Thursday, July 31, 2008

Here is another one

Creative Advertising & A Good Laugh

I want this blog to be a more diverse place. Sometimes the random video that makes you laugh will be on the menu. Like this video. It is genius advertising and pretty funny too!

Mark your calendar early for Friend Day 2008 at CCF!

2 Birthdays!!

There are 2 Birthdays worth mentioning today. Both of these people are very special to me.

One is my Assistant/CCF's Director of Operations...JAYE LINDO!!! Happy Birthday, Jaye. She is turning 21. Very special to me. Yall wish you knew.

The other is my nephew GABE first nephew born the same time I left for college. Happy Birthday, Gabe! He is turning into a fine young man.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Extreme Makeover: CCF Lobby Edition

The CCF lobby needs a makeover. It is nice and spacious, but it could be more attractive, comfortable, modern and inviting. If you have interior design skills, like to decorate, or are going to complain after we remodel it....

Come and let your voice be heard...TONIGHT at 7pm in the church lobby!

Hope to see a few of you this evening for Extreme Makeover: CCF Lobby Edition!



Tricia's Mom arrived last night to spend some time with us. We are really glad to have her. Davis is so cute as he calls her "Abuela", meaning Grandmother is Spanish. She sings him kids songs in Spanish....I would love her to teach him Spanish!

Anyway, she cleans alot and is a killer cook! Looking forward to her stay. We are going out of town next week and Abuela is coming with us too. Gonna be fun! Welcome, Abuela!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Fine Line with a Big Cost!

On Sunday in my message I talked about the power of vulnerability and authenticity. Authentic is costly. A Redskins jersey that is fake sold at WalMart is $19.99. A real one is $130.00. Authentic is costly. The small diamond I used to propose to Tricia could have been WAY bigger if I would have settled for zirconium. Because, authentic is costly.

But, check this out. There is sometimes a very fine and dangerous line between real and fake. Dealing with U.S. dollar bills, fake and real look and feel exactly the same, but fake can cost you jail. I think that in our lives there is also a fine line between being real and being fake and the difference can be as important as life and death. People are watching you. Are they getting the real deal or a fake? The difference...the line.....could be their deciding factor between life and death.

Watch this video to illustrate this. I used it last weekend in my message. It is a clip from one of the One Prayer messages.

A Blessing!

Woke up with the desire to pronounce a blessing on each person who enters this site today. I can only imagine all of your faces....all of which mean something to me! As you read this, I pray that you receive a rich blessing from the God that made you and loves you! I prayed for you this morning....that you would grow in wisdom, stature, favor with God and man (Luke 2:52). May God's peace be with you today.

Walk in the grace of God, the love of His son, Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit! The God that made the heavens and the earth is crazy about you...TODAY! Now.


Monday, July 28, 2008

"Church: When It's Time to Move On"

Someone passed this article along to me yesterday and I really appreciated it. I think that it is very well done and speaks to some real issues. It is a little long for a blog post, but it's worth the read. Enjoy.


Looking for the perfect church? Look no further; it doesn’t exist. The church is made up of people. Until we get to heaven, we can assume churches will have problems.

Regardless of church size, denomination or location, pastors are often troubled by how easily many members leave their church families. When someone leaves, the body is injured. Think of losing a finger or a kidney. You would feel the loss, and so does the church.

Most of us would not leave our biological families, but this doesn’t always translate to our church families. Members frequently leave without a word or with vague answers when contacted by a church staff member who misses them. This is personal for pastors and ministers, evoking emotion, passion, confusion and hurt.

There are both poor reasons and good reasons for leaving a church. Make sure you know the difference.

