Tag Archives: Jesus

Divine Opportunities

For a few years, we spent every Monday afternoon with a group of compassionate people feeding and loving on some friends and neighbors who were less fortunate than we were.  We provided a hot meal, companionship and sometimes a ride to homeless and hungry people in the small town of Hernando in Citrus County.

When we began commuting each week to Tallahassee to serve at City Church on Sundays and lead a community group on Monday evenings, one of our biggest disappointments was not being able to serve those people on Monday afternoons.

Saturday, my wife Cyndi, my daughter Meghan and I stopped for a hamburger on the east side of Tallahassee.  We were hot and dirty from moving Ethan into a house for school that starts in a few weeks.  I had stuffed some cash in my pocket earlier and as we finished eating, I took it out to fold it neatly and put it back in my pocket.  As I did there was a man standing at the counter watching me.  The man was neatly dressed – old, dirty clothes but neatly dressed.  He took his 78 cent hamburger to his table, spread the wrapper out and slowly ate his dinner.

As Cyndi and I looked at each other, we knew that God once again had provided us a divine opportunity.  I walked over to the man and asked him if I could buy him a beverage for his meal.  His eyes lit up and he very graciously told me that would be fine.  I purchased the man a beverage and some more food and placed it in front of him.  He thanked me and smiled and said something to th effect of how nice we were to think of him and hoped that God would bless me.

This man didn’t know that he was my blessing.  I never believe in coincidences.  I believe God has ordained our paths each day.  Some days we refuse to open our eyes and see what He has for us that day.  Other days we are more willing to listen to what He has to say and to see what He has in store for us.

I haven’t had a full-time job in 20 months.  But I have enough to provide something for someone who has nothing.  Because of Jesus.

That interaction caused me to think a lot more about how we view our stuff.  On Sunday, Stuart Owens said in his sermon something to the effect of whether we have $10 or $10 million in our bank account and if we obsess over it, it’s still greed.

I pray that God will always allow me to give back to him and to those He places in my path.

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Indecision or Waiting

I intended to write a short post about envy – since our community group discussed envy this week and it was fresh in my thoughts.

But yesterday and today I’ve been thinking more about our future than envy.  If you’ve followed my posts you know we have taken a path that is most unusual and certainly seems to defy logic and maybe even prudence.  But we know beyond a doubt that it really is God who directs our paths and feel confident in letting Him!

As hard as we might try to fix things and to help God with His plan,  today I’m reminded that He is sovereign.

Here’s a short quote from a devotional, “Jesus Calling”:  “Trust Me to show you what to do when you have finished what you are doing now.  I will guide you step by step, as you bend your will to Mine.  Thus you stay close to Me on the path of Peace.”

Proverbs 19:21 – “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”


Weekend Anticipation

Usually my simple writings try to detail some event or experience I’ve had in the past week or so.  This post is somewhat focused on what will be happening the next few days!  Not too detailed but with some quick descriptions!

Exciting weekend plans for Cyndi and myself!  Friday we will drive to Tallahassee to attend a Good Friday service at City Church Tallahassee.  Cyndi has been fasting (Daniel fast) for about 10 days and we both will fast on Friday until the end of the service.  Good Friday services are mostly somber and quiet remembrances of Christ’s death on the cross.  We’ll end the service with communion – the first food all day!  I enjoy these types of services in a selfish way – they help me focus and remember in a personal way why I believe what I believe.

We’re headed to Mexico Beach, Florida after the service – hoping to spend Saturday in the sun!  Kayaks will be accompanying us and we’re excited to spend the day on white, sandy beaches on what we believe is the most beautiful stretch of Florida’s Gulf Coast!  Hoping our kids will join us for the day as well!

Sunday is Easter!  The time of year when Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus!  We will be celebrating along with thousands of others the Civic Center in Tallahassee.  City Church Tallahassee has rented this venue to share the gospel with as many people as possible at one time on Sunday.  The past several years City Church has held Easter services at The Moon – a local nightclub in Tallahassee.  The past year was standing room only so the decision was made to move to a larger space!  In addition to the band and production team, it will take hundreds of volunteers to have this event – people will serve in our Kid’s program, First Impressions as greeters, parking attendants, information stations, ushers, care team members, etc.   It’s going to be an exciting day and I’ll be posting pictures from it soon!

Easter this year has a special meaning to Cyndi and me.  I have prayed for years to be allowed by God to be a part of a large movement of His.  Tallahassee is experiencing such a movement right now and we believe Easter will be a celebration of that.  If you’ve been reading along over the months, you know our journey with City Church is unique.  I quit my job 15 months ago so we could be a part of this group!  We travel about 400 miles round trip each weekend to help out where we can.  I’m thankful for the opportunity this season in life has afforded us.  Who knows what will take place after Easter?  I’m still looking for employment and am confident God has a plan for us!  Anticipation about the future – our future!


Leadership Post

This is a repost of Perry Noble in its entirety – none of it is mine!

What Every Leader Needs To Know March 14, 2012

People will not follow you long term if they do not like you.

Seriously, it doesn’t really matter how much you pay someone…you just can’t pay people enough to like you!!! Eventually, if you are not a leader who actually likes people they will leave (for a lesser salary) to go and work for someone who they do like.

However, your main obsession as a church leader should not be to be LIKED but rather to be LOYAL to the One who has called, chosen and equipped you for ministry.

The good news is that one does not have to be sacrificed for the other…

You do not have to become a people pleaser and turn your back on God.

