RGM Homeless Birthday Party

Earlier this week, my friend Eric asked if I would serve at Redwood Gospel Mission’s Homeless Birthday Party.

I have not been reluctant for opportunities to serve in the past but due to my own agenda in recent months, I have missed opportunities. I missed Kid’s camp this year and haven’t been as active as I have been previously with outreach, local mission work and evangelism.

I didn’t let this opportunity pass by.

The Birthday Party is an event that celebrates the birthdays of homeless people in Santa Rosa by holding a BBQ with free food, music, ice cream (and root beer floats), a foot washing station, a hair cutting station with hair dressers and barbers, a health station, gifts including necessities, a free raffle, a bike fix/repair station and so much more.

I had an occasion to share with a few guys, one of which gave his life to the Lord and truly encouraged me as I think he had more words of wisdom that he credited himself with.

I cannot explain what a blessing it was to serve at this event but below are some photos from the day.

IMG_20140717_125817 IMG_20140717_135351  IMG_20140717_163433 IMG_20140717_163608




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Incarnational v. Informational Evangelism

Incarnational and informational approaches to evangelism are both important ways to share the Gospel with others. Incarnational I do believe is a form in which one not only speaks the Truth, with full conviction of the Truth of Jesus Christ but lives it. It is often cited that a believer or acclaimed believer is a Christian however does not or may not live a Christian life or embody a worldview that would support that action. When we act in love or pursue action in love, if done in and through Christ, that incarnation is merely living proof of Christ’s prompting and transformation which comes by and through putting our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Paul writes in his Epistle to Corinth, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here” (2 Cor. 517.)

This by no means discounts the nature of informational approaches to evangelism; in fact it is contrary to that thought. If we are able to act out the love of Christ in our witness or show it through how life is lived as a new creation, then one should be able to give an answer for the faith that we have (1 Pet 3:15). Being able to verbalize and be bold enough to share the Gospel in any situation, no matter how difficult, is a necessary approach to the witness of the believer although it may be more difficult as the feeling of rejection may arise. This is natural however it is even more imperative to pray though this barrier as how can one possibly come to know and put their faith in Christ Jesus, Lord and Savior if no one takes the opportunity to introduce Christ to them?

In closing, both are equally important, both balance each other. It is important to consider the life of the believer, it’s worldview and opinion should be lived in Christ’s image as Paul writes, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1). Further, the ability and boldness to share the Gospel is an intricate paramount piece of the puzzle in which one should be bold enough to share with courage, despite the adversity that may seem to exist.

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The Round About.


In speaking with the pastor from my church today at lunch a recent conviction was brought about. He spoke of being in the fog, and turning things around often isn’t that difficult. In fact, it can be rather quick and easy. It often is.

I compared it to the roundabout. Back in London, they’re everywhere. When I was in Ireland, my buddy found one at 2am and I think we went through the thing at least two dozen times. I think he was trying to see if I would get sick…I didn’t, it was kind of fun but anyhow.

The point is…you can be in this roundabout for hours…countless hours. Endlessly. Around and around and around. Nonstop. Then, it takes one turn, one exit, one opportunity to exit this endless madness to go in the direction you aspire to go. To change your course, to change those ways. To move on. It is truly that simple.

Think about these two things:

1. This particular thing can be a fog that we cannot see, thus counsel is sometimes needed. I personally have benefited from the ability to receive counsel. Biblically speaking this is incredibly helpful. These verses expound this thought further:

for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair; (Proverbs 1:3)

Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. (Proverbs 15:22)

Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise. (Proverbs 19:20)

The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice. (Proverbs 12:15)

2. The Israelites roamed around the desert for 40 years (Numbers 32:13). That’s a long time. A super long time. It’s likely it didn’t have to take that much time. If they would have bright enough to just LISTEN. Face the reason, the problem, its origin and how to change it; changing their path…it could have changed EVERYTHING. But, we’re stubborn, imperfect.

Question, what do we have trouble turning from? What is it that we are avoiding? What is it that we need counsel, guidance and assistance to further pursue all that is there for us?

Don’t sit around. Get to it.

