Thursday, November 30, 2006

Most: We're doing Starting Point for our Thursday night Life Group meetings. Tonight is chapter 8 which has an accompanying movie to watch. The movie is called "Most". I popped it in over my morning breakfast. I was about 4 seconds into the movie when I realized that this wasn't a morning breakfast movie.

I'll let the movie website speak for itself- Most . But one of the facts I found most amazing after watching the movie is that "most" in czech (the language in which the movie is filmed) means The Bridge.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Some pictures from last week

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

This is Toccoa Falls located on the campus of Toccoa Falls College. The waterfall is 186 feet- higher than Niagara falls. Also home to the infamous drop a tv off the falls trick in the winter of 2000.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Heather and Nathan

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Nathan playing on the rocks.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

This is Tallulah Gorge and where we got engaged almost 6 years ago! Northeast Georgia is absolutely beautiful and I don't think I fully appreciated it's beauty till we returned there after college.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Heather and I are standing on the old incline station at the top of the gorge. You can just barely see the power plant that was built long ago in the background.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Confession: I don't like Christmas music. There are some songs I like but most of it irritates me.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

To Kill a Mockingbird: by Harper Lee. Heather's been wanting me to read this book for a while now and I've just been putting it off. It seemed like a good vacation book so I finally decided to read it and I finished it last night. It probably now ranks up there close to Huck Finn as favorite "childhood" book. It's a great tale of children and seeing the world through a child's eyes. Children are often smarter than adults.

For the 2% of the population who has never read the book (of whose company I was part of less than a few days ago) a poor white woman claimed that a black man attacked and raped her in her own home. It was clear for all to see at the trial that the black man was incapable of performing this act and instead the white woman came on to the black man and he declined her sexual advances. But because of the ugly racism and the view of blacks as being second class during the early 1930's the man was found guilty and sentenced to death.

At first is seemed as noone cared but then as the book goes on you see the changes in people's hearts and how not everyone would have unfairly convicted the man.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Racism: I hate racism. I don't approve of it and I strive to be a person that doesn't make assumptions based on color or nationality.

I think that racism stems out of fear. Fear of being different, fear of being the color you are because of all the associations that comes with it. I think that racism is more prevelant than we want to believe. I also think that racism comes out of the ugliness of our souls. Just as man is inherently evil part of that evil produces racism. I think that people are mostly good at hiding our racism just like we're good at hiding our ugliness then sometimes it creeps out and starts destroying things.

I wish that racism would cease but I'm not banking on it. Until then or until Christ returns the best I can do is to take personal responsibility on how I act and even think and try to influence others to do the same. To not just hide our racism but to try to irridicate it. Afterall every nation is going to be represented we might as well start getting along now. I can't imagine sitting at the marriage supper of the lamb beside a person of a color I hated while we were living on earth.

white/black, black/white, white/hispanic, black/hispanic, and that's just in our community of hampton roads I'm sure other places there are other races to consider...

not to mention our religious can appear overwhelming. God help us!

The Radical Reformission: by Mark Driscoll. Things I respect about Mark Driscoll.

Biblical: He describes his relationship to the scriptures as a life preserver in a rough sea. He demonstrates this in his willingness to stick to the biblical teachings on hard subjects that aren't to popular right now such as order of the home and homosexuality to name a few.

Grace: He does the above with maintaining a love for those people

Desire: Moreso than grace however he has an incredible desire to see lost people saved regardless of how "popular" he's going to be.

Emergent: He deals with emergent theology better than anyone I've read. I believe he exposes heresies for what they are but doesn't throw the baby out with the bath water.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Catch Up: I've been on vacation the last couple of days and my internet connection has been sporadic at best. That's not a bad thing. We're now finally down in Atlanta where we'll be until Sunday when we return home.

Family: On friday we drove down to Spartarburg, SC to visit with my sister, Beth and her husband and kids- Jason, Luke and Abby. I tell Luke he's my favorite nephew and Abby my favorite niece. This will be true unless my sister decides to have one more and then one of them will have the share the glory of my favorites list.

We had a great time and the kids all got along great. I think it was one of the best times I've been able to spend with them in a long time. We don't get to see each other as often as I'd like and when we do it's always a whirlwind of holiday's and visitng all other family with all other family trying to visit at the same time. Pure mayhem. But this time we beat the holiday rush by going a week before thanksgiving. It was great.

Toccoa: On Saturday we went to our alma mater, Toccoa Falls College. We did it as a fun trip and a trip to relax and visit the old places we once trounced. I'll post some pictures of what we saw and did. It was weird being back on campus after being away so long and with students in session. It was also weird at 26 being an old fart on the campus and having college kids look at me like I'm outdated. But I had fun, got to visit with a few students we know on campus and relax.

