Dec 31, 2007


There is no doubt that scripture teaches that we all have incredible potential. God tells us that he has plans to prosper us, to give a great hope and a future. It is in the heart of God to bless us, to give us purpose, and to light a flame of hope in us that even our darkest day can not extinguish.

The reason that most us never reach it is because we sabotage our potential. We do and think things that hold us back from living what God has for us. We are our greatest threat to living the life that God has for us.

Let me give you some of the most common ways we sabotage our potential:

1. We believe God is out to get us than out to bless us. We tend to think that God is watching us in order to "get us" for any little bad thing we do. However, God in scripture presents himself as a one who is passionate about helping us reach our potential. When we view that God is focused on "getting us" we are less likely to trust him, follow if the risks are high, and seek him passionately. So we sabotage our future.

2. We leave him out. I believe that God desires to speak but most of the time we are not interested in listening. We don't have time. It is hard to be blessed by God if we do not hear him. When we make our life without him, we will never discover the awesome life that he has written just for us.

3. We are too concern how others perceive us. This is huge. You will not look vertical in your life if your focus on the horizontal. Too many of us rarely hear God, rarely give to God, rarely experience God because we are consumed with what others think about us. This is a tramp that will consume you and leave you empty. Oddly, the more money you spend on your self, the less satisfied you become with the things that money provides. You sabotage your potential.

Today choose to believe that God wants to bless you and live looking for it. It doesn't mean that bad things won't come for sometime the greatest blessings are born in heartache. It just means looking in every situation for God's hand, and looking with an expectation that he is going to do something good.

Live Blessed.

Dec 25, 2007

The Best Christmas Present Ever - You will not believe this!

This morning after the kids opened their presents, the phone rang. It was a call from two detectives with the Wichita Falls Texas Police Department. That is where we lived before we moved to Georgia. While living there, I became the Wichita Falls Police Chaplain Commander. On many occasions, Jana would cook dinner and some of the guys on the 2nd Shift (3 pm - 12 am) would come to eat on their dinner break. I would often ride "shotgun" with several of the 2nd shift guys. The call was from two guys who use to be on second shift but now are detectives.

I enjoyed talking with them and catching up with what was happening in their lives. One of the guys is named Steve. He was one of the funniest people I have ever known. We have spent hours in a patrol car talking, laughing, and even fighting a few guys. Steve had a Catholic background, had given up on that, and didn't have a personal relationship with Christ. Steve was living with his then girlfriend, had a mouth like a sailor, and thought that God was out to get him on most days. Needless to say, he was not the kind of guy who normally would be friends with a pastor...I guess you could say that we were an odd couple.

Despite all that, we were friends. I often thought, however, that my friendship was not having any spiritual impact on him. I would pray for him a lot, and invested myself in him the best I knew how. He was always good to me, treated Jana with great respect, and I really enjoyed being with him more than many "Christians" I knew at the time.

That all ended when we moved away from Wichita Falls four years ago. We moved on in our lives, and I assumed that Steve did as well. I thought of him often but just lost touch. This morning's call from him and another guy named Brian (another great guy) was a great treat.

THE BEST PART was that Steve told us that a few weeks ago that he had accepted Christ and last Sunday he had been baptized. He said that his journey to the cross was influenced by the relationship that we had, that God used all those hours together to help get him to where he now is with Christ. AWESOME!

I know that I say all the time that you have to invest in people and invite them to come with you to Piedmont Church, and never give up on investing in them. It may take years, but I hope you will get a great call one day like the one I got today. It was the best Christmas present that I could have opened.

Thanks Steve for making my Christmas a very merry one.

Dec 16, 2007


Isn't it amazing how we seem, with laser focus, to have clarity on seeing what we do not have. It matters not how much we have, accomplish, obtain, consume, amass, collect, experience, we are still experts at seeing what we do not have. I was talking with a guy who hates going home because he feels like he has to monitor what he wears, drives, buys, and the way he looks because everyone is trying to keep up or outdo each other...this should not be. Yet, to be honest I feel the pressure to play the same game.

So, in effort to swim against the tide. I am going to spend a moment celebrating what I have.

I have...
A great wife that truly is my best friend. Through the years we have fought hard, but have loved even harder, and thus our marriage has done more than survived, it has thrived.

I am blessed with a group of people who believe in me. I hope that I inspire people to believe in Christ, but it is so good to know that people believe in me as well. I am fortunate to have around me people who actively communicate to me that they believe in me. That is very sweet!

I love my kids. It is hard to add to that. I really love laughing, playing, teaching, and leading them. They are my greatest love and my greatest fear. I love them for who they are and occasionally fear all that is thrown at them everyday that is not Godly. God, I need your wisdom to father them well.

I am thankful for our new home. It is nice to settle in.

I am thankful for grace and the opportunity to give it away.

Though tomorrow I will have to fight not to get caught up in the game of "a little more," but for tonight...I just am thankful.

Dec 12, 2007

Personal Pursuit -Part six of how to spiritually mature

This is one that I am very passionate and tick-off about. I have been around church for a long time and I will tell you that the most mature and immature Christians I know at in the same age group...Senior Adults. They both have gone equal number of days to church, often both have served in church, and both know some facts about Christ that are true. One has matured through the years and one has just gained more knowledge but hasn't really matured. Well, what is the difference? Why does one mature and one not if exposed to the same things?

The answer is simple and yet very powerful. The one that matures takes ownership of their spiritual relationship with Christ and makes their pursuit of him personal. The church helps them but they do not rely on it to grow them. On the other hand, the one that doesn't mature goes to church and relies on that church and the information they learn there to mature them. Their responsibility is to just show up and the church is responsible for the rest. I can study about deer hunting and learn a lot of helpful facts, but it is not until I personally get in the deer stand and do some hunting will I really mature in my hunting skills. The same is true in your relationship with Christ.

I am pro-church, obviously for I am a pastor. However, I am passionate that the church is a tool in your development and should be teaching you to be a self-feeder. For you to know Him, really know Him and have a mature relationship with has to be a personal pursuit!

Nov 15, 2007

"Living beyond yourself" part 5 in what makes you grow

Ok, I have not blogged in a while. Life got crazy, but I am back.

The fourth essential in what makes you grow is to make "living beyond yourself" a necessity in your approach to living. We live in a culture that speaks "living for yourself" as the norm, but God challenges us to walk a different path.

Philippians 2:4
"do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others."

Until "living beyond yourself" is central to how you approach your everyday living, you will not develop. Simply put, you may know a lot of the scripture, you may even teach it, you may go to church every week and know how to look like a good Christian, you may be a pastor, but until you long to "live beyond yourself" by making a positive impact in someone else's will never see the character of God fully develop in you. Take the religious leaders in Jesus' day, they knew scripture, prayed a lot, but they lived for themselves. This is why Jesus called those religious leaders a "brood of vipers."

"Living beyond yourself" can take many different forms. It can be expressed by doing a kind act, letting someone else have their way, limit your lifestyle so that you have the money to help a friend or support the church, invite someone to come to church with you, forgive someone who doesn't deserve it, go on a missions trip, the possibilities are endless.

So right now, walk away from the computer, and do something for someone else.

