Saturday, April 26, 2008

Haircuts & Late Nights

Well, today Erin gave me my first haircut! We We decided that getting some clippers and just doing it ourselves is a much better investment of money, time &efficiency. So I got some clippers and Erin went at it! She did a GREAT job. She is so good at figuring things out and doing them well! She is a natural at oil painting with Bob Ross and now a master hair cutter! She picks things up fast and well, I am so proud of her! She really is the brains behind so many ideas, ministry and creative things that we do. Sometimes when we talk about stuff I just overwhelmed with ideas because she has so many stinking good ones. I know I can always count on her to help me out when I am stumped or not sure what to do!

Right now I am watching baby Allie while Erin gets some rest! I have been listening to one of my favorite speakers, Ed Young. Fellowship Church (which Ed pastors) does a monthly leadership training called Leadership Uncensored! It is an amazing resource that any one in ministry should receive. Ed is one of my favorite communicators of all time! When we went down to his church in Texas for the C3 conference a few months ago we were blown away with the church and the level of creativity they have! Anyway, I have been sitting here on the couch with my ipod taking notes and writing down so many thoughts as I learn from the best! I LOVE learning and growing in the calling God has called me too, the local church! I have heard it said that pilots have to under go strict training every year again and agian no matter how long they have been flying. Someone asked why they have to keep doing training and the response was, "Because lives depend on my skills." I believe that as Christians and as leaders in the church lives depend on our skills to reach out and challenge people to become ALL that God has called them to be!!! If it were simply up to God to reach people don't you think EVERYONE would have been reached? Of course they would have, but He chose us to be His ambassadors and servants to go unto all the earth and share the good news! I don't know about you but I want my skills to be sharpened by the Holy Spirit as I press on to the calling God has for me!!!

By the way, Zion took these pictures! Isn't she the smartest 3 year old ever?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

JSM & Allie

Man tonight at JSM was great! We had 55 middle schoolers and over 80 people in the zone for service tonight! Daryn Crawford spoke about not just living the normal American dream but to live the dream God has for you! He did an awesome job communicating! We are getting more and more students every week! The service was fun tonight too, we did our own American Idol game tonight that was pretty fun!

Here are some more pics of little baby Allie! Things are going great! Erin's dad and step mom were in town here for a few days and left early this morning. It was great to be with them and show off baby Allie. Zion had a great time with her grammy & papaw too. Right now I am watching Allie and letting Erin try and get some rest! We are a little lacking in the long block of sleep stuff. We or more so Erin only get a few hours of sleep at a time then it is up with changing diapers or for mommy feeding Allie! It will be nice to get back to at least a 5 hour chunk of sleep, but we are cherishing every moment of this season. Well, I just got done watching American Idol and I am going to read a bit and study then hopefully try to lay down and get SOME sleep.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tuesday What A Great Day!

Well, we are doing great with little baby Allie! We went yesterday to her check up and she is doing perfect. She gained 4 ounces which I guess would be like 30 pounds in a few days for an adult (sounds like something I could do easily). We are having a blast with her and Zion! She is a very peaceful baby! Is is somewhat hard to get up in the morning now on schedule since we are getting interrupted sleep throughout the night (well at least mommy, I just moan for sympathy and turn over telling her what a great job she is doing).

Youth has been going great these last few weeks. Danny has filled in leading worship which has been a great opportunity for him to grow and get some experience leading. There is no better teacher sometimes than just jumping in the lion's den and learning how to survive and conquer. Different leaders have been speaking each week to the youth. It has been awesome for the students to hear different leaders and there unique way of talking about great issues we have been dealing with in our series. I love to get leaders involved and give them opportunity to use the things God is depositing into them. To many leaders and churches just depend on the "LEADER" to do everything. They never give people chances to step out and be used in fear of it not going the way they WANT it to go. Sometimes you have to give up your control on things and let others step up to the plate and take a swing. You can't get anywhere being a ball hog and never passing the ball to others and let them shine. I would rather be a stage for someone to stand on and shine than be someone who stands on others to try and shine for myself. God is good and we are called to lift others up into their destiny. What you make happen for others God will make happen for you!!! If you just help enough other people get what they want out of life you to will get what you want out of life! And more importantly what God wants for your life! Serve then be served! You are blessed to be a blessing! Be a lifter not a sifter! When you are around others lift them up rather than letting them be sifted down to the bottom.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

1st Full Day Home

Well, today I wasn't able to make it to church! We were up most of the night getting Allie situated, fed, diaper changes, walking, etc... about the time church came around was the time that Erin HAD to get some rest and I held Allie and watched her. Erin is such a trooper, she is running on like 30 minute naps here and there and still able to do all she does!!! I married a mommy machine, she is the VERY BEST ever!!! Allie is doing great, we are home now settled in our routine (kind of). We are doing our best to switch duties every now and then letting each other get some rest and share the parental stuff. It is a little different than last time having another little one too. We have to take care of Zion and make sure she is getting what she needs too, baths, play time, food, sleep, learning, etc... So it feels like a full house with 2 little ones, but it is AWESOME!!! Rachel (the 1st year masters commission student living with us) is a HUGE help. She is always doing dishes, cleaning, playing with Zion, and just being such a servant. It has been a huge blessing having her live with us!!! We are so excited to show Allie off to everyone here and our family back home! We are so proud of both of our super duper awesome girls! The church is making us meals all week and tonight the Starnes family brought us some amazing food! It is such a blessing being part of a loving and thoughtful church!!! Here are some more videos of our family!!!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Baby Allie

