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!

Sunday Night Ramblings & HOUSE CONTRACT!!

Had an awesome “first Sunday” at Forest Park Carthage.? Actually my second Sunday on staff, but my first being “on my own” doing all of the Campus Pastor elements.

I really felt good doing all of them!? It is great to feel like God has really gifted you and placed you here “for such a time as this!”? Pastor John talked about “Loving Your Enemies.”? In the worship response time, I extended an invitation to Christ–basically, there is no way you can truly love your enemies unless you have the love of God in your heart.? The New Testament also talks about those who are without Christ are “enemies of God.”? We all need to realize that Christ loves all of us unconditionally and therefore we need to love the way He loves us.

John had a great idea of putting Post-It notes in the VISION to write down initials of people we have a hard time loving.? We extended the illustration a step further here and had people leave their Post-Its on the altar.? We will be praying over those Post-Its tomorrow at Carthage staff meeting!! It was really cool seeing people at the altar placing their Post-Its, praying, and taking communion.? I love it when we can give someone a “takeaway” to hang the idea on as people leave!? I am working on my “takeaway” for July 27th when I preach!? It is going to be pretty cool!!

We had a Life Group “huddle” tonight and had a great time of prayer, encouragement and dreaming about the future of groups here at Forest Park Carthage.? I can’t tell you how excited I am about groups this year!!? They are going to be AWESOME.? You will definately want to be here AUGUST 17th for the GROUPLINK and jump into Life Groups!!? We had so many great stories of life change that happened because of Life Groups.? I love that stuff!!

Oh yeah!!? We have a CONTRACT on our HOUSE IN OZARK!!! It was on the market 20 days!!? That is stinking awesome!!? What a God thing!!? We close on the 12th of August!!? Yeah God!!? Thank you, LORD!!

D Now–Northside Baptist Church, Neosho

Finally got back into town from Neosho, MO around 5:45 p.m. I was the speaker for a Disciple Now at Northside Baptist Church where my lifelong friend Lyndall Jones is Music and Youth Pastor. We had a really good weekend. I haven’t done a Disciple Now weekend in any capacity since we planted Finley Crossings. I used to do several D Nows each year when I was a full time student pastor. I actually had a lot of fun talking to the students and hanging out with the band.

Something that I thought about this morning during the invitation time was the impact that these kind of events has on not just students, but the leaders. There was an awesome group of students from the BSM at University of Arkansas that were leaders at each house. There were several times during the weekend that some of those student leaders as well as other leaders from the church were at the alter praying.

I remember some of the most powerful events in my life were not “for” me, but they were for “the kids,” but the Lord had something else in mind for me. How about you? What were some of the best things in your life to help you spiritually?

Here is a video slideshow I put together to go along with the sermon on Sunday. I love the lyrics to this song! Still work to be done in this city!!

Sunday night reflections

Wow, what a crazy weekend to end a great, but crazy week. I always feel like I am rushing to catch up after trips like we took on Monday and Tuesday to St. Louis. It is always awesome to get away and focus on ourselves, but it is always a feeling of trying to make up for “lost” time. I really need to get over that, don’t I. Time spent on my life and marriage is not “lost” time.

We went out on Friday to get some last minute things for KidStuf, including a Tuxedo tails coat for Ryan to wear during KidStuf (that was awesome–will get to that in a minute though.) The folks at Karl’s Tuxedos really helped us out by letting us borrow the coat for free for the production! Thanks Karl’s . . . it wouldn’t have been near as good without the tails! The maestro and CFC thanks you!

Speaking of KidStuf, it was awesome today!! We had a KidStuf attendance record this morning of 141!!? What was really cool about that 141 was the fact that there were a TON of guests with us! I hope that we will see more of them back with us soon!

I am still amazed at our kids who are inviting so many of their friends that they have to make their parents drive two vehicles to transport them all to church! I told our folks during prayer this morning that the key to their zeal is the fact that they don’t know they aren’t supposed to bring friends to church! They haven’t learned that we do “hide it under a bushel, yes!” Of course I am being a bit facetious, but not that much. I just love the passion that these kids have for their friends to come to church with them. Who knows how many we will have with the “contest” for next month’s KidStuf in the mix. Kids, get those friends here to win the iPod Shuffle!

Easter Highlights and Mind Dump

Wow, we had an awesome Easter ( Resurrection Sunday, right Kristina?)!!

