Thursday, December 27, 2007

one last time for 2007...

One final post for 2007, here it is here we go. We just got back in from celebrating Christmas with our family in Shelbyville and the trip was a ton shorter this year. we cut our trip from 13 hours to one and a half, wow. We did miss our VA friends but man we did not miss the drive. Chelsea and I got to celebrate 12 years of marriage last night. I surprised her with a night away from the kids with a little overnight trip to downtown Nashville and the Melting Pot, wow what a great place to eat. It is wild to look back and realized we have been married for 12 years. Our hope and prayer is to make it another 12, we have to many friends and family who have not but hey we are going for it. We love each other and understand each other so much more today than we did 12 years ago. I am so blessed with my family, God dropped a huge blessing in my lap and wow I am blessed. with 2 girls now and a wife I am learning what it means to balance being dad and husband. STILL learning, everyday I am learning, got to keep learning and living and loving my girls.

Looking back on 2007 I am blown away by all the changes and how much personal growth I have experienced. God brought so many dreams to reality in 2007. So many ideas that have been exploding in my head for the past 7 years are beginning to be lived out in my everyday life. I learned this year that I am not crazy for thinking the thoughts I have about church. I am not alone in the mission to redefine "church life" here in America. There are so many of us who have surrendered to God's call to create environments for people to connect with God not just preserve or maintain. I have been called to think dream and create and in 2007 I have been released to do that very thing. In 07 I discovered that relationships MATTER. Yes that seems so simple but for years most of my relationships have focused on people inside my local church, my volunteers, my group of teens and this year I have been awakened to the relationships I need to maintain and nurture outside my little safe Cristian bubble. There is so much to learn from those around us from those who follow Christ and those who do not. Those who are like me and those who are not. I have learned this year to listen and be aware of the people around me and look for the relationships God has intended for me. People matter so much to God, they should matter to me. In 2007 I am learning the art of being generous, yes it is a an art to me because it does not come natural for me. Giving away my time, money, and the grace I can give to others matters. In 07 I have learned that High def tv is sweet especially when I am watching the Titans or Vols (sorry had to get that in). Thanks a little to this blog I am learning to express my thoughts a little better in 2007. In 07 I have have learned even more the art of leading a team of people who are incredible leaders. Leading leaders mean listening, means casting a big vision, and it means being willing to accept other ideas. It is fun but challenging and I get to work with some incredible people. In 07 I have been reminded to live and enjoy everyday...no day is guaranteed. In 07 I have been reminded to pray - sounds simple but how can we gripe about stuff we never talk to God about, yea thanks Chad for that idea! In the middle of life, kids, bills, problems, parties prayer seems to be the one thing that gets pushed, learning I have to fight for it, want it or it will never happen. 2007 was a wild year and I know there is so much in 2008. Chelsea and I are gearing up for new challenges and new lessons. God has amazing plans,we are blessed with every day we get to be a apart of His mission. Here comes 08 - happy new year "yall"

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Catie, you are incredible...

A few years ago my friend Kathy Patterson, a teacher at RMS, told me about a brave 8th grader who was fighting cancer. Kathy introduced me to Catie Summers that day. Catie was taking chemo and still going to school by watching her classed by video feed in Mrs. Pattersons office. I will never forget that smiling girl I met...she had already lost her beautiful brown hair, and was tired from the treatments but still there was a joy that flowed from Catie. I moved away and spent 2 1/2 year doing ministry in Virginia. Kathy kept me up to speed with what was going on with Catie. When I moved back I got the call that she was not doing well and was not winning her fight against the disease. Catie's cancer was serious...it was the kind that takes lives. Catie kept fighting...Catie never stopped going to school...Catie never quit living life...Catie found faith in midst of struggle...Catie never stopped smiling. About three weeks ago the doctors told Catie she only had a few days to live and oh well, she made it 3 weeks. She smiled as she told her parents she wanted to call that doctor and let him know she was still here. I was blessed to be be able to hang out with her and her family these past few weeks. It was amazing to watch Catie let her family know she loved them, watch her hang out with friends, see her watching movies! She never stopped living, she never let the cancer beat her and when it was time she simply rested and allowed God to give her healing by taking her from this world. Catie fought an incredible fight! She lived life to the fullest and probably impacted more people in 16 years than most do in 80. Thanks Catie for showing us all how to enjoy every moment of life. Viva Catie (if you go to CHS you know what that means!)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

my first Christmas lights...

Yes you are looking at the first lights I have ever put up at my house during Christmas. My folks were just not lights people, we did the tree and all that but no outside stuff was done. We lived in the sticks so there was no one to see your lights so WHY DO IT. For years I have just told Chelsea I do not do lights. I was at a friends house and saw his lights a few days ago and all of the sudden had the idea - let me get some lights! HA! That was it, I got some and put them out and actually enjoyed it. Taylor Hughes was another guy telling me how much he liked putting out lights...he was right...I liked it! SO MERRY CHRISTMAS!

This week has been an incredible week for many reasons. Brandon Reed got engaged! I am so stoked for him. Kozbi is getting ready for her first ballet recital, wow. A friend of mine who is fighting Cancer has made it another week, she is a fighter and such an inspiration. I have also been reminded how great a team I work with. This week was just sweet as we served God together. It is just amazing to see the great team of folks I work with, great people with great families! This is the verse that God keeps drilling in my head these days, thought I would close this blog with the thought...

14 Don't be impatient. Wait for the Lord, and he will come and save you! Be brave, stouthearted, and courageous. Yes, wait and he will help you.
Psalms 27:14

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Saturday night and no BCS bowl fo vols...


Well, the vols just lost the SEC championship by throwing 2 huge picks in the 2nd half and missing 2 kicks for the game. I am not surprised to loose to LSU but hey the defense did their job all game and the offense lost the game. It is hard to be that close to a championship and not bring it home. I will say that a 9-4 season for this team is huge. Great coaching job for the second half of the year, we will improve next year on both sides of the ball and see if we can win the SEC. You know you have a problem when you loose and immediately stat dreaming about next year, YES I am ready for August already. Thrilled to be back in TN so I can at least see all the Titan games for the rest of December. Hoping we can see a Titan run to the playoffs but hey, we will see.


Christmas is in full gear here at our house. last night we took the girls to see the Christmas lights on the Cumberland river here in Clarksville. It is not even close to as cool at driving through the lights at Va Beach but hey it was a good time. The picture I posted is of Kelyn at Chili's last night...yes that is a cardboard advertisement thing she is wearing. It was too funny. I will add more on this later but I am wrestling with the giving idea this holiday. When I look at Scripture and the Christmas story I see giving everywhere...Mary, Jospeh, the wise Men, the Shepherds, God, all GIVING. Why do I strive to Get when God is calling me to give? In the season of giving our culture calls to to get all we can. Can I give away more time, money, Grace this Christmas...can I be generous? I am not sure...I am gonna try and gonna have fun trying. Christmas is in full gear here's to hoping I can keep it all in perspective. (hard for a guy who likes to get)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

no shave november OVER for Bayne

well, I made it from Oct. 28-Nov. 21 with no shaving of my beard and today I gave in and trimmed it down. Last night I looked in the mirrior and was joyful that I had made it, I grew my beard out. I have crossed a line, I can grow a full beard out if I want. With Thanksgiving coming I gave up the morning, I quit, I trimmed it up and I must say that it was incredible to see all that hair in my sink. Good times...

Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving! I am thankful for less hair on my face!

Monday, November 19, 2007

just what dads do!

This past weekend we planned the date, we bought the tickets, we made the drive and Chelsea and I took Kozbi our four year old to her first Univeristy of Tennessee football game. We did it all, we parked and walked up the strip, ate the pregame meal at Krystal on the strip, went to the bookstore, marched in with the band, sang rocky top 100 times, bought Kozbi pom poms, dressed in orange head to toe, went down to the field so Kozbi could see the cheerleaders and see the field, we did it all. I have been to games many times but this was different. My entire day was wrapped up in making sure my little girl got to experience everything GOOD about going to a UT game, all the passion, all the energy. After the game we were walking back to the car and her legs were tired she asked to ride on my shoulders and of course yes I said come on! I carried her most of the way to the car so she would not have to walk in the huge crowd leaving and so her legs could rest. I had this thought as i was walking and my back was hurting, and I had just spent a whole day making sure this all went off...THIS IS WHAT BEING A DAD IS ABOUT. This trip was just a DAD kind of thing. Helping your kid have an experience is just a "dad" thing to do. In that moment it felt good to be a Dad. I was just in the middle of helping a little girl make a memory and it was amazing. I know it is hard to believe but in the middle of this DAD moment I felt God impressing on my heart how God feels about us since the bible clearly tells us that we are his children. His desire for us to experience life and life to its fullest has to be so much greater that my desire for my daughter. I can just imagine the pride and joy God feels when he sees us make choices that bring him Glory. I can just imagine how we loves to see us choose His way over a sinful or selfish way. I can only imagine how ready God is to pick us up and put us on his shoulders to carry us to the "car". When I connect this with how I feel about my little girls I remember that verse in the New Testament that reminds us that if God is for us, who can be against us. No one...our Father is right there for us ready to pick us up. Thanks God, for carrying me to the "car". That is just kind of thing you do.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

go vols!

What a great week! Well...this was the week we went to a predators game and the UT/Vandy game. Kozbi had a great time, she loved the stadium, the band, the cheerleaders...she loved it all. I have some great pics and will get those up soon. BUT this was a pic I took at the end of the UT game when we went ahead for the win, amazing. YES it was amazing. Great win, great experience. On top of that we got to see the Preds win in overtime on Thursday. Good sports week, maybe the Titans will win Monday night to finish it up!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

forgot what I was gonna say...

I have some great thoughts every once in a while and wow, a day later I forget about them. Am I getting old, what is up with me. Just thought I would get on and bang out a few thoughts. Tonight we had some free time so guess what my wife started.....CHRISTMAS DECORATING! WOW, it is here I can not believe it. We always decorate right before Thanksgiving so when we come home from family stuff all is up and we are geared for Christmas. Well, we stared early and it was cool to see Kozbi help out, I just hauled stuff up from the basement and then helped keep Kelyn from breaking stuff. She loves breaking things! We are stoked about Christmas, we are actually doing less of the gift thing and really trying to cut back and just enjoy being the friends and celebrating the gift God gave us in Christ. This is the one time a year we get to celebrate this amazing gift given to us in the form of a baby! Everyone loves baby but there is something wild when you think about the fact that Jesus, God in form of man, was contained in the form of a baby. We are hoping that by cutting back we can give a little more and help our kids not get stuck in making Christmas about getting more stuff. SURE they are gonna get some neat stuff but that is not the focus. Just trying to do more than just talk about putting Christmas in the proper perspective, I have to start somewhere.

This weekend we are gonna have a sweet sports weekend. Thursday night we have tickets for the Nashville Predators (free tickets of course) we are gonna be in the lower bowl and I am stoked. Live NHL is so good...THEN we are taking Kozbi to her first UT game - YEP, we bought the tickets and are headed to Knoxville for the Vandy game. Go Vols!

I have decided not to shave my beard for the month of November...I have made it so far. We will see if I make it. 30 days of letting my beard grow??? well it is just a little challenge for myself! (I am trimming up my neck of course, I can not go around looking all shabby!

Monday, November 5, 2007

halloween then crave - a wild 2 weeks!


Wow, I am thrilled to see Monday...well compared to last Monday I am Stoked this Monday is here. Just made it through our first retreat at relevant that we called CRAVE. It was just a weekend to get teens away and ask how and if they are craving God in their lives. We held the retreat at the Galt House Hotel and Convention and had the Josh Wilson Band and Jeff Miller (great communicator!)lead us. It was an amazing weekend and a great experience for our teens. It was wild to have the event in a major city and have full control of the schedule, we had way too much fun. God really challenged us all to evaluate where we are at in our commitments, our relationships, our bravery, and our passion for HIM - every life group session was filled with kids talking through stuff with their leaders. It was so thrilling to see it come together. It was so different being able to just focus on this retreat for the ENTIRE FALL. This is such a new concept for me. The idea is to do more by doing less. Our ministry revolves around one weekly event for students called remix where we put tons of energy and about 4 major events a year, we took the entire fall to build to this retreat. It was amazing to focus and great for our kids to understand that our weekly gathering is the big deal, the event is just a great chance for us to get away and focus for a few days...the event never becomes the driving force in ministry, just another tool. Here's to leaving event driven youth ministry behind.

Halloween came and went and the kids had a great experience. Koz was Belle and Kelyn a flower and thy both had a blast trick or treating. The highlight for me was to answer the door to a bunch of middle schoolers dressed up, to give them candy, then to have a little kids act like he was chopping my arm off with his plastic chain saw - wow - I LOVE America! I will drop in a picture of the girls, OH they are so great!

Go Vols, Go Titans - Go michael bayne's fantasy teams! yes it matters!

Friday, October 26, 2007

friday night ramblings...


