My kids and I watch and wait.

When Marvel or DC Comics has a new movie coming out, we immediately try to get tickets.

There is something about heroes, and especially superheroes, that makes us feel as though we can be much more than our drab, ordinary, everyday life. It adds excitement and wonder.

But those superheroes aren’t real.

Superheroes are not the people who gain special abilities by getting bitten by a spider or consuming radiation. There are many other kinds of heroes and superheroes that really need celebrating.

Last week my wife and I led a mission journey to Peru. Our church works directly with another church there. It is this trip that I would like to highlight the many heroes and superheroes.

Let’s start with the heroes.

Camino de Vida is a church in the center of Lima Peru. It was founded by Pastor Robert Barriger. He has followed a very American church model and brought in elements of Dream Center International and Servolution. The church has grown to multiple thousands of people. As it has grown, they have streamlined operations and built programs around serving the city.


Our first set of heroes are those who plan the mission journeys to Lima. We worked through Paige Solis. She works with groups and churches. She wasn’t there when we went because she was back in the United States for a friend’s wedding, but her husband was there. We met Stalin last year. This year we got to spend a great deal of time with him and learn about his heart for the people of Peru. They both have amazing gifts that they use for God and the people of Peru. Paige has a strong gift for keeping the program organized, even when she has a lot going on. She has an amazing gift for hospitality and making sure that everyone is doing well. Stalin has a huge heart and love of good coffee. We talked for a very long time about coffee. He showed us all amazing hospitality and love while we were in Peru.


Then there were our guides, Kennedy and Maressa. Kennedy is Canadian and will be leaving Peru to go back to school at the end of the year. For being 19, she is mature way beyond her years. She has a heart for missions and hopes to see a better missions program coming out of Canada. She always had a smile on her face, even if something didn’t go quite as planned. Maressa is from the United States. She is a southern belle with a New York attitude. Strong but gentle. We were her first group that she ever hosted. As one of the interns, her tour of duty ends in December and she heads home for a few months while she determines what her future looks like. She has a fun sense of humor and really loves children.

Then there is Moises. He is currently a student but spends more time at the church than anywhere. He is strong as an ox but gentle as a dove. He left a very good job years ago to be able to spend time doing church work.


Next we have Toby. He was our driver and could fit the van into some of the smallest places ever. Toby has 4 kids and a wife and lives about an hour outside the city. Every morning Toby was at our mission house to pick us up by very early and ever night we didn’t return until about 8 or 9 pm. Then Toby would have to drop off the van and drive home. Even when he got his hand stuck in a closing door, he didn’t miss a beat! He kept going and refused to leave our sides.


Then there is Daniel and Stephanie. They put us up in their house for the week and made sure we had breakfast every morning. They made sure we had a safe place to stay, clean sheets and towels, and comfort.  They also train the interns. They spend time with them and make sure they are discipled.

In years past we met many other heroes that we saw last week as well. Adam and Paolo who went from being guides to planting a church. Bernie, the woman who helped us to get checked in one our plane home from Peru. Miguel, the man who we saw every year for the past 5 that spends much of his time doing mass wheelchair distributions.

And there are so many more that I can’t even think of right now.

But now I want to move away from the heroes and talk about the superheroes.

First there is Antuane.


This woman! She has overcome some amazing hurdles in her life and she just keeps on smiling! At one point in her life, she was so strung out, homeless, and eating food off the street. She met with the church in La Victoria and came to know Christ. It was at that moment, she turned her life around. She got cleaned up and off the streets. The heroes above organized building her a house on the third floor of someone’s building. It is a 1-room place with a shared bathroom. But it has a door.

Antuane is a superhero! She survived the street. She overcame adversities that no one should have to endure and came out with joy in her heart.

Then there is Milargo. Her name literally means “miracle.” Her husband was in the hospital in Lima the morning we served breakfast. He was diagnosed with Leukemia and she was concerned because she was worried he was going to die. We prayed for God to provide a miracle to Miracle. She has overcome several hurdles. She is a superhero because she saw the church coming and she begged us to pray for her husband. She stood at God’s door and knocked loudly. She refused to let go until God moved.


Then we have Frank. But even more so, Frank’s family. Frank has CP. His family lives at the top of a very steep dirt hill. They take him out for walks regularly, but in order to do so, the dad would carry his wheelchair down the hill while his mom carries Frank. We met up with them because he outgrew the wheelchair he was given a few years ago. Moises, one of our heroes, carried the new chair to the top of the hill while the mom carried Frank. It was so dangerous to climb up and down that we went in groups of 2 holding on to each other in some cases. And his mother carries him by herself up and down the hill daily! SHE is a superhero!

