WBFJ Radio Interview with Rosie the Boa

Last week I had the awesome opportunity to go on our local Christian radio station, WBFJ and share some of my passions with the listeners.  I brought Rosie my red tailed boa constrictor into the studio for an illustration about the weight of sin as well as a conservation message about how awesome snakes were.  Here's the full interview: [embed]https://youtu.be/8bacqY39k0s[/embed]

I also decided to break it up into a few smaller clips so if you can't listen to the full 16:14 minute interview feel free to check out these shorter snippets from the program.

BIG SNAKE ON WBFJ MORNING SHOW

https://youtu.be/CSEmO3mE5m4

THERE ARE NO BAD SNAKES

https://youtu.be/geF0efaahuE

WHY ARE SHARKS SO AWESOME?

https://youtu.be/-9uQ5fUXITI

 

WBFJ Radio Interview

WBFJ Radio Interview

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Recently I had the opportunity to be interviewed by our local Christian radio station, WBFJ, by Verne Hill about my ministry.  It was quite a bit of fun hanging out in the studio and sharing about my devotional book "Whispers In The Woods" along with other aspects of my ministry.  You can watch a snippet of the interview on my YouTube Channel and if you'd like to listen to the whole thing in it's entirety you can click HEREor the links below.

 

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Click HERE to buy "Whispers In The Woods"

Click HERE to buy "The Wonder Of It All"

Click HERE to buy "The Not So Ordinary Journey Of Todd The Toad"

Do You Create A Suitable Environment For Others?

Do You Create A Suitable Environment For Others?

Have you ever had the opportunity to witness beavers creating their dams in a wetland habitat? It is quite an amazing phenomenon to experience. A beaver can create an entirely new habitat in a very short time. They are very hard working animals and by their diligence and boldness they are able to gnaw through trees and divert the flow of water in fresh water ecosystems. They have the ability to literally change the course of streams and creeks and to use their dams to create ponds and swamps. They change the entire topography and by doing so they create a new ecosystem that can support a variety of animals that previously couldn’t have lived in the area. In many cases their habitat transformation can be a blessing to other wildlife by providing new homes and places to forage for food.

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1 Thessalonians 5:12-15 says, “Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you.  Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.  And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.  Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.” If we think about the parallel with beavers creating a habitat, we can see that pastors and church planters could fall into this category of hard workers that the Lord has placed over us. The desire of the Holy Spirit is for Christians to operate in unity with one another as the body of Christ. We are to be kind to one another and help each other in our areas of weakness. As believers in Christ our mission is to create suitable habitats in the spirit and to build one another up in our faith. We should be creating some new ecosystems of grace and encouragement for other believers. Do you create a suitable habitat for others?

If you liked this devotional be sure to pick up a copy of “Whispers In The Woods” to have a collection of 52 similar devotionals for your spiritual growth and encouragement.  ClickHERE to order a copy!

Do You Sleep Like A Bear?

Do You Sleep Like A Bear? Do you live in a place where bears can be frequently seen on spring and summer days? That must be terrifying! Lock your doors immediately! With all joking aside if you have ever noticed the behavior of bears you notice that their activity starts to slow down once the weather gets cold and pretty soon their sightings stop altogether for several months. During the cold winter month’s bears will often hibernate because of a lack of available food. This process is quite interesting to me as their bodies simply slow down their metabolic processes and this allows them to essentially “sleep” through the harsher months.

How many times as Christians does it seem that when times get tough we will simply shut down and go to sleep? It is quite the easy route to take when we forget the power of Christ that resides in us. Our natural inclination is to just slow down our rate of activity in order to enter into false rest. When scripture talks of sleeping it usually is a metaphor for death, as in the case with Lazarus in the Gospel of John as well as in Ephesians.

Ephesians 5:13-14 says, But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: ‘Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’” So even when times are hard and we just want to ball up and go to sleep both physically and spiritually we must remember that the light of Christ has illuminated us. Jesus calls us back to life and requires us to carry our cross even when it gets heavy. Do you sleep like a bear?

