Monday, December 22, 2008

to time off...

so to the next thing that i'm thankful for...time off. the holidays provide some good family quality time that can become so easily overlooked from january to november. 

in light of the tough times, being pressed financially actually helps one focus on what matters most, like what Christmas is actually about. 

it also helps get to get some needed r & r.

to the holidays and the days off that come with it!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

to my kidneys...


so i've been in the hospital since monday with an infection of the kidney AND i have been fortunate enough to also have a kidney stone develop at the same time....yeah me!

so todays special blog goes out to the twins behind the scenes, tom and jerry as i like to call them. besides doing what they do everyday, my kidneys have been troopers through the last 4 days, 8 vomits, 2 doses of morphine, and the flavorless soup that they've been fed at the hospital. 

in case you didn't know it, you need your kidneys...at least one. they filter all liquids that enter your body and then they work to get the liquid out; especially the bad liquids. so to all of you that are about introducing harmful things into the body, watch out, it will get you.

hopefully i'll be leaving the hospital todays as i've been able to recover nicely thanks to the folks at south miami hospital. 

to my kidneys...the ultimate digestive warriors. 

Monday, December 8, 2008

to little dave...


so the next great gift that i get to celebrate is my kid...little dave. one thing they forget to tell you when you join the parenthood club, the cuter they are, the more they try to get away with. 

although i have my days when i feel like doing something wrong or stupid, all he has to do is climb up my lap, grab my ears, and say 'daddy.' 

i'm done. if God ever gives us a little girl, then it's really over at that point. 

little dave is mean and tough, but he's mine.

just to finish off, i can remember what life was like without dave, but i can't imagine life without him now. 

i love him.

Monday, December 1, 2008

to adriana...


this christmas season, i plan to highlight some of the best gifts that i've ever received. gift number 1...adriana, my hot wife!


it's hard for me to say anymore, except that she is an amazing compliment/completion to me. if you don't know her, you should get to know her. she makes me a better man.


merry xmas!
ps. thnx merari for you skills with the camera

Saturday, November 29, 2008

to giving thanks...

so it's the saturday after thanksgiving. this is probably the most relaxing thanksgiving that i've experienced in about 5 years. it's kind of weird...takes time getting used to it. 

so this is what my holiday was like...

tues - thanksgiving celebration with home church...about 20-25 in attendance; nice
wed - handling business at work till about 5.30 pm
thurs - spent time with the fam...ate and then watched true blood episodes 8-11; nice again
fri - worked on some stuff at home; worked on a friend's wedding and then worked to make sure the ceremony went well...it was lovely
sat - watched dream girls (i wish i could sing or have soul would be cool enough) spent good time with adriana and little dave; started reading 'good to great; social sectors'

needless to say, i was very thankful for the time to stop. it's important to hit the breaks from time to time in order to rest and refocus. 

he's what i gathered on thanksgiving reflection...

-thankful to God (for everything)
-thankful to wife (for almost everything)
-thankful for son (he is developing so quickly)
-thankful for fam (their support is incredible)
-thankful for friends (many of them seem to get it; incredible)

so, i'm just plain thankful.  what about you? why are you thankful?

Monday, November 24, 2008

to compassion and action...


tonight i read about compassion...luke 7. it's always incredible to read that Jesus cares and then he shows you how. he not only sees needs, he works to meet them.

lots to learn here. we can pray, which is good. but faith is a verb. something that needs to be placed into action. 

we can offer God to people and they may even choose to follow him, but that does not change their situation, whatever it may be. 

for example, a hungry person trusts in God and we pray. they will still be hungry right afterwards.

an illiterate person begins to follow God, they still can't read.

a person suffering from illness confesses Christ, they are still ill.

help me understand...what is the role of those who call themselves Christ followers?

how far are we to go? what are we supposed to do?

i know we are to pray. but then what? what does one do next?

help me out. 

Thursday, November 20, 2008

to learning...

so it's been about 7 months since i began my current role at my job...i've learned a lot.

needless to say, with that learning comes responsibility and opportunity. one of which i will be executing tomorrow. 

it has to do with addressing fellow personnel and talking with them about the hard stuff; evaluation, reflection, suggestions, and then sometimes, it means letting the wrong folks go in order to get the right folks in.

"it's not you, it's me" doesn't work in this arena.

needless to say, i'm learning and i'm sure that i will keep learning. the best teacher, "on the job training."

what's the greatest lesson/principle that you've learned in 2008?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

CCDA principle #6...

Church-Based

 

It is the writer's position that nothing other than the community of God's people is capable of affirming the dignity of the poor and enabling them to meet their own needs. It is practically impossible to do effective wholistic ministry apart from the local church. A nurturing community of faith can best provide the thrusts of evangelism, discipleship, spiritual accountability, and relationships by which disciples grow in their walk with God. One problem today has been that the church is not involved in developing its communities. Often, the church has been an unfriendly neighbor in communities across our country. Churches are guilty of being open only on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights and being almost irrelevant to the needs of the people around them. Because of this, many para-church organizations have started to do the work of loving their neighbor that the church had neglected. Christian Community Development sees the church as taking action towards the development of its community.

It is the responsibility of the church to evangelize, disciple and nurture people in the Kingdom. Yet, from the command of Jesus, it is also the responsibility of the church to love their neighbor and their neighborhood. Churches should be seen as lovers of their community and neighborhoods. It is out of the church body that ideas and programs should emerge.

This concept is certainly not new in the black community. The black church has spawned most of the substantial community efforts in housing and economic development. There have been shopping centers built, senior housing units developed and communities transformed by the church. As natural as these transformations have been for the black church, they continue to be foreign to the traditional white church. Often, opposition to the church's involvement in community development still occurs among many white denominations and church groups. Recently, many new efforts are also emerging in the Latino and Asian communities as well that are making the church even more relevant to those they serve.

Lastly, probably the greatest sustaining power of community development is the community building of a local church. Because Christian community is based on relocation and people living in the community, having a local church to worship together is essential. It is the church where people gather to be rejuvenated and have their personal needs met. This is true of staff members and non-staff members. How exciting it is to see doctors at a local health center worshipping and sitting next to their patients on a Sunday morning. This is community building at its best. The church helps people to understand that each person has gifts and talents and all must utilize those for the greater good of the community. A worshipping church breaks down many of the barriers including racial, educational and cultural barriers that often separate people in communities.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

CCDA principle #5...

Listening to Community

 

Often communities are developed by people outside of the community that bring in resources without taking into account the community itself. Christian Community Development is committed to listening to the community residents, and hearing their dreams, ideas and thoughts. This is often referred to as the felt need concept. Listening is most important, as the people of the community are the vested treasures of the future.

