Friday, December 18, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
First, let me say that if you're not a blood donor, I encourage you to pray and think about why you're not doing it. If it's because you're scared, I understand, but let the fear go. If you don't have time, I understand, but make time. If you just don't find an interest in donating, I understand, but get interested, please. One of my closest friends gave birth a couple of weeks ago and had a very near death experience. She said after she had the baby and they wheeled her into surgery, she saw the bag of blood there, ready for a transfusion. She's just one of about 5 people in my life who have needed (or come very close to needing) a transfusion. If I can name 5, you probably can too. Right there... that's enough for me to let go of any excuse - pain, fear, schedules, indifference - and roll up my sleeve.
That's blood. Now, let's talk platelets. When I go to the Florida Blood Services Donor Center I always see people watching movies. I've always known that they were donating platelets, but I never considered it. I had my platelet count tested and it turns out I have a freakishly high count, which is good! So I made the appointment.
Platelets are tiny clotting agents found in blood that are vital to people recovering from leukemia, cancer, open heart surgery and transplant surgery. Also, because chemo and radiation therapy often destroy healthy cells, these people need platelet transfusions as well.
Donating platelets is sort of like donating blood. I do it through two arms. One needle takes blood out. The blood then goes through a computerized cell separator machine, which collects the platelets. The remaining plasma and red blood cells are then returned through the other arm. It can be done through one needle if you don't have good veins on both arms. It takes quite a bit longer than a regular blood donation. It's a nice time to sit back and enjoy a movie though, or talk with God. Here are more details about donating platelets.
To be truthful with you, while it's not painful, it is a little uncomfortable. But, sometimes, God calls us to do things that make us uncomfortable, right? There are perks though. They shower me with Rice Crispy Treats and soda and I always walk out with a sweet new t-shirt (the platelet t-shirts are way cooler than the blood donor shirts). I joke with the folks there (Luis, Karen, Rachel, Laura, Becky, and Arelis- all my FBS peeps!) about how I'm just there for the Rice Crispy Treats, but that's my cool-girl front. The truth is, I love that I'm making myself a little uncomfortable, a little pained, and a little inconvenienced for a stranger who needs my help. Science is amazing and the human body is remarkable. The fact that I can give something from my own body that can help save someone else's life is a miracle to me.
I walk out of the donor center on Kennedy Blvd. feeling like a million bucks and that I was just part of a miracle. Yes, the purse full of Rice Crispy treats is nice too, but I know that God will honor my time and my gift. It's part of being a steward and I hope you'll consider doing it too. If you have any questions, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd be honored to speak on behalf of FBS and answer any of your questions.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
All forms of cancer are tragic, but breast cancer sends an extra blow. Women say it touches them emotionally because it's a direct hit to their feminine identity. Most of us have been personally touched by breast cancer. My grandmother and her sister, my wonderful Aunt Dolly, both had it. I remember playing with my grandmother's wigs as a little girl. Recently, my friend's aunt lost her battle with what started as breast cancer and then spread. She wasn't even 50 yet.
There are so many ways for you to get involved with this fight. There are activities all around town, purchases you can make that benefit breast cancer research and support groups about which you can help get the word out. Most importantly, pray for the women who are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation, the men who have been diagnosed and feel embarassed, for those who are wearing wigs or scarves on their heads and those who have undergone a mastectomy or lumpectomy. Pray for the husbands who will provide the emotional support for their wives. And don't just do these things in the month of October. There are eleven other months of the year that we can take advantage of and help put an end to this disease.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
When I looked at this picture Rachel emailed me this morning, I thought two things. One, the Lord has given me a huge responsibility with this show. The little ears and hearts that tune in every day, many still strapped into a car seat, are so easily impressionable. I know how important it is that they hear positive, encouraging words and music. And that leads me to the second thought: What a blessing it is to be a part of a ministry that can form young hearts like this.
I'm sure there are other three year old little girls out there that have dolls they've named "Brittany" (no, I'm not trying to harp on Brittany Spears, but that's a recognizable name in pop culture) or "Mylie." I'm not saying I'm perfect or these girls are horrible roll models. I'm am saying that there are so many other things out there that want our kids' attention. It so great that Ava has been surrounded by the message and music on Spirit FM so much that she's found a friend in me and Carlos. I can only imagine the conversations she has with "Carlos" and "Abby." I wonder if the plush Abby corrects the plush Carlos' grammar too! Or if the plush Carlos has a funny laugh and the plush Abby has moments of air-headedness. Oh, to be a fly on the wall!
