Thursday, January 31, 2008

Pretenders - Part 1

Yesterday morning on the Creek Living Water blog, Kim shared these verses:

"Don't just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other." (Romans 12:9-10)

Just meditate on those two verses a few minutes . . .

That word 'pretend' is pretty convicting. It's where we get the words, pretender and pretentious. It's where the veneer meets the flesh. How many times do I have hateful or neglectful or just no thoughts about the person in front of me, while putting on the show with my words. Or, practice the cursory 'Thank you' while thinking unholy things.
How can I be a pretender so much of the time?

There are TWO things. Two stinkin' things that Jesus said were really, really important: Loving God and Loving Others.

Why do we struggle so?

And then the word that really kills me is 'really.' 'REALLY love them.'

Who have you REALLY loved today? Not for your gain, or pleasure. But just in doing what is good. How could that change you? Them?

More later . . .

Matt B Update

Matt Beveridge (Creeker College student w/anaplastic large T-cell lymphoma) began his new protocol of chemo yesterday at Driscoll Children's Hosp. It will last 3 days and then he'll have two weeks off. He will go through this cycle for the next few months.

Please pray for healing, peace and strength for Matt - that He will allow God to 'fight for him.' And for mom & dad - Gary & Laurie, who Cindy & I have had the privilege to get to know during this battle for the last two years. Pray that God's glory will be revealed.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Group Life

9 Creekers went through Groups 101 & 201 on Sunday evening . . . All of them are already beginning, or willing, to lead groups!

What I personally love about that class is that it reminds me why community is so important to God and important to us at Oso Creek. It's awesome to hear their stories about being in a time of great need and their group gathered around them and became Jesus to them in that season. Or, as one person said, they hate missing their time together more than anything else in the week!

As we read through the end of Acts 2 (41-47) as we did on Sunday, I'm always reminded that the Church didn't begin with a doctrinal statement, or a church growth strategy. . . it began with people gathering together and seeking together how to follow this man Jesus. Seeking to love Him and love one another. I pray that we never lose focus of the simplicity and power of community.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Long running day yesterday. Ran 10.5 miles. I had hoped to get to 11 so I was a little disappointed. At about 7 miles serious knee & hip pains began and then at 10.5 the hip pain shot up and down my side so I thought it best to shut it down. Only 3 weeks till the race and I don't want to put that in jeopardy.
It slowed me down but I did run further and longer (1:47:30) than I ever have!

I know that God is teaching me a lot through this . . . much about perseverance. When I'm in the midst of the miles and pain (and most of the pain is normally just in my mind) I know that I can only go on one step at at time.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

New Creek Website!

Click here to check out the new Oso Creek Website! It's still a work in progress, but praise God for Charity Galloway's perseverance and hard work over the past few months to get it up. Give her a high-five when you see her.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Relationship Vision & Honesty - Part II

I wanted to follow up my post from yesterday and confess. I've lied. I've been a coward just like all of us and taken the easy, most-traveled route.

I don't ever want to come across in these posts like I've figured it all out. And I dang sure don't want to leave the grace of God hanging.

Yes, we must seek to be honest if we're going to have healthy, powerful relationships. And first we must be honest with God in seeking His forgiveness and strength.

The psalmist said: "When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone." (Psalm 32:3-5)

The greatest power we have in our relationships w/God and others is honesty in our heart . . . and seeking God's cleansing.

Have a relationship that's hurting? Start here.

Morning Relief

Scott Hodges post of a morning IV is my idea of a wakeup call!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Relationship Vision & Honesty

Vision. As I talked about on Sunday, God says that the second most important matter on earth - after our relationship with Him - is our relationships with others.

And I see one issue, more than any other, that undermines the ability of our relationships to point others and us to God. And that is HONESTY. Honesty. I'm well aware there's some heat in this post but this is an issue that I'm passionate about and that I see killing so much of what God wants to do!

Just check out a few passages below - only a handful of the hundreds that deal with this:

Proverbs 14:5 - Not telling the truth makes us a liar

Proverbs 12:22 - God speaks plainly - He hates liars

Colossians 3:9 - When we lie to each other it has nothing to do with God, we're living out our sinful, selfish nature (also Jeremiah 9:4-6)

Proverbs 16:13 - When we tell the truth people around us respect us . . . Not only that . . .

Proverbs 24:26 - . . . People feel honored and encouraged when we speak honestly to them!

Proverbs 27:6 - Even when the discussion is difficult, there is blessing when we are honest!

