Archive for July, 2008


The hand off

July 30, 2008

About four years ago I sat at a table at Stanford’s across from Bryce Schroeder and Julie Reid and accepted the invitation to come and join the community of Sunset. I was wide eyed, eager and excited. It was one of the clearest calls I had ever heard from God in my life.

I noticed a lot of things pretty quickly. I noticed that Sunset was truly special. There is something about this place, something about what happens here, that can only be explained by the Holy Spirit. He is just here, and you get this hunger, this unquenchable desire to access more of “Him” in community. You get this sense constantly that He is always up to something, and you can’t wait to see what it is going to be. It is my experience that there is never a dull moment in the life of Sunset.

I also noticed that the people here are AMAZING. Committed, passionate, giving, intelligent people, who accepted me and loved me.

Very soon I also realized that this role is very hard, that it requires more energy, wisdom, skill, patience, love and effort than I could possibly muster on my own. I learned that my only chance of keeping my head above water was going to depend on two things, the power of God and the help of people.

I can honestly say I wouldn’t have made it this far without having Julie Reid as my boss. She has been an incredible leader for this ministry. She is a Godly woman, with a quiet strength and wisdom that has blown me away consistently year after year. Most people have no idea how much she has given, served, and bled for this community, but I have had a front row seat day in and day out. In so many ways she has sacrificed so that I could learn the ropes around here, and still have the opportunity to worship lead from the platform on a regular basis.

Now that she is stepping down, it is time for me to step up. That is intimidating, because she has shepherded and served and loved this ministry, and this church, so well that sometimes I feel like no matter what I will be a downgrade for the health of all of us. But then my heart goes back to what I have already learned, the power of God and the help of people.

the gorge As I write this I’m overlooking the Columbia Gorge. It’s my Mt. Sinai today, as I have come just to pour out my heart before God as I step into this role. I’m asking Him for wisdom, I’m asking Him for direction, I’m asking Him to guide me.

And if I ever needed you, your prayers, your support, your love for God and this community to pour out, I need it now. I simply can’t and have no desire to do this alone. I want to do it together, as family, and families take work.

I am searching and praying to see what God has in mind for us next in the fall, and how we can lock arms with Ron and the entire church to be who God would have us uniquely be for our community at Sunset.


The stream of your affection

July 26, 2008


When I brush my teeth, I have this bad habit of just turning on the water when I walk in the bathroom.  Long before I need to spit, or use the water for any reason, its just on.  Allison began to come in and turn it off and make me aware of it, before that I really didn’t even notice. 

Worship is like a faucet, however it is not something you and I turn off or on.  We don’t conserve worship and then pour it on at choice moments or during a Sunday service.  When it comes to worship, the faucet is always running.  Every waking moment of our lives. The real question is, where will we direct the stream? 

If our worship was affection, and the stream was stored in buckets marked things like, money or success or ourselves or someone else or God, how full would our God bucket be right now? 

My job is often referred to as “worship leader”.  This makes me laugh inside.  A nervous and sometimes ashamed type of laugh.  I am no expert on worship.  I LONG to learn how to direct more of my stream to Him.  I grieve the other buckets in my life that receive the water of my affection instead of God.   


Blog Hiatus/10 things I’m lovin

July 23, 2008

This is the longest break from blogging I have had since I started.   In my life its been like a perfect storm of events for that to happen.   I need to ease back into regular blogging.  I’ll start with an easy entry, 10 things I’m lovin right now.

*Dark Knight.  Its official.  Favorite movie of all time, dethroning Braveheart.  I could write about that easily as long as Matt Singleys post about the new iphone but for now just know its my favorite movie.

*Nutella. Spreadable chocolate hazelnut butter.   It’s like eating the best part of a hot chocolate chip cookie anytime you want, (the melted chocalote chips) on anything you want.  I did not purchase this, Allison did, so when I eat it the calories don’t count.

*My new phone the Verizon HTC 6800.  Its not the iphone, but its pretty awesome.

*The song Healer by the Planet Shakers. Rockin my world even as I write this.

*Sunshine.  This has been a great summer for it.  I love it.  I love the fall and rain too, but more so as a contrast and not as the norm.

*Watching the new show Wipeout with the fam.  Its repetive and silly but I can’t seem to look away and I laugh hard each time.

*Playing make believe stuff with Macy.  Hearing her imagination for life and situations is SO ENTERTAINING.

*The way my wife Allison is raising our daughters.  I could simply not ask to be married to a better mother for our kids.

*The fact that I have been fishing twice in the last couple of weeks, which has increased my fishing output this year by 200%.

*That my youngest daughter Ava is about to turn 1.  This would make my wife’s ten things she’s hating list because she doesn’t want Ava to grow older. 


finally home

July 19, 2008

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This picture was taken this week at Black Butte.  It was one of those times where the sky looked so incredible, that if someone would have painted it, I would have said the painting looked cheezy and fake. 

I had a good week away.  It was good family time for sure.

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But the week was about more than family for me.

Right now I am craving for life to be about more than me, my world, my kingdom.

I want to break the routine, the mundane, the same ole same ole, and tap into some God stuff.

I am dying to live life on the edge, out where its not safe, out where adventure happens, where God is alive and well and moving.

I met with Jim Gurney who lives in Sisters, who God used to shape my life many many years ago.

