Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lots of stuff happening at Freedom Valley this week. Here's the lowdown:
  • Wednesday, July 27 / 5-8pm / Work Night. We will be setting up, cleaning and doing odds and ends to get our building ready for our first services this weekend. Because we will be working in every area of the building, we're asking for no young kids to be there this Wednesday. Unfortunately, we don't have any childcare available this week for the work night.
  • Saturday, July 30 /6-7pm/ Worship Night! Please join us as we worship God and thank Him for what He's doing among us and through us right now. This is the best way I know to start off our time in this facility. Childcare is available for children birth-5yrs. Kids 6 and older can be part of the worship night with their families.
  • Sunday, July 31 /11am/ First Sunday Service - It's a new time! I hope you can be with us and bring a friend to our inaugural Sunday service at Freedom Valley. I'll be finishing up our "Mythbusters" series and you'll get a sneak peak at our next teaching series called "Building Blocks."
You can get maps and directions to our new facility via our website right here.

Looking forward to seeing you this week!

Monday, July 25, 2011


Just want to thank you for your prayers! We moved into our new building yesterday. It was one of the most exciting and most exhausting days I've had in a while! On that note, our church is really gaining momentum. We are growing through the dead of the summer! We saw another three people start a relationship with Jesus yesterday - that's like 10 this month! Also want you to know that Collin (the homeless man we were praying for a couple weeks back) is doing very well in the Freedom House in Gettysburg. Here are some areas I would love to have your prayers in this week:

  • Strength - I'm stretched physically and spiritually way further than I ever have been before. There are times when I feel like I might break. I'm just asking God to give me what I need to thrive and grow through this season of life.
  • Sara - My wife, Sara, has been struggling to get good sleep this week. She is also praying for a job that she really wants to come open for this coming school year. I am praying with her. Would you too?
  • Vacation - I have a week of vacation coming up in a couple weeks. I've never felt like I needed it more. I'm looking for some serious refreshing to happen that week.
  • My Team - You have no idea how incredible our leadership team at Freedom Valley is. There are a bunch of people working their tails off to make our church thrive. I know some of them are feeling really taxed. My prayers are especially focused on them today.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Latest Look @ new Freedom Valley Facility

This Sunday, July 24, is our very last Sunday at the Cinemark Theater. I want to encourage you to be there this weekend and bring a friend. We will be giving away free movie passes to everyone as we celebrate the time we've spend beginning our church in the theater!

I will be continuing our "Mythbusters" series as we tackle the myth that says, "Women can't lead men." Looking forward to this one.

After church on Sunday, I want to invite you and your family to join me at our new facility for our move-in party.
We will be loading some equipment into our new facility, eat some pizza and just enjoy each other and what God is doing among us. That will be noon-2pm at Freedom Valley Church - 12330 E. 60th St. Tulsa, OK 74146. Here's a look at the latest building progress . . .

Looking forward to a great weekend with you and your family!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Work Night @ Freedom Valley this Wednesday!!

Thank you to all of you who turned out last Wednesday to begin work on our new church facility! We will be holding another work night this Wednesday, July 20. Please read the details below as a few have changed since last week's work night:
  • Work Night Location: 12330 E. 60th St. Tulsa, OK 74146
  • Child Care Location: 6323 S. 109th E. Ave Tulsa, OK 74133. Childcare will happen at my house. Last week all our work took place in the auditorium. This week, we are working throughout the whole building and we think it will be safer for the kids to be off sight for this night. Please note. You can drop your kids off as early as 5pm and must pick them up promptly at 8pm.
  • Time: 5-8pm (although there may be opportunity for a few of us to stay later if our painting project is not complete.)
  • Projects: We will be working on the final coats of paint in our main auditorium, removing some wallpaper borders in restrooms, cleaning restrooms and kitchen, disassembling some wooden pallets outside (to gather materials for a later project) and vacuuming carpets. If you have a wet carpet cleaner, feel free to bring it and do a good cleaning on our carpets.
Looking forward to seeing many of you tomorrow night. Feel free to come and go as you need to. Just remember that we are asking you to use the off-site childcare option for this night only. Just let me know if you have any questions.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Kids, Jobs & Church

I hope you all had a great week. I did. After two weeks off of preaching, I was back in that role in church yesterday. The two weeks off was nice, but I really loved being back too. Even in the heart of the summer vacation season, we had strong attendance, guests and three people gave their life to Jesus this week! We also had our first work night in our new church facility. It went great! Over 40 people came out to help prime the main auditorium. It got done so fast, we ended up cutting our work night time short by a whole hour! This week, we do the final painting.

