Friday Night Lights

Ran across a couple of stories that are “close to home” for me. One in my former home of Joplin, MO and another in my current home of Belle Glade, FL. The first is a story of hope from ESPN’s Outside the Lines. It is truly amazing what has happened in Joplin since May 22nd and how the community has been so resilient in the face of adversity.


The second football related video is of a local standout named Kelvin Taylor from here in Belle Glade. Taylor’s father is former NFL running back Fred Taylor that spend the bulk of his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Kelvin is truly a chip off the old block and an amazing talent…and a great young man as well.

Sunday Sum Up and Monday is for Missions

Wow, what an awesome day at FP Carthage on Mother’s Day 2010!? We had two great services with two baptisms and four baby/child dedications.? Very cool stuff, indeed.? One of the baptisms was unplanned…the second in about a month.? We had another spur of the moment baptism on Easter Sunday and another yesterday! I think it is really cool to see God moving in the hearts of people so strongly that they disregard their own personal plans for the day, “what will people think of me,” etc., and simply respond to the moving of the Spirit of God.? Reminds me of a group of men that Jesus called out to be his first disciples early on in his ministry. The Bible talks of their reckless abandonment in Matthew 4:18-22

The Calling of the First Disciples

18As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” 20At once they left their nets and followed him.

21Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Monday is for Missions. . .

I have talked previously about my friend from high school, Matt, that is works for Convoy of Hope in Springfield, MO.? He is currently in Haiti on a exploratory trip for his Convoy of Hope interns going to serve later this summer in July.? Check out this video of him talking about the “capital C” Church “getting it done” in Haiti after the devastating earthquake this spring.

Forest Park is also going to Haiti this summer. Check out more info. here on our website. You can also email our missions pastor, Brock Cummins-[email protected] for more information about our missions trips this year.

Easter Recap

empty tombAll I can say is “wow!”? What a great Easter Sunday to follow up an extremely crazy week!? God, you are truly amazing to us and we are so thankful!? Just a few things before I head to bed on this Resurrection Sunday…

  • Still processing the death of my friend and co-laborer, Luke Grayson.? His funeral was an amazing celebration of God’s powerful resurrection.? He will be missed greatly.
  • We saw many professions of faith at our presentation of “Bow the Knee” at our FP Joplin Campus.? There have been hours of rehearsals and 4 performances…all for the glory of God!? When you see professions of faith and get to hear faith stories of people after the performance, it makes all of the hard work worth it!
  • Easter Sunday was a great day at FP Carthage!? We saw God move in a mighty way.? We had several decisions for Christ as well as 8 baptisms! We had planned on having 5 people baptized, but one dropped out and 3 added, which left 7 to be baptized in the 2nd service.? I offered the invitation to a new relationship with Christ and then also mentioned that the public profession of faith in Jesus is baptism.? I offered that there might be some here today that had not planned on getting wet today, but that the Holy Spirit was pulling them to go public with their faith.? As I was baptizing our 7 planned people, I noticed one of our teenage guys come down the aisle…he took off his shoes and his outer shirt…he was baptized right there in his jeans!!? I was tearing up like crazy!? Thank you Jesus for this dude’s faith and courage!
  • I believe that we had 22? baptisms today in all of the Forest Park campuses!? I know that there will be several more in the coming weeks as well!? That stuff never gets old!
  • Praying for some families and marriages right now.? My heart is very heavy for them!
  • I am exhausted…Bow the Knee every night this week and twice on Saturday, Duathlon on Saturday, our first baseball practice yesterday, as well as all of the emotional stuff from this morning has really worn me out!
  • Met a really cool guy tonight…Nikolai.? Praying God’s blessings on him and his future.? He has lived a lifetime of tragedy in his life in 22 short years.
  • It is really cool to read FB and Twitter “tweets” from churches across the U.S. tonight.? God really moved in a might way…of course He always does that doesn’t He?

Have a great week!? Live this week in the power of the resurrection!? He is Risen!? He is Alive!? He lives in our hearts!

It?s not babysitting. It?s shaping stories.

Saw this video this morning…goes along really well with what we talked about on Sunday at church. ?We need to reach out to those in the community and what better way than helping shape a child’s life. ?Pray about contacting our Children’s Ministry Team and volunteering in KidCity this Spring!

Waumba Land Stories from buckheadchurch on Vimeo.

It?s not babysitting. It?s shaping stories. ? The Official Buckhead Church Blog.

Monday is for Missions…and mudpies

Wow, what an awesome day at Forest Park Carthage yesterday! ?We had a ton of new faces at both of our services. ?We also got a ton of people signed up for LifeGroups! Exciting things are happening here in Carthage!

Monday is for Missions…

  • Keep praying for Haiti. ?FP has had over 60 people interested in going on relief trips to Haiti. ?We have raised well over $1000 to go to Haiti.
  • FP has a group in Kenya this week. ?Pray for them as they minister in His name at the Mattaw Children’s Village
  • We just had a group get back from Fort Worth, TX yesterday that were working in the inner city with a church downtown.

