Monday, July 28

Last Post Before Africa

Tomorrow morning @ 6 we'll be on our way to Mozambique! Many months of fundraising, prayer, and all-around sacrifice will come to fruition over the next couple of weeks. We're excited about the work and ministry that will be accomplished. We're excited about making a difference in people's lives. And we're excited about the change that will happen in the team member's lives and how that will affect all of Crosspoint and beyond!

Conard and Debbie Symonds deserve a lot of pats on the back and 'way to go' for how they have worked to make this a reality! Make sure you show them your appreciation for all they mean to our church!

BBQ 2 was awesome. It was just amazing to have the kids share some of VBS with us and to hear the kids give testimony of accepting Jesus into their hearts. Way to go Pastor Amy, Laura Murray and crew!!!

For those of you itching to know some numbers there were around 240 here yesterday. We've had 23 salvations in the past couple of weeks and we're gearing up for a big baptism on the 24th. 240 is a huge crowd for us in July! We had some of our long-time members, who hadn't been here for a few weeks, say that they hardly knew anyone! It seemed like a different church! Haha, I love it. Really, new people coming to church, having a good time, and experiencing Jesus Christ... It doesn't get any better than that.

Pray for us as we travel. We're back on Aug 12.

Saturday, July 26


It's been quite a week! We've had tons of people coming and going all week, enjoying VBS, and getting to know Crosspoint a little better. Tomorrow we'll host the VBS Wrap Up and celebrate all that God has done. 19 Children gave their lives to Christ this week @ the Power Lab VBS. 19 lives that have been changed for eternity. I was proud of Pastor Amy as she called out each name and gave them a brand new "Kids Adventure Bible". Inside each of the 19 Bibles was a handwritten note from Pastor Amy. If that doesn't get you fired up about why we do what we do, you need to check your pulse. Crosspoint is crazy about seeing people connect with Jesus!

Did you see the article in today's newspaper on the African Children's Choir coming to Crosspoint? Front page promo and a full page spread on C1. Way to go Norah Lynn and Heidi for representing us well! I still think it's amazing that they are going to be here while we have a team in Africa. Also, equally amazing, the missions theme from VBS was soccer balls for Africa. We'll be giving away soccer balls and soccer uniforms in Africa while the African Children's Choir is @ Crosspoint. I think God had a hand in all of this, don't you??!

Here's a good verse to contemplate for tomorrow: Micah 6:8

21 salvations in the past week
Mozambique team leaving on Tuesday
Baptisms coming up later in Aug
African Children's Choir this Friday, Aug 1st


Thursday, July 24

What I'm Reading

Add another book to the list of resources I've been looking at (yes, I start with Scripture) for this Sunday's sermon:
"Be Holy. God's Invitation to Understand, Declare, and Experience Holiness", edited by Joseph Coleson, Wesleyan Publishing House.

Other reads or things I'll take to read enroute to Mozambique:
"The Reason for God", Timothy Keller
"Prayer", Philip Yancey (haven't finished it yet!)
"The Seven Deadly Sins of Small Group Ministry", Donahue, Robinson
Macworld Magazine

And I'll probably pick up a copy of "Car & Driver" in the Portland airport.

Let it Rain

After a period of really dry really nice summer weather, the rain is quite refreshing. When the rain lets up we'll be able to tell that most everything around us has been refreshed from the good long drink of summer water. (My tomato plant on my deck was quite thirsty!)

Maybe you could use a little spiritual rain and blessing in your life? Drop by the church around 11:00 this morning and you will see a sanctuary full of kids singing about Jesus and learning more about who God wants them to be! It's very cool.

BBQ 2 is coming up. We're expecting many VBS guests this Sunday. People can't resist seeing children on the stage even if the kids are picking things or staring out a window. As I mentioned earlier, I'm kind of glad that 'your' question on 'what is holiness' falls on a Sunday when we are expecting people who either don't go to church or haven't been in a church for years. This changes the way I prepare. As I'm writing I'm passing everything through a filter of, "How will this be interpreted by folks? Will this make sense? How will this be relevant to where they are at today?"

Supposed to be golfing this afternoon...hope the rain clears!

