Radical - David Platt

Radical was one of the most stirring and challenging books that I have read in a long time. This book will stretch you and make you very uncomfortable at times. There is no way that you can read this challenge and not want to make a difference.

If you feel like there is something missing in the Mission of God in your life, this is the book to read.
Read it when you have time to sort through what God is speak
ing to you. It gets a little repetitive at the end but He stays on point.

What is God Really Like? - Craig Groeschel
Love this book. This was developed from LifeChurch.tv's one prayer series. Several Pastors that has participated in the One Prayer project wrote different chapters. I love that each chapter had a different writing style to it. It was an easy and uplifting read.

Read this book when you just need to be refreshed. Every chapter is like reading a different book with a different perspective. Very thought provoking.

This is a must read for any Youth Pastor/Youth Leader. I do not care if you are in your first two months or you have worked with students f
or 20 years. This book will challenge the models that we have placed in Youth Ministry and challenge you to take a different look at your philosophy of ministry.

Just like every book, you have to read it through your filter. You can not apply these principles exactly has they did but you can work them to fit where you are. This read is well worth your time.

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Monday, August 30, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Most of learned the ten commandments in Sunday School or we have read them hanging on a wall somewhere. We view them as a list of rules that God gave Moses several thousand of years ago for us to live by. This morning while I was reading in Exodus I read them a little bit differently. I did not read them as rules but as guidelines. I read them as a list of things that will help us have a better relationship with God and with the people around us.

Instead of viewing them as rules, why can't we view them as boundaries. If we view them as rules then we view God as someone sitting in heaven waiting for us to break one of them so He can punish us. If we view them as boundaries then we serve a God that loves us and wants a relationship with us.

We read the Ten Commandments but we fail to read the verse that is in the chapter before them....

Exodus 19:5, "Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession."

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Monday, August 23, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

47:2 - I serve an awesome God. I choose to follow Him and worship Him not because what He can do but because of who He is.

47:6 - Do I sing praises to God or do I bring Him my complaints and to do list?

47:8 - "God is seated on His holy throne" - who is sitting on the throne of my life? Who has control? Who has the greatest influence?

47:9 - Every authority belongs to God. He has everything in the palm of His hand


48:1 - There is nothing too difficult for the God I serve. There is nothing too difficult for Him

48:9 - God's love will never disappoint me or fail me.

48:13 - What are we telling the next generation about the God that we serve? Our words and actions tell of how big or small that He is.

48:14 - I have to let God guide me, not me guide Him. I have to place my hand in His not the other way around.

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Sunday, August 22, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

As a kid I was a HUGE wrestling fan. I lived to watch Dusty Rhodes take on the Four Horseman. To see Sting take on Ric Flair. To walk Hulk Hogan beat up everyone like he had super human strength. I loved wrestling when wrestling was real :-). Yeah I know, but I loved it back before it got commercialized. It did not take make long to realize that in life we are all part of a wrestling match. Several wrestling matches if we are honest with ourselves and they are real. They pull us in a lot of different directions.

I wrestle with....

who I am and who God has called me to be

selfishness and servanthood

what I want and what I need

the difference between acceptance and assurance

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Saturday, August 21, 2010 Posted in | | 1 Comments »

1 - Trouble is always around us and God is always there to offer refuge and strength. The trouble doesn't disappear but He is right there to offer a safe place and give us strength to walk through the trouble. We have to strive to live IN Him and not IN our time of trouble.

2 - No matter what is going around us, it is what is going on in us that counts. It is what we have in us that keep us from fear.

7 - God is with us. He will never leave us or abandon us. We might not always be aware of Him but He is always aware of us.

10 - Being still is one of the hardest things to. To see God work we have to. If we are not still it is us who are moving and working. Us being still is really the only way God gets all the glory.

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Thursday, August 19, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Had a thought this morning. I asked myself who really had control of my life. The good Sunday School answer is GOD. He is in control. How could think about anyone or anything else being in control. I am not talking about the absence of choice and free will. I am talking about who is in charge or who is responsible for my life. Am I depended on myself? Do I have all the answers? Just questions I seem to asking lately. The answer is no. Not just because it is the "Christian" answer but it is true.

