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My Life. My Church. My World.

Last Build Date: Thu, 03 Nov 2016 23:11:41 +0000


Happy New Year!

Thu, 01 Jan 2015 14:26:00 +0000

A New Year is a great time to reflect on the good things that happened in the past year, recognize how God has taken you through the challenges, and look forward with great anticipation and expectation for what God is going to do. As we begin a New Year, it is so important to start the year off right by getting your thoughts and faith going in the right direction.  It's easy for us to dwell on the mistakes, the failures and the disappointments of the past.  It's so easy to think that 2015 is going to be a repeat of your past letdowns and setbacks, that's why it's so important to start the New Year expecting good things.  Don't expect failure, defeat, discouragement or disappointment.  Expect that 2015 is going to be a year of breakthrough, a year of greater, a year of increase, and a year of God's goodness and favor over your life and family.  Don't underestimate the power of your expectations.  What is expected tends to be realized.  If we expect the worst, the worst tends to be realized.   While you may not always get what you want, you usually get what you expect.  You become what you believe.  Our thoughts and expectations have tremendous power and influence in our lives and others for both the positive and the negative.  Proverbs tells us "As a man thinks so he is."   It's easy to expect defeat, failure, and mediocrity.  Expecting the worst only promotes worry, anxiety, and fear.  Many tend to have a mindset of "wishful thinking" rather than an attitude of "hopeful expectation."  Many people "wish they had" instead of "expecting to have."  These same people tend to look back to the past with regret and "wish they did" rather than being "glad they did."  This usually happens because people fail to expect and believe for something better in life.    Hebrews tells us that faith is about being sure of what we hope for.  The Greek definition for "hope" is,"to desire with expectation of obtainment.  To expect with confidence."  We need to come to a place in our lives that instead of dwelling on the problems, difficulties, and disappointments, we look forward with confident expectation for what God is going to do in our lives.  When we encounter tough times, we should expect God to supernaturally turn things around.  We should expect God to take us through.  We should expect God to perform a miracle.  We should expect the best and not the worst.Low expectations and wrong thinking will rob us from what God wants to do in our lives and in our church.  We need to quit expecting to fail and start believing and expecting with confidence that in 2015 we are going to succeed and we are going to be blessed.  We need to start expecting God to do exceedingly, abundantly above all we ask or think.  We need to believe God for good things to happen.  Stop expecting failure and defeat and start expecting God to great things in 2015!  Expect healing, provision, better health and finances.  That is the kind of faith that God rewards.  That is how we need to begin this New Year, expecting God to do even greater things in 2015 than He did in 2014.  2014 was an incredible year for our church and our family.  We have seen God do some HUGE things.  In 2014, Ruth and I moved into our dream home.  We have seen our kids flourish in school and sports.  Our family has been blessed financially.  We have also seen our Church experience unprecedented growth.  In 2014 we added a third worship experience, we launched a new satellite campus in the Bronx, hundreds have come to Christ and we have seen God perform some incredible financial miracles as well.  2014 was a banner year, yet I'm expecting greater in 2015.  I'm expecting God to do greater things in my life and ministry this New Year.  I'm starting off the year with great expectations.  When we do, you know what God does?  [...]

On the Brink of Breakthrough

Mon, 13 Oct 2014 12:32:00 +0000

Are you facing a obstacle that has been consistently coming against you for a period of time? A challenge that it feels like you are not going to be able to overcome? Or a situation that you need a breakthrough in? When you face unfavorable circumstances for an extended period of time, it is easy to get discouraged, overwhelmed, depressed, and defeated. The problem is that the longer you are in the challenge, the less likely you will feel that circumstances are going to change or that good things are going to happen.

King David was at a place in his life that his enemy was coming up against him. The Philistines heard that David was anointed King over all of Israel and they went up in full force to search for him. Let's pick up the story in 1 Chronicles 14:9-16, "9 Now the Philistines had come and raided the Valley of Rephaim; 10 so David inquired of God: "Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you deliver them into my hands?" The Lord answered him, "Go, I will deliver them into your hands." 11 So David and his men went up to Baal Perazim, and there he defeated them. He said, "As waters break out, God has broken out against my enemies by my hand." So that place was called Baal Perazim. The NLT says it this way, "So David and his troops went up to Baal-perazim and defeated the Philistines there. "God did it!" David exclaimed. "He used me to burst through my enemies like a raging flood!" So they named that place Baal-perazim (which means "the Lord who bursts through").

This is the point. You can never experience Ball-perizim until you have experienced adversity, challenges and difficulty. God wants to bring breakthrough into your life and circumstances so that you can look back and say, "That was where the God of the breakthrough did something amazing in my life!" It is then when you will realize that it was God who did it, nothing or no one else. Let me encourage you today to stay in faith, press in, and trust God, because God is about to burst through like a raging flood in your life and circumstances. Your biggest battles will come right before your biggest breakthroughs!

Notice that David likened God's power to the bursting forth of water. In other words, he describes it like a flood. He was saying when the God of the breakthrough shows up and releases His power, it will be like a flood that nothing or no one will be able to stop! This is the point, your biggest battles will come right before your biggest breakthroughs!

I believe that you and I need to get ready for a flood. Not a literal flood, but a flood of God's power, a flood of His goodness, a flood of His favor, a flood of healing, a flood of provision, and flood of new opportunities. When God releases His power, nothing will be able to stop it! Whatever obstacles, challenges or difficulties have been in your way, they will be leveled by a great surpassing flood of God's power. That is what happened to David when he was at Baal-Perizim. When the enemy came against him, God released a flood of His power into David's life and circumstances and nothing was able to stop it.

Micah 2:13 says, "The One who breaks open the way will go up before them: they will break through the gate and go out. Their King will pass through before them, the Lord at their head." Micah describes God as the one who breaks open the way. That phrase "breaks open" means to breach, burst out, break out, grow, increase. I believe that is exactly what God is about to do in your life. God is the One who will go before you and break open the way. He is described here as "The Breaker."

Celebrating 100 Baptisms!

Sun, 03 Nov 2013 23:55:00 +0000

I am still trying to process everything that God has done today and this year at Transformation Church.  Today we broke 100 baptisms for 2013.  With over 800 people making decisions to follow Jesus and 108 baptisms, this year so far has been a record year!

What do these numbers mean?  They mean that God is at work in the lives of people big time.  One by one, lives are being changed and transformed by the power of God's love.  Our community has never been this open to the message of Jesus Christ.  Over the past six weeks I have been preaching challenging messages that deal with idolatry and issues of the heart.  You would think that people would be less inclined to come to a church where the sermons are challenging, but instead our attendance has grown.  Since January, our attendance has grown by 40%!  It just shows me that people in Orange County are hungry for God.  

It was once said that the Northeast was a preachers graveyard.  Not anymore!  God is blowing fresh wind in the Northeast and in New York.  Once again the embers of revival are burning.  People are coming to Christ.  People are repenting and getting baptized just like the Bible teaches.  I am so honored to be a part of this incredible move of God.  The best part, it's only the beginning.  I do not believe that this is a season.  I believe that this a move of God that will last for many more years.  I am overwhelmed at what God is doing and am looking forward to even greater days ahead.  Today I am reminded of this verse, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him" 1 Corinthians 2:9.  

