Thursday, December 31, 2009

Honestly . . . A New Year

I stand amazed.

I'm the pastor of a great, loving expression of the church. A husband of 23 years to a faithful, gracious wife. A father of 4 teenagers who all follow Jesus and have made great decisions (for the most part :)

And yet I have a confession to make. For the last week I've been a grumpy old man.

It all started on our trip back home from Lubbock . . . . . and yet all of that is not really relevant. What is relevant is the condition that I find my heart in (just trying to be honest here) and a seeming inability to do anything about it. Ever find yourself there? Locked in a struggle with your own soul? Yes, we all have.

Those Psalm 32 moments (see vs. 3-5).

And I find myself knowing that it is in these moments that we choose. Is God really able to change me? Is He really in control of this planet and able to bring peace and joy to me?

In just a few minutes I go to the building to be with a bunch of sweaty students for the next 6 hours. How will I choose to respond to them? What will I choose to believe about them? About God?

Here's where I'm going . . . I'm reminded today - and thankful (even in the midst of not quite yet turning the corner) that God is a God of New Beginnings. A new sunrise every 24. New opportunities. New bursts of forgiveness. A New Year.

So, wherever you are now, or you've been this year - hear what the psalmist says as he continues in verses 6 & 7 . . . I'm trusting in His promises:

"Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you

while you may be found;

surely when the mighty waters rise,

they will not reach him.

You are my hiding place;

you will protect me from trouble

and surround me with songs of deliverance."

Roselands and Gustavo Update

It's cool to watch people like Richard & Ximena Roseland pursue the God-passion that has been set before them!

Some of you may remember my post about Gustavo a few months ago - the young man who the Roselands had come to love at the Pan de Vida orphanage in Mexico. (This first pic is the Roselands with Gustavo who is second from the right.)

The Roselands recently left Pan de Vida, have been at Oso Creek the last few months, and are now seeking God's next station for them on the journey.

The cool news is that the Roselands now have Gustavo with them in Ecuador as they seek out their next place of ministry. (This is Gustavo 'monkeying around.')

Pray for the Roselands as they consider going to an orphanage in Quito, Ecuador. And pray for Gustavo and the possibility of being able to go with the Roselands and finish his education.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Years Eve Bash!


We're having a New Years Eve Bash at the building tomorrow night from 7pm to 12:30am!

It's aimed at our students but everyone is invited who wants to play dodgeball or just hang out with me!

Click here to check our more info . . .

Holiday Power!

Hope everyone has had a great holiday! We were blessed to be able to go visit family in Lubbock and San Angelo. Had a great time and got to wake up to temperatures of 10 and 15 degrees with snow on the ground.

One very cool thing that took place while most of us were hanging with family is that a group of Vietnamese here in Corpus used our building on Christmas night to have a service. They had an awesome time worshipping together and four of their friends gave their lives to Christ!

Awesome! And Creekers you were a part of it, generously providing them a place to gather! Please pray for their group as they have a vision to be gathering on a weekly basis!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Savior


As we close in on Christmas Day here are some verses to help you dwell on Jesus, the Savior!

“The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock!
Exalted be God, the Rock, my Savior.” 2 Sam 22:47

“You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness,
O God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas.” Psalm 65:5

“I, even I, am the Lord, and apart
from me there is no savior.” Isaiah 43:11

“You shall acknowledge no God but me,
no Savior except me.” Hosea 13:4

“I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful
in God my Savior.” Habakkuk 3:18

“Jesus…will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

“This man really is the Savior of the World.” John 4:42

“A Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11

“God exalted him to his own right hand as
Prince and Savior.” Acts 5:31

We have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men.” 1 Timothy 4:10

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Primal

I was blessed to get an advanced copy of Mark Batterson's new book Primal! Batterson always inspires me and encourages me to be a better man and a better Pastor! Over the last couple of years he has mentored me more through his books and blog than he would ever know.

I think he can do the same for you.

One of the things that I love about Batterson is that he makes me think . . . and not just with the left, logical side of my brain, but to think as well with the right, creative piece of my 3-pound melon. And Primal is a great example of this.

He says this about the essence of his book: 'When all the superficialities are stripped away, what is the primal essence of Christianity?'

Mark then takes the command to love the Lord God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and digs down to the bone of what that means with creative though and insight.

Reading Primal would be an awesome way to start out the New Year with a renewed passion for Jesus! You can order it online here.

Oh yeah, I'm also supposed to tell you that this was book was provided to me for review by WaterBrook Multnomah. Thanks Multonomah!

Monday, December 21, 2009

What Christmas is All About . . .

A little reminder from Charlie Brown . . .


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Thanks Lord!

Awesome to get Emily back home yesterday afternoon! Another beautiful smile in the house.

And it was awesome for our entire family to sit around the table last night!

Thank you so much Lord for the blessing of family!

