Monday, November 28, 2011

Prayer for this week...

Hey all,
Here are the ways that you could pray for me this week.  As I always say, THANK YOU SO MUCH for your faithfulness to pray for me.

1.  This Wednesday night I am teaching at FLOOD out Philippians 1. We are continuing in our series in the book of Philippians (series called, "JOY").

2.  On Thursday morning I am speaking at Crossroads Junior High in Corona. I always love my time hanging with those students.

3.  On Thursday at noon I am speaking at Western Christian High School. This time at Western is always a joy for me (I graduated from Western in 1992). Plus we have some amazing high school students from FLOOD who go to Western.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Prayer for This Week

Hey all,
Here is what I'm up to this week. Thank you for praying.

1).  Tonight I am hanging out with a few graduate students for the Graduate Chapel at Azusa Pacific.

2). On Wednesday at 11am I am officiating the graveside service for a sister of a member here at PFB Church. I am meeting with him today at 3:30 to go over the details.

3). On Wednesday night at FLOOD I am teaching at our Thanksgiving Eve service here at PFB Church. I will be teaching from Luke 17:11-19. You are more than welcome to join us on Wednesday night at 7pm (601 N. Garey Ave, Pomona or live online at

That's it for this week. But if you wouldn't mind, could you please pray for my health. I am battling the flu this week.

Thank you again.

Friday, November 18, 2011


I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. — Romans 12:1, ESV

I read this verse in my time with Jesus this morning. The thing is that I have read this verse often. This is not a new verse, but a very familiar one to me. And yet God had something to remind me of that was so profound I wanted to share it with you.

1. It is all because of his mercy. Romans 9–11 are 2 of the deepest theological chapters in the Bible (in my humble opinion of course). Paul finishes Chapter 11 with these words: “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! 'For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?' 'Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?' For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory for ever. Amen."

After that declaration of the majesty and glory of God, Paul then begins to teach about what our response to that God should be. And the first thing that he must remind us of is that anything that we do in response to the greatness of God can only be done because of the mercies of God. The fact that I'm even alive to write these words down is only because of God's mercy. It all comes to God's mercy, always.

2. I have a responsibility. Scripture teaches me here in this verse that I am to present my body as a living sacrifice. This is not something that I sit around and wait for Jesus to do. Rather, it is something that I am to do. I am to present a sacrifice, which is myself, to God. The thing about a sacrifice is that it costs something. In fact, I am convinced of this: if a sacrifice cost you nothing, than it is not a sacrifice.

3. The sacrifice is for God. I do not get to come before God with a sacrifice that is based upon my personal preference or level of comfortability. It is not acceptable to give God leftovers and claim that we are giving him our best because we would rather serve the god of laziness or convenience instead of the God of the universe. We cannot forget that anything that is given as a sacrifice to Jesus should be given in a manner that is worthy of Jesus, not in a manner worship of me. A “good enough” sacrifice is truly no sacrifice.

4. This is worship. Worship is more than singing a song. Worship is an all-encompassing life-style dedicated as a living sacrifice to Jesus. It includes singing songs to Jesus, spending time with him in his word, praying to him, practicing the spiritual disciplines, etc... But it also includes my everyday life. How I love my wife and my boys should be done in a manner that is worthy of Jesus. How hard I work should be a sacrifice to God, holy and acceptable to him. How I greet my neighbors. How I love my friends. How I love my enemies. How I pray for my persecutors. How I reach out to the broken and the needy. How well I treat the server at any restaurant that I go to for dinner. It is all worship. It is all done as an act of worship to God who is worthy of my best.

It's all worship. Every bit of it. And he deserves our best.

Update from FLOOD

This past Wednesday night was UNBELIEVABLE! How can I be sure of this? Because I'm speechless about how to completely describe it. Here are some highlights, however:

1). The FLOOD family came in READY TO WORSHIP!!! Seriously. From the first note the people were in worship. It was beautiful to watch.

2). The message that came out of my mouth blew me away. When I finished preaching, I was absolutely and uncontrollable overwhelmed by what God just finished saying that I walked off to the side of the worship center and laid face-down on the carpet. I was utterly and completely humbled by the work that the Holy Spirit did as he pointed us to Jesus.

3). A woman stood up to surrender her life to Jesus (AND THIS NEVER GETS OLD).

