Monday, December 22, 2008

Shhh...It's a Secret!

I have a new post up over at sbcIMPACT! Please head on over and leave a comment. You can get there here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Walking In Memphis

The from the category of songs that I really like: Mark Cohn, Walking in Memphis. Having gone to college in West Tennessee and having spent a fair amount of time in Memphis, I can very much appreciate the sentiment in the song. Enjoy...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Blogging with Euodia and Syntyche

I have a new post up today at sbcIMPACT! entitled, "Blogging with Euodia and Syntyche". Please head on over and join the conversation. You can get there by clicking here.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Zach's Baptism

It was my great joy to be able to baptize my youngest son Zach on Sunday morning at Cornerstone.

Monday, December 01, 2008

The Cosmic Frown...

Take time to look up in the sky tonight and you will see something that is perhaps similar to what the wisemen may have seen when they were searching for the newborn king more than 2000 years ago. We evidently will not see same alignment of planets again until May, 2013. You can read more here. My son has declared that it must be a sign of the coming apocalypse!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Sleeping with the Worship Leader...

I have a new article posted today at sbcIMPACT! entitled "Sleeping with The Worship Leader". Let me encourage you to head on over and check it out. You can get there by clicking here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Relient K, Be my Escape

Me and the boys will be at the Denver Coliseum this Friday night for Toby Mac and Relient K. Can't wait...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

County by County Election Map

Use the interactive map at by clicking here.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Pray for Our New President...

I thought a word of encouragement might be appropriate this morning. Some of you may perhaps be recovering from the election results with a bit of despair in your heart. Rest assured that our God is still on His throne and He is working His plan to bring the nations to Christ. Now that we have voted, I can share with you that voting is NOT the most important thing that we can do. According to God's instructions that He has personally given to us, the most important thing that we can do to influence our government is to pray! Most of the biblical writers did not know the privilege of voting for their leader. They got what they got! However, they knew that our God is a God of transformation. He is absolutely capable of using anyone to accomplish His purposes and the less likely the individual--the greater the miracle! Just take a quick look in the mirror if you need an example.

This from the Father's desk: "For the Lord's sake, respect all human authority--whether the king as head of state, or the officials he has appointed" (1 Peter 2:13). "I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleased God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth" (1 Timothy 2:1-4). Two words express our anticipated conduct in regards to our new leaders: RESPECT and PRAYER.

Perhaps this prayer from Psalm 72 would be an appropriate place to begin. I have paraphrased the prayer to make it appropriately personal for our situation.

"Give justice to our new president, O God, and righteousness to our new vice president. Help them judge your people in the right way; let the poor always be treated fairly. May the mountains yield prosperity for all, and may the hills be fruitful, because the president does what is right. Help him to defend the poor, to rescue the children of the needy--even the preborn, and to crush their oppressors. . . May his term be as refreshing as the springtime rains--like showers that water the earth. May all the godly flourish during his time as president. May there be abundant prosperity throughout the next four years. He will rescue the poor when they cry to him; he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them. He feels pity for the weak and the needy, and he will rescue them. He will save them from oppression and from violence, for their lives are precious to him. . . May the people always pray for him and bless him all day long. May there be abundant crops throughout the land, flourishing even on the mountaintops. May the fruit trees flourish as they do in Lebanon, sprouting up like grass in a field. May the president's name endure forever; may it continue as long as the sun shines. May all nations be blessed through him and bring God praise" (Psalm 72:1-7, 12-17).

It's not enough to say the words--we must mean them! Let me encourage you to trust God enough to pray these blessings into President-elect Barak Obama's life. Keep praying until you believe it! Keep praying until you see it!

Monday, November 03, 2008

An Interview with Dr. Johnny Hunt

I recently had the opportunity to interview Dr. Johnny Hunt, president of the Southern Baptist Convention. The interview has been posted today at sbcIMPACT! Let me encourage you to head on over and take a look. You can get there here.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

My Vote...

Early voting here in Colorado began on October 20th. I finished looking over the ballot issues this evening and intend to cast my vote tomorrow afternoon. I am often asked how I will vote on the various amendments that appear on the ballot. Here are my votes...

President: John McCain and Sarah Palin (I wish it was Huckabee/Palin)
US Senator: Bob Schaffer
District 4 - Representative to Congress: Marilyn N. Musgrave
District 49 - State Representative: Kevin Lundberg
District Attorney: Ken Buck
County Commissioner At Large: Sean Conway
County Commissioner District 1: David E. Long
County Council at Large 4 Year Term: Donald D. Mueller
County Council at Large 2 Year Term: Perry L. Buck
County Council District 1: Gene Stille

Amendment 46: Yes (Banning Descrimination/Preferential Hiring)
Amendment 47: Yes (Right to Work)
Amendment 48: Yes (Defines Personhood at Conception)
Amendment 49: No (Restricting Payroll Deductions)
Amendment 50: No (Increase Gaming Limits)
Amendment 51: No (Sales Tax Increase for Persons with Disabilities Program)
Amendment 52: No (Reallocation of tax on minerals)
Amendment 53: Yes (Criminal Liability for Executives)
Amendment 54: Yes (Restrict Political Contributions from Government Contractors)
Amendment 55: No (Restrict Ability to Terminate Employees)
Amendment 56: No (Requiring Employers to Provide Healthcare Coverage)
Amendment 57: No (Additional Regulations for Workplace Safety)
Amendment 58: No (Removal of Tax Break for Oil Exploration)
Amendment 59: No (Eliminate TABOR Tax Refunds)
Referendum L: No (Lower Minimum Age for Representatives to 21)
Referendum M: Yes (Eliminate outdated wording concerning tax breaks for specific land uses)
Referendum N: Yes (Eliminate outdated wording concerning alcohol regulation)
Referendum O: No (Increase number of signatures neccessary for ballot initiatives)
Ballot Issue 4A: Yes (Increase taxes for expanded fire personnel)
Ballot Issue 4B: Yes (Increase taxes for new fire stations)

Please take the time to vote and when you do--Vote Your Values!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Skillet - Rebirth

Skillet has become one of my favorite bands at this time in my life. I relate the idea of "REBIRTH" with my previous post...

A Joyful Sorrow...

Feelings are such messy things...

I spent most of my life not feeling at all. Some terrible things confronted me at an early age that made "feeling" extremely undesireable. Throughout the years, like everyone else I suppose, I have experienced the joys and the sorrows associated with wandering around on this planet. I just have refused to actually feel it...

The height of deadness in my soul came a little over three years ago when my mom suddenly died. I was detached enough from my feelings that I was able to officiate at her memorial service without shedding a tear. Don't think that I didn't love my mom--I adored her! I had just practiced a lifetime of squelching unpleasant feelings. My mom's passing was just one more in a long line of painful feelings that I chose not acknowledge.

I began a new journey a few years back to find and release the person that I never allowed myself to be. Slowly and surely I have come back to life again. Afterall, to live a life without feeling is to live a life that is dying. And oh boy....the feelings have come alive.

I say all of this, I suppose, in order to acknowledge some feelings that I am feeling today. My tendency is to hide and to deny and so I find it healthy to reveal my soul and allow any who would read to serve as a passive therapist of sorts. A very good friend from a former life has come back into my periphery and I now find myself experiencing some pain and sadness that I most likely did not allow myself to feel--at least not in its fullness--when it should have been felt. All is well and I'm not out standing on the edge of the roof. Truth is--it feels good to feel...

