Archive for August 2008

Sunday Summary

August 31, 2008
  • Looking forward to having tomorrow off.  Spending it with family at the lake.  FUN.
  • Launched a new kid’s check-in system today…including new computers, printers, labels, wireless router, etc.  Went relatively smooth.
  • Sherry Berry is one of the most organized people on the planet!  She is a huge asset to KidVenture and Oak Leaf Church!  Thanks Sherry.
  • I miss being on the stage in The City.  Soon I’m going to work myself back in to the host rotation.  Teaching kids about God’s love (and being a complete goofball) is stinkin’ FUN!  (and important)
  • Lots of smack talk going on during the early AM setup.  Ahhh…college football is back, gotta love it.

Neutrality (Cass vs. Cartersville)

August 29, 2008

Since Dana and I moved to Cartersville 3.5 years ago, we have yet to attend a Cass vs. Cartersville football game (the local high school rivarly).  Attend together that is…I went to the game 2 years ago.  So tonight, we have a babysitter, we’ve prepared to leave early in order to fight traffic, and we are ready to watch some great play under friday night lights.

Now this may seem cheesy, but I’m trying to stay neutral in this rivarly.  We are sitting with some friends on the ______________ sideline tonight, but I’m still impartial.  I like both schools and know teachers and students at both schools.  Maybe when my kids get older and we end up at one of them, then I’ll become a true fan.

If you have a persuasive reason why I should cheer for one over the other, feel free to comment.
Keep it clean.  🙂

Pic of the Day

August 28, 2008

2 down, 2 to go

August 28, 2008

Regarding yesterday’s hope list:

(check) Annette Enderle fixed our router/computer problem!  Thanks Annette!
(?)  Will have to wait til Saturday night to see how the Bama – Clemson game goes.
(check) The sun came out yesterday.
(?) Who am I kidding?!?!

Wednesday’s Hope List

August 27, 2008
  • I hope I can magically become very smart and figure out how to configure our wireless router, air card, 2 laptops & 1 desktop new check-in system by Sunday.  All systems were a go, but we’ve hit a snag.  Ruh-roh.
  • I hope Clemson creams Alabama.  Correction:  I hope they shut out Alabama.  Correction:  I hope they beat them by 198 points.  🙂
  • I hope the rain goes away soon.
  • I hope that one day politicians will actually tell the truth.  (Not holding my breath for it though.)

Too Long, Too Serious, Tuned Out

August 26, 2008

I’ve sat through many training sessions before – anything from computer software to sales techniques to leadership development.  Not too long ago, I endured another one.  I say “endure” because all to often, that’s what it is.  And I wouldn’t necessarily fault the presenter (too much).  After all, there’s just info that you HAVE to cover, have to get through.

But I think a good phrase (or formula) to use when presenting anything is:  “If it’s too long and too serious, then expect people to tune out.”  Now I’m no great communicator…I’m sure you can find fault with my statement.  But, to me, this is a simple principle to apply.  Personally, I’m disengaged from something when it goes too long or humor is absent for too long.  Given:  I’m a goofball and enjoy laughing.

So, shorten it up, lighten up a little, and be passionate about your presentation.

Kindness

August 26, 2008

Such a great attribute. Such an important one. I was reviewing our elementary lesson for this coming Sunday and it focuses on giving generously to the poor (deut. 15:10) and supporting missions, etc. In the video, the guy said a very simple phrase that is repeating in my head: “When we give our money to the needy, we our showing them through our actions that God loves them and that He is KIND.”

What a great reminder to us adults…and a powerful thing to teach children. So many need to hear about (and see, and receive) God’s compassion and His kindness.

Col. 3:12

Proverbs 14:31

Fear of Death

August 25, 2008

A good video HERE.

