Thursday, June 10, 2010

NUTS about Jesus!

Lately I have been captivated with a book by Leonard Sweet called, Jesus Drives Me Crazy. The premise of the book is that the Gospel presents a life-changing wisdom that lives in conflict with the normal ways of making sense. Leonard challenges us to live our lives not in the “world according to normal” mode, but in the “world according to NUTS mode” in which nuts is an acronym for Never Underestimate the Spirit.

Sweet has reminded me that living for Jesus should make us vastly different than “normal” and challenges Christians to fall so crazy-in-love with Christ that it turns our world upside down and inspires us to live extraordinary lives that do not “conform” but instead “transforms” our lives and the world around us. His challenge to be NUTS for Jesus has hastened my desire to make my life count and to make a difference.

Anyone can do adapt themselves to the world around them. It takes courage to make the world you are a part of adapt to you and the impact that Christ has made. The following is a quote from the book written by Frederick Bruechner, a man who served as both a member of the clergy and a novelist:

“If the world is sane, then Jesus is mad as a hatter and the Last Supper is the Mad Tea Party. The world says, Mind your own business, and Jesus says, There is no such thing as your own business. The world says, Follow the wisest course and be a success, and Jesus says, Follow me and be crucified. The world says, Drive carefully…the life you save may be your own…and Jesus says, Whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. The world says, Law and Order, and Jesus says, Love. The world says, Get, and Jesus says, Give. In terms of the world’s sanity, Jesus is crazy as a coot, and anybody who thinks he can follow Him without being a little crazy too is laboring less under a cross than under a delusion.”

Sweet goes on in the book to point out that some of the greatest saints were high-octane sinners before they came to Christ and holy lunatics afterwards.

God, help me to become NUTS for Christ, a person who lives outside of the boundaries of “normal” to become outrageously crazy for Christ.

“A leader is a fellow who refuses to be crazy the way everybody else is crazy and tries to be crazy in his own crazy way.” Peter

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Everyone Needs a Good Soap!

I recently ran across a great journaling plan for Bible Study by Pastor Wayne Cordeiro of New Hope Church in Oahu, Hawaii. Wayne has made journaling quite easy by developing the following system using the word SOAP as an acronym. If you don’t already journal, I would whole-heartedly courage you to give it a try using this very practical method.


S = Scripture

Open your Bible to the reading found under today's date of your Bible bookmark. Take time reading and allow God to speak to you. When you are done, look for a verse that particularly spoke to you that day, and write it in your journal.


O = Observation

What do you think God is saying to you in this scripture? Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and reveal Jesus to you. Paraphrase and write this scripture down in your own words, in your journal.


A = Application

Personalize what you have read, by asking yourself how it applies to your life right now. Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, revelation of a new promise, or corrections for a particular area of your life. Write how this scripture can apply to you today.


P = Prayer

This can be as simple as asking God to help you use this scripture, or it may be a greater insight on what He may be revealing to you. Remember, prayer is a two-way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say! Now, write it out.

I couldn’t stand to go without my shower every morning, including a good scrubbing with soap. Once you start your morning with this other type SOAP you will find that your desire for the Spiritual SOAP will be just a compelling. Give it a try. I think you’ll like it.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Bow and the Arrow

Nothing in the world reminds me of God’s love for me, than the events in the lives of my own children. This past Saturday night my middle son, Devin, married his long time girl friend (since eighth grade) and started his new life apart from his mother and I. As a father, it is a bittersweet moment. I am happy as he moves into this new place; yet somewhat sad that from this point forward he will “leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife.” It is as God designed it. And if I my wife and I have done our job well, while we will continue to be part of his life, his primary focus will be on his new wife and someday soon, perhaps, a family. As long as we are alive, we will be there for him. But his focus must now shift to his new family. It is the way that God intended. It still doesn’t make it easy for a parent to let go.

One of my favorite writers is the mystic poet Kahil Gibran who wrote in the early 1900’s. He penned the following regarding children:

You are the bows from which your children

as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, 

and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, 

so He loves also the bow that is stable.

The arrow has been launched. Hopefully it will go swift and far. Hopefully as parents we have allowed the Master Archer to use us as the bow to launch him onto the infinite path of the purposes of God for his life. As Mr. Gibran so creatively states, God loves both the parents who with tenderness provide the stability of the bow, and also the child who flies from the bow toward the horizon of limitless potential. Congrats Devin and Kendell….fly far!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

This past week has been very exciting for Phillips, Craig, and Dean. We received word from our record company this afternoon that “Revelation Song” has been number one for 16 straight weeks making it the longest running number one single of the year. We give all glory to God for his faithfulness and favor on our group. We could have never imagined that radio stations and PCD supporters across the country would have embraced our new single in such an unbelievable way. Our concerts have been well attended and incredibly anointed. My only wish is that each one of our Heartland partners could experience this moment with us. Each and every Heartland partner should take ownership of every success PCD experiences as a group. Because of your faithful support, prayer, and love, we are able to do what we do. Below, find some pictures from concerts and appearances the past several weeks. Thanks to each one of you for all you have done to enrich my life. I gladly share each and every success with you, the incredible partners at Heartland Church.

