11.24.2009

Free Mansion!!!

John 14:23 says, Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them." Jesus means he actually builds a mansion in our life and takes up residence. He gets his mail sent to our heart!!!!!

From that point He works from the inside out, not outside in!!!!!!

Change begins in the heart as our will and thoughts mold around what He would want us to do. Once this process begins, then our actions, shortcomings etc. will change, NOT VICE VERSE Once we have GENUINELY chosen to follow Jesus Christ we can never lose him. He will always be there in our lives to guide and love us, even in the midst of all our world may throw our way.

I pray you have a happy Thanksgiving

11.13.2009

Hey Honey! How have you been?


It has been some time since my last post because a majority of my efforts have been on re-tweaking the way I communicate with our students and church. I have switched from a paid hosting service to blogger (just like this one) in order to have an easier way to get "fresh" information out. I still have to build some static pages for http://www.pinevalleybc.org so when people look for information on the student ministry of our church they can see our purpose and structure. They can go to http://wwww.pvbcfirehouse.org for the up to date events and what not. Also, I have been trying to push info through Facebook now more than ever, it seems that's the only way to get info to most of our students. Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Current Likes:
  • Being blessed with a loving wife and family.
  • Working with a staff that try to work as a team and help each other.
  • Preaching through Ecclesiastes on Wednesday night
  • Seeing God working in the lives of our students and leaders.
  • Heading toward Christmas time with my wife. She's a nut about it.
  • Chilling with Donna and our Dog Baxley.
  • Driving on the beach at the north end of Carolina Beach.
  • Listening to "Cabin Music" on Due South Soundtrack and feeling instantly relaxed. (Music Therapy at its best)
  • Running fire calls that make a difference (Fire, Rescue, or EMS).
  • Playing XBOX Games with some online guys my age (Shout Out To Fallen Unity).
  • The New Verizon Motorola Droid - It looks so cool.
  • My Zune 80G with Music Pass.
  • Of course having God love me and accept me with all my faults and still working things out for my good as I am obedient.

Current Dislikes:

  • Politics.
  • The fact that detainees from Guantanamo Bay will be in the US even as close as the Naval Brig in Charleston.
  • Selfish People!
  • Turning 40 on December 16
  • Black Eye Peas (The food and the group)
  • The fact that those who consider themselves to be "intolerant" are actually "intolerant" of those whom they think are NOT "intolerant"
  • Breathing Second Hand Smoke
  • Watching people I love who know better making stupid mistakes
  • Insurance Companies
Thanks for stopping by and my encouragement for you today it my life verse!

Exodus 14:14 "I the Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still!"

10.05.2009

Why can't we wait on God?

I am so thankful to be able to serve in such a great church as Pine Valley Baptist. It was great to see and hear the support for our student ministry from the church as we shared about how God moved at DNOW Caswell. Also, each staff member seems to be going the extra mile for each other which makes serving so much sweeter. I will truly miss seeing everyone this week as Donna and I take the week to get some rest, relaxation, and reconnection. I cannot wait to hear how our adult and student leaders will have stepped up to make sure Trek, Backdraft, and Fire Academy carry on in our absence. Here's a little thought for the week. "Just because God's timing is not our own, it doesn't mean we need to handle it ourselves." Here's an example (Exodus 32:1)


Even though the Israelite had seen God do miraculous things in their lives, while Moses was away (with God) the people grew impatient and wanted "something" to worship. Why do we put things in the place of God to give our devotion to when it seems He is not working "fast" enough? What idols seek the throne of your life? Just because God has not answered that request yet, does not mean He's not working on it. Read Exodus 32 for the rest of the story.

10.01.2009

A Lesson I've Learned Today from Baxley

You can see our dog Baxley playing with some friends at "Dogs At Play".  Yes, he gets play days to mingle with his doggie friends, get some exercise and just get out of the house.  I know many are saying wow he's just a dog, but I assure you to Donna and I he is much more.  God has chosen not to bless us with children and sometimes I do honestly ask why but I know that there is a reason.  It just gets hard when I hear mothers, grandmothers, etc. go on about the huge family gatherings they have at the holidays. Our family get togethers are getting smaller and smaller. Makes me wonder who will carry on the Strickland name.  Don't get me wrong, I am grateful for them and truly am glad that they have that happiness.


