Monday, March 31, 2008
The best part for us...Glenn will be the new Bishop of the Baltimore-Washington District and the Kauffman's are moving to Laurel this summer and will be making CCF their home church!
They are lovely people and it is going to be a great joy to have them in our lives and community.
8 Life Principles from the Potter and Clay.
“Being Shaped by the Potter”
#1: God is the potter, we are the clay. (Genesis 2:7 and Isaiah 64:8)
#2: The Potter always has a purpose for the clay. (Jer. 1:5)
#3: The destiny of the clay is subject to how it responds to the Potter. (Jeremiah 18: 5-10)
#4: Clay is not intended to do the shaping, but to be shaped! (Isaiah 29: 15-16)
#5: The movement and momentum of the clay impacts its outcome!
#6: The Potter will always remove some of the clay during the process.
#7: Potter’s take stubborn clay and start over all the time! (Jeremiah 18:4 and II Chron. 7:14)
#8: Clay becomes strong when it goes through the fire! (I Peter 1:6-7)Now, invite you to do me a favor! Leave a comment here if there was another principle that God revealed to you during this experience. I have already heard several perspectives and insights that the Lord revealed to some of YOU! I would love to hear more....maybe we could do a sequel someday! Comment if you've got one.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
A big shot out to Becky from Greenbridge Pottery for coming in and making today even more special.
People were amazingly responsive to the message...my prayer is that we all continue to respond to the Potter, allowing Him to shape us beyond just today.
Want to share more later...gonna run and take our guests up to Annapolis for the evening.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
- Davis is not feeling well. Fever of 102.7 last night. Pray for the little guy. He is not himself and I have him today.
- Really looking forward to the message Sunday and how it might "shape" us. Cool point that came up in our Small Groups last night...Lopsided pottery is often still usable for its intended purpose....lots of lopsided pottery running around out there.
- We will be getting a new Bishop/Overseer in our District this summer. His name is Glenn Kauffman. The Kauffman family has decided that they will move into the Laurel area and make CCF their home church. They are wonderful people coming off of 15 years of missions work in Hong Kong. I look forward to how they may lead CCF into missions involvement in China. (Look forward to going back to china within the next year!!! Shhhhh....don't tell anyone yet!)
- Pray for our missions work in Guyana. Lots going on. Some things unfolded just yesterday. Please pray for peace and direction and for wisdom as we lead. We will share details as we can.
--Peace be with you!
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Pray that I trim up and shape up this message with sensitivity to what the Holy Spirit wants to do with us on Sunday!
CCF Purpose Statement (Simple Edition):
Love God, Love People, Live as Disciples
CCF Purpose Statement (Expanded Edition):
Capital Christian Fellowship places its focus and resources on its purpose…to Love God, Love People, and Live as Disciples (Matthew 22:37-40 and Matthew 28:18-20). CCF is totally committed to developing disciples of Jesus Christ whose lives serve as a witness to all (John 13:34-35). CCF expresses incredible diversity, but is completely unified in its purpose of loving God and loving people as we know that it was Jesus’ main focus (Matthew 22:37-40). We embrace that community is central to how people were created. As a result, CCF structures its ministries around people gathering in large and small groups (Acts 2:42-47) for community and relationships which leads back to our purpose of Living as disciples! We know that we will accomplish our purpose by impacting one life at a time!
Stay tuned...we are going to be rolling out a church-wide memorization campaign. Every time you are caught reciting our purpose statement, you will get....we shall see!
Maybe $100.00 ;-)
I have know Psalm 139:13 by heart for years...it says "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb."
This morning, the comparison between these two verses blessed me!! I toggled back and forth between them for a few minutes just thanking God.
One says that He formed me in my mom's womb, but the other says that he knew me even before that...and SET ME APART!
What exactly does "set me apart" mean? And what was there about me to "know" before I was formed in the womb? And why me?
