Monday, November 30, 2009

Church Building

One of the tasks that has been laid at my feet has been the task of looking for a building. It is a very interesting process looking for a church building.

I have done my fair share of residential home shopping with a realtor, and I must say that looking for a church building is different.

I guess I wasn't really sure what to expect. Much like everything else about church business, it just works differently.

I hear great stories all the time of churches being given properties, or offering prices much less than market value, as low as $1, and seeing how God provides them the structure they need.

Of course, that hasn't happened yet for us. Although I am looking and praying, we still don't have a permanent facility. When will it happen? How will it happen? What miracles will God perform? I don't know...and frankly I don't care. I am excited to be in the process and look forward to what God is going to do!

By the Way, if you happen to own a large commercial building or church on the West side of Turlock, and are looking for a large write-off, give me a call!

Until then, God bless and be on the look at for a church building!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Funny Friday Fun

Every Friday I post a video that is funny or fun or just plain enjoyable to watch. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: This is meant to be something enjoyable, if you don't find it funny or enjoyable, then please turn it off.
I didn't make them, I simply shared them. Chill out a bit will ya!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful Thanksgiving Thursday

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here are a few things I am thankful for:

  • My God, for accepting me and all my imperfections!
  • My wife, yeah pretty much for the same reason!
  • My wife, because I am lucky to have her!
  • My son Jordan, he challenges me everyday to stay focused on my family.
  • My son Austin, for having the same crazy personality I had at his age!
  • My daughter Stormi, for trying to be the best daughter a Dad could ever have.
  • My parents, for all they did for me growing up.
  • My job, not only do I have one, but I am blessed to have a great one!
  • My church, for challenging me and what I think 'church' should look like.
  • My friends, this world just wouldn't be the same without them!
  • My life, making the most of it, one day at a time!
What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Holiday Wednesday

Since I am going to be gone for the Holidays I thought I would line up some fun stuff for the rest of the week. So, without further delay.... Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Just in case you want to!

I experimented with my iphone this weekend. I recorded my message. It is not the greatest recording, as it was a room mic, however it was a fun project.

So if you are interested in listening to the message, you have a few options:

  • Visit and listen online or download the message.
  • Use the audio player below and listen online or download the message.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Preacher man

Well, my day finally came. Yesterday, was my turn to preach at Equip. It had been some time since I last preached a sermon, probably 5 years, not sure.

I had forgotten just how much I enjoy preaching a sermon. I enjoy the preparation of the sermon the most. It is like a huge jump closer to God. I am studying in a way that is very different than my daily time with God, so it usually reveals something significant during the studying. Of course, I only preach every now and again, so I don't have any of the stress or burdens that our Pastor has, as he prepares a message for each week. I have the luxury of taking my time, weeks if I so choose, and really dig in deep.

It is for this reason that I am grateful for the times I get to preach, but also am content only doing it on occasion. There are some great men that God has blessed with the passion and commitment to preach weekly. I am not that person, right now anyways.

However, I do grow in appreciation for what they have to do, and each and every week I am very appreciative of what a Pastor goes through when he is delivering his message to us on a Sunday morning. So with that I say....

Thank you to all the Pastors that preach messages week in and week out. God has clearly given you a passion, and I am grateful that you are being obedient to your calling. I certainly appreciate you.

As for me, I think the message went well. Of course if you want to hear it for yourself, well you should have been there! Ha!...if you really want it, I can give you a CD of it. Just ask!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Funny Friday Fun

Every Friday I post a video that is funny or fun or just plain enjoyable to watch. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: This is meant to be something enjoyable, if you don't find it funny or enjoyable, then please turn it off.
I didn't make them, I simply shared them. Chill out a bit will ya!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday Thinkback

It has been a long time since I have done a good Thursday Thinkback. I thought with the impending preaching Sunday it would be a good time to do some thinking. So, enjoy my random thoughts:
  • My friend Josh did a great job preaching on Sunday. I enjoyed hearing him speak.
  • I had a blast working the Jeremy Camp concert on Sunday.
  • I am still recovering from the Jeremy Camp concert on Sunday.
  • I love the fact that there are so many leaders in our church who can preach a great message!
  • I wonder how Sunday's message will go?
  • Oh yeah, I forgot what I wrote here... it will be perfect!
  • Little Sam Cotton will be leading worship Sunday. I love it when she leads worship!
  • I love it when Marshawn leads worship.
  • Oh wait, I just love worship, regardless of who is leading.
  • I want to record my sermon on Sunday...oh wait there is an App for that!
  • I am going to try out a new app Sunday to record my message. We will see!
  • Oh did you here, the world is ending in 2012! Are you ready?
  • Why is it that the Mayan's know stuff that God doesn't? Just saying....
  • See ya Sunday!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rusty Preacher

This Sunday I will be preaching a sermon for the first time in....well, let's just say it has been a while. I have had a few months to prepare, which has been really helpful. I have been able to do research and planning well before I needed to sit down and prepare the actual message.

