Saturday, June 30, 2012

Worst Case Scenario

We've all experienced times where things have gone wrong. And during these times have you ever noticed how quickly we can allow our minds to be filled with worst case scenario thoughts? We begin to worry and stress over them. It's interesting how quickly these thoughts can dominate us, and yet most of the time they aren't even warranted. Take for instance your bicycle. You go and get your bike to go on a bike ride. Immediately you see that one of your tires is flat. You panic, get frustrated and quickly lose your peace and joy. In your mind all of these negative thoughts begin flying around. What's the solution? You run out and buy a new bike. We allowed the flat tire to seem like it's something so much bigger than it really is. Instead of putting some slime in your tire and then pumping it up, we did something much greater than was really needed. The same thing can also happen in life. A problem comes up and before you know it your mind has become filled with those worst case scenario thoughts. Usually there are easy solutions to problems that come up. Before you panic, try some of the easier solutions. A lot of the time we blow things way out of proportion and then let worry run right over us, when we shouldn't have opened the door to it in the first place. Peace and joy in our lives are things we should keep at all times. Don't surrender them up for anything!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Wicked! Oh Yeah!

I must admit that getting older does seem to take its toll on me in some areas. Things that I was once able to do with ease, seem to challenge me a little more nowadays. And that includes riding roller coasters, especially one named "Wicked". I really had no intention of riding such an intense roller coaster, but when your twelve year old daughter asks you to go on it with her, what does a good dad say? Inside I'm thinking there's no way I can do this, especially a ride with such an formidable name. This ride is intimidating, intense and tough. Wouldn't she rather ride the bumper cars? I'm thinking to myself, "Lee, dig deep. Don't show you're nervous. Don't forget the Bible verses that say to be strong and courageous. I can do all things through Christ." We made our way to front of the line, got on board our ride, and dominated it! Well sort of :) I had my eyes closed for the first 30 seconds and left indents on the steel hand holders. But I did ride it. I conquered "Wicked" and at the same time showed my daughter how brave her dad is :) I'm so thankful she didn't asked to go on it again. Check out "Wicked" here

Thursday, June 28, 2012

It's Overwhelming

When you think about being overwhelmed, it's usually doesn't bring pleasant things to mind. Yet I came across this verse yesterday that's amazing. When we read Isaiah 61 it's the first few verses we think about. But look at what Isaiah 61:10 says, "I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness." Can you picture yourself being overwhelmed with joy in the Lord? Today it's what the Lord has in store for you.  You have been given the free gift of salvation and draped in robes of His righteousness. What a beautiful and glorious day :) Being overwhelmed with joy in the Lord is for you to enjoy today.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Foreseeing Danger and Taking Precautions

One of the most wisdom filled verses to a Christian is found in Proverbs 27:12 which instructs us, "A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences." Talk about a scripture being rich! On many occasions as a pastor I've had to help people as they walk through difficult situations, usually after blowing through the warnings of this verse. Everyday we must be alert and wise as we navigate the paths before us. We must always be scouting the horizon for traps and dangers, being able to recognize them a mile away. But not only that, we must be able to respond to what we recognize. What good would it be to spot danger and yet not take any precautions? If you were at a beach and saw a shark fin, would you ignore it and go swimming? The second part of this verse is also vital for us to see. The simpleton and fools will ignore every warning around them and keep going. Unfortunately there's a promise that goes along with this. If they do go on ignoring the warnings serious consequences await them, and they will suffer. Thankfully we have many things around us which help us in our walk, keeping us away from evil and troubles. Don't ignore them! Don't simply go on else you'll be the one who suffers the consequences. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Worship the Sun or the Son?

