Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Journey of a Thousand Miles. . .

It’s said that “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a first step”. The birthing of Journey Church has been a series of "first" or "baby steps" as Dr. Leo Marvin says in one of my favorite movies, What About Bob. It began this summer with 3 families meeting together for prayer, healing & encouragement. It continued with the formation of a home group that is growing almost every week. We are meeting to study the book of Acts and share life together. Last week we had our first Thanksgiving communion. It was an awesome time of gathering around the table, up the stairs and all around the room.

The next step in the journey will be December 8th, 2007. That is the date of the very first public service of Journey Church. It will be a Christmas Gathering for everyone appropriately called The Journey. As the picture “post card” at the top of the page says, it will be a relaxed and casual evening celebrating Christmas with music, teaching and refreshments.

The evening will also be an opportunity to share personally the details of Journey Church including our vision to Discover...Dare...and Dream. Our vision is based on both the Great Commission and the Great Commandment in which Jesus said to love God, love people and reach the world.

While only God knows where he is taking us, we are excited to take "baby steps" and join Him in the journey of “birthing” Journey Church. If you would like more information, please contact Journey Church at

Friday, November 23, 2007

30 Years & Counting

Yesterday was our 30th year of celebrating Thanksgiving at Diane & Mike’s house, my sister and brother-in-law. There were only 12 of us 30 years ago. This year there were 31. Much has changed in 30 years. My sister’s two daughters are both married and her youngest, Lisa, has two children, Lauren and David. That makes my sister the only one of my siblings who is a grandparent, but then she is the oldest! Carol & I have four boys of whom none of them were with us 30 years ago, as well as our two daughter-in-laws, Erin and Kayla. My brother Dale has three boys, and my other brother Darrel, yes that’s his real name, has seven! He was the one who said he wasn’t going to have any kids! I guess he changed his mind. There was also an “intruder”. His name was Dale. He’s a friend of my brother’s boys, Nathan and Thomas who attend Southern Wesleyan University. He lived too far away to get home for Thanksgiving so the boys asked him to come home with us. (You won’t find him in the family photo – he’s taking it!)

Two people who were there 30 years ago but not in the picture this year are my dad and Aunt Marilyn. They’ve both passed away, but they were present in our hearts. I especially missed my dad carving the turkey and then giving us samples so we could taste test them. I didn’t miss him choking on the sweet potatoes, which was something he did at least twice and we had to take him to the emergency room. He just couldn’t resist sampling them, too.

With all the changes, one thing remains the same, the love we share for one another. Somehow over the years our families have stayed together and our love has grown. (I think God has something to do with it!) As a family we have so much to be thankful for. I’m thankful for Diane and Mike who have put up with us taking over their house at Thanksgiving for all these years (especially when our kids were small). Also, I’m thankful for Dale and Kathy who Carol and I have shared so much life with including our boys of whom we have almost raised together. I’m thankful too for my “little” brother, Darrel, who’s just finished his masters program at Mount Vernon Nazarene. And for his wife Ginger who’s put up with our family for the last 19 years. Lastly, I’m thankful for my mom. After all, if it weren’t for her none of us would be here! Mom, thanks for giving us life and for giving us such a great example of what it means to love family, to love God and to love life. I hope we have 30 more years of Thanksgiving, but if we do, Diane and Mike will have to get an even bigger house!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tukey Day Trivia

Sorry, I just couldn’t resist sharing a little Turkey Trivia to enliven the conversation at your dinner table this Thanksgiving. The following questions are adapted from an online quiz by Aristotle, Inc. but you can tell your kids you made it up if you want. Maybe they’ll think you’re not such a “turkey” after all. Have a great Thanksgiving. (Answers on the comment page)

