Thursday, May 31, 2012

Where Did the Time Go?

It's really hard to believe that another year of HITC is in the books. We have our graduation ceremony this coming Sunday at 11am. It seems like only yesterday we were at at our Orientation, introducing our students to some of what the year might look like. And now on Sunday they'll be in their caps and gowns, turning their tassels. Where did the nine months go? I can't believe I'm already thinking about the 2012-13 school year. Life can be the same way. One minute you're in high school and the next you're kids are in high school. In almost the blink of an eye twenty years have disappeared. Wow! When people say that time flies, they're not kidding. Knowing this, how are you living? Are you living each day to the fullest? Are you wasting your time or using it wisely? Every day is a wonderful opportunity for us to live it to the fullest. Don't live with regrets or things you'd wished you done. Live a life that's pleasing to God and points to Him in everything you do and say. Why? Because before you know it, you'll be wondering where the years went.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

You've Got to Love It When Things Come Together

Have you ever worked on putting a giant jigsaw puzzle together? I mean the ones that have a thousand pieces? There's something about linking together all the edges and then filling in the middle. Sooner or later you there's only a few pieces left before your puzzle is completed. And then you do it. You place the last piece in the puzzle and this complex picture that has challenged you immensely is now complete. There's something about seeing the puzzle come together. You may not even see the complete picture yet but as you put puzzle pieces together, the excitement builds. It's the same way with life and what I've been experiencing lately. It's so exciting when things start coming together. When pieces to the puzzle begin falling into place. And yes, even with life, you may not be able to see the whole picture, yet when you begin seeing pieces of it, it energizes you. Proverbs 16:9 tells us, "We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps." What peace that should bring us, knowing it's the Lord who determines our steps. As the puzzle of life is put together, you may not see the completed puzzle yet but only bits and pieces. However, there is someone who sees the completed puzzle, and He's the Lord. And as His plans come together, there's nothing quite like it :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What A Team!

In HITC, we challenge students to grow academically, in Christ-like character, and give them plenty of ministry opportunities. This past year we had an amazing team of ministry track leaders who poured into and challenged our students. The team included David Argon (Pastoral), Jonathan Bryan (Children's), Kari Bryan (Worship), Stephanie LaFramboise and myself (Youth), and JoAnne Richter and Jay Pinkerton (Administration and Hospitality). From HITC's perspective this was a dream team. There's something about a team working together with all cylinders firing. Accomplishing things that couldn't be done as individuals. On a team there can be no selfishness, ball hogging or backstabbing if they're to accomplish their dreams. Unfortunately in our culture this is all too commonplace. People who play on a team and yet don't work as a team, and never reach their full potential. There's an old Navy Seal saying which speaks volumes, "Individuals play the game, but teams beat the odds." As teams work together they can overcome anything in their path. I am so thankful for this year's HITC ministry track leaders. They imparted into the students, helping them grow so much and seeing them achieve incredible accomplishments. Thank you David, Jonathan, Kari, Stephanie, JoAnne and Jay. You made a huge impact on student's lives and each of you are game changers! Blessings on you :)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Thoughts

To so many people, today is simply a Monday off. Day three in a three day weekend. But seriously, it is so much more than that. Memorial Day is a day where we pay honor and tribute to those men and women who have paid the ultimate price for our nation's freedom. Regardless of which branch of the military they served in, they are worthy of honor. It's very easy for people to sit at home and enjoy all the everyday comforts of life, and to forget men and women who are serving in our armed forces. There are too many men and women who have given their lives for freedom is staggering. They sacrificed their lives for a greater good. Today I thank all those who serve in our military. I thank those who have given their lives. And I pray for all the families who have a loved one serving today. May God bless you all and protect your loved ones.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

