Thursday, December 31, 2009

52 highlights from 2009!

On the last day of 2008, I shared 52 highlights of the year as it closed out. You can read it by clicking here. I said that it would be an annual tradition, so here goes. Here are 52 highlights of 2009! This is a really easy and enjoyable exercise to read through my blog posts from the year and see what jumps out. What a great year it was. Here is the proof:
  1. Loving Jesus more
  2. Loving Tricia more
  3. Loving Davis more
  4. Loving all our family more
  5. Loving our church more...and loving seeing lives changed for Jesus!!
  6. Davis Turned 2
  7. The Launch of EntryPoint! What a success!!! 75 in EntryPoint and 40 new partners!
  8. Our staff grew by 3
  9. We miscarried...sad time. But, God is sovereign.
  10. Connection Power (our new church management software) gets cranking...
  11. Joshua Thomas Kaye was born!
  12. I went Mac...and I will never go back!
  13. Built a brick wall during a sermon...too cool!
  14. Corn Hole for Missions
  15. Took another Masters Class
  16. Preaching on Financial Peace in March
  17. Staying Connected Small Group Curriculum
  18. Tricia started blogging! So proud of my wife.
  19. Marrying Moe and Creshia in our living room!
  20. International Sunday....Why Diversity?
  21. My Niece, Graciella Lopez was born.
  22. Trip to Guyana...concluding our formal ministry there
  23. Starting Connection Cards
  24. Meeting Naylin and Anthony, our Foster Niece and Nephew
  25. Our trip to Miami to see Melyssa and Adam and visit Fellowship Church
  26. "Hope"- Easter Sunday
  27. Being Ordained on April 26th...what an honor!
  28. Pastor Dave's Book release
  29. The Drive Conference in Atlanta
  30. Married Life Live (x2)
  31. Our Sabbatical...the spiritual renewal
  32. Our Sabbatical...the family renewal
  33. Our Sabbatical...the life change
  34. Seeing the majesty of God out west
  35. Attending worship Services and the Ascent Conference at New Life Church
  36. Driving 9,500 miles over the summer!!
  37. China with the Kauffman's and Baptizing Austin in the South China Sea!
  38. Falling in love with the Word of God like I never have before!
  39. Reading over 25 books
  40. Facebook Ministry, Community and Connections!
  41. This Blog....year 3!
  42. Twittering the things that the Lord is doing and revealing and the memories we are making!
  43. Preaching the "Whispers" and "Pursuit" series
  44. Flapjack Friend Day
  45. Selling our van and getting our Scooters
  46. The "Nines" Conference 9.09.09
  47. Speaking at the Lanham Christian School Retreat
  48. The Homegoing of Lisa Savoy and Ralph McGill
  49. Navigating tough economic times as a church
  50. Church Retreat at Black Rock
  51. Announcing that Halftime is back for 2010!
  52. Blizzard of 2009! Good times!
All praise to God!!!!

More Genesis Highlights....

Picking up from THIS POST....

Here are some more things about the book of Genesis that grabbed me lately:

  • 14:19-20- Giving thanks to God and thanks to man are both in order!
  • 15:2- Abraham is basically saying, “Thanks, BUT…”! You are giving me nations. How about we start with one son of my own. Please?! Interesting.
  • 16:1-8- this is one of those random things about the culture of scripture. I let my wife have sex with someone else and then we fight. This is a pretty pertinent account of a spousal spat right here in Genesis. Read it. You may be able to relate.
  • 17:17- Abraham laughs at the idea of being a Dad at the ripe age of 100.
  • 18:10- We have the first account of female eaves dropping!!
  • 19:30-36 seems so unlikely, but it IS the word of God. How did these daughters get their Dad so drunk? How did he allow that? How did he have sex with them and not realize it even if he was intoxicated? How in the world did they pull this off 2 nights in a row? Did Lot like this? How did they both get pregnant in one attempt? Were they both ovulating at the same time? Just lots of questions come to my mind when I read this.
  • 22:2-3 Abraham asks NO questions!! Are you serious?! He just proceeds toward killing his son? Wow! The entire story of 22: 1-19 is truly amazing and inspiring!!
  • 24:12- Love this verse. Give me success on my mission, Lord.
  • 24:25- a rationale for having a guest room!
  • 24:52- it is powerful to me the way that Abraham’s servants have learned to worship like their master! People are watching us.
  • 24:67- Spouses are a special comfort in the time of death or loss
  • 25:1-3 amazes me that Abraham remarries and has more kids at 100+!!
  • 26:6-7 we see Isaac lying and saying that Rebekah is his sister to protect her. Wait! Didn’t dad do this too? Like father like son!
  • 26:30-33 we have a treaty ceremony. Good substantiation for some of the ceremonial things that we do in the church. Also, they name the place they are at. More on that later….
  • 28:16- “Surely the Lord was in this place and I wasn’t even aware of it.” Lord, please forgive us for this. I am afraid we do it all the time.


