Tuesday, March 10, 2009


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Monday, March 9, 2009

Chase the Lion

I thought I would share with you a quote I have taped to my desk. It is by Mark Batterson, and is based on the cool, yet obscure, verse @ 2 Samuel 23:20. It comes from his book, In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day. I love to read this because it helps me remember to not get stuck in a rut! Anyway, here's the Lion Manifesto:

"Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Consider the lilies. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshipping what’s right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze a new trail. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don’t try to be who you’re not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away. Chase the lion!"

Friday, March 6, 2009

Batterson on Impact

"The impact God has planned for us doesn't occur when we're pursuing impact. It occurs when we're pursuing God."
--Mark Batterson

I absolutely love this quote from Mark Batterson. It may seem like semantics to some, but it defines a fine line in a church's ministry. As we seek to impact our community, it is always tempting to be completely pragmatic, and rely entirely on our own sense of wisdom. So we ONLY study demographics and community felt needs. Those things aren't bad or wrong or unnecessary. But our first goal shouldn't be to pursue impact. Our first love, our first pursuit, must always be God Himself. God will always use those who are His completely sold-out followers to make a difference, to make an impact.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Culture Questions

Yesterday, I wrote about the four major relationship roles I see Christians take toward culture. Culture is the society we live in, and the avenues through which that society communicates. (ie. TV, movies, art, musics, etc) If you haven't read yesterday's post, you really should. It's right here.

Here are some major questions I would ask of each of these four groups:

1. Combatants. I guess I would ask first, "Are you doing any good?" I mean, have your boycotts, pickets and internet outrage actually slowed or stopped the progress of what you deem to be bad stuff? A couple more: "Why are you expecting secular people to do anything but create secular media/culture?" And perhaps the best, "Did Jesus call you to change movies, TV, and music, or to help change lives?" I mean, really! Here is the best news for you: When lives are truly changing for Jesus, all the other stuff will change too.

2. Consumers. God gave you a brain. Time to use it. You'll never hear me say, "Don't watch TV. Stay away from movies. etc." BUT AT LEAST THINK ABOUT IT! Why is that song so popular? What does it say about God and men? Why does our culture think that show is funny? I guess the biggest question I would ask is this, "What need does this reveal that Jesus can meet?" My advice for those who disengage their brain and simply consume is to take your faith glasses wherever you go.

3. Creatives. Let me say this, I applaud you! I wish I were among your ranks, creating art and beauty. You have your own unique set of challenges. Here are some questions I would ask you: "How do you measure success?" You are trying to reach the culture by diving right into the middle of it, but be sure to have some benchmarks to make certain you are the one doing the influencing. "Where are your boundaries?" What are your limits? How far is too far?

4. Communicators. (NOTE: I am one of these, so I try to ask myself these questions.) The biggest challenge for communicators experiencing culture is motives. Are you really watching that show, listening to that music for some learning purpose? Or is it just for you? THAT'S NOT ALL BAD, but let's just be honest about it. Because I could use this argument to justify watching TV all day instead of working. 'Just doing some cultural study by watching Soap Operas.' I guess the other big challenge with communicators is realizing that ALL media with not reflect YOUR culture. In other words, while some cities and towns may relate and live out 'Sex and the City' most DON'T. I guess the the cure to this is to get to know people. Turn off the TV, leave the movie at Blockbuster, unplug the internet and go be around some real people. Media can be a listening post for culture, but it can also be a soap box for the extremes.

We all have our own unique challenges as Christ-followers in a secular culture. But the answer is the same as it has always been. Jesus' message changes lives. And when lives are changed, culture is changed.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Twitter in Plain English (Video)

Here is a little video explaining twitter for all those whackos who think I am a whacko for tweeting.

Christians in Culture

Many, many Christians struggle with what is good and bad, what is right and wrong, as far as cultural things go. What TV shows should we watch, what movies are okay to see, what social networks should we be a part of, what music should we listen to? It all comes down to your mindset on what our relationship as Christ-followers to culture is. I have seen four general mindsets about that relationship:

1. Combatants. This is by far the most well-known, and most visible attitude. Combatants consistently moan about the deterioration of American society as seen in movies, TV shows, and elsewhere. These people are boycotters, feeling like it is their moral obligation to fight against immorality.

