Thursday, November 10, 2011

Journaling-Five Things

I have been journaling since 1992. If I don't journal my thoughts I get into endless cycles that leave me unfruitful in life. I am not a "Dear Abby" journaler. I don't write everyday. It is not a "have to" event for me, whether it is a "want to" event. I have no form. I have no script. I just start writing whatever comes from my head, to my hand, to the paper. Personally I believe this is how the Psalms were written. That is why the Psalms are the most referred to book in the Bible when you need empathy for your feelings.
I know one day my children will go thumbing through my journals and will wonder if they had a schizophrenic for a dad. I tell it like it is. My frustrations, anger, disappointments all come out. Not only is it my dumping station for my feelings, but it is also my altar. I bring my sins to the altar on those pages. It is where I meet God. Sure I pour plenty of my garbage in it, but I also write all of the inspiration and revelation that God deposits through me as I write.
One of my favorite passages is Psalms 51:17 "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise."
Through my brokenness God repeatedly showers me with wholeness as I write. When I mourn He comforts, when I am confused He brings clarity, when I am frustrated He calms me down.
I guess that is why I now love these social platforms for communicating my heart like Blogs, Facebook, & Twitter. I recently have taken a a few days off from Facebook and Twitter just because I can. I wrote in 2009 how it helps me (Click here). Some say that their blog has replaced their journal. But I can't cosign that, to me nothing replaces the old fashion pen on paper. When I type, I am automatically thinking about formatting. When I write on paper I just flow.
Five things I use my journal for:
1) I use them as scrap books. I staple articles or devotions in them that impact my life.
2) I write down key points from sermons, my thoughts, & impactful thoughts of others.
3) I write my prayers: the request and the answers.
4) I draw pictures of Biblical truths to help me understand.
5) I preach from it, Facebook from it, Tweet from it, and Blog from it.

Five questions you can answer when journaling:
1) What is going well? Why?
2) Who needs prayer? Your confessions? Marriage? Children? others?
3) What would I do differently, if I could do it again? Why?
4) What have I learned about myself and my leadership?
5) What areas do I need to correct, change or grow in? Where is God at work in my life?

Five reasons I would encourage you to get a notebook and write your thoughts:
1) You have a reference point to evaluate your life experiences.
2) It tames your thought life and helps to ends cycles of thought that rythmically beat you down.
3) It affords one more platform for the Holy Spirit to teach you.
4) It is a great collection point for all of the teachable moments that you encounter in your day.
5) It becomes a funnel that can take the broad array of your emotions and narrow it down to the heart of the matter.

These are my thoughts what are yours? How does journaling help you.

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Monday, September 26, 2011


A miscarriage is a heart tugging event. My wife and I have had four. I am not writing this to prompt your sympathy cause I know most of you are very sympathetic and would be in prayer for us. I just wanted to put my thoughts out there. Our first miscarriage was back in March of 2007 with a loaded U-haul truck headed south moving from Iowa to Oklahoma. I remember the events play-by-play. They stick in my head so much because my human frailty became so evident during this time.

I have to share a little history, my wife and I had five children at that point practically by rubbing elbows the first 10 years of our marriage. :-) To conceive again and have complications was a shocker. When things were finally confirmed about the miscarriage I think I experienced every emotion known to man in a matter of 5 seconds (Anger, hurt, confusion, frustration, grief, sadness, etc.). This cycle of emotions left me numb and speechless, grasping for some form of context to try and comfort myself and comfort my wife. It was a tough time.

After some praying, tears, and hugs we proceeded back down the highway. My wife and I were in the bucket seats of our Chevy G20 van (named Old Betsy) when our second born son, whose was eight at that time, said, "I know why God allowed that to happen". We both looked at each other in amazement and said, "You do? Why?" Our son said, "Because God wanted to know if something happened that we didn't want to happen if we would still trust Him". As he spoke those words it is as if each word was being etched in my heart with a hot pen.

