Happy Reformation Day . . . and Halloween!!

Most of us know of Halloween being the day before “All Saints Day.” (See John’s blog for a nice little history lesson!) Sidebar: By the way, if you haven’t heard John’s act, you need to!! He did an awesome job for us at Blowout! He really connects with people . . . and is a great magician. You can see his act tonight at South Gate Baptist Church in Springfield.

Besides being Halloween, October 31st is Reformation Day–the anniversary of 225px-luther46c.jpgMartin Luther, a Roman Catholic monk, nailing his “95 Theses” to the Castle Church doors in Wittenberg, Germany. It was common in that day that the Church doors would be a place of public notice, much like our modern day bulletin boards. This public display began a debate of doctrine–specifically the Roman Catholic practice of indulgences, the granting of penance of sin. Luther’s argument was that the church had gone away from the central idea of Christianity of justification–God’s act of declaring a sinner righteous–by “Faith Alone,” not by anything any human can do. This act began what is now called the Protestant Reformation and a breaking away from the Roman Catholic church.

All this talk about Halloween being a terrible thing is funny. I really think it is a great opportunity to reach out to be a good neighbor. Here is a good perspective about Halloween I read today:

This year we?re doing something else. We?ve invited all of the neighbors over for dinner before the festivities begin. We?ve got at least 40 or 50 people who are planning on coming by for a barbeque. We?re doing this simply because we enjoy our neighbors and love to spend time with them. Halloween evening can be hectic, with parents getting home from work and then rushing to prepare their children, so we thought we?d attempt to relieve one burden by taking care of dinner for everyone. It should be fun and we?re looking forward to it.

My encouragement to you today is to think and pray about this issue so that you can do what your conscience dictates for that day. I do not see Halloween as a great evangelistic occasion and this is where some of my thought on the issue has probably developed most. In the past I may have tried to convince myself that Halloween would offer occasions to share the gospel, but I don?t think this is usually the case. Nor does it have to be. I think Halloween is a time that you can prove to your neighbors that you care about them, that you care about their children, and that you are glad to be in this world and this culture, even if you are not of this world or this culture. Aileen and I feel that God has deliberately placed us here and among these people. We want to celebrate with them, even on an occasion of such dubious importance as Halloween.

Have a Great Halloween . . . and Reformation Day!!

Why we do what we do!

We had our 5th annual Harvest Blowout banner-07-web.jpgon Saturday.? It was really great . . . but not for the reasons most people would say it was great.? We didn’t have near the crowd of people there that we have had in years past.? We had WAY too much food left over.? We had less people come to church on Sunday than the week before.? All of those things can really bum you out–if you were strictly evaluating an event by just numbers and things you can measure.? But we HAVE to evaluate everything we do by numbers AND intangible ways as well.

One of our teenagers was so excited to help at Blowout.? You know why?? Because he came to our church for the first time last year at Harvest Blowout.? His mom works with one of our members and was invited with an invite card (like these for KidStuf.) invite-cards.jpg The mom has yet to attend any services that I know of, but this student and his older sister got plugged into our church.? He went to camp with us this summer, volunteers in the cafe most Sundays he is here, and is really growing!? It is awesome to get confirmation from the Lord that He is really doing something in people’s lives–something that we often don’t get to see, much less can we quantify it or put a statistic on it.

Just one more reason why we do what we do here at CFC–Life Change.? We want people to come to an event like Blowout and realize that church can actually be fun and come back for a regular service or for another fun event like our monthly KidStuf.? Then they start to get plugged into small groups and service and God begins to change their heart.? Then they begin the process over again and invest in people’s lives that they have influence with and invite them to CFC to experience the same amazing God that they experience!

Just thought I would share with you the GREAT THINGS going on in my life.? Especially after the last post.? With a post like that, sometimes people think they need to keep me away from sharp objects!!

God has done some AMAZING THINGS the past week and a half that I HAVE TO SHARE!? More on that next time!!

Difficult Times

I haven’t really been in the blogging mood the last couple of weeks. Honestly, it is difficult to really focus on this type of medium when things are not going well in your life. I think that there was this naivety that thought that since we have been doing this for almost 5 years now, that the “hard part” was over. Now that we are at this point, I am hearing and reading that there is a “wall” at about year 5 for most church plants. Naive indeed!

It sure seems on the surface that things are good at church . . . on the surface. We, like many churches in this area, are struggling with finances. I think it is a matter of trust (sounds like a Billy Joel song!) We really do have a hard time “waiting” on Him as the Scriptures tell us. However, in the midst of these difficult times, there is a sense that God is really moving in a powerful way! We have always prayed that God would allow us to be a part of something only He could do–and as Bill Bright says, “God, you’ve got a problem.”

