Friday, November 30, 2007

A Weird Day

Today was weird. With Tricia and Davis being gone, I kept thinking I was forgetting or missing something. I kept thinking Davis was down for a nap and I needed to get him or pick him up or something. Fridays I am usually with him. Instead, I hung out, ran errands, chilled with my brother and parents, and just did whatever I felt like doing. My brother and I did one of our favorite past times...RV if we could ever afford one! Oh, and here is the best part. Even with her whirlwind trip out the door this morning, Tricia managed to leave me a list...and I got it done! It was a good day, but I always feel like something is missing without my babies.

And just like that they're gone!

Tricia woke me up at midnight (after I just fell asleep at the end of the Packer/Cowboys game) because she had just spoke with her Mom in NY. Terry, my mother-in-law, was diagnosed with cancer just after losing her husband in June. When she talked to Tricia last night she sounded bad, was very weak, and quite discouraged. She said to Tricia (as she often does) "I wish you were here." Well, my wife "felt in her heart" that she needed to catch the next flight to Albany. At almost 1am she bought a ticket to leave at 7am (yes, THIS MORNING). We were up at 5 and I just returned from dropping Tricia and Davis at BWI. They will fly back tomorrow. When my wife, who is very rational and planned, tells me that she feels something "in her heart and in her spirit," we listen. I will miss them, but they will be back soon! ...just like that there and all!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Team Teaching

I am really looking forward to Sunday's message. Pastor TC and I are team teaching. We spent the afternoon and early evening completing preparation. It is always a challenge to prepare a sermon with someone else and to be in sync with what the Lord is saying and how we will share in communicating it. It always ends up being fun and since it is different, people listen intently, because people like different.

The title of our message is "The Trouble with Transition." One of the truths that I look forward to sharing this Sunday is this...Our human nature regarding transition is such that we love and relish the old and the familiar because it is comfortable. We also usually end up loving the new because it is fresh and different and it promises impact. It's the transition...the in-between time that we aren't so comfortable with.

There's your sneak peak. This should be fun!

Divine Counsel

Here is something that you may or may not know about me. I love people. I believe that other people are on of God's top 3 ways that He speaks to us (His word, His Holy Spirit, His children). I love to be in relationship and counsel with people about my leadership and about my life. I do not know where I would be today had it not been for leaders that I have put myself around. Call them mentors, call them coaches, call them friends...God has placed some of His choice servants in my life and I praise him for that today. People like my wife, my parents, my siblings, my friends, my professors, my Bishop, The staff I work with every day, and many pastors and leaders that are both local and out of state.

One of the things that I really treasure is my relationship with a few Pastors with gray (or white) hair who have been at this for many, many years and they have already led through whatever might be staring me in the face. There is one particular influencer in my life over the last few years that has been worth a million. Every time I leave the lunch table after being with him, all I can think is "how was counsel worth so much just given for free." I reckon he probably wouldn't mind a check in the mail though, smile. Have you ever had that feeling? The feeling that you should be paying BIG bucks for counsel that fresh!

Well, yesterday, a good friend and coach handed me a napkin with 7 passages of scripture written on it. He told me that these verses needed to me my quiet time this morning. I carried that napkin in my pocket all day yesterday. When I went to bed last night, I laid it on top of my wallet and whispered "Lord, speak to me in the morning." Even as I said those words, I felt the Holy Spirit near. Well, He answered and He spoke! The passages that I dwelled in (and wept over) this morning were a series of passages from II Corinthians. Maybe you want to share in them as well. I will share with you the passages that impacted me the most this morning (click on them to link to them). I plan to sit with them a lot more in the next few days.

II Corinthians 1:12
II Corinthians 3:1-3
II Corinthians 7:1-4

You know a good friend or counselor when they point you in the direction of the divine counsel of God through His word. That voice, those words, impact me more deeply than any person ever can!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Davis Update

If you are a parent, then maybe you can relate to this...I feel like there are some days that I just want to stare at my son and wonder how he's ours? Some days he looks so cool, so cute in his outfit, and so much like a miracle of God. Well, this evening, Tricia and Davis and I really enjoyed some well needed family time, just us! Dinner, play time, laughing, bath and bedtime routine. Here is a very cute recent bath picture that is appropriate for the Internet. Look at this kid! He can now stand on his own for about 5-10 seconds and walk very well while we hold his hand. He can also climb the entire set of steps (13 of them) in our home. Yes, I was standing behind him. No, I do not want to be responsible for another ambulance ride to Children's Hospital.

