December 28, 2009

new year, new series

Coming January 10 we are going to start our new GraceSTUDENTS series, "Rise UP and GO". I am pumped about what you are going to learn this series and pumped because it's a new year to set our hearts on Christ and making Him known in this world!! Don't miss it!

December 21, 2009

my first real Christmas

It was nearly 14 years ago that I first became a Christ follower. I didn't grow up in the "church" or have a concrete faith system. But in my freshman year at college I would encounter the best moment of my life.

I hope that today, you have a wonderful and joy-filled day. I hope that you also take a moment alone to give thanks to God, that he was willing to put on skin and become our friend.

Thanks so much for reading this blog and journeying with me! Have a very Merry Christmas!!!

December 19, 2009

Christmas Spirit ;)

This is one of my favorite Christmas diddys of the past. And since Glee is all popular and mashups are all the rage.... well I guess these guys were cool before their time. Enjoy!

December 17, 2009

Growth Spurt! Part Two

this is part two of an earlier post...

3. We cannot do it alone. I don't know why many leaders suffer from the "hardheadedness" syndrome. Read it. Say it. "I cannot do it alone." Think on it. Don't be a ministry hog. Share the blessing. Enough said...

4. Anything good takes time. Can I be transparent for a moment? A while back part of me wanted to be the "student pastor guru" that gets book deals and goes around the country telling people how to do a student ministry. I thought, "If I can blow something up in 2 years, I can prove to people that Im worth listening to."

I was egotistical. Not one ounce of that dream was about God... I know... I was a poseur. Years later I have learned that God is the one who makes true growth. So what if that takes 10 or 20 or 100 years? We need to wait/trust/lean on the LORD and not push forward out of our own power. If I ever write a book about student ministry it will be titled, " Hey you! Listen to God, dummy!" ;)

5. Be flexible with your plan, but don't be flexible with the mission. I have had all these, great ideas and plans starting off. But, since then listening constantly (to God speaking, wise teammates, my wonderful wife, and my pastor and others) has helped keep a good amount of fluidity in our student ministry. But one thing we do not compromise on is the mission of helping people take their next step toward Christ. That's what Grace Fellowship is about. We want to reach those who haven't yet stepped foot inside a church. From this we will not back down.

Growth Spurt!

I spent much of today cleaning up old files in the hard drive and organizing everything for the new year and came across alot of old stuff. All I have to say is we sure have grown! You don't see it while it's happening but when you look back at things you can really see how much things have changed.

I have been so thankful to work at a place that I love. I enjoy the staff I work with and I love all the parents and students I work with as well. I can't believe how much God has blessed Kim and I this past year, in every way imaginable.

GraceSTUDENTS has grown in many ways. Not only are we twice as big as last year, but even with that we really are getting to know one another well. I think the students are getting to know the leaders and I really feel like the leaders are pouring into students lives and knowing them as well. I think our volunteers are beginning to understand the vision of how important student ministry really is!

This past year we have really been seeing great things that only can be seen with the investment of time. I am praying that the Lord will allow us to minister with you guys for years and years to come, and I can't wait to grow old with Grace! I think God has taught me a few things that I'd like to share with you about growth.

1. We must stay connected to God. Ministry is just a job when you do it on your own. I cannot say I have been perfect this year in putting God before "the work", but I am closer than I was this time last year. Only when I am connected with Him can I see the vision that He has for our ministry and city.

2. Discouragement happens. Just like the spring turns to summer and then fall, discouragement will happen upon all of us. I don't know why this is, but it just does. I have a family history of depression so it makes it even tougher, but it is very wise to understand that these times will come. I was listening to a speaker who said a spiritual healthy heart is more prepared to deal with discouragement. This is another reason why #1 is so important.

3. If you want to grow in leadership, you have to pay the price of responsibility. I have always wanted to be a leader, but didn't realize that with great leadership comes an even greater responsibility. Let's face it, it's easier to keep the bar set really low. No one gets mad at you, but nothing ever happens. I read a great quote by Charles Stanley , " Discipline not desire determine's a person's destiny". Leadership increases when a leader decides to own his/her life, vision and decisions. There is no such thing as passive leadership.

I actually have more but Im gonna break it up into another blog, so be on the look out for Growth Spurt! Part Two!

December 16, 2009

thought for the day... this from a student pastor that i follow...

"Disciples of Christ read His Word and are TRANSFORMED by it….

Religious professionals read His Word and are merely INFORMED by it…"

Application > Interpretation

Think about this as you sit down and read God's Word. Is it changing you???

December 15, 2009

truth in advertising....

A restaurant has some mettle if it's willing to propose that it has the best "whatever" in town. Now this is okay if you are in a town that has a blinking yellow light at its only intersection and a general store for its town center. You can claim that you have the best orange marmalade preserves in this town if you want. No one has to know that it is the only orange marmalade preserves available in town, they just need to know it's the best.

Because when stacked up against, well.. air, yours is most likely the best. No worries to you restaurants in one-horse towns. You can probably claim to have the best whatever in town that you want, because it is the best (albeit the only) in town.

My beef is with establishments in the city that claim they have the best (you fill in the blank) food in town. I think you better have some serious grub, especially if you are in a city as big and diverse as (where I live) Orlando. Will I experience what you are claiming about your food??? I think it is only fair, if a restaurant claims they have the best in town, that they should be able to back it up. (i.e. the proof of the pudding is in the eating)

Now, I guess restaurants can't go around advertising themselves as "some of the most average" food in town or even "quite possibly the best second-tier" food you will ever eat. But don't B.S. me. Don't advertise your food is "the best" when it is average "at its best"

But as I thought about this I wonder if we can say the same thing about churches. I mean do we really mean what we advertise?

When your marquee says, "passionate about people", is that really what you are cooking? Does your mission statement say, "Caring for the city", when what the meal you are really serving is "Caring only for the insiders". I'm not saying I'm immune, because do I really believe that someone who came into our church (Grace), experience our moniker? But I think we seriously need to ask ourselves this question if we want people in our city to respect what we advertise.

Again, I'm not saying to adopt slogans like, "Jesus loves you..., but then again He loves everybody" or "You have three weeks to shape up, or you need to leave". But we need to get real with ourselves when it comes to our vision and mission. I mean do we just "say" that we are the light of the world and salt of the earth. Or are we illuminating dark places and creating a savory aroma of Christ in our city??

Big question to ask, but if we ask it of other things, why cant people ask it of us?