My prayer is that more parents in the Tampa Bay area can use Spirit FM to feed their children the message of Christ. I'd love it if every three year old in the tri-county area named their Hello Kitty, "Abby" and their funny red fox, "Carlos." Not because my name would be out there, but because then I'd know that these kids know the love and the friendship they have in Jesus. That would be pretty cool.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
As I've mentioned before, I've set a goal for myself of a 5K per month. So far I've done three. June, July and September (Couldn't find one in August that would work with my schedule). To train for these monthly races, I've been trying a 3:1 system. I'll run for three minutes and walk for one. I do that for about 32 minutes and cover about 2.7 miles. Yeah, I know. A 5K is 3.1 miles. For that leftover .4 of a mile, I'm just relying on God to move me towards the finish line. So I was run/walking last night and I was thinking about how much I love the one minute of walking and how much I hurt during the three minutes of running. That one minute flies by, while the three minutes of running seem to never end. This led me to think of several metaphors.
The one that made the most sense in my head though, is that life is often dealt out in threes and ones. Sometimes I feel like I only have one minute of good to breathe in before that watch timer beeps and I have to start back into the three minutes of discomfort. For you, maybe the one minute is the time you have in the evening with your family, sitting around the dinner table. Or maybe it's church on Sunday.
Here's what I'm thinking though: Amidst the pain and discomfort of the three minutes of running I can still find the good. Even though I was tired while I was running, I was thinking of how blessed I am to be able to go out and use my legs. I thought of how the walking might be easier, but the running is making my muscles and lungs stronger.
So next time the timer beeps and you have to start running again, try to focus on the good. I know it can be tough. You're never running alone though. Jesus is with you. The communion of saints is with you. We'll run the race together and reach our ultimate and beautiful goal.
Friday, September 18, 2009
It's so amazing to me...this LOVE we get from an awesome God. How it never ends. Never fails. So pure and so true. Incomprehensible, unimaginable, unwavering....love. No matter what.
I will fail : He will make a way
I will disappoint : He will forget it
I will letdown : He will love me anyway
I will stumble : He will right me
I will fall : He will catch me
I will run : He will chase after me
I will hide : He will wait for me
I will doubt : He will never waiver
I will sin : He will forgive me
I will hate : He will show me love
I will lose : He will win
I will need: He will supply
I will _______ : He will always be WHATEVER I NEED HIM TO BE.
I will always need Him. He is Jesus. The savior of the world. The Hero. My Hero. I admit this blog was birthed from the music from a group called Abandon. A really great indie Christian rock group. They penned the lyrics: I’m captured by the love and I have become Your own. Surrounded by my God I’m rising above the shadows. You want me to know. I’m not alone. You want me to come to Your throne. I know. It’s in Your atmosphere. Your spirit is here. I can’t explain this moment. In Your atmosphere.
We are all broken and its only in Jesus we are made completely and entirely whole. My hope is that you spend a few moments basking in the flow, in the atmosphere of Jesus. Savior. Hero of us all. He loves you.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Its funny how often when people find out what I do, they think I am this deep theologian who never sins and is constantly on his hands and knees worshipping at the feet of God. The funny thing is that I do it too! To others who are Pastors, Priests or even my favorite Christian artists. We pedestal them. We expect more from them because they are "up there" on the stage, in the lime light, working for the kingdom of God. In truth, if you've heard my radio show then you already know, I am just like you. I never went to bible college, I don't hold degrees in theology and while I do my daily devotionals and really enjoy my quiet time with God, I don't spent 20 hours a day at His feet. Although if I did, image how radically different I would be! Hmmm...
The truth is, I ride motorcycles, I have tattoos, I listen to really heavy hard rock and rap music that aren't always from "Christian" artists, I struggle with things in my life, I sin, I am a human being! I am just like you, just like Billy Graham, Joel Osteen, TobyMac and the rest. In God's eyes we are all the same. His children. We all struggle, we all fall, we all need a savior. We all need JESUS.
From time to time I get down on myself and I say, "Why cant I be more like so and so" and in truth I don't know why. God wants me to be, me. He created a Carlos, not a Carlos in a Billy Graham body. We all have a specific purpose in life. Mine right now is Spirit FM. Billy Graham's was his crusades. Toby has his music. All for the glory of God.
