Friday, January 29, 2010

All things beautiful!

This morning, I'm at home. It's Friday and that usually means I'm off for a little R and R. The last couple of weeks have been a little on the crazy side, so I haven't taken my Fridays like I usually do. It's a great day to take time off - watching the rain fall and sitting with my dog while Julie exercises. Thus, here are some random thoughts.
- CBC is a great place to serve the Lord! I'm seriously pumped about this weekend! We've a 6th grade discipleship weekend beginning tonight. We've got the men's ministry "Beast Feast" tomorrow night. We've got a full slate of events coming up Sunday. More on that next. I've been here 5 mths now and I say this with full assurance - I've not enjoyed pastoring this much since I graduated with my PhD in 2006.
- Sunday is the beginning of a journey for our friends going on our Mission: Germany trip this July. For two hours following our morning worship service, we'll train our mission trippers in all things trip-like. From why we're going to Germany to German culture to even some German language study, we'll begin our march toward July's trip. If you're planning to go with us, meet us in the chapel immediately after worship Sunday morning - we're buying lunch!
- Sunday afternoon brings a meeting of "Family First Jacksonville" - a meeting of pastors and leaders to combat the coming alcohol referendum. Prohibition is not our goal (in my estimation, that only makes it the forbidden fruit that must be had!), but it is our goal is to prevent Jacksonville being overrun by the likes of Fat Dogs. Please pray for our meeting. While this meeting is not open to the public, the next one will be. Don't worry - you'll hear about it!
- Sunday night, we'll be going to the Smith Association Annual Meeting. I hope you'll join us - anyone interested can show up at the church at 4:15 PM and we'll take you with us in the church vans. We were allowed 12 messengers (the maximum allowed by the Association), but we can bring as many as we choose.
- A special word of gratitude to Coach Mel Socia, Coach Darvin Hooker, Coach Dolan, Coach Harrision and the 7th/8th grade Jax Middle School basketball teams. For the last several weeks, they've been kind enough to allow me to tag along and keep the books for them. The season is all but over for them but I'll not soon forget getting to hang out with them! Thanks!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I TOLD YOU IT WAS A GREAT DEVICE!

When I got my iPhone a couple of years ago, I got teased mercilessly by some of you. You know who are. To that, I offer the story of Mr. Dan Woolley, a Compassion International worker who was making a film in Haiti when the earthquake came. He was trapped for 65 hours while needed medical attention. He aided himself and kept himself from going into shock - but how? By using his IPHONE! It has a medical first aid application that guided him in what to do. Click here for the full story. Wow. There are some good stories coming from Haiti. Take time to thank the Lord for them.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A wonderful video!

Jonny Diaz did a song a couple of years ago that sums up this week's message wonderfully. I don't think I'll use it Sunday, but I might. One way or the other, here's the song.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Randomness

It's been awhile since we last spoke, so let me just be completely random for a moment.
- We're still living in our Frankston home, but more sure than ever that the Lord is going to sell it soon. We had a couple of "lookers" over the break - one rather serious - but no serious offers on it yet. I've got every confidence we're where the Lord wants us to be right now.
- I'm coaching a Little Dribblers under-14 team this year. We're the Hornets! Good kids! It's been a blast thus far. I think we won last week, but we had such a good time, it didn't really seem to matter.
- Julie and I got our passports over the break. Although we did have some excitement about it (we had to order an original copy of Julie's birth certificate), we're ready now!
- We leave Feb 24th for a scouting trip to Germany. Julie's never been to Europe and I've only been there once and even then I didn't leave the Paris Airport (I was on my way to Israel in 1990), so we're excited about going to share the mission work of the land of Martin Luther.
- Speaking of missions, we're headed to New Orleans March 20-27. I hope you'll pray for our work and pray for our team. We had a good group attend the meeting Sunday to receive information about it.
- One last bit of randomness - the "SOUP-er" Bowl is coming! Check back later in the week for more info!

What will CBC look like in 2020?

I've had some time this week to consider what our church will look like in 2020. Thinking that way made me reflect on the last decade, what's changed and what I've learned in my first 10 years as a pastor.
In 2000:
- I had no idea what a text message was.
- I had dial-up internet - and was proud to have it! DSL / high speed internet was just too expensive.
- Until May of that year, I was still a single guy with no concept of the joy of a loving, committed relationship with my wife.
- I had a beeper. Cell phones were too pricey.
- My email address (I only had one - now, I've got three) was with AOL.
- I had done exactly one wedding and one funeral.
- The church I pastored then had less than 75 people. They passionately taught me about loving the Lord and how to serve Him.
- I thought being in PhD work was the most important aspect of my life.
- I had no idea how to leverage a website, a Facebook account, a Twitter account and a blog for the sake of the Gospel.

Prompted by a fellow pastor's blog, I've thought about what this decade would like if I could write it out in advance.
- Our church would be a loving outpost for those who are lonely, broken and in need of people who take Jesus' commands to love each other seriously.
- Our mission efforts, in Jacksonville, Cherokee County, Texas, the US and around the world, would reflect our passion for seeing the lost saved!
- Although I don't know how to quantify it, my prayer is for many in J-ville to come to Christ - and us to baptize them into the Kingdom of God. Not so we'll have a larger church but that the name of the Lord might be glorified!
- Our church will be a point of discipleship for those actively growing in their faith!
- Our church will be a place for worshiping Christ for who He is, who He has been and who He will be! Furthermore, that worship won't be identified as "traditional" or "contemporary" but by "glorifying!"

I've never cared much for measuring success / failure based on attendance numbers or by the amount / lack of money. Those are temporary sign posts. What I want to see is God moving within CBC, changing lives, changing hearts and leading each of us to become the followers of Christ we're called to be. Using our skills, talents and gifts, we'll serve the Lord by serving Jacksonville for the cause of Christ! Can you tell I'm fired up about this new decade?!??! Here's to seeing the Lord move between now and 2020!