Satisfaction Guaranteed

Posted: May 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

I think one of the biggest needs each one of us has in life is the need for satisfaction. More than anything else we want to live life feeling fulfilled. Yet most of us end up relating to the Rolling Stones who sang, “I can’t get no satisfaction, I can’t get no satisfaction, I can’t get no satisfaction. I have tried, and I’ve tried, and I’ve tried but I can’t get no satisfaction.” Does that sound like the story of your life?

Sometimes we say I’m starving to death. So we belly up to the Old Country buffet for an all you can eat feast. We skip the salad, of course. Start in on the main courses and we eat and we eat and we eat. And then when we are stuffed, we add on desert just because it’s included in the price and we leave thinking I am stuffed. I will never eat again. Until the next meal roles around and we are back to saying, “I’m starving to death! What is there to eat?”

Now this same thing that is true with our physical appetites is true of our desire for satisfaction. We think if I just got a raise then I’d be satisfied. We get the raise. Are we satisfied? For a few weeks. Then we think, if I only had a little more then I’d be satisfied. I might even be able to save some money. Then we get a little more. Do we save? No, we become unsatisfied with our car and we go get a new one. Why? Because we are now unsatisfied with the old one and we think a new one will make me satisfied. And we can afford the payment anyway.

Or we think if I just got a promotion at work. If someone recognized my efforts then I would be satisfied. So we work hard, we get the promotion and we are satisfied, for awhile. Then we wonder what is next? Surely there is more.
We constantly live our lives trying to meet our felt needs with money, clothes, possession, drugs, alcohol, new relationships, sex-whatever we think will bring satisfaction.

The truth is most of us don’t need more food, clothes, money or anything else this world has to offer to experience satisfaction.

One day, Jesus fed 5000 men, plus women and children, probably 15,000 to 20,000 people in all with 5 loaves of bread and two pieces of fish. The people thought, “This is satisfaction! We will follow Jesus, He will continue to feed us and we will never have to work again!” You can read this story in John 6.

Jesus called these people out for seeking satisfaction in the food that He could supply. In John 6:26 Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.

And then Jesus said this, I am the bread of life. You see the problem was that these people saw Jesus as the bread giver and not the bread.

And you know what? Not much has changed. We have this tendency to want to come to Jesus simply for what He can give us, for what He can do for us and Jesus says to us, I am the bread of life. I am not the bread giver, I am the bread. Stop spending your time and money and life and energy seeking satisfaction through things like food, clothes, jobs, money, drugs, and sex. It may seem for awhile, there might be some temporary satisfaction but it won’t last. It is not really bread. I have a free gift to give you, if you will only receive it. I am the bread of life. Eat of me, pursue me, not as the bread giver, but as the bread of life.

Let’s be honest about it. Sometimes we even pursue Jesus simply because we think He will get us close to the life we want. He healed one, if I get close to Him, will heal me? If he can multiply food, perhaps He will multiply my money? Jesus tells us, we are thinking too small. You are concerned with perishable things you can get anywhere. The problem is we see Jesus as the bread giver and not the bread. When Jesus says, “I am the bread of life,” He is saying don’t come to me simply for what I can do for you, come to me for me. Let me be your source of satisfaction. I know what you need and all you need is found in me.

And you know what? When we stop pursuing Him for what He can do for us and simply pursue Him for who He is He promises to take care of all these others needs we have as well.  In Matthew 6:33 it says, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  What other things?  In context, He is talking about food, clothing, everything we need.  But it starts with pursuing Him not as the Bread giver but as the Bread of life.  And He says I will bring you satisfaction-Guaranteed!

This is an excerpt from a message I recently preached.  Listen to the entire message here

Childlike Faith

Posted: March 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

My wife easily gets scared when riding in a car.  Maybe it’s because I’m usually driving.  Every time I have to hit my breaks slightly hard, every time someone cuts me off, every time she thinks I might be following too closely, she can’t take it.  She gasps and often makes a comment as well.

What’s really interesting about that is she has been riding with me in the car for over 20 years and we’ve never once had an accident.  I’ve had a few accidents driving by myself – twice someone ran a red light and hit me in the side, once someone rear ended me in snow, but in each instance I was in the car alone and she wasn’t with me.

