Pastor Mike's thoughts

Thoughts on today's Christian world and how it fits into secular society.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Forgive Me?

Wow, it sure has been a long and interesting week. Sorry about the lack of "blogging," but work and other things have been keeping me pretty busy. It's a good thing though. The week started out pretty rough, but I was bound and determined to just give it over to the Lord and see what miracles He could perform. As always, everything turned out just fine, and my life didn't collapse in a pile at my feet. I'm sure glad that He forgives me for my lack of faith...:)

So what is forgiveness? It's about REACH. We know that God reached out to us in the most incredible act of forgiveness ever seen when He sent His Son to die on the cross for us. We all see this act and wish we could do the same. Somehow we always seem to fall short when we allow anger and emotions to keep us from forgiving others as we've been forgiven by the blood of Christ. So what's the Bible say about this? Micah 7:19 says He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in Mercy. He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities (New Kings James Version). We should follow His example of letting our anger go and showing others mercy like we've been shown. We all know how easy that is to say, but how hard it is to do. So, how do we do it? Try the REACH method.

R=Recall. Recall the hurt. To heal, you have to admit that you've been hurt or offended. You shouldn't remember the hurt as a victim or accusor, but remember objectively what happened.

E=Empathize. Empathize with the person. Try to understand what the person was going through when the person hurt you. Doing this allows you to relate to the person more which makes it easier to understand their actions.

A=Act. Give an act of forgiveness. Try to remember a time when you hurt someone but they forgave you. Remember specifically what happened and how it felt so you can see yourself giving that gift back to the person who hurt you.

C=Commit. Commit to truly forgive. It's easy to say we forgive, but most of the time we still harbor resentment. If this is the case with you, then pray for the Spirit to cleanse you of anything that may be holding you back. Don't allow the anger or pride to fester into something that will later explode.

H=Hold. Hold on to forgiveness. Remember that there's a difference between remembering the event and experiencing the cold emotions. Don't let the past dictate your future. Allow the act of forgiveness to grow you into a more Christlike example.

Everyone of us at one time or another has been wronged. Can you imagine what it would be like if we dwelled on it forever? It would eat us alive. Sometimes it does. We have to let go and let God. If you're still harboring a grudge, it's holding you back more than the other person. REACH out to them and reconcile. If you truly want to make a diffence in two lives, then forgive someone.

I pray that all of you have the most incredible day of your life today. Be blessed and stay strong in Jesus.

Love ya all,
Pastor Mike

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

What a world we live in!

One of the great things my wife Carmen has done with this website is to set up a program that allows me to keep track of what state and country people are reading our Blog from. This morning I got up and was absolutely thrilled with what I saw. We're now getting visitors from as far away as Indonesia and Taiwan. As I looked at these locations, I realized how strong the influence technology can have in spreading the word of Jesus Christ, and I became even more determined to use this tool to go where many missionaries are not allowed to go.

When I saw that someone from Indonesia, the worlds most populous Muslim nation, was reading the blogs, the reality of what we can achieve set home. We have all heard on the news about the seriousness of a Muslim converting to Christianity. In Afghanistan they recently tried to kill a former Muslim for announcing that he now followed Jesus Christ. But praise God, he has now been spared due to international pressure on the Afghanistan goverment. So for a person to risk being caught and tried for reading a Christian blog, is a very serious matter. So how do we approach this issue?

In today's video and verse, we're going to look at a passage that addresses why it's so important to remember those who are lost in this wolrd looking for the truth that we know is Jesus. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 All this is from God, Who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We're all of God's children, and we're all loved enough to be reconciled with Him no matter what sins we've committed or whether we have walked away from our faith. What we need to be doing today is praying for the Muslim world to know the truth of Jesus Christ. We need to pray for their safety as they seek out the face of Jesus. We need to pray for the Word to be spread throughout the world for all to see. Pray for the reconciliation of God's children. This is something that is a mandate from God, not a request from me.

Please pray that this, and all ministries that are going out into the world, that a seed of faith will be planted in the heart of someone who has never heard the name of Jesus. Remember, He has committed us to the message of reconciliation. It starts with prayer, but needs our movement to make it happen. One of the reasons why other faiths are growing so fast in this world is that their followers are out there spreading the word and making their faith a part of their lives. We have stopped doing that as Christians, and look at what's happening. Jesus is being replaced with modernism and false prophets. It's time for all of us to take a stand for Jesus again and reconcile the world with the great I am.....

Well, it's time for me to get going, so I pray that your are blessed today, and please pray for all of those who read and view this blog to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. I pray for you and ask that you pray for each other.

In His Name,
Pastor Mike

P.S. Note to self: STOP MAKING WEIRD FACES BEFORE MY WIFE SHUTS OFF THE CAMERA....... Yes folks, I did it again, so please ignore the weird face at the end of the video. Boy, you can't take me anywhere....:)

Monday, March 27, 2006

Wow, this video thing catches everything.

