Thursday, December 31, 2009

God's plan

It never ceases to amaze me how God orchestrates His plan to reach Columbus through our church. The people that God has sent to link arms with us, just blows my mind. To watch God grant us favor as all the details come together is truly humbling. I feel like these first 3 years have been foundational for what is to come. My prayer is that God would continue to do things that only HE can get the credit for because there is no way we ever could have pulled it off on our own. I believe!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

why i read

I read to give - the more I read, the more I can help and give to others.
I read to lead -
the moment I stop growing as a leader, so does my church and I make it very difficult for those who continue to grow under my leadership.
I read to see more -
the more I learn and grow, the more I see.
I read to worship deeper -
the more I understand God and who He is, the deeper I can worship Him.
I read to grow -
either I'm growing daily, or I'm dying gradually.
I read to be creative -
as I read I get new ideas for creativity.
I read b/c I love -
my heart is to encourage, equip and empower others to experience LifeChange and this love drives me to read.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

next level

With 2010 almost upon us, there is an excitement in my heart for what is coming. I really do sense that this next year will be a year of incredible increase for C3 Church. Not only numerically, but more importantly spiritually. It has been amazing ride this past year as God's Favor continues to be on us, but I truly believe that there is more. I feel that as a church we are standing on the edge of a move of God that will draw us deeper into Himself. That God is looking for a church that will put Him and His agenda first. My prayer is that this is a year of surrender and growth for our church. Oh God....may it be.

Monday, December 28, 2009

snow

Last night we got about 3-4 inches of snow. My kids are going nuts about wanting to get out in it. Today being my day off, I'm about to get them bundled up and make the trek out to the yard. Then come in for some hot chocolate....and then chili for dinner!
I love hanging with my family, as this is one of the most important things I could be doing with my time.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas

We had 3 great Christmas Eve services, with a ton of guests. For our community, it just seems to really be a draw. As for the Sunday following Christmas (today)...not so much. In fact today, I'm sure we had to set a C3 record for "least" attended service this morning. Next year we are seriously contemplating canceling it. We would then encourage those C3'ers in town to spend it with their families and it would give all of our workers a week off. Time will tell if we pull that trigger for next year.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

brothers

Last night was great, we got to hang with both my brothers and their wives and kids. We just chilled in my living room and told some old school stories. As for brothers, we have always been best friends. My dad used to say, nothing is thicker than blood and there is no bond like that with your brothers. We all share the same family crest (along w/our dad, grandfather and 3 others) which is a symbol of our bond and loyalty to each other. Every time we leave each other we say, "brother to brother, yours in life and death."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

3 Christmas Eve services

I'm excited about our 3 Christmas Eve services. We have in the past had a huge turnout for our Christmas eve services and it has been from mostly non C3'ers. I'm excited to deliver the LifeChanging message of Jesus Christ. Our regulars all go out of town this weekend and this Sunday has traditionally been our lowest attended service of the year.
Have a very Merry Christmas to all!

Monday, December 21, 2009

never a dull moment with our staff

With our church under construction, mine, Gary's and Brent's office is a white 8ft table in the sanctuary and my old office is now main church office where our administrator works. Today she comes running into the sanctuary visibly distraught. She says she just saw a mouse in the office. So after we all laughed, I said, "I'll go get it." That's when Gary threw the flag. (challenged me to prove my statement) So the rules were set, I brought Brent into mix and we had 10 minutes to close that door and come out with the mouse. We each had a glove and Gary started the watch. We found it quickly and realized that it was a mole. Our hunting instincts took over as Brent scared it to me and I picked it up. It squealed as it tried to bite me repeatedly through the glove. In less than 2 minutes, the door was opened and the rodent was caught and released into the wild. There is never a dull moment around C3.

predecisions

"The most important decisions are the pre-decisions." - Mark Batterson
Many of the problems we wrestle with, could have all been taken care of with some pre-decisions. If you have thought through who you want to be and who you don't want to be. If you know your core values of what you stand for, it makes daily decisions easier because many of them have already been made. Or how about things like drawing boundaries in relationships, or the places you go, or even who you surround yourself with. If you have made the right pre-decisions, it makes the decisions a whole lot easier. What pre-decisions do you need to make?

Friday, December 18, 2009

wrecking me

It's amazing how God directs me to the right book, at the right time, for where I am at and where I need to go. The book I am in right now is again "Primal" by Mark Batterson. This morning while reading, God was shaking me up a little. In the book, there were a couple of quotes that led me to prayer for my own life and for those in C3 Church.
- The Bible is not meant to be read reactively, but prayed proactively.
- The Bible is a way for God to initiate conversation with us.
- The goal of knowing the Bible is knowing God.
- Our problem is we learn more of the Bible and do less, thinking all the while that we're growing spiritually.
- We are translators of God's Word with the way we live our lives.

I must say this morning, I closed the book and got on my face. My heart is to allow God to speak to me through whatever means necessary....and right now God is using this book.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Primal

Reading the Book "Primal" by Mark Batterson and it is challenging my thinking in a few areas. Here are some great thoughts:
- Don't let what you cannot do, keep you from what you can do.
- Our lack of wonder, is really a lack of love.
- Anytime you put an adjective in front of the Gospel, you distort it.

The two that are changing the way I interact with the Bible are these:
- You will never outgrow your diet of scripture.
- Reading without meditating is like eating without digesting.

Personally, I read the Bible probably 360 days out of the year. It is a habit that I have had for a long time. But sometimes a habit can become just a habit and I never want my time in the Scripture to become an empty ritual. So for 2010, I am committing to read and meditate more. I am going to look at my weekly schedule and cut away times to focus deeper on His Word.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

a little less talk

Why is it that we talk about truth, but rarely ever apply it to our lives? Most of us are over educated and under applied when it comes to truth. Maybe we feel truth is too tough to live out or that it takes too much faith to step out and live it. What truth are you waiting for to apply to your life?

Monday, December 14, 2009

It has begun

Today, I began my marathon training for the Boston Marathon in April of 2010. I put myself on a 18 week program that does no more than 55 miles a week. I'm a guy who always has to have a goal. So, I already have my registration paid for when I get a notice that I have been selected for jury duty over the date of the marathon and C3's Ecuador missions trip. The good thing is, I just heard back today that they are going to try to work with me to change the date.....whew....I would hate to be a fugitive on the RUN and in and out of other countries...ha!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

C3 turns 3

Tomorrow as a church, we will celebrate our 3rd b-day. I can't believe all that God has done in such a short time. I am truly humbled to serve such an amazing church and an incredible team. When I look at our past, I see God's hand of favor and I am beyond grateful for what He has done. As I think about the future, God is birthing some amazing dreams and vision in my heart. The past has been great....but the future is going to be flat out OFF THE HOOK! I am committed to keep chasing Jesus and to be a part of the DENT that He is calling us to make. May we dream dreams so big that if God does not come through....we fail!.............i like those odds.

Friday, December 11, 2009

evolving

It's amazing how C3 Church has and is continually evolving. We have our main focus of "LifeChange," and our discipleship process of Connect - Grow - Serve, but how we accomplish that is a work in progress. The day we stop moving forward and adapting is the day that we begin dying. This evolving leadership structure is tough though on those who desire to always be in control or feel they must have everything perfect. Honestly, we have never felt like we finally have it all together. Our team has had to be flexible as we continue changing in order to structure for the growth. It has been a fun yet challenging process......that we wouldn't have any other way.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

cold

This morning a friend and I ran outside in the 20 degrees and 20+mph winds. Talk about a wake up call! It's always rough running in the REAL cold for the first time of the season. Not only that, but the first mile is always the most painful until your face adjusts and you get your body heat going. It's amazing though that after you have been running in it for a while that you soon get comfortable. It's the same way in life and it can be good or bad. Good for the fact that when you go to another level, you adapt to deal with it and it soon becomes the new normal. It can also be a great hindrance if you choose to stay too long in that comfort zone.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

WOW

Tonight we were on the docket for the Cities Planning and Zoning meeting. If we had to stick to the City codes, it would literally cost our church $85,000 additional money on our new building. Praise God, they granted us the variances that we requested! The council even complimented us on all that we have done for the community! God has truly given us favor. I drove away from that meeting laughing, praising and even crying. I am totally blown away by all that God is doing and I'm just honored to be a part of it.

Monday, December 7, 2009

city council

So Tuesday is the day that we go before the City Council to see if they will give us some grace with a couple of variances on exterior lights and a dumpster surround. The decisions made in that meeting will literally be for tens of thousands of dollars. So please pray for us and that meeting.

Today, I also jumped in as assistant coach for my 5 yr olds basketball team. Can you say "chaos?" I'm just wondering how they are going to actually try to referee the games. It should be fun to watch. I love coaching my kids and investing in the lives of the kids on their teams as well.

Friday, December 4, 2009

East Central Section Christmas Dinner

I had a great time last night hanging out with ministers from the East Central Section. My grandfather, dad and myself were asked to be the entertainment. I hope they understood what and who they were asking....ha. We had a great time and the food was great. I will do whatever I can to have an opportunity to play music with my family. I don't want to ever take them for granted. Some day, I will be telling my kids and grand kids about the "good old days."