During these same 20 years however, she has been involved in a few rear end accidents.  But yet she drives and doesn’t seem to ever be afraid when she is driving.  I believe it’s because when she drives she feels like she is in control and when she doesn’t drive, she knows she is out of control.

I have noticed, on the other hand, that when my children ride with me, they are for the most part oblivious to what is going on.  They don’t gasp when there is a close call.  They don’t question me if they think I’m going too fast or driving too close.  They just ride and seem to feel safe in trusting the fact that their father is in control.

I was thinking about this and realized I’m often not a very good rider in life.  I see circumstances come my way that look scary and intimidating and I feel so out of control.  And sometimes, I even question my Father’s ability to drive me through those circumstances safely.  And yet, the truth is, in good times or in bad times, in calm or in storm, I am never in control, but I have a Father who already knows what is going to happen the next day, the next month, the next year and on and on, and I can trust Him.

Jesus said, In Matthew 18:3  “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”  Children are so trusting.  Children don’t get too worked up or too worried about what’s going on around them.  Children think their dad can do anything.  Maybe that’s why Jesus says we need to become like little children.  We need a childlike faith to enter the kingdom of heaven.  Faith makes all the difference in the world.

Matthew 21:21 NIV “Jesus replied, I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.”

All it takes it a child like faith. Lord help me to have faith like that!

 

“Like A Child” by Jars of Clay

Dear God, surround me as I speak,
the bridges that I walk across are weak
Frustrations fill the void that I can’t solely bear.

Dear God, don’t let me fall apart
you’ve held me close to you
I have turned away and searched
for answers I can’t understand.

Chorus:
They say that I can move the mountains
And send them falling to the sea
They say that I can walk on water
If I would follow and believe with Faith Like a Child

Sometimes, when I feel miles away
and my eyes can’t see your face
I wonder if I’ve grown to lose the
recklessness I walked in light of you

Chorus

They say that I can move the mountains
And send them crashing to the sea
They say that I can walk on water
If I would follow and believe
with Faith Like a Child

They say that love can heal the broken
They say that hope can make you see
They say that faith can find a Savior
If you would follow and believe
With Faith Like a Child

Excitement is Building

Posted: March 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

We are now sitting just four weeks from our launch day for Freedom Fellowship!  I am getting so excited about some of the things that God is doing as we lead up to this.  I thought I would just share some of the ways we are seeing the Father work.

Partnership with Resurrection Fellowship.  When I resigned I had no idea what I would do next.  God clearly revealed He wanted us to stay in the area and plant a church.  One of the ways He confirmed this was by showing us that He had laid it on Pastor Jonathan Wiggins’ heart a year before that they were going to be part of a church plant.  That it wasn’t something they were to go search for, but rather God was going to drop it in their lap.  He even had his staff preparing a tool called “Church in Box” because he knew God was preparing them for this.  God has knit our hearts and our missions together and they have been phenomenal partners in helping us get this off the ground.  It’s amazing to know that God had this in mind long before I did!

Staff.  God has brought together a great team to work with us.

Tim Escamilla joined us first to help with worship ministry.  Tim has an outstanding heart for God and amazing skills at leading worship.  He has also assembled a complete band to come alongside him and help in this ministry.  This is amazing!  We visited a church that was launching yesterday with only one worship leader with a guitar.  Thank you Lord for working out these details!

We prayed for awhile about what to do with our Freedom Kids children’s ministry.  After praying for awhile about it, my wife Tricia felt God nudging her to step out and take on this role.  She has a great heart for the Lord and for children and I know Freedom Kids will be amazing.

We had decided because of financial considerations to not start with a student ministry.  However, God brought us Mark and Brandi Aspinall to step in and take on this role and they are willing to do this as volunteers until such time as the finances allow us to pay them!  We hope this isn’t long but it’s amazing that God brought us this amazing couple!  They too have incredible hearts for the Lord, an amazing love for students, and are experienced youth pastors!  God is good!

Space.  When we started looking for space in which to meet it was a little discouraging.  There was one school open in the area that met our criteria.  That was Cresthill Middle School in Highlands Ranch.  The district however informed us that they had said they didn’t want a church.  I asked them to check with them again and Tricia and I prayed for favor and they said yes!  The people there have been wonderful to work with and God provided an amazing space that can seat 400 people and great classroom space adjacent to the worship area for kids!  Thank you Lord!

