Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Big-ass holes around the world.

Found this little tidbit of information for you party going folks and trivia hounds that like to keep a conversation moving to extremes. People are not the descriptive here purse when it comes to being a big hole to the world. However, we certainly have had our hand in making big holes issues come about. Enjoy and try not to be a big 'A' hole in the new year.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Considering Christ

Christmas in America is not a beacon of the light of Christ, but the co-existing of religions for the sake of good will toward all men. How has Jesus been reduced to one of many other enlightenments of the Christmas season? The answer lies in men loving darkness. When Jesus, who is the very nature of God, came to earth, he brought with him a total package of perfect humanity and complete divinity. The men of Jesus' time, as well as ours today, love the darkness. The darkness of man's sin does not understand the light of Jesus. The devil's great deception to mankind is not a disbelief in Jesus, but a reduction of Him. The enemy of the Gospel of Christ wants nothing better than to dim the light of Christ. Making Him just a good man, or a social activist. This becomes the confusion and frustration on Christmas for many.

I find, in considering Christ this Christmas, a perfect divine mission by God for His own. That just like God has been on mission to seek and save the lost sons and daughters of His remnant; I run head long into the subtitle dimming of Jesus within a pluralist culture. As a father, husband, and Pastor I want to keep Jesus right where he must stay; At the top of my life. For there is no other suitable light that will do, and certainly no other religious icon, person, or faith that is as complete and compelling as the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

So this Christmas may you have your heart settled on the light of life. And may this Christmas not share the allegiance of other idols that would rob the Son of God his rightful place of authority and dominion that belongs to Him this holiday season or every other time of the year.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Loyalty to Jesus

Romans 8:28.I want to plan, control, engineer where I go, what I say, how I will get there, and all in the name of God. Many times, even at this moment, I struggle with disloyalty to Jesus. I use Him as a pin cushion that holds my requests and plans, and forget to stick to the simple task of loving Him no matter what. The idea is not that I have to be doing all the work for Jesus in my name, but surrender to Jesus so He can do His work in me.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Incarnation and Indivduality

The incarnation of Jesus, which simply means flesh embodiment; is what we come to celebrate this season. However, we tend to run head long into the individualist nature of the season too. God becoming human flesh was by no means an individualistic act. Imagine God lowering himself to take on human frailty, leaving heavenly dominion and living with the simple sinners of this world. In short moving into the neighborhood. This act of giving up His right to save the elect was by no means an act of thinking of himself. The incarnation breaks down the husk of my individual nature that so much wants nothing to do with letting God in. However, Jesus took on the flesh of our humanity to not be something special, but to save. Save us from ourselves and our individualistic nature of sin and separation. God by nature is in community and this time of the year, because of Jesus' birth shows us how far he calls His own out of being individualistic. As you reflect this season, ask how God can invade your space and bring you into a marvelous light known as the gospel of your salvation. Open it up and see that it is no all about you or me, BUT Jesus!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Shack Review

If you have read the #3 and climbing Amazon best selling book this year, 'The Shack' than you have probably been pleasantly surprised on many levels. I thought it benefit you to take a look at a review that is honest, balanced, and full of grace. http://theresurgence.com/the_shack_book_review

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Money sucks

The best laid plans of mice and men, have been thwarted by money. The book of James in the Bible says "Come now, you who say, 'today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit,' yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes." James 4:13-14. With daily news hits of more job loss and economy downfalls, looking to money as the solvent can lead anyone into a dark corner of a doomful state. I hear how messed up money can make us and how it can own our lives. Just got off the phone with another victim a few minutes ago before this posting. The reality is we do live in a material world, however, we don't have to be owned and operated by it. Instead, we who belong to God in Christ Jesus ought to say "If the Lord will, we will live and do this or that." James 4:15. Are you asking God for His will? Are you being patient for it? If not why not? I'm not trying to take you out of the world situation to some fair tale land of cloud surfing and harp playing, but the real world that crashes into the will of God. Are you at the intersection of materialism? What will you do? I hope you boast of what God does and has done in Jesus.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A clear picture