And I could continue with the stories of heroes and superheroes, but I would need to write a book about each. Every story in Peru was a blessing to our hearts.

Just like Jesus rolling the stone away and bursting from the grave, Christ rolled away our hearts of stone when we met these people and burst forth from the grave, giving hope to hero and superhero alike.

The superheroes of Peru are beautiful people. But it is the heroes in Peru that truly have my heart. They care so deeply for Peru and Peruvians while very few people care about them. Please keep them all in prayer, hero and superhero.

Below are the links to support these heroes financially so they can continue to help the superheroes. Please consider sending your support to them.

Paige & Stalin:


Daniel & Stephanie:

Love Knows No Borders

1 Corinthians 16:14 – Let all that you do be done in love.

Tomorrow my team leaves for Peru. The church prayed over us and officially sent us, now we just need to get there and start working.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been to Peru. I’ve been 4 of the past 5 years.

This also isn’t the only mission journey my church has gone on. A few years ago we started running multiple journeys and we have seen some pretty awesome groups go to various places such as Navajo Nation, Costa Rica, Peru, and Haiti.

Haiti so touched the hearts of the people, and our senior pastor, that the church purchased a school of over 200 kids. Many of those kids were fortunate to get 1 meal a day. After purchasing the school, the kids are now getting at least 2 meals a day and a lot has been done there to improve the conditions of the children and their families.

But what should the church’s position on missions be? I have heard a lot of different views, even among my own friends.

Luke 10:1 – After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go.

There is one school of thought that believes short term missions do more harm than good. In this view, the only successful mission is one in which the sending church invests in the long-term both with resources and money. The belief goes that a short term trip only offers a week-long missions vacation for the people going and there is no long term benefit from sending people to them.

I disagree with this view.

Of course the goal of missions is to see long-term relationships built and communities move from struggling to thriving all while giving praise to the God of Creation. But I do believe that short term missions have a very important role in the missions strategy of the church.

First, short term missionaries don’t have a “tomorrow” in the field. They can take some risks that long-term community missionaries can’t. They are able to take the gospel to people without fear because they don’t know any better.

Second, almost all short-term mission journeys are overseen by a long-term missionary group or family. If that is the case, these short-term missionaries can be a great source of relief for the receiving agent. Many times the long term missionary comes from the United States, where we are coming from.  This gives the long-term missionary someone to discuss life with in “American” terms. This can recharge and refuel the long-term missionary with the energy and excitement of the short-term group. It also gives the long-term missionary some extra hands to get some bigger projects done that may not have been able to get done if it weren’t for the extra hands.

Third, and I think this is the most important one, it changes hearts of the short-term missionary. Every year I have seen one person take on a new appreciation for missions and ministry. The first year it was myself. One year I saw the senior pastor’s granddaughter come home with a new energy that is still happening to this day. In one of our church’s Haiti trips, one of the women went on to become a long-term missionary to Nepal. All of these people may not have had this energy if it weren’t for their mission trip.

2 Corinthians 10:16 – So that we may preach the gospel in lands beyond you, without boasting of work already done in another’s area of influence.

But them there is another school of thought about missions. In this school of thought, the church believes that short term missions are the only opportunity for a church. Many of these churches either don’t know how to set up a long-term missions program or they believe that they only way to assure the money they are spending on missions gets to the community they want to serve is to send it down with a short-term group.

I disagree with this school of thought as well.

If a church only focuses on short-term missions then they are not following the great commission. Short term trips are great for hands on the plows and boots on the ground. But there can be no long term discipleship.

Matthew 28:19-20 – Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Christians are called to go and make disciples all around the world. We are not just called to dig a well or build a kitchen or build a wheelchair. We need to support programs that make disciples.

So I want to suggest to all churches out there that we follow a short and long term missions strategy.

This would be to support long term missionaries worldwide through both resource support and sending while also supporting short term missions through doing youth group trips, domestic, international, and others. This strategy gives everyone an opportunity to participate and it gives God an avenue for changing hearts of people, both the sent and the target.

We should never limit God by telling Him that only short term or long term missions are the answer. God can, and will, use all strategies to change hearts and lives.

