Friday, December 26, 2008

The Knowledge of the Holy

I've been reading A.W. Tozer's "The Knowledge of the Holy". I've read it before, but this time I really want to study it. A few of Tozer's thoughts have been highlighted in my book and in my mind:
"Low views of God destroy the gospel for all who hold them."
"When the Scripture states that man was made in the image of God, we dare not add to that statement the idea from our own head and make it mean "in the exact image." To do so is to make man a replica of God, and that is to lose the unicity of God and end with no God at all."
"If we insist upon trying to imagine Him, we end with an idol, made not with hands but with thoughts; and an idol of the mind is as offensive to God as an idol of the hands."
"Of what God is conscious when He is conscious of self, only He knows."

My prayer is that I would develop a more reverent view of God. A view that does not compartmentalize Him in my mind, but rests solely on what He has chosen to reveal about Himself through His word and His Spirit.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ryan Paulson

A few of you have asked me about the teaching at The Well. I want to do my best to thoroughly answer this question rather than giving it a quick "it's good". Our Pastor, Ryan Paulson, has been at Emmanuel Faith for a little over a year now. We are extremely blessed and thankful that the Lord has brought him to us. God has given him a unique ability to teach and relate to young adults. Below is a link to The Well's website. If you go to the "Experience" section you will find a link to our weekly podcast. Here you can download and listen to all the sermons Ryan has taught over the past year or so.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Finally, Brothers. . .

As I mentioned below, for the past several weeks I have been leading a small group through the book "Disciplines of a Godly Man". Tonight we discussed one of my favorite chapters up to this point: The Discipline of Mind. The chapter was centered around Philippians 4:8:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
The author, Kent Hughes, also makes a profound statement:
"It is impossible for any Christian who spends the bulk of his evenings, month after month, week upon week, day in and day out watching the major TV networks or contemporary videos to have a Christian mind. This is always true of all Christians in every situation."

In a world where raunchy media is commmonplace and waiting to fill our minds, please pray that the Holy Spirt would be made real in our lives to help filter out all the garbage.

Also, Thank you for your partnership. I am grateful for all of you! Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 1, 2008


Disclaimer: When I started this blog I did not intend for it to be a forum for me to voice a complaining spirit, and that is not my intention now.

About a month ago I had coffee with a close friend of mine. During the course of our conversation an interesting subject came up: How should we as believers handle the difficult times in life? My friend explained that God allows us to go through different "seasons" in our lives' to mature us and to give us hope for the future glory that He has promised us.

Lately I have been dealing with a heavy heart. I can't point to one specific situation in my life that had led me to feel this way, but I know that for several weeks I have felt a certain anxiety, a restlessness, maybe even a sadness. It just seems easy to look at my past failures, shortcomings, and poor decisions and wonder, "What in the world was I thinking?" As I reflect on these issues, one truth is apparent. Many of these shortcomings came at a time when I made a decision that directly conflicted with God's word. Like most people, I think I have a tendency to want to take control in my life. Those are the times when life seems hard.

Please pray that I would allow the Lord to take control of my life. He has my heart, but there are certain areas in my life that I know I need to surrender completely to Him.

Yesterday in my quiet time I came across this verse in Hebrews 12. I'm not sure its entirely relevant to the blog topic, but it was a source of encouragement to me.

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Today is Thanksgiving. As I sit around the dinner table surrounded by my family I'm overwhelmed by the Lord's goodness. Seldom do I take the time to reflect on His blessings in my life. When I do, I find that I truly have much to be thankful for. My sister, brother-in-law, and their two young children have recently moved home after a three year stay in Sweden. My brother and his wife also made the trip down from Orange County to spend the day with us. I look over at my Dad and Mom and I think back to the times when I was young and we didn't always see eye to eye,(mostly because of my own selfishness and immaturity) and I am thankful that they never gave up on me.
In a time when high value is placed on material possessions, I am filled with joy when I reflect on my family.

Monday, November 17, 2008

His Love Is Strong!

I have found myself to be greatly encouraged by Jon Foreman's music. For those of you who don't know, Jon is the singer and songwriter for the San Diego band Switchfoot. Over the last year he released four EPs (one for each season) of his solo work and songs that he felt weren't Switchfoot material. The result is a collection of mostly acoustic driven songs that have a very personal feel. For many of the songs, Jon took passages right out of scripture and wrote music around them. One of my personal favorites is "Your Love Is Strong". For me, it is reminder that the Lord is in control. He knows what we need and is faithful to provide for us. Even when we go through difficult times, we can take comfort in knowing that His love is strong!

Joshua Wilderness Institute at The Well

Last night we had a huge group at The Well. Typically we have anywhere from 90 to 100 students, but last night we had an additional 40 or so. We had a group from Hume Lake come down and join us. It was really cool to have everyone packed into our little room. The students were from a program called the Joshua Wilderness Institute. It's a 9 month program where the students leave home and stay up at Hume. The program requires the students to make some pretty serious commitments regarding music, movies, and dating, among other things. It is described as "a 9 month fast from the world". It was also nice to see my friend Dominique who, as some of you already know, has committed to the program. Please keep the "Joshua" students in your prayers. I can't imagine the personal discipline required to stay committed!

Also, there is a link to Dominique's blog under "My Friends" section. She periodically posts updates and prayer requests.

If you want to learn more about Joshua Wilderness:

Friday, November 7, 2008

New Men's Small Group

Yesterday was the first day of my new men's small group. Over the next couple of months we will be going through the book "Disciplines of a Godly Man" by R. Kent Hughes. The book is a call for Christian men to step up and lead disciplined lives and is focused around this verse in 1 Timothy:

"Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come."

I am excited to see how the Lord will use our time together to develop godly disciplines that will help us be better husbands, fathers, and men of God. Please pray that our study would bear fruit. Not just for my guys, but for me as well.

Door of Faith Orphanage

Recently a team from The Well had the opportunity to go down to Mexico and serve at Door of Faith Orphanage. In the past I have had some experience working at orphanages in Mexico, but DOFO exceeded all of my expectations. It was obvious from the minute we arrived that DJ (the orphanage administrator) and his wife do a fantastic job of making sure everything runs smoothly. DOFO currently has 120 kids, ranging in age from infant to college. DJ strives to make everyday life as much like an average family as possible. Every meal is enjoyed as a family, each child's birthday is celebrated individually, and each college education (when the time comes) is paid for.

The kids were incredible. Even though they were well taken care of, it was obvious that they really enjoyed and even craved our attention. After DJ finished giving us a tour, our group was walking back to a seating area to discuss or plan for the day. As I walked past a little boy, no older than five, I reached out and touched his head. He immediately grabbed my hand and began leading me around the playground, all while giving me commands to push him on the swing or kick the soccer ball with him. I didn't understand a word he was saying but it didn't seem to matter. He was just happy to have someone to play with. I couldn't help but think that this must be what Jesus was talking about in Matthew 19:14:
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
DOFO's website:

Friday, September 19, 2008

Reason For My Blog Name

Over the past several months my small group has been going through the book of Romans. In Romans 8 Pauls writes, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. . ." He goes on to encourage believers in the future glory that all of creation eagerly waits and even groans for. He finishes the chapter with a great promise in verses 38-39. "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord". For this reason we are more than conquerors. Praise God!