Wednesday, June 30, 2010

You Don't Have to Hold it Together

As I prepare to begin a series on Colossians, I keep being ministered to from this powerful letter. More and more I hear people's stories of how life seems to get out of control. Some days I even feel that it is too heavy for ME to hold everything together. I don't know about you, but I often feel the heavy weight of responsibility to "hold it all together" in my life. Well, I have some good news for someone. You do not have to hold it all together. Jesus will do that for you!

Check this out:

For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. -Colossians 1:16-17

Please let Jesus do what He is so good at. HE'S GOT THIS!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Random but Loaded Update; 10 blogs in 1

I have not blogged in almost a week, so here is a random (but loaded) update.
  1. My computer is in the shop since last Tuesday and will be for another day or two. It has been REALLY hard to work without it. I am 10x less efficient. I will be thrilled to get it back.
  2. I had a great birthday yesterday. Felt blessed by the love I received from Facebook, Tricia, Davis, my family, the Staff and my Small Group.
  3. I am really excited about staring my Colossians series this Sunday. This book is loaded with treasures. Still unsure how to condense this into 4 weeks. me as you always do!
  4. This Sunday I am rolling out an aggressive and exciting summer outreach surge. Bring your calendars and your willing hearts to church. It is on like Donkey Kong! The next 60 days at CCF will be full of life.
  5. I cannot believe how hot and humid it has been! Really?!?!
  6. Frankly, I feel pretty stressed right now. Lots of pressure in lots of directions. Honestly, leading a church while preparing for a missions sending is not easy to do at the same time. The amount of EMM prep work is heavy. But it will all be worth it.
  7. Speaking of EMM-- Tricia, Davis and I will be at the Black Rock Retreat Center all of next week for event for missionary families. Looking forward to meeting and building relationships with other families serving God around the world.
  8. I wish I could get the iPhone 4, but I do not think I am eligible for an upgrade. However, two AT&T executives just HAPPENED to be in our service Sunday. They are seeing what that can do. ;-)
  9. I am thankful to have finalized our family's itinerary for our overseas trip in September. Lots of hours will be spent in the air, but an immense amount of learning, shaping and preparing will also happen.
  10. I have an Executive Board meeting tonight. Please keep praying for both our EB and our Pastoral Search Team during this time of important change and decision making.
I will be back on the blogging wagon once I get my MacBook back. Love you!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Announcing the July Series at CCF: Colossians!

I am very excited to announce that I will teaching a 4 week message series throughout the month of July on Paul's letter to the Colossian Church. For the last few weeks, I have been reading a chapter of Colossians each day. The more I rotate through this 4 chapter book, the more I marvel at the power therein.

Remove the coach, the team flounders.

Take out the engine and the car won't run.

Unplug the fridge, and your food will not stay cold.

Connections are vital. Colossians is a book of key connections.

Jesus is the fullness of God and the only source of living the Christian life. He is the head, the leader and the power source.

Come this summer looking for ways to grow in connection to Jesus!'s all about Jesus!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Okanya's Sabbatical

Pastor Nelson, Jessica, Barak and Izak will be heading into a sabbatical from July 1 through August 31. A sabbatical is a time of release from normal pastoral duties in order that a pastor and his family experience deep growth. The Okanya's sabbatical will include spiritual development, short-term mission service, vision development, as well as personal and family development. They will travel to Kenya and Tanzania doing short-term missions, conducting church leadership seminars and teaching at the Mennonite Theological College of Eastern Africa (where Nelson previously served as Academic Dean and Jessica served as Accountant).

I am personally excited about the timing of this trip for the Okanya's and for CCF. It is good for them to have this season of refreshing while we are still here-- so that they may return to CCF ready to lead with fresh energy during this time of transition as a church.

If you wish to donate to the Okanya's Missions expenses for this summer, you can CLICK HERE!

Let's be praying for them.

