

2 Samuel 22:33-34
God is my strong fortress, and he makes my way perfect. He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights.

Bob Kempainen was determined to make the 1996 U.S. Men's Olympic marathon team. He was willing to go to any lengths, no matter how gut wrenching. On a hilly course in Charlotte, NC, he won the trials--but was sick 5 times in the last 2 miles. Kempainen, the American record-holder in the marathon, had experienced stomach problems since junior high school. But that hasn't kept this medical student from pursuing marathoning.

"To stop was out of the question," he said, when asked about his physical condition. With the goal in sight, he knew there would be plenty of time to rest after the race and 5 months to prepare for Atlanta.

When God puts a desire in your heart to achieve a specific goal, you can have the confidence that He will give you the strength and the ability to accomplish it. Every person has their own obstacles to overcome in life. In Kempainen's case, the condition of his stomach is trying to hinder him from winning the marathon race at the Olympics. In your life it will be something else. But we all face difficulties and challenges on the road to success--and the difference between those who succeed and those who fail is simply persistence.

Life is not a level, smooth path, but rather a series of hills and valleys. There are times spent on the moutain top, when everything seems clear and perfect. Then there are those times when we feel like we're wandering around in a dark cavern, feeling our way along and trusting God for every step of faith.

A runner gets a "second wind" after forcing himself to go on when he feels like he can't. We feel the joy of God's Spirit lift us up and carry us on when we choose to continue in faith, no matter how we feel or what's going on around us.

Take a moment and set your heart to be persistent in your faith--faith in God to lead you, pick you up when you have fallen, give you strength to go on, and ultimately bring you to victory.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Gimme a Break!

"Gimme a break" has been a popular phrase in American culture for more than two decades now. And the fact is that now more than ever, we need a break.

Often, our day does not go as we planned. Problems emerge and demand solutions. Questions arise and require answers. Conflicts erupt and we must settle them. Situations shift and we must adjust. New opportunities come our way and we find ourselves making tough decisions.......few days do as smoothly as we would like.

In the midst of the chaos we can take a momentary break. No matter how frantic the schedule or desperate the situation, we can turn to God's Word for strength and wisdom. There is simply no better break than one that pulls us away from trouble and draws us closer to the Answer, the Lord Jesus Christ.

He alone can give us the truth, courage to stick with our priorities and get back on track if we have erred, peace that passes our understanding, and perspective marked by faith, hope, and love. He alone can provide a powerful word for our hearts that speaks to whatever we are facing.

No one may "give" you a break today, but you can give yourself one. In the middle of your day, give yourself a Coffee Break With God!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Good Morning

I am a blessed man. I don't have much money. (I use "much" loosely.) I don't have a mansion. My cars all need something done to them. Relationships seem strained at best some days and yet I can say that I am a blessed man. Why? How? Because, I know that my redeemer lives. I know that Jesus is my Savior. I know that this world is not my home. I know that I am going to Heaven. I know that Jesus considers me worthy to suffer shame for His Name. I am a child of the King of all kings. I have a beautiful wife who loves me. I have 4 wonderful children that are healthy. I have a home that is warm and welcoming. I have the greatest occupation I truly believe I could have. I have my health. I have awesome friends. I have a congregation that loves me for who I am. I am forgiven in Christ. I am free in Christ. How could I not say that I am a blessed man?! Sure, life isn't perfect and there are days of heartache and disappointments. Brothers and encouraged by these words:

Job 19:23-27
"Oh, that my words could be recorded. Oh, that they could be inscribed on a monument, carved with an iron chisel and filled with lead, engraved forever in the rock. "But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last. And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!(NLT)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

God is bigger!

What a weekend it was! Saturday night Simple worship service was awesome. This morning was awesome. I preached about the baggage of addictions. God showed up in such a cool way. People were really set free today and last night. Those addictions are big, that is for sure. But they are no contest for God. No matter what size those giants are......God is bigger and tonight, many Quarry Rockers are sleeping lighter and are free. He whom the Son sets free is free indeed! I praise the Lord in this blog tonight because He is so awesome. Me? Nope, I am weak. You? Nope, you are weak........we boast about our weaknesses so that the power of Christ can work through us. I get the feeling the devil is a little nervous today....and he has good reason to be because today, the chains are broken and are free!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

You are dead!

Galatians 2:20
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.(NLT)

Is this the statement of every believer in Christ? I believe it certainly should be. But, unfortunately, for many........for most, it is not. Sure we say we are in Christ. We say we have accepted Jesus as our Savior. We say we are born again. We talk the "Christianese" so to speak.

