How Are Small Groups Made?

I read the most interesting article today about Small Groups. It was entitled “Why Churches Should Euthanize Small Groups“. It really gave me some things to think about. Take a moment and go read the article for yourself (the link above will open a new window), the blog will be here when you get back… Interesting isn’t it? Some very strong language and concepts with regard to Small Groups. I have to be really honest and admit that I agreed with a great majority of that article. Especially when I think back of all of the Small Groups that I … Continue reading How Are Small Groups Made?

Do Policeman Speed?

I had one of those “deep thoughts while grass cutting” moments again today. It happens every time. I think it might be the combination of boredom and music on my iPod that makes these things happen. Regardless, I have a question…Do you think Policeman ever speed or break the law? Do fireman ever play with matches, fire or fireworks? If you answered yes to either of these questions, I have another question: Why do we bring major judgement upon a Pastor that fails? I think I just lost half of the people reading this post. If you’re still with me, … Continue reading Do Policeman Speed?

Doing The Work

Ask yourself these questions:

Q: If tragedy struck your city, would your church be the one they look to for help?

Q: If tragedy hit your neighborhood, would your family be where they turn?

These are the questions that struck me as I have watched the struggles in Nashville unfold. In the midst of the flooding and relief, one church has led the recovery. Imagine that…not the government, not FEMA, not the Salvation Army or Red Cross. A Church and it’s people. Helping the wounded, the broken, those that mourn. The Church and it’s people.

I hesitate to mention the name of the church because as much as I love their Pastor, even he would say that this isn’t about them or their glory. And that is my point exactly. Cross Point Church in Nashville Tennessee is leading the charge to help Nashville get back on her feet again. Make no mistake, this doesn’t happen when tragedy strikes, it happens in the days, weeks and months before. It happens when a member needs a hand. It happens in a home church when a family experiences tragedy. It happens in the parking lot with one brother praying for another. As I often like to say…you have to “do the work” to be prepared.

Continue reading “Doing The Work”

Don’t Fence Me In!

I’m headed to Houston and Chicago this week and Norfolk, Virginia next week. While I’m busy getting my “travel on”, I thought I would share other links to check out. I titled this “Don’t Fence Me In” because I often wonder if we don’t become silo’d in our view of the church. I have the absolute honor and blessing of calling several Pastors, Worship Leaders, Youth Pastors and Church Planters both friends and mentors. I find it so refreshing to sit and hear their heart for ministry. I am reminded that we (the church) should never let our border wars … Continue reading Don’t Fence Me In!

Get Expelled This Summer…Again!

I received an email this evening from a subscriber to my blog that has an opportunity for each of us to consider. It is my honor to share something this important through my site. Below is an excerpt of the email I received… “I am subscriber of your blog…..I have enjoyed reading and listening your blog for sometime now…. Can you help me with something? I am in charge of the re-release of our film Expelled…The goal is to gain 1,000 new theaters to release the film….over the summer…We are booking new theaters now… The caveat is that we need … Continue reading Get Expelled This Summer…Again!

Quotable

“Today there are thousands of people sitting in church pews every Sunday who look like they’ve got it together on the outside but are broken on the inside. People who want to grab a Christian brother or sister by the shoulders and shout, “I’m not together! I’m in trouble! My relationship with God is terrible! I feel like a fake!” Instead, they pass out another bulletin or stack another chair, afraid to reach out, because everyone else looks like they have life’s problems whipped” –Michael English from the book “The Prodigal Comes Home“ “Stained Glass Masquerade” by Casting Crowns Continue reading Quotable

The Only Thing That's Good In Me

Let me begin by thanking Kerri for her recommendation of the new Michael English book “The Prodigal Comes Home” a few weeks ago. I started reading it on Friday and couldn’t put it down until I finished it last night. I am still thinking about it today. It’s not a fairy tale story. I won’t give away details, but I recommend this book to anyone. To those that struggle with addiction, self-doubt, Religion vs. Jesus, failure, doubt and self control…this book is a must read. It’s a story of Gods endless pursuit of our heart and His matchless grace. Michael … Continue reading The Only Thing That's Good In Me

