Showing posts from 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I am finishing up 2010 on vacation. Bethany and I and the kids spent our first three days on vacation in Branson. We stayed at Grand Country Inn which has an indoor waterpark. Each day we started with time in the water. Then we headed to Silver Dollar City to see the 4 million Christmas lights. It was a spectacular sight! There was a five story Christmas LED Tree with moving lights to music. There was also a lights parade. But probably the best was the live production of "A Christmas Carol." Our kids really enjoyed it and it had very good music.

The extra bonus was that it was above 40 degrees on 2 days so we were able to ride roller coasters. This is a treat for Mitchell, Megan and I. Mackenzie is more like her mom in this area and does not enjoy roller coasters. Molly is still to be determined but she loves the "cat coaster" in Grand Exposition. We enjoyed some good meals together and of course some ice cream from Andy's. We headed…

Give More

On Sunday, I continued our series of messages from Advent Conspiracy. This week I preached on "Give More." I will share a few details here.

I started by sharing about two young men who are a good picture of what it means to Give More. They are Austin Gutwein ( & Zach Hunter ( For more information about them, visit the website beside their names.

Then I turned to the Scriptures for the morning: Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 9:6 & 1 Peter 4:7-11

My points for the message were:

Give More Presence--I started by looking at Isaiah 7:14 which talks about Immanuel (God With Us) being the greatest gift we can receive at Christmas. No money can buy what a blessing it is to know Immanuel loves us and cares for us. I then turned our focus to 1 Peter 4:7-8. These verses focus on time being short. I asked the question: Are we using our presence (our time) on earth wisely? I explained in more detail what clear minded & self-controlled means in t…

The flu bug strikes again!

I had written in a previous post titled, "Black Friday" about Molly getting the stomach flu. That was about 2 weeks ago. On Tuesday, Bethany had the "privilege" of being the next one to get the flu. As I thought about this, I hoped and prayed that I would not be next. Everyone else has had a form of it already except for Megan and I.

But the flu hitting my house got me thinking about something, is sickness only physical or can it be used by Satan? Here is the reason I ask: Almost every time I am scheduled to preach, someone in my house is sick. This is not an exaggeration. I will preach 4 times this year and 3 of those someone was sick. That's 75% of the time!

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't think I am this super spiritual wonderful preacher, but when I do preach, I am excited! Since I don't preach 52 weeks a year, I have sermons percolating in my mind throughout the year and then they come out on paper when there is a need for someone to…

Henderson, NE

I am back to work today after a vacation day on Tuesday. I had the great privilege of going along with my wife to do a book table in Henderson, Nebraska. It was fun to "play store" for a couple of days. I enjoyed seeing all of the hard work that goes into her job as manager at the bookstore. But most of all, it was good to get away from home and spend time together. I encourage all married couples to make a priority of getting away together as often as possible.

It was a refreshing weekend to just spend time together & talk without kids. Bethany and I have great conversation in the car so it was a great use of 6 hours on the road. After the book table, we went out to Applebee's on a date. Times like these just reinforce how much I love my wife and how grateful I am to be married to her.

So, when are YOU planning your next date night?

Worship Fully

Today at Hesston MB, I preached on the topic of "Worship Fully" based on one of the themes from Advent Conspiracy. For more information about Advent Conspiracy, visit their website My message was based on Isaiah 6:1-8. My intro. started with the statement to worship fully we must understand the who, what, and why of worship. I will share a few details under each of those points.

The baby in the manger is the who of worship.Notice what Isaiah notices in vs. 1-The Lord is seated on a throne, high & exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.Too often, we let things get in the way of us worshipping fully. Things such as: sports' teams, sports, careers, family/friends, TV or movie celebrities, money, technology, video games, computer/internet, books, or religion. We need to be careful to not place anyone or anything in the place of God.God is the Audience of One in worship.What
This is the area that causes much controversy in the …

Black Friday

Well, we had a great Thanksgiving together. However, it seems to be Thanksgiving night that has changed plans the last two years. Last year, we had Thanksgiving in Wichita with Bethany's family and then drove to Yates Center. In the middle of the night, Mitchell got sick and we had to pack up all the kids and head home early even though the plan was to go to Disney on Ice. The middle girls & Bethany drove to Topeka and was able to still enjoy time with the cousins.