It is important not to focus on the weaknesses or needs of a community. Again, the felt need concept, as referred to earlier, helps us as community developers to focus on the desires of the community residents. The priority is the thoughts and dreams of the community itself. What the people themselves believe should be the focus. Asset-based community development focuses on the assets of a community and building upon them. When fused together through Christian Community Development, they can have extremely positive results.

Every community has assets, but often these are neglected. When a ministry utilizes Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD), it names all of the assets in the community that helps the community see its many positive characteristics. It is through these assets that people develop their community.

Christian Community Development realistically points out, through community meetings and efforts, some of the areas that people in the community would like to see improved. The areas to be focused upon are not looked at from some outside group or some demographic study that is laid upon the community. Instead, it is the community members themselves that decide what area they would like to improve.

After a community has decided where they want to focus some of their attention, it is then directed to the means with which they themselves can bring this about. What qualities, talents, and abilities does the community have that can help solve these problems? The focus is on the community members seeing themselves as the solution to the problem, not some government program or outside group that is going to be their salvation.

It is essential for community leaders to help the community focus on maximizing their strengths and abilities to make a difference for their community. The philosophy of Christian Community Development believes that the people with the problem have the best solutions and opportunities to solve those problems. Christian Community Development affirms the dignity of individuals and encourages the engagement of the community to use their own resources and assets to bring about sustainable change. 

Friday, November 7, 2008

CCDA principle #4...

Leadership Development

 The primary goal of leadership development is to restore the stabilizing glue and fill the vacuum of moral, spiritual, and economic leadership that is so prevalent in poor communities by developing leaders. This is most effectively done by raising up Christian leaders from the community of need who will remain in the community to live and lead. Most Christian Community Development ministries put a major focus on youth development, winning youth to Christ as early as kindergarten and then following them all the way through college with spiritual and educational nurturing. Upon returning from college a ministry creates opportunities for exercising leadership upon their return to the community.

At the core of the leadership vacuum in inner city communities is an attitude of flight. For many, success is defined as being able to move out of inner-city communities, not remaining there. The erroneous goal is to help a few people leave the neighborhood so that they can escape the problems of inner city communities. This core value of escapism has caused a major drain on the community. Success in the world’s eyes is leaving the neighborhood and owning a home in a more affluent community.

Leadership development is possible only when there is longevity of ministry. All too often people are guilty of trying to have quick fixes in poor neighborhoods. Leadership development is of the highest priority in Christian Community Development. Each ministry must have a dynamic youth ministry that is reaching young people with the good news of Jesus Christ and then equipping them to become faithful followers of Christ, and effective community leaders. This will take at least fifteen years to accomplish, so a worker must plan to stay in the neighborhood for at least that long.

In situations where hispanics and other ethnic groups are negatively affected by their current legal status in our country, this progressive, developmental process is nearly impossible to accomplish, as young people are not able to attend college or prepare for a stable career. In this case, ministries are often moved to engage in social action to challenge and change current immigration laws that debilitate the lives of promising youths and their families.

For CCD ministries, developing leaders from the community is a huge priority that requires absolute commitment; the payoff is that our communities will be filled with strong Christian leaders who love their neighbors, and have the skills and abilities to lead our churches, organizations, and other institutions that bring sustainable health to our communities.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

CCDA principle #3...

Redistribution (Just Distribution of Resources)

 

When men and women in the body of Christ are visibly present and living among the poor (relocation), and when people are intentionally loving their neighbor and their neighbor's family the way a person loves him or herself and family (reconciliation), the result is redistribution, or a just distribution of resources. When God's people with resources (regardless of their race or culture) commit to living in underserved communities seeking to be good neighbors, being examples of what it means to be a follower of Christ, working for justice for the entire community, and utilizing their skills and resources to address the problems of that community alongside their neighbors, then redistribution is being practiced.

Redistribution brings the principles of Justice back to the underserved communities. Justice has left communities of color and lower economic status, leaving an unjust criminal court and prison system, unjust hiring practices, unjust housing development and injustice in the educational institutions. Justice has been available only to people with the economic means to acquire just treatment.

Redistribution brings new skills, new relationships, and new resources and puts them to work to empower the residents of a given community of need to bring about healthy transformation. This is redistribution. Christian Community Development ministries harness the commitment and energy of men, women, and young people living in the community, and others who care about their community, and find creative avenues to develop jobs, schools, health centers, home ownership opportunities, and other enterprises of long-term development.

Seeking a just distribution of resources and working for justice in underserved communities contributes greatly to helping people help themselves, which is at the heart of Christian Community Development.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

CCDA principle #2...

Reconciliation

 
People To God

Reconciliation is at the heart of the gospel. Jesus said that the essence of Christianity could be summed up in two inseparable commandments: Love God, and love thy neighbor. (Mt 22:37-39) First, Christian Community Development is concerned with reconciling people to God and bringing them into a church fellowship where they can be discipled in their faith.

Evangelism is very much a part of Christian Community Development. It is recognized that the answer is not just a job or a decent place to live but having a true relationship with Jesus Christ. It is essential that the good news of Jesus Christ is proclaimed and that individuals place their faith in Christ for salvation. Christian discipleship is very much a part of this philosophy also.

The gospel, rightly understood, is wholistic. It responds to people as whole people; it does not single out just spiritual or just physical needs and speak to those. Christian Community Development begins with people transformed by the love of God, who then respond to God's call to share the gospel with others through evangelism, social action, economic development, and justice.

 

People To People

The most segregated time of the week in our nation is Sunday morning during church services. American churches rarely are integrated and weaken the gospel because of this practice. Christians pray in the model prayer that the Lord taught: "Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Mt 6:9 Churches should reflect heaven on earth, and heaven will be the most integrated place in the world. People of every nation and every tongue will worship Christ together. This is the picture of the church Christ presents to his people.

The question is: Can a gospel that reconciles people to God without reconciling people to people be the true gospel of Jesus Christ? A person's love for Christ should break down every racial, ethnic and economic barrier. As Christians come together to solve the problems of their community, the great challenge is to partner and witness together across these barriers in order to demonstrate our oneness in Christ. Christian Community Development recognizes that the task of loving the poor is shared by the entire body of Christ, black, white, brown, and yellow; rich and poor; urban and suburban; educated and uneducated. While the Bible transcends culture and race, the church is still having a hard time with living out the reality of our unity in Christ. Christian Community Development is intentional about reconciliation and works hard to bring people of all races and cultures into the one worshipping body of Christ.

This comes not so much through a program but through a commitment to living together in the same neighborhood. This is why relocation is so important and how each of the other principals builds upon it.