4 Poor Reasons to Leave:
  1. Things in the church are changing, and I don’t like it. Your pastors recognize that the world and the church globally are changing, and they want to stay relevant. As your church adapts, it is critical to realize what is biblical and what is cultural. Your pastors feel they can give on some cultural issues, but they also believe in holding the line on fundamentals.
  2. I don’t like the music anymore. Drums and electric guitars moved into spaces where pianos and organs traditionally ruled. A good way to look at this issue is to realize that, in a church of 400 people, if you have the music the way you want it on one Sunday every 7.7 years, then you have had your turn. Let others enjoy their turn as well. Music style should never be more important than relationships.
  3. An unresolved difference of opinion or hurt feelings. The church is a living parable on forgiveness, mercy and grace for a watching world. How we treat one another speaks loudly. The Bible is clear on dealing with problems: Go first to the person with whom you have the problem and try to resolve it for your own good, his good and the good of the church. Many times the real reason never surfaces. Instead a run around of easily repaired excuses are given.
  4. Another church has more to offer me and my family. If your church is lacking in an area, pray to be able to fill the space or for God to send someone who is able. Make the shift from consumer to producer.
3 Good Reasons to Make a Move
  1. I feel a clear call from God to begin another work. Starting a new church, going into missions or a new ministry, or changing location are good reasons to consider moving. As we grow in Christ, He is able to use us in different areas. Your pastors would like the opportunity to grieve over losing you and rejoice at your new opportunity.
  2. I have lost confidence in the church leadership. Major doctrinal differences, vastly different values and priorities, unclear direction or compromised leaders may call for a change. Praying for your leaders, pastors and their families is good preventative medicine. If you cannot support your leadership, pastors agree that leaving is better than staying and spreading discontent. Don’t worry about convincing other churchgoers of your need to leave; God is perfectly capable of revealing to others what they need to know and do.
  3. I am more comfortable reaching people for Christ who are from my own generation or culture, and I need to be in a church more like me in order to be effective. As long as you are reaching the lost, encouraging new believers and continuing to grow and mature in your own spiritual life, most pastors would want you to be where you will best use your gifts and abilities.

If you do decide to leave the church, continue to pray for your former church. In the meantime, be cautious of what you say to others about the congregation you left; the Enemy will happily use whatever we say to cause harm. Use wisdom and discretion about any information you pass on to friends.

Last, but not least, please know that your pastors are only human. They will err, misspeak and otherwise blunder from time to time. The church is one of the best places to find mercy and grace and to extend it to others.

You are an important, valued part of the church on a mission to transform the world.
Determine not to be tripped up by trivial matters.

This article first appeared in the May, 2008 issue of Focus on the Family magazine. Copyright © 2008 Gail B. Houston. All rights reserved. Gail B. Houston has worked in church administration for 14 years. She lives in Tucson, Ariz.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

CCF Cardboard Testimonies

Awesome Morning...Video Coming Soon

Amid a morning of numerous attempted distractions of the enemy, I want to take a moment and celebrate the Lord for what happened among us as a church this morning!! As we wrapped up our "One Heart" series, I could sense the presence of the Lord in our midst as more lives were touched for Christ! If you were there, you know what happened. If you were not there, are reading from out of state or stayed home today (insert conviction here), you missed a powerful time together at CCF! 19 people participated in the closing of my message this morning. The message was entitled "Father, Make us Real!" 19 people modeled it even before we left the room today by sharing their Cardboard Testimony. You know, one of the best ways to teach something is to tell it, and then do it! That's what happened this morning.

The video of what took place this morning will be available in 2 places:
  1. First, right here on my blog in the next few days. (yeah, blog readers!)
  2. Second, there will be DVD's available for you to purchase at the Welcome Center next Sunday.
To God be the Glory! The stories are coming in already and I look forward to hearing many more. The half has not been told!

With a full heart and tired eyes,



Our Associate Pastor, Nelson Okanya was born and raised in the village of Kenya, East Africa. He has now been in the US for 12 years. Last year, CCF sent a team of people to Kenya to visit Nelson's home town, family and various places of ministry.

This morning at 4:00am, Pastor Nelson received a call from his father indicating that his 31 year old sister, Lillian had died last night while giving birth to her 3rd child, a baby boy. The baby lived, but Lillian passed away through childbirth complications and no medical facilities. The newborn, needing to survive was taken to a local Catholic Mission Hospital. It is a very heartbreaking story that has unfolded for Nelson and his family.

