Friday, December 31, 2010

Detailed Creativity

Genesis 1, the account of Creation, reveals God's detailed creativity. It shows how creative God was in creating everything that he put on the earth (not to mention everything that is in the universe) while also revealing his detailed nature in separating the expanse and creating light and dark, sun and moon (both have a purpose in governing day and night). It's an incredible reminder: God created the artist and the scientist because he is the ultimate of both. One is not greater than the other. Rather, both are of God to bring glory to God. Right brained. Left brained. Creative. Logical. All by God and for God to reveal and glorify God.


I read this from "Morning and Evening" devotional by Charles Spurgeon. It absolutely blew my mind.

"Continue in prayer."
Colossians 4:2

It is interesting to remark how large a portion of Sacred Writ is occupied with the subject of prayer, either in furnishing examples, enforcing precepts, or pronouncing promises. We scarcely open the Bible before we read, "Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord;" and just as we are about to close the volume, the "Amen" of an earnest supplication meets our ear. Instances are plentiful. Here we find a wrestling Jacob--there a Daniel who prayed three times a day--and a David who with all his heart called upon his God. On the mountain we see Elias; in the dungeon Paul and Silas. We have multitudes of commands, and myriads of promises. What does this teach us, but the sacred importance and necessity of prayer? We may be certain that whatever God has made prominent in His Word, He intended to be conspicuous in our lives. If He has said much about prayer, it is because He knows we have much need of it. So deep are our necessities, that until we are in heaven we must not cease to pray. Dost thou want nothing? Then, I fear thou dost not know thy poverty. Hast thou no mercy to ask of God? Then, may the Lord's mercy show thee thy misery! A prayerless soul is a Christless soul. Prayer is the lisping of the believing infant, the shout of the fighting believer, the requiem of the dying saint falling asleep in Jesus. It is the breath, the watchword, the comfort, the strength, the honour of a Christian. If thou be a child of God, thou wilt seek thy Father's face, and live in thy Father's love. Pray that this year thou mayst be holy, humble, zealous, and patient; have closer communion with Christ, and enter oftener into the banqueting-house of His love. Pray that thou mayst be an example and a blessing unto others, and that thou mayst live more to the glory of thy Master. The motto for this year must be, 'Continue in prayer.'"

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Update for Challenge 2011

Hey FLOOD Family,
I've been looking over the Bible reading plans on and I believe that I'll be making one change. I'll still be doing "Morning and Evening," but instead of the Life Journal Reading Plan, I'm going to be committing to the ESV Study Bible Plan.

Just felt I should let you know. What are you committing to? Share it below in the comments.

Challenge for 2011

Hey Flood,
I know what you're thinking. Well actually, I have no clue what you're thinking, but here's my challenge for you.

Let's read through the Bible this year. Let's make a commitment to spend time in God's word every day. It is absolutely vital for us to hear God speak into our lives as much as possible.

This is a spiritual discipline that is brought up around this time ever year. Well, I'm joining the bandwagon on this one.

So you know that I'm not asking you to do anything that I'm not willing to do, I have signed up for two reading plans for 2011 on

1). Life Journal Reading Plan. This plan will take me through the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice in 2011.

2). Morning and Evening. This is a daily devotional from the thoughts and writings of Charles Spurgeon that I will read, one in the morning and one in the evening.

Again, I do not tell you what I will be doing to brag. In fact, this will be a struggle for me. I have never done well with a "reading plan" in the past but I feel the need to do this and to remain committed to it (and please check in with me to keep me accountable to this commitment). I share this with you to show that I am committing to do exactly what I am challenging you to do.

Will you do it? If so, go to, set up an account and pick a reading plan (or use whatever you want to that keeps you committed to tis challenge). Then tell me in the space for comments below what plan you are committing to so that I can be praying for you as you start this life-changing experience.

I love you guys and am so thankful tht Jesus has called me to be your pastor.

What a ride,

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Peace for the Storm

Here's the verse that I read in "Christian Atheist" today that stopped me in my tracks and reminded me of God's goodness in the crisis:

"Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:6,7; NLT

It does not say that by praying God will automatically take away every pain and trial. It says that his peace will guard our hearts and minds as we face the trial. This is huge. Reminds me that peace is not the absence of crisis but rather the presence of Christ (Clayton King).

Monday, December 27, 2010

Update and Prayer (12/27/2010)

Hi all,
Here's what's going on this week:

I am away hanging with family for Christmas.  It's a much needed break for us and are looking forward to it.