Once we accepte Christ as our Savior, that is just the beginning. He then wants to be Lord of our lives. That requires us to die. We must die to our selfish desires so that the power of Christ may live in and through us.

What is keeping you from a deep, intimate, and rewarding relationship with Jesus? Is it a job? An addiction? Your way of life? Is it an existing relationship? Money? Those are the things that must be nailed to the cross so that He might live in you and so that you might TRULY LIVE. With everything in me, I urge you to make the decsion today to die to your selfish desires......die so that you might truly live.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Risky Business

We talked a while back in a sermon about Luke warm Christianity. Some people just think a little bit is better than nothing and that God should just be thankful for what was done or given. That is so unscriptural! Christ told the church of Laodicea that He wished they were either hot or cold...Pick one, but don't straddle the fence. You are either all in or all out. What's it going to be? Luke warm? Makes God want to......(pardon the crudeness), puke.

I am re-reading John Ortberg's book, "If you want to walk on water, you've got to get out of the boat" There are a couple paragraphs I would like to share from this book. I thought it quite interesting.

"If you step up to the plate, you may strike out. The greatest hitters in the world fail two times out of three.

But if you don't step up to the plate, you will never know the glory of what it is to hit a home run. There is danger in getting out of the boat. But there is danger in staying in it as well. If you live in the boat--whatever your boat happens to be--you will eventually die of boredom and stagnation. Everything is risky."

May we step up to the plate boldly today and say, "My answer to you, God, is 'YES', now what's the question?"

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


2 Corinthians 4:17-18
For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.(NLT)

What about the tragic changes that God permits? When children are abused or the sick lose thier dignity? What about the faithful spouse who holds on to the end only to come to the end.....divorce? Do such moments serve a purpose? They do if we see them from an eternal perspective. What makes no sense in this life will make perfect sense in the next. I have proof: the womb.

Some prenatal features went unused before birth. You grew a nose but didn't breathe. Eyes developed, but could you see? Your tongue, toenails, and crop of hair served no function in your mother's belly. But aren't you glad you have them now? Some of you have some of your hair anyway.....

Certain chapters in this life seem so unnecessary. Holocausts, martyrdom, monsoons, tornadoes, divorce, disease. If we assume this world exists just for this life and happiness, these atrocities don't follow our assumptions. They are not fun and it does not provide happiness. But what if this earth is the womb? Might these challenges, severe as they may be, serve to prepare us, equip us for the world to come?

Remember, we look through a glass's a little foggy and unclear right now. But one day we will look into the beautiful face of Jesus Himself and it will all become perfectly clear....and it will be beautiful.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Are you really who you say you are?

Good afternoon. Blessings to those who read this blog. May the words be His words. May the One true God speak straight into your life and bring about the changes that will bring you closer to Him.......

Isaiah 29:13a "And so the Lord says, 'These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me."

We say we believe in God and then we live as though He does not even exist. We give Him lip service. We talk the "God talk" but yet when God looks at the way we do life, He says, "You're far from me".

May these words find your hearts open to the challenge of this verse. My prayer is that you would allow God to speak to your heart and show you in what areas you are saying you believe in God but yet living as if He doesn't exist. Don't be threatened, ashamed or embarrassed. We all have areas in our lives that can be brought closer to His precious side.....if we will but open up and allow Him to show us. God bless you today.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Am I doing any good?

Some of you may start to read this and think, "oh....the preacher is feeling sorry for himself." And maybe I am. I am not sure. All I know is that in this season of my life I am doing what I know I am suppose to be doing. I am preaching the gospel the best I can every week. I am asking God to speak through me. But I don't just want God to speak through me. I long to see some tangible results. I know that I will stand before God one day and answer partly for those in the congregation I pastor. Are lives being radically changed through Quarry Rock? Are we being more than just hearers of the Word? Are we really doers of His Word? This blog for instance.....I am writing this at midnight cause I can't sleep. I will be up at 6am to go to the church and work until 6pm and right now I can't sleep......and so I blog. Is anyone reading this? Am I doing any good? I suppose I have whined long enough. Thanks for listening.....or not listening.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

God is with you

Have you read Psalm 34 lately? Re-read it soon. Focus on verse 7. "For the angel of the Lord is a guard; He surrounds and defends all who fear Him." Let that truth lower your anxiety level! The wealthiest of the world don't have the protection God's servants give you. God sends his best troops to oversee your life. Imagine the president assigning his Secret Service to protect you, telling his agents to motorcade your car through traffic and safeguard you through crowds. How would you sleep if you knew D.C.'s finest guarded your door? How will you sleep knowing heaven's finest are doing just that? You are not alone. Receive God's lordship over your life. Heaven's many, mighty angels watch over you.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Are we really aware of God's presence?

