Friday, October 23, 2009

Am I Happy? Part 2

In Philippians 3:4-6 Paul is bragging . He is listing his accomplishments that he had. He was an extremely religious guy, born and bred Jew, following the law to the letter, doing everything he was supposed to do. He was a smashing success. But after all this he says "I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him". To sum it up Paul is saying that his great success of his life isn't worth manure, compared to the greatness of knowing Christ.

So what happened to Paul? Paul had it all and by the worlds standards he was set, but when he meet Christ everything changed. Please don't get the wrong idea and think that Christianity is anti-success. It's just that God's idea of success is different from the world's. For example Phil. 2:7-8 tells us that Jesus took on the form of a bondservant and that He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of the cross. So how was Jesus a success? He achieved true success by humbling himself and by serving others. Success for you might mean serving like Christ, suffering for Christ, but then being lifted up by God.

So let me sum up everything. God is not anti-success, but when you expect what the world views as success to make you happy you will be disappointed. There is a God shaped hole in your heart that only God can fill. If Jesus viewed true success as humbling Himself and being a servant to others, then we need to do the same. God bless!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Am I Happy? Part 1

Happiness means different things to different people. We might say that everyone is looking for happiness, but where do they look for it, and where will they find it? One area that we try to find happiness is in our relationships. We all want and need relationship, God made us that way! The problem that comes into to play when we base our happiness on relationships. We may do anything to feel accepted, popular or valuable so we can fit in. When we do this we are letting others define who you are and your decisions are based on the approval of others. Instead of God being first priority relationships take His place and that is idolatry. So what do we do if we have this problem?

First, we need to understand that our value doesn't come from what people say about us, but from God who made us in his image and loves us. Second, if you need for approval has led you into some bad behavior, that doesn't need to be the end of the story. The Bible says over and over again that if we confess our sins and turn to God he will restore us! 1 John 1:9

Saturday, October 3, 2009

An Exciting Life

As exciting as Elijah's life was, his last day on earth was even more exciting. It appears that Elijah knew God would take him up to heaven by a whirlwind, and was making a last circuit of the cities where the prophets lived, saying his farewells. During this day Elisha followed him faithfully, anxiously awaiting this tremendous event.

Elisha followed him to Bethel, then Jericho, and finally to the Jordan River. It was after Elijah parted the waters of the Jordan with his mantle, that the horses and chariot of fire appeared and Elijah was caught up by a whirlwind into heaven.

We all know out last day on earth won't be as spectacular as Elijah's was, but what we know is that we can make out life on earth count God. We can be a faithful witness for God, and tell others about Christ. We can let the Lord use the experiences in our lives, and how the Lord helps us through them, to draw others to Christ.

What are you doing with your life? What would be said about you at your funeral? I have been to many funerals and the one thing that stuck out for me is that no one ever talked about the deceased's bank account, or his job, or all that she/he possessed. No, what they talked about this the influence of the deceased; the kindness they saw in him, the love for family they saw in her. They spoke about the generosity, the positive attitude and the encompassing strength and love for God of the person lying in the casket. Often, stories would be told of how the departed's personality would be entertaining, or serious, or exciting. Or stories would be told of how he or she make life better for those around them.

That's what matters. It is only those things that will endure. Use your life for God's glory. Elijah did- his life should challenge us to walk closer to the Lord.

Friday, September 25, 2009

God and I

Hello everyone,Sorry it's been a while since out last post. September is usually a crazy month for John and I. Fall time means busy time! This is usually when new ministries or church programs get started. Folks are getting back into a routine, the kids are starting school, your favorite college or NFL team has just started to play. But don't forget a couple things as we start all this craziness, your time with God. Do you have a God and I time? A time where it's just you and the Lord spending time together. No church program or ministry is a substitute for your God and I time. We all need it! Your spiritual strength depends on it. -John 17:17, Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. God bless!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Would you die for a liar?

