Monday, December 31, 2007

2008 Book List

Here is my first attempt at making a reading list for 2008. These are books on my "short" list. There are two without links because they will be released some time during 2008. I know there are other books that I will read that I currently have on my book shelf. These are the ones that I will be buying some time in 2008.

  1. Bring Out the Best in People by Aubrey C. Daniels
  2. The Power of a Positive No by William Ury
  3. Leadership on the Other Side by Bill Easum
  4. The Dip by Seth Godin
  5. Board with God by Shawn Dunn
  6. The Starfish and the Spider by Ori Bradman & Rod Beckstrom
  7. This Beautiful Mess by Rick McKinley
  8. The Three Signs of a Miserable Job by Pat Lencioni
  9. Beyond Megachurch Myths by Scott Thummar & Dave Travis
  10. Overcoming the Darkside of Leadership by Gary McIntosh & Samuel Rima
  11. Made to Stick by Chip Heath & Dan Heath
  12. The Forgotten Ways by Alan Hirsch
  13. Chazown by Craig Groeschel
  14. Confessions of a Pastor by Craig Groeschel
  15. Going All the Way by Craig Groeschel
  16. Sex God by Rob Bell
  17. Through Painted Deserts by Donald Miller
  18. To Own a Dragon by Donald Miller
  19. Let Story Guide You by Donald Miller
  20. The Blogging Church by Brian Bailey and Terry Storch
  21. Making Vision Stick by Andy Stanley
  22. Creating Community by Andy Stanley
  23. Choosing to Cheat by Andy Stanley
  24. Go Big by Bill Easum
  25. unChristian by David Kinnaman
  26. Confessions of a Reformission Rev. by Mark Driscoll
  27. Go Put Your Strengths to Work by Marcus Buckingham
  28. Wide Awake by Erwin McManus
  29. The Barbarian Way by Erwin McManus
  30. Breaking the Missional Code by Ed Stetzer

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

I hope and pray that you will experience the miracle of Christmas today, tomorrow, and every day of your life. May you receive the greatest gift ever given. May you live for the One who was born of a virgin, lived life to the very fullest, was betrayed, tortured, crucified, died, and on the third day rose from the dead that you may spend eternity with God.

He is JESUS!

Everything Changed

"The Adoration of the Shepherds" by Rembrandt.
In the midst of the darkness God sent his Son Jesus as the hope of the world. His light beats back the darkness of sin and brings salvation to all who will follow as his disciples.
Rembrandt doesn't paint Jesus as an angel with a halo. He is a human baby. Rembrandt doesn't follow the other Renaissance painters and have the light of heaven shining down on Jesus. Instead he has the light coming from Jesus.
The ladder and the roof's crossbeam foreshadow the coming cross for Jesus. It is difficult to see it in this picture, but there is a rooster near the ladder - betrayal awaits this child when he becomes a man.
That first Christmas - everything changed. Alleluia!

Book #19 - When Necessary Use Words

The year is coming to a close and I am trying to finish up my reading list. I know I won't read everything I wanted to for 2007, but the last week of the year I am on vacation so I will be able to put in more dedicated reading time.

Anyway, I finished reading my 19th book of the year - When Necessary Use Words: Changing Lives Through Worship, Justice, and Evangelism by Mike Pilavachi. I was challenged earlier in the year to read a little bit outside of my "normal" reading patterns. I was specifically challenged to read about justice issues and racial issues. I picked up this book in order to be faithful to the reading about justice issues.

This is the line that really grabbed hold of me - "Sometimes we have to be good news before we earn the right to preach good news." That's good stuff.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve at Charter Oak Church this year is a great opportunity for you to invite your friends, neighbors, family members, and co-workers. People are more open to an invitation on Christmas Eve than any other time of the year. Our worship times and styles are...

5:00 - Traditional Carols and special music by children's choirs

7:00 - Traditional Carols and special music by adult choirs

9:00 - Contemporary Music

11:00 - Traditional Carols and Communion

Last year the 7:00 worship service was completely full and the 5:00 worship service was just about full. If you are bringing guests, please come at the time that is most convenient for them. If you are not bringing someone, it would be great if you attended one of the later two worship services.

Christmas Eve is a time of rejoicing and worshipping the risen Savior. I am looking forward to seeing you here!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Imagine this...Christmas Love instead of Stress

This is the podcast of the third part of the Imagine This...Christmas series.

Click here.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Book #18 - Reveal: Where Are You?

