Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Love Intentionally

I'm doing a teaching series called "Fanning the Flame"-we're addressing the question of How do you Stay in Love and Keep Growing in You Love for each other. Can you do that, is it possible to stay in love with the same person for the rest of your life and not just settle and live together or separate to find someone else?

The answer to that question lies in your understanding of love. Most of us think love is something that happens to us-we fall in love. God, however, has given us a living example of love and it is not something that happens to us but something the we chose to do.

The only way to "stay in Love and Grow in Love" is to LOVE INTENTIONALLY... to chose to love in spite of what the emotions are... to choose to serve the other and put their wants, needs and desires ahead of ours.

The Apostle Paul puts it this way:

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3–4)

"...in humility consider others better than yourselves." Please notice that he does not say they are better than you-only that we are to consider them better. This is the choice we get to make every day.

So, what will you do today to consider those closest to you better than you?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Is It possible???

Yesterday I began a new series (Fanning the Flame)on relationships-specifically marriage. In a world where most marriages and relationship fall apart, people today want to know is it possible for two people to stay together forever and be happy while doing it.Most people have never seen it happen. Most people have watched as one or both spouses have walked away from each other.

Yet, in spite of all of this, I believe that most people think that it IS possible for two people to stay together and grow in love together and even be happy in the process. They just aren't sure that it can happen to them.

Jesus said:

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?” (Matthew 19:4–5)

I believe God has placed that desire and longing within us. And, I believe that it is possible for two people to stay together forever and be happy. Tell me what you think...

Later this week, we'll discuss the key to staying in love-because there really is one.

Monday, August 8, 2011

AreYou A Good Listener?

Someone has said: "Most people only listen while waiting for their turn to speak." That may sound harsh but it certainly has proven to be true a lot of times in my life. It seems that most of us want to be heard more than we want to others. Most if us want to be understood more than we want to understand. We love to talk and hate to listen.

Yet one of the greatest needs of leaders, parents, pastors and others is the need to listen-the need to hear and understand what others are saying. The book of Proverbs is filled with instructions about listening. This week we will focus on what it has to say... Here are a few verses.

If you stop learning, you will forget what you already know. ” (Proverbs 19:27 CEV)

My child, if you listen and obey my teachings, you will live a long time. ” (Proverbs 4:10 CEV)

If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise. If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding. ” (Proverbs 15:31–32)

Here is one thing to do to become a better listener: (we'll talk about more later this week).

Be quiet while someone else is speaking: This is easier said than done.

Get rid of all your distractions-turn off your cell phone, your the tv, ipod or whatever else can get in the way.

Focus all of your attention on the one who is speaking.

Try this: Wait one full second before you even think about responding.

You will be surprised at what you will hear and even at what you will say.

Are you a good listener? What are some things you've learned that help you? let me hear from you..

Friday, July 22, 2011

Your Name Matters...

I know that there are times when it does not matter what people think about us. Times when we choose to go against the popular thing to do the right thing. But Proverbs tells us that a good name or our good reputation matters more than great riches.

We will be known by the way that we live each day, the way that we treat others. People will take notice of the things that we do. The question is this: Will they see us as people who consistently live out what they say they believe? Or, will they see us as just another hypocrite who says one thing and does another?

Your name and my name matters. What do people who live with you, who work with you, who know you think about when they hear your name or mine?

A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. ” (Proverbs 22:1)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


It happened to me yesterday. I went to a place of business to find out what it would cost to get something fixed. I asked about the cost and how long it would take to get addressed. The man responded with an attitude that caught me by surprise and then walked away from me as if I did not exist. All of a sudden I was faced with what I would do... Can you relate?

All of us make decisions every day about what we will do with the things that have been done to us. Sometimes those things happened a long time ago-sometimes it will happen today. What will you do? What should you do?

There are times when the appropriate thing to do is to address it and do it well. Sometimes the best thing to do is to walk away and over look it.

A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.
” (Proverbs 19:11)

I have to admit that I failed to handle the situation yesterday well. I spoke out of frustration and anger. I did not say a lot but what I said was not said very well. Quite honestly, it was one of those times when I just should overlooked it and let it go. So, today I'm going to seek to be better prepared to do what needs to be done.

What about you? Got anything that you need to overlook and let go?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Keep Quiet...