Ok, so today we did our first actual devotional on the video. It's kind of weird doing it in front of a camera. In fact, I BEG you all not to laugh too hard when you get to the end of the video. Note to self, never make a face at your wife when you think the camera is off. You'll notice that at the end of the devotional, I make an Elvis face at Carmen. I chose to leave it on so that all of you can see that even though I made a perfect fool of myself, I can still find reason to rejoice. I'm just happy that I'm forgiven....:)

On today's video message, we covered Psalm 9:1,2. I discussed the fact that we do have a reason to rejoice in every circumstance. There's a saying where I work that says, "If you're happy, you need to let your face know." I'm not saying that we need to walk around with a smile on our face at all times, I'm saying that there needs to be a heart happy within us. We are truly blessed because we are children of God, that in itself is a reason for joy.

So go out there today and make it a day for the Lord. Jesus tells us in John 15:11 I have told you this so my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. When we know Jesus, our joy is complete. Share that joy with someone today by using the gifts that you have been blessed with to bring happiness to someone in the name of our Lord.

Be blessed today, and know that you're in my prayers.

Because He lives,
Pastor Mike

Sunday, March 26, 2006

We're still here!

Hey, everyone! As you know, we asked for prayer last week regarding getting a website with video. Well, the Lord has answered, and we now have the resources to do that. Actually, we won't need a new website for now, we'll continue to use the blog in the short term. That's the good news, the bad news is that we will be sort of sparadic over the next few days as we learn how to work with all this technology.

We did our first recording this afternoon, and it was actually a lot of fun. I was trying to talk, and the dog was panting at my feet, which made it very hard to keep a straight face. We also found out that you need a LOT of light to do this. It's a lot more technical than I realized, but it's also a lot of fun, and a lot of blessing. It's amazing what the Lord has blessed us with these days.

Keep us in prayer over the next few days as we upgrade, and let us know what you think. In the meantime, be blessed and pray for our leaders.

In Him,
Pastor Mike

Saturday, March 25, 2006

How rich are you?

I heard a story lately that told about a husband and wife that were moving into a new house that they had just bought with the wife's money. She reminded him that it was her money that bought the house and everything in it each time they went into a new room. This process repeated itself all day long. Finally, near the end of the day, a truck delivered this brand new big-screen HD TV with surround sound and all the bells and whistles that you could dream of. The wife looked at her husband and proudly said, "just think hun, if it wasn't for my money, this TV wouldn't be here." Having had enough, the husband said, "Snookums, if it wasn't for your money, I wouldn't be here."Isn't love grand?....:)

When most people say the word rich, we instantly think of money. The money magazine Forbes has a yearly list of the top richest people in the world, but they've missed the boat because we're all rich. 1 Corinthians 1:5 says For in Him, you have been enriched in every way-in all your speaking, and in all your knowledge. When you look in the mirror in the morning, do you see yourself as rich? If not, then here's why you should.

The first part of this verse deals with where to find true wealth, and that wealth is found in Jesus! This passage says, "In Him." Philippians 4:19 says My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Jesus Christ. Believe me when I tell you that nothing makes a person wealthier than a personal relationship with Jesus. God knows what you need, and He'll supply it. Having faith in that statement ensures that we'll be cared for for all of eternity. Most of the people like Bill Gates and Donald Trumps spend all their time trying to make the next billion and wind up dying miserable in their fancy mansions. Me, I would rather die dirt poor in an apartment knowing that my mansion waits for me in the kingdom of heaven. than with a huge bank account and a lot of doubt. Remember, our money can't buy our way into heaven, but our faith can. Now, who's really rich?

The second part of 1 Corinthians 1:5 says that, "we have been enriched in every way." If you really want to become wealthy, then allow yourself to be "enriched" in every way. The key word here is, "every." God will enrich those areas of our lives that we surrender to Him. If you're struggling with finances, then turn your budget over to God. If you're struggling in faith, ask God for more. The reason we aren't blessed in more areas of our lives is because we want to maintain control and force God to do things our way. It doesn't work like that. If you REALLY want God's blessings, then allow Him to take control and bless you. It's hard because of our pride, but believe me, He loves us more than we love ourselves, He'll take care of you. Just sit back and let Him do the driving.

Thank you for allowing me into your lives today. God has blessed me with all of you, and for that, I give Him thanks. Have a great day, and remember to tell someone about Jesus today.

In Him,
Pastor Mike

Today's Prayer Request

Pray for the country of Afghanistan and the Christians there.

Friday, March 24, 2006

I'm baaaaaack...

Well, it's been a few days since I've checked in, but now I'm back. The last week has been filled with the ups and downs that we all seem to face, but as always, the Lord seems to get us through. In fact, as I worked through the cold and family issues that confronted me, not only was I honed, but the Lord gave me a direction that was clear as a fresh Spring day.

