Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Who Are You Hanging Out With?

A friend sent me this quote from The Tangible Kingdom . . . I haven't read the book yet, but I know that I know that this is why we are followers of Jesus.

Hebrews 9 says: "How much more, then, will the blood of Christ . . . cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!"

Check out the quote:

"go to Africa and hang out with a village of starving children, you'll get a heart for starving African children. If you hang out with the mentally ill, you'll get a heart for the emotionally imbalanced. If you want a heart for people outside the church......you've got to be with them. As they grab your heart, your posture will change, your angle of approach will change, and the kingdom of God will be a little more tangible."

So, who do you have a heart for? Who are you hanging out with?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

ON Mission!

Many of you remmber Todd & Tracy Fruehauf when they were at Oso Creek . . . Todd is deployed in Iraq right now, while Tracy & Liam await him in California where they are stationed.


I got the below email from Todd last week (and his permission to share it with you) . . .


It makes my eyes tear and my chest swell to hear Todd's courage and passion to serve our country ---- BUT, it makes me a hundred times prouder to hear how He is on MISSION serving the King of Kings!


Ephesians 6 says that we are ALL in a 'battle' - and it's not against 'flesh and blood' but 'against the rulers, the authorities, the powers of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.'


As we all see our Kingdom Mission as clearly as Todd does, our world will be transformed . . .





Dear Friends & Family,


. . . I would first like to thank everyone for your continued prayers for me, Tracy, Liam, and my men. God has been so faithful in response to your prayers to keep Tracy, Liam, and I connected, to keep my men and I safe, and to provide the fellowship of other men who love the Lord here at Camp Hit. . . . I miss them more than words can express but God is using this time apart to strengthen our faith and to keep us from taking each other for granted.


About a month ago, one of my teams (Bill Nesbitt, Marshall Palmer, and Matt Walther) was attacked by an IED during a post blast investigation. Luckily everyone was inside of the armored vehicle at the time of the strike and NO one was injured. The vehicle they were driving sustained significant damage but shielded the guys inside from the blast and shrapnel resulting from the explosion. I am convinced that everyone walked away from this as a direct result of the thousands of prayers lifted up on our behalf. With tears in my eyes I thank you.


Two days ago, my team and I responded to the District Iraqi Police Station to pick up some ordnance they had. During our visit we were introduced to several Al Qaeda insurgents who had been detained over the last couple months. I was very unprepared for the emotional roller coaster that this would take me on. One of the insurgents was only 20 years old and had been raised by his father to kill Americans. I looked at every one of them square in the eyes and every one of them looked away first. It showed me that they knew in their hearts that they had done wrong. God has written his law on the hearts of all people and it was evident even through the stone cold fa├žade the insurgents portrayed to us. It is hard to describe how I felt, but the Lord gave me compassion toward them and I felt the need to forgive them in my own heart despite the lack of regret they showed for the things they have done.


. . . God has truly blessed me with some awesome fellowship this last month. As surrounding camps close down, more Marines have been consolidated to Hit. I have met 5 Marines who truly are passionate about the Lord and want to serve Him with their whole heart. I leave every meeting encouraged to love and pursue the Lord better and love my family more. A list of the guys to pray for: Austin Barnhill, Isaac Hanson, Daniel Harrison, Fernando Urena, and Jeremiah Farrell.
These guys are scattered throughout 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines and are actively pursuing the men they lead to share the Lord with them.


It has been so encouraging to watch the Lord move in Iraq. He is pursuing the hearts of those who do not know him and he is strengthening his children on a daily basis. We have started a Tuesday Prayer & Worship Meeting, a Wednesday night Purity Accountability Meeting, a Thursday night Bible Study, and a Sunday Evening Service in our Chapel here in Hit. On average there are 30 Marines, Soldiers, and Sailors who attend the meetings and we are seeing new faces every week. Please pray for this.


