Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Preaching Jitters

I preached for the first time as a teen in 1995. Since then, I have preached almost 200 times. And it does not go away! What am I talking about? The preaching jitters. I am always nervous to preach! It is a holy fear, though. I am not nervous because I think that I am a pathetic communicator. I am not paralyzed to public speak. I am just humbled and nervous about the enormity of the task of representing God and speaking on His behalf. I believe that preaching is God's event! Always has been, always will be. It is a weighty responsibility to deliver a message from God for His people. That is NOT something you want to mess up. Every week I feel under qualified, humbled, nervous, and really dependent on God! The jitters usually land me in the bathroom a lot. Was that TMI? Oh well.

Here's how I see it: I never want the preaching jitters to go away. They remind me that it is not about me. The day that I am confident enough to get up and preach the word of God without some healthy holy tremble is the day I need to reexamine my heart and call. I need Him! And I want to be reminded of that.


Message Tomorrow...

Why do I feel far from God and what can I do about it? This is the two-fold question that we are grappling with right now at CCF.

Last Sunday we looked at the things that separate us from God and make us feel far from Him. You can click here to read the full post from earlier this week.

Tomorrow, we will look at the second part of the question. So, you may have a wall between you and God...what can you do about it? How can you start removing the bricks, taking down the wall and restoring your intimacy with God.

Come. 10:30am tomorrow. I will be sharing 5 ways to tear down the wall and restore closeness to your Maker.


The Bowie Project!

We rent to a church on Sundays. They are a church plant, but they approach church planting differently that I have seen. They gather people from other local churches who come in droves and provide slammin' music and media!! Today, they could not fit in our Worship Center and had 60 people in overflow seating. Click here to get their website. If you do go to the site, you will see CCF building representing!

As I was leaving the church today, their service was over. This is what I saw. Had to ask their parents if I could take a snapshot. Now, this is what I remember about Sunday night church as a kid!! Precious!

Friday, January 30, 2009

MAC or PC?

This is the ongoing question and discussion. MAC or PC? I think the truth is that many people really do not know the differences between the two. Well, I have been considering making the switch for quite some time. The more I worked mobile, the more I was realizing that I need a system that will allow me to work most efficiently and productively for the church wherever I am at. After lots of research, the guidance of our CCF IT Director Perry Lynch, and 5-10 trips to the Apple store, I made the plunge this week. I could not be happier with my MacBook!!

Things that I love so far:
  • The compact size and weight. I got the 13.3 inch 2.4 Ghz aluminum model.
  • When you shut the lid, it goes to sleep.
  • When you open the lid, it wakes up! Period. You are fully operational and usable in 5 seconds. Period.
  • Finds and links up to the Internet really fast and really easy. Been able to work from most places I have been this week.
  • It is obvious to me that the designer of this machine WANTED me to know how to use it easy. Because I do. Already.
  • The power cord connects to the machine magnetically. That way, if you trip over the cord or your 2 year old son named Davis pulls on the cord, the laptop stays put and the cord comes right off.
  • I could keep going, but let me stop.
Well, this evening, I ran across this blog post and the comments (already over 60 of them) were fascinating to read. Nothing like seeing my decision affirmed and reaffirmed as I read these comments comparing Mac to PC. If you are interested, click here!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Are finances stressing you out?

Are you stressed out over finances? With statistics where they are, it is obvious that there are people among our CCF family who are struggling financially. Maybe it’s pay cuts, lay offs, foreclosure, bankruptcy, fear, confusion, stress, etc. Whatever it is, the reality is that some of you are hurting. Some, we know about. Others, we do not. Maybe you are too afraid or embarrassed. We want to tell you not suffer in silence!! This is the body of Christ and there IS something that we can do!!

What CCF cannot do: we cannot pay your bills or bail you out financially. We just do not have it. We also cannot give you official legal advice as that is not our role.

What CCF can do: Pastors can meet with you confidentially and provide care, support and prayer. We can provide pastoral counseling and assist you in finding financial and legal counsel. Small Groups and Small Group Leaders can support you in community, prayer and relationship. We can direct you to resources that we are aware of that assist people in various ways and we can believe God with you, walk with you and pray fervently with you! You are not alone and you do not need to be embarrassed and suffer in silence. We are here!

Joshua Thomas Kaye is born

Here he is. The little man made his appearance this morning. Joshua Thomas Kaye! My Brother and my sister-in-law's second kid. (Bub and Mel to us)

8 pounds, 4 ounces, 20 inches. Much more handsome than his Daddy! How did this happen? Another miracle from the Lord. ;-)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My Dad, The Tax Guy

My blog. Free advertising for people I love.

