Bringing Honor Back

I was recently looking at a social networking site and a person had a picture that truly disturbed me. Many Christians, real believers, great people thought it was hilarious.

It truly caught me off guard. It was a picture of Jesus in a loin cloth break dancing on a marble floor surrounded by several priests with the caption “I came to serve not to be served”. “You got served.”

For those of you who may not be familiar with that phrase it’s a term that just means I just showed you I’m better.

On the outset I could see why people would laugh and think its funny in a contemporary context, but as I looked at the picture I became disappointed, then sad, then angry.

Not at people or anyone individual but at all of us who have allowed our need for relevance and our attempts to escape “religious thinking” or “legalistic Christianity” to make us irreverent and disrespectful to Jesus.

This is my appeal to anyone who will read this to bring honor back. Jesus was stripped of his close in a shameful manner, and hung on a cross and gave his life for our salvation. He is to be honored not used as a marketing ploy or an opportunity for a funny caption.

Lets bring honor back and remember Jesus is not an image, or a caption he is our savior and worthy of the highest honor.

Big Announcement

I’m extremely excited to be the Senior Pastor of The Summit church in Canyon Texas.

God knows what He’s doing. Two years ago, God begin to reveal to me that change was coming.

We have served at Church of the Harvest for 15 years, and we’ve been friends with Kirk and Nancy Pankratz, Senior Pastors there, for 20 years. So this move is a big change for all of us.

When we came to harvest my oldest daughter Taylor was 3 years old. Today she’s in her freshmen year of college and from that time till this it seems like a flash.

Over that fifteen years we have developed deep, lasting friendships. We have experienced some great memories. We’ve worked side by side with some great men and women of God and God has given us huge dreams and begun to bring those dreams to reality.

I have to say that while I wasn’t really looking for a reason to leave Harvest I wasn’t surprised when this journey began. God has developed some things in me over the last few years for a purpose. And when I realized it would be somewhere else an incredible metamorphosis began.

I’ve learned when God is about to change things externally He starts by changing things internally. I begin to see things differently, I struggled with feeling disloyal to my pastor, I struggled with fear of change, I struggled with being able to see what a new life would look like. But God walked our entire family through this process and 2 years later we couldn’t be more excited, empowered, released and ready to take all that we’ve learned and build the far reaching dreams that God has placed in our hearts for His kingdom.

As we go along I will blog about this two year journey, I know the things we have experienced will help many, especially those in some kind of transition.

There’s a right way and a wrong way to make a change. There is the way of integrity and confidence, then there is the way of dishonesty and cowardice. We didn’t want to leave we wanted to be sent.

We have committed to do it right and be a model for those who are being called out and sent out.

After a year of clear direction and confirmation we knew it was time to tell our Pastors what God was telling us. Their response was everything you would expect from a spiritual mom and dad. Shocked but not surprised. Accepting and loving. Grace filled and mournful. Pride and concern. A true spirit of partnership and release, an empowering response.

After we told them we thought an opportunity would come immediately and we would be on our way, but five months passed and we had no open doors. Those were some of the most educational months of my life. (I’ll write about them later), biggest lesson? Trust God!

Then it happened, through a relationship we were connected to a wonderful church and people in Canyon Texas called The Summit. It is everything God Spoke to us about. The people, the timing, the potential, everything.

I never thought I would live in Texas, and was completely unfamiliar with the panhandle. However when we drove into the community of Canyon for the first time it was like God deposited a love for the place in our hearts immediately. It’s an awesome place. The people are amazing, the church is wonderful and the future vision God has for this place is palpable to us.

We know significant things are coming, for the region, and from this place we will reach around the world.

Janae and I and the girls have never felt more alive, more purposed or excited about our future.

It is our Honor to serve the people of The Summit as their pastor, to serve the people of the panhandle region and most importantly to serve God in doing His will and building His Kingdom!

We look forward to Leading to the future, to the purpose, dreams and , vision God has for The Summit.

So the journey has been long and at times arduous but we have reached the Summit and we are ready to look out over the promise land and finally with all of our strength, energy, and enthusiasm cross over!

So we are saying our goodbyes which are really “see you laters” to the people of Harvest and our hello’s to the welcoming arms of the People of The Summit and we believe that what God has sent us out to do will be accomplished.

Exciting days ahead!

Knowing Your Purpose is powerful

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It’s been a terrific day, some of our team worked on a paint project, and have conducted a soccer outreach. Pastor Scotty and I have traveled with Pastor Eddy and Rindiro to kibuye, a northern village by lake Kivu. We are conducting a pastors conference here tomorrow and anticipate a significant outcome. The beginning of some great and fruitful relationships. Praying God will use us to teach and train them in a practical way that can develop them as leaders.

