Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Give the glory to God!!!

Alabama's Roll Tide won the national college football championship, led by a young man who says everything in life is centered around God, even football.

After Bama's backup quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, came in after halftime and rallied the Crimson Tide to a 26-23 win over Georgia in the College Football National Championship game Monday night, he gave credit to "my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ."

"Excuse me," Tua Tagovailoa said at his post-game ESPN interview. "First and foremost, I'd just like to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. With him, all things are possible. That's what happened tonight."

Tagovailoa grew up in Hawaii attending a church where his uncle, Tuli Amosa, was pastor, Savali Ole Filemu (Message of Peace) Church in Ewa Beach, Hawaii. After moving to Tuscaloosa, Tagovailoa began attending the Tuscaloosa branch of the Church of the Highlands, Alabama's largest church, led by Pastor Chris Hodges from the main campus in Irondale.

"All glory goes to God," Tagovailoa said. "I can't describe what He's done for me and my family. Who would have ever thought I would have been here, right now in this moment. So, you know, thank God for that, and I'd just like to thank my teammates and coach Saban for giving me the opportunity."

Tagovailoa later on Tweeted the following:

What this young star athlete said couldn't be more admirable- and TRUE! With God, all things are possible in your life as well.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

No one has ever become poor from giving...

New Venture is currently wrapping up our annual Ring & Run project.  We were provided lists from hundreds of  families requesting toys, clothing, electronics, diapers, etc., to give their children. We then wrapped the gifts and delivered them to the homes of these families, for their children.  

These were families who unable to afford to provide these toys and other items- some of which were the bare necessity items (diapers, pajamas, etc).  While I was at the store picking up some of the requested items, I instantly felt filled with joy and gratitude... it hit me like a ton of bricks.  The most rewarding feeling in life is to give to others- especially children, like these, that were simply asking for a toy to unwrap on Christmas.  

I'm sure you have all heard others say that they cannot afford to spend any more money than they already do on their day to day bills.  You have probably said that to yourself a time or two... and so have I!  But as Hebrews 6:10 says, "God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you helped His people and continue to help them".  

So what I am saying is... It's worth it!  Not only does it feel amazing to give and make that sweet child's Christmas special, but the Lord says that he will also reward you for doing so!

I encourage each and every one of you to give back this Christmas.  Reach out to others and see how you can help them.  It may be something as simple as inviting them to your Christmas event, buying a toy for a child in a struggling family, or bringing someone to church.  You will be rewarded by the ultimate example... our Father.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Fires of Evangelism

As most of you are probably aware, there are some serious fires burning through the state of California.  Though the major fires are in the Northern part of Los Angeles, they are making their way in San Diego County's direction.  Even the San Diego residents can smell the smoke and see the clear skies slowly starting to darken over.  What a tragedy! 

There are thousands of brave firefighters from over 100 California fire departments, treacherously fighting their way through the blazes at this time.  We are not panicking- but we are PRAYING for these heroes.

Let us all pray that the "Fires of Evangelism" will sweep throughout the country- praying for the residents who have lost their homes, their pets, their property. Pray for the people who are facing the terrible unknown, being evacuated from their homes and not knowing whether or not they will ever be able to return to an in-tact property.  Pray for the health and well-being of the first responders, who are selflessly putting their own lives and well-being on the line in an effort to assist those who cannot help themselves.  Pray that all can turn their hearts to the One, our Lord, and give it up to Him. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Attitude of Gratitude- Year Round

I have been reflecting on the Thanksgiving Sunday Supper that New Venture just presented on November 19, 2017.  There were hundreds of seniors, homeless, and military that were served a traditional Thanksgiving meal, given free haircuts, toys, and clothing. 

While contemplating just how grateful I am for all of the Blessings the Lord has shown me, I can't help but ponder what happens after Thanksgiving.

So often, we take for granted the simple things that we are given year round: food, shelter, hygiene, transportation, just to name a few.  And there are so many days during the year where it seems that life is rough... there are troubles in daily relationships, financial problems, the car broke down for the third time this month, etc.  But what real problems do we have?  If you really think about it, there are very few things in our day to day life that that are to be considered true hardship.  Are we hungry for more than a few hours?  Are we living in a third world country, with true hardship?  We are free to worship our Lord wherever we choose to.  We know that the sun will rise tomorrow! 