4). The conversations that I had with people after the worship time were anointed times. I truly loved every conversation as God exhorted and comforted.

Jesus was exalted. He was praised and prized the whole evening. We studied his word (Philippians 1:1-2). I'm as excited as a little kid on Christmas Eve who can't wait to open his presents the next day. I am freaking out about what God is going to do through our journey through the book of Philippians.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

His Presence Matters

Please watch this. It's just under five minutes but it is so powerful. God's presence matters.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Prayer Update for this Week

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

1). Tonight I get to share about the wonders of ministry with a bunch of youth ministry grad students at Azusa Pacific University. I love getting to share with people that the longer I follow Jesus in ministry, the less I feel like I have a clue what I'm doing. :)

2). On Wednesday night I am continuing in our study through the book of Philippians at FLOOD. Last week we made it through the first half of verse one. That's right now. This week, we will be looking at Philippians 1:1-2. It was powerful last week as we looked at the role that we as Christians must embrace if we are to experience the joy of Christ and to be used in the work of his kingdom: the role of slave of Jesus.

3). On Thursday at noon I am speaking at the Glendora High School Christian Club.

4). On Thursday evening I am speaking to a gathering of graduate students at the LA Campus of Azusa Pacific University.

5). On Saturday morning I am speaking at a men's breakfast at Pasadena Nazarene Church.

6). On Saturday afternoon I have the honor of performing the wedding of Anna Lemus and Robert Lloyd.

7). And if you could please be praying for FLOOD. There is an event that the community outreach team of FLOOD is holding downtown in Pomona this Friday and Saturday nights called, "Consumed." You can read all about it by clicking here.

Thank you so much for praying.

Baptism at FLOOD

Here is the baptism that happened on November 2nd at FLOOD. Be blessed.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

It All Starts in the Mind

"For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace." — Romans 8:5-6, ESV

It is easier to focus on the issues rather than dealing with the root of those issues. It is easier to deal with symptoms than it is to face the real problem that the symptoms all spring out of. The problem with this is that we never really settle anything. Nothing is changed until the root is taken care of.

I was spending time with Jesus this morning and this passage from Romans made me stop. I was not able to go on until I chewed on it for a bit. And here's the line that came to me: it all starts in the mind. The battle for us begins in the mind. This is why Paul, later in his letter to the Christians in Rome, says this, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of our mind,…" (Romans 12:2a, ESV).  It all starts in the mind.

Every decision that we make begins with a willful decision in the mind to move forward with that decision. Whether we decide to do something virtuous or destructive, it all begins in the mind. We think about it. We think through it. But what exactly is the mind? As the picture shows, we think the mind to be something in our brains. Because all of our thinking happens in the brain, the mind must be there. However, the mind is more than the thinking part in the brain. Rather, the mind is the thoughts/emotions/passions/convictions of the person.

Jesus would refer to this all-inclusiveness of the person as the heart. Jesus said, "The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks" (Luke 6:45, ESV). From within my person will come the words and actions that coincide with my person.

But so what? Why does this matter? Christians: are we involved in a purposed process of renewing our minds on a continual basis. The battle begins in the mind, not in our actions. The battle begins in the "heart" of man, not in outside appearances. The battle has been waged and is raging. 

Are we experiencing victory? Are we experiencing life and peace? Are we in the fight? We must continue in the fight. We proclaim that Jesus changes and transforms lives. Do our lives show that? Are we walking and breathing testimonies of the faithfulness and life-changing power of Christ? Our answer is dependent upon this: what we set our minds on. Period. It all starts in the mind.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I'm Not Batman

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,... — Philippians 1:1a

Last night was a powerful night at FLOOD. It was our kick-off in our new study through the book of Philippians. And we are off to a blazing start. We got through the whole first half of verse one of chapter one. Yep. That's it. But it was UNBELIEVABLE what Jesus had for us to focus on. The key point: we, Christians, are SLAVES of Christ. Now, some of you are quick to point out that if we have surrendered to Christ then we are children of God. And you couldn't be more right. However, we are also SLAVES of Jesus. This is one of the titles that Paul gives himself in almost all of his epistles. We belong to Jesus and are called to simply do what he says.