No Place Like Home

Last night a large crowd of us gathered at the Boise airport to welcome home our HITC team from their mission trip to Mexico. Seeing their smiling faces as they came through the gates was amazing! There's nothing like coming home from a trip. There have been many times I've come home from a long trip and had a group of people meet me at the airport. As you see everyone it's like nothing else, and I know that's how our team felt last night, walking out to about a hundred excited people. It makes me think about what heaven will be like. I guess no-one exactly knows for sure, but I'm sure it will be incredible too. Coming home from a trip is one thing, but coming home to be with the Lord in heaven will be something else. Heaven is going to be the most wonderful place. It's going to be the best! Having people say "Welcome home" for the last time will be well worth it. By the way, it's also so good having our HITC team home. They did an amazing job under team leaders Jonathan Bryan and Stephanie LaFramboise. Way to go team! Love you all and can't wait to hear all the stories :)

Friday, May 25, 2012


If you had something to be thankful for what would it be? I'm sure people would answer this question very differently. But to me, three things I'm extremely thankful for are God's grace, His mercy and His forgiveness. Sometimes it's easy to forget that pastors have trials and battles just like anyone, and I'm no exception. And yes, I'm thankful, just like most Christians, for the grace, mercy and forgiveness He provides. God's unmerited favor and His enabling power (His grace) for me at times is unimaginable. The mercy I don't deserve that's so freely given is incomprehensible. And His forgiveness, which buries my sins in the sea of forgetfulness is astounding. He does all three of these out of His great love. A love that overcomes and conquers everything. A love that's so strong that it crushed even the devil Himself. There's not a day that goes by where my dependence upon His grace, mercy and forgiveness is clearly obvious. Just like every person, I'm a sinner who needs God's grace, His mercy and His forgiveness. And what's so incredible is that He freely offers it to me. What only He can provide, He provides it freely. If you're in need of God's grace, mercy and forgiveness, He offers it to you today. Experience first hand the love of God :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012


One of the characteristics of a person who serves the Lord is that they listen to what He is saying. They quiet themselves throughout their day to hear wisdom's voice. Unfortunately our culture is becoming one where people don't want to listen to what others are saying, including the Lord. They plug their ears making a distinct and defiant statement by their actions. It's funny how we expect our children to listen to us, our employees, and even those we oversee, but when it comes to us listening, it can be a real challenge. Why is it hard for us listen to others? Maybe it's pride, embarrassment or maybe just not knowing how to? Wherever our unwillingness comes from, it can set us up for great failure. Proverbs 8:32-33 tells us, "And so, my children, listen to me, for all who follow my ways are joyful. Listen to my instruction and be wise. Don’t ignore it." Wisdom is speaking very clearly to us here. Addressing us as beloved children, and pleading with us to listen to him. If we do listen and follow there's the promise of joy and wisdom. Whether our choice to not listen is unintentional or not, we can't fall its trap. Today the Lord is speaking. The question is whether or not we'll choose to listen. 


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Ultimate Sacrifice

My daughter is doing a presentation today on the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. As I watched her powerpoint slides it made me think of those brave men and women who paid the ultimate price. I had the opportunity to visit Pearl Harbor last summer and my life was greatly impacted by it. To hear the heroic stories of what people did during the attack and seeing some of the attack's aftermath, at times made me quite emotional and reflective. To think that many of the people involved that day were just out of high school and in their twenties. Many of them were not people you'd think of as heroes, yet when the moment arose for them to be full of bravery and courage, that day heroes were forged. All of those who gave their lives did it so we could have freedom. It makes me think of what Jesus Christ did for each of us. He also gave His life, dying on a cross, so that we could live in freedom. Romans 5:8 tells us, "But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." It's hard to miss the love that God has for each of us. A love that's so powerful, strong and willing. When you see things or hear stories about those who sacrificed their lives for others, don't forget to thank them for their sacrifice, but also be reminded of Jesus' sacrifice for us :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Do Riches Guarantee Happiness?