It happened again this year. We were in Yates Center and had a good Thanksgiving meal at my Aunt Kay Jean's house. We had fun playing some card games and the cousins enjoyed playing together. Bethany had to be back to work and I wanted to work some more on my sermon so we planned to head back to Hesston on Thanksgiving night and the kids would stay in Yates Center and we would meet up with them on Saturday morning. But I got the phone call at 2 a.m. that Molly was throwing up. She was very sick and kept…

Morning Prayer by Paul Richardson

READING IN TODAY’S NEWS, One of the 29 people trapped in a New Zealand coal mine is a teenage boy who’d only been on the job for an hour when an explosion rocked the mine.Joseph Dunbar had celebrated his 17th birthday last Thursday, according to news reports from New Zealand.His mother, Philippa Timms, told the New Zealand Harold that she and her son had recently moved to the area on New Zealand’s southern island to get a fresh start in life."We moved here for Joseph, to give him a different life, a better life," the Herald quoted her as saying. Her son’s top goal soon became getting a job at the mine, she said.Can you imagine? The boy moves to a new place to get a fresh start, and after ONE HOUR on the job, he gets trapped in a mine?Over the last year, while speaking to various audiences, I have often shared a prayer God has given me to say over my family every morning. Although it is very simple, something about this prayer has resonated in many people’s heart…

5 Ways To Get The Most Out of a Sermon by PJ Smyth

The Art of Listening might well be the most the important skill a Christian must develop, because Christianity is at its essence all about the Word of God. In fact, God himself is the Word (John 1:1) and the Word became flesh (John 1:2)—safe to say that if God is the Word then how we use our ears is pretty important. Furthermore, you can only come to faith through hearing (Rom. 10:14) and then you grow mature through hearing (Matt. 13:23). The Lord revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the Lord (1 Sam 3:21).Do you get it? Seeing God happens through hearing. Our vision is through our ears. My friend, if you have either not yet come to Christ, or you have but are frustrated, confused, and not really growing, then I would bet big money that your problem revolves around not listening as you should. Here are some tips on listening well to a preacher, or to the Word of God in any context:1. Get in range regularlyThe reason Zacchaeus collided with Jesus was because …

Word Study on Holy Spirit

Today, during my study and reading time at the Perk, I walked through several verses on the Holy Spirit. After Paul Richardson's message on Sunday, I wanted to see what Scripture said in relation to walking in the Spirit. This led me to pull out my concordance and look at every mention of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. If the verse was similar, they were combined. I hope to do more study into specific themes, but that will come in the future.

Here is what I have so far, the Holy Spirit . . .
gives life (John 6:63, Romans 8:11, 2 Corin. 3:6; 1 Peter 3:18)is within us (John 14:17; Romans 8:11; 1 Corin. 3:16; 2 Corin. 5:5)will teach/remind us (John 14:26)counselor (John 14:26; 15:26)testify about Jesus (John 15:26; 1 John 5:6)convict (John 16:7-8)guide into truth (John 16:13)tell what is to come (John 16:13)bring glory to Christ (John 16:14)make known "what belongs" to Father/Son (John 16:15)filled with/spoke in tongues (Acts 2:4; Ephesians 5:18)prophesy/visions/d…

Walking in the Spirit

There seems to be a theme in my life right now. What does it mean to walk in the Spirit? Within the church, there seems to be two major extremes. One that abuses the idea of being led by the Spirit (i.e. God told me to tell you to give me money) and the other that is so afraid of the other extreme that it in the process squelches the movement of the Holy Spirit. Does anyone else feel this tension?

I am the first to admit that I have at times waffled between the two. Early on in my spiritual growth (college years), I was a little leery of "being filled with the Holy Spirit". This journey came to a head during a missions trip to Amsterdam where I came face to face with missionaries from another group who were very Spirit filled (speaking in tongues & being slain in the Spirit). One might expect that I quickly went to the opposite extreme. However, I was challenged because I had worked with this group for weeks and knew their hearts and desires quite well. I could…

Advent Conspiracy

Our church is participating in Advent Conspiracy this year. Check out the site and read more about how you can:

Worship Fully
Spend Less
Give More
Love All

Pastor Brad & I will be alternating preaching these topics from Nov. 28-Dec. 19.

