In the following pages I will chronicle my step by step journey as a Church Planter
Messages from Camp

Hey Parents of Phoenix First!

Wow what a great privilege to speak to your teenager this past week at Youth Camp.
We had an absolute blast and God did some incredible things in the lives of students!

Here are the four messages we spoke on at Camp. These are extremely bullet pointed, but hopefully I’ve given you enough to have an understanding of the topics we covered, so that you can sit down and talk with your student about what they learned and experienced while they were at camp this year!

Here are the four messages.

What chair will you choose?

The most spiritual thing you will ever do is choose and every decision we make will come from one of three chairs.

Condemnation – pressure or fear of something bad happening
Convenience – it is an easy choice or we get a what we want
Commitment – I have thought this thru and this is something I really want to do

When it comes to choosing Jesus we choose him from one of these chairs.

“I am afraid of going to Hell” or “I don’t want to disappoint my parents, so I will be a Christian”

“All my friends go to church” or “If I follow Jesus, He will get me what I want (friends, healing for loved one, etc)

“I have thought this thru and Jesus if you died for me … I will live for you”.

Thru the years I have seen that; if we follow Christ out of fear of going to Hell, as soon as our fear of not fitting in with our friends outweighs our fear of eternal punishment … we bolt on our decision to follow Christ. Or when we follow Christ out of the convenience of Him healing our loved one, improving our relationships, or getting us more money, if Jesus doesn’t do what we want when we want we get upset with Him and stop following Jesus.

It is only when we choose to follow Christ out of commitment that we are truly following Jesus. Too many times people don’t actually love Jesus they just love what they think He will do for them.

Today if you were to choose Jesus … what chair would you be sitting in?

Winning battle of Flesh -vs- Spirit

Three things you need to do to win the battle that is raging inside of you.

Understand that temptation comes from you.

Isn’t it funny that your never tempted to do something you don’t like.
I am never ever ever tempted to root for the Patriots for eat Green Beans and the reason is I don’t like either one of them!

James 1:13-15
No one, when tempted, should say, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil and he himself tempts no one. 14 But one is tempted by one’s own desire, being lured and enticed by it; 15 then, when that desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and that sin, when it is fully grown, gives birth to death.

James lets us low that when we are tempted its not simply because of society, friends, Hollywood – saying to do this or do that …. when we are tempted it is because we are dragged away by own flesh, that part of us that likes to swear, likes to gossip, likes to lust, likes to lie to cover up mistakes…takes us by the hand ….and tries to pull us to a place we know we should not go

Don’t open the door to your flesh.

I Peter 5:8
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour:

James lets us know, the devil is like a roaring lion that comes into our life and knocks on our door. If we open the door to him, he will come into our life and start devouring our hope, our relationships, and our clean conscience,

There are five doors that He knocks on every day of your life.
Mind – your thoughts
Mouth – your words
Body – what you do with it
Friends – who you hang with and allow to influence you
Location – put you in places where you are more prone to give into the natural urge you have

Here is something that we forget a lot when it comes to winning the battle of flesh verses spirit. Inside each of us, are twins – good and bad side of us. Inside of you as a Christ Follower is not just Flesh – Inside of you you also have The Spirit. Just like you have a part of you that desires to do wrong … you also have a part of you that desires to do good … to do the good that God wants for you…. so because of that …. don’t open the door to your flesh … but also you need to …

Fuel the Fire of Gods Desire

Story of when I started a fire in dead dry grass. (have to ask your kids about this one)

Romans 13:14
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

Like gasoline to a fire, we are to put Christ onto our lives. When we do we make no room for our flesh. Like the dead dry grass our flesh (those bad desires) begin to be burned away.

Our mind – mouth- body – friends – location are not just doors that you need to close to the negative things, they are the Fuel to the fire of God that is burning inside your dead dry grass of the flesh.

So pour Jesus onto these five areas of your life.


Phil 2:5-8  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.


Joshua 1:8-9 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”


I Corinthians 6:19-20 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price.Therefore honor God with your bodies.


Prov 13:20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.


Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.

You can win the battle over those negative desires inside of you!
Step 1 – Realize temptation comes from you.
Step 2 – Don’t open the door to your flesh.
Step 3 – Fuel the fire of Godly desire.

What do I do when I mess up?

Even tho we can win the battle against our flesh, because we are human, from time to time we will mess up. When you mess up there is one thing you need to do …. REBOUND.

If your going to be a great rebounder in Basketball you need to do three things.
1- Set Your Feet
2- Box Out
3- Grab the Ball

When you mess up there are three things you need to do in order to rebound.

Set your feet on the promise of Gods forgiveness.

I John 1:9 If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Box Out Your Past

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,

Grab Your Life Back

John 10:10 The thief comes not but to kill steal and destroy, but I have come that you may have life and life more abundantly.

You are going to mess up from time to time … when you do… REBOUND

Your Thoughts, Your Authority and You

(Ask your teenager about the Barstool Illustration)

See your authority the right way.

You have to see Authority from the right angle – in the right light.
Your Authority is not your enemy, it is your friend.
God has given you the barstool of authority not to hold you down but to lift you up.

Sow the right seeds.

Luke 6:38
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

What you give you will get. What you sow into the relationship you have with your parents will be what you get back.

You cannot control the soil … but you can control the seed.

Seeds you need to sow into the relationship you have with your authority figures.

Soft Words
Proverbs 15:1
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Good Deeds
Jesus was a servant. He walk into planet earth not to be served but to serve.
Be like Jesus everyday. Walk into your house, school, or church not to be served but to serve those around you.

Wait for the harvest to come.

Galatians 6:9
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

James 5:7 See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.

Just like a farmer sows seeds … then has to wait for the harvest to come up ….When you sow seeds of soft words and good deeds into your family… you will have to wait for things to change, it will not happen over night, it may not happen the way you think … but it will happen.

God has an amazing plan for your life and He has given you the gift of His love, your family, your pastors, and your leaders to help you become all that He desires for you. Remember, authority is your friend … not your enemy.