Thursday, December 3, 2009

John G Lake

I'm reading a book right now on the life of John G. Lake. One word to describe it...powerful! His life is challenging my own walk with Jesus. This is such a greater anointing of God that we are not walking in. It is challenging me to evaluate my own life. Is Jesus truly my everything? I just talked with a guy who was in my youth group many moons ago and now is totally in love with Jesus. He literally sold EVERYTHING he owned and has only a backpack with 1 extra pair of clothes. He believes God has told him that he will bring the power of God to the homeless, but in order to do so, he must experience how they live. God is now supernaturally providing for his needs every step of the way.
I truly believe that there is so much more richness and power in Jesus that we in America are not walking in, myself included. God is beginning to stir something deep in my heart and soul...and I may just be crazy enough to believe that with His power we can change the world! The question is....who is willing to pay the price for it? I'm seriously searching my soul for the answer.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

deer hunting

I spent Monday and Tuesday in the woods of southeast Ohio deer hunting. Tuesday was so beautiful! I love being in the middle of God's creation. I was also pumped to make the drive back to Pickerington with 2 big doe hanging out of the trunk of my dodge stratus....can you say HILL - BILLY?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

nothing

Today, I ran, ate and just hung out with family. I am blessed beyond measure. Tomorrow, I will do NOTHING......

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

you

All of us have problems. Whether relational, business, leadership, family, etc, we all have them. It's easy sometimes to always point the finger at others or circumstances. The one thing though that is constant in your problems, is YOU. Have you ever been honest enough with yourself to even consider that? It is very sobering and greatly needed if you and I are going to continue to grow and develop as leaders and people. It's sooo easy to always point the finger at something or someone else. Remember, when you point your finger, there are always 3 pointing back.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

C3 update

The drywall is going up in the sanctuary! We had a few time consuming snags, but we are now rolling again at good speed. This building is a testimony of what happens when some Christ followers link arms together to reach their community. It will all be just in time too. All 3 services are starting to fill up as we are currently in another growth spurt at C3. It's all about leading others to LifeChange through Jesus Christ!

bury anger alive

Listening to Gary Smalley on my ipod this morning and had a line that I thought was great. He said, that you always have to BURY ANGER ALIVE. You will never bury it dead, it must be buried alive, while you are still dealing with it. This statement is so true. So what anger do you need to bury alive....while it is still fresh...and while it is still alive?

Monday, November 23, 2009

feast

Today, Keri and I get to eat lunch at preschool with Kali for the "Feast." I can't wait to eat with my wife and little girl. I find that these little things are the important things in life. I never want to get so busy that I miss these once in her little lifetime opportunities.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Rivalry

The day has finally arrived! It is THE greatest rivalry in all of sports. It is the OHIO STATE vs. michigan football game. Even though there isn't a National Championship or Rose Bowl on the line, there is the PRIDE of this game. What happens on that field tomorrow will echo through the halls of eternity. It will be an epic battle of foes......OK...I'm done goodnight. GO BUCKS! O..H..

vision

Vision does one of 2 things, it either grows or it dies. What is your vision? What picture of a better future do you see in your mind? Is it growing...or is it dying? What are you going to do about it?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

C 3 Ring Circus

I think the title says it all. There is so much change with our new addition being built, old classrooms being demolished, new structure being implemented and new vision being discussed, that at times it can be overwhelmingly crazy. My new philosophy is, if things are too comfortable or normal....we must not be pushing it enough. Of course the flip side of that statement is also true, "how long can we sustain this pace?" It's a fine line......the "red line"..ha.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

LifeChange never gets old

I love hearing stories of people's lives being changed by the power of God. Truly it never gets old. I tell people all the time, if lives are NOT being changed by Jesus Christ at C3, then just shut the doors because we have become a "club." If we say that "LifeChange" is our vision, then we need to have a scoreboard to see how we are doing. It must be the driving focus for EVERYTHING we do and for where our time, energy and money is spent.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

C3's 1st Missionary

Becky Medina has now become C3's first missionary! BeckE was on staff with us for a year and a half and is loved by everyone. She arrived in Jamaica today to work in the orphanage that we took our church missions trip to last year. We fell in love with the children and the people. They love BeckE there and she will do amazing. Watching BeckE on the missions field is like watching a fish swim in water. It is what God has designed her to do. We love you BeckE and we are all praying for you!

Monday, November 16, 2009

sectional meeting

I'm excited about our section pastors meeting tomorrow. I've asked 3 of my non-Assemblies of God pastors to sit on a panel and share from their experiences. All of these guys are pastoring growing churches in the Columbus area. They are great guys with a "Kingdom" mentality. I'm excited about the discussion and praying our pastors and leaders are able to glean from them.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday off

Today, Brent Salyers spoke at C3 and therefore gave me the Sunday off. I jumped in the car with a couple of guys and ran to see a video campus church in Millersburg Oh. newpointe.org They did a great job with everything. A special shout out to campus pastor and friend Bill Anderson, who allowed us to take him to lunch and pick his brain. Praying about possibilities for C3, as we do our best to make a "DENT" in Columbus for the name of Jesus!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

gone hunting

Tonight, a handful of C3 hunters are heading to an undisclosed location deep in the woods to hopefully arrow some meat for our freezers. A bunch of guys in the woods and then hanging in a rustic cabin (with cable TV)....I can't wait. Wish us luck! I will be out of cell phone reception and internet. (they do have places like this)

correction

George Wood says, "You can tell how spiritually mature someone is by how they handle correction." This is such a true statement. It's funny how we can all think of others who this statement is true for, but what about us? How do we react when we are corrected by those in authority, or better yet, by those who are our peers?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Trust 2

"Can I trust you, to trust me?" Think on that for a while. I have some people in my life who could say YES. At C3, we all strive to give the other teammate the benefit of the doubt, in every situation. If something is said that could offend....they always get the benefit of the doubt. If someone comes with some negative comment or news about a teammate, they always get the benefit of the doubt until we can talk with them. It is awesome to have a team that trusts each others hearts.

Monday, November 9, 2009

trust

A while back one of my boys was caught in a lie and I took the moment to teach a lesson. I took a pile of building blocks and said that every time you tell the truth, you build your tower a little higher. I told them how it takes a long time to build your tower of trust, but day after day, you build it it higher and higher. BUT, it only takes 1 lie, and .........then I knocked down the tower! Both my boys were looking on with big eyes. I then said, now, guess where you have to start to REbuild your tower....at the bottom. It takes a long time to build up trust and only 1 lie to knock it all down

character/integrity

Dwight Moody said, "Character is who you are in the dark." - Who are we when no one is looking? What are the hidden motives of our hearts? What would we do, if we knew that we would never get caught? What is that one chink in our armor that could take us down if not guarded? Every day is a battle for our character and integrity..........are you winning?
- New Church update - drywall hopefully starts this week. I love it when a plan comes together!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Pickerington vs. Pickerington

Saturday night in the first level of HS playoff football games, Pickerington Central plays Pickerington North. The stadium, which is 100yds from C3, is having to bring in chairs to put on the track, to accommodate all the people. This will be a first for Pickerington. We will be parking cars on our lot and giving each car a $1.00 bill. We are expecting at least 250 cars on our lot and in our big grassy field. We also have several C3'ers working the concession stands that night. It is history in the making for Picktown!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

silent majority

The day of the "silent majority" is over. The power they used to wield has come to an end. Ohio being historically a more "conservative" state, just relented to allow "casino's" in our state. The casino's were pushing for MORE JOBS, but the end result has always led to higher crime. This vote revealed what is valued by Ohioans today. We vote for the NOW....with no thought to what we will leave our children to deal with.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

the middle of the night

Last night at 1:30 in the morning, our house alarm goes off. From a deep sleep, I jump up and grab my trusty night stick and ran downstairs. It's funny how I was about halfway down the steps before I actually woke up. At the bottom of the steps, I could see the culprit.....in the shadows of the living room! It was none other than the curtain rod which had fallen down and tripped the motion sensor. Our kids?.....they slept through the whole thing, screaming siren and all. We jumped back into the bed and stared at the ceiling for a while and finally drifted back to sleep! Things like that keep life interesting!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

C 3 in ONE

Today, capped off a crazy day in the life of our church. We had 3 events going on the property in one day. We had our annual 5k race, which this year raised money for our library. We also had an "Art Sale" and our Fun O Ween festival. The weather stopped long enough for us to run and then poured again. We were forced to have our Fun O Ween inside. It was a little packed, but we had a great time and made some cool relationships with those outside our church. Our teams did amazing being flexible and pulling the whole thing off. Man....I love our church!

