Today I woke up as a 40 year old man. It’s hard to believe, but according to culture, I’m now middle-aged. Reaching milestones in life often causes me to reflect and ponder, even pontificate , so today I thought I’d do it out loud on my blog for everyone to share…
- I have lived half of my life without Jesus, and now half with him. I’m amazed at how much better life is when we walk with Him. I’m so thankful that Jesus redeemed me from my sin and chose me as His own. Everything I am, everything I have, all my dreams and hopes belong to Him. I’m grateful for the Bible, which truly is a “lamp to my feet and a light for my path”.
- Waking up today I realized I am the most blessed person on the face of the planet.
- I have a beautiful, loving wife who is the epitome of a Proverbs 31 woman. Thank you Lori for 16 great years, and being willing to do life with me!
- My four children bring me great joy. Each one is such a unique creation, yet each one carries parts of me. This morning they honored me, they made me laugh, and they fill my heart with pride more than they’ll ever know.
- I get to pastor the most incredible church on the planet. When we started Palm Valley Church 9 years ago in our living room, I never could have dreamed what an adventure it would be. I’m so thankful for the people of PVC; your faith, your generosity, your growth, and your willingness to allow me to be human. The best is yet to come!
- I have incredible friends. Everywhere Lori and I go in the community, we see people who are a part of our lives, and are thankful for our ministry to them. You are not “church attenders” to me, you’re friends, you’re our family. Thanks for the full page on Facebook today, I read every birthday wish and thanked God for you.
- I have a home and food to eat. During this economy, and my travels over the past two years, I’m reminded how remarkable this is.
- I’m thankful for my father, who sacrificed so much of his life to provide for and take care of 3 children on his own. He’s a great model of a man who loves Jesus, and serves people selflessly. I’m thankful that he experiences such joy in his life, he deserves it!
- Looking back at the mistakes and failures of my life, I feel each one has taught me so much. I see how God has used them to draw me closer to Him and make me more the man He desires me to be. It’s my prayer that I not repeat the mistakes of my past, but make completely new ones as I move forward
- In the last year, things have really come into sharper perspective for me. I feel like God has separated what isn’t essential to me from what is, and I’ve been able to digest it. I’m less concerned about what people think about me, less concerned about what is said about me, and all-consumed with seeing our community transformed with the gospel of Jesus Christ!
- I’m in better shape at 40 that I was at 30. I’m 70 pounds lighter, workout more, can do more physically, have less pain, and am in much better health. 40 is truly just a number to me, and I plan to keep getting younger
- I’m thankful for a great dentist friend, who reversed 30 years of neglect in my mouth and gave me back a great smile. Seems stupid, I know, but I smile a lot more now
- I’m thankful for a great doctor friend, who helped diagnose and treat some real health issues I’ve faced, and help me get healthy.
- I’ve become more and more sappy about the children and teens of our church. They make me tear-up, I dream big dreams for them, I want our church to be a safe haven for them to become dangerous. My heart breaks for children who don’t know how much God loves them, simply because we adults have failed them.
- I”m thankful for the friends and family who have stuck with me. I grew up feeling alone and abandoned, and that shaped a great deal of my life. Jesus has changed that, and he’s used people who love me enough to stick with me through the ups and downs to remind me on a regular basis.
- I’m thankful for all I’ve learned in the past few years, and I know that because of this I will be a better husband, father, friend and pastor in the next decade than I was in the last!
I’ve lived an adventure filled, incredible 40 years. I can truly say that turning 40 hasn’t phased me, just made me realize how blessed I am. I’m more excited about the next 40 years, and all that God has in store for me. Thanks for being on the journey with me!!
While we were in Haiti, the team visited a hospital in Cap Haitian, on the northern part of the island. One of the things we learned is that the hospitals have a severe lack of resources. The rooms aren’t sterile, and they reuse things like rubber gloves and instruments. In addition, they don’t have medicine. When the doctors diagnose a patient, the family must take the prescription and go get the medicines needed, and bring it back to the hospital to be administered.
Often, they told us, parents will not have the money for the medicine, and simply leave the children at the hospital. It’s heartbreaking to know that many times parents feel forced to leave their children to die over medications that can often be purchased for $5.
The Student Ministries at Palm Valley has selected this hospital as their “Greater Things” contribution. The students will be giving to…
- Create a sterile environment in the hospital, providing cleaning supplies and necessary equipment.