This made me think of Batman (I know - my brain works in some really weird ways). I thought about how much I have enjoyed growing up watching Batman, playing with with Batman action figures and video games, and now watching my boys doing the same thing. I can remember wanting to be Batman. He had all of the cool gadgets and tricks. He was the guy that could take care of anyone and everyone. He was the person who people called on when they were in trouble. And he always saved the day.
Here's the problem: too often I see myself playing the role of Batman as I stroke the ego of my "savior-complex". As I live out the mission that Jesus has for me, I picture myself in the role of Batman. The one who always saves the day. The one that everyone calls on. But here's the reality: I'm not that guy who saves the day. I'm not the guy that people need to call on. I'm not Batman. In fact: do you know the role that I have realized belongs to me from the movie, "Batman"? Here it is. It's going to change your life. The answer: Alfred (the butler). That's it.

My job is to do what Jesus says, every time. He's the one that saves the day. I cannot live my life as if I'm the man. Rather, I must embrace my role as servant and slave of Christ Jesus. People need Jesus. My job is to do whatever it takes to introduce people to him. That's it.

Monday, November 7, 2011

God's Mercy Is That Good

"Answer me, O LORD, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me." — Psalm 69:16, ESV

Do you ever find yourself living in a constant state of expectation? Let me explain further. I am not talking about expecting God to do great things were expecting God to do even more than you have seen him do before. I believe that God still loves to show off. What I am talking about is an attitude where we expect God to pay attention to us because of who we are, a “spoiled” mentality and demeanor based on who we think we are rather than who we know God to be.

A few days ago I was reading through Psalm 69 and this verse popped out at me. It was as if the Holy Spirit was trying to get my attention, reminding me about the necessity of the mercy of God for every single aspect of my life. As David wrote this song, he knew that God would turn to him as he prayed to him, but it was according to the mercy of God, not the right that he thought that he had because of the relationship that he enjoyed with the Creator. That means that as I pray to God, he “turns” to me not because of me. Rather, he turns to me because of his great mercy. I don't deserve him. I don't deserve his attention or affection, but I have it. And it's because of his mercy.

So yes, it is the mercy of God that causes God to turn to us in our time of need. But here is the amazing thing about the mercy of God: it never ends. Jeremiah worded it this way: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:22-23, ESV).

It all comes down to God's mercy: the unceasing and never-ending mercies of God. God is so good.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Please Be Praying...

Hey all,
Well, I'm back. The wisdom teeth are out. Actually, I am doing fairly well with the healing process. Hardly any swelling and actually taught in the young adults life group today (TOGETHER). Still tender and sore but doing well nonetheless.

Here's how you can be praying for me this week:

1).  On Monday night I will be sharing with graduate students who attend the graduate chapel at Azusa Pacific.

2).  On Wednesday night at FLOOD I am starting a new series called, "Joy".  It's a verse-by-verse look at the book of Philippians. I am SO excited about this. Please pray for my prep and preaching throughout this series. Join us for any part that you can either in person or online (; 7:00pm).

3).  On Thursday morning I will be preaching to the high school students at Upland Christian Academy in Rancho Cucamonga. I LOVE GOING TO UCA to teach. It is always so much fun. Please pray as I pray through, prep, and preach.

Thank you so much.  Love you all.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Prayer for this Week

Hey all,
Here is the update for this week for prayer.  This week I am actually not teaching at all.  The reason: I have to get my wisdom teeth yanked out of my head tomorrow afternoon. I'm not looking forward to that but from what I was told, it is time.

There is a ministry opportunity that is coming up over November 18-19 that I would appreciate you praying about. It is called "CONSUMED." Click here to read about it. If you're interested in helping, either fill out the registration form at the bottom of the page for consumed or send an email to

So, that's it.  :) Thanks for praying.

Last week at FLOOD we had our I WILL FOLLOW event. It was EXPLOSIVE. I try to be very careful about updates, making sure that I don't sound like everything is always amazing and no challenges every hit our ministry. But last week was AWESOME! At the end of the evening I challenged everyone there to get involved in ministry. The response was outstanding as we saw a huge amount of people (I haven't heard the exact amount of cards that were handed in) turn in their cards stating that they wanted to get involved in ministry. It was amazing.

Click here and read a quote that I shared from the message from I WILL FOLLOW. I'm convinced that the best is yet to come.