Saturday, August 25, 2007

Is 4:30am a Godly hour???

I haven't posted in a while, but I thought I'd keep anyone who even cares up to date on the changes in my life lately. One of our Youth guys (Gary) has challenged us to participate in a triathlon. After spending time @ Church of the Highlands and meeting their Intern Participants (24/7) who exercise everyday; after reading Rich Kirkpatricks blog on fat Pastors; after participating in My Worship Revolutions' blog on Invisible Children and after hanging with my friend Mark Peacock who's lost a ton of weight recently, naturally I thought a triathalon was a good idea.

You see I used to surf everyday and that in itself is enough to keep you in shape no matter what you eat. And of course, after moving to Temecula, my surfing days have become pretty much non-existent. And well, you can say that I'm, uhh... a little out of shape... like on Monday I couldn't even run 1/2 a mile.

I've been running and swimming everyday this week except for yesterday (the triathlon is in 2 weeks). Thursday I ran 5 miles in Airwalks and my right foot just about fell off - I think I need new shoes ;). I've cut out all soda and I'm eating a ton of carbs. I'm pleased with the results so far (couldn't run 1/2 mile on Monday, ran 5 on Thursday!). It's been great for my spiritual life too. I think there's something Godly about getting up at 4:30am every morning to go for a run and a swim. It's great to be outside, just you and God (and the crazy people who commute to San Diego for work everyday).

Hey, if anyone out there has a street bike they'd like to sell or loan me, I'd greatly appreciate it...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Guitar workshop

My good friend Karl just came by and unloaded his vast knowledge of guitar workings with a few of our worship ministry friends. I'm still spinning from the beauty of his tone and the depth of his knowledge and humility. Let me just say that the guy's a genius.

Thanks a ton Karl.

If you want to get a taste of what he shared in regards to sound, check out the post that Alex just put up over at betterthanblank...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Heart melter

I got my heart melted at the Perris Lake Speedway. The boys first race!

Click on the picture to see comments...

I'm back

Well, I made it back from Alabam... what an incredible trip. Here's what I learned... it doesn't matter what age you are, what stage in life you're at, now is the time to start making a difference for Christ!

I started at age 20, and re-started this last week. What age did you start?

Oh yeah, and Taladega is amazing!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Are you desperate?

About a year ago, @ Life Church we did a men's gathering. It was a wonderful time together and we heard some powerful testimonies about how God had worked in certain men's lives; saving marriages, delivering them from drug abuse, overcoming sexual temptation and pornography. At the end, many gave their lives to Christ and everyone took a vow of desperation.

In an effort to keep this conference from becoming just another rally that we walk away from screaming "ra, ra" with no substance to go with it, Desperation has encouraged us to take that same vow this morning... especially the Youth Pastors. What about you? Are you willing to take the vow?

Let me know by responding to this blog, or you can simply go to the Desperation website and click on "Desperation Vow". It's time to stop playing games and start living desperately for God. And then let someone know about it.

Desperation Vow:

"Your people will freely join You, resplendent in holy armor on the great day of your conquest. Join You at the fresh break of day, join You with all the vigor of youth" [Psalm 110:3 msg]

Desperate Pursuit
*God visits desperate people. The desperate ones are those that have tasted of God and long for more of Him and His purpose. God reveals Himself to people that ache, pray and fast. He draws near to those that draw near to Him. In view of that, I vow to live in desperate pursuit of God and daily carve out a regular time to be with God to read my Bible and pray.
[James 4:8 "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."]

Diligent Prayer
*God delights in my prayers. Every prayer matters to Him. My prayers draw me closer to God and advance the kingdom of God. It is my conviction that God wants His sons and daughters to always pray and not give up. In view of that, I vow to be person that diligently prays and regularly participate in scheduled prayer meetings.
[Luke 18:1 "Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up."]

Consecrated Heart
*God wants me to be holy. He is holy and perfect. My choices matter to God. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, I choose to bend my life around God so that my daily choices reflect Him. In view of that, I vow to live each day with a consecrated heart and will voluntarily forgo earthly things for the sake of reflecting God.
[1 Thessalonians 5:23 & 24 "May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it."]

Focused Life
*God has a purpose for my life. God wants me to play a strategic role in advancing the kingdom of God while I am alive. There is a cosmic battle between light and darkness. In view of that, I vow to be an extension of God's light to my family, my church and my school.
[Acts 13:36a "For when David had served God's purpose in his own generation..."]

"God, I willingly choose to intensify my pursuit of You. Today, I vow to live in desperate pursuit of You and to diligently pray for Your purposes in my generation. I consecrate my heart to You completely and trust You to help me focus my life so that I fulfill Your purpose for me."

Friday, August 3, 2007

My new hero!

