Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Updates and Requests for This Week

First off all, thank you for praying for me. I meant to get this update from last Wednesday's worship service to you last week, but it didn't happen. I'm so sorry. Here's why I wanted so badly to give you the update from last week:

Salvation came to Flood this past Wednesday night. We saw between 8-10 people stand to surrender to Christ during our Wednesday night worship service. When they stood up, the place went NUTS!!! It was awesome. Here's the thing: the message really didn't have anything to do with a call to Christ but rather a call for Christians to accept his missional call on their lives. Even still, I did call people to surrender to Christ. And they started standing.

Every salvation was exciting. What was even better about them is that every person that stood came because of someone who brought them to Flood. Most, if not all, were first-time visitors to PFB when they surrendered to Christ. AWESOME!!!

Here is how you pray for me this week:

1). Please pray for FLOOD (Wednesday night worship service). This week Megan Fate is teaching at Flood. She is used powerfully by Jesus to communicate his word to this next generation. Please be praying for her.

2). I will be teaching at a retreat for San Juan Capistrano Christian School from Wednesday through Friday up at Forest Home.

3). I will be teaching at the Christian Club at Glendora High School on Thursday.

4). I will be teaching this Sunday morning to the most amazing high schoolers on the planet at PFB Church.

Thank you so much for your prayers. Praising Jesus with you this week for what Jesus is up to.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

PSALM 145 - It's That Good!

"1 I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. 2 Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. 3 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. 4 One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. 5 On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. 6 They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness. 7 They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness. 8 The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 9 The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made. 10 All your works shall give thanks to you, O LORD, and all your saints shall bless you! 11They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom and tell of your power, 12 to make known to the children of man yourmighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. 13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations.[The LORD is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works.] 14 The LORDupholds all who are falling andraises up all who are bowed down. 15 The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. 16 You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing. 17 The LORD isrighteous in all his ways and kind in all his works. 18 The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 19 He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them. 20 The LORDpreserves all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. 21My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD, and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever." (ESV)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Prayer Update for this Week...

Here is how you can be praying for me:

  • Today, Wednesday, and Thursday, myself and the interview team are interviewing candidates for the lead high school and discipleship pastor position.  Please pray for God's guidance in this process.

  • Please pray for me as I finish up our vision series on Wednesday night.  God has been doing amazing things and I'm convinced that this vision is his working.  If you can join us, please do.

  • This Sunday morning I will be teaching the high schoolers at PFB Church.

Thank you.  I know that it's a quick update but I'm on my way to a meeting.  :) Thank you again for all that you do for me.  You're a blessing.

Have You Settled?

"And in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the year that he began to reign, graciously freed Jehoiachin king of Judah from prison.  And he spoke kindly to him and gave him a seat above the seats of the kings who were with him in Babylon.  So Jehoiachin put off his prison garments.  And every day of his life he dined regularly at the king's table, and for his allowance, a regular allowance was given him by the king, according to his daily needs, as long as he lived." — 2 Kings 25:27-30, ESV

This sounds like an incredible act of deliverance.  Imagine, at one moment you're king of Judah (or queen if you're a lady reading this).  Then next, you're a prisoner in the prisons of the nation that conquered you.  That's such a drastic change.  Not only that, while you're in prison, your whole nation has been taken captive and now lives under the rule of another.  You're in captivity.

Then one day, you're released by the king.  Evil-merodach.  His name may sound like the name of a character in a Star Wars movie, but it doesn't matter—you're free!!! He releases you from prison.  He gives you new clothes, probably pretty costly.  Of course, the quality of the clothes that you receive doesn't really matter since you've been wearing prison clothes for so long.  Anything else would be outstanding.  On top of that (getting new clothes), you also dine with the king daily at his table for dinner, which means you get the best of the best in fine cuisine.  On top of that, you get a regular allowance given by the king.  The lottery hasn't even been invented yet but you feel like you've won it.  It's the jackpot that everyone wants to hit.

All is well.  You may even thank God like a celebrity who doesn't really know him but only that he/she doesn't want to mess up the good luck that he/she is experiencing.  And you live out the rest of your days free.  Except for this fact: YOU'RE NOT FREE!!!! You're still in captivity.

