April 12, 2016

Hail - the sign of God's divine judgment

Yesterday, there was a terrible hail storm in North Texas where a lot of homes and vehicles were damaged by the hail.

My wife and I moved to southeast Texas at the end of October 2015, where I now pastor a new church and we had a storm here not too long ago where it did hail, but they were the size of a quarter, not the baseball size hail that had fallen in North Texas yesterday.

Wylie, Texas was the hardest hit area too.

The storm and the news reports got me to thinking about what the bible has to say concerning hail and what so many people don't know about it, since it is more than just a weather experience.  Hail has a very specific meaning in the bible and we should all pay attention to it.

When Moses came to Pharaoh to tell him to let God's people go, one of the plagues they experienced was hail (Exodus 9:13-34). 

In Isaiah 28 hail is described as a sign of God's judgment and in another Old Testament book of Haggai, in chapter 2, it is mentioned as divine judgment and sadly in this chapter, the people did not turn back to God after this happened.

In the last book of the New Testament, Revelation, hail is used as a sign of God's coming judgment. At the first trumpet, in Revelation 8:7, hail and fire, mixed with blood are cast upon the earth.

Finally, in Revelation 16:21, John writes, "And great hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, fell from heaven on people; and they cursed God for the plague of the hail, because the plague was so severe."

Now, I am not implying in any way that the residents of North Texas are under any sort of judgment by God. These hailstones were not 100 lbs. in weight, but the size of a baseball. However, imagine if all of the United States experienced hail such as this, what would everyone think God was saying to us? Is that what is needed for God to get our attention?

This, along with other events that will occur in our lifetime, especially from Matthew 24:6-7, they are the beginning of the birth pains the world will experience before the Lord returns. 

And if this is a sign that return of Christ is imminent and more importantly unknown, it would behoove any person, to repent of their sins that Jesus Christ suffered the penalty of death for, which He did not commit, where His death on the cross is the satisfying atonement to God, to forgive you of your sins and by putting your trust exclusively in Jesus Christ to save you, you will escape God's condemnation of sending you to hell and be given the promise of eternal life with Him in his kingdom (John 3:16-18; 36).

November 30, 2015

Don't Waste Your Cancer & Our Youth

Recently, I had learned that one of the members of the congregation where I pastor has been diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer and it was quite disheartening to learn this too.

In the parsonage where my family and I live, there is evidence of Dennis Reeves' handiwork throughout the house because he and his wife Linda helped to lay the flooring down throughout the house.  Not just in the parsonage, but in the homes of other people too.

His handiwork goes even further because Dennis has been passionately serving the Lord Jesus Christ, teaching a Sunday School class here at the church and he's also done what he and Linda could, to the best of their ability, to help others get out of the rut they've been in and turn their lives over the Lord and live for Him as they have.

About 2 weeks ago, Dennis was asked to lead in prayer before our senior adult Sunday School class Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner and his prayer was so deeply heartfelt.  He said how thankful he was for so much of his life and how God has used him for His glory and now he just wanted to be used even more by Him in his current circumstance.  He said that he just wanted to know Him more now, more than ever before too.

That following Sunday, during our worship service we had a time for prayer and he and his wife walked up to the front and had 2 of our other members to pray for them.

Within in a matter of a few seconds there were a number of others who surrounded them, to lift them both up to the Lord, for strength, comfort and for the will of God to be done in their lives.  

Are we praying for a miracle for him to be healed?  You bet we are.  Will we be disappointed if God doesn't heal him, but allows the cancer to run its course and bring him home?  Sure.  But God's will is more of what we want for both of them and either way, God will be glorified and praised.

Yesterday though, Dennis came to church using crutches because the cancer has begun to affect his lower torso making it very uncomfortable to walk.

During the service yesterday morning for a time of prayer, Dennis and Linda walked up again to the front, to have people pray for them.  What happened next completely astounded me.

November 24, 2015


Well, it certainly has been a long while since I last shared a post here.

There's quite a bit to catch up on too.