(PCD singing at Brooklyn Tabernacle, Brooklyn, New York)

(PCD with pastor and author Max Lucado in San Antonio, TX)

(Randy and myself with retired NBA all star David Robinson and sons)

(Singing at an outdoor concert in Tulsa, OK)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Life and Golf

I heard someone yesterday say life and golf are a lot alike....both require lots of forgiveness! How true! Most folks I know usually need a lot more forgiveness than they are willing to dole out. Jesus explained how forgiveness in God's Kingdom works with a parable found in Matthew 18. Let me explain it in golf terminology:

A certain golfer found himself in the deep rough behind a grove of trees. His view to the green was totally obscured and he had no shot whatsoever of making the green and salvaging par. While pondering his situation the master rule maker of the golf course came by with some good news.
"My dear friend, I am going to show you some grace. Take your ball from behind these trees and place it out on the plush fairway in a place that has a flat lie and an unobstructed view of the green."
The bloke could hardly believe his good fortune. With joy he took his ball from the rough and placed it on a flat surface out in the middle of the fairway. In short order he had chipped onto the green and made his par.
As he and his playing partner teed off on the next hole he observed that his playing partner's tee shot had somehow landed in a divot in the middle of the fairway. Though he had a clear shot, it was obvious that his playing partner's shot had a great chance of being impacted by the depth of the divot. His playing partner looked imploringly at the man who has just been the recipient of great grace and implored, "Will you left me place this ball a few inches behind or to the left or right of this divot?"
The first golfer roared his displeasure and would not let his partner move his ball even the slightest bit! "You will play the game by the rules even if that means playing from a divot...there will be no bending of the rules on this course." And he folded his arms in anticipation of an upcoming bogey (or perhaps even worse.)
About that time the master rules maker appeared. "Didn't I just show great grace to you?," he roared to player one! "Didn't I just allow you to move your ball from behind a tree and about 20 yards out into the fairway? And I didn't charge you even one penalty stroke? How is it that now you refuse to grant any mercy and will not even let your playing partner move his ball one inch to the right. You should feel compelled to show the same kind of mercy as you have received." The rules commissioner was furious and his wrath hot! And the master rule maker was so upset and he took the young man's golf ball and chunked it into a pond on the 18th hole.
"And that's exactly what my Father is going to do to each one of you who doesn't forgive unconditionally anyone who asks for mercy!" (Matt. 8:35 MES)
Let us each give mercy and love as we are want to receive it!
Be blessed!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A New Day!!!

This past Thursday signaled a new beginning for Heartland Church. After 40 plus years of being in the Irving area, Heartland purchased a 5 year old church building in North Carrollton. We are excited and firmly believe that God is directing our steps. This new location has great freeway access and is located one exit East of 35N on Highway 121. We will begin planning immediately on the things that need to see happen cosmetically before we take possession of the building in January of 2010. Some of things include a remodel and adding restrooms to our children's department; new lighting and sound systems, upgrades to the student area; cosmetic changes to the restrooms; rearrangment of the main floor seating; and of course, painting and flooring changes in select areas of the building.

Of course, the most exciting aspect of the whole process has nothing to do with buildings. What makes my heart beat faster remains the potential of all the unchurched people who don't know Christ making Heartland their home.

I'm reminded of a story told by Ann Lamont in her book, "Traveling Mercies." She tells the story of a little girl who was lost on the streets of the big city in which she lived. Finally a policeman stopped to help her. He put her in the front seat of his of his car and they drove around looking for any recognizable landmark. She finally spotted her church causing her to exclaim, "This is my church. I can get home from here."

I believe that there are many lost, lonely, and frightened people who are looking for a place that will remind them, "I can get home from here." I am believing that God will bring them to us!



Monday, September 21, 2009

Happy Anniversary To Us!!!!

Thursday, August 27th, Becky and I celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary. It was already a special day….but around 2:15 PM I decided (before we left town) to check our home phone one last time. The voice on the other end was the admissions office from Texas Women’s University telling my wife that if she called in before 3 they had a spot for her in their nursing program. (Talk about kicking things into high gear!) The call was made and my wife is now on her way to becoming a full-fledged nurse! It was the best anniversary present that we have ever received. I am now throwing my support behind my incredible wife and in a couple of years her dream of being a nurse will come true! That afternoon we left town to spend a few days away from the rigors of real life and to have some relaxing moments away. Of course my relaxation included a couple of rounds of golf (see picture of the deer on the golf course below) and hers included a massage package. (Not wanting to brag, but I put the trip together and the spa package was a winner!) Keep Becky in your prayers as her schedule is rather hectic this semester!