Have you ever seen a Hearse pulling a U-Haul? Didn't think so. You know why? After fantastic careers - plush 401k's & secure retirements... it ALL goes back in the box! No more game cards. No more tokens. No more promotions, no more financial planning, no more RV's and vacation homes. GAME OVER. What did you WIN that you get to keep? That's the ECONOMY of God, unusual for sure. Some may actually call it... FREAKONOMIC$!
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Christmas 2009... GONE! Just as it did in 2008 and in 2007 and... However... this Christmas held some GREAT MEMORIES! For the first time in FOUR years - the entire BARRETT family (Parents/Siblings/Nieces & Nephews) - ALL WERE TOGETHER! What a GREAT (& could I say a bit HECTIC and CHAOTIC at times) Christmas it was!
Too much FOOD! Too much FUN! Too many GIFTS! Too much FOOD (did I say that yet?)! Too QUICK!
Ginger is off to MISSOURI for a quick trip - with Isaac & Charis! Saying 'Goodbye' to her Mom & Dad's house - which they sold a few weeks ago! And yes... Caleb & Daddy are rockin' the MAN CRIB for a few days of solitude! However... I'll be STUDYING like CrAzY the next few days in prepping for our JANUARY Series... FREAKONOMIC$ - to start this Sunday - so MOM (Nana) and DAD (Papa) will be assisting DADDY DAYCARE with Caleb - THANKS!!!
The Barrett Family did WELL this Christmas!
1. Isaac got ONE item on his 'Wish List' - an iPod Nano! (5th Generation mind you!)
2. Caleb got a KICKIN' DJ Music Machine!
3. Charis got a ROCKIN' Girlz Guitar & Keyboard!
4. Ging & Josh got a the JOY in watching our KIDS' faces on Christmas Morn in seeing what SANTA left them under the TREE!
5. Oh yeah... The Barrett Fam also got a WII - in which Isaac has delicately 'taken it to me' many times already in TENNIS & BOXING!
We kick the NEW YEAR off right with understanding the FREAKED-OUT ECONOMY of GOD!
You don't wanna MISS this coming SUNDAY, JANUARY 03rd!!
Something HUGE is gonna happen!
Saturday, December 26, 2009
It all happened in a moment, a most remarkable moment. If you could somehow pick it up off the timeline and examine it, it would look exactly like the ones that have passed while you have read these words. It came and it went. it was preceded and succeeded by others just like it. But in reality, that particular moment was like none other. Divinity Arrived. Heaven opened herself up and placed her most precious one in a human womb.
The omnipotent, in one instant, made himself breakable. He who had been spirit became pierceable. He who was larger than the universe became an embryo. And he who sustains the world with a word chose to be dependent upon the nourishment of a young girl.
God as a fetus. Holiness sleeping in a womb. The creator of life being created.
God was given eyebrows, elbows, two kidneys, and a spleen. He stretched against the walls and floated in the amniotic fluids of his mother.
GOD HAD COME NEAR!
He came, not as a flash of light or as an unapproachable conqueror, but as one whose first cries were heard by a peasant girl and a sleepy carpenter. The hands that first held him were unmanicured, calloused, and dirty.
No silk. No ivory. No hype. No party. No hoopla. Were it not for the shepherds, there would have been no reception. And were it not for a group of star-gazers, there would have been no gifts. One thing's for sure: He was, while completely divine, completely human.
For thirty three years he would feel everything you and I have ever felt. He felt weak. He grew weary. He was afraid of failure. He was susceptible to wooing women. He got colds, burped, and had body odor. His feelings got hurt. His feet got tired. And his head ached. To think of JESUS in such a light is -- well, it seems almost irreverent, doesn't it? It's not something we like to do; it's uncomfortable. It is much easier to keep the HUMANITY out of the INCARNATION. Clean the manure from around the manger. Wipe the sweat out of his eyes. Pretend he never snored or blew his nose. He's easier to stomach that way.
Please listen... there is something about keeping him DIVINE that keeps him Distant, Packaged, Predictable. But... DON'T DO IT! For heaven's sake, DON'T! Let him be as human as he intended to be. Let him into the mire and muck of our world. For only if we let him in can he pull us out!
It all happened in a moment. In one moment... a most remarkable moment. The Word came flesh!
There will be another. The world will see another instantaneous transformation. You see, in becoming man, God made it possible for man to see God! When Jesus went home - he left the back door open! As a result, "we shall all be changed -- in a MOMENT, in the twinkling of an eye."
