Friday, October 31, 2008

Random Thoughts

1. We are in Springfield, MO for a friend's wedding on Saturday.

2. Jamie and I went to school at Central Bible College in Springfield, MO so the area is still familiar to us.

3. The best part about Springfield is visiting old friends and Cheddars. We love some Cheddars especially their spinach dip!

4. Don't forget to go to Chipotle today. On Halloween Chipotle gives away free burrito's to anyone who comes into their restaurant wearing aluminum foil. We will be hitting them up for dinner tonight.

5. The one thing I don't like about Springfield is the drivers. Today traffic was backed up on Glenstone, National and 65 all at the same time. Now I know you thinking was it ruch hour? No it was 1:30 pm. It was all good though because we got to Cheddars and had some spinach dip with some friends.

6. Tomorrow morning we are getting together with some more friends at Cracker Barrel, this is my favorite breakfast place. Their biscuits and gravy is amazing.

7. Yes I'm still losing weight and not going off the deep end this weekend even though I've blogged about a lot of food :).

8. Jamie is also super skinny and looking mighty fine. I love my wife to death and I'm excited to have this little getaway with her.

9. I'm looking forward to this Sunday at People's Church. We are starting a new series called the Miraculous and then at 6 pm we are having Ignite, an experience for college and twentysomethings. College and Twentsysomethings make sure you are there!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

$1.93 in OKC

This is how much I paid for gas today, it feels good living in Oklahoma City so I thought I would blog about what I like about Oklahoma City.

1. The people of OKC are very friendly. There is definitely southern hospitality here.

2. Gas is cheap and there really is no bumper to bumper traffic during rush hour.

3. The speed limit on the pike is between 70-75 mph, I love it!

4. So far I've experienced a dry summer which I like and a mild winter which I also like.

5. Last but certainly not least I love working at People's Church. I love the staff, I love the youth ministry, I love my youth leaders, I love the new friendships we've made and I love what God is doing through this church.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Daddy Time with Jace

Jamie had worship practice tonight so I had daddy time with Jace. Here are some of the highlights of our night:

1. As soon as Jamie left I see jace squatting, grunting, with a red face and vein popping out of his forehead. Yes it's the poop position. Thanks buddy! So we started off by changing a poop diaper.

2. Then we went to walmart to get the car's oil changed. During this time Jace played with some balls in walmart, walked through the toy section and got scared when daddy put on a batman mask. I have to admit it was pretty funny.

3. After walmart we went to the att store and Jace was offered a job by the manager when he snuck his way behind their counter.

4. We came home and practiced spiking the football. He needs to get used to scoring touchdowns :).

5. Then we came home and Jace did his job of pushing the garage door button. This is one of Jace's favorite things to do and he does it every time we come home. One time I was going to leave the garage open and take Jace inside but he is so quick he managed to push it without me stopping. He's a smart little man.

6. Next we had tickle time. I love tickling Jace and hearing him crack up.

7. We finished the night off by Jace drinking some milk, snuggle time, putting Jace in his pj's and then down to bed.

It was a great night. I love being a dad and I absolutely love Jace.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Different times

The last three seasons the Colts have started 9-0, 13-0 and 7-0 or something like that. This year is very different, we are 3-4 and it' not been very enjoyable as a fan. However, I believe this is good for the Colts because this season is testing them. I think it's also testing my character, in the past a start like this would have me in a total funk that would probably last until they played again. This year is different, currently I am disappointed but tomorrow is a new day and there is more important stuff going on then the Indianapolis Colts. It's weird to hear me say that but it's true.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Random Thoughts

1. Today we started Mpact at John Marshall, I got to meet a lot of students and look forward to hanging with them every Friday at their lunch.

2. I'm sick again and it stinks but I hope it's only a 24 hour deal.

3. I'm really looking forward to the Ohio State vs Penn State game tomorrow. Go Buckeyes!

4. Today we talked to my grandparents over Skype. The flew into the states from France and we will get to see them in December. I'm very close to all my extended family and can't wait to see them.

