Family Feud

November 25, 2020
Matthew 6:
Holidays can be a challenge and this year heightens potential disagreements as it relates to our little evil friend Covid. A few tips on how I am trying to approach it.

Not prideful. Humble. Control the tongue. Be prepared to forgive.

….oh, and Happy Thanksgiving too..

And forgive those who.....

November 18, 2020
Matthew 6:
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.

Forgiving is hard. The next part of the of the Lord's Prayer says that forgiving is par of what we should. So that's one. Proverbs 25 tells us to give water to our enemies and feed them. And God will "pour heaps of coal on their head".

Should we put conditions on forgiveness? Did Christ put conditions on his forgiveness?

No, of course note. We have eternal grace and mercy. God gives it to us. We must likewise give it to others.

Thy will be done….

November 11, 2020
Jesus taught us the Lord's Prayer….."Thy will be done….on earth as it is in heaven…"

How do we reconcile His will be done vs what we ask for in prayer? How do we handle unanswered prayers (see Garth Brooks).

Something to think about:

Matthew 26:36 tells the story of Jesus prayers before he is arrested. Was his prayer unanswered too?

My God moment…

November 4, 2020
I know "God Moment" is such a churchy thing to say, but I don't care. They happen. They are real. People always ask where are the miracles that they talk about in the Bible. They are everywhere. You just don't see them because you may ignore situations where you are in a God Moment.

Last night after I recorded my weekly devotion, I pulled up the latests sermon from Church of the Resurrection as it was suggested earlier in the week that I should watch it. COR, which is located just miles from my house, is a mega church with significant influence in the Methodist Church and beyond.

The title was called Jesus, Religion and Politics. You can watch it HERE.

I'm not a fan of Adam Hamilton's organization. I view him more as a politician who is a preacher vs a preacher who dabbles in politics. Hit political points of view are sprinkled in just about every message I have heard. And it's not just because I disagree with his politics, I think politics takes the focus off where we really ought to be, our focus on God.

I have said it before and will say it again. Politics is the devil's playground. Politics creates division where none was before. Politics cause people who don't even know each other to hate each other. And the devil loves it.

So last night after my devotion, it was certainly a God Moment as I watched what he was saying and wouldn't you know it, "we are deeply divided as a nation" and we must focus on "unity". This, from the guy who led the split of the Methodist church. Chutzpah.

I refuted his arguments before I even heard the sermon. Does that make me special? I don't know. I don't know what any of this means. All I know is that something was going on last night that led me to talk about not being divided. And I'm more emboldened this morning that last night.

Division is a choice. What's yours?

We are NOT deeply divided

November 4, 2020
We are not deeply divided. Sometimes we can fall into a trap thinking we have a country where everyone is at odds with everyone else. This is a trap that is set by the outsiders. But if you think about it, we all want much of the same things, these wedge issues are created to get us all fired up. We lose our focus and begin to care about something that we never cared about in our life.

We can find division in anything….but our focus needs to be on where we agree.

Why I do this?

October 28, 2020
Why do I do this? At first, it was to make up for the devotion time I was going to lose by not meeting with my missionary team. But then it turns out I enjoyed it quite a bit and decided to keep doing it. I started in March (I believe) and when will I end? I don't know.

These weekly devotions are not to try to make me famous (ha ha); they have, however, helped me with:
1. Focus on God
2. Practice sharing my story and delivering messages
3. Accountability by having everything public
4. Creates content that perhaps will allow someone to see my style and invite me to speak
5. Spiritual Development….like training for a race, this is way I train my spirit.

I want you to hit me as hard as you can

October 21, 2020
Is there a connection to physical challenges and spiritual development? Why did Jesus suffer not only on the cross, but also before the it as he grew up? Why did he spend 40 days in the desert after being baptized?

I think there is something to be said about embracing life's challenges. We understand that to gt good at a sport, an instrument, being a parent or in business, it requires hard work and lots of failure. Does that apply spiritually?

With God as our Defender (see last week), is there really anything we can't handle knowing he is there with and for us? Dare we ask God to hit me as hard as you can?

How's your defense?

October 14, 2020
With the Supreme Court nominations taking place, it had me thinking about defense. Usually this refers to my sports teams (some of which never play any defense).

I also think about defense mechanisms we all have built in wether it's my dog when attacked or any of us when we are attacked.

And how will we respond to attacks of our faith? How will we respond? And is there really a defense for everything in life?

