Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dr. Daddy & The Caterpillar

After we got off work, Tricia and I assembled at home, got Davis ready and headed off for some Halloween festivities. First, we went to Davidsonville where my mom was cooking dinner for all who would come (my 2 oldest sisters live a few doors down from each other and supposedly their neighborhood is excellent for trick or treating). The picture on the above is of Dr. Daddy and the caterpillar sitting on my sisters front porch tonight.

After that, we quickly headed off to the church for the AWANA Fall Fest. It was neat to see the kids in their different outfits. Pastor TC took the award with his costume. He came dressed as a geek of some sort. It was quite a drastic look (teeth and all).

It was a fun night. Tricia and I just got Davis to bed. Before we sit down to watch Survivor, she is baking us a few cookies since we have no candy in the house on Halloween night (seeing as how we weren't home to pass any out). You know, I was thinking that life is so different with a kid on the scene. Halloween meant "the big fat nothing" to me for the last 10 years...and in the house.

Church in my car...Avalon Christian Fellowship

This morning I listened to a Gospel song by Fred Hammond as I drove Davis to Nana's and headed to the church. Over the last few years I have downloaded a lot of "Black Gospel" (for lack of a better word) onto my Ipod. I want to know what it is that evokes such a sense of emotion in some of my African American friends when they hear these gospel songs. It just seems to "take them there". Many of my questions have been answered over the last year or two as I have had some HEAVY worship experiences in my car...almost to the point of needing to pull over. This morning was one of those times. I was listening to Fred Hammond's "You Are My Song." What a powerful expression of worship! I will share the lyrics below because they touched me this morning...but you need to know that the audio dimension (what they do with the sound and their voices) is equally as powerful. There is a sense of rising, building, and crescendoing praise. Here are the lyrics:

You are my symphony, perfect in harmony.

You are my melody forever, that’s why I sing…you are my song!

Lord no other song, no other song compares to you.

No other praise, no other praise is as strong as you.

Your spirit speaks to my soul and that’s why I sing…Lord you are my song!

You're the tone of power in the key of honor filled with glory, Lord you are my song!

For you endless mercy and your loving kindness pull my heart strings daily, Lord you are my song!

If you would have been with me at church in my car this morning, we could have called it "Avalon Christian Fellowship!" (Incidentally, I drive an Avalon, which means "heaven"...pretty appropriate for my line of work.)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Can someone please tell me why I am super sleepy by 9:30 every night when I almost always get over 7 hours of sleep each night? Am I getting old or do I push too hard during the day or __________?


Best Ministry Decision Ever

In the last few months I have thought in new ways about boundaries in my life and about how God is calling me to prioritize. I am sure that I am not the only one that cannot get it all done in a day! There are so many things to do and not so many hours. This morning in my quiet time I listened to a CD that was given to me last week by Elwood Jones (our current Worship Leader). The CD was a recording of Andy Stanley speaking on the topic of "His Best Ministry Decision Ever." It had me crying more than once. In the spirit of wanting to capture what I learned, I wanted to blog a few highlights (this may be for you as much as it is for me):
  • Even if I work all night every night, I will never accomplish all the things I dream of accomplishing. On the flip side, how many kids do you know that have looked at their parents and said, "Mom and Dad...I think that we have played enough. You really need to head in and get some work done." There is never enough time to do enough!
  • Here's a trap we all find ourselves in: If I don't, it won't. If I don't, she won't. If I don't, he won't. If I don't, we won't.
  • Especially for those in church work, we say this: "God, if you will take care of my wife and kids, fill the gap, protect them and care for them, I will build the best church you've got! I will build your church if you will build my family."
  • Meanwhile the Bible still reads the same as it always has (no new edits have been made removing key ideas that Christ had in mind):
    • Christ will build his church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it!
    • I am to love my wife as Christ loves the church.
  • So, do any of us ever get it backwards? We build the church and ask Christ to build our families?
  • The best ministry decision that Andy Stanley ever made was12 years ago when he stopped cheating his family and started cheating the church.
  • Stanley told God this: "Lord, I can give you 45 hours a week. That is all I have for you! If you can build a church on that, then I am your man! I will give you the best I've got in those 45 hours and then I will go home and love my family that way that you love the church!"
  • After doing this his mind flooded with "what ifs." What if the church doesn't grow? What if my staff thinks I am lazy? What if the place falls apart? What if vital things fall through the cracks? What if people don't get cared for? What if they fire me?
And Stanley's decision to cheat the church has led to 15,000 members, 10 campuses, a healthy long term staff, a sustainable pace, national impact and a healthy marriage and home! He says no to almost every speaking engagement and event that he is invited to...because he told God that he would give him 45 hours at North Point Community Church and the rest to his family.