Guess what? Here in a couple weeks I will no longer be in my 20's. I will start headfirst into my 30's. A little weird, but I think I'm ok with it. Turning 30 this month I can't help but to think about how Jesus started His ministry at the age of 30, and he only ministered for 3 1/2 years. In December I will have been here at HBC 3 years. Let me tell you these last three years have flown by. While Jesus' ministry did not last long it impacted the whole world. While no one can deny Jesus lived here on the earth, some question whether he was who he said he was. Some think He was God in the flesh, some think he was just a good person and others think he was some kind of con-artist. When you boil it down people really have one of three views about Jesus. He was either God, a lunatic or a liar. You see you can't say Jesus was just a good man and bypass the fact he claimed to be God. Think about it! How many people do we call a good man that also claims to be God. It doesn't happen. We normally call them crazy! I think one of the best ways to see if Jesus was who he said he was, is to look at those who spent the most time with Him. Here are the names of the men Jesus spent his three and a half years with. These men knew him and were not willing to deny that Jesus was the Christ. Check this out!

Matthew as killed by the sword in Ethopia...Mark was dragged to death in Alexandria...Luke was hanged in Greece...John was boiled in oil and stranded at Patmos....Peter was crucified upside down in Rome...James was beheaded in Jerusalem...James was thrown from the wall in jerusalem and then clubbed to death...Bartholamew was flayed to death...Andrew wsa crucified...Thomas was speared in the east Indies...Jude was killed by arrows...Matthias wsa stoned and then beheaded... Barnabas was stoned to death...Paul was beheaded in Rome.

You see men and women have no interest in dying for liars, but men and women who lives have been changed because of what Christ has done in their lives will. Jesus was who he said he was. The Son of God, the I AM, The LAMP OF GOD, THE LORD OF LORDS, The KING OF KINGS! God bless!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Help your self-step aside

In Dr. Suess' story, "The Zax," he tells of two creature he named Zax. One, was making his way up North and the other was headed South. When they bumped into each other in the prairie of Prax neither one was willing to step aside. Their pride and determination locked them into place.

The North-Going Zax complained that his path was blocked and demanded the South-Going Zax to get out of his way. The South-Going Zax was insulted. He insisted that he always went South and that the North-Going Zax was in his way. The situation escalated and with each one unwilling to serve the other by simply stepping aside.

The story ends with those two stubborn Zax standing in the middle of a highway, which was built right over them. They had become a memorial to selfishness. The highway was called the, "Zax bypass". Those poor creatures didn't realize that by serving each other they would have been helping themselves.

Sound familiar? Whether it's dealing with people in church, family, or friends there is time to put pride to the side. How often do we not do what makes since because we have always done something a certain way or how many friendships are ruined b/c it's our way or the highway? As Christians we must look past our own noses and not get stuck in our selfishness. God bless!

Phil 2:1-4
Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy,
fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Jesus is difficult

There has to be a dying to self. If you want to follow Jesus Christ, there has to be a dying to self.

Check out Gal 2:20

One of the things that makes Jesus difficult is that He is going to go after our hearts.And the truth is when He does that, we’re not going to like what we see. When you can compare your heart to the other people around you, you might pass with flying colors.

When a holy God and completely other god lines up next to your heart and you see your heart for what it is, it’s very difficult to see. It’s ugly and it’s dark.So in that moment, when Jesus goes after the heart, we kind of try to do an exchange program. So Jesus will go after a section of our heart and we’ll go, “I don’t want to talk about that, so let me tell You what I’ll do. I’ll memorize Scripture, I’ll go through a Beth Moore Bible study, I will lead a home group, I will buy a christian book, I will stop listening to secular music, I will not watch curtain movies...” and on and on and on we go, and we will religiously barter with the God of the universe if He’ll leave our hearts alone.

The good news is you’re in the Bible Belt. There’s tons of religious activities to try to numb yourself with. That’s what makes it difficult. He’s relentless after the heart. While most of us want to think that this is about some kind of external action, Jesus ruthlessly and violently always goes after the heart. It’s what makes Him so very difficult.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hello Everyone, Check out the video on our page from You tube called Rifqa Bary. Unbelievable!

Friday, August 21, 2009


Hello everyone! I know it's been a day or two since we have posted anything. John and I have been very busy this week. For those of who don't know. John and his wife Tiffany have added a little one to the family. Josiah Donald Markum 6lbs 11 oz. Congrats!