Friday, October 30, 2009

obstacle

Right now in the church building process, we have run into a couple of obstacles. There are a couple codes that could tack on thousands to our current building project if the City doesn't give a little. We are walking this out and praying for God's favor! We go before the City Council in December, who will make the decision on them. I think we have a couple great reasons/arguments, we are just praying they give us some grace!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

no room to dream

I run into many leaders who have no room to dream. Their lives are so filled with so much "stuff" that they have no margin left to look ahead to the future. I have found myself there there too many times as well. I get so bogged down in the details of the vision, that I take my hand off of the steering wheel and my eyes off of the road. When this happens, the results can be a long detour, or even worse. As the leader, I must never forget my greatest responsibility, to prayerfully seek and relay God's vision for what I am leading. I must forge out time to pray, reflect and think on where we are, where we need to go and how to get there.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Forgotten God

So far, I am really being challenged by this book by Francis Chan. I love his heart for more of God. Only through the first chapter and I had to put the book down to pray and journal. I had been needing a good challenge and this seems to be it. Where is the power of the Holy Spirit in my life? Am I truly living my life daily in step with Him? I want to continually experience LifeChange in my own life.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

section meeting

This month, we had Randy Young come and share. He did a great job talking about burnout and health for pastors and leaders. A couple key takeaways:
- Ruthlessly remove hurry from your life.
- Racing through life leads to:
* Fuzzy vision
* Exhaustion
* Shallowness of Life-
- Only 1/3 of ministers will finish well.
- What hinders finishing well:
* abuse of power
* misuse of funds
* pride
* sexual misconduct
* family dysfunction
* plateauing
* untended emotional wounds

Monday, October 26, 2009

craziness

It's crazy around C3 right now. Walls are being busted down, wires are being run and progress is in the air. I am blown away by how many details that have to come together to keep within budgeted money and time frame. I do want to give a shout out to Hope, one of our ELT (Exec Leadership Team) members. She has shielded me from more weight and stress than I even know of. We are coming into crunch time where big decisions have to be made very quickly.
On top off all this craziness, this Saturday we are having our C-3 in-one event. We are doing a hugely discounted art sale, a 5k run/walk and a Fall Festival called Fun-O-Ween! Add that all together adds up to a season of insanity.
Honestly, I wouldn't want it any other way.

day off

Went hunting (saw only a coyote), worked out at the gym, had lunch with the family, spent time with my Keri, picked up Kali from school and took her for Daddy and Ice Cream...am heading out to patch some concrete...have some dinner...watch an old school re-run of the incredible hulk w/my boys.. shower kids..get their homework done..put them in bed...write a little on my book...go to bed...oops pray..then go to bed!

Friday, October 23, 2009

rolodex


Do you remember the "Rolodex?" It was like a rotating tree for business cards.....I think. Anyway, it held all your contact information which now easily fits on our phones or PDA's. Personally, I love the fact that I don't have to know everything, just someone who does. I am one phone call or email away from getting the information I need. Your network is your net worth!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

end of the season not the end of the world

Last night the city league softball team I am on played for the championship. We were up 7-0 in the 3rd inning (yeah you see where this going) but lost 14-11 when it was all said and done. I hate losing, but it is part of life. Like I always tell my boys, every time you lose can make you better, if you are willing to learn from it. I personally walked with a couple things I could have done to contribute more. Personally, I want to be teachable in every area of my life.....even softball.

PS - They just painted the exterior of our building and it looks SWEEEEEEEET!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

what your not saying

You can tell when people talk, if they are "under" or "over" something. We may try to hide things that have hurt us, but it still comes out in our words, voice and body language. We give ourselves away to what is really going on deep in our hearts and minds. So, what are you not saying?

Monday, October 19, 2009

C3 NASCAR style

C3's very own Brandy Hickman was chosen nationally with the Susan G. Komen organization for breast cancer awareness, to have Elliot Sadlers #19 race in her honor in last Saturdays NASCAR race. Her and her husband got to actually be down on the track with the crew and cars. Honestly, they couldn't have chosen a better person. I was kidding them before they left about putting a C3 bumber sticker on the car when no one was looking. We laughed about it...then they ACTUALLY DID IT! Check out our round C3 church sticker! C3 has gone NASCAR!

percentage giving

At C3, we give in percentages. We are a church that supports foreign missions, church plants, our ministry network and gives back into our community as well. Our giving to these and others is all done on percentages of our total giving. It has worked well for us, in that as our church grows, we continue to give more. Just as individual followers of Christ we tithe a certain percentage, so we as a church want to be a giving church. As God continues to bless C3, we can continue to bless others.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

circumstances

If I allowed circumstances to control my emotions, I would be up and down like a roller coaster. Today, as the Buckeyes lost to PurWHO?, (purdue) I found my mood wanting to take a swing for the negative. I love the Buckeyes and we Buckeye fans have very big expectations for our team, today of which they did not meet. That's why I'm glad that while I enjoy rooting for my team, Jesus is who I focus on.....and He is my unshakable, unchangeable ROCK!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Stewardship Team

Tomorrow, our Stewardship Team meets to come up with our 2010 budget. I'm excited to dream about new staff and new opportunities for C3 Church. The "proposed" 2010 budget will then be brought to our Executive Leadership Team to be voted on, in order to make it official.
It is very humbling to me to be entrusted with "God's money." If God has put us in the place of stewarding it, then we had better take it seriously. We want to be above reproach in handling the churches finances. To the point that we put in our Bylaws that we have a regular audit that we call in on ourselves, a minimum of every 3 years. At this point we do it yearly. I think it speaks volumes to those who we are leading and honors God when we have great accountability in place.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

catalyst

Everyone one of us is a catalyst for something. When we are around other people, what kind of actions, words or thoughts to we bring out of them? Some of us bring out good things in other people while many of us may bring out the worst in people. Is some cases, we are a "neutral" and bring out NO response. Personally, I know of people when I'm around them that I fight not being negative. Because they are so negative or cynical, they can bring that out in me if I am not careful. On the other hand, there are people when I am around that I feel that I can charge hell with a squirt gun and prevail! What do you bring out of other people? Do people feel encouraged when around you or do you drag them down? The choice is ours, so be a catalyst for the better!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

People are messy

God is doing something in me. Over the past couple of months I have been walking with a guy who has hit rock bottom. He lost his wife, job, was on drugs and drinking, he totaled his vehicle and had no cell phone. His house had nothing in it and was about to be sold out from under him. He had burnt every bridge and had no one. He got so desperate that he was banging on peoples doors in my neighborhood in the middle of the night begging for money. It was becoming a scary situation. At one point, I even began to worry about my families safety living so close to this person. I will be honest that I'm all about helping people, but where do you draw the line? It's nice when people find Jesus and do a 180 and everything turns around, but what about when that doesn't happen? It was a messy situation.
Long story short, he finally admitted he needed help and is turning himself in to the authorities. Last night I saw him again and he was "clean." He hugged my neck crying and thanked me for believing in him when no one else did. He said he cried out to God and felt Him and he now wants to do the right thing. It was amazing watching God move in his life, but through this whole ordeal......God moved in mine as well.

Monday, October 12, 2009

healthy

Tomorrow morning at 7:30 am, I will meet with 4 sharp guys from my church who are in my Iron sharpens Iron group. We are walking together for 4 months, reading books, forming a personal growth plan and growing in love for Jesus and each other. We normally meet every other week on Sunday late afternoon, but they asked to get together more often. Our last meeting, all the guys got transparent and now there is a cool bond to be real and hold each other accountable....and that is healthy. In fact as healthy leaders, we should be reproducing other healthy leaders. Healthy pastors should be reproducing other healthy pastors....and the list goes on and on. I want do my best to strive for health and then help reproduce that in others.

Are you healthy? What are you helping to reproduce in others?

demo

Today, we have several C3'ers that are here today to help pack up several rooms and our offices. This week they start demolishing several classrooms and walls to make our foyer and cafe. My small office will now become the hub with copy machine and several computers. It is going to be a little crazy over the next couple weeks.....but we welcome the chaos because we know where we are going.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

make it happen

I continually encourage those I have mentored to become "make it happen people." In other words, if something falls through, find a way, somehow to pull it off. This weekend I officiated a wedding and was supposed to bring the communion elements, of which I totally spaced and forgot. I pull in and suddenly remember with no time to go back. I was trying to think of anything I could. There was a caterer for another wedding nearby. I begged her and she let me use 2 wine glasses and 2 pieces of bread. I placed them on a nice white napkin and filled the glasses with the only thing I could find.....red Gatorade! They never knew....until I confessed when it was over. I just didn't want to be "that guy" who dropped the ball and didn't come through. So I did the best I could do to make it happen. Are you a make it happen kind of person?