The Only Thing That’s Good In Me

Let me begin by thanking Kerri for her recommendation of the new Michael English book “The Prodigal Comes Home” a few weeks ago. I started reading it on Friday and couldn’t put it down until I finished it last night. I am still thinking about it today. It’s not a fairy tale story. I won’t give away details, but I recommend this book to anyone. To those that struggle with addiction, self-doubt, Religion vs. Jesus, failure, doubt and self control…this book is a must read. It’s a story of Gods endless pursuit of our heart and His matchless grace. Michael … Continue reading The Only Thing That’s Good In Me

If Only They Knew…

I didn’t post anything on Heath Ledgers tragic death last week. I, like everyone else, was stunned at the news. To see a young life end so quickly and unexpectedly is hard to comprehend. Yet what I find so tragic is the reports after his death. It seemed like every web site, magazine and news paper were digging deeper and deeper into his life. Reports of drug use, insomnia, partying and depression were just a few that I read. Why do we do that? Why must we know that? One of my favorite books is “Everybody’s Normal Until You Get … Continue reading If Only They Knew…

The Only Jesus???

This one has been bothering me ever since yesterday morning. You have probably heard it said that “you might be the only Jesus some people will ever see“. Those words sank deep into my mind yesterday as I sat in Chicago Midway Airport. Our flight was delayed for over an hour so the crowd at the gate was huge. The overhead TV was rolling “Good Morning America”. In between reports on the tropical storm headed for Florida, came the days news. The storm didn’t bother me. GMA didn’t bother me either. What bothered me was the report on a church … Continue reading The Only Jesus???

Where Do You Go?

Funny thing about Kansas City and Ohio…very few direct flight opportunities. Actually, there was two. Thus, I landed in KC at about 7:45am this morning. Since our event isn’t until tomorrow morning, I had a full day and nothing to do. I tried to check into my hotel, but alas..”there was no room in the inn”. Literally! The Hampton Inn where I am staying was 100% full so I had to wait until about 3:00! A brief check of my situation revealed that I had a book, a laptop, and a whole lot of time. So, I did what most … Continue reading Where Do You Go?

Much Too High a Price

My final post from this week of reflection on Easter Sunday. I wasn’t going to post anything else as I wanted to remember that Sunday is coming. But this song came across iTunes today and was one final reminder…He paid much too high a price. Below are some of the lyrics that hit me hard. May I remember, not only at Easter, to remember the high price. “You paid much too high a price for me Your tears, your blood, the pain To have my soul just stirred at times Yet never truly changed. You deserve a fiery love That … Continue reading Much Too High a Price

Wish

Below is another opportunity to pause this week and reflect on what Friday and Sunday are all about. The song is by Brian Littrell of Backstreet Boy fame. This one has not gotten much airplay, if any. When put to video from the movie “The Passion”, it creates a stirring, gut wrenching reminder of what Christ endured for our sin. As the song says “I know I should have been there”. A word of caution, this might not be suitable for the younger viewers as the images come directly from “The Passion”. While the images are at times graphic, I … Continue reading Wish

Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day…

Poor Lazarus. Imagine if you were not feeling well, I mean REALLY not feeling well and when you prayed your little heart out, someone informed you that Jesus would get back to you in a few days. It would be like the prayer equivalent of leaving a voice mail. In the days of fast food, cell phones, “instant” messages and TIVO, we really have grown accustomed to a response a bit quicker then that haven’t we? I know this blogger sure expects it. When something’s not right in my world, I want instant peace. I want someone somewhere to inform … Continue reading Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day…

Rome Wasn't Built in a Day…

Poor Lazarus. Imagine if you were not feeling well, I mean REALLY not feeling well and when you prayed your little heart out, someone informed you that Jesus would get back to you in a few days. It would be like the prayer equivalent of leaving a voice mail. In the days of fast food, cell phones, “instant” messages and TIVO, we really have grown accustomed to a response a bit quicker then that haven’t we? I know this blogger sure expects it. When something’s not right in my world, I want instant peace. I want someone somewhere to inform … Continue reading Rome Wasn't Built in a Day…

I'm Not Ready To Make Nice!