As I look at our life (Donna and I), the Family get together's are not all that big.  I am an only child that was adopted thankfully.  (For the record, They are as much my Mom and Dad as of they would have bore me themselves and no I don't want to meet my biological parents on Maury). Donna has a great older sister (Teresa) and nephew (Chris) which we love dearly. God took Donna's father (Don) at a young age and Teresa's husband/Chris' Father (Barry) at a young age for reasons I do not know yet but will one day.  I even remember preaching his funeral.  That was tough. God evidently needed them up there worse than we did :) At least we will get to see them sooner probably than later. God also blessed Donna with another Dad (Landrum) when her mother (Gladys) remarried.  Funny thing is, her mother married the preacher that conducted our wedding. That's another story for another time.


But anyways, when I see Bax (Black Dog in Picture) I see something special.  Something that loves me unconditionally and also see that sometimes the best things in life are right in front of our face.It has been a challenging week but in the end, God has chosen to bless us with over 50 children and adults (youth group) which take up a majority of our time.  I can't imagaine our lives without them. I'm off to volunteer at the fire station tonight for training and running Battalion 31 (Command Vehicle) for 23 hrs during my day off from PVBC.  It's amazing the people I work with at the FD and the opportunities it gives me to get out into the community.  It looks like the opportunity to volunteer in New Hanover County is dwindling away, but I'll keep on until I can't.

9.22.2009

What Do I Do For A Real Job?

I have not had an opportunity to blog in quite sometime. Someone asked me the other day, "What do I do for my "real" job?" When i was younger in student ministry I would would get a little hurt and offended at that question. I thought "You have no idea . . ." then I would cover a barrage of things in my head of reasons for justifying that question with an answer. As I have grown older, I have grown to cherish that question. No one other than pastors know the amount of work it takes to lead others to the cross. I was fortunate enough to have some great youth ministers in my life (Tully, Tim, and Stephen) who made it look really easy. It was almost as if all they had to do was "hang out" at church and be ready for me to get there. I thought the same thing, "What do they do all day?" I have learned that though I dislike administration, deadlines, budgeting, logistics, and teenage drama they all work together to make some AMAZING moments. So now when I hear "the" question, I think, "what a compliment" for a teen to think all I have to do is be available to him or her. That is the true definition of Student Ministry.
This weekend was the culmination of the efforts of many of my friends who are Student Pastors in the Wilmington Area. Each year we take our youth groups to Fort Caswell for a weekend Disciple Now. I would like to explain why everyone loves it, but to be honest I just can't. You have to experience it. Jonathan Cockrell and his team at Scott's Hill Baptist took the lead by making our Worship experience truly amazing. Everything was done in hopes of bringing students to a deeper understanding of who God is. Don Vigus and the leaders of First Baptist Wilmington handled the huge task of making sure everyone got fed. Brenda Penny and her crew from Masonboro Baptist Church assisted with Registration as they do so well every year, and I made sure we all had a bed to sleep in. Many others had input on the weekend and some made big sacrifices for the greater good of others. That's what true ministry should consist of don't you think? We weren't 14 different churches in a building singing songs, we were one church worshiping one God while he dealt with all of us on an individual basis.
Our Student ministry has undergone many dynamic changes as some students graduate to our college ministry while others whose family don't go to church at PVBC find a home in our group. Our students are hungry to do what God has for them but are under such attack from outside forces. This weekend was a chance for them to see that they are not alone. They have God and each other. I have not seen a group of students get this honest in awhile. I am so excited to see what will happen next. All I know to do is keep them under the cross!


8.18.2009

Nothing To See Here Today, Move Along

I am in the second day of my "staycation". I have come to the realization that being on vacation but going nowhere stinks. O well, I do like the mental break it affords but I find myself catching up on a lot of personal things I put off. I'm sure I'll write some more here later. There are also a lot of behind the scenes things going on right now that are really "developing" my Faith. I will hopefully get to touch base with some old friends this week and spend time with my family this weekend. Thanks for stopping by, sorry there's nothing here today, but I'm sure the best is yet to come.

