Sunday, July 31, 2011

Moving; or Standing Still?

This morning we had a special message from one of our own at Bethel Atlanta. Sherri Lewis was in second year when I started my first year at BASSM. Sherri is an afro – American female who was living the American dream. She had an Ivy League education and was a Doctor at the peak of a career. She should have been happy, but she was miserable. Why? God had gotten hold of her and He wanted her to live out a Kingdom dream. It takes courage to walk away from what everyone else think is a great life to follow your dreams, but Sherri did. First, she became an author and has published at least 4 books. But that wasn’t enough; she wound up at BASSM, searching for her dreams and destiny. Now, just the next year after finishing her 2nd year at BASSM, Sherri has founded the BASSM of Cameroon, Africa. She had over 40 graduates in the first year. Sherri is a Revivalist, and she is going to take nations. Why? Because she had the courage to risk it all, to give up what she knew to go out into the unknown because God placed it on her heart.

But this post isn’t about her, although she inspired it. No, it’s about you; it’s about me. It’s about what we are doing to partner with Papa to see our dreams fulfilled and our destiny revealed. Sherri repeated a phrase at least four times today, and it got my attention. “If you are still doing the same thing in six months that you are doing today, then you aren’t moving forward toward your dreams. “ No, she really said that if we were at the same place, then she was going to beat us with the microphone. So, take stock of your life right now. Where are you? Have you moved off of the place you were six months ago? Personally, I can answer yes; at least for this six months. There were some periods when I couldn’t answer that with a yes, and those were not very happy times in my life.

Today I am very happy, but today I am moving forward in so many fronts. What about you? What are your dreams? What would you be doing if you were ten times bolder and money was no object? Once you get that answer, you need to go after it. That is your dream and your destiny. Your purpose brings with it a new identity. We need to know what God is saying in order to know what we should be doing, but it all flows out of intimacy and love. We have to really understand His love for us in order to minister back to Him. We need to believe that God can do what He says He will do. We must realize that He is our biggest cheerleader and He wants to see us succeed. So, tonight I challenge both you and myself with this. Are you moving forward, or are you stuck in the same place? If you are stuck, then ask Him to show you how to get unstuck. Tonight is July 31, 2011. Where do you want to be Jan 31, 2012. It can happen, look at Sherri.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Home Again

Well, here I am again on an airplane. We made the 6am flight from Juneau to Seattle and were fortunate enough to get on the 11:40 flight to Atlanta. So we should arrive around 8:15 tonight. Traveling east really eats up the day. Oh well, it's back to church tomorrow morning and packing for Chicago. Monday morning it will be off to Jesus Culture to help man the table to promote our school. Sheryl will be staying home with Scott and Lacey's kids. I'll be home sometime on the 4th. Then that will be the last of the traveling unless we can work out a few days in Ft Lauderdale. I hope so.

So, what did I learn in Alaska? What truth did Papa want to reveal to us? I don't think there was just one. I think that there a couple, and they are related. First, never forget that what Sheryl and I carry consist of a deep inheritance that each of us have gone after. For me, I was given an inheritance from my mom and dad. But I had to do something with it. Just sitting on it would never expand it so that our kids could benefit. I know that Julia and I did that. It cost a great deal, but in reality the cost was nothing compared to the Cost that He paid to give it to us in the first place. In many ways I am just realizing the inheritance that I carry now. It is something that is transferable. Sheryl carries the same inheritance from God. It's something that she has chosen to steward at much cost over her life. The funny thing is, that both inheritances compliment each other and make each other stronger. But what is an inheritance for if not to give away?

So, I believe that we were able to leave both a father's and a mother's blessing with Lisa and Hernan. I know that with that blessing they have a chance to establish roots in the rocky soil of Juneau. I know that they have found a place. I sense that they have really found "their land". We are both asking Papa to show them their destiny and give them strategies on how to live it out. They truly do love each other and I know that the girls have two parents that love them dearly. That alone is a good foundation for new beginnings in a new land. They have moved so much in the past 10 years, I really pray that they will be able to put down deep roots.

Another thing that I learned from our time in Juneau is that we have been called to help restore what has been stolen from others. No, I'm not talking about finding money. What I am talking about is calling out the gold in people and setting them forth on their destiny. I'm not quite sure how this works yet. It's not Sozo, although Sozo plays a part. It's not even inner healing. I really think it is living life and speaking prophetically over people. If it sounds nebulous, it is. But I believe that is how dreams and ministries are formed. So we will continue to press into Him and allow Him to form what it is that we are supposed do.

So, we leave Juneau knowing that we left a legacy of love with the kids. I just wish that they were closer so that they could get to know Sheryl more. But over time they will. As I walked around Juneau I had to bless Lisa and Hernan. Like many pioneers before them, they are in an unknown land looking to forge out life and dreams. Dreams, they dare to dream and as long as they do that, they will succeed. It's the same for all of us, at any age. It still comes down to looking forward and not looking back. Focusing on what can be, not what has been. God is in our dreams! Keep dreaming!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Sunshine? Well Almost

Sometimes it does pay to stay longer. Although it was not the primary reason we stayed, the weather cooperated today and we had the best day we have had weather wise. The sun even peeked through the clouds a couple of times today. The visibility was improved and we could see all the mountains and the glacier from long distances. The weather forecast was for 100% chance of rain, and we only had sprinkles a couple of times during the day. But I guess the weatherman was technically accurate, it did rain. Anyway, it sure was great to hike in dry weather.

