Touchdown and Interceptions the Unwavering Decisions we Make

The inconsistency of the NFL Referees has once again become the conversations of this week. (Pittsburg Steelers vs. Green Bay Packers) And though I’m those who are on the fields are trying to do their best, something is surely lacking.

We know what this feels like, right? If you have a chance, check out the first chapter of the Book of James in the Bible.

Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. ~ James 1:8

Communion ON THE MOON

It is well documented that 20 years after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon that on of the first things done by Buzz Aldrin was to participate in a private and personal communion service.

And is was extremely controversial. A famous atheist at the time, Madeline Murray O’hare was suing NASA over Bible reading from Apollo 8. So the radio went silent around the world while Mr. Aldrin had his sacred moments.

Holy Communion
The Lord’s Supper, consisting of the elements –bread and the fruit of the vine– is the symbol expressing our sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:4 [KJV/NIV]), a memorial of his suffering and death (1 Corinthians 11:26 [KJV/NIV]), and a prophecy of His second coming (1 Corinthians 11:26 [KJV/NIV]), and is enjoined on all believers “till He come!”

Tribute to Neil Armstrong

This is a wonderful tribute to Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. Neil lived from August 5, 1930 – August 25, 2012. He is famously known for his first words, “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”

 

Consumed: Heart of Worship

ConsumedWhen we come together in the corporate sense to a church service, we must remember — It is not made up of AUDIENCE, PERFORMERS, and DIRECTORS. It is not a show and was never meant to be a show.

We get it wrong so often, WE are not the AUDIENCE, God is!

Here are a few bullet points from today’s talk on WORSHIP.

When I think about WHO GOD IS AND WHAT HE’s Done?

  • I have only ONE RESPONSE.
  • That response is not just 20 minutes of song, but my very life!

MY ONLY REASONABLE RESPONSE IS WORSHIP

Hebrews 12:28-29 …since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe . . . 

Thoughts: When is the last time you’ve been speechless before the presence of God? When you have been overwhelmed by His presence — because He is so big and so good and so loving and so holy and so pure and so righteous?

Remember, God gives someone righteousness who is like filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6) He (GOD) is our AUDIENCE of ONE and we worship Him with REVERENCE AND AWE!

. . . for our God is a consuming fire.  Hebrews 12:28-29

An Ooops Moment

An Ooops Moment

This was a bad Saturday morning for a lady who was driving near our house. She was fine, but looked sad. Mini Coopers are pretty cool, but don’t go very fast after landing on their roof!

Have you ever had an “oops moment”? Do tell!!

Mini Flipper

Focus on Hope

Presidents promise hope. But so do school teachers, great explorers, and great speeches.

In 1980 Bruce Springsteen released “Everybody’s Got a Hungry Heart” and it was a huge hit.

John F. Kennedy brought hope by inspiring man to fly to the moon, which they actually accomplished.

Throughout humanity, people bring us hope through their words. But hope without purpose is somewhat empty. You can accomplish many goals in life and it can still be meaningless. That’s why God gave us HIS WORD!

We can desire to win a race, raise good children, or move into our dream home. Ultimately TRUE HOPE in life can still be missed.

The most powerful message is out there. It is found in the SON OF GOD! Jesus came to RESTORE us to our heavenly Father — and that message comes very clear when you begin to explore the words found in the Bible.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus addressed this issue of the heart to a the woman at the well who had many questions about life, too.

John 4:13-14 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

I encourage any reader to find out what it means to pursue a “relationship” with Jesus.

I have personally found that living my life with these Bible teachings in place has changed my life’s goals. Hope is now woven into every day of my life!

Unconditional The Movie Official Trailer

My wife, Ginger and I previewed UNCONDITIONAL that is coming out on September 21, 2012. You’ve got to go on opening weekend! It is inspirational and a true account of events of the lives of children and those who reach out to them.

Here is the synopsis from the UNCONDITIONAL WEBSITE:
Samantha Crawford is living a storybook life: she’s happily married, she lives on a ranch where she keeps her beloved horse, and the stories she’s told and illustrated since childhood have become published books.

When her husband Billy is killed in a senseless act of violence, Sam loses her faith and her will to live. But a death-defying encounter with two children leads to a reunion with Joe, her oldest friend. Inspired by true events, UNCONDITIONAL stars Michael Ealy (Think Like A Man) and Lynn Collins (John Carter).

As Sam watches “Papa” Joe care for and love the kids in his under-resourced neighborhood, she begins to realize that no matter life’s circumstances, the love of God is always reaching out to us.

Julia Child Remix – Happy Birthday!

