Bible Reading:
Psalms 42

Lord help us be prepared for the coming of Your Son.
May we be found busy spreading your love and shining your light.
Help me be a person of peace, to speak about it in an uneasy world,
and to live it among the people you have put in my life everyday.

Light in me a desire to prepare for your coming.
To stand in the darkness, waiting, anticipating, and filled with love.

In Your Son's name we pray,

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Monday, November 30, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

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Sunday, November 29, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

We always lit candle every week of Advent. We did that so that light can shine in the midst of the darkness of this world and in our lives. It symbolized our longing, our desire, our hope. We want to experience his coming to us now, in our everyday lives, to help us live our lives with meaning and purpose. And we want to prepare for his coming to meet us at the end of our lives on this earth.

So, we begin with our longing, our desire and our hope.

You are that candle. You are the light of the world. The light of one single candle can push back the darkness of the entire room. I challenge you this week to pray that God makes you a light in dark places. To live your life in such a way that His light shines. Shines so bright that everyone sees.

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Today is the first day in the Advent Season. I grew up in a small Methodist Church in Sparks, GA and every year we would celebrate the Advent Season. As a kid I did not pay attention or really understand the meaning of it. I would even help the Pastor light the candle, but I did not know what I was doing. As I got older and we left that church I really did not think anymore about the Advent Season. Even as I became of follower of Christ and went into Vocational Ministry (full-time ministry is an oxymoron), I really did not give much thought about it.

This Christmas Season I am looking for more. I am looking past the commercialism and consumerism that has taken over our lives and this time. Advent has to be more than lighting candles or eating candy from fancy calendars. There has to be even more to this, so I am on a search.

Advent comes from the Latin word adventus, meaning coming. It is a season of expectation and excitement built upon the coming of Jesus. The Latin word adventus is the translation of the Greek word parousia, commonly used in reference to the Second Coming. We believe that the season of Advent serves a dual reminder of the original waiting that was done by the Hebrews for the birth of their Messiah as well as the waiting that Christians today endure for the second coming of Christ.

I am not saying you have to celebrate Advent with me, but I am challenging you to take time and recognize the heart behind this season. Not to get so caught up in the consumerism and commercialism that has taken over. Use this time to deepen your relationship with Jesus. Do not be satisfied with what you have always done.

Through out this season I will post some Advent blogs. I am not an expect and this is the first time that I have really taken in serious. I just want to do more that celebrate Christmas.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

It has been a crazy week.

In the last 7 days we have been 1700 miles and never left the state.

Really enjoyed the Amplified Conference last weekend in Waycross. God moved and I got to visit with friends.

Sunday had a great lunch with leaders from Thrive. Really enjoy brainstorming, dreaming, and planning with those guys.

Monday and Tuesday we went and found Paige a new ride. 2004 Buick Rendezvous. She likes it, so that makes us all happy. Got a great deal.

Monday night we did Thanksgiving with some of my favorite people in the world. Food was really good, but the company was even better. I love the people God has put in my life.

Tuesday afternoon I got on my motorcycle and headed down to South Georgia. We ran out of daylight and it got cold. I would have given my bike away in Tifton if I could have found someone to give me a ride to my parents.

Thanksgiving was great this year. Spent Wednesday and Thursday in Adel, then drove up to North Georgia and spent Thursday evening and Friday in Calhoun.

Went a watch Blind Side the movie Friday. I refused to get out in all the chaos of Black Friday. Blind Side was incredible. I have to be honest I cried the whole way through it.

Have not been home since Tuesday. The older I get the less I like being away from my house.

Really have some neat things in my spirit and mind that God is dealing with me about. I just have to take some time and write them out.

Georgia / Georgia Tech game is today. Just praying that my GT friends take it easy on me. Plan on frying some chicken wings and watching the game.

I am a bit of traditionalist. I refuse to acknowledge Christmas until after I see Santa Clause in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Plan on listening to Christmas music on the drive home and drinking a Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks. We will be putting Christmas decorations next weekend.

Really looking forward to the Christmas Season this year!

Hope everyone is having a good weekend. Get some rest and recover from Thanksgiving.

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Hope everyone that went out this morning stayed safe. What deals did you get? Was it worth it? Do you go every year or was this your first? Just curious.

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Friday, November 27, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Barbara Graves wrote about why she uses Twitter here.