Yep, it did happen unintentionally. I was laying out at the pool a few days ago on my back for about 30 minutes. And for that did I ever pay a price. I looked like a lobster on my front side and became the brunt of many jokes. Not only that, even with much aloe vera gel and lotion it stung like crazy. It's funny how many people truly worship the sun. Now I like getting out in it, but some people will lay out in it everyday for hours. I guess I'd say I don't worship the sun, but I do worship the Son. In fact I can't get enough of Him. He is first and foremost in my life. He's been the best thing that's ever happened to me. Today you may be planning on laying out a little in the sun, but before you do, have you spent some time with the Son, Jesus Christ? Although the sun fades at the end of each day, the Son never goes away. In fact He's our constant companion and His desires to be your best friend. Spend some time with Him today :)  (Just on a side note, the picture above is not of me)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Muddied Fountains and Polluted Springs

You may have heard the quote by Brennan Manning at in the introduction to DC Talk's song "What If I Stumble." He simply states, "The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle." This priests comment couldn't be a more motivating, aimed at the life of every Christian. Unfortunately there are many Christians who live two separate lifestyles, and the world sees it all. Proverbs 25:26 tells us, "Like a muddied fountain and a polluted spring is a righteous man who yields, falls down, and compromises his integrity before the wicked." Yes there are going to be temptations and things that come across your path whose desire is to see you compromise. These temptations can often come in the form of situations, things and people. The Lord promises that we'll never go through a temptation that is too much for us. Today you've been called to be a light to a dark and dying world. Choose to be a light that shines brightly! Don't life two lifestyles which fuels the fire for those who oppose Christianity. God wants them to see that there is something amazing about being a Christian that they need too, and that's a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Muddied fountains and polluted springs is not who you were called to be :)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Fish N Chips, L & P, 4 N 20 Pies and Real Donuts


Someone asked me recently if there were things I ever missed about New Zealand. Now that I think about it there are some things that I miss (other than family). Let's start with the good old Four N Twenty meat pies. Amazing taste at an amazing price. A staple of the NZ diet. These would definitely do well if you could get them in the US. Next on my list are fish N chips, especially from Fast Eddies in Howick. There's nothing quite like unwrapping a package of fresh and hot fish and chips. Lemon and Paeroa makes my list next. Only available in New Zealand it's hands down the best soda in the world. A cold L & P sounds so good right now. To wrap up my list is fresh cream filled donuts. I remember as a boy when these were only 10c each. They make a great anytime snack. Yep these are things that I seldom get a chance to enjoy, but when I do I savor every moment :) And if you ever get the chance to enjoy them, you'll understand.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Everyday is A New Day

One of the most incredible things about waking up each day is the fact that it's the start of a new day. A new day that's full of opportunities and potential and where yesterday is a distant memory. Yesterday may have been one of the toughest days you've faced, but today gives you a new start. Lamentations 3:22-23 tell us, The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning."What beautiful promises to us. Yes, today is a new day. His love never ends. His mercies never cease. He is faithful and today his mercies start afresh all over again :) Knowing His promises like these means that I can head into today full of confidence and excitement. Today is a blank canvas that is just waiting for you to paint it and create a masterpiece on. Are you ready? Enjoy creating your masterpiece.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Who Would Have Ever Thought...?

Proverbs 16:9 tells us, "We can make our plans,  but the Lord determines our steps." Is this ever true! Sometimes I think about what my plans were going to be once I graduated college and yet how things ended up very differently. After graduating I was going to play pro tennis, live in New Zealand, use my degree once my tennis days were over, marry a New Zealand girl and live happily ever after. After becoming a Christian in my senior year of college, all my good ideas were about to be replaced by God ideas. As you know, none of my plans came to pass, other than playing for a few months on the pro tennis tour. And even then God had His hand in that and had even better things in store for me. It's easy for us to make our plans, but don't hold on too tightly to them. God can change things (always for the better) and take you in a different direction. He can also take your ideas and enhance them. I guess what I'm trying to say is that when you serve and follow the Lord, everyday can be an adventure. But don't be so set in your plans that you're unwilling to follow His leading :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


At home we often use the acronym J.O.Y. which stands for Jesus, Others and Yourself. When you think about it this should be the order in which we live, putting Jesus first, others second and yourself last. Now take a moment and think about the order you truly live. Is it yourself first, others second and Jesus third? Or maybe Others first, Jesus second and yourself third? Even though the order may be close, it's not right. If you want true joy, the order must be correct. If you put Jesus first in your life you're on the right track. By putting others second you definitely on your way. And by putting yourself first, you're definitely not going to go wrong. The combination of these three in right order will open the floodgates of joy to come bursting open. Today you may have to battle to keep them in the right order, but believe me, it will be well worth it if you're victorious :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Gossip's Poison

