Last night will go down as one of the best nights ever for Thrive. 10 students made a decision to follow Jesus for the first time.

Paige and Patric knocked it out of the park with "Dead and Gone."
So proud of Thrive students who invited and brought friends. We had over 35 first time guests last night.
I know that I sniffled 500 times during the message. I have been fighting sickness all week.
Loved watching students praying in the altars. Favorite sight was watching Sally (awesome youth leader) hold a young football player while he was broken and weeping before God.
Loved hearing different comments after service like, "I have never felt God like that before," "I have never felt this much peace before," or "Its like someone came and took all my hurts and pain."
If you want to hear the message, you can check it out at Thrive's homepage.

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Thursday, April 30, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Tonight, we have a big night in Thrive.  While preparing my message, I did some research on what happened to the Disciples of Jesus after his resurrection and ascension.  I had read this list a few times but this week it has haunted me more than ever.

Peter - Crucified upside down (per his request)
Andrew - Crucified after being whipped naked seven times
James - Beheaded
Philip - Whipped and crucified
Bathelomew - His skin ripped off and then crucified
Matthew - Murdered in Ethiopia 
Thomas - was shot to death with arrows
James the Lesser - thrown from the pinnacle of the temple & then sawed into pieces
Simon - Crucified
Jude - Cruelly put to death
John - Boiled alive, but survived and died of natural causes.

We think we have it tough when we do not like the music that was played in church or the Pastor says something we do not like.  For the cause of Christ they laid down their life, we sometimes can not lay down our pride.

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This is the last night of our "More Than A Rock Star" series.

There will be lots of students dressed up like rock stars.  We will have a drawing for a couple of Starbucks gift cards for those dressed up.

We will have free pizza and drinks for everyone.

Guitar Hero tournaments will be going down before service.

500 invite cards have been scattered all over the Middle Schools and High Schools of Henry County.

No one will want to miss the opening of the service.  When the countdown its 0:00 it is going to be awesome!

Everyone will walk out with something free!

Our message is about the great encore ever, The Resurrection!

We are believing for a packed out house and lots of decisions to follow Jesus.

We need you to be praying all day tomorrow for something awesome to happen.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

It seems that there are some huge things happening for Stockbridge Assembly, Thrive, and even for us personally. Over the past several weeks we have seen many chances to make an impact in our community. So many chances that I am not sure we can tackle all of them. It has made me sit back and ask if some of these were open doors that God has set in front of us, or just good opportunities. I have learned over the years that there is a difference between an open door and just a good opportunity.

Here is the difference. If it is a door that God is opening, there is nothing that you did to bring your way and it is always at the perfect time. It usually is something that only God can truly get the credit for. Most of the time you sit back and ask how it happened.

Good opportunities are great but sometimes do not line up with what God has called you to do. Sometimes they can actually take away from your mission and distract you. My prayer is that we will not be distracted by the many good things that are happening and miss the God thing that we are called to.

If you are wondering if it is truly a door God is opening, then ask if there is any way that any one else could have opened it. Can any one else take the credit for. And on the flip side, can any one really close it. My prayer for you and for us is that God will open the doors that no man can shut and shut the doors that no man can open.

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Sunday, April 26, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

This week flew by in a blur and was full of  ups and downs.

Mowed my yards completely for the first time since we have lived here.  If those that do not know, my house sits up on a very high hill and cutting the grass is a challenge.

Yesterday was a very productive day and I think today will be the same.

A little over a week until District Council.  I can not wait.  That is a week that I get to hang with friends, laugh a lot, and get some mental rest.

Thrive continues to blow my mind.  Wednesday we had the largest non-event crowd.  It was double what our first service was.

Really excited about Rock Star night Wednesday.  You do not want to miss the opening of the service.

Thursday night lighting struck our house, it fried our cable and internet.

We had some interesting interaction with Charter Cable yesterday.  I venting some of my frustrations on twitter and a Charter rep responded.  We came to a resolution and we will see how that works today.

Tomorrow is our church family fun day picnic at Noah's Ark.  Really excited about this, our church has several new families and it will be fun connecting with them.

I am struggling a little bit right now about the next level for Thrive.  I am not scared of failing or taking the wrong step, I am more frightened at the thought of staying where we are at.

Listened to one of the best podcasts ever yesterday by Andy Stanley on our Nation's Conscience.

We have a very busy day today, hope you are having a good weekend.

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Saturday, April 25, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

  • We had the largest non-event crowd for Thrive last night.
  • The band opened up with an All American Rejects song last night and knocked it out of the park.
  • Katie and the crew did a great job with the skit before the message.
  • Loved watching students and leaders praying for students at the end of the night.  There is not a better scene anywhere.
  • The first two weeks of More Than A Rock Star has blown our mind, I have a feeling next week is going to be crazy.
  • I love doing what God has called me to do.
Here are some things we talked about:
We looked at a story in John 6:60-68 has many people decided that it was too hard to follow Jesus and they did not sell out.

