Patient God – Impatient Me


I am/We are Crazy Impatient

I posted this on Facebook the other day (because it was over 140 Characters) and I have been dwelling on and praising God for His active characteristic of PATIENCE.  Here is what started my thought as I was reading through 1 Timothy:

Thankful that I serve a PATIENT God who loves me through my mistakes, downfalls, doubting, sin, laziness, and stress.

“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

1 Timothy 1:15-17

As Paul writes to Timothy and tells him that he himself is the “Worst of Sinners” – I was struck with one part of this set of verses:

“I was shown mercy so that in me…Christ Jesus might display
as an example for those who would believe in
Him & Receive eternal life”

I’ve never thought about God’s Patience.  It has never struck me.  I have not been in a conversation with a fellow believer or a non-believer and as we are discussing the many attributes of God where I utter the word PATIENT.

However, when I read this last week – 2 things happened.

1) I was drawn into worship by the many many many times God has been patient with me.  And how even with Saul (when his name wasn’t Paul yet) as he was killing Christians and persecuting the Church – God was patient.  His timing is perfect.  His patience is the ultimate example.  He is worthy of worship


2) I was faced with the LACK OF PATIENCE that I have and display in my own life.  It’s sad that as I am made in the image of my creator – I am so very far off the mark of His Patience.

Even now – I sit in a Automotive Repair shop getting the  OPPORTUNITY to grow in my patience as I type this blog out with Spotty Wi-Fi and wait on getting my tires to get aligned and rotated (going on 3 hours now).

I am impatient in…

*The Car (might have slight case of road rage/Dallas-Driver Mentality)
*My relationship with my Wife at times – my flesh/sin nature comes out
*My relationship with my 1 year old son  at times
*Student Ministry – getting frustrated with lack of commitment to Church while over-commitment to Stuff, sports, & others
*Student Ministry – with parents, adults, or even students who always have a better way to do things
*My relationship with my parents & family as they don’t always understand the things of God
*Watching Commercials – DVR has ruined me
*Technology in general – not fast enough, not enough storage, not immediate enough



LOVE IS PATIENT, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, PATIENCE, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

Galatians 5:22-24

My example is Jesus – He is the mark – the standard.  God is LOVE and LOVE is PATIENT.  My Flesh has been replaced with God’s SPIRIT and the FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT is PATIENCE.  I have missed the mark.

So I pray – that Jesus would continue to & IMMENSE PATIENCE to me – so that I may be an example to others of that
same mercy & Immense Patience.

 It is only by His power.


Acquaintances with God

Do we KNOW God?   or  Do we just know about God?

The dictionary has 3 different definitions for the verb KNOW:

know |nō| – verb

1 – be aware of through observation, inquiry, or information

– have knowledge or information concerning something or someone

2 – have developed a relationship with (someone) through meeting and spending time with them

3 – let’s just say it’s about sex – and we will leave it at that.

So is your KNOWledge of God more of a #1 definition or a #2?  Are you just filled with knowledge about God or Sunday School answers to give.  Is it a second hand knowledge that is all based on other people’s ideals and thoughts on God?

Or is a #2 kind of KNOWledge that has been born out of being beautifully restored, redeemed, reconnected to your Creator, Savior, and Father?  Is there a relationship there where you have stuck to your faith in the peeks and valleys of life – and furthermore, you can actually say that you have experienced His presence in those times?


But to KNOW God and be in relationship with Him is the point – not to just have knowledge about Him.  It is a HUGE DEAL.

“And this is eternal life, that they KNOW You the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

John 17:3

So how do we move from being an Acquaintance of God to a Child/Ambassador/Worker/Son or Daughter of God?  We dive deep into the relationship of God!  We don’t just sit idly by and take what other people say about God at face value – but we dive deep in getting to KNOW God.  Through reading scripture, praying in His name, seeking His Spirit.

J.I. Packer says this in KNOWING GOD:

“How can we turn our KNOWledge about God into KNOWledge of God? The rule for doing this is simple but demanding. It is that we turn each Truth that we learn about God into matter for meditation before God, leading to prayer, practice, and praise to God.”




We need to live out our Knowledge.  Knowledge has never been a passive discipline – it is an Active One.  Something we have to knock, seek, and find (Matthew 7:7)  and search for like a treasure or a precious jewel (Proverbs 2:4, Matthew 13:44).

And Here is the BEAUTY in searching and seeking to KNOW God.


