November 24, 2009

Mark 4: 1-20
My notes

Summary of 1st soil THE PATH

Some people are like soil that has been trampled down by life and people so that they are not RECEPTIVE to the word… because of this, when the word is given to them, sewn into them, it doesn’t sink in…and is easily taken away by our enemy (Satan)

End results…no fruit…soil didn’t do it’s intended purpose…. to nurture the seed and allow it to transform into a plant … that with the continuing nurturing of the soil, will produce a harvest of fruit.

How do we help Break up or loosen the packed down soil?

Through New Relationships (caring) – Not a lot of training needed to do this, nor is there a lot of work required. Just need to care about others and give a little time. It’s just like taking the shovel and turning over the soil, loosing it up, one shovel full at a time.

Summary of 2nd soil ROCKY PLACES

Some people are like soil that has rocks under its surface. The seed is initially received, and the soil above the rocky place begins to nurture the seed so that it transforms into plant. However, before it can bear fruit, the scorching heat of trouble and persecution drains all the life from the plant, because it needs deep roots to survive the withering environment above the surface.

End results…no fruit…soil didn’t do it’s intended purpose…to nurture the seed and allow it to transform into a plant … that with the continuing nurturing of the soil, will withstand troubles and persecutions…and will produce a harvest of fruit

How do we help to remove the rocks from under our soil?

Through Mature Relationships (accountability). This takes a little more time and effort. It is being close enough with someone else that you can hold them accountable when the “rocks” show up. It means getting your hands dirty and helping the other people remove the rocks under the surface.

Summary of 3rd soil THORN INFESTED

Some people are like soil that is growing both thorns and the farmer’s seed. The soils is actually nurturing both plants, and because of the nature of the thorns, they are quick growing and begin to compete for the same space that is needed for the farmers plant to grow, ultimately choking it out before it can bear fruit…

End results…no fruit…soil didn’t do it’s intended purpose….to nurture the seed of the farmers and allow it to transform into a plant … that with the continuing nurturing of the soil, will produce a harvest of fruit

How do we protect against the thorns?

Through Discipleing Relationships (learning & application). This is the most difficult, and requires the most training and guidance to be able to help. This is also the most dangerous because of the nature of the thorn.

Summary of 4th soil GOOD SOIL

Soil did it’s intended purpose….it nurture the seed and allow it to transform into a plant and continued nurturing of the seed and plant and allowed for large crop….

This is what we are striving for in our own lives and should be striving to help others achieve as well.

November 19, 2009

Mark Chapter3 notes

Mark Chapter 3 notes:

Jesus keeps doing good stuff (healing, casting out demons, etc.) that ticks off the established religious structure of the time. Healing a person of a “shriveled hand” # 1 in the synagogue, #2 on the Sabbath, & #3 this isn’t the first time it’s happened…

- Vs. 5…Jesus gets angry at those religious leaders (or whoever he was asking the question to in vs. 4) for remaining silent. Jesus distressed at their “stubborn hearts”…what were they being stubborn about? It is almost as if Jesus is saying that, Hey…which is lawful on the Sabbath, to do good, or to do evil…to save life or to kill?... you know, doing nothing, when you have the ability to do good….is the same as doing evil… I would say that Jesus doesn’t like complacency…

- Jesus actions were causing him to become more popular with those who need healing …a change. People were coming to him now

- Vs. 21 states that Jesus family though he was crazy for doing what he was doing… Doing good in this world (rather than evil) makes you look like your crazy….at least in the worlds eyes…

- A lot of people following him…but Jesus only chose a few to be apostles….to be sent out and preach and have authority to drive out demons

- Doing Jesus Will (Vs. 34-35) makes us a part of his family

November 18, 2009

15 minutes of Mark 2

Ok, Here is some thoughts on Mark Chapter 2

- Vs. 6 says “now some teachers of the law were sitting there, …”

Yet, Vs. 2 tell us that there was basically standing room only inside and outside because of the Jesus was preaching the word to them…

I guess these teachers of the law had some power or prestige to get to the sitting area of this meeting

- Vs. 10 tells us the reason behind why the paralytic was healed… “that you may know the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”

- Vs. 17 tells another reason that Jesus came … “not to call the righteous, but sinners”.

- I get the illustration about the “unshrunk” patch on a hole in a shrunken cloth…but I had to look it up to find out about the wine skins… reply back to this post and I will send you what I found out…petty cool stuff… has to do with the fermentation process.

- Vs.28…Jesus says he is Lord even of the Sabbath.

15 minutes of Mark 2

Ok, Here is some thoughts on Mark Chapter 2

- Vs. 6 says “now some teachers of the law were sitting there, …”

Yet, Vs. 2 tell us that there was basically standing room only inside and outside because of the Jesus was preaching the word to them…

I guess these teachers of the law had some power or prestige to get to the sitting area of this meeting

- Vs. 10 tells us the reason behind why the paralytic was healed… “that you may know the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”

- Vs. 17 tells another reason that Jesus came … “not to call the righteous, but sinners”.

- I get the illustration about the “unshrunk” patch on a hole in a shrunken cloth…but I had to look it up to find out about the wine skins… reply back to this post and I will send you what I found out…petty cool stuff… has to do with the fermentation process.

