All posts by kyle

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Mark 10:45

If you know even a little bit about me, you know I have a big family with a great amount of kiddos 🙂 I love all 5 of them so much. If you have kids or spend any time around kids, you probably see kids movies, see kids toys and hear kids songs (baby shark do… sorry, not sorry).

I have a playlist on my Spotify account for such occasions: a mix of kids’ worship songs, VeggieTales silly songs, and other kids music (Disney, baby shark, etc…) It’s easy to just want to tune it out and think its for the kids. I enjoy looking at the big picture and think ‘what can I learn from this?’ in any given situation.

One of the songs on the kids’ playlist is “Be Our Guest” from the classic Disney animated movie “Beauty and the Beast”. I’ve heard the song many, many times and it is a fun song, but I never put much thought into it beyond the basic gist of inviting people to be their guests, which, in itself, is good.

However, one line stuck out to me in a way it never had before:

Life is so unnerving
For a servant who’s not serving
He’s not whole without a soul to wait upon
Ah, those good old days when we were useful
Suddenly those good old days are gone
Ten years we’ve been rusting
Needing so much more than dusting
Needing exercise, a chance to use our skills
Most days we just lay around the castle
Flabby, fat and lazy
You walked in and oops-a-daisy!
It’s a guest
It’s a guest

Songwriters: Howard Elliott Ashman / Alan Menken
Be Our Guest lyrics © Walt Disney Music Company

The main line that stood out to me was “life is so unnerving for aservant who’s not serving. He’s not whole without a soul to wait upon.” It then refers to all of the dishes, candles, etc… rusting for 10 years and needing a chance to use their skills. What is their “skill”?… Serving. They exist to serve.

Now, yes, this is a song about a bunch of dishes that sing and dance… Realistic? Not so much, but nonetheless, it stirred up a thought in my mind about what we are called to do as Christ followers: Serve, just like Jesus Himself modeled for us to do.

Jesus laid His life down for others, not considering His own self first but looking around to what He could do to serve others. Paul calls those who follow Christ to employ this same act of service in their own lives:

Philippians 2:3-4
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

So. I’ll leave you with this one thought/question that I hope you will honestly consider and reflect upon: What are you doing to serve others? This isn’t meant to be a downer or anything to be negative, but to just take an honest assessment of where you are and where you can improve. How can you serve others for the glory of Jesus? Don’t get rusty and dusty, go serve, you were made to do it!

Bacon and chocolate……..
Chocolate chip cookies in orange juice
Beef twinkies…

What do these things all have in common? THEY DON’T BELONG TOGETHER! 🙂 You can try and argue with me about bacon and chocolate, but I’ll win 😉 I know it’s a silly list of examples, but I think it makes the point 😀

I want to be clear in communicating that this post/discussion is just as much for me as it is for anyone else. I am writing this to help me seek God and how to lead a holy life for Him and I hope it can benefit you as well.

I started a Bible reading plan with a group of people from different parts of the country this year to be able to discuss together and keep us accountable in staying on top of it.

In our reading, I’ve been really noticing a lot of the writings talking about God’s expectation and desire for us to be holy. I’ve thought about holiness a lot but I continue to come across it in a way that stands out to me and I believe God has been wanting me to take a deeper look into holiness and how it should look in my life.

So, then, what is holiness and how are we supposed to be holy? How can we lead holy lives?

In Leviticus 19:2, God tells Moses “Speak to all the congregation of the sons of Israel and say to them, “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.”

2 things stand out to me here. First, we have the perfect example of holiness in God. God is not saying “do as I say, not as I do.” but rather “I am modeling how to live to you, so follow my example!” I think this is something we should not overlook in our pursuit to lead holy lives.

Second, what does it mean to “be holy”? Holy here means to be consecrated, pure, set apart, a saint, sacred (ceremonially or morally). God expects us to be pure and set apart, consecrated for a single purpose: to live our lives like God shows us in His great character.

In reading through Exodus, Leviticus and other Old Testament Scripture, you will see God call people to holiness multiple times. He gives clear expectations on foods they should eat, people groups they should marry and is EXTREMELY clear in the fact that they are to worship no other God but Him.

So, for us, holiness. What is it? I think that’s a question you have to be willing to ask yourself and let God direct you down the path to discover how that needs to look for you.

The most important thing is that we need to make sure living for God and living like God in His character, love, morality, etc… is our goal. God made it possible to be holy like Him because He gave us the blueprint, the schematic on what holiness looks like. We are not to be tainted or trying to be “a little bit of this and a little bit of that”. No, 100% devoted to God.

Like the Israelites’ would make their own God’s or worship neighboring peoples’ God’s, we can tend to be just as caught up in idolatry and worshiping other things before God.

Is there anything you need to get rid of in your life that’s keeping you from being completely set apart on wholly living your life in holy dedication to God? Talk with God about it and listen to what He has to say.

