Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My parents are together at peace

I'm still processing through all this so I don't have much to say, but I at least wanted to post my Dad's obituary. It's been a tough year for the Stokes family. Please keep us in your prayers.

Stokes, George Hingely, passed away at 11:45 p.m. on Dec 9, 2007 at Memorial Medical Center due to heart, abdominal and liver complications. Born on Sept 1, 1946, George grew up in East Rutherford, NJ. In 1966, he flew to England and purchased his dream car, an E-Type Jaguar. After touring Europe, he attended NYU and later fulfilled his dreams by marrying Suzanne Eberle, moving to the California beach and having 4 children, Tod, Kara, Luke, and Christian. As president and chairman of the board for the Association of Surfing Professionals, George traveled the world and surfed the best breaks it has to offer. Considered by many a master of all trades, he started Stokes-Spokes bicycle shop as well as Innovative Data Processing, where he did computer consulting for organizations like Cal-Tech and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Along with surfing, cycling and music, he loved sailing his boat "Adventures" to Catalina and beyond. Predeceased by his wife of 37 years in August 2007; survived by his children; grandson, Kelty, and sister, Ann Stokes-Neff of Monroeville, NJ. Services to be held at Hope Chapel Huntington Beach on Saturday Dec 22 at 1 p.m., 714-536-1614. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory can be made to Upper Room Ministries 5081 Roxborough Dr., Placentia, CA 92870.

Published in the Orange County Register on 12/18/2007.

Today's post in the Register

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Change of Employment

Over three months ago, C and I attended Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University DVD re-shoot. Sitting in as the studio audience, we took the whole 13 week course in 9 nights. It was kind of like drinking from the fire hose.

Since that time, God has been opening doors and kicking me through them. My friend Brett K. started working there and has been telling me all about it for months. What started as a lunch to talk about FoxyCart, turned into a series of interviews. Having started with Every Nation Ministries over 6 years ago straight out of college, it was not an easy decision to make. I got advice from a lot of people I respect, prayed, fasted, and listened. In the end, the decision was made clear.

My last day as a full time employee of Every Nation is November 9th. I'm taking a position at Dave Ramsey as a web developer that will give me the opportunity to learn from an enterprise level development team (over 18 people with 12 more on the way). I'm super excited about what they are accomplishing and feel so blessed that I can be a part of it. I'm also already seeing how much change is going to come about in my character. I believe God is going to stretch me in really, really good ways.

The downside, or course, is leaving this organization that I love so much. After my junior year in college, Every Nation Ministries (Victory Campus at the time) introduced me to the concept of discipleship. For the first time in my life I was reading my Bible consistently and getting victory over sin. The relationships around me were drawing me closer to God instead of pulling me away. I started to see God's purpose for my life unfold.

I'll never forget how blessed I've been to serve so many incredible missionaries all over the world. I know I have friendships on every continent and will work at keeping those relationships connected. I'm also going to be available as a consultant for Every Nation to help fulfill our goal to reach every nation with the good news of Jesus Christ.

It's a big change, but I'm super excited about it. It's been so encouraging to hear many of my friends and coworkers share that excitement with me. Thank you all so much for supporting me in the next stage of my life.

Let the adventure continue!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Pictures from the memorial

My sister posted some pictures from the memorial service and scattering ceremony. It's been a few weeks now and God's peace still surpasses all understanding... I am so glad mom is in a better place. Keith Green said it best... Built in 6 days, this place is a trash can compared to what God has been working on in heaven since before time began.

The pics are over at shutterfly.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

FoxyCart.com had a good day

Yesterday was really exciting. One of our favorite companies, Campaign Monitor, blogged about us today. Their clients include Apple, Nike, McDonalds, Ebay, Yahoo... etc.

Check it out. They even called us "awesome."

Super stoked.

We, of course, had to respond.

I feel so validated. The last 2 years of work might actually have been worth it after all... Now all we need is a couple thousand paying customers.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

God Gives Good Gifts

Trust in the LORD and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the LORD;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
- Psalm 37:3-5

God spoke to me through this verse when he confirmed Corinne as my wife. He's a loving father who delights in giving His children good gifts.

