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My Worship Revolution I lead a missional community of faith in Santa Cruz, CA. I am a husband, dad, musician, speaker, performer, community catalyst and dreamer. Welcome to the conversation.

19 July 2010 ~ 2 Comments

Generosity, Unity, & ‘Kingdom Mindedness’

Is mindedness even a word?  Well, it is now anyway.
In a culture that can often be all about ourselves and taking care of number one, it’s refreshing to see churches finding tangible ways to express unity and work together.

Several months ago I got an email from my friend Sean.  He’s the pastor of another young church here in Santa Cruz called Antioch Church.
The reason for the email was to let me know about a gathering on July fourth.  Antioch, Faith Community, Gathering By The Bay, and Trinity Covenant – all very different expressions of the church and all fairly young – gathered together on that Sunday morning at the Rio Theater.  As part of the liturgy they were having a commissioning time where they wanted me to come and share our story and allow them to pray for Missio Dei Community as we get started.

I have a heart to work alongside other faith communities and model unity as we help each other in accomplishing God’s purposes, so I was stoked for the opportunity.  Of course, I had already committed to teaching at a church in San Jose that is part of our Converge network, an opportunity I was also stoked about.  So, after tossing around a couple ideas, Rachel and the kids ended up going to that gathering to represent us while I spoke in San Jose.

As I was driving back over the hill I talked to Rachel on the phone and finding out how things went there.  She started to tell me about how they had 4 boxes up front for people to give to their particular church if they wanted to, BUT…the offering being passed that morning was a love offering to go to us!
As she told me, my eyes welled up with tears.
Check out this video Christal took for us from the service:

We had no idea they were gonna do that.
For four other churches to be willing to do that for us spoke volumes to us about those churches and those leaders.
For churches to be ‘Kingdom minded’ like that and even be willing to sacrifice to some degree to bless us was awesome.
I can’t wait to get to do this for someone else someday.  To share that level of generosity even when we don’t have a lot ourselves.
And I’m even more stoked than ever to get to work alongside these churches and others in Santa Cruz County to be Jesus to our community.

Yesterday I got a check for around $1350 from that morning.
Thanks you SO much to each of those church bodies.
We are excited to be a part of whatever God is doing right now in this city.
And this is just the beginning.
Can’t wait to see what’s next!

15 July 2010 ~ 4 Comments

I Married A Triathlete!

OK, so maybe she wasn’t a triathlete when I married her, but she sure is now!
After trying to convince her for a year and a half that she should try a triathlon, with her telling me she had NO desire, she finally took the plunge.  I chanced upon the way to make it happen when I talked our good friend Christal into it.  She wanted to train with Rachel so they decided to do one together.

They started training back in November.  They’re very first workout consisted of 6 minutes of running and 24 minutes of walking.  They struggled to gt through all the running, and now I’m scared to run with em cause they just might smoke me!
It was in June, but I had to get pictures up here cause I am seriously so proud of both Rachel and Christal.  So cool to watch them be dedicated to the training and even see some drastic life changes as they both chose to live healthier.

They finished their first sprint in an hour and 40 minutes, which was even better than they expected.
Here’s some pics.  I have some of them getting out of the swim, but if I remember correctly, they both threatened my life if I put up pictures of them in their bathing suits.


Caleb scoutin out the finish.                                 Pre-swim

Oh yeah, some dude proposed at the finish.         The finishers.

Click here to check out a video of their sprint to the finish.

Great job ladies!
And I think at our last Missio Dei gathering, like half of us were triathletes.
Sorry Dan & Katie!  We may get you someday. ;)
Ok probably not.  But that would be pretty cool.

I’m sure there will be a more complete race report from my wife when she catches up on her blog.
Christal wrote about it over here.

So who’s next?!

28 June 2010 ~ 3 Comments

Who Needs ANOTHER Church?

A couple of weeks ago I’m in a room of people.  Just hangin.
Someone asks what I’m up to in life and our church planting plans come up.
And then it comes.
From someone else in the room who heard about it the day before:

“So, what made you think Santa Cruz needs another church?”

I’m not positive if the skepticism behind the question was as strong as I thought or if I just perceived it that way cause I’m an artist which puts me on par with chicks on the sensitivity scale sometimes, but it isn’t the first time I’ve heard the question.
In fact sometimes it causes me to wonder the same thing.  In the discouraged moments, I can’t say I haven’t laid awake at night considering if we’re foolish.
But then I start to remember the things that God has called me to be, and how he has called me to go about it, and where I think he’s called me to do it.  That isn’t necessarily a sufficient answer for someone who doesn’t really get the whole idea of church planting, though.

Then I’m reminded of the need for the Gospel, the need for churches, and the need for church planting when someone like John Piper lays it out so clearly.
Check this out:

The best estimates we’ve been able to find, Santa Cruz is in the vicinity of 93% unchurched.
That leaves somewhere over 50,000 people in Santa Cruz city who aren’t engaged in a local community of faith.
Around 270,000 for the county.

