Monday, November 24, 2008


I am a new addict and member of the cool kids coffee club! There really is no such club but if there were, I would be a card carrying member!

I have always hated coffee and have viewed coffee drinkers as a rather bizarre lot. I mean that stuff (coffee) tastes nasty! Last year about this time, I started drinking one cup of coffee in the morning to help my focus during my prayer time (those of you who are ADD like me know what I am talking about. Oh and by the way, it really helped.). In the beginning, I bought coffee flavored with chocolate and then doused it with International Delight chocolate coffee creamer. I was even accused of not really being a part of the cool kids coffee club. I was told that wasn't real coffee; that I was really drinking toffee. Well that may have been true, but things have recently changed as my taste for coffee has developed. I still put major creamer and sweetener in it, but not as much as I used to and my coffee choices have become a lot more widespread. Let's just say that I am now addicted and that I am enjoying every minute of it.

Last year when I told Drake A. about my caffeine and focus experiment, he told me that I would eventually get addicted. He was right. On my recent trip to CO for the missional church-planting conference, I would not even begin to guess how much coffee that I had. It was great. So now I guess if there is someone out there who still doesn't get the whole coffee thing, then they are looking at me the way I used to look at coffee drinkers. And if you are readying this and are one of those coffee "haters", then I just have one thought for you. Come join us on the dark side (pun intended)! You'll eventually be glad that you did. You too can be a part of the cool kids coffee club!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Cold and Bright

It was a beautiful morning. The sun was shinning very bright but the air was still very cold. The temperature for this mornings run was 26 degrees. Ian and I ran today because we had company at my house last night (it was good spending time with Jarod and Miriam). We took off just before 9 AM this morning and it was cold. We were as bundled up as we could be. During the first half mile, I thought I was going to freeze to death but once the blood got to flowing, I warmed up and was fine. We went for 7 miles and I didn't feel very strong and I thought I was slow as well. When I got home and looked at my running log, I realized that I was much faster than I had been on all my previous 7 milers. So maybe the reason the run felt so difficult was because I pushed it so much harder and didn't even know it. So where I was bummed out for thinking I was in worse shape and slowing down changed and I was stoked that I was so much faster. I ran the 7 miles today in 59:43. The previous fastest 7 in recent history was one hour, 4 minutes, and 13 seconds. I was faster today by 4 minutes and 30 seconds and I didn't even mean to! My legs feel wobbly and I want to take a nap. I can't though, I have too much to do right now.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Cold and Dark

Until tonight, the coldest temperature that I have run in in a long time was around 42 degrees but tonight Ian (we're back!) and I set out for a 5 miler and the temperature was hovering somewhere around 30 degrees.

It was great to get back out on the Mon. county rails to trails and even better to be back with Ian at my side. It has been exactly 2 weeks since we have exercised together. I have missed him and it was good to have the time together even if it was dark and cold.

All the fair weather exercisers were gone. My Suzuki Sidekick was the only car at the trail parking lot. And yes, I do take some sick satisfaction in that fact! With that said, I still know that it was an odd night to be out for a run. It was cold, dark, and wet. Ian and I both looked like we were dressed for an Arctic exploration. I guess Ian and I have a long, cold winter to look forward to exercising in. It should be fun and exhilarating and I am once again truly thankful that Ian is with me and that he has committed to being with me regardless of the weather. Now that is a real friend!

Oh and tonight's 5 miles were slow. I finished with a time of 43:35 with an 8 minute final mile. I"ll just blame the weather!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Good Week

Today was a great ending to a great week. It was rough being away from Becky and the girls two straight weekends, but this past week was a good one and today rocked out.

It was great meeting so many other individuals who have committed their lives to church planting. I made some great connections at the Missional Church Planting Conference and learned a lot. The best thing about it was the reaffirmation and conformation that we need to be heavily involved in planting as many churches as we can.

It was also a good time hanging out with my buddy Hogan as well. He is a great guy and is doing a great Kingdom work in Pittsburgh. You can check out what he is doing here. There are not to many people that I can spend 4 days with without getting on my nerves but Hogan makes getting along easy. You rock bro!

It seems that things at Crossroads Church are continually getting ramped up. Our Sunday Worship Gatherings are getting better and better. God is up to something BIG! I believe it! We must be obedient to His call and stay the course. It is gonna be awesome. We have such incredible people (we should - I mean, it is God's church :) who are excited about the vision that God has given us and it shows. Our attendance (we had 94 today!) and our giving continue to grow and it is fun and exciting to watch and to be a part of.

