Wednesday, December 30
We will head back to Greenville NC tomorrow around 5am and get home untimely for dinner. Pray for open roads and safe travels.
I am really excited to get back to my Diacovery peeps though. We have a great year planned and will be announcing a few changes real soon.
I will see you real soon.
Friday, December 25
Friday, December 18
Monday, December 14
As long as it doesn't show up before Thanksgiving and it ends not later than December 26th!!! Just to prove it, here is a link to some of the best Christmas desktop wallpapers I have see all year.
Wednesday, December 9
Monday, November 30
Thursday, November 19
But hate having to be me! Do you get that? Let me start by tell you a little story: Over the past few weeks it seems like everything is breaking, little stuff mostly but it was really adding up. This started to really stress me out due to an number of things like: no time to fix stuff, no money to pay to have it fixed and really needing some of these things to work NOW. So I did what anyone else would do...I started fixing other peoples stuff! Yes, other people had stuff break also and I decided that because of my needs and frustrations that I really know how THEY felt, and the frustrations that they are having. Now my things are starting to get done little by little but my stress about them dropped! I am not worrying about a leaky roof (may be fixed) or the door knob that will not open (temp fix) or the dryer that isn’t drying (stuff will dry eventually on their own) and the $1200 air compressor not working ($14.00 fix). I am not worrying because in my giving of my time and talents, God has freed up some time AND some cash for me to fix my stuff. Now I don’t think a time tithe is in the Bible but over the past few weeks God has worked in my life through the giving of my time.
I do not tell you this to boast! I have nothing to boast about! Instead I tell you this to encourage you as the “busy season” approaches. In all of the hustle and bustle that is coming I ask you to slow down the selfish wagon and reach out to others that may be in need. Find the strength to hold fast to your commitments and to honor you vows. December is a time when we really could use a few extra hours in the day and a few extra dollars in the bank. Take this time to use your stress and worries to really help you understand your neighbors stress’ and worries and do something about it. Meet a need, lend a hand or give a dollar. That will be the best Christmas you can give!
Now why my opening statement of “Sometimes I love being me...But hate having to be me!”. Let me tell you: God has place me in situations that allows me to know some things about fixing stuff. I hate that because I would rather never have to get dirty, weld something, rewire, rebuild, build, and repair stuff. I sometimes would just rather have the means to go out an buy a new one. BUT I love it at the same time. There is no better feeling than fixing that thing that you were cursing the day before not to mention just knowing what to look for and how to fix it in the first place. The air compressor that I use to power tools and stuff in the garage stopped working on Monday night in the middle of fixing a friends car. After pulling it apart, testing a few things and googleing some other stuff, I figures what the offending part was and ordered it. So the next day for $14 I had my compressor up and running. That is a lot better that taking it to a repair shop and I don’t charge myself for labor! Same with cars, I would love a brand new car that I never have to work on but I also love being able to fix my clunkers.
Pray that this next car in my garage can be fixed on the cheap and that the repair is a success. I am having to pull the transmission out to find the worse leak ever. So far the car is being a bit stubborn.
So I will close with the same statement in reverse: Sometimes I hate having to be me...But love being me!
Thursday, November 12
Tuesday, November 10
Saturday, November 7
Friday, November 6
Jonah? It is our new series at Discovery Church starting this Sunday and running for 4 weeks. One chapter a week. Maybe it's the children's pastor in me excited about a cool Bible story. Or maybe it is just a great lesson on God's love and Justice (which go hand in hand). Either way I am stoked and looking forward to it.
Wednesday, November 4
These are my final notes from the IMPART event
Your betrayers will eat your bread! “John 13:30 As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.” Jesus allowed Judas to eat, knowing full well what he was about to do. Let them eat.
Don’t unload on her: Don’t come home from work and dump all of the negative crap on your spouse. I assure you that is not what she has been waiting for all day. Sit in the car and unload. Plan on giving her the goods not the garbage. BTW: she will not tell you to stop! But I just did. Be a blessing (see my honor post)
Are you hanging on to what God has rejected?: “1 Samuel 16:1a The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel?” [yeah I know there is not “a” and “b” but then again there was a time when there was no “16” or “1” either, so back off You Pharisee!]
Who do you need to cut? Who is emotion hanging onto that stewardship has let go? Let them leave, what have you lost? Build on what remains. Your destiny is never set by those who leave but only by Jesus Christ.
Well that is my very mixed thoughts on this amazing event from over a week ago. My mind is still trying to unwrap some of this stuff. I hope you can grab a nugget here or there from it. I know I got a whole 10 pack!!!
