Sunday, October 26, 2003

We enjoyed our third official gathering today. We started off the morning with a game show. Andy was the host and led us through Battle of the Sexes. It was funny and we had some great answers to some basic questions. My favorite question to a girl was: "What is a loogy?" I think my dream has always been to say "loogy" in a church gathering. Maybe God should have said, "Where two or three are gathered saying, 'loogy, ' there I am in the midst of them." :) Speaking of flem I have sinus troubles.

Nate spoke this morning and did a great job. We have a great team of people serving in a variety of capacities!

Tonight we hung out with Brett and Kristin and hit the hot tub and watched Alias. It was nice catching up with them and hearing about their time at the planters assesment center. They are heading to New Zealand in January and we will dearly miss them personally and as a church. (a could use the word 'corporately.') Wow - word power!

Tomorrow Wade is "job shadowing" me. He usually asks me what I do all week and throws in comments about golfing and other classic time wasters when speaking about what I do - so now he is hanging with me and seeing the basics!

Tomorrow we order chairs! No we just need to figure out how to get them to and fro...

Well goodnight - I am dead tired.


Saturday, October 25, 2003

Tonight we hung out with our small group. Pizza and coffee out on the town. We had a great time connecting!
We really enjoy our small group and look forward to seeing how we grow with God and each other.

Tomorrow is our third public gathering. I put an ad in the paper for today (Sat.) because I have been getting calls wondering about the basic times and places of Watermark. Hopefully that will communicate to those looking for info. about the new church in town.

I had a blast this morning doing a devotional for the church planters assesment center. It was a wonderful experience to be with people who are passionate about planting. I spoke about the story of the paralyzed man getting healed by coming through the roof. One point I want to highlight or I guess it is a question to ask myself. Why is it so easy to loose focus on who really makes changes in people's lives? These guys bringing their friend to Jesus knew that only He could change their friends life. Why do I become so preoccupied with dropping people through the roof and worrying about the method of bringing people to Jesus? I think the method is a huge piece, but sometimes I focus on ripping the roof up, dropping my friend through the hole and forgetting that Jesus has GOT TO BE THE CENTER! Without Jesus in the room it is just a nice stunt. That probably doesn't make much sense, but it does to me and it means that I ahve got to stay focussed on WHY we are launching Watermark.

Well - TURN YOUR CLOCK BACK TONIGHT! :) Thank you God for extra sleep. Although I am officially sick.

Wade called me from the Blue Man group concert in Chicago. Sounded good - he just yelled in the ear piece that he couldn't hear me and he'd talk to me tomorrow. Pretty cool. We should start something like that. Call it the orange man group or something whacked like that!

Keeping the beat,

Friday, October 24, 2003

Just finished up a video for this Sunday's gathering. We ask people what "completes them." Interesting responses. One dude mentioned God as one of the people that completes him. He said, "God does a pretty good job at that too..." and then he chuckled.

One woman became so annoyed with us that she punched me. Just kidding - sounded more fun though... People were responsive to the camera. Except for one family that parked, saw the camera and what we were doing, and drove around until they found a space where we weren't. A simple "no" would have been fine, but they wasted at least 5 min. of their life driving around - trapped by fear. I thought we should sit at their car waiting for them to return from PET SMART. It would have been interesting to see how they would respond. Do they walk home? For the love - just say, "no."

That leads me into a point that popped into my head. What is it about people that makes us avoid conflict or saying no at all costs. I personally hate to talk to someone when I have to challenge them or confront them. It is an agonizing experience. I think if you like it - you have a problem. But, I have been called to be assertive. I have been called to see a church launched. There is a HUGE impact that must be made and if I care enough for people and care enough for the cause then I can surely care enough to confront. But - it still is hard. It's easy to sweep things under the rug. But then it gets stinky. (like the time we put a dead raccoon above a cealing tile on BETA II in college) Beautiful!

Well - I don't have to confront anyone, but it just made me think about that.

Hot tub is up and running! Thank you God!

Gonna make me sweat!

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Got back from a Willow Creek conference on communicating God's Word. It was great. Some good insights.
The thing I took away was that God's Word is a life changing book. It must be communicated effectively because the stakes are sooooo high. The world around us is communicating a totally different set of values. Communicating God's Word deserves our best - deserves our passion - deserves us living out what we preach.

Anyways - the importance of preaching and communicating was raised in my mind. Also - we want to be more creative in our approach to sharing truth.

