Monday, December 27, 2010

FREE STARBUCKS makes an eternal difference

This Christmas our church embarked on a mission of sharing the joy and meaning of Christmas in a practical way. Each day we practiced "random acts of Christmas" with individuals we encounter every week in our daily lives.

On Wednesday we brought smiles to over 100 people on our group "Random Acts of Christmas". We went to the local Starbucks and gave away free tall drinks to everyone that wanted one. You may ask what hot drinks have to do with Christmas. My answer everything.

For years churches have celebrated Christmas by giving the community something many don't care about, another service at their building and that is all. This year we gave them something that they could feel taste and understand. A truly free gift.

Over and over we were asked why we did this, no other church in the area does something like this. We were able to tell them, because we wanted to bring a smile to your face and that God loves when people practice acts of kindness. Does this really make a difference? YES

The next night my wife and I were eating next door and one of the girls who we gave a free coffee to, told us that she went home and told her sister that a church was giving away free Starbucks coffee, they want to check out this "different" kind of church.

Something special happens when we practice kindness without expecting something in return. All too often we expect something in return (come to our church, listen to what I have to say, let me tell you how your wrong). This holiday season let's practice what Christ said, do good works so that Christ can be made famous.

Let your light shine before men so that they can see YOUR GOOD WORKS and glorify your father in heaven

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Random Acts of Christmas

This past Sunday we announced that we will be performing "Random Acts of Christmas". We know that little things make all the difference in the world. Our lead pastor, Gilbert Thurston, has told us over and over that people are looking for three things. These are a smile, kind word and appropriate touch.

We are going to put this into practice not just on Sundays, but for an entire week. Each day the week of Christmas, starting on Monday, we will be emailing, putting on facebook and the church website a simple act of kindness that you can perform that day. I am excited to hear the stories that come out of this.

If you want to be a part, email me at and I will put you on the list. Can you imagine if hundreds of people started concentrating on being Christ in the little things every day? That is just what we want to do. Whether you live in Harrisburg or around the world, be a part this holiday season.

"There are many people who can do big things,
but there are very few people who will do
the small things."

Mother Teresa

Monday, December 13, 2010

Girl on Mission

Several weeks ago my daughter decided she wanted to help people in Harrisburg. We were talking and she decided she wanted to help the situation of the homeless population. Caitlyn decided she was going to make some hats for the homeless. In the cold winters, this is how she could help them in their situation.

This afternoon we went downtown and she saw a homeless man and lady under the bridge. She didn't have her hats but she new they were in the car. She came back to the car and got her hats and we went back to the bridge.

At the bridge we met Bill, George and Linda. We told them that Caitlyn had made the hats and would like to give them one. They were so thankful. As we walked away we noticed something, immediately they put their hats on and were smiling as they were talking. Did she change the course of their life, probably not. Her actions did however provide comfort to someone who needed it.

I am proud of Caitlyn, she brought tears to my eyes...she is being the hands of feet of Christ. Her actions reminded me of quote, "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." This quote by Mother Teresa was lived out in Caitlyn's life today. What would happen if each of us did little things every day? Sometimes as we "grow up" we look for the big tasks while forgetting that the little things are what bring smiles and comfort to people every day. When we see people, I hope we look on them with compassion and then immediately are moved to serve.

When Jesus arrived, he saw this huge crowd.
At the sight of them, his heart broke
Mark 6:34 (MSG)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Thoughts on Today

Today I had the privledge of teaching at In cased you missed it you can hear it here . I loved the opportunity to talk about ways that I have learned to overcome the unrealistic expectations that I create.

As you go through the holidays, remember:

* Be Thankful - spend some time journaling what you are thankful for...use facebook...use a blog but find some way to share what you are thanful for.

* Make a Difference - look for ways to make a difference in the life of someone this holiday season...we are doing "RANDOM ACTS OF CHRISTMAS"...these will be simple ways that you can make a difference in the life of people you come in contact with everyday...if you want to take part, whether a part of or not, let me know you're email and we will email you daily the week of Christmas with a new assignment,

* Remember the gift of Christmas - turn to Christ and talk with Him about your expectations. Remember the reason for Christmas is restoring the relationship with Him.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I Hate the Holidays - Not what I expected

It has been nearly a month since I have blogged. It has been one of the busiest months of my life. We have gotten our LifeGroups off the ground as well as our first YouMatter project and the second in just a couple of weeks. This Sunday I have the awesome privilege and responsibility to teach at the weekend experience of If you are in Harrisburg or want to come, I would love to see you.