“I’m not ready to make nice, I’m not ready to back down” – Dixie Chicks I was in a store somewhere this weekend and heard the latest offering from the Dixie Chicks on the in-store Musak. I’m not sure why, but I can’t get it out of my head. I even downloaded it from iTunes today. I think I am intrigued by the lyric above because I have been placing in the context of “what would Jesus do”? When conflict arose, what did our Rabbi and teacher do? What are we called to do when conflict meets us at home, … Continue reading I'm Not Ready To Make Nice!

I’m Not Ready To Make Nice!

“I’m not ready to make nice, I’m not ready to back down” – Dixie Chicks I was in a store somewhere this weekend and heard the latest offering from the Dixie Chicks on the in-store Musak. I’m not sure why, but I can’t get it out of my head. I even downloaded it from iTunes today. I think I am intrigued by the lyric above because I have been placing in the context of “what would Jesus do”? When conflict arose, what did our Rabbi and teacher do? What are we called to do when conflict meets us at home, … Continue reading I’m Not Ready To Make Nice!

Which Way Are You Facing?

“You set me free to live my life; you became my reason to survive the great divide. You set me free”. – Scott Stapp I may be aging myself here, but did anyone else have one of the station wagons like the one pictured growing up? If you did, then you will relate to this post. Many an hour was devoted to family trips traveling in this vehicle. Now if you remember, there was a unique feature of the backseat of this death trap. That’s right, it faced backwards. In other words, if you had the pleasure of sitting in … Continue reading Which Way Are You Facing?

Lose My Soul

I’m not gonna lie..I’m not a fan of Tobymac. Well, I should say I wasn’t a fan of Tobymac. Sadly, I don’t have a really good reason except when DC Talk split, I found my allegiance to the group going to Michael Tate. Plus I am not sure I ever recovered from my disappointment that these 3 guys just couldn’t find a way to get along. “Jesus Freak” is still one of the greatest CD’s ever created in Christian music culture. No doubt about it. So when I kept hearing people talk about the latest offering from Tobymac, I will … Continue reading Lose My Soul

We’re Not Home Yet…

As I write this, I am sitting on my return flight from San Antonio. I’m one day later then I was supposed to be. Due to bad weather last night, my flight was canceled and I was forced to stay over night. I still don’t know where my luggage ended up. It has been an interesting trip. Over the last 2 nights, I have stayed at the world famous “Westin Resort” (which I was informed goes for nearly $300 a night) and a 4 star Omni Hotel last night. Both were not planned, but were arranged due to water damage … Continue reading We’re Not Home Yet…

We're Not Home Yet…

As I write this, I am sitting on my return flight from San Antonio. I’m one day later then I was supposed to be. Due to bad weather last night, my flight was canceled and I was forced to stay over night. I still don’t know where my luggage ended up. It has been an interesting trip. Over the last 2 nights, I have stayed at the world famous “Westin Resort” (which I was informed goes for nearly $300 a night) and a 4 star Omni Hotel last night. Both were not planned, but were arranged due to water damage … Continue reading We're Not Home Yet…

What Was He Talking About?

I bet the line to talk to Paul is going to pretty long in Heaven. There were several things he wrote that I know I could sure use a little clarification on. One of them has got to be the following: “To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassing great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I asked the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ … Continue reading What Was He Talking About?

Influence

If you ever wondered how to make a man get misty eyed on a flight from Baltimore to Columbus, give him a copy of “Chasing Daylight” by Erwin McManus and see what happens. More specifically, take him directly to Chapter 4 and have him read the story on page 117-121 about “Ron the Gas Station attendant” and “Dave the UPS Driver”. Folks, I thought I was gonna need a tissue. What an incredibly heartbreaking, but powerful story about the impact we have on other peoples lives. The stories to long to repeat here, but the quotes from McManus bear repeating: … Continue reading Influence

Who is Leading Worship?

