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Who said what now?

Who said what now? Anybody who has been around me for the past 7 or so years knows that “who said what now?” has become my default phrase for many things. It could mean “I’m sorry I didn’t hear you, please repeat yourself.” Or it could mean “Uuuuhhh, did anybody actually think about that before the decision was made?” It could mean “I think you just said something mind numbingly stupid. Say it one more time just so that I’m clear…”

Despite my all encompassing meaning of the phrase, I actually want to ask this question with words meaning exactly what they mean: Who said what now? Allow me to explain.

I spend a lot of time with people of the faith and I often hear sentences that begin with “God said…” Nothing wrong with that. I just DETEST it when people use their “God said” as the main selling point for THEIR OWN IDEAS! Then, amazingly – in an almost schizophrenic way – when the idea changes or completely fails altogether and there is a new, subsequently different plan the first begins with “God said.” But wait, I thought God said the EXACT opposite thing just 3 weeks ago? Either God is crazy, you are crazy OR you have an idea that you think is really good but all of the details aren’t in place and you don’t have the balls to just say “Its my idea and I think its a really good one.” Who said what now?

People, just own the idea! Did “God say?” Dunno honestly. Do you think its a good idea that doesn’t violate any of the spiritual principles He has laid out for us in scripture? Yes? Then just own it!!! It is perfectly okay to think like they did in 1st Samuel 14:6 and say “Perhaps the Lord will act on our behalf.” Do I need to even get into the scriptures in Ezekiel where it actually says “Don’t say ‘God says”? 

God gave you a great brain, great skill, awesome creativity and a sense of discernment. Its perfectly okay for you to do something without the sky cracking a Jesus telling you. Just own it. Maybe God told you. Maybe He didn’t but it would be AWESOME if you did it anyway. Maybe a better opportunity opened up and it would be advantageous without being against His will for you to hop on that opportunity. Maybe its all your own idea and perhaps the Lord will act on your behalf. Just own it. 

Then you won’t look so crazy and you can stop lying on God when you change your mind. Man up. Woman up. Own up to it and OWN YOUR DECISION. Then “perhaps the Lord will act on your behalf.”

(And no I don’t think God said to write this post…)

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One Thing

Hey there! Thanks for clicking here and reading my blog. Okay, so its 2009 and most us probably have a long list of things we want to either do or be (Leonce, DOPE  New Year’s post brutha!).

But what if, despite our intense prayers, plans and programming you could only accomplish ONE THING on your list? What would that one thing be?

Its 2009!!

Help me pick a book to read

Hey everyone,

I would love your help on something.  I have a FREE book that I can download from Audible.com – a site that takes all the audio books known (and unknown) to all of mankind and makes them available for download. Its awesome for someone like me. Sometimes I DIG reading, sometime I need to HEAR it.

Anywho, I’ve got a freebie to use but I don’t know what book to get. I already have Tribes by Seth Godin. I’m thinking about Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell but I’m not sure.

Any suggestions?*

 

*please take note, I do NOT read fiction, romance or comedy. So please avoid the Dean Koontz books, anything Fabio would model for or anything written as bathroom laughter. Thanks in advance

Thanks – for the right reasons

Wednesday night, our youth ministry hosted our annual Thanksgiving dinner. Its where we as a youth church sit down like family and have a big meal and share what we are thankful for. It sounds kinda corny on the surface, but when people tell you “I’ve never had dinner like this before. I’m glad to have a church family like this one” the corniness quickly disappears and the reality of fellowship comes in.

After our meal, one by one people shared what they were thankful for – friends, family, church, God and the priviliges they have. It was awesome. Noone was thankful for their ipod, or Xbox 360,  or their Macbook Pro. Stuff wasn’t the center of their thanks. The God and the people closest to them were the things they were most grateful for.

