Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Five...a snake cake?

1. Favorite Family Article - Building Family Ties - (via WithoutWax)
“Do you live in a household filled with discontent? Do your kids hound and harangue you for everything they want? do you feel yourself caving in to the pressure to make more, buy more, move up, live large? (Read more here)

2. Favorite Disturbing News - Pool Water Contains More Poop Than You'd Think - (via Neatorama)
A group of researchers from the CDC sampled water from 161 public and private pools and water parks in Atlanta and found that half of them were contaminated with e. coli, which comes from -you guessed it- poop. (Read the rest of the findings here)

3. Favorite Animals - (via Amazing Things

**Here's the story: s cubs a lion, a tiger, and a bear had been owned by a drug dealer who did not properly care for them. The bear’s harness grew into his skin because the owner did not alter it as the animal grew. They had been abused and neglected early in life, but were finally rescued. The bear's harness was surgically removed. After they had been taken in by an animal sanctuary in Georgia, the staff tried to separate them due to obvious concerns that the three large predators would fight. During the trial of separation, the animals were uncooperative and behaved poorly. Once reunited, the three calmed down and were well behaved. Twelve years later, the three friends spend their days playing, cuddling, and eating together. There are no plans to separate these lifelong friends.

4. Favorite Cinemagraph - (via All That Is Interesting)

5. Favorite Disgusting, but Amazing Cake - Snake Cake - (via Amazing Things)

**If someone made me a cake like that, I'd punch them in the face.

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Seeking quiet in the midst of chaos

   This is an adaptation of a message the staff presented entitled "Attitudes that Shape A Christian Life" in February 2010 - I presented this section as a dialogue between God and myself:

    "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." (Romans 15:13, NIV)

      Really God? PEACE? Really? Who has time for peace? We've got a baby that, for some reason, can't seem to sleep through the night, diapers to change, mouths to feed, dirty dishes that seem to magically reproduce in the sink, and the trash!! Who knew that adding two children multiplies your garbage by ten times! There always seems like there's more to do! I mean, don't get me wrong, God, I love them tons and wouldn't trade them for anything and I know that they are a gift from you, so you, more than anyone else, should see how unreasonable this whole peace thing is. I mean if children aren't enough then there is my marriage to keep working on, chores to do, church responsibilities, programs to plan, staff, and coordinate; phone calls to take, emails and text messages to respond to…and I don't have near the stuff on my plate that these people do. How do I talk about peace to them? Some of them have four kids! What were they thinking? They have basketball practice, gymnastics, piano lessons, voice lessons, grocery shopping, house cleaning, meals to prepare, grandkids to visit, doctors appointments to juggle, community leagues, community clubs, board and committee meetings, businesses to run, games to attend, aging parents to take care of,…hang on…my phone's ringing. Eh...I can call them back later. Where was I? Oh yeah! laundry…piles and piles of laundry, home improvement projects, classes to attend, grades to keep up, scholarships to apply for, reports to be filed, TV shows to watch (you can't miss an episode you know - or you'll never be able to catch up on the plot), lessons to plan, homework to grade, church, Sunday School, and then I am asking them to be Sunday School teachers, small group leaders, and volunteer to feed a houseful of students! How do I talk to them about peace when it's hard for me and I don't have half of that stuff to do?

     When I do try to find peace why does it feel like you're not even around sometimes? Why can't I hear you? I try to take time everyday to read some of your Word… sure, yeah it's at the end of the day and I do usually fall asleep, but still…you could talk other times of the day…. I know there's always music playing… It helps me stay focused. I just use it to drown out the noise around me….What?... No, I don't think it drowns you out too. I mean…I don't think it does…does it? Yeah, I know that verse…we just sang a song about it. Sure I'll look it up."Be still, and know that I am God…" (Psalm 46:10a)

