Saturday, May 31, 2008

Wanna Text?

This Summer as we adventure into the book of James together, I'm excited about a new, creative way that we can hang out in James together.

You can click here (and then click the 'looking intently' button when it pops up) to sign up for a daily text that reminds you where we are 'looking intently' at what God says.

I'm constantly reminded that God's Word is LIVING and ACTIVE! And there is no greater power on all the planet than the Holy Spirit using God's Truth to shape our soul!

What are you waiting for? Quit talking . . . Start Living!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Wild Week!

It's been a wild and crazy week with all the finals trauma and end of school related parties.

I had a cool opportunity last night to go and speak to the Zephyr camp staff as they begin their Summer. I encouraged them not to miss what God was going to show them this Summer about His vision for their lives. It was fun.

But yesterday we also said goodbye to Emily again --- this time for the Summer as she goes to Laity Lodge to work and love young girls. I'm so very proud of her and her heart to serve Jesus.

And it's hard to believe that tomorrow Bea's parents arrive here from Spain and then on Tuesday they will leave. It's gonna be some hard goodbyes . . . for all of us.

We took some more pictures one night with Bea . . . . . . And then we just got silly!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Lady Hawks!

I was proud of the twins this weekend as their club soccer team went to San Antonio and won the Memorial Day Tournament.

Their club team is a mixture of some of the best high school players from different schools in town - and this was the last hurrah for the seniors (Sarah & Laura are sophomores . . . at least until after today since it's the last day of school!)

Way to go Lady Hawks!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Beginning THIS Sunday!

I'm pumped that this Summer we're gonna explore the New Testament heart of James, the brother of Jesus.

James is passionate about putting feet to our faith and this Summer we're gonna challenge you to walk it out in new ways!

Who needs to come with you this Sunday and see that Jesus is Real . . . in the midst of Real Life?

Just do it man!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Something to Think About Today . . .

Another quote from Bob Roberts:

“Converts grow a church, but disciples change the world.”

Are you a convert or a disciple?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sitting Still

Yesterday in Celebration I talked about preparing ourselves for success in following Jesus --- and the absolute necessity for us to continually hear from God through His Word.

Today I was reading Bob Roberts' The Multiplying Church and he hit a note that I knew was true in my spirit even though I sometimes struggle so much with it:

"Spiritual maturity is dependent on our ability to sit still and listen."

What do you think? What are you gonna do with it?

Harvest or Seed?

This is a great post by Mark Beeson.

All that stuff . . . Is it the final harvest? Or the beginning seed?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Congratulations FPU'ers!

Congratulations to all our Creekers (and Yorktowners) who graduated last week from our First Financial Peace University Class!

Way to go! Way to press on!

We had over 10 families who retired at least $1,000 of debt just in the 13 weeks . . . and at least 2 families who already retired over $5,000 of debt . . . and they're just getting started!

It's incredible how God is blessing these folks -- and this Fall when we offer FPU again, you can get in on the blessing!

On the last week Dave Ramsey talked about Giving. Here are some highlights of what he said:

- You and I are asset managers for God, so if we view it properly, we aren't giving our own money.

- Giving moves you to become less selfish, and less selfish people have more of a tendency to prosper in relationships and wealth!

- Because we are made in God's image, we are happiest and most fulfilled when we are serving and giving.

- A 'tithe' of your first fruits is a 10th off the top of what God has given you!

- "'Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, try Me now in this,' says the Lord of hosts, 'See if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be enough room to receive it.'" (Malachi 3:10)


Great News Creekers and Corpus Christi! Steve Garcia (along with his beautiful wife Lauren and his son Ben) is coming to Corpus Christi to be our Worship Pastor!

God has blessed us way beyond what we could have asked or imagined with Steve's gifts, talents and most of all his passion for Jesus!

Steve is going to fulfill some commitments he has already made for the beginning of this Summer and they will be here sometime around the first week of July.

Be praying for their transition --- leaving their friends and church in San Antonio, finding a new home, schools, etc. Ask God to care for them and bless them like crazy as they come to join us on this great adventure!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Filled Up or Filling Up?

You'd think I'm gonna talk about gas huh?

Nope, the Holy Spirit. Last Sunday I talked about that one of the fundamentals of following Jesus is relying on the power of the Holy Spirit. Since then I've had some great conversations.

And most of those have revolved around what it means to be filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18 says: "Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit."

First of all the verb used 'be filled' is a continuous active verb. It's a daily, moment by moment filling. We are to be continually filled. (Just like, in the verse, we've gotta drink more to stay drunk . . . but just to be clear, I'm not recommending that!)

