Monday, March 31, 2008


I'm so glad that the love of God, His mercy, His grace and His forgiveness is all UNCONDITIONAL. We can't earn it, but it is truly a free gift to us from God. BUT, His promises are conditional. If we do this (obey), then God does this. The Bible says, if we seek, then we find. If we submit ourselves to God, then we can resist and the devil will flee. If we give, then it will be given unto us. Truly, we reap what we sow. If we build our lives on the truth of Jesus Christ, then His blessing and favor will be upon our lives. It all comes down to obedience. If we obey, then we will experience the the promises of God.

Friday, March 28, 2008


We need each other. One of the C's of C3 Church is Community. We are striving to have a healthy community that is journeying toward Jesus. A community that is authentic and trying to show the love of God. This is a huge part of our spiritual growth. Anytime you are in close contact with a group of people there is going to be friction. We all have different opinions, personalities, styles and when you bring all that together, there is bound to be issues that come up. This is where the growth comes in. We are to extend LOVE and GRACE to others. If we do this, we begin to grow spiritually. There is not only learning how to love others with their junk, but I am forced to deal with my own issues. I have met many people who hop from church to church, because they don't want to grow. Community forces issues, which leads to friction, which should lead to change and then growth.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

marriage counseling

We have a lot of young couples getting married at C3, which means a lot of marriage counseling. So here is the idea, rather than do it all myself, have some solid couples in the church do the counseling, couple to couple. The mature couple would meet with the new couple for 3 sessions before the wedding and then have a few follow up sessions after the wedding. This could be an incredible time of mentoring for this young couple as well as an opportunity for the older couple to minister. The couple doing the mentoring, after having now worked with several couples, could even do a small marriage retreat with those whom they are mentoring. I'm really feeling that would be more effective than just meeting with me 3x's prior. I'll tell you how it is working in about 6 months.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

my pride

The Bible says "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." I don't know about you, but I certainly don't want God opposing me. I feel like I have layers of pride that I'm constantly dealing with in my life. Just when I think I have almost got my pride under control, God reveals another level to work on. Currently, I'm taking a deep look at my motives. It could be after a conversation or even preaching I will ask, "why did I feel I had to say that?" I have found myself at times saying things to try to make me look better in someone else's eyes. I really didn't even realize it at the time until God revealed it to me. It could be something like, "last week I flew to ???? and used this one quote." Why did I feel I had to say anything about where I went, why couldn't I just give the quote. Anyway, it could just be me, but I am trying to remove the pride from my life. If and when you do this, you will find areas you didn't even know existed.
Here is a closing quote: (and I didn't fly anywhere to speak it) "If you talk about yourself, it's called bragging, but if someone else talks about you, it's called a reputation." (I actually think it's original)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

central sectional meeting

This morning we met at C3 Church for our Central Sectional Meeting. I spoke and talked about "Excuses from a Sr. Pastor."
Here it is in a nutshell:
- "You Deserve What You Tolerate"
1. We Have No Leaders! -
* Do we just expect them to appear out of thin air?
* Do we expect some other church to train them and send them to us?
- Iron Sharpens Iron - As the Pastor, I am developing 10 potential leaders for a 4 month leadership program, from which to draw.
- All Leaders mtng - We meet once a month and give those wanting a serve an opportunity to be trained with the leader in charge of serving opportunities.
- Spotting potential, and recruiting

2. Our People Aren't Growing Spiritually! -
* Sunday mornings alone aren't growing our people.
- Creating a focused discipleship process
* Connect Grow Serve
* Transitions in between each

3. We Don't Have Any Money!
* You reap what you sow
* Abundance mentality vs. Scarcity mentality
- Took offerings and gave them away to other new church plants
- Give away a portion of our fundraising money to the community
- Did a 3 month "Tithing Challenge" money back questions asked

Monday, March 24, 2008

starwars journey

I have been going through all the StarWars movies with my 2 boys at our "guy nights." Sorry mom, sorry sister, no girls allowed! ha. Anyway, they are playing the lego starwars games and through that get a good handle on the story lines of the movies. Last night was the finale! I was kind of sad to be done with all the movies. (I did have to fast forward a couple dark or scary parts) I was amazed at the teaching moments that came from the movies. The biggest being, Anakin Skywalker turning into Darth Vader. It was a great lesson in guarding your heart. As a dad, I look for every opportunity to teach lessons for life. I look for any chance to teach them and to try to listen and be always open to learn personally as well.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

off the chain

Today, I have to say was awesome! We had another record crowd and a ton of guests. Easter Sunday is like the churches "Superbowl". People who normally don't come to church, will come for Easter. We had several people respond to "Follow" Jesus. Our leaders did a great job pulling off an extra service and maintaining the 2 we already have. We are currently in the structuring process for the next level of growth. We have several leaders who are stepping up and stepping in. I am truly blessed to be the lead pastor of our incredible church. I tell our leaders all the time, "we have only just begun!"