Be encouraged today with the truth of the word of God! You are known and formed and knit together by God himself and you are SET APART!
God, make us AWARE and COMMITTED to the purpose for which you have set us apart for today!
If so, join me this evening at 6:30pm in the Worship Center for Discovery 101.
We will discuss:
- Who we are
- What we believe
- How we operate
- Our Finances
- Our Leadership structure
- Our History (past)
- Our Story (present)
- Our Vision (future)
Discovery 101 and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ are our only 2 prerequisites to membership at CCF. Also, know that anyone is welcome to attend 101 whether they wish to join the church or not.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
This book was outstanding!!!!!! I am telling you the truth when I say that it will impact your finances and your future tremendously if you read it and implement even a little bit of it.
Basically, the book walks you through the value and steps of automating your best financial decisions. It denounces budgeting, suggesting that none of us are wired to be controlled by our money, but that we would rather control it. If we will make the decision ONE TIME to save for our future, then we can automate it and never think about it again. Imagine taking the decision out of your hands every month. Instead of deciding every 30 days what you "think you can afford", you have already automated your savings out of your bank account first...even before you pay your bills...hence, paying yourself first!
If you are a "yeah butter" saying "yeah, but I barely make it now" or "yeah, but I live paycheck to paycheck" ...then Bach will speak to you!
Probably the most influential part of the book for us was identifying our "Latte Factor". This is basically how much money we waste per month x 12 plus interest if we saved it (providing you an annual savings amount). That is your "Latte Factor." You can identify yours by clicking here, but you really need to read the book to get it.
I will stop ranting now, but I am telling you, if you have ever listened to me before....read this book! With your spouse! Soon!!! If you wait to long you may cost yourselves a couple hundred thousand dollars. Tricia and I read it just in time!
Today we finished automating everything and we are feeling so good about our recent financial decisions!
Sunday, March 23, 2008
...And to think...the BEST IS STILL YET TO COME! Lots of lives still in need of transformation!
Hope your Easter is a great one!
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Any blog readers out there (I love creating blog-reader privileges) that want to come to the church and hang out in the Upper Room this evening are welcome! There will be a group assembling around 5ish tonight at the church. Unofficial. Impromptu.
Just come! Join us! No RSVP needed.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
We are back. It felt like the wind blew us in. Sunny trip up the road, but fought the high winds the whole way. We had great family time this week. Lots of Mommy, Daddy and Davis time.
This pic is of Davis driving us up I-95 today (insert "yeah right" here). He was a fantastic traveler. Barney, nap, Elmo, nap, Veggie Tales, nap, repeat. Traveling is easy when you are 15 months and spoiled. DVD player made 1,800 miles seem like 500.
Now my heart and focus shift to tomorrow's Good Friday service and Sunday's Easter Services. Getting excited about a great weekend ahead and waiting in expectation for God will do among us by the power of His Holy Spirit!
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
--Gonna be creative and profound....get ready!
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
- Over the last six months I have developed an intense passion for writing. I write far, far more than I post here. Sometimes when I write I feel like I am on holy ground.
- I am thrilled about the memories that I have been able to capture through this forum...to be remembered forever.
- I love to communicate. Period. Not sure why or where it comes from but I get stoked when I can communicate with people to have them informed and on the same page. This is a dynamic place to do that.
- I have appreciated the fact that many friends, family and co-laborers in ministry from other states and around the world can keep up with what's up with us and the church through this blog. (I am aware of readers from several different continents, which is cool.)
- Blogging has helped me to organize........in some strange way.....my thoughts, my day, my vision, my feelings, my dreams, my life....it's hard to explain, but it's real.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Davis and I brought her breakfast in bed and gave her a few presents. We are having a great day together and will go out on the town tonight. We plan to travel to Savannah, GA to spend the day tomorrow. We are looking forward to eating a Lady & Sons, Paula Deen's Famous Restaurant.