Too good of a post to pass up on this Monday afternoon…Enjoy! ?This is from Matt Wilkie’s blog this week. ?Powerful!!

A few months?ago, I got my own?Haitian mudpie. It sits on my desk. This gift from our Haiti director,Kevin Rose, has reminded me to pray for the poorest people in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.


On Tuesday, like every other ?normal? day in Haiti, people in the poorest areas of?the country?were eating these for lunch. Some ate them for breakfast that morning and dinner the night before as well. They?re made of dried yellow dirt, vegetable oil and salt.

I?m going to type that again?they?re made of dried yellow dirt, vegetable oil and salt. They?re real mudpies. People eat them.

Then an earthquake hit.

I?m still processing things?but I for now, I wanted to mention the mudpies.

around the world with Jesus ? Blog Archive ? Mudpies for lunch Tuesday, and then?.

Forest Park’s Haiti Relief Effort

Jenny and I were talking this evening about the situation. ?Glued to the television just like 911 and Katrina. ?The?devastation?is stunning.

We have been getting a lot of calls and questions about what our response will be. ?Brock Cummins, our Missions Pastor has been in contact with several agencies and is exploring the possibility of FP putting together a relief trip to Haiti. ?You will have an opportunity on Sunday to sign up to receive more information about the trip(s).

My cousin’s wife, Nettie was commenting on Facebook about the benefit of being a part of a Southern Baptist Church in Indiana. ?I wholeheartedly agree with her. ?There is a lot of power behind pooling money and resources for a united effort. ?Our Cooperative Program is an amazing thing for sure. ?There is a fund set up to provide relief to the?devastated?country. What is good about the SBC fund is that each gift is 100% toward relief–there are no administrative costs taken out of your gift.

In addition to giving to the SBC relief fund, we are also pooling our money locally to help fund a relief team. ?You can give directly at church to go towards our own FP relief effort. ?Please simply write “Haiti” in the memo of your check and bring it on Sunday.

If you have noticed my tweets and other posts since the earthquake, there are also a ton of other organizations that you can give to as well. ?I think one of the most effective things we can be doing at this time is to pray?fervently?for those who are already on the field and those who are headed that way.

Don’t Punt::Vince Antonucci

Great post by Vince Antonucci, planter of VERVE, a church on the strip in Las Vegas. ?He talks of a High School football coach in Arkansas that has punted only one time in the past two seasons…and is the coach of a state championship this year! There has been LOTS of talk about high profile coaches “going for it” on 4th down and it not working. ?This coach thinks the “numbers” lean toward “going for it” on 4th and “whatever” equals success!

Interesting concept. ?Much like The Dip by Seth Godin. ?The secondary title is “A little book that teaches you when to quit (and when to stick).”

There are times in our lives when we simply need to “go for it” no matter what! ?I think the most difficult time to continue on is when you feel like giving up.

I love what the back cover of The Dip says:

what is the dip?

It’s the fifth job interview where they never even call you back.

It’s the garage band playing to an empty club in the middle of nowhere.

It’s the seventh time you fall on your butt while learning to snowboard.

It’s the middle of the marathon, when the excitement of the starting gun is a dim memory, and the joy of the finish line is a distant dream.

It’s any rough patch you have to get through before achieving your big goal . . . if in fact you’re chasing the right goal.

What else?

Oh yeah, it’s also the key to your career, your company’s future, and maybe your ultimate happiness.

We are at that place (possibly) at FP Carthage. ?We have been here in Carthage for a couple of years and some of our team is tired and feels like needing a rest. ?Things just aren’t like it was “in the beginning.”

It reminds me of the “Miracle on Ice” in 1980 when the USA Hockey Team beat the Russians in the semifinals of the Olympics to eventually win the gold medal. ?Part of the backstory of the 1980 Olympics is the coach, Herb Brooks, was cut from the USA hockey team that eventually won a gold medal. ?He came back 20 years later and led a group of college players to beat the best hockey team in the world. I love these kinds of movies that bring a group of people together to do amazing things that were though never possible!

I pray that we would “go for it” and “dig deep” and all of those other sports cliches and see amazing things happen in all of our lives. ?Paul said it this way ?in Philippians 3:12-14 12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Here’s the trailer for the great movie “Miracle.” ?Enjoy!

Vince Antonucci: Dont Punt.

Google Wave for our leadership team

GoogleWaveI am really excited about getting my “invite” to Google Wave!? Check out the demo video–short version (they had a 1 hour 20 + minute LOOOONNNNGG explanation video as well) to see what it is all about.

