Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Cheap Stuff

This conversation I overheard my wife having with our kids recently…. 

(kid) Can we go to Dollar General?

(mom) Why?

(kid) I have my allowance money and I want to buy some stuff.

(mom) Why don't you save some and get something better?

(kid) Because I love that stuff…

Our kids save up a little of their allowance money and they want to go to, of all places, one of the "dollar" stores. Nothing against the dollar stores or the company or employees, but the stuff my kids want to buy is junk with a capital J. They come home with these toys that last all of 3 seconds before they break leading to immediate pleas for duct tape or glue fixes.

From our (parental - me and my wife) perspective, we see the folly of wasting money on junk. I say this all the time about tech or electronic stuff. As with m,ugh of life, You get what you pay for. Pay for junk and you get, yes you guessed it, JUNK!

Why is it, though, that we waste our personal resources on cheap stuff? Seriously, think about it! God gives us so much - time, money, relationships, spiritual gifts, health, trials, struggles, and so on and so forth. Why do we often waste the special resources that God gives us on cheap stuff that will not last for a day, a season, or especially not eternity?

As a child of the Most High God I am created and given purpose for more than cheap stuff. My life has been radically changed by the grace of God for noble and high purposes. A few verses come to mind about all this:

Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver bowls, but also those of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. So if anyone purifies himself from anything dishonorable, he will be a special instrument, set apart, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.   * 2 Timothy 2:20-21

He poured out this Spirit on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior so that, having been justified by His grace, we may become heirs with the hope eternal.  * Titus 3:6-7

Those are a few random thoughts and insight into my mind today. Don't waste any resources of your life on junk or cheap stuff that will not last or bring you true fulfillment. Be challenged and encouraged to spend all of God's gifts today for His honor and glory - for noble purposes and Spirit lead endeavors.

Monday, November 4, 2013


I have so many things running through my heart and mind since setting foot back on US soil after an amazing trip visiting some brothers and sisters in India. I'll give you a brief glimpse today…


I am His. 

Simply put, I need the constant reminder that I am His. According to the truth of the Scriptures, I am the faith-child of the Most High God. God gives us the right to become His children - John 1:12-13.

I love all the Toy Story movies. Though on the surface it may seem as if these movies are cute stories of toys and their interaction with each other and a challenging world, these movies are about identity. I love the focus on belonging and the correlation to peace, life, joy and contentment. These toys (it's written on the bottom of their feet) belong to "ANDY" and for each of them that means everything!!! 

We all just want to belong. We want to belong to something greater than ourselves because we all know our true selves fall short ALL the time. So many people are chasing after all the wrong things to bring them contentment and fulfillment - relationships with others, the bling of the world, checking ritualistic and empty religious boxes. 

So much of the person I am TODAY depends on my identity… not just the fact and truth of my identity, but my identity realized and lived out. How many times have I struggled or lost focus each time simply forgetting not who I am, but whose I am.

I have a heavenly Father who sacrificially loves me and offers His daily provisions for me. As a Father, I hope and pray each of my children come to appreciate and truly understand my love for them. How much greater is God's love and watch care for me?

I prayed this morning for God to reinforce in my spirit and life that "I am His." Simple, yet profound! Are you struggling? Discouraged? Hurt? Lost? Run to the only One who can save you! Run away from the things that have failed your whole life to truly satisfy your soul. 


"So don’t be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, or of me His prisoner. Instead, share in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God. He has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began. This has now been made evident through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who has abolished death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." 

2 Timothy 1:8-10

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Sure Foundation?!

Life for most of us is up and down, good and bad, easy and hard, here and there... changing from day to day. There are days that I get overwhelmed with all that's on my schedule and mind. I am so grateful for a loving and supportive wife and for carefree kids who love me for me no matter what kind of day I'm having. Most of all, I'm thankful for Jesus who is the only sure foundation of my life.

Reading this morning in the Bible and spending some time in thought and prayer, I had to focus my heart and mind on the promises and challenges of God. I needed reminding to simply rely upon God for life and daily strength. Simply put... FAITH. Years ago, I first read where someone said "faith" could stand for "Forsaking All I Trust Him!" Trusting completely in the Lord. Relying upon Him alone.  Standing on His sure foundation in the midst of the storms and inconsistencies of this life. Ignoring, at times, what I feel and experience with my senses.