Please pray that the Lord would continue to strengthen this group of believers in Hit, that the Marines, Soldiers, and Sailors here would see their need for God and would see the greatness of his provision for sinners in Christ. Please continue to pray for Tracy, Liam, and I that we would love each other more everyday and that the Lord would begin to prepare our hearts for the reunion that isn't too far away. Please pray for Tracy and Liam's provision and protection in my absence. Finally, please continue to pray for my men and their safety. I cannot thank you enough for your continued support during this time. I look forward to the day I can see you all again.


I love you all.
Grace and Peace,
Todd


Monday, July 28, 2008

Matt Beveridge Update - 7-28-08

As many of you know Matt has been fighting cancer for over 2 years now. (You can go to previous posts about Matt by clicking here, and here.)

Just a month ago Matt got home after a 'bone marrow recovery' process and had been recovering. Last week Matt began to have new signs of cancer and late last week the doctors confirmed that the cancer was back, worse than before.

I just spoke with Matt's Dad Gary about an hour ago and Matt was in the OR going through a procedure to put a new port in his chest . . . they are going to begin a new round of chemo on Matt tonight . . .

Please pray for God's hand on Matt and his family. Pray for the miraculous power of Jesus to bless Matt . . .

Psalm 34

1 I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.
2 My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3 Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.
4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
6 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. 9 Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

Slam Dunk!

This is what I had the awesome privilege of doing yesterday morning as I baptized my nephew - Cole Berryman - at First Baptist Church - Russellville, Arkansas.

What great fun! (And I'm thinking that I might start wearing a robe!)

Then we celebrated with about 4 more hours of everybody being dunked in the lake . . .
We had an awesome time here! Thanks Brad, Jolyn & Cole!!
But all things end . . . and today we head back towards the Sparkling City by the Sea!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Lake Action!







We had a great day on Lake Dardanelle . . . and here's some shots to prove it . . .


The big 5-person 'hot dog' was awesome . . . I laughed so hard watching the kids that my stomach hurt
. . . and then watching Sarah ski was worth the whole trip!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Relaxing by the Pool


Yes, this is me right now . . . relaxing by the pool in Russellville, AR . . . We're having a great time, I think my mind finally hit 'vacation mode' late yesterday . . .
And yes, that is a Razorback hat I've got on . . . a fan for the week . . . Sooooey Hogs!

Where's Your Can?

OK, it's hard to see until you click on the pic because my photography is not too great at this point . . . but there's my can of American Value French Style Green Beans on the center of the mantle.

I can't wait till the first person asks me why it's there!

On Sunday I talked about how What God is Forming in Me Powers His Mission Through Me.

It's NOT about what's on the outside, but what's on the inside. God calls every ounce of our lives to be on Mission . . . and the power for that mission comes as we humble ourselves before God.

My can reminds that God is forming a servant nature IN me. I have to get out of the way and let Him.

Where's your can?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Kid's Camp Video

If you're interested in seeing more about what happened at Kid's Camp a couple of weeks ago, then
Click here to check out the video on YouTube!

Jason Evans has set up an Oso Creek YouTube account where we'll be able to keep stuff viewable. Cool stuff.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

R & R

This morning we leave for a family week of R&R at Cindy's sisters house in Russellville, Arkansas. Can't wait to get there and start relaxing (is there such thing as relaxing while you're traveling to your destination??).

Gonna be an awesome time as all 6 of us will be together . . .

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hurricane or Opportunity?

As of 9:40 tonight, there is still a chance that a Category 1 (or bigger) hurricane could pass through Corpus in the next 36 hours.
Panic or Possibilities
?

"Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown! He replied, "Your of little faith, why are you so afraid?" The he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm." (Matt 8:23-26)

Storms are perfect opportunities for Jesus to show His peace. I don't see our potential storm as a crisis, but as a circumstance where we can show people the love and peace of Jesus. Where we can be used to help others and who knows, maybe even point them to the Peace Maker. Another opportunity to be on mission for the Kingdom!