Oh, and Tricia dressed Davis in his Redskins outfit today in honor of Sean Taylor. We woke up this morning to learn that this young Redskins Safety was shot and killed. My heart and prayers have gone out several times today to his family, friends and the Redskins Club. Thanks to the Lord that the Head Coach, Joe Gibbs is a Christian and so are several of the other players. My friend Matt Gary interned with the Skins this year and met some super guys that love the Lord. I pray that God will somehow use them during this time to impact this team for Christ.

Remaining Faithful

Remain faithful! Those are the words on my heart today! REMAIN FAITHFUL, NOAH! Remaining faithful means a lot of things. For me, today, it means pressing into the Lord in prayer for wisdom, instead of leaning on my own or anyone else's understanding. It means believing God with hope instead of looking to the enemy in unbelief. Remaining faithful for me, today, means speaking the heart and mind of the Lord Jesus Christ and not my own flesh and will. It means remembering my call and who God has crafted me and commissioned me to be. I thank the Lord today that his plan ALWAYS WINS because he is ALWAYS FAITHFUL!!!

Psalm 146:6 "...The Lord remains faithful forever!"

I pray that you, my faithful God,will teach me today how to remain faithful. I love you, Lord and I thank you for your example of perfect faithfulness!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Christmas at CCF! Mark your Calendars!

With the exception of a few meetings, I have spent the majority of my morning tending to the many leadership and planning details of our various Christmas events at CCF! It's almost like we have to get through one holiday to start thinking about the next. We finalize the December Capital this Wednesday, so it is full speed planning so we can publish all the details! In the process of thinking through all of this, I got super excited about the approaching holidays together as a church. Good memories always get made. So that you can begin getting excited with me, here are the main events for this Christmas month (get your calendar out!):
  • This Sunday, December 2nd- Decorate the church for Christmas at about 1:30pm (after the Business Meeting-- insert plug for business meeting here!)
  • Saturday, December 8th- Ladies Brunch & Cookie Exchange at 9:30am.
  • Friday, December 14th- Annual Evening Christmas Party. A group is already at work on this and it is gonna be super!
  • Sunday, December 16th- REAL Teens Holiday Service Project to the Elderly in our community!
  • Thursday, December 20th at 7:00pm-Christmas Caroling at Local Nursing Homes.
  • Sunday Morning, December 23rd- Special Christmas Program/Service
  • Monday, December 24th at 6pm- Christmas Eve Service
  • AND...We are doing Angel Tree again. Get your Angel this Sunday!
I am really looking forward to a great month with you all!


Sunday, November 25, 2007

The ups and the downs

I really hesitate as to whether to write this or not. I take some risk in doing it, but it is worth taking a risk for gaining your prayer support. I am human and this my blog...a place to share my heart. The top of your screen says "on my heart today", right? Well, let me tell you what is on my heart.

I feel discouraged today. I cannot go into detail, but lots of things are going on at the church, much of which is confidential (in addition we have an important Executive Board Meeting tomorrow night, a Business Meeting next Sunday and a LOT to do to be ready for them). There are those times in ministry that you feel like everything is great and other times when it is not so easy or so fun. Some of the things you have to know and stuff you have to deal with can be pretty tough and draining. I am guessing that I am not the only Pastor in the world that wishes they could evade a Sunday morning a couple times throughout their ministry. I will take the downs and thank God for the many ups.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Leaving Already

I wanted to make sure I showed you a picture of where we stayed this week. Pretty hot pad, huh? Getting ready to pack my laptop has been the community laptop sitting out in the common area for all to use. After a great getaway, it's hard to believe that we are packing up to head home. I am actually going to leave at 4:30am tomorrow and drive in for church. I am thankful that Pastor Lew is preaching, because I did not have to have my mind on a sermon the last few days. We have had a great time, but with 16 people in 1 house, you are pretty ready to divide again after 5 days. This week has certainly reminded me of how much I have to be thankful for. Noise, commotion, laughter and chasing after kids all represent things that God has richly blessed me with.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Have you ever shopped all night?

We have lost our mind. One of the things that we look so forward to every year that we come up here to the beach, is to go to the Rehoboth Beach Outlets and do Christmas Shopping...getting great sales. We usually go very early in the morning for the early bird sales. Well, we found out a few days ago that this year the outlets were going to open at midnight. We went. 1:00am-9:00am! It was fascinating to stand in lines that wrapped all the way around stores at 3 in the morning. Wild experience. But, guess what? We are done our Christmas shopping in one all-nighter!

We had a great Thanksgiving yesterday. By the way, if you have never had fried turkey, then you have never had turkey. It takes turkey to a whole new level. My brother fried one yesterday and the men just hung out outside staring at the turkey fryer. Good Times! I am not sure what the women were doing. Perhaps they were preparing the other 20 dishes at the table yesterday. :-)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Totally Relaxed

After a 3 hour nap, I am up and here is the view out the front of our Beach House just as the sun set. We are doing it relaxed!! Everyone is just doing the things they love...sleeping, eating, sleeping, eating, and other less important things. Smile.