Got this quote off of Tony Morgan's blog. It's by Seth Godin. Shared it @ Staff Meeting yesterday:
"If you are willing to satisfy people with good enough, you can make just about everybody happy. If you delight people and create change that lasts, you’re going to offend those that hate change in all its forms. Your choice."

Monday, July 21

Power Lab is On!!

I can't say how exciting it was to walk over to the church this morning and see all the families pouring in for VBS! Seriously, if you want to see something cool, drive by tomorrow morning around 8:30 and have a peek. It'll make you smile for about a month. Pastor Amy and her team have really done an outstanding job of transforming the church into the 'Power Lab'. Way to go!

We kicked off the BBQ series yesterday to what had to be the largest July crowd this church has seen in a long time. Wow! We had many new guests @ Crosspoint yesterday. I loved the way the service started with Kelly's drama sketch segueing into Amanda's solo of "It Is Well". Very cool. We had many people say that they received help on the whole issue of 'Doubt' yesterday.

Two people accepted Christ as their Saviour @ Crosspoint yesterday!! Somebody shout amen. That is why we do what we do. We are all about seeing changed lives become fully devoted followers of Christ.

Pastor Conard and Sylvain kept the bbq's firing after church yesterday as many people stayed for burgers, dogs, and drinks. The BBQ was a great success. Thanks guys! It was good to see people milling around getting to know each other better.

BBQ 2: What's the deal on 'holiness'? Does God expect me to be perfect? What does the Wesleyan church believe?

This Sunday is the wrap up to VBS which means there will be VBS decorations on the stage and dozens of crazy excited kids shouting out the songs and lessons they have learned. It's going to be a riot. We're expecting an abundance of relatives and guests coming in to see the kids on the stage. I'm looking forward to preaching on 'what does God expect' in a way that even people who haven't been to church in years can understand. Pray for me.

Final thought:
Doubt isn't meant to produce uncertainty.
Doubt is meant to produce faith!

Thursday, July 17


OK Crosspoint Keeners, turn in the Word to Mark 9:14-29. There is a lot going on in this text. Here are a few of my thoughts:
- Why couldn't the disciples heal the boy? Were they lacking faith even though they had seen/performed many miracles?
- How about Jesus getting pretty upset with everyone. Obviously their lack of faith was starting to wear on him.
- Who had the most faith in this story?
- Who had the most doubt?
- How do we explain, "I do believe, help me with my unbelief"?

We're planning an impacting service to kick off our BBQ series!

Here's the deal on paying for the BBQ. This week it's on us. We'll always accept donations ;-) Next week will be the big 'wrap up celebrate get kids on the stage invite every relative from here to Vancouver' Sunday. There will be a lot of visitors with us. We'd like for them to stay for the BBQ without having to pay. So, week one is free and week two will be on donations. We're asking you to donate double in order to cover the cost of a visitor on that Sunday. Aren't you lucky?!

We'll see what week 3 brings. It'll either be donation or an outright price tag ($1/burger or something like that).

God is good. Lives are being changed.

P.S. Pastor Amy had a crew of volunteers here last night decorating for the "Power Lab" VBS. It's looking awesome!!

Wednesday, July 16

7 Things We Need

Have I mentioned lately how much I love this church and how much I enjoy being the Pastor of this church?

We had our weekly staff meeting today...on my deck! It was hot and fabulous. Nachos, scones, cookies, cold drinks, coffee, etc.

We're in need of 7 things. No, this isn't a list of 7 things churches need to grow or anything smart like that. We really do need the following 7 things:

3 Kiddie wading pools for VBS. Must be large enough for a hula-hoop.

4 Suitcases you never want to see again. We need suitcases that we can take and leave in Mozambique. We have a bunch of stuff that we are hauling one-way. Kiss your suitcase good bye and know that it's going to a good cause!

VBS is Monday, so we need word on the pools right away. Comment here or email me.

Same with the suitcases. Pronto is better. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 15


It's good to be back in the office. I had a mountain of mail waiting for me, plus email, plus facebook mail, etc. I'm really tempted to say goodbye to Facebook as it is just another animal to keep checking, maintain, etc.

John Sherwood, Pastor Amy, Laura Murray and I were in this morning, with a special guest appearance by Debbie Symonds. Laura is greatly relieved to have people in the office again. Pastor Mark is on vacation for the next couple of weeks. Have a great time Mark!

