Sunday, January 31, 2010

Thoughts from pastor in Vegas that have nothing to do with gambling! Part 3

To be honest these few days have really been about people. I mean a person we know representing Oklahoma in the Miss America Pagaent brought us here and by the way you ROCKED Taylor. Then we had the chance to talk with a ton of awesome people who waited on us in some fashion none of which originated from this area.

Today we met another Ethiopian. He's been here driving a cab for 5 years alone saving and doing the paperwork to get his wife here. She arrives next week. He hasn't seen her in 2 1/2 years.

When asked why did you want to come over here? His answer, "Everyone does! In America we all have a chance. A chance for a better life."

How bad do you think your life is as an America? We get ticked when the grocery store is out of 2% milk (which I hate by the way, 2% that is). But at least God has blessed us to live in a country that offers it to us and the freedom to express ourselves when we are displeased.

And at least we serve a God that always give us a chance no matter where we're at in our messed up lives. Just gotta look up to see the mountains top and remember we are made to serve in the valleys!

Stop tonight and take a LONG look at all you have to be thankful for!!

Were coming home tomorrow!! Please have ice melted for us!

- Posted from my iPhone

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Thoughts from pastor in Vegas that have nothing to do with gambling! Part 2

So they call it Sin City. And after being here for a few days I can't say it's not justly named, but so are many of our cities and town just maybe not on this grand of a scale. But you know what I have noticed? That just about anywhere u are at in this city u can look out and see these beautiful mountains. Mountains one of my favorite pieces of God's art or appetizers of heaven as Max Lucado would say. Evidence of no matter where we are in our life God is within our sight we just have to look for Him.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Thoughts from pastor in Vegas that have nothing to do with gambling! Part 1

In one day we met three people that work in Vegas that had unique stories. Our driver born in SC, went to college at Marshall and was friends with many of the football players that died in plane crash in the 70s. His voice started to crack when he explained how he saw all of them that morning in class then they were gone.

Our waitress was born in Ethiopia and came to US 10 years ago because of something she said was way to long to share with us. You could see the hurt in her eyes though as she thought back to her old life just for an instant.

Then the best of all. We were cruising through the casino after we ate when one of the craps tables busted out in excitement so we stop to watch. One of the dealers asked where we from and our friend said Ada, OK. The guy said heck I grew up in Ada. Yeah right I think. UNTIL he says yeah I still have an Ada brick. Whoa! This dude is for real! An Ada brick from the old brick plant is like the secret handshake for any claiming to have lived there. He could see our suprised that he was telling the truth and started sharing with us how he transferred from Byng to Ada high in the 70s because they wanted him to cut his hippie hair. Said he still has a sister in law in Ada he needed to call and he had been asking people for 30 years if they were from Ada,OK and we the first he had ever talked to.

Wow! Three awesome people in one day. It intrigues me to think if God had a reason for us to meet them.

- Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Wait for it, wait for it...

Some things God has revealed to me during my time of fasting…so far.

1) I REALLY love coffee and I’m starting to LOATHE hot tea. I want that punch baby! I want my Grandpa Melvin’s thick black coffee soooo bad! And that is a good thing, because each and every craving draws me closer to God and deeper in prayer.

2) God doesn’t expect us to sit and wait. We’ve misrepresented verses like Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Somewhere through the years we have convinced ourselves that that means we are to do nothing more than pray and sit around and wait for God to do something!

A couple things I have heard come from the mouth of people that make me want to pull large chunks of my hair out. “I’m gonna pray that someone will ask Joe to church and when God is ready he will come” “I’m gonna pray that God will provide food for the Smiths who’s husband and father just lost his job.” And then when someone does get Joe to church or provides food for the Smith’s then you actually think it was because of you! Really? Are you serious?

Did you ever think that MAYBE, just MAYBE, it was the person that prayed about Joe or the Smith’s and actually did something about it??

Everything happens in His time is true but the sitting and waiting part is anything but! There are times and situations when praying and waiting is all you can do, but there are more times when we need to stand up and be counted!

3) Jesus was a man of prayer AND a man of action and he expected the same of his followers. Read this passage from Matthew 9:35-37 & 10:1-10 and you tell me what is expects of us. (Which by the way is why these illustrations are in the Bible so we can relate and apply them to our life not just cool history stories.)

35-38Then Jesus made a circuit of all the towns and villages. He taught in their meeting places, reported kingdom news, and healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives. When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. "What a huge harvest!" he said to his disciples. "How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!" 1-4 The prayer was no sooner prayed than it was answered. Jesus called twelve of his followers and sent them into the ripe fields. He gave them power to kick out the evil spirits and to tenderly care for the bruised and hurt lives…
5-8Jesus sent his twelve harvest hands out with this charge:
"Don't begin by traveling to some far-off place to convert unbelievers. And don't try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously.
9-10"Don't think you have to put on a fund-raising campaign before you start. You don't need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment, and all you need to keep that going is three meals a day. Travel light.

Let me sum that long passage up for you. Jesus said look, we got a big job here in front of us. We need to pray because we can’t do this without my Father’s help. Amen, now boys GET TO WORK! Get out there and start telling people about me, and by the way don’t start by trying to fix government or whatever you’re reading on the internet, no, start with the people where you live that no one will touch or talk to, all you need is lunch money, and as for tools…well you’ve got two feet, two hand, a mouth that works and a good head on your shoulders, that’s all you need. Save the world one person at a time! Training session over.

