Saturday, August 28, 2010


It never surpises me that when I plan and prepare messages on the family that there will be a torrent of issues that are unleashed. Our Homewreckers series has certainly done that, and we are only in week 2! I pray more in the lead up and during a family series than at any other time. I have learned to expect that there will be more phone calls, more emails, more sorrow and tragedy during the weeks I preach about what God wants for the family, than at any other time of the year.

This year, I started planning for this series early last spring. And I started praying more than ever. I prayed for my family, my marriage and the marriages and family life of our staff, elders and church.

Satan knows that the family was God's second best idea. ( The first was sending Jesus as our Redeemer.) He lost the first battle at Calvary, so his strategy is to divide families. It is to weaken their spiritual and moral resolve, so that there will be little left to fight off when he comes swooping into the homes of people in our community and in our church. I think when he sees preachers talking about the family, he licks his chops... He knows that under the facade of "Hi, how are you doing...fine" kind of talk in the church, there are simmering issues that He would love to bring to the surface. And this is double true when it comes to a series exposing the sin in our relationships and in the church when it comes to immorality, adultery, our thought life and so much more. It's like Satan says, " Open the door and you are really going to see... are you ready for that?" There are alot of happy homes, great marriages and strong relationships in the church. But there are also alot of hurting people, brokenness, sorrow and even hopelessness in our chuch as well , ( as well as our community.)

I knew HOMEWRECKERS would be that kind of series. But I went ahead anyway, because I knew in my heart that God wants these messages preached and shared. I knew that it would be hard, not just for me, but for our leaders...our staff... our elders... and for many who care so deeply about their families and the kingdom. It would be hard for wives whose husbands care about anything but them. It would be hard for husbands whose hearts are broken because of sin. It would be hard for families whose calendars are dominated with activity, but not with real life. It would be hard for people have made bad choices. It would be hard for people whose have been hurt deeply by others. I knew it would be hard.

My prayer has not changed. "Lord, heal broken families. Bring things to the surface so that moms and dads can know what you really intended behind closed doors in the home. Be the Lord of each home within the church. Help men to step up and lead. Help wives to love and support. Help kids to respect and honor. Help those who are single parents to persevere. And somehow Lord, restore the hope of Jesus within their home."

Satan is coming after me. He is coming after our church. But I will stand on the Word of God... and so will our church... and we will be stronger for it.

I call on all of you who are part of the Kingdom of God to stand with me in praying for our families..and standing against the enemy of God who wants nothing more than to shatter the hope, peace and joy that only a home built on God's Word can bring.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

A New Chapter

20 months ago, when I began to think and pray about "double impact", I did not know what to expect. I just knew that God wanted us to do something different. We had just relocated to North Garnett and were cruising along... But I knew that God wanted us to step out in something bold... even crazy.

I wasnt the only one. Fellow staff members, elders and members of our great church knew it too. As God began to reveal the vision for the Stone Canyon campus... I alternated between fear and fearlessness. We talked, prayed, sought God and as He opened doors and began to crystalize the vision. The last couple nights I have not slept well, but I think it was the anticipation...not a fear of what might or might not happen. I just wanted to see what would happen after all the reading, traveling, questions, praying, attending meetings and more meetings and dreaming about what it might be that God was up to.

Stone Canyon is about "helping others to know, love, serve and share Him." It is the same vision we have had as a church for years..on main street, 86th street, North Garnett and now Stone Canyon.

Today was launch day. 280 people came to Stone Canyon today. And another 1100 + came to North Garnett. There were so many new people who are looking for something. They came, worshipped , connected to God and heard a message about how important it is that we listen to the right voice in our world. I did not realize how appropriate the message would be for the launch of Stone Canyon until this afternoon... God knew exactly what needed to be said.

This is just the beginning. Over the next few weeks we will continue to "settle in" to the Multi-site strategy. We will continue to invite, reach out, connect to and pray for God's will to be done. This is a work of God that we have JOINED HIM in... and now we are off and going. There are greater things ahead for us...

Thanks to all who have participated in this for the last 20 months. Preparation, prayers, planning and then participation today... all of it has been worth it.

I can not wait to see how it all plays out... We are in the beginning "sentences" of a new chapter in the life of our church. Its for God's glory!

More about all this later.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

15 years

My track record did not suggest that I would be anywhere 15 years. I grew up in a home on the move....It was a good home, and a good life, but we were on the move alot.

