Friday, February 29, 2008

Learning . . . Slowly

I've been asking God to help make me more of an encourager, to help me lead from a perspective of serving and building up. I struggle.

And it's always exciting (but not always fun!) to see how God answers us.

Yesterday we had our first baseball practice. Every year for the past 50 years or so I've been the HEAD Coach of Luke's team. Because of circumstances with kids, etc - myself and another coach decided to merge our teams. He had more kids, so in effect we joined his team. He's the head coach.

I've NEVER been an assistant coach in baseball. Did I mention that I've ALWAYS been the HEAD coach.

I'm used to running practice the way I want to. Giving the speeches. Making the decisions. I watched yesterday as he ran practice and I helped.

As we were going to practice I was thinking of the very best assistants I've had. They were servants and encouragers. They did the dirty work and did it with grace and pleasure. That's what I want to be. So . . . God's giving me a chance.

Yesterday I did my best to keep my mouth shut . . . and shag balls and gather equipment . . . and encourage the boys and Shane (he's the head coach and a GREAT guy which makes it so much easier).

Actually, to be honest, I excited! I'm already looking at the whole opportunity differently, and I'm going to learn awesome new things this Spring!

I'm praying that God will make me a servant.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Wide Angle Lens

I had one of those moments this morning as I was praying where you feel like God jerks you out of the present and suddenly the wide angle lens is put on your mind and your looking down at the big picture . . .

As I'm seeing this picture, I'm thinking, 'Wow, it's almost March 2008 . . . Emily's nearly done with her Freshman year of college . . . The twins are nearly Juniors in HS . . . Luke's almost 14!'

One thing I notice when my mind gets drawn towards this larger time/space continuum is that 2 things come into focus: 1) what I'm doing for the Kingdom of God 2) my family
All the other details fade . . .

And I notice that too much of the time I keep the telephoto lens on and miss the big picture. Help me Lord. Help us Lord, to keep the main things the main things.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

FPU Highlights - Week 1

I thought about this kind of late in Week 1 . . . but I want to send ALL of you some quick highlights of each weeks Financial Peace University class. I mean this is AWESOME stuff! And I hope that all of you will get a small injection of financial wisdom to use -- and even be encouraged to go next time it's offered.

Dave Ramsey is a GREAT speaker and Ididn't get some of his pithy stuff written down last week that I will this week. . . here goes . . .

Week 1 Highlights:

- Baby Step #1 to Financial Security is saving a $1,000 emergency fund

- The only difference between saving and hoarding is attitude.

- Unexpected events do occur - expect them!

- Baby Step #3 is 3 to 6 months of expenses in savings.

- You must start [saving] NOW!

- Building wealth is a marathon, not a sprint.

- "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." (Hebrews 12:11)

Also, remember Chris Gregory's blog:


Wow, we had an exciting soccer game last night! We are in first in district and played Victoria who is in second, but if we lost we would virtually be in a three-way tie with them and Carroll (who we lost to last Friday for our first loss of the year).

The first half we played terrible and at half were losing 2-0. Now, for those of you who are not soccer fans, that's like being down 28-0 in football (especially as flat as we were).

THEN, in a 10-minute span in the second half our Laura scored 3 times - a hat trick! - and we won 3-2!

And what was really cool is that Sarah started for the first time and played the entire game and played awesome! It was a proud and exciting night for us at Cabaniss Field!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Healthy Vision

I know that running is not everyone's answer to a God-honoring healthy lifestyle -- but in addition to fueling our bodies in a healthy way -- we all need to exercise our bods.

If you need a little push, yesterday (Monday) there was a good article in the Caller Times about Beach to Bay and how to begin preparing now (even from doing nothing!) and be able to participate. You can check out the article online by clicking here.

'Without vision the people perish.'

'Vision without action is just hallucination.'

For me without a tangible goal - a vision - it's so difficult to stay on track.

Who wants to do Beach to Bay???

In the Pool!

I believe with all my heart what I talked about on Sunday that there are SO many 'Christians' who are missing out on FOLLOWING Jesus!
That there are so many that have bought into the lie that Christianity is about repeating four lines from a tract and then 'throwing God a bone' occasionally by showing up on Sunday or putting a few bucks in the basket (or some variation of a life spent just hanging around the pool).