We also knew there would be a struggle for space for weekday programming but we have been able to work it out with Cresthill to rent a room for 610 Men’s community on Thursday nights at 6:10 PM starting March 15.  We also have secured a gymnasium at Cresthill for our student ministry, The Revolution, to begin meeting on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 PM starting March 28.

Launch team When we started this venture, we knew we needed people who would step up and be willing to help.  God has put together an amazing Dream Team who are excited and have been willing to take on leadership roles as we prepare to launch.  Again, God has provided in amazing ways.

God is good.  Excitement is building.  The staff is in place.  The location is secured.   The launch team is fired up.  Plan to join us starting Sunday, April 1 at 10:00 AM.  We can’t wait to welcome you to Freedom Fellowship!  For more details check out myfreedomfellowship.com.

Most of us have grown up hearing from our parents, teachers, pastors, or other authority figures in our lives the statement, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”  We heard it when we made that cutting comment.  We heard it when we passed on that juicy piece of gossip.  We heard it when we said something downright cruel.  “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

We not only heard that statement as kids growing up, most of us find ourselves using that statement regularly with our own kids.  I find myself constantly challenging my kids to watch their comments that are mean, vengeful, cutting or cruel.

It seems like no matter how many times we have heard or taught this lesson, this is one that many people still struggle with.  Why?  Maybe it’s because cutting others down makes a weak self-image easier to deal with.  Maybe it’s because we are hurt ourselves and we want others to hurt the way we hurt.  Perhaps it’s attention we are seeking.  When we share that juicy piece of gossip we seem to be “in the know.”   Perhaps its vengeance-you said something that hurt me so I will hurt you back.  There are many contributing reasons but the bottom line is many of us seem to have a hard time controlling our tongues.

In his book entitled Killing Giants, Pulling Thorns, Chuck Swindoll tells about a epitaph etched on a the gray slate of a tombstone in an English cemetery. It read like this.

Beneath this stone, 
a lump of clay, lies Arabella Young,
Who, on the twenty-fourth of May, 
began to hold her tongue

I think we would all have to admit that Arabella Young began to hold her tongue a bit too late.

Over the past few months as Tricia and I have answered God’s call to step away from a ministry in a large evangelical church to plant a charismatic church, I have been once again amazed at how difficult it can be for some people to control their tongues.  I have heard comments back that have obviously been intended to be very hurtful.  It has caused me to examine my own words once again.

In the book of James, James gives us 5 practical steps for controlling our tongues that we would do well to remember.

1.  Be quick to listen and slow to speak

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” (James 1:19)

Abrahams Lincoln put it this way, “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

2. Bite your tongue more often

”If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.” (James 1:26)



3. Refuse to tear other people down


”Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another” (James 4:11)



4. Speak only what is true


”Above all, my brothers, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your “Yes” be yes, and your “No”, no, or you will be condemned.” (James 5:12)



5. Surrender your tongue to God


”no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:8)  We cannot tame our tongues without supernatural help.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you open your mouth.  Is it true? Is what I’m going to speak the truth? If not, stop. If it is, second ask, 
Is it necessary? Jesus said we are going to be judged for every careless word.  Is it beneficial? Is what I’m going to say going to build someone up or tear them down?  Do I have permission to share it?
 Before you speak think about what kind of friend you’re being. Finally, ask yourself, 
Is my motive pure? Why am I saying this?

If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.

Disqualified

Posted: February 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

Ryan Braun Of the Milwaukee Brewers was last years National League Most Valuable Player. He was sitting on top of the world, recognized as the best of the best in his profession for that year. And then the news broke that he had failed a random drug test. His testosterone levels were much too high indicating the use of performance enhancing drugs and he was disqualified. He faced a 50 game suspension. He appealed and yesterday it was announced he won his suspension on a technicality and will not be disqulaified after all. He recieved a second chance.

All this got me thinking about how easy it is to be disqulified because of mistakes or failures. Poor grades can disqulify us from being accepted in the college we want to attend. Too many mistakes at work can cost us our job. A one night stand can cost us our marriage. A split second decision to commit a crime can disqualify us for freedom.

