Saturday, May 31, 2008


Well the wedding that I had to do this weekend is over. Jason and Jeanette are husband and wife and I am worn out. Taking care of the girls in addition to all that I had to do over the past two days has been draining. I am too tired to blog, but I just wanted to say that Holly M., Linda H., and Shannon S. rock. I would never have made it through the past three days without these ladies help. Thanks so much you guys!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Becky Left Me

Gottcha! No, seriously, Becky has gone to NC because of a family emergency and has left me with both girls. Please pray for Becky as she is dealing with a lot of family stress without me with her and pray for me and the girls as we deal with life without wife/mommy.

It could not have come at a worse time for me with a busy wedding weekend going on right now, but I just want to say once again, "Crossroads Church rocks!" It has been so wonderful to be ministered to by my church family during the absence of my wife. It is great to be loved in the body of Christ. So many have offered help with the girls and I really appreciate it. You guys inspire me.

I really miss Becky though and I know Brannon and Anna do to. They are starting to ask when she is coming home. It will sure be nice to see that blue Dodge Caravan pull into the driveway. When you have a woman as awesome as mine, it sure makes life hard when she is gone.

Keep us all in your prayers as you go to our great King Jesus! Thanks!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Great Day!

I had a great day and I haven't even had my Honey Nut Cheerios yet. The weather was absolutely perfect and the whole day was a blast. Here are the high points:

  1. Sunday morning at Crossroads Church. It is really hard to put into words how wonderful and fun Sunday mornings are. I have never been surrounded by so many people who desire God and who love each other. It is such a joy to be a part of and actually lead such a wonderful body of Christ-followers. Today was no different. We had a lot of people out and we still had 65 and the whole atmosphere was so God-focused and all in all just rocked out! It is so great and exciting to see a group of people so interested in and responsive to God and His word .
  2. Lunch with Steve Finn and family - need I say more? I am so glad that God has brought the Finns to Crossroads.
  3. Final meeting with Jason and Jennette. We had a cool meeting discussing all the final details of their actual wedding ceremony. It should be a totally rockin wedding this coming Saturday.
  4. Mowed my yard. I am not sure the last time I mowed my yard on a Sunday, but the weather was perfect and the grass needed it so I did it. I love to mow my grass. It is a small yard so I can get done really quick and obviously it looks better and it also gives me a good feeling of accomplishment.
  5. Late evening run through Westover. It was a great night to run so I just took off after I got done with the yard and kissed the girls good-night. I decided to run through Westover so there were some big hills. I have not run hills in a long time but the knees felt strong and the whole run felt great. I have no idea how far I ran but it had to be somewhere around 4 miles because I ran for 32:30.
  6. Well, let's cap this great day off with a hot shower and a huge bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios - sweet!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Thursday's Zoo Trip

We had a great day at the Pittsburgh Zoo this past Thursday with Steven and Ashley A. from Arkansas. The zoo was practically empty and the weather was finally great. Here are some pictures.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Self Denial

Check out his quote from Joost De Blank, former arch-bishop of Cape Town, South Africa. "There is many a Christian who feels his conscience is prompting him to renounce some harmless amusement but whose essential self-centredness remains inviolate and unchallenged". Wow, talk about convicting. We play games with conviction. We so often feel that we are supposed to stop watching something or stop eating something or stop something in general, when Jesus has already told us what to do in Luke 9:23. He said to deny self everyday and embrace the cross. The cross was not a pretty piece of jewelry. It was an object to die on. This was and is a daily call. I don't need to stop doing this or that. I need to live a lifestyle of self-denial every moment. I need to stop thinking I am a good little Christian when I abstain from a couple of things here and there while the base of who I am still screams it's all about me!

The closer I get to Jesus, the more self-denial makes sense and the more all the little things and issues that I should or should not do just fall into place. The times when I do not pursue Jesus and His Word are the times that self-denial is the hardest and I fall back into a religious legalism. O, to walk as Jesus called me to and walk in cross-bearing self denial for His great glory!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Quick Run

Steven and I went out for a quick run tonight before dinner. We had to hurry because Becky was really hungry and we didn't have much time. We ran around my neighborhood for 30:13. It was the first time in a long time that I have run two days in a row. It felt good and I need to do more of it especially if I am going to lose some weight and get faster.