I enjoyed my time away with Nate Smith and Brett Jones. Getting to know Brett better was a joy. He is from New Zealand and will be here until January with his very cool wife Kristin.

Well - we have a baptism coming up on November 2nd. I pray that people will be moved through watching others go public with their faith. Baptisms are always my favorite Christian experience. I love that it represents new life!

Anyways - have a great day and God Bless,

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Today we had our second public gathering. One of many to come. It was quite a creative and interactive time.
Everyone did a play doe sculpture. Aaron Z. did a pot on a potters wheel. The morning focussed on us being God's creation and how we have been created:
1. To bring glory to God
2. To be God's representative
3. To make a difference - do what he planned for us to do
4. To have a relationship with Him

It was a great morning. I was so excited to see my neighbors come! They are pretty cool and I invited them to come last week but they couldn't. We are going to try to have them over this week some time.

Anyways - the hard work of leadership is here! :) Now more than ever I have got to stay close to God and to His voice. Being in the hot tub helped tonight! AWESOME! Thanks God for that!

Well - see ya - going to willow creek tomorrow with Brett and Nate for a conference on speaking. I am looking forward to it!

3 points and the truth,

Saturday, October 18, 2003

I have been doing some study in the Sabbath and look forward to exploring that at a gathering in December. I am attempting to take a half hour a day in contemplative/listening prayer and worship. I'll let you know how it goes....

Tomorrow is gathering #2. We had a super small group meeting at the Rosebergs on Thursday. Our small group is awesome and we always have a good time together. We are going out to eat and bowling next week. Our group is slowly opening up to deeper sharing and spiritual issues. I am learning not to microwave a group and focussing on having a crock pot approach that breeds true life together that is lasting and tasty! :) What!

Finishing up the hot tub tonight hopefully so we can get using it!

Hello to my aussie friends who read this - we miss you and invite you to come over and hang with us! Although we have no money to offer... But the invite is here!

Flight of the falcon,
Today we looked at a possible office/meeting area for Watermark. It would serve as a hub where people can come and help, junior highers could have a program and prayer meetings could be held. We would use it for band practice and storage of our trailer as well. Anyways - we hope to have it come together and be in by November. This would help with communication.

Also - I hung out with Vicki today while my parents watched the kids. We did the Lowes thing and looked for possible window blinds etc... It was just nice to be out with Vicki and no kids... :)

We visited the Van Hekkens and got a peak at their new baby boy: Carson David. Very cute kid with a ton of dark hair! My son Harrison is still Hairlesson at 7 monthes! But my kid is incredibly cute - or I am incredibly biased. GUILTY on two counts.

I am still in process over my message. It has been a great study in Genesis 1 and 2 to learn more about God and who He is and who we are to Him. His grace and unmerited and unshakable love is totally and utterly amazing. Genesis 1 paints such a transcendent and huge picture of God and His sweeping authority. Genesis 2 reveals a God getting his hands dirty and his mouth blowing life into Adam's very nostrils. Intimacy, closeness, artistic passion and care are obvious. Love so amazing - so divine - demands my all!

Anyways - gotta finish up. Have a busy day tomorrow gearing up for Sunday. I pray that Watermarkers will continue to BE the CHURCH and be active in bringing their friends to Jesus -not just to gatherings - although I'd love to meet them as well! :)

Well - goodnight and remember that the dutch have a mafia too... What?


Tuesday, October 14, 2003

I feel like I am writing for the sake of writing... So I'll keep it short.
I really want to make some strides in my relationship with God.
I want to move my ambition and desire to be with Jesus into a deeper reality.

Now is the time I believe that something deeper will take place.
I feel like being involved in this church plant has made me hunger more after God.
However, I find that my focus is challenged more now than ever.

So... I want to learn more of what it is to follow Jesus.
This may be boring, but I guess I'm asking you to take a second and pray and ask God to take me deeper with Him. I can't do this thing... God has got to be at the center.

Anyways - feeling a bit sick - had some cookies - watched the Cubs loose (which was great) - sorry Cub fan! And gearing up to do some more prep work on the message.

Desiring to go deeper,

Monday, October 13, 2003

Got together with Brett, Nate, Steve, Mike and Mike today for our usual Monday lunch. It was great to hear about the launch gathering from their perspective and hear about people who are connecting in. We also laid out the gathering elements for this Sunday - we are looking at having a really cool interactive element for everyone to do. Should be a lot of fun... I'll share more later.