4) Just because the actions we take don’t work out like we expected doesn’t mean it was wrong and doesn’t mean it wasn’t His timing. We get way too caught in what our human mind conceives as the “right” action to take. Like asking someone to church and they say no. So we naturally think it was wrong and not God’s time. But God is working on several different levels. He’s working something in you by dealing with the initial rejection. Things like patience and devotion. And His plan and His timing may be for that person to step into to church years from now when the exact words they need to hear are going to be present. Just because it doesn’t happen the way you thought doesn’t mean it was wrong. Don’t forget Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. What’s going on in God’s mind is way bigger than we can deal with.

5) You have to be bold.

6) I really love coffee.

Stay tuned Friday–Monday for my mobile posts on Things A Pastor Can Tell You About Vegas That Have Nothing To Do With Gambling!

Yes, Christy and I and a bunch of people from Ada are going out to the Miss America Pageant. Miss Oklahoma is from Ada and we thought this would be a cool once in a lifetime deal. Don’t tell me it’s not cool for guys to go to the pageant!

Pray for us in our travels…possibly leaving out a day early to beat this ice storm they are predicting.

Pray for my in-laws who will be staying at our house while we are gone, during the ice storm, with 8 and 5 year old boys and a house dog that’s not quite potty trained yet.

Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Say no to java.

Brothers, sisters, friends, followers, lurkers,

Pray for me. I'm fasting for an undetermined amount of time. God and I are needing to have more than just a visit over coffee, no, we're needing to get deep. And when I know it's time to get deep I've started to learn it's time to fast.

I'm new to fasting, NEVER even tried it until last year and WOW! It's an amazing opportunity for you to get seriously deep with God. I've never had God speak more clearly to me in my life than in these times.

I was reminded of these things this week by a fellow pastor.

-God’s plans for your life/ministry are greater than yours! (I Corinthians 2:9, Ephesians 3:20, Isaiah 49:6) SEEK HIM!!!
-God will surround you with the right people in order to make His vision become a reality. (
Proverbs 15:22)
-God will reveal what He wants in His time…and it will be amazing! (
Ecclesiastes 3:11)

P.S. Because I know someone will ask. I fast coffee. May seem funny, but it doesn't have to be food. Coffee, because I crave it, I go to bed at night ready to have it in the morning, it's my comfort and closest thing I have to an addiction. When I'm off the coffee my body cries out for it and when it can't have it my mind and body have to focus on something and that thing is HIM!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Just had my first person apologize for cussing in front me, you know being a preacher now and all. Milestone or humorous moment? Right now I'm still laughing on several different levels.

- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Top 10 of 2009

10. The look on my oldest son Winston’s face when his old runaway dog came home. Actually Christy was the one who saw his face when she picked him up from school and Missy was in the car to greet him. Maybe I’ll post that story on the blog sometime.

9. MercyMe in concert! I can only imagine…

8. The look on both my kids faces when they woke up to a white Christmas and Santa leaving a dog. Is that like a movie or what??

7. Staying a week in a beach house in Gulf Shores, AL with good friends – yes, Alabama has a beach and it rocks!

6. My 5 year old son Wyatt not breaking a bone or needing stitches…though we were close a couple times.

5. My 8 year old son Winston going through a stress test with his cardiologist and finding out everything is still holding 7 years after open-heart surgery.

4. Celebrating 12 years of marriage with my awesome wife Christy. No one else would have put up with me for this long.

3. Getting to spend three nights with my grandpa at his house after my grandmother passed away. I heard all the old stories over again but it was the new ones about her that let me see a glimpse into his heart. I could have done without the 3:30 a.m. wakeup calls to eat breakfast…some things never change they just get earlier!

2. Seeing a group of believers adopt a family down on their luck that they knew nothing about and had nothing in common with simply because that’s what Jesus would have done. Even better is seeing that families life change and we now call them friend.

1. Finally, hearing and answering God’s call to minister then doing something crazy like planting a church (Fellowship of Believers). Even better, is the word and vision God continues to bring to me each week and people actually keep showing up to hear it. And best of all, people are seeing Christ and lives are being changed!!

Praise God for an awesome 2009 and I can’t wait for what 2010 brings!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Got it!

After a little tech support and a whole lot of dumb luck I got it to work. Now have a blogging app on my phone.

This is my first post using it let's see how it works!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, January 4, 2010

More blogging please.

Okay, so, one of my new year’s resolutions, along with getting back into my running routine, is blog more often. I’ve tried for at least weekly and sometimes twice a week if the Lord lays something on me, but my problem has been I like to write, so it’s been hard to just throw out a short post. I have a tendency to want to turn each post into a descriptive essay. Get that from my Grandpa who lives each day to tell the next story…some of them are even true.

See! I couldn’t just post, “gonna blog more often”!

Anyway what would help would be is someone would comment on here about an iPhone app that works with Blogspot. I loaded a couple but can’t seem to get them to work (Blogwriter and BlogPressLite). I use Blogspot but don’t have a google email and password. Therefore I’m having trouble getting anything to work. Huge help in blogging if I could find an app. Oh, and to those of you who are still shocked to hear me talking about “iPhones” and “apps”…well you can all go jump in the lake with your boots on or visit my wife Christy’s Facebook page to join in with her where she regularly makes fun of my Dave Ramseylike tendencies that she refers to as “being tight” but I refer to as “being thrifty”!

Come on guys! Help me out with an app!