Jul 30, 2009


Last Sunday I spoke of Jonah. The part of that story that I can not get out of my head this week is how after Jonah ran from God, bought a ride on a boat, got the heck out of Dodge, then God sent a storm, and then in the midst of all that Jonah begin to talk of how he worships God. By saying he "worships God," he is proclaiming that he honors, believes, and follows God (Jonah 1:9).

It is mind boggling that he speaks that he follows God while he is running from God. What he is saying doesn't match what he is doing. I do believe that Jonah is being sincere, but there is a disconnect between what he wants for his life, and what he is living.

Man, Jonah's story is like my story so often. It is easy to really want to follow the desire of God, and yet not realize that in our everyday we are heading away for what God desires for us.

You see, we tend to be convinced that we are doing good based more on what I want than what I am doing. In other words, as long as my heart wants to do good, to do the right thing, and has the right beliefs...I am doing good. All the while we have aspects of our life where we are heading in the opposite direction that God desires for us. We don't even acknowledge these areas of our life because we are convinced we are good because our heart wants and believes the right things.

Get it? Think today not about what you believe, but how you live when it comes to managing your finances, putting others first, the words that come out of your mouth, your sexuality, and all the other stuff that makes up what you do everyday.

Lets reconnect what is often disconnected.

Jul 29, 2009

You are the only one in the world right now

In Texas there was this old pastor that seemed to live forever, and was known by just about everyone in the state. His name was W. A. Criswell. I remember hearing that one day he was asked how he grew such a large church. He gave an unexpected answer as one of his key elements for his success. This answer works not only well in church growth but in business growth as well.

He said one of the essential keys is whenever he was talking with someone, he focused on them and to him, no one else in the world existed except them. In other words, he didn't look around, he tried to make sure that he did not give off a vibe or body language that communicated that he was ready to move on.

That is hard for me on Sundays when a ton of people are trying to get my attention, but I work hard on implementing this principle.

Imagine if business owners worked this principle into the way they interact with customers/clients. Imagine if doctors made this a value in the way they handled their patients. Imagine if husbands adopted this attitude when they communicate with their wives. Just imagine what could be if we all took on this attitude in our encounters with people today.

Philippians 2:3 (New Living Translation)

3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.

Jul 25, 2009

What did you do June 16th?

Can you remember what you did last month? I remember last month as the month I spent several days eating lunches with people, watched my kids in the pool several times, went to several baseball and softball practices and games, amongst several other things. How about Tuesday, June 16th? I can't remember...I know we did staff meeting on that day, but other than that I do not know.

Well on June 16th a 33 year old lady named Ri Hyon Ok, mother of 3, living in North Korea, lived her last day. She was executed by the North Korean Government in a public execution. What was her crime? She was caught giving people bibles. Really? Wow!

I saw it on the AP Wire yesterday. It did appear on the Fox News website for a brief moment. No major story, no look into her life, no mention of it at all in most of the world. With no real protest, she was killed.

To me, that is so sobering and disturbing.

Jul 24, 2009

Big Sky

I may freak you out with this because I admit it sounds a little strange, but the sky amazes me. To me the sky constantly gives me reasons to stop, thank, praise, and remember the awe of God.

From the beauty of the rising sun, to the bright sea of blue all day, to the power of a thunderstorm, to the fun feeling of snow, to the breathtaking volume of stars and planets that come out at night. To me the sky is an ever changing picture of the glory and power of God.

Again this may sound strange, but many times during the day I will look up and worship God in a word of thanks or praise because the sky reminds me how worthy he is of it. During the morning when I jog, sitting in a deer stand watching the sunrise, taking out the garbage on a bright blue day, or sitting in my office watching the flashes of lighting...all these thing give me opportunities to worship him briefly in that moment.

For me, worship is not just an hour on Sunday.

Jul 23, 2009


A week from this coming Sunday I am starting a series called STAY-it is easy to fall in love, but its hard to stay in love. It is a series about how to go long-haul in a relationship. I am very pumped about it--I am ready to BRING IT.

This subject is very timely to me because lately I have heard of so many marriages falling apart. Some because of affairs and others just because. Maybe I have been sheltered over the last year, but for some reason I have had a slew of stories of break-ups come my way.

Jana and I have had our own share of troubles. We have had our seasons of not really being on the same page, and it is not easy. However, we have made the commitment and done the work to STAY and I could not imagine not being with her.

So, I am ready to share my heart and the scripture on this issue. And to those who are struggling let me say, you are not alone, it is cool to go get help, and never give up for unless abuse is involved it can get better.

I pray that when I start this series on August 2nd that PC is filled with people who are struggling in marriage, singles who want to know how to maintain a great relationship/marriage, and couples doing well who want to keep doing it well.

Jul 21, 2009

What I want most

Have you ever just sat down and thought about what you want most in life. What is it? If you could achieve a few things what would it be? At this moment this is my list:

1. I want to make God proud of who I am becoming.

2. I want to make it easy for Jana to be proud to be my wife.

3. I want my children to know that their daddy is crazy in love with God, their mother, and them.

4. I want to provide the encouragement and sometime the challenge that will cause my staff to become their best. I succeed with their success.