Tonight we drove around to see more of Juneau in the clear weather. We took a short hike through this field that is full of these purple flowers called fireweed. They are all over right now and they are beautiful. They give so much color to what would normally just be different shades of green. But isn’t Papa like that. Just throwing random color splashes to brighten up your spirit. I know that He has done that for us this week. It is so much fun to be hugged by Anna Roan, or to have Julia come up and grab me by the hand pulling me where she wants me to go and do something for her. In some ways, it must be how Papa feels when we come after Him to help us, or just to love Him.

It’s funny, but it seems like the weather here has been a symbol of how life is. Sometimes we have periods of nothing but sunshine and fair skies. It’s times like these where we feel that nothing could go wrong. Then there are periods of time where it seems like life is nothing but rain, clouds and nothing that can pull us together. These times are always stressful, and they seem like they are never going to end. And the forecast is for more of the same. Depression sets in, and all you can think about is what tomorrow will look like. But the forecast doesn’t change and you can’t see anything more than what you have.

But then you see it; sunshine. This glimpse of hope doesn’t totally wipe out the despair, but it does release more hope. When you see the sun again, more hope arises. This continues to grow until you realize, finally, that the forecast is wrong. There is a chance that things can turn around. Life is about hope. Life is about glimpses of sunshine and believing that the sun will actually come out. Life is about passionately enjoying where you are right now and not looking back to what might have been. Yes, in many ways, the weather we experience does mimic life. For that we should be grateful, and show mercy to those around us who still haven’t seen the sun break through.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Have you ever noticed how easy it is to get your priorities out of line? I don’t know about you, but I constantly have to reevaluate what I am doing because it is so easy for me to get carried away with the project of the moment and forget about what is really important. I really don’t believe that I am alone in this. Males especially get so caught up in the doing that we sometimes forget that it is really all about “being”.

Today I had one of those wake up calls. Family, that’s what is really important, not conferences, not jobs and not even flights. We were heading back to Atlanta tomorrow, but I realized how much that we were needed here. It’s hard to be so far away from home, even when you really love where you are. I really hadn’t thought about how hard it has been for Lisa and the family to move and know that they are so far away from home. Today, I opened my eyes and realized that we had a chance to stay a few more days and we really needed to stay. So instead of leaving tomorrow, we are leaving Saturday morning.

There was no crisis, nothing that “made” me stay. No it was just in watching the family and talking to Lisa I realized how much it meant to her. If it means that much to her, it means more than that to me. Family is important. Quality time is important and this time together with Sheryl and I is an important time in our family’s life. But back to priorities; they are so easy to get messed up. I am blessed in that I have good communications in our family and that helps me understand what is going on. I’m also blessed to have a new wife who understands priorities as well, or better, than I do.

Today we were able to get out in the morning and take a hike through the rain forest to the beach. The weather was better than it had been, and we could see the glacier off in the distance. It was just pure, raw beauty. I can’t describe it, but it was totally different than last night. We meet Lisa for lunch, and then during the afternoon, Sheryl and I drove into Juneau to shop in the rain. It’s supposed to rain tomorrow, but who cares. We are going hiking tomorrow morning. That seems to be the best weather, so we are going to take advantage of it. Right now I am getting ready for bed. Sure I am busy, very busy. I leave for Chicago on Monday and back on Thursday. We have a bike trip scheduled. Sometime in August we want to go down to Ft Lauderdale to see Jennifer and the family. But once again, things are in their proper order. I feel good; order has been restored. Priorities are in order once again. It really is all about family, isn’t it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sunset in Juneau

Tonight, Sheryl took a drive for a little while by ourselves. It was about 9:30 and the sun was getting ready to set. It has been raining all day and it had slacked up and the ceiling had risen a little. We turned right out of the driveway and went down about 10 miles until the road ended. Along the way we stopped at this boat dock. From the dock I took a picture that to me tells it all about life in Juneau Alaska. It was of the sunset. The sun was between a layer of clouds and reflected off the water as much as it did the clouds. In the picture was a single boat, moored out in the channel alone. You could see parts of the mountains on the other side, but not all of them. The fog was rolling in on the channel and pretty soon, the whole picture would be blocked out by the fog.

To me, the boat represents isolation and independence. Here in Alaska, you will have to learn to deal with isolation on many levels. At the same time, you will have to maintain a streak of independence from others if you are to survive. But at the same time you will also have to have certain interdependence if you want to survive also. So that line is a fine line to walk.

The sunset is long coming. It seems like it takes forever for it to go down. In reality, it does. It will actually rise at 4:30 tomorrow morning. The sunset caught between the cloud layers reflected light off the water as well as the clouds. It was very diffused and very light even though it wasn’t focused. But it illuminated the clouds and the mountains enough that you could at least see part of them across the way. It just represents the vastness of the outdoors along with the beauty. We have to learn to enjoy the outdoors in the midst of adverse weather conditions. There is too much to do to let rain stop us from enjoying the day.