Accepting Resumes for the CCF Lead Pastor Position

Capital Christian Fellowship (CCF),* located in Prince Georges Co. near Washington D C, is a loving and ethnically diverse congregation. CCF lives its faith in an evangelical Anabaptist persuasion, celebrates in contemporary worship and is dedicated to loving God, loving people and living as disciples. CCF seeks a Lead Pastor who is a committed and passionate follower of Jesus with a proven record in preaching & teaching, developing leaders, and forward thinking leadership in outreach and church growth.

 To indicate interest in exploring this ministry call please send curriculum vitae and brief bio to: by July 31.

(*Additional information at: CCF is a member of the Washington – Baltimore district of Lancaster Mennonite Conference.)

Job Category: Senior Pastor
Pay to relocate: Yes
Job Status: Full-time
Education & Experience required: Yes
Denomination: Mennonite
Church Size: 251-500
Worship Style: Contemporary (Praise and worship)

Glenn Kauffman

Tel: 301-262-7008


You can view the ad online HERE!

PS- This makes me sad and excited all at the same time. Talk about bittersweet. This is it!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Tribute to my Dad

...who art in Bowie, Joseph is his name...OK, let me back up. Perhaps there's another approach.

We wanted to take a moment to share a few thoughts about Dad. With Tricia's Dad now in heaven, we share my Father, Joseph Anthony Kaye as our only earthly Dad (he treats Tricia like his own). Dad will be 65 next month.

His life started with the odds stacked against him...he was abandoned and adopted. He did not grow up in a Christian home--or a healthy one for that matter. Since many of you did not know my Dad in his wild days (before Jesus), you would be shocked to hear some of his stories. By God's grace my Dad went from growing drugs in our back yard to growing five kids who fear God and love Jesus.

My father is a rare gem. Here are some of the traits that we love about Dad:
  • Gentle
  • Caring
  • Consistent
  • Warm
  • Welcoming
  • Never demands the attention or glory--always deflects it to the Lord.
  • Loves the Bible! Always has since he was saved 30 years ago.
  • Loves the Lord! And it shows.
  • Loves people! If you ever catch my Father talking bad about someone, I'll pay your bills for the month (not). Seriously, I love how he always looks for the best in people, not the worst. Recently, I asked Dad how he manages to do that and he said this: 1) He knows how bad it hurts to be mistreated and does not ever want to do it to others and 2) One day we will be judged for EVERY word we speak. Powerful.
Tricia, myself and all of my siblings feel totally blessed to have a Dad like ours. We love you, Dad! Happy Father's Day.

PS- Dad, they say that I look and act like you more and more each day! I just want you to know that I consider that one of the greatest compliments in the world. Even if I do lose all my hair. I love you!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What I Appreciate in a Friend (reposting)

Friends have always played an important role in my life. Connecting with several friends this week have reminded me of the blessing that they are. Here are some of the things (most special to me) that I appreciate and look for in a friend:
  1. Fun! I want to and need to laugh, cut up and carry on with a friend. I feel like I have to be serious too often in my role. I need the therapy of good laughs with good friends. We even laugh at things we probably shouldn't. Oh well. I'll grow up one day.
  2. Real! Can say whatever about whatever. There is no untouchable territory. We do it in love, but we do it! The best friends that I have will say what they think without filters or fake.
  3. Integrity! Pastor or no Pastor, integrity matters to me. I will have friends that are who they say they are and do what they say they'll do. If there is no integrity, there is not trust and there will be no relationship worth working at.
  4. Have a pause and play button. For me, a friendship must be able to pick up where it left off. We may need to hit pause....and then hit play again a year down the road. Contrary to some people's opinions, I do NOT believe that time apart MUST cause drift apart. A real friendship will be able to resume when you reconnect.
  5. Guilt Free. I cannot do friendships where unmet expectations lead to guilt. If I have to call you, do this or do that to avoid your guilt trip, we're not gonna be too tight for too long.
  6. Pure Motives. I do not appreciate people wanting to be my friend because of my position. You'd be surprised how many people want to be overly friendly just because I am a Pastor. I'll pass. I want you to be my friend because of my person, not my position.
There are more...but these are certainly some qualities at the top of the list for me.