My Dad, Joe Kaye is a Certified IRS Tax Preparer! He would be glad to serve you this tax season. His rates are comparable and he will take good care of you.

Call Joe Kaye at 301-352-6055 or email him at

Spread the word and hook a Brother up!

Small Group Swell

You ever have something sneak up on you and pleasantly surprise you? Well, that happened to us today as we were wrapping up the Capital for print. We launched Small Groups under Pastor Nelson's leadership exactly 2 years ago next week! As I write, we currently have 23 Small Groups at CCF! The full list with all the details will be featured in the February Capital debuting this Sunday.

We are THRILLED with the fact that we have 23 groups. They include:

4 Sunday Morning Groups
2 Sunday Evening Groups
2 Kids Small Groups
8 Youth Small Groups
6 Evening Weeknight Groups
1 Support Group

We also have about 35 Small Group Leaders. This ministry is taking off! Before you know it, we will move from a church WITH Small Groups to a church OF Small Groups!

The vision is becoming reality!

The Weather

I do love the snow. And I do love the way that inclement weather just changes the whole feel of the air. Routines change, things get thrown off, extra family time gets snagged. Love it. The downside of it is that things that people really look forward to get bumped. So...

In keeping with our CCF policy...since PG County Schools are closed, all evening events and activities are canceled this evening. Help spread the word!

The church office will be on code red (just made that up). What that means is that some will make it in, some will not, but you should get a warm body if you call.

Enjoy your day!!

--Pastor Noah

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What Teens Believe

Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton in their recent book, Soul Searching discuss the results of an extensive survey of the religious beliefs of American teenagers. Smith and Denton summarize what they discovered through the following five-point creed:
  1. A God exists who created and orders the world and watches over human life on earth.
  2. God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.
  3. The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.
  4. God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.
  5. Good people go to heaven when they die.

I have one question for you to ponder after reading this:

How/from whom/where did these teens develop these beliefs?

If you said "their parents", then we agree!

We have our work cut out for us, church.

Emotional Experience or Divine Encounter

I know that we are emotional beings. I recognize that some of us grew up in church environments that were vibrant and expressive (using nice terms). Others of us...not so much. Perhaps you spent more time in contemplative, reverent and reflective worship environments.

In either case, allow me to share something was developing in me last week during message prep. I posted yesterday that one of the ways that we can distance ourselves from God is by over-sensationalizing our relationship with him.

My observation here is informed by 24 years in Pentecostal churches and almost 5 years of leading a Mennonite congregation:
  • Some of the most expressive and emotional believers I have met have exhibited some of the poorest Christian behavior when no one else is watching. (or as I said Sunday "they leave church and have screwed up by the 2nd traffic light")
  • And of the most unexpressive and contemplative Christians that I have seen have exemplified very, very deep faith a righteous living. (they may make it 10 traffic lights)
So...what am I saying?

I am saying that we need to be seeking divine encounters, not emotional experiences. God wants us to experience Him and to be changed by him in a way that leads us to right living. And He is a LOT more interested in us living and being great, then feeling great.

I think this issue rears its head most often through statements like this: "I did not feel the Lord during worship today." or "I want to go back to blank church because they know how to do church."

So, what are we seeking? Emotional experiences or divine encounters? Hype or transformation? Something God-inspired or man-made? Just thinking with the volume turned up. Paul had a divine encounter in Jail, for crying out loud.

More on this later.

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:33

Monday, January 26, 2009


Click here to read this post. Pray for Granger Community Church today. This will be a tough week for them as they lay off staff. My heart is sad for them, but my senses are also well aware that this reality could be imminent for any church at any time. This is church that I follow in Indiana. A Methodist church that is doing really relevant ministry! God, be with them and the families impacted.

Why do I feel far from God?

We grappled with some serious stuff yesterday.

One of the most popular questions I receive as a Pastor center around wanting to feel and experience God in a closer way. How do we remove the distance, feel more connected, and live with a greater sense of nearness to God in our faith journey?

Yesterday in my message entitled "Why", I got at some of the reasons that we may feel far for God. Next week we will talk more about what we can do to restore closeness.

