Monday, July 31, 2006

100 Posts!

There is a huge party going on here right now. Everyone heard that this was going to be my 100th post on my blog. To celebrate, I changed the look of my blog.

Andy Stanley often talks about finding times to celebrate as you do ministry. I couldn't find anything better to celebrate today than this, so we are going to party like its 1999!

Share a Resource

I don't know how many people, if anyone, really reads this blog. But every once in a while I get an email from someone who has read what I have posted or they will hit the comment button and leave me a note. Often times the people who have done that are pastors. I want to share with those of you who use graphics in worship or in your printed material a resource that I use on a weekly basis with all of the graphics that I do here at Charter Oak Church.

I use a good bit of stock photography in my PowerPoint presentations and most recently on our newest billboard. Here is the website that I use - These are high quality, royal free photography that you can use. One of the best parts of the site is the search engine. The AI on it is great!

You have to register your information, but it is free.

Monday Morning QB 07/31/06

Here's the Monday Morning QB for this week:

Message: When the Storms of Life Are Raging (Dave preached)

Scripture: Psalm 107:23-32

Service Highlights: Pastor Dave shared with the congregation the things we need to know when the storms of life hit: 1) Storms happen to everyone, 2) The pain doesn't last forever, 3) Sometimes God seems to be silent. Then he gave us three simple things to do: 1) Cry out to God, 2)Let God guide you, 3) Remember to remember God's faithfulness. All very good stuff.

Stats: 427 in worship + 110 in Sunday school

Other: This was by far the lowest attendance of the year. I'm not sure why. I know many people are on vacation, but not everyone. Summer was never meant to be a vacation from worship.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Does My Opinion Matter?

I just received an email from asking me to write reviews for the three books I purchased about two weeks ago. That's the first time they asked me to do that. I know everything at Amazon is computer generated, but I wonder why my name or email came up this time. I have bought at least one hundred books from them, why now?

It also got me thinking about my opinion on these books. I am in a very specific situation in my job here at Charter Oak Church. I am reading or have read these books through the lens of where I am right now in my journey and what my learning needs are right now. That's important for me and only me. So, does my opinion matter to others? Is someone else going to read Communicating for a Change by Andy Stanley because I give it five stars and write - "Good book"? I honestly can say I haven't read any reviews on Amazon to determine if I was going to purchase a book or not. I don't care what other people that I don't know think about a book. I do care what people who are my mentors and my heroes think and read. I will ask their opinion. But I know them and they are my mentors and heroes for a reason.

Anyway, I am not going to review the books for Amazon.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Getting Perspective

Today I have been working on my sermon series for the launch of our new building. In one of my messages I am going to look at how we just accumulate so much stuff. I was deep into my preparation, when I just needed a break. I started walking around to clear my head a bit. I looked outside. Today is Fresh Express at our church. We bring in two truck loads of food and give it out to people.

We haven't had a flood. We haven't been hit by a hurricane. There hasn't been a natural disaster. Yet, there are over 200 people lined up in the parking lot with anything they can find to collect this free food. I'm thinking about all the stuff we accumulate and here are so many people that are here to collect food for the week so they can survive. Talk about getting perspective. Man.

I'm glad we are here to serve these people in our region like this. But how do we tell these people that they matter to God?


I took a few days off this weekend with my family to get away before we kick into high gear with the move to our new facility. With everything that has been going on around here I just needed to do something physical. So I helped Kelli's dad build a deck on to the back of their house. It was 12 feet by 14 feet. I am very sore today. But let me tell you, it feels good to have done some real physical labor. It felt good to see a job completed. And now I am back in the saddle ready for the next 3 months of total blitz.

One funny story that I have to tell about the construction. As we were fininshing up the framing of the deck, I had one more beam to cut off to square up the end of the deck. So I positioned the ladder in such a way that I could easily cut the lumber using my right hand. I climb the ladder up about 10 or 12 feet in the air and I was positioning the circular saw to being cutting when I realized the the part I was cutting off was exactly where I positioned the ladder. Duh! I am so glad I didn't start cutting or we might be down a pastor. I love it when I do dumb things and live to tell about it!

