Tag Archives: City Church Tallahassee

More Random Friday Thoughts

Here are some random thoughts from this week:

I love the honesty and real talk that takes place in our community group each week!  As we talked about City Church Tallahassee Vision, Mission and Values this week, one statement stood out more than any other from one of our group members.  As we talked about reaching our community, he said (paraphrase) “Look at the text messages on your phone.  How many of them are from/to people who are not Christ Followers?  Maybe that tells us something about who we really care about.”  His intent was we need to be involved in the lives of others, especially those who don’t know Christ.  I appreciate his straight forward approach to life!

Continued to have good conversations about prayer with my wife, Cyndi this week.  As she reads The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson, it has opened up new dialogue about prayer and specific prayers we both are praying!  Although we have always had a very good line of communication with each other, this has been a fresh approach to something dear to each of our hearts.  Praying specific prayers together is a good thing!  God will honor them I know!

We spent some time doing yard work this week.  With our frequent commute to Tallahassee each weekend, our yard is sometimes not the first to be attended when we get home each week.  As we were in the front, several cars slowly drove by – looking.  Some drove by more than once.  As we came inside our realtor called to see if someone could show our house in an hour.  Talk about some quick straightening on the inside!  I’m convinced this is going to be the answer to a specific prayer of ours!

Watched a leadership lesson play out this week.  One about delegation and being prepared.  While it turned out not so good, it will still be a good lesson for those involved.  Fortunately it was an issue far down on the list of “importance”.  Sometimes you have to let people fail in order for them to lead – it’s all part of learning!

Easter At The Civic Center is going to be a big deal!  Not for City Church Tallahassee but for God!  I’m excited about the thousands of people who will attend and hear the gospel.  Some for the very first time.  It’s going to take hundreds of volunteers to make this worship event work like it should and I’m thankful for the many people who are stepping up to fill a needed spot.  I can’t wait to write some about the neat things that happen that day!

Tomorrow is my wife’s birthday!  I can’t wait to celebrate it with her!  Part of the celebration will be seeing The Hunger Games.  That will be a treat as the family will be watching together!  We both love the time we get to spend with our kids!  Hoping this year will be one of the best my wife has ever experienced!

 

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Community

Sharing life with friends is amazing!

We have chosen to facilitate a community group with City Church Tallahassee each week.  We have been doing this for 13 months now and while some of the faces have changed, there has been a core group of members that has grown over time.

Each Monday evening we begin gathering around 7:00 p.m. and spend some time catching up with each other – laughing about work and family and church and our various escapades each week.  We learn about new friends and what is happening in each of our lives.

We spend a good amount of time in prayer with and for each other.  With our group averaging about 15 in attendance each week this can seem to be time consuming but it is some of the best time we have with each other.  I believe our prayers for and with each other are special.  So often a Christ Follower’s prayer life can be consumed with selfish requests and pleas.  This is a true reflection of our care and concern for each other and part of what defines our community!

We are currently exploring The Apostle’s Creed and examining what we say we believe!  There are fantastic comments and discussions as we each bring our own unique perspective to our beliefs – and for that I am thankful.

Cyndi and I are blessed beyond words to be a part of this group!  Our community loves us and cares for us – just as we do them.  Thankful for opportunities to share life with others!


God Will Provide a Way for You to Do What He Wants You to Do!

Here’s a profound truth I’ve learned this year – 2011:  God will provide a way for you to do what He wants you to do!

I haven’t received a paycheck from a paying job in 2011.

But God has provided for our needs the entire year!  He has provided a place for us to live when we’ve commuted to Tallahassee each week through our friends Matthew and Rachel Robinson. More than just a room, He has provided a place where we can relax and recharge. He has provided financially for us in Inverness by allowing us  to make our house payment each month and on time!

We made more than 40 trips to Tallahassee this year to volunteer our time with some dear friends who are being used by God to share the gospel through a local church plant – City Church Tallahassee. We shared our time in Inverness so Cyndi could continue her business with established clients. God provided a great year for Cyndi and I know it was so we could pay our travel expenses this year!

God has blessed us over the years and as a result we have been able to use those savings to follow His leading.  God always provides enough!

