Category Archives: Inspirers

Long Winded Preachers!

For the past 24 hours Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC has been preaching none stop in celebration of his first book, Sun Stand Still being released.

I’ll be honest, I can think of easier ways to celebrate a book release, but thought that this was pretty unique

Pastor Steven is a great preacher and really captivates his audience for the 30 minutes he preaches in a Sunday morning, but 24 hours, that’s got to take some pretty crazy concentration to stay awake for that long!

It reminds me of a story found in Acts 20:7-12. The Apostle Paul turns up at this little church. He has to leave the next day and has so much he would like to say that he gets kind of long winded! In fact he preaches all day right through to midnight. Yes the Apostle Paul was a great man, but hours upon hours of hearing this man preach made some a little sleepy. Well a young man called Eutychus was sitting on the window ledge; he fell asleep, fell out of the window, droped a couple of stories and died. Next, the service stops, Paul goes outside, prays for the kid, and suddenly he comes back to life.

Ok, so a crazy miracle happens, most us would have been rejoicing and gone and celebrated, not Paul! He went straight back upstairs and continued to preach!

Every time I read this story I laugh out loud! I’ve listened to long winded preachers, but this one took the biscuit!

Well, this Sunday I promise to keep the sermon the 30 minutes max!

In the meantime, Pastor Steven, I hope no-one falls to their death during your 24 hour marathon, and a great big congratulations on your first book, your life, ministry, passion and audacious faith that is an inspiration to all us church planters!


Who Was St. Patrick?

So today is St. Paddy’s day. A day when most Americans claim to have Irish blood in them (it’s funny most claim to be Scottish, English and German as well!)

On March 17th each year people use this day for an excuse to have a parade, wear a little green and drink way too much. To those who partake in these celebrations of sorts it’s all in good fun. However, for me I can’t but help get a little sad.

You see, the whole meaning of St. Patrick’s day was not to have a booze up or to walk in some Irish love parade. The whole meaning behind St. Patrick’s day was to celebrate the life of a man who brought freedom, hope and faith to a nation.

St. Patrick was a man who heard from God and got out of his comfort zone and traveled to a country where he suffered and was persecuted because he preached the message of Jesus Christ to unbelieving souls. As a result Christianity in Ireland was born. This was a true saint! Anyone who has Irish blood today can thank St. Patrick that he listening to God and was not ashamed to declare that his God was the hope of nations.

So for me it is so sad that on this day people use it as an excuse to do something they can do any Friday or Saturday night of the year. They use the name of St. Patrick to indulge in things that St. Patrick suffered his whole life to guide people away from. For me this day is sad, because now people use it to celebrate a country instead of a great man.

I’m thankful that men like St. Patrick have gone before us and paved the way. I wonder if there are any St. Patrick’s out there today who will forsake all and follow the very voice of God?

What The Heck Happened In 2009

I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. 2010 promises to be a year that will change our lives forever, I am looking forward to it! The end of 2009 was not the best for me. I was extremely sick hence the reason I didn’t post my final segment to the Goals of 2009 post. I will finish that in the next few days. However, has we celebrate a New Year I wanted to post a note my beautiful wife Raquel wrote about her 2009. This was a note of inspiration to me, I pray this is a note of inspiration for you as well:

“I’ve been reading quite a few Facebook status updates from friends that say how horrible 2009 was and how they can’t wait and hope that 2010 is better. So…I’ve been thinking of my 2009. How was it?

Well, I guess I can say that it was a pretty good year. However, this in NO way means that my year was full of ups. On the contrary, I think it had more lows than I would have wanted it to. And I don’t say this because I am the optimum optimist. Actually, I play the devil’s advocate in a situation to make sure I see both sides of it, so I can see two perspectives and not just focus on the positive. (yeah, I’m weird!)

So, I look back and see that I…

–was let down by people I admired
— hurt by others
–had depressing days
–had no full time job for over 4 months
–felt like a failure
–felt lonely
–felt powerless
–wanted to give up
–was burnout
–was overweight at the beginning of the year

Now I look at where I am today and can’t help but say that it was a good year. Why?

–when people let me down…it pushed me to remember that I do what I do for ONE and ONE only
–when I got hurt…it highlighted the good people around me
–when I was depressed…I ate chips and discovered ‘sweet oat crips’…yum!
–when I had no full time job…it allowed me to start a graphic design business, become a freelance interpreter, and have time to regain my passion and refocus on my destiny
–when I felt like a failure…it made me learn
–when I felt lonely…it pushed me to seek the people around me
–when I felt powerless…it reminded me that God is the most powerful and He is in control so chillax!
–when I wanted to give up…my husband was right there to help me look up
–when I was burnout…it caused me to finally create healthy boundaries for my life
–when I was overweight…it caused me to buy a Wii fit and loose over 20 pounds (which I have probably put back on in the last two weeks!)

So my 2009 wasn’t the best if I see all the lows but when I see how they made me grow, pushed me to learn and help me to mature, I guess it wasn’t so bad. Now, could I see this at the moment I was going through the rough times? Not always, but I’m still learning, growing, maturing. Even right now, as I type this, I’m being pushed to learn, grow and mature. We received a not so nice message that could have ruined the day, discouraged us and caused us to host bitterness, BUT then, as God so often has done this year, He quickly reminded me of who I am, who He is and what living life and fulfilling my destiny means…I read:

“Obstacles can’t steel your dreams without your permission. Never give up, never give up, never, never, never give up. “We are hard-pressed on all sides, but…never frustrated; we are puzzled, but never in despair. We are persecuted, but…never…deserted: we may be knocked down but we are never knocked out!” (2 Co 4:8-9 Phps) Your obstacles can’t stop God; don’t let them stop you”.

So today, I look back and I thank God for the seconds, minutes, hours and days I lived and survived!!! I thank Him that in the middle of hard times I had friends, family, and a wonderful husband by my side. I thank Him that in the middle of discouragement, He managed to use someone to lift my spirit up. I thank Him because He taught us in unusual ways that if we depend on Him at all costs He will take care of all ‘costs’. And, I thank Him for pushing us to follow our God given destiny. I have never felt this fulfilled before!

2010 awaits and I’m not assured that I will have more ups than downs but I will walk it and hope to make it all the way. I hope I make good choices, love people, love my family, my husband and God more than I did this year. I hope I make new friends, walk new paths, live out new dreams. I hope I take advantage of all the opportunities that come my way. I hope I learn more, grow deeper, and mature wisely! I enter this New Year with a new job, walking into our destiny of starting a new church, and a new car! And better yet, I enter this New Year with the assurance that I have a loving husband, family and friends and a God that never changes, is always faithful, and always loving. That’s good enough for me.

Happy New Year everyone!”