A Day in the Life of a Pastor – Graduation Day

This is Hunter - We ate PB& J together when he was two.  Now, he has a better beard than I do. One of the many amazing 2015 graduates.

This is Hunter – We ate PB& J together when he was two. Now, he has a better beard than I do. One of the many amazing 2015 graduates.

I am older than I was.

Somedays, it is hard to believe that Kristin and I came down to Tampa with our children to a little church over twenty years ago. So many people have come into our lives via Grace Family Church. In the last few years, I am seeing children who were in my children’s ministry growing up.

This year, it seems that so many of them are graduating from high school. These are great young men and women. They are not perfect but they are leaders. They believe in God and his purposes for their lives. Yet, graduation day is far from a day of completion. Instead, they are being thrust into new worlds – college, employment, their own housing and more responsibility than ever before. How will they do? I am confident they will do great. They will make their mistakes but I know they will hit more home runs. They will have questions but they will find answers. They will feel the pain of being away from home, but they will not walk alone.

Today, is graduation day for all of us. Where you are today is not where you were a month ago. You graduated and took a step forward…or maybe you took a step back. Either way, you didn’t stay in the same spot. I am moving forward. I want to continue on the path he Lord sets before me like these graduates. Today, I face new situations, questions, responsibilities and pain. Do I have any more assurances than they do that everything will be “perfect?” Far from it. I am reminded more than ever, that I am in places, situations and decisions like I have never been before. Some are amazingly positive, some are difficult challenges. Where is my hope? My hope is in the Lord – that I will know his presence and follow him

Graduation marks a new beginning…today is your new beginning. What are you going to do with it?


Just finished a four-week series called “Shattered.” After reading Pete Wilson’s book, Plan B, I felt a heavy burden to teach this to the IO kids. These high school students were amazing.

They lit up when our guest speaker, Pastor Ken “Broken” Godbolt kicked it off with some rap and his life story. It was a beautiful depiction of depending on God. The second week we talked about how a person will either control their dreams or trust in God to bring it to pass. The coolest part of this sermon was when we broke a sheet of glass. I threw a brick through it and only a small portion broke. When I threw it a second time, the whole pane broke. As I walked up to the frame the only piece of glass intact was the word “trust.” It was a great reminder of the main point of the sermon.

All that remains is trust in God...

In the third week, we talked about being patient when in a “Shattered Dream” experience. It was great to see the kids who realized that we push for the answer and sometimes we settle for less than God has for us. The final week was powerful. We tackled the question, “What do you do when God doesn’t meet your expectations?” It was cool because we shared that God doesn’t always answer the way we want him to in our situation. This brings tension, pure and simple. One of our interns, Nathaniel, did an amazing video that the IO band sang Lincoln Park’s song, The Catalyst. The Catalyst video for IO The tension was pretty thick as we turned their attention to the cross. An amazing point that really hit home was that nobody embraced the cross on the day of Jesus’ crucifixion. Only in time afterwards, did God unfold the truth and reality of relationship with man. The bottom line – There is no shattered dream that God cannot redeem for his glory. We invited kids to come and bring their “Shattered Dream” to the cross. We had about 280 people in the room and used three crosses to hold the cards. It was powerful to witness God drawing young people to himself.

Where Shattered Dreams meets Hope!

I will end with this. It was probably one of the hardest sermon series’ for me to do. I wish there were answers for some of life’s toughest challenges. It is usually in these places where dreams are shattered and lives are broken. It is also the place where God shows his sovereignty, his glory and his love. He is big and I am small.