More Joy In The New Year!

Happy New Year! 2018! Wow!

I urge you to add a great new habit (If you already do this, well, that’s wonderful!) to whatever you’re doing in this new year.

Today I’ve been listening to a lot of music and I want to share one of my tips so you can experience more joy this year. Ready?

Listen To More Music MORE OFTEN that reflects the uplifting words we find in the Bible. Don’t miss out on the benefits of this habit!

What I’ve noticed during this time of revival in my life is that I listen to some songs less often because I’m filling my life with more of the great (and sometimes awesome!) faith music I’ve been discovering at the Fire & Glory Outpouring, church services, christian radio, Youtube and elsewhere.

If you’re like most people you’ve listened to a lot of secular music and some songs stick with you over the course of your life more than others. One of my favorites is “Girlfriend Is Better” by Talking Heads. I still like the bands I like such as Talking Heads, The Beatles, R.E.M., The Cars, The Who, Marvin Gaye, The Pretenders and lots more.

BUT, I see a greater depth to christian music these days than I’ve ever seen before and I feel encouraged and uplifted more often when I listen to these contemporary artists. I never expected to find Lauren Daigle’s great song about dry bones!

In addition to Lauren I’ve recently I’ve found myself listening about 80% of the time to christian artists like Crowder, Plumb, Kristene DiMarco, REND Collective, NEEDTOBREATHE, Steffany Gretzinger, Kari Jobe, Micah Tyler, Jeremy Riddle, Mandisa, Toby Mac, Big Daddy Weave, WorshipMob, Switchfoot, Andrew Hopkins and others.

My list also includes numerous artists through Bethel Music and Hillsong (some of whom were mentioned above). Bethel Music has some wonderful instrumentals as well and sooo much music. Hillsong? I’ve heard people say something like “Hillsong was Bethel before Bethel was Bethel.” What about Andrew Hopkins? Andrew Hopkins is at Summit Music, which is the label connected to Summit Church in San Marcos, California. He also leads worship regularly at The Fire & Glory Outpouring so it’s possible that I’ve heard Andrew Hopkins more than anyone in the last couple years.

We now have our TV set up so that we can watch Youtube on it and that is definitely a blessing. As I write this the lyric video for Point To You by We Are Messengers played as well as All My Hope by Crowder featuring Tauren Wells and Worship Mob’s cover of So Will I (100 Billion X). What a great change to our viewing habits!

You can do fun stuff like find songs of adoration. Worship Mob is doing that below. After So Will I are two more songs of the day. Because this post has been difficult to get done I’m ending it here.

Happy New Year! God Bless You!

Press On!


Start The Day In A Beautiful Way

Today started as many days do. I felt a nudge from God about not one, but two songs. Good Morning Starshine from Oliver, the 1963 Broadway show [the year I was born] and Bulletproof by Citizen Way. [Also, I tried out for a San Diego production of Oliver in the 1970s when I was in at St. John’s in Encinitas, California.]

When I’m feeling a song from a Broadway play highlighted I might start wondering if it’s just between God and me. This morning was a little more unusual as I shared Bulletproof with the owner of The Blue Mug coffee shop in Escondido. Not long after that a two-year old came in with his mom, who I believe was the owner’s niece. His name? Oliver.

While I don’t think this is some monumental message from the Lord, I do believe he’s gently encouraging me by reminding me that He’s there, He loves me and cares about even little things in my life. The Lord knows about my love of music and touches my heart in many ways, but music is a big one right now.

After I got home I turned on the TV to listen to some music on Youtube and the first two songs listed there were Good Morning, Starshine & Bulletproof. I should say that I don’t make a habit of listening to just those songs. I’ve been compiling a list of 120 songs or so that I hope to include in my upcoming book. I absolutely love that we’ve got our television hooked up so we can stream Youtube which means not just music videos, but also The Fire & Glory Outpouring, other preachers like Shawn Bolz, Ivan Roman and Darren Stott (to name just a few), Ted Talks, Stephen Colbert, etc…

What I’m getting at here is that it wasn’t inevitable for those two songs to be listed first on my screen. Interesting…

Today’s post’s title was inspired by the seventh song that played automatically after the first two. Here’s the list of 15 songs that played to start my day today:

1) Good Morning Starshine from Oliver
2) Bulletproof by Citizen way
3) The Morning Song by Steffany Gretzinger
4) Tell Your Heart To Beat Again by Danny Gokey
5) The Comeback by Danny Gokey
6) So Will I (100 Billion X) by WorshipMob
7) What A Beautiful Name by Hillsong Worship

Many of us can find a way to squeeze the first seven songs into our day. It’s a great set of music. Today is Saturday so I pressed on (and “pressed in”) to include a total of 15 songs to start my day. Here are the other eight songs:

8) Guilty by Newsboys
9) Unfinished by Mandisa
10) We Believe by Newsboys
11) Cecie’s Lullabye by Stephanie Gretzinger
12) Old Church Choir by Zach Williams
13) That’s How You Change The World by Newsboys
14) Run Devil Run by Crowder
15) Overcomer by Mandisa

Give a listen to the song (below) that you might have thought I missed.

Press On! God Bless You!

Merry Christmas!

What’s Going On

Today I met with a buddy I’ve known for years to tell him I’ve made a big decision that I’ll talk about in a later post. I highly recommend V’s Coffee Shop at the Bernardo Winery in Rancho Bernardo.

Right now my wife, Marianne, and our friend, Javier, are trying to get Youtube up on our TV and it looks like they’ve succeeded! We’re studying prophecy with some friends tonight and now we’ll have real “music television” for some worship time.

Earlier I was starting to memorize Psalm 8.

Before that I met with a coffee shop buddy who’s an atheist at the Blue Mug in Escondido and I shared a little about what I’ve been learning. He’s a very nice guy. He even helped deliver and move a couch into our house (when I wasn’t even home to help!) that another coffee buddy and his mom gave us before that buddy moved to Virginia Beach.

Very early this morning when I woke up from an interesting dream I sensed the song of the day in just a few notes. I “pressed in” and soon I had a little more and then a little bit more than that. That start to my day reminded me of 1 Kings 18:44 when Elijah saw the tiny cloud and he told Ahab to get off the mountain before the rains came.

Here’s “Run Devil Run” by Crowder:


What’s Your Philippians Opinion?

Until I typed those words I hadn’t noticed how amusing they might sound.
(I’ll give you a minute while you hear someone with your favorite accent ask that question in your head.)

Philippians 3:14 New International Version (NIV)

14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

After reading that, what should we do? I think it’s fairly simple.

Press on. As in, persevere.

Sometimes things are happening that make pressing on seem like a big challenge.

What then?

You have probably heard that we’re not supposed to complain.

Philippians 2:14 New International Version (NIV)

14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing,

I believe there is definitely one exception.

Complain to God if you need to complain (petition). He’s ready to hear what you’ve got to say. Be honestly yourself with God and be honest ABOUT yourself with God. He’s got your back. And He’s always ready to give you more of the peace that passes all understanding when you seek Him.

What you and I have to do is remember to do what is says in another section of Philippians. We have to “press in” by worshiping, praying and otherwise seeking intimacy with God.

Philippians 4:6-7 New International Version (NIV)

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Keep pressing on. Keep “pressing in” with God.

Press On. Press In. Repeat.

Like on the back of a shampoo bottle.

That is all.

God bless you!


We Encourage When We Share

Most mornings I wake up with a song in my head. I truly enjoy music and during the last six months or so I’ve been listening to a lot more worship music. (I think I even mentioned this in an earlier blog post.)

Here’s how I think it works for me and I believe that means it can work for you as well.

Because I’ve been sincerely seeking to know God better through semi-regular worship and creating a study with two like-minded friends from church, I’ve been led/gone down a different (or deeper) path.

When I was 24 and my mom died of lung cancer I didn’t try hard enough to find help through people of faith. I remember reaching a point where people were telling me that maybe I needed to go to a professional (or semi-professional student counselor at SDSU, in my case) counselor to discuss my grief.

It is not my intention to sound harsh, but maybe what I should have done is found other believers who were willing to meet with me and pray with me (and counsel me) AND if I couldn’t find those believers at MY CHURCH, I should have looked at other churches for believers who would help.

That doesn’t necessarily mean leaving that church, but if that’s what I had to do then that’s what I should have done. As believers we have to take responsibility for our faith. (Check out Galatians 6:5-15 at which covers a great deal in this area.)

