Sunday, August 20, 2006

a day in awe

i shouldn't be, but i am still so amazed at the continued growth of truenorth church. today was the second anniversary celebration at tnc. record numbers of people came and celebrated the love and grace of our redeemer Jesus Christ. i watched from the rear of the auditorium light booth as the people in the second service sang "how great is our God" with voices loud and hands upraised. it was awe inspiring! people just want to live out a life of praise for Him. it is our desire to glorify Him. awe inspiring.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


i think gary lamb got me watching rock star, supernova. at first i wasn't that engaged but as i have continued to watch i have taken quite an interest in it. first off the set is fabulous! cool lighting and set design. second, awesome band!! these guys rock major league! third, there are some incredible talents up there. dilana has got this thing won i think but things can change. i think this show turns some people off with all the tattooing and piercing but i find that we forget that God loves us all and that they might just take this talent and use it for His purposes. rock on God! peace

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

been tagged

i have been tagged by the mad babbler gary lamb and so here it goes:

one book that changed your life: pastor rick's purpose driven life
one book that you've read more than once: same as above
one book that you would want on a desert island: the bible 'cause i just don't spend enough time in it - there would be no excuses there
one book that made you laugh: orbiting the giant hairball by gordon mackenzie
one book that made you cry: unlike the lambster, i do cry and it all started with my new life in Christ three years ago - but a chapter in donald miller's "through painted deserts" got to me - when they were stranded in the desert on the way to vegas.
one book you wished had been written: an idiot's guide to God back in the 70's
one book you wished had never been written: i don't know
one book you are currently reading: God's blogs by lanny donoho
one book you have been meaning to read: now, discover your strengths by marcus buckingham and donald clifton
i ain't figured out how to link blogs yet on this mac, but rest assured i will tag four more!
thanks gary!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

dead or alive

a couple people wondered if i was dead or alive 'cause i went over a week off the blog. thanks, it was nice to be missed.

outside the box

i love that truenorth church is willing to try different things, sing new songs and think outside the box. we opened today with wanted: dead or alive and our "stainless" band rocked it! our house band "the kelvin bradley quintet" took the day off and the chris brown band from columbia, sc amazed us. these dudes are good!! real good! they are from midtown fellowship in columbia. if you are in their neighborhood, check 'em out. they did their self-penned song "absorb" and had us dancing, spinning and singing. our fearless leader was back from two weeks vacation and appeared in a cowboy suit. to paraphrase, "stevie-d, you are no john wayne"! sorry man, but you know, you think outside the box. i love that about tnc!
hey lcfo - you missed a big one! peace

Saturday, August 05, 2006

crazy days

i haven't been feeling on top of my game lately. maybe the intense heat, maybe the ugly conflict between israel and lebanon, or maybe i am just kinda winding down from several weeks of research and purchase of gear for the move to the gym next month. on top of all that comes one of the most distressing stories about a church crisis. in my hometown of nashville, tn, bellevue community church has fired their founding pastor, david foster. my sister serves on the bcc media tech team and she was stunned last sunday when she heard the news. as it has played out this week in the news media and blogsites, it appears that this gut wrenching situation has been escalating for over a year. no matter what the bottom line to this is, the church suffers. people are hurt, split in their feelings. i hope that anyone in ministry that might read this blog will look at this with eyes wide open. it can happen anywhere, anytime. it continues to bring up a fundamental call - are you looking inward or outward? it seems most, if not all, conflicts arise when we lose sight of the most famous five words: "it is not about you"! it is all about HIM! we must get over ourselves. we must keep focus on His direction and not ours. peace

Thursday, July 27, 2006

small group, large time

wednesday night is journey team time at our house. my wife and i facilitate one of the many small groups at tnc. tonight we began a north point series titled "go fish". with the impending move to the gym in a few weeks, we will have lots of room to grow. the growth of truenorth has always been through investing and inviting. andy stanley has such a marvelous way of describing how Jesus teaches us to be "fishers of men & women". it is intimidating to invest and invite. will i say the right things...? that's my problem. it isn't what i say. it is what He says through me. i want people to experience what i am a part of at truenorth. freedom. free to seek and serve God like never before. alive in worship with all honor and praise to Him. and the backbone of this church is in the small groups - journey teams. where we truly seek God's love and direction as a small community. you can get lost in a big church, but found in small groups. we are so blessed with an awesome group and several new people came tonight. i hope that we will be a blessing to them as they are a blessing to us. am i listening God?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


