• DSCN0240
    Flights/Arrival into Nazareth Flights/Arrival into Nazareth

    Flights/Arrival into Nazareth

Flights/Arrival into Nazareth

Today was the day we made the trip to Israel. The plane rides were interesting because I got to sit next to some people with interesting stories. From San Antonio to Dallas I sat by Mike and Jan Lundy. After a short conversation I discovered that they knew some of the professors at Logsdon. We shared our stories and they encouraged me greatly as I prepared to head off for Isreal. I met up with our group from Logsdon in Dallas. I spent the majority of that lay over on the phone with AT&T trying to get my text messages fixed for my cell phone. The ride to Philadelphia was uneventful but I got to sit by Cinda who is a member of our group. It was good to get to know her and hear about who God has been working in her life. From Philadelphia to Tel-Aivi I spent the majority of the time asleep. I worked on a paper for Dr. Stivers class for the first 2 hours then slept for about seven hours. While I appreciated being able to sleep it was not the best sleep of my life since it was full of various interruptions. On this flight I sat next to a Jewish woman named Ruth. She told me a great deal about Israel and her family. She was in Philadelphia visiting her daughter. Upon our arrival and making our way through the normal process of customs and collecting our luggage we departed with Azar for our hotel in Nazareth For part of the trip we drove along the walls separating Israel from the West Bank. I have heard about this conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis for decades but […]

By |May 19th, 2014|Israel 2014, Pastor Pete's Blog|Comments Off on Flights/Arrival into Nazareth
  • Flag Of Israel
    The Eve The Eve

    The Eve

The Eve

Tonight is the eve of my first trip to Israel. I have always found the eve of a big event to be full of various emotions and tonight is no different. Christmas eve there is the anticipation of the celebration, and festivities that come on Christmas day. The night before our church launched eleven years ago I felt an extreme sense of excitement about what the future would hold for Cowboy Fellowship. The night before my wedding I was nervous, excited, and bursting with joy. On the eve of my first missionary trip to Africa I was stunned by God’s grace and his choosing to use me for such an important and amazing task. Today I finished packing, mowed the yard, and spent some extra time with the kids. It was a great day, and then the evening lead to basketball and a walk with the cool breeze blowing and family conversation flowing. On the eve of this journey I am at peace, and my heart is prepared for whatever the journey may bring. I am sad to leave my family and church behind for two weeks. I will miss the comfort of my office and the familiarity of the people I normally associate with. Even loosing access to my cell phone brings a sense of loss. I sense that God has a big two weeks in store for me. Will it be the things I see, people I meet, or lessons that I learn? Will it be that still small voice I hear, or perhaps a simple smell, that God has in store for me?  To be honest I don’t know but I know that I am ready, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. In a […]

  • Free happy elated woman with arms out raised up in serene joyful
    Come Thou Fount Come Thou Fount

    Come Thou Fount

Come Thou Fount

As of late I have been mixing up my devotional times with the Lord somewhat. Its not because I am board, or feel constrained by my usual routine; but instead its an inward restlessness that stirs deep in my soul to grow ever closer to Christ. This desire has caused me to look at many different resources as I spend time with the Lord. One such resource is called Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions. Worship through music is powerful and I absolutely love the way our band leads us on Sunday. But there are hymns from my youth that I find myself singing, silently throughout the day that really speak to me. One of those hymns is called “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” by Robert Robinson, 1735–1790. Here is the devotion from the book I mentioned above concerning this text. I pray that it will shed light on the words of this familiar hymn. Pay close attention to the final verse in the song. That is the one that gets me every time! I pray that you have a great month, and I hope to see you at Cowboy fellowship as we study 1 Corinthians 13 during the month of March. ___________________________________________________________________ O Lord, You are my God: I will exalt You and praise Your name, for in perfect faithfulness You have done marvelous things, things planned long ago. (Isaiah 25:1) It would be enlightening if the people in the pew could stand on the platform and observe the congregational singing during an average church service. One would soon concur that there are many who appear to have attended church without the express purpose of having a personal encounter with […]