By the way, I made the mistake of watching "Hearts in Atlantis" a little earlier. You can always count on the Hallmark Channel if you want to feel something...

Let me wrap up by sharing Jesus. He says...

“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth. God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied. God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy. God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God. God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God. God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

--Matthew 5:3-10 (NLT).

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Power of Falling Down...

This is the second in a series of posts entitled, "How to Release the Power of God". The main point? The Power of God is released either negatively in our prideful arrogance or positively in our broken humility. Acts 12:18-23 reveals a compelling story of a man head over heals in love with himself. King Herod embodies all that we would consider arrogant. He gives a great speech that the people of Tyre and Sidon consider, along with his appearance, to be god-like. The Jewish/Roman historian Josephus records that, "He wore an impressive robe of silver which glittered in the sun as he entered the theater at daybreak". He goes on to say, "The people flattered him by saying, 'May you be propitious to us, and if we have hitherto feared you as a man, yet henceforth we agree that you are more than mortal in your being'". Herod not only heard the praise--but he believed it! Josephus says, "The king did not rebuke them nor did he reject their flattery as impious". The result according the text is that, "he was immediately struck by an angel of the Lord. He was eaten by worms and died" (Acts 12:23). Josephus times his death as no more than five days later. King Herod definitely released the power of God! The story begs this application: "Do you want God to AFFIRM you? Or do you want God to WORM you?

Scripture is rich with this principle: God blesses the humble and He resists the proud.

Here's a few scriptures from the many:
  • "When pride comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom" (Proverbs 11:2).
  • "A man's pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor" (Proverbs 29:23).
  • "He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart. He has brought down rulers form their thrones, and has exalted those who were humble" (Luke 1:51-52).
  • "For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted" (Luke 14:11, 18:14).
  • "God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble...Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you" (James 4:6).
  • "...Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time..." (1 Peter 5:5-7).
  • Let me encourage you give up and fall down so that God might be able to pick you up. Quit trying to fix everything and let God be God. The power of God is released through your brokenness.

So...if you want to be exalted by God....humble yourself! If you go far...go low! If you want to release the power of God into your life as a positive force....stay under his mighty hand!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Contract with Southern Baptists - Part 7

I've posted the last part of the SBC Contract series over at sbcIMPACT!. Head on over and check it out. I would be more than happy to provide you with a PDF copy of the entire document if you would like to request it--just let me know.

Go to sbcIMPACT! here.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Power of Praying People...

I've begun a new series of messages from Acts 12 entitiled, "How to Release the Power of God". It seems to me that there is a very real disconnect between most peoples' experiences and the revelation of Scripture. My church is committed to being a biblical church which means that we want to look more and more like the church as revealed in the book of Acts--which means that we would like for our church, among other things, to be marked by the miraculous. This new series of messages will cover Acts 12 in its entirety and will reveal five ingredients for releasing the power of God.

Ingredient 1: PRAYING PEOPLE

Read the amazing story of Peter's release from prison in Acts 12:1-17 and you will walk away with an understanding of just how powerful the prayer of God's people can actually be. The secret to Peter's release is revealed for all to see in Acts 12:5, "So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God." The passage further states that after Peter's miraculous release, "he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John who was also called Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying" (Acts 12:12). Peter was released from prison directly because of the prayers of his friends in the church.

The Bible reveals five principles for effective corporate prayer:

Persistant Prayer: (Acts 12:5; Luke 18:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:17). The biggest mistake that we can make in praying is to quit too early. Jesus clearly instructs to demonstrate our faith by praying without ceasing. Don't quit until you've heard from God.

Relational Prayer: (1 Corinthians 12:26). There is no effective prayer without loving care. We must come before God in the language of prayer which is love. Prayers are often meaningless because they are simply mindless repetition lacking passion.

Agreeing Prayer: (Matthew 18:19). It's not just a matter of agreeing with each other--it's a matter of agreeing with God. We must take the time to find out the heart of God as we pray so that we can pray with knowledge and not just a good guess or worse yet--just our opinion.

You and I Watching Prayer: (Isaiah 62:6-7). To watch is to pray with our eyes open--looking for the activity of God. It is to be aware of all that the enemy may be attempting and to pray against his schemes and pray for God's glory.

Spirit-led Prayer: (Ephesians 6:18). May we learn to let the Spirit of God pray through us. We need less words and more groanings of the Spirit. As you pray, invite the Spirit of God to pray through you. Ask for insights and emotions that would guide your prayer.

There is no doubt that the power of God will be released as God's people pray. We must ask Jesus, even as the disciples did, "Lord, teach us to pray".

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sunday's Miracle...

It is really cool when God chooses to show up in a way that leaves no doubt as to His power and influence. Sunday was one of those days when God clearly showed up. I could sense that God was doing something special as we worshipped--the air was electric with anticipation. Without covering all of the ground that was covered on Sunday let me just share that our message came from Acts 11:27-30. The passage says:

"Now at this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them named Agabus stood up and began to indicate by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all over the world And this took place in the reign of Claudius. And in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, each of them determined to send a contribution for the relief of the brethren living in Judea. And this they did, sending it in charge of Barnabas and Saul to the elders."

I made the point in the message that like the church in Antioch we need to send blessings back to our spiritual parents. Along with other illustrations, I specifically pointed out that West Greeley Baptist Church, from which our church was birthed, is experiencing some financial difficulties. Though I did not necessarily ask for a special offering to be taken on Sunday--we did receive one! I am currently looking at our tithes and offerings report for Sunday. Our budget gifts are better than normal. In addition there are a few special gifts designated which is the norm for our church. The miracle is this: Received on Sunday morning for West Greeley Baptist Church....$9,550.00!!!!

I couldn't be prouder!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

God of this City - Chris Tomlin

My friend, Geoff Baggett, at sbcIMPACT! posted this video and I like it well enough that I thought I should share it here. I relate because of the tornado that our community continues to rebuild from. Perhaps the Spirit will speak to your circumstance as well.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Contract with Southern Baptists - Part 6

The 6th installment of the Contract with Southern Baptists series is now up and available for viewing at "sbcIMPACT!". Please take the trip over and join the dialogue. You can visit sbcIMPACT! here.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Dreams & Visions...

This from the International Mission Board....
"An indigenous man in the Amazon Basin heard the Gospel for the first time in his own language through tapes provided by missionaries. He asked a missionary named Terry if he believes God speaks to people in dreams. Terry said yes and pointed to examples in the Bible. The indigenous man then told Terry of a recurring dream he’d had after hearing God’s story. In his dream he was paddling down the river in a canoe, and he looked up to the sky and saw Jesus from the chest up in the clouds calling him to come to Him. The man paddled his boat to the bank of the river, and as he started walking a path that seemed to lead up to Jesus, he turned around and realized his wife was following, and then his children were following, and then his whole village was following. Terry explained to his friend it was clear God was calling him to follow Him, and if he did, he was also going to lead his people to follow God."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I am pleased to announce that I have accepted an invitation to join the team at sbcIMPACT! This is an awesome blog that has become one of my "must reads" each day. I have been sharing my "SBC Contract" series as a guest writer and I guess I've found a home. I will continue to write here at my own blog frequently as I now do and will occassionally publish a fresh post at sbcIMPACT! I hope that you will make the trip over with me as we make some new friends. You can link to the sbcIMPACT! site here. Go ahead and add it to your favorites and join me in sharing comments back and forth. Be sure and take a look at the "Contributors" page. I just might be the most handsome one

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Contract with Southern Baptists - Part 5

Baptists Must Be . . .

