Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Saturday In the Tomb

Posted: March 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

You know I was reflecting yesterday on what Christ had done on the Cross. How he died to restore what was lost when He created the world. How we destroyed it. Through our selfish ambitions and motivations, we as his creation wanted more than Him. That’s where we went wrong. There is nothing greater than Him. There is no job, no person, no position, no hope greater than Him. Yet somehow, our heart still thinks there is more. It isn’t until we fully grasp the greatness of the Cross and what took place that we can finally find satisfaction.

What must have His disciples been thinking as they probably sat through all of that Friday night wondering what went wrong. How just a few days earlier the city was wanting to force Jesus into the kingship. How they were going to now be famous. How His influence was going to promote them greatly as His name was lifted high. Now it’s done and they were sitting trying to grasp what had just happened. Wondering now where their lives were going to take them.

What’s funny is I can relate. There have ben times I’ve allowed my own selfish ambitions to rob me of seeing the bigger picture of what Christ was doing. I’ve allowed my own personal thoughts and will to super-cede His. The funny thing is, I can relate to the disciples. I can imagine them wondering the whole day Saturday what the next phase of their life would be. Some would go back to fishing, some carpentry, a physician, lawyers and many other things. How they would just go back to being normal. Living a routine life always wondering what might have been. But God had other plans…

You see, as they spent all day pondering and wondering how the man they followed is now gone, they had no idea what was coming. They had no idea that from that point on, God was going to use them to change and shape the culture and position of the world forever. Whose main message is no longer the law, but grace. Who’s main purpose is no longer their own will and desires, but His. You see at this point it was Saturday, and they had more questions than answers. Just like you and I, we have seasons of more questions than answers. But the greatest hope is not only that Sunday is coming, but that Sunday came! That is what I take rest in. It’s not that it’s being finished, it’s that it is! Whatever the struggle, burden, or pain, hold onto Him. He knows.

But God…

Posted: December 14, 2011 in Encouraging, My Faith, Uncategorized
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In my Bible study lately I have seen the phrase “But God” come up pretty often. Probably the most recognizable verse is Romans 5:8. It intrigued me enough to do a study of everywhere in the Scripture that has that phrase. What I found was how encouraging each one of these verses were. So below I want to share with you just a small portion of each verse that has that phrase in it so you can also be encouraged. I purposely didn’t put the entire verse in here because I want you to see how powerful those two words can be:

Gen 20:3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night…
Gen 31:7 …but God suffered him not to hurt me.
Gen 48:21 …but God will be with you…
Gen 50:20 …but God meant it for good…
Exo 13:18 But God led the people about…
Exo 21:13 …but God deliver him into his hand…
Judges 15:19 But God split open a hollow place…
1 Sam 23:14 …but God delivered him not into his hand.
1 Chr 28:3 But God said unto me…
Psa 49:15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave…
Psa 68:21 But God shall wound the head of his enemies…
Psa 73:26 …but God is the strength of my heart…
Psa 75:7 But God is the judge…
Pro 21:12 …but God overthroweth the wicked for their wickedness.
Isa 17:13 …but God shall rebuke them…
Jonah 4:7 But God prepared a worm…
Mark 2:7 …Who can forgive sins but God only?
Luke 5:21 …Who can forgive sins, but God alone?
Luke 12:20 But God said unto him…
Luke 16:15 …but God knows your hearts…
Acts 7:9 …but God was with him
Acts 10:28 …but God has shown me…
Acts 13:30 But God raised him from the dead
Rom 5:8 But God demonstrates his love toward us…
Rom 6:17 But God be thanked…
1 Cor 1:27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise…
1 Cor 2:10 But God has revealed them unto us by his Spirit…
1 Cor 3:6 …but God gave the increase.
1 Cor 3:7 …but God gives the increase.
1 Cor 6:13 …but God shall destroy both it and them…
1 Cor 7:15 …but God has called us to peace.
1 Cor 10:13 …but God is faithful…
1 Cor 12:24 …but God has tempered the body together…
1 Cor 15:38 But God gives it a body as it has pleased him…
Gal 3:18 …but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
Gal 3:20 …but God is one.
Gal 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ…
Phi 2:27 …but God had mercy on him…

No matter what situation we are facing, or how bad it looks, God is still in control of every aspect of our life. Hopefully this phrase will encourage you as much as it has encouraged me.