Since Corinne and I moved to TN, I've been wanting to plant a peach tree. I grew up with one and have the fondest memories of the juiciest fruit you can imagine. As I've been looking into this, we also started doing Dave Ramsey's baby steps (you can listen to him online as well, I highly recommend it). I couldn't justify the expense, but I also wanted to get something in the ground quickly so I could enjoy the fruit within a few years (the cheapest trees are really young).

Here's where God comes into the story... Some friends in our life group overheard me talking about my desire for a peach tree and the timing was perfect. They had a friend with a tree they were trying to get rid of. I called them up, worked out the details and ended up with a beautiful tree that I dug out of the ground and planted just last night. Check it out:

God knows about even our smallest desires and delights in blessing us as we serve Him. I could almost see his smile this morning as I took this picture.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Some thoughts shared at mom's funeral

I have no intention of converting this blog (if you could call it that) into a memorial site, but I do want to share what's in my head. It's nice to have some thoughts in one place so I can refer to them later.

Any way, here's what I shared at mom's funeral. It was a great time, a worship service, just like she wanted it to be.


The verse in your program (Ephesians 4:16) is one that mom and I talked about often. She was always the most alive, the most full of joy and hope, when she was discussing the church and what God was doing in the earth. She strived to help each individual part find its proper working through healing and love. We spent many hours long into the night talking about the church, ministry and her love for Jesus. She laid the foundation for my understanding of God’s truth.

She also literally taught me everything I know. Through years of home schooling, she taught me how to learn, how to seek wisdom and knowledge and how to appreciate the importance of both. Through her work, I was able to attend an Ivy League university, which I hope highlighted and honored the time she invested in my schooling.

One of my strongest memories of mom was while attending UPENN in February 2001. I had just returned from a conference in North Carolina with thousands of college students seeking God and called home to tell her all about it. She shared with me the news about her first cancer diagnosis. I can remember crying and wanting to quit school to come home and be with her. I’ll never forget what she told me. She said, no matter what happens, don’t stop doing the work God has called you to. At the time, I had started a small Bible study on campus and during the conference I felt called into the full time ministry. She convinced me of her passion and devotion to doing the things God has destined each of us to accomplish. I knew in that moment, she would beat the cancer and she did. The last 6 years we've had together have been wonderful, sharing our ministry experiences, having her meet my wife, seeing her become grandma Sue.

Even at a young age as "her little lukie", I always knew that my mom loved me and was proud of me. It was a love that I never had to earn or question, it was just always there, overflowing towards me.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sue Stokes: Jan. 5, 1948 - Aug. 28, 2007

I wanted to share my mom's obituary notice. I hope it gives you a small glimpse into how wonderful she was. I haven't blogged much in the past few months... but I'm going to start again soon.



It's almost impossible to describe and value a person's life in just a few words, but Suzanne Eberle Stokes' life was, more than anything, dedicated to her faith in Christ and ministering to people through prayer. Born on Jan. 5, 1948, in Staten Island, NY, to Sarajane "Jane" Eberle and Richard "Buz" Eberle, she was one of five siblings. In 1969 she married George H. Stokes and moved to Huntington Beach, CA, where their four children were born. She became a Christian during her "hippy days" as she called them and from then on dedicated her life to church ministry and prayer. During the last few years, her greatest wish was to become a grandma, which happened earlier this year with the birth of Kelty Liam. She went home to be with the Lord on August 28, 2007, at age 59, surrounded by her husband, George; sister, Betsy; children Tod, Kara, Luke and Christian; and grandson Kelty. She will be missed by her family, parents, siblings (Bill, Betsy, Deya and John) and the many friends and lives she touched. A service will be held at Vineyard Anaheim at 2 p.m. Saturday, September 8. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Upper Room Ministries, 5081 Roxborough Drive, Placentia, CA 92870.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

She's at peace

My mom, Suzanne Stokes, went home to be with Jesus today at 11am. It was a great moment with her whole family around her. I was so blessed to know that she waited for me to get back here. When I saw her yesterday, she gave me a big smile.

Some of her last words were "Praise God."

I never knew the passing of life could be so peaceful. All of us are joyful that she's no longer fighting a loosing battle with cancer, no longer fighting the pain and nausea. She's dancing in heaven and the whole family has great peace.

I'm sure I'll blog more in the future about all the things my mom has meant to me and everything I've learned about God and his ways over the past few months.