Most of the time we try to take control of our situations and our life because we do not feel like God has done a good enough job with it. He does not have a best interest in mind. We do not trust Him. Life has gone dark around us and we take ourselves out of the hand of the only one who can truly see. That means we only serve God for what He can do for us. We only have a relationship with Jesus for what He can give us.

For Him to have control means that He has control in the good and the bad. In the rain and the sun. He has my heart no matter what happens. My hand is in His hand not the only way around. It is Him who guides me, not me guiding Him.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

42:1 - There has to be a desperation in our hearts and in our lives that draw us to God. We have to see our need for Him and realize our fate without Him.

42:2 - Our souls thirst for Him and nothing else can quench or satisfy that thirst.

42:5 - If our hope is truly in the living God then why would our souls be downcast?


43:3 - We need His light to guide us. We can not see the path for the journey of life without Him.

43:4 - God, You alone are my joy and delight.


44:1 - I am not satisfied with just hearing stories of God. I want to see God and see Him move. I want to see His glory and fame spread. He is more than a legend to me.

44:8 - Who do I boast in?

44:26 - God does not redeem us because of anything we did. He redeems us because of what Jesus did on the cross. Nothing we can do is ever going to be good enough.

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There are a couple phrases that popped into conversations all around the church world a couple of years ago.

To love without an agenda

To serve without motive

This week I could not shake these two thoughts. On one side they are awesome statements. They are relevant and non-threatening. They make people feel safe. They release us from having to preach the Gospel. I am not sure I believe in these statements. I do not believe that I can live them out.

I can not love without an agenda. I have an agenda. His name is Jesus. I love because He loves me. My agenda is His love.

I can not serve without motive. My motive is to reflect Jesus.

If our lives have been impacted and changed through a relationship with Jesus then we all have an agenda, we all have motive. Jesus provoked changed. He challenged the status quo. He was confrontational and rarely trendy.

Love with His agenda

Serve with Him as your motive

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Saturday, August 14, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

40:2 - God is the only one who can lift us out the situation or circumstances that we find ourselves in. We reach up to Him and He grabs our hand. He does not leave us there, He sets us on solid ground, in a stable place.

40:3 - Sometimes we need a new song. There are times the song we have been singing is a negative one. We need to sing of His Glory and His deliverance.

40:4 - I trust God.


41:1 - May I have regard for the weak. My prayer is to have God's heart for people. To see them through His eyes.

41:12 - Integrity is something that is built, not given.

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@craiggroeschel - The quickest way to forget what God thinks about you is to become obsessed with what people think about you.

@RickWarren - 3 purposes of a daily time alone with God:To give devotion to Him, get direction from Him, grow daily in Him. Don't miss it.

@ScottWilliams - Trying to be someone else is a waste of time... Spend your time wislely becomg a better YOU!

@BrianCHouston - When HURTING people, know what it is to be HEALED; as HEALED people, they can hugely inspire the HURTING!

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Thursday, August 12, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Our church is walking through the 100 essential Bible reading plan. I got started a week late because I was finishing up a different plan, so I am playing catch up. Today reading in Genesis 11 something jumped out at me:

Genesis 11:4, "Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth."

It is not what they were building that bothered God but it was why they were building it. It was not their action but their motives. They were building a city in their name, for their glory. It really got me to thinking about ministry. How many times do we work to build things in our name, for our legacy. How many times do we judge success by our standards and by what make us happy. We work and try to build our kingdoms that we rule and reign in, instead of building His Kingdom where He rules and reigns.

If it is about His Kingdom....

He is building and using me, not me building it and using Him.

When something goes wrong I rely on Him to fix it.

He will supply the resources and help I need to do what He wants me to do.

He will get all the glory.

Philippians 2:3, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit..."

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

38:15 - How many times do we get ahead of God? Waiting is one of the toughest things to do. He will always answer. It might not be when we want or the answer that we want but He always answers.


39:4 - God has all my days numbered.

39:5 - Life is not only fragile and short but it is precious as the air you breathe as well.

39:7 - My hope is in You, God.

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Started a new book last night. It is a little different than I thought it would be but I think it is going to stretch me. It opened with a quote that I have been processing since I read it....

"A person will worship something, have no doubt about that. That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

So what or who do you favor? What are you becoming? What has the greatest influence in our lives is a lot of times what we worship.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

36:5 - There is no where that God's love can not reach.

36:6 - My God is strong, stable, and unmovable.

36:7 - The love of God is immeasurable and incomprehensible.