So Small

I have been thinking recently how incredibly small I am. When I recognize my own insignificance, I am driven to one of two conclusions. 1) I need to live for something bigger and more important than myself or 2) I will inevitably live completely for myself; driven by my own selfish pursuits. It seems to me that the majority of our culture is trapped in the second of these two lifestyles while a small few live beyond themselves for something bigger than them. They live for something that will stand the test of time or they give their lives to help others (things like politics, or medical research, or helping the poor, or even sports or other avenues of fame), but they still do not live for things that will exist beyond time itself. I have discovered that the smallest percentage of individuals actually take the hardest and most narrow road and actually live their lives for Jesus Christ. I am not talking about church or religion, I am talking about completely living lives FOR Jesus. This can only come when we truly recognize how small we are and how great He is and understand that He is calling us to lives of great purpose.

God has chosen the weak, small, and insignificant things of this world to confound the wise. I can truly be thankful to God for the fact that I am so small!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Cold May Run

Steven and I ran in the cold this morning. This weather is crazy. It's May 19 and we ran in 48 degree weather. With that said, it was a great run - one of my best in a long time. I felt more in rhythm and faster than I have in a while. It is really nice having Steven to run with again. We ran for 33:01 with a final mile of 7:37 and it all felt good today.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Old Running Buddy

Steven and Ashley A. are visiting us from Arkansas. Steven and I used to run a lot together when I lived in Arkansas. He was an awesome running partner and it is good to have his companionship on my runs again. I have missed him as a running partner and as a friend. Steven and Ashley will be here for 7 days so we should get some good runs in just like old times. When Steven and I were running together regularly, we trained for and ran the Country Music Half-Marathon together. It was the high point in all of my running and I will thoroughly enjoy running with Steven again this week.

This morning we went out together for 4 miles and did it in a time 32:37. It was a good run and look forward to more with Steven during the next few days.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Love To Run

Well, today was the first run in four outings that I have been completely alone with my Zune. It was a great temperature to run and I set out right before lunch. I ran 5 miles today. That is the farthest I have run since my illness weeks ago. It felt good to stretch it out a little longer than 4. I still feel a little slow. I need to lose about 7 pounds and get faster, but today was alright time-wise, I guess. I ran 5 miles in 40:45 with a final mile of 7:44.

I listened to a great sermon by Francis Chan on faith. He is the man and he inspires me! Anyway, the message that I listened to today was some really neat confirmation to everything God has been teaching me recently about faith.

OK, gotta go mow the yard now before it starts raining again.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Our Thoughts Reveal What We Are Becoming

"Our voluntary thoughts not only reveal what we are - they predict what we will become. The will can become the servant of thoughts, and to a large degree even our emotions follow our thinking. Thinking stirs feeling and feeling triggers action. That is the way we are made and we may as well accept it.

Thinking about God and holy things creates a moral climate favorable to the growth of faith and love and humility and reverence. We cannot by our thinking regenerate our hearts, nor take our sins away nor change the leopard's spots. But we can by Spirit-inspired thinking help to make our minds pure sanctuaries in which God will be pleased to dwell.

The best way to control our thoughts is to offer the mind to God in complete surrender. The Holy Spirit will accept it and take control of it immediately. Then it will be relatively easy to think on spiritual things, especially if we train our thought by long periods of daily prayer, even talking to God inwardly as we work or travel."
A.W. Tozer

Wow! You are what you think! That has a lot to say about what we watch, read, listen to, and dwell on.

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Romans 12:2a

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely. whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things." Philippians 4:8

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Difficult Run - Beautiful Day!

I guess a bad day running is better than not running at all and today was absolutely perfect weather so it was nice just to be outside. My run itself was difficult and I'm not sure why. Maybe I'm not used to the heat (71 degrees) LOL! Or maybe it was the fact that I pushed the stroller again (with Anna in it) and pushed a lot harder today. Or maybe it was what I ate for lunch. I'm not real sure but I had a lot of side stitches (pain) and I wasn't able to concentrate very well (maybe that was because I was trying to hear all the things Anna was trying to tell me as I ran). But as I said, a bad day running is better than no running at all.

I was out for 35:50 with an 8 minute final mile. Ian ran the first mile with me. He is getting a little better already.