That was never more evident than today. It rained almost all day, but we did go to the glacier. There we hiked about 1.5 – 2 miles. Sure we got wet, but we were dressed for it. The hike was well worth the sight of a beautiful glacier. It’s the first one that I have ever seen, and I was amazed at how blue the ice was. I guess it’s because of all the minerals. Anyway it was a sight to behold. I can’t imagine how much better the sight was when Lisa and Hernan saw it last week in the sun. Certainly we have had our lives affected by such glorious beauty. As I stood looking at the glacier and then at the sunset tonight, I knew that I could easily live here despite the weather. Of course I want, it is too far away from what God has called us to do. But in another life, if I was younger like Lisa and Hernan, maybe so. I certainly understand the captivation that this land has on them.

So we have really only one more day here this time. I know we will be back, and we will stay longer, but this is not the time. There is too much to do to get ready for school and I am way too busy. As much as I desire a laid back life with no hurry or stress, that is not where I am right now. I have too much to do. In fact, I need to work tomorrow on some things for the Jesus Culture event in Chicago next week. No, the laid back life is just a dream. Maybe it always will be just a dream, but it sure would seem nice; at least for a while. Oh well, maybe the sun will shine tomorrow. There is only an 80% chance of rain. Anything is possible, especially in your dreams. Dream big!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rainy Day In Juneau

When we went to the Gold Coast in Australia, they said they had sun over 300 days a year. I haven’t researched it yet, but I believe Juneau must have rain about 300 days a year. I know that it rained yesterday and today. I also know that it is scheduled to rain all the rest of the week. I that is so, then we are going to be like all the other locals and not let that stop us from doing what ever it is we want to do. So tomorrow we will probably hike up toward the glacier and see what we can see.

Today was a fun day, even in the rain. We kept the girls this morning while Lisa and HernaƄ went house hunting again. They have had problems with every house that they looked at. The house that they have a contract on didn’t look like it was going to pan out, so they were looking for a back up. We, really Sheryl, fixed the girls breakfast, and then we both entertained them for what seemed to be a long time, but was probably only the morning. They got in around noon, and said that the seller of the house that was under contract with had decided to do what was necessary to keep the sale alive. We also found out that Lisa’s other car had arrived at the dock and we could pick it up. So we had our afternoon planned out for us. First, we were going to get the car, and then to see the house that was the leading contender and finally to see the house that they had a contract with. I’ll spare you all of the details, but the bottom line is that it looks like that everything will work out on the original house. Everybody is totally at peace with the decision and I think that they will really enjoy living in it.

After seeing both houses, I really think that they are making the right decision on trying to keep the contract that they have. But enough on houses; we went to eat downtown and then walked around in the rain. It really was a lot of fun. We saw three big cruise ships docked in the harbor and tourist were everywhere. I was an enjoyable evening, especially with Anna and Julia. They are precious and really beginning to bond with Sheryl. Of course I am having fun with them too!

What is faith? Of course there are always the scriptural definitions. But really when you think about it, you can’t have faith without having trust first. You have to trust that God is who He says He is and that He can do what He says He will do. Trust is key in any relationship. In a contract there is a certain level of trust that is needed to have the contract reach the closing table. When that trust is broken for any reason, then more times than not, the closing falls through. That’s what happened to Lisa and Hernan. I believe it is only by God’s grace that they still have the opportunity to buy that house.

In spiritual matters, it is the lack of trust in Father God or Papa that cause so much heartache. There is no way to have faith without trust. Trust is the basis of faith and without it we would all live in fear and in doubt. But trust is so dependent on how we view our Father’s attitudes. If we know that God is good, then we can rest in His presence knowing that He is not trying to harm us in any way. We can trust Him. However if we don’t know about His goodness, then we really have a hard time trusting Him as we move into deeper areas. It always seems to come back to His goodness. Pretty soon, we are all going to learn to understand His heart for us, and to begin to walk in His goodness.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Arrived In Juneau

Well, it has been another long day on airplanes, but at least not as long as the trip to Australia. Today was about 7 and a half flying hours, but we missed toe first flight into Juneau from Seattle, so it was about an extra hour and a half on the ground. It was a total time of almost 12 hours from the time we started in the morning until the time we were picked up at the Juneau airport. So, here I am at 2AM eastern, trying to write about my day.

First, even though the rain and clouds hid a lot of it, the beauty of the area is overwhelming. The mountains and the glacier along with the channel and the river bring ocean and water along with the wild of the woods right up to your door. We are staying in a cabin. It is a log home I think. It has tongue and groove walls and ceiling. There is a wood-burning stove in the great room. It is two bedrooms and one bath. In the yard there are wild blueberries growing along with some other edible berries. Everything is dark green.

But as beautiful as everything is, probably the most beautiful thing that I saw today was the faces of the kids and grandkids when we first saw them at the airport this afternoon. Of course, they were definitely excited to see us, and we were excited to see them. It’s very late tonight, and I am not going to write any more. But I have expectations about this week. I really want God to show up in my family while I am hear. I want the grandkids as well as Lisa and Hernan to bond with Sheryl, and I want to make some memories to take back to Atlanta. I know it is going to be a good few days. The real question is whether Sheryl and I can keep up with Anna Roan and Julia. I think so, but I ‘m not certain. I guess time will tell.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

North to Alaska

Well, we leave in the morning for Juneau Alaska and a few days with Lisa, Hernan and the kids. It will be about 7.5 hours in the air and the layover time over time in Seattle. It will be good to see them. I know we just saw them a month ago, but we need to get up to see them before school starts, and besides, it’s summer up there. The next time we get that far north it will probably be winter, at least up there.

