As I have watched the events over the last week I have to wonder if these are signs of the end times. How awful it must be in New Orleans and Mississippi. I can't get in touch with my friend Ken Nuss. Gulfport was wiped out. I pray he is OK. It was good to hear Joe Kennedy is OK although it stinks about Seminary for him.
Here in Mobile it is bad but nowhere near what is happening to our friends in Miss and LA. But the lines for gas and the price gouging is terrible. My friend Jason Burns said gas was going for $5 in Atlanta. Here there are long lines if you can find gas. Tempers are flaring and it is dangerous. It made me wonder what would happen if the entire country was in a state of emergency. Would people kill for gas and food? Cass went out for food but there was a curfew out and we couldn't get any. It is scary. Then our power went out again for a short time tonight. WOW! I just pray for those poor people out there who are worse off than us. We are doing well but those who have no water, power or a house, God bless them.
Well, I will not complain for our damage after seeing New Orleans and Mississippi Gulf Coast. It is heartbreaking to see the lives that have been affected. I pray for all of them! We have significant damage to our house according to our neighbor. We will not be coming home until we have power. This is very stressful on our family. I'm grateful that we left but pray for all of our friends and people I don't know who are suffering all along the Gulf Coast. God help us all!
I got to meet with my friend Jason Burns who is planting a church in the big ATL in the near future. He is a great friend and has a passion for emergents just like me.
Our neighbor called and said the power is still out. She said a big pine tree from her yard fell over our fence and our yard is trashed. Also we lost a lot of our siding and the roof has some tiles missing. I just hope it isn't leaking. But you know what, it is just stuff. Who cares. I'm tired of worrying about all this. I have my life, my family, my friends and My God! What more do I need. I'm just grateful for what I do have, not for what I don't have or what we may be in store for. God bless you all.
When Katrina entered Cat 5 stage we left and went to Atlanta. We are staying near 6 flags @ a motel with an indoor pool. The kids are swimming right now as I type this. Watching your community rip apart by winds is painful. I know the power is out at our house and am praying it is not torn apart. It is great to be in Atlanta just not under these circumstances. There are other refugees here also. I talked with my friend Jason Burns who is planting a church near here. It was great to talk with him. We will see the Flannagans later. They helped us with the Bridge Church. We hope to come home tomorrow, I just hope we can.
Recently, I have lived in the cesspool non-communication. Communication is used in a manner to control. I don't like being controlled. Open and honest communication leads to trust and vulnerability. There are not many people who like to do this. I have been kept out of the communication process at times and it stinks. My point is this: What would Jesus have us do? I say He wants open and honest communication. He came for us to have a relationship with him. He didn't give us a list of do's and don'ts. He died for a relationship. He wants to communicate with us. How can we have a relationship with people who don't want to communicate with us? Lack of communication leads to mis-communication which leads to hurt feelings and mistrust.
I never realized how important communication was until the last few years. I make a living as a communicator and am a student of communicators. Ronald Regan was called the Great Communicator. I miss him and loved him as President. He always made you feel good about being an American and just a human being. When I think about the communicators that I enjoy, it is those who make me feel better about myself. John Maxwell, Joel Osteen, Andy Stanley, Rick Warren, Bill Hybles, John Ortberg, Chuck Swindoll, Ed Young Jr. Wayne Cordeiro and others make me feel good. There are some who argue that we need messages that step on toes and stuff. I feel the Bible and the Holy Spirit are there for that. There is enough junk in the world to bring us down that I like to be around those who make me feel better.
I appologize that I have failed to communicate in a manner that leads to intimacy. I have decided not to do this to others. I believe that communication leads to a relationship and need to have healthy relationships.
In Colossians 4:5 Paul tells the church @ Colosse to be wise how they act towards outsiders and make the most of every opportunity. He says our conversation should be seasoned with "salt." Back then salt was used to preserve food and to add flavor. Unfortunately, many of the "christian" leaders in our world don't go by this passage. I was always taught not to say anything if I didn't have something nice to say about someone else. I think this is especially true in public. If followers of Jesus talk bad about everyone in the world, what seeker would want God?
