Baptism word for July: Completeness

Friday, July 29, 2005

We had ten people get baptized this past Wednesday. I love being able to take part in these every month. I ask all the people who are getting baptized to meet at the church about an hour before. Once everyone is suited up and ready to go we spend this time just talking. I typically ask the question, “What has brought you to this point? I mean why are you here right now, today, this place, this point in your life that you have decided to be baptized?”

It seems every month there is a common thread or theme or word that connects the stories. Last month it was new life. This month that word was completion. That internal knowing that something is not yet finished in my life. Knowing I was meant to have a relationship with God not just knowledge of him. Then there was… Jesus has turned my life around, you wouldn’t believe where we were a year ago. I feel like he’s done so much for me, I just want to make our relationship complete.

We truly do worship a mighty and loving God. If you are searching for completeness or wholeness, lift up your eyes; don’t keep searching for it in the stuff. The stuff won’t last. It’s only a band aid that covers the emptiness for a time. But if you look up beyond the things and the stuff. Look up to God who loves you.

You truly can be made whole… complete…


Don't just remove it, replace it

Tuesday, July 26, 2005
I have this friend who is struggling to stop smoking. I mean she really wants to stop, but is just finding it so hard. She told me she had been really praying about it. Praying that God would completely remove the desire to smoke. And it would work she said, but then its like all the sudden the urge to smoke just becomes unbearable and she gives in.

As I prayed for her, God gave me a prayer. That was, Father don't just remove the desire but replace it. You see it's not enough to just remove the desire. We need to replace it. If you remove it, there's still an empty space there. It wants to be filled and the only thing you know to fill it with is the thing that was once there.

It's like this spiritual vacuum or void. I was actually reminded of the story in Matthew 12:43-45 Jesus was talking about how when you cast out a demon if it comes back and the house is empty, it just moves back in and brings seven friends worse than he is with him.

The bible says God pours his love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. Man, THATS what needs to replace the desire. God please take away her desire to smoke and replace it with a desire for you. For more of your love. More of your passion. Replace it, with you.


The Lost Blog

Friday, July 22, 2005
Funny thing about blogs...

Last night I'm driving down the road, no radio, no kids... just driving in the silence. I was thinking over next Second Sunday and the message, the music, the stuff we need to do to make it better and I had like this revelation on passion. The whole thing began to unfold infront of me. I was like WOW thats so it. I arrived at the house, was about to enter the whole thing as a blog entry and the noise of "married with two kids" started up.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the sound of married with two kids but sometimes.... well... it's like running your fingernails down a chalk board. Last night happened to be a chalkboard moment and needless to say I didn't make it to the computer.

This morning as I sit here trying to recapture the thoughts on passion, it just isn't fitting together like it did in my truck, in the silence. So I guess it just gets filed away in the lost blog bin.

Ever have that happen to you? Have this great blog entry then before you can post... its gone...


Shark Bite Victim

Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Hey yall, I have another urgent prayer request. A very close friend of mines daughter was recently bitten by a shark in the Gulf of Mexico.

You can read an article on CNN here.

She had one surgery to remove debri, shark teeth, etc. That went fine. She had another surgery to reattach the tendons in her foot. That surgery actually went better than expected. The family is back in North Carolina now and the doctor there is concerned the top portion of her foot may not heal. There was a loss of blood flow for a long time so the flesh may not heal.

Please pray for a miracle. Pray the blood flows and the skin is revived on her foot. Also pray for her. Imagine, 14 years old, swimming in waist deep water in the gulf, and suddenly you now find yourself recovering from a shark attack.

Thank you all


Please Pray for Randy and Kelsey

Randy's wife needs your prayers. Please join me in praying for them.

His blog has the details here.


Christian Cussing

Friday, July 15, 2005

Ok so I said I may on occasion cuss someone when I’m driving. The funny thing is… I don’t use real cuss words… I use the Christian ones…

Oh come on you freakin idiot
Dang it, that crazy thing needs to move on…
Holy Smokes… did you see that…
What the… with a pause
Or What the Heck

So I’m thinking to myself, that’s kind of crazy, I mean somehow its ok to use those words but not the ones they are replacing? I mean, come on, I’m using them the same way, I’m using them with the same emotion, with the same intent and when I say dangit… don’t you know what word that is replacing? So isn’t it the same?

