Monday, January 31, 2011

Update and Prayer...


I want to thank you for praying for me last week.


  1. FLOOD last Wednesday night was explosive (click here to read all that God did that night).  In short, we saw 6 people stand and surrender their lives to Jesus.  We have spent three weeks in the book of James and God is absolutely tearing us up as we go through it.  But it's a good thing: in order for God to make us more and more into the likeness of Jesus, he has to first completely destroy us so that we can be made brand new.
  2. On Sunday morning God had something to say to the people of PFB.  Oh my goodness it was a great morning.
  3. On Sunday night I spoke to the D-Group (discipleship group) Leaders at Azusa Pacific University.  The topic was prayer.  Again, the Holy Spirit showed up and taught us all what he expects from us in prayer.  Such a powerful time.
  1. On Wednesday night at FLOOD I am continuing through the book of James.  Please be praying as I prep and pray my way through this next part of James.  We are also having baptisms this week at FLOOD.  No one is signed up for baptism as of yet, but we are again trusting Jesus to show up and do something amazing through this.
  2. On Friday I drive up to speak to the Intervarsity group up at UC Merced.  I've never had the opportunity to teach up there at UC Merced and am so excited about the opportunity.
Thank you again for your constant support.  I know I always say it, but it's all that I can do.  Thank you for all that you do for me in partnering with me in this ministry.  I love you all.

         What a ride,

Celebrate Your Inadequacy

"And [Jesus] withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, 'Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me.  Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.'  And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him." — Luke 22:43, ESV

What was that angel thinking? What was going through the mind of that one angel who had been given the ministry to strengthen the Almighty One? In heaven, we do not get a picture of angels worshipping God so that God is strengthened.  Rather, we see angels worshipping God because he is all strength.  So what was this angel thinking? Was he nervous? Did he seem inexperienced for the task set before him, to minister to God? He had not been "trained" for this, but he had been sent for this very purpose.

And yet the very same thing is true of us.  We are trained for what we are called to do for Jesus.  For those of you who read that last sentence and disagree, that is proof that you have grown to rely on your own "abilities" rather than on Jesus.  I am not trained for the supernatural.  Before God calls me to the miraculous and supernatural tasks that he has for me to do, I'm not trained.  However, because I have experienced the miraculous of Jesus (namely, experiencing his salvation), I have a glimpse into the miraculous.  But trained? No.  And honestly, its better that way.

If you feel inadequate for the task that God has for you, good.  You can be sure if you feel inadequate that it is truly Jesus that has called you to it.  If you feel adequate, either it wasn't Jesus who called you to it or you actually think that you are his peer.  Either way you're in a bad place.  It truly is better to feel inadequate and see Jesus accomplish the miraculous through you than to feel adequate and left to "accomplish" the ordinary, building your own kingdom of sand rather than being used for the kingdom of God.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

PROPS to the People of FLOOD

I just have to do it again.  FLOOD - You are are FLIPPIN' AMAZING!!! Seriously.  I can't believe...

  • Your faithfulness.  You are showing up every week to FLOOD.  And not only that, you're bringing and inviting people to come and be part of it.  And on the nights when you can't be here, a whole lot of you are telling me that you're going to still be there by watching it live online.
  • Your tenacity.  We are going through the book of James right now and it is tearing us apart.  This is definitely an "In Your Face" series, and yet you keep coming.  It makes me worry a little bit that you all love pain.  If so, we have a group of counselors here at PFB that we can get you in touch with. :)
  • Your passion.  On Wednesday nights, you BRING IT!!! During worship on Wednesday nights you'll find me looking around to see how everyone is doing.  I cannot tell you how blessed I am to see you all worshipping Jesus as if you really believe that he is pleased by how you praise him.

I am so thankful for you.  I can't put into words how blessed I am to get to pastor you all.  You all add so much to my life.  You are amazing.  Get ready.  God's best through FLOOD is still yet to come.

        So thankful for you,
        What a ride,

Update from FLOOD last night...

LAST NIGHT WAS INSANE!!! Seriously.  I couldn't believe it again.  We continued going through our James series called, "In Your Face," looking at the topic of asking God for wisdom during the times of trial and struggle.  What a powerful evening.  I called people to two different things:

  • I called people to surrender their lives to Jesus—to receive Christ and his salvation.  We saw 6 people surrender to Christ last night.  The place cheered and applauded as these girls stood up.  It is blowing my mind what we are seeing happen every single week.  In the month of January we have seen 19 people surrender to Christ and 7 people baptized.
  • I called people to take a piece of paper that was provided for them in the bulletins last night and write the following words: "MY WILL."  Then I invited them to come forward, crumbling up that sheet of people with "MY WILL" written on it, and to throw it at the base of the steps of the stage as a symbolic act telling God that they wanted his wisdom and his will rather than trying to force their own will.  Let's just say that the floor was flooded with a whole lot of trash last night.  
God is using this series in amazing ways.  I even received a text last night from a high school student who couldn't make it to FLOOD in person but watched it online.  She said this:

"Gift from Jesus = PFB live!... Hit right where I needed! Praise God for people being brought home!!"