It’s been a while

Posted: December 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

This is a test post. I will post again very soon. 🙂

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– The J-Gen blog is next on the list. This a a simple blog used mostly for updates and a calendar for the college ministry of Stock Creek. Every once in a while someone will share their thoughts on there.

Jeremy is a college friend of mine. Hands down is one of the funniest and most creative guys I have ever met. Jeremy and I traveled together one summer during college doing camp ministry together. Still one of the highlights of my life. I learned a ton from him that summer and am grateful we’ve been friends over the years. It’s not surprising he is one of the creative minds working for lifechurch.tv.

Mark and I have been close friends longer than I have been friends with anyone. Our families have been close since we were babies and have shared life since. I think everyone should have that friend that even when you haven’t talked in a while, when you do, you can pick back up right where you leave off. He’s a teacher here in Knoxville and is doing a good job with that. His only downside is he is a huge Alabama fan. I’ve never held that against him.

Marty is a guy I met my first year in college and has become a really good blogger. He is a pastor in Massachusetts and always has some insightful things to read on his blog. His church is growing like crazy and I love to see his passion for God and ministry and people.

– Sister Sarah is a college student extraordinaire and member of Stock Creek. It is awesome to see her love for God and ministry. She is faithful to her church and her friends and always has an encouraging word to say. She also tans a marshmallow over a fire better than I have ever seen anyone.

Spenser has an incredible heart. It is great to see his passion for ministry and love of people. You can see God doing a great work in his life and I know he is going to do great things for the Lord. He is in Bible college training to eventually go into youth ministry. Possibly to start a camp ministry with his future wife Sarah. My only hang up about Spenser is his love for Nascar…but we all have our flaws.

– Last but not least is Virginia. It’s been really cool to see God do a huge work in her life over the last year. She has a huge love for her church and an incredible servants heart. You can genuinely see her love for people. I’m not sure what God has in store for her future but I’m sure it will be great.

So now you know the people on my blogroll…

Let me introduce you…

Posted: April 26, 2009 in Uncategorized

So I thought I would do a blog tonight on some of my peeps on my blogroll so you can get to know some really cool people. I guess I will just go down the list.

– First is my lovely sister Amy. She just celebrated another birthday last week. It’s hard to believe she is 25 already;). She lives in South Carolina with my 3 nieces and her studly husband. I love reading her blog because she is always finding ways to save money by on-line tools. So in turn, even though I don’t think I have ever used any of the ideas, it makes me feel good to know they are there if I ever want too. She also has a blog dedicated to food allergies here. It’s a cool site on things she has learned through the last few years of dealing with my niece Callie’s allergies.

– Next is my other sister Julie. She lives with her husband and kids in Powell, TN. She has a birthday coming up in a few weeks and I think is 20 something too 😉 Her blog is a great read as well and always tells good stories of her life and family. I think one of the best is the one about “thoughts in her spare time.” It’s a very powerful and popular blog. I know this because I have been reading it every week for the last 3 months…considering that’s the last time she has written anything:). I have been on her lately about writing again so we shall see.

– The first on my friends list is Benji. Benji and I have been good friends for the last few years and have become very close over this last year. He is a pastor at Stock Creek in Knoxville, TN. Leader. Visionary. Communicator. Passionate. Christ follower. Bold. Brave. Goofy. Worship leader (but not like a Lucifer, better). Lover, not a fighter. Miracle worker. Coffee maker. Husband. Father. Baseball coach. Hilarious. Compassionate. Encouraging. He’s not big into blogging, but puts some cool videos up every now and then. Definitely worth watching.