Chelsea is rocking Kelyn to sleep and I have said my good nights to the girls (I added a pic that we took a few days ago ) so I thought I would get on here and get some thoughts out from the week. Last week we went through the loos of a great friend Imilse Watts. Imilse is the mom of one of my leaders in our student ministry. This week I have been thinking a lot about her and about how her family is adjusting to her being in heaven. Is that not wild to think, she is in heaven, wow - that is our hope as a follower of Christ. One thought from last week was that we experienced the funeral First Baptist Clarksville. It was just as she would have wanted it because it brought three churches (FBC, Grace, and Exit One) together in one room and celebrate Jesus and celebrate Imilse. WOW, for one hour we all sat down together as one and it was so great to connect with so mant people. Many time I wonder what divides us as churches and as denominations, we allow it to happen for what ever reason. It was great to lay all of the differences aside and be together as one. I have so many friends at First and I am grateful for being able to serve there for over 3 1/2 years. I am also thrilled to be doing ministry at GCC but it is so sweet to look around and be reminded that followers of Christ are one. We should support and pray for each other...we should seek to stop divisive talk and thinking...we should find ways to encourage one another. Pride leads us to think much of ourselves but Christ asks us to be less so He can be more in our lives and churches. Imilse helped us to be able to get there last week, thanks again Imilse...

This coming weekend we have our first retreat at relevant student ministry. Crave is one weekend for kids to get ways and just work on CRAVING God more than the things of this world. it is gonna be so incredible but I am so thankful fora team at GCC that has enabled us and encouraged us to do this right. For a first retreat this is gonna be amazing. I am thrilled to see what God is gonna do and maybe after next weekend I wll be able to share some about it. My hearts desire is that teens will connect with God in a pwerful way. They are gonna have a great time but I hope the Holy Spirit does work in their hearts that is long lasting and intense.

This weekend, hoping for a UT ad Titan win! As bad as the vols are I can only say GO VOLS! You lose and win with your team. The Titans, well it has been a fun year. We will see how we do against Oakland. Hoping for 5-2!!!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

starbucks or walmart?

Before I write this "church thought" out I wanted to celebrate the fact that a dear saint and good friend, Imilse Watts, is now loving life in Heaven today. I am both sad and happy for her at the same time. She will be so missed here by her friends and family. Imilse was one of the most encouraging people I ever met, she was a prayer warrior, she loved people and loved Jesus. Her husband and two daughters Cassandra and Katrina are so amazing and she loved them dearly. Imilse had battled with asthma for years and hated when it kept her from ministering to people. She hated being sick and not feeling well. I con only imagine right now that she is breathing deep and catching up with Cookie Prine! Oh man, Cookie and Imilse together, for those of you how know that combo you can only imagine. Imilse, we love ya and will miss ya.

I had a thought about church life the other day and I wanted to go ahead and write it out. it is not new but I finally grabbed on to it. In my church life I have moved from leading in a church culture that tried to have a "wal-mart" philosophy of ministry (LOTS OF OPTIONS!) to a starbucks way of church (A FEW GREAT OPTIONS). Walmart has everything, tries to sell everything, tries to compete with everyone. Starbucks tries to sell coffee and create an atmosphere for their customers and employees that makes you want to be there. I do not even drink coffee and I love the place. It dawned on my that in my current ministry role I am striving to create an environment that looks a lot more like Starbucks rather than Walmart. At relevant student ministry or Cross Street, or grace Acres, or the gathering at GCC, or community groups at GCC...we just do a few things well. We are trying to focus on just a few things and get those right. Again, new things dawn on me all the time right now, this new way of ministry, new way of church has been amazing but now I am trying to figure out why I am serving, loving, living different in community. It is great to be able to focus...not just talk about it.

I wonder if people are looking for churches that strive for excellence in what they do best, unique, creative places to gather in community. This could be why we need churches to re imagine what they can be as a community of believers. Different churches are going to reach different people looking for different things. No one church has all the answers, all the perfect environments. The one thing that is for sure is that it is a new day in church life for new and established churches. Hopefully we can seize the shift and see God brought greater fame! Our God reigns!

Monday, October 8, 2007

winning is great!

the vols won, the titans won...

good times!

MB

Saturday, October 6, 2007

from CATALYST posted late...

Catalyst Blog October 5, 2007

Spent the last two days at Catalyst…a leadership event for young leaders, well church leaders, well business leaders, well just leaders. It is just a place for leaders who love Jesus Christ to gather and think through how we can lead the church, our business, and our families. If you follow Christ you realize that none of us have it together, none of us are qualified because when we place our lives alongside Jesus we never can match up. Jesus still comes along us and says come on….let’s do this together. The great thing is we only have to see HIS PLAN, and Jesus always has a plan. The plan of Jesus looks so different from any other plan we can find but yet it always leads us to love God and love People, it is simple but complex and calls us to yield everything to this idea because it is all consuming. WELL – enough – it is great to be around leaders who love Christ and are trying to live for Christ and get on His plan.

I am in the conference right now and God has brought up so many things ONCE AGIN. God never seems to leave me alone when I get to hear folks talk about leadership. Right now John Maxwell is talking about adding value to people every day. WOW, Am I doing that? WOW, that is all I can say. Several moments have been huge but Francis Chan asking us if we were still understood the fact that God has made no mistake with where he has placed us as leaders. God knew, Jeremiah 1 makes it clear that God has made no mistake where he has placed us and we do not lead because of any other reason than God has given us the chance. God has called me to say or do the hard thing because he has placed me and He has the plan. There was something God was doing in the room because we all tend to assume we are so important and we have developed our influence, we have made it and all the time GOD is leading the way.

Rick Warren sat in a chair on stage and called us to a second reformation, a reformation of not creed but deed. A chance for our generation, for our churches to change the world. We can change the way people see the church, we can change the image of what people assume of Jesus. Saddleback has launched the PEACE plan…our churched can embrace the call of Jesus and live lives that will look like Jesus. I find myself being drawn to that place. I am not sure what it will look like but I am in.

For me I am more worried about what Jesus is thinking about my life and ministry and family rather than what PEOPLE (the people I am supposed to impress) think. God has placed me in a unique place of doing ministry with people I love and I will lay my life down with in the name of Christ. Our family at Grace is amazing and we are getting to rethink church and living out our faith. My wife has supported me every step of the way in my journey with Christ and we are on the same page – we are dreaming dreams together and loving Christ together. I am also a dad – well I am just trying to serve my girls. I feel like I have the chance to live with no chains of religion or people pleasing (yes I struggle there) Well we will see what happens, this is just where I am right now. Let’s live in the freedom of Christ…freedom to love, freedom to serve, freedom to LIVE in the moment.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

operation serve...

Saturday I got to know Dorthy and Roy as myself and a team of folks worked a their house all day doing soe simle repairs to their house. We were a part of operation serve, one day for people at GCC to go into the community to serve others. We had over 600 people serving all over Montgomery county, not just talking about the love of God but showing others the Love of God. Simple but profound. I was able to talk to Roy and Dorthy about their faith, they are believers, the know Christ but they live in a hard part of town, they have had a hard few years, they needed a God moment in their life and we were able to bring it to them. There is something amazing about serving others, there is something about going to a hard neighborhood and helping a hurting community. It just seems like something Jesus would do and for one day our entire church was focused on that goal. I am grateful that Dorthy and Roy allowed us to help them and get to know them. I am thankful that God allows the church to be his hands and feet in a borken world. Wat could happen if we all began to choose to carry out Jesus like actions.