Several things have pushed me into thinking these things out over the last year; Becoming a Dad, a deepening appreciation for Tricia, my desire for long term health and results in ministry and my desire to model a healthy home for the people who look to me as their leader. Lord, might my home be in line with your will for it and might CCF be full of healthy homes.

Monday, October 29, 2007

He that finds a wife...

He that finds a wife finds a good thing even dinner and a clean house and a handywoman!
Noah 1:1

I called Tricia at 5pm this evening to tell her that I would be leaving the office and heading home within 10 minutes and her voice responded on the other end (sounding out of breath), "I am inside the hot tub scrubbing it and dinner is in the oven." It does not get any better than this. She left work, got Davis, met his needs, came home, made a casserole, put it in the oven and tackled the hot tub job that has been haunting me for weeks. (They need drained and cleaned every 3-4 months.) I came home to the smell of dinner and a squeaky clean spa on the back patio. What a wife I found...and for many more reasons than dinner and a clean hot tub!

Oh, and she LOVES Christmas and the decorating and traditions that go along with it, so this evening we ran out so she could "show me" this beautiful Christmas tree they had on sale at BJs. Needless to say, we bought a new Christmas tree tonight. It's OK with me though because ours look a bit "Charlie Brown-ish" and she's been asking for a new one since we were married.

He that finds a wife, finds a good thing, even favor with God.
Proverbs 18:22

Let's Talk About Sex...

This morning I had the privilege of visiting with 10 High School young men about sex, masturbation and pornography (I chose the topics). I will be with them again tomorrow to continue the conversation. I was invited to come and speak with these young men as a part of a "men mentoring men" program at a local school. It was powerful, engaging, beneficial and eye opening. All I have to say is that Parents can do their kids (especially middle school and high school age kids) few favors more important than talking realistically with them about these issues. God help us when our kids learn everything that they know about sexual issues from their schoolmates. I will make plenty of mistakes whiles raising our kids, but I promise you that this will not be one of them. I really wish you could have heard this conversation this morning. You probably would not look at me the same and you surely would not look at High School young men quite the same.

While engaging in good conversation this afternoon with my Youth Pastor he shared this quote with me (one he shared with our youth group last Wednesday night): "Kobe Bryant lost his good name, almost lost his wife and lost approximately $100,000,000 (in dropped sponsors) for a 5-10 second orgasm!" What a thought. He lost all this over something he didn't really want! He wanted it, but he didn't really want it. Think about that! What do you really want?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Catching Up

Since getting home it has been a bit of a whirlwind, but a good one.

My trip Friday night was pathetic...I made record time from VFCC...almost 4 1/2 hours! But it was well worth the wait to walk in the door and see 2 beauties smiling ear to ear for Daddy! Davis changed a lot this past week. He is much more verbal and mobile. He is now saying "momma" and walking while pushing something. Too cool. It is so good to be home.

Yesterday flew by as we hung out, caught up and cleaned the house for company. Lawrence and Nereida Chiles (our guest speaker today) arrived at 3ish. We spent some time together talking and then we headed to the church where we had a dinner and conversation with the Pastoral Staff and their families. We hosted the Chiles last night and it was great to have them in our service this morning. He brought it!! His message was just fantastic (first standing ovation I can ever remember at CCF)!

After teaching Discovery 101 following the service, I headed home and watched the Skins get destroyed by the Patriots. What painful game to watch! Embarrassing! My friend sent me a text asking me where the offense was? My reply: I guess they are back in Landover.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Torn Between 2 Homecomings

Here's an interesting conflict I am having...I am torn between 2 homecomings...

This weekend is homecoming at my Alma Mater, VFCC. Old friends are all over the place up here today and it would be great to reconnect with them. I just ran into a group of old friends at a local restaurant on my lunch break. I have not been to a homecoming in several years.