Pete Wilson blogged about microwaving spiritual formation here.

Mark Batterson writes about your focus determining your reality here.

Perry Noble believes 10 things about your ministry here.

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Hope you have an awesome Thanksgiving with your friends and family!

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Thursday, November 26, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

It is that time of year again and people are listing the things that they are thankful for. It is funny that we are only thankful during a couple weeks in November. We take everything else in our lives for granted until that point. Saying thank you and appriecating people is not that difficult to do. Instead we live like we are entitled for everyone else to serve us. Everyone owes us something.

Tell someone how much you love them as often as you can. Let the people in your life know how much they mean to you. Know that if someone has to guess how you feel, then most of the time they are going to guess wrong. Being grateful is a choice and it is a choice that you have to make everyday.

Here are some things I am thankful for (after the first two these are in no particular order):

  • My God that allows me to have a relationship with Him. I did not deserving saving and yet Jesus still died for me.
  • My wife that loves me and puts up with my crap on a daily basis.
  • Tivo. One of the greatest inventions ever.
  • My hertiage and my legacy. My family that laid a strong foundation in my life that I can pass on. and my spiritual children that I have had the priviledge to pour into.
  • My Blackberry, greatest phone in the world.
  • Food, some people eat to live but I live to eat.
  • An awesome Pastor and family who love us and let us be who God called us to be. Thanks for believing in me and always having my back.
  • Friends, family that you were not born into but chose and who chose you. I have the greatest friends in the world and do not know what I would do without them.
  • The most awesome students in the world, Thrive!
  • Steve Jobs for starting Apple and making Macbooks and Ipods.
  • Second chances.
  • A wonderful church that loves us and has a heart for the students of Henry County.
  • College Football
  • This blog and the three people that read it!

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

No not the band. It is a saying that everyone has been taught at some point in their life. K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid. I believe that we overcomplicate things. We take things that were meant to be simple and make them difficult. Things that we are meant to enjoy, we are not truly happy unless they are complicated.

We have done this with our relationships, we have done this with church, and we have even done it with the Gospel. You can explain anything away and you can put so many hoops in something that no one will jump through them.

I believe that a lot of times we do this and do not even realize it. We believe that we are helping or making something better. If it is not broke don't fix it.


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Am A Worrier

I worry about everything. I always have been. I am not saying that it is right or I do not need to change. I feel guilty. I feel like me worrying is saying that I do not trust God. I feel like me worrying is even at times doubting God. That is not the case, I understand and I am grateful that God is in control. I understand what the Word says about worry:

Matthew 6:34, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

I have to fight not to let worry control me. I understand that worry leads to fear and that fear paralyzes me. I try my hardest to turn my worry into intercession. I try to let it drive my prayer about whatever it is I am focusing on. I find that is what builds my faith the most.

I guess you could say that this blog was a confessional of sorts.

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Monday, November 16, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

This week has been super busy.

Bama and Back got rained out on Tuesday because of Hurricane Ida. Who can plan around a hurricane? Very proud of all my friends who rode their bikes on Monday though.

Tuesday Paige got in a car accident on her way home from school. Her Trailblazer hydroplaned and hit a tractor-trailer. She is fine but the Trailblazer was totaled. I am grateful for God's hand of protection and favor.

Wednesday was an awesome night. The Hostage series has been one of my favorites in Thrive so far. Looking forward to what God is going to do this week.

Excited to be traveling down to Waycross, GA this coming weekend to speak at the Amplified Youth Conference.

This weekend is my last Georgia School of Ministry class. I am done baby!

Mailed off my Ordination packet last week. Nervous and excited about going through this process.

My family is camping down out Indian Springs State Park this weekend. I am going to try to stop and visit on my way back through from Macon.

Very stoked about our combined service tomorrow with our Hispanic and Haitian Churches. I believe that we are going to get a small glimpse of what Heaven is going to look like.

Hope you are having a good weekend!

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Saturday, November 14, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Am A Control Freak

I have a confession to make, I am a control freak. I have a tendency to be a micro-manager. This is something that God is dealing with me about. Feeling like I have to have my hand in everything. If I do not do it, it will not be done right.