Oct 22, 2007

Relevant Teaching part 4 in what makes you grow

If you are going to mature and reach your potential you have to expose yourself to relevant teaching of the scripture. It needs to be presented to you in a way that is meaningful and useful to the present day you live in. Jesus was a master in this type of teaching. He always presented truth but did it in a way that considered how best to make it meaningful to the people listening.

Let me illustrated this way, if you were on the side of the road with a flat tire and someone jumped out with jumper cables and said, "these are important to have and I want to show you how to use them"...what would be your response? You would not argue that what they were saying isn't true, but it doesn't seem relevant to where you are at that moment. It is the job of very teacher and preacher to ask if they are communicating the truth not only correctly, but are they considering where the listener is and how do I express truth so that they can see its relevance. This is a very difficult task and takes time, something that most teachers/preachers don't want to do.

Here is one IMPORTANT thing to remember when it comes to your growth and knowledge. Knowledge doesn't not produce growth alone. Today it seems that the approach to growth is totally based on getting you knowledgeable of the scripture. So we have every kind of Bible study, on Sundays we give you a message and then we send you to a "school" where we teach you some more, and of course we have several Bible studies through out the week. We even in many churches hire Ministers of Education to educate us. All because we tend to think that if you can get you knowing enough correct information, you will mature.

The problem with this is that all you have to do is look at the Pharisees and see that knowledge alone does not produce maturity. These guys knew the scripture like no one else and yet they did not recognize God when he stood right before them. Knowledge is important, but it is one of the five things need for growth, not the only one needed.

Oct 15, 2007

Challenging Relationships part 3 in what makes you grow

Number two on our list of 5 things needed for growth...challenging relationships. If you are going to grow you have to be intentional about the relationships that you value, cultivate, and nurture. I often tell people that it is hard to fly like an eagle if you walk with turkeys. I think that is far more funny than the people I tell it to, but you get the picture.

If you want to be a "professional Christian," then hang around people that are more concern that they look like they are pursuing Christ then that they actually pursue Christ. The likelihood is that you will become like them. Hang around materialistic people and guess what, your credit card is going to be worn out. Then again if you want to really know Christ, ask God to direct you to friends that value and pursue a real relationship with Christ.

Never, never, never underestimate the power of influence, especially the influence that those you are with the most have on you. To ignore this is to give your growth over to someone else.

Here is a question to ask yourself, "Are the people I am with the most fostering my pursuit of Christ?" Do they inspire me to be better, to think better, to seek to know him better? Its time to get serious on this matter. Pick your friends carefully.

In doing so you just might be setting yourself up to grow. This is why at Piedmont community groups (coming in 2008) are going to play a very important part. We want to create the environments that foster people building the kind of relationships where they push each other past the pool of mediocrity to something better, deeper, and life changing.

So the people we are around the most are going to effect what "version" of Christianity we adopt ( the real deal or Jesus lite). The people you choose to spend most of your time with are going to influence your beliefs, your values, and your priorities. So, pick your friends carefully. Just because they say they are a Christian and they go to church doesn't mean they are going to influence you to "go all the way" when it comes to following Christ. I'll say it again...pick your closest friends carefully.

Proverbs 13:20
He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.

Oct 3, 2007

Unpredictable circumstances part 2 in what makes you grow

As we look at the five things needed for spiritual growth it is very important to understand that you need all five in order to grow. I believe that the central issue of people not growing today is that we are not understanding the need for all five. For many Christians the thought is that growth comes from knowledge. That is one of the five, but only one. So today churches offer more Bible Study at every conceivable time. We do have so much more Bible knowledge than the disciples, but do you sense that our faith is stronger than those guys? I don't. Knowledge is important, but the mere acquisition of information does not produce real, sustained growth. I will talk more on that later.

One of the five is Unpredictable Circumstances. This is the part of your growth that you really can not be proactive in. God will bring circumstances into your life (easy ones, difficult ones, confusing ones, enlightening ones) that will challenge and force your to decided to trust yourself or to trust God. You will find that you will not be able to control or manipulate the situation, all you can do is trust him...or not.

This is like the weightlifting part of fitness. For muscles to grow there has to be resistance, and that is pain sometimes. For you to internally grow there has to be resistance to what you believe. These are not usually fun times, but needed to grow you. God understands this and he will allow and sometimes even orchestrate these type of circumstances. He will take you there or let your walk there on your own, but either way he never lets us walk into painful, growing circumstances alone.

Oct 2, 2007

growth - part 1 in what makes you grow

I am a pastor that is a little cynical of church. Is that possible? YES!

You see I am not skeptical of what it can do and how awesome it can be. I have just become cynical of what it has become in many cases. I think it was Erwin McManus or Louie Giglio that said that the greatest danger to the movement of Jesus Christ is modern Christianity. Whoever said it, I think that they are on to something.

This blog is not intended to give you a reason to not go to church. That is not the answer. That is like saying that in those third world countries where the water is contaminate, the solution is that everyone stop drinking. No, the solution is to get better water.

This blog is intended to challenge you to demand more from your church. Not to demand more programing but to demand them to challenge you and equip you to grow. We have turned church into a club that you come to and that is really all your are responsible to do...just show up.

The idea is that if you just show up then we (the church) will grow you. It doesn't work that way. That is like saying just show up to your gym and the staff there will make you fit. No, it is up to you to take ownership of your physical development, get in there, and do the hard work of getting fit. If you are going to have forward movement in your relationship with Christ, you can not give ownership of your growth to your church or anyone else. It doesn't work that way.

To grow you have to take ownership of your growth. With that said, it is important to understand that growth comes primarily from five avenues. They are:

Unpredictable circumstances
Challenging relationships
Relevant teaching
Living beyond yourself
Personal pursuit

I will define these in my next blog.

Sep 30, 2007

On a mission

I grew up in a number of churches that talked about being "mission-minded." It was always a big thing to say that, "Our church is very mission minded." The idea is that we are Godly because we are about missions. Usually this meant that they gave money to mission causes, and in some churches it meant that they would send the youth on a mission trip on occasion.

Now, I do not want to sound like this is a bad thing. I think that these churches are to be commended for being "mission-minded." But it does cause me to ask a question, "Instead of being "missions minded" shouldn't we be on a mission?" I think that sometimes churches exchange being on a mission with being mission minded. To be mission minded means that we can support missions somewhere else while we do church for us, and still feel like we are fulfilling the great commission. We don't have to ask how are we doing in reaching people every week because we are reaching people around the world by being mission minded.

Being on a mission means we look at every system and program and ask questions. Why are we doing this? Is this program accomplishing our mission of reaching people? What should we stop doing to better accomplish our mission? Are sending our people out with the understanding that they are to impact their world? This process is painful and often messy work. So we just don't ask those least not outside of staff meetings.

I just feel that the world around us is getting ever increasingly disconnected with God and his church, and something has to be done. The mission field is not over there any more it is right next door. Churches have to communicate to their people that we are not going to just talk, pray, and give to missions but be on a mission. That means that things are going to have to change. It is time that Christ's church of today go about communicating the gospel by all means possible. Church is not to be a semi-private club for Christians, it is instead a community of people that are on a mission. A community of persons that have a common understanding and responsibility to take the Gospel into their everyday life to impact their part of a dying world.

Let's do more than being "missions minded." Can you tell I am passionate about this?