Matthew 27:11 is where Jesus, when attacked, stood there silent. Perhaps that's what we need to do too.

…and…..and…?

October 7, 2020
An interesting week as I returned from my trip to Florida to see my parents. We went to church and it left me wanting a little bit more from the message…like when you watch a show or a movie and think, "is that it?".

I talk about sin, how we will continue to do it and spend time with Luke 15 and the parable of the lost sheep.

We are essentially like a sheep who eternally need our Shepheard Jesus Christ to be there for us, take care of us and ultimately give us grace and mercy throughout our lives.

Who is your idol?

September 30, 2020
In Exodus, there is the story of the Golden Calf. After Moses led his people out of Egypt, his people, after not seeing Moses for a while, decided to build their own god out of golden jewelry. Seems so silly right? God just provided their escape from slavery and now they decide to worship a golden calf?

What is something ridiculous that you may worship here on earth that years from now people will see as silly. Celebrity? Politician? Athlete? Pastor?

Lately it seems like those are the MOST important thing vs really what you should be worshiping, and that is God.

Are you just a seed?

September 23, 2020
Matthew 7:24 discusses building your house on a solid foundation. This goes the same for how you plant your seeds, grass, trees or bushes. Without a proper foundation, you will fall.
I see Christians as a seed. The church is your good dirt. Showing God's love is the rain. Discipleship is the sun and the most important.

Our job as Christians is to not just be a seed, but to go to church, show God's love and disciple others.

"
We need guidance.  We need mentors.  We need to mentor others.  Sometimes we need to be willing to make adjustments to become great.  Disciples making disciples who make disciples.  That is the model that the Lord has left us with.  We need to trust in the Lord, and His appointed teachers to lead us towards the light of God, and away from the darkness of the world." -Adam Wainwright

Years 1 of a Church Plant

September 16, 2020
One year ago I started attending Hope Point KC on its first weekend in operation. To say it's been quite a year would have been an understatement. There has been good and bad and challenges and difficulties and all kinds of stuff…..

But everything worthwhile requires a struggle. Most importantly, I've seen a new church, with pastors who came from other states, make a difference in the community and make a difference in me. Thankful for Hope Point KC and what they (we) do.

The Value in Disagreeing

September 9, 2020
There are obvious ways to disagree that are not helpful. Politics for one. Attacking those with whom you disagree doesn't work out all that well. I'd suggest killing each other over disagreements is certainly not valuable.

However, by being challenged for your faith, your Christianity, that is healthy disagreeing. Not only will it embolden your to understand why you feel the way you do, it can also (if you lower your pride) cause you to actually adjust your thinking. And THAT, is valuable.

Always Leading

September 2, 2020
Always Lead…in everything you do in life, you can be a leader even while also being a follower. You may be the QB leading the team, but you are also following what your coach says. You may be part of a band following the director while at the same time leading your section. As Christians, we are following Christ but can LEAD others TO Christ through leading as He would have us lead.

Matthew 4:18 - Jesus Calls His First Disciples
Mark 11:1 - Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

Coping with Loneliness

August 26, 2020
Loneliness has been with us since the beginning and the response to Covid certainly hasn't helped. In this one I talk about some areas where it is addressed in the Bible and a few thoughts on how to move forward.

David was lonely (Psalms 15:16)
Joseph was lonely (Genesis 37:23)
Peter was lonely (Matthew 26)
The disciples were lonely (Matthew 8)
Job wishes he were lonely (Job 7:19)
Jesus wishes he was alone sometimes (Mark 1:45)
Adam was given companionship (Genesis 2:18)
God is with us always (Matthew 28)

Have you (or your church) given up?

August 19, 2020
We seem to be in a world where lots of people just give up without even starting. Has that happened at your church or with your church attendance? Let's see how we can approach that…..

Why I do this?

October 28, 2020
Why do I do this? At first, it was to make up for the devotion time I was going to lose by not meeting with my missionary team. But then it turns out I enjoyed it quite a bit and decided to keep doing it. I started in March (I believe) and when will I end? I don't know.

These weekly devotions are not to try to make me famous (ha ha); they have, however, helped me with:
1. Focus on God
2. Practice sharing my story and delivering messages
3. Accountability by having everything public
4. Creates content that perhaps will allow someone to see my style and invite me to speak
5. Spiritual Development….like training for a race, this is way I train my spirit.

