Thursday, February 19, 2009


This past week has been a reminder to me about the change that happens when Christ comes into our lives.

Baptism is a symbol of that change; from burial of the "old self"
and its ways, to a "new birth" in Christ and the ways of the Kingdom.

We should, by His Spirit, be putting off the "old" and starting to wear the "new".

Have you experienced that change?

Reading the third chapter of 1 John, here's the verse that struck me:

14We know that we have passed out of death into life…
1 John 3:14 (a) (ESV)

I think many of us might say, "Not sure I understand that, but I've got my ticket to Heaven," and then we go on living just like we used to, just like the rest of the world.

As someone who is a follower of Jesus Christ, we should be changed; our lives should be different. Look at the difference:

14 If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead. 15
Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don't have eternal life within them.

 16 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God's love be in that person?

 18 Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the
truth by our actions. 19 Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident
when we stand before God. 20 Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.

 21 Dear friends, if we don't feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence.
22 And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him.

 23 And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey God's commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us. 1 John 3:14-24

Wow, read that again, slowly and let it sink it!

Experience that re-birth and live in the power of His Spirit – Be Changed!

"Launch the Love!"


Monday, February 16, 2009


What an incredible week!

I've had the privilege of
baptizing 6 incredible people in the last 5 days!

They are all coming to understand what it means to be
reborn, remade, reconciled, and regenerated IN Christ!

What struck me as I was reading 1 John and thinking about last night's baptism was how

The fact that we can have a
relationship with our Creator is incredible by itself, but then He takes our earthly relationship to a whole new level!

I love doing baptism in the fountain on campus, here's why.

First, you never know who will walk by and the testimony it gives to the world!

Secondly, you are at an institution of higher learning; ok, what does that have to do with it?

We are commissioned by Christ to "go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."

disciple is a learner, someone who has a deep intimacy with Christ and is learning His ways.

We are baptizing at an institution that is teaching the ways of the world and by our baptism we are proclaiming we are learning what it means to be a part of our Father's Kingdom!

Lastly, and this might seem like sacrilege to Seminoles!  On a campus that prides itself in being the "Unconquered", baptism is saying to the world
my sins have been "Conquered" by Christ and I am surrendering to Him!  I will not be conquered by evil!

Last night Drew went with me and as we left he said, with some disappointment,
"Sure were a lot of people here for only 3 people getting baptized!"


How INCREDIBLE is that?

"In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." Luke 15:10

The Heavens rejoice over one, shouldn't we?

Wednesday night and last night were an awesome display of how God is making us a family! 

Thanks for allowing me to be a part!

1 John 1

As we continue to Launch the Love we challenged you to read a chapter
a day from 1 John.

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4We write this to make our joy complete.

Walking in the light

 5This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

 8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. 1 John

Not sure what exactly jumped out at you when you read the first chapter of 1 John, but here is what hit me.

If we profess to follow Christ
our faith needs to be tested.

5Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?
2 Cor 13:5

  • Is my life different
    than before I started following Christ?
  • Has my attitude, priorities, values and desires changed since following Christ?
  • Are there issues in my life that I feel powerless to overcome?
  • Is there a desire to spend more time getting to know God?
  • Is there a desire to spend more time doing the will of God?
  • Is there a feeling of joy when among others who believe?
  • Am I finding more joy?


I would hate for any of us to miss it!

Scott spoke yesterday about a religion versus a relationship that brings about life change. Maybe you've been religious but when you answer the questions above there are no vital signs. My challenge to you would be to read the story of the great, but unsaved, religious leader Nicodemus (John 3:1-10) and see what Jesus has to say to him.

More our joy be complete!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Today we rejoice in truth.

My prayer is that over the last week you have encountered God and have experienced His love for you! As you've come to understand just how much He loves you, you've learned to love Him with all of your heart, your soul, your mind and strength.

Today we gather to praise our God, the one and only true God, for who He is and what He has done for us!

We gather in His name, a name above all names!

We gather to praise Him because He is not distant, but a loving, relational God; Abba – our Father; Immanuel - God which walked with us; the Holy Spirit – God in us!

We gather to rejoice in the truth because He is!

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 14:6

We gather because nothing can separate us from His love!