Getting Ready for Peru Again

Acts 13:47 – For this is what the Lord has commanded us: “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'”

In a little over a week my wife and I will be leaving for Peru. I have gone to Peru almost every year for the past 5. This journey has been both eye-opening and heart-changing for us.

Five years ago my senior pastor came to me ask if I would consider leading a trip to Peru. Tentatively I said yes. I wasn’t sure how I would be able to afford the trip. It was expensive. I remember telling him that I would love to but that I needed to pray about it. Just so you know, “I’ll pray about it” is Christianese for “I don’t want to but I am going to blame God for it.”

But something happened. I told my boss at the time that I was looking at going to Peru on a mission trip and wanted to see if it would be possible to get the days off work, thinking he would tell me no since it was a short turn around. Well, he said yes. Then almost immediately, someone from work offered to donate to the trip.

Well, God told me, eh?

I guess I was going to Peru.

The rest of the money was pretty easy to raise. I went on the trip and it was very eye-opening. It was in Peru that I made the decision that church planting was going to be my focus. I needed to see God move throughout neighborhoods and shanty towns. I desired to see community in places that seemed discommunitized (is that a real word?).  I told the man who was our guide over and over again that I saw a spot for a church to be planted and would like to help. By the end of the trip, he had told me there was already a church planted there and that they meet regularly.

The next year, we went to Peru and I was blessed to have one of our pastors go with me on this trip. It was also the first year that Mimi went with me. At the time, she was still my girlfriend, not wife, so we had separate accommodations.

For me, though, this trip was about those who had never been to Peru. Our guide, Adam, was awesome. His heart for God is so immense! And he is extremely approachable and humble. The big moment that happened during this trip was about one of the guys who was on the trip with us. His name is Steve. When I had asked everyone at the beginning of the trip what they wanted to get out of it, his reply was that he didn’t know why God had woken him in the middle of the night to tell him to go to Peru.

Fast forward through almost the entire week. Steve had been having a good time, but he told me a few times he still didn’t know why he was there.

Micah 6:8 – He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

Our guide, Adam, asked if we would like to take a detour to see a family that their church supports. How could we say no! This was truly a time of blessing. We went to a local market, got food, and headed toward the shantytown. The woman we were going to see lost use of one of her legs when she was younger, he previous living place was destroyed in a landslide, and she had her family living with her in a 2-room, dirt-floor house. In one room was a child who could not walk, talk, move, see, hear or really anything. She was taking care of him.

We asked her if we could pray with her. She grabbed our hands and said yes and immediately started praying. She started with, “Thank you, God, for all the blessings you have given me…”

Adam’s voice broke as he was translating for us. He was choking back the tears as he told us what she just said.

After we were finished, we headed back to where we were sleeping. The bus was quiet. About 20 minutes into the ride, I heard soft sobbing from right behind my seat. It was Steve. Through his sobbing he kept saying over and over “I know why I am here…I know why I am here…”

I never truly heard exactly what it was that God had just shown him, but he clearly was driven to fall deeper in love with God.

The next year, we had planned a trip to Peru but God had other plans. I think God wanted me to learn humility. We had hoped to take a team down for the 3rd year in a row but no one signed up. The only ones who would have gone were me and one other. We made the choice to cancel.

I was heartbroken. But the reason I was heartbroken was not because of the mission of God. I was heartbroken because I was unable to go back to Peru. It was selfish. I wanted to go to Peru and I didn’t want anything or anyone to get in my way, including God.

I spent a lot of time in confession. I remember talking to Mimi about it and telling her that I felt bad that I was taking God’s mission and making it my own. I learned a lot that year.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 – Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Last year we had the opportunity to go back. During this trip, Paige was our guide. She was awesome as well, especially with everything that she had going on at the time. She was planning her wedding at the same time we were down there!

This time, Mimi was my wife, so I was blessed to see this from a completely different view with her as my wife. During this trip, there was so much that warmed my heart. First, a couple from our church had their vows renewed in Peru. That was such a tender and sweet moment. Next, I watched my wife do what she is best at, blessing people with her infectious smile and laugh. She may not have understood the language, but she was able to make others smile and laugh with her.

But the big moment came when I watched one girl on our trip, Caillie, go deeper in her walk with God. Her dad was on this trip with her and they had a lot of great father/daughter moments. But I believe God broke through some of those layers of her heart that we tend to put up that prevent us from being vulnerable. It was amazing to see her heart break for the people of Peru.

Caillie has fallen in love so much with people in Peru that she is heading to Haiti in about 2 weeks. She already went once this year and she is finding that her heart for missions just keeps expanding.

