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.

ISRAEL
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.

THE FAMILY
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.
#OrangeApronNation
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.

THE MOVE
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.

June 15, 2013

God's Direction for Our Daily Living

Do you remember the popular book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People?  It was a book about how a person could implement a series of lessons that would change the direction of their lives, to live in a manner that was effective for themselves personally and even professionally.

There are books like this in the Christianity category too that describe how a person can find God's purpose for their lives and they can be helpful, but not the most useful books compared to the pages of Scripture.

From Psalm 119:9-16, I had the privilege to preach this past Sunday night (June 9, 2013) at First Assembly of God in Brookfield, CT, for our evening service and the title of the sermon was, God's Direction for Our Daily Living.

It's not how should the Bible guide our lives, because it should, but how is it actively directing your life each and every day.

I welcome your comments after hearing this sermon and please feel free to share the link to this post and audio with others too, if it has been a blessing to you.


Faithfully in Christ,

Pastor Kurt

March 27, 2013

What you could not do, Jesus did for you

I have been leading a small group bible study through the book of Galatians on Wednesday nights and at the end of last week's study there was a statement asking participants to list what Jesus has done for us that we could not do for ourselves.

Last week, we had observed our study of chapter two of Paul's letter that he had severely criticized Peter for his conduct that was not in step with the Gospel.  He then proceeded to explain and remind Peter, as well as everyone else that no person, in any way can be justified before God by the works of the Law and concludes verse 21 saying, "for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose."  (Galatians 2:21, ESV)

So last night, as I was finishing my notes for tonight's study of Galatians 3:15-29, I went back to this statement that was at the end of our previous  study and decided to make a short list of things that Jesus has done for me that I could not do for myself.

So I began to search through the pages of the New Testament to find just a few of those things that Jesus did for me and I'm sure this list would grow quite long too, but I'd feel and cherish incredibly more grateful to God, for Jesus' death on the cross - for me.

The most obvious one to me was that Jesus has given me eternal life by being born again by the Spirit of God.  (John 3:5,7,16; 5:24)  This is certainly something I could never have accomplished on my own and no one can live eternally without Christ.

So here are 11 more that I found and then stopped because it was getting late:
  1. He has forgiven my sins because I have believed in Him, Acts 10:43
  2. He has made me a new creation, 2 Corinthians 5:17
  3. He has given me the ministry of reconciliation, 2 Corinthians 5:18
  4. He has not counted my sins against me, but against Himself, for me, 2 Corinthians 5:19
  5. He has made me an ambassador of the Gospel, 2 Corinthians 5:20
  6. He became sin for my sake, 2 Corinthians 5:21
  7. He has made me the righteousness of God, 2 Corinthians 5:21
  8. He has made me adopted by God, Ephesians 1:5
  9. He has redeemed me through His blood, Ephesians 1:7
  10. He has sealed me with the promised Holy Spirit, the guarantee of my inheritance, Ephesians 1:13 
  11. He delivered me from the domain of darkness and transferred me to the kingdom of Christ, in whom I have redemption and the forgiveness of sins, Colossians 1:14
What else from Scripture would you add, to say that Jesus has done for you that you could not do for yourself?

I think I'm going to read through the New Testament some more and see how long the list would get, to see what I am incapable to do without Christ.  How about you?


Pastor Kurt

December 22, 2012

Failed predictions and the truth of the Gospel

Yesterday was another failed attempt, for man to believe in a prophecy that never originated from God.  This was a terribly feeble attempt for man to show himself superior to God, in the false prophecy of the end of the world according to the Mayan calendar.

But yet again, God's word shall stand true until He fulfills His very own word that no one knows the day or the hour of Christ's return concerning his judgment upon the world, except God himself.

A lot of jokes were made about it too.  Some of the people I work with made light of the prophecy saying they should have called ahead, to say they weren't coming to work because it was the end of the world.  I heard one guy call his wife and say that he heard the end of the world was postponed an hour.  Like that was going to give a little more comfort to them.

When I headed out for lunch, I had the most encouraging conversation with a woman I met who sees me regularly where I like to eat.

As I sat at my table waiting for my meal, she pulled up a chair, sat down and asked what my opinion was about all this end of the world stuff, a question I hadn't expected to hear her ask and nor did I expect our conversation to go the route that it did.

December 15, 2012

Grief Counseling at The Home Depot

Early this morning at around 8:25 a.m., I received a phone call from one of the managers at The Home Depot in Danbury where I work, asking if I would be able to come in and assist with providing counseling, for anyone who wished to meet with me.

A psychologist was there from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. I arrived around 10:15 a.m., and stayed until 1:30 p.m.

I'm not a psychologist, so there is no way that I could have assisted under that capacity.  I think just about everyone whom I work with knows that I'm a pastor and this is why I was called.  To help answer any questions about the horrific incident at the Sandy Hook Elementary School the day before. 

When I arrived, I got myself situated in the employee locker room, positioning the chairs where I could sit and listen to anyone who wanted to sit down and talk about what they were grieving about.  None of the people I spoke to, or work with were directly affected by the tragedy, but they were all affected by the loss of such innocent children, which reminded many of them of their own children, or grandchildren in some cases.

One of the questions that was asked, but not really looking for an answer was this one, "How dark does someone's soul have to get to do something like this, to a defenseless little child?"