God is so willing to enter your world. The hospital room? He goes there. Late night deadlines? He'll stay up with you. Are you watching the slow death of someone you love? He'll sit by your side every single moment. Just invite Him. "Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends." Revelation 3:20

Psalm 138:7
Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will protect me from the anger of my enemies. You reach out your hand, and the power of your right hand saves me.

James 4:8
Come close to God, and God will come close to you.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Keeping it Simple

Preachers and teachers and Christians of all sorts spend hours after hours and dollars after dollars trying to figure out how to really impact their community. How do we do ministry? How can we grow our church? How can we really make a difference? I am certainly not stating I have it all figured out because I do not.

Lately, however I have been wrestling with God.....a lot. By the way, He always wins! But nonetheless, I wrestle with Him. I want to know Him in such an intimate way and I want to please Him with every ounce of my being.....and that's a lot of ounces!

I recently finished reading the book, "Simple Church" by Thom Rainer & Eric Geiger. That book can and should be church transforming. And I honestly believe that we won't have an effective simple church until we as individuals experience a fresh dose of His extravagant yet simple love. Jesus just loves you more than you and I will ever be able to comprehend on this side of glory. To become a fully devoted follower of Christ means that we stop trying to build His church.....He said that He will build His church and nothing will stop Him...not even Hell itself. Our job is not to build His church but to be the church. I say all that to say this: You and I need life transformation. We do! And I completely and honestly believe that we can experience that life transformation as we put into practice the words of Jesus found in Matthew 22.

Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus replied, " 'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments."(NLT)

Talk to God today. Ask Him to start an exciting life changing experience within your life. Love Him because He is so worthy of our love.....Love people because the people around you need to know that someone cares. Is it you?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Unexpected Faith

Jesus was surprised when He heard this; He turned around and said to the crowd following Him, "I tell you, I have never found faith like this, not even in Israel." Luke 7:9

No two people were more different. Jesus was an itinerant preacher, poor and without social position...a carpenter with miracles in his hands. The centurion was a Roman army officer who oversaw the work and training of one hundred soldiers. He was one of the Roman conquerors who held Israel in their tight fists.

The centurion was different. Beneath the breastplate of his armor beat the heart of a man who respected the Jews, built a synagogue for them, and cared for his servants, including one who lay sick and dying. Despite his high social rank, he was too humble to approach Jesus to ask for help. He sent others in his place. Jesus saw this as great and unexpected faith.

Someone said, "Faith is not believing that God can, but that God will!" The centurion ran the risk of ridicule from his peers and rejection by Jesus but sent for Christ's help anyway. That's how strong his love for his servant was; that's how great his faith in Christ was.

One of the great hymns is "Trust and Obey" by John Sammis. As the song was being sung in a church, a children sometimes do.... misheard the title and sang the chorus incorrectly as "trust and okay." Maybe he wasn't so far off.

Faith is the application of belief to life. It is not an academic principle; it's a tool for daily living. Like the centurion, you need to trust Christ with your problems and with your life....even if it seems to everyone else an unexpected and unlikely thing for you to do. Whether you're an outsider or an insider, Jesus is the one to turn to. Trust and okay.

One final thought.......Jesus saw a powerful man's request for help as a mighty display of faith. Nothing has changed. The most courageous thing you can do is approach Jesus in faith and belief.

2 Corinthians 5:7 For we live by believing and not by seeing.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Useless Thing

Luke 12:25
Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

Anxiety is self-torment, and it gripped the people who listened to Jesus. The word Jesus used means to "examine minutely," to stew over something. People dwelled on how and when their lives would end. Such thoughts ate at them, and such concerns swallowed up the better thoughts of life.

Jesus made sure His listeners understood that such anxiety was a destructive waste of time. No matter how anxious they became, no matter how much they troubled themselves over such things, it made no difference. Anxiety couldn't extend a life, put food on the table, or drive away disease. Anxiety made things worse. It was time they let go and let God deal with matters out of their reach.

