Friday, December 25, 2009

End of the Year Post

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. This year ended incredibly at LifeQuest and I hope that God has done some great things in your life in 2009. My family and I are headed to the mountains of North Carolina tomorrow. My kids have never seen snow and they are hoping for the chance. So, until the year 2010, we are out of here!! See you next year!! Love and Blessings to all.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Need to Know Basis

Several years ago I took a group of students to the Bahamas on a mission trip. We were doing some construction work during the day and concerts in local churches and parks in the evening. It was a great time and traveling to the Bahamas to serve God is not a bad thing. Someone needs to go tell others about Jesus, so we suffered for a week!!

That trip is filled with both great memories and some incredibly painful ones. I am at the same time reminded of students who truly moved forward in their faith and I see clearly those who have walked away. The trip was both an ending to one season of ministry in my life and the beginning of another. Two weeks after that trip I had left the church I was serving to become the pastor at LifeQuest.

Early this morning I was reading my bible when I came across a note that I had written in it on my trip to the Bahamas. A local pastor was speaking after one of our concerts and made the following statement: “God gives information on a need to know basis.”

As I think about it I realize a pattern of this is found throughout scripture. Noah had no idea what a boat was until God told him to build an ark. Abraham was a man of a pagan land until God pulled him away and started the nation of Israel. Moses had no idea what the instruction of the burning bush would lead to in his life. Job never knew why all his life was filled with trouble. The list of biblical people who lived under this concept is endless.

Today we tend to think of ourselves as sophisticated, educated and connected. We have information at our finger tips of incidents that happen around the world. We process more information than any society in history. And yet we still can’t explain some daily events, relationships or circumstances in our lives.

We may never know the specific reasons or plans that God has for our lives. We may never see the “big picture” and have an “aha” moment. But God has not left us without clues or guidelines of how life is to be spent. In fact, he has laid out his plan exactly for us.

Jesus said in Matthew 22 that the best thing we can do with our lives is to love God and love our neighbor. Seems that God is in to vague outlines instead of strict detail. But think about it in this way; God has given us the basics and we fill in the blanks.

Maybe we don’t understand life at times. Love God and love others. Maybe we feel depressed and stressed out over life. Love God and love others. Maybe we come to our senses and realize we can’t buy happiness. Love God and love others. When it comes right down to it, God has given us more detail than we thought. If we love God and love others, most issues in our lives will be resolved. Maybe that’s what we need to know.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Monday Thoughts

This morning I have been reflecting on a few things that I wanted to share with you. These are in no particular order, but reflect what is rattling around my cobwebbed brain this Monday morning.

• I thank God for the people that make up LifeQuest Church. The life and joy they bring to me are a true gift.
• I am still blown away by last night. Our Christmas dinner and program was incredible. I can’t believe the number of people that were here.
• I am thankful for humble servants who make events like last night happen.
• I am frustrated at myself for not enjoying the process more. I stress way too easily!!
• I am excited about what God is doing in people’s lives. We can never forget that at the end of the day, ministry is about people.
• Kids amaze me! They have joy that is unleashed and they have energy that is unmatched.
• God is better to me than I deserve.

Monday, December 14, 2009


I have been learning a ton about who God is and how amazing he is to love us the way he does. Over the last few weeks we have seen so many new people come to know Christ. They have been people who have had religious backgrounds, but never relationship with Christ. They have been people who had no idea about church or religious life, and have been looking to fill a hole in the center of their life. They have been people who are at the end of their rope and felt like there was no hope. And then Jesus showed up in their life.

What has been so amazing to me is the fact that there are some people who I have talked to recently who recognize their sincere need for God and who are unwilling to make the decision to follow him. I met with someone who told me that he knew he needed to simply make a choice for Jesus but that he did not want to now. I spent a couple of hours with this man clearly explaining the gospel and offering him a chance to make a decision to follow Christ. His response was, “I know I should, I just don’t think I want to.”

On the other side of the coin I met with a man the day before my last meeting who had just made a decision for Christ. He sat in my office and wanted to know how to make his life count for the next twenty years or however long he may live. He wanted to be a better husband, father and spiritual leader. He accepted my offer to be in a mens group to look at those very issues.

In our life we make choices every day. Some choices are for small, insignificant things. Others are for giant life altering decisions. But every day we are faced with a choice. What choices are you going to make today?

The prophets and leaders in scripture made it very clear that all humanity must choose. Joshua challenged the nation of Israel to choose which God they would serve. Elijah challenged the nation to choose between God and Baal. Jesus himself noted that all men must make a choice of which path to follow in their lives.

Today, what choice will you make that will impact eternity?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Covenant

The overall theme of my message yesterday on “Christmas Covenant” is that God’s promises are eternal and he always keeps his promises. Sometimes it is incredibly difficult for us to see how God is doing that, but other times it is obvious.

This morning as I walked through the buildings at LifeQuest simple things caught my eye and reminded me of God’s grace. Decorations that are showing up in our building to brighten the place for Christmas represent people who have a desire to serve and use their gifts of hospitality. A Christmas tree in our children’s ministry area reminds me that generations may be affected by the lessons taught today to children. The lights of Christmas and a tree made of hand prints in our pre-school area remind me that there are teachers in with children who are passionate about helping little ones know that Christmas is not about Santa but about Jesus.

As I reflect on all the events that are surrounding this season of the year at LifeQuest, I am reminded of the message of the events. Any organization can have a Christmas party. Any group can get together for a good time. But the call of the church is to proclaim the arrival of Jesus, the death of Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus and the hope of Jesus in the lives of the hopeless.

In remembering those simple attitudes and callings, I am reminded that it is through the faithfulness of God and the love he has for each of us that we are able to be a part of a greater story. We get to be the ones who see God move and change and shape our lives in unique and powerful ways.

In the midst of the hustle and bustle of Christmas we must never forget the concept that at the heart of Christmas is the heart of humanity. It is described in scripture as being dark and wicked. However when our heart collides with the eternal heart of God, we are forever changed. That is the message of Christmas.