Secondly, it's not about quantity . . . but about submission. In other words, you don't get more (quantity) of the Holy Spirit. It's not like John Coffey in The Green Mile where he inhaled all the evil spirits so others could be healed. It's not getting more of the Holy Spirit from the outside, but it's the Holy Spirit getting more of us on the inside.

Yes, I know that in Acts 2 they were (literally) filled as the wind and fire came from heaven. But that was before Jesus had sent the Holy Spirit to fill His followers. Now, each of us receives our full measure of the Holy Spirit as we invite Jesus to forgive our sins and be the King of our lives (See 1 Corinthians 12:1-13 . . . And like they used to say with Brylcreem - 'A Little Dab'll Do Ya!')

There's no better picture that I know of than a story by Robert Munger called My Heart Christ's Home (you can read the entirety of it here). In it Munger compares our lives to a home. And each room in the home represents an area of our life. And it's easy to ask God just to come into certain 'rooms' of our life. But REALLY RELEASING the power of God requires that we invite Him into EVERY area of our life!

That is being filled by the Spirit. A daily, continual yielding each area of our lives to the control of God's Spirit. At times God will show us areas that we are holding back and holding onto and that just represents opportunity to grow in the fruit of the Spirit.

So as a follower of Jesus you ARE filled up. The question is: ARE YOU filling up?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Thank You's

Last Sunday at Discovery Dessert there was one couple who shared some incredibly encouraging words concerning my ministry and Oso Creek.

And then this week I received an incredible note of encouragement in the mail from a Creeker family who recently moved from Corpus.

"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." (Prov 16:24)

I actually have a file where I keep notes of encouragement that I receive. Sometimes when I'm discouraged or frustrated I'll open it up and be reminded of why I'm here and what God is doing.

Along with my other blog on encouraging folk's gifting and passions, I've just been thinking about how powerful encouragement is. And I just read this on another blog: The highest from of praise is '3rd-Party Praise.' It is when you say: 'I overheard somebody saying great things about you.' (Joel Hunter)

Who have you encouraged today?

YCA Sports Banquet

Last night was the YCA sports banquet. I had the privilege of bringing my basketball guys up one at a time and blessing them.

With my teams I don't give the traditional MVP, Most Improved, etc awards. I choose a character trait/gifting that each of them has and lift that up and encourage them to continuing developing it and using it.

This is me honoring Luke. I gave him the (Brave) Heart Award because he always played and practiced with tons of heart and passion.

As I worked through these God showed me how I need to be doing this more with everyone around me. Especially with those nearest to me. Too much of the time I find what is wrong.
What if we all continually encouraged those around us in how we see God developing them and using them?


I've had a heavy cold/sore throat thing move into my body the last 36 hours and it stinks!

Had an early morning Elder Team meeting this morning (6:30), then spent a couple of hours finishing up my sermon, then I actually went back to bed for a couple of hours! Hadn't done that in a looooong time.

I think most of the time God allows these things to get my attention and say 'slow down!' You ever experience that?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Children Around the World

This is awesome . . . Tim & Susan Klaus (Tim is on our Elder Team & they both are active - and awesome - in leading at Oso Creek) got back from Korea late last week with a new baby boy!

They adopted James (on the left with Tim) who is almost exactly a year younger than Paul.

Adoption is such an incredible picture of what God has done for us! All of us who are followers of Jesus, have been adopted.

"In those days you were living apart from Christ. . . You lived in this world without God and without hope. But now you belong to Christ Jesus. Though you once were far away from God, now you have been brought near to him because of the blood of Christ. . . So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God's very own children, adopted into his family—calling him 'Father, dear Father.'" (Ephesians 2:12-13; Romans 8:15)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Beatriz' Birthday!

Our beautiful adopted-daughter Beatriz turned 17 today!

It's hard to believe that she has only lived with us since January . . . she seems like one of our own. She has been such an incredible blessing to our family.

And it will be very difficult when she leaves in only two weeks. Her parents - Fernando & Fe - are coming to stay with us for 4 days at the end of the month before they go back to Spain. Please pray for Fernando & Fe as they travel and that we will be a spiritual blessing and encouragement to them!


It is absolutely amazing how communication in our world changes (advances??) daily!

There's something pretty new that I've checked out a little called Twitter. Has anybody twittered? If so what do you think????

Monday, May 19, 2008

What a Great Weekend!

The weather was perfect for Beach to Bay . . .

And then worship was rocking on Sunday! Great job Steve Garcia leading our team . . . and great job to the hot dog team!