Mistakes, failures and sometimes even the fallout of others peoples mistakes and failures can have a huge impact upon our lives. We can easily end up feeling disqualfied.

But here is some really good news. God is the God of not just the second chance, but the third, the fiftieth, the hundreth and on and on. No matter what mistakes you have made, no matter how you have failed, no matter your circumstsnces, no matter how others have wounded or failed you, He still can and wants to use you! You are not disqualified.

I saw this poster recently and thought it was a great reminder.
The next time you feel like God can’t use you, just remember…
Noah was a drunk.
Abraham was too old.
Isaac was a daydreamer.
Jacob was a liar.
Leah was ugly.
Joseph was abused.
Moses had a stuttering problem.
Gideon was afraid.
Sampson had long hair and was a womanizer.
Rahab was a prostitute.
Jeremiah and Timothy were too young.
David had an affair and was a murderer.
Elijah was suicidal.
Isaiah preached naked.
Jonah ran from God.
Naomi was a widow.
Job went bankrupt.
John the Baptist ate locusts.
Peter denied Christ.
The Disciples fell asleep while praying.
Martha worried about everything.
Mary Magdalene was, well you know.
The Samaritan woman was divorced, more than once.
Zaccheus was too small. Paul was too religious.
Timothy had an ulcer…
Lazarus was dead!

You think God can’t use you because you are somehow disqulified? Think again.

Do You Know Who You Are?

Posted: February 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

A heavily booked commercial flight out of Denver was canceled, and a single agent was rebooking a long line of inconvenienced travelers. Suddenly an angry passenger pushed his way to the front and slapped his ticket down on the counter. “I have to be on this flight and it has to be first class!” he insisted. “I’m sorry, sir,” the agent replied. “I’ll be happy to help you, but I have to take care of these folks first.” The passenger was unimpressed. “Do you have any idea who I am?” he demanded in a voice loud enough for the passengers behind him to hear. Without hesitating, the agent smiled and picked up her public-address microphone. “May I have your attention, please?” she broadcast throughout the terminal. “We have a passenger here at the gate who does not know who he is. If anyone can help him find his identity, please come to the gate.” As the man retreated, the people in the terminal burst into applause.

What I have found is that describes many Christians I know.  They have absolutely no idea who they are.  They are struggling with an identity crisis.  Do you know who you are?  Here are some scriptures that remind us of our true identity.

  • John 1:12 I am God’s child

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God

  • John 15:15 I am a friend of Jesus Christ

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

  • Romans 5:1 I am justified

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

  • Ephesians 1:5-8 I am a prince or princess because I have been chosen by the King and adopted into His royal family

In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.

  • Romans 8:1 I am free from condemnation.                                                        

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 

  • Romans 8:35-39 I am completely and unconditionally loved by God and nothing can change that.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:”For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughter”No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  • Philippians 3:20 I am a citizen of heaven.

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,

  • 2 Timothy 1:7 I am filled with God’s power and I have no reason to be afraid.

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

  • 1 John 5:18 I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.

We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him.

  • John 15:16 I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit.

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

  • 1 Corinthians 3:16 I am God’s temple.


Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?

  • Ephesians 2:6 I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realms.

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,

  • Ephesians 2:10 I am God’s workmanship.

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

  • Luke 10:19 I have been given authority over the enemy.  I fight from victory not for victory.

I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and overcome all the power of the evil one. 

The enemy knows if you are in Christ, all these things are true of you and he cannot take your identity away.  So what he will often do is lie to you and get you to doubt your identity because a lie doesn’t have to be true to negatively affect us.  It only has to be believed.  And if he can cause you to doubt who you are in Christ, he can strip you of your effectiveness in advancing the kingdom.  So review these verses often.  Know who you are and stand in that truth and when you do, you will live in power and victory!

Naturally Supernatural

Posted: February 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

I am in the process of planting a new church called Freedom Fellowship and as I have been preparing to launch into what is uncharted territory for me, I have spent much time reading and listening to different church planting experts explain how to successfully launch a church and how to attract and keep a crowd.  As I have delved into the available material, I have encountered much on subjects like marketing, strategy, organization, fundraising, attracting and keeping unchurched people, and making sure you keep the service short enough and seeker sensitive enough that people will want to come back.

