Thursday, December 30, 2010

God loves you.

Have you ever been going through a difficult time and wondered how much does God really love you? Like, if he really loved you would you have to face this trying time? Sometimes, you have to hear it from a child's point of view in order for it to fully sink in.

God bless you my friends.

Friday, December 17, 2010

What is Christmas?

Christmas … what does it mean to you? Now, let’s be honest here for a moment: Does it mean added stress? Does it mean frustration and aggravation? Does it mean last minute running around and going crazy? This week, I’d like to challenge each of us to pause for 1 hour, 1 entire hour, and consider for a moment the true meaning of the Season. The meaning, is simple: Nearly 2,000 years ago, God so loved the world that He willingly gave His own Son to us as a gift, that we might seek Him out and be redeemed back to our Creator. Christmas is the remembrance of that gift and truly we need to pause and give glory to the One who came to pay it all for us … Christmas IS the celebration of God’s love for us!! I pray that we would take the time to ponder this, and remember that Jesus is the ONLY reason for the Season!

In Christ’s love … Bro TJ

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Encouraging Note - 7 Dec 2010

Zechariah had doubts about God’s promises, and so God had to use silencing him in order to bring him to a place of understanding and full-reliance on God. What Zechariah had to grasp was to admit that God calls EACH of us to a place of submission, and to have complete faith that when God promises … God delivers. When John was born and Zechariah confirmed his name, his speech was returned and he glorified God in his life. The challenge for us is: When God speaks into your life, do you claim His promise or do you doubt and seek to rationalize what He has said? What if God had to silence you in order to get your attention? This week, could we not grab hold of the promise of Christ, and be willing to spread it freely throughout the world? I pray that we would be so bold! In Christ’s love, Bro TJ

Friday, November 26, 2010

Encouraging Note - Nov 26, 2010

Mary pondered in her heart the calling God had placed on her life to be the mother of His Son; and from that pondering a song arose in her spirit which caused her to rejoice to the God who created her! As each of us has an opportunity to reflect this Christmas season on how God wants to use you, will you in turn rejoice that He has not only given His Son to save you, but through Jesus you have been saved for His glory! God is faithful to fulfill His promises, and we must be faithful to turn to Him in all things, and obey Him when He calls.

May God bless you this week and throughout this entire GLORIOUS season!!

~ Bro TJ

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Encouraging Note - Nov 21, 2010

Last week, several members from the Christian Motorcycle Association (including one lady, Marge, who spoke at our church several weeks ago) were attacked while in Haiti delivering motorcycles to pastors there. While fleeing the danger, they overcame many obstacles which the hand of God was at work to protect them; including having their bus break down right in front of a UN Peacekeeping Base. Can we thank God for their protection? Can you thank God for His protection in your life? Will you take the time this week to not only thank Him, but to testify to another about what He has done? If we’ll show our thankfulness of God to others, perhaps they too will have an opportunity to be drawn in by His love! May God richly bless you!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

~ Bro TJ

Click here for the news source

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Encouraging Note, Oct 17, 2010

It is important that when we focus our attention on praising the Lord, that we are always mindful of who He is – He is our creator – He is the revealer of our faith – and He is worthy of our praise of who He is. David writes in Psalm 18:3 that he “calls upon the name of the Lord, who is worthy of praise …” In our lives, in every aspect and in everything that we do, we must take the time to acknowledge who He is, and to devote ourselves to praising His name, always. Take some time this week, and just lift up His name in praise!

May the Lord bless you as you turn your eyes upon Him! ~ Bro TJ

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

So, what's next?


I guess you could truly say this is a rambling post ...

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately and wondering what the future might hold for me and my family. Many know that I retired from the Air Force and while I know that it was God's timing, and it was an act of obedience to follow Him in this, I now find myself wondering what the future holds for our family. I do have another job and I am grateful that I have it (to be honest it is quite challenging and keeps me hopping), but I am wondering if this is the path I should continue on for the next 20 years?

My desire (note that I said "my") is that one day I could be involved in full time ministry and perhaps consult now and then on IT issues, but for now this is the path that we must follow. Sadly though, I am finding it increasingly difficult to spend time doing the hobbies that I once enjoyed (web designing, programming, etc.), but I guess that in this season of transition some of those things might have to go as well. I've heard it said before that "this too shall pass", yet I am certain that whatever the outcome is that the Lord will continue to show us how we must go. But, even with this reassurance it sure doesn't make things any easier ... does it? I guess what I'm saying is that I don't know what is next -- do you?

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Encouraging Note, Oct 3, 2010

Let us remember that the life of the Believer is to be lived in servitude to God, with love for one another always. Anything less is allowing our own flesh to rise up and decide who we serve, which leads us into disobedience to Jesus’ commandment in John 9:12, “My command is this, love each other as I have loved you.” This week friends, we must take time to remember that loving one another is not only a commandment, but the only effective way to minister the Gospel to one another. Ephesians 4:32 is our focus verse today and I encourage you to not only read it but allow God to work it into your hearts. May God bless you always, Bro TJ.

Ephesians 4:32, "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Encouraging Note for the Week of Aug 29, 2010

As believers, each of us has a price to pay when it comes to following the Lord. It is a price to deny ourselves, to follow Christ, and to exalt Him to each and every person that we come in contact with. Because of the sacrifice Christ performed on the cross, we must be willing to lift up the name of Jesus and show what He has done in our lives. For the Believer, the true cost of being a disciple will be to totally deny ourselves, and follow Him completely. At the end of the day, can you and I say that we have done that? If not, we must seek to walk closer to Him every day, depending solely on Him, else we cannot call ourselves true disciples. Follow Jesus my friends, and you will never go wrong!

God bless you.

