Posted in Uncategorized

Life Is Fair? A Dedication to Maggie May Qurioz

Have you ever wondered why God allows bad things to happen to good people? I mean he’s God right. He controls all things at all times, right? Or does he? I mean surely he’s capable of controlling everything, but he’s not a control freak. God has chosen to give each one of his people the ability to choose.  You see he’s not about being fake or false, he’s about being real and he wants us to be real too. So what does this have to do with bad things happening to good people? Everything!! God chooses to let life happen. Don’t get me wrong, he is constantly trying to lead us and guide us in the right direction but we don’t always respond correctly.

I have a friend who was a wonderful person, I mean when she walked into a room you could see and feel the love of Christ just pour out of her. She was an awesome worship leader and just a great person. She loved God and sharing him with everyone. She was the kind of person that made this world a better place. At the tender young age of 31 she lost her long fight with cancer and she went home to be with the Lord. I was blessed to be able to see her the day that she passed and even as she struggled to breathe she still spoke the words “I love you guys” to me and my wife. She even opened her eyes to look at us. It was beautiful.

I was very angry when she passed, I mean why should someone like her live such a short time, when we have rapist and murderers running around living healthy and long lives??? Where’s the justice??? It’s just not fair!

You see from our perspective, it’s not fair when good people die at young ages. It’s like, what’s up God?? Why?? When we lose someone, what happens is we begin to place our focus on our selves… now hear me out. We miss that person, we loved that person, we imagined that person with us for the rest of our lives. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!! God made us to be relational. We need people, we need each other and when something happens to one person it affects everyone.

From our perspective it’s not fair when good people die, and so often we blame God or question him as if he made some sort of mistake. Because we loved that person and we will forever miss them on earth. In our role as humans we have every right to miss loved ones when they pass and to ask why.

But we can’t expect for God to explain himself to anyone.

You see we can only see it from our perspective because that’s all we know. But let’s try to see it from God’s perspective. It works like this; God created everything and everyone, he created you and me. God has given us life, he has given us a life to live here on earth. Now we don’t always agree with the circumstances of our life but at least we have life. Whether we are able to walk, talk, hear or see isn’t the important thing. The Important thing is that we live our life for God and let him live through us. It doesn’t matter if we can, walk , talk , hear, or see, because the payoff is so much greater than we can imagine.

Isaiah 55:8 (NIV)

  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.

God understands this principle;

James 4:14 (NIV)

you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

Have you ever been out doors on a cold day and saw your breath? You know, you breathe out and a mist appears but before you can even blink it’s gone. You see God understands that time is nothing to him. The bible says a day to God is like a thousand years to man. God understands that our time on earth is short but our time with him is forever.

So in exchange for our life on earth, meaning living our life for God and accepting Jesus as our savior, we get everlasting, eternal, forever life, with God. We get a brand new perfect body, a brand new perspective on life. We get a world without pain, death or sorrow. A world that is perfect, FOREVER!!!! I think that’s a good trade. I mean I can’t even imagine a life like that or what forever looks like.

And when we look at it from God’s perspective we see that being with him is far greater than being on earth. If we can realize this, then we can take joy after our time of grieving for our loved ones who have gone to be with him.

I know it didn’t seem fair for my friend Maggie to leave us so soon, but when I really stop and think about it, how could God allow her to continue suffering here on earth? She wrote this song, if you just read the lyrics, you can hear her cry to God.

There Before Your Throne

Maggie May Quroiz

Sometimes the burdens hard to carry,                     

The road just seems so heavy, I just wanna make it home

Sometimes my dreams are hard to follow,

I hope to last tomorrow, I just wanna make it home

And then I fall asleep and dream I’m there with you

Where every tribe and tongue and nation bow before you  

We worship at your feet and praise you all day through

 And you, you cover me with your love

For the Lamb, the Lamb, the Lamb will be my Sheppard

He will lead me , lead me to springs of living water

You restore every broken part of me, there before Your throne

 Sometimes I give up on Your promise

And trust in my own weakness, I just wanna make it home

Sometimes I fail to share Your glory

Afraid to tell Your story, I just wanna make it home

 And then I fall asleep and dream I’m there with you

Where angels bow and pour their perfect praise upon You

You take our hunger and our thirst and every tear

I will tell your story, share your glory, I will tell you story show your glory

I will tell your story show your glory, There before Your throne

How could God resist that? You see Maggie understood the principle of life and she embraced it. She understood that we are only here on earth for a very short time in the scope of eternity. Our suffering here is like the pain we get when we stub our toe, it hurts for a short time and then its gone. In God’s eyes our life here is so short it would probably be measured in minutes. He knows that in a blink of an eye we will be with him and his desire is “that none would perish”. So remember God has a reason and a right, we may never know why he does things the way he does them, but we don’t have to.