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Leadership Pill

Just finished the book "The Leadership Pill" by Ken Blanchard. His books are easy reads because he lays them out as a story. The main 3 point of the book that every successful team and leader must have are:
1. Integrity - Doing what's right, because it's right
2. Partnership - Everyone working unselfishly together toward a common goal
3. Affirmation - Showing genuine gratefulness for others efforts and giftings

Do you and your team operate with all three of these? How would bringing them into your current situation change things?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

step hens

Tonight, I'm talking with m 8 year old son and he tells me he can never remember how to spell our last name. I told him he knew how, but he said he tries and always messes up. I said, "can you spell STEP and HENS?" He said that he could and then proved it. He could spell STEPHENS all along once it was broken down into smaller pieces.
How do you accomplish something bigger than you? Break it down in small bite size pieces or steps. Is their something you have always wanted to do? Set that goal, break it down and run at it. The key is you have to start somewhere.

welcomed chaos

Our new building is coming together very quickly. The 500 seat sanctuary that is attached to our current facility is being built at record speed! The chaotic fun begins in 2 weeks when our current kids classrooms that will soon be our foyer/cafe get demolished. We then will have 5-6 weeks of combining classes and shuffling kids around to different rooms to make it all work. We have some amazing teachers who are going to have to rise to the next level to help us pull this off. There is no doubt that they can and will make it happen. As the leadership, we will do our best to keep clear lines of communication with all of our teachers and leaders. The cool thing is, there is an end in sight and that end is new and bigger rooms! We welcome the chaos!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

book

So here it is....I'm going to go public just for the accountability of having to follow through. I'm going to write a book. I've started working on it now. It will be written similar to Hybels book "Axiom" with the short chapters. Mine will be for the ADD, by the ADD. Ha. A bunch of small 1-3 page chapters that may or may not tie in together, but rather be principles. It will be geared toward leadership and mostly focused at ministry. I have no idea of a title yet.....hmmm....maybe "The Book With No Title." That has a ring to it. Anyway, one of my favorite people (and editor) BeckE has penciled in a couple days on her calendar to help me begin editing it. Yet another goal on my long bucket list of things to do while on this Earth. Even if I only sell 2....one to my wife and the other to my parents, I have to attempt it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

blast from the past

I got a text today from a guy who said he walked in a thrift store in Wheeling WV and saw one of my old Krazy Songs With Konan CD's. I had to laugh. That was a CD we put together to raise funds for our campground swimming pool. There are actually 1,000 of them floating around out there. I still get reports of them being used in children's churches and VBS's quite regularly. It's great to know I'm making a difference.....lol
Word is out that it is some how on LimeWire....ha

kids

Erwin McMannus said, "When our kids grow up, they will mirror what we really cared about."
Personally, I am trying to think through if there is anything that I say to my kids, but live or value something different. I say I believe in God and that He is at the center of my life, but is that really the case? I want my kids to see me praying for the sick...and reading my Bible...and hugging their mom....and talking positive about others when they aren't around..and...and..and. The list could and should go on and on. Does your life mirror who you want to be? Your children will grow up and look a lot like you.

Monday, October 5, 2009

intentional growth

After the Forum conference, our staff set down and decided to set some goals for personal growth. I have had a personal growth plan for years that I have held myself to, but now it is on the table for accountability. Our Executive Staff will read 18 books a year, listen to 104 podcasts or Cd's, have a mentor and be mentoring a handful of leaders at C3. In our weekly meetings, we will have a time of accountability.
As we the leaders grow, so grows our church. It's our choice to either "grow daily, or die gradually."

Saturday, October 3, 2009

very important day

Today, was jam packed full of investing toward the future. I fulfilled much of my reason for being on this planet. My time was spent doing what I am specifically called and designed by God to do. Today I spent my day.......just being with my family.

Friday, October 2, 2009

skill or will

All growth boils down to SKILL or WILL. Have you ever seen someone play something for the first time and pick it up incredibly fast. They have natural skill. Others work incredibly hard at perfecting something. This is called Will. All growth in any area comes down to Skill and Will. What area(s) o your life do you need to grow in, and do you have the SKILL or WILL to accomplish that?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

finished product


This is a rendering of what our building will soon look like. We are planning to have our first Sunday in the new sanctuary in 6-8 weeks. It is coming together very quickly and the excitement is growing. We have some amazing people that are all playing a part in what God is doing here at C3....and we've only just begun!

Growth is all about health


I was thinking this morning about how God created the world to grow. In nature we see how if a plant is healthy, it grows. The actual "growth process" is a mystery that only God can do, but there is a part that we play. If a seed has the right soil, the right water, the right sunlight, and the right temperature it is going to grow. I have talked with several leaders who are praying for their churches to grow, although they have no vision, a toxic church culture, no processes or structure and aren't training up any leaders. That's like putting an acorn in the sand of the desert and praying for it to grow. God has created into nature certain laws for healthy growth. Why should God allow that tree to grow from an acorn in the desert, only to have the heat destroy it? Why should God give our churches growth if we aren't ready to handle it? The healthier we are, the more that we can grow and be trusted with His growth.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Forum

Spent the first part of this week with our C3 executive staff at a ministers conference called the "The Forum." We got to connect with the speakers Scott Wilson, Justin Lathrop and Shane Walters from the Oaks in Dallas, as well as Gene Rencone from Colorado. The sessions have been rich and seeing friends has been amazing well. I also got to lead the worship with several pastors from throughout the state.
I can't wait to go back and try to sift through all this new info and try to apply as much as I can, because THERE IS NO GROWTH WITHOUT APPLICATION!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

rainy days

Today, I got up and got in the woods for the first day of bow season.....that is until it started raining. After seeing nothing, I climbed down, came home and jumped in my warm bed. The rest of the day was spent investing into my life into my kids. We played every board game, football in the living room, horsey rides and daddy monster. Being a dad is one of THE MOST IMPORTANT ROLES that I play on this earth. Here's my order:
- God
- Family
- Church

Friday, September 25, 2009

Boston Marathon 2010

Last night I signed up officially for the Boston Marathon in April of 2010. Last year, I put a list together of things I want to accomplish or experience before I die. My goal is to cross off at least one thing every year. Here are a couple from my list:
- Walk the Great Wall of China
- See the Grand Canyon
- 7 day Euro-rail vacation w/only a backpack
- Ride across the US on a motorcycle
- Be there when my sons shoot their 1st deer
- Tithe 15%
- Compete in an Eco Challenge
- Write a book
- Visit Australia
- Drive a Honda Element
- Take a missions trip w/each of my Kids
- Do a Rite of Passage w/each of my Kids
Just to name a few!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Risk


You can't risk without failing. It's gonna happen and realistically, it probably should. I had a visionary leader I served under say this to me, "If your not failing on occasion, I'm going to doubt that your really giving it your all." Truly, if I don't fail every now and then, I'm playing way too conservatively (like the Buckeyes in the USC game...ha...ouch..."sobbing loudly") If I'm not risking enough to fail, then do I really have faith. Faith that trusts God's Word and His voice, that if He don't show up we are bound to fail. Can you imagine if we lived our lives in such a way that God HAD to show up or we would fail? Instead of being comfortable attempting stuff that we could pull off on our own, we step out into uncharted water, where ONLY GOD could get the credit if it were pulled off! That's where I want to live....in the realm called "Faith" by some and "pipe dream" by others!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

example

"Example" is a language everyone understands. It really is true that I speak my words, but scream my actions. If my words and actions line up it is awesome, but if they don't, it is hypocrisy. I have learned with my kids, that before I tell them NOT to do something, I must first check my own life. Many times they are just following my example....ouch. Sometimes I want to say, "don't do as I do, do as I say!" HA...but that can never work. I try to work hard at what example I am setting to my wife, kids, friends, church and community. What example are you setting? Your example speaks louder and clearer than anything you could ever say.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Central Section mtng

Today, the C3 crew is heading to the Central Sectional meeting. We are discussing the book by Bill Hybels entitled "Axiom." Solid book....great principles. One good one is "facts are you friends." As leaders, many times we run from facts because they point to our lack. But facts point to how we can improve and if we are all about excellence, then we need to be big enough to run with it. Do you know the facts about why there is growth or no growth? If not, what are you going to do about it?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Iron sharpens Iron

Excited about journeying with 4 guys of C3 for 4 months. In that time we will meet 2x's a month. We will walk through 4 books and will have some great discussion centering on growth spiritually, with our families and in our leadership. I'm excited about the journey.

Today was a monumental day for Keri and I. We had all 3 kids in school at the same time and were able to enjoy a couple hours at a coffee shop together on my day off. It's a NEW DAY!

