Andy Postell's Blog


Advent is Coming
November 16, 2010, 7:05 am
Filed under: Holidays

In the early centuries of the church, the focus of the Advent season was on the disciplines of fasting and prayer. It was a time to rightly align your heart with the passions of Jesus – to identify with his love for the world, his connection to the poor and suffering, and his commitment to justice. The Christmas feast was never intended to be a time of self-focus gluttony but a self-sacrificing commitment to God’s redemptive mission in the world.

The earliest traditions of St. Nicholas (the predecessor to Santa Claus)  were about giving gifts to the poor – not the receiving of gifts for the self.

Where did Christmas become a time of simply memorializing the ‘infant baby Jesus’ through songs, pageants, and candlelight rituals? As followers of Christ, lets call for this season of Advent to be a time where we commit to prayer and fasting. Lets challenge each other to have a more simple Christmas.

Lets:

  • fast from unnecessary spending
  • give gifts that we personally make
  • give an equal amount to a cause that Jesus is invested in that would equal to the amount that we spend on a family member
  • serve this holiday season. The greatest gift we can give our children is the gift of servanthood
  • adopt a Christmas family that would have little, if any, Christmas without your help

My prayer for all of us at The Well this Advent season is that we discover the incredible gift of Jesus’ miracle birth and how through our desire to reach out to others – we are reminded and overwhelmed with the reality that God is with us.

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Holding Jesus’ Hand
January 26, 2010, 2:16 pm
Filed under: People in the community

Why do I learn so much from kids? A mother was telling me a story this Sunday at church about their child. She told me that she was talking to her son the other night and they started talking about God and things like that. For some reason, she asked her son what he would do if he met Jesus face to face. What would he say? How would he act? As she told me the story, I wondered how my own kids would respond to such a question. Then, I thought about how I would respond. What would I do? How would I act? Would it depend on what I was doing? Would I want to meet Jesus everywhere I go or are there some places that I would just not want to encounter Jesus?

Then, the mother told me her son’s reply. Her son simply answered – “I would grab his hand and go wherever he wanted to take me.” Wow! I don’t know about you but that is the kind of faith I seek and desire.  I argue with God too much. I try to negotiate with God too much. I try to tell God what I want before I ever ask what He wants. Maybe one day – I will have the faith of this little boy and simply grab His hand and let Him lead me wherever.



Psalm 1
January 20, 2010, 7:00 am
Filed under: Daily Reflections

I am starting over reading the psalms and hope you will join me. I love to read them alongside of other scriptures because I think that the Psalms reach us at some of our truest emotions. As I read the first Psalm, i find myself thankful. I am thankful that I have friends around me that ‘delight in doing what the Lord wants’. I realize that they are not perfect. They, too, realize that they are not perfect. But, they enjoy serving God. They seek His wisdom and clarity. They offer me great spiritual counsel and desire for me to be everything God created me to be. Do you have that in your life. When you think of your closest friends – do they build up your faith or do they tear it down? My prayer for us all is that we can all be ‘like a tree on the riverbank’ where we can soak up God’s word and produce actions and attitudes that honor Him.



Pants on the Ground
January 19, 2010, 12:22 pm
Filed under: People in the community

Who hasn’t heard of General Larry Platt?  The guy is going to get famous (or at least have his moment of fame) for acting crazy on American television. He was the talk around the water cooler on Thursday. A video of him was performing has been viewed over a million times on You Tube in 5 days.  They even have a ringtone of General Platt singing his song. If I were a betting man, I would bet that General Platt will be seen again at the American Idol finale. I mentioned him in  my message on Sunday and I had several people after the service comment on his performance. It seems that everyone is talking about it. No one seems hesitant to share their opinion of General Platt.

Then, I was studying this morning and it led me to Matthew 27 where it tells the story of Jesus on the cross and what he did for me. I sit in awe that Jesus loves me and you that much. Then, I wonder. Why are we so hesitant to talk about Jesus around the water cooler? What makes a man singing a funny song (and I like General Platt, don’t get me wrong) more infectious than a man dying so we can live for eternity? Can you imagine what would happen if the Christians of the world would get as excited about Jesus Christ as we are about General Platt? FYI – a scene from Passion of the Christ has been on You Tube for two years and it has only been viewed half as much as General Larry Platt has been viewed in 5 days.

To all of us who believe, lets get excited and tell someone what we know.



What an amazing sight!
January 11, 2010, 10:02 am
Filed under: Life Experiences

A gentleman came up to me yesterday after the message and said – “your message really spoke to me.” With tears streaming down his face, he began to recount for me his story. He began to share with me his own personal journey with God. He began to connect his worth to God’s view of him rather than his own view of himself. In other words, he began to realize that God cared for him. He began to realize that God came into his world and is concerned for him. What an amazing sight to see!