In one of my past posts, I shared with you that my family and I had arrived in Arlington, Texas where I was going to serve as the pastor of a small church, but unfortunately, a year later, that didn't quite work out so well and I had to resign.

But 11 months later, after beginning a new work experience in Financial Services with a MassMutual in Ft. Worth, I had a scheduled meeting with one of my clients and little did I know how encouraging that appointment would be for me.  It was and I'm grateful even more, for how God used Steve Farrar, to let me know that God was still going to use me.  Neither of us knew where or when, but Steve wanted to encourage me and to have faith that He would.

So, on August 7th, I was in Flower Mound visiting with a client of mine and he says hello to this guy and introduces me to him and it's Steve Farrar.

His name isn't popular, as a pastor, but he's written several books for men and as I shook his hand, I said to him with embarrassment that it was nice to meet him and haven't read ANY of his books, but I will, eventually. He jokingly said they probably weren't any good and I shook my head in disagreement knowing they are, based on others who've commented about them.

Steve was informed that I served as a pastor and was working in the insurance/financial services field and after I gave him a 30 second summary of what happened and he told me that he had to resign too and that he became depressed for 3 years after that. 3 years! 

Then Steve said to me, "God's not done with you yet. He'll use you again.", and he then said think about all the people in the bible whom God used greatly, after they had something happen to them where they felt they couldn't be used by God anymore.

The first person that came to my mind was the Apostle Peter, who said he would die for Jesus, denied knowing him 3 times and he was the first person whom Jesus said to tell him that He had risen from the grave. Steve then just said to me again, "God's not done with you yet. He'll use you again."

Then my client, after Steve said goodbye and left, began to choke up with tears filling in his eyes and he tried to calmly convey the real reason I met with him and he said, "Your appointment wasn't with me. It was with him."

Just about 3 months later, after a series of unexpected phone calls and preaching visits to a church in Port Neches, Texas, I've been called to serve as the pastor of Magnolia Church and what a blessing being here has been, too!

While I had wondered if God would ever use me again, looking back at that meeting on that day was just another example of God showing me that He did have plans that will be fulfilled in His timing and it makes me love Him all the more, when I haven't been as loving and faithful to Him as I should be, but I'm working on it.

God's not done with you yet. He'll use you again.

Have a blessed day, everyone.  I'll be writing another post soon.  I PROMISE!

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, 
for his steadfast love endures forever.

Psalm 136:1

October 13, 2014

Prayer Request for my son, Kaleb

On October 6th, I posted the video at the bottom of this post, to my Facebook page regarding our son Kaleb and our request for prayer.

To give you a little bit of a background, Kaleb has had 3 Febrile Seizures that occurred in May, July and August that were related to some small illness that was affecting him and causing the seizures to occur.

The subsequent seizures that he's had were not related to any sickness at all and on Thursday, October 2nd, he had one in the afternoon and on Friday the 3rd, we went to Cook Children's Hospital in Ft. Worth to discuss his recent seizure and see if there were any other tests that could be done to help identify the problem.

On Saturday the 4th he had 2 seizures and we took him to the ER that afternoon and we reluctantly decided to begin treating him with Keppra, to help minimize or reduce the seizure experience.  That evening, at around 5:50 p.m., Kaleb had a third seizure.

The video (Length - 11:49) provides an update regarding how Kaleb has been shortly after beginning the medication.

I'll provide another video update again soon.

My wife and I greatly appreciate your prayers for us and for Kaleb.

September 2, 2014

A Year Later...

I know, I know.  Where have I/we been?  It's been so long since I last posted to my blog and I feel horrible about that.  Please forgive me.  I'm going to try and write a little more regularly.  I don't know how often that would be, but I am certainly going to try and post weekly, not weakly, but weekly.

So, here's what's new with us.

Kristi and I had an amazing trip to Israel in March 2012 and I want to say thank you to those of you who supported us financially to go on this trip.  It was truly an amazing experience and one that has changed my life greatly.  If you've never been to Israel, please try to make a trip there.  You'll see so many of the places that you've read about in your Bible, but they come to life in an amazing way.

