Steven Tyler Looked At Me

During a corporate event I was filming for in Orlando a couple weeks ago, I had the lucky opportunity to see Steven Tyler perform in a private concert. Closed room of about 2,000 people. That guy's voice in person is one of the coolest things I've ever heard in my life.

Checkout some shots from the event! If you like these you should also checkout the same convention I shot last year where the guest band was JOURNEY!

Gang Raped to Death

First off, I sincerely apologize for that pretty direct blog title. I have no intention of offending anyone but I wanted to grab your attention because I truly believe this is that important. I understand this is probably not going to win me any popularity points. Again, I am sorry if anyone read that title and felt uncomfortable. It is certainly not my goal. But please hear me out on this one.

We are living in some pretty crazy times. It gets said over and over to the point where we are almost numb. It really is too depressing now to even turn on the news. Every day there is a report of people young and old that are being murdered, raped, kidnapped, terrorized or sometimes something worse. And we all seem to agree, it doesn't seem to be getting any better.

So how the heck did we get here and is there even any hope?

With all due respect to whatever your personal beliefs may be, even if they are the exact opposite of mine, from the most sincere part of my heart that I can ask this, please take the time to watch this entire message by Joby Martin. I promise it is something you will not regret listening to and it is certainly not boring. In fact, a non-christian friend of mine attended this very service with me and after we walked out he looked at me and said "Even if you take all the Jesus stuff out, that is message EVERYONE needs to hear."

This is not an easy sermon to listen to. It is a part of the bible that many churches are not even willing to acknowledge let alone talk about. But one thing I love about The Church of Eleven22 is that we have a pastor who is not afraid to tell us what we NEED to hear instead of what we WANT to hear.

Please listen to this and if anything you hear tugs on your heart, let's talk about it. I'm being completely serious. You can email me or call me or text me. Whatever it takes. I'm here for anyone who needs me. Thank you.

The Faces of Panama

Where to even start with this one...

It really is not going to be possible for me to fully describe to you what this trip meant to me and the 37 new close friends I made in Panama last week. The only phrase I can think of right now is, the unexplainable undoubtedly bumped into the undeniable. People's lives where changed. Including my own.

Mission trips are not easy. You have to put yourself in a position to be vulnerable and uncomfortable. Sometimes to extreme levels. There really is no way around it. But for those who really dig deep and find that place of true surrender, the payoff is pretty remarkable. I watched people on my team find that place in Panama last week. Some even to the point of sobbing with tears. And they were some of the most beautiful moments I have ever seen in my life. I'll say it again, people's lives were changed!

To everyone who shared in this incredible journey with me, I whole heartedly love and respect each and everyone one of you. Thank you for these new memories that I will cherish forever. And thank you for touching my heart the way that you did with your passion and courage. And for those who supported me both financially and through donating supplies, I want to say from the bottom of my heart I can't thank you enough.

This trip had a little bit of everything from feeding the poor to construction projects and even a music school for the kids. Some of the photos are fun and laid back but some are pretty intense. Hopefully they serve as a friendly reminder for you as they have for me to always stay thankful. Just a couple of days ago I was standing under a home that was literally a big tent made out of bamboo shoved into the mud with a plastic tarp for a roof. It was not much bigger than my living room and FIVE different families lived under it! Sure makes me feel silly for ever complaining about my own house.

Ok so, come along with me for a glimpse into The Church of Eleven22, Panama 2016. If anything tugs on your heart give me a buzz and let's talk more about some of the things that happened on this trip. Gloria de Dios!

Happy Father's Day

So proud to be the father of these two incredible girls. I pray they will grow up to become confident, caring and loving women of God. Using their unique gifts and talents to bring honor and glory to Him. I love them so much. They bless me every day with their smiles. I can never thank God enough for everything they mean to me. Every night before they go to sleep I hold their hand and they pray Psalm 139:14 with me. Lord I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are your works, and my soul knows this well. In Jesus name, Amen.

Hey, Hey, sweet daughter
I'm so proud to be your father
Each day is like a gift from God

Hey, Hey, sweet daughter
there's no music like your laughter
and your smile is like the rising sun

You know I've loved you from the start
So come in close, take my hand
While daddy shares his heart

I wish that I could be your everything
Be the one to give you all the things you need
Sometimes I'm gonna let you down

There's someone if you just believe
He'll be your hero like He's always been for me
Darling, Jesus is the One you need

No matter what you walk through
He will always love you
Just the way you are

For there's nothing in this world
That I want for my baby girl
than to be happy ever after

The story of your life is still untold
I pray the king of all the universe
would make your heart His home

I wish that I could be your everything
Be the one to give you all the things you need
Sometimes I'm gonna let you down

There's someone if you just believe
He'll be your hero like he's always been for me
Darling, Jesus is the One

Who will never leave, he's been there all along
Oh when you're ready, you can find True Love

Religion Sets Rules. Jesus Sets Free.