I really love Alaska. In another life I could see myself living up there very easily. If I lived up there now, I think I would buy a plane and join the ranks of bush pilots flying all over the country. It is just so beautiful and wild, I think it just exudes freedom. I know that Lisa is really going to like it. Shoot, she has already lived in Sitka for a year, so she knows what it is like.

Today was a very fun day. We spent the morning on a 14 mile bike ride on the Silver Comet getting ready for our bike trip to Virginia. It was hot, but we started early. Not too early; because we went to Kennesaw Mt. Biscuits for breakfast. That was an awesome, but not heart friendly, experience. The ride more than made up for the breakfast though. As I was riding, I was just looking at all the beauty that God has made. We take so much for granted, and I want to live each day to the fullest and take nothing for granted. I am looking to see eagles in Alaska. I believe that the word we got last night is true. God is going to show us something about our ministry while we are there. I pray He does. That would be great, but the main reason that we are going is to spend time with all the kids.

So, it’s time to go to bed; 5AM comes early tomorrow and I still need to pack a few more things. It will be in the low 60’s and showers all week. It is going to be fun, another great adventure.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Sheryl and I were given a party tonight to celebrate our wedding. It was given by John and Biddie; Bud and Cathy; Mike and Tonya and Peter and Masha. Many of my good friends for many years were there. We had a great time eating and talking. It was good to see everyone, and it gave everyone a chance to get to know Sheryl a little better. For me it was a time just to reconnect with good friends. These are people that I have known for years. In reality, they are more than friends.

When do friends become family? Is it after you spend hours crying with them, or after you spend hours sharing meals together? I don’t know, it’s probably a combination of the two. All that I really know is that these friends have over the years become family to me. I know their children, and some of their grandchildren. We have been there to support each other through good times and bad. When Julia died, they were all there to help hold me up. And now tonight here they were to celebrate with Sheryl and me. Those who know Sheryl have come to love her already. Those who don’t really know her love her because they know I do. They trust me enough to know that I am really hearing the Holy Spirit, and love her with me.

So tonight in addition to having fun, we received many great prophetic words. Many of them confirmed what we had received in Australia. So tonight we are very blessed. Friends are like the glue that help hold life together, and these friends are not an exception to that rule. I really don’t see how people go through life without any friends, yet I know people who totally have no friends. They seem to operate almost in a vacuum. They seem to be able to get around without them, but I wonder how they really are when they are totally alone. It must get lonely, even though they seem OK, I don’t understand how they can be.

Yes, I am blessed to have friends. I know that no matter where we live, or where we go to church, these are the ones who will always be there for us if we need them. I know that no matter where I am, if I call, they will answer. Well, it’s getting late and we have an early morning bike ride on the Silver Comet so I guess that I will go to bed. It really was a great party tonight. We are blessed to have such good friends. The riches of a man are not necessarily measured in money. I believe I am a rich man because of my friends.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Perfect Love

What is perfect love? The Bible says that “perfect love casts out fear”. We know that our Father loves us with perfect love, but what does that really look like? We were discussing that this afternoon, and I’m not sure that I have a good handle on what it really is. I say that God is good, and I really believe it. But in His goodness, what does perfect love look like.

On the one hand, as a father I believe that perfect love means that I have to allow my children the freedom to fail. I can’t protect them from themselves and all the world around them. I’ve tried that in the past and it doesn’t work. At best, it just keeps them from learning how to deal with issues. At worst it teaches them that someone will always bail them out. So, does perfect love mean that our Father will not intervene in our lives? I’m not sure.

On the other hand, as a father I always want to provide and do the best I can to make my children have a happy life. Does that mean that perfect love means we will get everything we ask for? I don’t think so.

So, just like many other times in the Bible, we are caught in the tension of two truths and how do those truths play out in our lives. Personally, I believe that perfect love is shown in the goodness of God. In the fact that even when we blow it, He is there to help us sort things out and pick up the pieces. I believe that He lets us make bad choices because He wants to let us make the choices. So when we blow it, and we will, He is there with us to carry us through the pain.

I also believe that in His goodness, He sometimes intervenes in our lives to change the dynamics and situation of different things. If we believe in His goodness, then we can go through anything. We know that He doesn’t cause these things, and that He will either keep us out of them, or He will walk through them with us. It’s the belief in His total goodness and perfect love that will cast out and keeps out fear. How can we fear if we really think that Papa will always work things out for good if we just keep pressing into Him.

How can we have anything to fear when we know that no matter what we do, or even if we blow it, His love surrounds us, and He does have perfect love. So what does perfect love look like. I believe it looks just like it needs to in every situation. Otherwise it wouldn’t be perfect, would it?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Love Came Down

As I started to write tonight I put on Love Came Down again. I listened to this album for almost every night for a year after Julia Died. This album was used by Holy Spirit to draw me to Him even in my grief. So, tonight I was wondering what feelings it might stir up. I almost didn’t play it, not wanting to bring up old feelings, but instead I pressed into the album, seeking with Holy Spirit to search out what He wanted to show me. I’m so glad I did.