Where did we get the notion that not being honest with people is compassionate or loving?? That's a LIE! It's called being a COWARD!

Now, I'm not talking about being rude or inconsiderate or just plowing over people. But being graciously honest.
And, not just walking away from a situation without telling someone why and without seeking to reconcile.
Or, just avoiding a situation because it's difficult.
Or, talking to others and spreading rumors as a tactical defense.

If we're going to live out God's vision for life-giving relationships we must be on the point of changing the way our culture deals with one another. We must seek honesty and sincerity!

"So put away all falsehood and tell your neighbor the truth because we belong to each other." (Eph 4:25)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Please Pray

Our friend Matt Beveridge who recently finished over a year of chemo needs us to continue to pray for him. Just last week they found more cancer in his body and he will begin chemo again tomorrow here in Corpus.
Pray for his family and God's grace to rain down on them. Pray for healing.
More soon . . .

Licking our Wounds

Gonna give you a final game count from the weekend . . . Saturday didn't go so well, we were 0-4. (0-2 YCA basketball - played some giants, not to mention poor coaching!; and 0-2 KHS soccer, although 2 good games (1-2, 0-1) against two good teams from Houston and the valley.)

So, final count for the weekend 4-5-1. But it was fun! Just glad we don't have that many games every weekend!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cross Training

The last few months as I've been preparing for the Austin Half-marathon, my cousin and trainer, has had me 'cross-training.'

I run every other day. I do a 'maintenance run' one day (4-4.5 miles) then two days later I run 'intervals' (not my favorite . . . 40 minutes total . . . jog 10 minutes, then for the next 20 minutes alternate between 2 minutes sprinting and one minute jogging, then end with 10 minutes jogging). Two days later I do a maintenance run; then two days after that I do a 'long run', increasing a mile each week. Then I start over.

It was explained to me how all these workouts have their different purposes to prepare me (I won't go into the messy details).

I've been talking about having a vision of following Jesus in a multiplying way, and if that is going to happen there are many ways we 'cross train' in getting there.

There are many different 'spiritual practices' that help us to mature in different ways. To this point I've talked a lot about reading God's Truth because it is basic and vital.
But we also moved towards God by exercising spiritually in other ways. Here's a few of them:

- Times of reflection and prayer - we need this daily to not just read, but meditate and respond to God

- Journaling - for me it's an awesome way to express myself to God and to record what He is telling me

- Hanging out with other believers - don't think this is a 'spiritual practice'? Read Acts 2

- Fasting - Yeah, I know I hate not eating too! But I find peace in the midst of it. And don't put it in a box. Fasting is simply giving up something that we depend on so that we can focus deeper on God.

- Confession - not only does James say that it brings healing (James 5:16), but confession creates a covenant to follow God (I did a whole post on this, click here to check it out)

- Celebration - didn't know God was into that? The Bible says that all of heaven celebrates when one persons life is changed for eternity! When we celebrate Him it renews our heart!

- Giving - pay for person in line behind you at Whataburger and watch what it does to your desire to serve others.

This is just the beginning of the list! Don't limit your growth. Find new ways to seek God and take others with you.

Which of these would you expand on, or what have you found to help you grow more like Jesus, let us know?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Game Count as of Friday Night

I told you yesterday that we have nearly a dozen games this weekend.

As of Friday Night:

Basketball 2-wins 1-loss (King HS 2-0; YCA 0-1)
Soccer 2-wins 0-losses 1-tie

Total 4-1-1 Not too shabby. Coooooooold day at the soccer field!

HM-15 Airmen

Please keep praying for our HM-15 men and women that God would give grace and mercy.
Today the names of the 3 men killed in the crash were released and you can see them at the Caller Times - click here.

There was fourth crewman on the helicopter who is in very serious condition in the hospital. Several Creekers know this family (they have not officially announced the name yet), so pray that they will be God's hands and feet of life and hope in this families chaos in the days to come.


Today was my long run day and I made it 10 miles! Actually felt pretty good considering it was about the worst day I've run in (44 degrees & heavy drizzle). Did great until I got in a muddy puddle at about 6 miles and ran the rest of the way with a wet shoe/sock.
1 hour 38:25 . . . just seconds off the world record (for 20 miles :) . . . actually a little faster than I had planned. I'm nearly there!
I think I did break the world record for the number of times quoting Isaiah 40:31 in a day!

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Creekers had (at least) 2 baby boys today - Easton to the Wojteks . . . and Wesley to the Paynes - in 2 different hospitals (Bay Area & Spohn South) and they were in the same room # (256)!