A Courageous Confession

There was an article that came out at the end of October that has been on my mind at least once a day since I read it. It is in my head and on my heart. I have received emails from more than five friends in ministry making sure I have seen it. It is really a stirring confession that was released by Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois. Here is the here!

Willow Creek is a mega church that has impacted many churches and church leaders with their wealth of resources and training. This church (and they have their own association), under the leadership of Bill Hybels has been on the front edge of church growth strategies and tools for the last 15 years in America. Highly Influential. I have driven all the way out there for a conference myself.

A brief summary of the article is that Willow Creek is saying:
  • They have focused too much on the size of a church, numbers and providing people with what they want.
  • They are realizing that in neglecting to give people what they need, they have failed to teach people how to engage in a healthy and personal faith journey.
  • They have confessed that they have made a mistake and sent people in the wrong direction.
OK, now, I am going to be blogging more about this, but let me share with you a few of my personal thoughts and ideas and how this article is impacting my thinking. Again, I will elaborate more later, but here goes:
  • It is easy to fill a church. It's easy for the church...Just say the right things, advertise in the right places, have the right programs, appeal to people's senses, exert enough Charisma, have the right friends, be creative, have cool publications and a cool website, create buzz, so on and so on and the chances are you will grow a church! It's easy for the people. Show up for an hour and a half a week so that we grow this thing. That's easy enough. For most people, if you will give them a creative enough service, they will give you your hour and a half. We've got a deal.
  • The difficult part is to fill lives with lordship of Jesus Christ and to create Disciples (Matt. 28:18-20)! This is the tough part for the church (organizationally) and the people (the people are the church). Discipleship is the job of the faithful, the strong, the brave. When the church commits to discipleship (over church growth), they take on a hefty task! Reason...because it is so much more difficult for the people you are reaching. An hour and a half of sitting is simple and even fun. Changing my language, my choices, the way that I treat my spouse, my trips to the club, finding time for God through the week...that is a whole different conversation. That is the conversation of discipleship...a journey for the faithful, the strong, and the brave!
At CCF, do we want to grow a church or disciple people? This is a huge question.

More about this later...Tricia is inviting me to the grocery store...for the 4th time in the last 15 minutes. Peace!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

We're here!

We are here and having fun already. We just sat around singing Johnny Cash and other old country songs to the guitar. John Armstrong (My Mom's best friends husband) plays. In case you were wondering, kids change life! It looked like we had packed for a 4 week getaway. Last year, we went away and had no kids. This year we have a house full of them...and the house echoes. It will be loud, but fun!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

All Packed Up...

We are all packed and ready to go! We leave tomorrow at noon for Bethany Beach, DE where we will spend the rest of the week in a beach house with 16 people (family and friends that we love being with!). The place has 7 bedrooms, 4 levels, and an elevator, so I think we will all fit. We will eat, play games, chat, laugh, lay out and swim in the ocean (ok, maybe not those last 2). We are so excited for the break. I am going into the office in the morning and I hope to have everything pressing wrapped up and off my chest before we head out.

By the way...Our house is all decorated for Christmas, inside and outside (our home in Bowie that is, not the place we are going)! We did half Saturday and the rest yesterday. It looks pretty festive! We graduated to 2 trees this year. We have one in our family room and one in our formal living room in front of a window facing the street. It is one of our traditions that we like to decorate for Christmas before we travel for Thanksgiving so that when we get home, we plug and play! I truly do love the Holidays! Tricia absolutely loves traditions. She is our steady eddy. When it comes to the holidays we do things a certain way at a certain time...period. Oh, and since this is our first Christmas with a kid, we are starting a few new traditions this year. I can't keep up, but I don't worry, she won't let me forget them.

If I link up to WiFi, I will blog this week. If not, we'll pick up when we get back Saturday night.


What everyone thinks, but no one says...

This morning was the party for the death of Jaye's father, Stanley Shelton (click his name and it will connect you to his obituary). Jaye is our administrative assistant at the church and a dear friend. Her family wanted it to be a celebration this morning and it was just that! It was a neat day, and from the little I knew of Mr. Shelton, he would have been pleased with the spirit of the day. We hosted the funeral at the church and I shared leadership with another Pastor in their family.

Something happened during the ceremony that really made me chuckle and I wanted to share it with you. It's what everyone thinks, but no one says...