The book of Matthew has always been one of my favorite New Testament writings; this isn’t because I think its “better” than other texts, but it is the one I really dove into first when I gave my life to Christ at the age of 17. Matthew 4 constantly gave me life and hope when I saw the way Jesus dealt with struggles and temptations.

When I was in my first semester at Bible college, the first time I moved away to somewhere I’d never lived with people I had never met, some of those comforts of “home”: hometown, home church, family, friends, etc… were no longer there.

And this was a good thing. It opened my eyes to truly understanding that I need Christ more than anything or anyone else. He is always there with me.

On this certain day in that first semester, I was feeling dry. I was feeling down. I was feeling like there was a big chunk of me missing. I had to go to class but I knew there was something I needed to do in order to establish a healthy foundation with Christ. I couldn’t lean on people, churches, jobs, or things: I needed to lean solely on Christ. Without looking at a Bible, Matthew 6 jumped in my head. I couldn’t remember what was in it. But I Felt this very present, burning desire to finish up my class and run back to my room, close the door, and go spend time with God: in prayer and in the Word.

I did that very thing. I hurried back to my room, closed the door shut and opened up my Bible to Matthew 6.

Funny thing: its about prayer. Its all about how we can and should pray. And to put the cherry on top: Verse 6 just lays it out “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”

Instantly I was like “OK God, I’m listening!”

So this is a passage I love to look back to, glean from, and continue to go deeper into it because it impacted me in such a positive way as God spoke to me as a young college student.

What I want to focus on today is, as you may have guessed, the “And when you” statements.

These statements are really about how to do good things without them becoming about us. Its about remembering why we are doing what we do: giving, praying, you name it.

Jesus starts this chapter off with a warning, to be careful to not boast our righteousness just to be noticed by those around us. The reward isn’t to be recognized for “how great we are” but to point out how great God is and one day receive the reward of living eternally with Him!

The “and when you” statements that follow are directly related to this warning. So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you like the hypocrites. Rather, give in secret, not letting your left hand know what your right hand is doing. God will reward you, don’t try to force an earthly reward by making sure people know how great of a giver you are.

Likewise, when we pray, it shouldn’t be done boasting lofty words out loud from the street corners.

Rather, as I mentioned earlier, when we pray, we need to focus solely on God. Prayer isn’t about how eloquent we sound to our friends and fellow believers. If that is the reward we seek, then it pales in comparison to the reward we receive for truly caring for actually recognizing that this conversation and intimate time spent with God is far greater.

Notice the theme here: The thing that all of these “and when you” statements have in common is that it requires us to turn our eyes towards Christ and away from ourselves. Our prayers, our giving, our _____, fill in the blank, need to be so sincere and honest that if all we have is prayer time in a sectioned off closet in our house where no one but God can hear us and know we have a vibrant prayer life and in our giving, if no one in the world knows that we give a dime to help anyone or anything, then that is enough because it is for God.

This does not mean that people can’t know we give or can’t hear us pray, though. What ultimately is important here is our attitude that goes into it. Are we seeking approval of man and thus cheapening the authority of God in our lives?

Essentially, if we care more about what those around us think more than Him, then that is what we are doing.

Its about trust. We need to trust God throughout all of this. This is discussed here in verse 8 “So do not be like them;” (the hypocrites, the Pharisees, those who are putting on a show for men rather than seeking after God’s heart) “for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”

That right there is deep! We get so wrapped up in what others think and the pseudo-approval we think we need from them that we sail right past the mark God has for us.

Jesus then outlines a wonderful prayer for us that should guide our lives: Give glory to God, seek His kingdom, trust Him to provide for our needs, help us to love and forgive those around us, protection us from evil and temptation, and recognize that God is in control.

So, when you _________, trust in the Lord! We are living in a time where everyone seems to be at odds with one another. We live in a time where it may feel confusing as to how to “be Christ to the world”. It can be hard, especially if we try putting everything on our own shoulders.

It is as important as ever to seek to live like Christ. When we focus on the things that are close to His heart and make it our priority to please Him rather than ourselves or others first, that is when greater things will come. Trust in Christ, God knows our needs, let us seek His will here on the Earth.


Our journey. Life. Death. Victories. Struggles. Bravery. Fear. Comfort. Agony. Confidence. Worry. Calm. Storm….. I could go on, but I think you get the point.

Our lives are full of feelings, events, truths, realities, struggles, etc… I am not here to tell you that I have a secret formula to avoid anything hard in your life.

That is largely in part because it one: isn’t possible and two: even if we could avoid many of those struggles, what are we missing out on when we get to the other side?

Before I go further, I’m not being masochistic or thinking that God wants us to struggle so we can “see how good we have it” or anything like that. I truly know and believe God wants and has what is best for us. However, it is an ever present reality that we will deal with struggles in our lives.