Based in Humility - a necessary foundation - part one

Authorized by Scripture - a necessary standard - part two

Powered by the Holy Spirit - a necessary energy - part three

Transformed by Worship - a necessary voice - part four

Identified by Unity - a necessary obedience - Psalm 133:1-3; John 17:20-23; 1 Corinthians 1:10, 12:12-26; Ephesians 4:1-6; Colossians 3:12-14

Unity is not a suggestion--it is a command! Paul challenges the church at Corinth, "Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you" (1 Cor. 1:10). Paul implores the church at Ephesus to be, "diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Eph. 4:3). God will not bless a church, a family, or even a denomination that sacrifices gracious unity for any other virtue--no matter how good. Unity is essential. Psalm 133 promises, "Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!" Jesus prays for us, "...that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me" (Jn. 17:20-21). Notice that Jesus sets the bar extremely high in terms of our unity--he defines it in terms of the unity of the Trinity, "...even as You, Father, are in Me and I in you". Also evangelism is critically tied to unity--"that the world may believe that You sent Me". Perhaps the decline in baptisms among Southern Baptist churches has more to do with our denominational infighting than anything else. Jesus prayerfully repeats the thought in verse 22-23, "the glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved me" (Jn. 17:22-23). How do we recapture a Spirit-led unity? "So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity" (Col. 3:12-14).

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Cowboys vs Broncos...

It's been a little while since I have taken the time to post. I am breaking my silence with some incredibly exciting news. I will be at the Dallas Cowboys vs Denver Broncos preseason game tonight. How is this possible you ask? It's easy....I serve the greatest church filled with the greatest people in the world. One of my dearest deacons purchased tickets for me and my associate pastor for tonight's game. Everyone here knows of my great love for the soon-to-be superbowl champion Cowboys. My good friend and deacon was kind enough to bless me with the gift of tickets. I's only preseason....the good players will not play....but I'll be there cheering them on anyway.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Contract with Southern Baptists - Part 4

I began this series back before the SBC convention in June as a "What would I preach to the SBC if invited?" series. I believe that our denomination is in great need of revitalization. This series of posts seeks to answer the question, "What would revitalization in our convention emphasize?" I understand that our denomination is composed of diverse churches and diverse members. To attempt to make broad characterizations is to often miss the target. Nevertheless, this is what I think needs to be emphasized.

Baptists Must Be . . .

Based in Humility - a necessary foundation - part one

Authorized by Scripture - a necessary standard - part two

Powered by the Holy Spirit - a necessary energy - part three

Transformed by Worship - a necessary voice - Deuteronomy 6:13; 1 Chronicles 16:28-29; Nehemiah 8:5-6; Psalm 95:1-7; John 4:21-24; Romans 12:1; Revelation 4:9-11.

We have fallen into grave error by making the act of worship something that is only done on Sunday mornings for our own benefit and enjoyment. Every post I write and every comment I leave is potentially worship. Worship is the way in which I speak, the way in which I live, and the impression that I give. Worship is for God's pleasure alone and it has little to do with our desires or preferences. We have perhaps at times made the error of looking with contempt upon another's sacrifice of worship and by so doing have judged ourselves (2 Samuel 6:12-23). It is not simply style or even location--it's a matter of the heart. It is Spirit and it is Truth. Worship is an expression of love and passion toward the God who saves us. It is delight in the Lord. The voice of worship is a 24/7 call to the nations to exalt the Lord. Worship is all that we do and all that we are.

This post has been graciously reprinted at SBC Impact and is linked here.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Stay in School, Kids!

The following is a true story...
My two sons and I were in Fort Collins this afternoon to make a purchase at the Guitar Center with some recently acquired sixteenth birthday funds. Following the successful purchase of a "Boss MD2 Mega Distortion Pedal", we headed over to the Bible Superstore to purchase a few CD's and possibly a book or two for me. I picked up "A City Upon a Hill" by Larry Witham which is subtitled, "How Sermons Changed the Course of American History." Compare that with my oldest (the sixteen year old) son's purchase, a compilation CD from "Facedown Records" entitled "Something Worth Fighting For". You would have to hear it to understand the contrast (note his purchase at the Guitar Center). My younger son (13) purchased the new one from Reliant K, "The Bird and the Bee Side." Following our shopping spree, we were parched and decided to make a quick stop at a nearby 7-11. We each selected a 64 ounce "Double Gulp" and filled our cups (more of an industrial sized drum to be honest) and headed for the cash register. Now, this is where you will want to pay close attention. My youngest son was to pay for his own and so leave him out of the mix for the moment. My oldest son was to pay for his and mine (part of the bribe necessary to get the trip to Fort Collins and the Guitar Center). Our two drinks totalled $3.39. My son handed the clerk (male, 20-something, tall, anglo) a ten dollar bill. The clerk started to process the transaction, drew a blank look, and then cursed--something like "darn". I asked, "no change?". He answered, "I accidently entered a five instead of a ten. Now I don't know how much change to give you." Before we go on...let's recognize that the cash register showed him the wrong amount of change to give me because of his error in entering "$5" instead of "$10". To be exact, it said $1.61. Now, back to the story... A few moments passed and the clerk shouted at his nearby fellow clerk, "You're pretty smart....what's $10.00 minus $3.39?" Of, course the answer was $$6.61--exactly five dollars more than the incorrect cash register display.
The moral of the story--stay in school, kids!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Independence Day History Lesson

Let me encourage you to invest ten minutes today in learning a little bit more about our nation's heritage. Enjoy...

Monday, June 30, 2008

I met Governor Mike Huckabee...

I was able to meet and visit briefly with former Governor Mike Huckabee tonight. Tina was able to take a picture of me and the Governor except the camera was acting up and somehow I accidently erased it. Pride really does go before a fall. The conference was excellent with a strong theme of the need for Christians to be involved in the political and civic process. Those of you that know me well know that I have a great desire to not only lead my church to impact our society but I would very much like to run for office myself someday. State Representative Kevin Lundberg was at the event and it was great to see him again and visit. Representative Lundberg along with State Senator Scott Renfroe have both been on site in Windsor many times following the tornado of May 22. Both of these men have a strong Christian witness and represent northern Colorado well in Denver. Kevin Lundberg's website is here and Scott Renfroe's website is here. Our representative in Washington, Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave, actually remembered me from a conversation that we had in Windsor following the tornado. Windsor is truly blessed to have such godly representation. Representative Musgrave's website is here. I walk away from the evening's sessions with a strong conviction to do all that I can to get Christians registered to vote and to encourage them to vote Christian values in the upcoming elections.

Rediscovering God in America...

My wife and I are in Denver today and tomorrow for an event hosted by the Colorado Renewal Project and the Christian Family Alliance of Colorado. It's called "Rediscovering God in America" and features:

Former Governor Mike Huckabee

Governor Rick Perry

Historian David Barton

Drs. Tim and Beverly LaHaye
Pastor Don McClure
The Honorable Bob McEwen
Dr. Mat Staver
Pastor Larry Stockstill
Dr. Laurence White
Dr. Don Wildmon

Read more here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tina online....

My extremely talented wife has just put her new website online. I would encourage everyone to go and take a look.
You can access the site here.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Island Service...