December 13, 2009

We are going to be heading to camp BigStuf in Panama City this year!!! We will have details coming up soon so keep on the lookout for date/time/cost and RSVP deposits due!!! yeah!!!

December 10, 2009

would you like to Value-size that?

I spent a little time on the internets and found various definitions of the word "value". I thought the best place to get a definition was business/economy websites (so I can get another angle on what they think this word means). Man, was my head spinning!

I am a very right brained/creative-esqe person, so all this math talk and accounting jibber jabber messed me all up. I finally find a more tame definition that I could understand on a well known economist website... "An amount, as of goods, services, or money, considered to be a fair and suitable equivalent for something else; a fair price or return."

value = a determined amount of worth something has.

I think I have lost the understanding of the term "value"(or "cost"), because I have grown up in the age of consumer debt. (i.e. the credit card) I mean, as soon as I hit college I had three credit cards to my name and boy did I like to use them! It made it so easy for me to forget about "value/cost" of the item, because I could easily get it with a $3000 credit limit.

But let's look at things from another angle besides the monetary. When I was in high school we were issued athletic clothes/gear etc. The varsity football team was issued a shirt that said "Pay the Price" on it. Now, that seems kinda cheeseball looking back on it, but coach really wanted us to understand that if we wanted to play well, win district and win state we had to "pay the price" to get there. We had to determine what the worth of our goal was. Was it worth an extra 15 minutes in the gym? An extra 30?

I really think I could use an undershirt like that now-a-days. Not to go out and win a state championship, but to live the life Christ has called me to every day. Now if you are not a Christ-follower this may not completely apply to you, but it could.

Now, I'm not advocating you can go out and merit your salvation by works (because it is by grace alone), but I'm saying many of us spend our lives punking out to the high calling Christ has for us. Look at the book of James! He challenges people back then like we need to today.

We show God how much value we place in his sacrifice by what we do. Just like paying a determined amount of worth for a product, we place value on the sacrifice of Christ by how we live out each day. I don't see any other way around this. We do what we can do in our power to give God his just due each day in word and in deed.

Hard? Of course! I shudder at the thought of paying the price each day. Because now I am accountable to what I have just written. Am I going to b.s my way through this blog? Or am I really going to set in my mind to give God value each day?

Let's not be caught lowering the value of Christ's sacrifice, or the value of the Church (which is his bride), or the value of service to others, or the value all the gifts Christ's sacrifice gives us? Let's live today in the true value of the sacrifice of our beautiful and lovely savior!

Do you recall the words to the hymn..." Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe..." Do we mean that today?

Take time today to Value-size your faith!

December 9, 2009

New feature to the graceSTUDENTS website

Yo. Just FYI but now the GraceSTUDENTS website includes a "Current Events" page. You can check it for upcoming events, service opportunities or shindigs! Check it!

December 4, 2009

the small things...

I was listening to Shane Claiborne today (If you are wondering... yes, I am still nursing my hurt back.) and he made a statement that was so meaningful to me. He was talking about working with Mother Teresa and how she cared for so many people. And in talking about her he said she was not about doing a "great" work for God (of all people she certainly has a reason to boast about her great impact) but she was about doing small things with great love.

If I am honest, I am not really interested in the small things. I want to do BIG things. But we can do all the biggest things in the world, but if we don't have love, it means nothing. It got my head to thinking. Why do we so easily overlook the small things? Many times you hear a person who almost died or a person who has come back from cancer and they always say. "I now remember to enjoy the little things."

I can't help but think this is where God really resides... in the small things, with great love. Look at Jesus. Why in the world would God choose to change the world, by sending his son to be a baby? A small, squawking and helpless baby? The GREAT BIG God contained in a little baby boy. What a contrast of power!

Maybe we need to ask God to help us to have great love in all things small. Whether it's a simple 'hello' to a stranger, to give someone our coat if they are cold, or to just put someone first it all matters to God. Maybe that's a good lesson to learn this holiday season.

You know you really gets this. My wife. She lives by doing small things with great love. When I am hurt or sick I get really selfish. I want things to be my way... like now! I hate being stuck in bed and I get all grumpy. Even with all that, my wife has taken care of me these last few days with great love. I need to learn the lesson from her, that small things are all around us and we can do these things with the great love that Christ has provided to us. This is the love of Christ.

Thank you Kim, you teach me to be more like Jesus.

December 2, 2009

Help! I fallen and...

Well I hurt my back again and am stuck laying (lying; lain; I never got that one in English, so my apologies if my word choice is incorrect) on my back. So, I have decided to make the most of my immobilization and blog it out.

A funny thing happens when you hurt your back. You realize how fragile you are as a human being. I mean one second you are moving along just fine and the next second you find yourself lying (laying; lain; lederhosen) on the ground staring at the ceiling hoping no one stops by your office to taunt you or steal anything off your desk .

I feel like such an idiot with back pain. Because unlike a broken ankle with the bone protruding and all, back pain really isn't visible to the observer. Usually people assume that you have some sort of incontinence problem and are wincing to hold it in, or that you have worn your belt one notch too tight, or that you have an acute late-blooming onset of the rickets. (Those are the most common three diagnoses that I receive... really... in that order.)

So you just wince and tell the observer, "Man, my back really hurts!" But you still get no solace, because as far as they can see you just look like you need a laxative. All I'm saying is there are two kinds of people in this world. Those that have never had severe back pain and those who have. There is no in between. People either know exactly what you are talking about or they "pretend" to know what you are talking about-never actually having experienced it firsthand. Oh. But you can tell the difference between those people, believe you me!!! okay... now Im getting a little bit cynical, but it's making me feel better. And as this is MY blog, I think it is okay that I do that. You can go on YOUR blog and talk about factitious disorders and what not, but on this particular blog... okay, I digress... :)

We are fearfully and wonderfully made. I think to truly appreciate the "wonderful" we also have to be aware of our fragility. Think about how we come into this world. All tiny, fragile, clueless and ...gooey. We cant feed ourselves, we cant use all of our faculties, we cant defend ourselves if a hungry Bengal tiger happened to barge into the delivery room. But God designed us this way... for a reason.

Why the heck would God make us so fragile? Im not 100% sure, but it stands to reason that God would do this to graciously remind us of our need for others, and our ultimate need for Him. And in this I am humbled. In this I am thankful. And in this I find rest. (backpain notwithstanding.) ;)

December 1, 2009

Breakbeat Theology

Did you listen to the track on this video? What comes to mind when you listen to it? Did you hear anything monumental or life changing?