This is where what Dr. John Perkins calls the felt-need concept can be so helpful for individuals seeking to establish authentic cross-cultural relationships in under resourced neighborhoods. In order to build trust with people who may be suspicious about our motives for being in the ‘hood’ because of negative past experiences, stereotypes, or ignorance, we must begin by getting to know people right where they are at. As we listen to their stories and get to know their hopes and concerns for the present and future, we also begin to identify one another’s deepest felt-needs; those hurts and longings that allows us opportunities to connect with people on a deeper level, which is always necessary for true reconciliation to take place.

The power of authentic reconciliation between us and God, and between people of every culture and race is an essential component of effective ministry in our hurting world.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

core value #1 of christian community development...

so here's the first one....

Relocation: Living Among the People

Living out the gospel means desiring for one's neighbor and neighbor's family that which one desires for one's self and family. Living out the gospel means bettering the quality of other people's lives spiritually, physically, socially, and emotionally as one betters one's own. Living out the gospel means sharing in the suffering and pain of others.

How did Jesus love? "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth." (Jn 1:14) Jesus relocated. He became one of us. He didn't commute back and forth to heaven. Similarly, the most effective messenger of the gospel to the poor will also live among the poor that God has called the person to. A key phrase to understand relocation is incarnational ministry.

By relocating, a person will understand most clearly the real problems facing the poor; and then he or she may begin to look for real solutions. For example, if a person ministering in a poor community has children, one can be sure that person will do whatever possible to ensure that the children of the community get a good education. Relocation transforms "you, them, and theirs" to "we, us, and ours." Effective ministries plant and build communities of believers that have a personal stake in the development of their neighborhoods.

Relocation is community based in the very essence of the word. There are three kinds of people who live in the community. First "relocators" are people who, like the project director, were not born in the inner city but moved into the neighborhood. Second, are the "returners." These are the people born and raised in their community and then left for a better life. Usually they return from college or the military. They are no longer trapped by the surrounding poverty of their neighborhood. Yet, they choose to return and live in the community they once tried to escape. Lastly are the "remainers." These are the ones that could have fled the problems of the inner city but chose to stay and be part of the solution to the problems surrounding them.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

to CCDA...


just finished serving at the CCDA national conference. it was a learning event. if you're looking to join a community of folks that are working to make a change in their communities on behalf of those that either can't or don't know how, these are some good folks doing some good stuff. i was glad just to be a part of it. 

what i appreciated about the conference was that there were no 'rock stars.' all the headline speakers were walking around with everyone. it was pretty cool in that i got to say hi with folks anywhere at anytime. everyone was pretty accessible. they ate with everyone, spoke to everyone, and even shared the bathroom with everyone. pretty unique from a conference standpoint. 

some folks that i got to share with were (i suggest you google them to see what they are up to)...
john perkins (civil rights leader)
wayne gordon (aka coach)
noel castellanos (immigration reformist)
larry acosta (urban youth workers institute) 

good stuff. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

to enough...

i'm just gonna throw the word out there. you tell me what comes to mind and how to approach it.


EEEE   NN       NN  OOOOOO    UU   UU   GGG      HH   HH
EE        NNNNNN   OO      OO    UU   UU   GG   G   HHHHH
EEEE   NN    NNN  OOOOOO    UUUUU   GGGG   HH    HH


i know, i've got time.

so what do you think?  

Saturday, October 18, 2008

to sweeney todd...


we took my son to get a haircut tonight. he's much stronger than i realized. for those of you that don't know; he hates the barber. it's like he sees sweeney todd.

either way, he's much more handsome now. he hates me, but at least he looks good doing it. hope to have a pic up soon. 

he's afraid of the machine. i know it sounds silly, but i hate clowns.

any other fears out there? 

let me know.

Friday, October 17, 2008

to instability...

October 17, 2008

it's weird because i don't things in the world have been so unsettled like they are today. as i read this morning, watched last night, and heard on the radio on the way to the office today, everything seems to be going haywire. whether economy, jobs, health, climate change, or life, it doesn't seem to really matter. 

if it exists, it's going bonkers. 

in my time of reading, it's moments like these that God will use to create stability in His people. when all else fails, He won't. when all else seems to crumble, He doesn't. when it's too hot, He's just right. when injustice gets worse, He gets better. when....He....

i've been learning that during the instability, i will be the stability that God will use to navigate people through these hard times. it's not that i'm better than most. on the contrary, i find myself among the general public in the u.s. just trying to get by. and still, i'm not freaking out. i really think that this is part of the 'mystery of the gospel' that paul refers to. 

how can you stay calm when all else is going off?

how can you not lose sleep when people keep getting laid off?

how you can you...finish the sentence. 

i can because He is, was, and will be. in control, on top of things, planning out time for His best interests. 

thank goodness that i'm not in control He is. 

Monday, October 13, 2008

to observations...8 of them


so as i considered number 100, i thought about writing 100 reasons for this, that, or the other. not happening.

so here it is. as i've recently started journaling again (healthy exercise), i come to grips with a couple of things. among them. so here's to 8 observations that i've made this last year...

1- the need for more prayer, especially when all is well

2- the need for more prayer, especially when all is not well

3- obedience =  where my faith intersects with God's faithfulness

4- when you are doing something new, it's always hard

5- reverting to what you know is always easiest

6- God is more concerned with His glory than mine (rightfully so...He's God)

7- If we're not planning on changing lives, then we're thinking too small

8- i want to be on the amazing race

maybe i'm missing a couple of thoughts on here. let me know


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

to #99...

this is my 99th post. any suggestions on how to celebrate #100? i've got some ideas, but i'm open to thoughts. 

Friday, September 19, 2008

the heart

so i've been doing some thinking on the heart and what the WORD has to say about it. the heart is truly messed up - implication, all of us with hearts are messed up. out of the heart, the mouth speaks. it's crazy some of the things i'm capable of saying, let alone thinking. 

there's gotta be a way of not only filtering the heart, but actually working with God to change the heart and the messed up that it is. 

as of recently, i've been exposed to how wicked and great the heart can be at the same time. i've seen it in the life of others and experienced it personally. 

what i've discovered is, what you project unto others is a reflection of what is found inside. it's the exterior reflection of the inward.

just where i'm at. 

Thursday, September 11, 2008

...to syndication

so i watched 30 rock for the first time tonight. funny. as i was changing channels to see what's on these days. aside from the news that ike is going to bust up  the eastern coast of tx, seems like there's tons of stuff about burning off fat, panties-medias, cartoons, the office, and really old re-runs in syndication (different strokes).

not sure what the best show on tv is today, but i've got some ideas. i would love to hear about what you guys are watching out there in the blog world. 

so give it up...what are you guys watching on tv?

what's the best thing on tv today? 