And we MISS it! We miss the glory of living the Jesus life, we miss the power of ABUNDANT life, we miss the crux of what it means to follow Jesus, because we haven't first lived WITH Jesus!

And at the same time I want to balance that with the total importance of us helping folks cross that line of faith. Perry Noble has a great blog that links to another blog about a man named Pete. I encourage you to click here and read this blog. . . . and then read on here.

My we explode with the desire to be IN the pool with Jesus! And then pray and invite others all around us into the pool. Who around you needs an invitation?

Monday, February 25, 2008

FPU Power!

Last Wednesday night we started Financial Peace University with nearly 60 adults! These are folks who are going to be blessed beyond their dreams as they put their resources and decisions back in the wise hands of the Owner.

And cooler still is that one of our Creekers - Chris Gregory - has begun a blog to chronicle his families 13-week FPU journey. The blog is called What If We've Got It All Wrong and you've got to go read his first entry! Whether you are going to FPU or not, click here and read it because it is awesome!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Mission Possible!

On Friday night one of our Life Groups (Teel's Group) had a spaghetti dinner to help support Richard and Ximena Roseland who have given their lives to love orphans deep in Mexico.

This pic is of Richard & Ximena who serve through Orphanos - a ministry to children - at a Pan de Vida Orphanage in Queretaro, Mexico.

The Teels said that they were hoping to raise $1,000 and as of this afternoon God had raised over $2,000 and folks were still giving! Way to go Teel Group!!

On another missions note, we are making plans for a couple of short term mission trips in 2008! I'll get details to you as soon they're available . . .

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Incredible Morning!

One of our Creeker military guys - Zach Wojtek - and his family are moving this week and a couple of other Navy pilots (Jeff Vignery & Clif Johnson) thought of an amazing way to bless and honor Zach.

We met at the building this morning at 5:50 (yes, am!) while Clif picked up Zach. We drove out to Bob Hall Pier and spread out about half a mile apart from each other down the beach and hid in the dunes.

Clif got to the beach with Zach about 6:15 and started walking down the beach with him telling him how he had been a blessing and encouraging him as he continues his journey.

Clif peeled off and then the next guy came out and continued walking down the beach with Zach. All four of us (4th being Tim Lawley) shared with Zach how he had blessed us and each of us encouraged him in keeping on a different part of the 'armor' in Ephesians 6.

I went last and by the time Zach got to me he was overwhelmed.

I just want to say: Way to go guys! I'm so proud of you and your willingness to use your gifting and creativity to bless the heck out of a man who deserves the blessing!

We're gonna miss you Zach! Warriors for Christ!

Marathon Lessons . . . Hidden Potential

I was amazed at ALL the different ages, sizes, athletic inclinations and body shapes that were represented at the marathon!

As I began to look around, I confess that I looked at some folks - actually a lot of folks - and said how they can they do this? Maybe they're just watching? Say what?

And then later (or sometimes sooner!) I got passed by some of those same people!

I tend to look at Problems. The race helped me look at Potential.

God doesn't look at our problems. He looks at our potential.

Wow, what if we quit seeing problems with people around us and instead saw potential?? And then what if we told them about the potential we saw? And then what if we stood on the sidelines and cheered them as they used their potential?

I saw a lot of that going on in Austin. And I saw a lot of people with a lot of 'problems' fulfilling potential in incredible ways. Maybe you and I seeing the ability in those around us, are the answer to a lot of people running marathons . . .

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Matt Beveridge Update 2/21

Cindy and I saw our friend Matt Beveridge today at Driscoll Hospital. You can check out Matt's CaringBridge website and even leave him a note by clicking here.

He's been in since his first round of chemo 3-weeks ago. He began round 2 last night.

If all goes well and he continues to progress he will go to San Antonio in a couple of weeks for them to harvest some of his bone marrow.

When I asked Matt if he needed anything - as Audie told some of you the other day - Matt asked me to ask if there are any Creekers out there who have some computer video games that he can borrow while he is in the hospitals. He likes ones where he can 'shoot things'! (Of course, he's a guy!)

Please pray for peace and healing for Matt . . . and for the Holy Spirit to pour out on his family.

Marathon Lessons . . . Be Encouraged!

You Never Know How Your Encouragement Helps Someone Take One More Step!

One of the really cool things about the marathon was the thousands of people on the sides cheering us the entire time - amazing! I don't think we ever went 100 yards without spectators yelling for us. (This pic not of me, just to see the crowds.)