And in the vein of help, would you be willing to help some of our singles/widows/or military wives over the next couple of days (boarding up or whatever is necessary for them to get prepared)?
If you would please call Tim Klaus (549-4813) or Jessica Gregory (774-2199).

And if you need ANY help please your Group Leader, the Church office (993-4463) or one of the above #'s.

Birthday Party Hangover

This is the morning remnants of Luke's birthday party last night.

Parents, this is what happens if you spend 2 hours at Gattitown (which I'm convinced will have a mental illness named after it someday as a result of the stimulation overload that occurs after being there for about 4 minutes!) - then play Wii for about 3 hours, followed by a 2 hour movie and have numerous uncontrolled wrestling matches in between.*
All of this activity is then exacerbated by approximately 6 cokes and 2 pounds of sugar each.

*[Disclaimer: Please don't allow your children to try this at home. This was performed with professional children in a closed living room.]

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Another Reminder to SAVE September 20th!

It's 2 months out today and I'm reminding you Creekers to mark Saturday, September 20th on your calendars --- and set it aside!

On that Saturday we're gonna host an awesome Catalytic Event that blesses our community!

But it's gonna be more than that . . . Per Websters something that is 'catalytic' causes or accelerates a change by the addition of a catalyst.

It's going to be catalyzing because we are also going to begin a powerful new series that weekend in Celebration . . . AND we are going to be kicking off many new Life Groups and asking EVERYONE to be in a group for that 40-day season!

So set aside the day and pray with us as we seek God's heart and vision for this Fall!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Pray for Mexico Trip

Yesterday we had to cancel our trip to Durango, Mexcio amidst many concerns about security. There has been an increase of rebel violence in that area and several people have been killed near where we go - one only a couple of blocks away.

Because 'foreigners' only draw attention to themselves and those they are with - our host in Mexico decided that the risk was too great - both for us and those we would be working with. He and his family are also pulling out until things cool down.

Those folks from Oso Creek who were going are now checking into going back to the Pan de Vida Orphanage in Queretaro, Mexico where another group from Oso Creek went in June.

Please pray with us for wisdom and open doors if/where he would have this group love folks for Jesus.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thursday . . .

Had a good day off . . .

Got to hang out quite a bit with Emily (my oldest daughter in for the rest of the Summer) . . . got Emily's a/c fixed on her car . . . did some reading . . . and almost got done making some Cornhole (or Corntoss) boards. (That's the pic proving my carpentry which is normally non-existent!)

I mentioned that I played Cornhole recently when I was at a conference and it was a blast! If you don't know what cornhole is - then check out this video.

And if you already know what it is . . . or just don't care, then check out the video anyways cause' it's hilarious.

Time to get to bed . . . 6:30 Elders meeting in the morning :)

Giving Away

That's Jason Evans worshiping with our young men at camp this week.

Jason gave up a week of his time with his own family and at work to connect with our young men and sow seeds of Jesus into their lives.

He's spending a week sweating all day at Lake Mathis and sleeping in a smelly (very :) cabin with about 100 teenagers in it!

"How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" (Romans 10:15)

I'm so thankful for Jason and his willing heart. Give him a high-five when you see him and tell him how appreciated he is.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Relationships


I spent the afternoon and evening at Student Camp yesterday. It was awesome!

Camp is all about relationships. Hanging out and having fun with old friends . . . and new friends (and in the second pic they kind of embarrassed Luke when they had everyone in the cafe singing Happy Birthday!)

And best of all it's about relationship with Jesus. We all need desperately need Him. Kids these days need His wisdom and love and power to navigate through all the pot holes.

That's why it was incredible to watch last night as every single one of our kids went down to the altar at the end of worship so someone could pray for them. Camp is a safe place to seek him.

"Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light." Matthew 11:28-30


Next year I wanna go to camp for the whole week . . .

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Luke's 14th

Today this little guy is 14.

We blink and our children's lives pass by like a lonely plane in the blue sky and suddenly we're just left with a vapor trail of memories that remind us of how things once were.