- Bro TJ

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Encouraging Note for the Week of Aug 15, 2010

There never seems to be enough time to get everything done, does there? However, one of the most important things that any believer can do, is to be a mentor to another. Each of us has Spiritual Gifts that the Lord has blessed us with; and each of us must take the time to exercise those gifts for the glory of the Kingdom. Ask yourself if you have time to invest in someone's life this week, and then set your mind to make it happen! Every believer came to Christ because another believer told them ... so would you consider telling and showing someone what Jesus did for you? I pray that God blesses you richly this week!!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

My Retirement Comments

Louis Armstrong said, "Musicians don't retire; they stop when there's no more music in them." This morning is the culmination of 20 years of music that I've had in my heart for my country … However, It is not a matter of not hearing the music anymore … but knowing that it's time to close out this piece and begin another.

I've several I need to thank today:

Jesus – The day He came into my life was and still is the greatest day ever, and I'm thankful that He saved even a wretch like me and allows me to serve Him in the greatest Air Force in the world.

My precious wife, Lisa. She is my inspiration and all my reasons for being the man I am today. I love you babe, you are everything to me (kisses).

I have two hero's in my life, and they are my children.
Chris – (call him up) His quiet and peaceful attitude gives me pause; reminds me to breathe now and then and just smile … I love ya man. (watch)
Nicole – (call her up) Her energy and laughter brings me joy; reminds me that I am not dead yet; and keeps me guessing always. I am so proud to be her Daddy, love you. (necklace)

Mom and Dad – Let's face it, the reason I am alive today, and I'm thankful for their support and love throughout my entire life. Thank you for being here today, I really appreciate both of you so much.

My entire extended family who have supported us through several moves, listen to our complaints and even traveled here to be with us; I'm grateful to all of you for being here today and for ensuring that we always had a place to rest our heads, hearts, and souls when we needed one … you guys are the best.

There are several others who have gotten me here that I need to recognize:

I've never had a boss that I've been more grateful to for teaching me how to lead, for ensuring that I had every ounce of support I needed, and for knowing when the leash had to be yanked … and for doing so. Ms Moore (Lt Col Moore), thank you for being more than a boss but a close friend all these years. Your friendship, leadership, and always ensuring that the “team” is first is inspiring and I am grateful to have learned so much from you. The future is bright, and I'm looking forward to the next chapter … thanks to what you have taught me.

Along with her is her deputy and my former boss, Tel Benavidez. If ever there was a man that I would model myself after who displays peace, grace, and yet knows how to “get after it” when necessary … it is this man. Thank you Tel for reminding me to laugh, even at myself, for 6 years. It has been an incredible blessing to work side by side with you and your friendship has meant more to me than a few words could capture. I will miss our “fireside chats”, but I know you are always available to me and my family and I'm incredibly grateful to you. (Quein es? – Roll Tide!)

Entire SBG family and friends – wow, we've had some fun, eh? I leave things in your capable hands today, but ask that you take it easy on MSgt Gaskin, he's got a huge learning curve – but if you guys can get me through it I know he'll have no problem. Thank you guys … oh, and Happy Birthday Cindy … it'll be “aiiight”.

I've had several challenges while I've been here particularly with my physical health, and I know the Lord has helped me battle through those. Even after 2 neck surgeries and lots of steroids, without Him sending into my life several angels in the form of Mr. Jose Ramos, Chiefs Garland and Borland, and SMSgt Corino I would not be here today. Thank you Sirs, I owe you a debt of gratitude that I cannot repay.

To my mentor, friend, and advocate: Col Randy Hagan – Thank you for always reminding me that “it is not time to panic”; it's a phrase I've carried with me for over a decade which has helped me through LOTS of scenarios. Truly, today is not time to panic … but to rejoice and smile. Thank you Sir, I cherish your friendship and leadership – and look forward to continuing in the “next phase”.

“Mr.” Washington – Thank you for coming today to sing and be a part of this event. I am honored and blessed to have worked so many ceremonies with you, and congratulations on your retirement as well – it is well earned.

Bro Butch – You've no idea how much I appreciate your friendship and mentorship in the pastorate and I'm grateful to you … thank you for always showing me how to lead, even using words if necessary.

Lastly, to the entire planning committee for putting this on today. Thank you guys, you've really made this day wonderful and memorable for my family. I am grateful to have worked alongside this team, and I'm always available to you – always.

I'd like to leave you with 2 pieces of wisdom to carry on from today.

The first is, Education.

No matter how many things you have to give up for the military, education is the one thing that you can go and get that can never be taken away from you. My only regret is that I waited until year 14 to begin my post high-school journey.

Young troops: start now because the benefit to you far outweighs anything you can ever imagine. To my peers and even those “older” than me: get it done folks … get it done.

I mentioned that the benefits can never be taken away, but the funding and financing can be – so strike while the iron is hot and don't wait. You've only yourself to blame if you don't get educated – so take it from the crusty old Tech Sgt … today is the day to finish your education.

The last piece of wisdom is, Integrity matters.

Integrity is the first Air Force core value for a reason. When you say you are going to do something – you need to do it. When you give your word to complete a task, it needs to be done to the best of your ability.

At the end of the day, when all you have left is your word, integrity matters. Don't EVER sacrifice your integrity to cut a corner or make ends meet. It is not worth the price you will pay in the end … because even in our high tech world of gadgets and devices, if your integrity is damaged you have lost the ability to lead and perhaps even to follow.

Our Air Force is based on integrity and followership, and we must have those at the forefront at all times. To quote my former First Sgt and friend, MSgt (ret) Steve Gralewski, “This is not a democracy. It is the military. We fight for democracy … but we do not practice it.” Your integrity allows you to lead and to follow, and … IT matters.