People were yelling, 'Way to go!' 'You're doing awesome!' Near the end folks were yelling stuff like: 'Only 2 more miles, don't give up! Finish strong!'

Our names were on our bibs and some people would even yell our names. At one point some lady yells: 'Way to go John! I'm so proud of you, keep going hard!'

And then to pass my family on the side cheering and yelling for me was incredible. (Here I am passing my family and getting 'fives.')

And then some people just made you smile. One dad and three small kids each had a sign and as they stood together they said: 'Way To Go Mom!'

But the best was a lady who I saw up ahead of us at about the 11 mile mark whose sign said: 'You're Crazy!' My cousin and I were chuckling (I couldn't actually laugh at 11 miles!) And then as we got closer, it was Cindy's sister!! I was laughing then and her sign was so great that this picture was in Austin American Statesman on Monday morning!

I can't tell you how encouraging all those people were. I wonder how many people are able to run one more step because of that encouragement . . . go one more mile because they heard from people who believed in them.

It just reminded me of people all around me who need to be encouraged. Who need to be cheered on and told that they can do it! To be strong and courageous! That I am proud of them! I confess that I'm not very good at this. But I'm asking God to help me.

We are in a race. A marathon. It's hard. It's long. It's painful. But if we encourage each other we can go one more step. One more mile. One more day. And maybe even smile :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I'm so proud of our girls King HS Soccer Team . . . we just finished the first half of district undefeated (6-0)! But so much of what we have done is on pure guts/courage (which has been sparked by great coaching by Jorge Garcia).

We beat all three of the other best teams by one goal --- against Victoria we scored with 20 seconds left to win 1-0. Against our rival Carroll we scored early and then held them off to win 1-0.

And then last night against San Antonio Southwest may have been the best.

A little background - in the Victoria game we lost our playmaker forward for the year with a torn acl. Then last night with 10-minutes left in the game (which was more like a war of attrition) we lost our best defender (Megan Escobar who was the Area Defensive Player of the Year last year) with an ankle injury. Then a couple of minutes later we lost another defensive starter to an injury.

Because of the injuries and her skills, Laura has been moving back and forth between offense and defense. When we lost our main defender, Laura came back from forward to play that position and Sarah (who just came out three weeks ago!) was playing beside her on the strong side.

One of our awesome mid-fielders (Gabby Perales . . . FYI, I'm putting these girls names in here just in case some of you know them and want to give them a high five!) broke through their defense and just willed a goal in with 6 minutes left . . . and then for the last 6 minutes our girls gutted out their assault on our goal (with Sarah and Laura both making some awesome plays!) and we won!

Quite honestly, a couple of those teams probably have more overall talent than us (and even more so after the injuries!) . . . BUT life is all about how faithfully and passionately you use what you've been given! And it's so awesome to watch a group of young ladies who have worked so hard and are coached so well, courageously play with all their hearts!

Super Cool!

We have over 60 folks coming to Financial Peace University tonight to continue learning how to be great stewards of their resources! (And 8 of those folks are from Yorktown Baptist . . . I praise God for their willingness to join together to learn how to go deeper in this Jesus life!)

And then we have 24 Creekers signed up for Discovering Your Divine Design on Saturday (w/only 2 spots open! Click here to email that you want a spot)!

This is so on my heart right now. Opening up these are the kinds of very practical opportunities to help us navigate into the deeper waters of what it means to follow Jesus.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Marathon Lessons . . . ONE ok, TWO better

Two ARE Better than One

The writer of Ecclesiastes talks about all these ways that two are better than one - to keep warm, to protect each other, to keep each other from falling . . .

I can tell you another one . . . to run a half-marathon. I was so blessed that my cousin decided to run with me instead of running the marathon. (This is a pic that Cindy snapped just before the finish line and that's him just inside me in the white).

I had done all my training by myself, but I don't know if I would have made it without him running alongside me - encouraging me and challenging me - but mostly just being beside me.

I have a pretty small family - 3 cousins total! And with the exception of one short season, we've never lived near each other or known each other well. So how cool it was that we got to spend over 3 hours together hanging out - just me and him. We hadn't done that in 20 years.

Life is a marathon. And how foolish when we try to it alone.

By ourselves, we will NOT reach our potential. It's just too big . . . and God designed us to need each other. . . He designed life to be done together.