      Okay…I can see you're not really listening. When do I have time to "be still?" Didn't you hear me tell you everything that we have to do? By the time we get all of this done, we are barely able to crawl into bed! I don't have time to slow down…I have people that depend on me…they need me. Don't you get that?
      Oh, I guess you do, huh? It's just that it's hard to say no to things. It's hard to agree upon, set, and enforce family priorities so that I can have time to just be still. I know it has to be done. Even when I do slow down and take time to "be still" with you all the stresses in my life take over my mind. It's one thing to slow my body down, but then my mind is a totally different story. I  imagine it's the same for them. All these worries rush to our minds. Is my marriage going to survive this? Are my kids going to turn out all right? How do I tell my wife that I just lost my job? My 401K is tanking…what are we going to do? My new supervisor is unbearable…I can't work with them for another minute. Cancer? What do you mean cancer? Failing health. Unpaid bills. Kids in college. College debt. How can we have peace when all I feel is chaos?

      Yeah, I remember that verse. "Be still…" we covered that already. I read it remember? What other part? Oh…there is more. "Be still, and know that I am God…" (Psalm 46:10a) "know that I am God" You know I like that job right? It's tough to let you be God. I want to solve my family, financial, and work worries. If I am in charge then I know what's going to happen next…I mean, kind of…well no…I really don't know. I just don't want to let go. Maybe because I am afraid of where you might lead or what you might want me to do. Not that I don't know that you want what's best for me, but that maybe I don't want the same thing. Why can't I trust you all the time? Why do I allow the things of this world that are really so small just suck the joy out of life? You've been doing this God thing longer than I've been doing life. You've known what you've been doing before there was anything to be done. Lord, help me. Help me have the strength and faith; help me trust you no matter the circumstances; help me find joy in those circumstances; and grant me peace knowing that you alone are God, you alone are worthy of being the Lord of my life, that you alone know what is best for me and my family.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Thank you.

Today is a day we remember those who lost their lives in sacrifice for the freedom's we continue to enjoy. I am so thankful for them and those that continue to serve, even as we take a day off today. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday Five (5/24/13)

Happy Graduation Day to all of our High School Graduates! Here's this week's five:

1. Favorite Parenting Article - 3 Types of Parents - (via Empowered Living)
Find out more about Parents Who Watch It Happen, Parents Who Let It Happen, & Parents Who Make It Happen! Read the article here
2. Favorite Upcoming Movie - Ragamuffin - (via YouTube)

This is a movie about Rich Mullins. There's a great book called "An Arrow Pointing To Heaven" by Rich Mullins that is a great read!

3. Favorite Joke - (via Laughing Squid)


4. Favorite Owl - (via Amazing Things)

5. Favorite Cinemagraph - (via EchoHub)
Pretty creepy, right?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Can't Even Hear Myself Think

It's so noisy in here! Tweets, Facebook status', music, videos, pictures to look at, Pintrest things to pin (or whatever you do with that stuff); there seems to be and endless stream of things to consume your time life. 

I find myself thinking about what clever things I could tweet, helpful article I could share, and sometimes miss the little things that in the end are really the big things. 

I read a tweet the other day from Chick-Fil-A CEO, Dan Cathy that said "Don't just tweet today. Do something tweetable!" For those of you who are twitterless, that simply means, don't waste your day talking, go and do. 

There's so much noise in the world. I heard a number of years ago that a guy who records nature for a living (what is that career even called?) said that in order to get 15 minutes of uninterrupted natural sound (no cars, airplanes, etc.) would take 2,000 hours of recording time. 

1 Peter 3:3-4 says, 
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.  Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
I'm taking this passage out of context a bit; I recognize that Peter is talking to wives, but I want to focus on something Peter said that I think crosses a specific gender. We live in a culture that wants to be heard, to be known, to be famous. No one pays attention to the gentle and quiet ones. Did you catch that? We are told that you have to be aggressive, go after what you want, get loud, get one will notice you if you don't! 

No one, that is, except God. A quiet and gentle spirit is of great worth to Him, and He is all that really matters. 