2. Consumers. These are at the opposite end of the spectrum. Consumers ignore what culture is saying all together and just devour as much of it as they can, generally for their own entertainment or self-fulfillment. They rarely, if ever, consider the ideas, notions and consequences of the TV shows, movies, etc, that they join in on. Consumers just know it is funny, entertaining, or otherwise personally-fulfilling and that is all that matters.

3. Creatives. These people jump into the middle of culture with a mission. Creatives are artists who use their abilities and gifts to make culture. Art, movies, TV, and music. You might be amazed at how many Christ-followers there are in the midst of Hollywood and Nashville that are teaching the truths of grace, wisdom and beauty. And I am not just talking about 'Jesus movies'. Creatives are painting the portraits of grace in modern terms and stories. (Parables?) I could give you a few modern examples, but would rather see them from you in the comment section.

4. Communicators. These people use culture as a listening post. Communicators participate in culture as a means of understanding the prevalent themes and trends and attitudes in the world around them. They subscribe to the age-old notion that we must first seek to understand, and then seek to be understood. Communicators approach culture and media with a mission to know how to best voice the message of the gospel in the midst of that culture.

I find myself to be a communicator more often than not. What about you?

Tomorrow I will discuss some questions/concerns I would have for each of these groups!

**DISCLAIMER: THIS post by Dick Staub got my mind working on this over a year ago. I added to his thoughts and categories though!**

Please Discuss:
Do you fall into one of these categories? What are some examples of each?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hot Chocolate @ A Coffee Shop?!?!?

Since we are on the subject of coffee this week, let me share a story from my college days:

Roseann and I were getting to know each other, not doing the typical dating thing, not doing the full courting thing yet. But we decided to go to Columbia, MO and hit up a hip, trendy, and super cool coffee shop there. I was excited. I thought to myself, "YES! I found me a girl would likes coffee!" So we got there and there is this natural color/bamboo motif to the place. (sweet) We walked up to the counter, and I ordered some kind of mixed drink. (mixed COFFEE drink, people!) And then my wife ordered a hot chocolate! WHAT?!?!? We are in a COFFEE house, not a HOT CHOCOLATE HOUSE!?!?! And then the bombshell was dropped. I found out she was one of THEM! You know them. Those crazy people who like the SMELL of coffee, but hate the taste! I was crushed. I knew I had to call it off that very night! (We got married 18 months later.) She still loves when I make coffee at home.

This story though got me thinking about the purpose and mission of churches. Too many churches are serving hot chocolate at a coffee house. It might be good, but it is not what the coffee house is there for!! Some churches are serving up a political agenda. Some churches are serving up a social agenda exclusively. Those things might be 'good', but they don't belong in Jesus' church. His church is ALL about making disciples. End of story.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Coffee Houses

I really love coffee houses. In fact, if I never had to go anywhere else besides home in life, I would be okay with hanging out in coffee houses the rest of my life. Why?

1. I really love Coffee. I mean, I love the smell, I love the taste, I love the jitters after too much! I seriously can feel the warmth and relaxation spread through my body as I take my first drink of the day. I seriously have a man crush on coffee.

2. I really love Coffee Houses. I honestly believe that no one pays more attention to decor and atmosphere than coffee houses. I mean, from the hip, trendy super cool colors and designs at Starbucks to the bamboo-ish natural feel of the coffee house Roseann and I frequented while in college, Coffee Houses love to build an atmosphere. Often it is an atmosphere that reveals a lot about their owners, such as the Firehouse Coffee Cafe here in Denton.

3. I really love talking in Coffee Houses. It seems that Coffee Houses are different from restaurants in the fact that sitting and talking/chatting is expected. Maybe it's the coffee, the atmosphere or something, but people seem to just want to chat and talk in a coffee house.

I guess my question is this: do people have positive experiences like this at church? If they were to write a blog post about the things they love at church, the things that make them want to go back, what would they say?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Joining the Conversation

I am just so excited about our small groups. I have to talk about them a little more today!

