All I want for Christmas! One for each of us.

update: that's 4 (count 'em...four!!!) jet skis that can each hold 2 people - that's what i'm talking about!!! one for each person in my family...well, maybe the two youngest might be two small :)

dinner and a show

we ate at inoko's last night for my daughter's birthday supper (a bit late)...anyway, they brought the soup out and my son decided to baptize his camo's with the soup...really hot! after the initial shock and realizing everyone was ok, he stood up and announced to everyone, "dinner and a show" - hilarious...needless to say, at the end of the night, everyone around the table (the other four people not in my family) all agreed that he was much more entertaining than the chef - they want us with them next time they eat their because they know the entertainment provided by him will
outdo the chef...

they said it

"I can't give you a surefire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time."
Herbert Bayard Swope, 1st recipient of the Pulitzer Prize

communication, comparison, joy, creativity, setting the pace, success, finishing well and burnout

been a while since i posted some links to other bloggers - been sitting on some of these for a really long time - some are from friends, some are challenging, some are for leaders, some for pastors, some for people that have pastors...check some of these out...

  • tony posts a great series of one-liners as it relates to communication - i like this statement, "Your message is only one of thousands I've already heard today."
  • perry (tony's boss) posts seven joy killers in ministry - let me just say, he's right! - i like this statement, "Compare yourself ONLY to the vision God gave you."
  • perrry follows up with four ways to restore joy in ministry - let me just say, he's right! - i like this statement, "We use the excuse, “Well, the devil never takes a day off,” never stopping to realize that we should not be attempting to imitate him!"
  • my good friend todd talks about creativity here - i like this statement, "Think about the word creative, a more modern definition of the word creative is the art of making something new."
  • todd also gets fired up here about being the church - i like this statement, "I am going to be setting the pace, this is the year that God is going to do a new thing in me and my church and I refuse to miss out on what God has in store. I am not going to hold back, I am going to pray, shout, speak in tongues, speak prophetically, lay hands on the sick, dance before God, fall slain in the spirit and basically just BE THE CHURCH that I want to see, freed up and allowing God to use me." - GO FOR IT MAN!!!!!
  • craig has four posts that have to do with successful ministry - good (and short) stuff...go read it - post #1, post #2, post #3, post #4
  • this post by jim is perhaps the one that has helped me the most in the last four months - i don't think i've referenced it before, but i've kept it pinned to my bloglines read page so that i can go back and re-read it every few days - this is MUST read for everyone - if you don't read the rest, read this! - it has to do with finishing well - something we all do - we all need to finish well...i just attened the funeral of one of our EC instructor...a coach...a storyteller...a preacher...a retired military chaplain - he finished well - ponder these things! this will encourage you no matter what you do - secular business person, educator, minister, dad, mom, coach, councilman, whatever - read this post! (did i mention that i think you should read this?)
  • speaking of EC, my quasi-friend jj shoots straight here - i love the candor and honesty of college students! this will challenge many of you (and it should!!!)
  • finally, is your pastor burned out? that's the question coach john asks and he gives some things to look for - really helpful stuff!

week #2 recap

second week down serving in the new role with the georgia far i've:
  • traveled to two different cities (macon and the ATL) to meet with church planters
  • met with several pastors in the macon area and toured 3 different church facilities
  • realized that macon is incredibly saturated with churches - unfortunately, many of the existing churches are NOT advancing the Kingdom - they are maintaining at best (at worst, they are declining) - great to see the leaders we have in our churches - we have the potential to plant 3-5 churches in the next 5 years and still have plenty of room for other churches
  • realized that north side of the ATL is incredibly UNDER saturated with churches - sure northpoint and the similar models are making an impact, but folks, there are hundreds of new housing developments with people moving in - they are in transition - they are looking - we need more churches of all flavors (models, denominations, etc)
  • realized that it can snow down around macon - we came through some snow in between a couple of cow pastures that reminded me of living in west virginia
  • met probably more than a dozen of our pastors that live in the northern area
  • almost got my office set up
  • ate some really good country cookin at the roystonian!
  • ate some really good italian in royston - who'd thunk?
  • ate at the best golden corral in macon - no, that's not a typo
  • realized the possibilities for new churches
  • prayed a lot that God would give me strategy, wisdom and vision to pass along to others
  • been amazed at all that takes place at the state denominational level - it really is an honor to serve with the iphc
  • i love what i'm doing

analytical vs. critical

been sitting on this post for a while...decided to go through and clean out some that i had blogged, but not published...enjoy, as always, feel free to comment...

going to be very candid and transparent in this post - hang with me, i think you'll be challenged.