If you have been to very many funerals, then you know what it is like to sit through them and think to yourself "are they burying the same person that I knew?" "Am I at the wrong funeral?" It seems that everyone is a saint when they die. Well, today during the funeral the family wanted me to facilitate a time for people in the congregation to come forward and share personal tributes about Mr. Shelton. That is ALWAYS risky, but sometimes it can be very meaningful. Well, it turned out pretty good this time. The last person to get up and share was Jaye's older brother, Jerome. He is the eldest and only son. When he stepped to the microphone he thanked everyone for their kind words and support and then he began to share the real deal. He bragged on his Dad and then said...

"I am not sure who you all were talking about today, but my father was a mean man. He beat me regularly. He was a liar. He told me he would win me the lottery and he never did. He was a con artist....he said a few other things and then he bragged on his Daddy some more. He really loved him!"

It struck me when he did this, because so often at funerals we sit there thinking things that no one ever says. After all, we are all born human, so my guess is that we probably die human too!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Thank Offering

Some of you that read this blog are a part of CCF. Others of you are friends and family from out of state or that don't attend the church. So, if you were there, you know that this morning was a very special morning at CCF. If you were not there, allow me to tell you.

Seeing as how it is Thanksgiving this Thursday, I preached a message that invited our congregation to identify things that they are thankful for. At the end of the message, we all wrote on an index cards 2-3 things that we were specifically wanting to thank God for. After that, we all walked to the altar and placed our cards into a basket as a "thank offering". After that, we lifted the basket to the Lord (me and about 30 people in a huddle) as an offering of Thanks to the Lord. Psalm 50:14-15 & 23 set the tone for our offering of thanks today.

Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me." He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God."

OK, it overwhelmed me to tears this morning to witness hundreds of people walking forward and extending their personal offering of thanks to God! It was evident as tears flowed in the room, that the Holy Spirit was moving this morning. The things written on those little pieces of paper must have been as various as the stories in the room. We destroyed the papers after the service. What was written was for God, not any of us.

Lord, to you be the praise for another great morning at CCF!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Teething is so fun!

Davis is such a great kid with a super warm personality. We have enjoyed him so much this year. Recently, when I was at the Doctors with him, a mother of three in the waiting room told me that teething was a challenging time for her kids. Of course, I have heard that before. But she said something else that I had not heard stated quite this way. She said that their whole temperament changes...they are almost like a different child. Well, I took note of that statement and thought "I will have to see that to believe it." Well, I decided tonight that I believe it. Davis is a late teether (the first one still has not broken through), but he is certainly teething and he is definitely whining pretty much from 5:30-Bed every night. Thankfully bedtime is about 7:30. It is taking some patience for Tricia and I to sustain the continuous whining and crying all evening.

Am I complaining? Nope! This time last year, all we wanted was to meet this little he is here and is lighting our life up! What a precious addition to our home.

Extreme Makeover Episode Over!

OK, we are done with remodeling our master bathroom! We are both thrilled with how it came out. It will not look too impressive if you don't look at the before picture (scroll down to my blog entry of November 7th). It looks like a pretty drastic change if you compare the two.

Again, I am not handy, so I thank God for lots of good help. However, even though I am not handy, I will not leave a project undone for very long. I like to finish what I start. I promised Tricia a Christmas completion. Beat the deadline!

That's it for me for a few months. I am too busy to take on projects like this too often.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Almost Done

I ran all day! I used my day off today to finish the remodeling job on our bathroom. We are almost there. Tomorrow we will go out and get a new decorative picture that matches our new paint color. Once we have that done, I will post a picture of the final product of "Extreme Makeover Kaye Bathroom Edition." :-)

In order to finish it up, I had to make two trips to Home Depot, one run to a tile and marble store and one run to Duron. Between that and completing the work, it pretty much shot my whole day. My brother helped me a lot. Neither of us are master carpenters by any stretch of the imagination, but together we get it done (and enjoy hanging out). We closed our day together as a family with an evening trip to Target. Davis stayed awake until almost 10:00...and was a good boy!!

Almost Done! Will show you tomorrow.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Lanham Christian School Banquet

Just got home from a very nice evening at an alumni banquet from my High School (Lanham Christian School). Tricia is still not feeling all the way better. She has a doctors note saying that she cannot return to school until Monday so she felt that it would be best that she stay home tonight. Hence, I invited Selah (my sister) to take her ticket and she was able to get Randy (her husband) a ticket at the last minute. We had fun together...laughed the whole way home...mainly at people we used to go to school with.

It was nice to see old friends, old teachers and administrators and connect with people that I have not seen in years. Honestly, there were more than a few times tonight where people were very warm and friendly and "so glad to see me again" while I had NO IDEA who they were! I am the faker, though. "Oh, so good to see you's been a while (evidently)." Lord, forgive me!

