Category Archives: Spoken Word

God’s Calling is Definite & Certain

I’m typing this fast, so if there are mistakes, my apologies…

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Listening to Preston’s message last night revealed a lot of new things and shined a new perspective light on other things in my life. He said two things that struck a cord with me: “Even the healthiest trees can die in unhealthy places…,” & “God won’t ever take your gift away, but that doesn’t mean you won’t give it away” Within those two quotes, I began to evaluate how many times I have been in compromise-able situations/places in my life that I “gave” my blessings of life away. Thank the Lord for His grace and His mercy to re-direct me on the path that has been intended for me.

With Preston’s message last night, it reminded me of the story of Abraham in the bible. I dunno how many countless times I have read his story but I came across some old notes that I had and I want to shed some “new light” on his story even more.

I was always baffled about how God tested Abraham with the sacrificing of his son Isaac, but even more amazed on how Abraham trusted God to provide. I dunno about your life, but in my past experiences, it was sometimes difficult to discern what God’s calling was for my life at that present time. I needed to filter out my desires with prayer, but even then I tended to say, “I feel an impression on my heart to…(fill in the blank here)” That’s when God showed me the story of Abraham.

In his story, I love how God “reveals” His test on Abraham. “Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”  “Here I am,” he replied. ” – – Genesis 22:1 (Side note, how many blessings would you receive if you could answer like Abraham did..”Here I am”.)

Vs 2, “Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” I love how the Word sets up this story because if I was Abraham, I would  make sure I had not one doubt in my mind on what God is instructing me to do. Especially if it involves this particular task….Wouldn’t you? God made sure Abraham knew exactly who & what He was talking about.. “Take your son,” Just in case you don’t know who this is Abraham, “Your only son,” (Reminder!! Ishmael was not the son I attended for you), “Whom you love…” What a definite & Certain calling that was on Abraham’s life. God left no doubt in Abraham’s mind, but the story does not stop there.

I believe if God has called you into something, he expects You to do it & not pawn it off to someone else. He equips you not someone else to carry out the task for you. I love how Abraham understands this situation. “Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.” – – Gen 22:3-5

In seminary, we were taught the climax of this particular passage was in verse 5 when Abraham mentions that, “we will come back to you.” Although it shows true faith that God will be his Jireh, I submit that the climax of this story happens in verse 3. Abraham was a prince. He had many servants, it even mentions that he grabs two servants to head to mountain. But the thing that screams out to me the most is that Abraham, the prince, decided to Cut His Own wood. Abraham knew that this was God’s calling on his life and not anybody else’s. He knew that he needed to make the sacrifice and that he had to prepare for it himself..not his servants.

How many times have we ignored God’s calling in our life? Scratch that, better question…How many times have we pawned, (or ignored) it off to someone else that we think is, “more equipped” or even worse, “we just don’t want to do it”? In Preston’s message last night, it made me think how we completely perverse the callings on our life with things of this world. I hope we can look past our lives and live by faith and not by sight.


Love God, Love People

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An Incredible Story 1 of 2

Friends, I didn’t want to do this at first, but the more and more I thought about this, the more I realized that the only way to convey this message is to re-post this blog from 2007.  I’m going to re-post this in 2 parts. The 1st post will be Ashley’s response and the 2nd will be the response and story at a later date. This is probably one of the most incredible stories that I’ve heard in a long time. It comes from the 268 Blog in January 2007. I first heard this story when I was at one of the Passion Conferences a couple years ago, but only heard the bittersweet ending. Truly remarkable how this story plays out….


Ashley’s Home

You guys remember Ashley, the Florida senior who sent what might be the coolest e-mail of all time. Just after Passion 07 we received this at the Passion House from her:

Hi, I feel kinda weird writing this email. And i doubt if it ever gets to Mr Louie Giglio. I am a Senior at The University of Florida. I got a new roommate this semester and she is a Christian and I have never really been into the whole Christian thing because every pastor or speaker that I have ever listened to didn’t speak in a language I could understand. I have believed in God and Jesus, but never really understood it because the preachers at the church that I have always been forced to go to every Sunday of my life. They speak all high and mighty and I never really felt connected, and I felt like God was only for the perfect people.
Well my roommate went to this Passion Conference over winter break. And she came back and moved into my apt and she was real and genuine about all her Christian stuff, like I have never seen before in a person. She said that God changed her at this conference, so i was like what are you talking about. And she told me. She told me about how God was cool, and how God really wanted a deeper relationship with her, and she wanted to really love God the way he loved her, so of course I was like well huh? She then said you need to listen to Louie talk about God, so I asked who Louie was, and she put on the Indescribable talk, and then we watched the Passport talk. And in the Passport talk you said that Christians do not have to just hope for the best at the end, that they do not have to do enough good stuff. You explained how to get to heaven in a simple way, in a way that I have never heard before. I actually got it, I got it that it is not about being so good, cause I am not a good person. I have screwed up a lot. But then you said grace, and talked about how is was different than other religions. Because God is a loving and a kind God who wants to forgive me. My roommate then explained that he wants to forgive me.
Now for one of the reasons I am thanking you. One, I am now a Christian. And two, my roommate said that she had never really cared about telling others about how much God loved her before she went to this conference. So though I am not sure who will ever read this. Please tell Louie thanks from me, for talking about Christ in a way that a college kid can understand. I know that Jesus has changed my life and as I get ready to graduate college in May, I am gonna be a different person. I am sorry this is kinda rambling but I just had to tell you that I now know about the Grace of God, and I have life for the first time in my 22 years

