Thursday, December 21, 2006

Some learnings...

Here's what I've been working on today.

We've been trying to get people to come to our Gathering, and while we've had a few people come and a few people stay, we haven't had much success. I've been wondering why and here's an idea.

I think there's some stuff we have to do before people will come to our Front Door (our Gathering). Here's the continuum: It starts with our Relational Networks. These are our friends, neighbors, classmates, family, co-workers, team-mates, etc... you get the picture. These are important. They provide the first step for us to impact people.

Next come Direct Touches. These work best within our relational networks, but don't have to exclusively be within those networks. They can be doors to new relational networks. There are things like giveaways, block parties, backyard BBQ's, coaching your kid's team, volunteering on a city get the picture.

Out of that comes Advertising. As we've discovered, Advertising can be tricky (or fruitless). But when it flows to people who have a relational connection with us it has more impact. There's an emotional connection.

Finally, all of this leads to our being able to get people to our Front Door, our Gathering.

More on this boys are begging for some Dad time.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

'Twas the week before Christmas...

Twas the week before Christmas
And all ‘round the town
People of the point were getting ready
For a donut show-down

Free donuts at three
For those who must work
A dozen per person
(They might counter-act some jerk)

Then we’ll gather at five
To remember the King
Christmas cookies, communion
The Christmas story and we’ll sing

So, where will you be?
Who’s coming with you?
Will you join us on Sunday?
We want to see you!

Sorry, I had to get that out of my system. Sunday’s a big day. It’s Christmas Eve. Santa is putting the last presents into his sack. The reindeer are prepped. We’re going to hand out a lot of donuts. We’ll be Gathering to remember Jesus. It’s a BIG day!

That’s right. This Sunday is our 2nd Annual Donut Giveaway. We’re going to meet at the BCM building (529 N. Church St.) at 3 PM to hand out donuts to people who have to work on Christmas Eve. Come share God’s love with us.

Then at 5 PM we’ll be having our first ever Christmas Eve Worship gathering. Join us as we take a few minutes to focus on Jesus. Invite your family and friends. You don’t have to come to the giveaway to come to the Gathering.

FYI: We won’t be meeting on December 31.

And now for the BIG news. Beginning January 7th we’ll be meeting in a new location, at a new time and a new frequency. Our new (temporary) location is going to be the BCM building. Our new time will be 6 PM. Our new frequency will be weekly.

Will we still Scatter? Yes, but only once a month and with more intentionality.

If you have any questions please contact me. Also, I need you to spread the word. Let people know about Christmas Eve. Let people know about our new location and time in January. I’m counting on you to get the word out. Forward this e-mail. Write your friends. Create a MySpace or Facebook page. Make a video and put it on YouTube. I am excited about what God is up to.

Have a great week and I look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Why does everything have to be so hard?

This morning I turned on my computer, dialed up internet access and saw that I had some automatic updates from Microsoft. I just clicked yes and next and finished, and come to find out I had downloaded the new version of Windows Internet Explorer. I was excited. I like new stuff. The problem was that when I tried to get on the internet it said I couldn't get on the internet because I wasn't connected. I was connected but it wasn't recognizing my connection. This was extrememly frustrating for me because now I had to take some of my time and call Earthlink and try and get this fixed. Well, I called earthlink and after going through 20 minutes of automated mazes I finally got to speak to a nice lady from India. She told me I just needed to remove the new Internet Explorer because it was just a beta version. All I wanted to do was get online, but it took 6 hours to do it.

Then I called BellSouth to see about getting a phone line for The Point installed in my home. Why do the sales people assume you want every bell and wistle possible? Why won't they just give you the lowest cost possible. Why did I spend 30 minutes talking to a guy and just end up frustrated? Why does it have to be so hard?

The whole church planting thing is hard. I wish it weren't so, but it is. And well wishing people, people with good motives say nice things, but those seem trite when what you've thougth about and dreamed about for years just isn't panning out like it is supposed to. But I've been focusing on a few verses that say "hope in God." I'm not sure what that looks like exactly, but I do want to hope in God. I want to focus on Him... but that's hard too.