Just live this short life that you have to bring glory to God and before you know it, you will be perfect with him for eternity.

We love you Maggs.

Posted in Music, Uncategorized

Behind Aerophobia

Okay so what’s it all about? Why would a father of five in his 40’s just resign from his dream job to pursue a career in music? I mean there’s really nothing sensible about it. You don’t just quit your job to chase some impossible dream! Or do you? I remember when I was a boy, I always loved to sing and to write music. My grandmother was a mariachi , that’s a Mexican entertainer. She played the guitar and had a beautiful voice. My sister and I used to love to watch her sing and perform. I guess it was then that I knew that music would forever play a key role in my life. You see some people are born to fly planes, others to be teachers and others to be at home parents and raise the children. I knew then that I was born to do things that most people would consider un-reachable.

As I grew up I realized that I had a great passion for singing so I devoted myself to learning as much about it as I could. I remember listening to the Jackson 5 for hours trying to emulate Michel Jackson and learn how he would phrase his verses and breathe through them. It wasn’t enough to sing good, I had to be one of the best. In high school I joined the Jazz choir as a freshman and I began to excel. I played trumpet and sax but I wasn’t very good. I really needed to stick to singing. I didn’t have the kind of voice that was amazing, like some people but I think it was more the passion behind it. Little did I know then that this passion wasn’t earned by anything I did, it was instilled in me by God.

I didn’t have a clue that God was responsible for my ability or for the fire inside me. As I grew I became more and more self consumed and even arrogant, I really thought that I would be the next great rock star. As I look back I can only laugh. I was so young and full of myself. It wasn’t until I met my wife that I realized that I can’t take any credit for anything. I was saved in 1998 and it was like the scales fell from my eyes and I was able to see the truth for the first time.

Through my whole life I wanted to learn how to play the guitar like my grandmother but even though I had recorded several songs over the years I was never able to learn to play a single chord. One day after I had already committed my life to Jesus, I prayed and asked God to help me learn to play for His glory. It was crazy, that same day I learned 4 chords and I wrote my first song on the guitar to God! Now to this day I’m not a good guitarist by any means but I play.

Okay so what about the album?? How did it all come to be?? In 1998 I joined the worship team at my church, in that same year I knew God wanted me to begin the process of becoming a full-time minister. I was blown away, I mean if you knew me back in the day you would never think of me as a pastor. But God had other plans. I began learning about God and studying the Bible. In 2005 I began a 2 year group course that would enable me to become a licensed pastor. In 2005 I was hired as the full-time youth pastor and worship leader for my church.

During this whole time I was learning a lot about God, people and church. I loved leading worship but I always wanted to do it a little differently. As a worship leader the songs we would do were appealing to people who go to church but not very appealing to people who don’t go to church. I always wanted to share music to God and about God with the world, but in a sound and way that the world would embrace. I remember just before I resigned my position thinking about a new way to do this.

I remember 2 months after resigning asking God what He wanted me to do and his response was simple “music” and it all came to me. I was to write and record songs that would cross generational and cultural boundaries. Music that would inspire Christians and Non-Christians, music that would represent all ages, races and beliefs. Music that this culture in America could relate to. Using the sounds and tools of today’s modern culture. Even songs that said nothing about God or would be considered by the Christian audience as secular or worldly. You see for so many years I catered my musical style to “churched” people, but now it’s time to go to the world.

Aerophobia is the title of the album. The meaning is : fear or strong dislike of flying. You see when we fly we have to give up control to the pilot and have faith that he will take us to our destination safely. Even if we know how to fly a plane we still have to have faith that the plane itself will get us to our destination safely. Either way it takes faith to fly. So often we want to control everything and we refuse to let go. This is why we don’t fly and accomplish the things that God has created us to accomplish. We have a fear of flying a fear of letting God pilot our lives. Our church in America suffers from Aerophobia and that’s why it’s so weak today.

Aerophobia is all about being who God created you to be and doing things his way, because sometimes we think that we are doing it his way but in reality we’re doing the way man has taught us. If we only allowed songs on this album that were solely about God and nothing else, then we would only reach Christians. There are tons of great Christian artist out there for that. We choose to reach the unreachable with songs about everyday life and experiences, along with songs about our beliefs and great love for God. As we market the album the plan is to push both secular and Christian genres simultaneously. It’s defiantly going to be hard work but we know who has our back.

I guess for me the hardest part has been the transition from leading worship in a church setting to performing songs in front of people who expect a good show.

King David was rebuked by his wife for celebrating in a manner that she didn’t think was fitting for a king as he brought in the Ark of The Covenant. David’s response was I will become more undignified than this for the sake of his Lord. So as questions rise over the next few months about our album, just remember that whether you agree with it or not, whether you like the music or not or whether you think I have just gone mad!! I am doing this with the purpose of reaching people who the church today don’t really have a detailed plan to reach.