Yeah. Well. Me neither. But that is because I live in 2009 not 1969, when this track first came out. This is actually a very monumental track for audiophiles out there. This track actually contains, what is known to dj's as, the famous "Amen break". The "Amen break" is actually a 6+ second solo (1:43-1:50) that the drummer (G.C. Coleman) does on this B-Side record cut.

The funny thing about the Amen break is that if you are into hip-hop, turntablism or electronic music at all you have heard tons of derivative beats/tracks from this little 6 seconds of music. In fact this 6 seconds actually spawned several sub-genres of electronic music by itself. All from one little drum solo on a b-side track.

Most of you have been born after the apex of vinyl records (im included in this too) but back then b-sides were just kinda afterthought tracks put on a single (the A side--the side you supposed to listen to, the B side- eh. maybe. )

So. Why the history lesson on wax? Here's the deal. Im sure they liked creating this song. Im sure it was fun and all. But, I dont think this B-side track was ever written intending to change music forever (well at least hip-hop and subsequent electronic music anyways). But it did.

The insignificant proved to be very significant.

See even the most insignificant things can have significant impact (that we may never even get to see). I hope this true story can help bring significance in your "everyday" routines, because you never know when you may be creating an "Amen break" of your own. It may seem like everyday stuff, but what you have done today could prove to be monumentally significant!

Colossians 3:23 speaks to this very type of thing. Whatever you put your hand to should be done as unto the Lord. This helps me to understand that no matter how small a task may be, I might just be working on the next "Amen break" in my work field!!! Break it down!!!

November 30, 2009

New Series: A Christmas Story

This sunday we are starting a new series named "A Christmas Story". In this three week series we will see the story of Jesus's birth from three different vantage points. Like pieces of a puzzle fitting together, these three stories will give us a unique perspective of the greatest birth in human history. The birth of Jesus. So come check it out the next three weeks at GraceSTUDENTS!!!

November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Here's wishing you and your family a wonderful thanksgiving from GraceSTUDENTS!!!

Give thanks to the Lord and call on his name, make known to all the nations what He has done. Sing to Him, sing praise to Him. Tell of all His wonderful works. Glory to His holy name!!!

I thank God for all of you. I thank Him for the opportunity to serve alongside of you at Grace Fellowship. I thank Him for parents and students. I thank Him for great family and friends. Thank you GOD!

November 19, 2009

my dear twilight fans...

And who doesn't love college football?

Do you ever have some days that just go wrong before you seem to get started? If you are feeling down just think about this guy. At least you didnt get rejected in front of 100,000 people by a banner.Right? Enjoy!!! 

November 16, 2009

Dark night of the soul

Pain... Anguish... Despair...

You can't live life on this earth without experiencing a season of discouragement and disappointment. Stop... Read that last sentence again. Did you really re-read it?

No matter if you are in your groove now. No matter if you are making money, taking names and loving life. You will hit a wall. You will. Some people will deal discouragement on a small level and some of us deal with it as full-blown despondency.

It has taken me a little time to get used to that truth. Especially as a follower of Christ. Mainly because I usually think that God's will should exclusively end up in my "happiness".

In my psych statistics class we heard a phrase so much that it was burned in my mind... "Correlation does not imply Causation". What does this have to do with God's plan and happiness? Well...

I used to think that the closer that I am to God, the "happier" I would be. But I have been challenged lately. Now don't get me wrong. Many times as I follow God I find great happiness. But that is not always the case. The point Im trying to make is that sometimes i follow God very hard and still remain in a dark, lonely and discouraging place.

I would even go as far to say that God actually gives us times of discouragement to seek Him and serve Him through hard times because serving through discouragement builds Godly character that cant be built any other way. I am walking through a time like this now. I write this to encourage you that are in a hard or discouraging time right now. God will use this for the good if we can trust Him with our trials.

For further reading check out Romans 5:3-5  Stand firm friends. Pray for me to stand firm as well.

November 15, 2009

New series, ThanksGIVING

We just started our new series called "ThanksGIVING" in Grace Students. We started off with Ben K preaching a great message from Matthew 25. If you were there you know what Im talking about, he rocked our faces off!

I want to encourage students to make it for the next two weeks in this series. We are talking about true thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is an action, not just a feeling. If we give thanks to God then we give our lives to God. This is a deep and hard truth, but true thanksgiving is a big deal.

I think this series will help us truly have thankful hearts this year and give back to those God has put in our path! So don't miss this series!!! See you Sunday!

November 11, 2009

Kung Fu: Do what you do to me

I am a product of the late80's / 90's. But I do vaguely recall the kung-fu frenzy of the early eighties. The only reason I knew what was up as a four/five year old is because i had two uncles who were in their teen years and they were 'bout it 'bout it on some Saturday Kung Fu Theater.

Anyways, I have always been captivated by kung fu/wushu movies. I love them. I could watch them 24/7. Many are predictable, and the voice-overs can still prove to be pretty indecipherable, but I still love them. Does anybody share this strange liking? Or am I han solo on this one?

I always wanted to learn wushu. Ever since my uncles whittled nunchuckas in their shop class and "practiced" what they watched on TV. Then, like my uncles, we realized kung fu masters don't make much money in real life. Bump that.

November 9, 2009

Snips and Snails and puppy dogs tails? Really?**

I have no kids. No teenagers. There I said it.
But, what I do have is at least 12 years of experience working with countless adolescents from church and school settings. And I know all parents are down with getting any info they can on dealing with middle school boys. So here are a few things that I've observed and like to throw in the mix for you.

1. Guys will be guys.
Teenage guys have mad energy. They just need to move, be crazy and have fun. I know this is a big "doy!", but I have seen many parents fight against letting their student be a typical teenager. He's a boy, who is growing, learning, struggling to be a man.
The teenage years should be (with Godly supervision and encouragement) a testing ground of sorts. You can't expect a kid with a super surge of hormones, growth spurts and cognitive growth to just be a sweet little angel. Uh Uh. Ain't gonna happen.

2. Guys need community.
Guys like to run in packs. I had a roomate in college that I used to make fun of because where he grew up they had a group of friends called "the wolfpack". I still tease him about the name, and no I won't change my mind. But seriously, guys have this brotherhood mentality from early adolescence on. They need a tribe of guys who will validate them as masculine. They need to experience a heart connection with other guys that they can't get at home.