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

to the hitachi...


so tonight we had some awesome cuban food at our gathering. madd props to yannick's mom and her glorious hitachi. it may not solve all of the worlds problems, but it sure does make some really good rice.

besides really good food, we had an amazing time of prayer and intimacy with each other. amazing how the hitachi can bring people together :-)

to the hitachi! thanks yan. (you complete me - you had me at hitachi)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

i should host the VMA's next year...

i've never been so disappointed with the selection committee on who elects the host of the VMA's. 

here's the question:

was no one else available to host? - next year, mtv, i'll be around!

besides the stupid appearance, foolish comments, and ridiculously tight pants, the poor fellow looked like a woman with a beard. 

for a 25th anniversary, i'm thoroughly disappointed. 

the only positive things about the VMA's, they encouraged people to vote. please vote according to what you think is the best for the country. don't let people from other countries tell you how to vote, especially at the VMA's. 

also, my 2 year old kid was totally upset on the knocking of the jonas brothers and their choice on waiting till marriage for sex. 


Monday, September 1, 2008

to an interesting opinion...

so as i was reading this morning in luke 4, they gave Jesus beef about the coming of a new day. a shift was occurring around all who were there and they didn't even know it. when He tried to warn them, they didn't want to hear about it.

came across an interesting opinion this afternoon as i was doing my daily reading (check out the column to the right for more info on what i'm reading). here's the opinion:

"doing church differently is like rearranging the chairs on the titanic. we must realize that slight tweaks, new music, creative lighting, wearing hula shirts, shorts, and flip flops won't make doing church more attractive.  church must not be the goal of the gospel anymore. church should not be the focus of our efforts or the banner we hold up to explain what we are about. church should be what ends up happening as a natural response to people wanting to follow us, be with us, and be like us as we are following the very way of Christ."

pretty hard. 

what do you think? right? wrong? some right or some wrong?

let me know.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

to facebook...


so i have a facebook now. less than 48 hours later, i'm getting pics of me back in the 60's when i was just a glimmer in my father's eye.

thanks alex. u made my decade. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

sweep the leg...awesome


this has got to be one of the best things to have come out of the 80's. what's awesome is that whenever mr. miagi comes out, the asian flute begins to play.

"sweep the leg" were the words uttered by the mean karate guy/teacher (sensai or something like that). it's awesome cause the music goes up and daniel goes down. hope goes down with him. but just like all good movies in the 80's, he gets up and wins. 

i love the 80's. i love karate kid I, II, III, but not the girl version with hilary swank. the 90's were desperate times - so was pat morita (mr. miagi)

sweep the leg...awesome

Monday, August 25, 2008

...to being human

i had the opportunity to share with a friend of mine today about her frustrations with life in general. there are lots of things going on, but part of the problem was found in her problems with church and how her specific church operates.

she seemed disillusioned, stressed, frustrated, and disappointed. what's weird is that she thought that there was something wrong with her. i assured her that wherever people are involved, anyone of those characteristics mentioned above will be present...we are all human; that's our pattern and tendency.

but why? why is it that more and more believers are feeling this way about church today? guestimations are that there are between 20 - 25 million xians in the US that don't go anywhere for whatever reason. 

as i continued to share with her, i honestly sensed her passion and concern for her church; it was awesome. i believe that she'll be just fine as she re-engages slowly but surely. 

just wondering, in your opinion what seems to be the problem with the church today and what do you think is the best way to fix things?

let me know. 

Friday, August 22, 2008

...to sleeping giants


so today i was listening to a guy out of texas share about this idea of waking up. that many folks kind of live like zombies. they move, they eat, they breathe, but it's almost as if they are in this sleep walking stage - like zombies.

then he got real passionate and began to expound on his idea that much of the church in the west is in this chronic state. we move, we eat, we breathe, but we are walking in our sleep.
then i thought to myself...what if the sleeping giant of a church were to awaken to do what it was created to do? what then?

-how would things change?
-how would things be different?
-what would that mean for the current state of where the church is?

if only the giant would awaken.

how would it be different? why isn't it different?

let me know.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

waiting for the light to change...


when you are waiting for 'next' to happen...this can be an interesting time. for some it's school, for others it's work, for some it's a life mate, for others it's that very next thing. learning to wait for what's next is good, it's just the process that's not too much fun. 

it's like sitting at that street light that's red -- it's been red for about 15 minutes. you don't want to turn and then turn around 'cause you know it's wrong or someone might catch you doing wrong. so you sit there, waiting for the light to change. finally, when it does change, you move forward in confidence -- you have the clear and obvious permission to do so. it's just the waiting for the green light...it takes time. 

what's cool is, when i've waited for His green light, the wait proved to be worth it. the destination was better than i had expected, and had i arrived there sooner...

1. i would not have been ready for it
2. my destination would not have been ready for me
3. it would not have all fitted together, just right

so for all of you waiting for whatever is next...find a good book to read while you're on the wait. the 'next' doesn't go away,  you just learn to adjust to His schedule and timing. while you are at the light waiting, what can you do there to serve Him and others? chances are that's why the light is still red.

what can you do at your red light for God, for others? 

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

to the everyday...

i was listening to perry nobles today and he had some good insights on hearing from up above. 

"when you wrestle with the word and begin to walk in what the word says, the result is God's will."

it's that simple. knowing what His will is, is the easy part. living it out is when it can get tough. especially when you realize that your next step is leading you to an uncharted, unexpected, unprecedented territory. but isn't that like Him to do that?

as we are making big decisions again, i'm reminded that everyday is big, because God is in it. that alone should be enough to have my fullest attention -- i should go after the everyday in the same way i go after answers to life's hardest questions.

how do you approach the everyday?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

to one of many medals...


regarding IT...i think this kid has IT. he's not trying to win, he's trying to walk out with 8 gold medals. it's performance to a whole new level.

question:

who else do you think has IT? (church, business, sports, etc)

why do you think they have IT?