The first MOMENT of Transformation went unnoticed by the world. But you bet your sweet self that the second one WON'T! The next time you use the phrase... 'Just a MOMENT...' -- remember that's all the time it will take to change the world!
~Max Lucado / God Came Near~
Saturday, December 19, 2009
A young pastor was preparing his sermon when his daughter came in and said... "Daddy, can you come and play with me?" The father responded... "Honey, I need to finish my sermon, but give me one hour, and I will play with you then - I promise!" "Okay," said the little girl, "And when you finish, I'm going to give you a great big hug!" She started out the door and then turned around slowly and ran back into her daddy's arms and gave him a HUGE HUG - right then & there! "I thought you were gonna give me a hug when I finish?" asked her daddy. "Daddy, I just wanted you to know what you have to look forward to!"
As we wrap up this week our FIRST IMPRESSIONS Series - the last two people (Mary & Joseph) we're looking at - had to ASK themselves the same QUESTION(s) we've been asking this Series
IS JESUS REALLY WHO HE SAID HE WAS?
DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE YOUR LOST WITHOUT HIM?
The amazing thing for them was - as they ANSWERED those QUESTIONS themselves -
they got a HUG FROM GOD! (A reminder of what they had to look forward to!)
YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS COC THIS WEEK!
Amazing Conclusion to our Series - and PERSONAL 'Pre-Jesus' & 'Post-Jesus' Encounters that will BLOW YOUR MIND!
Don't forget CHRISTMAS EVE 2009!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
WOW! Another year is GONE - just like that! Is it me - or is TIME just FLYING! Listening right now as I post to a band called NEEDTOBREATHE - "Stones Under Rushing Water"... 'The YEARS go by - like Stones Under Rushing Water - we only know - we only know - WHEN IT'S GONE!'
I only realize HOW FAST the years seem to be flying when I see my KIDDOS! They are GROWING just TOO FAST!!
-Isaac SERIOUSLY needs to STOP GROWING - NOW!
-Caleb SERIOUSLY needs to STAY RIGHT WHERE HE IS - NO JOKE!
-Charis SERIOUSLY needs to NOT GROW ANOTHER DAY OLDER - WOW!
Here we are - only days away from CHRISTMAS!?!??! Ginger & I started our DAILY countdown with the kiddos this week - she put up Candy Canes for each day - that the BOYZ get to eat - and she's wrapped up a Christmas Book that they open ONE each night - countdowns to Christmas! Daddy is the READER - for some reason she says I'm more ANIMATED!?!?
The 'Christmas Lists' are coming along GREAT!
-Caleb doesn't 'have a CLUE' that it's Christmas - and won't until CHRISTMAS DAY - when he opens his presents - he's the EASIEST to shop for - he likes EVERYTHING!
-Charis... well - I think she's similar to Caleb right now - pretty easy! BUT... I am fearing that soon coming DAY when she gets a little more HIGHER MAINTENANCE (as I hear that Girls do)! We're pretty confident she'll like everything she gets... FOR NOW!?!?
-Isaac... well - that's a HO 'NOTHA STOREEEEEEEE!!!!! I think just THREE ITEMS on his list are a cumulative price of $55,594.00!??!?!? I have to remind him often that DADDY is a PASTOR - which ='s LITTLE $$FLOW$$! So he GLADLY reduces his list to TWO ITEMS =ing $35,365.00!??! Thanks Isaac - I appreciate your FLEXIBILITY!!!!
Gonna be a GREAT CHRISTMAS though!! My WHOLE FAMILY (M&D/J&A Barrett/M&T Nuckolls/M&L Gotcher/J&G Barrett + Kiddos + T&W Meador (Ging's Folks)) will be in the 'COPA! What a GREAT FAMILY experience!!! Can you just 'Visualize' MEAL times... 26 OF US!!
This is just MeSsEd Up!?
Favorite HIDING spot - under DADDY's DESK!
FIRST IMPRESSIONS / Wk5... ZACCHAEUS
Have you FORGOTTEN what it's like to be FOUND?
Jesus REACHED (still reaches) out to those that APPEAR (for all appearances sake)... UNLOVABLE!
Zacchaeus' SALVATION Moment was nothing short of a...
OWNERSHIP... WHO OWNS YOU??
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Family Focus...What a GREAT weekend! I could REALLY get used to 4 day weekends!
I'd like to first say a big THANKS to the many BIRTHDAY wishes this past Wednesday! That's right - I turned "38" this past week! Why is it that ALL I can think about - regarding it - is that I'm 2 years away from "40" - that's it... nothing else seems to come to mind!??!?!?!