i was looking up the dictionary meanings of the word blessed. an adjective meaning worthy of worship; holy, held in veneration; revered. but the meaning that pertains to me is: bringing happiness, pleasure or contentment. i am blessed! i have never experienced pure joy until i began to serve God. since my new life with Christ began almost three years ago my life has soared to new heights. just when i think it couldn't get any better - bam! there He is! i have hit some pretty low, lows too. i find those come when my focus is on me and not on Him. when i bring my perspective back around, life takes on new meaning. i am so blessed!! i used to have trouble saying that, thinking it was a word reserved for saints or someone way more devoted to God than i was. but new life in Christ and being a part of the amazing growth of truenorth church has brought me to the realization that i am blessed. and the really cool thing is that being blessed is available to anyone!! and when i really think about it, why wouldn't i want to serve this amazing God that created us and all the beauty that we see and live in. and a God who thought enough of us to send His Son to live, teach and ultimately die for us. it seems like a no-brainer, but obviously humankind struggles with this concept as a whole. why? because we focus on us and not Him. misplaced perspectives. we are blessed, so let us be a blessing to Him. everyday. peace

Sunday, July 23, 2006


i am spent. it has been one of the most emotional days for me in a while. our services this morning at tnc were phenomenal! walt(no steak sauce, please)tanner brought the message while stevie-d is on vacation. he did a great message on the great banquet parable from Luke 14:15-24. we are so blessed to have a deep bench. walt and kevin bradford(our worship leader) decided to do the message early in the service followed by 5 songs broken up into 3 music sets. several of us in the office were concerned but it went great! we sang and danced before the King! we gave Him all praise and glory! tears ran down my cheeks, but there isn't anything new about that. i don't apologize for my tears anymore 'cause that isn't me, that is the Holy Spirit! our band is so incredible - they rock bigtime! it is hard to imagine that a church can still be so on fire even when your pastor is out of town. but that is because our leader is Jesus and we go "all in" for Him! i am so blessed to be a part of this. rock on GOD! peace

Thursday, July 20, 2006

too psyched to blog

not sure where to start. you might need some motion sickness meds 'cause i am all over the place.
first, God is soooo good! He is all over this move truenorth church is making from the auditorium to the gymnasium at north augusta high school. people are stepping up from all areas to serve Him. many more people will be needed to make this transistion as smooth as possible, but i have all faith and trust in Him. this move is all about Him and not about us. we have been so blessed with people that truly seek Him and want to serve Him. my new life in Christ is approaching three years and they have been the best of my fifty years on this planet! did i say God is soooo good!
my wife just returned from the tnc youth trip to bigstuf camp in panama city. she had a blast! she was blown away with the incredible worship, the awesome music and life changing messages that lanny donoho and his excellent staff brought to the young people. next year, i am going too.
i wanted to make the trip to atlanta tuesday to hear louie giglio preach at 722, but could not get there. sick about not going. i love louie's messages. he is such a great communicator. heard rob bell was in atlanta the same night. wow - atlanta was cookin' that night.
our hip pastor, stevie-d, is on a much needed break and our awesome student minister, walt tanner, is off the bench to bring the heat sunday. walt is also just back from bigstuf camp so his message should be on fire!
speaking of fire - things are cookin' with gas at truenorth church, but i already said that so i will jet. peace

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

the chop

man, how about those atlanta braves!! 65 runs in their last five games. our pastor, steve davis (stevied), is a big cardinal fan. sorry about the spanking they have been getting - not! go braves!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

everyone sing

it's rising up all around, it's the anthem of the Lords' renown. can you imagine all of the earth, singing in unison to our great Creator and Savior. Holy is the Lord, God Almighty! the earth would then be filled with His glory. come on everyone, let us sing out loud - together! peace

Monday, July 17, 2006

got this thing on the move

years ago one of the first songs i heard from a band called grand funk railroad was "got this thing on the move". it had a driving beat that made you want to just bust out. that is the feeling i am sensing with God lately. around the truenorth offices all of us are preparing for the dawn of a new era. our second anniversary is august 20th. moving to the gym on september 10th which will increase available seating dramatically. God has got this thing on the move! check out perry nobles' blog. even on vacation, this dude is feelin' the move! it is so awesome. gary lamb and his band of satan slayers at ridgestone are feelin' the move! that is just the tip of the 'berg. my sister serves on the tech team at belleview community church in nashville and you can feel it there too! i use the ocean wave as a mataphor - you can feel the undertow pulling up this wave and it gonna be big! now is the time and Jesus is calling us to be "fishers of men". enthusiastic evangelism! hang ten. peace

