Saturday, September 5, 2015


For you have need of endurance so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise. Hebrews 10:36

Shortcut: an accelerated way of doing or achieving something.
Driving  down the street this morning I noticed a group of people riding bicycles. They weren't riding Huffy Beach cruisers like I used to have, no they were riding road bikes. They wore bike shorts and bike shirts and had aerodynamic bike helmets. As I sat at the stoplight I watched the bikers approach a steep hill, and as they pedalled forward, no one was getting off their bikes. None of them were going to stop, they were going to the top. Then all of the sudden, out of nowhere, I saw a lady on a motorized bicycle pass them all, quickly going up the hill. It made me laugh as I heard one of the bikers say out loud, "No Fair!" The motorized bicyclist found a shortcut. 
Its seems that we are always looking for shortcuts in life. Cliff-notes instead of the whole book, diet pills instead of exercise. We want instant gratification, instead of patient persistence. Although there are times when a shortcut might be okay, there are somethings in life that you have to simply press through. In those seasons we might look at someone else who isn't struggling and think, "it isn't fair." We may face the temptation to quit and give up all together. There are many examples in the scriptures of people who took, what appeared the be the easier route, but it ended up being more difficult down the road.  Its in traversing the hills of life, that character is being developed. Its in the challenges and struggles of life that we grow deeper and become stronger in the Lord. This Christian life is a journey with many peaks and valleys. It's filled with joys and sorrows, and endurance is needed. But at the end of the road there is Jesus and Glory and Heaven and Eternity!!!! It will all be worth it when our race is over. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015


Did you ever watch Sesame Street as a kid? Don't be ashamed, it had a catchy opening theme song, do you remember it? "Sunny day, chasing the clouds away....etc I know you know the rest.. Anyways.. on that show children were taught the difference between Near and Far. I learned a lot, seriously....
In the book of Ecclesiastes King Solomon gave an exhortation to his readers when he said, "draw near to hear." Ecc.5:1 It is one thing to draw near to the Lord, but it is important to come with an attentive heart to listen to He wants to say. Jesus said concerning the Pharisees, "These people draw near to me with their mouth, and honor with me their lips, but their heart is far from me." Matt.15:8 The pharisees had the appearance of drawing near, but they were not listening, and therefore they were actually farther away than they seemed.  
When it comes to hearing from the Lord, there are certain things that will hinder your signal. Distance from Jesus creates difficulty to hear. Sin is always a hindrance. Communication with the Creator is unclear in dark and sinful places. The Prince of the Power of the Air (a.k.a Satan) runs interference to the spiritual frequencies of faith. "Today if you will hear His voice do not harden your hearts." Heb.4:7 
The Bible encourages us to "draw near (not with a hardened heart but instead) with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water." Heb.10:22 We are exhorted to "draw near unto God and He will draw near unto us. James 4:8. When you draw near, do so with the intent of listening to what the Lord might want to say to you. Be open as He speaks to you through His Word, by His Holy Spirit. Come with an expectant heart. 

Qu: Are you  "NEEAAARRRR to Jesus or are you FAAAARRR from Jesus today?"
If you don't know the difference please watch the clip below this will help you I promise. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Harvest Crusade 2015

Someone sent us this picture.
Worshiping in the stadium felt like a taste of heaven. 
Every year Southern California waits with anticipation for what I believe is one of the most affective  and powerful evangelistic events anywhere, the Harvest Crusade.  At our church every year we host a Harvest Start Rally to encourage believers to pray for their non believing friends and to bring them to the crusade. We challenge our congregation to serve at the crusade in any area the Lord places on their heart. 
Saturday Night Response to the Invitation. 
One of the most amazing things about the crusade is the consistency in the clear un-compromised message of the Gospel given by Pastor Greg Laurie. Although Greg has been blessed with a great sense of humor that is relatable to the masses, he doesn't hold back talking about Heaven and Hell and the need for repentance. Years ago Pastor Greg preached every Monday night at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. My wife and I served as counselors for those who came forward. I can tell you the message hasn't changed. In fact I think it has become even more powerful as there is now an even greater sense of urgency because time is short. 
In our prayer meetings leading up to the crusade, and during the crusade itself, the thing that kept coming to my mind was, "Lord exceed our expectations. Do above and beyond what we could imagine." I believe the Lord answered the prayers of His church as over 10k people made professions of faith in Christ. Hallelujah!!!! 
We are now in prayer for the upcoming Harvest America taking place on March 6th 2016, at the AT&T Stadium in Dallas Texas. Our church is planning on sending a team to serve at the event. Once again we will be praying that God will exceed our expectations.  May the Lord continue to bless the work of the Harvest Crusades in days to come. 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Despised and Rejected

