Momma's Boy

When I was younger, I was one of the fortunate few who had an excellent relationship with their mother. We used to do everything together!  She would drag me along to her hair appointments, shopping excursions and grocery runs.  Most of the time I was ok with it because she would always bribe me with something to keep me busy.
One time, I remember being at the grocery store with her when, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted the most delicious bar of chocolate I'd ever seen!  I remember begging my mom to let me have it, and as a six-year-old, the most persuasive argument I could give was "Please mom!! I love you! I love you! I love you!!"
I will never forget my mom's answer.
She looked at me square in the eye and said, " you really love me?  Or do you just love me because I'm about to buy you chocolate?"
It was a life lesson that has stuck with me to this day.
Fast forward 26 years to Ryan's message last Sunday, when I was reminded of and …


I am amazed at the way the Lord speaks truth into my life in consistency and repetitive words and messages. The theme of “identity” has been a popular topic in my life lately. I think most of us struggle with finding who we really are at the core. What makes me, me? We all make attempts to fill this void in our lives, and we all fill it with different things. In our human ways, we attempt to satisfy our craving for "more" with worldly fillers. For many of us it's “stuff”, for others its climbing the ladder of success, and even in the most righteous attempts it’s family or relationships.
And while some of these things aren’t bad, they will never fully fulfill the void we are born with. We need HIM. Only he can satisfy that hunger, and only he can nourish us, and help us in our times of need.  But, so often he is my last go to, my last resort if you will. I try controlling all parts of my life until I have no choice but to look to him. For the most part, my life is pretty u…

Turn on the Light!

Trip. CRASH. Ouch!

That was the sequence of events that happened to me not too long ago as I fell down the stairs in the hallway of the sanctuary, looking for a light-switch!

I thought I knew the "lay of the land" pretty well, but unbeknownst to me, there were several items left out that I hadn't yet taken inventory of!

Proverbs 4:19 says, "The way of the wicked is like darkness.  They don't know over what they stumble."


...when we live in the light of Jesus, our path becomes illuminated, and we begin to see the true condition of our own hearts and lives.

And let me tell you...I am a broken mess!  In fact, just like the items left out in the dark, I didn't know how broken I actually was until I found Jesus, the Light of the world!  And I am so thankful for that!

I can relate to Paul when he says in Romans 7, "What a wretched man I am!  Who will rescue me from this body of death?"

The answer to that question?

The next verse - "Than…

The Guilt of Not Hitting 💯

Like many followers of Jesus, I carry with me far more guilt and shame than He ever desires for me.  C'mon, let's face it, that life wouldn't be worth the death He died.  Don't get me wrong, I do things that break His heart and for that I am ashamed, but He never intended for you or I to live in shame and guilt.

Tragically though, I feel like oftentimes the basis of my relationship with Christ is my shame and His displeasure.  
That narrative runs through my head because I am intimately aware of my own shortcomings, and if I'm aware of them, then certainly He is!  Case in point, this past Sunday as I was preaching I shared how I hadn't spent meaningful time with the Lord over a span of 3 days that week and the disappointment I felt in myself.  As I shared that openly, I immediately felt regret at confessing it from the pulpit.  In fact, I've been wracked with that regret since I preached.  I felt like I shouldn't have admitted that as a pastor because I…

A Busy Day At Disney

This week I took my boys to Disneyland, and to say it was crowded would be an understatement. I announced to the boys that we would be leaving soon after the parade, which was one of two things we got to do in our 7 hours there. The announcement was followed by grumbles and complaints. “We didn’t get to do anything here”. “It’s not fair”, all the things kids say when they’re disappointed. Usually this kind of response would upset me. But instead of reacting to their ungrateful responses with anger, I calmly asked them what about the day they did enjoy. “Can you name a few things that you loved about today?” What went well?” What are you grateful for?”. Much to my surprise, they started rattling off things they loved and were grateful for. Soon they were giggling and smiling as they continued to list the things they were thankful for. Their attitudes of grumbling had changed almost in an instance. 
It reminded of how I was challenged a few weeks ago by what Ryan shared on creating a c…

Staying the Course

Have you ever changed your mind on something?  I grew up in a family where my parents did it all the time, and it drove me crazy!

"Everyone agree on McDonalds?  Ok everyone!  Hop in the car and let's go!"

And as 12-year-old Rob began to see those glorious golden arches getting closer and closer from the back seat of my parents' (yup) Ford Station Wagon, they would call an audible!

"Actually guys, how about Rubio's?!"

My brother and I would protest, but somehow we always ended up going somewhere else!  Good-bye Big Mac.  Good-bye delicious, golden-brown, french-fries.  Good-bye Happy Meal toy...I'll see you never :(

Depressing right?

Many of the believers in the early church at the city of Colossae were beginning to lose sight of where they were headed!  They were getting sidetracked.  They had at one point, placed their faith in Jesus, but they were beginning to allow themselves to be influenced by the cultural ideals that surrounded them.

See, …

Leggo My Eggo!

I was blessed these past two weeks to take a sabbatical.  Basically, that’s a time of rest from work to spend specifically focused on God and hearing from Him.  I entered that opportunity desperately needing to hear from Him, both personally and pastorally.  Coming away from that experience, I'm grateful for how the Lord was patient with me and spoke clearly through His word and through times of prayer. 
Yet, as encouraging as my time with Him was, there were also some difficult conversations that we had together.  The kind of difficult conversations where God calls us out for some of the ways we’ve been living and leading that are inconsistent with His desires.  Even in those moments of confrontation, God is still loving and gentle.  (Thankfully!)
Perhaps the biggest challenge that I came away with was a tendency He revealed in my life.  Maybe you can relate, but I tend to try and do God’s job for Him.  
It’s not that I don’t think He can handle it, but in my arrogance, I think I…