Posts

Showing posts from 2009

The Love Revolution

Image
Recently I read a new book by Joyce Meyer, the Love Revolution.  I must say that it is fantastic.  It discusses the Christian duty to love and gives inspiration and education on the subject.  Joyce wisely teaches us more about love and how to love.  But really, Joyce doesn't just want us to read a book, she wants a revolution, one that I can proudly say I've joined. I don't think we can overstate the importance of love to Christians.  Jesus said that by our love for each other people would recognize us as Christians.  Jesus said that the two most important commandments are for us to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and for us to love our neighbor as ourselves.  Then Jesus gave us a new commandment, enhancing the second one above, that we should love people as Christ loved us.  Christ sacrificed Himself so that we could be saved and have better lives, only because He loved us.  Therefore we must also learn to sacrificially love others.  Furthermore, th

Christ in You - Laminin

Image
I was blessed to hear Louie Giglio speak at the Chris Tomlin Christmas concert the other day in Clearwater, Florida.  By the way that was an awesome concert and I highly recommend you go.  But anyway I heard his sermon and remembered another sermon I heard from him over a year ago.  I love how the apostle Paul tells Timothy to avoid oppositions of science falsely so called.  Now I was an English major but I love certain aspects of science, especially theoretical physics (which often deals with the origin and actions of the universe).  I have never heard the first piece of credible scientific information that shakes my full belief in all the Words of the Holy Bible and the main doctrines of Christianity. So here is a biology lesson that I know will bless you, by Louie Giglio.  Below the video please see another great diagram of laminin and how it interacts with other elements in our bodies.  This explanation of laminin is, admittedly, one of those things that skeptical people probably

Phinehas

No doubt one of my favorite Bible characters is Phinehas, the priest, grandson of Aaron.  While only mentioned in eleven verses, I believe the glimpse we see of his life gives us a powerful insight into God's zeal and desires.  After a brief mention of his birth, we encounter him in Numbers chapter 25.  Please read the following passage which illustrates his exploits and how he found favor with God.  To give you a bit of context, God was now rebuking the Israelites for taking heathen women and worshipping their gods. "And behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping (because of God's judgment and shame) before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.  And when Phinehas . . . saw it, he rose up from the midst of the congregation and took a spear in his hand . . . and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel

Follow The Cloud

Image
I was reading the book of Numbers again today when I came across a passage I had never really noticed before.  Don't you love that?  I know some of you have read the Bible several times through, but each time you find new treasures and receive new revelations.  That's one great difference between the Word of God and every other book.  The Bible is alive; it lives and will live in you.  It can read your heart and speak back to you.  The Bible is God (John 1:1).  So when you are spending time with the Bible, you are spending time with God.  So I suppose God wanted me to notice something new today, maybe because of the particular season of my life, or maybe so I could share it with you.  The passage comes from Numbers 9:15-23.  I really don't want to do long quotes here, but I think I should so you can see the power of this. "And on the day that the tabernacle was reared up the cloud covered the tabernacle, namely, the tent of testimony: and at evening there was upon the

Mission Trips

Image
Before reading my thoughts on mission trips, which are below, please see the following list of trip operators, which I update when I learn of new material. Youth With a Mission - Well known ministry with trip opportunities around the world at various times around the year and various projects.    Living Water International - Focuses on drilling clean water wells and teaching hygiene in Haiti, El Salvador, Guatemala, Uganda, and Honduras.  We have a friend who works for them full time in El Salvador and loves it.  Lots of date options, but it looks like they book up fast. Global Aid Network - The humanitarian arm of Campus Crusade for Christ International.  Trips to various countries, but limited dates.  Various projects to be served, such as orphanages, hospitals, schools and aid to the impoverished. World Servants - Mission trips to various countries, mostly with construction projects. One nice focus of this ministry is that it supports group mission trips, even with group memb

Christians and Government

Image
Today we see our Nation's political landscape torn apart by strife.  You all know the issues that our leaders fight about every day.  For our Nation they are all important, and these battles' outcomes will have significant and far-reaching consequences.  We know that America now has what some call the "Christian Right."  But many Christians align themselves with left-wing ideologies and causes.  I wish we could all look at the Bible together, and then vote and debate accordingly.  But unfortunately it's not that simple.  While I look at a passage and reach one conclusion for my political stance, another could read the same passage and reach the opposite conclusion.  This hinders general Christian unity and prevents Christian political unity.  I'm not writing to address specific issues here, or even to advocate Christian political unity, although I think that would be great.  I'm writing to discuss a disturbing trend I see in Christians on both sides of the

Life Impact Network

Image
Two years ago my wife and I purchased a house.  When I told my mom the address, she said it sounded familiar.  Turns out, I was moving in next door to one of her close friends, a powerful woman of God with a voice, a vision, and a ministry.  The woman is Pat Layton, who is the President and Founder of the Life Impact Network.  The Life Impact Network is the parent organization for several wonderful ministries which focus on saving lives and helping children.   The Network's most well-known division, A Woman's Place Ministries , provides free unexpected pregnancy counseling.  They educate women, especially the young and single, about their baby's growth and their options.  They go right up against the area's major abortion clinics, even having their offices in the same complexes when possible.  They aim to protect the lives of the unborn.  They use a variety of means to accomplish this, including free counseling and free ultrasounds.  They introduce the young mothers

