Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Charity Water: September campaign

In July I launched a fundraising campaign to build a water well in order to help those in need of life's most basic necessity: water! The post was called Dying of thirst? It was through the organization Charity:Water the goal was (is) to raise $5,000 in 90 days to have a water well built to help the close to 1 billion people in the world that don't have access to clean drinking water. We have 39 days left in the campaign and though we are a bit behind I praise the Lord for what has been raised that I know will go to help people get clean water. You can view the campaign website and donate HERE. I still believe it's possible to reach the goal, I just need everyones help to spread the word and give!

Along the same lines every September since Charity:water began in 2006 they launch what they call their September campaign which they challenge those born in September to give up their birthday and ask everyone to give to Charity:water instead. So if your birthday is in September I challenge you to do the same and ask all those to give to Charity:Water instead of receiving a gift:-) If your birthday is not in September  once again consider donating to my campaign HERE.

Charity:water's September campaign this year is to help the Bayaka people. Don't know who they are? Check out these videos below! (If you get this via RSS/e-mail click here)

The Bayaka. from charity: water on Vimeo.

Check out Jim's story incredible!

Jim's story. from charity: water on Vimeo.

Digging wells is hard work!

Building wells (Technical Challenges). from charity: water on Vimeo.

Check out my Charity:Water campaign HERE!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

My time with God

A few weeks ago there was an article in the Huffington post about the reasons pastors are burning out. Essentially the reason that was given is because they are not spending time with God. The article states:

Daily time and space for this inner work are essential for the health of clergy and congregations.
This 'inner work' of spending time in prayer, God's word, and meditating upon the greatness of God is something that is not optional for any pastor or  Christian for that matter. This past week I was able to do that in a special way as I went away for three days for the sole purpose of engaging on this 'inner work.'

My time with God was truly a blessing and because it was personal I'm not going to really blog about everything I experienced, at least not at this time. Yet I do want to share four points that I felt God reiterated in my life as I was reading Isaiah 40-41.

1. God is all powerful: Isaiah 40:13- "Who has understood the mind of the Lord, or instructed Him as a counselor?" Don't ever forget that no matter what may be going on in your life we believe in an all powerful God that is in control of all things even when things seem out of control.

2. God has called you: Isaiah 41:8-"But you, O Israel, my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen..." Never forget that God has called you to be part of His kingdom, and God has called you to do a special work for Him.

3. God will protect you: Isaiah 41:10-"So do not fear, for I am with you..." We serve a God that promises to be with us and protect us. Claim this promise as you move forward in faith to what God has called you to do.

4. God loves you: Isaiah 40:29-"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak." In reading these two chapters and going a little deeper I can't but help see that everything God is doing He's doing because He loves His people and will do what ever it takes to save them. God loves you more than what you understand and He has done, is doing, and will do everything possible to save you!

Maybe it's time you stop everything and just spend time with the all powerful, calling, protecting, loving God. What are you waiting for? Burnout?


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Is Jesus really coming soon? (part 2)

image from [powerpointsermons]
In part one of 'Is Jesus really coming soon?' essentially two questions were asked. Do you believe Jesus is coming soon? How 'soon' is 'soon'? The questions were derived from the versus in Revelation 22: 7, 12, 20 in which Jesus is quoted saying that He is coming 'soon/quickly'.

By no means is the point of this two part post to somehow determine when Jesus is coming for the Bible is clear the day and the hour no one knows (Matt. 24:36). Yet it's unavoidable as one reads the New Testament that Jesus' second coming is the climax, the happily ever after ending that everyone who believes in Jesus yearns for. 'Behold' Jesus says...

Yet there is something that perhaps we need to be reminded of, I'm sure you're aware of it, nonetheless it's good to be reminded. That is...Jesus doesn't necessarily work on 'our' time. When Jesus says 'soon/quickly' He certainly means it, but His soon, is not necessarily our time line of 'soon.'

2 Peter 3:8 states, "But do no forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." Okay so after reading this there is no doubt that Jesus' 'time zone' is not like ours. Peter continues though in verse 9, "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." Then he reiterates the point in verse 15 by saying, "Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation..."

I praise God that His 'soon/quickly' is not like mine. I praise God for His patient endurance with me! I praise Jesus because as Peter makes clear the 'Lord is not slow in keeping His promise' God will come soon, Jesus I believe yearns to come back more than any one of His followers wants Him to come back.

So really the questions we should be asking ourselves is how 'soon/quickly' are we going to actually truly surrender all to Jesus? The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise are we?
(hope we really ponder these last questions, for time is well...'soon/quickly to run out:-)

P.S.-I continue to solicit your prayerful consideration in helping fund a water well to help those who don't even have the most needed human need WATER. Click HERE for all the info. Would love your help, the time line for the campaign is :-) 'soon' to run out.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pakistan Flooding

It has affected more people (over 13million) than the 2004 Indian ocean tsunami (5million affected). It has been stated that over 1,400 have died, and the UN has stated that it is the worse natural disaster in recent memory.

