Archive for category random

Why we won’t have live animals at this Sunday’s Christmas celebration

This Sunday we’ll gather for one combined gathering at 10:00am to celebrate the first coming of Jesus in his incarnation. Kids will all be in the gathering with the adults and it should be fun. One thing you won’t see are live animals. Here’s one reason why:

HT: Josh Reich

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North Point’s Christmas iBand

This video below is a wonderfully creative Christmas medley from North Point Community Church using only iTouches and iPads. Cool follow up to this from last year.

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Pray for Redemption Church

Below is a really well done video of Justin Anderson explaining the vision of Redemption Church, a new church being formed in the Valley as East Valley Bible Church and Praxis Church merge together. The leaders of EVBC and Praxis are good friends of mine who have shaped me and Second Mile in significant ways, and I am genuinely thrilled about the impact that this new work will have in our city.

What makes this especially unique is that almost all church mergers (like business mergers) happen in order to bail out a struggling congregation. But Redemption is the coming together of two healthy, large, financially sound churches for the sake of a bigger kingdom impact. That’s not something you see every day.

Pray for Redemption as they begin this new effort, as they work out key details, and as they go through this time of transition.


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Bootcamps, Baby Churches, and Boys Becoming Men

One of the great joys of my ministry has been participating in the Acts29 Network, a group of churches committed to planting gospel-centered, reformed, missional churches. This week I’m in Seattle for the Acts29 National Bootcamp, where over 500 men will come to be trained, assessed, and encouraged. My role will be to help assess potential church planters, as well as spend some good time with a few guys that I’m bringing along.

The theme for this conference comes from the new book by Darrin Patrick, Church Planter: The Man, The Message, The Mission. I haven’t read the book in its entirety, but what I’ve read tells me that it would be worth reading for any man — not just church leaders. Click here for the table of contents and first chapter.

If you think of it, pray for me this week that I’d be helpful to these men who are ready to make some life-altering decisions related to their ministry, and pray that God would raise up a continual generation of men willing and gifted to plant churches and keep leading the mission.

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Perspective on What’s Important

Time is precious and life is short. When people know their days are numbered, there is a clarity and passion about what’s important. One of the best examples is this classic speech from the 1993 ESPYs by Jim Valvano.

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College Football Under Way!

Every Saturday is a Sabbath day for our family, and every fall is a kind of Sabbath season of watching college football. We start at 7am with College GameDay and then revel in the day we now call “Football Freakshow.” Tomorrow our Fighting Illini square off against rival Missouri. Should be fun!

To download a very cool nationwide college football schedule (the famous helmet schedule), click here.

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Heading to Atlanta

Yesterday after our worship gathering I boarded a plane where I’m spending a week at Reformed Theological Seminary Atlanta for an intensive course on Hebrews through Revelation that’s part of my Master’s degree program. While I’m there I get to spend some time with a number of family members who live there (including my uncle John who founded the Goshen Valley Boys Ranch). If you think of me, pray that I’ll be able to have a tender heart towards God’s word and learn a number of valuable things.

See you next week!


The Side of Joel You’ve Never Seen

Second Mile Church was so blessed to have Joel Buckingham lead us in praise and worship for our first four months, and it was a thrill to have him back with us this past Sunday. He serves full time at our sending church and was so gracious to spend so much time helping us. Joel loves Jesus, cares deeply about helping people express their joy in him, and is growing rapidly. But, if you don’t know Joel very well, the video below you will show you the side of him you’ve never seen…


While I’m Gone: Don’t-Miss Resources

After church on Sunday, my family is heading out of town for our summer vacation. It will include 3 days/nights in Vail, Colorado for the Acts29 Lead Pastor’s Retreat, where we hope to connect with some of our fellow church planters and wives for a time of mutual encouragement and refreshment. In particular, we’re looking forward to time with the pastors and wives of some other metro Phoenix churches (Praxis, Missio Dei Communities, Old Town Bible, and others). After that, we’ll spend some time with my parents in Denver and then head to Toledo, Ohio to be with Molly’s family. We’re super-excited to get some rest, get out of the intense Arizona heat, and spend time with our families.

While I’m gone (thanks to a cool feature of this WordPress blog that allows me to write posts now and schedule them to be published later) I’m going to have a number of posts with resource recommendations that you don’t want to miss. If you’ve read this blog much, you know that I’m kind of a resource junkie. So, check back over the next few weeks and feed your heart with these great resources.

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10 Random Thoughts & Lots of Links

Wow. It’s been almost a full month since I last posted. I promise to get back in the groove. For now, I thought I’d just post 10 thoughts and lots of links…

  1. I’m really enjoying the study and teaching for our current series on Jonah. It’s challenged me personally and I think it’s something our church needs to hear, especially the next few weeks.
  2. Our Community Groups are off to a great start. We have 178 people signed up(!) not including the 15-20 students who are part of the new student ministry.
  3. After Jonah we’re going to study the church’s core values, digging into a new passage each week.
  4. I’m so excited about our new Associate Pastor, Matthew Braselton. He’s going to bring so much to our church and it’s great to have another partner in ministry. We’ve been enjoying this book together.
  5. I love these blogs: Straight Up, Kacey Luvi Photography (you can see some of her pictures of our family here and here), Drew Litton, Mike the Middle Child, and Between Two Worlds.
  6. I find the podcasts from the Stanford Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders to be interesting, enjoyable, and stretching as a leader.
  7. Twitter is much more fun and useful than I originally anticipated. John Piper’s twitter feed is a great example of why.
  8. I was very sad to hear this week of another Christian Pastor who disqualified himself through sexual sin. It serves as a great warning for me and anyone else in leadership. “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” (1 Cor 10:12)
  9. These sports articles from The Onion were very funny: Detroit, Pittsburgh Both Attempting To Lose Stanley Cup, Avoid Expensive Victory Parade, Rafael Nadal Thinks He Disappointed Millions By Losing French Open.
  10. As an auditory learner, I’m so thankful for so many wonderful audio resources that are free online. Here are a few that I’m listening to: Alistair Begg (all his sermons were recently put on for free by Truth for Life), Andy Stanley’s Leadership Podcast, the recent Advance09 Conference,  and A Conversation Between John MacArthur and John Piper.

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