Tuesday, August 25, 2009


WHERE did the WINTER go?
WHERE did the SPRING go?
WHERE did the SUMMER go?

Ever ask yourself those questions? WOW! August is just about gone - and we now move into SEPTEMBER without blinking!
AM I GETTING OLDER? Is this what happens with TIME as you get older? Somebody please PRAY for me!!

Family is doing GREAT!

-Isaac is now in his 3rd week of 3rd grade! Homework week started yesterday! He is enrolled in two after-school programs: MUSICAL THEATRE & DRAMA - For those who know Isaac... These two are PERFECT! Can anyone say ZAC EFRON!?

-Caleb is also knee-deep into his 2nd time around with Kindergarten! He's doing GREAT! Has driven Sue Ann or Mrs. Gregory CrAzY just yet! And we may have made a BREAK-THROUGH at home yesterday - Ging found him on the POTTY - by himself - actually going!!! We are not going to 'hold our breath' just yet - but 'big boy' pants (little boy skivvies) have been spotted on him from time to time the last couple days!

-Charis continues to ROCK MY WORLD! I truly ADORE my boys - but that little girl is just... AMAZING!!! Yesterday... Momma painted her toe nails for the first time - now that there's enough toe nail to paint - and she has officially moved into DRAMA QUEEN status! You can ask her about her 'PRETTY TOES' and the smile and posing begins!!!

-Momma is just INCREDIBLE! Each day I discover a deeper LOVE & RESPECT for the Greatest Woman Alive!!

Ultimate Fighting Challenge Series...
-Stand Firm & Go Into Battle with Confidence!
-BE AT PEACE in the Confidence that it is GOD'S BATTLE & HIS VICTORY!

Thank GOD that...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Preparing for battle... EVERY DAY!

Today's post is a bit different... I thought I would just share some random 'THOUGHTS' that hit me from time to time. PLEASE... DO NOT READ INTO THEM! There is NOTHING really to read into to. I just thought I'd share a Pastor's Heart & Mind from time to time! You know... the PASTOR who is HUMAN!!!

I think one of my greatest challenges in ministry is DAILY preparing for COMBAT! Each battle is unique - each battle contains different strategies - however... EACH BATTLE HAS THE SAME ADVERSARY! "For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms." (Eph 6:12)

Fighting each day with the same intensity and tenacity is a spiritual, mental & physical battle! I admit... some days I am better equipped than others! Only when I 'PUT ON' the WHOLE Armor of God - do I defend myself better! (Eph 6:13-18)

Pastoring a Church can be a difficult thing at times - it usually becomes tougher when I think that I'm in control or allow myself to fall for the delusion that it is ME who is actually bearing the burdens! Who am I kidding... it's not humanly possible to do so! I cannot handle anything that God has not equipped me in handling! I know that... "I CAN DO ALL THINGS" - but it's when I leave out the MOST IMPORTANT 'THOUGHT' in that concept... "THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME" (you know... when my focus shifts from HE to ME) - that's where I usually blow it - and often!

I LOVE Pastoring & I count it a JOY to have been CALLED to plant the Church of Celebration! I must often remind myself that I did not choose it - HE chose me! Thank the Lord for giving me the strength & willingness to SUBMIT to His Call &... Deny Myself & Follow Him! I'm just admitting that it's tough sometimes - when my priorities are derailed - usually at my own doing. But... when it's not by my own hand - it's easy for me to lose sight of WHO'S HAND it may be coming from - either SATAN (The Father of Lies) - who's been GRANTED PERMISSION (by God) to TEMPT me with deception in my life - OR... MY GOD (The Way - The TRUTH - The Life) - who's counted me worthy to be TESTED (of whom much is given - much is required)! Either one... may I stay focused on WHO IT IS that gives me my power... "Be STRONG with the Lord's mighty power. PUT ON... ALL of God's Armor so you will be able to STAND FIRM against all the strategies and tricks (wiles) of the Devil!" (Eph 6:10-11)

Thanks for LISTENING! (All three of you!!! - lol!!)


Ultimate Fighting Challenge

You're in for a treat - Pastor Mat (Give/Go Pastor) will be teaching us this week how we effectively use the BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS in our EVERY DAY BATTLE!

Praying for you - see you on Sunday!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

UFC... Are you ready for Battle?

Back in the office today after a couple days of a Sabbatical last weekend - up in Flagstaff! Great temps up there and the CARDINALS were in town! Got back into town and spoke the first time in a while at COC - closing out our X-TRESS YOURSELF Series on "RELATIONSHIPS!" It was GREAT seeing the COC family!