There has been so much buzz about the study that was performed at Willow Creek Community Church that I decided I had better read the book written by their executive pastor Greg Hawkins. The book is called Reveal: Where Are You? By the way, you can't purchase the book anywhere except from Willow, at least I couldn't find anywhere.

First of all, let me say how disappointed I was that the book cost $12.99 and the amount of information could have fit into a 20 page .pdf. Instead it is a 100+ page book that is mostly white and very little type. It is a huge waste of resources.

But once I got past my disappointment in the design of the book, I really enjoyed the content. Willow Creek knew they needed to ask some really difficult questions. They didn't just beg off because they are seen as "successful." Instead they went deeper and asked questions we all need to be asking about our church.

The thing that I really liked was that Willow Creek didn't stop by surveying their congregation and six other congregations. They used that information to help shape a new strategic plan for their congregation going forward.

As Charter Oak Church begins the process of forming our strategic plan in 2008, this book is extremely helpful to me and will be for the process. If you are ready to ask some tough questions and really get to the heart of where your church is, then read this book and put it into action.

Just as a side note...when I went on to Willow Creek's website I found out that the name of their sermon series this Advent is "Imagine." Our series title is "Imagine this...Christmas." I couldn't believe how close they are. I would love to be able to take credit for the title of our series, but it came from Cindy Jonczak. Maybe Willow Creek called her too - it wouldn't suprise me.


I never thought I would be so happy to see rain on a Sunday morning, but that is what we have and I am excited. With all the sensationalism lately with the weather, I thought that the world might just be ending this weekend. All kinds of reports about ice, sleet, freezing rain, and snow. I woke up this morning and it was 38 degrees. I was cracking up because everyone who was reporting the weather said today's high is 36 degrees. They don't even want to admit that it is warmer than it actually is.

I'm so thankful that it is raining today.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Imagine this...Christmas Joy instead of Stuff

This is the podcast of the second part of the Imagine this...Christmas series

Click here.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Unspeakable Joy

This weekend at Charter Oak Church - The Christmas Cantata - Unspeakable Joy

In a world whose headlines scream of war, disease, homelessness, crime and financial disaster, where is the hope, the healing? In a world awash in worry, doubt, dread, and loneliness, where is the word to life the weary heart?

"The angel said to them, 'Do not b afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great JOY which will be for all the people." Luke 2:10

Good news of a great joy! This joy, this bounteous, contagious, and overflowing joy is what has been captured in the musical "Unspeakable Joy". It is the joy of Christmas. The joy of knowing the One who was born at Christmas. It's the joy of each believer discovering the love of Jesus Christ for himself, for herself.

What will make this work a Christmas favorite is the way the theme of "Unspeakable Joy" is so warmly woven throughout the musical. The story of the stable and the star, the angels and the shepherds, the baby on a bed of straw, is delivered with the power to amaze us with its mercy and fill us with a joy unspeakable.

Job Opening

We have an employment opening at Charter Oak Church for an Office Manager. I have copied the short version of what the responsibilities for the position are. If you are interested please give Cindy Jonczak a call at the church or email her at

Office Manager is responsible for overseeing all the office functions of the church. Ordering supplies, managing office equipment, preparation and publication of all communications including the weekly worship folders and monthly newsletter, maintaining and managing the church's database, scheduling and calendar management.

The Office Manager is responsible also for the front desk including answering phones, greeting visitors and being a presence as the first voice and face of COUMC.
Volunteer team development and leadership as needed including training and overseeing a receptionist staff.

Skills necessary for the position are: Proficiency in Microsoft Office including Publisher. Organization and attention to detail, people skills and ability to recruit volunteers and manage their schedules and tasks. A detailed job description will be available upon request.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Podcast of Imagine This...Christmas - Peace

This is the podcast of the first part of the Imagine This...Christmas series.

Click here.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Book #17 - Rules for Revolutionaries

This weekend I finished reading Guy Kawasaki's book Rules for Revolutionaries: The Capitalist Manifesto for Creating and Marketing New Products and Services. Guy was with Apple Computers very early on and has become a guru on thinking differently in the marketplace. He is at Garage Technology Ventures now. What most people don't know is that Guy is a follower of Jesus. He "steals" biblical words and infuses them into the business world.

There are three sections to this book - Create like a god, Command like a king, and Work like a slave. I really liked this book a lot because I read it through the eyes of someone trying to change the culture of a church and possibly a denomination that is used to doing things the way we have always done them. Guy writes the book for people in those positions in business, but I filtered it through the Church. Good book for revolutionaries.