Sep 28, 2007

What kind of friend

Think about this, would you want to be friends with someone who just wanted to be your friends because of what you could do for them? Yes, they were nice to you and wanted to be around you, but you knew it was because they didn't want to make you mad for fear that you might not do what they wanted.

They didn't really search out your heart and work to discover what your thoughts and dreams were. They do love you, but it is in a self-centered way. They acknowledge that you are usually right and are willing to listen, but you know that it all comes back to them wanting you to make their life easy, trouble free, and painless...and really pleasing you is secondary.

Not the kind of guy that you would want to be your best friend? Yet is that not the motivation that has become core to modern Christianity? From God's prospective is that what he sees and feels is at the heart of our relationship with him?

Yes, God wants us to bring everything to him. He is a giver, but he invites us into relationship with him because of who he is and not because of what he can do. Have we become so focused on reaching for what God's hand provides that I wonder if we have stopped reaching for the hand?

Today ask yourself, What am I saying to God about how I view him by the way I interact with him daily?

Sep 25, 2007


It is 6:30 am and I just got back from a jog. I restarted my effort to stay fit today, and with our lifestyle I have to get up early to get it in or it will not happen. The problem is that I am not a morning person, I do like my bed early in the morning.

The fact is that if I want to be fit I have to make the space in my waking hours to invest in my physical shape. I can have the greatest of intentions but unless I invest time, energy, perseverance, and will not happen. Oh how I wish they would invent a pill.

The same is true with our spiritual shape. We can have the greatest intention to know Christ and learn to walk with him in life, but for that relationship to happen we have to make space in our life to invest the time, energy, perseverance, and focus to make it happen. Otherwise, our good intentions will not make it happen.

One thing that often happens is that we want to get to know God and in the name of efficiency we get it all done on Sunday. We go to church and hear a message and then go to another hour (Sunday School) to listen to a completely different lesson, so we pack a lot of God in on two hours and then we off go to do life until next week. The problem is that we get too much information to process in a short period of time, so we forget most of it, and we fail to realize that just getting information about God does not mean we know God.

The life we are invited into by God is a lifestyle of seeking him, learning about him, and just living with him everyday. To know God is to look for him in a quite time of prayer and/or Bible reading in the morning, looking for him at work, talking to him in the car, seeking him in a struggle, not giving up when he is silent, oh and yes learning about him in church. It is a lifestyle of seeking not of religious activity.

So take a spiritual evaluation. What kind of shape are you in? Now what are you going to do about it?

"You will seek me and find me when you seek for me with all your heart."--do a little seeking and when you find where this verse is located in the scripture be the first to post it by leaving a comment.

Sep 21, 2007


"Catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will come for miles to watch you burn." John Wesley
I like that, what are you enthusiastic about?

Sep 20, 2007

How are you?

Notice how these days we like to view our moral and ethical failures as mistakes and not sin. The sin word is so yesterday. It brings up the picture of an overweight, sweaty preacher yelling in your face. The word sin brings with it the idea that there is a God who is going to get you.

Mistake on the other hand is something we all do, it is something that we can live with, and when we make a "mistake" all we have to do is try harder. We say, "Ok, I was wrong, I made a mistake, I admit it, so can we all just move on." We call that affair we had "a mistake" and not sin. A mistake that I need to try not to do again, not a sin, because a sin means that there needs to be a change in who I am. Sin means that I have offended more than my wife...I have offended God with my actions.

We want to think of ourselves as "mistakers" and not as sinners. But we all know that we are more than mistakers...we are sinners. Try as we might to put up a front, we know the truth of who we are.

Jesus had an an amazing message which said..."You all are worse than you think you are, but God loves you more than you think he does." God wants us to realize that we are sinners not just mistakers so that we can see how deep his love and grace goes.

I am going to be talking about this very thing this Sunday. If you have been skeptical about church, this is the Sunday for you to be at PC. You may walk away with a whole new view of God and yourself.

If you have any thoughts on this, let me hear them.

Sep 17, 2007

Put me in coach

Jana and I were talking the other day about our oldest son (6 years old) who is playing on two football teams. He started out by signing up on a flag football team through the school that he attends, but Colton, who is our very physical child, didn't seem to get into it. Then one of his coaches from his All-star baseball team called and asked if Colton could play on his tackle football team in a league at another school. We said yes (crazy on our part). Colton has come alive. He is eating up the tackle football. He is in on about 90% of tackles. Oh yea!!!

Jana and I were talking about the comparison between flag and tackle. Flag is fun because it has all the thrill and feel of football, but it is not football. To really learn the game you have to get suited up and take some hits...or give them.

We talked about how so often we want to play a flag version of Christianity. They want the feel and thrill of knowing that God loves us and that he is there, but we do not want to "suit up" and do the harder version of living of as a Christ follower. We want to avoid the sacrifice and hard choices and instead pick and choose what we like about Christianity. This has caused us to be self-searching, I hope it will be for you.

Sep 13, 2007


I was talking with John Turner, a friend, author, and a really great communicator, and he was telling me about a blog he was writing about balance. That peaked my interest because balance is not something that is in my life right now. The church is consuming and overtakes my time, energy, and thoughts. Balance, I do not think so.

Ask a mother of a new infant and she will tell you that balance is not a reality, ask a person who is taking care of their ailing parent and balance is not a luxury. The reality is that there are seasons of life that come, some God calls us to, that don't include balance.

We strive for balance, but that striving assume that we control our circumstances. Think about it, the only way you can create real balance if you can control the events of your life. The problem, most of the events of our lives are out of our control.

Instead of balance, I think that we should be constantly asking, "Am I using the limited resource of time that God has given me today in a way God applauds?" You have to be careful when answering this question. We tend to wear busyness as a badge of honor and we easily rationalize our hyper-activity life as good because we are doing good things. Good things are like is good in the right dose but even medicine can become toxic if overdosed.

I think that I want to retrain my brain. To walk away from striving for balance and instead view my time as a resource I can not recover. A resource that God has given me and that I will be accountable to him for how I use it.

Sep 11, 2007

Blaming Jesus

Last night, my youngest son told me that Jesus made him "poo-poo" in his pants. Smart kid, I mean if he can sell that then he is off the hook. After all, if Jesus made him do it then how can I argue with that.

I put all my theological training into action and responded with, "I don't think so." I was, I admit, fighting back a laugh in the process.

The thing about Jesus is that he is the perfect Gentleman. He does not go where He is not wanted. Jesus doesn't force himself on anyone.

Today you have a choice, a choice given to you by Christ himself. The choice is to either to look for Christ and cooperate with Him, or to go on living your life ignoring Him and most of His principles.

It is your choice. He lets you ignore Him, but you do so at your own expense. You will sacrifice peace, purpose, potential, possibilities, and so much more. Remember, you are the sum total of the choices that you make in life. Each decision may seem like no big deal, but the sum total of each "no big deal" choice is what will determine who you will become.

So what will be your choice concerning Jesus Christ?

Sep 10, 2007

What an awesome day

All I can think to say is WOW!

Yesterday was an incredible day. It was great on so many different levels.

First, the crowd was great. Too much focus on numbers can get in the way of making disciples sometimes, but still, having a little under 500 total including workers is unbelievable!!

