Sunday, June 27, 2010

"Out of the dark" ( for a minute or two)

For the last two weeks or so, I have been "in the dark", so to speak. Very little email, not commenting on Facebook etc. I have been reading, thinking, and just getting away. Pam and I traveled to Florida about 10 days ago... and we had a great time. It is really good to get away and just kind of hide for a few days. I know that not everyone gets to do this so it makes me appreciate the opportunities we get to do this. We had a great time being "nobodies", laughing, eating ( too much I am afraid), hanging at the beach, going to movies, talking, reading, and exploring new things.

I am on a four week preaching break. That was very needed. Breaking the routine is good for me, and good for the church. Matt T. is preaching each week out of Jonah. They are high impact messages that people need to hear. God speaks through many voices at FCC and I am grateful for Matt and his heart for God and FCC. ( The same goes for all of the staff at FCC.)

This morning Pam and I attended College Heights Christian Church in Joplin. It was a powerful service about the church that lives for something beyond itself. At one point, I said to God, "You brought me here for this message on this day." Following the service and lunch with Abigail and Tyler, Pam and I talked about how we both needed that message and the service as a whole today.

Two more weeks... lots of reading,( I will write about some of the things I am learning in future blogs), some writing... no serious email or appointments... just refueling and recharging. We will attend the North American Christian Covention in Indianapolis next week. I have a special wedding to officiate the following week... and then it is back at it. I will be ready!!!

July 18th begins the "JOIN ME" series out of Nehemiah. I am really excited about these messages which lead up to the Stone Canyon launch... God is on the move and he wants us to join him in it all.

One last thing... Tomorrow is my Dad's birthday... He will be 76! I love his positive attitude. He said to me today, " I am doing great... a whole lot better than alot of people my age." It was a great reminder to me about how our attitude determines our altitude in life. I just saw him and my mom at Abigail's wedding... and they seemed really great. My dad is 24 years older than me... but I think in some ways you wouldn't know it. His outlook is so good and I really think he believes that God is not finished with him yet. ( Not just a cliche in his life.).

I am thankful to have alot of people my dad's age and older who have his kind of attitude. They are everywhere...

I have to say that when I talk with him, I am the one that is encouraged. That's a blessing. So thanks Dad for being you... and thanks for a great example of living life fully all the way through the finish line... You are not there yet, because God is not done with you yet!

So, I am going back underground ( at least electronically). I miss being around the FCC family...and look forward to getting back soon...

Blessings to you all... See you soon.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Father's day blessings

Father's day is coming up in a few days. Its always been a fun day, in large part because of I have 4 kids who are great at throwing parties, even when far away ..

I was thinking about our four kids. In the last 8 years, all four of them have graduated from High School with honors... all of them have competed at high levels in Basketball, Volleyball, Vocal Music, and Student goverment. 3 of them have graduated from Colleges ( NSU, Oklahoma State and Arkansas) 1 of them has a Masters Degree from Arkansas. One of them is just a year away from graduating for Ozark Christian College. Joel has moved out to the west coast and is making his way out there. The three girls have gotten married. All of them have married super guys, who love God and love them We have welcomed Gracie into our family ( she was 2 today). We have another grandchild on the day ( to arrive very late fall).

I can think of a better way to be blessed than by having kids who love God , love their families, and love other. What a thrill it is to see their lives unfold before our eyes.

So, Nathaniel, Elizabeth and Gracie, James, Lydia and Baby, Joel, Tyler and Abigial, let me be the one says it first. You all are the greatest kids. In spite of my inattention you still love the church and all it can be. You are the product of a gracious God who gave you your mom... who is the closest think to a saint there is..the most giving and caring person I know.

I Love you all....more than you can know


Friday, June 11, 2010

A house full of laughter.

One of the great things about my family is how well they get along. For the last 2 hours, we have had about 20 people in my living room. It has been one round of laughter after ther other. Family from Nebraska, college friends of Abigail's,( Erika, Whitney, Emily, Kara, ) Lydia, Elizabeth, Kim, Kirk, Cassie, Chris, Joel, James, Nathaniel, Gracie,Danny, Linda, Lyndsey, Glen and Evelyn, and others have been one non stop comedy routine.

These are such good times. I know that lots of people get lonely and never experience these kinds of moments. I think one of the reasons why it works at our house, is everyone can laugh at each other, and themselves. No one takes themselves too seriously. We love each other... and include others in our laughter.

Sharing memories is one of the greatest things about a family wedding.

Abigail and Tyler are soon to be married. I can't believe it..I am so happy for them. But on the other hand there is a twinge of sadness... I love her so much and look forward to more of these kinds of nights when we all get together and just laugh

Wow, what a weekend... Laughter is often the best medicine...

Thanks for praying for the FOTB... me...


Thursday, June 10, 2010


For the last 7 months or so I have had a workout partner who has pushed me and challenged me to get healthy. During that time I have completed a Sprint Triathalon, and 3 5K runs. I have lost some weight... learned to do some biking, done alot of swimming and in general gotten alot healthier. I feel like I am on my way to something... it is a journey for that will last the rest of my life.

Late in the winter, David asked me about an idea he had to take this idea of health and wellness to a new level in our church and community. He had a ton of ideas, but after alot of thinking, talking to friends and praying, he came up with the idea of a Summer Health Challenge.

He incubated the idea over time and put together some really great plans. We talked about it in staff meeting, in Elder's meetings and David went to work. He recruited a bunch of volunteers, created notebooks, made a plan that would include both community and church leaders. Then we promoted it... David's goal was 100 people... But we did not know. A couple weeks ago only 5 people had signed up.