38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither 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.
Romans 8:38-39

We gather because His love for us is extravagant!

"Keep company with God and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His
love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that."
     Eph. 5:2 (Mes)

We gather because He is!

9 Gather the nations together!
      Assemble the peoples of the world!
   Which of their idols has ever foretold such things?
      Which can predict what will happen tomorrow?
   Where are the witnesses of such predictions?
      Who can verify that they spoke the truth?

 10 "But you are my witnesses, O Israel!" says the Lord.
      "You are my servant.
   You have been chosen to know me, believe in me,
      and understand that I alone am God.
   There is no other God—
      there never has been, and there never will be.
 11 I, yes I, am the Lord,
      and there is no other Savior.

Isa 43:9-11

Rejoice in that truth today!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Love is not self-seeking

Valentines is all about giving reminders of how much you love someone. May I remind you of the greatest love gift ever:

 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
      did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
      taking the very nature of a servant,
      being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
      he humbled himself

      and became obedient to death—
         even death on a cross!

Phil 2:5-8

He surrendered His rights, became a servant, and then became the Sacrifice for you!

He Loves You!

Will you have that same attitude today?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Wear love today!

Only let us live up to what we have already attained. Phil 3:16

Today we practice - Love that does not act unbecoming (rude,behave unseemingly, act improperly)… or rejoices in unrighteousness (evil, iniquity, injustice, wrongdoing)

He is
Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory."

Isa 6:3

Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
John 17:21

Today is a chance to practice who you are in Christ, not who you once were.

If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and declared that you will follow Him and His ways alone, then you are not who you once were; you are being remade, reborn, reconciled, renewed!

As disciples, followers of Jesus we should be learning who we are in Christ.

Look at this passage:

 1Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not
on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Col 3:1-4

Your life is now in Christ, you are a new creation!

Here's your old way of life:

 5Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[b]
7You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices
10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
Col 3:5-10

Today take off the old self and put
on the image of Christ!

Live the life you have already attained!

Your old nature is dead, it wants to pull you down, don't let it!

 12Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved,

Let that sink in…

clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Col 3:12-14

Wear love today – Wear His name!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thursday – no boasting!

Today is about not boasting or being proud. It's all about humility.

Think about this verse:

He isvery nature God…made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, Phil 2:7

God, who had every
right to boast, made Himself "nothing",
NOTHING, NOTHING…let that sink in…I on the other hand, am always trying to make something out of myself!

Put yourself in situations that will humble you, yes, I said humble you!


Because He did.

Look at all of that verse:

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature[a] God,
      did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
      taking the very nature of a servant,
      being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
      he humbled himself

      and became obedient to death—
         even death on a cross!
Phil 2:5-8

Our attitude should be the same!

We shouldBe good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle. Romans 12:10 (MSG)

Here are some suggestions:

Don't steal someone's "ego-food".

What's that mean? You know, it's when someone is telling a story and you can't wait for them to shut-up so you can tell your story that is way better than theirs, DON"T DO IT!

Listen more than you talk!

God gave you two ears and only one mouth! Listen twice as much!

Make someone feel greater than you.

Walk away from every encounter today asking yourself, "Did they feel more important than me?"

Ask for help.

Especially if you are a guy, there is nothing that humbles you quicker than saying you don't know how to do something!

Confess your sins.

AHH, really, you had to go there? Yes, this is about practicing humility! I think this humbles you more than any other, when we finally admit who we really are. It is also the most freeing thing; you won't have to wear a mask with person any longer!

Have an awesome
day being humble!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

No Envy or Jealousy

On Wednesday we will practice not becoming jealous:

This is who He is…
a jealous God.  Exodus 20:5

There is a great difference between our jealousy and God's. God is jealous over that which belongs to Him. We are jealous over that which belongs to someone else and not to us. God is jealous over what He has; we are jealous over what we do not have that someone else does have.

If we don't understand this, we can become a really bad witness for Him. Because of our envy we basically tell the world "He doesn't own it, it's mine!"

So, we should…Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don't have.  Eccl 6:9

Love does not envy."  It is impossible to envy someone and love them at the same time.  So, what is envy?  It's resenting God's goodness to others and ignoring God's goodness to me.  That's what envy is.

