Family Promise

I’m very proud of our church (for many reasons, but here is one)!


We are starting a partnership with Family Promise, an organization that provides  housing for homeless families.


(Here is a video where you can learn more about this organization)


Families will come stay at our building for a week four times a year.  During those weeks we will provide meals and people to stay over night.


If you are interested in helping with this effort there is a training next Tuesday night.  Join us as we try to bless those in need!


Here is the information:


Family Promise Training

Tuesday, June 4th

6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Dinner will be provided!


“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

“Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison.  Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.”

Matthew 5:21-26


As we will find in the rest of Matthew 5, on its surface this looks impossible.  How can you expect someone to not get angry?

But the key word the unlock this passage is in verse twenty two.  It is a participle and could be translated “who is being angry.”


It is not a warning about getting frustrated from time to time, but a warning about staying there.  To live from anger is dangerous.


On July 8, 2010 Lebron James made one of his most regrettable mistakes.  He created “The Decision” – a made for TV special where he would announce the team he would play for next season.


He famously said, “I’m taking my talents to South Beach” to play for the Miami Heat.  He left his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers.


Immediately people starting burning his jerseys.  His fans turned on him in an instant.  Even casual fans like me chose to root against him going forward.  It turned him into a villain.  For the next season entire arenas booed him.

The Miami Heat had so much star power it didn’t matter.  They made it to the NBA Finals anyway in 2011 to face the Dallas Mavericks.  But in key moments in those important games Lebron James disappeared.  He was on the court but it looked like he wanted to be somewhere else.


The best player of this current generation found that playing the villain left him exhausted.  The Heat lost to the Mavericks.  It looked like Lebron would never win a title.


“I play the game fun, joyful, and I let my game do all of the talking and I got away from that. That’s what I lost last year. Going through my first seven years in the NBA I was always the “liked one” and to be on the other side — they call it the dark side or the villain or whatever they call it — it was definitely challenging…”

Lebron James before 2012 season


Unfortunately for the rest of the league James learned a lesson from 2011.  He wasn’t going to play from anger anymore.  He  was going to play from joy.  He led his team to a championship in 2012.  He won an Olympic gold medal in London.  He is currently playing some of the best basketball in human history in his last 10 games.


Anger is not the best source to live from.


Jesus say – do something about it.  Take a step to reconcile.  Move away from anger.


In what ways are you “playing mad?”


This week we talked about Matthew 5:17-20:

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”


That last sentence would have been shocking for the people gathered that day to hear.  


“How is it possible that our righteousness can surpass them?”


“But they are the most righteous people I know!”  


Jesus is pointing to a new reality.  Something he is going to teach about until the end of chapter 5.  He will show that righteousness comes from within.  


The Pharisees and other religious leaders at that time thought that goodness had to be forced.  They made law after law after law to force following God.  


Jesus says righteousness can be learned.  That we have goodness and amazing possibilities inside us already.  


Outward appearance isn’t always a good indication of what is inside.  Unfortunately, religion often causes us to focus on what is outside.  


Read Matthew 5:21-48.  We wil be talking through these passages over the next few weeks.  What is something God is calling you to work on?      

Cardboard Box City!

On Sunday night Sept. 29 – Sunday morning Sept. 30 our church is hosting a fundraiser for Family Promise, an organization that helps homeless families in the San Fernando Valley.

On Saturday night people who sign up will make a “box city” of cardboard shelters to sleep in for the night to help connect them to the difficult reality that many in our world face.

I’m so excited that our church is participating in this event!  If you would like more information about box city you can go here: http://www.familypromiseesfv.org/events/cardboard_box_city.html

If you would like to donate directly to Family Promise go here:



This is a tremendous organization that helps many people!


My freshman year of college my beloved Pepperdine Waves made it to the NCAA Basketball Tournament.


Their tournament game was held in Sacramento, California.


I was busy with classes though and it was going to be tough to make it.


I decided against going but thought to myself, “It’s okay, we are a program on the rise.  We will make it again soon.”


Famous last words.  How many times has Pepperdine made the NCAA tourney since then?




Admittedly, I don’t follow the team very close anymore because it is just too depressing.  I clicked over to Pepperdinesports.com last week to find out when the next game was.


Turns out the season had already ended.  On March 1.  Pepperdine’s March Madness didn’t even last a full 24 hours.


At the start of this 10-year drought we had some competitive teams with some great players.  The last 5 haven’t been so pretty.


We have been through epic coaching disasters.  I’m looking at you Vance Wahlberg.  I learned an important thing during that; never trust a guy named Vance unless he is selling you a fridge.


We have endured some horrendous seasons.


10 years after our last NCAA tournament appearance, I’m not left with much hope.


The problem is the WCC has gotten a lot better, while Pepperdine has gotten worse.  Adding BYU was great for the conference, but brutal for the Waves.  That 86-48 loss this year in Provo was a lot closer than the box score makes it look though.  Yikes.


I’m left with these tough questions.


Will we ever make the NCAA tournament again?


Will I ever get to cheer on the Waves deep into March?


I really should have taken that trip to Sacramento.


Last weekend my brother and sister flew in from Texas and Iowa respectively to surprise my Mom who recently was selected as the new Director of Human Resources for the Burbank School district.


You can watch the video on Facebook, where I awkwardly come on screen looking like a creepy bystander.  You will also notice I don’t get hugged.  But hey, it’s because she sees me all the time.  That’s what I’m telling myself to help me sleep at night.


We originally came up with the idea because we are all really proud of Mom, but it ended up being a huge blessing for us as well. 


Saturday morning is a day that I will remember for a long time.  We had a slow, easy breakfast (much to Mandy’s chagrin, I don’t enjoy getting up for breakfast on most Saturday mornings) and enjoyed talking with each other.  I respect my Mom, brother and sister so much and it was great to talk about our lives and where we are headed.       


It was a moment that becomes more rare as time goes by.  My sister is really busy running a daycare with three kids of her own while her husband is in school.  My brother is teaching in Texas while his wife finishes school.  Even though we live in the same place it is hard to spend enough time with my Mom. 


It was a moment when time stood still – where the space that usually separates us was gone. 


It was something I’ll remember for a long time. 


It’s always been a goal of mine to make moments like that a priority.  About 15 of my best college friends and I meet up in Vegas every year during March Madness.  The trips I’ve taken with Mandy where we can get out of routine are always worth every penny. 


I hope that you will consider investing in the people that really matter to you.  Who are they?


Go on a trip.  Get out of town.  Let time stand still. 


Risen 2012!


We are one week away from the 4th annual Risen young adults conference on March 9-10! 

I’m really excited about this year! 

Jonathan Storment will be our main speaker and he will be dealing with the topic of Heaven and Earth.  What does the Bible actually say about heaven?  How does that affect how we should live now? 

In addition we will have classes taught on Saturday by DJ Iverson, James Sheldon, Dr. Kindy De Long from Pepperdine University and myself.

Here is the info:

When: March 9 from 8 pm – 11 pm, March 10 from 11 am – 8 pm.

Where: Glendale Church of Christ – 2021 West Glenoaks, Glendale, CA 91201

Cost: 20 dollars, which includes dessert on Friday, lunch and dinner on Saturday

Why? You will be uplifted, challenged and encouraged!  Be there!  Contact me for more information or go here: http://www.glendalechurchofchrist.org/risen