Being sold out means not selling out to anything else.

Here are some things you need to understand about selling out:

Your value outweighs the cost
Being sold out to Jesus give us value, we need to quit devaluing our life by selling out to so many more things.

The extraordinary outweighs the inconvenience.
God cares more about your call and commitment than you convenience.

The experience outlast the event.
The tickets and the souvenirs will fade, break, or get lost, but the stories and impact that will last forever.

Upcoming Events:
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Next week is our Rock Star Night.  There will be guitar hero, pizza, and much more.  Come dressed like a rock star and when a gift card.

The Amazing Race is May 16.  Guys vs. Gals.  You do not want to miss this!

Camp is June 22 - 26 and the cost is $135.  More information coming soon.

For weekly updates and podcast check Thrive out online.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Can someone really ever catch up?  Is the feeling of running behind a normal feeling?  Why does it seem like everyone else's days have more than 24 hours in them?

Why is a pity party so inviting and why can't I pass by the opportunity to have one without stopping by?  Can feeling sorry for yourself every accomplish anything?

If God's grace truly sufficient, then why does man's opinion seem to counter act it?  If God's mercy is sovereign, then how can man's judgement overrule it?

Why is it that we ask God to do things that He has already done for us?  Why do we bring God down to our level and try to create Him in our image instead of living like we were created in His image?

It seems that the battlefield that is my mind has been ragging in overtime for the last few weeks.  God has been teaching, showing, and stretching me in ways I can not begin to describe.  It scares me, overwhelms me, and outright paralyzes me at times.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

About five years ago one of my heroes described Student Ministry as a constant state of spinning plates.  There has never been a truer statement made, in my opinion.  In fact life most of the time feels a lot like this.  Running from one place to another trying to keep everything moving, trying not to let anything fall.  This way of living will quickly burn us out and wear us down.  Actually when we get caught up in just spinning plates we miss life, we miss what God has for us.

It's Monday and today starts a new week for most of us that will hold new adventures and new challenges.  Today you have a choice.  Will you spin plates or will you experience life.  Will you just survive or choose to thrive in what God has called you to do.

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Monday, April 20, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

We are hosting a car show for the Woodland High Band at the church today. I got to be one of the judges. I was the most underquailifed judge in the history of car shows.

Beautiful weather today. I am going to attempt to spend some time on my bike.

This week seemed to drag. With a busy Easter weekend and kicking off more than a Rosk Star this past Wednesday I felt behind all week.

Very proud of Thrive Wednesday night. We introduce several different elements to our service and they handled it perfectly. We also experience some heavy spiritial tension, but we understood why by the end of the service.

Yesterday I tried my hardest to be a bum. Took two naps and watched a lot of television.

Tomorrow our youth worship band will be leading in the main service. They are excited and service. Should be cool.

I am going to need a vacaction soon. It has been nonstop since the first of March.

Finished Brennen Manning's "Furious Longing of God" this week. Excellent book!

It has not been a real exciting week.

Hope you are having a good weekend

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Saturday, April 18, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

  • What a night!  Last night will probably go down as one of the top 5 Youth Services of my life.  The kicker is I believe the best is yet to come.
  • We opened the service with The Frays song "You Found Me."  The band rocked it and the video playing along with the song was powerful.
  • The band and Patric added some really cool things with a new song.  They took Jesus Messiah and added a rap and a tag on the end.  Really smooth and really awesome.
  • Grateful for creative students!  The drama that happened before the message really helped set the tone of the message.
  • There was so much spiritual tension before the service.  So proud of how our students dealt with that in prayer.
  • Nights like last night make all the hell that ministry brings worth it.
Here are some things we talked about:
According to Hebrews 4:14 and Matthew 11:28-30 we have "all access" to God because of what Jesus did for us on the cross.

The world puts different conditions on access than Jesus does -
  • The world says you have to come and give - Jesus says come to get
  • The world says you can come if you look a certain way - Jesus says come no matter how you look.
  • The world says you can come if you don't have issues - Jesus says come and bring your issues.
Jesus has given us all access but the issue is that we do not give Him all access to our lives.
We have a tendency to deal with life like we do laundry - we separate different areas of our life.