Hence why I am titling this series of posts “The Journey”. Life is full of ups and downs. Something beautiful about a journey is that there are ups and downs, but the goal, the destination, the purpose, that is what keeps driving us forward in our journey towards the goal. 1 Corinthians 9:24 is fitting to this when Paul says “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.”

I am no star athlete by any means, but I do know that a race is not easy. Not only does it take training and practice before the race can be competed in and completed, but throughout it there are plenty of highs and lows. Your body requires a balance of hydration, rest, strength training, endurance training, etc… You can get a cramp, trip and fall, get dehydrated, heat exhaustion, etc…

And oh yeah, YOU CAN FINISH! 🙂

Let this be the focal point of what I am saying here. I didn’t state the negative things to whine or complain or try to gain compassion for our struggles, but it was instead to help us remember what we need to be focused on: Following Jesus.

In our midweek Men’s study at church, we are going through a book called “The Anatomy of a Disciple” (Taylor, 2013), and in it, there is a great, profound, yet simple statement that being a disciple means you follow “a teacher, with the intent of becoming like them.” But how? How do we become more like Jesus?

Bring your focus back to Matthew 5 here. This is a fairly popular portion of Scripture known as the Sermon on the Mount and, in the portion we are looking at directly, the Beatitudes. They are fascinating. They are short sentences that we can truly chew on for a life time and still grow and learn from.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4      “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

5      “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.

6      “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

7      “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

8      “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

9      “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

10      “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11      “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.

12      “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.[1]

Some of these things, most would probably say “Yes, I want that to be an attribute of my life and character”: gentleness, righteousness, peace, purity, etc…

Then there are some that are like what? I’m blessed if I am: in mourning? If I am persecuted and insulted? How?

Those can be hard to swallow at first. If we are in mourning, that means we have experienced a loss. If we are persecuted and insulted and have false lies spoken against us, well, that isn’t fun! So how could I possibly call that a blessing?

When Jesus spoke these words, they were just as shocking to the people back then. In their society, these would have been contradictory to the norm and opposite of what people would have stated as having a favored, blessed, life.

Notice a common theme throughout the blessed statements here? Show mercy, be pure in heart, mourn, hunger for righteousness, make peace, be persecuted for the sake of righteousness. ALl of those things point away from one’s self and recognizes that our true needs are only met elsewhere: through God. Show mercy to others, make peace with others, be so willing to live a righteous life even to the point where if making a stand for God means we suffer hardship and persecution: then so be it because it is the path we need to take.

When we suffer loss and mourn, we aren’t turning inward and saying “I can take care of myself” but rather are outwardly recognizing loss and that we need to go to God for comfort.

So: The Journey. It will have its ups and downs. It will have its tough times. Hold strong to it though because as we move through this journey of following Christ, there are things to be celebrated and we must cling to the fact that even in our darkest of hours, God is right there with us, comforting and guiding our every step.

As I continue to discuss our journey of following Christ by going through the Gospels, let us remember that God is with us and that even when we face hard times, the race we are running and the prize we are headed towards so greatly outweighs the struggles the persecution we will face.

May God bless, lead and comfort you, Amen.


1 New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995. Print.
Taylor, Rick, and Rick Taylor. The anatomy of a disciple: so many believers, so few disciples. Fresno, CA: The Well Community Church, 2013. Print.

Dryed land with cracked ground. Desert

Something God has put on my heart lately is how much we really need Him. I have been going back to Psalm 63. David is in the wilderness of Judah and writes “O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is on water.”

He goes on to talk about how God’s love is better than life and that his lips will praise Him, that he will lift up his hands in God’s Name and bless Him, and that his soul is satisfied with great joy from God.

Living in the US, it is easy to think that we are set, that our needs are pretty well met. After all, we have a home, food, clothes, cars, toys, etc… It is easy to placate our lives with these fillers and then try to fool ourselves into thinking that “we’re good”.

However, there are going to be times where we are out in the wilderness, much like David found himself in as he wrote this Psalm. There will most likely be times in our lives where our surroundings don’t really have much to offer. In that time, we will most likely find ourselves seeking for things that meet our uttermost needs. Surely you would be thirsty, tired, hot, overwhelmed, and who knows what else.

David was surely reflecting on these things as he wrote down this psalm. Even in the midst of the wilderness, he was able to think about what is even more important than our physical need: our spiritual need, our need for God. David made his fair share of mistakes along the way in his life, but he always ran back to God rather than turning away. He was able to reveal godly wisdom here in comparing his need for God to what its like being in a dry and weary land with no water. Nothing else really matters in comparison. Our entire life, our hope, our future, it is all rooted in, grounded and dependent upon Jesus Christ.

Imagine being in the most desolate of places on earth. No food. No water. The air is dry and hot, no shelter from the sun. It would be utterly painful. You are desperate for water, for shelter, etc…

That is what our life is like without God. We might not always realize it, but when our lives hit rough spots, we can find ourselves wondering “why me, why this, why now, what is going on?”

Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to state that the Christian life is without struggles, hardships, etc… We all face those. The important thing is that Jesus is there to help hold us up when we face those times. He is like a drink of cold water when we’re lost in the desert. I want this to encourage you. It isn’t something that we should use to cast shame upon ourselves. We shouldn’t dwell on the “would’ve, could’ve, should’ve” moments. Nope!

What we should focus on is: what can I do now to make the most of my life from this moment forward? There is hope in Jesus Christ! He’s there for you, and not just in the “desert moments” but always, everyday, no matter what you’re going through: highs, lows, ups, downs, and everything in between! Why? Because He loves you!

In case you didn’t already know this, Jesus gave His life upon the cross for you. We have all sinned. We have all made mistakes. But Jesus came here without sin, without any mistakes, wrong turns, bad choices, etc… He was and is pure, holy, blameless, and without sin. He loved us so much that He willingly took our place in sin and in death and took the punishment of our sin upon His own life. But Christ, being God, couldn’t be held down in death and He rose on the 3rd day. He went through the temptations we face but navigated them without sin. In doing this, He has shown us that He can come along our side and give us wisdom and direction.

He’s there, ready for you! If you have any questions about any of this or something it made you think of, don’t hesitate to ask me!




Man Walking Towards CrossJust take this picture in for a bit. What do you think? Can you relate to it? Does it stir up feelings of excitement inside about a momentous experience from your life? Does it just look like a picture to you?

The truth is, most people will probably look at this and all have some unique thoughts as well as many people will share similar thoughts on it.

As the title states, you may have an inkling as to where I am headed with this. I have been slowly reading through the gospel of John and just kind of letting it all sink in each word, sentence and verse at a time. The first chapter is something that I have unfortunately had the outlook on at times of “yeah, I’ve heard that so many times, I get it”.  Let me save you some trouble: if you ever feel that way about God or the Bible, you probably should dig more deeply into that part of your spiritual life because God is way bigger than  we can fathom, so His depth is a lot deeper than we can even know 🙂 Silly me for thinking that, right!?

So, John 1:9 stood out to me a lot so far:

John 1:9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.

This picture is a good representation of where every man, woman and child is without the relationship with our loving Savior Jesus. In darkness.

After a while of being in darkness, our eyes adjust and we think “we can make our away around now”. And then we stub our toe, knock something on the floor, etc…

Apply this to our spiritual lives: many of us don’t recognize the things we need, the things we are without, or the things we have that we really would be better off without because we are living in that darkness. When that is the path we are taking, we don’t see the whole picture, we don’t recognize the greater need there is for our life, the greater purpose.

NOW: If I were to just stop here, that would be pretty depressing, wouldn’t it? I would expect all kinds of lash outs stating how ridiculous of a thing to say. And you would be RIGHT. This would be a very negative call out. I would essentially just be saying “everyone who doesn’t believe like I do is just a terrible wretched person, the end.” Don’t worry, there’s more 🙂

Here’s the deal though: I’m not casting any stones. I’m not in any way saying I am better than you, because I’m not. Same struggles, same problems, same selfish tendencies, you name it. I am an imperfect human in need of God’s great grace, love, and direction.

Enter Jesus: Look at that verse again. Jesus is the true light that came to earth to enlighten EVERY man.

So… What does that mean? It means Jesus knows us. Picture a child. Say the power goes out when the child is sleeping and gets up to a pitch black house. The child would need help, direction.

What would be most useful in this situation? A light lightbulbcould be helpful, right?

Suddenly that child could see and get to where he or she needs to be: safety, to a place where they can see and know what they need and also stay away from that which would be dangerous to them. In the dark, as mentioned already, one can stumble, trip, run into something, etc… If the situation is enlightened, suddenly the dangers of the darkness are brought into the light and they are seen for exactly what they are. No more luring in the darkness waiting to trap us, we can see them, we know exactly what they are and can successfully navigate without them affecting us because we can SEE!

So what’s my point in all of this? As a Christ follower, I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ is Lord, than He is the Savior of the world, that He is the Son of God. That He came to this world to give His life for us. He looked down on us and saw that we were living in darkness and knew that the only way to once and for all atone for the sins of mankind was to take those sins upon Himself: the sinless son of God.

My point here isn’t to say “man you are all terrible”. Its to say hey, there’s nothing to hide! Run towards Jesus, into the light, recognize sin for what it is and realize that Jesus is there ready to embrace you!

I think we often ( I am a culprit of this way more than I would like to admit) think that God is a God who is just waiting to rub it in all of the sins we have committed, every where we have failed, every where we have made mistakes. But that is SO NOT THE TRUTH!

As I was writing this, I was thinking about how we are justified. This is a concept that is continually hard for me to wrap my head around because it doesn’t make “practical” sense. Don’t get me wrong, it is very real and I am VERY thankful for it, but its hard for us as imperfect people to completely grasp how all of that imperfection and sin could be wiped clean and God looks at us in the way we were originally created to be: holy and justified.

