Egg Drop 2013

Wow, what an awesome day for our church and the Glades community! Our first ever Easter Egg Drop was a HUGE success!

We had several hundred kids come through and EGGchange their plastic eggs for a big bag of candy at The Great EGGchange! (Get it, EGGchange?! Pretty pun-y, huh?) Our children’s pastor, Tim, says that by his best count, we gave out 1153 bags of candy! (That’s a LOT of candy!)

We think we had close to a thousand kiddos who attended the event for sure. (There may have been a few that made a couple of “EGGchanges,” if you know what I mean.)

A HUGE thank you to everyone who helped us pull off this massive event!

A HUGE thank you to Phil and Sugar Cane Golf Club hosting us.

A HUGE thank you to John Kandel and his piloting skills.

A HUGE thank you to our church staff who served for weeks in planning and implementing the vision for this community event.

A HUGE thank you to all of our volunteers who gave up their time and energy to show the love of God to our community!

YOU ALL are the BEST!!

Here are some pictures and a very short video taken by Chuck from the helicopter as they were dropping eggs.

[tentblogger-vimeo 63014700]


Stevie Johnson tweets his frustration to God…in ALL CAPS no less!

I know I am a little late to the party on this one, but Buffalo Bills wide receiver, Stevie Johnson, dropped a game-winning touchdown pass on Sunday.

Stuff happens, right?? I mean, things don’t always happen the way we want them to happen.? I sometimes feel that I am living out the wilderness wanderings experience of the Israelites on a daily basis.? However, I don’t think I have ever thought about tweeting to God for my problems. But, then again, Twitter has created a sort of online journal of sorts for us all to share our joys and frustrations, ups and downs.

I wonder what David would have “tweeted” on his Twitter after his cycle of sin with Bathsheba?? Well, we don’t have the twitter feed, but we do have the storyline as well as a song that he wrote to God about the whole deal in Psalm 51.? I have been reading through the Scriptures using Professor Horner’s Bible Reading System, (which is awesome, by the way.)? One of the 10 “lists” that you read through each day is the Book of Psalms.? As I read Stevie Johnson’s tweet, I thought to myself, “This isn’t really that different than the Psalms where the psalmist was asking God “why” are bad things happening in my life?”

There are many out there in the blogging world who have jumped on Johnson’s back about “you can’t blame this on God.”? Interesting enough, this post was going to be another “one of those posts”…until I read Johnson’s twitter feed.? Here is THE TWEET that started the whirlwind…


But I had a change of heart when I looked at a few more of the tweets after he had time to “cool off” and get some perspective about whole thing.? Later the following day…

I learned A lot Within 24hrs. Saw Both Sides.(Ups&Dwns) I AM HAPPY & THANKFUL 4 YESTERDAY! w/out Sunday iWldnt have grew closer w/The Lord!!

And No I Did Not Blame God People! Seriously??!? CMon! I Simply Cried Out And Asked Why? Jus Like yal did wen sumthin went wrong n ur life!

And then, Kurt Warner chimes in to the feed in support of Johnson and says this to him…

@StevieJohnson13 all I can say, is I have been there many times… (while coughing) 100 yd INT ret 4 TD in SB 43 was most recent!

Wow, Kurt Warner, classy guy with a great perspective on winning, losing, and worshiping Jesus in BOTH!

Also reading through the Book of Job in my reading plan and it is interesting how similar the Psalms and Job are in how we react to difficult times in our lives.? We all have had those “friends” who want to help us out and say “just repent of your sin” and “get right with God.”? We are left asking the same questions that Job, David and the psalmists, and Stevie Johnson all ask…”why God?”? What I love (and hate at the same time) about the Bible is that we don’t hear a clear answer to those questions.? I do know this…that God invites us to ask as many questions as we want.? And He understands and cares for all His children.

So tell me, what is the last thing that left you asking God “why?”? I hope you wrote about it in your journal so you can look back on it and learn from the situation.

Here is the video of the play in case you missed it this Sunday night…

Don’t Be Discouraged

Wow, I really needed to read this post from Kem Meyer this morning. ?I have been pretty discouraged lately for a myriad of reasons. ?I don’t want to simply use this blog to whine to the 3 1/2 people who might read it, but I have been in a particular whiny mood lately.

However, I have been trying to immerse myself in the Word lately to combat the negative thoughts out of my mind. ?Several of the tools I use are on the iPhone…pretty cool…and I have it with me pretty much all of the time.



Bible Reading::I am using YouVersion from the guys to read the “Professor Horner’s Bible Reading Plan.”