Friday, September 18, 2009

like

Like attracts like - I think it is fascinating to me how we attract people who are like ourselves. It's funny how you put a group a people in a room and before long they have found others like themselves. Whether it's all the negative or positive people have gotten together or all the strong personalities have congregated. In leadership we have to be careful that we don't just surround ourselves with people who are like us. A team full of Tom Brady like QB's, would lose every game without an offensive line. He may be an incredible quarterback, but he needs a different kind of people around him to be most effective.
Like charges like - Today, I met with a friend who charged me up spiritually. We may be different in many ways, but when it comes to passion and hunger for God, we are very alike. Just hearing him talk about his journey with Jesus and feeling his hunger for more, charged me up. It's amazing when I'm around others who are passionate visionaries or in love with Jesus, I feed off that. Why? Because like charges like.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

lid lifter

How many people are better today, or have became more, because of you? I think all of us have something to give to someone. The very least we could do is to take people to where to where we are. Really, that's all I can do. I remember when I showed up to a youth ministry that had NO musical talent. I started teaching different one's everything I knew (which wasn't much). Soon after that, they continued to progress until at one time, we had 3 full solid bands! Several of them have done some recordings. All I did was took them as far as I could bring them. In other words, I lifted their lid of potential. Really, when you think about it, our job as a leader is to raise their belief in what they could actually do, and help empower them to do it. Who is better today because of you?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

memories vs memorabilia

I want to travel through life, light. In other words, I want to keep the memories, but let go of much of the memorabilia. The moment I begin to hold on to everything and pack it away, the less quickly I am able to move and change. Plus, I begin to worry more about my stuff, than what is truly important. Or, I begin to care for what "I" came up with, more than what is the right thing at that time. I keep the memories of the "good old days," but continue to press forward to be as effective as possible for the Kingdom of God. I hope someone can actually make sense of that ramble.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Meetings meetings

Today, I'm in a Presbyter meeting where the leaders of the Ohio Assembly of God ministers are getting together. We are looking at ways to continually be better stewards of what God has entrusted us. In a few minutes, I will get to interview several new ministers wanting to get credentials. I pray that God gives me some wisdom to impart. Also, enjoying the sunshine.....from a window.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday

Today we had a good Sunday. The services went well as we baptized 3 and had 5 receive Christ! It never ceases to amaze me how Jesus changes lives. Later in the afternoon, we had an "ALL LEADERS" meeting. This is where we meet with those who are leading a serving opportunity within the church. We have a couple of key leaders who are stepping up to take C3 to the next level. Of course with Brent Salyers coming on staff as our "Family Life Dir." Also, a 1st Impressions Coordinator, to oversee most of what goes on on Sunday morning. As well as a "Connections" team leader. She will build a team to "connect" with people on a Sunday morning on a deeper level than just a "greeter." All in all, God is bringing us the right people in His time to fulfill the vision that He is giving. Then at 7pm, we had about 25 show up to pray. It was cool as we spent the last 15min praying in our new unfinished sanctuary!

Friday, September 11, 2009

carrying weight

I have learned that in life and ministry, I am forced to carry extra weight. It could be counseling others, the demands of life, others negative comments, leading a church, spiritual attacks, you name it, many of us have had extra weight placed on us. I think the key is HOW we carry it. I remember getting my first "rolling luggage." It's amazing how much those wheels helped. I was carrying the same amount of weight, it just felt easier. It's tough at times not to take the weight home with me. For me, God's strength is like the wheels on my luggage. As long as I'm placing the weight on HIM, HE allows me to move the weight with ease. Really when you think about it, most of the burdens we carry have been taken of by Christ Jesus. So, what are you carrying.....and how are you carrying it?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

ineffectiveness

The #1 reason for ineffectiveness, is lack of strategy. I think it's crazy how many are trying to move their church, organization, family or spiritual lives, with no strategy. I'll be the first to admit, I've been here more times than I would have liked. Then I'm disappointed when I don't succeed. The problem is, if I've never defined what success is or my strategy to get there, I guess I am hoping that if I roll the dice that all will come out favorably. It's like shooting an arrow in the forest and then after it hits a tree, painting a bullseye around it. This morning I am asking myself what areas of my life are ineffective and then thinking about a strategy to improve them. What area's of your life, do you need a strategy?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

payback

Today while driving, I was overwhelmed by what God has done for me/us. I began to weep thinking about He paid my debt of sin and how there is no way that I could ever pay Him back. Even a lifetime of 100% devotion and service, could never come close to scratching even the surface. I am forever indebted and it makes me love Him all the more. My one option though, is to pay it forward. When I show others the same love that was shown me through Christ, I pay it forward. Have you reflected today on what Christ freed you from? AND are you paying Christ's love forward?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

no labor yesterday

Yesterday, I got up and ran a 4 mile race in the pouring rain. I won my age group in 23:17. I met the Buck I Guy, saw Craig Krenzel, Demetrius Gibson, Miss Teen Ohio and a clown on a unicycle. I then rushed home and we headed over to the Fowlers to hang with them and our new staff members, the Salyers. We had a great time playing the Wii and some other games. A great time was had by all.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Serve

Friday night, my family parked cars on our church lot for the HS football game. It was cool to hand out "blowpops" to everyone who pulled in. I got the opportunity afterward to talk with my kids about serving. I told them that when we serve, is when we look the most like Jesus. I want to continue serving as a family......and eating blowpops.....especially grape ones.

Friday, September 4, 2009

building the walls


Our executive team had a good 2 days hammering out job descriptions, obstacles and opportunities. I think we made some good headway.
Today, I got back in the office to see the full concrete pad has been poured and the crane is here and moving the walls in place. The walls should be completely done today and then the trusses. Midwest church construction is moving very quickly. Last night I heard a statistic that the average pastor only stays 18 months after a building project is completed. This is usually due to the stress level that burns them out. My Keri asked if I was feeling stressed about ours and I said
'No, not at all." A big part of that is due to one of our ELT (Executive Leadership Team) members Hope, who is doing an amazing job as the project manager on our end. She does this sort of thing for a living and is doing 10x's better than I could have ever dreamed of doing. I am a firm believer in a TEAM, and Hope is a "10" in this role.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

my 10 day cleanse

Today wraps up my 10 full body toxin cleanse. I have been eating salads, fruits, veggies and oatmeal along with certain drinks and pills. I have lost 2 pounds....not that I was doing this to lose weight, but that happens when you cut out all fried foods and sugars. I feel good, but can't wait to eat some real meat and drink a coffee. I did learn that I COULD NEVER BE A VEGETARIAN...EVER! I'm just glad it is over...ha.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

the days pass quickly

Tuesday, I had the privilege of traveling to Perrysburg to speak to the NW section of A/G pastors. The cool thing was that I walked away with a couple of great ideas as well. They have some great leaders there.
Today, myself, Gary and new staff member Brent Salyers locked ourselves in a meeting room for the whole day. Tomorrow will be the same. We are hammering out our Org Chart, job descriptions and who is doing what. We are trying to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of our staff and volunteers. We have some amazing people at C3 and we want to be good stewards with what God has entrusted to us.
PS - I went 4/4 tonight is softball and hoofed out a couple extra bases.....and we won! Altogether...a great day!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Great weekend

We had a blast Sunday at our 3rd annual C3 picnic. We had some great food and fun. Our cornhole tournament had right at 50 teams entered and the kickball game on the HS baseball field was a blast. The park we were at also had an incredible new play land for the kids. At the end of the day though somehow my boys found the dirt mound more fun. Normally, C3's big events are for others, but this one was for us. It's really overwhelming looking around at all the people and thinking that God could see all this taking place many years ago. Is all it took was a step of faith.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Date week

Keri and I's "date week" is coming to an end. Our kids spent this last week before school starts with my parents in Canton Ohio. This left Keri and I with the whole week to ourselves. We literally went out on a date 4 nights in a row. It was awesome! I even skipped my softball game to make this happen. (talk about sacrifice! lol) We felt like a young couple again. I have to admit though, that it only takes a couple days and we both start missing our kids.
- On another note, our newest Staff members to C3, Brent and Starla Salyers move in today!
- As for our new building, the walls and trusses are here and will go up shortly.
- Sunday is also C3's annual picnic! There will be a huge kickball game, cornhole, food, fun.....and trophies....ha.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

what it feels like


Tuesday, I was running "mile repeats" with one of my friends. Mile repeats are where you run 1 mile very fast, take a 3-4 minute break, and then run another mile and continue to repeat those 2 steps. Trust me, it hurts. As I'm running the last mile, I kept telling myself, that this is what winning feels like. Everyone says they want to run fast, but very few are willing to put themselves through the pain to do it.
I'm learning that as our church continues to grow, the pace begins to pick up. When there are times that I may feel it, I begin to think, "this is what a growing church feels like." The choice is then either to embrace the discomfort, or let off. Which one are you choosing?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

obstacles

What are your biggest obstacles? The one's that stand in the way of you doing something great with your life. The obstacles that if removed, you could run after your dream on your heart? Those obstacles are effecting more than you. Think of the countless people that you could touch if your dream was realized. The crazy thing is, it's your dream, your obstacle and your responsibility to get over, under or around it. What's the first step? Take it!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

fun

Sunday night I was at my parents church where I got to play some bluegrass music with my Dad and Papaw! It was awesome. At one point I beat boxed and my Dad rapped and his people gave a standing ovation! Everyone was laughing and we had a great time. Monday, we took the kids bowling and I had a turkey (3 strikes in a row) on the 10th frame! Today, we had our monthly sectional meeting and then to a coffee shop to meet with some pastors from another church. I pray Gary and I gave them something they can use. Tonight, Keri and I are going out with about 30 C3'ers to gameworks for dinner and games. It's cool Keri threw out some emails saying it's open to any who are available. I love our church.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fairfield Christian Academy