We had 150 people show up tonight. YIKES!

Sean Algaier, ( Biggest Loser Season 8) and FCC Technical Director got us started. We also heard from Suzanne Gauldin , who is a nutritionist... and from David.

All of it was encouraging and challenging... The idea that we get a second chance to do things right really hit home for me. Every breath is another chance... it is another opportunity to make a different choice. I needed to hear it.

I am excited about this because I think it shows the potential of Health and Wellness ministry and how getting our mind, body and spirit healthy can change our lives and the lives of our families and friens.

I think it also shows the potential for SPORTS ministry in general. In our community this kind of thing speaks to people...and I think it can be a great tool to reach people with something more than just health... but with the gospel. There are some great churches that are tapping into this and I hope that we can be the next one.

I also think it speaks to me because a regular guy like David had a dream put on his heart and he trusted God with it... He threw himself into it. He recruited alot of other people to it. He shared the vision whereever he went ... And he wants it to glorify God. He is passionate... but passionate about the right things. He has seen God change his life. He is into the Word, and he is all about trying to make his walk match up to his talk. He's not perfect, makes mistakes, has lots of questions etc. But in his heart of hearts he feels a responsibility to share what he has learned in his life on all levels.

I am so glad that it was hugely successful, but I know David well enough to know that if only 1 person was drawn to God and to the opportunity to be healthier in thier minds, body and spirit, it would be worth it.

Next meeting is June 24th... 7:00 at FCC... Get moving and see how God can use something like this to change your life!

Monday, June 07, 2010

FX 2010

Our Family Ministry is really on to something. I saw it tonight. I saw moms and Dads, grandma's and grandpa's worshiping togehter, laughing together, celebrating together, and then doing activities together at FX.

This FX ( Family expereince) is a high paced, creative laden program built around Bible Stories and virtues.

I love the leadership of this. I love the volunteers who are getting out their comfort zone. I love the focus on our local YMCA ...

Tonight Josh Adsit came on the scene... and let's just say he came on with a bang! We are all going to love him.

I think tonights program was the best ever! Two more to go... Dont miss them!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

"The mistakes of others do not have to derail you"

A perfect has only happened 20 times in 135 YEARS of Major League Baseball. 27 batters up, 27 batters down. It is a most improbable feat. Surprisingly there have been "three" this season.

I said "three" because two of them are official. Dallas Braden and Roy Halliday both have pitched perfect games this year. One of them was not "official".

Armando Gallaraga pitched a perfect game too... sort of . There are two outs in the 9th inning. 26 up, 26 down. The Detroit Tiger pitcher is one out away from being the 21st pitcher in MLB history to pitch a perfect game. The batter hits a ball to the first baseman who throws the ball to the pitcher, covering first base. Everyone knows he is out. Everyone in the park except for one... the 1st base umpire who calls him "SAFE."

The Detroit bench erupts. The manager screams and gets in the umps face... players stand in disbelief. The fans boo... Everyone has something to say... except for the pitcher.

Gallaraga went back to the mound and pitched to the next batter... and got him out. 28 up, 27 down. He said nothing.

There is a lesson here. Sometimes, you can not control the outcome. You can not control the decisions others make. But you can always control your reaction to those decisions. You can always decide to not lose control. You can go back to work. You can move on. You can even forgive.

Tonight, as I read about Gallaraga's actions on the mound, I was challenged to remember that sometimes life is not fair. Sometimes, life even stinks... but you get back on the mound and pitch. You go back to doing your job, to treating your family right . You go back to do what you do best. You do what got you where you are in life... and not let the decisions or attitudes of other people DERAIL you from the purpose and mission of your life. You don't let disappointment DISCOURAGE you.

God will honor you and bless you if you do this... I know He well.

By the way, the umpire watched a replay and knew immediately that he missed the call. He said, " I just cost that kid a perfect game." I like that umpire... he owned his mistake and admitted it.
There are lessons we learn from him too... One, everyone makes mistakes, even umpires. Two, people who make mistakes should be big enough to admit it. He did. That makes him a better umpire and a better person.

So all the way around, there are lessons in this story for us. I hope they both get another chance to live out history on the diamond... It's good stuff to think about.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Summer time thoughts.

Summer... I like summers... I like....
- sunshine
- warm still mornings where I can walk and think, pray and listen to good preachers.
- vacation!! Florida here we come!!
- mowing my grass ( immediate gratification for me)
- grilling burgers for my family
- water....water....water...
- watching kids go off to church camp
- Church mission trips... we are sending teams to Thailand and China this year!
- youthquake send off...( That is in July)
- weddings ( especially when one of them is my daughter)
- July 4th...
- Thunderstorms.... love me some thunderboomers!
- Pam, Lydia, Gracie and my birthdays...
- Study break... reading, planning and listening... I need the down time
- North American Christian Convention in Indianapolis
- Pam is off work... love that!!!
- Fall is right around the corner... my favorite time of the year.

Summer... I don't like some things about summer... I don't like....
- heat and humidity
- bugs that fly in my mouth. Doesn't happen much, but it did yesterday, doing yard work. yech!
- paying the water and A/C bill
- Tornados, Hurricaines, drought, and heat waves...
- Pam has to go back to work in August.... booooooo! ( But I am thankful she has a job.)
- No pro or college basketball on TV... bummer... baseball is not interesting to me...
- lighter attedance and offerings at church...

After reading this, I think I like summer more than I don't like it.

Guess what... it doesnt matter what I like or don't like... "This is the day the Lord has made... let us rejoice and be glad in it." Summer, Fall, Winter or Spring... he is the creator of everyone of them.