- Vs.28…Jesus says he is Lord even of the Sabbath.

Dorsia's thoughts on Mark 1

Here are some “Bullet Points” that stuck out to me in my readings of Mark Chapter 1

- The Kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news…SO, I guess that the good news of God is “THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS NEAR” and that we must “repent” to “believe” this good news

- And what’s up with the camel hair clothing, leather belt, and eating locusts and wild honey….WELL, check out 2 Kings 1:8 and see how the great prophet Elijah was described…

- Vs. 38, Jesus says that the reason he has come is so he can “PREACH” in nearby villages too…even though he was teaching and healing people where he was….

- In vs. 14-20, Jesus invites Andrew, Simon, James, & John to follow him…and they drop what they are doing, and follow him… obey his invitation…

In Vs. 25, Jesus commands an evil spirit to come out of a man…and the evil spirit does what Jesus says… obeys his commands…

Yet in Vs 43-45 Jesus gives a “strong warning” to a many he has just healed from leprosy, and tell him not to tell anyone…but the man DISOBEYS and tells others, spreading the news…

My question is this…why do evil spirits obey Jesus, some men obey Jesus, yet other men don’t?

- Vs. 35. Even after a busy day of teaching, healing, and casting out demons (vs. 21-31) and an even busier night of work (vs. 32-24), rather than sleeping in and catching up on his sleep…Jesus was up before sunrise to be alone with God to pray…I think this is a good example of someone “practicing what they preach” …Maybe I should do the same

September 22, 2009

“A good plan, LOVINGLY executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week”

The plan for the “Big Celebration” is coming together, but it seems like it is far from perfect. “T’s” not crossed, “i’s” not dotted, “details” not “detailed” enough to give me a sense of comfort heading into one of the “Biggest Days” in the life of LifeSpring. Volunteers are starting to step forward, excitement is building, but what about our plan.

We’ve prayed over it, we’ve revised it, we’ve poked holes in it and it still floats…but it’s not perfect. …It’s a good plan for sure…but perfect? No way. THE PLAN IS NOT PERFECT

Then I saw this quote by George S. Patton, U.S. General 1885-1945 (man, God is really using the quotes of others for me to hear his voice)…

“A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week”

Now I am not big on the word “violently” that Patton uses here, but I do believe other words could be used that apply to us as Christians. How about…

“A good plan, COMPASSIONATELY executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week


“A good plan, LOVINGLY executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week”

We HAVE a good plan. I believe that God has been a part of the development of the plan. We have good people to follow the plan.

Now we must COMPASSIONATELY and LOVINGLY execute this good plan NOW, loving and serving those we invite as Jesus does for us.

Yea, there is a perfect plan that could develop next week…but this good plan that we have right now, with the Perfect Savior leading us, will do just fine!

September 20, 2009

Leaders are Infectious

Recently I was being interviewed for an article for the local newspaper to explain: “Why Statesboro needs another church?” and “What makes our church at LifeSpring different than all the other churches in town?”

The reporter listened to me and made notes like;

“to introduce people to Jesus Christ”,

“to meet, serve, teach and lead people to become mature disciples of Jesus Christ”,

“to love people where they are”

“to expand God’s Kingdom”

After pouring my heart out to the reporter, I asked if he had what he needed for the article.

“Well, yes and no” he said. “I hear what you’re saying, and you seem very passionate and convicted about what you believe, but quite frankly, I could hear those same things from most any pastor in town talking about their own church.”

Oh my gosh! I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand straight up. I thought to myself, “Man, you don’t know how close you are to “SEEING” my passion & conviction ‘up close and personal’ in a way that I promise you’ll never confuse with another pastor”.

As I loosened my grip on the table and caught my breath I said, “you know, you’ve got a good point there”.

As a leader, we must have an “infectious” effect on those we come in contact with that leads people to the hope of what “could be”.

Our hope and vision of what “could be” must be lived out in ways that others are infected and changed. Our energy, passion, and conviction to what we believe to be true, is to be transferred to others through our words and our actions. It’s at that point others will begin to embrace the hope, the vision, and the truth of what “could be”.

As a Christian, I believe that Jesus is the solution to the problems facing our society. I believe that Jesus is the answer to the deepest hurts and disappointments of the human heart. I believe Jesus’ whole ministry steamed from a deep love of God and humanity resulting in Jesus’ belief, his hope, his vision, and his truth that things don’t have to be like they are.

Jesus spent his life on earth teaching, sharing, and modeling the love of God for humanity of what “could be”. Jesus’ love infected and changed others. That love led to the development of followers who spent their lives infecting others with the same loving truth of what “could be”.

With God’s help, LifeSpring will infectiously do the same!

September 18, 2009

A goal without a plan is just a wish

Several weeks ago, I began to share with our leadership team a vision of having a “Big Celebration”. A day where we go all out to invite as many people to worship with us at LifeSpring as possible.

Everyone was excited and encouraged even more when I shared with them that some friends from the Cordele area would come and prepare a meal for everyone who attended the worship service on that "Big Celebration" day.