And then Discovery Dessert was awesome last night as new Creeker families talked about how real and authentic you are, and how they have been incredibly blessed in so many ways in just a few weeks.

This weekend just reminded me of how gracious God is. How when we aren't even aware He is working behind the scenes to bless us. I went to sleep with a smile on my face . . . and even woke up with it on!

I pray that you are listening to the promptings of the Coach today (you can hear Sunday's message here if you don't have a clue!) ---- because He has a plan of greatness for your life!

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

We Finished!

It was the biggest crowd ever at Beach to Bay -- 1,720 teams x 6 folks on each team -- but it was a beautiful day!

And best of all, we did it! We had our adventures, but we 'finished the race'! Cindy and I ran the first 2 legs, Sarah & Laura the middle legs, their friend Elle Seno the 5th and Beatriz took us to the finish line!!

And here's our team:

Beatriz, Sarah, Cindy, Me, Elle & Laura

Friday, May 16, 2008

Leadership Summit . . . The Time Is Now!

I have a hard time explaining how powerful Leadership Summit is except to say that it is the ONE leadership event that we are committed to every year!

Last year we took 30 Creekers and the goal is to take 40 of us this year!

It's an incredible time of growing individually in what it takes to lead - be it our family, at work, or in the Body of Christ . . . . and growing together as we learn and hang out together

If your unsure if it's for you I encourage you click here where you can check out last year's highlights as well as this years speakers, schedule, etc.
Or, go here where you can see videos of folks just like whose lives have been altered through The Summit.

The reduced registration fee that we get as an associate host site ends THIS MONDAY! So please let us know today - email by clicking here - if you want to go to the Summit with us!

Baseball, Hot Dogs . . .

This Sunday we're not only continuing our Major League Basics series (this will be a great one!) but some of our men are going for the 'real deal' ball park feel and are going to be tail gating after Celebration!

They're cooking hot dogs and gonna have some drinks. So bring your tail gate if you want, and an appetite. It will also be a chance for you to meet our guest worship artist -- Steve Garcia.

Don't miss the game!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

2 Days Away!

In less than 2 days the Beach to Bay Relay Marathon will be starting! My family is fired up about running as a team . . . I get to start it off at 7am on the beach!

"We will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and meditate on your wonderful works. We will tell of the power of your awesome works, and proclaim your great deeds."

We also have an incredible opportunity to serve folks at the event and point them to the greatness of God! We are hosting a water tent just before the last leg of the race.
We need YOU to come and help give out water - physical water and living water.
Call Linda (993-4463 or 815-7584) to get all the info if you're not signed up!

I hope to see you on the trail or in the tent!

Rockin' w/Steve

You don't want to miss Sunday morning as Steve Garcia from San Antonio will be rockin' the house leading our music during Celebration!

Steve is an extremely talented guy with a great heart . . . bring a friend who needs to be blessed!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

May 14, 1983

Believe it or not, 25 years ago tonight I had my first date with this beautiful woman! Wow! (And, yes, we were 9 years old :) Actually we were Seniors in high school)

She is an awesome wife and incredible Mom who keeps me on task in following Jesus.

Cindy brings blessing and joy to my life and our family! I praise God for His incredible gift of our relationship!

FPU Highlights - Week 11

We only have 2 more Wednesday's of Financial Peace University and I'm really proud of all the folks who have stuck it out . . . it's been incredible!

And the view from the top will be awesome!

Last week Dave Ramsey talked about Working in Your Strengths. Here are some highlights:

- The average job is now only 2.1 years in length . . . and the average worker will have over 20 jobs in their lifetime

- Myth: You will learn and grow the most in areas where you are the weakest.
Truth: You grow in your strengths. You will grow the most in the areas that you already know and love the most.

-"Until you make peace with who you are, you will never be content with what you have." (Doris Mortman)

- "Think beyond your lifetime if you want to accomplish something truly worthwhile." (Walt Disney)

- Do not allow your work to be the source of all your satisfaction and self-worth!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My Son

I love my son more than I can explain. This is Luke at his game tonight (Mom took some great pics!)

He's quickly growing into a young man.

And it's my responsibility to show him the way. No one else's, mine. That's huge. And it's not always easy.

Dad's, our sons need us. We must show them what it means to follow God. Or who will?

More than almost anything I've ever done, I want to get this one right.

Bloggers Block

Seems like the last couple of days when I've had something to blog as soon as I sit down, it's gone. Maybe it's that life is just rushing past . . . . Or maybe it's just middle age setting in . . .

Friday, May 9, 2008

We Must Pray. Is There More?

