Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Good Kinda Tired

I am tired and I have had a great day! Started off the day same as everyday - I got the girls up and fixed everybody breakfast. After breakfast, we were out the door. We hurried down to the church building to clean it for tomorrow and then we went to the public library to get some books for Becky and the girls. After that, we took a quick stroll through the Morgantown Farmer's Market and then headed home. The ladies in the family started eating their lunch while I headed out on my bike. I rode approximately 12 miles and was on the bike for 42:59. It was a great ride. I felt better and stronger than I have felt in a long time on my bike. When I got home, I ate some lunch, then went to work. I vacuumed out the van and then washed it. Then I mowed and weed-eated the yard. Then I swept out the garage and packed my backpack for my up-coming trip (more on that later). Then I cleaned my grill and cooked some hamburgers for dinner. I helped give Brannon and Anna a bath and get them ready for bed.

Now I have just had my shower and am about to head out to pick up a few last minute necessities for my backpacking trip and then head to the church building for a time of prayer. I am tired and it feels great! Looking forward to preaching the Word tomorrow. As we journey through the book of Luke, we have finally arrived at that famous Luke 9:23 passage. Should be a good time!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Day Off

I love my Thursdays off. It is really good to spend time with my family and get things done that I don't have time to get done otherwise.

Today has been good and has flown by. I got up and fixed Becky and the girls scrambled eggs and toast (as usual). Then I picked up the garage, went to Lowe's, staked my tomato plants up, ran four miles (32:24), had a lovely picnic at Krepps Park with my family, washed and vacuumed out my car (the van is getting it tomorrow), and then went to see The Dark Knight with Becky (thanks Gretchen). The movie was very disturbing to me. That is all I am going to say about that until Sunday morning. Maybe I'll blog about it later.

We got home and fed the girls some cereal and just put them in the bed. I am going to eat some cereal myself (trusty Honey Nut Cherrios) and try to relax with Becky.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Kingdom Love

In human love, truth must yield to desire. Human love has little regard for truth. It makes the truth relative, since nothing, not even the truth, must come between it and the beloved person. By contrast, in Kingdom love, the love of others is wholly dependant upon the truth in Christ.

by: Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Slowing Down

I am actually getting slower! This summer was supposed to be my time to get faster than I had ever been and set my own personal records but that has not been the case. I have struggled all summer to find the time to run and it has been even harder since Becky got pregnant and the things at church have really sped up. I am not complaining. I am thrilled at the prospect of our third child as well as how things are going at Crossroads. I am just disappointed that I am getting fat and slow. I keep telling myself that this is the season of life to just maintain and that when my kids are older that I will be able to run more. I also know that it will always be something, so I just need to keep trying to be more intentional in my exercising. I planned my run tonight when I got out of bed this morning then informed Becky of my plans and that made it a lot easier to hit the trail this evening. I worked late and slipped on my running shoes around 7:30 PM. The weather was glorious after that storm front went through this morning and I enjoyed the run more so than my previous 2 or 3 runs. I thought it was cool when I started out but at the end of 4 miles, I was drenched. It was good. I love that feeling of sweating after a good workout. I did the 4 miles in just over 33 minutes. Not great, but I wasn't sitting on the couch eating potato chips either. Oh and no esophagus issues either. I guess that is something to be thankful for.

The Power of Asking

How many of you have ever been approached by a beggar and felt the power of a request. Or how about trying to enjoy a favorite sandwich in the presence of the family dog. The power of asking is overwhelmingly strong and when we are asked, we usually respond to the favor in the positive. I mean, seriously, how many of you can turn away from those pitiful doggy eyes or from the intrusive request from a smelly stranger. The power of asking is so strong. How many times have you heard people say, "I just have the hardest time saying no." Asking is a strong power!

"In our intimate relationships and associations, the request is by itself usually enough to bring the desired result." - Dallas Willard in Divine Conspiracy

"So if you, twisted as you are, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father, the One in the heavens, give good things to those who ask Him!" - Jesus in Matthew 7:11

So what are you asking God for? What are you begging God for? And if you look at the context of this verse, you will understand that the power of asking goes hand in hand with the power of love because we are not supposed to ask for things that we might have comfort and pleasure. No, no; look at what Jesus says in the very next verse.