All too often we are quick to talk about anything. We pass along our opinions, thoughts and ideas about everything-Politics, Hollywood, Our Neighbors, the President, Congress, the World. We love to tell what we think about it whether we know much about it at all. It's amazing how much we can talk and never really say anything worth listening to.

I realized this as I was having lunch with someone last week. I found myself giving an opinion about a subject that I hardly knew anything about. My lunch partner graciously set me straight on the subject. I felt like a fool...

Some years ago, someone told me that it is better to sit there and be thought a fool than to stand up and speak and remove all doubt. Seems that Proverbs gives us the same advice...

Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue. (Proverbs 17:28)

Maybe I need to say less and learn more. What about you?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

You Never Know...

We often think that we know-we believe that we know-we think that we can look at a person and know what is happening in their life.

Proverbs 14 lets us know that appearances can be deceiving. We look at others and they look so happy and seem to have it altogether. We think they are doing great and we never even stop to consider what they may be going through in their own lives.

Even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief. ” (Proverbs 14:13)

Another ancient saying puts it this way: Be kind for everyone you see is fighting a tough battle.

Today-pay attention to those around you-they may seem to be loving life and having it great, but if you take the time to ask you may find out that, like you, they have some tough issues they are facing. They may be laughing on the outside and dying on the inside. You never know...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Watch Out!

There are more verses in Proverbs about the Tongue than any other topic. All of us know the power of the tongue-all of us have said things that we immediately wish we could take back. But, what you say can never be taken back.

A wise man once told me that your tongue does not come with an eraser-once you say it, you can't take it back. My thought for today is WATCH OUT-think about the meetings you have and the people you will see today and Guard your lips...

He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin. ” (Proverbs 13:3)

Watch out and you will save yourself and others a lot of pain and heart ache.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

TheQuestion for Today. Are you STUPID???

I know this is probably not the best way to start off this morning. However, here's the verse that got my attention as I was reading Proverbs 12:

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid. ” (Proverbs 12:1)

I hate to admit it, but sometimes I am a STOOO-PID man. My first impulse is to react negatively when I am corrected or criticized. Early on in my life, I would always get defensive whenever anyone would try to correct me. I am getting better but still have a long way to.

Someone who loved me once told me that my defensiveness would cause people to stop taking to me about these areas and when they stopped talking, I would stop growing. I got upset when he first told me this, but I have come to realize that he was right. I need to have people talk to me and I need to listen.

I do know that I have learned a lot about myself and have grown tremendously whenever I have listened to others who cared enough to talk to me. I have also learned they are not always 100% correct in what they have to say, but often there is some truth in it that I can learn from. So, I don't want to be a STUPID man-how about you?

How do you respond to correction and criticism? What are you learning? Let me hear from you.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Generosity is the Key...

Our Summer Reading Challenge for July is the book of Proverbs. I am already behind in blogging some of my thoughts but I'm beginning today through the end of the month.

Solomon tells us in chapter 11 that Generosity is the Key to prosperity and refreshment.

One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
” (Proverbs 11:24–25).

I think about those who have given and been generous to me and the way that I have been helped and refreshed by them. I want to be that kind of person as well. I want the Bridge Church to be known for our generosity and willingness to help others. I don't want to be known for withholding but for giving.

So, today I am going to look for opportunities to be generous to those God brings into my life. I want to be generous with my resources, my time and my attention to those who need it.

How have you been helped by the generosity of others? How will you be generous today? How can we become more generous as a Church? I would love to hear from you...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Messy Spirituality

We are doing this series called Messy Spirituality and are challenging the way that we think about Spirituality. We seem to think that the truly spiritual people are those who have it all together. They always read their Bible, they always pray and always do the the right thing. So, most of think that we can't be very spiritual because our lives aren't like that.... Can you relate?

The reality is that the Bible is filled with men and women whose lives were messy and filled with all kinds of mistakes and sin. They did not have it all together-they were human like the rest of us. But, God moved into their lives and ised their brokenness and mess to do great things and to change their lives.

He still does that for us today. He takes our mess and works in it and through it to change us. Watch this real life story-maybe it will encourage and inspire you... Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


"Free from the love of money" 1 Tim. 3:3

"God loves a cheerful giver." 2 Cor. 9:27

Today, as I met with a group of men we discussed what it means to be generous. Someone has said that being a follower of Christ and generosity are inseparable ideas. I agree-following Christ should make us free from the love of money and stuff-willing to share and give.