Lisa and I both looked at each other and at the same time teared up and then began to pray and affirm our trust in God. God just used an eight year old boy to secure our hearts and shore up our faith and put everything back in perspective. Little did we know seven months later we would face our second miscarriage and we didn't conceive again until January 2009. In a nutshell this is what I have learned:

1) That it is easy to trust and have faith when things are going my way, but the true test is when things are not going my way.
2) That control is an illusion. I am dependent. Jesus is not only savior but LORD.
3) Trying to figure out how and why in these situations can take you under real quick unless you truly stop trying to figure it out and cast the care on the LORD.
4) Either I trust God or I don't. Either God is sovereign or He's not.
5) To value the conception of a child at day one, and enjoy each day even as the baby is maturing in the womb.
6) To not allow a miscarriage to alter your plan or desire for more children. God can give you courage to move on. We are so thankful we proceeded forward and God blessed us with number six two years later!
7) This was a friendly reminder that the whole process of conception needs to be done in faith and shouldn't be taken for granted. It taught me to take the season of child bearing years as a gift from God and to be a good steward of this time.
8) That there is a real spiritual peace that God supplies,that has this mysterious way of comforting the human heart.
9) That God speaks through my children.
10)That God's ways are higher than my ways and his thoughts are higher than my thoughts. There are some things I may never understand but the lack of understanding does not have to cause me to doubt God's ability or His sovereign will.

Fear can truly attempt to take residence in a couples heart after a miscarriage. Moving forward with intimacy and moving forward in procreation has to be done in faith. Personally, I believe the worry and fear associated with a past miscarriage produces stress that hinders the child bearing process. I am no doctor, but I do know that fear is not from God and the atmosphere that fear generates is not productive. I told my wife to not assume and jump to conclusions that something is wrong with her physically. I have seen crack addicts have healthy babies. I have seen women that have intentionally starved themselves and tumble down stairs end up with healthy babies. So it still boils down to the sovereign will of the Lord. No matter how much medical science discovers about hormone levels it still boils down to this. DO WE TRUST HIM EVEN WHEN THINGS HAPPEN WE DON'T WANT TO HAPPEN.

I thank God for our four miscarriages they have drawn me close to the bosom of my Heavenly Father, closer to my wife and the children I have been blessed with. The picture above was the pregnancy of our 6th baby (who is now 2), which is proof that there is life after miscarriage. I am a gratefully, dependent man that is blessed with a wonderful wife.

This was an updated post from November 2010, hope it encourages at least one family.
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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Secret Place

There are thoughts and musings in my heart that are a secret that no one else knows. There are ideas, plans, and conclusions in my heart that have never been uttered out of my mouth. My heart has a chamber marked "secret". Frankly the things in this chamber of my heart I am not even fully aware of. Their are only special times that I even have the right keys to open the secret place of my heart. When I go into that room it is a deliberate act that is contrary to what the rest of my body wants to do. When I shut the door it is an intentional cutting off of all my minds activities. When I begin to pray to my Father something shocking happens. That chamber marked "secret" begins to open and I realize that the Father has been dwelling there all along. At first I am amazed and little ashamed that God has a totally different view of me than what I do of myself and what others have of me. The things I begin to discover as I talk to God are so liberating, comforting, reassuring, and challenging. I get this extreme safety to be transparent about my faults but at the same time this assurance that I'm forgiven. I get this freedom to share my confusions but at the same time this calm sense of guidance and direction. In the secret place is where God's thoughts towards me and what I believe collide and my faith is forged to tackle another day. I can now go about my day recieving rewards that I discovered in my secret place where the Father dwells.