AND not only that, but alone we will miss out on some huge blessings of great friendships.

What are you doing alone that you need to be doing with someone else?

Marathon Lessons . . . Training

I'm still amazed that the race has come and gone. (The pic to the right is just before the start . . . and NO I'm not in the front)

The process and the race itself was an incredible experience that left me with many great lessons. I want to share some of these in a few posts. Here's the first:

There's no Substitute for Training -
Peter said: "Prepare your minds for action . . ." (1 Peter 1:13)

When I first began my training the 3 & 4 mile runs were a grind. (A stinking grind!) Then as the distance was gradually lengthened and my body was pushed into shape, they became less of a grind.

Now, I can run 4-5 miles and it's not a big deal for my body or mentally. I can stay focused on other things - my sermon, a challenge I'm struggling with, my family.

BUT, once I hit 8 or 9 miles different pains start to surface - my knees, my hips, my breathing.
And without that training - that training of my mind as I train my body - I begin to focus on those problems. And then as I start focusing on my problems, I want to quit. I start thinking, 'This is stupid. This isn't worth it.' 'Why am I doing this?' And it becomes easy to give up.

But as I trained and pushed through the pain, I learned that I had to focus on what was ahead, on the race and not the pain.

So, true in our spiritual lives. If we don't train daily in God's Word. If we don't train daily by seeking to abide in Jesus. Then when the pain comes - and it will - we will be easily seduced into quitting.

Too many people treat God like a magic genie and just call on Him when the pain comes - like not training and just jumping in the marathon.
And then their disappointed when the pain doesn't go away.
God doesn't always take the pain away.

But when we abide (train) in Him, He teaches us that He is always with us. He teaches us how to focus on Him. He teaches us how to run through it. He prepares our mind for action.

[This is a pic Cindy snapped as I ran by at about 6 miles . . . notice that I'm going so fast that I'm kind of a blur! I'm pretty sure that the airspeed that I was generating even blinded that guy behind me!]

Email Forwards

The below is great . . . got it off an email from my bro/sis in-law. My sentiments exactly:

To all my friends who sent me promises of good luck or miracles if I forwarded something in 2007.

It did NOT work!!!

So, for 2008, could you please just send either money, chocolate or gas vouchers.

Thank you!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

THUD! (That was a lion falling)

Wow, I made it! I praise God that I was able to chase down and tackle the 1/2 marathon lion today -- it was awesome! (You can actually check out my race results here . . . That's cool!)

I want to share more in a later about some of what I learned through this marathon experience (and some more pics) but as I'm about to drop from exhaustion into my bed (even though I'm still excited even after a loooong drive home from Austin), I just want to a praise God for some things about this weekend:

- I'm thankful for my family being able to be there with me - that just increased the 'special' level
- I'm thankful for my Dad being an awesome chauffeur and dropping us off two blocks from the start (Thanks Dad!)
- I'm thankful for an absolutely incredible day to run on (50 degrees & sunny at start!)
- I'm thankful for my cousin giving up running the marathon to run with and encourage me (Thanks John, I don't know if I would have made it without you)
- I'm thankful for all the folks on the side of the road who cheered for and encouraged me for 13.1 miles
- I'm thankful for ALL of you praying for me
- I'm thankful for Dino Roseland stepping in from the bullpen this morning to preach at Oso Creek (Harold Teel got stuck in Mexcio) and doing what I heard was a fantastic job!
- And I am so thankful to God for giving me the vision in my life to chase lions that may seem insignificant to others --- and the strength to see them fall!

May all of us live to hear many thuds!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

12 hours . . .

12 hours till game time. We're at my Dad's in Austin. Emily is here with us and we've gotten to catch up some -- that makes it worth the trip!

Went down to the convention center this afternoon and picked up my bib and my chip (they use a computer chip tied onto your shoe to be sure you pass the mile markers . . . and pretty cool they will also text people and let them know your times immediately after you hit the 5 and 10 mile marks . . . so Cindy and the girls are signed up) --- there was a ton of people at the exhibit hall and all kinds of running and health businesses were expoing there wares.

Hooked up with my bro-in-law and cousin there and we made plans for in the morning. Made the mistake of driving the route . . . Tons of mountains (or hills) . . . we don't have hills in Corpus!