Then, the leadership team began to share what they were thankful for and honestly, it shook me. It shook me because I saw the reality of a statement I read and adopted a little while ago come to fruition. The statement was: “I want the people who know me best to respect me the most.” And as our team shared their thanks, it was evident that this statement was coming true in my life. They didn’t say the typical leader stuff of “I’m grateful for their leadership and prayers”. They said stuff like “I’m thankful for not giving up on me” and “I’m thankful for the stability of our relationship”. They weren’t thankful for leadership and organizational stuff, they were thankful for personal, relational stuff.

This is the legacy I hope to leave. Not that I was a great pastor, minister or preacher. But that I was a great husband, father, mentor and friend.

Give thanks to the people who mean the most to you. It will mean more to them than you know

The journey to the miraculous

September 28th, 2008 began as a landmark day. It was the first day our church’s name as legally changed to CrossPoint Church. It was the first sunday in our new building that would have the carpet down, new chairs in, new projectors installed and new computers system. It was the first Sunday we would hold service and the sanctuary didn’t look like a construction zone. We were ecstatic!

Before service that morning, my mother in law went to pray with the worship team before service started and she told them “God has some miracles in store for the people in this house”. She was right.

Service was about to begin and mom (that’s what I call her because she’s been the closest thing to a mother that I’ve had for the last 8 years) was opening the service in prayer. The sound system had just been installed so her prayer was not only theologically but also sonicaly beautiful.  Then, out of no where – BOOM! – midsentence, she falls down hard on the freshly carpeted stage. Shaking. Foaming. Light, labored breathing. She laid there. Some people thought she fell out under the power of God – but I knew better. I called 911 from my cell phone almost instantly. It seemed like an eternity, but the ambulance was there in about 2 minutes.

The entire congregation just stood still. Silence. Worry. Concern. For some, fear. It was all over them to the point you could see it. As I started to encourage the congregation to pray NOW, one of the guys at the church came up on stage, grabbed the mic and started praying. And that’s when the prayers began…

When the EMS truck arrived and the workers came in and started helping mom, dad’s grief overcame him and he broke. As I walked him off the stage I saw something I’ve never seen in the 8 years that I’ve known him – I saw tears streaming down his face from the fear and grief that gripped him. But really, if you saw your childhood sweetheart whom you’ve been married to for the last 28 years on the ground struggling to breathe what would you do?

Since the church is across the parking lot from the hospital, I helped dad walk over to the ER.

“Is there any clergy you would like to contact?” That was the first question we got asked after they took her in for a CAT scan. A case worker asked me and my wife Nichole that question. At first it didn’t hit me so I replied “Her husband is the pastor of the church next door, why?” Then it hit me…they want someone to read her last rites. They think she’s about to die. Then without saying another word the case worker said “The doctor will see you very shortly”. Then as quickly as she came, she left. The doctor brought us all into a room and told us she had a brain aneurysm. The entire room broke into tears instantly and the doctor left after she said they would stablize her and transport mom to RI Hospital. What they didn’t tell us is that they didn’t expect her to survive the trip to RI Hospital.

After we arrived at RI Hospital we waited with baited breath to see what the updates were. The doctors brought news hourly. Case workers began to ask us questions about Living Wills and DNR requests. The told us its standard procedure. But I’ve been in the ER many times and I’ve NEVER been asked about a Living Will. What they didn’t tell us is that it is standard procedure for someone who they don’t expect to make it. They didn’t tell us they didn’t expect her to survive the night. The prayers continued.

As we got news, we passed it around to people LITERALLY around the world – Spain, Africa, India, Australia, Guyana, Brazil, Portugal, Ghana – NY, NJ, CA, FL, KS, MI, TN, GA, NC, SC and many other states and countries that cover 6 of the 7 continents ALL with people in prayer for mom. It was working.

When dad, Nichole and I were all allowed to finally see her – it was the hardest thing ever to see. She was connected to tubes, wires, she was unconscious and had a drain that ran from her brain. Its tough to see one of the strongest people you know you needing assistance from machines to do the basic function of breathing. Its tough to see someone you love on death’s doorstep and all you can do is stand there. OR, in our case, we prayed.