I am so humbled. I am not an emotional guy but I admit I got a little watery in the eyes when I saw all the people I did not know coming.

Secondly, I also was humbled when I saw all the volunteers working. It was clear that they were not working for Jerry, but they had caught our vision and were working for the applause of our God. They were working to serve you who came to make sure the environment was one that communicated that you were wanted and accepted.

Third, I loved the sense of hunger in the room. I really sensed that people were coming hungry. The environment was great.

Fourth, Our nursery and our All-star Kids Gameday was incredible. I have heard from several people that their children have told them that Piedmont is where they want to go to church. When your kids are asking to go to church, you can't get any better than that.

Fourth, I am thankful for those who helped the dream come alive. There were several people involved in getting Piedmont up and going. They gave of themselves and their money. They bought into a church like ours before it even had a service. It is now all of our jobs to keep PC running strong, but I am thankful for those who sacrificed to make this happen.

Most of all, I am so grateful to God. I never would have dreamed that I would have the luxury of leading a church like Piedmont, and to have a great partner in Jana to do it with. I thank God for everyone in my present and past. I have learned so much through the journey of my life that God has written for me. Every situation, good and bad, has taught me so much about God, myself, life, grace, humility, strength, and forgiveness ...and I hope to share it with you over the weeks and month ahead.

See ya here at blogspot tomorrow, and see you Sunday at Piedmont Church.

Sep 7, 2007

Burn a hole in their head

I love this verse;

Proverbs 25

21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.

22 In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the LORD will reward you.

That verse tell us that if we really want to drive people insane...forgive them. When people have hurt you they expect you to hate them. Often they will talk trash about you and attack you. They do this because they expect you to hate them and so they are getting ready by firing the first shot. After all, if they can convince others that you are bad, well then your anger is discounted.

God tells you how to deflate their plan. How you ask? By working hard to forgive them. That is right, work hard to forgive. Do something that honors them, treat them with respect when you encounter them, and pass on opportunities to do something that is hurtful to them. The end result is it will drive them crazy. Now the work to forgive has to be authentic and that is hard sometimes. But when you give them grace when they are expecting drives people crazy.

It not only drives people crazy, it also draws the attention of God. God likes to promote "forgivers." So go out there and put energy behind the hard work of forgiving, loving, and treating others the way you would want to be treated. The rewards are awesome!

Sep 6, 2007

My observation

I am living in a classroom. What I mean is, our house sold and we have ended up recently moving into an apartment. We are deciding what our long term housing will be.

The complex we are in is full of young "professional" singles. As much as i like to think of myself as young, I'm getting older and I have not been in the "single" market for a while. I went to the pool last weekend with my children and just watched people. I saw a lot of "happy plastic people." It was so obvious that these people were doing anything they could to appear as having it all together, carefree, in charge...but they were not putting on a convincing show.

I sat there and first thanked God that I had the wife I do...then I felt like standing up and yelling...let's get real okay!! I decided that that was not the best approach. Though the looks on everyone's face might have been worth it. My heart sank because I felt like I had no clue how to reach these people. To connect them with what they were needing and looking for: Christ. It reminded me how so many churches and Christians with their shiny steeples are living in a bubble. These people are not getting close to most churches, but it is obvious that they are searching.

I feel like I am in school, and I am learning about real people, people who are looking for some to really love them, looking for purpose. I am learning about people who are in need and so many don't realize it. I hope through all this I learn how to create environments that will capture their attention...then we can watch God change a life.

Pray for me and for the folks in our complex. Pray that I will learn a lot about how to connect with the disconnected.

Today look at the people that God has placed along your path. They may be the very classroom God uses to reveal things about yourself, about others, and about God himself. It may sound crazy I know, but watching people is one of the most powerful classrooms that God will put us in to learn.

Sep 5, 2007

A Friend

Encouragement from a friend is a good thing. I went to the Atlanta Braves game today with a friend. He is one of the senior staff positions of a successful church in our area. I respect him and what he has done with his ministry. He loves and values the church where he serves. A good minister, husband, father, and an all around good guy.

In talking about Piedmont church he said something like, "Jerry, you guys have an opportunity to create some new norms of how church is to be done in middle Georgia." I agree with him and hope that we can accomplish that. I hope that God will give us the wisdom to take this opportunity and make the most of it. I pray the we understand the privilege and responsibility we have to create a new place and a new way to do church. I hope we will give beyond our best and that we do it all for Him and his glory.

Not unto us, but unto you oh God.

Pray for us as we begin this new chapter.

Wow! What an amazing God I have as a friend!!!!

Sep 4, 2007

self-help Christianity

Go to your local Christian bookstore and what you will find is largely a bunch of self-help books that have a Christian theme. They will talk about "how to" improve your marriage, your relationships, your finances, your health, your depression, your sex life even. They will all talk about God, but they all are appealing to you to do something to help yourself..."in the name of Christ" of course.

This may be one of the very reason that the version of Christianity that is so popular is best described as a bunch of happy plastic people. We have taught people that Christianity is about you improving yourself with God's help. In the end we teach that it is all about you...your sense of purpose, your happiness, your well being, you, you, you.

I will say what I have said time and time again. If you were to pick one phrase to say what being a Christ follower is all about, it would be to say, "to follow Christ is about learning to die." It is not about how God can help you live better, but it is asking God to help you "die" a little more each say so that He can live in and through you.

It is to long to know him more than you long for comfort. It is to long to know him more than you long for him to know you and what you want. It is to long for God to teach you how to love you spouse more that you long for God to teach your spouse how to love you. It is to long to give more than you long for God to work to get you that raise you want. It is to be a single who learns to be content with God's love you before you go looking for love in all the wrong places.

In the end to be a Christ follower is to learn to die. It it to strive to understand how you can be less of who you have become and more like he always has been. It is to take a harder road in life, a road less traveled.

So make a step today (reach out to a co-worker, give something to someone in need, do something that is not about you, seek to know him)

Make life less about you and more about Him. In doing so you might find a cure for the self-help Christian mentality that is so contagious these days.

Bigger than me

I think that we all desire to be a part of something that is bigger than we are. Something that we know has an impact that will last on people, life, and the world around us . We know deep down that if we are just here to live and die...well then what is the point?

There is a rush that comes when you are a part of making something happen that matters, not just to you but matters in the life of someone else. That is a very cool place to be. This is why when talking about people in the Bible that we remember, we list out people like Noah, Moses, David, and others who were a player in something that was bigger than they.

But sadly too many of us live our lives as "consumers." What I mean by consumers is those who live life driven by what they want or can get. Consumers go to church asking, "What is here for me?" Consumers go to work just to get a check, consumers give little of their income away, consumers want more fun and less commitment, and consumers rarely realize they are consumers. If you live as a consumer your life may be easy and even enjoyable, but you will likely miss out on being a part of creating something that is bigger than you. You just may miss out on something that will add a sense of meaning to your breathing.

So go out there and make a commitment to be not just a consumer but a contributor at work, at church, in your relationships, in your marriage, in your everyday. Give of your time, your patience, your energy, your money (yes I sad money), and yourself until it becomes a real sacrifice. For it is those kinds of people whom God is looking for to use in a way that is bigger than they are. Come on, don't go with the flow...swim upstream.