Enjoyed the night with the kids while Vicki went to aqua aerobics. Harrison was hilarious! Bobbing his head - grunting - coughing and trying to eat my face... Autumn sat next to me while we watched the Lion King.

The Lion King is a great movie. Amazing wisdom in a stinking cartoon. Why does it seem like Disney Cartoons can deliver a message better than the Christian flicks I've seen. It has to be more than budget - because as followers of Jesus - we have the greatest stories! But we only focus on the END TIMES! HELP! .......... Vicki has just been raptured and I've been left behind! What? :)

Cranking on the message tomorrow. Any thoughts? :)

We are having a baptism on November 2nd! I can't wait!

(I hate the show full house)

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Well the first of many public gatherings of Watermark is now in the past.

GREAT MORNING! Awesome volunteer team that showed up at 7 am to set up!
Amazing worship team that led us into God's presence.
Kid's ministry rocked and handled a huge number of kids! We have the coolest kid's team!
Hospitality gang made people feel welcome once again... Even made a cake!
Greeters...Cleaners...Loaders...Drivers...Readers...Cheerleaders... WHAT! Yes - we had Brad and Buffy get us going!

Anyways -great morning uncovering the mystery and wonder of God!

I praise God that everything came together - but it is more than just a program - it is God's people opening up their arms for others to hear about Jesus. Met a lot of new people today - many who gave up on church - but I think - did not give up on God...

301 people showed up. 70 of those were kids and kids workers. Lots of fun... We also had some well wishers there which was very encouraging. Well - time to rest. We enjoyed hanging out with Watermarkers at Pizza Hutt following the gathering. I love this.

:) Thanks God for letting my family be involved in Your work with Your people!


PS - HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Mike Morgan and Brett Dieroff! F.O.M. and Pokerface forever! :) Bungee Chord!

Saturday, October 11, 2003

My neighbors do this cool MEDIEVAL thing where they dress up like vikings and pitch tents and do midevil type stuff. Cool community thing. I heard them banging around tonight. I stopped over and invited them to the gathering. Anyways - I just was reminded at how people hunger for community. I am excited because we are develping a small group system that could take something like my neighbors MEDIEVAL fun and it could become a small group. Anyways - the hunger to connect is strong. I know that I personally desire to have friends beyond the casual chats...

Anyways - tomorrow is the big day.

God it is in your hands.

I realized today that I told God that I was giving him the church... Now that sounds like a good thing... the only problem is that it isn't mine to give. It always has been God's - I guess what I mean is that I again want to fall under the leadership of God and trust Him with the church and my own life.

Time to go over my message again - BIG CONCEPTS! Also need to pull together little detailed JUNK!


PS- Dr. Love - good luck on "Atkins" I don't know why you would want to change perfection! :)

Wade - thanks for the spelling help.
Tomorrow we are cracking the door further on the transcendence of God. I found a great quote by Abraham Heschel (Jewish Scholar) - He writes regarding our advancing civilization and its resulting lack of wonder and mystery:

"What we lack is not a will to believe but a will to wonder."

I'll leave it up to you for your own thoughts...

My dad came over this morning and helped do some work around the house with me. We are getting our hot tub going - slowly but surely. There was a dead frog in it. Gross. I am a wimp. Anyways - my dad is so helpful and supportive.

I have been working most of the day on finalizing the message for Sunday as well as pulling together details. I am looking forward to Sunday for a lot of different reasons - one is to just get it over with and get cranking on Watermark... I am hungry to see God do His God sized stuff!

Tomorrow we have a prayer time and will do some prayer walking.

** We are going to have a special baptism gathering on November 2nd! We are doing this at the YMCA and not at the high school because the school was booked. We had this date set anyways for baptism so it should work well! I hope we have a good group go public with their faith. For me that is my favorite time in being a pastor! **

Time to hit the sack - I need to start going to bed earlier! This after 12 am to 1 am has got to stop if I am going to stay healthy! :)

Cherry Ripe is for softies, (for my aussie friends)

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Today I had brunch with my district superintendent and two other guys in church plant situations. One of the guys just had his first launch service last weekend. It went awesome and they are helping a ton of unchurched or dechurched people connect in to God!

Very cool! We have very supportive local denomination leadership in Mark Gourvette. What a great man of God that is constantly challenging us, encouraging us, resourcing us and praying for us.

Anyways - a great reminder that this is a Kingdom thing!



Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Pulling together details for our launch this Sunday.
I need to make sure I spend some good time tomorrow on the message.