This week we have been talking about the different ministries we are involved in. There is a book that I have been reading called "DO HARD THINGS" by twin brothers by the last name of Harris. I would encourage any teenager or parent of a teenager to read this book. The main point of this book is about how teenagers today are not expected to do much. They need challenged and when they are challenged it is interesting how many rise up to the occasion. Not only do teenagers need challenge, but adults need to be challenged as well. In the last week, month or year have you challenged your self for God? Have you tried to stretch your faith? Have you even considered asking God what he could challenged you with? Ask Him, I dare you! Luke 14:25-28

So what our we doing with the youth as we start the new school year? This year we are starting a Sunday Night service to go along with our Sunday School and Wednesday Night. When teenagers come to Fuel we do have fun, but rest assured we teach the Word of God. Teenagers do want to know more about Bible! So we teach doctrine, we talk about issues, we challenge them and they rise to the occasion. It's awesome to see!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hello Everyone! Today it's my turn to tell you a little about what my wife and I do in ministry.

We have almost completed our third year as the youth pastors of "Fuel" at Hillcrest Baptist Church in Richmond, IN. Fuel consists of the grades 7th-12th. When we first came to HBC the youth group average between 18-20 in attendance. Since then the Lord has blessed tremendously growing "Fuel" to 45-55 in attendance weekly. We have seen countless teens come to faith in Christ in the last couple years. God is GOOD! While I am the youth pastor, I have not and could not have done this alone. We have seven small group teachers that help out every Sunday morning. As well, we have some faithful men, Allen and Darrell, that drive a bus every Sunday Morning and Wednesday evening picking up teenagers. Thank God for their faithfulness! Our philosophy is simple. Teach the Word of God, lead teens to Christ and have a great time. So in a nutshell that is what we do. Gotta run! This is a busy, busy week! I have some thoughts concerning my philosophy in ministry I will expound on later this week so stay tuned!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

God is not always likeable...

But He’s always loving.
Don’t confuse God’s love with likeability. He is most certainly a loving Father. But that doesn’t always mean He’s likeable.

When a parent sets out to be likeable, the primary intention is to make the child happy. Likeable parents want their children to have favorable opinions of them at all times. So, in order to enforce this opinion, likeable parents give their children whatever the children want, whenever they want it.

God is not that kind of Father. He is entirely unconcerned about how He fares in the paternal popularity poll.
And every parent knows that in order to be truly loving toward your children, sometimes you have to be utterly unlikeable.

Sometimes being loving means saying a firm no, refusing to capitulate no matter how much your children scream or cry or beg.
Sometimes being loving means taking something away from your child because it’s bad for them, even if they don’t understand the danger of the object they’re playing with.
Sometimes being loving means measuring out discipline to correct and train, even though you hate giving the punishment more than they hate receiving it.

Maybe you don’t like what the Lord is doing in your life right now.
That’s okay.
He’s infinitely more moved by how much He loves you than how much you like Him.

Hebrews 12:5-7
And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?

Todays post is from:…/

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Refuel the Heart

On June 23, 2001, the Boeing Company finished a labor of love-the complete restoration of the last existing 307 Stratoliner. It was the world’s first pressurized commercial airliner. Only 10 were made.

A New York company used a vintage loom to reproduce the original Pan Am wall fabric. An interior company put in the flooring, carpeting, and paneling. They even imported Scottish leather for the single-aisle and crew seats. All the light fixtures, bulkheads, and trims were manufactured form the original engineering drawings. Everything was done to perfection.

Six months later the aircraft crash-landed in Seattle’s Elliot Bay. Were there problems with the ancient engines? Did the dated tail and wing controls fail? No, they worked without a hitch. The problem was an operator error; the crew had failed to refuel the engines.

When it come to learning God’s Word, appearances don’t matter. It’s what’s on the inside that counts. How do you work on you “inside”? How do you transform your thoughts, improve your attitude, and soften your heart? The Bible of course! You need to refuel your heart every day with new insights from God. Reading two chapters a day will allow you to read through the whole New Testament in one year and will also give you the foundation you need for your everyday life!

Matt 4:1-4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Four questions wives should ask their husbands

This week it's the ladies turn! Here is a great article from Perry Nobles' blog a week ago or so. Check it out! God bless!