When Ann Landers was writing her popular advice column, she received an average of ten thousand letters a month. When asked if she saw a trend in the letters, some problem that seemed more common than others, she replied that most of the letters dealt with some form of fear. People were afraid of losing their health, wealth, and loved ones. In short, people were afraid of life itself.

Impossible is a hard word for many to swallow, and learning that some things are beyond your control is unnerving. No one can control aging, world events, or decisions of loved ones, and that is unsettling. People fall into anxiety; they worry, they fret, they even lose sleep. And when it is all over, nothing has changed.

Anxiety is the most useless thing in the world. Like worry, it achieves nothing good but can cause great harm. The solution is simple. Change what you can and leave the rest in God's hands......The opposite of anxiety is trust; not trust in self---good as that is--but trusting God's love and ability. Anxiety is useless; faith is everything.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Our God is faithful

Good morning. It is my prayer that people see God in a real and authentic way today. We talk about God, we pray to God, we say we are Christ followers and we go to church like good church folks do....Right? Sound familiar? Yet as we follow Christ, it becomes painfully obvious that many of us are following Him from quite a distance. We can barely see Him from that distance. We long for holiness yet we won't allow the holiness of God to get too close to us. Many times we say that we have been trying and waiting and wanting God to do amazing and cool things in and through us......but He just hasn't yet. Stay with it. Don't give in or give up.

1 Thessalonians 5:23,24 says, "Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful."

Please know that God loves you and is working in your life to make you like His Son....Jesus. Let Him be God. Let Him be the King. Let Him be The Lord of your life. God bless you today....or should I say, He already has blessed you?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I trust the 4th of July was a good time for you. I hope you had time to relax and read or maybe go swimming or fishing or something that you like to do that you normally don't get to do. I hope you had some time to reflect on reflect on your purpose in life. Perhaps along the way somewhere this past weekend you had a few minutes to thank God for the men and women who aren't home right now because they are off somewhere defending our freedom....Watching guard through the night so that you can sleep in peace. doesn't come easy and it is not free. It cost something to be free. Be thankful for your freedom as Americans!

Speaking of freedom, John 8:32 says, "And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."(NLT) We were once in bondage... slaves to sin. But when Jesus came (The Truth), He set us free from that and now enables us to walk in the light rather than darkness. He sets the captives free.

Why do so many people walk around in chains today? Why do so many people walk around in darkness? You don't have to. Jesus is the light that lights every person's heart. He is the way. He is the truth and He is the life. He is everything. Thank Him for your freedom both as Americans and as Christians!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Hello friends....Today is a great day! I have been working towards the goal of being ordained very intently for 25 months. I finished my academic obligations for ordination in April and then was scheduled to be ordained in June. I honestly was excited to be ordained but maybe felt more relieved to be done with all the homework and travelling to meet the requirements for ordination. Last night was my night....I was ordained at 7:30pm Mountain time on June 28th, 2009. Dr. Joann Lyon preached the message. It was definitely a holy occasion. I am so honored to be an ordained preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Dr. Lyon went into depth to explain the significance of a verse of scripture that she used for her text. Very powerful.

John 12:32
And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself."(NLT)

It is not about the people. It is not about the church building. It is not about the cute messages or technology. It is the simple truth of Christ. To preach Jesus crucified on the rugged cross and that as He was lifted up on that cross, He would draw all people to Himself. It is my prayer that I live every day to the fullest and that with every opportunity I have, I can point people to the cross and that He indeed will draw all to Himself. Praise be to God that the story did not end with the cross. Jesus did indeed die on the cross, was taken down and buried but three days later, Jesus arose from the dead.......alive forevermore....Victorious over death, hell and the grave.

Last night, I entered into a fresh, lifelong, and renewed commitment to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Lord.....Please make this fire burn hotter and more intense every day until my work is done. May I run faithfully and finish well. This same prayer is for all who read this as well. God bless you as you serve Christ and His church!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

You were created for.....

Ever heard that line.....It's my life, I'll do what I want? I have heard it so many times. Interesting enough I have heard it a lot lately even from Christians. Do we really remember why we were created? God created us for His good pleasure. You and I were created to worship Him and bring glory to His name. That is it. Everything else is just a side task...a part time hobby. We are created to give our lives completely away to Jesus Christ. Think about that the next time you get overwhelmed with your job or career. Think about that when the car breaks down or you have some unexpected bill to pay. You are created to worship. Worship God who loves you and created you in His image. When your focus is on Him, it is just amazing how small the things of this world will become. God bless you and I pray this will encourage you today.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Real Purpose

Let me ask you a question: Is God good? I not only believe that God is Good, I know it with every fiber of my being. He is the definition of good. God is good...all the time. And all the time, God is good.