Honestly, I thank the Lord extra tonight that I am an alumnus of 2 great schools! Both my high school (Lanham Christian School) and my college (Valley Forge Christian College) hold VERY special places in my heart. God used both of these places to form me and shape me for my call in life and ministry. I am thankful for that tonight!

Who learns to dance before they walk?

Davis Joseph Kaye!!

While watching Barney and Handy Manny this morning with Davis, I kept noticing him moving his body back and forth in a weird way...almost like dancing. He has always loved music! Tricia got on the floor with him and started dancing. He joined her. This morning he began dancing on command. Of course he dances stiff and weird like a white boy should. He doesn't even walk yet (although he is getting close). Who learns to dance before they walk?

On top of that, we all know that dancing is a BIG SIN! So, my son needs delivered from sin already. Smile. Hopefully you know me well enough to sense my sarcasm.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

"He's Gone"

Most of you that read my blog probably know Jaye Lindo. Jaye is my right hand woman, Director of Operations at CCF. She is a dear friend and an asset to the church. Over the last few weeks her father has become increasingly ill with brain cancer and other forms of cancer as well. We have known that outside of a miracle he would passing into eternity very soon. Well, I received a text from Jaye at 4:00 today that simply read "He's Gone." To which I replied "I will be showing up at your parents house in a few minutes unless you stop me." She did not stop me and I was there in 30 minutes. Jaye has a super family! I thank God for that. Her dad was still laying in the bed. He looked peaceful. As I stood over him with Jaye rubbing his head, the verse in James 4:14 was as real to me as anything could be...I looked at Jaye and said, "life is truly a vapor that appears for a while and the vanishes."

May God be extra near and extra real to the Lindo & Shelton families during these days!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Over the last few weeks I have taken some time to read many different pastors blog and I have learned so much from it!! There are pastors that I know and respect across the country that utilize blogging in a BIG WAY in their ministries. One of my biggest blog-spirations (has been for a few years) is Mark Batterson's blog. Mark is the Lead Pastor of National Community Church in DC. He is a fantastic writer, dynamite leader and has a super blog.

I am finding over the last few months that this is going to be a pretty awesome and effective way for me to keep up with myself and for others to keep up with me as well. I have really been enjoying it and now I can see why these Pastors have utilized this tool.

This may change over the years, but here are the reasons I blog for now:
  1. Forces me to slow down and process, think and reflect.
  2. Helps me capture my journey as a Christian, leader, husband and father.
  3. Allows other people a chance to get to know me more and have a window into my day and into my life. As much as I would like to know everyone in my church, I know that I can't. At least those that wish to know more about me can connect to my life daily through this blog.
  4. Accomplishes so many other goals from serving as a means of advertising, humor, confession, learning and teaching. One of my friends calls this "Digital Discipleship." Interesting definition.
So, this got me thinking more. I wish I could know everyone at CCF personally! I am convinced that we have more special people with amazing stories and untapped ability than I can even imagine! I wish I could touch them, know them, know their needs and pray with them and for them. Obviously, there are not enough hours in the day. I appreciate what Andy Stanley said..."Everyone needs to know Jesus! Not everyone needs to know Andy Stanley."

Here is my question to you...
(I would love you to comment through the link below)

Do you find value in reading my blog? (Who are you?)
If so, how do you think I could publicize it and invite more people to interact with it?

Can you take a moment to comment?
Thanks, friend!

Come on Tuesday!!

OK, confession time again! I cannot stinkin' wait to go away for Thanksgiving! I love my job...too much! I end up getting so deeply into what is hoppin around here that I eat, breath and sleep it. Hence, I know when I need a break to disconnect (for longer than 24 hours). My next "disconnection opportunity" is coming next Tuesday at noon when we head to Bethany Beach, DE for the Thanksgiving week. We are really looking forward to it now. Wait till you here about this place we are staying. I will tell you about that later. You can't handle that today:-)


Monday, November 12, 2007

Flee Flu!

Tricia is really sick. It seems as though she may be coming down with the flu. She has gotten progressively worse throughout the day today. I just returned from the 24 hour CVS to get her medicine. She has a high fever and has the shivers (and other stuff). If you are reading this, please pray for her! I am not the most nurturing soul in the world, and when she is sick, she wants Mommy. So, I went and got my Mom an hour ago and she is here spending the night and taking care of her (in that nurturing way that mothers do). She is spoiled by a great mother-in-law!

My prayer is FLEE FLU...away from my wife!

The Red Cups...always a good day!

When I was doing my devotions at one of my satellite offices this morning (Starbucks in Bowie), I was reminded of what happened last week that I never told you about...

I went in to get my morning coffee and I noticed that the menu was red, Christmas decorations were out and the THE RED CUPS were back!! Starbucks always switches to red cups for the Christmas season. I look forward the "red cup day" every year. It means that the holidays are upon us! I love the return of the red cups!