A few thoughts from yesterday:
  • You are not as close to God as you could be. You will never be as long as you are on this earth (uninterrupted intimacy is reserved for glory). So, keep pressing in. There is a lot more of God that you have not met yet!
  • If you feel far from God, I want to promise you that it is not his fault!
So, why might we go through times when we feel far from God? Here are some possibilities:
  1. Maybe you are over-sensationalizing the faith journey. Did someone tell you that it would be a breeze? Did someone convince you that it would be constant frills, miracles and joy? If so, they mislead you. In fact, II Timothy 3:12 says this; "Everyone that wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." Is that clear enough? Take a look to see if your expectations of walking in faith may need tweaked a bit.
  2. Maybe your heart has become hard. Before you tune that possibility out, I want to remind you that people's hearts become hardened easily when prayers go unanswered, leaders let you down, following what you thought God was saying totally fails on you or when you face repeated loss, pain and struggle. A hard heart can form easier than you think and cause distance between you and your heavenly Father. Click here to read the profound words of Matthew 13:14-15!
  3. Maybe you are lacking obedience somewhere in your life and it is causing a wall between you and God. Listen to these words of John 14: 21; "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." Obey. And he will reveal himself. Disobey. And you will be missing out.
  4. Perhaps you have built a wall of sin. The definition of sin is separation from God. Scripture says it best in Isaiah 59:2 when the prophet states, "...your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear."
As I preached yesterday I literally built a brick wall between me and the congregation illustrating the impact of separation.

The good news is that we do not have to stay distant from the Lord. There is hope! You can feel close again! We will look at how to take the wall down...this Sunday at 10:30am!

--Pastor Noah

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Satellite Picture of Inauguration

Click on the image to enlarge it. Pretty cool!

The Etiquette of Pumping Gas

Every now and then, I run across a blog post that gains a lot of attention and reaction. Often, it is a controversial post that includes a high volume of commenting. The commenting sometimes escalates to fighting. Here is one such a example.

A man goes to pump gas. The woman in front of him is done pumping gas, but fiddling in her purse and not pulling out. He gets mad. She has her church name on her license plate cover and bumper sticker. The man calls the church and leaves a message. Pretty funny!

What's funnier to me is reading the 77 comments (and growing) that follow. Wacky. It will take you 5-10 minutes to read, but it is a tad addictive once you start reading.

If you have a comment, leave it for them. But, I thought I would share this one with you. You will get to listen to the actual voice mail that the man left.

Here is the Link: CLICK HERE!

I will have to consider a sermon on the etiquette of gas pumping.


The benefits of blogging and twittering

There are a lot of reasons that I blog and twitter. I really enjoy following others. Gives me insights into their learning and leadership. But, there are also benefits to people following me. I know this risks sounding self-centered, but I am gonna keep it real. This week, we have felt an amazing sense of love and support that is hard to put into words. How? Because of technology! We called no one to tell them what happened. We made no home visits to tell people what happened. We simply emailed, blogged and twittered. Following that, came an influx of love and support and prayer....and we felt it!! Man, I could just go on to list the benefits. They are many. It sometimes shocks me the people who come up to me on a Sunday and reference something that they read during the week. Kinda creepy at times.

Check this out...we received an email this week from a lovely couple who has been attending CCF for 4 weeks! They are already regular blog readers and reached out! Nothing like a Pastor receiving Pastoral care from an attendee of 4 weeks. That is every member ministry at it's best!

Gotta love technology! Many benefits that the church needs to be redeeming for the glory of God!

"...Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God!" I Cor. 10:31

Friday, January 23, 2009

One of those random posts

Here is one of those random posts where I just feel like capturing a few totally unrelated thoughts and ideas in one place. My mind is a tad scattered tonight and this helps bring things together for me. Weird, I know. But, here goes.
  • After a full day at it, I feel like I am about a third of the way to where I need to be with Connection Power.
  • We had a super time at the Baltimore Aquarium with the Okanya's tonight. It is only $8 to get in on Fridays after 5pm. Good times. Davis and Barak will grow up good buddies.
  • Tomorrow morning I will be attending the funeral of one of the leaders in our district from the Wilkens Avenue Church, Harold Burkholder. Pray that the Lord gives this family peace.
  • Still thankful for the informative and helpful Dr. appointment that Tricia and I had yesterday. We feel some better. Helped to hear that 1) we could have done NOTHING to prevent the miscarriage, 2) a miscarriage is the body's way of rejecting what would have been a bad pregnancy and a child that would be incompatible with life, and 3) this was a sign that we CAN get pregnant. We have hope.
  • Excited about our second week of EntryPoint this Sunday at 9am.
  • Also looking forward to Sunday's message..."Why do I feel far from God? And what can I do about it?"
Nite-Nite, Friends!!

