Thursday, January 24, 2008

I've Moved!!

I am moving on up in the world. Check out the new blog at

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Moving Forward

Check out this picture of the latest development on our new worship space. When I saw the men putting pieces of the wall up, I began to think of the purposes of God & His construction in our lives. Some projects are bigger than others, but even the most elaborate buildings begin with simple steps. God wants to build something in each of us this year - the raw materials of strength, commitment, purity, faithfulness - all for His glory! He is the Great Architect & we trust His divine design.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Second Mile

I am really pumped about the ground we will cover as we start a new series on Wednesday nights called, The Second Mile. This series of sermons will be based on the new book to be released from our church on January 19th called, The Second Mile: Because Ordinary Living is Never Enough (to view click on You and I were made for so much more than ordinary. I am honored to author this book, because it is the reflection of the spirit of Healing Place. Jesus made an extraordinary sacrifice for us on the Cross--the call on our lives is anything but ordinary! I see the men and women of our church going the second mile everyday, and it inspires me. I strongly believe their story deserves to be told, and that I am simply called to be the spokesperson for it.

It's exciting to consider the future we have at Healing Place. This house is packed with some young men and women who are on fire for God and anointed to do amazing works. During our first Wednesday service this week, two of our young guys spoke on stage and led us as we took communion. Shaun Ray, on the right, works in our sports ministry, and every week he is out on the basketball courts coordinating our Upward Basketball program. Through Upward we reach so many families that do not attend our church, and Shaun plays a key role in putting this together and moving it forward. Adam Hymel, on the left, is passionately ministering to families at our newest Dream Center location on Winbourne Ave. He has been the point person for getting the facilities in shape and overseeing the outreach that goes from there into the downtown BR community. I can't wait to see all that God is going to do through the next generation at HPC. Our expectations are so high in 2008!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Great Football Weekend!

Over the weekend, we had the awesome privilege of going to San Diego to represent Healing Place and serve the Tennessee Titans for their wild card playoff game. I spoke to the team in a pre-game chapel service. It was great to be there with Kevin, Reggie and the team as they finished out a great year. Jeffery Rentz made the trip with me, and together we experienced the excitement of the NFL playoffs atmosphere. It was incredible!! I have never been to San Diego, but I have always heard about "sunny southern California". Well, the sun didn't shine a bit while we were there. In fact, it was cold, sloppy, and just nasty. It rained the whole time! Jeffery and I sat in the nosebleed section, but it was kind of a nice; sort of a spiritual experience, because I was sitting so close to heaven!!

It was great to witness the hunger that many of the Titans players and coaches have for God. In spite of the pitfall of being a professional athlete, they are making time for things that are eternal and growing in their relationship with God. Kevin has had a huge influence on the guys. Though it was a tough loss for the Titans on Sunday, the kingdom impact we experienced was huge!

I am expecting great things in 2008, looking forward to the times of early morning prayer that we are having at 6:00 AM in the Highland Campus Sanctuary. I couldn't think of a better way to start the year off in the right direction. I am also looking forward to men coming together for a new season of Bible studies called, "MANdatory". Starting January 18th, I will be leading the study on Friday mornings at Vitality on Coursey Blvd. from 6 AM to 7 AM.

What a great night for the amazing people in "Tiger Country"! I was suspicious when Alexa came home from school claiming she didn't have any homework. The teachers said, "No homework because it's GAME DAY". I love the Louisiana education system. She got all decked out in LSU gear to cheer the Tigers to victory!! We had an awesome time watching the game at Rachel's parents house, which is down the street from us in P'ville. Man, did we experience a National Championship the Acension Parish way!! After every Tiger touchdown, we heard fireworks and even PISTOL shots from the houses around us! These Cajuns were extreme!! Go Tigers- BCS National Champs!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Finishing 2007

The last two weeks of 2007 have been an absolute blur. Is it normal for time to slip away so suddenly? As a kid, I can remember feeling like it took Christmas forever to get here. When it was over, I was so disappointed because I wouldn't see it again for a long, long time. Now, I blink twice and it has come and gone...and come again! Is this a sign of old age?

I brought Alexa with me to our Christmas outreach at the Winbourn Dream Center this year. The place was buzzing with excitement and activity as over 700 people and 250 volunteers came together for an unforgettable celebration. We played games, painted faces, ate hot dogs, sang songs, and even played in a "snow" of soap suds. It was over-the-top generosity HPC-style as we gave away basketballs, stereo systems, PS2's, bikes, and more. We saw the faces of so many kids light up when they were given a gift, but we'll never forget the transformation that took place because of the spirit of Jesus. As a church this Christmas, we gave away $40,000 in Target gift cards to families in need and over 1200 toys to children in the Baton Rouge area. Wow! Yea God!!

We gathered on Christmas day with Rachel's family, and I personally ate more food in a 24-hour period than humanly possible...the sheer quantity and metric weight has to be a record somewhere. The kids were smothered in boxes, toys, and gift wrap for days--we still can't find Mikaela! The way toys are packaged today, it's always good to carry a set of wire cutters, a screwdriver, and some AA batteries. My patience is tested every year just trying to get the toy out of the container. Not to mention to latest technology of iPods, MP3's, play stations, Wii sports, and mini-computers. Whatever happened to getting a football and playing all day in the back yard with your friends?