Sep 2, 2007

We are ready to Launch

Hey guys in preparation for next week here is a slide show of our previous preview service. Thanks to Jana for putting it together.
I am so pumped. We have been getting a lot of positive feedback on both our preview service and children's All Star Game Day. You have to come check this out.

See you next Sunday!

Aug 29, 2007

My Real Job

I am often asked about what I do. When people ask, "What you do?" or "What you do for a living?", they are generally asking what is your job or career. I usually do not like to tell them I am a pastor because then they act funny around you, or quickly tell you that they do go to church, or my favorite is that they apologize whenever they say anything they think could be considered off-color.

But tonight I was reminded what my real job is everyday. The whole Dingmore clan went to the Macon Music Baseball game because Colton's Allstar team was going to get to go on the field and get a ball. It was their end of the year party.

As I watched Colton, Kenzie, and Asher run around and having fun, I was reminded that they are my real job. I was reminded that they are the best legacy that I could leave behind, and being their Dad is my greatest job.

Before I had kids I really didn't understand all this. To be honest, I do not do a lot of things well, but being the best dad I can be is something I can not fail at. So God, help me in this for I can not do it alone.


Chaos is something that we work our whole lives trying to avoid. Life is good when there is no Chaos, right?

However, when you read the scripture you find story after story about chaos. In fact, it seems that God is attracted to chaos. God showed up mightily when the Israelites were in the desert wondering, God showed up mightily when a Giant taunted the nation of Israel, God showed up when three men where throne in a furnace, God show up when a guy name Daniel was throne in a lions den, and God showed up on the cross when the world was in spiritual chaos because of something call rebellion or sin.

God is attracted to each of these situation, situations of chaos. If fact, read about any story in the bible that shows God accomplishing some awesome things in a nation, in a group, or some one's life, it often comes in the context of chaos. Could it be that chaos is the canvas that God uses to paint some of his most amazing masterpieces? I think that bible teaches that.

Yes, the scripture tells us that God is not the author of confusion. But confusion is not the lack of chaos. Chaos can bring confusion when there is no peace in the chaos. God's way to deal with confusion is not to eliminate chaos, but to bring peace to those who seek him in the midst of chaos.

Could it be that at our attempt to build good lives by eliminating chaos, we could be working against God. I am not saying that we should always seek chaos, God works in the stable times as well. What I am saying is that when chaos comes we shouldn't get more consumed with eliminating the chaos as we are looking for God in the midst of it. If we seek him in the chaos, then the chaos we dread may be the stage for one of the greatest movements of God in our lives.

So if your life seems in chaos right now, you just may be in a very good place. Seek him in it, what he is teaching you, what he is revealing to you about you, and you might find that you welcome a little chaos.

Aug 26, 2007

What a Game

Congrats WR, you did middle Georgia proud at the LL World Series!


I often stayed confused, so the title of this entry is not a shock to my friends.

One of the people groups that confuse me the most (second to University of Texas fans...why? I am a Texas A&M Grad.) are some Christians. As a pastor I find that everyone has an opinion of how church is supposed to be done and with great passion they tell me. If how I worship does not match theirs, they quickly begin to tell me how ungodly I am. Really now, come on.

I found that there are mainly two "camps", and I do not fall into either. In fact, both "camps" will write me emails telling me how I missed it.

Let me introduce them to you:
1. The "old ways" group - This is a group of people that think that most anything modern is a weakening of the gospel. They think that because the gospel is offensive to some people that we ought expect it to be offensive to all. The idea of creating environments that people enjoy while you present the gospel is terrible. If the church is boring, dull, and people come out frowning then that to them is church. I tell these people all the time that it is possible to disagree with a message and yet enjoy the way the message was communicated. Methods and content are different, yet to the "old ways" people there is no difference.

Most of the time these people do not even know that the old hymns that are loved were written to the music of the pub songs of that day. That is right, some of the great hymns of today were written by men who wanted to relate a message to people and so they took the music of the bar songs and rewrote the words. It would be like today taking a song by The Fray and putting new words to the music and singing it in church. What is the "old way" today was the contemporary of yesterday.

I guess they forget 1 Corinthians 9: 17-23.

2. The "seeker-driven" group - Notice I said seeker-DRIVEN. This group is the one that says that connecting with people is so important that we occasionally sacrifice truth in the process. These people are those that do not want to offend anyone for any reason and so their church is weak. I find that even people who are not followers of Christ are not interested in these churches because they tend not stand for anything.

Then there are churches like Piedmont. We are not seen as acceptable by either group. We believe that God is the author of life and truth and we do not walk away from that. We also see it as our job to communicate that timeless message in a timely way because that is what Christ did. Not every one agrees with our message, but we make people think about it and people enjoy coming. I think that if they enjoy it they might come back even if they do not agree with our message initially. We believe that we need to reflect creativity in our church because the God we serve is the most creative being...just take a look at creation out your window. Plus I do not like to go to something boring, who does?

I do not think that the way we do church is the only way to do it, but for me and for many who have given up on church but not on God, it is a refreshing new way to reconnect with the God who loved us enough to die.

P.S. This is my blog and freedom of speech here is not anyone's right but mine. I do like discussions, but if you are looking for a fight, email me instead of blogging here.

Aug 25, 2007


It is raining while I am writing is actually raining.

If you are not from Middle Georgia that may not sound like a big deal, but we have not had rain in weeks. We have been having record heat and no rain.

We all need rain to live. Rain is refreshing, life giving, and relaxing. It is so simple yet so valuable.

In life we all need a little grace. Grace is so simple. Grace is getting that which we do not deserve and could not earn. It is simple but so valuable.

We need grace from God because we all deserve his condemnation but we need his acceptance and the only way we can have it is by grace. We also need a little grace from others. We all make mistakes and sometimes those mistakes hurt others, and then we are in need of them giving us the forgiveness that we may not deserve.

Grace like rain is life giving. When it comes to grace our response should be two fold:
  1. Accept it - when it comes to God's grace stop thinking you do not have it because you are so bad. Just accept that God by his grace loves and likes you, and then respond to it by living in a way that makes him smile.
  2. Give it - it is easy to be nice and forgiving to those who we like and do not hurt us, but grace means to give those same things to those whom we do not like and to those who hurt us. Otherwise, we are not grace givers even though we are grace receivers everyday. Is that not the definition of arrogance... to be unwilling to freely give to others those beneficial things that we ourselves have been freely given?
Think about it, I am going to go enjoy the rain.

Aug 23, 2007


In the spirit of the Little League World Series I post a pic of Colton sliding in home during an Allstar game. Notice that ball falling in front of him because he knocked it out of the catcher's hands. Fun.

To win the game of baseball you have to have one powerful thing..self-discipline. You can have a lot of raw talent but unless you can put some self-discipline into the players you will not create a winning team. I have seen players who have all the heart and a lot of talent but do things that hurt their team because they have little self-discipline.

This is also true in the game of life. I know a lot of people who have a heart that wants to do what is right, they know what is right, they intended to do what it is right, but because they have little self-discipline they do some things that go against all they know. It could be as simple as not eating the way they know they need to, or as big as making a choice to do that which they know God opposes.

It is why we gossip, we lie, we over spend, we have affairs, it is why we lose in many areas of life. Self-discipline makes winners, but it takes time, commitment, and hard work to birth it in our lives. Are you a player?

