Month: October 2012

From the Archives, The Love of God

This week I am in Redding CA attending their leadership conference so I decided to post something from the archives. Hope your encouraged by it.

The Love of God from December 10, 2010

Recently I’ve been struck by the love of God.

I’ve always known He loves me but the last couple of weeks as I’ve meditated on it I realize not only that He loves me but how much He loves you.

Again not that this is a great revelation it’s just that I’ve been thinking about how much He loves you and what that should mean for me.

I can get so frustrated with people. There are times when I’m behind someone on the on ramp to I-25 and they’re trying to merge with 75 mph traffic at 45 mph while talking on their cell phone and I just want to scream. Sorry if that shatters your opinion of me it’s just the truth.

However as I’ve been thinking about how much God loves all people and how He longs for everyone to know Him and walk in close intimate fellowship with Him it changes my reaction. I also realize He is my rear guard and I don’t have to worry about being crushed by the 75 mph traffic coming behind me.

C.S. Lewis in his sermon “The Weight of Glory” says we have never met a mere mortal. It is impossible to think too much about the potential glory of our neighbor and the weight of their glory should be placed upon my back. A load so heavy only humility can carry it and the backs of the proud will be broken. Everyone on earth is either an everlasting splendor or an immortal horror and all day long we are helping each other to become one or the other of these.

Everyone has a story. They are coming from somewhere and going somewhere. Before we make any judgments we need to understand their story and make sure we are helping everyone become and everlasting splendor not an immortal horror.

If you would like to download the E.P. I Will Sing, you can get it here.

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From the Archives, To Find Him Where He Can Be Found

This week has been spent mostly in the car and in preparation for next week at the Bethel Leadership Conference in Redding CA.

So I didn’t get anything posted and didn’t have time to write anything for next week. So I decided to bring some posts back you may not have seen when they were originally posted. Hope they encourage you.

To Find Him Where He Can Be Found from June 15th 2009.


God speaks to me sometimes by sending the same message in different ways over a period of time and then I have what I call a coalescing moment where it all comes together.

I just had one of those when I received a my daily email from the Copelands and from a friend on Facebook from Zimbabwe. We have never met and I don’t know why he found me and asked me to be his friend. He has 6 friends and I am the only one not from Zimbabwe.

Since launching into ministry in January I have had an interesting ride. I am living the dream but have been plagued with fear and doubt shortly after making the decision. Building the kingdom has been in my heart for over 10 years. At a workshop for worship with Job Vijil I knew this is what I was born to do. God has always been faithful so why the worry?

I say He is my strength and my shield, my ever-present help in time of need. I’m standing on the Word but I haven’t spoken in in weeks. Instead I have been speaking death. A couple of weeks ago my amazing wife scolded me strongly for the way I’m talking and she is exactly right. She is such a blessing to me. The Word of God is the final word but I must put it to work by speaking it out.

I am reminded of a short prayer by Hans Ur von Balthasar I apologize if I’ve posted this before:


Harassed by life, exhausted, we look about us for somewhere to be quiet, to be genuine, a place of refreshment. We yearn to restore our spirits in God, to simply let go in him and gain new strength to go on living.

But we fail to look for him where he is waiting for us, where he is to be found; in his Son, who is his Word. Or else seek for God because there are a thousand things we want to ask him, and imagine that we cannot go on living unless they are answered. We inundate him with problems, with demands for information, for clues, for an easier path, forgetting that in his Word he has given us the solution to every problem and all the details we are capable of grasping in this life.

We fail to listen where God speaks; where God’s Word rang out in the world once for all, sufficient for all ages, inexhaustible. Or else we think that God’s Word has been heard on earth for so long that by now it is almost used up. That it is about time for some new word, as if we had the right to demand one. We fail to see that it is we ourselves who are used up and alienated, whereas the Word resounds with the same vitality and freshness as ever; it is just as near to us as it always was.

Hans Ur von Balthasar, Prayer. Trans. Graham Harrison (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1986)

Today I commit to being in His Word and daily seeking Him in the secret place for His direction. I encourage you to do the same.

Blessings as you walk with Him.

If you would like to download the E.P. I Will Sing you can get it here.

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How To “Cause” Growth Of The Body

Over several years I have spoken with dozens of church leaders about how to measure growth in the church and it is universally agreed among them numbers are a poor reflection of health and growth. Don’t misunderstand I think numbers are important but how do we really know if the body is growing?

Did you know the Bible tells us exactly what we need to be doing in order to “cause” growth of the body?

In economics we know exactly what happens when we institute certain policies. A baker knows exactly what will happen when he adds a certain ingredient to bread. The same is true in the church.

Evangelism is one of the purposes of the church but I’ve noticed something; when we make evangelism the end rather than the beginning and make everyone an evangelist we de-emphasize the other gifts. Ephesians 4:11 says He gave some to be evangelists. I’m not saying only those with the gift of evangelism should share the gospel. We must always be ready to give an answer for the hope that is in us. I have no problem sharing my faith or leading someone to faith in Christ but my primary gifting is not evangelism. What I’m saying is we must recognize all the gifting entrusted to the church.