Friday, August 8, 2008

to IT...


so this morning i heard from craig groeshel at the leadership summit hosted at a flamingo road cooper. some of his thoughts on ministry regarding church were pretty good. some stuff was refreshing, some stuff was different. he basically broke the idea of the "IT" factor down. the IT factor is the special something that people/churches/organizations may have that separates them from the rest. it's not the Holy Spirit because all believers have the HS. there's something different. not sure what that different is, but craig calls the difference, IT.

so here you go...these seem to be some consistent qualities in people/organization when IT is present:

1. focus - less ministries = better ministries
not trying to do a lot of stuff at a mediocre level, rather focusing on what one does well and kicking butt at it

2. opportunities, not obstacles 
you find a way when others fail to do so
you realize that you have exactly what you need to accomplish what God wants you to do

3. you have to be willing to fail 
failure is often the first step to seeing God and who He is
if you can do it, it doesn't require faith. if it doesn't require faith, you can't see God

4. lead by people who have IT
the leaders of these organizations need to have IT
IT finds it's way out to others and can become contagious - when you have IT inside, it tends to spread outside

and to close...

when it becomes about your church or your organization and not His kingdom, you will lose IT


is he crazy? does he have a point? chime in and let me know. 





Thursday, August 7, 2008

to the 'pause'...


and so we find ourselves waiting for God to do what He does best...acting in His time. that's right boys and girls, the lopez clan are at another crossroads that will be determined by God's timing more than anything else. so we'll see what happens and when God moves, we'll let you guys know. we need God to provide for us - adriana is looking for a job; we know He will, it's just...when?

in the mean time, help me understand what you do when you are in the 'pause.' i know that we're supposed to wait and we are, and we're good. we really are. different people handle it differently when they are waiting for God to respond to a situation. i'm just curious, how do you handle it?

help a brotha' out!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

...to spider sense!


at our gathering tonight, we touched on acts 8 - philip and his adventures to places that normally are not welcoming. my hats off to those brave enough to trust Christ and His leading to places others may call hostile or unwelcoming. i raise my cup to the person willing to risk all that he/she may have for obedience towards a calling. because of philips' obedience, the word says that many 'samaritan' nations came to faith and rejoiced. then he's off talking to a foreigner about things that pertain to history and heritage...a eunuch from ethiopia of all people. why? because the Spirit led him to do so. crazy. 

what kind of 'spider sense' or what 'frequency' was he in tuned to? 
i want that. 

i just fear how i would respond if the Spirit told me to do something as difficult like go to a 'hostile' place or speak to a random person, because the Spirit told me to. 

what would you do? have you ever had one of those moments when you knew that God was leading you to do something, something that seemed so foreign or weird to you that you simply had to stop and question everything about the situation? i have. 

great questioned was posed tonight: who is the "eunuch" in your life that you need to be sharing with? 

what do you think? does this kind of stuff still happen? let me know of your experiences with it...i'm still trying to figure things out myself. 

Sunday, August 3, 2008

mama mia...why?!

i don't normally do this, but because of the epic proportions of 2 hours of life, i will. i went see a movie with adriana today called mama mia. i know, what was i thinking. i wanting to be a better husband. one who supports and encourages. that's what it got me today. let me just say that if weren't for the spectacular scenery of the greek isles, the movie would have sucked. instead, it was just bad. it takes a lot for me to hate on movies. so, if you are a lady looking for a romantic movie, don't use this one unless you're trying to make him pay for it. if you're looking for movie to score you some points with the beautiful babies, they are not worth it with this movie. 

music = cool
story = ok
acting = ok

mix them altogether and you get good actors doing bad film. i'm just saying. i'm not even trying to compare it with the dark knight or other summer films, it's not fair to mama mia. if i had to watch mama mia or sweet sixteen, sweet sixteen any day and twice on sunday (at least it changes).

needless to say, i wouldn't even recommend it as a rental; even if you've never seen it and love abba. 

sorry. 

for those poor unfortunate souls that have seen the film, what do you think? am i hating too strongly or am i right on?

Thursday, July 31, 2008

like a ton of bricks...


last night at church we were having a discussion on God. no biggy, i know. yet somewhere in the midst of a discussion that i could have swore that i have had before, it hit me like a tone of bricks...
"God is always changing and moving towards change, yet He still remains the same."
i've been thinking about this all day.
any takers on this idea or thoughts on the matter? i dare you to try to explain. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

to an honest reflection...

as i listened to this announcement, again, about the ending of 7.22, i was moved and challenged. in case you didn't know, 7.22 is a ministry that's been around for about 12/13 years and has helped shaped what some churches look like/feel like today - for the good or bad. either way, some of the thoughts that were shared were difficult ones to face. i often wonder what an honest look in the mirror will do to me as a person, minister, husband, or father. i think, no matter which hat we wear, looking in the mirror and seeing the truth is a must.

more over, we must act on what we know to be true and i think that's what the folks at 7.22 are doing. besides the fact that they are huge in numbers and by all measures a successful ministry, they are stopping for a moment and changing. why? because from what i guess, they need to be doing other things to reach those people that aren't being reached.

gutsy, honorable, courageous, and cooky. these are they types of people i want to go into battle with. 

check this out and let me know what you think. click here.
 

Saturday, July 26, 2008

friends need help...


it would be most kind of you all to help alex and kristel by purchasing some of their stuff as they get ready to leave to n.c. i'm sure they would greatly appreciate your money and willingness to give it to them. help a brother and sister out!.

much thnx!

Friday, July 25, 2008

to the funk...

recently a friend of mine shared about being in a 'funk' with God and life. i can totally relate. those moments when nothing makes sense. or even if they do, you really don't care. it's almost as if you become stagnant and you cease from living, you merely exist. 

those moments are tough. it's always easy to comment when you're not in the 'funk' about what to do or how to get out or a spiritual prescription on the matter. do this and you're out. fact is, it's been different for me every time. and every time i get out of the 'funk' i too am different. usually better for having gone through it. 

i hate going through the mud and yet mud treatments are great for your skin. maybe perspective is what changes funk from treatments. 

how do you handle the 'funk' when it hits you?

let me know. 

Thursday, July 17, 2008

from moments to movements...

how does one separate moments from movements? been thinking about those pivotal moments in history that lead to movements. great depression was a moment that lead to a movement. mass genocide were moments in history that caused movements of response. the stoning of stephen was a moment that sparked a movement of faith. moments of sickness caused movements of cure and healing. moments of poor economy caused movements of innovation and change. 

have you seen moments today that are waiting to happen that will lead to the birthing of movements? good or bad, i bet you they are there. whether we like it or not, once the movement begins, we normally can't do much to stop it. rather we are faced with how we will deal with it; positive or negative. 

there are moments in my life that are clear. moments that marked me and defined part of who or what i am today. just a thought, perhaps my life is a constant movement that is being forged and directed by moments. 