This is posted in honor of the Chris Tomlin concert which was cancelled due to weather tonight. I was really looking forward to it too….. Several months ago a friend and I were discussing, among other things, worship music. The discussion ranged from our eager anticipating of a new worship leader joining our church, to singers like Chris Tomlin. Then came a question which I have pondered for weeks now. He simply said “do you think God will have him (Chris Tomlin) lead worship when we get to heaven?” At first I kinda laughed it off. Yet that question has … Continue reading Who is Leading Worship?

Immeasurably More – Prayer Update

Let me start by again thanking each and every one of you that committed to praying, offered prayers, linked to my blog post and shared words of encouragement the past few days. I believe in the words that will follow, you will both be glad you did and see that we serve an awesome and mighty God. From what my wife told me this evening, the surgery for Jordan went very well. He will likely be leaving the hospital in a few days to return home. If I understood her correctly, the tumor had miraculously not connected itself as they … Continue reading Immeasurably More – Prayer Update

Blind Faith

I drove in some of the worst winter weather I have seen in a while today. I found myself caught in the dreaded “White Out” conditions. On my mind prior to those conditions was Jordan’s pending surgery on Wednesday. At that moment, I found the conditions so appropriate for my thoughts. Our prayers, our fears, our concerns come down to 2 words: Blind Faith. I knew there was at least one car in front of me on I-70 today. I couldn’t see them, but I knew they were there. All I could see was a sheet of white. Yet I … Continue reading Blind Faith

Where I Go….

“Can I climb up in your lap? I don’t want to leave. Jesus, sing over me” – Mercyme I can’t thank all of you enough for your response to my last post. I appreciate your hearts and compassion for someone in the midst of a storm. When I hear news like this, I can’t say that I don’t feel a few rain drops in my world as well. I find myself putting another tick mark beside question number one on my list of things to ask when I get to heaven. You know the one…”Lord, why do things like this … Continue reading Where I Go….

The Great Physician, A Call to Prayer

Dear Brothers and Sisters in the blogging community, I have an urgent prayer request that I am asking each of you to consider. Having read many of your blogs, I know that the subject is something that has touched us all. My reading has also told me that you are all believers in the same “Great Physician”. His plan is perfect. His burden is light and his grace is sufficient. A few weeks ago a husband, father, and brother in Christ found out that he has a large tumor that must be removed. He is scheduled for surgery this Wednesday, … Continue reading The Great Physician, A Call to Prayer

Splash Zone!

“David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the Lord with all his might” (2 Samuel 6:14) I don’t lead my own church, but if I did, the very first thing I would install/require is a “splash zone” in the first 5 rows of the sanctuary! What am I talking about? Let me explain. Several years ago, my wife and I were members of a church plant. Without question, our best Sunday’s of worship were when the guys from the local “Refuge” ministry would visit. Refuge is an outreach camp in southern, Ohio where men battling addictions go to detox, and … Continue reading Splash Zone!

Thy Neighbor

It’s confession time. This one hit me around 3am this morning. Matthew 19:19 says “…love thy neighbor as thyself”. Am I the only one in the world that applies my own, sad, theology to this verse by saying; “Jesus didn’t really mean our next door neighbors because they didn’t have cul-de-sac’s back then.” Please tell me I’m not the only one….please? Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I run and hide when I see my neighbors, I just know, deep down that I don’t follow that verse nearly enough. Then it happens, the neighborhood association sends out an email … Continue reading Thy Neighbor

The Car

“It’s not the car that I’m needin’, just the chance to be with him. I know that once these days roll past us, they will never come again. So little time and we spend way too much apart. There will always be a part of us together in that car.” – Jeff Carson “The Boy” and I have been looking forward to today. We started off by signing up for coach pitch baseball. Then it was off to “Awana Grand Prix Car Cutting” at church. Once the car was completed, we snuck into the gym for a little “round the … Continue reading The Car

Crazy…

“No we’re never gonna survive unless we are a little crazy” – Seal A few weeks ago, I was having lunch with my boss and he said the strangest thing. I don’t even remember the context, but his statement went like this; “Aaron, everyone’s got a little crazy in them. Some just show it more than other’s” For the life of me, I don’t know why I still remember that. Maybe it’s the “little bit-o-crazy” that is sneaking out of me. I think he’s right though. I think there are times when we absolutely need to be! I remember the … Continue reading Crazy…

