Monday, June 29, 2009


My dog doesn’t like fireworks, making the Fourth of July a bit of a problem. Actually, it’s not the fireworks that are the problem, it’s the noise that fireworks make. Thunder does the same thing. She is normally a fairly sedentary dog, spending the majority of her day asleep, or laying on the porch watching the world go by. The noise of a firecracker (or thunder, or a car backfiring) unleashes her inner Hulk. She runs around the yard barking, jumping on the fence, and generally doing her impersonation of Old Yeller at the end of the movie. I have to assure our neighbors that Billy doesn’t need to get his rifle; my dog has all her shots; it’s not rabies, she just has a noise phobia.

I’m afraid she will never quite understand the celebration of the Fourth of July. That’s because I, unfortunately, do not speak "dog." If I could, I could explain to her that the neighbors are only celebrating our nation’s independence, and it will all be over by midnight.

I have a feeling some folks are like that when it comes to Christ. They don’t understand what all the celebration is about, in fact, they don’t see the celebration at all. The good news is, we do speak "people." I pray daily to find more effective ways to let the world know why we celebrate, and what we celebrate in Christ. This week, celebrate Jesus, and tell someone why you did!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Is there anybody out there?

I have a feeling, the answer is yes. If you're like me, when it comes to blogs, you're a lurker. You're happy to read the latest update but you don't want to be the first to leave a comment.

I get it.

For some of you, this whole blog thing may be very new. Others of you may veterans of the blogosphere, but you're just not sure anyone else is really plugged in to this particular site. You're afraid you'll leave a comment and then...nothing...nada...crickets...

I know. I know.

But, this is a great place to expand the community of National Heights Baptist Church. And it was never intended to be a one-way conversation. We want to hear from you.

But, someone has got to go first.

That's why, I'm wiling to offer you a bribe. I'm giving away three of the books from my summer reading list and three $5 gift cards for Big Momma's Coffeehouse to the first three folks willing to comment on this post. My theory is that once a few people dip their toe in the blog water and leave a comment, others will be emboldened to take the plunge.

Here's what you can win.

The first person to comment gets a copy of "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. It's a great little book about God's crazy love for us. I'm about halfway through it and am really digging it. I am sure you'll love it too. You'll also get a $5 gift card for Big Mommas.

The second person to leave a comment gets a copy of "Don't Waste Your Life" by John Piper. I've been meaning to read this one for months. I hear it's a real kick ya in the pants, get you off the couch, motivate you to do something with your life kind of read. Just what I need in these lazy summer days. You can read it at Big Mommas while sipping on free coffee!

And just for fun, the third person to comment gets a copy of my book: "Graffiti: Learning to See the Art in Ourselves." I bet I can even get the author to sign it. I may even join you at Big Mommas for a free cup of joe (my favorite is the sweet momma sip).

So, leave us a comment and reap the rewards. You can tell us what's on your summer reading list, let others know about a ministry opportunity at NHBC, or just say hello to your church staff or fellow church members (they're lurking here too!). Others are waiting to follow your lead.

Ready. Set. Go!

Monday, June 8, 2009

G'day Mate!

On an ordinary day, NHBC is located at 3050 N. National in Springfield. Just an hour ago, I left my office and stepped into the Australian Outback. I walked into the Worship Station, a train depot complete with locomotive and giant kangaroo, and watched as the first day of Vacation Bible School began. We climbed aboard the Boomerang Express and learned how Jesus is Lord over All Things. VBS provides one of the most exciting weeks in the year. In the midst of exciting decorations, fun music and recreation, and great snacks, wonderful teachers and workers present the timeless story of Jesus. Join me in praying this week for every child, teacher, worker and family who is a part of our Vacation Bible School as we learn how It All Comes Back to Jesus!