"Therefore, whatever you would like others to do to you, do that to them. For this is what the Law and the Prophets require of us." - Jesus again in Matthew 7:12

This is where the power of asking and the power of love meet. We ask the Creator of the universe to work and move in the lives of those around us. We are genuinely concerned about the well-being of others and we ask God to work in and through them.

So I ask again, what are you asking God for? What are you begging God for? Are you asking Him for things that you might spend on your on pleasures and comforts or out of love for others, are you asking Him to move in people for their salvation and discipleship. Are you begging God to save people and restore them to a right relationship with Himself? Are you begging God to heal people's relationships and other hurts in their lives.

Many of us do not really "love our neighbor as ourself". Our askings (prayers) are consumed with our own relationships, stresses, finances, and any other thing that concerns us. May God move in our hearts and change our prayers.

The power of asking is great and God has promised to hear and respond to the prayer lifted in accordance with His will, so when are we going to start asking God to do the things that He already wants to do.

The power of asking is strong and I believe that we will see God show up and show off when we begin praying in accordance with His heart for people!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Difficulty of Relationships

Most difficulties in relationships are the direct result of selfishness. As a pastor, I deal with lots of interpersonal conflict. I see conflict and hurting relationships all the time. Truth be told, it is probably the reason for the majority of the counseling that I do.

Just think, most of our interpersonal problems would be solved if we would just think of others more than we think of ourselves (Philippians 2:3). I know, I know, it is much harder to actually do. But just think, how many of us would not want amazing inter-personal relationships with our spouse, kids, other family members, friends and acquaintances? And that's not to mention the spiritual benefits during this life as well as the eternal benefits if we would just truly deny the crazy selfishness that lurks inside of us. I mean really, how many of us actually like all the problems and stress that our nasty selfishness brings about?

So, yeah the flesh is strong and denying self is incredible difficult, but don't the benefits far outweigh the hard work of self-denial? Seems like a no-brainer to me! Who wants difficult relationships and the stress that they bring? Let us have the same attitude of Jesus Christ and people will love us. Well, some people will and some people will hate us, but that is a topic for a whole other blog!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I know that when I blog about yesterday that I am a little behind, but I was so tired last night, I couldn't think straight to write about my day. It was a good kinda tired because yesterday was a great day.

I started off the day with a 6:30 AM meeting with Chris H. He is an early bird so I follow suit on Tuesdays. It is such a great kick to the day. Chris gets me fired up about the future. The structure changes that he is helping me to come up with and implement is going to take Crossroads Church so far as the we grows. It is an exciting thing to think about!

After that I hurried home to be sure my girls were taken care off, then off to the office. Had a great time with the Lord before heading to Washington, PA for a big meeting with our state director of church planting. Things went super with Tim B. and I headed back to Morgantown in high spirits.

Then I met with Ian R. for the rest of the afternoon and we talked about the future of the worship team and what God was up to in Ian's life - also good and exciting stuff. Then Ian and I went to the store with Patsy (male) to get him (Patsy) coffee and other groceries.

Then I booked it home to get a quick run in before a date with my wife been a long time in coming). I was in a hurry and was also hurting (my esophagus has been hurting since the race on Friday night - not cool - makes it hard to eat after running - not sure what is going on, but I have decided to take a break from running for a few weeks and just ride my bike for awhile - see what happens) so I only ran for 30:37.

After my run, Becky and I went out to Olive Garden together thanks to Gretchen E. Thanks Gretchen! It was the first time we had been out alone in I can't remember how long. We had a wonderful time with just the two of us!

After such a great day, I pretty much just fell into the bed last night. After so many less than perfect days over the past 6 weeks, it was nice to fall asleep with a smile on my face.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Scrambling Eggs

I can't begin to tell you how many eggs I have scrambled over the past 3 or 4 weeks. It is the only thing that helps Becky's stomach in the morning (I haven't blogged about it and I think everyone already knows, but Becky is pregnant and just now beginning her second trimester).

Because of her morning sickness, I get up every day and scramble eggs for her and I also get breakfast for the girls. It has been very trying for me because I hate monotony and yesterday the thought of scrambling eggs just didn't sit well. That was yesterday. This morning as I was scrambling the daily eggs, I just thanked God for my wife and our two little girls and the new life that is growing inside Becky. Who am I to grumble and complain about such a small thing as scrambling eggs every day when God has blessed my life beyond measure.