It is nice to have role models, people we can look up to. But we shouldn't pedestal them. Hold them to this untouchable standard because then we lose sight of how great we can be too. Maybe you won't grace the stage in concert for thousands or maybe you won't have a radio show heard all over the bay. But maybe, just maybe, you reach the one God called you to reach. Today, during my thought for the day I mentioned how one youth pastor took me out to a Christian dance club called Tidal Wave and that is where God birthed in me the desire to start DJing. Well a listener who heard me was from that club. She called up and told me how she had been struggling lately with that time in her life, asking God what good came from that place and if anybody was touched. Well, if not for that building, that Christian Club, that youth pastor all doing what God had called them to do, if they all chose to do their thing and not Gods things, maybe I am not where I am today. More in love with God than ever before, in the air at Spirit FM, doing Gods work.
No matter how big or how small the calling, in Gods eyes we are all crucial, all special, all loved and all needed. There is a big picture that only God can see. We are all role players. Some of us mouth pieces, some hands, some feet, some eyes, some ears, ALL apart of the same body of Christ. Remember we are all human, we all fall short and thankfully God loves us and is a savior to us all. We all have a calling and God is ready to get you in the game.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Lately it's been popping up all over the place. I saw it on a blog a few days ago. It was brought up at a staff retreat last week... (I get it Holy Spirit! Loud & clear!), so I think it's worth sharing. I've admitted that as a person who likes to make plans for everything and be in control, I struggle with worry and trust. But it can be liberating to embrace uncertainty through the practice of trust. I think it's called having faith!This is a great reminder of how important it is to trust in God's plan for you.
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does, in fact, please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore, I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Can I stop talking in 3rd person now? Thanks. So I wake up to my right arm slapping my left arm. I felt the bug. I hit it (note the good aim even during REM sleep mode), but it didn't die. I wanted to die, but my bug friend crawled down my arm. I sprang out of bed and because my light switch is across the room and I didn't want to let the little bugger get far away, I grabbed my cell phone and relied on the light of the screen to track him down. It felt like an investigative scene from CSI.
I assumed I was looking for a spider. Why? I don't know. I think it's because I could feel him crawling, so I figured there must have been a lot of legs involved. I looked under the bed, behind the bed, under the covers, on top of the covers, inside and on top of my pillow. Nothing. I find it necessary to mention that my husband, my protector was sound asleep this whole time AND my two cats, my hunters, were nowhere to be found. After a few minutes of searching, I was ready to give up the hunt and lie in fear for the rest of the night. What a horrible feeling. Getting back into bed knowing there is a creepy-crawly nearby, just waiting to crawl back under the covers with me. Why did I buy a bed so comfy and inviting?!?!
Just as I shut my phone, turning off the make-shift light, I felt something on my foot. I looked down and saw him. It was a beetle-like cockroachy thing. About an inch long. Ugh. Ew. Eeek... insert your own sound.
Instead of grabbing a book from the shelf behind me, I went into full survival mode and got down and started slapping the bug with my hand. The plushness of the carpet combined with the give of my palm made his death long and drawn-out. My husband finally woke up and I cried to him, "There was a bug on me!" and then I just said, "Finish the job." So he got up, grabbed some tissue and ushered the bug to its final resting place. As we got back into bed I just said to him, "This is why you need to sleep with your mouth shut."
Monday, August 24, 2009
Its funny how often I think I know everything about everything. I hate to admit it, but at times I am that guy. "Mr. Yeah I Already Heard That One and I Know an Even Better Story Guy" I don't mean to be that guy, my life really is just that random. Abby once asked my wife about a story I told her just to make sure it was true because it was so crazy and because I've got so many. Of course it was a true story as my wife did attest, but I still get that funny look from Abby when I tell her the latest crazy thing that happened in my life. Oh well...
I've been on this whole "surrender" thing lately, in my prayer time, in my reading, in my research, just really delving into the depths of what God is putting on my heart. As I was cruising the net looking for show prep I had my iTunes player on random (the best way to listen to music by the way) and a song popped on and my full attention skipped from the Internet to my iTunes. I couldn't turn away from that song when I heard the words, "Why do we take the scenic route? Spend our days taking forever to get to you."
My mind spun on its axis for a moment and it's like God took me back to High School. I was just sitting there remembering how I would drive, nowhere really, just drive around Tampa. Talking to God. Asking Him to rid me of whatever it was I was dealing with at the time, yet always falling back to it because I didn't really want to let it go. I spent as much time crying wolf to God as I did in the sin I wanted away from. As I sat there in my memories I remember a verse that my dad gave me. But Jesus said to him, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:62)
OUCH! Thanks Dad! No, really. Thank you.
