Thursday, August 31, 2006

Block PARTAY!!!

You may know that Cornerstone is a church, not a building. We are the people of God seeking to build the Kingdom in Cranberry Twp. This Sunday, I'll be preaching as a part of our worship service about hospitality. We are called to be "hospitable" to people. The root word of hospitality is hospital, so I'm making the case that we're to be people who are allowing the lost and hurting of our area to receive healing. And our chief of staff at Cornerstone Hospital is Dr. Jesus! But sometimes, the hurting won't or can't come to the hospital. That's why we really need to be an ambulance...a MICU (Mobile Intensive Care Unit - which is apparently ambulance speak for ambulance!). We need to bring the "doctor" to the people if the people won't come to the "doctor."

So tomorrow, Cornerstone is hosting a block party. We don't have a real church building. We just lease some warehouse flex space and have lots of other people in our complex who are doing the same. For lunch tomorrow, we're throwing a block party for our neighbors. We're gonna cook dogs and burgers on the grill, and just have a good time hanging with our business neighbors.

I'm proud of Cornerstone, 'cause that's hospitality. And it is MICU... Pray that one of our neighbors who may be hurting might find some healing in our hospitality tomorrow.

Monday, August 28, 2006

I NEED your feedback!!!

OK. Yesterday, I preached from Psalm 42:1-5. If you weren't present with us, you can listen from here: Cornerstone's Website. If you were here, you know that I was preaching about how thirsty we are for Living Water. We are thirsty because we're tired of the "lion" chasing after us. And we need to drink "from the well that never shall run dry."

But after worship yesterday, many of you asked "how do we "drink" on the days when we're not in worship?" Good question. I'm prepared to give the answer in a number of ways, but I need your input.

I was going to preach from 1 Peter 4:9 this week and talk about the need to be hospitable to our community...a people that cares enough to lead people to healing through a relationship with Jesus. But now I'm wondering if I should preach a follow up message to "I'm Thirsty". I'm wondering if I should preach a message on "Drinking Daily". Whaddya think? LET ME KNOW!!! HELP!!!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The last fling of summer

Carla and I will be leaving Friday morning for a two day fling before she starts school. We are going to a water park on Friday and the Cleveland Zoo on Saturday. We'll return Saturday night, and I can't wait to preach on Sunday. I'm preaching from Psalm 42:1-5, and my message is entitled "I'm Thirsty". Here's a sneak preview: The deer is panting because he is tired of being chased by his enemy, the lion. He stops to drink, and is satisfied. I am "thirsty" because I'm being chased by my own "lions". I want to drink from the Living Water, and be satisfied... If you're a cornerstoner, I'll see you Sunday!!!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Jesus, be the center...

I'm preparing for a five week message series this Fall entitled Jesus, Be the Center. I am excited to preach it, maybe because it is what I need to hear most right now. This has been the craziest summer of my pastoral career, sans doute. My struggle is to keep Him at the center. The busyness of the church, the politics, the sickness and brokeness, the many voices calling from every direction...all because I'm called. But I'm called by Jesus...first, and foremost. How do I hear His voice first, loudest, and last? How do I keep Him at the center?

Lord, hear my call for peace. Let me take your burden upon me. Let me be humbled for you. Let the callouses of my life be scraped away, that I might be ever sensitive to your leading...your calling...your presence...

Monday, August 21, 2006


You can be praying for us as we hold our "second interviews" with two promising candidates for our Family Ministries Coordinator. We interview a woman for the position tonight, and a man tomorrow night. We have received about 60 applicants for the position and are feeling very confident that God is leading this process well. This is a big step, and we want to make sure that we're taking the right direction. Your prayers are appreciated!

Also, here is a picture of our nearly completed, expanded worship center. We still have additional chairs to be delivered (which will allow seating for 300) and the rear light fixtures to be installed. (Sorry it so dark)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Why can't we all just get along?

"How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard,running down on Aaron's beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing,even life forevermore."

That's what God said to us through David in Psalm 133. What unites us? Jesus. We can't all get along unless we all turn ourselves over to Jesus....until we have "one Lord, one faith, one baptism..." (Ephesians 4:5)

Sorry world...there is no peace without the Prince of Peace...

