Friday, September 22, 2006


I've got to give some e-props to a friend of mine named Kevin. He is a senior at Athens Drive High School. He has been the youth "intern" at the church I use to work at and he was the speaker at their youth worship night this past Wednesday. Long story short, his message was really great and from the heart. And during the message, there was a powerpoint slide on the screen that included the letters "TGIF. " I leaned over and asked my wife, "Why do they have a random slide with 'TGIF' on it?" Finally, at the end of his message he told us that "TGIF" was there to remind us to wake up every day and say, "Today God Is First." He encouraged us to wake up each morning and think, "TGIF." Then he encouraged us to take it a step farther and wake up each morning and stand up in our bed and scream, "TODAY GOD IS FIRST!" Well Kevin, I'm not in bed still this morning, but I'll still give it a shot. Let's see what happens...Ha! That was funny! Courtney was in the kitchen banging around and Jackson was babbling, but all went silent when I yelled, and Courtney said I scared Jackson and he clung to her legs! Don't worry, he's fine now and back to watching "Higgly Town Heros."

Anyway...TGIF. I hope we all will attempt to put God and others in front of our own needs each day. And thanks to Kevin for allowing God to use him to speak to our hearts. Have a great day!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Attitude of Gratitude

I seem to always have a hard time coming up with ideas to write on the blog but was inspired by a message taught at our church yesterday. The speaker happened to mention a habit that I use to be in the habit of doing but only do occasionally now. That habit was the act of giving thanks to God for ten things from yesterday that happended or that I just happen to be thankful for, before getting out of bed. I was challenged to start this habit by another speaker at a conference I attended many moons ago. So, this morning, before I got out of bed, I thanked God for ten things from yesterday. I will not be able to recount them all here, but I'll give it my best shot:

1) For newcomers that visited our church. I love newcomers! Our church exists for God and them.

2) For a great message by Matt. He did an awesome job.

3) For our new worship leader and his wife!

4) For the fact that our media program went completely haywire and we had to worship without the media. It was a good reminder to focus on God and not stuff.

5) For all the people serving in our church. We have so many people making so many sacrifices!

6) That my wife returned safely home from a trip to Savannah with her college friends!

7) For my awesome son! We had some great father/son time this weekend with Courtney gone.

8) I don't remember

9) I don't remember

10) I thanked God for God. I was reminded that God is the only thing worth living for and not to forget Him in the midst of recalling all His blessings.

Ephesians 5:19-20 says, "Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. "

What are you grateful for from yesterday?

Monday, September 11, 2006

Really Sad News

This past Saturday, Ozzie Vargas Jr. died in a bizarre accident at a camp. Ozzie was a senior in high school and student body president. He was a member of the Apex Baptist Church youth group. This has to be such a devasting experience for that family, church, and school. I hope that you will pray for all these people. This tragedy hits home with me for a couple of reasons. For one, the youth pastor, Chuck, at Apex Baptist is a friend of mine and I hate that he has to experience this loss. Chuck is an amazing man and I know that if anyone will be a comfort to that family and the students, it will be him. Second, I use to work at a camp with a zip line (which is what calused Ozzie's death). I have probably sent hundreds of kids down a zip line, and it is like my worst nightmare to think of that happening. Having said that, we should pray for that camp where this tragedy happen and for the staff involved.

Ironically, my sermon at my church this past Sunday was on evil, pain, and suffering. There is a reason for these things, and God can use these things for our good and His glory. If you're interested in hearing the sermon, the podcast should be online sometime this week. The audio is real scratchy this week, and I apologize that. We just set up new sound equipment and were experimenting with doing the recordings with a wireless mic. We are slightly technology challenged, but we are getting better.

Anyway...pray for those impacted by Ozzie's death. Thanks.