Praying for a clear picture in 2009 for Elevation. We will be three years old in April and have been blessed to see a couple of churches get started, acquire some office space, and gather faithfully every week with a presentation of the gospel. Hoping for some new leaders to emerge and a continued excitement from the leaders we have. Sometimes it can get discouraging in looking at what will come when things like money and some drop in attendance have accrued. However, I hang tight to God's word on drawing near to Jesus, and going to make disciples of Jesus. God will grow this church and be good in His timing to show us what's up. Pray for me and especially what Elevation will be working on in 09. Thanks for all who have been laboring at Elevation. Living life on mission for the gospel everyday...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Screen door confessions

This morning my 7 year son displayed a genuine since of reformed character. The situation was a pencil sticking through my brother-in-laws new screen door. With 13 kids under the age of 16 the culprits were many. Like with any good interrogation, getting conflicting stories to isolate the truth from a lie is generally the rule of thumb. So we called the kids in the room of the offense and pointed at the pencil (the smoking gun) sticking through the screen and asked the simple question, "who did this?" Thinking that this would be the first step to many other interrogating questions we dug in for the long haul. To my surprise one meek voice emerged with a confession after the first question. This is unheard of. And so, with my inquisitive voice, I asked the question again; "who did this?" And again in faint but honest tone my seven year old son confessed to it being his doing. There was no other pointing fingers. Even the other kids who were posturing away from blame stood silent as the honest confession was made. Refreshing how the truth can set you free. It did not get my son off the hook of punishment and seeking forgiveness from my brother-in-law, but it did make me proud that he sought the truth in this little affair. Thankfully we have a Savior and Lord in Jesus who wants us to come clean and willingly confess our sin to him; "If we confess our sin, he (Jesus) is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness," 1 John 1:9.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

As a follow up to my sermon last Sunday on Temptation and the testing of Jesus with temptation in our sermon series "Marked" I wanted to offer a link to a book that will rock you in the arena of lust, pronograpghy, and God's prospective of it. This book, will be out in it's entirity by the first of November is available as an ebook right for free at http://www.theresurgence.com. Take a look at it and be encouraged.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

IT calls to you everyday. What is 'IT'? Temptation. For everyone must deal with temptations, just like we have to deal with breathing. Why? Because they are not just of matter, but of mind and heart. Temptations are battlefields of decisions. They can seem very insignificant at first, but if left unchecked, then the results will be fields of blood. I suppose that is what is needed in most temptations, is a death. A death to the flesh and a life to the spirit. It certainly is not easy. For the cravings of the flesh can result in immediate results of feeling good. However, if giving into the temptation within the first few minutes is what my life is, than I will certainly not know the hour of bliss by resisting. The gospel certainly provides right answers of why to resist and how to go about doing it. I still can find myself tempted in not heeding the direction of the gospel, and in short I think this is the spiritual battle that rages on. It is for the identity and allegiance of my soul. It is for the transformation and application of my life. Yet, temptation is my daily grind. Thankfully, I do have a Savior who has made the way for me to overcome it. For that I can resist and be known as a lover of God.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Death by Church

"I'm resigning." That is what this pastor said to me after being in a lead ministry position at a local church in my area. I thought to myself at the time, why does it have to be this way? He is a good leader, a compassionate man, and kingdom of God guy. Why does this dude have to take one for the team? He is not alone. As a matter of fact, lots of people are resigning from ministry at rapid rates. Not good. Sometimes it is at the hand of their sin, and no doubt there needs to be some change. However, for many it is a conflict at the church. I like to call it death by church. Maybe it is not measuring up. Or perhaps a personality conflict. A power struggle. Whatever the case is, many men and women are dying in the ministry. I think of the time Jesus was not a welcome person in his own home town. To think that the Son of God was rejected is harsh, and yet he was. He can certainly understand when we go through the hard times at church. When leading it is such a hard place at times because those you are trying to lead are not being very nice. It can certainly get lonely being in leadership within the ministry of a church. Again Jesus can relate. What bugs me though is we who are in the church, by God's grace don't relate well to Jesus. You can see why so many letters were written in the first 40 years after the resurrection of Jesus. We, that is the body of believers, are having to be reminded of a death to self, and a life to the gospel. This takes faithful consideration of how the gospel will cut. Will it cut into the culture to reach the lost? Or will it cut each other off for lesser goods and service? All I know is that I can only 'do' church because of Jesus, and this can bring me comfort as I try to serve in it and alongside others