The main focus of our small groups is to provide an environment where you can connect with a few people on a deeper level than any other environment can provide.

But one of the other benefits is that it allows a conversation! We have a 'big idea' small group model. What I mean by that is that most of our groups' discussions are based on the message from Sunday. (We are trying to send out ONE big idea a week, which is actually only a part of the ONE big idea for the month!)

So, while my message on Sunday is a very one-way, me tell you type of communication, Small Groups allow us to turn those ideas into a conversation which everyone can be involved in. And that is a BIG DEAL, because our world is craving to be part of a conversation.

Not sure about that? Think about these examples:
--Online streaming of TV often includes a chat interface. CONVERSATION.
--The fastest growing media in the world is 'social media'. Media which allows people to discuss, contribute, and rate products, ideas, and ventures. CONVERSATION.
--Nearly every person has Facebook these days. All Facebook is is a network of friends who can keep up with what their friends are doing and comment, encourage or challenge them. CONVERSATION!

Small groups provide a conversation about our big idea for the week. You should join in on the conversation!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

God @ the Movies

DCCers and friends~

I am considering doing a series this summer dealing with the popular theology and philosophy of four current movies. Of course, probably two will have to be chosen a little closer to that time. But do you have any ideas or thoughts as to some movies to choose and why?

Of course, I am thinking about the now-famed "Slumdog Millionaire".

What do YOU think?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"Not for my own vanity"

So, I almost-ashamedly admit that most of the movies I watch are animated and geared for an audience almost 20 years younger than I am! If you don't have kids, you just don't get it!!

Anyway, a few weeks ago, I was watching "Oliver & Company" with my kids, and my little siblings. In this particular movie, there is a self-absorbed, vain, and fairly annoying dog named Georgette. (Voice by the famed Bette Midler!) As she is going through her process of preparing herself for the day, she said something that struck a chord with me. She claims that all her preparations are "Not for my own vanity, but for humanity!" She desperately tries to convince herself that her self-centered desire to be the prettiest, most amazing dog on the block was for not for her benefit, but for everyone else's.

Anyway, this made me wonder if I do that. Do I ever claim to be doing something in 'ministry' for others, when really it is all about my own selfish desires? I guess the extreme example would be of the tele-preacher who claims great rewards from God if you send him money! Even though my faults are not so extreme, they are no less real, and no less wrong!

God, teach me to examine my motives and thoughts to be sure I am doing the right thing for the right reasons. And give me people to challenge me and my motives lovingly and often! AMEN!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

YAY! for Small Groups

I am continually amazed at what God is doing through the ministry @ DCC. This past weekend we had a gathering of the small group leaders to talk about victories, concerns, plans and goals. It was a great time of sharing, and I was so enthused to hear about the great things happening in our groups.

Angie, who leads our ladies group, said this about our first 8 weeks of small groups:

The ladies in the small group have known each other for many years. However, the study has allowed us to have deeper emotional bonds and more intimate relationships... I love our time spent together.

That is only one of the wins I am hearing and seeing out of our small groups. God is doing great things as we intentionally connect with each other.

DCCers--if you are not involved in a small group, you should be!! You are missing awesome times to connect, discuss, and love on friends! Get involved.

Monday, February 23, 2009

"I just don't have time!"

How much time you got today? Added all up, you have 24 hours. Just like me. Just like Bill Gates. Just like the homeless man on the Baltimore street corner. 24 hours today. 24 hours yesterday. Probably 24 hours tomorrow.

So you have got time. The same amount as everyone else. I guess what makes the difference is how we choose to spend our time! I was, yet again, jack-slapped by the Father through a mentor of mine with this phrase recently: "God gave you the right amount of time to do what He wants you to do. Not what everyone else wants you to do." Ouch. Big ouch! (BTW- I am learning that that 'everyone else' includes me.)

Have you completely submitted your dayplanner, schedule, google calendar and blackberry to the Lordship of Jesus? Yeah, me neither.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Michael Tait and Humility

I went to a concert last night! The tix were second row and FREE, so I went! (Shout out to my bro-in-law, Andrew Widener!) Up first was Bread of Stone, who was basically a teen Christian band who jumped around and was a little crazy. Second was Vota, who was pretty slammin', but relatively unknown. Then Newsboys, the big band, was up third.