Matt. 6:6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in sceret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

"He who fails to pray does not cheat God. He cheats himself."-George Failing
"The greatest tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer, but unoffered prayer."-F.B. Meyer

Inspired by Oswald Chambers devotion: His Utmost for his Highest

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Ten Lies I almost believed about Parenting

Below are ten lies that I almost believed about parenting.
1) I couldn't afford to have children
2) I would be stressed out everyday.
3) That my children will grow up to hate me if I spanked them.
4) That you can't raise children to happily obey the first time.
5) That I had to get a bigger place and new car when the baby was born.
6) That yelling, threatening, and intimidating is the best way to demand compliance.
7) That God's ways for disciplining children are archaic and out of date.
8) That having more that two children is irresponsible.
9) That children desire video games and toys more than you.
10) That young children don't understand what you are telling them.

Some parents have been fed a bill of goods. Parents are limiting their family size, parenting out of fear, and altering they way they discipline all off of lies.

What are some lies you almost believed?

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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Lead your heart!

I posted a quote a while back from J. Murphy which said, "Don't just follow your heart - LEAD it. Don't let your feelings & emotions do ALL the driving." A friend posted a great question: "If you are not leading your heart, then who is?"

There are 7 passages of scripture about the heart that we need to explore:

1) 1 John 3:19-21 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. (20) For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. (21) Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
2) Jeremiah 17:9,10 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? "I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds."
3) Psalms 26:2 Prove me, O LORD, and try me; test my heart and my mind.
4) Psalms 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
5) Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
6) Psalms 37:30-31 The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment. (31) The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.
7) Proverbs 3:1-6 My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, (2) for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. (3) Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. (4) So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. (5) Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. (6) In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.


1) God is greater than our hearts. Our hearts which carry feeling and emotions can leave us feeling uneasy and condemned. But during those times we have to remember that GOD is greater than our hearts and therefore we must allow God to lead us.

2) Our hearts left alone are wicked, selfish and decieving. Our hearts need to be surrendered to examination by God to ensure that our ways are pleasing to God. A heart unchecked will naturally default to self serving pursuits. The Lord the creator of our heart must be on board to keep our deceitful hearts in check.

3) God has made provision through the death of his son Jesus Christ to create in us clean hearts and give us new hearts.

4) A heart which has God's word and law written on it is lead by God's word. And we are reassured if we follow God's law none of our steps will slide.

5) If we yield our hearts to trust in the Lord versus following our own understanding on matters our paths will be clear and straight and our steps will not slide. Often our hearts are cluttered with emotions and feelings which if followed can lead us to come to conclusions that are completely false. We must surrender our hearts to be lead by God and God's Word.

Our hearts need to be Lead by God and his word. The Holy Spirit has been given as a gift to all that ask and surrender their lives to Christ. The Holy Spirit is deposited in your heart and will lead your heart when you yield to Him.

A person with a heart that is lead by God has the confidence to be exposed and open to love others freely. A person that follows the emotional undulations of a heart unchecked by God will often protect and preserve their heart leaving it closed and unable to freely love others. Conscious belief in what Jesus did on the cross for us empowers us to make decisions to love others that may not even be loveable.

There are some decisions that FEEL so right but are yet so wrong. That is why the heart needs a regulator and the Holy Spirit has been regulatiing hearts for centuries. God has a unique way of peeling back the onion and getting to the core motive of our decisions. The good news is that God does it with our good in mind so we can completely trust Him. So don't just follow your heart, LEAD it!

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lies Children Believe-Be proactive

Taking some time to explain one of my Facebook (FB) post. I updated my status with this:

A question I ask myself before I respond to my child's issue, "what lies are they believing about themselves?" Then I pro-act vs. re-act.

I am glad my friend Jennifer Markey asked me to clarify. The best way to clarify is with an example. One of my sons looked completely defeated and upset. I noticed he just got his math quiz and test scores back. My wife and I were previously concerned about his lack of effort with math and told him that he needed to do better. The issue that came up was that he received a low score on his test and quiz.

A reactive approach would of consisted of the following:
1)Taking the test and putting it between us
2)Expressing my disgust for the low score
3)In many ways expressing how he has to do better.