burning bush = moment
parting of the seas = moment
fire from heaven = moment
walking on water = moment
feeding of 5000 = moment
laying of hands for healing = moment

yet, any single one of these moments was and is critical to the lives of those that experienced them. for moses, his moments lead to a nation wide movement. for Christ, his moments lead to a social/spiritual/history changing movement. for paul/peter and the rest, those moments of faith and/or suffering, lead to movements that still seep with spirit and truth. those are the ideas and hopes of something better that run in our veins. it is in the quiet still moments when God speaks movements into place. 

i want to be part of that. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

to hearing from others...

this week i've learned and relearned some pretty profound things from members of our church. so here they are in no particular order
-if there is no risk, can there really be faith?
-if i am are comfortable in my faith, then i'm probably not moving towards Christ and his desire for me
-my discomfort comes from the change that Christ is wanting to create in me
-to trust the Spirit, means to trust the fact that He works through others, not only through me
-God is actively bringing lost people to me, i just need to look up and acknowledge them
-Lost people can validate good things - they know good when they see good
-God is actively working towards change - in people, places, things, and creation (me especially)

i think that's a lot. 

what's God been teaching you?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

growing and changing...

to the ever growing and changing church. it looks different every time. i love how God is working anywhere, everywhere, and through anyone that He chooses to use. 

how have you seen God at work lately?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

not-yet christians...

so tonight, we heard something that probably caused great praise before our Father. as we gathered together for a time of prayer, after breaking bread with each other, one of our visitors volunteered to pray. his opening line:

God, this is the first time that i've ever prayed out loud...

he's not a christian...yet. for whatever reason, God has been working to bring him to this place. he asked where he could go and was invited into our community of faith...and then he prayed out loud for the first time.

even non-believers can go to God and ask. even not-yet christians can offer up worship. God will have His praise one way or the other...even if it's not through the 'saved.'

how awesome is that?

Friday, June 6, 2008

...enfleshing

philippians 2

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 
 
6Who, being in very nature[a] God, 
      did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 
 
7but made himself nothing, 
      taking the very nature
[b] of a servant, 
      being made in human likeness. 
 
8And being found in appearance as a man, 
      he humbled himself 
      and became obedient to death— 
         even death on a cross! 
 
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place 
      and gave him the name that is above every name, 
 
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, 
      in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 
 
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, 
      to the glory of God the Father.

it floors me every time i try to read and understand this passage. that God, being fully God, came and while being fully God was also fully man; choosing to limit Himself of His "GOD" attributes and abilities in order to fully experience humanity - why? so that a full and complete sacrifice that would be found as good before Himself could be made up. 

a sacrifice by Him, for Him, on our behalf. 

God enfleshed Himself to be one of us, while still being Himself the whole time. 

why? so that when i'm in my corner dealing with my sin, i could have the assurance that i don't need to be worried about being separated from Him. because He knows to the fullest extent the difficulty of sin without succumbing to it. that's why He's good enough; God enough.

how do you explain this? 

Monday, June 2, 2008

ah...selflessness.

as of late, many of my conversations have been occurring around the word 'selfless.' fun to talk about, difficult to act upon, unmistakable when you see it...selfless.

these are the people that make impacts in life. the ones that understood that they gave up their rights when they came to Christ. i find myself wanting to hold on to some of my rights; the ones that i truly enjoy the most. not to selfless of me. the areas that God asks me to sacrifice in are often the areas where it hurts the most; the areas where i have most to lose. i've never seen it any other way - maybe it's just me.

outside of Christ and His sacrifice on the cross...

what's the most selfless action you've ever seen?

why was it so selfless?

what's holding you back from following in those foot steps?

here's one of my favorite verses of all time - a call to selflessness:

1 peter 2:21To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 

Monday, May 26, 2008

completing the task...

acts 20:22-24

"And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace."

what a difficult thing to follow God's calling, especially when He leads you to a difficult place. paul did not know exactly what was going to happen in detail; he only knew that it was going to be tough. and at the end of the day, he considers his own life nothing compared to the task that was given to him -- how selfless.

what have you found to be some of the most difficult things that God has asked you to do?

what did you gain from either doing or not doing what He asked you to do? 

Friday, May 23, 2008

to different...

as i continue to meet more people in the city of miami, i'm encouraged to see how God is actively moving and shaking things up. different people, different stories, different ministries, same God. what i wrestle with is...can all of these different ministries and people work together (at the same time) to serve the same God?

what have you seen? what do you think are some of the obstacles? benefits?

let me know. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

powerful words...

as i'm wrestling with acts 20, i find it interesting and difficult to read paul's words:

32"Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33I have not coveted anyone's silver or gold or clothing. 34You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. 35In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' "

makes me wonder about my habits in coveting, work ethic, and discipline in giving. not that i think that i'm really bad at any of these, but am i exceptional at any one of them? not coveting, having the best work ethic, and giving as much as i truly could. 

powerful words paul...you don't even blink! 

i want to be like this man.

Monday, May 19, 2008

brickell and south beach...

some of the cool things that are currently in motion...

an opportunity is still in the works for beginning something in the brickell area. after some chat and connection with some folks down on that side of town, i think God is opening doors that are serious about doing something over there - totally pumped. please keep this in prayer. pray for our friend alexandra who's opening her doors in the next few weeks. she's currently going through some tough times with family illness and other stuff. once she settles down from her traveling, we are set to start something down there. 

something new that might be brewing; an opportunity of starting something at south beach. over the last few weeks, we've been in conversation with folks that are like minded and 2 families right now are considering working with us as this network develops with a potential 3rd family sometime around the end of summer; but that's not for sure.

all to say, good things are happening all around town. i can't wait to see what's gonna happen in the next few months and years. 

as we are reading the book of acts, there is a statement that keeps coming up:
THE LORD ADDED TO THEIR NUMBER DAILY (over 7 times - i'm in chapter 17 right now)

that's what im praying for, for the church in miami - God, please build it and add to our numbers daily

what are you praying about today? for your church? for your self? for your friends? 