So now we are at this year. What is going to happen? I don’t know.

But I do know this, I expect God to do great things. That’s right, EXPECT.

God does great things. It should be our expectation that God will do great things!

This year, again, my wife will be going with me. I can’t wait to share this experience with her again.

Philippians 2:2 – Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

Some of the places we will go next week include: Hope House (for abused women), an orphanage, deliver wheelchairs house to house, La Victoria campus of the main church, and serving breakfast to a hospital there.

This is a journey.

Anyone who knows me knows I hate the term “mission trip.”  Even though this is a specific trip, the word trip denotes a specific beginning and ending. A journey continues.

When we do missions, whether long-term or short-term, the goal should be to continue the change the God does in our hearts during the trip throughout the rest of our lives.

My prayer is that you will have the opportunity to either support a missionary or be one. You learn that you are not the hero of the story. You are simply a character that is written into the story for a couple of pages. The main characters are those who live in need daily and survive. They are the heroes. They are the ones who deserve the credit, not us. And the writer of the story is God. He creates the opportunities for us to connect.

Isaiah 6:8 – Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Confessions of an Almost Church Planter

Planting a church is tough. There are significant organizations that have many years of experience and have hired some of the greatest minds in Christendom to figure out the best ways to plant a church.

Regrettably I am not one of those minds.

Almost a year ago my senior pastor approached me about planting a church in a town near to where I live. I was excited! We took a group of 3 guys and started meeting in a person’s house. Once we grew too big for the house, we moved to a community center. Unfortunately that is where the growth stopped and actually receded significantly.

In 2013 I graduated from seminary with a Master’s degree in church planting. I figured this was God moving in my life. I am pretty sure I was completely wrong about that, other than to use this as a humbling experience that, hopefully, will make me better for the next chance I get.

Over this time, I compiled a list of things that I learned. Some of these were learned the hard way, through experiencing it. Others came through talking to people like David Platt, JD Greear, and other church planters out there who have done this successfully.

  • Church planting does not happen on a whim. Many reasons that plants fail is a lack of resources. Many times that means money, but it could also be human resources or support networks. The first thing that I learned both during seminary and while talking to actual church planters is that they started a small group in the sending church that grew to 20-40 people. Those 20-40 people would leave the sending church, agree to 1-2 year commitments in the plant, and get the plant started. If I was doing this over again, I would get leadership approval to approach people in the sending church who might be interested in this.
  • There needs to be training for all parties involved. Having a church planter with a seminary degree in church planting is great, but if there is no training for all of the people involved into how to plant a church and grow a church, then there will be little chance of success. When I started our plant, I looked at it as an established church already. I was teaching on several topics that are very important topics, but they did not approach the important topic of how to plant the church we were planning. In the early stages as a small group, there need to be lessons, videos, and training on evangelism, church core values, and several other aspects of new church growth.
  • Everyone needs to be on board. If the leadership is divided over a church plant, it will have little chance of success. Every single leader in the church needs to be praying for the success of the plant. And the plant needs to be continually praying for the success of the main campus. Every leader, whether in a campus or in the main location, needs to be unified under the goal of the church. If planting a church does not fit within the DNA of a church model, then it is not time to plant.
    1. On a side note, I do need to say that a church that is not planting other churches is not following the model laid out in the Book of Acts. The last 2 letters of the word “SIN” are “IN.” Churches that are in SIN are IN to themselves. The first 2 letters of the word “GOSPEL” is “GO.” Churches who focus on the GOSPEL will GO to the ends of the earth.
  • Frustration will come. Satan does not want churches planted. If churches get planted, especially Biblically-based ones, then Satan knows he is going to lose some ground in spiritual war. In the early stages of planting a church Satan is going to attack hard. He will attack marriages. He will attack relationships. He will attack our minds and hearts. In the middle of planting the church, the 4 main men in the plant were impacted by significant job problems. My business lost a lot of money which meant I needed to take a second job to make ends meet. Another member of our planting team found a job in another state and had to relocate. Another lost his employment and found something new which kept him away from the men’s meeting and some of the Sunday nights. The fourth left his job and started a new one. All of this happened within the span of 45 days. During that time all the mens’ marriages were struggling as the men had to lead their families through transition. DO NOT underestimate our enemy. Satan will come to kill, steal, and destroy. And our former church plant is a good example of that.
  • Prayer needs to be the primary focus of all leadership, whether in main or satellite. One of my biggest opportunities (ie. sins) is the fact that when I get to a point where I feel overworked, frustrated, unsuccessful, or unable to solve a problem I dig my heels in and work at it harder. Unfortunately, this typically leads to me praying less and studying Scripture less. This is something that I need to confess regularly and refocus myself. This is an area that I could use constant accountability.
  • Accountability needs to be strong. The new campus leader and potentially the entire new campus leadership need to be meeting with main campus leadership minimally weekly but more likely several times a week until the campus is planted.