Photo Credit:  Jim Bauer

This devotion is from my book "Whispers In The Woods" ORDER HERE

Download a FREE .pdf E-book of "Whispers In The Woods" HERE

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My Jesus I Love Thee

My Jesus I Love Thee

Stephen LaVine -- My Jesus I Love Thee

I am constantly amazed at how breathing new life into something old can make it take on new life.  Think about your life prior to Jesus, aren't you glad God breathed that breath of redemptive grace in you through the Holy Spirit?  Aren't you glad for that transformation?  Often worship leaders, like my good friend and fellow Catching Creation team member, Stephen LaVine will take something old and make it new.  In this case, Stephen took the 19th century hymn "My Jesus I Love Thee" and put his own original acoustic spin on it.

Stephen's heart for worship and giftedness in both musicianship and vocal ability have constantly left my jaw on the floor.  "That boy can saaaang" as my country brethren from Stephen's neck of the woods would say.  I am honored and blessed to get to work with Stephen on Catching Creation videos as well as the occasional tag team for a ministry event but most of all I'm humbled to have this talented guy as one of my closest friends.  We will be featuring some of his music on the weekly Catching Creation episodes once we roll out the new format later this year.

Check out his amazing rendition of "My Jesus I Love Thee" below, share it with a friend, and subscribe to his youtube channel because you're not going to want to miss all that he has in store this upcoming fall!

Breaking Through

Breaking Through

Check out my wife singing "Breaking Through" Originally by Jeremy Riddle and Performed By Jessica Lake and the WSFirst Worship team.  She is amazing and I'm always blown away at how talented and heartfelt she is both as a worshipper and as a believer.  I aspire to one day have the faith my wife has.

Written by Jeremy Riddle © 2013 Bethel Music Publishing (ASCAP).

Catching Creation @ Calvary Chapel Of Fort Lauderdale

On Feb 8/9 I got the opportunity to speak 5 times to a combined 2500-3000 children at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale about Jesus and his awesome creation.  Have YOU been made into a new creation?  If this program looks like something your church could benefit from please shoot me an email at Info@catchingcreation.com .  I'd love to travel to where you are and present the Gospel with my animal friends!

Burrrr It's Cold In Here!

Have you ever noticed that when everything in your home is working correctly you really don’t think about the little things like say, the heat pump, but when they’re broken you REALLY think about them.  Recently our heat pump decided it no longer wanted to do its job for my house and just quit, can you believe that?  The audacity of that instrument of my comfort, to just quit like that, and it didn’t even give us a 2-week notice!  Times got tough, temps got low and it just quit at the worst possible time. Have you ever felt like quitting on God, or the ministry He has called you to?  If you’re like me you probably have had seasons of doubt, distress and had the overwhelming urge to throw your hands up and just quit, but let me ask you something, who else would be affected if you gave up?

Our heat pump’s decision to stop working and providing the heat that it was designed to provide has not only effect it but everyone that enters this house.  There is a void now that its service has been taken away and the same is true for you.  YOU are the only one God created to be who you are and do what you do.  If you quit it will be felt by many.

Paul says in Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”  This verse is a good reminder. If you feel like giving up and want to just stop doing what you were designed to do take a moment to pray, remember the hope Christ has given you, recalibrate and stay patient in the affliction because this too shall pass.

Romans 12:4-5 says For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”  We are all one body and each of us has a specific thing to do for the kingdom of God.  My ministry may be drastically different than yours but neither of our specific callings is more important than the other.  We are called to function as a living organism and if you give up your absence will be felt.  Just like the looming cold in my house that is felt stronger now that our heat pump has quit working, your absence will be felt.  So take heart, have hope and let the warmth of your faith heat up a cold world!

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Complacency Kills

I remember riding with my upper torso exposed in my gun turret and reading the conveniently placed “Complacency Kills” signs all over the FOB (Forward Operating Base) that my convoy had stopped at for the day.  The image and location of these signs have been seared into my brain as a constant reminder of the need for hyper vigilance.  If we drop our guard in a moment of complacency we would be opened for attack. In the Army we trained for weeks and even months at a time prior to my deployment to hammer in the basics so when the time of testing occurred we wouldn’t think, we would react.  You learned and relearned things to the point of absurdity so that it became muscle memory.  Drills and scenarios in harsh conditions that pushed my body and mind to their limits helped me to know that I had what it took if the need would arise.  In a very short time I went from being a weekend warrior in the Army National Guard to a full time soldier in a combat zone.  Playtime was over.

