I’m Moving To Colorado Springs! What???

I have a Love/Hate relationship with change.  How about you?


In the Fall of 2013, it was revealed at our staff retreat that my wife and I were going to step out of our staff roles at the time to launch the first multisite church campus of Christ Community Church. Fast forward to Nov 8, 2015. On this Sunday we announced that our campus would be changing our video teaching model to offer live preaching. Not only did this change not include my wife and I (change in leadership), we also announced that we were moving to Colorado Springs in 4 weeks.

This has all happened so quickly.  We really have seen the finger prints of God all over this…not only in our own lives, but for the health of the campus as well.

So, this is basically a journal entry reflecting on my thoughts with this transition:  What I FEEL vs. what I KNOW.

What I feel | There is personal loss attached to big life transitions. Loss of close friends, co-workers, family, culture, and familiarity.

What I know | There often needs to be loss if God is going to bless us with new blessings. It’s His way of making room for the new. I have seen this over and over in my lifetime, so I’m not sure why I don’t get more excited at the onset of changing seasons when they pop up.

What I feel | 18 months is too soon after launching a new church campus for the leadership to move on. Ok, it’s too soon for my comfort level. There, I said it. I really thought I’d be shepherding this body of believers for at least 3-5 years. And that was my problem. I presumed God’s intentions more than I should have.

What I know | God’s timing is always perfect and always better than mine. On God’s clock, late and early are non-existent. This is so comforting (and frustrating) to me.

What I feel | Its not fair that I don’t get to be a part of this local church body in its next chapter. I want to see it grow. I want to meet all the amazing, new people. I want to celebrate with the new believers and disciple them.

What I know | God’s calling on my life (and yours) is never about fairness. And it is not about our personal wants. It is, however, always about obedience, faith, and a larger Kingdom purpose than my own little world.

What I feel | I worry about how my kids will weather through this change. Our 2 oldest are staying in GA, while 2 of our boys are moving with us. I often think, they did not ask for this life of ministry….constant change and moving from place to place.

What I know | They are only mine for a season and for the purpose of training them up in faith and life. Ultimately, they are The Lord’s. When we dedicated them to Him as babies, we were placing them in His care. As they have grown older, I have had to constantly re-visit those moments and ask myself a question. Do I truly mean today what I meant back then? Thankfully, the answer has been ‘yes.’ But I do find myself constantly rededicating each of them to God’s care and providence. This is mainly for my own sanity.

What I feel | If I’m going to be really authentic here, I’d have to admit that I’ve said to God (more than once) that I didn’t ask for this calling of ministry in my life. I’ve often thought what it would be like to go to church at the same time as everyone else does. Or how it would feel not to have to live completely by my calendar. Or not having the heaviness of knowing so much of the pain and struggle many of our church members are enduring each week.

What I know | While that all sounds appealing on the surface, I know better. Yes, ministry is demanding and hard. But (there’s a huge ‘but’ here), it is also rewarding beyond words. The innumerable experiences, tragedies, joys, challenges, victories, and relationships God has gifted me with….none of them would have come to be if I had said ‘No’ to His call on my life. I would have forfeited the past 24 years of partnership with God. The thought that I could have given all that away to someone else makes me cringe.

“This is God’s universe, and He does things His way.  We may have a better way, but we don’t have a universe.”  – Dr. J. Vernon Megee

 How about you?  How have you maneuvered through major transitions in life?  When have what you FEEL vs. what you KNOW collided?

This has been the quickest, healthiest, and craziest change in my life to date…..and I’m really looking forward to it!

You Don’t Need To See All The Details Today

Have you ever wished that God would stop holding out on you and simply show you his plan for the next season of life?  I mean, we want to step out in faith and all that good stuff.  But why can’t he just let us in on the secret?  Give us the details?

Something caught my eye while traveling out of town recently.  It was a horse trailer, and the horse was wearing a mask like this.



I do know a little bit about horses, and there are two common purposes for having a horse wear a head mask like this while they travel in a trailer.