A proactive approach consist of the following:
1) Not reacting to the issue (low test score)
2) Recognizing that the low test score is only a symptom
3) Setting the test aside and asking myself "what lies is he believing about himself?"
4) Take a proactive approach at attacking the lies by building him up with the truth
5) Identify with his struggle
6) Present some solutions to help with math.

If I would not have paused and took a proactive approach, I would have ended up reinforcing the negative thoughts that my son was believing about himself. Setting the issue aside helps me to first focus on the heart. I asked my son how he felt. He said, "Upset". I dug deeper to ask him what does the test score make him feel about himself. He told me that he would never be good at math and probably won't be able to go to college because it will be too hard and he's not smart enough. BINGO! I found the lies.

I proceeded to debunk the lies one by one. Then I shared with him some of my struggles with math and how God carried me through them. I gave him one of my old engineering cards and asked him to set it by his math book as a reminder of this fact: if God was faithful to help me take math up to Calculus III and then become an engineer, he is no respector of persons and will surely help him. By the time we were done talking his confidence had returned and his entire countenance changed. After that, dealing with the actual problems he missed and showing him how he can bring his grades up were easy. I talked with him before he went to bed and he was still full of courage and ready for the next math challenge. Praise God for His wisdom!

So what are some other lies children believe about themselves? What has been your experience with this subject of being reactive vs. proactive?

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Homeschooling-How we started

Homeschooling is not for everybody, but it is the right fit for some. Since the video below came out, more people ask us how we started homeschooling. I can still remember back in 1998 when my wife mentioned homeschooling to me. My response was, "What is that?". The first thing I pictured was a bunch of people dressed in old clothes sharing tattered text books between each other. Seriously, I had never heard of the concept nor knew anyone that did it. Needless to say, we started exploring it.

I was skeptical, but it all began to turn around when we met a nice family from Texas. We were visiting their church and they were our host home for the week. We entered their kitchen and began to talk for about thirty minutes. At this point, I didn't even know they had children. Then a young boy came from around the corner and sat in the family room, then a young girl came in the room and sat down to read a book, then two more children came from around the corner and didn't say a peep.

Ok, I have to pause here and give you the backdrop of mine and Lisa's experience with parents and children to this point. We had just graduated from college, so we didn't know many married families with children. The parents we did see always looked stressed out, broke, busted, and disgusted. When we went out to public places we seemed to always run into "Bebe's Kids" (Watch this trailer if you never heard of them.) These are kids that flip you off in stores, smack their parents, and demand candy to the extent of tantrums in the check out lane. Most of our classmates that we graduated with were telling us how they were going to delay having children and how it was going to be hard once they took the plunge. One thing was common, most people only wanted one or at most two children, because it would be entirely too expensive to have more. It was repeated to us, that children could hinder our new careers that we were starting with our hard earned degrees. We were told we didn't spend four-six years in college just to have children. Yes, we had some intruding in-laws, out-laws, aunts, and grandmothers. It seems that when people reach a certain age they will just tell you anything that's on their mind. After we conceived our first child eight months into marriage we heard, "Tell Jonathan to slow down", "You're not going to have anymore are you?", "I mistakenly had children too young you should of waited!". People talked about raising children as if it they had been through eighteen years of a concentration camp. All of this, with a few experiences from our own upbringing, was our early view of children.

Well, back to my story. I saw all four of their children come from the back of the home and sit in the family room. I was amazed! I didn't hear any screaming, fighting, or crashing before they came out. I was doubly amazed to see one of them come out reading a book. I mentally left our conversation for a minute as I looked at the kids, then I interrupted the dad and asked him, "Did you just give those kids a whoopin' right before we came, what's wrong with them?" Everyone burst out in laughter (except my wife, she cringed).