The Anchor

Wed, 30 Oct 2013 14:15:00 +0000

Each week we receive cards with prayer requests from many people in our congregation. Over the past few weeks, people have been dealing with alot of adversity. Some are facing a job loss, others are dealing with long term physical illnesses, many are dealing with financial challenges and marital problems. This past week, a son was murdered, another was hospitalized with schizophrenia, and another was imprisoned. My heart breaks each time I read these kinds of requests. Ruth and I are at times overwhelmed by the needs of our church family.

Life has a way of bringing unexpected pain, difficulty and adversity. There are times when storms hit and waves come crashing into our lives leaving us feeling overwhelmed, hurt, disappointed and sometimes devastated. I know I felt this way when my son of 51 days passed away. Although he was sick, we were fully convinced that God was going to perform a miracle. But, what happens when He doesn't? It's so easy for each one of us to find a reason to blame God for our crisis. It's so easy for each of us to accuse God for not caring when we face adversity. What I've discovered over the years is that that's not the case. Instead through my adversity I've come to know that God is good and the He is for me and not against me. He cares for me and He has a plan and purpose for my adversity.

God knows what you are going through today. He knows the problems you are facing. The unanswered prayers you are praying. The disappointment and sadness you are experiencing. When facing these things, the temptation is to give up and lose hope. If we lose hope, we become discouraged which leads to despair. We find ourselves at a bad place of hopelessness, depression and disillusionment. So what do you do? What do you do when storms hit and rock your boat? When the waves come crashing in? When the winds blow and discombobulate your life? I know what you can do. Hold on to the anchor!

To weather the storms of life, we need an anchor to keep us in place, to keep us from being swept toward the rocky shore, to keep us from capsizing and sinking. Hebrews 6:19 tells us that we have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. That anchor is Jesus Christ. He is the anchor that holds us when problems turn our world upside down. He is the anchor that keeps us firm and secure when we are going through incredible storms in our lives. As our anchor, Jesus is our hope, He is our strength, He is our rock and our refuge.

Whatever you are facing today, what you need to do is hold on to the Anchor and don't let to. Don't let go of your hope, don't let go of your peace, don't let go of your faith, and don't let go of your God. God is with you and God is in control. He will accomplish in you what He desires. He will uphold you and keep you secure. Don't be tempted to give up on God or give up on your faith. Instead, hold on to the Anchor. Hold on to Jesus. He is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. He is with you. He will hold you. He will sustain you. He is The Anchor!

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Celebrating 4 Years!

Mon, 06 May 2013 22:11:00 +0000

(image) I can't believe how quickly 4 years has gone by.  On May 3, 2009, Ruth and I became the Pastors of Transformation Church. We are so overwhelmed by God's amazing grace and love over our lives and our Church.  We have seen hundreds of people make decisions to follow Jesus, over 200 people get baptized, and we have seen our church grow from 120 people to now 600 people and growing!  We have also spent over $250,000 renovating 90% of our facility.  It's amazing to see the transformations happening right before our eyes.  Do you want to know the best part?  God is not finished with us yet!  We are looking forward to many exciting decades of ministry here at TC.  We believe that we are just beginning and that the best is yet to come!  

Just want to thank everyone for their prayers and support, especially the dozens of people that have stood with us since day one.  We love you guys!  You now get to see the fruit of your hard work and commitment to the mission that God has given us to lead people who are far from God to become fully devoted followers of Jesus.  Without your faith, your time, and your giving, there would be no way that we would have been able to do what we have done.  God tells us in Scripture that where there is unity, there is blessing.  We are truly a blessed Church.  Just before you get too excited, remember, we've got lots more to do.  I love you guys and am honored to be your Pastor. Thank you for all of your prayers and support.  Celebrating 4 years with you, but looking forward to many, many more!  

Information or Intimacy

Thu, 18 Apr 2013 13:44:00 +0000

"As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them." Matthew 7:38 All throughout the Gospels, Jesus had encounters with all different kinds of people, and here in this passage He has a provocative encounter with a Pharisee named Simon.  Simon was a religious leader and invited Jesus to have dinner with Him, but when Jesus arrived, He was not treated very well. During this time it was custom that when you went over to dinner in someone's home the host would greet you with a kiss on the hand or the head. The host would also would wash your feet because you would be actually reclining on the floor while you ate. That was mandatory. If you were a special guest, they would anoint your head with oil. Jesus would have expected this greeting when He got to the door, but He was completely ignored. The Pharisee invites Jesus to dinner, but then completely ignores Him. Simon spent 12 years of his life studying and memorizing the first 12 books of the Bible. By the time he was 15 years old he would have memorized and known over 300 prophecies given by the prophets of what the coming Messiah would be like. Jesus was sitting at the same table He was and didn't really recognize who He was. Simon was more interested in what Jesus had to teach than in who Jesus was. He wasn't interested in knowing Jesus personally, but in hearing what Jesus had to say. He knew all about Jesus, but didn't personally know Jesus. That's the way most religious people are. Religious people tend to confuse information about Jesus with intimacy with Jesus. We get this confused in church all the time. We go to Bible Studies, small groups, and services and we think that because we know about Jesus, we know Jesus. There's a big difference between information and intimacy. Acquiring information about Jesus is a lot different than knowing Jesus. Religious people are more interested about knowing about Jesus than knowing Jesus.  They want to be "fed" on Sunday mornings.  All they want to do is sit in Bible Studies and listen to preaching so they can get more information about Jesus. In this same story there was a sinful woman, who was probably a prostitute, who heard that Jesus was in town. She heard that this man Jesus was not interested in what He could get but what He could give. She heard that Jesus could satisfy the emptiness of her soul, and that He would love her and accept her for who she was. So she crashes the dinner party as an uninvited guest and brings an alabaster jar of perfume.  She enters the room and stood at his feet weeping. She was overcome with emotion. She opened up her soul to Jesus. She became vulnerable. Her weeping was probably an expression of her sorrow and grief over her sin, but also an expression of her grateful love for Christ. Because of her love for Jesus, she began to wet his feet with her tears. She touched Him. Then she let down her hair and began to wipe his feet with her hair. Letting down her hair was something that women did only with their husbands. As a matter of fact, if a woman would let down her hair to another man, that would be grounds for a divorce. Why? It was a sign of intimacy. She kissed His feet then poured perfume on them. She didn't need it anymore. Her life was changed. She was forgiven. She was transformed. Jesus tells them,"47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven-as her great love has shown." Jesus encounters two people, a religious leader who was schooled and educated in the law. The second, a prostitute. A woman who had no theological background or training, yet Jesus tells them that it was her sins that were forgiven. Why? Because she chose intimacy with God instead of information. She became vulnerable before God. She chose to know God in a personal and intimate way.  Le[...]

The Best is Yet to Come!

Fri, 11 Jan 2013 00:35:00 +0000

As we begin 2013, I thought it would be important to celebrate what God has done in 2012.  It has been a record year.  At Transformation Church, we had record attendance, record giving, and record baptisms with over 80 people being baptized and over 250 people making decisions to follow Jesus.  Each number represents a person experiencing life transformation.  There is nothing greater to see people's lives being transformed right before you.

