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Showing posts from April, 2008

Great devotional that I read today...

Safety in Numbers
Today's Scripture

“Where no wise guidance is, the people fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14).

Today's Word from Joel and Victoria

Are you facing an important decision today? God wants to give you the answer. He wants to direct your steps. Many times, He will speak to us through the people He has placed in our lives. The Bible says that safety is found in a multitude of advisors. God designed us to live in families, communities, and congregations. We need to be open to receiving input from the people who are close to us. That doesn’t mean you have to follow everything everyone tells you, but if you’re in a particular situation or relationship, and all the people around you are giving you the same word of caution, it might be God trying to get a message to you. Take that advice and bring it before the Lord in prayer. Ask Him to confirm His perfect plan to your heart. Remember, wisdom comes from God, and wise counsel will alway…

Living The Dash

Sunday afternoon I paused and enjoyed watching my son Carter get into some donuts that we had on the counter in our kitchen. He pulled the box down and grabbed a powdered donut and I think the donut ate him instead of him eating the donut. At first I quickly grabbed a paper towel to wipe him off. But I stopped. Instead I grabbed my wife and my camera phone and got a number of great shots. This one was the best. It's the little things in life that we need to pause and enjoy. The truth is that we never know how many moments we have so we need to enjoy each one that God give us!

One Month To Live

This past Sunday we kicked off an important series called, "One Month To Live." I spoke about living the dash versus dashing to live. So often I find myself dashing through life while trying to lead a growing family and church. I've found that I can easily get caught up in the 'stuff' of life without ever stopping to appreciate the important things in life. Things such as my relationship with God and my relationships with my friends and family. The Bible tells us in Psalm 90:12, "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." My desire is that I would have a heart of wisdom in how I live my life. I challenge you to ask yourself these important clarifying questions. First, "what would I do if I had one month to live?" Second, "In what ways do you need to begin living the dash versus dashing to live this week?"

One Month To Live begins tomorrow!

WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU KNEW YOU HAD ONE MONTH TO LIVE?
I invite you this week to join us in taking the one month to live challenge. Click here for more information and resources!

A great day!

Today I had a blast going with my son Caleb on his field trip to the Dutch Apple Dinner Theater. We had the chance to see the show, "Charlotte's Web." It was a cute show and Caleb really enjoyed it. More than anything it was so much fun to see how proud and excited he was to have me with him. There is no better feeling as a daddy. Here are some pics below.

Today's Field Trip

Today I have the opportunity to go on my first field trip with my son Caleb. We are going to the Dutch Apple Dinner Theater somewhere in Lancaster County. I will be chaperoning for about half a squillion 5 year olds. I'm having flashbacks of working at the YMCA about 10 years ago. Caleb is pretty pumped about our day together and it will definitely be one for the record books. These trips are what blog posts and sermon stories are made of. Stay tuned!

Comedy Night coming up in 2 weeks!

This past week I got my picture with some great guys from Westwood Fire Company. The Post Ledger did an article on the comedy night and we have one coming out in the Community Courier next week. The goal was to highlight the event and not our church but who knows how that will turn out. Funny things end up popping up in news papers regardless of how you try and frame the discussion. On another note, if you haven't gotten your tickets, we are expecting to sell out! Make sure you pick them up soon. For more information of tickets, go to www.comedynight.tv!

Great devotional

Great devo that I got from Joel Osteen ministries today. I also listened to the podcast for the week yesterday and it is well worth your time. Enjoy!

Wait on the Lord
Today's Scripture

“But those who wait on the Lord, shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

Today's Word from Joel and Victoria

Do you need strength today? Sometimes it’s easy to get down and discouraged when you’re constantly looking at the circumstances of life. You may feel tired and weary from a long battle. But when you wait on the Lord, the Bible says your strength will be renewed. Waiting on the Lord means you’re putting your trust and hope in Him. You’re living with an attitude of faith and expectancy. In the natural, if you are waiting for someone like a special dinner guest, you’re probably not just sitting around the house wondering what will happen. No, you’re probably preparing for that special…

Busy Week & A Big Moment

Sorry I didn't get any photos up from the Baptism last week. It's been a crazy week but a really good one also. I had a blast this weekend spending time with my kids. Saturday morning was all about yard work and soccer. I'm enjoying watching my kids play soccer. This week Caleb had a big moment. He had the chance to play goalie again in his game for a short stint and he had a huge stop. The kid was breaking away from the pack and attempting to score and Caleb ran up and grabbed the ball and saved the day. The parents on the side lines (and myself) erupted in cheering. Caleb had the biggest smile on his face. It was a big moment! The fact that he was even paying attention to stop the goal was a minor miracle. It really made my day as a daddy to see him grow more confident.