As we plan messages and series, we talk about set design and worship songs. We strive to look for fresh new ways to convey the Gospel message and yet be faithful to the Gospel message. We approach the worship experience from every aspect to create an experience where people are able to know God is present in their lives and so that they can hear God speak to them. Yet, we often leave without knowing the effect that the experience had on individual people.

As a pastor, I often have people call me during the week and talk about the message but I don’t always have such an immediate affirmation of God’s power and presence. I didn’t really think about it but was extremely thankful for the opportunity to witness it. It was such a tremendous reminder of God’s active involvement in our lives.

As we left the church, a couple of us were heading to the office to put together some packets for a class later in the afternoon. As we traveled down the road, one of the ladies in our church saw a woman fall alongside the road. She quickly made us aware of the situation and we made our way to the scene. The woman, obviously very confused, lay beside the road cold, shivering, and in need. After calling 911, we sat with her. We took our coats off and kept her warm. We searched our vehicles for blankets to make her more comfortable until the authorities arrived. I was able to pray for her as I sat in the cold and held her hand. It hit me this morning as I thought back to Sunday, these two events are not unrelated. For this woman on the side of the street, those of us who stopped were also a way that God reminds us that He is actively involved in our lives. He uses us to reveal His love. (1 John 2). What an amazing sight to see!



It is amazing what a sunrise can do!
January 4, 2010, 3:06 pm
Filed under: Life Experiences

The past week has been tough. My family and I had plans to go out of town but then Lydia didn’t feel so great so we decided that we would have a ‘stay-cation’ where we would stay at home and get some projects done around the house. In addition, we would go out in the evenings and do some fun activities. However, a few days into our ‘stay-cation’, Lydia began to feel worse and we found out she had pneumonia. Everything changed. Our plans were altered and we really had no control over the issue.

In addition, our church had 2 different medical emergencies that required me to spend a good bit of time at the hospital. Thankfully, they both have turned out positively so far. Trenton, a little boy having brain surgery, has gone home and is resting. Cynthia, a lady in our church, has both her mother and sister in the ICU at the same hospital but both seem to be stable. Lydia, as well, seems to be improving. All of that to say that the ‘stay-cation’ didn’t go as planned.

The question then becomes – when does life ever go as planned. It never does. We never plan on sickness. We never plan on emergency surgeries. We never plan on any of the unexpected things that life throws at us. I wrestled with this thought all weekend. What can I plan on? What can I depend on? As I watched the sunrise this morning  – I saw my answer. I can count on God. Every day – I am able to see His ability to bring about a new day. I see His ability to create. I see His ability to bring something bright from the midst of darkness. The scripture reminds us in Luke 18:27 – “what is impossible with men is possible with God.”  For me, that is enough.



Can you teach ‘an old dog’ new tricks?
December 31, 2009, 3:53 pm
Filed under: Life Experiences

The answer is yes! I have always been proud to be a DAWG but ‘an old dog’ is not the greatest description. However, it fits me perfectly today because I learned something very valuable yesterday. I learned something that I have been struggling with for over a year. The struggle was over whether Facebook could actually be community.

I guess I am ‘an old dog’ because I assumed that community required some physical presence. I struggled with Facebook being able to actually draw people together. I used terms like ‘pseudo-community’ and ‘false sense of community’ to describe the relationships that were going on with Facebook. Now, I do think that Facebook and other social networks have that potential as well (if you limit your communication to only social networks)  but I saw something yesterday that absolutely amazed me.

I was sitting in a hospital waiting room while a family awaited news on their son who was having brain surgery. Isolated from most of the people they knew, they sat and read the notes (on Facebook) of the people that were praying for them and their son. Tears came to all of our eyes as they realized that the Body of Christ was present and that God was with them. I realized that in an age of technology – it doesn’t have to limit your community but is able to broaden the community. Now, you may disagree but I think that the father who became aware that people all across the country and world were praying for his son would argue otherwise. I certainly know that a pastor who watched his congregants be comforted by status updates will never look at it the same again. I recently preached on ‘new wineskins’ being new ways to reach new people and I think I understand that scripture differently today.



Flash from the Past
December 15, 2009, 4:11 pm
Filed under: Sundays

Sunday was such an awesome day! As I reflected on the weekend, I am continually amazed at what God is doing in our midst. I have the privilege of getting to hear the stories of how God is bringing about healing and reconciliation in the lives of people. Of course, alongside that privilege is the responsibility of being there during the difficult times as well. As we were setting up for our kids Christmas celebration (which was awesome), I got a phone call from a person who had crossed my path years ago.

This lady was in a very low place in her life and was dealing with a difficult situation with her son, who was seriously ill. In ministry, there are times when you never really know what to say or what to do. This was one of those times for me. I finally decided to just be there. I didn’t really offer any guidance. I didn’t really offer any help. I held her hand. I held her son’s hand. I allowed her to cry and vent. Then, in the blink of an eye – they were both gone. I never heard from them again and never knew what happened. I have thought of them over the years and wondered how they were. Sunday – she called.

