Challenge Accepted


Challenge Accepted

Pastor Pete has challenged the congregation of Rise Community Church to journal (in whatever preferred fashion) and record revelations and convictions of the Holy Spirit. Doing so will make it harder to forget and keep us accountable.

Lately, I’ve really been wrestling with who God really is rather than the misconceptions I’ve created over the last 20+ years.

I’m no longer satisfied to limit my faith to “sin management” nor as a moral compass. What I’ve ultimately come to understand is that my relationship with God begins and ends with just that. I need to focus on spending time with Him without ulterior motives. That means I don’t want to only talk at Him. I don’t want to bring only my decisions before Him just to get His sage advice. I don’t want to only complain to Him when things aren’t going my way.

What I want, what I really really want, is Him and only Him. I want to enjoy Him in His Presence and just be together. I’ve come to realize that the ultimate point of our faith is just that relationship between God and ourselves.

The rest is just sugar.

We know the two most important commandments are to love God and love people. The ten commandments were boiled down to these because all the dos and don’ts that we’re so easily distracted by come naturally when you follow those main two. When you can simply and utterly love God and maintain that close relationship, everything else just comes naturally.

There’s no need to worry about our sins and ask for forgiveness just as many times.

There’s no need to worry about how others might judge us.

There will be no desire to compare our lives with others.

None of that matters when it’s just us and God. Everything pales in comparison to just being together.

He literally needs and wants to be closer than your best friend.

When I’m hanging out with my best friends, I don’t need to feel guilty for falling short of their expectations. They know me. I know them. We know each other’s intentions and goals. From time to time, of course, we have to reconcile between each other when something comes between us, but those times are few and far between. They become even less frequent when we realize that we can just let certain things go. Why even waste time revisiting an issue that neither of us is still hanging onto?

That’s what my ultimate desire is for my relationship with God. Well, that to the nth degree.

I’m not there yet, but I’m working on it.





Nobody likes a man child. Lets be honest, there is nothing more un-attractive, disturbing and sad than a grown ass adult acting like a child. Yet we cant help but idolize youth in our society. We place their porcelain faces on a pedestal and worship them for their beauty and selfishness. Maybe all that attention is why its so tempting for us to ignore our responsibilities and act like a child. Let’s face it, adulthood is hard. There are days that I think just being a kid again would be so nice, no bills, no responsibility…FREEDOM! But that is a fantasy. Because if you really think about when you were a child, at least for me, all I wanted was to be grown! I wanted a job, I wanted to drive, I wanted…FREEDOM! Its funny how “freedom” is always just out of reach.

Recently at my Church our pastor challenged us to reflect on our personal spiritual state, and in short…to grow up. The truth is we are all immature in one way or another, and the scarier truth is we kinda like it! As a church we are being challenged to record what we feel God is revealing to us as we learn how to be more authentic. So for authenticity’s sake here is my conviction…

I have been acting like a child. I’ve been running from God. I have let selfishness and pride run my life and have refused to grow up. I am overwhelmed by responsibility at work and at home, and sometimes the temptation to go backwards and act like a child is too much to resist. This causes me to make poor choices and creates a seemingly invisible barrier in my relationships. After a while the battle between child and man becomes exhausting and causes me to fall into depression. I have spent the last 3 months in a dark place, depressed and anxious. Exhausted by responsibility, and exhausted by religion I stopped fighting. And soon enough the demons of my past, like sleeping giants were awakened by my complacency. One by one they came at me…selfishness, lust, pride, people pleasing and shame. I’ve been fighting my whole life it seems, and I think I just needed to see what would happen if I stopped. Is all this just in my head? Praying, worship, reading the Bible…does it really make a difference, or am I just using it like a magic potion? I grew up in church so I know all the rituals and all the prayers to get the things you want. But sometimes they don’t work. It’s a scary realization when you find out your life-long relationship with God has been all about how you can control Him. Man have I tried hard to control Him…following the rules so I’ll have a perfect life, praying the prayers so nothing bad happens to me, singing the songs so He’ll love me. Does anyone really know what unconditional love is? How do we grasp something so foreign?

All I know is that in my darkest moments, He is still near. When I do the wrong thing, He is near. When I run away, he waits. When I reject him, He accepts me. When I spit in His face, He turns the other cheek. He is love. A love that makes no sense. A love I don’t deserve. A love I can never earn.

So here’s to you dear child. We’ve had a long run, and we’ve learned a lot together but now its time to put you in your place. You will always be a part of me, and I will lean on you when faith requires it, but you can no longer run the show.

‘When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. ‘ – 1 Corinthians 13:11

Besides, adulthood is way more fun without you!


Christmas Angels 2017


Christmas Angels 2017

It's that time of the year again! And we are so excited for the opportunity to love and serve the children of Haiti. This year we will be joining with Haiti's Hope to serve the needs of the girls in the orphanage and the children in the mountain village.  

We will be collecting Sunday Dresses, Shoes, Undergarments, and Toys. Haiti's hopes: one dress

Ways to help:



3. SPONSOR A CHILD (See the Christmas Angels Table on Sunday)

4. PARTICIPATE IN THE TOY DRIVE (Drop off non-battery operated toys on Sunday or at the Warehouse during the week.)


6. PRAY