This weekend (12/31-1/2), I am speaking up in the San Jose area to the English speaking members of a Chinese congregation for their annual retreat.  I always enjoy this time and am looking forward to it.

That's it.  No FLOOD worship service in the worship center at PFB but instead we are going to take FLOOD out of the worship center and to those in need.

Thank you for praying.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Be Ready For Anything

"And when the soles of the feet of the priests bearing the art of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off from flowing and the waters coming down from above shall stand in one heap." — Joshua 3:13, ESV

We see in Joshua 3:15 that the Jordan river at this time was at flood stage.  Yet, here is what God says that they are going to do.  They are going to cross it.  Every single person that was there with Joshua would be crossing the Jordan at the most dangerous time of year.

Here's what I wonder: what were the priests who carried the ark thinking? Honestly, to cross a river carrying a huge box seems like a physical challenge for Navy Seals.  Yet, this is exactly what they were told they were going to do.  But here's the difference: when their first toe touched the water, the river would be held back.  And so what did they do? They picked up the ark and walked into the river seeing the miraculous happen.

Understand this: the ark of the covenant was the representation of the presence of God for the people of Israel.  The priests walked with the representation of God's presence and the people saw the difference that God's presence made.  They saw the miraculous because God was with them.  He did for them what he had done for the ancestors at the Red Sea.  They got to see it first-hand instead of just hearing about it.

So here's the main thing that hit me as I read this passage: Be ready for anything.  Be ready for the crazy things that God will ask you to do WITH him.  He did not tell the Israelites to cross the Jordan by themselves.  Rather, he made it very clear to take the ark of the covenant and to send that ahead of the people to accomplish the miraculous before the people.  The priests that carried the ark had the best seats for the miraculous.  They saw the river completely stop as they walked with in God.  They experienced what no one else in that huge moving city of people got to experience.

So be ready for anything.  Since God can do the impossible, and we are walking with him, we will run into impossible situations.  And as scary as this can be, the best part about it is that we have the best view of the miraculous.  Be ready for anything.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My FLOOD Christmas Wish

"I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you.  For we have heard how then LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites..." — Joshua 2:9-10a, ESV

Who is saying this? Who is this being said to? Rahab, the prostitute in Jericho, is saying this to the two spies that Joshua sent into Jericho to check out the land.  SIDE NOTE: Isn't that a crazy idea for the two spies to wind up in the home of a prostitute? It is, unless you think about how strangers would normally go into the home of a prostitute.  This would have been the perfect cover.  It's crazy to think of how creative God will get to protect his kids.

Notice the two things that she said...

1).  She had heard about the miraculous that God had accomplished.  In fact, she wasn't the only one to hear about it.  She said, "...we have heard...", implying that the whole city had heard about it.  The account of God splitting the Red Sea when the Israelites left Egypt had made it across the Jordan to the ears of those in Jericho.

2).  She had heard about the victories of the Israelites.  She mentions how she had heard about all of the victories that the Israelites had experienced.

As I read through this passage, I thought about how I want this same reputation most for FLOOD.  I want everyone around us to hear about God accomplishing the miraculous in and through this ministry.  I want his reputation to be the first thing that comes to the minds of anyone who hears about FLOOD.  Secondly, I want everyone around to hear about the people that make up FLOOD and the victory that they are experiencing.  I am well aware of the fact that any victory that I have is because of God's work in me, but I also know that those who don't know Jesus will look at me to see if there is any difference in the fact that I know Jesus.  My life is the greatest testimony of God's power.  So I want myself, and everyone who is part of the FLOOD family, to be an incredible and powerful testimony of God's work.

This is my Christmas wish this year for FLOOD.  And looking at the people that God has already brought in, and the things that he is already doing, I believe my Christmas wish will come true in a way that is beyond what I had only imagined.  Get ready, FLOOD:  the best is truly yet to come.

Monday, December 20, 2010

6 More Months

Thank you all for praying for Kelley today.  The tests came back showing that the thyroid-globulin levels in Kelley are undetectable.  That means - no thyroid cancer cells in her body.  We are thanking Jesus.  The doctor did want Kelley to come back in six months for another ultrasound (and her regular six-month check) because of a couple spots that he saw that he's not sure of, but doesn't believe that they are anything to worry about.  We will call on Wednesday and talk to another doctor to see what he thinks about those spots.

So that's where we are at.  We are so thankful to Jesus for how he has brought us through and shown his sovereignty in this whole situation.  Thank you for your prayers.

