Friday, April 27, 2012


Most religious words have been overused and misused and maybe even abused. They have either lost their original meaning or nobody seems too interested in them anymore. 

Not so with faith. It still has life to it and always will. Doesn’t matter if it is the stuffy, old preacher looking down at his notes through his reading glasses or the prisoner testifying to his fellow offenders—our ears seem to perk up when we hear the word. 

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. –Hebrews 11:1 

Kierkegaard notes faith is humanity’s highest pursuit. Some make it that far, but none go further. Faith isn't the ability to believe into the distant future. Faith is believing God and taking the next step. 

Faith is best thought of as a verb and not a noun. Something we do and not something we have. A journey and not a destination. And it’s a gift from God – we can’t create it – we can only receive it and respond with it. (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Risk is part of faith. Refusing to take an adventure for something extraordinary is a guarantee for achieving something ordinary. Risking means possibly losing one's footing; not risking means losing oneself. 

Possibility is part of faith. Faith is believing the possibilities and not accepting limitations. Hope is the painting; faith is the painter.

Dependence is the beginning of faith. At times in our life we have been pushed and will be pushed to our limits. Here is the world. Bad things happen and so do terrible things. We’ll discover, sooner or later if we haven’t already, that independence from God doesn’t work out. And dependence is the beginning of faith. 

Trust is the maturity of faith. The trusting disciple just doesn’t believe in God, but also believes God and trusts God. The disciple trusts that God can do more with six of our days depending on Him, than he or she could do in seven days independent of Him. The disciple trusts that things like praying for our enemies makes no sense, but because it’s God’s idea then it is a good idea. 

Redemption is the product of faith. Redemption means a ransom has been paid. Redemption spends less time looking at the brokenness from the past than it does at the possibilities of a blessed future. 

You have a choice and so do I. We can either error on the side of faith or the side of doubt. Choose to receive and respond to God’s gift of faith today and all days. 

The best is yet to come… 


Friday, April 20, 2012

A Little Bit About a Few Things


Today is a great day at The Water’s Edge: We welcome our first Confirmation Class. These sixteen students have learned together, worshipped together, and served together. They have been equipped with the tools necessary to help them thrive as a disciple of Jesus. 

Confirmation Sunday isn’t the end of a journey. It is the beginning of a journey. It’s kind of like the kickoff to a football game. All the training has been done and the game has started. We have great big dreams for a student ministry that deeply impacts the lives of our students and students in our community. To the Confirmands: you are not only the future leaders of our church. Your ministry starts today: sharing Christ with the people in your life and the world. 

Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. -1 Timothy 4:12

Attendance and Giving Report

Our average worship attendance so far in 2012 is 511. This is 100 people higher than 2011 and is 25% growth over 2011. Our average attendance in children’s Sunday school for 2012 is 122 students per week. This is an increase of over 30% which means we continue to reach families with young children. Thanks so much to all the students and adults who work with our children. You are such a blessing! Our giving has also increased over 2011. Last week, the week after Easter, was our largest offering of the year! We will be receiving a detailed financial report in worship next weekend.

Congregational Care Ministry

This is exciting. A congregational care leadership team has formed and is planning ways for us to care for each other. This ministry will be launched in the next few months. You will see details emerge over the next month or two. Two things: 1. I believe God is leading all of us to serve in this ministry. Whether it is delivering a meal to a family that just had a baby, walking beside somebody who just lost a parent, doing a few home repairs for a person who is not able to, or dozens of other things—I believe God is leading all of us to serve in this ministry. 2. Pray for this emerging ministry. It will be one of the most important things we do in 2012.


The leadership team and the land and building team has determined that the Harrison Street property is the best location for our future. Negotiations with the owner are nearly complete. The capital campaign will continue in the fall and the owner is very agreeable to our timeline. Exciting days are ahead of us!

The best is yet to come…


Friday, April 13, 2012


I'm speaking about gratitude this Sunday. Here are some things I have been thinking about this week:

Gratitude. It’s a choice. It’s an attitude. It changes lives. Your life and the lives around you. 

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. -Melody Beattie

We live in a culture of more is merrier and bigger is better. Envy prevents us from being grateful for what we have because we are distracted by what others have and are preoccupied with what we don’t have. It’s not likely that if we are not thankful for what we currently have that we are going to be thankful for what we get in the future. 

Gratitude is a Choice 

The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished. Nevertheless, they set aside a day of thanksgiving. When we choose gratitude we will discover a simple truth of life—happiness doesn’t make us grateful; gratefulness makes us happy. 

Gratitude is an Attitude 

Paul writes about this. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. –Colossians 3:15 

Always be thankful. Have an attitude of gratitude. Give thanks for everything that happens. Know that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation. An attitude of gratitude allows for abundance to appear and fear to disappear. 

For Gratitude to be Gratitude – It Must Be Expressed to God and Others

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it i like wrapping a present and not giving it. God gives us a gift of 86,400 seconds today. How many of these seconds are we offering the simple, yet potently powerful prayer: “Thank you!” Gratitude connects us to God like only gratitude can: our Creator and Provider. Our expressed gratitude connects us to others as well. Expressed gratitude is the spark that lights a fire in another’s life. 

I don’t recall a time in my life when I have been more grateful to God and to others. Amber, Benjamin, David and I offer our thanks to you. You have been God’s instrument of grace in our lives at a time we have needed it the most. 

The best is yet to come…