What that verse means is, once you have become a child of the living God and you have been redeemed from the grip of sin, YOU ARE FREE! Free from whatever burdens life had attached to your boot heels. Free from the sins that clung to your backs, weighing you down. FREE! At that time in my life, as bad as I wanted away from my past, I kept looking back there just enough to dabble in that sin again and again. My life wasn't stuck in a rut, I was just on the wrong route. I got shifted over to the scenic route with God. Slowly meandering down the twisty trails taking my own sweet time to figure things out. To figure out that God has a higher purpose for me and my life if I would just surrender the wheel and slide over to the passenger seat.
Philippians 3:12 "Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead. I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
That verse rocked me to the core. Why had I waited so long? So long to let go of the wheel, slide over and let God drive. I don't really remember exactly when or what day but it's like God slowly changed my road map. I was moved from the slow meandering scenic route to the fast lane. Speeding towards my goals, chasing after the prize, the upward calling that God has on my life.
Do we still make detours, yes. We are not perfect. Do our cars break down from time to time, yes. We need a saviour. Thankfully God has a towing service for when things really go wrong. Let go. Let go of the need to drive your way, your route, your directions and go with God. Let Him take the wheel and drive. I promise, you'll enjoy the ride. I have.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Okay, so a few days back I posted a blog on my horrible "Wrong Turn" and in it I said, "Being a guy I fall back things that leaders of men have said, one that pops into mind is from Winston Churchill, "Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty" and now, I'm going to write a blog on surrender. Go figure...
If you look up the word SURRENDER in the dictionary you get this definition:
Surrender, verb (used with object) 1. to give (oneself) up. 2. to give (oneself) up to some influence, course, emotion, etc.: He surrendered himself to a life of hardship. 3. to give up, abandon, or relinquish (comfort, hope, etc.). 4. to yield or resign (an office, privilege, etc.) in favor of another.
But if you look closely there is another definition to the word surrender, to yield to the power of another.
I felt like God has been hitting me with that word for a few days now. During my prayer time its been "Surrender, Surrender, Surrender" over and over again. I began asking God what? to whom? why? where? I didn't understand it, until I dug deeper...
Jesus calls upon His followers to reject the natural human inclination toward self. The first step is to submit and surrender to God our will, our affections, our bodies, and our lives. Our own pleasures and happiness can no longer be primary goals. Instead, we must be willing to renounce all and lay down our lives, if required. Peter admonishes us to "no longer live . . . in the flesh for the lusts of men," meaning we should no longer pursue wrong desires. Are we willing to forsake all, to give up everything including our lives? Our Christian duty is to deny our lust of the flesh.
Me personally, I worry a lot about what people think about me and my morning show. I worry about my next career move or my next step in life. I over analyze, over think and generally over step God in my life. When things come my way I want to "be the man" and fix it or deal with it. My way. Instead of just tapping into the awesome power and might that we have access to as children of God.
Surrender: (v) to yield to the power of another. To yield to the power of God in our lives.
Why do we fight tooth and nail alone when we have an army behind us? Surrender is never an easy thing. Especially for me. I want to "be the man," I want to handle it and God is showing me the truth in the verse that says, His ways are higher than mine, His thoughts higher are than mine. It's like the song from Francesca Battistelli that says:
I’m letting go
Of the life I planned for me
And my dreams
I’m losing control
Of my destiny
It feels like I’m falling and that’s what it’s like to believe
So I’m letting go
Let's stop trying to run every aspect of our lives and learn to surrender, surrender to the awesome power of God, who knows what is best for each and everyone of us.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
So I am blogging right now on the front porch of a little farm house located on over 200 acres of corn and soy bean fields. As I look out from my chair all I see are fields upon fields of corn and beans. THATS IT! The nearest house is about 2 miles away and down a dirt road. This is my weekend adventure on The Farm Life and so far, its been amazing.
First, everything is so much slower here. The people actually drive the speed limit and use their turn signals. Time seems to run at its actual pace. I never have once said to myself, "where has the day gone", its been more of, "What? It's only 3 o'clock?" This for me has been the definition of relaxation. Time just spent in the hammock, sipping sweet tea and watching the wind dance on the corn fields.
The food is amazing here. Fresh tomatoes and corn every meal, everything made from scratch, no quick mix powder concoctions full of salt and sodium. Just fresh from the farm, slow cooked goodness. Its amazing.
I don't think I could live here. I need the hustle and bustle of the big city, but for just a weekend to get away and truly RELAX. This is as close to heaven on earth as you could get. Either way, this is just a quick blog from the front porch. Why ruin this lack on connectivity by connecting to my Internet life again. Let me spend the rest of my weekend in the joy of nothingness. No phone, No Internet, No facebook, No anything. Just life, family, God and time. The time to do whatever I want or nothing at all.