Prayer Update For This Week

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

1). This morning, Kelley and I are driving to USC Medical Center to get the results for Kelley's blood work to see if she is still clear of Thyroid Cancer.  Our desire: NO MORE!!!! :) As I'm typing this, I'm reminded of God's sovereignty and what he has done these past four years through this process.  So let me also give him thanks for all that he has done.  He truly is amazing.  I will post the results when we get them.  Our appointment is at 11:30 this morning.

2).  This Wednesday night I am finishing up our Christmas series at FLOOD called, "The Reason."  The topic for Wednesday night: PRINCE OF PEACE!!! I'm praying and trusting that it's going to be a powerful evening.  Join us at 7pm at PFB Church (601 N. Garey Ave, Pomona, 91767) or watch it live online if you can't join us in person (

If you want to catch up on this powerful series, click the links below to watch the messages online:
1).  Wonderful Counselor
2).  Mighty God
3).  Everlasting Father

Thank you for your prayers.  You are more of a blessing to me and mine than I can ever put into words.

My Reputation

"After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses' assitant, 'Moses my servant is dead...'" — Joshua 1:1, ESV

What's my reputation? I know that as some read this they will say, "It doesn't matter what people think about you.  It all comes down to what Jesus thinks about you."  I agree, to an extent.  Look at the reputation that Moses had according to the writer of the book of Joshua: the servant of the LORD.  Then look at what God himself says about Moses: my servant.  The reputations lined up perfectly.  But just because they line up perfectly does not mean that I lived a life for Jesus.  If I claim Christ while being a jerk, both God and others will say that I was a jerk and in no way is that honoring to Jesus.

To God, Moses was his servant.  And when you look at Moses' life and leadership, he truly was a servant of God.  He lived his life in such a way that God knew that Moses was about him.  To the people, Moses was a servant of God.  The people saw Moses living in such a way that his service to God could not be separated from his person.  They lined up perfectly.  And I can only imagine that with 2 million people under Moses' leadership there were many that did not like him —always finding ways to critique every step that he took.  But nonetheless, no one could argue over the fact that Moses was God's man.

I pray that I would be able to live my life so that others know what I'm about, that God states it for ages to come that I was about him, and that I truly was a faithful disciple of Jesus.  Oh how I pray that they line up.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tyler "Claus"

Tyler played Santa in his 1st Grade Christmas Production on Tuesday night.  I never knew that he had it in him.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

When's The Last Time You Asked?

"The LORD has an indictment against Judah and will punish Jacob according to his ways; he will repay him according to his deeds." — Hosea 12:2, ESV

When is the last time that you asked? It can become so easy to remember that I'm forgiven by Jesus that I neglect to ask this question of him on a regular basis.  What question?

What sin is in me that I have not confessed to you? Please reveal to me my rebellion so that I can repent from it.

As Christians, we need to be asking Jesus if there is anything in our lives that he does not like so that we can repent of them.  We need to ask him on a regular basis if there is anything in our lives that has control of us rather him.  I believe that I'm forgiven completely, because of Jesus.  However, I do not want anything to get in the way of my intimacy with my Savior.

You may say, "I'm a child of God.  I don't need to ask that anymore.  He loves me."  You are right about the last part of that statement.  In Hosea, God has an indictment that he brings against HIS PEOPLE.  Just because you have surrendered to Jesus does not mean that you are perfect.  You're in process (sanctification).  You haven't arrived.  If you're reading this and disagree with that statement, you are the one to be most pitied (read Romans 7:15-25 to be reminded of the battle that you still wage).

Christians: Ask Jesus today the question above.  Then sit quietly and wait for the answer.  He will reveal.  He will punish.  He will discipline.  But realize: he will only do this because he absolutely loves you and knows that the goal of sin is to completely destroy you.  We do have an amazing God that we follow.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Update and Prayer (12/13/2010)

Good morning, all.

I first wanted to thank you for praying.  This past week has been ABSOLUTELY MIND-BLOWING!  On Wednesday night we saw four students come to Jesus.  On Sunday morning at the 11:11 service, we saw 3 people raise their hands to surrender to Jesus.  AWESOME!!! God is doing awesome things.  I'm so glad that you and I get to be part of it.  Thank you for how you've been praying.

Here's how you can pray for me this week:

1).  This Wednesday night I'm teaching part 3 of "The Reason" at FLOOD - "Everlasting Father."  This is going to be a powerful message.  The key point: God is faithful even when all hell breaks loose.  If you know of anyone who is going through some really tough stuff, pray for them.  Also, invite them to be part of FLOOD this Wednesday night at 7pm (either in person or to watch live online at  I am praying for HUGE LIFE CHANGE to happen.