The other pic that I have is of Caleb and Carter on our buddy date. We went out to Friendly's Restaurant in Gap and we had a blast together. At least until Carter made a mess in his pant…

Last Night's Baptism Celebration

What an incredible night we had last night with our church family! The heart beat of our church is connecting people with their creator and I had the privilege to do just that as we baptized 15 people last night. It was exciting to see people take a step of faith and obedience to God's word. I was so humbled to be a part in this special night. There were people who have just made the decision to follow Jesus in recent weeks and others that had just never taken the step but have been followers for years. What God is doing in the lives of people in our church is so awesome that it brings tears to my eyes just typing this blog. I hope to post some photos later this week. It is undeniable that God is moving in amazing ways in our church and I can't wait to our next baptism celebration later this summer.

RISK- What Will Happen If I don't?

Have you ever been afraid to risk something? Not stupid things like driving 220 mph on rt. 30. Real Risk. Opening your heart to someone? Launching a business? Beginning a new friendship? Helping someone in need? Flying across the world to reach somebody you don't know with the message of Jesus? What keeps us back from risking things with our lives? I took a pretty big step this past week in our church by talking about risking everything with a possible move for our church location. As I've prayed and wrestled with the future of our church, as well as the future of my life, the one question that keeps me dreaming and risking more than anything else is this, "what will happen if I don't?" What will happen if I don't risk and take a step of faith with the dreams that God is giving me. Do you want to come to the end of your life and have regrets? I remember reading about a study that was done a number of years ago with a group of people in their 90&#…

What If You Had One Month To Live???

Coming this up at the end of this month we will be kicking of our new series called, "One Month To Live." I spend most of my time thinking about life, but I also consider the reality of death. I guess that's why I have life insurance. Sidebar, you should have that. Moving along. When I think about what it would be like to know that you have one month to live it is sobering. It makes you think, evaluate and consider everything about your life. That's why we will be launching this important spiritual growth series on Sunday, April 27th. It is a bring a friend day and I hope that you can make it out. I believe that this will be a life changing experience for our church over these next few weeks. As I've been praying about this series these last few months I literally get goose bumps (what else do you call them) as I sense what God is about to do! For more information about this series, go to, www.onemonthtolive.com and join the 30 day challenge. So let&…

Is Our Church Moving?

It's been a pretty crazy last week and I'm pretty pumped about the future of our church. We had our annual business meeting (hate that terminology) this past Sunday and I announced that we are actively pursuing the possibility of moving our church. The deacons and elders have confirmed what God has been revealing to me over these last few months and that is that we need to pursue this dream. I am the 4th pastor to attempt to move this church off of the side of the hill in the last few decades and hopefully this attempt will be successful. If you are just hearing this news for the first time, you may have some questions. Here are a few...

Why do we need to move?
Answer. We don't. We can reach people at our current location and have a nice community church. But what if we can reach even more people at an easily accessible (more central) location. At the end of the day we could end up staying put and trying other things. But what if at the end of the day we moved to …

Wave Church Trip

Here's a pic of the outside of the building.


Here's a pic of Paul, Richard and myself getting ready to take a tour of the Wave's Church future building.


Here's a pic of the inside of the building.


Pastor Steve took us on a tour of their new facility that is currently being built. They are building a state of the art facility that will house a church that will be 10,000 strong over the next few years. It was inspiring to be around big vision. I'm sitting in a service right now as we are getting ready to leave and go home. One of the good things that was shared was, "you don't just support the vision of the church when you are a part of the team, you carry the vision and serve." We got some good ideas and great stuff from our trip and I've enjoyed getting to know the staff of Wave Church. God is doing great things in our church and it's just begun. The vision continues to grow.

$136M Michigan Mega Millions Winner to Boss: 'I'm Out of Here'

LANSING, Mich. — David Sneath has worked at a Ford Motor Co. parts warehouse for 34 years, but it didn't take him any time at all to walk out once he discovered he'd won a $136 million Mega Millions jackpot.
"I yelled to the boss, 'I'm out of here,"' the Livonia man said Thursday after coming to state Lottery Bureau headquarters in downtown Lansing to pick up his first $1 million check... Sneath said the reality of his win has yet to sink in. "I still haven't touched base with Earth yet," he said. When he saw in a newspaper that he had a winning ticket, "my whole body went numb."
Sneath plans to buy a cottage on Mullett Lake in northern Michigan and maybe a new fishing boat or two to help him land the walleye he loves to catch. He's tired of misplacing his glasses and may get laser surgery to correct his vision. And he'll probably move out of his three-bedroom, two-bath ranch home, although he plans to stay in Michigan.
&q…

I'm in Virginia Beach...and it's not like the picture below

I'm in Virginia Beach at the annual Wave Church Network meeting. Today it is rainy and cold. No polar bear beach going here. Even though it's nasty out, I'm excited about the being at Wave Church. Wave Church is a part of the Hillsong Network of churches and is led by a wonderful man of God named Steve Kelly. I'm here with some of my great friends (the elder's from our church) and we had a really good session tonight as we joined Pastor's and Leader's from all over the region. We came to receive an impartation of vision and wisdom and I'm pretty pumped about it. The 2 day meeting is focused on the question, "What's On Your Dashboard?" Steve talked about the importance keeping margins in our lives. We need to create margins (balance and space) in our lives with our finances, emotions, social lives, marriage, family, physical life... Balance is the key to life and burnout is not what God intends for our lives. He encouraged everyon…