I believe the Bible is clear that we are to plant churches and that every church should plan to be a sending church. I want to give you some Scriptural verses to show that is the case.

Matthew 16:18 – And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

1 Corinthians 3:6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.

Acts 2:47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

1 Peter 4:9-10 – But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

I Can Stay Silent No Longer

I am not one who looks to judge the world. That is not my place. That is God’s place. I am to judge good and evil and decide whether myself, as a Christian, should accept it into my life, my family’s life, and my church’s life.

Romans 12:2 is the Christian’s lead in this, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed to the renewing of your mind, that by testing you may discern the will of God, what is good, acceptable and perfect.”

If you are reading this and do not know Christ, I am not going to be one to tell you how to live. It will fall on deaf ears. Here are a couple Bible verses that prove my point:

Proverbs 18:2 – A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, only in expressing his own opinion.

Psalm 14:1 – The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”

Proverbs 23:9 – Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the good sense of your words.

If you are reading this and do not know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, then I will ask that you stop reading now until you know the saving grace of Christ Jesus. This post is for Christians. If you don’t know Him personally then you will project your views on my words, which will color them in a different way than I would like them perceived.

I write this post from someone who is faithfully and dearly in love with Christ.

So, Christian, who are you voting for in the election?

Loaded question, most certainly.

There is one thing I have heard over and over and over again from people calling themselves Christians who are going to vote for either Hilary or Trump. I hear Christians say, “Well, he/she is the lesser of two evils.”

Many other writers have written much better posts about how the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil, but I am going to share yet another, from my viewpoint. But let me start with some proofs from the Bible.

  • 2 Corinthians 6:14
    1. Do not bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?
  • 1 Corinthians 10:21
    1. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.
  • Proverbs 22:8
    1. He who sows iniquity will reap vanity, and the rod of his fury will perish.
  • Proverbs 1:29-31
    1. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord. “They would not accept my counsel, they spurned all my reproof. So the shall eat of the fruit of their own way and be satiated with their own devices.”
  • The ENTIRE book of Habakkuk

And then there is this:

“When God wants to judge a nation, He gives them wicked rulers.” – John Calvin

Christian, I am pleading with you, DO NOT vote based on the lesser of two evils mentality. You will still be choosing evil, thus heaping the coals of sin upon your own head!

1 Thessalonians 5:22 tells us, as Christians, to “abstain from every form of evil.” This includes the lesser of two evils.

Finally, choosing a lesser of two evils shows the world that you are willing to compromise your own beliefs in order to get what you want. What kind of testimony do you think that gives Christ?

I will leave you with one final Bible verse:

James 4:17 – So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.


The End of an Era

Acts 20:24 – But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

A few years ago Pastor Christian, one of the pastors at the church I attend, preached a sermon on “finishing well.” At the end of it he sent the trustees around the sanctuary with baskets filled with little finishing washers to remind us to finish well.

I immediately put that on my key ring to remind me every single day that I need to finish this life well.

But it isn’t just with life.

In everything we need to prepare for our final curtain call.

When I left the grocery chain I worked for almost 10 years at to start a franchise, I stared long and hard at that little finishing washer. I wanted to leave my region in a better state that it was started in.

That is called a legacy.

Every job, every ministry, and aspect of our personal lives we should strive to leave a positive lasting legacy.

The legacy I want everyone to see when I step away from this life and move into my time with God face to face is Jesus. When people think of me, I want them to think of Jesus.

2 Timothy 4:7 – I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

That brings me to my point for this blog. It is time to step away from blogging for a while. I need to begin to simplify my life so that Christ can shine through the simplicity.

I don’t want Christ to return only to find me busy to be busy. I want Him to find me busy creating that lasting legacy that will have people saying, “I have no clue what his name was, but I remember him always talking about Jesus.”

Over the life of this blog, I have posted 218 times. I tried to post weekly, but realized that as the blog became more mature, it was difficult to find inspiration to write so I had some weeks where I posted nothing. I also had some weeks where I posted daily.