Everyone has expectations at that Christmas holiday. From presents to decorations to family, the list could go on and on. How do you deal with the expectations when it turns out to be not what you expected. The picture above is one of my favorite pictures. Too bad the holidays can't be exactly like the picture I have in my head. We are going to look at the story of Mary, a story from the disciples and see how they handled unmet expectations. Look forward to seeing you this weekend.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Despite popular opinion, I do like Christmas, just not what the holidays have become. This Christmas I am excited, our church has decided to be the church rather than focusing on our self. All to often Christmas is about a club that meets in it's church building, celebrating the holidays in a way that makes us feel good and with language we understand. NOT THIS YEAR.

We are embarking on the Contagious Christmas Challenge. We are encouraging each other to give to help families in need rather than just spend and celebrate on our self. The month of November we are receiving money in order to put together a package that will include gifts for the kids and grocery cards for the family. We are truly trying to do this with no agenda other than the love of Christ. Join us wherever you are...take the don't have to send money to us, you can if you like. Be assured that 100% of what comes in will go to truly needy families. You can also do the same thing wherever you are.

The key is, find ways to make people understand that Christmas is about giving to those in need. Christ gave to those in need, He gave something we couldn't get for ourselves and that is what Contagious Christmas Challenge is about. Giving something that they couldn't get for themselves. WHY...because God loves them and so do we.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Eye Opening Lunch

Today, Tammie and I had the privilege of going to Paxton Street Ministries and have lunch with Jodie Smiley (Executive Director), Jen Smith (Volunteer Coordinator) and the residents of this ministry.

As we walked in and were waiting for our appointment, a lady began talking with Tammie, they talked about family and kids. The joy on her face was apparent as she told Tammie about her grandkids and the adventures of her life.

Jodie and Jen took us on a tour of the facility and then we sat down in the dining room for lunch. We ate lunch with a woman whose husband was no longer living and diagnosed bi-polar, she shared with us how much she loves when people come and talk with her. She shared how thankful she is for a place to stay, her goal is to become a licensed mental health professional. She reads and loves to draw. She was a dear lady who has been homeless and for the first time at nearly 50 learning to take care of herself in a way that is acceptable to society.

As we had lunch laughed and talked, and then left, I was reminded of a verse in proverbs...

Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner, but blessed is he who is generous to the poor.

I had to ask myself some tough questions...

Do I "despise my neighbor" by talking about what I can't do rather than doing what I can?

Do I "despise my neighbor" by being to busy to find my God given talent and using it to make a difference in the world?

Do I "despise my neighbor" by ignoring rather than doing things to help those less fortunate than I.

How are you being generous to the poor. Remember, being generous is not just financially.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween With A Purpose

My passion in life is to help individuals live missionally. The hard part is that in order to truly live missionally you must change your lifestyle. For most of us, our faith community baggage has instilled is us an event mentality. That is we come to church, event, we go on a missions trip, event, we invite someone to a special event, event and the list goes on. Let me make it clear that all these things are good, but they are events that we build up to and they become segregated form the rest of our lives.

Missional living is really a lifestyle that we live and do 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I am having a blast helping people look at their lives and ask how can I "be the church" all week long.

In an effort to help, our church is encouraging our people to use Halloween to make a difference. We are encouraging them to leverage the fact that the entire neighborhood will come to their door and the fact that their family has the freedom to go to every door in our community.

Tomorrow night some neat things are happening, some people are getting together and inviting neighbors to a soup dinner to show they care and then passing out invitations to all the kids for our children's ministry.

Someone else is going door to door to pass out candy rather than ask for it...others are having chili and inviting others to stay and talk...

What are you doing? How are you leveraging what society is doing to make an impact for the kingdom?

I would encourage you to live missionally. Look for unique opportunities every day to share the love of Christ with those around you.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

KIDMO Volunteer

This morning was our second official service at This morning was awesome. I had the privilege of serving under Chelsea Miller, our children's ministry director. Let me say, she is doing an awesome job.