A few weeks ago I did this post about Five Questions Husbands Should Ask Their Wives that got a lot of attention…and I received a lot of communication from women and men asking, “what should wives ask their husbands?” So…I thought I would give it a shot! (Tried to think of five…but the truth is men just don’t need as much conversation as women do!) :-)
#1 – Do You Feel Admired?
Ladies, your huband wants to know that YOU think he looks good–period! AND…you should NEVER allow someone at work to tell him “that looks good on you,” or, “you look good in that shirt.” He’s YOUR husband…and YOU should do all that you can to make sure you admire him!
Trust me…there isn’t a man on this planet that doesn’t want to hear “I think you are hot/sexy/all that and a bag of chips” from the lady he most admires and desires! And ladies…you cannot take for granted–HE WANTS and NEEDS to hear this from you!
Trust me…NO ONE’S opinion matters to me more than Lucretia’s…and if she says I look good–then DANG IT…I do! What is SO dangerous is that often times men will have someone in their lives that makes them feel admired–satan will make sure of that!!! BUT…if he is getting the attention/admiration from his wife then it makes it SO much easier to lead with confidence and resist temptation that comes his way.
SO…ask him…does he feel admired by you? It DOES matter to him!
#2 – Do You Feel Respected?
EVERY man wants respect! AND…every man wants to be respected by his wife. (Ladies–STOP IT…I know some of you are saying right now, “well, when he begins to be respectable then I will…”) That isn’t the point here…the question is from YOU to HIM…and it do you feel respected?
Let me give you a few insights…
His answer is going to be “no” if you are always telling your children what a loser their father is and that you wish he were a better dad to them.
His answer is going to be “no” if you are always telling your girlfriends (usually in the form of a prayer request) what a low life he is and how he drives you crazy.
His answer is going to be “no” if he has shared vulnerable thoughts and emotions with you…and you take that information and use it as a “conversation piece” with your lunch buddies!
His answer is going to be “no” if you have never taught your children to thank him for the way he provides and such.
His answer is going to be “no” if you are NEVER interested in what he is doing. (I am amazed at how many women don’t even know what their husband does at work…or what his favorite hobby is.)
One of his BIGGEST NEEDS is to feel respected…and the person he needs it from the most is his wife!
So…ask him.
#3 – Do You Feel Taken Care Of?
Every man, from time to time, wants to be able to come home and relax for a few minutes…to take off his shoes and just sit down. BUT…when a wife stands at the door and barks out orders before the garage door closes…a man feels pressured and pressed down…and honestly begins to think, “I should have stayed at work…at least there I get treated like I am somebody!”
This does not negate the fact he needs to show up and serve…but from time to time…give him a break when he hits the door and let him catch his breath. Trust me…this is HUGE!
#4 – Is Our Sex Life Fulfilling To You?
Anytime “men” are discussed in marriage you just KNOW that SEX is going to be a topic of discussion!
BTW…if you don’t want to ask this question…you probably already know the answer!
In every survey that I’ve ever read sex is ranked #1 by men in regards to what they need (I think breathing is #2!)
Men want to know that their wife wants them…sexually. Believe me…it DOES matter to him. And ladies…just the fact that you take the time to ask this question will mean more to him than you could ever imagine.
AND…the ONLY way this area of a marriage will get better is if couples are willing to talk about it. My gosh…YOU’RE MARRIED!
If their has been pain and disappointment in the past–that needs to be talked about. If their have been unmet expectations on your part…then that needs to be talked about. YES, I know it “takes two to tango…” BUT…
The purpose of this question is for you to ask does he feel taken care of in this area. I KNOW this can be SO uncomfortable for so many couples right now…but you can either deal with it now…OR you WILL deal with it later.
Uncomfortable conversations must take place at times in order for a marriage to achieve its maximum potential!
So…ladies…there you go.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Three Questions every women asks

Hope you enjoy this post written by Perry Noble on his blog this morning, tomorrow will be the Lady's turn. 4 questions men ask! Enjoy!

So…the posts about relationships always seem to generate a lot of interest…so I thought I would close out the week with something I shared with a group of people I was talking with.

I told them that basically women are hard to understand. (Don’t fight it…it’s true!) :-) BUT…there are three questions that every woman is asking about herself that, if we as men understand, we can begin to get insight as to how to treat and serve her.

#1 - Am I Beautiful?

Women want to know that they are beautiful–period. AND…what is sad is that many of them have gone to great (and painful) extremes to feel this way…even if the feeling is only temperorary.