It's a pretty common thought which says that if you have lots of money, it's guaranteed to make you happy. But is this really the truth? Unfortunately it's not. Money doesn't automatically bring happiness, contentment or peace. Only Jesus can do this. There's an article in today's USA Today which explains how the USA easily has the highest income per household at $102000. However, the USA is far from being the most happy or satisfied nation. You can check the article out at I've personally been around people who have millions of dollars to their name and yet there seems to be so much turmoil within their marriages, their family and personal lives. Money is not necessarily the cure for happiness and joy. Proverbs 10:22 definitely comes to mind when it says, "The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it." All too often we do everything we can to have riches, yet it's the Lord who makes a person rich. And not only that, but if it's the Lord who does it, He adds no sorrow with it. Plus I've seen this firsthand. I do know people who the Lord has richly blessed financially and He has added no sorrow with it. And I must say that these people are some of the most giving and generous people I know. If your desire is for riches, make sure it's the Lord's doing, because you'll definitely not want sorrow to come along with it.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Knowing or Living?

Is the Bible something that's only to be read? Or is it something that's to not only read, but to be applied and lived out? Is knowing more about the Bible what's most important? I thought Christianity was more about living out what you read from the Bible? I went past a great sign recently that said, "Live the Bible. It may be the only Bible people read." This is so true. Even in Jesus' day there were the Pharisees. They knew a lot but didn't live much of it out. They were hypocrites. The same thing happens still today. People who know so much about the Bible, and yet if you noted their lifestyle, it wouldn't be very consistent with how the Bible says we're to live. In Matthew 7:24-27 Jesus gives us some sound wisdom, "Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand.27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash." Why would He tell us this? Because some people will hear what He says and yet still don't do what He says. This is not the kind of Christians we're called to be. Today, people all around you will watch how you live. Will it draw them closer to Christ? Will your life line up with the Bible today? That's my desire :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Way of the Sloth

In reading Proverbs 19 today, there are two warnings against slothfulness. First of all, is slothfulness even that big a deal? It sure is! It's one of the biggest battles our culture faces. People who will not take action and get something done. Whether it's relates to work and providing, schoolwork, and many other areas, it's a mindset and attitude we should avoid at all costs. But a person doesn't simply become lazy or slothful. They make many little choices and decisions that add up and lead them to this dangerous place. One area I'd love to see people breakthrough is in the area of work. People can be so lazy and frequently will only do the minimum that's required, if that. Proverbs 18:9 tells us, "A lazy (slothful) person is as bad as someone who destroys things." Is this truly a reputation a person should want? To be a destroyer?  Breaking a slothful mentality is a daily choice that requires daily decisions. It's one of those battles where attacking inaction and indecision will be a necessity. I think about other generations in history and wonder what they'd have to say about the slothful mentality that our culture has embraced? And by the way, thank you to every hard working man and woman who often go against the grain when it comes to work ethic. You are examples to everyone who will watch and learn. Pray that slothfulness will be crushed!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Blessing Those God Has Placed In Authority

Last night I emceed a wonderful event where the Meridian Police Department and its fine men and women were honored and thanked for all they do. There were many officers in attendance as well as our Mayor and several other elected officials. As the night came to a close and everyone was dismissed, most of those in attendance stayed and talked. Everyone I talked with was so appreciative of being honored and blessed by all the thanks they had been given throughout the evening. This included all the police officers as well as those elected officials who were there. If you think about it for a moment, leaders are always the easiest to be critical of and be negative towards. It's so easy to attack them and talk badly about them. Whether it's a police officer, someone in government, a boss, a teacher, a parent or anyone else who God has placed in authority. Romans 13:1 tells us, "For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God." They aren't there because of man's doing, but God's. And instead of being critical and negative towards them, we should be lifting them up in our prayers. In getting to know some people involved in law enforcement throughout the years, I do pray for them and lift them up as they put their lives on the line to protect and serve others. Try it today. Pray for all those people who God has placed in a position of authority. Being a leader is no easy task and I think any person carrying responsibility and leading would appreciate knowing that people are praying for them :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Blessing of Weakness and Problems