2).  On Sunday morning I get to teach the most amazing high schoolers on the planet at PFB Church.  I absolutely love my time with them.

3).  This Sunday morning I am teaming up to teach at the 11:11 service at PFB with Andy Shoemaker and Pastor Glenn.  OH MY GOODNESS!!! I'm thinking we need to find a commercial contractor to get ready because I believe that Jesus is going to tear the roof off of that place.

Love you all.  Thank you for praying.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Update from FLOOD... SALVATION CAME!!!

This is a quick update to thank you for praying last night.  GOD MOVED AND TORE US UP!!!! I called people to surrender to Jesus and four young ladies stood up to surrender to Jesus.  The amazing thing: all of these girls were brought by FLOOD members who have a heart to see people come to Jesus.  I was absolutely blown away.  Thank you for praying.  Heaven exploded last night with the sound of salvation.

"Love Came Down"

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Who am I? [Part 3]

Tychicus will tell you all about my activities.  He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. — Colossians 4:7

I am a prideful man.  It is so easy for me to actually walk around with an attitude of superiority.  Think about it: I'm a pastor.  WOW! I mean, I am Jesus Jr in the flesh.  And that's a horrible place to think that I am.

In all honestly, God has to constantly humble and humiliate me to remind me that I'm JUST BRIAN (remember Paul's confession of this 2 Corinthians 12:7-10).  I'm not above anyone else.  I'm not superior to anyone else.  I am a fellow servant.  Here's what it means to me:

FELLOW - Just like everyone else.  I have a specific call on my life, given to me by Jesus.  The thing is this: so does every single Christian on the planet.  My call is no greater or less than anyone else's call.  The value of the call is not found in the activity that is connected to the call but rather the fact that I am called by Jesus for something.  The value of my call is found in the value of the one who calls me to it.  And the same can be said of every single follower of Jesus.

SERVANT - When it comes down to it, I'm a servant of Jesus.  I don't sit in some plush position with a sweet office and special perks that come with the gold membership.  I am a servant of the King of the universe.  Jesus is the one who is to be noticed.  Jesus is the one who is to be exalted.  Jesus is the one that people actually need to see.  My job: do whatever is necessary to give them a perfect view of the Son of God.  And honestly, the best way to give them the best view of Jesus is to get out of the way.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Who am I? [Part 2]

Tychicus will tell you all about my activities.  He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. — Colossians 4:7, ESV

When Jesus called me and I surrendered my life to him, I became a son of God.  I became a member of God's family.  However, with that call to surrender to Jesus and become part of God's family, I have also received a call to be part of God's mission.  I have a specific purpose on this planet, which honestly gets me so jacked up.  I'm so pumped up about getting to do what I do.  However, the key to that call is Jesus.  I am called to be a faithful minister.  The key idea behind being faithful is this: I am called to be faithful to Jesus. It's his opinion that I am truly concerned about.  It's his view of me that actually should consume my mind.

It is easy to fall into the trap of being faithful according to every other person's expectations of me.  The only problem with that is this: I can't be truly faithful to Jesus if I'm trying to be faithful to everyone around me.  If I start with faithfulness toward others, I will ultimately fail someone else and fail Jesus.  However, if I start with faithfulness to Christ, I will ultimately fail someone else (because I will not be meeting their expectations perfectly) but I will be applauded by Jesus.  And that is the key for me.

I long to hear Jesus say to me one day, "Well done."  I LONG for that.  The price that I must be willing to pay in order to hear those words is to be willing to take the ridicule and critiques of others who don't like not having control of me.  It will cost me possessions and comfort.  It will cost me safety and complacency.  I will not be able to just sit and wait for heaven.  But think about how much different things would be if every Christian truly desired to live their lives in such a way to hear Jesus say, "Well done."  We'd be less focused on us and more on Jesus, resulting in being more focused on others.  My wife would be loved better.  My kids would be cared for better.  The broken, needy, oppressed, poor, etc... would be helped better.  The world would look so different if we really strived to be faithful to Jesus above all else.

Jesus - help me be faithful to you above all.

Monday, December 6, 2010

May I Please Be Like This at 91 Years Old

Prayer Update for This Week...

Well, Prayer Team - It's time time again.  Thank you in advance for praying for me this week.  Here are the opportunities that Jesus has given me to teach this week.