Congratulations to everybody!

Tax Refund?

I want to connect you to blog that talks about how you're going to handle your tax refund. Have you thought about it? We all should. Click here to check it out . . .

But I also want to keep encouraging you to CHASE YOUR LIONS! This blog is by a guy who was in deep financial poopoo, got out by following God's way, and now is using his passion and experience to help thousands of others! (Maybe even tens of thousands!)

What experiences have you had - and are you having - that God wants to use to build His Kingdom?

Game Time!

Beginning this afternoon we have 3 individual basketball games (2 King HS, 1 YCA), a basketball tournament (YCA), and a soccer tournament (King HS) - between now and Saturday evening.

That's somewhere around a dozen games in the next 48 hours (and oh yeah it's gonna be lovely weather for those soccer games!) . . . we're blessed to be able to have fun watching our kids!

Need something to do in the next couple of days?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

HM-15 Helicopter

For those of you up late (or early) I've talked to a couple of our HM-15 pilots tonight and thus far it doesn't appear as if any of the crew on the chopper crash tonight were Creekers.

But please be praying . . . there are many families that will be impacted in enormous ways.
Pray for the wives and families of those in the crash. That they will receive the comfort that only Jesus can bring.
Pray for grace for the Creekers in HM-15 that they can be the hands and feet and comfort of Jesus in the midst of the sadness and frustration in the squadron tomorrow.
Pray that you and me will be available to used by God in any way we can.

God, thank you for the brave men and women who serve You and our country. Bless them.

Get Out of the Rut!

In this post I'm going to continue to expand on what I talked about Sunday (and in my post on Monday) in receiving, nurturing and living out God's Truth.

Remember I also said Sunday that Vision with Action is Hallucination! We can say that we want to soak in God's Truth but if we don't move towards that we're just dreamin'!

Earlier today in my basketball post I expressed a principal that when you get in a rut, you can't just stay there, but you've got to do something new! I mean you can just stay there, but ruts just lead to more ruts. You've gotta figure out, how to get out!

If you have really struggled in the past in soaking in God's Word, then try something completely new.
Maybe you need to try taking smaller bites. That's what we've provided with the Creek Living Water passages each day. Just a couple of verses to dwell on through the day.

Maybe you need to try a completely different reading plan where you're reading all the way through the Bible in a year (like w/the Daily Walk Bibles we have).

Or maybe you need to just take one book and spend a month reading it over and over - going deeper and deeper with each pass.

And here's a big one for a lot of you - you keep trying to do it on your own. Find somebody to read with you. Both of you read the same book or passages all week and then get together for breakfast (or whatever) one day a week and talk about it. Talk about what God is showing you.

Maybe instead of trying to read it in the living room, you need to go outside on the porch. Or instead of reading the old King James, you need to get you an NLT or NIV.

The point is that the same exact thing doesn't work for all of us. Find what works for you.

Now, help all of us. What have you learned works for you? What hasn't? Please let us know, you never know who you might encourage?

This is too important to your life to NOT figure out. I don't know about you but I don't want to spend 2008 hallucinating . . . but chasing the vision of MUCH fruit!

Basketball . . . and Growing Up

I haven't talked much about my basketball team at YCA of late, but a couple of things have stood out lately.

We kind of went into a funk during the holidays, and then right after. Coaching a sport gets much tougher as the season wears on - practice can get monotonous, nerves can get fragile (especially mine!).

And then early last week I starting really loosening up practice and having fun . . . and then I put in a new offense that is much more free and open (think NBA) than the offense we were running. And the kids responded awesomely. Last week we pounded two teams . . . and I must note that my Luke set his personal best by scoring 24 points in one game we won 40-23!

The principal here is, when you get in a rut, try something new! (More later in another post.)

The second thing, and the thing I was most proud of was at practice yesterday. I was running behind and got there 15 minutes late. But instead of just goofing off, a couple of the older players had organized everyone, gone through their warmups, and were doing some drills . . . all on their own!!! I was so proud of them. I didn't do anything but sit and watch for about 15 more minutes and let them do it!

It's awesome to see growth in young lives! (Or, old lives for that matter!)

Monday, January 14, 2008

I Need Truth

Yesterday in my message, I promised to dig deeper into having vision for our relationship with God.
As I shared yesterday, I began the year reading in the book of James and the passage that's weighed on me the heaviest is James 1:22-25. The first verse say this:

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."

Yesterday I talked about how receiving, nurturing and living out God's Truth is central to a fruitful, multiplying life. Period.