Father/Son Trip

Well, it's been a week and I still have not blogged about the trip with Mitchell. I have had several people ask about it, so I am finally sitting down to write. For those who didn't know, I planned a weekend trip with Mitchell last weekend (Oct. 22-24) to Branson, MO. The purpose was twofold: have fun with my son & have a conversation about adolescence.

The trip started bright and early as I loaded the van with all four kids and left Hesston at 6:45 a.m. The kids were so excited about seeing the sun rise. However, it was too cloudy and they didn't get to see much of a sunrise. We stopped for breakfast at McDonald's and continued on to Yates Center where I dropped off Mackenzie, Megan, and Molly at my parent's house. Then Mitchell and I hit the road.

I told him we were headed to Branson because it was a surprise. However, he found a cup that gave him a hint that it might be Branson. As we left Yates Center, I explained that this weekend was to be a lot of …

Father/Son Road Trip

No, I am not posting this while on my weekend with my son. I posted this before I left. However, if you are reading this-currently, I am in Branson, MO with Mitchell for a father/son road trip. The purpose is twofold-have fun together and listen to CD's together. We will be going to Silver Dollar City 3 days, a magic show one night, and on the drive listening to Dobson's "Preparing for Adolescence" CD's. I can't wait to share how the weekend went and to encourage other parents in a similar experience with their kids. Please pray for our time together!

Books I Am Reading

Here is my current book list: (Some I only read a chapter a week so they will be on the list for awhile)

The Unquenchable Worshipper by Matt Redman
Doctrine by Mark Driscoll
I Am Not But I Know I Am by Louis Giglio
Transformational Church by Stetzer & Rainer
Radical Reformission by Mark Driscoll
Collaborate: Family + Church by Various Authors
The Dad in the Mirror by Morley & Delk

Are You Afraid of Grace? by Tullian Tchividjian

I’m ecstatic about the resurgence of gospel centrality taking place in the evangelical church. The idea that the gospel is not only for those outside the church but also for those inside the church; that it not only ignites the Christian life but is the fuel that keeps Christians going and growing every day, may seem like a new idea, but it’s really old. I’m glad it’s re-gaining traction, but as far as we’ve come, we need to go further. For all the talk of gospel-centeredness, there’s still some fear and trepidation fueled by a common misunderstanding regarding the radical nature of grace. Even amongst the proponents of gospel-centrality, I still hear talk about there being two equal dangers that Christians must avoid: legalism and lawlessness.The False Balance of “Legalism vs. Lawlessness”Legalism, they say, happens when you focus too much on law, or rules. Lawlessness, they say, happens when you focus too much on grace. Therefore, in order to maintain spiritual equilibri…

Oil Change Ministry

This past Saturday, Hesston MB church hosted a free oil change for single moms, widows, and those in need. We worked in partnership with Lord's Lubers based out of Valley Center. There was a great article published in The Hesston Record (see a previous blog post) prior to the event. I was pleased with the day. It was an idea that God put on my heart to reach out to our community with His love. It all started about a year ago so I was glad to see it come to fruition. Through many conversations and discussions, we worked through the details.

My church has been very supportive through workers, finances, and prayer. On Saturday, we had perfect weather. It was not too hot and not too cold. Thank you God for a beautiful morning! During the morning, cars would have their windows cleaned and cars vacuumed out. Then they would have their oil changed, oil filter replaced and other fluids checked and filled if needed. While cars were being worked on, people could wait in our churc…

Forgotten God

Last week, I finished reading Forgotten God by Francis Chan. I enjoyed his first book, Crazy Love, as well, but I liked Forgotten God more. In this book, Chan addresses how Christians often neglect the Holy Spirit's presence and power in their lives. We talk often of God the Father & Jesus, but seem to avoid the topic of the Holy Spirit? Why? My opinion is that we are not comfortable nor do we understand the Holy Spirit's function. But Chan looks at what this neglect is doing to the church around the world. Are we choosing not to use God given power and wisdom because we don't want to be labeled "charismatic"? Are we afraid if we were led by the Holy Spirit we would have to quit our jobs and become pastors or missionaries? Chan in a very compelling way challenges the reader to understand biblically who the Holy Spirit is and to avoid thwarting His presence in our lives. I highly recommend the book whether you are a conservative or pentecostal. Ther…

