Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I got a new email might want to go ahead and switch over. The stx one will be on through the end of November.

"New" covenant

Zechariah 1 'Return to me,' declares the LORD Almighty, 'and I will return to you,'
A song comes to mind, by Matt Redmond, Heart of Worship.
When the music fades, and all is stripped away, and I simply come.
Longing just to bring, something's thats of worth, that will bless your heart....
Though I'm weak and poor, all i have is yours....every single breath.
I'm coming back to the heart of worship, cuz it's all about you, Jesus.

No music, no trumped up theatrics, no Disney animation or Martha Stewart....HA! ...only everything I all God desires.

Hebrews 8:7For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.
God gave us Jesus as the new covenant. And the writer of Hebrews has masterfully set up the Jews in his writing to recognize this new covenent in Jesus as the fulfillment of prophesy.
Whether this book was written by Paul or Apollos (or some other) he was surely passionate about the Jews.
13By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.
Hey...fellow Jews....your old ways....dont cut it any longer. Our God no longer requires sacrifice, his SON was that. Quit wasting your time looking for the Messiah...he is here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I need a recount....

Man...I stayed up late last night and kinda watched Monday Night Football. I say kinda watched because I wasnt so interested in the game as I was my opponent's players in Fantasy Football. Sure Brett Farve (which coincidentally looks like my street name Havre) threw for over 300 yards and won the game in overtime with an 80+yard toss to whoever.....but I lost my Fantasy game by 1 lousy point. ONE. be sure to check that out.....(shameless plug) it'll rock your world.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Late Night Break-in

Did anyone else have stuff that set itself back an hour yesterday? I thought someone snuck into my house Saturday night and switched a few of my appliance clocks and my wifes cell phone time. Which would have been a wierd thing to go to the trouble of breaking into someones house for.
And when does Daylight Savings Time actually take place this year. I know I heard something about it changing....but it ALWAYS was the Saturday before Halloween. Its gonna be light when I ...err.....i mean my kids go trick or treating.

Todays reading

Haggai 1
Is very compelling that once the Word came down from the Lord...the Jews cut through the red tape at City Hall and began construction of God's temple in 21 days. Probably because they feared the Lord, but also because the Lord hadn't been blessing them.
Verses 5-6 Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it."
Basically, you have worked...for works sake, but possibly not gotten to take part in the blessing. How long could you plant crops and not take part in the harvest? I know farmers who have bad years and good years. And the good years really keep them going. The bad years can pay for the hired hands and possibly buy next years seed and fertilizers, but when the "HARVEST" comes in, the bumper get to buy new tractors, trucks, toys, fix up the barn, and the house, take momma to New York. Imagine....never having a good harvest.
I'd be building God his temple too.....

Hebrews 6
Has always been a passage that I like to poke around when i become too proud of myself. Its one that I have a hard time landing on exactly. Is it talking of apostacy or backsliding?
Well I read the passage again this morning (with all my preconceived notions) and i did notice one thing (not new) that I either glaze over or whatever. The preceeding therefore...what is it there for?
The writer has HAD IT...with his audience. He believes they should be teaching and not going over the basics. This concept of "losing your salvation" seems to have been on the mind of the audience. And the word I get here in the first part of 6 is.....Listen.....quit your waffling. You have nothing to worry about. Lets get on with the Baptisms,Healings, Getting others to join us....and quit worrying whether you are "Born again", you are.

I stayed up too late last night looking at the website. I love the stories on was very exciting to see that two of my people I invested in raised ALL their money last night in the few hours i slept.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

My hope is that.....

Austin New Church will be defined by what happens outside of Sunday instead of what we do ON Sunday.
Today was a great example of what is going on. Our core went downtown to where "homeless hang out", Brandon told me that approximately 200 people came for burgers and hot dogs. I wish I had been there.