Nelson will be flying out for Kenya at 8:15am tomorrow and returning on August 7th. Jessica and Barak (his wife and 19 month old son) will remain home here in Maryland. Our congregation rallied around the Okanyas this morning and supported them with love, prayers and enough money to not only fly Pastor Nelson to Africa, but also to pay for the funeral expenses. Praise the Lord for that!

Thanks to each of you for your continued prayer support and love for the Okanyas and their family in Africa. Let's reach out to Jessica and Barak these next 10 days as well. If you still wish to donate money, you may still do so all week and next Sunday.

[Just spoke with Nelson and they are absolutely blown away at the love and support of our church family already!! Go team! Keep it up!]

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my savior; my God is my rock in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the strength of my salvation, and my stronghold. Psalm 18:2

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My WHOLE Family

Here we are. Mom, Dad, all 5 of their offspring, their spouses and their kids at Mom and Dad's 40th Anniversary Evening. I am REALLY blessed with an unbelievable family. They are dear to me and are another gift from God as I see it. Thought I would share this. They may kill me for it.


Reflections from the day

  • Awesome meeting this morning with Glenn Kaufman. He will be our new overseer/Bishop as of September 1st! I am really looking forward to his friendship and mentoring and to the entire family connecting to our church! I love being under good leaders.
  • Wrapped up my message -- although it is never finished until 12:30pm on Sunday. Looking forward to finding new ways to keep it new levels.
  • Had a super duper Small Group tonight. I know I always rave about them. That is because they are always good! I believe it more every transformation happens in circles not rows.
  • A great friend of mine prayed over me today and blessed my socks off. He prayed that God would sing over me, hold me and quiet me like we do our little babies. I pray that for you tonight. God loves you and wants to sing over you! He delights in you! Be blessed with that tonight as you lay down.

Zep 3:17 - The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Oh, no you don't!!

Just two weeks ago in my message I shared that one of the ways that we can be the answer to Jesus's prayer in John 17 is to recognize that we have "one enemy." That enemy is the devil, Satan, the father of lies, the prince of darkness....he is a thief, liar and destroyer....his main target is the local church, which I believe is the tool of hope for the world.

That said, I want to acknowledge something VERY SERIOUS that we need to pay attention to...
  • Last week there were salvations and renewed connections to the Lord made in our service. The Holy Spirit was at work.
  • This coming Sunday is going to be thick! I am telling you with every fiber of my being that the Lord has big plans for us this weekend! I am praying that lives are transformed in our midst.
  • We are just finishing a series on unity. What better time than now for the devil to get busy.
You know what I say....Oh, no you don't!!! The devil will not have any place in Jesus's Church! Awe, heck no!

Ephesians 6:12 - For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Right on Time

Struggling a little these days. Lots going on right now that is not "bloggable"(yet). My heart is heavy and I ask your prayers. Sometimes we can lift people to the Lord without information. I ask you to pray for me....that I will walk under the anointing of the Holy Spirit and do what God wants me to do as a Shepherd.

I will tell you this....our God is always on time!! I received one phone call and one email today that were just what I needed! I am telling you, the caller ID and the "from" line of the email should have read "heaven". I just knew it was the voice of God speaking to me. He is always on time.

I love each of you. Thanks for reading this and thanks for your support. I may not blog a lot in the days to come. Sometimes sharing too much can create more harm than good. This may be a time where I need to chill a bit. Everything will be fine. Sounding no alarms, just being transparent. After all, it is my blog, right?


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bring people to church on Sunday!!!!

Tonight was so amazing. I don't really have the words for it. There are about 20 people involved in my message on Sunday. Most of us cried during practice tonight. Hear this....YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS THIS SUNDAY!!! God is going to give us new perspectives and do something special in me!

Please come and bring people to church this Sunday morning!