But as another friend of mine pointed out, Santa Cruz is 93% unchurched…and it wants to stay that way.
In a lot of ways, that’s why I think Santa Cruz, and probably a WHOLE LOT of other cities across the U.S., need not only new churches, but a different kind of church.
I am stoked to be friends and partners with so many different leaders of so many different types of churches in our area.
So the question begins to arise…what kind of church are WE called to be?
What will THIS expression of THE church in Santa Cruz look like?
That question has a lot of answers to it.  It’s probably another 15 posts at least this long.
And then there are the other 30 posts of answers that we are still yet to discover.
Perhaps if I can get blogging more again you’ll get a feel for what that looks like to us.

But what I do know is this: we want to intentionally love and befriend people all over Santa Cruz.  We want to immerse ourselve in the daily rhythms and life of our city.  We want to do our part to make this county a better place to be, all the while being unashamed of our love and devotion to this leader of our lives, Jesus Christ.
And as we live out a passionate spirituality, a gospel larger than life, a life of faith and radical grace, we will see people experience God’s kingdom more clearly and ultimately encounter Jesus in a way that they can’t help but be transformed by him.
Sure, this is a simplification of the whole process.  I guess.
But I think our city needs a ‘church’ like that.
I think your city needs a ‘church; like that.
In fact, I think we need more than A church like that.
And when you run the numbers, I can’t imagine us ever having too many communities of faith that live this way, whether it’s a community of 6 people or 6000 people.

There’s a few reasons I think we need another church in Santa Cruz.

24 June 2010 ~ 3 Comments

Tahoe & Books

Heading to Tahoe with our Village this weekend to get away and just hang together.  Looking forward to getting to spend some time with everyone.  I’ve actually been in a bit of a funk this week and I’m glad I’m pulling out of it in time to enhoy the weekend.

Part of pulling out of it has been doing some more reading the past several days which has been inspiring me.  Hoping in addition to swimming, cycling, running, tennis, games, food, talking and playing music that I’ll have some time to read and reflect as well.
Here’s the 3 books I picked up on my Kindle App for the iPod touch last week:

Jesus Manifesto and Hidden Power of the Gospels came highly recommended.
AND is basically the next installment after The Tangible Kingdom.  Didn’t think I was gonna wanna read this one, but after reading the description I decided to grab it.  Glad I did.  It’s the first one I started and parts of it resonate even more the TK for me right now.  It’s kinda right where we’re living.

So these books go on top of the pile of all the other books I still haven’t read but want to.  Although I have a theory that I’ll actually read these quicker with them on my iPod.  So far, that’s proving to be accurate.
So what books are you reading these days?
What’s really good?
Anything at all.
Well, anything except for Twilight.

25 May 2010 ~ 2 Comments

Yosemite

Overall, had a good time in Yosemite.
However, we did wake up to this on Sunday morning…

SNOW!?

Is it really 2 weeks away from June?
You gotta be kiddin me.
Not gonna lie.  The tent was freezing every night.  A good portion of Sunday afternoon we just got snow and sleet.
But it made for a great time just hangin in the tent trailer and playing games together.

Luckily we did get Saturday morning at Yosemite and a good hike nearby on Sunday morning.
With the cold stickin around as ling as it has the falls at Yosemite were pretty awesome.
Yosemite in general was just stinking awesome.
My first time there.
I’ve seen plenty of pictures, but seeing half dome in the distance with towering trees and mountains on each side of you doesn’t even compare.
One day I will hike that thing!
Here are a few pics from our camera and my phone.



Amazing how all of that just “happened”.
Oh, wait…
;)

God is an incredible artist.

22 May 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Sabbath

This weekend…well, good luck trying to reach me.
I left yesterday.
No power.
No computer.
No phone.

Just Yosemite.
First time there.
Camping.
I’m probably taking in a view something like this right now:

Have a great weekend.
Catch ya on the flip side.

21 May 2010 ~ 7 Comments

On The Move Again

In case you didn’t catch the news on Facebook already…we have a house to move into!
6th year of marriage, 6th home, we’re getting pretty good at this.  Maybe we should start our own moving company.  Rachel could help you box everything up something fierce!

It’s not perfect, but it’s got some pretty sweet features.

PROS

  • Extra room that can be an office, playroom, or third bedroom.
  • Small garage, not for parking but for storage.
  • A pretty sweet party backyard.
  • Vegetable box in the backyard, it is on!
  • Washer/dryer
  • It’s a house.  I guess it’ll be nice with loud kiddos to again not have to share a wall.
  • Oh yeah, it’s .3 miles from the ocean.