What's more important than the SBC meeting in Indinapolis? The Island Service at Cornerstone this morning with 365 worshippers and 30 baptisms! I feel like Moses looking over into the promised land. Today's service was the fruit of our Childrens' Minister's vision to take VBS to a whole new level. PTL!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

SBC Pastor's Conference - Sunday Evening

The 2008 Southern Baptist Convention begins this Sunday evening with the Pastor's Conference. While I will be there live and in person, you have the opportunity to participate by watching the live streaming video on the internet. The video stream will be available for free at The convention is in Indianapolis and so there is a two hour time difference from Colorado.
The theme for the Pastor's Conference will be Prayer, Brokenness, Revival and Evangelism. There are three speakers on Sunday evening: Dr. Johnny Hunt at 6:35 (Indy time), Dr. Daniel Simmons at 7:15, and Dr. Tom Eliff at 8:10. There is quite a bit of music interspersed throughout the conference. It all begins at 5:30 (that's 3:30 Colorado time). I would encourage anyone who can to check out as much of the conference as possible. It will be good stuff! The emphasis of the pastor's conference on Sunday evening will be prayer.
The pastor's conference website includes the following statement concerning Sunday evening's conference: "What would happen if thousands of pastors left Sunday night with a commitment to have prayer meetings that are more than praying for the sick, but meetings where people long for God to move in their midst? The key to the church in Acts was prayer. That is not often the case in the 21st century church."
Watch the Pastor's Conference on the internet and then post a comment on my blog. We can discuss what we learned and how to make application.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Here's What 250+ Kids look like....

This is taken from our opening assembly for Vacation Bible School on Tuesday. We weren't sure what would happen to our numbers after the tornado. We're sure now--our numbers are up....way up!

Monday, June 02, 2008

A Contract With Southern Baptists - Part 3

Baptists Must Be . . .

Based in Humility - a necessary foundation - part one
Authorized by Scripture - a necessary standard - part two

Powered by the Holy Spirit - a necessary energy - Exodus 31:1; Isaiah 61:-3; Ezekiel 36:26-27; Luke 24:49; Galatians 3:2-5, 5:22-23; Ephesians 5:21; 1 Thessalonians 1:5-6; James 4:5-6

The Holy Spirit of God empowers Christians to accomplish God's purposes. Without His empowerment we are limited in our effectiveness. But when we move forward saturated by God's Holy Spirit, we can accomplish anything and everything that God chooses to accomplish. The Holy Spirit allows God's people to be effective. If we are not effective it would seem to indicate that we are not fully empowered by the Spirit. If people are not coming to Christ in our churches--we are not empowered by the Spirit. If our churches are not reaching their communities--then we are not empowered by the Spirit. If we're fighting and feuding--then we are not empowered by the Spirit. May we pray constantly for the filling of the Holy Spirit that the things within us that offend God would be removed and that the Spirit's fruit would become our norm. "So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him" (Luke 11:13).

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Tornado + VBS = Harvest

It's been an interesting couple of weeks. The tornado hit Windsor on Thursday, May 22nd, and we've been in "disaster relief" mode ever since. It feels a lot like a pin ball bouncing back and forth between a couple of bumpers. I've been very busy but I can't seem to identify very much that I have accomplished. To make it even more fun....tomorrow begins our Vacation Bible School. We have some great workers who take care of everything and so my role is minimal. However, we are expecting a record number of children following the tornado. We normally enroll about twice as many kids as pre-enroll. This year we have almost 200 pre-enrolled. This means that our overtaxed building, parking lot, and yard is going to be absolutely overflowing. Keep in mind that the Salvation Army is feeding about 1100 meals every day on our parking lot. Yikes! This will all happen at the same time. Adding to the confusion (or perhaps the solution) will be an additional 20+ VBS workers that are joining us from other churches in our state. Our VBS Director's house was one of the hardest hit homes which makes it a little tough for her to focus on organizing VBS. This coming Sunday we are moving our three services into one big service outside at the lake. We have 15+ individuals that are going to be baptized at the lake. Plus we're praying for more decisions on Sunday that can immediately be baptized. My Youth Pastor will be overseeing this service as I will be flying out of Denver on Sunday morning on my way to Indianapolis for the Southern Baptist Convention. It should be a fun week!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Prayer Service...

We held a prayer service today at 11:57 to memorialize the tornado that hit our town exactly one week ago. 11:57 is the time that the tornado struck. We rang our church bell, had a moment of silence, offered up some prayers, and shared some Scripture. I discovered today that the One Year Bible had quite a message for us. The Psalm for May 22nd (the day the tornado hit) was Psalm 118 and included this passage:
I thank you for answering my prayer and saving me! The stone rejected by the builders has now become the cornerstone. This is the Lord's doing and it is marvelous to see. This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. Please, Lord, please save us (Psalm 118:21-25).
This is significant since our community is called the Cornerstone community. This is just one more loud declaration from our God indicating His sovereign control. He never says, "Ooooops"!

Here are a couple of news clips from today that include Cornerstone:

9NEWS: Windsor Continues Recovery, 12n - click here.

9NEWS: Windsor Continues Recovery, 4pm - click here.

There is another video here from CBS5 in Cheyenne but as of this posting the video was not yet available.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Tornado Recovery...

Cornerstone has become the staging area for disaster relief and clean up for the May 22nd Windsor Tornado. As you can see, we have a very busy parking lot...
Our building fared better than most of the homes and businesses in our neighborhood. This has given us a great opportunity for ministry. The Cornerstone family has risen to the challenge and is aggressively serving our community even though many of our members would be considered tornado "victims". Much is being accomplished very quickly as roving gangs of workers move daily throughout the Cornerstone community.
One of our members, Amy, sent me an inspiring report in an email. I want to share a few lines of her message with her permission.
"Its so amazing to see how everyone from all the different communities are working together. On Sat. Barry and I and a couple other adults took a group of Cornerstone youth out into the neighborhood for clean-up. Youth being youth, they rotated in and out but we had a handful of them the entire time we were out there and there was no complaining, they did everything that was asked of them, and they represented themselves well. Yesterday, me, Sonny, Juan M., and Ron W. jumped on a crew that was a mixture of Habitat for Humanity and Redeemer Lutheran and just scoured a neighborhood. People were so amazed to see a group of 20-25 people sweep through their yard and have it cleared in about 20 minutes. I think our society as a whole has become jaded and has forgotten what human kindness is really about. This disaster has allowed people to jump in and help in ways they never thought possible and for people who normally would never dream of asking for help getting it and not having to feel bad about it. I have seen homeowners on the verge of tears when they see us come through because they are so grateful for what we are doing. If something like this ever happens around here again, I guarantee these people will be the first in line to volunteer to help."

Thursday, May 22, 2008



Our communtity was hit with a tornado this morning. We have much damage in our community but minimal loss of life. I appreciate your prayers.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Contract With Southern Baptists - Part 2

Baptists Must Be . . .

Based in Humility - a necessary foundation - part one

Authorized by Scripture - a necessary standard - 2 Timothy 2:15, 3:16-17; Psalm 119; Hebrews 4:12; James 1:21-25

It's one thing to proclaim a high view of Scripture--it's quite another to live a high view of Scripture. the Battle for the Bible has been won and it's time that we begin to live out the Bible's principles. Set aside for the moment those passages that we might have interpretive disagreements over. Let's focus on practicing those passages that we can all agree upon. Let's love our neighbor as ourselves. Let's bless our enemies. Let's give away our stuff and trust in God. Let's decrease so that Jesus can increase. Let's serve without expectation of recognition. Let's lay down our lives for each other. Let's take up our cross daily. Let's wash each other's feet--even those whom we consider to be our Judas. Let's bridle our tongues. Let's affirm as the Baptist Faith and Message states that, "It (Scripture) reveals the principles by which God judges us". It's insane to argue for the authority and inerrancy of a book, that in practice, we largely ignore. "But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves" (James 1:22).