2 Timothy 1:7
7For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Aug 19, 2007

Athens Church

I was in Athens today, all you Bulldog fans would be proud. I even ate at the Varsity. It was some good eating...the fat grams were so big you could see each one, but that is why it tasted so good.

I was at a church that has a similar mission and heart as Piedmont. We both have a passion to create environments that attract people who are far from God and help them establish a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. It was neat to talk with many of the volunteers and some staff and have an instant connection because we have the same passions and philosophy.

This is what I love about Piedmont Church. I love being with this group of people who are passionate about creating environments that lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. Starting a church is not an easy task, but it is exciting work to partner with a lot of other people who are want to come to church to welcome, inform, and to serve those who may be coming to church for the first time or at least the first time in a long time.

The Volunteers and Staff of Piedmont are awesome and I feel privileged to serve with them. I know that when you come that you will find yourself saying what a guy told me last week. He said, "I told my wife, you can not come to this church and not be in a good mood." PC is a great place to be and serve.

I can not wait for September 9th. I challenge you to invite someone to come with you and be a part of something new.

Piedmont Church's Beliefs

We do not have our beliefs up on our website yet because of some issues with the ability to change some things on the site. So, I thought I would post some of them here so that you can read them.

What we Believe

About the Scriptures - We believe the Bible is God’s Word to all men. It was written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian belief and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is truth without any mixture of error.

About Jesus Christ - Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all men by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven's glory and will return again to earth to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

About Mankind - We believe that mankind was created in the image of God to have fellowship with Him but became alienated in that relationship through sinful disobedience. As a result, man is incapable of regaining a right relationship with God through his own effort alone.

About Salvation - We believe Salvation is a gift from God to man. Man can never make up for his sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God's offer of forgiveness can man be saved from sin's penalty. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.

About the Church - We believe that the church is the body of Christ, of which Jesus Christ is the head. The members of the church are those who have trusted by faith the finished work of Christ. The purpose of the church is to glorify God by loving Him and by making Him known to the lost world.

About God’s Dependability - We believe God gives man and woman eternal life through Jesus Christ, and adopts them as His own, salvation is received and maintained by the grace and power of God—not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives believers the assurance of salvation. No power in the universe can separate God’s children from Him.

About the Holy Spirit - The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son as God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. The Christian seeks to live under His influence daily

Aug 15, 2007


I think one of the best books written in the last 10 years is the Barbarian Way by Erwin McManus. It is recommending reading for all.

He proposes that we as Christians have changed from a people who once had a primal, dangerous, and even barbaric faith into a people with a sanitized religion. On page 5 he writes, "Yet Christianity over the past 2000 years has moved from a tribe of renegades to a religion of conformist."

This challenged me, it caused me to re-examine my faith and ask...what am I? Is my faith growing and in the process bringing me into a tribe of renegades? Is it leading me into a passion and "followship" of him that some may find "barbaric"? Or am I becoming more and more just another cookie cutter Christian? Am I becoming a renegade or a professional Christian?

I know that this may sound odd if you have not read the book, but it is weighing on my mind.

Go read the is small and only about 150 pages. But you need to be careful, it will make you think in ways that just might make you uncomfortable.

Aug 14, 2007

Meeting God

It has been 11 days since I posted and I was afraid that someone was going to post one of those, "Jerry where are you post," that I have gotten before.

I am realizing more and more these days that I don't need to "find God" as much as I just need to meet with him.

The idea of finding him is that he is not where I am and I have to do something to experience his presence. Often people think they have to improve some aspect of their life before they can "find God."

But instead I need to think that my responsibility is to meet with God wherever I am. Just take the time to give him my attention whenever I think about it.

You can find God anywhere if you just meet with him.

Matthew found him as he ripped people off as a tax collector, Peter found him on the job, Paul found him as he was on his way to murder people...God is there with you in all circumstances.

Don't worry about finding him, he as already found you. Just take the time to meet with him.

Jul 29, 2007

Monday thoughts

Consider the following statement, "we are to choose to obey God and leave the consequences to Him." So often we will obey God if we can anticipate the consequences and feel secure that we can control them. But is that faith?

Today choose faith by obeying God and leaving the consequences to Him, for without faith it is impossible to please God.

Jul 27, 2007

What concerns you most

I am back, without everyone else. My family stayed behind in Texas to get a little more visiting done.

I want you to think about something. When Jesus walked on the earth he hung around those who were most UNLIKE Him. He hung around the cheats, the liars, the drunks, the whores, the least Godly. He did so at the price of his reputation. The most constant criticism of Christ when he was on earth was about the crowd of people he hung out with. He didn't hang with them to become like them, but to influence them. He cared about people who needed him to be their friend more than he cared about what others thought about him.

I think that there is a huge lesson to be learned here.

Jul 23, 2007


I got to the airport at 7 AM and it is 8:50 PM and i am still here. It is enough to make a person scream.

I have been reading Erwin McManus' book called Uprising. The part that I have been reading is about humility. Not something that you want to read when life is not going MY way.

He reminded me that when God was looking for someone to lead his people out of Egypt he found Moses. The reason God picked Moses was not because he had great talent for leadership (I think that he did but that is not why God picked him), the reason is revealed in Numbers 12 :3, "Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth." What drew God to use Moses was his humility.

Humility is not about being self-denigrating, but it is about coming to grips with our humanity. It is having a sober reality of our limitations. It is about nurturing a teachable spirit.

When we pursue humility, we make it possible for God to intervene.

Stuck in an airport

I got to the ATL this morning 1.5 hours before my flight to Dallas. I did not have any luggage to check, parked closed, and so I thought everything was great. Then I got inside and it took me over 1.5 hours to get through was nuts. I missed my flight

I am on the eternal list of standby passengers. I got to the gate area after passing Airtran's credit card sign-up tables, I bet I passed 10 in the two terminals that I had to go to. Come on, the airport should be the one place you do not have to look at a credit card application. And if you think that those telemarketers are bad, just encounter one of those Airtran folks and you will think differently.

I sit here watching all the different types of people walking by, we do live in a diverse world. I love watching people, there are the three young girls trying to impress everyone, there is the business man who thinks that everyone is here just to get in his way, I just encountered a couple of newlyweds, and there is the bodybuilder who's arms are the size of my waist with a lot less fat. We live in a world where creativity is seen in us.

All that I see reminds me of the grandeur of our God. He is so creative. He took us whom he made in his image and infused in us his creative abilities. Like a painter with a canvas, he painted each of us as a unique masterpiece. Thanks God for being a God of amazing creativity, let me reflect that part of you in the way I love, lead, and minister.

Jul 22, 2007

August 12th can't some soon enough

I just finished my message for the August 12th preview service for Piedmont Church. I am so pumped. It is the second in a 2 part series called SIMPLE. I believe that this message is one that many people need to hear. Especially people, like most of us, who wonder how am I suppose know God. I really believe that this message is going to layout what God is up to in our lives in a way that is so SIMPLE. It was a message that I need to hear and I just want to share it with someone else.

I wrote this blog because when you have something that is in you, something that you feel has to be said, something that you know people will connect with, you just have to say something. I will not give this message until August 12th but I had to shout somewhere that I can't wait!!!

