Thursday, September 28, 2006

My Politics

I did this test that I saw on my brother's blog. He came out a neo-conservative and I came out a neo-liberal. What are you? You can take the test too here....... take the test

You scored 40% Personal Liberty and 39% Economic Liberty!

A neo-liberal believes in moderate government intervention on personal matters and moderate to high government intervention on economic matters. They believe in a social safety net or welfare state and try to balance personal liberty with safety or security. Some neo-liberals believe in more foreign intervention or war then most other leftists. Others are more like Centrist Democrats. More authoritarian-leaning Neo-liberals (such as personal 40/economic 30) are the result of a "fusion" between "old left" and "new right" tendencies.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Some bragging on God

Well God has done some amazing things the past few days so I've got to tell the world about it.

Yesterday was my birthday and my mom called me. She had surgery on her knee and thought she may be in some serious pain afterwards. She was amazed that there is very little pain in her knee now only a few days after the surgery. My dad told her that he prayed for her not to have any pain and God answered that prayer. She is doing really well with little pain at all. So Praise God for that!

Little Greyson Bono Cloud came into the world last night at 7:25 PM. Healthy as can be and Mandy is doing well too and is coming home tomorrow. I talked to Ben on the phone yesterday afternoon and told him to tell her to push him out before midnight so Greyson and I could share the same birthday. How cool is that? Congrats Ben and Mandy!

Today I came home from work and went to get the mail after I got home. There was a card from some friends we knew when Patty used to work at the eye doctor place. Her husband is active in AA and the card was for me congratulaing me on my 6 years of sobriety which is tomorrow. In it was a 6 year sobriety coin. That was so awesome to receive. I will carry it with pride. I owe it all to our Lord for saving me from the hell of addiction and thank all of those who prayed for me during those ugly years.

Speaking of the eye doctor...this really made our day. Those of you who read my blog know that Patty has been struggling lately at her job. The company is not being run very good right now and she was very depressed and really didn't want to be there anymore. Well these friends I wrote about in the above paragraph have moved back to Gilbert and she is back working at the Optometrist Office. She had told Patty recently about an opening as the office manager. So Patty sent them her resume and what she would like as a starting salary. She was positive that they would think it was too much. But she researched it and with the qualifications she has I agreed with her that it was not too much. She went for the interview today and before she left we prayed. I asked that the Lord open the door for her if this is the right job for her and to slam the door shut if it was not. Well they offered her the job on the spot...WITH the salary she asked for. Praise God for that! She is putting in her two weeks notice tomorrow.

I went to visit my friend last night. He is still clean and sober and we went through the second chapter of the Living Free book.

Be Moved by Love!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

A great day today

So Patty and I got up this morning and went to pick up John and Maureen (Patty's sister and her husband). We left at 9 am and headed out to the swap meet. I went to a swap meet many years ago when we first moved here. Think Larry the Cable Guy, Nascar and redneck! I so wanted to wear my Dale Earnhardt hat but Patty said I might start a fight. She was only half kidding though I think. Anyhow, it was alright. The swap meet I mean. I even bought a t-shirt for $6. On the front it says "I'll give up Hockey right after I give up breathing". If you know me at all, you'll know that fits me to a T. I saw many interesting things at the swap meet. I almost bought these nose hair trimmers for $3. John bought a cool switchblade knife for $20. It was the kind that shoots straight up, and not unfolding from the side. If you ask me, it's probably not a great idea selling that kind of stuff at a swap meet, but what the heck! I was told that going on a Sunday is a lot less crowded given the fact that the Nascar races are on TV on Sundays. Go figure! Git r' Dun!

After that we went skating. Roller skating that is. What a blast we had too. It took me awhile to get the hang of it again, it's been awhile. They even had a pizza buffet. And, it was great exercise to boot! Tonight we're just hanging out at the house. War at Home is one of the comedy's on Fox10 on Sunday nights and it's on tonight. I love it. Also, later on tonight is the season finale of Brotherhood. It's Showtimes version of The Sopranos but is in Rhode Island and about the Irish Mob! I haven't missed an episode yet this season.

