My life as I follow Jesus Christ, and live life as a husband, father, friend, pastor, runner, coach, and sinner who found forgiveness and favor with God.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fatbusters Week One Results

Week One - Mission Accomplished. Lost two pounds. Down to 192. Hoping to be down 10 pounds by Christmas.

Mon - Thurs were super easy, very disciplined. Ran 18 miles and tracked all my food.
Fri - Sun were super hard, very undisciplined. Didn't run at all, and didn't track any food.

For this to work, there has to be SUPER intentional tracking of food. If you run a lot you can get away with it, but I got lucky with my two pounds lost. I'll have to try harder to make this work.

To really lose weight (my way) live by this rule: You bite it - you write it.

As long as you track what you eat, you can eat whatever you want - as long as you stay in the goal range. I use to track everything.

Gonna run at least 6 miles today. Peace out from Walla Walla.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Part 5: "Simple Church" Book Review and App

I'm continuing the review and application from the book Simple Church. So far I've covered the "CLARITY" portion of the book, and now we're on part 2 of "MOVEMENT"

Simple Church
A simple church is a congregation designed around a straight-forward and strategic process that moves people through the stages of spiritual growth.
Clarity ⇒ Movement ⇒ Alignment ⇒ Focus

Movement.clear next step

Unfortunately, many churches treat new believers like neglected orphan children. There is little attention and nurture. New believers are tossed aside. There is typically no follow-up. The person is unsure what to do next. This situation is tragic. Just as children need nurture and attention during their formative years, so do new believers.
i. There must be a clear next step for them
ii. They must be moved into the life of the church.
iii. They must be nurtured toward spiritual growth.

We must be able to “strongly agree” with the following statement: “After someone becomes a believer, the next step for them in the spiritual transformation process is clear."

New Christians who immediately became active in a small group are five times more likely to remain in the church five years later than those who were active in worship services alone.” members class

We must be able to “strongly agree” with the following statement: “We have a class or group to move new people into the life of the church.”
i. Teach the simple process
ii. Ask for commitment to the process

Fatbusters Update (Day 4)

Over the years I've lost about 110 pounds...I gained a few back this fall, so I'm trying to knock off 10 before Christmas to get back in shape....

I ran 6 miles yesterday giving me 18 miles in three days, now that the rain is back I hope I don't wuss out today and tomorrow. My goal is to run five days a week.

Eating wise, I was on the high end yesterday, but my targets for calories, carbs, fat, and protein don't take into consideration the fact that I'm burning about 100 calories per if you take off 600 calories, I did fine.

For all you dieters out there - notice that I'm not dieting...I'm drinking latte's, eating bagels, etc. - I'm just tracking what I eat, and making wise decisions. It's so much better that way!

Here is yesterday's report:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fatbusters Update (Day 3)

background...I've gained some weight since running my marathon, so I'm kicking my body back in gear...gonna go for 10 pounds by Christmas.

Well, yesterday was pretty good. I ran FOUR miles which gives me 12 in two days. I went a bit over in carbs and calories, but since I'm burning about 100 calories per mile (sidenote: don't believe the treadmills and's about 100-120 calories per mile) I was ok. By the end of our youth service last night I was weak and soooo hungry, so I devoured some cereal and a big bowl of popcorn before bed last night. Here are the results:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Part 4: "Simple Church" Book Review and App

I'm continuing the review and application from the book Simple Church. So far I've covered the "CLARITY" portion of the book, and now we move to "MOVEMENT"

Simple Church
A simple church is a congregation designed around a straight-forward and strategic process that moves people through the stages of spiritual growth.
Clarity ⇒ Movement ⇒ Alignment ⇒ Focus

Movement.strategic programming

The whole idea of movement in Simple Church is the sequential steps in the process that causes people to move to greater areas of commitment. In other words, there must be movement from "loving God" to "loving people" in terms of the discipleship process...rather than stagnation of people just "loving God" and just coming to Sunday morning services.

We must be able to “strongly agree” with the following statement: “We have placed our programs along our strategic process.”

