Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesday Update: Approved!

Happy Humpday!

Many of you are tracking along with us as we endeavour to plant this church in Brookside.  I've tried to keep up with many of you and let you know whats been happening, but things happen so fast that I can't seem keep everyone in the loop. Thus the birth of the Wednesday Update! (Or Humpday Update?)

Every Wednesday I'll post an update on where we are at in the church plant process and share some prayer requests and praise reports as well.   I hope you enjoy the read and have fun walking with us along the process!

Whats New!(Praise):
     -A Name: We finally settled on a name for our church. Rockhill Community Church.  Rockhill is a street that runs through Brookside and the name of an area here.  It also has a great connection to our purpose which is "Helping people find their way back to God." 
     In Matt 5:14 it says "You are the light of the world. A city on a HILL cannot be hidden."  We desire to be a light in this world, build on the solid foundation of Christ that helps people find their way back to God.  It's a great feeling to settle that and move forward.
     -We are approved!: Christina and I drove to Springfield yesterday and spent the day being tested and interviewed.  It was the final step in a  six month process to get approved to church plant in the Southern Missouri District. Things went very well and we got the official green light to move forward as church planters!  Thanks to all of you who were praying with us, God's good and we can't wait to see what He has in store!!

Whats Next! (Prayer):
     -Now the real work begins. We are currently looking at several different locations to start meeting as a small group in the Brookside area. We've looked at schools, coffee houses, churches, etc.  We have some very good leads, I just want to be careful choose the best local for the growth of this launch team.
     -Fundraising:  Whew. I'll be honest, this one is a challenge for me.  My goal is to raise enough funds to pay my salary for one year.  I hope to free our young church of the weight of that cost as we get started and  allow us to really hit the ground running and focus all our giving toward ministry.  If you're interested in helping with this please let me know! (And don't be surprised if I send you a letter asking for support. I don't want to be an annoyance, but I'm trusting God will call people to partner with us.)

     -Recruiting: I believe God has people who he's been calling to be a part of this church.  My prayer is that we would be able to connect with them and help them get involved.  We put together a list of all the areas of ministry we'd like to start with day one and then looked at how many people it would take to staff each of those ministries: The result? 74 people!!! oh Lord. ; )  The point being we have a ton of opportunity for people to serve God and partner with us to pioneer a new faith community.  Pray with us for the workers so we can reach a harvest of hurting and disconnected people with the love of Christ! 

Getting Personal:
     -Here's our new family picture! (Special thanks to Jeremy Ellsworth for being an awesome photographer)
As you can see we've got our hands full.  All the boys are doing great.  God has truely blessed us with amazing kids. Christina is a superhero to keep all us boys in line!

(Left to Right: Levi, Christina, Dante, Justus, Me, Judah)

Thanks for reading and thanks for caring! We've been blessed to be a part of such a great family of friends. We love each of you.  

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Monday Funday: Whats your "go to" move?

Ok so I'm going to try and organize this blog thing and mix it up a bit.  So far my blog has read like a Sunday School devotional and while there's nothing wrong with that, I need a little diversity in my life.

Mondays are officially renamed. Who needs another Monday? No one that's who. But who couldn't use an extra dose of Funday?! That's what I'm talking about!  (ok so that's about as cheesy as it gets. I know, but it's my blog so deal.)  

From now on every Monday will be Monday Funday.  I'll scoured the the interweb for things that tweak my fancy and make me lol or rotflol or lmbo. Then I'll post a link and you can all rotflol with me.  

I have to start with this link:

Stuff Christians Like has to be one of the funnest blogs in existence. Who else would be brave enough to take on hard hitting topics like "Getting abandoned by your worship leader" and "deep v-neck syndrome"?

Need a little "Funday" in your Monday?   SCL has you covered like a crew neck at the Catalyst Conference.

One question for you though: Whats your "go to" worship move? 

Me, I prefer the "Statue of Liberty"  Bow your head with an intense look on your face and raise a fist to the sky, then bob your head with the bass drum beat. Has a rock show feel with out being over the top. ; )  

Happy Funday!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A wordle of my devotions today...

I've been hanging out in Luke 4 for a few days now. And when Mark Batterson cued me in to I had to try it!

 Wordle takes any text you enter and makes a word cloud out of it.  They put words that are repeated in a larger font.  You can see the points of emphasis in such a unique way, and it looks very cool!  

Try your favorite chapter and if you can post it so we can see what it looks like!

So here is my wordle of Luke 4:

Wordle: Luke 4

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ain't no vally low enough

Some short thoughts on Luke 4… Part 1.

I’m going to do something a bit different here. Instead of writing a few paragraphs about what I’m learning, I’m going to throw out some bullet points about thing that jumped out at me and let you come to some of your own conclusions. I’ll add more about the following verses to this as the days go by. Let me know how you see God applying this stuff in your life.

Luke 4: The Temptation of Jesus

1. Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert,

-The Spirit led Jesus into a desert. How often to we mistake our desert seasons for a work of the enemy and try to avoid them rather than asking God: “What are you trying to teach me during this time?”

-We learn more in struggle than in success. Learning to live Godly in the dry seasons teaches us that God is trust worthy; He will come through for you as you follow Him. You’ll never truly understand that God is enough until He really is all that you have.

-The desert seasons often follow great spiritual moments. Expect it. Prepare your heart for it.

-The desert seasons are not always punishments for wrong living. Often they are a testing and a completion of what God gave you in the spiritually intimate season you just walked out of. Trust in the night what you learned in the light.

-Often when God seems to pull back is when we tend to realize our need for Him and press in. Absence make the heart grow fonder, but only when we persue a commitment to love in the (seeming) absence of our loved one's presence.  Do we love Him enough to love Him faithfully even when we don't seem to "feel" His love?

My Thoughts:
It’s nice having a safety harness as you climb. But my guess is you’ll never truly climb with out fear until you’ve fallen and that safety harness catches you. You can know in your head all the details about the strength of that harness but you won’t full trust it until you’ve been caught a few times.

I think we are like that with Christ. Most Christians can talk about their faith in Christ. The question is what do we do when he say’s “Let go, trust me.” How do we react when He seems to pull the blessing back and we walk a season of living with seemingly nothing more than the memories of the things He did. No emotional reward to our worship. No physical reward to our sacrifice. No substance to feed our hunger.

Do we shrink back? Do we question His love? Do compromise our faithfulness in response to our questions about His?

Or do we trust. Do we endure. Do we seek Him all the more diligently. Reality is, he said he would never leave us or forsake us. He never said we wouldn’t feel forsaken, but feelings are a poor judge of spiritual realities. Our deserts aren’t always a lack of God in our life, but often our greatest opportunities to show our trust in Him.

Have you ever been through a desert season? What did you learn? What brought you through? What happened in you life as result?