Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Moving Furniture

My Father in Law and I spent time today moving furniture. It is good to move furniture, but you always have to clean up the stuff that is underneath, namely dust and dirt.

Think about this. There are things in our life that the Lord wants to move (out, not around), but once we pray for the Lord to move these things out ; are we ready to deal with what is underneath. Could it be that we "moved this furniture" in to cover up the dirt and dust in our hearts?

Let me challenge you to go beyond the symptoms (furniture) and get down to the root cause of the problem (dirt and dust). Be honest with yourself and God, and plan your moving day.

Monday, March 30, 2009


I have come to the conclusion that parenting is not for cowards (Thank you Dr. Dobson) nor is it for the experts. My Father In-law always tells me "people don't know what you think they know." This is so true. My wife and I have taken Parenting Classes, and read Parenting books and still we struggle with Parenting. Am I the only one that has this problem? Now if your children are compliant (where do those children live?) and they just lay there in their beds and wait for you to wake them in the morning, then this is not for you. BUT, if you are like the rest of us who have "active children" read on.

Parenting is a series of choices that don't always work out. Have you ever tried to have devotions while your toddler is screaming? Kind of takes the fun out of it. Or how about when your son is singing opera (at the top of his lungs) as he is running through the living room. Now, sometimes there are occasions when my children are calm and I begin to feel their foreheads and wonder if they are sick! I sometimes feel like Bill Cosby as I hold the yardstick and exclaim "the beatings will now begin!" Just kidding I don't use a yardstick on my children, but when I'm frustrated the idea has crossed my mind. Here is the point behind what I am saying.

I am not a perfect parent because I was never a perfect child. I don't have perfect children because they personify the things about me I wish to forget. I have given up in the idea of perfect children, but I would settle for compliant though.

Thank God that He does not expect me to be perfect. Because of this I will choose to accept my children for who they are, and love them because they are mine.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Today I had the privilege of helping to pour the sidewalk at our church. There were 7 other guys who were here and helped. I was just helping anyway I could. I felt as Pastor that if I ask people to help with the sidewalk, I should be there willing to help. So I was there and I was pleasantly surprised when other men whom I did not call from the church showed up to help with the job. The old saying "many hands make light work" was true today. Here is the lesson I learned today.

The power of teamwork is what makes work go faster and more enjoyable. This project by ourselves seemed overwhelming, but with the right people with the right experience it was enjoyable. The Body of Christ needs to learn the lesson of teamwork, it is not about big "I" and little "you". What we should be about is getting the job done, and helping no matter what we are asked to do.

Someone asked if I wanted my name in the sidewalk and I said no. Because I did not do it by myself. It was the team. To use John Maxwell's saying, "teamwork makes the dream work."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I'm Amazed

Just today I had a friend call me several times and request prayer. The situation was pretty crucial, and he would have to pay a huge fine if he did not comply with this organization's request. It seemed as though he was going to have to pay the fine.
Here is the question, what if the fine is more than you can handle.

The answer: you pray. Here is what happened.

Today he had a meeting with a representative who needed documentation from him (that was packed in boxes, he had recently moved). He provided the documentation and expected the representative to scan each log individually. Instead the representative just looked at the documents, and told him that was all that he needed. A coincidence? I don't think so, let me tell you why.

When I talked with my friend I specifically prayed to God that he would have undeserved favor. Meaning people would show him kindness in this situation. And that is exactly what happened. I'm amazed at howGod cares about the things that trouble me or my friends. I guess that's why they call it "Amazing Grace."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Purposes of the Church

Do you know the purposes of the church? There are a lot of things we do in church, but do you know what we really should do? There are five things that are talked about in more than one place in the New Testament, here they are:

1. Worship: we are here to worship God

2. Instruction: we are to teach others to do what Jesus said

3. Fellowship: we have one basis of fellowship, and that is Jesus Christ

4. Evangelism: we are to make disciples

5. Service: we are to serve people in the world we live in

Let me ask you a question. What would happen to our churches if we focused on these things
exclusively? What if we intentionally sifted everything thing we do through these purposes?
Jesus said that He would build His church, and the Gates of Hell would not prevail. Here it is, let us discover what Jesus' blueprints are, and follow them.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Weapon of Satan

