Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Pressing Forward

I'm not by nature a witch hunter or one who sees demons in every dark corner, but here lately it has seemed to me that that is exactly what I've been. Truthfully many people may think that about me at this point and in fact the few people that have talked to me have came close to calling me crazy. But I am here to tell you everything has happened just as I have said for one and for two the attacks keep coming in. I guess for three I and my wife are determined to not stop no matter what because we know we are in Gods wonderfully big hands and he will not allow more than we can bear, in fact I think most of the attacks have only served to shore up rough areas in our defenses. Each new attack on us has not deterred us so therefore it has accomplished nothing. I don't know if I have many readers but for those of you who do I am asking you to pray for us. My brother just told me he might possibly have Lupus. My brother was MY prayer come true, and it hurts me to see him in pain or worried. I was 14 when he was born so I think I missed out on a lot of the sibling things that most brothers get because I was out of the house by the time he was 4. With my deployments and being stationed overseas I would say there is a lot missing there but he is still the little brother I asked for and I will not give him up very easily. I am praying for him right now that God will place his hand in this situation and to let the report come back clean. I am tired, I am broken, but I am committed to press to the end.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays... All of them

My wife was recently reading a blog about Santa Claus. The blogger was asking how people had been told there really wasn't a Santa, but of course it was a Christian blog so people turned it to the typical "Christians shouldn't celebrate Santa." It seems to me that someone somewhere in the Christian world always has a problem with one of the Holidays be it Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving or whatever. In our house we celebrate them all and they all have special meaning. Most people don't even look at the reason xmas is xmas before they scream that the world is trying to take Christ out of Christmas. There are so many good reasons for the x one being that it is the greek letter for Christ or it represents the cross of Christ. Long before Christmas was made into the shopping Holiday it is today there was Xmas. I recently heard of a sermon about the kneeling Santa and how each part of the costume represented certain parts of salvation, easter eggs represent new beginnings in Christ, pumpkins represent the shell of who we were before the light was put in us, Xmas trees represent the everliving promise of God. Heres the thing that we need to look at as Christians, who are we going to believe? According to the oldest written historys the flood was brought on by old gods who got mad at most humans except of course the one he had to build a boat. Sound Familar? There are so many of the Bibles stories that have other secular content but we know the truth of things. The Flood was sent by God after he had Noah build a boat. So should we stop telling it because the pagans have somthing similar? Or should we loudly proclaim the truth? I think the reason for any season is Chirst and any season has a way to proclaim him so I will continue to carve my pumpkins, have Xmas trees, color Easter eggs and even tell my kids about Santa... A man who actually followed Christ teaching of selling everything he had and giving to the poor... A man who attended the council of Nicea and helped Christianity become what it is today... A man. I read this today "Those people who say "Bah humbug" to Christmas fun should find a way to transform holiday traditions into instruments of God's love." Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Take my Life

You know the past few months of our life has been really tough to live out each day for God while it seems that everything is going against you. A couple of nights ago I was taking my nightly walk with the dog and a song by Third Day came on. The words go Please take from me my life when I don't have the strength to give it away to you; please take from me my life when I don't have the strength to give it away to you Jesus. I remember looking at my wife and saying we would ride in God's hands as long as it took to recover our loss, that he would be everything we needed never realizing how hard even that simple task was going to be for us. Yet everything continues to work out well for us, we are blessed despite our despair. God is there!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Today is the Best day of the Year!

On this day 9 years ago Chrissy and I became husband and wife. Things get better every year and I thought that nothing could compare to that day to be honest. She has been the best partner a man could ask for.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I can now say I'm done..

With the semester that is lol, I have turned in my last paper and I am actually caught up with everything I was behind on. I honestly didn't think I would ever get everything done. Now we can take a break and just breath as a family, with everything that has happened over the last few months that has been really hard to do.. just breath. But you know God has brought us through a lot of rough water so I know the journey isn't over in fact I am looking for something great in the next year!

I can now say I'm done..

Sunday, December 14, 2008

God's Protection

OK its 2am and here I am wide awake and blogging, yes I said 2am. I have told you before how we have felt that Satan has been attacking our family personally ever since we publicly declared that we were going into a full time pastorate, well tonight we believe that another of those attacks may have been thwarted by God.
My wife's mother has been in the hospital and Christina really wanted to go down and see her, however with all of our schedules with school(both ours and Ainsley) it was really difficult to see how she could get down there. We hatched a plan for her to leave after Sunday night church service, drive to Huntsville and stay with a friend of ours, then see her mom on Monday leaving around lunch to get back here in time to see Ainsley cheer for the first time in a real game(more on that in a different post I'm sure..if not mine read Chrissy's lol). I took the dog outside for a walk and the thought came to me that I would never see her again, within seconds all the details flashed before me sending chills up my spine. I shrugged it off as just a bad thought associated with just normal fears. I came back in the house and she had half way decided there was no way she could do the trip so the whole thought just left me. Later that evening she mentioned still going and this time we were considering her taking Renah so that Renah would have a special trip with mommy. Once again I took the dog out and I was hit with the same thought, only this time Renah was gone too. I don't know why but I didn't tell Chrissy any of this but I said a prayer for God to protect them and went on with our daily plans. Fast forward a bit and we were laying in bed, neither of us seemed able to sleep so I rolled over to her and asked her what was on her mind. Without even skipping a beat she said "That if she went to Huntsville she wouldn't come back" Like a ton of bricks it all came back to me so I questioned her further as to what she meant. She had a thought that someone was going to hurt her and she wasn't going to come back alive. I then told her what I had thought earlier to which she replied I had just prayed to God for a sign right before you asked me what was on my mind and I really feel this is it. i don't know how to tell you what I felt in those next few moments, I don't even know that you would understand. Many people will try to tell me that its just coincidence but I'm telling you that it was a warning from God for her not to go which just further proves to us that God has a calling on our lives. She almost went last Sunday morning but the car had messed up the night before. Everything we have tried over the last week to get her down there has failed, this time it wouldn't have but my partner would not have come back! I know full well what just happened and it is miraculous divine intervention in my opinion. I don't know what else it could be but God. If you read my blog at all then you know we have had a rough couple of months please pray God's continued protection over my family.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Point Blank! Everything is going to be Alright