Why don't we give Jesus all access -
  • We do not want to relive the hurt and the pain that we have already been through.
  • Trust - we have brought God down to the level with everyone else that has hurt us.
  • Understanding - we do not truly understand the love God has for us.
  • Comfort - we have found comfort in our dysfunction.
What happens when we do not give Jesus all access - 
  • You never truly deal with your issues - you life out of excuse and not reason
  • You do not have healthy relationships - you are surrounded by people and are still lonely
  • You never grasp the dream God has for you because you are holding too tight to your plan
Upcoming Events:
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Next week is weeks 2 of More Than A Rock Star

April 29th is Rock Star night.  We will have pizza for everyone, guitar hero tournaments, and more.  Come dressed as a rock star and bring a friend.

This Sunday is Youth Sunday at Stockbridge Assembly.  The youth band will be leading worship and Jon Fennell will be speaking.

For more information and updates go to

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Thursday, April 16, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

There is something inside of me that is telling me that I am not dreaming big enough.  It is almost like at times I forget what it is like to dream.  I begin to doubt more than I dream.  My excuses begin to outweigh my dreams.  I spend more time telling God what I can not do rather than listening to Him tell me what I am called to do.  I believe that there are things that kill the dreams inside of all of us.  There is nothing that weighs down a life more than a dead dream.

  • You do not believe that the dream is truly from God.  If you did, if you really believed that God has given you a dream, wouldn't you do everything in your power to chase after it?
  • The fear of what other people think of you overshadows your decisions.  We fear the judgement of man more than the judgement of God.
  • Somewhere along the way you bought into the lie that it was going to be easy.  At the first sign of resistance you sit down where you are at.  The bigger the dreams the bigger the obstacles.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

So I give up. I am tired of fighting a losing battle. I do not consider myself a quitter, I would like to think that I do not throw in the towel that easy, but the frustration has become overwhelming. I have come to the understanding that you can not fight seasons. They happen and are often not in your control.

I have never seen a tree try and fight against the winter or seen a bird argue about flying south. As humans, we think that we have to control everything that goes on in our lives. We do not understand that we walk through seasons as well. The kicker is that not all the seasons are spring and summer. They are not all full of life and growth. There comes seasons of letting go and seasons that you even feel cold and abandoned.

One of the toughest jobs that we have as individuals is knowing the seasons and understanding the times. We have to know when to plant and know when to harvest. Know when to hold on and know when to let go. Seasons come and they go, the quicker we learn to stop fighting them and start flowing with them the better off we will be.

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Monday, April 13, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Non-negotiable is a term that was added to my vocabulary a couple of years ago. What are non-negotiables? Many people define this term in many ways. For me, it represents lines that I have drawn in my life that I refuse to cross. These are not just things that I have a strong opinion on, these are things that shape my convictions.

If you do not know what your non-negotiables are then you will not negotiate anything. When you say something is a non-negotiable in your life, you are declaring that it is really important. When you do not know what is really important, you treat everything the same.

Non-negotiables are like the stripes in the road for me. They help me stay in my lane, going in the right directions. They are also like warning signs. They keep me from going down paths that I have no business going down. It is more than a set of rules, it is more than a list of do's and don'ts. More than telling me what I can not do, it frees me up to do what I am called to do.

What are some of your non-negotiables?

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Easter is truly one of my favorite Holidays.  It has represented so much in my life for so long.  I have been in ministry for 11 years and this has been my favorite Easter to date.  Stockbridge Assembly knocked it out of the park with our "Capture Easter" weekend.  There are not words that I can express for how proud I am to be a part of this team and this community of faith.  I am on staff at a church that I would attend if they did not pay me.

This weekend every year makes me miss my family so much.  We had a lot of Easter traditions growing up and it was always a weekend we looked forward to.  I did not color any eggs this weekend and that bums me out a little.

Grilled steaks with our friend Mary this afternoon.  Then we spent the rest of the time watching the Braves and The Masters.  Braves won and The Masters got real interesting until the end.

A lot of Pastor friends hit a home-run today and The Kingdom of God advanced.  My prayer is that what happened today sticks and Disciples are made.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Took some time off from blogging this week.  I love blogging but I have purposely took some time off everything I do online over the last two weeks.

This has been Spring Break and Easter week all rolled into one and has made for a wild ride.

Tuesday we took about 45 students to The Varsity and Centennial Park.  IT SNOWED!  Are you kidding me?  It is April.  We had a blast.

Had an idea Wednesday to take all of Thrive and our Kid's Ministry skating because it was Spring Break.  Evidently, every student in Stockbridge had the same idea.  It was so crowded.  Everyone had a blast.

I will post Spring Break pictures here and on Thrive's homepage first part of next week.

Thursday we had a work day.  Very proud of how many of our students came and how hard they worked.  I believe with all of my heart that Thrive is some of the best students in the world!

More Than A Rock Star kicks off this Wednesday.  It is going to be unlike anything we have ever done.

From open to close Wednesday night is going to be unreal.

