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To Blog About Blogging

Blog, blog, blog…that’s just a funny word to say over and over.

If you read this blog you are fully aware that my blog has been terribly abandoned for months now. Sorry. I’m going to try to do better starting right now with this blog about my blog.

I now have a new format and 3 new purposes for writing.

First Purpose: to inform people who want to know more about what is happening at Cornerstone. I will be writing about issues, decisions, news (don’t forget to check out this week’s issue of the Cornerstone News) and general things going on around our church. This will be a good place to find out the “inside” stuff.

Second Purpose: to talk about anything in the leadership realm. This is something I do and am passionate about. I might post links to helpful articles, my own thoughts on the subject or experiences I’m having leading our church. So, if this matters to you it should be good.

Third purpose: to talk about things happening with me. This might include random thoughts, spiritual matters, updates on my hobbies, funny things about my family, etc. etc. If you care about this part then you really have waaayyyy too much time on your hands! But still, you might find it helpful…or not….no, I think you will.

So, I’m back on the wagon. We’ll see where it goes.

It is Our 10th Anniversary at Cornerstone!

WOW, just WOW! I cannot believe our church’s 10th anniversary is this Sunday! As I think about my message for this special occasion I thought I would just give you a little preview of what you will hear.

Skate center, disco ball, smells, noises, uncertainty, faithfulness, commitment, free skate nights, packed trailers, “Cletus” videos, worship, loving people, difficulties, perseverance, salvation, baby pool baptisms, free bottled water, free movie nights, Ecuador missions, Vacation Sunday, Trunk R Treat, groundbreaking, 20 acres, $1.2 million, sacrifice, new building, sausage biscuits, vision, believing, creativity, KidzTown, Seaside, Youth, College, Pay it Forward, community, giving, grace, Cindy Wall, Buloba, Uganda, Hiram pulls a bus, the playground, the Well, the children, Patrick, Sarah, Eva, Isaac, Zariah, Jesus, love, hope, partners, Gospel, Leading people, knowing, serving, 10, church, Cornerstone, one, you, us.

Today as we celebrate 10 years of ministry here is East Alabama and around the world, I am reminded and humbled in the presence of the God who is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last, who holds the keys to life itself, who is the keeper of gates and doors through which we have passed, are passing and will pass. He is the God who decided this church should exist. He gave us the power and focus to stay true to our mission and vision. He is the reason we can celebrate the last ten years, he is the reason we celebrate the right now, and the incredible future He has in store for the people and ministry of Cornerstone Church. Personally I am so grateful on this special day to be a part of this movement.

I could never have imagined the night before our first worship service, nervously sitting at my desk, so much would happen in ten years. I couldn’t get beyond the next morning. I couldn’t get out of the bathroom! I remember my prayer went something like this, “Oh God, if you don’t make this happen it will never work.”

God has certainly done more than I could have asked or imagined through Cornerstone. I am deeply thankful for every person who gave, served, sacrificed, loved, worked, prayed and were faithful to helping us move forward. It has been an amazing decade. But, we will only look back for a moment. We have always been a church that kept our vision forward. I am more excited about the Kingdom work that has yet to be done!

So, come join us this Sunday as we celebrate ministry past, present and future.

Am I still blogging??

Wow, I went to and discovered I still have a blog even though I haven’t posted in about two months!! I am a blog slacker.
So, this is just a quick one to get me back on track.

I’m just praying for all of us at Cornerstone as we work through this message series “Debt Relief”. There are many folks strrruuuugggllin’ with their finances these days and I know that if this part of our life goes bad it can cause other parts of our life to go bad as well. But, if we get honest about it and then ask God to give us the strength to do the right thing we begin to move toward relief, freedom, joy and the peace that God wants for us. I’m excited that we’ve created a step for people to take in this area by having Joe Sangl, author of “I was Broke But Now I’m Not”, come and lead us in some practical teaching on finances.

You should come! Bring a friend (or several). Check out our website for more info.

See ya!

Huge Day!

Wow! Sunday was a big day. It was kinda crazy, but good. So we definitely need 3 services, now we just need to spread out the crowd a little among the services. I think that will happen over the next few weeks.
BIG THANKS to all of our servants who jumped in to be a part of this movement God is orchestrating. Ya’ll are awesome.
Well, gotta go, Sunday’s comin!

1 hour 32 minutes 12 seconds

I did it…completed my first triathlon. My time was 1 hour 32 minutes and 12 seconds. The hardest part of that whole race – the 12 seconds! Man, I was gutting it out at the end trying to push it a little for a better time. But, all in all it was great! My time didn’t matter nearly as much to me as being with friends, having fun and discovering the boundaries of my physical limitations. I will do it again.
So proud of Mark and Lori Fuller, Paul Hansel, Mike Hart and Jack Fisher for their amazing performances. They were the best part of the whole thing. Special thanks to Amy Hart who fed us a veritable cornicopia of carb-loading joy on Friday night! Thanks to all of you for your prayers and words of encouragement.

It’s coming…

Man! Just when you think the summer couldn’t get any shorter…it does! I can’t believe August is here, school starts next week, the football hype is ramping up, the humidity is ramping up and vacation memories are, well, memories by now for most of us.

