Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Brett Favre Dilemma

20 Million Dollars....

Former Pro Wrestler and Now Christian Evangelist Ted Dibiase was known as the "Million Dollar Man." His tag line was "Every man has his price."

Brett Favre is currently facing the 20 million dollar question. According to several published reports, the Green Bay Packers have offered Brett $20 million dollars to stay retired. ESPN is reporting tonight that he is considering the offer. Essentially, it sounds like a personal service contract that Brett will be tied to the Packers for many years. He would appear at event representing the I'm sure he would've attended anyway. So, basically, it is 20 million to lose the media circus.

Does Brett accept the cash and not play the game he still wants to play? Does he say "no thanks" and force a trade or a release from Cheesehead land?

Do you have a price? Is there something that you would be willing to forfeit your relationship with God for?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wednesday Night Wow!

1. 20 total in CSI: Service tonight! CSI: is our student ministry. Pastor John and Rachel are doing an outstanding job. We finished up about 10 minutes before they did. The band was doing one final worship song and they were awesome. The best is yet to come from our students.

2. I also stuck my head into the kid's choir/drama group. They had a crowd in there. They were working on their new song. Their last performance was incredible. I set on the front row and cried. It was so moving. Lisa and Bill are doing a fantastic job. The best is yet to come from our kids.

3. Tonight, in the adult bible study, we talked about when good things happen to bad people. We had a great time of worship and prayer. On August 20th, we are going to begin a new Wednesday Night series on becoming a Contagious Christian. The best is yet to come for Cornerstone.

4. Tonight, I said goodbye to a new friend, Nacho. Nacho is a college student from Mexico. He has been in Atlanta this summer visiting relatives and working at Amigo Juan's. He is heading back to Mexico to continue his study. He is a medical student. Nacho has a great personality. He speaks some engish. He understands it more than he can speak it. He has been a regular on Sunday Nights and Wednesday Nights. I will miss Nacho. I can't wait for him to come back to Atlanta again.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Sasha!

Today, my love turned ____! :) We drove to Longview and had lunch at Luby's with her parents. Sasha's Birthday is probably the one day a year that I would agree to eat at that particular establishment. Then, we did a little shopping around Longview before heading back to put the girls down for naps. We watched the final episode of The Next Food Network Star. Tonight, we are heading to Texarkana to celebrate some more.

Sasha is a wonderful wife and mother. She is very dedicated to God, me, the girls, her job and the church. Sasha juggles quite a bit. She teaches 3rd grade at Atlanta Elementary. She oversees the Nursery and Kid's Church at Cornerstone. Plus, she makes time for me and the girls.

I am so proud of her. Sasha, I love you forever and always!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Youth Camp Report - Day 4

The last full day of camp was a blast. The service was even more incredible. The message was on preparing the way. Jason used the life of John the Baptist. He talked about the sacrifices that John the Baptist made to serve. He then challenged the students to reach the lost. The altars were full with students crying out to God. Many of our students were at the altar again.

At the conclusion of the altar time, we moved down to the lake area to observe communion as individual youth groups. Pastor John led this time for our group and it was very moving. After receiving communion, we had the kids share what God had done this week. Our students told how God set them free from past hurts, rededications, challenged to take their walk with God deeper, etc. Then, I had the students gather around Pastor John and Rachel and pray for them. We finish the time by joining hands and praying for our group.

I love camp. I'm praying that what happened here this week is the beginning of great things.

The Best Is Yet To Come

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Youth Camp Report - Day 3

Great services last night. The band started the night singing "I am free." At the conclusion of the worship set, the band sang an original song called "Portrait." It was written out of a missions trip to New Orleans to help Katrina victims. As the band sang the song, video of Speed The Light vehicles in action flashed on the screen. It was very moving. At the conclusion, an offering was received for Speed The Light. Speed The Light is the youth missions arm of the Assemblies of God. It provides transportation and communication for missionaries all around the world.

Last night's message was on being a community of compassion. Jason took us on a journey from Peter's denial to the day of Pentecost. He said that in the beginning that Peter was selfish. When he received the Holy Spirit, he became selfless. In fact, the whole early church did. Acts 2:44-45 (NIV) states "All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need."

Following the message, there was a call for salvation and a call to be filled or refilled with the Holy Spirit. The majority of our students went down. It was awesome to see them go after God.

It was another great night.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Youth Camp Report - Day 2

Yesterday was a great day! After my morning study time, I headed to lunch. After lunch, the students had a game time. I was able to jump in with the boys team for a game with fun noodles and a dodge ball. Lots of fun.

After team game time, it was free time. The guys go swimming while the girls are at the lake and then they switch after an hour. During Lake time, they have paint ball available. Several of us went and watched Pastor John in action. One of his hobbies is paint ball. He had the gear. He even at one point did a barrel roll.

After clean up time and dinner, it was time for service. The worship time was awesome. For me, one of the most powerful moment was when the worship leader stepped back from the mic and you can hear the voices of the packed house singing "How great is our God." The band was still playing, yet you could hear the singing over it. It was an authentic moment of worship.