It is so satisfying to be a part of God's Kingdom and the work that goes along with it! Thank you God for giving me this amazing privilege and responsibility.

P.S. It is so good to be home. Colorado was nice, but I love West Virginia. And words can't describe how good it is to be back in my house with all my girls!

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Mile High Run

Well, it really is harder to breath thin air when exercising. I have now experienced it firsthand. I guess part off me always thought it was a myth or just no big deal, but there is no denying it now that I have experienced it. I ran a little over 4 miles on a treadmill in the exercise room here in my hotel. Everything seemed normal and good until I hit gone about 2.5 miles. My breathing for the last mile and a half was pretty labored and fast. It was an interesting experience, but I will be glad to stage my next run in Morgantown at a somewhat normal elevation.

Thin air, treadmill, and all, it was a good run and it felt really good since I have been sitting around since Thursday morning. Supper and sleep should be good tonight!

More on today's conference later - gotta hit the showers!

Church Planting Conerence

I am in Colorado Springs, CO at Vanguard Church for a Missional Church Planting Conference. It has been a long and great day. I heard two really great speakers that have really encouraged and challenged me in the great work of what we are doing at Crossroads Church as well as what we need to do in the area of planting churches all over northern WV. A guy made the statement today that we need to reach more people for Jesus than will ever fit in our buildings. That is so true. We need to plant tons more churches. We are losing almost 3,000 evangelical churches a year and not replacing them and it is also a proven fact that the best way to reach more people for Jesus is to start new churches.

I have been challenged and refreshed today and am looking forward to tomorrow. I have met many great people from all over the country who are doing the same thing that we are doing in Morgantown and also have met lots of guys who are creating networks in order to plant hundreds of new churches all over our country and also in the entire world.

I am wiped out so I am headed to bed so my body, brain, and spirit will be ready to hear what God wants to say to me tomorrow. I am so thankful that God has called me to this work. It is an honor and privilege to pastor Crossroads Church and to be called to the task of making sure that everyone in northern WV has the chance to know Jesus as Savior and Lord.

I think I should be busy for the next hmmmmmmmmmm 40 or 50 years. As long as God lets me live and breath, I want to be committed to the vision of changing Morgantown, all of West Virginia, and the whole world for the sake and glory of Jesus Christ!

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Quick Breather

The past four days were a definite whirlwind! I left my house at 9:25 on Thursday morning on my way to our Baptist State Convention in Altoona, PA. I picked up Reece K. and we were off. It was a good day together at the convention, but I didn't get to my hotel in Pittsburgh until midnight. I finally fell asleep around 1 AM and woke up at 5 AM. Then I hurried to the airport and caught a flight to Little Rock. I went down there to lead a marriage retreat for some young couples from Jonesboro, AR. It was a good time but also quick and I found myself on another plane by 6 PM on Saturday. I got home after midnight on Saturday and then got up to preach on Sunday morning. A bunch of us from Crossroads went out to lunch together to visit with Chad and Natashia P. and I got home after 3PM. The days were great, but it has been rather exhausting. In the last 4 days, I have been in Morgantown, WV, Altoona, PA, Pittsburgh, PA Baltimore, MD, Little Rock AR, Batesville, AR, Memphis, TN, and Atlanta, GA. Yeah, I know - it was crazy busy and fast!

Now I am trying to catch my breath and take a breather before I head out again. I am working today trying to get caught up on all the logistics at my office and I am taking off all day tomorrow to spend with my family because on Wednesday, I am headed to Colorado Springs, CO for a church planting conference. I am excited about the possibilities for the future of Crossroads planting churches all over WV and assisting in church planting all over the world. I am anticipating that this conference will help me discover what mine and Crossroad's role will be in that Kingdom endeavor. It is an exciting time as I look forward into the future and seek ways to expand God's Kingdom for the church's growth and for the glory of God!

Keep me and my family in your prayers while I am gone. I will try to update my blog about church planting and about what God is teaching me. I'll also try to get a run in in the thin Colorado air while I am there. It should be a good conference and a good week. More info later.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What's In A Name?

I am still having a hard time with the fact that America just elected a man named Barack Hussain Obama to be it's 44th President. Something truly has changed in America and Obama is right, more is about to change. I am just not so sure that it is the kind of change most Americans really know is coming and really want.

The names of past presidents and presidential contenders just sound a little more familiar and seem to put you at ease as opposed to Barack Hussain Obama. Check 'em out: John, George, Al, Bill, Bob, Ross, Micheal, Walter, Jimmy, Gerald, and Richard. I am not saying that you should judge a person by their name but I do believe it does give some insight into where he (Barack) has come from and where he might be headed. Like I said, I think Barack is right, change is coming. Americans you better be ready for it. You asked for it!

