Thursday, May 28, 2009

Are you religious?

So I picked up "Messy Spirituality" by Mike Yaconelli again today. For some reason, I was drawn to it today. I have read it many times before, but like any good book~ you always get more out of it the more you read it. In chapter 3, Resisting The Resistors, Mike talks plainly about some scriptural truths that we find in the Gospel of John. In John 9 we meet this blind man who has been blind since birth. The disciples bring up questions about the reason for his blindness. Was it his sin or was it his parent's sin? It seems these men are not concerned with the "blind man", they are more concerned with the theology behind the blindness. They continue to debate over this until Jesus cuts it short. Jesus says what matters is glorifying God, helping blind men and women see. While the disciples seem to be worried about the doctrines and theology of the blindness, Jesus is concerned with the "blind man".

I love the idea here that the scriptures present. We can get so caught up in the "why this is happening" rather than truly ministering to the need that is at hand. Can we not do the same? Can we not be worried about the "blind man" instead of debating on the how his blindness came to be? Can we, as pastors, as ministry leaders, as the church honestly just begin to be in incarnation of Jesus in the communities that surround us? Can we not lend a hand to those in need, without passing judgment as to why or how they got this way? As you continue to read this story you see what happens with a little dirt, some spit, and a little water. This blind man can now see! Of course, this happened on the sabbath~ so it causes a stir. The "religious people" ask the man what has taken place. How did you get your eyesight back? The man responds by saying a man made mud from his spit, stuck it in my eyes and told me to go wash it off in the pool of Siloam. I did what He said, and now I can see!! Of course, these men question him in disbelief by saying that God doesn't heal on the sabbath.

"Religious people love to hide behind religion. they love the rules of religion more than they love Jesus. With practice, condemners let "rules" become more important than relationship!"

Remember, Jesus says what matters is glorifying God, helping blind men and women see

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Thoughts From A Friend

This is a blog post from a pastor friend of mine, Andy Wood , who has started a church in Silicon Valley, California called South Bay Church

Do I really believe this?
from Thoughts From Andy Wood
Ephesians 1:18-20, I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.

Could you just read that one more time. Think about what this verse is actually saying to those who are Christ followers. The Apostle Paul is praying that this group of Christ followers would have opened eyes to understand the power that is theirs. The power that raised Jesus from the dead is available. Think about that for a second... Every moment throughout the day today there is available to you the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. For your relationships, for your confusion, for your pain, for your momentary lapses of weakness with your flesh. The power of the resurrection is there right in front of you... All you have to do was open your eyes to see it! This power is incomparable, it is unmatched! Imagine how this would change our homes, our churches, our cities, our world if we all started living this out and opened our eyes to the truth that God's power is available right now, the power that raised Jesus from the dead! I am really wanting to have such an increased awareness of His presence throughout my day. He is with me as much as the skin on my bones. May I have the eyes to see Him and commune with Him throughout the day!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


We want to invite you to get involved in a Connect Group this week.
~ If you are looking for a family atmosphere to settle into, a place to connect with other believers, and an opportunity to study and discuss God’s Word…then you need to check out one of Gateway Fellowship’s Connect Groups that meet throughout the week. Along with experiencing God through worship on Sunday morning, you can share your experiences in a close knit community setting in one of our Connect Groups. These groups currently meet:

Tuesday Night:

@ The Hopmans
7:00 p.m.
Dennis Dodds

@ The Snow's
7:00 p.m.
Zach Snow

Wednesday Night: (YOUTH MINISTRY)

@ The King's
7:00 p.m.
Nate King

Thursday Night:

@ The Finch's
6:30 p.m.
Scott Finch

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sunday Reflections

It has been a crazy week. I flew out on May 14,2009 with the Senior class from GCS for their Senior Trip to DC and NYC. We spent 3 days in DC and then chartered a bus into NYC. I have to admit, I love NYC and had dreams of moving there at one point in my life. We spent Sunday Morning at Brooklyn Tabernacle (which I must say, was really cool) then we headed out to the Yankee Game, which was yet another awesome event. Enough of my little trip. I flew back in around 12:30 a.m. into DFW on Wednesday, May 20, 2009 and was at school by 7:20 a.m. to finish out prepping for the Final Exam I need to give for my class, as well as catching up an all that I missed. I also had a root canal on Thursday morning followed by the fact that I had been given the awesome privilege of being the guest speaker at the 2009 Graduation for Greenville Christian School(GCS). I then spent some time with a very good friend on Saturday to celebrate his 50th birthday. Dennis, you are a true friend and I wish you the best.

