Thursday, December 31, 2009

Honestly . . . A New Year

I stand amazed.

I'm the pastor of a great, loving expression of the church. A husband of 23 years to a faithful, gracious wife. A father of 4 teenagers who all follow Jesus and have made great decisions (for the most part :)

And yet I have a confession to make. For the last week I've been a grumpy old man.

It all started on our trip back home from Lubbock . . . . . and yet all of that is not really relevant. What is relevant is the condition that I find my heart in (just trying to be honest here) and a seeming inability to do anything about it. Ever find yourself there? Locked in a struggle with your own soul? Yes, we all have.

Those Psalm 32 moments (see vs. 3-5).

And I find myself knowing that it is in these moments that we choose. Is God really able to change me? Is He really in control of this planet and able to bring peace and joy to me?

In just a few minutes I go to the building to be with a bunch of sweaty students for the next 6 hours. How will I choose to respond to them? What will I choose to believe about them? About God?

Here's where I'm going . . . I'm reminded today - and thankful (even in the midst of not quite yet turning the corner) that God is a God of New Beginnings. A new sunrise every 24. New opportunities. New bursts of forgiveness. A New Year.

So, wherever you are now, or you've been this year - hear what the psalmist says as he continues in verses 6 & 7 . . . I'm trusting in His promises:

"Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you

while you may be found;

surely when the mighty waters rise,

they will not reach him.

You are my hiding place;

you will protect me from trouble

and surround me with songs of deliverance."

Roselands and Gustavo Update

It's cool to watch people like Richard & Ximena Roseland pursue the God-passion that has been set before them!

Some of you may remember my post about Gustavo a few months ago - the young man who the Roselands had come to love at the Pan de Vida orphanage in Mexico. (This first pic is the Roselands with Gustavo who is second from the right.)

The Roselands recently left Pan de Vida, have been at Oso Creek the last few months, and are now seeking God's next station for them on the journey.

The cool news is that the Roselands now have Gustavo with them in Ecuador as they seek out their next place of ministry. (This is Gustavo 'monkeying around.')

Pray for the Roselands as they consider going to an orphanage in Quito, Ecuador. And pray for Gustavo and the possibility of being able to go with the Roselands and finish his education.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Years Eve Bash!

We're having a New Years Eve Bash at the building tomorrow night from 7pm to 12:30am!

It's aimed at our students but everyone is invited who wants to play dodgeball or just hang out with me!

Click here to check our more info . . .

Holiday Power!

Hope everyone has had a great holiday! We were blessed to be able to go visit family in Lubbock and San Angelo. Had a great time and got to wake up to temperatures of 10 and 15 degrees with snow on the ground.

One very cool thing that took place while most of us were hanging with family is that a group of Vietnamese here in Corpus used our building on Christmas night to have a service. They had an awesome time worshipping together and four of their friends gave their lives to Christ!

Awesome! And Creekers you were a part of it, generously providing them a place to gather! Please pray for their group as they have a vision to be gathering on a weekly basis!

Thursday, December 24, 2009


As we close in on Christmas Day here are some verses to help you dwell on Jesus, the Savior!

“The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock!
Exalted be God, the Rock, my Savior.” 2 Sam 22:47

“You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness,
O God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas.” Psalm 65:5

“I, even I, am the Lord, and apart
from me there is no savior.” Isaiah 43:11

“You shall acknowledge no God but me,
no Savior except me.” Hosea 13:4

“I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful
in God my Savior.” Habakkuk 3:18

“Jesus…will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

“This man really is the Savior of the World.” John 4:42

“A Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11

“God exalted him to his own right hand as
Prince and Savior.” Acts 5:31

We have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men.” 1 Timothy 4:10

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I was blessed to get an advanced copy of Mark Batterson's new book Primal! Batterson always inspires me and encourages me to be a better man and a better Pastor! Over the last couple of years he has mentored me more through his books and blog than he would ever know.

I think he can do the same for you.