No real answers today, just a note to wonder why things have to be so hard. It's really Adam's fault and that darned curse that we all share. My hope is in the fact that God is who he says he is and he'll do all he has promised to do.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Some things I've learned so far

I really should use this blog to un-internalize all that's going on in my mind about our church plant. There is so much I have learned over the past few months.

I've learned that Jesus was really good at using hyperbole in his teaching, but I'm not good at it at all. In saying that we are a church for people who don't go to church I think I've turned people away before they even had a chance to check us out.

I've learned that some people are better at inviting than others and that we need more of those "connectors," as Malcolm Tidwell calls them. Not that this is a negative statement on any of the people that we have. It's just an observation. This is frustrating for me, but it's really a reflection on me and my personality. I'm not a connector. I'm not extroverted. I don't have huge relational circles. I am learning that it's true that the church will look more like it's leaders than like the picture the leaders want to produce. Thus, we need some leaders who are different than me (more below).

I've learned that disciples just don't happen. You have to have a process for making disciples. I'm working on what that process is going to be for The Point right now with the goal of taking the month of January to teach and explain it.

I've learned that I am very limited as a leader. There is only so much that I can do. I'm a git jealous of those guys who can do everything (or so it seems that they can do everything). But that's not me. With this in mind I need some staff. I'm thinking two staff would be a good start. It would help if we had the money to hire these staff, but we don't, so I'm asking God to intervene. Got any suggestions? Want to contribute?

I've learned that I might internalize my thoughts and plans a bit too much, and that I need to keep the lines of communication open by communicating more and not less. This is really a tough one for me because I am not the best at putting what's in my head into words. Liz is much better at this than me.

I've learned that being a leader means you've got to have tough conversations with people. I'm not saying I've done that yet or that I can do that, but as the leader I need to be courageous enough to have tough conversations, to hold people accountable, to dismiss people when they don't do what their supposed to do, to challenge people to greater responsibility and to coach. I suck at all of the above, but I want to get better and believe that for us to be the church that God is calling us to be I've got to step it up. It's true, "Everything rises and falls on leadership."

I've learned that blanket marketing seems like a good quick fix, but that it's really a waste of money and time. There's a reason why advertisers spend enourmous amounts of dough researching their target audience. We haven't really done any real research. We need to pick our target audience, do research to find out what they are like, then market to them, reach out to them.

This really is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things I'm learning, but it's all I can put in words at this time.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Now, about the Bible...

Yesterday I had lunch with two guys from Thomas Nelson Publishing. They are working with a bunch of postmodern writers, artists and scholars to create a new translation of the Bible called The Voice. I am excited about this translation project because its goal is getting people into Scripture. Check out to find out more and join in the conversation.

My question for you is: How have you been getting into Scripture lately? There is enormous value to spending time in God’s Word on a daily basis. We’ve all got excuses for not making time to read the Bible. “I don’t understand it.” “It’s irrelevant.” It’s an outdated book.” “I don’t have time.” But here’s the deal. We keep watching Lost even though we don’t understand what’s going on. We make time for what’s important to us. We eat, we sleep, we watch TV, we listen to music. We’ve got time for all of those things, but not time to allow God to speak to us and transform us through His Word?

This is important to me because one of our values at The Point is Biblical Authority. That means that we believe that God has spoken to us, and speaks to us, through the Bible and recognize it as the ultimate authority in our lives. I’ve heard it said this way: The Bible is trustable truth that summons me to live differently.

So, do you trust God’s word enough to spend time reading it and allowing it to change the way you live?

This Sunday we’ll be Gathering. I can’t wait! It’s the first part of our Surviving Christmas series. You don’t want to miss it (and besides that, everyone that comes gets a free Christmas ornament and who couldn’t use another ornament on their tree?). I bet you know someone who needs to be there. Take a risk and invite them.

