Divine Appointment

I got a phone call yesterday that I can't stop thinking about. I received a call from a lady in our church that I have never met. What she said really shook me and blessed me.

On Monday, as I do each Monday, I had lunch with a group of guys from my church. We meet for lunch once a week for fellowship, encouragement, support, etc. Well un-knowingy to me at the time, this woman which I naturally did not recognize, was seated right next to us. She of course knew who I was, as she sees each week on the platform.

In the course of our discussion I shared with the guys an experience I had on Sunday morning. For some reason, on that morning, I felt a great deal of spiritual attack. I was bombarded with feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness. I was feeling as if I was not making a real difference, and frankly just didn't want to be there. Apparently she heard all of that, and was moved in her spirit to pray for me.

She then told me how tired she was because she had not slept one minute that night, the night before her call to me. She had been up all night praying for me! I don't think anyone has ever stayed up all night praying for me. She then told me that at 4:00 am God told her that she was to call me that day, so she did.

In our conversation she told me that God wanted me to know that He was sitting right next to me that day at lunch. The chair next to me was empty. There were three of us at the table, she said that she saw four. She also shared with me that the reason I was experiencing the kind of oppression that I was, was that God was soon going to ask me to do something very big for Him. That got my attention! If that does in fact come to pass, I will let you know.

She said the Lord also gave her a song to share with me. Here it is...

Light The Fire

I stand to praise You,
But I fall to my knees.
My spirit is hungry,
But my flesh is so weak___.


Light the fire
In my soul,
Fan the flame,
Make me whole.
Lord, You know
Where I’ve been,
So light the fire in my heart again.

I feel Your arms around me,
As the power of Your healing begins.
You breathe new life right through me,
Like a mighty rushing wind___.

So light the fire in my heart again,
light the fire in my heart again,
light the fire in my heart again.

What a blessing. Just what I needed!

Another interesting note to all this is, she never got her lunch! She walked in, saw me, ordered her food and then sat down and waited 20 minutes for her food. It never arrived. She then got up to check on it and was told that they lost her order. By this time she was out of time and couldn't wait any longer and had to leave. Not only did she not get her lunch but she said she had never eaten there before, and never really had any desire to, she for some reason just felt compelled to go there on that day to eat. Divine appointment!

I am still blown away by all this. Clearly God had her there for a specific reason. He used her to convey a message to me, a message that I needed to hear.

This Sunday we plan to meet face to face.

Never Sleep Again!

I found my new coffee! Check this out!

Thanks Marko!


I want to be more like Paul; the Apostle Paul that is. He had conviction. He had passion. He had guts!

In reading Acts 21 I am again reminded as to why Paul is my greatest hero. Despite the warnings of many, in Acts 21 we see Paul returning home to Jerusalem after his long missionary journey. Beacause of the radical message he was preaching, and the unrest that it was causing among the Jews, there were many that strongly discouraged his return to Jerusalem.

21:4 "...Through the Spirit they urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem."

21:10-11 "...a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. Coming over to us, he took Paul's belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, 'The Holy Spirit says, 'In this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.'"

21:12 "When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem."

I love Paul's response in the face of all this warning.

"Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus." (21:13)

Guess what he did? He went! He took the risk, went, and was protected and used. God protected him from the angered crowds and in fact gave him opportunity to minister to them.

Paul had guts! I want to be a risk taker like that. It is my prayer that I might also have the guts of Paul, to be willing to live out the Gospel of Chirst no matter what the consequenses may be.


What a great week this has been! I left the office on Tuesday afternoon and haven't been back all week.

It has been a great week of sleeping in, eating lots, hanging out with my favorite people, catching up on reading, and long walks in the cold November air.

After a fairly busy season of ministry it feels particularily refreshing and reviving to have a few days away to rest and recuperate, and focus on family and all the things I am truly thankful for.

I look forward to jumping back in tomorrow, and heading into the Christmas season!

Brittnie and Benny playing in the kitchen

Thanksgiving feast at Robin's parent's house

Ready for another brisk walk

What I'm reading

Think On This

"...too many of us have lived with the name "church" or the name "Christian," but not with deep passion as Christ's revolutionary community of faith and mission. Christianity has been little more than a belief system for us, not a way of life. It has been an institution, not a mission for our lives. It has made us nice people with confidence of heaven after this life, but not world-changing revolutionaries with hope for justice and peace in this life. It has given us the identity of religious people, not the identity of courageous rescue workers."

McLaren, Brian D. "The Story We Find Ourselves In: Further Adventures Of A New Kind Of Christian." San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003.


What am I most thankful for this Thanksgiving?
Here are three..