On the other hand, today is also the day of my homecoming to Tricia and Davis.

Let me think...VFCC or Home...VFCC or Home...VFCC or Home...

--Off to Maryland!! (I am leaving here by 4:00)

Really, there was no conflict for me, but it would be cool if Tricia and Davis were here with me and we could be a part of homecoming together. This school represents a great time in our life and has a special place in our hearts.


The Professor of my class opened today by informing us that Fridays are his T.G.O.F days (Thank God On Fridays). Every Friday he invites his students to articulate things that they are thankful to God for. Instead of asking God for things, Friday is a day that this teacher encourages students to tell God things...things that you are thankful for and want to praise Him for. I like it.

I reflected on my gratitude for the chance to be in these classes where I can gain new tools and fresh perspective! I am also thankful today for the fact that those tragic wildfires have slowed down and been contained.

What can you T.G.O.F for?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Ready to be home!!

OK, this is enough. This class has been long and contained a lot of heavy information to have to take in within a short amount of time. Well, short by some standards. According to the "I-miss-my-family" standard it has been too long.

Oh, this helped...Tricia tells me on the phone today that while Davis was with her at her classroom today, he walked all the way across the room pushing a small desk chair. He was holding on, but so what!? He still walked and I missed it. I am out of here tomorrow and straight home to them.

Staying at the Cosme's again tonight. At least my luggage goes into the car in the morning.


What do you say?

Have you ever known anyone who lost someone close to them? What do you say to them? Have you ever lost someone close to you? What did people say to you? In light of my role as a Pastor, I figured I better learn how to effectively care for grieving people. Of course this past summer opened my eyes to this reality in new ways. Out of my strong desire to learn how to effectively love and care for the grieving, I chose to do some research on grief recovery for one of my grad class assignments. I thought you might find some of these thoughts interesting. Here is a small excerpt from one of my papers:

It seems evident that empathy is what people want and need more than anything else in their journey through grief. In a recent interview with a Christian Counselor he said that true empathy is when you “…connect with the grieving person, get in their place, feel what they feel, try to walk what they are walking, and talk what they are talking.” We practice empathy most effectively through intense listening. Perhaps one of the most common ways to interfere with an effort to express true empathy is to give advice. By nature, advice giving can quickly undercut an attempt to communicate understanding of a person’s feelings. You cannot possibly know exactly what a grieving person is feeling since it is not happening to you. Therefore, if you give advice, you are suggesting that the way that they are feeling needs fixed or changed. As a result, you are failing to validate a person’s right to feel. This is a common and innocent mistake made by so many of us. One of the counselors that I interviewed said with conviction that “when you are dealing with a grieving person, you are either validating or denying their feelings…one or the other.” Remember, there is certainly a difference between validating and condoning. But, empathy means abstaining from blanket comments, mini-sermons and advice. Empathy means being in shock with them, maybe being angry along with them, and resisting the need to break silence with filler statements.

So, "what do you say"? Perhaps that's the wrong question. You may be supporting a grieving person right now. You may be supporting one tomorrow! You just never know. Life is a vapor.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

2 Salvations, Several Rededications

Few things compare to the feeling you get in your heart when you look down and see those words in a text message from your Youth Pastor just minutes after youth group lets out...."2 salvations, several rededications!" That is what happened tonight among our teens! I could sense in Pastor TC's emails today that he had a strong sense of excitement and anticipation about what the Lord was going to do among our youth this evening. Well, it was an appropriate sensing, because young people made some decisions tonight for Christ. This is what it is all about!

Well, I am really violating Luke 10 this week! (Luke 10 says do not move around from house to house.) The last 2 nights I stayed with the Mortensen family. Tonight I am spending the night at the home of a good college friend (Dave Cosme) and his wife. People take just anybody in up here. :-)

Signing off--

My Sister Rocks!

My sister Selah watched Davis today while Tricia was at work. She read my blog today and saw that I missed my family so she snuck in and took a picture of Davis sleeping this afternoon and sent it to me. (see photo on left) This boy rocks!!! Now I just need someone to send me a picture of my beautiful wife! She is my first love (after Jesus of course)!

If you are reading this, then you probably read my blog at least semi-regularly. So, I thought I would let you know this...