Friday, November 03, 2006


Two things saddened me greatly as I read the news this morning. First I read about 300 prayer requests that washed ashore on and Atlantic City beach. What saddens me about that is that those requests came from real people with real issues and having them washed up on shore makes it look like the requests were forgotten or tossed out. I am thankful that our Heavenly Father knows our needs before we ask for them, which means that He knew about these requests and was at work in each situation even as they floated around the ocean. I am also saddened by the impression this gives that people don't care, and even though Christians sometimes come across as uncaring there are some of us who do care. And even more important than that is that there is a God who cares.

Secondly, I am saddened by the accusations brought against Ted Haggard, the pastor of a church in Colorado Springs and president of the National Association of Evangelicals. I'm not sure what is true and what is false, but I am saddened by the fact that we live is such a broken and fragile world. It is true that our enemy roams around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. More than ever I feel the need for protection from my Heavenly Father (lead me not into temptation and deliver me from evil).

I'm ready for some good news.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Spiritual Enabling

John Ortberg writes in the nov/dec edition of Rev magazine: It could either turn out to be a fantastic success or one whopper of a failure. We started praying even more. We sought God's guidance, wisdom, providence and protection. Again, Richard Foster's words from Stream of Living Water rang true: "In prayer, we wait in the power of God for the evil to dissipate and the good to rise up. By prayer, we receive spiritual enabling."

I am so there as a church planter and as someone trying to follow God's call/invitation/adventure. The Point really could be a fantastic success or a whopper of a failure, which leads me to prayer. We do need God's guidance, wisdom, providence and protection. We are waiting. I am waiting. We need a spiritual enabling from our Heavenly Father.

I just wanted to pass on that quote for you to meditate on. May it motivate you to prayer.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

How 'bout them Tigers!!!

All I can say is: That was crazy! I've been going to Death Valley for years, but last night may have been the most excited I've seen the crowd ever. It was a good win.

I'm really writing this to give a shout out to Chris Buccafusco. I hope you're not too depressed. Matt and I were worried about you last night.

The only downer was the parking at Clemson. When is the staff going to get that fixed. Parking lot 4 had about 2000 more cars than spaces. And where are the parkers directing traffic getting in and getting out?

On another note...Today we're going home from the hospital. Real life begins with three boys. I told Levi that I hope he's enjoyed his stay in the hospital because this is a quiet as his life will ever be! (FYI: He was awake during the game last night and watched it with Liz).

Saturday, October 21, 2006

New Clemson Fan

Just wanted everyone to know that we have started him off right. He's ready for tonight's Clemson/Georgia Tech game. Go Tigers!!!

Loving Brothers

These are some excited big brothers. They are ready for Levi to come home.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Stork has Landed

Well he's here! Levi Harris Everette was born at 4:34 AM on Friday, October 20. He was 7 lbs 13 oz and 20 and 1/2 inches long. He's doing great. Liz and I are a bit tired (Liz is much more tired than me since she just celebrated a literal Labor Day. Big brothers are doing good and ready to wrestle with Levi. I think we'll wait a few days. I'll post some more pictures later.

I love this wireless access at the Hospital!!!

Speaking of the hospital...the staff at Spartanburg Regional has been AWESOME. I haven't ever been able to be such a part of my newborn's life immediately after birth. I got to spend the first 30 minutes of his air-breathing life chatting with him, weighing him and getting him warm with no medical professionals hovering around.

Now for some rest!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Not yet

I feel like we're on some sicko ride at the amusment part. Liz's contractions go from strong and consistent to almost non-existent. Who knows when this baby's going to get here. Today would be a good day, however. My Grandpa turns 91 today. Pretty cool!

Can you imagine being 91? I'm working on a sermon now that has Jeremiah 29:4-7 as its main text. The idea is that "You are where you are on purpose, for a purpose." My hope is that if I get to live 91 years or 41 years I'll be able to look back knowing that I made the most of my time.