From then on they began to explain about parenting, home education and the Bible. They were our first impressions of a home schooling family and what I saw was impressive. It really blew all my misconceptions about homeschooling out of the water. I will explain more in future post. As the video shows below, we ended up homeschooling and we still do to this day. This is a preview video to a cover story published by Home Educating Family. We are so grateful that our friends Gus and Shirley Solis introduced us to Scot and Becky Keliher who own the magazine. We are grateful to God how he orders our steps. Click here if video is not below:

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Monday, July 11, 2011

S.P.A.R.K. your World-Servant Evangelism

We started an exciting campaign at Church Ablaze back in June. It is called S.P.A.R.K.-Spontaneous, Purposeful, Acts of Random Kindness. We are asking everybody in our church and all other believers we know to go out and S.P.A.R.K. your world with acts of kindness that reflect the love of Jesus. Practical things done with great love can have an eternal impact.
Every Sunday we have been taking a part of our service and celebrating all of the ways that people are spreading the love of Jesus to others. In Acts 14:27 it says, "And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles." The sharing time is so powerful. We have called the reports that people give, "Ablaze Reports". An ablaze report is a short description of how they shared the love of Jesus with another individual or group. There are five ways you can submit an ablaze report:
1) Text it: 405-633-2636.
2) Email it:
3) Tweet it: @churchablaze #ablazereport or #SPARK
4) Facebook it:
5) Write it: Come and visit us on Sundays at 11:00am and fill out the report. It will be displayed on our bulletin board. They are all anonymous.

You can listen to the message and get a pdf of the ablaze reports here: Click here

It is so inspiring to hear the simple ways that people are sharing God's love. Here are a few that have been submitted so far:
1) A man, after seeing four garbage truck drivers stranded on the side of the road, went to 7-11 and purchased four ice cold drinks and gave them to the drivers along with a pass it on card.
2) Every Wednesday a team of four families have been serving free meals to the apartment complex next door to the church (over 200 served so far).
3) Every Friday a family has been giving cold bottled waters to 300 children and parents at a local youth summer camp.
4) A man took time to sit on the porch and encourage his elderly neighbor during a tough time.
5)A child took time to share the gospel with his salvation bracelet to his neighbor.

The list goes on and on. Will you join us? It's simple. Small Groups can do it. Families can do it. It is not limited to age, experience, or knowledge. Just simple, practical acts that can open up doors to people's heart. Some people don't care what you know until they know that you care.

GO and SPARK your world!

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I'm a failure

I'm a failure. I fail often as a man. I fail often as a Dad. I fail often as a husband. I fail often as a Pastor. Failure is saying you are going to do something and not following through. Failing is creating expectations in others and then not meeting your own standards. Failure is setting a goal and not meeting it.

Some people try and dress up failure and make it feel good, failure matter how you slice it. When something goes a different way than you expect, you feel like you have failed. Period!

Despite the fact that it stinks, I am glad that I have failed at being a man, failed at being a husband, failed at being a Dad, and failed at being a Pastor because that means that I am trying and not giving up. That means that I care enough to pursue those things.

One example of my failure as a dad is my inconsistent attempts at leading my family in Bible devotions. I tried mornings and I would run late to work. I tried Saturdays and couldn't find the time. I tried before the kids went to bed and was too tired. Each time my new plan didn't work I fealt terrible and wondered would I ever be consistent. There are two key words in each of my attempts, "I-TRIED". Trying exposed my weaknesses and God loves our weaknesses. His strength is made perfect in my weakness (II Corinthians 12:9). After twelve years of trying and not giving up we eventually found our family niche after mealtime. Don't celebrate yet, I am still failing at consistency. However, I have realized that as I continue to fail at being consistent we are on our third time reading through the new testament verse by verse, half way through the old testament, inscribed fifty-seven of our favorite biblically rich hymns on our children's heart, enthusiastically told every major bible story, seen all of our children cry their eyes out in repentance and forgiveness at the reading of his word, and the list goes on. I blogged about it in 2009 called the Family Dinner Table. So although failure still stinks if you keep trying, the process will yield beautiful fruit.

