Finishing Strong

November 29, 2010

In 2010 VOSD declared this to be the “Year of the Ultimate”. From the beginning we have set our hearts on God’s best for our lives! The numbers always speak the truth. As we close out the year VOSD has broken records in attendance, evangelism, leadership & finance. If the next 10 years are going to be the best 10 years, we have certainly gotten off to a great start. To God be the Glory!!

Here are 10 things 2010 taught me.

1. To enlarge my heart.

2. Right when you think you got it figured out. You figure out you don’t have it figured out.

3. It is possible to be blessed & equally broken.

4. The higher we go, the more we must stretch. Or vice-versa.

5. Excellence is what we repeatedly do.

6. When you take care of your team, your team will take care of you.

7. Family is more important than anything in your life.

8. If you eat less than 2000 calories per day & workout 3 days a week, you will lose 40 lbs.

9. Passion will challenge everything & everyone around you.

10. Growth is a painful experience.

Let’s finish strong together. Love ya.

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Thank You.

November 29, 2010

I’m back.

Before I begin, allow me to say thank you. I have not posted a blog in months and I deeply appreciate my readers & fellow workers. Especially those of you who have been checking in from time to time.  I have not posted for a few reasons:

-Twitter & Facebook are major distractions from serious blogging. These micro blogs aren’t fair to serious writers.

-Work schedule has been intense. Building a growing church is definitely hard work.

-I became aware that some pastors do not like bloggers. Of course I am speaking of people who write negative articles. That is certainly not my focus. I am gearing my blog more towards inspiration, church updates, various learnings along the journey.

Great to be back. Leave a comment if you like.

 

Dreams

June 2, 2010

The greatest people in the world have always had the ability to see more with their eyes closed then with their eyes open. Visualization is an important part of life. I truly believe that it is possible to engage invisible things. In fact, scripture teaches us that men and women through faith captured the future. However, there is one profound difference between the way that we dream and the way God dreams.

1. Our dream is about us. God’s dream is about others. How many times have you heard someone talk about how they can see themselves doing this or that? I believe that is a singular dream. But God’s dreams are always plural. Whenever God gave a dream to a great figure in scripture, that dream spoke to generations. Remember that the dream of your life is always bigger than the dreamer.

2. Our dream is in the far distance. God’s dream is in the now. It may be true that we do not become everything God has called us to be over night. However, God’s plan for our dream is to get involved in it now. Hard work plays a vital role to any dream and we should never delay for tomorrow what can be done today. Your daily choices will manifest in your future, so choose wisely, dreamer. Never despise the small things in life. When we are faithful in the little, God will put us over much!

3. Our dream is an event. God’s dream is a journey. There may be a particular moment(s) when we realize that we are living the dream, but God’s dream is all about the journey. God is so awesome, that right when you have hit the pinnacle of all that God has for your life, He says, “Let’s go a little bit higher.” There are always new and exciting layers unfolding before us. And all along the journey, God is building up our character and preparing us for something better.

Elevate, dreamer, elevate.

So much to talk about

April 8, 2010

It has been a little while since I have spoken to you all and I deeply appreciate your faithfulness. I hope that you have enjoyed some of the suggested blogs that I promote on my site or have taken a few moments to explore other writings. However, I am back. Allow me to fill you in on a few things that I have been doing the past month.

1. Attended C3 Conference here in San Diego. Was great to hear from some of the leading voices in the Body of Christ about creativity and church growth. I have to say that a major highlight was speaking personally to Benny Perez and his staff about church growth. They were so gracious and humble. Being one of the leading Hispanic pastor’s in the USA, we spoke about being Latin and not speaking spanish, preaching style, multiple services, building space and mixed martial arts. He told me, “I could probably tap you out.” I said, “You probably could.” He smiled, I smirked. My staff chuckled because they knew I was just being nice. The Church of South Las Vegas has 3500 people on Sunday crammed into 28,000 square feet. We have 1200 adults in 48,000 sq. ft. Let’s just say, we have a lot of work to do still.

2. Spent a weekend at Victory Outreach Church of Phoenix. It is so nice to get out to preach a little this year. I have been invited by a number of friends to preach this year, but I had to get to Phoenix. Tony & Patsy Garcia has been pastoring in Arizona since 1985 and have recently been experience some awesome growth. In their history they have planted 7 churches, but this year they have been growing so much that they need to have multiple services on Sunday with plans to build on 5 acres of land. It was an honor to speak to capacity crowds on Friday, Saturday & all day Sunday. Their love and hospitality was off the hook and my wife introduced Patsy to Words with Friends on the iPhone. We made a great connection.

3. Kicked off our Leadership Experience on Sunday Nights @VOSD. This is such a big deal for us because we have been doing Sunday night services for so long. Even though they say that you shouldn’t count the Sunday night crowd as growth, we often considered counting it because of the people who were so faithful to it. We never counted them, but we we had to make the tough decision to make the shift. Our heartbeat is to focus on the leadership of our church. We want to recruit, transmit and minister to the people that are so active in helping us to reach our city. we felt it was time. Our goal was to recruit 250 leaders and volunteers to help reach our community. We were so blessed to surpass that number and to reach 300 leaders and new volunteers. Let’s just say that Sunday nights have been fun!

