Friday, February 27, 2009


Babe Ruth once said, "the difference between a foul ball and a home run is timing".

This weekend, I'll be doing a talk at Freedom Valley York Rd, entitled 'home run or foul ball'. It's part 2 in our 'Hope Initiative' sermon series. I'll be talking about why the time is right for us to aggressively work together to expand the influence we and the Kingdom of God has in Adams County and South Central PA. I hope you'll be in one of our services this weekend. (Sat 6:30pm / Sunday 9:15am, 11:15am) If you miss it, listen at our website or podcast it on i-Tunes.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


The theme of thanksgiving rolls on. As I drove my twin boys to school this morning, I was thumbing through songs on my i-pod and came across Wires (track 5 on the artist page) by Athlete. This is a song that was written from a father's point of view as his premature baby spends his first days in the hospital precariously holding to life hooked up to every wire and tube you can imagine.

My twins, Colin and Liam, (born 8 weeks premature), were hooked to those wires. As I drove my strong, healthy 5 year old boys to school today, all the intensity, desperation and thankfulness of those 28 days in the hospital came rushing back over me. I cried as I watched them play with their batman toys and just be perfect little boys. The final line of the song, "looking at you now, you would never know" just fit so well.

I can't help but think that God looks at us and cries as He considers how we all once held precariously to a life that was far outside His plan for us. I'm so thankful for my boys. I'm so thankful that "looking at me now, you would never know" where I came from. God is so good and so gracious.

Monday, February 23, 2009

simple church

I just finished a great one. Simple Church, by Thom S. Rainer, is a church systems book. I know those aren't always the most fun to read, but this just really connected with me. It seems to be just what we (the leadership team I work on at my church) need to be considering at this point. We're not clueless when it comes to this stuff. Much of it is intuitive to our system, but we could learn a great deal too.

In a nutshell, the book talks about a church "process" for making disciples that consists of these four elements.

1. Clarity
2. Alignment
3. Movement
4. Focus

Seems that most churches are either "simple" or "complex". Also seems that a great deal of research shows that, on the whole, simple churches thrive and complex churches do not.

If you're a church leader, especially one who works on the executive team at my church :), I'd encourage you to read this one as soon as you can.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

slow down

An entry from my personal journal today. I hope you can be inspired to slow down just a bit.

Ps 27:8

My heart has heard you say, "Come and talk with me."

And my heart responds, "LORD, I am coming."

This is the crux of my conundrum. I heard the Lord calling me to a personal retreat and to slow down and I did not listen. That's why I've been struggling to be healthy all week and why I'm on my second day of calling out of everything. I'm sick because I did not rest. All the nights going to bed too late and getting up too early have caught me. So what do I do? I get up so early to read my bible and exercise my body. I guess that's the smaller question to answer. I've been too overwhelmed with work lately and I need to back up, organize and prioritize. I need some time sharpening my tools a bit. I'll be ok.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

so grateful

I was at Perkins restaurant this morning with our youth pastor and my good friend, Daniel St. Armand, and the elderly couple across the dining room begin to get louder and louder. It got so loud that we could not even focus on our conversation anymore. Finally, the woman is yelling at her husband, "Are you going to pass out? If you fall I can't help you. I don't know what to do!". What a chance to help someone in need. So, surprisingly to me, I went over and asked what I could do to help.

Back up 20 minutes. Walking into Perkins this morning, I did not plan on taking a senile man to the toilet, cleaning out his pants that he had filled with diarrhea, wiping his butt and then dressing him again. I doubt that's the plan any of us have when we're on our way to breakfast.

But he wasn't just a senile man. He's a precious man named Jim who served our country in war and has probably done 1000 noble deeds he'll never remember. He's a precious man that Jesus loves as much as He loves you and I. He's someone's son, someone's father, someone's husband. In short, he matters. He matters to God and he matters to me.

Sure, I'm sitting in my office in a t-shirt right now because the sweater I had on is a bit contaminated. Sure I've scrubbed like a surgeon a few times this morning and feel like I could still use more. Sometimes showing the love of Christ is dirty and smelly and I'm getting ok with that.

The thing that surprises me the most is that I'm writing this about me. This was not some other good Samaritan in the restaurant helping. It was me. And as I think about Jim and pray for him today, I feel tears close bye. I know that Jesus can change even the hardest of hearts. Because He certainly has changed mine over the years.

Be encouraged today. It's not all about our churches or our programs. It's about each, individual follower of Christ acting like Christ in practical ways with our fellow man. I feel so grateful that Christ never gave up on me. So grateful.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Deadly Vipers

I first read "Deadly Viper Character Assassins" last year, but last week I stumbled upon the audio book version of it on my i-Pod. I think I got more out of it this time. Are you a leader? Do you hope to be someday? Character is key. I can't stress this to you enough. Granted, this book is written by guys and probably for guys, but the principles of Godly character in leadership are timeless and priceless. If you're into audio books (like me), you can download it for free here. Enjoy.