3.Guys need real leaders.
In my experience there is no better time then in adolescence for fathers and older men to come alongside of guys. A mentor is there to impart wisdom, character and encouragement to a young man. Guys need mentors who will walk the narrow path with character and faith and will show them how to do the same. (PS we still need guy leaders in GraceSTUDENTS, so man up!)

4. Guys need to be loved.
The only way a teenager can learn to love is to be loved.
I have a quick rant to fathers. You may feel that you learned tough love from your strong, silent type dad, but to replicate that type of love to your son is NONSENSE. Tell your boy you love him. Spend real quality time with him. Be a real man and give him a hug and let him know intimacy with his dad is a good thing. Kids are learning so much about love at this stage in life. So I implore you to love on your teenage sons. They will learn how to love God through their relationship with their parents. Trust me.

If you are parenting teenage boys know that my heart and prayers go out to you. If you ever need someone to bounce things off of, or just need encouragement I'm here!

** a great resource to check out is "Teenage Guys" by Youth Specialties.

Monday Morning Musing 11/9

First of all... It's stinking November. I mean it was like July three weeks ago and now we are in November. How did that happen? Nine whole days into November. Anyways, sorry about that.

1. Sunday was massive!!! Like great teaching, great worship, great time together, like massive. I hope and pray that we remain encouraged throughout this week to worship and serve boldly. Go and be the church Grace!

2. Our Road Signs series ended well! Brent Upham shared his testimony and it was just awesome to hear a story about what Grace is doing in the lives of people. So awesome!

3. As usual our student leaders were all on point! Great job guys/gals! I love working alongside of you on this mission to help students take their next steps toward Christ.

4. Looking forward to our new series "thanksGIVING" which will talk about us taking our thanks to God to another level by serving and giving to those who are in need around us everyday.

5. love you guys, remember to worship GOD, build relationships and influence your world!

November 8, 2009

Im the best... no really I am.

Today I was mystified by a certain individual. I was just amazed at how much of an air of superiority they walked around with. This person had no regard for anyone else around them. It was like the world was made especially for them. Now as a psychology major, I know it is usually a deep seeded insecurity that drives this kind of behavior, but that doesn't excuse it. It just doesn't.

I saw this video and it reminded me of that person, maybe it will make you laugh. (or maybe it won't) But I sure did.

James 4:6 says "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." These aren't just words, but a concrete truth. If you love yourself so much that everyone else seems inferior, then you might be on the verge of fighting against the Almighty. Just think about that the next time you run into this person. Oh yeah, you know who they are... If you don't... Well then maybe you can figure it out. ;)

November 4, 2009

just walk across the room...

Recently I have been challenged to reach out and tell more people about Jesus. I mean really impact my spheres for Christ. It is so funny because this has been on my heart and just recently Mike challenged us as a staff to have spiritually meaningful conversations with people we might not normally do so. Wow. Talk about a challenge!

Why is it important? Take a walk with me...

See, there was this young man who moved away to college and was assigned to one of the craziest dorms on campus. He did have a few friends from home at the same school but, all they liked to do is party. So the first few weeks went on like a blur between partying, eating, partying and oh yeah a class or two here and there.

But then someone who lived on the floor above this kid decided to befriend him and walk with him even though they did not have a whole lot in common or even believe the same things. But that didn't matter because he didn't care, he just wanted to be his friend. Later on that fall the two became better friends and day by day they would talk about things that really mattered and one day this guy shared the gospel with this crazy kid. And guess what? It changed his life forever.

My friend Mat walked with me and talked with me. He didnt have to. In fact I dont know if I would have come up to me because I was pretty messed up. But my friend Mat walked across the room and became my friend. Despite the fear he might have had, or anxiety, or fear of rejection he came to me and became my friend. This altered the course of my life forever. If you are scratching your head still, I was the crazy kid who drank his first semester away, I was the kid who someone had the guts to walk across the room and talk to.

You can walk across the room. You can reach out and talk with people you might not normally talk with. God has placed someone in your path right now that you can talk with and minister to that does not know Christ. If you feel like you dont have that person, pray. pray. pray. We need to be burdened for people around us again, because hell is a real place, but so is heaven and God is real. Reach out!

For more resources you can check out this book or look here, here, here for resources.

November 3, 2009

why Grace?

Hey my peeps. I just wanted to shout out at you about a place I call home. I want to qualify this blog by starting off saying I know that the church is not an organization or a building but the people of God. We are the church (if you are a Christ follower). No ifs ands or buts...

I love the Church period. But I also love being a part of a local body in Orlando who I feel is making an impact in central Florida. I just want to take a moment and tell you why I love what I do and why I love being a part of Grace Fellowship Orlando. Kimberly and I were going to Grace long before I came on staff. I love it then like I love it today.

What impressed me so much about Grace was how missional it was. I see tons of new faces come in the door all the time. But not only was I seeing that, but I was (and still am) seeing people's lives change from night to day, from darkness to light. Seriously. BIG life change in people. Both de-churched and unchurched people alike were encountering God (and still are) on a weekly basis.

I love that Mike (senior pastor) doesn't allow Christ followers to be satisfied with being bench warmers. We were all designed to play! If you are around Mike long enough you will learn that he is going a million miles a minute and he will not spend one moment unturned for the glory of God. That is a leader that inspires me. But he does it as he follows Christ. We are all challenged to that end as staff members. Love God. Love your neighbor. Don't waste your life!

I love how Grace has helped change me from the inside out. Through the messages both Kim and I have been changed as a couple. We have been moved to love our neighbor as ourselves and live as agents of change in our spheres of influence. I see student's lives change on a weekly basis. And I also get to watch as families reconnect to God, and it makes me smile!

At Grace Fellowship you can be sure that you will be challenged to live sent. You will hear a message (from any of the ministries) that following Christ daily is an imperative and living out our faith is the directive. We don't get it perfect and we sure can do some crazy/goofy things (i.e. wrestling mask ) and also some inspiring things (i.e. Easter at eola )

But it all is so that people, no matter if they have been following Christ for 50 years or have just encountered God today, can take their next step toward Christ! Grace exists to lift up the name of Jesus not Grace Fellowship. There are many great local bodies out there in Orlando, but this is a little bit about why I call Grace "home"!

October 22, 2009

my rant on crazy christians

Okay this is a rant. I don't rant much, so consider it a rare moment on my blog.

When I was in college about once a semester some crackpot would invade our "free-speech" area and yell at all the students with some twisted form of what they believed was the message of Christ. I remember this one guy with his wife and 8 kids who traveled in a VW bus from California all over college campuses to tell people they were "going to hell". He ranted on and on about how everyone on the campus was a sinner and was going to hell. Everyone...

