"How can there be too many children? It's like saying there are too many flowers." Mother Theresa

Thursday, February 26, 2009

My brothers book!!

My brother Tony and his lovely wife Kim.

My brother's book will be out in October:

Faithful Preaching Author: Tony Merida
What is a preacher? What is preaching? Pastor Tony Merida asks these foundational questions to arrive at this overview of his widely anticipated book, Faithful Preaching:
“Faithful preaching is the responsible, passionate, and authentic declaration of the Christ-exalting Scriptures, by the power of the Spirit, for the glory of the Triune God. Expository preaching is the best approach for accurately explaining and applying God’s Word, and for maintaining a God-centered focus in preaching. It also offers wonderful spiritual benefits to both the preacher and congregation. To be faithful expositors today, we must avoid the common problems associated with expository preaching such as boredom, irrelevancy, and Christless messages. Faithful preachers will usher the people through the text passionately and authentically, pointing them to Christ.”

Creation Care

We are so excited! This weekend author of the book Serve God, Save the Planet, will be our guest speaker at church. This book greatly impacted my family. We have the beginnings of an organic vegetable garden to prove it! If you'd like to hear what Dr. Sleeth has to say, go to our church website: http://www.southlandchristian.org/ to listen.

From the Serve God, Save the Planet website:
Serve God, Save the Planet by former emergency room doctor Dr. J. Matthew Sleeth is a deeply personal book with far-reaching ramifications for Christians and all those who take their devotion to God seriously. The book presents a gripping account of Dr. Sleeth’s personal and spiritual journey to environmental stewardship. It lays out sobering rationale for life changes, and a “how-to” guide for lifestyle changes that will help care for others and protect the earth.
Five years ago, Dr. J Matthew Sleeth and his family lived in a big house on the coast, had two luxury cars and many material possessions. As chief of the medical staff at a large hospital, Sleeth was living the American dream—until he realized that something was terribly wrong. As he saw patient after patient suffering from cancer, asthma, and other chronic diseases, he began to understand that the earth and its inhabitants were in trouble. Feeling helpless, he turned to his faith for guidance. He discovered how the Scriptural lessons of personal responsibility, simplicity, and stewardship could be applied to modern life. The Sleeths have since sold their big home and given away more than half of what they once owned.
In Serve God, Save the Planet, Dr. Sleeth shares the joy of adopting a less materialistic lifestyle, and reveals what was easy and what was hard about the changes his family has made.
He shares how material downscaling led his family to healthier lifestyles, stronger relationships, and richer spiritual lives.
“Although I believed in the “environmental cause” before I accepted Christ as my Savior, my belief did not translate into action,” Dr. Sleeth writes. “After I became a Christian, I went through a process of examining my life, and I found it was filled with sin and hypocrisy. I decided to conduct an assessment and figure out a rough estimate of the actual environmental impact by my family. This honest inventory indicated what the Christian faith required of me.”
“Because of these changes,” Dr. Sleeth writes in his book, “we have more time for God. Spiritual concerns have filled the void left by material ones. Owning fewer things has resulted in things no longer owning us.”
Serve God, Save the Planet addresses the questions:
How can I live a more godly, equitable, and meaningful life?
How can I help people today and in the future?
How can I be less materialistic?
How can I live a more charitable life?
What would happen if I led a slower-paced existence?
Dr. Sleeth writes: “Serve God, Save the Planet is meant to elicit personal accountability rather than political change. Its lessons are meant to teach individuals, families, and communities not much larger than a congregation; and yet it looks at larger issues because they profoundly affect each of us.”
“I am convinced that when the church becomes fully engaged in the problems of creation care, we will overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. As all those who consider themselves people of faith grow in their understanding that God holds us accountable for care of his creation, we will begin to see positive changes on an unprecedented scale.”