This week, I have spent the last 2 nights working on my message. I have completed a first draft, and now can focus on revisions, tweaks, etc. However, no matter how much planning, I never go into Sunday feeling like it is perfect...or even close for that matter.

Yet, something unique happens come Sunday morning. I preach the perfect message for every person who comes to hear it. Of course, I am referring to the fact that it isn't me, but rather the Holy Spirit speaking through me. The truth is, and every one of you readers who is a speaker know, you can plan as much as you want but in the end it is the Holy Spirit who does the preaching, we just become the vessel He uses.

So, if you aren't doing anything on Sunday, come check it out. Regardless of what I do, you will here a perfect message!

Visit our website here to get times/directions. See ya Sunday!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday Recovery

Last night was a fun night.

I lead another great crew of people to help with the load-in/load-out of a concert in Modesto. I do this as a ministry for my friends at Celebration Concerts. I consider it a real honor to be able to serve them in this way.

Last night we had the Jeremy Camp tour come through town. The tour was Bebo Norman, Natalie Grant and Jeremy Camp.

This could have been a very stressful load-in. Since it was a Sunday, we could not get into the church until 1:30 PM. Thankfully, God provided an overwhelming number of people. We were able to get them loaded in, and sound checked right on time. We had a great concert, and had a fast load-out. I was able to release people about 40 minutes early! Yeah!

Unfortunately, it was still 1AM before I got home...and 7AM work day came way to early. I am exhausted and tired, worn out, and a little stressed. Yet, it was well worth it, and I would do it all over again!

If you would love to join my crew, let me know, and I will add you to my mailing list!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Funny Friday Fun

Every Friday I post a video that is funny or fun or just plain enjoyable to watch. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: This is meant to be something enjoyable, if you don't find it funny or enjoyable, then please turn it off.
I didn't make them, I simply shared them. Chill out a bit will ya!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Listening for the Spirit

One of the things I didn't mention yesterday was a couple of great conversations I had this weekend. I wanted to take a moment and share this experience with you.

We had a new neighbor move in a few months back. "Bob" and his wife and kids had lost their business, house, have a ton of debt from that and with the economy he is struggling to find regular steady work.

He has been asking questions lately about God, Bible, and Jesus and general religious questions. However, we have not been able to have a good deep conversation about the topic. On Saturday night, things changed. My friend Josh and his family was over, as well as, "Bob" and his family.

While the wives went to get dinner, we began talking. I felt like it was a good opportunity to take the conversation a bit deeper, and we began discussing God. That led to a great 1 hour conversation about every aspect of a relationship with God. The fears, the unknowns, the doubts, etc. In the end, Josh and I had a chance to pray over him in the driveway, although he wasn't quite ready to make a commitment.

The next afternoon, while I was outside with the boys, "Bob" came over to thank me for the night before, for the conversation, the prayer and just being a friend. For the next conversation, I got to be a friend to my neighbor, we talked about life, religion, family, fears, etc. He still was not ready to make a decision, although I believe he is close, but the opportunity that Josh and I had to speak into his life was amazing.

This opportunity wouldn't have came about, if we weren't sensitive to listening for the Holy Spirit's prompting. The timing, topic, and discussion were the result of God's timing and the Spirit's prompting. I am grateful for being a part of that.

Are you listening for the Spirit's prompting?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Weekend Recovery

Well, I am sitting here this morning reflecting back over the weekend. I thought I would share with you a bit about our weekend and why it is so significant.

I woke up Saturday in a panic. I realized at 7:40 AM that I FORGOT to pick up the keys for the building that we rent to hold our church plant church services. I quickly realized that we are probably going to have a shortened service outside. I quickly began enlisting people to pray for a solution. By 12:00PM that day the issue had resolved. I remembered I knew some Lion's Club officers. They use the same building and have permanently issued keys. They loaned us the keys.