I attribute a lot of the success of this year to prayer, fasting, and hard work.  Our entire team decided to start 2012 by fasting for 21 days and pray for God's blessing over 2012.  Our Church also had over 100 prayer gatherings throughout the year at TC, which included prayer meetings, prayer gatherings, and Night's of Worship.  God has honored our efforts and heard our prayers.

If prayer alone would change the world, then the world would be changed.  God depends on people who are willing to put their hands to the plow and work hard to make the dream come to pass.  My team worked very hard and tirelessly.  Because of prayer, fasting and their hard work God blessed our year.

As I look forward to 2013, I believe that God has more in store and that the best is yet to come!  With 2012 behind us and 2013 upon us, I believe we are just getting warmed up.  1 Corinthians 2:9 says, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived the things that God has prepared for those that love God, but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit."  God has great things already prepared for us.  God has great things already prepared for you.  Although those great things have not crossed our minds, nor entered our hearts, God has and will reveal it to us by His Spirit.  I believe that prayer and fasting is one way by which God reveals to us what He has already prepared for us.

Fasting is simply refraining from food for a spiritual purpose.  As we put the comforts of food aside and hunger for more of God, I know that God will reveal more of Himself and more of what He has for us by His Spirit this year.  As we hunger for God, God will speak to us.  Fasting also comes against those forces that are trying to keep us from receiving those things that God has already prepared for us.

On January 14, our church is embarking on its first fast.  If God did so much with only 6 of us fasting, what is going to happen when an entire church decides to fast?  I know this that when we fast, pray, and work hard, God will respond, God will visit us, and God will give us what He has already prepared for us.  Nothing will be able to stop the blessing of God upon your life and upon our Church.

Join me as together we fast and pray beginning January 14- January 23rd.  I know that when we do, He will listen and respond.  Happy New Year.  The best is yet to come!

Surviving Storms

Tue, 06 Nov 2012 20:28:00 +0000

What an incredible storm hit our region a few days ago. Reports are now saying Hurricane Sandy is the second most costly storm disaster in the history of our country right behind Hurricane Katrina. The damage and the losses are overwhelming. People are still without power, gas is scarce, frustrations are mounting, and people are suffering. Born and raised in New York City, I have seen hurricanes and I can remember the gas lines in the 70's, but I don't ever remember seeing anything like this. This experience has really rocked my world. It has caused some anxiety and restless nights. I've experienced the feelings that many of you have probably experienced, feelings of worry, uncertainty and fear. Worried that I would not get gas, uncertain if I would have enough food, fearful that people would start getting violent just to acquire basic necessities. It is during times like this that many people as the question "Why?" This past week I received an e-mail from one of our attenders and she said, “I need for you to explain to me a few things that I am so confused with and cant seem to figure out reasons WHY? How can people who lose so much through the storms, wars and killings, murders keep faith and still believe in GOD?" That's a great question. I wish I had the answer. Unfortunately, I ask the same questions sometimes myself. I wonder why these things happen. When I read the Bible, I come across a story where the Disciples of Jesus experienced a storm. In Mark 4:35, "That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” Can you imagine what these disciples were thinking and going through? The storm they experienced came as a result of them following Jesus. Jesus knew the storm was coming and He allowed them to go through it. He didn’t cause it but He led them to it. Why? Why did Jesus lead His disciples to the storm? Sometimes, God will lead us right to a storm because He wants to help us grow in faith. He wants us to know Him deeper. He wants to make us stronger. James tells us, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4There is a purpose for your storm. God will use it to produce something greater in you. Trials, tribulations, testings or storms, are all part of God's plan. He uses them to create character, maturity, and strengthen your faith. When we face storms, whether they are literal, spiritual, physical, relational or emotional, we often times want God to remove our storm when God wants to improve us through the storm. I can remember last year, we experienced Hurricane Irene. That storm did more damage to us than Sandy did. It flooded the lower level of our Church leaving us with over $40,000 worth of damage. In addition to that our basement flooded at my home, destroying years of cherished possessions. I can remember that feeling of hopelessness and despair when I looked at everything we lost. Pictures, clothes, shoes, furniture, curtains, electronics, and so much more. Tears would roll down my eyes as one by one I dumped things in the dumpster. I can remember asking the same question the disciples asked, "Lord, don't you care?" It's OK sometimes to question God. When we do, He always answers. God answered me at my darkest moment. God assured me that He was in control and that He would take me throu[...]

Holy Mary Mother of God!

Mon, 17 Sep 2012 20:58:00 +0000

That's exactly what my buddy from High School told me when he found out I became a Pastor.  I have to admit, it was funny to hear.  It had been years since I've seen Billy or any of my other H.S. classmates.  Since Facebook, one by one they began friending me and one by one I got the comment, "A Pastor?!?!? You've got to be kidding me!!!" What most people don't know is that I was a pretty rebellious young man.  I loved to party, have fun, hang out with friends and do things that today I'm not really to proud of.  I hurt alot of people, especially my mom and dad.  They did a really great job raising me and leading me to Christ.  I was just self-centered and selfish, controlled by my lusts and passions.  It wasn't until I met Christ, and gave Him my life that God did something radical in me.  He transformed my life and made me into a brand new person.  He gave me a new name with a new purpose and a new future.   If you were to judge me by my past, I should have been disqualified from being a Pastor.  Heck, I don't deserve to be saved.  I wasn't good enough, smart enough, or holy enough.  But, He still chose to use me.  Not because I'm perfect, but because He wanted to, because He loved me, because of His grace.  I don't deserve it, but He it did it anyway.  What does that mean for you?  It means that your sins are not too big for God's forgiveness.  I know that like me, some of you might struggle with guilt, shame, and condemnation from your past.  You might carry labels that the enemy or others have given you like liar, adulterer, murderer, loser, womanizer, cheater.  In fact, if you own a label that truthfully you deserve, in many ways it really is true about you, I want you to know that what's true about you today doesn't have to be true about you tomorrow.  God's truth about you is bigger then any current truth in your life today.2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "If anyone is in Christ, He is a new creation, the old is gone, the new is here!"  If you are in Christ, all of the old is done away with, it's gone! All of the past has been washed away, and the newness of life in Christ is available to you.  The Bible even teaches that God limits Himself in His ability to remember your sins.  He chooses to forget all the wrong you have done, and treats you just as if you have never sinned.  If you are finding it difficult to overcome your past, then what you need to understand is that you are not what you have done, you are what God says you are!  Although you can't change your past, God can change your future.  Don't limit God's ability to forgive and forget.  When you are in Christ, you become a brand new person.  God says you are forgiven, favored, blessed, anointed, an overcomer and more than conqueror.  You are no longer a victim, but a victor, and if God is for you what or who can be against you.  Don't you dare let anyone put you in a box and put a label on it. You are not what anyone else says about you. By the power of Christ, you can get past your past and God will bestow upon you a new name. You are not what others called you, you are not what you call yourself. God will bestow upon you a new purpose. You will grow into your name; you're not there yet, but you'll grow into it! He'll give you a new purpose and He will give you a new future. [...]

