Saturday, December 31, 2005

The end of the year

Here we are at the end of the year. The last two weeks have been a blur. We took about a week off to do the holiday thing, and get some much needed rest. I pretty much checked out and let my brain relax. I am actually not very good at relaxing, but I tried to do it this last week.

Today is the final day of the year, and a lot has already transpired this morning. Colin was up late and then up early, and I got a call from my dad saying my grandma has colon cancer. What a way to finish the year, huh?

I am fully aware that God can do a great thing in her life, and I believe that God is here. But I have to admit it zaps you. You just dont really expect that kind of thing to happen. I saw her a week ago and she seemed fine. There are suprises in life you just cant predict. They are running more tests today to see if it has spread. The docs said she has had it for years without knowing it.

On a brighter note tonight is our New Years Eve party which will be a blast. And we are gearing up for a big year!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

out of the loop

Well, I have been away from the blogosphere this week. Just to fill everyone in, our church truck blew the engine this week. It has been crazy since then. We found out for sure on Tuesday evening with the help of our resident mechanic Todd Esbeck. Technically we have a hole in piston number 6! Not good.

So that has kept me running in circles it seems. We have had estimates of up to $8500 to fix! Crazy. We wont be doing that. I am confident we can get it fixed for close to have that and be back running before the first of the year!

I will do better this week!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Sunday Update

Well again this Sunday we had a great time. Service went well, as we had a full band this weekend. Nate was a part and added a great sound with his guitar and Marshall halfstack!

We had 59 in attendance, and we spoke about Technology and the church. JCFC really values technology as a resource that we should redeem for God's glory. The Blue Prints sermon series is wrapping up this weekend with why we are passionate about children's ministries. The kids will come into "big church" as they call it, to perform a few songs, and give opportunity for our children's pastor to share her heart. Pastor Lori loves kids and is doing a great job.

We are working on a way to get her elevated just a bit so all the kids can see everything she is doing. (not really because she is vertically challenged, but the chairs have such high backs.. :)

Giving this weekend was amazing, and I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has been giving consistently. May God richly bless you for helping His work to continue!

Saturday, December 10, 2005


"Man, I love technology, but not as much as you and me, always and forever. Always and forever...."

I love Napolean Dynamite. Great movie. But I really do love technology. It is amazing as I sit here at Panera and surf the net while I sip some coffee, and gather my thoughts for the morning.

God has really been pushing me in a lot of areas. I am trying to be faithful in all of them. One of them is really using technology for His Glory. As Christ followers we are quick to say He has created all things, but fail to use a medium that is touching everyones life daily. It is easy for us to pray and thank God for the wisdom he has given doctors, or say he owns the cattle on a thousand hills, (he can meet your finacial need), but when it comes to technology we red flag sometimes.

Jesus was the master illustrator. Everywhere he went he was referring to things happening around him. It just made the point that much more powerful. Like when he likened the Gospel to a sower, or sitting outside the Gate Beautiful referenced entrance to heaven. I would even guess He was near a street vendor selling bread, when he spoke of himself being the bread of life. Master communicator.

So if Jesus used all the things around him, why cant we be like him?

Why cant we use our Ipods as discipleship tools? I mean there are plenty of places to download the audio bible to it. It can be a whole bible right along side of your music. I know God is challenging me to do better at market place evangelism. Why cant we redeem technology and use it in ways it wasn't really designed for?

We do it all the time with other things. Computers weren't designed to be used as Christian tools, but we have used them all over the place. Auto makers designed cars to help us travel and make life easier, and we have used the vehicle to take the Gospel to the world. Radio is used all over the communist and Muslim world to broadcast God's love in places we can't physically get to.

So why is it that many of us hesitate to use video, or prerecorded clips, or an Ipod to share the gospel with?

So what is God asking us to do?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Office Downsizing

Just some FYI for everyone. The office on Aurora is closing. We have been borrowing an office space from First AG on Merle Hay for the past 6 months or so. They are regrouping offices and are heading back to the main campus.

So if you have anything there or would like to see the first JCFC global headquarters before we move swing by. Technically the lease if up December 31. I am going to try to have everything moved by the end of next week.


Just to let everyone know, my internet has been crazy at the house. I am getting my own dsl on Monday! No more days with out highspeed. (I have been, shall we say "using" my good neighbor Jill Swaim for her wireless high speed, but it has been acting up lately.)

We are in business soon!


Well this morning I was scheduled to head to Iowa City for a church planters meeting. Due to the snow and some vehicles not running at top speed, we didn't go. I enjoy the meetings we have but not at the expense of danger. SO.

There is a couple of inches of snow from last night on top of the 6 or so we currently had. It has been fairly windy so it is hard to say just how much we have. I do know this my little girl loves the snow and the cold. I said to her the other day, "Hurry and get in the car its freezing." She quickly replied, "No dad, its not cold, just another day. It was like 3 degrees out.

She always wants to play outside and sometimes I don't let her. It is just too cold. She doesn't really see the danger she only see the snow! We watched a Nooma last night at Life Group. (if you wanted checked out any of Rob Bell's videos you should. ) It was the one about the kickball. Amazing how sometimes we don't see God as out loving heavenly father who wants to give us good things. It is just sometimes He is holding a better thing than the one we want. We just seem to only see the snow, and how we could play in it right now.

God sees the whole picture and we only see a portion. Everyone's comments last night were great. I especially enjoyed Guy's perspective on God from the standpoint of losing his father at 15. It was an awesome picture he drew about the relationship and the importance of that relationship with our heavenly Father.

Thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks to everyone who brought food. Delicious.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Sunday Sermon Notes

Blue Prints
"Wired for Worship"

Ever done anything really silly. Just plain humiliating. Just thought afterward, what I was thinking.

I can't dance, sometimes I like to think secretly that I can, but I really can't and I have been the butt of a lot of jokes before, actually my sister has on her website that one of the things that makes her happy is watching me try to dance.

Well, I remembe7thn 7th grade once we had this teacher who was into Native American dance. And we was trying to make some point and wanted a volunteer to do a rain dance. So because I hate awkward silence I raised my hand to go. I have never even been to a pow wow so I had no idea what to do.

It wasn't pretty.

It is the fear of foolishness that really keeps us from doing a lot of things.

It is the fear of foolishness that keeps:

*You from raising your ha4thin the 4th grade when you aren't sure you know the answer
*You from asking that person out on a date, because you are afraid they may say no
*You changing your major, or changing jobs
*You from praying for a miracle, or even sharing your faith
*You from really worshipping as we could or sometimes should

It is sometimes the fear of foolishness that keeps us from becoming who we really were destined to be.

Here is the big idea:
If you are afraid to look foolish, youre foolish.

If you think about it, faith is simply the willingness to look foolish.
Noah looked foolish building an ark
Sarah looked foolish buying maternity clothes at 90
Israelites looked foolish marching around a walled city blowing trumpets
David looked foolish attacking a giant with a sling shot
Wise men looked foolish following a star
Peter looked foolish stepping out of a boat in the night
Jesus looked foolish hanging on a cross

But that is faith, risking looking foolish at the sake of doing something great.
But with all these examples the results speak for themselves
Noah, saved his family from a flood
Sarah had a baby at 90
Israelites conquers the city without any bloodshed
David killed a giant
Wise men found the savior
Peter walked on water
Jesus saved the world

One of the reasons I think that we are not killing giants, or walking on water or doing great things is because we are afraid to look foolish.

2 Samuel 6:16, 20
As the ark of the LORD was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she despised him in her heart. 20. When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, "How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, disrobing in the sight of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!"

When you get excited about God, you can just expect some opposition.

When you step out in faith to worship God more or to become more passionate about your prayer time, or to begin a new ministry here at the church or outside of here.

When you get really passionate about God 1 of 2 things happen
1. People are challenged positively Some people are going to say, man they have something I love. I want to grow like they have grown. I want to be passionate about Jesus in that same way
2. People will be convicted Some people though are going to quickly make excuses about something else in your life; they are going to try to drag you back down.

See you are disturbing the status quo. Living outside the box.

You see David has finally gotten the Ark of the Covenant back home. It has been along process and he is just worshipping God with every fiber of his being.

David wasn't in his fruit of the loom; he took off his kingly garments, and was just able to be free. Totally uninhibited.

He was new king, and kings don't disrobe in front of people and dance.

Michal new that better than anyone, her dad was king, and she grew up in the palace. Michal was upset with David, because he wasn't acting as her father did. Saul was kingly king. I figure he probably woke up in the morning with scratches on his face, because he had slept with his crown on.

But part of it is they don't really know what is happening.

Have you ever pulled up next to someone and they are dancing like a mad man in the front seat. You know they are really getting with the music in their car. Really from the outside it looks dumb. Go ahead we can admit it, we laugh at people doing that. Have you ever caught yourself doing it! Of course.

To those hearing the music it's great.

There is an ancient proverb that sums this up
Those who hear not the music think the dancer is mad. -ancient proverb

Sometimes I lift my hands in praise, as in total surrender to God. Other times I kneel. Sometimes I move my feet back and forth to dance a but because I am excited

Maybe it seems weird to get excited, or to worship a god we can't sense with our 5 senses.

But it isn't really that foolish once you have heard Gods music so to speak.
I'm not crazy, I am just responding to what God is doing inside my heart, and it gets me going.

Jason Huffey is our worship leader and he really does a great job at helping us engage with God. I have asked him to come and just share his heart a bit about worship.

A Personal Worship Experience
1. Worship before and audience of One
2. When you draw near to God, He won't leave you hanging
3. Worship translates into a lifestyle

2 Samuel 6:21-22
David said to Michal, "It was before the LORD, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord's people Israel I will celebrate before the LORD. 22 I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor."

David is willing to show his joy and celebrate. Whether it pleased people or not. His one goal was to please God.

Worship is Simply saying Thank You to God

Hebrew word for praise is
Hallal means clamorously foolish

If you aren't willing to look foolish, you're foolish

Sunday Update

First, does anybody enjoy the Sunday update? If you like it, leave a comment. For that matter if you don't like it, leave a comment.

Well, I think this last Sunday went pretty well. We had 65 in attendance and we dedicated Sophia Toscano's boys to God. I feel like I could have done a better job with that, though. It was great to meet some of her family as well.

I really feel like the church is really becoming healthy, and starting to really solidify. Just wait until you hear the band this upcoming weekend. If you thought it was good before, we are going to the next level this weekend. Nate Kempers joined the band, and this weekend we will not only have Nate's guitar, but percussion and piano again, since Chris will be with us Sunday.

I like to see things grow, but I really love to see people grow. It is evident in the life of many Christ followers at JCFC.


Ever have one of those days where you just seem to be running from the moment you hit the floor. Yesterday was that way for me. I have to admit, I didn't even turn on my computer all day. Here we are trying hard to be technology driven church, and I didn't even step into the realm of technology all day. At least not from the computer standpoint.

Thanks for being patient.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Blue Prints

I have been studying several different things in preparation for this weekends message. We are speaking on being Wired for Worship. It is interesting for me to see how we cant "not worship."

It is just who God created us to be. Each and every person worships something or someone. Think about it.

If you get a chance read the 32nd chapter of Exodus. Be thinking about how we are built to worship. Amazing that the Israelites couldn't go 40 days without worshipping and they had to turn all the gold they had into an idol.

Crazy, but we are just like them, huh? It doesn't take long for our focus to change and we are worshipping work, money, or people and places. I am glad God is patient with me....

Internet down

Isn't it funny that my cable company's internet goes down so easy? Sorry for not being able to post since Wednesday, but I haven't had a high speed connection.

This week has been a very busy one. We are gearing up for the holiday season at the Singleton's house. Our tree is up and my family is now happy. My wife does a beautiful job decorating and we have such a cozy, warm looking Christmas house now!

You should come over and check it out!