Friday, May 29, 2009

Welcome LRCC!

Sunday will be an exciting day at Freedom. Lake Robinson Community Church held their final service last Sunday, and they will join us in worship at GHS this week. I know that all of you regular Freedom attenders are great at making new folks feel welcome, in fact that is something I consistently hear from first time guests. I expect all of you to do that and more this Sunday as you welcome all the good, hard working folks from LRCC. Their commitment to God's Kingdom has opened an exciting door to the future for Freedom Fellowship.
Here's what I'd love to see our regular Freedom attenders do this Sunday:

- Arrive early and stay late
This will give you more time to meet and get to know anyone who is there for the first time, besides we have bagels and chocolate chip cookies to eat, that's a good reason to get there early by itself.

- Invite some of the guests to sit with your family
Let's face it, most of you sit in the same seats every week. Why not add 3 or 4 people to your row?

- Be ready to answer any questions they may have
Coming to worship at any church for the first time can seem a little overwhelming. Ask any guests you see if there is anything you can help them with. Maybe they will need info on where kids go or where the coffee is, no matter what they need do your best to get them the correct info.

I know Sunday will be a great day. I can't wait to experience it with all of you!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Meet Chris Roberts

Last week I broke the news right here that we would be adding Chris Roberts to the staff at Freedom. Chris and his family will be joining us on Sunday, and you will have a chance to meet him face to face. Here are a few facts about him that you might find interesting:

- He served in the French foreign legion from 95-98
- He is extremely allergic to orchids.
- He was born in the backseat of a greyhound bus rolling down Hwy 41.
- He has never sneezed.
- He once drove to Topeka Kansas to buy a used Kool and the Gang CD.
- He is fluent in six languages including Vulcan and Mermish.

Actually, that's all just stuff I made up, but if we find a guy who fits that description we will put him on staff just for being strange and awesome. Here's some real info on Chris that he wanted you to know about him:

- Awesome wife and boys
- Have led worship for over 15 years (most recently, at Brookwood)
- Graduated from CSU in 1994 (Marketing/Management degree)
- Knew a guy named Cliff Marshall in college (small world, huh?)
- Never won a Grammy or a Dove (but have friends who have and I've held theirs)

Some things that Chris didn't tell you: He is passionate about God changing people's lives through the church, he doesn't take himself too seriously, he loves to laugh, and he has been blessed by God with a ton of talent.

We are thrilled to welcome Chris onto the team at Freedom. Take some time to talk with him and April this Sunday, and do what you always do to make folks feel welcome. Invite them into your homes, take them out to eat, just generally help them get plugged into their new church home.

Also, you can read Chris' blog here. Be sure to check in tomorrow. I'll give you some info about the folks at LRCC who will be joining us this Sunday!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesday that feels like Monday update

Is it just me or has today felt like a Monday? That's o.k. though because yesterday felt like a Saturday. I'll trade a Tuesday feeling like a Monday for a Monday feeling like Saturday anytime, because Tuesday really has no special feeling to me anyway. That being said here's some reflection on this past weekend:

- The Lord's Supper service on Sunday was great. Remembering Jesus' ultimate sacrifice on the same weekend we remember the sacrifice of American soldiers was special. I pray that one day there will be no more wars for soldiers to die in, but until that day comes I am humbled that there are men and women who willingly die to provide our freedom. Taking the bread and cup this Sunday was the perfect reminder that political freedom means nothing without spiritual freedom, and that can only be found in the sacrificial death of Jesus.

- I loved getting to hear Mark Wilson play the guitar on Sunday. He added a solo at the end of "God of This City" that I had never heard before. I guess he just made it up sometime last week. He was heading to play golf in a tournament after the service Sunday, and I told him that if he played golf half as good as played the guitar that morning then the other guys might as well not even show up.

- Summer officially started yesterday. I know that the actual start of summer is about a month away, but Memorial Day always has meant the beginning of summer to me. We kicked off summer with a trip to the pool followed by a Sonic stop at Happy Hour. I didn't get in the pool by the way, summer has to get a good bit warmer before I do that.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Change is nothing to fear

It seems in starting a new church that there are days with lots of changes happening at the same time and then others where things are much calmer and more manageable. The last several weeks have been filled with more changes and decisions that must be made than anytime since we first started back in September 2004. Here's a little rundown of things that are happening that you can be praying about:

- God has answered our prayers in the area of worship leadership.
Sherry, my amazingly talented wife, has done an outstanding job of organizing all of our music since Freedom began over four years ago. Those of you who come to GHS every Sunday morning know how her hard work and dedication in that area has made a huge impact on the lives of so many people. Sherry and I both have been praying for over a year that God would provide someone else to take over that job for her. The reason we have prayed this is not because she doesn't enjoy it and not because she can't do it. We have prayed this because there are a couple of jobs she has that only she can do, and they are more important than organizing and leading the worship team at Freedom. Those jobs are : wife, mother, and home-school teacher! We can't hire someone else to do any of those jobs, but we can hire someone else to lead worship! After much prayer and discussion we will introduce Chris Roberts on May 31 as our new big cheese of worship at Freedom. (we're not big on titles around here, so big cheese of worship sounds as good as anything else.) He will officially begin on June 7. I'll tell you more about Chris later, but for now I want you to pray for Chris, his wife April and their two sons, Tad and Grant as they make this transition. Also pray for Sherry during the transition, and for Freedom and the impact our church can have on people in the arena of music.