They still live in the area and still have health issues. Her son is nearly 10 and he just took his first step. However, she once again has joy in her life and she is able to see a purpose. She tracked me down to simply say thank you for being there in her darkest time. I am not telling this story to make myself feel better but I think we often never know the impact that we make on people’s lives with small acts of generosity and love. I was given the privilege of seeing a glimpse of what God can do through us. A person in the midst of darkness can be shown a small glimmer of God’s light and it can bring about a miracle. I hope that I never forget the lesson that I learned on Sunday and I pray that I am able to live it every day.



Introducing the Bandys
November 1, 2009, 10:06 pm
Filed under: People in the community

I want to introduce you to a family that our church has come to know as ‘The Bandys’. They are a couple that was recently flooded out of their home. I don’t know about you but I cannot even imagine losing everything and having to start over. To make matters worse, the Bandys have been told by the emergency officials that their house is not in bad enough condition to be condemned. They cannot live it due to the mold and water damage; yet, they can’t get the assistance to fix their home. Some might argue that they should have had flood insurance but I know a lot of people who don’t have flood insurance, including me. So, I could easily be the Bandys. They simply don’t know what to do.

Our church took up an offering for the Bandys. We have never met them and probably never will. I know them through my parents and I think we can all sympathize with their plight. Starting over would be difficult but imagine doing it at 84. I took the check by their house the other day and they were not there so I left it for them as a gift from our church. My father just called me and told me that he went to visit them after church and she just cried and cried when she told him about the check. She said that it was just a reminder to her that God would provide. For many of us, it was such a simple gesture. For the Bandys, it was a powerful reminder of God’s love and grace.



Do you have the Monday blues?
October 26, 2009, 8:39 pm
Filed under: Sundays

I was reading this afternoon in the book of 1 Timothy. In the final chapter, Paul gives a final challenge (you know how I love the word challenge) to Timothy for him to always pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. Paul goes on to challenge Timothy to fight the good fight of faith. (1 Timothy 6: 11-12)

Planting a new church can be one of the most difficult callings in ministry. I am not trying to diminish any other calling as I am sure that we all have days where we feel like our call is possibly the most challenging. There are days that I would read this passage and feel like I dont even have the energy to fight the good fight. Today is not one of those days.

I read a little further and the passage says that God gives life to everything. (vs 13) That phrase is what caught my attention as I read the scripture today. I received more emails today than I have ever received about a message. Apparently, God really moved in our church yesterday as we talked about God’s grace being sufficient for all things. One person wrote that the message really challenged them to examine how they looked at the difficulties that they were facing. Another person wrote that they could affirm everything that I preached as God have given them strength to walk through a struggle that would seem impossible to many of us. Another person wrote that they were simply thankful that we could be a place that was not afraid to talk about the difficult sides of life and they felt more accepted as a result of the message. I could literally go on and on.

So, my energy is not the typical Monday energy level. No, today – I am extremely thankful. I am thankful that I get to be a part of such an incredible group of people who are striving to come to understand what they believe. I am thankful that I am part of a group of people who are learning to not be afraid of talking about difficulties and also willing to share their joys. I am thankful that I serve alongside people who are willing to sacrifice in order to build the Kingdom of God. I am thankful that I am witnesses God giving life to The Well.



Thoughts from Sunday
October 19, 2009, 4:32 pm
Filed under: Sundays

Should church be something that we WANT to attend? I had someone come up to me after my message and introduce themselves. They told me that they were at church for the very first time. They told me that they came because someone who visited for the very first time last week had called them and told them that they had to come with them this Sunday. The guy went on to tell me that his greatest observation was that it was amazing that people seemed excited to be at church. He said that he had never seen that. He plans to come back because he said he was leaving WANTING to return and that was an unexpected experience.

Should church be a place where people feel like their voices are heard? I had another person come to me after the message that has been coming to The Well since we started. They told me that they had been at another church prior to The Well and that my message really spoke to them. They said that they had approached their previous church with the same things that I preached about and no one would listen. Now, I have no idea how the conversations took place but this person’s perception was that they were not being heard. Perception is often reality to most people. This person was so excited because they felt like even though the people in the church had not heard them – God had and that The Well was an answer to their prayer years ago.

 Should church be a place where we are not afraid to look at other religions? We gathered last night to look at the Hindu faith and what are some of there main beliefs. We compared their beliefs to the basic beliefs of Christianity. Our reasoning was simple – if God calls us to reach out to everyone – shouldn’t we know what they believe. After the study, I had someone mention that they really enjoyed the study because we were not afraid to examine other faith traditions. They said they felt more prepared to engage someone of the Hindu faith – maybe not in a purely theological discussion – but they would not be afraid to talk about what they believe as a Christian.