Tuesday, November 3
These are my notes from the IMPART event
Think inside the box: Thinking outside of it is frustrating. Don’t recreat the wheel when you have perfectly good ones. Work with what you have and what you are good at. Focus on the wins! Don’t play to not lose. Play to win till the end.
If you cannot recruit them for free, you probably will not be able to pay them to do it well. Believe what you are doing and sell it whole heartily.
When you find who you really are, you release what God has in store for you. Stop being “them” and be you. You are already good at it, just give it a try.
We don’t create momentum, we just ride it. Well some of us try to stop it but we should be onboard. It’s a much better ride. Protect it and harness it. It works (get it: it works?) Build your next initiative out of that momentum.
Blessing is God’s department, preparation is mine!
God calls those not wiling to work “lazy”. God calls those not willing to rest “disobedient”. Take a break! Naps rock! Sleep rulez! Rest is best. Hey go out and do something you enjoy, God talks then too.
Monday, November 2
These are my notes from the IMPART event
The shortage is in our capacity Not God’s ability. Get more jars!
The Widow’s Oil
"2 Kings 4:1 The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.”
2 Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?”
“Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a little oil.”
3 Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. 4 Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.”
5 She left him and afterward shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. 6 When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another one.”
But he replied, “There is not a jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing."
If you cannot pay them cash, pay them attention! It actually last longer! And you cannot put a price on it! See my post on Honor!
Sunday, November 1
These are my notes from the IMPART event
If you are not giving to your church, you probably are not giving anywhere. If you are not giving anywhere, you may have an idol problem.
Simplicity: do one thing and do it well. Golden Coral attitude always leads to mediocrity. Sure there is a little bit of everything but nothing really sticks out. Simplicity enables excellence.
Sometimes you need “an Old Yeller anointing”. If it isn’t working: take it out back and shoot it. It may hurt, you may miss it but it will allow things to move forward.
Dress for the wedding: planning for the future may sometimes look out of place until you get there. Like stopping for gas in a tux! After all how do you think Noah looked building a huge boat on dry land when it had NEVER rained before. Prepairing for the future ALWAYS looks stupid to the one’s without vision.
God’s may send you on a detour but that doesn’t mean He changed the destination. It may take longer to get there but there was a reason for it. BTW account for a possible detour when planning the trip in the first place and you will not be upset when you see the road closed and have to turn.
Saturday, October 31
These are my notes from the IMPART event
Celebrate somebody!: Really find one person every day to celebrate. It is fun and they like it too. Here: Monday=call someone, Tuesday=email someone, Wednesday=send a card, Thursday=text someone, Friday=comment on their facebook page, Saturday=face to face with someone (clerks and waiters are awesome too) and Sunday=hit-um up at church! Monday, start all over. It may seem like work at first but you will grow to like it as much as they do...it’s addicting. I dare you.
Protect your Pastor: “let nobody put their mouth on Him” do not tolerate people speaking poorly of God’s anointed! [get out of the gutter]
You cannot fake your DNA: it is who you are! Be the best you that you can be and stop trying to be _________ (insert name here).
Nobody can go where the leaders are not going: thus leaders get followed, duh moment!
Be willing to smoke what you sell! If it isn’t good enough for you, don’t ask them to do it! (dang does that mean I have to do all of this stuff I am writing?)
Our hearts should be overflowing and others should be getting it.
What if people leave? If they do, What have you lost? Remember: Sometimes the crowd thins.
Friday, October 30
Who is the Daraja Choir? you may be asking. Check them out for yourself here. We saw them in 08 at Catalyst Conference then they came to town and we actually got to host them and feed them. So this year they are coming again and will be staying with several Discovery Church Families. I am so excited. We get 3 of the girls here. We don't know which ones but I will try to post Pictures as soon as they arrive on Monday. Hey maybe I can get each of them to post a little something!
These are my notes from the IMPART event
1 Samuel 14:6&7 Jonathan was the best volunteer recruit ever! Read it yourself.
Your vision needs to be so big that it cannot succeed without God. We are small dreamers!
Some of us need the spiritual gift of ignorance: We think things through and limit God’s movement in out lives. If Moses used common sense or even science, he may not have put his staff into the red sea! A moment of ignorance may be all that is separating you from the amazing thing that God has in store for you.
Your limitations are an insult to God.
What are your “I can’ts”: what is keeping you from doing them?
Make every opportunity to make “this day” “That day”. Come on, we all have a “That day” that we tell people about, lets make some more!
Our generation has lost the art of honor: Honor begins with honoring God. Trust is earned but honor is deserved by all. So honor somebody already!