It is an ongoing task.  A limitless exploration.  A journey that we will go on and stay on until we meet Him face to face.  Because, YES, our God is KNOWable – but He is complex, mysterious, vast, deep, wide, simple, and so much more.

So do you want to know ABOUT God?  or do you want to KNOW God?

“A God whom we could understand exhaustively, and whose revelation of Himself confronted us with no mysteries whatsoever, would be a God in man’s image, and therefore an imaginary God,
not the God of the Bible at all.”

J.I. Packer


CARPE DEPRESSION – A Response to Robin William’s Suicide


Dead Poets Society is one of my favorite films of all time.  I was first introduced to it as a Senior at Howe High School in Texas in the year 2002 and not only did we watch the movie, but we also conducted our own Dead Poets Society meeting on the stage in our theatre/cafeteria – complete with a fake fire.

We all were inspired by John Keating’s “CARPE DIEM – Seize the Day” speech.  That reminded us to live in the moment – to live with no regrets – to be true to who we are.

That same speech inspired Neil, one of the students in Keating’s classroom, to go against what his father had panned out for his life.  Neil decided that he was going to be true to himself and become an ACTOR!  Even emphatically stating – I AM AN ACTOR!

Neil_Dead Poets

Tragically, however, under the pressures from his father… Neil… Commits Suicide.

Neil made a decision to end his life.  Heavy.  Sad.  True.

Now almost 25 years after the debut of this film – we mourn as Robin Williams, Mr. Keating, ends his life in the same manner – suicide.

We have to get a grip on this epidemic.  This loneliness, depression, purposelessness, hopelessness that drives people to only see one option.  Depression is real.  Loneliness is real.  Being without Purpose and Hope are some of the worst things we can experience in this broken world.

I don’t know what Robin Williams last thoughts were.  I don’t know where he was in the days leading up to taking his own life.  But, I do know that he needed hope.  He needed love.  He needed a way out.  He needed someone to stand in the gap for him and to be there for him.

OUR RESPONSE (as Christians & People):

I believe that we need three things when it comes to Depression, Anxiety, and Suicide.


First and foremost – we need to accept that these are real things, real struggles, and a real problem in our culture.  We can not continue to live in this LaLa land that things everyone is ok.  There is this battle for our heart, soul, and mind.  The enemy wants everyone to feel like there is no hope – that people amount to nothing – to remind you that you are one of billions of people on earth, so what do you matter?.  But these are lies!  You were made by a caring and loving Creator.  You are chosen.  You are beautiful.  You are strong.  You have purpose and connection far beyond anything you can imagine.

Psalm 139 says,

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.”


Also, if you are someone who struggles with depression and have had suicidal thoughts – accept that YOU ARE NOT ALONE!  There are people that can understand your darkness, pain, and loneliness.  There are people who have been in your shoes as real and as hard as it is.  Go tell someone – go talk to a counselor – share your pain with others.


It is time for us to open our eyes and become aware that this is a real issue.  There are people all around you that are effected with Depression.  Be aware of it, but also accept it (see last point).

More than that thought – we need to open our eyes and become aware of people around us.  To not just ask someone “how are you?” and ignore their answer, because you have an agenda or something that you want to tell them.  Or even worst – to only ask “how are you?” via text, snap chat, instagram, Facebook, or twitter.  We have to ENGAGE people and become intimately aware of what hurt may look like, sound like, and feel like.

Let us OPEN OUR EYES and become aware of the hurt!


When we accept and become aware of this brokenness – then we have to be available to respond to the family, friends, neighbors, peers, co-workers, and strangers that we see giving off the warning signs or cues.   Most people who attempt suicide will also attempt to reach out or cry out to someone around them.  As a High School & College Pastor I have been cried out to as well as I have been contacted by students whose friends have cried out to them.  Answering the call, hearing the cry, being aware of the hurt WILL require action.  It will require for you to be available for someone.  To encourage them, cry with them, love them, and stand beside them.  Will you step up and make time?  That time you are available just may save a life.



“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope”
Romans 15:13

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Psalm 34:18

Sex in the Digital Age

Sex_Dating_Rel_Week 2.001


It has literally changed and transformed the way we do every day things.  From the complex to the simple – from the Life-saving to the time-wasting – from the major to the minuscule – for better or for worse – Technology has changed everything.