36:9 - God is the source of life. Out of Him everything moves and is.


37:4 - "delight" in Hebrew mean pliable. If we stay pliable before the Lord He will mold in the desires that are in our heart.

37:5 - You can not just skip over this verse. This verse is the gateway to the next verse.

37:6 - Everything David says will happen will only happen IF you commit your ways to the Lord and trust in Him.

37:7 - There is a difference between being still and doing nothing.

37:8 - Worry and stress can only lead to doubt and disconnect from God.

37:25 - God will never let us do without. He might not always give us what we want but He always gives us what we need.

37:39 - He is what I cling to in the storms of life. He is my Rock and my anchor.

37:40 - If I want His deliverance, then I have to take refuge in Him.

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The first part of this year I made a decision. I was tired of being fat. I could make 732 excuses why I was over weight but it really did not matter. I knew that I had to do something about it. It has been a tough journey but a fun one. I come to the realization that I could not be who God has fully God called me to be at the weight I was. There are some things that I have learned on this journey....

If you do not like yourself fat, you are not going to like yourself thinner. Self image does have a lot to do with outward appearance as much as it does with inward peace.

There is a price to pay. I paid a price for eating what I wanted to, when I wanted to. I knew that if I wanted to loose it, I would have to pay a price. Eating right and exercise have been the biggest piece of the puzzle.

You are the only one who can do it. People can tell you, encourage you, and even shame you into it, but until you decided you really want to it does not matter.

You have to ask for help. There has to be people in your life to help you stay accountable.

Do not quit. The weight seemed to fall off in the first couple of month but it has slowed down and become tougher.

I still have about 30-35 pounds left to go. I am feeling a lot better. This has not been an easy journey but one that I am glad I took.

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Monday, August 9, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

34:1 - If God is my focus then I have to strive to give Him glory for everything in my life.

34:18 - I am so grateful that God is close to the broken hearted. He sees us in our pain. He is the only who can comfort us. he is the only one who can give us peace that passes all understanding.

34:20 - Another foreshadowing on Christ.

34:22 - He paid the full price for my purchase. He redeems me.


35:28 - If our focus is truly God then we will have to talk about His glory. He will drive everything that we are and all that we do.

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Sunday, August 8, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Sometimes you have one of those weeks where you have to hunt things to do. Everything falls into place and works on like you planned it. You get everything done on your to-do list and life is good. Then there are normal weeks. Weeks that it almost seems impossible to catch your breath much less catch up on everything else. Those are the weeks that you just seem to be playing catch up. Unfortunately when all you do is try to catch up with yourself, you are not going to like what you find when you get to your destination. There are weeks that are busy and crazy but we have to battle them from becoming the norm, becoming routine.

Busyness does not equal productiveness. There is a difference. It is not about how much time you spend but really about how much time you waste. It has less to do with stress and more to do with results.

Poor planning is never an excuse for panic. We all from time to time have to look around and see what got us here. Was it poor planning, was it something we could have avoided? If yes then learn from it. If no, then role with the punches.

Priorities are set for a reason. Too many times we set priorities to the side for the sake of results. Remember you set them for a reason. Let them be boundaries in your life that God uses to help guide you.

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Saturday, August 7, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

32:1 - Thank you Jesus for dying on the cross. Thank you for the sacrifice you made for my sin.

32:5 - I am forgiven. I have been set free by the price that Jesus paid for me.

32:7 - God is my hiding place. He is the one who protects me when I find refuge in Him. He is the hedge of protection that surrounds me.

32:9 - My prayer is to walk in God's understanding and not my own.


33:10 - I have no plans outside of God's plan. I have to give God permission to upset any plan I have that I made of my own.

33:11 - His plans are the only plans that stand in the end. They are the only plans that guide us on the right path.

33:16 - There is nothing we can do to save ourselves.

33:18 - God sees me. His eyes are on me.

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This week while installing a sound system in Worship Center of the church I heard my Pastor make this state, "its the simple things." He is right. In the busy hectic world that we live in we take a lot of things for granted. Enjoying the simple things is a matter of perspective. It is choosing to look for them. The simple things could be...

riding down the road with your windows down and the music turned up.

hearing the voice of a friend that you have not talked to in a while.

a cold bottle of water on an extra hot day.

extra pickles on your grilled chicken sandwich.

laughing with friends.

driving a scissor lift around a sanctuary.

seeing a smile that lights up your day.

drinking a good cup of coffee.

staring up at the stars on a clear night.

