Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hardest Job I Have Ever Had

Being responsible for the godly raising of children is by far the hardest job that I have ever had. I thought church planting and pastoring was difficult but it doesn't even compare to the hard work of being an intentional parent. I mean any idiot can bring a kid into the world, but the work and sacrifice involved in raising children to be adults who love God and others and live a sacrificial life is a whole other matter. My kids are 4 and 2 and I already worry that I am not a good enough parent to lead them the way that they should go.

It is my prayer that my Heavenly Father (the only perfect parent) will lead and guide me as I seek to lead and guide my children. I so desire to be what Brannon and Anna need in order to live lives for the glory of God.

God grant me patience and wisdom to bring up my children up in the knowledge and admonition of You!

Here is some free advice for all you out there who don't have children yet. 1)Don't miss out on one of the most amazing blessings of life - have kids! 2)But don't have them until you are ready to lay down your lives in order to sacrifice for their holy upbringing because it will be hard and very demanding(if raising kids is not hard, then you are either doing something wrong or there is something wrong with my kids).

The good news is that based on the Word of God, I expect the responsibility and hard work of raising the next generation of Jesus followers to pay great rewards.

Thank you God for the hardest job that I have ever had!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Apathy Sucks

It has been a really long week and as it rolled into Friday and Saturday, I lost my desire to care. I don't know what is wrong with me except maybe I haven't had a break since January 10 and also that things haven't been normal at my house for over a month now. I am not sure of the cause, but I know that I got uncharacteristically apathetic yesterday. It really sucks to feel like this. It is better to be in a super bad place than to just not care about anything.

The whole day today, was marred by this apathy until I forced myself out the door to run. The weather helped. It was my absolute favorite weather to run in. It was 70 degrees and raining. It was awesome. I ran through Westover for 31:27 and wondered how apathy had taken root in my life. It is so weird. Apathy is the opposite of everything that I am.

The run really helped. It helps me to push myself in all the right directions. I am still fighting the apathetic bug, but I am better than I have been in 36 hours and am looking forward to tomorrow (Sunday). I still think I need a major break, just not sure where to find the time or the money to take one. Gotta do something soon though. Keep me in your prayers cause apathy sucks and it is a horrible place to be!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Morgantown - Tonight's Coolest City

It is 59 degrees in Morgantown right now! That is the coolest area in the continental U.S. according to the temperature maps on The Weather Channel. After the rain moved through this evening, you almost need a jacket when you go outside. Morgantown, WV is the coolest city! So true, so true! Just another reason I love this town so much.


I have always enjoyed Mondays, but ever since Crossroads started really growing and threatening Satan's Kingdom, Monday's have had a way of really kicking my teeth in. Sundays are such an amazing time in my life and ministry. It is so wonderful to worship with and fellowship with God's people. I have never looked forward to church as much as I do now, but that high seems to result in some crazy lows on Monday. I have heard of church planters and preachers that have a hard time with Mondays as well and now I understand it also.

I read on Perry Noble's (pastor of New Spring Church in SC) blog a few weeks back that the most important day of the week to pray for your pastor is on Monday. Weird, but true. Keep me in your prayers all the time, but I especially appreciate the prayers on Sunday evening and all day on Monday.

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 6:12

Sunday, June 22, 2008

New Exercise

I finally got the back tire on my bicycle fixed this evening. It has been a long time since I have ridden, so this afternoon, I fixed the back tire and put a new seat on that I have had for years and decided to jump on and spin for some miles instead of run them. It was exhilarating being back on my Felt bicycle. And I love climbing the West Virginia hills. I wasn't out to long because I am not in bike shape, but it was a great ride of approximately 9 or 10 miles and I rode for 39 minutes. It felt great and I am excited to get back into bike shape and add the cycling regimen to my running workouts. It was a great conclusion to an awesome Sunday! (more on that tomorrow)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tiring and Great Day

It is great to be tired when you have a day like today! I stared the day off being lazy with my family. That hasn't happened in a long time so it was very nice. Then, late morning, we planted some tomato plants that our neighbor started for us. Becky is excited about having fresh tomatoes growing right beside our house. After that, I went and ran five miles. It was a great day for running. Sunny and 77 degrees. I did the 5 in 40:45 with a final mile in 7:48.