Another question: Do you believe God is all powerful? You should because the scripture is very clear that all power was given to Jesus Christ. Matthew 28:18

Does God have your best interest at heart? He sure does...Matthew 6:25-34 is very clear that God cares about every need in your life and he meets every one of your needs.

So......If God is good and if He is all powerful and if He has your very best interest at heart, why don't we listen to Him when He gives us instructions to leave? What do I mean?

Genesis 12:1-4
The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father's family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you." So Abram departed as the LORD had instructed, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.(NLT)

God told Abram to leave...He didn't tell him details of where he was going, how long he was going to be gone or if he was even coming back. God said, "Go" and Abram went. Following that one command was 7 promises. God will never ask you to do anything without some sort of reassurance or promise or provision. For example:
Matthew 11:28
Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.(NLT)

Jesus said come to me. If you come to me, I will give you rest. The scripture is filled with examples of how God always provides promises and provisions with His commands.

Today, He is asking you to leave. Leave what? It might be geographical. Maybe God wants you to go on the mission field for Him. Maybe it is spiritual. God wants you to leave where you are spiritually so that He can take you where He wants you to be. Are you spending as much time in the Bible as you can? How about prayer? Doing a lot of that? Do you spend time just quiet waiting for Him to speak to you? I think that one fits us all, doesn't it? Maybe He is asking you to leave the pain of the past and embrace the incredible future He has for you. Maybe He wants you to leave that addiction or life of sin. Turn from that and embrace the gift He has given us in His Son, Jesus Christ. Don't question God. His ways are so much better and higher than our ways. He is good. He is all powerful and He has only your best interest at heart. Trust and obey. You won't go wrong and you won't ever regret leaving when the Spirit of God asks you to.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

God is so good!

I think of Jesus' words in John chapter 8 when He is talking with the woman who was supposedly caught in the act of adultery. Jesus told her that He didn't condemn her and encouraged or commanded her to go and sin no more. I'm not sure how accurately we can use street language here but it almost seems as if Jesus is saying, "You're gonna mess up. Don't walk around defeated. When you fall off your bike, let your Daddy pick you back up, dust you off and tell you to get up and try it again. I'm so glad that God forgives me and takes me back when I mess up. He is so good. This is a powerful video that reminds me of God's love and mercy.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Don't Lose Hope

It is really easy to get caught up in the stress and worries of this world, isn't it? Think about it. You and I spend so many hours taking care of our homes, our yards, our jobs, our cars, our bodies, our selfish motivations. The list could go on and on. We are given 168 hours in every week to live....Jesus wants us to cast all our cares upon Him. Why? Because He cares for us. He loves us. He is so much more deserving than what we offer Him.... Think about those 168 hours a week that you live. How many of them are given to the Lord? How many are spent on selfish desires? How many of them are spent on the temporal things of this world? How many of them are set aside as sacred..holy...just for Him? 1? 3? 10?

Christ is coming back! And it could be today. Are you ready? Are you anxiously looking for that day? That day.....hmmmmm. What will that day look like?

Revelation 21:1-5a
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, "Look, God's home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever." And the one sitting on the throne said, "Look, I am making everything new!" NLT)

Live for Him today. Don't lose hope. Don't get caught up in the worries and cares of today. There is so much much more

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I wanna be like my Jesus. Do we know what that means?

We certainly do live in a culture and society where we talk the talk of being like Jesus, don't we? I mean we say it over and over....."To be the heart, hands, feet, and mouth of Jesus......To do what He did, to love like He loves" But how can we truly talk like that and state that we want to be like Jesus when we are so lukewarm in our spiritual journey? How can we really be committed to Christ and skip church for any and all reasons, slander and gossip and act so selfish and childish, and walk through this life acting like this is all there is? I believe the spiritual formation of the American church is in dire need of repair. We walk into the church and are fed so well. We receive instructions for life and eternity and walk out of the door an hour later as if we had earplugs in our ears. I can't imagine how Jesus must have felt to have to speak the words we read in Revelation 3:15,16. "I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!(NLT). May this video start a fire in your bones that cannot be put out. May all who read this and watch this video become so aware of Christ's love for us and our indebtedness to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Broken Plate

Good morning! My heart has been touched quite regularly lately on the issue of tough love and feeling the need to stop enabling wrong behaviors. I have been praying and seeking God in this matter. I have asked, "God, I can't do this on my own. It seems so huge of a decision. What if I make a mistake? What if I'm being too harsh? What if I'm not being harsh enough and actually contributing to the problem? What if......." Yeah, you get the idea. I have been a mess lately with these thoughts. Then this morning I read a few lines from a book. It is entitled, "On the Anvil" by Max Lucado. Here are the lines that spoke to me:

The Day My Plate Was Broken......It was past midnight in Dalton, Georgia, as I stood in a dimly lit phone booth making a call to my folks. My first summer job away from home wasn't planning out as it was supposed to.