Connection Power Marathon Meeting

Set aside 4 hours this morning to work with Jaye (my manager) on Connection Power Set-up. Connection Power is our new church software program. After 4 hours, we are not done, having way too much fun and are gonna keep on keeping on for a few more hours.

I just have to tell you this:
  • This thing is gonna rock!!!
  • We are getting organized!!
  • We have some more work to do before we are officially "live," but when we do, this thing will be a powerhouse!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Busyness is Barenness

A Pastor that I follow on Twitter just twittered this: "Busyness is a synonym for barrenness. More margin = more creativity, more productivity, and more vitality." This really grabbed me at the right time. This week, I have had to slow down and just "be here" for Tricia. No running, meetings or obligations. I have worked, but at a very different pace.

Without fail, I find that the more I slow down, get away and focus in on my messages, planning and leadership, the more creative and excited I get. Things happen. Good ideas exponentially multiply into fantastic ideas. Good messages become great messages. The online dictionary defines barren as "dull, unproductive and unfruitful." The less I am "crazy busy", the less barren my ministry will be. The more I own control of my time and schedule, the better Christian, Husband, Father, Pastor, and Student I will become. I am doing WAY better at this than I used to. I just need to keep it up.

Are you learning anything from this? Where in your life do you need more creativity and where can you create more margin?

Pop Goes the Church!

Over the last week and a half, I read the book, "Pop Goes the Church" by Tim Stevens. Wanted to share a quick review. Liked it a lot. I follow the author on his Blog and Twitter, which gives you a really strong connection to the author that assisted in appreciating the book even more.

Key Takeaways:
  • Reading this book will cause people to be really inspired or really frustrated. I don't see much middle ground. I was really excited. However, I personally know people that would have hated this book.
  • Jesus did not wear Christian T-Shirts, flaunt his seminary training and speak super-spiritually expecting the culture to connect. He did not learn big words to impress, but not communicate. He did not look for music that was unfamiliar to the culture and then expect people to learn to like it.
  • We cannot become leaders that love our traditions more than our people.
  • "It has taken the church 2,000 years to make Jesus-the most compelling and attractive person that ever lived-boring!" -Mark Beeson
  • People in our culture are searching for God.
  • The church is failing them in their search for many reasons (that Stevens unpacks in his book).
  • Hence, people search for God in pop culture which ends up shaping their values in incredible ways.
  • One hundred years ago, pop entertainment options included a play, an art museum, a symphony or an issue of the Saturday Evening Post.
  • Today there are over 500 TV stations, hundreds of musical genres, millions of books and billions of Internet pages. That is not to even mention the massive movie industry, the music industry, the 50 BILLION dollar video game industry, fashion, art, photography and many other creative arts.
I underlined a lot more stuff in this book that I could share, but let me just summarize and finalize the author's main points by saying this:
  • If we want to be effective in reaching a lost North America for Jesus Christ, we better know, use and leverage pop culture. It may the only road into some people's world...people that Jesus died for.
  • The church needs to take some notes from Paul and Jesus who both were masterful at leveraging culture. Somehow, many churches have decided that they are too sacred to engage the culture around us.
  • However we need to keep the goal in mind. We do NOT engage culture to mock other churches, to create buzz for the sake of buzz (author says if you want to do that, hire a lobby stripper and you will pack your church out), nor do we disregard scripture to be edgy.
  • Instead we use culture to draw people in, point them to Jesus and let them know that they matter to God.
  • Final quote: "Relevancy is a tool, not an objective; a means and not an end. Pop culture changes too quickly to make it a good foe or a longstanding friend."
If you are into pop culture and ministry...this is a book you should read. In reading it, I learned about popular movies, music and TV shows that I never knew a thing about. Learned a few new things about Desperate Housewives, Cold Play, The Beatles and The Office and how any of these might connect people to God! Cool Book!


Wednesday, January 21, 2009


If I was asked to select one most popular question about faith that I have been asked more than any other question as a Pastor it would be this:

Why do I feel far from God? Or...Why can't I feel God as close as I want to?

For the next 2 Sundays we will be doing a series called "Why?" We will grapple with the question; "Why do I feel far from God?" and we will be discovering some possible answers and solutions.

Join us!

Thank You!

In less than 24 hours since sending word out about what happened, we have received:
  • Emails from 29 people
  • 25 texts
  • 5 Blog comments
  • A feeling that we are really loved!
  • And the peace of God that comes through your prayer!
We love and thank you all! We are uniquely blessed and we know it. We are just being together and taking some family time. Davis running around the house really helps!