In case you wondered, we are staying at Jake and Michelle's home in the Charleston area. Jake and I have been friends for 23 years! We are having a great time. Lots of chillaxing!
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Multi-site church planting comes closer to that than anything that I have ever seen.
Here is how it works in a nutshell (using CCF as an example):
- Greenbelt Road in Lanham could serve as our main campus (until we outgrow it or buy more land around us).
- Then we would begin opening up new campuses fairly regularly as God gives the increase.
- We could have one in Bowie, one in Laurel, one in Greenbelt, one in Annapolis, one in Silver Spring....
- Each campus would have its own "Campus Pastor", worship team, welcome ministry, kids ministry, youth ministry, etc.
- Every campus would watch the same sermon each week on video (typically recorded from our main campus on Saturday night so there is time to work out glitches by Sunday morning).
- The recording is taped and projected in such a way that you forget that you are watching a video. You have to try it to believe it.
- Every campus is aligned to the same vision!!!! They talk the same language, they follow the same ministry model, they use the same bulletin, they print the same flyers, they decorate their campuses similar, paint with fun colors, have the same style signage, etc.
- We would rejoice every time we open up a new location (sending people from that area to that location).
- And people connect deeply in relationship and discipleship through....you guessed it....SMALL GROUPS!!
--The picture above is inside the Worship Center at Seacoast Church main campus last night (on my camera phone).
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Hey, tonight (Saturday Service) and tomorrow (Sunday Service) we are going to Seacoast Church. This church is among the ones on the leading edge of the church planting/multi-site model (would love to see CCF doing this in the future). In other words, they video feed their main service/Lead Pastor to many other locations. One church, 12 locations! Really cool stuff and we are going tonight and tomorrow. I will have legal pad in hand and taking notes. Will blog about it later. Plan to meet with some of the Pastors this week.
Check out Seacoast by clicking here!
Friday, March 14, 2008
We made it about 400 miles to Dillon, SC and grabbed a Comfort Inn. I have been up for almost 2 hours now and have read 1 whole book of the Bible and wrote my Good Friday message. I am sitting in the "continental breakfast area" on the laptop and I got so carried away and excited typing this message that I almost stood up and preached it to the 10 people speaking German at the tables around me. ...Makes you wonder where they are headed...probably Florida.
My Good Friday message will be entitled "Adding the EXTRA to ORDINARY".
Just think of this Good Friday perspective:
- Ordinary tree turned ordinary beam.
- Ordinary beam turned ordinary cross.
- Ordinary cross for an ordinary crucifixion. (common means of death in context)
- Ordinary crucifixion leads to ordinary death. (Jesus was certainly not the only person to die on a cross)
So, when God touches the ordinary with his divine intention, it supernaturally becomes extraordinary!
Look around. What do you see in your life that looks ordinary? Any fish? Loaves? Fig Trees? Mangers? Lakes to walk on? Storms to calm?
--Gotta go wake my babies up and head to Myrtle Beach for the day! Peace!
Thursday, March 13, 2008
We are going to Myrtle Beach SC, Charleston SC to stay with our good friends Jake and Michelle and then we will also spend a little time in Savannah, GA. We love Savannah. I am looking forward to it being in the 70's...had to get my shorts out last night.
Really looking forward to being with Tricia and Davis and getting away. I need to disconnect from work and go play. I know me well enough to know that I can only disconnect emotionally when I disconnect physically. I have been giving alot and working hard for the church and Tricia has been getting the leftovers (which is the case more often that I'd like). Now, it's time to do family!
Oh, and we are both looking forward to taking our new Odyssey on it's first odyssey!
Will miss you this weekend!
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Here is the words that will be on the back of this Postcard (they will be made available to you on Easter Sunday):
Capital Christian Fellowship is not like most churches you have ever seen. We are a snapshot of what heaven will look like…many people from many experiences that connect with God! At CCF, we celebrate our diversity as a gift from God. We are a multi-national congregation with people from over 40 different nations, people ages 0-93, and people from many different denominational traditions (4 different ones just on our staff alone).