Not just the frat boys, not just the vegans, not just the liberals... Everyone was going to hell, except for him and his family.

By the fourth day scores of people were standing around waiting to see what this crazy bird would do next. They all thought he was an idiot. He was doing lots of damage to the credibility of ministries on campus as well because many people thought this was what a typical "Christian" was like. Some of my friends tried to reason with him between his rants but he would yell at them and say they were going to hell too.

Finally on the last day he was there I screamed at the top of my lungs. "Okay we all get that we are going to HELL, WHAT MUST WE DO TO BE SAVED!?!"

He looked at me and paused.... He had a captive audience... He didnt say a thing for what seemed like 15 seconds... Then he took a deep breath and continued to tell everyone they were "GOING TO HELL!" just like before. I gave this joker the benefit of the doubt to give him the chance to give at least a few words of truth and this guy just kept on.

He didn't want to tell anyone about Jesus. He just wanted to tell everyone they were going to hell. He had no story of Grace. He had a story of self-righteousness that no-one could live up to.

So the reason for this rare rant is I have seen these weirdos start popping up in cyberspace. I feel like now that we have the interweb that they seem to be popping up more and they are even more incessant than the guy that invaded our school. They spit their venom at people, on their blogs, on their you tube videos, on their websites. They comment with such unwarranted suspicion and hate.

The latest attack I saw was about a student pastor I have met and respect greatly. In meeting with him, I was able to see first hand his passion for the Gospel and how the staff serve Christ with every ounce of their beings. In their ministry they are trying to win as many people before their time on earth is done. They are doing so with integrity and honor to God's word.


To the haters, LEAVE THEM ALONE! GO DO SOMETHING WITH YOUR LIFE besides tear everyone else down. I have already spent way too much time on this post and giving you the time of day, but please STOP IT! If you are one of those closet bloggers dogging other ministries or churches CUT IT OUT! You aren't getting mad props from God for "outing" their ministries, or "exposing" their false teaching.

Please quit hating. Spend that time and energy serving others, give time to help the orphan and the widow. Use that time you would have wasted recording a hateful video to encourage others in your community. Quit this nonsensical and self-righteous crusade of blasting people you dont even know... God doesnt need you to be the "holier-than-thou watchdog". I think He's got it under control.

Okay Im done....

October 20, 2009

Pillar Three: Influence your world

3. Influence your world.

How do we influence such a large world? One person at a time. One moment at a time. God has given us the privilege to carry His message to the people around us. We all have spheres of influence that we come in contact every with day. (School, work, family, friends, etc.) And this is where we can have the greatest influence.

Influence can happen quickly or may take years of relationship to happen. I heard a story about a man named Andrew Murray, who prayed for a close friend for 20+ years before he came to know Christ. We don't know God's time table, we just need to be faithful with the spheres He has put us in.

Also, let's not sell ourselves short to the amount of influence we have. Believe it or not you have the Creator of the universe who's got your back. He's the one who works through you anyway. Is it possible your idea of influence is too small? I can't answer that for you. But remember to be faithful with the small things in life. That's how you get to the big things.

October 12, 2009


been out of town in Texas... report back next week!!!

October 7, 2009

Pillar Two: Build Relationships

This is a second blog post in a series. These talk about our core values as GraceSTUDENTS, but can be applied to any Christ-follower, at any age.

2. Build Relationships

God designed us with a need for intimate relationship. In fact God in His very nature is in relationship. (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) As Christ followers, we are brought into a relationships with God the father through his Son.

If we are in Christ then we are designed to build relationships with those around us to continue the process that God designed. And let's face it. Life is easier when we have people that are willing to walk along side of us and help us through the hard times.

We offer small groups in GraceSTUDENTS to help teens get connected with other students. But the truth is you can build relationships just about anywhere. The main thing we want is for students to build deep, meaningful and intentional relationships with other students. (and by "intentional" I just mean that we take care in how we handle friendships and know that what we do really can effect others).

An important thing to remember is to build relationships with those in the faith. We need people that have our back and understand what it means to be a student of the cross (a daily Christ-follower). We need people that can be praying for us and that are willing to hold us accountable. These relationships will be like water to us in dry times.

So if you don't have a group of friends like this, check out our small groups at Grace Fellowship. You will be glad you did!

October 1, 2009

Pillar One: Worship GOD

I really love what I do. I love the place I work and the people I work with. (that's YOU!) But many times it is easy for the purpose of our ministry and the vision to leak. So that's why I wanted to write a few blogs about who we are and our purpose as GraceSTUDENS. You can find a short synopsis of our tenants on as well.

1. Worship God.

Two words with monumental meaning. We all worship something regardless of faith. We all have something that we put front and center in our life. As a ministry we choose to put God front and center. We want God to be the object of our attention and our affection each and every day. This is only possible through Christ.

This pillar of our student ministry is numero uno because without worshipping the one true God, you cannot do anything else. You can pretend by acting religious and doing "so called" good deeds, but it really means nothing if you do not know who God is.

I find that most external struggles/sin we deal with really begin as internal struggles. Even more so our struggles begin with the heart. If our heart is not rightly related to God through Christ, then of course our outside world will be wack (even wiggida wack)!

In college we had this worship service called "Power Source". Yeah, I know. Cheeseball. But as kinda lame as it sounds, there is truth in those words. We cannot do anything aside from being plugged into God. Only God alone can birth in us the ability to love people and change our world. SO my question to the students is, What are you worshipping? Because only someone who worships God day in and day out can live out the life God has called us to.

September 29, 2009

Tough Rhymes, but true...

Now some of you may be offended by the use of war in this song. I understand that, but there are so many times that we walk in our Christian lives like we are powerless to sin, powerless to what life hits us with, powerless to what others say and do to us. We live our lives as a reaction and never take proactive steps in our faith. But this video reminds me that many times God is saying, "STOP IT!". If GOD is who He says He is then we have the power in Christ that is in us, why are we letting life happen to us? I'm just sayin... ;)

September 28, 2009

Monday Morning Musings- 09/28

My Sunday Night Recap is now called "Monday Morning Musings". I decided to do this because 1. I like getting a day to think about all the things that happened and B. I spend Sunday nights playing Mr. Mom because Kim works late, so I figure what's one day?

1. People coming into a relationship with Christ for the first time Sunday at Grace = 31! How flippin cool is that? 4 of them were in the middle school service and that is the greatest thing ever! Heaven is rockin' with joy that you are now part of the party!