I think we all need this from time to time. Just to get away and let time run. Get unhooked from our digital selves and reconnect to our real life families and friends. Next for me, another glass of sweet tea and a slice of home made angel food cake. And why not Angel food cake, as far as I'm concerned this is heaven.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
When I was in elementary school one of my favorite things in the world was getting to go to summer camp. I loved being out in the woods, going swimming in the lake, and inevitably falling in love with a girl by the end of the week.
I remember one incident at camp particularly well. My best friend Bryan came to camp with me – it was the year the movie Batman came out and we were both obsessed with it. I got a package in the mail from my Mom (always the highlight of camp), which included sunscreen, cookies, and a couple of Batman toy figures inside. I was really confused when I saw my Mom had sent me two of the same Batman figures. Why wouldn’t she have gotten me Batman and the Joker? Batman and anyone else would have worked, how did she miss the fact that she sent me two of the same toys? At that point I remember thinking, “Surely this extra Batman isn’t for Bryan? It was an accident and I’ll exchange it for something else when I get home.” So for the whole week I enjoyed having my Batman figures on the windowsill by my bed, one that was opened and one that stayed untouched in the package.
When Mom came to pick me up from camp at the end of the week the first thing I asked her was why she had sent me two of the same Batman figures. And then the answer I already knew inside came, “I sent one for you and one for Bryan. Didn’t you share it with him?” Gulp. No Mom, actually I kept it to myself and only let him hold the package for a minute before grabbing it out of his grubby little hands.
Sometimes it’s so easy for me to live life this way. I hold on so tight to things I think are mine that I miss the point completely. For a long time I didn’t understand it. I knew God wanted me to give money back to Him but I had my hands clenched so tight around it that I couldn’t let it go. How selfish. Now every month when I send in our tithe I feel like I’m loosening my grip on what I say is mine. Isn’t it all God’s anyway? Who am I to say something is mine? James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above.” So doesn’t that mean every good thing in my life is a gift from God? My wife, my stuff, even my life, it’s all God’s anyway. It’s strange but there’s a freedom that comes when I let go of what I thought was mine all along.
We spent this whole last week in Nashville writing the final songs for our new album. It was an amazing week and we really wrote some incredible songs. Our last thing to do in town was for the band to sit down with our record label and talk about which songs would and wouldn’t make the final cut of the album. This sounded harmless enough, until some songs I had written started getting knocked off the list. All I kept thinking was, “I worked so hard on that one!” Or, “Oh not that one, don’t you see how good that one could be?” After the meeting I started feeling really selfish. My songs. Aren’t those songs God’s whether they ever end up on an album or not?A friend told me once that we’re supposed to live life with an open hand. It’s when we start gripping things too tightly that we miss the point and miss out on what God really has for us. I think that’s true. So I’m trying to loosen the grip on my Batman figures one finger at a time.
Fore more on Addison Road check out: http://www.addisonroad.com/
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Nathan Hale, was a soldier for the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. Widely considered America's first spy, he volunteered for an intelligence-gathering mission, but was captured by the British. He is best remembered for his speech before being hanged following the Battle of Long Island, in which he said, "I only regret that I have but one life to give my country." This morning I was driving in to work and I was listening to the new Downhere album when a song came on with the lyrics, "I'll give you back the life you've given me, All you've given me." Those lines sent my mind spinning with thoughts on just how powerful our lives can be.
God gives us one life to live. Then He gives us a choice. We can live for Him or we can live for ourselves. It's an internal war we wage every moment of everyday. Take my typical day for instance...
On the road by 4:30am you see some really, really bad drivers. Do I curse them for being so sleepy behind the wheel and nearly causing an accident or do I pray for their safety and well being so they can continue to live the life they have? Remember that person is someone's father or mother or sister or brother.
The homeless man I see by the roadside near the station. Do I live out Matthew 25 or do I say to myself, "That bum should get a job. or Why give him anything, all he'll do is buy drugs or alcohol."
During the morning show when things go wrong or I miss an action or miss fire a sound effect do I blame others or Abby or the interns and let one small thing ruin my day or do I try to get better by seeing how things went wrong and learn from the situation. Do I stare at my problems or do I rise above it to see my blessings?