8.13.2009

Thursday - Pick Me Up

I'm not sure why, but this video really makes me feel good. An excellent drummer "covering" the best drummer in the world "Robert Sweet" in a Christmas song I really like. I know my wife will be proud of me. She is a Christmas fanatic. Jamie will also get a kick out of this as well.





Glen Covers Winter Wonderland Stryper Style

8.10.2009

When I Think of You . . .


Have you ever had a song that you don't want in your head, IN YOUR HEAD. The song "When I Think of You" by Janet Jackson has been running through my mind throughout the day. It takes me back to my Junior High days as a Boiling Springs Bulldog. Anyway, the reason I thought of the song in the first place was for the title itself. Over the past few weeks I have been so thankful for those who surround me and share the same vision for teens. I was reminded of this verse: Ephesians 1:3-6

"3 Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. 4 Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, 5 for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. 6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns."

There is no way I could list everyone I am thankful for, for fear of leaving someone out. I will say I encountered an awesome church led Converge service at church last night. Our high school and college students shared about what God did through them during our retreat in Tennessee. Can you believe we were actually doing Jumping Jacks in church and we're not even pentecostal. LOL These teens were really with the leaders and didn't hold back on things they were dealing with, more importantly they didn't hesitate to give them to God.

One highlight for me was to see our students recreate the "Lifehouse - Everything" skit that has been receiving so many hits on youtube. The drama is powerful in itself but to know what the actors are going through personally makes is so much stronger. Also, we posted notes from our sessions all over the back wall of the church and while walking by them, I began to cry as I saw them pour out their lives in the sessions. To each student and leader who went on the trip, thank you for ministering to me. Finally, we had a great middle school fellowship afterwards at the Griffith's home. I see SO MUCH potential when i look at them. Right now they are patient and faithful. God is going to reward them in due time. Our future looks really bright. If you have a second, please for our teens, leaders and church.

8.07.2009

Life 2 The Full


This week has been quite a ride for me. When Jesus tells us in John 10:10, "the thief comes to kill and destroy but I have come that you may have life to the full" I have always choked on the word "full". Prosperity preachers would make you think that Jesus is talking about wealth and earthly trash. I have come to learn as a Christian I experience good and bad like anyone else. Matthew 5:45 talks about how God causes it to rain on the just and the unjust. I take this to mean that good and bad happen to believers and non-believers, however as a Christian God gives me the means to get through it and here lately it seems the rain falls a little harder. In one week I have returned from an awesome retreat, spent time with great people at church, been given the opportunity to preach last week and this Sunday, invited to preach at an inner-city youth revival tonight, and see our youth do the Lifehouse "Everything" skit Sunday night. In the same week my truck died which forced me to get another one, a letter arrived from the IRS challenging my return and I am finding that the buffer between bills and income is becoming very thin. Like I said, good and bad in big waves at the same time.

Please know, I'm not complaining because I was given great perspective this morning when I was told that Mark, one of the reps who works on our ladder truck is not traveling as much now because his wife was diagnosed with Leukemia. Like a punch in the gut I thought it doesn't matter how bad we feel we have it, there is ALWAYS someone who has it worse. Please pray for him. I do know this. For those folks who would say that Jesus is just a crutch to lean on, I would say "ABSOLUTELY". I could not be where I am today, or even be able to blog about it unless I had the steady assurance that God has my back and is in control of everything. I don't know what life is throwing at you today, but take it from a guy that knows God will carry us when we can't carry ourselves. Just let Him. (I'm trying to take my own advice)

8.01.2009

Coming Off The Mountain


Today has been kind of a wash as I settle down from a great week in the mountains with some of the coolest adults and teenagers around. This was a great time for all of us to get out of our daily routines and get our focus back on God and the plan that he has for our lives. There was a lot of time spent in studying the Bible in hopes of finding help for us as we seek to not be perfect, but to hand over control of our lives to God. There were truly some amazing things that happened during the trip, but at this point it is hard to explain some of them. Obviously we had a great time. I would encourage anyone to find a group like this that can become your "second family". I am so grateful to the adult leaders who spent their time and resources making this retreat a success.

