Friday, October 23, 2009

Near the Cross


What's your purpose? Who are you really? What are your struggles today? Are they Financial? Are they spiritual? Are they Physical? To the Pastor who's thinking about giving up, to the Husband or Wife who's thinking about ending their marriage today, to all the struggles, short falls, hang ups, failures, mess ups, screw ups, and disenfranchised here is your hope:

"Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman here is your son, and to the disciple, "Here is your mother". John:19:25-27. There is Hope near the cross, There is Salvation at the Cross. And today there are people who love you waiting near the cross. Run to Jesus, You'll find people waiting there who love Him, and love you; who will be there for you, fight for you, cry with you, hold you accountable and share in the power of the resurrection with you. There is no greater hope for the world, the Bride of Christ and Jesus is telling you to look around, find your family. Your not alone in this, don't quit God's working it out, near the cross......


Brandon

Saturday, July 4, 2009

As I'm sitting here on the beach there's folks playing volley ball, a wedding going on behind us, and bottle rockets being shot off all over. All worries and cares seem to be put on the back burner tonight. I'm so thankful for the freedom that we celebrate tonight! Thank you Father, that I have been set free from the bondage of sin; and that we can celebrate that freedom in a FREE country!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Jay Strack says "Leaders are Readers", and I 100 % agree. I've been reading a good bit lately, and with so much out there to read how does one choose what's best? Every one has ambition right? We've all got a dream were dreaming, a vision were seeing, a rock out song we can hear in the distance and what ever stage that band is on, is where we want to be..... right? There are a few leaders out there that I really admire and respect for there work in the kingdom, I get my reading list from them. The way I see it... these guys are focused, driven, leaders. If I want to get where they are I need to do the things they do. Even read the things they read. There is really NOTHING new under the sun. I've really been impacted lately some books that I would have other wise never read. So again "LEADERS ARE READERS"! if you want to get better, find some one who is where you want to go, and read what they read, do what they do, and follow their success.... here is a recent blog by  Craig Groeschel:

"I’ve been reading a lot lately. My most recent reads include:

Killing Cockroaches by Tony Morgan. This is a great leadership book. It reads much like a Seth Godin book.

Mad Church Disease by Anne Jackson. This is a must-read for anyone in ministry.

Ten Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe by Larry Osborne. Larry’s work always challenges me.

True North by Bill George. Bill George is a giant and very down to earth. This book was tremendously helpful to me.

The Orange Code by Arkadi Kuhlmann and Bruce PhilpSteven Furtickmailed this to me as a gift. I’m half way through it. It is very good.

The Life of Elijah by Arthur Pink. I’ll be preaching on Elijah in May. Arthur Pink always has great nuggets. The life of Elijah is ministering to me in a big way.

Tribes by Seth Godin. Seth’s work is always helpful.

Switch by Chip and Dan Heath. This book is not out yet. I’ll be interviewing Chip and Dan at the Willow Leadership Summit. I’ve quoted their work in more leadership conversations with staff than I can count. I liked it as much or more than Made to Stick.

Missional Renaissance by Reggie McNeil. Our leaders are reading this book together.

What are you reading that has been helpful?"


Start reading, and applying the good stuff! it'll change your life!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Day 4 Extreme bike ride

I'm uploading from the i-phone again, the lap top can't pick up a signal. Today was long, 85 miles long. It was good though. We made it to evergreen around 6:00. No major problems today everything was pretty smooth. I'm convinced that there are no level roads on highway 31. We have 75 miles tomorrow and then we make the trip home on Friday. I said I would introduce every one so here they are: David Wimpee is a Children's pastor at Life church in rainbow city, and the master mind behind this trip, he has an awesome heart for missions. Wes Blair, lives in Clanton and is in training for an iron man competition. We all hate him this week. Just kidding, he has Been a huge asset this week changing tires, and helping with bike repair. Then there is Ebony Sanford. She also lives in Clanton. She has dominated the turain thus far. I have enjoyed hanging with these folks this week, they each have great passion for missions, and the local church. I'm off to find some bio freeze for the legs!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

So yet again the hotel were staying at has Internet problems! So I can't show you pictures again, hopefully tomorrow. At least I have a 3g network, and a phone. Today was pretty hard from the get go; Ebony had a flat tire before we got started, it was raining and cold. Before we even went 3 miles she had 2 more! The trip to Prattville was a good one.
Traffic was crazy, but we made it! 75 miles baby! Tomorrow I'll introduce everyone to you guys. Today I think we felt most accomplished there were some pretty crazy big hills. I'll update everyone through twitter as we go tomorrow, and will update the blog again tomorrow night. See you guys Friday!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Have you ever had to do something that's just hard? Maybe you had a test, that seemed impossible, or a deadline at work that seemed unmakeable. Maybe your impossible task was harder than that. Maybe you've had a loved one pass in expectidly, your marriage could be on the rocks. What's your impossible task? Today we had to climb 2 miles up the face of a mountain. I never would have dreamed I could make it up, but I would say to my self "just make it to the next road sign" , and after about 15 minutes of saying that we were at the top celebrating! You may be at that point in your life now. Just take it one day at a time. Just make it to the next "road sign". Paul when talking to the phillipians about his struggles said "I can do all things through Him who gives me strength". Trust in Him, and he will take you to the top of the hill. Tomorrows a big day, goodnight.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday

So today Danielle and I got up and made the trip to Montgomery to meet Pastor David. He brought me to Rainbow City, one more step closer to the starting point of the Journey. it was a great ride up with a kindred spirit. We both share a passion to love those who lead the Church. I have a feeling ever how challenging this trip may be it will be well worth it. I've got a chance to hang out with other pastors this week with no other thing in mind except to encourage and build up their zeal for this great cause we all live for! it's going to be a fun week! Here's a rundown of where we will be going this week:

Day 1: Meet in Ardmore, Alabama at 1:00 PM
Leave Ardmore on Highway 251 South Merge Onto Highway 31 South Arrive in Decatur.

