Are you doing what you are CALLED TO DO? Do you WANT to be doing it? It won’t be EASY, but it will be WORTH IT! Take a look and follow along with notes below. It MAY change your life. […]

Read More


START TO FINISH: Lifeworks 2

Is it possible to begin again and take a next step? You bet! Here’s how: START TO FINISH “Begin with the end in mind…not in stone.” 5 Stages Of Work and Life (Source: Jon Acuff) LEARNING- stage of preparation EDITING- […]

Read More

START TO FINISH: Lifeworks 2

Quit To Start (Lifeworks 1)

In the beginning message of a new series, we explore what it means to quit our job to start our calling. Click the link below to watch and listen. The message notes are below. LifeWorks: Quit To Start “Everyone needs […]

Read More

Quit To Start (Lifeworks 1)


Are you doing what you are CALLED TO DO? Do you WANT to be doing it? It won’t be EASY, but it will be WORTH IT!

Take a look and follow along with notes below. It MAY change your life.

Take This Job and LOVE IT!

“The best prize that life has to offer is to work hard at work worth doing.” Theodore Roosevelt

Exodus 3 (NLT)


1 One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up.


3 “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.” 4 When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” “Here I am!” Moses replied. 5 “Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. 6 I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.



7 Then the Lord told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live. 9 Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them. 10 Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.”


11 But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” 12 God answered, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.” 13 But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?” 14 God replied to Moses, “I am who I am. Say this to the people of Israel: I am has sent me to you.” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you. This is my eternal name, my name to remember for all generations.
God goes with me to the place He calls me to go. 16 “Now go and call together all the elders of Israel…. 18 “The elders of Israel will accept your message. Then you and the elders must go to the king of Egypt and tell him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. So please let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord, our God.’


19 “But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand forces him.
…But God will show His power in You and from Him.
20 So I will raise my hand and strike the Egyptians, performing all kinds of miracles among them. Then at last he will let you go. 21 And I will cause the Egyptians to look favorably on you. They will give you gifts when you go so you will not leave empty-handed. 22 Every Israelite woman will ask for articles of silver and gold and fine clothing from her Egyptian neighbors and from the foreign women in their houses. You will dress your sons and daughters with these, stripping the Egyptians of their wealth.”

BUT, BUT, BUT…. Throw Down Your Buts

Exodus 4 (NLT)
1 But Moses protested again, “What if they won’t believe me or listen to me? What if they say, ‘The Lord never appeared to you’?” 2 Then the Lord asked him, “What is that in your hand?” “A shepherd’s staff,” Moses replied.3 “Throw it down on the ground,” the Lord told him. So Moses threw down the staff, and it turned into a snake! Moses jumped back. 4 Then the Lord told him, “Reach out and grab its tail.” So Moses reached out and grabbed it, and it turned back into a shepherd’s staff in his hand. 5 “Perform this sign,” the Lord told him. “Then they will believe that the Lord, the God of their ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—really has appeared to you.”…


10 But Moses pleaded with the Lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.” 11 Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”
Throw down your fear about what to say. 13 But Moses again pleaded, “Lord, please! Send anyone else.” 14 Then the Lord became angry with Moses. “All right,” he said. “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he speaks well. And look! He is on his way to meet you now. He will be delighted to see you. 15 Talk to him, and put the words in his mouth. I will be with both of you as you speak, and I will instruct you both in what to do. 16 Aaron will be your spokesman to the people. He will be your mouthpiece, and you will stand in the place of God for him, telling him what to say. 17 And take your shepherd’s staff with you, and use it to perform the miraculous signs I have shown you.”



Read More

START TO FINISH: Lifeworks 2

Is it possible to begin again and take a next step? You bet! Here’s how:


“Begin with the end in mind…not in stone.”


5 Stages Of Work and Life (Source: Jon Acuff)

LEARNING- stage of preparation

EDITING- stage of sharpening your skills and refining your calling

MASTERY- stage of becoming great at what you do.

HARVESTING- stage of reaping what you sow.

GUIDING- stage of pointing the way for others


Moses: A Biblical Example Of Work and Life

Moses was taught all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was powerful in both speech and action. Acts 7:22(NLT)

Start again at what looks like the end.