1. When was the first American Thanksgiving celebration?

a. 1492

b. 1567

c. 1621

d. 1776

  1. Where was the turkey first domesticated?

a. Canada

b. The United States

c. Mexico and Central America

d. New Zealand

  1. What is the female turkey called?

a. a rooster

b. a cuckoo

c. a chick

d. a hen

  1. What is a male turkey called?

a. a larry

b. a clark

c. a harry

d. a tom

  1. How fast can turkey’s run?

a. 5 mph

b. 15 mph

c. 25 mph

d. 45 mph

  1. How many feathers does a mature turkey have?

a. 1500

b. 2000

c. 3500

d. 5000

  1. Which state produces the most turkey annually?

a. Kansas

b. Ohio

c. Arkansas

d. North Carolina

  1. Approximately what percentage of American homes eat turkey on Thanksgiving?

a. 49%

b. 67%

c. 82%

d. 90%

  1. What country consumes the most turkey per year per capita?

a. the United States

b. India

c. Israel

d. Spain

  1. What great American statesman lobbied to make the turkey the national symbol?

a. Benjamin Franklin

b. Thomas Jefferson

c. John Adams

d. George Washington

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Game Day in Columbus

Ever wonder what its like in Columbus on the morning before THE GAME? Today, Ohio State plays the University of Michigan for the Big Ten championship and a change to go to the Rose Bowl and perhaps beyond. To get in the spirit of the day, we decided to go to Tommy's Diner for breakfast. Tommy's is an old-school diner in the shadows of downtown Columbus. It's an institution in Columbus that Carol & I went to when we were kids (it was Ater's then.) Anyone else remember that? It's owned by Tommy Pappas. Today he was at the grill cooking up pancakes, eggs, and everything this is good (not good for you) breakfast. Everybody there was dressed in Scarlett & Gray, including the waitresses. To entertain the customers while eating, Tommy shouts out "O" "H" and the customers respond with "I" "O". That's a battle cry unique to Buckeye fans and annoying to everyone else. Get in the spirit with us by checking out these pictures of Tommy at the grill and the waitresses & customers in their Scarlett & Gray. That's all for now. the game is ready to begin. GO BUCKS - BEAT MICHIGAN!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

We're Having a Baby!!

Remember when you and your wife first found out you were having a baby? I do. I remember how excited we were to tell everyone the news and how excited everyone was to hear it. Well, now we are having another baby! It’s not a baby, baby. Carol is too old for that! Instead it is a "baby church" and I am just as excited, and nervous as when we found out we were having a real baby.

It was confirmed Sunday night when Carol and I met with three other couples from our home group and shared with them more of our vision for planting a church. We shared with them the name of the church and a vision statement. What amazed and humbled us was their excitement for our vision. It was obvious that God had done a work in their hearts, as well as ours, to prepare us for this moment.
The name of the church is Journey Church. We chose the name because the Christian life is a journey, not just a destination. None of us are there yet. We are all in process to becoming fully devoted followers of Christ. Our vision can be summarized in three words: Discover. . .Dare. . . Dream.
  • Discover Life in Christ
  • Dare to Live in Community
  • Dream of Changing the World
Please join us in prayer as we "labor expectantly" (pun intended) towards the birth of Journey Church. You can let us know you are praying by sending an email to Feel free to share your requests with us as well.

Friday, November 9, 2007

I Get My Best Ideas in the Shower!

Ever get an idea in the shower? I do. In fact, it seems like I get my best ideas in the shower. Maybe that’s why my ideas are “all wet”. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist) I think we get our best ideas in the shower because it’s one of the few “quiet” moments of the day. You can’t watch TV, at least not in my bathroom. You can’t read a book and you certainly can’t read the newspaper. All you can do is think.

Another time I get a lot of thinking done is while mowing the yard. It’s an hour to an hour and a half of “quiet” time with nothing to do but think. I’ve tried listening to music or messages on my i-pod but I have to turn it up so loud I’m afraid I’ll bust my ear drums, so most of the time I just think.

Thinking is important. The apostle Paul said, “finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.” This Thanksgiving after you’ve stuffed yourself with Turkey and pumpkin pie, take time to think. Think about the good things God has done for you and is doing even now in your behalf. As for me I think I’m going to go take a shower. Maybe I’ll get an idea on what to blog next.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Biggest Question!?

I don’t know if it’s the biggest question or not, but it’s a pretty big question, especially as I think about our future and what God is up to. Four months ago, I resigned from a very comfortable position in a fairly large and successful church with basically no idea of what God wanted me to do except “get out of the boat and come to Him.” Since that time I’ve visited more than a dozen different churches; large, small and everything in between. I’ve preached at a home church, attended a church planting conference, met dozens of people for breakfast, lunch or coffee, made a number of hospital and home visits, done some career coaching and premarital counseling, and even conducted a funeral.

I’ve also had the opportunity to attend all Matt’s soccer games (except one), and to travel to Tennessee, West Virginia and various parts of Ohio with my wife. We also started a Home Group Bible study in which we’ve made new friends and gotten better acquainted with old ones. But in the end, there is still one question that looms large in my mind, “Did God call me ‘out of the boat’ to plant a church?”

Two months ago when I attended the church planting conference I prayed that God would give me an answer to that question. What He gave me instead was a word from Isaiah 6:8 in which Isaiah, after seeing God “seated on the throne, high and lifted up”, said, “Here am I. Send me.” What I took from this verse is that God wants our availability more than our ability.

What I want more than anything is to be available for whatever God has for me, including church planting. So, after attending the conference, I asked our home group to pray about it. We also began looking for a larger place to meet so our group could grow. We looked around and found the Dublin Recreation Center. It was available Saturday, December 8th the exact day we wanted for our Christmas Celebration. The Christmas Celebration will be a time of worship and fellowship for our Home Group and others who may be interested in joining us on the journey. Our plan, God willing, is to have weekend celebrations as well as home group commnities after the new year.

In the end the biggest question may not be, is God calling me to plant a church, but am I available. So in the words of Isaiah, “Here am I. Send me.” That’s my biggest question and my answer. What about you? What are the big questions in your life?