**Everything throughout the book of Genesis seemed to revolve around what the Lord said. He appeared. He talked. He commanded. People acted. And then the drama ensued, the scene got eventful and the blessings came. How much of our stories revolve around us doing what the Lord is asking us to do? Do we hear him? If yes, do we obey? What does hearing him look like for us today?

Primal

Over the last few weeks, I read Mark Batterson's new book, "Primal." He gave free copies to Lead Pastors who agreed to join his blog tour and blog about it. Well, here goes my blog. (Thanks for the free book, Mark and Multnomah Publishing!)

Great book. Mark reminds me or Rick Warren in that he speaks in plaques. He has a gift for saying old things in new and creative ways that are attention grabbing and memorable.

This book was especially meaningful to me in light of CCF's purpose Statement. Our purpose statement is strongly rooted in the greatest commandment (Matt. 22:36-40) and this book was structured around the same. Mark divided the book into 4 sections as he shared deeply into the complete call of the Greatest Commandment:
  1. The heart of Christianity
  2. The soul of Christianity
  3. The mind of Christianity
  4. The strength of Christianity
Some of my favorite excerpts or quotes:
  • If I say what God wants me to say, then all the criticism in the world does not matter. And if I do not say what God wants, then all the compliments in the world do not matter.
  • It is way easier to act like a Christian than to react like one. Anyone can put on an act, but your reactions reveal what is really in your heart.
  • Making money is the way you make a living. Giving it away is the way you make a life.
  • Whether in getting or giving, it seems like enough is never enough. Listen, you will never have enough. You will never be enough. You will never do enough. But, don't let that keep you from giving what you have, being who you are or doing what you can.
  • Awed silence in the presence of divine beauty is a form of worship that is often deeper and truer than sung words. Silence is one of the soul's love languages.
  • One of the most common reasons that people leave churches is because "they are not being fed." Children feed themselves from the time they are toddlers. If you are not being fed, it's your fault! Stop letting Pastors study the Bible for you. If you are relying on a preacher to be fed, I fear for you.
  • Regarding the importance of meditating on scripture: Meditation is the mechanism whereby one dimensional knowledge becomes two dimensional understanding. But it does not end there. Obedience is the mechanism whereby two dimensional understanding becomes three dimensional faith!
  • Your life translates scripture into a language that those around you can read. He wants to write His-story through your life.
  • It's taken thousands of years for billions of people to explore one tiny planet in one tiny galaxy. And we've barely scratched the surface. Wow, God!
  • God does not just want you to worship him. He wants you to know why you worship him. And worship is not lip syncing words on a screen.
  • We need to be less focused on getting out of situations and more focused on what we can get out of situations!
  • It is far easier to find something wrong with something new, than to admit something wrong with the old way of doing things.
  • We all need to get less afraid of making mistakes and more afraid of not making mistakes. Not making mistakes probably means that we are doing nothing.
  • Christianity was never intended to be a noun. It was always intended to be a verb.
  • Potential is God's gift to us. What we do with it is our gift to God.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Reading Update

I enjoy reading multiple books at the same time. Keeps my reading diet diverse. Well, somehow this month, that got a little out of control and I am reading like 5 or 6 books at the same time. So, I have a goal. Within the next few days I hope to wrap up most of them and share about a couple of them on my blog. That way, at the start of the new year, I can jump into a few new books that I have on the runway and am excited to start.

Finishing:
  1. "There Were Two Trees in the Garden" by Rick Joyner
  2. "Primal" by Mark Batterson
  3. "Waking the Dead" by John Eldridge
  4. "Genesis; an Introduction" by Claus Westermann
Looking forward to starting:
  1. "The Speed of Trust" by Steven M.R. Covey
  2. "The Heavenly Man" by Paul Hattaway
  3. "God's Pursuit of Man" by A.W. Tozer
  4. More that I cannot remember because they are on my shelf in MD and I am in NY...
Leaders and readers and yearn to learn.