Second, after chasing around looking for keys, I cleaned the front yard (Autumn did a great job doing the back yard) and we got ready for Jordan's Birthday Party. What an amazing party. He had so many friends and family there to honor him. He felt VERY special. Fun was had by all.

That night we continued with some friends and got to play some games while the kids continued to play.

Sunday morning, we were up early and I was at the building (with keys) to open up by 7:30. We had a wonderful service, with our Children's Education Pastor preaching a great message. We were locked up, cleaned up and home by 11:30.

I spent a couple of hours doing personal finances and recovering from the cost of a birthday party. I then watched Fireproof with Autumn. That is an emotional movie...and I HAD seen it before.

I then took the boys outside for some bike riding and chalk writing. We had a fun afternoon. A great dinner from Autumn, and then finally some quiet computer time for me.

What a memorable and enjoyable weekend. How was yours?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Funny Friday Fun

Every Friday I post a video that is funny or fun or just plain enjoyable to watch. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: This is meant to be something enjoyable, if you don't find it funny or enjoyable, then please turn it off.
I didn't make them, I simply shared them. Chill out a bit will ya!

Elijah Offering Video from Elevation Church.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hip Hop for Jesus

Yesterday I met with a young man from our church. He is in his early/mid 20's. He is a pretty unique young man.

He is a rapper, and he dresses the part. He is always dressed in brilliantly bright colors, plenty of bling, and style to go with it. He has the lingo. If you could hear this guy he has a gift. He is also a graduate of Teen challenge. He is currently living in a transition house trying to get back on his feet.

I have really felt like God wanted me to come along side him and disciple him as he starts this new life. We all know that when we disciple others, we are being discipled as well, right? At the same time I was feeling this, he had been wanting to put on a hip hop/rap outreach concert.

Yesterday, we got to finally meet together. The time was spent getting to know one another, and a bit of our pasts. The bulk of the time was spent brainstorming for the concert. Who would be a part of it, how would it look, sound and feel to the community we are trying to reach. When would we do it, where, etc. It was a great time and we accomplished a lot.

As I reflect back on that first meeting, there is one thing that really stands out to me. His passion. It was great to hear his passion to reach people and tell them about Jesus through his music. It was a genuine, excitable passion. A contagious passion.

For some reason, it seems that the longer we are Christians, we loose some of our passion...if we don't protect it. Why? many reasons.... but it does happen. It was great to see and hear his passion yesterday, because it stirred up my passion. It reminded me why I do what I do and why I want to be a part of reaching people who are lost.

Thank you, my friend, for reminding me what outreach is all about!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Oh...I get it!

Yesterday was a momentous day in the Hicks household. After many trials and tribulations, Austin has now joined the ranks of many others before him. He has climbed the mountain and reached the top...

Yes, Austin can now ride a bike!

Yesterday was the "Oh, I get it!" day for him.

We have been at this for 18 months. We have tried soft grassy hills at the park. We have tried stern forcefulness at home. I have ran beside him for--I don't know how many-- miles. I have attempted it many different ways. He has made good progress over the many months. Our last attempt, he actually was able to ride for great long as I was along side of him.

Yesterday started out like many others...he was frustrated, struggling and gave up. He told me he was going to go play with chalk. I told him "OK" but that I was disappointed he quit so easily, because I knew he was not a quitter.

After a few minutes (like 3) of playing with chalk, he came back to me. "Dad, I am ready to try again. This time I am not going to quit!" By the end of the afternoon, I could not get him off the bike. He could ride, start/stop, turn around. He was able to look around for cars, move out of the way. Needless to say, he asked if he could ride again the next day.

Although it took some pushing on my part, when he finally got it...he got it! It clicked and then his skills accelerated from there. I think our Christian walk can sometimes be the same way.

We become a Christian, we have great expectations. Sometimes we fall and it hurts. Sometimes we have success. I think we reach a point, though, where we finally get it. We understand what being a Christian really means. We understand what having a relationship with Jesus really involves.

Once we "Get it". Once we truly realized all that is involved in living a life for our Savior, then the best happens. We begin to grow. We begin to ride like the wind. We don't want to get off the bike. Our skills become refined, and we get better and better.

Can we still fall off? Sure. But the more and more we live our life for Christ and stay focused on Him, the harder it becomes AND when we do fall, we know how to get back on the bike!

Where are you in your bike riding journey?