(Also looking forward to hosting about 20-25 guests from Mountville Mennonite Church in PA for our service and a time of Q & A with the staff after church. They will be here to check out how we do ministry at CCF.)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Making Impact, Thanking God!

My heart is totally full of joy tonight. Why? Because lives are being impacted for Jesus through the ministry of CCF! Left and right! These last few weeks, I have heard many stories of ways that the people are connecting to God in new and renewed ways.

2 that Stand out to me this week:
  1. Incredibly thankful for a young lady that was radically saved on Sunday Morning. Totally broken before the Lord and committed herself to Jesus for the very first time ever! We are excited to get her plugged into a Small Group and beginning her discipleship journey!
  2. Got an email tonight from another person who was incredibly impacted by the last 2 Sundays at CCF....after having been out of any church for 12 years! God called this person back to themselves over the last 2 weeks (and used a couple ladies in our church to do it). That is what I am talking about, baby!!! Praise the Lord!
I love this stuff! I just had to share. There is more beyond this , too! I just LOVE seeing lives impacted for Jesus! Nothing better!

Not to us, oh Lord, but to your name be the glory because of your love and faithfulness!


Yesterday's Text, Today's Bread!

John 14
11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
  • I thank Jesus for handing off and entrusting His ministry to us!
  • I thank Jesus for his advocacy to the Father!
  • I pray that we would ask for things that would bring glory to the Father through the Son!
  • I pray that we would actually begin believing that we can do greater things...

Last Call

If you...
  • Attend CCF.
  • Have a testimony of something that God has done in your life.
  • Are willing to share it (you will NOT have to talk).
  • Will be here this Sunday.
  • And are free tomorrow night from 7-8.
Call me at 301-262-7008! Leave a comment here! Or email me!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Father, Make us Effective!

Thanks to Kevin's recent comment, I thought I would throw up a quick post to preview the message for this Sunday. I will try to get into this habit, but no promises....

Sunday's message is entitled "Father, Make us Effective" and is the second message in our series of 3 messages! We will take what I hope will be a fresh look at what it means to be effective as a church. Our main example and case study will be Jesus. In my opinion, he was the most successful and effective person to ever walk earth. He accomplished the most urgent and important mission that there ever was and did it in such an exemplary way! If you want to prep for our time, read John 14:11-14.

Jesus himself says that we are supposed to do greater things than HE did. Do you think that YOU are doing even greater things than Jesus? Think about that one!


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Do you like photography?

I have been reading Mark Beeson's blog recently. Mark is the Senior Pastor of Granger Community Church. If you like photography and enjoy bringing the Lord your best in whatever you do, you have got to read his post from here!


6 meetings back to back today...some of them long...did not allow me any time to think or to write. I missed it, but the meetings were good.

I realize that I am learning something recently. We often make things bigger deals than they are. I think that (for many of us) it would go a long way to relax, lighten up, chill and assume the best, not the worst! That is my word for today.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Some have asked...

Some have asked why we are renting our home, so I thought I would address it on my blog. Heard a few concerns that perhaps we were making preparation to move away. We are not moving away! I hope that is good news for at least some of you. Smile. We are simply moving to a different home in Bowie and renting the one we live in now. If you are following the news much at all, you know that this is a big time buyers market. I recently heard that it was (arguably, I am sure) the best time in the history of the nation to buy real estate. We are getting in while the getting is cheap! Part of being a steward is making the wisest investment we can for the greatest return. The Lord has graciously entrusted Tricia and I with the resources to do this through a recent inheritance, and so we press on with gratitude to God in preparation for the future! I encourage you to remain faithful over all things that the Lord entrusts to your care!


Clear Thinking

Here is a blog entry by Buddy Cremeans that I recently read that really got me thinking...thought it would be a good one to share:

Author David McCullough stated that the reason people love to read a good book is because writing requires clear thinking…it’s also the reason people don’t like to write.


McCullough said that Universities should require their students to write to express themselves. He said a person that can express themselves with the pen and on foot will be successful. After years of his notable career, McCullough still keeps a discipline of writing 4 typed pages a day! And I thought writing sermons and blogging was enough!