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10)

I'm going to shut up now. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Summer is here..ish.

We honored 13 graduates yesterday morning. This group of High School graduates were in Kindergarten when I moved to Campbellsville! I know God will do great things through these young people as they keep their eyes on Christ.

Schools are getting out for the summer this week and things at the church are ramping up for an exciting summer! As a reminder, registrations are due soon for our summer Student and Children's Ministry programs. Here's a reminder:

Middle and High School - Call of Duty: Revolt

Preschool - 5th Grade - Collide

Need registration forms? See Kari Jo or Logan as soon as possible!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Five...

1. Favorite Reality Check - How to Reach Unchurched People Who Think They Don't Need God - (via Carey Nieuwhof)

The number of people in Canada (my country) who profess “no religion” is now at 24%, up from 16.5% a decade earlier....People are learning to live comfortably without God.  Read the rest here

2. Favorite Idea - Anar Foundation against child abuse - (via YouTube)

3. Favorite Photo - (via Amazing Things)

"‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” 
(bonus points if you can name the book)

5. Favorite Collection of Photos - Faces in Everyday Places - (via Twisted Sifter)

Tell me I'm not the only one who sees faces everywhere?!?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Future of the World is at Stake! No pressure.

Maybe that title is a slight over-exaggeration. Chances are, if you're a parent, this has hit you at some point in your journey. You're sitting there playing with your child, they're doing every little thing you do, and it hits you..."WHAT IF I MESS THIS KID UP?!?!?!?!"

I know you've been there. It's scary isn't it? Then at some point after High School you turn them loose to the world...and you hold your breath, and hope for the best. We put so much pressure on ourselves in the raising of our children and rightfully so. It is by far one of the most important responsibilities you have.

We read Proverbs 22:6,

Train a child in the way he should go.
When he is old, he will not turn away from it.

Our response is "Well that's not true...just look around!" We try, and sometimes it doesn't "take." Family is hard. Family is messy. Sometimes very messy. Family is the best!

Our children have minds of their own and sometimes they will make theirs differently than us. That's their God-given choice, as hard as it may be. The question we are left with is "How Do I honor God with my family?" Living in the Shadow of the Cross, knowing Christ's power over life, death, and everything in between, how then should I raise my family?

One of my jobs here at C.C.C. is to walk alongside families and serve as a resource to encourage you to do what you're already equipped to do, parent. One of the things I hear most often is "I don't know what I'm supposed to do, say, fill in the blank." No one is a professional parent. There is no professional Christian. You have been given all you need. My mind is drawn to Deuteronomy 6, where Moses writes to the people of God,

These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord , the God of your ancestors, promised you. Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:1-9)

God gave us everything we need in His Word. We are told to be careful to obey these commands. This isn't just another book; within its pages are the very breath of life. How do I honor God with my family?

  1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart. It starts with you. I know you love God, but your child's love for God will rarely surpass your own. Love Him with all your heart, soul, and strength. We aren't called to wishy-washy Christianity. We are called to the kind of all-out, holding-nothing-back love that no one can deny.
  2. Talk about them. Deep faith is not gained by osmosis. We spend so much time talking about improving their swing, jump shot, performances and, often, little to no time talking about strengthening their faith. We are to talk about them at home, in the car, bedtime, and breakfast. These are the most teachable moments we have as parents and so often we forfeit them for time in front of the television.**
  3. Write them on the doorframes of your houses. Devout Jews took this literally. My question is "If I walked into your empty house could I tell that Christians lived there?" Things that we decorate our houses with can be passive teachers. Artwork, scriptures, books, etc. all say something about what is important to us.

Parenting is tough. The pressure is like nothing else. Pause. Take a breath. You have what it takes.

becoming rooted,


**If you're looking for some resources to make your mealtimes, travel times, and bedtimes more focused, look no more! See Kari Jo or I. We have some amazing resources that have the potential to radically shape how you impress these things on your children.