We arrived home from Beulah around 10 pm last night. Our car and trailer were crammed with stuff. Plus we had already sent a load of stuff in Ruthie's van! I'm not sure how we manage to pack so much stuff into our cottage.

A few of us were chatting the other day about the possibility of us doing a Crosspoint event at Beulah Camp some time to give many of our new people a chance to see what this 'Beulah' place looks like. We would've spent more time promoting it or inviting people down but the reality is the place is pretty crammed for accommodations, parking, seating, etc. It is a pretty special spot, so we'll have to think about ways we can get more of you down there to check it out.

I started @ Olivet/Crosspoint last July. The first 2 Sundays (Beulah Sundays) probably had around 40-50 people in attendance. This year we had around 130-140 for each Sunday. We didn't have less people go to Beulah, we just had more people attending during the summer. This is very cool! If you weren't here Sunday, you missed one of our better services. Pastor Conard did an excellent job at leading us into our extended prayer time. We're all looking forward to ramping back up to two services in September. When the summer crowd is back, and momentum kicks in, and we're all inviting others, it should be a pretty exciting Fall of ministry.

"BBQ - Big Bad Questions" starts this Sunday!!! I mentioned Sunday morning that you had to check the blog to find out what this week's topic is. So, without further suspense, here it is: BBQ 1 - Doubt "Is it ok for a Christian to doubt? Is doubt a sin? Is doubt the opposite of faith or is it a normal part of my faith journey? What does the bible say about doubt?" You asked for it. We're going to toss it on the grill, flip it a few times, and get into what God's word has to say about doubt.

For those of you who like to eat at least once a day...Stay after church!!! And plan to enjoy some eats right off the grill. This is an excellent opportunity to invite someone to church!

VBS starts next week!

Saturday, July 12

Status Quo to Status Grow

I don't say too much on this blog about what is happening in our church for fear of someone thinking that we are bragging or acting like we're better than others.

But after being at Beulah this week, and after hearing our District Superintendent's annual report, I'm feeling like I at least need to share a few things before I bust:

- God wants to save people in every community and every church. He doesn't simply 'bless a little here, and a little there', at random.
- Churches want vision and they want to be led. (lead)
- It's all about life-change. That's what I am addicted to and that's why we're pouring tons of resources into VBS this summer. We want to see lives changed. Jesus didn't die for a logo or a website or a projector. He died for souls.
- More churches could experience renewal, breakthrough, and a bunch of other exciting goodies if they would simply get tired of doing church as usual and get re-energized about making a holy dent in their community.
- I echo our DS, 'we need pastors with passion'!!!
- New ideas are not threats. Whatever you are doing now was a new idea at some point.
- Stop saying, "That won't work in my church".
- The mission of every church is the same: make disciples. The vision on how you do that should keep you up at night, kick you out of bed in the morning, and be the driving force behind every thing you do.

Maybe I'll share more later.
Maybe I'll open another blog just for ministry issues.

But for now, I feel better :-)
Peace and Grace


So, what do you do when you need a miracle?

Have you ever had a miracle in your life? If so, have you ever given it a good 360 and considered what may or may not have triggered the miracle? Like God, miracles are mostly beyond our comprehension. We'll never know why God chooses to send a miracle our way or why he seemingly holds a miracle out of our reach.

So, does that mean that there isn't really anything that we can do when we are at the point of needing a miracle?

Tomorrow morning we are going to look at "What to do when you need a miracle". There are some clues in scripture that can really help us to understand our part in the whole realm of miracles.

It's another 'Beulah Sunday' which means that our whole team will be packing up tonight or early tomorrow morning and making the trek back to the Ville for service. There was a great crowd there last week and we are anticipating another great Sunday tomorrow!

BBQ - the Series starts next week! We are kicking off our summer series with some sizzle. Invite a friend or 10 as we explore the questions that most of us have asked at one time or another. Join us after church for what else, a BBQ! It's going to be a great time.

Beulah Camp wraps up tomorrow night. "The Storehouse" that we have been running, closes for the season tonight. We haven't been able to get in to many of the services but the general consensus we're getting from people is that it's been a great week of camp.

Tuesday, July 8

Beulah blogging

Greetings from Browns Flat, NB! Google Map it and you'll see where the Atlantic District of the Wesleyan Church has its annual Family Camp, Conference, and Ordination.