Time With Molly

Today, is what we call "Daddy Day" in our house. For the last 8 years, Bethany has worked about 1-2 days per week in various jobs. We have scheduled one of those days to be my day off from work. This day soon was known as Daddy Day. From the very beginning, we did things differently than what happened when mom was home with the kids. It usually consisted of two rotating lunches: grilled cheese & daddy noodles (Ramen noodles) or hot dogs & macaroni & cheese. I know I am a gourmet cook. These days almost always included some activity such as a trip to the park or pool. I don't do well being inside my house all day so I keep the kids scheduled.

Well, today was daddy day and Molly set the agenda. She chose to ride her bike to Children's Park. Then she wanted to get a sucker from the bank. That was great since I needed to deposit a check anyway. So, as I walked and she rode her bike, she noticed the trees and some leaves that were falling. She aske…

Understanding God's Love

On Tuesday morning, I had a great conversation with a couple of guys. We were talking about how to help our kids understand God's great love for them. As adults, we somewhat grasp this concept, but not entirely. But how do you help your 2, 3, 4, or 5 year old understand God loves them. They worship God and read Bible stories about Him, but do they know God loves them. As I reflected on this conversation, I have come up with a few ideas. Here they are in no specific order:
Tell them often "God Loves You."Read stories from a Children's Bible and explain God's love seen in the specific story.Compare it to your love for them as a child. Talk about ways they understand a parent's love. What do you do? What do you say? Ask how does this make you feel? Then explain that God's love is much, much, much, much, much greater than a parent's love.Or relate it to an item (doll, tractor, game, ball, etc.) that they love and spend time playing with. Ask: Ho…

Record Article about upcoming oil change ministry at Hesston MB

Published in the Oct. 7, 2010
edition of The Hesston Record.
By Jackie Nelson

The Hesston Mennonite Brethren Church is looking for people in need of a change, an oil change, that is. The Hesston Mennonite Brethren Church is partnering with Lords Lubers of Valley Center to provide free oil changes for the Hesston community. “When people are in need, the first place they should look is the Church, but unfortunately that isn’t always the case,” said J.L. Martin, Associate Pastor of Family Ministries.Martin, said the idea has been gaining momentum for the past year.“We gathered a group of women, mostly single moms, and asked what the most helpful things we could do.Car care was something mentioned by almost all of them as something that was helpful and appreciated,” said Martin. Martin said after speaking with the group, he then rallied support behind the idea.“I presented it at the men’s breakfast.We knew that we couldn’t do this on our own we would have to have some help from our chur…

D6 Conference Video-Great challenge for fathers!

Rob Rienow at D6

The D6 Conference ended with Rob Rienow. He is the family pastor at Wheaton Bible Church. Our small group has used his Visionary Parenting curriculum. I thoroughly enjoyed Rob's teaching last year at D6 and especially his theology of family. He walked us through several Scriptures related to family. Here are only a few quotes from him:

Reclaim the connection between the great commission and world evangelization.

He shared that until about 100 years ago churches had a theology of family that included living our faith at home. It was not until the 1900's that we began to outsource the spiritual training of our kids to the church.

For a full list of verses that he shared, visit his website at

Carey Casey at D6

Carey Casey is CEO of National Center for Fathering in Kansas City. He was a dynamic speaker with several interesting connections including President Obama, Tom Landry, and playing football in high school on the team the Titans played for championship game in the movie, Remember the Titans.

Casey started by saying, "We have a fathering crisis." He shared many statistics that show we need to do something to help fathers in America. He shared 3 things of Effective Fathering:

Loving-Fathers need to love their wives and their children. John 15:9Coach-Dads need to be involved in the life of their kids. Help them as they make choices in life. Proverbs 22:6; Deuteronomy 6:6-7Model. Our lives should speak to our children. We need to "be a sermon." John 5:19He challenged us to encourage a child who does not have a father (James 1:27) and enlist and challenge other fathers (Proverbs 27:17).