Peace out ya'll. Be moved!

The Best is Yet to Come

This is a fable from the book that Ben gave me to read from chapter 11 of the book The Externally Focused Church. I think this is the direction Amadeo is heading.

There is a Taiwanese fable about a frog who lived in the bottom of a well. When the frog was thirsty, he drank a little bit of water from the well, and when he was hungry, he ate some insects that flew into the well. When he was tired, he lay on a little rock at the bottom of the well and looked up at the sky above him. To the little frog, the sky was a small circle of blue. He was very happy and satisfied, for this was the only world he had ever known.

One day a bird perched at the edge of the well. The little frog looked up and said, "Hello! Why don't you come down here and play with me? It's so pleasant down here. Look, I have cool water to drink and countless insects to eat. Come down!" But the bird responded with stories of an endless expanse of beautiful sky. The frog listened in disbelief then argued that the sky was small and round, for he had never been outside the well and seen the entire sky. The bird tried to coax the frog out of the well so he could see the sky, but the frog sat on his rock, convinced he was right. Eventually the bird flew away in frustration, and the frog was left aloned to continue pondering his little patch of sky.

This story has a good ending. Eventually a yellow sparrow swooped into the well, put the frog on its back, and flew out of the dank well into the sunlight. For the first time, the frog saw flowers, trees, animals, mountains, and rivers. Finally the bird placed him on a lotus leaf in a beautiful pond where the frog enjoyed his days---never again to return to the well.

To a frog at the bottom of a well, the sky may be only a small circle of blue. But to a bird, the sky is vast and wonderful. In some ways they are both right. This fable is about perspective. In a world filled with other frogs, occasionally we need to listen to the birds.

Once a church moves outside its four walls---its well---and begins to experience the big world of ministry, things will never be quite the same. The well will seem small and provincial, safe but boring. The world of externally focused ministry will seem dangerous but exciting. Each church will have to decide to opt for safety or danger, boredom or adventure.

I want danger and adventure. Amadeo will fly with the birds. Being moved by the love of God!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Talk went well

So I just got back from the Men's Breakfast at VCCG. Lonnie had invited me to speak so I gave my testimony on how the Lord delivered me from the drug and alcohol addictions that had stronghold on my life . There was a good turnout and Ben, Robert and Slim from Amadeo showed up too which I thought was awesome. Anyhow, I was nervous as hell in the beginning but once I started talking it was okay. I have talked to large groups of youth in the past but never to my peers.

There were a few things I left out that I wish I could have talked about and I even forgot to read my favorite Bible passage so I guess I'll share that now. I can't believe I left that out. But after I started talking it seemed like I was talking for a long time and I didn't want to make it too long. So here is my favorite passage in the Bible, Psalm 51:1-13 NLT

1 Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sin. 2 Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. 3 For I recognize my shameful deeds--they haunt me day and night. 4 Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgement against me is just. 5 For I was born a sinner--yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. 6 But you desire honesty from the heart, so you can teach me to be wise in my inmost being. 7 Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me--now let me rejoice. 9 Don't keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me. 11 Do not banish me from your presence, and don't take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me again the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. 13 Then I will teach your ways to sinners, and they will return to you.

I could kick myself over and over again for wasting more than half my life on drugs and alcohol. But God has forgiven me and has forgotten about it, so why kick myself over and over again? I don't have to. When God forgives our sin and restores our fellowship with him, we want to reach out to others who need this forgiveness and reconciliation. The more you have felt God's forgiveness, the more you will desire to tell others about it.

That is why I spoke this morning and why I desire to tell others what the Lord has brought me out of. No matter where you're at, there is a way out. And that way is through Jesus Christ and His forgiveness, grace and mercy. I can relate to the struggle, the pain and the loneliness and isolation of addiction which in turn, allows me to reach out to those who are going through what I went through and want a way out.