It is very similar to the 5 Lane Reading Plan I have used in the past.

Hear the Word::Another cool app that I have on my phone to listen to the Word while I am working is Bible.Is from Faith Comes from Hearing. ?It is really cool. ?There are several versions of audio Bibles that you can listen to through your phone. ?I have found that to be a great way to really immerse my life in the Word rather than immerse my life in sports talk radio. ?(That doesn’t mean I don’t still get my share of talk radio, however.)

Memorize the Word::A fellow pastor friend of mine showed me this app and how it has helped him so much to really live out the Word and it has been a great thing for me as well. ?I am using Bible Verses to memorize Scripture. ?There are several different versions out there, but I like this particular app because I can choose which translation and it is also put together like the old Navigators Bible Memory System with different categories, etc. ?There is also a cool feature that allows you to make the verse all blanks and you can click each blank to reveal the correct word to help you memorize better.

Reading books::I am currently reading The Land Between by Jeff Manion on my Kindle. ?I saw his talk at Leadership Summit a couple of weeks ago and it really resonated with me while I am waiting in this “Land Between.” ?It is based on the story of the Israelites and the Exodus. ?Great stuff!

We also got a “well-timed” letter from some great friends that was a photocopy of a chapter in A Gentle Thunder by Max Lucado. ?One of the key passages in the chapter that really spoke to me was a summary of the Exodus in Deuteronomy 8.

2 Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.?3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.

So tell me, how do you deal with discouragement in your life? Feel free to leave a comment.

Dont let discouragement pile up. Guard your heart – Kem Meyer on Less Clutter & Noise.

Need to keep going?

Today was William Carey’s birthday. ?He would have been 284. ?He is often called the “father” of the modern missions movement. ?Ran across this info. on Sam Shaw’s blog this evening on my google reader. ?Check out his post here.

I am often reminded of William Carey and the Serampore Mission that he founded in India. ?When I get to feeling pretty low and inadequate in my ministry, I always remember what I learned about him in seminary. ?He must have had the same feelings–only exponentially stronger! What is amazing is that he had no converts for the first 7 years in India! He lost two wives to death. And he lost 19 years of translation work due to a fire. ?After the fire, he wrote “In one short evening the labours of years are consumed. How unsearchable are the ways of God! . . . The Lord has laid me low that I may look more simply to him.Are you kidding me? That is amazing! Sure wish I could have that kind of faith in the midst of the storms of life. ?He was so convinced that God had called him to reach lost souls that he was never going to give up!

God, give me that same kind of tenacity and drive for the lost in my world!

Remembering Columbine

A friend of mine, John Hill, posted about being close to Columbine on a business trip the day the massacre happened ten years ago.? It brings back to my mind the next year when I had the opportunity to bring in Darrell and Craig Scott to speak at several rallies at our church.? Darrell is Rachel Scott’s father and Craig is her brother.? Craig and Rachel were both in the library when the two gunmen came in and began their shooting spree.? Craig survived the shootings, but sadly, Rachel did not.

However, it seems that a whole lot of good has happened from this trajedy.? Darrell started a crusade across America to prevent what happened at Columbine for ever happening again.? You can check out their organization here.? Her brother is an amazing young man that is the video director for the organization.

I remember that week of “Columbine Redemption” rallies like it was yesterday.? It is hard to believe that it was almost a decade ago.? The beautiful thing about the Lord is that He always seems to help bring beauty out of trajedy.? That is the gospel–namely that God took me and my mess and is making “all things new.” What was cool was that God used Rachel’s testimony to help many students find Christ in the Springfield area. We hate for tragedy to happen, but we know that a soveriegn God who “holds all things in his hands” will bring glory to his name.? Much like the statement in John 11, the tragedy of Lazarus’ death was to “bring Glory to God.”? As we see photos and video of the Columbine tragedy, let us remember to thank God for his soveriegnty and his redemptive purpose in all of our lives.