The Bible tells us real clearly that envy is behind most other sins. In James 3:16, it says, "
Wherever there is envy you'll find every kind of evil.

Anorexia: People starve themselves because they envy skinny people
Adultery: People envy somebody else, their spouse, so they steal them.
Bitterness: You resent people things that you wish you had achieved.
Complaining, Conflict, Dishonesty.
Exaggeration: People overstate accomplishments out of envy.
Gossip: We build ourselves up and tear other people down out of envy.
Hypocrisy: We kiss up to those we envy then talk behind their back.
Insecurity, Judgmentalism,
Manipulating: It causes us to scheme and want to get our own way.

Ask God to reveal the envy/jealousy behind your struggles.

The Bible says that envy can make you power-hungry, rude, sarcastic,
spiteful, stingy, stubborn, unforgiving,
ungrateful, unkind and vain.

Not a pretty picture.

The Bible says that envy can turn you into a worrier and also into a workaholic. Ecclesiastes 4:10 says, "I've learned why people work so hard to succeed. It's because they envy the things their neighbors have."

    The Bible tells us in Proverbs 14:30 that envy is like bone cancer. It will eat you alive. It starts inside, and it makes you miserable.

Is it worth it?


Nothing destroys friendships faster than envy. It can destroy families. It can destroy businesses. It can destroy neighborhoods. It can even cause nations to go at war with each other. Simply out of envy. This is one destructive sin.

Dang, that is scary stuff! So, how does it start, how do we prevent it?

Comparing is at the root of all envy. The Bible says over and over again, never compare yourself to anybody else. The Bible says it's foolish. The Bible says it's dumb, unwise. You're never to compare the way you look, your income, your intelligence, your kids, your husband or wife or your job or anything else. The Bible says do not do that.

So, today try not to compare yourself with anyone! God made you unique!

Besides all the things listed above it also keeps you from entering into the joy of other people. You miss out on a whole lot of joy in life you could be enjoying.

So to help you not miss the joy:

Enjoy something you already have that you may take for granted.

Celebrate with a friend who did better than you.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Love is kind...

Today we practice being kind!

We do this to remind us who God is, let it change us to be more like Him and then to represent Him well in the world!

God iskind…good…merciful, this God of ours! Psalm 116:5

Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? Romans 2:4

We shouldBe kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Eph 4:32

Patience is passive, kindness is active and it is really love when it is directed at those who are our enemies…that’s what set Christ-followers apart!

Kindness always begins with the eyes – the way you look, the way you see. It always begins with your vision, the way you observe things, the way you are sensitive to the needs of other people. Kindness starts with your eyes.

If you’re not aware of needs, you can’t care about those needs. You have to see the need first. The Bible says in Luke 10:33, “When he saw the man’s condition, his heart went out to him.” That is the starting point. If you want to learn to become a kinder person, you’ve got to change the way you look at the world. You’ve got to expand your vision, you’ve got to become more observant of the needs around you, be more sensitive.

Today look around; I’m sure God will put someone in your path so you can practice His kindness!

In my quiet time this morning here is the verse I “chewed on”:

"Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone." Titus 3:1-8

Here are the things that jumped out at me: be ready to do whatever is good! one time we were foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures - AT ONE TIME?

...His mercies our new to me each day!

...I am one of the "washed", who is being made new daily! what is good, because kindness leads to repentance (Romans 2:4) and pushes back evil (Romans 12:21)!'s for the good of everyone!

Remember He is kind to you; be kind!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Launch the Love

This week we are “Launching the Love” in Tallahassee.

We will be practicing 7 attributes of God and love found in 1 Corinthians 13.

As a reminder of why we are doing this - it’s all about His glory!

As a Christian when you accept what Jesus did for you on the cross, He saves you, but it doesn’t end there, if it did He would take you to Heaven immediately. He sets you apart, makes you godly, holy, we say he sanctifies you by conforming you to His image. This is the process of being made new, learning to die to yourself, picking up your cross, becoming like Him. He does this to send you out in the world as His ambassador, His witness to show the world what He is like to bring more people to Him, which brings Him more glory.

God’s purpose in saving you is to make you godly, which is for your good and also for His glory.