All these things happen from time to time and I'm not even done with the first part of my day! Every moment is a choice, every day a decision I make to live for Him. I'm on this Downhere kick right now because I just thought about the song "All At War" and the lines:
I'm learning to stand the more that I fall down,
It's the law of inversion, and it's all turned around,
And I'm staggered by the clash inside my soul,
So purposed for good but inclined for evil
It's justice and mercy the old dichotomies,
All along the frontlines of my heart in both doubt and belief
The sinner and saint, the old arch enemies,
All at war, in me
I was born depraved, but created for the divine,
With death in my bones, in my heart eternal life,
I'd love for Eden, but I'd kill for Rome,
I'm native in a land that is not my home
We have free will to choose every moment of everyday to live for Him. The Sinner and The Saint in the same person. So proposed for good but inclined for evil. Everyday wake up and choose to die to self and live in Christ. Find his grace again and again, a love so complete you could never explain it. His wonder and beauty and mystery and meaning. Every morning His mercy is new and His love knows no end. Find Christ in the meaning of your existance and you find the meaning of life. Let our life's cry to be, "I regret that I only have one life to give my God." Live for Him today.
Monday, July 27, 2009
On Saturday, he proposed that we go to the store to purchase car wash needs and then wash our cars. I mentioned that after we stopped at the store, we could go to McDonald's for a coffee. He said, "Then we'll take your car. No coffee in my car." My jaw dropped. No closed-lid coffee? I won't open it. I'll put a napkin around it. I'll hold it. Nope. No coffee in the car. I know this sounds silly, but in my female mind that I don't even understand sometimes, I associated the care that he has for his car with the care that he has for me and I saw one as being greater than the other. I'll let you guess which was on the losing end.
In sets the mood. The whole time we were washing our cars, I was foul. The poor guy couldn't make a correct move, say a correct sentence, nothing. God love him, he kept on truckin'. He was trying hard to be sweet, and I was turning everything sour. The afternoon proceeded the same way. I figured I'd try to keep myself busy, so I moved to ironing. Mid-chore, we got a call from friends inviting us to hang out. He wanted to go. I said I wasn't interested, but that he should go without me. Up to this point, we could ignore the mood, but now it was out in the open.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I just watched the movie "Knowing" with Nicolas Cage. It was actually pretty good. Granted we are talking about Nic Cage movies here so the bar is set pretty low, but I will say it was as good if not better than "The Rock" although Sean Connery really carried that one. The movie is based around this sheet of numbers that are correctly predicting catastrophic world events from their dates and total number dead, down to their exact location. Problem number one, there are only three dates left and then the letters EE. Which are later revealed to mean (SPOILER ALERT) everyone else. It is the end of days, Man's final hour.
This movie really got me thinking. One, there were a ton of Christian parallels I took from this film. The idea that only those who hear the call are chosen and saved, the rest perish. God is knocking on the hearts of those who are not His, if they never hear His call, a fiery oven awaits. There were a few more but in all truth, I have no idea if the man behind the film was a Christian or not and I may be seeing things that aren't really there, but I was psyched that the movie got my Christian mojo moving.
My first thought was, would I want to know when the final hour would arrive? Would I live my life differently if I knew the exact date and time that our Lord was set to return? Let's say I knew that 7 years from today God was to make His glorious reappearance and take us all home to be with Him. Would I party like it was 1999 and live like a wild man only to "come home" and repent of my wicked ways 3 days before He came? Maybe that is why God says in Matthew 24, "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father". He wants a people who are ready to go at all times and live a life of service in love of Him.
I would love to think that even if I knew the exact time of the Lords return, I would still live a life according to what God's will was for me. But in truth, I doubt it. Think back to when you were kids. If you knew that you were not supposed to watch TV, but Mom and Dad weren't going to be home for 2 solid hours, you'd be watching "In Living Color" till you dozed off and got caught when you didn't hear the car pull up. (That was a true life experience for me) The temptation would be too great for many of us to bear.
There were a few more things that I would love to write on but this blog would get really, really long. Maybe another time. But, would I want to know the end date? Nah. Why spoil the surprise. 1 Thessalonians 5 says, "for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night". Meaning, be ready at all times. Don't sleep on the will and love of our Savior. He is ready and waiting like the Father in the story of the prodigal son to take you back in and make you His son or daughter again. He loves you and wants you home.
Live Ready. Be Blessed.
Friday, July 17, 2009
- Prayer is the beginning and the end. At the start of your reading time, ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and your mind. At the end, pray that His Word will bear fruit.
- The Bible isn't a book, it's a library. It's really fascinating to me that the Bible contains history, prophecy, poetry, advice and of course real life accounts. To know the genre of the book you're reading will help you understand the content.