The only weapon that Satan uses against us is deception. Think about it for a moment, did you feel unworthy today, or unattractive or just not a good person. This is in part to the sinful world that we live in, and also a result of the enemy deceiving us. He hates us so guess what he is going to do. He is going to try to convince us that we should not even try to live as Christians, because we will never make it. He also whispers in our ear lies that we aren't good enough, or pretty enough, or we are losers. It is time to stop believing the lies of the enemy. Here is what I propose to you.

1. Believe you are special to God

2. Don't compare yourself to anyone, you are different for a reason!

3. Listen to the opinions of those who love you the most

4. Finally, recognize that you have a purpose in this life, embrace it!

You can lessen the effectiveness of Satan by not believing a word he says, after all he is the Father of Lies.

Friday, March 20, 2009

I'm Loving Life

Hey I am 40 years old and although I am not as young as I used to be, I am also not as stupid as I used to be! Just ask my wife, I really said and did some stupid things. But you know what I love the life that God has given to me. I have the greatest job in the world, and I don't even have to figure out how to balance the national debt! I have the greatest wife, great kids and I get to stand in as God's spokesman on most Sundays. What is not to love about that?

Don't get me wrong I still have troubles and trials, but I have someone I can take them to. And so can you. I have come to realize that there are some things that I am really good at, and then there are some things that I have to really try hard. Take for instance basketball, just because I am really tall doesn't mean I play really well. We have a church league and I am a sub and I take my share of the beating under the basket, but I love the relationships that are accompanying the bruises! One of our fans said "you really have improved", just imagine if I really knew what I was doing! I turned to one of the guys in our church, and I responded after a brutal two minute beating out on the court HA HA, "there is got to be an easier way to be friends." BTW, we won , and our team is in the semi-finals. Our worship leader and our guitar player are phenomenal players, as well as the other guys who play. So know that this is a team effort with the Pastor cheering(as I pant) from the sidelines.

I love the life I have been given because there is so much to be thankful for, how about you?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

These are the Last Days

Today I am thinking about how quickly things are changing. Whether it is politicians changing their mind, or current events. The one thing that I am glad of is that God does not change. He doesn't have to, and we should take great comfort in this fact. Consider some of the things that are happening around us.
  • Four world leaders are calling for a global currency
  • The rate of HIV/A.I.D.S. transmission in Washington D.C. is the same as some places in Africa.
  • The wealth of many Americans has just disappeared.
  • There is a real threat of a nuclear Iran.
All of these things could cause us to fear, if we did not have the Lord on our side. But, the Lord is on our side and is fighting for us. The question is are we on His side? The Lord take scare of His own, and I will not fear because He is my light and my salvation.

These are indeed that Last Days, but not for the reason that many are advocating. These are the Last Days, because Jesus is about to come back for His church. Are you ready?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Power of God's Word

Today as I was studying the Bible, I realized that nothing else could make Paul or the others give up their life. Think about it Paul was relentless in his passion to see people come to follow Jesus Christ. The question I had to ask myself, have I taken God's Word for granted?

I am a preacher, I get "paid" to read and study the Bible; right? Not exactly. It should be stated that I have the privilege to allow God's Word to so permeate my life that when I preach it is from an overflowing life. As a student of the Bible I want to study, and explain and expound on God's Word. But maybe what I really need to do is to allow God's Word to expand in me.

David said "Thy word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against thee." (Psalm 119:11) When I sin, have I forgotten the power of God's Word? When I sin have I made God to small to handle my need or craving? No, when I sin I choose to substitute the power of God's Word with the (miniscule) power of my will.

