Helping People get Focused, Equipped,
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Blog (Page 11)

My Time in New York

I'm sitting in the airport waiting for a flight. I'm on my way to New York to attend the funeral of my youth pastor, Bud Hall.  He died unexpectedly in his sleep on Saturday, April 14. He was only 51.  He leaves behind a wife, three married children (two sons and a daughter), a daughter in college and a son in high school.  But he leaves behind much more than that… Over the past few days there has been a steady flood of people on facebook posting comments, uploading pictures, and giving tribute to the impact that he had in their lives. His ministry as a youth pastor spanned more than 20 years, and as a solo pastor in Long Island more than 5. The impact of his ministry was so far-reaching I've stopped being surprised by what and who I see posted. It’s time to board the plane …

That’s A Wrap!

No, I'm not talking about the amazing Taco Bell "Crunch-Wrap"! No, the curtain has come down, so to speak, on this year’s Easter Musical.  I have to say that “Your Great Name” will go down as one of my favorite musicals (the choir reminds me that I say this every year!).  It was truly a joy to be involved!  Not only were the music and Spirit-filled lyrics woven together to be compelling and moving to an audience, but the songs had a powerful impact on each and every singer!  This combination of powerful content and passionate delivery is the secret to all great musicals!  The message couldn’t have been clearer … Jesus Christ, the risen Son of God, is the One Whose ‘Great Name’ we praise and lift high!

Vacation Time

You have probably received many bulk e-mails, as I have.  I don’t usually even read them, knowing that they weren’t really sent exclusively to me.  I have read a few, and I’d like to share one that came to my inbox several years ago.

The e-mail was entitled “The Top Signs Your Pastor Needs a Vacation”

  1. You caught him snoring during the service while he was leading the congregational prayer.
  2. The last ten sermons had the word "rest" in the title!
  3. The closing hymn for the last three weeks has been, "I'll Fly Away."
  4. At last weekend's service he showed up in a Hawaiian shirt and Bermuda shorts!
  5. Before the last board meeting, brochures of

Living with Intentionality

I still haven’t totally come to grips with this, but our oldest daughter, Ashlyn, will be graduating from high school this year.  I have to admit this is one area of my life where I choose to live in denial.  Seems like just yesterday that Melanie was calling to let me know she had a surprise for me.  I remember lying on the couch, watching television and wondering if she was bringing home a puppy.  Boy was I shocked when she arrived, had me close my eyes and placed into my hands a mug shaped like a pregnant belly with a balloon attached that said, “Congratulations, you are going to be a Daddy!”  Now here I am all these years later with three more children and hair that is gray, thinning or just plain falling out.

My first year as an upward basketball coach

With my team in the center of the court, we all extend our hands into the center of the huddle.  Leading my team in our pre-game chant I shout, “Do your…”

“BEST!” they reply.

“Never…”

“QUIT!” They shout even louder.

“Have…”

“FUN!”

“Go…”

“WILD!” The boys scream our team name and are ready to take the court and do just that: Do their best, never quit, and have fun!

My Easter Musical … uhh … Beard!

How many Easter Musicals have you attended?  Which ones stick out in your mind and why?  Some of you probably can’t remember me without a beard.  But, did you know that it was a part that I played in an Easter musical back in the mid-90’s that required me to grow a beard?  I played the part of a gnarly thief named Marcus, who found himself in the same prison cell with the Apostle Paul and Silas in the musical “Who Will Call Him King Of Kings”. What a great musical!  Someday, we’ll do it again.  Up until that musical, I never had a beard. I didn’t want one, nor would Kim have ever put up with one!  After that musical, I decided (and Kim graciously agreed) that I should keep my new facial hair-doo.  I’ve had it ever since.  Now, whenever I threaten to shave it off, my family objects vociferously!  So, on it stays…a testimony to Easters past! 

No Contact No Impact

I hope that you have been both challenged and encouraged by our present series of messages. I realize that in issuing the challenge to step up and make contact with those who are far from God, as well as with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, so that the church might have the impact that it was designed by Christ to have it brings with it the potential for discouragement. I understand that some of us may struggle to find ways to implement the things in which we have been challenged. So with

Choices

I hope you had a chance to attend last week’s Coffee House Café.  If not, I would like to share with you one of the many messages that I was challenged with.  The fact that life is made up of a series of choices, many made daily without thought, which will affect us forever.  I walked away thinking of past decisions in my life where I hadn’t sought the Lord for wisdom or had simply chosen not to be obedient to His Word.  How much of life’s pain is simply a consequence of bad choices or the result of disobedience? 

Eclipsing The Son

At about 1pm on Tuesday, May 10, 1994, a group of pastors and secretaries stood just outside the NE doors of our church building.  All were staring up into the sky.  All were wearing some really cool looking gold colored mylar sunglasses.    All were humoring a very excited astronomically-geeked music pastor (me!). 

Freeze Out 2012

The air was filled with excitement, nervousness and anticipation as 37 teens and adult leaders packed up the bus, van, and the trailer to head to Lake Ann Camp for Freeze Out. This was our biggest group ever. We arrived just in time for the first chapel session to begin. HeartSong, from Cedarville University, began the service with some amazing and high energy worship songs. Following that, Ken Rudolph—in his classic style