4. Launched out 2 new churches. That’s right 2 churches. It has been an amazing ride. Pablo & Rachel Gonzalez launched out to Spring Valley, CA as Alcance Victoria Spring Valley. On their first day they had over 150 people and are completely self-supportive. They are meeting in a very nice church building and are experiencing a wonderful moral. Patrick & Cindy Robbers were launched out Bridgeport, Connecticut to assume the role of pastor. Their first service had over 225 people and they have plans to grow the church and to add a spanish ministry.

5. Easter Weekend. What can I say? Easter is probably the most important weekend of the year! This time we kicked off Good Friday with special musical guests The Katinas. What I love about them is that they are so genuine, so humble and love God so dearly. The house was packed to capacity and together we glorified Jesus. Many people were saved and broken before God.And The Katinas gave us their best. It was amazing! After an awesome Good Friday, we capped it off with an even more powerful Easter presentation called “RISE” created and directed by our VOSD media/arts team. It was one of our best yet. Simple, clear, touching and the music was amazing! We have a saying at VOSD…when we do the possible, God will do the impossible. We worked hard, prepared, promoted and God honored it. Easter weekend we had 4 services, 2850 attendees & over 200 salvations, we also had almost 100 live online viewers. God is so good. People were broken and weeping at the altar. God was truly glorified.

Love you all.

Elevate.

Trailblazers

March 9, 2010

This month we are dedicated to the important topic of Vision. Recently I heard a nationally recognized pastor admit a mistake that he made early in his ministry. He said, “I was guilty of not talking enough about the vision.” This is amazing considering the fact that there are those who feel that some churches talk too much about the vision. If you ever thought a church was too chatty about vision, just read Proverbs 28:19 “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

Visionary people are trailblazers to their generation. Jesus was the greatest trailblazers. Read John 4. In order to be a trailblazer we must do 4 things.

1. Go the unfamiliar way. Trailblazers always do. I believe that God’s vision for your life will call you to unfamiliar territory. When you step into your vision, you will come into contact with new things, new people and new favor.

2. Go the unpopular way. Trailblazers are aware of the critics. Notice that critics do not have to get to you, but we should be aware. Remember, not all criticism is bad. But there is such a thing as negativity. Trailblazers know the difference between negative criticism & positive criticism.

3. Go the uncomfortable way. Trailblazers factor the pain. Anything worth while is going to produce some pain in your life. But we have a choice. We can choose the pain of regret or we can choose the pain of progress. Trailblazers recognize that there will be a season of loneliness. There will be a season of no fruit. There will be a season of being misunderstood. All these thinsg create pain, but trailblazers keep on pressing.

4. Go the ultimate way. Trailblazers know that God’s way is always the ultimate way. What made Jesus such a powerful trailblazer was that he moved like a man under orders. We do not know exactly how much Jesus prayed but we do know that prayer was a major part of his ministry. Sometimes Jesus would pray all night. I can imagine my Lord talking to God about his mission, I can imagine Jesus asking God for strength. Here is what I want to say: Do not go…unless God has spoken to you. When you step out to trail blaze, it is going to be tough, it is going to be difficult, but remember if God said, Go! Then God will be with you.

Pride Stinks.

February 25, 2010

In the USA, everyone wants to be famous. There are TV shows that feature people who are famous for being famous for nothing in order to keep their fame. If that makes any sense to you, you have pondered these thoughts yourself. I truly believe that it is in every man’s heart to receive notoriety, accolades, awards and pats on the back. In some ways, it feels good to be honored by others, and it can cause us to be motivated to do more for God. However, here is the dilemma: Are we pursuing results for God or for self? We start out for God, but we end up with self.

And God hates pride. It’s nothing new. Israel was guilty. Others who have gone before us were guilty. We are guilty. Who’s name is more famous in your city? God or yours? I would like to introduce you to a devotion I read, written by John C. Maxwell based out of Jeremiah 48:26-30.

Take the pride test.

1. Pride. We enjoy thinking we did it on our own.

2. Possessions. We pursue the perks that come with our visibility.

3. Popularity. We begin to believe our own press.

4. Power. We recognize our clout and we use it to advance ourselves.

5. Prestige. We love the feeling of being important and irreplaceable.

6. Pleasure. We think we deserve special treatment not given to others.

7. People. We cross a line from serving others to pleasing people.

After enjoying leadership success, a sequence of events often follows:

1. Satisfaction: We enjoy the victory we have achieved.

2. Indulgence. We unconsciously feel we deserve a pleasurable reward.

3. Compromise. We rationalize our behavior.

4. Denial. We continue leading, not realizing our impure motives.

5. Adultery. We give ourselves to another, sexually, emotionally, or financially.

6. Obsession. We get trapped in a pattern that consumes us.

Let’s examine our hearts. Elevate.