Your Student Needs

. . . to attend our Fall Retreat, November 4 – 5.  This trip is for 6 – 12 grade students.  I am so excited that my oldest daughter Abbey (6th grade) can finally attend a trip sponsored by Exit Seven Youth Ministry!  Why?   Nothing can change a teenager quicker than a spiritual retreat.  In two days away, God can do amazing things in a student’s heart and build life-long relationships.

This year, my friend Chad Hutton will be speaking.   Chad knows how to connect with teenagers, and he has a passion to fill them with Jesus.   DTR is a group of on-fire young men who will lead our students in worship.   This is a great line-up for a special weekend.

The payment of $65 is due on October 12.   If you have trouble coming up with these funds, contact me or Pastor David.   I want as many teenagers as possible to attend this life-changing weekend.

The Best Economic News for US

. . . I’ve heard in a long time came from a NPR report today about oil production in America.   If the following prediction is true, it will be an incredible boost to our ecomomy, national security and the American worker in coming decades.

Amy Myers Jaffe of Rice University says in the next decade, new oil in the US, Canada and South America could change the center of gravity of the entire global energy supply. “Some are now saying, in five or 10 years’ time, we’re a major oil-producing region, where our production is going up,” she says.  The US, Jaffe says, could have 2 trillion barrels of oil waiting to be drilled. South America could hold another 2 trillion. And Canada? 2.4 trillion. That’s compared to just 1.2 trillion in the Middle East and north Africa.  Jaffe says those new oil reserves, combined with growing turmoil in the Middle East, will “absolutely propel more and more investment into the energy resources in the Americas.”  

You can listen or read the full article hear:

Reasons I Loved This Sunday

1. Beth led a sweet, but powerful worship set. “Let Hope Arise.”

2. My Mom is in town from Texas. Eating lunch together with the family brought back great Sunday memories from when she lived here from 2006 – 2010.

3. I spent some time with some veterans at the Sumner County Veterans Home. What a great group of men! I’m so impressed with the hard work of Ellen Spaulding, Hollie Robinson, Brinda Fuller and the rest of the team who feed these men each month through our Compassion Ministries.

4. Beth made killer sausage croissants for our 242 Group. The food was exquisite, and the sense of community was even richer.

5. The Titans won! Vince who?

6. Speaking of football, the team of 9 and 10 year old boys I coach have won 2 games in a row! I’m so proud of my son Luke. That win didn’t happen on Sunday (since the game was Saturday), but it made me happy any way.

7. Our 242 Groups had great dialogue about compassion this weekend. I believe God did a deep work in people through this weekend’s theme on compassion.

8. We launched our first appeal for donations towards an upgrade in our sound system and new furniture for the lobby. We need a face lift in technology and style. You can donate on-line at

9. We had our first meeting about VBS 2012. Chip and Gayla Johnson are now our VBS Directors. VBS will be July 16-19, 2012.

10. I love what God is doing at CIL. He’s building something special!

My Cappuccino and Our Changing World

I’m starting my day this morning with a vanilla cappuccino, which I don’t drink often.   The first cappuccino I ever had was at Heathrowe Airport in London in 1994 as a freshman in college.  I was stuck at the airport, not able to get on a flight.   I met a British, college-age girl during a bomb threat who offered to buy me a “cappuccino.”   This was during the pre-Starbucks revolution in the United States, so I didn’t know what a cappuccino was.  I played it cool, and said “sure” like I was an expert at coffee drinks.  This drink seemed exotic, European and a unique cultural experience.  I had a nice, innocent conversation with this young lady, and never saw her again.

This morning I fixed a very tasty cappuccino by myself in an inexpensive machine at the office.  Gourmet coffee drinks are as common as McDonald’s, which offers a wide variety of them.  In 1994 I didn’t have a cell phone (very few did),  so I remember using calling cards at the pay phone to update my parents on my flight situation, as they waited at their house by the land-line.  I didn’t have an e-mail account and their wasn’t even a uniform internet browser to host things like My Space, Facebook or Twitter.    Texting was incomprehensible.     A college student today could meet a new friend, and could use the iphone “bump” app to instantly exchange information, and they could network dozens of different ways.

Many things around us do not change quickly or noticeably.   A tree grows slowly.   A traditional downtown squares remains basically the same for decades.  A bridge has been used 70 years.   Those physical constants can make us feel like things are not changing much.  However, when we look at non-physical things like technology, globalism and ideas, we are changing more rapidly than we can comprehend.

The Privilege of Being Called

I used to read this Scripture right before I took the stage to preach.

“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry,” – I Timothy 1:12 (NIV)

Though that’s not my habit anymore, I still hope I live with that attitude towards every sermon, hospital visit, funeral, wedding or counseling session.   It truly is a privilege to serve God’s people.

Special Service with Dick Brogden

One of the most influential thinkers and ministers in my life the last few years has been Dick Brogden.  Our conversations the last few years have shaped the way I think about global Christianity.    Dick and Jennifer Brogden have worked among Muslim people for the last 18 years.   Dick’s teaching and heart will impact your life.

On September 18th, Dick will be speaking in both our 9:00 a.m and 10:45 service, so join us this Sunday.

A great Sunday at Cedar Point Church

On Sunday, I preached at Cedar Point Church in Maryville, TN.   My good friend Kurt Steinbach is with his family in Brazil for six weeks, as they have adopted three Brazilian children.   This is an amazing story of love, and I am so proud of Kurt, Keri and their three biological children for adding these three adopted children to their lives.

We loved Cedar Pointe Church!  The hospitality of the staff and people were outstanding.  We had passionate worship, and the enthusiasm for all parts of the service was very high.

Our family enjoyed being in the Smokey Mountains, and we would have stayed an extra day if it were not for the rain.

We missed being with our family for “Family Sunday” at CIL, but I know the service was outstanding with the effective ministry of Penny Simms leading worship and David Huff teaching.    I look forward to ministering at CIL this Wednesday.

72 years ago today

On September 1, 1939,  Nazi Germany invaded Poland, which was the beginning of War World II.[1]   Eventually, 418,500 Americans lost their lives in this war.[2]

Lord Jesus, establish your kingdom so that . . .

They shall beat their swords into plowshares, 
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
Neither shall they learn war anymore
. – Isaiah 2:4 (NKJV)