– Continuing on is Brian. Brian and I have been friends since a camp I was at in PA back in 2007. We hit it off pretty quick and realized God has given us a similar vision for ministry. Brian has been taking some time off from blogging since his life has been ruined by Twitter. But if you read some of his articles you can see some of his passion and it is more than worth your time. This one here is one of my favs of his. He shares his heart over what his day at church was like. It shows the passion and love he has for his church and how we all should be. Brians blogs have been great reads along the way.

– Then we come to Cesar. Cesar has been a close friend of mine now for a few years. I still can’t believe it’s been that long. He is a pastor at Mount Olive in Knoxville, TN. he is new to the blogging world but has some great reads on the few he has written. His last post over his son John is a scary one for his family. I know the condition of his son’s heart has been a heavy burden on them for a while and I ask you to be in prayer for them on Tuesday morning as John goes in for a heart cath. Cesar has a great vision and is a constant encourager to be around and hear the passion he has for God and ministry. It’s definitely a contagious passion and one you can’t help but crave. I truly appreciate that in him.

– Next we meet Chuck. I’ve known Chuck now for about a year. It’s been awesome getting to know this guy and see his heart for his church, friends, and students. I am so grateful that God has put such a huge burden on him to do ministry and love people even when it’s tough. When you read Chucks blog, you usually come away convicted somehow and I am thankful for that. Chuck will surely keep you on your toes. It is really encouraging to read and see his passion coming through. He’s also good for a joke or two that can lighten the day at work. Plus you know he is going to give you something to read because he likes to share his thoughts and I enjoy reading them.

– On down the list we see Heather. I love seeing and reading the things that Heather puts on there because it usually requires some deep thoughts. Whether it’s poetry, something she is pondering, or just venting it is fun to read. Now the problem is she cheats because she is a “professional writer.” So that’s kind of not fair for the rest of us, but I’ll deal with it :). I do appreciate her love and concern for people though. You can always count on her to post on prayer requests or concern for others. She is also good for some laughable blogs ever so often. Always good times.

So those are the first half…stay tuned later this week for the rest of my blogroll. I know you can’t wait.

The word of 2008 is…

Posted: December 31, 2008 in Uncategorized

I figured since it has been 253 days since my last blog, that I would maybe write one today… So for the 3 people that will read this, here ya go. I don’t think I have ever looked forward to a new year, like I have looked forward to 2009. This has been a crazy year for me in many ways. There has never been another year in my life where so much has taken place (hence the reason I haven’t blogged in 253 days).

So to end this year and look forward to next year I wanted to share something simple I discovered the other day in my personal devotion. As I was reading and learning what God was showing me that day I asked Him to bring to mind one word that would describe my 2008. Now there were many things I thought of that could be a good candidate for that word but I wanted it to be special. I could have thought of a phrase, verse, or quote, but I wanted it deeper, yet simpler than that. I wanted it to be my word. So as I began narrowing it down, some words came to mind…

Love – I am fortunate enough to have seen love in the people around me. Encouraging words, notes, prayers, all these things were evident in my life in 2008. It is a blessing to love and be loved. Still though, this wasn’t the word.
Change – I’ve seen a lot of change in my life this year. I lost a little weight, which is always nice, getting into better shape. My habits have changed some, I do eat a little healthier than I did last year and am laying off the carbonated beverages (which according to my eye doctor has helped my vision) go figure. The biggest change would be my job. After 8 years in full time church ministry I am now working at a graphic design company. It’s been different to say the least, but it’s been a huge blessing in my life. God has opened so many doors of opportunity for me and it has been such a huge encouragement to be around the people I work with.
Growth – This word is an understatement in my life. I’ve gone through not just a time, but a season of growth. I am now 6’4″ and have abs of steel. haha I wish… Definitely not true. Spiritually is the thing here. I have never grown closer and been more real with God than I have been in 2008. The biggest thing that I knew but never practiced is that God knows all about us already, so why do we try and justify our actions when He already knows our hearts? For me, it’s been a hard lesson to learn, but one I can now hold on to.
Family – It seems like every year gets sweeter with my family. This year brought me yet another niece in little Annie. Who is a bundle of snotty nose joy. haha If there are things that change, there is one thing I can always hold onto. It’s the wonderful family God has blessed me with. I don’t thing I was aware of how blessed I am with the family I have until this year. No matter what I’ve done, or been through, they are always by my side. It’s not always easy, and they might have some difficult things to say, but they are a constant and they share and show love like no one else. I’ve grown considerably closer to my family this year.