One of the questions that has always plagued the Christian community is when will time end. It's a logical question, but one we spend to much time on. Jesus said throughout the Gospels that the time would not be known by man. What we should be focusing on is getting as many people off the sinking ship and into the liferafts that we can. One of the primary responsibilities of a Christian is to tell others about Jesus. So what's this have to do with time? Matthew 24:14 says and the Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. I've always loved this passage, but in the back of my mind, I've always wondered how on earth the Word of God could get to everyone. Then it hit me.

As I write this blog, it occurred to me that people from all over are reading it. With the technology we have today, people from the most remote places on earth are now able to access the Word of God online. With the advent of blogs and websites, the people who would ordinarily never go to church can become exposed to Christ through other "Tekies." No, online blogs will not replace the church, but it sure is a great way to reach those that we would not usually have access to. OK Pastor, bring it home, what are you getting at? The Lord has placed on my heart to expand this ministry to reach more people.

Now, how am I going to do this? That's a good question! Can anyone answer it? I've been asked by a couple of people to do a daily devotional on video, i.e., having a place where we could record a message and have people view it online. Here is where my family and friends come in. Does anyone out there know how we can get this done? I ask for prayer and counsel from all of you on this calling. If you would like to help us in this ministry, or have any advice, or even know someone who could help us with this project, please email us at Now, for the second part of the expansion program....:)

One of the most powerful tools of evangelism is your life experiences. I would love to post from people about how Jesus has changed their lives. You may not think that it has any significance, but there may be someone out there going through the same trials that you have. Be a mentor, and share knowledge by just emailing me with your stories of transformation and endurance.

As you can see, the cold medicine really made my mind go like crazy. But seriously, how awesome would it be to actually be able to use the internet for the glory of God? All we hear about is the bad that happens from the net. Porn is the number one subject search online today, followed by God. Let's reverse that trend. Pray that more people will begin to Google Jesus over porn. The only way to do it is to get his name over the net. Please pray that we do that.

Be blessed today, and share the wealth of Jesus with all.

In Him,
Pastor Mike.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

I'm almost back

Hey, everyone. Sorry for not being here all week, but I've still got the bug. I'll be starting up again this weekend. In the meantime, please keep me in prayer as I experience the healing power of God...:) Have an awesome day, and I love ya all...

Pastor Mike

Monday, March 20, 2006

I'm coming back

Hey, everyone! I've had some family issues that I needed to take care of over the weekend. On top of that, I am now dealing with a cold. So, I'm going to take the next couple days off to get some R and R. Please keep me in prayer as I face a grueling day at work today, and not feeling to well, while thinking about my family. I look forward to seeing how God will work all of this out to His glory.....:)
Phil. 4:13, I can do all things through Him who strengthens me....
Keep the love of God flowing.
Pastor Mike

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The seasons of life.

Have you ever stopped and thought about how much life is like the calendar? Each season has something beautiful to offer, but most of the time we just don't stop and take the time to enjoy it. We're so focused on the future that we lose memories of now that we'll never be able to recover. There's a time for everything folks.

One of the most famous Bible passages is found in Ecclesiastes 3. Most people will easily recognize verses 1-8 because we've heard them in songs, at funerals, and other special events. But if you really want to get to the heart of time, read the rest of the passage.

Verse 11 says He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from the beginning to the end. Every season of our life is beautiful and should be lived to it's fullest. Winter brings the beauty of fresh fallen snow on mountain tops which supplies us with life-giving water for the rest of the year, but most people can't wait for the cold to end. Spring brings the beauty of blooms and hope, but we look for Summer to come so we can enjoy the warmth and long evenings. Summer brings us the warmth and beautiful late sunsets, but we can't wait for the heat to go away. Fall brings us the beautiful colors of life that God gave us, but we can't wait to start the cycle over. Enjoy each and every season of your life. Enjoy the lives of others that God has placed in your path. Enjoy the beauty around you. Take time to make memories of each season that will last forever.

Verse 12 says I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. This is something that all of us want to do, but we get so busy that we forget. I'd like to say it's simple, but it's not. Let's be honest, we focus so much on the future that we forget to live the present. We always assume that we'll have the chance to say goodbye or I love you to someone again, to meet them for lunch, to tell someone about Jesus, but the reality is that we may never get the chance again. Then what happens? We're left with regrets, and regrets bring sorrow. Don't live your life full of regrets, live it to the fullest. Live your life with joy and passion. Don't let winter keep you in the house, go skiing..:)

Verse 13 says That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in his toil-this is the gift of God. We all have to work, and we all have to live, but how do we do these things for the glory of God? We take them both as a gift. What would happen if either one were taken away, or diminished in some way? We'd look back and say "if only I had_____." We have one life to live, make sure you live it well enough to be able look back and smile and know that you did it well. Does your life bring a smile to the faces of others. It's a gift, take the time to live it in such a manner that makes God feel like He gave you the right present.