Urban Legends About Giving, Part 7

I don’t agree with how my church might spend the money.
That is an understandable objection. But God teaches us to submit to those he has placed in authority over us, and not give them trouble (Hebrews 13:17). As Christians, we may have many good-faith disagreements over how money is used in the church; but only if a church is using money immorally or illegally should we consider a confrontational approach, and even then only in a biblical manner (Matthew 18:15-20). The best way to influence our church is to (1) pray. The next step is to (2) model a biblical approach to handling money. We can also shape our churches’ habits in respectful, harmonious ways by (3) talking with leaders, (4) serving on a finance committee or as a church officer, (5) leading through small group discipleship or (6) teaching Sunday school. If these avenues for influence are not available to us, or if they fail to produce the results we had sought, we may have to leave it in God’s hands, acknowledging that he …

Urban Legends About Giving, Part 6

I would like to give, but my spouse does not share my desire to give.
Both giving and marital unity are important biblical values, so this is a difficult situation, but not an impossible one. The marriage relationship is like the relationship between Christ and his church (Ephesians 5:22-33). Christ is the model husband who lays down his life for his bride, and his purpose in all this is to make us holy (v. 26). In a similar way husbands and wives should work hard to move each other toward holiness. Keeping the peace is important, but God desires obedience as well. It might take a lot of prayer and patience before husband and wife are able to give joyfully as a couple. But just as with so many difficult parts of marriage, God is more than able to bring spouses to agreement on this. A Christian should certainly not resolve to go on giving in spite of his spouse’s disapproval, but neither should he give up trying and make an excuse of his spouse’s current opinion. Rather, husband and wi…

Urban Legends About Giving, Part 5

I don’t owe the poor anything.
God teaches us that we do in fact owe the poor, although not in the way we might think. In God’s economy, serving those in need is serving him, and failing to serve those in need is failing to serve him (Matthew 25:31-46). Romans 13:8 says to owe no debt to others except love, and Jesus teaches that loving others means caring for them in the same way we would want to be loved. How would we want to be cared for if we were poor and needy while others were rich? Clearly, we would want help getting our basic needs met. If this weren’t clear enough, Jesus makes the same point in story form in the parable of the Good Samaritan. In short, providing care for the physically and emotionally wounded; being a parent to an orphan or unwanted child; providing job training and economic empowerment; and providing emergency relief after famine, war, disease and natural disasters are all possible aspects of the Christian’s debt of love. That is what we owe the poor.

Giving…

Urban Legends About Giving, Part 4

I'm saved, so it doesn’t matter how much I give, or even whether I give at all.
It is right to say that being saved is what matters most, but wrong to conclude that giving is therefore irrelevant. In no way does giving (or any other good work) secure God’s favor. However, once we have been made new by the gospel, that same gospel changes us through and through, causing us to practice generosity (and other good works) out of thanksgiving to and love for God. Thus, while a person’s giving does not in any way determine his salvation, it is an excellent indicator that salvation has come to him. It is the grace of God, not our giving, that saves us. But once we are saved, it is the same grace of God that makes us generous givers. In fact, the Bible says, if we claim to be saved but refuse to give to people in need, then we may deceiving ourselves about being saved in the first place (James 2:14-17). In other words, it is precisely because you are saved that it matters how much you give…

Urban Legends About Giving, Part 3

The tithe does not apply to Christians today, only to Old Testament Israel.
It is true that the tithe not the standard of Christian generosity today, for Jesus called us to give far more than 10 percent. In fact, the tithe was never the standard of Old Testament generosity, either. The tithe (as a mandatory gift equaling a tenth of one’s income) actually only applied to crops and animals from the promised land, not to all income in any time and place. Nor was 10 percent ever “the standard,” for there were three tithes (two every year, one every three years) and many other offerings and gifts that were also part of Jewish life. The idea of the tithe is still present in the New Testament (Matthew 23:23), but it is never explicitly applied to believers. Instead, almost all Christians are called to more extravagant freewill giving in response to the gospel of the Lord Jesus, who exhorted us to give 100 percent (Luke 21:1-4). The tithe may be a helpful guideline insofar as it reminds us to…

Urban Legends About Giving, Part 2

The Bible is about religious and moral issues, and not about money at all, let alone charitable giving.

It is a common idea that the Bible has only to do with so-called religious matters, e.g., church attendance, individual conversion, and personal piety. But this is a misunderstanding, probably derived more from cultural hearsay than from careful reading of the Bible itself. Really, it would be fairer to say that the Bible is about everything. The Bible covers the waterfront of human life because the gospel of God’s redemption covers the waterfront of human life. In the words of Scripture, God is reconciling all things to himself through Christ (Colossians 1:20). “All things” certainly includes money and material possessions, so it is no surprise to find that the Bible speaks plainly and frequently about these things. There are philosophies that separate reality into “spiritual” and “material” spheres, but Christianity is not one of them. In the Bible, all of life (including the use …