Our culture thrives on gossip. It's the main focus of many television shows, magazines and websites. But something we easily forget is that gossip is like poison. Not only does it affect those spreading it, but also affects those whose ears hear it. In the Message Proverbs 17:4 tells us, "Evil people relish malicious conversation; the ears of liars itch for dirty gossip." Are you someone who relishes malicious conversation? I know it's fun to talk about things, but don't let gossip's poison take you down. Your ears should long for things that will build you up and strengthen you. Ephesians 4:29 encourages us to "Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them." If this is the case then why would I want to tune my ears towards anything that's dirty gossip? I know it's easy to want to listen to what others are saying, but don't forget that gossip is like poison. It will affect you. And don't forget, "Gossip is the devil's radio, so don't be his DJ"!

Monday, June 18, 2012

More Than Just A Title

Yesterday was Father's Day and what a great day it was. But what is being a father all about? Is it simply bringing home a paycheck to provide for your family? Is it more than just a title? Yes! Being a father is one of the most rewarding yet challenging responsibilities anyone could have. Here are some of the things I promise to do being a father:
1) Consistently teach my children about living for God and living to please Him.
2) Never be too busy to sit and listen to my children.
3) Never be afraid to hug them.
4) Sacrifice my desires for their needs.
5) Never stop praying for them and their future spouses.
6) Love them regardless of whether have victory or failure.
7) Never stop encouraging them to be the person God's called them to be.
8) Never let fear of failure stop them.
9) Always teach them to look out for the needs of those around them, especially those less fortunate.
10) Never take for granted the gifts God has given me in my children.
These are some of the things that I choose to do as a father for my children. 1 Corinthians 4:15, "For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel."

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Keep Going!

Every Christian needs endurance for the marathon of faith we're running. The ability to keep going, regardless of the headwinds opposing us. Hebrews 10:35-36 encourages us by saying, "So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised." Throwing away your confidence in the Lord may seem like the easy thing to do at times, yet the consequences of doing this can be tragic. God gives us the strength to keep going if we ask Him, trust Him and follow Him. He gives us the ability not only to continue doing His will, but to thrive as we do it. Endurance is such a powerful thing. It's the Greek word "hupomone." It's "the capacity to bear up under difficult circumstances, not with a passive complacency, but with a hopeful fortitude that actively resists weariness and defeat." Hupomone is essential for every Christian if we're to receive all God's promised us. Ask Him for some today :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

God's Fully Aware of Your Situation

Sometimes I think it's easy for people who are going through a trial or test to think that God isn't aware of it. Maybe they think He can't see their situation or hear their cries. Just because we go through challenges and trials doesn't mean that we've been abandoned. When the Israelites were being treated harshly by the Egyptians in Exodus 3, we should be encouraged by what verse 7 says, "And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters and oppressors; for I know their sorrows andsufferings and trials." Two things that should comfort us here are the words "seen" and "heard." God does see what's going on and does hear our cries and requests. Plus, Hebrews 13:8 reminds us that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. So if He was seeing and hearing yesterday, then He's still doing it today. I can't explain why each of us go through challenges or trials, but what I do know is that He's with us as we go through them. And yes, He does see and hear everything that's going on :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Thousand Unspoken Thank Yous