The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil. John 7:7 

At church we are currently studying through the gospel of John and there are certain passages that stop you in your tracks. 
I don't believe that any person desires to be hated, but rather to be loved. A Christian who is filled with the Spirit, desires to walk in the fruit of the Spirit, which is love. When walking in the love of God, we never want to set out to intentionally offend people with the message of the gospel. When sharing the gospel we are to do so with compassion, love, and grace.  However the truth of the gospel does offend people.
When we declare that we are all sinners, destined for hell and judgement, and that the only way to Salvation is through faith in the finished work of  Jesus Christ on the cross and His resurrection, that can be offensive. It can incite rejection, hatred, and even violence. 
Nevertheless Jesus told us that these things would take place. There was no one more compassionate than Jesus, but the world despised Him. There was no one more gracious than Jesus, and yet the world rejected Him. There was no one as loving as Jesus, and yet the world crucified Him. 
There is a danger in the church today that we must be mindful of. The danger of watering down what the Bible says in order to make it more palatable lest we find ourselves being hated. The danger of compromising what the Bible says concerning how we are to live in this world, in an effort to show the world "LOVE." According to the scriptures, the Love of Jesus can be demonstrated in many different ways. 
The world demands tolerance, according to how they define it, and if the Christian "lovingly disagrees" or chooses not to attend, they maybe on the receiving end of more and more hatred. Certainly our brothers and sisters around the world who are being persecuted for their faith know this by experience.

quote: These days its not just that the line between right and wrong has been made unclear, today Christians are being asked by our culture to erase the lines and move the fences, and if that were not bad enough, we are being asked to join in the celebration cry by those who have thrown off the restraints religion had imposed upon them. It is not just that they ask we accept, but they now demand of us to celebrate it too.”  Ravi Zacharias

Now that presents us with a difficult decision. Should I compromise what the Bible says, in an effort to demonstrate what "I believe" to be LOVE?  Or do I stand and live according to what the Bible says, and potentially be HATED? We should never compromise what the Bible says regardless of the consequences. Jesus said "a mans enemies may even be those of his own household" Matt.10:36. He also said, "he who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." Matt.10:37. Sometimes we have to make the difficult decision not to be involved with certain things in this world. The reason is not because we do not love those in the world, but because we love Jesus more. As a result we could be misunderstood and no longer welcome. We may be branded as unloving, judgmental, critical by both nonbelievers and believers.  Because I don't participate, it may cause some friendships to come to an end. It may close the door on a potential evangelistic opportunity. Now if that happens, I don't stop loving those people, or praying for them. I will continue to look for ways to be a light.
As believers in this world we are to demonstrate the love of Jesus, but we are also called to stand for the truth of God's Word. It is better to be rejected in this world, and accepted in the next. It is better to go outside the camp bearing the reproach of our savior, for here we have not continuing city but we seek the one to come. Heb.13:13

Sadly I have found in my own life there have been occasions when I was hesitant to share the gospel with someone because I had a greater fear of how they would look at me, then the fear of where they would spend their eternity. Surely the fear of man brings a snare. 

I ask myself, "If Jesus was despised and rejected will I be applauded and accepted? If Jesus took up His cross am I to avoid taking up mine?