Maybe today we'll make the most of our time by getting this baby out into the real world. We'll see.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Maybe today

This could be the day for Levi to enter into the world. Hopefully, I'll be able to figure out how to stick some pictures into this blog. More later...

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The honesty response

Who knew what kind of response a little honesty can bring.

Oh, that's right, you may not even know what I'm talking about, so here it is: I send out a prayer request update each week (well, almost each week) to a group of about 100 people who've said they would pray for me, my family and our The Point. The update I sent out yesterday contained some bluntness about the difficulty of this church planting journey. I mentioned that after our gathering on Sunday I was ready to quit. I then said that although I was having visions of leaving early, that there is nothing I'd rather be doing than planting this church.

Here's the thing, people were so responsive to my honesty. Why was that? Maybe it's because we so rarely see honesty. It's so easy to put on the happy face and act like everything is fine. It's definitely easy for a "pastor" to fall into that trap.

I guess why it's so easy for me to fall into this is because I don't want to be a failure. Who does? The thing about it, however, is that the standards that I use and that other pastors use to rate our success have nothing to do with the standards that God mentions in Scripture. We use numbers, money and momentum. I think God uses things like faithfulness, trust, obedience and perserverance.

But those don't always look as good as the other stuff.

Now let me say: Numbers, cash and momentum aren't bad. They can be evidence of God's hand. They could be the result of our hard work. I really don't understand that anyway.

All I know is that I want to be faithful, obedient and someone who finishes well. I'm not sure how well I'm doing. Ask me in a week. I'll try and be honest.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


You know, I think that every church in America could be growing but the Kingdom not be. What's this preoccupation with growing our churches? Where does the Kingdom come into the picutre?

I know what some of you will say (if anybody reads this), "If my church is growing then that means people are coming into the Kingdom." I disagree. Your church can be growing and people could know nothing of the Kingdom. They are coming into your church, not the Kingdom.

I want to be about growing the Kingdom. Sure, I want The Point to grow, but I want The Point is not the destination. The Kingdom is. May we be about what Jesus was about and may we lay aside our selfishness, pride, arrogance and egos that keep the Kingdom out of and away from most of our churches. Until next time...

Friday, September 08, 2006


I feel like a terrible pray-er. Do you ever feel like that? It seems like I get so busy with life and church work and family, that I can't seem to make time to pray. Sure I spend time with God in the mornings, but it's not the same as taking extended periods of time to just pray. I read those stories of Christians who get up at four in the morning to pray for four hours and those who spend hours and hours on their knees and all I can manage is a measly 15 minutes (if that), and I end up feeling guilty, which further distracts me and keeps me from praying.

Why am I so easily distracted? Why is it so easy to forget to pray? For those of you who don't know, I'm the lead Pastor of this team that's trying to plant a new church in Spartanburg. Planting a church requires a lot of work. This work seems to always be getting in the way of praying. It's distracting. It's keeping me from depending on God.

So here's what I did. No one was home this morning so I walked around my house, cleaned the bathrooms and talked out loud to God. It felt good. If feels good to complain to God, to tell God thank you, to ask for help, to acknowledge that things really are up to Him. Why can't I do that more often?

If you read this, I want you to come up to me or call me and ask if I've been praying lately. I'll probably be tempted to lie or make up an excuse, but hopefully I'll be able to say, "Yes." And know that this church planting thing is God's doing.

This probably made no sense whatsoever. If that's the case, I'm sorry. Until next time...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


I think I've recovered. Notice I said I think I have recovered, not that I know I have recovered.

Sunday was the launch of The Point. It was pretty cool. We had been looking forward to that day for over 3 years. And did I say it was pretty cool?

If I was a real blogger I would have written about this on Sunday afternoon. The problem is I haven't recovered enough from our big day to write until now. So here it is.

We wouldn't have been able to pull things off without the GREAT team that has decided to join us on this adventure. God has sent us some incredible people with a passion to serve and do whatever it takes to start a new church.