5. Jace is now saying hi and is still the cutest kid in the world.

6. Jamie made an amazing beef stew tonight. It was sooooo good I had two bowls.

7. I'm looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Almost There

Today I weighed in and I was 212, I am 2 pounds away from my initial goal and pretty pumped up about it. I was a little nervous after the retreat I went on because although I didn't eat terrible I also didn't eat great. It must have been that killer game of dodgeball where I burned a bunch of calories or at least I burned my arm and ribs. I'm also wearing size 34 jeans which hasn't happened for me since elementary school. The last size I remember wearing lower then a 36 was the husky size. Yes I wore husky size jeans and it was pretty embarrassing but I'm feeling good and shooting for 200 now. I may hit 199 just to say I'm under 200. This has been a great journey and I've been encouraged by friends who are on it with me. All I know is this year for Christmas and my birthday a brotha is gonna have to get a new wardrobe. This is a good thing.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Meet the Parents

Tonight I challenged the students of Epic to Influence their parents by honoring God with their lives, praying for their parents and by finding ways for their parents to encounter Jesus. After a call for salvation we had students come up to pray for their parents. God has given me a huge heart for families and for student/parent relationships and it was a blessing to watch our students pray for their parents and their friend's parents. We also had many students turn in salvation cards tonight. It was a great night and I thank God for the work He is doing in our students lives and with their relationship with their parents. If you missed the message make sure you go listen to it on the Epic Podcast on iTunes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Tonight I shared with my youth leaders HABITS we should have as leaders. These HABITS deal with the basics of Christianity. Sometimes we can get so caught up in doing ministry that we forget or neglect the basics of Christianity. Here are the HABITS I challenged my leaders not to neglect:

Hang time with God - This is personal worship and prayer.
Accountability - We all need somebody to lean on and they need us.
Bible Reading - This is one of the easiest basics to neglect.
Involvement with our family - This is a basic that can do the most damage if we neglect it.
Tithing Commitment - This is not an option, it's a matter of obedience. Malachi 3:8-12.
Strive for Holiness - Too many pastors and leaders are having moral and integrity failures.

If one of these areas is not a HABIT I encourage you to make them one. For your ministry, your family and yourself. I'm not perfect but these are some the things I strive to be HABITS in my life.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Good Weekend and a Big Monday

Good Weekend

This weekend I took students to Lake of the Ozarks, MO for a retreat. We had a great band called Freely who did worship (check out their myspace) and our speaker was Andy Estrella who does College Ministry at Missouri State University. It was great hanging out with my students, praying with them and seeing God work on their hearts. These weekends can be tiring after all the driving, making sure everything goes smoothly and a killer night of dodgeball (which the adults dominated) but they are also very rewarding. This was also a good weekend for me to pray and focus on the future of Epic. I have been praying and consumed by the question, "What do we need to do to reach more students with the good news of Jesus Christ?" I don't ever want to get complacent and as long as their are unsaved students in OKC I should always be consumed with this question.

Big Monday

With that question on my mind we are launching two community groups for Epic tomorrow night; one in Edmond and one on the southside. I'm praying these groups will be used to grow students spiritually and to reach students who are far from God. If you have questions about these groups please call me at People's Church. More Epic Community Groups will be coming in the future.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Epic Podcast is finally working!

As of today the Epic podcast is finally working. You can download it on iTunes by searching Epic Student Ministries. Go check it out. Our Got Sex series is on there and our Meet the Parents series will be on next as we go through the series. Parents I encourage you to listen to both series and check out what we are teaching your students about sex and their relationship with you. This is a great way for you to dialogue with your student about what they are learning on Wednesday nights. Thanks for subscribing and I hope you enjoy the messages.

OKC Thunder

Tonight I went to the first OKC Thunder home game ever. There was a good crowd, good energy, a bad pretzel, an unfortunate loss and great fellowship. I also got to watch 3 of my friends try to dunk the basketball off a trampoline, this was hilarious and the highlight of the night. I'm excited for the Thunder's season and look forward to going to more games. I officially have a team that I'm cheering for in Oklahoma. I will probably get a jersey but I still have to figure out my favorite player. Go Thunder! Whose ball it is? THUNDER BALL!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Weekend Update

1. Saturday I had a great time watching the OU vs. Texas game with some friends at our house.

2. Sunday I had a great time watching the Colts game with some friends at our house.

3. This weekend was a big football weekend. I also went 3-1 in my fantasy leagues, well it may be 2-2 if Eli and Plaxico tear it up but I think I'm good.