Criticize by creating. Most criticism tears down. If you cannot offer criticism in a way that builds up...DONT offer it! Your house will not be any bigger by tearing down other peoples houses. You ego may though.
Thursday, October 29
These are my notes from the IMPART event
There is NOTHING to impart apart from Christ!: It all starts, has to do with and ends with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. What He did on the cross sealed the deal! Anything other than that is simply chatter.
If you are offended, it is usually a sign of God shake’n you up: If and when the truth bothers you, it may be time to start following it.
Eat the fish and leave the bone: take what is good and useful and get rid of the rest, it was just going to poke you anyway!
Imitate their faith, not their miracles: You are the best you you can be, don’t copy what they do or did but copy their faith.
Faith is seeing something that isn’t here, then believing it and speaking it till it is here: Plan for what you pray for. If I am sick and you pray for a healing, go get me a “glad your feeling better card” NOW!
Wednesday, October 28
We just returned from one jam-packed day at Elevation Church for their IMPART event. This was simply: a where we have been and how God has and is working through Elevation. And my short review is WOW. This blog post is my take away on what happened.
First of all, there were only about 110 people in attendance and they had 200 (yes 200) volunteers there to greet, meet and serve us. Yes, thats almost 2 to 1! We each had a person assigned to us all day long. Every time we took a break our personal concierge was standing there with our favorite drink and snack. Mine was named Gail and she and a bunch of others took off work to be there to serve us. Wow, we can’t get some people to serve on their free time much less take a day off work!
For this one day event they redecorated the entire building to theme it out for IMPART. There were banners and signs everywhere. They even had info over the urinals in the bathroom that they changed out between sessions. If you missed a bathroom break, you missed a little info :)
Then came the meat. Pastor Steve Furtick brought it and brought it hard. He layed down Elevations simple vision with so much passion that we felt guilty about not having the same passion about our vision. I can see why people go to this church, he is real and human, he isn’t as perfect as the rest of the pastors out their and will probably tell you something he sucks at ever chance he gets.
I will be posting my notes and comments in days to come. I will call them “impartation part_” so check back over the next, oh 7 days! yeah, it will take me that long to unpack what they shoved down our throats in one day.
Friday, October 23
We have been so busy it is hard to sit down and catch you all up. As you know Discovery took about 12 people to the huge Catalyst Leadership Conference in Atlanta Ga. It was amazing and I gave you a short take home in my last post. I have another big conference called Impart on next Tuesday and a possible one on Thursday. These things give us so much info that our heads are ready to pop. We are constantly being reminded how much we DONT KNOW!
This past Sunday we took Crosslink (our youth) to a corn maze. It was huge and nice. We had a blast. We learned: if you have a map, you can find your way. I had a map but failed to pass out the other 3 that I printed. Our team was the only one to complete the entire maze. When we were done we headed back to the cars to send the kids off and Sheila was wrapping up and managed to slam her finger in the van door. It was pretty nasty and we had to spend the night at the ER. She broke the tip and cut around 3 sides of her pinky. There are pictures up HERE but you need to prepare yourself! She is doing good and has more stitches to add to her list. She has more scares than Rambo!
It seems that our churches cars are under attack. We have so many friends with broke down cars. We have fuel pumps out, leaking radiators, slipping transmissions, blown engines, flooded cars and wrecked cars. I am doing what I can to help as many of them as possible but that takes money and most of us don’t have that much laying around. I could use a Pontiac and Toyota engine and a radiator for a Grand Prix. The fuel pump was Pastor Jason’s and we got that fixed. One by one we will get them fixed. Just pray for us and our cars.
That’s enough for now, consider yourselves updated for now.
Saturday, October 10
Andy Stanly: trust them 1st
Louie Giglio: Seek His Face
Chuck Swindoll: empty hands can be filled
Dave Ramsey: the tortoise wins
Priscilla Shirer: copy God
Fracnis Chan: The Cross!
Matt Chandler: Know the finish before you run.
Rob Bell: Jesus didn’t do popular & Family 1st
Shane Hipps: Guard or Gardner?
Malcolm Gladwell: Overconfidence loses
Andy Stanly: Words are cheap!
I may break these down for you later, but I may not!
Friday, October 9
Thursday, October 8
Monday, September 28
Wow what a great weekend! We had a blast helping Ignite church with their practice service on Friday night. They are a new church plant here in Greenville. It looked like they had over 100 people attend. It was an honor to be a part of it. They will do well.
For a gloomy weekend it really did turn out well. Discovery set-up went great with a ton of people showing up to bust it out in record time. I enjoyed setting up the sound “my way”. I like to be able to take my time and run the cables a little neater than normal. I had the youngest sound techs ever helping me out (Sarah (5)and Chandler (8)Ebeling). They worked hard and I almost couldn’t keep up with them asking “what next”. At one point I had to stop what I was doing just to keep them with task. They were awesome!
