January 26, 2009


So I'm reading the headlines in the local paper "Consumers cut back, retailers overhaul business" by AP writer Anne D'innocenzio.  In the article I see the following quote "For years retailers could afford to be sloppy about running their business because customers kept buying.  No More"  I kept reading and found out that retailers are having to make "drastic changes" in order to get and keep their customers.  Things like hiring outside experts, holding special events, and making extraordinary efforts to gauge customer satisfaction, as well as sales clerks checking back in with customers to see if they're satisfied with their purchases.  Millard 'Mickey' Drexler, J.Crew's Chairman and Chief Executive and former CEO and Visionary of the Gap, Inc. says "WE ARE IN A SEA OF CHANGE."  

With the economy the way it is, the retailers are realizing that in addition to not selling their customer products which are inferior, they also can't "push" what they want to sell onto the customer by whatever means they are most comfortable with.  Retailers understand that even with a great product, they must listen to the customer to hear and understand their needs and then work hard to show their products relevance to those needs.  Once the customer has their product, the retailer must follow up with the customer to see if they're still satisfied...

I see parallels in this description of the retailers "overhaul" of their business in these turbulent times with the God's church.  In a sense, the church has been like the "old" retailers.  Despite having a great product (the love of Jesus Christ) the church has been very narrow in how they have gauged the needs of their community (mission) for their product, as well as failing to "follow up" with the communities satisfaction (nurture) of those who have chosen their product.  I think that just as the retailers need an "overhaul",  so does the church.  

"The love of Jesus Christ" is something that all people not only need, but deserve.  The church sometimes functions in arrogance, thinking that there product requires that people come to them, rather than taking their product to the people.  Acting as if the church can be "sloppy" in their efforts and presentation of "the love of Jesus Christ" and that people will still be drawn to the church because of their need for the product.  

The sad thing is that most of the people who need "the love of Jesus Christ", aren't coming to our store (the church)... rather, they are using inferior substitute products, and have been lied to by our competitor (Satan) that the substitute product will do the same thing that the "real" product will do... without all the hassles and "red tape" involved in the church.  

And for those who have our product , "the love of Jesus Christ", for some time, Satan is working daily on trying to convince them to trade in the churches product for something similar (which is the inferior product) that requires less effort to use and understand.

It's time for an OVERHAUL.  We need to make extraordinary efforts to hear what people are needing in their life and then show and teach them how the "Love of Jesus Christ" can meet that need.  We need to be sensitive to those needs and meet people where they are, not condemning, but helping to bring hope to lives again.  The Church needs to "live life with people"
not just "tell" them how to live life and then step back and watch.  Life is an individual journey that is best when shared with others.

And to those who already have "the love of Jesus Christ", we need to listen and understand where people are struggling and then join them in overcoming their struggles.  Individual struggles, shared by the church, the people, in our efforts to help others sustain hope and faith and develop perseverance that will lead to overcoming their struggles.

We are in "a sea of change"... God is still God, Jesus is still Jesus, the Holy Spirit is still the Holy Spirit, and the Bible is still the Bible... Our product has never been better, but the churches methods of sharing our product need to change to meet the customers needs... just like the retailers in these times, the church needs to "make drastic changes in order to get and keep their customers"  It's not the product that is in need of change, it's perfect...but the methods of the church???

WHAT DO YOU THINK?  Give me a shout

January 16, 2009



LifeSpring, the church I pastor at, had our first preview worship service this past weekend and it was AWESOME.  A lot of great volunteers put together a wonderful worship experience. 


108 people were in attendance and each one seemed to have a great time.  We provided refreshments and fellowship prior to the start of the service. 


Jeffery May, our worship leader, pulled together one of the greatest groups of musicians in the area.  They provided some upbeat worship songs that had the place “ROCKING”.    The worship team played “Awesome is the Lord Most High”, “Let Me Sing”, “Glorious One” and later “Mighty To Save”. 


The message a part of a sermon series based on the 24 series staring Keifer Southerland on Fox.  I spoke on what we do in the 1st hour of our mornings.  We listed many things (Shower, brush teeth, the bathroom things, dry hair, etc.) and then we talked about how to integrate God into the beginning of our day. 