I just want to help people get close to God, and for now this is how God has me doing it. So now you know…This Is Why I Do This.

And oh yeah, for all my friends out there that are concerned that I’ve turned my back to organized ministry, don’t worry. I am also planting Generations Church in Pleasant Hill California, I’m the worship pastor. Love ya!

Posted in Ever Thought Of?

Ever Thought of Fun and Marriage?

Okay so I’ve been noticing that a lot of people have been having marital problems these days. I mean I have close friends that are going through serious serious problems right now. It made me stop and think what’s really going on? I remember when I first started dating my wife we used to have such a blast, we would go out and goof off and laugh and just have fun.

Where’s the joy in life don’t we know how to have fun anymore? As we get older it seems like we get way too serious about life, I mean it’s like we forgot how to enjoy ourselves.  Every time I turn around it seems that someone wants to show me something negative instead of something that is good.  I mean what’s up with that? When was the last time that you and your spouse just laughed like you were kids? I mean a belly aching laugh. I am a firm believer that with joy comes strength. You see I’m sick and tired of watching people that I love give up on their marriages. If we would all just take some time to remember the beginning,  to remember those good times,  I’m sure we can remember why we married that special person.

Life is too short to give up on our spouses and our children. I know that people do all sorts of things like go to counseling and go to therapy to make their marriages work but in order for those things to work we have got to be  100 percent committed to making it work. Are we really committed to making our marriages work? And it takes two to commit not just one, we both have to commit to make it work.

If you are going through marital issues don’t just quit. Try to remember why you feel in love in the first place. It won’t be easy, but marriage isn’t easy it’s hard work and dedication. Seek counsel and be prepared to see it through. Just because the world has accepted divorce as an everyday option to any little marital problem doesn’t mean that we have to. Be willing to fight for your spouse and your children.  Take a moment to reflect on the good times and the joyful moments. Give joy a chance.  Remember,  no one just wakes up and decides to get a divorce, it’s usually thought through for months maybe even years in some cases.  The key is to have a plan that will prevent that day from ever coming. I’ve been married for 15 years and we have had our share of bad times, but one rule we have lived by is to never throw the “D” word around. Our thinking is, if you use the word as a threat to get what you want then eventually you will convince  yourself to do it.  We also don’t go to sleep angry with each other.  Now this one takes some “pride swallowing” but sometimes even if you are right, the best thing to do is learn to forgive and move forward. Now this doesn’t mean to forget it or not work through the problem, it just means to try your best to let your anger cool before sleeping. In this way you are working against resentment and grudges. I know it’s not easy, but it is worth it.

Try to enjoy your marriage. I know for some, these things just don’t work because it really takes two to make one.  But as long as it is in your power, do your best to make it work.

Find the joy that you both once shared.

Think about it…

Posted in God, Truth, Words To Live By

Words to Live By…Promises

Isaiah 46:4

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

How comforting is that?  I mean how often do we feel alone? Sometimes we feel like no one can understand our situation, we feel like we’re just existing, not thriving.  But when was the last time that we stopped and listened to some of the promises that God has given us?

We all have our moments of uncertainty but in those times we need to remember who is on our side. Just take a moment to stop and think about all that God has done for you.  Remember the times that He has shown himself to you. God is faithful. He loves us so much and he cares for us always.

Take sometime today to just sit with him and thank him for all that he is.

Think about it…

Posted in Ever Thought Of?, Life, Love, People

Ever Thought Of…Love

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. 1Corinthians 13-1-3

Okay…so without love in our heart we are nothing.  You see God is love and when we accept him we receive his love.

Remember your first love?  Remember that feeling you had? The excitement, the joy.  What if I told you that you can get those feelings back with just a few minor adjustments to your thinking and attitude.

How often do we put the focus on ourselves? Probably more than we should, right?  Well Jesus was all about others, his thinking was always directed at people. He just loved them.

Here’s the point, everyone we know will fail us, everyone we know will do something to upset us, I mean… we know that this is true. So if we know that no one is perfect…including us, then we should be able to see the good in people and not only the bad.

Every time that you start to get angry and lash out at someone, stop and think about how you feel when you fail some one.  Stop and think about how God treats you when you fail him. If we really try to treat others the way we would like to be treated, then we give “Love” a place to grow in our hearts.

Remember without love we have nothing.  Tell 10 people that you love them today and watch your heart begin to change.

Think about it…

Posted in God, Holy Spirit, Life, People

New Friends

So I had a good trip, we accomplished allot in our meetings and after two long days I am ready to get home.