2 Timothy 4:7 says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

It is the prayer of my heart that this can be said of my efforts to serve as best as I could. Thank you all for coming and may God bless you richly in your lives. Love ya'll – more than words could ever capture.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Encouraging Note for the Week of July 18, 2010

Sharing this week's encouraging note from our church bulletin:

The King of Assyria (ref Isaiah, Chapter 10:5-30) struggled with many different idols, but one of the primary ones was his ability to trust fully in himself rather than the God that was calling out to him. As each of us has opportunity this week to take into account our own lives, would we have the courage to look to God as the sole provider for everything we need? Would we seek the Lord and render our hearts 100% submissive to His will? Friends, if we are ever to change our nation it is going to have to start with our lives. Let us return to God, totally, and allow His guidance to lead us in everything.

God bless you!

- Bro TJ

Monday, July 12, 2010

What Would YOU Say?


Some of you know that I write for the website and have for many years. Each week, I get several questions from different folks across the globe requesting biblical advice, information, guidance, etc. and it has always been a joy for me to search and read and pray for others.

I have never before shared a question I've received -- but after answering it I was not only compelled to share it but to also encourage us all that we, as witnesses to the Gospel, understood the magnitude of what is being asked of this Sister in Christ. I pray that you would read this, allow it to infiltrate your prayer life, and be as bold as a lion when preaching/representing the truth of God's Word ... that there is but ONE mediator between God and man, and it is to Jesus that should pledge allegiance too.

God bless you,



The following question from has just been assigned to you:

Question: Please can you tell me if this is biblical? My pastor wants us all to do a covenant with him, not to leave the church and to wear a ring with his name on it and the churches name. I have no problem with membership and honoring your leader but do feel uncomfortable about this covenant, I would appreciate your views. Thank you.



Profile:Female 31-45

Sunday, July 4, 2010

4th of July


I wanted to share the "Pastor's Note" that was posted in our bulletin this morning. May God bless our Nation, and may God bless each of you as you seek to pray for our great land.

Pastor's Note

America. A land that we love to say that we are from, and a nation filled with a historic past that spans more than 234 years. Throughout all of history, we have seen many successes and even failures that have been opportunities to learn and grow spiritually. Our challenge today is to look for ways to share the Gospel with everyone we come across; understanding that the only way our Nation will ever return to God is if we, the church, will show Him to others. Will we be as proud of our county as we are of our Lord? Prayerfully, we will strive to do that and much more. God bless you. – Bro TJ

Monday, June 28, 2010


"We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people."
~Dr. (Rev) Martin Luther King, Jr.

When will we realize, that our words have more impact than we could ever imagine? When will we realize that when we give our word to someone we must follow through? Little by little I am watching the word "integrity" be tossed around like a punch-line at a party, and each time it really sickens me. Friends, when you give someone your word to do something -- you need to do it. Period. Quit playing games with people's lives, with their emotions, and with their livelihood. Some of us actually get up each day and proudly strive to live with honesty and integrity and having to traipse through the muck and the mire left behind by our fellow citizens is really disheartening and honestly, quite disgusting.

Integrity is defined as having a morale soundness.
Its application means doing what is right even when no one is looking.

I think it's about time that a few more people learned this value -- and then put it into practice like their reputations counted on it. Why? Because ... it does.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A few updates for June 21, 2010

Yesterday, my family and I drove to Atlanta to participate in my Masters Degree graduation and to be honest, I was glad that I went. I mean, it wasn't the most memorable thing in the world (what event with 1,400 graduates and 6 key speakers that I had no idea who they are is), but it was nice to walk across that stage and know that my wife and kids were there to see it. Of course, driving to Atlanta (which is 3 hours away) on Father's Day and missing church was not what I had planned for a Sunday afternoon ... but all in all it was (like I said) nice to go and have that behind us.

Today, I was given the privilege of officiating a funeral for a young man who passed passed away last Friday in a drowning accident. He was 18 years old, and had just enlisted in the US Navy ... such a tragedy to see his life cut short. It is a good reminder to us all that none of us knows the day nor the hour when the Lord will call us home, and we need to be ready. While the funeral was a somber time, it was a celebration of his life and prayerfully God will continue to lift up the Odom family and allow them to heal and comfort one another through this time.

Lastly, I just checked my retirement calendar and we are just 37 days away from the "big day", that is ... the END of my military service!! This morning I gave the final go ahead on my shadow box and although the layout is still being tweaked and everything needs to be tacked into place -- I really think the designer did a fantastic job on it (see picture below)!

Well, that is about all that is happening here. I realized I had not posted in a while and so I thought I would get an update out to all on what is going on in our world. I pray that the Lord is blessing each of you in a mighty way today ... God bless you.

- Bro TJ

Monday, May 31, 2010

What have you forgotten?


Let us never forget.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

2010 Indy 500 Ministry Preparations

This evening, I find myself eagerly waiting for another chance to go and spread the Gospel and to serve the Lord with gladness WAY out of my comfort zone. Tomorrow morning at about 4:30 am I will depart from my home and drive to Indianapolis, IN for evangelistic work with No Greater Love Ministries ( at the Indy 500. This year I’ve been afforded the privilege to preach to our assembly of men on Sunday morning, and to me there is nothing greater than to be with this group and have my own life refined, sharpened, and strengthened so that I can return a better husband, father, and pastor. I will be posting pictures to my Twitter account (located at throughout the weekend. If I could though, please allow me to give a small preview of the trip so that you can pray as the Lord leads.

On Friday night we have some fellowship time, then an opportunity to go out into the streets and minister around the track. Saturday has a great parade in Indianapolis and we get to work the crowd with simple clown skits, one on one witnessing, and passing tracts. Truly, the time spent at this parade has been my personal favorite for years because of the incredible family environment we get to experience as well as the inhabitance of the Holy Spirit in the ministry work.