YES”, I thought, “with the support of this leadership team, God is about to take LifeSpring to the next level”.

A few days later, several of our LifeSpring leaders brainstormed ideas to get 300 people to the worship service on the “Big Celebration” Day. Creative ideas like putting up billboards, personally handing out invitations, offering rides, face painting, even painting encouraging invitations on our car windows, whatever it takes.

YES”, I thought, “what great ideas, and we’ve set the goal high enough that it won’t happen without Gods power, this is gonna be great”.

Today, I was driving to work with a ton on my mind. I was consumed by the thoughts of all that needed to be done in preparation for the “BIG CELEBRATION” Day @ LifeSpring we had scheduled for 10/11/09. The anxiety of the moment caved in on me as the brainstorming ideas from the team have slown down, the teams schedules and other commitments are taking priority over the “Big Celebration” day, and those willing to volunteer are hard to find.

I found myself asking. “Why God, what did we do wrong?”

And then I saw it…the billboard at the local Library with the phrase that God used to center me again…

“A goal without a plan is just a wish"

(this was a quote of French writer Antoine De Saint-Exupery 1900-1944),

We had brainstormed what needed to be done, we had set the Goal for worship attendance that day (a lofty 300 people on 10/11/09)…

but we failed to plan HOW and WHO would do WHAT.

Then I remembered another quote that I use to have on my wall of my old office…

“What’s everyone’s responsibility is no ones responsibility”

The leadership team had been taking the approach that “everyone” would do something to make this “Big Celebration” a success. But we didn’t plan it out. We didn’t plan out assignments and responsibilities. We didn’t plan for accountability.

So, today we plan, tomorrow we plan, and this weekend we share the plan with the leadership team, and then we “work the plan”.

Now we will see what type of leader I really am.

Now we will see what type of leaders I have surrounded myself with @ LifeSpring.

Now we will see who will step up in action… who will step out in faith…. and who will side-step God’s call on their life.

Thank you God for your direction and patience with LifeSpring. May the "BIG CELEBRATION" day, be that... A big celebration of your love!

July 27, 2009

Rough Road ahead

I saw this sign when I first moved to Statesboro, about a year ago.  Just the other day while driving down the same road I saw it again.  Of course my mind began to ponder what I could expect as I continued to drive.  After a couple of hundred yards or so, I encountered the rough road…and it was rough, but only for a short distance. 

As the road smoothed out, I began to think more about the sign, who put it up, and why they put it up. 

Ok, some things are obvious; the DOT (Department Of Transportation) in Ga. put the sign up to identify a poor section of paved road and warn motorist ahead of time of this potentially dangerous stretch of road.  As I thought more about it, I wondered how many man-hours and cost the DOT had invested in designing, producing, and then erecting the sign in this location.  Not to mention they probably had to send a person out to verify that the road was actually “rough” and warranted a sign being erected to notify others.

It’s been a year, and I wonder - why DOT doesn’t just FIX THE ROAD and take the sign down?   They have the tools, materials, and manpower.  Isn’t that their responsibility too?  Not just identifying “problem areas” for others, but doing something about them? 

You know, some people in churches today do similar things.  They “IDENTIFY” problems in others lives, or in our community, and then put big signs on them that “warn” people about the things they have “identified”.  Then they do nothing about helping solve or correct the situation, even though many times they have the power and resources to positively make a difference.        Heck, even the disciples did this…

Matt 14:15

As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a remote place, and it's already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food."

The disciples identified the problems, and verbally were putting up signs of warning to Jesus about the problems that lie ahead.

But Jesus knew that through power of the Holy Spirit, these Disciples who had recently returned from “preaching the Kingdom of God” and “healing the sick” could take care of this problem too.  So, Jesus told the disciples what I believe he is telling his church today… 

 Jesus replied, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat." 

In other words, don’t just “Identify” and put a sign up about the problem, but FIX THE ROAD.  Give them something to eat.

Tomorrow when your out and about identifying and putting signs up of all the “rough roads” that lie ahead for your family, business, church, community, and world, how about stopping for a moment, roll up your sleeves, and begin FIXING THE ROAD.  Make some WAVES of Jesus' love!


April 20, 2009

The Vines of our lives

This past Saturday, my boys and I cut and cleared some old fallen and partially fallen trees in the “natural area” behind our house.  As we were cutting and moving old trees, we found that there were a lot of “vines” of some sort that had grown some 40-60 feet above the ground and had intertwined themselves into the branches in the trees.  In fact, some vines had moved from one tree to others, and much of the tree top canopy was not made up of tree branches and their leaves, but rather twisty vines and their leaves,

As we tried to pull the vines down, we noticed how difficult it was to get all the vines down (sometimes two of us were hanging from the vines and still couldn’t get them down).  We also noticed the vines were choking out much of the new growth in the trees, and in some trees, were actually holding up broken branches that had been dead for many months, yet hadn’t fallen to the ground because of the thick vines keeping the dead branches suspended in the air by their web-like strength. 

It was in the midst of this “father-son” activity that I realized how much “sin” in our lives had in common with the vines in our backyard.  

1)Over time, sin grows from its one root, to spread into our lives, choking out our personal growth.