It's easy to question the title of my post. How could any weakness or problem be a blessing? In our men's meetings at Harvest Church we've been going through a series by Neal Jeffrey titled, "The Man I Want to Be." It's been a powerful series from a guy you never would have expected it. Although Neal Jeffrey was an All-American quarterback at Auburn and played several years in the NFL, he has a major challenge with stuttering. In fact it was so bad that in football, other players had to call the plays and even say, "Hike! Hike!" What's so impressive to me about Neal Jeffrey is that he hasn't allowed the challenge in his life to stop him from doing what God's called him to do. In fact He's now grown to be very thankful for his challenge. Why you may ask? Because his battle with stuttering simply reminds him of how much he needs Jesus on a daily basis. He recognizes that no real triumphs can come apart from Jesus. With his stuttering, Neal Jeffrey has turned the disappointment and possibility of defeat into the joy of triumph. Paul himself said in 2 Corinthians 12:9, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me." All of us have challenges in our lives and areas of weakness. The question is whether or not we're going to let those things hold us back, define who we are, and stop us from achieving those things God has placed before us. What will you do?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Way That Is Not Good...

As a parent you're always paying attention to who your kids are hanging around. Why is this important? Because people are so easily influenced. Sometimes it's for the good, and unfortunately this can also be for the worse. Have you ever noticed how just being around someone can influence you? I remember that when I first became a Christian a wise man told me to start hanging around people who were heading in a direction with their Christian walk that I wouldn't mind following. I took his advice, and to this day I'm thankful for those several individuals who allowed me to do this :) Proverbs 16:29 gives us a clear warning when it comes to following others, "The exceedingly grasping, covetous, and violent man entices his neighbor, leading him in a way that is not good." The Message is pretty blunt by saying, "Calloused climbers betray their very own friends; they'd stab their own grandmothers in the back." I think this is pretty clear and is a warning that too many people ignore. There's no need for fear or panic here, unless you're blind and naive and allow someone to lead you down a path that's not good. I regularly get asked by people how to be more alert to this? According to the Bible, one of the best ways will be in their fruit (Luke 6). What kind of lifestyle do they live? What comes out of their mouth? What's their reputation? Fruit can be faked for a short season but what's really there will be evident sooner or later. I'm thankful for the amazing men and women that God's put in my life to help me daily hit the mark as a Christian :) 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Life and Surfing

I know most people would love to plan out their days and then have them go exactly according to that plan. Unfortunately we all know that's not the case. When you think about it, life's a lot like surfing. It involves a lot of paddling, opportunities to wipe out, catching waves, missing waves, riding waves that were smaller than you thought and catching waves that were way bigger than you'd ever imagined. I guess that's the beauty of living life where the Lord leads. Can you imagine a life of predictability, dullness and routine? Not that these are bad, but having some adventure and change is so good for us. Mark 8:34 clearly spells out Jesus' heart when it comes to being a Christian saying, "Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me." Being a Christian is about following Jesus. It's doing His will and His desires, not our own. Following Jesus will mean paths that maybe we wouldn't choose, or routes we'd rather not travel on. And as we trust in Him, He won't lead us on a path that's too much for us, or one He'll leave us on. He's an excellent guide and knows exactly what He's doing. So today will involve some paddling. It may be tiring, yet necessary to get to the place where you can catch waves. Then you see you wave and you begin paddling even more. You catch your wave, stand up and enjoy your ride :) And sometimes even though your wave might not be what you expected, Jesus knows what He's doing, just like with this incredible surfer

Monday, May 14, 2012

Do You Need To Exercise?

It's Monday morning, which for me usually means somewhat of a sleep in, followed by some coffee, reading my Bible, some prayer and then a run. The first few of these don't bother me too much, but the run does. Maybe for some people it doesn't, but definitely does me. Strapping on my running shoes and going out for a few miles was once a piece of cake. It's funny how as you get older that things you once enjoyed doing or even took for granted now seem to take so much more effort. So why do I run? Because it's good for me and helps me to stay in shape. 1 Timothy 4:8 tells me that, "Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come." OK, so physical training is good for me, but I can't in any way ignore training for godliness either. I can't simply do the one and not the other. In fact, I need to do both, having an emphasis on the training for godliness. When it comes to physical training I'm often concerned when I see the state our nation. With millions of people dependent on medications and obesity affecting a growing percentage of the population. People need to get out and start exercising. As I'm strapping on my running shoes right now, I know that my run this morning is going to profit me, even if it is only a little. Plus I love how it feels when I arrive home after having completed it. I challenge you to get out and do some exercise. Whether it's walking, biking, running, or something else, it will be so good for you :)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