And I'm reluctantly - yet thankfully - drawn back into the psalmist's sobering words:

"LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered, and that my life is fleeing away. . . Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 39:4, 90:12

As I get older I get more emotional about these things. I so want to love him well through these slippery and steep teenage years . . . I will not get a second chance.

And yet many times I let little things get in the way.

Will you pray for Luke today . . . and pray for me?

And where is it that you need to be reminded today to number your days with wisdom? Who - or what - is passing by quickly?

Steve's Serve

Steve Garcia - our fired up, passionate new Worship Pastor! - was telling me about an Encounter he had on Sunday and I asked him to give me a blurb so I could blog it. Here it is. Thanks Steve!


Serving Sunday! I arrived to "the building" with much anticipation! I could hardly wait to get out in the community and body slam somebody with the Word of God. I had visions of how I would do that and world peace would follow:) That's not what happened though.......something completely different happened actually. We went to house #1 and no one was home, #2 the same,#3 the bag and card were still on the door, #4 no answer, #5.....I was beginning to get a little worried and then someone answered the door. Here was my opportunity, body slam #1....she stopped me mid-sentence, closed the door and returned a couple of minutes later with some food. I said thanks, and she immediately shut the door. No body slam. That's ok I thought, there are plenty more houses! Well,the rest of our journey was pretty much the same.....nobody home, bag and card on the door, no answer. I was getting kind of bummed about the situation and then I met George. What a neat guy! I explained who we were and what we were doing and he honestly said that he didn't have any food to donate at the moment, but maybe we could come back another time. We struck up a conversation about his lawn and then all of a sudden he was Mr. Jabberjaw. Here we were, locked in conversation, and the lights were all green for my first body slam of the day! The body slam turned into a handshake and a gentle pat on my shoulder from George. I put him down as my first person to visit the next time we do this. I may even visit him again before that! We had made a simple connection with him about something he had a passion for, his lawn, and as I was about to lean in and give him the body slam I realized that getting to know George was the first step in our connection. Sure, it was a tiny conversation about his lawn, but it was also a door opening to his heart. I don't know all of George's story, but I do know he wanted to talk to someone and I'm glad that God put me there at the right place and the right time. Did you notice at the beginning of my story there were a lot of "I"'s? I this, and I that..... I, stepped out of the way, and God moved into our midst. He connected me and George. Serving Sunday has shown me that what we are doing out in the community is building relationships. Living in each others lives and really being the hands and feet of Jesus. Relationship is the first step.

"Anyone who welcomes you is welcoming me, and anyone who welcomes me
is welcoming the Father who sent me. " MATTHEW 10:40

Monday, July 14, 2008

Camp . . .

This is where a group of our students will be spending their week . . . High School and Middle School Summer Camp at Zephyr.

Will you pray with me? That their ears and hearts will be open to all that God has for them. And that they will take life changing, eternal steps this week in moving nearer to Jesus.

Please pray for each of them:

Students - Cecilia Gonzalez, Araceli Mirelez, Kelsey Schumaker, Sarah Bradshaw, Laura Bradshaw, Katelynne Burns, Daniela Gonzalez, Toree Robles, Luke Bradshaw, Brandon Burns

Adults - Jason Evans, Jade Payne, Cindy Bradshaw

Wow!


Praise God that the serving . . . and the food flowed yesterday! Way to go Creekers!

Check out that pile of food for the hungry and needy in Corpus! (And for some perspective those 4 barrels in the back are huge and they are flowing over and we could have filled 4 or 5 more!)

We can wash and feed - and we should give ourselves away at every point the Holy Spirit leads us - but only Jesus can truly fill. He said: "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."

My prayer is that our acts of Radical Mercy will be pictures of heaven coming to earth --- and lead to eternally transformed lives!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

4 Kids!


Emily got home last night and it's awesome to have all 4 of our kids back home again!

Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from him.
Children born to a young man
are like sharp arrows in a warrior's hands.
How happy is the man whose quiver is full of them! Psalm 127:3-5


(Not the greatest pic as I'm experimenting with my camera phone . . . just figured out that I could text pics to my email . . .)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

ON Mission!

There's about a dozen High School girls at my house for another Saturday night GNO (Girls Night Out). Right now there's a lot of girly yelling and laughing going on!
(I snuck up and took a couple a pics a little while ago when they were doing some crazy game outside!)

There's also 4 ladies here - including my wife - who lead them and love them.

These ladies could be doing a lot of other stuff on Saturday night. They could be with their families at Gatti Town or at a Hooks game. They could be out at a movie with their friends. They could be sitting cozy on their couch watching their favorite TV series.

But they're here. In a few minutes they'll sit down and talk about what God's Word says about their lives. Then they'll break up into prayer groups and ask God to meet the deepest needs of these young ladies lives.

This is part of what it means for these ladies to be on mission - to be giving their lives away for the sake of the Kingdom of God. This is what we want EVERY life to be about at Oso Creek!

Where are you living out your mission?

Passing It On

This afternoon our kids (Sarah, Laura and Luke) helped Cindy and I put out cards and bags for the food pickup tomorrow. (And YES, remember, one gathering time tomorrow - at 10am - for Serving Sunday!)

I'm thankful they went, and it reminded me again of how I need to expose my kids to more ways to give themselves away. Just this week I was emailed a great article about practical ways to encourage our children to give themselves away that change lives. Check out the article by clicking here.

And then I was also reminded this week - and again today with my kids - of how important it is to be intentional about WHY we serve.

We give ourselves away not just because we're 'nice people' or want to do 'good things.'
But we give, because God has given freely to us.
We give because we are called to allow the Light of Jesus to live through us and to glorify God with our lives.
We give because we are all called to the single mission of seeing people embrace the forgiveness of Christ and live in the Kingdom of God.

How I desire that to become more and more my mission - and our mission - in life.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Whose Your Bo?

Had to take a quick trip to Dallas today (more on that in another post) . . . but the awesome surprise was that Bo Kratz was on my flight! (Even let me take his picture!)

What a charge for me to get to spend a couple of 'bonus' hours with a man who I consider one of mentors - especially when it comes to fathering and encouraging.

He was even on his way to spend a weekend fishing with his son. He seeks to live it out, and I'm attracted to that.

If I called him my mentor in front of you he'd humbly say 'Aw, come on!' But he is a man full wisdom. He is a man I admire, a man I listen to. He inspires me and encourages me. And I'm thankful to have Bo's in my life.

Who are those who inspire and challenge and mentor you? Who are your Bo's? If you don't have em', find em'!

Discover Oso Creek!

A few months ago we changed our format of our initial introduction for new people to Oso Creek. And it has been awesome!

This gathering is designed to introduce new people to our staff, to answer any questions about us or Oso Creek, and to talk about being a member of Oso Creek.

If you haven't been to Discovery Dessert, it is THIS Sunday (13th) at 6:30pm at our home! In order to sign up you need to get go here to our website and complete Discovery Online. Discovery Online tells you the nuts and bolts about who we are and what our vision is. Once you finish Discovery Online and submit it, you're signed up for the Discovery Dessert!

So if you haven't been yet, then get aboard! And if you know someone who needs to go, please help us all out by passing this post on to them!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Sunday Serve !

Last Sunday there was some awesome serving going on in the Wimbledon final between Federer and Nadal --- But this next Sunday there is going to be even more incredible serving happening!

That's because Oso Creek is leaving the building!

If you missed last Sunday's Celebration, you need to know that this Sunday we are meeting at one time - 10am - and instead of having church, we are going to BE the Church.

We are going to be serving - and blessing - the needy in our community in two different ways - washing the Mission of Mercy mobile medical unit, and restocking the Food Bank (if you need more info on these check out my post from last week by clicking here).