Exodus 2 Selected Verses (NLT)

11 Many years later, when Moses had grown up, he went out to visit his own people, the Hebrews, and he saw how hard they were forced to work. During his visit, he saw an Egyptian beating one of his fellow Hebrews. 12 After looking in all directions to make sure no one was watching, Moses killed the Egyptian and hid the body in the sand. 13 The next day, when Moses went out to visit his people again, he saw two Hebrew men fighting. “Why are you beating up your friend?” Moses said to the one who had started the fight. 14 The man replied, “Who appointed you to be our prince and judge? Are you going to kill me as you killed that Egyptian yesterday?” Then Moses was afraid, thinking, “Everyone knows what I did.” 15 And sure enough, Pharaoh heard what had happened, and he tried to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in the land of Midian….

Leave. Move on.

…When Moses arrived in Midian, he sat down beside a well. 16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters who came as usual to draw water and fill the water troughs for their father’s flocks. 17 But some other shepherds came and chased them away. So Moses jumped up and rescued the girls from the shepherds. Then he drew water for their flocks.
When you’re down, help somebody up.
18 When the girls returned to Reuel, their father, he asked, “Why are you back so soon today?” 19 “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds,” they answered. “And then he drew water for us and watered our flocks.” 20 “Then where is he?” their father asked. “Why did you leave him there? Invite him to come and eat with us.”
Network with those who can give you your next opportunity.
21 Moses accepted the invitation, and he settled there with him.

Pick the people who will go with you and get to work.

…In time, Reuel gave Moses his daughter Zipporah to be his wife. 22 Later she gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, for he explained, “I have been a foreigner in a foreign land.”

Do the little things each day to prepare for the big things one day.

23 Years passed, and the king of Egypt died. But the Israelites continued to groan under their burden of slavery. They cried out for help, and their cry rose up to God. 24 God heard their groaning, and he remembered his covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 25 He looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act.

In Exodus 3, we find out what’s next.

The Bottom Line- Start now. Do the NEXT thing.


Read More

Quit To Start (Lifeworks 1)

In the beginning message of a new series, we explore what it means to quit our job to start our calling. Click the link below to watch and listen. The message notes are below.

LifeWorks: Quit To Start

“Everyone needs 3 things in life- someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to.” George Washington Burnap

Quit your nightmare and discover God’s dream for YOU.

There is something God wants YOU to do.

10 Meanwhile, Jacob left Beersheba and traveled toward Haran. 11 At sundown he arrived at a good place to set up camp and stopped there for the night. Jacob found a stone to rest his head against and lay down to sleep. 12 As he slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down the stairway. Genesis 28:10-12 (NLT)

Quit working just for rewards.

There is something God wants YOU to look forward to…

13 At the top of the stairway stood the Lord, and he said, “I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham, and the God of your father, Isaac. The ground you are lying on belongs to you. I am giving it to you and your descendants. 14 Your descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth! They will spread out in all directions—to the west and the east, to the north and the south. And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants. 15 What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.
Genesis 28:13-15 (NLT)


Start living for the rewarding.

…Someone God wants YOU to love.

9 Jacob was still talking with them [shepherds] when Rachel arrived with her father’s flock, for she was a shepherd. 10 And because Rachel was his cousin—the daughter of Laban, his mother’s brother—and because the sheep and goats belonged to his uncle Laban, Jacob went over to the well and moved the stone from its mouth and watered his uncle’s flock. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and he wept aloud. 12 He explained to Rachel that he was her cousin on her father’s side—the son of her aunt Rebekah. So Rachel quickly ran and told her father, Laban.13 As soon as Laban heard that his nephew Jacob had arrived, he ran out to meet him. He embraced and kissed him and brought him home. When Jacob had told him his story, 14 Laban exclaimed, “You really are my own flesh and blood!” After Jacob had stayed with Laban for about a month, 15 Laban said to him, “You shouldn’t work for me without pay just because we are relatives. Tell me how much your wages should be.” 16 Now Laban had two daughters. The older daughter was named Leah, and the younger one was Rachel. 17 There was no sparkle in Leah’s eyes, but Rachel had a beautiful figure and a lovely face. 18 Since Jacob was in love with Rachel, he told her father, “I’ll work for you for seven years if you’ll give me Rachel, your younger daughter, as my wife.” 19 “Agreed!” Laban replied. “I’d rather give her to you than to anyone else. Stay and work with me.” 20 So Jacob worked seven years to pay for Rachel. But his love for her was so strong that it seemed to him but a few days. 21 Finally, the time came for him to marry her. “I have fulfilled my agreement,” Jacob said to Laban. “Now give me my wife so I can sleep with her.” Genesis 29:9-21 (NLT)

Quit working for your boss.