Begin with your clearly defined process. You must begin with the process, not the programs.
ii. Choose one program for each phase of your process iii. Design each program for a specific aspect of the process iv. Place the programs in sequential order
Followers of Christ: Sunday morning services (starting point: Sunday)

Connected to people: Small groups (weekly)
Rooted in truth: online community of deeper Bible study (monthly)

Immersed in culture: ministry teams/outreaches (monthly)

Movement.sequential programming
We must be able to “strongly agree” with the following statement: “Our programs are sequential, based on our process”
By placing the programs in sequence along the process, the programs truly become tools to facilitate the process of transformation. Congestion in conquered
i. Designate a clear entry point to your process
ii. Identify the next levels of programming

Movement.intentional movement
In so many churches people remain in the same place spiritually for years. And sometimes they remain in the same groups. They are kept in some type of spiritual holding tank. They rarely move to greater levels of commitment.

We must be able to “strongly agree” with the following statement: “We are intentional about moving people from one program to another.”

Remember, simple church leaders are designers. They design opportunities for people to be transformed. Complex church leaders are programmers. Programmers focus on one program at a time. Designers focus on the movement between the programs.
How to create intentional movement

1. Create short-term steps.
The steps should NOT be new programs. They should be short-term opportunities that expose people to an aspect of the process that they have not yet experienced.
2. Capitalize on Relationships
People DO NOT progress through the simple process because they hear it from the pulpit. People do not move through the process because they see a purpose statement on the wall. As helpful as these things can be, people move because someone else brings them through the process. Relationships bridge the process.
3. Consider the “Now What”
Do not let the present program be the end. Seek to move people farther along.
4. Connect People to Groups
The picture is clear: people stick to a church when they get involved in a small group.

Fatbusters Update

Well, day one went ok. I ran EIGHT miles, which is cool (so I probably burned around 800 calories) - but I had an unplanned meeting at Wild Buffalo Wings and tried to be good...ate a side salad but snacked on some fries and chips...on my tracker I just put whatever I could find that may be similar. Here are the results:

Monday, November 17, 2008

Uh-Oh call Fatbusters - I gotta lose a few!

Ok, so it's been over a month since my marathon, and I haven't ran much and today I got on the scale and it blew my brain a bit...the reading: 194! Ouch! My normal weight is around 185 - preferably closer to 183. So...unless I want to go back to my old self of 293.5 I better get back in the game! So, for accountability sake, I'm going to post every day about what I did the previous day in terms of health. So check back for a slimmer, trimmer, me!

Ten pounds by Christmas? Yeah, I'll bust that out no prob....

Friday, November 14, 2008

Part 3: "Simple Church" Book Review & App

I'm continuing the review and application from the book Simple Church. For a few days we'll be in the "CLARITY" portion. So far we talked about Clarity it terms of defining, illustrating and measuring the process.

Simple Church
A simple church is a congregation designed around a straight-forward and strategic process that moves people through the stages of spiritual growth.
Clarity ⇒ Movement ⇒ Alignment ⇒ Focus

For the simple process to become woven into the identity of the church, it must be discussed. Frequently. Not just during the launch. Clarity is not realized without consistency. It is not enough to unveil a vision for the how and then bury it among other things. It is insufficient to preach a series on the discipleship process and then file the messages. Consistent discussion is a must.

The discussion must begin with the leadership of the church. The simple process must become part of their vocabulary. It must roll off their tongues with ease.

We must be able to “strongly agree” with the following statement: “We frequently discuss our process as a leadership team.”

CLARITY: increase understanding
We must be able to “strongly agree” with the following statement: “Our church members have a clear understanding of our process.”

Understanding does not come easily. It does not occur with a one-time magical act of communication. Increasing understanding is hard work, and it must be continually monitored.

When people understand the process, they are also able to bring others though it. People are always the church’s greatest resource. And when someone really gets it, the person becomes a missionary and an advocate. So, as a leader, you must increase the level of process understanding in your church.