Sunday Night “Sum Up”–3.22.2009

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. Preached live at Carthage today…I love when I get to preach…I miss it!
  2. Don’t miss the preparation and study…but miss preaching.
  3. Don’t miss the “grind” of having to have a message every 7 days.
  4. Had 256 on Spring Break…don’t know if that is good or bad.? Seemed like we had a lot of new faces, which is awesome!
  5. My mom and dad spent the night last Sunday night and got to hear me preach at Collide.
  6. We went to dinner at Cheddar’s for dad’s and my birthday.
  7. Taylor and Tucker rode to SGF in the motorhome…Tucker rode “shotgun” and probably told Pa Pa how to drive the whole way!
  8. I took off Monday through Thursday to work on the house “remodeling.”
  9. I am extremely tired from scraping off our “house of wallpaper.”? There is wallpaper in almost EVERY room in our house!
  10. Didn’t get as much done as I wanted, but we will hopefully get the “wallpaper walls” textured and painting done soon.
  11. I was pretty proud of myself in not “working” during my vacation…I am pretty bad usually about “checking in” on my vacations.
  12. Taylor spent Monday through Thursday with both grandparents…had a great time!
  13. Tucker was “wheels off” here at home with us!
  14. Tuck tried to “help us paint” by painting with the roller (no cover).? He did a great job on our floor, the walls in the foyer, the hallway walls, and the playroom…problem, we didn’t want any help yet!!? Paint thinner anyone??
  15. Kids check-in is getting better each week.? Seemed like it went really well today.
  16. Mizzou RAH!!
  17. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!
  18. and as much as it hurts to say it…Boomer Sooner
  19. Bottom line–Big 12 did really well in the first two rounds.
  20. Fran is leading a pool I am in…what??
  21. I have an idea for Easter that is going to be AWESOME if we can pull it off!
  22. Excited to have staff meeting tomorrow morning and get back into the swing of things.
  23. Happy Birthday Kevin!

Here is a gallery of pictures that I posted on twitter and from my phone this week (and last week)…

The Week In TwitPics….

Friday is for…FREE Chick-n Minis

Absolutely love Chick-fil-A!! Tucker and I are running errands and just HAD to to go by and get some minis. They are free on Fridays in March! Breakfast for cheap…”my pleasure!”

Sunday Night “Sum Up”–3.1.2009

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. Had a really good…busy week this week!
  2. Attendance was down a bit this week…probably the weather…sickness is going around too…232.
  3. LAUNCH is going to be a really good series!? We really need to get “unstuck” in our spiritual lives!
  4. Make sure you get your friends to this series!!
  5. We had a bunch of crazy technical difficulties that our team handled really well…I don’t think people noticed, though–GREAT JOB tech and worship guys!
  6. Kevin is the man with creating video stuff!? Our announcements are looking better and better each week.? Plus, we had the sultry, sweet, smooth sounds of his dad doing the voice over this week!!? Thanks Coach!
  7. Had an AWESOME Leadership meeting today after church!? I am excited about the future of our church because of this great group of people!? Beware…they may be “tapping on your shoulder” in the coming days to help join them in serving at FP Carthage!
  8. I love hearing the unbelievable stories that are told at those meetings!? That always fires me up!
  9. We got our children’s ministry packed away in less than 10 minutes…that needs to happen every week…and it can if a larger group of people give us 5-10 minutes before they leave for lunch!
  10. My new Kindle 2 came in the mail yesterday!!? I am really pumped about that thing!!? My back is already thanking me for lightening the book load!? Got an ESV version of the Scriptures for free…that is my first and only book so far.
  11. Had a crazy day on Saturday running from Basketball, to a birthday party at House of Bounce, to our monthly “birthday” dinner for the OBU Bunch (Stones, Clements, & Jones.)
  12. Great meeting in Springfield with Pelham-Philips (architect), A1 (sound and video), and Downhome Productions (lighting, etc.).? The building is going to be AWESOME!? Keep praying that we remain faithful in our giving in order to continue moving forward.
  13. Did I mention I am a Kindle owner??
  14. We are attacking the “wallpaper house” head on…in the foyer!? Wow, people in hell must have to strip wallpaper…what a whip!
  15. Put up some corkboards in the boys’ bedroom tonight…and a car clock to match the theme.? (We have a grouping of pictures of old cars that my Grandpa and Grandma Emack gave ME when I was a kid that is the “anchor” for the room.? My Grandpa made the frames (he was a carpenter).? The same grouping was in my room growing up!)
  16. The dumb dog (Pepper this time)? got into the neighbors trash again!!? Arrgg!!? Need to get another radio shock collar for Pepper I guess.? Henry’s collar is too small already for Pepper.? He is going to be a big dog!
  17. Going to try to get to bed sooner this week…obviously not starting the week off right, huh?? Good night!? Have a great week everyone!

Responding to “I Am A Racist” by Earl Creps

This post was scheduled for about a week ago . . . but my computer got sick. Better late than never, I suppose. . .