This morning I had the privilege of being wild and crazy, yes wild and crazy at church. We were wild and crazy because we are excited that God has allowed us to impact children with life changing principles.

During our small group time, I got to coach 4th and 5th graders on what it means to "love the limits." They talked about limits their parents and God puts on them. They began to understand that the limits God puts on us are for our benefits. Some of the kids in my group never thought of God as loving in the "limits". I loved this morning because it reminded me that God is loving all the time. Thanks Chelsea and all the children's ministry volunteers for teaching even the adults as you serve.

The proof that we love God comes when we keep his commandments and they are not at all troublesome. I John 5:2

Monday, October 18, 2010 Day 2 is officially up and going. Yesterday was our first "official" Sunday morning experience. The band did a great job, "Misery" by Maroon 5 set the stage well for Gilbert's first Urban Legends talk. Chelsea did an awesome job with the kids. The impressions team and volunteers were awesome. It's now Monday and we have six more days till we do it again. I hope we are not going to sit around this week just waiting for the next awesome experience.

The vision for is not just what happened yesterday, we are excited to be the church seven days a week. Sunday we come together to celebrate, invite, worship, learn and make God known. We are to live the rest of the week being a blessing. We desire for us to BE THE CHURCH every day of the week. How do we do this, by understanding that every day we can make a difference. Gilbert, our lead pastor, says every person wants three things, a smile, a word and an appropriate touch.

A good place to start is by understanding our words, our facial expressions and small acts of kindness can make a huge impact in the lives of people. Let me ask you to take a six day challenge, find one person each day until Sunday that you can impact with a smile, kind word and act of kindness. As you are doing this, invite them to your faith community this Sunday. Accept the challenge and you will be surprised at what happens.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


This Sunday will be a momentous day in my life. Looking back over the last several years, I know that God has been preparing me for this. The launch of

The past several months I have been part of a team that has passed out nearly 10,000 fliers and cards, Held 6 community events, two preview services, countless hours at starbucks, panera, borders and other places letting others know about what God is desiring to do, spent time preparing for lifegroups and YouMatter and too many other tasks to mention.

Gilbert has his talk prepared, (by the way, it's great, I've read it), Bill and the band have their set ready, Chelsea is ready for hundreds of kids, the serving matrix is set, we have a few more invites to make, with all of this done WHY AM I SO NERVOUS. After a restless night I realize why, I AM NOT IN CONTROL. There I said it, it is difficult when the results are not up to me. I am not saying I don't have a part in the preparation, but I realized that God has to work in the heart of people. I can't control who comes, I can only invite. I can't control who accepts Christ, I can only share. I can't control who joins LifeGroups, I can only prepare to be used by God. I can't make people serve, I can only offer service opportunities and ideas.

What can I do? I can pray and rest in the one who is in control. If you're like me, evaluate where you are putting your security.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


It's hard to believe that 12 years ago this past Saturday my wonderful, beautiful, youngest child, Caitlyn was born. She has brought joy, excitement and life to our house. I can't imagine doing life without her.

As I was thinking back, I remember the night she was born, Tammie rolled over, literally, and said it's time. I jumped out of bed and began the process of getting ready to go to the hospital.

One of the the things that had to be done was to let the set of parents that was with us know that we were leaving, they were set to watch the kids. I walked into their room and whispered, "mom, dad". I did this several times, each time I increased the volume of my voice. Finally, I reached out and touched them lightly to try and wake them up. At that moment, they bolted up and let out a scream, then the other one did the same. It was one of the times in my life where I was frightened. The response from a dead sleep startled them and then startled me. This was an exciting and frightening experience.

Twelve years later, we are embarking on another experience that is both frightening and exciting. We have spent the last 4 months preparing for this Sunday. The day that will be launched. In the same way that we have watched are daughter grow, mature and become a young woman, we are excited to watch mature, grow and multiply over the next years.