  1. It protects them (mainly their eyes) from insects.
  2. It helps to keep them calm.

That’s right.  The mask has a calming effect on the horse when it can’t see all that is going on around it.  The horse’s owner will remove the mask when the environment is mostly free of harm and distractions.

Meanwhile, the horse still needs to respond to the owner’s guidance.  It doesn’t just stand there.  It follows it’s owner even though it cannot see what it is walking toward.

Sound familiar?

Check this out:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.  – Isaiah 55:8, 9

If God is leading you somewhere and you can’t see what it’s all going to look like, that’s O.K.  There is usually good reason.  In my own life, I can think back to many times when I would have not followed him if he had shown me the plan before the journey.  Why?  Because it would have scared me to death!  He has bigger, better plans for you and I.  He provides and equips us as we need it every step of the way.

My encouragement for you today is this.  Be grateful!  What he’s asking of you today may seem like an incredible step of faith, but it’s likely to be just one of many baby steps toward something too amazing to wrap your understanding around.

Could this encourage someone you know today?  Share it online.

Perhaps this was something you needed to hear in your own life today.  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Today, may you be able to fully trust God even in the absence of big details.




3 Things To Always And Never Do In Leadership

“I will NEVER be that kind of leader.”

“I will ALWAYS lead with the utmost integrity in my church.”

We’ve all heard it said, “Never say ALWAYS or NEVER.”  And I think there is some wisdom in that.  These words can easily set us up for major failure.

Never and Always.001

In the right context, however, ALWAYS and NEVER can be incredibly useful for staying focused and intentional with who we desire to become and what we hope to accomplish in the future.

Here are 3 things I suggest we ALWAYS and NEVER do in leadership:

1. ALWAYS do your best | Our work effort should be high and directed toward God (Col. 3:23).  This also creates solid character.

2. ALWAYS forgive yourself when you fail | You and I are going to fail.  It’s inevitable.  But if we don’t learn from our mistakes, give ourselves grace and move on…we will end up self-destructing.  Give each new day a clean slate (Lam. 3:22-23).

3. ALWAYS look for the good in everyone | Noticing the positive traits in others (and acknowledging them) encourages and builds others up.  Who doesn’t need more of that?  This also changes the way we view people for the better.

1. NEVER Give up | You and I lose sight of our goals, hopes, dreams, and reason for living when we give up (1 Cor. 9:24).  When you feel like giving up, seek a mentor immediately.  Work through it with someone.

2. NEVER neglect your priorities | Relationship with Jesus, family, personal health, rest, and growth.  These are some of examples.  Whatever yours are, keep them in front of you at all times (Luke 12:34).  Examine them to see how you are doing.

3. NEVER lose sight of your calling | This one helps us to avoid giving up.  Whatever God has called you to, do it well (Eph. 4:1).  He believes in you.

What would you add to this list?

Join the discussion and leave a comment below.

9 Insights To A Lasting Marriage

Leadership requires selflessness, mentoring, learning from others, patience, persistence, and the willingness to grow through your mistakes.  These also apply to making a marriage work.  And not to simply ‘work,’ but to THRIVE.

Today (August 31) marks 24 years with one AMAZING woman of God!  Both of us have had to lead ourselves and each other through some pretty challenging seasons.  But we have both learned that marriage is much more than a ‘relationship status’ on Facebook.  It’s a life-long investment in a journey together.

Here are 9 lessons on marriage I’ve come to realize over the years.


Honeymoon | 1991 | Leavenworth, WA (Bavarian Village)

Marriage Insight #1 | Celebrate well, and remember often.

Turner Field | Our first MLB game

Turner Field | Our first MLB game

Marriage Insight #2 | Experience new things together.

Annual Family Vacation | Lincoln City, OR

Annual Family Vacation | Lincoln City, OR

Marriage Insight #3 | Cherish your family traditions while you have them.

