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.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Being Ready to Worship

Worship is an amazing part of the Christ Followers life. Often we relegate it to Sunday morning when it should be an everyday experience, though. We need to learn to worship in every area of our lives.

I ran across some material this week I found in a storage closest, of all places, discussing worship. (You never know what you are going to find somewhere, so always be on the look out!) I thought I would pass it on to you.

For worship to stay both restful and revitalizing we must:
Get the big picture right, and do the little things right.

Psm 95:2 says, "Let us come before him with thanksgiving..."

The very first aspect of worship should be giving thanks to God. Worship has a starting line, a place that it begins and that place is with our hearts. We must begin with a thankful heart.

During the week just tell someone what you are thankful for. Really what are we thankful for? Do we ever consider that?

Psm 95:2 "Let us... Extol him with music and song."

God clearly tell us to celebrate him with music and singing. The problem is so many of us feel like we have to be quiet and solemn in church. The truth is the Hebrew people were singing loudly, playing trumpets, tambourines, and other instruments all the while dancing to God. I don't think it was quiet or still. I just don't see the "ventriloquist" version of worship happening then. (You know, you look and see someone worshipping and their lips are barely moving and you barely hear the song)

No we are to sing, and be excited because he is God! Remember this is not American Idol, Simon is not going to judge your vocal ability. You are singing directly to God! He doesn't care about your pitch, he just wants you worship!

Smile while you sing!
Close your eyes. (Sometimes we open our eyes and close our mouths. God wants us to express from our heart through our mouth what is happening on the inside)
Personalize the words you say. Change the song to fit you. Make it first person, make it you own.

Does any one deal with the "angry car ride to church" syndrome. You know, when it seems everyone is in a bad mood on the way to church. It seems like everything that can go wrong does. So then everyone is tense and upset during the ride to the church, even arguing until the door opens and you have to speak to someone. All of a sudden everything changes and you are the spiritual giant again. Anybody here with me?

Try to avoid that. Nothing kills the worship experience like an argument. Have a worship CD in the car ready to play for the Sunday drive to help get your spirit going.

Always remember worship is about God, not our circumstances. We need to be able to separate some of the junk surrounding us and engage God. He is just waiting for us to embrace Him.

sickness in the singleton house

Sorry about the past few days and the lack of blogging. We all have been a been a bit under the weather this week. I am getting ready to post a few blogs on some of the issues that have come up in my reading through of Genesis. I am well into the 90 day challenge now and loving it. I should finish Exodus tonight.

I am pleased to hear that several people have been accepting the challenge and are now on a journey to read the whole Bible cover to cover. It basically is reading 12 pages a day. You can either use your own Bible or buy one already marked. If you use your own Bible you need to find the total number of pages and divide by 90. This will give you the exact number of pages for your specific Bible.

If you would like to purchase your own Bible that is pre-set for this 90 day pattern you can either go to Barnes and Noble or Amazon to buy it.

Which ever way you choose you will be blessed!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Sunday Update

This morning was great! We had a great service in the main theater, but Lori had an amazing service in Creek Kids. She not only had 24 kids in her service, but she had 10 kids respond to Jesus.

So all total we had 69 in service this morning. We have challenged everyone to begin the 90 day challenge of reading through the Bible cover to cover.

I am finished with Genesis and beginning Exodus tonight. It has been amazing!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

"Godly" Men

You know we have this idea that all the Godly men who have ever been used of God were just awesome Christ followers. We have this idea that after we come to Jesus we no longer struggle with any thing. We also often feel that God only uses those who are perfect and do not struggle with things in our life. How quickly that idea is crushed when we really dive into God's word.

Adam, the first created man sinned just by gentle encouragement of his wife.
Noah, the only righteous man on earth gets wasted just after getting off the ark.
Abraham, the father of all nations, lies to Pharaoh about his wife being his sister, and trades her for all kinds of goods...

Man, thankfully God is patient huh, and he doesn't require us to be perfect before he begins to use us.

Think about that before you cast judgment on someone else's life as they follow Christ.

Bible Study

Well today I started a new thing. I am on a 90 day encounter with God's word. I have committed to read the entire Bible cover to cover in the next 90 days. The way that it happens is by reading basically 12 pages a day.

I am still reading other things, but I have been feeling God directing me to be saturated with God's word. It is the road map of life. Now I have read every book at one point or another at least once, but I have never read straight through. So now I am on a journey.

I want to be well versed in God's thoughts. I like to know what people around me are thinking. One of my favorite things to ask is, "What are you thinking?" So I ask myself, "What is God thinking?"

The answer is right in front of me.

I journeyed from creation to Abraham and Sarah's life with Ishmael today. I love to read a great story.

Wouldn't the Bible make a great epic movie? It would be rated R though :)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The process

I was just doing my daily reading of the blogs I try to regularly read,, and a few others. But go today to brians blog and read about the process. Read todays blog entry. take a minute to absorb what he is saying about the seeds verses growth. It is very well worded and I am not going to try to copy it. Just read it.

