Laundry Love Bakersfield

Wow! What a crazy year and a half!

A lot has happened and a lot is on my plate, but I believe I am finally back in a place where I can start to blog again. I miss it!

Late last year, we began a new journey by starting up a localized nonprofit organization called, Project318. We are reaching out to our Bakersfield community with the love of Jesus. We’ve met local families where they are by making ourselves a resource to the under-resourced. It’s been an amazing journey so far! Praise Jesus!

Tomorrow, we are launching our newest outreach effort, here in Bakersfield. We’ve been so impressed and touched by the stories pouring out of the Laundry Love Project around the country that we wanted to bring that movement to Bakersfield. So, I reached out to Greg Russinger, the founder of JustOne, which is the nonprofit in Southern California that started the whole thing. And here we go! We are really excited, and honored to have this opportunity.

Truthfully, though, we all have this opportunity. We can all choose to love our neighbors. It just takes a decision.

Looking forward to blogging again! Stay tuned for much more frequent updates!

 


An Ordinary Tuesday

I felt exhilarated from running so fast. It had been years since I had gone full-bore like that. It was a cool, crisp morning and the sun had just peaked over the horizon. My lungs burned from the cold air that was invading them.

It was one of the most vivid dreams I have ever had.

And then something woke me up.

As I stirred into consciousness it only took me a second or two to realize I was in a medical crisis.

My heart was chugging along at a horrific speed, and it was skipping a lot of beats to try to keep up with the demand. I was short of breath, and instantly terrified. I stumbled out of bed and out my bedroom door to see if anyone was home. My son, Zach, came out of his room at the same time and knew immediately that I was in trouble.

“911, what is your emergency?”

I think I’m having a heart attack…

Saying those words sent a shiver through me. It was surreal. And waiting for that ambulance was the longest 7 minutes I’ve ever had to endure.

My wife had walked to work that morning. My daughters were at school. I hadn’t seen my older kids in Atlanta in two years. I had no chance to tell them goodbye. Was this the end of my time here? My life’s purpose and accomplishments felt so incomplete in that moment. I still had so much to do.

I’ve attached a great amount of importance on accomplishing things for the kingdom of God, in doing God’s work. And as I contemplated my life in those fleeting moments that day I wondered how badly I had failed to accomplish the things God had put me in this world to do.  But one thing stood out more than anything else that crossed my mind during that frightening ordeal. I haven’t loved others enough. I haven’t loved my neighbors nearly enough.

I’m happy to report that I was diagnosed with a very treatable condition. I was only in the hospital for 24 hours, and with the help of some simple meds, I’m healthy as a horse again.

But I didn’t come away from this experience unchanged. I believe the Lord wanted this condition out in the open so it could be dealt with accordingly. But I also believe it was a wake up call for me.

Don’t waste a minute of your lives. I won’t waste another minute of mine.

“Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” James 4:13, 14


Tony Wood: People Of The Second Chance

Join the movement!!


Grace

 

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” – Matthew 5:43-45

Praying for my enemies is one thing – but to love them? This stands in the face of what the world teaches. It goes against my self-preserving instincts, and my most natural gut-reactions. Yet, curiously, it’s something I find myself longing to do on an ever-increasing basis. I never would have imagined I would be able to wrap my head around this verse in the bible. It was one of those “yeah, but” verses for me for years. So I’m very thankful to see this fruit beginning to grow in my life. 

Lord, what act of radical grace can I give to an enemy this week? Please show me, and give me the courage to follow through in obedience.

Loving your enemies. Radical grace. What are your thoughts?

 


If You Grew Up On A Secluded Island…


Our Men’s Ministry, JourneyMEN, has been studying Francis Chan’s book, “Crazy Love” for several weeks now. In the book, he poses a hypothetical, but very thought-provoking question. It’s a question I have been meditating on, and really searching my heart about. So I wanted to ask it here…

If you were born and raised on a secluded island, having no outside influence and nothing to read but the Bible, what would church look like in your mind? And if you were rescued from that island as a young adult, and came to the United States, would you say that churches here resemble what you imagined church would look like while reading God’s Word for all those many years?

 


The Choice

We see them

everywhere.

Sidewalks. Parks.

Underpasses.

We pass them on the street without so much as a glance, as though they are as inanimate as the bench they are laying on.

We pull up to the intersection, seeing them from far off, hoping that they don’t approach our car, making sure not to make eye

contact. But for

a full minute,

the hand-

written sign

remains in our

scope of

vision, calling

to a deeper

place in our

spirit than we

are comfortable

with, especially

in our hurried

state. The

light is

about to

change.

What do you do?


Filthy Rags


“All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” – Isaiah 64:6

This verse helps to clarify, even more, the hopelessness I had before I was redeemed by the blood of Jesus.

What have you learned from God today? Please share!


Social Media & #thebookofjames

James 1:19 says to be “quick to listen and slow to speak”

Proverbs 12:23 says, “the heart of fools blurts out folly.”

The bible is clear. We are to be careful with our words.

Slow to speak. Quick to listen. And only fools blurt out folly.

With that fresh on your mind, please turn your thoughts to Social Media.

Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and many more outlets on the web provide countless opportunities for us to share our thoughts.

Few of us have ever had such a large and captive audience. I mean, the average person has the ability to reach hundreds, even thousands of readers a day!

What a huge responsibility!

Question for Christians: Are we applying God‘s Word to our online lives? Or are we feeling immune to, or even hidden from it?

How many foolish things do I blurt out to the masses? Am I really quick to listen and slow to speak?

James 3:8 says it directly, “no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.”

I wonder what James would have to say about taming our tweets.


Persecution In India – Francis Chan


Set List – 8/22/10

OUR SETLIST ON PCO

YOUR GRACE IS ENOUGH – Chris Tomlin

NO SWEETER NAME – Gateway Worship

HIS GLORY APPEARS – Brook Fraser/Hillsong United

REVELATION SONG – Gateway Worship

AMAZING GRACE, MY CHAINS ARE GONE – Chris Tomlin – Invitation

This was another great morning of worship at Daybreak! Please comment below and tell me what you guys did at your church! And please visit The Worship Community to see what other Worship Leaders did at their churches today!


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