My incredible wife - Ginger - took me on a DATE Wednesday PM - OUTBACK & 'THE BLIND SIDE' - INCREDIBLE Food & GREAT Flick! (instant 'Classic')
Thursday was filled with FUN in the Kitchen - as Ginger, Isaac, Caleb & I - made my Family 'Birthday' Meal! Homemade MASHED POTATOES (TY Ging) with Homemade MINUTE STEAK & CHICKEN (i.e. Country Fried Steak & Chicken / TY Josh) & not to forget Homemade GRAVY (TY Ging)! Needless to say - it ROCKED! And my AMAZING wife - also made me my favorite birthday cake - Homemade RED VELVET CAKE! NOTHING is better!
Friday - we headed up to have 'THANKSGIVING' Dinner with the Good's & Goodell's! My extended family (Aunts - Uncles - Cousins)! Great MEAL & way too many desserts!!
One word could define this weekend... STUFFED!!!!!!!
FIRST IMPRESSIONS / Wk4 ~ The Adulterous Woman
Three things we'll see this weekend...
1. The HORROR of Sin!
2. The COMPASSION of Jesus!
3. The WISDOM of God!
As we witness the 'First Impression' of a lady who didn't PURSUE Jesus - she was PUSHED!
DROP YOUR ROCK TODAY!!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
"To reach people no one else is reaching - we have to do things that no one else is doing!" (C Groeschel)
I have made it to the 'TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN' (Flagstaff) and I'm PLANNING AWAY! Brainstorming and seeking some GOD MOMENTS as I 'LAY-OUT' the Vision of COC for 2010! Trying desperately to LISTEN to GOD's VOICE and diligently WATCHING to see where He is WORKING - so I can take the COURAGE to LEAD COC to go join Him! I'm pretty excited so far - and I'm anticipating some GREAT THINGS from God through COC in 2010! Here's a few little 'snipits' for the 3 people that read my blog... (can't give too much away)
5. GO FISH
8. "SERVE" Sundays
And the LIST keeps growing...
TWO MORE DAYS OF VISION - Yes!!!
PLEASE...PLEASE...PLEASE... Keep praying for GINGER! She has passed SIX Kidney Stones in a week! She is AMAZING and I'm a better man - because of her! She needs GOD's GRACE wrapped around her DAILY as she carries this BURDEN! Would you join me INTERCEDING (often) God's Throne Room for her?
Kiddos are awesome! Boys are READY for Christmas Break - MY whole family will be here this coming Christmas - going to be a GREAT TIME!
Someone PLEASE tell me...
Have you EVER seen ANYTHING more ADORABLE?
FIRST IMPRESSIONS Series
(Wk3) The Woman In The Crowd
Colossians 1:15 says 'No one can see God - but Jesus Christ is exactly like Him!'
The purpose of JESUS' life - here on earth - is to give us a "SNAPSHOT" into the Heart of God! Every ACT - MIRACLE - SACRIFICE that He demonstrated - gives us a VISUAL IMAGE of WHO GOD IS!
Jesus was really WHO He said He was?
Would it change your IMPRESSION of Him?
You don't want to miss this Sunday - as we take a look at a Woman who had enough courage to ask... WHAT IF?
Saturday, November 14, 2009
I think the ONE THING I miss the most about the Midwest is the SEASONAL CHANGES! In Arizona - where you can GOLF EVERYDAY (which ROCKS) - you must sacrifice what most of America is allowed to experience... SEASONS! I mean... take for example - DECEMBER (Christmas) - outside of about a 40-50 degree temperature difference (which is GREAT mind you) - NOTHING LOOKS DIFFERENT OUTSIDE - it's still the DESERT!?
We touched down in Missouri this past Thursday Night and TREES where present - missing their wardrobe (leaves) of course - since it's FALL here! Another thing... GRASS is present (in AZ - about the ONLY place you'll find Grass is on a Golf Course)! It's nice to come back time to time - but I must say to my FRIENDS & FAMILY in AZ - I'M STOKED TO BE WITH YOU ALL - YOU ROCK!! (And the GOLF ROCKS too!)
Anyways... WE (Ging/Charis/Myself) are in MO to MARRY a couple of our College Students who were in our Ministry @ HSBC! Brandon (Ivy) & Rachel (Konnerup)... actually the ceremony was last night - and everything went well! What a COOL EXPERIENCE and AWESOME PRIVILEGE to officiate the Wedding and share in their lives! We are proud of them both - and are excited to see what God's gonna do with them as they continue to prepare for MISSIONARY work!