--Noah

Monday, December 28, 2009

Genesis Highlights

This summer, I spent some extended reflection time in some of the books of the Bible. One of them was Genesis. In fact, I feel like I developed a love like never before for the book of Genesis. It was Mid-June when the Lord placed it in my heart that I was to preach out of Genesis for the whole first month of this year. Not sure why....just sure that I was to preach on Genesis all of January 2010. The first book of the Bible---the first month of a new year---a new decade! So, I am doing what God said.

Well, there is so much in in Genesis, that 4 sermons do not even begin to begin to begin to cover it all. Hence, I want to share some of my findings at my electronic pulpit....my blog.

These are just personal, random highlights. Some cheesy, others more provoking. Get a Bible out! Enjoy.

  • 2:6 always fascinates me. The flood happened because the water came up from the earth not down from the sky. SO many people get that twisted and think that the rain caused the flood. Not so. (See 7:11 and 8:2 as well)
  • 2:19 is cool how Adam named every animal. How in the world did he come up with all these names? What amazing creativity and vocabulary. I am guessing there was dictionary in the library of Eden. God, huh?
  • 3:11-13 is really telling. Just three chapters into the Bible and we have the blame game being played in full effect. And we are still playing it today!
  • 3:17-19- it seems that as a result of sin, farming is hard work. What about other professions? Are they cursed as well? What about your job?
  • 3:20- made me wonder if the word “Eve” and “EVErywhere” or “EVEryone” are connected?
  • 3:24- what flaming swords has God put in place for me that I have not noticed?
  • 4:21 – “Jubal” is the first musician. Love this name!! If I were a musician, I would name my son Jubal!
  • 4:15- I did not know the name “Jared” was a Biblical name. Cool!
  • 6:3- Is the end of people living for so darn long! And the reason that life span was shortened was that God was sick of putting up with people that long. He had enough!
  • 6:5-13- God has regrets? Sure sounds like it? People disappoint him so bad….
  • 9:5- how God really feels about murder. This must be the argument for Capital Punishment.
  • 9:19- Nationalities of Noah’s Sons. We all come from them?
  • 10:24 & 31- the beginning of languages, separation and nations.
  • 11:1-9- Beware of universalism….one money, one world, together we can do it all mentality. This could lead to Godlessness. I think that this relates to the principles of Body life.
  • 12:1- the first step to Abraham answering his call was leaving his familiarity. This may
  • 13:7 & 11- Some good cases of Family Drama…


More later…..

God's Decade

Last week, I posted a few times about starting a new decade. Well, we are now just a few days away. The more I think about this, the more I hear the Lord nudging me about how to approach this new year, new decade and new opportunity.

I want to make you a promise. You can take it to the bank and cash it in. You can count on this more than you can count on anything....

If you make this coming year and coming decade GOD'S....it will go down as the best season of your entire life. What do I mean?
  • Let your dreams match his teachings and plans.
  • Submit everything you are and everything you have to him. Really.
  • Plan your year based upon how HE can get the most glory and attention out of your life, not how YOU can get ahead!
  • Plan to intentionally let the commands of the Word of God be the marching orders for your year. Forget everything else.
  • Decide now that in the coming year(s), you want to know him more, hear him more, obey him more and love him more than you ever have before.
  • Make the intentional decision that you are no longer living your life for you, but for God!
  • Let your top new year's resolution be falling in love with Jesus like you never knew was possible!!
Then, watch what happens!

Ooh, ooh...and more promise: None of this will happen if you are not planning on spending time in the presence of the Lord each day. So, maybe that ought to be your first decision for 2010!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A New Decade

Think with me for a minute. Over this last decade there have been unbelievable changes in our world. Personally, I see the progress most vividly in technology.

I got my first email address in 1999!!

I got my first cell phone in 2000 as a college student!!

There was no high speed Internet!

Or WiFi!

Or Tivo!

Or hybrid cars.

Or Blogs.

Or Social Networking.

This decade has brought with it some amazing and rapid changes.

I want to ask you a few questions and I would LOVE to hear back from you on any of this (by comment, email or in person):
  1. What are some of the biggest changes that you have noticed in the last decade?
  2. What feelings do you have as you approach the start of a new decade in just 9 days?
  3. Do you have any goals for this decade?
  4. What do you think life will look like for you in 10 years?
  5. What predictions would you be willing to make about the advancement and changes that we will see in the coming decade?
I would LOVE to hear back from you!