A hubands job is to CONSTANTLY try to make his wife feel beautiful. How do you know what makes her fee beautiful? ASK HER!

AND…a father should ALWAYS make it a regular practice to tell his daughter how beautiful she is. Dude, if you don’t…some young punk will come along who will…and NOT for the right reasons. I tell Charisse she’s beautiful so much that when the first little dude drops that line on her she’s going to look at him and say, “I know that…tell me something new!!!”

BTW…husbands…my wife helped me to understand this…your wife doesn’t want to feel “cute” or “pretty” or “ok,” she wants to you YOU THINK SHE IS BEAUTIFUL!

#2 - Am I Valuable?

I Peter 3:7 tells us as men that we are to treat our wives as a valuable, priceless treasure.

  • A man who sees his wife as valuable will always be mindful of the way he speaks to her and about her to others.
  • A man who sees his wife as valuable isn’t as obsessed with what he can get from her…but rather is obsessed with how he can serve her.
  • A man who sees his wife as valuable will spend more time with her on the couch than he does on the golf course!
  • A man who sees his wife as valuable ISN’T interested in telling her how beautiful she is ONLY when he perceives that he might be able to “get something” from her!
  • A man who sees his wife as valuable would NEVER HIT or YELL at her…EVER.
  • A man who sees his wife as valuable would see her as a necessary part of his life…not an inconvenience!

#3 - Am I Worth the Pursuit?

Many men do an awesome job of pursing a woman…UNTIL the wedding ceremony…and then it’s over!

And this is where romance begins to fade because, well, the woman just doesn’t feel like she’s being pursued anymore…that her prince is fighting for her heart and DEEPLY and PASSIONATELY cares about her.

Husbands should make it a regular practice of pursuing their wives…”romance” should not be a word only used on Valentines Day…or when you are “in the mood!”

She wants to know you love HER! AND…the best way to do that is to be willing to fight for her heart.

This may be painful for some. You may have neglected her for a long time…and there is much hurt and bitterness there.

BUT…if she knows you are willing to fight for her heart then she will more than likely allow you to pursue her again…and it IS your job to do this dude!

She needs to know that you would be willing to do ANYTHING to win her heart back…ANYTHING!

Our job/responsibility/honor as men is to make our wife feel beautiful, treat her like she is valuable and to fight like crazy for her heart. A woman who is well loved like this by her husband will be a blessing to her husband…ALWAYS!

Friday, August 7, 2009


Years ago when I was a kid, my brother Matt and I always talk about riding our bikes down our grandparents huge, monstrous hill. Ok, maybe it seemed a little bit bigger back then, but it is a large hill with a dirt road that goes down it. Well, one day that hill was conquered, kind of. After spending the afternoon swimming in our grandparents swimming pool, Matt decided it was time for this hill to be conquered by his mad bike riding skills! Not having his own bike with him, he decided to ride a BREAK LESS, old banana seat bike left behind by our Aunt. With only swimming trunks and a smile on, off he went from the top of the hill. FLYING down the hill about half way he realized he was in trouble, not only did he not have shoes on, he had forgotten about the bump at the bottom of the hill. Some how he stayed on the bike as he quickly headed towards one of the busiest highways on the east side of Cincinnati. The only thing between him and Hwy 32 was a wooden bridge. He had to stop soon, but he was going to fast. So what did he do? He decided to put the top of his feet Flintstone style on the wooden bridge. When he came to a stop his toes were scraped and bloody. When he came into the house walking on his heals it was not a pretty site. He explained what happened and we got a good laugh. I know that's kind of mean! Our Father replied, "I told you not to go down that hill on that old bike!"

So what's the point of the story. Yes, always let the younger brother try it out first. Just kidding, kind of, my point is if we are going to take risk get good godly counsel and then be prepared! Our Father didn't mind if we went down hill, but he wanted us prepared for the ride! Here's a couple of my favorite verses that deal with this subject. Prov. 20:18 says, "Plans are established by counsel; by wise counsel wage war." 2 Tim 3:16 tells us Scripture was given to us for ..."for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness," So as believers seek wise counsel in our decisions and make sure we are reading our heavenly Fathers instruction manual on this journey of faith!