This is an approximately 30 Mile Ride in order to get everyone comfortable with their equipment, riding with other participants and ensuring that everything is in operable condition.

Day 2: Leave Decatur, Alabama
Ride Highway 31 South to Gardendale,
This is approximately a 70 Mile ride with some long climbs.
We will go to Pelham.

Day 3: Leave Pelham, Alabama
Rid Highway 31 South to Prattville, Alabama

This is approximately 80 mile ride with a major stop in Clanton, Alabama.

Day 4: Leave Montgomery, Alabama
Ride Highway 31 South to Evergreen.

This is approximately 85 mile ridewith a major Stop in Greenville.

Day 5: Leave Evergreen.
Ride south to Bay Minette

This is approximately a 75 mile ride with a major stop in Flomaton.

Day 6: Leave Bay Minette, Alabama
Ride Highway 31 South to merge with Highway 59 South in Stapleton. Arrive in Gulf Shores...

This is approximately 50 miles.

it's a lot of riding but it's raising money for a great missions program..... if you would like to donate you can contact me....

Thursday, March 26, 2009

So as a good bit of you know, I will be leaving Saturday to head to the Tennessee state line for an "Extreme Bicycle" challenge. My self and 4 others will attempt to bicycle all the way down to the coast in Gulf Shores. The distance is right at 400 miles! As exited as I am to give this a try, I'm also a little worried. I've got a few things stacked against me on this one folks... 1. I don't feel that I'm in the best shape of my life, (though I have been slowly making the climb back to a shape other than round). 2. it's probably the largest physical challenge I have ever faced in my life. 3. I'm not 100% sure that I will be able to accomplish this task. One may ask, why do it then? We are raising money for a Missions organization called the BGMC (boys, and girls Mission Challenge). Every Dime Raised goes to help support the spread of the Gospel all over the world. Statistics say that every dollar given represents a life changed for Christ! It will be hard, it will challenge my will to go on, and my ability to fight through the pain to accomplish a goal.
Maybe that's you.... you maybe facing the largest Spiritual challenge that you have ever had to face; maybe you don't think your in the best spiritual condition that you need to be in to overcome this issue. I can assure you that you will not face anything in life that He can not bring you through. take heart, cast your cares upon Him for He cares for you, and find encouragement in His word : 
"13No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." 1 Corinthians 10:13

Life gets hard. But Praise His Name nothings too big for Him! have a great week, pray the trip is safe, and accomplished. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

re-invinting

So it's been way too long since I have blogged..... I have been in the process of re-thinking the purpose, and function of this blog. In the past it has been predominately a place for me to express myself in what little writing i have done. Though we will absolutely do that now, and in the future. I want to make it something more. In changing the name I am aligning myself with www.getcultivated.com, and Cultivate Ministries. It's our desire and passion to provide encouragement, resources, and hope to the front lines of the local church: Pastors, and Leaders! This blog, for the few of you who happen to read it will hopefully be a great resource, and an even better encouragement to the great call God has placed on your lives! Welcome to Cultivating! A blog designed to:

1. Encourage Pastors - Each month, 1,200 pastors leave the ministry due to stress, church related issues, moral failures, problems within their church, or spiritual burnout. 71% of all pastors say they are having financial problems. 80% of all seminary and Bible school graduates will leave the ministry within the first five years. 70% of all pastors say they do not have a close friend or confidant.

At Cultivate we believe in breaking these statistics! Our heart is to form relationships with leaders in order to make deposits into their lives to bring encouragement and support.

2. Train Leaders - The average tenure of associate ministers and staff is less than two years. An estimated 25% of all pastors relocate every year. The responsibility lay leadership carry in the church is large. Through leadership training we equip leaders to fulfill what God has called them to do in ministry.

3. Lead Students - 80% of all pastors spouses feel their spouse is over worked. This statistic shows why 1,200 pastors a month are leaving the ministry due to burn out. Cultivate wants to help carry your load by taking part in your discipleship weekend, conference, retreat, service, etc., in hopes to help build your congregation as well as provide rest and ministry to the minister.

3. Build Bridges - With 25% of our pastors relocating each year and 1,200 per month leaving the ministry, there are large gaps in ministry leadership. Our mission is to provide you with an interim based  ministry that builds bridges over the gap of leadership. Our team will provide you with a minister to serve over the course of an allotted time while you fill the vacant leadership position.

.:What Leaders Want:.
In a 2007 poll, leaders asked for:
1. Spiritual Renewal
2. Encouragement
3. Support
4. Resources
5.Prayer
6. Ideas

.:We Can Help:.
Most of the time people want to make a withdrawal from you rather than a deposit. The heart of Cultivate is to make a deposit into you and your ministry. No strings attached! It is our mission to see you, your family, and your ministry succeed, and to see you love every minute of it!