first look Austin New Church website


I was invited to the A&M-Kansas game yesterday in college Station. My buddy had tickets for he and I and our older boys. So the six of us set out for College Station and arrived early enough to meet up with a former player...Thomas Carriger..who played both Tight End and Defensive End for the Aggies (03-05). As he walked us through the Steed Center (which is the workout facility and the area the players stretch before games) he pointed out the "Hall of Fame" boards. On those boards were the players who had achieved all time best status at A&M. Thomas occupied the highest bench press for a TE ever! And was second all time as a DE. The thing that jumped out to me was there we only two people remaining on the board from the 80's. (my era)
Thomas was very proud of the fact, as he should be, that he held those records. I didn't have the heart to tell him that, in 20 years, all those records woud be broken by the new studs.
Anyway, the game wasn't that good and the 19-11 score didn't represent the fact that Kansas had dominated the game.
After the game which ended around 10:00 p.m. we drove back to Corpus. I let John start out driving home (since I was stopped twice for speeding on the way up (but didn't get a ticket)) until I noticed him swerving,running over those noisy things on the side of the road, and scratching his head and stretching. I didn't want to die, so I asked him to let me drive home as well. We got home around 3:00 a.m.

All that said, I saw a decent football team and a great band.

Friday, October 26, 2007

God's Song

Zephaniah 3

The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."

Aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh, MY God is with me, saves me, delights in me…he quiets me…..he rejoices over me….with Singing. This is the picture of the calm within the mighty storm. All this corruption and vileness warrants correction and destruction YET….my God sings over me.

This has always been one of my favorite verses….maybe in all the CRAP that is going on in the ‘world’ I find it comforting that my God can retreat with me, make me lay down by still waters, make me ‘be still’ and not only do I get to worship my God, but He gets to minister to the unrest in my soul. Singing is soothing…and a song from God through His Spirit that lives within me…to my soul…..ahhhhh. At the risk of sounding girly, I can be driving along, hear a song….start singing it…and I feel that. It brings a tear to my eye, and a lump in my throat. When my dad died…I was walking one morning, and I couldn’t speak to God…I wanted to…but I couldn’t, then ‘It is well with my soul’…pierced through….made me well up…and God comforted me. As I walked I was singing aloud…and crying, what a FREAK!.....i didn’t get caught tho…whew!

Hebrews 5
If you had been a priest in the order of Melchizedek, you were the highest of the high priest…..well God placed Jesus over that order. Keep in mind, Paul is mainly setting up the deity of Christ in this book to Jews. He is tearing down the all the presuppositions of Jews. Angels, Moses, now Melchizedek….who’s next? Not Abraham! Wait on it…HA.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

receive or find?

Zephaniah 2; I picture this wasteland kinda like the old Mel Gibson in Mad Max movies…..driving through what used to be New York I believe…the great city now in shambles.
Gods Judgment in Zephaniah is severe and all-encompassing. The great thing about God’s judgment is that it is righteous. We can live in fear of God’s judgment, or we can welcome it. I know that as a believer…as we stand before God in judgment, his righteousness and therefore his judgment are perfect and therefore will be of comfort and love and not fear.

Hebrews 4 gives us that confidence to approach God with everything this morning. Our high priest was tempted in EVERY way…and therefore has compassion for us in our weaknesses. He understands we arent God…and we do fail….and he understands. He doesn’t have to…..thats what is so cool about receiving MERCY and finding GRACE.

My kids don’t mess up often….but when they do…they get really nervous. What is dad gonna do? How harsh is it gonna be? Actually, I am pretty severe with punishment…and they don’t have to cross the line very far at all. I want to teach them to stay FAR away from the line. But every now and then, I teach them about Mercy. They stand accused and convicted by dad…I may even have them pick their punishment….(which they know must be severe) and then….we talk about it…and I let them experience the pain that this punishment would bring….usually it brings tears and then…..mercy….relief. I will tell them that the punishment is appropriate in this instance, but I always want them to remember about Grace too. And be quick to give mercy…because you received it. Talk about relief, talk about love, and they don’t try to abuse the system either….because as the offender, we don’t determine when Mercy is going to happen.

Its not at all like the game that we used to play as kids where you bend the other persons hands back to the point of breaking them…and one person will yell,” mercy” and the other lets up. We could play that game with confidence….that if the pain became too much to bear…you just yelled mercy and it was over. Mercy is given when the offended feels like it, not when the offender wants it.

Why is it that we receive mercy….yet we find grace?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

agnostic......doesnt matter

Zephaniah 1:12 At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps and punish those who are complacent, who are like wine left on its dregs,who think, 'The LORD will do nothing, either good or bad.'