A few years ago a friend at CCF purchased me the website domain name so that I would have it to develop one day. One day (when I have more time...haha), I would love to design it and be able to share pictures of our life, church info, my blog, etc.

Until then, I have had the site set up to link directly to my blog. So, if you find it easier you can reach my blog at

So, in all there are 3 ways to connect to this blog:
  3. CCF Website (Staff Page)

Really Missing Them

Today I woke up wanting nothing more than to see and touch Tricia and Davis! I really miss them now. The first few days I'm away are usually okay, but then I hit a point where I want to be with them in a big way! I thank the Lord for my parents/family who is always totally supportive of Tricia and Davis when I am away. What a blessing!

Lord, protect and care for my sweeties today!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

An Awesome Verse

After preaching this weekend on questions about the ways of God, I ran into this verse today. It's one that I have read before, but noticed it in a new way when one of my classmates pointed it out.

After debating with God about whether he would do what he is saying (regarding Sodom and Gomorrah), Abraham gets to hear these words from God...

"Shall not the judge of all the earth do that which is right?"Genesis 18:25

Wow! Strong words...a statement that makes anyone stop and think.

Good news...

I found out today that as a Pastor, I will eventually be able to please everyone in my church!

...Some when I came, and the rest when I leave!


Another way to access my Blog

FYI- You can now access my blog from the CCF website in case you find that more convenient. You can link to the CCF website from this blog on the right hand side of the screen. Just go to the Staff page of the site and click the link that says "Read Pastor Noah's Blog".


Awe man...I can't blend in!

So far this class is going pretty well. The conversations are rich and beneficial. However, I have to be honest...I was a bit disappointed when I arrived yesterday. You may think this is silly, but I was bummed that there were only 3 students in this Grad class. Here's why; I feel like I am always up front, having to talk, engage, etc. When I come these classes, I actually really value the chance to just blend in, to fall into the backdrop, to just listen more, talk less and soak in what I am learning. Well, you can't do that when there are 3 of you or you are deemed antisocial or shy (I like to think I am neither). You have to engage when there are just a few of you. Oh, well. Better luck next time.

I guess I will just make the best of the class sessions by putting all my stuff out there. It's almost like a group therapy session. We all can be really honest in this class because we do not know each others churches. We can talk openly about what we deal with in our particular ministries (and those people that....). God will use it. By the end of the week I will probably have forgotten about my earlier disappointment.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Great Lodging!

I am super thankful tonight for good friendship and great free lodging. My former boss who is the VP of Student Life at Valley Forge Christian College is also a dear friend and mentor to me. I respect Dan for so many reasons. Well, he and his family have a lovely home near Pottstown, PA with huge in-law suite in the basement. They graciously welcome me to stay here every time I am up at class. Tonight I am here at their place. Dan I just chatted later than we should have and I am now turning in for the night. It was a good day in class. I am tired (brain and body).


Always on Time

After a very early morning and a smooth ride north, I am here at Valley Forge for class. As we did introductions around the room (which did not take very long since there are only 3 of us enrolled in this class) I was reminded again of how these classes are always right on time. It feels like God sets these classes up according to what I need in my life and ministry at the time of the class. I am looking forward to a great week of learning.

I already miss my babies. I called them at 7am because I knew that they would be up and getting ready. I talked to Davis on the phone. Tricia says that he smiles and grabs the phone when Daddy is on the other end. Maybe Tricia is just saying that to make me feel better about being away. It worked.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Just a few thoughts

This morning was another special time at CCF. To see people responsive and receptive to the Word of God is always a big blessing to me. I prayed with and observed people that were genuinely engaged with God today. Praise the Lord.

The church went the extra mile to express appreciation to our Pastoral Staff today for Pastor Appreciation Sunday. Tricia and I were really blessed this afternoon when we read the gracious words written in cards and received the gifts that folks extended to us in appreciation. It made us feel special. We do not take our great congregation for granted! Dear people, dear saints!

This afternoon has been spent (and this evening as well) finishing my Masters reading and Papers for class. I will leave at 4:00am tomorrow for Pennsylvania where I will be in a class for the whole week. The class is entitled "Special Studies in Pastoral Counseling." I expect to learn many fresh tools for effective counseling. The course books were great and I am looking forward to a great week!