I will have to write some other time about my not-usually-positive attitude for Contemporary Christian Music, but I do know a little about it. And the pioneers of this 'genre' (can we say sub-culture) were DC Talk, probably doing their Christian rock/rap in the early 90's. When I was kid, they were awesome!

Anyway, one of the lead musicians with DC Talk, Michael Tait, was standing at the front of the backstage area watching the show. He was jamming with the first two bands, and for a few of Newsboys songs. But what I found most amazing was what happened during intermission.

At the intermission, Michael Tait and one of the guys from Bread of Stone, were standing by the fence that seperated the main area from backstage. And a couple of girls came up for autographs. But they leaned across Michael Tate, and asked for an autograph, FROM THE BREAD OF STONE GUY! WHAT?!?! Don't they realize who they just ignored? Michael Tait and DC Talk blazed the path that made Contemporary Christian Music possible!

But Michael just stepped back, smiled and encouraged the Bread of Stone guy forward. I was impressed with his humility. Hope you are too.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Parenting and Hypocrisy

Parenting has brought great joy and depth to my life that I could never have imagined! (I know, you are thinking, "Uh oh! Another sappy 'Daddy Post'!" Not really...) Actually, though, Parenting has served as tool through which God often gives me a smack in face or a kick in the pants! One area is hypocrisy. See if this sounds familiar:

- "Tori, you need to eat your vegetables!" "Daddy, where are you're veggies?" "Uhhh..."
- "Will, go back and take your dirty clothes to the laundry room." (later.. Roseann to me) "Hey honey, it really helps me out if you don't leave your dirty clothes laying all over the bedroom!" "Uhh..err..."
- (to myself) "Billy, you are such an idiot." "Daddy, Will is being an idiot!" "uhh..err..uh oh."
- "William! Pay attention when I am speaking to you!" (later, to Tori) "Uhh...what did you say, darling, I wasn't listening."

Yep. I admit it. I am a big fat hypocrite. (Who gets God's grace anyway!) But I am working on it!

So what about you? What are the biggest lessons God taught you about YOURSELF in parenting?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Where's The Faith

I believe one of the most raw and real statements Jesus ever uttered is in Luke 18:8 when He asks, "When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?"

We hear Jesus wondering out loud if there will be people living lives of faith when He breaks through the sky at the last day. This is as relevant and important a question today as it ever has been. And it is personal: Are we living lives of faith?

I think the best way to see what a life of faith looks like, is to see it through the eyes of men and women who have lived them. So, would you join me on a journey this March? Allow me to be your narrator, your tour guide, your storyteller? Allow me to tell you the stories of the faith of men like Joseph and David? Allow me challenge your life with theirs? Allow me to ask the question Jesus asked: Where's the Faith? And allow Him to ask you: Where's your faith? Join me on this journey the first four Sundays in March @ Denton Christian Church!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Info that is Stretching Me

Here is a little update on some books/ebooks and articles/blogs and podcasts and Bibles that are currently stretching my wee little brain:


"Wild Goose Chase" by Mark Batterson
"Vintage Jesus" by Mark Driscoll
"Choosing to Cheat" by Andy Stanley


"Brink: A Social Media Guide From the Edge" by Todd Defren (free download)


"Why You Lose Friends" by Ben Arment (more of a quote than an article)
"Leading with Love" by Ben Arment
"Outcomes of Execution?" by Tony Morgan
Craig Groeschel has been writing articles THIS WEEK on the Next Generation of Leaders (here is the LINK to the second, probably more by now)
"Authenticity" by Seth Godin
Also, "Sprint" by Seth Godin
"We're Not All That" by Carlos Whittaker
"10 Reasons Why Web Ministry Applications and Initiatives Fail" by John @ Church Crunch
(Just for fun) "Hard Drive Disposal with Extreme Prejudice" by Lifehacker
"Determined to Disciple" by Mark Batterson
By the way, I have recently begun following Wall Street Journal's "The Wallet" blog for money-saving tips. Good Stuff.