Saturday night we see a totally different crowd out on Georgetown Road, which is located directed outside of the race track. This crowd is meaner, tougher to talk too, and is really only there to party all night and wait for the race the following day. I’ve always described this to be a totally different crowd than we see at Mardi Gras for one primary reason: in New Orleans there are literally hundreds of distractions to go along with our preaching the Word; but at the Indy 500 there is the party crowd and their alcohol … and us. However, this gives us an incredible opportunity to be bold in the Lord and to deliver unashamedly to all that will hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul writes in Romans 10:14, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” This one verse always makes me ponder the question, “If we won’t go and proclaim the Gospel, then who will?”

I ask very humbly for your prayers this weekend for traveling mercy for all men that are going and of course that the Holy Spirit would be working in and amongst the crowd to provide fertile ground for the Word to land on. Let us be ministers of the Gospel, let us be representatives of Jesus Christ, and always remember that it is NEVER about us … but ALWAYS about Him!!

God bless you always,
Bro TJ

Saturday, May 15, 2010

County Line Baptist Church Website

Good evening! This is just a short post to announce the launch of the County Line Baptist Church website!! There is still some data being loaded on a few pages, but the framework is built and everything is working just fine. If you have a few moments and wish to check it out, the website can be found at:

Also, as an added bonus the ability to subscribe to our service's podcast is also operational. For those who know how to subscribe, the RSS file can be found by clicking HERE.

Update: You can also listen to the podcast files here on my blog. The "last 5" podcast links are located in the navigation area.

Have a good night!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

In Awe on Mother's Day

Wow. I am totally and completely in awe of God this morning.

Today, I had the honor and privilege of stepping into the pulpit at County Line Baptist Church as their Pastor; and even though God had given me a sermon this week I found myself simply without words. Being a Pastor is the fulfillment in my life of God's promise when He called me into the ministry and of Philippians 1:6 ... and I stand in awe that God has allowed me, a sinner saved by Grace I did not deserve, to serve Him in ministry. Wow ... just wow.

Today being Mother's Day the message the Lord laid on my heart was from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, and the main concept for us to remember was/is: Just as our mother's loved us by giving us life, God loved us so much more by giving us the greatest gift of Life, His Son, Jesus. We must love in all things friends ... willing to love in all circumstances ... and give to Christ our full and total obedience. He is so worthy, and loved us so much, that He freely died for us (see Romans 5:8) so that we could live forever. This my friends, is love.

I pray that today is a blessing for all mom's, and that you are being loved upon by those around you whom you have cared for with a never-ending love. God bless you always and may you feel the joy of the Lord around you each and every day.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

God's Timing is Perfect!

Note: Most folks have seen this news on either Twitter or Facebook, but I thought I would make it official and post it here on the blog.

This past Sunday, May 2nd, County Line Baptist Church in Deatsville, AL, voted to call me as their new Pastor. To say that Lisa and I were in shock is an understatement; but more correctly stated would be to say that we were in awe of how awesome our God is!! When the Lord sent me there several months ago to fill the pulpit, the prayer of my heart that morning was that God would make it completely clear if my family was to serve at this church, and in His perfect timing we feel that He has done that very thing.

I can say, though, that this is a bitter sweet piece of news for us. You see, we absolutely love the church that we are serving in now (New Vision Baptist Church), and more importantly we adore the folks that we serve alongside.

Yet, when I was called into the pastorate almost 10 years ago I told God that I would go anywhere He sends me, and so that covenant I made with Him as well and standing on Philippians 1:6 as my life's verse ... we have always had peace in our hearts that the Lord would one day see fit to use me again in the pulpit, and allow me the privilege of serving Him in the capacity as Pastor of a congregation. And so, this coming Sunday (Mother’s Day) we begin a new journey anxiously looking forward to seeing how God will reveal Himself in this new endeavor; and we await with joy in our hearts at the opportunity to watch Him grow our church and our community. God is so good my friends … and we are rejoicing today!!

May God bless you and keep you always …

In His service,
Bro TJ

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Update - April 20, 2010

Just a short update since I really have not said much recently.

Today I hit double digits on the road to retirement. Yup, I now have 98 days left in the military ... and those are calendar days, folks. So, if you factor in weekends, trips away for work, plus a few days of leave in there for some ministry stuff ... I'm looking at about 58 days left in the office. Not bad, not bad at all. For those that have asked I have been offered a fantastic job for after my military career, but at this time (sadly) I am just not at liberty to divulge any other information on it. However, that should change in the coming weeks so stay tuned for more info.

To update all on the ministry issue, I had another meeting last week with the pastor search committee and well, God is definitely at work. While I am never one to put the cart before the horse, I honestly believe that God is working things out, that He has cleared the fog from our eyes because we are focused totally on Him, and that this church is where we should be. The committee told me that they are planning on presenting to the church during the first week of May their choices for pastor, and so I can only say that if this is God's desire for us to be there then it will be. Lisa and I are being faithful and obedient, and standing in amazement at God's perfect timing and peace that He has delivered. I thank you for your prayers friends, they are more than coveted and appreciated.

Lastly, I've managed to lose just over 28 pounds in the past 2 months and since I've really taken to running almost everyday I have been enjoying it immensely. I have a good friend at work who helps motivate me, and I am most thankful for his constant encouragement. (Thanks, Zak.)