What are a few qualities that you look for in a friend?

Monday, June 14, 2010

CCF is Hiring!

Capital Christian Fellowship Ministry Position Opening...

We are accepting resumes for the position of “Director of Children’s Ministry” at CCF, from now until July 15, 2010. Currently, the position is open to CCF partners and attendees only.

This will be a part-time ministry position replacing Tricia’s current role.

Basic job duties will include leadership and oversight for:

• Capi’s Babies
• Capi’s Kids
• Club 56
• Sunday Small Groups for Kids
• All ministry from Birth to 6th grade

Please submit resumes, cover letters and any other helpful information via email to by July 15.

Thank you and we look forward to discerning God’s great plans!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Church Seasons (reposted)

In church life, we are always in a season. A key responsibility of the leader is to know what season the organization is in, to name it, and then to communicate the implications of that season.

Here are a few of the seasons that Bill Hybels defines in his book, "Axiom":

An easy season to identify is a season of growth. In a growth season, everything is rosy. Attendance is spiking, giving is on the rise, programs are thriving, and the future looks bright. In seasons like this, leaders have to be organizationally aware enough to say, “Look, everybody, we’re going through a fun growth spurt here. Let’s enjoy this season and play it out for as long as we can. You know as well as I do that it won’t last forever, but while it’s here, let’s thank God for it and see how long we can keep it going!”

Another season might be called consolidation, which usually follows a season of growth. The goal during consolidations is to assimilate and support the people who showed up during all of that growth. Newcomers typically need discipleship and community and care. Investing in your infrastructure and protecting your recent gains proves you can be trusted with the growth God graciously gives. Effective consolidation earns you permission to enter yet another season of growth sometime in the future.

Another season that is familiar to leaders is a season of transition. It might begin when several staff decide to leave all at once, and everything and everyone feels at bit off balance and uncertain. It might be complicated by external factors such as a downturn in the local economy or a major upheaval in the community, and leaders are the ones who must give voice and language to that reality. They must explain why the era is occurring, what it means, and how to navigate through it.

Finally, there’s reinvention. This is when the leader announces that it’s time to put every ministry of the church under the microscope and discern whether it needs a face-lift, an overhaul, or a funeral----a necessary pruning exercise to make room for future growth.

This leadership-seasons idea traces back to Ecclesiastes 3:1, which says that “there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”

Do yourself and those you lead the favor of learning to spot your season and give voice to the realities of that season. Assign appropriate language to it, designate helpful parameters to succeeding within it, and confidently offer solutions for moving through it.

You’re always in a season! It’s your role to know which it is and what to do about it.


This week I will be spending the bulk of my time with family and friends in the North and I do not plan to spend much time blogging. However, I do plan to repost some old blog posts that are worth sharing again.

Blogging requires commitment, but it is so very rewarding. One of my dreams is to compile some of the posts of the last three years into a book of some kind....even if only for me to have as a keepsake.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Off to the Northeast!

Tricia, Davis and I are leaving in about an hour drive to East Greenbush, NY (near Albany) to spend some time with family. Tricia grew up in Upstate New York (6-7 hour drive). We are really looking forward to spending time with family that we have not seen in person since our decision to move overseas. There are certain things that you just need to discuss and share in person. We are really looking forward to being with them. We will also visit some friends in Syracuse, NY and Keene, NH! We may even spend a day in southern Maine and a day in Boston. I love the Northeast in the Summer.

On the road again...but we enjoy it!

(Took this picture the morning of our wedding from a hill in East Greenbush---this is a shot of Downtown Albany.)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What if you actually had to talk?