One of the things that I love about Batterson is that he makes me think . . . and not just with the left, logical side of my brain, but to think as well with the right, creative piece of my 3-pound melon. And Primal is a great example of this.

He says this about the essence of his book: 'When all the superficialities are stripped away, what is the primal essence of Christianity?'

Mark then takes the command to love the Lord God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and digs down to the bone of what that means with creative though and insight.

Reading Primal would be an awesome way to start out the New Year with a renewed passion for Jesus! You can order it online here.

Oh yeah, I'm also supposed to tell you that this was book was provided to me for review by WaterBrook Multnomah. Thanks Multonomah!

Monday, December 21, 2009

What Christmas is All About . . .

A little reminder from Charlie Brown . . .

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Thanks Lord!

Awesome to get Emily back home yesterday afternoon! Another beautiful smile in the house.

And it was awesome for our entire family to sit around the table last night!

Thank you so much Lord for the blessing of family!

Friday, December 18, 2009

It Starts with $5

In 1950 Bob Pierce was in Korea. He helplessly watched as children orphaned by the Korean War stood in endless food lines. One day a child literally dropped dead because there wasn't any food at the front of the line.

Bob Pierce made a decision that day to do something about it.

He began to raise money and awareness. On a trip back to Korea he gave an orphan girl named White Jade everything he had in his wallet - $5. And he promised to send her the same amount every month.

From that $5 gift World Vision was birthed. Today a hundred-million people in about a hundred countries receive support from World Vision.

You still have an opportunity to conspire with us this holiday season to make a difference in our world!

We want to do something about the plight of the homeless through Mission 911, those without water through Living Water International, and families in Vietnam who are desperate for hope.

It begins with your $5! Check out our info about Advent Conspiracy by clicking here . . .

And then bring your gift of compassion this Sunday and let's join Bob Pierce and do something about the pain and suffering in our world!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Violent Faith

I've been going through the Gospel Matthew with my DG's . . .

[and just a thought for those of you who are still using 'a lack of time' as an excuse to not being in a DG which are some of the most life giving parts of my week . . . I've got 4 teenagers, long weeks of 24 hr schedules, coaching, volunteer boards, etc, and I'm part of 3 DG's . . . just sayin']

. . . And I've been ruminating on Matthew 11:12 where Jesus said (NIV): "From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it."

The NAS says it like this:
"From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force."

In context this passage is talking about how John the Baptist came as a force to lead the way for Jesus. And how Jesus came in a totally unique way - eating and drinking with sinners - but how they both brought the power of the Kingdom of God.

It convicts me that living for the Kingdom of God is NOT passive! Living for God is about forcefully advancing, it's about exerting influence on what is in front of us.
It's not stationary. But it's about movement. It's about change.

And when we move forward everyone is not going to like it. Everyone is not going to agree. Some are going to be left behind.

Now, I'm not talking about being arrogant and abrasive with our faith. But if we are going to be living for God, we WILL be advancing. We will be bold and courageous and it will feel violent at times.

Let me ask you: Where have you grown passive and static in your faith? When's the last time following Jesus felt violent? When's the last time you felt the excitement of God's Kingdom being advanced through your life?

Tell us what you believe!?!?

Cool Gift that Keeps Giving

Yesterday we got a sweet Christmas gift in the email . . . A gift certificate to use at Kiva!

Not Keva the fruit smoothie folks (who I also love) . . . but Kiva - the non-profit who makes micro-loans to folks in 3rd world countries so that they can carry out their entrepreneurial dreams!

Kiva connects people like me and you to people in 3rd world countries, to help alleviate poverty.

And it's awesome, I got the gift that I now get to give away so that someone else's life (and eventually a whole community of lives) can be changed!

Got any people you still need to buy for? Check it out (click the logo above)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Pretty cool . . . Advent Conspiracy is on the front page of this morning . . . Thanks for the hook up Nathan L.