I'm passing on below an email that I received from Franklin Graham about the devastation in Myanmar.
Even though modern technology and information streams bring us so close to the devastation, it's still easy to consider ourselves unattached and unaffected. After all we're ok.

Are we? What is God speaking to you?

I am currently in Asia, and the news of Myanmar’s devastating Cyclone Nargis is on every TV and newspaper. As I write, the death toll is reported at nearly 23,000, but some believe it could be as high as 100,000. More than 42,000 people are reported missing, and up to 1 million may have lost their homes after a 12-foot storm surge swept away entire villages.

In this time of great suffering, will you please join us in praying for the thousands of victims?

Please pray:

  • For the survivors who are without safe shelter, food, and clean water
  • That the government will allow outside relief groups to bring much-needed aid
  • That the people of Myanmar will turn to Jesus Christ for the hope and comfort only He can provide
Myanmar is bordered by China, Thailand, India, and Bangladesh, and more than 90 percent of the population does not know Jesus as Lord and Savior. It is our prayer that many would find new life in Him and be able to join with the psalmist in saying: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging” (Psalm 46:1–3, NIV).

Please visit in the coming days for updates on how you can pray for the devastated people in Myanmar. And please forward this to as many people as you can.

Thank you for your prayers. May God bless you.


Franklin Graham

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Community Driven

"You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another." (Prov 27:17 Message)

"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me." (Jesus in John 17)

On Sunday I talked about the necessity of Community/Team if we are going to move further in this journey with Jesus. Us Before Me.

The Bible doesn't just talk about relationship, it IS relationship. It's the word(s) of God, through His Son, to us. And it's in relationship that we are transformed. Man, I know. I know what it's like to separate myself from others who push me further spiritually (and the emptiness I have) - and what it's like to be engaged with people encouraging me and to be encouraging others.

One of the passages that came to mind as I was thinking about it this week is the story of the rich young man (Matthew 19:16-25 - click and check it out). The point of that story is that this young dude chose his wealth/things over a relationship with God. And he was a good guy!
But any time we choose things/jobs/self/distractions over relationship with God and others - we immediately stifle our Christian life. Period.

Why do we emphasize so passionately everyone being in Life Groups? Because it is through those relationships where we are real with others about God, that we will grow in this Christian journey. And that's the whole point! That's the reason we exist as a church! We don't want you just to occupy space on Sunday, but to be a world changer for the Kingdom of God!

And sadly, when we allow anything to get in the way of being in life transforming relationships with others, then we're no different from this young guy.
Jesus told him to come back when he was willing to invest in eternal relationships instead of earthly stuff.

It's your move. Do you need to engage deeper in community? Or to draw someone else in with you?

Guest Artist - May 18th

For sure you don't want to miss Celebration this Sunday as we go deeper into talking about Major League Basics . . . What must happen in our lives if we are going to experience the full-on following Jesus life!
Who needs to come with you and hear about what this Christianity stuff all means?

And then the following Sunday -- May 18th -- we will have a guest artist leading us in worship! Steve Garcia from San Antonio will be here and you don't want to miss it!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

American Idol Family!

My wife's sister - Jolyn - got word last Friday that she had two tickets for American Idol last (Tue) night. So she and a friend took off for H0llywood.

This is a screen shot of last night's show (someone tivo'd and froze). Jolyn is the second one from the right on the back row and her friend Rachel is the first lady on the left, right behind the dude with dreds.

When we see them this Summer, and I get to touch her, I'm pretty certain that will be the nearest I ever get to being an American Idol!

FPU Highlights - Week 10

Alright, I've missed a couple of weeks of FPU updates but let me just say that this is AWESOME stuff and you just need to GO the next chance you get!

Here are some highlights from last weeks lesson on Planning for Retirement & College:

- Children do what feels good. Adults devise a plan and follow it!

- "Most people have the will to win, few have the will to prepare to win." (Bobby Knight)

- Baby Step 4 in Ramsey's plan: Invest 15% of your household income into Roth IRA's and pre-tax retirement plans.

- Borrowing against your retirement plan is a bad idea!

- If a 30-year old couple funds a Roth IRA at $500 per month and earns 12% a year - at 70 years old they will have . . . . $5,882,386! Tax Free!

- This was a great lesson and you need to hear the details about saving now to meet later needs! So I strongly encourage you to sign up for Financial Peace the next time you can!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Going Against the Tide!

Just want to say 'Way to Go!' to the Creekers who did an awesome job loving our students this weekend at Against the Tide.