Christina: This is a shout out to Christina. I've known her since birth and have watched her grow up over the years. She was in the youth group I interned at one summer in college and I remember her being in Jr. high responding to an invitation to give her life more fully to God. Today she is going to TFC. Currently pursuing missions but leaving the door open for whatever God would have her to do. She is wise beyond her years and is a true woman of God. She loves people and loves God- he's going to do mighty things in her one day. She holds a special place in Heather and my heart! We had the chance to catch up a little while on campus, it was great.

Meetings: Today I took a tour of North Point Church in Alpharetta, GA ( I wanted to see how they are doing ministry and ask some practical questions. Their facility if phenomenal and will literally overwhelm you. Every space has function though and that's impressive. What I was most impressed is that every person I spoke with was excited about what North Point is doing and glad they are on board. Every person also knew what they were good at and did well and explaining it to me and how it fit into the vision of the church. They all spoke as if they were as important as Andy Stanley, in a humble, genuine way!

I also had a meeting with Ed Stetzer ( to pick his church planting brain. I met him at the North American Mission Board (Southern Baptist) where he has an office. Their building is incredible and I've seen less security at the Pentagon. My meeting with him was brief but I was able to ask him questions about church planting and some operational things I've been mulling around.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Here it is.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

bzz: I am a bzz agent. I'm not even sure where I heard about it but is a site where companies use them for word of mouth advertising. offers points and then rewards for being an honest word of mouth advertiser. I signed up about 6 months ago. It was free and I like the idea of tipping and word of mouth advertising. Well I got an offer for a sonicare toothbrush to be a bzzagent for it. I filled out the form and viola' today my $90 sonicare toothbrush showed up. So now I buzz.

Video: I've been busting my hiny on a video that I sent out to our newsleeter supporters today and will have up on our website asap.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Books: I read two books over the weekend I'll comment briefly on them below.

Confession of a reformissional Rev. by Mark Driscoll- this book was great and one of the most encouraging I've read in a long time. Mark clearly loves people, mainly the "unsaved". Mark also clearly loves the gospel of Jesus Christ and refuses to compromise the gospel. This autobiography is one of the funniest books I've read in long time as well, he's blunt and honest. What was most surprising is that the book goes into his reformed theology which was completely unexpected but also quite appropriate.

Calvinism in the Las Vegas Airport by Richard Mouw- Richard Mouw is the president of Fuller Theological, which he doesn't even mention until the last few chapters of the book and then only in passing as an unimportant fact. I'm not what you would call a reformed thinker or reformed theologian but I read this book at the recommendation of a friend after I was asking about his newly grasped calvinism.

The subject of TULIP is as gracefully handled as I've ever heart and Richard Mouw gives his honest opinions of some of the more hard to handle parts of calvinism. It's apparent by his writing that while he values and even loves a calvinist approach to salvation there are parts that don't sit well with him or sit well with scripture.

This was merely a side note in the book but Mouw mentioned a certain type of universalism in the book that I think I agree with. This is a thought I've had for some time now particularly after dealing with people from different religions. Mouw used the same example that I would use. He has a mormon friend that believes that he can only be saved by grace alone. It is only by the act of God that he can receive salvation. I too have talked to many mormons that tell me/us the same thing. But, Mouw asks, what about all the other things you believe in like that God was once a human and that if you play your cards right you might get to be a diety as well? Leaving those questions unanswered he wonders if that Mormon friend will be in heaven, if his grasp of divine grace includes salvation. I've wondered the same.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Bridge Link: We're getting ready for Bridge Link, which is tomorrow night. I'm excited about the evening. We have a few new things that we're going to be presenting to both people already part of the Bridge and people that are interested. The first is the video we made featuring testimonials from Launch Team members and the second is that I'm giving a mini-message about the views of God.

Open your eyes: Yesterday I had one of those moments where suddenly God makes me aware that I'm looking through life with a skewed perception. I have to be honest and I never intended for my mind to go this way. But I started to get stressed out. I started to wonder if God was really going to grow his church in Suffolk. I started to wonder if I was doing the right things to stimulate growth. I started to wonder if I as doing enough or doing it right and I started to wonder if I was ever going to see The Bridge Church reach it's potential.

Then as I was driving and praying I felt convicted? Since when was this plant ever about me. Since when was The Bridge about my glory as lead pastor and not on God's glory as...God? Truth is it never was intended to be about me and my success but rather on us being missional being focused on the community and making them aware of the deep spiritual need in their lives.

Change: I believe this is going to change a little bit of our interaction with the community. I would love to see us get into the community in news way...I don't know what these are yet. But I know it will be what God wants us to do.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Luke: Congrat to my favorite nephew Luke. My sister called today and told me that Luke had asked Jesus to save him and that he wants to be a Christian. Luke has had some hangups with the Christian faith. The first being that he didn't want to go to heaven. Luke has known 2 people that have gone to heaven and he didn't like the fact that once you go there you don't get to come back and you can't be around the people you love on earth.

He also has known for a while that he does stuff wrong and is a sinner but didn't want Jesus to have anything to do with it. Luke is 5 years old by the way and this week he took a huge step in his relationship with Christ.

There is no greater calling than to your family.

War: The media plays it out like it's a war. Democrat vs. Republican. If your party looses you are going to be enslaved for the next 2 years and you'll be forced to pay tariffs. Afterall the "other" party is so unlike you it's actually scientifically proven that there are two seperate human races.

I heard that later tonight there is going to be gunfire in the streets.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Identity Crisis

Trailer: Robbie and I went up to Frederick to pick up the trailer today. A few months back I got a call that a 14' trailer had been donated to our church. This is a huge gift for us literally saving us several thousand dollars. I kept waiting for a good day to come around during a week where we didn't have much going on. I finally realized that this wasn't going to happen, there are no longer weeks where there isn't much going on just weeks I can fit in a trip to Frederick.

So today Robbie and I took the 200 mile trip. We ran the gauntlet from here through DC, Richmond, Frederick and then back. We didn't hit traffic once and even got to enjoy a scenic drive through Leesburg and down 15/17 to Fredericksburg. The trailer is nice and we'll fix it up a little bit. It's going to get some fresh paint with our logo and stuff in the next month or so. I'll post a picture when we get it fixed up.

Road: This last trip to Frederick means that in the past week I have been to Richmond, Frederick, Selma North Carolina and back to Frederick. No more car trips for the next few days.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Sick: I hesistate to mention the name of this movie for fear of giving publicity to the movie. I read an article on Borat the movie. Evidently it's a faux documentary of a man from Kazakstan who is a racist, jew hating bigot. The goal of the movie appears to be as politically incorrect as possible.

It's labelled as a comedy.

I'm not defending anyone's actions here. But in a society where every public figure has to be overly careful about making comments that might be even taken as offensive I'm not sure this movie should be acceptable to be shown. Racism isn't funny. I don't every see it being funny.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Time: A few years back I realized something about pastors. Most pastors fall into two categories. There is a middle ground but this is definately the minority of church workers. The first category is the workaholic pastor. Often more ineffective than effective this pastor easily racks up 80 hours a week. Find it hard to connect with his family- probably because they resent and possibly hate him. The other type of pastor is the 20 hour a week pastor. Coming in at 10am and leaving by 2pm and taking the sacred day of Monday off. Both are ineffective, both are horrible examples to the people they are leading.

I am most ashamed of laziness. I might be a lot of bad things but I don't want to be considered lazy. Since we started planting this church I find my time more and more consumed with important things to do. Really stuff that just has to get done. A weird thing happened last week. I felt my stuff starting to go numb. I didn't notice it at first...I was numb like I said. But I had little emotion. I was accomplish lots of stuff during my day but was receiving little satisfaction from my accomplishments. I'm typically a very emotional person but I was feeling little.

In the way that God so often works he sent me a book. Time Traps by Todd Duncan. I read this quote today and wanted to share it with the readers of this blog.

"Having to go so fast to keep up, we miss stuff- our existence is truncated. Some things simply cannot be done going full speed: love, sex, conversation, food, family, friends, nature. In a whirl, we are less capable of appreciation, enjoyment, sustained concentration, sorrow, memory." Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt in Time Traps by Todd Duncan

Nasty: I've noticed a few things about this election. Politics are nasty. Nasty mostly because of the candidates smearing the others into the ground. I don't let myself get consumed with the details but I do want to figure out how I can best cast my vote.

The republicans are telling me that democrats are evil and if I have any values at all I won't vote democrat. For republicans it's clearly a battle of good versus evil and you don't want to land on the wrong side.

The democrats tell me that everything was perfect when they were in charge. In only they can control congress for the next two years this will provide balance to the force against the world's arch nemesis, George Dub. Then in '08 if a democrat can get into the white house utopia will be achieved, it will be like the good old days of the Clinton administration.

I mean with all this riding on the line the age old power of good vs. evil and the chance at utopia just on the horizon I'm torn like a pair of jeans on an '80's rocker.

Religion: Oh yeah and religion in politics. Politicians have figured that the religious vote is one they can no long ignore. I heard quoted "long gone are the days where religion in democratic party is visiting a few african american churches two weeks before the election". That was from a democrat.

So here are the days where politicians recognize the vote of the church. I suppose here are the days with a generic belief in God. I am not one of those pastors that stands on the claim that this is a christian nation. I even wonder if this "christian" nation is more detrimental to the north american church (think organism not organization). So I'm not going to fight that this is a christian nation but it will pain me to see the secularization of belief in God.

After all 93% of americans believe in God- why would politicians alienate this majority. But what does the church stand for? How does the church respond to this. I think my emphasis is on not being duped. On encouraging the church to stand for what they really need to stand for.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

RPON Time: today is a good day for a random picture of Nathan.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

he really doesn't look too much like this. In case you're wondering he's wearing a swimmer left over from the summer. He thought it was a hat and wore it around for about 45 minutes.