2. Our small groups went really great and we are getting more students involved for our second week of small groups! Make sure you are there!

3. This week is our third week in our "Back to the Start" series. We talked about building relationships and how that is important for us as followers of Jesus. We build relationships at GraceSTUDENTS via our small group ministry. Which is a great place for students to get to know one another in a deeper level!

4. YOU! I love that you guys have been outside of the walls being the church to your schools and your circles of influence. I am so glad that you have been committed to helping other people take their next step toward Christ!

September 24, 2009

Jump In! The water is great...

I love middle school ministry! At times is is very similar to juggling chainsaws or swimming in a tankful of sharks. But I can't help it. I am addicted.

I think that student ministry is one of the most rewarding pursuits you can ever get into at your church. Why? Because at this age students are asking the hard questions about life, faith and what their place is in this world.

 See as a teenager this stuff is right in their face. They are forced to walk in a school with all different types of students with all different types of ideas. They are trying to understand themselves, understand the constant change and information overload in the world. But, God is the God of this world as well. God doesn't see a teenager and think, "I can't wait to use them when they are grown up and more mature." God wants to use them NOW. But how can they know that if adults are not telling them that? How will they grow if no one volunteers to help them navigate this life?

So I invite you to jump into the shark tank. Yes. That is what it is. Yes you might get bitten. Student ministry is not for the faint of heart, but it is worth every scar I have. If God is stirring your heart, then apply at your local student ministry today!

September 23, 2009

What you say is important...

Have you ever said something dumb that you just wanted to take back? I know I have. It's like you say what first comes to your mind before thinking what your words might do. Many times we can get away with a flippant word or a harsh retort.

But there are some instances where there really is no way to take back what you said...

The damage is done, the missiles you sent out to destroy their target did their work and now the other person is left reeling from the impact.

James says, "If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless." Yiiiikes. I wish James would mind his own business. He takes the first few chapters of his book and makes it clear how a follower of the Name must live.

Im not saying I have this down. But maybe we should take a quick three count before we say that thing that is intended to hurt. Or before we say that thing about someone that we know might not be 100% true.

Your words are one thing that you can control (unless you might have Turret's) if you are a Jesus follower. It is the one thing we are allowed that can directly impact someone for the better OR worse. Think about that the next time you are in a conversation today. Your words do matter...

last time you got kicked for Jesus?

"The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name." Acts 5:41

It's been a while since the last time I got kicked in the shins for the cause of Christ, but what I do know is that at one point or another it happens to all of us. When that time comes, will we be willing to rejoice in the Name? Especially if that Name will be the cause of personal suffering?

The disciples did. They carry the same message we do. Just think about it...

September 20, 2009

Sunday Night Re-Cap 9/20

Great Sunday everyone!

1. We had another good Sunday, with new faces and new leaders!

2. We covered the second week in our "Back to the Start" series, in which we went over what it means to worship God! We have been traveling through the book of Acts, which has also been quite cool.

3. We have a few students already excited about Baptism, which is coming up Oct 18th. Please let me know if you are interested!!!

4. Small groups are up and running this week please check here for details!

5. Last but, definitely not least, @mcadkins brought a great message in the main service series, "Making Love Last!" If you havent heard the podcast yet, go check it out! Also we should have video up on the web by Tuesday AM!

September 17, 2009

Friday Funny: Just Plain Weird

This amazing photo is brought to you by my friends at awkward family photos. I was thinking of what to write about this picture when I realized this picture actually says volumes without a caption. 

So thanks weird dad for coming up with this brilliant idea for a photo. It has the unique ability of making me laugh and creeping me out at the same time. Happy Friday everyone!

September 16, 2009


We had a great small group kickoff party last night! If you missed it, you are just gonna have to make the next one! ;) Anyways just wanted to lay down the times of the Middle School small groups for you so you can see what dates and times* they are going down.

Monday Night (7th/8th Boys) @ 6:30-8:00

Brent Upham/Dan Hoyle

Tuesday Night (Girls) @ 6:30-8:00

Kim Tumlinson/Sheryl Parker

Wednesday Night (6th Boys) @ 5:00-6:30

David Touchton/Norm Tumlinson

Thursday nights (Girls) @ 6:30-8:00

Julie Sienko/Ginger Wright

*once you pick a night you need to commit to that night for the rest of the semester. no exceptions

**for safety purposes locations are not listed on this blog. For specific locations please email

Social Media... It's a big deal.

September 15, 2009

What determines your direction, is the object of your affection

"Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe" John 20:27

Times are tough. Money is tight. Lately life has just been tough. I know that you have been there. I dont know your circumstances, but I know we have all been swallowed up by disdain at one point or another.

But here is the deal. God is not asking you to pull up your bootstraps. God is not asking you to make your own way. God is simply asking you to "believe". Now Im not talking believe like the Shamu show at Sea World, or to believe dreams do come true.

God is asking you to believe in the One He sent. What determines your direction is the object of your affection. Is God not who He says He is? Did Jesus not escape death and rise again to change the fabric of who we are? As I write this I think about my circumstances. Things are hard. We are sometimes living paycheck to paycheck. I wrestle with life and wrestle with how to lead students to Jesus.

But when Jesus becomes the only object of my affection, everything else becomes strangely small. When I look into the blazing eyes of Jesus I become less and He becomes King. Jesus never changes. And He really can make a way.

Test your affection today. To whom or what is your heart bound to?

September 14, 2009

Check out the new website!!! !

September 13, 2009

Sunday Night Re-Cap 9-13

BOOOYAH! What a great fall kickoff sunday! I am just so thankful to God for all the great things that happened. YOU were a big part of that as well. It was just a great sunday from top to bottom.

1. We had a record number of students this week, we cleared over 60. Wow!

2. Middle School rocked it with 47 students!!! You guys did such a great job, and it was seriously fun wasn't it? I cannot wait to see what God is going to do through YOU the rest of this semester and year!

3. We started a great new series called "BACK TO THE START" which we are going to go through the book of Acts as well as talk about what it means to be a part of GraceSTUDENTS!

4. We are starting Middle School Small groups THIS WEEK! Our small group party is going to be this TUESDAY @ 6:30!! Get excited, they are going to be off the hizzie! If you need info on the party email GraceSTUDENTS-->!

5. I just love our parents and leaders as they are making this possible by their support, volunteering and constant partnership!!! Thanks to you all as well.