We had an incredible group of students who heard about Jesus' heart for their relationship with Him . . . and having integrity and purity in their relationships with others.

I listed all the folks who poured their time and energy in a previous blog that you can check out here. Thank you.

And I want to give a special high-five to Jenny McDermott who did an awesome job organizing and administrating the whole weekend!

Way to go for the Kingdom Creekers!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Matt Beveridge Update - 5-5-08

Matt had more tests run today and found out that it will still be at least 3 more weeks before he goes to San Antonio for the bone marrow transplant (actually it's a 'bone-marrow recovery' and you can read more about it on his website here.)

His kidney numbers are still not quite high enough so they gave him another small dose of chemo today . . . that's why it will be three more weeks.

But it has been awesome to see Matt at church the last couple of weeks!

So please keep praying for Matt and his family. Pray for strength and the peace of God for Matt and his parents (Gary & Laurie). And pray for the healing power of God to move over Matt and that he would be a trophy of God's grace.

You can see older posts about Matt here and here. And don't forget to check out his website where you can leave him a note of encouragement int he 'Guestbook.'

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Parents Tonight

I'm excited about tonight as I get to speak to the parents of the students who are at Against the Tide.

It's a great opportunity to speak to them bluntly about what our kids are facing and what we can do about it. What we must do about it if we want to bless a thousand generations!

Against the Tide Students . . .

Here are the students that are participating in Against the Tide this weekend. As with the adults in the previous post, please pray!

And don't quit praying after Sunday . . . ask God to fill these young men and women with His glory . . . that they would simply follow Jesus!

HS Guys: Justin Adame, Keith Smith, Tony Smith, Shawn McBride, Drew Lindberg, Gabriel Perez, Nathan Williams

MS Guys: Victor Perez, Luke Bradshaw, Thomas Seno, Trevan Austin, Zachary Ringham, Alex Williams, Jesse Brotherton, Josh Ownbey

MS Girls: Zoee Richardson, Audrey McFatridge, Aly Ownbey, Amanda Powers

HS Girls: Sarah Bradshaw, Laura Bradshaw, Bea Lopez, Cecilia Gonzales, Dempsey Thornton, Brianna McBride, Desiree McBride, Ellie Seno, Addi Mirelez, Kelsey Shumaker, Katelynne Burns, Millicent Ownbey, Hailey Williams

Uganda for Jesus!

I'm proud of some young Creekers who are going to spend part of their Summer sharing hope with the poor in Africa.
Nathan Antonetz and Heather & Eric Seeger (in that order on pic) are heading to Uganda July 10th-23rd.

They're gonna be working with their hands and their hearts.
First, they will be helping digging/maintaining water wells. There are many folks in the village of Pallisa, Uganda - and very little fresh water. They will be showing the people the compassion of Jesus by helping to meeting one of their greatest needs.

And then they will be helping loving kids through the Young Life ministry in Pallisa which has exploded in the past 3 years.

All three of them must raise $3,200 each for their trip.
Can you participate with them? If so you can make a check out to Fellowship of Oso Creek and and write 'Uganda' on the check or envelope and we'll share it between these three.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Major League Basics . . . THIS Sunday!

Don't forget Sunday Morning we start . . . Major League Basics!

"It [baseball] breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone." (Bart Giamatti - former Commissioner of Baseball)

Who needs to come with you and discover that they DON'T have to face life all alone?

Proud Dad

Last night we had the King HS Soccer banquet . . . in addition to their All-District awards that I talked about in a past blog, the girls got two of the five awards that the team voted on.

Sarah got the Most Improved Award and Laura got the Offensive Most Valuable Player.

Way to go girls!

Just got the email about our 25th High School Reunion this Summer! Yes, I'm that old (Cindy too, we graduated together!)

Here's our school logo that they sent on with the email . . . Lubbock Monterey Plainsmen!

And if you wonder what a Plainsman is it's one of these dudes right here:

And before you make fun of him, how many of you had a mascot that got to carry a gun and maybe even fought at the Alamo?

What was your HS mascot?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

As You Pray . . .

As we join millions of others today during the National Day of Prayer asking God to humble us and transform us . . . here are some reminders:

"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." (Jesus in Luke 11:9-10)

". . . I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete." (Jesus in John 16:23-24)

"Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results." (James 5:16)

"Each time, before you intercede, be quiet first, and worship God in His glory. Think of what He can do, and how He delights to hear the prayers of His redeemed people. Think of your place and privilege in Christ, and expect great things!" (Andrew Murray)

"God does nothing but by prayer, and everything with it." (John Wesley)