Gloria Jean's Coffee | A Favorite From Our Dating Years

Gloria Jean’s Coffee | A Favorite From Our Dating Years

Marriage Insight #4 | Don’t forget to travel down memory lane now and then.

Every Time We Visit Nashville, TN

Every Time We Visit Nashville, TN

Marriage Insight #5 | Travel and explore together often.

The 'Chick-fil-a' of Hamburgers | Lake Forest, CA

The ‘Chick-fil-a’ of Hamburgers | Lake Forest, CA

Marriage Insight #6 | Experience good food together.

Multnomah Falls | Columbia River Gorge, OR

Multnomah Falls | Columbia River Gorge, OR

Marriage Insight #7 | Family memories are priceless.  Protect them.

Marriage Retreat | WinShape in Rome, GA

Marriage Retreat | WinShape in Rome, GA

Marriage Insight #8 | Invest in your relationship.  Otherwise it will run dry.

Myrtle Beach, SC

Myrtle Beach, SC

Marriage Insight #9 | Don’t be afraid of displaying your love for each other publicly.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  1 Cor. 13:7

To Cailey, the most incredible and beautiful woman I have ever known….Thank You!  Thank you for loving me, especially at times when I’ve been unlovable.  Thank you for patiently waiting for me to learn what it looks like to be the Spiritual leader of our home.  I still have much to learn here.  Thank you for being a loving, guiding, teaching, and nurturing mother to our children.  And lastly, thank you for constantly challenging me to become a better husband, father, and church leader.

Happy Anniversary…I Love You!

Words: Inspire or Damage

“Can’t you do anything right?”

When was the last time someone said something to you that left you feeling worthless or inadequate?


How’s your intake…and how does it compare to your output?  Every day all of us intake (receive) words spoken into us.  We also output (speak words into those around us).  The negative criticism and judgments that we hear also tend to be the ingredients that feeds what we speak into others.  This can be our spouse, kids, co-workers, or even the innocent grocery store clerk.  It can affect our mood in a noticeable way. I’ve been guilty of this many times!

“Our encouragement to others often goes unappreciated, yet damaging words are often remembered for a lifetime.”

At one time or another, we have all been on both sides of this statement.  And it’s so true!  When we help or encourage someone, don’t we want them to remember it? Don’t we wish our efforts would be a lasting blessing?

It does not matter if we are talking about our place of employment, family, school, or community. Our choice of words will make some kind of an impact. And once they are spoken they cannot be taken back. This holds true of physical conversations as well as over technology.  In many ways, the human mind and the internet are very unforgiving.

“Don’t use foul or abusive language.  Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”   (Ephesians 4:29)

Today, may we strive to have our words spoken from our hearts…and not from our hurts.  Remember, what we say to a total stranger today just might be the only uplifting thing they will hear at all!

Has someone recently spoken words of encouragement to you?  How did it impact you and your day?

Leave a comment below.

An [infographic] on New Approaches to Your Spiritual Growth

Do the words ‘Spiritual Disciplines’ make you cringe?

Well, you’re not alone.  Many followers of Jesus in America wrestle with what they are and are intimidated when encouraged to practice them.

I really like this infographic  (by Tehanna.com)

Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 12.19.48 PM

I’m speaking from personal experience here.  Most people over-complicate their spiritual maturity journey.  Mainly due to naivety.    The biggest key, I believe, is to put perfection out of your thinking and simply start somewhere…don’t quit…and focus on practicing one or two of the disciplines.

(I’d encourage you to click on the infographic and read the rest of their article)

Where have you struggled or flourished in some of the spiritual disciplines?  I’d love to hear from you.

Leave a comment below.


3 Surprising Sabbatical Reflections

All leaders require rest……but all don’t realize it!

Sabbatical:  Similar to the purpose in our weekly Sabbath, a Sabbatical (at least in church terms) is a number of days or weeks set aside for Prayer, Bible intake, reflection, and physical rest.