One Proud Dad

As a parent there are many things you can be thankful for. Today, I'm so thankful for my son David. It's his 15th birthday today and he's growing into such an amazing young man. As a Christian he's growing in his walk with the Lord, getting great grades in school, and having a lot of success with tennis. Yesterday he and his partner qualified for the state tennis tournament by finishing second at the district tournament, and as a freshman nonetheless. You may ask why I'm making a big deal about my son? Well it's pretty simple. We live in such a critical and perfection-oriented society (at times) where all too often parents don't say or do enough to show how proud they are of their children. It's easy when they place first or score 100% on a test, but what about when they do their best and place last or score a 73%? Because of an outcome does that mean we're not proud of them? I love the affirmation God gave His Son Jesus in Matthew 3:17 as He came up from the water after being baptized, "...This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy." Children need to hear affirmation from their parents. They need to hear and see how proud their parents are of them and the joy they bring. For some parents it's difficult to say anything about their children, let alone anything good. I challenge you today to affirm them. If you're proud of them, let them know. There's nothing like a child hearing their parent say something that lifts and builds them up. And David, I'm so proud of you and thankful for you. Happy Birthday son :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Everything On the Internet Is True, Right?

I've had a couple of conversations recently which have made me chuckle. One was with a person about an article they'd read online that was incredibly far fetched, one sided and full of errors, Yet because it was online, this person thought it had to be true. Another conversation was about a couple things found on Wikipedia. This person was adamant that Wikipedia was trusted source and could always be counted on. Just because you read something online, please exercise wisdom and caution. Don't fall hook, line and sinker for something. Think of how many people fall for scams online simply because they believe what's being said. Yes, I regularly use the internet, but I definitely don't just assume that what I read must be honest, truth or believed. I'm so thankful that the Bible is not like that. Wondering what's truth and what's not. The Bible is fully truth! It's the Word of God. It is not partial truth but total truth. It's 100% trustworthy, reliable and applicable. John 1:14 even says, "So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son." This is amazing! The Word of God actually became flesh and we know Him as Jesus. And we know what Jesus said in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me." Jesus and the Word are TRUTH. While a lot of what's found on the internet is not truth, we can rest assured knowing that everything found in the Bible is truth :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012


There's just something about getting a job or task finished. Starting a task with a picture in your mind of how you want things to look when you're done is wonderful motivation. That's how I feel about yard work. Earlier this week it was time to attack my yard. My grass had grown about seven inches in the past week, and was overdue to be cut. I started first by collecting about 20 pounds of dog poop. It still amazes me how two pugs and a border collie can produce so much of it. Then it's time to make those edges look nice with my trusty old weed eater. Once all the edges look nice it's time to bring out my "old faithful" lawnmower. A Honda mower that's been amazing over throughout the years. I bag my grass as it seems easier when it's so long. After about an hour, and filling two large Costco trash bags, I'm almost done. I finish my task off by sweeping the sidewalks of any grass clippings. Then I'm done! I grab a cold apple juice and sit in one of my favorite outside chairs. I can't help but notice how good everything looks once it's done. The lines of freshly cut grass, along with a dog poop free and nicely trimmed yard can bring so much contentment. Yes it's definitely worth doing to have it look this good. It's the same way with so many things in life. There has to be some sowing before there's any reaping. In fact it's a Biblical principle. I definitely sowed time and hard work into my yard that afternoon, and yes, I love reaping the benefit of how it looks. Enjoy your yard work and other tasks today and this week :) It will be worth it.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Get Back On It!