This is talent!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Day With God

In about 1o days, we will start a new year. Not only a new year, but a new decade. I want to take a few posts here in the next few weeks to share some things that the Lord has helped me discover that may be a benefit to you as you plan into the coming year. I am afraid that our New Year's Resolutions are often weak and repetitious. It may help some of you to think differently about them this year.

Here's an idea....

I strongly suggest that you set aside and plan (at least) ONE DAY PER MONTH WITH GOD! Spend a day a month with him. Write "GOD" in your calendar.

What do you do all day?
  • Get away to a quiet place or a park and think.
  • Read the word in an extended and reflective way.
  • Pray extra long.
  • Listen intently.
  • Prayer walk.
  • Read a book that boosts your faith.
  • Rest in the Lord.
  • Turn off phones and computers!
Once a month. Consider it an untouchable appointment. I have done it for the last 6 months and it has been transformational. Try it! Come on! See what happens. If you say that you are too busy for this, then you need to rethink some stuff.

Christmas Eve Service


We are looking forward to a great Christmas Eve Service here at CCF on this Thursday, 12/24 at 6pm! We will have a one hour service ending in a candle lighting ceremony. We look forward to seeing you and your families here as we celebrate the birth of our King!

We love you and are praying for you and your family this week!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Electric Chair Around Your Neck?

Last week in Staff Meeting, we had an insightful conversation about the sacrifices in walking with Christ. In Luke 9:23, Jesus said that we need to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow him! Lots of people interpret "taking up your cross" in a lot of different ways. But, one thing is for sure....taking up your cross as a disciple has to do with sacrifice. In Jesus' case...LIFE SACRIFICE!!

In Jesus' time, the cross was the symbol of death...brutal death for criminals. My, how things have changed! In just 2,000 years, the meaning of the cross has drastically changed. Now, we wear it around our necks, hang it on our walls, and wear it on our shirts.

I understand that the cross is a reminder of the amazing sacrifice of Jesus. I get that! But, it is also a symbol of death and sacrifice. It may be likened to the electric chair or gas chamber of today. Are you ready for that type of sacrifice? Are you a disciple? Are you ready to deny yourself? Are you ready to take up your cross?

Would you wear an electric chair around your neck? Or a gas chamber? The meaning of this cross we wear around our neck is not some pretty little stylish symbol. It means more than we can even grasp!

(I know that this image is a tad stunning. But, I believe it makes a relevant point.)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Church Cancelled 12.20.09

Due to this massive storm, Capital Christian Fellowship will be cancelled tomorrow. Stay home and worship the Lord in warmth and saftey. Lord's blessings to you. Help us spread the word.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Snow Storm. Church this Sunday??

Hey Church,

In light of this snow storm this weekend...

1. We will be postponing our Christmas Family Worship Service ONE WEEK to December 27th. The exact plan for our service this weekend will happen next weekend.

2. There will be a small, intimate worship, testimony and dwelling in the word this Sunday for those who can SAFELY make it to church. Myself and a few other staff will be present (Lord Willing) and we will meet with the Lord!

Please be safe in your decision to come. We will be doing our best to have the lot as clear as possible.

If something changes and we feel a need to cancel altogether, we will notify you. At this point, CCF will have church for those who come.

Love you!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Your desk is your pulpit

If I've said it once, I've said it hundreds of times...you are a minister! Everyone in a church on a Sunday morning is a minister! The Pastors/leaders are equippers.

If it were up to a Pastor to grow a church, the church would be tiny! I only have 8 neighbors. And the people I work with already attend my church. YOU are a "sent one" to your company, your school, your street, your family. God is calling YOU to reach the lost and hurting people in your sphere of influence.

While in a meeting this morning with a Pastor Friend, he said this:

Your desk is your pulpit!

From it you are a voice of truth to the people around you. Or maybe your "work truck" is your pulpit. Your dinner table is your pulpit. Speak truth. Tell people about the God who loves you and found you.

I believe, that if ONE HALF of the people at Capital Christian Fellowship (and your church too) were so excited for Sunday that they can hardly wait to get here, they would be bringing people with them and the church would grow. We all need a good dose of role definition and big glass of ownership increaser when we think about the church.