Well, I reacted aloud when I walked in and saw the red cups. I told the employees how happy I was that this day was here! The lady ringing me out said "thank you so much for saying that...people have been complaining all morning that it is too early for the red cups! It is good to hear someone positive!" When I handed her my money to pay, she refused it and told me to have a good day! Free coffee as a reward for a positive comment!

Man, I should have ordered breakfast and a new coffee maker!


As I expected, our youth Sunday yesterday morning was spectacular! (Incidentally, I sat in the middle section of the church with my family and never moved from my seat to the stage once! It was weird, but good!) I told my Youth Pastor that they hit a home which he replied "No, we hit a grand slam because CCF already has the bases loaded!" Let that mean whatever you want for you. ;-)

After service yesterday, a young lady in our church approached me and told me that the Fearless production on Saturday night really spoke to her and when she went home, she wrote a poem. She often does this. She loves to write poetry and expresses her feelings this way. Her name is Jesse Coffey and she gave me permission to share this poem with you:

I fear only God, it's Him that I trust
To honor and love Him, this is a must
When you're going through troubles He'll carry you through
His strength and His love will help you renew
As I go through this life my worries are less
Your story has taught me to boldly stay "FEARLESS!"

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Youth Sunday

Oh...and if tonight wasn't a big enough blessing, tomorrow is Youth Sunday at CCF. The youth are leading the entire service. They are leading worship, doing announcements, praying, singing special music, ushering, greeting, and TC is preaching a message entitled "How to Run a Marathon" (which is quite appropriate for a guy that ran a marathon 2 weeks ago...and finished). Looking forward to a super day tomorrow!

Guess what I am doing in the service tomorrow? Nothing! Cool, huh? Go Youth!!

Amazing Production...Fearless

Just got back from the Dance Production "Fearless" that was put on by our young people at CCF! This was kids, youth and young adults putting on a full scale production using music, drama, dance, lights, props, other effects...even included 11 scenes! All of it came together to tell a powerful story. It was absolutely outstanding! Over 250 people filled the Worship Center tonight for this event. I was so proud to see our young people take such ownership. This thing was led by our young people in every way. Sharonda Roberts (a talented young adult at CCF) wrote, directed, choreographed and ran the entire thing. It was a personal dream and vision of hers. I am so proud of her!

To borrow the words I used when I closed the event in prayer tonight...Lord, please keep these young people dancing in the church instead of the clubs and please help us to encourage them to keep using their bodies for you instead of themselves or the world.

To God be the glory for and amazing production tonight!

A Day Off

Yesterday was my day off. Actually, I am finding that I do not blog much when I am "off" (whatever that means as a Pastor). I did not write yesterday, not because I did not have anything to write, but because I did not have the time.

I will write this one confession about yesterday. I was a bad boy! I did wrong, let me come clean! I took Davis to the doctor at 11:30. I arrived early (11:15). They called me back at 12:15. I waited 15 more minutes for the nurse, 10 more minutes after that for the Doctor, and 10 more minutes after that for the lady that gives the shots (Davis got the flu shot). So, if you were counting...that is a doctors appointment of over an hour and a half...with an infant...DURING NAP TIME!! You fill in the rest. I got really, really impatient and took it out on Tricia by blaming her for scheduling a nap-time appointment. I was wrong. She let me know it when I got home (wish you could have been there...perhaps I would not have got it quite as bad). Smile. I think we have worked it out. Marriage, Kids, Dads!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

We love our Small Group!

Our small group just ended and we said goodnight to some dear people! God has blessed us with a great small group. It was awesome tonight. We are doing a video series on "Secrets of the Vine." Tonight we dealt with the issue of pruning. What is the difference between discipline and pruning? They both are painful. This series answers questions like this and helps a believer figure out how to bear much fruit. Our sharing throughout (we kept hitting pause) was really super! Good stuff...great friends!

When we were done we all played a game of darts together and Ismael (a friend in our group) embarrassed me (in my own house).


I wanted to post a blog inviting everyone who reads this to invite everyone you know to...

@ CCF on This Saturday at 7:00pm

This is a worshipful production of drama and dance that we have annually at CCF! I cry I every year through the whole evening humbled by the fact that young people are dancing for Jesus instead of the eyes at the club! Come out for this one!

Hot Tub Time

The house we bought (about a year and a half ago) came with a pool and a hot tub in the back yard. Calm's not as good as it sounds. The pool is horrible, above ground and a pain to keep up! The hot tub, on the other hand is pretty great! We use it most in the fall and winter (almost every night). Nothing beats a nighttime visit to the hot tub on a crisp fall night or on a snowy winter night (yes, it is too cool to be in the hot tub with snow falling).