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

to a great beginning...

so we began church tonight. those present: a nurse, police officer, school teacher, administrator, project coordinator, and i. what's cool is that i didn't do most of the talking. lots of questions went unanswered and i think that it was ok that they weren't answered. truth is, some answers i don't have and for some of the ones that i do, maybe God has a better one.

i'm learning that i need to slow down and listen to Him. His leading and direction; especially in His business, i.e. the church. we all agreed that we needed this and that we will continue to walk together, despite the fact that we are all mainly strangers.

it's funny how the common factor is Christ -- that's really all we need. that's all we had. we've decided that before we get into too many details and try to set up parameters, we will walk through the book of Acts as a church together to determine what God wants and not just assume on traditions or personal preferences. 

so we began church tonight. mixed feelings -- pretty positive overall. i don't want to jump the gun, so i'm trying to contain so much because we are just beginning. but i think it's the beginning of something good, something fresh, something new and old at the same time.

to a great beginning...watching God do what He does best!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

new opportunities...

so i began this new phase of ministry just over a week ago. i've been in transition for a bit now; one of the reasons i've not done too well in april jotting down what's been going on. regarding new transitions, one of which is the new job that i have with FCFC. check out their website. they are up to lots of good things regarding community development here in s.fla.

here's my story for this week. i better understand james 1:27

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

as i consider james (brother of Jesus) and what he must have gone through, it makes a bit more sense to me.

james was probably left fatherless at a pretty young age (the last time we hear of him is when Jesus is only 12 - then he's gone; most believe that he died after Jesus entered manhood...13 years old) 

if Jesus was only 12/13, that means james was much younger than that. imagine the trauma of growing up poor - the man was the one who earned the income. w/o dad, they were stuck depending on Jesus to earn the money - since he entered the workforce as an apprentice, he probably did not earn a whole lot. meaning the family probably suffered a good bit.

james is an orphan and his mom is a widow. 

i had the privilege of serving a widow and an orphan this week. pretty difficult, but i know that it pleased the Father. i'm fortunate in that part of my role at FCFC is to serve and advocate on behalf of those that may not have enough for whatever reason. pretty cool.

let me ask...

how are you serving your community?
how are you serving members of your church?
how are you serving God where He has you? 



Thursday, April 24, 2008

did you know....

in 2007, for the first time in 65 years, more churches were actually started than those that closed. could be both positive or negative. good things, i think. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

who i met and what i've learned so far...



so, right off the top, i was invited to be part of a pretty cool dinner last night. among the new 'friends of dave' are a cool group of people responsible of putting on the CATALYST CONFERENCE, Ed Stetzer (church planting beast and SBC rep - i had to walk behind him to take a pic with him), Allan Hirsch (i think he's a modern day prophet and visionary of the organic/missional church movement), and the purpose driven guru himself, mighty rick warren (as i kissed his forehead, he fell over in uncontrollable laughter).
what i've learned...
christianity - christ = religion (duh, but take a look around, sounds all to familiar)
church the way we are doing it is good for about the 20% of americans that would be open to it (about 12 - 15% actually attend once a month based on stats.)
WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER 80% that don't care??!!! WTF! 
we don't take christ to people - if he's God, then he's already working. our role is to help people interpret these 'religious' experiences through the filter which is christ. this is pretty profound in that most people know that if they want to get closer to god, they would normally go to church. the irony lies in that God is everywhere, whether the church is there or not. so what's he doing? he's prepping the people to meet him through the expression of church - His people and oddly enough, not His building.
meaning, the people in your circles of life, have been waiting for you - God's been working on them before you even got there. how will you engage them to help them understand their experience with the almighty?
the church does not have a mission -- God's mission has the church (missio dei - latin for the mission of God - to reconcile a dead world back to himself by using any means possible, mainly the church (people -- you and i )
how are you involved in this? 
totally psyched because it helps to answer the question of what matters most.
any how, just some tid bits. that's all for now. i believe God's gonna do something amazing in miami soon with our current churches and the ones that are to come! be part of it!
if you are not, consider joining a new effort in your town
what do you think? 

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

in orlando...

so, i'm in olrlando this week at the national church planters conference. for more info: http://www.exponentialconference.org/

lots of different people, different ideas, different forms...same goal. work with God to build His kingdom.

please pray for me as i discern the next steps of this new work. also, please pray for those that are considering joining this effort. it's not like what most of us know, so it will mean almost detoxing from previous ideas of what is and what was to what could be.

anyway, see you guys on friday.

question for the e-world reading...how are you working with God to build His kingdom where you are?

at work?
at school?
at home?
at church?

let me know. just trying to gather info as we determine the strategy for this new work

peace

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

to what's next...

just in case you missed it, the announcement was made this last weekend - with God's help, adriana and i will be working towards launching a new church here in town. we've been wrestling with different circumstances to get us overseas, yet we've not been able to go. after prayer and searching for God in his word, we believe that our calling to missions is still valid, we just need to put into practice what we'd be doing over there, over here. so this is where we are and where we hope to go for the next step. 

excited and nervous. anyhow, that's how it is. we are grateful to MBC for all their support and help over the last 4 years. we've been blessed and have grown as we've served there. we know that God is working there and that he has a great plan for MBC and it's team. we love them all dearly.

so...to what's next - there it is. join us in prayer as we venture out to the great unknown...again.

how to pray:

God's direction and guidance for the new church
housing in right area of town
for the lost to know Christ
for God to grow his church here and globally

will you join us in prayer? let me know. thnx again. 

Friday, April 4, 2008

ms/hs spring retreat 08 update...

hey all! here at spring retreat - it's going great! just to wrap it up, 
theme: "As Seen on TV - Take control of your reality"
kids: 56
counselors:9
first time decisions for Christ (so far): 7
lived dedicated to ministry: 5
lives touched by God:65

pretty awesome how God works in the lives of students and adults. keep us in prayer as we finish up and come home tomorrow

peace

Monday, March 31, 2008

2 questions...

ok, here we go. one question, maybe the question that i've been dealing with the most...ready?

WHAT MATTERS MOST?

help me find the answer to this question. i can't place a context or limit it to a circumstance, because then is ceases to matter most in other circumstances. so what is it?

next question...once we discover what matters most:

WHAT WILL WE DO ABOUT IT?

that's it for now. 

losing sleep and the mice in my head are running pretty fast.

what do you think?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

easter moments...

so on friday night, for the evening worship concert, for some reason, i sensed that someone was looking at me. have you felt that sensation? when you know you are being watched; weird. any how, in the middle of the concert i look back and there is jason; a young teen who is para-palegic in his wheel chair looking at me. i looked at him and smiled. he smiled in response. i winked at him and  he winked back. after my time was done at the sound board, i walked back and sat next to jason. for some reason he reached over and held my hand as we sang in worship. the song playing was 'shout to the lord' by hillsong. needless to say, i was moved to tears quickly because jason can't speak. at best, he made sounds to get across what he felt inside as he joined with the rest of the church. i can't imagine how Christ must have felt in that moment to know that one more was doing his very best in worshipping Christ. moved, proud, happy, proud. 

i thought for a moment about how poor of a worshipper i truly am. sometimes i don't want to and sometimes i just don't care. 

his mom didn't know what was going on (they were first time visitors). she'd never seen him so moved before - the power of worshipping Christ.

once again, i realized, that worship has very little to do with a song or how well i may or may not sing. worship has to do with the object of my attention. as long as it's Christ, i don't think He cares too much about how great the notes are, as He does the intention and sincerity of heart.