Check it out:

7 Days!!

It's only 7 days till Christmas Eve Eve!

Click here and check out the trailer for our Christmas Eve Eve Celebration!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Stories That Inspire!

I was encouraged and inspired as I started reading the stories in Testimonies From the Body of Christ yesterday.

Pam Teel gave me the book a few days ago and I confess that at first I was like, 'Ok, gonna be some sweet stories about great grandmother Edra's cat getting rescued from the roof.'

But man did I underestimate! It's filled with brief stories that individuals wrote about their own lives and how they've connected with grace and power of God.
It's just reminded me that the most powerful expression in the world of Jesus - is your story!

And maybe the best part of this book is that it was put together to help pay for a second heart transplant for a young 8th grader here in Corpus named Taylor Berry. Some of you know Taylor and/or his Mom Tamara. (You can read his story here.) It's an awesome cause.

You can click here and go to the website to order the book . . . Or skip shipping costs and buy some copies for Christmas gifts in our lobby on Sunday morning!

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Average Weekend

I've been wondering today why I feel like I'm in recovery :)

This past weekend we had . . .

- 3 Soccer games in San Antonio (2-1) [Not bad!]
- 3 Baseball games (1-2) [Can do better -- but Luke did well!]
- 1 ACT college entrance exam
- 1 College Student leaving for Colorado [Have fun Mimi!]
- 1 Minor Accident in the HEB parking lot [no comment :(]
- 1 HS Girls group at our house Sat night
- 1 Sermon [I'm so thankful for our Lineage in Jesus!]
- 1 Discovery Dessert at our house Sunday night [Was Awesome! Welcome New Creekers!]
- 1 HS Guys group on Sun night

Whew! Thankfully tonight I only have two meetings :)


Just found out that my Mimi (Emily our oldest) made a 4.0 this semester at Hardin Simmons!!!
Yes! And she is now 1 1/2 semesters from graduating!

I'm so proud and thankful! Way to go Mimi!

And this is one of my favorite pics of her . . . .

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Luke Rocks On!

Check out Luke Dotson's Update as his journey takes him from Belize to Thailand!

Click here to read the update

A Little Demolition

Sometimes we fear breaking down a wall. But it's amazing how just knocking down one wall can change your perspective.

If you've been in my house before you know that the big opening in the middle and the little serving window to the kitchen on the right weren't there before. (Good job Jeremiah & Rusty!)

It opened everything up. Changed the whole perspective in our living room.

Knocking down walls can do that.

It made me think about how when we let walls of fear or anger or discouragement or pride, etc, stand between us and God, we are robbing ourselves of LIFE that we are closed up to!

What's standing in your way of your life being opened up to God's greatest for you? A job you feel stuck in but you're too scared to take a 'flyer' with another job, or go back to school? Anger towards a spouse or friend that's lingered in the back of your soul for years? A fear of taking that leap with your resources that God's been pointing you to? Those (and many others) rob us and steal our life!!

I don't know what it might be, but knock the wall down. We see all over the Bible that God is not only the re-designer of lives but He is the God of second and third and one-hundredth chances!

The Bible says that if you 'confess your sin' that God is 'faithful and just to forgive you and cleanse you of all unrighteousness.' (1 John 1:9)

That means that if we are real with Him and invite Him to 'clean house' - that He does the demolition! And as we follow Him we are given a fresh start. A new perspective! New Life!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Eve Eve

Making final tweeks today with Steve and getting fired up for our Christmas Eve Eve Service! It's gonna be awesome!

It's always a fun, Christmasy time . . . Start inviting your friends to come and check it out . . . December 23rd - 7pm @ Oso Creek.

What Are You Conspiring To Give?

This Sunday we are going to Celebrate Advent Conspiracy together by taking part (or all :) of what we would normally spend on Christmas consumption and giving it to compassion!!

If this is new to you or you need a reminder of what we are doing, click here to watch the video we made. .

. . and/or click here to read more about the How's of Advent Conspiracy.