  1. Tonight I am speaking at the first ever Graduate Chapel at Azusa Pacific University.  It's a time set aside for students in the graduate program at APU to get away for about 30-minutes and worship Jesus.  I would appreciate your prayers tonight as I teach.
  2. I am speaking this Wednesday night at FLOOD.  It is week two of our Christmas series called, "THE REASON."  This message is going to be SO STINKIN' POWERFUL! Please pray for life-change to happen.
  3. Sunday morning I get to teach the high schoolers at PFB Church.  These students are unbelievable! Seriously, I think that they are some of the toughest people on  the planet.  Every week they come, we all get jacked up by the Bible and and then we go home.  The thing is this: THEY KEEP COMING BACK FOR MORE!!! I love these students so much.
  4. This Sunday morning I get to teach at the 11:11 service at PFB Church.  I'm praying for life-change to happen and for God to move in a way that he has NEVER MOVED BEFORE since the creation of time.
That's about it.  But, if you could also pray for our Christmas Outreach this weekend at PFB I would really appreciate it.  Thousands of people will come onto our campus and hear about Jesus this weekend.  

Thank you so much for praying.  I love you all.  

Who am I? [PART 1]

Tychicus will tell you all about my activities.  He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. — Colossians 4:7, ESV

Before I am a pastor I am a brother.  The NIV translates it as, "He is a dear brother..."  Tychicus was loved.  He was not just a hired gun to go and do his work.  Rather, he was a dearly loved member of the family.  He belonged to a group that valued and loved him.

Isn't it crazy how we want so very much to belong.  We want to have a place where "everybody knows your name" (shout-out for all you "Cheers" fans).  Why? Because we want to feel valued.  We want to know that this world would actually be a lot different if we weren't here.  We want to be part of something greater than ourselves.

Understand this: if you're a follower of Jesus, you are a dearly loved member of the family.  I needed to be reminded this morning that I am first and foremost not a pastor but a brother.  I am first and foremost a member of God's family, not just a worker for his family.  And I am valuable.  How can I know this? The cross is God's evidence of the value that I have in his eyes.  The transaction of eternity was paid for with the precious blood of Jesus.  I am the beloved of God.  I am a dearly loved brother in God's family.

If you're wondering who you are, start with the fact that you are dearly loved.  Not only that, you're family.  Olive Garden ("When you're here, you're family") has nothing on the church when we actually live as if we're family.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I had a young man come up to me last night after FLOOD to share with me that God had really spoken to him during the message.  I asked him to send me what happened so that you too could be blessed by what he experienced.  Keep on praying.

"I just want to say how awesome it was tonight how God used you to change my heart during your sermon of ways God speaks to us.  See, I haven't even had my ears really open at all to him for several weeks.  And I let my heart turn cold to other people and just went through the motions of my life.  I've been skipping going to church on Sundays, skipping going to the gym, and putting off important things that I should be doing and instead sticking to spending time pretty much doing nothing or meaningless activities.

"With a mindset and living like that of course I felt miserable and empty.  I wanted a quick fix from Jesus, however I still didn't really want to listen to what he wanted from me.  But tonight he decided to speak straight to me and told me through your message to listen to him and I immediately felt a warmth in my heart of God's love that felt like walking inside to a warm house from a cold winter night, and I remembered all of the things I was putting off and ignoring that God wanted me to do.  It's amazing how even though I pushed him away he still wants a relationship for me and will overcome my bitterness and laziness with his love."

I was so blessed by this.  I pray that you are as well.


We started a new series last night called, "THE REASON."  The key verse for this four-week series is this:

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. — Isaiah 9:6, ESV)

Last night's topic: Wonderful Counselor.  The main point of the message: How to know when it is God that is speaking to you.

At the end of the message I called people to the following:
1).  Salvation
2).  Baptism

When I offered salvation, no one stood up so I moved on to inviting people to get baptized.  The thing is that we didn't have anyone scheduled to get baptized but we still make it available every month trusting that God will work.  As I went on to explain baptism, a high school girl stood up proclaiming to everyone there that she was surrendering to Jesus.  The place went nuts.  I was so excited.

After that, we went back into worship and I went and got ready for baptism.  Not sure how many would be coming (or if anyone would be coming up), I was excited to learn that four people were wanting to get baptized.  We had a mom and her two daughters come up for baptism.  And then, the high school girl who surrendered to Jesus came up and got baptized as well.

God is on the move at FLOOD.  Last night left me speechless.  It's during those times when I don't know what to say that I know that it was truly Jesus doing something.

Thank you for praying.  Keep it up.  God is on the move and it is blowing me away.

PS - When the baptism video is ready to show, I will post it here.