Sunday, July 16, 2006

highway to hell

road trip!! i headed over to canton, georgia at 2:45 this morning to visit gary lamb and the gang at ridgestone church. these guys start setting up for a 10am service at 5:30! these "stoners" are hard core servants. they bring in staging and lighting - a 40 foot truss up on two lifts and a couple of stand up trusses on stage - plus full production. i needed to see this so i can prepare for truenorth's move to north augusta high school gymnasium in september when we bring in portable staging and lighting. everyone was incredibly friendly and helpful. i had a large time. gary was preaching on hell - and tim may and the band rocked out ac/dc's "highway to hell"! it was a great message - one that is not spoken about often but we need to acknowledge. it struck me on the way home this afternoon how many people are on that highway - and think it's cool. ain't nothin' cool about hell! i think many of us feel hell may be or may not be real. well it is real and some place we should work to keep ourselves and others out of. thanks gary and all of the cool cats at ridgestone!
as much as i enjoyed ridgestone, i equally missed our services at truenorth. every since going back to two services memorial day weekend you can feel the tnc vibe is reverberating - ripples of energy. i love that energy. peace

Saturday, July 15, 2006

all i need

i probably should be out getting some yard work done, but felt like spending some time with God this morning. while reading some devotionals and scripture the word "need" kept creeping through my mind. i put on hillsong united and listened to "all i need is you". what an awesome song. my head kept asking God "what do I need?" what do we need? air, water, food, love, family, acceptance? God? Christ? what do you need?
need: noun, a condition or situation in which something is required or wanted. verb, to be in need of or want. we are all in need. the question is our priority of need. some people need the wrong things. the only way to find out the right needs is to need Christ first, above all other things. He will give us priority on our other needs. i used to struggle through bad choices, drugs and things negative. Christ has given me new perspectives on needs. i don't need so many material things as i used to. i don't need people acceptance as i used to. my singing is pitiful but i sing now to the One who redeemed me. i raise my hands in declaration that He is my King! i never could do that until truenorth church brought the freedom of worship into my life. it doesn't matter who or what unless it is God! for He is all i need. peace

Friday, July 14, 2006

got the waffle house blues

it's been a few days since sitting down to write and i don't like that. i like to put down some thoughts even if it is just me reading it. i am trying to make fridays my day off and today i am suffering from the waffle house blues. slept in late and then did the waffle house shuffle - i kinda shuffled in. my wife and i get the same thing pretty much every time we are there. they must of had a flat grill trainee or something 'cause as hoyt used to on "john boy and billy" "how'd that go? not too good!!" hoyt might still say that, but i don't listen anymore. speaking of listening, gotta give a shout out to dc*d and the new b collision cd. man these guys never cease to amaze me with their eclectic creativity. you know how some bands' music sort sounds the same from disc to disc? not crowder. i have been stuck lately on the lime c. it flat out rocks!
btw - i'm working on a list of the five people i would love to have lunch with and dave is numero uno!! my number two gets scratched off the list this sunday as i am trekking over to canton, georgia to spend some time with gary lamb at "the stone". i am skyed! every time i call his church "the stone" i can't help but think of the stone that had been rolled away to show that Christ had risen!! it is such a blessing to get to know people like gary that are so real - no pretending he is something he isn't. i would put a link to his blog, but don't know how yet. it is call "mad babble from a church planter" rock on gary!
love to those who read this and to those who don't too.

Monday, July 10, 2006

bing, bing, bingggg!

when i was young, it was a very good year... sorry a sinatra song just hit me - there was this saturday morning cartoon called richocet rabbit. he used this line, "i'm bing bing bingggg (you gotta really reverberate the last bing) richocet rabbit and go bouncing off the walls. so what's this got to do with anything chuck? well, several tnc staff, lead team and volunteer coordinators met tonight in the gym to make some final decisions on what is needed to make the move to the gym next month. we have been bouncing through so many layouts and settings that my head hurts. the ideas keep singing and the cash register keeps ringing and finally you just stop!! who is leading this charge? we all know God is. we talk about it. steve preaches about it. now is the time to really let God lead the move. it is a matter of faith, trust and a whole lotta prayer. how much faith do i really have? how much trust am i really ready to place in His hands? i know i have a job to do, but i have to let Him take charge. i am tired of richoceting off the walls. i must get closer with my ears to the earth. i get so excited seeing what God is doing at truenorth and i read what great things He is also going at many churches around the nation. churches like newspring, ridgestone, national communtiy, north point, fellowship, granger, mars hill and on and on. people, God is so alive and the earth is rising up for His glory! can you feel it? i love the "that's my King!" video. an edit of a sermon by the late dr. s.m.lockeridge. when he asks, "i wonder, do you know Him?' it just makes me well up with tears. what this great King has done for me! i wonder... how well do i know him?

