Tuesday, February 11, 2014

This is My Story

A story.  Jesus loved a good story.  Just pick any one of the four gospels, start reading, and it won't be long before you find our Lord sharing a simple, yet riveting, story that conveys deep spiritual truth.

Whether we realize it or not, we are all writing a story, with our lives, to the Lord.  Each day we make decisions that will one day be called into account.  If this is true, and I believe it is, then shouldn't we desire to write the best story possible?  The good news is, when Jesus ascended to heaven, He did not just send us a comforter...He sent us a best selling author.  The Holy Spirit of God - the One responsible for the penning of the scriptures, lives within us and can help us to make right decisions that will make our lifestory one worth reading.

If you live in the Fredericksburg area, I hope you will consider joining us at Kingdom Baptist Church for this exciting new message series, throughout the month of February and March.  Our worship celebration begins at 10:30am.  Look forward to seeing you here.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

YCBD Update

Some of you might be wondering how everything has been going with my health, and the progress of my book - You Can Beat Diabetes.  First, I want to say that my health is great and I give all the credit to God.  Between eating healthier and exercising on a regular basis, my blood sugar has been as normal as any person without diabetes.  Even though I know that the changes made to my personal routine must be permanent - it is almost as though I never had the disease.  No one knows the future, and who's to say it could not come back someday - but for right now, it feels like God has taken it from me.  That is not bragging, or prideful...I promise you.  As for the book.  I have been pleased with the doors that it has opened, for me to be able to talk with people.  Can't say that book sales are lighting the world on fire like The Shack - but I'm not selling books out of the trunk of my car either.  YCBD was self-published, but I am currently looking into having the book picked up by a traditional Christian publisher, so I would covet your prayers in this matter.  It would be exciting to write future books - whether they be diabetes related, or encouragements for Christian living.  I really want to congratulate Marty Reed, who worked the program prescribed in my book, and is doing incredible.  I always said that if YCBD helped even one person, it would be worth the commitment that was made to write it.  That prayer has been answered.  If you know someone who has contracted type 2 diabetes, and is unsure of what to do next, please point them towards You Can Beat Diabetes.  They can find it on amazon, both in paperback and for kindle.


Friday, October 12, 2012

New Book Launches in November - Part 1

I'm really getting excited about the launch of my new book this month.  Currently I am in the process of making some final interior changes before publication.  Once those changes are made, and the okay is given, You Can Beat Diabetes will be available for purchase on Amazon - both as a paperback and Kindle edition book.  I want to use the next few blog posts to share excerpts with you from the book.  Nothing will give me more joy than to hear that someone's life was changed forever because they got serious about their condition and worked the plan provided.  Here is the preface to You Can Beat Diabetes.

Have you ever purchased a car and thought to yourself, "What a great car.  In fact, I can't remember ever seeing one just like this before."  Then you get out on the road in your new ride, and it happens – "Hey, there's a car like mine.  Imagine that."  And a short time later – "Wow, there's another . . . and another."  And before long, your car, the one that was so unique, is everywhere you look. 
                So what happened?  Did you start a new fad?  Was everyone waiting to see which vehicle you would purchase so they could buy one just like it?  Of course not.  You just never noticed before.  Once you actually owned that kind of vehicle, the blinders fell off and your eyes were opened to a new reality.
                Before being diagnosed, I never really thought much about diabetes, let alone type 2 diabetes.  Oh sure, I heard media comments from time to time about how diabetes was a national epidemic, but there are lots of epidemics in the world.  Why give more attention to this one?
          Then my dad contracted the disease in 2005.  When he first told me, I wasn't sure how to react, and the physical distance between us only added to the sense of helplessness; so we only talked about his health in a general sense, nothing too in-depth.
                It wasn't until diabetes impacted me personally that I began to realize the enormity of the disease.  Now that I owned it, my blinders were off, and it was everywhere.  This new reality was overwhelming for me, as it probably is for you right now.  With the abrupt awareness of your condition come feelings of dread, denial, vulnerability and even betrayal by your own body.             
                 No one plans to get this disease.  In most cases, it’s a downward spiral of depression, overeating, sleep deprivation, weight gain, despair, and ultimately diabetes.  Sound familiar?  If so, then allow me to help you break this cycle in your life and beat diabetes.   
                I've been where you are and have come out a winner on the other side.   
I've been discouraged.
I've been overweight.
I've had high cholesterol and an HbA1c of 14. 
And I've experienced the dark clouds of fear and anguish that accompany a diagnosis of diabetes. 
But I've also been encouraged. 
I've also gotten my weight under control, and brought my cholesterol back into the normal range. 
Today’s HbA1c is 5.5, with blood glucose averaging around 85 mg/dl daily. 
I'm telling you, "You can do it!" And it can happen in a relatively short period of time. 
                Perhaps you are not diabetic yet, but have been diagnosed as pre-diabetic and don't want to cross that line.  Then permit me the privilege of coaching you, through this book, while there is still a chance to avoid diabetes altogether.
                My hope is that You Can Beat Diabetes will become your constant companion – a trusted resource in your battle against type 2 diabetes.  May God bless you as you read, and make the changes necessary to beat diabetes in your life.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Manufacturing Church

My good friend Scott Hunter of Marriage On Fire ministries recently put this link out on Facebook. I watched it and had a good laugh until it struck me how close to the truth this video really is. Can church become so manufactured that God is nowhere to be found? I believe we all know the answer to that question. And the reason we know is because all of us have worshiped before with less than our whole heart.