It was good to back with my GFC peeps on Sunday Morning. Scott Finch did an outstanding job leading worship this past Sunday. He is doing a great job with the band and leading the team. Our children's ministry continues to do awesome things. This coming Sunday evening, May 31,2009, we will be ending the "Bright Knight" series, which was created by Aaron Ott during our regularly scheduled SNL (Sunday Night Live) and we are looking forward to a great crowd as we invite parents to experience what their children have for the past 15 weeks.

I love our church
I love our people
I love what God is doing in us
I love what God is doing through us
I love that He is not done with us
I love that He has a plan for us
I love that we have a team that is willing to take risks
I love our elders
I love that we are "Doing Life Together"

This past Sunday, I spoke on the fact that we were Created For Community. In Genesis 1 we see that the Lord created all things and said that it was good. We continue to read that even in the midst of man being in the beauty of God's creation, the Lord said "it is not good for man to be alone". You see we were created to be in community with others. I am praying that the Lord will continue to strengthen in us the idea of what "true biblical community" looks like and that we will step in obedience to what He asks of us.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

We just landed in DFW- it is good to be home

We just landed in DFW- it is good to be home

Trent Brown, Lead Pastor
Gateway Fellowship

Sent from my iPhone

Headed home

At LGA in New York

Loaded bus and headed to Airport

Lunch at Friday's on Broadway

No explanation needed?


The famous Balto!
He lives here in Central Park

Central Park entertainment

Madame Tussauds

This is the wax museum we went through this morning

Look what we found

Josh next to the mini weinermobile

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday, May 18

The day started our early with our time on Good Morning America. We then went to McD's for breakfast and head out on the subway towards the Statue of Liberty. I has the privilege of meeting some really cool kids from the Bronx, who were on their 4th grade field trip. We spent some time on Liberty island and then headed back to Wall Street where we saw the New York Stock Exchange and a quick walk to Ground Zero (which is a whole other experience in itself). We then headed to Canal street in Chinatown to do some shopping. After a few hours there we came back to Hotel St. James to get ready for The Phantom of the Opera. We then followed the opera up with dinner. Some of us went for fast food while others went to Roxy's to get some cheesecake and pie

Intermission at The Phantom of the Opera

Phantom of the Opera

We are in our seats

Starbucks in Chinatown on Canal St. after an afternoon of shopping

Sent from my iPhone

Starbucks in Chinatown on Canal St. after an afternoon of shopping

Ground Zero

A banner inside St. Paul's Chapel

St. Paul's Chapel

This church was used as one of the gathering places for the rescue
workers in 9/11

New York Stock Exchange

My friends I met on the ferry ride from the Bronx

Statue of Liberty

Natalie, this is for you per your request

Thanks to Sara Nelson for taking this one

On our way. This from thetip of ship

Ferry ride to Statue of Liberty

Sorry for the lighting! Can you tell if your student is in it?


I love this place. I almost moved here after high school. I came here
when I graduated and visited the Bowry Mission. Loved it so much I
thought I was gonna be a New Yorker. This us the view from McD's. We
are fixing to head to the Statue of Liberty

Wrapping it up

Inside Good Morning America

Waiting outside for Good Morning America

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday, May 17

Awesome day today. We started out at Brooklyn Tabernacle. (you can see notes from earlier concerning the service). We then went to the Bronx to the new Yankee Stadium and watched the Yankees win in the bottom of the 10th with a solo home run!! Awesome game!After the game, we traveled back to 34th street and did some shopping before we went to dinner at Ellen's Stardust Diner. We just finished our devotion time together and now we are trying to get some sleep before an early morning at "The Early Show"