It's All About the Numbers

Wed, 01 Aug 2012 13:14:00 +0000

I recently read this article by Steven Furtick, Lead Pastor of Elevation Church, and I want to share it with you.  It explains exactly why Transformation Church is all about the numbers."I get asked all the time if Elevation is all about the numbers.  Let me just clarify something: Our church is all about the numbers.The number of lives that Jesus can permeate and penetrate with the gospel.  The number of marriages that can be restored.  The number of teenagers following the Lord.  The number of depressed people that can find hope in Jesus.  The number of dads who don’t give their kids any attention who will learn to order their lives by the Word of God and start prioritizing their families.What else matters? What else should we be about?This might come as a shock to a lot of people, but measuring numbers and putting an emphasis on them isn’t a new phenomenon. 2000 years ago, Luke by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote: Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day ... And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. - Acts 2:41, 47  Apparently God is all about the numbers. So I want to be, too. And so should you.It’s unacceptable to me as a pastor that we would stop growing when the Lord wants to add to our number daily those who are being saved. And in order for that to happen, we need to track every scrap of statistical data at our disposal. We’ve got to make sure we’re measuring ministry numbers to measure our effectiveness and enlarge the Kingdom of God. I don’t want to waste a single dollar or second on a program, piece of equipment, or ministry position that isn’t the best option for reaching the most people.You might be averse to numbers for a number of reasons.Maybe you don’t like the idea of big crowds. If that’s the case, you wouldn’t have liked the New Testament Church. And you really won’t like heaven.Maybe you think it steals away from discipleship. It’s possible. But it’s just as possible for that to happen in a church of 10 people as it is in a church of 10,000.Whatever your reason is, remember: every number is indicative of a story.Personally, I don’t want to put a cap on the number of stories God wants to redeem. Especially when I read this:  I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God.” - Revelation 7:9-10  Now that’s a number worth shooting for. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to wait until I die to see this. I want to see this partially fulfilled in my lifetime. More people worshipping Jesus than I can count.I want to see a little heaven on earth through Elevation Church. Through every church. I think it’s what God wants too.And that’s why we’re all about the numbers."[...]

15 Years and Counting...

Sun, 08 Jul 2012 21:21:00 +0000

On June 21st Ruth and I celebrated 15 years of marriage, and on July 6th we celebrated 15 years of ministry.  I can remember that hot Summer Saturday in Port Jervis 15 years ago, as my beautiful bride walked down the aisle.  My knees shook, my heart pounded, as we began our journey of life, marriage and ministry together.

Over the past 15 years we have had our ups and we have had our downs, but through it all, I can say God has been good and He has been faithful to us.  We celebrated our 15 year milestone with a three week vacation in Florida.  We enjoyed a few days on Treasure Island, Palm Harbor, Honeymoon Island, and Miami.  We spent some great time together reflecting on the past, but mostly thanking God for the present and looking forward to the future.

Ruth and I believe that our best is yet to come.  We are at a place in our lives where we feel we are about to enter our greatest days of marriage and ministry.  We are so fulfilled where we are at, and we are so excited for what God has in store.

Over the past three weeks, I was able to reflect how important my family is to me.  I've come to the conclusion that I want to be famous in my home.  If I can't lead my family, I can't lead my Church.  Secondly, I also was reminded that friends are important too.  Surrounding yourself with people who are going to lift you up, encourage you, and stand by you are few and far between.  Maintaining meaningful friendships and starting new ones are important.  Lastly, everything in life is grounded in faith.  Without my faith I would have given up, thrown in the towel and walked away from my dream.  It was faith that caused me to believe that God has great things in store for me.

I want to thank my wife, my soul mate, for standing with me, walking with me, encouraging me and being my biggest cheerleader over the past 15 years.  She has been an amazing mother and a wonderful wife.  She has caused me to believe in myself and in the dreams that God has put in my heart.  Together I know we will do the impossible, accomplish the improbable, and dream the inevitable.

Albany Night of Hope

Sat, 17 Mar 2012 15:41:00 +0000

Last night my wife and I had the honor and the privilege to meet Joel Osteen.  What an inspiring time we had with him, Victoria, and his mother and participating in the Albany Night of Hope.   It was estimated that 70% of the crowd stood to invite Jesus Christ into their lives.  It was truly the highlight of our ministry. What most people don't know is that in 2004, I was discouraged in life and ministry.  We had some huge problems in our church, and we lost our son Seth.  It was a dark year, probably the darkest of my life.  I was questioning God, my calling and my future.  Later that year, someone gave me Joel Osteen's book, "Your Best Life Now."  As I read that book, God began to speak to me.  I began to believe again and believe that God was for me and not against me.  As I read each page of the book, God was healing me.  I was able to believe that God's plans for me were not to harm me, but to give me a hope and a future.  I began to believe again that I was His favored child and that in spite of what I was going through, He had my best interests in mind.  Because I was so moved by the book, I decided to write Joel Osteen a letter in December of 2004 thanking him for his book and his words of faith and encouragement.  Never in a million years would I have imagined that I would have the opportunity to meet him and be a part of a Night of Hope.I believe that God honors honor.  When you honor leaders, and honor people, He will honor you.  As you honor others, you are sowing into your future and I believe that it will come back tenfold.  It was also an honor to meet with other like minded pastors, Buddy Cremeans, Northway Church, Mike Servello, Redeemer Church, Lon Williams, House of Praise, David Traynham, New Horizons Church.  These guys are movers and shakers in the Northeast.  So proud and honored to have the opportunity to team up with them in Albany. I'm also honored to be the Pastor of Transformation Church.  I was so proud of our volunteers who served and made a difference in the lives of many people.  They are truly the cream of the crop.  The feedback I received from Joel Osteen's team was that this was one of the best groups of volunteers that they have had.  They were happy, positive, and had such a great spirit.  I was like a proud dad when they told me.  I think I blushed :)  I love you guys.  I'm so proud of you.  You guys are the best!As I think about the future of Transformation Church, I continue to passionately keep our mission at the center of everything we do, reaching people far from God and leading them to become fully devoted followers of Jesus.  That is why we exist as a Church.  That's why we participated and supported Albany Night of Hope.  It's about people, people coming into a relationship with God.  People finding hope again, people rediscovering faith, and people learning to believe, believe in God, and learning to believe in themselves.  The world doesn't need another critic, another judge, or another person to condemn them.  The world needs HOPE!  I'm honored to be a carrier of hope to a world that desperately needs it.[...]