First He showed me how much He loves me, and how much He has been with me each and every day. He showed me how that the past year and a half was a part of me, but didn’t define me. In fact He showed me how that this past year and a half has been used as a springboard into the next season of my life. It’s sad when I see people who are defined by loss rather than by the hope of the future. I am being defined by hope, not fear or loss. Everything I need is in front of me. Life is really just beginning again. The good news is that I can bring everything that is with me forward. I can also use the past as my heritage that will help mold the future.

As love came down played, I realized once again that Sheryl is a gift to me from Papa. His love came down and has manifested itself for me in her. So this album is stirring up feelings of joy and hope, not grief and loss. I am a blessed man, and I know that Papa has watched over my family and myself through this time. My future is really in His love, and I will always be reminded of it by the love that she gives to me. I can see His face as I hear these songs.

So, yes, I am so glad that His love came down. It came down to wash over me and to heal me. It came down to prepare me and to release me. His love came down to set me free and send me out once again into the world. So as I listen to this album tonight, I do it with a since of awe of His love, and a gratitude for what I have had in the past. But I mainly listen to it with an excitement of all that is to come in the future. I can see all of His beauty. Life is about passion and faith. You have to have faith to have passion because without faith, it’s hard to hope. Tonight, this album once again showed me the faith and passion that I have stored up inside. It is a well of His presence, and I am so grateful that over these many months, He has been digging it deeper and filling it fuller.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"Larry Crowne"

We went to a movie this afternoon. No, I didn’t get to see Transformer’s, at least not yet. What we did see was “Larry Crowne” with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. The plot was about a middle-aged man who lost his job at a super store similar to Target. It could have been the story of probably thousands of people in the last few years. Larry was a victim of the economic times. As a victim, he was powerless and was being blown around by the system as it worked without remorse.

In the movie, Larry goes back to college and he meets some people who help him move from a victim to someone who takes ownership of his life and his problems. He eventually faces life head on, and becomes a better man and a happier man for taking control. It was a good movie and at the time just was really a “feel good” movie with a good ending.

But as I thought of it, I realized the spiritual significance of what I had seen. To many of us as Christians, we have allowed ourselves to let our circumstances turn us into victims. We whine and even pray for deliverance, never asking Papa how to meet the problems head on. I have had many areas in my own life where it seemed so much easier to ignore them and pray that they will go away. Don’t get me wrong; I am a firm believer in prayer. But I also believe that we have been called to be over- comers. That means we actually have to overcome something. It’s like the old saying about testimonies. Everybody wants a testimony, but mo one wants the test that causes the testimony.

An overcomer is not a victim. They don’t spend their time feeling sorry for themselves or wondering why they weren’t delivered. No, they live above their circumstances and keep their joy in the midst of trials. They look for ways to address the problems, not run from them. Above all, they continually believe in God and His goodness, even when things are darkest. In all this, the key is to live looking from heaven down. Don’t allow yourself to live in the situation; it will destroy you. You have to live above it. By that, I mean that the situation doesn’t dictate your attitudes and your peace. Your peace comes from your Father, and no man can take it. The only way you can lose it is to give it away. In the movie, once Larry figured out that He was in control of himself, things turned around. We might not be able to control our circumstances, but we can control ourselves and how we handle each situation. Remember your peace comes from above. No one can take it, but you can give it away. Don’t!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Birthdays and Moving Vans

Three of my favorite people had birthdays in the past two days. Today it was Lisa and my Dad. Yesterday it was Scott. So I am definitely thinking about birthdays today. Speaking of birthdays, I didn’t have one this year. Now I know how those people who are born on Feb 29th feel. This year we got on the plane in LA on the evening of the 24th of June and we landed in Sydney on the morning of the 26th. Somewhere over the Pacific, my birthday evaporated. I tell everybody that I get to stay the same age for another year. Know I know that is not true, but it helps mask the fact that I really did miss having a birthday.

Birthdays are special because they are really the only day of the year that you are celebrated. You are celebrated as you, for who you are, not what you have accomplished. That doesn’t happen very often. Normally you are only celebrated when your accomplishments stand out away from the crowd. But birthdays celebrate that you are born, that you exist on this planet. In my opinion, birthdays are one of the most important days that you celebrate all year long.

It’s always neat when you celebrate your birth date with someone that you know. Lisa and Dad share the same birthday. Julia shared the same birthday with Allene. I think that there is a special bond when you share the same date as your birthday with a family member. I can’t prove it but I think that it is true. Whether it is true or not, it really doesn’t matter. The facts remain that today was both Dad’s and Lisa’s birthday. So, what did I do. Nothing, because I had to stay home while the movers came to pack up stuff of Lisa’s that has been here in the house for awhile.

So it was a good day, it’s just that it took so long. They didn’t get to the house until after 11AM. They were supposed to be here by 10. They were here all day. It was after 4:30 when they finally left. I know that all the neighbors probably think that we are moving out since that big moving truck was in the drive all day. They will really think so when Kathy Little moves all of her stuff out of the basement this weekend. The basement is slowly getting uncluttered. But there will still be plenty left for me to do to get it totally cleaned out. It was good to see Lisa’s stuff packed up. It is only fitting that it is her birthday. It’s like we packed up a big present for her. It will just take a few weeks for her to get it.