From the title of my blog you would think I was referring to the election like every other McCain backer over the last few days, but in fact that is referring to a statement given to my wife and I by a minister. Last Sunday he was at our church to preach, but in our service he didn't get the opportunity as God moved in a very powerful way. As God started to move there was a call to come down if you needed anything from God. Chrissy and I came to a separate decision to not go down for prayer again for whatever reason. You know that feeling that you are being looked at, but you avoid looking in that direction no matter what happens you focus on something else? Well that was much the feeling I had as Floyd Lahaun walked down the aisle. It seemed that he made a bee line straight for me, and as he tapped me for prayer I moved out into the aisle with the thought I will not go down. For those that don't understand that, I meant get slain in the spirit which used to happen alot in pentecostal Church's. Now I observe a lot of things in church services and I do recognize the move of God when it happens, and there are times that people do what is expected. They dance, get slain whatever the "format" of the service is. I know that most are right on but there are always fakes in every crowd. I have always been careful with the spirit especially since I know I could do better imitations of the move of God than most. So there I was thinking to myself I won't go down. He prayed for what seemed a few minutes and I felt the push to go down. Then he stopped and touched my heart and said "Point Blank son I don't know what you are dealing with but God wants to consume you he wants you to give him everything you have including your problems and your fears." Now as much as I would like that to be a direct quote I was already sobbing so hard I could hardly breathe just after he used my own catch phrase against est me, point blank" As he touched my forehead again I remember my knees buckling and then I was coming to next to my wife, who apparently had also had an experience. As we stood up and moved back into our seat who should come back down the aisle but Floyd Lahaun, this time with a mike. He came up to us and started telling us that what he had to say no one in the church may understand, but that he knew God had words for us directly. Those words were Point Blank,everything is going to be alright. That no matter what had happened that God said it was going to be alright. Then of course he touched me with the red Bible again and I went down without even a thought in my head, I do know I was crying like a kid again. My wife told me later that she had been forced to a seat by me because I had such a tight hug on her. He had her stand up to put her back down again. For those of you that know what we have been through here recently and many in the audience that day, the immediate thought is the miscarriage. For my wife and I there was so much more that ran through our minds. The ministry we are getting ready to embark on and all the issues like our finances that are involved getting there. Yes the miscarriage was in our mind, bigger in Chrissy's than mine, but God had already showed us peace in that. You would think that after two knockouts from God that our day would be over but no at that evenings service he came down the aisle to us again and asked if we were the same couple from across the aisle that morning, of course we were. He told us that God had had us on his mind all day! Then he told us again, everything is going to be alright. This time I ended up on my face before God, half crying half laughing it seemed. I know this God is good, I never felt so relieved as I did that day. I know now that everything is going to be alright... Point Blank

Monday, October 20, 2008

Thoughts on My Son

This blog will appear disjointed to many, simply thats because it is. I have written this over several weeks so many thoughts may have already been covered and I refuse to delete anything.