One thing I do know, this verse is truth. Real truth.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
- Romans 8:28

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Spending some time at home

So I'm going to be hopping on a plane in a few hours to spend some time with my mom. Thank you all for your prayers and thoughts for her and my family. She's been feeling pretty good lately and we're all happy for the time we have with her.

If you think of it, send Corinne a text next week and see if she wants to hang out. I won't be around to keep her entertained. Thanks. :)

Remember, your family is more important than many other things you spend time on every day. If it's been a while since you called your folks or talked with your siblings about their lives, spend a moment and do it right now. Long term, your family will always be there.

Much love.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Focus on the real

Please, focus on the real. Family, relationships, connecting your spirit with others and with God... everything else easily becomes a distraction.

I like distractions, just ask my wife. I work hard, I relax harder. I've spent entire Saturdays in front of the TV "chillaxing." I've worked on a side project till after midnight every night of the week (after pulling an 8 hour day "at work") for weeks at a time. I've been busy.

I got a phone call on Tuesday that changed everything.

For context, please read this post and my comment to it:

Even if He does not...

Don't wait for a phone call. Focus on the real.

Please pray for my family and for my mother, Sue.

Thank you.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Luke as an M&M...

I found this on Lynn's Multiply site and just had to give it a try. Too funny... check it out for yourself at http://www.becomeanmm.com/. Great marketing idea. So, what do you think of my sexy legs?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Nashville Auto Show

Yesterday Corinne and I went to the Nashville Auto Show. We did this for a couple reasons: LA's auto show was incredible and we really enjoyed it a few years ago, and because I wanted to make sure my wife remembers who I am. I've been working a TON lately and she's been super gracious.

Here are some pics from my phone:

This was probably my favorite car there. It's a concept car that I may have seen at the LA Auto show or on the mini series "Future Car" which was really awesome, by the way.

Here's another concept car that made me think of Dave Spring and his mountain biking... It looks pretty cool when you have a couple bikes strapped to the back. Without them though, it has these two really stupid looking wings that make you think, "huh?".

Maserati anyone?

Or how about an Austin Martin?

I thought Ferrarri's were supposed to be red...

Don't ask... it's some promotion a bank is doing. Later when we scratched off our game pieces to enter our code on their website, we noticed we had the same code. Guess there's no need to enter it on the website.

So that was our auto show in a nutshell. We weren't too impressed. They only had a few interesting cars (those seen here), and the rest of it was pretty boring. Not all of the companies were represented (Honda? Mitsubishi? Hello...?), and it was a rather small setup in general.

One thing we enjoyed checking out was the new Hybrids. The Toyata Highlander caught our eye because it had really good gas milage and the rear storage compartment actually opens up to add two more back seats. Very cool. When we start a family, there's no way we're buying a minivan. We get by pretty goood with one car right now, but eventually we'll need something bigger and checking out the new cars now will line us up perfectly to get them a few years old. No sense driving off the lot with a brand new car and loosing a bunch of the resale value in one moment. 2-4 years old, that's the ticket.

Either way, we had a good time and it was an excuse to get out of the house. I've been working too much lately for sure... but it's all about the long term results.

Hope you enjoyed the pics.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

On Love and Relationships

My wife and I are blessed to have financial supporters who enable us to work in ministry. To keep them updated on the work we do, we send out a monthly newsletters... I really liked our last one from February (Valentine's Day) and thought I'd share it here. Hope you enjoy it!

In honor of this celebration of love, we’re dedicating this newsletter to love and relationships.

We really have a heart to minister to couples, particularly newlywed or engaged couples. God has opened doors for us to minister to several different couples at various relationship stages. We have thoroughly enjoyed it, and it has been very fruitful. One of the pastors in our ministry has also been talking with us about taking this further so we can help more people.

Although we’ve only been married for three years, we’ve learned a lot in that time and have had a lot of outside input into our relationship from people with great wisdom and years of experience. We’d love to pass along whatever we can to others.

Some of the recurring themes that have come up as we talk with couples are:

EXPECTATIONS: In any relationship, you have expectations about the relationship and how the other person should act. Many times, particularly with young couples, those expectations are not communicated. They may even be subconscious, based on things you’ve seen in your parents’ relationship. If the other person doesn’t know your expectations, how can they meet them? For example, the husband may expect some “down time” when he gets home from work, but the wife doesn’t realize this and tries to engage him. Conflict arises. This leads to the second theme:

COMMUNICATION: Communication is absolutely key…whether discussing expectations you have of one another, resolving conflicts you’ve fallen into, or telling each other how you feel about things. Getting things “out on the table“ is extremely important for a healthy relationship. We discovered very early in our relationship that our communication styles were completely opposite. Luke talked a lot while Corinne listened a lot and asked questions to get more information. This led to one-sided conversations. Luke has since learned to talk less and ask more questions to engage the other person. Corinne has learned to voice her thoughts.