If you were to go around and ask random people on the street to describe what they think it means to be a Christian, there's a good chance that many of their answers would say something like "to be religious." But...if you were to go around asking Christians the very same question, most likely none of them would use the word religious at all. In fact, they may intentionally avoid the word altogether.

So why is that?

The reason is because being a Christian isn't actually about just trying harder to follow all the church rules and be a good person. That is exhausting. Being a Christian is really about just one thing—having a relationship with Jesus. No matter what you have done in your life, good or bad, He just wants you to know Him. Yes the bible has some important instructions on how to live your life that should be taken very seriously, but it also says in Romans 3:23 that no matter how hard you try you will never be able to hit the mark. (ALL have fallen short.)

That's why we don't just need a life coach....we need a savior.

Being a Christian means that you understand this so instead of just trying to work on a religion, you work on a relationship with Jesus. If your identity in Jesus comes first, even if you don't fully understand everything or always get it right, the rest will begin to fall into place. That is why you can be a Christian without being "religious." The bible even says that Peter and John were "ordinary uneducated men" with no special training in the scriptures (Acts 4:13). In other words, they had no religion. They just had Jesus.

An absolutely amazing picture of this was shared by Pastor Joby Martin at Eleven22 this past weekend. The sermon titled "Take Up Your Mat" describes the account of the man who had been disabled for 38 years that Jesus miraculously healed. After healing him, Jesus instructed him to pick up the dirty mat he had been laying on all those years, and carry it with him. When the man was seen by the Pharisees (religious people), instead of being excited by the fact that the man they all knew had been sick and disabled for so long was now suddenly healthy and walking around, they accused him. What did they accuse him of? Breaking a rule. They told him it was unlawful to carry a mat on the Sabbath. They were more concerned about the rules of their religion then they were about the miracle.

If just trying to follow all the church rules is what you think of when you hear the word Christianity, I beg you you to take the 45 minutes and watch this message. It could change your perspective entirely. And it might change your life. 

Adopting His Son's Murderer

If your very own child was taken from you in the act of cold blooded murder, would you ever be able to forgive the killer? And not only forgive them, but later adopt them as your own child?

Ike Brown did.

The phrase "Unconditional Love" has never been more real to me then it was after watching this incredible story at an Eleven22 service a couple weeks ago. Take 15 minutes and watch this unthinkable act of forgiveness and mercy. 

Produced by Eleven22 Creative.

***10/16/16 - In the last couple weeks this page has been viewed 1000+ times. I'd love to know where all the traffic is coming from. If you got here by some kind of linked post please contact me to let me know where or leave a comment. Thanks!***

The Riches of His Grace: Ike Brown’s Story

Have You Ever Had Your Life Changed?

Honest question. Have you ever had your life changed before? I don't just mean like, you recently discovered how much you love Starbucks or your favorite team won the big game. Those things will eventually fade away. I'm talking about 'the entire world suddenly seems different and you can't go back to how it used to be' kind of change. I have. And when something changes you that much, it's kind of hard to keep it bottled up. (Acts 4:20)

God, through The Church of Eleven22, is changing my life.

If phrases like the one below intrigue you, hit me up. I'd love to tell you more about why any sane person would think something like this let alone post about it on the internet. Yeah it seems weird from the outside. I get it. Hey I'm just a normal dude like anyone else. In fact, the 12 disciples were all just a bunch of scrappy roughed up fisherman. In other words, God chose the original cast of Deadliest Catch to be the founders of Christianity. How cool is that??

Anyway I'm starting to ramble on again more than I planned to. If you want to checkout a church that is changing people's lives by the thousands here in Jacksonville, let me know. Forget about weird stuff like the Pope or the guys who stand on street corners with big signs that say REPENT in all caps. There's something better....

Come and see.

My brother and his wife singing the praise at Eleven22. Photo by me.

My brother and his wife singing the praise at Eleven22. Photo by me.

Be Strong and Courageous in 2016

Amazing message by pastor Joby Martin from the Church of Eleven22. If there is a bold step that you have been holding back from taking and you need the right nudge to help you finally take that leap of faith, check this one out.

When he starts off by saying "I know that was heavy" he was referring to a video that had just played on the big screens showing a husband and wife who are members of the Church doing a testimonial in which they discussed how after she found out he was having an affair on her, she chose to forgive him anyway and stick together because she wanted to show the love and forgiveness of Jesus. Talk about being bold and courageous!

*Update - Week 3 was this past Sunday (1/24) and it was just awesome. Check it out!

You Should Come to Eleven22 With Me

You've seen the bumper stickers. If you're curious just what Eleven22 is all about, you can catch a glimpse of it by watching this video from Sunday's service. This is not the kind of church you've ever been to before. It's changing people's lives by the thousands here in Jacksonville. It's changed mine.

Try it out and see for yourself! Click Here for more info.