I referred to Psalm 5:3in the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my request before you and wait in expectation”

I challenged people to incorporate in their morning routine the following:

1)  Pray to God

a.   Give to God

                                              i.     Thanks (Name the things that I am thankful for)

                                            ii.     My Love (Tell God “I love you” and why)

b.   Ask God for

                                              i.     Forgiveness from (Name the things I need forgiveness from)

                                            ii.     My Daily Needs (Name my Daily Needs)


2)  Read Scriptures: (Read the passage 3 times slowly)

a.   Read Colossians 3:23&24

                                              i.     Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.  It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

3)  Reflect (Think about it)

a.   What does this Scripture mean about God?

b.   What does this Scripture mean to me?

c.    What does this Scripture have to do with my family?

d.   What does this Scripture have to do with my community?


I then told them about a tool that was guaranteed to help them to do this with each morning without taking more time from their already busy schedule….


I introduced them to the LifeSpring Shower Buddy!


This looks like a plastic sheet protector (that is what it starts out as), but once we put the reminder list of the daily things we want to do in the morning listed above, the plastic sheet protector becomes the LifeSpring Shower Buddy!


The LifeSpring Shower Buddy can be taped up in your shower, on the mirror in the bathroom and even placed on your refrigerator door.   As we go through our regular morning routines, we just look at the LifeSpring Shower Buddy to provide us with the things we need to be 1) praying about 2) reading scriptures about & 3) reflecting on the scriptures before we start the day. 


We still have extra LifeSpring Shower Buddies  available if you would like one.  We will be making more “INSERTS”, with different scriptures to reflect on, available on this blog or our website ( later on this week. 


Email me with your address if you would like a free LifeSpring Shower Buddy


For those of you who are using your new  LifeSpring Shower Buddy let me know how it is working.


I would also like to hear back from those who attended this first Monthly worship service.  Tell me what you liked, disliked, was missing, and what was misunderstood.


More to come later…but it’s late

Love to all



January 10, 2009

tomorrow is a big day.  LifeSpring's first monthly worship service at Bulloch Academy at 10"30am.
You can get directions at

Those who are volunteering, here is the schedule.
7:30 am Building unlocked and band starts set up.
7:30 all teams can begin setting up their areas if necessary
9:30  All volunteers to meet in worship area for last minute instructions and prayer.
9:35   Worship team does "Que. to Que." (this is a "Dry run" of music and stuff to make sure we know what and who the Que. for the next item in the worship service)
10:00 everyone to their areas with smiles 
10:25   5 minute countdown begins

invite a friend and lets have a great time together.

January 9, 2009

Breathing Space

My son Brian plays ball for his high school team, the Bulloch Academy Gators. Just the other day he was telling me about how many "suicides" (or sprints) they had to run at practice. The coach has the team run 1 "suicide" for each point the opposing team scores over a certain number (something like 45 points). So, if the other team scores 52 points, Brian's team has to run, let's say 7 "suicides."

As Brian complained of about how hard it was to catch his breath when he had to run so many consecutive "suicides," it made me think back to my days of playing ball. It was if, all of the sudden, I could feel that pain in my chest from running so much, especially on days when the gym was cold. I wanted nothing more than to just catch my breath. And, I remembered that sharp pain that dug into my side after running a lot. Man, did that hurt! Sometimes, I could even hear and feel my heart beating in my head so loud and hard that I thought I couldn't go on. Before you knew it, I found myself not running as hard as I knew I could. I was "cutting corners" on my sprints just to get some relief.

Just as vividly, I remember what it was like to get that few minutes of "breathing time." I was so glad that there were enough players on our team to have 3 groups running separately. That way, my group could rest and catch our breath while the other two groups were running their "suicides." All I needed was just enough time to catch my breath. It made all the difference in the world during practice and paid off during the game.

Today, I came to a 2 day retreat on St. Simons Island, Ga. with a group of pastors. As I drove over here this morning, I was talking with God about how much I had to do before our first preview worship service this Sunday morning. I didn't have time to "go to meetings." I have been running around like a chicken-with-its-head-cut-off trying these last couple of weeks to get all the loose ends tied up and just didn't have time to waste ...especially in meetings with other preachers. GEESH!

But, guess what? Since I have been here, I've realized that I have been "running suicides" in my own life. All this running around, getting ready to start the new church has caused me to be "out of breath" and lead me to start "cutting corners."

What I am finding during these 48 hours at this retreat is a "break," though it is short. One that is long enough to let me "catch my breath" and get ready for the next "suicide" waiting on me when I return Friday night.

Whatever is weighing you down in our life or causing you to run so hard that you may be "cutting corners," my prayer for you is that God will allow you the opportunity to take a "break," just long enough to catch your breath. God has been helping us breath since we were created. Why would he stop now? We just have to make the time to ask him.