2)   The end of the vines are usually very far reaching from the root, but they are still connected; so to is the sin in our lives…the longer it is allowed to continue, there is no limit to where it can go (even jumping from one person to another…just like the vine jumped from one tree to another.

3)   Some vines could be removed with little or no help…but the largest, difficult, and most intertwined (complex) vines had to be taken out with the help of others…so it is with the sins in our lives

Once the vines were removed, the whole backyard looked better.  Sunlight began to shine through the tree top canopy to the ground and surrounding areas that hadn’t seen sun in a long time.  I am sure that we can look forward to stronger trees and new vegetation in our small backyard paradise. 

I think the same is true when we seek God’s forgiveness of our sins and allow Jesus to remove our sins.  Once removed, God’s light can shine through to allow for new growth to happen in our lives, making for a stronger and beautiful human being. 

Hey, I know what, lets help each other out…in fact, LET’S DO LIFE TOGTHER


April 14, 2009

Don't Even Think About It!

I saw this sign the other day and was blown away.    I laughed at first and then thought, “How witty, someone is making a point about parking here and that sign is going to get everyone’s attention…and it will probably ‘tick’ somebody off”


Then I thought about a church I once attended.  There were members there who would have loved to have a sign like this put in their pew that would read in big, red letters, “don’t even think about sitting in my seat”.    And do you know what, they wouldn’t CARE if they ticked someone off in the process.  As long as they had their seat, in their spot, on their pew they could “worship God” freely (I guess they were taught that God takes attendance for worship services by seating assignments, and if you are not in your assigned seat…the right seat, God may count you as absent that day)



I’m excited and encouraged when I see people at LifeSpring… slide over, and give someone their seat at our worship service.  It’s like they’re saying, “Don’t even think of sitting somewhere else!!! Here you go, take my seat right here so you can see better, I’ve already got it warmed up for you.“


You know, that’s one of the small sacrificial things we need to be doing in the world today to “get everyone’s attention” so people will feel welcomed.  Why don’t you try offering your seat to someone and see what happens…


Let’s do life together 

It's More than Bread and Juice

What a phenomenal worship service we shared at LifeSpring this past Easter Sunday.  It was the first Easter service in the history of LifeSpring and special to all who attended.  Especially when we all shared in Holy Communion (the Lord’s Supper) for the first time as a worshiping community.

A seminary professor of mine named Robert “Bob” Tuttle once told us that when we serve communion to others that it is a “slam dunk for the Holy Spirit’s presences”.   And you know what…HE WAS RIGHT.


Person after person who came up and received the bread and juice (representing the body and blood of Jesus) with anticipation, expectations, fears, doubts, hopes, hurts, disappointments, or whatever baggage or dreams they may have had, encountered the Spirit of God, and were different when they returned to their seats. 


The prayer I was taught as a young boy for meals that has stuck with me (and probably you too) for what seems all my life took on a stronger meaning this Easter

 “God is great, God is good, let us thank him for our food.  By his hands, we are fed, give us Lord our daily bread”

 It was a great and good God who provided for the “bread of life” that would supply our needs daily.  Jesus, from the small town of Bethlehem (also known as the “house of bread”) became the bread from God’s hand to fed us. 


I hope you had a meaningful Easter this year, and feel as though you are ready to take on the world…because that is where Jesus’ new disciples are called to serve, so let’s get busy. 


Won’t you join us? 

 Let’s do life together!

March 28, 2009

Visit to the past puts me back on track

Sorry for not posting earlier this week.  With the death of my grandmother and a 3 day trip to North Carolina for the funeral services, I decided that my blogging could take a back seat to being with family.  God was good to me and allowed for me to have some quality time with my mom, dad, and brother in the midst of our loss.  I also reconnected with 3 important people in my life, 2 in person, and 1 over the phone.  

I was able to reconnect to one of my best friends in high school, Keith Anderson.  We have kept up with each other over the years, mostly through our moms. In fact, he is a teacher at our old high school.  Talk about eery feelings, walking through those old hall ways took me back a lifetime.  Keith and I could only talk short time, but after all these years, we were able to look at each other and "truly" hear the other, remember our past hopes and dreams, and connect them to what God is doing in each of us today.   Having someone who can "truly" hear you and visa versa, is rare in this world today, but this was to be the norm for me on this trip.  

Earlier, on my way to NC, I got a call from Sandy Bennett, who was instrumental in guiding me in my first part-time (soon to turn full-time) ministry appointment.  It was during this call that we reconnected and reminded each other what great work that God had begun in each of us, God was sure to finish.  We encouraged each other to remain focused on doing what God had told us to do and not to deviate from that until God said different... no mater what.

Finally, the last important person I reconnected with during this trip was with my best friend (other than my wife Jodi) in college, Gina Guilliams (previously Gina Miller Keller).  We got caught up after I tracked her down after stopping for gas on the way back to Georgia (got low on fuel, pulled over for gas, she came to my mine, and BOOM, through the technology of Blackberry, Facebook, and my old electronic address book I was able to contact her in the time it took to fill up with gas) .  We also shared about our lives since we had last spoken (many years ago), and God's hand allowed us to hear, encourage, and celebrate what God had done and was doing in each of our lives, with the promise to each other that we would not let distance nor time keep us from saying connected in the future.  

