Friday, October 30, 2009

Lessons Learned from a 9 Year Old Boy and a Mouse

Last night I took Caleb to Disney Land; just the 2 of us. It was crowded, but the crowds didn't matter. We waited in line for 86 minutes to ride Space Mountain! But the wait didn't matter. None of that mattered because we were hanging out together. Caleb repeatedly told me that he was "so happy that I was his dad". It's hard to even wish for moments that great. But, they happened all night long.

I learned last night that no matter what he says at times, he wants to be with me. I learned that it is a necessity to shut out ministry and responsibility to invest in my kids. I learned that it's not about Disney Land or how much $$ I can spend on him, but it's about an ongoing relationship time together; quality AND quantity.

I learned all of this from a 9 year old boy and a mouse. The price of admission was definitely worth it last night.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Prayer for Granted

Do we truly have a full understanding of Who God really is? We love the Lord. We desire to serve Him. But, when we begin to really grasp the fact that we can communicate with Almighty God our faith and trust takes on a whole new identity.

Think about it; we can talk with the very One who won our freedom. We have an open line to cry out to the One with every answer to every problem we will ever encounter. Yet, far too often, we take the privelege of prayer for granted.

Here's the key: we have to stay in His word. If we are constantly drenched in the revelation of Who He is, our response will be an increased desire to talk with God in every moment. Stay in His word. Consider everything in prayer.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Facebook Rejection

Those of you that are already my friend on facebook may be aware of the recent rejection I just had. And, before we go any further, if we are not friends on facebook yet, send a request my way. Okay, so on with the blog...

This week, someone I went to high school with posted a comment on someone else's site. He said "is Jeff a pastor or something? All of his posts are so full of the 'jeebus' that I feel like I need to put a hex on someone just to balance it out".

In a later post, he said that he was going to clean up his friend list and delete anyone who mentions "the jeebus" more than 3 times on their site. Thus, I was deleted.

1 Corinthians 1:18 says "to those who are perishing the message of the cross is foolishness". That was not just a truth when it was first written. It is still truth today. I've chosen not to confront this person at this time. Instead, I am praying for him. Perhaps the opportunity for us to talk will come soon.

For him, the things believers say, and the praise we give to God seems foolish. But for us who are being saved, it is the power of God. And, I know that God saves, because He saved me and radically changed my life.
Pray for Jack. Pray that God will do the same for him. Pray that the day will come when Jack experiences facebook rejection because of his love for the Savior.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

He Came to Me

Thanks to each of you who have purchased "He Came to Me" on itunes. For those that missed the announcement in early September, this is a song that I wrote and was recorded by the group Voices Won. If you haven't downloaded it yet, you can get it on itunes or at If you have another favorite site for downloading, its probably there, too.

I apologize for this sounding like a commercial. I just really believe in this song and I know if I don't promote it, it won't have a chance of reaching more people.

Thanks for your support of this ministry. I hope you like the song!

Harvest Festival 09

Immanuel's Harvest Festival typically sees upwards of 10,000 in attendance. All indications point to this year's Harvest Festival having more people than any other year in recent history. Many of our sister churches are struggling financially to the point that they have cancelled their festival this year. As a result, we believe that more people will come to Immanuel in search of a safe and free event for their family.

We are still in need of candy and volunteers. Make sure you are a part of serving our community at this year's event. Go to for more information.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Date Night

Jody and I have an agreement with friends of ours, and we love it. Once a month, they keep our kids so that we can have a date night without babysitter fees. In return, we keep theirs once each month for the same purpose. It helps that our kids all love playing together.

Tonight was our night to go out, and we had an awesome time. Men, if you are not dating your wives on a regular basis you have to start making it a priority. Every couple needs time alone away from the kids. And when you go out, treat her like a queen. You'll be amazed at how re-energized you are for parenthood after a nice romantic evening.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Meeting a UFC Fighter

Today, UFC fighter Vitor Belfort was at a local K-Mart signing autographs. Why K-Mart? I still haven't figured that one out. But, I was questioning the opportunity to meet him. Even though he recently knocked out my favorite fighter, Rich Franklin, I was still interested in meeting him.