So in every situation in our lives He will turn it for good by making us like Christ, so that the world will know what He is like.

So this week we want you to put yourself in a situation where you do what God commands, so that you will be reminded that it’s about Him and not you. And as you are in that situation you let it change you to be more like Him, and then let it reflect who God is.

The Great Commandment says we are to love God…we do that by obeying what He has asked us to do 2 John 1:6, “Love means doing what God has commanded”…that brings Him glory.

He uses those situations to makes us in His image, which is to our good, which is all that matters - “If you are a follower of Christ Jesus all that matters is your faith that makes you love others.” Galatians 5:6

As we’re made in His image we become His ambassadors or witnesses. “Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world.” John 17:18

So many times we preach a “false Gospel” with our lives, we take a bad image of who He is into a world that desparately needs Him.

Launching the Love” has a “3 step process” basically; reminding us what God has done FOR us, what He is doing IN us, and what He wants to do THROUGH us, to bring Him Glory!

Today (Monday) is all about putting ourselves into situations that teach us patience!

Love is patient or “longsuffering”!

God is…compassionate and gracious…slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, Ex 34:6

“…even though God has the right to show his anger and his power, he is very patient with those on whom his anger falls” Romans 9:22

We should…be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, James 1:19

As you are in situations that require patience today be reminded of how patient He is with you, let it transform you, then be His representative to those around you!

“Launch the Love”!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The end, or is it…

1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel; the Israelites fled before them, and many fell slain on Mount Gilboa. 2 The Philistines pressed hard after Saul and his sons, and they killed his sons Jonathan, Abinadab and Malki-Shua. 3 The fighting grew fierce around Saul, and when the archers overtook him, they wounded him critically.

 4 Saul said to his armor-bearer, "Draw your sword and run me through, or these uncircumcised fellows will come and run me through and abuse me."
      But his armor-bearer was terrified and would not do it; so Saul took his own sword and fell on it. 5 When the armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he too fell on his sword and died with him. 6 So Saul and his three sons and his armor-bearer and all his men died together that same day.

 7 When the Israelites along the valley and those across the Jordan saw that the Israelite army had fled and that Saul and his sons had died, they abandoned their towns and fled. And the Philistines came and occupied them.

 8 The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the dead, they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. 9 They cut off his head and stripped off his armor, and they sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines to proclaim the news in the temple of their idols and among their people. 10 They put his armor in the temple of the Ashtoreths and fastened his body to the wall of Beth Shan.

 11 When the people of Jabesh Gilead heard of what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 all their valiant men journeyed through the night to Beth Shan. They took down the bodies of Saul and his sons from the wall of Beth Shan and went to Jabesh, where they burned them. 13 Then they took their bones and buried them under a tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and they fasted seven days. 1 Samuel 31

Wow, the end of a journey in so many ways! I believe it was in July that I felt God ask me to read
1 Samuel daily and write out my thoughts, well after 130 blog post I've reached the end. I really had no idea it would take me this long and how much God would reveal to me during the journey! If you have been following along it has been my pleasure to be your guide and share with you the things that God was revealing to me through His Word.

So here we are, at the end of what many would say is a wasted life. But God has used Saul's story to teach me about obedience, to remind me of my responsibility as a leader, and revealed areas in my life that still need work.

Here's what I got out of this last chapter:

As a leader if your heart is not in it you are easy prey.

There are some battles you must fight on your own, no matter how dependent you've been on some warriors who have served with you. (David was not allowed to fight in this battle.)

God's will trumps my desires. (Saul died the way God said he would.)

If the leader is taken out the people will scatter.

As a leader you must not fear the enemy more than you fear the Lord.

Leaders do not die alone; they take many innocent followers with them.

It's not only the leader; the people's disobedience can take out a whole nation also. ("Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will be swept away." – 1 Samuel 12:25)

As a leader people remember what you do for them. (Saul's first act as king was to rescue the people of Jabesh Gilead.)

Always wait for God's timing. (Saul thought he was done and tried to kill himself, but he couldn't – 2 Samuel 1:6.)

Disobedience, even in the slightest, will bring about tragedy.

Well, it's the end of this journey and the beginning of the next!