Friday, November 30, 2007

Snowy Forecast

As you may already know, they are calling for our second snow storm in the past 3 weeks here in Pocono. The snow and ice is supposed to start on Saturday around midnight.

Please join me in prayer today and tomorrow and ask God to delay the storm until Sunday evening. This snow storm could kill our Christmas outreach concert with Take 6 and also our Sunday morning services.

Planting a church in the Northeast is hard enough without all the snowstorms! If God can make the sun stand still he can redirect a snow storm. C'mon God, do your thing! Help a brother out.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Christmas Outreach

This year PCC hosts its annual Christmas outreach concert with Grammy Award winning artists Take 6. The concert promises to be the best ever Pocono Christmas.

I've got 25 FREE TICKETS for the first 25 people that email me after reading the blog. Just send me your first and last name via email at and let me how many tickets you need and I'll have them at the box office for you. The concert is this Saturday night at the historic Sherman Theatre in downtown Stroudsburg. The show starts at 7pm and the doors open at 6pm. Bring your unsaved friends and share Christ this Christmas through this unique outreach.

Merry Christmas to my blogging friends : )

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Day Dreamers

T.E. Lawrence wrote, "All men dream; but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds awake to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of day are dangerous men, that they may act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible."

Are you a day dreamer? I understand Lawrence to mean that we must be people of action, not only wishful thinking. Action, according to Lawrence, occurs under the light of the day. The path to mediocrity and underachievement, on the other hand, is paved with drowsy dreams concocted under the cover of darkness.

Here are some things I'm working on this week to get my dreams down in the daylight.

1. Be clear. Write out my dreams for 2008 with clarity.
2. Think big. If resources were no option, what would I want to accomplish.
3. Get help. List the people who I will need to find to help me accomplish my goals.
Accomplishing the impossible is a team sport.
4. Break it down. Set smaller objectives for each main goal. This helps make progress in incremental
5. Evaluate as you go. Keep tabs on how you are doing.

So, what are your dreams? How will you seem them come to pass?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Thanksgiving Prayer

Today I'm officiating a funeral for one of the family members in my community group. Losing a loved one is tough, especially during the holidays. Of course, death has a way of making you deal with life. And if handled correctly, death can teach us a lot.

I'd like to write a Thanksgiving Prayer today and share it with you.

Dear Father,

Thank you for your love and grace that is new every morning. In the busyness of the holiday season, I am reminded today of how fleeting and fragile life really is.

Teach me today to make the best use of my life and time by loving You and loving others. Your Word tells me to make love my highest goal. Help me love You and others today.

I thank you for the fact that you love me and have blessed me so much. Thank you for my wife, my kids, my family and our health and home. Thank you for filling us with peace and serenity. Thank you for our ministry and for PCC. May you continue to put your hand upon it and bless it.

Be with me throughout my day and help me add value to others. I don't want to take my life or time for granted. It's a gift you've given me. Let me be a clear reflection of your love to others today. Amen.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Let It Snow

Yesterday the Pocono Mountains came to life when unexpectedly over a foot of snow fell in our area. Naturally, that made it very difficult for many of our regular attenders to make it to church. However, I was surprised to see 700 people show up. So, if you missed church yesterday, you can listen online to the message (it will be posted later this evening).

Today was the opening day of bear season in Pennsylvania. I went out at the crack of "O dark thirty" (4:30am) with a couple buddies from the church.

Here is some friendly bear hunting advice for someone considering giving it a whirl:

1) Don't eat a big breakfast and go into the woods unprepared (yeah, it's what you think - not good.)

2) It's more fun hanging out with your friends and getting some exercise than actually killing something.

3) 4:30 am? What are you kidding me? I didn't even know there was more than one 4:30 on my clock!

4) Does bear meat even taste good? They tell me it's great if you cook it like a pot roast. Anytime you have to cook something that simmers so long with other ingredients that it takes on the flavor of those ingredients to cover its own taste - it can't be very good.

5) What would you do with a bear once you shot it? I think it cost like $500 bucks to mount one of those things. I'd rather get a new 46 inch High Def LCD flat screen.

Anyway, can't wait to get up tomorrow morning and go out in the woods!

Friday, November 16, 2007


I heard Ed Stezer share this week regarding the epicenters of Christianity throughout history. The heart of the church moved from Jerusalem to Antioch and then to Athens and Rome. From there it has moved throughout Europe, Southern Asia and then to America and now it is largely a movement in the Southern Hemisphere.

Just moments after hearing Ed share this, I received this email from my friend Chrsitopher Alam.

"Christianity began as a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
When it went to Athens, it became a philosophy.
When it went to Rome, it became an organization.
When it went to Europe, it became a culture.
When it came to America, it became a business."


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Grace Wholesalers

My new friend Vince Antonucci spoke yesterday about being grace wholesalers. Vince is one hundred percent high octane adrenaline. Vince lives and breathes a compassion to reach lost people. And by the way, the dude is also flat out funny. What a riot.

Vince planted Forefront Church about nine years ago and he's reaching tons of lost people who are far from God and bringing them into closer proximity with the God who loves them.

Grace is what we get when we don't deserve it. A wholesaler makes huge amounts of products available to the market. Vince says we need to wholesale God's grace to a lost and hurting world.