Let em share how I have seen generosity demonstrated in the last few days with the people I love a do life with. People gave away over 700 shoes. Another group served and gave food to almost 100 families. Several people worked to clean up an area our kid's playground area. Someone took a guy out so the he could buy groceries. Another gave his time to visit with a sick friend. People gave financially to help us reach this community.

On and on and on I could go. I see generosity all over the place and it makes me ask myself: How can I be generous today?

So, what stories of generosity have you seen lately? I would love to hear from you...

Monday, May 2, 2011

Willingness Matters More than Power

Yesterday was another amazing day at the Bridge Church. Pastor Tim delivered a great message on giving and service. He said some great things but there is one thing that continues to resonate with me.

We think that is it our power and influence that God will use to change the world. And most of us have very little power and influence so we think that we have very little to offer. But, we are wrong.

It is our willingness to be used by God that matters more than any power or influence and even fame or fortune.

"Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions." (1 John 3:18)

So, the question for you today is this: Am I willing?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Time To Celebrate...

These past few weeks have been wild and crazy here at the Bridge Church. I just want to take a few moments to Celebrate the great week God is doing through the Great People at the Bridge Church.

We have taken on a major painting project in our Kidz Zone Ministry that is 95% complete. Our Food Pantry is helping to provide food for several hundred people each month. We put together over 13,000 Easter Eggs that were given out to over 1,500 people on Saturday. And, our Easter Services reached hundreds of people with the good news that Jesus is Alive and LOVE WINS.

In the process we have seen over 20 people come to Christ and dozens of significant decisions have been made. Lives are being changed. I have to be honest, I am tired and I know that many of you are as well, BUT I am so excited about all that God is doing. Let's never forget why we do what we do-people matter and everyone needs hope!!!

Thanks to each and everyone of you who have been a part of all of this. There is nothing more fulfilling than doing great work with great people. Take some time to celebrate all that God is doing. What a privilege to serve alongside all of you. Love you all...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Forgive them...

Over the next couple of weeks I want to look at the last words Jesus spoke while on the cross. The first is found in Luke...

When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. (Luke 23:33-34)

In the last 15 hours Jesus had faced betrayal by a friend, agony in the Garden, being deserted by all of the disciples, three trial in front of the religious leaders of Israel, being denied by Peter, three trials in front of Rome, several beatings, insults and mockery from those he loved and finally he was chosen to be crucified in the place of Barabbas. He then had to walk the path to Golgotha and be nailed to the cross. We can't even begin to imagine all of the pain and agony he felt.

I get bent out of shape if someone says one thing about me that is not true. I get upset if a friend turns against me. I have never had to face any real physical pain that comes close to what Jesus endured-yet I know if I ever had to, I would not deal with it well at all. I don't know about you, but whenever I face tough times my focus gets placed on me and I rarely think of others.

Yet in the middle of all that he was going through-Jesus was thinking and focused on others. His first words from the cross were "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing."

Forgiveness is why Jesus went to the cross and forgiveness was on his heart as he hung there. All of this tells us there is no sin too great, no action so harsh that the grace of God can't reach us and forgive us and give us a new start.

I find great encouragement and hope from these words. I believe that you can regardless of your story. And just maybe, we can also forgive those who had hurt as just as Jesus did. Waht do you think? I'd love to hear from you...

Monday, January 3, 2011

Where to Start...

As we head into this new year, I want to address some critical issues that keep us from living the life we long to live and the life that God has called us to live. But where do we start????

These issues really have to do with the way that we think than with the way that we live. I am NOT saying that our actions aren't important. They are-but our actions come as a result of what we think and believe.

For as he thinks within himself, so he is… (Prov. 23:7)

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…. (Rom. 12:2)

The place to start-it is in our thinking.

Over the next few weeks, I will address four major areas that impact the way that we live because of the way we tend to think. (These are the same issues that I am addressing each week The Bridge Church). My prayer is that we will allow God to transform our mind so that we can live a transformed life.

So, this week, we will address: Living with Nothing to Prove....

What are the issues that you face as you head into this year?

What are the changes that you most want to see in you life?

What do you want to be different for you a year from now?

I'd love to hear from you...