Wednesday, October 31, 2007

siezing an opportunity

Yesterday, I spoke again at Dayton CLC's youth ministry and was there for the passing of the mantle from one YP to another. It was cool to share that experience with my good friend Andy Warren. I also got to spend an hour with Stan Tharp which is always beneficial. He is a mentor of mine and I appreciate any time that I can get with him. One of my core values is to "chase mentors". Tomorrow I get to pick up Mark Batterson (incredible church planter from DC) from the airport and sit down over a cup of coffee with my team present as well. He is flying in to do our church planters review through our district office. You can best I will have a ton of questions and I won't be doing much talking. We never learn when we are the one's talking. Anyway, I look forward to hanging with him and downloading some of his experiences as a church planter.

you can tell

You can tell a lot about when someone when they begin to talk. The Bible talks about how we speak from our hearts. So whether it's poison or life giving words, they both reveal what is going on in someone's heart. It is also easy to see if someone is over or under something by the way they talk about it. What does our hearts reveal about us, when it comes to the words we speak?

Monday, October 29, 2007

advisory board

Last night, Gary Fowler and I went with 2 of our advisory board members to a "Leadership Tour" put on by our district office. I feel totally blessed to have a board that understands their role and carries it out. I have been in many churches where the board feels their role is to "represent" the church and to make happen what the people are desiring to see happen. Or there is a serious power struggle on direction and if it's something they don't completely agree with. In the end, the church always suffers and it's growth is stiffled.
I am incredibly blessed to have board who's role is to support me by being a sounding board, accountability, prayer support and friendship. Our model is - Staff Guided, Board Guarded and Congregation Gifted. I am loving this journey.

Friday, October 26, 2007


In the 8th grade, I was the 95lb county champion wrestler. I know that is hard to believe, but it is true. That singlet looked like a poncho on me. Luck was on my side seeing that the guy seeded #1, suddenly came down with a hernia. I hope it was luck......because I was praying really hard. HA! Anyway, this week I felt like I was wrestling through this message I'm going to speak this Sunday on GREED. I never thought of myself as greedy....I mean c'mon I'm a church planter. According to American standards I'm sure I would be in the elite of givers to non-profits (God's Kingdom), but according to God's standards is another issue. God desires us to be generous, but many times we live financially and time wise, with NO MARGIN. Then when we see a need to give money or time to, we have nothing left. Or how about when we get some extra cash, we immediately think it is for us. When we are in need, we ask God "Where are you?". But when we have extra, we never ask "What am I to do with this?". I guess I'm just battling the whole American culture that keeps our focus on what we don't have. I've been wrestling with my greed in the little unnoticed areas of my life. I love when God's Word and His Spirit forces me to wrestle with my shortcomings so I can become a little more like HIM.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Dutch Brothers

I almost forgot I had snapped this picture while in Oregon of a new coffee company that is quickly growing on the West Coast. Which usually means, it will hit Ohio in about 3-5 years...ha! I had a cup on the way to the airport and it was decent. We actually went out of our way driving so that I could try this "new" brand of coffee. Usually when I travel, I want to go to, or eat at places that are NEW or that I've never tried. I love to try new things and experience all that I can, any chance I get. I'm trying to teach this to my kids this, but they are not as eager. In fact there have been times (while laughing) I have almost forced something into their mouths only for them to smile and ask for more. Why is that? Is it fear of the unknown or leaving our comfort zone? I think many times when God is trying to get us out of our comfort zone to experience more of life or to accomplish His work, we run back to the familiar. What are you missing out on because you are afraid to try.....or be obedient?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

never taken for granted

Last night I spoke at Dayton CLC's Youth Ministry. We had a great time and saw God do some cool stuff in students lives. My good friends Andy & Beth Warren are about to step in as new YP"s and I am totally stoked for both them and the church.