God not only opposes those who oppose response to the same as a negative response to God.
I have been impressed with 'eternal perspective' over the last couple of days. Its always there for me...but more so as i think about everyone who lives for now...who act as if this is all there is. We need to scream..."you are created for eternity" not just 75-80 years...Eternity people!

The reason why people think God will do nothing, is because they don't believe that God is. That whatever they feel or see or do is what is. Complacency toward God is rebellion. Its not acknowledging that the very life we have and the air we breathe are the Creation. I guess I like the fact that I answer to God. I like the fact that I am not the end of me.

Hebrews 3;
Remember, the writer of Hebrews is talking to he is saying, that greater than MOSES! Angels....ok...but Moses? Builder (creator) of the house.....better than the house. Let us always remember that. Austin New Church must stay grouded in the Word, Kingdom focussed, eternally minded, and never lose sight of the Creator of the Church

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Will you just be still......

Be still and know that I am God….Habakkuk. In my opinion (in Habakkuk 3) the prophet has tasted just a little bit of God’s greatness, mercy, justice, power, love, creativity, wrath, redemptive nature, awesomeness and is in awe. He is recollecting all these images and does….in a few words (of an apparent song) convey them to us. (this guy is Chris Tomlin of his day) BUT, listening back (from chapters one and two) to the Lord ……Selah…… still, pause, wait on it, know that I am God…..there is a reverence to this song…..there is time for the Creator to speak to Habakkuk's spirit in the Selah (the pause)

Hebrews 3….last part of 9 so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone

You know the great part of this….and one we take for granted….the “sting” of death has lost its power over believers. The death Christ tasted, we don’t taste. WE may ‘think’ we do…and the world/satan has trumped up death to scare the crap out of us….but for believers….Jesus removed that taste FOR us. Physical death…in our bodies is merely escape to our glorified bodies…and into the presence of GOD himself.
One pastor I heard talk about this a couple of weeks ago at a funeral said….this life we live on earth…is less than 1% of our existence. And we fail….i think to convey and to think of ourselves as eternal beings.
His point was….. a financial advisor….prepares us for retirement …..which is maybe 5-10% of our lives… and we work our whole lives for that 5-10% time period (of the less than 1% of our eternal existence) how crazy is that? when we could be working for eternal things…..

Monday, October 22, 2007

Suffer we must

This is kinda crazy. Jenny and I took this job in Austin knowing full well what we were leaving....but not knowing exactly what we are walking into.

God has been awfully gracious in selling our home to the second person who walked in....on the second day it was on the market. I guess He could have hung us out there a bit to test our faith or whatever, but we prayed specifically...i know i did....for this thing to sell, to affirm to Jenny and me that He was behind all this. Not saying that we were testing God, but he has answered the call on this, maybe because it has been such an exercise in faith for us....that He is like.....I got you....son. Dont know why i just choked up writing that....I guess its contagious (thanks Brandon)

THEN......the sage continues, we find this area (Buda) we like, with great schools (Hays County Schools) and seemingly to us, this builder wants to just about GIVE us a stinkin house (seriously...its crazy) I was looking for Ashton Kuchar to pop out and tell me,"I Punked YOU!". So we get a brand new house, bigger than the one we are leaving, in an area where there area going to be tons of kids and families, for way less money than the house we just sold. Jenny almost feels guilty for such a big house....i think she just nervous because she said, for the first 6 months or so....she was gonna be super mom/wife/housekeeper...and the housekeeping just became a daunting task.

SO there is the suffering .....larger house....great schools (we dont have to pay for, other than taxes....that are lower than Corpus) Community Center...with 3 pools, workout facilities, jogging path, playscape, large meeting room (can you say Community Group).

We had a great time in Austin this weekend. Seeing all the faces of the folks we are going to be serving with is awesome and an ancouragement to get back there next weekend.