Thoughts from the Bahamas
October 6, 2009, 7:54 pm
Filed under: Bahamas Mission Trip

I am constantly amazed at God. I was walking yesterday down a street in Staniard Creek on Andros Island in the Bahamas. As I walking and thinking, I was reminded that it was the actual anniversary of our church holding weekly services. Last year at this time, my focus and efforts were just on having weekly services and all of the energy that would take. I had never been to Andros Island – let alone heard of Staniard Creek.

Yet, God led us as a church to this small settlement and to a community that is starving for Jesus Christ. I think about the community that we live in Bartow County and how 66% of the community do not have a relationship with Jesus. I think about the passion that is growing in our church to reach those outside the church. Then, I think about how 95% of the people in Staniard Creek have no active relationship with Christ. If that is not frightening, 100% of the settlement down the island (which is 15 minutes away) are not connected to Christ. In the midst of the difficult situations that these people are living, they have no desire to be in relationship with God Almighty. To make matters worse – very few are trying to reach them.

Think about that. A short plane ride away is a community that is completely in need of Jesus’ love and mercy. One year ago, we had no idea they existed. Today, we do. We can no longer ignore them. We can no longer only worry about the unchurched in Bartow County. Our mission field has been expanded.

I continued to walk down the small road in Staniard Creek in order to get me a coke from J&J Foodland (not as impressive as it may sound – but a wonderful luxury) and found myself anticipating the miracle that God is bringing together. Will someone from our church be called into fulltime ministry on Andros Island? Will we put together some teams that will be able to build a camp to host larger mission teams? Will we return this summer and see adults come to know Christ. Only time will tell. The only thing that I am confident in is that I will certainly continue to be amazed at God.



What A Year It Has Been!
September 30, 2009, 7:33 pm
Filed under: Sundays

When I have a birthday, I dont think that a year is that big of a deal. In fact, I often downplay the need of any mention or festivity.  However, my little girl is the exact opposite. She gets excited and anticipates it months in advance. She tells everybody she knows that her birthday is approaching. Of course, she is fishing for more gifts but the excitement is real.

The truth is that she is right. A year is a big deal. We should celebrate. If we believe that life is a gift from God, we should be joyful that we have another day to serve Him. We have another year to reach out and help people see the love that God has for them. It is truly a blessed opportunity. Our church is turning one year old this Sunday. As I think back to the past year, I am overwhelmed with emotions because I see the possibilities that exist within the life of our church.

Every person that has come into our church in the past twelve months represents a life that God is working on. I am a realistic person and I realize that not everyone has stayed at The Well. Some drifted in for a few weeks and some were quick to decide that we were not the church for them. But, many have stayed. Many have began to get plugged in. Many are beginning to understand the vision we have for reaching people in Bartow County as well as the vision to be focused on mission. Many have professed their faith in Jesus Christ. Many have traveled to another country to shine the light. Many have served. Many have worked together on community causes and acts of kindness. Many have invited friends. Many have grown in their understanding of God. Many have grown in their understanding of their neighbor. We should celebrate. Yes, the truth is that God has even greater things yet to come; however, we should not diminish the great things He has done in our midst already.

Sunday is going to be a great day. It will be a great day because we get to worship the Lord Almighty. It will be a great day because we will see friends and family. It will be a great day because we will get to sing out and praise Jesus. It will be a great day as we look forward to the coming year. As I think back to what a year it has been in our church, I am even more hopeful for what God is going to do in the coming year. 

My prayer is that we are just simply faithful. Sunday is going to be amazing – for no other reason than the fact that we will experience God’s love, mercy, and grace.



O Happy Day!!!
September 28, 2009, 2:14 am
Filed under: Sundays

Sunday was unbelievable. First, Kyle was great and the service ended with such enthusiasm. You never know when you end a service with such a upbeat song like Broadcast by Steve Fee but it worked. I think everybody was rocking out and you could see that people were excited about worshiping God. Hands were up in the air and clapping and people were singing. It was great to see people not worried about what others think and just focused on praising God.

For me personally, Sunday was also a great reminder of God’s ability to provide strength in the midst of weakness. Just before the service – I was notified that my uncle had passed away. Focused on my aunt and mother, I was somewhat distracted. However, God poured out his Spirit and gave me the ability to focus on Him and his message when I needed to.

It was also great to see so many people stepping out on faith to share the message with the world. We had domestic, international and local mission opportunities for people to get involved. I think it was thirty minutes after the service and there was still people looking over the different ministries and getting involved. It is so cool to see people getting excited about serving God and leaving their comfortable surroundings in order to reach new people for Jesus. It was a great way to end the first full year of weekly services. I cannot wait to start another year of ministry at The Well.