Well, that is about it from here. Like I said it was a quick update to keep you up-to-date cause I have not said much here lately. I'm praying that all is well in your world, and that your eyes are fixed on the Author and Finisher of our faith -- for without Jesus in our sights we have no hope of tomorrow!! God bless you.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

What a day that will be

This morning I was at our church's sunrise service and unintentionally, my mind continued to drift back to the the day Mary went to the tomb and realized that her Lord was no longer there. The bible records it this way:

"Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put him!" - John 20:1-2

While we were sitting outside listening to our Pastor's words, the sun began to come up out of the East and I wondered what it was like on that day; to see the disciples faces in realization that He was truly not there, that He had risen! I don't think, to be perfectly honest, that my mind can really grasp what it means to express the joy I feel today; knowing that when I die although my family may be sad -- I will be face to face with my Lord and Savior and long to hear Him say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant". As I thought more this morning, I heard Bro Butch say "I'm not sure what happens in Heaven on Easter morning, but I'm sure it is way better than the preaching down here." I could not help but agree, knowing that sitting at the feet of my Lord and Savior cannot even compare to anything we might experience on this Earth. Think of it friends: To kneel before the Throne of Grace, to see the One who sits upon it because He has been given all authority by His Father .... wow, now THAT will be a good day at "church"!!

My heart cannot comprehend all that Jesus has done, and even now in my office I am watching "The Passion of the Christ" in preparation to worship this morning -- and I just cannot comprehend how much Jesus loved me that He would willingly lay down His life for me. It is the prayer of my heart that you too would know this love. It is my prayer that you too would admit that Jesus gave His life for you as well, and that everything we have been given to do on this Earth comes directly from Him through the anointing of the Holy Spirit. It is the desire of our Father that "none should perish, but all should come to repentance" (see 2 Peter 3:9), and today could be the day for you to admit that you need a Savior. To admit that Jesus died for you, and gave His life so that you could one day live eternally with Him in Heaven. Won't you admit that today? Won't you take the time to turn to Christ, admit to Him that you need a Savior, thank Him for dying on the cross for you, and give your life to Him fully?

I promise if you do, from the trials and struggles to even the best church services you have ever attended will not even come close to that first day in Heaven, when you stand before the Lord and thank Him for all that He has brought you through. Oh what a GOOD day that will be, when my Jesus we shall see!!

God bless you my friends, it is truly a happy Easter because ...


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Update on Ministry Prayer

I want to take the time to thank you all for praying and remembering our family as we consider this ministry decision ahead of us (please see the previous blog entry if you need background info). I had a great meeting with our Pastor on Sunday evening and want to pass on something he reminded me of: (let me prep it by saying sometimes you just cannot see the trees because of the forest) ............ he said that God is not the author of confusion. If we are tossing about so much on this and not sure of what we should do, can we really plunge in and say that God is leading us in this direction?

(pregnant pause is inserted here)

Yeah .... that's what I said as well.

So, while I have not come to an official decision and made any phone calls, I think it is pretty safe to say what direction we are leaning on this. We are still praying of course and wanting to be sure, but I think the decision has already been made for us. I feel if the Lord wanted us to be there it would be clear and without doubt, I just want to be sure that my own emotions are not blocking things so I'm going to take the rest of this week to pray and then decide.

Speaking of this week, I'm getting ready to head to Colorado Springs this afternoon for work. I am really hoping to have a decent travel day and definitely have dinner with an old friend in the ministry this week. I found out yesterday that the hotel I'm staying at is directly across the street from "Focus on the Family", so maybe I will have a chance to go visit and look around a little bit. Well, that's the latest from here. Praying your day goes well today and that you take the opportunity to tell someone that Jesus loves them, because the whole world needs to hear! God bless you.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Ministry prayers are needed

Well, I promised several folks I would give an update as to what is going on with me, and this seems to be the easiest way to update everyone at once. I'm sorry it has taken so long to write this, I have actually been working on it for a week now to find the right words.

During the last two weeks of February, I was invited to preach at County Line Baptist Church (which is about 3 miles from our house) and to be honest it was really good to preach God's word again. I confess to you that I went there solely to preach the Word and fellowship with other believers, but after the message last Sunday night the pulpit search committee asked me if they could meet with me and I agreed.

The meeting simply began with one of the deacons saying to me, "If our church was to call you as pastor would you be interested in serving?" Well, I was floored, honored, and suddenly very terrified about being a pastor again ... but I'll come back to that later.

We talked for a while about the church's vision and about what they feel God has called them to do, and then of the ladies on the committee said to me, "Our church has a desire to grow, to reach people for Jesus Christ, and we are willing to do whatever it takes and go any distance to reach people .......... we'll knock on doors, we'll send letters, we'll visit .......... we see God using this building as an outpost to reaching the committee and our city." I also discovered the church is debt free, has 3 deacons, and a core group of about 20 folks who are sold out to reaching the lost, and have a desire to ONLY see Christ lifted up. Wow. I was floored for the second time in one meeting. So, you are probably asking what's wrong with this church and why is TJ having problems with it? (Well, if you're not asking this I am ... hence the purpose of this entry.)

You see, we went through some struggles in the previous pastorate, and I guess we are terrified of entering these types of situations again. Now, I understand and have been around enough churches to realize that not every congregation is perfect and there are always challenges, especially in the area of getting folks out of the pew, but to think that this church wants to reach out is really an eye opening experience. I said to the committee that I believe the SOLE purpose of a church is "to connect people with Jesus Christ" and they emphatically agreed.

Additionally, the church is without youth and for that matter many young people in attendance, but the infrastructure to do so is in place. What I'm saying is they already have Sunday School teachers for each age group, and even dedicated nursery and youth workers, but without the people in attendance those gifts are not being used. This of course, is a major downfall for us since we have a 15 yr old daughter who desperately needs to be in a youth group with her peers, even though I'm sure she would love to continue going to the youth group she is in now; which if she did sadly would split up our family on Wednesdays and quite possibly most Sunday nights.