I still don't know where I stand in all of this, in fact I am hoping that by allowing my fingers to type perhaps something may come out. I have reserved my feelings throughout all of this pregnancy because deep down there just wasn't anything I wanted more than a son. I love my daughters and they are each special in their own way, but I wanted a son. I refused to let my wife wear pink and every night we went through a ritual of rubbing a little baseball outfit on her stomach as if it would help in some way. No I don't believe in superstition it was just a funny cutesy togetherness that my wife and I did. Everyone always suspected that he was a boy and most often "it" was referred to as "he".
On Tuesday night October 14th my wife called to tell me she was bleeding, I told her to go ahead and call the doctor and I was headed home. When I got there she was calmer but something still didn't seem right in her mind so she called my mom who I think calmed her down enough for her to grab a little sleep. I didn't know what to expect and other than my normal sleeplessness had a decent night.
On Wednesday I dropped Chrissy off at the doctors office for her routine appointment and started running errands, we were still planning on going out of town. I came home briefly to check an email for a phone number and while I was sitting at the computer she called me unable to speak crying so hard she seemed she couldn't breath, the doctor had to take the phone and in tears told me that my child was dead. Even then I had no fear, in fact as I went to the hospital I quoted scriptures about the promises of God and claimed life for my unborn baby. I even swore to myself that she would not take any medicine that could kill the baby. As soon as I arrived they started spelling out the options that we had, one of which was the DNC and the other was actual delivery. For several reasons we chose not to go with the DNC. It seemed to me at the time to give no chance for survival in case we were wrong and in Chrissy's mind she wanted to see it. So they gave her meds that started contractions and scheduled a delivery for 7am the next morning.
Needless to say Wednesday night neither of us could sleep, Chrissy went through times of crying while I sat there numb. I honestly felt a loss but didn't know what I had lost as honestly at that point in the pregnancy the guy doesn't get the connection with the child like the woman does. I was scared because I thought there might have been times where I didn't do enough for Chrissy, she was always wanting me to carry her bags and at times I jokingly refused. At this point I was having doubts about our calling and the ability to go on, in fact I had an email from the Chaplain recruiter that same day to whom I almost replied "just go away". By 3am I was struggling spiritually and didn't even realize it. 5am was the last time I saw the clock and as I feel asleep I think God prepared me for what was coming.
Chrissy had decided that this child needed a name, to which I was against at first. My mom told me to let her know if we would have a funeral, which confused me more...why would we have a funeral. My grief was still locked away and truthfully I wasn't letting it out for something as simple as this. Having seen so many people go through miscarriages and stillbirths I knew it was real but I was going to handle it the way I always have, internally. I'm sure many people saw that I was not in control, in fact my adviser noticed it within seconds of walking in, coherent sentences weren't my friend and as I said I was numb. So all this was on my mind and in my dream God came to me. He assured me that everything was in his hand and that he was full of grace. He told me that what I had lost would be rewarded two fold (yeah I warned Chrissy that twin boys were in our future lol) At that point I knew that my son, yes I knew at that point I had a son who was now dead, would have a name and that name would be Mishael Hananiah and that little boy would forever be a part of our lives.
We do feel that this was a direct attack against us by Satan. Unlike a lot of people who just give him credit for things, we feel in this case that it was a final attack in a long stream of attacks that started back when my wife and I first fully accepted the call to the chaplaincy and a pastorship. At first it was minor things like constant arguements between my wife and I. I once asked her have you noticed a change in us since accepting this call? Of course after putting a face to it things changed so the attacks came from elsewhere. Each one we closed the gap on through pray and every challenge taught us something new. I remember when I first started calling people about the conception, one of our trusted advisors Chaplain Egert asked me if it changed anything as far as our goals to go back in to which I answered no way, nothing is going to change my mind short of God. Little did I know that at 17 weeks I would have severe doubts about going any further. Weeks before the presidential election I remember praying God I have given up so much of my family already why should I go into the army under a president who doesn't care a bit about you? And still I hear him calling me further into him. What may have been intended for evil actually backfired because unlike a large amount of couples who go through this, we got closer. There are days where we just lay there and hold each other without a word passing between us, a lot of times I am praying for my wife because I have nothing to say and I know God does. There are times when we talk until all hours of the night and often our conversation returns to our future as a pastor and wife team. Often these conversations start with a thought of MH, but usually they just start. Pastor Moody on the day of the birth warned us againest becoming seperated in our grief. It just confirmed that we were still in a fight. I have never been so grief striken as I have been for the last few weeks, now almost a month. But I also feel so much closer to my God and my wife. I was close to both, in fact there have been many times in our relationship that we have had conversations until 3 in the morning or just held each other without words, but since this most recent trial we have decided to follow our destiny to the end no matter what hand in hand

