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My apologies for not posting this week.  It’s been an unusually hectic time for me these past few weeks and I wasn’t been able to get around to blogging this week, but don’t worry, I’ll be back next week.

But till then, let me be the first to officially wish you a Happy Memorial Day.  May God bless your weekend and bless this great country of ours.  And may we never forget to “render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.  (Romans 13:7)

And I’m proud to be an American
Where at least I know I’m free
And I won’t forget the men who died
Who gave that right to me
And I’d gladly stand up next to you
And defend her still today
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt
I love this land
God Bless the U.S.A.
“God Bless the U.S.A” by Lee Greenwood

“Love isn’t supposed to something we DO; love is supposed to be who are ARE.”

Love Is series finale yesterday and we ended up with a bang!

Yes love is action and love is attitude and love is local, but it’s way more than that as well.  Love is a way of life.  It’s a life “consecrated” to God.  Consecrating your life doesn’t mean you need to quit your job or become a monk or nun or anything like that.  It’s something we all can/should do.

Why?  Because that’s the only way you’ll be able to walk on water.  Check out the video and you’ll see what I mean.

And special thanks to my good friend Dalia Fam for her cameo role in the message.  Make sure you watch till the end to hear her story.

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Is God a Deceiver?

May 15, 2015 — 4 Comments
This is a guest post from Rob – a husband and father of two – who has been battling a serious disease for over 25 years.  In his own words, Rob says that he feels “like the prodigal son in that I have returned to Christ after having been gone for a long time, am feeling called to do some sort of pastor type work but feel totally unqualified and scared to get into it fully.”  If you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.

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“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.”  (Matthew 11:28-29)

“Come to me” God says and you will have “rest for your souls”. Ok, great.  Sign me up!  This is a direct promise from God and we God never lies, right?  Go to Him and you will have rest. Simple and straightforward, right?

Not exactly.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve found myself at times being tempted to call God a deceiver. I’ve found myself angry that the simple truth found in a promise didn’t seem apparent in my life – even as I watched others seemingly delight in the very same words.

It seemed like the promise did not apply in my case; that is it was “not applicable” for me.  The more grand the promise, the more I lamented my sad state as being separate from God. And yet I continued to hear preachers dole out great proclamations to clapping multitudes.

Was I the only one angry at God?

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It’s now been one month since Easter.  Can you believe it?  One month since the most glorious and life-changing week ever… one month since we confidently believed that a new life was ahead of us and we’d never go back to our old ways or old habits or old lifestyles.

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It was one month ago that we were filled with hope and everything looked bright.

But how about now?  Are you still feeling that way?  Do you still believe that “life will never be the same again?”  Do you still feel the invincibility that you felt when you beheld the empty tomb and proclaimed boldly, “Christ is risen from the dead!

In other words, are you still living in the power of the Resurrection?  Or is back to “same old, same old” for you?

If you’re struggling to maintain the joy and victory and power that you felt just one month ago, take comfort in knowing that YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Continue Reading…

[NOTE: Audio missing for the first 3 minutes.  Technical difficulties.  My apologies.]

“Love isn’t just loving your neighbor; it’s also loving your neighborhood.”

Week 4 in the Love Is series and this week we looked at the fourth characteristic when it comes to Christ-like love: LOVE IS LOCAL.

In this message, you’ll hear me talk about one of the foundational principles upon which STSA was built:  Genuine Love for our Community.  More importantly, you’ll get to hear someone else share about how fulfilling this principle made a huge impact on their life and deepened their relationship with God and with His Church.

Check out the video about and see for yourself.  And get ready to start seeing your neighborhood in a whole new light!

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Love Like a Gorilla

May 8, 2015 — 22 Comments
In preparation for Mother’s Day, this is a post I wrote three years ago about what God, my wife and a mother gorilla all have in common.  Check it out and you’ll see what I mean.  Happy Mother’s Day everyone!

“Your wife is so sweet…your wife is such an angel…your wife is the nicest person I’ve ever met.” 

That’s Marianne – my lovely wife – and those are the comments that I usually hear from people describing her.  And those who know her understand why.  She really is the nicest person ever.  She is sweet, she is kind, she is gracious and she is generous.  She is the pillow to my sword and she really is the best!

BUT….(all the husbands out there need to pray for me because I am risking my life here with this next sentence)….at times my wife reminds me of a gorilla (may God help me!).

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This is a guest post from Dani Wassef – a good friend of mine and a founding member of St. Timothy & St. Athanasius church.  Dani originally wrote this post last week, following the massive earthquake in Nepal that killed more than 7,000 people and injured more than twice as many.  Here Dani shares his thoughts and feelings after hearing the tragic news.  If you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.

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In the midst of a devastating tragedy, the Nepalese people hold their breath and burst into cheers when a fifteen year-old boy was rescued from the rubble of a multistory residential building in Kathmandu on Thursday. This young man is alive despite being hidden in the debris caused by an earthquake which took the life of more than seven thousand people.

As I was listening to the news this morning, goosebumps gathered along my skin. What an amazing scene. In the midst of death life can be found! I started to think about that boy some more, and I wonder if he will ever live life the same way again? He saw his own death, and lived through the misery of five full days and nights of darkness and hopelessness in the pits of despair.

How much more of a modern-day reminder can God give us during these days where we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord for 50 glorious days?

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