A visual came to me as I was writing this.  Here’s a visual:

.                                   Imagine                                                                                      reading

.                                                      a

.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 paper

.               that                                                                                                                                        was

.                                                                                                                          all

.                                               over

.                                                                                                          the                                                                                                                    place

.                                                                                                                                            like                                                                                               this.

Its strange, isn’t it? We wouldn’t know what line we are on as easily, we would lose our place, we would get jumbled around, not know where to start, pick up, or stop. It is confusing. This is a small scale example but imagine a 300 page book written in an “unjustified way” like this. It would be TOUGH!

The deal is that this is us without Christ. It was me without Him. It was every Christ follower you know before they knew Christ. We are kind of, well, a MESS!

I’m here to share good news though, not to tell you that you are a mess without hope, we are messes with GREAT HOPE!

See, here’s what happens to us because of what Christ did for us. Before, we are jumbled mess. But when we see the light that Jesus shines upon our lives and our surroundings and we accept Him as our Lord and Savior, we are justified! He helps put the pieces of our life in the right place!


Imagine reading a a paper that was written like this. All in one place, justified on the same line, just like this. We can make sense of it, we can see where it is going and successfully get to where we need to go in reading it now.

That is what Jesus has done for us. He took our place in sin and in death and MADE A WAY FOR US to be made right with Him. He doesn’t look down on us and say “you guys just messed up too much, sorry!”

Nope, He says, I am here to help make things right, just follow me!

I know this ended up being a little bit longer than my typical blog posts, but I felt it fitting to end with this passage from the book of Romans chapter 5:

1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.


Regardless of what you have heard about God, thought about God, or about Christians, hear his: Jesus loves you, I love you. I am not here to act like I am better than you, I am not. I am here to let you know that God’s love for you goes deeper than you could have ever imagined! Run to Jesus. He’s there for you, you can drop all of that baggage that has been weighing you down and live a great life of purpose because of Jesus Christ.

If anyone wants to talk about this more or wants prayer in regards to something written here, comment here or shoot me a message, I’d love to talk it out more!





I have long had the joyful burden on my heart to preach and teach the Word of God to the world. It continues to grow, but I often find myself putting up barriers and thinking that I don’t know how I should be doing it.

I observe the life of many people. I have been heavily involved with church since I gave my life to Christ at age 17. From then up until today (end of high school, through college, as a youth pastor, as a worship pastor, and as a member of a local church body) I have been involved in multiple churches totaling close to 10,000 people across all over those churches. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sharing numbers to “look good”. Those numbers had nothing to do with me and anything I did, I am simply sharing the amount of lives of people I have passed by or observed.

I have experienced people with a great amount of joy in their lives and I have also observed people with a great amount of sorrow in their lives.

I have had people that were integral and active parts of God’s plan for bringing me to submission before the feet of our almighty Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Some of those people have gone on to do amazing things in the kingdom of God. Some have gotten busy with life and don’t know how to balance it all. Others have hit road bumps and question whether they want to keep on that path.

This BREAKS my heart. I have had some conversations with some friends lately and observed the life choices of others and a lot of people today are struggling with how to be the church. They struggle with experiences they have had in church, some struggle with things they blame God for because they are hurting deep down inside and others just don’t know how to stay committed to staying on the path toward righteousness.

Here is what God is impressing upon my heart: we are lacking intentional community. It is SO easy for us, the church, to become an organization. We need to remember that we are a community. What does a community do? Supports, cares, loves, walks through high times, walks through low times. There are a lot of people that were key influences in my commitment to Christ that are struggling today. They have been hit with a variety of struggles, stumbling blocks, and unforeseen circumstances. This isn’t an excuse for anyone to stop pursuing Christ, but it is a reality. I have been through some (to be blunt) pretty crappy situations in life. But I CANNOT, DO NOT, and WILL NOT let that change the course of my life which God desires for me. When my family and I have been through rough transitions, I have sought out relationships with people that I can pour out an honest heart before. These people, just as imperfect as you and I, fostered community. They listened to me, they shared their wisdom and experience, they prayed for me. They were being the body, the hands and feet, of Christ to me in my time of need. God was using them.

This is what we are called to do. This is how to BE the church. It isn’t about having the Bible memorized cover to cover. It isn’t about having all of the answers. It isn’t about knowing the exact words to say when someone in your local body of believers is hurting.

It is about tending to the needs of your community. In order to do this well, we shouldn’t b waiting around to see someone enter into hardship, but rather we should be fostering and nurturing relationship along the way. Then when something happens to someone, there is a community that is full of support and ready to give it. I am so thankful for those who have been Jesus to me in those times.

What can you do to be Jesus to someone in your life? I am here today because of people following after Jesus’ call on their life. We are called to be the body of Christ here on Earth. We all have our different skills and purposes united together in one calling: sharing the good news that Jesus saves with others and edifying/building one another up as we pursue Christ and set out to do His will here on earth.

