History Makers — Surprise Wedding

Have you ever wanted everything to be new again?

Do you have regrets and find yourself trapped by your circumstances?

That’s the way a young couple that come to our church felt. Both had relationships that failed. Both had a child.

Several months ago they came to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It changed them. Did their problems go away completely? Of course not. And if you read the pages of the Bible, you would see that forgiveness of sins do not equal an escape from life’s problems and difficulties.

But it does promise a brand new life! So a new heart is a fresh start.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)

So today, being followers of Christ, they wanted to make their lives right before God. It involved commitments and promises — a much more serious word would be covenant. They made a covenant before their friends and family, before each other, and before God — IN MARRIAGE!

A surprise wedding for our church!!

A man and woman were joined together and WE ALL CELEBRATED! What a great day!

How to Watch a Debate

I receive an e-mail subscription sent to Pastors from Focus on the Family and H.B. London. In light of the ongoing campaigns and tonight’s debate, I thought I’d give you some of the thoughts contained in my inbox.

EXCERPT FROM “The Pastor’s Weekly Briefing,” Sent October 2, 2008.

Mr. Johnson outlined the following observations that he had gleaned from experts. Some of the comments are mine.

  • Listen actively. Switch from a passive mode to a learning mode. Pay attention.
  • Focus on substance not style. It is not so much how they look and how they sound as it is the clarity of their plans and positions.
  • Ignore subtle and disruptive behavior. You have seen candidates twist questions to the point that no answer is ever really given. You need to listen for a response that represents your questions. Discount gamesmanship.
  • Keep an open mind. Sometimes I find myself wanting the debaters to say what I want them to say and discounting the other person, even if he or she makes sense. Do you? My political bias many times gets in the way.
  • Turn off the TV when the debate is over. I really agree with Mr. Johnson. “The spin zone and post-debate analysis are designed to influence you. Make up your own mind.” I probably will make up my own mind, but, so often, I turn to the analysis I agree with rather than taking some time to weigh the results. Take some notes.
  • Give your own grade. Be objective. Weigh the significance of the issues. The polls are for the masses — the debate is for you as a God-assigned influencer.

In the Acts 26 debate, Paul was right — Agrippa was confused.

Apostle Paul: “What I am saying is true and reasonable” (Acts 26:25).

King Agrippa: “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” (Acts 26:28).

END EXCERPT

Repost of Where Were You When 9-11 Started … in memory of those lost …

Twin Towers AttackI remember it like it was yesterday, not like it was 6 years ago.

I got up early here on the West Coast and a few minutes before 6 heard the report on the local radio, KCBS, that a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Towers.

I have been fascinated by those towers since 1976 when my family took that very rapid elevator to the top. We actually got to go out onto the roof at least until they called us back in because of high winds.

On 9-11-2001 I hurried upstairs and grabbed a video tape, tuned into a cable news channel and recorded hours and hours of what would be seared into my mind until I die. The other incredible thing is that my son, who wasn’t to wake up for school for another hour was up and asked if something was wrong!

I told him what I knew and said that I believed we were watching history unfold! While I was explaining my thoughts about a clear day and a passenger jet crashing into a known landmark, we actually saw the second plane fly into the 2nd tower. It was chilling as you all know.

The other crazy thing about that day was what my wife was going through. She was 650 miles away on business and was waiting to go to the airport to catch her flight back home. Well, obviously, because of the grounding of all flights she was stranded!

Instead of taking her rental car back to the airport, she drove all the way to the San Francisco Bay Area … it took her about 11 hours. And when she finally pulled into the driveway and came into the house she hadn’t seen even one picture or video of what had been happening. She was listening on the radio, but hadn’t stopped long enough to really see what we all observed.

Those images, faces, chaos, Rudy, the President, and all the events are still being sorted out today.

2974 dead. And as a direct result of this tragedy we must also remember that some 4000 others have died and that we are at war. So much has changed in the past 72 months!

Where were you on 9-11? And what have you learned personally? Please leave a comment, we would love to hear from you.

LEAVE A COMMENT

What are You the King of?

King of the Remote

We all want to be first. We want to be king of something. And for some people, unfortunately, that’s ALL that MATTERS.

What’s incredible with that is it is never enough no matter the quantity or even the visibility of power that one may become.

We see it if we reference the life of Solomon in the Bible. It becomes very clear what ended up being THE IMPORTANT summary of his life (See Ecclesiastes 12:13).

Question: What are you pouring your life into right now? What is your PASSION — right now? Are you making a difference? Are you leaving a legacy?

How are your kids, wife, other relationships doing?

And where does God fit in?

These questions matter. And please remember that God has a wonderful plan and purpose for your life. He loves you and made you to know Him.

Oh, another scripture? Jeremiah 29:11 … it’s one of my favorites!

King of the Remote

Making a Difference

Plan ChangeWe all want to change things from time-to-time.

Here is a list that comes to my mind and what I’m praying about.

  • Economy
  • Broken Marriages
  • Financial Freedom for Families
  • Disconnected Fathers
  • Moms who Feel Worthless
  • People with Complacency as a Way of Life
  • My Prayer Life
  • Phone Calls to Friends
  • Turning Pessimism to Optimism

Some of these depend on MY choices and are in my direct control. Other items on this list will take a miracle from God Himself.

ALL of them certainly will be easier if I rely on the Holy Spirit to lead, remind, and renew my strength. Thank you, Father, for loving me and using me to make a difference for such a time as THIS!

“LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered, and that my life is fleeing away. My life is no longer than the width of my hand. An entire lifetime is just a moment to you; human existence is but a breath.” Psalm 39:4-5 NLT

Downtown San Francisco Focus Focus Focus

I’m waiting at a Starbucks to go to a focus group. This one is about blogging and how I use it in my life and how I connect with associates.

daisy-skyFocus is pretty, cool. I love diverse focus pictures in photography. You know the kind, the flower is in perfect focus and the child looking at the flower is blurry. And I also love perfectly clear photos, the kind that just pop off the page or computer screen.

In life, focus is important. There is a cliche’ that says, “Keep the main thing the main thing!”

So what’s vital in your life regarding clarity? Faith? God? Your wife? Your children? People? Stuff? Money? Your job? Sports? TV? ______________?

Leave a comment and let us know.

Plan to Talk to Someone Close to You Today

cell phoneGo ahead. Pick up the phone and spend like 6 minutes. Call someone you love.

How long has it been since you did something like that? What if you called your spouse and ask them how their day is going. Have you spoken to your dad or mom in a while? Do they know what is happening in your world?

We get so busy, right? We all use our cell phones for these short conversations. Many times they are interruptions in our day, many times it involves business or we may even be working our to-do list right during our drive to and from somewhere. Drive, hurry, errand, lunch, work — busy, busy, busy.

So add one more thing. Add something that may just make a difference in your grandmother’s life. Call your daughter. Oh, and have no agenda when you do this. Just tell them you love them and were thinking about them. Well? What are you waiting for??? 😉

Psalm 9:1 (NLT) I will thank you, Lord, with all my heart. I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.