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." I Peter 3:15

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Answered Prayer (follow up on today's Twitter/Facebook update)

Earlier today, I wrote this on Twitter/Facebook: "Today, God answered a prayer I've been praying for 2-3 years! And he answered it big! 3pm mtg. today that I welcome prayer for. More later."

Here's the story:

I have been on Staff at CCF for five and a half years. I have been serving in the role of Lead Pastor for four years and a month. About 3-4 years ago I began to feel the need and desire to know more about our community and context. At the time, I longed to know about our "new" mission field of Greenbelt, Lanham, Seabrook, Glenn Dale, etc. I thought that what I wanted was statistics, numbers, data and demographic information. I now (after today) know that what I actually want is psychograpic information.

Anyway, back to my story. Over the last several years, my desire to know more about this area has just kept increasing. In fact, since returning from my sabbatical I have tried (key word) to do some research on my own, I've asked several different people to do some research for me, and I even twittered it and facebooked it to tell the world about this desire. All of this yielded no results. Nothing.

I have prayed this prayer many times: "Lord, help me to know the people, the needs of the people and the best way to love and reach the people of our neighborhood! Lord, help us to learn of the problems in our neighborhood so that we can be an answer to them. Lord, help us to see what you are already doing in our mission field so that we can join you in it."

OK, so what happened? The Lord answered my prayer today and sent me JUST the person for the job!

Last night, a local friend in ministry (some of you know Ben Rainey) emailed me and introduced me to a man (Scott) who he thought might "help me understand my community in order to better fulfill the great commission"! Turns out, the guy is:
  • A demographer with decades of commercial experience
  • A wealth of information about the Washington-Baltimore Corridor
  • A seminary grad
  • A credentialled minister
  • Knowledgeable about PG County
  • Passionate about Jesus
  • Was open to meet with me immediately
  • Ready and willing to dive in and help us gain all the info we need to be more missional
  • Hungry to use his training and experience for the kingdom of God
  • Loaded with wisdom for ministry
Today, I was in his home LESS than FIVE hours after my first email from him. We met for over 2 hours this afternoon and will be getting back together again soon. God is at work. He is answering prayer. And I am thankful to him tonight for this gift of grace!

Not Okay!!!

8,000 people will die of Aids today! Are you okay with this?

According to the UN, 25,000 people will die today from starvation and malnutrition. Are you okay with this?

There are 130,000 kids up for adoption in the U.S. today and millions more kids worldwide without families. Are you okay with this?

A child dies from drinking contaminated water every 21 seconds! Are you okay with this?

This question can be asked of every suffering and injustice. Are you okay with it?

But, here is the problem....most of us ARE okay with it. Obviously. Because many of us are doing nothing about it. Mark Batterson suggests in his new book, "Primal" that "...we are okay with it because it does not have a name or a face. We've never held someone who is starving to death. No one in our family has needlessly died from contaminated water. But once the issue has a name or a face, it changes everything."

Well, folks, God knows the names and the faces very well. And it breaks his heart. When will our hearts break for the things that break God's heart? And when will we do something about it?

It is NOT okay to NOT do something.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday Thoughts

Here are some of the random thoughts on my mind today.
  • I am more and more convinced that the stories of life change that happens in healthy churches are the most underrated and ignored scorecard in ministry. They can often never be put into words, graphed or counted. So, they often fell by the way side. Honestly, they are why I keep doing what I am doing. I'm not in this for numbers, I'm in this for people. Just yesterday, more stories rose to the surface. GOD IS AT WORK!!!!!!!
  • There is so much that I do NOT KNOW about the future. I am learning right now to focus on what I DO KNOW and seek and wait on the Lord. It is his future anyway.
  • I cannot believe that Christmas is in 11 days. OMW!
  • I would be lost and afraid if it were not for Jesus having found me and loved me.
  • I feel my need for a savior more now than I did a week ago!
Love you,

Noah

Thursday, December 10, 2009

12.10.09 Video Blog

Thoughts from Two Trees (Continued)

Still reading "There Were Two Trees in the Garden" by Rick Joyner. Allow me to reiterate what I said before. Buy it! It will be a $8.00 well spent. This book is chock full of stuff that will challenge your previous thinking and introduce you to new ways of thinking. Very provoking.