Knowing What to Ignore

Fri, 17 Feb 2012 14:12:00 +0000

As you begin fulfilling your dreams and God given destiny, it's inevitable, you will encounter critics.  People that are negative, people that are jealous, people that don't believe in you.  In the past 15 years of ministry, I have encountered numerous critics.  I have faced negativity from a tiny group of insignificant people that threatened to rob my joy and hijack my dreams.  I'm sure many of you have experienced some type of negative criticism in your life.  Perhaps you were going to buy a house, and some jealous family members tried to discourage you into doing it.  Perhaps you wanted to go back to school, and your best friend told you that it would be too hard for you.  Perhaps you were about to take a step into a new career, and those closest to you told you you were crazy.  How do you handle criticism?  How have I handled criticism?  There is only one way to handle criticism and that's ignore it!  Years ago someone gave me a duck to remind me to let criticism roll off my back.  It sits on my desk today.  Daily I'm reminded to let the negativity, let the criticism, let the discouragement roll off my back.  I can't tell you how important that has been in moving forward into everything God has for me.  The only thing that really matters is not what others think of you, but what God thinks of you.  My goal in life is not to please people but to please God.  Over the years I have learned to make the shift and not allow others to make me or break me.   I have learned what to ignore.  The gift of ignoring may be your most important gift when you are trying to fulfill your God given destiny.  Ignore the tweets, ignore the facebook comments, ignore the letters, ignore the calls, and continue to follow your dreams. David faced intense criticism when he was about to face the giant Goliath.  Saul told David, "You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth."  But David didn't allow the Saul's criticism to keep him back from his God given destiny.  David responded by saying, "Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God."  With one stone he killed his enemy and silenced his critics.  How do you quiet a critic?  You ignore them and keep moving forward into your destiny.  You continue believing and reaching for everything God has for you.  Eventually, your critics will be silenced, not by what you have done, but what God has done through you.  They will become speechless when they see the supernatural power and favor of God operating in your life.[...]

Reflections on 2011

Sat, 31 Dec 2011 17:24:00 +0000

2011 was a roller coaster of a year.  The year started off great.  The church continued to grow, we added a new staff member, Domingo Rodriguez, and plans to renovate the lower level of our facility were in motion, that's until I became ill with a terrible case of appendicitis in March.  I have never been so sick in my life, so a week in the hospital, was a huge setback. That same week, our townhouse basement flooded.  What a mess!  We used our basement as storage for the stuff we had from our 4 bedroom house.  What a helpless feeling it was to see all your stuff sitting in water and not being able to do anything about it because you're sick. It took me about a month to fully recover, but amazingly, plans to renovate continued moving forward... without me!  Thankful for an incredible team that stepped in an led during a time that I needed them the most.  Thankful for my friend Pastor Anthony and Medford A/G for being there when we needed them the most.  Thankful for people that came over to help us clean up from the flood. Renovations continued and people continued to come.  Easter weekend was a huge weekend for us with over 700 people attending three Easter weekend services.  I knew it was just the beginning of greater things ahead.  By the summer I was feeling great again and plans to move to two services as well as plans to renovate the Community Hall into a cafe' by October 9th were in place, that is, until Irene showed up! My basement, flooded again!  We were devastated.  Then a few days later we were flooded again by Jose!  Funny, I guess the forces that be had it out for me.  While I assessed the damage of Jose, I got a call from Domingo.  "Pastor, you're not going to believe this..."  I ran over to the church and there was six inches of water everywhere!  All the work, all the plans, all the dreams, dashed in a few hours by one storm. That was a turning point for me.  I had to come to grips with reality that I did not have the strength to continue.  I could not continue to do this on my own.  As I was about to throw in the towel, I told God I can't do this anymore.  His response... I can!  From that moment, faith began to fill my heart and I started to believe again.  I couldn't give up, I couldn't give in.  There was too much at stake.  We just have to press forward.  We have to overcome the challenges in order to experience the blessings.  Long story short, within 8 hours, the entire church was cleaned up and dry.  An army of volunteers came in and worked relentlessly all day until every drop of water was cleaned up.  I walked away from the church that day in amazement of what God did.  God taught me a lesson.  When we are not able, God is Able!  That set to tone for the rest of the year.  I preached for eight weeks, "God is Able!" We did not allow those setbacks to determine our future.  Instead we used them as stepping stones to move to a whole new level.  We continued with plans for two services on October 9th.  We moved the opening of the cafe' to December 11th.  We moved Life Groups into homes.  We also began a capital building campaign to raise the funds necessary to complete renovations and repairs, and we hired a Children's Director, all in the same month.In October, God also opened unexpected doors for my family to move into a beautiful new home on 3.5 acres of land overlooking the mountains.  We thought we were stuck in our current situation, but when we let go of the problem, God will always provide the solution.  Unexpectedly God made the imposs[...]

A New Name, A New Beginning

Sat, 17 Dec 2011 12:51:00 +0000

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I announced on Sunday, with about 400 in attendance, that we have a new church name!  We are now Transformation Church!  I can't tell you how excited I am to begin a new chapter in the history of this great church.  In January of 2011, God impressed upon my heart that it was time to change the name of our church.  He showed me that often times, when He did a new thing in the lives of people He changed their name.  For example, Abram to Abraham, Saul to Paul, and Jacob to Israel.  Ruth and I spent some time praying and searching for that new name until we found Transformation Church.

We spoke to our Leadership Team about the name change and everyone agreed that it was time to change the name.  I spent the rest of the year praying and asking God to confirm the new name.  Throughout the year, God confirmed over and over again that the name was indeed going to be Transformation Church.

The new name speaks to our mission.  We are all about seeing lives transformed.  My prayer that is that Transformation Church would be about transforming lives, families, marriages, the community and the world with the power of God's love.  God is not only calling our church to be about transformation, He is calling each of our partners to be transformers.  Within each and every one of us, we have been given the power to transform the world.

In addition to announcing our new church name, I announced the results of our capital campaign.  I am happy to say that in one Sunday we raised $150,000!  God is Able!  This was a huge victory for us and for our church.  With those funds we were are able to complete most of the renovations and repairs to our facility.  On Sunday, we opened our new cafe'.  For years, I have wanted to open a cafe where people can come together and connect over a cup of coffee.  Within a year I hope to have it open to the community.

It's amazing to see how the vision that God had put on my heart years ago is becoming a reality.  In addition to the cafe' we opened a new kids wing with newly renovated kids classrooms, all equipped with flat screen tv's and blu-ray players, as well as a computerized kids check in system.

Transformation Church is moving forward.  We know that this is just the beginning for what God has in store for us.  Every day I wake up and thank God for bringing me to Transformation Church.  I know that 2012 is going to be an incredible year of growth and transformations.  I know that God is going to blow our minds as we continue to fulfill the mission of helping people far from God become fully devoted followers of Jesus.

God is Able!