What you need to know is to be there THIS Sunday at 10am and to wear comfortable clothes to be outside in. And to pray that God will use us and teach us as we give ourselves away!

Evidence

This is a powerful picture. 9 years ago when we came to Corpus Christi, Andrew Nycum was about 11 . . . I remember him riding to the Elementary School where we met on his bike . . . and pestering my daughters :)

This is Andrew leading worship this Summer at Laity Lodge in the hill country.

I'm so proud of Andrew. . . This is so cool!

Andrew is evidence that God is still up to something here. Now, don't hear me wrong, I'm not claiming credit for what God is doing in Andrew's life and it's not even just Creekers, many different folks have poured into Andrew. But his family - and this family - have impacted this young man and he is discovering who he is in Christ.

And so with new hope we press on with greater passion than ever before!

Whose the Andrew who you are helping discover who they are in Christ?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Great Weekend!

It was a great 4th weekend . . . .

- My Dad came down for a day and we got to hang out with him.
- Played about 14 rounds of Wii golf and beat Luke in about half of them!
- Saw my first official 'Kickball' game and it was even an all-star tournament (on another note they had the wildest and funniest home run celebration I've ever seen . . . but that's another post, especially if I could get video!)
- Got to run TWICE in the rain . . . and if you're a runner you know how awesome that is in the midst of the Corpus Summer (also ran for the first time early Sunday morning before Celebration . . . was great)
- We had an awesome morning at Celebration . . . challenging for me and hopefully for all of us to live out Radical Mercy . . . AND Steve Garcia led our music for the first time!
- Got to help a family move and hang out with them for a while
- And loved the rain that's been falling ALL weekend!
- No off to bed and ready for a new week . . .

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Save SEPTEMBER 20th!!

Creekers I'm asking you to mark Saturday, September 20th on your calendars --- and set aside that day!

On September 20, 2008 we're going to be having an Easter Festival size Catalytic Event that begins as we connect with and bless our community!

But it's gonna be even more than that . . . Per Websters something that is 'catalytic' causes or accelerates a change by the addition of a catalyst.

This event is going to be catalyzing because we are also going to begin a powerful new series that weekend in Celebration . . . AND we are going to be kicking off many new Life Groups and asking EVERYONE to be in a group for that 40-day season!

So set aside the day and begin to pray with us as we seek God's vision for this Fall!

Friday, July 4, 2008

What Say Ye?

Over the next few weeks I'm trying to plan out as much as possible the series' that I will preach over the next two seasons (Fall & Spring).

I like to pray and plan through the flow of the series' each semester, as I've learned that the more planning we do the more connection we can make with all the details. And yet always leaving the Holy Spirit the freedom to preempt any series or any Sunday!

My question for you Creekers is this: What topic(s) would you like to hear more about on Sunday mornings -- and by extension dig deeper into at Life Groups?

I do promise to pray through your responses, and especially those that come up often, as we continue to plan.

Blessing!

What a blessing to run this morning in the cool, gentle rain! Man, it was awesome!

I'm also thankful and blessed that my Dad has come to spend the day with us!

And today we celebrate the blessing in living in a country where we are extended so many freedoms! How blessed we are, and yet how much of the time we complain about what we don't like.

I want to challenge you to do 2 things today:

1) Thank God for our leaders and pray for them.
Especially now in the midst of election year, I hear so much griping and complaining (and do some of it too!) about our current and potential future leaders. But God tells us this in 1 Timothy 2: "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone--for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness."
I encourage you just to spend a couple of minutes asking God to bless all federal, state and local officials that God brings to mind.

2) And then secondly, Pass On the Blessing! Find someone to bless today in the name of Jesus! Real thankfulness comes to fruition as we are lights in our world! Find a way to be a blessing!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Boy is Back in Town!

OK, he ain't a 'boy' - he's a man. But Steve Garcia will begin leading our music THIS Sunday and it is going to be awesome! I can't tell you how excited I am about having Steve and Lauren and Ben aboard at Oso Creek!