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Catch-up

I have let my blogging slide again, although I have thought of lots of things to blog about over the last few weeks. The problem, besides time of course comes from not wanting to inflame those who disagree with my points concerning the current political situation. For those of you on my face book you know by now that I have likened Obama not to the anti-Christ as many Christians have recently, but to Hitler. Now Hitler of course had actual leadership and he was at least honest in his goals unlike Obama who has neither leadership or goals. I don't mind people having a difference of opinion from me, but those who continue to insist that his leadership qualities are vast really tend to make me want to give them a little wall to wall counseling ;)..... Seriously even Palin has more experience in that department and I'm not much of a fan of hers either(McCain does have my vote). In a recent Army Times article McCain held over 67% of the military vote. Yeah I wonder why...hmmmm... perhaps its because they understand leadership! I think most civilians really need to ask themselves what leadership is, especially those who have business leadership or whatever leadership degrees and still insist that Obama has that trait. He couldn't be further from the truth in fact I would go as far as saying he is the unleader.
On to other topics before I really do get mad lol
These last few weeks have been rushed to the extreme. Chrissy of course is taking her first semester back in school in stride other than thinking she needs to study all the time. Ainsley loves kindergarten, I think she misses some part of her old life though ;). I am under a full 17 hr load with 3 labs. Of course that wasn't enough work for me so I also played the role of Tech Director for the Ocoee Players production of Cotton Patch Gospel and I am trying to learn guitar in addition to getting more involved with South Cleveland Church of God as I continue the process towards Chaplaincy. Yeah its been really busy lol.
Through it all though God reveals himself to be a God that is in control. The scary thing here recently has been the seeming loss of who God is by most of the church. In a recent discussion a certain type of church came up which doesn't have one religion under its roof, in fact you can even be atheist and attend. I don't mean this a church who welcomes all sinners I mean there are no sinners all under one roof. It is the same thing as Oprah has recently endorsed in that you don't have to accept Christ as the only way to heaven but that there are several ways into heaven. I made the statement that there is only one way into heaven and that in my mind anyone who believed otherwise was not a Christian. I tend to look at things different than most I know, for one I believe in religious freedom, however I also believe that anything counter to the Holy Bible is false and won't get you anywhere other than hell or whatever you want to call it. I also believe that one who is struggling with sin no matter the sin is in better shape than the one who has fallen into sin and continues to dwell there which means that one who struggles with homosexuality but continues to pray for help from God, doesn't fall into sin is in way better shape than the one who thinks porn every now and then is OK. God didn't make one to be gay anymore than he made one to be a whore or to cheat on their spouse. These things all seem easy to me but in a recent conversation with a fellow Lee student the concept seems hard to grasp for many. Perhaps we can place the blame on the church who felt it was more important to discuss why we are Catholic, Baptist, Pentecostal, Episcopalian and all the other denominations out there instead of what it means to be Christian. Of course that most likely was considered bad business by many mega churches and so they did away with the basics ans skipped to the good stuff like cookies and milk after every service. No there is nothing wrong with cookies and milk, in fact I am big on Churches being a servant group and the first/last appearances are the most important, but how about some Christ in the christian service first, besides what chapel service would be complete without cookies and milk as there are times that those cookies are the only sweet some fat recruit like I was would get for the entire week not that I partook ;)...I think that honestly we as Christians forgot how good God was and actually thought we needed to sell his services like some sort of department store. The church grows the most when the truth is presented in a way that can't be avoided. Now I would be wrong to end this rant without any way for someone to go further so here is the Prayer of Salvation. The truth of it all is that God so loved the world that he gave his only son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. The story doesn't end there. He was rose again three days later, and now sits in heaven with God. Anyone who ask him forgiveness and leaves his sinful ways is accepted into the kingdom of God.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Amazing Grace

Isn't it awesome how God loves us no matter what and all we have to do is ask forgiveness when we mess up? I sometimes wonder how he does without ever losing sleep. There are times as a parent that I wonder man are they ever going to grow out of this disobedience stage, and let me say that my kids are really good...most of the time. But God has to deal with the entire human race who without remorse runs headlong into sins over and over. And each time the simple words "Forgive me God" brings it back right with him. Now sometimes there are periods of punishment so to speak such as with David and Bathsheeba. This is the man that God had a respect for and in the end David is someone we can all relate to in one way or another and know that God has an amazing plan of salvation for us.

Monday, September 15, 2008


I have been thinking about Faith a lot here lately and in its application to the various portions of our lives. For those of you who have actually read my blogs you may know that I think in terms of a big unlimited God. But there are times that I feel I limit what God can do. Here in the city of Cleveland, TN people are always praying for rain, "because the good Lord knows we need it"! While several states perhaps they pray for no rain. Praying for rain in Cleveland, TN or for no rain in Killeen, TX and having the faith that God will answer your prayers is easy. But God promises us so much more, in fact in his word there were times when the impossible happened for his people. The first faithful man of God to request the impossible and to expect it to happen was Joshua. He stood before the people of God in prayer and said let the sun and moon stay where they are so that we can finish the job. He didn't pray that they could hurry up and get the job done or that the enemy would turn around and come back. These things would have been the easy faith thing to do, instead he asked for the passage of time to pause. Elijah was one who came to mind when I thought of all the prayer rquest for rain. He did something that truly required faith, in fact if he had been wrong he would have looked rather foolish.
Now Elijah, who was from Tishbe in Gilead, told King Ahab, “As surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives—the God I serve—there will be no dew or rain during the next few years until I give the word!” It happened just as he had faith it would and God honored him for his faith. Can you imagine if we prayed for no rain in Cleveland, TN until the wicked people turned to God? Can you imagine going up to someone and instead of saying "hey I prayed for rain and it came", you said "man I prayed for no rain until I said so and its been three years and still Cleveland, TN hasn't seen rain!" I am not saying that praying for rain is wrong, just that limiting your prayers to the normal course of things is. Pray Faithfully for the impossible it will shock you with the things that arent really impossible.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Africa or Bust?

When I talk to people about answering God's call (for example becoming a Chaplain) I sometimes talk about my friend who is called to be a missionary in Africa. It seems that so many people are afraid to answer the call into the ministry because they don't want to be placed somewhere that they will hate. My friend was called to Africa almost from the time he was saved. He in fact dreamed of living in Africa for more than just the ministry he liked the whole thought of wide open country for some weird reason that I could never quite put my finger on. Personally I couldn't think of a more horrid calling to have to answer. For some people my calling to go back into the Army after my initial escape befuddles their minds. For me I enjoyed, for the most part, my military service and honestly can think of no ministry that could be nearly as exciting, much like my friend and his Africa. You see God calls people that he created to those things he created them for. To be quite honest I am yet to hear of someone who was called to a ministry that they just didn't like, if you know someone who is ask them truly if they are called to that or do they feel obligated you will see at first a look of outrage, then followed by a look of hmmm yeah that's true. Recently in church service we had a visiting missionary from the Congo(Africa). Now many of you are thinking awww that's nice he came back to fill the congregation in on his mission field. Nope he was from the Congo, missionary to the United States! Now who in the world would want to come as a missionary to the United States? But God placed a calling on his and his families life and here they are. My entire point is this, don't be afraid of Africa God has people with a heart for Africa. Where is your heart?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Who Am I?