Also, we are beginning to ramp things up around the church. There’s an air of anticipation and excitement as our attention shifts to the upcoming months. Much of the attention these days is focused on August 23, the day we go to three services (8:30, 10:00 & 11:30). What a crazy, awesome day that will be. It is critical for us to create more space as we grow, so adding a third service is a way for us to not only gain space, but communicate our mission to the community. In doing this we are saying that we are committed to reaching people who are searching for God by creating an environment that helps them find Him.  It is also very important that we do this well.

Which brings me to our “Attend One Serve One” campaign you hopefully have heard about by now. This is a great opportunity for people looking for a place to get involved to go ahead take that step. We are already seeing people jump in and say, “I’ll do whatever you need done, just point me in the right direction”. This is a time when we get to rally together as the church, as a unit, a team and declare our passion for God and what He is trying to do through Cornerstone. AND always on the other side of our commitment of time and energy is an individual or family who discover grace, hope, community and a Savior who loves them. That’s the win for us right there!

Anyway, just excited and full of aniticipation about what’s around the next corner. Before you know it, it will be Christmas :-)

20 Years – seriously?

TODAY is Becky and I’s 20th wedding anniversary. Wow. It’s hard to believe 20 years ago at the moment of typing this blog, I was nervously anticipating standing up in front of all those people (~900), saying my “I Do’s” while trying not to pass out, drop the ring, or trip and fall. The phrase “blink of an eye” comes to mind here.

I will say, I am tremendously blessed to have such an incredible wife in Becky. We have known each other since Kindergarten, started dating when we were 15 and married at age 22. Even though we have known each other most of our lives, it never seems that way. We have our moments of being frustrated with each other, pouting, intentional silence, (all the stuff couples do in the heat of battle over important issues like who left the jelly out on the counter!) but we bounce back pretty quickly. I believe it’s because we have not only committed ourselves to each other, but we’ve committed our marriage to God. We just decided we are in this for the long haul – that’s it. We’re ready to go another 20, 30, 40, well, until one, or both of us heads on out of this world. I love Becky so much and would find it very difficult to live without her. She is an awesome mom, wife, daughter, sister and follower of Christ. Yep, I got it made!

We’ll be heading up to B’Ham this weekend to celebrate (kidless of course :-)   ). See ya later!

44 days and counting…

d7b_018444 days and counting…August 22 is the day of reckoning for this 42 year old preacher. That is the day of my very first Triathlon. Before you think, “ooohhh, wow a triathlon…” let me say it’s what’s called a “sprint” triathlon. That’s a much shorter version of the “Ironman” that most people think of when they hear triathlon. The Ironman is a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mi. bike and a 26.2 mi. run. Those are definitely some “Iron” people who do that! The one I’m doing is just a little shorter than that (actually alot shorter!) – .3 mi swim, 14 mi bike and 3.1 mi run. I’m so glad I’m doing this with Mark Fuller. He is in infintely better shape than me and, therefore, makes me push a little harder in our training.  He is Ironman and I’m like Aluminum boy! But, I’m getting there, slowly but surely.

I’m just constantly reminded of how this training and persevering is so like living as a Christ-follower. It is about perseverance and sometimes pushing through the pain or discouragement that can come our way. Paul used this whole idea in 1 Corinthians to describe what the Christian life is like when lived all out. The good news is there is a prize that cannot be matched at the end of this race! Jesus said, ” I am with you always to the very end of the age.” He will be our strength when we have none left. At the end of the day, that’s the only strength that really matters.

So, I’ll keep you updated on the training progress. Let’s just keep pressing on!

Still Praying “ONE PRAYER”

I loved being a part of the global church movement – “One Prayer”! It is important for the world to see the church not as divided and siloed, but as a unified group following the same goal of serving Jesus, other believers and outsiders. It was especially good to serve in our schools on June 27 with people and pastors from other local churches. There needs to be more of this. In fact there will be as plans are already in the works for next year. Big thanks to everyone who participated! The schools were very appreciative.

Vacation, fish hooks and Quality time

Well…I’m back from vacation. It was a good one! Every year I take off two straight weeks to just be with my family. Every other year we go to some destination like Colorado or North Carolina, somewhere farther away. Other years we just go to the farm down in south Alabama or to the beach. This summer we went to the beach (Panama City) for the first week. It was a lot of fun! We sat on the beach while the boys skimboarded (btw- skimboarding is not recommended for adults who have never done it before-trust me), we fished, we ate and ate, we went over to Destin and ate at Fudpuckers (see picture), we watched the sunset (couldn’t quite make the sunrise), I got a treble hook caught in my hand and had to have a doctor remove it, I swam with a shark one morning, the boys rode the “slingshot”, Becky and I relaxed. It was good.

The next week we just stayed around Auburn while some much needed work was done on our house. But, it was good too. I am grateful to God and our church for allowing me to spend this important time with my family each Summer. From September to May I am so busy with Pastor/church stuff in the evenings and on weekends, that this time is valuable for Becky and the boys (in terms of both quality and quantity).

God gave us rest to combat things like stress, fatigue and emotional exhaustion. It needs to be a part of our overall health. I know I function so much better after just taking a break. God did it…so there you go!

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