--Noah and Tricia

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This made us smile

This really put a smile on our face tonight.

Click on this link here:

Click on the one that says "Song by Sydney." This is my friend Ben and his daughter. So cute!! Listen until the end. The end is the cutest!

Sad News. Would Appreciate Your Prayers.

Wanted to share on my blog, the same thing that I sent to our Church prayer-email today. Please read below:

Good Afternoon Church,

I trust that you are walking strong and seeing the Lord at work in your life. On this historic inauguration day, I pray that we will find opportunities to have conversations that point to Jesus, the giver of all life, freedom and liberty! Let us remember to pray for God's hand on the life of our new President.

The other reason that I write today is to ask you to pray for Tricia and I for peace and understanding. Yesterday at about 4pm, my wife began bleeding very badly. After 7 hours at the hospital, we learned that Tricia was pregnant and had miscarried. Please pray for us, especially Tricia as our hearts are quite heavy today. I returned home from a trip I was on to be here with Tricia.

We appreciate your prayers and love, but ask that calls or visits wait at this time. Feel free to email either of us anytime!

We are both thankful for the gift and sign of life that this represents.

He is able!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Heading to VA for 3 days

I am leaving bright and early tomorrow morning for 3 days in Harrisonburg, VA.

Why? A leadership training event

Where? Eastern Mennonite Seminary

Topic? Christians engaging cultural change

Link to event? Click Here

Who is going? Nelson and I

Excited to learn and to network. Always appreciate the connections we make. Not excited to leave Tricia and Davis. Never am.

I am sure that I will be online down there, so check back in this week.

Hope you have a great week!


Why today was special!!

From the heart of a happy Pastor on a Sunday afternoon before football starts...

Today was special for a lot of reasons. Here are a few of those reasons:
  • Today was special, because after lots of hard work, dreaming and prayer, we launched EntryPoint, our new assimilation ministry.
  • It was great that there were 16 people present including the 3 coaches. That would mean 13 people ready and searching for deep connection to God and this ministry.
  • Today was special, because I got the joy of listening to all 13 of these people introduce themselves to the group. The range went from just saved 3 weeks ago to been saved 50 years. From been at CCF for 1 week to been at CCF 4 years. There were people there looking to become partners, others looking to find that small group that fits them and still others there today because they are ready to serve in ministry and want to find their fit. Too cool to know that we will meet for 5 more Sundays! Gonna be great!
  • Today was great because I got to hear Robert Taylor (EntryPoint coach and member of CCF since 1962!!!) discuss the 60s and 70s at Cottage City Mennonite Church (now CCF) and I got to hear Pam Kaye (EntryPoint Coach and my Mom) reflect about the Capitol College Days and Cydne Nash (EntryPoint Coach) talk about the new CCF as she just came a few years ago. Those 3 perspectives painted a beautiful picture of our history, while pointing boldly into our future!
  • Today was special because we worshiped God together out of glad and sincere hearts!
  • Today was special because Pastor Nelson helped us to weave GOD'S STORY into the story of Martin Luther King Day tomorrow and the Inauguration on Tuesday. After all, we are indeed God's creation and this is HIS story.
Today was special, because I was reminded again what an absolutely amazing blessing and honor it is to Pastor this community of faith! What an incredibly authentic congregation you are. I am a better man for knowing each of you.

Am I the only one that feels a rumble like God is about to do something Big? I don't know, but I think that something is coming down the tracks. Or as Caleb put it in hie Tweet this morning..."there is a spirit that something big is about to crash though these walls."

Our eyes and our attention is on you, our God! We love you! We are seeing you at work and trying to meet you there.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Start with Worship

I believe that our true call to worship, is to worship with our lives. How we live, who we are! Romans 12:1-2 says "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship."

I am seeing more and more that what we DO for God and others needs to flow out of a life of worship. This morning, I reread this verse in Matthew 2:11 that struck me in a new way. Matthew 2 is the account of the Magi bringing gifts to Baby Jesus. But, check this out. It says "On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.

