Wednesday, May 5, 2010


My family is extremely important to me. My relationship with Kelli is second only to my relationship with my heavenly Father. Every day I give God thanks for Kelli, Caleb, and Abby. Because of my strong commitment to my family, I dedicate my time and my attention to them like no one else. However, in the midst of that, I am one of the pastors at Charter Oak Church. And thanks to you I was reminded that I am also connected to a much larger family called our church.

As most of you probably know my grandfather passed away the week before Easter. I flew down to South Carolina in the middle of Holy Week (the busiest week of my year). I have to tell you that I felt incredibly encouraged and lifted up by your words, your cards, and your hugs. I felt like you lifted me up on to your spiritual shoulders and you carried me through by the power of the Holy Spirit. I intellectually know that as followers of Jesus we are all brothers and sisters – we are family. But to be honest with you, it was so good to be able to live into it. Thank you.

Thank you for being my spiritual family. But more importantly thank you for being our church’s spiritual family. Every week I see how people love each other by being a brother or sister in Christ to them. I always say I am one of the pastors at Charter Oak Church; it’s even the title of my blog ( I say I am one of the pastors because I believe God’s design is that we are all pastors. If one of my kids gets hurt, Kelli doesn’t say, “you are the pastor, you take care of this.” If someone in our congregation is sick, if there is a death, if there is celebration of 65 years of marriage all of us are there, all of us pray, all of us mourn, all of us rejoice. Why? Because we are family, we are all a part of the family of God.

When I flew to South Carolina I saw family I had not seen in a long time. We all said we shouldn’t let that happen. As I lived in that moment I thought of our church family. As spring blossoms and the weather turns nice, it is very easy to “skip” worship. When summer hits full stride, it’s even easier. Hebrews 10:25 says, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” I want you to know that I love you. I want to love God with you. I want to love each other with you. I want to love the world with you. You are my family. Let’s be the family of God called Charter Oak Church together.