I don't know if anyone reads this thing, but if you do, I want to invite you to come hang out with us this Sunday. We meet at Dawkins Middle School off Blackstock Rd.. You can google the school for directions. I would love to know what you think.

Maybe I'll be more with it to write tomorrow. Until next time...

Friday, August 04, 2006


You really shouldn't read books. They mess with your mind and cause you to think.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all into thinking, but reading books, especially books with different perspectives than my right perspective, give me what psychologists call "cognitive dissonance."

I'm reading a book right now titled "The Irresistible Revolution" by Shane Claibourne. I don't recomend this book at all because it might just give you a clearer picture of God and church and life. And really, none of us want clearer pictures of those things. We are just content to keep the picture that we have put together in our heads. That way God looks more like us than us risking who we are by beginning to look more like him.

Shane talks about actually getting to know the poor and not just throwing money their way to appease our satisfied consciousnesses. He talks about a lot of other stuff as well that you don't need to read because after all, you are already satisfied with what you know and what you believe and why go and mess up what you've thought to be right your whole life?

Yesterday I was reading and he started talking about FAITH. No not the witnessing program, but faith in God. He defines faith as loyalty. I haven't been able to get that out of my mind. We usually think of faith as belief. We don't teach this, but for most of us faith is a head knowledge. We believe that Jesus died, rose, is coming back one day. We believe the Bible is true. We believe, we know, we intellectually affirm all this stuff. The problem is we don't do anything with what we know.

I heard Andy Stanley say one time that we don't need to know more. We need to put into practice what we know. Just do it, as Nike says. That's why I love thinking of faith as loyalty. Our alegiance, our loyalty is to a Jesus way of life. To follow him is to be loyal to living as he did and taught.

I'm still chewing on this whole faith thought, but what if the whole faith think is more than we've been taught or made up? I'll have to think about this for a little bit longer.

Until next time...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

And Counting

Who's idea was it to plant a church in Spartanburg? I need to give him a call.

Oh, it was God's idea.

Knowing that this adventure that we're on was God's idea sure is an encouraging thought. I love that Jesus says, "I will build my church." It's his church and he will build it. We just get to come along for the ride.

Talking about a ride...I want to invite you to join in our adventure on August 13. We're meeting at Dawkins Middle School (comment if you need directions). We've got 11 days and counting. Maybe I'll have more time to write in the coming days.

Until next time...

Friday, July 28, 2006

The Answer?

I'm not sure if this is the answer, but we're going to experiment with it.

Yesterday I said that I have struggled with how we, as The Point, can be the church. Really, what is going to keep us from slipping into another "come and see us" organization? How can we BE the church, BE the hands and feet of Jesus, BE a forceful agent for faith, hope and love in Spartanburg?

Here's what we're going to try: As some of you know, our church is going to launch/begin/start on August 13. We're meeting at Dawkings Middle School (please come!). Most churches meet every week. Actually, most churches meet multiple times a week. We're going to meet every week too, but each week we're going to have a different focus. We're calling it: Gather and Scatter. On the first and third Sundays of each month, begining in September, we are going to Gather. On the second and fourth Sundays of each month we are going to scatter.

Now let me explain what I mean by each. On our Gather Sundays we are going to meet at Dawkins Middle School to create and carve out some time (10:30-11:30) where we can connect with God. It is a place for unchurched (we really want to be a church for people who don't go to church) people to come, connect with some other people, have a cup of coffee and a donut, and explore what following Jesus is all about.

On our Scatter Sundays we are going to meet at Dawkins Middle School at 10:30 (we'll still have donuts and coffee) and then go out, Scatter out, to do communty service. Our goal is to be working with the homeless, doing free car washes, loving people with AIDS, brightening the lives of Senior citizens, partnering with the city of Spartanburg, giving out free water, the list goes on and on and on and on. The goal is for us to actually BE the hands and feet of Jesus in our community. We'll have projects that whole families (birth-death) can participate in, as well as some projects that might be best for adults only.