We have had a great 2011!  Leading a community group of around 15 people has been refreshing!  Becoming part of other believer’s lives as encouragers, teachers, helpers is what God has created us to do and as we do it God blesses us in ways that seem beyond explanation! We are now friends with Christ followers who have given up their jobs to plant churches, people who have gone to Bible college and now work in the secular work place because that is where God has called them to be a light, people who are new Christ followers and need mentorship and role models, people who are hurting and need love, people who we can pray with on a regular basis and most of all just living life together in this crazy chase after God’s will in each of our lives!

We have had an opportunity to be part of the leadership team for City Church.  Helping to flesh out a vision for Why Not Tallahassee!  Helping to craft practical ways to share the gospel beyond the weekly sermons or worship time. Helping bring wisdom, knowledge and leadership skills to a group of people dedicated to serving God!

We’ve had the opportunity to be part of several services at a local night club! Opening up a non traditional location for thousands, yes thousands, of people to hear the gospel – many for the very first time.  Seeing dozens and dozens and dozens of people cross from death to live for eternity! Knowing that hundreds of people will be with Jesus for eternity – not because of what we did but because we were faithful to do what He wants us to do!

We’ve shared Jesus with hundreds of people in Colombia this year. Making friends that don’t understand our language and we don’t understand theirs. But we do have a common bond in Jesus! Providing cloths and shoes and food to people who have so much less than we do. Walking among families whose homes have been destroyed. Telling them about the love of Jesus, praying with them, holding them in time of sorrow – showing compassion.

We’ve shared our lives with people we didn’t know. Telling our story of how great God is! Trying to be an example. Trying to be Christ followers.

Our savings are dwindling. But this I know: God has a plan for us and He will provide for us.  He always has. He always will.


Coffee, Friends, and Conversations

About every three weeks I try to get together with some friends for coffee – older guys who get what Cyndi and I are doing and actually are living lives as followers of Christ!  Lately, these guys have expanded the group to include some more “older” guys who have some free time and could certainly use the company – actually an outreach of sorts!  I look forward to spending time with these men, I always smile a lot and have a chance to laugh – and usually come away with some wisdom of some sort!

Today was a little different.  After our group time and as my friends were leaving the coffee shop, one of the men obviously wanted to talk to me alone.  So we did – for more than an hour.  This man lost his wife almost a year ago – cancer.  This man has been a good friend and has allowed Cyndi and I to disciple him a little while – before his wife died.  Today we talked about his wife, his loneliness, Jesus, giving financially, sharing Jesus with others, Christ followers, and more about his wife.  Before our conversation ended, he apologized to me for the way some “Christians” treated Cyndi and I while at his church – he cried a bit – we both did.

Today I had a voice message on a telephone line in Tallahassee at City Church where I volunteer a great amount of time.  (Tallahassee is 200 miles from Inverness – where I live – but that is another story!)  I returned the call and was suprised to talk to a man who had tracked me down via Facebook and Google to ask about a friend – he knew my friend and I once worked together and lived in the same town.  The conversation was a good one – I did all I could to promote my friend!  But the conversation was more than just about my friend.  We talked about grace and God’s love for us.  And how God’s love for me doesn’t increase or decrease based on my works.  We talked about people and their need for Jesus.  We talked our children and how a place called The Well impacted their lives while attending Florida State University.

God used me today to talk to others.  He used me to be compassionate to a man who needed a friend.  Someone to cry with him and tell him it was ok to miss his wife.

God used me today to talk with a man about more than a reference check.  We talked about God’s love and what that really means to us.

I think I may have needed these conversations more than the people who initiated them.

Today I thanked God for conversations.


Faith and Finances

I have a confession. 

I had begun to feel sorry for myself the last few weeks.  This unemployment thing was beginning to get to me.  Nine months without a paycheck was starting to affect my self esteem.  I was questioning a lot of different things – not the least of which was my judgement!  Afterall I am a husband and a father and I still have financial responsibilities in this life!

About the same time as I began this self pity party, God provided some areas for Cyndi and I to take a huge leadership role in.  Our church is faced with some good issues – ones that come with rapid growth.  Our experience and knowledge are going to prove valuable in these areas.

