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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

National Day of Prayer

May 1st is the National Day of Prayer, and we need it more than ever. If at all possible get to some festivities that your area is putting on, or at least get on your knees and spend some time with the God of the Universe on Thursday.

I was going to go to the Mayor's Prayer Breakfast here in Haines City but we are actually going to take the 6th to 10th graders at NCA to see the movie Expelled. We got a private showing at 9 a.m. so I am not going to be able to make it, but we will be letting our kids know about the National Day of Prayer and we will be praying.

Anyhow, I know from looking at Web stats that most of my readership comes from people outside of my church, but I am still asking for prayer. I believe that God is doing some big things in our area (in spite of me) and I believe now our area and our ministry is under extreme attack.

Last week we had an amazing youth service (in spite of me) and God showed up in an immense way, and on Thursday and proceeding days I had to get through some of the worst days of my life, and it is no coincidence.

This morning I went to go pray at one of our local middle schools as I do every Wednesday and things were different. The students are usually herded like cattle to sit on the basketball court until the bell rings for security measures. We are allowed to pray right in front of the entire student body and we typically have 100-200 kids praying with us.

This week I showed up and there were no kids on the basketball court. Apparently last Thursday there was a sever fight that actually led to some arrests. Due to this all of the students are now herded to their classrooms and only allowed out for breakfast. The amazing, dedicated secretary at the front office asked the principal about prayer and she said, "We are just going to have to have a moment of silence over the intercom." The secretary was almost in tears and our prayer meeting consisted of me, three faculty members and two students who didn't care if they got in trouble. I am happy to say that we had the most amazing time of prayer and that the enemy can't keep us down.

Pray, pray, and pray some more. Romans 8 says that we are waiting with anticipation for the day when God reveals His glory through us. Make the most of every day, make the most of every opportunity and happy national day of prayer!


Our prayer at the Middle School resumed this Wednesday. While i was not like it was two weeks ago, all of the kids are allowed to pray again. The only thing they need to do is get a pass from their teacher. One teacher just went ahead and brought his whole class out. God is good and faithful.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Beaches and Idols

Hello everyone.

It has been a pretty interesting couple of weeks. I have registered this blog with now. What that means is that you can sign up (for free) and put in and every time I update my blog (like right now) you will get an email notification. That seems pretty cool to me. Oh, and by the way after 9 months of blogging I just figured out how to allow everybody to comment. So whoever wants to comment can. (but only nice things)

Last week was Spring Break, and it started out pretty bad. My wife got really sick and so I had to stay home with her, but I couldn't stay around her too much so that I wouldn't get sick either. That means that both Heather and I spent the first three days of our vacation completely alone. (it was worse for her though, being sick and all) I had a lot of constructive things I could have done with three days of solitude and no agenda. However, I did nothing at all that might be construed as productive.

The closest I came to constructive was on Monday. I started to surf the web, and decided to put a little fun website together. (after all its 2008 and just about everyone has there own website) Well what started out as just something to do for a few minutes, turned into ten hours on my laptop and I had no idea 10 hours went by. The result of these entranced 10 hours is Check it out if you like, but make sure to sign in.

So after a couple of days of boredom, Heather was beginning to feel better and that means that we didn't have to cancel our cruise. We left on Thursday to go to Ft. Lauderdale. My wife selected a very nice hotel, and we strutted the streets and beaches of Ft. Lauderdale, and took a little tour of Miami that night. (never again)

Friday our little cruise was shoving off, and we stood in line for what seemed like forever in order to get on the boat. (I forgot to mention this was a "free cruise" thanks Bill F.) We got on the boat and we realized how they are able to give this cruise away for free. Our room looked like a closet that would be straight from the TV show My Name is Earl. There were also a lot of people on the boat and not a lot of places to go. But not to worry, the morning was coming soon.

On Saturday we woke up (on the very bottom level of the boat) ported in beautiful Nassau, Bahamas. The water was so blue, the atmosphere was so interesting, the scenery was so beautiful, and the culture was so amazing. We had no plan we were just living for the moment, and it was one of the greatest days of my life. I am putting a little slide show on here for you, so that you can fully understand the scope of what I am writing.

I hope you enjoyed the pics. I heard a comic the other day say "Why is when people get back from vacation, they think everyone wants to hear about their vacation?" I can't remember the funny part, but I hope that this is not one of those instances.

Now for the spiritual part of the post. Did you see Idol Gives Back the other night. If you didn't, and you are a Christian, you need to check out Youtube and look up something. In fact, join my group and I will put in on their for you.

It was emotional to see all of the kids who need our help, it was inspiring to see Americans (and Simon) getting together for such a noble cause to raise money for people who need it. But the greatest part for me was when all of the finalists, joined by an amazing choir, sang Shout to the Lord. It was one of the greatest moments in television history for us Christians, because there was a worship song sung on one of the grandest stages in this country.

I understand that some of our brothers and sisters will find reason to be cynical of such an event. God is going to get His praise however he wants to, and we need not forget that. God is bigger than American Idol, and God is bigger than America. Some will say, "Yeah, but there was no change in any body's life as a result of that song." And some will say, "Yeah, but look at those immoral people singing a song to God."

But I will say, "Look at the incredible opportunity to share Christ with the lost world as a result of God infiltrating pop culture in such an enormous way." Use the opportunity to stimulate spiritual conversations with people that you know. Say something like, "Did you see that last song they sung on Idol Gives Back?" Wait for a response and pray that God will show Himself in that conversation, the same way He showed Himself to millions of people worldwide when He arranged for some of the greatest vocalists in Idol history to sing praise and honor to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.