Have you settled for the comfortable while never experiencing freedom? Have you enjoyed the "care" of sin and the Enemy so much so that true freedom is not even a desire anymore? As I read this passage a few days ago, I was so humbled.  As I read it again this morning I asked myself this question: "Is there anything in my life that shows that I have opted out of freedom in Christ for the comfortable world of complacency and pleasure?"

Have you exchanged the freedom that is found in a relationship with Christ for a level of comfort that keeps you fat and happy the rest of your life? In Christ, I'm free to NOT sin.  I'm free to serve Jesus.  I'm free to experience true life rather than settling for a facade.  I'm free to enjoy God and to be enjoyed by him.  I'm free to accept Christ's mission for my life.  I'm forgiven.  I'm free to bring glory to Jesus.  I'm free to laugh.  I'm free to play.  I'm free to serve others.  I'm free to be real and honest, raw in the realities of my life and the weaknesses of my soul.  I'm free to roam in this adventure that Christ invites me to join him on.  I'M FREE!!! And there are "dangers" and frustrations along the way, but I would rather be completely free to live, with opposition, rather than comfortable and dying.

Have you settled?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

God is Great!

I was reading from Revelation 15 this morning and came across this song of heaven:

"Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations! Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed" (Revelation 15:3-4, ESV).

Usually I would expand on the passage. Not this time. I just think it needs to soak in and take over us so that our lives are changed.

May our praise and worship of Jesus today ring as true and majestic as this.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

God is GREAT! How's Your Praise?

"Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised..." — Psalm 48:1

"God is great.  God is good.  Let us thank him for our food.  Amen."  Do you remember saying this? This is one of the first prayers that I remember learning.  And honestly: I believe that God loved hearing me pray that prayer when I was little.  However, I do not believe that God would enjoy hearing me pray this prayer today.  Now some would argue, "If you truly meant it from your heart then he would love."  To that I agree.  I do believe that God listens to our hearts before listening to the utterances of our vocal chords.  However, by now, in my walk with Jesus, my heart should be screaming out more than that early prayer prayed before eating.

So after reading the Psalm 48:1 this morning, I had to ask myself, "Do I praise Jesus greatly? Do I offer him praise that is worthy of who he is?" And when I ask myself questions like that, I automatically start thinking about how I need to step it up.  I need to get more intense in my praise of Jesus.  But maybe it's not like that.  The fact that God is great is a truth proclaimed throughout Scripture.  However, have I personally owned the fact that God is great? Have I seen God's greatness first-hand or am I just going through the motions of trying to praise him greatly because he's great (which honestly, I should praise him greatly simply because he is great)? And when I ask myself that question, I can say that God is amazingly great.  What he has done in me is amazing.  What he has done through me is unbelievable.  What he has blessed me with is undeserved.  What he has saved me from is unimaginable.  What he has in store for me is beyond imagination.  God truly is great.  So, my praise of Jesus is based on his greatness because simply put, he is great.  Even if he were to do nothing else for me or with me, he would still be great.  However, the personal aspects of God's workings in my life bring about the personal relationship with him that point me to deeper places, seeing his greatness even more.  Combine the fact that God is great in and of himself, and the fact that he has worked greatly in my life, and I cannot help but praise him greatly.

So if tomorrow you enter into your normal routine of praise to Jesus as you attend a worship service, you may need to check yourself.  There's nothing normal about Jesus.  There's nothing mediocre about him.  Look over your life.  Look forward to what's to come.  Even in the midst of suffering and hurt, look over what you have come through so far and realize that it is Jesus getting you through it.  Honestly: if you're coming to Jesus with a routine, you're probably not praising him greatly.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010


IT'S COMING!!!! Do not miss this!!!!!!!!

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/15012014]

Monday, September 13, 2010

God's True Desire for the "Wicked"

Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live? — Ezekiel 18:23, ESV

Shouldn't God's desires be ours? Shouldn't we be striving to have the same passions and wants as the God that we claim to follow and serve? Isn't it amazing how quick we are to set ourselves up against the people that we don't like and make them out to be people that God doesn't love? An example: If you're a republican, God is against the democrats.  If you're a democrat, he's against the republicans.  Realize this: God is against sin.  Some would say, "Exactly.  That's what I'm saying."  However, to say that and then be okay with other people of different groups/religions/cultures, etc... pass by without Christ and be okay with their separation from God proves that you do not have the heart of God.  As Christians, our hearts should be after the same things as Jesus' heart.  What is his preference? That the "wicked" would come to him and live.  That's his preference.  That's his desire.  He does not take delight in the death of those who do not know him.  Do I? Do you? If so, shame on us.