This week televanglist Pat Robertson said that the US should kill a leader in South America because he is a dictator and he has extreme Muslim views. Who are we as followers of Jesus to decide this? I may think the same way (I don't though) but I believe those thoughts should be kept private or only with fellow believers as way of bouncing off thoughts. When Roberston got on Worldwide TV (700 Club) and said this, he was speaking for Christians everywhere eventhough many of us don't agree with him. SHUT UP PAT! I personally don't want to see anyone killed because I see everyone as a potential follower of Christ. What if Saddam Hussein became of follower of Jesus? Imagine the impact he could have on the world. I hate it when politics and religion get mixed. I don't see Jesus blessing this union.
I love hearing John Maxwell or Joel Osteen speak. When you hear them talk you come back feeling good about yourself. Some call their theology weak, but they talk about God loving us not condemning people. Isn't that what Jesus did? When a woman was caught in adultery and brought to Jesus, the religious men wanted to stone her. Jesus told her to sin no more. When Jesus talked to the prostitute at the well He offered her hope. Rahab was a prostitute and she is in the linage of Jesus. The point is, I believe we all know how bad we really are, we need encouragement and love not condemnation!
So let me sprinkle some salt on you now. God loves you and you are important to Him. You are so important to Him that He sent His only son Jesus to die for our sins. Cool! I don't deserve it but I'm grateful anyway. Keep sprinkling that salt on me God!
I decided to change my blog's look. Change is good. I believe that I must change myself everyday. Jesus said in Luke 9:23 to if want to follow Him we must take up our cross daily and follow Him. Change is good. Some people like consistancy. I like change. Change is good. I get bored. Change is good. I like variety. Change is good. I like excitement. I like change. The world is full of change. I miss living where there is a change in the seasons. Here it is hot and hotter. Change is good. I miss the crisp feel of Autumn. I miss the change of leaves. Change is good. I love seeing lives changed. I enjoy baptizing people because it represents a change in people. II Corinthians 5:17 says if we are in Christ we are new creations. Change is good. I like new music. Change is good. I like traveling to new places. Change is good. Boredom is for losers. Change is for winners. Even is something is working well, break it and make it better. Tiger Woods is the best golfer in the world. He changed his swing to become even better. Change is good. I am all about change. Look at the world it is changing. We must change our methods to share how Jesus can change their lives. Change is good.
It is intersting to me to see people who are truly humble. It is not a goal of many people. But God has a way of humbling His people. I have always been a leader. I was a pharisee in high school. Growing up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama was difficult. Now I love Bama football but T-town is a wild place. An adult magazine once ranked the top 10 party schools in the US but they said they couldn't rank Alabama because they were professionals. I saw that first hand. All my high school friends were party animals. It was hard to live as a follower of Christ. I coped by hanging out by myself for the most part. My dad pointed out to me that I was a snob. He told me to befriend the wild people at my school. Then my best friend in the world Tommy, got his girlfriend pregnant. Tommy was an awesome friend. He was active in our church and I loved him. But after he made his mistake, our church rejected him. Had it been someone else I probably would have done the same. But this was my friend. This was a humbling experience for me.
The last 4 years have been humbling for me as well. We started a church with visions of greatness. It is not up to me to decide that. We did some great things and God blessed us in many ways. But in the end, it was humbling. I failed. That is life and I moved on. I moved to Mobile. This is a nice town but it is like going back in time 10 years from Atlanta. We loved Atlanta and miss the fast pace. I miss everything about it even the traffic. I saw it as lost people who needed Jesus. We had no idea what we were coming into here. I will not point fingers because I don't know what happened. My guess is the church got prideful in what it had accomplished. Our new pastor quoted from Deuteronomy 8:2 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV) "Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands." Maybe that is what happened to FBTC.
Maybe that is what is happening to me. In my past everything I touched turned to gold. I led a woman to Christ on a dare once. I have been humbled. God may choose to humble me further. OK. I believe I have been tested. I have kept the faith. People ask me how I'm doing. It stinks sometimes, but my faith is stronger than ever. Is that humility? I don't know. But I'm grateful that God loves me enough to think that I can handle his testing.
Let's face it we can't make in life without people. Relationships are a gigantic part of our lives. I have been blessed with Godly people in my life. My wife Cassandra completes me because I have many weaknesses that she steps in and takes care of. I appreciate her heart for people and especially God. She is a great mother and friend. My children are special to me. They bring great joy in my life. I am grateful that they both have a relationship with Jesus. I was blessed to be brought up in a Godly home. My parents have worked in ministry all of their adult lives. They still are making a difference in the world for Christ. I am who I am because of their influence on me. I am grateful for my brother Tim and sister Jenn. They both love God and serve him in their local churches.
