Clarksville, TN – In the summer of 2010 I became the Lead Pastor of a church that was struggling to stay alive. The church had been beaten down by rocks of “drama”, weeds of bad theology, and was full of the type of toxicity that would render most soil unfit for planting.
That church was Xtreme Christian Fellowship a.k.a Xtreme Ministries. Over the last 27 months God by His Spirit has used His people to remove the rocks, pull up the weeds, and prepare the soil. This type of work is not taught in seminary and one cannot find a book at the latest conference that reveals the “shortcuts” to cleaning up the mess that was Xtreme. «Read the rest of this article»
My name is Carlo. I am a Christ-follower and sometimes, I really want to punch Christians right in the kisser.
Listen, I know that according the biblical qualifications for a pastor, I should not be quick to anger or sinfully violent. Relax, He’s still working on me. Nevertheless, when I read about Christians who leave ignorant notes on receipts instead of generous tips I want to find those dear “brothers and sisters” and “lay hands” on them in the name of the Lord. Maybe Christian on Christian violence isn’t the best way to spread the love of Jesus, but folks like this make it really hard to convince the world that we are not all “holier than thou” crazies. «Read the rest of this article»
Clarksville, TN – Jeffrey Alexander defines collective trauma as what occurs when members of a group have been subjected to a horrendous experience that forever marks and changes their identity (Streesland, 2005). The events of September 11th, 2001 have forever altered the American identity. Most young adults today (ages 18-25) have never experienced a commercial flight that did not involve intense security screening. Today, an 11-year old child growing up in the United States has no idea what it is like to live in a country that is not at war.
A Soldier assigned to 3rd Battalion 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team “Rakkasans,” 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), oversees a live-fire exercise conducted by the Afghan National Army’s 203rd Corps, 1st Infantry Brigade, 4th Kandak, D-30 Heavy Coy at Camp Parsa, Afghanistan, Jan. 9, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Brian Smith-Dutton, Task Force 3/101 Public Affairs)
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Clarksville, TN – Let me start by saying that I love America. I’ll compare my combat patch with anyone who would dare question my love for country. I could have been born anywhere else in the world but God in his mercy and grace chose to allow me the privilege of being born in the USA. I love this place!
Our country is so awesome that someone with nothing can come here, work hard, and die a millionaire…and do it all legally!
I love that I get to publicly proclaim that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to the father except through Him, and there are no state police outside waiting to take me away (for now). «Read the rest of this article»
L to R: Brian Marvin, Carlo Serrano, John Renken
Last year I learned a lot about myself and about life in general. To the surprise of most, those lessons were not learned at church or in school. I learned them while practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu! The biggest lesson I learned is that when it comes to difficult situations, posture is everything.
Allow me to explain.
In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, good posture is everything. The name of the game is breaking your opponents base. If you can get the other guy off balance, you will almost always be in a position to finish. I know this because as a white belt, I am usually the guy who is off balance! I have been submitted by guys who are 60 pound lighter than I am simply because of their good posture and technique and my poor posture. My natural tendency is to try to “muscle” out of bad situations. While I am using brute force, the other guy is patiently waiting and conserving energy until I either get tired or lose my base (posture). Posture matters.
The Bible talks about good posture often. «Read the rest of this article»
Clarksville TN – According to Dr. Henry Cloud, “Growth is not only about getting healthy, but about learning ways of living as well.”1
In the last year I have gone through a dramatic physical, emotional, and spiritual renewal in my life. Along with growing closer in my walk with Christ, growing deeper in my personal relationships, and experiencing promotion and favor in my professional endeavors, I have lost and kept off over 80 pounds.
I am in the best shape of my life in every way possible. «Read the rest of this article»