Friday, December 18, 2009

It Starts with $5

In 1950 Bob Pierce was in Korea. He helplessly watched as children orphaned by the Korean War stood in endless food lines. One day a child literally dropped dead because there wasn't any food at the front of the line.

Bob Pierce made a decision that day to do something about it.

He began to raise money and awareness. On a trip back to Korea he gave an orphan girl named White Jade everything he had in his wallet - $5. And he promised to send her the same amount every month.

From that $5 gift World Vision was birthed. Today a hundred-million people in about a hundred countries receive support from World Vision.

You still have an opportunity to conspire with us this holiday season to make a difference in our world!

We want to do something about the plight of the homeless through Mission 911, those without water through Living Water International, and families in Vietnam who are desperate for hope.

It begins with your $5! Check out our info about Advent Conspiracy by clicking here . . .

And then bring your gift of compassion this Sunday and let's join Bob Pierce and do something about the pain and suffering in our world!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Violent Faith

I've been going through the Gospel Matthew with my DG's . . .

[and just a thought for those of you who are still using 'a lack of time' as an excuse to not being in a DG which are some of the most life giving parts of my week . . . I've got 4 teenagers, long weeks of 24 hr schedules, coaching, volunteer boards, etc, and I'm part of 3 DG's . . . just sayin']

. . . And I've been ruminating on Matthew 11:12 where Jesus said (NIV): "From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it."

The NAS says it like this:
"From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force."

In context this passage is talking about how John the Baptist came as a force to lead the way for Jesus. And how Jesus came in a totally unique way - eating and drinking with sinners - but how they both brought the power of the Kingdom of God.

It convicts me that living for the Kingdom of God is NOT passive! Living for God is about forcefully advancing, it's about exerting influence on what is in front of us.
It's not stationary. But it's about movement. It's about change.

And when we move forward everyone is not going to like it. Everyone is not going to agree. Some are going to be left behind.

Now, I'm not talking about being arrogant and abrasive with our faith. But if we are going to be living for God, we WILL be advancing. We will be bold and courageous and it will feel violent at times.

Let me ask you: Where have you grown passive and static in your faith? When's the last time following Jesus felt violent? When's the last time you felt the excitement of God's Kingdom being advanced through your life?

Tell us what you believe!?!?

Cool Gift that Keeps Giving

Yesterday we got a sweet Christmas gift in the email . . . A gift certificate to use at Kiva!

Not Keva the fruit smoothie folks (who I also love) . . . but Kiva - the non-profit who makes micro-loans to folks in 3rd world countries so that they can carry out their entrepreneurial dreams!

Kiva connects people like me and you to people in 3rd world countries, to help alleviate poverty.

And it's awesome, I got the gift that I now get to give away so that someone else's life (and eventually a whole community of lives) can be changed!

Got any people you still need to buy for? Check it out (click the logo above)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

AC



Pretty cool . . . Advent Conspiracy is on the front page of yahoo.com this morning . . . Thanks for the hook up Nathan L.

Check it out: http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20091215/us_time/08599194759000

7 Days!!



It's only 7 days till Christmas Eve Eve!


Click here and check out the trailer for our Christmas Eve Eve Celebration!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Stories That Inspire!

I was encouraged and inspired as I started reading the stories in Testimonies From the Body of Christ yesterday.

Pam Teel gave me the book a few days ago and I confess that at first I was like, 'Ok, gonna be some sweet stories about great grandmother Edra's cat getting rescued from the roof.'

But man did I underestimate! It's filled with brief stories that individuals wrote about their own lives and how they've connected with grace and power of God.
It's just reminded me that the most powerful expression in the world of Jesus - is your story!

And maybe the best part of this book is that it was put together to help pay for a second heart transplant for a young 8th grader here in Corpus named Taylor Berry. Some of you know Taylor and/or his Mom Tamara. (You can read his story here.) It's an awesome cause.

You can click here and go to the website to order the book . . . Or skip shipping costs and buy some copies for Christmas gifts in our lobby on Sunday morning!


"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Average Weekend

I've been wondering today why I feel like I'm in recovery :)

This past weekend we had . . .

- 3 Soccer games in San Antonio (2-1) [Not bad!]
- 3 Baseball games (1-2) [Can do better -- but Luke did well!]
- 1 ACT college entrance exam
- 1 College Student leaving for Colorado [Have fun Mimi!]
- 1 Minor Accident in the HEB parking lot [no comment :(]
- 1 HS Girls group at our house Sat night
- 1 Sermon [I'm so thankful for our Lineage in Jesus! http://www.osocreek.org/resources/listen-online/]
- 1 Discovery Dessert at our house Sunday night [Was Awesome! Welcome New Creekers!]
- 1 HS Guys group on Sun night


Whew! Thankfully tonight I only have two meetings :)

Perfecto!


Just found out that my Mimi (Emily our oldest) made a 4.0 this semester at Hardin Simmons!!!
Yes! And she is now 1 1/2 semesters from graduating!

I'm so proud and thankful! Way to go Mimi!