5. I want to help people discover who God is and how to know him.

6. And a long the way, I want to have fun doing it.

If I can accomplish these things, I lived well. What's on your list?

Jul 18, 2009

Married Life Live

I want to challenge everyone to go to Married Life Live on August 13th at the Cox Capitol Theater in Downtown Macon. The music, videos, laughter, desserts, and the challenge will be worth it.

Think about it, isn't your marriage worth investing one night? MML is organized with men in mind, so guys you are going to love it. Husbands, get the tickets, get the babysitter, and plan the night. She will love you for it.

Tickets go on sail this week at Piedmont for 25 a couple. If you want to order tickets on-line, email us at info@piedmontchurch.net and we will get you the info.

Jul 17, 2009


I finally got home tonight, 24 hours after I was suppose to arrive. My flight got delayed, delayed, canceled, overnight stay, delayed, and then finally I got home. I spent a lot of time in the airport and saw a lot of different people...some cool, some young, some old, and some very strange.

I walked away with an appreciation for the creative genius of God. So many people who were so very different. Yet in all that diversity we all have something in common. We all want to matter, we all want to make a difference, we all want to connect with something bigger than we are. I believe that is the fingerprint of God that God leaves in each of us...calling us back to him.

We are all sooooo different and soooo diverse (spend 24 hours in an airport and you will be amazed), but we all have these same desires. Random chance? I don't think so.

life is a journey

One thing that I am learning is that God is more focused on our journey and we are all too focused on our destination. We always want answers to all our questions, we want to know what the purpose of life is right now, and where it is going. I am not saying those are not valid questions, but we have to understand God's priorities for us or we will be frustrated with his response.

As you read the scripture you get the sense that God is more focused on getting his creation (us) to look for him, experience him, and follow him in whatever life brings. He constantly encouraged us to trust him whatever comes. The thought is that our job is not to always know the destination of life, but to view life as a journey with God, and seek to please him in the daily journey.

So today I am going to do my best to move forward, but to also look for God in all the good and bad that life throws at me.

I never thought I would ever say this, but Miley Cyrus may be right with the song The Climb:

"Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!"

Matthew 6:34
34"So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Jul 16, 2009

Ever been bragged on?

As I got out of the car here at the Shreveport airport, my sister grabbed me and said, "I just wanted to say that your children were great this weekend. They were great to have around and always had manners." Now, I know my children and I know that they have their moments when I wonder if they are human. Any good things in them I attribute to my wife, Jana is an awesome mom.

It was good, however, to have someone else see something in them to brag about. My sister wanted me to know that she saw in them something that would make me proud as a dad. I sat here thinking that if someone was in conversation with God and said "God, let me tell you about Jerry..," what would they say? Is there anything in my character, values, speech, lifestyle that they would think that God would need to know because it would make him smile. Would they talk about how I loved like he loved, gave liked he gave, served like he served...or would they find it hard to find something good to say? Or maybe, all they could say is that I was a "good" guy.

Think for a minute, in the way you live the one life that God has given you, what in it would make Him smile?

Jul 15, 2009

A blog for pastors from a pastor

Hey Pastor,
If you know or have heard me you know that I am in no way conventional. I have a passion to take the timeless truth in the scripture and communicate in a way that captures people's attention. I love that fact that people who question if there is a God come to Piedmont because we make them think. We have done some things that traditional church people would think is outrageous. I think that Piedmont is the "coolest" church in Middle Georgia.

However, there is a new thing that many pastors are doing. They are using words like damn, hell, and crap in their message. They are doing it in the name of being cool, relevant, and hip. My response is to say shut-up. If your content is so shallow that you have to use that kind of language, then you have nothing to say.

I love creativity, but that is not creativity...that is stupidity. So stop trying to be cool, start just being you, fall in love with Christ, and be more concerned with having something to say then how you say it.

Ok, all those who are not pastors can begin reading now

Jul 13, 2009

Be different

Ok, I have been all into facebook and faded from the blogging scene. However, I have been missing it, and so I am back.

I was reading an article while sitting in the airport today and a statement caught my eye. A young teen was quoted about his small town and he said, "They may be Christian people but when they get out of church it makes no difference." What a sad statement, but I would bet that most of you can understand this statement...maybe even agree with the kid.

Somewhere along the way Christianity became a belief system and no longer a movement. It became something you did, and not something that invaded everything about you. It became more about keeping God happy, and less about following His lead. It turned more academic, and less kinetic.

I think a big part of the shift centers around a change in church. Today we expect the church to grow us spiritually. In many people's mind, it is the church's responsibility to "grow me," the result is I do not have to take ownership of my own relationship with God. So I just go to church, leave, and do life with little difference from those who were not at church.

Reality is, I am responsible for my spiritual health. Church is a part, but so is reading the scripture on my own, fighting to forgive those I do not want to forgive, stepping out in faith with a lot of fear, watching my words, giving a percentage of my income even in these kinds of times, seeking God's leadership, etc. That is what will make me different.