Tuesday, March 30, 2010

FAMILY FOCUS... (What Does God Think?)

This week in my Family Focus - I thought I'd just share a little bit of what's going on in MY world at times! Family ROCKS - and I'm sure I'll be back next week with updates & pics - I just thought from time to time I'd share my heart - so look for this to happen on occasion in the future - hope you enjoy!

I'm a pretty big fan of Perry Noble's Blogs - incredible insight & foresight that often uplifts & encourages me at 'just the right moment!' Haven't ever done this before - but one post that he recently posted really spoke to me - thought I'd share...

One of the things I think church world needs to learn is that there are actually VERY few experts in the world today… especially in ours.

We love the experts… the ones who can tell us WHAT to do and HOW to do it (even if they’ve never darkened the doors of our church) and we will buy whatever they are selling because; after all, they are the EXPERTS!

Please don’t misunderstand… I am NOT saying that there is never a time for outside opinions and/or some sort of consulting… but the problem develops when we depend on THEM way more than HIM! (You know, the One who called, equipped and will sustain us!)

He has an incredible track record of using non-experts…

  • Joseph was not an expert statesman… but God used him to preserve a nation.
  • Moses was not an expert leader… but God used him to lead His people to the place of promise.
  • David was not an expert soldier… but God used him to bring down the biggest problem the Israelite army had ever seen.
  • The Apostles were not experts… but God used them to plant the church (see Acts 4:13.)

When it comes to HOW to do church… there simply are no experts! There is not one type of church that works at every place at any given time. If there was a formula for doing church then why in the world did Jesus address seven different churches in seven different ways in Revelation 2-3?

Too many times pastors/church leaders want the easy answer rather than committing themselves to doing the hard work and actually seeking the face of God and begging for His wisdom and guidance… talking to the 'EXPERTS' is easy… just plug in the formula and BAM… double your attendance. AND after years of watching this chaos happen I think we can all admit… this does not work…

Hope you enjoyed that as much as I did & that it encouraged you as well! Perry writes many incredible thoughts often & I'd encourage you to check him out sometime... perrynoble.com

Here's what I've learned the most about Church-Planting & Pastoring - IT REALLY DOESN'T MATTER WHAT I THINK - however it's vitally important that I KNOW & CARE... WHAT GOD THINKS!

Friday, March 26, 2010


(Wk4) The One That Got Away...

How Willing and Ready are YOU to FOLLOW 'THE Way' and GO FISH?

Everyday - You LIVE by, DRIVE by, LIVE with, WORK with - PEOPLE... who do not have the knowledge of JESUS CHRIST!

YOU are God's ANSWER to them becoming FOLLOWERS - who eventually will FISH!
YOU are the REFLECTORS of God's LIGHT that will attract them to Jesus!

The MAIN CAUTION that will issue this coming week is...

We have to UNDERSTAND that WE are God's PLAN in reaching a LOST WORLD!
The RESPONSIBILITY that He has given to us to GO FISH is HUGE!
We have to begin seeing that SOONER rather than LATER!

It is our ROLE & RESPONSIBILITY to "GO BACK" to where we came from and FISH for those who might get away!

Don't miss COC this week as we conclude this AWESOME Series!

Church of Celebration
(Maricopa Wells Middle School)
9a & 10:45a

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


What a WEEK it's been! WOW... I was able to get a TON accomplished with the MAJOR ASSISTANCE of my Mom & Dad (Papa & Nana Day&NightCare)! Ging has been out of town for a week now - along with Miss Charis - and last week was MAJOR STUDY WEEK! I was able to finish up our current GO FISH Series - write our upcoming EASTER (Bricks & Sticks) Message - write the first Message in our upcoming Series... UNDEFILED - as well as OVERVIEW (lay-out) the remaining weeks - &... write the TWO TRACTS that I'm speaking on for this week's IGNITE 2010 (Church Planting) Conference! WHEW!!! (Say that three times fast!) I feel so ACCOMPLISHED!

Ginger & Charis... Taking a bit of SABBATICAL! Loving LIFE & being doted on a bit by her Mom & Dad - back in Missouri! While it's a comfortable 75-80 degrees here - they got SNOW over the weekend! However... she never seems to mind the COLD weather! I'm so thankful that she's had a reprieve for a few days - she SOOOOOOOOO deserves it!

Isaac... Kickin' it Nana & Papa style! The dude never wants to stay with me - he's spent HALF the time with Nana & Papa! I can't tell you how AWESOME it is to have INCREDIBLE parents who LOVE my kids - and who LIVE about 1/2 mile away! (BTW... Happy Birthday POPS! "66" Today!)