Notice that they worshiped FIRST. Then, they gave. May our first move toward God be WORSHIP! Then, may all we do and give thereafter flow out of that heart of worship.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Welcome to DC for the Innauguration

For those of you who have ever driven in the DC area, I thought you would enjoy the following, for all living in the DC area and those who plan to visit our area
  • First, you must learn to call it by its rightful name. It is DC or "the District" - only tourists call it Washington.
  • Next, if your road map of Montgomery County is more than a few weeks old, throw it out and buy a new one. It's obsolete. If in Loudoun or Fairfax County and your map is one day old, it's already obsolete.
  • There is no such thing as a dangerous high speed chase in D.C. It's just another chase, usually on the Baltimore Washington Parkway
  • All directions start with "The Beltway"... which has no beginning and no end, just one continuous loop that locals believe is somehow clarified by an "inner" and "outer" loop designation. This makes no sense to ANYONE outside the area. (or in the area for that matter)
  • The morning rush hour is from 5 to 11 AM. The evening rush hour is from 1 to 8 PM. Friday's rush hour starts Thursday morning, especially during the summer on Route 50 eastbound.
  • If there is a ball game at the Redskins stadium, there is no point driving anywhere near PG County.
  • If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be rear-ended and shot at. If you run the red light, be sure to smile for the $100 "picture" you will receive courtesy of DMV.
  • If you don't go as soon as the light turns green, you will get cussed out in 382 languages.
  • Rain causes an immediate 50 point drop of IQ in drivers. Snow causes a 100 point drop in IQ and a rush to the nearest Giant for toilet paper and milk.
  • Construction on I-270 is a way of life and a permanent source of scorn and cynical entertainment. It's ironic that it's called an "Interstate," but runs only from Bethesda to Frederick . Opening in the 60's, it has been torn up and under reconstruction ever since. Also, it has a "Spur" section which is even more confusing.
  • All old ladies in Buicks have the right of way in the area of Leisure World.
  • Many roads mysteriously change their names as you cross intersections. Don't ask why, no one knows.
  • If asking directions in Arlington, Langley Park, Wheaton or Adams Morgan, Spanish helps. If in Annandale, Cambodian or Vietnamese will come in handy. If on Dupont Circle, Capital Hill or U Street, tolerance for same sex helps. If you stop to ask directions in Southeast...well, just don't.
  • A taxi ride across town will cost you $12.50. A taxi ride two blocks will cost you 16.75. (It's a zone thing, you wouldn't understand.)
  • Traveling south out of DC on Interstate 395/95 is the most dangerous, scariest thing you will ever do.
  • There is nothing more comforting then seven lanes of traffic cruising along at 85 mph, BUMPER TO BUMPER!!! ( Truer words have never been written! )
  • The minimum acceptable speed on the Beltway is 85. Anything less is considered down right sissy. The open lane for passing on all Maryland interstates is the far right lane because no self-respecting Marylander would ever be caught driving in the "slow" lane. Unofficially, both shoulders are fair game also. The far left lanes on all Maryland interstates are official "chat" lanes reserved for drivers who wish to talk on their cell phones.
Pick me up off the floor. This is hilarious!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Prophetic Word. Move Froward.

Note: For those of you that just glance at my blog, you may want to actually read this one!

At the end of the service this past Sunday, our Bishop Glenn approached Pastor Nelson and I and shared what he believed to be a prophetic word for us. It was powerful and I have been thinking and praying into it all week.

Here is the thumbnail sketch:
  • God is bringing an increased anointing onto us.
  • God is developing increased character in us.
  • The things that we see happening at CCF are merely a fractional sign of what is coming.
  • We need to actively rest in what God is about to do. (Not passively rest.)
Then, here is the part that has been shaping me most:

In this season of economic and societal "pulling back", there will be abundant fruitfulness for those who move forward into God's purposes! We should not faithlessly hoard and retreat, but rather faithfully move ahead into the future that God has for us. The economy of God is not the economy of the world! Move forward, don't pull back. But, move forward in a confident humility and a resting in the fact that God may want to be revealing himself most in a time where people can depend on stuff the least!

Did you know that the Australian seal has an Emu and a Kangaroo in it? Neither of these animals can move backwards. It speaks to their desire as a land to be always moving ahead. Interesting.

This word needs to be tested through scripture and the leading of the Spirit. It is certainly not a word to be reckless and lack wisdom and for what it's, I think that it has very little to do with spending money.

Is the Lord showing you anything through this word?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cool Video

This video is pretty cool. Enjoy!

Adjusting to a larger Staff

One of the absolute greatest joys of my job is working with, caring for, and leading other leaders. I love seeing our Pastors and Staff thrive in their calling. It is a thrill to grow with them and to learn from them. In fact, I think that my relationship building with staff is one of the most important things that I do at CCF. It is our hope that our authentic relationships reproduce all over the church!