So if you find yourself confused as to how to be the church, don’t over-complicate it. Build yourself into a community of caring Christ followers. If you are in a place where you don’t see it happening, then start. It will grow. Trust God. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Let’s foster community. Let’s care for one another. Its where great acts of God take place because we aren’t focused on ourselves but on others, just as Christ Himself modeled.

Let it be so.

Which way?

Which way?

Following Christ has been something that has always been controversial. During Christ’s lifetime, it was considered heretical, foolish, and blasphemy by the Jews because Jesus was claiming to have the authority to forgive sins, heal, etc… They did not believe that He was the Messiah and therefore considered Him to be committing blasphemy by claiming to have the authority to do things only God can do.

As a result of people thinking this way about Jesus, you had certainly better expect that to deal with some criticism towards those who follow Him and proclaim His Name. If we claim to believe in Him, the things He taught and the things we stand for, then we in turn are (rightly) claiming to stand for all of those things as well.

In Matthew 10, Jesus says something that can be perceived as crazy. He tells the people not to think that He came to bring peace but that He instead came to bring a sword and also to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, etc and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.

Now…. wait a minute, isn’t Jesus supposed to be loving? Doesn’t He care for everyone, including my family? Why would Jesus say such a thing, does that mean I need to….? Let me stop you right there, YES, Jesus cares for everyone, YES He loves your family and NO that doesn’t mean you need to grab your stuff, tell your family you hate them and run out the door, bags in hand.

Here’s what He is saying. It is common, especially in other countries/cultures (and probably will be increasingly so in America) to be shunned, hated, or kicked to the curb if you confess faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Therefore, people can be tempted to say they can’t follow Christ because their family wouldn’t be happy if they made that choice.

What Jesus is calling us to here is to stir us up. Jesus values family, he loves everyone, but if people are going to fall short of giving their lives to Him just because they don’t want to deal with (the potential) repercussions they will face from their family for following Christ, then He wants to “set us against one another”. This isn’t because Jesus wants us to have strife and quarrels in our relationships, but what He is saying is that He desires for us to follow Him no matter what the cost. If we are faced with the choice to follow Christ and risk a certain status amongst our family, then we need to do that because Jesus Christ is the way the truth and the life. No one receives eternal life in heaven any other way. Jesus doesn’t want this to be the case (being at odds with our family) but He is saying that we need to be ready and willing to follow Him, no matter what seems to be standing in the way.

Look at the picture at the top of this post. One path is up hill to a more barren looking area, no shade, steep hill, probably very hot on a sunny day. The other path is flatter, more shaded, probably a lot more comfortable and would provide for an immediate need of shelter, comfort, and possibly water/food/etc… This is the kind of choice we are faced with. People tend to make a judgment call based on what they can see as an “immediate benefit”. What if when we took that path and reached the cool shade of the trees, we stumbled into a deep it only to be stuck there forever. We might receive some immediate comfort. It probably “feels good” to be out of the sun and not taking a steep climb. You would never know that just over that hill of the seemingly less attractive path is a city of refuge that will provide for all of your needs from this point forward. The path there might be harder, there will surely be struggles and difficulties along the way. You will face trials and have to over come fears, but when you reach your destination, it will be the right place.

We often do this in life today. We make decisions based on something that instantly gratifies and write off the other path all together because we think that it couldn’t be worth traveling that path to get anywhere it may lead.

Today, it can seem easier to choose not to follow Christ. It may seem better to lead your life in a way that pleases you, right here, right now. However, the right here and right now will not be forever. Jesus Christ came to point the way to real, everlasting life. To accomplish that, He came into this world, full of sin and full of sinners (of which we all are) and led a sinless life only to take a hard path Himself, up a hill, beaten, bloody and bruised. He then was nailed to a cross where He surrendered His life into His father’s hands, for us.

To be clear, we should be the ones facing death for the punishment of our sins. Its a hard, sad, but ever so true reality. Romans 6:23 reminds us that the wages of sin is death. BUT. yes, BUT!!! the FREE gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Instead of every person paying the wage of their sins, Jesus came down and took our place on that cross. Then, for WHOEVER believes in Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior and decides to follow Him with their lives (no matter what the cost), then THEY SHALL receive everlasting life!

How AWESOME is that?!? It doesn’t matter what your past looks like, your doubts, your fears, your choices, your sins, your mistakes, however filthy it may look for Jesus died for us. His blood washes that messy, dirty past as white as snow and gives us a hope and a future in Him.

If you’ve never taken the opportunity to fully surrender your life to Christ and follow Him, then its as simple as confessing to Christ that you know you’ve messed up and fallen short but that you recognize that Jesus Christ offers forgiveness for all of that and that you accept Him and the forgiveness/everlasting life that He offers and that you begin to follow Him. He’s listening. He’s ready.


Are you?