  • Wisdom
    Wisdom Wisdom

    Wisdom

Wisdom

Proverbs 3:13–26 (NET) —13Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who obtains understanding. 14For her benefit is more profitable than silver, and her gain is better than gold. 15She is more precious than rubies, and none of the things you desire can compare with her. 16Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. 17Her ways are very pleasant, and all her paths are peaceful. 18She is like a tree of life to those who obtain her, and everyone who grasps hold of her will be blessed. 19By wisdom the Lord laid the foundation of the earth; he established the heavens by understanding. 20By his knowledge the primordial sea was broken open, and the clouds drip down dew. 21My child, do not let them escape from your sight; safeguard sound wisdom and discretion. 22So they will give life to you, and grace to adorn your neck. 23Then you will walk on your way with security, and you will not stumble. 24When you lie down you will not be filled with fear; when you lie down your sleep will be pleasant. 25You will not be afraid of sudden disaster, or when destruction overtakes the wicked; 26for the Lord will be the source of your confidence, and he will guard your foot from being caught in a trap. I think we can all agree that wisdom is a good thing. It is something that most people seek and are natural drawn to. Recently I was thinking about Proverbs 3:13-26 and what it takes to be wise. While the list below is not exhaustive it contains the basic things that I think are needed to be a wise person. […]

By |January 30th, 2014|Bible|0 Comments
  • bigstock----goals--New-Year-resoluti-54914528
    Watch Out 2014 Here Comes Pastor Pete… Watch Out 2014 Here Comes Pastor Pete…

    Watch Out 2014 Here Comes Pastor Pete…

Watch Out 2014 Here Comes Pastor Pete…

Well 2014 is here and for my first post of the year I thought I would let you guys know what I have decided to commit to for the coming year. Rather than doing really specific goals this year I have created some broader guidelines for my life so here goes… I am committed to challenging myself in 2014. This includes  my education and ongoing studies for my doctorate, my physical fitness, and my effectiveness as a disciple.  I am going to push the limits and go further than I ever have before! I am committed to allowing God to change me. As I consider my walk with Christ over the last two decades so much has changed and I have come a really long way.  But there is more to do and I have to be open to the changes I know God wants to make in my life.  Some are going to hurt but it’s now or never. I am committed to counting my blessings each and everyday. This helps me slow down and enjoy life. I don’t want to rush through 2014, instead I want to  embrace every blessing and enjoy every moment.  So I have decided to set aside time at the end of each day to consider the blessings I received over that 24 hour period. That’s it, those are my plans and goals for the next 365 days.  What do you have in mind for 2014? Put your comments below…

  • A-portrait-of-a-poor-beggar
    Would Jesus have seen The Hunger Games? Would Jesus have seen The Hunger Games?

    Would Jesus have seen The Hunger Games?

Would Jesus have seen The Hunger Games?

I have been extremely blessed over the years to meet so many amazing people.  Today I want to introduce you to one of them. Her name is Rachel Toalson. She is an amazing Christian woman, mother, wife, and friend. I got to know Rachel in college at the BSM ministry at Texas State. I was roommates with the man she eventually married and Abby and I  have stayed connected with the Toalson’s through the years. I read her blog regularly and I wanted to share this post with you all because it sums up the way I felt when I watched this movie. However I  could not figure out how to express my feelings in words. I hope you enjoy this post and will consider checking out Rachel’s blog here is the link http://racheltoalson.wordpress.com/ ____________________________________________________________ Would Jesus have seen The Hunger Games? By: Rachel Toalson I sit here tonight, in my blue wing chair, my laptop glowing in a shadowed room, and I feel utterly wrecked. Just hours ago I walked into a theater for the 7 p.m. showing of Catching Fire, the second in a trilogy called The Hunger Games, and I knew what was coming because I’ve read the books. I know how the story began and I know how it ends. Just days ago, I read and listened to all those Christian responses, about how this series, this movie, the entire premise of this story, is appallingly, shockingly violent, about how we have become a culture desensitized by violence, how movies like this one are what make us even more violent than we are already. Those words they wrote scrawled there in black permanent marker across our collective story: Sadistic. Depraved. Unfeeling. […]

  • bigstock-Missing-In-Action-stamp-49111445
    When Jesus Is M.I.A. When Jesus Is M.I.A.

    When Jesus Is M.I.A.

When Jesus Is M.I.A.