The choice is yours, will you allow God's Word to live in you? It will give you hope to carry on.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Greatest Team

Throughout my Bible College experience I was warned about "Demon Boards", and I approached ministry fearfully wondering how I would deal with these "demons". It turns out that my fears were unfounded. I have been involved with five different churches and I can say none of those men qualify as "demons". Now I understand that there are exceptions to my ministry experience, and yes some people are not going to be forced into what ever the Pastor wants. With that said I want to share with you some things that have helped me in working with Boards as a Pastor.

1. My ideas are not always the best ideas: I may feel that God has spoken to me, but God has placed these men as a multitude of counselors. I should listen to them.

2. I don' t work independently of my Board: I let them know what I am doing, and where I believe God is leading our church. I tell them of expenses that are upcoming, and I follow the standards that have been set at our Board Meetings.

3. I admit when I am wrong: There is nothing more healing than to say "I'm sorry, would you forgive me?" I try to handle situations properly, but when things don't go as well I tell the Board what happened and why.

Let me close by saying I am privileged to work with men who love God, and the people who God loves. These men are not lackeys, manipulators, or even "demons" they are co-laborers with me.
The greatest team is not the one that is most like you, it is the team that challenges you to think about the business of the church.

Let me give a shout out to Roland Hansen, Josh Madsen, Robert Pruneda, and Rey Garza. I love you guys, and I am glad we are laboring together in Warden.

Monday, March 16, 2009


I just got back from presenting our first responders a package that includes the "Fireproof" DVD, "The Love Dare" book and some cookies, popcorn, and chocolate. Our church prepared 40 bags for our firefighters, police department, and a couple of state patrol personnel. I think we surprised them, as no one has done much for these dedicated folks.

We are their neighbors, and we are planting seeds of kindness, and trusting the Lord with the harvest. What could you do to show appreciation to the first responders in your area?

Friday, March 13, 2009

I Will Post Something Tomorrow

Dear Readers,

Rather than just post something that is not very interesting. I will wait until tomorrow and post something that is thought provoking.

Update on The Love Dare, it is tough!

Until then, see you tomorrow

Thursday, March 12, 2009

God's Plan

I am amazed by the plan of an almighty and loving God. Just think about where you would be if you were not the subject of the Creator of the universe. I was thinking about this when I looked at the doom and gloom forecast that is a part of the news media. Let me encourage you today.

Your life is not an accident, or is it a series of random choices. Your life was mapped out before you were born and is the best plan for your life. Your life was meant to be lived on purpose. You and I were not supposed to meander aimlessly hoping to find some fulfillment in vain pursuits. Sometimes it is easier to "veg out" and not face our problems. This is the problem, your difficulties are still just as bad as they seemed before you "vegged out". The only way to face your problems is head on and with the comfort and assurance of an Almighty God.

God still cares about what you are worrying about. God cares about you because He made according to His plan.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Marriage is God's Plan

This day marks 14 years that my wife and I were married in the Hermiston Assembly of God in Hermiston, Oregon. The day that we got married was a beautiful day, and a day that promised good things. Well, these many years later we have four kids and we are involved in the ministry in Eastern Washington. And we are very satisfied with where we are at present. Let me tell you why I believe marriage is God's plan.

1. It was the first institute that was established in the Garden of Eden
2. It was God who recognized that it is not good for man to be alone
3. It was Jesus who performed His first miracle at a wedding in Cana

There is no threat to me about people who don't believe in marriage, or don't practice marriage. For those who are happily married, they know what I mean. When you have experienced (or are presently experiencing) the blessings of marriage you shake your head when people try to find another way around God's plan. Whether it is same sex marriage or people living together, the blessings of God are only experienced through obedience to His Word.

May we find our lives blessed and abundant as we follow the ways of the Lord. BTW, I found a good wife and I am not looking for another.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Reaching Students

Last night my wife and I had the privilege of attending a Young Life banquet. This was a banquet to show the ministry to students in the Mid Columbia Basin, encourage investment in this ministry and to cast vision for what the future holds. Our connection with Young Life is through our dear friends Josh and Amree Madsen. Josh and Amree are the Young Life coordinators for Warden. They are doing a great job to reach students. Since our town is rural, Youth Ministry is real difficult given our unique situation. My wife and I support the ministry of Young Life and direct students to be a part of this ministry. Let me talk to you about Young Life for a moment.