I am moved by love. I will continue to be moved by love and reach out to the lost and hurting. That is my heart, that is my desire.

Be Moved!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Cranberries - Zombie

I was watching Rockstar-Supernova the other night and one of the contestants did this song by the Cranberries which I have always loved but haven't heard in a long time. Check it's a great tune. It's a great live version.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I just got back from my friends house. Visited him for about an hour and went over Session one in the workbook Living Free. He looked a lot better physically than the last time I saw him about 4 days ago. i think he is really trying this time to live drug free. Keep praying for him.

I had a great day at work today. The monsoon season is over so it allowed me to get out to some of the sites to calibrate the weather instruments. Today I went out to Roosevelt Lake...and two different sites in Superior at the Copper mines. i hit Roosevelt Lake last so after I was done there I pulled the truck into one of the picnic sites off of Highway 188 and ate my lunch right by the lake. It was an absolutely gorgeous day.

Amadeo rocked last night and we had a great turnout. This Saturday I will be speaking at the men's breakfast at Vineyard Community Gilbert. I'm a little nervous but I'm ready and God is good!

be Moved by Love!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Thought for Today

What makes a functional family is not the absence of mistakes, but the willingness to talk about the mistakes that were made and then form a clear plan for a fulfilling future.
Gary Smalley and John Trent,
The Hidden Value of a Man

We all make mistakes, but those who control their tongues can also control themselves in every other way.
James 3:2 NLT

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Vote For My Jesus!

(The following is excerpted from Red and Blue God, Black and Blue Church (April 2006, $22.95,Cloth) by Becky Garrison by permission of Jossey-Bass, a Wiley imprint.)

Choosing Christ?

Even though Christians talk about following the will of Christ, if He were on the ballot today, would we vote for Him? Hmmm … lemme see. Well, for starters, His message is geared toward those “undesirables” who probably aren’t even registered to vote. Also, that business of separating the sheep who are eligible to vote for Christ from the hordes of unregistered goats represents a pollster’s nightmare.

Let’s face it, the dude just can’t spin worth diddly-squat. He tells is like it is and doesn’t give a rip whom He offends. How can you have a presidential candidate who can’t even be trusted to go to a fundraising breakfast and behave in front of the those all-important special-interest groups needed to finance the cost of mounting a presidential campaign? And as much as LaHaye & Co. like to invoke the name of Jesus, there’s no way He’d snag an invite to one of those supersecret Council for National Policy meetings.(I wish I could tell you what goes on in there, but these meetings are strictly off limits to the media; only individuals with the biggest bankrolls and the best beliefs are allowed access to these contemporary temple treasures).

Now let’s examine His staff—oh, just fuggetaboutit. His campaign manager looks like one of those crazy homeless guys I see preaching at Times Square, and His female “companion” has a checkered past that would make Monica Lewinsky blush. He hangs out with tax collectors, drunkards, and a host of unsavory characters. Roger Clinton seems downright dignified by comparison. And last but not least, His “trusted” disciples, the guys He appointed to key leadership positions, make snafus almost every time they accompany their leader in public. (I can just picture all the Christian conspiracy books blasting the behavior of Jesus’ cabinet.) Get this—He can’t even get any respect in His hometown (sound familiar, Al Gore?)

No, if Jesus stepped into the RNC or DNC headquarters, both Karl Rove and Democratic head honcho Howard Dean would show Him the door fer sure. No way in hell would they even remotely consider His candidacy as leader of the Free World—but then again, Jesus made it clear that His kingdom lay elsewhere.

Nothing Happens Outside of Relationships

I've been reading a book that Ben gave me called The Externally Focused Church. Chapter 5 is titled Nothing Happens Outside of Relationships. Here are a few blurbs at the beginning of the chapter...