My very first post was on May 13, 2012. At that time my Twitter was sitting at 218 followers, mostly friends. Also at that time I labeled myself a “Christian apologist.” The dictionary defines an apologist as someone who “offers an argument in defense of something controversial.” In Christian terms, an apologist is someone who gives a reason for the faith which they have.

Today, my Twitter account sits at 1,858 followers and my blog is in front of potentially 2,800 people weekly. I am sure my Twitter numbers will drop now that I am not blogging any more, that seems to be how this game of social media works. The more you are on it, the more people want to know about you and scope you out. When you step away, you fall back into the mists of commonality.

Hebrews 12:1 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us

I have covered topics on this blog that were very important to my journey at the time I posted them. I spoke a lot about divorce, seeing as how I got a divorce not long before I started blogging. I wrote about the image of God, predestination and election, farting, missions, tears, politics, masturbation, my late dog Mocha, the mission journeys I took to Peru, Christmas, single parenting, strippers, gay marriage, heresy in the church, being a dad, and many many other topics.

Some of my favorites (and also some of my readers’ favorites) included:

I also made a few mistakes along the way. In the post “Minding your P’s & Q’s,” I was discussing some of the original Biblical texts and throughout the post I kept saying the P75 and Codex Vaticanus were one in the same. They are very far from being the same thing. There is a matter of about 1,000 year difference. But if you really want to know where your Bible came from, start researching those 2 documents.

Next, I ranted about some poor customer service I had at Comcast. Now I believe everyone allowed to get frustrated and go on a rant from time to time. But those rants should never be on social media. The next post I apologized to Comcast for my poor choice of words about them.

I am sure my theology was not always lining up with the top theologists out there. I bet if Pastor Brit (one of the pastors at the church I attend and also THE toughest theologian I know) read my posts he would have a laundry list of theological fixes I need to make.

But that is the thing about theology. We need to internalize it and make it our own. Yes, we need accountability to make sure we are learning it properly. Theology is not some nebulous thing. It needs to be learned to be properly used. But we do need to make theology our own.

Philippians 1:6 – I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

I have completely filled my schedule with an abundance of tasks. Everything from buying a house to starting a business to leading several ministries to (in the near future) potentially planting a church.

In order to perform well at the important ones, I need to remove the ones which are simply there as either an ego boost or to be busy, including this blog.

So I thank you for reading this blog over the years and I pray we can stay in touch. The site will remain open, it just won’t have any new posts on it.

God bless.

Many Regrets, One Hope

Luke 2:14 – “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Being 45 years old, a lot has happened in my life. Some things I am very proud of.

In high school I did very well in the science fairs and received a decent amount of college scholarships because of it. I was really into robotics and my senior year I built a robot butler that ran off dual motorcycle batteries and was about 5’ tall. It poured drinks and vacuumed.

When I went to college, I was in a lot of different activities. I acted and did sound design for our theatre, was Production Manager at the radio station (I will forever know how to pronounce a “W” after spending years there) and my senior seminar project was producing a digital demo for a band. These days a digital demo is all too normal, but during the early 90s, digital was almost unheard of.

I became a multi-unit manager at a fairly young age with Taco Bell. Managing 3 stores, building a new one, and leading several regional task forces all by the age of 25 was awesome. That springboarded a career that led to managing 175 units across 26 states and eventually to a long, successful career at a large grocery chain and finally ending in owning my own recruiting franchise.

But along the way, I have had several moments that were not so glorious.

Because of my awkwardness in high school, I never made any close friends. Because of my busyness in college, I never really grew close to anyone there either. Because of my work schedule and strong desire to succeed (pretty much an addiction to work) I was never there for my now ex-wife and kids. My ex-wife eventually gave me up for another guy and the relationship with the kids is strained, although in some ways getting better.

But there are a LOT of days that I wish I would have done things differently.

I know what you are thinking, “But, Fred, you have an amazing life.”

You are right, God has blessed me beyond measure despite the screw ups I have done.

But that doesn’t change the fact that I wish I had changed things in my past. We all have that feeling. We have all done things that we wish were different.

But we can’t dwell on those past problems.

For myself, I need to move forward, past the issues of my lack of friends in the past and my lack of commitment to my ex-wife and over-commitment to my work.

You see, if it weren’t for those mistakes, I would not have been given the hope I have now.