Here are some thoughts that I found especially interesting:
  • (referring to Babel) We are still trying to build towers to heaven and make names for ourselves. Regardless of how piously we attach the Lord's name to our works, everything motivated by selfish ambition will come to the same end as the original tower...confusion and scattering (James 3:15-16).
  • It IS possible to understand all Christian doctrine accurately and yet not be a Christian.
  • Babylon is not just a physical reality. Babylon is in the heart.
  • There are some who have truth without life. And yet there are some who have life in Jesus but may not understand all doctrine correctly. As Thomas a Kempis reflected in his classic work Of the Imitation of Christ, "I would rather feel contrition than know the definition thereof...what does it avail a man to be able to discourse profoundly concerning the trinity if he is void of humility and thereby displeasing to Trinity?"
  • Of course truth is important. Certain truth is essential and leads to life (Jesus). But there are many doctrines not in this category over which believers through the ages have separated. Christians, who are supposed to be recognized by their love, have demonstrated the uncanny ability to agree on 98% of their doctrine and separate over the 2% on which they disagree. Required agreement on non-essentials is almost always rooted in insecurity. Insecurity among the leadership of the body of Christ has been the source of as much division as any other single factor.
  • Our unity is not based on our doctrines, it is based on Jesus! Focusing our attention on loving God and man is far more important than all of us having the same doctrine.
  • Many Christians seem to have more faith in the Devil to deceive them, than they do in the Holy Spirit to lead them into all truth!
There is something on every page of this book. I will stop there for now. Any thoughts on any of this? I hope that you don't find it too boring. I learn by reading, then writing, then teaching.

--Noah

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What is "Anointing"?

Anointing. What is that word? It has always sounded churchy to me. However, the more I walk with the Lord and the more I see the power of godly anointing in the scriptures, the more I want it! A few months back, I read a book ("God Chasers" by Tommy Tenney) that addressed it in a way I had never thought of. Check this out:


When the anointing of God rests on human flesh, it makes everything flow better. One of the clearest pictures of the anointing and its purpose in the Bible is provided in the Book of Esther. When Esther was being prepared for her presentation of the king of Persia, she was required to go through a year of purification during which she was repeatedly soaked in fragrant anointing oil (ironically using virtually the same ingredients of the Hebrew’s worship incense and anointing oil). One year in preparation for one night with the king!


A logical side benefit of all those soaking baths in perfumed oil is that every man who came near to Esther would think or say, “My, but you smell good.” Nevertheless, Esther wouldn't give them the time of day for the same reason that you and I should never be distracted by the pursuit of man’s approval!


The purpose of the anointing is not to make man like you, but to make the King like you. (Esther: Great Example)


It is far more important that the King approve of you than the people. David was anointed by God long before he was crowned by the people. He sought God’s approval over man’s!


Tenney writes: We have prostituted God’s anointing too many times. We prepare for Him and we soak in His precious, sweet-smelling anointing, but then all we do is parade it around for man! We end up flirting on the way to the chamber of the king and never make it. Seduced by other lower, lovers. We need to remember that our Kings is not going to have “soiled goods.” I’m saying that we prostitute the anointing in the sense that we say, “That was good preaching!” or “That song was really good!” and we give man the glory and the attention (or we seek man’s glory and attention). Even our services are structured to please man. The anointing really does do a lot of wonderful things in our lives, and it breaks the yoke of oppression. But that is only a by-product. It is much like when I splash cologne on for my wife. The by-product is that I smell good for everyone. But the purpose of the perfume was for her, not them! The problem comes when we use it to impress and flirt with one another, overlooking the primary purpose of the anointing, which is to camouflage the stench of our own flesh.


This is some strong and vibrant language. I do not always agree with Tenney! However, this is a view of anointing that I have never thought of before. What do you think? Agree? Disagree?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Balding Video

Ran across this old video today and had to laugh. Too funny. He's now grayer and I am now balder. ;-)

It looks better than it is!

Let me tell you about one of CCF's "strengthnesses" (Strength that is also a weakness).

For some reason, we continue to hear these type of statements from people:

"It looks like you all have all the help you need."

"Everything seems to run smooth, I am sure you do not need me."

"I didn't know that you all were struggling for workers. It didn't appear that way."

I am not sure what it is that we are doing to look effective, but please allow me to tell you the truth:

We need the gifts of every person in the church to really be all that the Lord is calling us to be. No one has been called of God to sit and do nothing.