22 So Laban invited everyone in the neighborhood and prepared a wedding feast. 23 But that night, when it was dark, Laban took Leah to Jacob, and he slept with her. 24 (Laban had given Leah a servant, Zilpah, to be her maid.)25 But when Jacob woke up in the morning—it was Leah! “What have you done to me?” Jacob raged at Laban. “I worked seven years for Rachel! Why have you tricked me?” 26 “It’s not our custom here to marry off a younger daughter ahead of the firstborn,” Laban replied. 27 “But wait until the bridal week is over; then we’ll give you Rachel, too—provided you promise to work another seven years for me.” 28 So Jacob agreed to work seven more years.
Genesis 29:21-28 (NLT)
Start working for your REAL boss.

And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father…23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Colossians 3:17,23 (NLT)

JUST QUIT > Quit your job. Start your calling.

Read More





All I could say was “No. It cannot be true.” Robin Williams died and at his own hand? It seems so unreal that the man who made us laugh so freely could die so tragically.

If I had a brief time with Robin, could talk with him personally, and share with Him what I would love for him to know, here is what I would say.

Let me set the context. Invariably, the first thing that would happen in our introduction is he would make me laugh. With his speed of light quick wit delivered in the tone of at least one of his impersonations of someone real or invented, I would probably be mentally probed, insulted, and assaulted with laughter. Then I would say…

“Thank you! It is so nice to be in the same room with you although I have felt like you have been a regular guest in our home. In the darkest times, you made me laugh. You made US laugh! You still do. Please keep us laughing! When wars were brewing and boiling over, you made us laugh even at the absurdity of it all. When weather disasters hit, you made us know there would be the hope of another day because we could laugh at this day. When politicians did questionable things, you poked fun at them whether they were Democrats, Independents, Libertarians, Republicans, or whatever the political flavor that era happened to bring to us. We could hear from Mork calling Orson, Mrs. Doubtfire admonishing children, or Adrian Cronauer inspiring soldiers when you opened your soul to us.

And than was only the beginning…

Your voice danced with the animated Aladdin as you made us laugh and dance with our kids. You became a living flesh and blood Peter Pan as you “Hooked” us with and everyone in the world could identify. You have made us think the “Crazy Ones” are maybe the only ones who are sane.

In the language of my early childhood, you were a “trip” who regularly “tripped us out.” And if the movies were not enough, you came to life in a television interview. You were funny even and when you were especially not profane. You never had to be dirty to get a laugh. You were just funny. Some people SAY funny things and some are JUST FUNNY! How were you so quick?! You were like an entire baseball team and even a few members of the opposition playfully bantering simultaneously. How could you make a hit in the conversation, run to first base, be the third baseman turning to make the triple play, and end up being the one who pitched, hit, caught, and threw someone (sometimes yourself) out ALL AT THE SAME TIME?! You could hit home runs and then take someone out verbally like a laser throw from 3rd base to first. Your mind and your wit were one of THE MOST amazing creations that I have ever seen our Creator give a person.

Can I talk to you about the God stuff for a little bit? To me, you were proof that there is a God who always was, is, and is to come. He fashioned you in such a unique way that you became a gift to humankind. In your giftedness, you saw the darkness as well as the light. You and I know that we all instinctually have a “dark side.” You spoke of it often in interviews. Mark Twain, a fellow comedian from another era said, “Most of us are like the moon. We all have a dark side that we do not want anyone to see.” I get that about me and you and everyone who has ever walked the face of the earth.

But there is also a side that God brightens in us like the side of the moon facing the sun that shines in the darkness of night. The light comes from somewhere else and is reflected off of those who turn that side toward the sun. I really believe there is a heaven. I really believe there is a hell. I really believe people go there, but I also believe that we live a bit of both on this side. You’ve seen hellish things and heavenly things while you have been among us. There is a solution to hell, by the way. It’s life-true, living, everlasting, bright. And the Light was, is, and always will be Jesus Christ. The Father sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. He did. We hoped to save you some real life even when life seemed irrevocably, irretrievably dark. I would have loved to be “Jesus with skin on” to you as a family member of the One who equips us to be a light for God’s glory in a lost and dying world. I hope you got that truth while you were still living…maybe even in your last breath.