I want you to hit me as hard as you can

October 21, 2020
Is there a connection to physical challenges and spiritual development? Why did Jesus suffer not only on the cross, but also before the it as he grew up? Why did he spend 40 days in the desert after being baptized?

I think there is something to be said about embracing life's challenges. We understand that to gt good at a sport, an instrument, being a parent or in business, it requires hard work and lots of failure. Does that apply spiritually?

With God as our Defender (see last week), is there really anything we can't handle knowing he is there with and for us? Dare we ask God to hit me as hard as you can?

How's your defense?

October 14, 2020
With the Supreme Court nominations taking place, it had me thinking about defense. Usually this refers to my sports teams (some of which never play any defense).

I also think about defense mechanisms we all have built in wether it's my dog when attacked or any of us when we are attacked.

And how will we respond to attacks of our faith? How will we respond? And is there really a defense for everything in life?

Matthew 27:11 is where Jesus, when attacked, stood there silent. Perhaps that's what we need to do too.

…and…..and…?

October 7, 2020
An interesting week as I returned from my trip to Florida to see my parents. We went to church and it left me wanting a little bit more from the message…like when you watch a show or a movie and think, "is that it?".

I talk about sin, how we will continue to do it and spend time with Luke 15 and the parable of the lost sheep.

We are essentially like a sheep who eternally need our Shepheard Jesus Christ to be there for us, take care of us and ultimately give us grace and mercy throughout our lives.

Who is your idol?

September 30, 2020
In Exodus, there is the story of the Golden Calf. After Moses led his people out of Egypt, his people, after not seeing Moses for a while, decided to build their own god out of golden jewelry. Seems so silly right? God just provided their escape from slavery and now they decide to worship a golden calf?

What is something ridiculous that you may worship here on earth that years from now people will see as silly. Celebrity? Politician? Athlete? Pastor?

Lately it seems like those are the MOST important thing vs really what you should be worshiping, and that is God.

Are you just a seed?

September 23, 2020
Matthew 7:24 discusses building your house on a solid foundation. This goes the same for how you plant your seeds, grass, trees or bushes. Without a proper foundation, you will fall.
I see Christians as a seed. The church is your good dirt. Showing God's love is the rain. Discipleship is the sun and the most important.

Our job as Christians is to not just be a seed, but to go to church, show God's love and disciple others.

"
We need guidance.  We need mentors.  We need to mentor others.  Sometimes we need to be willing to make adjustments to become great.  Disciples making disciples who make disciples.  That is the model that the Lord has left us with.  We need to trust in the Lord, and His appointed teachers to lead us towards the light of God, and away from the darkness of the world." -Adam Wainwright

Years 1 of a Church Plant

September 16, 2020
One year ago I started attending Hope Point KC on its first weekend in operation. To say it's been quite a year would have been an understatement. There has been good and bad and challenges and difficulties and all kinds of stuff…..

But everything worthwhile requires a struggle. Most importantly, I've seen a new church, with pastors who came from other states, make a difference in the community and make a difference in me. Thankful for Hope Point KC and what they (we) do.

The Value in Disagreeing

September 9, 2020
There are obvious ways to disagree that are not helpful. Politics for one. Attacking those with whom you disagree doesn't work out all that well. I'd suggest killing each other over disagreements is certainly not valuable.

However, by being challenged for your faith, your Christianity, that is healthy disagreeing. Not only will it embolden your to understand why you feel the way you do, it can also (if you lower your pride) cause you to actually adjust your thinking. And THAT, is valuable.

Always Leading

September 2, 2020
Always Lead…in everything you do in life, you can be a leader even while also being a follower. You may be the QB leading the team, but you are also following what your coach says. You may be part of a band following the director while at the same time leading your section. As Christians, we are following Christ but can LEAD others TO Christ through leading as He would have us lead.

Matthew 4:18 - Jesus Calls His First Disciples
Mark 11:1 - Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

Coping with Loneliness

August 26, 2020
Loneliness has been with us since the beginning and the response to Covid certainly hasn't helped. In this one I talk about some areas where it is addressed in the Bible and a few thoughts on how to move forward.

David was lonely (Psalms 15:16)
Joseph was lonely (Genesis 37:23)
Peter was lonely (Matthew 26)
The disciples were lonely (Matthew 8)
Job wishes he were lonely (Job 7:19)
Jesus wishes he was alone sometimes (Mark 1:45)
Adam was given companionship (Genesis 2:18)
God is with us always (Matthew 28)

Have you (or your church) given up?