Man, I know how much I needed a new commitment to not 'merely listening', but truly engaging in Truth. And that takes time, it takes attention. It has to soak in me.
You know, Doing 'what is says' doesn't just refer to doing good things. It also refers to being - inwardly being - the person has called us to be. It is just as spiritual to humble ourselves into being still and not doing sometimes, as it is to do.

The bottom line is that fruit is born as we don't just listen through our ears . . . but we soak in our souls and follow with our lives.

I want to remind you that TODAY Creek Living Water began . . . an awesome blog that we have designed where you can go and get daily Truth. Check it out.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

We're Having a . . . TEENAGER!

That's right, we're having a child . . . it's just a 17-year old child! Meet Beatrice (she's the one between Luke & Laura :) and she goes by 'Bea').

Bea is a foreign exchange student from Madrid, Spain who goes to school and plays basketball with the twins. She needed a new place to live and is going to be living with us until school is out this year.

We've never done this before - but hey 2008 is the year of new adventures for the Bradshaws! We're excited to see what God teaches us . . . and to see how we can love and encourage Beatrice!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Launching The Zown!

Tomorrow we begin the series: In the Zown . . . Vision for the Journey!

I'm excited about how God is going to use this to give us vision for 2008!

And there's still time to pass out those Connection Cards for tomorrow . . . See you in the morning!

Tonto 2X

I just noticed that I posted my 'Where is Tonto?' post twice a couple of days ago. I accidentally deleted it, but didn't realized it had posted, so I reposted it.
Are you confused, I am.
Anyways, just didn't want you to think you were seeing double. Just me.

Friday, January 11, 2008

A Different Kind of Week

Emily left again on Wednesday, heading off for her second semester of school on her 18th birthday. It wasn't near as hard as the Fall, but still doesn't feel right.

Laura is playing in a soccer tournament near Houston (Brenham) this weekend and Sarah was playing basketball in San Antonio tonight --- and we didn't go to either one. Felt kind of strange to miss games (we haven't ever missed many), but we needed to catch our wind.

Stayed home tonight, ate hamburgers (and ice cream!), watched 'House' (that dude is strange), and pondered over a pretty big family decision (maybe more on that in a couple of days).

Soccer team won one and lost one. Basketball JV lost, varsity won.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

1/2 Marathon Update

Had my toughest day yet running - 8.7 miles. Had equipment issues, water issues, wind issues, knee issues, heat issues . . . I wanted to quit after about 1.5 miles. I was due a tough day, it had been easy lately.
Yet, as hard as it was it feels good to have pressed on through it. The fruit doesn't grow on the mountain top, it grows in the valley.

Only 36 days, 10 hours until race time . . .

Get Wet!

This post continues what I talked about on Sunday . . . the values that must be part of our foundation if God is going to be able to have maximum impact in our lives this year . . .

A little background on this value . . . Last Summer I preached from Matthew 14 which tells the story about Jesus walking on the water right past His disciples' boat, in the midst of the Sea of Galilee, in the middle of the night.
Jesus then invited Peter to walk to him on the water -- and after a few moments of walking on water (really dude read it!!), Peter began to doubt and look away from Jesus and fell in.

In that story Peter many times get chastised for falling in . . . but what I said is that there were 11 other dudes in the boat who never got off their duff!
And the value became: It's better to have a wet butt than a numb butt!

If you're gonna have an eternity changing year, then you gotta get out of the boat! God uses us when we are willing to risk for Him.

Is there a way that God has been calling you to serve? Then DO IT!
Is there a cause that continues to stir in your heart? Then ask God how He wants you to get involved!
Are there needy folks around you who need help? Then serve them!

Numb butts don't change the world, they just take up space. Wet butts walk on water!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Stop It!

A couple of you reminded me that I promised on Sunday to send you this Bob Newhart video. It's a potential solution for 'forgetting what lies behind.'

And oh yeah, it's not very good theology . . . nor is it the best counseling . . . but it sure is funny!

Bob Newhart - Stop It! video

Where is Tonto?

On Sunday I began talking about values that must make up our foundation if we are going to have an eternity changing vision this year.
I've learned that values are most effective as they are expressed in ways that fit us and our context.

On Sunday I talked about one of the values that has recently become part of our culture: Don't Let What is Wrong With You Keep You From Worshipping What is Right About God. The ONE THING must be a real, fresh, powerful relationship with Jesus.

I want to share a second value in this blog: Christianity is NOT a Lone Ranger Sport!

God designed us to live and journey and grow in community! Acts 2:41-47 is my favorite picture of real, life changing, world changing community.