Andy Stanley's Leadership Podcast
Mark Driscoll's Sermon Series "Trial" (a series through 1 Peter)
Dilbert's Animated Cartoon Podcast (so fun!!)
Dick Staub's "Kindlings Muse" (a discussion of culture, Christ, and some philosophy)


I have been using an online Bible for my personal reading/worship called YouVersion. What I love about this is that there is a "Community" section built into the reader that you can post your thoughts/questions and read others'. Also, they have a TON of translations/paraphrases. My username is "preacherbilly" if you are interested in reading some of my notes on there.

Hope this gives you a few things to check out and read, and let you know a little bit more about what I am reading/thinking about!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The (Upcoming) Death of Starbucks

So, I read a really great article about Starbucks recently. You can check it here.

Here is the basic premise: Starbucks is getting too focused on side issues and not staying committed to it's core! Starbucks is NOT all about making instant coffee packets, but about selling coffee @ retail stores. The result of this loss of focus has led St. Arbucks to cutting thousands of stores and jobs.

There is a danger that the church can too easily fall into this trap too. We lose sight of our core focus, our main mission. It is not to boycott secular organizations for being secular organizations. It is not to be in the tank for a political party. It is not to make "Perfect-Attendance" Christians comfortable. It is ALL ABOUT making Jesus famous through making disciples. When the church loses its focus, it loses everything. Be the mission.

What Success & Failure DON'T Mean!

I saw some live blogging of a talk at a conference recently that has got my brain working on a thought.

Basically, the thought was that SUCCESS at something doesn't necessarily mean God is blessing that! (take Hugh Heffner's success, for example) That is probably not a new thought for most, but maybe the inverse is.

FAILURE doesn't necessarily mean that God is NOT blessing an endeavor. Maybe failing is needed to teach a lesson that needs to be taught. Maybe it was the wrong time.

Here's the catch: We far too often base our self-worth on whether we are succeeding or failing! But that is the wrong litmus test! Our worth is based solely on who we are in God's eyes.

(BTW- Sometimes our definition of success and failure is the problem too!)

Anyway, I would love to hear your thoughts on this!

Monday, February 16, 2009

"Let's Talk!"

A few weeks ago, God really impressed a huge truth I sometimes tend to forget. Of course, He taught me through my children and His word. Here's what happened:

In my morning reading, I read from Psalm 50:3, "Our God comes and will not be silent..." I knew this was significant, but not sure what God was teaching me.

Later that day, I was prompted to think about an remember two significant events in my life. The first was on April 23, 1995. That was the day that I heard loud and clear God's call to give my life to Jesus. The other happened in the summer of 1998, at Delmarva Family Camp. It was there that I heard loud and clear God's call to give my new life in Christ completely in ministry. I spent some time that day remember the unlikely men who God put in my life to use to call me to those two decisions: Billy Teal and Phil Sutton. (As well as my dad who was the one who brought me to the place where I could hear the call. Those men just pushed me over the line.)

Anyway, back to my story. That evening I sat down to feed Elizabeth her baby food. Now, it was a really special night because she looked up at me and brought her two hands together and used sign language to tell me she wanted to more to eat. Now, we had been showing her how to do this, but now she did it, on her own, for the first time. I almost wept, because for the first time in the seven months I have known her, she could tell her daddy exactly what she wanted.

There is a blessed sweetness when children can finally communicate with their parents. I really feel like this day God was bringing me back to the place where I once again realized that God WANTED to have communication with me. Not required, not made me feel guilty so I prayed more, but that He wants to be in touch with me. It was like He was telling me "Keep in touch." wow.

Friday, February 13, 2009

On Purpose! DCC's Mission Pt. 5

Not only do the disciples we are making LOVE GOD, LOVE PEOPLE, but they also SERVE EVERYWHERE! Our love translates into service! Jesus' love did! John 13 describes a scene where Jesus showed “the full extent of His love” by washing His disciples' feet like the lowest of servants! And then he says to serve one another just like that! So @ DCC we want to be people who are serving! Some of our service is among ourselves, like helping in nursery or playing with the praise team. But a lot of service we are gearing up for is all about our community. We desire to be disciples who are not only internally, but externally-focused. We are working on organizing our service into Service Teams which will help us keep organized and on purpose.