Ashley

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Truth Reveals

Someone once said that “The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians,,,,, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.” with that being said….. I think it’s funny how God uses certain things in your life to reveal specific things that you need to hear.

This encounter happened when I was minding my own business watching an episode of “Hells Kitchen” on Fox. Gordon Ramsay was being his normal self by yelling and cussing every other prepositional phrase at his chefs who were all performing very poorly. During this hour, one of the things that Chef Gordon was repeatedly saying over and over was, “Taste the food first before sending it out!!” Most of the potential executive chefs were sending out food to the guest that was either, too salty, too bland, and/or too spicy, and all they had to do to remedy this simple problem was to taste the food first and fix the mistake.

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Immediately after I heard Chef Gordon say this, God thumped me on the head and asked me one simple question He already knew the answer too. “Do you speak simple truths to others without applying it to your life first?” I was speechless, I didn’t know what to say because I knew in my own life, I was expecting people around me to live a life that I didn’t require of myself first. He immediately referred me to the life of Moses to explain this conviction.

Most people only know the story of Moses from what they learned from their Sunday School Teacher or even what they have seen in the movies. I believe one of the greatest truths that had to be revealed, happened even before Moses even went to Egypt to ask Pharaoh to “let his people go.” In order for you to understand this post, you must first know the main reason why the Hebrews needed to be freed was not because they were, “Slaves of Egypt” but because they were “Slaves to unrighteousness.” During captivity, the Hebrew people were unable to worship God as they were instructed to do. At that present time, circumcision was a man’s way to enter into a covenant with God. Pharaoh prohibited this act of worship and caused all men to be left uncircumcised during their slavery. (In fact, local Pastor, Chuck Swindoll mentions Joseph, a another Bible character,  had to show he was circumcised to his brothers in order for them to realize that it was actually him alive in Egypt). God chose Moses to free His people so they could worship Him accordingly. What happens next reveals the truth and  how we can apply it to our lives even IF it’s in the Old Testament.

Exodus 4:24-26 is what blew me away because even after God chose Moses and gave him clear cut instructions, and even after Moses conceded after begging God to pick someone else, God came into the night ready to kill Moses before his adventure even started. See Moses forgot one small detail…his son wasn’t even circumcised so how can he deliver God’s people from this bondage, when he himself hasn’t worshipped God in this way? Zipporah his wife had to unconventionally be the person who responded and spared Moses’ life while he was asleep.

I had to chew on this story for a long time just because, I myself tend to act on things without applying it to my life first. When I was working at my previous church, one of the most common mistakes that I made frequently was the fact that I would go into study only to prep for the next bible study that I would be teaching without trying to apply what He was teaching to me first. In fact, now that I look back, most of the studies that I taught on, were mainly intended for me!!! I urge you to listen to God’s still small voice. His intentions can be played out rather loud if you just listen. I pray that In Joy, Enjoy!!!  Even if the truth convicts you. Love God, Love People.

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Memories vs. Reality

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It was the start of summer of  ’87 that my curiosity got the best of me. Summer vacation meant a few things in my life at that time: freedom for three months and more frequent visits to my real father’s house. Yes, for most kids, it’s the time to go outside and play with friends down at Central Park, but since we lived in a very transitional community at the time,  people my age didn’t stay in one place very long.  Because of this small little situation, I learned the art of staying at home and building forts with our flower printed couch cushions and pillows.

As a kid, I didn’t have a lot of toys growing up partly for a couple of reasons. A. My mother was a very frugal person, and there were only a certain amount of things you could do with legos. B. When I did have toys I would take them to my real father’s house and leave them there only by the request of him. (I will now refer to my real father as Steve)  I preface this because, as a kid, you NEVER forget what is yours…especially when you have so few toys to begin with. See Steve, was a not a great dad at all. Without going into all the horrible things he used to do to my mom and I, I will say this…the reason why he forced me to leave things at his house is because he wanted to give them to his other son since he spent most of his money on his little addiction. Later during those weekends I would come home, my mother would ask me where a certain toy was I would say, at Steve’s house and she would discipline me because I was irresponsible. Thus the reason, why I played with flower printed couch cushions and pillows most of the time. Steve can’t steal couch cushions without mom knowing. Although I did try to take them one time but they couldn’t all fit in our red Nissan Sentra.