We need to minimize the cultural image of failure as a bad thing and reshape our thinking. Things that are bad we natural tend to avoid. The implications of trying to avoid failure will lead to unfulilled dreams , stifled ideas, and quenched passion. Embrace failure as part of your growth process and you will welcome one of the greatest catalyst to fulfilled dreams, flourishing ideas, and burning passion known to man.
I am determined to push the envelope of failure by applying continuous momentum in the direction I feel God is leading. My goal to become the greatest failure that ever lived. In that pursuit I will become the best me that God ever created. With the fear of failure now harnessed as a tool for my development I am now free to become who I am in Christ. Being uninhibited by failure gives Me freedom to try new things, tackle new approaches.

I am a failure, but I overcome the failure because I REFUSE TO GIVE UP on being God's man, God's kind of pastor, God's kind of husband, and God's kind of father. My failures are superseded by God's grace and getting back up again and again (Proverbs 24:16). I'm a failure how about you?

Audio Sermon here:

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Silent Fathers

Father's your silence can get misinterpreted as rejection, disapproval, and lack of love to your children. Most of us or aware of the silent-father type; he is the one that is present in the home but really doesn't have much to say. There are several reasons why these fathers appear to be muted. A few are:

  1. Some were raised in a culture where males did not communicate their heart. So they really don't know how.

  2. Some ended up marrying a controlling, nagging wife that does all the talking any way so why do they need to speak.

  3. Some are just removed and believe they work and provide so that is all they need to do.

Regardless of the reason, fathers we have to speak up in our families. Don't delegate all of the communication to the children to your wife. Ten things your children need to hear from you.

  1. Your daddy loves you

  2. God loves you

  3. I need your help

  4. That was a great job

  5. You are very pretty and your heart is even prettier (for girls)

  6. You are a handsome and your heart is even more attractive (for boys)

  7. Good effort, let me show you and even better way

  8. I am so proud of you

  9. I am here for you

  10. You can do anything you put your mind to

The words listed above, along with others, coming from your mouth will be forever inscribed on your children's heart. You can never repeat these things enough. Don't forsake the rights you have been given by God to be a voice in your children's life. Don't allow anyone or anything to rob you of this privilege. Open your mouth fathers and be a blessing! Your words in your home carry so much weight. A book I read years ago was called "The Blessing" by Gary Chapman. It is a good book that talks about the power of spoken words. Fathers we can be silent no more! When you are silent it leaves room for other voices to communicate lies to our children. Children wrestle with identity all the time and your voice can trump those lies with the truth. Never make the assumption that your child knows how you feel about something. Speak it out of your mouth often to be sure to clear up any ambiguity. Fathers let's be silent no more!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Happy 40th Anniversary Mom and Dad Hill

My parents will be celebrating 40 years of marriage this Sunday, May 15th. It's interesting that in the bible the number 40 represents a period of testing, trial, or purification and ends with a period of restoration, revival or renewal. My parents have been through alot over forty years and it will be great to see what the Lord has in store for them as they enter a new season.
I have four words for the four decades of their marriage that describe them.
1) Perseverance-I have seen them go through financial problems, health problems, and family problems. Regardless of the problem, May 15th, 2011 marks a generational milestone that they endured all trials.
2) Dependence-There is not one time in my lifetime I have not seen them display complete dependence on God to bring them through.
3) Sacrifice-I am a byproduct of their sacrifice. I am fully aware of most of the things my parents have forgone to raise their children and invest in others through ministry.
4) Succession-To watch them raise two of their grandchildren at age 71 and 62 puts action to what they teach. They teach leave a legacy by instilling Biblically rich values into at least two generations behind you.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad Hill. Six children and seventeen grandchildren later and still in love. If you know my parents email me a message I will pass it on to them at a reception we are having in their honor this Sunday. Email:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hidden Idols: Are they really hidden?