Have you ever let fear or a bad experience stop you from trying or doing something again? I've known people who've had a bumpy plane flight never fly again. Or maybe you were working out at the gym and fell off the treadmill? Now that becomes your reason for not wanting to go to the gym to get back on the treadmill. What if we let failure define who we are? What if we allowed our bad experiences to dictate how we lived life? Unfortunately some people do this. They live life out of fear, not wanting to move on from their past experiences. I'm glad that when I lost a tennis match that I didn't stop playing. Or when I failed a college exam, that I didn't drop out. I'm the kind of person who can't wait to get back in the saddle after failure or a bad experience. I'm not going to let negative experience hold me back from doing something that I know I should be doing. Everyone needs a little encouragement now and then to get back in the saddle. Maverick needed it after Goose was killed on the movie Top Gun. And Timothy needed it from Paul in 1 Timothy 4:12-13 where he said, "Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them." So if you've fallen off the treadmill before, don't let that stop you from getting back on it. Have fun cranking out a few miles on the treadmill today. If you've had a bumpy flight, look forward to your next flight and enjoy getting safely to your destination. If you had a rough day yesterday, today is a new day full of great things :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Releasing Them

I couldn't help but think about how quickly this past year of HITC has gone, as I watched our team check in and go through security at the Boise airport heading to Puebla, Mexico. So many things flashed through my mind as I saw each student, reminding me of how much they've grown in the Lord this year. And looking forward to how God used each of them personally and as a team while they were on their mission trip. This trip was in some way a releasing of our students, to be used by God in another nation and culture. This morning reminded me of a bird releasing their child to fly from the nest for the first time. Most of the team has never done a trip like this, and yet I know they are ready and will thrive. When you think about it, aren't most things in life about releasing? Opening your hands and letting what's inside fly. Whether it's with responsibilities, trust, parenting, or anything else, release is a part of life. Isn't that what Jesus did with the disciples? He left to go and be with the Father, releasing them to advance the kingdom. Were they the most qualified or prepared group? Probably not, but He did release them to do His work. This morning there was an amazing release and God has great plans in store :)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Wiling to Sow in Famine?

I love the way God does things regardless of what might be going on in culture. In Genesis 26 there's a severe famine in the land. It's hard for us to even imagine what a famine might be like, so just imagine that food and supplies are very scarce and unavailable. Yet in this time of famine God blesses Isaac abundantly. Verses 12-14 tell us, "Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the Lord blessed him. The man began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous; for he had possessions of flocks and possessions of herds and a great number of servants..." I'd say a hundred fold blessing in a time of famine is pretty amazing. I can't stop thinking about the wording of verse 13, "The man began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous." It's so easy for people to look at the circumstances around them such as a weak economy or high unemployment. However, God is the one who brings the increase. He's the one who can make things happen when they shouldn't. But look at what Isaac first did. He chose to sow in a time of famine. Today you may be in a difficult situation and in desperate need of God, but that's a good place to be in. He sees what's going on and what needs to happen. His hand is on His hear to listen to the cry of His children. But we must first choose to sow. I'm so excited to see some of the things that God does in this next season in people's lives :) I believe there's going to be some hundred fold blessings and some prospering in people's lives :)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Which Way?

So you're at a place where you need some help on which direction to go. Having some help and clarity would be nice. Who do you ask? Who do you go to for direction? I'm currently reading Genesis and there are lots of examples in it of people in this predicament. And many of them go to God asking Him which way they should go. One example is Abraham's servant who's sent to go and find a wife for Isaac. In Genesis 24:12 he clearly asks God for direction. And when he finally finds Rebekah, he tells her in verse 42, "So today when I came to the spring, I prayed this prayer: ‘O Lord, God of my master, Abraham, please give me success on this mission." We know God did direct Abraham's servant and did bring him success. Every single day we have decisions that we need to make, and sometimes it's easy to just do what we think is best, without even asking the Lord. Maybe we think we know better than Him, or perhaps we're afraid to bring it to Him because of what He might say? Over the years I've learned to bring everything before the Lord, especially those things that are big deals, and to ask for His direction and success. He does answer us if we'll listen. Sometimes it's by giving us a peace, or opening a door, or using someone else to speak to us about it. If we'll wait on Him and listen, He's faithful to give us direction and success. Don't feel like you have to make all those big decisions, but bring them to the Lord today and ask Him to help you :)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Winning and Victory!