Then Sunday morning was a typical mayhem with Satan trying everything he could to disrupt me. Sorry to disappoint him but we still had a great time in Children's church. We are learning about Esther and Mordecai. We even found a few assassins among the kids. (read about it yourself, it's only 5 chapters)
Closing tear-down went great too. Our tear-down crew is awesome, and faithful. By the time I make it in there they are storing stuff away. Cable winders and curtain folders doing their part to advance the gospel: I love you guys and gals!
Then a great night at youth to close out the weekend. We had 27 teens and 5 leaders. No concussions but we tried. Will and Sasha brought the message and the games and did great. I think the teens had some fun and we even had a guest. Thanks Nick for coming out!
So now we start working on next week which is going to be even better than this weekend!
Did I mention that I LOVE MY WORK?
Pray for Ignite (new church), a friend (mike) who had his car flooded by water this weekend and for this coming up week at DC, that people will connect with God.
Wednesday, September 23
Friday, September 18
Wednesday, September 16
Monday, September 14
It was a great weekend and the service's went well. Big Church talked about Sex! Little Church talked about friendship and we ended the evening with the Lord's Supper. I am guessing we had over 100 people there and our teens almost filled up 3 tables! I love the separated coming together for the Lord's supper. It is an effort as opposed to à la carte at the end of a service where the experience somehow feels weakened. When our PARTners left the house last night, they knew what and where they were going and they made a decision to attend and participate. I feel this is one more way we answer Jesus prayer for us to be united as one, like Him and the Father are one. Look at what Paul tells us here: 1 Corinthians 10:16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf. God moved during our meal, our remembrance of Him and what He did for us and through the worship music afterward.
So that was great and now I am on to a new week and about to have "a date" with God and then plan the already too busy week: plan ahead for Children and Youth, a trip to New Bern to see Nicholas Sparks (just kidding Val, that was for you!) really to see my mom and uncle who has been in the hospital, accountability and staff meeting, dinner with friends, presentation for the Boys & Girls club, visit the DMV (pray for that one!), band practice, Plan for Sunday, Set-up and UFC fights Saturday night then onto another awesome worship service at Discovery Church. See, I told you it was busy! But in a good way.
I love my God, my Wife, my church and my work. What else could I ask for?
3 minutes till my date, I have to go now!
Sunday, September 13
Tuesday, September 8
Friday, August 28
I am excited about this weeks church. You see I preach to children in the morning and to the teens at night. This week during prep for these two messages I have found myself challenged and motivated toward God. I will never understand the absolution of God’s love. No matter how selfish I get, God still moves, loves and works. It is so easy to open, read and study God’s word out of obligation and totally forget that this IS HIS living word, alive and active and sharp! I think for me; I need to approach it with a little more caution. I never want to take God for granted or even carelessly acknowledge Him. He shouldn’t be spoken about in a past tense because He is present tense.
Tuesday, August 18
Friday, August 14
Tuesday, August 11
Not mine, better than I can say it.
Thursday, August 6
As most of you already know, my brother Tony age 45 had a massive heart attack Tuesday (7/28) at about 3:30pm. 911 was called fast and got there fast and Tony had cpr going almost immediately. This is what saved his life. He has been In the hospital since and hasn’t really gained, what I would call, conciseness. Tony has opened his eyes and even tracked back and forth to people who were talking, we have one foot wiggle and one hand wiggle on request but that is about it.
The doctors don’t know how much “Tony” is left in there but we keep seeing little things that tell us he may be there. His wife (of one month!) brought in a cd player and loaded Tony’s worn out Pink Floyd cd and Tony seemed to respond. He smiled at our good friend Chris Kules and he teared up the first time mom, dad and myself went in and talked to him.
They cannot wake him up until they get the tubes out of his mouth. This means they need to put a trach in his throat. This is our newest frustration: why they will not go ahead and do this! There is nothing else scheduled and he is stable and moving in the right direction. Either way, we wait.
Well that is the update on my brother.
Thank you for all of your prayers and everyone that is keeping the wheels rolling in Greenville for me. I will miss our youth lock-in and swimming trip and that is a major bummer!
These are truly weird times and everything seems so unreal. There are times that I cannot even think of what to pray, then there are time where I cannot stop praying. We have been on a roller-coaster ride with good news and then bad news and good again. I am fine with that as long as we always end with good news.
Hopefully we will see our Greenville Friends real soon and have good news when we do.