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We talked about life, ministry, family, God.  Jim is one of those guys who just bleeds Christ, and vision.  It comes from him as naturally as the smell of garlic from someone who eats it regularly.  It was a divine appointment at at time where I’m doing a lot of soul searching. 


anchor of my soul

July 9, 2008

A few years back I was fishing on a boat on a channel that led out to the ocean.   It was incredibly foggy, and the water was rough.   We had to keep our eyes on a buoy marker, and make sure we could see it, because to the north of us was a lane reserved for barges and large ships.  We were anchored, but the sea was rough enough where we knew it could come dislodged.  At one point it happened, we looked up and realized the buoy was nowhere in sight.  We had drifted, and really had no idea where we were or how far.  I kept waiting any moment for a barge to come out of the fog and level us.

That is how I feel today.  It happens so quickly.  I take my eyes of of Him for a second, and I start to drift, and before I know it I’m in the middle of nowhere in my soul, the anchor is loose, and I’m lost, waiting to get leveled. 

Need to spend sometime tonight finding the Buoy that is my Savior, and letting Christ be the anchor of my soul. 


trip down the gorge

July 7, 2008

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Today was such an awesome day.  We headed down the gorge with my parents, and Shelley and her girls, and Mike and Beatrize, and  of course Allison, Macy and Ava.  We stopped at a ton of the falls, as well as Bonneville Dam.  The weather was PERFECT, and it was just a great day with the fam. 

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Ava loved being in this back pack.  My knee was fine going up, I just struggled walking downhill anywhere. 


Comment turned blog

July 5, 2008

I went to leave a comment on my good friend Tyler’s blog in response to this post of his, God Bless America.

I ended writing enough for a blog, so I copied and pasted here.  Plus I’m lazy today and this was a quick way to post.  If you want to read Tyler’s post and then my comment here, have it at, would love to know your thoughts.

Hey guys,

Interesting topic for sure. I don’t know if God blesses “America” as a country or not, in the way that some people mean that phrase. There is much I don’t know about how God views America now, vs when it started etc etc, vs the rest of the world, others countries.

I know that increasingly around me in the media etc, that America is looked at negatively for many reasons, some valid, some not. I have noticed that in some ways its almost hip or cool to not like our country. I listen to hours and hours and hours of both sides of the debate about how horrible America is verses how great America is. Why there is so much I don’t pretend to know about, I do know what I wish for, as I raise my daughters in this country.

*I hope and wish that God will bless America. I pray that if there if something America can do in action, and be in leadership, that that will happen, and that God will bless us for it, for our obedience as a nation. And by bless I mean whatever God means by the word bless. I don’t want this only for America, of course I hope He blesses other countries as well. But I do have selfish interests for the country that most likely my daughters will grow up in.

*I hope and wish for Christian leadership. I would go to the wall for a leader of our country that was and said he was sold out for Jesus Christ, and that all the good we want to do and be as a country, was because of Him. I know that would be nothing short of a miracle because of a thousand reasons of where we are at, but I still hope for it.

*While I am on board with many of the global concerns/issues that are rising to the top of the consciousness of many, I am definitely perplexed about all the issues of morality that can be legislated, and how that should affect my vote. So much is made of the church and politics remaining separate, but the reality is that picture of the flag and the cross is an accurate picture of how many things the government is a part of every day that are morale issues, that decide our countries general direction on literally how we behave as a nation. I understand that many people are switching which morale views are the most important when it comes to voting. I am definitely torn by this, and wish we could have it all. I wish we could care for the poor in Africa, in the name of Jesus, and stop killing babies here, in the name of Jesus, under a leader who was bold enough to say it. It seems like while increasingly the cross needs to stay out of the flags way in our country, the flag can get in the way of the cross anytime it wants. I wish and hope for a country for my daughters where the flag lives in the shadow of the cross.

wow, this is the single longest comment I’ve ever left on a blog! Thanks for the blogalogue Tyler!



July 2, 2008

I’m at the point in my ministry life where I am acutely aware of how replaceable I am. Somebody else can do all my “tasks” here at church. I can think of many people who can lead us from song to song, can help pick out songs that we sing, can write devotionals, can set direction etc. Sunset doesn’t really need anything I have to offer musically, or even caring for the hurting or serving in the community etc. In the “technical” aspects of my job, I am completely and utterly replaceable.

What is irreplaceable about me is the same thing that is irreplaceable about you. And that has everything to do with relationship. And love. All my tasks are meaningless apart from a relationship with Christ. First and foremost, He wants me to follow Him, to love Him. When I am following Him, then all my tasks take on purpose and meaning that only a relationship with Him can give.

You have some irreplaceable roles in your life. You are someone’s son or daughter. You may be someone’s father or mother, or someone’s husband or wife. And you are definitely a creation of God. These roles are irreplaceable. Never let your functional roles take priority over your relational roles.

I’m at the point in my life where I’m acutely aware that the greatest thing I can do for anybody period, at work, at home, anywhere, is to follow Christ.

Where are you replaceable at?  Have you discovered where you are not?


from niche to family

July 1, 2008

Does church feel like family for you?  Do you long for it to?  Do you care? 

Church feels like a family to me, but it took a while. I’m going on four years at Sunset and it really wasn’t until the last year that I’ve really begun to feel like part of the family. 

I long for Sunset to become family.   

We don’t get to choose our families that we were born into.  Church is a little different.  If I don’t like the music or the preaching or the whatever at this church, I can switch to the church down the block or across town, until what I’m looking for is met.  This isn’t a slam, this is reality.  I think the challenge for churches is how to become family, because when that happens, it becomes much more than just what happens in a few minutes on Sunday, it starts to become living life in community, and then when we show up on Sunday its more like a large family reunion.  It becomes less about what I am looking for, and more about what I bring to the family dynamic. 

What are some ways you think church can become family?