4. Jamie sang on the worship team this Sunday and did a phenomenal job. My wife has an amazing voice and I feel very blessed to have such a gifted wife. She also leads worship for Epic and does a great job.

5. During the football games Jace was playing with his football. That's my boy!

6. This weekend was very relaxing and I enjoyed my time with my family and friends.

7. Currently Jamie is trying to comb Jace's hair and he is running from her. It's hilarious.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Random Thoughts

1. Today I arrived at the church and was amazed how much steel has gone up. It looks amazing.

2. Tomorrow is OU vs Texas, I'm ready to see how crazy these OU fans are. I think Ohio State vs. Michigan is a bigger rival but others say differently so we will see. For the OU Fans Boomer..... and for the Ohio State fans O-H.....

3. Today was a busy day but a very efficient day. I like having days where I feel like I get a lot accomplished. I also got to pour into a new youth pastor today from Stillwater and really enjoyed my time with him.

4. If the Phillies and Red Sox win their series I will not watch one game of the World Series.

5. Jamie, Jace and I took a nice walk through the neighborhood tonight. The weather has been perfect in OKC.

6. Fall and Spring are definitely my favorite seasons of the year.

7. The Epic podcast is still down but hopefully it will get working next week. I will let you know.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Thank You Oklahoma City!

I checked to see what NFL games were on TV this week and to my surprise the Indianapolis Colts game was on again. This is the 3rd non nationally televised game shown in Oklahoma City and I love it. Thank you Oklahoma City for showing the Colts some love. I know this is a random blog but I just wanted to share my excitement.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Bad News and Good News

Bad News - Epic is on the iTunes store but the podcast is currently not working because the company who created the podcast is making some changes and we have to wait for that to finish before the podcast will work. So for those that subscribed hang in there with me it will hopefully be resolved soon.

Good News - On another note I got my test results back today and I've dropped my total cholesterol from 226 to 152 , my bad cholesterol from 153 to 102 points and my Triglycerides 183 to 74 points. These terms might be hard to understand so basically my health is a lot better. I'm very excited about these results and with God's help I will keep them great for the rest of my life. This is a huge testimony and it's all because of God. I never thought I would be able to change my lifestyle and eating habits because I love food, especially the bad ones, but with God all things are possible. Thank you Lord for helping me do something that I have never been able to do on my own!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Epic is on iTunes!

We finally have a podcast on iTunes for Epic Student Ministries and it is all because of All I had to do was upload the sermons and they created a rss feed for me to input on iTunes and now all of our messages are available online for free! I'm pumped about this for a few reasons:

1. Students can download our sermons off iTunes onto their iPods and listen to them if they missed a service. However students this is not a reason to miss Wednesday nights, we need you their every week! But if you HAVE to miss you can go listen to the message.

2. They can use the podcast to refer back to old sermons where they are trying to remember a scripture or a point. We just concluded a 4 week series on Sex and a student could easily forget a scripture or a point, now they can get the message off iTunes and listen to it again.

3. Students can share messages with friends who aren't able to make it to Epic by burning a message onto a cd for a friend or refering them to the podcast.

4. Parent's can now listen to our messages and use them to follow up and have conversations with their students. I know a lot of parents want to give their students space so they don't come into the service, well now they can be apart of the service from their ipod or computer.

I'm super excited for this podcast and I know God is going to use it to reach many more lives. To download or suscribe to the podcast all you have to do it go to the iTunes store and put "Epic Student Ministries" in the search bar, hit enter and it will pull up our podcast. Look for Epic and my name because there is another Epic Student Ministries podcast.

Again we just finished an awesome series called Got Sex, parents go check it out and students if you missed a message from this series go listen to it on iTunes!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Random Thoughts

1. Houston we have a problem...Jace knows how to open the dog cage and take off his diaper.

2. I'm still sick and it's pretty annoying but praise God I weighed myself this week and I'm at 216. Only 16 more pounds to go.