To all our teenagers that served in Operation Serve, I am so proud of you. Yes, teens and parents serving together. That is youth ministry!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

first baptism...

Tonight was an incredible night at REMIX, we got to baptize my friend LT Roper. I met LT the second week I was here at GCC, his friend Ethan had invited him to church and guess what, He met Jesus Christ and became a Christ follower. It was so amazing, he immediately plugged in and we got to celebrate baptism with him tonight our student gathering, REMIX. Yes we had a great night, getting to meet LT's family and celebrate with them was amazing. We also got to see week 2 of our life[groups] and that went so well - the group leaders and students are really connecting...we think it is a win when kids actually get to talk about and reflect on what we talked about in our gathering. Good times!

well - Titans lost, the Vols lost, I am still here typing. I am gonna be OK. we need new Coached at the Univeristy of Tennessee but my Titans are playing hard.

OK - the losses are hurting! I am done typing!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

dream together...

well, it is a week after my vacation and I am still alive and back in the swing of things. Last week was a great week but when you come off of vacation you have to just hit tht ground running and vatch up with what has passed while you were gone. Well - we caught up and all was good. This weekend the VOLS won, the TITANS win, my fantasy football teams won! It was a good weekend and it was wonderful to have an entire weekend of football. Last night Kozbi sat on the couch and watched Baltimore and Cini...wow, that is a mother dad moment! We saw a great tackle by Ed Reed!

I have been struck with the idea of dreaming together. Larry Milton at St. B Christian and I have been working to get the GCC student ministry off and running while using their building. We have partnered with another church to accomplish a goal together. They have the space, we have the staff and we are working together. IT IS WORKING, I do not know of any other ministries around the country partnering with another local church to do student ministry. Since when does every church have to do their own thing at their own place on their own terms, What could happen if more churches started working together for the KINGDOM OF GOD, to see God made famous here here in Clarksville...Maybe we can keep working together and keep dreaming together. We will see what God does.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

last day from Surf City...

The week has come to an end, and it has been such a blessing. The chance to slown down and rest is so valuable to me. It is not just good it is so needed. I look back at the week and think back to all the memories I got to share with the folks here on vacation...all of them being family...it is just wild to think about the time we got to spend together. Got to read a ton of BUILT TO LAST by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras, wow I am swimming in the reality of the many pearls of wisdom in this book. What is amazing is that the book lines out the difference between a visionary company or organization and one who just exists day to day with no forward vision. I feel that there are so many aspects of GCC that are visionary, I think we are living out a visionary dream and it is wild. If you have not read this book go get it and enjoy. College football starts tonight for the Vol nation, can not wait till 7 PM central! Had a fantasy football draft this morning, yes that was fun. Feel like my head is kind of clear, more focused and excited about getting back to Clarksville Monday afternoon, back to the YMCA for a run, back to GCC and the crazy people i work with, back home. Here are a few final pics of the girls...one is of Kelyn and the other is a group silly pic of all the kids in the family...


Friday, August 31, 2007



We have had a great week here...heading back soon but we will miss one more Sunday at GCC...looking forward to being back in C-ville. Just wanted to put some pics up of our girls! God blessed us with a wonderful week.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

really live from Surf City...

Another great day on vacation...yes you know you are having a great day when the only big plans for the day is to go out for dinner! Yes, dinner was good, we ate at Sears landing...wow it was great and they had diet sundrop. Today the kids played at the beach again and Kozbi even wet out into the deep part with me and Chelsea. She was stoked to "practice swimming" and to jump waves with her mom and dad. Kelyn likes to eat sand, sand does not effect her, she just eats it. Not sure what is up with that but she seems ok. Took a nap with kelyn today as I feel asleep to some new music rom Shane and Shane and Robbie Seay Band! 2 GREAT ALBUMS. It is so amazing to get to hear new stuff from 2 of my favs on vacation. I both them both on itunes this morning and have been blown away. Both bands took several years to put this work out and it paid off. It is great to see creative spirits that honor God in their music. These are 2 bands that i support because they chart their own course and set tends, there is just too much copy cat stuff out there that hits the radio, this is original. Go out and buy both cds, or download it, GET IT!

Monday, August 27, 2007

vacation - live from surf city!

Howdy from vacation, it is a great part of vacation, all the kids are a asleep and we are about to play cards...what else is vacation for but to play cards. We have had an incredible day one and two here in Surf City NC...koz and kelyn love the beach, they have played hard both days...got to grill fresh, caught yesterday grouper tonight - WOW...I have had my phone off all day, did turn it on to check messages and send a text but OFF all day, I had no idea what time it was all day. Good times...hope to get some pictures up on Tuesday, I left the camera in the car today BUT hey, I am off so it is no big deal. Big plans for tomorrow, same as everyday. We go to beach, eat and sleep...that is about it. Maybe i will post a pic of me eating. I did run yesterday, just wanted to let Chad know, my pastor and my health trainer! YES!

I did miss church yesterday - it is so amazing to be on vacation and miss CHURCH. This is a first in ministry. I usually am so stressed I need to run from church but I missed it this week. Just seemed funny to be bummed about missing, HA! Chelsea and I both laughed about it, we love connecting with folks at GCC way too much. Maybe we are making things too much fun, better get SERIOUS quick. I did hear it was an amazing day back home and that Ron hit a home run. We had 400 people sign up for operation serve - WOW

Monday, August 20, 2007

ready for some BEACH time...

It has been a great summer, getting here to GCC has been amazing, but I am ready for little down time! It has been wild to watch us work through our first summer at Rossview High as our gathering location, getting to know our staff, and launching our student ministry at Grace but my brain needs some time to slow down. Chelsea and I are getting stuff ready for vacation next week...the week before vacation is kind of weird in that you work hard to get ready to be gone so you can shut down! HA kind of funny to work hard to be gone but it is so a must in my life. Really it is a must in all our lives. We were made to take time to rest, to take moments to turn it all off, to discover that we can step back and life will move forward without us. I am stoked - I am sure I will get to blog some while away just to get some of my vacation thoughts in writing so I do not loose them or at least can look back on them later, BLOGS are great for that.

We had our second week of REMIX and the teen actually came back! Thanks to all of you who have prayed for this adventure. It has been fun to watch God work. We are getting ready to launch our life{groups} at REMIX which is our student version of community groups. I can not wait for our team of adults to begin to invest in these kids. God is gonna use it in a huge way. Teens simply need to know God and be known by others and we get to help in that! I am kind of living a dream being able to luanch one of things from the ground up, it is fun and scary at the same time but Chelsea and I stoked to get a shot at it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

REMIX launched!