And this is one of my favorite pics of her . . . .

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Luke Rocks On!



Check out Luke Dotson's Update as his journey takes him from Belize to Thailand!


Click here to read the update

A Little Demolition

Sometimes we fear breaking down a wall. But it's amazing how just knocking down one wall can change your perspective.

If you've been in my house before you know that the big opening in the middle and the little serving window to the kitchen on the right weren't there before. (Good job Jeremiah & Rusty!)

It opened everything up. Changed the whole perspective in our living room.

Knocking down walls can do that.

It made me think about how when we let walls of fear or anger or discouragement or pride, etc, stand between us and God, we are robbing ourselves of LIFE that we are closed up to!

What's standing in your way of your life being opened up to God's greatest for you? A job you feel stuck in but you're too scared to take a 'flyer' with another job, or go back to school? Anger towards a spouse or friend that's lingered in the back of your soul for years? A fear of taking that leap with your resources that God's been pointing you to? Those (and many others) rob us and steal our life!!

I don't know what it might be, but knock the wall down. We see all over the Bible that God is not only the re-designer of lives but He is the God of second and third and one-hundredth chances!

The Bible says that if you 'confess your sin' that God is 'faithful and just to forgive you and cleanse you of all unrighteousness.' (1 John 1:9)

That means that if we are real with Him and invite Him to 'clean house' - that He does the demolition! And as we follow Him we are given a fresh start. A new perspective! New Life!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Eve Eve


Making final tweeks today with Steve and getting fired up for our Christmas Eve Eve Service! It's gonna be awesome!

It's always a fun, Christmasy time . . . Start inviting your friends to come and check it out . . . December 23rd - 7pm @ Oso Creek.

What Are You Conspiring To Give?

This Sunday we are going to Celebrate Advent Conspiracy together by taking part (or all :) of what we would normally spend on Christmas consumption and giving it to compassion!!

If this is new to you or you need a reminder of what we are doing, click here to watch the video we made. .

. . and/or click here to read more about the How's of Advent Conspiracy.

The bottom line is that we want to celebrate Christmas in a way that truly honors the King - the One whose birthday it is.

So we ask you on Sunday to bring your Birthday Gifts and together we will give them to many whom the King loves and cares for.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tiger's Troubles

Most the world has heard about Tiger Wood's troubles. I was forwarded the article below that speaks to what the author says should be the response of those who follow Jesus.

How do you feel about it? What do you think about his view?


CJ Mahaney on Tiger Woods

tiger-woods.jpg
Hunting Tiger Woods by CJ Mahaney

Tiger Woods wants his privacy back.

He wants the media entourage to disappear from his life.

He wants to be left alone so he can manage his personal problems in private.

Not a chance.

The story began unfolding in the early hours of last Friday when he crashed his Cadillac Escalade into a tree and a fire hydrant near his Florida home. He refused to speak with the police about the incident, raising curiosity about the circumstances. The story has now escalated into allegations of marital infidelity, and that generated a blog post from Tiger that stated, "I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart." This statement by Tiger has led most to believe that the allegations of infidelity are true.

Hunted by the Media
As expected, the allegations of adultery involving a public figure are attracting a media pile-on. This is a big story with a big audience and it's a story that will not disappear soon. Tiger Woods is being hunted by the media.

But let us make sure we do not join the hunt. A Christian's response to this story should be distinctly different. We should not be entertained by the news. We should not have a morbid interest in all the details. We should be saddened and sobered. We should pray for this man and even more for his wife.

And we can be sure that in the coming days we will be in conversations with friends and family where this topic will emerge. And when it does, we can avoid simply listening to the latest details and speculations, and avoid speaking self-righteously, but instead we can humbly draw attention to the grace of God in the gospel.

Hunted by Sin
But Tiger is being hunted by something more menacing than journalists. Tiger's real enemy is his sin, and that's an enemy much more difficult to discern and one that can't be managed in our own strength. It's an enemy that never sleeps.

Let me explain.

Sin Lies
The Bible in general, and the book of Proverbs in particular, reveals an unbreakable connection between our character, our conduct, and the consequences of our actions. These three are inseparable and woven by God into His created order.

Deception is part of sin's DNA. Sin lies to us. It seeks to convince us that sin brings only pleasure, that it carries no consequences, and that no one will discover it. Sin works hard to make us forget that character, conduct, and consequences are interconnected. And when we neglect this relationship--when we think our sins will not be discovered--we ultimately mock God.

Sin Hunts
We've all experienced it: Sin lies to us. We take the bait. And then sin begins to hunt us.

One commentator on Proverbs articulated this truth like this: "The irony of a life of rebellion is that we begin by pursuing sin...and end up being pursued by it!....You can 'be sure your sin will find you out' (Num. 32:23...)."* In other words, sin comes back to hunt us.