Monday, September 15, 2008

Mud. It can be fun. Most of the time it is messy. So what is so special about mud? Add a 3 year old boy and you can have some funny memories. As I cleaned up the side of my house, which is in constant need of cleaning. My son, decided to turn on the water and allow two elements to mix. Dirt and water, which makes mud. I was going to scold him for it, but seeing the fun he was having caused my adult reaction to delay. I found myself intrigued by his unabashed playfulness of two simple ingredients. What was most outstanding was his proclamation of seeing his hand print in the mud. He yells up at me to look, at which I was already doing, and wanted me to take careful note of his hand imprinted upon the earth. Again I was profoundly impressed at his excitement, and the simile of his hand on the earth. It caused me for a moment to recall God's creation and call for man to work the earth, knowing that God gave us a privileged job to be stewards with His creation. This imprint was God's message to me about how we are connected to this floating ball called earth, and how God desires us to enjoy it. May you to enjoy, His creation, especially with the playfulness of a child's heart.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Gathering Inn

What turned out to be another day was in no way ordinary. With the opportunity to help feed the homeless in the Placer County area, Elevation Church along with Bethlehem Lutheran Church of Auburn feed and hosted the Gathering Inn. What is the Gathering Inn? Simply put, it is going to the 'least of these' (Matt.25:45), that the gospel calls the follower of Christ to help. This does not mean creating more government and committees to decided how to help, it is feeding, housing, proclaiming, and sharing the gospel of Jesus with another person. A person who is no different than me. A person who may understand the love that God does have for people by being the gospel with flesh. You see I preach in my setting at Elevation every week. To that I'm grateful to proclaim a freedom message to all who need to hear and respond to the salvation of Christ. No doubt this is important. However, the gospel can be "preached" in service too. We were able to feed, house, and relate to over 45 homeless, transitional, and working poor in the Placer County area. The Gathering Inn is the conduit for a church to come alongside the individual and proclaim the gospel. That is awesome. As I worked alongside my five kids, another Pastor in our church and his family, a couple from Elevation, and 6 volunteers from Bethlehem Lutheran I marveled at God's ability to do His work of the gospel through willing hearts. The Gathering Inn will be a place for Elevation to work the gospel out in real lives and in real needs. For more information about this ministry go to www.thegatheringinn.com

Friday, September 5, 2008

Mega Gospel

Lots of noise. Communication is certainly the mantra of our lives. We sometimes don't hear well what was said and misunderstand what was meant. Found it interesting what I heard about a Telemegaphone in Norway. This is a one way loud speaker atop of a tower that callers call to and let their voice be heard. Those within ear shot listen in on the proclamation of the caller. Even the small village town of Dale hears callers tell those who will listen what is on their minds. It is surprising that we will take on the expense of calling to some remote location to be heard, but yet we will not say a word to someone about the greatest movement known to man, 'the Gospel of Jesus Christ.' I find myself sometimes wanting to be heard, but yet what needs to be proclaimed is the greatness of God's Gospel to all humanity. Let every mountain top hear that message, until God comes again.

Friday, January 11, 2008


I have had countless bacon and cheese hamburgers. They are a weakness to my diet. Nothing quite hits the spot like a good one. TJ Road House Café in Colfax delivered the best beacon and cheese hamburger I have ever had. It took longer than expected, yet when it came out on the plate it looked like art. The cook that night obviously took his work seriously. I was only one of five other customers in the café that night. When I bit into the burger all the right tastes where present, fresh, and satisfying. The meat was not a frozen patty, the beacon cooked to perfection, the bun toasted evenly, and the produce crisp. It was good. Real good. It made me think about my craft, preaching. It caused me to consider if I deliver my product with pride. Do I just reheat something or do I take the time needed to bring to the waiting person something that is genuine, satisfying, and filling? Do I leave people thinking that was another burger or do they go away wanting more and willing to tell others about what was said? Thinking about the burger, I wonder if the church is trying to give out less than best when it comes to the gospel. I know I’m not the guy who invented it, yet if I’m in love with the message of Jesus wouldn’t I want to give it my best every time? I know it is not about my abilities only, yet do I reduce the process of bringing a message that is much more significant than a burger with excellence, or is it just like leftovers? That burger was something else; it was more than I expected, and I hope that as I put in the time with God in study, prayer, and preparation that He will take the message and cause someone to think, process, and respond saying this is the best news I have ever heard. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Colossians 3:23Looking Up to Jesus;Eric VP