- Purchase gloves/bandages and supplies for the doctors to utilize.
- Provide medication for children whose parents can’t afford it.
So, here’s where it gets personal This Sunday my 12 year old son, Jake, came out of youth group and said “today was life changing!” We asked him “why?”, and he shared what Darius taught about how $5 can save a child’s life in Haiti. He told us how excited he was that PVC students is taking on this challenge, and that he wanted to be a part of it.
Jake told us that he is giving ALL of his money to this cause. He’s been saving his allowance/birthday money for a while, and has nearly $100. We know he’s been saving to buy something special, so we asked him “are you sure you want to give it ALL? Maybe you want to give some and still buy something for yourself?”
He responded “No, I couldn’t enjoy a toy knowing that I could have saved the lives of more children. I’d rather help them then do something for myself.”
So, I’m a proud dad today, who’s challenged that my son’s faith has surpassed my own. I wish that my heart was as soft to the prompting of the Lord as Jake’s. I pray that PVC would follow the lead of a 12 year old and live selfless, sacrificial lives that bring glory to the name of Jesus!
I’m grateful for Darius, Jeremiah, Christina, and all the youth mentors. I’m grateful for everyone who serves in our children’s ministries where Jake has grown up. I’m grateful for a church full of people who “get it”. It’s not about us, but all about Him!
Crazy weekend with Halloween (i wrote it) and no Saturday services…
- Not being able to do Saturday services due to a school event (that never happened) is reason #273 why we need to move to our own place. Feels like God is nudging us to walk in faith!
- I enjoyed not having to wake up Saturday morning with the “preaching pressure”, but Lori replaced it with a list of household tasks I could do with my free time. That’s why we’re keeping Saturday services
- My little Raiders finished the regular season 7-0, playoffs and championship game next Saturday. I’m praying I don’t make some stupid play calls and mess it up for the kids.
- Enjoyed talking with neighbors out and about Saturday night; although our neighborhood was pretty quiet. Gave out candy by the bagfulls, still have tons of leftovers.
- What’s with families coming by at 9:20 p.m., when all of our lights are already turned out? It was a challenge to show them the love of Jesus.
- Felt weird to wake up Sunday to preach, w/o having done Saturday night.
- Halloween weekend/no Saturday services/flu/swine flu/building campaign = down crowds. Reminded myself this morning we’re in this for the long haul.
- Loved teaching the message this weekend: It’s all about helping get lost and hurting people in front of Jesus so they can find life and hope through Him!
- I love that our church gets the phrase: “it’s not about us”. Thanks PVC for being such an awesome church family!
- I’m nervous about the Greater Things campaign, which is awesome, because it means this is bigger than us!!
- Can’t wait for the open house at the new building, November 15th!!
- Getting pumped about our trip to the Dominican Republic and Haiti next week. Praying God will open more doors for us to really invest and make a huge difference in this island.
- In Haiti we’ll be targeting partnerships with Churches and Christian orphanages. It’s going to break my heart to see and hug these children! Lori and I will probably end up bringing home a few kids. How can you not??
- Don’t miss next weekend at PVC as the children and students of PVC take over the worship service. It’s going to be awesome to see what God is doing in the lives of young people.
- We’ve cancelled all youth services this weekend so the students can be in the “big” worship service.
- Parents, make sure you bring your students; I have a special word I want to speak into their lives!
- Have a blessed week
This weekend we concluded our series “Staying In Love”. As part of the message, Lori and I prayed a prayer of blessing over our church. It was a prayer we wrote summarizing the teaching of this series. Here it is:
Father, we thank you today for your great love for us, for the model of love you gave us through Jesus. Thank you that through His sacrificial love we have forgiveness and find life.
We pray today that you would help us to love in the same way. Help us to do nothing from vain conceit, but rather in humility, valuing others as more important than ourselves. Lord, we pray that we would not look to our own interest but to the interest of others, forsaking our rights in order to display true love, for you have taught us that:
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Father, we pray for those today who are single. We pray for this season in their life, that you would help them to make Jesus their priority, to be content and wait upon you. We pray that you would help them to maximize each day for you. For those who have struggled through the painful end of a marriage, we pray for healing in their hearts and knowledge that you still have a great plan and purpose for their life.
Lord, we pray for every man today, that you would help us to be men after your own heart. Help us to guard our hearts in purity, forsaking the temptations of the world and be set apart for you. We pray that we would be men whom can be counted upon, men of character and integrity who lead in our homes, our church, and our community in a Christ-like manner.