You brought light. I hope I will see you on the other side. In the meantime, I’ll thank God for you and the light and laughter and little bit of heaven you brought on this side. If I could have spoken with you right before you decided to take your own life, I would say, “LIVE! We NEED you! You need US! We need each other. God sent us each other to help each other along Life’s bright, dark, and gray paths. We will help you. We will love you. We will pray for you. When you cannot keep from shaking, we will feed you! We just want to love you more. Stay with us! Jesus came not just to save us but also to save life for us! Since you were often explicit in your own way, he came to be explicit too.” I love these words:

“I’ll be explicit, then. I am the Gate for the sheep. All those others are up to no good—sheep stealers, every one of them. But the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of… John 10:10 (The Message)

You were part of this life dream as we row our boats gently and sometimes frantically down the stream. Like Aladdin, you were a friend from a distance and maybe, so to speak, even out of this world. And I never had a friend like you. We never had a friend like you. I wish you had let us be to you what you have been to us. We would have loved you 24/7/365. We always have. I hope I see you on the other side.”

Read More


EVERYONE matters. And everyone doing their PART matters. As part of a series called CHURCH MATH, I offered this message. As you listen and/or read, I hope this helps.

Listen Here: http://vimeo.com/channels/forestpointe

+ Sign


“Every NUMBER has a NAME, every NAME has a STORY, and every STORY matters to God.” Perry Noble

“NUMBERS are so important to God that He named a book in the Bible for them. Rick Warren

How Can I Add Value To My Life and The Church?

Acts 2:42-47 New Living Translation (NLT)

1. When I Learn

42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching,…

2. When I Connect

… and to fellowship, …

3. When I Share Food: Practically and Spiritually

…and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), …

4. When I Pray

…and to prayer.

5. When I See God Doing Awesome and Great Things

43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders.

6. When I Give and Serve

… 44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need.

7. When I Worship
… 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day,…

8. When I Do Life Together With Others.

…met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—



9. When I Make Gratitude My Attitude

…47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people.

10. When I See God Add More People To Our Church

…And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.

So What Now? I’ll ADD my part to make the Whole Church Better EVERYWHERE!

Read More



The question that constantly stays with us. Why do people suffer? Why do bad things happen to good people?


GO to the link posted below to WATCH the message:http://vimeo.com/channels/forestpointe/101451689

“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” C.S Lewis


6 For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and He punishes each one He accepts as his child.” 7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as His own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn’t discipline you as He does all of His children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really His children at all.
Hebrews 12:6-8 (NLT)


12 When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. Romans 5:12 (NLT)

23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
Romans 3:23 (NLT)Question


1 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. 2 “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” 3 “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. John 9:1-3 (NLT)

The Bottom Line: God walks with us when we suffer.

Read More

Loving God With ALL My Mind

How Do I Love God With All Of My Mind?

Here’s A LINK TO WATCH This Message- http://vimeo.com/channels/forestpointe/102059191

“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” A. W. Tozer


1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Genesis 1:1-3 (NLT)

Light…Sky…Land/Sea/Vegetation…Sun/Moon Stars…Fish/Birds…Land Animals…
(There is a SPECIFIC ORDER HERE that makes all of life possible)



For, “Who can know the Lord’s thoughts?
 Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:16 (NLT)


5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. James 1:5-8 (NIV)


1Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrificeholy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)


1 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:1-11 (NKJV)


1. GO to Him and His Words first. FILTER everything through them.

4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! 5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. 6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. 8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:4-8 (NLT)

The Bottom Line > I Can Begin NOW To Love God With All Of My Mind.

Now, the BIG Question- Will I do it?
free thinker

Read More


I’m in a series called “TRENDING” where we are answering questions that people from our faith community posed about God, life, and the issues facing us today.

A LINK to the VIDEO message is here: http://vimeo.com/channels/forestpointe/100965557

Believing Believing3

“My business is not to prove to any other man that there is a God, but to find Him myself.” George McDonald

16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him. John 3:16-18 (NLT)

18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in Him. But anyone who does not believe in Him has already been judged 1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too. 2 We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey His commandments. 3 Loving God means keeping His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome. 4 For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. 5 And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God. for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 1 John 5:1-5 (NLT)

1. What is Salvation? Deliverance, Redemption, & Healing through Jesus Christ.

“Salvation comes BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH in Christ PLUS NOTHING.”

2.What is the difference between Catholic belief and the way we believe?