Frankly, I hate to flaunt needs. "We need, we need, we need..." I have no interest in leading a desperate church begging people to get committed and freaking out when people leave. Not for me.

I do, however want to lead a church that is living out the every member ministry principles in Ephesians 4.

That said, I am not sure why people think we got it all together at CCF, but I promise you IT LOOKS BETTER THAN IT IS!

The reality is...right now....we are praying for the Lord to raise up from among us:
  1. 10 more AWANA workers
  2. 5 more Capi's Kids and Capi's Babies workers
  3. Club 56 leaders
  4. A drummer
  5. Other worship instrumentalists & vocalists
  6. Production Team members (cameras, sound, lights)
  7. Guest Welcome Team Members
  8. Greeters, Ushers, Welcome Center Workers
  9. More, but I will stop...
If you attend CCF and are not plugged in the way you could be, please let us know and let's make it happen. Lives depend on it.

Pastor Noah

Monday, December 7, 2009

Two Trees (Provoking Excerpt)

My last blog post was triggered by this section in Joyner's "There Were Two Trees in the Garden." Read this concept reflectively:

There are many 'good' causes being championed in the world today that frequently serve as distractions for Christians, because they draw our attention away from our true calling. In most cases, there is no question that the issues are just and right, but they only deal with the symptoms -- they leave the disease untouched. Homosexuality is a flagrant perversion, but it is only a symptom of a much deeper problem. Abortion is a horror, but it too is just a symptom. Even communism and fascism, in their most cruel and oppressive forms are but symptoms of the disease that afflicts the soul of a man. For centuries the church has been offering the world bandaids for a deep, mortal wound. What man needs is more than just behavioral changes. We must stop flailing at the branches and put an ax to the root of the tree...

...Man's nature must change. In every man and woman born, there is a nature which seeks to draw all attention and worship to itself...The good of the tree of knowledge has always been more effective in separating us from the Lord than the evil has been [just ask Adam and Eve]. The goodness of man can be the most ugly manifestation of his pride and rebellion against God. The entire tree of knowledge must be torn from our soul by the roots.

Deep, huh? Thoughts? What does this mean to you?

What is the root?

Far too often, we focus on the fruit, branches and outgrowth of a tree that we ignore. When we examine ourselves and assess the people around us, I think that we have a destructive tendency to spend our energy focusing on the wrong stuff!

There is a root!

What is the root?

What is the real issue?

What is the deeper issue?

Let me explain with a few examples.

Maybe you do not care to be around someone because they are always focused on themselves, so you conclude that they are self centered. Maybe your perception of their self-centerdness is not the root, or even the truth. Perhaps they spent their life being rejected and feeling worthless and now they are trying to compensate for deep hurt. But, all you do is look at the fruit and not the root, missing out on a great chance to really know someone.

Perhaps you have become aware that someone does not "like you" because of something you did or said (and you think that what you said was no big deal). Maybe the issue has nothing to do with what you said, but traces way back to some deep sense of jealousy they have toward you from years ago. If you just stop at the present frustration, you will miss the deeper reality.

Look, if you find yourself puzzled over why someone is upset with you over something so "small", the chances are that the "small" thing is NOT at all what they are upset over. There is something much deeper that they cannot or will not name.

If you are easily agitated by someone over small things, there is probably a bigger thing underneath that you are scared to acknowledge.

It may be your feelings toward someone else. Or someone else's feelings toward you. But, all too often I am seeing people miss the root wile they worry over the fruit.

There is a deeper issue. Stop ignoring it. Ask the Lord for courage and hit head on. It will open up the door to some deep relational healing.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

There Were Two Trees (Intro)

About 2 weeks ago, a friend of mine lent me a book to read entitled, "There Were Two Trees in the Garden" by Rick Joyner. When he initially explained it to me, I kinda looked at him like..."huh"? He then said, "it is more profound than I am explaining it to be...read it!" Well, so far, it has been one of the slowest reads of my life. This book is unbelievably profound! I am only 47 pages in and I already know that it will rise to be one of the greatest books I have ever read! Here's the deal...when the meat is this rich, I gotta take it slow. I read, think, write, reflect, read more, etc.

So, I have decided to share some of what I am learning as I am learning it. Maybe you want to buy this book and follow along with me.