So now that I've said all of this and you've been patient enough to read it ... I like to ask for your prayers for any word that you receive from God on this. I'm scheduled to preach there again on Easter Sunday (Apr 4), and right now we are praying that the Lord would give us His peace and allow us to answer the church's call (either yes or no) before then and that we would only be in God's will. Would you join us in that prayer? Would you join us in praying that only God's Will would be done in this? Would you also pray specifically for County Line Baptist Church that the right man, God's man, would be called to lead them? I don't know if I am that man, but I know I can go to the One who has the answers and He promises to bring peace (reference Philippians 4:6-9). So, would you please join me?

Our family is praying and talking constantly, and we only want to be in the Lord's will. Thank you in advance and may God bless you.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Be holy ... Life application

1 Peter 1:16 says, "... for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."

Do you want to make a difference in your world?
Do you want to live a holy life?

Try these on for size:

1. Be faithful to your spouse.
2. Be the one at the office who refuses to cheat.
3. Be the neighbor who acts neighborly.
4. Be the employee who does the work and doesn't complain.
5. Pay your bills.
6. Do your part and enjoy life.
7. Don't speak one message and live another.

Remember, people are watching the way we act more than they are listening to what we say.

- Quote adapted from Max Lucado

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Food for Thought


A boat docked in a tiny Mexican fishing village. A tourist complimented the local fishermen on the quality of their fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

"Not very long." they answered in unison.

"Why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?"

The fishermen explained that their small catches were sufficient to meet their needs and those of their families.

"But what do you do with the rest of your time?"
"We sleep late, fish a little, play with our children, and take siestas with our wives. In the evenings, we go into the village to see our friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. We have a full life."

The tourist interrupted, "I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat."

"And after that?"

"With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant.

You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City , Los Angeles , or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge new enterprise."

"How long would that take?"

"Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years." replied the tourist.

"And after that?"

"Afterwards? Well my friend, that's when it gets really interesting, " answered the tourist, laughing. "When your business gets really big, you can start buying and selling stocks and make millions!"

"Millions? Really? And after that?" asked the fishermen.

"After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends."

"With all due respect sir, but that's exactly what we are doing now. So what's the point wasting twenty-five years?" asked the Mexicans.

And the moral of this story is?

Know where you're going in life .... you may already be there!!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Is it bright in here?

Well, it appears that the site that hosts my blogger template has gone haywire. It should have a background in here that is not giving off the appearance of being ULTRA-BRIGHT white ... LOL!! Oh well, just noticed it and thought I would say something about it in case anyone was reaching for sunglasses because it really is ridiculously bright!! (HA HA HA)

Anyway, have a blessed day ya'll.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Without words ...


I confess that these past days in conjunction with No Greater Love Ministries to Mardi Gras have been the best I have had since I have been a Christian. My first year at Mardi Gras was a tremendous experience and where I surrendered to a call into the ministry; but this past trip just blew me away on so many levels that I cannot accurately explain everything I encountered. Once I got back home I honestly found myself without words and unable to fully express what I went through, and to be candid I am still struggling as I write this.

I admit that I went on this trip with some difficult questions about my own ministry and I believe that through God’s guidance I have some of the answers which really brings a sense of calm in my life. I know in my heart (and it has been confirmed several times) that I am called to preach, and in preaching I am called to disciple others into having a deeper walk with the Lord … but my primary (still unanswered) question is where it should happen at. We love the church we are serving at now and I guess this is what is causing my confusion is whether I will remain there or if God will move us from this church family once again. It honestly pains me to think about it, so I try not too but rather let God speak and allow Him to give us the guidance and peace. I know that God has called me to preach, and I read a verse this morning that really sums up how I feel about it. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:16, “Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!

I am preaching in view of a call for the next two weeks at a church here in town (it is 3 miles from our house) and I am praying that God will confirm if that is the place I should be at, or if I need to continue waiting and watching for His divine appointment. What I am most certain of is that God’s timing is perfect, and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit He will make things clearer as time continues moving forward.

These past 7 days in Mobile and New Orleans have really brought to my life a sense of calm, and have opened my eyes a bit more to understand that the only thing that matters is Jesus Christ; and without Christ I can do nothing nor accomplish anything that has Kingdom value. And so, I am continuing to pray and seek the Lord on this knowing what I must do; prayerfully the answers of where will come soon.

God bless you friends.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Feb 17, 2010

I realize I am a day or two late on this, but wanted to add in 2 more posts for you from the NGL ministry trip. Thank you so much for praying and for continuing to lift No Greater Love up before the Lord. May God bless you always!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Feb 14, 2010

Good morning! Here is a blog from Fred Bishop, NGL's director which really captures things right now. Thank you for reading, praying, and may God bless you!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

God already knows!

Psalm 139:1-5 says, "O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me."

I tell you something friends, as I prepare to get ready for this ministry trip on Friday with No Greater Love I am filled with thoughts of wondering what God is going to do and how He is going to speak to me personally; and am then comforted in the above passage that God already knows!! I am excited and yet at the same time filled with a sense of calm that God is already there, preparing the places we will stay, the people we will talk to, and the witness we will proclaim. Truly, it is an honor to work for the Lord and follow in the footsteps of the disciples, going out and giving the Gospel to those Jesus died for. It is a humbling experience my friends .... humbling.

Throughout the weekend I will (hopefully) be blogging from the trip (as time allows) and will try to toss in a picture or two with the thoughts. I will have pictures posted to my Facebook as well and with any luck can keep folks up to date and in the loop.

If you are praying, my personal prayer requests are: for peace when chaos is abound, for rest when we are in need and weary, and for boldness and energy when God is moving us to expand our tent stakes and take back what the devil has robbed from those around us!!