After that, the real running began to get ready for our church block party in our community park. It was a great time tonight. We had hoped to make over 100 contacts, but only about 35 or 40 showed up. It was still a wonderful time with some people from the community so we made lots of new friends. Hopefully they will come to church and come to Jesus.

A huge "Thank You" is in order to Whispers of Hope Ministries from Charlotte, NC who helped so much with the block party and evangelism this weekend (more on that later). Tonight was a good time of ministry and outreach. Pray that the seeds that were planted will grow. I know God is going to bring a harvest here in Morgantown!

I am smelly and tired. I am going to shower and crash. Tomorrow should be rockin - Sundays always are!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Great Run - (Feed Your Soul)

We had awesome WV weather today. The sun was shining and the temperature was a perfect 70 degrees. My run was awesome. Time was tight so I just ran in my neighborhood. I was out for 31:14 and it went by fast and seemed easy. I think the reason that that was true was that I was listening to an amazing sermon. It was by some guy named Ron who I had never heard of. He was a fill-in for Francis Chan out at Cornerstone Church in Semi Valley, CA. The sermon tittle was something about how we as Christians allow our culture to affect us in a negative way so I thought I would listen. Man am I glad I did. It was awesome and like I said above, I almost forgot I was running 4 miles.

The weather was great. The sermon was great. The run was great. Running or not, we need to always be putting good, holy stuff in our brains whether we are reading it or listening to it. I hope you are putting some good, holy stuff in your brains. We need to constantly combat all the garbage that this world throws at us.

For the glory of God, FEED YOUR SOUL!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Crossroads in the Park

As a church, we have started meeting Wednesday evenings at the Granville City Park. We started last week and tonight was the second week. It has been a great time and I am looking forward to it all summer long.

Last week we had a prayer request/praise report time and tonight we just had some good fellowship with one another. It is such a good time being with our church family. It is so great getting to know all of the new people that God is sending into our midst as well as maintaining the awesome relationships that have been Crossroads for 2 years. It is my prayer that over the course of the summer that our relationships will really grow and that we will all be one in unity and purpose.

It is amazing what God has done at Crossroads Church over these past two years and showing up at Granville City Park is a good testimony to that. Seeing individuals who helped launch us sitting down and talking and laughing with people who have been attending 1 month is so cool to see. It is just going to keep growing as we stay true to the vision that Gos has revealed to us from His Word.

Church family is such a great thing and I am thankful for the brothers and sisters who have walked this church journey with me for years and thankful for my new brothers and sisters that God has recently brought into my/our church family/life. It is a great experience.

It was awesome seeing Jennifer dressed up as Easter (you had to be there) and doing pull-ups under the pavilion with Kent and Scott. It was fun laughing with everyone there. It was great seeing Steve F. and Jason B. in deep conversation. Paying HORSE with a big group was a good time. Having playtime together is an important time of growth for our church as we move forward in our relationships with one another.

I look forward to some great times this summer as we continue do Wednesday nights in the park!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Stay Alert

Jason B. brought his Kawasaki Vulcan over yesterday afternoon so that I could take it for a ride and relieve some stress. It is an awesome bike and I was reminded how much I love motorcycles. There is just something about the power and speed and openness of riding a motorcycle that is so much fun. Needless to say, I had a great time yesterday evening as I explored new WV country roads on the motorcycle.

It was so great, but I was reacquainted with an interesting phenomenon about riding a motorcycle last night. I am not really used to riding and the potential acceleration and speed is crazy fast and you also have to watch other cars very closely. All this spells on thing when I am riding a motorcycle. I must stay alert! I can't ever let my guard down. I have to watch the road, pay attention to the sharpness of the upcoming curves, notice what gear I am in, keep a constant eye out for traffic, keep both hands on the handlebars, and many other things that I need to be aware of to stay safe on the motorcycle.