A Few Family Pics

August 25, 2008

Click HERE

Sunday Summary

August 24, 2008
  • Elementary kids are praying for missionaries.
  • We rearranged some of the preschool rooms and it seemed to go well.
  • Launching a new check-in system next Sunday (Fellowship One). It will include a self check-in touch screen monitor…but we will still station someone there to assist and say hello.
  • Met another new family with two preschoolers. It was their first visit to OLC. Not only is that one of my favorite parts of of Sunday morning, but it is one of the most important things I do. I have to start freeing myself up more to allow this interaction. It’s quite difficult, though, when there are SO MANY other details going on to pull off a Sunday morning.
  • In our Journey Group tonight, we talked about the importance of other adults pouring in to the lives of our children (adult volunteers at church, family, church leaders, college students, etc). *It’s important for there to be adults in their lives that will say (reinforce) the same things we say.*
  • Yes, I’m now counting the hours til college football kickoff.
  • Dana and I are trying to eat dinner more often, together as a family. Props to Dana for cooking more! 🙂
  • Look for a post soon discussing poker.
  • That would be a weird ending, so I’ll end with something else: Student Ministry is about to get rocking at Oak Leaf and a ton of people (a lot of parents with teens) are VERY pumped about it. God, use us to lead a bunch of hurting and confused teens to you!

Looking Ahead

August 23, 2008

Over the past several months, I’ve heard a few different sermons that addressed the need for looking ahead, looking for God to do a new thing. I saw this illustrated the other day when working on the House of Rock. Someone had come to volunteer their time in the building and it was their first visit to the place. I gave them a quick 30 second tour, pointing out various things. After they began working, I pondered what I had said.

I realize that everything I had pointed out was something in the recent PAST. I explained to them how we had ripped out a dance floor. I pointed out where the big stage used to be…how all the bar stools and high top tables had to be carried up stairs…gave some fun, gross details about the nasty carpet we ripped up…how 5 big dumpters were now full of stuff…

And while there was certainly nothing wrong with me pointing out the hard work of everyone and being excited about the progress, I think perhaps the better thing to say would have been, “See, right there is where our coffee area is going and there will be a student hang out place…and in 3 days from now new offices will be constructed here…”

I have found the same to be true in life and ministry. Yes, be thankful and excited about the past, both recent and distant. Yes, stop to celebrate and be reminded of His grace. BUT, always look ahead. What is God doing next? Are you ready to be pushed? Don’t live off the success of a recent win, but be driven by the potential of God doing a new thing.

Made My Day

August 22, 2008

The soft drink, Cheerwine, is now sold at my local Wal-Mart. (Cell phone pic above is proof.) This has made my day. Shoot fire, this has made my week…maybe even my month! The best cherry soda on the planet!

Note: It’s not that Cheerwine is the absolute best tasting stuff in the world…it’s just me and my buds elevated it to a King of all sodas in college – even taking road trips to go purchase some. It’s mostly sold in the Carolina’s.

2nd note: Yes, I just said “shoot fire”.
3rd note: Remember, I’m from north Alabama.

Think Big

August 22, 2008

As I was dropping my 7 & 5 yr old off at school this morning, they noticed the stack of Oak Leaf invite cards sitting in my car. They asked if they could have some, so I said absolutely. They took about 20 each and put them in their back packs. Logan, the 5 yr old, became very excited and said, “Dad, Dad, the WHOLE school will come to church! The whole school!”

I confirmed his enthusiasm and said YES, go invite the whole school.
That’s thinking BIG.

Pilobolus

August 21, 2008

Hey Will, could we do something like THIS at Oak Leaf?
Very cool.

What If

August 21, 2008

We often limit how God can work.  Too much we say “He works like this…”  Too often we only look for Him in the usual places.

I was reminded a few days ago that God uses the unusual.  He uses the not so ordinary.  And sometimes He takes a bad situation and does only what He can do – turns it in to a miracle, a blessing, a vehicle for something phenomenal.

I endured an unpleasant situation recently.  (Everything is fine, nothing major.)  I was really bummed about it.  But rising up through that situation came a second story.  And this story has tons of potential.  And the other day, God reminded me of how He can use any and every circumstance for His glory.  So now I’m asking, “What if…”  What if that situation was suppose to happen SO THAT ____________ could occur.”  And the follow up question, “Was it worth going through that bad situation so that _________ could occur?”  And since the the outcome is dealing with the souls of men and carries spiritual significance, I say ABSOLUTELY.

