getting ready for and Undefeated year…

UnDefeated-Logos_3_legacyLast night, I had a chance to speak at the church where I grew up and where my dad is a pastor.  As you may know from previous posts I am not the most comfortable when it comes to preaching to adults and so since I found out I was speaking last week I was a nervous wreck trying to think about what to speak on.  Finally, after much prayer, I felt God directing to share with the church about what we are going to be doing in our FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) huddles this year.  The church I was speaking has been a very faithful prayer and financial partner for our huddles and so I wanted to give them a bit of an insight as what we do in our huddles.

This year our theme is “Undefeated” and comes from 1 Corinthians 15:57, which says, “But thanks be to God, who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (HCSB)  Through our relationship with Christ we know that we can have victory over whatever comes at us in this life and we have the promise that one day sin and death will be defeated and we will live eternally with Christ in Heaven.  This is how we are “Undefeated!”  In particular, I shared with the church last night about how we can be on the path to being “Undefeated” by realizing that Humility beats Pride.  Pride is one of those things that Satan uses to hold us back, fracture relationships, and keep us defeated.  But when we realize we can only do anything through Christ and that all our gifts and talents come through Him, then we can have victory over pride.  When we realize that Christ poured out all his power and came in the form of a servant to live, die and rise again for our sins, we see the ultimate example of humility for us to follow and defeat pride in our lives.

It awesome to see how God allowed me to go from being nervous about speaking to excited about sharing about these exciting truths we will be teaching our FCA students this year.  I asked the church to be praying for our students that we will see those who know Christ to come a deeper love and devotion to Him this year.  Also to be praying that they will impact their schools and that we will see many students accept Christ as their personal savior.  I’d like to ask you to be praying for these same things.  Pray that God will move and work mighty in our Lee County High and Middle School FCA Huddles this year!

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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!

be a new creation…

new_creationToday’s post comes out of a lot of thoughts I have been feeling since a Sunday School Lesson at church this past weekend.  Our lesson was on slothfulness and our discussion led us to talking about how in Christ we are new creatures and that He calls us to be be different.  As we discussed and processed the lesson together and then later on this week as I have thought about it a little more I couldn’t help but think of people I have known whether as friends, acquaintances, or just randomly met in ministry who have struggled with becoming the new creature that God wants them to be

2 Corinithians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.[a] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (ESV)  When we accept Christ as our savior and truly make Him Lord and King of our lives, He calls us to be a new creation.  He makes us something new, different, and better than the old sinful person that we were born as.  He no longer looks at our past, He doesn’t hold it against us, He changes us into what we can be with His guidance and love in our lives.  Unfortunatley, I know of several people who struggle with this.  When talking to people in the past one thing that I have often heard is “Well, that’s just who I am!”  People use who they were before Christ as a reason of why they fall back into sin and why they can’t be this new creature that Christ has called them to be.

Yes, “Just who I am,” is true if Christ is not present in our lives.  However, with Christ in our lives we are called to and are able to be more than “just who we are.”  We are able to be better than we can possibly imagine and we are able to have a huge impact on the world around us for Christ.   He doesn’t just give us fire insurance so that we can escape eternity in hell and say just be who you are as if nothing has changed.  Christ makes us a new creation, He makes us new, He makes us better, He makes us bolder, and He doesn’t stop working in our lives and causing us to grow as followers.  Sanctification continues our whole life as we daily grow closer go God and become more than who we were in His power.

So, maybe your past is pulling at you and you are using it as an excuse to not grow in Christ and not be the new creation that He has called you to be.  To you I say, stop it!  Realize you have the power of the one and only Almighty God who wants to do great things in and through you.  He doesn’t look at your past and say you are who you are and he can’t use you.  He says, there is someone that I can do great things with.  So please be the New Creation that God wants you to be!

missing my mountain dew…

sodaFor the past few weeks my wife and I have been discussing things that we want to really be diligent about asking God for help with.  Everything from future plans and directions for our family to getting healthier and more active.  As these conversations and prayers have been progressing we entered in the the Lenten season and decided we wanted to fast from something and use the time of fasting during lent as a time to be more diligent in praying for these areas of our lives and seeking God’s voice.  So the thing that I decided to give up and fast from is soda, or as we say here in Kentucky, pop!

I’m not a drink of ton of pop everyday guy, but I usually have at least one can or bottle each day.  I hadn’t really thought much about how having some pop is a regular part of my life in the past.  However, since beginning this soda fast I have noticed the cravings for a good old Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper, and even my Kentucky favorite Ale-8.  When those cravings or temptations for a pop hit now, they are a great reminder that I need to be spending that time engaging God in prayer.  I know that He has all the answers for myself and my family and will provide the direction that we need. I am excited to see what He accomplishes in us during this Lenten season.

youth bowling league starting back again…

After School Jr LeagueWith the start of our fall bowling leagues at the Rec Center also comes the start of our After School Youth Bowling League outreach!  This is a great outreach that we do where students K through 12 can come out each Monday, bowl two games of bowling, receive instruction, pizza, and a drink.  We are able to take buses and pick the students up at their schools and bring them out.  The parents can either pick the students up at the Rec Center or to one of three drop off points.  Over the past few years we have had lots of students participate in this program.  Much of the outreach portion has been through relational evangelism and had even had students accept Christ.  We have also had various times where we have presented the Gospel with our students with everyone listening.  This year we hope to have more times where the Gospel is shared corporately and then have solid Christian adults who are available to follow up with the students.  Please join me in praying that God will begin working in the lives of the students who are going to attend this outreach even now.  Pray that we will have a great turn out and that many student will choose to follow Christ!  Also, pray for plenty of adult volunteers to work with us with our student.  Also, consider whether or not you could volunteer a mere hour and a half a week to see lives changed for Christ!

note taking in the new year…

note takingOver the past couple of weeks I have shared with you some of my goals and self challenges for 2014.  I am challenging myself to drop a minimum of 40 lbs. in 90 day.  Also, I am challenging myself with the book shelf challenge where I am trying to fill up an empty book shelf with all the books I am going to read this year.  Both of those challenges have gotten off to a great start.  That being said, I have also challenged myself with another resolution this year.  The resolution/challenge to e a better note taker.  I have attended church my whole life, and sad to say, unless note sheets were handed out, I have always struggled to take notes in the service.  Don’t get me wrong, I pay close attention and have grown much through the various pastors and speakers that I have heard over the years.  However, writing down notes  and listening at the same time have been a struggle.  As a result I know I have forgotten many things that would have been a huge help in my walk with Christ.  I want 2014 to be different for me, I want to become a note taker.  I began this challenge by going to the store and finding a nice note book that I could keep with my Bible to take with me to church, seminars, conferences, or wherever I might find myself sitting under Biblical teaching.  Like my other two challenges I have gotten off to a great start and have found myself reusing my notes in personal studies and my devotions for my FCA students.  I am excited to see how this can help me grow closer to my Lord and Savior.  Challenger #3 be a better note taker is in full swing!

reading again…

Last week I took some baby steps to get back into reading after many months of being sporadic. Like many other interests and hobbies that the busyness of life and kids, reading has been pushed to the side. I bought a couple of new books when I was at Moody a couple of weeks ago. I began the book “Not A Fan” this past week which is about becoming a true follower of Christ and not just a fan of His. So far it has been a great and pretty convicting book to rejuvenate my reading and even challenge me to a deeper relationship with Christ. After only a few days of reading I am already over half way through the book. Like most things in a busy life/schedule, I realize that much effort on my part will have to be given to keep a steady diet of reading, but the joy and growth that it provides are well worth it.