Between Kristi and I, we took 1,000 pictures and it was just incredible to be there.  We went to Caesarea, stayed in Tiberias for a few days going to Chorazin, Gadera, Capernaum and had an amazing boat ride on the Sea of Galilee too.

We went to Qumran, the Dead See, Jericho, Bethlehem, Mosada and then the last few days of our trip was spent in Jerusalem, visiting the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane, Caiaphas' house, the Western Wall the Old City of Jerusalem too.

The coffee there was phenomenal and had hummus for the first time there too.  I was even able to practice reading and speaking a little bit of Hebrew while there too.  Only a little.

Our guide for the trip, my Old Testament professor, Dr. R. Bryan Widbin was such a great guide for the trip.  I was blessed to have him as a teacher in seminary and he was an even greater blessing as a teacher in Israel.

Well, to start, Kristi and I welcomed our son, Kaleb Thomas into the world on June 18th and our little guy was 8 lbs. 10oz. too.  He was born via C-section because his body was upright and not upside down as the baby was supposed to be, so she had to have a C-section.

We had to be at the hospital by 9 a.m. and we thought the baby would be delivered by noon, but that didn't happen, not because of any complications on our part, but there were three other women in delivery that were experiencing complications in their natural birth and had to be moved to having a C-section performed.

It wasn't until about 3:30 p.m. when we were able to be next in line and shortly after 4 p.m., our son, Kaleb Thomas was born.

When I came to work after Kaleb was born, I saw this sign
and it just brought me to tears. I love and miss them very much.
Once my 5 year anniversary at The Home Depot occurred, I was able to use my 3 weeks of vacation to go to Cape Cod and visit some of my cousins before we moved.  It was a little bit of a family reunion too and my mother flew out from California and she would meet her grandson for the very first time, up close and personal.  I was as excited for her to meet my son as I was when my father held him for the first time too.  The joy that our son has brought into our lives and to our parents is just beyond words.
Cape Cod, August 2013

It's difficult now living in Texas where many of our friends back home are only able to watch Kaleb grow up through our pictures or videos that we share on Facebook.  What a blessing FaceTime and Skype have been for us too, to be able to have our parents see Kaleb live at any time and still keep in touch.  It's probably time for another video call soon too.

Another new thing to share with you is that we've moved from Danbury, CT to Arlington, TX and as of September 1, 2013, I have been the pastor of Central Assembly of God here in Arlington.

Central Assembly is a small church that is located less than 5 minutes from the University of Texas at Arlington and we're minutes away from both AT&T Stadium - home of the Dallas Cowboys and the newly named Globe Life Park - home of the Texas Rangers.

Make no mistake, we're going to be Yankees fans for life.  We miss going to see the Yankees play in the Bronx and in late July, we were able to get tickets to watch him play one last time as a Yankee.  I can't imagine what it's going to be like when the last game of the season comes and how emotional he may be.  I do hope they make the playoffs and even win the World Series, but the chase to make the Wild Card and the playoffs is getting tight and I do hope they make it.  What a great way for Derek to finish off his career with another World Series championship.

This past year has been an incredible learning experience for me as a pastor too.  I'm learning how important prayer is, not just once in a while, but every single day because I need it.  I need to meet with God and humbly ask him for the strength I need to do this work, but I can't do it under my own strength at all.  I could, but it wouldn't be worth it because when you forget that you need God's help in ministry, the ministry can become more about yourself than about ministering to people through the Word of God.

So, here I am now, a year later, having moved my family half way across the country, to the great state of Texas, to serve God and lead His people in a growing relationship through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ and to also win those who are without Christ, to Christ, so that they may grow to love Him for what He has done, to redeem them from the wrath of God.

There is still much work to be done here and it all must be bathed in prayer, relying upon the strength of the Holy Spirit, to enable me and equip me for the service of ministry that God has called me to.

So that's it in a nutshell.  Stay tuned as I begin to post more regularly and I appreciate your subscription to the blog and look forward to sharing more new content with you.

Have a blessed day ya'll.