Thursday, November 29, 2007

Here is the New Video!

Here is the newest video from NLCC:

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Welcome Ministries Series

I just recently finished reading a book by Mark Waltz entitled, First Impressions, Creating Wow Experiences in Your Church. I also had the privelage of meeting Mark and attending a conference he put on in Manteca a couple weeks ago. I have learned a number of important things that I think are applicable to me and how I "do" ministry.

I wanted to share with you some of the things that have impacted me the most from reading the book and attending the conference. Over the next couple weeks I will throw in some blogs about the book and what I am learning from it. I am sure I am not the first to blog on this book or on "first impressions" in general. Therefore, I am not going to try and give you profound and undiscovered ideas. I am simply going to share with you highlights that hit home with me and how they have impacted how I look at things.

So, if you are interested, get yourself a copy of the book and start reading so that together we can study some of the hidden nuggets tucked away in this book! I would love to hear what you think as well!

Is cheating okay if it is for someone else?

Okay do I have your attention? I guess it would help if I started with a brief story. Lately my wife has been a bit under the weather. We were playing cards this afternoon and while she stepped away to do something I thought about looking at her cards. Now hold on....the reason I thought of cheating was so that I could play something that would help her hand. I wanted to cheat to help her. Really!

Of course, I didn't. Like I said I only thought about it. However, as I reflected on that incident this evening while I was out and about, it reminded me of a book I read earlier this year, Choosing to Cheat by Andy Stanley.

In his book, Andy Stanley challenges us to cheat. You may think it is wrong to cheat. What Andy Stanley explains is that we are going to cheat. The question isn't IF we are going to cheat but WHO are we going to cheat. Andy Stanley challenges us to make that decision before it is made for us and to make sure we are cheating in the best interest of our family.

After the game of cards this afternoon, I began thinking about my decision not to look at her cards. That was such a no brainer. Just don't cheat. If it is so simple, then why is it so difficult when it comes to work and life?

We are so quick to cheat our families when work requires extra time of us because, "it is just this once"...or..."it is only for a couple weeks"...or..."it may mean a promotion". Let me ask you this, what good is a promotion if your family isn't around to enjoy it with you? I have to ask myself that question at least once a week.

So back to my question...Is cheating okay if it is for someone else? I guess you will have to read Andy Stanley's book to find out! As for me....I am going to try harder to be a better cheater for my family!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Go Worship Team!

In just a few weeks, our worship team will be sharing the story of Christ in a fun and yet relevant way.

What most people won't see is what these photos are attempting to portray...all the hardwork and practice that goes in to making this a success. These people are coming and practicing as a group every week and working out their parts during the rest of the week. There is a lot of time put into set design/building, lighting, etc. All of this is done as a service to the church and to our glorious savior so that his message could be shared with the community in which we serve.

Thanks Worship Team and all the other members of the group that are working so hard to share the message of Christ.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving Thanks #5


#1. The Love Jesus Christ has for me.
#2. My Wife, Autumn
#3. My two boys
#4. My Job and my boss.

and Church.

I am excited to be a part of my church, New Life Christian Center. We are undergoing what I think will be a major culture change over the next couple of years. I have no idea what it will look like. I have had a number of opportunities to talk with my Senior Pastor, Dave Larson, to try and see if God has given him a hint of what it might look like...either he is doing a good job of hiding it or he isn't sure what it will look like after the transformation (and I think it is the later). I have had a chance to talk and share with our Creative Arts and Worship Pastor, Jon Nichols, and he is as excited as myself and everyone else I talk to. Which to me means that when there is a lot of excited staff about pending change, something great is coming. That is what I am most excited about, is to see how God uses this change to bring him glory and allow us to reach out to those who do not yet know Christ. I am also thankful for the the opportunity to be a part, however small, of this exciting time.

Thank you Pastor Dave and Pastor Jon for allowing me to serve in my church!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Thanks #4

That would be my job. Since I am not in full-time ministry, and I actually have to "work" to earn a keep, I could not have asked for a better job.

God has blessed me with a job that provides a great salary, great hours, a wonderful boss who is understanding of my priorities and wouldn't ask me to change them for anything. I am able to be an active part of my church and serve in the ways that I can serve because of the job the Lord has blessed me with.

Thank you God for all that you do in my life...even when I don't always see it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Promo Video for Let it Be...Christmas

Here is the promo video for the series I blogged about the other day:

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanksgiving Thanks #3

Well, as we go down the natural order of things I am sure you can guess what is next.....that's right, my Job! HA! Just Kidding. The next thing I am thankful for is my two boys: Jordan and Austin!

It is amazing how a young couple could give birth to two children with no expectations or knowledge of how to raise them, what to do with them, or what God could possibly do with them and through them. Yet, each day the Lord manages to surprise me. It is amazing how the Lord can show us what simple faith should look like through our children.