Dr Sleeth's website:

Friday, February 13, 2009


Over 15 million children worldwide have lost one or both parents to AIDS – equivalent to the number of people living in New York, Paris, and Bangkok combined. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, over 12 million children have been orphaned by the pandemic.
Experts believe that millions more orphans remain unaccounted for in India, China and Russia.
By 2010, the number of AIDS orphans worldwide is expected to reach at least 20 million

The Facts
Number of AIDS Orphans:
· There are over 15 million children orphaned by AIDS around the world.
· Well over 12 million AIDS orphans live in Sub-Saharan Africa, alone.
· Experts believe that millions more orphans remain unaccounted for in India, China and Russia.
· At least 10 million more children will be orphans by AIDS by 2010.
The Impact:
· In addition to the trauma of losing a parent, orphans are often subject to discrimination and are less likely to receive healthcare, education and other needed services.
· In HIV affected households lacking community support, food consumption can drop by 40% putting children at risk to hunger, malnutrition and stunting.
· Impoverished and often without support to educate and protect them, orphans and vulnerable children face increased risk of HIV infection.
· Orphans are often easy prey to many forms of exploitation: forced labor, prostitution and child soldiering.
Support for AIDS Orphans
· Fewer than 1 in 10 AIDS orphans receives any external support.
· US $4.6 billion is needed to implement a comprehensive response to AIDS orphans and vulnerable children. Estimates suggest that less than US $0.5 billion is currently being invested.
· Only three countries – the US, UK and Ireland have earmarks providing at least 10% of HIV/AIDS funding to orphans and vulnerable children. Yet experts believe that these promises and legislation are unfulfilled as they meander through government bureaucracy

Thursday, February 12, 2009

True Love

An Incompatible Love
Cory Bradley

Got a question for you today.
Have you ever found yourself in love with someone, but all the while, wondering whether or not "they're just not that into you?" Well, (as hard as it is for some to acknowledge) I have.You've probably seen us together.
Holding hands.
Playing in the park.
Having dinner.
My lover is just beautiful.
All together lovely.
Calm under fire.
Much more perfect than I could ever be. And my lover has never (ever) made a mistake.(I'm sure you can take a wild guess as to who I may be talking about here!)
Perhaps some people whisper: "These two seem incompatible"It is quite natural for us all, regardless of our faith in God, to try at times to do something in order to secure the love of God, not knowing that such is an impossible task.With a God who is all together lovely, beautiful, genuine, and always calm under fire, it is normal for us all to look at Him and conclude that our love for Him is incompatible with His love for us.
How can someone so perfect be in love with us? You know, as a worship leader, many would assume that I have a relentless boldness and confidence for the praises and presence of God. And for the most part, I do. But there have been many times when I have fallen victim to thoughts of insecurity, self disgust, and a defeatist attitude about myself. We have fostered today within the church a religious culture that equates a disdain for self as an act of humility. Yet if I were to bring you a gift that I constantly berated, insulted, scoffed at, and considered worthless, how much joy and satisfaction would you get out of that gift?I have discovered that loving God means loving everything that He loves (including me).
Genesis 1:31 states that 'God saw all that He had made and behold it was very good. 'As worshipers, we must begin to embrace the value that God has for our lives. Not to become puffed up, but to make ourselves more attractive and comely for His pleasure.
If God thinks we are worthy enough to have died for us, then we must understand that when we insult the product (us), then we insult the maker (Him). If we count ourselves worthy of His love, then we will begin to walk in a manner that demonstrates worth.We (as believers) must put an end to living our lives as wretches (undone).

You cannot love God without loving yourself.

A love and appreciation for God must become a love and appreciation for who He loves and who He loved enough to die for.We cannot pretend to "fall in love with Jesus" when we demonstrate no love for the one we see everyday...in the mirror. If you are unwilling to accept you, how will you ever believe that God unconditionally does?The real incompatibility of love is when your lover enjoys something (and someone) that you don't. Begin enjoying yourself today. Because believe it or not......He does.