Thank you for reading, and may God bless you always.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Challenge of Obedience

It is Saturday night, and I'm trying to get my mind around this discipleship lesson for tomorrow; as well as thinking about the trip this coming Friday with No Greater Love Ministries. As I have been mentioning for weeks (read:years), this trip to New Orleans to minister during Mardi Gras always challenges me in different ways personally, professionally, and of course in my ministry. It is an eye opening event each year and each year the Lord speaks to me in different ways. For example, the first year I went I surrendered to a call to the ministry, and the year before last He spoke to my heart and gave me complete peace about resigning as a Pastor and being more concerned about following Him -- vice following people's opinions and thoughts. It is, in my view, an honor to see God work in my life and be able to look back and see His fingerprints on the lives of those around me.

Friends, I wish there was a way to clearly express what this 5 day ministry trip does to me, and how God uses it to strengthen my for the coming year of ministry work. While I am not sure of what God has for the future (and this has been a challenge for me lately), I received some good advice tonight from a godly friend that I wanted to share. She said, "Be obedient in what He asked of you to this point. Leave the next question for Him to answer as you remain obedient in what He has asked of you so far. Trust that the answer to the next question will be the exact answer that will bring you along the path He desires for you when He is ready to answer it. Do not wait to be obedient to the small part He has asked of you, or be concerned or worried about the next part while you do it." That's good advice in my view, and I think something that we can all gain strength from. God is calling us to simply obey and follow ... nothing more.

So I think I will get back to my lesson now and continue researching how God would speak to our Men's Discipleship Class tomorrow. God bless you and good night.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The State of our Union


No matter our political affiliation I think we can honestly say that this cartoon appears to be the “State of our Union”. I wonder sometimes, when will we realize that it is our responsibility to bring one another together vice leaving it up to someone else? Jesus gave us clear instruction to bearing fruit and being a positive witness in this world in John 15:5-8.

He said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

I wonder if we, as disciples of the true and living God, are willing to bear fruit so that we can bring people together vice being so determined at separation? The Gospel tells us that we are to be the witness … that we are to go forth and bring the Good News! So with Good News in hand why do we not grab an opportunity like we have in our nation today and take advantage of it? People are looking for good news, and as a believer of Jesus Christ YOU have the news they need!! Will we ever reach out “across the aisle” and promote Godly unity in our Nation? How about in our churches? In our homes?

It’s up to you friends … it’s up to you.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A tough week behind us

This past week has been a real challenge for my family. For the sake of some legal issues that are still ahead of us I am not going to go into details, but we have really seen some ups and downs this week and are now I think are beginning to see the sunlight again. There are some definite, challenging roads ahead that we have to face, but we confess that the Lord is in control and only through His grace and leadership will we see this through. After the ordeals of this week, I can only cling to this one verse which God gave me this morning when I woke up.

David writes in Psalm 30 verse 5, "For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but joy comes in the morning." I believe we are seeing the joy return to our home and it is a very welcome sight. As I mentioned there are some challenges ahead, but my God is bigger than anything we can imagine and He has total control over everything we have faced, are facing, or will face. And that, settles that.

Chris and I, and his friend Stevens, are just 13 days away from attending the Mardi Gras Ministry outreach with No Greater Love Ministries and our excitement is definitely growing. We appreciate your prayers as we make the final preparations for this trip and confess that God is in control; and whatever circumstances happen He will get His Glory through whatever He brings into our lives. Thank you for reading friends - may you be blessed today and forever.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Get busy teaching!

This afternoon we witnessed the wedding of one of Chris's high school friends and it really got us thinking ... "We are turning older, aren't we?" Now, I know it is an inevitable thing that our children grow up and get married, but sitting in that sanctuary today it became very obvious that the time was growing closer to watching my own son get married and well, it touched me a little. In some ways I am anxious to see that day happen, but in other ways I'd love to have some more time with my little boy whom I've watched grow up into a young man that I could not be more proud of.

In less than three weeks he and I will part of No Greater Love Ministries heading to Mississippi, Lousiana, and eventually into New Orleans to witness on the streets during Mardi Gras. This is my 10th year with this ministry and every trip is for me life changing; but to see my son on the streets (this is his fourth year) passing tracts, street marching, dressing as a clown, and talking to perfect strangers about Jesus really is a sight to make my heart swell. His witness for the Lord is strong, and without being foreboding he is able to look people in the eyes and tell them Jesus loves them. Now you tell me: As a parent could there be any stronger legacy that I could leave behind?

A few weeks ago during discipleship training I got to thinking about this and used Chris as a perfect example of Titus 2 which instructs believers to train those younger them to be servants and leaders in the faith. So, while trying not to ramble you are probably wondering what am I getting at here? Well ....... here it is: Parents, we need to take the time we have now to teach our kids to be witnesses and to know when to take a stand for their Faith! The time we have to raise them is so short in the grand scheme of things, and we need to know how to witness to them, and show them through our own lives how to share the Gospel and witness for the Lord.

I believe, there is nothing more important that we can teach them ... then to share the love of Jesus Christ with those in their own circles. So, are we doing that parents? Prayerfully, we are - for without our involvement in our kids lives they will look for affirmation and direction wherever they can get it - and some sources available to them are NOT exalting Jesus Christ. Think about it, pray on it, and then I challenge you to get to teaching your kids! Time is short folks, their wedding day is coming.

"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."
- Proverbs 22:6

Friday, January 22, 2010

This is a test


Well, I’m testing to see if I can e-mail a post to blogger and not have to log in (which will really come in handy while I am in New Orleans next month). Maybe, just maybe, I have finally gotten this to work on my account.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The iPod Touch

Lately, I have been having touch screen withdrawals since changing back from the Pre to my Blackberry (go ahead and laugh, I laughed too), but sadly I'm not eligible for an upgrade right now to any new phones. I still have my Pre but ya know, that keyboard size and battery life really makes me sad and so we are not gonna do down that road again ... but I think I have found some common ground here that might just fill a need as well.