The work was hard. My two best friends had quit and gone back to Texas, and I was bunking in the Salvation Army until I could find an apartment. For a big, tough nineteen-year old, I sure felt small.. The voices of my mom and dad had never sounded so sweet. And although I tried to hide it, my loneliness was obvious. I had promised my parents that if they'd let me go, I'd stick it out for the whole summer. But now those three months looked like eternity.

As I explained my plight, I could tell my mom wanted me to come home. But just as she said, "Why don't you come.......," my dad, who was on the extension, interrupted her. "We'd love for you to come back, but we've already broken your plate." (That was west Texas talk for "We love you, Max, but it's time to grow up.")

It takes a wise father to know when to push his son out of the nest. It's painful, but it has to be done. I'll always be thankful that my dad gave me wings and then made me use them.........

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Give us clean hands

As I sit here in my office this morning, I look outside and see the rain just pouring down. It is coming down in buckets......almost. Anyway, as I watch this rain coming down from the sky I envision God telling us we need a cleansing. I pleaded with God to examine my heart this morning and to reveal to me of anything that is in need of purification or washing. I began to pray for God to renew within me a pure heart....a clean heart. It made me think of this song, "Give us clean hands". Let us be a generation that truly seeks your face....Oh God of Jacob. So, let it rain. Purify my heart today, Lord. Wash me and make me clean. May this be your prayer this morning too.

Friday, April 24, 2009

It has been a long time....I'm sorry

Time sure did not slow down any lately, did it? I write this from a coffee shop in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. I just finished with my ordination requirements that I have been pursuing for.......well, in reality since 1994. Actively pursuing since 2007. I am praying to be ordained this June in Rapid City, SD. I feel a huge relief in my life. I can read a book because I want to, not because some professor is telling me I have to. I can take my "day off" to work in my garden or trip trees on my acreage instead of spending every waking moment on school work that isn't being spent on sermon work or visiting folks and the daily tasks of a pastor. Don't get me wrong. I am not complaining. I am a blessed man and it has all been worth it. I am just ready to take a fresh breath of air and relax for a few minutes. God is good----All the time! And all the time, God is good! Today reminds me of a verse that I used when we first planted our church, "Quarry Rock".....Zechariah 4:10 Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin...... When I started this journey to be ordained, it seemed insurmountable. God just kept prompting me. My wonderful wife kept encouraging me. I am blessed and I pray for blessings to be yours today as you live for Christ who makes all things possible!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It's not about you?

Matthew 11:28-30 Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light."

Rick Warren wrote the book, "Purpose Driven Life". And the opening line was this: "It's not about you." That is perhaps one of the most memorized lines in modern literature. I must confess, I have quoted it. I have stated it. Do I believe it? Yes and no. I do not question Rick Warren because in the context of this book, it is very pertinent and accurate. There are those who are overly needy and seem to think it is all about them. "serve me. Pay attention to me. Take care of me. I want....I need..." From that aspect, this statement is very fitting and I love it. that is how I have used it. When someone says something like what I mentioned above, I have to say something like, "Pal....get over yourself. It is not about you."

With that being said, it brings me to say this: I am in the little town of Frankfort, Indiana this week. I am here taking a couple classes. What I have come to do is to learn and complete an academic requirement. But God had something else in mind this week also. God knew that my tank was running low and therefore God set this week aside for me as a time of "tank filling", spiritual renewal and re-charging my battery. What is God telling me? He's telling me, " a way, it is about you because if you are empty you have nothing to offer others."