As a former professional athlete and coach for many years, there's something special about winning. There's nothing quite like holding a trophy above your head as a sign of your accomplishment and victory. As with most sports, not everyone has a chance to be a winner. In most cases, for every winner there also has to be a loser. And let me tell you from personal experience, losing is a feeling that sits in the deep of your heart that doesn't want to leave. In sports, a person often doesn't have a choice when it comes to victory or failure, but in life everyone has the same opportunity to have victory, through Jesus Christ. He makes the playing field level in life. In 1 Corinthians 15:57 we read, "But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ." Today we all have an opportunity to experience His victory for our lives if we choose to accept Jesus and what He did for us. He died on the cross, taking all our sins upon Himself. Because of His actions we now have victory over sin and death. It's no longer about losing and failure in life, unless that's what we choose. But today will you choose to live in victory because of Jesus? 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

What the Devil Would Love to Do to You

We're very aware that the devil hates followers of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 5:8 warns us to, "Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour." Have you ever thought what that might look like? A roaring lion wanting to devour you. It's definitely not a pretty thought. But it's true. As Christians we have an enemy who hates us and would like nothing better than to rip you apart. To get an idea of what he'd like to do, take a moment to watch this clip He hates you! He despises you! And all because you've chosen to serve the Lord instead of him. One of the the things I'm most thankful for with the Lord is His protection over my life. He is my protector throughout my day. Imagine what this clip would look like if there were no safety glass? Just like the glass protects this child, it's such a great picture of what the Lord does for us. He surrounds and protects us from all our enemies, especially the devil. David talked about it in 2 Samuel 22 saying, "The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;  my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. He is my refuge, my savior,  the one who saves me from violence." Will you choose today and allow Him to be your protector?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Last Day :(

Well today is one of those bittersweet days. It's the last day of HITC for this year. Yes they still have their missions trip to Mexico, but I won't be traveling with them this year. It's funny how I started school with a group of students who I barely knew, yet after spending a year with them on almost a daily schedule, I've become quite attached to them. Friendships have been forged that will last a lifetime. You may have heard me say this before, but I consider it a privilege to have been a part of their lives this past year. Whether they return as second year students or not, what I've experienced with the students and seen in their lives is incredible and I wouldn't trade it for the world. This group of students has grown and changed so much. I know God will use them powerfully in Mexico and in the days ahead. Coming to HITC may only be a year or two of their lives, but the impact that it has made will last a lifetime. I feel like a proud dad today watching his kids accomplish something great. They have persevered, overcome, broken through and seen how they can be used of God as they allow Him. It will be strange coming in to the office tomorrow and having the school quiet and not having the activity of 14 busy HITC students. Congratulations this year's class. And students, your classes and finals may be over, but you have a lot to do, including packing, to prepare yourself for your overseas missions trip. Represent Jesus, Harvest Church and HITC well. You are an amazing group!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Can A Day Be Any Better?

If you asked me what I did yesterday, I would have to say I simply had an amazing day. It started with a major sleep in till 8:30am. From there it was time in the Bible with a cup of coffee (in my favorite cup). After some time with the Lord and getting ready, I headed out with my beautiful wife. After a couple of stops we ended up at Starbucks in two extremely comfortable chairs. We did our bills, spent some time on Facebook and just talked, sipping on our favorite Sbux drinks. From there we went to our favorite place to eat, PF Changs. We both got our favorite meals for lunch and enjoyed some great conversation in our booth as we ate. From there we stopped by Goodwill and then on to be with the kids after school. To many that may seem like a boring day, but to me it was perfect and couldn't get any better. Spending time with the woman of my dreams, doing things that we both love doing. No stress, pressure or places to be, but being on our schedule. Sometimes our days can be so crammed with stuff (good and bad), that we really don't have any time to slow it all down and spend a little time with the one you love. Sitting at Sbux talking,  holding hands as we walked around downtown Boise, or cuddling in our booth at PF Changs. Proverbs 31:10 tells us, "Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies." And it's true! Husbands, cherish your wives and let them know how precious they are to you :) Coffee at Sbux $6. Lunch at PF Changs $25. A day with the woman of my dreams, priceless!