Monday, June 29, 2009


I will be out of town. I will try to post as much as possible, depends on the internet connection. TTYL.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

How Do We Let It Go?

Yesterday I dealt with what keeps people from letting it go, now today I want to briefly address how we can let it go.

1. Forgive this person and release God to work in their life: Understand that most problems begin with small misunderstandings. We must choose to forgive, and ask God to help us when we think about what they have done to us.

2. Pray for this person: Begin to make this your practice. When you those feelings surface begin to pray for their family, their walk with God, their ministry etc. Bless them in Jesus name. There will be a time when you will want to spend a lot of time telling God how mad you are about this or how it hurts you.

3. Don't discuss your problems with others at first: You will need sometime to process what has taken place. If you immediately discuss it with others you will re-live those feelings of hurt. It is like pulling off the band aid and picking at the scab. Let the healing begin.

I can tell you that I wish I would have employed some of these things when I was going through a tough time. It took me three years before I could say I had forgiven this person. Please keep in mind, I made the choice to stay stuck in unforgiveness. Don't make the same mistake I made. It doesn't have to take this long.

Let it go, and allow God to start the healing process.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Let It Go

Have you ever had a time when someone did you wrong? Are you still dealing with that thing? Well, I have some advice for you, LET IT GO!

I understand that what I just said is easier said than done, but it is not impossible. Let me share with you what I believe causes us to hang onto these hurtful things.

1. Unrealistic expectations: Could it be that you had placed some high expectations on someone? May be you have said, "they would never hurt me."

2. Refusal to allow God to heal our hearts: Sometimes it feels good to be the victim. There is a time to hurt from a bad situation, but God expects us to bring our hurts to Him and stop mourning over it.

3. Fear that they will "get away with it": Isn't it something we deal with? We are afraid that they will never get caught treating people this way. Hear me, they will reap what they sow!

4. Failing to remember that God holds our destiny in His hands: Do you really think God would let someone else hold you back from your God given destiny? God is much wiser than that. Maybe you feel held back, what's the problem? Could it be that you are still nursing that hurt?

God loves us so much that He has a great plan for our lives, the question is will you let hurts and disappointments hold you back from embracing His plan?

Tomorrow I will talk about how we can get beyond our hurts.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New Growth

My daughter called me at work today to let me know that her filling had just come out. I told her that she needed to put it in a bag and wait until her Mom came home. I didn't know what else to tell her, so I waited until my wife came home. My wife is the brave one, she pulls the teeth in our house. I am the one who doesn't want to even floss the children's teeth. Well, things were not as they seemed.

We went to the dentist and he said that the reason that the filling came out is because the other tooth is trying to come in.

Then I had a thought, are we concerned about the loss that we miss the new growth? We all have loss in our lives but I encourage you today to look beyond the loss and see the new growth that is coming.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Fences or Bridges?

There is a story about two brothers who owned property right next to each other. Things were going well until one of the brothers allowed his livestock to graze on his property. So he decided to talk to his brother, and after he talked to him the other brother promised that this wouldn't happen again. But, guess what it did happen! The other brother had it, he was going to do something about this, once and for all!

He hired a carpenter and told him that he wanted to put a fence between the two properties so that this wouldn't happen again. The carpenter told him he knew exactly what he needed. The carpenter was very skilled at his craft, and he worked very diligently. But the brothers didn't pay any mind to him , and left him to his work.

One day the carpenter announced to the brother that hired him that he was finished. And there it was the most beautiful bridge you had ever seen! Just at that moment the other brother joined the carpenter and his brother on the bridge. The other brother exclaimed to his brother that he didn't know that he cared so much to welcome him to his property! The brother didn't know what to say, but he asked his brother to forgive him for his attitude towards him. They both turned to thank the carpenter, but he said that he other bridges to build!

What are building today bridges or fences?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Have you ever noticed that it seems like in this life that we seem to do a lot of waiting? We wait in line, we wait for the light to turn green, we wait for the time when we will go on vacation, etc. But stop to think about what the Bible says about waiting.

Isa 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

The Bible promises to reward us with strength when we wait on what the Lord is doing in our lives at present. I want you to ponder the statement I am about to make. God will work in us some things that later will be worked out in our lives.