I've loaded over 450 photos from the week into my Picasa album. It is true when they say every picture tells a story. For those that attended this trip, prayerfully use some of these pics to "capture" a moment in your life when God was "real" to you. If you are just surfing the pics, then enjoy. Please take a moment to pray for us as we seek to put into "practice" what we learned during the week.
Psalm 63:1 Does a great job of illustrating some of what we experienced this week. Take the time to read this encouraging passage. Please leave comments on this blog if there are pictures that really mean a lot to you. If so why?

Mountain Top Experience - Movin' On Up Pictures 2009

7.24.2009

Why Don't I Do This More?


My bride Donna and I took advantage of one of the last few Fridays that she gets off work early to go to Wrightsville Beach. I was shocked that we found a parking spot in the lot just across the waterway bridge and only had to pay $3.00. That was definitely a God thing. I sat on the beach wondering, why in the world do we not do this more often. I leave within 15 minutes or so of three beaches and this is the first time I've been? The answer is because I let other things take precedence over decompressing and spending time with one of the most precious gifts I have been given, meaning Donna.

Tomorrow will be filled with preparation and packing for our Senior High and College Retreat to Mountain Lake Ranch in Dandridge, TN. Leaving family is always tough but I know its for the purpose of God speaking to our group and myself in a special way. I always pray that God would look over my family, church, and friends while I am away. He can take care of them far better than I ever could. Hopefully, I'll be able to give you guys an update on the trip while I'm gone, but if not, I'm sure you will hear all about it when I get back. Take the time to do something with a family member today, even if it's brief. You may need it worse than they do.

7.22.2009

God still heals!!

I have been so grateful this morning to hear my mom say that all of Dad's test came back with good results. Also, her Sunday School teacher at New Prospect BC had been fighting cancer and just heard that upon completion of her treatments, the cells were completely gone. This gives me hope to know that God is working in the lives of others, so he must be at work in mine. I must admit, I do have a lot on my mind today. I am looking forward to hearing Daryl speak at CAYA for the High School students tonight. We leave Sunday for the Senior High college retreat to Mountain Lake Ranch so there are A LOT of things to do. If you get a chance, say a little prayer for me today. God Bless!!!

7.18.2009

Ah, the smell of bacon and pancakes with Trot Nixon

While most were sleeping in on a Saturday morning, I had the opportunity to hear Trot Nixon share about his life and faith in Christ. I always knew that Trot was a GREAT individual, not only for his achievement but his heart and spirit. To hear him verbalize his faith and be able to say that he was empty inside even after winning the World Series with the Boston Red Sox was inspiring. To hear anyone proclaim that even the greatest experience is nothing unless it is filled with Christ just resonated with me this morning. If you wonder why, read my "Empty" Post.

Brian Furtado and his Men's Ministry crew did an awesome job with this event. Our newly renovated fellowship hall was packed with people of all ages. One person even acknowledged becoming a Christian during Trot's invitation. I am so thankful to be a part of something on a Saturday morning that will make the difference in the lives of people for eternity. If you would like more information on the men's ministry check out http://www.pinevalleybc.org

I'm also looking forward to this evening. I am taking our teenagers to a youth rally in Reigelwood at First Baptist to hear Darrin Gurganious (former Satanist) who will share much about his past and focus on the occult agenda and how it is fulfilled through music, games, and the Internet. If you want to go, be at the church at 5. I'm sure I'll put a post up about this too.
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7.17.2009

Are you missing an H?

God moments for me come at random times. Usually they occur while I am in the shower, mowing the grass or doing something outside. I was changing our church sign this morning and had one of those moments. If you take a good look at the sign you will notice an "H" is missing from "with". Granted "Come Worship Wit Us" could be slang and understood by some, it is obvious that the letter is missing. God reminded me that when I seek to leave Him out of our daily lives, we can often send a skewed or wrong message. I pray that God gives me the strenght to see what is missing in my life, the courage to change it and the grace to see it completed. (John 15:5) " . . . apart from Me you can do nothing."