September 10, 2009

One of my favorites...

Robert Frost (1874–1963). Mountain Interval. 1920.
1.The Road Not Taken

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 5
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same, 10
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back. 15
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 20

September 9, 2009

cool is relative

I saw a funny ezine article that talked about growing up in the 90's. I laughed at the things that it talked about as I raced down memory lane for fifteen minutes or so. One of the funniest things in the article was how we thought MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice (picture to the right for those born after 1992) were actually cool.

I don't care who you are, at least 95% of teenagers jammed "Ice Ice Baby" when it came out. C'mon, don't kid yourself, (if you are my age) you liked it, even if it was just a little. Some kids in my school even shaved slits in their eyebrows because the "VIP" did it. I can't believe I did... err... I mean other kids did that.

I use this picture on the right because we actually thought Vanilla looked cool in this outfit in the early 90's. I mean it was actually okay to wear that (horrendous) outfit... We were pretty dumb. But we were teenagers... I guess I write this because I sometimes I think about how we give teenagers such a hard time about the things that they do, when I was just as much a lemming back in the day. So take that for what it's worth, and give a teenager a break today.

 "Word to your mother..."

September 8, 2009

Fall Kickoff--- Sept 13th!

It's that time of year again! That's right, not only is football kicking off, but @Gracefellowship we have our Fall kickoff!

Last year was off the chain, so you know we are going to bring it this year! Grace Students is going to have Middle School @ 10:30 and High School @ 11:45! We have a few surprises planned for those that show up this Sunday. So you know its's a great day to bring a new friend!!!

So get there early and come excited because its gonna be straight ballin' cousin!!! Can't wait to see YOU there!!!

September 7, 2009

Sunday Night Re-Cap 9/6 (Labor day edition)


Sunday was so much fun, and Im pretty sure that it rocked too! 

1. We had a great ending to our "New Friend Request" series! Next week we start "Back to the Start" where we talk about the genesis of the church and about how we fit into the long line of God's work on earth!

2. I am beat, now I really can appreciate what @mcadkins goes thru ever Sunday!!! Geez!!! Thanks for all of your support.

3. Its labor day today so I am definitely taking a break! Much love to all my readers, go out and BBQ today!!! ;)

September 5, 2009

payers appreciated!

Teaching 3 services this sunday in @mcadkins stead!!! Pretty crazy huh? Lift me up in prayer. Thanks!

September 2, 2009

Middle School Small Groups

Attention Middle Schoolers! We are starting up small groups this fall and we are having a kickoff party Sept 15th @ 6:30 at the Howsare's residence in Maitland. If you need directions please email Grace Students at and we will get back with you!

"Bullet" by Mat Kearney

Sunday in the student ministries we listened to a song by Mat Kearney. I think you can read the lyrics on several levels, but we listened to it as a challenge--to see if we were really willing to give it all for Christ and for our friends (serving them) and take a "bullet" for them (dying to self//or maybe literally dying). Anyways, here's the words. You can listen to the track on iTunes.

Yesterday I was sitting recalling reminiscing
Trying to remember whenever there was nobody listening
Before the hugging and the kissing, the booing and the hissing
All I had was just a vision, all I had was my ambition
Your love without condition kept me swinging when I'm missing
My eyes upon the prize kept me striving for the mission

When I was down for the count, falling out of the commission
I can hear your voice now screaming out, 'son, listen'
Get on up, don't give up, though you struck opposition
Time to buck all that stuff, find out what's your condition
Like a pull in my soul, like keys in my ignition
Call you all my commission, my love and my vision and

It doesn't matter if they call me wrong
Doesn't matter if they steal my song
Doesn't matter if we're all alone
It doesn't matter at all

'Cause I would take a bullet for you
I would take a bullet for you
I would cross any line, I'd swim across the sea
I would take a bullet for you
I would take a bullet for you
I would lost it all, take my fall
To show you it's for real

Remember when we used to flow together back in the park
You would slang guitar licks under stars in the dark
You'd say let's grow together as this world falls aprat
I was holding on to hope but hardly holding a spark

All the rhymes that I wrote you'd call dope for the start
I'd be like a pure note, like a quote on the mark
You'ld go to every show and promote from the start
From the beginning we've been building much more than this art

Remember bearing scars in your car to impart your heart
You cared enough to call my bluff through the junk from the start
That's why you're holding onto half of my heart
You've been there through the times, through the nights that were dark and



September 1, 2009

water basin...

This past Sunday we talked about how the best friendships are based on giving not just getting. I have really been chewing on that for a while last week and it spilled over into this week. I have really been thinking about my friendships and how (or if) I really serve them like I challenged the students to serve their friends this week.

I used the example of Jesus washing his disciples feet and that image is still in my head. Do I serve recklessly? I have to pause a moment and think on that... I hope you do to...

August 30, 2009

Sunday Night Re-Cap 8-30

I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene... I don't even know where to begin. Yes I do... Thank you so much Christ for working in the lives of students. Thank You, Thank you, Thank You!

1. This Sunday was great. I was floored by the true message of Christ's relentless love for us in the story of him washing the disciple's feet. DANG Jesus!

2. The leaders really got it this week. They continued to dig deep with the students, and build good relationships with them as well. It is so cool to see teenagers and adults actually having conversations. Trust me in my world that is a big deal!

3. We moved to a High School service which was great. We had a bunch of new faces and I can't tell you how happy I was that we had the biggest group of HSers ever!

4. Middle School service rocked me as well. They were so dialed in to God's word and I know they are going to make a difference in their schools. I am believing on it and praying on it, and you guys are living it out at your middle schools so well! Proud of YOU!

5. Our worship leader Chad Wyatt is such an unsung hero. He puts in so much time and preparation (musically but more importantly spiritually) into each service and he definitely gets my props for this week... and every week. If you don't make it to service on time... You need to. Seriously. Do it.

August 23, 2009

Sunday Night Re-Cap 8/23

Man, what a weekend! I love Sundays and I really love all the people who make it possible. By their tireless commitment to Christ and to seeing new people take their next step toward Christ. 

1. Largest Sunday ever. Im not sure the exact numbers but we maxed out the room in a serious way. We definitely had 50+ people in there with leaders and all. !WOW!

2. Our new intern @diazdave blew it up this week. I am very excited about what he brings to the table. His commitment to Christ and to the students is bar-none!

3. We started a new series called "New Friend Request" and it comes as a great time as school starts tomorrow and we are getting ready to launch our "first friends" program.