HOW ABOUT YOU? Are you excited about being a part of a faith based community that you believe over the next twelve years will mature, grow and multiply? I don't know what God's plans are for the future, want to make Him laugh, tell Him your plans. But I do know that he desires to transform the world through His people, the church. CHOOSE TO BE A PART OF A REVOLUTION today.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


"What If" is one of those questions that has always inspired and motivited me in my spiritual journey. I have found that for many this is a very disturbing question. "What if" questions almost always lead to rethinking things that are comfortable for us. For example..."what if" we changed our life to truly match what Christ desires for us...."What If" we truly believed the world could be changed through the church...."What If" we did everything within our power to introduce those who are far from God to a personal relationship with God..."What If" we viewed our possessions as tools to be used for the kingdom... I could go on an on but you get the point.

This morning at church I was once again challenged with "What If". This morning it was "What If" the church truly followed Christ missional teaching and "What If" i truly lived the pattern that Jesus lived...

I don't have all the answers but I do know that my life will be changed and my leadership will be transformed as I contemplate this question. I want you to ask yourself...WHAT IF....

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Tech Support For Marriage

Thought I would just throw in a funny blog from a workshop I attended last night. Enjoy.

Dear Tech Support,

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow down in overall system performance, particularly in the flower and jewelry applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.

In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as
* Romance 9.5 and
* Personal Attention 6.5, and then installed undesirable programs such as

* NBA 5.0,
* NFL 3.0 and
* Golf Clubs 4.1.

Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system.

* Please note that I have tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail.

What can I do?




First, keep in mind,
* Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while
* Husband 1.0 is an operating system.

Please enter command: ithoughtyoulovedme.html and try to download Tears 6.2 and do not forget to install the Guilt 3.0update.
* If that application works as designed, Husband1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewelry 2.0 and Flowers 3.5.

However, remember, overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0 or Beer 6.1.
* Please note that Beer 6. 1 is a very bad program that will download the Farting and Snoring Loudly Beta.

Whatever you do, DO NOT under any circumstances install Mother-In-Law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources.)

In addition, please do not attempt to reinstall the Boyfriend 5.0-program .These are unsupported applications and will crashHusband 1.0.

In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. You might consider buying additional software to improve me mory and performance. We recommend
* Cooking 3.0 and
* Hot Lingerie 7.7.

Good Luck Babe!

Tech Support

Friday, October 1, 2010

21st Century New Testament Church

This past week I had the privilege of attending a church multiplication workshop. The workshop was called 21st Century New Testament Churches. Terry Broadwater shared philosophical paradigms that must shift if the church is going to be truly missional in it's struggle to reach the far from God. I want to share some of these with you.


Membership brings about some concepts that are just not biblical. It denotes,ownership, rights, privileges and consumerism (coming to get). Christ made it clear that we have no rights (Romans 12) and the we have come to we view our churches as places where we are a minister to everyone.


I am not saying that mission projects are not important, but our emphasis in missions must be to build up missional people. We can spend thousands of dollars on projects and not fulfill our responsibility of training people to take seriously their responsibility to bring redemption to the world.

There were many others, but these two resonated with me. Think through other shifts that we must make in order to be a 21st Century New Testament Church.

One other challenge I received that day...


Our ideas of Shepherds is that of someone who only cares for the sheep. Those that already have a relationship with Christ. Christ has not called us to do that, he has gifted us to that, but that alone is not our mission. Rather let us look at raisins kings. Kings know how to take cities for their master. They have a confidence, not arrogance, that allows them to attempt and accomplish great things for God. Kings view their responsibilities in light of expanding the kingdom. How are we going to train the next generation leaders.

I hope this has sparked some thinking in your mind regarding Missional Churches. Continue to think, plan and dream to make God's church the most effective possible.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Excersize by Osmosis

This morning I got up and went downstairs, my wife was hard at work exercising so I sat down and began working on my computer. She got to a new part of the video and sat down to figure out how to accomplish the kickboxing move. I looked up from my computed and laughed. Tammie asked, "can you gain muscle by watching". We got a good laugh.

I began to think about how our Christian life often resembles the question she asked. Can we become mature by just watching. We watch as someone teaches us on Sunday, we watch as others teach us at small groups, we watch as others come and tell us about there spiritual adventures, we watch as we read about others living the Christian life, we watch...

