Saturday, June 16, 2018

Incredible!



This week we hosted our 21st annual summer day camp called Camp Courageous. Over 530 kids spent the week on our grounds playing hard, making new friends and learning about God! It was our largest camp ever and it was INCREDIBLE!

That was actually the theme of the camp this year. Pixar/Disney released The Incredibles 2 this week, and our Kids Ministry team decided to make the incredible concept our theme for the week. 

Marty and Anna Hoey have been our Kids Pastors for over 25 years and they do a remarkable job. I stood and watched over 500 kids hang on every word Pastor Marty said Friday during their chapel. He and Anna truly have an amazing way with kids! 

On Wednesday the auditorium was filled with fun jumps and the parking lot was covered with water slides. As I walked around enjoying the sights and sounds of kids having the time of their life I was filled with gratitude. I love getting to offer families these kinds of experiences for their kids. That day so many children ran up to me and greeted me and thanked me for hosting the camp. I gotta admit, I felt like Walt Disney! It was really incredible! 

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Snow Skiing and the Miraculous



This past week we were blessed to spend some time with friends and family in Winter Park, CO. 

Snow Skiing has been a family favorite for us since the kids were young, but this is our first ski trip with our new son-in-law, Eli. He took a lesson on our first day there and by the end of the week he was carving the snow like Peekaboo Street! 

Winter Park is a special place! We still love Steamboat Springs, but Winter Park is closer and has a greater verity of easy green runs for the less daring and blues and blacks for the crazies. 

Our constant ski companions for the past few years were there: Scott and Kara Holmes, Paul and Cindy Burke - We enjoy these friends so much! 

We were also joined by Coy Watson, who has skied with is before and Steve Schaaf who skied with us this year for the first time but I doubt it will be the last time! 

Two of our favorite ski buddies were back this year - Mike and Jaclyn Reale. One of the things that made this trip so special was the Reales bringing their three precious daughters on the trip. 

Seven years ago, we joined the Holmes and the Burkes in praying for Mike and Jaclyn who were struggling with infertility. Within weeks, Jaclyn was pregnant and this year we got to rejoice over three wonderful little miracles that God has blessed this precious couple with! Here's a pic with the three couples who prayed and the Reale's fist little miracle - Audra Claire. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A Peek Inside My Bucket List

Today is my birthday. I turn fifty-six today. I'm officially on the backside of fifty! By God's grace I'm in better shape and I feel better today at fifty-six than when I turned thirty-six! I have so much in my heart I still want to achieve. I thought I'd share just a few items left unchecked on the bucket list! 

I want to go multi-site with our church. I'd love for us to have six campuses in Acadiana before it's time for me to retire.

I want to write a series of children's novels. I am half-way through with the first one. 

I also have a few devotional books in me. I have started writing the first and my goal is to have it finished by the fall of this year. 

I want to ski Whistler in Canada. 

I want to visit several European countries with Donna. 

I want to play St. Andrews.

I want to open an outreach center in Lafayette that assists the poor and the transient. 

I want to help our CLC alumni go after the ministry dreams God has put in their hearts.

Obviously some of these are personal, some are ministry goals. Joel's prophecy in the Bible says young men will have visions and old men will dream dreams. I'm not sure which category these will fall in to but I sure want to see them come into fruition! This isn't a complete list mind you - It's a pretty big bucket! 



Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Our Gifts Make Room For Our Goals


Proverbs 18:16 says a man's gift makes room for him. The Hebrew literally means to broaden. God will use gifts He provides to broaden our horizons in the new year! Many of us have New Year's resolutions and ambitions and it's important to recognize that our gifts make room for our goals! 

First we need to make sure ours is a God-given goal. There are lots of good goals, but only God-given goals are worthy of our devotion and greatest efforts. The spiritual gifts God provides will help us with that determination. In 1 Corinthians 12, the Apostle Paul lists nine gifts the Holy Spirit provides  believers. One of those gifts is the gift of discernment. God doesn't want us wandering through life wondering what His will is. Discernment will help us to determine God's will by recognizing when a goal is truly God-given! We spend way too much time asking God to bless what we're doing, when we simply should be doing what He is blessing! In the Bible, God often refers to Himself as a shepherd. Shepherds use their staff to keep the sheep moving in the right direction. God calls His staff favor (Zechariah 11:10). God uses divine favor to steer us in the right direction. What is God blessing in your life? What is His favor upon? Give your devotion to that and you will accomplish great things for God in the coming year!

The next thing we need to do is write our goals down and contemplate them regularly. God told His prophet Habakuk to write down the vision he had been given so that those who would declare the vision could easily read it and run with it. (Habakuk 2:2) We need to do the same. The gifts we have been given will energize us for the tasks at hand. Along with the gift of discernment, Paul also describes the gift of faith in 1 Corinthians 12. If a goal is truly God-given, we will have faith for what we have been called to achieve and we won't have to manufacture energy for it. Each day, as we pull out our written goals and contemplate them, faith will rise up in our hearts and put wind in our sails! There is nothing more exhausting than trying to manufacture energy for goals that God never gave us in the first place. Just ask Rehoboam! This backslidden son of Solomon tried to replace the decorative gold shields his father had placed in the temple with brass ones. Once the original shields were stolen by raiding parties from Egypt, Rehoboam had a chance to recognize that his heart was in the wrong place and repent before God. Instead, he put up a front and put up phony shields, pretending like everything was ok. Can you imagine how hard he had to work to make brass shields shine like gold? About as hard as we have to work to manufacture energy for things God has not called us to! It's time to get our focus on God's mandate for our lives!  

After we have determined what our God-given goals are and we have written them down, we need to become accountable to someone for those goals. Not everyone needs to know our goals, but someone needs to know what we are believing God to help us achieve. Once again, the gifts come into play when it comes to accountability. Those gifts are described in Ephesians 4 as our spiritual leaders. The leadership that God brings into our lives are His gifts to us and one of the things they provide is accountability. When I was young in the faith and in ministry, I knew I was called to do ministry full time, but had no opportunity. I tried to be faithful with any door God opened. I was leading worship at a youth event when I met the State Youth Director for the denomination we were a part of. He pursued a relationship with me and over time, learned of my goal to be in ministry full time. One day he called me to let me know about a pastor that was looking to hire a full time youth pastor at a church in Lafayette. That was 32 years ago. I served the church for 8 years as their youth pastor and now I serve as their Lead Pastor. The reason I  serve as the Lead Pastor of Crossroads Church is because God's gifts made room for me here! 

The last thing I want to point out about achieving our God-given goals this year is that we must break those goals down into manageable steps that can be carried out. Where the gift of discernment described in 1 Corinthians 12 will help us determine what our truly God-given goals are, the gift of wisdom will help us formulate a plan for carrying those goals out. This plan is important because we have to move beyond a wish and a whim and we have to take corresponding steps of action towards our goals. In the Bible there's a book called The Acts of the Apostles. Notice, there's no book called the Intentions of the Apostles. We must move beyond intention into action to see our goals realized in the coming year! 

Your gifting will provide you with purchasing power that will help you accomplish your God-given goals. Achievement isn't cheap! Jesus says we should count the cost when we are contemplating what we will do for His glory (Luke 14:28). God has provided a form of currency within our gifting. Proverbs 17:8 says a gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that has it; wherever it turns, it prospers. Lets cash in on the value our gifts provide this year and accomplish all the things God has put in our hearts to achieve! 


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