Prayer Update

Here is my prayer update for this week.  Thank you so much:

  • Wednesday Night @ PFB. We are starting a tw0-week series on the vision that God has given us for the next gen ministry at PFB Church.  This week we look at the key vision statement that we are about: "We exist to exalt Jesus as the greatest - one life at a time."  I am SO stinkin' pumped up for the message on Wednesday night (I know I say this every week but it's true.  Besides, it seems better to be pumped up rather than bored to tears).  After the night that we had last Wednesday night (click here to read all about it), I can't wait to see what God has in store for us this week.

  • This Thursday, I am speaking in chapel at Western Christian High School.  This is where I went to school (different campus of course) for junior high and high school, so it is fun to be able to invest back into Western and the students there.  God hasn't given me his message for this group yet.  Please pray that when he is speaking to me, that I hear him and then am faithful to teach his message.

  • On Saturday, I get the honor of performing a wedding for Jonathan Maloof and Danielle Parke.  I have had such an amazing time with this couple during our pre-marital sessions and just hanging out.  This is one of those weddings that makes me so happy to get to officiate.

  • On Sunday, I teach the high schoolers at PFB.  These students are unbelievable.  Seriously! I have been "bringin' it" pretty hard lately with them, and they are responding amazingly well.  We had a great time yesterday morning.  Please pray that God continues to speak to this group of students.

  • Please pray as we continue forward in our search for the next lead high school pastor here at PFB.  It's a busy time with interviews while at the same time working in the high school and college ministries for the time being.

It's a pretty full week this week.  I love you all.  Thanks for being so faithful to pray for me.  I don't have the words to show my appreciation.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thoughts About Wednesday...

Last night we had an all-praise and worship event at PFB Wednesday Nights.  A lot of prayer and planning went into this event.  We were so excited for what was going to happen.  The only thing: we never planned for what did happen. :)

7:00pm - People came in ready to BRING IT for Jesus.  They praised Jesus through the first song.  I then went up to share with them information about the evening.  After that, Calli came up and read Isaiah 6:1-8 (which by the way is the passage that I'm preaching next week at Wednesday nights to introduce our two-week series on our vision for the ministry - DO NOT MISS IT!!!!).  As she stepped off the stage, the band started into the next song of praise.  About four measures into it, this deep and overwhelmingly loud noise came out from the speakers.  It overwhelmed everything.  Our sound-guy rebooted the system and it still rang throughout the worship center.  So, we worshipped Jesus OLD SCHOOL!!! And let me tell you: I haven't been to a worship service like that EVER!!! A worship center that holds 2,000 people with no sound system was filled with abundant praise and worship to Jesus.  I'm not exaggerating:  I have NEVER been to a worship service like that.

We had prayed that Jesus would be glorified.  We had prayed that he would be the only one noticed.  We had prayed that the Holy Spirit would have his way.  AND HE SHUT OFF THE SOUND SYSTEM FOR THE FIRST HOUR TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.  And as we continued in worship, I went up on stage and shared this passage that I sensed the Holy Spirit putting in my mind:  "'Be still and know that I am God.  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!' The LORD of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our fortress" (Psalm 46:10-11, ESV). God stilled us.  He was exalted in Pomona, California.  And he reminded us all of this: He is with us.

As we continued to worship, I received the following text from a recent high school graduate who is living in Alaska, following Jesus' leading on her life, who was watching the live stream of the service on her computer.  Here's what she wrote:  "Such a great night of worship! I'm so gald I am able to watch it.  God does things like taking away the sound system for a reason and I love it.  Usually I can't connect to watch it but tonight it worked :D." After the worship service, I received the following email:

"Hi Brian:
My wife and I watch the service from home every Wednesday.  It is hard for us to be at service so praise GOD for the video stream.

"Tonigh's worship was such a blessing.  When the sound system went into self-destruct my wife and I prayed the LORD would be glorified.  At that point the mics over the house picked up the voices of God's people in full-on glorious worship! We feel God wanted to hear HIS people's voices in pure worship.