I am out of place and out of the plan of God when I am in control. When I think I have to be the one in control, I am saying that I do not trust anyone else around me to do the things that I can do. The funny thing is that when I hold on to control things usually get worse instead of getting better. Here are some other things that I have found when I was in control:
  • When I am in control, God is not.
  • When I am in control, people can not become who God called and created them to be.
  • When I am in control, my leadership foundation shrinks.
  • When I am in control, I get the glory for the victories instead of God.
  • When I am in control, I can fix it and do not need God.
  • When I am in control, everyone loses.

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Monday, November 9, 2009 Posted in | | 1 Comments »

Ever look back at a week and do not have a clue where it went?

This coming Monday and Tuesday is the annual Bama & Back Speed-the-Light Bike ride. A group of Youth Pastors, Pastors, and people who love missions will be riding from Atlanta to the Alabama State line. I will be helping with the support side of things. This is one of my favorite events of the year. We have three riding from Stockbridge Assembly.

School was out Tuesday so we had a work day at the church. So proud of Thrive for showing up strong. We painted the backdrop from the Hostage series and cleaned up from the Harvest Festival.

Wednesday night we kick off our new series Hostage. Pastor Steven spoke and did an awesome job. God is going to change a lot of lives this month in this series.

The students did cardboard testimonies Wednesday night. They wrote out on cardboard what God has done for them and showed it during the first part of worship. Really awesome.

Yesterday was a marathon day. I spoke to the Henry County Football team for the last time this season. Then came to the office and worked on week 2 of Hostage. Yesterday afternoon we cook chili and hotdogs for the Woodland High Marching Band and fed them. I am glad to be home last night.

Very excited today to hang out with Thrive at a corn maze in Hollonville, GA and then have a Bon-fire. Going to be a fun day.

Is it me or do we seem like we skip Thanksgiving? They already have Christmas music playing and decorations out in the stores. SERIOUSLY?

Hope you are having a good weekend.

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Saturday, November 7, 2009 Posted in | | 1 Comments »

  • I am looking forward to hanging out with some of the most awesome students in the world all afternoon and into the evening.
  • I am more than likely going to get lost but it is going to be fun.
  • There are some that I would probably like to loose in the Maze (just kidding)!
  • Bon-fires are some of my favorite things to do. There is nothing better than a roast hotdogs and marshmallows over an open fire.

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Friday, November 6, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Great opening night for the Hostage series. God is going to set students free through this series.

Cardboard Testimonies were really awesome. We plan on doing them all month long as we celebrate God changing the lives of students.
Had some major sound issues but feel like we recovered okay. Very proud of our students.
Our crowd was off tonight, but really proud of the students that were there and how they engaged.
Pastor Steven threw down! Love my Pastor and love that I get to work with him.

Some things we talked about:
Pastor Steven kicked off the Hostage series with a message called Task Masters. In Exodus 1 it says that Pharaoh places Task Masters over Israel. Task Masters had three main jobs:

To crush their spirit - they wanted to silence their worship. Israel found their worth in their worship.
To steal their future - they close your vision so you can not see past the moment.
To separate them - to cause pain so they put up wall that isolate them.

Upcoming Events
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Join Thrive this Saturday for our Corn Maze Adventure and Bon-Fire. Meet at the church at 1 p.m. and we will head down to Connell Farms in Hollenville to navigate their corn maze. After that we will be heading into Butts County to have a Bon-fire where we will roast hotdogs, marshmallows, and make smores. We will return to the church at 10 p.m. Cost is $10.

This Sunday is the Middle School small group. Meet at the church at 6 p.m. and we will head to Brewsters Ice Cream and have a scavenger hunt.

For more information check out our home on the wed at

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

November around Thrive we are going to be talking about the things in our life that are keeping us from the freedom that Jesus died so we could have. You do not want to miss a single Wednesday night.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

It is less about about things and more about people.

People are the most precious commodity there is. You can make investment in anything else and it will be a bad investment. People are the only thing that we can take into eternity with us. Things break and rust, but people will change the world. So where do you place your value? What do you cherish the most?

If you do not have something please do not fake it.
I used to think that you could just fake it till you made it. That if you did not know the answer, just make something up. Never show any sign of weakness, never let them see you sweat. Everyone struggles some time with something. People are not looking for perfect people to be leaders, they are looking for people that do not have all the answers but know where to find them.

