Wednesday, July 29, 2009

C'mon Men!

The last couple days for me has really opened my eyes to the workings of God in men recently. I know we can go all over the Internet and find the doom and gloom of how men are not participating in the right things in our society, but as I see it, God is moving big time in the hearts of men.

Let's face it, men, for so many years, much of the "programming" in our society and church has catered to the female Participant as we seemed to try and reprogram what a man should be, think, and do. The truth is, God made men for the most part, to connect with others, programs, and teachings very differently than our female counterparts. We crave the rough and tumble, the sense of adventure, and often recklessness.

God is raising up churches here in America where pastors are appealing to this side of us. Pastors that are not afraid of a challenge, not afraid to eat meat, shoot a gun, and root for a football team (and even schedule services around the SuperBowl! Yes!) and have a HUGE heart for Jesus. A man's man - like Jesus was.

I am so thankful for the men in my life that understand this appeal and reality. It was very cool last night to hop on a men's online Bible Study hosted by
Healing Place Church hosted by Dan Ohlerking. These guys were very encouraging! Guys like Michael Harrison and his brother, Steve Harrison . I've yet to meet any of them yet, they encourage and pray for me and I do the same for them!

The above video of Hillsong's "No Reason To Hide" is a great example of a bunch of guys from Australia led by Joel Houston (son of Brian Houston;pastor). Guys screaming out their passion for Jesus!
Guys like Jonathan Bowen that I have built with, shot with, worked with, struggle with, ministered with, laughed and cried with. Friends like that are a rare gift indeed!

Our campus pastor, Howard Frist, who is not afraid to stand up and protect the flock with many things we sheep never realize is even going on. My pastor friends will know exactly what I'm talking about!

Men, look around you and find the other men that God is bringing into your life and join them in proclaiming the Kingdom of God as a man. It's the adventure of a lifetime!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Be Yourself!

Pressure is all around us! Pressure to perform, to "be all we can be", to be "more than we can be". Are you feeling the pressure? From work, family, friends, or even your church? There are times when God allows pressure in our lives to refine us but that is very different from what Jesus talked about...a pressure to be anything other than what God created us to be.

Consider Jesus' take on this pressure in Matthew 23:4. Very different words, indeed! “Instead of giving you God’s Law as food and drink by which you can banquet on God, they package it in bundles of rules, loading you down like pack animals. They seem to take pleasure in watching you stagger under these loads, and wouldn’t think of lifting a finger to help. Lots of people will pile unreasonable expectations on us. I'm not negating our responsibilities, just the extra things in our life that pull us down mentally and physically, and spiritually.

When I think about my heroes, I have to ask, "have I put them on a pedestal?" Have I placed myself on a pedestal? Have I allowed others to put me on a pedestal? Jesus is pretty explicit about that...Don’t set people up as experts over your life, letting them tell you what to do. Save that authority for God; let him tell you what to do"

With Jesus, we can be ourselves; no pretensions or facades. He sees the real us, and says, "take a load off, BE YOURSELF!" Being yourself will free you to have the most impact.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Get In The Water!

Kim told me an amusing little story from one of their walks on the beach last week. As she and the girls walked along the shore watching the little ripple waves coast in to greet them, a little sandpiper ran along in front of them.

This little guy made it a point of never getting his feet wet.

Each time a wave came in, he'd run just outside of it's reach!

Never quite letting that wave catch him!

Are you afraid of something that is holding you back from pursuing your passions? Maybe it's time to jump in and try. Who knows what life's treasures God has in store for you just beyond where you are now!

Connecting the Dots

This morning as I read some daily Bible reading as provided by YouVersion , I saw a pattern of continuity that is throughout scripture.

II Samuel 4 and 5 show the consolidation of David's kingdom and the futility of the Philistine's trust in their gods to give victory. I also appreciate that God does not hide the finer points of David's failings in taking concubines and wives though he was a man that pursued God and most times consulted of Him for direction. I believe God lets us see these frailties to remind us that He knows our weaknesses and to lean on Him; and to hopefully let us avoid some of the same pitfalls in our life.