The same has been true in my spiritual life.  Although I think I had a long reluctant courtship with Jesus prior to my full submission to His will, it seemed that in a very short period of time I went from being an interested observer to full time combatant in the Lord’s army equipped with the full armor of God.  The same principle was also true in regards to training.  I immersed myself immediately into intense study, prayer, learning the basics of my faith and was tried by fire by jumping headlong into ministry in every capacity available to me.  The lesson I learned while deployed in Iraq still rings true now, maybe truer.  Complacency kills.

How many times do you feel like giving up, or worst yet, how many times do you feel apathetic to the whole process of faith?  I’ll admit that I’ve been there and constantly have to remind myself to not let my guard down but more often than not in moments of weakness or laziness I drop my shield of faith and BOOM.  That’s when it happens.  When my defenses are low those spiritual roadside bombs seem to catch me when I least expect them.  We know what to do, we know God’s word is true, but in our pride we sometimes put our perceived needs in front of the mission God has called us to.  Like spoiled children we whine and cry if we don’t get our way or if God’s will doesn’t line up with what we thought it should be and instead of obedience we fall into rebellion.  Are we honoring Jesus with our lips but denying him with our hearts by our actions?  Titus addresses this in chapter 1 verse 16 of his epistle when he says They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.” 

When we allow ourselves to become apathetic to the will of God we are “unfit for doing anything good.”  We have dropped our guard, become complacent and are completely unguarded from the coming attack.  I love how in Ephesians 6 Paul warns us to be prepared for battle and assures us that it’s not a matter of if but a matter of when the flaming arrows will fly in our direction.

If we are charging forward, fully trained and outfitted for the coming spiritual battle we may take fire from all directions but we are assured in our victory by the spiritual armor we have been given by the father.  If, however, we have become complacent and apathetic, we will most likely be taken down by the coming attack and ill prepared to defend ourselves when the moment of violence occurs.  Will you take up your sword of the spirit and shield of faith and fight the good fight?  Remember, complacency kills!

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On The Outside Looking In

Have you ever felt like you were on the outside looking in?  That is just what this child in the picture below must have literally felt like while we were having a time of ministry and celebration in Costa Rica over the summer.  My heart broke for this little guy.  I pleaded with him in my best broken spanglish to come inside and that he was welcomed but he stood at a distance and never came inside.  Jesus wants our hearts to break for those lost sheep.

Jesus says in Matthew 18:12"What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?  Jesus is many times just waiting on you or I to come back inside so to speak, and to join in the celebration of His victory of sin, death and the grave.  How many times in our own hurt, anxiety and pride do we just scoff at the love of Christ and walk away to do our own thing?  Jesus loves you and wants fellowship with you, will you come inside?  

Do You Have Wisdom Like An Owl?

Do You Have Wisdom Like An Owl?

Have you ever heard the saying “wise like an owl?”  The personification of the owl seems to suggest that they have an inherent wisdom that we humans may or may not possess.  The truth is, an owl is no wiser than a crow or hawk or any other large predatory bird and surely not wiser than a human being.  This idiom probably has to do with the way an owl looks very serious and almost seems to be contemplatively listening as it sits silently in the trees.

The good news is that our Lord gives wisdom generously to those who ask.  James 1:5 says If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”  Proverbs 2:6 says, “For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”  If you truly want to be wise, look not to the owl but to the God who created owls!  Do you have wisdom like an owl?

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If you liked this devotional be sure to pick up a copy of "Whispers In The Woods" to have a collection of 52 similar devotionals for your spiritual growth and encouragement.  Click HERE to order a copy!

You’ve Got To Loose Sight To Find Your Vision.

You’ve got to loose sight to find your vision.

