Big News

If you weren’t in church today, you didn’t hear that I’ve accepted an offer to be an Associate Worship Pastor at LifeMission Church in Olathe, Kansas.

Olathe is a southwest suburb of Kansas City; Abigail and I will begin moving our family there on July 7th. My first day in the office is July 8th.

Continue reading “Big News”

Three Things the Holy Spirit Won’t Do

In the last month, a good number of people in our congregation prayed to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

If you’re reading this and you have no idea what I’m talking about, that’s fine, just head over to our podcast page and have a listen to The Big Three, our most recent sermon series about Salvation, Water Baptism, and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

This last week, Pastor Ross wanted to help us navigate what life in, by, and through the Holy Spirit might look like. He told us that we:

  • will experience conviction, 
  • should be looking for direction, and
  • that this isn’t the end, only the beginning.

As I was listening to his sermon, I started thinking about my own walk with the Holy Spirit since I received His baptism at the age of 14 and how I and others close to me have made some pretty common and easily avoidable mistakes trying to walk in the Holy Spirit. There’s three things I’ve learned about the Holy Spirit in the last 16 years I’d like to share to hopefully save our people (or anyone reading this) some time and embarrassment. Continue reading “Three Things the Holy Spirit Won’t Do”

Why I Don’t Want to be a Millionaire, Updated

Last year, I published the following post in hopes of encouraging people that found themselves in a similar boat—doing ok financially but not exactly racking up the dolla-bills in the old 401k (or Roth, or what have you). Since that time, I read a blog by Pastor Daniel Grothe (GROW-thee) that opened my eyes a little bit more to how God works with our finances, and I’ve added some thoughts to the end of my original post. If you’ve already read the old one, that’s fine; scroll down to the updated section. Otherwise, read on.

Blessings – Joey C

Continue reading “Why I Don’t Want to be a Millionaire, Updated”

Child-like Worship

Pastor Keith’s message last weekend was convicting.

He kindly called us out, asking us to look inside of us and see if we were answering Christ’s call to child-like faith. He pointed out that most adults are cynical, that we’ve abandoned the simple trust and joy or the sense of wonder we had when we were kids. One of the first places we can put his message into practice is worship this coming Sunday. Continue reading “Child-like Worship”

Anthony Bourdain Was a Person God Wanted

Christians can get a little snarky sometimes when celebrities die. It’s a problem.

The problem is that we as Christians often want to invalidate the death of a celebrity (especially suicides) simply because that celebrity wasn’t an Evangelical Christian or didn’t in some way espouse or support Evangelical values. Somehow, by way of their celebrity lifestyle, and some by the way they chose to ultimately end that life, we turn celebrities into the enemy while we forget that the Apostle Paul said that our fight is not against the people around us, but against evil itself.

Continue reading “Anthony Bourdain Was a Person God Wanted”

Minor Miracles

This last weekend we welcomed our daughter, Eloise (EL-oo-eeze), into the world, and I couldn’t be more proud of my wife. I don’t think she was nervous at all, and when the time came to finally push, it only took one. She was so chill that she treated the whole thing like a trip to the grocery store. If they would have let us, she would have packed up and gone home a couple hours later. Here’s an adorable picture of them both from Sunday morning:

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Ridiculous, right? I can’t handle it.

Continue reading “Minor Miracles”

For When You’re in the Middle of It

I have a few friends who are in the middle of it right now. I myself am in the middle of it right now in a few different ways. I mean, life’s alright; nobody died or anything. But we all have those moments when somebody does actually die or maybe it feels like God’s not listening anymore or maybe a couple hundred bucks extra at the end of the month would take a little bit of the stress off or maybe if your kids would just shut up for two minutes you wouldn’t think about leaving.

Continue reading “For When You’re in the Middle of It”

A Tale of Two Churches

I work at a big church.

We’re not like… huge, not a megachurch by any means. But for our rural farming community, we’re one of the largest. The perception, at least, is that we’re big.

But I grew up in small churches affiliated with holiness denominations like the Church of the Nazarene and the Wesleyan Church. My father attended Nazarene Bible College, and my grandparents are both Nazarene ministers. None ministered in a church that topped 100, to my knowledge.

And what I’m seeing now, and what I’m sure you might be familiar with, is a rift developing between the two churches. The age of denominational separation has essentially passed (thankfully) but it’s evolved now into a rift between small, usually rural, churches and large, not-rural, churches. I say “not-rural” because while large churches are usually found in metro areas, churches like ours operate in a very small cities of about 10,000 people, but our local economy is based on agriculture and manufacturing. So, we’re… pseudo-rural? Is that a thing? Either way, you get the idea. Big churches and little churches don’t exactly see eye to eye.

Here’s what I’ve gleaned to be some of the main disagreements: Continue reading “A Tale of Two Churches”

It’s OK to Hurt

A friend of mine shared this blog post from Kris Vallotton, Prophetic Word For a New Season: Leaving Pain Behindand it brought some important issues to mind, issues that deal with human suffering and the character of God. Admittedly, I have a lot of personal emotion stored up in both of those topics due to my own season of suffering when my young wife unexpectedly passed away in 2011. But that season led me to some long arguments with God that He eventually won, and, in light of what Vallotton has to say on his blog, I wanted to share them here.  Continue reading “It’s OK to Hurt”