In light of this fact, sin is an enemy Tiger can't manage. He can't shape this story like he does a long iron on a par 5. Tiger doesn't need a publicity facelift; Tiger needs a Savior. Just like me. And just like you. And if by God's grace he repents and trusts in the person and work of Christ, Tiger will experience the fruit of God's promise that "whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy" (Proverbs 28:13).

Conclusion
Tiger cannot intimidate this enemy like he can Pebble Beach or any of the field of professional golfers. And there is no privacy he can claim from this enemy, regardless of his resolve, his silence, or the name painted on his yacht. It's likely Tiger only perceives the press hunting him out of a vain "curiosity about public figures." But Tiger is being hunted and hounded by a far greater foe: the consequences of his sin.

And this story should humble and sober us. It should make us ask: Are there any so-called "secret sins" in my life? Is there anything I have done that I hope nobody discovers? Is there anything right now in my life that I should confess to God and the appropriate individuals?

And this should leave us more amazed by grace because there, but for the grace of God, go I.

This article originally appeared on Sovereign Grace Ministries Blog.

Need Boxes and Prayer . . .

Below is an email from our Life Group Champion Pam Teel. Many of you know her friend Tamara Berry and Tamara's son Taylor. Taylor has had a transplant and now needs another transplant.

Please pray and if you can help with the need below please call at the number below or click here to email Pam . . .


My good friend, Tamara Berry, is having to move back to Houston by the end of the month to get her son, Taylor (almost 14), back on the heart transplant list at Texas Children's Hospital. Taylor had a heart transplant at the age of 4 and the time has now come again.
She is in need of some boxes to get things packed up. Obviously, any help in that endeavor would be greatly appreciated! Let me know, and I will make arrangements to get them picked up.

Pam Teel

Corpus Christi Appraisal Service, Inc.

361-992-5555

Thanks Creeker Volunteers!

I've been on an somewhat involuntary blogging hiatus the past several days as life has been a blur in dealing with several different tragedies/needs . . .

But I wanted again to say THANKS! to our volunteers and also to our staff who did a great job with our Volunteer Banquet last Friday night!
And also thanks to Starbucks who donated the awesome coffee!

I was told recently that during WWII it took 9 military support personnel for every guy on the ground to fight the war and win. And that during our military's time in Iraq 400 semis a day of supplies come into Iraq from Kuwait.

The point is that where there is progress being made, ground being taken, what is seen is only the tip of the iceberg.

Many of you serve the Kingdom in ways that you are never seen and rarely recognized. But KNOW that you are vital to God's mission! Without you we would know more be able to advance God's mission than we would of been able to win WWII without the 9 people working behind the scenes for every one on the field.

Thanks to ALL of you for giving yourselves to the Kingdom!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Please Pray for the Perales'

Their daughter Gabby has played soccer with the twins for the past 6 years or so - and is a Sr. at King with them.

Yesterday her mother, Melinda, had a massive brain aneurysm and did not make.

The suddeness of it all has gripped them in shock.

Please pray for Melinda's husband Orlando. Their children: Orly, Gabby and Amanda. And the many others who are looking for answers as a young mom tragically leaves this life.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wishing and Dreaming for the Kingdom!

Proud of Creekers' Victor & Heather Perez who are leading Wishes and Dreams to serve and love our community!

They are going full steam right now collecting gifts and asking God to bring His Kingdom through their kindness.

And they could use you - or your Life Group's help in spreading the Kingdom! What an awesome way to partner with Creekers already serving and share the real love of Christmas!

On the dates below they need your help.

If you have more questions or want to sign up to help email Heather here: Wishes & Dreams email
You can also read more about W&D's on their Facebook: Wishes & Dreams Facebook



(Fri) December 18, 2009 Sort Day

12:00pm – 5:00pm at Coca-Cola Plant (Greenwood)


(Sat) December 19, 2009 Wrap Day

9:00am – 5:00pm at Coca-Cola Plant (Greenwood)


(Mon) December 21, 2009 “Winter Festival” Pick up Day

11am – 5pm at Cole Park

(Volunteers and Vendors will need to be at park for set-up by 9:30am)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

On Mission to Jerusalem

A couple of Sundays ago our own Rebecca Barksdale shared about how she is leaving in December for a year in Jerusalem!

She is going to reveal God's love to the people of Israel. (I thought that this pic that I got off her FB was appropriate since she has helped to lead us in worship in the past season.)

The first few months she will be at Succat Hallel a 24/7 prayer ministry in Jerusalem where she will be involved in prayer ministry and also caring for the daily practical needs of the ministry.

Then she will be partnering with Living Bread International where she will be serving people in practical ways who are in refugee camps in Israel and sharing the Kingdom of God with them!

Please pray for Rebecca! I also encourage you to go and sign up for her blog (click here) . . . you can read more about what she is going to do and then follow her while she is there.

Rebecca also needs financial support. $10 a month, $25 a month. A one time gift of $100 or $500 will help to release her to be on mission to the nations. You can make any checks out to Oso Creek and note that it's for Rebecca Barksdale and we will get it to her to meet her needs.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Solitude Time

'Be still and know that I am God.'