Julia Child Remix

Julia Child would have turned 100 years old this week. The inspirational movie Julie and Julia really rekindled interest for this fascinating woman who won her way into the hearts of millions around the world.

Surgery at Alcatraz

Alcatraz Surgery

I love this picture I took at Alcatraz. First, any operating table has so many stories. Then, you can add a multiple to this — it is at a maximum security prison. To have surgery here is to perhaps extend your life to what? For many more days in prison!

Plus, no family or friends would have been present here.
Plus, the sounds and smells of a prison are constantly in the background.
Plus, you must feel like just another number.

I thank God that no matter where we are — when we need surgery, physical or spiritual, he is THERE! And not only is our heavenly Father present (ever present), there is a love and security that brings us peace and hope.
So look at this picture, and then remember that YOU are AN IMPORTANT part of GOD’S PLAN.

Allow God to OPERATE on your SOUL and know that HE IS GOOD!

Come back to the place of safety,all you prisoners who still have hope!
I promise this very day that I will repay two blessings for each of your troubles. Zechariah 9:12 (NLT)

How Did that Church Begin – or – WHY ARE WE HERE?

Takin_it_web

Our church, Central Assembly in El Sobrante, California began in 1953. It still exists today, some 60 years later. People gave a lot of money for a building, then expanded and relocated. Built more building space, started a school — and continued to move forward.

Literally THOUSANDS of people have been through the doors of our church and it’s ministries, one of which is a K-12 school.

I truly believe that we are still called to the primary purpose of “THE CHURCH” — and that is found in Matthew’s gospel.

[19] Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, [20] teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20 ESV)

We MUST continue to get back to the basics, right? We modify, change, and introduce our programs, approach, and styles constantly. It happened in the 50’s, too, by the way. It’s an ongoing challenge for every generation, decade, and season.

When we evaluate WHAT WE “DO” at/in our churches, the question to ask is actually pretty simple. Are we STILL IN EXISTENCE to see LOST people SAVED?

YouVersion’s Top 10 Bookmarked Verses of 2011

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I’m not really sure if you have used YouVersion — but if you are into apps for your Smartphone, you probably have the “Bible” app. Actually that app IS YouVersion. It is AWESOME both on the phone and online. Here is a release they put out in January. I think it SPEAKS VOLUMES about the encouragement God’s Word brings us. It would make a great 10-week study, too!

2011 was a big year for Bible engagement in the YouVersion community. One of the ways we did that was by creating tens of millions of bookmarks. A bookmark is a great way to keep track of a verse you want to return to again and again, whether it’s because you want to memorize it, you want to share it with a friend, or simply because it’s one of your favorites. Here are the top 10 bookmarks that the YouVersion community saved during 2011*:

1. Philippians 4:6 – 123,035
2. Jeremiah 29:11 – 100,044
3. Proverbs 3:5 – 97,758
4. Romans 12:2 – 95,804
5. Philippians 4:13 – 87,120
6. Philippians 4:7 – 83,193
7. Romans 8:28 – 78,491
8. Proverbs 3:6 – 74,770
9. Matthew 6:33 – 73,544
10. 1 Corinthians 13:4 – 71,923

Encouragement – What “hope and promise” has God given you?

Pay special attention to the “for God” part in verse 23.

Got a promise God has given to you?

Hebrews 10:19-25

19 And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. 20 By his death,t Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. 21 And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, 22 let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

 

FOCUS

Focus on Leadership

Facebook, Twitter, Web, Letters, Email, Cell Phone, Text Messages, Interruptions.

All of these are in ADDITION to what leadership really is – to inspire people to change and grow toward what God wants them to be. And to introduce the hope of Jesus to those who are not followers.

What if:

YOU FOCUSED for THREE ONE-HOUR SEGMENTS each day? Turn off everything and get the important things cleaned up and out of the way. Then ENJOY the other stuff systematically.

Helpful? Leave a comment!

Buy on Amazon: Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long

Chazown Book Review

Chazown_book_cover

Chazown Book Review, Author: Craig Groeschel

I think as people, we are always looking to find our way, and that is certainly scriptual. God has a plan and purpose for our lives that will only be fulfilling if He is involved. 

Craig brings this out in a very easy-to-read and inspiring book. Chazown is a Hebrew word that means dream, revelation or vision. The key verse is Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.

We need Chazown (vision) in order to thrive as a believer. As Craig unwraps the theme, it challenges all of us to pray a lot over how we are becoming more and more devoted to Christ’s action plan for us. It does not come immediately, but certainly is intentional. 