Those things in our life that we think are mere small matters to God, actually can cause a breech in our fellowship with God and our effectiveness as a believer. I just want to pass on my devotion from this morning from His Utmost for his Highest titled: Failure to Pay Close Attention (Please click the link to the left). Often when we think of idols we get some image in our mind like this picture of this wood idol I included in this post. We need to be aware that God sees the small hidden things in our lives that we have put in our high places and need to be removed. As I was looking for an image to include in this post, the funny thing was I ran into more images of people than I did of things. Yes, the show American idol has popularized one of the biggest idols we have always had in our culture and that is talent and people. We often put people in places only God should be. When God reveals an idol in your life, no matter how small it seems to you it is a BIG DEAL to God so take proper steps to see to it's removal. I meet christians day in and day out that have the facade and speech of Christianity but no power to live an abundant life. Some really think they are doing God a favor as they succeed in life, all while they are really stroking their pet idol. God is aware of our hidden idols, let's be radical and destroy all of the idols in our life. Take some time and and ask God, "What are some things in my life I have dismissed as no big deal but are really causing a breech in our relationship?" God will answer..will you obey? It could mean losing income or status, but the gain far out ways the losses. It says in Matthew 16:25-27, "For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done." So what are some of our idols?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Wedding Anniversary Countdown

So thankful that God has blessed us to make it to our 15th year of marriage. Fifteen days before our anniversary, which was Mar. 23rd, I decided to update my Facebook status with a countdown of the 15 reasons I am married to Lisa. Here they are:

#15 She cooks some mean spaghetti
#14 The way she tilts her head and says “I just love you"
#13 She accepted me as I was
#12 The grace-filled, tender tone of her voice
#11 She gives me the privilege to wipe her tears when she cries
#10 the way she walks caught my eye early
#9 The way she snaps her fingers when she is happy
#8 She has helped me reach every goal in my life
#7 She is so genuine and creative, I have never met another woman like her
#6 The way she uninhibitedly yields in worships to God
#5 She has unashamedly embraced motherhood as her career and given herself wholly to it.
#4 She has NEVER offended me without apologizing and reconciling
#3 Her sensitivity to God induces me to draw closer to her and God
#2 She puts the interest of her family above her own
#1 Our love is secure because she loves God more than she loves me

The number one reason mentioned above is what keeps us connected. God is the third chord in our braid of marriage. With him intertwined with us we know that we can overcome and beat the odds. I will never forget, before we got married I called her and she was spending time with God. She asked if I could call her back. I said, "sure" hung up the phone and JUMPED FOR JOY, because I knew I was second and God was first. When we both keep God first in our lives only then do we have the power to love each other without conditions.

If you happen to be going through a Marriage Crisis know that there is hope. God can help you overcome the toughest trials. If you would liked to be a part of a growing group of couples that focus on building Godly marriages. Go to also join us on Facebook

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Big Day after the Sweetheart Ball

The day after the 2011 Sweetheart Ball, Clarence Hill Jr., the Executive Director of Eye to Eye Marriage Enrichment Community, will be sharing from his heart on the topic of how to beat the odds that are against us in marriage. Clarence's new book "Beating the Odds" is a revelation given to him from God on how marriages can move from surviving to thriving. Purchase the book at:
Come out and invite your family and friends. Church Ablaze is a church intent on spreading Abroad the Fame of Jesus Christ. We are in the middle of a series on God, Love, and Relationships this month. We are located at 10600 N. Council Rd. Oklahoma City, OK 73162. Join us Sunday, Feb. 20th at 11:00am to hear this life changing message on marriage. If you miss this, Clarence is available to speak at your church or organization. Call 405-288-1393

Listen to the past messages in this series below.

1) Is something wrong with you if you are single? Nathan Williams delivered a powerful message to those married or single on what it really means to be single and find your "other half". Listen here

2) What is a God honoring way to pursue dating? Stephan Moore, the Executive Director of Shiloh Summer Camp in Oklahoma City, breaks down some basic principles of how to relate to the opposite sex and stay within God's boundaries. Listen here