It started off early with a great breakfast and family portraits from David Eslick. Dave was my Scoutmaster growing up (Once and Eagle, Always an Eagle–that’s what they say anyway). He was also the photographer for our wedding. Of course that was way back before digital photography!

I don’t care how hard we try to get the boys to bed early on Saturday nights, it always seems to be later than it needs to be. I just seems to be a really long day for them when we both have to be there early. But they did get to bed at a relatively decent time (especially Tucker) and I was able to put some finishing touches on the message and ironing, etc. before getting to bed.

I thought the service was AWESOME! Eric and the band and singers did an awesome job in leading us to the throne this morning! It really is easy to do what I do best after following a great worship experience!

I am feeling like I am getting stronger each week on my preaching. I have really been working hard on my “craft” lately. I was talking with a friend this week about what a difficult sermon it is to preach on Easter. There is always expectations (mostly our own, but sometimes others), the “flannel-graph factor” (heard it before), and such a diverse crowd . . . just makes for a difficult week or weeks of preparation. I know most of my friends and fellow pastors were up like me on Saturday really working hard on that message.

Something that struck me this Easter, I guess because of reading through Acts, is that the message is so simple–especially for the apostles. They just told the story in it’s simple form–Christ died for you. So many times, especially on Easter, we try to make it way too complex. I hope I didn’t make it too complex today.

Well, I had better get some much needed sleep. Sleep off my Easter hangover!

Sunday Night Potpourri

Wow, what a week! Lots of eating and hanging out by the TV watching football! Taylor wishes that we would watch the Disney Channel as much as we watched football this week. We watch way too much of both, I imagine!

fooddrive1.jpgWe kicked off our Holiday Food Drive this morning by actually going out and didn’t “do” church this morning in a service, but we “were” the church. We sent out our folks to several neighborhoods to collect non-perishable food items for The Least of These here in Nixa. Even though the weather didn’t cooperate with us with a bunch of rain, we still had afood.jpg lot of fun–and we got a bunch of food (it covered the front to the stage!)

We decided at lunch that we are going to go out again the next couple of weeks! We are going to go drop off bags explaining what we are doing on NEXT Saturday. Then we will go pick up food items from those people on the FOLLOWING Saturday.

I think it is a great picture of what can happen if we all get together and do a little effort–huge results happen!! A small group of people giving about an hours worth of their time can benefit many, many families here in Christian County. It reminds me of this scripture from James.

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2:14-17 (NIV)

mulogo.jpgOn the football watching front . . . How ’bout the Missouri Tigers?!?!

  • The KU/MU “Border Battle” proved to be as good as the hype. Mizzou looked strong the entire game and KU came back in the second half to give them a big scare. Mizzou should have a really good chance to win the Big 12 on Saturday in San Antonio against OU. Who wouldn’t really want the Sooners to go down??
  • Mizzou is actually #1 in the NATION!! Who would have thunk it?? My dad went to Mizzou, so we have always followed them, but kind of like KC, the lovable losers of late. They are back and as good as ever!!
  • The Arkansas/LSU game on Friday was awesome as well. 3 overtimes and the hogs come out with a win! Pig Sooooeee! Things are not good at the Terrell household these days I’m sure. Sorry Brad!
  • The Chiefs laid a huge egg today. Correction. The coaches at the end of the game laid a huge egg. Are you telling me your kicker can’t hit a 25-30 yard field goal to TIE the game? 4th and 1 and not even close. Against the Oakland Raiders at home. Not good.