Today my wife and I attend Solana Pres in Solana Beach, California. I started attending a little over two decades ago. We also attend The Fire & Glory Outpouring Revival which is currently hosted at Summit Church in San Marcos, California. This doesn’t mean we are switching churches.

Tonight at 7:00 I expect that we will worship revival-style and tomorrow morning at 8:30 we will worship passionate-Presbyterian (or as close as Presbyterians get to passionate worship?) style.

When I started this blog I hoped to share my journey with Jesus honestly and assumed that a good number of readers would support me when I launch my brand.

What I’m finding is that by worshiping more frequently and continuing to meet regularly with good christian friends I can trust I’m more open to what God is calling me to do.

Evangelism is one of those things. I tell strangers that God loves them and I’m more open to conversations with them about what they want to talk about. Surprisingly, lots of people are open to someone who is sharing enthusiastically about their faith and many of those people are open to me praying for them. Sometimes that means right there on the spot.

If people support my brand when I launch, that’s wonderful. But, there is more to this blog than supporting me in what I do. Who’s supporting you?

Here’s Crowder with that song in my head when I woke up this morning.

God bless you!


Now What? Worship God!

Today is the day after Christmas, 2016.

Are you ready to move ahead or will you wait until January 2, 2017? (There’s all that football and maybe family and MAYBE recovering from the night before on New Year’s Day.)

Will you move ahead while keeping that Christmas Spirit all year long?

We have access to the TRUE Spirit of Christmas if we want it.

Of course, I’m talking about Holy Spirit.

Do you want more of the Holy Spirit in your life, that is, more INTIMACY with Holy Spirit? You CAN have that greater intimacy.

I have a strong suggestion.

Worship God more. In Spirit and in Truth.

This year has been quite a year with Almighty God for me and my family. Things REALLY picked up in April. After Power & Love in Pasadena I shared songs that encouraged my faith.

What I’ve found throughout the year is that I’m learning to love NEW songs that I hear in worship and on the radio (Thanks, Air1!).

Through worshiping God at the Fire & Glory Outpouring AND my home church (Solana Pres) and even watching worship on Youtube I have been stretched by God in my capacity for worship. I asked God to stretch me when I first entered this revival back when it took place in Rancho Bernardo.

Since I asked God to stretch me in worship what I’m about to say may not come as a big surprise, but maybe you’ve never thought of it before. I know I have.

I have wondered over the years what it would be like to bring in the new year worshiping with other believers. That’s what my wife and I will do this year.

Join us and Jerame & Miranda Nelson and a special guest or two at Fresh Awakening at Summit Church (that’s where Fire & Glory Outpouring moved months ago after Rancho Bernardo).

Of course, if you can’t make it to Summit Church in San Marcos you can watch on Youtube!

Again, I urge you to worship God in Spirit and Truth more often.

One way is through music and singing. (Yes, I do listen to more than just Crowder.)

Here’s a gifted helper, Lauren Daigle, to assist you in worshiping God.


How To Hold On

If the title of this post is meaningful to you, I find reading Psalms prayerfully helps quite a bit. I found this translation at

Psalm 32 The Message (MSG)

A David Psalm

32 Count yourself lucky, how happy you must be—
you get a fresh start,
your slate’s wiped clean.
2 Count yourself lucky—
God holds nothing against you
and you’re holding nothing back from him.
3 When I kept it all inside,
my bones turned to powder,
my words became daylong groans.
4 The pressure never let up;
all the juices of my life dried up.
5 Then I let it all out;
I said, “I’ll make a clean breast of my failures to God.”
Suddenly the pressure was gone—
my guilt dissolved,
my sin disappeared.
6 These things add up. Every one of us needs to pray;
when all hell breaks loose and the dam bursts
we’ll be on high ground, untouched.
7 God’s my island hideaway,
keeps danger far from the shore,
throws garlands of hosannas around my neck.
8 Let me give you some good advice;
I’m looking you in the eye
and giving it to you straight:
9 “Don’t be ornery like a horse or mule
that needs bit and bridle
to stay on track.”
10 God-defiers are always in trouble;
God-affirmers find themselves loved
every time they turn around.
11 Celebrate God.
Sing together—everyone!
All you honest hearts, raise the roof!

God loves you!

I’m finding Crowder’s “I AM” helpful right now. Take it to heart.