God wired me to be analytical...sometimes it's a blessing, sometimes a curse...i tend to process information at an extremely fast rate, move quickly from information to information and attempt to digest the critical and most important parts - selective learning i guess would be a good name for it.

however, the part that i have to guard is the propensity to become critical - what's the primary difference?

glad you asked...
  • offers solutions
  • sees hope
  • offers to become part of the 'fix'
  • doesn't attach personal feelings or agendas to the analysis
  • offers no solutions
  • sees no hope
  • avoids becoming part of the 'fix'
  • has only a selfish agenda
i'm coming to realize that our strengths can truly become our weakness if we're not careful

they said it

been sitting on this post for a while...decided to go through and clean out some that i had blogged, but not published...enjoy, as always, feel free to comment...
The system you inherit, adopt, or create will eventually impact what your staff and volunteers do. Because we don't understand the nature of systems, we blame our people. In reality, it's not a people problem, it's a systems problem. (Andy Stanley)

love this new hymn

been listening to pandora a lot lately (on my david crowder station) and i keep hearing songs by this guy - got to say, i absolutely love this new hymn! (yes jeff, rach, dad, todd and a few others - there are some hymns i love - well, maybe not "some" - how about a "few")

anyway, here are some journal entries from the artist - read them, then enjoy the video - absolutely powerful stuff...

I was reading my "One Year Book of Hymns" and stumbled across a hymn entitled "I Am Not Skilled To Understand" whose words blew me away. I didn't bother seraching for the melody: its obscurity indicated antiquity. So I started from scratch and sang it without the chorus for over a year at our church, which seemed to embrace itas it was. But I wanted to take it over he top. Sitting at a red light one night, a melody of excitement and a lyric that seemed to pull together the concept of Christ, my Advocate, always pleading my case, was born. And the song finally exploded on the choruse like I always knew it should. i do not understand everything, but I know that Jesus Christ loves me and is alive defending me. That calls for a big chorus.

And, the video

The Challenge

tonight was the first night of our weekly (or there-abouts) meeting between my son and i - here's the deal...

i'm not out to give us both one more thing to do - i have plenty to do especially with my new ministry responsibilities - he has plenty to do with school and soon soccer - add to this finding a new church, making new friends, etc, etc, etc...

i AM however, out to see my young son grow up to be a man! i'm going counter-culture on this deal called parenthood and intentionally making a disciple - btw, parents, that "go and make disciples" stuff begins in your (and my) home! so, i'm going to focus the next few months on weekly MM's (not M&M's - the MM is a weekly "manhood meeting") - this is my time to focus our discussion, prayer, talks and just hanging out together on him becoming the man that God wants him to be

below i've posted the outline and the may change as we go along - i'm going to make sure he succeeds, but it's going to be a challenge

As my son enters into the process of becoming a man, as his father I am issuing this challenge and supporting it with these commitments. The end result is a boy-better-prepared-to-be-a

Below are the 5 Challenges. The basis for this challenge is found in Luke 2:52:
  • And Jesus matured, growing up in both body and spirit, blessed by both God and people. (The Message)
  • And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. (NASB)
  • And Jesus increased in wisdom (in broad and full understanding) and in stature and years, and in favor with God and man. (Amplified Bible)

Spiritual Challenge

  • To read through the following books of the Bible: Genesis, John, and James
  • Beginning with the book of John, journal any key thoughts or key "take-aways" from each chapter
  • Beginning with the book of James, journal any key thoughts or key "take-aways" from each chapter sub-heading
  • Spend 10 minutes in prayer each day at least 5 days/week

Social Challenge

  • Listen with me through all of the "Preparation for Adolescence" CD's
  • Read through the 3-5 'key' Men's Fraternities lessons with Dad

Physical Challenge

  • Exercise for at least 20 minutes per day 3-5 times per week (this can include PE or sports practice)