Thinking a lot about church these days. Here is a simple question that I have been pondering.

What if you had to offer or share something of yourself with other believers when you gathered?

Can you imagine how crazy it would be if when we gathered, we were all expected to share something of what Jesus is doing in us? Maybe a word, a prophecy, an idea, a story, a gift, a poem, a hymn, psalm or spiritual song? Something. Anything.

I wonder if people would take walking with Jesus throughout the week a tad more seriously if they thought they might be asked to display a little proof of intimacy in front of others. It's impossible to cram with discipleship!

Sunday, we asked people to share in groups in our service again. I am proud of CCF. I think we are getting better at this. But we still have a long way to go.

I am convinced that we are missing out on the main heart of the body of Christ when hundreds of people offer nothing and 3 people offer everything at our gatherings (church services).

It's like playing football while one person moves. Crew with one person rowing. Basketball with one man on the court. A choir where no one sings. Why on earth are so few Christians being a contributing part of the church they signed up for? And since when are Christians only good enough to ush, greet, cook, clean and play an instrument? The jobs we offer in most churches are insulting at worst and busy work at best--if we are not creating a place for people to bring something of JESUS and His work within them to the rest of us.

May sound strong here, but it's because I mean it. Few things bless me more than to see the Lord working in and through YOU!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Family Passage

Last week, Tricia and I had lunch with an older couple that we love very much. They have served in ministry for their entire lives. Before we left, they wanted to read and proclaim a passage of scripture over this next season of our life and ministry. They proceeded to read Colossians 1:9-12 as we hung on every word. Examine this:

Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven't stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you'll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you'll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.

We are considering adopting this as our family passage to guide us as we prepare for this next season. It is a truly a beautiful proclamation of our hope!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Brayden Zieg

It is hard to believe that two years ago today, Tricia and I received the frantic call that Brayden Zieg (Our Dear Friend's 17 month old son) had drowned in their backyard pool! Davis and Brayden were born an amazing 2 days apart. Michelle and Tricia carried together. Since Jake (Brayden's Daddy) and I had been friends for 25 years, we knew our sons would be buddies too. We are still shocked that Brayden is gone. The pain of it actually feels quite fresh to us...which makes our hearts for Jake and Michelle ache even more.

Well, if anyone could find a way to bring good out of bad, the Zieg's can! Today, I am thrilled to tell you that last week they launched "Because of Brayden," a non-profit organization to raise drowning prevention awareness. Click here to check out the website. (Michelle and Lauren, Brayden's Aunt have co-founded it.)

We are so proud of Jake and Michelle and example that they have been to us all. Today, we really miss Brayden. But we are also super, super thankful for the Lord Jesus and his promise of eternal life.

(Picture is of Davis and Brayden in 2007.)

Reimagining Communion

1. Communion happened often.
  • Church in Troas took it weekly. (Acts 20:7)
  • Churches in Jerusalem and Corinth took it regularly. (Acts 2:42, I Cor. 11:20-21, 33)
  • Jesus himself made a strong point about not neglecting it. (Luke 22:19-20)
  • The reason that it was taken so regularly is because it embodied and represented the features of Christian life.
2. The bread represents the humanity and accessibility of Jesus.
  • Almighty took on the form of a servant. (Phil. 2)
  • The bread being the most basic and lowly of foods points to the humility and availability of our Lord.
3. The BROKEN bread represented the BROKEN Jesus!
  • Jesus BROKEN body on the cross.
  • Bread made from CRUSHED wheat.
  • Wine made from PRESSED grapes.
  • Both represent death.
  • John 6:53- Eat the flesh and drink the blood of the son of man and have LIFE!
4. Communion was a meal, not a snack!
  • When Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper it was taken as a part of the Passover Feast. (Luke 22:15-20)
  • I Cor. 11 makes it clear that early Christians considered this a meal.
  • The NT Word for “Supper” literally means “dinner. And the NT word for table literally refers to a table in which a full meal is spread.
5. Shared meals help us celebrate what matters, appreciate memories and make new ones!
  • Just think about our cultural holiday dinners.
  • Reflect on old memories and make new ones…cement relationship and life together.
6. Shared meals can seal the covenant deal.
  • Moses Example in Exodus 24.
  • Jesus example in Luke 22.
7. This meal points to the greatest meal of all….the Wedding feast!
  • The Lord’s Supper points to His coming future glory.
  • The Lord’s Supper carries eschatological overtones that point to the Messianic banquet that is addressed in Matthew 22 & 26, Luke 12 & 15 and Rev. 19:9.
8. The supper transcends time.
  • The Lord’s supper possesses past, present and future implications.
  • The Lord’s supper is a living testimony to the three chief virtues: faith, hope and love.
  • By proclaiming the Lord’s Supper we “proclaim [present] the Lord’s death [past] until he comes [future]” I Cor. 11:26
9. Themes of eating and drinking shadow the nature of a triune God.

