This Is Discipleship

“This video is designed to inspire epiphanies about the purpose of church. We are commissioned to make disciples; this video shows how discipleship can be simple. It also shows how we sometimes can be distracted and overwhelmed by things that aren’t necessary for discipleship.”

How To Fit Mission Into Your Schedule

I’m Gonna Start A Church. That’s Just Plain Crazy!

The more I think about starting a church, the more I get freaked out. I mean who am I to think I could be a lead pastor. Who am I to think someone wants to hear what I have to say about Jesus? Who am I to bring people together to form a community? Who am I to pray for people when I myself am pretty jacked up? Why does God favor me to do such a thing? I confounds me. It blows my mind. It makes me nervous. It’s a crazy thought; pastor a church, lead a community, start an ekklesia.

Everyday that I draw closer to starting a new christian community, I wonder can I do it. Do I have the experience? Am I capable? Why in the world do I think this is possible?

Let’s for a moment throw out the God factor. We all know we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. I don’t discount the God mobility factor.

But tangibly, physically leading a church sounds overwhelming. It feels impossible. As days pass, I think I’m one step closer to starting a church. That’s a brain full when I think I’ve just always not been that guy.

As I type this, I’m just shaking my head. Really God, who am I? I’m just crazy enough to think I have enough experience to begin but do I have the experience to sustain.

Then the thought crosses my mind.

You’ll always only be prepared enough to think you can do it and never prepared enough to sustain it. Go ahead and jump in.


10.5.14 Worship Rewind

Worship Rewind 2013

  • Unchanged – Chris Tomlin
  • Lord of All – Kristian Stanfill
  • In Christ Alone – Stuart Townend

Another great day at GraceLife.  I alway look forward to hanging out with my church family. Truth be told there are days I don’t want to get out of bed. Especially when it’s raining or the weather has turned cold but I know that hanging out with my church family as we worship God together has the tendency to restore my soul and refresh me for the week.

As I write this, I am aware that I may not have many Worship Rewinds left as they traditionally have been. I have been writing these for years about the songs we sing and how the song service went but my transition from worship pastor to teaching pastor will soon come and the direction and layout will turn from songs to scripture. I look forward to the change but I also will miss the blessing of looking back through the years to see what songs were sung, the notes I have made on mishaps and musings as well as simply having a history of leading songs. That will soon come to pass and a new direction will take hold where I can then look back and see new work my family and I have begun.

With that being said, today was simply awesome. We sang a few songs, had communion and Pastor Carlo started a new series called Sola that simply rocked. I took away a few nuggets from today’s message.

I started the morning off with Unchanged. Nothing new or weird about this song. It sounded great. The worship team was really on key today and everyone sounded amazing.

After welcome, Tony led us in Lord of All. We “ping-ponged” the vocals. He sang the verses and chorus and I sang the pre-chorus and bridge. It was really cool and sounded great.

After Lord of All, the band sat down and I led the church in Communion. I really enjoying doing this. I remember the first time I got to lead the church in communion and I was scared to death. Now, it’s easy and not so nerve wrecking and I look forward to every opportunity.

After communion, we sang one more song. I led solo on guitar In Christ Alone. Our message today was Solus Christus, Christ Alone. I thought it was fitting to sing this song even though we have never done so before at GraceLife. Again, it was a fabulous day. After church, one of my friends took my wife, my son and I out for lunch. We decided to extend National Taco Day to today and continue the celebration.

Why You Shouldn’t Care About Other’s Opinion

I have a client who is also a friend. We have been working together just over a year now and we have been through so much. When I met him, he was homeless and hopeless. He had spent the last five years on the streets living under a local church’s carport. He went to the local shelter to wash his clothes, take a shower and eat breakfast and lunch. Before that, he spent fifteen years in jail because his niece got mad at him, concocted a lie and turned him in for touching her. He spent 20 years in Hell because of a lie. I could say that we all spend time in Hell because of the lie that we can’t be loved by God but that’s for another post.

Fast forward to today and after a year’s worth of working with him, he finally has insurance, disability and works 20 hours a week at a local business. He hurts a lot because he has a lot of physical pan. He is emotionally scarred. He has trouble trusting anyone and has trouble sleeping in part because of PTSD. He is depressed most days because he’s a shell of who he used to be and he can’t come to grips that he’s not who he used to be. He sheds a lot of tears because even though he is making strides to live a better life, he’s still pretty jacked up.