Lord, we pray for every woman today, that you would help us to know the beauty and purpose you created us with. We thank you for the unique role we have. May we not conform to the standards of this world, but walk securely in the knowledge of who we are, because of whose we are. May we be an example of Christ’s love and grace in all we do.
Lord, we thank you for the institution of marriage that you have given us, and for the marriages represented today. We thank you that You have brought two people together and made them one. Help us to make our marriages a priority, to pursue each other with affection and devotion, to partner as we journey through life together.
We thank you that in marriage you desire to give us more than anything we could ever ask or imagine.
We pray for marriages that are struggling, even feeling hopeless. We pray that you might renew hope, and remind us that with God all things are possible. Remind us that true life change is found when we surrender our will to yours. Help hurting marriages not to look to the world, but to look to you, where our help comes from. Help us not to conform to the patterns of this world, but to allow you to change us by changing the way we think and live. Place our lives, our marriages, our homes, on the rock solid foundation of Jesus Christ and the truth of Your Word.
Father, I pray that you would help each partner in marriage to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Cause husbands to be leaders in our home, loving their wives as Christ first loved the church, by giving His life for her.
We thank you today for the role you have given wives in marriage. Thank you that you created Eve from the rib of Adam, and fashioned her as a gift to him. Cause us as wives to submit to our husbands as to Christ, respecting them, seeking to protect them as the rib protects the heart.
And we pray that what you have brought together, we would not allow any man to separate.
So Father we commit each marriage to you, to your hands and your power; your love. We pray your blessing upon each marriage today, help them to stay in love. In the name and power of Jesus Christ we pray, amen!
Man it was great to be back withe the Palm Valley family this weekend! It was such a privilege to worship together…
- The praise team did an amazing job this weekend. These guys & gals put in a ton of work and it showed.
- The song “Cannons” is rockin’ my world… “I’m so unworthy, but still you love me” is the story of my life.
- greeters/ushers are so faithful, especially when it’s 115 outside!
- love teaching about reaching the lost with the good news about Jesus. Now PVC’ers, let’s go do it!
- I was moved by the number of teachers and administrators who stood at the end of service. What a cool opportunity to pray with them as they head back to school. I truly believe they’re on the front lines of reaching our culture for Christ!
- heard my son Jake was rockin’ it out while leading worship in student ministries. Such a joy to see my children developing a huge heart for Jesus and the local church.
- So grateful for a church willing to invest in the next generations!
- Got a cool note from a family who came to PVC for the kids ministry and have all accepted Christ in the last few months.
- had a great bbq at some friends house after church. Love the deep friendships formed in our small group. If you’re not in one, get in one now
- I can’t believe how tired I was yesterday. I forgot how draining 5 services can be.
- Greeted after 3 of the 5 services, but the heat was draining me. Hate missing people but need the energy to teach.
- Back to school this morning was fun. Loved seeing so many PVC’ers at school, ready to impact the place for Christ!
We’re up in Colorado for our High School camp, “Crashing the Rohlinger Family Vacation”. Sunday we explored some new trails and started all the prep work for the students arrival on Monday…
- I heard Mark Olmos knocked it out of the park at Palm Valley, talking about “becoming all God created you to be”. Can’t wait to watch the video at www.palmvalley.org. we’re blessed to have so many gifted teachers at PVC!
- Once again the “At The Movies” series has been a big hit. I love doing “recurring” series, because it builds momentum year to year.
- Spent some time last week at Kids Camp. So proud of our KidZone team. Adam and his team were over the top in preparation, and it showed. I’ve never seen kids so in tune at camp. They were definitely growing in their faith!
- It’s been a huge leap forward to do our own elementary, jr. high and high school camps. Definitely a lot more work, but worth it to focus the spiritual direction. Camp is so important for kids and this allows us to maximize the week.
- Pray for our jr. higher’s, they’re doing a travel trip to California this week.
- Pray for our high school students, 74 of them are hanging out with my family this week in Durango. Love pouring in to the next generation!
- God is welling up some messages in my heart that need to come out. Can’t wait to be back teaching at Palm Valley on August 1st. I’ll be wrapping up the ATM series with “Land of the Lost”.
- Mosquitos are biting big time in Colorado; I’m being eaten alive!
- I’m praying for so many who are struggling with the economy. I believe this is the time for the church to stand up and share the love of Jesus. This could be our finest hour!