Wednesday, February 28, 2007

In a pit, with a Lion, on a Snowy Day...
I was in Memphis last week ministering @ the Life Church of Memphis and visiting with my good friend Pastor John Siebeling. He gave me this cool book to read by Mark Batterson who is a pastor and author from our nations capital. I have been working through this book and really getting a sense that the Lord was just encouraging me to stay strong and focused on my call to the nations. Well then a God moment happened yesterday that just energized my life. I was visiting Bethany World Prayer Center with my pastor Scott Hornsby and his staff as we got to tour the south campus facility... Amazing! A long time friend of mine and great man from Blairstown, LA. (yea we all know where that is...) Mike Townsend and I were just staring in awe @ the flags of the nations and he asked me where the Sri Lankan flag was amongst the hundreds of flags of the nations hanging in Bethany's auditorium. Mike and I eased over to get a better view of the flag and when I looked up... there it was hanging in front of me this flag with a huge lion covering most of the flag.
This book comes from II Samuel 23:20-21 stand point of Benaiah's exploits and how he went into a pit with a lion on a snowy day. I am just getting into the book but here is my take so far... what would you do if you were face to face with a lion? RUN!!! But with God's power on the inside of us we run at the lion... God allows us to become lion chasers. Son this will preach! I shared to 100 kids @ Zachary High's Fellowship of Christian Athletes yesterday and ministered to them that God thought of them as Lion chasers... grab ahold of the lion's mane you are facing in your life and fall of into the pit and let the power of God allow you to overcome the snowy conditions and over whelming odds to crawl out more than a conqueror. I am excited and this is only chapter 1...

Monday, February 26, 2007

50 years of bliss...
Our family got to enjoy one of the greatest days as we celebrated with Sandy's parents their 5oth wedding anniversary. JB and Mary Ellen Gulotta got married February 28, 1957 and started their adventure of life together. All 6 of their children and families gathered together to laugh,cut the cake and walk down memory lane. Sandy's parents are from the Independence/ Loranger area... yes sir some serious Italian roots here as I chuckled watching them eat all the food. Brought back the memory when I first went to Sandy's family's home... They always have red gravy and spaghetti for Sunday lunch but that Sunday they made a plate of fried chicken (coated in Italian bread crumbs) just for me. I am so thankful the Lord brought these people into my life. I could have never have asked for better in laws and the Lord gave me the BEST in Sandy.

Ok let stay focused on the 50 years... Sandy just keeps me messed up. Well the day was pristine and perfect weather as the sunshine and cool spring like day brought such a special presence. I know the Lord smiled as 50 years of marriage is the real deal. Sandy and I have been married 23 years and it is like super amazing but can you imagine 50 years! Marriage is one of the foundational anchors in every culture of the world. Just to witness 50 years of faithfulness is so wonderful... What a great example of living life dedicated to the institution of marriage that the Lord established from the beginning. Our church has been doing a series of messages on marriage recently and has highlighted again to me how God ordained structure in our lives with marriage and family. Yes families have chaos at times but that does not change marriage. Marriage is paramount and above all... I love being married... it is awesome! Yes it is a lot of work (Sandy is no problem just challenging and I love a challenge,LOL)... 50 years of work in a marriage with all the changes of life. This my friend is an accomplishment I am striving for in the future. Take a moment and thank God for your spouse and marriage or if you are not married... thank the Lord for your future! I promise he keeps his word and will give you the marriage of your dreams. Those of us already married are living our dream... I love being married to Sandy, she makes me complete... sounds like a movie!

Monday, February 12, 2007

The BEST...

Air Force it is... he made his choice and we were so happy. The Lord really closed all the doors and showed him the correct path to take in many confirming ways... Army @ West Point was inspiring and had a special Wow factor. Can you imagine West Point? The premier military academy in the world offers you an opportunity to become an officer and you decline... it had to be the Lord but the premier Air Force Academy in the world had already won his allegiance in spirit. He told the head coach @ AF he had given his word to go to WP and visit. Coach Calhoun smiled and told him to go keep his word and follow his heart. So away we went to New York... We all soon realized the hard decision it would be for Andy but we believed the deciding factor was the prayers of mom and dad for their children. Parents can shape the destiny of their childrens lives in prayer!

In Colorado, Andy got to plug into New Life Church in Colorado Springs as this was the pinnacle prayer for his mom and I . We know the importance of staying plugged in to a great local church. New Life has one of the best college ministries in America. Andy has been diligent and the Lord rewarded him with the BEST not just what is good. Too many times we settle for what is good but Jesus wants to give us the BEST for our lives to fulfill his purpose on this earth. Thanks for praying for us during this time of positioning our family for the next few years.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Air Force or Army?

Last weekend Sandy, Andy and myself traveled to Colorado Springs to visit the Air Force Academy (AFA) as Andy got an official visit from Air Force football to visit the school as a football recruit. We had a blast and were awed by the AFA. Our country spares no expense to train officers to lead our nation. We were in awe and humbled to be there not to mention the invite to play football. The Chapel @ the AFA has been under fire for it's "religious proselitization" the past 2 years but still is a draw for those searching for the Lord no matter who complains.

This weekend we will be in West Point, NY as Andy takes his final visit to decide where he will go to school and play football. Many schools in our local area had recruited Andy but one by one the Lord started to close the doors for one reason or another. Now the only two left are the academies. Talk about the Lord moving a young man toward his destiny. Our whole family is rejoicing as this story unfolds. One of our prayers for him is to have a great local church in the area where he goes to college. We got attend New Life Church in CS and happy to report the church is recovering from the problems with their leader. The spirit of the Lord was strong in the congregation as 15K believers worshipped with such a spirit of humility and repentance. We were excited to see how the Lord takes care of his church. The power of prayer is prevailing over the sin and deception. When I went into the prayer center the power of the Holy Spirit over shadowed me as I started to weep. Man it was sweet...
I took communion @ the table of the Lord and was assured of God's mercy to us.
YOu knew I would get off football and family when it comes to JESUS, hello!
When we put kingdom of God 1st in our lives, all the other things line up.
Ask your prayers for Andy in his decision and for our family as we fulfill our destiny and complete HIS purpose. All things work together for good...