God is Amazing
September 24, 2009, 2:23 pm
Filed under: People in the community

I received a text late last night from someone who ended their text with the phrase – ‘God is Amazing!’  The person shared that God had got a hold of them over the last couple of days and would not let go. After surrendering to God, they shared with some other people what God had laid on their heart. As a result of this person’s faithfulness, two people came to profess their faith in Jesus Christ.  I hear stories like this and I am blown away at the way God works. Why on earth would God use us? We constantly make mistakes, we fail Him all the time; yet, He works through us to reach into someone’s life and change them. God is Amazing.

I got another email from a parent where their child had taken our invitation cards to school and gave one to every child in their class and their teacher. This is a third grader. He cared so much for his classmates that he wanted them all to come to church. I, of course, offered to get him more cards if he needed them – I figured he might keep going to the entire third grade. Seriously, this is what God desires from all of us. God desires that we look at every person with the compassion and love that He has for them. Inviting someone to church is more than an effort to increase statistical categories – it is living out the reality that God cares for everyone and we should too.

We have watched over the last couple of days as our neighbors have had their homes, businesses and schools flooded and ruined. I have been glued to the news as I grew up in the area and have so many family and friends affected by the storm. So much devastation and despair. The reality for those of us outside the affected areas – the despair that these people feel is right here in our neighborhoods as well. Our friends and families have lost jobs, had their homes foreclosed on, have lost family to tragedies and illness. How do we offer any of them hope? First, we have to be like the 3rd grader and care. We have to be genuinely concerned for people. We have to be willing to come alongside of them and listen to their stories. Then, we have to be like the person who sent me the text. We have to be willing to surrender and let God use us.

In the midst of crisis and despair that life sometimes brings, God can use you and me to pour His Spirit into someone’s life and for them to feel the overwhelming love of the God that created the universe. God can use you and me to pour His Spirit into someone’s life and offer them comfort and peace that we cannot offer ourselves. God can use you and me to pour His Spirit into someone’s life and offer them hope when we can’t even see it or express it. God is amazing! Never forget it. God is Amazing! Live it. God is Amazing!



Sunday Recap
September 14, 2009, 4:38 am
Filed under: Sundays

What can i say? If you missed this morning at The Well, it was incredible. Jacob Burson gave the message as part of a series that we are doing on what it means to be a disciple. As we look at the task of a disciple to assist in spreading the message, Jacob called us all to examine our commitment to Jesus.  Anything less than 100% should not be acceptable. His message was tough at times as I am sure that many of us were somewhat uncomfortable but his message was also truthful.

At the end of the message, Jacob gave a passionate plea to commit to reaching out to those who dont go to church. He reminded us that our task is not to simply increase numerical numbers but he reminded us that we are called to assist in building the Kingdom. The amazing thing was to watch people respond to God’s promptings. I, along with Jacob, can’t wait to see where God is taking us as a church.

We also began to promote our next Random Act of Kindness. By nature, a Random Act of Kindness is random so people have to sign up before they even know what they are doing. I realize that can be a scary process but you can’t believe how many people signed up. The coolest thing about an Act of Kindness is that is so much fun. We don’t realize that evangelism can be fun and exciting but it can. So, I am looking forward to what God is going to do when we show up in Euharlee and ………(can’t tell you yet)

Finally, the band was great. You may not have known that Kyle wasn’t feeling well but God was able to show that He is able to provide strength when we are weak. Erica was a great addition and I loved having a female voice in the mix. For me, the final song, I Will Rise, was just incredible. I realize that I am an emotional person but the tears were flowing as Kyle sang those words – “I Will Rise when He calls my name” – May we all be able to shout that truth.



What is a changed life?
January 21, 2009, 1:22 pm
Filed under: People in the community, Uncategorized

Changed lives are so hard to measure and yet they are something that every church desires to see. (at least, I hope we do) Every once in a while, we have the opportunity to see someone whose life is in the midst of a God transformation. Let me tell you about a young man in our church. I received a phone call yesterday from this young man about an upcoming youth meeting in our church. He wanted to come but he had already committed to a previous event with his scout troop. We talked about his choices and I did not encourage him either way. I wanted him to make the decision and did not want to get in the middle of a family decision. Scouts has been a big part of this young man’s life and I did not want to discount the effect. He thanked me for the time and hung up. Several hours later, I received a text from the young man that simply read – ‘coming 2 youth’. My first reaction was hesitant. I wondered if he felt pressured . Then, I was reminded of the scripture in 2 Corinthians that talks about being a new creation. It talks about old things passing away and new things coming. Isn’t that transformation! This young man was willing to sacrifice something that was valuable to him in order to connect to a group that is going to help him grow closer to Christ. I am so proud for him. My prayer is that we are all able to follow the example of this young man.