4. Thanks to our production team for working through the glitches and hitches that a blowout Sunday brings. 

5. Again, I love it when my wife is off on Sunday, (she usually has to work) it's just fun for her and for me to hang together doing what I love to do. I love you sweetheart!!!

6. Again Mike blowed it up in the service with a bomb of a message. We are going through our ONE life series and you need to take a listen if you have not heard it.

Thanks be to God, who is the giver of all good gifts. I thank you for your support and constant prayers as we travel through this journey of life together. AMEN!

August 20, 2009

Stoked about the new series!!!

We are going into a new series next week called "New Friend Request". It's gonna be sweet!

Let's just admit it, having friends is great. Whether you want one, already have one, there's just something about having other people in life that you can count on.

Friendships may seem to happen randomly, but there is an intentionality about who we allow close to us. This series is designed to help students learn that the people who are closest to them have influence on their life. Many times they shape who we are.

So who are your closest friends? How are they influencing you? That's what we'll talk about and more in our new series "New Friend Request."

August 18, 2009


I have been spending time in the book of John in the mornings. It's really nice to go back and read the first complete book I read through as a new Christ-follower. I remember the book overwhelmed me, and as I have committed to reading through it again this month I remember why.

I was just reading in chapter 6 where Jesus feeds the 5000. Man, what a miracle... It was just something that sounds like a crazy story, but it really happened. Then he tops it off with this walking on water stunt! I mean Jesus is really making it hard not to follow Him. But then he does something weird...

He goes into this crazy vampire/zombie-esque (my interpretation) story about eating his flesh and drinking his blood. He says "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." What? I read it again. What? Why the heck is he teaching like this? Isn't Jesus supposed to be helping people take their next step toward Him? Why the harsh allegory?

Even the disciples were grumbling about this (v61). Also at this point many disciples walked away... Well that helped the kingdom... Way to build the church Jesus...

I watch the crowds walk away... dejected... dissapointed... I look back at Jesus thinking, "why are you letting them walk away?" I look back at the disciples with their heads and shoulders slumped...


I missed it...

Jesus is asking for desperate measures. He is talking about the unthinkable to break us of our notions of who we think He is.... Let's be honest, I mean, are we desperate for God or what He can do for us? What if he asks of us the impossible? Does that change our mind? Do we say, "Wait Jesus, don't go there." ?


Jesus looks to Peter and says, do you want to leave too? Peter says, "Lord, to whom shall we go?..."

I have no other way to turn in my life right now. Christ is showing me a path of where he wants me to go that is very similar to eating His flesh and drinking His blood. This calling is messy, difficult and impossible. In fact, I can't do it. But I am more desperate for Him than I am desperate for my life to make sense. I am so desperate for Him because I know that I can't follow Him unless He draws me and that humbles me beyond any kind of measure... Desperate...

Where will I go? Who has the words of eternal life? Who is the bread of life?

only Jesus...

Humbly I am desperate...

August 16, 2009

Sunday Night Re-Cap

Man this has been a great week. I got myself a good power nap, but was awakened by the utter excitement I feel about what God has been doing and is going to do this fall/rest of the year @Gracefellowship. I can't even hold it in!!! Kim and I got to worship at the 9:00 am service and I was so thankful. Please don't take coming to service for granted because it is a BIG deal.

1. Many people came to know Christ today @Gracefellowship! I wasnt in all services, but we had at least 10 people in the first service. Heaven was crunk times ten!

2. I have to admit i get pretty excited sometimes but, DANG! I am excited about our upcoming 6th grade class! We had a great "Merge 09" class where the kids got to know about what we do and who we are. We had about 20 new students moving up, and to that I am thrilled!

3. I knew Mike was gonna bring it, but all I can say is WOW! If you didnt hear this weeks sermon @gracefellowship. Uh... you need to. Check on the "messages" and it will get you to the podcast.

4. The students ever amaze me as they respond to the message with passion. Today we covered 1 Corinthians 15. The resurrection is who we are as believers! We need to make sure teenagers know the truth and power of the gospel!

5. I am sick and tired of 60-70% of teenagers walking away from the faith at graduation. Each Sunday we get a chance to lower that number and if you are crazy enough to join me in the student ministries, lets bring it!

6. Things you can pray for us about: upcoming 6th grade class, small group leaders and the launch of great small groups this semester, pray for our new intern Dave, pray for parents and people to step up and help students take their next step!

August 15, 2009

Bleach my hair! -Like a Boss!!!

Something new, actually I did it last year, but felt the need to go for it again!!!

I just wanted to give you the 411, before you see me at the GFC!!! I like it, but the bleach definitely gets to your brain after a while. lol!

See you sunday @ IMPACT!

August 14, 2009

Drifting off course?

If you have ever sailed for any amount of time, you know it takes a lot of work sometimes to keep your self on a straight course. 

Sometimes the wind changes direction. Sometimes the wind changes speed. And sometimes, there is no wind at all.

Sometimes the very wind that helps to lift the sails and push you forward also pushes you sideways, causing you to drift off course.  It is easier than you think to find yourself drifting off course. Lately I have been checking my bearings and trying to double check the course of my life. I also think about my vision for working within student ministry and if I am charting on the course I originally set out upon. 

I don't know how I have drifted, but one of the things I often forget about is how utterly amazing the gift of God, through Christ, is and how there are thousands of teenagers that still need that in their lives in Orlando. 

If you are a Christ follower, remember, you are on a mission. How does the course we have charted in our lives line up with the course that Christ has for us? Take a moment. Line up. And let's get back on course!

August 12, 2009

gone today... Back Tomorrow!

We are heading up to NewSpring Church tonight for the One! conference tomorrow. Then after the conference we are flying right back home, whew!

Please be praying for us as we are listening to some of the pastors @Newspring and discussing family ministries with 30 other churches and their student/children/senior pastors! Should prove to be an intense time! See ya!

August 11, 2009

i like lasers...

I know this is completely random. But I like lasers. I don't know why. I just think they are the coolest thing ever. I wish I could just shoot lasers all day long. Like I said. Random...

August 10, 2009

ONE Life!

Grace Fellowship is currently in a series called "One Life". Mike is going through the life of Elijah and bringing some serious truth! Maybe you have been wondering. What can God do with [my] one life? Check out this past weeks message and hear about it.

You gotta make it this next Sunday. I think this series will really encourage you if you have been desiring God to use you in the kingdom. I guarantee God has something for you to hear!!! So come out!!!