The bottom line is that we want to celebrate Christmas in a way that truly honors the King - the One whose birthday it is.

So we ask you on Sunday to bring your Birthday Gifts and together we will give them to many whom the King loves and cares for.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tiger's Troubles

Most the world has heard about Tiger Wood's troubles. I was forwarded the article below that speaks to what the author says should be the response of those who follow Jesus.

How do you feel about it? What do you think about his view?

CJ Mahaney on Tiger Woods

Hunting Tiger Woods by CJ Mahaney

Tiger Woods wants his privacy back.

He wants the media entourage to disappear from his life.

He wants to be left alone so he can manage his personal problems in private.

Not a chance.

The story began unfolding in the early hours of last Friday when he crashed his Cadillac Escalade into a tree and a fire hydrant near his Florida home. He refused to speak with the police about the incident, raising curiosity about the circumstances. The story has now escalated into allegations of marital infidelity, and that generated a blog post from Tiger that stated, "I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart." This statement by Tiger has led most to believe that the allegations of infidelity are true.

Hunted by the Media
As expected, the allegations of adultery involving a public figure are attracting a media pile-on. This is a big story with a big audience and it's a story that will not disappear soon. Tiger Woods is being hunted by the media.

But let us make sure we do not join the hunt. A Christian's response to this story should be distinctly different. We should not be entertained by the news. We should not have a morbid interest in all the details. We should be saddened and sobered. We should pray for this man and even more for his wife.

And we can be sure that in the coming days we will be in conversations with friends and family where this topic will emerge. And when it does, we can avoid simply listening to the latest details and speculations, and avoid speaking self-righteously, but instead we can humbly draw attention to the grace of God in the gospel.

Hunted by Sin
But Tiger is being hunted by something more menacing than journalists. Tiger's real enemy is his sin, and that's an enemy much more difficult to discern and one that can't be managed in our own strength. It's an enemy that never sleeps.

Let me explain.

Sin Lies
The Bible in general, and the book of Proverbs in particular, reveals an unbreakable connection between our character, our conduct, and the consequences of our actions. These three are inseparable and woven by God into His created order.

Deception is part of sin's DNA. Sin lies to us. It seeks to convince us that sin brings only pleasure, that it carries no consequences, and that no one will discover it. Sin works hard to make us forget that character, conduct, and consequences are interconnected. And when we neglect this relationship--when we think our sins will not be discovered--we ultimately mock God.

Sin Hunts
We've all experienced it: Sin lies to us. We take the bait. And then sin begins to hunt us.

One commentator on Proverbs articulated this truth like this: "The irony of a life of rebellion is that we begin by pursuing sin...and end up being pursued by it!....You can 'be sure your sin will find you out' (Num. 32:23...)."* In other words, sin comes back to hunt us.

In light of this fact, sin is an enemy Tiger can't manage. He can't shape this story like he does a long iron on a par 5. Tiger doesn't need a publicity facelift; Tiger needs a Savior. Just like me. And just like you. And if by God's grace he repents and trusts in the person and work of Christ, Tiger will experience the fruit of God's promise that "whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy" (Proverbs 28:13).

Tiger cannot intimidate this enemy like he can Pebble Beach or any of the field of professional golfers. And there is no privacy he can claim from this enemy, regardless of his resolve, his silence, or the name painted on his yacht. It's likely Tiger only perceives the press hunting him out of a vain "curiosity about public figures." But Tiger is being hunted and hounded by a far greater foe: the consequences of his sin.

And this story should humble and sober us. It should make us ask: Are there any so-called "secret sins" in my life? Is there anything I have done that I hope nobody discovers? Is there anything right now in my life that I should confess to God and the appropriate individuals?

And this should leave us more amazed by grace because there, but for the grace of God, go I.

This article originally appeared on Sovereign Grace Ministries Blog.

Need Boxes and Prayer . . .