Have you ever taken a trip and after all was said and done you just couldn’t wait to get home?  You know what I’m talking about?  You’re tired and all you want to do is get home without incident.  Well that’s how I felt. I didn’t want to talk to anyone or meet anyone, I just wanted to relax. I had a rough night with a bad stomach so I really wasn’t feeling well and I just wanted to rest.

So I get to the airport and my flight is delayed, oh boy…here we go, there’s no way that this is going to be a good trip home…Boy was I wrong.

I get on the plane and I am seated next to a gentleman.  In a very polite voice he says hello. I introduced myself and we began a conversation. You never know who you will meet or how that meeting will impact your life.

The bible says that we are to encourage one another and uplift one another, it says that we are to be ready in season and out of season. You see you never know when God needs to use your hands and your feet. You never know when God wants to use your voice. We are Gods instrument of choice to show the world that he is real and alive.

I wasn’t feeling well at all, I was tired, ill and weak. So what did God do about that? He sent me Gordan. Yes Gordan was his name. Gordan began to tell me about his life, he shared with me the fact that he got saved when he was in his early thirties. He was an alcoholic and drug user, he checked himself into a rehab program and God met him there. He said the Lord spoke to him and his life was forever changed. Before that meeting with God, Gordan’s plan for his life was to retire on disability and social security.

Man..did God ever have a different plan for Gordan!

Today Gordan is married for 29 years, he has 3 great children that he has sent through college and he is the president of his company.

You see God sent Gordan to me today to remind me of his Grace, mercy and restoring power. I was tired and weak and God lifted me up and gave me strength through a new friend.  I don’t know if I will ever see Gordan again, but I do know that I will never forget him.

I thank God for Gordan and his powerful testimony and the grace that I have seen through his story.

Posted in Bible, Truth, Words To Live By

Words To Live By… Applying Life

Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.

Joshua 1:8(NLT)

2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Romans 12:2(NLT)

Do we really want to live a really successful life?  Do we really want to see our lives changed for the better?  Well in order for us to change we must be willing to do our part.  God will always do his part, but if we do nothing, then he can never fix us.

These two scriptures have the ability to change lives if we do what they say.

Live the Word of God and watch your life change.

Think About It…

Posted in God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Life

Sometimes We Fly

With all your heart

you must trust the LORD

and not your own judgment.

Proverbs 3:5

I was on my way to the airport today and I began to think about life. You see, our life is one big trip. We all have a destination but we all have different ways of getting there. Today my first destination was the airport, now I live about 45 minutes from the airport so I had to drive there. I’ve been to the airport many times so I know how to get there and about how long it takes with traffic. The trip was pretty uneventful and I made it on time for my flight. Once I got to the airport I had to find my gate, board my plane and wait. This is the part I really don’t like.

Waiting… Seriously, who likes to wait?

You see in life we take many trips and we have many destinations. Everyday we’re traveling somewhere, the store, school, work a friend’s house, and each trip is different. Now most of our travels are made by car, bike, foot, but sometimes we fly. We are a people who like to be in control of most things that we do but some things we have no control over.

You see God has given us several assignments in life and he has given us a map to navigate them all. Some are short and sweet and some are long and enduring. In our everyday life we tend to get comfortable and kind of cruise through our daily routine. Every now and then we have to take a trip to the airport where we have no control. Our entire trip is in the hands of the pilot.

You see some trips in life can’t be made without God carrying us. I mean, I know that in everything we are supposed to rely on God but do we really? Do we really trust in him for every journey we take?  Most of us think that we can get to most of our destinations on our own, I mean we may pray and seek God’s council but let’s keep it real. Some journeys require us to fly and without a pilot we aint going no-where. The trick is to allow God to be our pilot through life, Flying is so much easier than driving or walking all we do is get on the plane and trust the pilot to take us where we are going. Our final destination in life is to be joined in paradise forever with Jesus Christ, but while we are here on earth we really need to learn how to let God be our pilot.

When’s the last time you flew?

Posted in Bible, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Life, Truth, Words To Live By

Taught by God

But Christ has blessed you with the Holy Spirit. Now the Spirit stays in you, and you don’t need any teachers. The Spirit is truthful and teaches you everything. So stay one in your heart with Christ, just as the Spirit has taught you to do.

1 John 2:27 (CEV)

This is one the most instrumental scriptures to my spiritual growth.  You see, the Holy Spirit is everything that we need to teach us and to guide us.  His wisdom is the exact thing that we need to learn and to grow.  It’s not saying that we shouldn’t listen to man…it’s just saying that when we are filled with God (Holy Spirit) then we will be able to recognize the Holy Spirit when he speaks to us, even if it’s through someone.

So keep Jesus close to your heart and be teachable. And remember the Holy Spirit will teach you, all you have to do is ask.

Think about it…