We’re Off to Nicaragua!

“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20

Nancy and I are thrilled that we have the chance to lead another team of folks on a short-term missions trip to Nicaragua.  We are leading a team of nine adults and nine students this year, for a week of serving in the capital city of Managua as well as a few other areas.

Last year, we had a pretty incredible experience with a team similar to this one, and I’m thrilled […]

By |July 31st, 2014|Faith|0 Comments

The Power of a Strong Visual Aid

I love to teach.  It’s who I am.  Before settling on Communication alone, I almost double-majored in English and Communication, to go be an English teacher.  I was a soccer coach for several years.  I am a teacher: I love to see people take hold of truth and apply it to their lives.

One of the best ways to help people to do that is through the use of visual aids.  I’ve flipped tables, twirled umbrellas, played tug-of-war, broken paving stones…

…wrapped students with caution tape, smashed through plywood with a hammer, carried a cross, nailed things to a cross, thrown things at people, and recently brought Winston on stage during a Sunday morning service, all to get the point across and help people understand and retain what I’m […]

By |July 17th, 2014|Faith, Life, Money|3 Comments

It’s a New Season

For the last season of life (four and a half years, to be exact), I’ve served as the Youth Ministries Director at Celebration Church.  Today marks the first day of a new season.  Over the next few weeks, I’ll be transitioning out of that position and working to build something new.

Over the last 18 months, Nancy and I have been praying for the Lord to lead and guide us into what was next.  Should I seek and take on more responsibility at church?  Or was there something new, something different that God had for us?

We didn’t want to rush the decision.  We took a long, hard look at our lives, and didn’t come to this conclusion lightly.  We LOVE ministry.  We LOVE the church.  We’re […]

By |June 2nd, 2014|Faith, Life, Money|2 Comments

Pure by Jess Ray – #freeforeverforeveryone

My morning reading today included Psalm 73, which contains a number of amazing verses.  Some of my favorites:
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
– Psalm 73:25-26
It goes right along with a song I’ve been singing a lot recently, “Psalm 73,” written by God but arranged and performed by my talented sister,  Jess Ray.

Jess has produced a number of albums, but some time ago, God laid it on her heart that her next project was to be a gift to his body, the church, and it was to be full of worship songs. She code-named the project “Free, Forever, For Everyone” and used the […]

By |April 25th, 2014|Faith, Life|2 Comments

My 12 Phases of Speaking to Students

Last week as I was delivering a message to our students I was thinking about all the different phases that I go through in the process to talk to our students at Celebration Church.  Maybe when you speak or have to do something in front of other people, you can relate to some of these phases I go through.  At the very least, it will give you an idea of some of the things that run through my head before/during/after speaking.  Here they are:

1) What am I going to talk about?

2) OMG I have to get this together what in the world am I going to talk about?!?

3) Yes!  This is finally coming together.

4) Lord, I pray your Word comes forth tonight…

5) Score!  I knew […]

By |April 24th, 2014|Faith|1 Comment

Beyond Sight: The Derek Rabelo Story

I’m thrilled to help host a screening of Beyond Sight: The Derek Rabelo Story this Thursday night.  Derek Rabelo is a congenitally blind surfer from Brazil.  Yes, he surfs, and he’s blind.  He was born almost completely blind, and his vision continued to deteriorate to the point of total blindness as a child.  This movie tells his incredible story.

There will be a one-time showing of this documentary story at the Six Forks Station Cinema on Thursday night at 6:30pm.  If you are a beach lover, a Jesus lover, or have a friend that you want to hear the gospel, this is an awesome opportunity!

Tickets are $9 and can be purchased here (plus a $1.44 processing fee).

We’d love to see you Thursday night!

By |April 9th, 2014|Faith|0 Comments

Series Arc: Be My Witness

We recently wrapped up our first big series of 2014 at the Bridge Youth Ministry, and started out the year with a series based on Acts 1:8:
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
We talked about how we are called to be Jesus’ witness, and what exactly that means.  A big goal of this series was to help students understand that the call to being a witness wasn’t just the motivation to coming to church, and it didn’t just happen here at church.  It happens everywhere, in every aspect of their lives.

So, while Jesus talked about it […]

By |March 12th, 2014|Faith|0 Comments

7 Keys to Breakthrough (Part 2)

This is the second part of a message I shared with our church on Sunday entitled “Go Get Your Breakthrough.”  If you haven’t yet, you can check out Part 1 here.

4) Fasting – In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus’ disciples tried to cast out a demon but could not.  Jesus did, and the disciples later asked him why.  He said, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” (Mark 9:28-29, NKJV).  It sounds like there are some things in this world that are stubborn!  Sometimes it may require the more dedicated focus of fasting combined with prayer to get through them.

Fasting focuses our mind, body and spirit on the Lord.  Its a holistic approach, by its very nature.  My father-in-law gave me a […]

By |March 5th, 2014|Faith, Life|0 Comments

7 Keys to Breakthrough (Part 1)

I shared a message with our church on Sunday morning entitled “Go Get Your Breakthrough.”  In it, I shared seven keys that I saw in Scripture to achieving a breakthrough of some kind.

You might need a breakthrough in your financial situation.
You might need a breakthrough in your marriage.
You might need a breakthrough in a spiritual battle you’ve been fighting.
You might need a breakthrough in your health.

Whatever it is, we serve a God who David called “The Lord of the Breakthrough” (II Samuel 5:20).

So here are 7 Keys to Breakthrough that we see in Scripture and some corresponding verses to check out:

1) Prayer – David prayed and heard from God before going after his breakthrough (II Samuel 5:18).  If you’re in need of a breakthrough, have […]

By |March 4th, 2014|Faith, Life|1 Comment

The Forgotten Word in our Culture

There’s a word that’s been forgotten in our culture.

It’s an old word, one that has been around for centuries, maybe millennia, but it’s use is fading.

It is a strong word, one that confidently stakes a position.

It’s a clear word, with most of its uses leaving no room for doubt or question.

It’s a simple word; our children quickly learn it as one of their first words.

And yet it’s a powerful word; one that, once you really learn how to use it, can change your life.

The word?  “No.”

It seems simple, but it’s empowering.  Try it!  Say “no” aloud.  No, no, no.

Think of how little we hear that word in our culture now…

“I need more money, can’t you just help me out again this once?”
“You should accept people […]

By |February 10th, 2014|Faith, Life, Money|0 Comments