What compounds these efforts of succeeding in life is having folks tell him that he will never be good enough. He tells me that he has folks telling him to get a real job. Not only does he beat himself up, he has others giving him the club or using the club themselves to knock him down. Looking up is hard to do because he feels every time he does, he gets crap thrown in his eyes from those higher on the success ladder.

I talked with him yesterday. He was feeling down but he assured me that no matter the depths he falls into he knows Jesus still loves and cares for him. This was so good to hear that he hasn’t given up on at least the one person who will never give up on him.

I told him to hang in there and keep one thing in  mind. God’s opinion of him is the only opinion he should be concerned with. I told him I live by a motto: I would care more if I valued your opinion more. I told him not to value the opinions of those who don’t know him. God knows him and calls him by name. He knows every hair (what little there is now) on his head. God knows so much about him but these others who tear him down have no clue what he’s been through.

We shouldn’t value the opinion of those who don’t know what we are going though or what we have been through. We could easily let their voices ruin us, tear us down, rip us apart and render us useless in life. If we want to succeed in life, we need to listen to those who are in our life, know our hearts and have been given authority to speak.

I had a friend once that would tell me when I said something he disagreed with that he didn’t accept that and if he did agree, he accepted that word into his life. Why? Because words are powerful. We have the choice to let them build us up or tear us down. It just depends on how much weight we give to them.

So for those who have not been given authority to speak in your life, do not give value to their opinion. You will have less stress in your life. Give weight to opinions of those who matter to you and your life. I would advise to first, give weight to God’s words then those you love most. But if you continue giving weight to those who are only out to tear you down, you will never succeed.

Being controlled by the opinions of others is a guaranteed way to miss God’s purpose for your life! -Rick Warren

Innovation and Attitude Change

Last night, I was bathing my four year old when he looked at me with a sad face. He didn’t want to admit that he broke his toy. He does think though that if anything breaks, you can slap some glue on it and fix it. The final analysis proved that glue would not bring his toy motorcycle back to life. He had broken the pin that held the front wheel and handle bars to the body of the bike.

As I explained to him that glue would not help his broken toy, he stared at his broken fun and fell silent. His broken toy broke my heart. It then came to me. Sure, he no longer had a motorcycle but what he did have was a unicycle. I asked him to hand me the rest of the broken motorcycle and I laid it to the side and explained to him out of this broken toy, he now has a new toy.

I dried him off and I grabbed my iPad and quickly opened my YouTube app. I searched frantically praying and hoping that what I was about to show him would satisfy him and excite him for his new toy. I found some cool unicycle freestyle videos and presented them to him. His eyes lit up and he sat still soaking in what he was watching grasping his “new” toy trying to imagine it being able to do the same as what he was seeing in the videos.

He then looked at me and held up his toy saying, “Look Daddy, a unicycle.”

He got it!

Imagine what life would be if we had this same attitude. The broken things in our life can be redeemed to bring us new and different joys. Is there something in your life that you have chalked up as broken and unfixable; marriage, church, work, sports team, family, vehicle, your heart, emotions, life? How can you come from a new angle and find a redeemable quality? It won’t be the same as it was and I would argue it shouldn’t be. To be made new is to bring a freshness, a newness that creates an alteration of attitude.

The greatest redemption ever performed was by Jesus. Jesus exemplified this by taking our broken lives and making them new (2 Corinthians 5:17). This newness brings a new attitude, a freshness of life. Finding redeeming qualities can be life changing.

How can you change your life today?

Oh, and for your entertainment, dig this!





9.28.14 Worship Rewind

Worship Rewind 2013

  • When I Think About the Lord – Shane and Shane
  • God Is Able – Hillsong
  • I Stand Amazed – Chris Tomlin
  • There Is None Like You – Lenny Leblanc

Awesome day today. We had guest speaker Clem Ferris in town today. He spoke on the Holy Spirit’s role in mission using Acts 10:38.

We haven’t sang When I Think in a while and I know now why I was impressed to put it into today’s set. It really went well with Clem’s message.

I had intended for Tony to lead a couple of songs today and asked him to sing the middle two songs. He did a great job leading us and allowed me to sing BGV or play a little on the guitar. I had a lot of fun doing that. It’s my bread and butter I think.

We then wrapped it up with the chorus of There Is None Like You. I have been playing this song for years and absolutely love the simplicity of the song as well as the message. During the song, I felt we needed to individually pray so I encouraged everyone to open p their hearts and thank God for whatever they needed to thank him for or ask for faith in areas they need more faith. I thought this also played well into Clem’s message of the Holy Spirit and the power we receive from Him.

Now, two things I’m concerned about today. The Cardinals clenching the Central Division and my homework. It will be a loaded day of busyness.


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