The Five Solas of The Protestant Reformation are:

o Sola Scriptura (“Scripture alone”): The Bible alone is our highest authority.
o Sola Fide (“faith alone”): We are saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ.
o Sola Gratia (“grace alone”): We are saved by the grace of God alone.
o Solus Christus (“Christ alone”): Jesus alone is our Lord, Savior, and King.
o Soli Deo Gloria (“to the glory of God alone”): We live for the glory of God alone.

Essential Differences. Catholics believe…

o Extra-Biblical writings and tradition as much as Scripture
o Follow the authority of the Pope as The infallible “Vicar” of Christ
o Believe that salvation comes through the church membership and the sacraments (Salvation by works)
o In praying to the saints, venerating Mary, and trusting that communion becomes the blood and body of Christ when we take it (transubstatiation)

3. What does it mean to believe? Believing means I trust that…

o God is who He says He is
o God can do what He says He can do
o I am who God says I am
o I can do what all things through Christ
o God’s word is alive and active in me.
o Source Beth Moore, Believing God


4. What if my child made a profession of faith and now has turned from the faith?

o What God has given in salvation cannot be taken away.

28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, 29 for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. John 10:28-29 (NLT)
o When God begins His work in us, He finishes it.
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6 (NLT)

5. What if I sometimes doubt my belief in God?

Ask God to let you reach out and touch Him in some tangible way. He will reveal Himself to you.

13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 14 I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”
Jeremiah 29:13-14 (NLT)
26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” 28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed. 29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” John 20:26-29 (NLT)

The Essential Question: Do You believe? Settle that question today.

Read More

Hunger: DOING Something

Hunger1She did something. In a world where hunger is an epidemic and food is appropriately sent to feed the hungry overseas, we often forget that there are hungry children at our own doorstep. Carolyn did not forget.

And she did something about it.

My friend, Carolyn Niemeyer’s, vision has become a reality.

It’s official now. She is a hero. She has been honored and feted by the best and the brightest. She has stood before boards of education and commissioners while receiving high praise. She has fought for the rights of children to eat even as she has battled cancer in her own body. It is a fight she has won on both fronts. With the Backpack Food Program’s most recent award as the Non-Profit of the Year as recognized by WTVI over dozens of non-profits in the Greater Charlotte Region, she has led a movement to feed those who cannot feed themselves.

Carolyn Niemeyer represents everything good about people who care in Gaston County, North Carolina. She did not wait for someone else to do what God laid on her heart. Instead, she did it herself. She did not sit back and play the “Ain’t It Awful” Game where the constant refrain is ”Somebody Ought To Do Something”. Instead, she did it. Hunger2

She had help of course. All great efforts do. Resources and coordinated leaders worked well together as help came from all quarters. Caromont Health provided affordable food service prices and powerful public relations help. Gaston County Schools Executive Valerie Yatko provided the leadership from within and the caring infrastructure to reach inside of each school to find the children who were hungry. Various churches and social service organizations pitched in with funds and volunteers to pickup, prepare, and deliver the food into backpacks of needy children. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church and Pastor Brack East, her home church and Pastor, led the way with facilities and accounting help. But Carolyn is the detailed catalyst who goes through every project with a fine-toothed comb of particularity.

She’s married to famous Gaston County physician, Dr. Charles Niemeyer, and has reared great children and grandchildren. To her, all children are great beginning with her own. She has faithfully served the community in countless capacities. But now she is living in her own magnum opus.

Every week during the school year, 600-700 children go home with full heads and full backpacks to feed hungry stomachs until subsidized meals at school resume during the week. The passion of her life in recent years is making sure that hungry children get fed on the weekends when otherwise they would have gone hungry. The Backpack Food Program continues to receive funds, resources, and influence from a variety of sources- many of which are unexpected.

Robert Kennedy was famous for quoting George Bernard Shaw as he often said, “Some see things as they are and say ‘Why?’ I dream of things that never were and say ‘Why Not?’ ” Every week when otherwise hungry children go home with food to eat for the weekend provided by a coordinated community effort that they will never see, there is one lady who lays her head upon her pillow and knows, “I helped.” And I am convinced the Father in heaven says, “Well done, my good and faithful servant… I was hungry and you fed me.”
You see, when Carolyn has fed the least of these, she has done it to Him and for Him.
I am glad to live in the same community with her and those who serve children with her.

P.S. I am a Board Member of the Backpack Food Program. I believe because Carolyn believes.