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Today, the family and I are doing nothing. (Well accept for the early morning 5k race I ran....and won my age group!) Anyway, my kids almost don't know what to do with themselves when they are not on the go. They will ask, where are we going? When we say nowhere, we get this strange look. Last Sunday, I talked about taking a Sabbath, I shared from my own life how I am a recovering "workaholic" addict, that is still in recovery. It seems that our culture seems to wear busyness as a badge of honor, but in reality, "busyness" robs us of life. So in my life, I'm trying my best to find balance. Are you busy or productive.

Friday, March 21, 2008

question of the day

In a year or two from now, what will you wish you had started today?
I think we all have regrets or things we wish we would have done, but for whatever reason, didn't do. What is that for you? What is it, that you have always wanted to do, but just never took the leap? What is holding you back? If your decisions decide your destiny, then you may be just one small act of courage away, from taking a step closer to who you want to become. God gave us all a free will choose. Make a wise choice!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

dad's day

This morning was my boy Kross and mine "Dad's Day. He was so excited. He kept saying, "no girls, just us boys!" We went to McDonalds for some pancakes and he got to play on the playland, all by himself. Then we went to his school for "dad's day", for an Easter Egg hunt and craft time. I spent the whole time focused on my boy. It was a morning well invested.

Last night we had our advisory board meeting. Our church is structured as, "staff guided, board guarded and congregation gifted." I feel the job of our advisory board is to deal with the big issues and to give guidance on future decisions. I have seen too many leadership boards, that all they do is deal with small issues, like what color the carpet is, rather than focusing on future growth. The smaller stuff can be shoved to another team and dealt with. Our board though, should be making decisions that only they can can make. We don't vote on decisions, but the opinions of those on this team are HIGHLY valued.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


The opposite of "me," is not "you," but "we." Isn't it amazing how we all have this deep need inside of us to belong. Personally, in my wallet or on my keys I carry a gym card, Library card, Blockbuster, Speedway, Subway, Church Business cards, Visa (platinum...ha), insurance card, just to name a few. I BELONG to all those things and more. I think it is true that people today want to "belong before they believe." That the bridge for someone who does not follow Christ, more than ever needs to be someone with whom they have a relationship with or sense a "belonging" with. So as a church, we must create an environment where people can easily feel they belong, and then allow God's Spirit to draw them to believe.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Easter anticipation

We had a great past weekend for C3 Church! Our Community Egg Hunt went off great, and then Sunday we had a record crowd, offering and a ton of guests, all in one week! Today in our staff meeting, we were walking through Sunday and addressing some issues to make sure this Sunday runs smooth. For churches, this is our Superbowl! We hope to have many people who may only come once a year and we are gearing the service toward them. We are praying for and expecting great things. We have had prayer and fasting going for several weeks leading up to Easter, praying for our church and our community. Time will tell how it all shakes out!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

eggstravaganza 08

Wow! Today, I was blown away! Considering the incredibly wet fields and the 40 degree temperature, we had an incredible turnout today to our 15,000 egg, Easter Egg Hunt. We had to broom water off the parking lot to put down the inflatables and double up on a couple fields, but it still went off without a hitch. We gave away 2 bikes for every field and at least 50 other prizes for families and kids. To get a count is hard but we are estimating around 800 people. If the weather had been sunny, we could have been in trouble with the size of crowd. Our C3 team knocked the ball out of the park! It ran really smooth and we were totally cleaned both grounds and building and out of there within an hour after the event. I had parents come up and say how this was the best kids event that they have ever been to. The Lord is good! I'm so proud of my church that I can't hardly contain myself. I love being on a winning team!