- Reading isn't enough. If what's in the book stays in the book, then you're wasting your time. It must be put into action.
St. Jerome said, "Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." I can't speak for you, but I want nothing more in life than to know Jesus better. We've got the way right in front of us. We just have to crack it open.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Call me crazy, but when it comes to the food I eat I check the date on everything. Milk, eggs, meats, can goods, it doesn't matter I check it all! And I don't really know why I do that or why I am such a freak about the dates on my food because I know the science behind it all.
Take Milk for instance...according to a CBS News report MILK CAN BE SAFELY USED UP TO A WEEK PAST THE SELL-BY DATE! I know, I know, that's crazy talk right there. But the truth is that yes, it can, if you keep in mind that your fridge has to remain at 40-degrees Fahrenheit, or below, at all times. Make the milk the last thing you pick up before you hit the store's checkout, to minimize the time it's left un-refrigerated, which can exacerbate the spoilage; then, store it at the very back of the shelf, where the air tends to be colder. If you follow that order things should be good for up to a week after the date on the jug.
Take Raw Meat...Raw poultry and pork, and beef in the form of steaks and roasts, will last up to 12 months. Ground beef will only be good for about three to four months. Cooked meat will last about three to four months, as well.
So I know all of this and I still can't get myself to eat anything that is past my standard of shelf life.
Carlos' Guide to Fresh Food
Milk = Gone on the next day after the date on the jug.
Meat = If it smells or looks funky, I two step it to the trash bin.
Left Overs = Two Days. Period.
Ice Cream = If its not frosted over in ice, its good.
Eggs = If they float, out they go.
Canned Goods = See Milk.
Rice, Pasta, Sugar = Looks good, its ok. Looks funny, garbage.
I know I may be a little extreme but that's just how I roll. I'd rather eat fresh, than eat something and wish later that I hadn't as I pray to God for healing over the toilet bowl calling for Ralph! Be blessed today and check out the complete guide to the sell by dates here if you want more info.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
So the big day finally came. My friends have bought and closed on their first home and I was on the moving team to help them get settled in. (By moving team, I mean I was one of three guys) No offense to any of the ladies present (2) but they did not even attempt to lift anything more than 15 pounds so I left them off the team. They were more like team managers or coordinators. Still important to the teams success, just not on the actual team.
You learn a lot about yourself on a moving day...
1. How much you really do or do not like the friend you are helping to move. You learn that pretty quickly when you judge whether or not you'll ever help them move again.
2. For guys you learn how much you can lift or hold up off the ground for any given time before snapping your hernia. For me, it was a lot more than I actually thought I could. My doctor would be proud.
3. And finally, how nice it is to give of yourself and just be a blessing to someone.
I know the bible talks about do unto others as you would have them do unto you and that truly applies on moving day. When I move houses, if I ever move again, I will call upon everyone I have ever helped move and guilt them into helping me. I will use that verse as a reference too. I'll be like, "HEY! Hey you! Remember when I lifted your 200 pound armoire across your living room 7 times? Time to do unto me and help me with mine!"
Honestly, I was just nice to be a blessing to my friends today, whether or not they ever have the chance to return the favor. Spending time with people in love and relationship is what God has called us to do. To love people, with nothing needed in return. To help people, without compensation needed. Was it fun to move a 200 pound armiore around a house, up a truck, then off a truck and around a house like 7 times. NO! But it was great spending time in fellowship with some friends I know needed my help.
So, in closing, I know I learned this today...I must really like these friends of mine. Because I would move them again in a heartbeat. And, just as God has called us to love people, I hope I had a chance to show that love to my friends today. Even if it cost me a pulled groin and strained back.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
So this morning Abby and I covered a news story on how being optimistic can actually improve your vision. Volunteers in the study were told to just focus on the faces they were to be shown. Those who were of the optimistic nature were able to make out more than just the faces, they saw location detail and expressions using their peripheral vision. Those who were of the pessimistic nature were only able to recall the face they were told to focus on.
When I read that, it was like God opened up my eyes in a sense to how spiritually relevant that was. How often in life, when something bad happens do we just focus down on only the problem? I do it all the time. Something bad, (we'll call it XYZ) happens in our life. We will spend countless hours in worry and stress and be so consumed by the XYZ situation, that we can't see anything else in our lives. All of the other blessings that God has done, how he provides and is a shield in the midst of trouble. We can become so consumed by the problem that we never see the solution.