"The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between the two, the leader must become a servant."
-Max De Pree

Failing to Relate
Dun and Bradstreet conducted a study to determine why executives fail. The organization studied twelve hundred executives who had been fired from their jobs. Interestingly, it wasn't their market expertise, financial understanding, or product knowledge that was the primary cause for failure. In 85 percent of the cases, their relational skills were the cause. The same might be true of churches. If we were to study the primary reason churches fail, we might discover that they've failed in the one area they should be good at---building, sustaining, and cultivating relationships.

The Church grows Through Relationships

Friday, September 15, 2006

I found this to be a very interesting read so I thought I would post it. I'm not saying I agree with it 100% but she does make some good points and has certainly done some research into the subject.

Bio-Ethics: A Different Perspective on Genetics and Homosexuality by Carolyn E.M. Gibney

This guy is the pastor of a church in Topeka Kansas. Glad I don't go to this church! Here's what he said about the death of our U.S. Troops...

Phelps believes the deaths of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and the 2001 terrorist attacks are an angry God's punishment for the country's tolerance of homosexuality. "This nation has ticked off the Almighty, and it's too late to repent," he says.

click here for the rest of the article

Thursday, September 14, 2006

So I went to see my friend today. He is doing okay. Still not feeling well, but that is to be expected since he had so much crap in his system. He has to report for work tomorrow. Thank the Lord that he still has one. There is a ministry out there called Turning Point Ministries. I went through their training awhile back. It is a Christian based program that helps people get past Life Controlling problems such as substance abuse. I have the workbook and the facilitators guide so I assigned the first session to him. we will meet on a regular basis and go over the material. I do believe that he is going to make it with God's help. His wife was there too and she was handling things well. Please pray for them as they work through this. Pray that my friend will be delivered from his drug addictions.

My mom has been having trouble with her knee. It turns out that she has a torn miniscus and will be having surgery on the 22nd. She is really nervous about it. Pray that the surgery goes well and to give her peace about the procedure.

Be Moved by Love!

I read an awesome post today on Carl Tuttles blog. I so agree with what he said. I especially liked the last two paragraphs. Here they are...

Being a Christian and for the most part spending the majority of time with the tribe, I have observed a real lack of compassion from those who have been the recipient of such and all encompassing compassion. We are so quick to lecture, to thoughtlessly throw out a Bible verse, I'm not against Bible verses, but they are not to be indiscrimately used as some sort of magical cure all. Christians who lack compassion scare me.

Time heals all wounds? Yes I believe it does and I believe it is a gift from God and the pain is a gift to, it makes us better people.

Pastor Ben's New Blog!


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

An awesome recognition ceremony

I went down to Tucson yesterday. The main purpose of my visit was to attend a graduation ceremony from a program that my aunt went through. I got to spend the evening with my parents last night and they took me out to a nice Chinese Buffet dinner.

This morning I headed to the location where the graduation took place. What an awesome experience it was. I was so proud of my aunt. She has been sober a bit longer than me by about 6 months I think. I celebrate 6 years of sobriety on the 28th of this month! THANK YOU LORD! Anyhow, my aunt has been attending these classes and she is now a Certified Recovery Support Specialist. There were about 40 graduates at the ceremony this morning and they each had 2 minutes to say whatever it was they wanted to say. I really enjoyed listening to their stories of where they were, and where they are at now. What better people to counsel and mentor other addicts than those that have been through it themselves. Congratualtions to my Aunt Lynn. She has come a long way and I am so proud of her.