Ryan Rush & Jon Cannon at D6

How does a D6 Model look in different sized churches? This is the question that Ryan Rush and Jon Cannon spoke about during their session. Some of the stats shared were that 94% of the churches in the United States are 500 members or less. And 59% are 100 members or less.

Jon Cannon speaking of his smaller church shared about all of their Sunday School classes are studying the same topic from children through adults. He shared about how they implement D6 in worship by allowing kids to see mom/dad worship rather than being separated from them all of them time in worship.

Ryan Rush shared a little about his larger church and how they changed their church culture. His acronym was HOME:
Healthy HomesOngoing ObedienceMeaningful MilestonesEngaging EveryoneHere are a few other quotes they shared:

"Don't forget your call!" (Skit Guys)

"D6 is not a program but instead the DNA."

"Look into existing ministries with D6 glasses."

"We should be rediscovering wh…

Doug Fields at D6

Doug Fields was answering the question, "How can I do it all?" I was looking forward to hearing Doug as I had heard him at Youth Specialties about 10 years ago. He also wrote one of my favorite books in youth ministry, Purpose Driven Youth Ministry. The anticipation was worth it as Doug Fields hit a home run with his talk on balancing family and ministry.

His talk was titled, Focus on your own d____ family (I have not censored him. This is how it was on the screen.)

He started by saying the leadership is primarily example. See 1 Timothy 4:12, 1 Corinthians 11, and 1 Thessalonians 2:7. He explained that in the Bible the image of a spiritual leader is not a CEO or manager but instead of a good father or mother. Someone worthy of imitation.

What happens when church or family collide? He said that most often we choose the path of least resistance which means we sacrifice our family for ministry. He reminded us that: Ministry Never Stops! He posed the question: Are we more…

Kevin Leman at D6

The first speaker for Day 2 of the D6 Conference was Dr. Kevin Leman. I have to admit that I have not read any of his books because it seems they focus on behavior management rather than changing the heart. His words at the conference made me want to pick up one of his books.

He started by saying, "Marriage is in trouble!" He shared the statistic that only 1/1052 marriages end in divorce if a couple prays together 4 times a week. Here are a few quotes that he shared during his keynote:
Parents need to be a healthy authority.False praise is destructive. Instead be an encourager.God is not authoritarian. Rules without relationship leads to rebellion (quote by Josh McDowell).
Let reality be the teacher.Fighting with our kids is an act of cooperation. We are in charge not them.We should respond rather than react.Train up a child (Proverbs). It is not instant. Also, we need to remember that it is the way God would have them go not us as parents.We should not use warnings w…

Jim Burns at D6

Jim Burns was the last speaker on Day 1 of the D6 Conference. He shared about a quote in his office which says, "When you reach the family, you reach the world." According to Burns, the purpose of the church is to mentor parents. As he talked about Deuteronomy 6:4-9, he shared how this would have been the first verse that Jesus heard being raised Jewish. Deuteronomy 6 does three things: shows fidelity to God, shows how to transmit faith, and gives us a constant reminder.

Burns shared we needed to make 3 paradigm shifts:

Discipleship begins in the home. We, in the church, are to be facilitators. We must resource them.Must teach parents to be become students of culture.Our job is to set the pace. We need to lead with integrity & authenticity and with margin.He also had 3 questions we needed to ask ourselves in ministry.
Do I like the person I am becoming?Is the work of God I'm doing destroying the work of God in me?Am I only giving my family the emotional scraps?

Steve Wright at D6

Steve Wright was interviewed on the main stage. Steve is the author of A Parent Principle. He shared a few practical steps to make the transition in our churches.

Here are his 6 steps of how to make the transition to being a D6 church:
Nehemiah 1:4 model
Based in theology (not just another program)
Affect lives personallyBuy-in with leadershipImplementing practicesSee it through (when it gets difficult we cannot quit, but must stay and make it happen)"We teach what we know, but we reproduce who we are."

Vicki Courtney at D6

The next speaker we heard was Vicki Courtney. She has written the book, 5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter.

She shared what were the top 3 faith busters.