The first area God has shown me we can lead is in finances.  Finances?  I know I just admitted to being unemployed for more than nine months!  But God is bigger than employment!  Cyndi and I have had the opportunities over the past two weeks to share our faith in God to provide, to be bigger than any financial issue and to encourage others to give – yes, to give.  To give obediently, to give gladly, to give without regret, to view giving as not only a responsibility but an opportunity – an opportunity to worship!

Everything I have, everthing I have ever had and everything I may have in the future is His.  He has entrusted me with a lot of resources.  What I do with them is a test.  One I hope to pass!

God doesn’t need our money.  It’s his to begin with.

As Cyndi and I share the responsibility and blessing of giving, it’s our hope that others will begin to grow and understand that God wants to use our resources as we give them back to him – as we surrender ourselves to Him.

We often think that giving is a financial issue – and to some who have become slaves to debt, it appears to be a financial issue.  But giving is really a heart issue – it’s a measure of our relationship with God.  Not that if we give a larger $$ amount than anyone else we have a better relationship with God – not that at all.  But our love for God and our relationship with Him should be evident in all areas of our lives – the things we treasure show our true love.

God used the past two weeks to show me He has some great things in store for us.  I really am excited to see what it will be!

 


Random Sundays

We didn’t travel to Tallahassee to today – first time in a very long time – so it was a day with some random things.  Have you ever just thought about what you do in a day?  Here’s a few from my day:

  • Double yolk eggs for breakfast – cooked by the best wife in the world!
  • Watched City Church Tallahassee online – great worship set today!
  • Borrowed a lawnmower to cut grass – traded 30 double yolk eggs for three apples and a head of cabbage! You may think they got the better deal but we still have a lot of eggs!
  • Helped a neighbor load furniture.
  • Invited a friend to go to City Church one weekend – he committed to going 4 weeks from today!
  • Same friend told me his feet are two different shoe sizes – in the same conversation of me inviting him to church!  By the way – he plans  on driving to Tallahassee the day before, spending the night in a hotel and attending the two morning worship services!
  • Friend who loaned me the lawnmower invited us to dinner.
  • Good conversation after dinner while watching baseball.
  • Helped Ethan with grammar on literature paper.
  • Communicated with friend who will help me with future blogging and website – passive income is king!

Not every post is about eternity or other life changing things!  Hope your Sunday was as diverse as mine!

 


San Francisco, Cartagena, Colombia

During our recent trip to Cartagena, we experienced an unreal situation.

Following a day of rain, about 60 houses collapsed.  I mean collapsed.  They didn’t just have cracks in the walls or a hole in the roof.  Walls fell down, roofs were gone, foundations were torn apart.  When we heard of the disaster, we took the opportunity to purchase food and made plans to deliver it in the neighborhood.

I wasn’t prepared for what I saw as we walked up the hill into the affected portions of the neighborhood.  People were in a steady flow down the hill – each carrying belongings.  Some carrying roof trusses or roofing material they hoped to salvage and use in their next dwelling.  Some carried what pieces  of furniture they could save. People were orderly.  There wasn’t mass confusion.  Strangely enough, there was no crying or hysteria.  It’s because this was just another day in the lives of those living in these conditions.  The residents have come to expect this type of event happening in their lives.  Here’s some video of what happened there: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQiuhfTAj-8

As we split into two separate groups, Jason Priddle led a group and I led the second.  We found spots we could stand and speak to the affected people.  As dozens if not hundreds of people gathered and listened, we talked to them about Jesus and how in spite of their current circumstances, He is a God of Love and that He cares for them.  Preaching the gospel in the middle of what was going on was humbling.  When we finished we handed out the food we brought.  There was no pushing or shoving. There was no complaining when we ran out.  There were very grateful people there that day.  When we had given the food we had, we slowly went to various groups of people and prayed individually with them. 

My heart breaks for those that live in San Francisco, Cartagena, Colombia.  I cried that day.  Several of us chose to fast for the evening and asked that our meal be given to someone who didn’t have food that day. 

I’m excited to plan to return to that neighborhood soon!