Verse 14 says, I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing can be taken from it. God does it so we will revere Him. Our time here on earth, and what we do with it is an act of worship! Our stewardship of our time reflects the reverence we have for our God. Don't let a chance to live, or to serve Him escape you. Show Him your reverence by living your life worthy of his praise. Make Him proud. The way you spend your time after this life hangs on it.

I'm not sure what season of your life you're in right now, but go out today and make it the best one ever. Make every minute an act of worship. Make your time here a wonderful memory for yourself, others, and God.

Be blessed today, and love each other as God loves you,

Pastor Mike

Today's prayer request;

Please pray for Pastor Mike's family

Friday, March 17, 2006

How lucky we are.

Have you ever put yourself down, or on the other side of the coin, given yourself too much credit? I think we can all say that at times we think a little lower, or higher, of ourselves than we should. We have to remember that God created each person for a special purpose. Every believer should stand tall with high self-esteem, yet humble, by understanding who he or she is in Christ.

Genesis 1:26 Then God says, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over the earth, and over the creatures that move along the ground."

What an incredible honor it is to be loved so much that God made us in His image. That's why we need to love ourselves and others. It's not egotistic to love yourself, it's the right thing to do. Of course on the other side of the coin, we shouldn't think too highly of ourselves (Romans 12:3 Do not think of yourselves more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you). Find the fine line between the two extremes, and be self-confident, yet loving. We are a chosen people, we are a loved people.

Let's take the time today to have a love fest. When you see yourself, remember that God created you, and He doesn't make junk. Love yourself. When you see someone who doesn't think and act like you, don't judge, remember that God created them, and He doesn't make junk. Love them. Both are hard to do at times, but we've faced tougher challenges before...:)

Make it a great day today and don't forget to tell someone about Jesus.

In Our Lord's image,
Pastor Mike

Today's prayer request
Pray today for the missionaries of the world.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Renewing your mind, the final frontier!

I've been talking for the last two days about renewing the mind, so today I'm going to discuss my favorite passage of the Bible, Psalm 51. You got it, we're talking about the whole passage today.

For space purposes, I'll break it down into sections so we can see the way David renewed his mind. Now remember, God had just used Nathan to "politely" remind David that his adultery with Bathsheba had not gone without notice. After getting an earful from Nathan, David instantly felt remorse. His mind now clouded with the events of the past, David needed a new outlook on life, so this is what he did.

Verses 1-2
When I see this passage, I can just see David's mind being tormented Even though he'd done something far worse than any of us will ever do, he knew that he had to get back in touch with God to clear his life up. The first step for us to renew our mind is to call on the Lord for the forgiveness of our sins. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin (v. 2)

Verses 3-9
David knew that when he truly faced God and confessed that he needed help, then the relief would come. In verse 8, David says, let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. In verses 1-2, we see where David compares his confession to a cleansing, a renewal if you will. In these verses, we see that from confession there comes joy again. The ugliness of the past (Let the bones you have crushed rejoice) is soon replaced when we lay all of our worries, thoughts and sins at the foot of the cross. To have your thoughts renewed, you need to pour your past out to the one and only Savior, Jesus Christ. His blood was shed to wash away your sins and renew your spirit, don't let this incredibly selfless act go in vain.

Verses 13-17
Now we have it. David's broken heart turned him into a new man that God would use for great and glorious things. Many times our thoughts and attitudes are not Godly because our thoughts are not on God first. Today's world is like and adult Disneyland. It's so easy to get distracted from God without even realizing it. Godly pleasures are soon replaced by the world's. It's like a line in the sand, you can't have one foot on God's side, and the other on the world's. it just gets too confusing. Our minds become torn. Yes, God should be first in your life, there's no doubt about it. So turn to God and remember that when you come to the great redeemer with a genuine heart, He'll renew your mind and Spirit, (v. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O god you will not despise). Come before Him now, and experience the power of renewal. It beats any modern anti-depressant we have...:)

Now the closing. Verses 18-19 David offers sacrifices. Part of becoming a new person in Jesus is sacrificing the things in our life that keep us from a closer relationship with God. It's like cleaning out a closet (packrats are exempt from this analogy), it's hard to let go of some of the things that clutter the closet, but when you see all that new space, it gives you a sense of fulfillment. The problem is, we often just fill it back up with useless stuff. Clean your soul closet today. Get rid of the junk that holds you back, but don't fill it back up. Out with the old, and in with the new.

