Archives For love

“How can I help people give more of their life away?”

That’s a question that I’ve been wrestling with for the past nine months or so. As a pastor I’m always trying to figure out where the next spot is, spiritually, that I should lead our local church. And the thing I keep coming back to is that we want to love people well and part of loving people well is serving them.

But why ask THAT question at all?

Well, simply put, the measure of a life well lived is not in how much one acquires or accomplishes, it’s in how well one loves.

This past Easter, our church, Two Cities Church, partnered with Action Community Church, the City of Clovis Parks and Recreation Department and the Clovis Police Department to put on the very first church-city Easter event to serve our community. We planned for 3,000 people and ended up with over 2,000.  Enjoy this vlog I put together showing some of the set up, event and tear down process.

Today marks the end of a significant part of our family story.

We have shut the door on an incredible season of personal and family growth. And we have opened a new chapter.

On July 3, 2017 we welcomed a little boy into our home as our foster son. Elijah came to us at just the right time. He hit the ground running, growing, learning, and yes, screaming too. And it’s been a big process adjusting to life with three kids and it’s been especially challenging because he came to us at 3-years-old.

Erica and I have always felt called to do for one what we wish we could do for all, through fostering to adopt or fos-adopt. Even before we were married we talked about adoption and always knew it was something we wanted to do down the road. We started seriously looking into it close to two and a half years ago when someone called us out of the blue asking if we would think about adopting their grand-daughter’s baby. That threw us for a loop and forced us to begin having conversations. We determined it wasn’t the right time or situation. But we began a process.

In that process, even before we welcome Elijah to our home, there were plenty of ups and downs. We were “submitted” for a lot of kids. But we were never chosen. We were praying fo the right child, at the right time, for the right reasons and God did not disappoint. When we were brought to a “disclosure” meeting with the county of Fresno department of social services, we were handed a huge redacted packet of Eli’s history. We asked questions and we were presented with all of the data. And then we had to leave and think and pray about it.

The next day our social worker called us and said, “So, what do you think?” All I could say was, “I’m running out of excuses. Let’s do it.” And I don’t regret any of it.

Today marks the end of that process.

Today, February 23, 2018, we went from fostering Elijah to welcoming him as our newest Foster. If you track with our social accounts, you’ve missed a lot of what’s been happening because we could only post certain things and we couldn’t show his face. But now, as Elijah James Foster, and our son, we can show his face.

I’d like to invite you to enjoy this montage video of some highlights from the last 7 and a half months.

Our experience with Elijah has revealed to me, even more, the depth of God’s love for us. I can’t wait to share some of those things with you. Stay tuned.

The following is from an Instagram/Facebook post my wife posted. It is a reflection of our heart and I am so proud to be married to this woman.

I have been putting this boy to bed for several months. He likes to hold my hand as he falls asleep, since the first night in our home. I couldn’t even count the number of those nights that he would fall asleep and I would look at his sweet face and sob asking God why. SO MANY WHYS! And wondering how I was going to let someone I love so much go.

A song called Take Courage has been playing in my heart and mind since we were in child search. Those nights I would have to really command myself to “take courage my heart. Stay steadfast my soul. He’s in the waiting. Hold on to your hope. Let your triumph unfold. HE’S NEVER FAILING!

Well a few weeks ago we experienced a major turn of events, and a true Christmas miracle for our family and I really saw how much God has been at work in our waiting. We found out that WE get to be this sweet boy’s FOREVER FAMILY.

Wow God…

Now when I put him to sleep I can look at this face with deep deep gratitude for what God has done and only He could have done.

I’ve been processing a lot in these past few weeks the very painful process of adoption for everyone involved…the foster parent who has to let the child go, the bio family who can’t care for the child, the adoptive parents who know that their joy comes out of lots of pain and brokenness, the child who has experienced more loss than any human should ever have to.

It would be an understatement to say that fostering and adoption have become so important to me and close to my heart. If you want to talk about getting more involved in this community, I would love to talk to you.

Thank you to all who have been praying for our family during this season.


When we started Two Cities Church, we literally thought to ourselves, “What would a church that (insert name here) would go to look like?” Jamie Medeiros was one of those names. Erica and I have known her for many years now and we’ve never stopped praying her and her family. At one point she told me, “I hate that $%#&*#$* bible.” And now she proclaims Jesus. I am blown away at how God has worked in her life. Now because of the faith she has in Jesus and because her and her son Jack come every week, her son is now telling others that Jesus loves them.

In her story, you’ll notice the many different people played a role in Jamie’s story. One of my favorite quotes is from one of those people and reads, “You are his princess and I love you.”

Imagine how differently our lives might be, if we honestly knew and lived as if this was true.

If you’re looking for a place…
  • that you can be yourself
  • that you are not judged for not knowing about the bible
  • that you can ask the questions you think
  • that you can explore faith without pressure
  • that you can remain anonymous as long as you want
  • that you can belong before you believe
  • that you can believe before you behave
  • and that you can get a sense of family and acceptance

Come and See what we’re all about.

You may also like these stories:
Rudy, JoAnne, Donny, Annette, Cady, Mauro

I Was Blown Away.

June 9, 2015 — 1 Comment

Rudy Gonzalez has an amazing story of redemption. From a stubborn heart to an unbelievable man of God that I am proud to say is my friend. Rudy’s story should be a testimony to us all about grace. I love it when he says, “I was blown away.” I remember that day very clearly and it’s because of these kinds of stories that I continue to seek God’s will in this church-planting adventure at Two Cities Church.


Almost everyone can relate to those two words. I’ve felt it and chances are you have felt it, do feel it now or will feel it at some point in the future.