I am so thankful for Becky, Brannon, Anna, and #3. It is a total privilege to scramble eggs for them every morning. It is amazing how warped our thinking can be when we think selfishly and how grateful our thinking can be when our thoughts turn to others or to all that God has done for us and given us.

Looking forward to scrambling more eggs!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The People of Crossroads

I love the people that make up Crossroads Church! It is such a joy and privilege to have such a wonderful church family to experience life with and to be on mission with. Today was a day filled with visiting with various people from Crossroads and each interaction filled me with great joy and pride. I thank God for each one.

Every conversation I had today with a Crossroader was so cool. It is neat how God has brought us all together for such a time as this. For us to totally experience loving community with one another and to be carrying out His plans and purposes together truly rocks.

Crossroads Church is the best church in West Virginia and it is the most amazing blessing to be a part of it, let alone pastor it.

Thank you God for all the people who are Crossroads Church!

Crossroaders (new word) reading this - You Rock!!!

Friday, July 11, 2008


Well, I ran in a 5 mile race tonight. It has been awhile since I have raced. I had been wanting to wait until I got a little faster, but I went ahead and entered this race in hopes that it will motivate me to run more in hopes of finally getting faster.

It was a well planned race and I enjoyed the event itself. I had hope to finish in 40 minutes and thought that I would be closer to 41. The hard truth was that I finished in 42:04. Not so great! 30-34 year-old males must be fast cause I didn't beat very many. Of approximately 24 or 25 in my age group I finished around 15th. I am not exactly winning any medals. I fared a little better overall finishing 131st out of 290 people.

It was a fun time and good to be racing again. It certainly accomplished what I wanted it to. It gave me a good hard 5-mile run and helped me to see how slow I have become. I have to use the rest of this summer and fall to get in better shape. I still want to get faster!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Early Ride

This morning I took off on my bicycle. It was a good ride but I think I may have pushed a little too hard. Once, after coming up the Star City hill, I felt weird and like I might pass out so I backed off a little. When I got to Westover and was coming up the two big hills after the bridge, I really kicked it into a high gear and rode hard. I started feeling a little funny again, but instead of backing off, I determined that I was close to home and that if I passed out that it would be OK. When I got home, Becky said I looked like a ghost, but after a few minutes and some protein, my color started to return. When I told Becky the stories about how hard I rode up the hills, she said I was crazy. She said that every time I get home from exercising that when she sees me, it makes her never want to exercise again. Sometimes I wonder if the drive and intensity inside me is a good thing or a bad thing. I guess its both.

Anyway, a good ride even though I am still a little wobbly and I was only out for 44 minutes. It was a good start to the day though.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Endurance requires a lifestyle of intentionality. My last post dealt with my recent lack of running. After I wrote it, I thought of all the time that I waste on frivolous activities and realized that my busyness was not the problem (we sure like to think that it is though). My problem was a lack of intentional living in every area of my life.

I know that when I live intentional in every area of my life (spiritual, physical, relational, ministerial, etc.) that consistency over the long haul is the result. Living with intentionality leads to endurance and perseverance. Living without intentionality or daily purpose in all things leads to laziness and sin.

Check out this amazing call to purpose and perseverance (endurance) that I was reading this morning from the book of Hebrews.

35Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.
36For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. 37FOR YET IN A VERY LITTLE WHILE, HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME, AND WILL NOT DELAY. 38BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH; AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM.
39But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul. Hebrews 10:35-39 (NASB)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Not Running Enough

I finally ran again tonight. It has been 9 days since I last ran. That is ridiculous! Granted, I did ride my bike for 14 miles in those 9 days but still, that is just way too long in between runs. I wanted so bad to get back into race shape this summer. It hasn't happened so far. Planting a church and being a father to young children is so time consuming. It is hard to find the time to run. I have to do better.

Tonight's run was a good one. Not sure how far I ran but I was out for 36:05. The weather was good and I listened to another great Francis Chan sermon. I don't know what is better when I run - the physical exercise or the spiritual refreshment I get from listening to the proclaimed Word of God. It sure is a good combination though!