I’ve been challenged by McCullough’s comments. And maybe similarly that’s one of the reasons God called King David a man after His own heart. Why? Because, King David expressed himself clearly to God. David poured out everything…he didn’t hold anything back. David was refreshingly authentic before it was hip. David knew how to write and consequently he knew how to express himself.

I started journaling to God several years ago and blogging less than a year ago. I’m just curious, do you journal? Do you blog? How has it helped you to express yourself to God in ways beyond words?

Discovery 101 TONIGHT!

During the VBS time slot TONIGHT, I will be leading a Discovery 101 class (6:30pm-8:30pm) in the Upper Room at the church. This class is for all non-members that are interested in knowing more about our history, beliefs, DNA and vision for the future. If you or anyone you know has not been to Discovery 101 yet, please tell them about tonight! Looking forward to being with the 8 who have already signed up and maybe more!!


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Prayer Chain

The kids did something tonight at VBS that I thought was very special. I wanted to share the picture. They all wrote their prayer requests to the Lord and then tied them together and made a prayer chain that they draped over the cross and dedicated to the Lord at the end of the night. It was touching and great to see the kids giving their requests to the Lord.
One child's prayer requests was "that the church would be ONE". The same kid hugged me at the end of the night and told me that it was a great message on Sunday. He must have been listening. What a joy!

Jesus said in Luke 18:16, "Let the little children come to me...the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these!"


Monday, July 14, 2008

In case you forgot...

...that my son is the cutest little guy on the he is tonight in his Tow Mater chair! This is your reminder....this kid is illegally precious!

Following the Leaders

I follow many Pastors in their leadership journey's. I like to watch and learn from guys who:
  • Have been doing it longer than I have
  • Are doing ministry in new and creative ways
  • Are fresh thinkers
  • Blog and make their journey easy to track
  • Have passion for the things of God and the hearts of people
  • Have fruit/success in their ministry context
With the assistance of technology, it makes it really simple (like 120 seconds per day per guy) to follow them and see what they are doing and thinking about in ministry. It jazzes me to learn new things and to see people think in different ways.

It may interest you to see some of the guys that I enjoy following online via blogs, twitter, articles, etc.:
Soon, I will feature a few thoughts about some of these guys individually.


Feel so weird

Tonight is the first night of VBS down at the church. Tricia is providing leadership for it, so it was super important that she was there. Problem is that Davis is not well enough to be around others, so I am home with him all evening so that mommy can be at the church. It feels so weird to be hanging out here while I know that the church is hopping with action and people that I would love to see. We did the right thing, and I have had a great evening with my little buddy, but it still feels weird! Oh, well. Life.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sharing your Testimony

I am looking for a few more people who are willing to:
  • Share a testimony of something that the Lord has done in your life.
  • (You will share this testimony in a few words and you will NOT HAVE TO me--it will be more powerful than words!)
  • Be present at church on Sunday, July 27th.
If you are willing to join in this special ministry opportunity, please email me!


By the Grace of God

I made it through both services by the grace of God. Davis picked up a stomach bug yesterday that provided regular proof in his diaper over 20 times yesterday. Well, he gave it to Daddy. And maybe Mommy (although we are hoping not). I give the Lord the credit for any strength that I had today. Felt weak and felt like I was noticeably not myself.

Message today was "Father, Make us One"....if we had one enemy, one heart and one purpose as a church....we might just be able to become the answer to Jesus's prayer in John 17 to be a unified church!


Friday, July 11, 2008

House for Rent

Can you do me a favor? Do you know anyone looking to rent or currently renting looking for something different? If so, please invite them to come to my blog and click here. We have a nice house in Bowie that we are looking to rent beginning September 1st! Maybe you could help us find a good renter! Thanks for your help!