As we look at Christ example of maturity, we must do. Too often we watch and learn but never begin exercising for maturity. How much more fit will we be if we actually do what God expects. What does he expect. He expects us to begin sharing the redemptive story by our actions. These actions are intentional loving acts that will show the love of Christ as we try to tell them of the ultimate love of Christ.

Look at your life, when was the last time you actually "exercised", I am not talking about reading your Bible (although I do recommend you do that), I mean actually living out what it says, feeding the poor, caring for the widow, playing with a fatherless or motherless child, listening to the life story of the oppressed.

Begin today, find someone you can share redemptive love with and do it. You can't gain muscle by watching.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


The other morning my family and I took a half day hike on the Appalachian trail. The hike took us to a beautiful overlook of the valley. The hike there wasn't that hard...we were looking at the new sites, exploring, taking in the scenery and enjoying the company. We passed another hiker and had a great talk about values and what things we meditate on. We had some food we had carried in, had a great lunch enjoying the view. We loved it.

Then came the hike back...some were starting to get tired, grumpy ready to be done. We had arrived at our destination, it was more than we expected and then the journey continued. All we could think about was tired legs, rocky terrain and things in the way of getting back. For Tammie,it was fear of snakes...we saw a four to five foot snake...the boys loved it, the girls not so much. Finally after the hike back we arrived at the care ready to be done. On the journey there excitement and anticipation, the continued journey back, let down and disappointment, a hard road and a different outlook.

As contemplated on our attitudes, I realized the journey to the outlook and the journey back were the exact same trail. In fact we saw some better things on the way back...the snake, a squirrel trying to bury food and some cool insects, but the joy wasn't the same. Why? THE DESTINATION WAS OUR GOAL. I wonder how often we go through life and we get our eyes focused on the destination, getting kids through school, finishing college, promotion at work, paying the bills. We are excited when the journey takes us somewhere exciting but when the summit is met we become discontent.

What do we need to do...change our goal. Instead of the goal being the destination, what if the goal became the journey. The destinations are blessings along the way, but those are not what we strive for. What if the journey was our destination. I think we may take more joy in the little things everyday, we probably would look at each day as an opportunity to make a difference.

The Bible puts it this way..."Choose you today who you will serve..." our destination is daily choosing to follow Christ. The mountain tops are great, we love to remember them, but we must remember that we are not meant to live there and we must stop trying. Remember life is a journey...ENJOY THE JOURNEY AS MUCH AS THE DESTINATION.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What is expected of us?

I was reading this morning and the book started by asking a question similar to the one above, "What is expected of us".

Several years ago my answer would have been to "please God in everything that we do". While this is a biblically correct answer, in my mind this was easy. It only dealt with me. In my life I could please God and ignore things around me. I could do my devotions, prepare a lesson, take care of my family, be kind to those I meet and in all this I could please God.

The picture taken above was on my first trip to Hati. It was this day that changed my view of "what is expected". I stood there and watched as hundreds of kids poured into a tiny kitchen. As I was talking with them, they told me that this place was the only place that they received a quality meal. As I watched, I realized that these children would only have 5 quality meals a week.

As I begin to think about this as well as the plight of sickness, shelter, HIV, and other epidemics facing them, I could no longer just sit and think about how "I" can please God. What I must do to please God, took on a whole new meaning. God desires to use me to change poverty, malnutrishion, lonliness and the list could go on and on. Christ was the one who told us to care for for the widows, fatherless and poor. As you look at the picture, ask yourself "what are you doing to make a difference in the world". Start with you city and together we can make a differnce.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

You Matter: Make a Difference

Have you ever caught yourself saying..."DO I REALLY MATTER?" The reality is that more often than not we find ourselves living this way. We go around consumed with the small portion of this world known as "my life". I love the questions that begin with "what if"... By nature I am one who is energized by this question.

The "what if" question that I have been contemplating on lately is "WHAT IF EACH PERSON SAW THEMSELVES CAPABLE OF MAKING A DIFFERENCE". Can you imagine if you and a group of friends decided that you were going to make a difference in your community. You could feed a family for a week, provide clothing for someone who can't afford it, hire someone out of work to do work around your house, care for a child who is not loved, adopt a child, foster a child, volunteer with local agencies...the possibilities are endless.

Our church, is starting an initiative called "You Matter". We want everyone in our community to realize that they matter to us and God. We also want to instill in others that they matter in making a difference.