Friday, March 14, 2008


It is amazing being in a room with several other leaders who are all working toward the same goal of bringing as many people as possible to Jesus. I truly enjoyed my time at L21. It is always an honor to talk with other leaders and hear their stories. I did get to eat lunch with Cornell Jordan, Dusting Hughes and Jimmy Brockaway. It always fun to get together and share stories and resources. I am excited to see a generation of leaders who gladly give what resources they have come up with or found, to each other freely. Of course in one of my sessions, I passed out a youth ministry assessment that several people already had. I had given it to another leader who had taken it and been dispersing it. We all had a good laugh! My take is, if I have anything that can help someone else be more effective in reaching people for Christ, I will gladly give it. It's all about an "abundance" mentality rather than a "scarcity" mentality.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


I just finished all my power point for tomorrow. I am in Dayton Ohio speaking at the L21 Leadership Conference. I'm cramming in 5 sessions tomorrow so I can get back for our 15,000 Eggstarvaganza Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday. (Pray it don't rain that hard today) I am speaking 4 sessions to youth pastors and 1 session to Sr. Pastors. Whenever I come to speak something like this, I always try to get a feel early on, where they are coming from and do my best to tailor what I have to say to where they are. I'm praying what I have to say will help somebody.

Also, my friend Cornell Jordan is one of the other break-out speakers as well. This guy is contagious! Well, now I'm going to try one of four pillows on this bed.


It seems to me that God gets blamed for a lot. He is the scapegoat for anything we can't pin on a person AND the things that other people have done. When people will tell me "I've been hurt by the church," I always ask, what's their names? The "church" didn't hurt you, people in that church hurt you. Or perhaps something horrible happened to them in their past and they say, "Why would God allow this to happen?" Really, if God would of had His way, everything would still be perfect and we'd be living in the Garden of Eden. God did give us "free will." Talk about risky, allowing your creation to make the choice whether or not to serve you. Of course, man then took the wrong path and sin entered the world. So I guess if we want to blame anyone, we should probably blame ourselves. Life is life and many times it is not fair. So when life throws you a lemon, quit trying to pin blame, and make some lemonade.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

God is love

I'm reading, "Soul Cravings", by Erwin Mcmannus for some of my personal devo's and he had some good thoughts this morning. He said, "If God is love, then the people closest to God, should love people the most." Wow! That is so true. I love statements that cause me to look deep into myself. Do I see people as a "bother" while driving, or waiting in line? Or do I see a soul who longs to know a loving creator?
Another line was, "the safest place for a sinful person to go, is to God." The example was used of the woman caught in the act of adultery and brought to Jesus. To which He says "He who has no sin, cast the first stone."
I had to ask, is C3 Church a safe place for a sinful person to go? If Jesus forgives like this, why do we many times bring condemnation? Is it because we can feel better about the junk in our lives, if we can keep the attention on the junk in others lives? Confronting sin in a believer or a Christian in leadership is one thing, but to condemn a person who is far away from God for being far away from God, is never going to lead them to a loving Saviour. I just want to show His real love, and I'm a work in progress.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

one of those days

Today I woke up with a stiff neck. You know, the kind that hurts to turn to one side. Then on my early morning commute to pick up Gary for the gym......I found out my heat in my car would not work. That is really a bummer cause we only wear shorts to get to the gym. As I'm on the machine running in place, I began to pray. "Lord, it is your car anyway, and You just let me drive it." This may sound crazy but as I was getting in my car, I put my hand on it and prayed. Ha! I had to laugh as I cranked the car and MY HEAT CAME ON! It's funny now, every time I turn that heat on, especially on those cold days, I will throw a shout out of gratefulness. It's funny how many things we take for granted. Wow! I have heat....I am so blessed!
Of course, Gary was sweating on the way back from the gym because I had the heat cranked way up! It could die tomorrow, so I want to live in the moment.
What are you taking for

Saturday, March 8, 2008

blizzard 08

Another first for C3 Church, we are having to cancel our Sunday morning services due to a LEVEL 3 EMERGENCY. Today, I was bouncing back from my sickness and couldn't resist going outside to enjoy the 16 inches of white fluffy stuff. I cleared the driveway and threw all the snow in one spot so my boys could build a snow fort. Then we busted out the spray water bottles filled with food coloring to add a little color to the snow. I try to take advantage of days like this and enjoy the extra family time.

We are anxious to see if canceling the morning only services, changes our Sunday 7pm night service crowd (which will still happen). Or, if next time we should cancel the evening too. Time will tell.