Football Prediction

August 20, 2008

I wouldn’t mind THIS.

Midweek Top 5

August 20, 2008

Top 5 things I’m excited about right now…in no particular order:

  • Dana is now studying for her Master’s. (Online through Liberty.) She’s going to be (already is) a great counselor!
  • The House of Rock is progressing along. Worked a few hours up there last night. Volunteers and staff are putting tons of blood & sweat in to this project. Praise God!
  • College football begins one week from tomorrow. (Is it ok to say praise God again?!)
  • In a recent sermon I was listening to, the pastor said in most of his encounters with nonbelievers it was not that they didn’t believe in God, it was that they didn’t think God believed in them. That fires me up to do EVERYTHING POSSIBLE to relay his everlasting (unchanging, compassionate, forgiving, perfect) LOVE to others.
  • The last one I’ll leave up to you. What’s got you pumped right now?

Teamwork

August 19, 2008

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” – Henry Ford

I was thinking about kid’s ministry yesterday…and all that God wants to accomplish here in C’ville. I was thinking about the big picture and the details and the mission. Inside that moment, I was reminded that kid’s ministry (and me) is not a silo. It’s not out on its own. And I have amazing support. KidVenture is part of the mission of Oak Leaf. Furthermore, each staff member has incredible investment in to the life of this ministry. We are on the same team, using our gifts to see the mission accomplished: Leading people from where they are to where God wants them to be.

Very simple, yes. But an oh so important reminder.

less than 2 weeks

August 18, 2008

Day Before Monday

August 17, 2008

Michael does a good job recapping each Sunday…HERE is today’s. I figured I might start adding some KidVenture stuff as well. So, here’s 5 quick hits from another Sunday at OLC.

  • Today was Kaela Bostic’s last Sunday at Oak Leaf. Kaela graduated high school and is now going to attend Berea College in Kentucky (who would want to live in KY? just kidding). Kaela faithfully served as a volunteer in “The City”, our elementary ministry. She gave a ton of her time as a volunteer because she passionately loves God and loves children. We are going to miss Kaela, BIG TIME….yet, everyone is excited to see God take her to a new place to be a blessing there. THANK YOU Kaela for being a great example for volunteers and kids to see! (p.s. You were right, THIS stuff is good. We fully expect you to bring some back to C’ville each time you visit!)
  • I was on stage in The City, saying a farewell to Kaela…having the kids say Thank You and Goodbye…and I was explaining to the kids that she was going off to college and decided to ask them, “What is college?” I got some good answers, but the best one came from a little 1st grade girl: “Where you go to get a husband.”
  • KidVenture is becoming more organized. Sherry did a WONDERFUL job reorganizing the volunteer check-in (name badges)! Bethany, Carrie, and Heather – our 3 volunteer preschool coaches – are making HUGE improvements on how we communicate with our volunteers and how we keep up with supplies, etc. Thanks to the 80+ volunteers that made KidVenture possible today!
  • It’s a slow but steady process to get things organized…and find the right curriculum…and appreciate people…and recruit…and think & manage all the details (all 4,933 each week). I think we are in phase 1 of finding some stability in organization and structure. Phase 2 will be a RETHINK. I’m most excited about that because I think God has something special for the kid’s ministry of Oak Leaf. I think a new and creative way of doing Sunday morning is just around the corner. Join me in the brainstorm.
  • Mitch still scares the children

Note: Ale8 is a soft drink, even though it doesn’t look like it.

warren/obama/mccain

August 15, 2008

I might watch THIS Saturday night. Could be interesting.

a true gator?

August 15, 2008

As college football season draws near, team spirit and team pride start showing up everywhere. This is certainly the case in north Georgia. Sometimes, though, allegiances can be confusing…or perhaps the fan himself is confused. Take Anthony, our Executive Pastor, for example. Above, you can clearly see him sporting an Auburn shirt (beautiful I might add). This lovely photo was taken around 6am last Sunday morning, during setup at the theater.