"You Matter" is designed to help people come together to make a difference through pooling energy and resources. When several come together for a common good much can be done. "You Matter" is also designed because as individuals we can make a difference in the lives of those around us.

As you go through your day, stop focusing on "my life" and begin looking at the lives around you that you are able to touch. Get involved in your community and world. Remember, "YOU MATTER SO GO OUT A MAKE A DIFFERENCE". Volunteer, serve, start something but by all means...stop living the "me life".

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Michael Jackson, New Kids On The Block: A BLAST FROM THE PAST

Last night we were driving back late from Ocean City, MD. The end of the trip ended with us playing some of the music that was popular in our younger years. We played Michael Jackson's Thriller and Beat it. We played some of the popular boy bands, N'Sync, Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the block. We also listened to some of the popular religious music from the day. To our amazement our kids laughed hysterically at the icons of the day. As we listened, we realized that they are much different than today, for good reason. They sounded "funny", "old fashioned" and "ridiculous". As we looked back, these oldies went out, at least for most of us.

As I thought about that this morning, I realized that other things are "going out" that shouldn't be. No more do we see people who are compassionate, seeking justice for the oppressed and loving mercy. As I look around at the community around me, I see opportunity to participate and practice the values that should never go out. This week as we begin our week, how we will we practice justice, mercy and compassion. Is there a person who needs help? It's our job to help. Is there someone who is being abused? It's our job to help. Is there someone who is being judged? It's our job to show love and acceptance

I would recommend reading a book, "A Hole in Our Gospel". This book transformed the way I look at the world around me. It caused me to to look at compassion, social justice and mercy ministries as my responsibility. At this will be our first LifeGroup series. I believe part of our living/worshipping well must include our active participation. Don't let these values go out of style like the music of our past.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


My wife and I were able to spend the weekend in Philadelphia...It was a weekend of firsts. This was the first time I had a true Philly Cheese Steak, the first time to see the liberty bell and the liberty hall and the first time in Philly. For my wife she had those firsts as well as one other, the first time to ride the subway.

She was nervous as we went down the tunnel under the street, she was nervous as we stood underground waiting for a train that was going fast, and she was nervous about some of the people around us. What created this fear...things she has heard and things that she has seen on tv. For Tammie, the subway was not an awful place where everyone was out to get her, but rather a place that got us from one place to the other for our weekend away.

This is similar to what happens when many people think about Christ. They are fearful of what they have seen, extremist being unloving to others with different views, people standing around judging them because the don't belong, and fighting and bickering over issues that don't matter for eternity.

How we live often reveals to those around us what reality is. Are we showing that following Christ is not what they expect but rather a life that is given to something greater.

Think about what your friends think of Christ and the church, what are you doing to show them it is worth having.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Blessed to Be a Blessing

This morning I was challenged to look at Genesis 12 in light of missional living. As I read, it reminded me of one of the most profound experiences in my life. The picture above was taken on a trip that I lead to live out my life the way Christ desired. While in Haiti, I realized that I was blessed despite my income level and net worth (or lack of). I love the challenge that God gave to Abraham. "I will bless you so that you may be blessing." When I read that, it again challenged me in my view of my relationship with Christ.

I am living in the greatest economic crisis that I remember. I don't have a lot of money to give, I don't have a huge investment to start a business or non profit to help others, BUT I AM STILL BLESSED.

I have a home that I can invite people too and share with them hope. I have a loving family who can give hope to a family in crisis. I have enough food to feed an extra person, I have enough room for someone to spend the night, I have been given life experience that I can share with someone in need.

I am blessed. I am blessed beyond what I can comprehend. The question is not am blessed but rather am I a blessing. As you look at the picture above, ask yourself what blessing do I have that I can in turn use to be a blessing. Make this a priority on your journey....BE A BLESSING!!!

Comment and share how you have had opportunity to be blessing....

Monday, August 16, 2010


This past friday night the hot water heater in our house fried the thermostat. This produces no hot water. Saturday and Sunday I stood in a freezing cold shower, lathering up with soap and then as quickly as possible rinsing off.

The cold water took my breath made me miserable. We did what most families would do...WE COMPLAINED.