Over time God has taught me many lessons, not that I get them on the first go around. I am always telling people that in ministry you should never be the only one that makes the ministry go because then it becomes more about the individual instead of about God himself. If this "I'm the only one who do it behavior" doesn't lead to emotional breakdown it will lead to a loss of ministry opportunities because you will no longer grow in God. We lose our effectiveness by not taking time off, even Christ did. Obviously Billy Graham is a large part of what "Billy Graham Ministries" is, however God has people that are just as capable to step into his shoes when he is not there. These things are obvious, but what about the times when you think you are the only one serving God, or the only one who could have made a difference in someones life? Recently I attended the wake of a friend of mine whom I have recently had the privilege of getting to know but never out and out asked if he knew the Lord in a personal way. From the day I found out about his death I was grieving over not telling him. As my wife and I pulled up to the house I was still concerned that I had only lived my life in front of him. He knew of our plans for the chaplaincy,but these things come up in regular conversation. From the minute I walked into the house it was as if God was trying to teach me a thing or two about just who I was in the whole scheme of things. One lady mentioned that he had attended a church often because he enjoyed the music, at another conversation someone I knew from another church talked about my friend working for him. As soon as he said that I heard a voice say to me Who do you think you are that you would be the only opportunity for this man to know me? I was stunned and humbled at the same time. I am still heartbroken that I never broached the issue of salvation, but I am heartened that God had others to step into the gap that I had left open. I learned yet another lesson there and that was that God always has people to fill roles, be it so that someone can take time off from running the camera for church, or to show someone the plan of salvation when we drop the ball ourselves. Looking into scripture we find yet another who had the question of who am I answered that of Elijah. In 1 Kings 19 Elijah was feeling like he was the only one who was still serving God and he was at his wits end so to speak. But God came to him and lovingly persuaded him that there were at least 7000 others who had never bowed to Baal. Now you might think that this is stretching it but let me elaborate. If there are 7000 people who have never bowed a knee to Baal then don't you think there is at least one or two others who can do what you do in the kingdom? Ask yourself the question Who am I?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

New Beginnings

With the beginning of the school year my family has three students that call themselves full time now. My wife(who is pregnant), and my daughter(who just started Kindergarten) have joined me in the educational endeavors. My wife is going through the same thought process I went through a little over a year ago. As I was trying to motivate her it dawned on me how close this chapter of our life is to closing and just how close the next one is to starting. Obviously my daughter has just started her educational chapter but my wife and I are in our final year of undergrad education! My wife having just reached her 29th plus 1 birthday was worried about fitting into a room full of fresh faces who haven't had near the time out of school that she has, while my daughter was worried about passing test(how she knew about test is beyond me) Their worries were much the same. The scripture that comes to mind is found in Jeremiah 29:11 . In this verse God tells us he already knows what we are doing even when we think the chapter just started, amazingly he didn't have to read the last page and knowing the end doesn't ruin the story for him he stays with us every step of the way. My thought process after my last year of Lee is that I can do it with God in control ! And my words to those people starting new things trust God and know he was there when you started hes there already at the finish and he is in the middle of your walk already waiting to guide you.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Stay Alert

This morning when I logged into Facebook I saw two things that have been on my mind the last few days. One was the daily scripture which can be found in Psalm 34 "

Taste and see that the Lord is good, blessed is the man who takes refuge in him",

and the second was a daily post called extreme Bible study...

Wednesday, July 16,2008
Written by Bill Scott

Luke 21:36
Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.

The one thing I have learned throughout the years is that Satan is very patient. Satan will never attack you when you are at the top of your game. He will wait for the perfect storm to hit your life. He will wait until you have become weak and then pounce on you! If things are going well today praise the Lord! Now is the time to keep your guard up and be alert. The Bible says that Satan is seeking who he can devour and I do not want that to be you. This is why it’s so important to spend time in the Bible and pray on a regular basis. When you stop eating you’ll soon become weak. It won’t happen over night, it will be just a little each day until you are flat on your back. It’s the same way when you stop reading the Bible. Each day you are away from God you become a little weaker. So take this verse to heart today and stay alert. It’s not if Satan will attack, it’s when he’ll attack.
Extra Time in the Word: Luke 21

Everyday we are attacked by Satan, I know it sounds cheesy but it is true and if you don't beleive it then you might want to rethink your walk. Everywhere I go it seems that people have stopped worrying about Satan and his many attacks on not only the individual, but also the family and its structure. I welcome the attacks of Satan because it means there is something right going on in my family and our walk with God.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


