Tuesday, January 29, 2008

No Longer Holding Back!

Have you ever had something exciting that you were looking forward to, but didn't allow yourself to get too excited? For example, in college I looked forward to Christmas - and the weeks off from school - but I didn't allow myself to get too excited about it until the last paper was turned in and finals were over. Been there?

Several years ago our church leadership realized that if were to be a church that made an impact in our community, that our church would grow. If we grew, at some point we would need to build a new facility. Well, we've grown. We now have two morning worship services. We own 17+ acres and voted unanimously this past Sunday to purchase an additional 8 acres. This additional land will give us 25 acres with road frontage on two roads. Incredible!

I have not allowed myself to think about buildings (the new facilities). I haven't done any daydreaming about it. I don't know why. I guess was afraid I would get distracted or 'put the cart before the horse'.

I guess it goes back to my not getting too excited about Christmas until college finals were over. I will tell you this - back in college when I walked out of that last exam before Christmas - I was excited!!!

I have that same feeling now! I'm stoked about what God is doing at Bagley Swamp! I can't wait to see how He is going to use us to impact our community through this new land! And yes, I have allowed myself to begin daydreaming - no - investigating about new facilities.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Got Guts?

I spent a little time this afternoon watching the Winter X Games. Those athletes are incredible. They have a lot of athletic ability, but it seems that they have more guts than anything else. I could see how the snowboarders practice racing downhill. But how do you practice all of those flips, spins and stuff? I mean, if you try to do some crazy flip off of one of those big ramps going down a mountain and don't make it the first try, it's gotta hurt. Man, it's gotta take some guts to do that.

I guess that's the way it is with a lot of things in life. If you are the first person to do something, it takes guts to step out there and try it. If you are doing something different than most people, it takes guts to do that, too. As a Christian, I've found that it takes guts to follow Christ's teachings in a world where most people are doing whatever they feel will make them happy (which is, most of the time, the opposite of Christ's teachings).

I may not be able to do the flips and stuff at Winter X (I'd get dizzy), but I've got some guts when it comes to following Christ. I've found that I have more guts when I'm around other Christians, and it encourages me to be a little more daring in my faith. How about you?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


For those in the northeastern area of NC, it seems that the Navy has scrapped the previous five sites proposed for the Outlying Landing Fields (OLF). One of those sites being considered was Perquimans County, where we live. This is great new for those living in Perquimans County and for our church. Thanks, God!

We are relieved that we are no longer in consideration, but still wonder if there is a real need for this type of training facility.

If you have no clue as to what I'm talking about (OLF) or want to see the article, you can read the article online by clicking here.

Faked Out!

Friday afternoon was exciting. From seemingly out of nowhere, the weather forecasters began predicting that we would get 4-6 inches of snow. I live in northeast NC. We don't see much snow. Usually the warm water from the ocean and the sounds keep us from having the snowfall that anyone west of us gets. This time was to be different. We were predicted to have more snow than just about anywhere in the state.

The only downside to this prediction of snow was that the snow was to come on Saturday night. As a pastor, that put me in a tough spot. The last thing a pastor wants is foul weather on Sunday morning. However, I was looking forward to the snow.

Before bed Saturday night I glimpsed outside, it was snowing fairly good. When I got up on Sunday morning at 5:45, I immediately looked out the window. To my surprise . . . there was the same amount of snow on the ground as the night before . . . a light dusting.

Despite the cold and icy conditions, our church met at our regular times for our worship services and God met with us in a special way. Not only that, we had a large turnout.

Yesterday I was in a meeting with other Wesleyan pastors in Chapel Hill. A lot of them told me that they had called off services on Sunday. "How much snow did you get?" I asked. "None."

We might have been disappointed about our lack of snow, but we certainly didn't get faked out. I'm grateful that we could come together and worship as a followers of Christ.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Weekend Plans

I've several things on tap for the weekend, and I'm looking forward to them all. Tonight I'm going with the guys to a truck and tractor pull. It ought to be fun - and loud. This time I'm taking ear plugs. Last time we went I spent about half of the time looking for ear plugs. I'm prepared - and looking forward to making the Tim Allen grunt sounds when those big engines crank up.

Tomorrow morning we've got a men's workday over at the church. We may not be able to hear each other - but I think that we will be able to get a few things accomplished to improve our facilities. I always like having a sense of accomplishment.

Tomorrow afternoon I plan to watch UNC play Maryland. The Heels are still undefeated, but they have looked very beat-able with they played Georgia Tech and Clemson.

Tomorrow evening we'll probably do something together as a family. Eating is usually big on the agenda of our family of 5, so I imagine the plan will involve some food somewhere.