Big Announcement
January 20, 2009, 1:06 am
Filed under: Sundays

We had a great Sunday at The Well. Kyle started us out with a new song, ‘Sing,Sing, Sing’, and it just set the tone for a great day of worship. Even with the threat of weather and a school holiday weekend, we had a good crowd and some new faces. We even had a ‘skit’ where Jacob interrupted the service in order to talk about our upcoming SuperBowl party. Our hope is that we all understand the importance of this fellowship opportunity. First, it is a great chance to invite friends. People often will come to an event like this long before they will ever come to church. This is going to be a real family event as we are going to have moonwalks and sports game for all ages, free hamburgers and hot dogs, live music, and ‘The Well Bowl’. While all of that is great, the most exciting part of the event is that we are going to be making a  ‘big announcement’ at the SuperBowl party. This announcement will help set our course as a church in 2009 and is something that I would love for everyone to come and hear. As we get closer to the party, I am sure I will have more to say and I also expect that we will see more of Jacob in the future. Until then, start talking it up. SuperBowl party – Excel Christian Academy – Sunday February 1st @ 6:00 p.m.    



Bahamas 2009
January 13, 2009, 4:10 am
Filed under: Bahamas Mission Trip

We had an awesome meeting yesterday about our upcoming mission trip.  It is hard to believe that our new church is already forming a foreign mission team but it sure is exciting. We had 21 people (and we have more meeting on Tuesday) who are seriously interested in the mission trip come to the meeting. Of those 21 people, only four had ever been on a foreign mission trip. Isn’t that cool? People excited about sharing Jesus with people they don’t even know. People excited about taking the message of Jesus to a completely different culture. Now, we had our normal concerns – money, being able to dry our hair, and of course the bathroom and shower facilities but we talked about the transforming power that comes in sharing God’s love.  I can’t wait.  I believe that we are going to see some people experience some radical life transformation over the next few months. Stay tuned!



God of this City
January 6, 2009, 4:41 am
Filed under: Sundays

Sunday was just awesome. We ended the service with what is becoming one of my favorite songs – God of this City. I don’t know about you but I can sometimes get caught up in the negative. This song reminds me of the great things that God has planned for us. It reminds me of the great things that God wants to bring about. It encourages me and inspires me to live life confident of God’s promises. I think of how far God has brought us in one year and can’t wait to see where God will take us in 2009. I also loved to see the new faces. The first week of the year can be a time where some people make a decision to start attending church and I think the message hit home with alot of us. We all have areas in our lives that we know are not quite in line with the way God desires for us to live – our challenge is to name it. Commit to living differently in 2009. Remember, God has great things in store for us.



Ricky Bobby and the Baby Jesus
January 3, 2009, 3:54 pm
Filed under: Sundays

Have you seen the movie – ‘Talladega Nights’? There is a scene where Ricky Bobby is saying grace before the meal and he prays to baby Jesus. His wife yells at him that Jesus grew up but Ricky Bobby tells her that he prefers to think of Jesus as a baby.

I think we do that sometimes as well. We celebrate Christmas and we like the image of Christ as a baby. Sweet, pure, and innocent. It makes us feel good and comfortable. Yet, Jesus grew up. Jesus experienced some tremendous temptations. Jesus suffered. Jesus sacrificed alot for me and you. As I prepare for this Sunday, I am reminded what an incredible HERO Jesus is.  I am looking forward to this coming month at The Well as we look at HEROES and how we can grow in our influence within our family and friends.



2008 – WOW!
January 2, 2009, 6:57 pm
Filed under: Holidays

The beginning of a new year is always a time where we stop and think back on the previous year.  We remember the good times and we reflect on the difficult parts. As I work through this process in the life of the church, I can’t begin to tell you how thankful I am for everything that God has done.

As we began the year, we had about three or four families that had committed to The Well. We had no location and we very little resources. All we could do was pray. Pray for God’s guidance and clarity and the courage to follow through on what God was calling us to do. I have a group of people that I send prayer requests to every week (I have been doing this since we first found out that we were planting a church). Fortunately, my friend saved all my requests and sent me the prayer requests that I sent at the beginning of 2008. My prayer at the beginning of the year was for “God to guide people into my path that either had a desire to help start a church or were in need of a church community.” As I looked at that prayer and thought about the year, I stand in amazement. We just completed what was probably our most labor intensive week in the life of our new church. During the week of Christmas, we moved our entire church 5 different times. If you are part of a church that has a physical location, think about that when you think about the pros and cons of your building. Even though we moved the church 5 times, we had people willing to do that. Some took time off from work and others used their vacation time to make sure that everything was ready and available for Sundays and Christmas Eve. We had people willing to serve. In addition, we had hundreds come on Christmas Eve that did not have a church community that they called their own.