Last night and this morning I got the privilege to speak at the beginning of the school year retreat. I had a great time and pray the students were touched by God. The band "the great transparency" led worship and did a great job. It was also cool to see a couple students from C3!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

taste

My Keri and I had a conversation discussing how that whatever I speak on Sunday, we have usually had to deal with it the week before. The reason is, "we will have to taste what we preach!" It's easy to stand up and tell others to have "faith" through a rough time in their lives, it's a complete other thing to have to walk through it yourself. So, I'm looking at my preaching schedule through the end of the year to see what I should prepare to face....ha.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

depth


I have wrestled at times with how deep to go with the teaching on a Sunday morning. If we don't go deep enough, we lose the mature believers, but if we go too deep, we lose the seekers or young Christians. Our approach has been to deal with real life topics and to look at how the truth of the God's Word can be applied to our lives. Application is the key to LifeChange. Faith + Action = LifeChange. Many Christians who have followed Christ for a while, are over educated and under applied. In other words, they have a whole lot of Bible head knowledge, but very little heart transformation. Who cares how much you know....what are you living out? In my opinion, true ministry depth is what others can take away and apply.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

too much too fast

As a leader and a visionary, it is a fine line between having a compelling vision and totally burying everyone with too much vision. As the leader you must see farther than others see, but if you run out too far, you will lose those who are following. So I'm learning that wisdom discerns this balance. The goal is to continue to move forward at a fast yet sustainable pace. To challenge our church and leaders to continue to step out in faith. Once it becomes a part of our DNA it's like a train, that then becomes hard to stop. Choo Chooo!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

the life of a pastor

This morning I went to visit someone in the hospital and ended up helping give him a shower. Right now, I'm about to do a wedding at C3 where the bridal party is literally going to dance down the aisle to "love roller coaster." My life is anything but boring!

Friday, August 14, 2009

kids

Talking with my dad last night and he threw out a quote. "With kids, the days are long, but the years are short." Wow that is so true. I want to do my best to enjoy every minute of everyday day and take nothing for granted.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

the baby

--- "Nobody wants to hear about your labor pains, they only want to see the baby." ---
So true, isn't it? When I see God using someone to do great things for His Kingdom, I realize that there was much praying/trusting/sacrifice on the individuals part to bring it to pass. Many of those stories of times of discouragement and feelings of walking away from it all, are sometimes lost in the past when the dream is realized. But when you really think about it, we need to hear those stories. Stories of battles fought and scars received in order to see the vision "baby" realized. Sometimes when we hear success stories we get a distorted view of reality or think less of ourselves. I want to hear about the struggle/pain that led to the baby/vision realized.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

the summer is over

For C3 and I'm sure most churches, the summer brings with it a lull. We look at summer, not as a time to relax, but a time to plant and prepare for the Fall. Within the next month, things will start to ramp up again and we will see how well we have prepared for it. We are in a crazy season in the life of our young church. With our new addition going up, new hire coming in and a big growth spurt on the horizon, we are praying for God's continued wisdom and favor. Right now I'm also praying/working on C3's future through 2015. Big things are in store....I'm just praying for God's timing.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

change the world

Today, Gary (C3's Exec Dir.) and myself are in a coffee shop for our weekly meeting. When we talk about what God is doing and what He is going to do, we get a little excited. We glanced over to see the girl behind the counter staring at us with a puzzled look. I said, "Oh don't mind us, we are just talking about how to change the world."
But truly....we have to believe that. If we are called by God...did you catch that?..BY GOD....the CREATOR of all, the ONE who holds all the power, how can we not believe that we CAN CHANGE THE WORLD through the POWER of CHRIST. I have determined to spend my life chasing what is on God's heart and that is people....souls. I'm just crazy enough to believe that God is looking for a few people who will dream the impossible and have the courage to run after it. When Jesus returns, may HE not find us complaining or complacent, but rather in middle of taking another CITY FOR THE NAME OF JESUS!........I'm getting fire up...I need to go pray.

barbie

My little Kali (who is the most beautiful little girl EVER) is turning 4 and got an early gift while in AL. It was her first "barbie doll." We were sitting together that night as she gazed at the doll and her demeanor suddenly changed. Kali then said, "Barbie is prettier than me." "Look at her pretty dress and her eyes." My heart broke! I wanted to RIP THE HEAD RIGHT OFF THAT STUPID DOLL! I told her that barbie was not real. Look at her eyes (as I smashed her head) they are not real. She is fake....but you are a REAL GIRL. I then spent the next couple of minutes telling her that real beauty comes from the inside. And that she was beautiful on the inside and so-so-so pretty on the outside as well. She knows that her daddy thinks she is the most beautiful girl in the whole world, but the important thing will be what she thinks of herself.

Monday, August 10, 2009

vacation is over

It truly is challenging being away from internet for multiple days at a time. The last 3 days we were at a place on a lake with a dock, pontoon, a canoe and fishing poles. We had a blast and got some sun....burn. Now comes the long drive home (13 hours). We drove 4-5 hours late last night and are about to leave our hotel room now...right after a FREE continental breakfast. At 1 am last night I learned that in this part of TN they can't rent you 1 hotel room to any group that is larger than 4. After the 3rd motel.....we finally found a guy who apparently didn't care to break code. Crazy!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Vacation

My blogs may be a little thin this week, cause I'm on vacation! We left Sunday afternoon and drove to KY to stay the night and go to Dinosaur World. The kids had a blast. We are now in Birmingham and it is hot and humid. We will head to Keri's mom's lake house...(uh trailor) this weekend!

I watched the Dark Knight last night and it really challenged me. (God speaks to me in a huge way through movies) The character Harvey Dent who was turning into the real hero of Gotham, was finally turned through the Joker's pressure. Everyone looked to Dent and trusted him, but he fell. I spent some time thinking about my own life as a leader and pastor, and knowing that just like Harvey Dent, when we stir up the enemy, there are repercussions. It almost always gets worse before it gets better. There is a price to pay, and those who lead the movement will pay the highest price. Am I, and are you, willing to pay it?

Friday, July 31, 2009

infrastructure

When I look in the mirror I see a very "slender" (not skinny...lol) individual. Although I am 6'3'' in height, looking at my skeletal structure, it's easy to see that I was not meant to carry a lot of weight around. If I were to gain 100lbs of muscle or fat, my frame could not carry it.
Looking at C3 and where we are heading very quickly with our new building going up, we could realistically double in a matter of weeks when the doors are open. If our infrastructure can't handle all the weight of new people through community groups, assimilation to get involved, feeling cared for, etc, we will crumble. Thus the reason for staffing not for where we are, but for where we are going.
I think it's crazy how we as church leaders pray for MORE, but aren't in the place to be good stewards if God were to come through. Rather, we should be like the widow in the Bible who rounded up as many containers as she could to be filled with oil, THEN GOD FILLED ALL SHE HAD PREPARED. What are you preparing for God to fill?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

incredible song

I watched this song on youtube and wept through the whole thing. I was overcome with how much God loves me and the lost. You have to check it out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoC1ec-lYps&feature=related

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

from my readings

This morning I jumped to the book of Ecclesiastes and meditated on Ecc 7:14 which says "On a good day, enjoy yourself; On a bad day, examine your conscience. God arranges for both kinds of days so that we won't take anything for granted."
- The phrase the "God arranges both" got me thinking about how God shapes us. Just like with weight training or running, I push hard and tear muscle and then back off to let it repair stronger than before. On my next bad day, I want to ask God what I can learn from this. This verse also challenged me to savor the good days because they are a gift from God. So be thankful for whatever kind of day you are having....b/c they are both from God.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

C3's new hire

C3 would like to welcome Brent and Starla Salyers to the team! Starting September 1st Brent will come on board as our "Family Life Director." He will work with our current kids classroom directors to take our kids ministry to the next level. In the main C3 Kids Church room we are looking to have live characters with an interactive stage with doors and puppet stages built in. The teaching will be done interacting with the live characters and he will help get us there. Brent will also work with our current Youth Directors to help them continue to move forward as well. His third area to oversee would be with our Community Groups.
I have known and worked with Brent and Starla on several occasions and have grown to love them. It is amazing being able to build your dream team......and we've only just begun!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

faith like potatoes


Keri and I just finished watching the movie "Faith Like Potatoes," and all I can think is....my faith is so small. Why do I dream so small when the God I serve is so big that He is limitless? Why do I allow my human limitations to shrink my view of who God is and what He is capable of? The world has yet to see the impact of one believer who's life was totally surrendered to God. May we live lives worthy of the price we have been bought with.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

interns leaving/parade/race


We have been incredibly blessed for the past 6 weeks to have 2 amazing interns spend their summer with us. They have worked tirelessly on a wide range of projects that have helped C3 to continue to move forward. We are going to miss Coryn and Jordan more than they know. They have truly blessed us and now feel like a real part of the C3 family! We have to say goodbye to them tomorrow!
The Violet Festival parade went well. We had around 40 C3'ers walking and ended up handing out 1,000 balloons and a boat load of candy. Our band rocked it out again on our float and our people had some great conversations with others asking about our church. Also, I finished 4th (10:56) in the 2mile "Downtown Dash" that ran the parade course and got a medal....i love medals. It was cool having a ton of people cheering you on the whole time.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fast and Furious