Does that explain what you are going through right now? Do you wonder why you just can't get ahead at your job? Do you wonder why everyone else is getting a promotion and you aren't? Do you wonder why God just gave your neighbor the car that you wanted? I don't have all the answers, but God is working in your life; will you wait on Him?

Let me encourage you to enjoy where you are at presently and look forward to the time God promotes you. You will have to "wait" until tomorrow for my next post.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Today I was putting together an earnest money agreement for the property that we are going to purchase for the church. As you know as earnest agreement is a down payment that is a guarantee that the rest is still to come. As I was typing out this agreement I thought of another "down payment". It is found in Ephesians 1:13-14

(Eph 1:13) And you also became God's people when you heard the true message, the Good News that brought you salvation. You believed in Christ, and God put his stamp of ownership on you by giving you the Holy Spirit he had promised.

(Eph 1:14) The Spirit is the guarantee that we shall receive what God has promised his people, and this assures us that God will give complete freedom to those who are his. Let us praise his glory!
(Good News Bible)

  • Once you believed in Christ, God put His stamp of ownership on you (He sealed you)
  • The Holy Spirit is the "down payment" of our inheritance. In other words He is the "engagement ring" for the Marriage between Christ and His Bride.
Think of it this way God is promising that there is so much more in store for us, after we leave this Earth. We are just enjoying the "engagement", but wait until the marriage.

God loves us so very much, and He has given us a reminder of how He plans on taking care of us. He has given us His Spirit.

There is more good stuff to come, don't give up and miss out!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Tough Decision Part Two

I still remember the day that I came back and told my wife that I would go and look for a job. We knew this meant that things wouldn't be the same. God was so good to me and I found a job at Sears. I was working in the Lawn and Garden department selling mowers. At first it was part time, but our situation at the church was not getting any better. So when they offered me a full time position with benefits I took it. But what would this mean for the church and my family?

As far as the church was concerned we were now a core group of 25, they were good people but we just couldn't get anything going. The people in the church understood our situation, but because I had to work the church suffered. What did this mean for my family? I have the best wife and understanding children, but this meant I would not see them as I would have liked. My schedule consisted of work days and church days, but no family days. The schedule was wearing on me.

I was now working 40 hrs a week at Sears and putting 15-20 hours at the church. I had no time for family. I was either working or was getting ready for Sunday. There were times that I would come home and fall asleep in my chair before dinner. I had no energy what so ever. I didn't feel it was right to not give my best to my family or the church. So my wife and I prayed.

My desire was to pastor a church exclusively and have family time, we saw that in our situation that was not going to be a possibility. We made a tough decision, we decided that for the good of our family that we would begin looking elsewhere for ministry opportunities. I felt as though I was giving up on these people, but I could not pay my bills and stay in our present situation. So I began sending out resumes.

Have you ever felt like no one knows what you are going through? That's the way I felt, I was not certain that there was a place for us in ministry. But, we let our Superintendent know and he told me that they were going to close the church and sell the building. I had mixed feelings about this decision, but I knew that I had done all that I could in that place. So, I made plans to move my family yet again to where God was sending us. God had a plan, but we first had to make the decision to put our family first over our other obligations.

God honored this decision, and he sent us to Warden A/G where we just completed three years here at the church. There are good things ahead for this church, but we would have never been a part of it if we hadn't made that tough decision.

Put your family first you will be glad you did. We are.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Tough Decision Part One

Yesterday I talked about how important it is to spend time with our families. In this fast pace world that we live in, it is easy to get our priorities out of whack. Let me share with you about a time when our family time was non-existent. This will be a two part post, here is the first part.

It was my first position as Senior Pastor. I was excited and I wanted to do a good job. Things were going well, and we were adjusting well to our new surroundings. Things continued to go this way for about 6 months and then all of sudden (or so it seems) things changed. We were averaging about 40-50 people on any given Sunday, and then the Sunday after I was installed as the Pastor of the church we saw a sharp decline in our attendance. I thought this would be temporary, but this was only the beginning of major change.

When we left our previous church we were basically out of debt. Little by little we realized that we were tapping into our savings account to pay our monthly bills. Pretty soon our savings was gone and the church then told us that could not pay us what they had promised. Then we had a decision to make, do I get a part time job or what do I do? I will continue this post tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Just Being There

I was thinking about priorities. Like the importance of putting your family ahead of your profession. Naturally we have to work, but we need to continue to build a relationship with our family. Let me tell you a story about the tension that exists between work and family.