It is very easy to say that in the past few years, God has turned my life around and given me more blessings than I could ever imagine. You are right, but the physical blessings are merely a vapor in this life.

As much as I love Mimi, we will both die one day and not be together.

As much as I enjoy the house we have, time will take the new house smell away and it will simply be another house.

As much as I enjoy the ministries that God has given me, all the people I minister to will disappear one way or another.

But the hope I have came in the form of a little baby.

Luke 2:15 – When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

Not my own children, although they are blessings.

The little baby I am speaking of was born in a manger to a couple who never expected to be birthing the Savior of humanity.

But that little baby brought me hope.

Luke 2:11-12 – Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

That little baby was born out of love.

Not necessarily between the human parents of Jesus, but between God the Father and humanity.

For God so loved the world…

That little baby is my hope.

That little baby is the reason I have a life.

That little baby is the reason that I know that whatever regrets I have in the past, I have a future that will lead to heaven. Even though I will always feel the pain of my regrets, which will affect my happiness, my joy will always be present because my life is in Christ.

And that is more than good enough for me.

John 3:16 – For God so loved  the world,  that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.


Proverbs 21:23 – Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.

I have a lot of titles for what I WANT to name this.

Most of them contain 4-letter language and would be quite abrasive.

So I am going to take the wisdom of Solomon on this and tame my tongue with regard to the title.

But I do want to speak out.

I am sure we have all heard the news recently about how Donald Trump came out basically persecuting Muslims. Well, this is true. And it isn’t the first time in American history it has happened. A few different presidents have singled out different cultures to persecute over the years. It has happened on both sides of the fence, Republican and Democrat.

But I don’t want to give a political party any more press than it deserves, so I am not going to talk about Trump…or Clinton…or Cruz…or Carson…or Sanders…or any of those other idiots…um, er…candidates.

I want to talk about humanity as a whole.

And in particular, Americans.

And I want to start with a small test.

I am going to show you 3 pictures. Without even thinking about the picture, write down the first few thoughts, feelings, etc… that come to your mind.

Are you ready?


Great start, eh?

muslim man

How does he make you feel inside?

Ok, last one…



So how did those pictures make you feel? I’ll tell you how I felt.

Picture 1: I felt sad. Not that people were dying, but that they were dying without Christ. Thousands of lives ended before they made the choice to believe in God. Am I angry at those who flew the planes? Of course, I am angry at those men who were on the planes. Not the thousands of men, women, and children in a faraway land.

Picture 2: At first, I thought this might be one of the terrorists that was on the plane in the previous picture. But it isn’t. It is a Christian from the Middle East. It is very easy for us to profile someone based on their looks. But if we would do that, if I would do that, then the risk of missing some amazing Christian men and women is very high. I think about Naeem Fazal, pastor of Mosaic Church in North Carolina. He converted from Islam to Christianity simply through a Christian friend who loved him. And then there is Walid Shoebat. He is a former PLO operative that turned to Christ and became a peace advocate. He believes, as do I, that Jesus is compensating for the weaknesses of the Western church, succeeding in many places where the church fails.

Picture 3: This one saddens me even more than the other two pictures combined. This shows how America, and in particular the American church, is failing. There will always be people who run counter to our beliefs. That is one guarantee we see in Scripture. But the fact that more churches in America close every year than open leads America to be a very secular nation.

What saddens me the most is just how much I have failed.

If I as a Christian believe it is the most important thing in all of my existence to proclaim the glory of God’s kingdom and worship Him, then why don’t I have a worshipful heart?

Isaiah 29:13 – The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.

If I believe, as a Christian, that evangelism, not hatred or fear, is my primary job on this earth, then why don’t I spend more energy evangelizing and less energy being filled with hatred or fear?

If the Christian life is supposedly filled with joy, even in the face of suffering, persecution, and spiritual warfare, then why am I not constantly joyful?

And then something happened.

I was convicted.

Our church hosted the Children of the World choir. About a dozen kids, made up of children from various countries, all with high risk backgrounds, came to sing. My wife and I had the opportunity to house 4 of the boys while they were in town for the 2 days.


At first, I was wondering what we got ourselves into. 4 boys, high energy, coming over to our house where we already have a dog with high energy and we haven’t even completely unpacked yet. It was a recipe for disaster.

But God provides.

We ate dinner with them the first night and then watched a movie with them. We learned a little more about them. It was fun.


The next night the kids sang and we watched videos of their lives before they were allowed in America to share the gospel.



And that is the key, these 8,9 and 10 year olds were here to SHARE THE GOSPEL.