Wed, 26 Oct 2011 20:54:00 +0000

A few weeks ago our house basement flooded.  It was the fourth time in a year.  Ruth and I were so discouraged and overwhelmed by the situation.  To top it all off, the church lower level flooded as well.  All the work we put into those rooms and classrooms was destroyed in one night.  As I walked into the church that morning, all I could say is God, I can't do this anymore.  I don't have the strength to do this.  I'm done!  His response?  Finally, you have come to the place that I want you to be.  You can't, but I can.  I am able! Not long after, over a dozen volunteers came out to help with the clean up.  We were done by 5pm.  I was amazed to see so many people come and help us.  It was at that point that I handed everything over to God and began to trust Him to take us places we have never been before.  I know that God has incredible plans for my life and for Trinity Church.  Without God's help, we are going to fail!  It's easy to rely upon your own abilities and your own strength.  And to a point, you are going to be able to accomplish some on your own.  But if you are going to go to a level you have never been before, and see things you have never seen before, you are simply going to have to turn everything over to God and trust him to to the impossible.  The Bible says in Matthew 19:26, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."  This is what drove me to launch the sermon series, "God is Able."  I can't tell you how God is working in so many lives so far through this series.  People are beginning to believe again, and trust again.  People are beginning to raise the level of their faith and believe God for the impossible in their life, their situation, and their church.  What once was an impossibility is being looked as opportunity for God to do a miracle. I know that God is about to do a miracle at Trinity.  I know He is about to show us in miraculous ways that He is able.  If He can make water flow out of a rock, if he can cause the blind to see, and raise the dead, I know He is able to make the impossible possible.Joshua prayed one of the most audacious prayer that I have read in the Bible.  He prayed, "Sun stand still."  The sun was setting while Joshua was attempting to defeat the enemy.  In order to get the victory, he needed more time.  Can you imagine that.  A mere man like you and I prayed for the sun to stand still.  That is audacious faith.  God responded to Joshua's faith and God granted Joshua's request.  He defeated the enemy and found victory just as God had promised.The sun might be setting over your career, your marriage, your finances, or your future.  Don't settle for the expected outcome.  Trust God to turn it around, bring the finances, the people you need, or the resources to do what He has called you to do. We are believing God to raise $250,000.  We need to complete renovations and move our church forward as we continue to reach people far from God.  It might appear to be the worst time to raise money in this economy.  You think?  Not with God.  He doesn't operate in man's economy.  As we raise the level of our faith and partner with what God is doing, I know He will do great things through us.  I'm believing, I'm trusting, and I'm expecting for the sun to stand still.  I know He will respond and do more than what we ask or think.  God is Able![...]


Fri, 23 Sep 2011 20:40:00 +0000

I'm a planner.  I love setting goals and timelines to reach those goals.  When stuff doesn't go as planned, I can get frustrated and discouraged.  For example, we are about to launch two services on October 9th.  Everything was coming together for our launch and the opening of our new cafe'.  We've got the timeline and plans in place, except we didn't expect a hurricane.  It hit everyone and hard.  We weren't the only ones sucking up water from the basement of our church.  It was an unexpected setback that had the potential to throw us off course and get us down and discouraged.  I have to admit, there was a moment where I was about to just throw in the towel.  As quickly as that moment, came and went, I remembered that we serve a God who knows how to work all things together for good. Through a series of setbacks recently, God was able to bring me to a place where I totally needed to trust Him.  You see, sometimes God allows things to happen so we can stop relying upon ourselves and our own strength and learn to depend on His strength.  I'm sure all of us at one time or another experienced a setback of some kind which caused us to get discouraged.  I know I'm not the only one.  When things don't go as we plan, we all have the tendency to "cop out" or "give up."  That's not how God wants us to respond to setbacks.  You see, God is the God of the mountain and He is the God of the valley.  Setbacks are no surprise to Him. Think of Nehemiah.  He was given a vision to rebuild the wall.  Halfway through it, He experienced a setback.  The enemy came to attack, the people become tired and discouraged.  So what did Nehemiah do?  First, he prayed that God would frustrate the plan of the enemy.  Secondly, he encouraged the people to fight for the vision.  Thirdly, he changed his approach.  You see, instead of having everyone work together to build the wall, he only put half the people to build the wall and the other half to stand guard and watch.  God was able to use the setback to redirect Nehemiah into a strategy that would be more efficient and effective. That's exactly what I feel God has done through these setbacks.  God has redirected us to now hold Life Groups in homes.  He as redirected us to pray.  He has redirected us to all work together towards a common goal and raise the finances we need to complete our renovations.  It's incredible to see how people respond when they are redirected through a setback.  Some don't understand, and complain.  Others just kind of lay low.  Others see the vision and pursue it with passion and excitement and that's where we are today at Trinity Church. I don't know what kind of setback you have recently experienced, but let me encourage you not to give up.  Don't get discouraged.  Adapt to what God is asking you to do.  Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.  It may not be exactly as you have planned, but perhaps that's exactly why you have experienced a setback.  So God can redirect you to do something different that will produce more results and be more effective. We are about to move into a new home.  Why?  Because of a setback.  We were stuck at the place we were staying, but God used a setback to move us into where He wanted us to be.  We would not have discovered the place we did, if it wasn't for a setback.  Don't despise setbacks.  They can actually be stepping stones for you to move into exactly what God has for [...]

Despicable Me

Mon, 01 Aug 2011 15:23:00 +0000

We are in the middle of the sermon series called, "At the Movies." We have been discovering biblical truths from Hollywood's biggest movies. This past Sunday I preached, "Despicable Me." I'm not too into animated films, but being a parent with small kids, I have to endure these kinds of movies all the time. This movie really grabbed my attention as I watched it one night with my boys. It's about a super-villain named "Gru" who operates out of his suburban home that serves as a front for an underground lair where he, his partner, Dr. Nefario, and thousands of short yellow minions plan their wicked deeds. Gru doesn’t care about anything or anyone but himself and his ambition to be the greatest super-villain. When Gru learns that another super-villain has stolen the Great Pyramid of Giza, his pride is injured, and he plans an even greater heist, stealing the Earth's moon, a plan he has had since childhood but discouraged by his mother who really never believed in him. Gru is able to steal a shrink ray from a classified East Asia facility, but it is stolen from him moments later by Vector, a nerdy super-villain who is responsible for the Pyramid theft. Gru devises a scheme to use three orphan girls to take in robotic cookies that can be used to disable the lair's defenses and allow him to steal the shrink ray.He adopts the three girls from the local orphanage. These three orphan girls (Margo, Edith, and Agnes) do not mimic Gru’s despicable behaviors. It is their pureness of heart and unconditional love that changes Gru instead of his lifestyle changing them for the worse. The glimpses back into his childhood show a little boy who just wanted to be loved and accepted by his mother. He never had a chance since she also was callous and evil. Over a period of time, the unconditional love, begins to soften his callous heart. Gru begins to experience love for the very first time. All of us are guilty of leading a despicable life. Romans 3:23 tells us that "All of us have sinned and fall short of God's glory." We are all despicable in the eyes of God. We are all guilty of doing despicable things. But even our despicable lives and despicable deeds could not stop God from loving us. There is nothing that can stop God from loving despicable me. Romans 5:8 tells us that "While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." You see, while you and I were despicable, doing despicable things, God chose to love us and die for us. He didn't wait for us to do good before He loved us. He loved us before we even loved Him. You might be living a despicable life. You might be living indifferent towards God in an area of our life. Let me tell you today that God did not send His Son into the world to condemn you, but to save you. He loves you so much. Often when we think of God loving us we think of God loving the good in us. No, He didn’t send His Son into the world to die for good people. He sent Him to die for sinners, like you and I. Religious people are quick to judge the sins of others, and not see their own sins. Religious people love to point out the faults in other. In our own self-righteous ways, they justify their own sinful actions, and behaviors simply because of their religion. They fail to remember that they themselves were despicable in the eyes of God. God’s love is a love that is not deserved. It is not something that is earned. There is nothing greater than being loved unconditionally by someone who has every reason to despise us. God had every reason to despise despicable me, but instead, he chose to love me. It was that love wh[...]