A.D.D. side bar - My heart is to NEVER get to the place where I take for granted the anointing and/or the presence of God. I have seen where some ministers have gotten so accostomed to the anointing, that treat opportunities to preach the sacred Word of God, without the respect that is deserved. It's almost like we can become addicted to God's Anointing to the place where we get "used to it" and not realize what God has entrusted to us.....until it is gone. I mean look at Samson! God's anointing and power was on his life even when he began to stray and walk the fence......until God removed it from His life. My heart is to do my best to treat anything that God trusts me with, with utmost care, fear and respect.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Today, we talked about anger and forgiveness. It was great to see some people in both services respond to God's Word as the Holy Spirit does the work that only HE can do. A couple key points were:
- Anger says, "You owe me"
- The root of anger is: I'm angry because I did not get my way.
- The fact is that something has been stolen from us, and we want someone to pay up.
* Most of the time, what had been taken, can never be repaid.
- How long will you allow someone you don't even like, continue to control your life?
- The remedy for anger is forgiveness.
- Quit playing the role of the victim.
* Victims are powerless and can only react.
- Mt 18:21-35
* Forgiveness = Canceling the debt

- Mad props to Andy Stanley -

Saturday, October 20, 2007

true church health

Tomorrow is the Columbus Half and Full Marathon. Of course as luck would have it, it always falls on a Sunday. We have preached personal health a few times and have several people at C3 who have truly bought in. In fact, tomorrow we will have 5% of our congregation actually running in the 2 races. What other church can say that? Ha! That is proof that we are striving to be a healthy more ways than one.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Day with my kids

My Keri has been at the Ministers Wives Retreat for the last couple days. Which means......I get to hang with my kids the whole time! It really has been fun. I get a little work done during their nap times and after their bed times. But when they are up, I want to be all there for them. God convicted me a few years ago of how I put some much time, energy, creativity and focus into my work and give my family the leftovers. Now when I'm home, I want to be ALL there. I want to give them my very best. There are times when I come home exhausted......but my kids are excited and ready to play. In those times, I must die, so they can live! Truly, their little lives are my greatest investment, legacy and proof of what kind of man that I really am.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

new series

Last Sunday we just jumped into a new series entitled "It Came From Within." It is taken from Andy Stanley's book of the same title. We are dealing with 4 "monsters" or diseases of the heart. It is a much more of a heavy series that really forces us all to take an honest look at what we struggle with. The 4 area's are guilt, anger, greed and jealousy. Dave Stewart designed our slide, It has that "old School" monster feel, just in time for halloween,

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


This Saturday we will have another big Outreach event for the families of our Community. On the property we will have Free hayrides, pumpkin painting, games, bonfire/smores, inflatables, chili cook-off, box maze, music and more. It should be a lot of fun. We are praying for a great turn out. Time will tell. Usually after one of our events, we have have a huge number of guests show up. I feel good about that now that we have our community groups up and running and about to launch our 3rd service in a couple of weeks. I think many times the church (in general) will do something big to bring in people, but then not have plan for moving them toward Christ. This weekend is a "bridge" event where our people can "serve" and reach out to the community with "no strings attached." Praying for NO RAIN.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

#1 baby

It is a great time to be an Ohio State Buckeyes fan. It has been fun rooting for a team that no one considered to be a national championship contender. But time changes alot. The Buckeyes have played pretty consistent throughout the year. Coach Tressel is all about getting better and "peaking" at the right time. It reminds me of what Brother Crabtree told me "if you keep doing the right things long enough, it will eventually pay off." The same goes for us in life. As we continue to work hard and live with integrity, we will continue to move forward.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

serving opportunties

This past weekend while talking with some young leaders at the Oregon Convention, I was asked "How did you become a national speaker?" I started laughing. I told them I'm a church planting pastor that gets a few invitations now and then to travel and speak. I am always humbled by any invitation to come and minister. But I also shared how tonight I may be on stage in front of a big crowd, but when I go home, there are times I will be cleaning the toilets in our church. I shared that in God's eyes it's all about serving. How, it's more of a heart issue with God than anything else. In man's eyes (and sometimes pastors eyes) we see that the bigger the ministry, venue or paycheck, the bigger the success. But we have got it all wrong. "If you want to be great in God's Kingdom, learn to be the servant of all." Honestly, every time I hop on a plane or get in my car to go speak, I am totally humbled and honored that God would trust me. So no matter how, where or what it looks like, my allegiance is to Christ and I am compelled to serve in anyway HE sees fit.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

cool cats

At the Oregon Convention, I got to minister with the Tim Bach Band. Tim (dark headed guy) and Lonnie both have great hearts. Both these guys have been around. Lonnie has played with Petra and DC Talk and Tim travels to lead worship and speak. Amazing musicians that I have enjoying hanging with. It always amazes me how the chemistry comes together at an event like this. From the host team to the speaker, worship band, students and leaders. All working toward the same goal.....seeing students have an encounter of God. God is so faithful. I love to hear the testimonies of students and what God is doing in them. I am truly blessed to play a part..