Jul 20, 2007

Harry Potter Confession

Ok, I admit it. i have not read a Harry Potter book. Not because I have protested them or am trying to make some statement, I just haven't. To all my contemporary, young friends, I confess this to you...don't be hate'n. So I will not be in the line tonight to get the book or up all night reading it, so don't ask me about it next week.

I did see part of one of the movies, it was cool. I feel much better now, confession is good for the soul.


I am a great critic. I think all of us are to an extent. We are good at pointing out what is not right especially when it is in someone else's life. I guess that is why Jesus told us to look to what needs to be dealt with in our lives before we start becoming experts on the lives of others. He told us that because what is natural is the opposite.

In my line of work I live a public life. It is something that you have to get use to, everybody watches and comments about how you live, decisions you make, the way you lead. When you are the subject of that it tempts you to respond in the same way. But one thing that I am continuing to learn is that the more I see all that Christ needs to address in my life the less I am judgmental of others. I do not mean that I ignore God standards or that I accept any and every way of living as OK. It is just that the more I follow him the more patient I am with the imperfection of others. The more I realize that the reason so many people who were so unlike Jesus loved to be around Him is that he was patient with them, accepting of them, and yet bold enough to tell them that the life they were living was not going to give them what they were searching for...a radical change was needed.

Think about it, why is that the people who were most unlike Christ ("sinners", immoral, the tax collectors, etc) were the ones that most enjoyed him? I think that this is a healthy question to ask today's churches and to ask us who are Christ followers. Do we have that same effect on those who are far from God? Maybe we are spending too much time fixing what only God could fix in others instead of serving them, encouraging them, accepting them and thus directing them toward the only one that can change what needs to be changed.

I say all this to say that I have discovered the more you pursue him the more the way you view and respond to others will be heavily impacted.

Jul 18, 2007

Last Sunday and stuff

Well I have been a little MIA over the last few days. My wife and kids just left for Texas for two weeks and since getting ready for last Sunday has kept me busy, I have devoted the last couple of days to them.

Last Sunday was great!!! We had a few technical glitches and that is why you have a preview service. But over all it was so great to see that Piedmont was in the process of being born. I loved communicating again, and to be honest I am real excited about my message next time (August 12th). I am going to challenge what you think God requires of you, I assure you that you are going to walk away saying, "Hum.?."

I am thankful for all the people who have supported us with prayer, words, volunteering, and especially with their giving. The way we do church can be expensive but we believe that it is worth it because we believe that people are worth it.

On a different note, I am well aware that I am have not arrived when it comes to living in relationship with God. Yes, I am a pastor, but more than that I am a sojourner with each of you learning everyday what it means to be in relationship with God. Today, I am having one of those days that I just hunger to know him. I don't want to sound all "hyper-spiritual" but today there is a hunger in me to spend time with him. Maybe it is because with my children leaving to Texas I am aware that fathers miss their children sometimes. I called them this evening just to hear their voice. I wonder if this hunger is my God calling just to spend a little time with hear my voice.

Your eternal dad is calling, spend some time with him and in his Word. Not because you have to or that you are suppose to, but because when people spend time with him something changes.

Jul 13, 2007

16 great years

I am a lucky man, I am married to my best friend. I am not a real sappy kind of guy and so for me to say that is not meant to get "awe how sweet" from the ladies. It is simply the truth. I enjoy having my wife with me and there are few things that we do not talk about. She knows everything about good and bad sides, my strengths and weaknesses. That is a good and bad thing, it is really hard to hide things from her.

It wasn't long ago that I went through some hard times and she was my great advisor and walked with me through it all. Oh, now I do not mean to communicate that we have not had our tough times. Man oh man, we have had our moments. Jana has looked at me and said, "Sometimes you are so sweet I could just eat you up, and sometimes I wished I had." But sticking it through those times and learning that love is less an emotion and more of a decision is what has made our love something has made it a great friendship.

Today I celebrate 16 years of marriage and look for a lot more to come. It is the hardest thing I have ever work on, but what is being built is something so strong, so encouraging, and so right that it is worth whatever I have to put into it.

Thanks Jana for 16 years of great marriage!

Your husband, lover, and BF,

Jul 12, 2007

two days

In two days we have our first preview service. Launching a new church that is not true to traditional church but true to the scripture is a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. There is something freeing about putting up a blank canvas and asking, "If we could create a church that moves people into a deeper connection with Christ, what would it look like?" Being free from the, "this is the way we have always done it" mentality is a lot of fun.

Oh, do not get me wrong. I think that there is a place for those kinds of churches and I champion them, but there seems to be enough of those. I just want to gather with a lot of other people who are not trying to perform as a Christian more than they are striving to really know Him. That is the heart of me and of Piedmont. We are about creating environments that help people develop a growing relationship with Christ and others.

Sunday the first real step to making that happen in Macon will be taken. I could not be more excited.

Jul 9, 2007

To Die

If you were asked what does it mean to be a Christian, what would be your response? Some might say to love God, be moral, go to church, forgive. Those are all good things to say, but they are a little weak to be honest.

The Apostle Paul sums it up in the Bible this way, "I have been crucified with Christ...". He sums up that to be a Christian means one thing more than any other thing, it is to die. To place your agenda, your comfort, your friends, your priorities, your whatever behind a pursuit of him. Dying is not an easy thing. It means giving up things. I was writing a friend about this and I told them that dying means at times being willing to walk alone.

I find that the popular brand of Christianity that is live today is not what Christ died to give us. It is more performance long as you perform publicly as a good Christian (hide the sin and pretend that you have everything under control) then everything is fine. However, Jesus came to give his life and challenges us to do the same. When we truly begin to pursue the God that is pursuing us, we will change, and some of our "Christian" friends will walk away from us or we may choose to distance ourselves from them. In any case...we sometimes have to walk alone.

I do not want sound like a downer, on the contrary, waking alone with Christ is not always easy but is far more satisfying than walking with a million friends pretending to be good.

How is your is good if you are dying.

Jul 8, 2007

one week

One week and we have our first preview service. It is so exciting and somewhat scary. I think this the environment that places us in that awesome and awkward position to either trust God and run forward or just run away. I love and hate being in a position that if God doesn't come through I will fail.

I have pastored for many years (13 years) with a good bit of "success." I guess at this point many pastors feel that they have to put on the front that they are always together and have it all worked out. Well, I am too transparent for that. I often do not have it all together, I am often afraid, and every Sunday I walk upon that stage I do so hoping I do not fail.

Now, do not get me wrong. I am so ready to get out there and I am passionate about what I am going to say, and if you know me you know that I have high expectations. It will be our first preview and there may be a thing or two to fix, but we are going to create a great environment.

I am so ready to do what I am wired to do and that is to communicate, motivate, and challenge people to fully pursue that God that is pursuing them. It is like a fire caught up in my bones. I would love there to be a great crowd. I know it is summer and we didn't advertise but if each of you would invite and bring one friend or family we could have a great time.

I believe that Piedmont Church could be more than a could be a part of greater movement to get people connected with that amazing God. I believe that God is waiting and watching to see what we are going to do...God often moves into action when we make the first move with a small step of faith. Together let's believe that God is going to do something bigger than us and lets take a step of faith in that direction by inviting someone to come with us.