Anyway, I am sure I will learn a lot this week and I will want to blog some of it out. Will write soon.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Joy of Parenting!

Yesterday was one of those days (many more to come) that reminded Tricia and I of the joy of parenting. For real and sarcastically....

For Real: Yesterday evening, we hurried up and ate dinner so we could take Davis to the Park to swing on the baby swing and play on the equipment. We were so excited to do this, because we have recently learned that he really loves the swing. (see picture from yesterday evening) It was a blast. This boy is super fun!

Sarcastically: I guess Davis loves being with us as much as we love being with him, because when Tricia and I snuck into his room to peek on him and cover him with his blanket that he has thrown off (which is our nightly routine where we ooh and ah and whisper, "can you believe he is our child"), he woke up. All the way. Sat up. Started talking (noises of course). Tricia immediately dropped to the floor in front of his crib hoping he did not see her. When neither of us could control our laughter anymore, we busted out loud and were his room. He had already been asleep for almost 4 hours, so it was game time!

I will not bore you with the rest of the details, but after trying all we knew to try, we were watching Barney at 1:00am. Of course, today would be a day that I had a 7am meeting!

Ah...the joy of parenting!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Check out this quote! Then, go figure...

I set aside the entire day today to read and write papers for my next Masters Class, which is on Pastoral Counseling and starts Monday! While reading, I ran into this quote by a man named Vance Havner, a Southern Baptist preacher. He made this statement after losing his wife, which he was not very happy with God about!

"Whoever thinks he has the ways of God conveniently tabulated, analyzed and correlated with convenient, glib answers to ease every question from aching hearts has not been far in this maze of mystery we call life and death. God has no stereotyped way of doing what He does. He delivered Peter from prison, but left John the Baptist in a dungeon to die....I accept whatever He does, however He does it."

Go figure! Figure out why God does what He does and allows what He allows. Go ahead, I dare you!

Lord, teach me to trust you even when I have no idea what you are up to.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The "B" Word

Aha! Got you to read this one, huh. The "B" word is Boss (clean your mind up)! Today is national Boss's Day. I don't think I even realized that there was such a day, but my team did. It made me feel appreciated and special today when all the staff members here at CCF gave me a card with a great message. The day started with pastor Nelson asking if he could take me to lunch. He did....and it was great! I deeply appreciate the folks that the Lord has allowed me the chance to work with.

Anyway, I am not a big fan of the "B" word. I feel like the word "Boss" has negative connotation. I'd prefer is they'd call it leaders day. Regardless, it feels good to be appreciated.


Without Love

The Family and I returned safely from a fabulous weekend trip to PA! The friends we visited were hospitable and fun and the time of ministry Sunday was enriching. We spoke 3 times on Sunday at Salem Ridge Mennonite Church. The people were exceptionally warm and open to the move of God in their church. I encouraged them with hope from the words of Habakkuk 1:5 ("Look and Wonder, be amazed, for I am going to do things among you that you would not believe even if you were told.") I also encouraged them that a good Christian is one who really wants to be one. A good mother is one who really wants to be one. And a growing church is one who really wants to be one! Their desire to reach people is strong. Their heart and intention is right! May God bless this congregation!

Throughout the busy day I had yesterday, I had to remind myself to stop and spend a few minutes in the word. I know, I am the only one that has ever had that problem. Anyway, I felt drawn to read a passage of scripture that I have read and heard so many times. A passage that defines love, what it looks like and what it doesn't. But something hit me differently when I read I Corinthians 13 yesterday and again this morning. It was the profound comparisons in the first few verses.

If I speak in the tongues of men and angels...without love...I am making a bunch of noise!

If I prophesy, understand mysteries, know everything, and have intense faith...without love...I am nothing!

If I give everything that I have to the poor and after that even sacrifice my own life...without love...I don't gain a thing. (This one is especially interesting when you compare it to John 15:13 where Jesus says that "there is no greater love than to lay your life down for your friend". However, reading this text in I Corinthians, I understand that if I lay down my life for my friend "without love"then it was a worthless death.)