Model something other than love of God as your ultimate affection. If our children see our affection for anything other than God, it can dramatically affect their faith.Fail to acknowledge your role as the primary discipler of your child.
Focus more on behavior modification than heart inhabitation. She shared we can become more concerned with our image maintenance than on what is best for our kids. We need to remember our kids are sinners just like we are. We need to ask when our children misbehave, "what was going on in your heart?" We need to constantly emphasize God's love story of redemption over rules. We cannot expect perfection.

Ed Stetzer at D6

The opening session at D6 was Ed Stetzer, President of LifeWay Research. He was answering the question, "For parents who have developed children to be faithful and passionate Christ followers as adults, what exactly is it they did to produce such spiritual champions for Christ?

Here are some quotes from him:

Three things he brought out from Deuteronomy 6:4-9
The necessity of sharing your faith. It must be ongoing and repeated. This is not sin management but new life.We must live the spiritual life. He talked about the importance of the rhythm of life (walk, rise up, etc.) We as parents cannot lead what we don't live.There is a need for marking your home.
He then shared about a research project they had just recently completed answering the question above. He shared 7 predictors that occurred in the homes of effective parents. These are things that seemed to influence the spiritual development of their children. They are:
Regularly spent time in prayerAchieved good grades …

Pre-con labs I attended today

Here are the pre-conference labs I attended today at D6:

A Grace Based Strategy for Family Ministry by Tim Kimmel
Devotions Kicked Up A Notch by Tina Houser
Our Newest Milestones Developments & Milestones FAQ's by Brian Haynes
Mobilizing Families to Go & Be by Thad Harris
How to Motivate Dads to Be Spiritual Leaders by Larry Fowler

It has been a busy day full of information and great ideas. I will share a few later. Here are a few quotes that spoke to me:

Satan knows them (our three inner needs) and provides counterfeits. (Kimmel)
Parents need to "treat our kids the way God treats His" (Kimmel)
Leaders who mobilize families to Go & Be must first be moved themselves, prioritize God's Mission in what is communicated, & prioritize God's Mission in what is planned. (Harris)
To equip families we need to provide a simple demonstration. (Haynes)
Family devotions bring us together in a society that keeps us busy and separate. (Houser)
Dads need to know their unique…

D6, here we come!

In about 15 minutes, I am headed to the D6 Conference in Dallas with Brad (our associate pastor of youth ministry) and Justin (college friend from Medicine Lodge). I am excited about this conference. I attended last year and learned a lot. I am hoping for the same this year! I will try and post quotes and thoughts from labs and speakers throughout the next few days. The conference goes from Wednesday morning through Friday afternoon. Check back daily to see if I have posted something new. Have a great week!

Books I Am Reading

Occasionally, I post the books that I am reading right now. Here is my current list:

Collaborate by Michael Chanley
Transformational Church by Ed Stetzer
The Dad in the Mirror by Morley & Delk
Radical Reformission by Mark Driscoll
Forgotten God by Franis Chan
Doctrine by Mark Driscoll

Busy, Busy, Busy

Wow! The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity. The next week is filled with travel and 2 conferences. I am very excited about it, but getting ready to leave on trips means tying up loose ends. This is where the busyness comes in. Last night, I was anxious about getting everything done before I leave Friday morning. I even was a little stressed this morning.

But then I did something I should have thought of earlier. I stopped and prayed. I asked God for help in completing the things that needed to get done. It is amazing how much God loves us and cares for us. He is truly interested in my entire life, not just my big decisions. So, today I was able to accomplish many of my tasks in a fraction of the time they usually take. I am now relaxing and going to try and remember to pray the next time this stress or anxiety creeps into my work schedule.

Thanks be to God who hears my prayers, has the power to answer them, and loves me!

It's Been Awhile

Well, I am sorry I have not posted anything for awhile. But life has been busy. I was thinking the other day about doing some posts on postures of worship. But I am still undecided. For now, I will let you know that the next two weeks will be busy for me. Pastor Brad & I are headed out of town for two different events. The first is next weekend (Sept. 10-11) in Edmond, OK. We will be attending a theological forum on the atoning sacrifice of Christ sponsored by the MB Southern District and the MB seminary. We have read several Bible passages and articles and I look forward to the dialogue. I hope to post something after Saturday about our conversation.