There are millions of people that have it much worse than we could ever possibly imagine.  There are families who don't know how they will get food to their children's bellies tonight... people are living through religious persecution who cannot even go to worship their God safely...orphans living in the streets, being trafficked internationally. 

With that said, Thanksgiving is more than just a day... it's an appreciation of where we are as a people, as a country.  Let us not go a day without thanking our Lord for our many blessings that we so often take for granted.

Take a look at the video (link below) from the Thanksgiving Sunday Supper- it will surely bring a smile to your face!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Heartbroken! When Tragedy Hits.

HEARTBROKEN!  Went from an amazing Sunday of multiple services filled with faith, laughter, celebration, inspiration & many decisions -
to just moments before dismissal from New Venture Christian Fellowship, I’m handed a phone with the horrific details of the Texas church massacre of Nov 5,2017.

Shared & prayed with our church family, for an anguished &  grieving church family 1,312 miles away.

Heartbroken by the  tragedy, the enormity of loss to the families of the victims, & the fact that this dear church family in Sutherland Springs, Texas lost half its congregation today, with  27 souls (ages 5 to 72 yrs) that went to church this morning fully expecting  to worship God, and now, celebrate eternity with Him, in His Presence. Though comforted by this – I, like you, am deeply saddened by  the circumstances surrounding it.

In times of Tragedy,  like today’s –real  strength and comfort can be found in these Bible verses:
 Ps 23:4,6;  2 Cor. 5: 6-8;  1 Thess. 4:16-18;  Rev 21:4

God’s Heart was broken today. It always is when life needlessly is taken (Ez. 18:32). And yes, He has told us in advance – “Bad things sometimes happen to Good People… and Bad things sometimes happen to God’s People.” That was today.

Please join us, and  millions of others in prayer for  comfort, for the good… yet hurting people of The First Baptist Church in Sutherland, Texas.

Friday, November 3, 2017

New Venture's 29th Annual Thanksgiving Sunday Supper 2017... in 19 days!

This past Sunday, New Venture held our Autumn Open House.  It was a huge success for everyone: Immediately following our 10:30 am Celebration Service, the flood gates of fun opened!  There was a petting zoo, all kinds of different foods, a Trunk or Treat, carnival style games, bounce houses, a classic car show, a cupcake walk, and an incredibly talented juggler!  Everyone there had a smile on their face- especially the kids!  I really got a kick out of the kids costume contest, especially.  We had young people at New Venture for the first time who approached our youth pastors, giving their hearts to the Lord, and asking for further direction.  That's exactly what life is all about!

With that being said, I want to take the time to talk about the Holidays- in particular, the Thanksgiving Sunday Supper that New Venture Hosts.  This year will be the 29th year that New Venture feeds 2,000 people: homeless, seniors, and military families.  We serve a wonderful Thanksgiving meal, have live music, and provide hygiene items, haircuts, and toys for the children. 
It will be a great time, indeed.  There is nothing more rewarding than feeding others who are less fortunate which in turn, feeds our souls.

I encourage each and every one of you to reach out to us if you feel that the Lord is calling you to help us out with this event. 

May you have a Blessed weekend and the Holidays ahead.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Day… by day… by day… by day!

There are very few things in life as both awesome… and tender as sensing God’s overwhelming love in our lives.  Seeing it in the smile of a husband in the love of one’s wife; or a mother and fathers glowing love of their children - so too is the acute awareness of God’s love for us. The more that we draw near to Him (1 Jn. 4:8) – it becomes a tangible thing.

Back in the day (Baby Boomers will know what I’m talking about), there was a classic Broadway play and motion picture in the late ‘70’s called “GODSPELL”. The lyrics of one of its iconic songs were “Day by Day,,, to SEE thee more CLEARLY….to LOVE thee more DEARLY… to FOLLOW thee more NEARLY… Day… by day… by day… by day”!

You wouldn’t want to hear me sing it (I’d really mess it up!), but guaranteed… once you’ve heard it – you’ll never forget it. It’s not the melody… it’s the message!  I think that I’m going to enjoy Him a little bit more today. How about you?     Day by day… by day… by day…