That said, I am finding myself in a time of new learning and adjustment right now. It all happened so suddenly. I woke up one day and realized that I am now serving as a Lead Pastor and Supervisor for 6 Staff members! This is different from 2-3 as it has been. With the growth of the staff this year, comes several realities...some a breeze, others more challenging, all wonderful!!! It is kinda hard to explain with words. It is just an adjustment, and for the most part I love it. I am pumped up about the team that the Lord has assembled here and believe it has only just begun. Speaking of which, we had an AWESOME offsite staff meeting this morning.

I just need to do some adjusting in my role, so I can handle it in a healthy way. I have had to do this before and I will have to do it again. More people to care for, more meetings to hold, more details to juggle, more info to know, more issues to respond to, more emails, more calls, more texts, more praying for these leaders, more pastoring and discipling them that I need to rise to. This is of course in addition to the many, many other things that I do and preparing to preach, etc. In order to add all that onto the plate, I will need to remove some things off the plate. So, that is what I am doing. I thank God for good leaders above me in my life that will help me process this increased responsibility.

If you see this post as me complaining about any of this, you did not get it!


EnrtyPoint Image

Sooooo excited to launch EntryPoint this Sunday at 9:00am in the Upper Room. New Guest? Long Term Visitor? Not plugged into CCF yet? See you Sunday at 9! Here is the unveiling of the EntryPoint Image.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

List Person...Did I finish?

I keep wondering if there was something else that I intended to share with you about my list/organization system. For those that have been reading those posts, do you have any further questions? Anything more that you were hoping I would share? Click on the "responses" button below and I would be happy to hear from you. If not, I will leave well enough alone. :-)

From the guy who has to make sure things are completed,


Monday, January 12, 2009

Supreme Sports Performance & Training

I am so proud of our friends Matt and Sioux-z Gary. They are driven, committed and inspiring in their desire for fitness and health. Their lives have been committed to it. A dream came true for them today. They opened their own business just minutes from their (new) home in Rockville. It is called Supreme Sports Performance and Training. You can click here to see their site (designed by another friend in our church, Adolph Key).

It was the last week of 2004 when I met the Gary's in the lobby of the church as they were seeking a place to get married in. They found that. They also found a church community that they have dedicated themselves to in a BIG way. They are in our Small Group. They are very special to Tricia and I, and we are totally proud of them tonight!

"And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." Luke 2:52

How do we partner?

Here is a very simple review/recap of my message yesterday.

How does a CCF Partner commit to this ministry?

Answer: Embraces and lives the vision by
  1. Faithfully connecting in large group
  2. Faithfully connecting in small group
  3. Faithfully serving in a ministry
We believe that EntryPoint will be the main catalyst to move people through these steps, but there will be other catalysts too. We also believe that these above commitments will lead people into faithfulness in many areas of life including a financial commitment to this ministry. As I said CCF, we encourage people to give regularly and sacrificially. That may look different for each of us.

So excited about the people that God is already sending our way so that we can partner in ministry!


Last night, we got to hang out with Barak. Okanya that is. Davis and he are just a few weeks apart and are great friends. We were glad to have him for the evening. I count it a great joy to know that my Associate Pastor is also my friend! In fact, I feel like I am friends with every member of the team I am privileged to work with. What a blessing!

Well, I wanted to share this picture of Grammy (my Mom) reading to Davis and Barak last night. Precious!

Sunday, January 11, 2009


This morning, we renamed membership! Instead of joining into membership at CCF...starting today, we invite people into partnership.

Why not membership?
  • First of all, just because we have always done something or held to a certain name, does not mean we always have to! Sometimes, it is really healthy to rename or redefine for the sake of the new thing that God may want to do!
  • Next, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, as far as I am concerned, you are already a member of the body of Christ! No membership status will ever beat that!
  • Also, your membership at BJ's, the local pool and the country club requires that you pay a fee and receive a service or benefit. I think that perspective only fuels the growing consumeristic mindset of church shoppers more then it makes disciples.
  • Finally, I have been leading our Discovery 101 membership class for the last 3-4 years and have noticed that the "M" word (membership) scares more people off than the Boogie Man...and that should not be so. People are missing the point. And I for one think that is because of the baggage and anxiety that people bring to that very word...membership. I am tired of running people off and seeing them miss the point.
Why partnership?
  • We would like to think of connecting to CCF as Partnering with a movement, more than becoming a member of a club.
  • Partners team up to provide a service, more than receive one. I have said it before. We are the church and we exist to serve and reach the world. We are the servants, not the recipients.
  • At CCF, we believe that each of us is called by God for ministry (Eph. 4:11-13) to join the body of Christ in partnering together to love God (Matt. 22:36-40), love each other (Matt. 22:36-40) and to go and make disciples (Matt. 28:18-20).
If you are local, we hope you will partner with us in this ministry! If you are out of state, we hope that you will partner with us in prayer!