Is this the answer to us Being the church in Spartanburg. I'm not arrogant (at least not at the moment) enough to say that it is THE answer, but it is our attempt at the answer and we're trusting God to see what He might do.

Would you consider joining us on this adventure? I hope so. See you August 13th!!!

Until next time...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Question

I am plagued by the questions, How can we be the church?

Here's the deal: I see a lot of churches doing church, and they are doing church well. The problem is: I don't see anyone really being the church, at least not on a grand scale.

We at The Point are going to try a little experiment to figure out how we might could "be" the church in Spartanburg.

I'll tell you what that experiment is tomorrow. Until then...

Friday, June 02, 2006


It is so cool...we've got a swimming pool in our neighborhood. I feel like I'm living in luxury. All we have to do is walk down the street, turn left, walk 160 yards, and we are in swim heaven. The pool is a great size and there's nice pool-side furniture.

None of that is why I'm writing, though. Here's why I'm writing: Have you ever seen a child when he realizes the water isn't going to eat him up, but that it's like a big interactive toy? My boys have both hit that sweet spot. My oldest did last week and my three year old did yesterday.

Last week, Nathan realized he could put his whole body under the water and float and swim around, and that it was acturally fun. Yesterday, Matthew realized he could float along with his bubble on. Next Nathan found the fun in jumping off of the side of the pool into the cool blue water. Matthew also found jumping to be worth the risk. He kept wanting to do it over and over and over and each time he jumped he had this huge smile on his face like this was the most amazing thing ever thought of. I wish you could have been there. It was pure joy for a father to watch.

Their reckless abandon got me thinking about life, our lives, and God. Really, life is all about jumping, at least the parts of life worth living. It's a jump to go to our first day of school, it's a jump when we move off to college, it's a jump when we get our first job, it's a jump to drive the car solo for the first time, it's a jump getting married, it's a jump having kids, it's a jump becoming a Christ follower, it's a jump being obedient to the voice of God.

The reason those are all jumps is because they each come with risk and the possiblity failure. They move us out of our comfort zones and into a place of uncertainty. But at the same time, I think that God loves to watch us jump.

As Matthew was flinging himself into the pool I just laughed and laughed. It was hillarious to see his excitement and abandon. I think God might look at you and me the same way when we plunge into life with the same passion and abandonment. I would write more, but my boys just woke up. My encouragement to all of us is to jump. Then listen and I think you'll hear God laugh and know that he is pleased with you. Until next time...

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


I just learned something that needs to be shared. You know the third of the ten commandments, right? Go ahead...quote it. Got it.

Ok, in case you've forgotten it says: Don't misuse the name of the Lord your God. When most of us think about that commandment we think of cussing using the name of Jesus or God as an expletive. "Umm, I don't think God's last name is #$%^#."

Well, the word "misuse" could also be translated "to carry in vain." Doesn't that give a vivid image to that commandment?

All of us who claim to be Christ followers carry the true God's name with us wherever we go. May we not carry His name in vain. May we carry it for His honor and glory. Until we meet again...

Monday, May 15, 2006


I feel like I need to go to the blog confessional: Bloggers, I have sinned. It's been 12 days since my last blog. Not that it really matters. I just would like to get in the habit of writing this thing. Why does like sometimes get in the way of everything?
Is it just me or does life, and the stuff of life, move way to fast? It's like I can't keep up. Does anyone else ever look back over the past week and wonder where Thursday, Friday and Saturday went and if anything worthwhile happened during those days?
I don't know about you, but I do know that when I take some "in my closet with the door closed" time every morning (Rd Matt. 6:5-9 for more info) that my days seem to at least begin with some meaning.
Here's what I think I know (at least in theory, if not always in practice). Life is filled with too much stuff and the choices I have to make every day deal with knowing the difference between the good and the best. I know that sometimes our struggle is between right and wrong, but I am convinced that our adversary is more satisfied when we settle for good stuff over best stuff.
Here's an example: As some of you know, I am a survivor fan. Last night I watched as Aras won a million bucks. Then I stayed up way past my bedtime (10:00, which I know is early for some of you, but is late for a weenie like me) to watch the useless interviews with the cast. Thus, today I had moments of focussing problems and tiredness that I usually don't have. Was it wrong to stay up and watch the survivor finally? I know some of you would disagree, but I don't think it was wrong. Was it the best use of my time, however? Not at all.
I seem to so easily settle for the good when the best, which might require a small sacrifice, gets left behind.
I don't want to live a good life. I want to live the best life. I think that's what Jesus was getting at when he told us that he had come so that we might have life and have it to the fullest.
Here's my challenge to myself and anyone else reading this blog: Take a life inventory and discern what good things in your life are getting in the way of the best things for your life. Until next time...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