I am reminded of how faithful God is and how His timing is not always my own. As I prepare for 2009, my prayer doesn’t really change. I still pray that God will guide people into my path as I know that there are still so many people who need to find a church where they can worship. I also know that there are resources that God has for our church that I simply have to wait on. But, I will say that I pray more confidently and boldly. I know God has great things in store for The Well and look forward to being a part of such an awesome community of faith.



God is amazing!
October 24, 2008, 12:34 pm
Filed under: Sundays

Here is a simple thought – God is amazing. I have been thinking this past week about how God truly changes us. I wish that I could explain it but it is something that you experience. This past Sunday, our new church had the privilege of watching a family give their hearts to God. A mother and her two daughters were forever changed. It was a powerful moment and a wonderful reminder of God’s ability to change us.

Over the past week, I have had time each day to reflect on the change that God has brought about in me. (Believe me, it is certainly God bringing about the change.) I know that I have a long way to go in my relationship with God but watching a baptism inspires me to think about how God has worked in my life. I think about some of the relationships that have been restored. I think about some of the greed that has been taken away. I think about some of the bad habits that God has broken and some of the positive habits that God has poured into me. I am not the same person that I was many years ago. I am sure that those of you who knew me in high school and college are probably thankful for that. But, the scripture in 2 Corinthians that talks about that in Christ, we are new creations is certainly true. The scripture goes on to say that the old has gone and the new has come.

When I think of that scripture, I immediately think of these three brave women who have entered into a life in Christ. The scripture focuses my attention on the future. What does God have in store for these women. What will He use them to do? I think of all the people that guided me on my path and wonder – ‘who will they guide?’ Who will come to know Jesus through something they do or say. Who will be forever changed becuase of some random act of kindness that they show? We may never know the answer to these questions (in this life) but I know that God is alive and working in our midst. He is bringing about change that truly matters. I think it is going to be fun to watch.



Kids just get it!
October 4, 2008, 3:31 am
Filed under: Life Experiences

Here is a simple thought – kids just get it!. I know that the Bible teaches us that we should have the faith of a child. Now, I also realize that we should desire to grow in our faith but I truly hope to keep the excitement and sense of awe that children have. I hope to grow in my ability to run toward God with such an expectation of His presence.

I came home today after doing some of the last minute things that you do on the Friday before a new church launches. I had gone to Walmart for supplies, put out what seems like 1000 yard signs, worked on my sermon, and made sure that people were in place for the various servant positions. I came home tired and ready to just sit and rest. My son came home from school (8th grade) and was excited and joyful. I figured it was just the fact that it was Friday and that meant that he had two days away from school.

Over dinner, I asked him why he was in such a good mood. He quickly responded that he was excited for the launch. He was excited that we were going to have church every Sunday. He was excited because people were going to come to church on Sunday that might never have gone to church. Here I was tired and wanting to sit and rest and my son was excited and ready to move. I want that excitement. I wonder some times about the effect that planting a church has on my kids. Will it require too much of my time?

What I realize is that my kids are seeing the scriptures come to life. They are seeing the value of commitment. They are seeing people come back to an active faith. They are seeing the attitude of Jesus in the service opportunities. They are seeing the church working with a unified purpose. They are seeing God move in a group of people. In addition, they are feeling God move in their own life. They are excited about worship. They are excited about serving. They are getting it and they want to share it with others. I pray that we all come to that place in our life.



God Is Creator
October 2, 2008, 10:39 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Here is a simple thought – God is Creator. I have grown up in the church for most of my life (high school and college years are a different story) and I have always thought of God as the Creator. The Bible teaches us that God created the heavens and the earth. I look around and see leaves changing and I know that God’s creation is in the midst of change. While this may seem very simple, I never really thought much about God as a present day Creator. For me, God as Creator was always a thought of past creations. I know it sometimes takes me longer than some people but I have learned so much over the past year about God as a Creating God. He is still creating.

When I came to Cartersville some fourteen months ago, I did not know a single person. I moved my family here with the passion to start a church. I am sure that I had ideas of what I would do but I have learned that I am much more effective when I tap into what God is already doing. Church at The Well is not my church. It is God’s church. I have met people that literally said that they were ‘waiting on us’ to move here. They didn’t know me. They simply knew that God was calling them to something. I have met people that moved here years before I did and were searching for something. They just didn’t know what they were suppose to do. I have met people that moved here about the same time I did and just didn’t know how to connect. I have also met people that were not even thinking about church. Looking back over the past year, I could give you story after story of people that God has (and is) bringing together to be part of The Well. I stand here amazed that God created His church and has been planning and creating for years to get us to the place where we are today.