Free Hugs…

I got this link from a blog I was reading. I have been unpacking this little video all weekend. It am totally intrigued by it. It’s amazing to me that a video with literally no background information, narration or information can say so much. To me it proves that we need to be so intentional in taking Christ’s love into the world. People are jaded, frustrated, and lack trust. Even in something as simple as a hug. This is powerful… Continue reading Free Hugs…

What’s Going On In The Kitchen?

“I’m going home, to the place where I belong. Where your love has always been enough for me” – Chris Daughtry Much of my preparation for the upcoming “Group Link” event has centered around the kitchen table. Since we are focusing our attention to family and community, it would only seem appropriate that this is where we spend our time. After all, isn’t that where most major family events, decisions, stories and memories begin and end? I was thinking this week about some family events over the years that have happened around that object. Here’s just a few – It’s … Continue reading What’s Going On In The Kitchen?

What's Going On In The Kitchen?

“I’m going home, to the place where I belong. Where your love has always been enough for me” – Chris Daughtry Much of my preparation for the upcoming “Group Link” event has centered around the kitchen table. Since we are focusing our attention to family and community, it would only seem appropriate that this is where we spend our time. After all, isn’t that where most major family events, decisions, stories and memories begin and end? I was thinking this week about some family events over the years that have happened around that object. Here’s just a few – It’s … Continue reading What's Going On In The Kitchen?

Knowing Who Your Friends Are

Tony Campolo tells the story of how his mother requested that he attend the funeral of a neighbor that had died. He didn’t know it, but he went to the wrong funeral home. When he got to (what he thought) was the funeral home, the only person there was the wife of the deceased man. He kindly went in, sat beside her and she thanked him for coming. Together, they approached the casket. It was at this moment that Tony realized, he had no idea who this women, or her deceased husband were. He didn’t have the heart to say anything, … Continue reading Knowing Who Your Friends Are

Two Totally Different Books

I have read two books so far this year and the contrast between the two is amazing. The first book I read this year was “Courageous Leadership” by Bill Hybels. It was a good read, but to be honest, I didn’t connect with it in the way that I thought I would. I just completed “Searching for God Knows What” by Donald Miller. I was able to connect with this book on a greater level of both understanding and connectivity then “Courageous”. There are a few reasons for this. First of all, in a recent personality profile exam, I was … Continue reading Two Totally Different Books

Where Everybody Knows Your Name..

Where is your place? Where in this crazy world do you go to be who you really are? When things get bad, who do you call? When things are great, do you call the same people? Where does “everybody know your name”? I met a new customer last week and we wrapped up our business right around the lunch hour. He kindly asked me if I would join him for lunch, so I gladly accepted. We were riding in his car when he announced that we would be dining at the local Elks club. Since I had never set foot … Continue reading Where Everybody Knows Your Name..

It's a Little Like Pretty Woman

Maybe I am just trying to justify why watching “Pretty Woman” AGAIN the other night is 2 hours of my life I will never get back, but these are some random thoughts after watching this film. Weren’t we all, at some point, something like Julia Roberts character in the movie? Our lives are at a place we don’t want to be. We are doing something we never thought we would do. We feel helpless, lost and meaningless to ourselves and the world. We know we have more to offer, but as she said “the bad stuff is easier to believe”. … Continue reading It's a Little Like Pretty Woman

It’s a Little Like Pretty Woman

Maybe I am just trying to justify why watching “Pretty Woman” AGAIN the other night is 2 hours of my life I will never get back, but these are some random thoughts after watching this film. Weren’t we all, at some point, something like Julia Roberts character in the movie? Our lives are at a place we don’t want to be. We are doing something we never thought we would do. We feel helpless, lost and meaningless to ourselves and the world. We know we have more to offer, but as she said “the bad stuff is easier to believe”. … Continue reading It’s a Little Like Pretty Woman