We're right on the Saint John River. There are around 300 cottages and a host of trailer sites and tents. It's a beautiful spot, especially when the fog burns off. The only thing burning today is skin! No fog and an expected high of 30+. That's my kind of weather!

Gayla runs "The Storehouse" - a bookstore/craft/cafe shop on the campground. It's keeping us very busy, almost too busy.

This past Sunday @ Crosspoint was smokin'. Haha. We usually expect a very small crowd on a 'Beulah' Sunday since so many of our people have cottages here or have traveled down to take in the services. Evidence again that our church is rapidly changing, there were around 130-140 there Sunday morning! Last year this time I was just getting started @ "Olivet" and I think there were probably closer to 50 people in church that same Sunday. Cool.

Bonus points to Pastor Mark for re-delivering his sermon on 'Peace'. Many said it was 'better than the first time he preached it'. We recorded it with GarageBand and we'll have it posted on the new when it is up and running. (Coming Soon!!) Bonus points to John Sherwood for playing lead guitar and singing lead vocal! John also switched with Brent Brewer on one song and played the drums while Brent played lead guitar. Very cool! I love this church!

Here's what today looks like:
7:40 a.m. blog, email, prep for Sunday
8:30 start coffee for 9 a.m. open
9-10:30 run the cafe end of things
10:30-1:00 Boating with Shane and Heidi Hoyt (a rare and needed break!!)
1:30-4 Cafe (also checking in with the DS on my other Beulah responsibilities)
4-6:30 Supper, veg, prep for evening cafe
7:00 try to catch some of the evening service
8:00 coffee's on for cafe
8:30-10:30 cafe
10:30 - 12 wander around aimlessly in need of sleep

Did we mention we have 11 people at our cottage? Yup, Gayla's folks are with us and we have 4 of their grandkids here as well, plus Judi.

Looking forward to this Sunday - A while back Kristin Zwicker requested a sermon that I had done @ Moncton Wesleyan titled: "What to do when you need a miracle". We're looking forward to another good crowd, great worship, and time well spent.

BBQ series starts July 20th! Who are you inviting?
VBS is July 21st. How are you volunteering?

God is good. All the time.

Wednesday, July 2

All the Latest

We wrapped up the "Juicy Fruit" series this past Sunday. It was a very solid series for us and one that I'm sure has made an impact for a lot of people. Here are a few highlights from Sunday:
- Great crowd! For the last Sunday of June, in the rain, it was a very good crowd!
- We had an extended time of worship this week and it really connected.
- I preached on "Self-Control" and gave a pretty strong reminder to us all that we need to be careful about moving the line away from the Cross instead of closer to it. Remember, the question isn't "Will this mortify my grandmother?" The question is, "Is this pleasing to Christ?" That will help us big time with our self-control and save us from a ton of grief!
- 'Brucie' from finding Nemo reminded us of the importance of self-control. Fish are friends, not food!
- Heidi Hoyt led a beautiful song for us while we simply worshiped and listened to God. Great job Heidi!
- We gave everyone a "Fruit of the Spirit" continuum sheet to mark their progress from when the series started to now. It's important to measure growth and to reflect on how God is changing you, making you more like Christ.

We headed down to Beulah Camp Sunday night to start setting up the Bookstore/Cafe that Gayla runs during camp, "the Storehouse". We saw 2 moose on the way down. They were just standing in the ditch eating grass, watching traffic go by. Cool.

Pastor Mark is re-preaching his sermon on 'Peace' this Sunday morning. We sing songs we like over and over. Why not hear a really good sermon more than once? Besides, I bet you can't recite the main points of his sermon (I bet he can't either!). We're ramping up for another Sunday of impacting life-change. This would be a great Sunday to invite a friend to.

Beulah Camp starts this Friday night. If you are unfamiliar, check out You probably won't be able to find a place to stay, but it would be worth your time to drive down for a service. You'll see 1200-1400 people in a very cool, very old tabernacle (modern media upgrades) worshiping to a great band and hearing some good teaching from some of the best preachers in North America. If you come down, stop by the Storehouse to say hello. You can usually find Gayla and I and a bunch of other Crosspointers in there.

Till Sunday, Peace.