Fast-forward to Jeremiah 10 where God is doing kind of a "I told you so" scenario for Israel still in future tense about following the idols that were nothing but sticks and stones made by the people that worship them. Perry Noble spoke yesterday at New Spring about the idols in our lives that we hold onto. Oh, I'd like to say that I don't have an idol, but the truth is, the minute someone tries to topple my idol, I get mad! My idol that God has revealed to me lately is PRIDE! I get my nose out of joint far too easily when others don't work around what I think should happen. God has really been gracious but firm in telling me, "Get rid of that idol" Umm, when God tells you that, it's best to do it!

Lastly, Matthew 21 - Jesus is greeted by well wishers (at best) as He rides into Jerusalem (that David conquered and fortified in II Samuel!) The irony though is that those same greeters turned into an angry mob calling for His crucifixion! Ouch! We've all experienced that to a degree maybe through someone who has stabbed us in the back, but it is also very easy to be a part of that mob too!

As these 3 passages come together, I pray; "God, let me be one who crucifies this flesh (toppling the idol of Pride), worships in Spirit and Truth (and not part of the mindless mob), and prays for Your guidance before making a move (as David in going to battle)! - Amen"

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My 3 Girls!

Tonight, I took a walk on the beach in Surfside SC with my 3 girls. Nicole brought the camera and I got them to pose for me next to the dunes. I snapped the shutter and then checked the screen. What happened next happens often as I think of the awesome family God has blessed me with. I got choked up.

I don't deserve this goodness, but God chooses to heap it on me anyway! Look at all God is blessing you with right now. Even in the difficult times, He lets a ray of sunshine pour down on you.

Time to read to the girls - good night!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Jesus, You Are

Jesus, You are
Deliverer------of my soul
Jesus, You are
Conqueror------of my heart

Jesus, You are the Mighty God
Jesus, You are Beginning and the End
Jesus, You are never far from me
So I will praise You, Jesus, for who You are

Jesus, You are
Strength-----for every trial
Jesus, You are
Provider-----of all my need

c2009 Leo Gallant and LG Productions

Friday, July 10, 2009

Bedtime Stories

Everyone likes a good story. A good story captures the imagination and can take us to another place and time.

Tonight, as my girls in their summer adventures, decided to set up the tent on the screen porch, it seemed to Kim and me that it was a great time to re-read the Little House series.

Such a simple story, a little girl with her family living in a simple (yet not easy) time in America. The courageous spirit of this little family from the late 1800's still inspires us today.

In a way, I long for that kind of life for me and my family. A life where everyday is a new adventure; where everyday brings new appreciation for all that God has blessed us with! The simple joys that Solomon expresses in Ecclesiastes - "the worker enjoying the fruits of his labor".

I think back to my Grampy Samuel Bishop Giberson (my middle name is Samuel for him), and remember things he used to make with his own hands, fishing poles, tops, whistles, etc. And the stories he used to tell about his dad who was a cook in the old logging camps riding down the river with trays of food for men who didn't make it back to camp that day and how he never spilled a drop! Stories of hiding from the Germans for 3 days in WWI when they were separated from their unit or the time when my Nanny Ethel Grace was 13 and had to drive the sleigh during a snowstorm to take visitors home.

Everyone has a story to tell; I have a few I have told my kids. Sleeping on a little island in the midlle of a river only to awaken to it rising from mountain snow melt. Accepting Jesus and being baptized in Cold Lake, Alberta where yes, it was COLD! Stories of how Kim and I met and were married; how God carried us through times of sorrow and how good He is to us! Reminding our kids of things they used to say and how they said them.

What's your story? Every day of our lives is a page in this book we are living and just like Laura Ingalls, our stories live on, eternal creatures that we are. Live like your story is courageous, inspiring, and memorable. God, the Master storyteller and keeper of stories is writing it down!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Leading Through Change

Got to spend a little time this afternoon at our new New Spring Greenville Offices on the way home from my office. One thing that strikes me about the New Spring staff is that they are themselves whether they are at the gathering spot (Carolina First Center) or at the office. I really appreciate their friendliness and it's cool to watch the obvious love and comraderie they share! Thanks to Kevin for the tour; it really is a great facility for the offices and FUSE student ministry!