They have already seen the effects of a life without God.

Here were orphans, refugees, and the outcast given a second chance at life because of Christ. Their lives transcend cultures.

One of the boys was talking to Mimi and I about his “caste” tonight and how his caste is different from the caste of one of the other boys staying with us. And here are these kids, saved from the issues of the caste system, and a fallen world, and given a hope and a love in Christ.

But as these kids were singing, I was amazed at their joy. Sure, on stage they have to show a happy face, but even when these kids were at our house or in our car, they were filled with joy. they weren’t always happy, but they had joy. And peace.

I want that!

These boys were missionaries. They were not just sent here to sing to a church full of believers, they were sent to convict the life of a single believer by simply being used by God in such an innocent way. During that time there was no death at the doorstep, there was no politics, there was no gay marriage debate. There was only Jesus. There was only peace. There was only joy.

So now I go back and look through those pictures again that I showed at the beginning of this post and my answers have changed.

Picture 1: I am still saddened by how many people died that day. But I am also seeing a moment in history where hope can come alive. If the Christian church can unify and remove fear from our vocabulary, we will be able to storm the gates of hell. When Christians storm the gates of hell and not the gates of some country that believes differently than we do, then moments like 9/11 will stop happening.

Picture 2: I see a person, formed in God’s image. Yes, it may be a Muslim. Or it may be an atheist. Or an agnostic. Or…or…or. But these people were formed in God’s image and they have a desire, even if they don’t realize it, to know the true God of Creation. It is the God-shaped hole that C.S. Lewis speaks about that is in all of us.

Picture 3: I see an opportunity to pray. Tell me something, how much will happen if Christians sit around on Facebook complaining about the problems, which takes away from the time we have to pray about the problems. Problems get fixed through prayer, not complaining.

Philippians 2:14 – Do all things without grumbling or questioning

So here is your, and my, homework. When you feel the urge to complain about something that is happening in the world, in your life, in your marriage, etc., then I want you to stop the complaining and pray about it. And don’t just pray to get YOUR way. Pray that God will open your heart and eyes to what HE needs done.

It is when the church prays, that we find that our greatest moments and spiritual awakenings happen.

So pray.

And watch what happens.

Time to Upgrade

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.


I am 45 years old.




I am one old dude.

And my body is showing its age.

A few weeks ago I got an MRI and found I have some blown discs in my back so I just started physical therapy. Today, I went to the dentist and he is in the process of taking all the old silver fillings out of my mouth (and I have a lot from when I was a kid) and replacing them with fillings that will not destroy my teeth.

My body is falling apart.

And, if I can be honest for a minute, I don’t do my body any favors.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 – Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

The last time I was in a gym was, well, never. The majority of my lifting comes from lifting an ice cream cone to my mouth. And don’t even get me started on my diet. My breakfast, for at least 10 years of my life, consisted of a Hershey bar and a can of Coca-Cola.

And I like red meat.

A lot.

Getting married recently, I want to be able to be around for my wife and family for a long time to come so I need to start doing something. I never plan on doing MMA fighting or power lifting (or, even flipping tractor tires like one of my good friends and pastors). But I would like to be able to at least run and keep up with my kids and step-kids. I’d like to be able to play a game of soccer without feeling like the ball. And, honestly, I want to be more of a man to my wife and look like someone she deserves.

I know we are early for New Year’s resolutions, but I truly am setting a goal for 2016. I plan on getting my back fixed first.

But after that, getting my first ever gym membership.

I plan on losing a little bit of weight (I am not significantly overweight by any means) but I really want to get my core in shape. It will help my future back issues but moreover it will give me an opportunity just to feel better as I go through the day.

I’ve never been vain about my looks. That has never been an issue for me. If people don’t like how I look, they can stuff it.

But I do care about how I look for Mimi. If there is a remote chance of going out on a date with her or even spending time alone with her, I will jump in a shower and make sure I am smelling good, looking good, and feeling good before I head out on the town with her.

But beyond that, caring about my body is honoring God, who gave me that body. And treating it well for my wife and family is also biblical as we are called to take care of our families or we are worse than an unbeliever.

1 Timothy 5:8 – But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

So by the time 2017 comes around, expect to see another post about how much healthier I am. And hopefully, everyone who reads this will help hold me accountable. It is time for me to take action.

New Church Central Post

Here is the link to my latest post on Church Central.

What does multicultural mean?


Thanks for reading.

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