I choose to find happiness in the simple things of life, it makes life less complicated. Its all about the simple things. :-)

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Friday, August 6, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

30:1 - God knows right where we are even when we do not know where He is. He is the one that picks us up at our lowest times.

30:5 - Tears do not last forever. It will not always be dark. The sun will rise and mourning will disappear. With that God give us hope. God alone is our joy.

30:11 - He exchanges our mourning for dancing. Gives us joy in times of sorrow. Jesus gave up His life so we could find life.

30:12 - Because of everything that God has done for me, there is no way I can be silent.


31:3 - If I take refuge in God then He is the one that surrounds me. He is the one that leads and guides my every step.

31:6 - What do we cling to? When times are hard, what do we have to hold on to?

31:7 - God sees me where I am. I am not forgotten.

31:14 - My life has to declare who my God is. I have to make that declaration everyday.

31:23 - We love God by loving His people.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

If you walk around saying that you heard God speak to you some people will say you are nuts. Actually, I guess I am crazy cause I hear God speaking a lot. Sometimes it is in that inaudible voice that is deep in my heart and sometimes it is some of the strangest place. I had a thought the other day, God is speaking everywhere and He is always speaking. He spoke spoke and created the world on His words and His words have been speaking to us in everything ever since (Genesis 1). God speaks and makes something out of nothing. God speaks and the same storm that He created just goes away. God is always speaking to us. I want to share some places I hear God speaking.

I hear God speaking.....

in a movie

watching a sunset

listening to a song

in the words of a friend

in a smile of a stranger

waking up for a sunrise

watching someone you care about

in an unexpected text message

watching a child playing

I am convinced that God is speaking all the time. It is you and I that are either not listening or we do not like what He is saying. So what do you hear God saying to you?

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Monday, August 2, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

28:1 - "My Rock" - God is my stability in an unstable world. He is my anchor in the storm. I cling to Him.

28: 7 - God reminds we everyday that He is my strength. Outside of Him I am weak.
What is my life-song?

28:8 - God is the one I run to when I am in trouble.


29:4 - God's voice is loud and powerful. When He speaks He creates something out of nothing. When He speaks it changes everything. He speaks to our situation. He speaks on by behalf.

29:10 - When I feel trapped in a flood and drowning God is the one who rescues me. He reaches down and picks us up.

29:11 - My prayer is to walk in God's strength and not my own. I trust in His strength and not mine. You speak peace to the storms and you speak peace to my heart.

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Sunday, August 1, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

The longer I life the more I realize that life is about two things, choices and relationships. I understand today more than any other time how important relationships are. People that are in your life and walk with you through any season. As seasons change and paths on your journey change you will add new relationships. Even with the relationships that God has given you, you still need to make a choice of what you will do with them and what role they will play in your life. Also, you still have to make the choice of what role you play in people's life as well. I have learned that you can play one of three roles in people's life at anytime. You will either be a coach, cheerleader, or fan.

A coach is sought out. A coach is recruited. A coach is hired. You can not be a coach in someone's life unless they let you. You can try, but you and that person you are trying to coach are going to get hurt. You can try to call the play but they will never run it. A coach never plays in the game, they stand on the sideline and call the plays. They are on the field and play a role in the game, but it is still up to the player what the outcome will be. Who in life are you coaching? Who is asking you?

A cheerleader's job is to motivate. To cheer for the team and get as many people as possible cheering behind them. You have to sign-up (want to be) to be a cheerleader. You have to practice. You have to have a loud voice. People that God places in your life need people to cheer them on. They need your encouragement and support. They need you to get other people cheering for them as well. You have to want to be someone's cheerleader, you have to work at it and practice it. Being a cheerleader does not happen by accident.

Anyone can be a fan. Anyone can sit in the stands and pull for someone. Celebrate in the victories and mourn in times of defeat. You can be a fan of any team. You do not even have to attend a game to be a fan. You do not have to practice to be a fan. A true fan is a fan through the good and bad. You can be a fan of anyone. It does not take a lot of work, it just takes you making a choice. It takes you putting your foam finger and pulling for victories.

So who are you coaching? Who are you a cheerleader for? Who are you a fan of?

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