The second trip will be to the D6 Conference (Sept. 15-17) in Dallas, TX. This will be my second year to attend. This conference was a great experience for me last year and I learned a lot. Not to mention all of the contacts and exhibitors who were there too. If you have never heard of the D6 conference, check out their w…

We Are One by Tullian Tchividjian

Today was a monumental, historic day at Coral Ridge.For many years Coral Ridge had two very distinct worship services–one contemporary and one traditional. The result was the unintentional development of two different churches under one roof. It wasn’t healthy. So back at the end of Spring we started talking about what we could do to unify our one large church.Given our desire to re-plant Coral Ridge around a holistic and comprehensive understanding of the gospel we concluded that we needed to make a change. After all, since the gospel is the good news that God reconciles us not only to himself but also to one another, the church should be breaking down walls, not erecting them. God intends the church to be demonstrating what community looks like when God’s reconciling power is at work.Most churches would agree that any segregation arising from racial or economic bigotry runs contrary to the nature of the gospel and should not be tolerated. But there’s another kind …

How To Bless Your Children by Brian Haynes

The righteous who walks in his integrity- blessed are his children after him. -Proverbs 20:7Could it be that simple? If you want to bless your children be a righteous man that consistently walks with integrity? So says the wisdom of Solomon in the book of Proverbs.What does it mean for the righteous to walk with integrity? A righteous person is by definition someone who walks with integrity. This is an unusual way of living in 21st century America. This week I set down with my daughter to set up an email address for her to use. As we set it up I read a small blurb from the FCC suggesting it was against the law for anyone under the age of 13 to have an email account through webmail providers like gmail, hotmail, yahoo, etc. That was a bit confusing to me because many of my daughters friends already have email accounts and have had them for quite some time. I told my daughter we would just have to wait until she was thirteen. She asked me if that meant all of her friends…

Prayer Tent

I have had the wonderful privilege of leading a prayer team orientation for two different groups over the last week. The purpose of this orientation has been to equip people to pray for others as part of our Celebration Saturday event (outreach to our community) and as part of our morning worship service. I have truly been blessed during the preparation for these times, but more so during them.

We start the orientation with the question: why have a prayer team? I have loved the answers and hearing people's thoughts based on God's Word. It has been exciting to hear why people have felt called to this ministry of prayer. These two parts have been a great testimony of who God is and how He has moved in the individual's life through answered prayer. It has also been great to hear the humility as they share. This is not about "super-Christian status" or I have it all together or I am an expert prayer warrior. Instead, it is "conduction of of extraordinary …

Worship Is A Big Deal: Part 6 by Tullian Tchividjian

When we gather together for worship, we ought to come reaching up, starved for God, ready to feast together on the good news that, in the person of Jesus Christ, God has descended to us because we could never ascend to him. Feasting on God’s gospel together through prayer and preaching, sacrament and singing, provides us with the faith, hope, and love we need to be good news people in a bad news world.We should not, however, only look back to what Christ has done, we should also look ahead to what Christ will do. We remember the past, but also rehearse the future. For, when Christ comes again, the process of reversing the curse of sin and recreating all things will be complete (1 Cor. 15:51-58). The peace on earth that the angels announced the night Christ was born will become a universal actuality. God’s cosmic rescue mission will be complete. The fraying fabric of our fallen world will be fully and perfectly rewoven. Everything and everyone “in Christ” will live in perf…

Speeding Ticket

So, it happened again. I received a speeding ticket in Pittsburg, KS on our way back from Branson. This was only my second ticket in my life. My first happened about 15 years ago in Valley Center. Both times it has been in the city limits. This time, I had taken a different route home from Branson hoping to cut some time and miles. I ended up coming into Pittsburg in the middle of downtown somewhere. Anyway, the speed limit was 20 and I was going 35. Ouch!

Why do I share this? First, it is just a reminder that I am human. Second, it reminded me of how we sometimes go through life. Clueless, too fast, or unaware. I was just going through Pittsburg unaware of what the speed limit was. When the police officer stopped me, I did not try to get out of the ticket because I was guilty. I was speeding. I do this in my life often as well. I go through life so fast that I miss out on what is going on around me and even the signs to guide and protect me.

Are you missing out on God&#…