As we met with Pastor Eddy today in preparation for the pastors conference it was like a masters class in vision.

He has incredible vision and insight about pastoring people but more importantly about developing leaders.

He has learned to use creative means to reach the lost. More than anything he uses soccer. He has a major soccer outreach and he was telling us he has some young guys that run it. He made a statement I think would do all of us American pastors some good to hear and ponder. He said, “it only took me 2 years to mentor them and prepare them to run this ministry.”

Only two years? In most of our worlds 2 years is a lifetime. I think a key to developing leaders is being willing to take the time to help them grow.

I really love his commitment to do this and hope I can do this myself more and more.

Hurry up and wait

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This is a phrase you hear frequently traveling. Whether in the airport or in country, the world has a rhythm and timing and it’s not always ours.

It seems you rush and rush and then wait. I personally like it. It gives me time to think, and do things like this blog.

Team is all good, we have 3 in Rwanda already and 8 of us about to join them. This team is a good one. Very passionate but laid back and cohesive.

I will continue this blog throughout our travel but there will be one leg you won’t hear from us for a while. So you’ll just have to join us and hurry up and wait.

Can’t wait to be in Africa. little hard saying bye to my girls this morning, we are just really tight, but they are always very encouraging. Like my Sydney Kate said this morning. “Go change the world dad, go change the world.” I’ll do my best Katie. With Gods help we will make a difference.

One last stop

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Always a last minute stop. Had a little glitch with my malaria medicine, but thanks to a great doctor and a fast acting pharmacy it’s all good. Now it’s off to the races to the airport. I always emphasize don’t be late so I am pushing to get there on time. (leadership).

Joy to the World!

Joy to the world the Lord is come, let earth receive her king, let every heart prepare him room, let heaven and nature sing, let heaven and nature sing, let heaven and nature sing.

I read these words and ask myself how aware are we of the plan of salvation today? The whole purpose of God becoming man in a humble and lowly way to be a true propitiation for our sins.

In this world of cultural and moral relativism and the perpetuation of political correctness which is tolerant of seemingly everything accept Christianity. I want to, with loving passion and compassion, say earth receive your king, people make room for Him in your heart. He loves us, became one of us, gave himself for us, and is the fulfillment of Gods love our purpose and the meaning of life.

Joy will not come by the pacification of immorality or the attempt of man to be God or of the acquiring the most stuff. Joy comes from knowing who was sent to us by the deceleration, “Joy to the World!”

By the very act of His being sent, joy accompanied Him. To accept Him is to have Joy. Not a mere happy feeling of emotion but a deep fulfillment and deep spiritual assurance of peace in our heart.

Thank you Jesus for your love, compassion, humility, care and kingship. Because you first loved me I love you.

If you don’t know Jesus today, Ask him to reveal himself to you. Ask him to forgive your sins, confess Him as your lord and savior and receive His gift of grace. He loves you. Make room the king wants to live with you.

Good is the Enemy of Great

In my family, ministry, and life I have an enemy. My nemesis tries to sneak up close to me and those around me regularly, trying to draw our lives down to insignificance. To accomplish this he doesn’t have to attack, or fight with us, but merely effect our perspective, or keep us self focused and busy.

My enemy is mediocrity. The sad part is mediocrity can be a “good” life. Living the routine uninterrupted life, of going in the same circles, meeting our own needs, providing for our own family, living our version of the “American dream.” Our circle of friends, our vacation time, our activities, our hobbies, our time, our tv shows, our whatever. Is any of this wrong? Absolutely not! Until it takes precedence over our relationship with God and His purpose for our lives.

Sadly it’s a good life but not a great life and much of the time we are happy with good which precludes our attaining greatness.

In order to reach greatness we have to aggressively break the mediocre, convenient, self centered goodness, and transform into, the reaching, loving, caring, others focused, greatness.

When God exposed me to the third world of developing nations it yanked me out of the good life into great life, it opened my eyes to helping people around the world and even people at home. It showed me that true fulfillment in life is reaching for your full potential and purpose in God, and reaching to those whether poor or rich or somewhere in between with love and hope is the key to greatness.

Right now I’m only on my way, I’ve got so much more to do for the kingdom and the purpose of God, but my family and I have decided, we will not settle for good, we will not stop pre-greatness.

Is it challenging-yes
Is it inconvenient-yes
Does it take sacrifice-yes, in every way
Is it worth it-without a doubt!

Kill mediocrity in your life, and overcome good for great.

You could start by joining us for our global reach experience this Friday night at harvestokc campus. Here is the link to get your tickets. You can change lives simply by coming to this event. Decide today that good is no substitute for great!

http://www.harvestokc.com/global-reach/global-reach-experience/