LUO

Image
A friend recently told me about an awesome ministry that focuses on helping orphans, LUO.  Based in Georgia, these young and committed Christians have partnerships with organizations in South Africa and Nicaragua.  They saw the needs of the poorest in the world, the impoverished orphans who have nothing and no one to help them.  Then they started helping. How many of us see needs all the time.  Just today I passed a family selling water roadside to help pay the bills.  Need is all around us, and most of us are blessed to be able to help some needs of others.  We can't help everyone, we can't do everything.  But if we listen to God, He will put a powerful stirring in our heart for some particular need.  We must listen to the Holy Spirit, for He will guide us into our area of ministry, into our calling.  We may not all be called to a pulpit, but we are all called to share the love of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  What need breaks your heart more than all the others?  I

Going to Heaven?

Image
I once read that good websites enable viewers to reach the most important pages in one click from anywhere else on the site.  Therefore you should now see a new "Heaven?" tab at the top of every page on this site.  Nothing, I repeat, NOTHING, is more important than your personal salvation.  No other Christian encouragement or instruction even comes close.  If you died today, are you absolutely sure that you would go to Heaven?  I am.  Let me help you also have this assurance. I meet countless people of all denominations who think/believe they will go to Heaven.  They say something like; I'm a Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, whatever.  They tell me how they go to church.  They say how they are a good person, or the most common, that they try to be a good person and do what's right.  I assure you, none of that matters. "If you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. 

Food for the Hungry

Image
This past Saturday Shannon and I attended the Follow You Tour in Clearwater, Florida.  It was an awesome concert featuring Brandon Heath , Leeland , and Francesca Battistelli .  The bands did this tour in connection with Food for the Hungry.  During a brief intermission they showed a video about their trip to Cambodia, where they met some seriously impoverished people, especially children.  They danced and sang and played games with them.  Your heart went out to these wonderful children.  In the midst of extreme poverty they seem so loving and happy.  Food for the Hungry currently operates in more than 26 nations.  They focus on the two hungers facing much of the impoverished world, spiritual hunger and physical hunger.  Their wide range of operations includes providing food and water, emergency relief, church development, and even local business development.  Clearly this group wants to feed both the spirits and stomachs of the people.  And more than that, they want to help people f

Everything Church Skit

This video really speaks for itself. It has be viewed over 11.5 million times on youtube.  Jesus is our everything. Watch it all, the end is the best. And be blessed.

Dr. Nasir K. Siddiki

Image
I like to watch the Trinity Broadcasting Network's telethon whenever it comes on. To help raise money for their ministry, they have some of the world's most well known Christian ministers teach on finances (and other subjects) while they have open phone lines for donation. The ministers receive nice amounts of time to really delve into God's Word and preach. The average show on TBN lasts 25 minutes or so, but each minister usually preaches for at least an hour during the telethon. Watching this will expose you to powerful teaching and new ministers which can contribute to your Christian life. I first heard the preaching of Dr. Nasir Siddiki during this telethon.  He spoke powerfully about the Biblical laws of seedtime and harvest.  He has the type of anointing that I can listen to for hours.  He preaches quickly and powerfully, filling his sermon with Scriptural references and useful anecdotes.  I believe one way I sense the anointing is when I hear the combination of tr

Dr. Ravi Zacharias

Image
Dr. Ravi Zacharias was born in India and later moved to the United States.  Possessing a powerful intellect, inspired by the Holy Spirit and wise from his considerable experience and studies, he preaches and lectures persuasively on behalf of Jesus Christ.  Ravi Zacharias International Ministries focuses largely on Christian apologetics, seeking to persuade others of the reality of Christianity through reason and rationale.  Dr. Zacharias lectures frequently on the superiority of Christianity to other religions, often in that Christianity is the only true religion because only Christianity has a completely rational basis which can help us understand every aspect of reality.  Dr. Zacharias has extensive knowledge of the world's religions, viewpoints, and opinions, and openly debates their accuracy against the truth of Christianity.  He shows their fallibility with Scripture, natural observations, and logical arguments. The website for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries notes

Dreams

Image
I know in my life I have had some crazy dreams.  I imagine most of you have too.  Many times dreams include elements from the previous day, like a restaurant where you ate, for example.  Other times dreams seem to contain only bizarre elements, leaving you with a "where did that come from" type feeling.  Dreams can produce powerful emotional and physical responses.  We can wake up sweating, scared, or even laughing.  Some dreams fill us with hope that they might come true, others fill us with dread for the same reason.  God speaks to people in dreams, and God might be speaking to you in yours.  In Genesis, the book of beginnings, we see God speak to several people this way.  This group includes both Joseph, a servant of God, and Abimelech, the heathen king of Gerar.  God showed Joseph the future, and God warned Abimelech not to mess with Abraham's wife.  God's use of dreams continues through the Bible, and includes Paul having a night vision where God directs him to