It was then that we remembered that most of the world struggles daily to get clean water just to drink. They don't have the luxury of turning a faucet or opening the refrigerator and having more clean water than we could even know how to use. Their existence is based around going daily to the well...sometimes an hour journey...just to have fresh water to drink.

As I began to think about the issue with my hot water...I realized that my issue with the water heater would be a blessing to most people in the world. As I got back in the cold shower, I was a little more thankful that at least I had clean water to drink, wash and rinse.

Often if we look at our struggles through the eyes of someone may be a blessing and we don't even realize it.

The next step is not to just realize that we are blessed, but to use the blessings we have to serve others. As you take a shower the next time...contemplate on how you can use your blessing to serve others...let me know what you end up doing.

Friday, July 16, 2010

It's Been One Week

It is hard to believe that we have been in harrisburg, PA for a full week. As we have settled in, let me give you a recap of our week.

* Sore muscles from loading the trucks in 100 degree heat in Van Wert, Ohio. (Thanks to all who helped)

* Cramps as we sit all day driving to Harrisburg

* Overwhelmed by people helping unload the truck in Harrisburg

* Moving furnitre and unpacking

* Grocery Shopping and finding our way as we make 20 trips to the various stores...

* Relaxing by the pool...(it's not all work and no play)

* Learning the culture of a new area

* First exponential staff meeting


Our family has loved our first week in Harrisburg. As we go places (the grocery store, mall, lowes, farmers market)we see around us people who need a relationship with Christ. Keep us in your prayers as we seek to bring "up there, down here."

Monday, July 5, 2010


Yesterday at Calvary Church one of the greatest statements I have heard was quoted. "The church should reform and always be reforming" (1500's) As a leader, I am always looking at how the church should reform, the question is what is the guide for the reformation of the church. The guides people use are results, feelings, tradition and the list could go on and on.

As a leader, I want to make sure that the transformation that takes place in based on the principles found in the Word of God.

As we begin this week on a journey of reforming the way church is done, I want to make sure that we evaluate the reformation we are participating in by the World.

Friday, June 18, 2010


As we continue to pray and plan regarding our move to help in planting Exponential, we are reminded of some key scriptural principles. God did not design us to function on our own, but rather in partnership. That is why WE NEED YOU. We need you to pray for us. Pray that our housing will be worked out.


* That we will be kept safe
* That we will use our gifts and abilities in the best way possible
* That God, through his people, will provide the funding we need
* That Harrisburg will be receptive to the God
* That the plant team will grow in their relationship with God and each other
* That God will prompt people to join our prayer and financial partnership teams
* That our family will adjust well
* That the details of our move would be quickly worked out
* That ....

The list goes on and on. Please prayer for us as we seek to follow God's path for our lives. I love the quote I read today on prayer...

"The true church lives and moves and has its being in prayer." Leonard Ravenhil


Thursday, June 17, 2010


The past 6 months we have been in prayer for God's direction in our lives. We have been specifically asking that He lead us to a ministry position that would use our experience, gifting, and the ability to make huge impacts for the kingdom. In our plans, we had envisioned serving with an established, thriving, passionate church. It is funny how often our plans and His do not match. But we have learned His plans are better for us.

Several weeks ago, we were contacted and asked that we consider a wild and crazy idea, and join a team that is looking to plant a relevant Church that seeks to impact the community around them for the kingdom. We said that we would pray about it.

Through a week in Harrisburg, personality tests, spiritual gift analysis, preaching a seven minute message with only ten minutes to prepare, hours of questioning and a church planters boot camp - WE ACCEPTED AN INVITATION TO SERVE AS PART OF CHURCH PLANTING TEAM in Harrisburg, PA.

The name of the church is Exponential ( I would encourage you to go to the website to learn more about what we will be developing. Gilbert Thurston ( will be the lead pastor. I will be coming along side of him to help individuals live on mission as they grow and serve in the community and around the world. We are excited to partner with him as we make kingdom advancement in the Harrisburg area.

Over the next weeks as we prepare to go, we will be seeking several things...