VBS Atmosphere

The church is all decorated for VBS! It starts Monday, but we needed to get it done over this weekend because we want the atmosphere created to intentionally build buzz this Sunday. It's cool to see a big canopy in the lobby and a tent on the stage. Looking forward to a great week next week at "God's Big Back Yard!" Be sure to get your kids registered and tell others about it too. Thanks to Pastor Mike and the youth, we got almost all the flyers out!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Winning on Game Day

Here are what I thought were great thoughts from Kevin Gerald, Pastor of the Champion Center in Washington State. The overarching premise is can mess up a lot of things in the church, but don't mess up's game day and it is urgent that we win!! Kevin offered 9 points at a recent conference (I did not attend, just was given the CD). Here they are. This will connect especially with the Pastors that are reading my blog (I am aware of a growing number of them).
  1. Plan a service that you would attend if you were not the Pastor. Is yours a church you would attend if you were not the Pastor?
  2. Have a service that passes the cost/benefit analysis for men. If you get the man, you often get the whole family! Men need to feel like its worth it...and a "nurturing environment" is not enough for them.
  3. Services should be well planned. Certainly weeks, if not months in advance.
  4. Train your team to recognize the urgency of winning on Sundays! It is so urgent that every staff member and key Sunday volunteer knows and feels this!
  5. Know your service goals and stick to them. Don't let issues hijack your services. As long as their are people, there are issues. And don't let your own issues with people bleed on the innocent. Make a list of service goals so you reach them.
  6. Appoint a service coordinator and create a service planning team to work at planning services. The Pastor brings topic of upcoming messages and the other thinkers make it creative, run with it and execute it. Gerald says that you can/should do this even if you are a church of 30 people.
  7. Have an appealing, fresh and highly communicative stage. Use whatever you have (even limited budget) to get some cool decor and some variety. The platform is BY FAR the most influential place in your church. Entire buildings are designed to bring attention to the platform. From the moment that people arrive their attention is directed where?
  8. Keep your communication simple and relevant. Intelligent people don't want to preached at but communicated with. Watch what America is watching. Watch Jay Leno one night. We walks out and talks. Millions tune in.
  9. Make sincere affirmation a consistent ingredient of your services. Not bogus flattery, but genuine love and value from your heart. Anyone that takes the stage should see "10" on every persons forehead in the room.
Certainly some areas that we need to work on at CCF. I love learning what others are doing and thinking. Helps me dream.


"One Heart" -- This Sunday!

OK, I am officially INCREDIBLY EXCITED about the "One Heart" series that I will be starting this Sunday. Been working all morning on the this Sunday's message. I feel like God is doing a big personal work in ME as I am preparing it. I have a very strong sense that God is going to do something special with us over the next 3 weeks. This Sunday's message is "Father, Make us One!" Come more prepared by reading John 17:20-24. PLEASE be praying with me about these next few weeks.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Do you have kids? Do you know kids?

If the answer to either of the questions in the title of this post is yes....please pass this along and see to it that they come to VBS at CCF next week!!

Monday, July 7, 2008


On International Sunday, one of our 3 speakers was an attendee of CCF (for over a year) by the name of Rabindra Robinson. He was an Indian brother who sensed the Lord's call to return to his home region in India and enter full time ministry. He flew out the morning after International Sunday. Since his departure, he and I have been in correspondence quite often. I have developed a real burden and heart for this guy and the work that he is doing among the Hindu people in India. He considers CCF his home/sending church. The stories that he shares are often amazing. I want to share one with you. He just sent this to me a few days ago. He knows that I am sharing it with you.

Dear Pastor, we are doing the work of the Lord effectively among the Hindus and the church leaders. A couple of weeks ago we had a prayer meeting in one of our believers houses and a Hindu family accepted Jesus as their savior. To their amazement and wonder when they went home all the idols in their house had fallen on their face and they said that they know for sure that their living God is truly Jesus!! Praise the Lord! Lots of people are getting healed just by the laying on of hands. How wonderful our God is. Keep us in your prayers. Satan wants to prevent us from doing the lord's work and we are in constant spiritual warfare. Pray for us and hold us without ceasing in your prayers. We pray for you and the good work that the Lord has started in and through you in Greenbelt.