On this trip I met some others who were very formative in my life... my old sunday school teacher, Midgie Dial, and our good family friends, Tommy & Doris Davidson, who all shared fond memories with me of our past, and reminded me that God's hand of guidance on my life has been there for many years.

I tell you all this because in each conversation with these people from various times in my life, I heard confirmation of God's speaking upon my life.  I looked into peoples faces, listened to their words, felt the emotion in their voices, as one after the other who I met on this journey, reminded me of 1) whose I am 2) and whom I serve.

It's easy to get off track in life today, caught up in the "stuff" of the world and then loose focus on what we should be doing, losing focus on God's Purpose for our life.  Sometimes a trip back home and reconnecting with loved ones who we haven't seen in a while is just the thing God is preparing for us to help us GET BACK ON TRACK...

In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:4 , Jesus Says, 
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted

I came home mourning....I return back to my wife and children in Georgia comforted, confirmed, and committed to God's Purpose for my life... Let's do life together!

March 19, 2009

What would you do?

Yesterday I sent a text out to some of my friends that I was in the Georgia Southern University Library working on my sermon.  The funny thing is that my friends were mostly GSU students who were somewhere on "SPRING BREAK 09".  I told them that later on that evening I was going to Walmart to hand out some literature about LifeSpring Church and invite random people to come to our worship service this Sunday (more info on this at  I asked my friends to tell me where they were and what they were doing.

In came the text telling me things from "I'm on the beach", "I'm at Lake Blackshear", "I'm finishing up my work to head to the beach", "I'm with my family" and so forth.  But then something strange happened.  I began to get WARNINGS from some of my friends and even got a phone call, telling me NOT TO GO TO WALMART! They said they had heard (through what ever sources they had) that there was going to be some gang activity at our Walmart including some shootings, and not to go, that it would be to dangerous.  I made some calls and had others that said they heard the same thing, and some said they didn't know anything about it.  

So, my question is, what would you do?  

Well, I went to Walmart with a friend of mine named Tracy.  I told him what I had heard and he was still ok with going.  We separated and went to each of the 2 main entrances, he at the grocery side, and I at the Garden center side.  As I began to hand out information and talk with people, I tried to be conscience of my surroundings, just making sure nothing suspicious was happening near me.  And then I noticed a couple of Statesboro police cars pull by me and part at the other end of Walmart.  A few minutes later there was two more cars, and then another, and I noticed one police car circling the parking lot.  Now my senses are HIGHTENED now.  6 police cars, DUDE, what's going on down there.  

After about 10 minutes, all the police cars pulled off an left.  I saw Tracy walking toward me and asked him had any thing happened.  He said no, but there were several managers looking at him strangely, making him feel uncomfortable for giving out our information about the church. So I walked into the store and approached the managers (4 of them) and told them who I and Tracy were and what we were doing (you know, we're a new church in Statesboro and we are handing out information about our church).  They were very polite and told me that the proper procedure was to contact the service desk and set a time to solicit, but they figured I didn't know about that.  I told them I didn't and said I wouldn't do it again without getting prior permission.  Then I showed them one of the text I had received about the potential "Gang" activity that was given me.  They said that it was a hoax.  That several times over the last couple of year that this same type thing happened in several parts of the United States today, and in fact had happened several times before with no reported incidents.  They said that people really took to heart what they heard and with the technology today, and the "false rumors" circulated faster than they could stop them.   

Now, why am I writing this. I met my wife later that night and over super she told me that she had overheard the same thing in the Belks store and the customers there were saying they weren't going near Walmart (which by the way, was only 300 yards or so from the Belks Store).  As I heard from her the fear that was in those talking about it, I thought to myself, "how many peoples actions were effected by what they 'believed' to be true"?  I mean, there were people who not only "talked" about not going to Walmart, they "warned" people, sometimes total strangers, NOT to go, and then didn't go themselves.  ALL BASED ON SOMETHING THEY HEARD AND BELIEVED TO BE TRUE, even if they had no proof. 

So, answer me this, why is it so HARD for people, (particularly FOLLOWERS OF JESUS CHRIST) to go out into this lost world and TELL and even WARN others, even total strangers, of what they BELIEVE to be true (Jesus is the the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you really knew me {Jesus}, you would know my Father as well.  John 14:6 & 7).  

I guess it all depends on whether your belief is STRONG ENOUGH TO MOVE YOU TO ACTION...

Just one of those things that make you go "HUMMMMMMM"
Peace out

REdefining "Church" Part 1

In my last post I shared that I was going to explore the book of Acts to find out what the original "Church" looked like when it first was born out of God's love, Jesus' obedience, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit... in our efforts to "re-define" what church should be like today...well let's start here...

1) Jesus taught & and gave instructions through the Holy Spirit to "those he had chosen" as well as giving "proofs" that he was alive.  Acts 1: 1-3

This reminds us that Jesus chooses his leaders 1st ... then he teaches them, gives instructions to them and shows them proofs.  If Jesus has chosen you to lead others, then HE WILL GIVE YOU WHAT YOU NEED TO DO THAT.  STOP WORRYING. 