Friday, May 29, 2015

Go Forward

Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, WENT FORWARD. 
John 18:4

Have you ever stopped to consider what Jesus knew? He knew that in only a short amount of time that the crowds that sang His praises would demand His crucifixion. He knew that all of His disciples would leave and forsake Him. He knew that Judas would betray Him. He knew that Peter would deny Him. He knew that He would be falsely accused, spit upon, scourged, brutalized, crucified. He knew that He would be separated from His Father as He took upon Himself the sins of the world.... and for all the knowledge that He had He  still went forward.....

But let us not forget that He also knew that He would rise from the dead. He knew that the veil in the temple would be torn from top to bottom. He knew mankind would now have the opportunity to be saved from sin, from death, and from hell. He knew that many would turn to Him and be reconciled to God. He knew that you would come to believe in the gospel. He knew that although this was the most difficult thing that anyone could ever walk through, that this was part of the Fathers plan and will for His life.  Therefore although He despised the shame of the cross, the Bible says for the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross. 

Oftentimes the knowledge of what lies ahead can make us stop moving forward. Sometimes knowing what we know, may tempt us to go backward instead of forward. Yet as we look at the example of Jesus we find strength and courage to take the next step. Perhaps the Lord is saying to you today... go FORWARD.

"I can go forward when I know that Jesus has gone before me." 

Monday, May 25, 2015


"Do you ever feel like this
with the promises of God?
Waiting Patiently"
Reading through the Bible once again I am right in the middle of the life of King David. What an amazing story. David was a man after God's heart and uniquely called to lead the nation. Yet from the time of his initial anointing, until the fulfillment of Gods promise, he encountered many challenges to his faith. Whether it was a giant on the battlefield, or King Saul who hunted David for years in order to thwart the plans of God, David kept on going.
 It seems from his story that there were definite seasons when he doubted Gods promises. There were times when he thought "what's the use?" Then the day finally came. A day I would imagine that David thought would never come. It was the day God's promise was fulfilled. 
After reigning in Hebron for seven years and six months all of the tribes of Israel came to David. They reminded him that he was apart of them, he was like family to them. They also recalled that in times of battle that David had been faithful to lead. David behaved wisely on every errand he was sent. He remained faithful even when others weren't watching. But the Lord was watching.  David was also reminded of the promise that God had made to him that he would "shepherd" the people. David could not bring God's plans to pass in his life and neither can we. We must trust the Lord and keep walking by faith. The Lord knows what He is doing and why He is doing it, even if we don't. Don't forget He loves you, and that like in David's life, the Lord is working all this for your good and His ultimate glory.  

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Compelled Youth Workers Conference

Last weekend we were in Florida serving at a Youth Workers Conference held at Calvary Chapel Vero Beach. The theme of the conference was "Compelled" taken from 2 Corinthians 5:14 "For the love of Christ compels us.." Pastor Jim Gallagher and the ministry team did an amazing job putting on the conference. It was such a blessing to gather with people who are faithfully serving the young people within their churches. They have such a heart for the next generation and are doing all they can to reach them with the gospel of Jesus Christ. 
Someone said that "the church is only one generation away from extinction." It's always been on our hearts to invest in the next generation of leaders. We want to be able to impart the things that we have learned, and seek to be an encouragement to them in their calling. The conference was very simple. We had worship, prayer, teaching from the Word, and fellowship. Yet although it was simple, it was very fruitful. If you would like to see any of the conference it is now available on our church app. 

My wife and I also had the privilege of returning to our first church plant in Brandon Florida. Words cannot describe how blessed we were to see that the work continues to go on. To be able to revisit the the work of God  did in our lives during those ten years was a real boost to our faith. We got to see so many people who are like family to us. I was reminiscing to myself and thinking, "what if we never had moved to Florida?" We would have missed out on all that the LORD did and continues to do. I am so grateful to my Savior for giving us the grace to serve Him.  It was a wonderful time of ministry, but it is also great to be back home.