But honestly, I have been very disappointed that I have not read and heard much at all about seeking the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit, about allowing Him to work in supernatural ways and depending on His power to build a church.  In fact, not only have a read and heard very little on that subject, what I have read and heard was more negative than positive.  It seems to give the idea that if there are manifestations of the Spirit in the worship service, if He shows up and that extends the worship time too long, if there is expectant prayer for healing, or if the teaching isn’t all about felt needs, then you won’t be very successful in launching and building a church.  This has really been frustrating and disappointing to me because so much of what is being taught in the church planting and church growth world today is completely dependent on man’s ability, creativity, ingenuity, strategy and marketing ability and not much about seeking the presence of God and allowing the Holy Spirit to show up and do a work that is supernatural.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I believe we must market, we must plan, and we must be sensitive to unchurched people, but the bottom line is this-too much of what is happening in American churches today makes sense with or without the work of the Holy Spirit.  I go to far too many churches where I see a well oiled machine, running slickly and smoothly and I leave thinking this makes sense.  I can see why they are growing.  The guy is a gifted speaker, the music is cool, the videos are creative, the atmosphere is inviting and the service is short enough that people can get in and out and check the box and say I did something spiritual.  I don’t want to plant a church like that.  I don’t want to play church. I want to plant a church that is filled with and dependent upon the power of the Holy Spirit.    Because when I read the Bible about the power of the Holy Spirit, about what He does when He shows up in someone’s life, about the supernatural stuff He does when He is poured out upon a church, I see people getting saved, I see people getting healed, I see people getting delivered from demonic oppression, I see all sorts of things happening that cannot be mimicked, faked, or explained on the basis of raw talent-because when the Holy Spirit comes into a church and He empowers it, there is this evidence of supernatural power and that attracts far more people than our best efforts.  Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:4 “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power.”  I believe people are hungry for that today. They don’t want to just hear about God, they want to see evidence of the power of God. That’s the kind of church I want Freedom Fellowship to be.  I want it to be a church where the Holy Spirit is welcomed, where the Holy Spirit is depended upon, where the Holy Spirit is allowed to work in such a way that the supernatural becomes natural and I believe when that is allowed to happen, then the results will be more like the book of Acts, where it says the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Christianity is NOT about God. Do I have your attention yet? I was in church this past Sunday when the man doing the communion thought said this. He certainly had mine. What does he mean Christianity is not about God? I immedediately bristled as I thought surely he misspoke. Christianity is about God, how He created us, loved us in spite of our sins, sent His son to die for us, forgives us etc. Surely Christianity is about God. Right?

But he had me with his next statement. Christianity is NOT about God, it is WITH God. And I thought, how true that is and how many people miss it.

You see, it is quite possible to know all about God and not be with God. The Bible tells us even the demons believe and tremble. Many people give mental ascent to God, go to church every week and read their Bible and gain knowledge about God but don’t really walk with God.

Christianity is not about knowledge. It is not ascenting to facts. It is not about duty and disciplines. It is not about following a set moral standard. It is not about being a good person.

Christianity is a love relationship with the creator of the universe. It is not a religion, it is a relationship. It is not knowing about Him, it is walking with Him. It is hearing His voice. It is following His leading. It is depending on His power. It is allowing Him to do the miraculous things in and through us that only He can do. It is a dance, a waltz, where he leads and we move with Him in the rhythm of His grace.

So here is something to think about today-Is your Christianity more about God or are you walking with God?

Our daughter Rachel makes some of the funniest comments.  The funny thing is she is serious as a heart attack when she makes them.  Here are a few classics.

A few months ago, Rachel was at the eye doctor.  The doctor asked her to read the line of letters.  Rachel says, “C, X, N, 2.”  The Doc says, “There aren’t any numbers.”  Rachel looked at him funny and asked, “Then why is there a 2 in there?”

Last week, Rachel was being all pouty and Tricia asked her, “What’s wrong?”  Rachel, while crying and sniffling, insisted, “Nothing!”  Tricia asked, “Then, why are you crying?”  Rachel said, “I’m not crying.  My eyes are just watering.”

A few nights ago, Rachel was taking a bath.  She was especially dirty and the water had gotten filthy and Tricia walked in to find Rachel sticking her face in the water.  Tricia said, “Rachel, get your face out of there!  That water is disgusting!”  Rachel responded, “It’s okay mom.  I’m holding my breath.”  The logic of a 10 year old!