The thing that I am clinging to today is that Jesus is really the only name that truly matters. It is He that holds everything in His hands and one day, it will be at the sound of His Name that "every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is LORD".

So maybe names do matter.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Revival without Judgement?

Is it possible for God to send a revival to America without first sending judgement? It is my selfish prayer that it is possible, but I am not sure that it is. Right now, I am praying fervently that God would do a great work in America! I am praying that He would send His Spirit down and revive His church and pour out Himself upon the lost.

Then today, as I am reading through Jeremiah, God showed how He almost always brings judgement before restoration and grace. In Jeremiah 16, God pronounces horrific judgment on Judah's rebellion and sin. It isn't until verse 14 that He begins talking about restoration and this only after judgement for the purposes of His holiness and so that the people may know that He and He alone is GOD.

As I pray for America, I wonder if we have slipped too far into the moral toilet of selfishness and sin to be revived and restored to the God who "put us on the map" without first experiencing judgement. This is a somewhat scary and sobering thought and I am not sure what to do with it in my own mind, but as I chew on it and look to the past revivals that God has brought forth, many, if not most, have come out of judgment (wars, political unrest, famine, plague, etc.) . Then I think maybe I stumbled onto something this morning and wonder what God has in store for a county that prints on its money "In God we trust" and at the same time kills babies and has as its biggest industry the proliferation of sex and nudity through paper, film, and internet?

God help us and allow Your Church to persevere in the midst of whatever you have in our future!! God send revival and great awakening to our nation and keep Your Church strong!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Dark 7

With the time change yesterday, this evenings run was a dark one. Ian and I start by the dam in Morgantown so when you go 3.5 miles south into the woods along the river, it gets DARK. There are no lights anywhere and it can get erie at times (I am glad Ian is with me). The last mile that we go is in the Morgantown lights, but during miles 5 and 6, the only light we had was my little head lamp. It was a good run though and it felt good to stretch it out to 7 miles again. I haven't run that far since October 17th. I was a little slow at 1 hour, 5 minutes and 8 seconds but I'm not sweatin it tonight. I mean how many people ran 7 miles in the dark tonight!?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Great and Long Day

Today was a great day at Crossroads Church! It was a long one too. I got to the church building at 10 this morning and left around 5 Pm. It was also wonderful though.

It all started with our regular Sunday Worship Gathering and it just gets better by the week. Ian and the worship team continue to do an amazing job. I appreciate all their planning and practice. It sure shows and pays off. Then I preached one of the most difficult sermons of my life dealing with abortion and the upcoming election. You can check it out at under resources. In all my 14 years of speaking, today was one of the most emotional and difficult messages that I have ever delivered.

Right after our worship gathering was over we had a meeting for all who were interested in our upcoming Dominican Republic mission trip. I am so stoked at the number of Crossroaders who are at least thinking about going. We had 22 people at the meeting and it was a good time. We had a good meal together and then discussed our trip. A big thanks to Angie K. for all she did for the meeting as well as all she has done to get ready for the mission trip.

After the DR mission trip meeting, I had about a 45 minute break before our bi-monthly staff meeting. I love our staff. They are an awesome group of volunteers who have really stepped up to help run all the ministries of Crossroads Church and I really appreciate all that they do. It was, as always a good and fun meeting. It is so nice working and serving with people who love each other and the Lord.

I finally left the church building around 5 and hung out with all my girls in their room until their bedtime and now I am about to crash in front of the TV with a monster bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios!

God is doing some crazy cool stuff at Crossroads Church and it is a rockin awesome thing to be a part of!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Running Without Ian

I ran alone this afternoon for the first time since September 6. We had a Halloween outreach event at the church last night so Ian and I weren't able to go on our normal weekly Friday evening run. I missed the long run and the time with Ian but the outreach went well and the fellowship was great!

I didn't want to completely miss a run so right after the girls had their lunch and Anna was on her way down for a nap, I took off and ran the Westover (WV) hills. I took my Zune along with me since I didn't have Ian and kicked it old school with some Brian Adams and a little CCR (Creedance Clearwater Revival). It was an absolutely perfect West Virginia day at 67 degrees and the run felt really good even if the hills were a little tough. I am not sure how far I ran but I was out for 36:19.

Also had a great day with my family and am looking forward to preaching God's word tomorrow (it's a crazy cool privilege). Don't forget to set you clocks back tonight so you will make it to church on time in the morning.