One of my closest friends thinks he’s a policeman. His vocation is policeman but he’s really an evangelist. Every time I talk to him he tells me about someone he has talked with about faith in Jesus. When we go into a coffee shop he starts looking around for who he might share the gospel with. It’s natural for him like breathing.

I remember feeling guilty when missionaries would come to our church and say things like “you’re either called to go or you’re called to send”. Their passion is admirable but my reading of the New Testament lists 16-18 gifts, depending how you read them. Giving and evangelism are only two. It’s critical that we recognize and value the other 14-16 gifts.

Ephesians 4:15-16 says when we all grow up in:

 “Christ who is the head from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”

Emphasis mine.

Paraphrase: When we are all walking in the fullness of our gifts and calling the church will grow.

It’s not magic. It’s recognizing, calling out, equipping, and releasing gifting back into the body that causes the church to grow. This is a leadership principle. We cannot blame the sheep for not walking in their gifting. We must create a culture where all the gifts can flourish.

As always leave your comments below. What do you think?

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The Power of an Apology

Over the last several weeks, some would argue longer than that, I’ve been a little difficult to be around.

I won’t go into detail as to why, I guess the reasons are arguable as well, suffice it to say I’ve been grumpy and disagreeable.

Though it was not my intention; I was rude to a couple of my closest friends recently. Thankfully the Holy Spirit pointed it out to me and I made two phone calls.

An apology is a very powerful thing. I’m not talking about the politician non-apology, apology. The “I’m sorry if you were offended” apology. I’m talking about taking responsibility for your actions and asking for forgiveness. It’s the “I behaved in an incorrect manner and I’m sorry”. As the Australians would say “Full Stop”. No qualification, no justification just a flat-out I’m sorry for the way I treated you. This is a principle I have tried to live by even to the extent of several times as the boys were growing up I would be on the edge of their bed saying “I’m sorry for the way I treated you today”.

A few days ago someone told me they were sorry for something that happened and I was reminded how powerful it is to be on the receiving end as well as the giving end.

Right now, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you if you need to call someone and restore relationship and when He points it out to you. Make the call immediately. You’ll be glad you did.

Romans 12:18 NKJV says “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men”. We all know it doesn’t completely depend on you. But make sure you’ve done all you can.

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Posted by Gary in Intimacy W/God, Leadership, Personal, 0 comments

E.P. Release Today!

Today is the Day!

I Will Sing

Buy Now

The digital download is available right now!

If you would like to hear the song stories you can start right here.

If I could I would like to ask two favors:

  1. If you know someone who might be interested in this project would you let them know.
  2. If you like the E.P. would you please click the like button at the bottom of this post.


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Who Should Lead Your Teams

You don’t have to look far to see how the church is losing its respect and priority in people’s lives. Just this morning two articles came into my news aggregator.

“19 Numbers Which Prove That America is Turning Away From Christianity”
“The Inevitable Collapse of Organized Religion in America”

I see articles like this every day. A couple of weeks ago I asked the question
“What Happened?”
There is no silver bullet but I would like to begin answering that question today from my perspective.

The church is dead, dying, and irrelevant partly because we have promoted high capacity doers over equippers.

Let me explain by using a football analogy.

We’ll use football, mostly because I love it, but also because stats are easy to get and evaluate.

After a very quick Google search I found:

There are just over 1 million high school football players in America.
About 67,000 of them go on to play in college.
There are currently 1,696 players in the NFL.
.166% of high school players will go on to play in the NFL.
.003% of high school players will go on to be head coaches in the NFL.

These 32 coaches must be pretty talented football players right? Let’s take a look.

Of the 32 coaches only 9 played in the NFL. The top 15 have a winning percentage over .500 and only 3 of them played a single snap in the NFL and only 5 played at a division one level. The old adage “if you can’t play coach” is true but for different reasons than we thought.

Leading/equipping and doing are different skillsets. There are a very few who can do both. Art Shell and Mike Ditka are among the 100 greatest football players of all time and were also pretty good coaches but they are the only two in the top 100.

When you’re looking for leaders do you go looking for the best “doers” or the best “equippers”? Do you look for Tom Brady or Bill Belichick? We definitely want Tom Brady on our staff but we want Bill Belichick to lead the team.

More on this later but today I leave you with this.

If we want the church to become vibrant again there are many things we need to focus on however; from a leadership perspective a top priority must be to put equippers in places of leadership.

Your thoughts?

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Run To You Song Story

I hope your enjoying these song stories. I’m getting better at video editing but still a long way to go. It’s been a great process for me to be able to remind myself of where these songs came from and God’s faithfulness and goodness over the last several years.

Here is the song story of “Run To You”, track number 4 on the E.P. I Will Sing, available now at

I Will Sing

Buy Now

Other Song Stories:

WaitedI Will SingFaithful OneRun To YouYou Pursue MeMy Jesus I Love Thee

I look forward to hearing your comments.

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