Once she survived the night (something to doctors didn’t think would happen) the doctors began to do numerous procedures – all of which could have had deadly results. She survived them all. Meanwhile, they began to prepare us for SEVERE brain damage. They said IF she survived because, according to the doctor, she was probably the sickest person in the entire hospital – she would have severe brain damage IF she survived. But they didn’t know the power of our God.

More procedures came and for the first 2 weeks, what was supposed to be an up and down roller coaster was continual improvements DESPITE the doctors negative prognosis. They brought the worst news they could find. Our family and our friends brought it to God in prayer.

TWO hospitals wrote her off for dead – but our God wrote her off as a miracle. Today the doctors admit she is where she is because of PRAYER. They admit they couldn’t bring her to where she is today. They say they’ve never seen someone survive what she had. Mom had the highest level of aneurysms and they have all been fatal. But they didn’t know the power of our God. Well, atleast until now.

Today my heart is filled with sooooo much joy! November 18th will forever be a holiday for our family. It will forever be a day to celebrate because today is the day that mom leaves Rhode Island Hospital and heads to rehab!

So many of you out there have been praying and believing God for her healing and recovery and its very apparent that your prayers reached the ears of God. Thank you for your prayers. Mom said before prayer started 7 weeks and 2 days ago that God had some miracles in store for some people in our church.

She was right.

Thanks for reading some of the journey to a real life miracle. I have to go now. She just arrived to rehab.

Reasons- OTHER THAN SEX AND RACE – why this is a historic election

Everyone keeps talking about the historic magnitude of this election based on Obama’s race and Palin’s sex. But because we are blinded by the obvious, we are missing the other HUGE reasons why this is a historic election today.

1. For the first time in American history, there will be a changing of Commander-in-Chief during war time. A battle being fought on not one but TWO fronts.

2. The next President will inherit the largest deficit in US history.

3. The next President will be determined by the largest voter turn out in US history

4. The next President will have to address the worst mortgage/housing crisis in American history

5. For the first time in 28 years, there will not be Bush or Clinton in the White House

6. This election will either cause traditionally Republican states to give their Electoral College votes to a democrat or it will be one of the biggest turnarounds in political campaign since Dewey vs Truman.

So remember that no matter who wins today, today we witness history.

If you haven’t already done so – please – do your civic American duty and go vote.

“Remember if you vote, you’re making your decision, if you don’t vote someone else chooses for you.” – (I don’t know who said it, but it was awesome!)

Details coming soon

Hey everyone.

Thank  you so much for your prayers, support and gifts. Its been a while since I’ve blogged and TRUST ME, I will be back with the details of the AMAZING miracle that God has been working in my mother-in-law (and to me, the closest thing to “mom” in the last 8 years).

Details will come as soon as I have the strength to chronicle them. The first 2 weeks of this was honestly the hardest 2 weeks of my life so to retell the story would be like reliving it some.

I’m almost at full strength to tell the story so as said on tv – Details Coming Soon

The miracles keep pouring in!

Hey all,

Thanks to all of you and your continued prayers for my mother in law. Here’s the short report – she is breathing on her own now! They removed the breathing tube and is talking now! 

God is soooooo good. I look to give you all the full story of the miraculous moves that took place with mom.

“Memoirs of a Miracle” coming soon.

God is SOOOO good!

Here’s how to get the latest on mom – Mary Robinson

Hey everyone,

As many of you know, my mother in law is in the hospital after having a brain aneurysm on Sunday. Its a bit too much for me to take you back to the beginning, I’ll do that later. 

Thank you for all of your prayers, support and gifts up to this point. Please continue to pray for her. She’s still unconscious and is in critical condition. Her condition is stable though so we’re okay about that.

To stay updated on her condition, here’s what you can do:

1. Sign up for email/text message updates here

2. Send “pastormaryupdate” as text message to the # 69302

Again, thank you for your support and prayers.

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