Jesus tells us that all the commands in the Bible can be captured in two commands; Love God with everything you have and love your neighbor as yourself. Let's look at that last part. Love your neighbor as yourself. We are to love others the very way we love ourselves. How much do you love and care for yourself? Think on that. God calls us to take care of value and nourish our bodies and our souls. So, don't feel bad when you take some time for yourself. Don't feel guilty when you prioritize your day so that you have your "God" time first...your devotional time....your prayer time....your spiritual journaling time before you make time for anyone else. God calls us to set priorities and boundaries. A good friend and fellow pastor says often, "We are like batteries. A battery cannot put out what it does not have." Fill yourself with God's Word and His love and His power. Watch how He will take that and bless it to allow you to be the light he wants you to be. God bless you. God is good.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What's so amazing about Grace?

What is so amazing about grace? Grace is a story. It begins with the great gaping chasm that stretched between creator God and his created humanity. That chasm was the work of man and the heartbreak of God. Grace is that our holy, infinite God was not pleased to be separated from his people. So, he reached down and healed the gaping wound. He healed it with the very blood of his own Son.

Then humanity was, again, invited to walk towards God and hide in His embrace. So, grace is also an invitation. It is an invitation out of loneliness and struggle. It is an invitation to draw near to the One who loves us most.

Psalm 27:7-8 Hear me as I pray, O LORD. Be merciful and answer me! My heart has heard you say, "Come and talk with me." And my heart responds, "LORD, I am coming."

Have you heard God say to you, "Come and talk with me"? Today, be still and listen. There is an invitation waiting for you. Will you respond like David? David said: "And my heart responds, 'Lord, I am coming'."

To worship God is to walk towards him, to walk with Him. He is not asking for perfection, only nearness. To worship God is to turn our eyes towards the author of grace and the lover of our very souls.

Hebrews 10:22 let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ's blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Jesus gives us confidence

Hebrews 10:19-22 And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven's Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God's house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ's blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.

In the temple in Jerusalem, only a priest could enter the most Holy Place, and only on the Day of Atonement, when he made the annual offering for sins. But when Jesus died, the temple curtain was torn in two. The wall between us and God was shattered.

Because of Jesus, anytime we have need, without ritual or special dispensation, we can come into the presence of God. We can come boldly, with confidence that we will be received by the Father who adopted us through His Son's blood. Because of the relationship with God we have through Jesus, we can approach Him with a free, untroubled heart.

May that give you comfort, confidence, and a bold conviction that you are very special in God's eyes.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Jesus really does love us!

John 15:12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.

We watch Jesus loving people throughout the Gospels. Sometimes His love is exasperated, like when He laments over Jerusalem, "How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!" Luke 13:34b......Sometimes it is challenging, like when He challenges the rich young ruler to give up what was most important to him. And sometimes His love is simply indescribable, like when He stretches out His arms and allows Himself to be crucified.

Jesus loves us with an everlasting love. And He shows us His love in many ways through our lives--but never more plainly or powerfully than dying on the cross.

Father, please let us ever be mindful of your amazing love....your amazing grace! May we never get comfortable with your love. May it bring us to our knees every day. Thank you for your love, Jesus......Now, may we be a church....a people who loves like you love. Make us more like you today than we were yesterday!
In Jesus precious and holy name.....Amen.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Jesus gives us a clean slate

Romans 8:1-2 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.

We know the feeling well: guilt. It has followed us during the day and kept us awake at night. We can't forget the things we've done, no matter how much we may want to.

The good news is that in Christ, God accepts us as His children. We can be free from guilt knowing that He has forgiven us--completely. "Though yours sins are like scarlet," He tells us, "they shall be as white as snow." Isaiah 1:18b. And while we still face the consequences of our sin and sometimes the discipline of our Heavenly Father, we can finally sleep at night, resting in the assurance that God is for us.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Jesus talks with a Samaritan woman

John 4:5-26
Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, "Please give me a drink." He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food. The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, "You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?" Jesus replied, "If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water." "But sir, you don't have a rope or a bucket," she said, "and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? And besides, do you think you're greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?" Jesus replied, "Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life." "Please, sir," the woman said, "give me this water! Then I'll never be thirsty again, and I won't have to come here to get water." "Go and get your husband," Jesus told her. "I don't have a husband," the woman replied. Jesus said, "You're right! You don't have a husband- for you have had five husbands, and you aren't even married to the man you're living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!" "Sir," the woman said, "you must be a prophet. So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?" Jesus replied, "Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. But the time is coming-indeed it's here now-when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth." The woman said, "I know the Messiah is coming-the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us." Then Jesus told her, "I Am the Messiah!"

He was seated on the ground: legs outstretched, hands folded, back resting against the well. She stopped and looked at Him. He was obviously Jewish. What was He doing here?