Young Life is very similar to Campus Life or Campus Crusade for Christ, or even Inter varsity. It is a para church organization that is non-denominational and crosses many barriers that the local church has to overcome. In our situation we don't have a Youth Pastor, but we love youth. It is a no brainer, get involved with Young Life. I have attended the meetings and just asked to to help any way I can, and have found this most rewarding. In our area there is no greater means to reach students, and I want to reach students. Young Life is a breath of fresh air in an area that has been passed over by the big Youth Ministries.

Warden is a better place because of the dedication of the Young Life staff.I am biased but I think Josh and Amree Madsen are the best of the best. They love students and they love God. What more could you ask for?

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Most Dangerous Job?

Yesterday I was saddened to hear about the shooting in Illinois. What is even more sad is that it happened in a church. Is there no place sacred anymore? Church shootings unfortunately have become all too common. Which leads me to ask the question, could pastoring a church be the most dangerous job? Well, it was for Pastor Fred.

I know that we live in a messed up world, but what do you say to the family of Pastor Fred? How about the rest of the church staff? I wonder if they are thinking, what will happen next? The people who cause violence and untold heartache need what we have, but how do we minister to them without losing our life? The answer, we don't

We must embrace the call of God upon our lives no matter where it take us, or where we will end up. We must be afraid of what will happen, because we serve a God who is in control of what takes place in our life. The tendency would be to make sure we don't make someone mad or offend them. Too late, we preach a gospel that is an offense to those who don't believe. Think about the absolutes that are found in the Bible. Take for instance, if you reject Christ you will be eternally separated from Him in Hell. Or what about the truth that to follow Jesus you must deny yourself and take up your cross and follow Him. Serving Jesus has risks to be for sure. So what do we do. There are two options, here they are

Live your life never risking, and therefore never living
Live your life with full abandon as you embrace the will of God for your life

It is your choice, but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord (no matter what comes.)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Truth About A.I.D.S.

Today we had Nancy Valnes come and speak to our church. Nancy is a Global Aids Partnership Educator. She travels to churches and places where there is very little knowledge about A.I.D.S. She has a passion to explain to people that A.I.D.S. is not a curse from God, but is rather a consequence from making sinful lifestyle choices. These choices could be men having sex with other men, or prostituted women who have contracted the disease from one or more of the "clients" that pays for her service. The devastating thing about A.I.D.S. is that it is a reality that we all must face. I realize that is a big statement. But here is a statement that the church needs to hear.

The church needs to confront this disease (and those who are affected) with the proper knowledge of the transmission of the disease, and with the love of Jesus. It is not enough to condemn their lifestyle choices, we must be willing to love them and walk with them through the pain and eventual death that this disease brings.

The truth about A.I.D.S. is that this is not a curse from God, but an opportunity for the church to share the love of Jesus with those who need it most.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Love Dare

It is been six days since my wife and I took the challenge to follow "The Love Dare", and we have been amazed at how we were doing little things that did not show appreciation to each other. Things that just don't seem that big of a deal. But when you want your marriage to be great, you must focus on weeding out these things. These are the things that will keep you from enjoying the fruit of a great marriage.

Here is the point of my post. I challenge take the Love Dare, you will not be sorry you started on the journey. The book makes you think about how you treat your spouse. So men start dating your wife, and women put down that romance novel; and realize that the greatest romance story is the one that you can write.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Planting Time

One of my favorite times of the year is planting time. Here in Warden you see the onions being hauled out of the storage sheds, and you can definitely smell onions as you pass the fields. There is something about this time of year that adds so much promise. Things are starting to dry out, and the sun is coming out more often, and oh yeah the tumbleweeds are blowing through town. My thoughts also go towards planting of a different kind. It is the planting of the imperishable seed.