Below is an email from our Life Group Champion Pam Teel. Many of you know her friend Tamara Berry and Tamara's son Taylor. Taylor has had a transplant and now needs another transplant.

Please pray and if you can help with the need below please call at the number below or click here to email Pam . . .

My good friend, Tamara Berry, is having to move back to Houston by the end of the month to get her son, Taylor (almost 14), back on the heart transplant list at Texas Children's Hospital. Taylor had a heart transplant at the age of 4 and the time has now come again.
She is in need of some boxes to get things packed up. Obviously, any help in that endeavor would be greatly appreciated! Let me know, and I will make arrangements to get them picked up.

Pam Teel

Corpus Christi Appraisal Service, Inc.


Thanks Creeker Volunteers!

I've been on an somewhat involuntary blogging hiatus the past several days as life has been a blur in dealing with several different tragedies/needs . . .

But I wanted again to say THANKS! to our volunteers and also to our staff who did a great job with our Volunteer Banquet last Friday night!
And also thanks to Starbucks who donated the awesome coffee!

I was told recently that during WWII it took 9 military support personnel for every guy on the ground to fight the war and win. And that during our military's time in Iraq 400 semis a day of supplies come into Iraq from Kuwait.

The point is that where there is progress being made, ground being taken, what is seen is only the tip of the iceberg.

Many of you serve the Kingdom in ways that you are never seen and rarely recognized. But KNOW that you are vital to God's mission! Without you we would know more be able to advance God's mission than we would of been able to win WWII without the 9 people working behind the scenes for every one on the field.

Thanks to ALL of you for giving yourselves to the Kingdom!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Please Pray for the Perales'

Their daughter Gabby has played soccer with the twins for the past 6 years or so - and is a Sr. at King with them.

Yesterday her mother, Melinda, had a massive brain aneurysm and did not make.

The suddeness of it all has gripped them in shock.

Please pray for Melinda's husband Orlando. Their children: Orly, Gabby and Amanda. And the many others who are looking for answers as a young mom tragically leaves this life.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wishing and Dreaming for the Kingdom!

Proud of Creekers' Victor & Heather Perez who are leading Wishes and Dreams to serve and love our community!

They are going full steam right now collecting gifts and asking God to bring His Kingdom through their kindness.

And they could use you - or your Life Group's help in spreading the Kingdom! What an awesome way to partner with Creekers already serving and share the real love of Christmas!

On the dates below they need your help.

If you have more questions or want to sign up to help email Heather here: Wishes & Dreams email
You can also read more about W&D's on their Facebook: Wishes & Dreams Facebook

(Fri) December 18, 2009 Sort Day

12:00pm – 5:00pm at Coca-Cola Plant (Greenwood)

(Sat) December 19, 2009 Wrap Day

9:00am – 5:00pm at Coca-Cola Plant (Greenwood)

(Mon) December 21, 2009 “Winter Festival” Pick up Day

11am – 5pm at Cole Park

(Volunteers and Vendors will need to be at park for set-up by 9:30am)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

On Mission to Jerusalem

A couple of Sundays ago our own Rebecca Barksdale shared about how she is leaving in December for a year in Jerusalem!

She is going to reveal God's love to the people of Israel. (I thought that this pic that I got off her FB was appropriate since she has helped to lead us in worship in the past season.)

The first few months she will be at Succat Hallel a 24/7 prayer ministry in Jerusalem where she will be involved in prayer ministry and also caring for the daily practical needs of the ministry.

Then she will be partnering with Living Bread International where she will be serving people in practical ways who are in refugee camps in Israel and sharing the Kingdom of God with them!

Please pray for Rebecca! I also encourage you to go and sign up for her blog (click here) . . . you can read more about what she is going to do and then follow her while she is there.

Rebecca also needs financial support. $10 a month, $25 a month. A one time gift of $100 or $500 will help to release her to be on mission to the nations. You can make any checks out to Oso Creek and note that it's for Rebecca Barksdale and we will get it to her to meet her needs.