SO, why would we assume that Technology wouldn’t begin to permeate and inundate  the way we go about relationships, dating, and sex?  We have seen dating/courtship evolve:

Spoken Word (personal, face to face) –> Written Word –> Spoken Word (telephone/cell phone) –> Typed Word (email) –> Texted Word (text) –> Visual Word (Face to Screen/Skype/Video Chat)


What’s next?  ONLY Online Dating?  Virtual Reality Dates?  I do not know, but it would not surprise me.  What I do know is that for better or for worse – more and more people are interacting/pursuing/courting DIGITALLY rather than PERSONALLY.  And the effects of that could be detrimental to the way relationships are viewed/lived out in our lives.  Will we know how to share our feelings/affections if it’s not shared through a screen?  Will we be able to resolve conflict or reconcile relationships or will we just rely on “Unfriending”, “Unfollowing”, or “Blocking” them?  We need to stop and think about how we can redeem some of the ways we use technology.

“Technology in itself is not evil, it is only used as evil”

The fall of man and the spiritual darkness of our world is often seen in the use of Media, Technology, and advertising.  Twitter, Facebook, SnapChat, Instagram, SKYPE, google, and text messaging at the hands of a broken person can easily be perverted, distorted, and used as a means to a lustful/fleshly end.  Our carnal desires can be met  by the tips of our fingertips using the technology in our hands so easily.  What we don’t realize often is how easily we can get sucked in and become oblivious to the fact that we are joining in with these pleasures.  We simply scroll through and like/share that new offensive movie clip, go crazy over Magic Mike or American Pie, crave our appetite by posting our #ManCrushMonday or #WomenCrushWednesday on Instagram, or re-tweeting that offensive joke form @ShewantstheD.

It is sickening to stop and think about how numb we have become to the things that breaks our Creators heart.  SEX is EVERYWHERE – on billboards, on tv, on  our laptops and cellphones, in movies…EVERYWHERE – let us not become desensitized or numb to it.  Let us not fool ourselves by saying, “It’s no big deal.”  Let us pray for God to break our heart for what breaks His.


The Power of the “JK”

I have seen this trend played out where somehow we believe that our Digital Screw-Ups have no real-life consequences.  But, they do.  If you post a “InDirect Tweet” or “Facebook Rant” the words your choose reveal your true feelings toward someone else and in turn they represent who you are.

The other area is via text message.  I have seen and heard of guys who will “test the limits” by using text messaging.  Sample Text Message with two outcomes:


Scenario 1:
Guy:  Hey Baby, what you wearing?
Girl: A towel, I just got out of the shower
Guy: Wish I was there to dry you off… how about a pic?
Girl: What Kind of pic?

Scenario 2:
Guy: Hey Baby, what you wearing?
Girl: Ew you creep, none of your business.
Guy: JK – lol
Girl:  Oh, haha – i was like what?
Guy: Haha – I got you
**This is the same guy – with the same motives – but it takes two to tango.  But, with a simple “JK” he knows he can test his boundaries or limitation with this girl.  He knows that he will not have to suffer consequences for his actions as long as he is ready to put that JK out there.  This can not be our M.O.


If people only had your facebook profile, tweets, instagram pics, and text message history to make an assumption about who you are and what you represented.  Who would they say you were?

Let us redeem technology in our lives!  Let us use it as a Light and not add to the darkness.

“The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.  Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.”
1 Corinthians 6:13, 18-19

How do we FLEE?

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh”
Galatians 5:16

I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
Psalms 119:11









The Marriage Gospel

Sex_Dating_Rel_Week 1.001

THE MARRIAGE GOSPEL – A Biblical Approach to Sex, Dating, & Relationships

This past week – we started our Sex, Dating, & Relationships Series for FORGE – Grace Point Church High School Ministry.  We are taking a 5 week journey to tackle some of the topics that are relevant to High School Students today.  Before we got in to the Juicy stuff about sex – I believe you have to start with a Biblical Approach.  In essence – starting with the TRUTH of God’s Word should be your approach when studying any topic.  If you want to listen to the full 37 minute message from the first week – be sure to go check it out by CLICKING HERE

What’s cool about Scripture – is that you don’t have to go very far before you get to Sex in the Bible – take a look at Genesis 1:27-28:

So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”


God gives man and woman (husband and wife – see Genesis 2:24) a couple of things to do – Go make lots of babies and rule over the rest of His creation.  We see God telling Adam & Eve to enjoy creation and enjoy each other.  When we talk about SEX in the way that God intended it – we have to speak of it in the confines of Marriage.  Everything else is “Sexual Immorality” – i.e.  homosexuality, adultery, beastiality, pleasure-seekers, prostitution, and pornography are ALL outside of God’s design for sex.