"If the enemy was trying to spoil the night it was a no go as we were all blessed beyond anything we could have imagined.

"The entire Wednesday Night team is in our prayers.  We see the LORD doing a mighty work."

Then, after I got home, I started looking through Facebook to see status updates from those who attended.  THERE WERE FAR TOO MANY FOR ME TO TYPE OUT HERE THAT WERE ABSOLUTELY BLOWN AWAY BY THE MOVING OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD!!!!!

So, last night, God screwed up our schedule.  He messed up our event.  He replaced it with a true encounter with the Living God.  Some of you may ask, "How do you know it was a holy encounter with the Living God?" Here's how:

  • High school girl text me this: "I'm so so glad I was there. I learned one of the most important lessons I've ever learned today. Wow! :D God is moving"

  • A young man named Eric came forward and asked me to pray with him.  I prayed for him to completely surrender to Christ.  He didn't ask for that (in fact, he didn't know what he wanted me to pray for).  When I was finished, there were tears in his eye and joy on his face.

  • A young man named Joshua surrendered his life to Christ and is supposed to be getting baptized on the first Wednesday of October.

  • The prayer team was praying with large groups of people at times throughout the night.

GOD WAS AT WORK! He started with the sound system off.  Later on, he turned it back on and we just kept on going.  But in all of it: Jesus was exalted and salvation visited PFB Church.  All praise be to Jesus.

My Wednesday night peeps: YOU ALL ARE AMAZING!!! And remember: the best is yet to come.  I love you all.  Get ready for the ride of a lifetime.

What a ride,

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Prayer Update for This Week

Here are the ways that you can be praying for me this week:

1).  Please pray for tonight at PFB.  We have an all-praise and worship night called, "The Calling" tonight.  These nights have always been so powerful.

2).  Tomorrow night I drive out to L.A. to speak to APU grad students.  I am a part-time chaplain for the L.A. campus of Azusa Pacific, and this is my first time to hang with the students this year.  Please pray.

3).  On Saturday I am officiating at a funeral service.  I'm meeting with the family in about 15 minutes to go over the details of the memorial service.  Please pray for me as I prepare as well as to preach what God wants me to preach on Saturday.

4).  This Sunday morning I am teaching the most amazing group of high school students at PFB.  I would truly appreciate your prayers.

Thank you so much.  I think that's it for now.  Take care.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Update from Wednesday Night...

Where in the heck am I supposed to begin? I will do my best.

  • We finished up the series called, "Moxie" - a study on boldness.  We look at having boldness to BE the Church, boldness to COME to God and together, and finished up with boldness to GO after the lost.  POWERFUL SERIES!!! Seriously!!! We had people come forward last night, filling out a card to commit to being committed to GOING OUT on their campuses/workplaces/neighborhoods for Jesus.

  • We baptized three people last night.  We planned on one, prepared for two and dunked three.  The last guy didn't plan it and went in his clothes.  He went home wet.  SO AWESOME!!!!

  • I spoke with a man who was watching the service online.  While watching it he felt the need to come to the church.  So he walked to the church and said that he was supposed to speak with me.  So after the worship service, we got a chance to talk.  I asked  what he was supposed to talk to me about and he said, "I don't know."  Honestly, it's a tough thing to go onto the next part of a conversation when the initiator of that conversation doesn't know what we're supposed to talk about.  So I asked if he knew Jesus.  He said that he had known God all of his life.  So I talked to him about the need to make a real decision for Jesus because we aren't born into a relationship with God.  I told him that Jesus was the only way, and he said, "If the name for God is Jesus, I'm fine with that."  I told him about how there is salvation only through Christ.  He proclaimed Christ as his Lord right there.  I then prayed over him with James Braum, proclaiming freedom and liberty from those addictions that he was struggling with.  WE PRAYED BIG!!!! As he walked away, I stopped and thanked Jesus for the technology that is used at PFB to reach people, and the tech crew that makes it happen.  This man came to Jesus because he was watching the service online and felt the need to come to the church.  AWESOME!!!

  • I had two people come up and tell me that they want to get baptized the next time we have a service (which is the first Wednesday of October if you want to join us).

God is at work.  He is on the move and I am blown away.  But it's only just begun.  The best is yet to come.  Thank you for praying.