Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Station Camp Football Camp / Baptism Pictures

Station Camp Football Camp
On Tuesday I went to Camp Nacome outside of Centerville, TN (about 1 1/2 hour from Nashville). The Station Camp football team were at their pre-season football camp. For the third year in a row I had the privilege of speaking to the team. I really like the way Coach Hollingsworth and his staff work with the team. This is something I really look forward to each year.

I wrote a little yesterday about our water baptisms on Sunday. Here are some good pictures of that day:

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sunday's Service / Jerry Sutton

Sunday's Sermon - The reluctant river
On Sunday, God led me to speak on Ezekiel 47 - which references a vision that shows the river that flows from the temple. The Spirit kept leading me to this passage, but I was resistant. The reason I resisted was my association of "the river" with some revivals in the '90's. I have been avoiding for the last decade songs, slogans and other references to "the river." However, as I studied Ezekiel 47 and corresponding passages, I rediscovered that "river" is actually the Holy Spirit. I was reminded through the Scripture that God is the first one to make the anaology of "the river" for the Holy Spirit. WIth that reminder in mind, I can now say, "Let the river flow." More importantly, let "the river - the Holy Spirit - flow through me!

Water Baptism Experience
Sunday, we had our second water baptism experience of the summer. Is there anything more meaningful than our baptisms? I am thrilled to have our church body gather around the "feed trough" to create a holy moment. There were several children we baptized, and I thank God for each of them. I was especially thrilled to baptize my good friends Chad and Kristen Clark. Kristen started following Jesus through our church plant that met at Guild Elementary in Gallatin. To watch her and Chad grow in the Lord the last three years has been thrilling for me!

Jerry Sutton's Resignation - a sad story
I was sad to read today that Jerry Sutton, the pastor of Two Rivers Baptist in Nashville, took early retirement due to pressue from some of his congregation. You can read the article in Monday's Tennessean newspaper. I have no idea wether or not his season was done, but I do know that way this circumstance came about was sad, and did not glorify God. Basically, the article summed up what has happened in this quote - "Sutton and church leaders hope his retirement will bring an end to a 14-month conflict. In the summer of 2007, a group of dissident church members sued Two Rivers, seeking Sutton's ouster and access to church financial records." Perhaps Jerry Sutton's season has ended, but it shouldn't have happened through disgruntled members, lawyers and the media. Disgruntled church members are the meanest creatures on God's planet. There may be some the bemoan Jerry Sutton's salary and retirement package, but they have no idea the pressures and unique challenges of a senior pastor's role. I pray for better days for both Two Rivers Baptist and Dr. Sutton.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Since Tuesday . . .

Here is a catch up of some things that happened this week . . .

BJ Christopher
- It was great on Wednesday night to hear a missions report from BJ Christopher. At age 72, this dear lady went on a mission trip with no one else she knew when she traveled to Kenya last year. She is going back again, and we are all proud of her courage.

Arts Camp / Lamplighter Theatre
- My friend and actor Greg Wilson hosted an Arts Camp for teenagers this week in Hendersonville. The final presentation was at our church on Thursday night. It was fun to see these students share their talents with all their family and friends. Greg is going to help The Church at Indian Lake partner with Lamplighter Theatre Company for their upcoming season of theatre. If all goes well, our church will be hosting It's A Wonderful Life this December, followed by some great shows in the Spring. I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Preparation for The Hendersonville Blessing
Kim Driver and her team worked very hard in preparation for August 9th. I am so proud of the hard work I am seeing from our Compassion Team. I am so ready for our church to start outreach ministry.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Super Tuesday / Star Sighting

It was a super busy Tuesday at work . . .
- checked in at the church
- covered a surgery
- answered several calls
- worked on finances
- got a haircut (ok - not work related!)
- a pre-marital counseling session
- a board meeting
After 13 hours of work, I still have two sermons to write. But, I am not complaining - I love my job . . . love my call.

Star Sighting
At the surgery this morning, Bill Purcell (ex-mayor of Nashville) was in the lobby with his daughter. We made eye contact at the coffee pot. I wanted to talk about his potential run for governor, but it didn't seem appropriate for his family or the wife of the patient I was sitting with. For the record, in 1998 I forced Beth to watch the mayoral debate while were young residence of Davidson County. I was pulling for the now forgotten Jay West. I was convinced Beth would agree with me, but she liked Purcell - and he got elected.

They're back!!!! So glad to have Beth and the kids home again - thank God!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Monday at PWI

Jeff Deyo is hosting the Pure Worship Institute at Living to Go Church in Goodlettsville this week. On Monday night, Indian Lake's very own Jonathan Lee led an incredible time of worship. After five years of ministry with Jonathan, I believe it was the best his voice ever sounded and the most anointed I have ever heard his ministry. By the way, he did great Sunday too.

It was encouraging to have a lot of people from Indian Lake in attendance. This extended beyond the teenagers (which we expected), as we had quite a few of our adults.

I was personally thrilled to meet Kent Henry, whose ministry impacted my life years ago. Kent wants to come minister at The Church at Indian Lake - I look forward to that day!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Weekend Reflections . . .

Saturday at the Lake

I spent some of Saturday on Old Hickory Lake with some friends. You kind of forget how neat it is to have a major recreational lake in Hendersonville. It was great fun . . . however, I'll try not to go tubing again on Saturday, because I was sore and stiff for Sunday's service.