You Are Not What Others Say You Are!

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 14:04:00 +0000

Words are powerful. Words can give life or take life. Words can build up or words can tear down. Words can hurt or words can help. Proverbs 18:21, says that the tongue has the power of life and death. Proverbs 15:4 also says that the soothing tongue is a tree of life but a perverse tongue crushes your spirit. I can remember several years ago, three board members surprised me in my office one day to tell me what a great job I was doing and how many people were being touched, encouraged and saved by my ministry... NOT! They basically felt compelled to tell me what a crappy job I was doing. Those words crushed me. I was devastated. My spirit was crushed by those negative, toxic words. After I threw them out of my office, not literally, I went jogging, then I went to pray. I can remember as if a dagger had just been thrust into my heart. I prayed and asked God if there was any merit to what they said. God's response was, "You are not what others say you are!" It was tough during that time, and the several years ahead. I often heard, that I was too young, not caring enough, not this and not that. You see, although I could not control what others said about me, I could control what I believed. I chose to believe God's truth instead of the toxic words. I chose to believe that I am not what others said I was. It was my ability to reject toxic words and replace them with truth that has helped me become the person and the Pastor that I am today. Chances are many of you, if you look back over your life, you can find some different times when you heard some crushing words, or you were pierced with someone’s hurtful words, they were toxic. The poisonous tip of those toxic words hits you and the poison spreads throughout your body and you hurt, you've lost life because people have spoken words that crushed your spirit. If that is you I want to tell you right now, you are not who others say you are! If someone said, "You'll never be good enough", I want you to know you were created in Christ Jesus to do good works which were prepared in advance for you to do. If someone says, "You're a piece of trash, you're used goods!" No you're not! You are a new creation in Christ Jesus. The old is gone and everything has become new! You don't listen to the toxic lies of the words! People will say things that are hurtful over and over and over again, often those that you love and trust the most, but you are not who others say you are, you are who God says you are! Above all else, guard your heart against the toxic lies and words you may hear. In fact, Solomon in Proverbs 4, it's a really meaningful chapter about a father imparting wisdom to his son through life-giving words. Here's what he said, he said: "My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. … Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." Prov 4:20, 23.I'm so thankful that I didn't give in to those toxic words spoken over me several years ago. I wouldn't be at the place I am today seeing God's incredible blessing over my life and my ministry. Let me encourage you today, to guard your heart from those toxic words others will speak over your life. Reject them and replace them with God's truth. You are not what others say you are! You are what God says you are. He says you are fearfully and wonderfully made. He has a plan for your life and that plan is to prosper you, to give you a hope and a good future. When you are weak, you are really strong in Christ, and you CAN do all things through Christ who gives you the strength. [...]

This Is Our Time!

Wed, 27 Apr 2011 19:59:00 +0000

Easter Weekend 2011
God continues to do above and beyond what any of us could ever think or imagine.  Easter 2011 took months of planning and preparations, which included months of remodeling and renovations of our facility.  It was a lot of hard work, and at times overwhelming, but at the end, God gave us the victory.

Close to 700 people attended three Easter Weekend services here at Trinity Church.  We are so amazed to see so many people walk through our doors.  We also had over 70 first time guests, and around 25 people make decisions to become followers of Jesus.  These are more than just numbers.  They are individuals that have been transformed by the power of God's love. 

I am also appreciative and proud of the 50 plus volunteers and team leaders that worked hard to make Easter weekend a success.  Everyone came prepared and ready to serve.  There were also several people that were not scheduled that came out and just wanted to help! (When does that happen in church?)  It did at TC this weekend. 

I know that this is just the beginning of great things ahead for Trinity Church.  I give God thanks daily for calling me here.  I know what it is to walk through a desert.  I know now what it is to experience God's blessing.  I believe that this is our time!  Our time for God's supernatural favor and increase.  We have only scratched the surface.  I know that God has more in store for us.  We will continue to do everything we can so that people far from God will become fully devoted followers of Jesus.  

Transformation Begins

Mon, 28 Feb 2011 22:05:00 +0000

I am so excited for what God is doing at Trinity Church!  Our attendance has doubled since 2009 and we continue to grow weekly.  Lives are being transformed and people are becoming followers of Jesus.  Each week I am meeting new people who were far from God and who did not attend church regularly.  They tell me how much they love Trinity and how God is transforming their lives.  This motivates me every week to stay focused on the mission that God has given us to help people far from God become fully devoted followers of Jesus. On March 14th I will be introducing the new partners that will be partnering with Trinity Church and on April 10th we will be having a baptism service.  I can't wait! 

Not only are lives being transformed, but our building is being transformed.  Our upstairs worship center is getting a makeover!  The 200 seat auditorium is being transformed into a state of the art kids worship center with new LED lights, new paint, decor, props and video screens to provide our kids with the ultimate kids worship experience every Sunday morning. The room will also be able to be used for other events such as coffee houses, and small concerts. 

In addition, a team from Medford Assembly of God, Medford, NY, will be coming up to renovate our 4 lower level bathrooms, remodel our coat room and remodel 3 preschool classrooms.  They are raising the money and are sending the people to help us!  The transformation begins on March 21 - March 25.  In addition to transforming the 2 preschool classrooms, we are going to create a preschool worship space with a large video screen, LED lights, and props so that our preschool kids can have an incredible worship experience every Sunday morning! 

This Spring our goal is to repaint the outside of our facility and get new landscaping all around the upper and lower buildings.  We know that this visible transformation of our facility is an expression of the the inner transformation people are experiencing every week here at Trinity. 

Our goal is to reach 1,000 people in attendance and baptisms by 2015.  I know that nothing is impossible with God.  His desire is our desire and I know that where there is a vision there is provision and there will be God's hand of blessing.  Let the transformation begin!

Fishers of men, not keepers of the aquarium by Steven Furtick

Tue, 08 Feb 2011 02:34:00 +0000

I recently read this blog by Steven Furtick, Pastor of and wanted to share it with you.    "People ask me all the time how we’ve been able to see so many people come to Christ in five years.  Outside of the favor of God, I could give you a lot of specifics. Tell you a lot of things that we’ve done. But none of it will help you until you make a decision we made in the early days of our church.  And that was the decision to be more focused on the people we’re trying to reach than on the people we’re trying to keep. As others have said, to be fishers of men, not just keepers of the aquarium.  We’re not going to cater to the personal preferences of the few in our pursuit of the salvation of the many.  And that includes if the few is ten people when we’re pursuing one hundred.  Or 5,000 when we’re pursuing 10,000.  Or 10,000 when we’re pursuing 20,000. 

Most people and churches aren’t willing to do that. They’re keepers of the aquarium. They say they want to reach people, but in reality they’re more focused on preservation than expansion. On keeping people rather than reaching them.  They let saved people dictate style. Saved people dictate focus. Saved people dictate vision.  The result is a room full of saved people. Not people getting saved. Why? Because the people you’re trying to reach aren’t interested in the church that has been created by the people you’re trying to keep. If they were, they’d be coming. But they’re not.