This year we are having an International Celebration with a vibrant worship service, numerous international speakers, and a meal with food from all over the world. It’s free! We welcome you to come.
Our theme is “Message in a Bottle; The World Is Sending us an SOS”. Come and hear what messages the world is sending to CCF on April 13th!
--See you here on International Sunday!
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Well, I know who I want to win. David Archuleta. This kid is terribly sincere, polite and has an outstanding voice. He did not do so hot tonight, but I am confident in this guy's ability to take it all. Surprisingly, Chikeezie (of all people) was my favorite tonight!
Tricia and I enjoy our American Idol dates.
On Sunday, we invited people to fill out postcards in the lobby and we committed to mail them out for you! We will be doing that again this Sunday. So, bring you address book! We also urge you to take a stack of these postcards to carry around with you for the next week.
Check it out... just yesterday, I handed out postcards invitations and invited people at Giant, McDonald's, my Barber Shop and Home depot. Those were just errands that I had to run. Today, I will hit some more places. Later in the week, I will be personally inviting my neighbors on my street. Won't you join me in inviting people?
Finally, I wanted to share how excited I am that Jaye (Our Director of Operations) will be mailing postcards to every person that has visited CCF over the last 2 years.
--Really looking forward to an awesome Easter celebration.
Found this in my file over the weekend. I stored it away several years ago. I think there is some value in it. Maybe you are single and seeking or have a daughter or friend that is searching for a mate...
Here are 6 quick ways to learn everything you need to know about a man before you to marry him:
1) Watch him drive in heavy traffic.
2) Play sports with him.
3) Listen to him talk to his mother when he doesn’t know you’re listening.
4) Observe how he treats those who serve him (waiters, maids).
5) Notice closely what he’s willing to spend his money to buy.
6) Look at his friends. Show me your friends and I will show you your future. Who they are is who you'll become.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Here is the amazing part. We stopped by to see her and she looked great and could see great. Eye surgery, followed by immediate results. She seemed so happy as she read clocks and words that she never could have seen before.
She might as well have started singing [start music] "I can see clearly now the rain is gone..."
Oh, for the rest of the story....We finally got out of my office. Our facility guy, Terry came to the rescue, climbed a ladder, squeezed into a window smaller than him and disassembled my door knob from the inside. This guy is unreal! Here are the pictures that Ruth Yoder took to capture the moment. She thought it was pretty hilarious, I might add.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
After teaching Discovery 101 today, I ran up to my office to do a few things and chat with Pastor Mike to see how his First Sunday went with the youth. There was a small group meeting outside my office in the "Upper Room". After Mike and I chatted a few minutes, we decided to head home. Or not! When, we went to leave, we realized that we are locked in!! We are locked in my new office as we speak. Have been for 30 minutes now. We were gonna call the fire department, but now our maintenance guy Terry is on his way. I love making memories.
Hold on...he's here...
Before I publish....he is still here. We are still locked in. They are now getting a ladder to put up to the window. All I know is that they better be coming, because my big butt is not going down that ladder!!
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Here are a few quotes that I ran across:
The definition of a coincidence is a situation when God shows up and chooses to remains anonymous.
If you're not confused by what's going on today, you don't understand it.
And here's a funny one:
At age 4, success is...not peeing your pants.
At age 12, success is...having friends.
At age 20, success is...having sex.
At age 35, success is...making money.
At age 60, success is...having sex.
At age 70, success is...having friends.
At age 80, success is...not peeing your pants.
Friday, March 7, 2008
I spent the whole day with my little man. I cherish Fridays! Especially on weeks like this where I work too much.