In conclusion. It takes an epiphany, that moment where you realize something is up. Come to the realization, take the shorter route and get out of the freaking round about. It’s time to continue on that Solid Path.

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I recently had an encounter with a friend that erupted in immense discord. The thought that we can grow fond of one another in fellowship is relatively apparent however as iron sharpens iron, there is difficulty and strife at times that can cause the growing pains of a relationship to become strained. This example is a micro.

A macro example or larger scale example of this I have seen with a church I had grown up in. There was an extreme trial within the leadership of the church which led the senior pastor to step down from ministry, thus disappointing a church body that had grown closely in fellowship and relationship with one another. This particular struggle caused immense damage as the once foundational trust that was developed among the believers in this particular church body separated the church itself and over the course of a few years caused the church membership to begin a steady decrease. After the course of roughly five years, the church hit a major roadblock and eventually completely fell apart.

Trusting in God’s providence and plan in these situations are imperative, as His ways are not our ways nor are His plans our plans (Isa 55:8.) His thoughts are always greater, so much so that His omniscience far exceeds our understanding in an infinite measure.

The point of all of this has caused me to reflect on reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:17-20 speaks of this reconciliation.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.2 Corinthians 5:17

This particular passage is where it starts. It speaks of the newness of life we receive when we give our lives to Christ and accept Him as Lord and Savior. In doing this, we are to put off the old man, with its sinful nature and grow in relationship with God, allowing Him to work within us to fully magnify Him (Rom 6:6; Col. 3:9-10; Eph. 4:22.)

As we continue; 5:18 reads, “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;

The word itself used in this particular passage is the Greek word, katallasso (καταλλάσσω ); which means to change mutually; to compound a difference. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance states the following, “Katallasso properly denotes to change; exchange, hence of person, to change from enmity to friendship, to reconcile.”

The Oxford Dictionary cites that the word reconcile comes from the Latin reconciliāre which means to make good again, repair.

It was the fact that the Father did send the Son so that we may be reconciled to Him (John 17:18; 1 John 4:14). There truly was no other way for man to receive salvation as apart from Christ, there is absolutely no hope. Let’s consider this as Paul writes,

…that is, in Christ God was reconcilingthe world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. (2 Cor. 5:19-20)

It is often difficult to approach a situation in which one person had wronged another. Whether in a larger scare or smaller scale, it actually makes no difference.  What however is imperative is that the believer understands that with Christ and faith in Him, He has given us the ability to seek Him for the strength to forgive, to grow and to shed light on what may have been so dark.

It may not be easy. It never really is and it may take time to process the ability to reconcile or forgive a situation. I do however believe that if one were to let God work within the heart of a believer, one can be freed from the bondage of such a burden and seek the reconciliation that is offered by grace through faith in Christ Jesus (Matt 11:30; Eph 2:8)


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“When you hire Thomas Edison to rewire your house, you don’t tell him he’s using the wrong fuses.”


I found this while going through notes today, it’s actually in regards to off season planning and last year’s quarterback debate as Payton Manning had been released by the Indianapolis Colts. Manning of course being one of the most celebrated and recognized quarterbacks in the last decade was one who had helped construct winning seasons under the direction of Tony Dungy, with one season resulting in a Super Bowl Victory.

The point is actually quite simple while looking at this particular quote. I believe that it resembles a bit of what we should comprehend in seeking out the Lord, trusting in Him in all circumstances; that we may in turn build our confidence grounded upon the solid Rock that is our God. As R.C. Sproul comments,

“Our God is not dependent on the whims of chance to accomplish His plan, and no danger exists that His eternal intentions will go unsatisfied. He always finishes what He starts.”

In seeing His hand in what we do, He doesn’t necessarily need our help. In fact, He doesn’t need our help at all. It is those moments, in which our faith comes to the testing point that I believe and can affirm that it is imperative to do as we say we often desire and quite truly put our faith and trust in God as He is not slow to keep His promises (2 Peter 3:9).