Wow! In my opinion, tongues, prophecy, knowledge, faith, total benevolence and life sacrifice are some pretty phenomenal things. But without love, they are nullified. Think about that! How many times do we do things...maybe even great things...with motivations other than love? What does that mean for the things that we just did then? Are these words in I Corinthians true for us today? Is there anything that we have done or are doing that is nullified...worth nothing? Or is everything you do done in love? Just something to think about.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Couriers

The weather is brisk, the sky is beautiful and Tricia, Davis and I have a had a great day here in PA! Visited VFCC, saw old friends and Professors and even attended Chapel this morning with Barbara (a young lady from CCF who we are so proud of). Perhaps the highlight of our day today was that we just happened to be at the Forge on a day when "The Couriers" were performing in Chapel. Have you ever heard of the Couriers? They have been singing Gospel music for 59 years! They were outstanding.

While driving through Valley Forge National Park this afternoon, Tricia and I reflected on our days when we would go to the park and.......

We both remarked on how glad we are that we took things in phases. There is a season for everything. The dating years, 5 years of marriage (just us) and now there is a little man in the back seat making noises. Feels good, real good!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Headed to PA for the Weekend

This evening Tricia, Davis and I are headed to Pennsylvania. I had a meeting scheduled for tomorrow near Philly, so we made arrangements for Tricia to take off tomorrow so we could all go together. Well, that meeting got canceled just a few days ago. Well, we are still going. After spending 6 years in PA, we made great friends and we rarely get to see them.

Tonight we will stay with the Dan & Shelli Mortensen (my ex-boss and dear friend). Tomorrow we will hang out at our Alma Mater (Valley Forge) and show Davis where Mommy and Daddy fell in love. I am sure he will remember everything we show him. Friday night we will travel west of Harrisburg to spend some time with our friends, Tim and Michelle Czaja. Saturday we will spend time with them before heading to Chambersburg to Tricia's best Friend Tracy and her husband Dave (Tracy is 8 months pregnant and I grew up with Dave at Trinity). We will stay overnight with them on Saturday. Sunday I am preaching 3 renewal messages at Salem Ridge Mennonite Church in Greencastle, PA. I am excited to spend some time with this congregation who is desiring transition and growth. I hope to inspire them and encourage them along. I will share on the theme of Preparing for Transition as a church. I have been asked to speak 3 times, but I have 4 messages in my bag. I will choose which three will fit best once I meet the audience. The messages are:

Preparing for Transition:

Open to Change (the story of CCF)
Open to the Spirit (where Pentecost meets peace, Acts 1 & 2)
Open your Hearts (Intimacy with God, Rev. 3)
Open your Hands (Moses Staff, Exodus 4)

We will be back home late Sunday night. Pray for our safe journey and effective ministry. Maybe I will get to blog a bit over the weekend...we'll see.


Good Ole Thursdays

I love Thursdays. They help me slow down and regroup. This morning, after dropping Davis at Nana's and an interview with a local counselor (in preparation for my upcoming Masters Class), I headed to my off site office. I am starting to really get to know folks here who keep a consistent schedule like I do. Without fail, every week, I see people in bible study groups, small groups, conversation about God, bibles laying out, etc. Every week I get the privilege of engaging in unique conversations with people. About an hour ago, an elderly woman walked up to me and said, "are you a preacher or a student?" I answered her, "both". She proceeded to tell me about the church that she and her husband are committed to. I will let you guess what road it is on. Yup, Good Luck Road. Is that crazy or what? (you'll know what I mean if you read yesterdays blog)

I just stepped outside to make a call and I got the chills. Maybe fall will come after all.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Washington Bible College...Connection!

I just returned from a breakfast meeting with Dr. Larry Mercer, the President of Washington Bible College. He has been in leadership there since 2005. The selection of an African American President for this local PG County Bible College has already paid big dividends.

As I returned back to the office, I felt that I needed to engage a few thoughts. First of all, I was thrilled to see that WBC has made some big strides forward in the last few years. This summer they were granted regional accreditation! There is a real sense that good things are happening and God is moving there. The new President, Dr. Mercer is a super guy with a great heart for this community, the lost and the expansion of the Kingdom of God in the DC area. Perhaps one of the highlights for me as a Pastor of a church sharing a zip code with the college is that he said that he has heard many great things about CCF, is attracted to what God is doing here and wants to strengthen our relationship. As we continue to connect in the weeks and months to come, we will be exploring ways that we can relate to one another. I cannot help but wonder and dream about how we can participate together in making impact for Jesus in 20706 and beyond.