To do so, you must do three things. While all three are critical, they are in reverse order of importance.
1. Articulate the process corporately.
2. Share the process interpersonally. The process must not only be heard through monologue. Dialogue gives people a chance to interact. And this dialogue has a tendency to spread. When people see that it is not just a “sermon thing”, it means more.
3. Live the process personally. Be a tour guide not a travel agent.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Part 2: "Simple Church" Book Review & App

I'm continuing the review and application from the book Simple Church. For a few days we'll be in the "CLARITY" portion. Last time we talked about defining the process. Today is all about illustrating and measuring the process.

Simple Church
A simple church is a congregation designed around a straight-forward and strategic process that moves people through the stages of spiritual growth.
Clarity ⇒ Movement ⇒ Alignment ⇒ Focus

a. Get Visual
i. The simple process is more likely to resonate with each person if it is visual. Recollection increases movement. Vision is always visual.
ii. Get some wise and creative people around a table and come up with one. Be sure your visual illustration has the following components:
1. The illustration should be reflective of your process
2. The illustration should show progression.
3. The illustration should help simplify.
a. If you have to explain a lot of symbols and hidden meanings in your illustration, it is too complicated.

a. For people to take your ministry process seriously, it has to be measured. For people to internalize the simple how in your church, you have to evaluate it. The cliché is true: what gets evaluated, gets done.
b. We must be able to “strongly agree” with the following statement: “We have a system to measure how people progress through the process.”
c. Process must be measured. If there is no measurement, the people within the organization will not internalize the severity and urgency of it.
d. Churches that measure their process prove its value.
e. To measure your process effectively, you must think differently in two critical ways:
i. Learn to view your members horizontally and not vertically.
In this realm we need to see what percentage of people are in each stage. For instance it's a bad sign if 80% are in small groups, but only 5% are in ministry teams, even if your Sunday worship attendance is strong and even growing - because there is a blockage in the discipleship process.
ii. Measure attendance at each level/stage in your process.
In this realm we are taking regular attendance at all stages of the process, not just Sunday mornings. We want to know how all the programs are doing that represent a step in the discipleship process.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"Simple Church" Book Review & App (Part 1)

Today I begin reviewing the book Simple Church and applying the process to my life and ministry. You should know ahead of time that this book absolutely rocked me to the core, and I can't wait to apply it.

Simple Church
A simple church is a congregation designed around a straight-forward and strategic process that moves people through the stages of spiritual growth.
Clarity ⇒ Movement ⇒ Alignment ⇒ Focus

We must be able to “strongly agree” with the following statement: “We have a clearly defined process for moving a person from salvation to spiritual maturity to significant ministry.”

How is your how? Do you have a process that is clearly defined? Following are three concepts to wrestle with as you begin to define a ministry process:

1. Determine what kind of disciple you wish to produce in your church. What do you want the people to be.
I'm starting NON-SIMPLE on purpose, so I can narrow it down, but here are words and phrases that I associate with disciples: lovers of God, committed, courageous, filled with Holy Spirit power, filled with compassion and love for people, deep rooted in truth, active in ministry, wise and creative in reaching and serving the world.

2. Describe your purpose as a process. After you conclude what you desire people in your church or ministry to be, describe this in process terms. In other words, describe your purpose in sequential order. about: Followers of Christ, Connected to People, Rooted in Truth, Immersed in Culture
The greatest two commandments are to
love God and love people. I added "rooted in truth" because we live in a humanistic/hedonistic culture that believes you can do those two things any way you like - there must be deep rooted truth associated with HOW we love God and love people. "Immersed in Culture" is an expression of movement and involvement with those around us...with an end goal of making disciples. Maybe it goes without saying that if you truly love someone you are active in their lives, but I think too many people say they love people, but refuse get close to them, serve them, and actually get involved with them. And then there are people who "serve the world", but never share Jesus or make disciples, so verbally communicating this seems difficult for me in one phrase.