Tired of Spending

I am so tired of spending money! It seems like every time that I turn around, I am spending money. It gets so old. I wish life were more simple but it seems like with all that we "need" and all that we have going on these days that there is always money being spent.

In the past three days, I have spent money on gas, milk, food (several times), hiking pants, hiking socks, scotch tape, face lotion, clothes for Anna, kids movie rental, kids books (from Goodwill), postage, and a Oreo Blizzard from Dairy Queen. And I know that I will probably be spending more money before the day is out. It is exhausting. When I look at that list, I see so many things that I didn't have to have but others that are there just to live in our culture. It is very hard trying to distinguish between needs and wants in our fast-paced, me-based society. I love all things that make life easy over the past however many thousands of years and at the same time long for something more simple than this culture that we have now.

I don't know if I am making any sense or not. I just know that I am sick of spending money. Maybe it just bothers me how fast it leaves me. Maybe it bothers me that I don't have enough to meet my "wants". Maybe it bothers me that I think I don't have enough to give away. Or maybe it is just a combination of all three. Not real sure. I just know that I would love to go 1 week without spending any money. I wonder if that is even possible in America in 2008? I want to honor Jesus in all of my money spending endeavors. I wonder if He is happy with the way I have spent His money in the past three days?

P.S. When you throw in the money that we spend as a church in addition to my personal spending, I get really sick of watching the money go out. It is all very tiring to me!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


I was never into organized sports when I was in high school and so I was never really drawn to FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) when I was younger. Throughout the past 15 years of ministry, I have just watched and observed FCA from a distance and never got heavily involved.

I/we (Crossroads Church) have been praying for West Virgina University for two years now. We have been asking God to do such an awesome thing at the university that it (WVU) would forever be removed from the top party school list (for the past two years, WVU has been # 1 and and #2 on that list). I/We have also been frustrated because our roll in the evangelization of WVU has not been revealed. I/We have been wondering what we are supposed to do in order to see a spiritual awakening at WVU. I/We have not felt God leading us in any specific direction on the campus of WVU beyond our young people being a Godly, Christian presence to everyone they are around. It has been frustrating to want something so bad and have no direction beyond prayer.

I believe God is answering my/our prayers. Today, I went to a businessman's lunch and met the new offensive line coach for WVU. He spoke on finishing well in regards to our Christian faith and he shared a little bit of how he came to Jesus. He is a great guy, but more importantly, he is in love with Jesus. It encouraged me so much to know the incredible influence that he is having and will continue to have as a coach on the WVU football team. That in conjunction with new FCA director Shawn Frasher's direction and influence is an awesome thing. Shawn and I have recently been taking about all that God is up to through WVU FCA. There is not time or space to tell it all right here, but take my word for it, there are some great things going on and it seems to me that God is rumbling in preparation of doing something big at WVU through FCA.

This is exciting and I want to support Shawn and his team and FCA in general. I want God to do awesome things in Morgantown and at WVU. I am excited that He is using FCA. So I want to be involved with what God is doing and therefore want to support FCA. It is not about Crossroads Church. It is about the Kingdom of God expanding and about lives being changed for the glory of Jesus Christ.

Remember to pray for WVU FCA. Pray for Shawn and his staff (Josh and Courtney). Pray for the WVU coaches and athletes as Shawn, Josh and Courtney attempt to reach them for Jesus. Pray for the coaches and players who already know Jesus - that God would use them to begin a great movement of His Holy Spirit.

This just may be the answer to prayer that I/we have been looking for - the catalyst for a spiritual awakening on the campus of the #1 party school in the nation.

God, come and do a great work at WVU!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Cycling Rocks!

I just got home from a 13.1 mile ride on my bicycle. Whew, these West Virginia hills are tough. I love it though! Riding my bike gives me a bigger high than running because it is so much harder. I think I push harder when I ride as opposed to when I run. I love both but there is something truly exhilarating about pumping the pedals. It sure has been good to get my bike in working order and to get back on it. Now, I can get all the muscles in my legs back into the shape that they need to be in. Speaking of the muscles in my leg, they feel like jelly right now but that is a good thing - yeah! So yeah, 13.1 miles in 51 minutes. That doesn't seem very fast, but there were a lot of uphills.

Yeah, yeah, I'm gonna go fix me a huge bowl of cookies n cream ice cream 'cause I deserve it!