How many churches are in the same zip code as an accredited Bible College on the outskirts of one of the most important cities in the nation, and perhaps the world? What would happen if local churches and institutions of education worked in harmony with one another for the sake of Christ? This excites me even more when I factor in my personal passion for the Christian Higher Education experience that flowed out of my years as a Student and Staff Member at Valley Forge Christian College.

On a personal note, there is something very special about this connection with WBC (maybe silly to some, but very profound to me). About 27 years ago, I was carried into Trinity Assembly of God at 6705 Good Luck Road as an infant. Several years later, Trinity moved a few miles down Good Luck Road to 7800 into a new large facility just a few doors down from WBC. Then, 1994-1998 I attended High School at Lanham Christian School located at 8400 Good Luck Road. These were very formative years for me. Add to that the fact that I am still very connected to Lanham Christian School (just spoke there last week and CCF has kids there) and I am personal friends with Paul Mutchler, Pastor of Grace Brethren Church (this is the guy who connected me with Dr. Mercer).

OK, this is wild to me! I am actually having a moment right now as I am writing this! In so many ways my faith was developed and my life was formed on Good Luck Road in Lanham, MD! And now, is it by accident that I have committed my life to serve in leadership at a church ½ mile from Good Luck Road?

Accident? Coincidence? I think not! What is God up to?

Monday, October 8, 2007

People First, Paper Later

With so many things to do, I had to slow down for a moment and remind myself of the not-to-do list in my life. One of the things on my not-to-do list is that I will never get to all of it. I will regularly be given the wonderful opportunity to say no to good things...even important things...when they do not take priority. So, what does take priority? Today, it was people!

After dropping Davis off, I swiftly headed to visit a member in the hospital who is not doing well. Brought love and hope to them and left with them a plan for our community to care for them for the next few days. A quick stop in the office and out again for a meeting with a member near their workplace. After 80 miles on the road today, I was back to the office for 2 more meetings. A few urgent items and the sharing of these thoughts and I am headed out the door to be home with my babies tonight! I will leave all the many tasks that I did not get to behind as I leave and they will be sitting here waiting for me in the morning (after I go get my tooth fixed which broke yesterday...what fun).

Lots on my heart today, maybe I will catch up later. Good Stuff.

I feel like it happened...Thanks, God

In my blog last week, I shared my heart about the communion experience that I wanted to CCF to share this weekend. I feel like it happened. The call that I sensed from God was that we needed to slow down and stop long enough to share together and understand what we are really doing. When I asked God to remind me again and anew why we share around the communion table, I felt like I heard this from God:

“Hey folks, you gotta eat to live right? Well, you need me to live too, you just may not fully know it yet. I am the bread of life and I am the water that quenches your thirst. You need food for life, like you need me for life. So, whenever you eat…at some of those moments where you commune…because you are going to have to…remember me…what I did, how it felt, what I promised you I would do later and PLEASE don’t forget what is most important to me, after you loving me…you loving others. So, look around and get right with people. Share together, eat together, as one. I love you, and remember you won’t be doing this for long…I will be back soon”

I feel like it happened...Thanks, God!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Go Skins!

I was there today when the Skins embarrassed the Lions at FedEx Field. I actually started to feel bad for the Lions. We won 34-3 and moved to 3-1. We looked good on the field and dominated in every stat. Next week we are in Green Bay. May God grant grace! Smile.

Maybe you just started reading my I a football fan? Yes? I watched the Skins with my Dad from 8 years old until 18 when I left for college. I could not pick up the Skins on TV in PA at College, so I stopped watching or keeping up with it from 1998-2004 while at Valley Forge. Since moving back to MD, I have been into it more each season. I really enjoy it!!