Now Anthony is a Gator Grad. A huge Gator fan. Chomp chomp, no doubt. His better half, Carrie, is an Auburn grad. One might conclude that he’s simply wearing her shirt. (I’m not sure what the church’s policy is on wearing women’s clothing.) Or, perhaps, he is staring to see the light…maybe he is leaving the dark side?…maybe God is working on his heart and he is about to repent and pledge allegiance to the TRUE Orange & Blue?!

I’ll keep everyone updated.
🙂

Note: The above blog entry in no way reflects my views as a staff member of Oak Leaf Church. In other words, the above post should not determine my employment by such said church. Should the Executive Pastor of such said church get upset…such said Executive Pastor should be reminded of mercy and grace and laughter.

gasoholic

August 14, 2008

Last week we did a gas buy down at the Citgo across the street from the movie theater. Above is our pit crew. It was simple: buy down the gas from 3.77 to 2.99…and watch traffic go crazy. 🙂 We were able to hand out hundreds of invite cards, wash windows, and have plenty of great conversations with people in the community.

Part of the payoff from an event like this is what happened 2 days ago at a local restaurant. The staff went out for some grub and on our way out a waitress stopped us. She said we had pumped gas for her and her sister. She was excited because they both are going to visit Oak Leaf for the first time this Sunday. That’s cool.

Oh, KidVenture volunteers…a heads up: She’s got 4 kids.
Let’s get geared up for Sunday!

Phrase of the Day

August 13, 2008

Figured I’d follow up a stat with a phrase:

Last week, a volunteer was telling me just how much they enjoyed serving.  How they were wanting to do everything possible to help Oak Leaf.  How they got joy and fulfillment out of serving God.  Their email was summed up with:  “It’s like food to me.”

Good stuff.

Stat of the Day

August 13, 2008

God planted Oak Leaf Church in C’ville, GA in the summer of 06. Here’s an interesting stat I came across yesterday:

2006 Kid Average: 69
2007 Kid Average: 142
2008 Kid Average: 187

(This is elementary and preschool.) I’m not shy in using numbers…cause it aint about growth for growth’s sake. It’s about having as MANY kids as we can possibly fit in to Carmike Cinemas on Sunday mornings – so they can hear all about God’s love. I get fired up seeing more and more kids arrive each Sunday! And I get fired up about the opportunity for more volunteers to impact these kids and their families!

Jr. Volunteers

August 12, 2008

“Whoever welcomes a little child in my name welcomes me.” – Jesus (Matthew 18:5)

At Oak Leaf, we value and appreciate Jr. Volunteers. I feel fortunate because I think we have some of the best, hard working middle school students around. Seriously, I don’t think at age 12 I was mature enough or motivated enough to arrive at a theater at 5am to put down puzzle piece flooring! But that’s what we have – dedicated, non-complaining, supportive Jr. Volunteers. They do a phenomenal job!

A parent of one of these Jr. Volunteers recently reminded me of something majorly important. She said that her child serving at church, serving in the KidVenture area, was more than just a job. More than just an assistant role. More than just sweeping up goldfish or singing a song or preventing johnny jr. from biting the lead teaher (sorry if your kid is named Johnny…it was just for illustration purposes. ha.). For her, it was seeing her child find WORTH, and accomplishment, and learning how to serve others (by watching the adult volunteers). She also spoke of how not too long ago, when a child reached a certain age, they were expected to start providing for the family (farm life). She was not advocating sending our 12 year old sons and daughters in to the work force, but her point hit home. She talked about how it’s good for them to learn responsibility….and how the church is an excellent place for them to find worth and value and self esteem – all by serving.

What a great reminder! Hopefully, if your’e an adult volunteer, this gets you fired up. Remember, more than just the preschool or elementary eyes are upon you…there are Jr. Volunteers watching as well…listening to what you teach, watching how you serve, and further forming their theology and attitude towards God and the church.