* Prayer partners (those willing to uphold us in prayer as we begin this new chapter in our life)
* Financial Partners (we are in need of moving expenses ($3,000-$5,000) as well as support for the new church plant)
* Families to relocate and join us in developing a thriving ministry reaching those who are far from God

I would love to talk with you about ways that you could assist us as we strive to follow God's plan for our life. If you would be willing to pray, help financially, or interested in moving with us, contact me at

We look forward to hearing from you. We will be posting on this blog to keep you up to date on the Chute happenings.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


My family and I are going through a time of transition. Transitions are often difficult. The difficulties comes from fear of the future and longing for the past.

Fear of the future(will life ever get back to normal, whatever that is). Fear for family (I have to if I am the ultimate provider). Fear of ministry (will I be treated the same way as in the past). If we are not careful our fear can control us and worse yet define us.

Transition also brings longing. Longing for what could have been. Longing for what should have been. My mind can constantly run to all the "what if I had..." or "what if they had...". Last night I was directed to a passage of scripture...

Isaiah 43-16-19

I am the Lord, who opened a way through the waters, making a path right through the sea. 17 I called forth the mighty army of Egypt with all its chariots and horses, to lie beneath the waves, dead, their lives snuffed out like candlewicks.

18 But forget all that--it is nothing compared to what I'm going to do! 19 For I'm going to do a brand-new thing. See, I have already begun! Don't you see it

Like Israel our worry of the past and concern for the future can cause us to miss what God is doing. Let me put it simply...

* FORGET THE PAST - God desires to do great things through you now

* THE PAST ARE NOT THE GLORY DAYS - God has done great things in the past
and will continue to do them in the future.

* HAVE FAITH IN GOD - He is preparing great things, new things, it has
begun even if we don't see it yet.

As you go through the week look for the new thing God is doing and rejoice in it. Remember, LIFE IS A JOURNEY...SO ENJOY THE RIDE.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Have you ever had a week where your expectations were not met? This week has been a week where it seems that every expectation that I had on Monday was not met on Tuesday. It's funny that when my expectations are not met, my response is telling of my heart.

When expectations are not met I can tend to only focus on me. I begin to get irritable with the kids, snap at my wife and forget that I am to serve. As I saw this happening I continued to tell myself..."look what happened to me." Ultimately I realized it was a lack of trust in God. It is easy to trust through difficult times when we "see" Him working...meeting our expectation but, when we don't see Him working, watch out.

It was a challenge to me to give everything to God...which most difficult of all is my expectations.

Monday, April 5, 2010

5 States in Nine Days

The past week my family and I have covered 5 states in 9 days. We went from Ohio to Indiana to Illinois to Iowa to Nebraska. That is a lot of time spent by the family in the car. We returned to my sisters for Easter. What a great time to remember and celebrate the God we serve.

As I thought through our travels, I remembered the distance Christ traveled. From heaven to earth to the cross. He did this for you and me. The next time you travel and experience culture shock...remember the distance Christ traveled for you.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Gone Fishing

In the midst of preparing for teaching Sunday, can't wait too see everyone in Lafayette, IN, I began to daydream. I was reading the passage where the disciples went back to fishing. As I looked at the snow falling outside, I wished I was at the lake fishing (not ice fishing either).

In this passage, Christ asked Peter "do you love me more than these." As I began to think about the question, was it referering to the disciples. Do you love me more than the other disciples? I don't think so, God never asked us to compare ourselves to others, but rather to his standard.

I believe he was refering to the idea of "do you love me more than fish". Don't right me off yet, I believe that the fish laying there represent the secerity of Peter. Christ had died in two chapters previous, he no longer lived every waking moment with Christ. He now was alone and returned to fishing.

How often when faced with tough circumstanes do we turn to comforts of life rather than to serving Christ and others.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Others Are Watching

Yesterday during the morning worship service, their was a family sitting at the table in front of us. During one of the worship songs, his grandfather raised his hands in praise to our God. As the grandson watched, he imitated the actions of his grandfather. As I watched the boy imitated every move that the loving grandfather made. I have no idea what is going on in the life of that grandfather, but the grandson was watching ever action.

I wondered if my life of worship is being imitated by those around me. As I go through life, the joys the heartache, the relationships and the circumstances, how will I respond? If others watched me, would they know how to respond in praise and honor to God.

Remember, those around us are watching. LIVE OUT LOUD.