But, the moving van did something else. It had unintended consequences. As it was here all day, I kept wishing that it was loading all of our stuff up too. Yes, the handwriting is on the wall, it has become obvious that this notion of two places to live will not work for long. We will definitely have to begin thinking about moving. But that is for another post. I just want to close by saying to all of you, Happy Birthday! I hope that you realize how much you are loved, and how uniquely you were created by God. Birthdays are very special, even when you celebrate them with a moving truck.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Skilled Riders

I missed church today. It wasn’t because I was working, no, I was at the Harley Davidson store in Cartersville. I spent all day on a hot motorcycle dressed in long sleeves and jeans with helmet and gloves on. The sun was hot and I am totally exhausted. Why? That’s a great question. The reason is that I spent money to have someone home my skills on a motorcycle. Anyone can ride straight and level. Anyone can take a bike out and ride it down the street. But it takes an acquired skill if you really want to be able to ride in all situations and protect yourself in case of an emergency. These skills only come from practice and with great sacrifice through practice. That’s what I was doing today.

So, here I was all day honing my skills on the motorcycle. I was so involved, that I totally missed church. It was really a great time, and I really did learn a lot during the course. But think about this with me! How much time do we spend honing our skills in the Spirit. How much time do we need? Today was fun, but I know that there is so much more I can do to make myself more skilled in al the things of the Spirit.

Yes, I want more than just a place where we can meet. That would be good, and it’s great to have a certain place. But it’s not enough. I want to be able to have all the skills in the Spirit sharpened. I want to see more of the gifts of the Spirit being sharpened in my life.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Grace, It's Bigger Than You Think

This morning I listened to a sermon on grace by Eric Johnson. It was a very good sermon, but in it he used an example that has had me thinking about grace all day. He talked about how everyone could accept the grace to be saved. It was important, but it by itself really didn’t give a true picture of the grace of God. Then he used this example.

Suppose you were 50,000 dollars in debt and one day a friend came by and gave you 10,000 dollars. You would be overwhelmed, but you knew you could use the money to pay off your debt. Then the next day he came back with 10,000 more. He came back the next and the next. Pretty soon, all of your debts would be paid off, and you would be in the black. But the friend kept coming and every day gave you 10,000 more dollars. Think about it for a minute. Your debts were paid off and you had money to live. You would probably want him to stop and give it to someone else. You would think that would be the right thing to do. After all “you didn’t need it anymore”.

That’s what we do with God’s grace. Everyday, His grace is there for us. It’s the same as when we were saved. It’s just as we become “more mature” we don’t need it. Or that’s what we have been taught. In reality, we need His grace every day of our lives. It’s His grace that causes us to live in abundance. We are to live the abundant life. We can only do it in His grace.
So all day long I have been thinking about what life would look like if we received His grace every day. I think that our intimacy in Him would grow exponentially. I think that we would live in such an abundance of His grace that we couldn’t help but give it away every day. We would truly become dispensers of that grace. That’s what I want to be. I want to be so caught up in His love and grace that all I want to do is love Him and give His love away.

We can only give out of the overflow and if we don’t receive when we have much, then we want have anything to give. So yes, we need to receive His grace every day of our lives, so that we can live the abundant life that He called us to live.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Gearing Up

It seems like the pace is picking up. We have only been back from Australia a little over a week, and he pace is picking up already to where it was before school ended last year. So far this week I have interview 4 people and sent out probably over 20 emails, and it is still considered slow. August is going to be a total rush. Ten you and in us keeping Ava and Judah for four days, and you can begin to understand why we both want to go back to Australia : )

Seriously, I can see where we are really going to have to make time for each other, blocks of time just for us. It’s very important to get everything off to a great start. We have that start, but it will take an effort to maintain it. There is always something pulling on our legs; something urgent that needs to be tended to. But we have to press in to each other to make this work. I know that we will do this.

At the same time, life is going at a faster and faster pace. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just that we have to understand everything that is going on around us. These are things that will cause us to press into Him more than ever. What is it that you fear the most? That is where the enemy will try and attack you. We have to be ready for that attack. I’m excited in many ways. I love the interview process and I love hearing all the passion and desire that they carry. It fuels my flame just listening to them.

Yes, I love life in the fast lane, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I know that we will adapt to our busy schedule. Even when you throw in travel, we will be even busier. But that’s what we are called to do. And I for one am excited to be involved. So I guess it really is time to gear up. That’s fine, and I am all for it. I just have to make sure that I can keep all my priorities in their proper order. I think I can, but only time will tell.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The General

Today we took Judah and Ava to the Kennesaw museum to see the General and all the civil war stuff. We also got to see a short movie on "The Great Locomotive Chase". As I watched the movie, I remembered all about the race to the border, along with the story of Andrew's Raiders and their I'll advised attempt to destroy the railroad lines from Atlanta to Chattanooga. It was a familiar story, but as I listened to it again I begin to see some new insights.

The story is primarily about two men: James Andrews, a union spy, and William Fuller, the conductor of the General. These men, though enemies because of the war, were very much alike. Both were dedicated to their cause. Andrews wound up being hung for his dedication. Fuller, on the other hand was praised and celebrated as a hero of the Confederacy. It was only Fuller's determination that kept Andrews and his men from succeeding in their mission.