Well, I hope that this week's posts have reminded or told you for the first time what we are all about here @ DCC. We are all about pleasing Jesus by making disciples who Love God, Love People, and Serve Everywhere! (Love2serve)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

On Purpose! DCC's Mission Pt. 4

Not only do the disciples we are making LOVE GOD, but they also LOVE PEOPLE. If you read on in that Mark 12 passage, Jesus says that the second command to love your neighbor. People are relational critters. We need each other! @ DCC we offer opportunities to love on other people through small groups. Our small groups meet in homes throughout the week, and provide the context to share life and achieve growth! We are not just a church that does small groups, small groups are a part of who we are, because we want to be disciples who LOVE PEOPLE!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

On Purpose! DCC's Mission Pt. 3

What do the disciples that we are supposed to be making look like? That is an unending question if you list all the details. (Hence the reason we all still have room to grow!) So, let's stick to the general principles, or the overviews. 1st a disciple of Jesus is one who Loves God! Jesus said this in Mark 12:29-30. This means someone who is worshiping, committed and trusting in God. We try to make disciples who Love God @ DCC by offering our Sunday Worship and Celebration Services. Here you have opportunities to worship and commit to God. I am not going to beg you to be 'in church' on Sundays! If you are not there, you are the one missing a great and powerful opportunity to worship and love on God!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

On Purpose! DCC's Mission Pt. 2

As we strive to please Jesus, we must ask the question: What pleases Jesus? What mission did He call us to? Matthew 28 states our great mission statement: MAKE DISCIPLES! Yes, there are other commands in those verses, but the main verb to make disciples! So, our central aim to please Jesus, and our mission for accomplishing it is to Make Disciples. But what do disciples look like? Tomorrow, tomorrow!

Monday, February 9, 2009

On Purpose! DCC's Mission Pt. 1

What is central to who Denton Christian Church is is Who Denton Christian Church serves. We believe that Jesus is King of everything, and is Lord, Boss, and CEO of DCC. Therefore, the central aim of everything we do is to Please Jesus. (See 2 Cor 5:9) All of our mission and subsequent programming and processes stem from that one Goal: to please Jesus!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Excerpt from "Wild Goose Chase"

Hey, here is a little excerpt from a book I am reading called, "Wild Goose Chase" by Mark Batterson.

Right now you have no sensation of motion. I'm guessing you're sitting still as you read Wild Goose Chase. But the reality is that you are sitting on a planet that is spinning around its axis at approximately one thousand miles per hour. Planet earth will make one full rotation in the next twenty-four hours. Not only that, but you are also hurtling though space at approximately sixty-seven thousand miles per hour. And you didn't have any big plans for today! Before the day is done, you will have traveled 1.3 million miles in your annual trek around the sun.

Now let me ask you a question. When was the last time you thanked God for keeping us in orbit? I'm guessing never.
Lord, thanks for keeping us in orbit. And I was a little nervous about making the full rotation around our axis today, but You did it again. Most of us don't pray that way. But isn't it a little ironic that we have a hard time believing God for the little stuff while we take the big stuff for granted. Come on, if God can keep the planets in orbit, don't you think He can reorder your life when you feel like it's spinning out of control?
Wild Goose Chase
Mark Batterson

You should definitely read this book. I am so loving it. WARNING: It will challenge you to change EVERYTHING!

Sweet Music Video

Hey, this is just a piece of cool artistic visualness combined with some sweet music! This is called a stop action movie!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Why I Love DCC!

Over the last few months my family has joined together with an awesome church family. This post is dedicated to some reasons why I love Denton Christian Church:

1. Their courage! This church had the courage to realize when they needed some help and was willing to ask for it! They partnered with ECEF and moved forward!

2. Their patience! This church has been patient with me in this transition. My way of communicating was new, and they are adapting. My ideas about how to do church were different, and they are moving with me. They have been patient when communication broke down and excited when it worked well!

3. Their commitment! I think what I love about DCC the most is the fact that they are more committed to Jesus than to any method of doing church. These people WANT to love and serve Jesus and be an effective tool for God in this community.