7.15.2009

Why Do I Feel Empty?

During our Senior High Wednesday Night C.A.Y.A. (Come As You Are) we began a summer series called Life 101. This was a response to a questionnaire I gave our students a few weeks earlier that asked them to answer the following question anonymously on a card. The question was "If you could meet Jesus at a McDonald just to talk, what would you ask Him?" Their responses were overwhelming. Most would simply talk to Him about finding direction and purpose for their life.


A great resource for this is a book called "Life, Any Questions?" by Greg Laurie.

The first message was "Why Do I Feel Empty". I have my fair share of "empty" feeling times. If something doesn't go the way I would hope or I see others around me living below their potential, I wonder what "I" could have done to prevent it. Emptiness effects us in different ways. I have grown to realize this fact. We are all born with a God shaped void in our lives. I often try to fill that void with a busy schedule, a great church program, teachable moments, even time with family but the bottom line is I must fill it with Him.

Emptiness occurs when there is an absence of God. I don't know about you but that takes me a moment to comprehend. When I was not a Christian I didn't know I was empty. As I Christian now, I am fully aware of my emptiness. When i was a teen I can remember trying to fill that void with bad habits and destructive friendships. My emptiness would always follow me the harder I ran. The substance abuse, partying, and awful disrespect of my parents were all symptoms of that emptiness. I guess one thing that helped me was the group of friends I began to hang around that had established a personal relationship with Christ. A cure to the emptiness. Once I filled my life with Christ by becoming a Christian, I no longer felt empty.

As I grew in my faith, I thought I had it all worked out and then it happened. Emptiness came knocking on my door again. I am a Christian, I'm not supposed to be empty right? I realized that Christ filled and continues to fill my life, when I am open to it. I remember an Illustration that my former youth pastor Stephen Talbert shared one time. If you go to put gas in your car and never park it, never stop, never turn off the engine, then you will run out of gas. God is always there to fill us but we must be willing and hungry to stop and take the time to be filled. Becoming a Christian saved me from my emptiness. My dependence on the Holy Spirit of God sustains me in the midst of my emptiness.
Now, how do I communicate that to teenagers? Lord I pray that you surround these teens with those who have found a cure for their emptiness and that they would be hungry for their cure. Thank you for giving me such a great group to serve with. I am grateful to have a God that loves me, a wife that I cherish, family members to support me and a ministry to serve in.

James 4:8 Come near to God and he will come near to you.

7.14.2009

Don't Forget The Sugar


I love a good chocolate chip cookie. There is nothing greater than that and a glass of milk. This morning I was reminded of a time when someone made a batch of these tasty treats and accidentally mixed up the sugar with salt. You can imagine the taste of that, or maybe you can't. Anyway, I knew at the first bite that something was not right. Something was missing. The same can be said for my life at times. I assure you that I have great plans in my mind of what I would like to be or become. Any great motivational speaker would say that those plans should be broken down into achievable goals.
In my haste to "make" things happen in my life I have often forgotten the sugar. What I had hoped to be a sweet satisfying refreshment ended up being bitter and indigestible. The problem is that I left God out of the recipe. You would think as a minister I wouldn't do that, but as I am reminded everyday, I am only human. That is not an excuse, just a fact. I was reminded today to live for God today more than hope for what he will do tomorrow.
It is important to have plans and goals, but how will I react when God wants to change them? I have learned through life that often His plan though unseen at the times has the greatest rewards. If this blog finds you today, remember to make God the main ingredient in your plan today not a cheap look alike. For some great perspective on this read James 4:13-16