Friday, March 7, 2008

down but not out

Wow do I feel like junk. I actually had to come home from work early to get in the bed, with what I'm thinking is the flu. My wife couldn't believe it when I called her and said I had to come home early to lay down. I very rarely get sick or at least very rarely admit it. I can usually "positive mental attitude" my way through it. I'm bummed because I'm missing "Firestorm" with a group of guys from C3, which is our 1st ever men's trip. Also, tomorrow I was going to do an indoor triathlon early and only miss the first session of the conference. I hope to be better by tomorrow. The triathlon is actually postponed due to weather and I hope to make it to the men's conference. Time will tell.


I got a call from my dad today and said because of the snow storm, my parents are unable to come down for the weekend. So now, when the news is given to my kids, they will be heart broken. Why? Because their expectations were so high. I have found that if you continually find yourself being hurt or disappointed on a regular basis, maybe it's time you lower your expectations. I now this sounds crazy, but here me out. Then you are not expecting anything from anyone, but if they do come through or give me something, it is a bonus. Perhaps, it's the relative that is ALWAYS LATE to every get together. It then bothers you so much that you miss out on the joy of seeing everyone else. What if you didn't set your expectations for them so high? Whether or not they get there on time then, doesn't affect you. When they show up or don't show up is all the same, you are just glad to see them.
I hope that makes sense and of course I don't apply that to everyone or every situation, but rather have used it with people who may continually let me down. I guess it could be a form of a boundary where I don't let them have control over me or my emotions.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


I have heard it said "It's right to be content with what you have, but not with who you are." This week we are starting two weeks of messages entitled "Death By Suburb." I really think that so many of us are always concerned with having what is just out of reach, that we miss the beauty of what we have. Our culture is constantly telling us what we don't have and what we need to have to be happy. That happiness and contentment comes in stuff. Many have bought into this lie and live very hollow and empty lives. I never want to lose sight of, or appreciation for, what I have and the true joy comes from my creator and His love. I also don't want to waste my life on things that don't matter in the long run. I want to strive to continually develop myself and be grateful for what I have been blessed with.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

frustration in the process #2

Anyway, as a team and/or ministry grows, so grows the problems. Many people want bigger or better, but still have to learn to lead through what they have. There will always be relationship conflicts, opportunities and problems. A problem is something, that I have NO control over. Ex. We are doing a 15,000 Easter egg hunt here in a week and a half. If it is pouring down ice and rain...that is a problem, because I can't control that. Many people though look at an "opportunity for solution" as problems, and they are not. Rather, they are a test to our leadership, attitude and determination. I have learned that as a leader, you cannot run from problems, conflict or frustration. If you do, it will eat away at your soul and you will carry unwanted stress. I have also found that when I do confront others or myself with the frustration, it wasn't near as bad of a reaction as I thought. So what's frustrating you? Deal with it NOW and move on.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

frustration in the process

It's amazing how growth can bring friction, because everything changes. It's like wearing a size x/small t-shirt and then still wearing it when you actually fit a medium. Growth brings change and change brings friction that if it's not dealt with can begin to create wear. And that's all I can say right now because my appointment just walked in to the coffee shop. Sooo goodbye till later.

Monday, March 3, 2008


We had a decent crowd as we finished a couple weeks walking through "boundaries." Yesterday, the main point was that "we are responsible for our boundaries." By the show of hands, I could tell that the majority of our people are dealing with some boundary issues within their lives. As for that actual "excellence level", in production, we were a bit loose, and it wasn't just one person, but a team effort. This is how we learn though! It is tough sometimes to strive and keep the level of excellence high. We have a great team and we will keep adjusting as necessary. Growth is truly a journey.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

shooting video is hard work

I'm blown away at all the set up, to shoot a couple minute video. We literally filled a minivan with no seats almost full for what we were shooting. I remember the days when my brother Josh and I would grab a small camera bag and shoot away. This is a completely different level! Can you say JIB ARM? Where Josh works now, they have some incredible equipment. The coolest for me had to be the tele-prompter (screen you can read your lines off of) that the camera actually shoots through. We didn't use it, but it did get to drool on it. We have 4 video's down and one more to go. I fly back in at 11:30 tonight, and will be ready to preach tomorrow. We are ending two weeks on "boundaries". Tomorrow specifically, how our boundaries are our responsibility.