I think we have exhausted all of OUR resources and God is going to have to provide HIS resources. As if we really have much of anything to offer to the God of the universe. I often wonder if He kind of sits back and smiles as we do all of our stuff and really try harder to do things “for Him.” I think there are times, like these, when He simply says, “Are you finished?” Then He comes in and does what He wills to do.

In the midst of a pretty dark time, I am reminded of what a cool people we have at Finley Crossings. Jenny and I got this email today and was a HUGE encouragement to us both!? Here is the prayer/email.

God I pray right now that you would reach down and wrap your arms of Love around David and Jenny.

I pray that you provide for their every need. I ask you to give them peace that passes all understanding.

God I ask that you give us wisdom, discernment, vision, and clarity. I ask that you provide us with every thing we need to complete the task you have placed before us and that you would make it completely clear what that task is. God may we be disciplined in being on our faces before you, that as we seek you, you will be found by us. Fall on us. Do a work. Provide our needs. Move in a way you have never moved before. With everything that we have Lord, we believe. Help our unbelief. where there is doubt, grant reassurance. where there is pain, grant comfort. where there is confusion, grant clarity. where there is pride, purge us. Break us of everything that is not of you and rebuild us resting solely on who You are. It is not about us God. But about You, and glorifying your name. Glorify your name in us and through us. Make us rest in your strength alone. Not in our capabilities-but in yours. Without you, we can do nothing.

In Jesus’ name I pray,


Thank you for the encouragement!!? The Lord really knew we needed it!!

Good Luck Lady Tiger Softballers!

softball.jpgFriday is for FINAL FOUR! The Ozark Lady Tiger Softball team is playing a semifinal game this morning at 11:00 a.m. in Columbia against Oakville. Oakville (29-0) is going to be a real test for Ozark (29-2). This is the first team in Ozark’s history to have 29 wins as well as get to the Final Four. Way to go girls, good luck at State!!


Just read this post from Sam Shaw. I absolutely love to read his blog. I had a really good friend that was on staff with him at Germantown Baptist Church outside of Memphis, TN and heard him preach on a Sunday night and it was probably one of the best messages I had heard in a long time–and on a Sunday night!! I absolutely love his heart . . . it really comes out in his blog. Enjoy.

Here is the great quote from Sir Francis Drake circa 1577 (emphasis mine):

Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
with the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;

Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wilder seas
Where storms will show Your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask you to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push back the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.

This we ask in the name of our Captain,
Who is Jesus Christ.

I pray this would be our prayer at Finley Crossings as we continue to reach out to an unchurched world the life changing message of the Gospel–especially when it seems we are dangerously close to becoming just like the words of this poem!




kidstuf107.jpgWe had a great Tech Rehearsal last night and we are going to have an awesome KidStuf on Sunday!! Please pray for us as we have our official Kickoff of KidStuf on Sunday.

Here is what I put in the Current to be prepared for Sunday.


A few things before Sunday . . .

Read more

Friday is for “Free!”

Friday stands for “free” the whole month of October at Chick-fil-a in Springfield! Free breakfast Fridays each week in October. Today, Jenny, Tucker and I got some free Chicken Biscuits–yummy! Go check it out each week. I’m holding out for October 19th . . . free Chicken Minis!!


Mark Batterson has a good post on a book coming out called UNChristian.? unchristian.jpgLooks like an interesting book on a subject that I am really interested in lately.? I like what Batterson says about this concept:

All I know is this: I’m not called to be a Christian. I’m called to be Christlike. And those are very different things. And the more Christian and less Christlike we are the bigger turnoff it is.?

What would it be like if we all were more Christlike and less Christian?? Because of our “Christian” culture and subculture that we have in the Church these days, I don’t know if Jesus would be even noticed because he probably would be at the Church of What’s Happnin” Now, but out in the community doing ministry.? It is really hard to de-program yourself from the Christianeese that we all have.? I have been really trying hard lately in my preaching to not assume people know too much about the Bible.? I have tried to stop and show where the books are in the Bible, for example.? People who are new to this whole thing wouldn’t even know where to start to find a book.? Plus, we put the verses on the screen, but we don’t want it to stop there.? We want them to find it in their “own” Bible–even provide one if they don’t have one.

Where in your life are there “turnoffs” to Christ because of your Christianity getting in the way of people finding Christ?

Great Quote

I don’t pretend to understand the universe – it’s much bigger than I am. –Albert Einstein

I think that is the way it is for me. The longer I am on this planet, the less I really know anything. I remember a little refrigerator magnet on mom and dad’s fridge growing up that said, “Hire a teenager while they still know everything.” I am finding that is so true. I don’t know near as much as I thought I knew even a few short years ago. Read more