I am looking at a getting an iPod Touch (the 8GB version cause that's about all I will need) mainly because I need a new iPod (my Nano is over 5 yrs old and about had it with scratches, dents, and some operational glitches here and there) and well, I think the Touch might meet several things at once including having WiFi for applications and giving me access to the much talked about, "Words with Friends". Obviously, I would have to keep my Blackberry as my cell phone since the Touch does not have a phone (or camera) on it. As info, I cannot get an iPhone (due to our service commitment with Sprint) so that is just not an option.

So, here's my questions: Does anyone have an iPod touch? Do you like it? Is it worth the $199 price tag that it has? How is it carrying that AND a cell phone around with you? Too cumbersome? Really annoying? Can't live without it? Prior to investing a couple hundred dollars into this device I'd like to get some opinions from folks who have it and who might be able to shed some light o
n my thinking.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti and the Believers' Focus

Editors note: This blog is dedicated to a very discerning Sister in Christ who helped me today with her own words. God bless you, my friend.

By now we have all heard the misplaced comments from Mr. Pat Robertson, and I want to say up front that I will not use this time to tear into him or try to understand why he continues to offer such opinions.

What I will say is that discernment is the order of the day; and as believers our J-O-B is to follow The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) and to anxiously wait for the Savior to return who has been promised in Acts 1:11. The promise, reads like this: "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven." Today, we need to be about the Lord's business and not caught up in trivial matters.

So tonight, let me ask you: Are you doing all you can to witness for our Lord? Are your hearts and minds focused in prayer for this terrible tragedy and for the lives of those being devastated in Haiti? That needs to be our focus friends ... anything else is simply worldly propaganda and the enemy would love nothing more than to see the Body of Christ fighting amongst itself.

Prayer, is our only avenue to talk to the Lord. In this time, I pray that you would exercise it intentionally, and without ceasing. God bless you.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Are you GOING?

This week, I have been thinking a lot about No Greater Love's (NGL) upcoming ministry trip to New Orleans to witness on the streets during Mardi Gras and I have to admit I am getting very excited. This will be my 10th year on the streets with them and each trip (either to Mardi Gras or the Indy 500) with NGL I am challenged more than the year before, and it moves me farther out in my comfort zone - expanding my tent stakes and allowing me to gain more understanding on what God would have His people do to impact His world.

Each year I have gone I've been afforded the opportunity to learn, to witness, and to come back home and practice what I've been taught; and each year the Lord has grown me and stretched me farther than I ever thought I could in the ministry. Truly, this ministry has grown me beyond my wildest dreams in serving the Lord and I want to take the time to challenge any man reading this to GO with me. If you want to see your life changed, if you want to be a better husband, father, and man of God that the Lord has called you to be (see Ephesians 5:25-33) then you need to contact me about going. For several years now I have watched my own son, Chris, grow in his walk with the Lord and to a dad, there is no greater joy than seeing your own son take a stand for Jesus Christ and purpose himself to be a witness in this world.

I received an e-mail a few weeks ago that I would be the Assistant Street Minister/Camp Director in Mobile and to be honest, I am more nervous than I've ever been. Being able to serve in this capacity and learn from what I feel is probably one of the best teams of leaders assembled is extremely humbling and at the same time nerve racking as well. As a matter of fact, it has taken me almost 3 weeks to attempt to digest it and get my mind around it. In this, I ask that you would join me in prayer as I prepare to serve this camp and that I would remain focused on the main goal: which is to put the Gospel in the hands of faithful men (2 Tim 2:2); because it is about Jesus, and nothing more.

No Greater Love has changed my views on service to the Lord in more ways than I can ever imagine; and I am a staunch believer in the fact that if you can witness on the streets in New Orleans, you can come home and impact your church and community in a mighty way for the Lord. Guys, I challenge you to come with me and get a vision of how God views this world through His infinite love, and I promise you that you will never look at the Gospel the same way again. Won't you be obedient enough to follow The Great Commission and GO? I pray that you would, and I promise that if you go you will NEVER be the same man again.

Gentlemen ... If you are interested in going, please contact me through the links above. I promise you that your life will be impacted in ways that will truly rock your world.

Monday, January 4, 2010

How is your allegiance?

Most folks know that I read Oswald Chambers, "My Utmost for His Highest", and the devotion from today had a line in there that I just felt needed to be re-said because it is THAT good. He writes:

"Natural devotion will deny Jesus, always falling short of what it means to truly follow Him."

It got me thinking of the following questions for myself and I wanted to challenge you as well to examine your own walk with the Lord:

How is your allegiance? Are you manufacturing your followership of Jesus Christ or is He truly the Lord of your life? Do you obey Him on Sunday and Wednesday and then on other days it is hit and miss? When you say, "Yes, Lord", is Jesus Christ really the complete and total Lord of your life or just when it is convenient?

In my opinion, it's worth exploring for each of us.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

What year is it?

Well, here we are in the year 2010!!

I was thinking this weekend that I remember the year 1990 so clearly because it was then that I wondered if I could ever make it to this year. Why you may ask? Because, this year marks the year of my military retirement!! After 20 years of changing stations, changing uniforms, changing careers, and changing education strategies I did make it and you know what? Surprisingly with the Lord's guidance and leadership it looks a lot like 1990 except that I am greyer and my waist line is bigger. (LOL) OK, seriously, it looks more like 1994 because then I was married to the love of my life with two wonderful kids.

In my opinion, it's going to be a great year folks ... I can just sense it. Of course, it is not going to be all smiles and happiness (life never is), but I think I am about to see the Lord do some great work this year in my family's life and we are excited to get to witness it.

Happy New Year my friends, and may the Lord bless you in a mighty way ... always!

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