We are going to be starting our conversation called: Origins.
It is a 2 month journey through Genesis. I believe it will be impacting for the young and old of the faith.

This Sunday we are starting with Genesis 1:1 and looking at the assumption of the passage that God is here.
I find that when the book of Genesis comes up it becomes a monster battle ground for people to discuss the proper interpretation of the creation story. The charts come out, the theological books open up and the arguments fly. A lot of great stuff is out there on these subjects and I respect people with differing views on the hows of creation.

We are not going to be looking to Genesis for the hows for this series. We are going to focus on the who.
This week we are going to attempt to enter into deeper water... entering into more of the mystery and wonder of God.
Being in awe of God.

I have been a follower of Jesus (I do think it is okay to say Christian - those from Antioch were described that way and they seemed to have a great kingdom vision) - but anyways... since 1985 I've known Jesus personally (got beyond religion).
Along the past almost 20 years God has been someone to study - to understand - to lay out in arguments - to set up clean logical systems to know... God has- it seems- to become predictable and almost silent in some respects. It is all figured out! Yeah right!

It seems like in the past I lost the wonder of God! The HUGENESS and AWESOMENESS of Him.
I have been on a path of redisovering the wonder of who God is...
We want to recapture the mystery and experience God. For those on the journey a long time or just starting...

Any ideas or resources? Email me at:

PS - Can people doing the Atkins diet do something different for communion? (you know who you are!) :)


Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Today is my 9th wedding aniversary!
I freaking love my wife Vicki.

She is very talented, loving, kind, supportive and beautiful.

I thank God for uniting us in marriage!


Sunday, October 05, 2003

We enjoyed our final gathering this morning at the YMCA. We took time to go through various worship stations. We had the following stations:
> Meditation (Scripture)
> Giving
> Prayer
> Serving
> Community Outreach - how to serve in community
> Prayer for people who need God
> Communion

Anyways - a ton of people stepped out to be involved and I pray it was a moment where they encountered God... It was a moment where people were stretched. Well - it was a great morning gearing up for the public launch of the gatherings...

Today a fellow Wesleyan church got started in Lowell. The name of the church is "impact." Anyways - they had a great opening!

Finally I am in the process of organizing chairs for our gathering... FUN!

Oh - I love the show "Joe Shmo" on Spike TV. A reality show that is not reality. Funny stuff... Good night!


Saturday, October 04, 2003

Went to Outback last night with the VanHekkens. They are a part of Watermark, but we haven't hung out with them in a while - so it was nice to connect again. They are going to have a baby boy in the next week or so! hopefully stuffing our faces with huge chunks of meat will accelerate the process.

I love the Outback Steakhouse. Maybe it is because I lived in Australia and enjoy the horrible over the top stereotypes of Australia... Kind of a memory maker... The food totally rocks - except that Vicki had a hair in her food which resulted in taking it off our bill. We are not complainers and get more embarassed by bringing it up, but Chris VH outed the situation. I got a free cheesecake for my birthday. Anyways - it was a great night with Vicki. The kids were at home with my folks.

We then went to the movie "School of Rock" which was entertaining and I thought funny.

We finished a video today that we are using for part of the message. It is a look back at where we've been and what we've been doing with Watermark. We then will put out the challenge to those undecided on Watermark to sign on to this adventure.

Well - gotta go - my son said "da da" today! I love being a dad. I certainly am old enough... :)

swiper no swiping,

Friday, October 03, 2003

Today I turned 32.
When my dad was this age I was nine! Yikes - he seemed more wise - I still feel like a kid.
Anyways - my wife gave me a mini statue from a Frank Lloyd Wright home that I saw in August.
It is really cool - it is of a guy coming out of the earth in a ball shape - kinda like creation of man.

Well 32... hmmm... seems like this is going to be quite a year. I am an adult. There, I said it.
I am an adult. But, I don't know if I mean it. Enough babbling.

My folks are coming over - in fact they just pulled in... Gotta go!

man child,

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Here we go! Yesterday we found out that we can't be at the high school for our weekend gathering. Not a big deal - except we told people to go there and we wanted a week run through before going public... But it is part of the adventure of church planting! We will be at the YMCA one more time... They have been wonderful.

We are still planning on having a public launch on October 12th at the high school. Bite the bullet baby!

Today we worked on a video for Sunday - we went to all the places we had core team meetings or vision chats and filmed the environment and reviewed what we did or covered. It was cool to remember all the things God has done to bring us to this point. This gives me a deeper trust and faith in God as a result.

Rack em,