Tricia's sister, Melyssa flew in from Miami tonight. She will be with us all weekend.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Do you know anyone that does pottery? I am looking for a potter who could come to CCF, set up and make some pottery for about 20 minutes while I preach on March 30th. Will pay travel. (I had someone that was going to do it and they cannot now). The person will not need to public speak. Just sit there and look prettery!
Holla at me if you know someone. (comment, email or call me)
BTW- the day should be really great. There is LOTS of cool stuff in the Bible about God as Potter and us as clay. Just check out the words in Jeremiah 18 as one example:
The Lord gave another message to Jeremiah. He said, “Go down to the potter’s shop, and I will speak to you there.” So I did as he told me and found the potter working at his wheel. But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over.
Then the Lord gave me this message: “O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand.
It was captivating to witness the evening unfold. I wanted to be there to see it. The lights were dim and the atmosphere was set (the kids even had to wait until 7 to enter...really built anticipation). A few of the young people drank Sprite through their neighbors sock! Nasty! Only youth! After a powerful message by Pastor Mike about the presence of God entitled "Right Here, Right Now", the youth were making new commitments to God at the end of the service.
Amazing progress in one night! The future is bright indeed. I know that many, many young people will be saved and transformed through this youth ministry in the days to come.
For now, we are getting by with the old one just fine. I wanted to direct you to 2 things on the site.
Click here to go to the homepage and see the Easter Ad and the International Sunday Ad in the flash box.
Click here to read the March edition of "The Capital" featuring our new Youth Pastor, Pastor Mike.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Pastor Noah- Upper Room Office
Pastor Nelson- Back Office (where TC was and where Jaye has been temporarily)
Pastor Mike- My old office off the lobby
Pastor Lew- Staying put (office off the front of the Worship Center)
Jaye- Front Office (where Pastor Nelson used to be)
Lots of thought and time went in to choosing what was best for each team member. Come check us out in our new pads!
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
That got me thinking. Ought there be a book written called "The 6th Love Language"? He is on to something. Few things mean more to me than when a person loves me enough to tell me the truth. Even when it is hard for them to do or hard for me to hear.
I feel truly loved when my future becomes more important than your fear.
Wow! Think on that!
Church growth is a relatively unpredictable phenomenon. One thing that we can count in is that it happens in seasons. Traditionally, most churches grow 6 months out of the year and don’t for the other 6. Growth months in the US are typically March, April and May and then September, October and November. CCF falls into this category too!
I share this with you to invite you to play a part in this important growth season over the next few months. We have several very special Sundays coming up soon. We are praying, planning and preparing for them as we speak. They are positioned on the calendar in such a way that we will really able to ride a momentum wave right through the next few months.
The special services approaching are:
- Good Friday Service
- Palm Sunday
- Easter Sunday:
- Theme: Revivify Your Passion!
- Pottery Sunday:
- Theme: Being Shaped by the Potter
- International Sunday:
- Theme: Message In a Bottle; The World is Sending us an SOS, Romans 8:18-25
- After that, I will be rolling out a 3 week sermon series that we will be introducing soon.
I share this with you for several reasons.
- We hope to see this place packed on these special Sundays and many in between.
- I encourage you to be here!
- Invite people that are unchurched and dechurched! Remember, we are here to reach people who DO NOT know Christ...not to steal sheep from other flocks! Please invite people in your sphere who do not know Jesus as their Lord.
- It is our prayer that many people are saved and transformed over the next several months here at CCF! I am praying that God will specifically do some work in people around the altar.
However, often that verse has different meanings for me. What do I mean? Well, I got up by 5am and started reading...got to work at about the time the sun came up and now have completed half a days work by 8am! Days like this add new meaning to the words "joy comes in the morning"! The joy of catching up on my workload before anyone else is up and around. The joy of getting a HUGE jump on my day.
If only I could do this everyday....can't because I share morning home and baby responsibilities. Tricia and I are in this together. Maybe when I am an old man I can do this everyday!
Monday, March 3, 2008
Sunday, March 2, 2008