David is one of my favorite heros of the Bible. Most people see him as this man of God who never did wrong, but that's not an accurate assessment. He made the same mistakes as we do (only worse), that often resulted in a mind and spirit that became very troubled. Does this sound familiar? I challenge you today to read Psalm 51 ten times and pray it for yourself. Feel the Spirit of God fill you as you beg to become a new person. Feel the joy of a Godly transformation. Be renewed in the name of Jesus. Praise His name, He died for us. He died for forgiveness, He died for renewal.

Loving all of you in joy,
Pastor Mike

Today's prayer and praise.
Please pray for Hilary who will be having Gallbladder surgery tomorrow.
Praise for Pastor Mike's Muslim friend becoming curious about Christians.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Time to renew the mind Part 2

Today is going to be a practicum for me. This morning I feel led to actually take some time and be with the Lord. So, it's going to be short and sweet this morning, and I urge you to do the same.

Our world is full of hustle and bustle and endless tasks. As I was coming home last night, I was already thinking about my schedule when I got home. That's when it hit me, I was scheduling my time off. Part of renewing our minds is to refresh and rest, and you can't do that if you're stressed and on a schedule. Take some time off today and just be with Jesus.

Matthew 11:28-30 says Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

If your mind needs to be renewed today, then go to Jesus for your rest. I could sit here this morning and give you verse after verse to support this concept, but the bottom line is that this passage simply states it's own case. Take the yoke of Jesus today, it's lighter and more refreshing.

Be Blessed and renewed in Jesus today.
Pastor Mike

Today's Prayer Request
For our nation and leaders

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Renewing our minds. Part 1

One of the main causes of emotional and spiritual problems in this life is thinking negatively. For us to experience the abundant life that Christ has to offer, we must believe the truth and live it out in our daily lives.

The Bible talks a lot about the way we think. Philippians 4:8 tells us to keep our thoughts on what is good. Isaiah 26:3 promises peace to the ones that keep their mind steadfast. Colossians 3:2 tells us to keep our mind on the things above. The Bible tells us clearly that what we think plays a key role in our emotional and spiritual health. God, who is truth, wants us to think and believe the truth because doing that sets us free to have an incredible life.

Today I'm going to discuss the first of three parts in this very important subject, and that is the role Satan plays in our counterproductive thoughts. Satan is the "father of lies." He wants us to believe lies because they destroy us from the inside out. And believe me, he has a warehouse of lies that he can use against us. Here are a few of them:

"I must be perfect." Believing this lie makes us try to live up to standards that we can never achieve. God wants us to be holy (1 Peter 1:16) but we have to realize that growing in Christ is a learning process and that we'll make mistakes along the way.

"I must have everyone's love and approval." This lie makes us focus more on pleasing people than it does God (Gal. 1:10). We can't make the love and approval of others more important to us than the love and approval of God.

"Things have to go my way in order for me to be happy." This lie makes us focus more on circumstances and events than God, and our being happy rather than mature. Our peace shouldn't be based on the situation we're in (Philippians 4:11), but being loved and cared for by God with no conditions.

"Life should be easy." Life is not easy. The effects of sin, and the world we live in can make it hard. Jesus promised us that we'd face troubles in life (John 16:33), When we believe that life should be easy, it only makes us angry and resentful when it isn't.

"God hates the sin and the sinner." Believing this lie makes most people run from God when they sin. This is why so many people fall away from the faith. God, who is holy, hates sin (Proverbs 6:16-19), but He died for us and loves us even when we sin (Romans 5:8).

These are just some of the lies that satan uses to slow our progress towards spiritual growth. Tomorrow we'll look at what we can do to replace these lies with the truth so that our spiritual development can take place with less emotional turmoil.

Until tomorrow, Keep your thoughts on Jesus

Pastor Mike

Today's prayer request

Today is a day of praise. Find what you are most thankful for and spend time showing God your gratitude by praising Him and His love for you.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Me Tempted?

Yesterday I wrote about the Bible and how we should apply it to our lives. Now I'm sure we all agree that it gives us a clear map on how we should live our lives, so today I thought I would give it some more thought. Since we know what's right and wrong, then why don't we just do it? Because folks, we face Satan's daily tool, temptation!

1 Corinthians 10:13 says No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
Now here is a verse that is absolutely packed with hope and promise for those of us who face temptation daily. Let's take a closer look.

The first part of this verse, No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. tells us that Jesus suffered much more than we do while He was here on earth. Matthew 4:1-11 shows us that Jesus was willing to be tempted beyond anything we can imagine so that we could have an example to live by. If you're facing something that makes you struggle with your faith, stand your ground and know that you're in good company. The Bible is full of people who thought that they would cave in under the pressure but didn't. You're not alone.

So when you are tempted,He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
How do you stand up under temptation? Easy answer, you don't dwell on it, The easiest way to avoid temptation is to train yourself to call on Jesus first, and switch to pure thoughts second. Sounds pretty easy doesn't it? Then why don't we do it more often? It's because we are more trained to think we can't than we can. It's human nature to give up. But we have to fight Satan. We can't just wave a white flag every time he comes around. We have to look forward to the temptaions of life because they'll only make us stronger. James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds. Trials are like dieting, it's hard at first, but if we stick to it, it's easier to do as time passes.