Caleb... Well - He's been back & forth the last week - in between myself & my folks! Daytimes have mostly been spent at School & then to Nana & Papa's! Night times have been at home! To which the other morning I opened his door to find his CRIB hopped all the way over to his CLOSET & discovering to find him in a completely new WARDROBE(s) (no PJ's in sight) - I believe he thought it was a fashion show!? No telling HOW MANY CLOTHES he had put on and taken off through the NIGHT - as I found at least 7 different shirts 'off the hangers' and on the floor & a couple pair of shorts! OHHHHHH... that boy!

Tonight starts IGNITE 2010 (Converge WorldWide's National Church Plant Conference) - in which we (Vision Arizona) are hosting! It should be an AWESOME EXPERIENCE as we kick tonight's conference off with the one & only... PERRY NOBLE! I actually get to 'hang' with him a bit - as I am his official 'Guide!' Talk about CHURCH PLANTING - this guy's DOING THINGS RIGHT! Ck out his blog some time - you will be impressed! perrynoble.com I actually have the privilege to do some TEACHING at the Conference as well - I'll be leading TWO TRACTS for Church Planters - 1) WHO DO YOU PLAY FOR? (Building Your Plant Team) / 2) BETWEEN THE FRAMES... (Marketing Your Church Plant)! Should be a BLAST!

Friday, March 19, 2010



Acts 1:8 COMMISSIONS us to 'FISH for Men' in Jerusalem - Judea - Samaria - to the uttermost parts of the world! At the COC we have 'personalized' this to mean... 'Fish for Men' in Maricopa - Arizona - USA - other Countries! We feel that it is our RESPONSIBILITY to do our very best in 'Making His Name More Famous' in these strategic areas! We've already discovered that it's not always EASY to 'Fish for Men' - that God is the LIGHT that attracts men to Him - He just uses US to REFLECT THAT LIGHT! Be WILLING & READY is our GOAL! This week at the COC - Pastor Mat (Exec Pastor / Give & Go) - will be sharing with us the UNIQUE opportunities that the COC offers to 'OUTGEAR' her members to become better 'FISHERS of MEN!' You won't want to miss these STRATEGIES!

R.E.A.C.H. Class - Evangelism 101
F.O.R. Maricopa - Maricopa Food Bank
BENEVOLENCE - Meeting the NEEDS of those enduring trials!
NSA Ministries - 'No Strings Attached' Service Projects
SERVE SUNDAYS - 5th Sunday Service Projects
MARICOPA TRICKorTREAT - COC's MAJOR Outreach Event to the City of Maricopa - heading into our 4th year - seeing attendances over 10,000!
COC's SUMMER BIBLE CLUB - COC's MAJOR Outreach Event for the CHILDREN of Maricopa - heading into our 3rd year - seeing 100's of Children discover Jesus!

VISION ARIZONA - The ongoing 'Church-Planting' efforts of this MOVEMENT is helping 'Make His Name More Famous' throughout the PHOENIX Metro area!
UNCHAINED GENERATION - Cooperative projects with a Ministry that is centralizing their efforts in the Sex Slave Trade Industry!

COC METRO - The Church of Celebration Metro - located in the 480 Corridor of Dallas/Ft Worth - a Church Plant that the COC has been playing a pivotal role in their BIRTH!

MEXICO MISSIONS - Partnering with AMORE Ministries - we have been attempting to PROVIDE for those less fortunate in our neighboring Country of Mexico through Home-Building Projects!
VISION ABOLITION - Partnering with a FIJI Missions Ministry - 'HOMES OF HOPE' - freeing Women & Children from the Global Sex Slave Trade Industry!


Church of Celebration (Maricopa Wells Middle School)
9a & 10:45a

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

FAMILY FOCUS... (Sacrifices Must Be Made!)

WOW! I'd love to start off this Family Focus with a 'Declaration' of how GREAT everything is going in the Barrett Fam - however... it seems like I always have that one PERSISTENT prayer request that I'm asking ALL my Friends & Family to continue PRAYING for - GINGER!! We sure could use your PRAYERS in regards to her health! Those KIDNEY STONES are really causing CONSTANT & NAGGING PAIN that just doesn't seem to be subsiding! It looks as if there is one or two or three (who knows?) that are causing some blockage and that creates PAIN that NEVER ENDS! She is really struggling emotionally and we need some INTERCESSORY PRAYERS from some of our 'Mountain Movers' out there! She is going to be able to take a bit of a break this next week - and my prayer is that she can get some REST & PEACE during that sabbatical!

Kiddos are doing AWESOME! The boys just finished SPRING BREAK week & we had some fun spending time together for sure!

Isaac & Daddy did a couple AM BREAKFAST's @ The Duke - followed by some moments of MALE-BONDING on the Driving Range! That KID has got a knack for GOLF for sure - maybe that's HIS GAME!?