The message last night was on God being our life coach. Jason Patterson led us through the story of Elijah and how God directed his steps. Even through the valley and mountain top experiences, God was still in control of Elijah's life. The altar time was incredible. Most of our students were in the altar. At the beginning of his message, Jason had challenged the students not to just sing songs that say things like "you're all I want" or "you're all I need", but to live our lives like we really mean what we are singing. He had two parts to the for kids that were going through valley times and another for those who were wanting to make the commitment to live their life fully committed to God where he is all they want or need. After an extended altar time, the worship band, Freely, concluded the time by singing two United Live songs "All I need is you" and "Fire Fall Down."

After service, I crashed the Youth Pastor's Fellowship. :) During the Snack Shack and Late Night time, the District Youth Department put on a fellowship to honor the Youth Pastors. The food was great.....especially the boneless Buffalo Wings.

The fellowship also consisted of an activity time. About 12 of us played FULL COURT basketball in the new Activity Center. It has been a couple of years since I've played basketball full court. I love basketball. I'm not any good, but I still love to play. It was a blast. I'm paying for it though today. I'm a little sore today.

Keep praying that this will be a significant week in the life of our students.

The Best Is Yet To Come

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Youth Camp Report

Greetings from Lakeview Camp in Maypearl. I love camp. It had a profound effect on my life as a teen and I've seen students completely changed by the power of God at camp over the years. I came to camp this week.

I stay in the lodge. I use the morning times (while the students and leaders are in separate meetings) to study, get ready for Sunday, check e-mail, etc. Then, in the afternoons, I'm with the students during the play times and I go to the services at night.

Last Night's service was amazing. Jason Patterson is the camp speaker. Typically on the first night of camp, you would hear a salvation/rededication type message. Last night was different. Jason talked about their being a need for the students to begin to discover God on their own. They needed to be able to have encounters with God on their own. He then told them that would be at the altar and gave them the anatomy of the altar. It was fantastic. At the end, he brought students forward that needed deliverance, salvation, etc. Half of our students responded. I was able to work my way through the crowd (There's over 900 here this week!) and find all of them to pray with them.

I will keep updating my blog with more camp reports throughout the week. Please pray for our students...Alexis, Brent, Coleman, Colton, Danielle, Destiny, Drew, John, Morgan and Tyler. Also, please pray for the leaders that came as well...Pastor John, Rachel and Amanda. I'd appreciate a few prayers as well. :)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Wii and More

1. A couple of weeks ago, I bought a Wii for the family.....o.k., it was for me. :) Tonight, Sasha, Mady and I played the bowling game. Mady, age 5, tore it up. She hit 4 strikes and even told us to watch her so that we could see how to do it. It was a blast.

2. Well, I spoke a little too soon on the mower. After putting the starter string back on, it cranked up and ran like a dream. I went to the church to mow the little bit of grass we had there. About halfway through the mowing, one of the wheels fell off. I put it back on.....cranked it up and started mowing again. 30 seconds later, it dies. I try multiple times to crank it up. I let it sit and then tried it again. Then, I broke the string again. I stopped by a local place to see what they thought was the problem and how much it would cost to fix. Well, the guy thought it was the carburator and it would cost more to fix than I wanted to pay. So, I decided to try and fix it on my own. I got it apart, but didn't really know what to do with it other than try and clean it. I stopped by Pastor John's house and he suggested a new spark plug. He looked at the carburator and said it was fine. So, I went and spent 7 bucks on a plug, plug wrench and some form-a-gasket. I put it all back together and it wouldn't crank. I pulled the spark plug out and it didn't appear to be getting any fire. I called Pastor John and he was near the house. So, he stopped by and checked it out. Within a few minutes, he had diagnosed the problem and a potential solution. It worked. After getting the engine back together, it started on the second pull. Sometimes, you have to call in reinforcements. Thanks Pastor John!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Doing What You Know To Do

Tonight, I had to fix my lawn mower. A couple of weeks ago, I yanked on the starter string and the whole string came out in my hand. I had considered taking it to someone who works on mowers to fix, but I decided to fix it myself. Thanks to step by step instructions available on the internet, I was able to accomplish the task.

It was frustrating to have this happen. Last the Spring..I had the same thing happen. I had taken it to a lawn mower shop and paid $15 to get it fixed. So, I really expected it to last longer than one season.

It was actually a blessing in disguise. I must confess that I can't remember the last time I checked the oil in the mower. While fixing it tonight, I discovered there wasn't any oil in the mower. I decided to check the air filter and it was gross. So, I went to Wal-mart and got a new air filter and put the correct amount of oil in. The mower started and runs like a dream. Thanks to a broken string, I was able to avoid having to buy a new mower.

When we don't do the things we know we are supposed to do, it can have a very bad outcome. You'd think that I'd learn my lesson after blowing an engine in my first car. When we don't do the little tasks like change the oil, air filters, etc. in our mowers and vehicles, the outcome can be devastating.