I'm headed out in a few minutes to spend the rest of the week in solitude. I know the rhythm that my life needs in order to be God-focused and God-directed.

That rhythm includes spending time each morning re-orienting myself around the Kingdom. Spending a night and day each month being still and recalibrating. And then spending a week each year in solitude and reflection.

That week for the past 4 years has become the first week of December. It's always a little difficult to get started, I have to detox and decompress from the pace of life. But it's always one of the most powerful weeks of my year.

Please pray for me as I go, that I will listen well and hear clearly God's voice.

Advent Conspiracy How's . . .


I've had some great questions this week from some fired up folks about the 'How's' of Advent Conspiracy!

First of all, if you didn't see the video that has the Vision and Why's of Advent Conspiracy then click here and watch it first.

Then, here's some of the How's:

1) Do we right one check to FOC indicating it’s for Advent Conspiracy? Or, do we right separate checks to FOC for Living Waters, Mission 911 and the Vietnam mission?


Yes, one check. We are asking you to write one check and give it to Oso Creek on or before December 13th with 'Advent Conspiracy in the re: line. We will then split up all the resources between the 3 causes.


2) Is that it? We ask you to pray and to get involved! Yes, in the process of AC God is largely working on our hearts to give back to Him. At the same time maybe your group wants to get involved locally with Mission 911 or support one of the folks going to Vietnam, or go yourself next time!

3) Is is there a more creative way to “give” to our friends and family - i.e. Giving someone a greeting card indicating that in honor of that person we gave to one these missions.

That's awesome! YES, there are many ways to get others involved in the cause and as this person said if it's 'done early enough, others may want to join in the conspiracy!'

Keep conspiring for Jesus and compassion!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Calling All Volunteers!


If you're a Volunteer in ANY capacity at Oso Creek you are vital and loved!

And we want to show you some special love at our Annual Volunteer Banquet on December 4th at 7pm.

If you haven't RSVP'ed yet, please call the church office and let us know that you'll be there!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Conspiring Together!

Worship More, Give More, Spend Less, Love All.

That's the heartbeat of Advent Conspiracy. As we join in that heartbeat for the third straight year, check out this video that shares how we'll be a part and how it will impact lives!


Advent Conspiracy from Fellowship of Oso Creek on Vimeo.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Update From San Patricio Cowboy Fellowship

Below is an update from the Cowboy Fellowship of San Patricio County that Oso Creek helps to support . . .


Hello from Cowboy Fellowship! Wow, God has truly been blessing us; each
week we have new guests.

We have already had two baptisms services since our launch on September
27, and just yesterday, we had 2 people receive Jesus Christ as their Lord
and Savior.

We had our Thanksgiving Pot Luck Lunch yesterday after service, and served
over 130 folks lunch, with over 150 for church service.

We are averaging about 100+ each weekend for service. And many more on
event weekends.

I invite you to visit our web page at www.cowboyfellowshipspc.org and
check out some of our pictures. Also, take a look at some up-coming
events.

A couple of things going on; December 11 is the Christmas Illuminated
night Parade in Sinton, that our Church will be in. We will have a float
as well as 25 – 30 horseback riders.

December 13 after service we will have our Team Roping event with an
expect 200+ teams and our B.B.Q. Cook-Off. This would be a great
opportunity for you and some of your folks to come out after your church
service and see what’s going on.

December 20 is our Christmas Pot Luck Lunch where we hope to feed more
than 150 folks after service.

December 24 at 7pm a special Christmas Eve service, that instead of using
candles for a traditional candle light service, we are going to be using
lanterns. Just a little different, but looking forward to an incredible
evening.

I want to thank each of you for your financial support and prayer support.
The things we celebrate happing out here, are things you and your church
need to celebrate as well, because you’re a big part of it, Thank You!

May God Bless you, your families, and your church during this Holiday Season.


Don Parker Pastor
Cowboy Fellowship
of San Patricio County
361-249-2494

HS Guys Last Night

We had twice as many students as we normally do at our guys HS group last night - it was awesome.

Cool part was that we were playing a wild guys game in the front yard to get started and there was a group of guys down the street that Luke knew. We yelled at em' and asked them to come play this crazy game with us.

They did and then afterwards they wanted to stay and come inside while we spent time talking about the Word. Cool.

And they all said they wanna come back! Cooler.

Reminds me that it's really not that hard to connect with/impact people. Just be available, watch, invite and be real.

"You are the salt of the earth. . . You are the light of the world." Matthew 5:13, 14

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Iron Man

My cousin - who ran with me in my half-marathon last year - just finished an Iron Man Triathalon about 30-minutes ago!

That's swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles and THEN running a marathon (26.2 miles)!!! And all in only 12 hours, 46 minutes and 34 seconds!