My Dad is taking me and we're picking up my cousin at 5:45am on the way to the start. Early. Now, I'm looking forward to a good nights sleep . . . and for the lion to fall!

Can't wait to hear about the awesome message that Harold Teel delivers in the moring at Oso Creek. I think that it's healthy for the body to hear different voices that are seeking God . . .

Count Down!

Less than 24 hours until the race begins! (Actually 23:35:20 per the AT&T Marathon site).
I'm excited and already have some of those pre-game butterflies (and that's a good thing!)

I still can't imagine what 13,000 people is going to look like at the starting line. I have this picture in my mind of the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain and that if I don't take off quickly I'll get trampled :)

The drive to Austin today and then best of all, Emily is meeting us there! So this evening we'll get to hang out with her and my Dad and his wife, and also see my brother and sister in law.

The forecast is showing beautiful race time weather - 50 degrees and sunny. It's on!

Friday, February 15, 2008

30 Day Sex Challenge

Just saw this article on Fox News about a church in Florida. A 30 Day Sex Challenge. You can check it out on the church's (Relevant Church) website here.

Definitely going head on with a culturally relevant topic. What do you think?

Maybe something for lent next year??

Your ARE Divinely Designed!

The feedback that I've gotten from Sunday's message has been awesome!

I know that many of us struggle in discovering what God has made us to do. And that struggle can keep us from really living!
And as I said on Sunday we want to do all we can to help in this journey of seeking God's vision for your life.

Next Saturday - February 23rd at 9am - we'll be offering the Discovering Your Divine Design Class that I talked about on Sunday. This isn't the end all - but it is a great discovery point on the journey.
This is one of my favorite classes that I do as we focus on the talents and personality that God gave you at birth . . . the spiritual gifts that He gave you at your spiritual birth . . . as well as the passion(s) that burns in your soul.

So if you are seeking or stuck anywhere on the journey of what you were made to do, then get to this class! Email Linda by clicking here if you want to sign up.

And remember: Vision without action is just hallucination!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Easter Festival Comeback!

Creekers who have been here awhile are excited with me that the Oso Creek Community Easter Festival is making a comeback!

It will be on March 22nd (yes, Easter is REALLY early this year - March 23rd) and it will be an awesome outreach to families and kids all around us!

It's filled with food, Easter Egg Hunts (I think we stuffed 5,000 eggs when we last had it in 2004!), giant inflatables, games . . . and all free! And much more . . . I understand that there's some new plans!

And YOU will be a huge part of it! It will take hundreds of Creekers to pull off and be a blast. Will be asking for your help in Life Groups and on Sundays -- but if you already know that you want some kind of leadership role then email Audie (click here).

More to come soon . . .

Valentine Delivery - Part II

It's Valentines Day and I'm not really into the glitz and commercialization of a once-a-year love fest. (Although it seems to be international as Beatriz told me this morning that they do the same thing in Spain on Feb 14th.)

But I have been thinking about the Valentines left on my door by the little creekers. (Other post) Here were some of their quotes:

"Happy Valentines day. Jesus loves you do to others as you would have do to you"
"Go God"
"Tank you for being such a grate pastor!"
"Pastor John I like you for anyone"
"Thanks Pastor John for teching us about the bible"

As I hear these I'm thinking: 'but these kids don't really know anything about my life. They don't understand the crisis' I'm going through with families. Or the struggles with my own family. Or the sin that I have to keep fighting to overcome. Or how I mess up every day trying to follow Jesus . . .'

Jesus tells us that we're to love Him like little children . . . and I wonder if the same isn't just as true in loving each other. What if we didn't see all the junk, and only saw each other like God sees us? What if we just saw 'grate friends' and liked people 'for anyone'?

That Romans 12 passage I've been talking about says: 'Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.'

Now that's the kind of Valentines Day I need! It takes practice, but let's try to love each other like the little creekers. Maybe even start by putting a note on somebodies door???

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

4 Days n' Counting!

Went on my last short jog today (about 2 1/2 miles) before the AT&T Half Marathon on Sunday!
And per the countdown on the front page of the marathon website it's 3:14:40:10 until the gun sounds.

I'll rest my body for the remainder of the week as I've been told to do (although it seems kind of counterintuitive to me to work so hard for months and then just quit the week of the race!).