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Contract With The Southern Baptist Convention - Part 1

Seven Non-Negotiables Necessary for Revitalization

Baptists Must Be . . .

Based in Humility - A necessary foundation - 2 Chronicles 7:14; Psalm 51:16-17; Matthew 18:4, 23:12; Philippians 2:1-8; James 4:6,10; 1 Peter 5:1-6

It couldn't be clearer: God resists the proud! Our denomination, our leaders, our pastors, our churches . . . we're all guilty of believeing that we are God's gift to the world. We arrogantly believe that we have a corner on the truth and unfortunately for us, "The Truth" (Jesus) seems to have left the building. "What is the source of your quarrels and conflicts?", James asks (4:1). "You lust and do not have . . . you are envious and cannot obtain . . ." (v2). The conclusive answer to James' question about conflict is: "God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (v6). Our arrogance is no less than an offence to God. We must humble ourselves doctrinally and acknowledge the very real possibility that we may not know it all. How about attempting to humbly listen to those with whom we differ? We just might learn something new about a God who is far greater than our ability to comprehend. We must humble ourselves relationally and begin to serve each other rather than competing. We need to discover the joy giving to each other and submitting to the will of those that we may consider inferior. We must humble ourselves corporately and consider the reality that we are not the only ones God chooses to use. This may be a surprise to some but . . . The "Kingdom of God" is bigger than "The Kingdom of Baptists". We must humble ourselves spiritually and confess our lack of maturity. We must repent of focusing on primary leadership positions and pushing and shoving our way to the head table. "'Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus . . . He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross" (Philippians 2:5,7).

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Meet the Wong's...

My wife's sister and her husband are missionaries in Mexico City. This is an article about David and Pam Wong's ministry that the International Mission Board has written:

Churches help missionaries dole out love to Mexico City homeless


By Erich Bridges

MEXICO CITY (BP)--The police were standing around a grimy box on a street in Mexico City.
Southern Baptist missionary Pam Wong and a group of church volunteers spotted them while distributing Gospels in the inner-city neighborhood. When they asked a woman standing nearby what was going on, they were told a homeless man had died on the street the night before.
“He was in a cardboard box. His body was there – and nobody cared,” Pam recalls. “It brought home to me the reality of what is going on in this city.”

Of the 9 million people jammed into the centro area of Mexico’s vast capital city, about 80 percent are poor. At least 50,000, according to estimates, live on the streets – because of drug or alcohol abuse, or joblessness, or both. “Some have checked out on society,” explains missionary David Wong, Pam’s husband. “Others, though, truly want work. I met one man who had lost his business, home and everything else in the Cancun area because of a hurricane and could not get back on his feet. Economically in Mexico, it’s hard for the working class to get off the low rung.”

About 300 street people line up weekly for a free meal at a ministry center for the homeless located at a church in Mexico City. Southern Baptist missionaries William and Orpha Ortega joined the ministry as part of their larger effort to reach the inner city (see “Dispelling the darkness in Mexico City”). “We have a worship service with them,” William says. “We sing. We give testimonies. We preach the Gospel. After that we feed them. Some of them have come to know Jesus, but it’s very difficult for them to change because they don’t have a place for rehabilitation. We are praying God will provide a place for them” – not just a shelter, but a place where homeless people needing a new beginning can break free of old habits, grow in Christ and learn basic skills for living. In the meantime, they need to know someone cares. That’s why the Wongs got involved. They work with “Operation Gospel Outreach” (“Operation GO” for short), an effort designed to mobilize hundreds of Southern Baptist volunteers and short-term missionaries each year to distribute Christ’s message door to door throughout Middle America and the Caribbean – including Mexico City, by far the largest urban center in the region.

The Texas natives were short-term missionaries themselves, serving two terms in the IMB’s International Service Corps before being appointed as long-term missionaries in 2006.
The homeless don’t have a “door” to knock on, but they need hope just as much as others.
“I checked with William on whether we could bring a ‘GO’ group to the homeless center and he was all for it,” David says. “The first group just fell in love with the ministry. It’s become one of the highlights of the week (for volunteer groups). They jump right in and help share the food. Sometimes they preach or share a testimony or sing or do whatever’s needed. But more than anything else, the groups give love – a hug, a handshake, a smile. The people there are so hungry for some affection and compassion. They’ve been shunned for so long. They feel dirty and neglected. For a group from the United States to come and share speaks volumes.”


A recent ‘GO’ group from First Baptist Church of Gray Gables in Callahan, Fla., included several volunteers who understand some of the struggles of the homeless from personal experience. Volunteer Warren Hunter freely admitted he used to drink – “real bad,” as he describes it. Who better to pray over a concerned father and his young adult son struggling with alcohol addiction?“I can relate to this man and his son because I used to be alcoholic,” Warren says. “I know how bad it can be.”Warren and 12 other Gray Gables volunteers joined the Wongs and Pastor Arturo, a Mexican Baptist house church leader, to distribute 6,070 copies of John’s Gospel. They visited door to door, fed the homeless and shared Christ with adults, youth, kids, drug addicts. “I’ve been in cubbyhole apartments. I’ve knelt down with people in the street and prayed for them,” says Warren, eyes glistening the night before heading home to Florida. “The Holy Spirit has been so strong I had chill bumps. It’s the greatest time I’ve ever had serving my Christ.”

For Pam, one of the most powerful moments of the week came as she was distributing Gospels with Mark Tuso, Gray Gables’ pastor. “We were walking down the street and there was a man sitting on the sidewalk,” she says. “He wanted us to give him a Gospel. He was crying and said he was all alone and had no family. We tried to talk to him, but we knew he could only understand so much. He was drunk – and maybe high on drugs. But he was so grateful that we would bend down on our knees and touch his leg and pray for him. He needed that time, just that little bit of time. He said he was going to come and speak with the pastor and get some counseling for his alcoholism.”

Many Southern Baptist volunteers come to Mexico, but the Wongs report it’s hard to get church teams to come to the nation’s sprawling capital. Some fear crime and violence in the city. No recent volunteer groups have been threatened, Pam says, but she spends a lot of time on the Internet assuring nervous churches that it’s OK to come.

“It’s overwhelming,” David acknowledges. “It’s overwhelming when you see so many in poverty, when you see young people taking drugs in broad daylight.
“We just want to give people love, give them a hug and show them there is hope.”
Mexico City desperately needs hope. Every month, 10,000 people die there – most without knowing Christ. For more information on “Operation GO” needs and opportunities, visit and click on “Volunteers.”

Read the IMB article about the Wongs at the IMB website here.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Ed Stetzer on CNN

Dr. Ed Stetzer is a breath of fresh air for Southern Baptists. He works for LifeWay Christian Resources doing research. He has written "Comeback Churches" (Cornerstone participated in the study) as well as other books.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Before He Speaks


Saturday, May 10, 2008

I have a Teen Driver...