It is the same with God. Tonight, James 4:17 came to my mind. It states "Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it." When we don't do the things we know we should do in our relationship with God, then it is sin. Plain and Simple.

Let's do what we know we ought to do.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mid Week Madness

1. As a Die Hard Dallas Cowboys Fan, I have never been a Packers fan. I recent years...cheered for Brett Favre out of respect for his durability, longetivity and the fact that I had him in a couple of Fantasy Football leagues. He retired in March from the NFL and now is considering a comeback. I cannot believe how messy this thing has gotten. The Packers want to move forward, but won't release him. Brett goes on National TV and airs the dirty laundry. The Packers now file tampering charges against the Vikings for alleged phone calls. This is messy and appears to get messier. The one thing Brett can be thankful for is that he's not Roger Clemens.

2. Well, malware strikes again. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I have had a huge battle with malware on our home computer. I finally had to take it back to the beginning. Well, Sasha's mom called last night and they had an anti-virus software pop up on their computer. Thankfully, they didn't give any information (credit card, etc.). Today, they brought the computer to me. As we suspected, they have malware on their system. It's called Antivirus XP 2008. People.....Keep your antivirus software up to date....malware is bad news and can cost you money and time.

3. I'm looking forward to seeing our Kids perform Sunday Night. They have been practicing really hard on Wednesday Nights.

4. Pastor John told me they had a great altar time in youth tonight. One student rededicated their life to the Lord. Awesome!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Weekend Highlights

1. We began a new series entitled "Rescue." Judges 2:16 (NLT) states “Then the LORD raised up judges to rescue the Israelites from their enemies.” In this series, we are taking a look at some of the Judges that rescued Israel. On Sunday, we looked at Ehud. He went into meet with King Eglon of Moab during a time when Moab had control over Israel. He went in and delivered the message from 18 inch dagger in the fat belly of Eglon. Great story....go check it out in Judges 3.

2. Last night, Pastor John spoke on the Valley of Dry Bones. It wasn't dry outside. We had a bad storm blow through Atlanta right before service start. The church never lost power, but a lot of the town did. We had no electricity at the house for about 6-7 hours. Pastor John and the Youth Band did a good job leading the service last night.

3. Sasha, the girls and I went to a family reunion on Thursday. It is an annual event in DeRidder, Louisiana. 65+ of our family were in attendance this year. The Highlights of the trip for me were: 1) Playing Spades, Dominoes, etc. (I went undefeated in Spades). 2) Mississippi Mud Cake (This has got to be on the menu when we get to heaven. My Aunt Sherry made it for me. She sent the rest home with me on Saturday. There's one piece left, but not after tonight.) 3) Swimming with my girls and nieces. 4) Getting a group of us to wave our hands and sing "Lord, I lift your name on high" to my niece, Kelsey (You have to ask her about the dream she had.) 5) Getting to meet my cousins' Chad and Amy's families. I haven't seen Chad and Amy since the early 90s and it was great seeing them again and meeting Dexter, Annette, Trinity and Ella.

4. On the way down to DeRidder, we stopped in Shreveport to eat at Moe's. Moe's is one of our favorite places to eat. There Queso is top shelf.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Today's Thoughts

1. I am real proud of our student ministry, CSI:. Even though we are currently experiencing tough economic times in America, our student ministry had a record year in Fireworks Sales. They will give a portion of that to Speed The Light, a ministry that provides vehicles and audio/visual equipment to missionaries. The rest will go to pay the student's way to camp and to the Youth Budget. A big thank you to all you helped make it happen...Marc, Gina, Rob, Tammy, Pastor John and Rachel.

2. We had great services this last weekend. Sunday Night's Worship and communion time were off the charts. Our worship team did an awesome job in both services.

3. Sasha and the girls have been at her Mom's the past couple of days. I'm ready for them to come home. They are on their way back as I type this blog.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Retraction....of sorts.

Last night, I headed out to Spring Creek Golf Course to play in their Tuesday Night Scramble. A few of the other guys in the church (Jay, Bobby and Tyler) also played in the scramble. On Sunday, I was talking about being on the winning team. As believers, we are on the winning team. If you have a choice whether or not you are going to be on the winning team, you always choose the team that's going to win. I used the illustration of a two man scramble. Tyler is an incredible golfer. Last week, he shot one under par. Jay and I shot significantly over par. I said if I had a choice in a two man scramble that I would choose Tyler over Jay every time because I would have a better chance to win with Tyler.

The way they do the scramble at Spring Creek is they take all the A players and put them on different teams. Then, they take the B players and put them on the different teams. Then, they have a draft for the rest of the guys. Jay and I ended up on the same team. There were six different teams with 5 or 6 on each team. The funny part is that our team finished in a tie for first place. We shot 7-under par for 9 holes. We lost the playoff chipping contest.

We beat Tyler's team though. :) Jay played outstanding. He put one of his drive on a par 4 about 10 feet from the green.

We had a great time and I got to meet some guys in the community. I look forward to playing in the scramble again.