Sunday, I'm really looking forward to our services this Sunday. We've been doing two services for several months now, and I really like it. Even though the services are the same, they have a different feel. I think that's neat and look forward to it. This week I be talking about the Urban Legend that God won't give you more that you can handle. In a nutshell, God often allows us to be in over our heads so we can learn some things. Come Sunday to find out what those things are:)

After our 11am service on Sunday, we will have a preview of Financial Peace University, by Dave Ramsey. I'm really stoked about having this at our church. Often we hear about how we are to give to the church, or other worthy causes, but never really taught how to handle our money biblically. Dave Ramsey is the man on how to biblically handle money. I look forward to this class for Amy and I.

After church? Great NFL games on the tube. New England vs San Diego and Green Bay vs NY Giants. My Redskins are no longer in it, so I'll probably doze off sometime during the game.

Busy weekend. But doing a lot of fun stuff. And doing it with a lot of other people. That's what's it's about. (hey, 3 out of 4 words in that last sentence were contractions, is that legal?)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Excitement Ahead

Our church had a "Town Hall" this past Sunday where we shared some exciting plans for the future. We have experienced some growth over the past several years and are running out of space. We have known for some time that we need some type of new facility. We currently own around 17 acres across the road from our current facility. That acreage, however, is long and narrow and we would have limited access to any new facility that we would build. We shared Sunday that we have the opportunity to purchase the adjacent property at a real reasonable price. By purchasing this additional property we would basically have a block of 25 acres with road frontage on two different roads. Praise God!

Needless to say, we're excited!

Our next step is for the church membership to approve this purchase. We plan to have meeting on January 27 for this purpose.

It's really exciting and it seems that the possibilities of what God can do are limitless. Also, for all that excitement, it can be a little scary since we're stepping out there where we haven't gone before. Would you be willing to pray for us as we move forward in this process?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Man's Breakfast

This morning we had The Man's Breakfast at our church. I always look forward to eating, but the Man's Breakfast is always great. We always cook too much food, so there is always plenty to eat. As we were talking, most of us have cereal each morning, so the bacon, eggs and whole deal was a real treat. I feel like I need to get some serious exercise this afternoon.

We're wanting to do some "man" stuff, so we made a list of things that we're planning to do. Next Friday we are going to a Truck and Tractor pull. We're planning a hunting & camping retreat for February. We're also looking to make a fishing trip, car races, the rodeo, a minor-league baseball game, car show and maybe even a trip to tour a nuclear submarine. I'm excited about the adventures that we'll take together.

I'm also excited about the journey we are about to begin with The Man's Group. We're going to gather on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month to look as issues that we face as men and how God wants us to live. I'm even more excited about this journey we're about to take.

As I said in yesterday's post, Over My Head, life is easier when we do things together. I'll even bet that it's more fun. I'm looking to have a blast.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Over My Head

On several occasions I have felt that I need to be a little more consistent in my exercise routine. Usually I need some kind of goal, rather than exercise just for exercise. Last year I trained and ran in the Shamrock Half-Marathon. I had to train for about six months. It was exciting at first, getting into the training. About three months into it, I realized that I had gotten in over my head. I pushed through, and was able to complete the 13.1 mile course. I would have never exercised like I did without that goal in front of me. After the race, I had a few minor injuries. I thought that I would take some time off. After the time off, I would jog off and on, mostly off. Not motivated. I lost most of the conditioning that I had gained.

Well, last night I got motivated again. I signed up for the 8k event at the Shamrock Marathon. It's not even half the distance that I ran in last year's event, but this year I have some guys from the church who will be running as well. We haven't trained together yet, and maybe won't do that much training with each other. However, we already have been checking in with each other to make sure each other is training. With these guys checking in on me, maybe this year I won't be over my head.

That's the way life is. It doesn't matter if you're exercising, dieting, going to school or living the Christian life. It's always easier when there are others along your side. Who are you doing life with that helps you stretch yourself without getting in over your head?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Who Won?

For the past several years I've followed the presidential elections. It's kind of funny, one of my majors at UNC was political science, but I never really followed much of the political process until 10 years after I graduated. Tonight I watched the Republican debate on Fox News. Immediately after the debate, each person that was interviewed claimed that their candidate had won. The commentators, on different channels, had opinions on who won.

After what happened in New Hampshire on Tuesday in the primaries, I think that I will stick to watching the debates myself to form my opinion rather than learning what the 'experts' think. The 'experts' knew that Obama would blow out Clinton on Tuesday. Didn't happen. In fact, I think I'll stick to what the candidates say about themselves. I've found that I can learn most of their positions by looking at their websites - then listening to the debates. I can now turn to Sportscenter and not waste my time with the 'experts' with their 'focus groups'

Jumping in With Both Feet

After several months contemplating the whole idea of blogging, I've decided to jump in. At times it may not be with both feet, sometimes I may only be able to put one foot down, but I will attempt to put some of my thoughts here. I am a pastor, but I do not intend to write sermons here. However, most of my reflections will come from a Christian perspective. I am a husband of 17+ years, and a dad of three kids, so that's part of who I am and will come through. Most of the time I will write from the comfort of my recliner, hence the name of the blog.