Pray with me for Rabindra and his wife and kids. I am sensing the Lord's leading to consider how else we can become involved with him and his ministry. He, like Anna Mae are in the field because of a call out of CCF to the world! This is something that we ought to rejoice in!!


The Weekend

A few reflections about the weekend:
  • Enjoyed a low-key 4th of July. Chose an on-time bedtime for Davis over fireworks. First 4th in years that we did not see fireworks, but we didn't mind, actually.
  • Funeral for Edna Custis was Saturday. It was a very meaningful time. First two and a half hour funeral I have ever attended. It was at 10th Street Baptist church....a very different church culture than I am used to, but man do they get excited about God!! Listening to the different people share just solidified the quality of person that she was. Looking forward to continuing to walk with the Custis family as the days ahead may be tough. Grief is a journey that is lived, not planned.
  • Good services yesterday. Lots of people on vacation, but Lew brought a good message. Also, had the chance to speak with numerous first service attendees about a service merger and received a unanimous positive response from those I spoke to. People were fine with transitioning to a 10:30am worship service. Still working on those details.
  • Said goodbye to Tricia and Davis this morning. They flew to Albany to spend the week with Tricia's family. I am glad they can go, but wish I could be with them. My boss only gives me so much vacation. Smile. It will be well spent time for them.
  • Looking forward to a good week I hope that you have a super dooper looper week!

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Listened to a sermon on CD this morning (thanks JR Kish!) from a Pastor preaching his farewell sermon after 15 years at the same church. It was moving! One of the things that he talked about was change. He handled the topic so eloquently as he paved the way for the next Pastor. Here are a few of the things that he shared that I thought were great (with my twist):
  • There will always be change! 2 Corinthians 3:18 reminds of it and that it is God's will! The one constant in all of our lives is change.
  • People react to change most often in one of these 3 ways; resist, resent or run!
  • I mean, just think of small things like what aisle you find items in the grocery store, how you log into your computer, what time a show comes on TV...when those things change, we react. Now imagine the things that really matter....
  • Here is why most people resist change...because our value and/or security are placed on those temporal things that will always change! We react because either our value or security are being threatened.
  • Now, I would add this observation....feel free to disagree. But, I think that for young folks, they find their value in stuff (position, job, church, health, looks, money). For older folks, they find their security (because this is a greater need the older you get) in Stuff (house, family, church, health, position, etc.).
So, what's the point?
  • We need to embrace and accept change! Things will change! At home, at work, at church.....things will be ever changing!
  • If we refuse change, we refuse growth!
  • So...I would suggest that our value and security needs to be placed on our God, the one constant that never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8). He is stable and solid and is the ONLY answer to true value, meaning and security!
  • If we place our value and security on the things of this world, we will spend our lives feeling threatened. If we place our value and security in the Lord Jesus Christ, we will spend our days feeling rooted and protected!
Easier said than done, huh? Well, that is my encouragement for us today!


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Psalm 104

Been in love with Psalm 104 over the last week. You really should take a moment to read this chapter! It praises the Lord for the work he did each day of the creation account. All 7 days are covered. It is basically saying, "God, we praise you because you thought of it all...including me!!"

Awesome passage. The Word of God is life!

We Dream...