Man, I'm blessed!

Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

The Race

In preparing my message for Sunday morning I am struck with conviction. We are currently doing a series on Acts with our Middle Schoolers. This week we are looking at Acts 20.

In Acts 20 we see Paul traveling quite a bit. He travels to Greece, Syria, Macedonia, Philippi, Toras, Assos, Mitylene, Kios, Samos, Miletus, and Ephesus, all on his way to Jerusalem. It is his words to the leaders in Ephesus that strike me.

He tells them that he is being compelled to go to Jerusalem, not knowing what may happen to him there. Clearly his life was in danger because of the radical message of grace that he was preaching. He says in verse 24, "..I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace." For someone like me, living in this prosperous American culture, that is a spirit that is hard to grasp. Paul elaborates further on this spirit in Philippians 3:7-11.

Here are some radical and for me very convicting words...

"But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead."

That is the race I want to run...I think. It's a radical race. It's a race that I believe God wants me to run. It definitely requires a shift in thinking. We must see all the stuff we acquire in this life as "rubbish" and see living out the gospel of Jesus as the most important aspect of life.

What are your thoughts? What is it going to take to truly run such a race?

Turkey 'N Thanks

Saturday night was our annual Middle School Turkey 'N Thanks, or TNT as we like to to call it. What a great night!

Everything about the night was great! The food was incredible; some of the best turkey I have ever eaten! The fellowship was fantastic and worship was wonderful.

My Little Man even got into the spirit of things!

After stuffing ourselves silly, Tom shared some pretty crazy turkey trivia that we all laughed at, and AJ led us in a time of worship in which we had each table read a scripture dealing with thanksgiving between songs.

We also shared with one another the things in which we are thankful for.

Kevin then shared with us some fascinating history on Thanksgiving which made us all the more thankful for the country we live in.

We concluded the night with some amazing pumpkin and apple pie.

See all the pictures here. You'll wish you were there!

We have a lot to be thankful for!

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. Colossians 2:6-7


This morning I got to play guitar in "big church." I got to play in the "bigs". It was very fun! Not only did I play, I got to play Jon's Gibson Les Paul. What a sweet guitar!

We played the Phillips Craig & Dean song, "Let The Worshippers Arise."

I love playing music. I used to play guitar in a band around the Portland area a number of years ago, as well as lead worship with my students. Anymore I am surrounded by people that are musically, far more gifted than I. I am thankful for Aaron and the great job he does in leading our students in worship each week. Recently I have joined Aaron and have been playing bass with our student worship band, and have enjoyed it immensely. There is something very cool about playing music with others, especailly when leading people in worship.

Thank you God for the gift of music!

Thankful Middle Schoolers

Last night at The Danger Zone, our Thursday night Middle School gathering, we spent some time in prayer being thankful. Before we prayed I asked everyone to think of just one thing they are thankful to God for. We then prayed.

It started out a little slow but then the thanks began pouring out! Students were thanking their God for their parents, their brothers and sisters, their friends, their salvation, their church, their youth group, their pets, their school, God's provisions, God's love, God's forgiveness, and on and on and on. It was incredible. What a great time of worship it was!

I have been told in the past that I am crazy to expect middle school students to be still enough, and serious enough, to pray in a setting like that. How sad. These students know who their God is and are thankful for all that He has done, and continues to do in their lives. So am I.

Tomorrow night we have our annual Turkey 'N Thanks (TNT) with the students. It is a full on formal Thanksgiving style dinner; turkey, stuffing, potatoes, pie....the works! The purpose is to have a unique time of fellowship, enjoying a great meal, and to spend time, once again, expressing our thanks to God. I'll report on how the night goes and post some pictures. It's always a highlight of our year!

What are you thankful for this year?


We have iTunes, iPod, iMac, iSight, iLife, iChat, and even iPastor (see the URL of this blog).

I now present to you....iWipe, the Apple-powered, wireless, portable toilet paper dispenser.

I knew I should never have gotten rid of my old Mac SE

Check this out.

Sorry I can't help it....I'm a Youth Pastor!

The Moon

Callie a student in my high school ministry posted a wonderful piece on her blog yesterday about the moon. You must read it.

As I arrived home to night I realized what it was that inspired her. I couldn't help but notice how big and how beautiful the moon was! It was shining so bright! I went right in and grabbed my camera.

When I look up into the heavens I can't help but think about how big, how awesome, our God is. The creator of all, the lover of me!

Perfectly, God created everything. He even set the moon in just the right spot. Did you know that if the moon were only 50,000 miles away from earth instead of 200,000, the tides might be so enormous that all the continents would be submerged in water?