That quick text completely pumped me up for two reasons:  1).  Because when people can't be here in person they are still being part of FLOOD by watching it online.  2).  Because God spoke personally to her.

Thank you so much for your prayers.  God is honoring your prayers.  Keep going.  Keep praying.  

           What a ride,

Monday, January 24, 2011

Please be praying...

Hi all,
I would appreciate your prayers this week for the opportunities that God has for me to teach/preach/speak this week.

1).  Tomorrow morning I am officiating the funeral service for Linda Brown.  I have never met the family (I will meet with them today) but I have the opportunity and privilege to officiate her funeral service.

2).  Wednesday night at FLOOD I am continuing in the book of James.  I would appreciate your prayers as I prep and pray through that message over the next few days, and as I preach it on Wednesday night.

3).  Sunday morning I get the opportunity to speak at all of the morning services at PFB Church.

4).  Sunday night I am speaking to the discipleship group leaders at Azusa Pacific University.

That's what's going on this week.  Thank you for your prayers.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Update from FLOOD

Last night we continued on in our study of the book of James. The series is called, "In Your Face." We looked at the topic of suffering (James 1:2-4), discovering the principles that God has given us in his word to help us through difficult times.

As I called people to surrender to Jesus, he did it again. We had 6 high school students surrender their lives to Jesus last night. It was powerful to see all of them stand up and see everyone else celebrate their decision.

Then after they made decisions, we welcomed anyone who was at FLOOD to go the prayer room and be prayed over by some of the leadership of FLOOD. The room was filled with people who were being ministered to through prayer.

It was an incredible evening. Thank you for praying.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Lesson from Superhero Squad

Yesterday I was sitting in our pastors meeting at PFB.  My phone rang and I saw that it was home.  I rarely get a call during staff meetings from home so I excused myself to take the call.  I expected to hear Kelley's voice, but it wasn't her voice.  It was the voice of my 4-year-old, Dylan.  He had a very serious situation that he needed help with.  He needed "counsel" on how to get to the next level in his Wii game, "Superhero Squad."  He was very serious about needing to know how to beat that level.  So, I told him this wasn't really so important that he needed to interrupt my meeting for.  NOT REALLY!!! I proceeded to tell him exactly what he needed to do to get past that level and on to the next in his game.  After I finished explaining it, he said, "Okay. Thanks, dad."  And that was it.

I walked back into my meeting and started thinking: this is how it is with God.  Just like my boys can "interrupt" my day at any point that they need to, I can do the exact same thing with God.  And there is not a certain criteria on the requests that I'm allowed to interrupt God with.  No matter what it is, God will listen and then "counsel" me on what to do next, even if I'm asking him for advice on how to pass the next level of "Superhero Squad."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Update and Prayer (1/18/11)

Hi all,
Thank you so much for praying.  This past week was absolutely insane but some amazing stuff came from it.

1).  We had a great turnout for the graduate chapel last Monday night at APU.  It was a wonderful time as we looked at Joshua 1, looking at principles for leadership from God's word.  Such a fun time.

2).  I spoke at Crossroads Junior High school last Wednesday morning.  I had no idea what God was wanting me to teach until we got through the worship time.  As I waited to hear Jesus on this, a student came up and read from Isaiah 40.  Then during worship, the worship leader lead the worship song titled, "Isaiah 40."  So, Jesus was finally able to get through this thick skull.  It was UNBELIEVABLE and the timing was perfect.

3).  On Thursday I spoke at Glendora High School at their Christian Club.  The topic was on evangelism.  It was a lot of fun and there were about 40 students in there who were serious about making a difference on their campus for Jesus.

4).  The wedding on Saturday was a blast.  So much fun to perform the ceremony for Dan and Ramona.

5).  Spoke up at Harland Christian Camp this past weekend at a high school guys retreat.  It was a blast.  And the best part: a kid named Harley surrendered his life to Jesus yesterday.  It was intense.

Please pray as we continue on in the book of James this Wednesday night at FLOOD.  Last week we looked at James 1:1 and saw 5 people surrender to Jesus.  It was such an anointed evening.  Thank you for praying.  We are expecting even greater things for this Wednesday.

Thank you for praying.

