Working on a Dream




Friday, July 29, 2011

A Testimony to Love.

Every once in a while, someone will make your day.  Mine was made when a friend posted this on my wife's Facebook page. 

It is a testament to my dedication to my lovely wife Christen. 

Christen.. random, but just wanted you to know that every time I hear "Hey Soul Sister" by Train I always am reminded of you and Anthony @ the nursing banquet. I know it may be bizarre, but I remember being in awe watching you 2 dance out in the middle of the room and being so amazed at how much love radiated from the both of you at that moment. Always warms my heart to remember that, and makes me realize that THAT kind of happiness is true, and real... I just have to look harder for that in my life :)

 "Husbands, love your wives just as Christ has loved His Church."
-Ephesians 5:25

Thursday, July 28, 2011

U2 - Walk On

The song, Walk On by U2 has always been one of my favorites. 
When they sung it during Tuesday's concert it strung a cord in my heart of how much I miss my son.
I know it did the same with Christen, as tears streamed down her face as the song played.

Baby Anthony, you are still in our hearts.  We dream of you.
Sometimes when we sleep.  All the time when we are awake.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

You wanted got it!

Remember when Mountain Dew was just ... Mountain Dew?  A can of green energy.  A can of pure rage.

---Then they got savvy.

Mountain Dew ran a promotion a few years ago where the customers actually got the chance to pick the new flavors of their new product. 

This made me start thinking about a way to engage my audience.

This is were the idea for my next sermon series came from:
You wanted got it!

The basic idea is that I am open to any and all ideas for my next 2 Sunday morning sermons. 
This is a bit risky, but I believe that people are walking around with deep questions about God and the Bible.  So I will put myself out there for you all. 

Now is the time for requests and suggestions in the comment section...

These could only mean 1 thing...

Rocks the Burgh tonight!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Anthony & his Perpetual State of Enlightened Dissatisfaction.

Champions exist in a perpetual state of enlightened dissatisfaction, always looking for a new idea that will improve upon the current state of affairs.
Typically, they have a long history of pursuing new ideas, attempting breakthroughs, and challenging the accepted.

Champions cannot command because their authority is not positional.

Their authority comes from their vision, their energy, and their ability to touch the hearts of those who believe their vision is the reality the organization must achieve for more
than its future survival, that vision contains the organization’s thrival.

To be effective the champion needs a track record of success.
Yet down deep, most champions are idealists; therefore they often tend to become overly optimistic.

Thus it is not ironic that the hallmark of real champions is not how many successes
they have had, and they will have had many, but rather how they have dealt with

Failures should be the learning experiences that temper their idealism sufficiently to make them effective. Often the best champions will have at their side a seasoned realist or skeptic to provide balance and practicality to their idealistic vision.

Not surprisingly, many champions are entrepreneurial at heart, which enables
them to excel with broken tools and inadequate resources, under adverse conditions,
and with minimal organizational support.

Their extraordinary results come from a blended potion of vision, persistence,
ability to learn from mistakes, a willingness to take risks and possibly fail, and an
abiding commitment to the greater good of all.

Breakthroughs are the way of life for champions, whose challenge of the status
quo is often regarded as unreasonable, are interested in creating new pathways, and
love to discover that which others have overlooked.

And most importantly, a champion always wears L. L. Bean Boots when kicking butt!

“It's not whether you get knocked down,

it's whether you get up.”

-Vince Lombardi

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I Took Your Place

One day, a man went to visit a church, He got there early, parked his car and got out. Another car pulled up near the driver got out and said, " I always park there!
You took my place!"

Then the visitor went inside for Sunday School, found an empty seat and sat down. A young lady from the church approached him and stated, "That's my seat! You took my place!" The visitor was somewhat distressed by this rude welcome, but said nothing.

After Sunday School, the visitor went into the sanctuary and sat down. Another member walked up to him and said, "That's where I always sit! You took my place!" The visitor was even more troubled by this treatment, but still He said nothing.

Later as the congregation was praying for Christ to dwell among them, the visitor stood up, and his appearance began to change.
Horrible scars became visible on his hands and on his sandaled feet.
Someone from the congregation noticed him and called out, "What happened to you?"
The visitor replied, as his hat became a crown of thorns,
"I took your place."