Sensing her discomfort, Jesus asked her for water. But she was too streetwise to think that all He wanted was a drink. Her intuition was partly correct. He was interested in her heart.

They talked. Who could remember the last time a man had spoken to her with respect? He told her about a spring of water that would quench, not the thirst of her throat, but of the soul.

"Please, sir...give me this water! Then I'll never be thirsty again, and I won't have to come here to get water."

"Go and get your husband,"

"I don't have a husband." (Kindness has a way of inviting honesty.) This woman wondered what Jesus would do. He will be angry. He will think I'm worthless. "You're right! You don't have a husband-- for you have had five husbands, and you aren't even married to the man you're living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!"

No criticism? The woman was amazed. "Sir, you must be a prophet."

Then she asked the question that revealed the gaping hole in her soul. "Where is God? My people say he is on the mountain. Your people say he is in Jerusalem." I'd give a thousand sunsets to see the expression on Jesus' face as He heard those words. Of all the women to have an insatiable appetite for God--a five-time divorcee? And of all the people to be chosen to personally receive the secret of the ages-- an outcast among outcasts? His eyes must have danced as He whispered the secret. "I AM the Messiah!"

Then leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 'Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could He possibly be the Messiah?" Did you notice what she forgot? She forgot her water jar. She left behind the burden she brought. Suddenly the insignificance of her life was swallowed by the significance of the moment. God is here! God cares for me and He cares for you!!

Quarry Rockers and cyber rockers.......Burdens are lifted at Calvary. Jesus is very near. He longs for us to bring the heavy burdensome things we carry around to Him.......and leave them at His feet. He is the only one who can truly help you through your life's problems. He is here! And so is your church family!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


The magic of a thankful spirit is that it has the power to replace....

anger with love,
resentment with happiness,
fear with faith,
worry with peace,
the desire to dominate with the wish to play on a team,
self-preoccupation with concern for the needs of others,
guilt with an open door to forgiveness,
sexual impurity with honor and respect,
jealousy with joy at another's success,
lack of creativity with inspired productivity,
inferiorities with dignity,
a lack of love with an abundance of self-sharing.
Donald E. Demaray

Colossians 3:15-17 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

As I sit here in my office pondering this past year, I have been reminded with many emails, letters, phone calls, personal visits and even text messages of the roads travelled by the people of Quarry Rock this past year. I have compiled a list of many of the highlights. Some of them were joy unspeakable. Some were sadness unspeakable. And many in between. God is good....all the time. And all the time, God is good!! Here it is:

This year I.....

got involved in the prison ministry,
changed jobs,
took children horseback riding and fishing,
had children move away,
had children move back home, ( smile....)
had my marriage restored by the "Fireproof" movie,
traveled overseas,
had a baby,
lost a baby,
became a parent,
lost a parent,
got married,
lost a grandparent,
became a grandparent, (ha ha)
got promoted,
got engaged,
completed my master's degree,
got new foster kids,
was healed of cancer,
acquired a deeper love for God and the scriptures,
found family, love and acceptance at Quarry Rock!

In all of this, we will raise our hands and praise our God who gives and takes away. He is more than sufficient. Join me today in praising our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Jesus teaches faith, not legalism

There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. "Rabbi," he said, "we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you." Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God." "What do you mean?" exclaimed Nicodemus. "How can an old man go back into his mother's womb and be born again?" Jesus replied, "I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. John 3:1-6

Nicodemus is drawn to the carpenter, but he can't be seen with Him. Nicodemus is on the high court. He can't approach Jesus in the day. So Nicodemus goes to meet Him at night. He goes in the darkness. Appropriate....for legalism offers no light.

It's rigid. It's mechanical....and it's not from God.

Can I give you the down and dirty about legalism? Legalism doesn't need God. Legalism is the search for innocence-- not forgiveness. Legalists are obsessed with self, not God.

--Turns my opinion into your burden.
--Turns my opinion into your boundary.
--Turns my opinion into your obligation.

If you want to be in the group, stay in step and don't ask questions.

Nicodemus knew how to march, but he longed to sing. He knew there was something more, but he didn't know where to find it. So he went to Jesus.

May we truly see that Jesus has the answers for everything in life and may we come to see that His yolk is easy and His burden is light. He is not hard to follow. Legalism is hard to follow. Jesus is the source of contentment, peace, and acceptance. Legalism is the source of stress and rigid rules. Jesus makes it simple. We make it difficult. Seek Him today. Don't chase after what the world considers, "religion" or "spirituality". Jesus is the author of peace and contentment.