- Lake Robinson Community Church will have their final worship service on Sunday.
This will be a very emotional time for all the folks who given so much of their lives to the birth and ministry of that church. Pray for them on Sunday as you get ready to come to Freedom. They will be joining us in worship on 5/31. I will write some next week about what we need to do to welcome them properly when they arrive.

- Lord's Supper is this Sunday.
If you'd like to get prepared here are three passages of scripture that God will use to teach us on Sunday: 1 Corinthians 11:23-29, Matthew 26:6-13, John 6:53-56

I am looking forward to seeing you on Sunday, and I'm looking forward to walking through these next several months of big time transitions with you as well!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Harry Caray discusses the monster from Predator

With a doctor's appointment scheduled in the middle of the day I know that my schedule will be full, so here's a funny video of Will Ferrel on SNL this past Saturday. If you ever listened to Harry Caray call a Cubs game you should really enjoy this. I laughed out loud, but then I'm weird like that.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Monday morning update on Tuesday

Yesterday was one of those days where I showed up at the office thinking that it would be a slow day and then it wasn't. As a result of that, here is what I would have written yesterday:

- Worship yesterday was amazing! Our planning team did a great job once again organizing the songs, and drama to perfectly lead into the message. They work hard to make that happen and it shows. We have some exciting changes coming soon in the worship area. This a huge answer to prayer. You'll hear about it here very soon.

- Relay for Life was a blast once again. Every year I have a great time hanging out at Relay with the folks from Freedom and hundreds of other folks from around town. This year's event raised over $200,000 for the American Cancer Society! "No Hit Wonders" did a set of ten 80's hits, and we had a ball doing it. I don't if anyone else enjoyed it, but we really enjoyed playing. Also, Donny, Joel, Nancy and I got called down during the candle service. I must have missed it when they said we were supposed to stay quiet after the prayer was over. (I was probably talking when they said it) Unfortunately, during my school days I frequently was called down for talking when I should have been listening, but Friday night was the first time that had happened in awhile. I'll be sure and behave better next year.

- Grace and I hung out at Gatti Town on Saturday. I took her to a birthday party, and we racked up the points on the basketball shooting game. We tag teamed it and set the high score. The coolest part of the trip was that when Grace turned in her points she used 250 of the 390 she earned to get a pair of sunglasses for her big sister. Now that will make a Dad proud, and believe me I was.

Friday, May 15, 2009

5 days in a row!

A few weeks ago I wrote on this blog that I would no longer apologize for not posting new entries, and I haven't. I didn't say that I wouldn't brag if I posted regularly, and in case you haven't noticed today's post makes five in a row! Of course on Wednesday I really just linked to Dustin Willis' blog, but let's not get technical.

No Hit Wonders had our final practice last night and Nicole couldn't be there. That means I had to sing the girl songs for the guys to practice their parts. It was not pretty. If she can't make it tonight our set will be a lot shorter, because you don't want to hear my version of "Time After Time" I can promise you.

I'm looking forward to finishing our message series on Sunday. This week we'll be talking about "Getting Home On Time". Here's what you can read before you come on Sunday to be ready: Daniel 1:1-15. Plan to be there, and plan to bring someone with you.

Hope I see you tonight at Greer High practice field and at GHS on Sunday!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Relay for Life

Tomorrow night will be a fun time. Relay for Life in Greer always is. If you haven't made plans yet to come, go ahead and decide now to be there. Here are a few things you need to know about before you get there:

- This year's event will be at the practice field behind Greer High School, not at Dooley Field! Be sure you get the word out about the change. Due to construction at Dooley Field, the organizers of Relay had to change the location this year.

- Come prepared to eat. The whole purpose of the event is to raise as much money as possible for The American Cancer Society, and all the proceeds made from food sales go to the charity. The Freedom relay team will be making Philly cheese steak sandwiches that are as good as you will find outside of Pennsylvania. In addition to food, there will be plenty of other things for you to spend money on that night, and it all goes to the cause.

- Starting time is 6:00. That's when the music begins and food will be available. I believe the opening ceremonies start later than that. Even if you can't get there at 6:00 or 7:00 come as soon as you can. There will be plenty going on all evening.