Monday, August 14, 2006


Tonight, Cornerstone embarks on our very first Vacation Bible School. We are doing Group's Fiesta, and I can't wait! We have over 30 volunteers helping this that amazing, or what? I had a Bible study and pizza party with our youth volunteers last evening to help them to get in the groove for the week. Sandy, our director, has done an absolutely amazing job of getting this together.

Here are some more pix: Our hallway:

The side of the worship center (and notice the carpet layer tools on the floor. They will finish the carpet at about 2:00 and VBS starts at 6:30!!!!)

Here is the front of the worship center: We'll have just enough time to set up the chairs, get the PowerPoint working, and Ole!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Coming down to the wire!!!

Here are the Saturday morning photos...we are cutting this one close! We're having a big "let's put our worship center back together so we can worship the Lord in relative order" party tonight at 7:00. Anyone wanna help?

Here is looking from the worship platform toward the new back wall and sound booth:

Here is looking the opposite way:

Here is looking down the new hallway (worship center on left and restrooms on right) with the existing hallway at the end:

Here is a look at the men's room...obviously not in use for tomorrow! Luckily, we have others!!!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

I did it!!!!

Yes...I ran 3.4 miles yesterday, which is about 5 1/2K. That is the first time I've ever actually run 5K at the same time and I lived to tell about it! Now all I have to do is pick a new date for my first race and set my eyes on the prize. What a accomplish something that you put your mind to. Kinda reminds me of:

Philippians 3:12-14

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Filled with the Spirit

I spent some time with my good friend Harvey last night. He is my bluegrass jammin' partner. For hours we sat and played, laughed, and shared life. We sang and picked...singing the kind of music we both love: BLUEGRASS! I came home from his place last night just absolutely refreshed. And I know why:

Harvey was on fire last night. Not just his pickin', although that is amazing. He was on fire with the Holy Spirit. He (the Holy Spirit) is just the presence of God that lives in the life of the believer and allows us to act like Him! And when He is present in someone's life, you just know it. You can feel it. And His presence is contagious!

It also convicted me: Brett, are you filled with the Holy Spirit? If not, why not? Are you spending enough time with Jesus that He really rubs off on you? Sadly, the answer is NO. So Lord, today, help me to hang out with you. Help me to feel the warmth of your fire burning within me, and help me to share that fire with those around. Thank you for bluegrass, thank you for friends, and thank you for your Holy Spirit!!!!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Cornerstone Construction is really coming together. I'm going to attempt to upload some pictures here:

Looking from the existing platform back toward the new section:

On the left, you can see where the new hallway is:

Looking from the new section toward the old:

Down the new hallway: (bathrooms on left, worship center on right, phase II opening at the end)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Mirror, mirror on the wall....

Today was a mirror day. It seems everywhere I looked, there was a mirror involved. I started my day off as usual at the gym. Mirrors everywhere. My friend Chris and I travelled to Crafton for our accountability group meeting today and almost got sideswiped by someone playing with their mirror. The guy in the car in front of me on the way to the ministry center this evening looked in the mirror and ran his fingers through his awesome hair at least fifty gillion times. Shadrach, our pooch, was lying on the floor looking at himself in the mirror of our curio cabinet today. Half the woman I pass along the road seem to be fixing their makeup in their car mirrors. Mirrors everywhere....

Which gets me to thinking about the metaphor for my life. Jesus said in Matthew 5:14 that we, the believers, are the light of the world. He went on to say that we're to let our lights shine as we do righteous things and allow the Father in heaven to receive the glory. Which really kinda means that we're not the light, just the mirrors. Our lives are meant to reflect Jesus to a lost and hurting world.

I have had a very hard week. I am tired, and weary. I think I need to go clean my mirror...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Music to calm a weary soul!

Can I tell you how much I love music? Thanks, because I really do. I believe music is a gift from God that is meant to connect our heart to His. Here are some current favorites:

1. My bluegrass gospel know, just me and my amazing Collings D1A guitar playing and singing bluegrass music that glorifies the Lord!
2. Third Day - what a cool group...
3. Chris Rice: Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus) - I cry everytime I hear and sing this song...
4. Dave DeMarco - He is a local (New Brighton) guy who writes and leads some amazing praise music...actually saw him live leading worship at Orchard Hill Church a few weeks ago...
5. Anything our Cornerstone praise band leads...what a blast and what great friends to share music and our love for the Lord with!