CONS

  • All the rooms are pretty small.  Living room, bedrooms.  Smaller than they look in the pictures.  Might be time for some possible downsizing.
  • No bathtub.  Hope Caleb can make the switch to showers!
  • No dishwasher.  And no, I won’t make my wife do all the dishes.
  • It’s on a pretty busy street.  But at least the front yard is fenced in.  The back’s a lot nicer for using though.
  • A smidge over our budget, so we’ll have to pull a few bucks from other line items.

The owner lives right behind us.  That could be a pro or a con.  Haven’t met him yet.
Was stoked to meet our next door neighbors yesterday.  They have a 5 and 2 year old boy and were hoping for a family to move in.

I’m trusting that God brought us to this house for a reason, and I’m looking forward to what he has in store for this next season.
Here’s some pics to leave you with.
And by the way…we’re moving on May 29th.
Feel free to be there. ;)
Thanks!





20 May 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Missio Bloggin

Almost another month has past with no posts.
What a slacker I am.
Remember back when blogging was less popular, more rogue, and I could just blog when I felt like it and didn’t feel like I had to? The good ole days.
Also, still figuring out the rhythms of working 30 hours plus working on Missio Dei stuff and finding time for blogging, family, and…oh yeah, sleep.
Yeah, yeah, yeah… you want some cheese with your whine? Welcome to the real world.
Neither Facebook or my recent addiction to playing Settlers of Catan online to unwind are helping either.

Anywho…just a quick post to let you know I started the blog over on the Missio Dei site now where I’ll post some stuff more relevant to our community and what’s happening. Still need to get it set up better, but click here to swing by and check out the first post, and expect plenty more to come.

Some other big news for us that you may have already caught on Facebook or Twitter.
But if you didn’t, you’ll have to wait till tomorrow to see it here…with pictures.
Ooooooh.

Books without pictures make me kinda sad.
That’s all for now.

26 April 2010 ~ 2 Comments

April…Where Did You Go?

Has it really been almost a month since I posted last?
April has been pretty crazy.
Some quick updates and recap for you.

  • Busy month as we entered our second month of raising support.
  • Was actually out of town for 19 days since the beginning of April.
  • Had a great time leading worship at Rancho Vista Church on Easter and getting to spend the holiday with my mom & sister.
  • Unfortunately our family decided to get sick on Easter.  The day after, Caleb ralphed for the first time in his 3 1/2 years of life and was then kind enough to pass it on to Rachel and I who stayed up for hours on end in the bathroom that night.
  • Got to share at Oasis church who also hosted a lunch for us to raise support.  Pretty cool for Rachel to stand in the building her dad led the church he planted in, 20 years after he started it, and get to share about God calling us to church plant.
  • That night we had a support raising dessert with a group of core families from the Crosswinds days.  Again, so cool to have a bunch of special peeps who watched Rachel grow up since she was 6 years old lay hands on us and pray for us and Missio Dei Community.
  • Had a fun trip to Portland where we got to hang with Kari and I got to connect with some really great friends there: Boomer, Lisa, Izak, Linzee, and Noah.
  • Went to Catalyst West Coast with Rachel and Katie.  Great time of connecting with others and getting some good nuggets of wisdom to chew on as we all dream about and lead into the future of Missio Dei.
  • Today I start training to work the next couple of months for the U.S. Census Bureau.  Perfect job to get us a little more distance while we keep on raising support.  Right now we are about 33% of the way to our initial support raising goal.
  • We drove back home last night with Rachel’s little brother, Isaac, in the car with us.  He’s moving in with us for the month of May to help out with the kidlets while Rachel finishes up her tutoring job and I start the Census job.

There you go.
A really quick snapshot of the past month of our lives.

In the middle of all that, we’ve still been able to get together regularly in Santa Cruz with our starting crew for Missio Dei Community.
It’s been cool getting to worship together and ask God what he wants to do with us in this community.
Last week we got together for some planning of the summer, and tonight we gather again to worship, pray, and hang with one another.

It’s a very different season of life for us.
We’re still figuring out our rhythms and there are plenty of uncertainties, but I’m trying to enjoy it as much as possible right now.
Even with all the uncertainties, it’s exciting to be right in the middle of seeing God work, guide, and provide for us and our family.

Now I’ll try and get better at working in the rhythm of blogging again so you can share the journey with us!
Feel free to throw out any questions about any of it in the comments and I’ll get back to sharing our life with you hear on the blog.
Now it’s off to work for “the man!”

30 March 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Facebook Passion

If Jesus had a Facebook page, what would it look like on the Holy Week leading up to Easter morning?
You no longer have to wonder.

That’s a screen shot.
Click here to check out the whole thing.

Pretty funny, and pretty accurate, too.
You might even learn a thing or two reading it.
Thanks to Chris Gott for turning me on to that.
Good stuff.

HT: Eugene Cho