Passion and determination, two qualities that we all need if we are to succeed in life. I know i have passion, but determination? Yes, I think I have it most of the time, but certainly not all of the time. In the Bible, When in the of a person with passion and determination, I think most of Paul. He was probably one of the most determined men I have ever read about, but so full of passion about everything in life.

Taking a line from Paul, we need to keep our eyes on the prize if we are to maintain passion and determination. The prize is always the kingdom, it is always Jesus. If we keep our focus on Him, then passion and determination will flow out of us easily. Yes, it was the passion and determination of William Fuller that stopped Andrews raiders from being successful. But James Andrews had just as much passion and determination himself. So much in fact, that his men were the first to ever receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.

As I reflect on these men's lives, along with that of the apostle Paul, I desire more passion and more determination in my life.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Back Among the Living

Wow, for the first time in almost a week I am beginning to feel “normal” again. Last night I was able to almost sleep through. I woke up about 4, but was able to go back to sleep. I believe that I will be able to sleep all night tonight. But enough of that; tonight I really want to focus on passion and hunger that comes with going after the Kingdom of God. It never ceases to amaze me when I realize how much people are really willing to sacrifice to be a part of His Kingdom and what is going on in the earth today.

I see this constantly. Especially, since I am interviewing prospective students for next year’s class at BASSM. I interviewed a man tonight who is moving his family of four up form FL, just to pursue God with us in school next year. Then, there is the family of eight that is moving to Atlanta from California just to attend school. These are just a few of the stories that I have the opportunity of hearing. It is an honor to be able to interview these people and even more of an honor to serve them next year in the school.

Passion and hunger; these are two of the necessary attributes of anyone seeking more of God’s presence. A lot of people are passionate. Passionate people are passionate about many things. But, when you couple the passion with hunger to do the will of God, well that is when you begin to get breakthrough. As I interview these people and others like them I find myself looking inward. How is my hunger? I know that I have passion. I am passionate about everything I do. But, passion alone is not enough to change your world. No, it takes hunger as well. In fact, hunger is probably more important than passion. Hunger can create passion, but I don’t think passion can create hunger.

No, hunger is more important, and it can change daily. I really need to be hungry all the time, but I’m not. Many days I find myself just existing, not hungry for all that God has given. I think that I have been more like that for the past few days. We came back on such a Spiritual high that it was very hard to maintain, especially with all the physical effects of jet lag. So, tonight I find myself as I write, asking Holy Sprit to help me search my heart and stir up hunger. I live in hunger and passion. When they are not evident and strong in my life, then I am less than I should be, and I can feel it. So, tonight I take the advice of my life’s verse. I choose to “fan into flame” all the giftings and anointings that are in my life. The good news is, it’s easy to do. I’ve done it before. Anything that you have done before, you can access easily. So, I choose to stir up all the gifts and callings, all the anointing and impartations that I know that I have. It’s a great time to be alive and in the Kingdom!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Blank Pages

I’m sitting here tonight, staring at the blank screen on my Macbook, wondering what I am going to write about tonight. I’m still very tired and haven’t really come through the jet lag yet. Instead I find myself walking around in a daze and sitting here nodding off. So I think I am going to bed. I’ll try again tomorrow. Sleep Well

Monday, July 11, 2011

Jet Lag

I’ve always prided myself on being able to fly all over the world and not really suffer any lingering problems with “Jet Lag”. For the most part of my life and career with Delta, that has certainly been the case. But the flight to Australia and back seems to be taking its toll on me, especially this week. It seems like I have been overly tired. I find myself wanting to take a nap in the afternoon, and then wanting to get up at 3AM. I find myself tonight being extremely tired tonight and am looking forward to a great night’s sleep.

I did get back to work today. It seemed strange going into the simulator today. But once the period got started I was able to focus like normal. ZZZZZZ. It seems like it’s taking a lot longer to recover than normal. I guess it’s just the 17 hour time differential. Well, I know it will be better in another couple of days. I’m not alone, Sheryl is having the same problems and so is everyone else on the team.

Life is interesting and fun right now. It’s interesting as we try to begin to sort out what the new normal looks like. Shoot, I’ve been talking about the “new normal” for over a year and a half now. I’m not sure there will ever be a normal in my life. But that’s what makes it interesting and fun. But part of the fun is trying to live in two places. Tonight I am writing this from Sheryl’s place in Newnan. We came down here Sunday afternoon after church and I went to work from here this morning. Tomorrow after work, I will go back to my place up north. Sheryl will drive up with the Scott and Lacey’s kids. We are keeping them while Scott and Lacey go to Texas for a conference. They will be back on Saturday. We will keep them at my place for a couple of days, and then take them back down to their house over the weekend. So life will continue to be complicated.

The good news is that I still feel the goodness and pleasure of my Papa and I know that He loves me. He is the source of my strength and all of my love. I choose to rest and dwell in His presence every day for the rest of my life. In Him there really is no jet lag, so I guess it is up to me to just press through the veil and enter His rest. I think I will do that now as I lay down to sleep. Maybe I’ll be able to focus better tomorrow night.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Dreams Realized

We all have dreams, or at least we should. There are places in this world where the Spiritual Poverty is so great that dreams have been long forgotten. Instead of dreams, these people just deal with survival. I am sure that there are places like that in the USA but really there is no excuse to keep from going after your dreams. So, if we all dream, how many times to we actually see big dreams come true? Tonight we saw a friends dream fulfilled. It is just as much of a miracle as watching a blind eye start seeing.

