Monthly Archives: April 2014

Running with a purpose!

I recently decided to run the Chicago full marathon in October. I’m running for a charity called Enduretocure which helps with pediatric cancer research as well as provides special encouragements to children going through cancer. In order to run for them, I need to raise $1500. You can donate by clicking the link below. All financial gifts go directly to this charity and any gift helps. I continue to run for Trey and look for ways to tell his story and point people to Christ!

Here is the link:

A Quick Re-Cap from My Half-Marathon

Well…my official time was 2 hours and 7 minutes, at a 9:44 pace. I almost hit the 2 hour mark. This time was good for me considering I trained at a 2 hour and 30 minute pace. So, I beat my training goal by 23 minutes…I’m grateful for that. I placed 1,964 out of 9,661 runners and in my age division 195 out of 518. My son, Clayton, can’t understand why I didn’t win :-)…I get no love, LOL!

It was an emotional day for me, but very glad I did it. This won’t be the last one I do :-). I’m going to keep running for Trey. I wanted to ease up and quit at times, but I didn’t and I thank the Lord for the endurance to keep going.

I was honored to train and run today with Jeremy Carter and Cody Caywood…two great friends. I was also particularly blessed to run with my good friend from Tulsa, Eric Wilson. Eric ran to support me and Trey. He could have run a lot faster today, but he stayed with me and encouraged me to finish strong. I gave it all I had today. Thanks guys for running with me!

Also, thank you to everyone who wore a Run for Trey shirt and who supported me and my family today! A big thank you also to all my FBC Newcastle people for your love and support. If I were to try and list all who ran from our church, I’d surely forget someone…so, thanks to you all! I love each of you.

This verse was in my mind all day as I thought about my hero, Trey:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with ENDURANCE the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1).”

I love you Trey and will see you soon!

Easter Re-Cap at FBCN

Easter weekend at FBCN was awesome!!! I’m still rejoicing at what the Lord did. Here are a few highlights:

1.) We had 10 people pray to receive Christ on Resurrection Sunday (a few in each worship service). AWESOME!!!

2.) We had 3 baptisms! Glory!!!

3.) First time we’ve had 3 worship services back to back to back at FBCN, with a total of 1,494 people in worship!!! This was a record for FBCN!!! Tons of guests and visitors! Just an awesome day.

4.) Just got off the phone with a man who was at our first Easter service, he heard the Gospel, knew he needed to accept Christ, but didn’t do it. He couldn’t get away from the power of the Gospel and called me Monday afternoon and I led him to the Lord over the phone. All glory to Jesus!!!

5.) Record attendance for our Good Friday service as well…nearly 600.

6.) Volunteers all over the place…adult choir, youth choir, greeters, ushers, tech people, childcare workers, security/safety, and on and on!!! It’s takes an army and everyone pulled together for the sake of the Gospel!!! I love seeing the Body of Christ at work.

This has been my prayer for our church this year…and I’m seeing it come to fruition every day:

“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel (Philippians 1:27).”

I love you FBCN and I love serving Jesus with you! This is only the beginning. I cannot wait to see what God will do in and through us in the coming months and years as we stay faithful to Him and passionate about His Gospel.

A truth that changed me!

I know I say this a lot, but I mean it more and more each week…the message God has given me for Sunday floored me as I finished it this morning. God absolutely brought such a needed moment of clarity to something I have been wrestling with since September 1, 2013…the day Trey went to be with Jesus. I will post about it after Sunday, but unusually today, I’m keeping this close to my heart and not sharing…But come Sunday morning, I am going to unleash a truth that has set me free and no doubt will set others free! Oh man…I CANNOT WAIT FOR RESURRECTION SUNDAY! Join us of you can!


We are not forsaken!

“There are seasons when the brightness of our Father’s smile is eclipsed by clouds and darkness; but let us remember that God never does really forsake us…O thou poor, distressed soul, who once lived in the sunshine of God’s face, but art now in darkness, remember that He has not really forsaken thee. God in the clouds is as much our God as when He shines forth in all the luster of His grace…” -C.H. Spurgeon

Running for Trey

I’ve lost 22 pounds since January 1. I’ve got 8 more pounds to go to hit my target weight…which I haven’t been at since college. I’ve had one inspiration in this journey…and his name is Trey! Every time I’ve wanted to quit, I think of him and the incredible endurance he showed in his journey. I have cried during my runs, laughed, shouted, worshipped, prayed, listened, remembered, and on and on! With every step, I have tried to run as Trey ran.

I love you Trey and I’m running the race of faith like you did…with all I have! I love you buddy and will see you soon!