While we were still in Texas our Pastor at the time used one of the younger cuties to get his point across about the influenceity of children. The catch phrase that to this day I remember was when she said in a childlike voice "influence me". Even then I didn't understand how influenceable a child's mind was. Some friends of ours had a daughter slightly older than Ainsley and she looked up to in just about every way. Even being away from Texas for over two years we still hear about the dog that Brooke played in Annie or about the particular toy that Brooke had that Ainsley loved. Since getting "older" Ainsley has wanted her hair cut short to both of our dismay. But since we want our hard lines to have meaning and in my opinion as long as she still looked like a little girl, we allowed it to be cut. So mom loaded her up in the car and after a hard hour she returned home to my surprise with a haircut just like Brooke! Does Ainsley even remember what Brooke's hair really looks like? I don't think she does conscientiously, however back in her brain somewhere she was influenced.
A book called "A Class Divided" goes into such deep detail of our at a young age a child can be taught to hate or to love. A teacher takes her third grade class and divides them according to eye color. On the first day all Blue eyed children are the best at everything and deserve special privileges. Immense hatred arises among life long friends. Students become violent and start to call the others names like "you brown eye". On the next day she switches it and immediately the attitudes change. Where before the downtrodden brown eyes felt inadequate, now they are superior and horde it over the poor blue eyes. Even grades change depending on who is being told is the better.
We in America tend to think that we are strong and uninfluenceable. It has been proven over and over that at the very least children are. I believe strongly that labels have truly influenced our society to the point that we can't advance past hatred and bitterness. Catch phrases like African American, Asian America and Hispanic American only lead to more segregation because regardless of side you are taught that you are different. My mom brought up a point recently that while she was growing up those who were Spanish were... white. Yeah shocking isn't it! We allowed a divide somewhere to come up, to the point that heritage really has nothing to do with it. Starting at a young age we should stop telling people they are any different and start showing them the things they really need to know. Around the world they have figured it out, yet the melting pot has became a salad of things that can be picked out and tossed aside. Recently you see racism at is finest with people like Obama as a presidential candidate. HE and no one else brings race into the mix. HE claims that the McCain group will bring it up and HE proves my point over and over and over again because suddenly there is a divide that can't be crossed created by HIM.
To influence our children to do right we need to start while they are yet young and continue it through their education then in their adult life the issues we face won't be the problems they have.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sow What

Yeah Yeah so I did a play on words, or did you think I just misspelled? Well I meant it that way so there. On my daily scripture for facebook Galatians 6:8 came up
The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction;
the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
After reading an article in the news yesterday that said people are more and more believing that their religion isn't the only way into heaven, this coming from 57% of evangelical Christians, I am led to believe that the church has too long sown from the sinful nature.
We have allowed things into our midst by letting our personal opinion lead our ideology and not the spirit as it should be. We take sins and elevate them higher then others because we are sickened by them, instead of calling sin.. sin. I so often hear about people who strongly stand against homosexuality, but then they cheat on their wives or are caught in some other moral sin. Sin is sin there isn't a sin ladder that you climb starting at lying and ending up gay. The man who looks at porn is the same as the gay man they are both sinning. All sin requires forgiveness from God and he says none is greater then another except blaspheming the Holy Spirit. Then there are the created sins, the ones that aren't even in the Bible but we push them anyway. The one that makes me laugh the hardest is the sin of not growing in Christ, not that I think we should stagnate in our walk but who is greatest among you let him cast the first stone. How many times have I heard he was a good man but he got his ear pierced I am just praying for God to bring him back to the fold or She isn't living right she wears those skirts that just barely cover the knees I am praying that God doesn't allow her to die before she comes back to church. These aren't the only made up sins out there, they are just the ones I chose for this blog.
My point in all of this is the Bible names the sins we should concern ourselves with, and on those we quickly forgive as we should. My dad recalls a lady who came to church while he was a teenager. She was saved at the service, her past life forgiven by all, but was met by the elder ladies in the church who proceeded to tell her how she needed to be dressed the next time she came to church, she of course never came back either from embarrassment or from the lack of money to buy new clothes. If they felt so strongly about it then they should have followed God's mandate and given her their Sunday best.
The Bible is plain about sin, it is also plain about how to react to it. We in the church need to get into the word and see what sin really is, Gods policy on how to react to those sins and stop creating sins for everyone else to fall short on. If we focus on God and start sowing into our spiritual field, as the scripture says the rain is coming prepare the field.
We have serious problems on our hands with people going to churches that are so accepting of everything. I recently heard of a church that you could be buddist, atheist or christian. Yes I left it lower case because I don't beleive anyone is a Christian if they think that there might be other ways into heaven. The Bible is plain, amazing how clear things are yet we always want to debate it, Jesus is the only way into heaven. If you are a slave to Christ, or Christian, then you must follow his teaching. Any deviation from that puts you in another classification, make something up you already have created the rest of your beliefs why stick to the classification.
Am I saying we should be intolerant of others? NO! They can believe the way they want, just don't bring those beliefs to my church and expect me to accept you as is. Sure I'll welcome you in and love you all the way into an experience with Christ.