Why not just say it? I don’t know I just somehow feel better about myself by danging you to hell I suppose….


Don't just love me, follow me

More about John 21
You know, I read a couple commentaries and they were saying Jesus is telling Peter.. it’s not about the words you say… Jesus wanted Peter to show him he loved him in the things he was told to do. I can kinda agree with that, BUT… it’s not really about the things you do. Sometimes we get so caught up in the things that we forget why we were doing them in the first place.

It’s because we love him that we do. We don’t do to try and win his love… he loves us no matter what we do. We do, because we love him. Falling in love with Jesus ignites passion… it ignites desire… it sets you on fire with this amazing desire to simply do what he did… to simply be about doing what he wants you to do.

Not doing to impress him, but joining him in the doing. It’s a love thing.

So it’s not about just saying you love him...

It’s not about just doing things to prove you love him…

Even after Jesus told Peter to go and do… he ended it with… “Follow me”

That speaks to me. Jesus says, yes I want to hear you say you love me, yes I want to see you love me in the things you do, but even more I want to take part in your loving me so follow me.


Do you love me?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

John 21:15-19 (NIV)

15When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?"
"Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."

16Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?"
He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep."

17The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?"
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you."

18Jesus said, "Feed my sheep. I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." 19Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!"

I feel like God has really been talking to me about loving him lately. Oh how Peter must have felt when seemingly Jesus didn’t believe him or something… Come on Jesus… what’s the deal… You know EVERYTHING of course you know I love you…

More and more I begin to see the love Jesus has for people around me. But it’s still like he has to check with me from time to time. As I’m driving down the road and cuss at some one (using Christian cussing of course) for driving too slow… or driving to fast… or freakin sitting in the left lane with their right blinker on going 45 in a 50 mph zone just close enough to the other slow guy in the right lane so your stuck… it’s like at those moments… I get a tap on my shoulder… “Do you love me?”

Or as I begin to form an opinion about someone in the grocery store by the way they look or dress or the way they are acting. I’ll get that tap… “Do you love me?”

Or as I walk into a conversation where the best little piece of gossip is being wrapped around a prayer request and you know you shouldn’t take part… but… you want to know… “Do you love me?”

Most the time, it serves to draw my focus back to him. Most the time I’ll say... Hey you guys... this really is bordering on Gossip and I don’t want any part of it. Most the time, in the car, I’ll just turn up the radio or turn off the radio and just enjoy the extra time I’m being given. Most the time… I say Yes Jesus, you know I love you and I don’t even have to speak a word…. I simply feed his sheep…

But sometimes… not often… but sometimes… I say the words… You know I love you Lord… but the things I’m thinking or saying or doing speak a completely different tune…

I just thank Him… thank you Lord for loving me, so I could love you. I do love Jesus beyond words can describe and I want to do my best to allow that love to SHOW not just in the words I say but in the way I live.


Tuesday, July 05, 2005
The following is from Octavio Martinez's blog

Check out the original post here

The Numbers Game

I’m writing this post because people often quote the number of casualties as a reason to end the War on Terror. A bit of comparison is in order:

115 people will die in motor vehicle accidents.
37 more will die just from falling.
35 will die from poisoning.
15 will expire from suffocation (more than seven times the death rate in Iraq).
10 will die a horrible death as the result of fires and burns.
9 will drown.
All in one day.
And this does not consider illnesses, victims of crimes, suicides and natural causes.

Wars and Daily Death Rates
WWI - 199.5 per day
WWII - 219.5 per day
Korean War - 32.4 per day
Vietnam Conflict - 18.8 per day
Gulf War - 1.8 per day
Iraq War - 2.1 per day

Why We Fight
Monsters murdered 2300+ civilians in NYC on 9/11. And these cowards are still killing civilians: their own people!
Why do they hate us?
Why do they hate democracy?
Who cares?

Evil cannot be appeased.
Evil cannot be reasoned with.
It must be met with force and destroyed.
“Killed” as then General Colin Powell said during the Gulf War.

This Fourth, I honor all the men and women who chose to lay down their lives so that others can live in freedom.
Thank you.