"I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:3-6

The day the projector died

Yesterday we learned that we had no signal to the projector hanging from the ceiling in our Worship Center. No matter how hard our guys tried (8 hours yesterday), they could not get it working. We think it may be a cable issue or something. Buying a new one is not in the plan. Why? Because our Director of Worship (my Brother, Caleb) informed me this week that those suckers are like $10,000-$80,000. Whoa!! Well, since we had no media today, we printed the lyrics to the songs and laid them on the seats in the Worship Center.

Not convinced whether there is a connection or not, but here is what I noticed:
  • We worshipped!
  • The room was seemed more full of expressions of praise than most Sundays.
  • Even the volume and unity of the voices seemed to fill the room up more.
  • The Worship Team was on!! They were dynamic, engaged and inviting us into a time of meaningful worship!
  • I cried like I haven't in a long time.
  • It blessed my heart.
Couldn't help but wonder if it was a nice needed change of atmosphere. Couldn't help but wonder if it was a part of God's plan for us today. Maybe some of us stare at the screen for words we already know. I wonder what would happen if we put our eyes on the screen less and put our eyes on Jesus more?

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith." Hebrews 12:2a

Saturday, January 10, 2009

This is CRAZY...the human mind

After not blogging since Thursday, I post this. It don't take much to amuse me, huh? I got this email tonight and it fascinated me. I laughed pretty hard and it kind of creeped me out, actually. Not sure why, but, hey...check it out.

Can you read this?

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeilng was ipmorantt!

You never know what you will find on this blog.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Talking Calendar

Picking up on my recent daily posts about being a list person...let me address what I have began to affectionately call the "talking calendar." I know that this title errs on the cheesy side, but it makes my point.

I said in my post yesterday that the thrust of my organizational system is based on the conversation that exists between my task list and my calendar. Hence, the talking calendar. Or, I guess we could say, the talking task list as well.

Let me explain.

In short: I need "to-do" things to be prepared for what is approaching in my calendar. And I need to-schedule the things in my task list that I need to-do. If I am missing one or the other, something is going to crumble.

As a result, over the last 10 years, I have made a daily habit of ensuring that my calendar and task list communicate.

My calendar says things to my task list such as:
  • You have Small Group tonight, have you prepared your lesson?
  • You are meeting with the bishop next week, are you ready for that?
  • Davis's Birthday party is Saturday, you need to go get the balloons.
  • You are preaching Sunday. Is your message done?
  • You are meeting with Entry Point coaches next week, email them the draft and prepare for that meeting.
  • You have Executive Board next Thursday. Email the board the agenda.
My Task list says things to my calendar such as:
  • When can you meet with that couple next week?
  • You need 2 hours to finish your ordination paperwork and need to be focused. What are 2 good hours for this to happen within the next 10 days?
  • Tricia and I have not seen our friends Tim and Michelle in a long time. When can we go visit them on a Friday-Saturday in the next 3 months?
  • You need 3 hours to finish your message in the next 2 days. Plug those 3 hours in now.
Look, if it is going to get done, it probably needs to be scheduled. And if it's on the schedule I need to-do what I need to-do to get ready for it!

Sooo...the calendar and task list talk back and forth at each other, coordinate with each other and sometimes ask provoking questions about my priorities.

Let me know if you are finding any of this helpful. Or is it too long that you are not reading it? What would you add to improve this system?



Launching on… Sunday, January 18th at 9:00am

EntryPoint is CCF’s connection ministry for all those wanting to take next steps with us! Designed for new guests and long term visitors, EntryPoint will coach you into partnering with CCF, its vision and its ministries.

Curious about joining CCF as a partner?

Curious about Small Groups?

Curious about ministry?

Come to EntryPoint!

The purpose of EntryPoint: To connect you to CCF and to the Lord so you will love God, love people and live as a disciple of Jesus!

How is EntryPoint set up?

  • Sort of like a short term Small Group.
  • There are 6 sessions and then they start over and repeat.
  • There will be EntryPoint coaches that will help you make connections with the church. You won’t have to do it alone.
  • EntryPoint will take place every Sunday from 9am-10am.
  • You can join in any Sunday. It does not matter which session you start at. Come any Sunday at 9am!

See you at EntryPoint!

[You may wonder why there is no space in the title, EntryPoint? It is remind us that EntryPoint exists so that no one falls through the cracks.]