Big Steve

Just a man trying to become a better Christian following Jesus and those that follow him.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Thank you Father for this day. Amen!

I am glad God created food. And I am even more glad that He has shown me He is my Living Water, may I never be thirsty again.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Catching Water

I just witnessed one of the coolest things you could see. Tonight it was bath night for Jonah and that is just a fun time for Alasha and I. I can remember the first time we put him in the tub. It was the funniest thing you want to see. Jonah has this look that says’ “uh, what are you doing with me? Did you take a parenting class to handle me? You are making me nervous.” He gives this look to anyone he meets for the first time and to people who introduce him to new things (toys, foods, etc). So when we put him in the tub and he just sat there looking at us, we were laughing very hard, trying not to scare him. Eventually he got the idea that it was ok and struck the water, both hands – hands down, and it shot back up in his face. Again he had that look on his face that said, “hey what is stuff doing to me”. After a while he was playing and having a good time.
I guess the thing that inspired me to write this blog is what I just saw Jonah trying to do. Alasha turned the water on to fill the tub back up as the water slowly drains out of our tub. All of a sudden Jonah was reaching out with both hands trying to catch the water stream coming out of the faucet. His hands keep clapping together as he tried to catch the water. It was hilarious. His big brown eyes getting bigger than ever as he tried with all his might to catch the water stream. He would look back at Alasha and then try again. The funny thing is as I was watching him, and he not knowing that he couldn’t watch the water; it dawned on me that there are a lot things I know I can’t do yet I continue to try, or questions I don't know the answer to. I suppose you will here this message from me a lot. I just want to remember that know matter what – “Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.”(Rom 7:25 NLT) God Bless You!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Chris Rice's Amusing album review

The first thing I need to say is that if you have not heard of Chris Rice that is ok. I mean you have been choked off from one of Christian Music’s premiere song writers, but that happens. OK, now for those of you who have heard of Chris, you will know what I mean when I say his latest gift to us is yet another example of man getting out of Gods way; and allowing himself to used up in a beautiful way.
“Amusing” has 11 tracks and they all offer a little something different to encourage to Jesus follower and those who are not. The album starts off with a Prelude and that is simply a cool rock-a-billy sounding intro to the first cut – Love Like Cray. This is probably the most rocking song on the album and it is a call for God people to start loving one another in a radical way and then spreading that love to a world searching. When Did You Fall is a groovy tune that seems to have a double meaning – asking the question when did the object of his affection fall in love with him? This is one of those songs that could mean a earthly love or the love of Jesus. Breakfast Table is a beautifully written ode to Heaven and perhaps someone in Chris’ life who has gone on before him. The nice thing about this song is that it is written in three-four which gives one the feeling of dancing around heaven. The Final Move is set cleverly in the middle of a chess game. It talks about how in the game of life we may come across things that make life tough but Love (Jesus) has the final move.
I could go on and talk about every song on this album individually but that would take more time than I have at this point. Know this, Chris Rice has again struck gold with an album that speaks to us in many ways and pulls on the right heart stings as we walk towards heaven. Pick it up and be encouraged. God bless you all.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Sunday @ PUMP church

This past Sunday was a blast. I was reminded of so many things, the main being - God rocks! Let me tell you how.
At PUMP we are running a curriculum for our children called 252 Basics. The cirriculum is awesome. It is a small group set-up for children grades k - 5. It consists of 3 different meetings for the children. They start in their small groups to have the topic of the lesson introduced by their small group leaders (teachers) and an activity that supports the topic. This time is called "Catch On". Next, the children come together in a big space where there is a host, a worship leader, and a story teller. These people work together to support the topic in a large group format. This is called "Power Up". Finally the children go back to thier small groups to study the topic more in depth. This is called "Plug In". Anyway, I am the host for our time together. That means I get to basically hang-out wtih the children and keep the flow between the storyteller and the worhshipleader. Well this Sunday when Adam Wolfgang, our worship leader for Power Up, started leading the children I got excited. I was praising God loud and jumping around with the children. I am sure the children thought I had lost my mind but they were praising God also, so we were one big happy family given all praise to God. I don't know if you can picture a 6'2, 300lb man jumping with a bunch of children, but it happened. And everything was great until the song was finished. It was at that point that I realized that was the most exercise I had had in about 2 weeks. I was sweating and searching for my breath somewhere back in the middle of that last song. The rest of the day basically went like that. Ike, our preacher for the day, did a great job summing up the book of Acts. It was a great day.

It was later on that it dawned on me that while I was praising God with the children, I was a child and am a child to God.

Thank you Lord for reminding me how "Great Thou Art"

Your child - Big Steve!

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Power of Encouragement!

I have recent made some connections to an orginization through Emily our intern for Micah Project here at PUMP. The orginization is POIC (Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center). I am working with the director of mentoring for POIC Kim Filla to work with a group of 5 young men. I will get to encourage those young men and let them know that someone cares. That is a powerful concept. You have heard it said, "If you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all". Well I say, "Find something good to say". For those of you that don't like to come across as "fake" just tell how good God has been to you and tell someone He can do it for them too. I am sure Paul was greatful for Barnabas (Son of encouragement - Acts4:36) upon his return to Jerusalem (Acts 9:19-31)
God bless your day and remember to encouarage.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Concert!