Yet aid has been slow to get to Pakistan for perhaps several reasons that are stated in the CNN video report below

Let us pray and perhaps in whatever way you may deem fit (using the organization you trust most) remember what is happening in Pakistan. The millions upon millions of people left without food, water, and a place to live is beyond understanding.

Watch the video below, pray for the people, and allow the Spirit to lead you. (If you get this via RSS/email and can't view the video click here.)

On a side note I appreciate all the comments from the last post, those that spoke to me and the ones posted on the blog. Part 2 I hope to have up this coming weekend.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Is Jesus really coming soon? (part1)

Ever since I could remember I've heard the phrase, "Jesus is coming back soon!" I grew up going to various evangelistic meetings that were going on at church and sure enough I heard, "Jesus is coming back soon!" Followed by, "get ready!" I would hear it in sermons, at school when I started going to a Christian school and as I mentioned at home from my parents and grandmother.

Perhaps you can relate, maybe you grew up hearing something similar. Biblically speaking there is nothing wrong with the statement. For the very last book of the Bible, Revelation, in the last chapter states very candidly three times that Jesus is coming, 'quickly/soon.' (Rev. 22:7,12,20) Interestingly enough verses 7 & 12 add the interjection 'Behold.' To some degree it's important to understand that an 'interjection' in grammar is normally used to create a keen interest, awareness to what is being stated. It can also be a word that is stated in an emotional outburst, that in of itself may not make sense. An example may be when a little boy screams, "I got me some ice cream!! Oh YEA!" The interjection of course is, "Oh YEA!"

Now what we notice is that the one making the 'interjections' in verses 7 & 12 are none other than Jesus (being quoted by the angel)! 'Behold!' He says, "I am coming soon..." In other words it seems that Jesus is stating His, 'Oh YEA!' in those verses. He's bringing keen attention to this event. It's going to definitely be a 'Beholding', 'Oh YEA!' moment to say the least.

Yet here's my question: Do you really believe that Jesus is coming 'quickly/soon'? Honestly my grandmother whom I love truly believed this but she's since passed away, many before here have said He's coming 'soon/quickly' and have...well...passed away. Many Christians claim to believe that Jesus is coming back 'soon/quickly' just as Jesus said yet seem to be living as if the 'quickly' is not that quick after all.

Granted it has been said if we die 'right now' Jesus will have come for us because the next thing by faith we hope we will see when we awake is...Jesus! But lets be honest I would venture to say most reading this post aren't dying anytime soon (I hope not), I know for a fact Jesus is not coming tomorrow, so here's a second question: How 'soon' is 'soon'? Again lets be frank Jesus has been proclaimed that He's coming soon with much gusto since the Second Great Awakening in the early 19th century.

So here again are my two questions: Do you really believe that Jesus is coming soon? and How 'soon' is 'soon'? Be real, be honest, would love to hear your answers!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Jewelry worth wearing

image from [powerpointsermons]
Discernment is defined by Websters online dictionary as, "the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure." Proverbs 3:21-22 (NIV) states:
My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.
It seems to me that to some degree some Christians are in danger of not grasping, comprehending that which the devil is trying to mascaraed as 'good.' They are not keeping 'judgement and discernment' in their sight and around their neck. This is metaphorically speaking 'jewelry worth wearing' and some seem to be taking it off.

First let me be clear what I'm about to state is NOT new but the point I'm trying to convey is that it's becoming more and more prominent in a way that seems to be obscure and Christians are not wearing 'judgment and discernment.'

What I'm talking about is 'spiritualism' the 'occult' however you want to call it or see it. This is without a doubt becoming more and more pervasive in a way that seems 'cute' and 'cool' for many tweens, teens, young adults, and even adults. In other words all.

Briefly let me make clear that I'm not one of these anti all movies, and t.v. and everything that is secular. With that said though we must be 'discerning' of all things!

It's amazing that several years ago in some Christian circles people were discussing the 'Harry Potter' books/movies and how Christians shouldn't read them. Yet now we have the 'Twilight' series in which even more millions of young people (and not so young for that matter) have read the books, seen the movies and seem to be fine with it. As a result of the phenomenal success of 'Twilight' it's not surprising to see how many books, movies, and t.v./cable programs have more (vampires) 'spiritualism' in them these days.

Stephanie Meyer's the author of the hit series 'Twilight' in an interview stated that she got the idea for the books through a dream that she had and then began writing it down what she had seen. Check out her interview on Oprah last November below. (as always if you get this via RSS/E-mail please click here.) Watch the video and continue reading...