Besides my morning cup of joe, I'm just drinking water this week to make sure I get plenty hydrated. I'm also trying to get to bed & up in the morning as I'll have to get up at about 4:30 Sunday morning to get there (12,500 runners, plus volunteers, fans and the US Olympic Committee that will be there to scout me for the 2012 team!) and be ready for the start.
And then on Saturday night I'm gonna eat early and load up on pasta.

My anticipation builds . . . The lion will fall!

Daniel Fast Dilemma - Part II

Thanks for all your great comments, suggestions and confessions to my Daniel Fast Dilemma post! All of them touched on my struggle.

As I've thought about it, here's what I believe Jesus would tell me about the pizza.

'John, you're focusing on the wrong thing. I'm more concerned about what goes into your soul, then what goes into your mouth.' Ouch.

Jesus was continually chiding the 'religious people' for cleaning the outside of the cup while the inside was filthy. And the point of our Daniel Fast is to focus on Jesus and his vision for our lives. Just the conversation about the pizza at my house brought attention to why we were doing it. . . . And from God's perspective, that was probably the point.

Yes, when we're fasting it kind of defeats the point if there are not some things that we give up. But there are always going to be 'grey' areas. And I think that grey areas are good, because they force us to listen for the Spirit's guidance and then be willing (or not) to follow Jesus as He speaks and live in His blessing.

May HE increase in your life!

And oh yeah, I ate the pizza!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Valentine Delivery

A big thank you to class of little creekers who delivered Valentines to my door!

And this one is a classic!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Celebrating Freedom!

What an awesome and exciting day of Celebration we had yesterday! God showed up in some amazing ways. I love it when Will sings that freedom song . . . and it set the tempo.

And I always love it when we do baptisms . . . I'm so thankful that we are now doing them on Sunday mornings where everybody can be a part! And what a great way to start out 2008 with 6 baptisms!

What if everyone of us invited someone to join this journey with us this year? How can we not share this freedom that we have been given in Christ?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Daniel Fast Dilemma

I didn't see it coming.
When Cindy ordered pizza last night it didn't dawn on me.
Then as I was about to eat my first piece, one of my kids asked, 'Dad, is pizza fast food?' (My kids are helping hold me accountable to my Daniel Fast!)

Is pizza fast food? What do you think?

Website Issues

We've gotten several calls today about our website and apologize for the issues, but someone hacked in and made a few changes for us! Even deleted some stuff for us . . . . sad that folks have enough time to hack church websites . . .

Should be back up tomorrow. But you can still get to specific links . . . If you need to get to the sermons click here . . . Or, to the Creek Notes click here

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Another Word on Financial Peace

One big mention I forgot to make on here about Financial Peace, is that it's open to EVERYONE!

Two truths about Financial Peace: 1) Folks ALL around us have money problems.
2) Dave Ramsey is known by people everywhere.

So, don't hesitate to ask folks around you who need help with their finances . . . it may be the way that God has been waiting for them to be connected to Him!!!

And remember, signups end this Tuesday (12th)!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Daniel Fasting . . .

It was great to see in your comments how your doing your Daniel fast . . . you can check out that post and the comments here.

I'm fasting in a few different ways. The two that have to do with intake are areas that I've cut down somewhat in previous months but now I'm going to cut out completely. And those are sodas (Dr. Pepper has been my addiction) and fast food.

And then on the 'rest' side of my health - I'm fasting from the computer after 9pm. I know that I feel so much more rested when I'm not up in wee hours posting blogs! So off it goes in the evening.

If you haven't started yet, it's never too late! How can you use this period of lent to better focus on Jesus and His vision for your life?

And I think it's great for you to share with us . . . creates a little accountability.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Here Comes Cletus . . .

Being a country boy (ok, only kind of) from West Texas I know that this spoof of Carrie Underwood's Jesus Take the Wheel will make every redneck proud!

Check it out on Todd Rhoades blog for a good chuckle

Last Long Day . . . Countdown Begins!

Today I did my last long run before the AT&T Half-Marathon (in Austin) in 10 days!

Ran for the longest time yet (1:51:05) which was my goal. I didn't expect the heat though and it almost killed me (it's 80 degrees in February!)

This next week I'll gear it down and try to get my body ready . . . getting kind of nervous, but a good nervous!

Soccer Twins!

Last night Sarah & Laura played together for the first time in a High School Varsity game!