On Thursday, we rolled to Houston to do it all over again with my side of the the family. The kids were ramped up for more action, but as parents we were forced to shift gears-- it becomes a matter of survival. For therapy, I watched a couple of bowl games-- that's what the holidays are all about, right? Recreational eating and a plethora of football games. Congratulations to Kevin Mawae and the Tennessee Titans for making the playoffs tonight. I have the honor of speaking at their chapel service for the game in San Diego. Go Titans!

As you look toward 2008, let me offer a scripture of promise for you. In Deuteronomy 7, God spoke to the Israelites after they had crossed the Red Sea and stood at the brink of a brand new season. He said, "Do not be afraid, for the Lord your God is among you; He is a great and awesome God...He will drive out those enemies ahead of you little by little..." You may face some giant challenges this upcoming year, but move forward in confidence for you serve an awesome God!! Courage is not the absence of fear. In fact, you may have to tremble your way into confidence, but trust the faithfulness of God to lead you every day.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sicilia, Ciao!!

Over the past 10 days, I've traveled over 14,000 miles, crossed 14 different time zones flown on 11 airplanes, for over 60 hours. I just returned from my third trip to Italy. Like always, we had an amazing time! Jason & I stayed at the home of Pastor Romeo who has been faithfully serving as a pastor in Sicily for 40 years!! He is the one in grey in the picture above. He was so gracious to us and, as always, so hospitable! We were served the most incredible homemade, authentic Sicilian food! Check out the homemade cannolis to the right; they were a little piece of heaven!

We had two main opportunities to serve during our stay in Sicily. First was the youth conference in Sicily, where over 400 were in attendance and amazing ministry that took place. Our translator, Claudio, was a first-timer who did such an awesome job. A couple of times, he was overwhelmed as he gave our message, and he began crying from the way the Holy Spirit was ministering to him. He said that, "the word ministered to him so much". Hearing this, I thought, I do not ever want to underestimate the power of what we are doing to build His Kingdom. I am in AWE of the way the Lord moves and ministers to His church all over the world, and I am so humbled that He would choose me to be a part of it all! We also had the great privilege of ministering in Pastor Giovanni's church in Vittoria, Sicily. There, God moved in such a significant way. During our ministry at the altar, God stopped the entire service to give a specific message to one girl who came forward for prayer. It turns out that this young girl had not been to church in almost 6 months. There was no doubt that God was pursuing her heart that night, and He used that moment to tell her that He had not forgotten her. What an awesome God we serve!

I just love all of the relationships we have formed from our times in Italy. The people there have such a great love for God and for each other. It is hard to take a trip to Sicily and not leave with tons of Sicilian brothers and sisters. I wanted to send a special shout-out to some of my friends: Laura, Salvo, Daniele, Gabriella, Enzo, and Elisa. The bond that we feel knows no boundaries and no geography. Thank you for such awesome time! Enzo and Elisa, thanks, especially, for meeting us so early in the morning at the airport to say goodbye! That was so kind; you guys are dynamite! To see more pics of our time in Italy click here.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Fantastic Four Events

Just this past Thursday, Trevor wakes up at 3 AM hungry for his early morning snack, and just as I finish feeding my little man, I remembered that they start pouring concrete on the new worship space at 4 AM. Wanting a little adventure that morning, I get dressed in my trusty early morning gear, wind pants, and a pullover. I get to the construction site just in time to snap this picture of them pouring the slab! As I stood watching the work, I felt so inspired and excited about what God has in store for HPC. This, along with the announcement that we heard from our Pastor about the Miracle Offering total, made me reflect on the faithfulness of God and the generosity of the people of HPC. I am so blessed to be apart of this place; I wouldn't want to be anywhere else on the planet!

Alexa has been taking dance on Tuesday Nights, and Thursday Night she had her Christmas Dance Recital at the Gonzales Civic Center. As you can see in the pictures, she was all dolled up. If she had her way, she would wear make-up like that all the time. But good thing I am still the dad, and she won't be dating until she is 40!! Once the show started, Alexa shined! The girl had some energy and some major dance moves. Of course, she learned them from her dad. I have some skills that many have never seen. Check out the other picture of Alexa with her dance instructor - the girlfriend looks so much like Carrie Underwood!! Oh, you bet that night I was a proud Dad! The recital got the Haman 5 all pumped up for the Christmas Season to begin. This season more than ever, we have the awesome privilege to be a blessing to our community, friends, and family. With so many opportunities to reach and serve at all campuses I want to be apart of passing on the Hope of Christmas. I would encourage all of you to be apart as much as you can - check out all of the Christmas Outreaches that are available.

At the week's end, I had the awesome opportunity to travel to Destin, FL and speak at the Men's Conference for Destiny Worship Center. You can check out some of the pics here. Pastor Steve Vaggalis leads this awesome ARC church. They had a strong showing with about 100 men present for the weekend. We talked about being "Trained to Reign: a study on the life of David." It was a great honor to speak to them and represent the heart and DNA of HPC!!

As we traveled back on Friday, we made a 3 1/2 hour pit stop in Mobile, Alabama to eat and watch the LSU Tigers win the SEC Championship!! I was truly amazed to how many LSU fans are in Mobile! There was a strong representation of Tiger fans in the Mobile Wing Station! And now, the BCS National Championship- GEAUX TIGERS!

I just loved this picture of Alexa and T-REV, so I thought I would include it. My boy is getting big and STRONG! I can't get over how good looking he is and how much he looks just like me! Just kidding, if it wasn't for my beautiful wife and kids, I would have no hope!