Anyway, we got a new filter and fresh water and we are back in action. It is on tonight!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Extreme Makeover: Kaye Bathroom Edition

So, our master bathroom is gutted and stripped, mudded and sanded, primed and about to be painted (if Tricia would pick a color...I think she wants me to). After painting, we will lay new vinyl flooring, install new base and have my friend Chris return to install our new sink/vanity and toilet. Here is a picture of it for now. Wait till you see the finished product! It's gonna be extreme makeover...yeah right!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Great Book!

The book that I am reading this week is called "On Being A Servant of God"...I mentioned it in my Blog yesterday. Well, this book gets richer and richer. This morning, I had it on my schedule to Golf early and had arranged for Tricia to take Davis to my sister (who is watching him today). The rain messed golf up, but since it was all set for me to leave early, I did, and I headed off to Starbucks where I saw Danny and Anna (they work there and know what I drink before I get to the counter) and other friends that I see almost daily. I got my "Grande drip in a Venti Double Cup" and plopped down in my favorite chair to read. I then read half of this book! This is a good one. Jim Cymbala does the foreword, and in it he says that he has purchased and given out over 100 of these little books to pastors and friends. After reading half the book, I can see why!

Here are a few quotes from the book that I want to stay with me:
  • "When the Pilot does not know what port he is heading for, no wind is the right wind."
  • "The trouble with too many of us is that we think God called us to be manufacturers when he really called us to be distributors."
  • If we understand the idea above, Wiersbe says "You won't be frustrated trying to manufacture everything to get the job done; and when God blesses your work, you won't be tempted to take the credit."
  • God makes divine resources available to us when we do HIS work. We call that Grace. John 1:16 says we have all received "grace for grace." This image is kind of like the idea of an ocean sending wave after wave ashore. On this idea, Wiersbe says "It reminds me of the poor woman who had her first view of the ocean and stood on the shore weeping. When asked why she was weeping, she replied 'it's so good to see something that there is plenty of.'" WOW!
  • When we face difficulties as Christians, we should not ask "How can I get out of this?" Instead we should ask "What can I get out of this?"
  • "In whatever a man does without God, he must fail miserably--or succeed more miserably."
Taking a few moments to reflect on some of this really helps me to retain some of these truths. Maybe you appreciate it too! Like, Jim Cymbala...I will probably be buying a few copies of this one to give out! (in the same way it was given to me)

Great Book! Maybe I will share more later. Love!

Monday, November 5, 2007

I Made It...

I mean it when I say that God has really blessed CCF with great people! The folks that serve on our Executive Board are faithful and want the best for this place! Good meeting! We will figure out all the numbers and where we will get the money with the Lord's help (by December 2nd please, God...the day of our Annual Business Meeting).

When we opened the meeting tonight I shared this quote from a book that I just started reading this morning.

The Book: "On Being A Servant of God" by Warren Wiersbe.

The Quote: "Ministry takes place when divine resources meet human needs through loving channels to the glory of God." I thought this was a good one!

Budgets & Boards

Pray for me! We have Executive Board meeting tonight and we are talking Budget 2008. I have lots to do before tonight at 7 and this is often a nerve-racking process. This is NOT my favorite part of being a Pastor. I need your prayers today for wisdom and patience. I am already feeling a little "spunky" which is never good on a night I have a Board Meeting. Our Board has good folks on it that do make the process more enjoyable (and NO...I did not just say that in case they read my blog...see the top of this page for a reminder of what people need to do when they find something here that they don't like, smile!).

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Isaiah 61:1-3

This morning was a great morning at the church. I am totally blessed to be called to minister at a place like CCF! There is always such a good spirit among the people. Great day! I was able to utilize some of my material from my Grad class the other week...while beginning to lay some bricks for what God may want to build among us in 2008. We looked at Jesus' answer to the question "what matters most?" (Matthew 22:36-40)

Last night was incredible as well. I was encouraged at how many people came out to Saturday night prayer. I sensed the Lord calling us to focus our time last night on prayer for healing. (I had sent a prayer email out to that end on Thursday.) We gathered last evening, read Isaiah 61 and James 5 and began sharing prayer needs (specifically for healing). We anointed people with oil and prayed for the sick who were not able to be there. It was a precious time. As we began, I read the words of Isaiah 61:1-3. I have read this text many times. We have even sang it at church. But last night it fell on my heart differently. It is so fresh, so encouraging and so real. It speaks to real people with real discouragement and pain...and it offers hope! Big hope! Hope that applies to you and me. Check it out.

Isaiah 61:1-3:

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

Early Sunday Prayer

With this blog being my place to stop and reflect...I felt like I wanted to write this prayer this morning. I just had some alone time and I am getting ready to head to the church.