MEN VS. WOMEN: As the saying goes, “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus.” We are just wired differently from one another. The things that most women think are “givens” in a relationship, most men are oblivious to….and vice versa. We have to recognize that, figure out what those differences are and communicate with one another in light of those differences.

LOVE LANGUAGES: Everyone has their own love language, the thing that best communicates love to them and that they use to show love to others: words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service or physical touch. Learn your spouse’s primary love language and show your love to him/her in that language. Be aware of your own love language and communicate to your spouse how he/she can best express love to you.

Thank you for loving us through your prayers and support!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

New Sculpture at the Globe

(mobile blog)
David Rahm just introduced this incredible sculpture to our church at the Globe this morning. It's such a powerful image with each piece representing one of the many souls Christ saved through His sacrifice. Thank you Lord for your sacrifice and for people like David who you've gifted with talents to create works like this.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Notes from 8/11/2000-8/12/2000

Don't mind me... I'm just putting some of my notes online.

"The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh- Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the desert in distant places. For all these nations are really uncircumcised, and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart."

- Jeremiah 9:25-26
The position of your heart is all that matters, outward sings mean nothing.

I love verses like this that seem to go against the "traditional" old testiment teachings but instead focus on the heart.

On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
- Acts 1:4-5

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
- Acts 1:8

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Utterly amazed, they asked: "Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!" Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, "What does this mean?" Some, however, made fun of them and said, "They have had too much wine."
- Acts 2:4-13

Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.
- Acts 2:33

It's interesting that I'm reading through these notes now since Every Nation recently updated our statement of faith to include "We believe... In the baptism with the Holy Spirit and in the exercise of spiritual gifts."

I still don't understand why these things are so controversial when there is so much scripture surrounding it.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Billy... Joel?

(mobile blog)
So my good buddy Ermin apparently won some tickets to a concert tonight. Being the devoted choir member he is, not wanting to miss a practice, he gave us the tickets. I think I would have sold them on Ebay personally...

So anyway, here's a shot of the arena and my first concert at the Gaylord Entertainment Center. Hopefully it'll be a good one.

Thanks Ermin!

Notes from 7/28/2000-8/7/2000

"Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."
2 Corinthians 6:17-18

This was one of the defining scriptures of my life during this time. I was letting go of drinking and lust and so many other things.

In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, "This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover." Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, "Remember, O LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes." And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Then the word of the LORD came to Isaiah: "Go and tell Hezekiah, 'This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city.

- Isaiah 38:1-6
God changes his mind about Hezekiah's death.

I've been thinking about freewill and predestination quite a bit lately. I think it has something to do with my older brother of 34 years recently getting radically saved. I wonder why now? All those years of praying and believing, everything he went through before this... it almost seemed scripted out. Talking to him about it last night, he said he firmly believes in predestination and described it as being in an orchestra. When it comes time to play, you can either play along with everyone else and receive the reward due the band when the song is done or you can play your own song. Did God plan on saving Hezekiah so he sent Isaiah to get him praying?

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
- Isaiah 55:8-9
This verse is key for me right now. I need this verse to guide every step I take and everything I do or understand. So many things happen in ways that I wouldn't plan or hope for... but God's ways are better than my pitiful "logic."

I had a piece of paper with this verse on it that I used as a bookmark in my Bible for years. This really is a wonderful verse that humbles us and comforts us at the same time.

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

- Isaiah 64:6
Sin blows you away from God. Even the "righteous" things you do will be considered dirty.

This is one that every Christ follower needs to be reminded of. It's so easy to slip into a performance mentality and treat God like men, if we just do x, y and z... He'll overlook a, b and c. It just doesn't work that way. He forgives us every time, but we do have to confess and give him our sin.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Notes from 7/20/2000-7/28/2000

More notes from the notebooks. Am I the only one with tons of notebooks? Why take notes on Sunday/Wednesday/Whenever if you never look at them again?

Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he?
-Isaiah 2:22
Don't follow man

Seemed like a funny note. Simple. Straight forward. Not too many classifiers. I guess today I'd want to add to that a bit and say instead of "following" a man, walk with someone who's godly council you respect, who's life you want to imitate, who shares their triumphs and their failures and who passionately loves the Lord. Why is it so much easier to follow someone else's vision that to get one from God ourselves?

What will you do on the day of reckoning, when disaster comes from afar? To whom will you run for help? Where will you leave your riches? Nothing will remain but to cringe among the captives or fall among the slain...
-Isaiah 10:3-4a
Judgement day

The old fire and brimstone preach... For some reason this jumped out at me. Maybe because it's such a visual picture or maybe because so much of the world works so hard for those riches.

...and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
-Isaiah 11:3-5
...fear of the Lord, speaking out in righteousness and faith. Speaking powerfully but wisely and correctly. This is the cry of my heart.

It's good to remind myself of how exciting it can be to speak what God gives you to speak. The last semester of my senior year I felt led to start a Bible study. I called it "Unplugged" and made a lot of references to the Matrix... all in all, it was a pretty awesome time. I never had more than 15 people show up and I'll never really know if God used those times to make a lasting difference in someone's life... Though a lot of hands got raised :) It's always exciting to share the fire and the passion God gives us.

Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith. You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.
- Isaiah 26:2-4
The rightous who stand firm in faith will have perfect peace.

I wonder about that note... was I naive to say that? Maybe I was just too young to really understand how crazy life can get? But then again... During that time in my life, I went through some crazy things. Not long after this, my mom got cancer (God took care of that). My college "pole vaulting career" ended with a broken bone in my back; this after a torn abb muscle the year before... Life threw me some curve balls but I truly did have perfect peace. It's all about the Spirit doing His thing.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Notes from 7/12/2000-7/18/2000

As stated previously, I'm going through my stack of old notebooks to remind myself of various scriptures/notes and what they meant to me at the time. I doubt anyone will find this useful other than myself, but at least I don't have to go into the attic the next time I want to find this stuff. I'm trying to widdle it down to just the things that jump out at me.

One of the greatest strengths of a leader is the ability to encourage themselves.
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.
- Proverbs 3:7
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
Proverbs 11:2
Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
- Proverbs 12:18

All things I definitely still need to work on...

All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.
- Proverbs 14:23

That last one is a good reminder for me right now. One of my goals in life is to start a few side companies so that one day I can do ministry work without having to worry about a salary or ministry support. One of the projects I'm involved with on the weekends and at night is foxycart.com. I've been working on it with a friend for over 6 months. In the beginning it was easy to talk about the project... but actually doing it is a pain.

He who answers before listening -- that is his folly and his shame.
- Proverbs 18:13
LISTEN, don't speak. Even if you are right or have a contradicting statement to make.

This one is still hard for me... but my wife helps me. Lord thank you for this reminder of things you want to change in me.

A hot-tempered man must pay the penalty; if you rescue him, you will have to do it again.
- Proverbs 19:19
Sometimes I need to let people make their own mistakes.
Rich and poor have this in common, the Lord is the maker of them both.
- Proverbs 22:2
Don't even think for a second that one is better than the other.
If you say, "But we knew nothing about this," does not he who weights the heart perceive it? Does not he who gaurds your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?
- Proverbs 24:12
For those who ask about people who never get a chance to hear the good news.
Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;
- 1 Peter 1:13-15
God's commands turn into promises when there is grace. "You shall not..." is a promise made true through grace.

Huge. So many people bound by lust and sin... completely enslaved. Lord help me share the promise of freedom, not the words of law.

He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in widsom is kept safe.
- Proverbs 28:26
Don't trust in yourself.
Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.
- Ecclesiastes 5:10
Money never satisfies.
The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.
- Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Sunday, February 18, 2007

My first mobile blog!

Ok... So I'm getting into this blogging thing and need to come out of the stone age and look for the bleeding edge. I'm the IT Guy after all, I can't be anywhere else. I'm still a n00b when it comes to blogging, but at least I can now say that I've sent a blog message from my phone.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

God Notes: 6 years of sunday/wednesday/early morning notebooks

Before I started using my Treo to take notes, I used to drag a notebook to church or to Bible study or to wherever I happened to be reading my Bible that day. Over the years I've collected a lot of notebooks!