It feels like forever since I posted on this thing, it has been a great week. WE LAUNCHED REMIX our student gathering here at GCC and WOW, God blew us away. We spend last week getting the room set up, video installed, sound up, practice, set up clean up, all that kind of stuff! On Friday the last of the video stuff was done and we still did not know if it would all work. After running it all in practice and trying to find a place to hook our light system up we came to Sunday night and simply hoped it would all work...we prayed, we spread the word, we prayed some more, we gave away t-shirts and our students invited folks and we had 90 students and 50 adults show up on Sunday night for the launch! I am still in shock; God really did a great thing. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life. For years I have dreamed about launching a student ministry from the ground up with the resources needed to do it and God is making it happen. It is so amazing to see God bring the pieces together...I am so thankful for Duke Boles who leads this thing with me as my worship leader and guess what, KATRINA WATTS is our remix director! It is so good to be working with her again. Chelsea was such a huge support last week, I felt like I was away all week and my mind was in one place that is for sure, I dreamed every night about REMIX stuff last week. God answered our paryers and allowed us to see Him work. It is going to be wild to see how God uses this thing...

I think I have said this but go check our www.relevantstudents.com to see our web site...our podcast will be up this week from Sunday night! YES we are pod casters! We hope it helps parents know what we are talking about so they can talk with their kids about spiritual issues and life!

Monday, August 6, 2007

collaborate...

If I do not type this thought now I will forget...this is why I BLOG here we go...

Collaborate, collaboration - what ever word suites your fancy - just a word, a thought. a process that has been invading my thought life today. Why is it that so many people in ministry do CHURCH, live life, work on projects, in a bubble isolated? I am finding that the more I collaborate on projects, ideas, etc. the better what I am working on gets. There is no teaching environment (HERE AT GCC) that goes off during a week without some kind of collaboration, teamwork, team thought. It is making us all so much better, it is making us understand that tow or three minds working on a message, a teaching time, a project could be better than one holed up in a study. SURE we know the key teacher or speaker has to be the one to formulate the central part of the message, it must flow from within, from God's WORD in our context. The speaker must believe that what he is speaking on Must be shared but after that other minds can help give guidance to how that info is communicated to the people listening. Every week someone on our team gives the speaker a good idea, a perspective they had not seen - IT WORKS. I was not taught this at seminary, wow imagine that, I know it is hard to believe but trust me, I am a better leader, speaker, human, dad and husband because of the people I collaborate with. Life was never meant to be lived alone, why should work be any different.

With no collaboration staleness enters our space, BUT that is another blog for another day, goodnight!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

go braves...

yes it is august, I can not believe it but it is August and the trade deadline has passed and yes I am a Braves fan and yes I am stoked that the Brave traded for Mark Tiexera..not sure if I spelled it right. I know some reading this do not care about baseball and do not care that I care but it is fun to know that my team has one of the best lineups in baseball and that we are gonna chase down the mets and start a new divisional champ streak! The braves do it right, they build with young players and this addition is so good to help bring all the pieces together. GO BRAVES...

This week we continued on our "get the house done" mission and had Chelsea's mom finish the curtains. They look great. Last weekend my dad and I built the kids swing set. It only took 12 hours, it was only 1,000 degrees outside. We have finished all the major projects and we are starting to feel like our new home is home. We love the house for sure. God blessed us with a great neighborhood and great house.

Rissa Larson's mother passed away this week and I went to the funeral today. Rissa's and the Larson family have been such a blessing to my family. We are friends for sure and today I was so proud of their daughter Carrie...Carrie was close to her grandmother but was not at the funeral because she is in Bolivia on a mission trip. She decided to stay in the field and miss the funeral to do the work God called her to, that is an amazing choice for a college student to work through. She did the right thing and her choice honored her grandmother. check our Carries mission trip blog at... http://www.carrielarson.blogspot.com/

We launched our new student ministry web site this week, go check it out...

www.relevantstudents.com

Our design team hit a home run with the web project and Doug Russell got it live on the web, it was so exciting to see it launch this week!

Monday, July 23, 2007

young leaders leading today...

When I was 21 and in college my pastor found out about my call to ministry. I sensed God wanted me to change my college plans and dedicate my work life to what God would open up. My pastor created a new part time job as Children's Minister, licensed me, and brought me onto the church staff and mentored me. I had so many chances succeed and many chances to fail. I did well sometimes and did terrible others but what happened to me was that I was able to learn as I served other people. People in my first church actually listened to me, allowed me to lead them, and encouraged me as I discovered what it meant to lead in the church. Young leaders need the chance to lead now. At Grace Community one of my hopes is to always be empowering young leaders to do ministry and learn while they serve. Yes it is messy but a young leader with someone to guide them can accomplish massive things for the Kingdom of God. They provide a viewpoint that we as older leaders (yes all of us over 30 are expereinced older leaders) lose as we age, this is the view of now, the current read on what is important. As our culture morphs and shifts it is so drastically important to listen to those who are young leaders, to empower them to give responsibility to them. In times past we delegated and commanded the people around us with the jobs that we felt needed to be accomplished as the "LEADER" Leadership today means that we actually collaborate with young leaders allowing them to shape the future of the organization now...we allow our experience and their enthusiasm to merge and we create.

I write what I am writing because it is amazing to see people limit the ability of young leaders to lead. Our churches are full of layers of PEOPLE in authority who all want to limit the control of young leaders because they might MESS SOMETHING UP - I promise they will make mistakes but why not allow them to lead, why not be a part of a young leaders journey rather than constantly tearing what they do down. Why hold up the past way of doing ministry as the best way or the only way or the so called right way. Many times I feel like traditional church leaders are only interested in making ministry closes, church clones who say the same things and live safe lives of leadership for the congregation. We would not want young leaders to stir things up or make someone mad. I can not speak for that the church as a whole needs to do. I am a part of Grace Community because I believe their might be a better way and new path that we have not thought of yet. For the little local church that I am a part of I pray that I end my ministry and look back on the lives of many men and women that I believed in and released to do ministry. I am only 31 but I have had the joy of being a part of a few staff people and interns that I love dearly and I pray they would say that I listened to them and I believed in them and I released them to become people of influence our student ministry. Sure they were always asking why questions and they were not perfect but like me when I was 22 they got a chance to do ministry and lead, and when each day was done we gave each other a high fives and went home. We collaborated, we dreamed, we had fun doing ministry. If you are a young leader pray God will help plant you with men and women who believe in you and support you. I thank God that Daryl Craft believed in me when I was 21!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

sherwood and painting - fun combo!

What a great week...got o see Sherwood (a band for you guys who do not know them...look them up on myspace) at Rocket Town in Nashville and then got 2 days to be with my wife and paint. YEs I did say paint. I type in victory knowing that it only took us 2 months but we finally have the entire house painted. Tuesday night Chelsea too the kids to my mom to stay for a few days, I went to the concert with some students from Grace Community. The concert was amazing but I knew that when I got back home it would be painting time. Chelsea and I painted for 2 straight days. NOTHING but painting, it was wild. Our hands are about to fall off. I learned how to cut in, yes I was amazed. I am slow at that but man I can roll some paint fast. I might need to start my own company and go for it....NOT. Thrilled to be done! The colors look great.