Friday, June 20, 2008

God in a Box

It's amazing how in the last several months God has shown me things about him that I thought I knew already, but liker most of us just didn't get. We claim, especially those of us in the charasmatic/pentacostal group, that with God nothing is impossible but we constantly put him into a neat little box where if he ever tried anything outside of that box we claim it to be anti-God. Most of you know that Christina and I have been on the move church wise again trying to find that home away from Faith Temple, but if you didn't there you go. We have been visiting a baptist church with some friends of ours in the last few weeks, breath everyone, and have truly been blessed by what we have seen.
Like I said at the beginning God has been dealing with me personally about boxes for a while, and on the first Sunday there would you believe the Pastor talked about boxes? Amazingly baptist people feel the leading of the spirit as so many people wrongly think. That sermon spoke right to me as he said "We the baptist church like to put God in a box and not allow him to work, now you Church og God people out there laugh but your guilty of it too your box is just bigger."
As I sat there I was hit with a lot of different thoughts, some concerning a certain baptist church that sang the same songs as we do, had their very own Marsha Hoxworth(one of the best pastors wives Christina and I have ever had), but a pastor who spoke to the heart of what God was dealing with me on.
Now I have always been a person of Faith, as long as you couldn't see inside my head anyway. I have to show strength for my family no matter what, thats my job. But there have been some real down moments for me since moving back to Cleveland. Everytime I think things are looking good again, it seems to turn within minutes. At one point after a particularly challenging problem was fixed I even said that I felt like God had pushed the envelope of my ability to continue on. I started to wonder did we make a bad choice in coming here? Is the dream that gave me to great for someone who is "non-traditional" at school? It seems that everytime I see somthing forming up its crushed and thoughts of moving back home resurface.
Today was a really bad day for me because Christina was hit with another one of migranes. She had more then her insurance alloted five of them so we had to call to get her refill only to hear that she couldn't get anymore in this month. The on call doctor in his great wisdom suggested we just buy one pill to get her through to Monday when her doctor will be available, but that one pill is $92.00! At least in the army they would have given her samples. The army looks really good for someone who thought God was calling him out, someone who wanted to stay in for life and had a family that supported that.
As all these thoughts are running through my head I remember my pastors words when we were discussing some ideas once. I am sure that if I tried to quote it I would mess it up so I'll "wadish" it. "Even though I know what God has in store for Faith Temple he has not yet released me to it". WHAT you mean God shows you things in the future but won't let you do it yet? You mean even though there is a struggle to maintain those things as they are he knew that when he told you but I can't do anything excpet keep walking?
I know over the last few months Christina and I have helped people with stuggles that we would have never seen or met in Killeen, Texas, our comfort zone. That doesn't mean that we don't know what some of what God has in store for us, nor does it mean that this is "our spot" its more like our wilderness." As sure as the world we had put God into a "prosperity box". A box that said we were doing what he wanted so things should go well, more like would go well.
So as I am sitting here thinking of being in God's box and not keeping him my box at 130 because I can't sleep yet again, I flip over to GOD TUBE and watch a video of a drama. For people that know me they know how I am about drama and media in the church. I despise those people that just want to get by. I believe that it is not that hard to make good quality no matter what your resources. I am also not real happy with those people who make excuses for not using it in their service. Excuses like we just dont know how, or God doesn't use that in church. These people are usually againest business managers in church too. Anyway enough ranting off subject, I watch the video that is attached here where this group is doing cheerleaderesk moves combined with drama and I see a place where God is not boxed out of the media/drama but is allowed to move freely in a backflip :)
To sum this rant all up nicely would most likely be impossible but let me try. God is greater then any box a demoniation can put around him. God is greater then any form of ministry can put around him. It doesn't matter how much people think we shouldn't copy the things of the world, because God is a creative person and humans are in his likeness they are therefore creative in the end they are in fact copying him. David danced for God years before churches made it a sin, banners were somthing of every worship service in Israel, so let God out of your box and climb into his!
Dramatically IHS

Think you are seeing two ?

You might be if you followed my blogging on my space or face book, I am in the process of bringing them all here so that you don't need a membership somewhere in order to read and comment on them. I am hoping that by bringing them all here maybe I'll figure out what I want this blog to be :)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Old Friends; Old Crimes

I am always apprehensive when I come in contact with old friends out of fear that they will remember things that I have done that may not have been something a Christian should have been doing, especially now that I am answering the call to pastor troops. Over the last week God has brought a lot of old friends into my life and so far my worries over the past have been unfounded. It reminds me of the scripture where God says that he will cast your sins from him as far as the east is from the west. I know that we on earth don't often forget the transgressions against us, nor do we forget the things others do if for no other reason then that of making sure they are never better then us. It doesn't really matter why we are reminded because according to the 1 Peter 5:8 Satan is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour and he is called the accuser of the saints constantly reminding them of where they came from. We don't need to worry about these things, in fact the old saying "when the devil reminds you of your past remind him of his future" comes to mind here. So no matter what we have done in life, we can rest assured in our salvation as long as we accept Christ as our savior who died on the cross for our sins and rose three days later.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Call of the Wild