3. Go Dodgers and hahahahahahahahahahahaha to all cubs fans.

4. I'm looking forward to Colts vs Texans on TV Sunday and Ohio State vs Wisconsin Saturday Night.

5. Saturday I have a Caleb's core meeting and I look forward to pouring into our student leaders.

6. I hoping to go 4-0 again in Fantasy this week.

7. The weather in OKC has been absolutely beautiful and the $2.99 gas is even better.

8. Steel is going up on our new building and it is a pretty awesome sight.

9. Jace just took off his diaper and is running around naked. On that note good night!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

People who have influenced my life Pt. 3

I met Konan Stephens 3 1/2 years ago in Columbus, OH. Konan was the District Youth Director of Ohio and I was a new youth pastor. Konan was someone who supported, encouraged, resourced and challenged me. He is someone who thinks outside of the box and was cool with every youth pastor in Ohio. This impressed me a lot because sometimes ministry can be political with cliques and Konan was the same with everyone. I respect him a ton and appreciate his friendship. He also gave me an opportunity to preach at two camps, be a director over sports at Camp X and the opportunity to help plan and put together fine arts. I was honored to serve in these areas and learned a ton through these opportunities. Konan was also the first person to challenge me to have a personal growth plan, which is basically setting goals for my spiritual life, family, ministry, finances and physical health. This plan helped me grow and I was able to share the plan with others. Konan also gave me a free copy of Seven Practices of Effective Ministry by Andy Stanley. After reading this book it became my favorite ministry book and remains my favorite. Konan's heart was resourcing youth pastors and he did that with me many times and I'm very thankful. Konan is also a great speaker and challenged me in the way I preach. Check out his sermons on I believe I'm a better person and better youth pastor because of my relationship with Konan Stephens. I thank God that he put Konan Stephens in my life. Konan is currently pastoring C3 Church in Pickerington, OH.

Tough Little Man

Today I went with Jamie to Jace's 1 year doctor's appt. This was a tough one because he got three shots. What's worse is, if you know Jace he is a super happy kid, very friendly and he's walking around the doctor's office hamming it up with no clue he is getting ready to get stuck with 3 needles. Well he cried when he got his shots but as soon as mommy picked him up he stopped crying and starting grabbing for things on the wall. He is a tough little man and recovered great from his shots. As a parent it stinks watching him be in pain but we know he needs these shots to be healthy. I kept tellin him "it's ok buddy, you needs these shots so you will be healthy". He obviously had no clue what I was saying. He doesn't know that the shots are good for him but we do. I wonder if sometimes God allows us to endure pain or hurt because in the end it will make us stronger and healthier. We don't know that but He does. If your going through a struggle, some pain, some hurt; put your trust in God. He knows the beginning from the end and He can use that thing to make you stronger and healthier.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Crazy Wednesday

1. I have been sick for the last three days and have not enjoyed it. I hate being sick and this morning I felt pretty bad again but tonight it seems like it is going away. I'm praying by tomorrow I have no aches, sore throat or headache.

2. I'm glad we did an uncensored tonight because it would have been tough for me to preach while being sick. Our uncensored went very well and my leaders did a great job using God's word to answer tough questions from our students.

3. I'm sure some are wondering what is uncensored? Uncensored is a night where we take prescreened questions from students and then answer them on a Wednesday night. It's called uncensored because no question is off limits. I then give these questions to a few of my leaders who research and answer them with God's word. Tonight we did a Got Sex uncensored so we answered questions students had about sex. It went very well and even led to more questions after service. I'm glad the students feel that they come to a place where no question is a stupid question and they won't be judged. We also had at least 10 students commit their hearts to Christ tonight. THANK YOU JESUS!

4. Next month we will do an uncensored for our Meet the Parents series where students can ask any questions about family, their parents, their relationship with their parents, anything at all.

5. The Cubs lost, whoohoo! Go Dodgers and Joe Torre. They are my pick to win it all.

6. Well to end I just want to say I'm loving life right now. I love Oklahoma City, I love People's Church, I love Epic, I love my job, I love my son, I love my wife and I love God. I'm very thankful for where I am and there is no greater feeling then being in the center of God's will. Nuff Said.