If you're a Christian and listened to that interview and haven't come to the conclusion that the dream was not from God and it wasn't just that she perhaps ate pizza really late and happened to have this dream. Then please stop and pray. These things are not from God. 

I know some may be saying well here's the 'strict Christian' preaching (well writing:-) Yet let's be honest it has nothing to do with being 'strict' it has to do with 'discernment.' Listen to what mega church pastor Mark Driscoll in Seattle has to say regarding this issue in the video below.

Friends I believe that Jesus is coming soon and we will see more and more of things such as this. Those who really know me, know that I'm open to use many methods to reach others for Jesus. Yet don't misunderstand this for lack of 'discernment', let us seek Jesus and ask Him for deeper (Bathos) and broader 'discernment' as we continue in our Christian journey. May 'sound judgment and discernment' ever grace our necks. Jewelry that can literally be life saving.

So what do you think of all the vampire 'things' that have come out in the last couple years? Do you think that 'spiritualism' is becoming more apparent in somewhat obscure ways?


Monday, August 9, 2010

Attitude Reflects Leadership

image by [powerpointsermons]
Attitude is everything. Especially in leadership attitude is everything. I recently read online a statement by Charles Swindoll he said,
"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home."
He essentially goes on to say that we can choose our 'attitude' we can't change the past, or change how people will act towards us or respond/react to any given situation. Yet as a Christian I believe through God's grace and His Spirit we can decide our attitude. Attitude is a decision, whether we own it or not.

In the movie 'Remember The Titans' there's a fantastic scene in which Gary and Julius two of the leaders of the football team have a conversation after going through grueling practices put on by coach Boone because the team just isn't coming together. Check out the video clip below, if you receive this via email/RSS click here. Then read the rest of the post...

"Attitude reflects leadership." Powerful! So what's the attitude of your organization, church, even your home? What kind of attitude is reflected that permeates the rest of those around you. Paul states in Philippians 2:5 "Your attitude should be same as that of Jesus Christ." The Greek root word 'porneo' here translated 'attitude' in the NIV and 'mind' in several other versions is used 10X in the book of Philippians alone. The word can mean, 'mind, think, to set one's mind on something.'

Everyday we have a choice, we can't blame anybody else (well we could ignorantly) to how are attitude will be for the day. Perhaps many have a 'bad attitude' because they have not yet fully realized what it means to have the 'mind/attitude' of Christ.

What do you think? What is your attitude reflecting to others today?


Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Sabbath prayer...

This evening as I sit watch the sunset, listen to some of my favorite Christian songs, and simply meditate on the goodness of Jesus. I wonder...ok no...I pray...

Yes I pray...

Lord I want to dwell in Your presence, I want to be the man that You use for Your glory. Yet Lord many times I fail, many times I feel broken with many questions and so few answers. Ever since I was a little boy Lord I knew that you existed, I knew that Jesus You loved me more than what I can imagine. So many years later, no matter what Jesus I know You are still that God, that in the midst of my brokenness You are with me.

You give me victory, hope, encouragement, and You put in me the desires of Your heart. I want to show forth Your glory in my life, I want to bring people to the foot of the cross, I want to help people who are far from you come close to You.

So I beg you help me, help me through the empowerment of Your Spirit to do Your will, Your bidding no matter what others may think, no matter what others may say, no matter what others may do to me. Jesus I am fully Yours!


What's your heart saying?


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Amazed by His Grace

Image from [powerpointsermons]
The song has a long history, the words obviously speak for themselves and if we hopefully listen carefully they speak to each one of our hearts. " I once was lost but now I'm found." Personally, I'm amazed by His grace towards me!

I was shown this video last night by another member of my 'growth group' that I lead out. Sure many simply loved the fact that this cute little girl has an amazing voice. Though I agree and love the way she sings it, for me it was beyond that. Perhaps God was speaking to me reminding me of His grace in my life! Reminding me that there is nothing I can do to earn heaven, nothing I can do to earn God's love, nothing I can do that God will love me any less!

Just maybe it was God telling me Javi as much grace as I've shown you, show it to others...His grace in my life empowers me to be GraceFull to others. It's true though...the more I ponder God's grace in my life's history the more I fall in love with Jesus and the more I want to show it others....God help me for showing grace to others is something that is not in our DNA, but it certainly is His!

Listen to Rhema Marvanne sing 'Amazing Grace' below and I pray that you will be blessed. If you get this via RSS feed or by email click here to see it.

Have you perhaps forgotten how God has shown His 'Amazing Grace' in your life? 

Lastly I continue to ask you to prayerfully consider giving to my Charity:Water campaign to raise $5,000 to help build a water well in an area in which people lack the basic human need of water. Give life by donating to this campaign. Click here for all the info (make sure you click on the video).


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