Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The scandalous gospel...

...but [Jesus] said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in {your} weakness."

Wow...what a concept. In this world that seeks perfection (see those ads on TV?), how scandalous of God to tell us that He is strongest when we are weak. And why? Because when we're strong and "in control," there is no room for His strength.

Even in the church...many seek perfection. Cornerstone is far from that. And yet I believe that is one of our greatest strengths...we are real, and we value that "realness." We value it because we know that is how God's strength can be seen best.

Lord, allow me to be as strong and capable as you desire me to be. May I never be as strong as I and others desire me to be, so that you may be seen.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Thank you Lord for good friends...

I got back yesterday from a two-day camping retreat with two of my friends from our accountability group. We went to Raccoon Creek State Park and camped overnight for a mini-retreat. What a great time. We had a lot of laughs as we always do. More than that, however, we really stepped out in honest conversation with one another. We talked of our fears, our sin struggles, our tempations, and what we saw in each other. We talked of forgiveness and strength and accountability. We talked of how to better support each other so that we can better Christians, family men, and pastors. Thanks Chris and Greg for taking the time and for being willing to walk with me on this journey. You're the best!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I am back from vacation. We had a good time...it was nice to get away. We spent 4 days helping Carla's parents finish their moving process, then we goofed off for a few days. We ended up in Erie for a few days and had a great time.

I am "back to work" now and I am doing some soul-searching. Vacations do that to me, and I think it is good. I saw an article about the senseless killing of Gorillas in DRC, very close to where I used to live as a Peace Corps Volunteer. It hit me hard and started me thinking about what is truly important. I read my friend Randy's blog entry which just blew me away and convicted me to further introspection. I read a few articles in REV magazine which made me realize how much leadership has become an idol of the pastorate. I realized how little time I spend in working on my own relationship with Jesus...and how much time I spend trying to be a good pastor. And I've come to the same conclusion as Solomon...it is chasing after the wind.

I need to step back and make some big changes. I need to get serious about my relationship with God. I need to covet being a Christian, instead of coveting being a pastor. I need to start being honest with God, honest with myself, and honest with those closest to me about who I am, who I am not, what I can really give in life, and what I really need.

So I started reading some OT prophets...just for me. Here is the hope I claim based on the warnings God has given to me:

Zephaniah 3:9-13
9 "Then will I purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the LORD and serve him shoulder to shoulder. 10 From beyond the rivers of Cush my worshipers, my scattered people, will bring me offerings. 11 On that day you will not be put to shame for all the wrongs you have done to me, because I will remove from this city those who rejoice in their pride. Never again will you be haughty on my holy hill. 12 But I will leave within you the meek and humble, who trust in the name of the LORD. 13 The remnant of Israel will do no wrong; they will speak no lies, nor will deceit be found in their mouths. They will eat and lie down and no one will make them afraid." (NIV)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

We'll Be On Vacation...

Carla and I are taking a vacation beginning after worship today. I will be back to work by Tuesday the 21st of August. I will miss you. I will just assume that you are missing me...it makes me feel better that way.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Core Values

Starting Sunday, Cornerstone is going to take a four week journey in reviewing and renewing our commitment to our core values. Core values are the basic, fundamental principles that govern and guide how we conduct ourselves and which decisions we make. Our core values can be found here.

We base our core values on Psalm 34:1-8. If we do not review them from time to time, then we really don't value them. If we don't use them to guide our course, then we really don't value them.

It gets me to thinking...what are my own personal core values? How about you?

Monday, August 06, 2007

Thanks to some great people

We held our Vacation Bible School this past week and what a blast. Kids were excited to be learning about the Lord. It was such a blessing to see kids walking in a relationship with Jesus. How cool is that? I am humbled and amazed at our many gifted and dedicated people who make this kind of stuff happen. Lori, our Family Ministries Coordinator, did an amazing job. It was the smoothest running operation by any measurement standard. We had at least 35 helpers every evening, and with absolutely no begging or arm twisting. What a blessing to serve in a place where people really desire to serve and do so with their whole hearts. God is good, and I am thanking Him today for the chance to be the pastor of an amazing group of people. You all ROCK! Wa-HOO!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Driven, or Faithful?

For the last 15 years or so, I've been wrestling with this concept: What is the difference between being driven (usually used in the negative to describe over-achiever, type A, work-a-holic, etc.) and being faithful? As a Christ-follower, my desire is to be like Him. My goal in life is to act as He does...to allow Him to live through me. So was Jesus driven? I mean, He obviously worked long hours and never settled on second best. He did everything He did with His whole heart and energy behind it. When asked about the greatest commandment (recorded in Matthew 22:36-40), He talked about loving God with everything we have. No half-heartedness here.
But by the same token, He knew when to get away; He knew when to rest; He knew when to pray. In a word, Jesus was faithful.
So how does one live out a life of faithfulness without being "driven?" How does one walk that balance? How does one know when to "with all your heart, soul, mind" kinda stuff and when to "he left them and went up on the mountain" kinda stuff?
In order to be faithful, it seems that there must be some order of "driven-ness" but that is also a great place of danger.

Maybe that's what Jesus was talking about when He said "the road to life is a narrow road..."

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Email...bane or blessing? It can be a great tool of blessing, but it can be a tool of destruction. So, I am authoring a new book called "Email, the Way Jesus Would" It is a short story, so short it is in fact contained here:

1. Use email to encourage, lift up, and edify people.

2. Use email to share facts.

3. Never use email to complain about, gossip about, or tear down people.

4. Never use email to "discuss" anything.

The end.

Epilogue: Everyone who did lived happily ever after...