I would say that I am tough critic on concerts. It probably comes from going to so many over my short lifetime and then performing in a few. One thing I’ve learned is that music is definitely art. In other words, what one person thinks is trash someone else thinks is beautiful. Well, with that said, the Rascal Flatts concert was great. It was held in the Rose Garden Arena where the Portland Trailblazers play and arenas are just tough to mix in. The opening acts where Keith Anderson and Blake Shelton. Although I see Blake Shelton headlining very soon, he was still considered an opening act. The man can flat out sing. The Lord must have slapped him in the throat and said you are singing country music because he was nice. Keith Anderson is definitely and opening act and I am sure we will see more of him.
Now for the main event: Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus, and Joe Don Rooney make up the group Rascal Flatts. The stage was very nice. They keep the party going with hit after hit and few words of funny to keep things light and fun. Some highlights were the man they had playing fiddle, the performance of “God Bless the Broken Road”, and nods to Bon Jovi (You Give Love a Bad Name), Def Leopard (Pour Some Sugar on Me), and Bruce Springsteen’s (Born In the USA). The crowd was electric and definitely ready and Rascal Flatts did not disappoint. Jay DeMarcus (the bass player) is very talented and did a stint at the piano with some Jerry Lee Lewis and Beatles. Joe Don (lead guitarist) sang one or their hits from the first album and then lead everyone in Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places”. Hats off to the techs, riggers, and sound engineers, they did a great job.
Well that was the first even of the Tri – Fecta. I am looking forward to some time with my wife in a more quiet setting tomorrow night. Take care and I will see you all another time.

The Tri - Fecta

The tri-fecta, a term I have heard from Dick Vitale, an ESPN college basketball analyst, is a term that applies to the next three evenings of my life. When Dick shouts, “and he sank the tri-fecta, baby!” he means a three-point jump shot was made. When I use the term I am referring to the Rascal Flatts concert tonight, the Horton’s are giving Alasha and I a date night by watching Jonah for us, and Saturday night we are going to see a good friend of mine in a jazz group (Mosaique).
Like I have said before, life has been a little chaotic in the Maxwell house so these next couple of evenings should prove a little relaxing and fun for Alasha and I. For those of you who see that the concert is Rascal Flatts , you are not seeing things and I will give a review. I like country music and pop music and this is pop-untry or puntry music. It should be a treat. I will keep you posted.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Any Tips

Ok, it has happened. The next step of baby-kind! The crossing of the immobile threshold! The further graying of the parental unit’s thin graying hair! You ask what I am talking about. I am announcing that Jonah Tobias Maxwell is crawling. Not, just barely getting around, but full blown hand and knee movements. I have to admit he is very cute, but that means we are remodeling (baby proofing) our house. We have had about 5,000 children at PUMP church (Ok, so I am exaggerating) but I am going crazy so I am calling out for tips on dealing with the moving baby! Thanks in advance for your help!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Why oh Why Didn't I Take the Blue Pill

I recently had the blessing of attending the Northwest Youth Ministers Seminar hosted by Cascade College. I would say that I was blessed but that would not be a great understatement. It was great. One of the biggest blessings for me was to hear Mike Armour talk to us about “The Nature of Christian Change”. His sessions reaffirmed some things I have looking into.

I was initially moved by Donald Miller’s “Blue Like Jazz”. His book said to me that being a Christian looks a lot different than I have been living; and I know better. I just choose to fit in. Now for someone who has been a Christian for over 20 years that is very sobering. So in light of some other readings: Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People , Andy Stanley’s 7 Practices of Effective Ministry to mention a few; I have been in the middle of transformation Romans 12:1, 2 style. It has been good but difficult. The thing for me is that I really love my church and I think my church is a church that is taking on the challenge of true transformation. It will be a rough ride, but we are clinging to God and looking forward to the transformation that will take place. Now for those of you that know I am a member of PUMP church I am talking about PUMP church along with all of my brothers and sisters around the world. Pulling people out of the “Matrix” so to speak will be difficult but I think we have hit a generation that is willing to take the red pill.
Having grown up in the South where Jesus is served up like Starbucks coffee, and living out here in the Northwest where that is not the case; I have been blessed to see people in both areas and even other places take a long hard look at their lives. The person who is truely passing through does what they need to survive here but not set up camp here (on earth). I have a freind who does not watch "R" rated movies. Is he extreme? Sounds like to me his is. And that is actually good. Morpheus did not tell Neo jokes as he was pulling him out of the Matrix, but he did stick around to make sure the process (of pulling him out of the Matrix) he started took hold to the point that Neo could function on his own.
I have had times when I wish I had taken the Blue Pill, but the more I learn about Jesus and His reality - the more convinced I am that I made the right choice in taking the red pill.
Colossians 1:27

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

A Music Buying Spree

For those of you who know me, please keep me in your thoughts. For you see I have completed a very calculated music buying spree. Calculated means it was in the budget. Anyway, I purchased 4 albums that have blessed me in different ways. I purchased Nickel Creek’s “Why Should the Fire Die?”, Sara Groves’ “Add to the Beauty”, Chris Rice’s “Amusing”, and Kirk Franklin’s “Hero”. Now I need to say that these albums are all very good. I am still digesting them so I can not give a review just yet, but know that one is coming. Knowing me I will refer to these albums in future blogs.
I highly recommend Sara and Chris no matter what I have to say in the future because they are anointed with the gift of song writing. Now Kirk Franklin’s album is in heavy rotation at my house and you can ask Jonah – there is not one song even close to sorry. This album is extraordinary, but like I said I will do a review later. Nickel Creek's album has great musicianship and clever lyrics. Some of the lyrics, however; are questionable and those of you who get the disc and listen carefully, you will see what I mean. But it is nice.
Oh well, until then take care and God bless whoever it was that dropped Fred Hammomd’s DVD off at my house for a minute. Peace!