For some reason, right here is where people usually play the discipleship card. They’re trying to disciple the people they’re trying to keep. They accuse you of pitting evangelism against discipleship.  But that isn’t the case. I just believe true disciples should care more about making disciples than freeze framing the church the way it was when they became one. Or wanting twenty-six programs customized to their liking. If the mark of Christian maturity is a bunch of people who want to create a museum glorifying and preserving their personal preferences and then sanctify it by calling it a church, count me out.

Some people say why can’t we have both? You can. Focus on the people you want to reach and you’ll keep the people you want to keep. Let the rest walk. They’ll find a church elsewhere to graze.  The way I see it is they’re just occupying the space of a person who needs to hear the gospel. You’ll fill their seat.  And it will be with the person who needs it the most."

Trinity Church will continue to be a church that focuses on fishing for men and not keepers of an aquarium.  We will continue to focus on reaching people far from God and leading them to become fully devoted followers of Jesus.  I am not interested in catering to the convinced, but in reaching the unconvinced.  I've spent too many years on people we're trying to keep instead of focusing on people we're trying to reach.  I will not cater to the personal preferences of a few, in the pursuit of the salvation of many. 

Incredible Sunday, Incredible Year!

Mon, 20 Dec 2010 23:51:00 +0000

I’m sitting in Starbucks right now enjoying an eggnog latte and thinking about today’s service (December 19th).  I can’t tell you how proud I am of our volunteers at Trinity Church.  Today was a big Sunday and perhaps the biggest of our year.  The music, worship, food, kids ministries, ushers, greeters, sound, video, hospitality, everything was done with excellence. I am amazed to see how far we have come in just one year.

I think about where we were one year ago this Sunday (December 20th, 2009).  There were 85 people in church, many of our leaders had resigned and I was feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about the future.  I felt alone and wondered if this vision God gave me would ever come to pass.  Fast forward one year and all I can say is WOW!  We now have an INCREDIBLE team of people who are committed to the mission and making a difference.  We have a strong board that loves me and loves our church.  We have a senior leadership team of guys with gifts and talents who are assisting me implement the vision. We have incredible ministry leaders who are carrying their load and making a huge difference. And we have an incredible congregation that loves God, loves their Church, and loves their pastor.  The result was record breaking attendance for the year next to Easter.  Today we had 261 people in church!  It was a huge day, one that I will remember for a long time.

I am looking forward to 2011 with great anticipation and excitement for what God has in store for our church.  I am expecting continued growth as we continue to fulfill our mission.  We have not yet arrived, but we are moving in the right direction.  God will continue to stretch us and challenge our faith.  He will continue to make us uncomfortable so that we can continue helping people far from God become fully devoted followers of Jesus.

Thank you Trinity Church for believing in me and in the vision God has given to me.  Thank you for supporting me and praying for me.  Thank you for not giving up.  Thank you for hanging in there.  Because of it, we are one step closer to our goal of 1,000 people for Jesus.

I'm Rich!

Wed, 24 Nov 2010 01:27:00 +0000

I just completed a four week series called, "How to be Rich."  This series completely rattled my cage and changed my perspective on alot of things.  I have come to realize that God has blessed me with more than what I need and that I'm rich!  Compared to the rest of the world, I'm mega rich.  It's not a bad thing to be rich, after all it was God who made me rich.  He wants us to enjoy our wealth and riches, however, He wants us to be rich in a way that honors Him.

You know, many times, we don't feel rich because we are constantly comparing our lives with others that have more.  If you look, you will always find someone who has a newer car, a nicer home, better clothes, or the most up to date gadget.  If we constantly compare our lives with others that have more, you are not going to feel rich.  There are some who don't feel rich because they spend everything they have and more.  They have no margin.  The more they make, the more they spend.  Without margin, you are going to be living paycheck to paycheck to support this lifestyle of greed and selfishness.  That's not how to be rich, that's how to be greedy.

You see, God has given us more than I need, I am rich, but I will not trust in my riches but in Him who richly provides.  God is our source.  He is the one that richly provides.  Because we have more, we need to give more and do more.  That's how to be rich in a way that honors God... giving and doing... more!  You see, the greater the wealth, the more is required from us.  We will be responsible and accountable with how we used our wealth.  If we consumed everything we had, then there isn't going to be much reward in heaven.

The Bible says, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matt. 6:19-21  When your heart is after God and when your desire is to please Him, the desire for more of wealth will not consume you but the desire for more of Him will.  

I am so thankful because God has given me more than what I need.  It's not longer "I wish" or "I want", it's "Thank You God, I have everything I need, I'm rich!"  Next time you are wishing you had more, or something different, just remember that God has given you all that you need.  Remember that compared to the rest of the world, you are mega-rich!  Have a Happy Thanksgiving!  Click HERE to listen to series messages

Religion v. Jesus

Fri, 15 Oct 2010 15:53:00 +0000

The longer I pastor, the more and more I become agitated, frustrated, and totally nauseated with religion.  Religion is what keeps people from experiencing the fullness and freedom of living in Christ.  The root of the word "religion" is usually traced to the Latin religare (re: back, and ligare: to bind), so that the term is associated with "being bound."  That's exactly what religion does.  It keeps people bound and enslaved.  All of our man made religious practices must nauseate Christ.  With elaborate buildings, flashy clothes, and religious jargon, Jesus must sit at the back of many churches today just ready to puke as people bring him their religion.  I am fascinated to see this religious spirit overtake entire churches and denominations.  People are more passionate about their hymns then they are with Him. 

Jesus did not come to bring religion, He came to bring life and life more abundantly.  He came to bring freedom.  He came to bring salvation.  He came to fulfill the law and not enforce it.  He drove religious people crazy.  He didn't wear the finest clothes, He didn't come in the finest chariots, He wasn't born in the finest homes.  Religious people couldn't understand that.  They felt that the Messiah should come in all of the religious splendor and rule and reign as a religious patriarch.  But that wasn't Jesus.  He didn't come that way.  He was extraordinarily ordinary, humble, full of grace and truth.  He spoke with stories and parables, not with religionese or christian jargon.  He associated with sinners and prostitutes, He hung out at parties with tax collectors and even stayed at their homes.  Jesus was more interested in reaching people who were far from God than religion.  He was more passionate about reaching the world than living up to religious expectations of others, especially the religious community.

I want to see a church that looks like the way Jesus intended for it to look.  No religion, no expectations, no perfect people.  Just a group of extraordinarily ordinary people who are willing to follow Christ, obey His teachings, become more like Him in their lives, and help those who are far from God become followers of Christ.  It's that simple.  At Trinity Church, I am striving to keep us from being religious.  I am striving to lead a group of people who are becoming fully devoted followers of Jesus, who are experience community through authentic relationships, and who are passionate about reaching people who are far from God.  Trinity is not about what you wear, or what you say, or how you appear to be.  I know that religious people that come in can't understand that because religion is all they know.  We are a group of extraordinarily ordinary people who have discovered the joy of living without religion but a shared relationship with Jesus.