Saturday, January 23, 2010

Best Wedding Invitation Ever?


Below is perhaps the best wedding invitation I have seen, if anything certainly one of the most creative! Watch the wedding invitation and then read the rest of the post...

Over ten years ago I remember my wife and I picking out our wedding invitations. Well honestly it was her picking and me tagging along, joyfully of course!

The Bible's greatest hope which it calls 'blessed' is the second coming of Jesus. It also says that we are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb. With everything going on in our world, especially as we continue to hear the ongoing saga in Haiti. I yearn for Jesus to come back. I yearn for the bride to meet the Groom!

Yet this very creative wedding invitation you saw reminds me that you and I are what God uses or wants to use to invite others to this grand feast. We are to a great extent the means of how God invites others.

The question we must ask: Is our invitation producing a positive RSVP?


image by [future_leahriley]

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Pat Robertson: My Response


The Bible says, "But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions...In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure." (Gen. 15:14,16) These words were spoken to Abram (later to be Abraham) as God predicted Israel's captivity and the punishment of the Amorites when their sin would reach its limits.

When reading the Bible there is no getting around the fact that at some point God says enough (with sin) and brings judgment upon a nation and it's people. Even the casual reader of the bible if they start with Genesis will of course encounter the well known story of the flood! Speaking of story of biblical per portions! If you go to the New Testament you have the story of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5).  

The full theology and understanding of God's judgments is for perhaps another post. Yet with that said there is something that we need to take into consideration. The reason we know exactly that God brought judgment upon the nations (and the world in the case of the flood) is because we read about it after it happened and so God's word says it was so! The latter is the key point we have confirmation from God himself!

The reality is that Pat Robertson's comments were wrong in my opinion perhaps not so much because of his theology/ideology (though honestly I don't know the full of extent of it, therefore in NO way do I approve his comments) but in his TIMING. Even now and more so when his comment(s) were made it should have been all about PRAYING AND GETTING HELP for the people of Haiti! Secondly unless Pat Robertson had some confirmed message from God there is no present validity to what he said. Only the future will tell and possibly not even on this side of heaven.

Let's make something clear though about God and understand something He clearly confirms we should do and about how He feels. Listen (or read:-) to what He says, "Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!" (Ezekiel 18:19,20 italics mine)

Are you listening Pat...


photo by [midnight-digital]

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Help Haiti!


By now I'm sure you've seen enough news coverage regarding what has happened in Haiti. The devastation is absolutely heart wrenching to say the very least. I challenge everyone who reads this blog to go to ADRA directly and donate at least $10 or you can also make a donation of $10 to the Red Cross by texting 'Haiti' to 90999 it will show up in your next cell phone bill.

I highly recommend these two easy ways which will give Haiti immediate help!

One more thing. In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Haiti TV evangelist Pat Robertson said some very controversial things regarding Haiti that have made headlines and obviously affect people's view of God and their desire to go deeper with Him! Watch the video below, let me know what you think about what he said and I will be posting a comment soon:

{Note: I deeply apologize for those who get this via email and weren't able to see the video and/or the pic)


photo by [pan african news wire]

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hindsight is always 20/20

Lately for whatever reason I've been reading, listening, and thinking about trials. I know, it's not the most uplifting topic to be meditating on but perhaps God is speaking to me. This past weekend I even preached on it as I started a new series in the book of James. You can listen to the sermon Possibilites & Perseverance here.

We live in an age of uncertainty, nothing is secure. Regardless how stable you think your job is, it really isn't. Not simply because you may be layed off but because you could get sick, hurt or both and then not be able to do whatever it is you do.

I listened to a sermon today on the story of Joseph in Genesis (interestingly enough I didn't know what it was about and when I heard it said wow when I realized it was on Joseph). Now if you remember the story of Joseph he went through some trials to say the least. First he gets sold by his brothers, he becomes a slave, then he gets falsely accused by Potiphers wife, then ends up in prison, he hopes the cup bearer will remember him when he gets out of prison but doesn't! What's amazing though is what the Bible says after Joseph was thrown into prison (again undeservedly!): "But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden." (Gen. 39:20,21)

Now I don't know about you but at this point I would've rather God showed favor to me by not allowing me to be sold into slavery by my brothers to begin with! Make no mistake about it Joseph was not happy to be in prison (read Gen. 40:14, 15) Joseph was no different than us he wasn't particularly enjoying going through his trials. I would even venture to say that he wasn't joyful as James 1:2 calls us to be as we go through all kinds of troubles.

Yet here comes one text within the story of Joseph that can perhaps bring into question your theology and/or ideology of God's interaction in the sphere of our lives. In the end of the narrative of the story of Joseph he ends up telling his brothers: " not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you." (Gen. 45:5)

What!? Truly incredible, maybe that's why even Paul says, "We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Rom. 8:28)

Whatever trial you may be going through, or will go through (because it's truly not a matter of 'if' but 'when') hopefully you can remember Joseph, that in all his trials God was with him and at the end those trials had a purpose beyond even Josephs wildest dreams.