I am moved to worship when I look up and see God's handiwork. I am thankful that He did it for me. To amaze me. To draw me in closer to Him.

Praise him, all his angels,
praise him, all his heavenly hosts.

Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars.

Praise him, you highest heavens
and you waters above the skies.

Psalm 148:2-4

Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.

To him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.

Who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.

Who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.

Who made the great lights—
His love endures forever.

The sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.

The moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.
Psalm 136:3-9

Centrality of Love

Here at the Grace Place our stated purpose is to Love God and Love Others To God. It is the core of what we strive to be. It is, I believe, what God desires of us, His Church.

To love God is expressed in our worship of Him. This of course encompasses much! Within the context of the church we often narrowly define worship as the worship service, and more specifically, singing. This last Sunday I spoke from Matthew 5:17-26. Verses 23-24 stood out to me the most.

Jesus is teaching here that if you are coming before Him in worship (offering your gift at the altar) and remember a conflict that you have with someone, to go and take care of that first, and then return to offer your gift of worship. God is not interested in our love for Him if we do not have love for others. How many times have we stood in church "worshipping" when we knew we were having problems with someone? Is that really worship? Jesus would say, no.

John makes it very clear in 1 John 4:20-21. If we say we "love God" and yet hate our brother, we are a liar. How can that be worship?

An important truth that has been rumbling around in my mind lately, one that I actually began thinking on after watching Rob Bell's new Nooma video, "Rhythm", is...the way we love others is the way we love God. I haven't always thought that way. I hope more will begin to.

Love is central. Love is central in our relationship to God, and it means much more than loving God alone, it involves how we love each other.

Let us strive to make the Church more focused on truly loving God and loving others...the two cannot be separated.

A Beautiful Collision

Quite often when I get a song stuck in my head it's a pretty annoying song. I'm sure you can relate. Today has been an exception. Here's the song that has been rattling around in my head all day today. It sure is a good one!

A Beautiful Collision
David Crowder

The heart breaking makes a sound
I never knew could be
So beautiful and loud
Fury-filled and we collide

So courageous until now
Fumbling and scared
So afraid You'll find me out
Alone here with my doubt

Here it comes a beautiful collision
Is happening now
There seems no end to where you begin and where I end now
You and I, collide

Something circling inside
Spaciously you fly
Infinite and white
Like the moon and sky

Here it comes a beautiful collision
Is happening now
There seems no end to where you begin and where I end now
You and I, collide

I am so thankful for the collision of God's heart with mine! It certainly is better than the collision I experienced Wednesday.

May there never be and end to where He begins and where I end.

For Laughs...


So I left the office on Wednesday at about 4:00 to head home, to spend a little time with the fam., eat some dinner, and then head back to the church for The Link, our High School Wednesday night ministry.

I'm sitting in my truck, at the corner of Gaarde St. and Hwy 99 waiting to make a right turn, lost in my thoughts, thinking about my day, and the night that still lay ahead, when out of nowhere my truck thrusts forward with the sound of breaking glass and folding metal. I had been hit!

Some 18 year old kid driving Mom's minivan had just plowed into me! Thankfully no one was hurt, well except for his pride. I'm sure Mom and Dad had some choice words for him as well.

Here's the damage.

I took it to the bodyshop yesterday. Any guesses as to how much it's going to cost to fix? Well I'll tell you. $2,916.41! Incredible! At least it's not coming out my pocket. Bummer for his insurance rates!

It's all good though, I never liked my bumper and wanted a new one anyway! Also a good lesson in Godly stewardship.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17

I'm thankful for the good things God has given me. If He chooses to crunch them once in awhile, I'm ok with that, usually.

When Things Work

Isn't it nice when things actually work?

Check out this amazing video from Honda.

Apparently everything in the video happened in real time with no special effects, and took 606 takes!

Another Latte Please

Most that know me, know of my love for coffe. At Starbucks there is really only one drink I get. That would be the Double Tall Vanilla Latte, with 1.5 pumps of vanilla, extra hot. Please remember that, in the event that you feel the need to get me a latte!

Well I just found out how many Starbuck's Lattes I can drink before, well, I'm drinking lattes in that "Heavenly Cafe." I can drink a whopping 321.75 cups before that fateful days comes!

Find our how much of your favorite caffienated beverage you can enjoy at the Death By Caffeine Calculator.

Helmet Report #5

If you have been following my blog for awhile now you know that I have been tracking the progress of my son Benjamin's helmet therapy (#1, #2, #3, #4) Because of a pronounced flat spot on the back of his head he has needed to wear a custom made helmet to aid his head in developing into the proper shape.

