Sunday, August 30, 2009


1 Corinthians 13:4-7 - Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

I'm so aware this morning, as I've been for quite a while, that my "love" for my children does not always match this description given above. I know those boys are blessings from God. I want to love them like this, but I just don't seem to have it in me sometimes.

I often hear people talk about what a difficult job ministry is. I agree. It has it's share of challenges and is pretty thankless much of the time, but I find parenting infinitely more difficult. Frankly, I find myself a little bitter that nobody warned me about this and even more that nobody seems to have any answers to help. I feel very desperate about this. Will you please pray for me today?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

prayer for the Tulsa Launch Team

We are really blessed to have a very healthy launch team of twenty-six people. I can hardly believe God has spoken to so many families about going to Tulsa, but I know He has and I'm so grateful to lead such an awesome team.

God has really perked my ears up lately to the fact that this team is headed for a season of opposition and attack. Well, I think it's underway and I want to ask you to pray with me.

For many on the launch team, the moment of truth may have seemed to be the time they decided to come to Tulsa. However, I think this is the real moment of truth. It's close enough now that it requires action and action that is change hurts.

I am asking that you would pray specifically for financial and relationship challenges for everyone on our launch team. I am asking God that not one person be knocked off the path God has called them to. Here are the names of everyone so you can pray very specifically for them.

Jason and Jenn Allder (Kids: Aleah,Lauryn,Brayton)
Heather Bryant
Derek Engle
Jason and Sara Fitch (Kids: Colin,Liam,Ethan,Jude)
Matt and Cindy Gesser (Kids: Shade,Stone,Silas)
Jake and Shawna Lewis
Fred Nimmon
Daniel St.Armand
Jon and Jen Trout(Kids: Annie,Ezra)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

can you pray with us?

Would you join Sara and I in prayer? We got an offer on our house last night and it was a good one. However, we need to have the buyer agree to push back the closing date by about 3 weeks. We're praying that is acceptable to them. Can you join us in that prayer?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I believe Scripture is completely true and a guide for me that will not steer me wrong. I want to be completely loyal to Scripture.That sounds simple enough, but look at this small passage in Proverbs.

Proverbs 24:21-22
My child, fear the Lord and the king.
Don’t associate with rebels,
22 for disaster will hit them suddenly.
Who knows what punishment will come
from the Lord and the king?

What do you suppose those who wanted to be completely loyal to Scripture during the time the American Revolution was brewing were thinking?

My point? No, it's not that American is built on sin because they rebelled against the King. Maybe that's true, maybe it's not. I'm not a history scholar nor do I know the innermost thoughts of God. That is beside the point; at least beside my point.

Here's what I'm thinking. It's so easy to think of ourselves as always being in the right, but how many of us would have come down on the side of the revolutionaries in 1776? How many would have been loyalists to the King (of Britain)? How many of us would have shouted out "crucify him!" around A.D. 30?

No answers here. This is just what I'm wondering this morning as I read God's Word.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

We all think we're right most of the time. We all want to follow what our gut tells us. The more spiritual of us say we're following our spirit. It's probably almost the same thing. I'm not saying we should not try our best to do what is right and we should not do our best to follow what we think the Holy Spirit is leading us to do. We should do both as much as we can, but I'm both humbled and comforted by this short little passage in 1 Corinthians. If Paul was not even sure his clear conscience made him right, I probably should not be so sure either. Let's live humbly making our plans and trying our best to have the Lord direct or steps.

1 Corinthians 4:2-4
- Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful. As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you or by any human authority. I don’t even trust my own judgment on this point. My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

a prayer for Tulsa

a prayer I'm praying . . . it will be on our upcoming video for Freedom Valley Tulsa.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I feel like this week has had it's share of tests and trials. I hope to write some more about some of the latest in our Countdown to Launch blog later today.

As I write in my hotel room in Tulsa at 4:30am, I feel humbled by God. I prayed yesterday that God would make me into the man I need to be to lead His church the way He has planned for me to lead. I guess it would be nice if God just did some kind of internal transformation and I was just a better, kinder, more Godly person. Sure, that could happen, but I've not seen that happen very often. More often, much more, I see God turn me toward Him by allowing challenges to come my way and build my character.

This week I've been challenged. Some of the biggest challenges I've faced could have been averted with a bit of wisdom on my part. Although I didn't identify it until now, God has revealed some new levels of pride in my heart. I can feel those levels being stripped away. It's doubtless that there are more, but for now I'm thankful for the work God is doing in me.

So, I feel a mixture of sadness and joy this morning. I'm just beginning to understand Paul's mindset as he counted his many trials in serving the Lord pure joy. More than anything, I'm thankful and humbled.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A full day in Tulsa

We finally arrived in Tulsa yesterday evening via Minneapolis, MN. Thank God we made it!

We went and shot some video at the apartment complex I lived at as a kid when our family first moved here and I almost cried. It was a pretty rough place when we lived there almost thirty years ago, but the whole place has gone down many levels since. They took out all the kids playground equipment, the grass is half a foot high and they even filled in the pool with dirt! I know beyond a doubt that God has called me to plant a church in the South-central, suburbanite part of the city, but I already have something building in my heart to send a church planting team or teams into the more northern parts of the city in the coming years.

Back to our project . . . we continue to have less than desirable audio quality, but as our plans come together, that seems less and less important. I think we'll be much heavier on images and voice-overs than straight interviews and monologues.

Yesterday we got some good shots of the old apartment complex and plenty of shots of S.Tulsa in the daylight and at night. Today we will shoot some at the pedestrian bridge at the river, a short interview with a friend named Eddie, and some schools and neighborhoods we plan to connect with. We are hoping and praying for a really effective day and one that builds more vision for what God is birthing here in Tulsa.

Shawna and Evan are an absolute dream to work with. They are fun and very excellent at what they do. I'd travel all over the country with them anytime! Well, time to get a shower and get to work. It's another 100 degree day hear, so we'll be running the A/C and drinking plenty of water. I hope to have another update this evening.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

a day of setbacks

I set out today with Evan and Shawna to reach Tulsa, Ok by 9pm CST. Well, it' nearly that time and we're in Ocean City, MD after almost 8 hours of traveling. We got to Regan National in DC to find out our flight was cancelled and there was nothing until tomorrow. Priceline has it's advantages (low prices) and it's disadvantages (you pay up front and can't change plans on the fly too well).

So, we decided to drive to Ocean City to shoot some video we needed to do anyway. Our plan was to arrive by 7pm and shoot some nightlife on the boardwalk followed tomorrow morning with some of me telling my story of giving my life to Christ so many years ago on the OC boardwalk. Well, unfortunately, we waited 90 minutes to enter the bay bridge because a bus full of elderly people broke down on the bridge. So, we arrived at 8:30pm to a thunderstorm.

Now, I write from my hotel room at the Comfort Inn, which smells strangely like cat pee. Our plan is still to shoot on the boardwalk early tomorrow morning and leave OC no later than 8am for Regan National again.

We're all in good spirits and ready to continue toward shooting this video to tell the story of what God is doing with Freedom Valley Tulsa. It's obvious that there is some opposition to this, so I'd love your prayers as we give it another try tomorrow. Since we're not running on an unlimited budget of time or money, we would love to make it to Tulsa as quickly as possible tomorrow.

More updates to come . . .