It is better to know your seasons that fight them.
You never see a tree trying keep it's leaves after the frost of Fall. You never see a healthy flower refuse to bloom. Yet we have a tendency when God is taking us through certain seasons we fight what He is trying to do. We need to understand that every season that God walks us through He is either trying to be put something in us or take something out of us. Like a woodworker that gently sands a block of wood to create his masterpiece, God is always working the rough edges off of our lives.

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You have to hate where you are at before you can go where you are called.
You can not lead where you have not been. In ministry if you want those you lead to go to a new level you have to have already been there yourself. You have to pay the price, you have to abandon the things that you are comfortable with where you are at. You will never walk on water unless you step out of the boat. God can not give you something new as long as you are holding on to what you have. The next level that God has for you is so much better than where you are. The price you will have to pay is so worth where you will walk. We have to leave the comfort of where we are and step into what we are called to.

People will only believe in your dream as much as you do.
Do you really believe that God has called you to do what you do? If you do then it will come out in everything that you do. It will come out in everything you do. People follow passion. Your choices and decisions are a direct reflection of what your passion is, what your dream is. Do not expect people to be more committed than you are to what God has called you to do.

At times you're a coach, at times you're a cheerleader, and then at times you're a fan
I just want to be in the game. I heard someone say one time that they were called to be a dream facilitator. If I could ask God for one calling that is what it would be. To help people reach the dreams that God has given them. One of the unique things that I am learning is that when investing in people at times you get to be their coach. Helping call the plays, giving direction and input. On the sidelines and in the action. Then other times you get to be a cheerleader. Cheering them on, encouraging them. Not the big role you have had, but still a role. Then all the time, you get to be a fan. I am a fan of every student that I have had the privilege to work with. From a distance I get to watch them change the world. I may not play a big role in their lives but I still love them and love to root them on.

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Monday, November 2, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Right now I am reading "Forgotten God" by Francis Chan. I read something tonight that made me think:

It used to be that if I had a great worship experience, I asked God to duplicate it the next time I came to worship. Like the kid impressed by a silly magic trick, I would pray, "Do it again!" One thing I have learned about God over the years, however, is that He rarely "does it again." He's the Creator, which means that He is (among other things) creative.
How many times do we ask God to "do it again" and He is desiring to do something new and something fresh. How many times do we ask God to "do it again" for selfish reasons? We stop thinking about what God wants to do for others and we are only concerned for ourselves. As long as God moves like we want that is all that really matters.

Instead of praying for God to "do it again," we need to pray that God does it like He wants to do it.

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Sunday, November 1, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Here are some blogs that I found interesting this week...

Perry Noble talks about 10 ways to kill vision in your church here.

Steven Furtick writes about three reasons we stay stuck here.

Mark Batterson blogs about 5 creativity equations here.

Craig Groeschel talks about Higher Threshold for Chaos here.

Al Force writes about leaving a legacy here.

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It is easier to settle for what is comfortable than push for what God has for you.
The easy thing and the right thing are not always the same thing. When we settle for a cheap imitation of the dream that God has given us then we are saying we worship an imitation god. When we settle for the little things and the easy things then we are not truly reflecting how BIG our God really is. The easiest road often leads to dead ends and it the hardest to backtrack from. The roads that lead to the dreams that God has for us are often uphill but that is because they lead us to the mountain top. The deeper the valley the higher the mountain top. Never settle for the valley.

Relationships gets messy so you are going to get your hands dirty.
The journey of our lives sometimes takes turns down muddy paths. You have to walk through crud in your own journey and with people you are walking with. You have to be willing to put it in 4-wheel drive sometimes. People do not need friends that only stick around in the easy times but will walk with them through the rocky times as well. Real friendship is gauged not by the mountain tops but by the valleys. I am so grateful that God has given me friends that walk through the valley with me.

There is a thin line between routine and rituals.
This is a line that we cross in church all the time. We set routines in place of how we do things and we make them rituals and believe that they are given by God. From the music we sing to the way we decorate our buildings. We have to guard the way that we view our routines and make sure we do not worship them instead of God. It is really easy to focus of tradition and not leave a legacy. Tradition focuses on how things used to be and legacy focuses on how things are going to be. Tradition emphasizes the past and legacy points us to the future. Tradition is about us and legacy is about others. Routine is good. Rituals are good, as long as they are not the things we worship. When they become the things that we worship, then they become a god in our life and we are guilty of idolatry.

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