I enjoyed getting to hear from Howard how God has moved through this whole amazing relocation deal. (He needs to write a book!) I get the sense as I recently saw someone on Twitter say to the effect of, "Better than having amazing stuff; Having amazing stories!" Listening to Howard's stories of working through the maze of negotiations and relo details is definitely a testimony to the fact that Howard believes that God is BIG and wants to do way BIGGER things than we could ever imagine. BIGGER things like the work that God is doing in people's lives through encouragement and introducing them to Jesus! I'm glad my campus pastor has this kind of faith even when things are uncertain. Im praying that God will continue to give wisdom as they strive to provide the right environments for people to experience worship and community - challenging when we are a Mobile Church! But hey, the Church should always be Mobile in a sense, right?

God is using our local body in so many interwoven stories going on in the Greenville area that it's impossible to deny His leading in all this! He has assembled a great staff who desire to walk in step with his leading and aren't afraid to mix it up and stay on the edge of their seat!

Rock on guys!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Timing Is Everything

I'm sitting on the back screen porch...tree frogs are's past midnight after this great day of waterfall hiking in North Carolina. I just got done reading some of my favorite blogs. I'm encouraged and challenged by these guys...

Steve is playing his guitar working on some new riffs for a song idea...occasionally asking me how it sounds...I saw on Twitter tonight, one of the GA guys I follow, his son just started crawling today; reminded me of Steve taking those first steps toward the Sunday Football game some 16 years ago.

Where does the time go? We ask this a lot, but seriously, this is flying much too fast for my liking!

We live in time, we plan around it, we hope and dream. The years slip by and we check to see if the dreams we envisioned have come to fruition or if they have been sitting, collecting dust.

I have a few dreams that I want to see come to pass. I want to fall more in love with Jesus. I want to fall more in love with Kim. I want to make great music that will bless others. I want to take better care of this body God has given me. (Yah, I saw the pics from our hike today!) I want my kids to always know how much I love them. I want to serve others more and have the financial freedom to do this more than we do.

I'm trying my best to follow Jesus and his example; resting in his grace and letting Him establish the timing for the dreams that He has placed in me. I love the fact that He has never forgotten me or walked away from me. As Matthew says, He is with me to the end of Time!

What dream has Jesus placed in you? Whatever it is, He has not forgotten, He has set the clock and when it is time, BE READY! Keep hanging on...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Freedom Rings - Can You Hear It?

Tonight starts the mini-vacation that is Freedom Weekend! As I write this, my daughter, Jessie, is peppering me with requests for words for her Mad Libs that she just got as an early birthday present. She turns 10 on Friday and is loving the freedom that this summertime brings!

Any of the patriotic weekends make me think of my relatives and friends that have served and/or fought for us to enjoy these freedoms. My Grampy, Samuel Giberson (now with Jesus), who as a lad of 16, headed to France in WWI and fought in one of the greatest battles of Canadian Army history - Vimy Ridge. He narrowly survived a bullet through his neck!

My friend (now with Jesus), James Clinton, who at the tender age of 19 was busy shooting down kamikaze's from the deck of his Cruiser in the Pacific

My dad, Leo Gallant, served as a Military Policeman in the Korean War and for 22 years in peacetime.

My brother, Bruce Gallant, served 20 years as an Artillery Officer.

And now my nephew, Charles Gallant, is in boot camp in the AirForce.

All the men that I have met who served in VietNam and in the Gulf Wars...

I love these men that God has put in my life as a reminder that Freedom is never Free. I love the fact that they were/are willing to lay it all on the line for you and me. I don't thank them enough, I don't appreciate their service enough, and truthfully, I never can fully. I can, however, live my life in a way that honors their service and sacrifice.

I am surrounded by heroes. We all are... Thanks Guys...

Where Is The Church? Where Am I?