7.13.2009

Firehousejames Bio



Ok, everything you never wanted to know about me. Basically, I am a youth minister and have been so for over 20 years now. I can honestly tell you that God put the purpose of doing this in my heart. Let me try to explain. I had always been raised in a Christian home. My dad was a truck driver, so he was in and out often. When he was home, he and my mother would make sure we were in church. I can even remember being a Royal Ambassador at one time. (You true Southern Baptist’s will know what that to which I am referring.) When I was in 7th grade my father transferred to Lyman, SC. We set our home up in Boiling Springs, SC (Spartanburg). I remember going into the Boiling Springs Junior High and wondering what in the world would happen next. Those few years were very confusing for me. I had played Trumpet for two years at Swift Creek Middle School in Chesterfield, VA and made it all the way to 2nd chair, (and no it wasn’t out of three people), it was like five, LOL! So, at Boiling Springs Junior High the band program was much more accelerated than where I had been previously. As an outsider I also felt the tension as some didn’t appreciate the “new kid”. I stuck with it, but was quickly losing my interest in the trumpet. I was on the verge of making a quantum leap . . .


My close friend Scott who had also moved from VA (Dad's worked for same company) talked me into playing 7th and 8th grade football. I put my trumpet into storage and began the transformation from Band Geek to Jock. I can remember starting my workouts in an old Maintenance shed our school called a weight room. I struggled to simply lift the bar without weights on it. I was so sore afterwards that I missed the next day of school while I took a bath in liquid "Heat". My set of friends and interests changed immensely. It seems I was much more eager to do whatever it took to have the "right" friends. I continued to play football through high school. I still am very proud to have been a Boiling Spring High Bulldog even though my career was not stellar. I also found a love for music. Scott loaned me an old guitar and gave me a few lessons. I was hooked. It was so cool to be able to listen to things on my "Tape Deck" at the time and play it back. My ultimate hope was to use athletics and football as a way to get the attention of the opposite sex. (UMM ...yeah). Anyway that didn't work very well because everything I had become was fake. I had lost a perspective on who I had become. During a painful experience in the 8th grade, that fakeness came to light. I was an empty shell inside. My meager Christian background at least prepared me to ask God, "If you are really there, help me".

Over the next year, God began to move in my life and position me with those who modeled a true Christian life. i will forever be in debt to the student ministry of First Baptist North Spartanburg. A simple invitation to a pizza trip after church directed my life in a whole new direction. I realized I could go out with friends, have fun and not feel guilty, abused or taken advantage of later. During a retreat to Hilton Head Island, I asked Jesus Christ to come into my heart, forgive me of my shortcomings and live in my life. After that experience things started to make sense. I can't explain it any other way, other than I had a power inside of me that was not there before. I later learned it was the Holy Spirit. God put some GREAT youth leaders, Sunday school teachers, and Godly youth ministers in my life. I began reading, growing, and serving in my youth group. I channeled my music towards leading in worship. My life finally had purpose. Everything was not and still is not all rainbows and skittles today. I have like everyone had to endure some major things, but I can tell you this. I would NEVER go back to living the way I did before becoming a Christian. If I were to die and find out that this whole Christianity thing was a joke or man made scheme, I would would still follow Christ because my life with Him has been so much better than without. I don't mean to be preachy, I am just grateful.


As a senior in high school, I felt God calling me to serve him in ministry using my love for music and students. Upon the urging of my Youth Pastor, I enrolled in Anderson College (University). I majored in music there for two years and met a great caliber of people. Ultimately I met Donna Simpson who went on to become my bride Donna Simpson Strickland. She faithfully worked for two more years as I continued my education at Charleston Southern University. I was so lucky to be able to play bass in a group from the college called "New Vision". I will always treasure those years and the relationships I formed with those in that group I treasure. A few have become closer than a brother to me.
Donna and I got married on November 21, 1992 (which is her birthday too, by the way). After a period of searching God led me to my home church of First Baptist North Spartanburg. I had the privilege of interning under the Youth Pastor. As an intern, I learned youth ministry from the ground up. I learned there was a lot more to it than my former Youth Ministers made it out to be. I am so grateful for have the privilege of serving on staff there for eight years. While there I served in various positions in the Student Ministry and Media Ministry. They also allowed be to take time to receive my Master of Divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.