2) After Jesus Resurrection, Jesus appears to those he has chosen to lead, and uses a strong and bold phrase that shows his authority.   "You will" be baptized with the Holy Spirit.  Acts 1:5.  "you will" receive power.... "you will" be my witness. Acts 1:8.  This phrases is again reflected in the Old Testament Prophet Joel that is quoted in Acts: 2:17-21 I "will" pour out my Spirit...Sons and daughters "will" prophsey...young men "will" see visions...old men "will" dream dreams...I "will" pour out my Spirit...They "will" prophesy...I "will" show wonders in the heaven and signs on the earth below...The sun "will" be turned to darkness...and finally, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord "will" be saved.  

These certainly are not words that lack confidence within them.  Many people in the world today speak "words" upon "words" that they can't back up.  What's that saying; "your mouth done wrote a check your butt can't cash".  In other words, we boldly talk words about what we can do, or will do, and the truth is, that we very rarely can back them up.  Jesus, on the other hand, can and does back up his words.  In fact, Jesus is the only one who can do EXACTLY what he says WHEN he says he will do it. 

This means that when Jesus says that his leaders, who he chose, who are in the process of being taught and instructed, WILL receive the power necessary to "be my witness in Jerusalem, and in Judea, and Samaria, and to all the ends of the earth".  Acts 1: 8. THEY WILL RECEIVE IT!!!!  DONE DEAL!!!!  By the way, this verse really connects nicely with Jesus' words in Luke 24:45-49 & Matthew 28: 19 & 20.  

3) Jesus' followers, that he called, DID WHAT HE SAID.  Acts 1: 12

4) Jesus' followers, that he called, "joined together constantly in prayer"  Acts 1:14

I'm not sure what stands out most in this selection to me..."constantly in prayer" or joined together" these are two areas that all leaders of Jesus should be doing, but many times allow small things to divide them or rob them of their prayers.  These are choices that Jesus followers must MADE for themselves... and the same is true today.  We have to MAKE this same choices as we begin to "re-define" what Church is.  

More to come tomorrow... as my friend Carl Blackburn says...PEACE OUT!

March 13, 2009

Redefining "Church"

This morning as I was trying to exercise and get back into jogging shape, I was listening to Andy Stanley on my Ipod.  He was speaking on the 7 Practices of Effective Ministry.  As I listened to him explain how he thought that many churches had lost focus on reaching those in this world who do not have a personal, life changing relationship with Jesus, a thought stuck with me.  

We need to really consider "redefining" what church is.  

Now don't get all bent out of shape on that statement.  What I am saying is the Church that is written about in the book of the Bible called Acts, seems to handle life's "stuff" and "problems" differently than the church does these days.  

In fact, I believe in a sense, Jesus came back over 2000 years ago to do some "Redefining". At that time he was "Redefining" peoples understanding of the Laws of Moses and the prophets that God had given to Israel.  In fact, many times in the scriptures we see Jesus "explaining, "teaching", and "preaching" what God really meant about how to apply the Laws and expectations of God to their lives.  He didn't do away with the Laws or God's expectations, mind you, he just helped people get back on track with the original intent God had.  Jesus once said in the book of Matthew...

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 

I am going to explore the book of Acts more closely and see what I can find out about what the original " Church" looked like when if first was born out of God's love, Jesus' obedience, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit and blog my insights... stay tune...
I'm doing life together with you, 

March 12, 2009

UNLEASHED conference a success in my life

Today, I participated in a conference for church leaders called UNLEASHED, sponsored by NewSpring Church in Anderson,  South Carolina.  There were over 3500 people in attendance, and get this, over 500 volunteers serving to make this event a success.  I can't tell you how overwhelming God's Spirit was through out the day in the things that I heard, saw, felt, and was a part of.  

I have much to blog about over the next several days, and look forward to sharing with you after I "Digest" what I have received from God through UNLEASHED.  But before I "lay me down to sleep..."   I wanted to let you see a quote from the conference that is "sounding in my head" and "ringing in my heart"... "When a pastor gets fire INSIDE of him...then fire will come OUT of Him!"  I'm praying for Jesus to continually set me on fire for his service... would you do that for me as well?  Thanks, I needed that! 

I also had a friend of mine who said he was going to help me be a better blogger by personally teaching me some things that will improve this blogging site as well as helping me to understand blogging in more detail...THANKS JOSH.  

I look forward to a good night sleep and my prayers are already going out to my college friends who are heading to spring break... You are not alone... 

March 4, 2009


Today I am sitting in Zaxby's reflecting on the awesome worship service we had Sunday at the Launch of LifeSpring.  Even though it was "tough" weather, to say the least (High winds, side ways rain, the potential of snow), we still had over 130 people brave the elements to be a part of this historic 1st weekly service of LifeSpring.
As I think about the future of LifeSpring and the hope we have of increasing God's kingdom, I wonder how we will get others to visit LifeSpring and try it on for size.  Then I remembered the story of Jesus' disciple named Nathanael and how he first encountered Jesus.