There was this ONE toy, that I never let out of my sights. I would polish it once a week, tape the handles every summer so I wouldn’t get blisters, and kept it fueled with high octane bubbles. The only time I would take my bubble lawn mower out was the day that my step-dad mowed the lawn. As he headed into the garage, I ran towards the dining room window to get the best seat in the house. At the time, mowing was the most entertaining thing to watch on a hot summer day. I would see him start the mower with one pull of the cord and watch him glide across the grass cutting every single blade without missing one. Every single time he passed by, you could smell the fresh cut grass and it was heavenly. After he was done, I immediately went out there with my bubble mower 1000 and simulate what I just saw. I would always wait until he was done because my bubble mower 1000 wasn’t as powerful as his mower. Mine left grass everywhere and it smelled like soap rather than fresh cut grass when I pushed my mower.

After watching him cut the grass several times, I felt that I was ready to take the challenge, step up and become, “the man”. I asked my step-dad every week for 14 weeks, “Can I mow the grass this time?” His answer was always the same, “You’re not ready yet, and I’m having too much fun.” His answer didn’t change until May 23rd 1988. He comes in my room and says, “Happy Birthday, You are ready and you can mow the grass this time.” At that moment, this was the best birthday gift I have received to date. I pulled out my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles undies, my shorts, my mighty mouse t-shirt and boots. (don’t ask). I went out to the garage and he instructed me where to pull and push and also where not to put my hand just in case grass got stuck somewhere. After several failed attempts to start the mower, my step-dad intervened and got it started for me. I quickly began to notice that my lines aren’t as straight as his and I sweat more than I usually do pushing my bubble mower. After I was done, he said, “Good job son, how’d you like it?” I quickly responded telling him, that I would like to stick to my bubbles, but before I could finish my sentence, he interrupted and said, “You’ve been asking for a long time, and now this is your responsibility.”

Later on in life, I was required to read a book about a fellow named Tom Sawyer. I quickly realized during that time, that my step-dad played a little trick making me believe that mowing was fun just like Tom played a trick on his friends on painting the fence.

I say all that to say this. The bible clearly states that, “There is a way that seems right to man, but in the end, it leads to destruction.” My ways, my thoughts, my desires will always lead me down the wrong path. This 21 day fast of ourselves that our young adults are doing right now has shown me how selfish I can really be. I just pray that God will ruin my plans so I can follow Him according to His will…Sorry for such a long post…Love God, Love People

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Love Dallas, Love the World (1st Post)

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It’s almost awkward for me to think that I am actually posting a blog…Facebook Statuses & Tweeting take little to no effort for me to think about what to say. I think I’ve typed and backspaced about 14 times before coming up to this random 1st blog entry. But after tapping on the keys without typing one word, (you know you do it too), I finally figured out what to say. I don’t think I have the chops to write a blog that people would flock to and read.  But I do know that documenting this first ever blog would be cool to look back at a few months from now.

I titled this post, “Love Dallas, Love the World”. This is in regards to everything that happened tonight at our young adult bible study called Seven. Let me preface this post first by giving you a small background lesson on how I got here. If you don’t know me and you are reading this post randomly, I attend Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas. In the Evangelical world, most people would call Gateway a “Mega Church”. Growing up and being part of a “bible believing” and significantly “smaller” size church, it was embedded in my head that all mega-churches were about “entertaining the crowd” as the people “entertained the church’s pocket book.” I started to believe this statement the first time I went to a mega-church in the area (Not Gateway). Christian and I were the only ones in our section to have their bibles, and the pastor decided to literally break dance on stage while barely using scripture during the actual “message.”  It was an uneasy feeling to say the least. Our first encounter/impression with Gateway Church changed our views rather quickly. We entered the doors wanting to see the worship team and to “hear” good music, but Christian and I left the church hearing the Lord speak to us, “This is your new home.” 7 months later, we are still here and loving every minute of it!!

Our Young Adults Pastor, Preston Morrison, had an incredible message tonight about fasting from ourselves and how to find joy from it. Without sounding like I’m quoting his message verbatim, I would encourage anybody who was not there go podcast it right now…

His message reminded me of a passage in Acts 4 where John and Peter were preaching the gospel and are seized by the high priest and elders. They started drilling Peter and John with questions and asking them “By what power or what name did you do this?” Peter speaks up and preaches directly to them and ends his answer with a popular verse that a lot of us know already, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” I guess my point of this post all falls back on the following verse. Acts 4:13 says, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” I long to be that type of person. A believer who can have just one encounter with someone and they immediately know, that I’ve been with Jesus. I hope the next 21 days, I will find the needs of others and help them meet their needs in whatever way that I can.

If you do attend seven at Gateway, and you need some help finding out how to serve others, go to Craigslist. No, not to buy, sell or trade, but to find peoples needs and help them out. If you didn’t know there is a tab just for volunteers. Small groups of people or organzations post the needs they have that they are unable to get them done by themselves. People who just need the lawn mowed, or “shut-ins” who just need a bag of groceries. It’s time to act on what we hear. To love God, and Love people.

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