August 19, 2020
We seem to be in a world where lots of people just give up without even starting. Has that happened at your church or with your church attendance? Let's see how we can approach that…..

How God is Working in Brazil with a special guest

August 12, 2020
Tonight I speak with my friend and fellow Missionary Abner. He lives in Manaus, Brazil, and they have experienced many of the same things we have had in the United States. Locked down and at home…..we talk about how this may not have been OUR plan, but it is God's plan and it has provided both of us with opportunities to continue to serve Him.

63 Days in the Facebook Wilderness….

August 5, 2020
Tonight I talk about the important of finding that quiet alone time. Jesus gave us the template with his 40 days in the desert. I am able to find that time when I spend time in Brazil….and work on it now via my runs…and using this time to help me focus on what is good in life vs what is bad in life. Guess what was bad in life for me?

Keep the Masks Off!!!!

July 29, 2020
In this video, I talk about the "mask" we all wear that hides our true feelings. Sometimes it's easy to just blend into the crowd…and even go along with activities that you know go against what it means to be a Christian. I share a couple examples of how I've taken off the mask thus letting people see my true self.

Ray of Hope 17th Birthday!

July 28, 2020
I was thrilled to be a able to join Gloria and Patrick Reynolds as we discussed how Ray of Hope Amazon has impacted me and others on our 17th anniversary. Also joining the video later is someone who went with me while in high school, and how the Ray of Hope experience has helped shape her now that she is starting her first real post-college job. It runs an hour so sit back, listen and enjoy.

The Value in Change

July 22, 2020
Change sure can be hard. Right now our lives are disrupted in ways we never imagined. Even when change is for the better, we seem to want to stay with the old ways. In this week's devotional I discuss my personal change challenges, the change required when Jesus arrived and the change of living a Christian life.

It's NOT Too Late!

July 15, 2020
Change sure can be hard. Right now our lives are disrupted in ways we never imagined. Even when change is for the better, we seem to want to stay with the old ways. In this week's devotional I discuss my personal change challenges, the change required when Jesus arrived and the change of living a Christian life.

Stressed!

July 8, 2020
This devotion focuses on my own self awareness regarding my level of stress. I took a few days off, and we spent time in Colorado. It wasn't until a few days in did I truly realize the stress in life and how several experiences in this past week helped me realize that.

Redeeming Lives Matters (part 3)

July 1, 2020
I wrapped up this series with a conversation called "Not Guilty". A key Christian principle is being forgiven; not holding on to sins of our past nor of those before us. We are have been given mercy by God. We are saved. We are forgiven. Do you and your church understand this? What better time so explain the Gospel to those around you who first look to shame, condemn and ridicule.

Redeeming Lives Matters (part 2)

June 24, 2020
Tonight I discussed the story of Matthew and the Samaritan Woman at the Well. They are perfect examples of individuals who were redeemed by God, and not simply dismissed, shamed or condemned. That's how we should treat everyone.

Redeeming Lives Matters (part 1)

June 17, 2020
As Christians, why do we join the rest of the world in condemning and shaming first, vs prayers for the redemption of those who do wrong? Most are missing their moment to show what true grace and mercy is and what makes our vision different from the secular world. We are all loved by God and are redeemable through His grace and mercy. That is the message.
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Pray and forgive, not condemn and shame

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Be Yourself

June 10, 2020
God created us in His image. We spend so much time putting ourselves (or being put) into categories or race or sex or whatever. Regardless of the secular ways, we should be ourselves first.

My Journey to Jungle Ministry (3 of 3)

June 3, 2020
Wrapping up this topic, I talk about what's next (or what I think may be next) in 2020 and beyond. Where will this journey lead me?

My Journey to Jungle Ministry (2 of 3)

May 27, 2020
During this discussion, I share how I went from "just going" to actually praying, preaching and leading trips to Brazil.
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My journey to jungle missionary (part 2)

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My Journey to Jungle Ministry (1 of 3)

May 20, 2020
At the age of 43, I took my first trip to Haiti on mission trip with Capital Church in northern Virginia. Although a regular church-goer, I hadn't quite taken that next step in my faith to go out into the world to share the Word. Little did I know that this one decision would lead me down a path to jungle ministry in the Amazon.

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My journey to jungle ministry

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