If you haven't met Steve, then come early or stay late on Sunday and give him a high five. And invite your friends and neighbors to come meet Steve and check it out!

We will also be continuing in the book of James going from Ideation to Implementation . . . . learning what it means to Stop Thinking and Start Living! I am pumped about this week, it's gonna be awesome! Don't miss it!

The Church Has Left the Building!

A week from Sunday - on July 13th - The Church Will Leave the Building . . .

On that Sunday instead of having church, we're going to BE the church! We're gonna fan out in 2 different directions and Serve our community. And at the same time my hope is that some of us will Discover what God has made us for, or Discover a mission that we've never seen before.

We're going to have two different projects going (and we'll have an opportunity this Sunday to sign up):

1) Washing the Mission of Mercy mobile medical clinic - We'll wash it at Walgreens on Saratoga and Staples. We get to serve Mission of Mercy (who serve the medical needs of the poor and needy) -- and also by washing it in a public place we get to introduce other people to their mission. Awesome! We are also going to hand out water and love. The one limitation here is that everyone needs to be 13 and over for your family to participate here.

2) Collection for Corpus Christi Food Bank - With rising prices, needs are growing and supplies are low. We're going door to door in different southside neighborhoods collecting food for the food bank. And at the same time we get to Connect with our neighbors! ANYONE can participate.
We also need people who will go on Friday or Saturday (11th or 12th) and hang the empty bags and notes on doors. (If you can do this please email Audie by clicking here.)


Last time we did a Serving Sunday I heard a couple of comments about folks not coming because we weren't 'doing church.' I guess what they really meant was we weren't meeting their desires. Because in reality this is probably the one Sunday that we are really 'doing church' more than any other! I can't wait!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Down the Street

This morning after my run (yes, the heat has chased me to an AM running mode) I met a new neighbor down at the very end of my block.
She's been there 6 months!

She's a single mom with two small children, who she said, 'have never been to church.' But in the same breath she said she wants to take them.

Why, so much of the time, don't I see past the stinkin' trees in my front yard? Just one moment of kindness, one conversation - and look at what God opens up. God, please help us to love those all around us.

Pray for Erica. And pray for the many Ericas that God wants to introduce to His Kingdom!

Grab Hold of the Journey!

Your Family For Life's Journey . . . .

That's our Vision Statement.

As I've been reflecting on 9-years here, I've been thinking about the incredible journey that we've been on.

And yes, from a school to a campus, from a handful to hundreds - and all that goes with it --- but more importantly where the journey has taken us into the hearts of people and our community.

One thing I'm learning - that becomes clearer to me each day - is that it's about faithfulness, persevering. It's about engaging in and loving the Journey.

You see a kink can become a knot when we focus on a destination. We've got a building, or we've got another pastor, or we've got another hundred people. 'We've Arrived!'

No. Jud Wilhite talked last week at Unplugged about how 'The Summit' is a state of mind. There is really no 'there' there.
And that's so true. It's about trusting God and waking up every morning and looking for Him to show up. It's telling as many folks as we can about this incredible journey that we are on with God. It's about looking for God's next adventure and abandoning ourselves to it.

It's about the Journey, and it's up to you.
I hope that God allows me to be here for at least another 9 years, but more importantly I hope and pray that we will passionately grab hold of the Journey as never before!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Faith Anyone?

There's a question that was posed to me a few weeks ago by Francis Chan in his book Crazy Love that keeps rolling around in my soul.

The question is this: "What are you doing right now that requires faith?"

Right now? How would your life be different if you didn't believe in God?

I've been leading Oso Creek 9 years as of today. It's so easy to become complacent, comfortable, or just lazy.

Our entire life is supposed to be an adventure of faith! Not a spiritual sleepwalk. Not just a life of to do lists that we can accomplish on our own. But an adventure that is ONLY possible because of God.

So I ask you - and me - What are you doing TODAY that requires faith?