Saturday, December 30, 2006

Baby: There's a baby on the way. Last night the Bridge Ladies threw a baby shower for Audrie. I've known Audrie most of her life and she was very good friends with my little brother, Dougie, growing up. Heather was especially excited about this opportunity and she and the ladies did an excellent job planning and throwing the shower!

Some pictures:

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

21st Century Pastor: I find in working with people there are different kinds of people. I'm talking about the people that aren't part of our church but businesses I work through to get the services we need. Rather than just try to categorize I'll make note of interesting things.

Reverend: I have noticed that in the black community even if I introduce myself by my first name the person I am talking to is quick to call me pastor or Rev. instead of my first name. It really makes me feel respected. I'll go into their shop or place of business months later and they'll say "Hey Pastor!".

Papal Blessing: There are those that really like to do favors for me and The Bridge because I am a pastor. I'm not sure their logic but I can't help but think that they think I've got an inside angle at God and I can put in a good word for them. "Three days less in purgatory for you. Thanks for helping me out!"

Rebel: There are honestly those that are angry that I'm a pastor and that I work for God. I assume that they have either been burnt by a pastor or by a church before and it hurts my feelings that they are nasty towards me. I won't call it persecution, I'm not that dramatic, but it's still not nice.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas: So in the true "father" fashion of Christmas I was up late on Christmas Eve putting together the train set we got for Nathan. It was fun and fortunately not a pain in the butt...I'm sure there will be other years when my opinion is different.

A few of my favorite parts of the day were when Nathan would open a new present and you could tell that he was going to really enjoy it and my other favorite part was my Grandparents coming over for dinner.

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Couple of pictures from our Christmas Party:

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Friday, December 22, 2006

Behold: Once again Kristy comes through and bought Heather an amazing CD. Andrew Peterson- behold the Lamb of God. You can check out the songs on Andrew Peterson's Website. I believe my favorite is Labor of Love.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Baby Shower: Thought I'd start posting a few things that are exciting this Christmas season. One of which is that we are throwing Audrie a baby shower on December 29. I've known Audrie for a long time and I'm really excited about this opporunity. We had a chance to have breakfast with Audrie last week and it was great to talk to her and seeing her extremely pregnant belly.

Christmas Party: This thursday is The Bridge Christmas Party. I'm looking forward to it. I mean...who doesn't like a christmas party?

Musician: After much searching it turns out God had a plan all along. Crazy how that works. Johnny Houston has join The Bridge Launch Team and is going to be our worship leader. He's very talented and willing to be used by God. He has aspirations of being a singer/song writer and is willing to see what God has for him at The Bridge. You can hear some of this tuff on Myspace or at .

Coffee Mug: Kristy got me perhaps one of the most original and coolest gifts I have ever received. This thing is great. I forgot the website where she said she got it but basically it's a coffee mug a bunch of words on it. The words are all keywords or topic headings from this blog. I'm sure she'll read this soon and post a link in her comment as to where she got it.

600: This is post 600 for me in my industrious blogging career.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Rocky: This is a joke right? 20 years after the last good Rocky movie Sly decided to come out with a new movie. I don't blame Stallone, he had a bad steroid habit that he can't support unless he returns to the glory days of Rocky the meat-headed heavy weight champ.

Don't get me wrong though. Rock in his glory days was great. Remember him getting the tar beat out of him by Clubber Lang (Mr. T)? He got beat because he was apothetic. Remember when Ivan Drago killed Apollo Creed and Rock went to Russia to beat the commie on his own turf. Proving once and for all that democracy is better than communism. The Rocky films were good, until the 5th and now this...the first level of hell?

What the funniest thing I've seen leading up to this is Stallone at the Philadelphia Eagles monday night game a few weeks back. He walked onto the field and people started cheering "Rocky, Rocky," they know he's fictional right?

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Church: I haven't been to "church" in so long I forgot what it's like.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Twenty Seven: December 15, 1979 I entered the scene.

Piercing my heart: The passage that has been piercing my heart this Christmas is this.

“This Child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” Simeon in Luke 2:34

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

People: Yesterday I endeavored to drop off gift bags and visit with 42 people in 2 days. I started yesterday afternoon and it took me 6-7 hours. I not only accomplished my goal but I had some wonderful interactions with people. I got a share my vision for being in Suffolk and invited these people to be part of our church. It's amazing how a gift bag can soften someone's face and improve their day- even if it's just filled with a little bit of candy!

Wiped out: As a result of our last 4 days of almost continous going I'm pretty wiped out but enjoying developing our leadership covenants and membership covenants. I've also been enjoying planning my sermon series for 2007.

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Call Me: Last week we did our first telemarketing campaign. This was as complete step of faith on my part and despite all the negatives in telemarketing I still felt it was a good idea. We called every home in the zip codes we are targeting. The purpose of the phone call was to get the word out about our church and to find some people that can fill the vital ministries to get us up and running.

We had 98 responses which is far higher than the average for phone calls.

We sent them a follow up letter and then dropped off a gift yesterday. I had some great conversations and really got to meet some incredible people- God has plans!

The best part about talking with people is that in about 3 seconds you can determine their level of church involvement. There is the "I never go to church but can throw around a few terms to sound like I go", there is the "I'm always looking for a new church, what do you go?" and then there are the new movers, church seekers, and honest questions about God people. All are fun to talk to and all have a need in their life of Jesus Christ.

Some of my favorite questions:

- what do you believe and where were you trained? I believe that if I jump up in the air I will come back down, I believe that if I were stuck on a deserted island and only had one food to eat for the rest of my life it would be stove top stuffing. Oh theologically...great question. Where was I trained? two words P-Town, most of which is top secret and I won't be able to tell you about it.

- what are your church dues? I don't even know what to do with this one. I had never heard of church dues before and fortunately the nice lady that asked this question had called the house to say thanks for our gift and she was talking with Heather, so Heather had to answer it.

We just wanted to give you this gift. A travel coffee mug, some candy, and a New Testament - You believe in the Old Testament too right? Yes I'll be preaching out of both the old and New Testament. I only bought New Testaments because they are cheaper than the whole bible. 1/3st the bible, 1/5th the price.

- are you going to preach practical messages? I sure hope so, tell me in a few months.

- are people of all colors welcome at your church? I'm sorry you had to ask this question, of course.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Jesus of Suburbia by Mark Erre. Any book that has the title of a Green Day song is worth me buying. That might be a bad idea though considering some of their song titles. I figured since I bought it I might as well read it too.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Time: I've been really having a hard time with my time. I'm not wasting it but I find myself putting too much time into things that aren't that important and not enough into things I really want to be investing in. So to help myself I've set up a schedule putting priority on things that are important and leaving the secondary issuses secondary. Hopefully this will help.

It's your ship by Michael Abrashoff- A formal Naval officer and commander of the ship USS Benfold. He spent 2 years captaining this crew and it became one of the best ships in the the Navy. Scores from this ship broke all kinds of records that still hold today and this ship was the go to ship in the Persian Gulf in the late 90's. He did this by bringing out the best in his crew. He broke all sorts of Navy protocol by listening to his crew, no matter their rank, and managing people how he wanted to be treated.

This is a great book on management focusing on people and results with interesting stories mixed in.

Books: I wish I would have tracked how many books I've read this year. My guess would be 30. Next year my goal is going to be 52 books- one book for every week.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Letter to a Christian Nation: by Sam Harris. I have never read a book filled with more hate towards a certain group- I'm probably more aware because this time the group happens to be one I'm part of. Most of the book is a maniacal nonsensical tirade that Christian leaders should be reading.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Join the Movement: We started "Join the Movement" this morning. If you've ever seen the movie Pay is Forward then you know the general idea of this. I made up some cards and gave them to our Launch Team. I encouraged them to simply buy someone coffee, lunch, a gift bag or any other idea they had. The idea is to start a gift giving movement. Giving gifts is beautiful because when we're given a gift we can remember the greatest gift of Christ coming to earth as a little helpless baby.

So let me encourage you- no matter where you live- Join the Movement

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First: I bought a $5 gift card at Starbucks today and gave it to the cashier when I was getting my refill. I asked her to give it to someone. I was working as usual and almost missed the young mother with a 3 month old baby receive the card. I could tell she was a little confused at the whole "someone gave a gift card" but she was curious and read the card and seem pleasantly surprised.

Join the movement!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Hard to Blog: It's been hard to blog this week. I guess I'm just not feeling it.

Friday: I took friday off and boy was it wonderful. It's the first real day I've taken off in as long as I can rememer. I have "days off" but with church planting there never seems to be a completion of work rather just an ongoing run of things to do. So on Friday I had Nathan in the morning and while he was taking a nap around noon Brandon and Robbie came over and we watched The DaVinci Code.

Heather walks in at 2 from work and just laughs at us. 3 grown men sitting around watching tv while the rest of the world is at work or fighting traffic to get home. Ahh the joys of a flexible schedule and friends with flexible schedules.