I watch as my oldest (8 yrs old), who has accepted Christ as his Savior, sits on every word as I read to him from the Bible or tell him stories. As I see him in his bed at night reading his Bible before going to sleep, he is being a witness to Autumn and I and he doesn't even realize it. Watching him, renews my own faith! The best part of it...his little brother wants to be just like him, and although he can't read yet, is "reading" his Bible every night, too.

Thank you Lord for blessing Autumn and I with two Angels...

Thanksgiving Thanks #2

My wife, Autumn.

I think that every now and then the Lord allows us to see a little glimse of what Heaven will be like. For me that is Autumn. There is nothing in this world that I could imagine ever loving more than my wife; until another day comes and goes and I realize I love her that much more.

It doesn't matter what happens in my life, ups/downs or ins/outs it is all superficial when you have someone to love so deep in your heart.

Thank you Lord for bringing Autumn to me. Thank you Autumn for loving me as I am!

Thanksgiving Thanks #1

Okay! This one was supposed to go out yesterday...I got distracted. So, here is Monday's:

As a Christian, the first thing I am thankful for is Jesus Christ. Now, don't check out! At this point you would expect me to say because of his saving grace, or his unconditional love, or some other "fluffy" stuff. Now, those are all valid reasons, but for me it is a bit more specific.

I am thankful for a Savior that loved me so much that he allowed me to fail so bad in life that I realized the only way out was through Him. I am just stubborn enough to think that I could do life on my own, and would have continued that way for the rest of my life on this earth. However, my Savior refused to bail me out and I continued down until I hit rock bottom. It was then and only then that I realized I couldn't do it alone. As a result I turned my life over to Christ and allowed him to do it for me.

Thank you Jesus for ALL you do...especially when we don't think you are there!

Monday, November 19, 2007

I needed to hear this today.

I read this post from Steven Furtick's blog tonight. Let me tell you, I really needed to hear it. Here is a piece of the blog. Please visit Pastor Furick's blog for the entire post.

..."This is why your first inclination after a spiritual failure is to run and hide from God. The last thing you feel like doing after blowing it is approaching God through prayer, or through any other means, for that matter.But a thorough confidence in the grace of God and the power of the cross can help you turn the tables, and beat the enemy at his own game.

Instead of allowing your sin to drive you away from God, let it drive you to Him in repentance."...

Thank you Pastor Furick for this reminder.

I will be following this one!

I was doing some of my daily blog reading when I came across a blog entry by Tim Stevens. It was talking about Granger Community Church's upcoming Christmas Series that is using Beetles music. When I first read it, I was intrigued to read more. He placed a great youtube video of their teaching pastor, Rob Wegner, talking about how the Beetles music will relate to the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. Well enough of me talking. Here is the link for the Blog entry I read. All I know is I will be podcasting this series. I think it will be a nice refreshing approach to the Christmas Story.

Now that's a "Wow" Experience!

I received this email earlier today from a Staff member at our church:

Hats off to Doris! Greg talked to a man yesterday morning. He attended here 6 years ago when his friend invited him. A few months later his friend stopped attending so he stopped also. He came back about 6 weeks ago, and the first day back in 6 years, Doris greeted him with "Hello Bob." He was blown away she remembered his name after 6 years. He told Greg, "That's it, I'm staying."

Don't we all wish we had a Doris? Well, we aren't sharing so don't ask!

Doris is someone that you can be rest assured will greet you when you come in the door each Sunday. There are weeks where you can walk by and not even notice her, because you are so used to seeing her there. Then there are other weeks, where it seems like God placed her at the door just for you.

However, extraordinary events like the one in the email are great to hear. It is exciting to see how God can use someone like Doris to bring someone home, through Love and Grace. All with two words...."Hello Bob"...

Great job Doris! I am glad I get to share a church with wonderful people like you!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Who is that dashing Actor?

My Pastor, Dave Larson, recently did a short video as an intro to the Book of James, Chapter 2, for our current series, Full Throttle. I thought it was a neat video and wanted to share it here as well for the couple of people reading....

Is it Christmas already

What? Did I miss something? I was at Starbucks, and they were already decorated for Christmas. I thought I just took my boys Trick-or-treating. Oh well, I am sure I just don't get it.

What happened to the days when Christmas only consumed 1 month????

Cool Bumper Video

Okay. I had absolutely nothing to do with the bumper video. I didn't come up with the idea, nor did I make it, produce it, or direct it. However, I did get to view it, since it was at our church. My Pastor has blogged on it on his site. I think it is cool enough, that I wanted to include it on my site as well. So, if you haven't seen it already, here is the bumper video from our current series, Full Throttle.