3. Decide how each weekly program is part of the process. The programs must specifically be defined how they will be used to move people through the process of spiritual transformation.
Followers of Christ: Sunday Worship Experience
Connected to People: Small Groups
Rooted in Truth: An online Community of Deeper Bible Study
Immersed in Culture: Ministry Teams

that's it for today...this is all very rough draft-ish, but I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remember "DO-OVERs" Back In The Day

The setting was usually middle school P.E. class, and we were forced to play sports like volleyball (for a short, fat boy with no vertical...yes it was forced). Instead of playing by the rules, some of the girls got to serve the ball five feet in front of the service line, and if it didn't go over the net, the P.E. teacher would yell out "DO OVER!"

Don't you wish you could pull the "Do Over" card at will? There are a lot of things I'd like to "Do Over".

Fortunately, we can in some ways. As a youth pastor I have been challenged by a recent talk given by Andy Stanley at the Catalyst Conference where he commented on the quote:

“If we got kicked out and the board brought in a new CEO, what would he do? Why shouldn’t we walk out the door, come back in, and do it ourselves?” – Only the Paranoid Survive, Andy Grove

  • The first thing an outsider might say about your organization is “Why in the world are you doing that?” We fall in love with the way we do things and forget to constantly reevaluate. The fact of life is that usually without pain, there is no pain. And usually that pain is financial.
  • Where are we manufacturing energy? These are the programs that we do because we do. We aren’t all that excited about them, but it is what we do. We just manufacture energy. Get rid of them.
  • It is painful to change. Yes, your context makes it difficult to get rid of this program, or that. It is difficult everywhere. It always hurts.

So, this week I'm firing and re-hiring myself. I'm throwing everything out and calling a "DO-OVER". I can't erase the past, but I can enhance the future.

Holy Spirit, be my guide. Jesus, I want to follow your voice. Give me wisdom I pray, to lead how you would lead. Thank you for your favor and forgiveness.


Monday, November 10, 2008

My Wife is Now a Chic Blogger!

Yay! My wife is entering the wonderful world of blogging! Subscribe to her blog if you want to take a few steps forward on the pathway to coolness!

Weekend Rewind

Wow, what an amazing week and weekend. It's so hard to fathom that our baby was so close to being born (four months early) this week. The neo-natologist gave our baby a 45% chance of surviving and even if she did survive he said she had a 75% of having moderate to extreme neurological damage, which basically means everything from deaf, blind, unable to breathe on her own, etc. And would have had to stay in the hospital for four more months before coming home.

And then, 48 hours after all that - Jenn and I are at home watching a movie practically like nothing ever happened. God is so good, and we are so thankful. Of course God is so good regardless of our circumstances, but we feel so blessed for everything to have gone so well with Jenn's surgery.

Here are some other great things that happened this weekend:

  • a bunch of girls came over and cleaned our house....TWICE, so that we wouldn't have to.
  • three families brought us dinner Fri-Sun nights....mmmm.....
  • a friend came over and primered the door jams in our house so that the trim project could finally be finished.
  • I found a great new cafe called Delirium in Gresham, and studied there (and blogged) for 3 hours on Saturday
  • Preached my third straight Sunday...this time as a guest speaker at Family Bible Church. They were very loving and accepting. We all believe it's time to get Dangerous!
  • Hung out at friends' house to watch football after the service and let Jenn rest.
  • Went back to Camas to cast some vision for the youth of Family Bible Church. Had a great time with them.
  • Got home at 9:30pm - making it a 13 hour day. Whew!
  • Went straight to bed!
I was able to apply every verse of Matt Redman's song "Blessed Be Your Name" this past week. Am so thankful that our baby is safe!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Post, post, post, post marathon run

Hey everyone,

What a crazy month it was in October. Some of it is top-secret, but most of you know that...
  1. I ran the Portland marathon the first Sunday in October, finished around 4:04 (PR by 5 min)
  2. I started helping out a church in Camas WA make some leadership transitions and will do so for the next six months
  3. My father-in-law's dad died after a long bout with kidney failure - we were gone last weekend
  4. Besides our youth services, I'm preaching three straight Sunday mornings and led a couple Wednesday night prayer services, to fill in for Pastor Steve
  5. Jennifer went into emergency surgery this week to prevent pre-term birth of our baby girl who should be born in late Feb.
So...that means that I didn't run in...three times in the last month! After averaging about 30-50 miles a week, I ran 17 miles total in the last 30 days! The problem is that I've been eating like a marathon runner, so let's just say it's been baggy jean month as well...ugh!