I talked to my friend a bit earlier today. He was released from detox and has gone through the withdrawal process. This is not fun folks, I tell you this from my own experience. Each time you go back to using whatever substance it is that you abuse, the withdrawal is ALWAYS worse than the time before. His wife picked him up and they went to a 12 step meeting and they are spending some time with their grandson. I will talk to him this evening and will set up some times to meet with him and to follow up on his aftercare. Pray for him. He is going to have to be held accountable and the first few weeks out of detox are not easy. Pray for the Lord to comfort him, and to give me the words to speak to him. Pray that I don't get "pissed" off at him. Sometimes it is easy for me to tell the addict that "It's easy! I did it why can't you?" It has to be a God thing and the addict has to want to be clean and sober. Until next time...Be Moved by Love!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I'm heading down to Tucson this afternoon. My aunt is graduating from a program where she has become certified to counsel alcoholics and drug addicts. She has come a long way folks and I am damn proud of her. I'll be staying the night at my parents house and it will be great to chill with them this evening. Then I'll go to the graduation thingy first thing in the morning and then head back home.

Pray for my friend that is in detox at the moment. He may get out today. Pray that he will not be anxious and that his desire for these drugs will disappear. Thanks!

Be Moved by Love!

Monday, September 11, 2006

They will know you are a Christian by your fruit

This is how I long to be. For years I thought it was about serving in my church. It is NOT about church. It is going outside the walls of the church and serving others. When they see this, they will see God. Serve your community. Serve others. Be Moved by Love. Amadeo!

by Vanessa Stern

Monday September 11, 2006

When I arrived at college, I was eager to begin my education, gain ministry experience, and start my life with a clean slate. I had spent the first four years of college at a secular university doing life the way most secular universities do things: without God, so I had great expectations for myself as well as the spiritual atmosphere of a private Christian college. What I didn't expect were the lonely places, serving without recognition, and the character building moments that continue to shape me today.

Being an older student, I wasn’t keen about living on campus; thankfully, I was given the opportunity to live with an elderly woman named Claire. Claire was a widow who's husband had been a church planter for a large denomination; soon after he passed she started to weaken and mentally debilitate, later diagnosed with Dementia. As her caregiver, I received a stipend that paid for my tuition; however, I still needed to work at a restaurant in the evenings to cover debt that had accrued along with other bills. As a Church Ministries major, I was surrounded by students who were leading in roles of traditional ministry on campus or at a church. Traditional meaning interim youth pastors, youth leaders, street evangelism, and overseas mission trips. The pressure to be "involved" to gain experience was rather intimidating. Many of the students were faithful participants in street evangelism on the weekends which were the most profitable days for a server so I was often asked why I wasn't out witnessing or attending the halfway houses. I naturally accepted the condemnation in their voices since I longed to serve God by "doing" something of the kind. Unbeknownst to me, God had that something for me and it began the first summer I spent in Florida.

There I was, 24 years old, starting my life over as a college student, waiting tables to make ends meet, studying in what spare time I had, all the while, taking care of an elderly woman who asked me everyday whose car was in her driveway. I often felt obscure and isolated keeping this schedule, but low and behold, doors started opening at the restaurant, and coworkers began asking questions about my lifestyle and language. I wasn't necessarily a preacher of any sort; I just had clean language. Most of the employees’ language consisted of explicatives that would make your grandmother faint. As time passed, I became aware that my lifestyle was more effective on a daily basis than passing out religious tracts on the weekends with my classmates.

Facing the same people everyday motivated me to live above reproach hoping my actions would draw them to Christ more than my words-"they don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care" often came to mind. Being surrounded by a variety of life choices: drugs, sex, and New Age practices, I observed one common characteristic—a search for identity and unconditional love. Burdened by their behavior and animosity toward Christians, I resolved to be a loving, consistent influence in their lives. Each one had his/her own way of hearing the message of Jesus Christ. But the message would have fallen on deaf ears if I hadn't committed to being a person of integrity: a person whose beliefs were fully reflected in their lifestyle. What they didn't need was another invitation to a passion play or the pressure to live up to a standard in which they didn't even believe.