Today, we met with the sound/light/video professionals to figure out what is needed and what it will cost....ouch! Today, we have had a church full of students and our interns helping get our parade float done. We are attempting to fill and hand out 1,200 helium balloons with our C3 logo and website on them. I am running the 2 mile parade race 15 minutes prior to the parade starting and then will keep on running to our float and walk it again. It should be fun.
It is awesome to see our building coming together at hyper speed now. It will up and running before we know it! Also, I have been praying and hammering out our 5 year vision for growth and expansion. That kind of thinking gets me fired up!.....that's all for right now.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

buidling is happening

I look out the window of C3 and can't help but see bulldozers, dump trucks and backhoe's! I can't believe that we are finally building. Some would say that we are moving extremely fast for a new church plant, but for me it almost feels slow. They have already demolished much of our current parking lot and will have the new parking lot in gravel by Sunday! It is truly exciting to be a part of a church that is growing and moving forward.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Violet Festival

Starting today our city is having our 3 day Violet Festival. There will be more than 40,000 people show up to be a part of the festivities. C3 will be represented throughout the weekend at that "Family Fun Tent," the parade with a float and perhaps a couple runners in the Downtown Dash 2 mile run. I love the "small town" feel of Pickerington. I love my city.....and am praying for God to use us to help change us.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Trans Am


Driving down the highway today and I saw an older guy driving a Trans Am. You could tell that he was feeling pretty cool about himself and his car. It got me thinking about how much of the quality of our lives, comes down to what we think about ourselves. If we feel cool, attractive or accepted in our minds, then our lives are are so much better. Have you ever seen the guy wearing something so far out of style that he thinks is still cool? For him, in his mind, it is cool and he is the only one he has to live with. So much of life, is what goes on in our own heads. Today I salute the "Trans Am old guy!"
Wow....I hope that ramble even made the slightest bit of sense.

Monday, July 20, 2009

home

Sunday, Keri and I literally lounged most of the day in a hotel room. We we so lazy, I almost felt guilty! That night we had a good service at Calvary A/G of Lynnfield MA. We jumped on a plane from Logan airport (Boston) and returned home. It's amazing how much you can miss your kids when you are gone for a week! It's good to be home. I feel refreshed and am ready to hit the ground running. Speaking of ground, the bulldozer was at work on our property today and I can't wait to see it first thing tomorrow morning!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

emergency room

Today, we had the day off in New Hampshire and we were heading to the mountains with some close friends, when we stopped at a pizza place for lunch. I was eating with my good friend, when he complained of being hot and stood up to walk around and then almost collapsed. I grabbed him and set him down as he was about to pass out. All of this happened within 5-10 minutes. Looking into his eyes I could tell he was out of it. There happened to be a doctor eating next to us (thank God) who jumped in and took over till the squad got there. The doctors are still running tests, not sure what it was. So we chilled out in the emergency room most of the day. Crazy! I'm just glad that didn't happen on top of a mountain where we were headed. God was truly looking after him.

We are in a nice hotel now and speaking tomorrow in a church near Boston.

Friday, July 17, 2009

camp is over

Keri and I have had a great week of camp up here in the mountains of New Hampshire. The kids went after God this week and the leaders were great. It has really been a relaxing week for Keri and I both. I mean we actually slept in a couple of days! It's funny how hard that is for me to do.

As I watched the students roll away in vans and buses, I couldn't help but think how long their fire would last. This morning for the final challenge, I encouraged them to stay connected (John 15). That the enemy of their soul will try to rob them of what Christ just planted in their hearts. My prayer is that they will go and bear much fruit.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

bike ride

Today, I went for a bike ride in the mountains of New Hampshire. I was tempted to walk out in the woods and get lost for a couple of days. ha! The view here is breath taking. Keri and I are enjoying ourselves being here with some amazing leaders and teenagers. We are staying through this weekend and preaching in a church near Boston. Saturday, we will hang with some of our good friends that served with us as our camps directors in Ohio.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Hampshire

This week I'm in New Hampshire speaking a youth camp. It is so beautiful here and the mountains are just breath taking. I'm also excited to have my Keri here with me. Can you say "no-kids?" Anyway, today, we will go rock climbing which should be cool.
God has been doing some cool stuff in these kids lives so far, and we are praying for more.....man I love camp!

Monday, July 13, 2009

ground breaking

We had a great service yesterday and officially broke ground! I love our church.....and we've only just begun!

Friday, July 10, 2009

1.1 million

Today, Gary and I signed on behalf of C3 Church for a loan of 1.1 million. We break ground Sunday on a 500 seat auditorium that attaches to our current location. It is a truly exciting time in the life of our young church. Peoples lives are changing and we have grown very quickly as a church. We are also internally restructuring for the growth that we anticipating with this new addition! Like I tell our staff and team all the time.....we've only just begun!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

raise your level

This morning, I ran a speed workout with a couple of my buddies as normal, but today
we had a college runner show up. He is on a different level and buried us all. I was bummed at first to the fact of getting smoked, but then realized that my times were faster than weeks before, because of him. So I actually pushed harder, trying to keep up with him. I'm always telling my kids that losing isn't a bad thing, as long as you get better. That every time you play someone better than you, you get better. That's why I love to hang with people that are sharper than me, because they help me think, pray, dream and lead at a different level.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

the leader


People look to the leader for many things. Where are we going? How and when will we get there? How much will this cost? What part can I play? Why are we doing it this way? The list can go on and on. Those things are all external, but much of the culture and DNA of an organization, is formed by how the leader lives. When those who follow want to know how much integrity to have, how hard they should work, how to interact with others on the team, they will look at the leader. The leader is always modeling more than he/she can ever imagine. People here what the leader is saying, but more their actions ALWAYS speak louder than words.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

FREEDOM


I think many times that we take for granted the freedom that we have in our country. It's easy to forget the lives that were willingly laid down to gain it and keep it. It means so much more to those who come to our country from another country. We have it so good and don't even realize it. As a dad, I am doing my best to instill in my kids that our Freedom wasn't and isn't free. Every time I see a flag, may I think on what it represents and the sacrifice that was made to fly it.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

float update

We placed 2nd place in the "non-commercial" division. They even gave us a plaque! We handed out over 400 C3 helium balloons and a ton of candy. It was a blast. I had my kids walk with me and hand out candy in the parade.
Also, next Sunday we officially break ground! MidWest Church Construction is even giving us an engraved shovel. I can't believe that we will finally be building next week.

Friday, July 3, 2009

float

We are hard at work putting together a float for the Pickerington July 4th parade. It will feature our very own C3 band rocking it out live through a generator while they make their way through the streets of our little city. We will be handing out C3 helium balloons and candy....all in our C3 shirts. It should be fun. Any C3'ers wanting to jump in, just let me know.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

down at the river

Last night we and the Fowlers drove down to southern Ohio to hang with some friends at their place on the river. We are having a blast just chillin out and playing some cornhole. We're praying the sun comes out. Our kids are having a great time. I'm enjoying friends and family!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

your character is always showing

Whether you know it or not, your character is always showing. It reveals itself in the little things all day long. Things like how we react while driving, interacting with people and what we do when no one is around. Character is revealed in greater measure when the "heat" of adversity is put to us. We then see who we really are. Much like integrity isn't integrity until it costs us something, character is unknown until it is tested. What is your character you are showing, saying about you?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

today

Today I got up and hit the gym, met with 3 other pastors of growing churches and just had lunch with Gary and Pickerington's City Planner Tim. It's crazy how much good dialog I was in before lunch was over. Whenever I go into a meeting or just meet with someone, I always try to think through a few things. Things like, what is the outcome I want to see. Another would be, what information am I wanting to communicate to the other party AND what can I learn from THEM. Usually after I leave a conversation or meeting, I think through what I could have done to have made it gone better or more productive.

Monday, June 29, 2009

drop it

In life, we are always trying to fit more in. In our minds, "more" usually translates to "better." But, is this really the truth? I know personally when trying to improve my life, I'm always looking at what more I can ADD. The question I have hardly ever consider, is what am I willing to QUIT doing in order to make my life better? What are the things that I am doing that are GOOD but not GREAT? How about you?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

community groups

We are about to have a Community Group leaders meeting to give some info and training for our upcoming new groups that will start in August. We run our small groups (no more than 12 people) on the school calendar. They are the lifeblood of our church. We firmly believe that people grow when they are reading the Bible, interacting with the Holy Spirit and doing life with other believers. When true "Community" begins to happen, it is powerful. Accountability, true love, faith, and more begin to happen when God's people are in unity. We know that the bigger C3 gets, the smaller we must become. People long for authentic relationships and a place to belong and we will do our best to facilitate that.

