Friday, October 29, 2010

Cory Gardner for Congress

This race is easy.  When Betsy Markey ran for congress, she ran on a platform of fiscal conservatism.  At the time, I shared on this blog a tv commercial Markey ran that espoused the wisdom of her grandfather--"You shouldn't spend money that you don't have".  Representative Markey then went on to support the big dollar Obama expenditures which included the health care bill.  I can assure you that the 4th Congressional District that Markey supposedly represents was overwhelmingly opposed to Obamacare.  I personally called her office multiple times to voice my displeasure.  She chose to ignore the voices of Northern Colorado and to go along with her big-spending Democrat buddies.  I believe that Cory Gardner will represent Colorado well.  You can learn more about him at his website:  http://www.corygardner.com/home.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ken Buck for Senate

Ken Buck is my choice for US Senate.  I first met Ken when he was running for Weld County District Attorney.  He was interested in connecting with the churches in Windsor and Ken took the time to have lunch with me.  Having watched Ken over the past several years, I have found him to be a strong man of integrity and conviction.  He shares my values and I have no doubt that Ken Buck has the backbone to stand up to anyone who might suggest he compromise values in order to get along.  You can find out more about Ken by visiting his website:  http://buckforcolorado.com/

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tancredo for Governor

After quite a bit of deliberation, I have decided that I will be voting for Tom Tancredo for Governor of Colorado.  Perhaps I will disclose the others that I intend to vote for a bit later as well.  Tancredo's website is found here.  There has been a boat-load of very concerning facts revealed concerning the Republican candidate for governor, Dan Maes, that make it virtually impossible to support him.  The Democratic candidate is also plagued with ideas and a track-record that I do not want to support.  The latest polls show that Tancredo has a good shot of winning and I am pleased to throw my support behind him.  Tancredo for Governor!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Grace River Pastors

Yesterday I was able to eat lunch with these guys at Santiago's in Johnstown.  I'm on the left right next to Derek Donohoe our Worship Pastor.  Derek makes a living as a personal trainer and he has one of the biggest hearts for worshipping God that I have ever seen.  It is not unusual for him to get choked up while leading us forward in worship, giving an offering of thankful tears.  He is a graduate of Ocean's Edge School of Worship in Florida and from what I've seen, Derek and his wife Kara will do absolutely anything that Father puts before them.  Derek cares about people, and anyone fortunate enough to call Derek friend, is truly blessed.  Next is Joey Scott, our Youth Pastor.  Joey and his wife Connie joyfully pack their home full of teenagers every week providing a safe place for learning and growing.  It's not unusual for Joey to use his day off as day with Grace River kids.  He loves kids and he loves to play!  Joey is one of a very few men that I have met that authentically desire to impact kids with the truth of God.  There is no pretending with Joey.  He is a graduate of Southeastern Baptist College in North Carolina.  Finally, on the right is Steve Ramsey.  Steve is our Small Group Pastor and is a proud graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Texas.  Steve loves people and he makes a huge difference in their lives.  Steve has a heart for church planting and God has effectively used him at Grace River.  The best thing about these guys is that they are, each and everyone, my good friends.  Maybe soon, I will be able to show you the rest of our staff. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Addicted to Ministry?

There is a better way to do ministry than the one that I have spent most of my life dedicated to.  Don Williams' book resonates with my soul in more ways than I care to discuss.  However, as I have been recovering from many things over the past year (including church), I have found that there is a healthy way to do ministry.  Jesus is the example of course.  Here are few paragraphs on the subject from Williams' that you might find interesting.

"Jesus wasn't addicted to his ministry or relationships.  Unlike today's pastoral workaholics, he was free to leave a successful campaign behind and move on to other cities.  Since he was motivated by God's call rather than by the needs around him, he was free to withdraw from the masses and find rest and refreshment without guilt."

"Since Jesus loved people from wholeness, he had no addictively attaching relationships.  Unlike many pastors today, he didn't need to collect important people around him in order to shore up his fragile ego.  Being free from people, Jesus was free for people."

"Jesus not only freely loves us, he sets us free to love ourselves and each other.  As we receive his mercy and become merciful toward ourselves, we will be able to extend it to our neighbors.  Such love throws Christians into each others arms for care and comfort and enables us to bear the good news of Jesus' love into the world.  Since he doesn't condemn us, we won't condemn ourselves or each other.  Since he loves his enemies, we will love our enemies.  Since he forgives us, we will forgive ourselves and each other.  Since he comes to seek and save the lost, we will go to seek and save the lost.  The great commission will be fulfilled throughout the whole global village by a Church in love with God and its neighbors."

--Don Williams,  Jesus and Addiction

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Lincoln Brewster - Salvation Is Here

"Comeback"

"I am bringing you back again but not because you deserve it. I am doing it to protect my holy name, which you dishonored while you were scattered among the nations" (Ezekiel 36:22). I AM BRINGING YOU BACK AGAIN! What an amazing promise. God's people had been taken into captivity and they had literally lost it all. God is setting them up for blessing but he wants them to know for a fact that the coming blessing has nothing to do with their earning it or deserving it. In fact, to make the point, the prophet repeats, "But remember, says the Sovereign Lord, I am not doing this because you deserve it" (36:32). This means a great deal to me personally because I have experienced a sort of exile only to be brought back again by the grace of God. And though at this point in time, I recognize that I don't deserve to be brought back, the day may come when I forget the pain and I forget the exile. In the day of plenty, I may become proud.

How does God restore us from our place of exile? "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean" (Ezekiel 36:25). God begins by cleaning us up. He washes away the sin and guilt with his clean water. It's a baptism of sorts. Don't miss the point that we can't clean ourselves up--only God can do it with his sprinkling. I have spent the last year working on me through Celebrate Recovery, through counseling, through learning how to be me without the need for pretense. None of these things though has made me clean. I was made clean when God put me in the shower and washed me with his water. He declared me righteous!

Next the prophet Ezekiel says, "And I will give you a new heart with new and right desires, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new, obedient heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so you will obey my laws and do whatever I command" (Ezekiel 36:26-27). The heart is thought to be the seat of desires. It's the place where our "want-to" lives. Once God cleans us, he changes our desires. The desire of sin is taken away and the desire for obedience is put it in its place. "I want to sin" is replaced with, "I want to obey God". It's not intellectual and it's not willpower--it's a complete change of desires. My "want to" is transformed.

Finally, Ezekiel declares, "This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am ready to hear Israel's prayers for these blessings, and I am ready to grant them their requests" (Ezekiel 36:37). As a washed and transformed servant of God, I am ready to pray for the blessings that God is just waiting to pour out upon me. I don't know for sure what God is wanting to do in the way of blessing but I can tell you what I am praying for. I am praying that Grace River Church becomes a safe place for ANYONE to come and find hope and healing. I am praying that God will provide us with the space to do week day ministries and AWANA. I am praying that God will give us the resources to be able to meet real and relevant needs in our community. I am praying that each week, people will find new life in Christ Jesus as happened last week in our worship service. I am praying that signs and miracles will become the norm for the people of Grace River. I am praying that our church will be come vital in the communities throughout northern Colorado. I am praying that God will be glorified!