No pressure, right? 🙂

JCPenney has ruined my day

August 11, 2008

They have a commercial out right now with THIS song in it. It’s stuck in my head. Really really stuck. Thanks JCPenney, thanks a lot! Argh.

Like torture? HERE is the commercial.

🙂

Red Carpet, Dr. Pepper, Flag Football

August 10, 2008

Recap of the day:

4:00am: wake up and hit the shower. quickly search for caffeine.

5:00am: arrive at theater, forgetting that we moved setup to 5:30am.

5:10am: still thinking about that extra 30minutes of sleep I could have had. 🙂

8:30am: go live on the “red carpet” with my co-host Suzy. since it was God @ The Movies, part 2, we had a scene set up – Red Carpet Interviews. What was cool is we interviewed people in the movie theater lobby…little did they know the camera was being fed live in to the adult worship theater, pre-service. Here are the top 5 things overheard on the carpet today.

  1. “Who are you wearing?” Response: “Tarjeh” (Target)
  2. “Hey, look who it is…Mitch…now Mitch, how does it feel to have your AARP card?”
  3. “This is interesting, we have a real actual Georgia Bulldawg football player. Come on over here. I’m surprised you’re not in jail.” (Actually a 10 year old boy in a UGA uniform.)
  4. Pronouncing Michael Lukaszewski as “Mee-kahl” (a famous designer).
  5. “We are less than 60 seconds away from being live at God @ The Movies, part 2! You can feel the energy…in fact, I’m having heart palpitations….wait, check that, I’m sorry, that was just gas.

1:30pm: chill with the Fam at home.

6pm: attended the journey group vision night. jody stinkin’ rocked the house. i’m tellin’ you right now, journey groups are going to explode over the next 6 months. everybody hang on tight! C’ville is going to be CHANGED b/c of OLC groups. i drank tons of DR. PEPPER.

8pm: caught up with some guys playing flag football. on my first play there, they throw deep to the guy I was covering…TOUCHDOWN. gee, what a surprise. someone catching a ball over me. (hint: it’s not that hard.)

Fun day. Lot’s a great stuff happening.

Even better: College Football is getting closer and closer. C’mon!

Long Successful Day

August 9, 2008

Dude, what a day. I’m out of shape. No, seriously. From 7:30am to about 5pm we gutted a building. Well, not fully, but close to it. Oak Leaf now owns the former House of Rock (Coyotes) Bar. We wasted no time in cleaning her up and tearing down stuff…ripping out stuff…oh, and cleaning some more. Let’s just say it wasn’t exactly sanitary. 🙂

The above is a former glass mirror, now sitting sideways in the back parking lot. We wanted to salvage it somehow, but I think by 2pm today the motto became, “When in doubt, toss it out.” I can’t wait to see the finished product. I can’t wait to see it packed with students for a Wednesday night service. I can’t wait to smell coffee brewing in it…instead of smelling…well, it’s kinda hard to explain. Just gross.

We are redeming a building. This is going to be a great place for the community to use. It’s going to be a rocking student gathering. It’s going to be a great church campus. It’s going to eventually have a WAY WAY WAY cool KidVenture area.

And again, today was a great example of hard working volunteers. Seriously…no really really seriously…Oak Leaf is blessed. I’ve never been around such giving people. THANKS for everyone’s hard work! Now let’s get a few hours sleep and meet again at Carmike Cinemas at 5am in the morning! 🙂

Updated:  Click HERE for a time lapse video.

Fruitcake & Ice Cream

August 8, 2008

I’ve been listening to some very good online sermons lately…and I HAD to share this one with everyone. Please go HERE and find the series called “Home Free – Even Me”. It’s a 2 part series and the 2nd message is entitled “Fruitcake & Ice Cream”. Listen to it please.

The whole message is good…it’s Louie talking about the grace of God. But, if you are limited on time, skip about 50% in to the message and listen to the real life story of a college student. Louie is reading from her journal. Listen all the way to the end.

Amazing amazing story.
Amazing amazing God.
Amazing amazing grace.

Enjoy.