Responsibility Challenge

  • Begin using an alarm clock to awaken and prepare yourself for the day
  • At the end of each day, begin to make preparation for the next day (clothes out, book-bag ready)
  • Assist Dad with all outside chores when needed by showing initiative to offer help
  • At least once per week, spend time learning more about one of the following: cooking, cleaning, laundry, car repair, basic home repair
  • Open a savings account and be fully responsible for it

Life Challenge

  • Establish personal priorities and boundaries for dating, friendships and the future - write them out
  • Begin a list of life goals

Weekly Meetings

  • We will meet weekly (typically on Monday nights) and review the progress made as well as spend time: reading Scripture; praying; listening to the CD's; and checking up on the challenges; talking

Final Celebration

The final celebration of "The Challenge" will culminate with a meal at Fogo De Chao and will include key men in my son's life - each man will be asked to prepare a written statement (can be a challenge, an exhortation, whatever) that will be read then left with him. The final word will come from Dad and will include the special presentation of a gift to commemorate. We will conclude the evening back at home with prayer over my son.

a new word

spent this morning in prayer with other office staff and intercessors praying for: the churches of the georgia conference, the world, the nation and the pastors in our churches. this was a special day that had been set aside by our denomination (the iphc) to fast and pray, to repent, to cry out for God to bring revival to our churches and people.

flashback to several months ago...while i was compiling my resume for this new ministry opportunity i felt prompted by the holy spirit to include as one of my goals to essentially be a 'repairer' of the divide between forward to today

while in prayer i found myself crying out to God that He would forgive us of the sin of (new word...) - generationism - the prejudice of one generation toward another. you see, i strongly sense that God wants to release the younger generation to operate with the blessing and support of the older generation, however, He also wants the younger generation to be a people of the Spirit and the Word and prove the "worth" of their calling by being devoted
to God without a 'chip on their shoulder' - i also sense that God wants to bring a mutual respect between the generations that advance quickly the Kingdom of God! finally, i believe the greatest days are yet ahead for the iphc as i survey the landscape and sense that God is raising up future leaders to march alongside present leaders...He's placing anointing on their lives to do greater things...He's purifying His Bride (that'd be us...and this past year is quite the evidence with the downfall of pastors, the investigations by congress, the overlooked divorce and the rampant sexual sin of many christian leaders)...i truly believe you can be holy (i.e., pure) without having to be hokey (i.e., hair in a bun, unless that's how you roll)...i truly believe that holiness is God's desire for the church and also that He desires to impart Pentecostal power once again into our lives...

so, ask yourself, do you suffer from generationism? face it, your sons and daughters will worship the Father differently that you and i did - the music will sound different, let's not judge it, let's embrace what God is doing in the NEXT generation - thank God for what He did in your generation, but look forward to what He's going to do in the next generation...the best is yet to come!

a year of new beginnings

had a "dress rehearsal" today (this morning) in the new facilities - all i can say...


it was incredible to worship with the large group of people that i've served with over the past 3 years or so - the excellence, the atmosphere, the anointing - it's going to be a great tool that God can use over to reach more people, more generations, more cultures, more races, more people, more people, more people - it's all about the people that aren't there yet...

on a personal level, it probably hit home more than ever today as i had this realization..."in 24 hours i'll be doing this for the last time, but they'll be doing it for the first time!" - i was excited and sad at the same time - up to this point i've just been excited...

you see, i truly believe that God is going to use cotn for amazing things in the well, i'm really excited about the new opportunity that lies ahead for us as a family and for me as a Christian leader - again, the best is yet to come

so, on this, the 199th post on, i wish to say "see ya" to all my cotn family...i'll miss you, i love you all, i believe in you, i believe in your pastor and the leaders at cotn, and i pray only God's best, God's blessing and God's anointing for your future. many of you we'll cross paths again from time to time with, some of you will move on, some will forget about us - hey, it happens :) - regardless, it's been fruitful and fun - there's no other opportunity that i would feel as confidently that God has called us to than this new season

so, tonight as i write my last post regarding cotn, i do so with a lot of thankfulness and a whole lot of expectation as i and my family look to the future...

good night!

daniel fast

i know there are many followers of Christ right now that are participating in a 21 day fast as we start out the year - wanted to share a great website that i came across that's packed full of resources (recipes, background, etc) - check it out...