Caleb enjoyed doing what he does best - DESTROYING HIS BED! For those of you who know - he is "8" now - but with his Special Needs we still have to keep him somewhat confined at night - so he's still in his original CRIB - which is now held together by 23 SUPER-Heavy Weight Zip Ties & 3 Rolls of Duct Tape! (MacGyver would be PROUD!) My Uncles (Dan & Denny) are in the process as we speak in constructing him a NEW & IMPROVED (SAFETY-PROOFED) BED - which will be very much welcomed!

Charis - SHE ROCKS MY FACE OFF! Love that smile - that giggle - that wiggle & that style!

Last weekend - I was able to take a couple days & head to PALM SPRING for a CHURCH-PLANT Fundraiser & Indian Wells Golf Resort (LG Skins Game is held there) - sponsored by our Regional Conference - Converge Southwest! A pair of 85's were held in tact through both rounds and that's not too bad when those GREENS (Oh... those GREENS!?!?) - a TWO-PUTT is Spectacular! What can I say... SACRIFICES MUST BE MADE!!

(Hope you enjoy the FOLLOW-THROUGH look - PARRED this Hole!)

Friday, March 12, 2010


Our BIG IDEA this Series... How willing and ready are you to FOLLOW 'THE WAY' and GO FISH?

Has your BOBBER disappeared? (1 Peter 3:15) ALWAYS be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have!

Here’s what we discovered ‘in a nutshell’ last week… Mt 4:17-20 - Jesus’ little/BIG idea - "FOLLOW ME!" WHY?! So I can MAKE YOU (what you aren’t) - FISHERS OF MEN!

FOLLOWERS eventually FISH – if they’re really FOLLOWING!

The reality is this… It’s gonna take some GUTS to FISH!

Here’s what you need to know about your MESSAGE…



-Christianity is something that is grounded & founded in HISTORY!

-Christianity is not about a BELIEF SYSTEM – it’s based around an EVENT!

The only way to know something about HISTORY is for someone to TELL YOU / SHARE WITH YOU / EXPLAIN TO YOU – EXACTLY - WHAT THAT HISTORICAL EVENT WAS! (It can’t be conjured up or made up!)

The TRUTH is – the very FIRST FOLLOWERS – the very FIRST “FISHERS FOR MEN”… Had NO GUTS either!

UNTIL… ACTS 4:23-29

We will see the “A-HA” Moment which beats ALL “A-HA” Moments in regards to FISHING & FISH GUTS that you’ll ever see!

Join us this week as we look closely at this “A-HA” MOMENT in HISTORY where the first FOLLOWERS of ‘THE Way’ realized that they were not just meant to be spectators of this PLAN – they were MAJOR PLAYERS in HIS PLAN!

See you on SUNDAY!

Church of Celebration / 9A & 10:45A

(Maricopa Wells Middle School)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

FAMILY FOCUS... (Treasure every moment!)

It is with heavy heart that I post today. A good friend of mine this past weekend - tragically lost his 34 year old wife. She was taken from this life in a car accident on Saturday evening - leaving behind her husband & three small children - all under the age of 10. These kinds of unexpected deaths leave many with speculation & confusion as to WHO is in control of life. It is in these moments that we MUST realize that - though we may have convinced ourselves that we have CONTROL of our lives - we are NOT in CONTROL - never have been & never will! Leaving us with a comforting thought - if perceived accurately - GOD IS IN CONTROL - always has been and always will be!

These are the moments that we MUST seek His counsel as a refuge - when the answer to - the all to obvious question is... WHY? I don't know much about this life - I don't claim to have answers for much of anything - however... it's in these moments that I rest assured in God's Sovereignty and in His promise that He CAN & WILL provide me with a... "PEACE THAT PASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING" - when I do ask WHY?

As my heart grieves for my friend Greg & his beautiful children - I find myself gaining better perspective with the TREASURE the Lord has given to me... GINGER - ISAAC - CALEB & CHARIS! It is in these moments that I MUST do everything in my ability to TREASURE EVERY MOMENT with them - for I KNOW NOT how many more MOMENTS I may have to TREASURE!?

Every death is a tragic loss - yes. Unexpected deaths - such as this one - take many years to heal from. The one thing that we can CELEBRATE in this unexpected passing is this... Death on earth brings loss to man - however... Death of a FOLLOWER OF THE WAY may be our loss - but it sure is heaven's gain! We REJOICE in knowing that Leigh Ann is with our FATHER & she is doing great right now!

Please PRAY for my friend Greg Tonkinson & his precious children... Caden - Bailey & Malia!
Please PRAY for them this Thursday & Friday as they say their earthly farewell & PLEASE pray for them in 6mos - 12mos - 24mos... as they continue to TRUST in JESUS in providing His continual promise of a... "PEACE THAT PASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING!"


Thursday, March 4, 2010


Brand new SERIES starting this week!
(Wk1) FOLLOW ME...

