Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I got a chance to take my Sr. High students on a camping trip this past weekend to Patoka Lake State Park in Southern Indiana along with some other adults and it was a great time. It was hotter than the bottom of a active volcano, but despite the heat and humidity I think it was a great weekend.

We got to enjoy the outdoors, build relationships, go to the beach part of the lake and swim, and then go out on a pontoon boat and enjoy the lake and anchor out and do some swimming and floating.
I think everyone should get away from time to time and enjoy the outdoors with people you care about. I'm thankful for my time I had on the lake this weekend.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Death is for everyone

Michael Jackson
Farrah Fawcett

Ed McMahon

Billy Mays

Death is for Everyone

Within the past week we have seen a lot of news online, papers, and tv about the deaths of these celebrities. Billy Mays died yesterday of an apparent head injury from a plane ride. The most notable were Michael and Farrah both dying on the same day last Thursday and then this past Tuesday Ed McMahon died, which he was 86 and had serious health issues.

It seems Americans are very attracted and interested in Celebrity news, that is why there are so many entertainment websites, magazines, and tv shows, but especially when celebrities die, we cannot get enough of it. I have even caught myself being interested when certain people died like Tim Russert and Heath Ledger. I’m not sure why we are so attracted or interested when these celebrities die. We can call it a tragedy, a life cut short, sad, or whatever and every celebrity and their lifestyle and situations were different, but for whatever reasons we are drawn to their deaths.

The reality is that death is not a respecter or persons. In Acts 10:34 Peter reminds us that “God does not show favoritism” or as the King James puts it, “that God is no respecter of persons.” Being famous, rich, popular, or a celebrity does not keep you from facing your death whether timely or not. I’m not sure death is every timely for any of us, whether it’s expected or not. Research has shown 1 out of 1 dies. It’s a fact, reality. We are all going to die. The only exception is if we live long enough for Jesus’ return.

People die every day and it may not get the headlines of Farrah or the publicity of Michael Jackson, but one stat I came across today said that every minute 108 people die in the world. Regardless of how often or how many die, the point is death is not avoidable. We can eat healthy, avoid germs, get face lifts, and tummy tucks, and exercise, and we’re still going to die. Happy Monday, haha. God wants us to take care of ourselves and not hurry our deaths, but my point is, death is something that is coming whether by accident, disease, unexpected, fat or thin, young or old.

The most important question for us to really be asking ourselves is are we ready to die? Are we preparing for what is to come? I’ve heard it said and I say it often , how we live everyday determines our destiny. If we believe in God and believe there is a heaven and a hell. Believing in them are not enough, we must act upon what we know to be true. If we believe in God and believe in eternity, we must choose to act on our belief in God and not only seek Him, but allow Him to come into our lives, and follow His plan for salvation and take that commitment serious. Then everyday of our lives we must learn, grow, develop, make an effort, and mature in our faith. Our goal shouldn’t be to not go to hell, but to get to heaven to be in the presence of God. Sometimes I think people think just believing is enough and it’s not. Sometimes I think people go to church or become Christians because they don’t want to go to hell. No one wants to go to hell, but that shouldn’t be our motivation. Our motivation should be our love and commitment to God.

God has defeated death, hell, and sin through His son Jesus. The victory has been won. The price has been paid. The offer is still standing. Accept Jesus and be faithful and live beyond physical death. Die to the world, but live forever with God. Or live your life only for yourself and this world and die twice. Die physically and spiritually because hell is the absence of God and the absence of life. Choose life. Don’t focus on dying, but focus your days on living and living with God and for God. Now that’s some news we should spend time spreading.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 6:23(NIV)

Monday, June 22, 2009



Most of us have a pocket, jar, or car ashtray full of loose pocket change. We collect it from our daily routines of life and we use it as needed or save it for Christmas, vacation, or rainy day fund. Change is also what politicians promise, and the weather man tells us is coming in the 5-day forecast. Change is a part of our lives on a regular basis.
Our bodies change, our circumstances change, and technology and progress change at a rapid place at our jobs, schools, and even in our homes. We gladly accept the new technology and change of tv’s, computers, cell phones, and appliances. We embrace the changes in culture as our fashion tastes change in clothing styles. We love the newer model vehicles we drive and the conveniences that change brings our lives.

