Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer Jubilee

We're excited to welcome Allegheny String Band to our Summer Jubilee on Saturday, July 9. We hope you'll join us for this wonderful evening celebrating 50 years as a church family! Please RSVP to

Friday, June 17, 2011

An Adventure of a Lifetime

My son, Caleb, is heading off on the adventure of a lifetime. He will be spending nearly three weeks touring Europe starting this Saturday. He will fly into London, England, then take the speed train to Paris, France, then on to Berlin, Germany, and finishing up in Rome and Venice, Italy.

I am so proud of Caleb and what God is doing in him and through him. I can only imagine what God is preparing him for as a disciple of Jesus entering into his sophomore year of high school.

I would ask that you join Kelli and me in praying for Caleb over the next three weeks - that he has an incredible adventure, he stays healthy and safe, and returns home with a broader understanding of who he is as a follower of Jesus and a child of God.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day 8 - #Trust30

Five Years

There will be an agreement in whatever variety of actions, so they be each honest and natural in their hour. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

What would you say to the person you were five years ago? What will you say to the person you’ll be in five years?

What would I say to the person I was five years ago? Here's what's most important in order - your relationship with God through Jesus, your relationship with Kelli, your relationship with Caleb and Abby, and your personal integrity. Work at each everyday. Be faithful in the small things.

What would I say to the person I will be in five years? Invest in the next generation of leaders. When I was a young leader in my 20s and 30s I wish I would have had someone who intentionally poured into me. Be the answer to some young leader's prayer.

Day 7 - #Trust30


Our arts, our occupations, our marriages, our religion, we have not chosen, but society has chosen for us. We are parlour soldiers. We shun the rugged battle of fate, where strength is born. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Next to Resistance, rational thought is the artist or entrepreneurs worst enemy. Bad things happen when we employ rational thought, because rational thought comes from the ego. Instead, we want to work from the Self, that is, from instinct and intuition, from the unconscious.

A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. Its only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate.” - Steven Pressfield, Do the Work

The idea of “being realistic” holds all of us back. From starting a business or quitting a job to dating someone who may not be our type or moving to a new place – getting “real” often means putting your dreams on hold.

Today, let’s take a step away from rational thought and dare to be bold. What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to accomplish but have been afraid to pursue? Write it down. Also write down the obstacles in your way of reaching your goal. Finally, write down a tangible plan to overcome each obstacle.

The only thing left is to, you know, actually go make it happen. What are you waiting for?

The one thing that is a goal that I never thought possible for me to accomplish is running a full marathon. I was a sprinter in track. I hated to run more than the 400 meter dash. Now I want to accomplish something that takes time, discipline, and commitment. This week I am starting to train for my first full marathon that I will run on September 24 in Akron, Ohio.

The schedule is set, the goal is before me, I will fight the resistance!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Day 6 - #Trust30

Come Alive

Life wastes itself while we are preparing to live. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you had one week left to live, would you still be doing what you’re doing now? In what areas of your life are you preparing to live? Take them off your To Do list and add them to a To Stop list. Resolve to only do what makes you come alive.

Bonus: How can your goals improve the present and not keep you in a perpetual “always something better” spiral?

If I had one week to live, I wouldn't do much different. I would pray more. I would pray for my family and my church family. I wouldn't hold back my words. I wouldn't put things off. When life is shortened, the intensity is ramped up. On my "To Stop" list would be frustration. I hate being frustrated.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Day 5 - #Trust30


If we live truly, we shall see truly. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Not everyone wants to travel the world, but most people can identify at least one place in the world they’d like to visit before they die. Where is that place for you, and what will you do to make sure you get there?

I would love to go to Australia. Every summer Kelli and I go somewhere, just the two of us. This year it is Honduras. One day, probably after the kids graduate, we will make it to Australia.

Day 4 - #Trust30

Post It

That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him. Where is the master who could have taught Shakespeare? Where is the master who could have instructed Franklin, or Washington, or Bacon, or Newton? . . . Shakespeare will never be made by the study of Shakespeare. Do that which is assigned you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Identify one of your biggest challenges at the moment (ie I don’t feel passionate about my work) and turn it into a question (ie How can I do work I’m passionate about?) Write it on a post-it and put it up on your bathroom mirror or the back of your front door. After 48-hours, journal what answers came up for you and be sure to evaluate them.

My biggest challenge at the moment is trusting God through the summer months as many people (20% in past years) disappear from worship at Charter Oak Church.

To turn that into a question...How can I trust God in practical ways over the summer months?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Day 3 - #trust30

One Strong Belief

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

The world is powered by passionate people, powerful ideas, and fearless action. What’s one strong belief you possess that isn’t shared by your closest friends or family? What inspires this belief, and what have you done to actively live it?

These are great questions. It's what sets us apart as unique from everyone else in some shape or form.

I believe that most people in this region are happy, content, and comfortable with where they are in their lives. I believe that level of comfort has created spiritual apathy. Most people, in my opinion, aren't passionate about very much outside their own bubble. I believe this apathy can only be cured by a deep, intimate relationship with Jesus that is focused outward towards others. I don't believe the church is a building. I believe the church is a surrendered group of people fulfilling the Great Commission. I give my life to this everyday.


“Becoming obsessed with what people think about me is the quickest way to forget what God thinks about me.”
-Craig Groeschel

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Day 2 - #Trust30


Your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing. The force of character is cumulative. – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

If ‘the voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tacks,’ then it is more genuine to be present today than to recount yesterdays. How would you describe today using only one sentence? Tell today’s sentence to one other person. Repeat each day.

My sentence for today:

Be who God created you to be - gloriously messy, abundantly generous, extravagantly loving.

Day 1 - #Trust30

15 Minutes to Live

We are afraid of truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death, and afraid of each other. Our age yields no great and perfect persons. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

You just discovered you have fifteen minutes to live.

1. Set a timer for fifteen minutes.
2. Write the story that has to be written.

If I had 15 minutes to live I would set the timer for one minute, write one sentence to Kelli, one to Caleb, one to Abby, and one to my Charter Oak Church family, then I would go hold my family as tight as I could.

My sentences...

To Kelli - I love you! Thanks to you I know Jesus, there is no greater gift you could give me.

To Caleb - I love you! Be a man after God's heart and love courageously.

To Abby - I love you! Pursue Jesus with everything you are and make Him known.

To my Charter Oak Church family - I love you! live beyond the walls of our building and pursue the mission to bring people to Jesus and become more like Him in every aspect of your life.

To everyone else - Don't wait to truly live, don't hold back your love, make the most of every moment. This isn't our home.