Dinner at Ellen's Stardust Diner

Group pic @ Yankee Stadium

Yankee Stadium

Our seats from center field, section 201 looking straight towards home

Yankee Stadium from the subway platform

Brooklyn Tabernacle, May 17, 2009

Brooklyn Tabernacle
Jim Cymbala

John 14: 13-14

2 great truths:

-Everything is for the Glory of God.
......ask whatever you want in my name and I will do it so that the
Father may be glorified in the Son

-He must be the center.
.......we have to hide behind the cross. It is not about us, it is all
about Him
.......get out of the way

How often do you go from one thing to the next asking Him to take care
of a problem without thanking Him for what He is doing in and through it

Everything is for God

Everything is from God

Trent Brown, Lead Pastor
Gateway Fellowship

Sent from my iPhone

Brooklyn Tabernacle

Subway ride to Brooklyn Tabernacle

Saturday, May 16

Today started with an early trip to the National Air and Space Museum and then we went to the National Holocaust Museum. This Museum is one that will honesty change your perspective on many thinks. It definitely changes your attitude towards life in general. We left the Holocaust Museum and headed towards the Washington Monument for a ride up to the observation point. We then went to lunch at the food court in the Old Post office. We walked back to the hotel and the bus picked us up very shortly there after. We spent a few hours on the bud from DC to NYC before arriving at Hotel St. James, checking in, and the heading to the Empire State Building. We spent time on the 86th floor far above the city then went to Wendy's for a late night dinner. We just arrived back to the hotel and we need to be ready by 8:00 a.m. to head to Brooklyn Tabernacle for church followed by the Yankee game in the NEW stadium.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Late night dinner at Wendy's after the Empire State Building

Top of Empire State Building

Live music at 42nd down on the subway

This is what real community looks like!

Broadway and 45th

We are very close to the hotel

We are in a charter bus making our way through traffic headed to St.
James Hotel

NYC- here we come

We are all accounted for, packed and loaded on the bus

Holocaust Museum

This is a gift shop on the way out of the Holocaust Museum. It is the
only thing I could get a picture of. There were no cameras allowed
inside. I will say this is a must see exhibit and I wish I could have
pictures to tell the story. After walking through this exhibition, I
can tell you that can not be the same person you were when you walked
in. An exhibit such as this will change a person's perspective on life

National Air and Space Museum

Friday, May 15, 2009

Senior Peeps

This is what happens when I asked the Seniors to tell what they did today! These are a few of your 2009 graduates!

Friday, May 15

Today has been another awesome day. We started by going to the National Museum of Natural History where we were able to see dinosaur exhibits, the Hope diamond and other awesome exhibits. We then went to the National Museum of American History where we spent time looking at the history of the wars, music and community life since the beginning of our time as a nation. We then traveled to Hard Rock Cafe' for lunch which is always full of good times. With full stomachs we began our walk towards the Lincoln Memorial as well as visiting the Korean War and Vietnam War Memorials. We then took a stroll to the White House got back on the Metro Rail and rode it to Arlington National Cemetery where we caught the changing of the guard and visited Kennedy's grave site as well as Audie Murphy. All in all it has been a great day and we are looking forward to tomorrow for a trip to the Washington Monument, The Hollacoust Museum and hopefully the Air and Space Museum.

We spent some time this evening in devotion talking about what everybody saw today that reminded them of who Gos is. Many things were brought up. One student said that as they were beginning to complain to themselves about having to walk so much that they saw a young girl just a few minutes later who was walking the same path they were but she only had one leg. The student shared how it made her really thankful for her health. One of the Adults talked about the fact that there is scripture all over many of the monuments and exhibits that we have seen.

God is God! He is still on HIS throne!

Dinner at Potbelly's

John F Kennedy

Audie L Murphy

More from the changing of the guard

Changing of the guard

One of the coolest things you will ever witness

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The White House

Repost: that should be the Korean War Memorial

Trent Brown, Lead Pastor
Gateway Fellowship

Sent from my iPhone

Korean War Memorial

You should be able to see the wall in the back of the picture behind
the statues~ very cool.

Students in front of Lincoln Memorial

From the bottom steps of Lincoln Memorial towards the monument