As I sit and write this post, our church is three days away from the launch of weekly services. We have prayed and prayed. We have planned. We have prepared. We have promoted. We have done everything we can do to be ready for this tremendous day. Just think, you don’t have the opportunity very often to watch God create something out of nothing. Despite all of our efforts, I still find myself standing in awe of what God is able to do. One of the ways that we have promoted our church is to purchase the cover of a local magazine here in Bartow County – Bartow Buzz. The magazine got delivered today. I just checked my email and I had an email from a person who has lived here in Cartersville for a couple of years. She told me that her family just never found a church that they felt comfortable. She said that she had seen signs for The Well but never even knew what we were or even cared to find out. She said that she had prayed LAST NIGHT for God to guide her to the place she needed to be to connect to Him. Today, she got the Buzz in her mailbox. She said she knew nothing about The United Methodist Church. She said she knew nothing about modern style of worship. She has never heard me preach. But, she said that she also knew that God wanted her at The Well on Sunday. I have no idea if she will become a member of our church. But, I know that God is working in her life. God is reaching out to her.

That  is a comforting thought. It brings me hope and peace because I know that God is continually reaching out to me. God is working to grow me toward Him. When I look at myself honestly, I find it overwhelming that God is still creating. He is creating in me. He is creating through me. The same is true for you. Isn’t that cool?



Promises of God
January 2, 2013, 1:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

The story of Noah always intrigues me. Read Genesis 4-7. I read his story and wonder – would I have built the ark? You have to imagine that people scoffed at him and ridiculed his family as a result of his actions. Yet, the Scriptures are clear – “Noah did everything just as God commanded him” (6:22). I listen to his story and am amazed at his resolve, his certainty, and his faith. What allowed him to push through the ridicule and stay focused on the task that God had given him? In my opinion, it is the covenant that God makes in 6:18. God declared the covenant and Noah probably knew that God was going to take care of him and his family. His story always encourages me to think about what God has promised me. He promises me that when I don’t understand, I can lean on Him and he will help me. (Proverbs 3:5-6) He promises me that when I walk through dark times, He will be with me. (Psalm 23:4) He promises me that in those dark times and any other time in my life, He will never leave me. (Hebrews 13:5). He promises me that His actions are out of love because God is love. (1 John 4:8) He promises me that if I believe in Him, I will live with Him forever. (John 11:25-26) I could go on and on but these are the promises of God that help drive me to be able to do what God asks. I will never know exactly the thought process that allowed Noah to do what appears to be a pretty crazy thing – build a boat for a flood even though the people at this time had never seen rain. But, I know that God has asked me to do some pretty crazy things: (1) start a church with no people, (2) forgive people who had hurt me but never apologized, (3) love people who I perceive to be my enemy, (4) serve other people when I would prefer to think about myself, and (5) give the first part of my money away to the church. The reason I can do these things and the reason that I think Noah could build an ark is because God has made a promise and God IS faithful. So, what crazy thing has God asked you to do and what promises do you lean on? Lets share our stories together in an effort to remind each other of all the promises that God has made.



A New Journey
January 1, 2013, 1:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I invite you all to join me as we read the Bible together. This is nothing new as people have been doing this for centuries. However, it is new for us. As a church, we have never done it but I really hope that 2013 is a year that we all focus on more intentionality of engaging Scripture. So, I invite you to open your Bibles (or scroll on your smart phone) to Genesis chapters 1-3. Read these three chapters and reflect on what we can learn about God and ourselves as a result of our time. The purpose of this blog is not to give you all the answers (mainly because I don’t have all the answers) but simply to start a conversation withiin our faith community (outside as well). So, I will include questions that the Scripture brings to mind for me and hope that you will respond via comments as to your thoughts and additional questions that might further our conversation.

In these first three chapters, we see the sequence of God’s activity in the world. God was at work on behalf of the divine creational purposes before Israel ever understood what this activity was all about. Isn’t that so true today? I have seen God working ahead of me all my life. He placed people in my life that were the perfect people at just the right time to help guide me. I didn’t know it at the time but looking back – I see it. The same is true in the Creation story. God’s action in the world achieve a priority of place over our knowledge of what God has done. For me, I am so thankful that this is true. God’s creative acts and God’s redemptive acts are rooted in God which helps me understand how much God loves and cares for me.

However, we are still part of the creative process. God has shaped the created order in such a way that the Creator and creatures share overlapping spheres of interdependence and creative responsibility. We depend on vegetation and animals and nonhumans depend on varying forms of dominion exercised by the humans. Do we take this responsibility seriously?

Finally, the primary images of chapter three (separation, alienation, and displacement) is not only a story of our past but in some fundamental ways reflects on the character of humankind in every age.We reject what God has told us to do, we poorly use the gifts that God has given us, and we break across into areas of life that God has shown us are not in our best interests. Why? It makes me think about what Paul said in Romans 7 – “why do I do the things that I don’t want to do and not do the things that I want to do?” – it gets frustrating at times but causes me to be ever grateful for the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ.