Saturday, December 02, 2006

Erwin Again "brilliant"

I was going to try to regurgitate this from Erwin McManus but he is too eloquent here...

taken from "Unstoppable Force"

"This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor or a man his brother saying, "Know the Lord," because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest." (Hebrews 8:10-11)

Gods purpose has always been about redeeming a people. But the modern church has reduced it the conversion of individuals. And there is a radical difference between leading one person to faith and leading a people to faith. The former produces a follower of Jesus Christ; the latter produces a movement of Jesus Christ. The first requires one heart bound to God. The second requires many hearts bound together in God. We know that there is a mystical connection between man and God, but we seem to have forgotten that mankind was created to love in a mystical relationship to each other. It takes on many shapes: family, clan, tribe, village, commune, gang, sect, community, society, nation, people. At the center of each expression is a culture born out of cult. people are bound together by an ethos that shapes not simply actions but minds and hearts. God sent his Son not only to call individuals to himself, but also to transform culture. And he prays for us that we would be one even as he and the Father are one.

"all the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that nay of his possessions were his own, but the shared everything the had" (Acts 4:32)

All Erwin but great. I added the emphasis. Let that simmer for a few minutes. It will change your thoughts maybe...

Sickness messes up your week

Wow, I am finally recovered from being sick and now working late into the night on Friday to play the catch up game. Tomorrow looks nearly unbearable with the amount of things I need to get done, but I have a nutty week.

I know post said I was going to fill everyone in about the car crash we saw, and Dara more than beet me to it, so check out her blog and read all about it.


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Ready for Sunday

Well, we are back from the Holiday trip. We had a blast. I will fill in the details late Sunday night.

I am expecting a great Sunday tomorrow. It is the last sermon in the why series, simply called, "Why Are We Here?"

I can't wait to preach it!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Turkey for me, turkey for you, turkey in a big brown shoe...

Here we are tonight at my inlaws house in Neosho, Mo. Had an interesting trip down, a blow out, bathroom breaks, and puking little boy. Wow.

But the short story is, its great to be here for a few days of relaxing and seeing our family!

As a side note we had 125 Sunday morning! Hurray.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Phone Book AD

Just thought I'd give everyone the update just in case you check out the ad in the Dex phone book. Don't worry we arent going to three services. The ad is totally wrong.

Check under churches in the phone book. You'll see our beautiful ad, that is wrong in everyway...

The phone book is working on solving the issue for us.

Colin the Narcissist

Colin and I were in my truck yesterday and pulled up next to a Semi. On older grandfatherly looking gent was driving. Colin loves trucks and especially big trucks. He was waving great big at the driver. Once the driver saw him, be kindly waved back.

Colin then looked at me, pointing to the driver and said, "Thinks me so cute." And a great big smile erupted on his face.

It was hilarious.

Affirmations Your Infant Needs to Hear

1. Welcome to our family, dear little (name). I am so glad you've come to be with us. We've been waiting for you and its wonderful that you're finally here.

2. (Name), your are such a beautiful, perfect little girl(boy). I like everything about you.

3. We've prepared a very special place for you to love and grow (name). We're so proud and happy to have you. You are such an important part of us.

4. (Name), you're goign to grow up to be a wonderful person. You have everything it takes. God gave you all the talent and equipment you'll ever need to have a wonderful life.

5. No matter what happens, we'll be here for you (name). You are completely safe. You are going to be well cared for. Dont worry little one, everything is going to be fine. You're goign to be safe and happy.

6. I want to take good care of you little (name). You are such a sweet baby and I love you so much.

7. We want to take good care of your every need. We are happy and anxious to feed, change, and clean you. We love to spend time with you, be with you, and look after you. Your needs are very important to us.

8. In all the world, there is none like you. No one can could ever take your place. You are unique and very special to us. You matter more than life itself to us. You are our baby (name), and nothing will ever change that.

9. (Name), we're you family. We're going to be here for you no matter what. We are going to prepare you for life. We'll see that you are well taught and that you recieve the right example. You're goign to have a wonderful life becuase we're going to take excellent care of you and see that you get everything you need to get ready for life.

Take a few minutes each day and affirm your children in these things. It is amazing to see the response in their eyes and body. I have said these things in the last week to both Awnna and Colin and it is great to see them light up!

Blue Man

Blue Man was amazing. I can't even begin to describe how cool it was. The band was fantastic. The had a full drum kit, plus two full percussion kits, a bassist, keys, two guitars and of course the blue men...

The show started with Tracy Bonham singing and playing guitar and violin. She was ok in my opinion, but better with the band. (Dara liked her though.) After a 35 minute set or so then lights changed and the backdrop dropped -out come the Blue Men.

The next two hours was jamb packed with percussion and lights, that only the Blue men can do. If you ever get a chance to see a show take it. Amazing music and production, comedy and seriousness ( a tribute to 9/11).

Ed Sustala cousins Wes is one of the lead Blue Men, and he got us some great tickets and backstage passes. I have no idea what the cost would have been on the floor where we sat, but we were in the second section from the stage.

Great show, definitely a must see.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Weekend Update

WOW what a great weekend!

We had a great service with amazing attendance. 113 with no "event." Awesome!

The bummer about the weekend is that the phone book came out and the ad is totally wrong! Pretty much everything about the ad is wrong.

It has us listed for 3 services on Sundays. I spoke with Jeff Mullen, lead pastor at Point of Grace, and he said maybe it was prophetic! Aghm.. No.

We are "working out" a deal with them to make it right. I willl keep you posted.

I am off to see Blue Man Group tonight. Gotta run.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Overseers at New Life Findings

I just read the Press Release that deal with the findings about Ted Haggard.

It is really a sad day for the Church right now. I think we need to all pray for New Life Church in Colorado Springs. You can go to their website at

I hate to hear about his kind of scandal. Actually any kind of scandal at all with in the church. It frustrates me, hurts me, and leaves me broken on the inside. I am broken that a the leader of a church he started could get so messed up that it comes to this, I am broken for the congregation, I am broken for the staff, I am broken for Colorado Springs...

I sit in my office, and pray that God helps me to maintain what I know as truth. I am fully aware that each of us can fall just as he has, but it is my prayer for my family that I stay true so they aren't subjected to this kind of pain.

Honestly it scares me to death. Not that I am on the verge right now of some kind of failure, but I don't want to fall into the traps that can lead to that kind of thing. As our church grows, as I grow, pray for me and for my family.

Satan wants nothing more than to destroy the church. It is the stronghold that keeps him from thriving.

Pray for New Life Church.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Ted Update

Wow, I am sure many of you by now have heard that Ted Haggard has admitted to buying meth from Mike Jones, the male prostitute. I don't really know what the truth is here, but I can only hope that it all comes to a head right now, so that that church can receive the healing it needs.

I think we need to continue to pray for this situation. I find it very disheartening, and my heart is heavy for the Church right now. Sad times, when leaders who have had such an impact, now have such am impact.

I can only think of the 80's and the scandals in Christianity and how that has hurt the church so much.

I don't really understand, except that satan literally wants to destroy the Church and the easiest way to impact an entire church is to take out the leader.

I am at a loss for words.

Colin's funny comments

The other day Colin was leaving with me, and he grabbed several things to take with him. (his trains of course, a frisbee, and a toy frog). Well once we got to the truck I put him in the cab, and was getting his carseat adjusted. He then said to me, "Hurry up Dad, this junk heavy."

It has hilarious.

Ted Haggard

Amidst the controiversy surrounding Ted Haggard, the lead pastor at New Life Church, my heart breaks for his staff and the whole issue.

This I know about the situation, he has in place a structure that if any allegations are made, a group of overseers will step in and do an exhaustive inquiry to the situation. I pray this turns out all right. Not just for the sake of Ted and his family, but for the church as well.

It makes me get a lottle introspective about where we are headed as a church. I really want to stay devoid of scandal as a church. I want our team and our church to stay in God's will. I want to be exactly what God wants me to be, all the time.

My prayer is that we would have clean hands and pure heart toward the work of God. Keep us under your covering, God. Help us to follow after your heart, and when we struggle we can work it out together with forgiveness and correction.

God keep me, and make me more like you. Help this church.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Isn't it great what a haircut can do for a guy? I just love the feeling that you get when you have fresh haircut. I feel like I can conquer the world. It is crazy but, it is self confidence booster for me.

So here we go...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Heart of God

I have to think that God's heart breaks when people in the community are not taken care of that need help. I think as a church we have stayed inside our comfort zones too long. It is too easy to come to church, do our deal and leave the same way we came.

We are developing a new ministry that is just in the begining stages where somehow we have a database of sorts that lists all the services our church can provide within our body. That service can extend to those connected with the church as well as those outside the church.

For example, someone may love to babysit and is on the list to volunteer one night everyother week. Or maybe you have some basic mechanic skills and would check brakes or change oil. Or maybe you have some computer skills, or makeover skills, or you just love to spend some time with someone who is single.

Give it some thought.

Dream time

The past few days have been great for me. I have done a lot of driving and a lot of thinking. It is good to just let your mind dream as you drive or drift off to sleep. I love imagining what our church is becoming and what it will become.

I so often camp out on the text in Jeremiah 29:11-14a

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with your whole heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord.

Powerful, huh? Isn't it crazy to think that God is planning on things happening in your life? Do you ever wake up in the morning and consider that God is working on your behalf today. I mean, really, Jesus the Son of God is ever interceding at the right hand of the Father for your sake. You think you don't matter, or you don't count. Think again the creator of the universe prays for you every day.

Changes the thought process up a bit. Every step is planned... Do we recognize that? Do we respond that way? How many divine appointments do we miss everyday just because we are not thinking like Jesus thinks?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Connections Ministry

Our Connections ministry is a vital part of our church. Angela Sustala is doing a great job at leading that team. She is really making a lot of things happen. I have asked her to be a part of our Sunday Team meetings and she has graciously excepted! I am so excited. She will bring a lot to the table!

So excited. Angela Thanks for being a part!


I helped a buddy of mine this week for a couple hours this week on his farm. He has a couple hundred head of cows and babies. We had to get feed, grain, separate weaning babies from their mamas, and move yearlings around to feed. I remember why I stopped helping wrangle cows between my freshman year and sophomore year in college.

It was fun helping Shane, but cows are just not very intelligent. Shane got kicked in the head pretty hard, and nearly passed out. It was pretty crazy. I was holdng about twenty head over on my side of the corral, and trying to open the gate. He had one rascally one he was trying to keep out of the fenced area we were releasing the others into. His just got real crazy and kicked him right in the jaw. Argh.

Yeah, I am going to stick with what I really love doing. Living in town and helping people. Much better.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


Ever noticed acorns, really? They are amazing little things. Within the tiny seed of an acorn holds the genetic material, given the right circumstances could literally cover the earth with oak trees. With the right timing, rain and sunlight, nurture and care, that acorn could grow to be a huge strong oak, that in turns creates hundreds if not thousands of acorns.

The issue though with acorns is that some of them don't get planted, others get shuffled away, and still others just dont have a great environment to thrive it.

So the ones that grow and flourish are good seeds, and the ones that don't are bad seeds right? No. The seeds themselves are equally good, but the environment determined their growth pattern.

The same is true for us. We all are created in God's image. Not as a mistake or second thought, but too often our environment, choices, and experiences have shaped us into who we are today. All of us would go back and change some things, but those things have created some amazing attributes in our life.

Now there have been things that was stunted us, or crushed us, or hurt us. But that is no reason to just stop growing. To stop trying. To stop attaining. Actually it is all the more reason to grow and bear more fruit. To produce more "acorns" and recreate who we can become.

Remember God is wanting to shape you into what He has created you to be. We arent there yet, it takes time. It is part of the journey. Enjoy the process.

Friday, October 20, 2006


I am learning so much about being a paremt all the time. Especially being a Dad to a very observant little girl. I picked her up from school the other day. We were quickly walking out the doors, just getting out to the truck. She got a distant look on her face and I knew something was up. I asked her what was wrong. She looked up at me and with her hand on her macaconi necklace she made that day she said, "I just can't believe that you didn't notice my new necklace I made."

I had noticed it but just hadn't said it anything yet. I was crushed and so was she. I am learning maybe rather slowly to just say what I am thinking about my girls when I see them.

I have wonderful and beautiful girls, yet at times I fail to really express that to them.

Good thing we have one more day to try to do better, huh?

Monday, October 16, 2006


Had a good weekend at church. I spoke about another really practical matter, careers. The last two weeks I have addressed finances and careers. Not usually considered a "super spiritual" sermon, but I think has application to the life of the believer.

These are things that everyone sees daily. I think that the church has typically addressed a lot of things that no one sees. So I thought I'd get real practical and go after some things we deal with everyday.

Too often as Christ followers we compartmentalize God to Sundays or other churchy events. I am really entrigued right now with the Hebrew thought and traditon. Hebrew culture dosent seperate secular and spiritual. Basically it connects with Rob Bell's new series "Everything is Spiritual." I can't wait for the DVD series.

So we went spiritual this weekend while being practical, since everything is spiritual anyway...

Bandanas Bar B Q

Jason and Shari brought us the best bar b q in all of Des Moines! It has just opened up here in Ankeny. It is a STL bar b q joint, and it is awesome. It has actually been voted best in STL for a couple years now.

Thanks so much!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Rob Bells verbage

Man that guy messes me up. Just thought I'd leave a link to his "about us" page. He so eloquently tells the story -not about Mars Hill Bible Church- but about the plight of God's redemptive plan. Simple, yet so profound.

Check it out here.


If all the coke ever produced where bottled in 8 ounce bottles, it would reach to the moon and back over 1300 times.



Thought I'd leave a link for SOY. Take a minute and check out our latest investment into the local community.

I think that the local church in the New Testament was so successful becuase the impacted their immediate community. They werent afraid to "get their hands dirty." I fear that part of the collapse of the western church is the concept that we become and exclusive group that is only for our small group of beleivers.

I firmly believe that it is God's plan for every single person in this city to know who Jesus Christ is. I think that the church is much larger than JCFC, or another church in town. It is the collective group of Christ followers in the this city. THE church of Jesus Christ.

So consider your heart, your drive, what is the catalyst for your journey with Jesus Christ, THE savior of the world. Where do you fit?

Thursday Thursday Thursday

Well I have decided that what the IT guys at the church consider easy and no problem is not easy and a problem.

The guys told me that to fix my computer all I had to do was reformat and reinstall XP pro again. Just a few simple things they say, and after that no problem.

Well, not so. After several hours on the phone with Dell and Microsoft, and Jason Huffey, I am pretty much back up and running. There are a few drivers I couldn't get installed or functioning, but over all I am good to go.

I must admit, that it is a good feeling to know I did this. I don't want to do it again though.

I am ready for a Macbook. I was Mac in Ames, then went back to PC with the new church plant, thinking it was better since more people have PC. Argh. The old line is true, "once you go Mac, you cant go back."


Today was frustrating to say the least. But at the end of the day profitable for me.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Trying to get back to normal life

I brought Dara home from the hospital today. Then headed off to get her some real medication. It is crazy to be a dad and a mom. I am learning that working two jobs is easier than being a full time mom.

Everything is going OK, and Dara is recovering. I have once again remembered how much I hate to fold laundry. My normal jobs are helping with the trash, mopping, and helping clean up with dishes. Dara usually handles the clothing department. I am accustomed to switching the loads some, but the whole nine yards isn't fun. I am thinking about how we can make this a better system in our new house...

There has to be a better way. Maybe it is taking it all to the cleaners! So my new prayer is that we can get a dry cleaners owner to become a regular part of our church and want to "bless" the pastor by taking care of all the laundry... Is that a carnal prayer? nah... Its all about the kingdom with me.

I do want to say thank you to everyone who has offered to take my kids, and bring food an flowers. Amazing. It really shows how much we are loved. Thank you.

Now that I think about, Pastor Lori offered to do the laundry...What was I thinking when I said that I had it under control?

Thanks again to everyone.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Dara and the surgery

Well the latest scoop on my wife is that she stayed in the hospital last night after her surgery yesterday. She should get to come home sometime today. We are all looking forward to having her at home today.

She is recovering well from the surgery and we want to just say thank you for all the help, kind words, and the prayers.

Thank you!

Monday, October 09, 2006


Just a quick update, I had to take Dara to the emergency room last night for some stomach pain. Turns out she had an inflamed appendix. Argh.

She is recovering well, and thought if everyone could pray that would be great!

I will update more later.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

A quick year

Wow, how crazy it is to think we have been doing this for over a year now. This month is a busy one as we are doing evaluations, budgeting and planning for the next few months. As I have been looking over the last year in finances, growth patterns, and changes, I noticed that our average attendance in September 2005 was 42 people per weekend. This past month we averaged 108. I am into 150% growth.

I have been doing a lot of reading and listening to "automobile university" lately. My heart is really challenged and engaged as I think about what Christ would have us do in this next year.

One of the things I really think is at the top of the list is helping those who need help. I am excited that SOY (serve our youth) will be with us in service this weekend. Bernie Van Reukel will be telling us about this ministry to high risk and at risk teens in the Des Moines area.

Should be great.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

i am alive

Just thought I'd let everyone know I am still alive and have just been out of the blogosphere in the past two weeks.

I will get caught up Sunday evening.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Cattle trails

Have you noticed that cattle walk the same path everyday of their life. Maybe you haven't, but I have taken care of too many cows... Well now I just enjoy eating them. Anyhow that is a different story.

They do though. Look out into a cattle pasture the next time you drive down the highway. There will be a beaten down path in certain areas of the field. Mainly from the feed point, to the back pasture to the water bins or tanks. Not much deviation form the normal routine of life. They just follow the one in front of them. Day in and day out same thing, everyday.

Too often we fit that same mold. We just do the same thing everyday. Never break routine. Just follow the same old thing. I love breaking out of the routine. I am an entrepreneur at heart, I think sometimes we get stuck in a rut with our lives. In every sense. With our marriage, our kids, our jobs, and our relationship with Christ.

We are just humdrum sometimes. I really thing that is because we just do the same thing with out any thought. Well this is what I did yesterday so I am doing it again today. I am supposed to read my bible, so I better do it again today or God wont love me...

How about we connect with God because we love him? I don't know crazy idea, but maybe we should have community with Christ because he loves us and we love him. Not because if we don't he will banish us from his kingdom... Like an angry Greek god.

I am with my wife because I love her and she loves me. Not because I have to check in x amount of time each day to qualify for a marriage license.

We do that though. Well I will go to church this week, so I can mark off my to do list of "god things" this week.

Examine why you do the things you do, or don't do.

American Idol

Just an update. We are in Minneapolis outside the target center. Waiting. I think that is the name of the game today.

We got registered easily yesterday and today is the moment of truth! Everyone at church is so pumped and we have been getting the we are "praying for you, and we are so excited, Go Dara" all week!

Pretty fun! This is the stuff dreams are made of.

Daddy you paint moon?

Friday evening Colin and I are driving and there is a full moon out. He loves the sun and the moon and always talks about them when he sees them.

Well as we were driving he noticed the full moon and started going on about it. He says, "daddy moon, look at dat" "beautiful daddy." Then he says, "daddy you paint moon?" I said, "No I didn't" He asked, "mommy paint moon?" I said, "No, Jesus painted it."

He got excited, and said, "Jesus paint moon! Love it, daddy, Love it."

It was awesome.


Here it is Friday morning and I haven't posted all week. Someone should talk to me about this!

Sunday was Great! We had 102, and for a holiday weekend -Awesome. Things went really well, and we used our conference room at the new office for our afternoon team meeting! Very cool.

The sermon was number 4 in our 5 part series about being relevant to society. This weekend we are wrapping up with a sermon called Sit Where They Sit. It should be great. We are ramping up for the 24th when we are celebrating our one year birthday! Hurrah!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


We had another tremendous service this weekend. We had 95 in attendance. Several new families came because of the signs we had placed out this weekend. (nearly 40 signs)

Almost every family that came said they would be back this next weekend.

I also want to say that I have received several emails about this weekends services, that have been very encouraging! I love to know when God is doing something great in someone's life.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Well what a week. I found out last night that my trailer I use to haul granite with has been stolen. They took my trailer, the ramps, and my A frame that you actually put the granite on.

It isnt the end of the world, and hopefully my insurance will cover most of it. The hard part is it is just frustrating.

I am filing a police report in just a minute...


We took the kids fishing the other day. They had a blast. We found this little pond at the front of our townhouse complex. (actually Steve and Jen found it)


The fish just love bread there. So I figured we could take some bread and put in on a hook or two and let the kids crank in some perch. They caught some little ones, and had so much fun.

Before it was over with we caught a "delicious bass" or two. And a neighbor kid caught about a 9lb catfish. He didn't know what to do with it, so he gave it to us. I gladly took it, filleted it up, and it was very tasty!

Joel and Morgans Grandfather

Just thought I would update everyone. Joel and Morgan's grandfather John Asmus, passed away this evening.

Please remember to keep the family in your prayers. Even though he lived a long full life, its always difficult to loose a loved one.

Citi commercials

I just saw another one of those citi commercials. I love them. The ones that have an Identity Theft... too funny. Here is a link to a few old ones. If you find the new ones leave a post.

Weekend Recap

Well this is the 4th time I have tried to leave this post. I don't know what is happening here, but either I am not supposed to be writing this or...

So here goes again.

Man this weekend was another good one. We had 85 in service. Awesome. It puts our August average attendance at 98. Very cool.

The thing I think is so cool is that even when you think you have an average at best sermon, God can perform a "miracle of hearing" and allow people to hear something better than you actually said. We had several new families that came due to our signs that we have out. Two families have already said they loved service and cant wait to be back this weekend! Great.God is really good.

This week is a busy one, and I am excited about this weekend's service. The sermon is called "What's love got to do with it." I am batting the idea of using the song somehow...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Rich Farthing

Rich is a missionary to Bolivia. I went to help him with an orphanage back in February. It was an amazing thing to be a part of. Since that time, we have kept in touch and our church has helped to purchase a piece of property that will help benefit the kids. It was amazing.

He came to our life group the other night, and shared his heart and goals for the future. He is such a man of integrity and value. It was good for everyone to hear his heart.

They will be leaving in April to head back to Bolivia. He does a lot of backcountry trips and was without a good tent so we added one of those to his supplies as well.

It was a MSR Storm King. If you know anything about high end tents, you know the storm king is at the top of the game. Bombproof!

How fun is it to be a part of something that not only touches us locally but has a global impact.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Just a note. I heard through the grapevine some of you thought I was pranking you when I misspelled Christ as Crust the other day, after my post about correcting my grammar.

I wasn't. It would have been a funny thought and maybe I should have, but I didn't. Go ahead and help me!

Abraham and blindly following God

Do you ever just think about the men who followed God with out His word. Guys like Abraham who heard from God one day and God said just leave everything you have ever known or done and follow me to another place I will show you.

I am all about travel and adventure and risk. I live to take risks, to climb the highest thing around me, then jump off it. Or swim, or run, or whatever to the extreme. But I really like to know the destination, and what the results are going to look like.

Not Abraham, God said go, and he went. He didn't question where, or how long is this going to take, or what about the chariot I require. It has to be a German built one, I cant ride in an average chariot... Really the guy was pretty well off, before he started out on this journey. I was reading that story to my kids tonight and I thought "wow, am I really a risk taker for God?" Really, am I laying it on the line for him? Or do I still dabble in my own myopic issues of life?

The real vision of God is beyond my acute perspective. How bold and self centered we are to assume God only has a few little things for me to do, and I can just do everything else my way.

Forgive me God. I want to be like Abraham who simply said "Yes" instead of our "Yes? I think I will."

The last thing that got me is that after God blessed him and promised him everything in Genesis 12, God basically said, "Now keep yourself clean and stay before me. I'll work it out." Amazing.

God work it our for us, and help me to stay clean before you.

Becoming a Regular

I ripped this off my friend Bruce Chant's blog about how to become a "regular!" Awesome.

Bruce writes:
#1 Visit the same restaurant three times in the first month, then once a month ongoing. These are minimums, visit more if you like.
#2 Use your name and theirs. Hi [server], my name is [me]…
#3 Use the restaurant for a party, catering, or other service.
#4 Bring new friends (customers) and introduce them. Use this as an opportunity to stay in touch friends.
#5 Tip on free benefits, or you won’t receive them anymore.
#6 Treat servers as if they have more knowledge of the menu items than you , because they do….

In the suburban situation we find ourselves in at Northshore we are constantly looking for ways we can come alongside the people we live with in our local area. Becoming a regular - not just at restaurants but also cafes, service stations, newsagents, post offices, even supermarkets - is certainly a great way to enter the world of someone else near by you for the sake of Christ.

Great Post Bruce. It is almost a game to me when I go into a place of business. I love to try to find out as much as possible about the server/owner/attendant I am talking to.

I am fully aware that part of that is just the way I am wired, but I also think as Christ followers we need to be able to invest in people's life. We can begin that by just showing some real care for people.

Connection Power

Today at 2PM we have a conference call with the software people we use to get our follow up really rolling well.

Angela Sustala is going to lead that team and I am thrilled to get this up and running full blown. It is an awesome ministry that requires organization, some computer skills, some teaching/training ability, and a willingness to connect with as many people as possible.

I am excited to see where this is going.


I have been "securing" some great office furniture in the past week. I was able to land some cubicle panels with a desk and some storage cabinets. Also our chiropractor Dr. Vince Hassel donated some desk and office furniture as well.

Needless to say my once clean garage is now filling up with items that go in the new office. Maybe its silly to be as excited as I am about making the switch, but I am pumped.

I have a meeting with The property manager at One Corporate Place today at 4 to pick out color of carpet, paint, and base.

Yeah! Definitely a step in the right direction.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


WOW. All I have to say is 117.

Not ears or hands, but people. 117. Our record attendance.


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Deeper is Doing

There is this amazing thing that happens to some Christ followers as they grow into mature believers. Sometimes they get this idea that they need to be "deeper." Which in and of itself is great. We do need to be deep, not shallow Christians. But some how "deeper" gets translated as "mystical" in the mind.

So what starts off good as being a deeper or fully devoted Christ follower becomes a mess. I have a new theory. I call it "deeper is doing." Simply put deeper is applying the truth of God's word to our life right now. Not just looking for the mystical.

Deeper is asking the question "what does my giving look like?" A biblical mandate is giving.

Another is "am I living out all the text that we have heard being preached in the past 6 months?" Every single one? If you aren't you don't need a deeper bible study you need to be living already what you know.

Still yet another is "who have I brought to church this week?" or "who am I bringing this week?" Since the great commission was Chisst's last command to all the Christ followers, I think it is applicable to us.

I think Deeper is doing. I am trying to live by it myself. I don't want to be mystical and odd, I want to be applicable. I want to be able to be used of God. To be able to respond to his voice. If we are so heavenly minded we are no earthly good, we aren't really going to be able to impact anyone.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Both my kids are at Poppy and Mawmaws house this week in STL. They are riding horses and fourwheelers and having a blast!

I am enjoying myself as well. I am working at Scooters right now looking over my laptop at my Beautiful Wife. I have a wonderful job that allows me to be with her a lot. We are both working right now on different things. We aren't talking or really communicating in any way, but it is nice to be with her.



Wow, I have been studying for this weeks new sermon series called relevant. The is Sunday we will simply be talking about "table talk."

The questions that arise are "what makes something relevant?" or "this used to be relevant but not anymore. What do we do with that?" Then it just gets crazy after that.

The real issue at hand is that we are supposed to making disciples of people. We are supposed to be helping people who are seeking truth make a decision for Christ, but instead so many churches split hairs over things that really don't matter.

I am not trying to be relevant to be cool or trendy. That is not the objective at all. But Jesus was amazingly relevant. Rarely do you hear him making profound things hard to understand. He simplified them for people to understand. Yet we make simple things difficult and hard to understand.

He also spent most of his teaching time teaching those who didn't have it all together. He was careful and loving with those who didn't know him. He was bold and even harsh to the religious crowd who were more often pretending to be something they weren't. Yet we focus our services to the "religious" not the seeker. Why when Jesus spent most fo his time with the non-religious?

We are here to build believers, yes. But also to serve seekers with truth.

This weekend we will have a table set up that represents the church. It will be the focal point of each sermon for the next 5 weeks.

Think about your role at the table. Were do you sit, what do you eat, what do you do? Ultimately who are we serving?

Monday, August 07, 2006


Yesterday was another amazing morning. We had such a good crowd, 89 in fact! It was great. We finished the Zip It series with a sermon on Gossip.

It is amazing what the tongue can do. It really does hold the power of life and death.

We start a new series this weekend called "Relevant" Man am I looking forward to it.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Blog Comment changes

I have been having some robot comments left on my blog that haven't been so great. So I have enabled word verification before you can leave a comment. It only takes a second. I also have turned on the "you have to be blogger" as well. It only takes a minute to become a blogger too. You don't have to maintain it, just use it for your posting on mine and other blogger accounts.


Spelling and grammatical errors

Just a side note, leave me post if you find an error. I have had some in the past, but am really trying hard not to have them. Unprofessional. Sorry.

Thanks for the "encouragement." It is a little application for Joshua. I say all the time "excellence honors God," even in blogging!

Sunday Service

As everyone knows we have been growing all summer. I am just about to turn in for the night and I was just thinking about the mornings service. We have had steady growth all summer long and I can wait to see what is going to happen in the morning.

I am praying we break 90! It would be a great way to start the month!

New Office

Just thought I'd let everyone know that we are officially signed sealed and soon to be delivered to our new office space.

The office is located in the One Corporate Place building off 42nd and Westown Parkway in West Des Moines. Man am I ever glad to be getting moved in there.

The official address is 1501 42nd Street Suite 204 WDM IA 50266.

We take possession on the first of September and then we will be directing all mail correspondence to that address. Very Exciting.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Mel Gibson

I was saddened to hear about Mel's drunk driving arrest this weekend. He has tried to take a stand for a lot of things, and only looks ashamed at best.

To his credit he has since apologized and said his behavior was "despicable." Which I applaud him doing. Most men would just hide.

As to the anti-Semitic words he used. I don't know. Was he reacting with some Jewish disdain or was he just drunk and rambling about the danger and peril in the Mid-East? I don't know, nor can I really speculate. I just know that it was an unfortunate event, and he does seem to be very remorseful.

Pray for Mel. He really has a heart toward God. Pray he has clear direction to the feet of the cross and to the resurrection of the living savior.


All I have to say about Sunday is Awesome!

From the music to announcements -Awesome!

We had 82 in service another high for us in the summer! I am blown away by Gods hand in this. I was reading another blog earlier by scott hodge , a great blogger from IL. He has experienced the same thing...

I can only think about the return of Christ. I have always believed it is imminent, but with all the turmoil in the Middle East and the growth of churches... imminent means more than it used to.

515 Alive

Wow What an amazing event this was. There were over 6,000 people in attendance and it was smoking hot! We passed out 2500 water bottles with our name and logo on it, and we were out by 9:15! I keep going back to that scripture were Jesus says, "if you give a cup of water in my name..."

Here are some of the break dance competition. These guys were off the hook! Crazy in shape!

The event cooridantor called me today to thank me for such an awesome booth and the service that we provided. He said more than once, "that we kept a lot of people from taking an ambulance ride." He said if it wasnt for the water we gave out, he would have been one of the passengers.

We were thrilled to have been a part of this urban event. We didnt see anyone in church yesterday from event. (which we expected) But we know that those people who were there saw the love of Christ and realized that Christians arent so crazy after all. The next time they are in a hard spot, they are going to think about Jordan Creek Family Church. The church who cares enough to give away free water....

Friday, July 28, 2006

Bread Drops

I love doing bread drops during the week. What we try to do is connect with the guest during the week by dropping them a loaf of bread at their home.

It is great. Mostly we have a welcomed and surprised responses. Last night I attempted 7 drops. (I couldn't complete one because security doors in the apartment.) At Paul and Sandy May's house I was greeted with super enthusiasm! They connected with the church a few weeks back at Super Saturday, they have loved it!

They had some friends over and took me in the back yard to meet them. Everyone was friendly and excited. It is so awesome to be around people who just want to know more about Jesus and are pumped to tell their friends! Paul and Sandy, Way to go!

I am just stoked about the next few months. Looking forward to this Sunday morning when I will be speaking on the series Zip It. This week is "Criticism Gone Bad." Use the E invite to invite a friend. This is tag team deal ya know!

515 Alive

Well tomorrow is the day! We have got out water bottles, stickers, and 9 foot banner ready to go. It is going to be blazing hot tomorrow as we try to touch the loves of thousands. There will be all kinds of things happening tomorrow, but we are trying our best to be right in the center of the marketplace.

Just were you would find Jesus, sitting at the well. Talking and sharing his heart. We want to be that kind of servant. We will only be giving out physical water that can only quench the thirst temporarily, but we pray with each water bottle given out it will symbolize the living water they can find at JCFC.

We are definitely outside the box on this one. But I firmly believe that God is in the business of redeeming people as well as events. Pray with us.

Oh and bring Ice... To cool the water off!

See ya between 5 and midnight. 4th-6th and court downtown.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Office Lease

Well I met with Heath Bullock today to discuss our new lease at the the office at One Corporate Place. Everything looks great, and we are on track to get in by August 15th. Our attorney will be looking over the lease papers before I sign. Just to keep everything on the up and up!


Lead Pastor at Point of Grace

I had coffee and chatted with Jeff Mullens, the lead guy out at Point of Grace. What an amazing guy to connect with. He has been at PoG since day one, and has been apart of the growth process the whole time. They currently meet in Waukee and run around 2000-2100 in Weekend attendance. They started 10 years ago in a rented facility in West Des Moines.

He really bore his heart to me and I tried to soak up everything he had to say. I left the meeting with some new insight and great ministry ideas for the upcoming future.

They are very open to help us in any way possible. I am going to try to jump in to a few of their staff meetings and glean some insight from their team.

It was a real encouraagement. Great to know that others in this city are really kingdom minded and want to connect as the Church not just on a superficial level.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Truth Project

Starting after August 16th, following Rich Farthing coming to share about Bolovia, my Life Group is taking a hiatus.

We have decided as a group that a short time off is going to be good, and allow us all the be refreshed and start again in Septemeber.

The hook is that is won't be at my house any more for a while. The location is yet to be announced, but we will be going through the Truth Project. It is a DVD curriculm that Mark and Amy Main have been trained to lead. It is going to be awesome. Check out the link.

Our group will be oponed up to anyone who wants to attend. We will have some sign up sheets and registration online coming soon. If we need to we will do it two nights a week.

I challenge everyone to prayerfully consider making thia a part of your fall program.

Check it out!

Ministry Opportunity

Well I spent a better part for the day yesterday developing ministry descriptions, and working through what each of our ministries really are for the church. Upon further investigation we have a lot of things going on or in the works right now.

Here is a basic list of ministry options we have right now.

Worship (band, worship team)
Media (Song Show Plus, projector, videos (production, editing, etc)
Creek Kids (children's ministry 4 yrs to 5th grade)
Baby Steps Nursery (infants to 3 years old)
Life Groups
Leader, or house host
First Impressions
Greeter, Usher, Parking Lot attendant, Info Table, Coffee/food
Sound Tech
Set Up
Tear Down
Connections (follow up)
Girls Night Out Coordinator/ assistant
Guys Night out Coordinator/ assistant
Adopt a Missionary
Single Parents
Graphics Team
New Moms Help (hospital, meals after birth etc)

I am sure this is not an exhaustive list, and we have ministry descriptions for some of these. I will continue working on that this week!

Leave a post if you have a comment or thought about this.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

515 alive

This is the banner that will be hanging on our tent/booth at the 515 alive event this weekend. We are a corporate sponsor for the event. We have chosen to step outside of the box and do something a bit risky.

One of our core values is "playing it safe is risky." This is probably the "riskest" thing we have done yet. We are the only church that is a sponsor which I really like!

We will also have water bottles with our logo. Lastly we have stickers to match just to give out. The idea is to get people to our website! They are expecting between 7 and 10,000 people ! Awesome!


How important is the foundation or the infrastructure to a building? Paramount. Have you ever seen a building that was leaning or crumpling under the pressure of the building itself.

I know of a man who helped build a building in the DC area. He was a stone mason and was doing some stone work on the building as they were building up. The general rule of thumb at the time was 5 floors of poured concrete need to stay formed up as they continued to build upwards. Well some body got the bright idea that they could go ahead a pull the forms. It seemed strong enough.

After a few days of continued work above the 5th floor, a huge collapse happened and the entire building was left in rubble.

One decision effected the entire support base of the structure leaving it vulnerable and broken. The same if true for a new church. We are still in the building stage. We have come to a few places with in the different ministries we have at the church and feel stable, yet we are still actively building infrastructure.

With out this groundwork and internal workings layed correctly, the whole thing will be shaky and unsteady at best. It is my goal to establish a church that is not just a mediocre place to exist, but a dynamic experiential place of worship where peoples lives are changed for all of time. A place that is impacting the community and effecting the world until Jesus returns.

So ask yourself, "Where do I fit into this mix?" A great question, glad you asked.

You fit in by doing what you are passionate about doing. There are several needs of ministry in the church.

First thing, we all need to understand that ministry is so much more than just the sermon on Sunday. If you love kids and enjoy working with them. Volunteer in Baby Steps Nursery, or Creek Kids once a month or more if you like. If you love video editing lets get in touch and get the ball rolling in that direction. If you have a passion for the arts then lets talk and get you plugged in. Maybe you want desperately to help people feel welcomed and informed on Sundays, then you need to get involved with the First Impressions ministry...

the list goes on.... Maybe I need to post a ministry opportunity list? I will work on that.

Monday, July 24, 2006


What a Sunday! We had 89 in service yesterday morning! Amazing. Several were here due to our signs we placed out and around the city! God is really great.

We really have some momentum here in the middle of the summer. I am excited for the fall. People have really been connecting lately and we are starting to solidify as real group.

I will post the sermon notes for the Zip It series later today.

Take advantage of our e invite cards on the web with the new Zip It logo...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

new office

Our new church office is scheduled to be ready around the 15th of August. Now I try to be a realist and I know construction workers, and it might be later than that. Anyways whenever we get moved in it will be great!

Pray. August the 15th.

Do we wanna vote on the carpet color? Maybe we can have an all church meeting and decide?

just kidding....

welcome back to the blogoshpere

I am back... I know I know I have said it before, but here I am.

This has been another eventful week. God is so good, we have had great services the past few weeks and have been growing all summer!

Now is the time to really get plugged in at JCFC. We are excited about this summer and the fall schedule.

This weekend starts a new series called Zip It. It will be dealing with how our words effect us and others all around us.

You will be amazed at what Gods word has to say about our words. Speaking of words, when was the last time you used your words to invite someone to church?

Hmm. nervous to do that? Just send your friends and e invite from our home page at The e invite is located in the bottom right corner of page. Soon there will be a new e invite card for every new series.

You can also now subscribe to our weekly podcast of the sermon on sunday. It is a great tool to let someone check out the church before the check out the church.

We are redeeming technology for God's glory. God is in the redeeming business so I dont know maybe we can be like him?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Sunday, Holiday and becoming a lure

This Sunday I spoke about our second sermon in our Identity Theft series. We had 62 in service and it was great. I will be posting the notes from the sermon later today. It really is my goal to have them posted every monday! Sorry guys.

The next line under that is the reason I have been away this week is we have spent the holiday weekend redoing our living room. We have painted everything a soft yellow. I installed all new trim, casing, and crown molding. Then we trimmed the window out as well. All white trim, beautiful.

I did however take a couple hours on monday for me to become a lure on the lake. I was doing great at being drug behind the boat but not so great at skiing. I am working on it and will do it the next time....

I have real good understanding of the back side of the boat and my sinus are real clear now. (if you have struggled water skiing you know what I mean)

Friday, June 30, 2006

New office space

Well I am securing new office space for the church. We are to a place now where our home office just isn't cutting it any more.

It looks like we have found a space at 1 Corporate Place at 42nd and Westown PKWY. Soon they will begin revamping the office and in a month or so we can get moved in!


Why Church Planting?

I get asked sometimes why did you want to create something new in a city full of churches? Part of my answer is why answer when the question is so good?

The real reason is that in the United states today only some 30% of our population are actually attending any kind of service on the weekend. As a matter of fact I just read in Outreach magazine the other day only 24% of Iowans are in some kind of worship experience on the weekend. That scares me to death.

My fear is that we are quickly becoming a post-Christian nation. Jesus came to change the world, and often what has happened here in the west is that we have had some change, then settled into a religious tradition of "this is what church is" or it "has to be done this way" or "you cant do it like that because its not in the rule book that." Jesus faced that same problem with the Pharisees in his day. They knew about God and knew all the rules, but had nothing on the inside to go with their knowledge.

As far as the rules go they even created new ones that they thought were almost on an equal plane with the text. These oral and written traditions became rules for sin and righteousness. Actually there were 618 of them. Many of them were absolutely ridiculous. Like a woman wasn't allowed to look in the mirror on the Sabbath because she might see a grey hair and pluck it. If she plucked it, that was considered work and you weren't allowed to work on the Sabbath. The list goes on and on.

They only held to the letter of the law and missed the spirit of the law. Jesus called them white tombs, painted and pristine on the outside but hollow and empty on the inside.

So why church planting? Because many western Christians fit that catergory. They may not have all the rules down just like the old Pharisees, but they are just a form of something that isn't real. A very religious society, but not at all really knowing who God is. That is were I find myself meeting people in the western suburbs here often. They may attend a church on a regular or semi regular basis, yet they just are kind of "clocking in" for their weekly time duty with God.

They have missed the point.

So why church planting? Because 17 out of 20 churches are either plateaued or in decline in the United States. 2 of the 3 that are growing are only growing by what is known in church circles as transfer growth. People are moving to these "happening churches" because they are bigger, and cool lights etc. So while the church is growing its not growing by fulfilling the Great Commission Jesus gave us in Matthew 28:18-20 to take the Gospel, the Good News, to all the world. It is simply moving people around.

Now that 1 of 20 church that is growing is actually growing by evangelism. They are growing by people who haven't had constant church background, or no church background at all. It is people who haven't had a real experience with Jesus. People are accepting Christ as their Lord and Savior who have never done that before. Those churches are growing quickly and by leaps and bounds. The funny thing is that those 1 or 20 churches, that 5% the majority of them (upwards of 80%) are churches that are less than 10 years old.

They are new churhes. To me it seems like a no brainer. Why do we want to act like an established church of 50 plus years when many of them aren't doing what God commands us to do.

It is our goal, that every single person in the metro would become a fully devoted follower of Christ. No matter what their background. Whether they are "churched" "unchurched" or "dechurched" (had a church experience earlier in life but for whatever reason have left the church) I believe according to God's word, it is his plan for all of them to know Him.
So why church planting? There isn't a better thing to be doing. I know its hard to be in a catergory where real growth is only happening in 5% of the churches, but no matter how hard it may be isn't it worth it in the end...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


In the upcoming weeks we will be officially podcasting on the itunes music store. You can now subscribe for the podcast via RSS, but we want to be even easier. (since I struggle with stuff like that I want it to be easy for a guy like me to make happen) In the near future there will be a link on our website that allows you to subscribe to the podcasts! Awesome.

Paul Hansen is our master techy and he is really helping advance us. I believe that we need to be redeeming technology for God's glory. We are going to be a local church with a global impact!

Amazing. In the words of Kip from Napolean Dynamite, "I love technolgy...."

Our Nursery Doesn't Stink!

Well we have made a few adjustments to our nursery environment. Starting in the next week or so we will have a beautiful motion background on the screen with our new projector. We have a lightboard and professional theater style lighting. Our service structure for the babies and toddlers is based around a toddler table. It is a unit designed to let the children sit inside the table so they can learn in one space. It is going to be awesome. It should be here the first of next week!

We also have just added a pager system that allows the parents to reciever a pager or beeper so that they can be called anytime if their child should need assitance. It is going to be great!

I am a firm beleiver in having a nursery that doesnt stink! Ours doesn't! It is a safe place for kids to learn about Jesus and have a great time doing it!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Weekend Update

This weekend was tremendous weekend.

First Andy and Chelsea Reed were with us this weekend to speak about there upcoming missionary assignment to Mexico. Soon they will be heading to the Gaudalajara area to help serve. They shared their story and their heart! Awesome. I am working on uploading their video to the blogosphere so all can see.

We also had 66 in attendance which puts us at and average for the month of 69. Our all time high. This is amazing since it shows summer growth. I am believing God to help us grow all summer.

This fall we will be celebrating our 1 year church anniversary a few weeks into September! We will be working hard to get as many people there as possible! We are starting a new sermon series called Catalyst. Finding the Catalyst to jumpstart your life in the direction in needs to be going.

I have this conviction that it is never too late to become what you might have been. Many of us have been simply existing. Its time to start living! In everyone's life there are times you want to quit and never go back in all parts of life, but once you make it you can look back and say "man I am glad I didn't quit!"

Sometimes we just need that jumpstart to get us there! The Catalyst that starts it all. Pray with us as we begin this new series in September!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

My Beautiful Wife

Just thought I'd make a quick post about my beautiful wife. Weddings always make me remember our wedding day 8 years ago. I have such an amazing wife! She loves me and encourages me all the time. She is amazing.

She is considering trying out for American Idol. What do you think? Is the the total package or what? I know some of you havent really heard her sing like she really can, but trust me she can blow, really! She has some other kind of pipes. On top of that she is stunningly beautiful, huh?

Katy's Wedding

We went this evening to Katy Keese's wedding in Ames. It was beautiful. Katy was a girl in our youth group in Ames right when we got there. She marrried a wonderful man named Daniel. He has worked for me a few times on several different jobs. Pretty cool guy!

I also got my 6 foot fiberglass ladder back I loaned to the youth pastor there a year ago! Nice to have it back!

And scored a projector for the nursery. I will pick it up monday! Awesome!

Super Saturday

Today went well. It was a bit cooler than last week which was great. We didnt get an official count today but we had close to 40 people there. I am really confident that next week's will be awesome since we are going to be back at the same location as last Saturday.

It is pretty easy with hindsight to see how we can do things better. Now we really feel like we should have have done all 3 in the same location. Live and learn. The park at Willow creek (i think) is awesome and worked out a lot better than Wild rose park.

We had some of the same families that came last week back today which was pretty cool!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Just thought I'd give a quick update on the weekend! We had 76 in attendance and had an awesome Father's Day Service.

76 is our highest attendance yet! It is great to be growing even in the summer! Typically people are out on vacation and church services are low. But we are not the typical church, so why should we expect anything less.

Remember it is God's plan that none should perish. So we are working hard to see every single person in the metro become fully devoted followers of Christ. It is happening!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Leukemia, parks and failed transmissions

Well what a week, it started off great getting my new truck. It is a wonderful truck, and I really was blessed with a slammin' deal. So no complaints about that at all. It has been great. I actually got 21 mpg on the highway this week!

Friday evening we went to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society fund raiser and it was a blast. The food was divine and Tom Arnold was funny. He is from Iowa ya know.

Well that event concluded with raising over $375,000 for leukemia and lymphoma research money! Awesome. My grandfather died just over 3 years ago from a rare form of leukemia. So the event was pretty close to my heart.

Today we had our first Super Saturday! It was awesome. I just want everyone to know we have an amazing children's pastor! The only drag today was the wind, but Pastor Lori seemed unfazed by it.

We had 71 people at the park today! WOW! More than we had in service last week! Crazy. People love their kids, and want them to learn about kindness, respect and honesty!

The one negative deal to day was that it appears the transmission went out on Dara's car today! Argggh. So we will wait and see what is really happening there.

Looking for a great Sunday Morning!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Blog page down

Wow, I have tried several times this week to blog and either blogger was down, or my internet was acting up! Crazy.

Well, I am up and running right now. We have made huge progress this week with our Super Saturdays this summer. Lori has spent a lot of time this week making this a spectacular event.

We have secured a couple full rounds of golf, a cut, color, and facial for mom, and tons of gifts for the kids, as a grand prize for the last Super Saturday.

We are going to be addressing kindness, honesty and respect. Each Saturday you come and are a part of a SS you get registered for the grand prize!

We have are work and print media coming by mid week. It will be awesome!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Didn't win a car, but maybe...

I drove the kids to Perry Iowa last night. We got a flyer in the mail with a key taped to to stating this may be the key that wins you a new car. I know that I didn't have much chance to win, but I did have a 1 in 8000 shot at it. So we drove up and as you figured it didn't work. So we took some time had a little dinner together. (Dara was doing some Arbonne and church related things). After dinner we went to a local park in Perry. Who knows maybe the park in Perry.

After we were there for a while a family with 4 kids showed up. Colin and Awnna made friends fast. The Pirtles oldest girl, Mercedes, and Awnna were "best friends" before we were through. The funny thing is that, they are from Adel, and we are from Waukee, but what a "coincidence" that we met in that park 25 miles away from both our homes... No not a coincidence.

They seem like a great family and were interested in connecting with our Moms group on Tuesdays. Holly seemed interested in checking out the church as well.

It is amazing how God aligns things, huh?

New truck for Signature Granite

Here is the new truck for the granite counter top business. I think it will really be a nice truck, and will get better fuel mileage than what I am driving right now! I still am thinking about looking for a $800 deal like Cooper found on his accord. WOW, just to tool aorund town in when gas is 2.75 a gallon.

Just if your curious, it is a 2001 Dodge Diesel 2500, long box, and 4 door. 92,000 miles. ( low for a diesel) It should be THE truck for hauling granite.

I spoke with an older farmer in Perry yesterday and he has one similiar to mine with 398,000 miles on that he only replaced the oil pump on. Crazy.

Saturday Afternoon

No Rickets in the Singleton Family today. We are sitting outside in the sunny 84 degrees just enjoying the beautiful afternoon.

I am finishing up for tomorrow's sermon on Joy. This has really been an exciting series for me personally. I am still living in the closing point from Sundays sermon "Joyful No Matter What." We looked at Pauls life in his letter to the Philippians while he was in jail awaiting execution. He has such an amazing outlook on life. What we closed with is the thought that we need to separate joy and happiness. They are two different things. Our joy as a Christ follower is based on a relationship with a God who cares for us, not just our everyday happenings. Happenings is where we get the word happiness. Our everyday happiness can vary with the happenings around us, but our joy can never be squelched because it comes from God. He gives us joy unspeakable. Amazing.

As I sit in the sun and type at this computer, I again am in awe of how majestic He really is. Do you ever forget that God created everything for his Glory. Think about it.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Mac book Mac book Pro

Well I am almost coveting a new mac... The dilemma lies between a 13 inch macbook and a 15 pro. I love the pro, but really want a smaller notebook. That is the whole reason I want a new computer....


Wednesday, May 31, 2006

da Vinci code

In life group tonight we will be discussing the major points of the Da Vinci Code... Should be interesting.

The movie was pretty much a let down. Only a 6 or 7. Not at all the level of a Ron Howard and Tom Hanks caliber movie. It deviated from the book in spots as well.

Do you think many Christians have been rattled by this book/movie?

Do you think that this book is a deterrent to Christianity?

Chris John

Had lunch with a great guy today name Chris. He will be leading worship for us on the 25th of June while Jason is out on a much needed vacation.

One of the things I really like about him is that he is a visionary. He has a dream of a worship leaders network for the metro. We discussed this ministry today and we want to partner with him in helping him make this a success.

The reason I love this dream he was is becuase it alines with our vision that God wants to touch every life in the metro. I know our church cant do that alone, and this kind of ministry will help us.

Chris and his wife are a part of the New Hope E Free in Adel where they are buying a house in the next week.


Monday was our 8 year anniversary. It was really nice. Just a note to everyone, don't get married Memorial day weekend. Everything closes at 6....

But we still had a great time. It was nice to be out with my beautiful wife. She is so eloquent and lovely. We sat at a restaurant and just enjoyed each others company for a few hours. Marriage really is great. I don't get these guys who just want to be single and date tons of women...

I have a wonderful wife who loves me unconditionally. I really couldn't make it with out her.

I love you Baby.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Technology The Love Hate Relationship

Well I found out yesterday that we have been recording the sermons to get the podcasting going for two months now, and they havent actually been recording.

It does make me want to do violent things to the computer, but I know that won't help. So I am posing this question for anyone who is interested, "Is there a person out there who loves technology as much as Kip from Napolean who wants to really take us to the next level with podcasting?"

If you read this blog and love in the metro leave a post....

JCFC 2nd Baptism

Just thought I would post Drews Baptism from Friday. It is absolutely awesome to be a part of the Great Commission!

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Saturday, May 27, 2006


My favorite thing to do! I love the passion and commitment people have when they are getting baptized. I makes me feel connected to Jesus. Somehow my mind goes to this far gone day on the bank of the Jordan River and we under the eye of distant religious Pharisees who are watching our every move while we baptize person after person...

Tonight we baptized my friend Drew Stinson. It was awesome. He is such a kind and tender guy. I was honored to baptize him.

I love living out the great commission.

I will post the video tomorrow!

Thursday, May 25, 2006


I know this is crazy, but I really think that God's plan is for every single person in the metro to experince God, to encounter Jesus, and live a life that is pleasing to him.

One church is not enough. This will require a network of churchs. Our church multi sited across the city. JCFC partnering with other church, denominations, and fellowships. But I feel in the deepest part of me that God desires to know his creation.

I also think that the local church is the vehicle to change lives.
Can you help me?
Will you follow him?
Are you ready to throw out everything you think you know about "evangelism" and really lay it on the line for God?

This isnt just a game of win or lose, but it is life and death.

Think about it, life or death.

Online giving

Ladies and gentlemen it is finally here! Online giving in a secure paypal site!

I think this is going to be fantastic! If you are away on vacation or out of town for business you can still be faithful in giving!

Check it out under online giving at


Wow, in the past month I have been to three different conferences in three different parts of the USA. I went to STL with my wife for her Arbonne NTC. John Maxwell spoke. Off the charts. I was in DC for a couple days at the Buzz conference with Mark Batterson and Ed Young. Ed's big line was "use your eyes to plagiarise." (just ask me about it) Then I went to San Antonio and hung out on the river walk with Herbert Cooper, Dave Crosby, Tommy Sparga, and Anthony Scoma. Four guys that poured into me for two days!

I am truly on information overload. I have really been doing some soul searching in the past weeks. There are several things we do well as church but other things we are really weak in. We are gearing up for the fall early to get a jump on the natural rise in attendance as vacations stop and school gets started.

Check out the web page in the next few days for some upcoming events. We are doing these awesome park "character" lessons this summer with some cool give always for the kids. We have yard signs coming next week! And we are looking at doing a photography day in the mall for families.

We are trying hard to create some buzz in the community!

Pray like it depends on God work like it depends on you!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Updating my profile

Well I am uploading my picture so I can get it to my profile page... I think

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

easter weekend

Wow. It has just flown by. I can't hardly believe that Easter has come and gone.

Everything went well, we had some out of town visitors and we had around 65 people in attendance. Some of our regular attendees headed home for their family easter celebration.

We had one really powerful video clip that didnt want to play right and that was a bit of a bummer, but over all it went great.

At least 3 people recommitted their life to Jesus this weekend. Awesome.

Friday, April 07, 2006

What a week

This week has literally flown by. My inlaws were here until Wednesday, several lunch appointments and meetings, and now getting ready to head out on a short camping trip. I will return tomorrow afternoon. We are headed to Loess Hills in western Iowa.

Of course I planned this trip 2 months ago, and wouldnt you know it a thousands things happened this week, and now it looks like a huge thunderstorm is brewing. So be it I guess!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

In laws are here

I ahve been out of the blogosphere for a day or so. Sorry. I will get the sermon notes up later today from the weekend. My wifes parents are here and we have been going 90 miles an hour!

Be back soon!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Sunday Recap

This morning we had a little issue with the Day Light Savings Time agenda. A few families came in as we were packing up. I felt really bad, but I think we can blame it all on our good friend Ben Franklin. As far as I am concerned we can just stay with this time frame we are in right now!

We had 47 today and a good response to the second sermon in our fear series. The fear of failure.

Day Light Savings time is not a good thing for churches. Every ministry position I have ever been in this sunday has been a bit low, and again we fit that same bill. Next year we will do something different to make a little better splash on DLST.

Maybe we will bill it as some kind of holiday.... hmmm.
Well my son is officially a drummer. He drums on anything he can bang on! I caught him on camera the other day!

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Friday, March 31, 2006

Lost in the Woods

Well I have to admit that I have been trying to get some much needed exercise lately. I have been trying to at least once a week get outside and do something active. Yesterday Mark and I decided we would go for a light hike through the woods over at Brown Woods reserve at 63rd and Park at 3:30 in the afternoon.

Well if you live in the metro you know about the thunderstorm we had yesterday. Wasn't just a little rain dropping.... It was a down pour.

At about 4 we pulled up to the trail. It was barely sprinkling and against my wife's better judgment Mark and I headed out. Before it was all over with we were literally soaked to the skin! It was raining so hard we ended up getting all turned around and a nice one hour hike or so became well lets just say a bit more than that.

I did find some broken airplane parts laying in a pile, and some weird animal skull. It was quite the trip. Actually we had a blast, just wet and bit cold by the end.

So we got home finally and Dara just looked at me like, I told you....

My new beautiful wife

Just thought I'd let everyone in on a shot of the new glasses. Dara got them yesterday and she looks great! Really she does. Colin keeps pointing to her and saying, "Eyes, eyes."

She loves them and can really see well. Amazing.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Balaam and Balak

Well, I just think Balak was an idiot. Take a minute and read Numbers 22 today. Basically Balak commissions Balaam to curse Israel. Well each time Balaam tries he can only bless Israel. After a few times, Balak is pretty upset and says lets move to another spot and maybe God will let you curse Israel there. Pretty dense guy. Ok twice God won't curse his own people, but moving to another rock is going to make a difference?

Yeah I dont get that?

How did this guy make the Bible?

Read the chapter....

I stay, and new glasses

Well my little boy, Colin, made a huge human advancement today. He was at the Main's house for a little play time with his friends. They were all playing outside when Amy came out and said it was time to come in. He kept playing and then Amy asked him if he wanted to come in. Colin simply responded with, "No, I stay." A sentence, huge advancement. It definitely brings him up to the Paleolithic stage of communication now :)

As for the new glasses, Dara had an eye exam today and she is in need of some new glasses. The doc said her eyes are awful by any stretch, but these glasses would help if she wants them. Well they are on order now and she will be the trendy new studious looking girl!

Leaders are Thinkers

I went to a business conference with my wife last night. The speaker was tremendous. Of course what he was speaking about was all business related, but it is my custom to try to get something that I can apply to church growth and health.

One of the first things that he said was, if you are going to do amazing things you have to learn to think differently. He was telling a story of a man who had succeeded greatly in business. The man's first goal was to get a car with a driver. You might ask why? Maybe he should have paid other things off, or put some money away for retirement, but he wanted a car with a driver.

His idea was he wastes so much time looking for a place to park, and driving around doing nothing when he could be being productive. So he did get a driver and a car and he became one of the top income earners in his company.

Now maybe that is extreme or radical thinking, but an amazing approach. So often we just do ministry by memory, and expect new results. When sometimes we need to have a totally fresh idea on how we do church. Obviously why is the same, and the principles stay true, but methods can and do always change.

So my thoughts are, what are we doing that is "getting us a car and driver?"

Fear of Rejection

We are going to look at what God’s word has to say about a very common fear. The fear of rejection.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV

God has not given us a spirit of fear, but so many us of live with so many fears. Paralyzed by fear. Especially the fear of rejection. This does not come from God. Actually God’s word empowers us to over come the fear of being rejected.

I have to be honest and admit that at times I deal with this very fear. I am a pretty confident guy, and I usually don’t worry about what people think if it someone who I am not very close to. But sometimes it seems that the closer I get to people the more I sometimes worry about what people think.

You see we have to be careful to not become approval addicts. As a young minister I found myself just in that spot. I always wanted to know as soon as I was done. How was it? Did I do a good job? Was I clear, do you think others liked it?

My wife is very good at affirming me, she is honest and if I tanked she told me, but she is great at building me up. I remember a few times Dara not saying anything about the sermon for a long time. Probably just because we got busy or it didn’t come up… and all afternoon I was anxious… was it that bad she wasn’t even going to say anything… then you get to where you are even afraid to ask….

Approval junkies….

This is a very dangerous addiction. And many of you live right here…
Here is what the bible says…

Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe. Proverbs 29:25

Fear of people, man, others… it is trap or snare, but if you simply trust in God you will be made safe… awesome promise

2 Rejection Traps
1) Overly starved.
The sad thing is though when we are overly starved the very thing we desire most is the very thing we lose. We become so needy, so starved for acceptance that we lose that acceptance.

In old testament we read of a man who could have been the greatest king of all of Israel but his greatest weakness was he was always worry about being accepted. He was over come with the fear of rejection. He always wondered what are the people going to think… are they going to like me. At one point even he rejected what God thought and did his own thing, and did what the people thought… and the prophet Samuel came to him and confronted him.

This is what Saul said in I Sam 15:24‘… I have sinned. I violated the LORD’s command…I was afraid of the people and so I gave in to them.’

How often do you do that? You are afraid of what people think. So instead of doing the right thing, you give in and do what you think they would want you to do?

I know many girls who have expressed that they were saving themselves from sexual impurity until marriage only when they wanted the approval of someone and they trade their virginity for this false acceptance that only leads to more of the same….thinking sex equals love… and that is the furthest thing from intimacy that there is…

If I buy this car will you like me, if I do my hair just this way will you like me, if I go these restaurants, if I compromise my integrity in my business to be a part of this group will you then like me…

I know some people who want approval so bad they make a new relationship with someone or friendship, and they begin to get close to that person and they suck the life right out of them….

They become a human vacuum. Will you like me…. Suuuuck…

You know some one like that? Fear of man will become like a snare… become overly starved..
2 thoughts
Approval addicts have an inability to confront.
We want to be liked so we don’t confront. And until we learn biblical confrontation skills we can never have the intimacy in relationships that God wants..

Approval addicts give in, but are inwardly angry and resentful.
Ok I will do what you want, but on the inside I am getting really ticked, and it causes all kinds of grief.

Overly starved… but the next is the opposite….
2) Overly cautious.
"I have been hurt before, therefore I am never going to let anyone hurt me again… I am not going to trust, because I am dot going to let you do what someone else has already done to me…"

Blessed is the man who always fears the LORD, but he who hardens his heart falls into trouble. Proverbs 28:14

How often do we know some one with a hard heart. They hold everyone at arms length…
For some it starts when you have this sneaking suspicion that your parents favor another sibling over you, I don’t want to get hurt….

Others it on the athletic field when you don’t get picked for the team….

Don’t fit in a certain crowd, or they say they are going to be there forever… and you become overly cautious.

When you see great Christ followers who not unlike yourselves have family and friends that are unbelievers, but you are afraid to speak to them about Christ, why… because you are afraid they will reject you… t hat very thing happened in scripture..

A group of people who were Christ followers ran into this same dilemma. They were afraid of being rejected….

But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God. John 12:42-43

Fear of man is a trap… we become overly cautious or overly starved…

The bible gives us two principles in dealing with rejection…by the help of God we can learn to:
1) Say “yes” to pleasing God.

In first kings there was some things stolen… and the king came to Jehoshaphat and asked what they should do, prodding him to say lets go maybe…

But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, ‘First seek the counsel of the LORD.’ 1 Kings 22:5

I love, first we seek God, not seek the advisors, or poll the people….

So when you are in a decision process, you don’t ask, what will my friends, or coworkers, or parents think… first ask what will God think…

We seek to please God in all we do…

I love the story of one of my favorite preachers. G Campbell Morgan. As a young man he was going before a credentialing body in 1888. He stood before 3 men … after he and all the men had preached and been interviewed. The there top guys made a decision as to which young preachers actually were called or not…

At the end of the day, Morgan made his way to the posted list. There he looked only to the accepted paper. He scanned down the long list only to find his name not there… he turned and walked away sad.

Some of you know that feeling.. you have worked hard for something… only to be rejected… maybe it is the approval of your parents, or job career promotion…

He sent a telegraph to his father back home with one word across the page… REJECTED

His father telegraphed back simply and wisely..
Rejected by men, but accepted by God.”

And that is where I want to fall. I will be rejected by people and so will you. If you intend to follow Christ you will. Isaiah said Christ would be despised and of men. How do you think you can follow Christ and not be rejected by someone…

Our first desire is to please God in all we do. That is why Jesus said this…
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

First we say yes to pleasing God, then obviously we must
2) Say “no” to pleasing people. That doesn’t mean you can be rude…

We just cant be driven to be people pleasers.

I love how Isaiah puts this…Who are you that you fear mortal men, the sons of men, who are but grass, that you forget the LORD your Maker… Isaiah 51:12b-13a

You know what is crazy… we get driven by what people think and we forget God…

Listen to what Paul says… Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10

You have a choice every day to either life for yourself and others, or to love for God…

If you take mans route, it is a trap… and it will surely fail, but if you try to please God… then you will be kept safe…

Are you trying to please God or man… yes to please God, no to pleasing man..

That leads us to our goal today….


The one who really cares, not man who is fickle and changes his mind everyday. One day this is cool, or the thing to do. Another day that is right… but live like no one else is watching… you should experience life in such a way that it only matters what God thinks…

Jesus said this in John 5:30…
By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.I seek to please the one who sent me…

How many of you were alive in the glory days of like first or second grade when you got a hall pass…. You were chosen by the teacher to do an errend…
Hall pass, looking in at your friends…. Just waiting for teacher or custodian to ask we you were out in the hall…. I have a Hall pass!

But today we have so much more than a hall pass, we have Gods approval, we have hall pass of all hall passes. His word, grant us access right to Him… we need not worry about rejection, because he was chosen us as we have chosen him…. No matter what you think about me it doesn’t matter, God loves me and his righteousness makes me perfect in his sight, I am on over comer by his blood and my testimony… his word tells me he has plans to prosper me and bless me…

When God says you are free to go, go. When he gives you a task, and speaks to your heart, you do it…. We do not live for the approval of people… we have Gods hall pass…

Fear of men is a trap, but trust in God is safety…

I love these words…
Secure in God’s love, I will not surrender my self-worth to the opinions and judgments of others. When I am rejected, I will not retaliate; when I am hurt, I will allow God’s love to heal me. And knowing the pain of rejection, I will seek to love those who suffer from its anguish.” Lloyd Ogilvie

I say yes to pleasing God, not to pleasing others, and live my life with the Goal to worship God as an audience of one…
In that I find freedom from the fear of rejection….

Monday, March 27, 2006

Sunday Update

This Sunday we began our new series called "fear." Each of us deal with all kinds of fear, and Sunday we looked at what the Bible says about the fear of rejection. We had 53 people in attendance this weekend, on the last half of springbreak. Several people received some help in dealing with the fear of rejection.

The Bible says that the fear of approval of men leads to a snare or trap, but trusting in God leads to peace.

We all need to remember that it is God who gives the final approval and it is simply the best option to say "yes to God" and no to man. Our ultimate goal is the live for an audience of One. Once we can understand that God is approving of us and leading us, we can let go of our fears, especially the fear of rejection.

Remember fear doesn't come from God. II Timothy 1:7 says, The does not give us the spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and a sound mind.

Maybe we should live in that verse some more....

Saturday, March 25, 2006

I thought you might enjoy the sermon trailer for the new Fear series. We are looking at what the Bible has to say about some of the most common fears we face. Many people deal with the fear of rejection, failure, intimacy, and losing control. Join us Sundays to see what God's Word teaches about fear.

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Dara's Blog

If you havce a minute try to check out Dara's blog this week. We have taken the 90 day challeneg together and she has blogged about some of the interesting things we have run across together.

Set change

Just so everyone is aware we are moving the set around tomorrow. We will be centering the drums and using small platforms for some variety on each side of the drums. It should look good.

We are working on some color washing over some fabric on each side of the screen. If any one is interested in sewing a bit... let me know.

It is Finished

I would like to introduce to you Mr and Mrs Nathan Kempers. It is official. They are married. I signed the paperwork just a while ago!

Everything went well and they are headed out to LA for the week. Pray for God's blessing in this new family!

Shanna looked beautiful and Nate just looked longingly into her eyes all the time :) It was all very special.