I remember when I was a young boy that my Dad worked two jobs for a time. My Dad had always been a "hands on" kind of guy. He was an electrician, refrigeration and heating repair man. He was always doing manual labor. Early on in life Dad tried to start his own company, he did it for a while but he finally just closed shop in order to go work for someone else.

Back to my story. At this time Dad was working for a company( during the day) that dealt with repair work, and he just got hired on to work at Coca-Cola. He worked in the plant and since he was new, he worked the night shift. I told my Mom that I wanted to wait up for Dad because I had not seen him all day. I tried but I fell asleep. It wasn't that my Dad didn't love me it was that at that time we needed the money. Things were tight and Dad was no stranger to hard work.

I needed my Dad, I loved My Dad and I wanted to be just like my Dad. These are things that have stayed with me over the years. My Dad has been gone for about 9 years, and still long for his company. You never outgrow your need for your Dad.

Fast forward to the present day. I am the Father of four very different children. None of them are the same and they all have different needs, but they are my children. I love my children and I want the best for them. There is a constant battle that I face daily when it comes to the demands of ministry. I must choose to spend time with my family and not spend all of my hours at the church. I want to be there (physically and emotionally) for my children. I want to be a good Father to my children, how about you?

Tomorrow I will share about a time in my life when family time was almost non-existent, and what I did about it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Today my wife and I were getting excited about planning our vacation later this month. What is it about this that is exciting? It is a departure from the hum drum, and something to look forward to. Vacation means a lot to me, the one word that comes to mind is people.

Yes, people. Think about it what do you hope to do when you go on vacation? You hope to create memories that will last a life time. I still remember some of the times that our family went on vacation. We had rented a car( four door 70's Chevy Impala) that had cold air conditioned and we were going to the beach.

My Dad didn't enjoy fishing but he did enjoy crabbing. We would buy bloody raw chicken and tie it on the bottom of the collapsible crab trap. Then cast the trap and wait a few minutes, and voila dinner! I didn't care so much for the crab meat as I do now as an adult. I just enjoyed being with the strongest man in the world, my Dad.

My Dad didn't know how to relate sometimes but he really tried hard. It was on vacation that I saw a different side of my Dad. He was the best swimmer that I knew, and I remember as a little boy him holding me in his arms as we would wade into the ocean. His strong arms made me feel safe, but I was afraid that the waves would knock us both over. Now as a Father I try to hold my children and make them feel as safe as I did in my Father's arms. Those are some of the best memories of vacation that I have. Vacation here on Earth is kind of like Heaven, let me explain.

We are looking forward to seeing the people that we have not seen in a long time, and we will get to spend some good times with them. I miss my Dad, and I will have some catching up with him as we are both in Heaven. I wonder if there are beaches in Heaven, look for me I will be with my Father trying to catch some crabs

Monday, June 8, 2009


Just today I registered for school again. I am now a Doctoral student at Gonzaga University.

Have you ever done something that you said "Whoa this will be a challenge." I mean I am looking forward to starting, but as I am reading what is asked of me I begin to get the big picture. But, this is what I have always wanted to do. I have wanted to teach, and if this is what it takes to teach then I am willing to do it. The Bible tells us to count the cost, and right now I am beginning to understand that scripture more than ever. Don't just jump into something without knowing what it will cost you. I am excited to be in this atmosphere again where I am challenged to think and to interact in verbal and non-verbal ways. I was accused of being a "professional student", I stand guilty as charged because I don't want to ever stop learning.

How about you are you learning as you are leading? Or are you just living without learning? Embrace the challenge to be a continual learner.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Great Testimony

I just found out last night that my Uncle has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. They are giving him 3 months to a year to live. I was not expecting to hear that news. I began to think about how God has been good to our family. Let me explain.

My Uncle my Dad's youngest brother has always been a go getter and a very hard worker. He served time in the military and he worked on airplanes as a mechanic. He is one of the toughest men I ever met, yet very kind. I have always said that he is the only man that could ever call me "babe". That was his way, he would say to family "hey babe." For years he never attended church and I didn't know if he was a Christian or not. Let me stop and say how much I love my Uncle, especially during the times we didn't know where he stood with the Lord. I was just always concerned about his walk with the Lord. Fast forward many years and now I am in Bible College and I start to notice that God is softening his heart, and he is open to going to church again. Several more years later and I realize that my Uncle has a made a fresh commitment to the Lord! I wish I could tell you that from then on his life was without problems but you know that's not the truth. It seemed since that time his problems increased but now he was able to cast his cares on the Lord.