(Bonus points if you get the humor of the picture and how it correlate with this post) 🙂


Acts 10, NASB

Every thing God does is amazing and powerful. Then there are times like this where God speaks to two completely different people who don’t know each other and brings them together in a powerful way with an amazing outcome.

There are 2 visions God gives in this text in the 10th chapter of Acts. Cornelius, a Gentile (non-Jew) Centurion that believed in the God of Israel and was known for giving alms/charity to the poorer/less fortunate Jews as well as known for being a devout man who prayed regularly and continually.

God sent an angel to him and got his attention. The angel told him that God had recognized his prayers and alms as a memorial before God and that he needed to have someone go find Simon Peter for him.

At the time Cornelius sent the people to look for Peter, Peter went to pray and he got hungry. Then, while they were preparing the food, he fell into a trance where God asked him to get up and kill 4 footed animals and birds of the air. Peter was perplexed and said God, I have never had unclean food! God showed this to Peter 2 more times and after the 3rd vision, the men Cornelius sent had arrived.

Now this vision had two meanings. It had the literal meaning of the food no longer being unclean since God has declared it as clean, but it also shows that salvation was not just for the Jews.

This, then, led to a great happening in the Christian church as the Gentiles were hearing the gospel and being saved. This was a huge step forward into the plan God had for helping the world know who He is and the love/hope/salvation/eternal life that comes with surrendering ones’ life to Christ.

When Peter and Cornelius met, he (Peter) took this opportunity to share the gospel. This was a very succinct and clear message.

He reminded them that it started with John and the baptism he proclaimed and that Jesus was anointed with power and with the Holy Spirit and how he witnessed everything Jesus did while He was here, up until He was put to death on a cross and that He was raised up back to life by God on the third day. After this, He charged them with being witnesses by preaching the gospel that Jesus is the one appointed by God and that whoever puts their faith in him will receive forgiveness of sins.

Peter was being faithful in his proclamation of Christ here and we see that the Spirit came upon them as they spoke in tongues and exalting God, to the amazement of the Jews there and they were instructed to be baptized (in water) after that.


Now, most of us probably don’t have any lines drawn in the sounds like this where we think “we are the chosen ones” and everyone else is “unclean” and therefore this good news isn’t for them

However, I do believe there is an important lesson for us to learn from this. We ALL have things that can keep us / hold us back from proclaiming the gospel to those around us.

This list could be a long one, but I’ll note the most common excuses/hindrances to us sharing the gospel.

– We don’t know what to say

– What if they reject what I say?

– I’m too nervous to talk to them

– How could “those people” ever accept Christ with how far off the path they are?

The first few can be easily remedied, know what you are going to say. Jesus came to the Earth to reveal God’s love to people, there needed to be an ultimate sacrifice that brought forgiveness and salvation to the people of the world and Jesus gave Himself as that sacrifice and rose back to life on the third day. In doing so, he broke the curse and hold sin had upon our lives and gave us the opportunity to surrender t Christ and receive hope in eternal life. And then let the people know that they can know Christ as their Lord and Savior if they surrender their life by putting their faith solely in Christ.

That last one I want to expound on a bit. This is something I have witnessed (in an innocent way, but still a barrier nonetheless).

Human beings are professionals at creating our own road blocks. I see it ALL the time. In our Christian faith, in our jobs, in our abilities, with technology, you name it. There are people that have a thought in their mind without any precedent to it and then take that curious thought and make it into a hard and fast rule in their mind.

For example, I work in IT. People constantly are limiting themselves in the use of their technology because they decide it can’t do something. At work, we have a large network of computers. Each person has their own login and password. They can sit down at any computer at the county and use their login information and get on that computer. However, there are people that the computers are limited only to the account of the person who sits at that desk.

This wasn’t something we have ever announced, but as people we create rules and barriers in our minds because of the lack of knowledge we have in an area and because we are uncertain and don’t want to venture into that area, we don’t try and we don’t know. When I tell people they can login at any computer and it will work just like the one at their desk, they are both relieved and astonished.

Translate this over to sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. When I was first save, people came up to me and said “I am curious how you ended up being a Christian with the family you came from”. Now, don’t take that the wrong way, this person wasn’t bashing my family, he respects my family, but he knew that they didn’t have a Christian upbringing, but he wasn’t saying they were bad and terrible people. He was just curious what could have taken place for me to be able to put my faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

See, we create these road blocks in our minds and need help getting them around them. There are a lot of people that believe various things in this world.  We think that, in regards to Mormons, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and other non-Christian belief systems, that it would be “hard”, “difficult”, “next to impossible” for them ever to believe in Jesus because they are so adamant about their faith as it is.

Or perhaps there is someone out there who is just dead set against Christianity and doesn’t have any religious/faith background they align themselves with. We can fool ourselves into thinking that “they’ve already heard this and known it but just don’t want anything to do with it and therefore, we don’t need to say anything to them because they already heard and didn’t put their faith in Christ.