It's cool you can click here and see his stats: Iron Man Tracker (put in Bib #1399 and you will see his info . . . John Wilson)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Resting in Peace

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers." (1 John 3:16)

There is no greater sacrifice than to give yourself away.

I snapped this pic yesterday at Joe Houston's memorial that shows some of our countries heroes salute a fallen hero.

Truly giving ourselves away is never, ever in vain!

And best of all is the promise that Joe lives in peace because of His relationship with Jesus.

"To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God." (Revelation 2:7)

Well done Joe!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The End

Ah, I tricked you, there really is no end. Forever just keeps going. But the end of the book of Revelation whets our appetite for the next chapter of Eternity!

Don't you love it when your brain is firing and your excitement gland is bouncing around because of the next adventure ahead of you!

I encourage you to read Chapters 21 & 22 of Revelation for Sunday . . . It's full of exciting promises and strong encouragement to read it, know it, and live it!!



"Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book. . . .

The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let him who hears say, 'Come!' Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen."

(Revelation 22:7, 17, 18-21)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Come to Vietnam With Us!

In only 50 days the Creek Vision Team will head to Northern Vietnam to discover how we can help the people of the Lao Cai Province!

And we want you to go with us! We'll be exploring different ways we can bring long term relief to the Vietnamese people. Some of the conduits that we may use to take the Kingdom are health care, orphan care, water, food, business development, etc.

One domain where we already know we can make a difference is in Education. And we've been given an opportunity to invest in education in a tangible way. That's where you come in!

We've been asked to pave the area in front of the school in Ban Ho (village in Lao Cai province). This may sound small to us, but to the community around Ban Ho it's huge. It immediately gives their school much more use and prestige --- and will also go a long way in us building a relationship with them. (These pics are in front of the school.)

The cost is $5,000 for the entire area! We're asking you to give for the Kingdom in Vietnam . . . Join the Team! (If you're ready and willing to go, write 'VN School' on your checks.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

OCC


THIS IS THE SUNDAY FOR 2009!

Gather your shoe boxes and gifts.

Invite
your friends/neighbors/co-workers to join you.

Pray
for God to bless the children and families.

Bring
them on Sunday for the Celebration!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Burn This Weekend

Tonight from 4pm to Midnight and tomorrow (Saturday) from 9am to 4pm there will be a Burn at Fellowship of Oso Creek.

Whether it's for 15-minutes or 4-hours come and experience the authentic, passionate worship of Burn. It can be as individual or corporate as you want it to be.


1 The Lord is king!

Let the earth rejoice!

Let the farthest coastlands be glad.

2 Dark clouds surround him.

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.

3 Fire spreads ahead of him

and burns up all his foes.

4 His lightning flashes out across the world.

The earth sees and trembles.

5 The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,

before the Lord of all the earth.

6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness;

every nation sees his glory. (Psalm 97:1-6)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Freedom Is Not Free


Thank (and hug) a Veteran today.
And tomorrow.
How about every day!

Reflections on Revelation

Just a couple of thoughts and then encouragement to make it count . . . .

God Holds Nothing Back In Order To Bring Clarity . . . There's all the detail of the brokenness of the churches; the seals, bowls, trumphets; the Dragon and the Beast; the 2 Witnesses; the justice; on and on. Why? God desperately wants us to latch onto Truth!
Are you willing to live your life before others with that kind of clarity about God?

Sin is Expensive . . . On Sunday I talked about Achan and how he (and many around him) paid for his sin in the Valley of Achor. This is a picture of the Valley of Achor. A Creeker sent it to me and told me that he put it as the background on his computer to remind him of the price of sin.

God's Future Includes Everyone You Know & Love . . . And this will become more clear this Sunday as we look at Revelation 20:11-15. Read it.
Who needs to hear it? This will be an incredible Sunday to invite people around you who are seeking, or confused, or hurting, or lonely, or wondering about God! Go pick them up. Bring them. Love them.
Why hold anything back?



Praying.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Awesome Mixer & Auction!

So proud of Victor & Heather Perez. Had an awesome dinner & silent auction for Wishes & Dreams at our building tonight!

It's a great reminder of how God can use one person with a God-sized dream. 7 years ago Victor dreamed of loving underprivileged children at Christmas. Over the 7 years 12,500 children have received love and 50,000 gifts!

And not only do they believe that this year is gonna be bigger than ever, but it is going to have a bigger Kingdom purpose than ever!

The cool thing about BIG Kingdom dreams is that they keep us dependent on God. They are outside of our ability to complete (and usually even start) and keep us on our knees!

As a by-product I also got to meet and hang with lots of people from our community at our building! Most of them were in awe of what was going on.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Whom Will I Send?

Isaiah said, "Here am I. Send me!"

And he had no idea where he was going. He just knew that he had seen the King!

Our students need people who have seen the King. We need volunteers who are willing to pour themselves into the next generation that God is raising up to change the world.

Below is the video that we showed on Sunday. Are you supposed to be part of our team that's pouring into the students in our City? Whom will I send?