This is the final installment of the "Living in the Shadow of the Cross" series on the blog. These have been themed as a follow-up to Joe's sermons. If you'd like to see other recent posts from this series, click here.


Monday, May 13, 2013


- Every Mother's Day we celebrate the new lives that have joined us over the last 12 months. There were five babies yesterday! 


- Of course, we honored our Mother's for all they've done...besides making our existence possible!

- With Logan on staff now, there are a ton of things lining up. Watch for more information coming soon!

Friday, May 10, 2013

In honor of Mom's...

Mother's Day is Sunday, and in honor of Mom I wanted to share the following video with you. (It's a little long, but worth it. Guys, you should be alone when you watch it, or with your mom. Trust me on this one.)

Have a great weekend!

Friday Five...

1. Favorite Quote: (via Twitter)
"Children will be what they see." - Jay Strack
If we lived our lives through that lens it would make a huge impact on the next generation (and this one too!)

2. Favorite Article: Stop Calling Her Princess! (via Huffington Post)
I am throwing down a challenge. In the next week, every time you see a child you don't know? Find a compliment that has nothing to do with what she's wearing or how he looks. Don't compliment curly hair, or sparkly shoes, or a cool shirt. Why? FIND OUT WHY HERE!
3. Favorite Video - Miniature Melbourne - (via LaughingSquid)

They take newspaper photos and hold them up to someone else's body to make new pictures. See the rest of them HERE

5. Favorite Things I Learned

9 Things You Should Know About Duck Dynasty - (via Gospel Coalition)

Although the family is often shown praying at the end of each episode, Phil Robertson says that the show's producers are frequently uncomfortable with the family's strong Christian faith. "They pretty much cut out most of the spiritual things," Robertson told The Christian Chronicle. "We say them, but they just don't run them on the show." Read the other 8 things here. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The prize is not in the bottom of the box!

How often do we talk about the rewards of Christianity as coming later? You know what I mean. We get to go to heaven when we die; Jesus is preparing a place for us; we get some jewels in our's all later. 

It can drive a person those toys at the bottom of a box of cereal. I never could handle that. Call me a product of the instant gratification generation, but I would dig down with my little 7-year old grubby hands and grab that toy before my brother or sister could get there. I wanted the prize and I wanted it now. 

Christianity is presented like a box of cereal most of the time. You're supposed to eat all the cereal first, you're supposed to live your life first, and then you get the reward. 

There is some truth there. I want to think for a bit about Jesus' sermon on the mount. He talks bout a couple of spiritual disciplines: giving to the needy and prayer. There are two important facets of our life that Jesus is talking about: money and time. These are things that we can be very stingy with. Let's look specifically at money today (we covered prayer a couple weeks ago):

But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. - Matthew 6:3-4
#1. Notice that Jesus says "when" not "if" you give. It's so easy to justify not giving back to God. Money is tight and no one seems to have enough of it. "I'll give next week...I just can't this time."  

#2. Jesus says not to make a show about it. This is between you and God. When others know about it, you've received your reward in full (see verses 1 & 2). Check your motives.

Why? Why do we give and why do we do it secretly? This isn't an issue about money. It's an issue of faith, your faith and confidence in God - that He sees you, knows you, and notices you. If we really believed this, there would be no anxiety about money. You would be excited to give!

We trust God fully with our eternity...we have no control over that. Once we breathe our last we lose control of everything. We trust God for our eternity. What Jesus wants is for us to live life with that kind of 100%, hold nothing back trust in Him now. 

So, when you give (even if it is cheerlessly) the potential for God to grow your faith is wide open! 

What's the reward? Not that you'll be able to pay your bills. Not that you'll have a bigger house, a nicer car, or anything like that. Here's the reward: God will be there. When we place our faith, our trust, our prayers, our money, our very lives into the hands of the One who holds all things in His, He rewards it. 