I also wanted to give you an update on Collin Hoover. He is the homeless guy I asked you to pray for last week. He was trying to get $100 together to get to the Freedom House in Gettysburg, PA. Well, your prayers worked! He arrived at the Freedom House on Saturday! Please keep praying for him. He has a long road ahead of him, but he is on the right track.

Here are some areas I'd love to have your prayers on this week:
  • Kids - It's the middle of the summer and the middle of summer vacation. Our 4 boys are on top of each other constantly and there is all kinds of friction, loudness and chaos that goes with that. I'm praying that they would just calm down a little and that God would give Sara and I an increased amount of patience to love them through this trying time until school starts in 35 days (but who's counting :)
  • Jobs - In about a month, Sara and I will need to decide how we're going to structure our work schedules for the year. We're still not sure how that will all look. One big piece is that Sara and I are praying and believing together for a full-time job for her at our boys' school. It's a question of whether or not the district will create an additional class there this year. We're praying that they do.
  • Church Move - I can't believe it, but this coming Sunday (July 24) is our final Sunday at the Cinemark Theater. We begin in our new full-time facility July 31 @ 11am. There is a lot of work to be done and a lot of money to be raised in the next 13 days. I'm asking God to do some miracles there. Can you join me in those prayers? If you are personally planning to give toward that project, you can give online anytime right here.
Thanks again for your prayers! I love and appreciate you very much.

Friday, July 15, 2011

your first look at our new facility

Here is the first look at the new facility for Freedom Valley Church. Shot on a flip with no editing . . . nice and low-tech :) Enjoy.

Don't forget! We only have two more Sundays left in the movie theater and on our final Sunday, July 24, we will give away free movie passes to everyone in attendance (while supplies last, of course)

I appreciate your prayers so much and hope you will be joining us for a service very soon. We are still raising money to get moved in. Our next big hurdles are doors to close up our main auditorium, a second video projector and two fixed video screens. We're also needing to purchase some additional outdoor and indoor signage as well as kids ministry supplies and equipment. If you want to give toward this, you can do it right now by clicking here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Open house and painting this Wednesday

Hey Freedom Valley,

Just wanted to make sure you all knew that we will have our new facility open for you to check out and help paint if you should desire :)

It will be open this Wed, July 13 from 5-9pm. You can can come check it out anytime through the evening. We will also be painting in the main auditorium and would love the help if you are able to pitch in.

There will be childcare on site, so feel free to bring the kids out too.

The address of the new building is 12330 E. 60th St (Suite E) Tulsa OK 74146 and is easy to find via google maps or your gps.

I hope a bunch of you can come out and see your new church facility and even help get it painted. See you tomorrow.

Monday, July 11, 2011

my body . . . to a homeless guy

Thank you for praying for me so faithfully. I am being shaped by God on a daily basis and I know that much of this is due to your incredible support in prayer. Thank you. Here are some things on my mind and in my prayers this week.
  • My body - more specifically, how I take care of my body. I'm not eating well and I'm gaining weight lately. I could blame it on a number of things, but the bottom line is that I'm being sloppy and I'm being a poor steward of my body. I want to change that.
  • Work begins this week - we have our first work night in our new church facility this Wednesday, July 13 from 5-9pm. We will be painting and cleaning. Will you pray that a lot of work gets done, but also that many people's hearts connect to the mission of our church through their investment there.
  • Increase my faith - I'm always seeing God as too small. We still have a good amount of money we need to get raised for this building move and to stay in a good place, financially, through these summer months. It's not a matter of "can God meet those needs?" Of course He can and He can do so much more than that. I'm just asking God to increase my faith as I pray this week.
  • Collin - A couple weeks ago, a homeless guy showed up at church. He was drunk that morning and he usually is. I believe that God brought this guy to me so I can help get him into the Freedom House in Gettysburg, PA. But I feel really strongly that this guy (his name is Collin) needs to do some work to get there. It will cost him about $200 to get to Gettysburg on a bus. I told him when he fills out the program application and has $100, I'll match his $100 and get him into that program. He gave me $9 yesterday at church. I'm just asking God to help this guy get that money together and get himself into the Freedom House so he can get free of addictions that have controlled him for decades.
Thanks for your prayers! Love you guys.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

the news @ Freedom Valley

Here are some of the highlights of what is happenign right now at Freedom Valley Church:

  • We only have 3 weeks left at the Cinemark - Things are moving quickly as we work toward getting into our new facility. We are hoping to bring you a video walk-thru this Sunday and we are scheduled to have the building open for you to check out on Wed, July 13 from 5-9pm. We will also be cleaning and painting that night. Hope you can come check it out and help out some.
  • You can help us get that facility fully equipped for ministry - We are still in the midst of asking everyone at Freedom Valley to seek God on how you might give toward getting our new building equipped. We have seen God bless us with many thousands of dollars already, but we still need thousands more to reach our goal. I hope you will consider helping. You give on Sunday morning or right now online right here
  • Mythbusters starts this Sunday - We begin a new teaching series this Sunday called "Mythbusters." We will be de-bunking some common myths that exist in the Church in America. Don't miss our second guest speaker of the summer, David Cordle, this Sunday.
  • Free movies coming up - On our final Sunday at the Cinemark, July 24, everyone in attendance will get a trip to the movies on us. We will be handing out free movie tickets to everyone in attendance . . . just because we love you
Dates to remember:
  • July 13,20,27 - Work Nights @ our new facility - 5-9pm (on-site childcare is provided)
  • July 30 - Worship and Prayer night - A night in our new facility to worship God together and thank Him for His awesome blessings.
  • July 31 - First Sunday service in our new facility - new service time of 11am begins this day

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

2 big steps to avoid burn-out

I had an unexpected evening with my friend Al last night. He and his brother, Jack, were on a road-trip to OKC for Jack's new job at Lifechurch.tv. I'm a church-planter, Al is a future church-planter and Jack is a church leader, so we were talking church-planting and Jack asked me about my schedule . . . specifically how many hours I'm working right now.

I'm not totally sure, but my best guess is that between my job at the hospital and the time I put in for the church, that I'm around 70 hours per week. So, the next logical question was, "How do you maintain that and not get burned out." Well, the answer to that has two parts. (1) Understand it's a season (2) Rest.

(1) It's a season. Even with regular rest, I could not maintain my current schedule indefinitely. My wife and I are making plans for it to change inside of this year. What the specific changes are, we're still not completely decided on. But, it helps immensely to know that the fatigue I feel is only for a season and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

(2) Rest. This is the bigger of the two . . . by far, in my opinion. Weekly sabbath rest. From Friday afternoon to Saturday night, I just don't do anything. I hang out with my family. I don't work on my sermon. I don't check emails. I don't blog. I don't meet with people about church stuff. It's a sabbath. It's pure rest. And it's a command from God.

Why would God command such a thing? Because he knows that we're just foolish and arrogant enough to think we can make everything in life happen . . . if we just push a little harder. But when we take that weekly sabbath rest, we're not only resting, but we're inviting God to work on our behalf and do the things we can't possibly accomplish.

Sabbath is a counter-intuitive principle just like tithing is counter-intuitive. When we tithe, we see that God can do more with 90% of our money than we could do with 100%. When we take a weekly sabbath rest, we see that God can accomplish more in 6 days that we could in 7. If you're not taking a sabbath, you're setting yourself up for burn-out. Don't fall into the "I can get just a little more done" trap. You need to rest.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Picking up speed . . . prayers for the week

This past week was fantastic! It's the first time I've begun to feel rested in quite a while. God is doing some great things in me and in my family.

Our church is really being blessed too! In the last three weeks, we've seen six people decide to make Jesus the Lord of their lives! We also had over $2600 given this week to our building move project! That's exciting stuff to me.

Some areas I'm praying about this week:
  • Building move - We are picking up speed. Only three weeks left in the movie theater and then we take possession of our new building! God really blessed our efforts this week as over $2600 came in toward that project on Sunday alone! Would you pray with me that this is just the beginning of some real miracles!
  • New / Right Leaders - Our church is about ten months old. When we began I thought it would take about 6-12 months for us to get a good picture of who our core leadership team is . . . to really know who is with us and who is not. It seems like that estimate was just about right. We have seen some pretty significant shifts in leadership and continue to. I am asking God to send a few more key leaders to our team through this Summer and Fall.
  • Summer giving - Summer giving, like Summer attendance at church, is usually down. We plan for this by running our finances with a significant reserve. However, with our building move happening, we have had to use some of our reserves already. The last two weeks of Sunday offering have been very low. I'm praying and believing that God will more than meet our needs and our church will be faithful in tithes and offering - even if that means giving online or mailing in tithes (which some have done) when they will miss church because of summer vacation, etc.
Man, it's an exciting time to be serving Jesus and have the chance to help lead His Church! Thanks so much for your prayers.