Check some of this out:
  • There were two trees in the garden of Eden. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life. They are symbolic of two spiritual lineages or family trees. Genesis to Revelation traces these two lineages or themes. Spirit or flesh? Between them lies the focal point of the dichotomy between the kingdom of God and this present evil age.
  • Adam and Eve were told not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, not only as a test of obedience to God, but because of the power that this fruit had to kill and destroy. God did not say, "if you eat it I will kill you." He said, "if you eat it, you will die." There is a reason for the distinction.
  • This is huge! Get this. Evil is evil. We all know that. But, GOOD IS EVIL as well!! And our "good" is what separates most of us from God. In fact, Jesus was much more tolerant of evil than good! Look at the Gospels. He dealt with demons more graciously than the self righteous!
  • Joyner captures it like this: "The knowledge of good and evil kills us by distracting us from the one who is the source of life: the tree of life---JESUS! The tree of knowledge causes us to focus our attention on ourselves. Sin is empowered by the law; not just because the evil is revealed, but the good as well. It drives us to either corruption or self-righteousness, both of which lead to death!"
  • It is no accident that the tree of knowledge was in the center of the garden (Gen 3:3). Self-centerdness is the main product of the this tree. After Adam and Eve ate its fruit, their response was self inspection. Before that time, they were focused on the Lord and his purposes for them. After eating of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, they were focused on measuring themselves.
  • There is no easier way to keep us from the tree of life (Jesus) than to focus our attention on ourselves.
More later...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Antithesis of Jesus

The more I read the gospels, the more I am bothered. Over the last 2-3 months, our Staff has been hanging out in Mark. To steal Pastor TC's words, "I feel further from the Lord, the more I study Mark. I have more questions than answers. I revere him and love him more than ever before." That captures it for me.

Jesus was profoundly mysterious in some of what he said and did in his earthly ministry. At the same time, he was masterfully strategic and thoroughly intentional! Here's a big thing growing in me recently. The more I learn Jesus, the more dumbfounded I become about current "church" practices and tactics. In fact, I want to take it as far as to say, I am seeing places where the church today (yes, my church, CCF!! and many other ones too) are doing the exact opposite of Jesus.
  1. Jesus traveled around from place to place. We stay put in one town and building. (unless we are on vacation)
  2. Jesus talked about the Father and ministered everywhere he went. We rarely talk about the Lord and minster practically nowhere but in the church building 90 minutes a week.
  3. Jesus said go! We say come!
  4. Jesus believed that sacred place was the heart of a man, where God dwells. We seem to believe that sacred space is our church for 90 minutes each Sunday morning, where God dwells.
  5. Jesus cast out demons left and right. Most of us wouldn't know a demon if we fell over one. Much less believe we can cast one out.
  6. Jesus healed with confident authority rooted in the Father. We pray with reserved doubt thinking that the results are somehow rooted in us!
  7. Jesus attracted massive crowds. We beg people to come and are disappointed in our attendance.
  8. Jesus spent his every day focused on the will of the Father. We spend our lives focused on us, our families, our jobs, our mortgages, our, our, our, our...
  9. Jesus took risks and did and said mind blowing things. We play it safe like pros.
Alright, let me stop...I could keep going, but I think you get my point.

Is all this just ok? He was Jesus, we are not, so let's go on with our life? Or should this bother us? And should we look to change it? What do you think?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Halftime--RELOADED!!


We revealed a very special announcement at CCF this past Sunday!! About 2 years ago, we discontinued our Wednesday night "Halftime" ministry for some necessary reasons. However, after several improvements, redefinitions, and increase in commitment, we are pleased to announce that HALFTIME is BACK!! Reloaded!!

What is "Halftime"?

Half way through the week and half way between Sundays, we gather together at CCF to reconnect, rejuvenate and renew ourselves as a church. EVERY Wednesday evening from 7:00pm-8:30pm there will be something going on for everyone!

Starting on Wednesday Evening, January 13th at 7:00pm, Halftime will feature...
  • Capi's Kids featuring AWANA (Bible Club Program) for kids 2 years old-6th grade- in Capiland
  • REAL Teens with Pastor TC for the Youth 7th-12th grade- in the Upper Room
  • Bible Study with Pastor Nelson - in Room 110
  • Encore! Q & A forum about last Sunday's Message with Pastor Noah- in Lobby
  • Women's Small Group- in Conference Room
  • Perhaps some other Small Groups as well!
Sign up Sunday!!

And stay Tuned for more!!