My oldest son's driver permit arrived in the mail today. He's fifteen and we are driving through this important rite of passage that all American youth look forward to with great anticipation. We have made a few drives around the neighborhood and have even ventured across town to the church building. I have to admit, he's not half bad and I'm not nearly as scared as I thought I would be. With this subject in mind, let me share a few sobering statistics:

16-year-olds have higher crash rates than drivers of any other age. it is estimated that 16-year-olds are 3 times more likely to die in a motor vehicle crash than the average of all drivers.

In the decade of the 1990s, 63,000 teens ages 15-19 died in traffic crashes, which is more than 120 each week.

Two teens in a car increases the likelihood of a crash by 86%, three teens by 182%, according to research conducted by Johns Hopkins University.

Only about 20% of teen driving occurred at night, but approximately 50% of teen fatalities occurred during the hours of darkness.

Traffic crashes are the number one cause of death among the children and young adults.

The number one cause of death for 15-20 year olds is car collissions.

53% of teen deaths occur on weekends.

There are plenty more statistics provided at

Friday, May 09, 2008

What if You Could Vote from Home?

What would it look like if our national convention this year in Indianapolis was actually composed of our churches? What if every one of our 42,000+ churches was engaged in the many conversations that will take place on the convention floor? What if hundereds of thousands of votes were cast from all around the world? What if IMB personnel overseas as well as bi-vocational pastors in small rural areas were allowed to watch the convention online and participate by voting online?
Last year in San Antonio only 3,567 churches sent messengers to the SBC. Less than 9% of our churches participated by sending messengers! How can we say that our national meeting in any way represents the views of Southern Baptists? It's time we make a change.
I have submitted a resolution to the Resolutions Committee calling for online voting at future conventions. Should it come out of committee than I will gladly speak for the need to engage all of our churches in these important decisions that are being made concerning the future of our denomination. If the SBC is declining (and it appears that it is) then it is time to bring the whole SBC family to the table to discuss solutions.
The resolution that I submitted is as follows:

WHEREAS, each year only a small percentage of churches send messengers to the annual convention, and

WHEREAS, most of the churches being served by bi-vocational ministers are not ever able to send messengers to the annual convention; and

WHEREAS, messengers may already register for the annual convention online; and

WHEREAS, the annual meeting is already being live-streamed on the world wide web; and

WHEREAS, technology exists to allow for online voting; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, June 10-11, 2008, call for online voting to be made available at future conventions so that elected messengers may participate in the convention without having to incur the expense of traveling to the convention city.

Friday, April 25, 2008


This is a line in an article released by Christian Newswire today:
"Yoko Ono and others have now filed lawsuits challenging the film's use and critique of John Lennon's song Imagine." The film in question is Ben Stein's "Expelled". The movie apparantly uses a short clip of the song to illustrate a point. According to the story, "The brief clip - consisting of a mere 10 words - was used to contrast the messages in the documentary and was not used as an endorsement of EXPELLED."

Now here's the good part. The third verse of "Imagine" is as follows:

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

What does Ben Stein have to say? "So Yoko Ono is suing over the brief Constitutionally protected use of a song that wants us to 'Imagine no possessions'? Maybe instead of wasting everyone's time trying to silence a documentary she should give the song to the world for free? After all, 'imagine all the people sharing all the world...You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope someday you'll join us And the World can live as one.'"

One final note of hypocrisy that I would point out is Yoko Ono's signature on the above pictured "Declaration of Nutopia". Evidently Yoko and John felt so strongly about the ideas contained in "Imagine" that they even formed their own country and requested recognition by the United Nations. Note that Nutopia has "no laws other than cosmic". I wonder which cosmic law allows for a lawsuit in regards to copyright infringement . . .

The Declaration of Nutopia is found here.

You can read the complete lyrics to John Lennon's, "Imagine" here.

You can read the complete Christian Newswire article here.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Church of the Vanity Plate...

The Associated Press is reporting that the State of Florida is considering a vanity plate that would feature the words, "I Believe" along with a picture of a cross and a stained glass window. Florida already makes provision for a variety of license plates with a portion of the revenue going to various charities represented by the license plate. The plate is, of course, highly controversial since it forces the discussion of church and state issues once again.

According to the AP article written by Jessica Gresco, "The problem with the state manufacturing the plate is that it 'sends a message that Florida is essentially a Christian state' and, second, gives the 'appearance that the state is endorsing a particular religious preference,' said Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida." Does it really? By that logic the ichthus fish on my rear window must mean that Toyota is a Christian car manufaturer. It's absolutely absurd! Anything on my car including my license plate (now that we allow vanity plates) is simply a statement of my values--not the states. Now if the only plate available featured the words, "I love Jesus", then you might have a point. But you don't have a point since you can get a whole variety of plates including the normal cheap one (my preference).

The article also states that, "Some lawmakers say the state should be careful. Rep. Kelly Skidmore said she is a Roman Catholic and goes to Mass on Sundays, but she believes the 'I Believe' plate is inappropriate for the government to produce. 'It's not a road I want to go down. I don't want to see the Star of David next. I don't want to see a Torah next. None of that stuff is appropriate to me,' said Skidmore, a Democrat who voted against the plate in committee. 'I just believe that.'" Great...and no one is suggesting that you put anything on your license plate except the expiration sticker. I, for one, see many symbols on cars without freaking out. I even pull up close to read the small bumper stickers that the liberal activists put on their cars (some are quite funny).

You'll really like this: "The bill creating the "I Believe" plate would also create an "In God We Trust" plate to benefit the children of soldiers and law enforcement officers whose parents have died. It also could face opposition as a violation of the separation of church and state.
An Indiana plate with the same "In God We Trust" phrase has been challenged by the ACLU, but the courts so far have deemed it legal, arguing that it is comparable with other specialty plates". don't want the national motto on a government issued license plate. What's wrong with these people?

Finally this: "Simon, of the ACLU, said approval of the plate could prompt many other groups to seek their own designs, and they could claim discrimination if their plans were rejected. That could even allow the Ku Klux Klan to get a plate, Simon said". First of all, the KKK is not a church, and therefore has nothing to do with this issue in Florida which revolves around church/state issues. Secondly, what's to keep the KKK from requesting a plate now? It seems that they can go through the same process that others have and request a plate if they desire which is precisely what the "I Believe" folks are doing.

In conclusion, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances". Alright...let's think about it: Does allowing tax payers to purchase for an additional fee a vanity plate that says, "I believe" in any way establish a religion? I'll answer for you--no! A slogan on a plate does not a religion make. Secondly, is it possible that by allowing some messages and censoring others (the religious type), that the state is prohibiting free speech and practicing descrimination on the basis of religion? Yes--it's quite likely. Wouldn't it be interesting if the ACLU began to spend as much time on the "free exercise" clause as they do on the "establishment" clause?

I think that I'll go out to the garage and move my fish sticker to my license plate just to see if anyone notices.

You can read the entire AP article here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Revolutionary Pastor Muhlenberg...

Rev. Peter Muhlenberg was conducting the worship service in his usual way on Sunday morning, January 21, 1776. The text for his message was from the book of Ecclesiastes, chapter 3:1-8,

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the
heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time
to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to
break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time
to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather
stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time
to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to
rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to
love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace . . ."
Having read this final phrase, Muhlenberg then began removing his clerical robe to reveal his continental army uniform. He then declared, "And this is the time of war!" The next day he led 300 men from his community to form the 8th Virginia Regiment.

He would later serve in both the U.S. House of Representatives and in the U.S. Senate. His statue stands in the U.S. Capitol in the House Rotunda.