One place we avoid change, dislike change, or get defensive about change is the one place that should set the standard for change and should change constantly: THE CHURCH.
Maybe because so much in the world changes, people want the church to stay the same? Or maybe people get so comfortable, nostalgic, or complacent in the church that when leadership brings about change because of the times, the culture, the need, or the circumstances people flip out, complain, get negative, or even extremes divide the church?

God never changes, He promises us that in His word (Hebrews 13:8), but His intent was never to keep the church the same. If you go back and read through the gospels of Jesus (Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John) or through the book of Acts as the church is established and spread, then you see that Jesus is all about freedom and change. If God wanted things to stay the same we would still be under the Law of Moses, Jesus never would have came to this earth, and the church as we know it never would have been established.

It is so easy for us as human beings to worship tradition, comfort, and “same ole, same ole” and over time it becomes doctrine, gospel, and the way it has to be. When in reality, it is the opposite of what God really wants for His church. He want His church to be relevant to its culture and surroundings. He wants the local church to impact its’ community with whatever programs, activities, events, and services will reach the most people, disciple the most members, and be the most effective. The goal of church is simple: reach lost people and make disciples while worshiping God and giving Him the glory. It’s hard to do that when you care more about what people are wearing to church, what type of songs we are singing, what times we are having church services, if we are keeping things the way they were when grandma when to church there, or if we are focused on things that simply are preferences or opinions and not essential to salvation or spiritual growth or health of the church.

Change isn’t always easy, but it is necessary. Change begins within, in our hearts. If we focus on the wrong things with the wrong attitudes then change will be difficult for you.
But the fact is, from the time we are born into this world, we begin to change until the day we die. We will always be ourselves, but our lives, bodies, attitudes, interests, and circumstances will be constantly changing. God will always be God, but His church will need to change its methods (not the message of God) on a regular basis if it’s going to make an impact or difference in this world for Him. If churches do not change, if they stay the same they become stale, lazy, self-centered, inward focused, irrelevant, ineffective, set in their ways, worshipping tradition instead of God, and slowly dying. They will have no vision, no mission, and no purpose, only to keep the doors open as long as they can. They are dead long before they stop having services. Is that the type of church God wanted to establish? I don’t think so. It’s time that we embrace change, accept change, encourage change, and support change, even when it makes us uncomfortable or we don’t understand it all. We should not let a person(s) willingness to not change hold us hostage from spreading the good news about Jesus and moving His church forward. Change is exactly what we need.

“Now the Lord is Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

II Corinthians 3:17 (NIV)

Friday, June 19, 2009


2 Weeks ago I took my Sr. High students and some adults to King's Island Amusement Park in Cincinnati, OH. My friend Stacey from WV was up there with his family. So, He, myself, and 2 of my friends and chaperone's from Indiana jumped on the new coaster "Diamondback".

Diamonback stands about 230 feet high, the first drop where the picture below was taken is 215 feet and it was a-w-e-s-o-m-e. You go about 80mph and the track is a mile long and it was the smoothest riding coaster I think I've ever been on. My props go out to the KI and their new coaster. I give it to arms up and a scream!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Breaking Free

Breaking Free

You ever feel this way? Trapped in a rut, a cycle, a pattern? You keep doing the same things the same ways and expecting different results? They say the definition of Insanity is exactly that, but not sure that’s what Webster says, but it is insane literally to think we can continue to behave, act, or feel the same way and expect things to be different or change.

I wonder how many people we have to hurt, upset, or push away before we get that? Some of us never really do get it. We blame it on others, or we justify ourselves by saying that’s just the way I am, or people don’t get me, or we make excuses and reason within our own minds that we are not to blame or we don’t have a problem. I have to admit, I have a problem. That’s half the battle we face, admitting the problem is us. Once we do that, we can begin to take steps to change our attitude, feelings, or actions.