Aaron Stockton, Kevin, and myself were doing some brainstorming the other day on Google Docs and love the whole real time experience.? When one person writes a sentence, it shows up on the other two people’s screen—amazing!!? Well, from what I can tell, Google Wave is like Google Docs on steroids!! It is also similar to some of the applications our staff has tried before at like Basecamp. We loved Basecamp, but it was a pay service and we are a ministry.? Any time we can save money on administrative costs, we can use that money in the ministry or for missions–for the Kingdom.? I am looking forward to experimenting and implementing Google Wave with our team.? Now off to look at the LOOONNGG Version.? You can check out the short overview in the meantime!

YouTube – Google Wave Overview.

FP Carthage KidCity Movie Night

fp_kid_city_orange_mediumWow, what an awesome night at FP Carthage tonight!? We had our annual Christmas movie night!? We watched the movie “UP!” and the whole evening was themed around the movie.? We had lots of popcorn, cupcakes, balloons, laughter and fun!

Allow me to brag a big on one of our KidCity volunteer leaders.? Randa Dysinger is one of our volunteers with our elementary aged kiddos.? She and her husband Matt basically took on this event and boy did she run with it!? She had balloons tied to “sticks”(rolled up brown paper) around a short sheet that summarized all of the things we learned about this year so far.? She did an awesome job…here is what was written on the “stick.”

The movie UP is filled with wonderful expressions of many of the virtues we have learned throughout 2009.? Here are a few?


The ?Spirit of Adventure? could be the Spirit of Compassion

God showed the greatest compassion to us when He saw our need for a Savior,??? He gave us His only Son ? Jesus!

?For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.? John 3:16


?Cross your heart?

Jesus promises forgiveness and eternal life in heaven if you believe in Him and invite Him into your heart.? He gives us hope.

?I am the way, the truth, and the life.? No one comes to the Father except through me.? John 14:6


?Grand Adventure to Paradise Falls?

Life is a grand adventure when you have your faith in Jesus.? The adventure ultimately takes you to our ?Paradise Falls? ? Heaven!

?In my Father?s house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you.? I go to prepare a place for you.? John 14:2


?A Wilderness Explorer is a friend to all? ?

Jesus is our friend and He will be a friend to all who believe.? In turn, you can? show love and compassion to anyone by becoming their friend.

?Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.? This is the first and greatest commandment.? And the second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself.? Matt 22: 37-39

This year, we have learned about the virtues of Love, Hope, Faith, Fairness, Wisdom,? Obedience, Forgiveness, Conviction, Individuality, Cooperation, and Compassion.? Take these virtues and instill them into your heart and mind and invite Jesus into your life.??? When you do, Jesus will lift you UP when you are down.? He will help you UP when you fall.? Jesus will cheer you UP when you need a friend.? He will hold you UP during difficult times.? Jesus will take you UP to live an eternal life with Him!

Become UP with compassion and care enough to see someone?s need and then care enough to do something about it!? When you do, you will be a reflection of God?s love and compassion.

How about that?? I am so thankful for a great group of people that I have the opportunity to serve with at Forest Park Carthage!? Great job Randa!

Sunday Night “Sum Up”–12.13.2009

Each Sunday night I will be summing up the previous week’s events in a “numbered” list, along with the “sum total” of our attendance for the week…even though “I’m not very good with numbers.”

  1. Busy week…goes without saying, I guess.
  2. We got our new Heat Pump installed in our house. Terry did an awesome job and we are so thankful for our people at FPCarthage!!
  3. I am expanding our closet because the air handler is in our closet–on Jenny’s side. ?I am getting there…see pics.
  4. I made these “14 Minute Sawhorses” in about an hour and fifteen minutes…with some expert help from Tucker! They are actually pretty cool…and I used all scraps that were in the shed. ?Most of which were left here by the previous owners–thanks guys!!
  5. I used part of the scrap wood that used to be a really high class shelving unit that we had in our home for the first years of our marriage. ?It was a set of 1 x 12 boards placed on cinder blocks! We carried those boards and blocks around all over the country. ?Classy, I know…but very fiscally responsible!
  6. My mom and dad came down for dinner and Christmas light looking on Monday night. ?Good to have them here!
  7. Had a really good couple of services this morning @FPCarthage!
  8. Man, the band did an awesome job! I had a TON of compliments today on our worship team! Great job, folks!
  9. I am so proud of our Leadership Team!! They did an awesome job today!
  10. Christmas concert was awesome tonight at FP Joplin.
  11. Jenny sang in the choir. ?They did an amazing job!
  12. As Jenny said, “Debbie (Clements) was ‘smooth like butter’ on her solo tonight! ?”I Believe” was amazing! Lots and lots of talented people in the FP family!
  13. Had a great time hanging out with our @FPCarthage folks at Braum’s after the concert.
  14. I think I am coming down with something…my throat is killing me…better get some sleep.
  15. By the way…Our student ministry had 31 students at Fusion tonight! ?Way to GO!!