About the concert on Tuesday, man it was great. The coolest thing was watching Sherwood go out there and outplay every other band. I am so serious, they really showed out. They were together, vocally amazing, and tons of energy - they were not even headlining! That was wild to see them give 100 percent when it was not even their tour. Lesson in that for all of us, at every opportunity give it 100 percent. The bible says do everything to the Glory of God. I know I get weird inspiration but it is true. No matter if you are working for a company, a church, our just having fun with a hobby give it 100%. We are only given this day - so why not go for it, no regrets. Effort is a choice, excellence is a choice - we will never be perfect but why not go for it!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Kelyn's baby dedication!

It has been a fun week getting things together for our Parent Child dedication this week. We have 14 families at Grace Community this weekend and it has been wild getting all the pictures of each one. With each email from a mom or dad came a moment to look at the gift of life that God gives through children. I never stop being amazed by my girls! Those parents never get over the wow of seeing their kids grow up. The gift of being a dad is a blessing and I thank God for every moment I have with my wife and kids. They are amazing. Both of my girls will ahve been dedicated here in Clarksville, with Clarksville folks. Norfolk friends will claim Kelyn, she was born in Chesapeake! The picture above is from VA Beach as we gatherer some sand to take with us to TN!

Just a few random thoughts from the week. Getting ready to launch a new student gathering at GCOM called REMIX. We will be meeting at St. B Christian Church on Sunday nights. I am stoked because we are going to be able to create a fresh new environment, partner with an existing church, and do some innovative ministry to teens here in Clarksville. It is going to be an incredible fall. If you read this please pray God would pour out his spirit on this effort as we try to connect with teens in Clarksville.

Heading to rocket town to see Sherwood with some guys on Tuesday, I am stoked, my first concert at that venue. I am sure we will have some pictures for the old Blog. Ethan Smith and Austin and Taylor Hughes are going with me so it should be fun.

Friday, July 6, 2007

who are we known by...

It has been amazing to move back to Clarksville and to get settled in our new neighborhood. For the first time in my almost 9 years of being a minister on a church staff I am coming to understand what it means to be known by those around me. I actually know my neighbors, love my neighborhood, and I am discovering the joy of caring about the needs of people outside my church family. As a staff member I have always been consumed with taking care of church people, loving church people, hanging out with church people. The problem for me was that Jesus had a way of connecting with both religious and nonreligious folks in his day but he caught much grief because he was accused of hanging out with people who were not "God followers". I am beginning to understand that Jesus did nothing more than just get to know the people around Him. He gave his time to people who were on the journey of life. I am amazed that there is an entire world out here outside our church community, outside our ministry bubble. These people outside of my church community are the exact people I am called to live with, to serve, to encourage, to hang out with to love as God loves. I know it sounds wierd but I am enjoying this little adventure. The incredible thing about loving people where they are at and coming to understand who they are is that every once in a while we get to shine God's light of hope into their life. That is point at which the message of Jesus becomes real, becomes more than religion. Our end goal is not getting to know people wo they will come to our church or believe as we believe but rather to care for them as God cares for them and YES Go does care about those who are far from Him!

I moved into my neighborhood and people began to ask what i did and of course I told them about Grace Community and my role as a pastor on staff. I think they are just stoked that I can carry on a real conversation with them! It is not always great for a pastor to move in next door (you know it is true) As I told people about our church people began to say - "oh yea that is that church that Chad pastors, I don't know his last name but he works at the YMCA" Chad Rowland is one of my best friends but and the wild thing is that he is one of our co pastors and has worked at the YMCA part time as Grace Community was launched. Chad has become known as the YMCA pastor! That is so funny, he is known most by people outside he church. He will kill me when he reads this but it is a great example of who we should be known by. It matters not how many church goers think I am great leader or speaker or GUY...what matters is that those on the outside know me as a guy who listens, takes time to know them, is genuine with my faith. It is a sweet thing when those who are distant from God are cool with being with us who call ourselves Christ followers. As they get to know us they might just see Jesus in our lives and rethink what being a Christian means.

This is a passage of Scripture that keeps coming back to me lately...check it out...

13 Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good?14 But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats.15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.16 But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.
1 Peter 3:13-16 (NLT)

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


Well, I got to see Barry Bonds hit 751 and I am still in awe. You wither love Barry or hate him and I think I have done both. I have finally settled on respect. Bottom line is that he is 43 and one of the greatest players I have ever seen. Aaron Harang gave Barry one pitch to hit and he drove it out of the park in his 1st at bat. These pics came from the upper deck, the camera did great, GO FUGI CAMERAS! It was fun to watch both Barry Bonds and Ken Griffey Jr. play on the same field. AMAZING, got to hang out with students from First baptist Norfolk. The High School ministry is in KY for a mission trip and they came to the game. I was so stoked to see everyone and get to hang out. We had a great time. Brandon Reed is the man, he was leading the mission trip. That 22 year old is an amazing guy and he has done a great job serving there at First Norfolk after I headed to Grace Community. Happy 4th of July to all - our family spent the day at the Cincinnati zoo - it was sweet!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

last week - camp cherokee...

no pic for the post yet but I got back on Friday from a week at Camp Cherokee...somewhere in the mountains,outside of Ocoee TN. (thanks to Michael Higdona dn Jeremy Bullock for leading at our student gathering!) Brainerd baptist held their student camp there and I spoke in the morning and evening worship times. This was my third time with Brainerd. I had done the morning sessions only 2 times and this was my first year to speak at night also. It was so sweet to see kids that I had been to camp as middle schoolers now in high school. So many og them had matured into leaders. There were a group of kids there really new to the church thing and many of then became followers of Christ. A ton of kids really connected with God. That is what is wild about speaking for a week to students. They are so open to truth, they are hungry for truth, they are ready for it and when they embrace God's truth and change begins. Josh Wilson lead worship for us, GREAT guy that I would love to lead with again. he and his band hit a home run. Josh is putting out a new album in 2008 with Sparrow records so look out for that. it is gonna be great. Josh will be coming to remix this to lead worship for our students and then we will hold a concert after our gathering open to teens and Austin Peay for sure! I am stoked about our students being around this guy.

Nataniel Edmonson went to camp to run media shout and just serve, we had a great time (CANTEEN!!!!) He will get that. It was great to hang out with him during the week, he was great support and we had great times laughing the entire time. I needed while speaking two times a day. That is draining for sure.