From June 29, 2009

With all the talk by so many churches wanting to be like it was in the book of Acts, I wonder how far we are willing to go to test that! The real model seemed to be not so much in preaching to grow but in serving and experiencing growth as a by-product. I read a comment by our campus pastor, Howard Frist, that got me thinking about this; he said, "I wonder what would happen if we as the "C"hurch followed Jesus pattern when He was here and worked to meet peoples physical needs first?"
Tonight, Kim and I were at the home of a dear relative who recently has been drawn back to God through the encouraging environment of New Spring Church and the teachings of Perry Noble. She has had it rough in her life, a combination of a rough upbringing and bad choices, living most of her life as a single mom; currently separated, and now, clinging onto Jesus like never before and sharing Him everywhere she goes. Life is still hard for her in many ways and Kim and I discovered many things she needs help fixing around her house so she can sell and remove a lot of financial pressures as she seeks to honor God.
It's time for me to stop saying "Be warm and filled" and start serving like Jesus and BE the church more than just writing a check and running video at my church. Those are important too, but it's too easy to get disconnected from my "Neighbor" and cross to the other side of the road when I leave the four walls of a building.
The church in the book of Acts first met the needs of people (so much so that servants, ie deacons, were needed to help distribute money, food, etc) and that was what drew people to the Church after that first day of Pentecost. If we as the Church really want to see a move of God, it will start with me and you truly being out in the trenches and loving on people in a tangible way!
I'm rolling up my sleeves...

The Simple Life?

From June 18, 2009

The simple life...what come's to your mind when you hear this term? For some, we think of just laying around doing nothing at all, or we think of green meadows, crops in the fields; the whole pastoral scene. A life of ease, or is it?...
Do you remember how simple life was when we were kids? Our days were carefree and planned for us, our meals and transportation provided, our needs paid for; it didn't get much better. The problem is that as we got older and more "responsible", we've become conditioned to think that it's all up to us to make it happen and we can lose that sense of resting in someone else to take care of us. "Pull up your bootstraps, etc", "early bird gets the worm". We work ourselves into oblivion looking for that rest, but thinking if we don't stay "busy", we're bad people!
The simple life starts with simple obedience and reliance on someone bigger than us. As we enter into adulthood, that reliance becomes fully transferred to God if we are to enjoy the simple life. Man, I need to be reminded of that so many times!
God has called YOU to enter the simple life. If you don't know him yet, he stands at your heart's door and knocks. If you know him, he invites you to a place of calm (even in the middle of life's storms) to hear from him and to let you know he is there for you - whatever you need.
The simple life is not without it's struggles. When Kim and I were faced with problems with her 2nd preganancy and not knowing what to expect; we had to lean even more on God to face the unknown. When Valerie was born with multiple birth defects, it was his mercy that allowed us to hold her, feed her, LOVE her for her short 3 1/2 weeks on this earth and it was his AMAZING Grace that held onto us when we laid her in the ground. But we would never trade this struggle for anything as we learned more about the goodness of God in that September than ever before!
The simple life is one of Obedience; believe me, it was one of the hardest things to walk away from 15 years of ministry as a worship leader. God was telling me that I needed to focus on letting him truly capture my heart for him and for my family and to learn that ministry is not only on the stage. Wow, has my perspective ever changed to view everyone in the church as vital! And I've loved seeing my kids learn what it means to worship (whether by song or obedience).
So, are you ready for the simple life? It's waiting and it will blow your mind! It is not ordinary, but adventurous, epic, and yet Restful! What are you waiting for?

Dads On The Day After

From June 22, 2009

Yesterday was a great Father's Day for me. I got to spend lots of time with my kids travelling down to the beach. When you drive for 5 hours, it's nice to have people you love in the car with you! We've all endured long trips where the company hasn't been near as pleasant!
It's always interesting and fun to observe the differences there are at each age of my kids (9, 13, and 17) especially when it comes to choosing the music or movie in the car! But also on the wide variety of topics we chat about, age and maturity bring different perspectives. Our youngest, Jessica, typically lives in her world where everything revolves around her imagination! Our middle girl, Nicole, loves the closeness of the family circle (group hugs!) with just a hint of branching out beyond our inner circle. Steve, our oldest, has just one more full year with us and I can already see adventure in his eyes!
I pray for my kids. I pray that I am preparing them for the full life where they can see God's blessing in all areas of their lives. I pray that they will always follow and believe in God as a BIG GOD and that they will not be afraid to attempt the impossible! I pray that God will stretch their minds as He has mine. I pray that they will fly farther than I ever will. I pray that they will find true love and cherish the simple things in life.
I have been truly blessed with a great family. Just some thoughts this morning from the beach!
Have a Good Day!

