Thursday, March 29, 2007

Picture Postcard Joshua Kadison Live

What a 90's! But it captures the essence of dreaming...what we don't do enough, I think...

Monday, March 26, 2007

Hearing but not obeying...

As you can see, I've changed my picture again...this is one with me and "my boy" Shadrach! He is a great dog...I love him to pieces. But he is a great reminder to me of how disobedient I can be. Shad always hears my commands. But it is only the fun ones that he acts like he hears. (You wanna go for a walk?) The others, he pretends like he didn't hear! (Stop your barking!)

And don't we do the same with the Lord? We seem to pick and choose what we wish to obey and blame it on hearing loss! Sorry Lord! Thanks for being so loving...and may I even stop barking when you tell me to today!

Thursday, March 22, 2007


With the hiring of our Family Ministries Coordinator, Lori, my mind starts to drift to the transition. I have been reflecting a lot lately about transitions I have been through and trying to concretize what I have learned through the years. Here are a few thoughts.

1. The new person is responsible for building their own ministry or success within an organization. Nobody else can do that for them.

2. Even the most responsible, capable, and called individual will fail if they are not provided with a solid foundation on which to start.

3. The new person cannot provide that foundation. They can only build on it. The organization cannot provide that foundation...organizations don't provide anything. Only people can provide that solid foundation.

As Lori prepares for her transition here beginning the week after Easter Sunday (how appropriate, eh?), I am committing to Lori, to our Ministry Management Team, to myself, and to the Lord that I will do everything in my power to provide her with a solid foundation on which to build. I have NO doubt that Lori has everything it takes to build a successful ministry and career on that foundation...she is called, she has character, she is competent, and she is a proven contributor... I just want to make sure that I am faithful to provide the foundation she needs to make that happen. Lord, hear my prayer.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Gettin' the team together, an' 'at.

Last night, I was reminded again of how BLESSED I am to be the pastor of Cornerstone Church of Cranberry, or C3 as I like to call it. Our Ministry Management Team met at Primanti's restaurant for 3 hours of team building, prayer (yes right there in Primanti' about March Madness!!!), Bible study, laughter, and conversation about what it means to be the church. There are four other people on the team, and it is just awesome to walk with the Lord together with such a dedicated and enthusiastic group of believers. I think it is great that we hold leadership meetings in the community where we are seeking to save the lost. It is awesome to talk about reaching those who need a relationship with the Lord through Jesus Christ right in the midst of so many who do...instead of hiding behind the walls of a church. It seems to me that we Christians don't get to spend enough time with unbelievers...we isolate ourselves. That's not what Jesus often did, and as a Christ-follower, I am challenged to "go and do likewise." I just want to praise the Lord for a great group of people with whom to serve HIM!

Monday, March 19, 2007

"Making" Disciples

The official mission of the United Methodist Church includes "making disciples." Is this possible? First of all, I'm not sure that in this day and age, anyone wants to be "made" into anything. Secondly, I'm not sure we can "make" disciples, but rather the Lord works through us to attract others to Him. In that attraction as we walk by faith, we grow and become more faithful disciples.

Cornerstone was invited to be a Romans 12 Congregation and it gets me to thinking about our effectiveness and where we need to be working. The biggest challenge Cornerstone faces right now is how to be magnetic and contagious in our faith in a vast world of people that have absolutely no clue how much God loves us and desires to be in relationship with us.

One attempt that we're making is called Stepping intentional process to grow people in faith. It seems to be working somewhat thus far, but we have a LONG way to go. We will never become healthiest, strongest, and faithfully growing until we learn to become magnetic and contagious. Lord, help us...

Friday, March 16, 2007

Latest Update to Cornerstone

Good news, God news!!! Here is my latest update to Cornerstone to share some good news!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 that we can...

I love what the Lord says to us through Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7.

Think back upon your "hard times" in life. Now reflect on how the Lord carried you and blessed you in those times, even when you didn't ask for it. Fun, eh? How cool that God loves us through those times. As "so that" what? "So that" we can...well you can read it here.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Back in the Day...

When I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zaire, I stumbled across a Bible verse that has stuck with me ever since. It is also the "verse of the day" for Cornerstone.
Proverbs 16:3: "Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed."
A couple of thoughts:

1. We cannot commit our plans TO the Lord until our plans are OF the Lord... So as I think about my calling and purpose in life, I want to make sure my plans are His plans and give them over to Him.

2. uncommon concept in contemporary American society. Lord, help me to truly promise to begin and plans to you.

3. What plans do you have? What do you need to commit to Him?

Monday, March 05, 2007

One Hour Heroes...

We just started a message series yesterday that will take us to Easter. It is entitled "One Hour Heroes" and in it, we focus on some seemingly insignificant people in the Bible who God used to do some miraculous things. In worship yesterday, we read John 6:1-13 and talked about the unnamed boy who shared his lunch and, for one hour, became a hero. You can listen to it here. We are challenging our people do the something in ministry to the world each week for only an hour...and see what the Lord will do with it. God stuff!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The BIG difference...

Last night, I was invited to participate in the discussion with one of our small groups. (Actually, the group is growing very nicely and isn't so small anymore!) The question was around people of other faiths and what the differences are and is Jesus really the way. Good stuff.

I want to summarize the crux of the discussion because it is a point that I think I sometimes fail to adequately make:
The difference between Christianity and any religion is this: A religion is a pathway to some supreme reality. Christianity is a pathway from that supreme reality (God) to humanity.
Don't miss that...because it is HUGE! Every religion of the world is some attempt to overcome issues in this life to achieve some higher state, of our own accord. Christianity is just the is the realization that we cannot achieve some higher state on our own. It is the realization that God loves us first...and proves that on the cross. The rest of our existence in this world is simply a response to that love, not an attempt to earn it.