How many times have we, as church leaders, dropped this week's songs and sermon into a familiar template without even thinking to ask, "Does God want something different this Sunday?" I appreciate these guys highlighting a danger that every church faces - substituting an experience for God.

Please don't misunderstand. If a church has a nice building . . . great. If a church has cutting edge technology . . . fantastic. There is nothing wrong with having a top notch music program and you can be so progressive as to broadcast a hologram of yourself preaching to 100 satellite campuses, at the same time. I get it. But if God is not there then what's the point? When the pastor preaches, it better be "Thus says the Lord" and not a psyco-babble sermon. When the musicians play and sing, their offering must be in spirit and truth if they want God to be pleased with it.

Watch the video. Have a good laugh. Then do your best not to go there.



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Real Deal

A few years ago I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Adrian Rogers. We were both standing in line outside The White House - waiting to be let in for The National Day of Prayer gathering. He just walked up to me and said, "Hi, I'm Adrian Rogers," or something just like that. It was so surreal.

I told him I was a pastor and he asked, "What kind of church do you pastor?" Knowing that this man preached to tens of thousands every week, I humbly said, "A small one." He laughed, hugged my arm and introduced me to the president of the Southern Baptist Convention. I will never forget how genuinely kind Dr. Rogers was to me personally. He made this small-time minister feel at ease in the midst of spiritual giants.

Since then I've had the opportunity to talk to others who knew Adrian Rogers personally and confirmed that he was the real deal. He always took time for people and never looked past them when they were speaking. While pastoring a great church he never saw himself as anything more than a humble servant to a great God.

This morning I went to lwf.org and listened to one of Dr. Roger's messages, The Sin That Lost A War, while working out on my elliptical. Every Christian should hear this message for sure, but I would especially recommend it for the men. If you are concerned about the legacy you are leaving for your family, please take the time to listen to this sermon - proclaimed by one of God's finest pulpiteers. You won't be disappointed.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Our Purpose for Living

If happiness and fulfillment were based only upon having our needs met then there should be a lot more happy people in this world. However, we all know of people who are financially well off – yet are not happy. They are living lives of stress and worry.

I heard of one husband who said to his wife, “Why are you always worrying? It doesn’t do any good?”
His wife said, “Oh yes it does. Ninety percent of the things I worry about never happen, so it must be working.” Sound familiar?

As I mentioned in my last post, we worry about whether our needs will be met but there might be a greater worry that Jesus eludes to in Matthew 6:33 - a life lived without purpose. Like Solomon, many of today's Christians have sampled everything the world has to offer and come up empty. They desire a life filled with purpose and meaning, but are looking in the wrong places.

Jesus says that our physical needs will be taken care of as our spiritual purpose is fixed. We
are to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness . . . then all these things will be added to us. The word first gives the thought of that which is before, prominent and best. The children of God are wandering around searching for meaning and purpose and the whole time, God is saying, "I am your purpose. I am your meaning. I am what is best." You cannot have a greater purpose than living for His Kingdom and righteousness.

So what does it mean to seek His Kingdom? It is to recognize God's reign and live with a passion of bringing people into God's family. Seeking His righteousness means to look for in hopes of obtaining. It is not saying that we will attain God's level of righteousness, but God has called us to be holy as He is holy.

The Lord wants us to focus on the spiritual purpose He has designed for us and when we do . . . some astounding things will happen.

  • God will meet our physical needs.
  • We'll live a life of fulfillment since we now have a purpose to live for.
  • There will be a peace that comes from knowing that God is pleased with us, because we have made His priorities our priorities.
God's blessings are always on the pathway of service. They almost never come when we live only for ourselves. Live for the King and His Kingdom.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Do You Know That God Knows?

This Sunday I will be continuing my message series Escape to Generous City, and will be dealing with the subject of worry - the nemesis of generosity. In Matthew chapter 6, there is a very interesting phrase that the Lord Jesus imparts to us in verse 32, "For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things." Did you get that? God knows what we need. Now to make it personal, say it to yourself, "God knows what I need." This seems elementary but I assure you it is not, because to the degree that we believe v.32 is true, reveals the depth of our faith in God's ability to provide for our needs.

Now we think we need a lot of things. And if I don’t get what I think I need then I'm forced to make a determination. Either God wants me to have it but is testing my prayer life and patience, or He doesn’t believe it is a genuine need in my life.

And that is what we have a hard time accepting.

The truth is, if it’s not something associated with our livelihood (food, clothing and shelter) then it really isn’t a need – but a want.

How many of us pray for God to give us something we think we need, and when He doesn’t, take matters into our own hands? How many of us say to God with our actions, “God, I really needed it and you weren’t moving fast enough (I know how busy you are) so I just went ahead and took care of it. If you would still like to help then please send money so I can pay the credit card bill when it comes.”

I think it happens all the time and that is why Christians, who should be the most content people on the planet, are mired in constant worry and stress. And because of this . . .

  • They are living with bills they were never meant to have
  • They are living with material things that they were never meant to have but are now responsible for. When you own something . . . it own you as well.
As long as the Christian remains tangled in a web of worry, he cannot escape to Generous City. God never promised to give us everything we wanted, but He did promise to supply all our needs. And perhaps our greatest need of all is to be reminded occasionally that God is keenly aware (more than we are) at every moment of exactly what we need.