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Monday, January 21, 2008

The Joy of the Lord

Hello everyone, I am so sorry that it has been so long since my last post. I would like to have a way to let everyone know who is interested when I make a new posting. So if you would like to know when this blog has been updated simply send me an email to and when I put on a new post I will send you one email that says New Post with a link to this site. Nothing else. That should help you out.

I want to start out this post in a way that will turn off a lot of people. I want to talk about politics. Our Florida primaries are coming up on January 29th and it is time to put a lot of consideration into who you will be supporting. To wait until next year to vote on the presidential election will be too late since your candidates will already be chosen for you.
I will not tell you who to vote for, but I will tell you who I would vote for. I was reading a book called Spiritual Leadership by Henry Blackaby and in it was a section on what truly separates a spiritual leader from a secular one. The one thing that people like Billy Graham and D.L.Moody and the late D. James Kennedy had in common was that they totally sold out to God. It seems so simple and yet it is so hard. It has nothing to do with education or wealth or knowledge, only total commitment to the maker of the universe.
The author mentioned a specific time when he had a conversation with a very "successful" Pastor from Arkansas who said that he was feeling called to leave the ministry to make a difference in this world through politics. Mike Huckabee left everything he knew to be lieutenant governor and then ultimately governor of Arkansas, and is now in the running to be the next President of the United States.

I have been debated and insulted on this topic by a lot of "very brave" online users who believe that the issues and not religion should be the deciding factor in who to vote for. My answer is the same to you on that topic as it was to my online debaters: a man's values and character will let me know if he will support the issues the way that I would like for them to be supported. In other words, the most important issues to me are the millions of babies legally murdered each year through abortions, the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman, and if we elect a president with the moral integrity of the Bible to guide his steps and make his decisions then this country will be a lot better place in four years than it is right now.

I will stop now and get off my soap box, but at least give some thought to what you have just read and remember that Chuck supports Huck.On to a more lighter topic... do you watch American Gladiators? The show that I used to love when I was a kid has made a comeback. I am pretty certain that it would not have been made if it were not for the writers strike, but however it got here, it is AWESOME and I hope it stays. Watch it tonight on NBC and watch full episodes at

Anyhow, I am going to tell you what every other youth pastor who has a blog is writing about who watched Gladiators last Monday night, youth pastors rock! Let me explain.

The two contestants last week were a guy who had a rough upbringing but turned his life around and is now teaching Algebra in the very school he was kicked out of, and a man nicknamed the Hebrew Hammer who is a Hurricane survivor who now is a shark fisherman. Unfortunately the Hebrew Hammer got injured on the very first game when he got tackled hard and broke his leg. His injury replacement was none other than Andy Konigsmark... a youth pastor.

This dude was ripped and guess what else... he was good... he finished with the fastest time in the eliminator of any other guy and he had fun the whole way through. I have spoken with this guy through email since last Monday and he seems to be a really cool guy. He has been a model in the past and was a youth pastor and is still in school to finish his ministry degree, but he moved to California to be stand-up comedian on the side.

When he was first introduced as a youth pastor I had mixed emotions, my first emotion was excitement that there was a youth pastor as cool as I am. The second emotion was fear, because I was afraid he was going to embarrass himself. You see, Gladiators pick contestant that fit into some sort of stereotypical niche. They have had the NYC firefighter, the soldier, the surfer, the rodeo girl, the fitness model, etc. and I was afraid that when they said "Gladiators ready?" that he would answer with a big "Hallelujah!" and set us Christians back a few years in the relevancy department. But what I liked about Andy was that he showed the world that Christians are allowed to have fun, Christians don't have to be a bunch of stiffs, and Christians can whoop your butt on the eliminator.

I am reminded of the scripture in Nehemiah that says "Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." And this is what Andy showed America. So let this be a lesson to you that we can worship God with all that we are and still have fun doing it. We don't have to retreat from the world and lock ourselves in closets but we can be in the world and not of it, and others will benefit from it.

Let the joy of the Lord be your strength.

PS If you want to leave Andy a message or check out his stand up you can go to

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

I had quite an eventful time since the last time I posted. Heather's sister Destiny came and stayed with us for a while and since we live so close to Orlando there was only one thing to do... go to Disney World. I had never been to Disney with kids before, but let me tell you, it is a lot more fun when there is a little girl getting excited at It's a Small World. So that was a lot of fun.

That was Christmas Eve Eve. Then we had a good time with family and friends in Tampa the next two days. I was a good boy this year too, so Santa came to visit. Santa bought me a Nintendo Wii!!! It is a lot of fun to play and it is something that my wife and I can enjoy together. In fact, we are going to a Wii Party tonight. With grown adults :) I am very happy that I am not the only grown person addicted to playing the Wii. Anyhow, here is my picture of excitement after I found out what Santa brought.

It looks like my neck is broken. Anyway, Santa also came for my wife and brought her a new digital camera, so there should be a lot more photos in posts to come.

After Christmas we had the chance to just take it easy. I hope we are not the only ones that got to enjoy a relaxing Christmas break. We have been so used to traveling over the holidays from South Carolina to Tampa and back, that we had forgotten just how enjoyable the holidays could be. Now I only have a 45 minute drive to see my family instead of a 7 hour drive, which also means I get to sleep in my own bed. (and now it means also that I get to play my own Wii!)

We didn't do a lot to celebrate the New Year. We were invited over to our incredible Pastor's house and ate tacos (and played with their Nintendo Wii) but our party ended early and my wife and I went back home. I will give you two guesses what we did when we got back home... we played Nintendo Wii. We turned it off five minutes before the ball dropped (it is really sad to see Dick Clark these days) and said "Happy New Year!" and then went back to our game.

Since I have been accused of being a long-winded blogger, I will get to my main point. 2007 was a year of incredible highs and incredible lows for me and Heather. Our year started out terrible and just continued to get worse. Then came June. June was when I got voted in to be Student Pastor at the greatest church in the solar system. We had adjustment periods, we had rained out concerts, we even had a church fire... but in the last six months of 2007 I have been more happy and full of joy than I ever have been in my life... because I am at a place where God is moving!

I say all that to say this... turn the page... forget the past year... learn from the mistakes, give praise to God for the accomplishments and then... move on. Read these verses Phil. 3:13b-14 "...But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

To me this is the ultimate New Year's verse. Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. There is no better time than January to do that. I am so excited about what God is going to do in 2008 that I can hardly stand it! It will be a year like no other, and it will be a year where I will press on toward the goal to win the prize. Won't you join me in that?