 Can I be candid with you?  I’m in tears right now.  I’m emotionally overwhelmed and I’m not sure how this one seemingly menial interaction with a kid in a pet store has me in tears.  I mean I can’t stop crying.  The reality is, for quite some time now; I’ve been just going through the motions of Christian ministry.  I’ve been showing up more to do a job and less to minister.  I’ve been like a vagrant with no home traveling from town to town doing my form of transient ministry so long that I’ve lost sight of why I even do what I do.  Tonight it smacked me in the face.

I’ve been so caught up in trying desperately (and often failing) to provide for my wife and I that more and more ministry has been treated less like something out of the overflow of joy and more of something that I begrudgingly HAVE to do because there aren’t any other open doors for me.  It seems like in some ways I’ve lost sight of why I entered the ministry in the first place.  I remember being in Bible College and devouring scripture, praying feverishly, relying so heavily on my faith in Jesus that despite my circumstance I had a peace that surpassed my understanding.  I assumed that once I graduated I would somehow feel fulfilled and validated and would truly “arrive.”

Well it’s now two years post graduation and I’ve managed to start my own ministry and still feel lost.  When did following God get so hard?  What have I allowed to get in the way of my relationship with my Father in heaven that has made me bitter, spiteful, entitled, and angry?  I know the Christian formula of reading my Bible, praying, fasting and serving.  Yet when I add all of that together it seems more of a chore and less of something life giving.  Why has my heart been so heavy in all the wrong ways?

Tonight in that pet store I was reminded like a punch in the face WHY I entered the ministry.  While my wife and I were talking and looking for a bird box for our pet squirrel a little boy with a big smile asked what kind of bird I had.  I honestly can’t tell you why that hit me so hard but it did.  I responded that I was looking for a house for my squirrel and asked him what kind of bird he was shopping for.  He gleefully said that he was getting a Quaker parrot and after a few more short concluding sentences, as I felt tears welling up, I walked down the aisle out of sight from my wife and the boy.  My eyes pooled with that warm saline some call tears, wow; it’s been a while. quaker parrot

There I was in the middle of a pet store on the reptile supply aisle crying like a baby and somehow pretending I could disguise it like I had allergies or some dust got in my eyes.  My voice was shaking, my eyes were watering and my heart was hurting.  I realized in that moment that I had lost sight of everything I wanted to be.  You see that boy, the one with the aspiration of getting the parrot, he reminded me that my heart for ministry, my sole reason for wanting to serve, is wrapped up in loving kids (of any age) that need to feel nurtured and loved.  Jesus calls us to love the least of these and real ministry is offering of your-self with no hope of reward in return.  I have missed this.  I could tell, in that way that you just know, that my new friend in the bird supply section came from a home that didn’t have much to offer in the way of finances.  Yet he was full of joy just at the anticipation of getting a new feathery friend.  He was preparing by getting his supplies and eager to tell me about it.  When was the last time I was truly excited about anything?  When was the last time I was truly content.  WOW.  God I’m sorry for my allowing my hurt and pain to get in the way of the vision you have given me.

Don’t get me wrong; I love doing what I do.  I love Catching Creation with my whole heart and know it’s what God has called me to do, but in this short moment tonight it seems that by loosing sight of it I found my vision.  Catching Creation isn’t Stan Lake traveling all over the country doing animal shows, although it’s a part of it.  Catching Creation isn’t just about my web show and DVD series or even my books, although they are pieces of the puzzle.  What God has called me to do is minister to kids, youth and families in an urban setting.  Loving those that may never get a chance to go to a zoo, or feel welcomed in a church.  My heart is to minister and love people that feel unworthy of being loved.  People that our society seems to scoff at but people that Jesus desperately wants us to love in His name.

I have no idea how, moving forward, I will be able to support my family with this ministry.  I put in an application at that pet store even though they aren’t hiring and who knows, maybe God will position me there as a light in the darkness to minister.  Maybe there’s some other job on the horizon that I haven’t even fathomed yet which will allow me to truly love people in the name of Jesus.  Catching Creation is who I am and what I was designed to do, but it’s so much bigger than what I’ve been doing lately.  My prayer is that God will open doors so that I can minister and do outreach again.  God continue to break me, continue to remind me of your love and Lord thank you for your grace.  Lord send me, allow me to seek first the kingdom because I know you will provide for my family as we serve you.  Lord please be with that little boy tonight and bless him, thank you for allowing him to minister to me and I pray we can be reminded of why we all serve you.