There are several more words that I could bring out to describe my year but I wanted to have one special one. So after prayer and seeking God to desribe to me the word He wants me to take from 2008, He gave it to me. This was as clear as Him speaking audibly to me. So here is my word for 2008…
GRACE – Anyone that is a Christian should always keep this word special to them, but for me, it is now the motto and description of the rest of my life. One of the biggest definitions of Grace that I have heard growing up is the old acrostic God’s riches at Christ’s expense. I’ve even used that definition when I have preached in the past. It’s a cute acrostic and easy to remember but for me it’s not personal enough. Grace to me is more simple yet complex than that. It is God involved. If there is one thing that I have learned this year is that God is truly involved in my life and that is grace! He chooses to direct my paths and has a specific plan for my life that I never even had for myself. That is amazing! He is involved. He could let me do what I want to do and live a basic meaningless life or He could show me grace and get involved with who I am. It’s not always fun, and let me tell you from experience, many times it is hard. It’s called the narrow road that most people don’t find. So let me leave you with this. It’s not always easy to follow God, and quite often it is difficult, but it is well worth it.

If you haven’t experienced grace, and I don’t mean just saving grace, which is great and important, but that’s just the tip of the iceburg! I mean true unconditional surender to the grace God has for you, then make that your 2009 priority. It is truly amazing! So what’s your word for 2008?

Faithfulness

Posted: April 21, 2008 in Uncategorized

Today was a good day at church. God spoke to me today. Actually, let me rephrase that. I listened to God today. Preacher spoke on personal revival today in both services and it was very powerful. The thing that I kept pondering is our personal walk with God. I think it gets to be easy when you have been a Christian for a while to just go through the motions. Each and everyday pray before your meals, read a devotion from the Word, pray one or two more times, then do it all again the next day. When Sunday rolls around we dress up in our “Sunday clothes” and head out the door. The thing I have been thinking about lately is this question: Does that please God? Now don’t get me wrong, I know God is pleased when we stay faithful to Him, but that raises another question: Since when did faithfulness become a ritual? Now I know that faithfulness over the years has kind of become an easy word. What I mean by that is it has been used to mean reliable or constant or even loyal. But is that really what faithfulness is? I mean I know for me the more I look at faith it scares me. Straight from the Word in Hebrews 11 it is the assurance of things we hope for and it is the evidence of things we can’t even see. That means it is truly there but we can’t physically hold onto it to have that comfort that we are in full control. It reminds me of playing hide-go-seek in the dark as a kid. When you walk into that dark room you know they are in there but you can’t see anyone so you get that tense feeling like someone is about to jump up and scare the daylights out of you. When I think about a personal revival in my life it means losing control. Giving up the things that I have started to rely on to take the place of God’s place in my life. Letting Him have free reign to do what He wants. Isn’t that faithfulness?