You can read more about Rev. Peter Muhlenberg at Wikipedia here.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Thomas Jefferson on Church & State...

Thomas Jefferson has been credited with coining the now controversial phrase, "a wall of separation between church and state". In reality, Roger Williams (founder of the First Baptist Church in America) used the phrase prior to Jefferson. But did you know that Jefferson was a proponent of the clergy serving in civil government? Thomas Jefferson spoke against the Virginia Constitution's prohibition of clergy serving in elected office. According to David Barton, "The church speaking into the civil arena was a long-standing practice in America, as was the practice of ministers serving directly in the legislature. In fact, it was Thomas Jefferson himself who encouraged the lifting of restrictions against ministers and clergy that had been imposed in his own state of Virginia: 'I observe...(in the Virginia) Constitution an abridgment of (a) right...I do not approve. It is the incapacitation of a clergyman from being elected.' Thomas Jefferson wished to see clergymen possess the same rights as others" (David Barton, The Role of Pastors & Christians in Civil Government, p13-14).

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Ministers & Politics...

I've had the opportunity on two different occassions this past year to hear presentations by David Barton. I have, in the past, been quite sceptical of Barton's research. I have suspected that he has, at times, stretched the facts somewhat to make his particular point. I still have my suspicions, but I've found that there is plenty that he has to share that I can buy in to. Barton has clearly demonstrated with his historical research that the clergy played a central role in the beginning of our country. The clergy were extremely influential at the time of our nation's founding and through the use of sermons as well as their own example, they provided some of the passion that fueled our independence. I've been reading Barton's book, The Role of Pastors & Christians in Civil Government, and I want to share some of what I'm learning. Let me begin with a paragraph from early in the book that summarizes the role of ministers in the nation's founding.

"Who were the leaders most responsible for the movement in America that led to our independence? Today, we hear names such as Samuel Adams, the 'Father of the American Revolution'; Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration; John Hancock, the President of Congress with his bold signature on the Declaration; and John Adams, who not only signed the Declaration but who also negotiated and signed the Peace Treaty with Great Britain to secure our independence. These were indeed important political leaders behind our independence, but previous generations also knew about other important leaders. John Adams himself declared that the Rev. Dr. Jonathan Mayhew and the Rev. Dr. Samuel Cooper were two of the individuals 'most conspicuous, the most ardent, and influential' in the 'awakening and revival of American priciples and feelings' that led to our independence. Other minsters whose influence and leadership were also important included the Rev. George Whitefield, the Rev. James Caldwell, the Rev. John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg with his brother the Rev. Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, and many more" (p8).

I intend to dig a little deeper in the next few posts and provide some insights into just who these ministers were that David Barton references. Stay tuned.

Check out David Barton's website here.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Senator Hillary Clinton on Faith & Forgiveness..

I have just spent the last several minutes listening to a very candid interview that Hillary Clinton gave last July concerning her faith. Though certainly I am no closer to being a supporter, I can tell you that I was encouraged by many of the things that Senator Clinton shared. She seemed to be sharing honestly and from the heart. It's worth a listen...
Steve Camp has the audio at this website. You can check it out here.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Larry Norman, "The Father of Christian Rock", Dead at 60

Early Sunday morning, one of the greatest influences in Contemporary Christian Music, went home to receive his reward. Larry Norman is perhaps best know for his haunting ballad, "I Wish We'd All Been Ready". A search for his name at will reveal lots of videos of his music. Larry was a rebel with a cause and the voice of a generation looking for freedom in Christ.
I first heard the name "Larry Norman" as a sophomore in High School. It sounded like something from the radio and yet the words were stikingly Christian in a sort-of irreverant way. I became a fan immediately.
Larry's family has posted a message on his website which includes a message from Larry himself which he wrote in anticipation of his death. You can visit the Larry Norman website here.
Long time Norman friend and Christian artist Steve Camp has written a tribute which includes a song that he and Larry wrote together in 1974. Visit the Steve Camp website here.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Monday, February 18, 2008

The March Miracle...

We're moving our worship services out of our worship center and into our local high school during the month of March. This is a postive step to allow for maximum outreach during the Easter season. Here's four reasons:

#1--We need to unify our church. We have been providing three worship services on Sunday morning for long enough that our church has become three churches. We average less than 300 and yet the reality is that we have three churches of less than one hundred. In other words, instead of having a medium congregation, we look more like three small congregations. Each year, usually at Easter, we come together in one service and the air is filled with excitement. The last two Easter celebrations at Cornerstone have attracted around 500 worshippers each. Last Easter we celebrated Easter at the high school auditorium and had a great event with many decisions for Christ. There is just something exciting about 500+ voices singing praises to God.

#2--We don't have the space to grow. We consistently bump into the 80% rule that states that you will only fill your space consistently by about 80%. We can comfortably seat about 180 which should mean that we have plenty of space to grow in three services. The problem is that our attendance shifts from service to service from week to week. The 8:00 service may be full this week with plenty of seats in the other two. Next week, the 11:00 may be full with room in the 8:00 and the 9:30. Seats aren't the only problem. Our parking lot is consistently full with cars having to park along the street and in a vacant field. Our hallways are not designed to allow the shift of traffic that we have between services as people both leave and arrive. We don't know who our guests are since people are not loyal to one service but regularly shift to another service as their schedule allows. It's hard to tell who is new and who has been attending for some time, perhaps in another service.

#3--We expect a huge Easter crowd. We have more than 100 people praying daily for 1000 worshippers on Easter. The people of Cornerstone are always faithful to bring their friends, family, and coworkers to these big evangelistic events. In addition, we are actively performing acts of kindness into our community. We have more than 100 "AOK" logged and we're still serving. We could not even imagine hosting an event like this one in our existing facility.

#4--We expect many decisions for Christ. We're not just praying for 1000 worshippers, we are praying for 100 decisions for Christ. People are more apt to attend a service at a neutral, non-church location. It's just safer for the unchurched.

In a lot of ways, this is a natural step for us. We have been hosting large worship events away from our facility for many years. They have proven successful for us in all the ways that count--including kingdom growth.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Six Pastors and Counting...

Six! That's right! Cornerstone now has six ordained pastors serving with us. I wanted to say a word about them because on Monday night I will be meeting with them in order to pray with them and to begin discovering God's purpose in bringing them to Cornerstone. Included in the six are myself and my youth pastor who are both serving Cornerstone as fully funded staff. The third in the list is a NAMB missionary who works throughout our state in the area of multi-cultural ministry. He is one of our two worship leaders and we have him in our church about half-time. Number four is the assistant BSU director at Colorado State University. Numbers five and six are brand new to our church having joined us very recently. Both of these men are church planters who have vision for planting churches in our neighboring communities. In addition to these six, we have two young men who are preparing for ministry through educational pursuits (one at SWBTS). I can't wait to see what God is doing...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Union Storm Stories...

Tim Ellsworth has put a collection of videos pertaining to the Union tornado on his blog. You can visit his blog here.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Tornado at Union...

My wife and I both attended Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. I'm sure that you have by now seen the news reports about the tornado that struck the campus yesterday evening. Please join me in praying for the Union Community as they deal with this disaster.

Union University has set up an informational blog. Let me encourage you to use it as a guide in your praying. View it here.

Monday, February 04, 2008

The March Miracle...