This planting happens whenever we live our lives for Christ in front of others. We are not charged with getting results we are to plant seed everywhere we go. The Bible talks a lot about planting, and the principle of the condition of the soil is crucial to the success of the one planting. However; we must make sure the condition of our heart (soil) is conducive for growth.

So the next time you see a field of wheat or corn or something else, remember it took more than one seed. Are you discouraged that you are seeing results for your labor, remember that it is not harvest time yet. Keep planting!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Daylight Savings Time

Nothing makes the year go by faster than knowing that Daylight Savings Time is this weekend. I thought it was in April, not this year.

It is always interesting to see people come to church and wonder why people are leaving, it is because they forgot to set their clock to the right time.

This is just another sign that spring is right around the corner. I for one am ready for spring, and it is about time to go to the driving range. Hard to believe isn't it. Here is another thing to think about.

Time is moving rapidly towards the soon return of Christ. Things are happen at such a rapid pace that the imminent return of Christ is a reality. That is a day that you hope your clock is set right.

Monday, March 2, 2009

I Dare You

I'm sure many of you have seen the movie "Fireproof" by now. If you have not, rent it tonight. It is a great film with a great story and a great message. In the movie there is a book entitled "The Love Dare" and the characters interact with this book and each other. In the movie the book causes them to look at love in a whole new way.
Love is an action, not a feeling. It has been said "it is easier to act your way into a feeling than to feel your way into an action." This is a true statement, because sometimes we won't feel like loving, but we must be loving towards our spouse. The challenge in the movie is to take the "Love Dare". The challenge is to take 40 days and follow the reading for that day and follow the expression of love for your spouse. My wife and I started the challenge today.
Today is "easy" because our assignment is to be patient with one another, and not lose our cool. So far so good. Then factor in 4 children who are impatient, the ante has gone up considerably. We have a good mariage, but we will not settle for anything less than a great marriage.
So I dare you to take the challenge, and strengthen your marriage, but be warned it is not easy. The challenge is just that a challenge, but the results (from others who have gone through it) are so worth it!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sending Philip

Today it was my joy to Commission Philip Reed to the ministry from our church. Most of you know that Philip has assisted me at this church, and has done this for about a year now. There is no doubt that he will be missed, but we are thrilled that he is taking advantage of a ministry opportunity that is placed before him.

Philip will be traveling along with David Woods as his personal assistant, this is a role that he is fitted for. Philip is such a servant, and will be a great help to David Woods. I have seen Philip so much in the year since we began meeting weekly. I have grown and have been mentored as well in areas of technology and general cultural awareness. So, Philip if you are reading this; thank you for all that you have been doing. I wish you well in the journey you are undertaking. You will do a great job, I know it.

It has been said that a church should be known for its sending capacity and not its seating capacity. I hope that our church is able to send young men and women out to embrace the call of God on their lives. This calling may not be ministry as a vocation, but whatever we put our hand to in the name of the Lord;that is our calling.

Let me challenge you to encourage those around you to be filled with the purpose and plans of God. Your town will never be the same.

We All Have Our Gifts

Saturday my son and I went to Lowes to a "Build and Grow Clinic" This is where other Dads, Moms, sons and daughters go to build something. Lowes provides the kit , the work apron and the goggles for the child. We built a race car yesterday. Okay, maybe build is too ambitious of a word; we "assembled" a pre-made car kit. But, guess what my son thought I was a hero.

If you know me , you know I am not mechanically inclined. I am wired to think, write, and speak in a public setting, but I will never be accused of "building" anything. You know what I am okay with that. I realize that my talents are different than the next guy.

Let us embrace our strengths in the body of Christ, and accept our differences. What a difference that would make. I may not be able to build things, or fix things but there are others that are willing to show me how.

Here it is. Know your limitations, ask for help and share your talents. This is really how a family works. Let's "build" something together for the Kingdom of God.