Have you ever done something for someone where you gave it your all? And when you were done you didn't even get a thank you? In fact, what you did maybe even went unnoticed? I know that when we do things we should never do them for personal recognition or rewards, but we do them as unto the Lord. We know that our rewards are in heaven. But realistically, how easy is it for us to say to someone, "Thank you for all you did." Or "I appreciate your hard work." All of us have done things before that were never recognized, appreciated or even noticed. And as I've said, our goal in doing things should never be about receiving personal recognition or appreciation, but there's something so rewarding and meaningful when someone does thank you and shows their appreciation. One thing I'm always trying to do is thank people for the job they're doing. Whether I know them or not, everyone can use a little boost of encouragement every now and then. As often as I can I'll try to write a thank you card or note and if I have a few extra dollars I'll get them a Starbucks card or a small gift. I think we should never take anyone or what they do for granted. In Luke 6:31 the Message tells us, "Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them!" What amazing words of wisdom. Just because someone doesn't thank you or appreciate what all you do, don't let that stop you from thanking or blessing others. Let thanks, appreciation and blessings flow from you. You'll never know the impact and power of this :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Busyness and Effectiveness

I've been helping someone recently go from being busy, to being effective. When we first started they had trouble seeing them as two very different and opposite things. Being busy in no way implies you're being effective. Busy means "crowded with or characterized by activity", while being effective is "producing the intended or expected result. One thing we must realize is that people can be very busy, yet not accomplish anything. This would indicate they're being ineffective. But there are some people who are extremely effective and yet wouldn't describe themselves as busy. I think effectiveness is one of the things we should always be aiming for in life. Whether it's in government, parenting, work, sports or anything else. Being extremely busy without being very effective can be wearying on a person. If effectiveness is something you're wanting to grow in, find someone who can help you. There's also many great resources available on becoming more effective. Two of my favorite resources are Stephen Covey's "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" and Gordon McDonald's "Ordering Your Private World". Whether you're a CEO, a single mom, a young person, or anywhere in-between, you have too much on your plate to be busy and not effective. Today take steps to become effective, and free yourself from busyness. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What Would You Do With an Extra 10K?

I know it's a totally random question, but I was asked this recently. Think about it for just a moment. What would you really do if someone gave you $10000 and said to do with it whatever you wanted? To some people this is a small amount, but to others it's a fortune. Obviously this is not real and nobody that I'm aware of has an extra $10000 for me, but it's fun to think about it. What kind of things would you do with it? I'm sure some people would give it all away. Or maybe pay off some debt? Or purchase some needed items. If someone gave me $10000 I have a pretty good idea where I'd put every penny. Obviously I want be a good steward of it and want to be generous too :) Why is this important? Because I see so many people who struggle with the stewardship of their finances. If you struggle with handling $100, then how in the world would you handle $10000? People have this idea that if they did receive a chunk of money that they'd immediately become excellent with their money. This is so far from the truth. What I'm always telling people is that they need to become excellent with what they have now and so if they gained more, they'd know exactly how to handle it Biblically. Being faithful with our finances is a Biblical principle and area that God wants us to shine in. If you need help with your finances, please get some help. There are many excellent stewards who God continues to bless who would love to sit down and help you :)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Headwinds Only Make You Stronger

I was running last week getting in my usual few miles, but this day was different. The wind was very strong throughout my run. Now when I was running with the wind it was amazing. I could run with little effort. However, when I was running into the wind, talk about a battle. It was so much more harder, more work, more of a battle and at times I even heard that little voice whispering to me, "It's OK to walk. Go ahead and just walk a little." Those words are my enemy when I run. My goal is to never stop and walk when I'm running. In one sense, strong headwinds can be considered bad and viewed negatively. However I chose to look at it a very different way. As I ran into those strong headwinds, something great was happening. I was becoming stronger. It was nature's very own resistance training for me. Yes I was having to put a lot more effort into my running, yet I was also the one who was benefiting from it. I couldn't help but think how easy running would be next time on a day where there was no wind. Life is exactly the same when it comes to headwinds. Those headwinds are only going to push you closer to Christ and make you stronger. I think about what 1 Peter 6-7 tells us, So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world." What wonderful encouraging words for us. When you encounter headwinds when you run, or trials in your day, know that you can benefit from them and become stronger :)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Becoming Little

