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 security...it 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 me...to 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 me...my 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 better...it 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 based...as 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 living...it 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 church...it 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).