Friday, June 26, 2009

u can have what you want

I believe that as a follower of Jesus Christ, I can have as much freedom in/through Christ as I want. I know many Christians who live in all kind of bondage and chains. The Bible is crammed full of promises that belong to every follower of Jesus, yet many choose not to walk in them. I can't imagine the conversations when we get to heaven so bound, only to see what could have been ours while we walked the Earth. Are there any chains that you are bound by? Maybe it's fear, anxiety, worry, depression, unforgiveness, the list can go on and on. You choose how you live.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

vision steps


Every time you present something new or want to see a change, you are casting vision, whether you know it or not. Many times we run into conflict because we are wanting to change something people are comfortable with or even something that was originally their idea. Andy Stanley gives 3 steps to cast vision correctly:
1. Define the problem - Why do we have to change?
2. Offer a solution - Here's what has to be done to fix it?
3. Reason why it has to be done now - It has to be urgent.
At C3, we also go through different steps according to how much people are vested or apart. Example would be that our board (ELT) is always in on the beginning discussions and then we go to our Key Leaders and then Partners (our members) before it ever goes to the congregation. I have found that people are usually "down" on things they are not "up" on.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

quote

Tom Peters said "Chaos and uncertainty are market opportunities of the wise." Think about it, when these things happen, it is setting the stage for a leader to step in and succeed. In times of chaos and uncertainty, it drives people to seek for answers and solutions. Whoever steps up with clarity or a plan, is then followed and hailed the leader.
In your current ministry or situation, is there some chaos going on that needs someone to step up and bring clarity? Be that person.

- We are signing the loan papers today and the ball is about to start rolling very fast to build our new 500 seat sanctuary. I am pumped!

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Great Fathers Day

Yesterday was a lot of fun at C3 Church. I had the privilege of having my grandfather and father here with me. We played a 3 song bluegrass/southern gospel medley with upright bass, mandolin and guitar. The look on our peoples faces was priceless! The we each took 10 minutes and shared what had been "handed-off" to us by your fathers and what we have done our best to "hand-off" to our children. After each of us spoke, we handed a relay baton to the next generation. At the end, we all stood on different size podiums to show how we all stand on the shoulders of the generation before us. I even brought my son Kaden out and handed my baton off to him. When all the dads left, they were each given a baton and left with the truth that "WE ALL HAND-OFF SOMETHING!"
In the last service my Grandfather gave me his 1940's Gibson electric mandolin! What an incredible blessing/heritage that he has passed on to me! I will have these memories for ever!

Friday, June 19, 2009

we got it

We got the loan approved for C3's new building! It was a little tougher than first expected seeing the the first bank that told us how much we had to raise in a building campaign and legally how to set ourselves up, ended up denying us. We even went over and above what they asked for and they still denied us. That was a tough pill to swallow. We then were looking at another bank with higher interest rate and not as much as we needed. It seemed like the only option.....UNTIL GOD came through came with another bank, good rate and terms. That bank approved us today! It's awesome to think that this is GOD's church and we are just privileged to be a part. Can you say FAVOR!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Community Award

Today, I'm having lunch at the Chamber of Commerce businesses luncheon. It is cool being the only church/pastor because they usually ask me to pray! This is an award luncheon and I have been informed that C3 Church is being given the "Community Award" by the Chamber. There is nothing like getting an award for showing the love of God, from the very people that you are trying to reveal Christ to. God is good!..............I hope it's a trophy....I love trophies!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

inability

God is not surprised by your inabilities! Why then do we try to put a front up with God and others about our inabilities an imperfections? What if we were just honest about who we are and what we are weak at? What about even our strengths, which compared with God are huge weaknesses. Either way, God knows me better than I know myself and I have nothing to hide. Anything I have, or don't have I owe it all to my creator!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

your picture

What picture do you carry of yourself? In other words, how do you see yourself? Other than how you see God, this is one of the most defining questions for our lives. It is a filter for how we see others, situations, circumstances and life in general. This is how 2 people can look at the same exact thing and see it 2 completely opposite ways. One may see a problem as immovable, while another staring at the same problem may see an incredible challenge. Much of life comes down to how we see ourselves. So, what picture do you carry around of yourself?

Monday, June 15, 2009

interns

Tomorrow, C3 has 2 sharp interns coming to spend the summer working with us at C3. We will do our best to give them experience in a wide variety of ministry. They will be working with all 3 of our current paid staff members on different days, as well as youth and children ministries. My prayer and goal is that it is a win/win.

seasons


It is always important to know what season you are in and what season is coming up. C3 Church is has just walked through another crazy season of growth. Now going into the summer, things have leveled off a bit. This is not a bad thing, but actually natural and much needed. As the leadership of C3 Church, we are using this season to prepare for the next. In the fall, with our new 500 seat auditorium soon to be built, there is no doubt going to be some fast growth. If we have not structured (or planted) wisely, we will not be able to handle (or reap) the growth that is coming. Every season has a purpose. The key is to maximize each season for greatest effectiveness.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

recovery


Today, I was thinking about a valuable lesson I have learned in running that applies to life. Some people start running and everyday try to run faster than the day before. They see gains early on, but soon hit a wall and will not be able to get past it. The reason is because to run fast, you have to run slow. My easy/recovery days are slow and light, so that on my hard workout days, I can push my body to the limit. The better I have rested, the harder I can push and the faster I get.
Today as I sat lounging in my backyard with my kids, I thought about how this was a "recovery" day, so tomorrow (Sunday) I can run full tilt. As hard as it is to slow down, I must learn to be good at both.

Friday, June 12, 2009

my morning reading

Reading "Axiom" by Bill Hybels. I love the 2-3 page chapters of proverbish nuggets. He posed a question: What is the greatest contribution I can make to ???? (C3 Church for me) in the next 6 weeks? Now take that list and narrow it down to the most important 6 things. Make those your focus for the next 6 weeks. I've got my list.......I gotta go and get working on them!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

rubber snake

We bought this big 18ft bubble like pool from our neighbor who was moving for $25. It's the real deal, chlorine, filter and everything. The kids are loving it! The only bummer is it has attracted some messy disgusting ducks. Ducks are beautiful in a lake, but disgusting for a pool with feathers and droppings. After scaring them away a few times, we had to try something else. Yep, the "rubber snake" on the ladder gig. It is actually working! As bad as those ducks want to take a dip in that crystal clear watering hole, they won't because of that rubber snake!
I often think about what keeps me from living the FULL life that God wants me to. It either comes down to fear or distraction. Personally, God has been challenging me to live in such a way that requires trust in God or failure is inevitable.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

the best follower

Currently, I'm an assistant coach for my 5yr olds T-ball team. Although I have been the head coach before, my goal now is to be the best assistant coach in the league. I will do whatever I'm asked to do by the head coach. My job is to make him and our team look good. Right now my responsibilities are mainly keeping the bench (full of 5yr olds) in order and getting them ready to bat. I really feel that to be a good leader, you have to be a great follower. You reap what you sow and no matter what leadership position you are in, there is always someone above you that you are called to serve. In some cases it may only be God. Another thought is that the higher you move up in leadership, the greater the servant you are called to be.

faith

I got a great question from my reading today in the book "Crazy Love." So here it is: "What are you doing right now that requires faith?" I mean really think about it. Many times we live in such a way that requires no faith and we surround ourselves with people who are just like us. Today, I'm asking God how I can step out in faith.

Monday, June 8, 2009

praying together

Sunday night we get together to pray as a church. We have had anywhere from 40 to 5. We had several people come to pray who had not been there to pray before. I love to be around other people when they pray. You can tell a whole lot about a person, by how they pray. You see how comfortable they are praying, but most importantly, you can see their heart for God. After walking out of that time of prayer, I felt a closer connection with each person there.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

kids

I'm watching my oldest son play a baseball game (no wife..this is an important detail) while trying to keep my eye on my other son and little girl as they play. That's when my little girl runs over to me and says "Daddy, look at my rock!" She opens her hand and their in her little palm lies a hardened weathered piece of dog poop! I just started laughing as I told her what it was. Her face went from total joy to disgust in a split second. So not having any bathrooms or Purell, I told her to do what any other dad would tell her to do, "just wipe your hand on the grass!" She did and went right back to playing. Man, I love having kids!

Friday, June 5, 2009

I love quotes


"Our greatest fear should not be failure, but that we succeed in things that don't matter."
- When I ponder on that I think of someone spending their lives climbing the "corporate ladder" only to find it leaning against the wrong wall. Or climbing to the top of the ladder they have chosen and finding it empty at the top. I told our Executive director and close friend Gary the other day, that we were investing some of the best years of our lives in this church plant at C3. I want my life to count for something in eternity. The only way that I can do that, is by influencing other people toward Christ, because in 20 years after I die, no ones even going to remember nor care who I was.....that's a sobering thought.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Tiger Woods


Today I got some free tickets to go to the Memorial Golf Tournament in Dublin Ohio with some friends. We had a great time and got to see Tiger up close as he birdied 2 shots. It was crazy to see how many people were following to watch him. It was like the Verizon guy with his network in the background ....literally! Tiger is amazing at the game of golf. No doubt he will go down in history as the greatest golfer ever. It's kind of crazy though when you put in in perspective. He can hit a little white ball the farthest and straightest, consistently. That is his gift and perfected talent and people pay big money and line up just to see him do that. Really, it is a form of worship. Everyone is looking for something or someone to worship. I totally respect Tiger for what he can do, but all my worship belongs to the ONE who is EVERYTHING.