In this season of hiddenness and isolation, I realized not only was I sent to impact and influence, but they too were sent to impact and influence me. I had to be sensitive to each journey, listening for their view of spirituality and truth. The Wiccan would often ask me questions about "my deity," another would ask me to pray for her since I had "a direct line to heaven". And there were evenings when God strongly urged me to leave my tips for the person having a low night; no announcement, no credit, no flashing lights, I had worked just as hard for that cash, yet God's words were the same—serve them. The irony of this epilogue is that I wasn’t the only Christian working in the restaurant, there were plenty of them “talking” up their Christianity; I am not sure who was listening though.

In the midst of this repertoire of lifestyles was “Tom”, a young gay man that often questioned God's love and the ironic hatred for them among so many Christians. In particular, I remember having several conversations with Tom who had been told by "Christians" that he was an abomination to God headed straight for hell. One afternoon standing in the kitchen after talking about a made for TV movie about the life of Jesus, Tom asked me, "Who is Jesus exactly?" My eyes wide open, filled with tears, I looked at him with confusion asking, "You've been told you're going to hell, but no one’s told who Jesus is?"There I was serving tacos in the midst of disillusioned youth seeking for answers, studying to be a pastor, all while taking care of an ailing woman who barely knew my name.

Claire’s condition mandated patience from anyone who cared for her. Often, as I was falling asleep after working a long dinner shift, she would call for me from the bathroom. Pulling my tired, aching body out of bed, I realized she had "messed" herself. So there I was, 3 a.m., cleaning her frail body while she cried out of embarrassment. Being faced with this reality on a daily basis, I couldn’t help but ask God what he was seeing from his perspective.

One Saturday afternoon, after convincing her to take a shower, I decided to take more time drying her, carefully maneuvering the towel between her toes. Her feet were all scrunched up, her toenails hard as stone, and not very appealing to the eye. Sporadic thoughts started to fill my mind: What did they look like in her youth? Where had these feet been? I wanted to trim those wretched toenails, but that usually brought Claire to tears. These feet were precious feet, aged with experience, sensitive due to her years, and clean, because of me. I knew this day was different. Tears began to swell in my eyes and fall down my face, and that is when I heard these words in my mind, "When you have served the least of these, you have served me."

I wish I could tell you that I made "care-giver or employee of the month". Instead, the lessons I learned have been stamped on the forefront of my mind, enabling me in every season of life since then. I learned to embrace the spiritual significance of my positions; I learned that no matter where I was, how lonely or obsolete the job, God was present, and sometimes more tangible than being in a church service. Often we think ministry in the narrow realms of the church walls, with being seen, known, and applauded. I have found that God’s voice is much louder in the obscure, lonely, isolated times of my life. His presence supersedes the mundane and commonalities of what we think are just our jobs. The reality is that I was set free from “doing” anything for God’s sake and that in serving tacos, bathing an elderly woman, and even late night study groups, I was serving Christ with being. This awareness gave ease to many more midnight interruptions and humbling conversations. I discovered that no matter where I was placed, my identity and duty were in Christ alone—without credit, without title.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Flyleaf-On touring with Korn

This is an excellent article on the band Flyleaf. They probably get some flak from those "legalistic" churches about being christians and touring with such dark bands. They are currently touring with The Family Values Tour featuring Korn, Deftones, and Stone Sour, a tour that Patty and I saw a few weeks ago. I thought they defended themselves well in the article, but isn't it sad that they even have to defend themselves? Aren't we supposed to go out into the world and bring the Kingdom to them? Anyhow, for what it's worth, here's the article.

Flyleaf Article

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Ativan, Xanax, Percoset, Vicadin and alcohol. What a combo huh? So my friend is in detox for now. I met him and his wife there and was able to talk to him a bit before they did his intake. I then walked his wife to the car (this place was not in the best neighborhood) and we chatted and I prayed with her. Pray for a miracle in this guy's life. He needs to be delivered from these addictions and turn to the Lord for help. He will probably be in detox for a minimum of 3 days, maybe longer. He was not in too good of shape tonight. Coming off of benzodiazapenes and pain pills is not pretty at all.