He really seemed like a nice guy. He commented on my daughter, Ella, saying that she was a beautiful little girl. He also said that he was privileged to meet me. I responded by saying "yes, you are." Okay...maybe I didn't say that. But, it would have been funny. After I choked him out in a triangle submission hold, I made him pose for this picture:

Overall, he seemed like a cool guy. I pull for the fighters I like personally. I'm thinking I will be in Vitor's corner from now on.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Bible and Your Kids

Caleb and I are working on his Bible memory verse for RAs tonight. RAs challenges the boys to memorize 4 scripture each month. This week's is:

Genesis 28:15 - I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.

in context, this is part of Jacob's dream when he saw the stairway that was reaching toward heaven. God made Him this promise.

Jacob was obedient to his father and received a blessing. If we are obedient to our heavenly Father, we can dream big for His glory knowing that we have this same assurance that Jacob had. He WILL be with us and watch over us wherever we go.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


If anything is of value to you, cover it in prayer.
If anything is a hindrance to you, cover it in prayer.
If anything brings fear, pain, or suffering to your life, cover it in prayer.
If anything is worth being thankful for, cover it in prayer.
If anything is too big for you to conquer, cover it in prayer.
If anything seems impossible for you, cover it in prayer.
If anything draws your heart, passion, and love, cover it in prayer.
If anything.....

....cover it in prayer.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Invest for the Kingdom

My biggest fear in life is to live and die and no one know the difference. With that in mind, I must be intentional about making an impact that is larger than me. One of the greatest impacts in my ministry has been the willingness of others to invest in me. Therefore, I am trying to be intentional about investing in others.

I had the opportunity today to invest in another young worship pastor. His church has split, the Pastor has left, his choir has dwindled, and he has been left to minister to the people. What do we do when we're left with hurting people who hurt others?

We have the ministries we have because our people need leadership. We must not be afraid to lead. To maintain and be afraid to rock the boat is not leading. You will never make an impact by flying under the radar. Step up and lead. Trust the gifts the Lord has equipped you with. Pour into your people and lead them to make an investment in their ministry. Only then will we equip our people to lead and be a part of something that is bigger than self, and that will make an eternal impact on the Kindom of God.

Who is around you that you can invest in?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hair Today...Gone Tomorrow

On October 16, I celebrated my 35th birthday. As I've said before, 35 is just a number. But, people's view of it is based on perspective. Younger people view it as old. Older people view it as young. So, I guess I'm left to decide for myself. However, it didn't help when I went for a haircut the very next day. My normal person was not there, so I decided to let someone new cut my hair. Hence, my mistake.

I explained that I wanted her to use "a 3 guard on the back and sides, and then fade that into the longer hair on top. I don't want a line, so make sure you fade it." "Okay," she said. "Do you want the front even or left alone?" "Uh, even across the front," I responded.

The next thing I knew she was using the 3 guard and shaving from the front of my head to the back. "Wait!" But, it was too late. I had to go ahead and let her make me look like this:


1)At least now I know what I'll look like at 55 when my hair is thinning and/or turning loose.
2) I'm saving a ton of money in hair gel
3) Uhhhhh....that's about all of the good things.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Disney on your Birthday

Disney is celebrating their 50th anniversary. As part of the celebration they are giving a free pass to everyone on their birthday. If you already have a season pass, they will give you credit in that amount to spend on items in various stores @ Disney Land.

Funny enough, we've never been able to make it on any of our birthdays. Today was my shot. We planned to take the kids and go for the evening. but it was not to be. Our car began overheating and it won't be repaired until tomorrow. So, we're now 0-4 on the DLand birthday celebration.

DisneyLand, if you're listening, can we get some kind of hook-up?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Have Your Cake AND...

One thing that is difficult in ministry for me is that I want it ALL for our people. I want to take us on tour every year. I want to record a CD. I want to publish songs from our church, our people, out of what God is doing in and through us. But, how much is too much?

I believe that we can overwhelm our people with way too much if we're not careful. With too many events going on, it begins to cause focus to be ever shifting and we lose sight of what we're working toward. With weekly worship prep thrown into the mix, too much can cause your people to pull away feeling that if they can't do it all then they shouldn't commit.

However, an even more dangerous temptation lurks for every worship pastor. If you're not careful, your ministry can fall into a rut and your people begin to feel that ministry only happens at 9:15 on Sunday morning. You have to find a good balance.