We are in. Thanks to so many awesome people who helped us, we are in our new house. I must give them credit (this is like the credits at the end of a movie): Hub, Stephanie, Susan, Kevin, Linwood, Sherwood, Dustin, JJ, Scott, Chris, and Jim. You all were such an enormous help. I pray God's blessing on you, and may God heal your muscles, because if you feel anything like me this morning you can barely lift your arms!

I must say, I feel a bit out of my element in this new house. It feels like it's too nice of a place for us. I have to give the Heavenly Father credit for that. Now if we could just figure out where to put everything.... Back to work I go.

Monday, May 01, 2006


You know, there really is nothing like a little stress in our lives to keep us agitated. In 25 hours we are supposed to close on our new house. I am pumped, excited, thrilled, etc.. But in the back of my mind, or the pit of my stomach, I have this fear that things aren't going to work out. Do my fears have any grounding? No. It's just like I've been nailed by this wave of fear that's pulled me under and I'm all disoriented and confused, half unconsious, struggling to get to the surface.

Then there's this little voice that keeps quietly asking: Do you trust me? And I know that the answer to my fear problem is the same as the answer to my sin problem. It's trust. God is inviting me, once again, to trust Him.

I wonder how often we miss out on the opportunity to see God work, to see God move, to see God show up because we give in to our fears and miss the chance to trust Him. I really don't want to miss God. I just wish it didn't have to be so hard all the time.

I keep coming back to that verse in Hebrews that says without faith it is impossible to please God. I want to please God, but more than that, I don't want to miss Him. I don't want you to miss him either.

Maybe the next post will be from our new home. Until then...

Thursday, April 27, 2006


Wow. I am feeling pretty advanced, high tech, savvy, hip... I guess I'd better stop. But I am now an official "blogger." Who knew that it could be so easy. What to write about???

First, I have to say to our team that it has come to my attention that I really messed up some of your prayer lives with my talk on Sunday. I'm glad to be of service. Today I have been working on next Sunday's talk. I think it will fill in some of the gaps where you were left hanging, but I hope it will still make you uncomfortable. Jesus' words seem to leave us with an unsettled, uncomfortable feeling most of the time. And why shouldn't they?

I just want you to know how much I value your own personal relationships with Jesus. There really isn't anything in the world as important as that intimate connection with God. May God bless you with an incredible connection/experience with him this week.

On a completely non-spiritual note: We had our walk through at our new house today. What an incredible experience! The staff at Lazarus Shouse (and I did spell that correctly) went above and beyond to make the customer (that's us) happy. They did not ever make one excuse for something that needed a little work. They just fixed it.

It makes me often do we make excuses. We make excuses with our family when we're in a bad mood. We make excuses at work when things don't work out. We make excuses at church when things aren't going as planned. The thing about the excuses we make is that mose of them are valid. However, that's not the point. There was a valid excuse for everything we pointed out to the Lazarus Shouse people. They, however, chose to ignore the excuse and fix the problem. What if we all started doing that. "A life without excuses." That would make a great book sometime.

Peace, love and happiness to all who read my first blog. Now the question remains, can I keep it up?