Well, Thursday morning about 12:30am Erin felt like she was going to have little baby Allie. So we left in the midst of the nasty storm and headed to the hospital after packing EVERYTHING of course. She had dilated to a 2 by the time we got there, then as they monitored her a 3. So we got checked in and got ready to get the adventure started. Not long after getting everything going Erin started moving right along and after 10 minutes of pushing baby Allie entered the world at 11:55am Thursday, April 10th weighing 7 pounds 4 ounces and 19 and a half inches long!!! Erin did such an amazing job at giving birth as usual!!! Now we are hanging out in our post-partum room until tomorrow. The doctors want us to stay one more night to keep checking things and all that so here we are! We have had some visitors and some awesome gifts (like the cookies & fruit from the McClanahan's man they rock! And some awesome flowers from Journey!!!) We are doing great and trying to sleep every second we can since they don't come often here! We have the most perfect family ever!!! Zion is so excited about Allie she kisses her and pets her head all the time and keeps telling her, "I'm your big sistol"

On a side note shouldn't churches be like hospitals (besides the smell)? I mean think about it the church should be a place of healing & restoration. We should be saving souls that are broken, hurt, dying, sick, lost, etc... I think the church should be reaching these kinds of people. A hospital isn't made for the well but for the sick, and Jesus said he came for the sick not the well! Don't get me wrong though the "saved folks" should be like the staff at a hospital. They are the ones who are serving the sick and making sure the hospital is doing what it is supposed to do! If you are in a church and saved you should be serving the vision of the church not for your own well being but for ALL the people who need you (the sick & broken) When church becomes about the well being more well then you might as well turn the church into a daycare feeding spiritual babies who complain about wanting deeper bible studies, deeper worship, more theology, more of the really "DEEP" things of God they say! I think the deep things of God are doing what He COMMANDED us to do all throughout scripture, come follow me and I'll make you fishers of men!!! God wants fisherman not yacht tanners! Meaning He said if you want to follow me then you have to go fishing for souls not sitting on your spiritual lazy floaty getting more "SUN or SON" as the spiritual deep people say I guess. The church should be like a hospital where the saved and Christian people should be serving the broken and hurt of the community! I think the emergency room should be our Sunday services! That's where the intense good stuff really happens. If someone is sick that is where they usually go to get better quick. If someone is going to come to church it will probably be the Sunday morning service! So we better be ready to medicate them with Jesus! Man I am starting to preach now! Well, I could go on and on about this as I write it is coming to me! Then the different wings of a hospital should be like the different ministries and on-ramps we have for people to get well and restored! Anyway, you get the point! Man this is good! Well, we have a new baby and it is awesome!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

5th Year Anniversary

Man, Wednesday night at youth was awesome! We had 51 middle school students & 2 students prayed the prayer of salvation. There were 70+ people in the zone between leaders, students, & high school leaders! Jarred Day spoke and did an amazing job communicating with the students! Our topic was MythBusters and Jarred broke some myths that we believe about God!!! We did the pop rocks & coke challenge. Which the myth is it will make your stomach explode...but no teenager blew up so that is good! We had a great service!!!

Today is Erin and I's 5th year anniversary! And it has been the best 5 years of my life!!! I love my family more than anything in this world!!! We are going to go up to Fayetteville today to go out and eat and Erin wants to walk around in order to have the baby! She is VERY ready to give birth and doesn't want to be induced. So hopefully this might be the catalyst to get things rolling!

Well, we are going to get ready and head out for our anniversary!!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A Great Day

Man, the concert was AMAZING Saturday night! We had tons of teenagers helping and taking ownership in putting on the concert! The bands did an amazing job and we made a great connection! We were able to hang out with them until late night talking and just laughing together! They are great guys doing a great work! The students were blown away by the concert, they had a BLAST to say the least! I had students calling me, emailing me, etc... saying how much they loved it!!! What a great opportunity it was to have EleventySeven come in and their opening band, the Switch!

Well today I got the opportunity to speak at the high school during lunch for youth alive! I had about 15 minutes to share about salvation & Jesus! So it was a great time of hanging out and speaking into the lives of these awesome young people!!! I love going up to the school for lunches and things it makes such a huge impact of these teenagers to be part of THEIR world! So many times we ask them to step into OUR churches. but sometimes we have to go to THEIR places too in order to reach them and show them they matter to us and GOD!!!

Tonight we are ending our 12 week leadership training we have been doing every Tuesday night! We have taught hard, covered much vision and ground going through lots and lots of things! We have really built a solid leadership foundation! We just opened it up to any and everybody who wanted to get more involved in the life of Journey. We had an average of 50 - 75 people each week as we taught on several different things! Tonight we are ending it with a big pitch in dinner to just hang out and end with a bang!