Keep your purpose before your people. Continue to steer the ship in the right direction - honoring God and investing in the Kingdom with every opportunity.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Random Things that Drive Me Crazy

Some things just make no sense to me at all. Some make me laugh, others make me cry, and some of them are just plain crazy. Here are a few of them:

1) While watching the local news, I saw a lady interviewed concerning the threat of a mudslide and the possibility of it destroying her home. Her comment was "this area was beautiful when we first bought out home 15 years ago. Now, we have these big hills and mountains that are threatening everything we've worked for." - Really? Those hills and mountains just sprung up over the last 15 years? Poor thing.
2) I sent an email to a worship pastor about a conference I am hosting in January. I received a reply that said "please remove me from your mailing list". I replied with an explanation of why I sent the email and that I wouldn't send anymore. The last reply said "there must be a mix up. I am the worship secretary. Not the minister of worship. So, please remove me from your list. I will not be attending the conference." - Seriously? You can't just assume for a moment that you should forward the email to him? Or, perhaps, that since his first name is at the top of the email that you should at least let him know about it? Come on, lady. Man, I love my staff.
3) It is raining right now in Southern California. Someone just walked into the church and said "there's a good chance that we might get some rain sometime today. I'm hoping to make it home before it starts." - Well, you might want to look outside. And, I'm sure it is going to be confusing later when you realize your jacket is wet and you can't figure out how that happened. Are you serious? For some people, I firmly believe in medicating.
4) I am receiving someone elses emails. Everything that goes to them comes to me. How is this happening? I get their spam, I get their bills, and I even get personal emails to them from their parents and friends. I get enough of my own emails that I don't want to read. I don't need yours, too.
5) 2009 Georgia Football.

What's something that drives you crazy?

Devil Child

I had to post this baby picture. This is actually someone that I know. They found this baby picture of themselves and shared it with me. Mistake number 1. I was actually shocked and frightened when I first saw it. Anyone else out there have a baby picture to rival this one? Send it to me at .

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Seeing Vegas in under 24 Hours

Jody and I rode over to Vegas for 1 night. We came to see someone who had come to Vegas on vacation, and we had a great time hanging out with them. Now, we're about to head back home. This was our first time in Vegas - not counting all of our flying in and out of the airport.

We're excited about seeing the kids today. Caleb and Abby are getting baptized tomorrow. So, it's a big weekend for us. The choir is singing Travis Cottrell's "Praise the King" in the morning. So, make sure if you're in Highland that you make it to Immanuel. It's going to be another amazing day!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Christmas with David Phelps and the Immanuel Choir

David Phelps is going to be in concert with the Immanuel Choir on December 6, at 7pm at Immanuel. David is one of the most prolific voices in Christian music today. His Christmas CD is my favorite one of his. Although, I have to admit that Christmas music in general is my favorite. So, it should come as no surprise.

We haven't even begun rolling radio spots yet. However, we are already getting a lot of phone calls and emails. Some of the stranger locations people are calling and emailing from are Montana, Las Vegas, and Northern California. I can't wait to see all of the places we end up having represented that night.

One of the emails we received was hilarious. This lady is a "Super-Phan" of David Phelps. You'll understand why I spelled it that way when you read the email. Check it out below:


I invite you to come to and get a taste of DP. We are a Christian bunch of phans (we spell it that way) and we praise together, pray together, stand awestruck at The Curly One's talent. Yes, I guess, we are groupies. Come join the phun.

Are you kidding me?

Sunday, October 04, 2009

October in Cali

The weather has begun to really cool down. It was so nice this morning to walk out of the choir room into the coolness of October. My birthday is also this month. So, October has always held a special place in my life. The beginning of fall and the celebration of another year. This year, I hit the big 3-5. Whether that's old or young is all in the perspective of each person reading this. I actually see both sides of that coin.

I've got some exciting news I'll share with you tomorrow. Check back....

Saturday, October 03, 2009

A Little Tired After 3 Years

In case you haven't noticed, I took a little break from blogging recently. It wasn't a planned break, but a break nonetheless. This month, I celebrate the THIRD Anniversary of, and I must say, it has been great. Recently, I went back through some old blogs and decided that I am ready to blog again. Hopefully, I won't hit a wall 2 weeks back in and give it all up again. We'll see how it goes.

So, check back often or click on follow, and join me for a renewal of this crazy ride! You and I have a lot of catching up to do.