Sunday Night Ramblings

  • Today at church was great–all day!
  • It is stinkin’ hot out there . . . still at 11:15 at night!
  • Our attendance numbers are really picking up!
  • We had seven people join our church in 101 today!!? It is always good for me to teach 101 to remember why we do what we do!
  • Did I mention that it is stinkin’ hot?
  • Tiger Woods is amazing.? 13 majors under his belt–in the middle of Oklahoma heat.? I sure would love to go to a PGA event again sometime.? I haven’t been since The Colonial and the Byron Nelson in DFW.
  • Rick Ankiel–are you kidding me?? Three home runs so far in the “bigs” again.? What a great story!? I can still remember the playoff run when the wheels fell off.? Much like the movie Major League–“Just a bit outside!”
  • I still don’t know what to think about Barry Bonds.? Kind of like kissing your sister.? I think one pundit said it best a while back . . . “I think baseball just wishes Barry Bonds would just go away.”? I don’t think he is going quietly–he still wants to play a couple more years.
  • I don’t know if I can preach any harder than I did today.? I am really working on my preaching and I feel like I am getting better.? I still have a long way to go, but I felt like the Lord spoke through me this morning.
  • There is a real sense of expectancy around CFC that has been missing for quite some time–even in the midst of some difficult times financially.
  • Tucker threw a fit last night after we forgot to pray at dinner.? I love that kind of stuff!? Isn’t it funny how our children learn the little things and teach us.
  • Taylor and I sat and watched way too much Ice Road Truckers tonight.? “What is all that bleeping daddy?”? I don’t have a ([email protected]*#$&@ clue, son!? Taylor said, “Daddy, they shouldn’t talk like that, should they?”? No buddy, they shouldn’t.
  • KidStuf Kickoff was awesome the other night!? Everyone seemed to have a really fun time gearing up to minister to our children.? I think this has the potential of really revolutionizing our church this fall!? Plus, watching Schawo bust a move is worth the price of admission for sure!!
  • It was cool to see the church in action yesterday at Linda Jones house.? Even on short notice, there was a good crowd there to help spruce the place up for sale.? Way to go, gang!? Everything I know about painting I learned from Gary Daily–my cutting in hero!
  • On that note, the Fantasy Football League is right around the corner.? The Rolling Stones are looking for another stellar effort this year!? I really love the banter back and forth–especially between Brad and Gary Daily!
  • School is starting soon!? Nixa this week and Ozark next week!? Where has the summer gone?
  • Taylor’s teacher thinks he is a girl.? Pretty funny.? And the same day he got a call from her, he got an invitation to join the Girl Scouts.? I don’t think we have EVER had this happen before with his name.
  • It is still hot outside!

Sunday Night Ramblings

  • Had a great day at church today!
  • We talked about Communion and took the Lord’s Supper together.
  • The band sounded really good today!
  • Chris Jones (a.k.a. Vinny) talked about Aug. 9th KidStuf Kickoff. . . totally pumped about the KidStuf ministry–where kids bring their parents to church!
  • Lily Hatley was at church for the first time! Congrats Chris and Becky and big sister Kenzie!
  • Baptism was great at the girls’ pool. Thanks again ladies!
  • The picnic at the Lake Springfield park was hot . . . really hot! Lots of fun stuff . . . frisbees, footballs, and little bity motorcycle rides for the kids (thanks Nicolas!) The kids really loved riding the motorcycle with you. I told Taylor to enjoy it because we are NEVER getting you one!
  • There was a family of deer on the way up to the pavilion yesterday.? There were three little fawns, couldn’t have been more than a couple of months old.? You reserve the deer as well as the pavilion on that kind of deal!? Spared no expense to have them working like that on Sunday!
  • Mark Wofford’s mom and dad celebrated their last Sunday on the field on the Lakota Sioux reservation in South Dakota today! They come “back home” to Springfield this week. Pray for them! 23 years of ministry to the Lord brings many mixed emotions I’m sure. I am really looking forward to meeting them this week.
  • Cleaned out the van this evening. Man, having two boys really puts wear and tear on that thing! The exploding Cherry Limade and Sprite “straw through the bottom of the cup ordeal” on vacation made for some “pretty” stains on the carpet.
  • Taylor and I caught a few minutes of Ice Road Truckers this evening. Not near as cool as Deadliest Catch or Dirty Jobs, but pretty cool nonetheless.
  • I could watch the Rollofs pretty much all day. Caught a few minutes of the Little People, Big World marathon this afternoon flipping between them and the NASCAR race.
  • Man, I watch WAY too much TV at night!!
  • Looking forward to leading worship with Jenny at Kid’s Camp this next weekend! Not looking forward to the sleep deprivation and being away from the boys and sleeping in a room with someone else’s boys!
  • Heading to Big Cedar Lodge tommorow night! We got a couple of nights given to us to enjoy as a family. This couple have a cool ministry called “Green Pastures”and seeks to minister to people by giving away timeshare nights so people can have Psalm 23 rest and sabbath. Very cool. Lazy river, here we come!!
  • Haven’t slept very well the last couple of nights. I’m going to sleep well tonight! I hope!