As many already known Christina and I have acknowledged the calling as a Chaplain in the army. Most have said that they aren't at all surprised, which to be honest neither are we. I think initially the hardest thing for me to overcome was accepting the fact that I was called into a pastorate, which I have always fought based on an image I had forged in my mind of a traditional "pulpit ministry".
Growing up as a pastors child I was always being told I was called to preach/pastor and I would always reply that they were off base because I was a rough and tumble mountain man not cut out for this soft pastoring thing that my father did so well. Don't get me wrong my dad is a mans man, in fact I would rather have him in a foxhole with me then just about anyone else. That might be because I know he is connected to God and my mom would have more angels around us then she ever prayed up for me during my two tours. But he is one of those that is just cut out for the cloth so to speak and I look better as an enforcer. This knowledge is what led me to the army in the first place, while there I met Chaplain Egert who was so much like my dad it amazed me.
I can honestly say that when we met the Egerts being in the ministry couldn't have been more distant from both of us. We had been through so much hurt at that point from "Christians" that I had swore off anything church related. Chrissy and I to this day laugh about the whole lunch with them that got me back teaching drama at church, renewed us to Godly Christians and eventually led us to the decision that we were called into the ministry, not yet as chaplains but as something in the church. Chet and Rhoda along with their daughters became fast friends to us and on every move we ended up running into them or they us and always caught right back up. During our tour of Italy he had a Chaplain recruiter come to Vicenza and introduced us to the whole idea in our living room along with John McDougall and his soon to be wife. Even so we just didn't know if it would ever be something we wanted to do. John and Bree did end up being called and I suppose that the ember was already embedded in us.
Getting out of the army was so hard on both of us because we had always felt that we were lifers. Often you hear of people who can't survive on the outside, Chrissy and I are not those people, we just like the Camaraderie that the army has, even among the wives. God in his wisdom didn't reveal to us anything further than get out and go to school. So after an eight year career we started over. A lot happened in the first few months after getting out, some came close to destroying the faith we had in God.
Soon after arriving at Lee, the promised job dissolved with the resignation of the head of campus safety. Having no other options Chrissy looked for work and was turned down constantly until, just in time, she got a waitressing job at Outback. Night after night the back breaking work wore her down but she stuck with it because it was all we had. During this time her father was diagnosed with cancer, which God had revealed to us meant her father was being called home. Every day off she had we headed south to be with him and eventually about 3 months after his diagnosis, he died at the end of June. During one of our visits, which turned out to be his last really good strong week, he prayed over Chrissy and I and passed down the blessing of family leadership and ministry. He was an ordained minister so this was really a strong time for us because you almost don't feel worthy to receive that mantle. Talking to him, he knew we were called to the chaplaincy and in fact we were getting that feeling that it was coming, we just hadn't quite accepted it yet. On the drive back home we looked at each other and wondered if God was already revealing another step to us.
The August after his death I started back to Lee ofter being out of school for 1o years. I look back now in disbelief as I see Gods hand at work the whole time. At the beginning of that semester I was a sophomore with a 1.4 gpa. After the first semester I was a junior with a 2.2. Each semester the gpa rises and so does my belief that God has something in store just around the corner. In pursuing the next level of education I thought surely God wanted me to get a masters in something like movie making or production since my BA is telecommunications with a church media emphasis. As I was perusing the Regent website I saw a Mdiv with a chaplaincy emphasis, then I saw a discounted tuition for those in the Chaplains Candidate Program. Understand this none of our decisions were made based on that find, it was just interesting that while looking for a degree tract to follow in the graduate program a chaplaincy degree would show up.
At this point Chrissy and I felt 99.9% positive that we were being pulled that way.
I called Chaplain Egert a few nights later and asked him how we should proceed. Before I knew it I had emails rolling in from people he had put me in contact with. We have prayed God please open and close doors for us so that we will know that this is your will. So far we haven't walked through a single door, just a blown away hole where once there was a door but God removed it so there was no doubt which way we needed to go. I called the Church of God(Cleveland, TN) Chaplains Commission and set up a meeting with Chaplain McNabb who heads the program. What a wonderful meeting it was for us as he confirmed things we had always been feeling. At one point I told him that I had never felt a calling to a "traditional pulpit ministry" and he immediately replied I know what you are trying to say and you are what the chaplaincy needs because you are called to pastor soldiers. Before we knew it Chrissy and I were being escorted around the seminary, and we felt that we were in the right place.
So there is where we stand on this calling into the pastorate. We have been told that the hardest thing for us will be the change from enlisted to officer, they may be right. But I think just admitting a calling into the pastorate was the hardest for me.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Calling all Smart smokers

You wonder why non smokers such as myself think you should be banned from any public venue for smoking, well you can blame your stupid counterparts. Take my trip to McDonalds with my daughters today for instance. As I was sitting there a woman walked by the window smoking a cigarette. Just before she entered the door she tossed the still lit butt into the mulch that was all around the restaurant. Now besides the simple fact that some non-smoker will end up having to clean that up, it never fails non-smokers are the ones on butt duty, its really dry here and it was already starting to smolder. Had a few of the other customers and myself not been watching it would have been a fire within a few minutes. The crazy thing is she acted like we were intruding on her space. The funny thing is, most smokers will claim that this lady falls in the simple minority and that they, and most smokers, are just not like that. As much as I would like to believe them I have myself picked up way too many butts as a non smoker. So smart smokers if you want us non smokers to stop asking for more laws to stop this apparent interference into your life, police the dumb ones among you up because there are tons of them and they are really making you all look irresponsible.