It is sad how chronic illness many times saps life and dreams form your heart. Bob said it best tonight when he said that He we have only two choices when the ravages of sickness pound on your mind and body. You can either blame God and put greater and greater distance between your self and His heart, or you can choose in your weakness to make Him your strength. By doing this, your weakness becomes the greatest weapon to fight change hour condition.

Bob chose to draw closer to Papa even as his condition got weaker. Thus, his songs got more and more intimate as his worship got more and more intimate. That is what Papa wants from us. Just to draw close and let Him direct us. In many ways, that is what I have been doing this past year and a half since Julia’s death. I choose to draw closer, and not to blame Him for everything that happened. I chose to press into His love in the midst of great sorrow. But by doing this, I prepared myself to love again.

I am in the midst of a miracle as great or greater than the one I saw tonight. To be able to live and love again is a witness that is far greater than anything I cold have ever imagined. We all have choices to make. But the basic choice is this: Will I draw near to Papa no matter how bad things seem, and no matter how it looks like He might be responsible? Will I choose to believe in His Goodness, and not in what others say about Him? Choose wisely, and everything else will fall into place. It has for me, and that really is a miracle.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Kingdom Living

I learned a great deal last week about Kingdom Finances. Right now, I am trying to begin to integrate everything that I learned into my life. But really, the most important thing I learned was something that I really already knew, but had never applied to my finances. God is really the source of all things. Of course I know that! I’ve preached it for years. I know that in order for healing or salvation or anything to take place, it has to be from Him. I know in my mind that the same thing applies to finances, but in my heart, where it really counts. It might not have been so clear.

Many of us, especially in America, are like the “rich young ruler”. We have everything we need, and many things we want. We love God and obey His commandments. But He wants more. Oh, He wants our money. That’s what I thought the parable was about. I have always thought that the parable was about how being rich would make it hard to be saved. It does in many ways, but that is not what the parable is really about. The problem with the rich young ruler was not his wealth, but what he thought the source of his wealth was.

God is the source of our wealth. God is the source of everything good in our lives and we need to understand that. Sure He uses things like our job and other events, but as long as we realize that He is in control, then we can hold everything loosely. If the rich young ruler had realized that God was the source, then he would have gladly given up everything, knowing that God could restore all things. Abraham in many ways is like the rich young ruler. But Abraham realized that God was the source of His blessing. He knew that if God took Isaac, He could also restore him.

We need to realize that no matter how rich we are, how many blessings we have, God is the source. He uses many things, but ultimately He is the source and once that really sinks into our spirits, then it doesn’t matter what He calls us to do. He will provide and make a way where there is no way. It has taken me many years to understand this. The parable was there all the time, and I never really understood it. The source of all our anointing is from Him. We need to be praying for anointing in finances just like we pray for anointing in healing. They are from the same source. We get each the same way. I have changed how I look at money and finance. This past week has done that. I am praying for Him to release an anointing to restore what has been taken over the years. I suggest that you begin to look at everything you do as ministry, because it all is. He will give you the anointing if you ask. He is so good and He loves to give gifts to His kids


Wow, it's been almost two weeks since my last post. A lot has happened since then and I will do my best to update everyone. Right now I am at 35000 ft over the south pacific coming back from Australia. Sheryl and I got married on the gold coast, and we have been on our honeymoon. So that is the main reason for my not posting for them past two weeks. My first priority was to spend time and get to know my new bride. Our honeymoon was great, but not very orthodox. More on that later. I don't really know where to start, But I'll try to fill in all, or at least some of the blanks.

We arrived in Australia a day late. We were scheduled to get married on the beach, but since we were late, we actually got married in Revolution Church. It was after their evening service and the presence of God was so strong. It was real an awesome ceremony. We said our vows, the same ones we said with the family before we left, and we were prayed over and prophesied over as well. We were staying for the first few days on the 67th floor of the Q1 building and the view was unbelievable.

I said the honeymoon was totally unorthodox and it was. We spent Monday thru Friday in a seminar on Kingdom finances. Each day started off with about an hour worship, followed by some great teaching from T. Then we had lunch and every afternoon a different ministry group came in to minister to us. We were prayed over, prophesied over and loved on. It was an unbelievable time of receiving. The evenings were normally spent going out to dinner with T and his family. We were a group of over 20 when we all got together, so nothing happened fast.

But at the same time, Sheryl and I did find time for each other. Being together just showed me how much love instill had to give, and even more, how much more love I needed to receive. But this week has also set the course of our life and ministry. We will have to see how it plays out, but we received numerous words about international traveled. We also received words that have to make choices. Our lives together are like a blank canvass, and Papa is giving us choices that will fill it in. These were interesting words, and rang true to things that He has been telling us. So here we are, coming home.

Yesterday we spent together in Sydney just sightseeing. There is so much to do and many decisions to make when we get home. In some ways, I wish we could just stay in Australia, but our life is not there, although I know we will be back many times. So it is time to come home. If I get a chance, I'll post this in LA. But more than likely it will be in Atlanta before I post it. I do plan on continuing the blog. But we needed this time to begin to form our lives together. I know everyone will understand. See you all back in Atlanta.