We can’t allow these barriers to be formed in life. And I think that we just need to take the simple approach of being faithful by planting a seed. We can’t force the seed to grow, but we can make sure it gets planted. We have to simply share and preach that Jesus is Lord, He gave Himself for every person on earth so everyone has the opportunity to receive eternal life and salvation and that they can make that decision to follow Jesus faithfully, surrendering themselves to Him.

Don’t over complicate it. Don’t try and get them to become Bible scholars in a 15 minute conversation. Love them, and make sure they know Jesus does to, and tell them what Jesus did to show that He loves them.

I think this runs more rampant than we think in the body of Christ. And don’t take this the wrong way, I am not saying that most of the Christians out there are horrible or pathetic, I’m just saying that we often create roadblocks and we need to tear them down.

So what kind of barriers are you putting in your way? I know for me that I don’t do a great job of verbally sharing it. I could do better at giving a succinct message of Jesus Christ’s good news to people I come in contact with.

Don’t dwell on your barrier. Recognize it. Get rid of it. Share Jesus with people. Just like Peter boldly proclaiming the gospel to Cornelius, his family, and other Gentiles, imagine what great things can happen from such a simple step!



James 3:8-10 But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; rom the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.

James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.

Watch this quick video:


Aubrey Buckled

Let me shed a little background to this video. Aubrey is our 3rd child and she is 3 years old. She has been able to buckle the top part of her car seat for quite a while but the bottom part is a little harder for her.

Today, I loaded up all four kids and took them to Walmart. We weren’t in a huge rush to go anywhere, so I went over the way to hold the buckle to push it in to lock it and everything, helped guide it in by holding her hand and helping her push it. We then went to Walmart, shopped for a bit, and then went back out to the van.

We started getting in the van, and I was putting Olivia into her seat and buckling her up. Aubrey was clearly motivated and excited to try and do her own. I watched her grab the buckles and have the desire to try and do it herself. She excitedly got the first clip in and then she grabbed the second one and adjusted its angle a bit and got it in too!

She was motivated by my words of encouragement and words of teaching here. It challenged her, in a healthy way, to try and do it herself because it made her feel like she could. There have been many times before where she has tried and became frustrated and would cry out saying “I can’t do it!”

I find myself like this in my own life as well. When people speak life into me and teach me all the while encouraging me that I can do it, I thrive. I become motivated, even if it is a big challenge, someone spoke life into me and gave me some good teaching so it makes me want to step it up, to rise to the occasion, to give my all.

While learning to buckle a seatbelt isn’t exactly a spiritual feat or accomplishment, the method in which she gained the confidence in her ability to do so is the same in our spiritual lives.

But why? God gives us wisdom to speak and teach. If you were to read only part of James 3, you might wonder “Why should I even try to control my tongue, it seems impossible!”

And in a sense, it is, without God. You must read the entire context of this teaching James is giving. James talks about “wisdom from above” He starts out by talking about how only a perfect man can speak without abusing or misusing his words. With the tongue men both bless and curse but it shouldn’t be that way. Then James goes onto talk about wisdom. We either arrogantly speak, lie, and curse or we speak in a pure, gentle and peaceful manner.

As Christ followers, we have the opportunity to make a HUGE impact and difference in this world. It must be noted that I am not saying we are empowered in some self-sufficient manner or anything like that. Our words can be powerful and good only because of Jesus Christ being powerful and good.

Unfortunately, I have witnessed exactly what James mentions in this chapter (and I am not claiming perfection by any means) where we both bless and curse. I have heard full fledged professing Christians making statements that should never come out of our mouths.

Fortunately, I have had many Christians speak great things into me as well. We are to speak words of edification, meant to build people up, not cursing that brings people down. Rather than bring people down, telling them they are doing it wrong, or they have fallen short, or they aren’t really cut out to do that, let’s find ways to build them up and edify them in Christ.

There are things that I never felt like I could do. There have been times where people didn’t really speak life, wisdom and blessing into me that really created a huge hurdle in my life that made it difficult for me to feel like I could accomplish those things.

However, there have been times where I have been struggling in things where people speak bold confidence into my life that built me up strongly and I was able to accomplish things I never thought I could before.

I could have easily just buckled up Aubrey as I always do, or I could have said “its easy, just do it, can’t you figure it out?!” Neither of those things would have helped her in the situation she was in. Simple words of loving direction went miles with her.

That brings us to YOU: What will you do? Will you speak life or will you speak curses into those around you? Either thing will be powerful, but one will have a good outcome and the other not. So I urge you to speak positively into those around you, the impact will be larger than you ever could have imagined. YOU can do it! You have a life to live, and great things to accomplish through Christ.

I believe in You, so does Jesus Christ Your Lord and Savior, so go and do great things starting with the words you speak!

May the Lord Jesus Christ guide your words and your lives, in Jesus Name, amen.