.to save a life

I watched the movie To Save a Life a few weeks ago.  I have to admit that I was completely blown away by this film.  I was expecting another Christian movie with subpar acting and film quality and what I got was an excellent flick with superb acting and Hollywood film quality.  In many of the Christian films I've seen, the themes and plots have been great, but it's been hard to get past the production quality and acting.  Kudos to everyone involved and to writer Jim Britts for the compelling theme that has revolutionized my youth ministry.  We are in the middle of doing a series based on the film right now and we've already seen change in how our students treat each other and how they want to impact their schools with the gospel of Jesus Christ.  If you haven't seen the movie, go rent it or better yet, BUY IT TODAY!




1981, in my estimation, is probably the most historic year ever. The first IBM PC was introduced. The DeLorean sports car was invented, thus making way for one of the greatest movies of all time, Back to the Future. Pac Man was introduced in the US. The first space shuttle, Columbia, launched. MTV made its first appearance. Prince Charles and Lady Diana were married.

Of all these events, none comes close to matching the greatest event of all. My wife, Kristen Alissa Forrester (Barbour) was born. On this day, 29 years ago, she made her first appearance. I was 19 months old then. I don't remember what I was doing or where I was, but I do know that my soul-mate and best friend breathed her first breath and would ultimately take my breath away. She made her grand entrance into this world and would later make her entrance into mine. She left her fingerprints on a piece of paper and later would leave an imprint on my life. I'm a better man, a better husband and a better father as a result of what happened on August 11, 1981.

Happy Birthday, Kristen! I love you with an undying love!



Isn't it amazing how people change? In my life, I've seen considerable change for the better. From the moment I gave my life to Christ when I was 8 years old in Children's Church those many years ago, to where I am now, great change has occurred. Sure, there have been moments of relapse to where I was saying and doing things that weren't the things you'd imagine a Christian would say or do. But I've learned that those things are the old me. And as a result of being a son of God, the old me is dead and gone...and every day that I don't reinforce that death is an opportunity for the old me to zombiefy!

As I've changed, my view of God has changed. And as my view of God has changed, I've changed even more. God is a loving Father who cares immensely for His children. He doesn't use sickness or disease to teach us something any more than an earthly father would discipline his child by breaking his leg. He doesn't dismiss us from the family if we make a single mistake or even if we go our own way and spend all we have on horrible decisions and regretful mistakes. See the father's response when the Prodigal Son came running home. He didn't shun the son, but rather welcomed him with open arms, the family signet and a kickin' party! How could we picture God in an opposite manner? If Karis were to ever run away from home (which she will not!), I would not only want her to come back, I'd go searching for her until I found her. This IS the God we serve! Jesus said, "I came to seek and save the lost." (Luke 19:10)

Not only have I changed, but my future has changed as a result. And the good news? Yours can too. Perhaps your view of God needs a little shifting. Maybe you could stand some change in your Viewmaster. Click the orange handle and get a change of scenery. The heart of the Father towards His children is unconditional love, unlimited grace and unending provision. Once you see Him that way, the way you see yourself will change as well.



At Good News Church we have decided to have 4 weeks of Impact meetings along with Wild n Wacky Week for kids and daytime outreaches. To date, we have prayed with 2029 people to be saved. We've passed out countless bottles of water, encouraged many people who were already saved, and have seen hundreds of instant miracles in the services AND on the streets.

Our students have stepped up like never before and we are excited about partnering with God to reach our city with the gospel. I had the opportunity to pray with a woman who had lung cancer and had a lung removed surgically. Since the operation she had experienced severe pain in her back constantly. I told her family members who had requested prayer for her that they were about to witness a miracle before I laid hands on her and prayed. With mouths agape and eyes wide open, they were astonished when I prayed for her and the pain left immediately. Even the woman herself had a surprised look on her face. Ha!

Jesus said in Mark 16 that one of the signs that follow believers is that they would lay hands on the sick and they would recover...one translation (CEV) says they will also heal sick people by placing their hands on them. We've seen this scripture backed up by the power of God time and time again this week as we've acted on it with boldness and expectation.

Go, therefore, and do likewise!


.plumbing & jesus

Over the years I've had to do quite a few plumbing projects around my house...replacing faucets, diverter valves, and even the floaty ball thing that's in the back of your toilet. After getting my hands dirty and feeling the thrill of victory upon a job well done, I can still declare with authority that I am NOT a plumber. I merely dabble in plumbing when the need arises.

Here's a thought: Don't most Christians identify with Christ the way I identify with plumbing? Perhaps we dabble in the great commission of preaching the gospel with signs following. Maybe we offer to pray for a mere percentage of the folks who complain about physical symptoms of sickness or disease. On a rare occasion, we might share a kind word to someone in need of encouragement.

I don't call myself a plumber. I do call myself a Christian. In essence, I am Christ to my world. Jesus said this in John 14:12 "Whoever believes in me will do the works that I do...and even greater works!" Let's stop dabbling and start doing!


.a culture of miracles

We've had an awesome beginning to 2010 here at Good News Church! Pastor Matt shared with us how God told him it would be a monumental year and we have really latched on to it. One of my volunteers gave me a book to read way before last summer. I promised I would, then stuck it in a drawer until it made its way to the very bottom. As part of this monumental year, I made a goal to read 30 books. When asking via facebook for some book suggestions, this volunteer brought up the book she had loaned me. So I read it. In a few short days, I devoured "They Told Me Their Stories" by Tommy Welchel. It sparked something in me that would set ablaze my entire philosophy of ministry.

God spoke to my heart and told me that we should create a culture of miracles here in our youth ministry. After all, what is youth ministry? Ministry to youth or youth DOING ministry? I prefer the latter. So, we're committed to having a culture of miracles here and we ARE having it! As a matter of fact, at every O2 service we've had this year, there have been miracles...instant healings, salvations and students filled with the Spirit. Last month, a student was healed of Crohn's disease, among others who were healed of all kinds of ailments.

The early church was built on a platform of miracles through sharing the gospel, so why shouldn't today's church be built that way as well?