How to be a grace wholesaler:

1) Prayer. Ask Jesus everyday for opportunities to interact with someone who needs God's grace.

2) Platform. Build a relationship with lost people. Trust always proceeds truth.

3) Process. It takes time to get involved with people who need God's grace.

4) Patience. Remember that it is the patience of God that leads to repentance.

5) Pain. Become a wounded healer.

I can honestly say I feel completely inspired to keep PCC passionate about reaching the lost. God help us from becoming some spiritual country club for casual Christians.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

People Power

Helpful Principles in Hiring Staff

1) The people you surround yourself will either make you or break you.
2) Hiring the right people is a learned skill.
3) Timing is everything.
4) Fully engage yourself in the process.
5) Hire staff in your weakest areas.
6) When it comes to top staff, hire leaders, not doers.
7) Go for the absolute best. Never apologize for shooting high.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Church Planting

I love church planters. They are some of the most dangerous people on the planet.
If you have ever considered planting a church, here are a few things you might want to make sure you have built into your DNA:

+a radical faith
+an uncommon commitment to a cause
+an entrepreneurial spirit
+a dedicated prayer life and the ability to hear God's voice
+a vision for what God wants to do
+a love for people, especially the lost
+a belief that playing it safe is risky
+a ferocious tenacity to never give up
+a love change
+the ability to lead and develop leaders

Planting a church is the most difficult, yet most rewarding thing I've ever done. There's nothing I'd rather do and no place I'd rather be.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Boot Camp

I'm in Nashville, TN this week presenting at a national church planters boot camp. The room is packed with passionate church planters that are gearing up to launch a new church somewhere in the US within the next 12 to 18 months.

This week I'm going to share some thoughts regarding church planting and give you some notes from the variety of speakers like Ed Stezer and Todd Wilson.

Right now, Pat Ferguson, from Passion For Planting, based in Washington, DC, is explaining how his ministry serves local church planters. Essentially, Pat's organization acts as an Executive Pastor for a church planter. They help the church planter organize, adminstrate and plan the logistics involved in the first year of church planting. They help you nail down your mission statement, purpose statement and they also help you set up a 501c3, marketing and advertising plan and so on.

Man, I wish I would have known about them 4 years ago when I planted. To all you church planters out there that read the blog, check out - you won't regret it.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Forgive Me Dog' 'Gonit

One of my favorite shows on TV is "Dog, The Bounty Hunter." The Dog is a bail bondsmen in Hawaii who spent the first 25 years of his life on the wrong side of the law. Now, he's committed the rest of his life to being one of the good guys.

Last week, however, one of Dog's own kids released a secretly recorded private conversation (he was paid big bucks from TMZ) where Dog used a racial slur. A&E immediately pulled their number one show, Dog's show, off the air.

Dog is doing some major soul searching and repenting. Dog claims to be a born again Christian, however, he has a filthy mouth. I've watched him share his faith and pray in the name of Jesus with people he's arrested on his show and almost simultaneously use profanity in the same breath. His language is obviously something he struggles with.

He's been an extremely forgiving person on his own show and now it seems he needs some forgiveness in return. Jesus said that by our words we will either be acquitted or condemned. I've watched several interviews where Dog has publicly confessed and asked for forgiveness. He appears to have a contrite spirit and has committed to change his ways. I guess God only knows his heart and motivation. But from where I stand, I say forgive him. You never know when you might need the same forgiveness in your own life.

Also, I am reminded what the Bible says about that which is done in secret will eventually be brought to light. Let's take a lesson from the Dog today and commit to living right regardless of whos watching or listening. After all, God knows and hears and sees everything.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Weekend Update

Sunday was an awesome day at PCC. The extra hour of sleep seemed to have everyone in especially good spirits.

We had 23 people their hearts to Christ this weekend. What a testimony of God's faithfulness.
The offering was the one of the largest ever at PCC. And from what the bookkeeper tells me, there was not one huge gift. It was just everybody doing their part. Thankyou PCC for being such generous people.

Tonight the PCC family meets together for an evening of prayer and worship. You don't want to miss this evening. We will be taking communion together as well as hearing some phenomenal testimonies.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Look Who's 2

Two years ago today I took Bekah to the hospital in Scranton to deliver our first son, David III. The labor was intense and Bekah didn't actually give birth until November 3rd.

To celebrate David's second birthday, we're going to take him to Chuck-E-Cheese and play games, eat some greasy pizza, blow out 2 candles on his Elmo Cake (David says Melmo) and just have some relaxing family time.

I thank God everyday for my family. My wife and kids are precious gifts and I enjoy every minute.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Church Planting Bootcamp

Earlier this week I was invited to go and speak to a group of pastors who are getting ready to plant new churches throughout the US. My new friend, Bob Harrington (church planter and coach), is hosting the church planters bootcamp in Nashville, TN.

Bob founded Church Coaching Solutions with the purpose to raise up new church planters and connect them with professionally trained coaches in hopes of empowering them to to excellence and success. Bob is also partnering with CoachNet and Stadia, two incredibly powerful ministries that help church planters prepare and launch new churches.

I'm both humbled and honored to go and teach with Bob, Ed Stetzer and hopefully add some value to the lives and ministries of these new church planters. I believe in the power of reciprocity that basically says, "What you give out will also come back to you." As I invest my lives in others, others will invest their lives in me.