Sarah didn't play soccer last year (and had not intended to do so this year) but the soccer coach heard she had played and asked her to come and work out a couple of times after basketball. She did and he put her on the Varsity!

Last night they both played as we beat San Antonio Highlands 4-2. They are doing awesome . . . so far we are 3-0 in district . . . Go Lady Mustangs!

The Body

As I continue to read & soak in Romans 12 . . . .

How incredible be a part of this community that we call the church:
"Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other." (vs.4-5)

Your hope is my hope. Your problem is my problem. Your need is my need. . . . He goes on:
"In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly."

We ALL have the privilege - and responsibility - as part of the whole, to serve in the way that God has designed us. It takes ALL of us. It takes you.

This past Sunday we began something new in sharing with you the 'Oso Creek Top 7'. The top 7 serving needs that are going unmet at Oso Creek right now (that we know of).

It's my obligation as your Pastor to share with you these needs and encourage you to prayerfully ask God if He is nudging you to fill one of these needs. If so, please contact the person in parenthesis. So here they are (makes for kind of a long post) . . . thanks for being part of the family!

1. Children’s Ministry – Kids, Kids, Kids! We are blessed with many kids . . . all of who need to experience the love of Jesus! We are in great need of Son Harbor leaders, 1st – 5th grade on Sunday mornings. Prepare lessons, activities and lead Son Harbor volunteers in leading engaging and active Small Group discussion and activities. No experience necessary, curriculum and training provided! (Audie @ 960-9551)

2. Volunteer Champion – Have the joy of helping people find their place to serve!! Updates serving needs on a regular basis and coordinates with new Creekers after completion of Discovery Class to connect them to serving opportunities. (Audie - 960-9551)

3. Children’s Ministry – Pre-K & Kinder Class leaders. Sunday morning leaders for our Pre-K & Kindergarten students. Leaders present the weekly lesson and all activities, crafts and projects are provided. Curriculum and training provided. Leaders can serve, bi-weekly, or once a month. (Amber @ 793-7305)

4. Lighting Team – Let the Light Shine! We need someone to serve on our Sunday Celebration team - lighting up the whole thing - by operating the lighting board. NO experience needed, training provided. (Mike Ilse - 857-6588)

5. Videographer- Do you like to communicate through media?? Do you have some (not extensive) experience filming, editing and producing video? We need a willing volunteer to help us experience God in a more powerful way through film. (John @ 993-4463)

6. Student Ministry- Impact kids in some of the craziest (and most volatile) years of their lives! We need Middle School group leaders. Our Middle School Life Group leaders meet with our 6th – 8th graders each Sunday morning during our 11:00 am Celebration Service. (Beau @ 356-6279)

7. Greeter Team – Be a part of the ‘crazy wavers’ who give Oso Creek an awesome first impression! The ‘First Impression’ team includes parking lot greeters, nametag table assistance and children’s table assistance. We currently are looking for volunteers to serve at our nametag table for both Sunday morning Celebrations. All you need are a willingness to serve and a friendly attitude. (Tim @ 215-0230)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Financial Peace Deadline!

I can't encourage you enough to take advantage of going to Financial Peace University beginning February 20th. (Check out my last post on it for more info)

But I do need to tell you that the deadline to sign up is next Tuesday February 12th. And it is a very dead deadline because materials have to be ordered. So this Sunday is the last Sunday to sign up or you can come by the office.

Listen to this comment that was left on the previous post:

"my husband and i are doing financial peace and it is has lit a fire under us to honor God with every aspect of our finances. not to mention how much you can further the kingdom of God if you don't have debt payments to make! 2 thumbs up for financial peace!!!" (Margo)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Pretenders - Part II

Still chewing on these verses in Romans 12: "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)

'Take delight in honoring [blessing] each other.' God's been talking to me about being a blessing. So much of my life I feel like I go through as a policeman. Can anybody relate? Watching this and that. Correcting this and that. Instead of blessing, I'm busy policing.

God's job is to correct, mine (and yours) is to bless. OK, I'm speaking generally, I'm not saying that we NEVER correct our children or others - but what if we went through our day looking for ways to bless people. Not looking to judge, or critique, or justifying, or ignore. Just bless.

We have been blessed now for 4 weeks as Beatriz Lopez has been living with us. (This is her at the HS Girls GNO) Cindy and I believe that much of the reason God has put her in our familie's life is because she is a 'blesser' (and a blessing!)
It's like she is just continually searching for ways to serve and love others. It's amazing. She came here to learn about America . . . and this sweet young lady is teaching us much as we just watch. (I know that her parents in Madrid must be proud.)