Folks, living a life for Jesus will not be an easy road. the fact of the matter is that Satan will tempt and try us every time he thinks we'll slip. He's cunning and smart. Give the devil his due, but Give Jesus your attention. Be ready in all situations to stand up and defeat the enemy. Don't give temptation a second thought.

Praying for your strength,
Pastor Mike

By the way, many of you have subscribed to this daily blog and I appreciate it. If you haven't done that yet and would like to, just go to the tab on the site that says subscribe and fill in your email. The daily blog will then go to your email. We are starting to add links to the site as well, so if you know of any good ones, please feel free to tell us so we can add them, as well as add ours to anyone you want to. And finally, please feel free to email your prayer requests to us to post, or to pray for in private.

Today's prayer request
That everyone reading this will spread the word of Jesus today to an unsaved friend.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

About the Bible!

When I graduated from Seminary, my friends, Al and Cathy Warren, came over and gave me a very special Bible (which I am using today). On the inside of the cover, they had put the inscription of, "Pastor Mike, this Bible can keep you from sin, or sin can keep you from this Bible." Those are probably some of the most profound words ever spoken. Why is that?

We have to remember what the Bible really is, and what makes it so special. 2 Timothy 3:16 says all scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. Let's break this verse down a bit.

The first past of this verse says that all scripture is God breathed. The reason this is so important to remember is so we don't put our own twist on God's words. Psalm 119:89 says Your Word. O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. The key to understanding this verse is remembering that it is God's word, and we shouldn't change it to meet our needs. I assure you that as we read the bible, there are going to be parts that we're not going to like. This doesn't mean we can change it and keep the passages that'll make us feel good. But on the same token, it also doesn't give us the right to try to make it more "contemporary" to meet today's political correctness. The Bible's pretty black and white, so we have to stop trying to make it pastel. Think of it like this, a parent gives their child instructions in life not because they want to restrict them, they do it to protect the child. Of course they rebel and says it isn't fair, but ultimately it's for the good of the child. We're children of God, and His intention for the Bible isn't to make us miserable, it's to protect us. It's his love spelled out plainly.

The second part of the verse that we need to look at is and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. We need to be constantly learning, and making adjustments in our life to come closer to righteousness. In Matthew 22:29 Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God." Jesus took a very firm stance against the people of this passage because they were trying to rebuke, correct and train for their own purposes, not for righteousness. We have to be careful not to use the Bible to back our own needs and opinions. When we teach or correct using the Bible, it's meant to restore a person to Gods' righteousness and not ours. We need to learn, memorize and understand the Word of God so that we can bring others to His glory. We need to be able to explain why we live the way we do. We need to use the Bible as a template for our life, not our Life as a template for the Bible. If we really want to live a Godly life, then we need to learn what God's definition of a Godly life is. Let the Bible do the speaking, don't speak for it.

There's so much to say about the Bible. It is a book that can inspire, as well as convict. But no matter how you look at it, it's meant to be the instruction manual for life. The recent Muslim riots over the cartoon character demonstrates the zeal that they have for the Koran. We know the truth, so our zeal should surpass that ten fold. But that's not the case. In today's world and churches, the Bible is being watered down so more people will come to church and not be offended. If we are willing to alter God's Word so we don't offend people, then how offensive is that to God? It's a tough subject because it can open a lot of wounds, but sometimes it just has to be said. Remember, it's done so we can all meet in the kingdom one day and worship our Lord face to face. Now that is something to think about.

In Love,
Pastor Mike
Prayer request for the day:
I have a friend who is working with at risk youth in the inner L.A. city youth. Satan is attacking her with a fury, and I ask that you lift her and her ministry up to the Lord.

Saturday, March 11, 2006


Hey, everyone. I hope to have the devotional up today, but it may not happen. I messed something up on the computer and have to get it straightened out. Sorry...

Love ya, Pastor Mike

Friday, March 10, 2006

Praise God it's Friday

This has been a very up and down week for me. Work has been a struggle. But, as always, I made it through alive. As I looked around, I realized how many people (including myself of course) fail to give thanks for the blessings we have during the week. Maybe it's because we're so busy reacting to situations that we forget to stop and smell the roses. Everything we have is given to us by God, therefore it deserves our thanks. Everything we Do should be to the glory of God, therefore we should give thanks. But do we?

Today's verse comes from Colossians 2:6-7 So then just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Get out here everyday of your life and PRAISE God with all of your might that Jesus loved you enough to die for you and give you eternal life with His blood. That deserves more thanks than we can ever adequately give.
Receive Jesus with all of your might. Be thankful that you've been given a second chance.