Look at Genesis 2:7

Then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature...


January 7, 2009

Are things REALLY that bad?

Just the other night Danielle (my 12 yr old daughter) and I stayed up late watching a move called "I am Legend" staring Will Smith (awesome move, awesome actor).  It was a fictional movie about a plague that nearly destroyed all of humanity.  The plague took over peoples bodies and turned them into these horrible creatures that could not move around in the day light. ANY WAY, toward the end of the movie it became VERY, VERY intense.  I mean scenes and action that had you up on the edge of your seat one minute, and hiding your eyes behind a pillow the next saying "I can't watch, its too scary" and then following that statement with "Tell me what happens next", and then waiting for the "coast to be clear" before looking up again (I sometimes even put my fingers in my ears to keep from hearing the sound effects or the Music that accelerates my fears)  what ... no one else does this watching movies...yea, right!

After the intense ending of the movie (where the plague infested creatures were after Will Smith), being that it was after midnight, I sent Danielle to bed and I had to go feed our "outside" bulldog, "Cato".  I turned on all the lights I could find and headed out in the outside darkness with the dog food....

And do you know what?  I WAS SCARED.  Here I am a grown man, father of 3, husband of over 26 years, and I WAS AFRAID of the dark... well not the dark particular, but WHAT WAS IN THE DARK THAT I SWEAR, I COULD HEAR MOVING AROUND.  I couldn't see them, but my mind was racing with images of "plague infested creatures" hiding in the woods around the dog pen.  

My Adult mind was mixing in "FICTIONAL" information from the "FICTIONAL" movie (by the way, fictional means "not real", fantasy, imaginary....).  My mind had my senses so "heightened" that I was hearing things and imagining worse things.  These images and thoughts were so strong and real to me that I was nearly running out to the dog pen, talking to the dog very loudly (you know that will nearly ALWAYS scare away plague infested creatures), and looking over my shoulder and up in the trees (those things like to jump down on you when your  not paying attention), and running back in the house and locking the door, and then saying to silly man (though I admit, I felt more like a silly child at that time).

As I have thought about this experience, I am reminded of many of the "experts" takes on what is happening in the world today.  Some have valid input on what is happening and what we should be doing... however, there are some, well lets say, nuts out there giving "Fictional" input, as though it was FACT, and then stirring up fear in people.  Fear that is causing some to be "paralyzed" with fear, and others to Run around looking over their shoulders and into the sky, waiting for the sky to fall or the end of times to happen. 

Truth is, though you nor I nor any other experts really knows what the next day holds, God does.  In fact, this "crisis" we are facing that we didn't see coming as it did....well, God saw it.  God saw it and is watching us running around looking this way and that way for help from who know what book or talk show host or new paper, or web site, when we should be looking to him for guidance in this time.  

Fear in our imaginations can create many things that aren't there and cause us to do things that we wouldn't do else wise.  

Know what, the next day after I had a good night sleep and went outside to the dog's pen, guess what.... there were no signs of any "plagued creatures" any where to be found.  Just the beautiful land that surrounds the beautiful home that God has blessed our family with.   I guess that in the midst of my "Late night fear" I should have just asked God to help clear my imagination and take away my fear of the unknown...

I suppose I will try to do that on a daily basis now.  What about you?  any thoughts?

January 2, 2009

Happy New Year,
I don't know about you, but I today seemed like a new day, a new beginning.  I mean, during the day I would do something and remind myself that this was the "1st time" I did that in 2009.  So by the end of the day, I was doing things just so I could say to myself, that's a good start to a new year.  

So many things change over the year, as each day goes by....I think back to the first of the year when Georgia was the preseason #1 in the nation... and just today, they finished the season at #15... winning the Capital One Bowl against Michigan State.  Things didn't end up like they had hoped... too many fumbles, penalties, miss blocks, dropped passes, and the list goes on.  But after todays one season ends...the next starts...and now they can dream again of a national championship...

In many ways that is the same for me.  All the failures and mistakes that I made during the past year are now gone.... as the ball touched down in New York last night, signaling the end of one year and the beginning of a new year, the past was left behind.  I get to start over with a new CLEAN slate.

I look forward to this new year.  I get the opportunity to begin things ... again... for the first time.  To apply the things I learned from last year and do better this year.... Loving God, Loving my wife and children, loving and serving others, and taking care of myself physically, mentally, and spiritually.

What things are you looking forward to getting a new start at?  let me know.