We just finished an incredible session @ Desperation lead by Pastor Chris Hodges (Church of the Highlands). He challenged the Youth to stop playing games with Christianity and do something extreme for Christ. Extreme Prayer, Extreme Purity, Extreme Passion with an Extreme Purpose. Jesus never did anything moderately, why should we? It’s only this radical life in Christ that will rescue this next generation from death to life!

I think what made this message so powerful was what I've experienced over the last few days @ Church of the Highlands (not necessarily Desperation). I'm realizing that he's not just sharing a "great message", he's living it, and so are the people in his Church! I want that kind of life in Christ. I'm tired of playing the games and being a "Good Christian". I'm tired of trying to convince people that Christians aren't weird... we are! I'm tired of making excuses for the Church. I'm ready to be a "Radical Christian" again! I'm ready to change the world, one day, one person at a time... starting with me!

Now if I can just keep that fire when I leave this place... ;)

Seriously though, read John 2:13-17 and tell me that's not Extreme!!!

What about you? Are you ready to be a revolutionary?

Thursday, August 2, 2007


I missed this tonight so that I could be in Birmingham for Desperation. Am I a horrible dad or what! At least my wife had the support of our good friends Alex & Jenn because Miles is on his team... betterthanblank --->

And his coach just so happens to be Vince...

Looks like they had fun!

Desperation photos and stuff

Well, tonight was the first night of Desperation '07. Worship was pretty good. It seemed that there was something not quite right though. I'm sure that it was probably just the first night warm-up thing... Sometimes it takes a day or two for the kids to really get into it.

The band was smokin' though. I loved the medley they did at the end. They started Endlessly slower and more drawn out. Then they ramped it up and went into a couple of their other songs like "comin' after you" and another (can't remember the name).

Afterwards, we had late night worship with Daniel Bashta. He tore it up with all the passion he had in him. We were in the Youth Room which is on the 2nd floor. The floor was continually flexing under the pressure of 100s of kids jumping up and down in worship. What a night. And to think, it's just beginning!

All in all, on this trip, I feel God drawing me back to the simplicity of our faith (and ministry) We tend to make it so complex with everything when it could be as simple as this backboard that they're using for Desperation...

or this simple black and white projected on the wall... simple, but extreme!

Quest for Desperation #2

Quest for Desperation #1

This was shot 2 days ago...

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

COTH (Church of the Highlands) Staff Meeting this morning...

Here are some notes from todays staff meeting @ Church of the Highlands.

Chris Hodges is the Lead Pastor @ Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, Alabama. Here's some of what he had to say to his staff today.

"Success is measured by how many people are fulfilling the Great Comission (i.e. serving in the Church and the community)."

"It's not just about salvation."

We're not selling fire insurance, we're building the kingom! (that was my thought)

Team Building is the key...

"Leadership is ultimately about creating a way for people to contribute to making something extraordinary happen."

5 Great team building tenants:
Have integrity in modeling the way
Communicate the vision clearly and consistently
Allow them to challenge the process
Let Leaders Lead (the vision is non-negotiable, the way we get there is always negotiable)
Create an atmosphere of encouragement

How we make teams happen:

1. Know and appreciate strengths and weaknesses
2. Openly engage in constructive, ideological conflict (OUCH!)
3. Set goals together
4. Commit to group decisions
5. Over communicate what happens in meetings with others

My quest for DESPERATION!!!

I wanted to upload a video blog, but I'm on the Church of the Highlands wifi and they've blocked Youtube, so I'll give you a brief recap of my quest for Desperation over the last 2 days.

Well, I'm finally here in Birmingham Alabama. I flew out of Burbank airport (supposedly the airport of the stars) yesterday morning @ 9:15am (didn't see any stars!) I arrived in Dallas Fort Worth at 2:00pm (their time) for a 3 hour layover. Had a great lunch @ Dickey's BBQ and then found out that my flight had been delayed from 5:20pm to 6:30pm... oh wait, make that 7:30... no, make that 8:30pm... no actually try 6:30... AM... this morning!!!


Well, not wanting to spend the night in the airport, I proceeded to get on a standby list for another flight that left @ 9:30pm. The only problem was that I was #23 on the list...! I heard another young lady state that she was just going to fly to Atlanta and drive to Birmingham. What a great idea I thought, considering that I was going to try and hit up North Point this weekend anyway.

Well, that's exactly what I did and I finally made it to my good friend Mark Peacock's house at 4:00am this morning (Central time). We had a brief hour long conversation and then hit the hay. We needed to at least get a little sleep because we had to be here @ COTH (Church of the Highlands) by 10:00am for staff meeting. Not too big of a sacrifice considering that I get to hang out here in their brand new state of the art facility. I also got to meet the wonderful staff @ COTH along with some of the Desperation Staff.

Desperation starts tomorrow and I'm pretty excited. Check back soon for more details on my "Quest for Desperation".

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