My first 13 years of ministry included 5 moves. We had great experiences in Oklahoma and Iowa. But sinking down roots was not my pattern....

Then in 1994 I came to First Christian Church of Owasso. I was brought in to do children's ministry... and although I did not know much about cutting edge children's ministry, I figured I could build teams and organize things. God did the rest. There were amazing people who were passionate about kids and families. Many are still with us, and although we all have gray hair now...we loved what we did.

Now it is 2010... I was in Kentucky one year...but for nearly the last 11 years I have had the privildge of preaching, teaching and being part of a leadership team at a great church.

I could not be more thankful for the church and the wonderful people who have loved me and allowed me to grow through the years. FCC has been willing to take risks, to attempt some pretty big things and to stretch to please God. It truly is a "JOIN HIM" kind of church.

What am I a most proud of? Well there are lots of things....
* I am proud of the fact that FCC has been through some tough leadership struggles over those years... and come out of them healthy, loving and focused on His mission.
* I am super proud of the team that God has put together. There was a time when it was just 5 of us on staff ( Matt, Bob, Helen, Darla and me.) But as time has gone by we have added some amazing passionate people who love God and love this church.
* I am proud of the blessing of the Elders I have served with through the years.In tough times and good times they have stood by me. They have guided and directed me. They have protected me. And at times they have corrected me. Nobody has it better.
* I am so proud of the many people at FCC who took God up on His offer through Christ... for those who stuck in there during terribly difficult times and those who took a leap of faith and trusted God even though they could only see the next step... not the final step.
* I am most proud of my family. I take no credit for how they have turned out. The truth is that for many years, my priorities were more with the church than with them. That makes Pam even more amazing in my book... she held things together at times and always projected a love for Jesus in everything. Her influence in my life, my ministry and in our children and grandchildren can not be measured. Our kids are all super young adults... who love God, love their mom and dad and love the church. Again, I do not take credit for that... It was God. And it was our church for the last 15 years. FCC OWASSO is an unusual place because it does not put pastor's kids under a microscope. This church has let our kids grow at their own pace and in thier own way. I know the stories about how it goes in other places... so for this I will always be thanful.

The future??? Well, at this point, I would love to spend another 15 years serving here. But if the truth be known... I have always made one committment when it came to length of ministry. I will serve at FCC OWASSO for as long as God wants me to. Not a day longer... and I hope not a day shorter... I see great possibilities for kindgom work through FCC OWASSO....for me. I am excited about those dreams...I am enthused about our teams....

This morning I said, "The best journey's are shared journey's." That certainly is true for ministry. So thanks to a great church, a great staff team, great elders and a super great family.... But most of all thanks to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit... the best team of all when it comes to making dreams that really matter come true.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Launch Time....

It's just 9 days away... the launch of the Stone Canyon Campus.

Somebody asked me if I was nervous. I said, "No... It is God's mission, not mine."

I trust Him... and all the people who are working on this. The Core Team, the Launch Team, and so many more...

I know that everyone has put the work into this... I especially appreciate ALL our staff... they have worked hard and long...I am so proud of them.

We have people with a vested interest... people who will serve. People in the school. People in our partner, NOEA...

AND, there are alot of people in Owasso who need a church and need a Savior.

It will be different than our North Garnett campus... but it will still have the same mission... To connect people to God... to help others know, love, serve and share Him.

COME CHECK IT OUT: AUG 22nd.... 11:00 AM at Stone Canyon Elementary School. ( 177th and 76th Street North.)

It's launch time... I like the sound of that... just 9 days away...

Monday, August 09, 2010


What should we do on a Monday Night? Well, we decided to go out to a ball park and watch our Co-ED softball team play. What fun. the team has so much fun.. they tease each other, have some light banter with umpire and some interesting conversation with opponents. There were a few dropped balls, but some nice plays in the field to make up for it. There were some really big hits... and some not so big along the way.

But the best thing was that these people were playing NEXT to someone. The fellowship is sweet and fun. They encouraged each other and watch out for each other. They really like each other... and they share life together.

To get NEXT to somone does not mean you only do it in classes or groups. Those are the big ways we do it....but there are lots of others... like Summer Health Challenge, Softball, Basketball, exercise groups and many more.

It was fun to see this group of people having lots of fun. I know their hearts and they were there to represent christ and his church and to have fun....

Sounds like it is the way it should be.