Of course... the other TWO (Barrett) Kiddos stayed back in the 'Copa with Nana & Papa! Isaac SOOOOOOOOO wanted to come to see his cousins (Colton & Gibson) - but AIRPLANE RIDES just aren't for FREE!? Caleb doesn't so much as mind though - at least what we can tell?! He's pretty preoccupied with other things - such as... PULLING FIRE ALARMS AT SCHOOL!?!??!? YEP... that's what he did last week! YEP... that's what he'll do if you lose track of him for 5 seconds!! It's AMAZING that boy has all of his body parts still in tact!!
(Wk2) The Demon-Possessed Man (Mark 5:1-20)
Our GO Pastor (Mat Balgaard) is 'BRINGIN' THE HEAT' this weekend in my absence - and I'm gonna miss what's gonna ROCK - I'm sure!
My only hope is that his "VISUAL" (Prop) is not what he was hinting it might be - PREACHING NAKED with nothing but CHAINS!? Of ALL my staff - he's the one that just MIGHT DO IT!? (lol)
All kidding aside...
YOU WANNA TALK ABOUT A LIFE BEING CHANGED from PRE-Jesus to POST-Jesus?!?!?!
DON'T MISS IT TOMORROW!
I wonder what the Demon-Possessed Man's FIRST IMPRESSION of Jesus was?
Thursday, November 5, 2009
What can I say - except the FACT that GOD IS AMAZING!
COC's Maricopa Trick-or-Treat 2009 CAME and WENT last Saturday - as so did about - um...
This event/MINISTRY was the largest SINGLE EVENT ever held in the City of Maricopa!
GOD SHOWED UP!!
What an AMAZING OPPORTUNITY for us to extend a HAND OF LOVE to our community!
We are so thankful to God for WORKING in this Ministry & giving us the courage to go JOIN HIM in it!
All in all - we had OVER 225+ COC SERVANT MINISTER'S who came out and SERVED our Community this NIGHT!
THANK YOU CHURCH OF CELEBRATION - you clearly "MADE HIS NAME MORE FAMOUS" last Saturday Night!
Here's some PIX I promised - (btw) I'm married to the HOT PUNK-ROCKER!!!
Cindy Lauper & Little Red Riding Hood!
Slash & 'Lil Penny!
New SERIES start this week-
(Wk1/Nov08) THE BLIND MAN
One of the GREATEST SAYINGS in ALL of Scripture...
(JB paraphrased - of course!)
"DUDES... I don't know a whole lot - but there's one thing I can say quite confidently - this morning - when I woke up - I couldn't SEE A THING! Now... after this Jesus guy came into my life - I CAN SEE EVERYTHING!"
"I once was blind - but now I see!"
John 8 - Jesus says He is the LIGHT of the World!
John 9 - He PROVES it!
DON'T MISS IT!!!!!!!
Friday, October 30, 2009
Huge weekend for the COC!
Maricopa TRICK or TREAT 2009 is here - UNBELIEVABLE!!!
Our very first year (2007) - we saw over 4000+ Maricopans come out!
Last year (2008) - we saw over 8000+ Maricopans come out!
This year (2009) - we've relocated to the City Park (Pacana) and are expecting 10,000+
Please be in PRAYER for AmAzInG things to happen!
Isaac's recouping from a tough "FLU" week! Over 103 degree temp for 3 days - missed his Halloween Party at school today & pretty bummed! BUT... he's feeling better and it looks like Maricopa Trick or Treat will be a GO! He'll be attempting to defend his costume contest win from last year! Watch out for the ROCKER!
Caleb's Halloween 'git-up' is lookin' SWEET! He's goin' as a HIP-HOP Artist! "Fitty-Cent" ain't got NOTHIN' on... 'LIL' PENNY!' (We'll try and get some PIX up next week!)
Charis is heading into 2009 Halloween as the most BEAUTIFUL "Little Red Riding Hood" that you've ever seen!
(Ck out this beauty...)
And GING... well - let's just say the 80's are not dead as she will raise the roof in PUNK ROCK!
(Guaranteed PIC of that next week!)
Last week of MOUNTAIN MOVING...
RESPONDING TO GOD'S PRESENCE!
Let's just say... IT'S A WEEK YOU DON'T WANNA MISS!
MOVING MOUNTAINS can only take place with FAITH!
FAITH is a response not only to WHAT God DOES but also to WHO God IS!!
Do you REALLY... BELIEVE that Impossibilities are POSSIBLE?
SEE YA SUNDAY!! (Oh... SATURDAY TOO! (Trick or Treat 2009))