As I rode and thought about this concept while riding a motorcycle, I thought about how much more important it is to stay alert in life. God says to us in 1 Peter 5:8 that we are to stay alert because our enemy, the devil is prowling around looking for someone to gobble up. Yet on so many occasions, we get lazy in our lives and in our relationships with God. We let our guard down. We take our eyes off the road and begin to pay attention to other things that do not matter at all. Sometimes we completely forget what we are here for and pursue things totally opposed to God and His mission (it's called sin). I was so struck how often, we as Christians talk a good game, yet live our lives the opposite of alert.

The other day, I saw a guy pass a tractor trailer truck on a sport bike. He passed the truck doing a "wheelie" and probably doing 120 mph. I thought to myself, "That guy is not alert. He has gotten to used to riding on the motorcycle and he is probably going to die on it". I think we, as Christians, are a lot like that guy at times. We have gotten so used to this life and this earth that we have forgotten our real purpose and we have forgotten that Satan is lurking around every corner and is out for us. W must stay alert!

This is not our home and we must not get to comfortable and let Satan get the victory in our lives or in our churches. Stay alert! It would be terrible to wreck our lives because we weren't paying attention!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Outdoor Wedding

I did my 7th wedding today, but it was the first one that I have ever done outside. It was a little humid and warm but things went off great after a few morning showers. Chris and Laura are now husband and wife. Congratulations, you guys! I pray that God blesses you with Himself as you spend your lives giving to each other. Oh and have a great honeymoon week!

I just got home from the trip to Charleston, WV for the wedding and I am tired. I am going to crawl into the bed and put the finishing touches on my sermon and then get some sleep.

Running in Unfamiliar Places

This morning, I ran in Charleston, WV. I was there today because of Chris and Laura's wedding. I love running in places that I don't know. It makes the run go by so much faster. I am constantly checking out the new surroundings and wondering where I should turn next. This morning I ran down the road from my hotel on a busy highway then found my way into a residential neighborhood for a while before venturing back out onto the highway for the last past of my run. I ran the last mile on the concrete median of the highway because I figured it was safer than trying to run on the edge of the white line at the side of the road. People look at you crazy when you are running down the middle of the road, but most of you know that I really don't care how people look at me. I ran approximately 4 miles in 31:42. I finished up stretching in a IHOP parking lot then I headed inside for breakfast. Nothing caps off a good workout like a 3 egg omelet and pancakes!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cooled Off

The temperature this evening was 10 degrees cooler than the last time I ran. I ran Saturday morning in the mid eighties and tonight after the rain, I ran in the mid seventies. It was great. I have forgotten how much I love running in the summer. Heat makes me feel so much faster even though it is not really so. Tonight I ran 4 miles again and did it in 31:15 with a final mile in 7:42.

Today was a really good day. We are really getting things in order at Crossroads. We are finally instituting some major structure in our finances and that is a very good thing and we are also entering the 21st century at the office. We finally got a office computer and are getting the Internet on Friday. My productivity should really pick up and I should be able to blog more about more deep and spiritual things (It is hard to blog about really intense things at the end of the day, at Panaera, or with a 4 year old hanging off my neck). And Ian pointed out this afternoon that I wouldn't have to run home every time I needed to print something off of a computer. Then He said that the big grin on my face when I thought about what he said was really funny.

Anyway, the rest of this week is going to be busy. We start our Wednesdays in the Park tomorrow night and I have a wedding this weekend in Charleston, WV and still have to get ready for Father's Day. I also have 4 appointments tomorrow. I am not sure how I am going to get everything done, but hopefully I'll manage. I know that you will all be praying for me. Yeah, yeah!!!!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Fast Day

I started the day out with a run because of my to do list and also because of the forecast temperature. It was a great run even though I tackled some big West Virginia hills and the temperature was already in the 80's by 8:30 AM. I left my house and ran up to Kmart and then around the mall and back home. It was hilly and hot and I was out for 35:13. A good start to the day.