Friday, June 4, 2010

6 Years Ago Today...

Today is a special day. Exactly six years ago today was my first day on staff at Capital Christian Fellowship. I remember the morning. I traveled over to the Eshleman's home on Eastourne Lane in Laurel to meet with Pastor Dave (Senior Pastor at the time). This was back before we had a building. Both Pastors worked from their home offices. We were the only two on Staff. My, have things changed in six years!!

This morning, I am reflecting on how thankful I am for this season of life and ministry. I cannot imagine how it could have been more impacting, shaping and wonderful. I really believe that the rest of our lives will be shaped by our years at CCF. I still can't believe that the trusted this young kid with such big responsibility. I can't believe the Lord did either.

Interesting fact:

We spent 6 years at Valley Forge Christian College.

We've spent 6 years at CCF.

I hope that doesn't mean....

Thursday, June 3, 2010

EMM Interview- Off to PA

Over the last few months we have completed much of the application process for being sent by Eastern Mennonite Missions into South Africa. They have a very responsible and thorough process for sending people abroad. Will we go as prepared as one can be.

Today, Tricia and I head to PA to begin meeting with the Staff regarding such things as developing a Missions Support Team and creating a budget so we can begin to raise support. We are excited about today.

We have so many questions. There are so many things that we still do not know. And there are many, many dollars that we will need to raise in the next six months. Some days, I wonder if we will need a miracle. If we do, I think that we are trusting in the correct source for miracles.

We are placing our full trust the Lord for clarity, leadership and provision of our needs. Today is a big step ahead for us.

Counting on God and welcoming your prayer support!

Noah & Tricia

PS- We will spend the night in PA and enjoy a few hours together tomorrow morning as we get ready to celebrate 8 years of marriage. Blessed!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Reversed Vision

Been thinking a lot these days about church...and how sending plays into the vision of church. For the first time in my life, I am encountered with new thoughts about what the definition of "Missionary" is. I wonder why? ;-)

I have noticed something. Most churches that I know of have a vision that somehow revolves around getting people into their church. They make strong cases for church growth and root it in scripture. I am okay with that, really. I believe that healthy churches are growing churches (with some exceptions). Recently, I was at a church and in large letters across the top of the stage was this: "Finding, Feeding, Fencing"! I'd love to hear more about that vision. But, regardless the goal at most churches is obvious...get people into the church so it grows.

Since the early part of this year, the Lord has been gradually revealing something to me...

What if we reversed that? What would happen if a church decided to adopt as it's vision the goal of sending people out instead of getting people in. What would happen in the broader church if we measured success by the quantity of people equipped and SENT instead of the number gained in the pew? And I do not mean just sending overseas. I mean sending to lost people locally, globally, mission? I would love to be a part of a church like that...a church whose vision is to send, not collect.

What are your thoughts? I'd love to hear. Leave a comment.