There's nothing you can do that will make our Lord turn His back on you. THANK God that you we're able to receive that kind of love.
Continue to grow and strengthen your relationship with Jesus. Stand strong today and do whatever it takes to strengthen that relationship. Remember that knowing Jesus is about love and joy, it's not a dreaded task. Give thanks for the love you have in your life.
When I look at this blog tonight, I realize how disorganized it looks, and I thank God for that. I praise God because I came home tonight already dreading tomorrow, but after writing this, I feel lifted on the wings of eagles (Isaiah 40:30-31) and renewed. My heart is so light now that my writing has suffered. I don't care. I know that I have been blessed with a Lord that loves me, and people that read me. Let the grammar suffer....:)
Thanks again for allowing me to be a part of your life, I am truly blessed.

Go through life showing the world the joy that can be found in Jesus,
Pastor Mike

Prayer Requests for today:
Pastor Mike has a Muslim friend that needs prayer for salvation, and for his mother and father who are very sick.
If you have a prayer request, please feel free to email me. You only need to tell us names if you feel led to. Let us be a part of your support team.
I praise God for my wife Carmen, who gives me joy, love and support when the world seems hard. A true woman of God and prayer.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Hang in there guys.

I LOVE today's thoughts and what it means. The passage comes from Proverbs 28:1 The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.

Living in Southern California, we get to see some of the wildest high-speed pursuits you can imagine. Lately many of the police departments have taken the stance of backing off the suspect and letting them eventually run out of steam and then catching them when they think they're home safe. This is how it is with those who choose to walk a different path than the Lord. We've heard people complain all the time that the wicked always seem to get off nice and easy while the righteous live the harder life. It's like the first part of this verse says, the wicked man flees but no one pursues. Those who choose a life apart from the Lord may be getting away from the police now, but they will eventually have to face the judge. They can choose a life now with what seems to be no consequences, but when the day of judgement comes, there will be no second chance.

And now, the second part of the verse, the righteous are bold as a lion. I'm a firm believer that hard work and determination will always get the best results. When was the last time you saw an olympic athlete get a gold medal by partying and not training? Olympians train for years sticking to a regime that would make most of us crawl in a corner and cry like a baby. Welcome to the world of the Christian. Yes, we are called to live a different life than the rest of the world, and sometimes it would seem easier to take the easy way, but just like the Olympian, one day we'll stand on the medal platform in front of God where we'll receive our gold medal, eternal life.

Pastor Mike

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A different direction today!

Today I'm going in a different direction. I love doing devotionals and such, but I also like delving into a commentary at times, so please hang in there while I talk about a very important subject in today's world.

Today's passage of thought is 1 Corinthians 3: 7-9, So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded accordingly to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.

Everyone of us have been put here for a reason. God has created us for a specific purpose in his overall plan for the universe. The problem is, we're often so concerned with our personal needs that we forget that one of the purest ways to worhip God is to serve Him with a humble and loving heart. But how do we do that?

Find your gift and use it! Realize that we all have different abilities and use the one that God gave you, not the one you want. Now I realize that there is a difference. I want to sing, but if you have ever heard me try, then you would understand why muzzles were made. Accept the fact that some gifts may not seem as "glamorous" as others, but they are all vital. When I was young, we used to have this huge garden that the family depended on for food. Each one of the kids were assigned a specific task that kept the garden growing so that we could have food for the winter. Some of us had to weed, some water, some plow, some plant, and on and on. It seemed like we never really wanted to do what we were assigned, but one thing is for sure, when we all did our jobs, we produced a bumper crop. Pray for an opportunity to use your gift to glorify Jesus today. When we serve the Lord, then he is truly exalted. When we serve the Lord, then we are truly rewarded.

I pray that you find the joy of being used by the Lord. I pray for those who are overseas facing death so people can come to know the Lord Jesus. I pray for the Christian family to come together to further advance the Kingdom of God. I pray that we all support each other in the exercising of our God-given gifts. I pray for you today.

Be Blessed,
Pastor Mike

Monday, March 06, 2006

Where is your hope?

Today's verse is Philippians 1:6, He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ

I saw a sign in a hotel once that said, "Please be patient. Renovation in progress to produce something new and wonderful." Maybe we should all wear a sign like that! We're all unfinished projects under construction, being made, or remade, into something spectacular. When we keep this in mind, it's easier to be more patient with ourselves and others.

Hope is the anticipation of good. Like the hotel lobby during renovation, our hope is often greater during life's trials. What is the basis for our hope?

For a Christian, hope is not the denial of reality. The reason for our hope is Jesus Christ, the rock of our faith. It's like the old hymn that says, "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness." We are never without hope for our lives if we know Jesus.

The focus of our hope is to be like Jesus. That goal may seem to great and way beyond our ability to grasp, and it is. How do we reach that goal?