Read More

Heroes: One Day Vacation With a Purpose

Hero is an overused word. As July 4th passes each year, my heart is drawn to people who did extraordinarily great things. Part of the summer has been devoted to vacations. Vacation to me is really vacating and getting WAY out of town. On June 6, 2014, I drove to Bedford, Virginia, about an 8 hour round trip to meet the men of D-Day and honor them. Here are some of my thoughts:

The Longest Day. I read the book in high school. I met the men of the book on a Friday in 50 years after that longest day. And is not just a story. It is history. As documentarians, media representatives, and news networks around the world brought to remembrance what happened on June 6, 1944, I set out to meet in person some of the men who were there- in the boats, on the beaches, and in the air.

I journeyed on this special day to Bedford, Virginia, site of the United States D-Day Memorial, because they went in my place to fight and live so that the government of the people, and by the people, and for the people would not perish from this earth. On that day, many of their comrades died. In the months beginning with and subsequent to D-Day, 200,000 people would die in a war where good had to triumph over evil for the world to survive. Dr. Anthony Eastman, Professor Of History at Gardner-Webb University, says, “World War II was an Old Testament war where good trumped evil.” One veteran I met on Friday survived D-Day and then was transferred to the Pacific Theater where he served on Okinawa and then fought in the Korean War years later.

The skies were a brilliant blue. The Blue Ridge Mountains stood in rolling attention at a distance. A ninety-minute ceremony with presentations from poets, priests, and politicians from the United States, Great Britain, and France began with the “Passing of the Baton” from the “Golden Knights” U.S. Army Parachute team who landed and saluted the original D-Day Paratroopers present for the day. The ceremonies were punctuated by a flyovers by a C-47, a P-51, and the T-6 “Missing Man” formation. All took place under the watchful symbolic eye of General Dwight David Eisenhower in the distance surrounded by the generals and other leaders set in stone memorials who made Operation Overlord successful.
Ike On Mission

At the conclusion of the ceremony, “Homage”, a brand new statue dedicated to “The Bedford Boys” of Bedford, Virginia who gave their lives in the battle was unveiled and dedicated for the first time.D-Day Cross

Surrounding the oval shaped monument area draped in the flags of all the nations who participated, were dozens of living oral history presentations by re-enactors- many of them 18-21 year old young men (the age of the 90’ish year old veterans of this harrowing event 70 years ago). Young SoldierEach spent the afternoon educating us after the service was over.

The pivotal personal moment of the day took place when Robert Sales moved forward to begin his presentation near the conclusion of the ceremony. The official program for the day read:

“Bob Sales served with the Virginia National Guard, 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Division, Company B. He landed on Omaha Beach on 6 June 1944 and was the only survivor of the 30 men on his landing craft. Sales was awarded three Purple Hearts and the Silver Star, among other medals, for battling his way across France before he was left wounded and partially blind. Earlier this year, he was presented with a medal by the French government and made a Knight of the French Legion of Honor.”Robert Sales

After a brief introduction, Sales deferred to his lovely wife dressed in red and white as she read the account that Bob had written describing the horror of the events that day- the ramp to the landing craft dropping down, his comrades embarking, and then watching them be picked off one by one as he made his way to the shore. He survived miraculously as he crawled across the beach from body to body with his comrades as his shield. In the audience were dozens of men like Bob from around the United States who survived that day to be honored on this day seventy years later.

When the ceremony was over, I made my way to the platform to meet this man who served so heroically. He graciously allowed me to have my picture taken with him. As Bob’s wife being interviewed by others, I met Bob’s sister-in-law. She whispered to me that Bob’s wife had to read the remembrance because it was too painful for Bob to recount on his own. I said, “Of course. This is not just a story. It is real history.”

In the near foreground, a young child played around an anchor used during the war. I snapped a picture. It iBoy and Anchors a picture of life in microcosm- childhood to the wisdom of maturing age all wrapped into one brief shining moment that God allowed me to experience.

As I looked at that little guy, I recalled what I had seen earlier in the week as Tom Brokaw interviewed one of these survivors of D-Day and the “Greatest Generation”. He said as he, like Bob Sales, saw men from his landing craft die one by one for their country, most of them died in the water while calling for their “Mama.”

Sir Edmund Burke once said, “Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.” My day began at 6:00 AM on Friday and ended at Midnight on Saturday. It was a long day. Theirs began on June 6, 1944. I have to believe it has never ended for them. They live the “Longest Day” everyday…and for that, I am grateful.

Read More