In 1998 my life took a drastic change. I started a chaplaincy with North Spartanburg Fire Department. After being there a short time I decided to get my official fire training and became a volunteer. I never thought I would have grown up to be a fireman. Through the years I have seen many similarities between the fire service and ministry (good and bad). Many of the men at North Spartanburg fire became my heroes. Ulitmately, it was this experience that showed me I needed to be working with people rather than machines (In the media dept). After talking with some Godly people, I realized that after three years of media ministry, God was calling me back into Student Ministry.


I became the Minister to Students at Pine Valley Baptist Church in 2001 where I have been serving ever since. I also am a lieutenant with Myrtle Grove Volunteer Fire Department. The lessons I have learned and the way I have seen God work could not be contained in this simple blog. I will just say God has blessed Donna and I beyond what we deserve to be able to serve in this church. Each day God gives us a fresh vision for the next step to take. That whole Proverbs 3:5-6 thing is true. He does direct our paths. If you have atually read this blog to this point please know that I am a flawed man that simply lives to love God, love my wife, and share His love with others. There is much more that I could or may even should have said but this is a "cliff note" version of how I became firehousejames.

7.12.2009

Thank You Megan Fox!!!


I must say that I really enjoyed Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen. I was hoping for some great action and I was not disappointed. There were many transforming robots and great CGI fight scenes. They even used the whole "messiah" thing in the story line. I won't go into details in hopes of not spoiling anything. However, I was very disturbed by some comments that Megan Fox made to the press. She was asked what at first glance seemed to be a not so deep question.

"If you could take Megatron to one side, have a coffee with him and talk him down from wrecking the entire world, what would you say? “God!” laughs Fox. “That’s a question I don’t have an answer for and I hate you for asking me that because I’m usually so prepared!”She considers. “I think I would make a deal with him and say instead of the entire planet, can you just take out all of the white trash, hillbilly, anti-gay, super bible-beating people in Middle America?” (source)

(Clearing my throat) Now I know that I should not expect any star to necessarily embrace my beliefs but to attack people groups like that is just plain dumb. Those people she is mentioning are the same ones who are going to her movies and putting money in her bank account. Even my mom taught me that if you don't have anything nice to say about someone, then don't say anything. Do you think she would have caught grief for bashing homosexuals or other races? There is a definite double standard.
I don't regret seeing the movie, however I do regret being a Megan Fox fan. I see the effect she and others have on the teens of today. At some point I pray these celebrities will be accountable for the words they say. I do pray for Megan and hope that God will put some people in her life that will encourage and love her. People who will not want her for what she is as a celebrity but who she is as God's creation. Until then I guess I'll just keep beating my bible ya'll.
1 Peter 2:11-12 (New Living Translation) Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. 12 Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.

Here is a great review for Transformers 2:The Fallen at pluggedin online

6.29.2009

I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here

I will join the masses in weighing in on the string of Celebrity Deaths. During the past few weeks we have seen some major icons pass. Ed McMahon (Johnny Carson’s Co-host), Farrah Fawcett (Model/Actress), Billy Mays (Oxy Clean Pitch Man) and Michael Jackson (The King of Pop). When thinking of all of the great and some not so great achievements these people have made, the book of Ecclesiastes comes to mind. The writer of this book in the Bible truly led the life of a celebrity yet he sums up his life by saying, “Everything is Meaningless”. Solomon knew that the praise of men and accumulation of things was empty. In Ecclesiastes 8:8 he writes “None of us can hold back our spirit from departing. None of us has the power to prevent the day of our death.” Death is real and a part of the life process. Celebrities and regular Joes like myself will experience death. What makes our death important is the legacy we leave. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, “Here is now my final conclusion: Fear God and obey His commands, or this is everyone’s duty. God will judge everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.” Take a moment to pray for the families of these celebrities. They were not perfect but they were people. While their eternal destiny has been set, there are many others who still need to make that choice. Let’s Go!


James


Check http://www.pvbcfirehouse.org/ for upcoming events for July and pictures of our Ignite Middle School Revival from last week. I will be speaking on more to that in next weeks article.