Cady’s story starts like this, “I was lost and depressed…”, but it doesn’t stop there. She has an incredible story of redemption. And there’s something incredibly redeeming about telling the world where you’ve been and how Jesus has rescued you from that. You may even share her experience and I pray that this story somehow, creates renewal in you, creates a sense that freedom is possible and Jesus loves you too!

On November 22, 2013 I had the pleasure of baptizing Cady at the first ever baptism gathering with Two Cities Church.

Cady is a child of God. She is redeemed. She is forgiven and she is forgiving. She loves Jesus and has recently started volunteering at Two Cities. She is no longer lost and depressed. She is no longer defining herself by those words. She is now a daughter of the creator God! She serves Jesus because he first loved her.

I love the part where she talks about not intending to, but finding herself in a church talking to a pastor. That’s the divine direction we all need, a guide, a nudge, an intuition to do something out of the ordinary in order to find an extraordinary relationship with Jesus Christ.

Interested in a growing relationship with Jesus Christ?
We’re interested in leading you into that relationship.
Interested in getting baptized?
We’re interested in baptizing you.
Contact me for details.

Interested in knowing more about Two Cities Church?
You can find us this Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 5pm at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District Building in Old Town Clovis.
808 4th St., Clovis, Ca 93611

Come catch a glimpse.

glimpse cover fb

Do you have a need for Justice?

One of my favorite verses in the Bible actually encourages us to SEEK JUSTICE, LOVE MERCY and WALK HUMBLY with YOUR GOD. [Micah 6:8] But what kind of Justice is that? Is that the kind that when you hit me, I need to hit you back? I don’t think so. I think the Justice the Bible encourages is more like a social justice, sticking up for those who can’t stick up for themselves.

So what about those moments when someone wrongs me?
What if all the people who claim to follow Jesus acted like the people in this video?

Have some hurts?
The only thing that will set you free is to set them free. Forgiveness. It’s a gift and you can have it too.

Trust vs. Suspicion

April 26, 2012 — 2 Comments

I just spent the last hour of my life with a man I’ve never met before.
I pulled into the church parking lot from lunch and he was pushing a shopping cart across our property.
He asked to use our restroom to wash his hands.
I let him.
I stood with him while he washed and he said, “You don’t trust me, do you?”
I said, “I don’t know you.”
He said, “Exactly.”

Then he preached for about 40 minutes.
I listened.
I let him tell me how Jesus lived.
I let him tell me that I need to have more faith.
I let him read Psalm 33 to me… the entire chapter.
I let him tell me that the people in our church probably don’t appreciate what we have.
I let him tell me that God would bless me in unbelievable ways.
I let him tell me that my soon-to-be-born daughter would be a blessing to my family as well as lead people to Jesus.
I let him tell me that before I go to bed tonight, I need to be thankful for the blessings God will give me in anticipation of those things.
I let him go a little Mark Driscoll on me.
I let him hug me.

Why did I let him do all that?
I don’t know.
It’s not in my nature to entertain a conversation with a homeless person who smells, who is missing most of his teeth, and who looks like I can only imagine John the Baptizer looked.

By the end I had promised him I’d be thankful for what I have.
I gave him a new bible, because his was stolen.
I gave him the book Crazy Love, by Francis Chan.
I gave him two bottles of water and some mini-cupcakes.
And I felt a sense of unity.

On a normal day, I would not have entertained it.
But this time, I’m glad I did.

Do not forget to show hospitality to [entertain] strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.Hebrews 13:2

This is not the first time I’ve had strangers, who were homeless basically prophecy to me. The first time was when Erica was pregnant with Josiah. She told me that He would be an amazing man of God. This time Erica is pregnant again.

What would you have done?

Happy Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2012 — 1 Comment

Today is the day commercialism and society determine we have to spend money on our significant others… or so says my friend Chris.

Here’s my take:
I just want to celebrate my awesome wife.

Is it because society tells me I should?
No. It’s because she’s awesome.

She is a woman of God who supports me in my every effort.
She is a great “Supporter” (RightPath Profile) and I’m a “Driver.”
I’m told that every Driver needs a Supporter and there’s just something between us that works.
I call it divine intervention.

There’s no doubt in my mind that she is the woman God intended for me from before we were born.
There’s lots of theories on all that stuff, but in my case, I believe she, specifically, was intended for me and I for her.

So, on this Valentine’s Day. We’re going on a date. And I’m going to show her I love her.

Who are you celebrating today?

My Screaming Wife // 4

January 6, 2011 — 1 Comment

We got through all of 2010 without a “screaming wife” episode…but in the start of 2011, we’ve killed our quiet streak. If you haven’t been following these little outbursts, you can catch up here:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Now for Episode 4.

A few nights ago I was in a dead sleep. I mean the kind of sleep that if woken up, happiness is void from the universe. I heard a weird sound from Erica. It’s the same sound she makes every time she’s having a nightmare. It starts as a slight groan and builds to a hyperventilation and finally a barbaric yelp.

Only this time it was a little different. She did the strange groan…but then she grabbed my chest, starting to hyperventilate and shouted, “Who the hell are you?!!!” all while I was trying to wake her up.

After she woke up…she was very confused. She was dreaming that she had gone to calm our son down in his room and on her way back to our room our front door opened and a woman walked in. And that’s when she yelled.

After telling me the story and the dream, I was out-of-it and I just wanted to fall back asleep. The only problem was that every 30 seconds or so Erica would break out into laughter over the incident. Not like a LOL, but more of a silent chuckle. The kind that shakes your body, but makes no sound. So I couldn’t fall back sleep for 30 minutes because every time I almost fell asleep the bed would shake from her silent chuckle-tremors.

And even as I type this… Those tremors continue.

I love my screaming wife.