I was talking to a man after the New Faces, New Music tour the other day and he told me he had lost his job 6 weeks earlier. But during all of it, he saw how God took care of his family, how God made a way and has been providing for them. He's taking an optimistic outlook on his very negative situation. Instead of being consumed by the situation of being unemployed he has turned it over to God and said, "I can't handle this alone, I need your help and provision over my life and my families life". Now he is able to see God's grace and goodness in the midst of a trial in his life and feels a whole lot better not being bogged down in stress and worry all the time.
If you're facing something large in your life, a situation XYZ, turn it over to God. No matter what it is and you'll SEE His grace and provision over your life.
1 Peter 5:7 says "Give all your worries to Him, because He cares for you"
Matthew 6:25 says "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"
Psalm 91:1 says "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."
Stop staring at whatever situation XYZ you've got going on in your life and look around you to see that God is there, He loves you and will forever take care of you.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Encouragement, from time to time I sure could use a dose or two of it. Well let me introduce you to the man in scripture known as the son of it! My boy, Barnabas.
He’s no poor schlub, but a pretty well off guy with a solid Jewish heritage. Yet, he heard the proclamation of the Gospel of the Crucified and Risen Christ, and understood the importance of proclaiming that Gospel to the ends of the earth.
His name, “Barnabas”, means “son of encouragement.” It’s a rather appropriate name for one who would serve not as a proclaimer, but as one who accompanied and encouraged one of the greatest proclaimers of all on his Gospel missions.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
I am not very good with remembering someones name. I can remember a face, that I won't forget, but a name, no way. It's not for lack of trying, I do, I really try and want to be that person who seems to know everyone and everyone's name. I feel horrible when I meet listeners for the second or third or tenth time and I still can not recall their names. I know that if I were on the other end, I would want to be remembered. Did I mention that I'm trying to get better at that. You have my sincere apologies if I have ever not remembered your name, please know that I am trying...
This morning, Abby and I did a story on what Dave Meurer wrote for christianitytoday.com. He told his story of not remembering his own wife's parents names! Ouch. But he ended it with a great thought on God and how He knows us by name.
I therefore take enormous comfort in a moving passage from the Bible where God declares to his people, "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!" (Isaiah 43:1).
"I have called you by name."
He knows who I am. We are sometimes tempted to think of God as so lofty that he sees us as a mass of humanity, not as individuals. But here he is, calling us by name. Others may forget you, but the God of the universe knows your name. And he will never forgot.
After reading that thought, my entire outlook on my day changed. How great is it to know that the giant God of the universe who created all of mankind and all the heavens loves each and everyone of us as individuals, not as just a giant blob of His followers. The bible says, Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. That is how well our God knows us and loves us. Each.
Be blessed today,
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
While I was doing my prep for the show tonight I came across a website loaded with "one liners" those classic quick jokes that Rodney Dangerfield was famous for. After the first few jokes I caught my self ending each one with "no respect...I gets no respect". The funny thing is that a few weeks ago a bunch of us at the radio station had the discussion, who was/is "The Greatest Comedian of All Time". Rodney's name came up. So in honor of who once was a great comedian, here is the list of Christian "one liners" that I found. Some are funny, made me laugh, some are not meant to be funny just make you think, but few can touch the level of Dangerfield. Enjoy!
Christian One Liners
Don't let your worries get the best of you; remember, Moses started out as a basket case.
Some people are kind, polite, and sweet-spirited until you try to sit in their pews.
Many folks want to serve God, but only as advisors.
It is easier to preach ten sermons than it is to live one.
The good Lord didn't create anything without a purpose, but mosquitoes come close.
When you get to your wit's end, you'll find God lives there.
People are funny; they want the front of the bus, the middle of the road, and the back of the church.
Opportunity may knock once, but temptation bangs on your front door forever.
Quit griping about your church; if it was perfect, you couldn't belong.
God Himself does not propose to judge a man until he is dead. So why should you?
Some minds are like concrete thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
I don't know why some people change churches; what difference does it make which one you stay home from?!
A lot of church members who are singing "Standing on the Promises" are just sitting on the premises.
We were called to be witnesses, not lawyers or judges.
Be ye fishers of men. You catch them - He'll clean them.
Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.
Don't put a question mark where God put a period.
Don't wait for 6 strong men to take you to church.
Forbidden fruits create many jams.
God grades on the cross, not the curve.
God loves everyone, but probably prefers"fruits of the spirit" over "religious nuts!"
If God is your Co-pilot - swap seats!
The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.
We don't change the message, the message changes us.
The best mathematical equation I have ever seen: 1 cross + 3 nails= 4 given.