Then I went computer shopping with Brannon and Chris H. to see if we could find a good deal on a new computer for the church office. Crossroads is finally moving into 21st century baby!

After that, I worked in my yard till I just could not do anymore and then I cleaned up and went to our prayer time down at the church building. Good times and I am looking forward to meeting with God's people tomorrow. Sunday has become one of my favorite days of the week since we started Crossroads.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Hot Run

It was a rather warm afternoon to go for a run, but I loved it anyway. It was 84 degrees which is by far the warmest temperature that I have run in in a long time. I think the heat makes me feel faster even though I am probably not. Because of that I started out too fast. I ran four miles today with the splits as follows:

mile 1 - 7:32
mile 2 - 7:58
mile 3 - 8:10
mile 4 - 7:56

Total time for 4 miles was 31:36. I guess that is a little faster than I have been running, but not as fast as I felt on that first mile. I just could not keep up that pace beyond one mile. Considering how much I have been running recently or should I say not running recently, it was a decent 4 mile training time.

After I ran, I got home and started mowing around 6:15 and then I worked outside till a little after 8:30. Let's just say I weed-eated like a champ. I went through a lot of weed-eater chord. After all week looking after the girls, it felt really good to work in the yard and get really sweaty and dirty. That is a good thing for me. So it was a good evening and night. I need those times where I work outside and see a total job come to completion in just two hours. It is a big change from leading a church where there is always a new challenge on the horizon and you never really feel like you have finished anything. I think that us one of the things that is so hard on me. That is why I love working in the yard so much. That is also another reason that I love to run so much. I see and feel immediate results to my labor.

It was a good night for me and I should sleep well as long as all these Honey Nut Cheerios digest well and pretty soon too.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Becky's Home!!

Yes, it is 15 hours shy of a full week, but Becky is finally home. She pulled in the driveway about 45 minutes ago and is now tucking Brannon in bed. After 7 days (I don't think we have ever been apart that long and I know I have never had both girls that long), it seems almost surreal just seeing her.

I hear Brannon's music globe playing. That means Becky will be in here in a second. I can't wait to talk to her and touch her. Man, I sure have missed my wife and I am glad she is home!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Stay At Home Moms Rock!

I have had so much to blog about these past 5 days that Becky has been gone but have just been too tired to do it. Let me just wrap it up in a nutshell for you - "Being responsible for the minute by minute activities of a 4 year old and a 2 year old are much more difficult and stressful than being responsible for the body of Christ." I am seriously not kidding. It is so clear to me that God has truly given different roles (jobs) to men and to women and I have never believed it more than I do right now. Don't get me wrong, I love both of my kids with a whole hearted passion, but I am just not cut out to hang out with them all day everyday, but Becky sure is. You couldn't pay her enough to do anything else. Maybe, just maybe God knows what He is doing. You think?

Anyway, I just want to say that stay-at-home-moms truly rock. My wife in particular is AMAZING! After doing what she does for the past few days maybe I won't be so demanding about the house staying clean. I hope this experience makes me a better husband and a better dad. It sure has been interesting. Becky is planning to be home tomorrow evening. Man, I can't wait to see that woman!

Big Thanks to Ryan and Gretchen

Becky has been gone for 5 days now so it stands to reason that it has been a while since I have run. Ryan and Gretchen met me at the Star City playground tonight and played with the girls there and watched the ducks in the river so I could jump on the trail for a quick 4 miler.

Thanks a ton you guys, I really needed the free time and the exercise. It was a great night to run. The heat and the sweat felt really good. I know I was probably slow, but I felt fast and the run felt good. I ran 34:44 and not real sure how far that was but I know it was more than 4. Another big thanks to Gretchen and Ryan - you guys rock!