Sunday, July 09, 2006


God is up to something big in His Sons' church known as truenorth or i am smokin' something 'cause i know i'm still high!! todays services were so powerful, so intensely worshipful, i know God was all over that place. people didn't want to leave. i have never spoken to so many people in one sunday in my life. everybody was into community. i love the community of Christ. people wanting to embrace, communicate, and truly love one another. you could feel it. i am so excited with what is happening right before our eyes. it is His inspiration.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

vision in the surf

just returned from a quickie at the head - a short trip to hilton head. it was awesome. sunday night through this morning. i felt a bit out of touch though as i had no internet service in our condo so i couldn't post a blog, read any blogs, or keep up any stuff we are purchasing off ebay. i found a good deal on a fat frog lighting console for our move to the gym next month. since i was out of touch i spent a lot of time reading. finshed gordon mackenzie's "orbiting the giant hairball" a few days ago and then read bill hybels "too busy not to pray". i have gotten too dang busy lately to give God some quality time. not good. when i did find some time for God i struggled to coehesively converse with Him. i was all over the place and pretty unfocused. hybels book was right on the money. great book!
a wierd thing happened tuesday while boogie boardin' in the surf. a wave caught me - yep there were some decent waves at the head - and took my sunglasses when i wasn't looking. my wife helped me feel around for them and i found a pair of sunglasses - just not mine. now how do you figure that just as i lose mine, i find another pair? anyway, didn't find mine so i went back to my chair and read the rest of the day not thinking much more about them. as we left the beach later, walking up the boardwalk... there.... on the railing was a pair of sunglasses sitting by themselves... and they were mine! i couldn't believe it as i had resigned myself to the fact that they were gone for good. but there they were. i felt that it was a God thing. i don't know who found them and set them there or how i even saw them sitting there as we were leaving. sort of like my faith. just when i think i have lost sight of God, there He is and he tells me... you of so little faith, I am with you always. all you have to do is look.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

dazed and amazed

i am so blown away by the things that God is doing that i get to be a part of. truenorth church is preparing to move from the comfortable confines of the north augusta high school auditorium to the cavernous echos of the campus gymnasium. this move brings new technical needs and more people to make it happen. today two new people crossed my path that have audio/video experience and want to serve God's ministry at tnc. also, i am amazed at the people who are responding to this endeavor of significant porportions. it is so cool to see people get up and say, "here i am". our staff is busy researching, recommending and purchasing equipment for staging, lighting, curtaining, additional sound, larger projection screens, cameras and my pet piece, an edirol dv-7 pro system for live video compositing. while we are scurrying around doing this, we all know that the reason for all this controlled chaos is God. building a worship experience that exalts Him. we look for every avenue to give people a worship experience that is exciting and enthusiastic... celebrating His holy name and power. God is good!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

what the heck am i doing up this early, it's saturday

deborah and i celebrated our twenty second anniversary last night. big feast at calvert's. if you go, check out the steak tenderloins - incredible! so with that, june ends and july begins... 22 years ends and our 23rd begins. new eras... new opportunities. new means change and change ain't something we usually embrace. but change occurs every moment of every day... even if it's just the clock. change can bring new invigoration. it's happening big time at truenorth church in north augusta. we have been worshipping in the auditorium of the north augusta high school since august '04 and have outgrown it. we are prepping to move into the gymnasium by our second anniversary - august 20. it brings new challenges but also new anticipation and you can see people rising up to the occasion. it reminds me of chris tomlin's "Holy is the Lord" lyrics... "it's rising up all around. it's the anthem of the Lord's renown". it is awesome to feel the undertow of the wave building. people are looking for a new way to connect with our living God. to hear Him, to seek Him and to know Him. 'cuse me while i get another cup of coffee.
by the way, i was at newspring church wednesday in anderson, sc to participate in the launch of their network, which will be a huge resource for churches of all types and spent an hour with ken wilson, visual director at newspring. this guy is a coffee afficianado - big time! maybe the best cup of joe i have ever had. thanks ken!
back to change. change also brings uncertainty. some changes are just plain scary. at truenorth, we have not had to deal with setting up and tearing down staging and lighting. this brings a new dynamic to our teams, which are volunteers - i was gonna say go vols, but no. but we have adopted the phrase, "ain't skeered!" - in case you don't get it, we are not scared! we are excited. this move will add 100 to 200 more seats in each of our two services. obviously that means more space for newcomers. so change can be good. if our minds are in sync with God, there is nothing we can't do. brings up another tomlin song, "God is on our side, who can be against us!". i love music.

Friday, June 30, 2006

like a virgin... posting for the very first time

after listening to my staffmates get into the blog scene and then to meet one of life's great bloggers, gary lamb, i had to breakdown and get to bloggin'. so this is my first. ears to the earth, i named this spot that because that is my journey. to listen for what God wants me to do while on this planet. you see, i am attention deficit and reading is not on my radar usually. in second grade i thought i was something when i gave the teacher a phrase that pays... learn to listen, listen to learn. little did i know at the time that i would spend most of my life not listening effectively. so now my passion is to listen for God. listening for His breath, His heartbeat, His directions. so this is the beginning of my journey into the realm of the unknown. okay astro boy... let's rock n roll.