Everywhere you look it seems as if people are always trying to get ahead of others, finish first or be the focus of attention. Pride is on a rampage while humility is deemed as weak and pathetic. I've been thinking a lot about John the Baptist this week. Talk about a guy who knew what was up. He knew his place, his call and what he needed to do, even if it meant being second. Matthew 3:5-6 tells us, "Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins." Imagine the number of people going out to see him and be baptized by him.   All of a sudden he's the center of attention in the region and yet he began saying things that shocked people. It wasn't about him, but someone else. Even with his popularity and everything he was doing, there was absolutely no pride. He was secure knowing what God had called him to do, regardless of what it looked like. When you're secure in Christ and do His will it's easy for you to be humble, content and full of peace. When others get credit you can rejoice. When others are put ahead of you, you don't get upset and stab them in the back. John the Baptist is an amazing example to us of humility. His words in John 3:30 speak volumes to us, "He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less." If this is our attitude and mindset, it doesn't matter what we do or where we serve, we'll have humility, contentment and peace.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Goofed Up Priorities

Have you ever taken a moment to think about what your priorities are? I'm not talking about what they should be, but what they really are. It's amazing to me how many people either have no priorities in their life or some that are pretty goofed up. According to Webster, a priority is "Something given or meriting attention before competing alternatives." Take a moment to write down the top five priorities in your life. Now look at them and ask yourself these two questions. Firstly, why do you consider these things as priorities in your life? And secondly, are they priorities that line up with the Bible? I was recently talking with a person about their priorities and was shocked at what they listed as theirs and why. In talking through each of them this person began to see how off track they'd allowed themselves to wander from what God had called them to do. Some of the priorities in my life include serving the Lord wholeheartedly and living passionately for Him; being a man of prayer and the Word; loving my wife and my family and being a Christ-like example to them; providing for my family; loving people and being burdened for the lost. These are just some of the priorities that I take very seriously in my life. Without priorities we can stray off course pretty quickly or live life without much vision or purpose. Having priorities is something that everyone needs to have. Have fun with your priorities :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Everyone Needs the Big Mo

Whether it's in sports, a business, a church or anything else, something that's always great to have on your side is momentum. Momentum is the "the Big Mo". Having momentum is like nothing else while not having momentum can be a huge problem. I was recently reading an article by John Maxwell where he said, "A train traveling 55mph on a railroad track can crash through a 5 foot thick steel reinforced concrete wall without stopping. Yet that same train, starting from a stationary position, won't be able to go through an inch thick block in front of the driving wheel." What's the difference? Momentum! When it comes to momentum there are always things that produce it, and things that destroy it. According to Maxwell, some momentum makers include focus, teamwork, being critical, creativity, character, gratitude and being decisive. While some momentum breakers include double-mindedness, individualism, constructive criticism, tradition, dishonesty, ingratitude and action. These are two very opposing lists. How are you doing when it comes to seeing momentum in your own life? Do you see momentum makers or breakers? If you have momentum, keep it rolling. If you don't, start today by living in such a way that produces momentum. Just as momentum can easily be lost, it can also easily be gained. What are you waiting for? Become a person of momentum!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Never Forget This

I've been reminded lately of how powerful our words can be and the affect they can have. The Bible tells us that in them can either be life or death. I've also been aware of how words can mean things we never meant. For example, "Let's eat Grandma" can mean something very different than "Let's eat, Grandma". One can imply that Grandma becomes our meal while the other implies Grandma knows it's time for us to eat. This is a funny example of what words can actually do. Another fascinating thing about words is how you can essentially take the same words, and by rearranging their order, produce something very powerful. I recently watched a short clip where this was done and it moved me. It's amazing how by changing only a few words that you can have the same message that's presented so much more powerfully. Take a moment to watch this clip to see what I mean, and join the 14 million who already have As a husband and parent I have lots of things I need to say. But one thing I'm always evaluating is whether or not there's a better way to say what I need to. Rather than just speaking words, I want my words to count and mean something. I want them to be impacting and effective. Take time today and think about your words and the power they have. And don't forget that by changing a few things around it could radically affect your message and its outcome :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Winds Blew But Didn't Blow the House Down