Sometimes I Film Rap Videos

So my good friend and Christian rapper, Jeff Prince AKA "kid prince," and I decided after hanging out that we could film a quick music video for his new single "Gotta Listen."  This is the 4th music video we have made together and each time we have more fun than the last.  It's always a blessing working with him! Check out his facebook music page HERE

The Heartbeat Of Costa Rican Missions

This is a highlight from Peace Haven Baptist Church's Costa Rican Mission's trip August 6-13, 2013

The primary footage was shot on a Canon XF100 and various B-roll shots were filmed with Gopro Hero3 and Iphone 5 Music: "Intro" by The Ember Days ©2009 The Ember Days

www.facebook.com/CatchingCreation

Chance Is Going To Be A Missionary!!

One of my good friends and member of the Catching Creation team is going to Costa Rica as a missionary as a result of God putting a burden on his heart during our most recent missions trip. Please consider supporting Chance Feimster and his efforts down in Costa Rica and pray with us as we believe for new souls added to the Kingdom of God! 

You can support him here: http://chancefeimster.wordpress.com/support/

chance-amigo
chance-amigo

Marbled Salamander

In this clip from the Salamander Episode on Catching Creation Vol 3 DVD we talk about the parental care of Marbled Salamanderswww.facebook.com/catchingcreation

Music used with permission http://theeagerseas.bandcamp.com/ "Like Nothing I've Ever Seen" by The Eager Seas ©2013 The Eager Seas

Snakes In The Church!!!!

If I had a dollar for every weird look, awkward pause on the phone and email that went unanswered regarding my particular brand of ministry I think I would at least be able to buy a new snake...  I absolutely love what I do.  Somehow God has allowed me to combine my two passions into a job that really doesn't seem like a job at all.  I get to do what I love, how many people can honestly say that?  God is growing this ministry exponentially all of the time and I get to experience more and more things that I otherwise wouldn't get to experience.  The draw back is that most people don't share my love for ALL of God's creation.  I get asked to leave on occasion due to my scaly ministry partners, people often gasp or run out of the building when I pull out Rosie the rather large red tailed boa constrictor.

  I see the faces of parents grimace when I talk about the hognose snake's toxic saliva and cane toad's poison glands (both of which are harmless to us!) but the best part of what I do involves the joy on the faces of children when fear is replaced with wonder.  And in the end even the most squeamish of spectators is at least intrigued.

You see I firmly believe that God created everything inherently good in the beginning.  Sometimes it may take a moment for us to realize the goodness of say venomous snakes (which I do NOT use in presentations!), but God is good and so is his creation.

The curse of sin obviously changed the nature of everything that God created BUT the hope is that we can still see the good in everything and give God the glory for it.  My job is one part evangelist and one part conservationist. God has entrusted us with some pretty awesome natural resources and I think he takes pleasure in our responsible stewardship of said resources.  At a very basic level if I can illustrate the unconditional love of our heavenly Father and explain the effects of sin, separation caused by the curse and redemption in Jesus Christ and that snakes (and other creepy creations) aren't evil; then I have done my job.  My heart is to teach you, your child and anyone else that God not only loves you but he has a plan for your life and wants you to be made into a new creation.

 Jesus desires a relationship with you and it all started in that garden both before and after the temptation that came in the serpentine form.  After saying all of that I sincerely hope you will consider having me at your church, public or private school, vbs, summer camp, youth group, family service or really anywhere that has a captive audience and wouldn't mind my animal ambassadors.  Thanks for your prayers and support from the bottom of my heart!

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Or just shoot me an email at Info@CatchingCreation.com

It's A Jungle In Here!

It's A Jungle In Here!  Well ok, maybe not a real jungle, but it's a pretty neat greenhouse.  Today I visited the Reynolda Greenhouse in Winston near Wake Forest University.  This place is so beautiful, you should definitely check it out.

Colossians 2:6-7 -- So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Ephesians 3:16-19 --I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

 

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