- No Hit Wonders will hit the stage around 10:00. If you want to hear some classic 80's music poorly imitated you need to be there. If you want it to sound exactly as it did on the radio in 1985, you better listen to your ipod instead. We'll be doing nine songs that anyone between the ages of 35-50 should remember. It's gonna be fun.

The best part about Relay is just being out in the community hanging out and talking to people. Come hang out with us Friday.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I'll put some Relay for Life info on here tomorrow, but for today I want you to read this post from Dustin Willis' blog. For those of you who never click on the lincs I put on here, you don't want to miss reading this. Go ahead, take the extra two seconds to click over to another site. You'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

No Clue

I like to think I'm a pretty well-rounded guy that has a cursory understanding of many different subjects, but I'm finding more and more there are things out there that I have almost no knowledge of. Some are things that don't matter if I know about them, and some are probably pretty important. Here's a short list of things I know almost nothing about:

- 3G and 4G networks

- Lady Gaga

- Bandwidth

- Frequent flyer miles

- T9 Word

- Twilight

- Gray's Anatomy

- Soccer

- Mortgage based securities

I'd love to know what things are on your list.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Transition update

Thanks to all of you who prayed about yesterday's service at Lake Robinson Community Church. We had a great time worshipping with the folks there. I took some time to share the history and vision of Freedom, and then I answered a lot of questions.

Here's what you need to know if you weren't there yesterday: The people at LRCC are very positive about the next steps in this transition. Of course they are also emotional. It will be very difficult for them when the church they have been working so hard in for seven years is absorbed into Freedom. Pray for them as we make the transition. Pray for their pastor Jimmy Hawkins and his family as well. Please continue to pray for wisdom for the leadership at Freedom.

Thanks to our entire team for handling everything at our service while I was away yesterday. It was great to be able to speak at LRCC without having to worry one bit about things being taken care of. We have the best group of volunteers that I have ever had the privilege to work with!

Also, thanks to my oldest daughter Emily, the Johnson's and the McCombs' for being at LRCC yesterday to lend their support and encouragement. For the first time in a long time I had a great deal of nervousness as I got ready to speak. Seeing some familiar faces helped ease those fears.

This entire process has been simply amazing. As a general rule churches just don't do what the folks at LRCC are doing. The faith it has required for them to give their land and building to a younger church is phenomenal, and I am overwhelmed at how God has orchestrated everything. I am pumped up about what God has in store for us next!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Pray for Sunday

Sporadic updates for my faithful handful of readers:

- We had a great weekend. Having Tony and Bettye at the house this weekend was a lot of fun, and the girls loved having another dog in the house to play with. Buddy was very well behaved around Kiki. Of course he spent plenty of time with his nose stuck in her rear end, but overall his conduct was acceptable. By the way, Buddy and Kiki are dogs. If you didn't know that then that last sentence would be really weird.

- I've been down in the hole studying for the last two days. Normally I will go out of town for a couple of days to plan the message calendar for the next several months, but this time I stayed in town. I spent Monday at the main Spartanburg library and yesterday at the main Greenville library. In case you were wondering, Spartanburg is nicer. For one thing they have free parking. I actually backed up at the Greenville library yesterday to avoid going into the pay lot. I found a nice free parking spot on the street in the back. Thankfully I still can parallel park.

- Pray for me Sunday. I will be speaking to the folks at Lake Robinson Community Church. I want to be sure and communicate clearly what God has been doing at Freedom and what kind of church we are trying to be. I will also be answering any questions they have about Freedom.

- I have a serious case of beach fever right now. I actually live with a chronic case, but it is normally under control. Our vacation to the beach is one month away, and I am really getting antsy. I've actually considered just driving down to Folly or the Isle of Palms for the day and coming right back, but I think I'll just wait it out.

- Our LIFE Group ends tonight. Well the study does, we will still get together next week to grill out and hang out. This group has been a blast getting to know. We've been talking about marriage, and there has been some great, honest discussion each and every week.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Weekend Preview

Here's a little rundown of what's in store for this weekend:

- Our friends Tony and Bettye will be in town. They were like an extra set of parents for both Sherry and I when we were in college. We're really looking forward to spending some time with them.

- Family Fest is tomorrow! If you're going, be sure and check out some of the guys from our band who will be playing around 10:30.

- There's some El Mariachi in my future planned for Saturday night. I will risk catching the swine flu and eat there anyway.

- We'll be talking Sunday morning about "Going Public". Read Matthew 5:14-16 before you come.

- I want to take Emily to see the new Wolverine movie, but unless we go sometime Sunday night it won't happen this weekend. We'll have to see how things pan out.

- Maybe I can fit a nap in the weekend somewhere, but the chances aren't looking good.

- Spring is here! I'm loving the warm weather, and now that the pollen is calming down being outside is wonderful.

Hope you have a great weekend. See you on Sunday!