It's found in John 1:43-53.
In this story, Jesus, on his way to Galilee, meets Philip (who is from Bethsaida, like the brothers Andrew and Peter, who Jesus had already called to follow him) and says to him, "Follow Me".  Now there is no recorded verbal response from Philip to Jesus.  Not a "yes", or a "no", not even a "well, let me get back to you on that".  There is only a description of what Philip did next.  Now, this doesn't mean that Philip didn't respond verbally to Jesus, it only means that the scriptures record his reaction (or action) to Jesus rather than his verbal response. 
The Bible tells us that the next thing Philip does is to leave Jesus and he goes to look for and find Nathanael, (whom we suppose is a friend of Philips).  After Philip finds Nathanael, he tells him that they have "found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote... Jesus of Nazareth, son of Joseph."  Here it sounds to me like Philip and Nathanael (and probably some others) had already been talking about "the one" that both Moses and the prophets had written about, in some earlier conversation.  You know, like talking at work while they're fishing, or during their break time, or while they were at the grocery store, or talking about "the one" some place or another.
The point is that Philip knew that Nathanael was ALSO SEARCHING... and when he found what they both were looking for (or at least talking about in earlier conversations) he didn't jump UP AND GO with Jesus when he was asked to "Follow Me".  Rather, Philip cared enough to GO AND FIND NATHANAEL, WHERE HE WAS, AND TELL HIM WHAT HE HAD FOUND!
Nathanael seems like he was a little skeptical when he hears what Philip tells him, to say the least.  Upon hearing this great news about "the one" they had talked about and were searching for was found, he POPS OFF with a smart aleck reply..."Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?"
Now, if I were Philip, I might have up and turned away thinking to myself, "so that's the gratitude you show me, after I come all this way up here to tell you about something this important... humph, I could have saved myself a lot of time and energy if I would have stayed where I was with Jesus and not have made the walk up here to find you in the first place.  Heck, Jesus and I might have already have made it to Galilee by now, dude". 
But that is not how Philip handled the situation.  Nope, Philip responds to Nathanael with three small but powerful words... "COME AND SEE".
Notice he didn't say, "Well, go and see for yourself."  This is important for the simple reason that the word "COME" infers that Philip will go with him to meet Jesus.  Nathanael will have the opportunity to see Jesus, but he won't have to go alone.  Philip is letting him know that ... "Hey friend of mine.  You might have a skeptical view of this thing I have told you about, but you know what?  I'll go with you.  You don't have to go alone.  THEN when WE get there together, you can see for yourself".
  I am convinced that the only way LifeSpring will reach more people in this community is when the Philips of this world (or in our case, the people who have already experienced Jesus at LifeSpring) begin to say those three words to their friends "COME AND SEE", and then take Action!
I mean, the people of the church need to get up off their bottoms, stop waiting on God to do their work for them, and start doing it themselves; by going and inviting, or picking up and bringing, or by meeting them in the parking lot and walking with their friends (WHO ARE SEARCHING FOR THE ONE THING THAT CAN SET THEM FREE) through the doors of the church so they don't feel all alone.
Let me close my thoughts on this note....
The other day I had lost my voice completely, barely able to whisper.  I went to see our high school girls play in the state basketball playoffs.  My throat was killing me and I just wanted some chewing gum to help keep my throat moist (which made it hurt less).  I went to the concession stand at one end of the college gym to get some gum.  I whispered to the girl that I couldn't talk well, because of my dry throat, and needed some gum.  She said that they didn't have any for sell, but that she had some of her own gum in her purse.
She said, "why don't you come with me and I'll get it for you"... So, I thanked her and followed her from one end of the gym all the way to the other end (a good 3-5 min. walk from where her work station was) and into a back room where she disappeared and came back with not one stick of gum, but TWO.  She said, "here's one piece of gum for now and you might need this other piece for later before you get home".  I whispered, "thank-your so much" and though to myself.
THIS IS WHAT THE CHURCH SHOULD LOOK LIKE IN ACTION... 1) leading friends or strangers to what they need; 2) going with them the whole way; 3) putting aside the inconveniences that it cost them personally; and 4) then giving people MORE THAN THEY EXPECTED...
That's the way the followers of Jesus Christ would have done it, and that's the way LifeSpring is going to do it!


The Preacherman

January 26, 2009


So I'm reading the headlines in the local paper "Consumers cut back, retailers overhaul business" by AP writer Anne D'innocenzio.  In the article I see the following quote "For years retailers could afford to be sloppy about running their business because customers kept buying.  No More"  I kept reading and found out that retailers are having to make "drastic changes" in order to get and keep their customers.  Things like hiring outside experts, holding special events, and making extraordinary efforts to gauge customer satisfaction, as well as sales clerks checking back in with customers to see if they're satisfied with their purchases.  Millard 'Mickey' Drexler, J.Crew's Chairman and Chief Executive and former CEO and Visionary of the Gap, Inc. says "WE ARE IN A SEA OF CHANGE."  

With the economy the way it is, the retailers are realizing that in addition to not selling their customer products which are inferior, they also can't "push" what they want to sell onto the customer by whatever means they are most comfortable with.  Retailers understand that even with a great product, they must listen to the customer to hear and understand their needs and then work hard to show their products relevance to those needs.  Once the customer has their product, the retailer must follow up with the customer to see if they're still satisfied...