Baseball season opened this week.  Bravos look pretty good so far.  We will see how the Summer plays out.

Does not look like we will color any eggs this year.  I am kind of bummed about that.

Hope you have a good Easter weekend.

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Saturday, April 11, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Weebles wobble but they do not fall down. There are times we just feel like life's punching bag. After what I have walked through in the last month, I am tired of getting punched in the face. My life has felt like a weeble wobble. You know those things that you can knock around and they bounce back up.

Sometimes I just want to stay down. If I stay down, I do not have fight anymore. If I stay down, I will not get hurt anymore. If I stay down, people can not talk about me. If I stay down, life would be so much easier. But there is an issue with staying down. If I stay down, I am not doing what God has called me to do. If I stay down, I am not being who God called me to be.

There is a portion of Ephesians 6 that just grips me today. "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to STAND your ground, and after you have done everything, to STAND. STAND firm then....." When you have done everything....STAND.

Today, I will stand when I do not feel like fighting anymore. Today, I will stand because I know that He is standing with me. Today, I will stand because when I am standing, He is fighting. Today, I know that it is a choice and I will choose to stand. Weebles Wooble but they do not fall down. Today, I hope you can sing the song that I have been singing this morning:

So what can I say
What can I do
But offer this heart O God
Completely to You

So I'll stand
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One that gave it all

So I'll stand
My soul Lord to You surrender
All I am is Yours

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Friday, April 10, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Rock Star from Thrive Youth Church on Vimeo.

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Taking some time off from the blogging thing this week.  I have a lot on my brain and need to spend some time sorting some of it out.  If you would like to take part in Thrive's Easter week devotional, "seven" you can click here.  I will kick back up next week some time.  

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Monday, April 6, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Sunday Rambling instead of Saturday because I was helping with a retreat in Forsyth.

The Camp Grounds in Forsyth are one of my favorite places on earth. There are very few places that I can hear God so clearly.

I am writing this during our Middle School Small Group. They are playing a game call "do you love your neighbor." It got violent and I had to take a break.

A good friend came to visit this evening. Ebony is a former intern and a good friend. There are only a couple of people that will always have a spot in our ministry if they want it and Ebony is one of those people.

Got some new office furniture this week. I would like to think my friend Jason from Paramont Church for hooking me up.

It is Spring Break week! I was hoping for some rest but I do not see any coming.

Very excited about our series that starts in over a week in Thrive. I believe that we are going to be blown away.

I am convinced that Thrive are some of the greatest friends in the world.

Got an awesome late birthday present yesterday. Stephanie gave me Season 2 of 24 and has ordered me Season 1.

I do not feel like we had a weekend.

Hope you have an awesome week.

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Sunday, April 5, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

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Friday, April 3, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

  • Pastor Steven spoke and knocked it out of the park.
  • I really believe that our sound system is demon possessed.  It was jacked up last night.
  • Loved that so many of our students are taking part in the 30 pieces of silver challenge for Speed-the-Light.
  • The new Thrive t-shirts are in.  The look good and are selling fast.  Might have to do a reorder soon.
  • It's good to take a speaking break for a couple of weeks as we get ready for the More Than A Rock Star series.
  • Love the Peace of God that everyone felt after service last night.

Here are some things that was talked about:
Don't be a fool.  Foolish thoughts, leads to foolish actions, that leads to a foolish lifestyle.

Pastor Steven challenged us from Proverbs 7 not to be trapped by foolish things.

Check out the podcast here for more.

Upcoming Events:
Spring Break week is next week
Tuesday - Lunch @ The Varsity then hanging in Centennial Park
Wednesday - Skate night
Thursday - Work Dy

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April 15th we kick off a new series called "More Than A Rock Star."  Might be one of the most unique series ever.

All of April we are taking part in the 30 pieces of silver challenge for Speed-the-Light.  Every week the students are challenged to bring 30 quarters for our mission's offering.

For more information you can check out the website here.

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Thursday, April 2, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Happy April Fool's Day

So have you gotten fooled day?

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

The older I get there are some things that I am learning about myself.  One of the things that I am learning is that I love routines.  I love doing certain things at certain times.  I work more efficiently with structure.  Having my day planned out before it even starts.  Having everything organized and knowing where it is.

There only issue with all of this is, that there are times where I find myself just going through the motions.  I forget why I do the things that I do.  I loose my sense of purpose and understanding of my call and my life.  I miss the small things and the details that happen around me every day.  There are things that are not on my radar that should be.  I find myself slowly sinking into a rut and sometimes feel so stuck

I heard it said a long time ago that the only difference between a rut and a grave is its depth.  Today I challenge you not to be taken over by your daily routine.  Do not just go through the motions of your life.  LIVE YOUR LIFE!  

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