Filter Through Life


Happy Birthday
May 31, 2007, 6:38 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Today is my wife Cheri’s 26th birthday.  The world has been a better place the 26 years that she has been here.  My life has been enriched the 3 or so years I have known her.  Thank you God for my loving wife.  Without this woman I don’t know where I would be. 

Now stop reading this and pray for someone like her for yourself.

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A day to remember
May 29, 2007, 9:39 am
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Yesterday was Memorial Day.  I almost forgot.  I probably would have had I not had the day off.  I don’t remember seeing a lot of American flags out.  I don’t remember hearing any radio ads or seeing anything on the TV in remembrance of our fallen heroes.  As a matter of fact, it wasn’t until today that I really thought about how many men have given their lives for our freedom.

Thousands upon thousands of men have spilled their blood to keep this country free, to save us from tyranny, to save other countries from vicious and ruthless dictators.  We have a leader that is trying in the best way he knows how to protect the majority and keep the country he loves safe.  We don’t understand everything that is going on.  We surely don’t know everything that motivates President Bush.  We just know that he believes he is doing what is best for our country.  Thank God for that.  I believe in Mr. Bush.

But that is not what this post is about.  I want to thank every last soldier that has died for me and my freedom.  I want to thank every last soldier that is fighting for me now.  I will try to remember you always.  Not just on Memorial Day or the day after.

There is another man that we forget about that died for us.  He died for our freedom.  He died to free us from a tyrant.  We don’t understand the motivation behind some of the things that He may or may not do.  But I thank God for Jesus.  I thank you Jesus that you have set me saved me and set me free.  I want to remember you and what you have done for me everyday, not just on Sundays.



Planning a trip
May 25, 2007, 8:17 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

planner.jpgI hate planning.  I hate it because I am impulsive.  I hate it because I am not good at it.  Maybe that’s why I am in ministry.  God always seems to use the seemingly weak to do His will.  Think of all the “weak” people He used for great things.  King David.  Gideon.  Heck, He even used someone that was weak at being humane, let alone Christian, Saul, and turned him into probably the greatest Follower of Christ the world has ever seen, Paul.  So I guess He can use me to plan an event.

 

I am planning a youth retreat to Collide Festival in
Sherman, Texas.  If you don’t know what Collide is follow the link.  Anyway, I have but five people going on the trip and it seems a monumental task putting this thing together.

 

So I have to pray for grace.

 

Grace from God.

 

Grace from my wife.

 

Grace from my pastor.

 

Grace from myself.

 

Grace for the future. (Cause we are only going to get bigger)

 

You know, even God makes plans.  And thank Him for that.  I am glad He doesn’t fly by the seat of His pants with His hair on fire.  Nope, not our God.  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.  I love that scripture.  He has plans (plural) for me.  Not just one plan, lots of them.  Full of rich detail and wonders I can’t fathom yet.  Laid out over 20-10 years so far and for many more I hope.  So if plans aren’t too big or too small of a thing that my God finds it important to do it, maybe I should take a look into it.  Huh?



Transformers
May 23, 2007, 9:25 pm
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transformers.jpgTransform: 1) to change in form, appearance, or structure; metamorphose. 2) to change in condition, nature, or character; convert.

I am 100%, crazily anticipating the return of my beloved childhood heroes to the big screen.  Yes, I mean the Transformers in one of this summers biggest surefire blockbusters.  I really hope it’s good.  I have been waiting for years for this movie. 

The reason I even bring up the Transformers though is that I see a great parable in them.  You see, they are “robots in disguise”.  As cool as giant robots are, is there anything cooler than a giant robot that can transform into a big-rig truck or an F-14 fighter jet?  I submit that there is NOT!!  But, the parable I see is that we do the same thing.  When we give our lives to the Lord we are transformed.  We are a new creation in Christ.  We shouldn’t want to transform back into that old person we once were, right?  But I find that, not unlike the Transformers, in order to “fit in” at work or at school we might transform and become “Christians in disguise”.

I am sure Optimus Prime would have a difficult time building relationships as a giant robot, I mean dude looks intimidating, but if he had a God as big as ours I think he’d be alright.  And if Optimus, being the 35 feet tall robot that he is, can find a way to live life without transforming into his other self, we can do it too.

Did I say I am excited about the movie?

F.Y.I. The poster above is from the 1986 cartoon movie…which I still love.