School started yesterday and both boys (Isaac & Caleb) are getting back into the swing of things!

CALEB had a STELLAR DAY! Sue Ann (Caleb's 'one on one' Para & good family friend!) said he was like a VETERAN! Smiling at the Lunch Lady - giving the Milk Man a Hug - 'Criss Cross Applesauce' on his Carpet Square - etc... He didn't miss a beat recollecting WHAT Kindergarten contained! She was, as well as we are - VERY PROUD OF HIM - and looking forward to another GREAT YEAR of LEARNING for our LITTLE DING-DONG!!

ISAAC started a NEW JOURNEY this year at the new Charter School here in Maricopa - PATHWAY PREPATORY ACADEMY! Some have joked that it's COC's 'Fourth Service' - with many COC Families having Children attending! Isaac actually has 4 COC kiddos in his class! Emmy Balgaard started Kindergarten with a record of 7 COC kiddos in her class! We are very excited about what the school has to offer in Education and are looking forward to a GREAT YEAR with him as well! Flag Football starts TONIGHT and his season starts SATURDAY - he's pretty excited to get going!

CHARIS... WELL!?!? It won't take her long realizing that she is now the "QUEEN" around the house - and everything exists for her! She's actually a bit more fussy than normal - teething is taking place! The other night - Ging finally admitted that she is a "DADDY'S GIRL" - with no cohersion on my part! Truly my PRINCESS!

GING is doing good! Don't tell the boys - but I think she was READY for School to start! She's hangin' in there and the kidney stones are still hitting here and there - please keep praying!

New Series Starts This Sunday...
"Follower of The Way!"

2 Timothy 4:7 "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful!" ~ HAVE YOU DONE THE SAME?

See ya Sunday!
It's gonna be great - don't miss it!!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

JESUS and me...

Escaped for a couple days this afternoon into Saturday for some JESUS and me time! I take a few 'Sabbaticals' throughout the year in a timely fashion to get ready for the next 'Season' of ministry! I am blessed to have a CHURCH that allows me the opportunity! As well as an INCREDIBLE WIFE who allows these as well - Pray for GING in my absence!

Fall 2009 promises to be a GREAT ONE for the COC!
-Back to school next week in Maricopa - we should see many new families check out the COC!
-Finishing up the X-TRESS YOURSELF Series this week - talking about RELATIONSHIPS! The first time in a couple weeks since I've spoke (Duncan & Mat filled in and did GREAT!) - looking forward to seeing my COC Family!
-Maricopa Trick or Treat is right around the corner with a NEW LOCATION this year - PACANA PARK! Last year we saw over 8000+ come out and enjoy a FANTASTIC Family-Friendly Environment! Looking for BIGGER & BETTER things this year - so we can MAKE HIS NAME MORE FAMOUS here in Maricopa!
-Before we know it - CHRISTMAS EVE will be here as well - "Christmas is FOR-Giving!"

Family is doing well! As I mentioned... School starts next week for the boyz! Excited to get Caleb back into the "ROUTINE" of things - pray for Mrs. Sue Ann & Mrs. Gregory's SaNiTy! Isaac is going to go to the new charter school in Maricopa this year - PATHWAY PREPATORY! Charis will get some SERIOUS "MOMMY" time each day - even though she is quickly becoming a "DADDY'S GIRL!" Mom & Dad are getting settled in - right around the corner - and we've already 'tapped the source' a couple times with CHILDCARE in just the past couple days! I'm very excited to have them here and WORSHIPPING with us at the COC!



Sneak Peak...


1. Be sure to develop and maintain a healthy fear of conflict, letting your own feelings build up so you are always in an explosive frame of mind!
2. If you must state your concerns, be as vague and general as possible! Then the other person cannot do anything practical to change the situation!
3. Assume you know all the facts and you are totally right! The use of a clinching Bible verse is helpful! Speak prophetically for truth and justice; be sure to do most of the talking!
4. With a touch of defiance, announce your willingness to talk with anyone who wishes to discuss the problem with you! But never take the steps to initiate such conversation!
5. Latch tenaciously onto whatever evidence you can find that shows the other person is merely jealous of you!
6. Be sure to JUDGE the motivation of the other party on any previous experience that showed failure or unkindness! Keep track of any angry words!
7. If the discussion should, heaven forbid, become serious, most definitely view the issue as a win/lose option only! Don't get too many options on the table! Avoid possible solutions at all cost and go for total victory and unconditional surrender!
8. If all else fails… Pass the buck! If you are about to get cornered into a solution, indicate you are without power to settle!

CoNfUsEd!? Ck it out on Sunday and you'll get the rest...