Oso Creek Students from Fellowship of Oso Creek on Vimeo.

Family Meeting Reminder!


Don't forget . . . Oso Creek Family Meeting tonight (Mon - 9th) at 7pm at the building!

Click here to see a post with more detail . . .

(This is how Steve is going to entertain us when we get there!)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Wishes and Dreams

Several years ago one of our couples at Oso Creek - Victor & Heather Perez - founded Wishes and Dreams. An organization that helps disadvantaged children experience Christmas.

I'm excited that Victor & Heather have been asking that Wishes & Dreams would more and more be about the Kingdom!

The Wishes and Dreams kickoff is this Tuesday night and they asked me to share the invitation below with all the Creekers . . . And if you can't come, please pray for the Perez' as they are on mission seeking God's heart and path for Wishes & Dreams . . .



We are days away from our official kickoff to this years Wishes & Dreams! We are asking that all of our partners and sponsors are in attendance because we have something very special planned for you this year. We have many awesome silent auction items as well as raffle items (15" flat screen TV just to name one), a huge food variety (choices from Bayou Grill, Bombay, Kikos, Yolanda's Cakes, and many more!), and an opportunity to meet all the people that make Wishes & Dreams possible (You!). This night will also be an opportunity to meet the new Chief of Police, Chief Riggs, (time permitting) if you haven't already.
Don't forget to mark the date on your calendar and to invite all your co workers and friends!

For more information, times, & events please visit us on Facebook:

Looking forward to seeing everyone,
Heather Perez Wishes and Dreams Program Coordinator 361-244-4806

Friday, November 6, 2009

Family Meeting

At our house we call 'Family Meetings' from time to time to talk about change that's about to start, a new opportunity, or just to share our heart about what is going on.

Next Monday Night (Nov 9th) we're going to have an Oso Creek Family Meeting at 7pm at the building.

The primary 'business item' is extending the term of our Elders from 2 to 3 years. But we also want to talk about some other Creek business and answer any questions or hear anything that's on your heart.

So . . . please try to come and be a part of the family. And we will have child care for the young un's who ain't ready for business yet. But please email Amber (click here) because we must have reservations for the little ones by Sunday at 5pm!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Doing and Listening

I spent the last day and night in solitude at Lake Mathis. By myself at a cabin getting away from my pace of life and technology - and just trying to rest and listen to God.

I'm a doer. That's what I do. A lot of you can relate. I even amaze myself sometimes with how much I can 'do.' And then I look around and God is nowhere to be found. I left Him in my dust about 15 'things' ago.

That's why I desperately need time to slow down. (Even though I resist doing it!)
Change of Pace + Change of Place = Change of Perspective. I first heard this from Mark Batterson and it's so true. And powerful.

As I was resting and listening this morning, this tree was outside the big plate glass window. Not a wisp was in the air. I just sat and watched the tree for about 5 minutes - absolutely no movement - it was perfectly still.

Then a couple of branches just slightly danced in the breeze. Just barely. Then a few more leaves stirred for just few seconds. Then still again.
Normally, I would have never seen it. Never. I only saw it because I was still and watching.

And then God spoke (and no I didn't hear Him audibly, but in my spirit) : 'Be still and know that I am God.' You will never hear the whispers of my Spirit until you stop and watch and listen.

Doing for the Kingdom is good. But doing without listening is empty at best, and dangerous much of the time.

Maybe that listening is 15 minutes in the morning meditating on a verse. Or turning the radio off in the car, or the TV off at night. Or a walk around your neighborhood in the evening.

Whatever it looks like, we all need God's help to be still. Help us Lord to hear you in the depths of our being.

Proverbs 4

As I continue going through Proverbs each month, Proverbs 4 has become one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. So much there that connects the heart and soul in following Jesus - the head and heart.

Yesterday verse 7 stopped me:

"Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom.

Though it cost all you have, or whatever else you get

get understanding."


Wisdom in it's fullness is the living out of God's Truth. It costs us all we have because I have to put down my own ways, and seek God's ways, and allow them to seep into every pore of my mind and soul. It's worth everything to seek God because He is life!

Verses 21-22 say of these Truths that contain wisdom:

"Don’t lose sight of them.

Let them penetrate deep into your heart,

for they bring life to those who find them,

and healing to their whole body"

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Come Feel the Fire!

On Friday November 13 from 4:00pm until midnight and Saturday November 14 from 9am to 4pm Oso Creek will be hosting a Burn.

You can check out Burn on the web here . . . The Burn is a movement of worship and intercession. Burn is a time to seek the presence of God that His will might be done in this generation.

Anyone is invited to come during those times and to spend as little or much time as you can.

The mechanics of burn are that there will be different musicians lined up to play in 2 hour sets, with a seamless transition into the next group/individual. Burn is not an "open mic" set up. Rachel Miller, the Area Burn Director, schedules musicians in advance to fill each 2-hour set.