That's why we are so focused on our Life Groups. And beyond that, everyone being in smaller groups of 2 or 3 where we can pursue Christ together.

If you're not part of community (group), then you are living in isolation. My vision is that we have at least 30 Groups at the end of 2008 --- so that everyone has a place!

Apart from the encouragement and care and '(loving) kick in the rear' of others . . . you will never know God's fullest vision for your life. Find your Tontos!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Something New!

"Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13-14)

After I talked about these verses yesterday in Celebration and how God wants to do great things in our lives this year, one of our prayer team members came to me afterwards and said that God had led them on Wednesday to pray these verses in Isaiah over Oso Creek because this is what God desires to do:

Isaiah 43:18-19 “But forget all that— it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland."

I start getting excited when God begins to speak to many different people about the same things.
What new things has God begun in your life that He wants to continue as a river in the wasteland?

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Great News!

What an exciting day of Celebration at Oso Creek!

I can't wait for these next 5 weeks and the first 2008 sermon series: GET IN THE ZOWN . . . Vision for the Journey. I'm praying for God to use these weeks to launch all of us into our most exciting year of following God ever.

This morning I also shared the exciting news that YOU spent less on consumption this holiday season and gave $3,000 of compassion to the poor and needy through Advent Conspiracy!

That's incredible in only a couple of weeks! And we have blessed Living Water International, Mission911 and the Wenholz House.

And this is just a beginning! I've got great dreams for Advent Conspiracy in 2008 and for the entire year as we give ourselves away to those in need.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

New Creeker Blog!

Beginning tomorrow (Friday-4th) a brand new Creek Blog is beginning! The purpose of this blog is to give everyone an opportunity to be immersed in God's Word every day.

The name of the blog is Creek Living Water. You can find it at -- or by clicking on it above.

The blog will begin by re-running a series (a slightly shortened version) that I ran via email nearly two years ago. The series was called Experiencing God's Word, and it is all about how to devotionally read the Bible. There are many of you who it would benefit tremendously from going through this 7-part series as a new (years) beginning in allowing God's Truth to change your life.

Then beginning Monday, January 14th the Creek Living Water blog will post a short passage every day that you can use to meditate on God's Truth. In addition the blog is going to be in a format that I've used for years to help me think and pray through the passage every day and then meditate on it throughout the day.

So, tomorrow, check it out! Creek Living Water!

You Are Heretofore Warned!

Last October Sarah & Laura turned 16. Yesterday they got their licenses to operate a motor vehicle.

If you see either of the below young ladies behind the wheel of a vehicle, this posting is a legal forewarning that heretofore Cindy and I absolve ourselves of all responsibility, liability, sanability, . . . and any other ______ability that would be lawful or unlawful, written or unwritten, real or fake, wise or unwise :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Post Holiday Fog

Does anyone else struggle with Post-Holiday fog? Today my sleeping was off a little, my eating off some, my hours still a little messed up -- just the whole rhythm of life tilted a little.
And being a creature of habit in a very tight way just adds to the tilt a little?

Anybody else still a little foggy?

8 Miles . . .

Increased another mile today on my weekly long run and ran 8 miles as I press on towards February 17th and the AT&T Half Marathon . . . It's great running in 50 degree weather!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Get in the Zown!

In the past several months you've heard me talk much about the Reveal study and we even took the Reveal survey as a church (which we will find out the results for in Jan/Feb).

The primary finding of Reveal is that long-term spiritual growth isn't driven by church attendance, but by each individuals ability to feed and lead themselves spiritually.

God has been using those findings to drive my preparation for this Spring. I'm excited about the first series of the year that is going to help each of us have vision in 5 different areas of our life.

On January 13th I'll begin
In the Zown . . . vision for the journey (And thanks to Heather Seeger for creating our cool series logo . . . and yes you'll have to come to find out why Zown is spelled that way).

This series is going to help launch us into 2008 in life changing - world changing ways!

As you prepare to get in the Zown, who do you need to invite to Oso Creek to come into the Zown with you?

Ringin' In 08!

We had a great time at our house last night ringing in 08' with a herd of high-schoolers and college age folks.

The highlights were a game of golf (not w/clubs, the card game) which I won! . . . Celebrating Sarah & Laura's b-day 2 and a half months late . . . Laura dancing . . . Yelling outside at midnight in the (finally) cold! . . . Toasting God and praying for 08 just before the new year. . . And that Cindy and I actually stayed up till midnight! (First time in a while)

Hope you had a great Celebration!