I see parallels in this description of the retailers "overhaul" of their business in these turbulent times with the God's church.  In a sense, the church has been like the "old" retailers.  Despite having a great product (the love of Jesus Christ) the church has been very narrow in how they have gauged the needs of their community (mission) for their product, as well as failing to "follow up" with the communities satisfaction (nurture) of those who have chosen their product.  I think that just as the retailers need an "overhaul",  so does the church.  

"The love of Jesus Christ" is something that all people not only need, but deserve.  The church sometimes functions in arrogance, thinking that there product requires that people come to them, rather than taking their product to the people.  Acting as if the church can be "sloppy" in their efforts and presentation of "the love of Jesus Christ" and that people will still be drawn to the church because of their need for the product.  

The sad thing is that most of the people who need "the love of Jesus Christ", aren't coming to our store (the church)... rather, they are using inferior substitute products, and have been lied to by our competitor (Satan) that the substitute product will do the same thing that the "real" product will do... without all the hassles and "red tape" involved in the church.  

And for those who have our product , "the love of Jesus Christ", for some time, Satan is working daily on trying to convince them to trade in the churches product for something similar (which is the inferior product) that requires less effort to use and understand.

It's time for an OVERHAUL.  We need to make extraordinary efforts to hear what people are needing in their life and then show and teach them how the "Love of Jesus Christ" can meet that need.  We need to be sensitive to those needs and meet people where they are, not condemning, but helping to bring hope to lives again.  The Church needs to "live life with people"
not just "tell" them how to live life and then step back and watch.  Life is an individual journey that is best when shared with others.

And to those who already have "the love of Jesus Christ", we need to listen and understand where people are struggling and then join them in overcoming their struggles.  Individual struggles, shared by the church, the people, in our efforts to help others sustain hope and faith and develop perseverance that will lead to overcoming their struggles.

We are in "a sea of change"... God is still God, Jesus is still Jesus, the Holy Spirit is still the Holy Spirit, and the Bible is still the Bible... Our product has never been better, but the churches methods of sharing our product need to change to meet the customers needs... just like the retailers in these times, the church needs to "make drastic changes in order to get and keep their customers"  It's not the product that is in need of change, it's perfect...but the methods of the church???

WHAT DO YOU THINK?  Give me a shout

January 16, 2009



LifeSpring, the church I pastor at, had our first preview worship service this past weekend and it was AWESOME.  A lot of great volunteers put together a wonderful worship experience. 


108 people were in attendance and each one seemed to have a great time.  We provided refreshments and fellowship prior to the start of the service. 


Jeffery May, our worship leader, pulled together one of the greatest groups of musicians in the area.  They provided some upbeat worship songs that had the place “ROCKING”.    The worship team played “Awesome is the Lord Most High”, “Let Me Sing”, “Glorious One” and later “Mighty To Save”. 


The message a part of a sermon series based on the 24 series staring Keifer Southerland on Fox.  I spoke on what we do in the 1st hour of our mornings.  We listed many things (Shower, brush teeth, the bathroom things, dry hair, etc.) and then we talked about how to integrate God into the beginning of our day. 


I referred to Psalm 5:3in the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my request before you and wait in expectation”

I challenged people to incorporate in their morning routine the following:

1)  Pray to God

a.   Give to God

                                              i.     Thanks (Name the things that I am thankful for)

                                            ii.     My Love (Tell God “I love you” and why)

b.   Ask God for

                                              i.     Forgiveness from (Name the things I need forgiveness from)

                                            ii.     My Daily Needs (Name my Daily Needs)


2)  Read Scriptures: (Read the passage 3 times slowly)

a.   Read Colossians 3:23&24

                                              i.     Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.  It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

3)  Reflect (Think about it)

a.   What does this Scripture mean about God?

b.   What does this Scripture mean to me?

c.    What does this Scripture have to do with my family?

d.   What does this Scripture have to do with my community?


I then told them about a tool that was guaranteed to help them to do this with each morning without taking more time from their already busy schedule….


I introduced them to the LifeSpring Shower Buddy!


This looks like a plastic sheet protector (that is what it starts out as), but once we put the reminder list of the daily things we want to do in the morning listed above, the plastic sheet protector becomes the LifeSpring Shower Buddy!


The LifeSpring Shower Buddy can be taped up in your shower, on the mirror in the bathroom and even placed on your refrigerator door.   As we go through our regular morning routines, we just look at the LifeSpring Shower Buddy to provide us with the things we need to be 1) praying about 2) reading scriptures about & 3) reflecting on the scriptures before we start the day. 


We still have extra LifeSpring Shower Buddies  available if you would like one.  We will be making more “INSERTS”, with different scriptures to reflect on, available on this blog or our website ( later on this week. 


Email me with your address if you would like a free LifeSpring Shower Buddy


For those of you who are using your new  LifeSpring Shower Buddy let me know how it is working.


I would also like to hear back from those who attended this first Monthly worship service.  Tell me what you liked, disliked, was missing, and what was misunderstood.


More to come later…but it’s late

Love to all