Monday Morning QB 07/24/06

Here's the Monday Morning QB for this week:

Message: Getting Your Spiritual Life in Order (Dave Preached)

Scripture: Psalm 85

Service Highlights: I was on vacation this weekend, but I do know that we began our time of remembering our current building. We had a couple speak about their memories of Charter Oak Church. They were a part of the founding group back in the 50's who started our church.

Stats: 493 in worship + 99 in Sunday school

Friday, July 21, 2006

When We Need God the Most

Yesterday was my worst day at Charter Oak Church. One of our students, and the son of one of our staff members, committed suicide. We gathered together as many students as wanted to be here, any parents, and the student ministry staff and we prayed and read scripture for a while last night.

Lots of tears. Lots of questions.

The student's brother and sister were here. We surrounded them with the greatest amount of love that we could.

Here's what I know, God is faithful to His promises. This student gave his life to Jesus. Now he is spending eternity with his heavenly Father. As much as it hurts here, he is rejoicing for eternity. No more sorrow. No more pain.

Worship the King my brother. See you there.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Monday Morning QB 07/17/06

Here's the Monday Morning QB for this week:

Message: Dealing with Day to Day Distractions (Dave Preached)

Scripture: Psalm 55

Service Highlights: Pastor Dave taight about how the complications of life can get in the way of our relationship with God. We can become so distracted by them that we no longer see God in our lives. The key verse was 17, "Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice." Dan did a great job with the monologue to make it real for all of us how easily this invades our families.

Stats: 479 in worship + 117 in Sunday school

Monday, July 10, 2006

Monday Morning QB 07/10/06

Here's the Monday morning QB for this week:

Message: Who Is God? (I preached)

Scripture: Psalm 50

Service Highlights: I fininshed up this weekend by bringing the last few week together by talking about developing a heart of worship. Worship doesn't just happen for an hour in a weekend service; it is a lifestyle. We cannot afford to allow our singing in during our weekend service become like the burnt offering of the Israelites as described in Psalm 50. God is the center, we are not.

Stats: 511 in worship

Sunday, July 9, 2006

World Cup Is Over

I just watched the end of the World Cup - one word - WOW. I was blown away by this game for so many reasons. Number one - perhaps one of the greatest players of all time, certainly for France, did something ridiculous and was kicked out of the game (red card). Number two - the game ended in penalty kicks, being an ex-keeper, this is the most intense moment in a keeper's life, words can't describe it. Number three - the guy who made the winning goal was not the man of the match (player of the game) - in three different matches throughout the World Cup he made the winning goal.

My final thought on the World Cup actually comes from the closing of ABC's coverage. They played a U2 song called "One". As I listened and I watched the highlights of the World Cup, I thought about the One whom we worship. I doubt that ABC put together the song and the footage to glorify God, but as I watched the best of the best and the passion of the players, I thought this worships God. It was God that endowed those men with such incredible talent. The highlights, for me, were a sacrifice of praise to God.

Monday, July 3, 2006

Monday Morning QB 07/03/06

Here's the Monday Morning QB for this week:

Message: Public Restrooms Scare Me (I preached)

Scripture: Psalm 84

Service Highlights: This weekend marked my one year anniversary at Charter Oak Church! Bill and the praise band were off the chart great this weekend. I talked about how we often want some kind of sign from God that he is present in our lives, but the truth is, God is always there. I also challenged our congregation to enter into the muddiness of people's lives so we can let them know God's presence also.

Stats: 462 in worship

Saturday, July 1, 2006

TV Spot

Here's the link for the TV spot on Channel 4 News. I don't know how long it will be active. I'm not sure how they pick out what they want to air, but it was a good plug for Charter Oak Church.