“Be still and know that I am God!” Psalm 46:10



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Last semester one of my professors brought up an interesting question which I thought was rather thought provoking on persecution. The two thoughts were basically asking if it is normal for a Christian and is God involved? I wanted to share this as I found this thought something that should be considered…

In order to ponder whether or not it is normal for a Christian to suffer, one must look to Scripture itself in seeking the Word of God given the circumstances that surround the situation. There is a great deal of comfort that surrounds the believer as it pertains to the various seasons of life that one may encounter however it is imperative for the believer to be able to discern the Lord’s Sovereign will and understand that whether the season seem to prosper or be filled with difficulty, the Lord is faithful and desires the believer to be equipped with the knowledge that His desire is that the Christian stand firm in faith, knowing that the Lord will never leave or forsake the believer (Eccl. 3:1-8; Isa 7:9; Dt. 31:6; Heb 13:5).

This being said, it is imperative to be strong and of good courage, knowing that is often the Lord’s plan which is far greater than the believer’s and if the Lord is glorified in the given situation, the Lord is faithful to reward the faithful steward (Josh 1:1-9; 1 Sam 26:23; Ps. 31:23; Matt. 25:14-30; Luke 19:12-28). This may however seem as an application however the evidence found in Scripture, specifically the book of Acts seems relevant to this as Paul was advised to not face the persecution by those whom had cared for him although discerning the Lord’s will, he went to fulfill the Lord’s Sovereign plan with the full knowledge and faith in the Lord’s sovereign guidance (Acts  21:1-16). As Darrell L. Bock writes:

“Sometimes the easy way out is not the right path to take. Only discernment, engagement, and prayer, however, can determine when the hard path I to be taken and when an easier escape should be sought.”[1]

Further, an example of this can also be seen within the Garden of Gethsemane in which Christ Himself prays fervently asking for the cup to pass (Luke 22:39-46). The Lord’s plan of course prevailed in this instance thus providing the atonement and propitiation brought on by the Cross of Christ thus putting an end to death and for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom 6:21-23).

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Cor. 15:17)

[1] Darrell Bock, Acts. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic 2007.) 640.

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I just finished reading this book in my early morning devotion and I couldn’t help but look back and reflect upon the book in its entirety. I spent some time after reading through the last few books of the Old Testament over the past few months and ended up back in the Pentateuch, thus naturally being lead to read this particular book.

It’s remarkable when you take a step back from how life unfolds and I think this is well represented in this particular portion of Old Testament literature. Knowing that the first chapter starts with a very large task given to Joshua by the Lord in leading Israel was humbling and left Joshua quite nervous. I often look at this particular passage before a speaking engagement or important meeting hoping that the Lord will reveal Himself at the event I am pursuing, knowing in faith that He would be there to lead and guide the situation. Of course knowing to be strong and courage as the Lord states three times with the final stating,

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Josh. 1:8-9 ESV)

What is remarkable is what was endured for the Nation of Israel in this particular passage. Israel had just gone through the desert, escaped captivity and was being lead into the promised land by the Sovereign God of the universe. His chosen were walking by faith into what the Lord had planned and provided.

Knowing that this particular book includes three basic stages as seen below which includes the preparing (Josh 1-5), Understanding God’s strategy (Josh 6-12) and Grasping God’s Good Purposes (Josh 13-24) (below).

The final two chapters completely captivated me this morning as I was reflecting upon this past year. Joshua took some time to reflect upon what they had gone through. The trials, the failures, the victories and the Divine Plan of the Sovereign Lord of all for His people which of course, prevailed. In a sense, it’s like Hannibal from the A-Team, this guy always had a plan to lead those guys in any situation.

As I look in hindsight as the blessings of the Lord in my own life with work, school and of course ministry with worship and teaching kids I truly love. The Lord has done such a work this year with allowing me to travel nationally and internationally. The fellowship that has existed this year has grown catastrophically. There has been life and death of a family member whom I had loved dearly as she had taken part in my upbringing for the first fifteen years of my life. I have grown closer to the Lord than ever before and I can see the fruit that has taken root over the past several years planting and sowing. I cannot say anything beyond I am grateful.

As this is a time to be thankful, I truly am. As we look to wrap up 2012, I’m ready and fantastically excited to see what 2013 may hold. Lord, I’m amazed by You.

“He protected us on our entire journey and among all the nations through which we traveled.” (Josh 23:17b)

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