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday

Doesn't that make you think of a commercial for a monster truck show at Wells Fargo.

Well. we didn't have a monster truck show, but we did have a meeting with God. Sunday went well as we finished the sermon series "God at the Billboards." Jason sang the Finger Eleven song "Traded it All" as I spoke about the parable that Jesus told about the man that found the treasure bauried in the field.

Here is the overview.

This question of cost and value, of risk and reward, applies to every aspect of life.

Like anything else, the Christian life involves costs and benefits.

“The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.” – Matthew 13:20-22

The Bible doesn’t present the Christian life as one of ease, and comfort, and pleasure.

Jesus warned his followers to count the cost before ever embarking on this journey.

“Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters--yes, even his own life--he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ’This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” – Luke 14:25-30, 33

“Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go."
Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."” – Matthew 18:19-20

"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
– Matthew 13:44

D.A. Carson, puts it, is that “The kingdom is worth infinitely more than the cost of discipleship, and those who know where the treasure lies joyfully abandon everything else to secure it.”

First thing about the treasure is that it was “hidden”.

“The disciples came to him and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?" He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them . . . This is why I speak to them in parables: "Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.” – Matthew 13:10-11, 13

The second thing I’d like you to note about this treasure is its immense value.

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”-jim elliot

“I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ”
– Philippians 3:8

“. . . if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward." – Matthew 10:42

No matter what the circumstances, in the end the benefits of following Christ will always be far greater than the cost of doing so.

"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. " – Matthew 5:11-12

“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” – Luke 6:35

Do you view the kingdom of God as a treasure?

Friday, March 10, 2006

Friday feature Video

Sorry about the real player issue. I am working on making it better. Hopefully by Friday evening it will be right.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Friday Feature

Just wanted to spark some interest for Bolivia. This "short film" is the overview of the trip I lead in February. We went to Cochabamba Bolivia and worked with Missionary Rich Farthing to help build an orphanage. We laid all the block on the second floor, interior and exterior walls. It was awesome! We are planning another trip for the fall of 07.

We are also in the process of raising $32,000 for a piece of property that they want to buy that sits right in between the orphange and the local church. It will be a safe place for the kids to play and interact.

I was discussing it with Mark Main the other day and he mentioned it as an opportunity to not just change a few kids lives, but this cna change generations of kids. It was such an awesome comment I have been using it since.

The ability to change generations. Isnt that really what it is about?

If thus clip doesnt play for you I am sorry.

Bolivia stream.rm
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Anger management

In Life Group last night we discussed anger, and the issues surrounding it. I just wanted to ask, Do you deal with anger? Do you explode or not? What do you do?

Ephesians 4:31 is pretty strong.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

All rage and anger... Wow. I think that includes road rage,(ouch) anger towards our kids and spouses, and even coworkers.

It really all comes back to the great commandments. To love God with all our heart, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Yeah, I cant say I have those covered 100%. Do you? If you have market cornered there can we have lunch on Monday?
Blessings everyone.

I want to encourage you in all you are doing. I know that this is a vast undertaking, and I have been praying this week for each of the families in our church.

I am a firm believer in that Jesus' will is for all to know Him. Knowing Him requires repentance and turning our life over to Him. It is a big step for people. It is happening, and I am focusing new efforts to disciple those who have made commitments.

Romans 10:13 is one of my favorite texts. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved...

Awesome, simplistic, real, genuine promise from God.

It's the next verses that really shake me up. It was brought back to my attention this week, and I haven't been able to shake it.

14How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"

I don't want to be guilty of not "preaching" the Good News in its fullness. I don't want to be guilty of simply not preaching when I have the opportunity. Of course I don't mean I have to be standing on a box downtown yelling. But I do mean I want to be one who is actively seeking opportunities to share Gods story of redemption.

He is in the redeeming business you know...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Lost blogs

Man I love technology, but sometimes I have a problem. The problem is sometimes it doesn't work for me! I have posted a few blogs in the last week but they have mysteriously disappeared.

Then a few days ago I Dara went to post a new blog on her site and one of my blogs was there. So I don't know what is going on.

It does seem strange though. Apparently one of those technology gnomes is out to get me again!

Sunday recap

Sunday went well. It was week 3 of our God at the Billboards series. Jacob Cooper (commonly called Cooper, at times I have to think about what his first name really is) sang the Cold Play song "Fix You." He did a great job. I even heard rumblings after service about whether or not Chris Martin was really there. Cooper is now starting a local chapter of the Free Trade Organiztion at... never mind.

After everyone recieved their Silly Putty, I spoke from Jeremiah 18 about the how God told Jeremiah to go down to the potters shop and watch him make pottery. God is desiring to shape and mold all of our lives. The hook is that we have to be willing to let Him do so.

Are you ready to be put on the Potter's wheel?