God will be there. That's the reward. And you don't have to dig to the bottom of the box!

Note: This is part six of a seven part series written as a follow-up to C.C.C.'s In The Shadow of the Cross sermon series. We're looking at what life looks like on this side of the cross. How should we live our lives in the afterglow of the resurrection. You can see the previous posts of this series here. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Wrapping up for the season...

- Last night we wrapped up our Sunday Night Small Groups for the season. In our first "official" year of small groups we had an average of 110 adults involved in Small Groups each week. Add another 50+ teens and children in their respective groups and that is! God has blessed this first year. I've heard some great stories of people being challenged, marriages strengthened, and people growing deeper in their walk with Christ! I look forward to seeing what God can accomplish as we see what the future holds! Watch for details on how you can get involved in a Small Group as we look toward Connection night in August!

- Last night our 5th graders also celebrated their time in Children's Ministry with the annual 5th Grade Banquet! 13 fifth graders are moving into the Student Ministry this summer! Exciting times for these families!
- This past week we formally announced our summer Children's and Student Ministry programs, Collide and Call of Duty: Revolt. Watch for more details soon.

 Families will work side-by-side as children learn who God really is, learn to see themselves as God sees them, and learn how to love others like God does. It's going to be a great summer in our Children's Ministry.

Sign up today for an unforgettable summer! It all starts on June 2nd. You can download the application here or grab a form at the church! 

You'll face physical, mental, and team challenges all while learning that God has equipped you for a battle you're already in the middle of! 

On another exciting note, the Thompsons are moving to town today! 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Friday Five...

1.  Favorite Free E-Book - Three Huge Mistakes We Make Leading Kids by Tim Elmore (via Growing Leaders) click the link to download the book.

2. Favorite Misconception Corrected - 4 Lies About Introverts - (via Gospel Coalition)
As an introvert myself, I appreciated someone correcting what so many believe about us. We live in a culture that idealizes extroversion; here's a quote from the introvert who wrote the article:
The lie I'm most tempted to believe is that the way God has wired me is incompatible with the life he's called me to live. The logical conclusion of this lie is that joy and contentment aren't possible—and that constant frustration is inevitable. CLICK HERE FOR THE ARTICLE
3. Favorite Perspective Corrector - Gumballs - (via YouTube)

4. Favorite Artist - Incredible Painted Handimals - (via TwistedSifter)

**Yes, that is made up of hands and an arm! Click the photo for more!

5. Favorite Cute Picture - Baby Hippo - (via Amazing Things)

**You know when these things get big, they can be very mean? Who knew!?!?

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Custodian Christianity...

"That's what the custodians are paid for!" I remember hearing kids saying that all the time when I was in middle school and high school, usually after creating disgusting messes. I know I've been guilty of saying that myself. 

I get infuriated when I hear that now! I think that's because I've learned something about service. So, before I get off on a different blog post than I actually want to write, let me get to the point:

Service is one of the 6 expressions of love that we have identified as a means to becoming "rooted in God's love." What does that even mean? 

The words of Jesus:

...Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave - just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve [διακονέω], and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:26-28)
That word, διακονέω, literally means to "wait upon" someone in a menial sense. You know, doing the small, dirty, lowly things. I believe that we have fallen into a "Celebrity" Christianity where we all want to be "known," recognized for the great things I am doing in the Kingdom of God. This leads us to throw money at the things we should be getting our hands dirty in. In reality, Christ calls us to a "Custodian" Christianity where there is nothing too small, too menial, too unimportant, there is nothing beneath me. 

Louie Giglio was recently quoted on Twitter saying: "Being a servant is the top job in the Kingdom of God. You may get more responsibility, but no higher calling." - @louiegiglio

I have seen this lived out many times in people in the church. I wish I could tell you about it. I have also seen this principle of Jesus ignored blatantly. 

In the shadow of the cross, what Christianity are you living out? Are you willing to do whatever and go whereever you need to go to διακονέω?