1) To Bring Himself Glory  – God uses us (His image-bearers) to represent Him in the world and bring Him glory, honor, and praise all of our days.

“The Chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”
– Westminster Catechism

In the confines of marriage and taking seriously the command/blessing to “be fruitful and multiply” – we are not only to be his image-bearers, but to create MORE image-bearers through sex and procreation.  This takes not only sex, but “training a child in the way it should go.”

Finally, we bring God glory “ruling over his creation.” – we represent Him as Priests/Rulers on earth “as if God is making His appeal through us.”

2) To Make Man Holy – By Marriage – we are constantly being molded more and more into His image and being sanctified.  Marriage is fulfilling and amazing – but at times Marriage can be difficult.  God uses the trials, fights, joys, and so much more to make us more like Him.  Through Marriage we are shown first hand what it means to practice humility and sacrifice for another person.  Through that, God Sanctifies us in areas of Love (1 John 4:19), Forgiveness (Ephesians 1:7), and Selflessness (Ephesians 5:22-33) for our Spouse.



God chooses MARRIAGE as the symbol for His relationship with us.  We are so infused and so connected to God, it is like we are bound, by law, love, and liberty to Him in marriage.

Old Testament – God and His Chosen People (His Bride) – Israel
New Testament –  Jesus and His Chosen People (His Bride) – The Church

“Christ’s goal was to help her (the Church) realize her eternal preciousness and value,
so He purchased her with the price of His own blood, so that God could attain the radiant beauty for His Spiritual Spouse”
– Bryan Chapel

Just as God referenced His chosen people (Israel) as His Bride over and over again – Jesus does the same for the Church.  Jesus in Matthew 22 tells a story of a KING having the “rich and the rulers” turn down His invitation to an amazing Wedding Celebration – so the King instructs His people to go and invite ANYONE and EVERYONE to the amazing celebration – normal folk right off the street.  During the celebration a man is turned away from the celebration, because he wasn’t wearing the proper clothing – it is said he was sent to a place where there is “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” And at the end of this amazing story (where we see those who rejected the invite, the people who were invited in by an open invitation, and the one who was not ready for the celebration) we see the Gospel laid out where Jesus says: “For many are invited, but a few are chosen.”  

We as believers are given this amazing invitation to join Christ in the celebration of salvation and union to Him.  We can either reject it, accept and not treat it seriously, or accept it and give our lives to it.  The Gospel is presented and available for all, but that does not guarantee your attendance – you have a responsibility in that.

At the end of the day  and the end of it all in Revelation 19:7-9 this is the image we will see:

    For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
 Let us rejoice and be glad
    and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
    and his bride has made herself ready.
 Fine linen, bright and clean,
    was given her to wear.”
 Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”


I believe that in Marriages, we should see the clearest examples of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Avoiding Legalism in the Church – Isaiah 29:13 Pt 2

“The Lord says:

“These people come near to me with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me
    is made up only of rules taught by men.”

Isaiah 29:13


Has been something that has plagued and crept up in human culture for centuries.  Legalism in reference to “religion,” basically is dependence on moral law/rules rather than on personal religious faith; a self-righteous attainment of salvation.”  From the story of Cain & Abel (where Abel collects a beautiful salad from the heart and Cain hunts and kills his meat based on his skills), to the Chosen People of Israel, to the Pharisees who Jesus often referred to as a Brood of Vipers or Sons of Hell, to the modern day Jews, and sadly “Religious” people who are focused on Behaviors or Morals – Legalism has been wedged itself into religion and Christianity.  So how do we fight it?

How do we Abide and Adhere to the Law while still relying on faith and grace?  How do we be in the world, but not of the world?  How do we live with integrity by teaching, correcting, and rebuking our brothers in Christ without coming off as pompous legalist?


In Youth Ministry sometimes I have a struggle of not relying on Gospel/Spirit and trusting Him to work.  Sometimes I can get wrapped up in the “Pressure” to produce “good/respectful kids” in my youth ministry (pressure form Pastor, Church, Parents, Culture) – but am I planting seeds to the gospel and grace of Christ – or am I creating mindless legalist that are “good”.  This is a tough balance, because we live in a RIGHT NOW culture and parents and pastors (and youth pastors) want to see the results of God’s Work in the students lives.  But the transformation process and the sanctifying work of God in us (and teenagers) is not always so quick.  We have to “continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in us to will and to act according to His good purposes.” (Philippians 2:12-13).