Last night we had a very strong wind storm blow through our valley. It produced a lot of debris, power outages, and even some fallen trees. The storm lasted about an hour and was gone as quickly as it arrived. As we watched the large trees in our yard bend and sway with the strong winds, in the back of my mind I wondered whether or not they would come down. Praise God that they endured the wind's pummeling! One thing I thought about was how well protected we were inside our home. Regardless of how relentless the winds were, our home wasn't going anywhere. Why? Because it was build solidly and on a firm foundation. Life can sometimes be the same way. Storms come, winds blow and danger looms, yet if our life is built on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ, we will endure. Now please understand me, it's not a matter of whether storms will come, but when. When the storm winds howl and blow violently, where do you find refuge? The writer of Psalm 71:3 says, "Be my rock of safety where I can always hide. Give the order to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress." This too should be our desire. And what's so incredible is that if we'll trust in Him, He will be our rock of safety where we can hide. He will save us because He is our rock and fortress. Are you ready for the storms to blow? If your trust is in Jesus you're well prepared.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Breaking Through!

Yesterday my son experienced something that he and I have been talking about for a while. He won his first big tennis tournament. In the process he beat a couple of very good players. Each of his opponents had much more experience than my son, but he was able to fight and breakthrough, finding a way to win. All of us at times need to breakthrough and experience some victory. It's God's desire for His children. It's what He won for us on the cross. The problem is that too often people give up when breakthrough is right around the corner. People are so close and yet because they're unaware of it, they choose to stop pressing forward. I was so proud of my son yesterday as he showed some fight as he kept moving forward, and eventually broke through. God has put a conquering spirit within all of His children. A spirit that propels them forward conquering and experiencing victory. I even think of what God said to Caleb in Joshua 13:1, "...much land remains to be conquered." Joshua had been a experienced victory and was old, yet God didn't want him to stop. There was much more victory for him to experience. And it's the same way for us. We may have experienced victory in the past, but God still has much for us to conquer. Today is opportunity to breakthrough! It's an opportunity to experience victory and conquest! It's an opportunity for us to walk out what God has for us. Don't hesitate, just do it!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

My Wife is Amazing!

Last night I went on a date of sorts with my beautiful wife to the Harvest Church's annual Graduation Banquet. It's a formal event where we honor and celebrate the accomplishments of the year's graduates. Everyone dresses up and looks amazing. As I was with my wife last night I couldn't help but think how blessed I am to be married to her. I feel like I'm the most blessed man in the world. There's something about being married to your best friend. In fact it's very difficult to put into words. The Bible says in Proverbs 18:22 that, "The man who finds a wife finds a treasure,  and he receives favor from the Lord." I must admit I truly found a treasure in my wife! We've been married for over twenty years now and think our marriage continues to get better and better with every year. On nights like last night there's no-one else I'd rather be with. Being with her is incredible! We live in a culture where the number of divorces is staggering. Can you imagine how things would be different if husbands viewed their wife as a treasure? If they served her and lay down their life for her? A wife is definitely worth doing this for. Thanks go out to my wife for being an incredible woman. I'm blessed beyond measure and am so in love with her :) Love you babe!

Friday, June 1, 2012

A Man of the Word

All of us have those special friends that God brings into our lives and I'm no different. I'm going to brag on a friend of mine today that I've known for over 12 years now. Brian Mercil is an amazing man who is quite simply a man of the Word. Ever since I've known him he's had a hunger for the Bible. What's special about Brian is his faithfulness in every area of his life. Whether it's serving at church, his job, his friends and so on, he's a man of his word. What he said he'd do, he does. You can count on him. It's been amazing watching God use him not only here in our valley, but also on foreign soil. He's been to Asia and Africa on short term missions trip and I wonder where's next for him? He dearly loves his country too, as was seen by his service in the Navy. He loves helping the underdog have victory and seeing those around him succeed. If I were going into battle there would be certain people I'd want to have with me, and Brian is one of those people. His consistency, great attitude, hard work and great ideas make him a man that's used powerfully by God. A verse that I can't stop thinking about when it comes to Brian is Proverbs 27:17, which says, "As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend." Brian is definitely a guy who will keep you sharpened. He's such a blessing and I'm so thankful to have him as a friend. Thanks Brian :)