The opposite of faith is FEAR. Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure. Fear of outside challenges or difficulties. For so many people, daily fear is the norm. Many may say, "I don't live in fear," but when it comes down to it, NOT living by faith trusting God IS living by fear. This life is marked by doubt, worry, and unnecessary stress.

I'm not sure where you are at the moment you read this... not the location such as Kings Mountain, Charlotte, Washington D.C., wherever, but where your heart is! Are you growing tired of wrestling with the challenges of life or trying to balance all of your responsibilities? Every moment living in a state of inconsistency and uncertainty?! Give up! You will never win this battle. The bible speaks of the power and impact that simple surrender will have upon your life. Philippians 4 speaks about the things we should focus our thoughts on and also the role prayer has on your life as you trust God for His peace and presence daily.

"For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness,
but one of power, love, and sound judgment." 
~ 2 Timothy 1:7 ~

Everything in our world and culture longs to influence you to act, react, buy and choose according to trends, opinions, feelings, etc. Live each and every moment trusting God by faith. Make every personal and public decision in a way that honors God and gives Him glory. Stand on the only sure foundation - Jesus!

"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!" 
~ Psalm 34:8 ~

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Bitter Sweet

Ok, so I'm back in the "blogging" world, assuming there may be some of you out there who will listen to my thoughts and heart.

Buckle up! I'll get straight to the point: tonight, I had to do one of the most difficult things EVER in my life. I announced that plans have been put into motion (at FBCKM) for me to transition into a new staff position - Missions Pastor. Yes, this will be my last summer as Minister of Students at FBCKM. The church newsletter that went out today (arriving Thursday in digital and print formats) will share more specifics. If the church follows the lead of the deacons and the Personnel Committee, they will vote in early July to approve this transition. A search committee will start after that to find a new Minister of Students.

Tonight was hard. As I looked out into the eyes of the youth group, especially the rising seniors, I struggled to form just the right words. I know there was shock, disappointment, and some deep sadness. I will stand by my challenge from the book of Joshua (chapters 1 & 3) to the 2013 graduates tonight:
  1. God is still God even in the changes and transitions of life! God is ever faithful and He will always be with us. His strength and courage are there for us to have. In the first chapter of Joshua, God commands Joshua three times to be strong and courageous - not to be afraid or discouraged! If there was ever a person that knew the challenges of facing an uncertain and difficult future, it was Joshua. 

  2. God can do great things in your life! News flash: God, Creator of the Universe, is powerful enough to move in your life and use you to do great things for His glory. These great things may NOT be great in the world's eyes, but big-time in terms of the Kingdom of God. Ephesians 2:10 declares that we are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works. Seek His face, Trust Him, be who you were made to be! No, Jeremiah 29:11 was not written for us today, but it still holds truth that is applicable to us - God's people in the scope of His plans have HOPE and a FUTURE.

  3. Consecrate yourself and watch God do amazing things. In Joshua 3:5, Joshua challenged the people (on the eve of crossing the Jordan river) to consecrate themselves for "tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you." The author of Hebrews declares that one can't see God "without HOLINESS." Be set apart - be different! Why do we try and try to look and act like the majority of people and a societal system that is wacked out? "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies."~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. Why should we think that we will experience the fullness of our relationship with God if we are chasing after all the other little "g" gods that are worthless? 
For 14 years, I have been privileged to be the Student Pastor of some incredible young people at a church full of do many wonderful people. I work under a God-honoring Pastor for whom I have the utmost respect and love. I serve by the side of dear friends that I call brothers and friends. Erin and I (and my children) are so very blessed to be a part of FBCKM - it's past, present, and (Lord willing) the future.

To the current youth group... you are my joy! I will continue to love each of you - a title change will not affect that! To the rising senior class, I look ahead to next year with great pride and anticipation knowing that God will use each of you in mighty ways as leaders in the youth group. To all of you reading this, especially this year's graduates: I challenge you with words from the great missionary William Carey - "expect great things from God; attempt great things for God!"

His and yours in Christ,