Friday, January 14, 2011

"I Will Help Thee." - Jesus

I read this devotional by Charles Spurgeon this morning and it blew my mind.  I pray that it's a blessing to you today:

"I will help thee, saith the Lord." - Isaiah 41:14

This morning let us hear the Lord Jesus speak to each one of us: "I will help thee."  "It is but a small thing for me, thy God, to help thee.  Consider what I have done already.  What! not help thee? Why, I bought thee with my blood.  What! not help thee? I have died for thee; and if I have done the greater, will I not do the less? Help thee! It is the least thing I will ever do for thee; I have done more, and will do more.  Before the world began I chose thee.  I made the covenant for thee.  I laid aside my glory and became a man for thee; I gave up my life for thee; and if I did all this, I will surely help thee now.  In helping thee, I am giving thee what I have bought for thee already.  If thou hadst need of a thousand times as much help, I would give it thee; thou requirest little compared with what I am ready to give.  'Tis much for thee to need, but it is nothing for me to bestow.  'Help thee?' Fear not! If there were an ant at the door of thy granary asking for help, it would not ruin thee to give him a handful of thy wheat; and thou art nothing but a tiny insect at the door of my all-sufficiency.  'I will help thee.'"

O my soul, is not this enough? Dost thou need more strength than the omnipotence of the United Trinity? Dost thou want more wisdom than exists in the Father, more love than displays itself in the Son, or more power than is manifest in the influences of the Spirit? Bring hither thine empty pitcher! Surely this well will fill it.  Haste, gather up thy wants, and bring them here—thine emptiness, thy woes, thy needs.  Behold, this river of God is full for thy supply; what canst thou desire beside? Go forth, my soul, in this thy might.  The Eternal God is thine helper! "Fear not, I am thy God, and will still give thee aid."

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Update From FLOOD

Last night we started our new series, "In Your Face," a verse-by-verse study through the book of James. We looked at James 1:1 (yep, just that one verse).

The result: five people stood up to surrender their lives to Christ. FIVE PEOPLE WERE SAVED!!!!!

I am absolutely blown away with what Jesus is doing. Over the past week we have seen 7 people surrender to Jesus and 7 people get baptized. And last night a young lady told menacing her friend that wants to get baptized at our next baptism service.

Thank you for praying. God is on the move and I can't believe that I get to be part of it.

No More Excuses!!! MAKE WAR!!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Note from Big B Holla to FLOOD

I just wanted to send you a quick shout-out to let you know that I am so thankful for you all.  Last week was absolutely incredible, watching two people surrender to Jesus and then seeing those two and five others get baptized.  The place was jumping, and a lot of that has to do with you bringing people with you to FLOOD.

I started studying the book of James yesterday for our new series, "In Your Face" (a verse-by-verse study through the book of James), and I am so stinkin' pumped up for this series.  I seriously only got one verse into the book of James and am ready to preach that one verse.  As I've studied the background on James, I have even more respect for him.  Realize this: James uses over 50 imperatives in his epistle.  James does not suggest.  James does not advise.  Rather, James commands.  He tells Christians to step up and live for Christ.  I know how much I struggle with people telling me what to do, which at times can spill over into my obeying Jesus, but I'm convinced that we all need to humble ourselves as we go through this study.

This study is going to be life-changing.  There will be times when it is tough as we are confronted with things that we need to work on and work through, but do not miss a Wednesday.  Invite everyone you know.  Pray for the moving of the Holy Spirit to see true life-transformation happen.

Again, I'm so thankful fo you and I love you all so stinkin' much.  See you this Wednesday night at FLOOD.

            What a ride,

Monday, January 10, 2011

Prayer Update for this Week...

Hi all,
I could really use your prayers this week.  I don't know how this happened but my schedule went to overload this week (you can relate, I'm sure).  Here are the opportunities I have this week to teach:

1).  Tonight I will be teaching at APU for the graduate chapel.  This is a great time to encourage graduate students through a time of worship and teaching.  Last month we tried it for the first time and packed out the room.  It was standing room only.  Looking forward to tonight.

2).  Wednesday morning I am teaching at Crossroads Christian School in Corona.

3).  Wednesday night I am starting a new verse-by-verse series through the book of James.  I am so excited about this.  I'm not sure how long this series it will take but I am so excited.

4).  Thursday afternoon I am speaking at the Glendora High School Christian Club.  The topic is evangelism.

5).  This Saturday I am performing a wedding for a dear couple from PFB.

6).  This weekend I am traveling up to the central valley to speak at a high school guys retreat.

Please be praying for me as I teach.  Please be praying for my family as I'm away.  Thank you all so much.