It doesn’t matter if it’s relationships, marriage, parenting, dating, workplace, leadership, or whatever. We are never going to have healthy feelings, relationships, or overcome our problems, until we change and think different, act different, and have a different approach or attitude and if we do that, we will begin to feel different, look at things differently, and probably act different and handle situations, problems, and things differently than continuing the downward spiral of doing the same things the same ways and never changing anything, but making things worse.

I know this is a broad subject and each of us may have different problems or issues, but if we continue to hit the repeat button in our lives and never change our habits, behaviors, attitudes, or actions then we are all pretty much stuck on the same ride, going round and round and never getting off. If we are going to break free, stop hurting others, stop pushing others away, and stop hurting ourselves, we are going to have to take the same issues, problems, habits, and feelings and handle them differently that we normally do.

I wish I was writing today about something I’ve already accomplished or overcome, but truth be told, I am writing about this today because I am struggling with it myself. I want to change my attitude, behaviors, and habits. I want to break free of doing the same things the same way and expecting different results. The only way me or you are going to have different results is if we actually start doing things differently. Change is difficult. But it begins with us, one issue at a time, one step at a time, one day at a time.

I encourage you to see God and His word. Pray daily about the issues you struggle with. Seek wisdom and guidance from God and His spirit. Enlist the help of a trusted friend who will keep you accountable and encourage you, yet push you to do the right thing. If it’s serious, don’t be ashamed or afraid to seek counseling from a Pastor or Counselor who can help you begin the process of overcoming your issues, problems, and struggles. Break free, I know I don’t want to be a slave or prisoner to my bad habits, negative attitudes, or repetitive poor decisions anymore. I need to change for my own sanity, health, relationships, and spirituality. I hope we all can do just that.

“So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.”

Romans 7:21(NIV)

Monday, June 08, 2009

Church Camp

Picture of myself and some of the kids from my church in our cabin at Junior week (4th-6th grades) at Camp Illiana in Washington, IN last week.


I’m not sure if you’ve ever got the chance to go and spend a week at church camp or not? Whether as a camper or a counselor/faculty person, it’s a great experience.
I was first exposed to summer church camp at the age of 12 after going with my aunt and uncle to visit my cousin at church camp, I decided to go back up the next day and spend the rest of the week and I’ve been hooked on church camp ever since. As a matter of fact church camp is the reason I’m in ministry, because it was through my camp experiences I first felt the call of God to go into ministry.

After spending about 7 years as a camper I started working at camp as part of the faculty and even became a asst. dean when I was 19 and a dean when I was 20. I missed a few years of camp during my navy days, but soon was able to go back to camp when I got into full-time ministry. I was able to serve as a dorm parent, speaker, teacher, dean of men, and even was blessed to serve a few years as a Sr. high dean and pretty much everything in between during all my years of serving at summer church camp at 4 different camps over my lifetime.

Kids need experiences like Christian service camp in the summer to possibly alter their lives in a positive way for the kingdom of God. How many children or teens have become Christians or felt the call to go into ministry or mission work because of the influence of their local church camp? How many volunteers, jr. faculty, deacons, elders, children’s minister’s, youth minister’s, adult youth sponsors, and preacher’s have had their lives touched or ministries blessed because of the impact of church camp?

Kids are so busy these days, it’s getting harder and harder for church camp to compete with summer ball games, summer sports camps, summer jobs, and even other events, but the fact is, there is no ministry quite like what takes place at a summer Christian church camp. To be able to get away from your normal, typical schedule for a week to connect or reconnect with God and with others that get to know or get to know better can be life changing. I count the people I’ve met at church camp over the years some of my dearest friends.

Most of all the challenge, conviction, encouragement, and uplifting I’ve received because of my church camp experiences both as a camper and an adult have been so life changing. Camp is tiring, sometimes kids push your patience boundaries, and even the food can be rough, but there is nothing quite like a summer week at church camp to help you build relationships with others and with Jesus.

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!”
I John 3:1a(NIV)