At the end of my Momentum Video Message in April, I shared 20 statements of vision for CCF. "I dream" statements. They have been developing in my heart over the last 4 years. They are a fuller and more specific explanation of my heart for our future. In the spirit of keeping the vision in front of us, I wanted to share them with you today. I intentionally waited 2 months to post this. Will you continue to pray with us and labor with us toward this vision? I feel it is more appropriate to write these as "we dream" statements. These are the heart of our staff and leaders at CCF!
  1. We dream of a haven where hurting broken and confused people come and find healing and hope for their lives and relationships.
  2. We dream of a place where people covered in guilt come and are bathed in forgiveness.
  3. We dream of a community where authentic love and relationship is felt through the entire church experience and throughout the entire week.
  4. We dream of Weekly worship services that are anointed with the presence of the Holy Spirit and guiding people to new places with Jesus.
  5. We envision expressions of worship among us as various as our names!
  6. We dream of realizing ways that we can embrace the foundations of our faith tradition and begin bringing hope, peace and reconciliation to the hurting people of PG County and beyond.
  7. We dream of seeing children discipled and trained to know that God wants a life with them!
  8. We see youth coming out of our children’s ministry and local schools to enter into a discipleship journey that prepares them for colleges, careers, and a life with Jesus!
  9. We dream of continuing growth in numbers and discipleship!
  10. We see tens of thousands of people being impacted by the ministry of Capital Christian Fellowship every week!
  11. We dream of the day when our Worship Center and building are way too small to accommodate us!
  12. We dream of purchasing and zoning together several more pieces of adjoining property around us, building on this building or building new ones on our lot to accommodate what God is doing. We see us needing 25-40 acres to do what God is calling us to do!!!
  13. We see CCF becoming a powerful force of love, peace and discipleship in the MD suburbs of the DC AREA!
  14. We dream of this being the place in which an uncountable amount of people discover or rediscover Jesus Christ as their savior and friend
  15. We dream of Small Groups meeting inside and outside of our church walls…from coffee houses, to restaurants, to chat rooms, to living rooms, to class rooms to board rooms, to parks….We dream of these small groups being the primary means of discipling people! These groups will be life-giving and life-changing and people connect more intimately to each other and to God than they ever have before!
  16. We dream of becoming a church where every person that attends large group worship services also attends a small group and partners with us in ministry for the goal of accomplishing our purpose as a church!
  17. We dream of us opening up many more locations of CCF stateside (multi-siting) and planting new congregations overseas! We will be one church with many locations and a one purpose.
  18. We dream of a church that breathes missions! We will fund, pray, go and send...reaching thousands of people all over the world!
  19. We dream of maintaining our uniqueness and diversity as we gather as a church where all people belong! We dream of being the most culturally, denominationally, economically and generationally diverse church in the state of Maryland.
  20. We dream of the day when we can see many realizations of our purpose being lived out…where at every turn we see people Loving God, Loving People and Living as Disciples!

Making Vision Stick

Just read the book "Making Vision Stick" by Andy Stanley while I was on vacation. Now, I need to put more of his advice into practice. Basically the book says this...state your vision in elementary terms, repeat it annoyingly often, and plaster it everywhere so that it becomes a part of all that you do. In addition to that, we MUST celebrate it. What gets rewarded gets repeated. If we celebrate it, we will keep living in it. Wanna execute more of this advice. If you are a part of the CCF community and you are reading this, I extend a reminder to you today of our purpose...

"Loving God, Loving People and Living as Disciples!" What are you doing today to live that purpose? Seriously. Answer the question...every day!


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Planning the Church Retreat

The Church Retreat is in October, but tomorrow night there are a few of us gathering at the church to put some thought into planning the weekend. We are looking for people who might be willing to come tomorrow evening at 7pm to help out. We will need creative ideas and “doers” that will help implement stuff and make it happen. Do you have any interest in coming? If you do, just come! We could use your help and…it will be fun!


Edna Custis Information

Edna Custis Funeral Information:

Location: 1000 R street NW, Washington DC

Time: This Saturday, July 5th-- 9am-11am viewing, 11am funeral service, followed by burial, then repast

Thanks for your continued prayer and support for the Custis family.

--Pastor Noah

I miss Davis

I have not seen my son since Sunday night at 7pm...and I have not been out of town! I just worked a 15 hour day yesterday and was gone before he was up and back after he was in bed. This morning I stalled leaving the house praying he would wake up. I just wanted to hug him!! Well, the little rascal kept snoozing and I had to leave. By the time I get home today it will be almost 48 hours away from my little buddy. I miss him. I better stop complaining, though. There are people in the armed services and other scenarios that do not see their children for months. Lord, give those people strength today!