I wanted to put into print for the World Wide Web to know: Denton Christian Church is awesome! I love being a part of this family of faith, and look forward to 2009 being the biggest year in the history of this congregation!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

25 Random Things about me (repost from FB)

This is totally a repost of a note I wrote on Facebook. This note is exclusively dedicated to: well, uhh, me! These are 25 random things about me. Feel free to respond and/or add to the list.

1. I love unintentionally funny movies movies, known to most people as B-movies! What I recently learned is that this AWFULly good movies also happen to be the ones you can LEGALLY watch for free online!

2. I love church. I bleed church. I think about church all the time. Also, the church irritates, frustrates and infuriates me more than anything else in the world!(Not one congregation in particular, but The Church as a whole) ~One of those really annoying paradoxes in the journey called my life~

3. I can't stand my office. It's not the paint or the room or anything. It is just there is no one there. So I moof! (For those of you unfamiliar....moof=mobile out of officing...check it on urban dictionary!)

4. My wife is stinkin' awesome! (much more of the latter than the former!)

5. I definitely have a man crush (non-homo, thank you!) on Jack Bauer and Perry Noble!

6. I can moderately communicate in Haitian Creole. (300 words or so)

7. If I could be anyone from 'The Office' I would be Andy. Why?!? Because he is blissfully ignorant of everything! Ohh to not know how much crap is going on around you!

8. Who do you think I am most like from 'The Office'? (BTW--The Office is officially my fave entertainment experience!)

9. The worst nickname I ever had was Free Willy. (Aren't children so nice to the fat kids?)

10. I think email forwards are one of the worst forms of torture in the world! (Here that Frm. Pres Bush-- stop the waterboarding and start the forwarding!)

11. My secret--Most of the time I have no idea what I am doing, and have no idea how I did what I did or how I could do it again.

12. I am a huge fan of the New England Patriots.

13. My dream getaway currently is: to spend the weekend in Boston hangin' out in different coffee shops and seeing a Patriots game live on Sunday afternoon!

14. I also dream of being a huge blogger. Like the one people actually read!

15. I also kinda dream about earning my PhD someday....yeah, I know, Dr. Billy is kind of a weird thought for me too!

16. I really wish I was a musician. When I hang out with Joe Goehringer, my mouth literally waters at his musical talents. Makes me sick! (not really...)

17. I am finding myself trying to sum everything up in 140 characters or less! (THANK YOU TWITTER!)

18. My fave radio station right now is Acoustic Alternative on iTunes Radio.

19. I wish I was as smart as Mark Driscoll, as cool as Perry Noble, as savvy as Mark Batterson, as techy as Tony Morgan, and as creative as Carlos Whittaker. (if you don't know who those guys are, you should! google them!)

21. I literally lose sleep over two things-- the future of my family & the future of the church.

22. i really like coffee. coffee makes me happy. coffee gives me joy. and lattes, they take me to a whole new level of coffee happiness.

23. I definitely should be spending this time writing this working on a sermon....

24. I have mixed emotions about our President! I mean, I liked most of Dubya's policies, but man, he had a really bad style. President Obama- uber hip style, but his policies are not my favorite!

25. Yes! I skipped #20 on purpose. If you missed it so much, add it for me in the comment section!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sermon Blurb 1-25-09

Yesterday we had a great time mining the story of the Rich Young Ruler to see how we can live! Here is what we talked about as a crucial step he took that we often miss:

The RYR asked a question that most of us will never ask! Once Jesus had called him to make sure he was doing the right things, the RYR was still sure he was missing something. Something wasn't quite complete and he knew. So he approached Jesus with a question that most Christ followers will never ask. He asked Jesus, "What do I still lack?" Basically, he says, "Yeah, yeah. I know the good Jewish answer: Obey, Obey, Obey. But what is still missing? Where do I need to work on things?"

Most of us never ask this question for one of two reasons: Either we already know the answer or we are scared to know it. We don't want to deal with the aspect of our life that Jesus wants us to deal with! So, we sit stagnant. We sit doing the "Jesus things" we have always done, and don't realize that we haven't gotten any closer to Jesus in 20, 30, 40 years.