Nailing it Down

From April 20, 2009

These past couple weeks, our local church, New Spring Church, has been presenting a very clear message of the good news of Jesus and why he came, through a series they call, The Gospel . Little did I realize the impact it would bring for my family until yesterday…Let me back up and tell the story of our two older kids, Steve and Nicole. Greatest kids in the world, very fun, caring, and we have thoroughly enjoyed them in each stage of their lives. Nicole has always wanted to do everything her brother does, playing, music, friends, etc. Both of them began asking questions about what Jesus was all about at an early age. Very early, Steve, after asking lots of questions (why do people die, what happens after death, who gets to go to heaven) told us he wanted to ask Jesus into his life. Nicole, like Steven also began asking questions about how to get to heaven and what happens after you die like little ones do around age 4 and 5. Kim and I would answer her questions but without pushing she in any way to make a decision that she might not be ready to understand at that age. Finally one day, after another one of her questions about why do we need Jesus, she came to the conclusion that she wanted to pray and ask Jesus to come into her life. So with a little help from her dad, she prayed a simple prayer asking Jesus to save her from her sins and to come into her life. Again, we did not push for it; Kim and I want our kid’s faith to be their own and not just because Dad and Mom believe it. (By the way, Steve did the same at age 4; he says he remembers) We believe that when Jesus tugs at your heart strings, that is something HE does, we are only conduits of his message, grace, and mercy in this world. The same is true for baptism, and especially since both Steve and Nicole prayed to ask Jesus into their lives at an early age, we wanted them to approach us about being baptized.Fast forward now a few years to when we started attending New Spring, our kids have thoroughly enjoyed and soaked up the teachings by Perry Noble , senior pastor. After hearing a message about baptism, Steve said that he would like to be baptized and then Nicole said she would like to as well. Both of them were baptized early this year and we all celebrated this next step in their spiritual journey with Jesus.This past Sunday was week two of The Gospel series and about half way through the message, as Perry was asking if you’ve ever really nailed down giving your life to Jesus, Nicole looked over at her mom and said, “I don’t really remember doing that”. Kim asked her if she’d like to talk to dad later that day and she said “No, I need to do this now!” So at the end of the message, when Perry asked if anyone would like to stand to indicate that they would like to receive Jesus, she did and prayed right there at her seat! We witnessed the miracle of a new birth in our 13 year-old daughter, Sunday, and just wanted to share it with you and oh, by the way, Nicole says you’re invited to her real baptism on May 16th!

Follow up Review to Killing Cockroaches

From Feb 18, 2009

I'm finishing up reading Tony's book.
Tony hits the nail on the head when it comes to the distractions that many (read "all") of us face everyday. The cockroaches are the little tasks/distractions that are often fun to deal with but keep us from focusing on what we shoud really be about. In anything we do, we have certain giftings, but we often want to dabble in things better left for others who are suited/gifted in these areas. I was recently reminded of this by Jon Bowen when I wanted to mess around with production on my latest recording. Jon graciously slapped my hands and reminded me to focus on Song writing and leave production to those who actually know what to do!
In one of my favorite excerpts, Tony talks about how one of those distractions can be people who don't follow your vision. We can spend a lot of time trying to "convince" people of the validity of that vision, but in reality, if people aren't ready, they aren't going to budge. Let God be our judge, after all, we will stand before Him, not people, family or friends. Sounds arrogant, but you know what I mean. The other part I really am trying to benefit from is Encouraging other leaders. Just because you are a leader, it doesn't mean that you have to try and do everything! Empower the leaders who work for you, they need it! Provide the vision, but give them the liberty to flourish and develop their leadership skills-you'll be amazed at what gets accomplished.
The books reads in clips. It is laid out in manageable chunks so you don't need to (nor should you) try and get it all in one sitting!
If you are in leadership, this is a must-read. You will appreciate Tony's perspective on leadership and life. Tony comes from both a corporate and ministry background and is currently one of our pastors at New Spring Church and Chief Strategic Officer (read "Intentional Ministry Minister").