I spent a lot of time with Ian (our worship leader at Crossroads) last week. We had some good times together. We meet every Tuesday to plan the following weeks worship. It is such a joy to work with Ian. He is so moldable and so talented. Then Tuesday evening, Becky had a night out with the girls so Ian just hung out with me and Brannon and Anna. We went to Cici's and had a good time togehter. Both of my girls just love Ian. When he comes over, they both run around the house screaming, "Ian!" Then on Friday, we went to Olive Garden for dinner together and just had some hang out time. I always want our relationship to be something more and beyond just church. We had a great time togehter. Then Ian went running with me on Saturday morning. That was really cool and I was real proud of him for his first time out running.

I am SO thankful that Ian is in my life. I am so thankful that God allowed me to be of some influence on him when he was a young teenager and how God used that relationship to call him to Morgantown and to Crossroads. I was skeptical to say the least about hiring an 18 year old kid to lead worship at Crossroads, but he has done an amazing job leading worship as well as adjusting to a new life here in West Virginia.

Ian, I love you and I am extremely proud of you. I look forward to all that God is going to do in your life and in your ministry as you keep seeking Him. It is going to be fun to see how God grows us together for future ministry years togehter.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Running with Brannon

I took Brannon running with me this morning. I had promised her that she could go next after taking Anna with me the other day. When we woke up this morning and saw that is was raining and that it was only 48 degrees, Becky and I both tried to dissuade her from going, but she would have none of it. She wanted to go running with daddy regardless of the weather. She was a great little trooper as she always is, but she did tell me that she was "getting really cold" when we had 1/2 mile left to go. When we got back to the van, I put her in and started the heater while I stretched. I think it took her a while to finally get warm.

It was a great run and it was fun having Brannon along with me. She loved seeing the geese and the waterfalls along the way. Brannon and I were out on the trail for 36:23. I think I am finally getting back into some semblance of shape after my sickness several weeks back. I gotta start racing soon and I really need to get back on the bicycle. I think I'll wait for it to warm up a bit.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Day with Becky

A big thanks goes out to Natasha P for watching Brannon and Anna today. Becky and I had a nice rare day together without the girls. We actually had a meal together at a restaurant without anybody else there. Then we didn't know what to do with ourselves so we went to see Iron Man. Good movie! It was a wonderful time just spending time with my bride but we both talked at one point how much we missed the girls. It just felt like part of us was missing. I think we have a rare bond as a family - at least that is what we are shooting for.

Running with Anna

Yesterday, I ran with Anna. It is much more difficult running and pushing a stroller but it was worth it to have Anna along with me. She is so cute. It was fun watching her enjoy all the birds and dogs that she saw along the way. Since I was pushing the stroller with Anna in it, I was much slower than normal. I didn't keep track of my distance or any of my split times but I ran for a total time of 36:58. It was also the warmest temperature that I have run in since last summer. It was 76 degrees and it felt good to have sweat running down my face. I am glad that warmer weather is here and that I am able to take my girls running with me.

Monday, May 5, 2008


85 people in attendance at Crossroads Church yesterday! You gotta be kidding me! It is so rockin awesome what God is doing at our church. We have had record attendance and giving for the past two weeks. I truly believe as I always have that God is up to something special at Crossroads in Morgantown, WV.

Our old highest attendance was 76 and yesterday we had 85! I am still a little blown away and very excited to see all that God is about to do in us and through us as we keep moving forward in faith and obedience.

This journey is like a roller coaster in that it is really fun and exciting and at the same time it is a little bit scary. All in all though, roller coasters draw lots of people. That is what we want to do. We want to draw lots of people and point them to Jesus and in so doing literally transform the whole culture of Morgantown and WVU. This is only just the beginning!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Yesterday's Run and Today's Worship

I had a good run yesterday morning (thanks to Drake for getting me up last week, I thought I'd do it again even though Drake couldn't come along this week). I ran in a perfect 70 degrees for 33:28 with a final mile in 7:49. I am still a little bit slow as I recover from my two week illness from a few weeks back. I think I need to start working in an extra run day.

Our gathering times at Crossroads Church just keep getting better and better. God is blowing me away with what He is doing and with all the great new people that He is bringing into our body. Today was great! Ian and the worship team just keep getting better and better. Their skill level is great, but I really appreciate all of their hearts. I know that they have an awesome love for God and a tremendous desire and responsibility to lead people to Him. The fellowship before and especially after our worship time is crazy cool. It's almost like you have to remind people that they are hungry and should leave and go get some lunch. It is such a wonderful privilege to be apart of such a kickin church. Crossroads is the bomb! I love you guys!