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
II Corinthians 5:21

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Integrity: By Stephen Carter

Below is a review of Stephen Carter's 3 Step Definition of Integrity:

When refering to Integrity, Carter has something very specific and simple in mind.

Integrity, for Carter requires 3 steps:

1.  Discerning what is right & wrong
2.  Acting on what you have discerned (even at a personal cost)
3.  Saying openly that you are acting on your understanding of right & wrong.

Step One is all about moral reflectiveness.  In order to be a person of integrity, you should be a person that not only knows what you believe but why you believe it.  This will certainly be a struggle and will cause you to wrestle with what society teaches.  Even more so for the Christian, as we are called to live according to God's standard instead of the Worlds.

Step Two is about staying in line with what you have wrestled with.  Now that you have come to a place where you truly believe something is right or must act on it (in spite of the consequences). 

Step Three is the last act because when a person gets to this point, they are one with their decision(s).  They are unashamed of their beliefs and share them with others.

Case in Point:  Martin Luther King Jr.

He followed the pattern set by Gandhi (who followed the pattern set by Jesus) when he won over the hearts of millions for racial equality. 
King said, "Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral.  It is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all.  It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding; it seeks to annihilate rather than to convert.  Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love."

Here we see a (1) well thought out conviction on equality and how to go about reaching it in the United States (2) the guts to act on it [King was jailed because of his stance] (3) the conviction to say what he believes.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Think Different: Here's to the Crazy ones...

"Here's to the crazy ones.
The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify and vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward.

And while some may see them as crazy, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world,
are the ones who do."

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Where have all the Dad's Gone??

The Importance of a Father

American men are untroubled by lack of traditional commitment.
A Pew Research Center study shows that about half of American men under 45 have fathered at least one child out of wedlock. Among men age 20 to 25, three-quarters have fathered a child out of wedlock.

Men generally don’t stick around to raise their children. They don’t have to.
Uncle Sam and family court judges have become surrogate baby daddies for millions of young American women.

But how will the paucity of traditional fathers affect America?

Imagine a city.
It was once prosperous, with a thriving middle class. Its families had men who loved their children enough to marry. They protected their little ones and gave them stability in a world that has little.
Because of this, most kids made it into the middle class, too. But then the men and women of the city embraced the evolved cultural standard of the fatherless family.
Within a few years, the majority of fathers vanish. Only a handful of children — one in three — have a dad at home.

Most kids are raised by single mothers or grandmothers, or are bounced from one foster home to another. It’s not that the “traditional” family broke down in this city.
For most children, it never existed

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Question: Does Sex = Love?

I have been reading through the book Soul Cravings and last night I was caught off guard by the words I read below.  As always, I share what inspires me hoping that it will in some way inspire you too.


Sex can be the most intimate and beautiful expression of love, but we are only lying to ourselves when we act as if sex is proof of love.  Too many men demand sex as proof of love; too many women have given sex in hopes of love.

We live in a world of users where we abuse each other to dull the pain of our aloneness.

We all long for intimacy, and physical contact can appear as intimacy ... at least for a moment. 

Is there any moment that feels more filled with loneliness than the second after having sex with someone who cares nothing about you?

There is no such thing as free sex.  It always comes with a cost.  With it, either you give your heart, or you give your soul.  It seems you can have sex without giving love, but you can't have sex without giving part of yourself. 

-Excerpt from "Soul Cravings" by E. McManus.

What do you think about the above paragraph?
Do you agree?  Why?  With what statements?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


We are most alive when we find it.

Most devastated when we lose it.

Most empty when we give  up on it.

Most inhumane when we betray it.

And most passionate when we pursue it.

-E. McManus

Monday, July 11, 2011

Anthony introduces you to "Hand & Foot Theology"

"Faith & Works should travel side by side, step answering to step, like the legs of men walking.

First faith, and then works; and then faith again, and then works again--until they can scarcely distinguish which is the one and which is the other." 
-W. Booth

----Perhaps this is why the Christian way of life is often referred to as the Christian Walk?

"God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.  For we are God’s masterpiece.
He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago"  --Eph. 2:8-10

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Anthony offers a free Marriage Counseling Seminar (in 6 short words)

                                           Correct a little.  
                     Overlook a lot