Sunday's Service
Well, I can feel people's prayers. During Sunday's message I strayed from my notes and begin to speak under God's anointing. I feel a little awkward stating that, because my desire is to always have his hand upon me when I speak - and I believe that this is the case. However, there are special times when you feel a unique impartation of His power and influence. Yesterday, was certainly the case. I felt that prophetic preaching was coming forth, and it is humbling to have God use me in that way.

Quote #2
"Every conflict is the byproduct of immaturity." - Rick Warren

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Woking From Home

Working From Home
I have started working from home on some days. I did this exclusively in 2005-2006, so I have the remnant of a functional home office. I love seeing people at the church during the week. Being with people is what I love about my job. However, solitude and focused study is so beneficial for my creativity, speaking and spiritual leadership. When describing this same dilemma about himself, Mark Batterson described me also:

Just thought I'd share a personal observation I've made recently. On personality assessments I come out as an extrovert. But as a pastor I'm around people all the time so I honestly feel like I get my batteries charged by time alone. I love days like today--lots of interaction with lots of people. It's energizing. But it's also exhausting. So I've come to the conclusion that I'm an extrovert by personality and an introvert by necessity. If I didn't have an outlet to be with people I'm sure I'd go crazy. But because of the nature of what I do--pastoring a church . . . lots of meetings--I need some PT to stay fresh. = Mark Batterson ( - Tuesday, July 15, 2008)

Great Quote #1
Friendship is like an involuntary reflex, it just happens – Narrator on TV Show How I Met Your Mother (I don't recommend the show . . . but, I love the quote)

Highly Recommended
If you ever get the urge to buy a url, please choose I have used all the domain companies, and this one is the cheapest, easiest to navigate and has the best customer service. And no, they did not pay for this celebrity endorsement.

Friday, July 18, 2008

No - for now
I haven't blogged in the last few days because my url ( had been down while being transferred to a new domain company. However, I realized that my blog was still active on In the next few days will be back up - I know that will make a huge difference in your life - ha!

Family News / Bachelor Time
I am missing my family terribly - but now that Abbey calls me at random times, and has even sent me a text message from her Mom's phone - I feel more connected. I am happy Beth and the kids get this annual sabbatical in Kentucky. Their time with all their grandma, aunts, uncles and cousins is an important summer tradition. I also enjoyed being there Sunday afternoon through Tuesday with my mom. Beth's mother and family are just special people - and we cherish these years as we see many of them getting older. We are blessed to have such a great extended family on both sides of our tree.
If you have never visited you can hear three great songs from my all-time favorite singer! I think its time for some new songs, so when you see Beth join me in the campaign for new music.

Wednesday's Service / The Compassion Team

On Wednesday we had an unusually powerful time of prayer and declaration during our Wednesday night service. I felt a great energy that added life to our mid-week service. The beautiful part of this night was what occurred after the service. We took the enthusiasm and empowerment and directed it towards action in our community. Kim Driver lead our first Compassion Team ministry. The Compassion team exists to create events and ministries that will meet people's tangible needs in the community. By meeting people's needs we will demonstrate the love of Christ and open doors for the message of Christ to spread. We had great participation at this meeting, and I believed that all involved are as excited as I am about the future. Our first compassion event will be the Hendersonville Blessing on Saturday, August 9th. The Church at Indian Lake will be providing groceries and school supplies for families as a blessing before school starts. The level of the church's financial participation in the offering on Sunday, July 20th will determine how many families we can bless. I invite you to pray about what your participation in this event and offering can be.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Back in Town / Youth Get Away

We got back Sunday night from our long weekend in Gatlinburg. It was very weird to not be in church on Sunday morning, but I knew our service was in great hands with the staff. The decision to have Sunday as my last day of the trip instead of the first day was very valuable. I usually miss one Sunday a year just in case you think I am slacking - ha!

This morning I watched the vans load at 5:30 a.m. with teenagers on their way to Florida. The youth group's summer trip to Florida is one of the most important things the church does all year. Our teenagers are challenged spiritually, and its a great time for them to bond with both their leaders and each other. One of my dear friends, Clay Baggat, will be our camp speaker. Clay was a very successful youth pastor, and he is now the lead pastor of Living to Go Church in Goodlettsville. You can learn more about Clay 's personality by listening to our "Conversations" podcast titled "Rebellious PK." In your prayers, let's pray for a spiritual breakthrough in our teenagers that will ignite our church and community. God can do this! Let's believe for more than hype - let's believe for a revolution to start with our kids.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Cook Out / Gatlinburg

Cook Out
On Wednesday, the church had our Independence Day Cook Out. It was a great success - good turn out, great hamburgers, perfect weather. It would not have happened without the hard work of the Acevedos and Barnetts. Great job guys!

Yesterday, my family all took off for Gatlinburg. We are in an incredible, brand new cabin in a community called Settlers Ridge. It far exceeded our expectations! I have already been able to relax and spend time with my kids and nephews. Since I am not preaching on Sunday, this is one of the few times in the year I can mentally relax. We are about to leave for a favorite spot in the Smokey National Park - a natural stream shallow enough for the kids to swim in, and clear enough to see them when they slip and fall.

July 4th
Happy 232 to the US!