The Bible tells us it is "Christ in you" that is in our hope (Colosians 1:27). The ability to become more Christlike is a goal that's larger than life. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, to have hope only for this life is to be miserable (1 Corinthians 15:19). The true Christian hope is for this life and for eternity.

There's a church in Scotland with a sign on it that says, "Come as you are, but don't leave as you came." When we come to Jesus, we can come as we are. But He will not leave us the same. That is our hope.
Do you have the hope of Jesus today?

Be blessed and go out into the world and tell someone of your hope.
In Him,
Pastor Mike

You get what you ask for, are you asking?

Today's Passage is Psalm 40:1, I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry.

We live our lives at such a fast pace that in most cases, we don't get past the superficial level. We skim through magazines and books. We channel surf like there's no tomorrow. We hit the drive throughs and eat on our way to work. While all of these things are convenient, they don't have depth.

An Author by the name of James Carroll wrote: We spend most of our time and energy in a kind of horizontal thinking. We move along the surface of things going from one quick base to another, often with a frenzy that wears us out. We collect data, things, people, ideas "profound experiences," never penetrating any of them.... But there are other times, There are times when we stop. We sit still. We lose ourselves in a pile of leaves or its memory. We listen and breezes from a whole other world begins to whisper.

Sometimes one of the best things we can do in life is to tune out. Take some time today to just shut out all of the worlds business and tune into God. Communication with God, prayer, is a two way conversation! It's not just the voicing of praise and petitions, but often it's communion. Sitting alone with God listening to whatever He may want to say. Take the time to enjoy the fact that He is, and you are, and you have a relationship with Him. These special moments with God are when His breezes can enter your heart and refresh you. He hears our voices, do you hear His?

Be blessed today, and remember to slow down and pray, commune with God.

Pastor Mike

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Don't face life alone!

Today's passage is from 2 Samuel 22:33-34: It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights.
Every person has their own obstacles to overcome in Life. We all face challenges and difficulties on the road to success, but the difference between those who succeed, and those who fail, is persistence.
Life is not a level, smooth path, but rather a series of hills and valleys. There are times spent on the mountain top, when everything seems clear and perfect. Then there are those times when we feel like we're wandering around in a dark cave, feeling our way along and trusting God for every step of faith.
A runner gets a "second wind" after forcing himself to go on when he feels like he can't. We feel the joy of God's Spirit lift us up and carry us when we choose to go on in faith, no matter how we feel, or what's going on around us.
Take some time today to be persistent in your faith. Faith in God to lead you, pick you up when you fall, give you strength to go on, and bring you to victory over life's struggles. Remember that we can do anything through Him who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13).
God loves us, and He'll never leave us to face life alone. Call on Him today to give you the strength to face life with joy and abundance. Remember the poem Footprints? Will you let Him carry you when times get tough, or will you try it on your own? His arms are wide open, climb on in.
I love you all, and ask that you pray today for the Missionaries of the world, and ask that you tell at least one person about Jesus today.
Please feel free to post your comments on this site for others to see and gain encouragement from. You can also email me at with any prayer requests, as we'll soon be starting a prayer chain.
In the grip of the Lord,
Pastor Mike

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Just another Saturday morning!

Last night was so fun. At 8:30, I spontaniously decided that I would take the dive into the world of blogging. By 11:30, I turned the thing over to Carmen and told her goodnight. It wasn't because I wasn't having a blast, it was because me and the computer have a love-hate relationship. It loves to hate me (Yes, I am one of those two-fingered typists that can barely turn a computer on). I had two Pastor friends of mine from Galt California (thanks Rob and Al) who showed me their sites, and much to my dismay, I was instantly jealous. Their blogs were flashy and looked so awesome compared to mine. So, I went to bed dreaming of putting flashes of brilliance on my new site that would be the envy of everyone. Well, I am proud to announce that this morning reality has set in, and I am more than happy with what I have. So, if you'll be patient with us, our site will look better as we learn how to navigate this brave new cyber world.

Carmen is a wiz with computers, and has already learned a lot about this blog world. She has added Pastor Rob and Al's blog site links to our page. If you would like to include yours, please feel free to let us know so we can expand our site to the far reaches of the world. We would also appreciate any ideas or suggestions that you have for us. Isn't it amazing what God has given us?

I was reading 1 Corithians 15 this morning when verse 58 really jumped out at me. It says; "Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." It's time for me to change. I need to start making sure that I don't become distracted by life. I need to stay more focused on making sure that everyone knows about the love of Jesus and what He's done for me. I NEED TO SPREAD THE WORD................................

I gotta go for now, but I'll be catching you later.

Proverbs 3:5,6

Friday, March 03, 2006

Today's thoughts from Pastor Mike

Here we go, my first day.

I'll be starting to post my thougts tomorrow regarding Christian thoughts.