And then yesterday, I about fell out of my chair when the boys were discussing whether or not they were going to play AA or AAA baseball this year and Rachel innocently asked, “Why do they name the baseball leagues after batteries?”

She keeps us laughing for sure.  But she is also growing up.

Last night was the Father/Daughter dance for her school.  After over two feet of snow in 24 hours, most everything in the entire Denver metro area was closed and every event cancelled-except for the Father/Daughter dance.  So we were debating about whether or not we were still going to try to go and Rachel looked at me with her big brown eyes and said, “Please daddy!  I really want to go.”  How could I resist?  So we got ready to go.  She put on a pretty dress and Tricia fixed her hair and she looked absolutely gorgeous.

When we walked into the dance, I expected the place to be empty but evidently many other dads got the same look and pleading that I got because the place was full.  And we had a blast.  We ate and danced and laughed.  And as we danced she looked up at me and smiled and said, “I love you daddy,” and I melted.

She’s at that stage where her comments remind you she’s an innocent little girl but she can also act to grown up at the same time.  The final song of the night summed up well how quickly they grow up.  Steven Curtis Chapman’s song, “Cinderella.”

She spins and she sways
To whatever song plays
Without a care in the world
And I’m sitting here wearing
The weight of the world on my shoulders

It’s been a long day
And there’s still work to do
She’s pulling at me
Saying “Dad, I need you

There’s a ball at the castle
And I’ve been invited
And I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?”

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
‘Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don’t want to miss even one song
‘Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she’ll be gone…

She says he’s a nice guy and I’d be impressed
She wants to know if I approve of the dress
She says, “Dad, the prom is just one week away
And I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?”

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
‘Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don’t want to miss even one song
‘Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she’ll be gone

She will be gone

Well, she came home today with a ring on her hand
Just glowing and telling us all they had planned
She says, “Dad, the wedding’s still six months away
But I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?”

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
‘Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don’t want to miss even one song
‘Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she’ll be gone

Soon she will be gone.  They really do grow up so fast.  So I’ll laugh and dance and cherish the moments we have.

Changing Times

Posted: January 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

Well, here it is – my first blog.  This is something I have avoided doing for years.  So many people have told me that I should really write a blog, but I honestly had no desire to do it.  Zero.  Zilch.  Nada.  All I saw when I thought of a blog was another looming deadline.  Something else on my already long to do list that I was going to feel guilty if I didn’t get to as consistently as I should.  As a Lead Pastor at large, growing churches for the past 20 years, my schedule has always felt overwhelming enough.  Every day there seem to be decisions that need to be made right now, today, about things like staffing, programming, vision, direction and so much more.  There are meetings to attend and people to be visited.  And then of course, there is the weekly sermon deadline that is constantly lurking in the background.  Sunday comes every seven days, six if you have Saturday services, and as soon as you get done with the weekend, here it comes again!  So to think of adding one more thing like a blog, never appealed to me.

But over the past few months, much in my life has changed.  I have gone from being a megachurch pastor to being a church planter.  Never saw that one coming!  But God clearly did and honestly, I love it.  The way I do life and ministry has had to change drastically.  My schedule, while still incredibly full, is filled with so many different things and it has been a blast.  At this point, many of my priorities have changed.  I have only preached once in the last three months and won’t be writing sermons again regularly until April.  So there is much to say and I need a place to express some of the thoughts I am processing, some of the lessons I am learning, some of the scriptures God is impressing on me, and the vision God has placed on my heart for Freedom Fellowship that I am just incredibly excited about.

I never thought I’d write a blog.  I was pretty sure I wasn’t interested in ever planting a church-especially after so many years at a large church.  I can’t be nearly old enough to have a second child leaving home and going to college this fall.  I thought Twitter was a complete waste of time, and now I’m tweeting and following other’s tweets.  So many things in my life are changing and I have a feeling as we launch Freedom Fellowship this year there are many more changes ahead.  The good news is we never go though a change that catches God off guard.  He isn’t surprised.  He doesn’t ever say, Never saw that one coming!  So no matter how many changes we find ourselves facing in our lives, here is some really good news you can bank on.  You can always trust an unknown future to a known God.

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