Since I live far away from my Uncle I have always made it a priority to go and see him whenever I am in town. This last time that I saw my Uncle was a special time. He and my Aunt were getting ready to leave work and go home and we just caught them before they left for the night. My family and I ended up spending about an hour just talking and having a good time, and you know this was a God thing because that is how I would like to remember him.

Right now he is at home and they are keeping him "comfortable" with medication. When I think of his life I see that God is willing that not none should perish but that all should come to repentance. God was so patient with my Uncle, and now he is ready to meet his Lord, I know that my Dad will be glad to see him when the time comes. I am just so glad that his life is a living testimony of a changed life.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


There is no greater word in the English language than accomplishment. This is the feeling you get when you have worked hard and have achieved your goal. Think of it this way, we all have goals and things that we would like to get done; but what is our plan? You may have a to do list or a planner or maybe you are very organized. Whatever the case, and however you plan the most important thing is to get it done.

Some ways to accomplish your goals:
  • Know what you want to do and when you want to do it
  • Be aware of the obstacles that could keep you from accomplishing your goals
  • Make a plan to accomplish your goals taking into consideration setbacks, and hindrances that could impede your progress.
Let me ask you something. Is there something you have talked about doing "someday? Today is the day to take the first step towards accomplishing your goals.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

God's Grace

I was watching an interview with Michael English online and I really appreciated what God has done in his life. Here is the interview below

The thing that I was amazed by is the story that he told. No one who has heard Michael English would have ever guessed that this man was carrying so many burdens. He is such a talented singer, and God has gifted him with an awesome voice. I still remember hearing "In Christ Alone". I was a DJ at WLUX and I played that song as much as I could. The words of that song were so inspiring.

I want to encourage you today that whatever you are struggling with today, God can set you free. There is enough grace for you today. You have not sinned away your day of grace, God has His arms open wide just ready for you.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Benefits of Pastoring a Growing Church

Call me crazy but I love the fact that I can walk downtown. My house is across the street from the church, and we have one school k-12. This is life in a rural community. On June 11th it will be three years since I first came to pastor the church. Our town size is 2500 and within a ten mile radius the population is 4,000 (including the cows LOL!) I said all of that to say this, I love where God has called me. I am a relational person and one who enjoys getting involved in the life of the community. Let me give you some of the benefits of pastoring in Eastern Washington

  • No traffic jams (unless you consider a John Deere combine holding up traffic a problem)
  • No rivalry between schools in the same town
  • I can be involved in my kids' classes
  • Wide open spaces (acres and acres of farm land)
  • Apple and cherry orchards close by
  • We have sunshine more than we have rain.
  • Finally, our potlucks consist of tamales, chorizo tacos, enchiladas, homemade salsa, and pico de gallo.
The above reasons are good reasons to pastor in a rural community, but the best reason is because God sent us. What are some of the benefits of living where you live?

Monday, June 1, 2009

My Message to the Class of 2009

I attended our annual Baccalaureate yesterday and as I listened to the students and the organizers of this service speak I began to ask the question, "what is God's plan for their life?" I really was asking that question about the Seniors who will graduate later on this week. If you have been to many graduations, and or celebrations for graduates you have probably heard the same things.
"The rest of your life is ahead of you." You can do anything you put your mind to." "The sky is the limit." Without sounding too pessimistic I wonder if we really believe that. Are those just words that are supposed to encourage and motivate or do we really believe that these things are true? Since I was not the speaker yesterday I could not share these thoughts, so I will share with you what I believe we should tell the Class of 2009.

  • Life passes by too fast, don't waste it on empty pursuits. Find out why you were created and live a "purpose driven" life.
  • There are going to be limitations in our lives, and there will be setbacks. Don't allow these things to keep you from fulfilling God given dreams.
  • High School is not the end of your education, it has just prepared you to be educated in this thing we call life.
Congratulations to the Class of 2009, enjoy this time of celebration as you prepare for the rest of your life.