I read Earl Creps’ blog through my reader and always enjoy his take on life and church planting. He used to be the director of the D Min. program at the Assembly of God Seminary in Springfield, MO. He is currently living in Berkley, CA and planting a church aimed at university students–good stuff in itself for sure!! But all that aside. . . Earl wrote a post that really hit my heart this morning. He was honest enough to write what he truly thinks, and if I was honest. . . probably have some of the same experiences and thoughts.

You would do yourself a huge favor to read this post entitled “I Am A Racist–Ernie Graves and Barack Obama.” Some of the key thoughts that really resonated to me are . . .

The monstrous injustice of it all was clothed among whites with a sort of middle-class respectability. We did not consider ourselves racists because we did not burn crosses. Only fanatics did things like that. But our society was set up in a certain way and the marginalization of black people was assumed to be part of it. Overt slavery had been replaced by a sub-economy in which people unlike ourselves lived with invisible chains.

Just a month ago, Janet and I moved from Springfield, Missouri (94% Anglo) to very multi-cultural Berkeley, California to plant a university church. During the first few weeks after our move, I had to confess to my wife that I was reacting to people of different races in different ways.

Walking down the sidewalk, I felt fine if an Asian or Anglo person approached me, but experienced just a touch of elevated anxiety if that person were a black male.

This feeling disappeared in just a few days, but shocked me into recognition that racism is not someone else?s sin, it is mine. While abhorring the overt bigotry of others, my own mind can harbor the same sub-economy that my West Virginia town operated in the 1950?s.

At this point, I still think of race/ethnicity/etc. as a modifier. For instance, our friend next door is our ?Anglo? neighbor and the people across the street are our ?African American? neighbors. By God?s grace, I want to one day think of them as just neighbors and let them define themselves. When asked what kind of person constitutes a ?neighbor,? Jesus depicted a good Samaritan rescuing a robbery victim without regard for the person?s background or circumstances.

The inauguration of Barak Obama put a face on what I am feeling. Watching his speech was a moment of healing, joy, and hope for someone who remembers segregation and was a part, even unwittingly, of the system that maintained it.

But my journey toward really loving people did not begin in the Berkeley move or the inauguration of a new President so much as it did in that junior high school stairwell.

Thanks, Ernie.

I hope I can return the favor.

Read more

National Mall, Washington DC Memories

capital mall.jpgWatching the Inauguration of President Barack Obama brings back some very fond memories of mine of the wonderful city of Washington D.C.

My first memory of Washington, DC was when I was a young boy on vacation with my parents. We happened to be there in the Nation’s Capital over the Independence Day holiday week. Being a young boy, I heard that there was an awesome fireworks display on the National Mall that just had to be attended–in person. They would shoot the fireworks from off of barges on the Potomac River over the Washington Monument . . . an awesome sight for sure. My mom and dad were suckers for their young son and gave in to my begging to attend the event in person!

We left the campground where we were staying in College Park, Maryland and rode the subway all the way in to the National Mall station. Upon exiting the subway, we walked into the middle of the largest crowd I had ever been a part of in my young life. There were also as many porta potties as the eye could see lining the entire length of the mall on both sides. We laid out our blanket and waited for the festivities to begin later that evening.

It was one of the most amazing nights of my life! Watching the huge crowds today have brought a flood of memories to that week in DC.

My second memory of Washington, DC was much more recently, but still a family memory. This time, our family was all there in DC, my brother Rick included. We were there for his retirement ceremony from the Navy. His ceremony was at the Jefferson Memorial–really cool deal for sure! We stayed with one of Jenny’s college classmates, Judith Norton outside of Baltimore. She is in the United States Army Field Band and Soldier’s Chorus–a professional music group that performs all over the world, but specifically in the DC area at all of the major events, such as the Inauguration today. We were able to hang out with my brother and his family as well as Judith, which was really cool. We were only a family of 3 at that point . . . but Tucker would soon be with us later that year.

It struck me then, and me now the beauty and shear genius of our founding fathers. Democracy is an amazing thing for certain! Where else but America can you have a complete change of leadership without force? Without struggle? Without “ever skipping a beat?” I mean, these guys ride in the same vehicle to almost every event for the whole day!! Oh, to be a fly on the wall in that limousine! The man swearing in Obama today, Chief Justice Roberts, is swearing in a man that did not vote for him to be confirmed to the Supreme Court. It is told that there was shear hatred between Chief Justice Warren and then President Nixon. It is all about the balance of power and the change of that power in a peaceful–almost poetic way. There is something extremely powerful about a peaceful transfer of power. Democracy is a beautiful thing indeed.

I think today there was another memory made for me. I am proud to be an American!