I love you guys and look forward to seeing you next Sunday at 6:30 pm (stratford academy).

Jun 28, 2007


Today was an awesome day. I met with Brad to finish the planning for an awesome first preview service and tonight I attended part of our children's equipping meeting. I love to see people willing to take a risk and walk with God. Moses, David, Samuel, the first disciples...all these people were pioneers and all of them saw God do some amazing things in and through them.

God seems to like to do big things when ordinary people are willing to step out as pioneers and risk something for the cause of Christ. That is what every volunteer of Piedmont Church is doing. They are steping up and being a pioneer for the cause of Christ...I believe that God is going to do something awesome through them individually and collectively.

They are all teammates with me as we work together to create some irresistible environments to help those who are far from God connect with Christ. TOGETHER we are going to build something big for the cause of Christ...I am convinced of that.

To those involved let me say thanks and get ready for God to give you purpose and use you in concert with others to change lives. If you are not, come join this team by finding your place to live beyond yourself by getting involved.

This is not about another church in Macon, to me it is the beginning of a movement of ordinary people who are not interested in doing Church, but want to connect with Christ and help others do the same.

Jun 26, 2007

how are you livin'

I have been thinking a lot these days about the power of living beyond yourself. Most people do not live beyond themselves. Even when they are doing something for someone else often they do it because it makes them feel good, look good, or because if they do not they are afraid they will not appear as caring. In the end, truly living beyond ourself is something that is not natural but expected by God if we are going to be Christ followers. It takes a lot of work.

I heard a minister say recently that God will not comfort you to make you comfortable but to help you learn how to be a comforter. I love that and I think that is so right. We tend to think that God is up there for us, doing things for us, so that we can have a great and comfortable life. We tend to see God as doing things in, around, and for us and the end of those things is a better life for us.

The theme of the New Testament is that God is at work in, around, and for you for the purpose of creating his character in you so that you can become an influence upon others. God's end goal is to prepare you to live beyond yourself, it is to make you an influence.

Everything you are in, a part of, every encounter you have, and every person you meet is something God will use to shape you if you let him. Being schooled by God is no easy task and the sign that you are progressing is not by the comfort you have but by the passion you have to live beyond yourself.

The best example of what living beyond yourself looks like at its best is found on a hill, 2000 years ago, on a wooden tree called a cross. That is not a picture of a comfortable life but of a life lived well.

Jun 25, 2007

my teeth

Before you read this blog make sure you read the one before it entitled Piedmont Church. That is one I would like all to read...especially the lyrics to the song for it is my prayer for Piedmont.

I had my wisdom teeth taken out this weekend. Not fun, especially at my age. The whole process reminded me of some of the adjustments that we need to make in life. I have known for some years that my wisdom teeth needed to be removed. I knew it, dentist have been telling me. I chose to ignore their advice because the teeth were not bothering me, no pain, no discomfort, no real issue. I even made my trips to the dentist less frequent because I don't like going and I didn't really want to hear again of how my wisdom teeth needed to be removed. It wasn't that I thought they were wrong, I think I knew all along that something needed to be done...I just didn't want to invest in the time and pain it would take.

Then came the day my dentist said that my wisdom teeth were beginning to cause problems with other teeth, so I decided to do what I knew all along needed to be done. This past Saturday I had them removed and today I look like Jerry the Chipmunk.

That is what we all tend to do about adjustments that God calls on us to make, especially adjustments that may be uncomfortable, that require a sacrifice, that are risky, or that require some time. Adjustments like stopping an unhealthy habit, ending a relationship, changing a lifestyle, forgiving someone who doesn't deserve it, going to church, tithing, the list could go on. Often we know deep down that these adjustment need to take place. We just don't want to face what it will take to make the adjustments, so we do nothing.

Our response is to ignore it because it doesn't seem to impact our daily life. We stop going to church as regular because we do not want to hear about it, sometime we write it off as our little vice, bad habit, or something that "I need to change someday." But the days go by and nothing changes. The problem is that God is an amazing spiritual "dentist" that is able to use life's circumstances to bring us to a point where we are eager to make that adjustment needed...the circumstance he uses the most is pain. The longer we get settled with living with an attitude, habit, emotion, sin that needs to change the more pain it takes to get us willing to change.

God is committed to shaping you into the best you, so committed that he will use that pain in life if that is what is needed.

So what are the spiritual, emotional, or relational adjustments that God has been asking you to make for a while? What is one small tangible step you can make this week to begin the process of making that needed adjustment? Now is that time for action!

Jun 19, 2007

Piedmont Church

Things are going well for Piedmont Church. It humbles me to see God at work. The opportunity to meet at Stratford is a huge thing and the facility is perfect for what we want to do. I believe that we will be a value to Stratford and I look to working with them.

Brad is in the process of getting the band and tech guys in place. If you have a great interest in this contact him at He is very busy these days and so do not be afraid to be persistent. Brad, me, and several of the Children's leaders met and walked through Stratford this morning and I am so excited about the environment we are going to create. Anyone who attends will be encouraged and challenged. If you are a Christ follower you will want to bring someone with you who is far from God. I am pumped.

We are trying to get our first preview (July 15) moved to Sunday evening. This will give us more time to get stuff set up and correct any problems we have. We have not gotten word about that yet. We will let everyone know soon.

I want to thank all who are praying for Piedmont Church, the amazing things that are happening are a result of your praying - THANKS.

There a song on John Waller's CD that has become for me the theme song and my prayer for Piedmont Church. Here are the words:

I wanna see something I've not seen
Something so big
I wanna be a part of something great
Greater than me

It's time to dream big dreams
To see Your vision
Become reality
‘Cause it’s for You, by You, those who
Love You wanna do

Something so big
It’s destined to fail without You, Lord
It’s gonna fail without You, Lord
Something so great
It takes a miracle to do
We, Your children
Wanna do something big for You

We, yes, we are gonna sing a brand new song
Something so strong
We will be the sound that wakes the dawn
Something so loud

It’s time for breaking through
‘Cause there are no limits
For he who holds the truth
When it’s for You, and by You, and those who
Love You wanna do

Something bigger, something greater
For the glory of Your splendor
Something bigger, something greater
Tell the story of Your wondrous love
Your wondrous love
Those who love You wanna do

As long as we live, let us do something so big for You

That is my heart.

Jun 18, 2007

heavily medicated

Last night I had a little headache and so I took some muscle relaxants. That is like turning on a fire hydrant to get a drink...a little overkill. As the medicine kicked-in I could tell and feel it's effects. I was not operating in a way that I knew I could and really wanted to...drugged up a little.

In many ways that is how people live everyday. The "medication" that many are "drugged up" on is not the pill kind. Nonetheless it causes us to be a little less of what we could be, we "take it" because it will make us feel good for a while.

For some the drug is making a lot of money, for others it may be spending a lot of money, or maybe its comfort, bitterness toward someone, living for ourself, an overactive schedule, impressing others with our looks, the list could go on and on. When we let our lives be focused on these things they keep us from functioning at the level in which God intends us to and we know it if we are brave enough to take an honest and prolonged inner search.

What is your drug that you tend to over medicated yourself with? Spend a little time this week asking God this question, I know that he is dying to reveal it to you if you seek diligently for it.