Moreover, I gave them my Sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them. – Ezekiel 20:12

I’m fortunate to be serving on staff at a church that sees the benefit in it’s pastoral staff taking regular Sabbaticals.  Recently, I returned from a 3-day Sabbatical.  Here are three reflections I came away with after comparing this one with others I’ve had in past years.

They are always different | These times away are spiritual journeys.  And since the Holy Spirit leads the way, it’s a good idea to not over-plan.  Enter it with a focus, but leave enough margin open for God to reveal his intentions for you.

They always have value | Sometimes we simply need tons of physical rest.  Other times fresh vision and insight is needed from reading the Word and listening to other teachers/preachers.  And then there are those times when we are desperately searching God’s will in a heavy decision.  No matter the ‘why,’ this time alone with God is always valuable.

They are never what you expected | This one was no exception.  As usual, I began this most recent one with a handful of specific expectations.  Things I wanted gain insight on from God.  In keeping with how he usually does things, God provided just what I ‘needed’ and nothing more.  And you know what?  What he spoke was better than what I had asked for.

What have been your experiences with Sabbaticals?  What challenges come to mind for when contemplating experiencing something like this for yourself?

Comments and questions are always appreciated.

The Proof Is In ‘How’ We Love

As followers of Jesus, our most effective testimony of Christ lies in how you and I treat each other. More specifically, how we LOVE each other. It’s not a question of ‘if.’ Jesus called it a new commandment.

“…love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  (John 13:34-35)


Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Let’s be honest. How we conduct ourselves at the grocery store, driving through town, and yes…..even in church doesn’t always give the lost and broken in our community a reason to believe in a loving God.

To love like Jesus loves is a high calling. It is arguably unattainable. But that should not hinder us from working hard at it. The decision should be clear, coming from a heart of obedience. You and I should ‘want’ to practice loving everyone.

Let’s go a bit deeper with this. Jesus was not merely instructing us to get along with and like others. No, the Greek form of ‘Love’ that Jesus uses in this passage is agapaō.

Agapaō: to love, value, esteem, feel or manifest generous concern for, be faithful towards.

How might this alter our view of the grumpy grocery store employee? Or the person who cuts us off in traffic causing us to spill our coffee. If you and I were to pray for Jesus to give us the ability to experience real agapaō, how could that effect our thoughts toward those who are not like us? Those who make us uncomfortable?

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)

If we choose to really value the need to love one another in the same manner that Jesus did, the heart piece will follow. The decision is ours to make.


Lord, give us a genuine compassion for one another. Make us a changed people in a way that proves who you are and that we are your people.

5 Keys to Doing the Right Thing

Have you ever noticed that doing the RIGHT THING often brings a certain level of discomfort?


Don’t you wish it was the other way around?  I do.  But I guess that is why God gave us tools like the Matthew 18 principle for dealing with conflict.  And he did tell us ahead of time that life was not going to be easy.  So how do we approach doing what’s right despite how painful or awkward it might feel?

Allow me to share 5 things I try to do:

1. Pray | Yep, good old Spiritual discernment.  When the answers are not obvious to us we must remember …they are very clear to God.  So why not ask for a peek into his knowledge?

2. Ask ‘why’ | Do the benefits largely overpower the reasons NOT to do it?  In other words, if doing nothing seems like a huge mistake then at least we know that something needs to change.

3. Ask ‘who’ | Seriously, who will this decision help the most?  Whatever decision I make, it’s almost always the wrong decision if I’m the only clear beneficiary.

4. Talk about it | Just start openly talking about the issue around others as if you are leaning toward that decision.  Pay attention to the body language, facial reactions, and verbal input you get.  Want to really be aggressive?  Ask them how they would come to a decision.

5. Take action | At some point we just need to make a decision.  And sometimes this can be risky.  But being willing to risk failure in order to lead well builds self-confidence and gives your team members more reason to follow your lead in the future.  Take the dive.  If it was the right decision celebrate and run with it.  If not, own it and learn from it.  Either way it’s a win-win situation.

What do you struggle with when making big decisions?  What filters or processes have you used?

Please comment below.