But sometimes our tendency as Youth Pastors is to get sucked into and discouraged by some of the “moral” failures of our students.  Or take some of the behavioral issues to point to our failure as a Shepherd in their lives.  But, we have to continue to PREACH THE GOOD NEWS and the GOSPEL and trust that Spirit will move and work in their lives.  “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9).

Check out an article by The Gospel Coalition Link HERE  about this topic!


“To the degree and extent to which our focus is on behavior, we miss the Heart.”
-Tedd Tropp



Do I obtain a right standing before God by what I DO, or what God has DONE?

How amazing is it to know that “IT IS FINISHED” and that there is nothing we can do to make God LOVE or forgive us more than He already does?  When we become legalistic and are focused on rules and regulation – we miss out on the BEAUTIFUL Peace and Comfort knowing that the CROSS WAS ENOUGH!!!  It is not about anything we can DO, but what He has already DONE for us!

“So what shall we say then?”

So, because so great a salvation has nothing to do with what we can do and doesn’t rely on the work of our hands, what should our response be?  We should live out a CAUSE & EFFECT Faith…  

We love, because he first loved us.  We forgive, because he forgave us.  We worship, because he is worthy.  We Serve, because he first served us.  We surrender, because He surrendered His life for us.  We are humble, because He humbled Himself to death, even death on a cross.  We GO, because He commissioned us to Go and He CAME for us!

Let the things we DO, be because of what He has DONE for us!  Let them not be about pleasing man or based on rules or regulations or even being moral.  Let us serve Him in Spirit and in Truth from the FULLNESS and OVERFLOW of our Hearts.




A Heart for God – Isaiah 29:13 pt 1

We live in a world where we are constantly being pulled in 10 different directions.  Our culture is a fast-paced, over-stimulated, technology and information machine.  I’m pretty sure that this has caused almost all children/teenagers (and some adults) to develop A.D.H.D. or some mild form of it.  The results?  A generation where it is hard to take sabbath, to focus, to dwell, to abide, or to give ALL of ourselves to God.  If it’s not t.v., it’s twitter or facebook, if not that, it’s instagram or snap-chat, if that isn’t there… how about school activities, sports, practices, clubs, outside sports and dance, etc, etc.  Pheww… after a “normal” week, there is hardly enough time to sleep, much less spend time in the word.


“The Lord says, ‘These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”
Isaiah 29:13


Sadly, our culture (and how we have allowed it to seep into our lives) has caused this verse to become a reality in our lives.  It is difficult sometimes to TRULY connect your heart to God when you are in 10 different places during worship or Bible Study.  Even though God was speaking this to the Israelites in a different context, it is still just as prevalent today.

YOU HANG UP FIRST…  No, you…  No, You hang up first…

Isn’t it scary how easy it is to “fall in love” with a girl or guy?  If you are married, remember back to when you were young.  If you are young, remember back to last month.  You meet a guy or girl – you spend the first 3 days talking on the phone for hours upon hours – and in less than a week you know almost EVERYTHING about them.

What is even more horrifying?  Some of us have been believers for years upon years and don’t TRULY know God.  We give our hearts to someone over the course of a week and spill our hearts out to them…but to our Creator, Father, God of the Universe we are guarded and disinterested.

The Difference?  – We spend hours upon hours talking on the phone and hanging out with those people – and spend 10 minutes a week + one or 2 worship services with God.  We have to AWAKEN ourselves and spend time with God to give our hearts to Him.

The interesting thing is that God is the ONLY ONE that will never break our hearts or let us down…


“The best worship is done with the heart breaking or the heart overflowing.”

Mignon McLaughlin

In light of Scripture and this quote, we need to bring God ALL that is in our hearts to God during worship, during every season, and every hour.  Psalm 51:17 says, “the sacrifices of God are a broken Spirit; a broken and repentant heart, O God, you will not despise.” – If we are broken and repentant – it’s ok, God will not reject or despise that.  Come to worship BROKEN if you are broken; it is better that than a heart that is hiding or distant from God.

On the other hand, if you are overflowing with joy and gratitude toward God, bring all of that to Him.  He loves to fill us so that we can be poured out as an offering to Him – that is exactly what He did to His Son, Christ.  But do not bring “empty” or “fake” worship to God.  DO not let him be able to say “their hearts are far from me” to you.  But bring Him EVERYTHING you have – whether that be brokenness or fullness.

I will give you a new heart and put a new Spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh”
Ezekiel 36:26

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer”
Psalms 19:14