On Saturday, as part of our Equipping Track, there will be a teaching time from 9:00am until 11:00 am on Prayer. The teaching will be based on Matthew 6 and several individuals will share including Rachel Miller, who will talk about the origin and vision of Burn and then begin the first set of Saturday at 11:00am.

I encourage you to block off some time NOW to come and experience God's blaze on the 13th and 14th!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Seeking Joe's Rescue (& Rescuer)

I've attached below an email from Tawny Novosad concerning Joe Houston. Many, many people have been seeking the Rescuer Jesus in regards to Joe.

And many folks are seeking God in the most passionate way they know how right now. What an awesome outpouring . . . and connection of people seeking heaven to come to earth.

I encourage you to read the below . . . and then to act as God would lead you . . . Tawny's email is: tawnynovosad@yahoo.com and her cell is: 361.876.8969.


Hi everyone,
As some of you know, one of our closest friends is Joe Houston, the Navy pilot whose plane went down this past week and is still missing. Feeling frustrated, helpless, and hopeful, a group of four of us went tromping through all kinds of wetlands, deserted islands, and marsh looking for our friend feeling a sure confidence that he is alive. We were unable to find him and knew that we needed to just sit and pray for a miracle.

Joe's Naval Academy roommate called me and said he couldn't wait any longer and had to come help us look for Joe and would search until he was found (he drove in from New York). He was able to get Joe's squadron from out here on the base to form another land mission in search of Joe. It is a large area, much help is needed!
There is spiritual and realistic evidence that Joe could very well be alive and that is our prayer! Thousands from around the world have been praying specifically for that very outcome.

This is where you come in. The following is needed:
1) Volunteers willing to go with the squadron and physically search for Joe (I can tell you it's no easy task, but talk about the possibility of witnessing the finding of Joe!). First group heads out today and will search all week until Joe is found.
2) Helping with supplies for the volunteer searchers. I'm thinking bug spray (relentless mosquitoes), sunblock, bottled water, sack lunches, and maybe a few first aid kits.
Also, if you or anyone you know has four wheelers, mountain or dirt bikes, or even a helicopter (we have permission to land there), those are definitely desired.
3) Prayer Warriors! This is just as needed as the other two, if not more! With God, nothing is impossible! (I have a prayer list of how to pray for the situation and can send this to you).
4) Networking-I know some of you don't live in Corpus, but if you could pass this on to everyone you know (call, text, facebook, etc.), just imagine the number of people who could be witness to God's awesomeness! Also, if you have a church pastor, please let the them/congregation know we could use searchers, supplies, and prayer warriors.

Please let me know as soon as you can if you can do any of the previously mentioned jobs. I thank all of you for being in my life!
I'm copying the email Joe's mom sent to me. Joe is one of the most amazing people I've ever known. He is truly the walking ideal of what we all should strive to be like. He is the father of a five year old son and is engaged to be married at the beginning of 2010. He is loved and cherished and wanted home.

Humbly in Him,
tawny
Romans 5:2-5
And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.


From Glyndell Houston:


Thank you so much for joining in unity in prayer. The Coast Guard has stopped air search. Have cutters still out there with sonar and divers. Joe is still considered missing status. Hundreds of Christian prayers warriors are holding on to hope that he is alive and will be found.
God is hearing our prayers and answering. Matt Kavanaugh, one of USNA friends drove down from NY today to organize a search on land.
Pray for land search team starting tomorrow consisting of Joe's squadron VT28.
They are being joined by civilians and church members in Corpus Christi.
They will search every day this week. Pray for more volunteers to be mobilized and for their safety. They will be in rough terrain using 4-wheelers. They have received permission to land a helo and have access to Matagorda Island State Park.
Pray for Joe to be located, to be healthy and for victory! Our God is the King of glory!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

OCC On Mission

We have poured ourselves into Operation Christmas Child at Oso Creek for almost as long as we've been in existence. It's not just a 'good cause' but it's a way for us to continue to learn to live On Mission! Here's how:

1) It' s a great way to involve friends and neighbors who are far from God in what the real heart of Christmas is. For the last several years we have been taking fliers to everyone on our street and asking them to help. One year we collected nearly 20 gifts from folks in our neighborhood. And with each one of those families we got to share why God would have us do this, AND invite them to celebrate with us on our gift collection day (this year November 22nd).

2) It's a great way for our family to learn to be on mission together. Our kids have purchased the items for their own boxes (click here to find out more about filling boxes) for several years. They learn to sacrifice in that way. They also get to right notes and pray over those children who will receive them.

3) We get to participate in sharing the good news of Jesus around the world in dark places. With every box goes the gospel and a connection with a local church in that area.

4) We get a little slice of what Christmas is about. It's not a celebration of your birthday. It's not mine. It's about Jesus. What honors Him is when we give ourselves away.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ouch! Was that for me?

"The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obligated to act accordingly." Soren Kierkegaard


"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does." James 1:22-25