And you do not have to be a ruthless, manipulative dictator because you are “honoring God’s call on your life!”

One of the things I’m personally discovering as a leader is…

The closer I walk with Jesus the more I love and care about people…and the more people understand that I care WAY MORE about WHO THEY ARE BECOMING than what they are actually doing then they are way more likely to buy into me as a leader–which is important because people buy into a leader WAY before they buy into what he/she is leading.

(Leaders, don’t FREAK OUT when you read this!!! If a person is becoming more like Jesus they will naturally do their best work…but if they are so immersed in doing work that they aren’t becoming more like Christ then you are in trouble. Most likely you are driving them out of fear and insecurity rather than leading them out of love and genuine concern!)

So, saying all of this–what is it that every leader needs to know?

Simple: Loving Jesus = loving people NOT using them!

Leaders that have positive long term impact are the ones who care way more about others than they do themselves.

I cannot be a leader who honors God and His call on my life if I do not love the people who He has called and equipped to work with me.


170 Hours

Quick post about my week.

Today when I drove into my driveway I had been gone from my house for more than 170 hours.  Seven days and a few hours!  Loved every minute I was away but also secretly wanted to be in my house, watch my tv, sleep in my bed tonight – you get the picture.  Tomorrow morning we pack up and head out again – but for a much shorter time!

I had the opportunity to spend about 40 of those 170 hours with a group of staff and volunteers from City Church Tallahassee as we road tripped to Anderson, South Carolina to participate in Unleash – a one day conference hosted by Perry Noble and Newspring Church.  This was not my first visit to Newspring but I enjoyed it as if it was!  Having an opportunity to worship, listen to some incredible original music by Newspring Worship, hear Perry Noble twice, talk and connect with some people who do community groups with excellence, participate in a breakout with Shane Duffy as he shared about cultural relevance and Biblical truth – all with 34 others from City Church (of yeah and about 3,500 other people!)

Here are two take aways I brought with me:  1.  Numbers do matter because every number is a person.  Every person has a story.  God is interested in our stories.  Numbers do matter.  2.  If you’re going to do something, why not do it with excellence.

I love what is taking place in Tallahassee right now!  Easter at the Civic Center is going to be unbelievable!  All because of Jesus!

 


Friends Old and New

I have had some really neat conversations with friends over the last few weeks – friends I have known for awhile and friends I have known less than year!

Here are some highlights:

On a recent Sunday afternoon we drove to some friends house for a late lunch.  Our friends opened their home and hearts to us that day in a really neat way.  While our meal was cooking on the grill, we had an opportunity to really get to know each other – learning about each other in ways that can’t happen with a two minute conversation as we walk to our cars.  We spent a few hours that afternoon becoming closer friends.  These friends have a heart and longing for God and for others!

Monday night after our community group, a friend handed me a card.  I didn’t immediately look at it but politely said thank you.  As we were driving home that night, Cyndi opened the note and read it to me.  The encouragement and generosity the card contained was amazing!  We really needed what was in that card!  We have been friends for about six months and it is really neat to see how our brief interactions have blessed each other!  This friend has a heart for God and for others!

Wednesday I skyped with a friend in Cartagena, Colombia.  We met this friend on a trip to Cartagena in August 2011 when he served as a tour guide and interpreter for our group.  We have maintained good communication since our return to Florida and hope to return again in August 2012.  This friend shared how he had been blessed with some good paying tour work in January.  Instead of spending his earnings on something for himself, this friend used most of his money to sponsor a Christian Hip Hop event in some impoverished neighborhoods in Cartagena.  This friend has a heart for God and for others!

Today I had coffee with a group of men – men who I try to meet with every two to three weeks.  All of us range in age from early 50’s to mid 60’s.  Former law enforcement, postal employee, parks and recreation supervisor, small business owner, real estate, mason, advocate for homeless and advocate for anyone in need.  Men from all over the United States and even Europe.  A common denominator among all of us – we love Jesus and have a heart for others – especially those who are having a hard time helping themselves.  My time with these men always inspire me – inspire me to strive to be a closer follower of Christ and inspire me to intentionally look to help others.

What about you?  How did you interact with your friends this week? What did they share with you and what did you share with them?

We can’t live life in a bubble!


God and Football

Does God really care who wins a football game?

I remember a lesson I heard from Andy Stanley about prayer.  Andy questioned whether God really was going to answer the prayer of the little league parent who prayed for his son/daughter to knock in the winning run, or whether God was going to answer the prayer of the basketball player to sink the winning free throw, or whether God would answer the prayer of _________________ (you fill in the blank).

With all the hype about Tim Tebow and his faith, I know that any blog, tweet, comment or conversation that isn’t 100% behind Tebow will be viewed as anti Tebow or anti God or anti faith or anti…..  but here goes:

God doesn’t care if the Denver Broncos win any more games.  God doesn’t care if Tim Tebow wins any more games. I’m willing to bet anyone right now that there are other Christ followers in the National Football League besides Tebow.  I’ll bet there are Christ followers in other professional and collegiate sports that simply choose to tell others about Jesus in a different manner! I’m glad that Tim Tebow is a Christian. While I don’t understand why people think his manner of professing his faith is the way to go about it, I’ll let you be the one to determine your own opinions. I do know that many of the Tebow fans who love his walk don’t emulate it – just cheer him on.

What God cares about is your personal relationship with Him.

I hope the lives of all Christ followers are different enough for non believers to want to know more about Jesus.