It happens more frequently than we like to admit. We are walking with God, things are going great, then for no apparent reason when we need Him the most Jesus is missing in action. This happens to young believers and seasoned saints. Ministers who are honest about the subject will tell you that they experience this as well. So what should we do when Jesus is M.I.A.? Take sometime to read Luke 24:6-12, and let me offer a few suggestions. When Jesus is M.I.A. we should… Remember– I have found that when Christ is no place to be found in my own life it is helpful to try to remember where I last encountered His presence. I try to remember my last conversation with Him. In the scripture in Luke the ladies went to the last place they saw Jesus but He was not there. Then it says “they remembered His words…” Jesus had told them what to expect, and where He would be but they had forgotten. Run– If Jesus is M.I.A. in your life may I suggest you run as fast as you can to find Him?  If Jesus is gone there is something wrong and that is a big deal. When the disciples learned that Jesus was missing they ran to the tomb. They realized the gravity of the situation so they went running. Return– Go to the place you last had an encounter with Christ if you find He is missing. When those in the passage learned that Jesus was gone, they did not go to the grocery store, bank, lake, or even the church.  They went to the tomb because that was the last place Jesus had been spotted. Where […]

  • bigstock-Silhouette-of-helping-hand-bet-35213948
    Friendship Friendship

    Friendship

Friendship

Real authentic friendships are undervalued in our American society and culture today.  It seems to me that people in general have fewer friends than they once did. I have read studies over the past few years that indicate this trend has been a slow but steady one in our culture for sometime.  In fact one article said that 70% of pastors report not having one single person they believe to be a true friend. Friendship is on the decline in America for a verity of reasons in my opinion.  Understanding these friendship killers could be the key to reversing our dangerous course of a friendless life.  Let me share a few of the biggest obstacles to friendship I see in our culture. The decline of the family- My wife is my best friend.  She is not perfect and neither am I.  Therefore our relationship like any other takes a great deal of work and effort.  However having a valued and trusted friend inside of my house enhances all other areas of my life.  Working on your marriage means by definition working on your friendship with your spouse this is a great place to start. People are to busy- Everyone is busy these days and most are to busy for real friendships. Developing and maintaining friendships takes time and our already overcrowded schedules has little if any room left for friends.  Slow down, start de-cluttering your life, make time and room for friends. Lack of forgiveness- Biblical forgiveness is difficult and demanding therefore few practice it.  As a result when we are wounded, or hurt we frequently walk away from the problem instead of moving toward it.  We forsake a great friendship because we are unwilling […]

  • Live-Like-You-Mean-it
    Live Out The Message Live Out The Message

    Live Out The Message

Live Out The Message

 James 1:19–22 (NET) 19Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters! Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger. 20For human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.21So put away all filth and evil excess and humbly welcome the message implanted within you, which is able to save your souls. 22But be sure you live out the message and do not merely listen to it and so deceive yourselves. How can we be sure we are living out the message?  Living out the message is a difficult task even in the best circumstances.  When life gets tough, the marriage is in trouble, the boss is unhappy with us, or finical issues strike, living out the message can seem impossible.  In my years in ministry I have noticed some common traits in those that are truly  able to live out the message in both the good times and bad.  I decided for this weeks post to mention those things here.  I pray you will consider them as you attempt to live out the message yourself. Know the message- it is hard to live out the message when you don’t know what the message is.  Those who read the word, memorize scripture, and pray continually tend to live out the message more consistently then those who don’t.  If you want to live out the message you need to know what that message is. Know others living out the message- Living out the message is a team sport, God never designed it to be lived out alone.  When you live life with others who are living out the message you are more likely to stay on track yourself.  Certainly it is most helpful to have […]

  • beating burnout
    Beating Burnout Beating Burnout

    Beating Burnout

Beating Burnout

Have you ever felt like the guy in the picture?  Do you feel like that right now?  If so you could be in a phase of life we call burnout.  The good news is burnout does not always have to lead to fallout!  I hear it so frequently in ministry ” I’m burned out!”  Sometimes its a trusted lay leader,  from fellow ministers, or a friend that is just totally zapped from the stress of ministry, work, life or all of the above.  If given the chance to run its course burnout always leads to fallout.  Fallout is when those who are burned out disappear.  In ministry fallout frequently is seen most clearly when a person stops attending church functions.  In other areas of life fallout is expressed when an individual stops showing up for coffee, the weekly staff lunch, or other things they once enjoyed.  Perhaps the most tragic thing about burnout and fallout is that they are totally avoidable.  Doing a few simple things can save the day. Step One: Publicly proclaim your call.  Why did you start this ministry in the first place?  Why did you come to work here twenty years ago?  Why did you pass up other opportunities and chose this path for your life?  Take time to remember the purpose and passion you have for what you are doing.  Then find an appropriate forum to recount you calling to others publicly. Thinking about it is great, saying it verbally to others will do wonders! Step Two: Privately pray! Before, during, and after you do step one you should be in prayer.  Confess your weariness to God.  Ask for help, guidance, comfort, encouragement, and energy.  God already knows whats in […]

Facebook Iconfacebook like buttonTwitter Icontwitter follow button