What a ride,

Friday, January 7, 2011


Check out the video of the baptisms that happened this past Wednesday at FLOOD.  The beautiful thing: none of them were "planned."  All of the people who were baptized decided to get baptized that night.  It was outstanding.  So here was the breakdown:

1).  We saw at least two people surrender to Christ for the first time.
2).  We watched seven people get baptized.
3).  Our first FLOOD of the year was an all-worship night and it was explosive and anointed.

Thank you for praying.  And thank you, Jesus.

Joyful Service

"Reader, let us put this questions—do you serve the Lord with gladness? Let us show to the people of the world, who think our religion to be slavery, that it is to us a delight and a joy! Let our gladness proclaim that we serve a good Master." — Charles Spurgeon

To serve without gladness is to waste our time.  To serve without love sounds like a clanging cymbal to Jesus (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).  The key to our service is not the acts that we do but rather the heart that we do them with.  Spurgeon continues by saying this:

"Delight in divine service is a token of acceptance.  Those who serve God with a sad countenance, because they do what is unpleasant to them, are not serving him at all; they bring the form of homage, but the life is absent.  Our God requires no slaves to grace his throne; he is the Lord of the empire of love, and would have his servants dressed in the livery of joy.  The angels of God serve him with songs, not with groans; a murmur of a sigh would be a mutiny in the ranks.  That disobedience which is not voluntary is disobedience, for the Lord looketh at the heart, and if he seeth that we serve him from force, and not because we love him, he will reject our offering.  Take away joyful willingness from the Christian, and you have removed the test of his sincerity."

Wow, I'm feeling a little bit convicted right now.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Prayer Update for This Week...

Hello prayer team,
I trust that you've had a great Christmas and New Years.  I had a good time away with family.  I also had a good time teaching at a small retreat at a Chinese fellowship in Santa Clara over the New Year's weekend.  That's right - I speak fluent Chinese (or I spoke to the English congregation for this retreat).  I have spoken up there over this same weekend for the past few years and I am always blown away with one key thing each time: THEY PRAY!!! I mean THEY PRAY!!! It is part of their worship service to show up 30 minutes before the "worship service" begins to pray and prepare their hearts before worship.  The worship team prays together from the stage in front of everyone before they lead in worship.  It's amazing and convicting at the same time.  Oh how I long to be a man of prayer.

1).  I'm speaking at Ontario Christian High School this Wednesday.  I would appreciate your prayers as I speak to the students there.

2).  Please pray for our new Lead High School Pastor here at PFB, Ryan Palmer, as he starts ministry here this week.  We are so excited about what he is going to be bringing to the ministry here.  I am absolutely blown away with the team that God has assembled here at FLOOD.

That's about it for this week.  Thank you so much for praying for me.  I'm so PUMPED UP for a new year of ministry.  Thank you for being part of it again.  Love you all.

The Joy in Sacrifice

I read this in "Christian Atheist" by Craig Groeschel this morning. It truly touched my heart.

Recently I traveled to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, with our church to help build homes for people in need. Our translator took our leaders into the home of a single mom. To call it a home is really a gross overstatement; it was barely a shack, built mostly from cardboard. Five people lived in a space about the size of our master bedroom closet. It had dirt floors, no running water, and a hole in the back yard to take care of business. It was so dirty that it made me nervous when the sweet lady served us lunch.

With a warm smile and more hugs than I'm used to, she placed some form of meat

Critics Be Warned

I read this quote by Theodore Roosevelt and it did two things:

1). It blew me away
2). It got me pumped up.

If you're a critic, be warned: this will tick you off! But I pray that it spurs you on to get in the game. If you're in the game, I pray that it fires you up to keep going for Jesus.

"It's not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or when the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at the worst if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt

He Can Handle It

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." - Genesis 1:1, ESV

Have you ever read a verse that you have read over and over and had it scream out to you like it was the first time ever? That happened this morning for me. As I read the very first verse of the Bible, this thought came to mind:

"The expanse of the universe declares that God can handle it."

Think about what God created out of absolutely nothing. Think about the expanse of the universe and everything that we don't have a clue about it. Think about the creativity found in the oceans of the world with all of the wildlife living down there. Think about every living creature on planet earth. Think about the human body and everything that blows scientists/doctors away about how our bodies work. And now be reminded: God made all of that from absolutely nothing. And the thing is: God looked at what he had made and came away saying, "Oh wow! Yeah, that is very good."

This is not a blog trying to explain God's sovereignty in the midst of trouble. I'm not trying to explain why a good God allows bad things to happen. But what I am saying is that whatever you're facing, God can handle it. If you don't understand why it's happening, at least be encouraged that there is a God who does and who can handle it. Keep going to him. Be encouraged by him and follow his lead as he shows you the way through it. Remember: God created the miraculous out of nothing. Think about what he is doing with what you see as completely out of control.