Dumpster Diving
May 22, 2007, 9:14 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

dumpsterdiving.jpgWe have probably all done it.  It is the only thing we can do that God can’t.  Do you know what that is?  Living in the
Austin area, you have probably seen it done in the physical world too.  Dumpster Diving!  Heck, I have even done it in real life once or twice.  I was quite a bit younger, definitely dumber and I am sure there had to have been a good reason to do it at the time…I just can remember it now.  Now that I am older there is very little reason I would jump into a dumpster.  Whatever it was would have to be of great value.  Why?  Cause dumpsters are full or junk, trash, nasty stuff.  They smell bad.  You smell when you get out of it.  The only thing you can do is through your clothes in the wash and take a shower or you will remain funky.

 

We all have a personal dumpster.  I don’t like to even look in it but I find myself diving in every once in a while.  That is what God can’t do.  He can’t see our old junk.  If God is love, and He is, then He “keeps no record of wrongs.” (1 Corinthians 13:5)

 

Isaiah 59:1-2 tells us that we are separated from God because of our sin:

 

1Behold, the LORD’S hand is not so short
            That it cannot save;
            Nor is His ear so dull
            That it cannot hear.
            2But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,
And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear. 

How awful to be separated from God.  So much so, He has to hide His face from us.God cannot even look on us with our sin.  But the Lord said in Jeremiah 15:19 that “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me.” 

How interesting!  God tells us to repent.  Let’s look at the definition for repent.  Repent (as a verb) means to 1) turn away from sin or do penitence and 2) feel remorse for; feel sorry for; be contrite about.  God wants us to truly be sorry for the sins we have committed.  We can ask for forgiveness all day long and thank God He will forgive.  His greatest desire is for us to be sorry for it what we have done.   

What follows is equally important.  We must turn away from the sin.  We do this in two ways: 1) quit doing what we are repenting about and 2) quit dwelling on what we repented about.  God has forgiven us.  That old sin no longer exists to God.  He has “removed our sins as far as the east is from the west”. (Psalm 103:12)  He doesn’t throw it in a dumpster and keep it out back.  He certainly isn’t going diving in the dumpster if He did.  He’s God dude.  He wouldn’t do that.   

So I pose the question.  Why do we go dumpster diving?  Let’s discuss.



There…finally!
May 15, 2007, 5:06 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Alright, the last post was the one I was going to post Sunday.  Sorry for the delay.  Like I said, I am still trying to figure out this whole wordpress blog thing.



What a mother!
May 15, 2007, 5:04 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

baby-mom-tat.jpg 

(Me with my first tattoo…I heart Mom) 

 

It’s fitting that I try to start this up (again) on Mother’s Day.  My ministry started with my mother.  In the most literal sense I guess everyone’s did…at birth.  What I mean is something different.  My pastor Tony spoke about mothers today and how important they are to the world.  They are clearly very important to God.  He entrusted them to, well, mother us.  Seriously, if any of us dudes tried to carry a child for nine months, let alone birth one, we would probably want to die.  But mothers suck it up.  They fight through the pain so that they can raise a pain like me for 18+ years.  Those of you that know me know that my Mom got to have her little boys around for a bit longer than that.

Anyway, so Tony was talking about the time Jesus was preaching to the multitude and the disciples were bugging out because the people were getting hungry and no one but a little boy had any food.  All this kid had was 5 barley loaves and 2 fish, his lunch, how was this going to help?  Jesus doesn’t sweat it.  He steps up to the plate and hits it out of the park.  We all know what happened.  He starts breaking the bread and fish up and feeds the whole lot of them.  What’s more?  There is beaucoup (boo koo) leftovers.  One more reason to worship our Lord Jesus and one more reason to thank God for mothers.  Who do you think packed that boy’s lunch?  Dad?  Please.

So to all of you mothers out there, especially mine, happy Mother’s Day.  I know my Mom would readily she didn’t do everything right.  But she never beat us, even when we deserved it.  She sacrificed fancy cars, cable T.V., and even shoes so that my brother and I could have “cool” clothes and shoes.  Don’t worry folks, I think she has made up for the shoe sacrifice in recent years.  Thank you Mom for keeping me in church.  Thank you for always praying for me.  Thank you for believing in me.  Thank you for trusting God and never doubting that he would bring me home.  I love you. 

P.S.  Dad, you are pretty cool too.