In my last report I mentioned that his next appoitment was set for November 11, this Friday. We ended up moving his appointment up to November 9, yesterday, due to some head irritation that he had been experiencing, caused by the helmet.

I am happy to share that the doctor was very pleased! He explained that his head has not shown any significant growth, yet there was movement, which is positive! I might add, it is also looking very good! We are real impressed! He then explained that he thinks by Christmas he should only need to wear the helmet at night when he sleeps and for naps. We can't wait!

As always we appreciate so much your prayers. I'll continue to keep you posted!

Mind Trick

This will freak you out. Let us know what your answers were.

Thankful for Grace

We sing about. We talk about. We read about it. I sure am thankful for it! I am thankful for God's grace and what it had done for me, and who it has made me.

I often dwell on my shortcomings. What a dumb thing to do, but do it none the less. I tend to dwell on my past sin, and even my present sin condition. I dwell on my weaknesses and all the things I think I don't do very well. But when I think on God's grace, man do I see things differently!

I am thankful that God has accepted me for who I am and what I am. I am thankful that He has chosen to use me, despite all my shortcomings, to be a part of the building of His kingdom. Wow! Why me?

As I read the Apostle Paul's writings I see that I am not alone.

For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. Whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed. - 1 Corinthians 15:9-11

I'm in good company!

I appreciate the chorus of Todd Agnew's version of the song Amazing Grace.

Hallelujah, grace like rain falls down on me
Hallelujah, all my stains are washed away, washed away

Thank you Jesus for your grace! Let it rain!

Great Quote

"Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you yourself shall be the miracle."

- Phillips Brooks

In The Name of Love...of Course

If only it were this easy to bring the leaders of the free world together. If there was anyone who could do it, it would be Bono of course!

Check this out!

My Jesus

I just today discovered an amzaing song that I must share. I hope and pray that it causes you to think like it does me.

My Jesus
Todd Agnew

Which Jesus do you follow?
Which Jesus do you serve?
If Ephesians says to imitate Christ
Then why do you look so much like the world?

Cause my Jesus bled and died
He spent His time with thieves and liars
He loved the poor and accosted the arrogant
So which one do you want to be?

Blessed are the poor in spirit
Or do we pray to be blessed with the wealth of this land
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness
Or do we ache for another taste of this world of shifting sand

Cause my Jesus bled and died for my sins
He spent His time with thieves and sluts and liars
He loved the poor and accosted the rich
So which one do you want to be?

Who is this that you follow
This picture of the American dream
If Jesus was here would you walk right by on the other side or fall down and worship at His holy feet

Pretty blue eyes and curly brown hair and a clear complexion
Is how you see Him as He dies for Your sins
But the Word says He was battered and scarred
Or did you miss that part
Sometimes I doubt we'd recognize Him

Cause my Jesus bled and died
He spent His time with thieves and the least of these
He loved the poor and accosted the comfortable
So which one do you want to be?

Cause my Jesus would never be accepted in my church
The blood and dirt on His feet would stain the carpet
But He reaches for the hurting and despised the proud
I think He'd prefer Beale St. to the stained glass crowd
And I know that He can hear me if I cry out loud

I want to be like my Jesus!
I want to be like my Jesus!

Not a posterchild for American prosperity, but like my Jesus
You see I'm tired of living for success and popularity
I want to be like my Jesus but I'm not sure what that means to be like You Jesus
Cause You said to live like You, love like You but then You died for me
Can I be like You Jesus?
I want to be like my Jesus

When They Get It

Because of my love for Middle Schoolers and my love of seeing them get it, I post the following quote from the mouth of a Middle Schooler regarding worship, found on Marko's Blog.

When presented with Amos 5:21-24 in which God basically tells the Israelites that He is not interested in their worship because their lifestyle does not back it up, a student of Marko's, that got it summed up the message in the following way:

"It’s saying, like, that God doesn’t care if we sing songs or not, or if we ’say’ prayers, or whatever. It’s saying that what really matters is our hearts; and if we really want to, like, worship God and all, like, we can do that with how we live our lives, and, like, even by how we show God’s love to other people and stuff."

Dead on right! If only we would all understand that!

Who says Middle Schoolers don't get it?


Well it's now official. The "Rainy Season" has begun here in the great Northwest! Rain, rain, rain. Man it is wet! We're supposed to get an inch of rain today. Of course we also got one yesterday and the day before, and we'll probably get one tomorrow too! See. Aaagh!!

To help us feel better about the rain, we Orgonians like to say things like, "but it sure is green here." Well yah, but...

I sure miss Summer.

Ok, I feel better now. Let it rain!


I may not be the biggest fan of Halloween, but man my little guy was cute!!