Well, I got out today and ran 6.5 miles in the rain with Dusty and it was great (except for the side ache, and the running part). Anyways, I'm excited to get back into the healthy groove BEFORE the holidays get here! I'm not going back to the 293.5 pound guy I used to be 8 years ago, that's for sure!!!

Health is a huge thing - and a biblical thing as well. God designed you to be healthy - it affects your confidence, your energy, your ability, and your stability in life. If you need a boost, go check out and start living healthy again. You'll never regret it!

P.S. Have you seen the videoshoot I did with Brooks Running Co. yet? Hopefully this isn't my 15 minutes of fame, but it was fun. You can check it here!

Peace and love

Friday, November 7, 2008

My Favorite Blogs: Without Wax by Pete Wilson

Hey everyone, I'm going to start highlighting some of my favorite blogs that I read daily. I have about 30 or so blogs that I use in Google Reader, but there are about 5 that I make sure to read everyday. Here is Pete Wilson who has a great family and great church, and he blogs regularly about both. You gotta start reading his stuff!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Going Home Today!

Good news all around! Jenn's surgery went great yesterday - she hasn't had any bad reactions, and the baby seems to be staying put! All the vitals are great on both her and the baby, so the doctor will be here in an hour or so, give us the low-down and get us out of here! Thank you Jesus!

We're not sure how much bed rest Jenn will be on for the final four months of the pregnancy, but let's just say I better get used to doing some extra chores! After waiting 8 years to have a baby, I'm game for whatever it takes!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Jenn being transported to St. Vincent Hospital

Hey everyone,

We found out some good and bad news...I don't have time to get into it, but Kaiser decided to transport Jenn to St. Vincent Hospital where they are specialists in pre-term delivery. Hopefully it won't come to that, but please pray for supernatural intervention from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

No "Go Vote" Post today - my wife needs prayer

Hey everyone,

Almost all the blogs will be dealing with the Presidential Campaign today, and unfortunately I won't be one of them.

Yesterday my wife went in for a routine ultrasound for our baby that is 26 weeks along, and they found out Jenn's cervix may be opening which means the baby could possibly be trying to come out way too soon. The good news is that Jenn has no bleeding or pain - she feels absolutely normal which is important because it means she's not in pre-term labor.

They have admitted her to the hospital for three days so they can simply monitor everything. If all goes well, they will send her home and put her on bed rest - where she'll only be allowed to get out of bed to take a shower.

We've been trying to have a baby for 8 years, and have never been even close to this far along in a pregnancy. Please pray for Gods supernatural power to do what we cannot do, and to heal her body and keep it safe.

Thank a bunch (now go vote!)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A new adventure in Camas

Well, I've added another adventure to our lives! For the next six months Jenn and I are going to work with a church in Camas on Sunday nights to stabilize and build their youth ministry. Their youth pastor did some really stupid horrible stuff, and because we have a relationship with that church, Jenn and I agreed to come in and work with them. So tonight I took some pics with the guys and it was a great time. So for six months I'll have three jobs - full time at PHC, working in High Schools with the Student Leaders & Mentors Program, and Interim Youth Pastor in Camas. I sure am glad I love my calling!!! Here are some pics using the Mac's Photobooth program.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Church Website Update: Thanks "Simple Church"

So here's the deal. Unfortunately, I am the only one in our church with any web design (if you call it that) capability, and because I have a Mac and because I have iWeb, I'm in charge of our website. It's not professional, and I wish we could outsource it, and I wish I had the time/ability to learn how to do it better, but in the meantime, I do what I can. here is our new, updated, simple look.