Habakkuk and I could hang out. In 1 he was a bit miffed that God hadnt brought His righteous anger/judgement down upon the wicked...and here in 2 God is telling him in vs 3....."wait for it".
I love 14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD,as the waters cover the sea. and then the very end of 2 vs 20 But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him."
Be still and know that I am God.....Habakkuk (Tray.....wait on it)

Hebrews 1...the writer of Hebrews is just setting the table here. Talking about the superiority of Christ. Angels vs Jesus Christ.....Jesus is superior. You hearing me Jews?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Journaling is for goobers.....blogging however......

I've never really thought that I should, could or would journal...maybe it's that I never thought anything I thought about or wanted to write down....was worthy of space. I have over the better part of a month been part of an e-ccountabilty scripture reading foursome...and we jot down whatever we think that passage has for us for the day (nuggets).

Habakuk, like most of us, feels like God is doing nothing to the wicked. I hear believers wonder aloud, like Habakuk, "how come they are so bad....dont even believe in God, and they seemingly are being blessed beyond measure. Good jobs, good family, tons of money, house in the best neighborhood, second house at the lake. There is NO justice!"

God says, in Habakuk 1:11 Then they (the Babylonians will) sweep past like the wind and go on- guilty men, whose own strength is their god.

I hadnt thought about stregnth being a god. Money, yes...Fame, yes...Job, yes....well it all makes sense. Those things are the strength of many. Anyway....we just need to be careful that we allow God room to do what he is going to do.

Philemon.....I love the "so thats" in the Bible. When i read them, they jump off the page....because I know....if i do X "so that" happens.

Therefore I need to be active in sharing my faith....SO THAT....I can have a full understanding of every good thing (Paul and Timothy) had in Christ. ( I am assuming that Paul and Timothy are prisoners together)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

what the heck is going on

Dear Friends,

Jenny and I are totally blown away at what is going on in our lives, and we wanted to catch you up. If you haven’t already heard, we are joining our longtime friends, Brandon and Jennifer Hatmaker, and planting a church in Austin Texas.

I’ll let you catch your breath….it’s okay, that was Jenny’s first reaction too.

(A little history) Back in 2002, my Dad came into my office at Trend House and we discussed things; things pertaining to my job, my family, my passions, and God’s calling on my life. He recognized my desire to serve in full time ministry through my passion for working with youth and serving as a deacon at my home church, Yorktown Baptist Church. I have referred many times to this conversation because I will always cherish it. Dad died less than 2 weeks later.

Leaving a city I have lived in for over 30 years is a tough decision. My family, my church, our great friends and my “fairly” secure job all weighed in favor of staying in Corpus. But God said NOW. Your passion, your experience, your desires early on, your education, your desire to make church excellent, your heart for folks and your gifts…..I gave you those and I want you to use them NOW. I made that heart beat and I want it NOW.

Honestly, for me to choose otherwise would be outright disobedience to the One who created me.

How can you help? Glad you asked. I would love all of you to partner with us. And by us, I not only mean Austin New Church…..but my family. We have come on board, knowing that we must raise half of our salary. There is no doubt God will take care of us, but I’d like you to pray about participating in sending us to Austin…as your missionaries to a city that needs Christ.

This has been a very humbling, solidifying, prayerful decision we have made as a family, and as we respond with our lives, we would love you to join us in one (or more) of three ways. Prayer, giving, and/or coming to help as you feel led.

One of the verses that has really spoken to me is Psalm 40:4 (The Message):Blessed are you who give yourselves over to God, turn your backs on the world's "sure thing," ignore what the world worships;

This verse spoke to me when I doubted. I could stay in Corpus Christi, raise my kids, work at Trend House, play golf at the Country Club, travel on my suppliers dime, Jenny would continue to thrive in real estate, and we could remain comfortable and “happy.” Or I could push aside the “world’s sure thing” and do what God called me to do. I don’t know where this will ultimately take us, but I know God provides for his children and we are just thrilled to serve God in this way. I know some are called to GO and some are called to GIVE…Jenny and I have received many letters just like this one to help folks GO on mission trips and DO ministry. It has always been a pleasure and blessing to participate like I am asking you to do now.

He moved us from the GIVER to the GOER.

One thing I hope you know is how we love God and love people. It’s not a natural thing to love like Christ loved; it’s the love of Christ in us, and we feel it deeply for each and every one of you.

Tray Pruet ,
Pastor of Spiritual Development, Austin New Church (