Here are the five areas explored:

  • Your relationship with God
  • Your relationship with people
  • Your financial health
  • Your physical health
  • Your life’s work

Link for book PLUS DVD. 

 http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=revtimthinks-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=B001TKQUYU&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

I received this book for free to review from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Chazown Book Review

Chazown Book Review, Author: Craig Groeschel

I think as people, we are always looking to find our way, and that is certainly scriptual. God has a plan and purpose for our lives that will only be fulfilling if He is involved.

Craig brings this out in a very easy-to-read and inspiring book. Chazown is a Hebrew word that means dream, revelation or vision. The key verse is Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.

We need Chazown (vision) in order to thrive as a believer. As Craig unwraps the theme, it challenges all of us to pray a lot over how we are becoming more and more devoted to Christ’s action plan for us. It does not come immediately, but certainly is intentional.

Here are the five areas explored:

  • Your relationship with God
  • Your relationship with people
  • Your financial health
  • Your physical health
  • Your life’s work

Link for book PLUS DVD.

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=revtimthinks-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=B001TKQUYU&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

I received this book for free to review from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Haiti Trip Postponed

Convoy-of-hope

With about 72 hours notice, our trip to Haiti has been postponed. Facing hurricanes, mudslides, people being even more displaced, and uncertainty has made this trip too unsafe for now. 

It looks like it may be rescheduled for January, but I won’t know much more until next week (hopefully by Wednesday). I’m bummed because Convoy of Hope wanted to do this tour for about a dozen pastors. Please pray for the people of Haiti — they are pretty forgotten and times are really difficult there.

Reading Leads to Knowing

Have you ever wanted to know God? I mean, really KNOW Him? If you do, it will take a lot of time. Knowing God is much more than a simple hike in the mountains, soaking in a sunset, or running in the rain. All those things are romantic, emotional, and refreshing. But there is so much more to it, isn’t there.

If you want to strengthen your faith, a formula exists. It has been proven over much time and by the millions. You gain faith by READING the BIBLE. Yes, reading it a lot!

Many people KNOW a ton about Harry Potter, the Twilight series, even Star Wars or Jaws. I’ve “put in my time” with the Rocky movies and can talk about him with the best of them.

When it comes to IDENTIFYING with CHRIST, we must absorb and then practice. Study – to SHOW yourself approved and then realize that you were created to do great things for the cause of Jesus.

Ummm…. it LOOKS like something. A changed life lives it’s values OUT LOUD. I challenge you to allow God to change YOU!

“One of the marks of our modern time is the fact that many are guilty of merely “nibbling” at the truth of the Christian gospel. If the cross of Jesus Christ means what it should to us and we know that we must carry it and die on it and then rise and live above it, we will have a constant desire to advance and gain spiritual ground.”

– A.W. Tozer, Day By Day

Mind Flood

These past few weeks… And days have been bringing floods of emotion.

It started in August with the death of my step-mom, Phyllis. Off to Texas where we were able to be with my two brothers, dad, and father-in-law. A quick trip for the funeral.

Now, I’m waiting to fly the second part of a “Redeye” connection for my grandma’s (maternal) funeral.

Now add this layer. A great friend, everyones mom/grandma passed away within 15 minutes of my grandmother. Back to California for a Saturday funeral – No, a CELEBRATION of LIFE!

Hurting? Yes!

But all three will be there in heaven to meet us!

Jesus has given us strength and great hope!

Off to Texas! And an Early Thank You

On Tuesday we will spend a few days in Texas. My step-mom, Phyllis passed away a week ago and we are going to her memorial service.

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, the temp where I live has been in the very low 70’s for weeks! There, it will be over 100 each day — that’s CRAZY HEAT! We will be right down the road from the main Ft. Hood entrance, though. That leads me to thank once again the men and women in uniform that have served so wonderfully for our freedom. I hope to see some of you and thank you!

Honor

THE MEDAL OF HONOR! One of the greatest awards that our nation gives has incredible history.

Honor is empowering inspiring. There are people in my life who I often take for granted. If you ask me straight up, I would be quick to tell you how much I appreciate not only what these ones I love DO, but WHO THEY ARE. Unfortunately, I get caught up in my own little world way too often.

My wife, Ginger, is just one of these people. She is my best friend and confidant. In fact, she OFTEN will encourage me with scripture, words, wisdom, and honor.

I will miss her this weekend. She is once more spreading her wings in ministry. It seems that not only being a singer-song writer is natural, but so is speaking. She will be the featured guest speaker — 3 messages — at a retreat at Lake Tahoe. Under that beautiful backdrop — and disconnection from technology — God will challenge nearly 100 women.

So, THANK YOU, Ginger for being MY inspiration! Today, I would like to honor YOU! I am praying for changed lives and stories of spiritual victories as a result of your inspiration.