23-22

Posted: April 18, 2008 in Uncategorized

So church league softball consists mostly of old high school athletes that are still trying to relive their old glory days, or what they thought was their glory days. What I mean by old is probably like 60% of the men playing are 40 or older. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that’s old in regards to the average age of a person, but in softball, that’s old! So this year for our Southside team I took a different route. Now that I head up our college ministry at our church I decided to recruit the college guys instead. Now don’t think we would have an advantage, because in Men’s softball the old guys have been playing for 30 years and can hit a softball within a yard of where they actually tried to hit it. The thing about this year though is we have speed, and lot’s of it. So when we get a hit, we are almost guaranteed a double, possibly a triple. Last night we played one of the top two teams in the league. This is a bunch of guys that play in two or three different leagues and are usually playing softball 6 to 7 days a week. Our record on the season going into last night was 2-1, with our only loss coming 8-6 in a final inning in which we should have won. The other games we won pretty handily. It was pretty rough last night to say the least. We got down 16-0 in the 2nd inning and it wasn’t looking good. Now to me it’s not getting the snot kicked out of you that’s the problem, it’s playing with a bunch of old cocky guys that run their mouth the whole time. After building a big lead and hitting one home-run after another they just started acting like they had everything in control. Why wouldn’t they? I mean they were up 16-0. So little by little we started getting back in the game and holding them 3 straight innings without scoring. Going into the 5th inning we were down 19-13 and were sort of back in the game. Going into the 6th inning, which was the last due to a time limit, we were down 22-15. We got base hit after base hit and were down 22-21 with runners on 2nd and 3rd with two outs. The pitcher then decides to intentionally walk the batter to make the bases loaded so there would be a force out at any plate (stupid to do in softball by the way). So the funny and ironic part of this whole story is the pitcher then walked the next batter (not on purpose this time) to walk in the tying run! Needless to say the next guy pops out, we go into one more inning where we stopped them from scoring and we knocked in the winning run to win 23-22. After being down 16-0, you would have thought we just won the world series. We had a blast. Before I end this looooong post today though, I have to admit something. I didn’t think there was anyway we were gonna win that game after those first two innings. I had no faith or confidence in our team at all to do it. A lot of times unfortunately I do the same thing in my walk with Christ. Whether it’s a lack of faith that something big can’t happen or if it’s just something that I am battling that I feel I can’t get victory over. Last night was a constant reminder that if a bunch of scrub softball players could come back and be victorious, how much more does the God of the universe want to be victorious in our life?

Passion 08

Posted: April 15, 2008 in Uncategorized

So I just got back from Atlanta yesterday with our college class. We went to the Passion conference and it was very refreshing to say the least. Just being in an arena with 10,000 college students passionate about serving God is a sight to see. I had a great time and I know our college group did as well. I think for me it was a great time of refocus to take it in instead of always giving it out in my own ministry. The biggest thing that stood out to me about this weekend was the emphasis on Missions. The Passion group is about to go on a worldwide crusade touching down in 16 cities across the globe. Hearing the vision and seeing God open the doors just gets me excited to know that greater things are still to be done in this world. I want my life to be one that God can use me and I can be fully used for His glory. His name and renown are the desires of my soul. So that in all things in my life He will have the preeminence.

Kansas

Posted: April 8, 2008 in Uncategorized

Last night was the men’s National Basketball Championship game and it was one of the best games I have ever seen. I am not a big fan of either one of these teams, in fact, I would say that I truly can’t stand Memphis because they are now a true rival for my favorite team, which is of course Tennessee. Saying that though, I think I have truly become a Kansas fan. Not that they can take the place of my team, but I love their style of play and the players on their team. Mario Chalmers was the player of the game and is arguably the best player on the team anyway. With 2.1 seconds left and down by three, Chalmers hit a three pointer that sent the game into overtime where Kansas went on to win. The thing that stuck out to me about this play is that Chalmers didn’t understand the impact of what he had done. After the game, he said to the press he was just thankful to be able to get a shot off. Yet here’s a guy that now has one of the most famous shots in basketball history. Does he not see how big this is? I think a lot of times we do the same thing in our relationship with Christ. We live our life not fully appreciating, or on many cases understanding how big it truly is that the God of the Universe wants a personal and intimate relationship with us. Wow. By the way the Lady Vols are playing tonight for the women’s national championship… Here’s keeping my fingers crossed.

P.S. – The Lady Vols won big! Sweet.