I am grateful for friends like Carlton Bradshaw in Jacksonville, NC who helped start the youth ministry WOW with me in 1996. He is a great friend and has added value to my life. We still talk via the phone on a regular basis. What a talent and Godly man he is! I thank God for the impact Dr. Bob Horner had on me as a young businessman struggling with going into ministry. He gave me my first opportunity to preach. I am grateful to Lyndon Smith, one of the Godliest men I know who was a Man's man- a Marine and loved God and helped me in my ministry in NC! Barry Templeton was a great friend in NC also.
I am thankful for Shay Thomas, my secretary @ PCBC for 3 years. She is a Godly person and has been a great friend to our family. What a prayer warrior she is. I miss Claire Mae Van Brink @ PCBC. She is the best preschool minister in the biz. She has a contagious personality and has been a great friend to me and Cassandra. Thanks to Mr. Kim Faucette who helped get the money from PCBC to allow me to start a church. I miss Joe and Cheryl Barron. Joe was my boss @ PCBC and a great person. They are big supporters who have made a difference in my family. I am grateful for Larry Bateman whose organiztional skills helped me as a singles minister. Thomas Hammond is a wildman. I have never met a person with the passion for leading people to Christ. He also would put me in my place when I needed it. That is a true friend.
Jason Burns has been a great friend for years. I wouldn't have gotten the Bridge Church off the ground without him. Stuart and Miriam Delony made an unbelievable sacrifice to help us start the Bridge. They took no salary and worked their tails off! I can never repay them. Ryan Dean was the best worship leader I have ever seen. He is a great guy and I miss him. Russ Shoup and his family have been awesome friends. He is another former Marine I want with me. Rick and Susan Flannagan have been great friends to our family also.
I am grateful for Brad (Soupie) Campbell and his work @ FBTC. He works above and beyond the call of duty. I learn a lot from him about relationships. Angela Davis is a great helper in our ministry too. Thanks for the website work and all you do in our ministry. John Morgan accepted me from the day I came. He has been a great friend. Brad Johnson and Andrew Clemmons are grately missed. They have so much talent. Anthony Martinez has been a great friend and mentor. Neal Elmore and Melanie Kennedy are growing in their servanthood and I appreciate them also. What can I say about Steve and Dana Harbin. They have bailed me out in more ways than I can say! Thanks! Guy and Karen Foster have helped greatly also. I miss Ken Nuss, he is a great friend and what a talent. I appreciate Joe Kennedy's passion for ministry. God will do a lot thru him. I appreciate Jerry and Chris Vice for being friends to our family. Thanks Chris, for being there for Cass. Carla and Tim Howell are awesome friends and we love them! Margret and John Keel will do anything in the world for you and for that I'm grateful.
I know there are others who have changed my life for the better. I will have to add to this list. I am grateful to God for what a difference for the GOOD these people have made in my life!
There is something about venting occasionally. It is stress relieving. Writing out your thoughts, emotions and stuff does something to your mind. I have been journaling my prayers since 1995. It slows me down and makes me think out what I am praying about. I recommend to anyone who is like me, ADD. I am all over the place in my mind. I am a visionary and very creative and always thinking. I've come to accept this about myself. It is good. It can be frustrating to others and I'm sorry, but it is who God made me to be. I'm happy with who God made me to be, others may not be and that is not my problem. I have a passion for people. I want people to become the best people they can be. I see good in people even if they treat me badly. It's called forgiveness. Some see it as weak, I call it grace.
I admit it, I like to have control of my life. The last 2 1/2 years it has been out of control. I have no power to control it either. Dysfunction is the name of my life right now. I'm frustrated, confused, hurt, angry, broke and tired. I give up trying to change things because I can't. I am beat, I admit it.
I know things will change. I know Romans 8:28 says all things work for good. I am a positive thinker by nature but now I have to face reality. I am not in control and I don't like it. It is a dry period. People who say they are doing things for the good of the church, have hurt my friends and my family. They don't understand what they are doing. They only want what they want. They nit-pick everything. They complain and whine. The squeeky wheel gets the grease.
When will the church be the church? Churches are "doing" church but not "being" the church. It is a consumer mindset. What happened to ministry? It has become maintenance and that causes problems. I don't want to hear another problem because I'm not allowed to solve it. I could make a decision if I was allowed to, but I'm not.
Wow! I feel better already. God is good. Excuse my rant.