Perhaps then as you go through your trials this year, remember that maybe, just maybe, after it's all said and done you will look back and say, "In all things God works for the good of those who love Him!" Because as with Joseph God had a purpose far beyond your wildest dreams. What that is at this moment we may have no idea, but remember that hindsight is always 20/20...

If I knew back then what I know now
If I understood the what , when , why and how
Now it's clear to me
What I should have done
But hindsight is 20/20 vision

- excerpts from 20/20 by George Benson 

If you feel comfortable leave a comment on my blog so that I can pray for you as you go through your trials! (if you get this via email click Bathos at the bottom)


photo by [eric austria]

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It's Cold


Today the governor of Mississippi Haley Barbour declared a state of emergency for the entire state because of the continued cold temperatures. You see the average weather for Jackson, MS  in December is 58 degrees for the high and 37 for the low. This weekend the high is suppose to only reach 31!! Now I know what some folks who live in places like Chicago, Detroit, or New York are saying...well their probably laughing at us :-) Being that the average temp in Chicago, IL  in January is 32 degrees (with lots of snow)!!  Hey give us a break, down here we're not use to the cold, that's why we live in the South :-)

But really this post is not about the weather in the South or the North but it is about the temperature in our churches. I'm sure we've all been to a church that's so cold that you would feel warmer being in Chicago on a snowy January!  Along these same lines perhaps you've experienced being at a church where the people are 'nice' overall but for whatever reason you find it hard to truly connect with the people at the church. The church is 'friendly' but it's hard to make 'friendships.' In other words they seem cold.

Could it possibly be that part of the reason the majority of churches in North America are either dying or plateauing (meaning they have stayed the same for years)  is because there truly isn't the love of Jesus that is penetrating deep in the hearts of our churches? I mean it seems that when we say church possibly consciously our unconsciously we immediately think of a building in a particular address. But we must be reminded that the building is you and I and the particular address is wherever we are!

Jesus clearly said that all people would know that we are His disciples if we love one another. (John 13:35). But lets be honest don't we sometimes wonder what that really would look like in the church today? The Bible also says that God is love (1 Jn 4:8), that God loved the world that He gave His Son (John 3:16) So if the God of the universe who invented love, who is love, showed it by giving His very best to save the very worse, then how do we make that kind of love prevalent in our churches?

You see maybe we the church are not giving the very best. When I say give, I don't mean money at all, I mean our time, heart, and mind. Perhaps we're so busy with our own agenda at church (along with our  activities of daily living) that we have truly forgotten the true purpose of the church. The purpose of the church is not simply great music (hymns or contemporary music), great preaching, or great programs. These are all great to have but are simply a means to an end. So what is the end? Well...the same as God's, to give in order to save! To give Jesus to others, to seek and to save that which is lost!

Could it be then that the lack of 'hot' churches is a lack of truly having He who is a consuming fire that burns within our bones and causes us through His Spirit to give it (the love of Jesus) to others?

So what's the temperature of your church? Is it cold? Well maybe you should call a state of emergency because Jesus is coming soon for those that are hot...


[photo by gregorio parvus]

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Going Live!


Happy New Year to all! Well for some reason it seems strange to actually say and write 2010! I remember as a kid thinking that I would probably never see the year 20?? anything and if I did we might having flying cars:-) Ok so we don't have flying cars...yet, but there's no doubt that technology has taken us to a new level of living.

I personally love technology and enjoy learning and reading about the newest gadget or trend. What I really enjoy about technology is using it to further God's kingdom and of course go deeper with Jesus.  I hope that you have started using the youversion website to help you with your Bible reading plan this year. The first thing I do every morning is read the days reading with my iphone it makes it very simple to do.

One thing that our church has started to do in regards to this issue is to live stream our services and recently we have even started to live stream our services on the iphone! Obviously we don't claim to be the most technologically advanced church by no means I leave that to But we are trying to use technology for the glory of God in getting out the message. Many churches without deep pockets and/or are starting out getting deeper using technology are live streaming there services using the following two mediums (at least that I know) that is: and

Our church has been using LiveStream now for several months and it has been a blessing for those who for whatever reason couldn't come to church that weekend and are able to either see it via their computers live or could watch it later. As I mentioned we are also live streaming our services live on the iphone at: UStream though even has an iphone app in which you could record (with an iphone 3GS) and be live online!

One of the great things about all this is that it's absolutely free (note that for the free service there will be ads showing but it's not bad) and all your church needs is a video camera, high speed DSL and of course someone who is willing to do it! This past weekend GYC (Generation of Youth for Christ) streamed their conference on you could see it here

If you're looking to go deeper in spreading the gospel of Jesus with technology this is definitely something you might want to look at. Check out our church channel on LiveStream here or you can also go to our church website here

So let me know what you think.  What idea do you have or know to further God's kingdom with technology?


[photo by zinkwazi ]

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