So take some time to seriously inspect your life. Ask Jesus where you are still lacking. And I guarantee it won't be comfy and cozy, but if you go where He calls, step where He leads, you will be closer to Him than you have ever been before! So ask Him today, what do I still lack?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inaugaration Day!

Today we inaugurate our new president, President Obama. I want to personally say that I want him to succeed and do well as President.

Many well-meaning, and well-intentioned Christians need a reminder today that no matter if we voted or wanted President Obama to be the leader of our nation, he is. As followers of Christ we have the responsibility to submit and respect our nation's leadership. Not only because we know that they are appointed for a time by God to that position, but also because respect and submission wins us a hearing among those who don't know Jesus.

1 Peter 2:13-16 speak to this subject well. You should definitely read it, but let share with you one point that Peter makes: by our submission and good will that we "silence the ignorant talk of foolish men." The world has an idea that "Christians" are nothing but right-wing hacks sold out to a political agenda. That is not who we are. We are people who desperately want to follow Jesus and the way of living He advocates.

By sharp sectarianism we do nothing but isolate ourselves and eliminate our opportunity to share the message of Jesus. So, today, I will be celebrating and praying for our new President. And maybe, just maybe, God will open opportunities to talk about my Lord.

Sermon Blurb 1-18-08

I like to be in control! I see that mostly in the car. You will never have to ask if my wife or I drove. The answer is always me. Always. Even on a long trip, say 12 hours to Illinois, I drive the whole way, no matter what! Even if I get sleepy. If she gets into the driver's seat, and I lean back and close my eyes, inevitably, my left eye will pop open. And my mouth will begin saying things like, "Do you know how fast you are going?" AND "Do you see that guy stopping?" AND "Why are you swerving all over the road?" I just can't stand to NOT be in control of the car.

Many of us are like that with every aspect of our life. We want to be in control of everything. But Jesus says that if we truly want to be His disciples we must lay down our rights to our life. We must carry our cross and follow Him.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Caption Please

Somebody hook me up with a caption for this hilarious picture!

February Sermon Series

Hey all! Thought I would give you an idea of next month's messages. We are going to be looking a little up close at some of the parables of Jesus! For sure we will be looking @ the Parable of the Sower and the Seed (Matthew 13) AND the 'Prayer-ables' in Luke 18. It is gonna be a fun month!

Monday, January 12, 2009

1.11.08 Sermon Blurb

On Sunday, I talked about God's expectations of our life and illustrated His desire this way:

We all have basic expectations. One of my basic expectations was forgotten one weekend when Roseann and I went to a conference together. It was a great weekend. The kids stayed home with Grandma Joan, and Roseann and I went up to Peoria, IL for a conference. While there, I told Roseann I was gonna take her to a swanky restaurant, and the hotel we were staying in just happened to have one. (When I say it was swanky, I mean there were CLOTH table cloths, and we got TWO forks that weren't even plastic!!) So we ordered our food. I don't recall what I ordered, but Roseann got some kind of chicken dish. (More chickens die because of her than anyone else I know.) The food was good until Roseann got a few bites into her chicken. And it was raw! Not just a little pink, it was like almost frozen in the middle! It was gross!

When I go into a restaurant, I have some basic expectations. I want to get what I ordered, and I want it to be cooked! These aren't unreasonable demands, they are the basics. God has taught us since Cain and Able that when we bring an offering to Him, He wants our FIRST and our BEST. These are the basic expectations He has.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Pushing Cheeks Up!

So, we were eating at our fave place in the house today: the kitchen island. The two older kids, Tori and Will were in barstools up to the island, and Elizabeth was in her highchair. I was distracted with something. (far more normal than I'd like to admit!!!) Tori interrupted by telling me that she made Elizabeth happy and she knew because Elizabeth was "pushing her cheeks up to her eyes!" Of course, it took me a second to realize that she couldn't see her mouth, but could tell Elizabeth was smiling because,well, her cheeks were pushed up to her eyes. Kids say the coolest things....

Question for you: What have you done today that made God push His cheeks up? What about tomorrow?

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