I am so stoked, this week Daniel Doss is recording for his new album. We are so stoked at grace and are already singing one of the new songs that will be on the album (maybe). I am also stoked because Michael Higdon will be leading the service on Sunday. We hired Michael about a month ago and he has been a blessing. Michael and Daniel lead the worship ministry at Grace together and they are doing an incredible job, it is wild to see them work together. Back to Daniel, you will not believe how great the new stuff sounds, I can not wait for the cd to release. it may launch early on itunes so GEt ready!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

just an update! not sure what to say...

I started this thing thinking I needed to journal a little better, put some thoughts down, think out loud. Well, I have not had much I have wanted to blog about. This is just a random collection of my thoughts and reflections on life in general. Not sure why everything has to be serious? People tell me about these blogs where people complain and gripe and vent...well not sure the web is where that is best for but that is just not for me.

It has been exciting to think through Family Ministry, yes my title is director of family ministry. I am just now, a month in figuring out some of what I am going to be doing here. Family Ministry is not an add on position to add busyness to the church. It is not adding a parenting conference, or a fall festival for the family. We define Family MInistry as a process by which all of our ministry enviroments work together to lead kids and teens to be come fully devoted followers of Christ and in turn partner with parents to accomplish this goal. I am figuring out that my ministry is to equip families to help the home become the #1 spiritual influence for Christ. Parents long for this they just need help knowing what to do. Our team is thinking through how we are gonna do this at Grace Community. it is a fun time at work for sure!

At home we are getting there with getting the house painted, carpet ordered, and all that stuff. it is all coming together but right now we are in that phase of always working on something at home. When do we get DONE? not sure yet but I thinking PAINTING PARTY! We will see...

Saturday, June 16, 2007

happy fathers day, birthday, kwanza to me!

well, it happened, it really happened, my family walked into sams and went over and looked at the 42 inch Vizio and I loaded it on a cart and took it to the register and allowed the lady at the register to charge my MasterCard for it and I actually got to take it home...this was no dream, Michael just got his first high def TV. I am amazed, I can not believe this is really mine. I brought i home and slapped it up above the fireplace on the mantle in our living room and just stood there looking at it. WOW! Thanks to my girls for the sweet gift, thanks to the people who bought my house in Chesapeake, you paid for my TV! HA! Thanks to all the little people, just always wanted to say that. Little like Kelyn!

I declare a national holiday on Sept. 8 when UT plays California on high def ESPN! MY HOUSE WILL BE ROCKING! the entire nation of Denmark is invited, no one else, just people from Denmark.

Happy fathers day to all those out there who are fathers. This year I get more than a gift card or tie. YEA to this year, the year of Jubilee!

Later - MB

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Back from Bigstuf 07...

We made it back on Wednesday night and it was an incredible week of connecting with students. God really worked in many of our hearts and revealed Himself to us each day. Year one for me at Bigstuf and I am impressed. Just wanted to post this pic from the beach up! I will have some more up on facebook...When we left for camp many of our students the had come knowing NO ONE and we left a connected group, it was amazing! That is a win...

We launch our summer gathering this Sunday night at 6 PM at St. Marys - will have our recap video ready that night. It will be sweet, I am a prophet!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

update from bigstuf...

I could not help but give you my view right as I type. This is what i am looking at, this is my view, God's Creation wide open, for all to bask in. One thing that makes this camp and this flow at Bigstuf work is where we are at. I have found no other place like the beach to connect with the beauty of God's creation. There is something about looking over all that water and those waves and being in awe of God's power to do all of this, to make this earth work. To create it all but still have time and love little me. Last night and this morning Louie Giglio spoke and man God used both messages. Last night one of our girls got the cross for the first time and accepted Christ as Savior. Our adults have had so many great opportunities to sit and talk with kids. I have watched my middle school guys open a little more up each time our small group gathers at night. I have watched our kids have "fun" being here and being with each other. God has moved in our hearts and allowed our students and adults to connect. Monday night we took all our guys and took over a waffle house, last night the girls went to Sonic and ten WALMART of all places to hang out. Both times we were all out way to late but man was it fun, it was an experience, it was a little mini adventure and the kids got to share it with their adult leaders - amazing. I guess I am trying to get out the idea that being together has been the best element of thing we call camp. My prayer is that we never loose this dynamic, being together has been the goal, worshipping together, celebrating together - our adult team has just been along for the ride doing camp right beside the kids. AMAZING...MY prayer for our group is that we will just get better and allowing Jesus to be a part of our everyday average lives MORE each day. Something happens when Jesus steps in the ordinary routine of our lives - Jesus always takes it to the next level. We pray our kids would not go home trying to be someone different, we just hope they will be who God made them to be...unique, wonderful, loved by God, themselves! (just changed because they have been with Jesus)

I am missing my girls, they have been with grandparents and I ma ready to give some hugs and kisses to my girls. I have found myself simply looking at their picture on my cell phone in wonder of how could God give such incredible girls. They are so young, I know God has huge plans for them I a stoked I get to be Daddy! Chelsea once again has spent the week investing in teens, it is wild to see her go. There is something different this time, in both of our lives we know we have found a home, a place we fit, a place where we can be honest about our dreams of what church can be. That place is Grace Community - it changes how we connect, we connect knowing we belong, knowing we are in the center of God's will, we minister with an attitude of trust that our God is with us in this adventure. It is just weird to feel so at home in ministry. We go back to a church that makes sense from top to bottom. We are free from heading back in wonder of why church has to be ________ you fill in the blank because our questions changed every year. It is sweet to be in a community that is so passionate about loving God and loving people. WOW - it is wil!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

we made it to BIGSTUF...







We made it to camp today, 11 hours, a bunch of caffeine, and a ton of stops we made it to Panama City and Bigstuf camp. What an incredible place! It was a powerful night for our students to connect, to worship, to just be with God. Chelsea and I are so thrilled to begin this adventure with this group of students and leaders. God has a special plan for this ministry and we are just along for the ride. Our girls are with my mom but we do miss them. It is fun to see Chelsea just be able to focus on getting to know kids since she can trust the kids are having FUN and getting all they want in Shelbyville with the grandparents. Cannot wait to write about what God does this week. His work is the BIGSTUF we celebrate!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Bigstuf here we come...

Chelsea and I are counting the days until we head to Bigstuf camp with about 40 students and leaders from Grace Community...Panama City is a great place for a camp and we can not wait to get to know the students during the week. We pray God really does a great work in the heart of the kids that go. it will be wild to see what God does. This will be the first time we leave our kids with my parents for thew entire week of camp so I am pumped about Chelsea being able to go. We have a great group of teens and leaders going and if I did not already say this, we will be in Panama City and Louie Giglio is our camp pastor, I think we will be ok. If you get a chance pray for God to provide safety and really reveal Himself to us during the week.

We are in week three of our new position here at Grace Community and it just keeps getting better. God is really working in the lives of people each week. Chad and Ron keep hitting home runs when speaking and the music has been crazy good the past three weeks. God is giving our family ministry team some huge dreams for the fall of 2007. It is gonna be fun to see what comes next.