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Oregon Youth Convention

Tomorrow bright and early, I am flying out to "Duck Country", Oregon Ducks that is. It's always a privelege to be asked to come and minister. For me, I feel it keeps me fresh. To get out of my little world and rub shoulders with others who sharpen me. I always go with the intent to give and to serve, but I always come back full and blessed. This will be a crazy weekend speaking 3 main sessions and a breakout at the convention, flying in at 11:30pm on Saturday and then speaking 2 services here on Sunday. I feel like I'm the District Youth Director again. I'm praying for God to move huge.
Side note: I used to get real nervous before I spoke, but now I've come to the fact that I'm just the servant. I will pray, study and prepare, but the results are up to God. Once I grasped that, it really took the pressure of me and I enjoy life and ministry so much more.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Last night, again one of the cars down the street got some stuff stolen from it. Usually CD's, sunglasses and some spare change have been all that has been stolen. I really doubt that the thieves are professionals, becuase they have never stolen any radio's or even cars. It's funny, they even got in my mom's car, but left her "Gaither" CD's sitting on the front seat. They are the one's missing out! Anyway the kicker is this, all the cars that have had things stolen, have been UNLOCKED.

Thinking this morning about how well locked my heart and mind are from the enemy of my soul who want to steal from me. Maybe the question is, "what am I doing to ensure that I don't fail or fall?" It's not that I plan to fail, but do I plan NOT TO? What measures have I taken to ensure it? Also, there are probably alot of people who haven't failed (morally, spiritually, with integrity) only because they haven't had the opportunity. My prayer is that God helps me to "guard my heart, for it is the wellspring of my life."

Sunday, October 7, 2007

A good day

Sunday was a good day! We had a good crowd, took an offering for some other church planters (Adam/Jenna Long), baptised 3 and pushed missions. I always get a big kick out of the fact of how God blesses our church financially every time we take an offering for someone else. In fact I once encouraged a Pastor who's church was struggling, to take take an offering and give it away! I remember when we started we did the same thing and God blessed us huge, just as He did today.
We also announced the 3rd service and our people were excited. This excitement builds momentum and we are going to do our best to keep this momentum going to continue C3's growth. We are all truly honored to be a part of what God is doing.

Keri and I watched Akeela and the Bee tonight for our "in house" date night......I never thought I would be crying while watching a movie about a spelling bee.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

We are launching a 3rd service

I am pumped! We just had our advisory board meeting and decided to go to a 3rd service on November 11th, following our 1 year birthday as a church on November 4th. It will be a Sunday night service that will be real close to the Sunday morning. We took a survey and close to 60% of our people said they would go to a Sunday evening service. So now we are quickly structuring the frame of it to hold the weight. In my gut I really feel this could be the "niche" in our area. Once again, everything is an experiment. Looking back at our last jump to another service, we gained 40 - 50 people that week. We are hoping this appeals to a whole new crowd. It will be the same message with a couple of tweeks in the service. Time will tell.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


I'm excited about this Sunday for several reasons. First, I am speaking on "missions". This will be C3's first real service, totally dedicated to missions. We will challenge our people to give (applied through a new church planter who we will take an offering for) and to go (applied through signing up for our missions trip to Nicaragua). Also, our church will get to hear about the 14 missionaries that we currently support. Secondly, we are having a baptism service this Sunday and have a couple people who are very excited to show their obedience to Christ. Thirdly, we are launching a new season of "Community Groups" through a Group Link, immediately following our service. This will be a lunch and sharing of all the new groups that are launching and give people an opportunity to meet leaders and get plugged in. I'm totally stoked about this Sunday, it should be good.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

the kid 2 blocks over

Yesterday on my day off, as I was playing in my backyard with my kids, when a neighborhood boy who is 9 years old stopped by. He was peering through the fence and asked id he could come in. I said yes, and he began to play with us, everything from soccer to baseball to basketball. There was only a couple of problems, one being he kept using the Lord's name in vain. So I had to pull him to the side and explain our "house" rules. That along with him trying to bully around my little guys who are 3 & 6. He then did well for a while as I would try to coach him and encourage him just like one of my boys. But then he would go back to the same old stuff. Eventually, after a couple of warnings, I told him he had to leave for the rest of the day. He looked at me with this stunned look and then left. I told him he could come back tomorrow if he would obey our rules. I realize first I have to protect my kids, but also this may be a chance God is giving me to invest in this kids life who seems to have no real male influence. I am excited to see how this plays out.