Operation Mobilisation

Operation Mobilisation International operates around the world, sharing the Gospel and blessing people. I felt amazed and inspired while reviewing their website, really in awe of God for empowering these people to do so much. Operation Mobilisation's heart is missions. This group trains, equips, and sends out thousands of ministers to over 100 nations. They preach the Gospel and also help the practical needs of the people. They have many operations in these countries dedicated to starting new churches, teaching practical skills, and helping the poor and downtrodden. This organization has truly established a worldwide ministry presence. If you are looking for an awesome job, albeit unpaid, working your trade while also serving God's kingdom, then you should check out their opportunities page. They also have terrific mission trip opportunities which provide life changing experiences for thousands each year. Operation Mobilisation also sends two ships around the world, the Doulo

A New Beginning

Image
While I attended graduate school God led me to write a series of Bible studies that I mailed or emailed to family and friends.  These were called "A New Beginning.  As you will see we covered a wide range of topics.  This lasted for nearly two years until I felt God's urging to take a break.  That break lasted about 2.5 years, and ended with God encouraging me to begin this website.    This was really my first public ministry effort.  These were fun to send out, for I really found out which of my friends considered themselves Christians.  I also found out which didn't.  But much good came from doing this, and truthfully this completely changed the direction of my life and relationships.  I went from regular guy to minister of the Gospel.  Start publicly preaching your Christian faith and you'll see what I mean.  I encourage you to read some and see what you think.  Then you could come back whenever you want some encouragement or guidance in a particular area.  Most h

Love Others

Image
While living in Atlanta, I attended World Changers Church International, pastored by Dr. Creflo A. Dollar. Now, everything Pastor preaches comes out with the fire of God and the full backing of Heaven. But I realized not every sermon finds the same crowd reaction. You see, some sermons focus mainly on God’s promises and how to obtain them. These sermons often inspire furious note taking and loud shouts of “Hallelujah.” Other sermons focus on appropriate Christian behavior and obeying the commands of God. These often inspire a far more subdued crowd reaction. For example, preach a sermon on giving only because you love God, without highlighting the potential harvest, and I’m sure you’ll see what I mean. The irony is that the less exciting sermons contain the keys to receiving the personal manifestation of the more exciting sermons. During my time at World Changers Dr. Dollar preached a multi-week series on love. Now Dr. Dollar has a very mature flock. And I’m sure many of my fellow Wor

Worship Works Ministries International

Image
While in high school Byron attended a church pastored by Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne, The River at Tampa Bay .  That church first introduced me to the awesome ministry of Pastor Joe Cruse and his family.  Pastor Joe led the worship there.  Now Pastor Joe and his wife, Becky, along with their children, have a church, worship school, and Christian academic school in Austin, Texas. Pastor Joe and Becky have an anointing to worship the Lord in song that truly blesses the nations.  They travel all over the world leading worship, teaching, training worship leaders, and blessing people.  Within seconds of meeting them you'll feel their genuine love for people, as their warmth and friendliness (and Texan charm) radiate and fill the room. God inhabits the praises of His people ( Ps. 22:3 ).  We are to enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise ( Ps. 100:4 ).  The importance of Spirit-filled worship can't be overstated.  I personally believe that worship can usher us int

Kenneth and Gloria Copeland

Image
I first learned about Kenneth Copeland through the ministry of Dr. Creflo Dollar. Dr. Dollar considers Brother Copeland his father in the faith, and Dr. Dollar talks often of him and their fellowship. I then learned that my mother had some old tapes from Brother Copeland, so I began listening. I also downloaded a free book from his website, The Laws of Prosperity . I believe Brother Copeland and his wonderful wife, Gloria, are two of the most precious ministry gifts the Body of Christ has today.  You see I know that Christians could differ on so many topics, and I want this to be a place where we can discuss things in love and fellowship. But if we only talk about things without controversy, we'll end up not talking about very much. I believe that the end times are here, largely because of the current revelation I see given to the Body of Christ. Today we see God's people with a greater understanding of "the believer's priesthood," than ever before. More than e

Serving God Should Be Fun

Image
Last Wednesday I led our church children's group, which we call Generation Faith.  My three younger brothers all take part and the comedy ensues whenever they speak.  After making fun of the teacher, the oldest made a profound comment for his sixteen years.  He said (paraphrasing) - why is it so easy for me to watch tv or read non-Christian materials, but so difficult to commit to reading the Bible. I must admit I was proud of him for this observation.  I know you all have never had this problem, but I have and so I'm sure at least a few other people have too.  Why is it that I can easily sit through a two hour movie, but it would take a serious amount of focus to study God's Word for two hours?  I believe it comes down to original sin, and the fact that our pre-Christian lives influenced us more deeply than we suspect.  But more important than the cause, let's focus on the cure.  Nothing is more important than God's Word.  Nothing else on earth can give us suc