speaking in public…

microphoneI have always been what most people would consider an outgoing guy.  I can go in and talk to people and joke and have fun.  The truth is though that while I can do those things, it’s not really me.  Going into a group of people and having to mingle petrifies me with anxiety and then take it another step further an have to speak to everyone and I get even more anxious.  The biggest anxiety of all though is when I am charged with sharing a devotion or preaching a sermon.  The pressure of making sure that not only am I communicating well, but also handling the truth of God’s Word properly very much overwhelms me.

Yet, I am in full time ministry where I have to do all those things that cause my anxiety.  From 2005-middle of 2016 I was in a ministry where I may only have to speak in front of a group a handful of times a year.  That all changed last year when I went full time with FCA.  Since that time I have had to share in churches, civic organizations, schools, and lots of other places.  In just a little over a year I have had more opportunities to speak than I have had in the 11 years prior.

All this is to say, I am so thankful that I have a God who encourages me and gives me strength to over come, or at least ignore the anxieties that attack me about speaking.  Where once I had a sense of dread when someone asked me to speak, now I am open to it and sometime find myself excited for the opportunity.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still scared and worried, but too many times has God showed himself faithful for me to be held back by those feelings.

This Sunday, I will be speaking at a church that I have never spoken at before. I am blessed to have the opportunity to not only share about our ministry with FCA but to also share a message from God’s Word.  The nerves and fears will come, but I have a great God who will give me strength and allow me to do all things through Him!

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starting off my year right…

I know, I know, I know that New Year’s resolutions are usually those things that we say we are going to to do and then we never keep up with them.  If we are good we keep them for a week and if we are lucky sometimes maybe a month.  And yet we still keep trying to do them.  That’s where I find myself this year, back at trying to keep resolutions.

in_the_store_giftThe first resolution that I wanted to do this year was to find a devotional that I could work through during my quiet time throughout the year.  Thankfully for Christmas I was given a copy of New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp.  It’s a year long devotional that has a new thought for you to read each morning, then expands on that thought, and then sends you to scripture to reflect on what God says.  This devotional has been a huge blessing in my walk with Christ and is something that I honestly can’t wait to jump into each morning.  If you are looking for a good devotional to work through this year I highly recommend this one.

As always, my second resolution is to start taking better care of myself physically.  Erin and I were blessed with a gift at Christmas that allowed us to join our local YMCA.  We have been trying to do things as a family there to be healthy like swimming, but I’m also trying to get up early enough to go workout and get myself to a healthier weight and state of mind.  So far things are going well, and I am committed to really taking the necessary steps.  For some reason going to the gym isn’t as daunting when you don’t work there all the time!

There are many days left in 2017, but I am committed to becoming both spiritually and physically fit in the days, weeks, and months ahead!

2015 FCA Leadership Camp – Day 1

Heading to Chapel

Heading to Chapel

Bright and early yesterday morning my family and I met our Lee County FCA Leadership team at the Lee County Rec. Center to head to Campbellsville University for the 2015 FCA Leadership Camp.  This year we are taking 4 girls and 2 boys with us to have a great experience as they are trained in how to be leaders for Christ, know what they believe and why, and share their faith with others.  The students were also excited to have the experience of staying in college dorms, making new friends and all kinds of various fun activities as well.

We arrived at Campbellsville University early in the afternoon and the students were able to check in and find out where they were staying, what huddles they were joining for competition and devotions, and also to get all kinds of goodies like shirts and a brand new FCA Student Bible.  From there the students found their dorms and quickly got settled in meeting their fellow students and huddle leaders.

"TubeMania!"

“TubeMania!”

The rest of the day the students were kept busy with a full schedule.  We had a big kickoff in the school chapel where the students started camp off with a great time of praise and worship.  From there they met more of their leaders and were sent out to play various games all over the campus.  As usual, a favorite game was “Tubemania” which is a form of tug-o-war played with tire inner tubes!  Once the games were over the students had worked up a big appetite and so we headed to the campus dining hall where everyone had a great meal with lots of food to choose from.

After dinner the students went back the the chapel where they listened to various speakers share about topics they would be teaching in buzz groups.  Buzz groups are little small groups that meet for about 30 to 45 minutes and deal with a variety of Biblical, moral, ministry, and various other topics.  The students are able to hear what groups are offered and then choose two to go to that interest them.  I encouraged all our students to really go to the group that applies most to them or interests them the most.

Maeven and one of her favorite "Teenagers!"

Maeven and one of her favorite “Teenagers!”

While the students were in their buzz groups, my kids Maeven and Judah had their own mini camp for the kids of all the adult workers and chaperones here at Leadership Camp.  Judah as always was a little unsure, but had a great time.  Maeven, our little social butterfly, jumped right in and began making new friends and was very upset when she had to leave the lessons, games, and friends to go back to our room for bed time!

Heading to Chapel

Heading to Chapel

After Buzz Groups, we all headed back to the chapel for our evening service.  We were once again blessed with a great time of worshipping Christ through songs.  You could definitely feel the spirit moving as we sang and listened to the testimony of a football player from the University of Louisville.  Our speaker at camp this year, is once again Mark Cahill, who played basketball at Auburn and was Charles Barkley’s college roommate.  Mark shared with thestudents about how so many students are walking away from Christ and spent the night talking about reasons why students walk away and how all these various things need not cause them to reject Christ.  He talked to them about how they could be assured of their salvation and stand up to the various issues that arise that may cause them to doubt their faith.  It was a great and challenging message for our students to hear.

Today, we start another day of activities, worship, Bible study, and being challenged to grow and be bold in our faith.  Please pray throughout the day for our students that they will let God speak to them this week and forever change their lives!

back to huddling up…

All_In_BlackFor a while it seemed like the winter of 2015 wasn’t going to be that bad.  We made it through January relatively unscathed.  However, in February all the snow and ice hit us with a vengeance and lasted into the first week of March.   Finally though, this week things have warmed up and we are getting back to a regular schedule of sorts.  With that return to good weather and normalcy also comes a return to our high school and middle school FCA Huddles.

With all the bad weather I have either not been able to get to either of the schools or one and not the other each week.  Finally this week I was able to return to both schools and have our weekly FCA Huddles.  With the layoff of not being there to share with the students, one of my concerns is always their relationship with Christ.  Many of our students either aren’t involved in a church regularly or at all.  Some I honestly worry about what and if they are being taught truth as well.  So this week I concentrated on challenging the students about where they are in their walk with Christ.  Are they daily growing closer to Him in a way that is visible to others, are they stagnant, are the regressing, or are they apathetic.  It was exciting to be able to once again spend time with the students and see them interact very well with the devotions I shared.

Please keep praying for our students that they will grow and seek to allow Christ to be first in their lives!  Also pray for myself and our teacher sponsors that we will be able to effectively communicate Christ’s love to our students!