More than I Deserve

From Jan 29, 2009

People often wonder about where songs come from and the truth is, songs can come from very unusual places: life's ups and downs, time with God, time with family and friends, a funny experience, a moving experience.
This particular song came from the story (referenced in a message at NewSpring Church last fall) of the paralyzed guy whose friends brought him to Jesus. I mean they REALLY brought him to Jesus - front and center. They were not deterred at all! They didn't consult anyone about the ethics of bringing this handicapped man to a religious gathering and we don't know if he even wanted to go. Something about this Jesus compelled these guys to hold nothing back and they did everything possible in their power to get a front row seat. Many, I'm sure, raised their eyebrows or even rolled their eyes at the idea of doing something so radical as to actually tear someones roof apart (I can hear the sirens now). Somehow, I'm thinking that they probably stayed and did some roofing before catching up with their friend with the newly energized legs! There is an awesome power that Jesus recognized in these guys; it's called faith. That faith started a chain of events that forever changed both theirs and their friends life. As a reward to their faith, Jesus looks at the guy on the mat who can't walk and says the unexpected, "Son, your sins are forgiven". Umm, I'm thinking that was the last thing anyone was expecting to hear; including the guys who brought him to Jesus.
My family and I have recently had the opportunity to see people we love reconnect with Jesus, simply by being willing to be a part of their lives and also inviting them to worship with us (inviting them to encounter Jesus). It's always so cool to see God do the unexpected in how he works in people's lives and to realize that this life is a journey that we all are on. God always looks past the things that we think are the issues and addresses the reality of what holds us down so he can lift us up! I know that God has used good friends in my life to encourage me to keep my eyes on him and on the desires that God has placed in me. Now, for each of us, the way we speak into each other's lives will look very different; for some, it'll be verbal, and for others, actions, some-a little of both.
I want to do that for others, through my songs, through words of encouragement. How does it look for you? We've all been "given more than we deserve", and have the capacity to really "live life"!

Initial Review of Tony Morgan's "Killing Cockroaches"

From January 5th, 2009

I'm about 70 pages into this reading of Tony's "musings on leadership". First of all, you might be surprised to know that although there are a lot of references to "church" leadership, Tony's experiences from the corporate and public sector, and now church world very much translate to any walk of life.
I've enjoyed how he has broken up his experiences and stories into smaller snippets making it easy to sit down and read just enough to digest instead of expecting this short attention spanned reader to try and consume/digest it all.
Tony's stories point out for us how distracted we can become whether intentional or unintentional. These distractions are the "cockroaches" and are the things that keep us from focusing on our real purpose. We love the immediate gratification of killing cockroaches, or "putting out fires" to some. When it comes to being a leader, we can either lead and delegate (both tasks and authority) or we can hog all those tasks (and authority) and only deliver mediocrity.
Cudos for using multiple examples from different types of leaders and not just his own. I guess he is trying to put his own observations into practice!
Tony ( is one of our pastors and the Chief Strategic Officer at New Spring Church ( and his job is to shake things up and keep communications from ever getting static in how New Spring does church. Not always popular, usually controversial, he says he's living his dream life! Keep it coming, Tony, we need it.

My Little Girl experiences "No Pain, No Gain"

My youngest got her ears pierced today! It was fascinating to watch her build up her courage to go through pain to get what she's wanted since she was 4 years old. Jessica got up in the chair and held on to a teddy bear while the assistant marked the location on her ears. She had them done one at a time. A few tears later, she was very excited! It's amazing what we will endure when we really want something bad enough. Maybe it's enduring some hunger pains when losing a few pounds or learning new skills to better our job situation. Point is, we either move forward or fall backward and if we want to move forward we will experience discomfort. But hey! No pain, no gain! Go Jessica!

Roach Overkill

Twittering today I noticed Tony Morgan ( and a comment about his book, "Killing Cockroaches" and it brought to mind a humorous story perfomed by a couple of single dudes (Names withheld to protect the innocent roaches!) I worked with in my construction days in Greenville. Seems they had a little problem on their hands with roaches, they had the roach motels and all - in efforts to try and get rid of them. One fine Sunday afternoon, they were sitting and watching TV in the living room when one of them critters went waltzing across their fine hardwoods. Fed up and too lazy to get up to go stomp on the sucker, one said dude grabbed his 44 Magnum pistol (given the neighborhood they lived in) and fired one well placed shot that carved a nice groove in that fine white oak, picking up the roach in its path and burying him under the baseboard. Wish I had pictures, but imagine tiny little legs sticking out from under the base shoe.
Oh, and for those wondering, it was a Smith and Wesson Model 629 Classic, chambered in 44 Magnum and with a 4 inch barrel. (I think!)