Lord, I ask that you give my friend peace. Heal his body. Let him get through this detox process and allow him to confess to you and to ask you for help. I speak against this addiction in Jesus name. Thank you Jesus for your grace and your mercy. Amen!


I just received word today from the spouse of a very good friend of mine. We have known this couple for 12 years and they attend the church we left when we came to the Vineyard. Anyhow...he had a very serious addiction to prescription drugs. I had worked with him in the past and he had been doing well. But he has slipped back into using again. I am going to see him this evening. I have been in prayer since I heard the news this morning. Pray that the Lord will give me wisdom and the words to speak to him. Pray for healing from this addiction and that the Lord will deliver him. Addiction is ugly. It rips apart lives and affects the entire friend and family network.

I had a good time at the men's Bible Study this evening over at Ben's house. What an awesome thing to meet with other men and talk and pray with each other and dig into God's word.

Last night I went to the Power Ranch Clubhouse and met some of the Amadeo folks there to see the building and decide how we are going to set it up. It is a nice building and should work out well. But...God has something else in mind. Power Ranch Elementary School which is right next door to the Power Ranch Clubhouse suddenly became available as the church that was using it has moved into a building of their own. This will be available Oct 1st and suits our needs better. So a contract has been signed to rent the place on Sunday's for a year. Isn't God's timing perfect?

Patty is doing much better. Thanks to all who have been praying for us. I went to the doctor with her today. It is more of a situational depression and not a long term thing or a chemical imbalance. Which is great news. Keep praying for her job situation also. God is good and He is working in this situation.

I will be speaking at the men's breakfast on the 23rd. Pray for me. I don't really like standing in front of a group of my peers and speaking publicly. But I do love to share what the Lord has done in my life and how I got to where I am at today. It was only by God's grace and mercy that I am even alive and for that I am thankful.

On the 12th I will be driving down to Tucson to my parents house. My aunt (my dad's sister) has struggled with drugs and alcohol for years. But she has beat the addictions and now counsels others. She will be graduating from a program where she is now certified as an addiction counselor and I am going to her graduation which is in Tucson on the morning of the 13th. I am so proud of her. Her name is Lynn. Pray for her, for God's protection on her and for her to seek His guidance as she counsels others that are struggling with substance abuse.

Amadeo has the kick-off potluck on the 11th and the first official service on the 18th. Pray for the Amadeo folks and Pastor Ben as well as the leadership as we head out to bring the Kingdom to the Southeast Valley. This is going to be an awesome ride. So hang on! This Sunday, our mother church, Vineyard Community of Gilbert, is praying for us and sending us off and after the service a get together will be held for us in the gym. We are so blessed to be a part of the Vineyard community and have their full support.

Be Moved By Love!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Measure of Your Life

“We realize at a very young age that it is our behavior in the human community, not our affiliation with a church, that will in the end, measure the caliber of our lives.”

Chittister, Joan In Search of Belief, Ligouri/Triumph Ligouri, Missouri Copyright © 1999 by Joan Chittister, p.180.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Need Prayer

I hesitated to make this public but there is absolutely nothing wrong with admitting that you are struggling. Patty and I need prayer. Patty is very depressed and I really think it is a combination of two things here.

The first being her job situation. She has been unhappy there for quite sometime and is not treated well. For the past few weeks I have told her just to walk. Quit! We will get by and God will provide. He always does. If a job is affecting you that much it is unhealthy.

The second issue here, I believe, is that the enemy is attacking us because of the church plant. Well the enemy can take a hike.

I post this because I know that the people that read this pray. And it is nothing to be ashamed of to say you are struggling. It is putting a strain on our household. Pray for peace, mercy and grace. Pray for Patty to get over her depression and anxiety. Pray for me to be the Husband God wants me to be in this situation.

Thanks to all of you who will pray. Thanks to God who is and always will be there for us in times like these.

Be moved by Love!