Trey’s Birthday

Today would have been Trey’s 8th birthday. As important as April 13, 2006 was for Trey, the most important date in his life, was January 8, 2013, which was the day he gave his life to Jesus Christ and asked Jesus to be the “boss of his life.” So while we grieve today, we also rejoice, knowing that Trey is in presence God! He suffered temporarily on earth, but now he lives in the glory of heaven for all of eternity. HALLELUIA!!!

The sermon that I’m preaching today is in his honor, and may be one of the most important messages I’ve ever given. Pray that I will be able to clearly communicate all that God has put on my heart. I want to be like the Apostle Paul was said, “Lord, I want to know You and the power of Your Resurrection and the fellowship of Your suffering.” Many people want the crown without the cross…they want resurrection without the crucifixion…and it just doesn’t work that way. Just as Jesus’ crucifixion had to happen, in order for His Resurrection to happen, so does a Christian have to take up their cross and die to self, in order to truly live! In others, following Jesus always involves some level of trial, suffering, and cost. But as James said, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, for when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life.” If we want to share in Christ’s glory, we must share in His sufferings.

Trey was an example of this to me, but Christ is my ultimate example! Lord, today be glorified! I’ll leave you with this passage…my ultimate reminder today:

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you. Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:7-18)

Easter Weekend at FBC Newcastle

Easter is going to be awesome at FBC Newcastle…share this and invite like crazy! I’m preaching a special message called: From death to life! Praying many come to Christ!

Good Friday service at 7pm on April April 18th

Three worship services on Easter Sunday at 8:30; 9:45; and 11:00am


Sufferings and Glory and honoring Trey

After six months, I had only my second dream about Trey last night. I don’t make too much of dreams, but it sure is nice to see him there. All I remember from my dream is that I was standing at the altar during the invitation at the end of one of our church worship services. I don’t know why he came forward, but I just picked him up and held him. In my dream, I remember thinking I need to take him to Emily because if other people come forward, I need to talk to them…but I didn’t want to put him down, and he wouldn’t let me go. He held onto me so tight, and it felt so good. I remember thinking in my dream that his embrace just felt so right…it was perfect and I could have held him forever. His arms and legs were wrapped around me!

Today is a tough day though. Normally, Emily and I would be putting the final touches on Trey’s 8th birthday party today, that would have been this Sunday. But, instead, we grieve with hope and look forward to eternal celebrations. I told Emily this morning that there will be endless celebrations in heaven when we are with our God and King forever. BUT…all Christians must remember, that to share in Christ’s eternal glory, we must share in His earthly to sufferings. As Paul said, “I want to know Him…through the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings!” We, of course, do not grieve for Trey! He is in the presence of God and feels nothing but immense, eternal joy…and we give God great praise for that!

As a way of honoring Trey though, we are collecting toys that we can take to the OU children’s hospital for his birthday. If you are in this area, don’t forget to bring a toy with you to church this Sunday! Make sure it is a new, unwrapped children’s toy that can be easily cleaned (in the hospital, they like toys that can be wiped down).

Here is a promo picture of what we are doing:


God’s Not Dead

I saw the movie God’s Not Dead today. I enjoyed it. It got me thinking though about why people might believe there is no God. I wonder how many people have come to the conclusion that there is no God because of something traumatic or difficult that has happened in their life, or due to some injustice or something they thought was unfair…or even an “unanswered prayer.” Probably the most powerful line in the movie is when the college student says to his professor, “How can you be angry at a God who you believe does not exist?” I wonder if that reality is actually more present than what is realized behind an atheist’s beliefs. If would be interesting to know for sure.

It would also be interesting to see how many atheists came to their conclusion that their is no God solely from reason and research, verses those who came to that conclusion out of frustration with evil in this world or due to something difficult they experienced that caused them to think, “If there is a God, there’s no way He would allow this.”

I think evil and suffering are two of the hardest things for many people to reconcile. They think, “How can God be loving and _________________?” That blank has obviously been filled in with a lot of things. Tomorrow night at 6pm, I will be addressing this in my Sunday evening sermon. Things like, “Why does suffering exists and how does God use it?” I am very much looking forward to this study.

I will say this though…if someone believes this world is all that there is and that when a person dies, that is it…there’s nothing else beyond that…what a depressing and pointless reality. Only believing in a sovereign God who is in complete control of all things gives your life real hope and meaning. Every time I see death, disease, suffering, injustice, etc…it always reminds me of few things. And what are those things? It reminds me this world is not all that there is…it reminds me this world is not my home…and it reminds me that one day, my Lord and Savior, King Jesus, will make ALL THINGS NEW!!!

Even so…come Lord Jesus!

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