Friday, October 5, 2007

A Very Scary Episode at the Kaye's

Last night at 5pm, Daddy was changing Davis on the kitchen counter (for the last time) when Mr. Davis decided to do a face first belly flop onto the hardwood kitchen floor. This was about a 3 foot dive. My heart jumped out of my chest. As I reached for him to catch him, I felt like I was in slow motion. It was so scary! His behavior was immediately very odd (sleepy, no crying) so we called our doctor right away and our doctor told us to call 911. Paramedics came and Davis took an ambulance ride to Children's Hospital (with Tricia) as I followed. They told me that I could not follow the ambulance. Can you imagine sitting there on the side of the road while your child and wife are in an ambulance passing you. Yeah, neither could I. I still can't...seeing as how I followed them! After arriving there at the hospital, we shared some very scary moments in a trauma unit, while Davis got IV's, body x-rays and a CT scan (all while wearing an awful neck brace). Tricia and I sat terrified waiting for the results. I was stoic. I just knew he was I sat there beating myself up and replaying his fall over and over again in my head. After a long two hours, they declared him totally healthy! They monitored him until 10pm and then we headed home. On the quiet ride home, I kept seeing him fall until I felt nausea and cried. I think I got it all out. We feel better today and he is doing great! We called his Doc and she said unless he starts acting really out of character, he is out of the woods.

I felt better today when Ginny McGill (a friend form church) told me that if a baby has a good fall the first year of their life, they will live long! In that case, long live Davis!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Communion: More than an add-on

I have been in too many evangelical worship services where the sharing of communion felt individualized and rushed, when it seems that scripture defines it as relational and sacred. This Sunday at CCF, we will share in communion together. As I began to discern what to preach on, it dawned on me again that communion is more than an add-on at the end of a service. I know we know that...But, I feel like we too often do our thing on Sunday; 5 songs, welcome, greet, announce, pray, offering, preach and then the Pastor tries to make the message he preached somehow connect us to a time around the Lord's table and then...Communion time. And you better hurry because you are already 4 minutes past the end of the service. I am guilty too, by the way!

You know, I am thinking communion itself could take 90 minutes (and the "the service") if we would let it. Here are some of the words in scripture (in Luke 22 & I Cor. 10-11) associated with the communion experience:
  • Remember
  • Examine
  • Participate
  • Anticipate
  • Together
  • As One
  • Proclaim
If we do this together on Sunday, I am convinced that it will indeed be a message! A message that takes scripture seriously and really engages us with how Jesus feels about us! With 55 hour work weeks and 55 other things to do on top of that, I hope that this weekend we slow down and stop long enough to sit at the table and share!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Some nights are harder than others. Sometimes, I am able to leave the office and disconnect pretty well and BE HOME (in more ways than just physically). Tonight, I am not doing so well with that. This was one of those days that I just felt like I needed to stay at my desk for another 5 hours just to put a dent in the list of things that I need to get to. Oh, well. I walked out at 5:00pm. I am home, but my head is stuck at work. I guess this is my moment of confession. Tricia is in the bath, so I snuck to the computer to polish up my message for tomorrow (preaching at Lanham Christian School in the morning) and blog these thoughts.

So, here is my prayer tonight: Lord, help me realize that I will never get it all done and that anything of worth that is accomplished through me is really done by you anyway since you created me. Continue to teach me to be present wherever I am. Teach me to love my family the way that you love your church! Father, give me the wisdom to know what to tackle and the strength to do it in a way that shows you off!

I've got to get lessons!!

Just got off the golf course. (and everyone behind me says "thank the Lord"!!) This is the weirdest thing! I love this sport! I have been playing now for about a year and half. But, I am still horrible...I mean really bad! But I love it. I love being out there, exercising, hanging with the guys and forgetting about everything else. (This morning I golfed with Lew, TC and Eamon, my brother in law.) One good hit is all I need for it to be worth the money. In that case, I guess it is never worth the money:-)!

I really need lessons. If you are dying to buy me a gift, there you have the perfect idea!


Monday, October 1, 2007

My Mom

This morning, I feel extra thankful to the Lord for an excellent mother in my life! Mom has played a HUGE role in shaping who I am today (more than I probably realize). Saturday was her birthday, but we had to celebrate it last night at my sister Harmony's home in Davidsonville. Why? Because she was out of town in Virginia providing leadership for our church Women's Retreat (which went exceptionally well, I am hearing).

As I observed Mom last night loving on and being loved by her 5 children, 5 children-in-law, and 5 Grandkids, I was reminded again how blessed we are as a family! So many people have no living mother or no relationship with their mother. So, today I celebrate the fact that Tricia, Davis and I have a mother figure like my mom in our lives.

God, bless Mom BIG today, I pray!