This is what is on my heart...

Lord, this is one of those (many) Sundays where I really feel like I need you to do the talking. This your day. When I don't feel ready or are! I ask you to make your impact in lives today. Fill your house...bring people out today that want to give you honor and also want to receive what you you have for them. Holy Spirit, drive our worship and inspire our hearts. I marvel at how you speak through people as broken as I am. Lord, do the speaking at CCF today and teach us how to be your church! All my love!

In closing, I ask you baby's know about daylight savings? I think I hear a noise upstairs. I'm out!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Must brush hair

This morning we ran out and did some errands around town. A Target Run, a Home Depot visit, etc. As we were preparing to run out, I decided that I wanted to be bummy...sweat pants, sweatshirt, and hair that was a little out of place. You know, I brushed it, but didn't "add water" if you know what I mean.

Well, I am rapidly learning that we cannot go anywhere anymore without seeing someone from the church. That is one of the byproducts of growth (a good problem). Of course we ran into 3 different people from CCF while we were out. They got the privilege of seeing my bummy side. Smile. Must brush hair (and add water)!

Friday, November 2, 2007

A Grocery Store Nap

With today being my "day off" (dealt with 20 church things all morning) and Tricia working full time, Fridays are my day with Davis. I always mess something up though. Meaning, his routine gets thrown off when he is with me. This morning after getting up and playing and watching Barney, we went to the Grocery store. I promised mommy we would go and take with us her long list. Time got away from us and Davis ended up falling asleep in the grocery cart. I thought it was a great photo op, so I shot a picture and thought I would show you. I tried to keep him up but to no avail. I guess his 20 minute nap at the store was all he needed because he is upstairs in his crib calling me. So much for what I needed to get done this afternoon. Fatherhood!

The best way to finish a job...

I will not soon forget a statement my brother made to me about a year ago. I was dreading doing some remodeling of our downstairs bathroom and my brother said to me..."the best way to finish a job is to start it!" By that he meant...if we take a hammer to some things and tear this place apart, your wife will be sure you finish the job. Well, he was right. We started the job and finished it a few weeks later.

Now, it's time to move on to the next project. I can only handle one every few months with the schedule we keep. Yesterday morning, a friend from the church came over and did the demolition on our funky Master Bathroom. So, that bathroom is now toiletless and sinkless. Last night, I ripped the baseboard off and today we are gonna keep at it. New flooring, new base, new paint, new sink unit, new toilet and BAM! All done. Sounds easy, huh? Maybe for you...but handy work is not one of my gifts. What a scene this is going to be. Pray for me. I promised Tricia it would be done by Christmas. Hopefully I will make it to the Christmas Eve service :-)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Someone please call Caleb and tell him that you need him...

I am sitting in a local coffee house trying to work and my brother is with me pranking me, hitting buttons on my computer and making fun of my blogging. Hence, I decided I would get him back.

Is there anyone out there who is reading this who can call him and tell him you need him right away?? He is the kind of guy who will be there for you...meaning he will be leaving here! Smile.

Visitations & Healing

Wednesdays are flex days for me in the sense that I will often leave it open to do the thing(s) that seem most valuable or pressing. Through the end of last week, over the weekend and during the first few days of this week, I compiled a rather lengthy list of folks in the church that I needed to go visit. Well, yesterday I spent the majority of the day going from house to house visiting sick members of our congregation. It is always a great joy to get to visit people, be in their homes and bring them encouragement. Every time I do visitations, I always feel like it was so special and important!

Yesterday impacted me. I visited 7 different people. In one day I visited 2 people that are likely living out their last few days on earth, 2 people that struggle daily with significant life-altering illnesses, 2 people that have no idea of how far the cancer in their body has spread and are just waiting for their diagnosis and 1 in the hospital.

I ended my workday yesterday torn between 2 strong feelings. I felt honored that God has called me to this ministry where I can bring hope and love to people and hear the words "you made my day" 4 times in one afternoon. On the other hand I felt desperate...desperate to know how to really love and care for people who are in such physical turmoil.

The famous question is just haunting me again recently: Do I run around promising God's healing or do I run around telling people that God is gonna do what he wants to do?

My theology of healing is simple (or at least this is the simple version):
  1. God can heal anyone he chooses of any infirmity with the sound of his voice or the touch of his fingertip.
  2. Jesus told his disciples to pray "thy kingdom come, thy will be done." God's will for our bodies and our will for our bodies are not always identical. ...And His wins!
That said, I still feel desperate to seek the Lord for healing in the lives of people in our CCF community and in our families. I think I am going to declare our Saturday Night Prayer this week as a time of prayer for healing. I might preach on this Sunday if I can't shake it.