If I'm honest with myself, reading the Bible hasn't been super exciting lately... so to change things up, I went into the attic and found all my old notebooks which you see here. I'm going to start reading through them and reminding myself of the things God has spoken to me. What has He encouraged me with in the past? What has He asked me to change or to do and have I changed or done it?

I'm hoping to have an awesome journey where I remind myself of how far I've come and how much God has shown me. I'm going to post on this blog anything that I find interesting and that I don't want to have to climb into the attic sometime in the future to find again.

The first entry in the first notebook I kept:

It Begins...
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever
- Psalm 73:26

If I just thought of one verse all day, this would be enough.

If my people would but listen to me, if Israel would follow my ways, how quickly would I subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes!
- Psalm 81:13,14

Reading this now makes me think of Iraq. Does democracy even work in a culture without Christian foundations, love thy neighbor as thyself and all that? Is the United States a country that deserves to be blessed by God and have her enemies subdued?

Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
- Psalm 84:10
The worst of God's presence is better than anything the world has. Why do you doubt it over and over even though it always gets proven true?

I know this is always true... so why is it so difficult to "put time aside" to hang out with the creator of the universe?

My Problem (today)
I am quick to speak what I feel in my heart without first thinking and praying. I destroy people and cut them down in my foolish words; coming off as proud and conceited.
I hate and despise this, nailing it to the cross.
My Solutions
  • FIRST, pray listen and wait. It's all about God's timing (he sure as hell doesn't need me)

  • You may not have to say or do anything at all but pray. NOTHING but pray. (this is hard for me to live)

  • If and ONLY IF it is confirmed through prayer that I am to act, I must do so through love, not just truth.

Well... I definitely still have this problem. Though my wife has helped me a lot in that area. Maybe that's why I'm going through my old notebooks. I need to stay focused on the things God has already empowered me to change.

People should never hear God from you until they see God in you.

Good quote.

To all perfection I see a limit; but your commands are boundless.
- Psalm 119:96
Serving God is the only true perfection, everything else never satisfies past a limit.

Yes! I'm so glad I found this one. I remember this verse hitting me like a ton of bricks. Why did Michael Jordan and Kelly Slater take up golf? They were arguably the greatest athletes their sport has ever seen. They just got bored. Being the best in the world at something still leaves you wanting more. Only doing the thing your Father in heaven created you to do will ever satisfy.

ok, ok... that's enough for today.

There's so much good stuff for me in these notebooks!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Dusting off the old blog...

Wow... I haven't been here in a while. The place hasn't changed much. Could use some furniture I guess.

I just got off the phone with Lynn Nawata (wait... it wasn't the phone, it was Skype... does that now count as the same thing?) in the Philippines and my boss Mark Mingus and we were talking about Every Nation and what we can do to get more information out to the world about the awesome things God is doing all over the place. Blogs are a good way to start.

My wife and I have been working for Every Nation for over 5 years in the corporate office both in LA and now here in Nashville. We love this ministry. Granted we've had our ups and downs, we've seen church leaders who've blown it, but who hasn't? What we've also seen is lives radically changed, people fired up about God actually learning for the first time that HE cares about our lives and has a plan for each of us.

"For I know the plans that I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope."
- Jeremiah 29:11

I grew up in a wonderful church, worship was awesome and I really felt the Holy Spirit move in my life... but I never read my Bible. I didn't have a foundation to stand on. When I went of college that lack of a foundation became clear. I was a pole vaulter, so I hung out with the track team. I starting drinking and dating around and basically wasting 3 years of my life.

When I got connected with Every Nation Campus Ministries (Victory Campus Ministries at the time), I got connected with a group of people that not only loved God, but actually were serious about serving him. They taught me how to read the Bible and I got to live in Christian community. I've come a LONG way since that first day showing up at a Bible study. I have Christ-influenced character that wasn't there before. I've read the Bible too many times to remember and I now know my Lord because I've read His Word for myself. I've got a long way to go, but I like the results so far...

Any way... I say "any way" a lot when I type. When I speak my wife has just recently begun reminding me I say "basically" a lot. It's funny now that I'm noticing it. I also like typing "..." Not really sure why... it just... works.

So this is me, dusting off the old Blog. Maybe I'll post something new now and again. One thing I'm really excited about is a new staff intranet that will hopefully be ready in the next month or so. Until then...