Ok, I confess. I have been negligent in my blogging duties. It's not that I don't have anything to say. It's just that for awhile this was starting to feel like work. We can't have that, now can we.
God has given us some really big vision at Cornerstone and we are well on our way to seeing it realized. We are moving our worship services (3) out of our current facility during the month of March and holding one big unified service at our local High School. Our building just isn't big enough to allow our continued growth. We keep bumping our heads against our limited facility. So, we're least for a month.
We currently have more than 100 of our folks committed to praying for 100 decisions for Christ by Easter and for 1000 worshippers on Easter Sunday morning. For the record, our current attendance fluctuates between 250-300. The most that we have ever baptized is less than 30. Our first goal was to get 100 people praying. Check that box! Our February goal is to have 100 Acts of Kindness performed into our community. Last Sunday we recorded almost half that many. It looks like we will double or even triple our goal. The idea is to be incarnational which will lead up to the March Miracle. PRAYER + CARE = SHARE. March will be focused on sharing Christ and inviting everyone we can to worship with us at the High School. Easter Sunday will be the peak with prayerfully 1000 worshippers and 100 decisions for Christ. We will match those 100 new believers with a 100 individual disciplers from our congregation. The idea is not to program discipleship but rather to initiate a friendship that will allow the sharing of lives. Now, here is the exciting part of the vision: if all goes well--we will not return to our building! We won't fit!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

105 lb. Champion!

I'm fairly new to the world of Middle School Wrestling. My youngest son discovered the ancient sport last fall during PE. He decided to try out for the wrestling team and we have been hooked ever since. He weighs in at a hefty 100 lbs and is quick as lightening. I've taught him everything that I know about wrestling through personal interaction. My older brother taught me wrestling by pounding on me relentlessly when we were kids. Unfortunately, much of what I know of the sport is quite illegal (i.e. what I've seen on tv). I'm also an expert on roller derby but most middle schools don't yet offer the "sport". Zach, until recently, held the #2 spot in the 100 lb. weight category. Through a series of unfortunate circumstances he lost his #2 spot to a 95 pounder who was trying to get a #2 spot anywhere on the team. You see, only two players in each weight class get to participate in the varsity tournaments. It's a coveted position. So, he did the natural thing and challenged for the #2 position in the 105 lb. weight class. He won the spot and last Saturday, we traveled to Brush, Colorado for our first tournament of the season. The bottom line--Zach is the 105 lb. champion and I am a very proud father!

Friday, January 18, 2008

The President & Abortion...

What can the President of the United States do to protect the preborn?

Penna Dexter has written an excellent article for Baptist Press on this subject. You can read the entire article here.

Let me share a few quotes outlining just what exactly the President can do about abortion...

  • The presidency provides a bully pulpit to talk about the sanctity of human life.

  • Many pro-lifers believe the best way to end abortion would be to see that the constitution specifically addresses abortion beyond what it already says about the protection of life. A president could advance that cause by endorsing and promoting a human life amendment to the Constitution

  • A pro-life president can make pro-life appointments. The attorney general and the Department of Justice have considerable sway over how laws advancing abortion or limiting it are enforced. And, perhaps most of all, the federal and Supreme Court judges a president nominates have a lasting impact on abortion policy and other pro-life issues in America, hopefully even overturning Roe v. Wade and its companion decision, Doe v. Bolton.

  • A pro-life president can orchestrate a pro-life foreign policy. The president can instruct the U.S. delegation to the United Nations not to force pro-abortion polices on foreign countries, but instead to encourage and support pro-life activities. And the president can prevent foreign aid from being used to support abortion.

  • The president can issue executive orders that protect life.

  • The president can sign pro-life legislation passed by Congress.

  • The president can veto pro-abortion legislation.

Let me encourage you to take a close look at the positions and voting records of each of our presidential candidates. Don't just listen to what they say--look to see what they have done.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Baptists, Catholics, and Episcopalians...

When is the last time that your church invited the Catholics and the Episcopalians over to share a meal? We did last Sunday night! It was really interesting to see these three distinct and diverse congregations come together in friendship and fellowship. The stated reason for our gathering was the need to raise funds for "Stepping Stones" which is a non-profit organization in our community that helps families avoid foreclosure and eviction through rent and mortgage assistance. Funds are very limited and the need is great and so we were more than willing to host the event at our church. Several local eating establishments provided soups and families from our churches brought salads, breads, and desserts potluck style. It was my idea to stretch the purpose and to actually provide a worship experience at the event. The worship began with Cornerstone's Pastor Fernando Cabellero leading us in an awesome time of worship utilyzing his three sons on bass guitar, electric guitar, and drums. Next, Father James from Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church brought a brief message emphasizing among other things the fact that our Lord Jesus had prayed for our unity in his high-priestly prayer found in John 17. We concluded with Deacon Janice Windsor of St. Alban's Episcopal Church leading us through a compline which is a liturgical service of evening prayer. You can read about it at Wikipedia here. All in all, it was a great event. To my knowledge, no essential doctrines were comromised and no harmful effects have befallen us. When we speak of each other's congregations in the future, we must now identify with names and faces, rather than just traditional bias. You can visit the website for Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church here. The website for St. Alban's Epicopal Church is here.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


I am in the early stages of making application to the DMin program of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. Golden Gate has a campus in Denver and I have the opportunity to join a group of my peers from here in Colorado as well as a few students from New Mexico in this quest for a Doctorate of Ministry. I have long wanted to begin work on a PhD but I have never had the motivation to get started. Some of my good friends will be joining me in this venture and so I guess that I am a victim of peer pressure. I'll be posting my journey as I move forward. One of the interesting questions on the application relates to the loss of family members to death and the impact it has had on my ministry. It was quite therapeutic to think through the question and to pen my answer. The degree is supposed to be "transformational" and I would concur that even the application has a transformational nature to it. The emphasis of the DMin will be Church Health which is certainly something in which I would like to gain expertise. You can get more information about the DMin at Golden Gate here. Additional students are being sought after. Please leave a message if you are interested in joining us. The program of study will being in January, 2009.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

My Single Issue...

You can read all about the Des Moines Register Poll from the source here. Governor Huckabee appears to be maintaining his lead going into the Iowa Caucuses on Thursday. It's interesting to me that the Republican establishment appears to quite opposed to the possibilility of a Huckabee nomination. You've got to wonder what they are so afraid of. Clearly they don't think that he can win against whoever the Democrats end up nominating. Fortunately, it's up to the people and not the establishment. It's quite amazing that Huckabee has done so well in Iowa. He has been outspent 20-1 by Mitt Romney and the last few weeks have been filled with a relentless attack from not only Romney but also Republican media icons like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. In spite of this full court press--Mike Huckabee leads Iowa! I don't think that the Rupublican establishment or the media really understand what motivates the conservative Christian vote. It's true that I'm a fiscal conservative interested in smaller government and lower taxes. I believe that the church and individual charities do a much better job of caring for the poor and the indigent than the federal government ever can. Yet, the most important issue for me is the issue of life vs abortion. I will work tirelessly for a truly pro-life candidate! But I will have a difficult time casting a vote for any candidate that supports or even carelessly looks the other way when babies are being killed daily in America. Yes, I am a "single-issue" voter! I am tired of candidates who simply say what I want to hear but do not have "life" as a core conviction. Of all the candidates, I believe that Mike Huckabee, at his core believes that abortion is wrong and will work to save the lives of these innocent preborn. This is how serious I am--I would support a Democrat, an Independent, or even a Libertarian who opposes abortion. It is the most important issue for me! Go Huckabee!