AT our house we only have one room painted and done - many more to go but with camp coming we will wait till we get back. I get to build a swing set after camp also! HELP ME I am building another swing set!

Friday, May 25, 2007

painting break...

We are learning that painting your house when you have 2 preschoolers running around can be stressful, this may have been one of the most stressful days off I have ever had, and we are just now painting room 1. Kozbi and Kelyn's room will be done tonight and it is gonna be pretty sweet if I do say so myself. We paint and decorate because we care, we want our home to be a place of refuge and creativity for the kids and this is just one part of it but creating while the kids are right at our feet is a new challenge, the last time we did this we just had one kid. Well - heres to learning. We got some good ice cream tonight as a reward of making it through the day!

Man this week was sweet, got to connect with some of our best friends in the world , Rissa and Ed Larson and got to eat lunch with Steve and Susan Griffith today (Steve is one of my closest mentors) It is so wild to have the guys back in our life. We are so blessed to have so many incredible friendships here in Clarksviile. it has been so great to get to renew so many of those connections so soon. It is for sure a blessing from God for us. We can not wait to slowly get to connect with more folks we did ministry with in the past and celebrate what God is doing. At this rate we might just have to get them all to come ot our house to paint so we can work and catch up!

There are a ton of kids we know graduating this week here in Clarksville - I will not be able to be at all of them but way to go to all of ya. It is so incredible to see how God has working in your lives over the past few years. (I got to see Jessie Beth Cates and Emily Averitt this past week - wow they are graduating!) You guys in Va just have 8 more days! Hang in there!

Friday, May 18, 2007

we have a buyer...

We are so stoked...we have a contract on our house in VA. We signed a contract on Thursday with a young couple who is buying their first house and we could not be more excited. Our prayer was that God would bring the right person who needed our house. The housing market in Chesapeake is basically terrible...OVERPRICED is the name of the game. Everything on the East Coast is overpriced but that is another story. Our house and neighborhood were a blessing to Chelsea and I when we moved to VA and we thought it would still be a great place for people moving into the area. God brought that person our way and we are so thankful! Thanks for all who prayed...we will be closing in just a few weeks and this part of the adventure will be over.

Kids Update - Koz and kelyn are sharing a bedroom! It is working so well. Tonight, Kelyn would not go down until Koz was in her bed so she could see her. They like sharing...they are also loving the bonus room with THEIR TV and THEIR toys, it is so sweet to see. You would also not believe our neighborhood, we have a street full of people with preschoolers and grade school kids! They play outside everyday...it is wild!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

week 1 with many more to come...

1. First week in the office
2. First staff meeting with Chad Rowland and Daniel Doss together in three years (it is good to RE-UNITE)
3. First week in our new house
4. First time to have crushed ice from my fridge at HOME - yea!!! that is the best one!

It has been a great week here in Clarksville. God has been so good to us this week as we have started to get settled, meet neighbors, and set up my office at work. Loving the office flow, we have a great team and it has been a blessing to connect with the team. I have been hanging pictures trying to sort through books and get my pc working with our network. Praise the Lord I get to jump head first into my message for Sunday night on Wed. morning and I am ready to get into that instead of unpacking boxes or fighting with the pc.

Sunday night went so well, It was so incredible to see some of the high school students that I did ministry with three years ago as Middle School Students. Some of them were driving now and that freaks me out. Met a ton of new folks also on Sunday morning and Sunday night. The student gathering has been going for about a year and the team has done an amazing job of getting it rolling. It is great to be a part of the adventure. Thanks to all who prayed Sunday night for Chelsea and I as we tried to jump on in the deep end.

My little girl turns 4 on Sunday - it is so crazy to see her grow. Tonight she watched Idol with us and she is picking Melinda while I route for Jordan. Blake will end up selling the most albums but the girls are gonna take it this year. ANYWAY - Kozbi is so incredible, it is great to be HER DAD as I am called by all of her friends.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

nervous energy...

oh man, in just a few hours I will speak for the first time here at Grace Community in our student worship serve on Sunday night. Stoked, yes, nervous, yes. It is so weird to still get nervous before I speak. I think it is because I want to connect, I want God's Word to connect. I want kids to see God for the Glorious One He is and not just another guy talking. We will see how it goes. It is exciting, Jeremy Bullock and I are gonna team team this round...

We did get moved in, we are stoked to be kind of settled. We are loving the new house and we have the basics arranged and of course the Internet and cable are flowing. My girls, ESPN, the world wide web - home is great...We were so blessed with about 7 guys to help unload the truck on Friday. It went great.

Church in the morning - I am going to bed...

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

so many thoughts from ORANGE...

Well, I am sitting here in the Atlanta airport, waiting for my plane to take me back to VA to pick up the moving truck and come on to our new home in Clarksville TN. I have been at the ORANGE conference here put on by the REthink group and Reggie Joiner. We took 13 of our team from Grace Community and spent three days dreaming of what could be if preschool, children's, and student ministry planned, ministered, and worked together to influence children and students in our city and partner with parents as they raise their children.

For so long each area of ministry has exsisted independently, taken their group of volunteers and huddled in their own world with no care for the other area of ministry. I know this because I have led student ministries in 2 "megachurhes" during the past 7 years and the environment was no different at either one. Every are of ministry did their own thing, fought for bigger budgets, announcement time, and energy from the church as a whole. We all just kind of did our own thing and stayed busy as ever going from THING to THING, EVENT to EVENT, WEEK to WEEK. We had great intentions and great plans but we did not work together. We were busy and did some good things but at the end of the experience I wonder if there might be a better way.

We dreamed about this better way for three days at ORANGE. Well for that matter I have come to GCC to see what can happen with a Family Ministry concept since I am the Director of Family Ministry. So many people wonder what in the world I am going to do and I can prmise you this is is going to be different no mater how many times you will just refer to me as the "youth pastor". Well here it is...I basically lead some of the sharpest preschool, children's and Student leaders in the world to try to develop a master plan for leading children and teens to follow Christ and empower parents to be the biggest spiritual influence in their lives. Family Ministry is about partnering with parents to influence their children for Christ. Parents are the most powerful spiritual influence in a child's life so why not do everything we can to help them build into their kids. The great thing about my new job is that I get to dream about what could be if a team of preschool children's and student leaders worked together to invest in the family together. The other great thing is we actually get to carry our our dreams and live in faith. We do not have all the answers and we are committed to being life long learners. We lead together, we plan together, we share one budget, we go to battle together, we pry together, we worship together, we help each other, we create for each other. We are one team who work together and what i learned this week by being with my team is that God has put some incredible people in this little year and a half old church. If you get a chance go to http://www.orangeconference.com/ and check out what went down this week. It is gonna be wild to see what happens at Grace because of our time to dream and pray together this week. God is gonna do some wild things!