Christ taught me and spoke to me through jason; through one that cannot speak. worship Christ with all that you have - that's why you have it.

what was your most inspiring moment this easter? 

how did God speak to you this weekend? 

Saturday, March 22, 2008

easter...

hey blog world. i've got one word - EASTER. been a bit busy as of late getting things taken care of at mbc. if you haven't made any plans to attend anywhere, love to have you there. whether mbc or any where else, be sure to go, it's EASTER. 

any how, more to come after EASTER.

p.s. jesus wins - it's EASTER

Friday, March 14, 2008

cop out...

in john 12 it says that during Jesus' entry into town, his presence was a bigger deal than the actual celebration that was taking place. as i shared at the movement tonight, i questioned the students on how excited they are to celebrate the biggest Jesus party in the world - to think that for a weekend, believers world wide unite in celebration, remembrance, and victory. i compared the fact that the police concert sold out in 15 minutes; jonas bros in about 8, hannah montana in about 4. 

where is the line to celebrate Jesus?

are we inviting anyone to his party?

for a man who raised the dead, healed the sick, cured the blind, forgave all sin, and resurrected from the dead - i'm sure that he'd have no problem filling up any venue. yet why is it so difficult to grab the attention of those who don't know Christ?

could it be that i'm not inviting anyone to the greatest celebration on earth?

could it be that i'm not celebrating Christ in my daily lifestyle?

could it be that i truly don't believe that what Jesus did then, he can do now?

these are the questions i posed to the students. as i thought about stuff later on, i thought it fair to ask myself and the rest of the 'grown up' blog world - why aren't we inviting others to Christ more often?

i thought to myself that perhaps its because... 
of what they might here or see. cop out.
of what they might like or dislike. cop out.
of what they might understand or not understand. cop out.

the reason they are a cop out: whether the church experience is right for them or not, you and i have been placed there intentionally to clarify the matter. it's just easier to not invite anyone - there's less work on my part that way and i can pass the blame. it's a cop out, again. 

let me ask: why?

why don't we invite others more often?
why don't we reflect this celebration more often?
why do we choose the easy route and blame others instead?

help me out. why?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

it's not Him, it's me... seriously


there's a pattern that i'm seeing in life. things that i want. things that i can't have. things that i can't have now. things that i shouldn't want. and then, again, there is this thing called "WHAT GOD DESIRES." a.k.a - God's will, God's plan, God's preferred plan, God's sovereign plan, whatever. pick anyone of those titles and if you're like me, you wrestle with the why's of life and the why not's of life. 
see, the problem is that i'm not always satisfied with His choices in my life. i'm not always satisfied with my choices in life either, but i think i give God more beef because He's perfect - and because He is, i guess when He doesn't do what i want, somehow, i seem to fool myself that he's less than perfect - which he's not. hear me clearly, HE'S ALWAYS PERFECT and RIGHT!
it's part of that pattern that i was mentioning to you. i discovered the problem in the formula. it's me. it's always been me and what i want. major problem. it's not Him, it's me. it's not Him, it's you and me. it's not Him, it's us. seriously. i know it sounds like a bad break up line, but it's so true. 
amazing, that as cheezy as my excuses seem to be, even to me, he doesn't break up. i'm sure that it bothers Him. but He's slow to anger and quick to forgive - me and my stupid patterns. it's in this that i take satisfaction. it's in this that i find joy. even though i'm me, He's still Him. that's enough for me and us all.

Monday, March 10, 2008

happy birthday...

just wanted everyone out there to know that today is adriana's birthday. she's hot and my wife; one the greatest blessings that God's ever given me. give her a call or drop her an email and let her know that you love her.


Thursday, March 6, 2008

splash...


have you noticed the great amount of movement that's occurring everywhere? i'm not sure if it's the price of gas, the recession that 'we are not in,' conflicts in the middle east, or just the amount of people coming and going these days. the world truly has become a smaller place; because of it, i think i notice the motion, transition, and constant change that we as a people, we as a culture, we as a country, and we as individuals are always in. 
it's so easy to get caught up in the movement mistaking it for accomplishment. if there is one thing that i know, busyness doesn't = accomplishment. busyness = busyness. sometimes things get done, sometimes i go backwards. 
so i was thinking about the idea of movement and where God seems to be moving my city (miami) as a whole. always transition. always multi lingual, multi cultural, multi faceted - moving in multi-ple directions. it is what it is. but what will i make of it and what kind impact can be made in such a fluid culture. 
when you think of your home town  and you consider the way it's moving and where it's going - what can you see being the greatest area that needs to be addressed in the ever-moving culture, people, and society? 
i figure, once you pick a direction to move in, you'll make the biggest splash and impact there.
where are you moving? what are you doing to cause a splash? 

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

connected in community


where are you connecting for community? where can you let your 'hair down' and just be you?

cool thing about tuesday nights is the way that a bunch of different kinds of people connect, have coffee, pray, eat sandwiches, study the bible, laugh, and stay connected. it's cool because people can just be people. 
as i was hanging out with adriana, a couple of thoughts came to mind - especially as i was thinking of community and how we do it today and how it was done in the book of acts. 

that first group of leaders and original group of emerging leaders had no idea that what they were doing would change the world. they were simply 'being' and 'doing' instead of being so technical or precise. 

so a couple of things from these 1st generation leaders and groups:
-they spent time together (lots of time)
-they spent time eating together (lots of time)
-they spent time not in a church building, rather among the 'normal' people (lots of time)
-they prayed (lots of prayer)
-they devoted themselves to the things that were most important (do we?)

so...i wonder if we over complicate things. do we distort and over kill the simplicity of simply doing life with others? is there something more needed than a bible, people, a cup of coffee and God?

what do you think? 

what can we learn from the 1st gen. leaders and groups? 

in your opinion, what do you think we should be most devoted to doing?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

journey...


as we finished zeal this evening, i was thinking about how all that we experience at zeal happens. just wanted to extend my thanks to the whole team that makes these gatherings possible. from everyone on stage to the folks that you never see -- the people who do everything that no one else wants to do, THANKS!
regarding tonight, i think it went really well. as i was reading some the 'next steps' that some of us need to take, it made me smile - God is actively at work in our of lives as we're traveling through this journey. i know that the future is unknown, but what about your very next step?

so...what is your next step? what do you sense God is asking you to do? where do you sense He's leading you to go? what's the next step you need to take?
let me know how God is working in your journey - let's journey together. 

fyi, tonight's podcast will be up soon at www.zealmiami.com

next week at 6.30 -- homeless feeding, be there!