I pray for a Beatriz in your life . . . and I pray that today you (and I) would seek to simply be a blessing.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Daniel Fast

On Sunday I encouraged you to join me on a 6-week+ Daniel Fast, beginning this Wednesday and ending on Easter.

The idea of a Daniel fast comes from the Old Testament book of Daniel chapter 1 - where Daniel, a Jew who was deported to Babylon and chosen for the King's Palace Program, resolved not to defile himself by eating the Palace's royal food and wine. Instead Daniel chose to eat only vegetables and drink only water. (I encourage you to read the passage.)

The physical (& spiritual) principle that we are seeking to follow here is to seek to put things into our body (& life) that most reflect the vision for our life that honors God. Daniel was making a statement with his 'fast' that he was going to follow God.

There are all kinds of different fasts (the Bible does not say that you have to do a fast 'this' way or 'that' way . . . and a 'Daniel Fast' can take many different applications as well . . . some people hold to just vegetables and water).

What I'm asking you to do is join me in fasting from something(s) that you are doing to your body that is unhealthy. Maybe it's from sodas, or fast food, or tobacco, or junk food, or etc, or all of the above!

The purpose is two fold: 1) To move towards God's vision for our physical health. For many this is first step of making the statement that you want to honor God with your health.
2) As we have the desire for that thing(s) - to allow it to remind us to pray for God's vision for every area of our life. A fast is ultimately about helping us focus on and pursue God. And in these days I am asking that together we pursue God's heart for our lives. That we repent where we are not following Him and ask Him to show us how to seek Him in the different areas we have been talking about.

So, I ask you to be praying between now and Wednesday, and then share with me (& us) what God is telling you. What are you fasting from?

What questions or thoughts do you have?

Health Hypocrite!

OK, I've already heard it at least 10 times . . . about the hypocritical messages on Sunday morning. On the front of the bulletin in big letters: Relationship with Your Health! Then this passionate message about caring for the bodies that God has given us.

How was I supposed to know that inside the bulletin was gonna be the screamin' pink handout for the Youth Valentines fund raiser: BAKE SALE!! Cookies~Cakes~Cupcakes!!

I plead ignorance!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Praise Team

Man, I just wanted to praise God for our Praise Team and their perseverance.
This weekend Clif Johnson was supposed to lead. He lead Thur practice and then discovered Saturday morning that he had to work on Sunday (he is attached to HM15 and it's related to the recent crash).
Sylvia Madland stepped in on 24-hours notice and did a great job at 9am while feeling sick. She felt so bad afterwards that she was not able to lead at 11.
Mike Ilse, who had been sick all week and running the lights during the first service, then stepped in to lead at 11.
And all this was done with 2 other sick team members.

And these are all volunteers! Thanks guys, I praise God for your willingness to lead us into worship!

Also . . . as most of you know, one of the first Oso Creek lions we are chasing this year is hiring a full time worship pastor. We have received many resumes and are moving along in the process . . . . if you want to see where we are advertising click on and search for Fellowship of Oso Creek.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Financial Peace University!

“The wise look ahead to see what is coming, but fools deceive themselves.” (Prov 14:8)

Wednesday February 20th is when Financial Peace begins at Oso Creek!

You can check out Dave Ramsey's website here.

The Cost is $93 for materials and we will have child care at Oso Creek! This is an incredible opportunity for all of us to gain/renew God's vision for our resources!

Sign up on Sunday or by coming by the Oso Creek Office during the week.

Friday, February 1, 2008

4-0 This Week!

Just got back from a soccer game in Victoria (@11:30pm) which finished (almost - girls bus still isn't back) a long day (began at 6am) and long week . . .

On Tuesday our girls won their basketball games against SA Highlands (JV & Varsity).

And then we won 2 soccer games this week, but both were bitter sweet.
We beat our rival Carroll 1-0 on Monday night which is awesome . . . but we have so many good friends who play for Carroll (and even a Creeker) that it makes it hard to celebrate too long.
And then tonight we beat a very good Victoria team 1-0 but the girls good friend and our best forward Danielle DeLosSantos hurt her knee and it looks like a torn acl . . . life is full of crazy turns . . .