Dave Ferguson writes in his book The Big Idea… “The effective teacher is like a person who takes a strong rope – ties one end around the Big Ideas of Scripture – ties the other end around the major Themes of Life – and then through the power of the Spirit struggles to pull the two together!” Through the life of Jesus – we see the ultimate effective teacher who didn’t confuse people with a lot of little ideas. Instead… He presented on BIG IDEA with a clear CALL to action… Matthew 4:17-20 "From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” 18As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19"COME, FOLLOW ME," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." 20At once they left their nets and followed him."

I can’t help but notice what Jesus DIDN'T SAY to Peter or Andrew… 'Come – be Christians.’ Don Everts puts this BIG IDEA (Simple Concept) into perfect terminology in his book – Jesus with Dirty Feet… "Jesus was not a Christian. He never asked anyone to become a Christian… never built a steepled building, never drew up a theological treatise, never took an offering, never wore religious garments, never incorporated for tax purposes. He simply called people to… 'FOLLOW HIM.' That’s it. That - despite its simplicity - is it. He called people to 'FOLLOW HIM.' The RESPONSE… dropping familiar nets and FOLLOWING – in FAITH – this sandaled Jewish man. It is never more than that! Two thousand years of words can do NOTHING to the simple - basic reality of Christianity. First steps… taken by two brothers."

Peter & Andrew’s Theology was as pure as it gets! Jesus said… “FOLLOW ME.” AND THEY DID! As we’ve clearly seen - Jesus was not a COMPLICATED man - His call was not a CONFUSING call… 'FOLLOW ME.' The SIMPLICITY and CLARITY of this BIG IDEA - "FOLLOW ME" - was what catalyzed a MOVEMENT of Christ Followers into Action! It’s why MANY are still worshiping a Jewish Carpenter today!

The action of 'FOLLOWING' leads to one response… "FISHING FOR MEN!" What exactly does 'FISHING FOR MEN' mean you ask? I gotta believe that these SIMPLE MEN (Peter/Andrew/James/John) didn’t have a CLUE as to WHAT Jesus was talking about - being "FISHERS FOR MEN!" However… the amazing thing is this - a few chapters later - by the end of the New Testament - these guys (simple/ordinary/not too special) became JUST THAT - "FISHERS OF MEN!" These four guys understood clearly that it wasn’t just meant to 'FOLLOW.' To 'FOLLOW'… meant to "FISH!" To 'FISH'… meant "FOR MEN!"

Here’s what this all means… ‘Jesus Christ didn’t come from heaven to earth and die on a cross to make us NICE… He did so to make us DANGEROUS!’ At some point in time – we must stop making it our goal in life to arrive at death safely! Remember what the GOAL of the Gospel is… to 'LIVE IT' - not just 'AGREE with IT!' 'FOLLOWERS' eventually 'FISH' – if they’re really "FOLLOWING!"

Our BIG IDEA this Series...

How willing and ready are you to FOLLOW 'THE Way' and GO FISH?

See ya SUNDAY!!!
(Maricopa Wells Middle School / 9AM & 10:45AM)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

FAMILY FOCUS... (Skiing - in ARIZONA!?)

I got to take a rare opportunity yesterday (March 01st) and SKI -- ARIZONA!! I know... most of the time when you think of ARIZONA - you might ONLY think one thing... "It's HOT there - isn't it!?" Well... yes it is - about 7-8 months out of the year - it's FREAKING HOT to say it mildly! (Which isn't so bad - b/c GOLF goes down in rates nearly 75%) However... in the Winter months - the elevation of Arizona is from one extreme to the other and in the HIGH COUNTRY (North/Northeast) - the elevation reaches upwards 6000-8000 feet - and that produces ONE THING in the WET Season - SNOW (lots of it)! And boy have we had a WET WINTER here in Arizona - even the DESERT is GREEN - it might need to be MOWED soon! We were able to break away for a DAY (COC Staff Guys) and head up to SUNRISE Ski Resort (NE AZ) and Ski for the day on about a 48-60 inch base - IT ROCKED!!!!! I've been Snow-Skiing quite a bit and the SNOW yesterday rivaled ANYTHING I've ever seen in Colorado - not too mention (minus) the TRAFFIC on the SLOPES - wasn't a bit busy!!! Totally wanna give a 'shout-out' to our good friend TOM BLEVINS for hookin' us up at his brother's cabin for the night!

A look on the lift...

To cap it all off - we hit GRUMPY JAKE'S BBQ on the way back down the 'Mountain' - which is nothing short of spectacular! Truly some of the best BBQ I've ever had - who would of 'thunk-it' - a little 'HOLE in the wall' in SHOWLOW, AZ!!! Un-STINKIN-Believable! If you're ever in that neighborhood - do yourself a favor... http://grumpyjakesbbq.com