CatWest Wrap Up

What an incredible couple of days Catalyst West Coast was. I was challenged. Moved. Brought to tears. Convicted. And encouraged. And I was able to enjoy those 3 days with a few amazing guys and one fantastic girl as we celebrated Christ together, and opened our eyes to see what the Church COULD be.

I would be here all day detailing you every single thing that I loved about the experience. And no one likes a long winded blogger! So here’s some highlights…

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I had never heard Rick Warren speak in person and when he walked into the room I honestly had a preconcieved notion that he was just this pompous dude from one of the biggest churches in the world. I was gradually convicted of that and had my heart softened as Rick humbly opened up to all of us and shared some nuggets of info that I will take with me for a very long time. He kicked our butts.

Hillsong United. Need I say more. Wonderful time of them leading us to the throne….

My favorite session out the 10 or so amazing speakers that shared with us would have to be when Erwin McManus spoke on the dreams that every single one of us has deep inside our hearts. Erwin is a creative guru who delves into dance and art, film making and music. And he brought ALL of that when he spoke to us. 3 times he illustrated his point with dramatic dances performed by artists straight out of his home church.

I absolutely LOVE his heart for the art inside us all. If only more churches could represent that beauty more often. Here’s a sneak peek…

Also, I’m now a Guinness World Record Holder. Seriously. Me and 3000 other people. We played a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors before one of the sessions and widdled it down to 1 winner. It was the largest game of RoShamBo EVER. Guinness was there to witness it and it’s going in the 2010 World Record book!

All in all, I was privileged to journey to Newport and be a part of the first ever Catalyst West Coast. Can’t wait until next year…

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Catalyst West Coast

Next week I have the great privilege of attending the Catalyst West Coast conference beginning on Wednesday the 22nd through Friday the 24th. If you’ve never heard of Catalyst before, it’s a tremendously good conference devoted to raising up strong leaders both within the church and out. Some of the most influential leaders/speakers will be sharing over the two days, not to mention Hillsong United will be leading the group of about 12,000 people into worship. Not a bad gig at all!

To top it off, it’ll be one heck of a road trip with Brian Wurzell, Ryan Axtell, & Luke Peach and I all making the trek out to Orange County for Catalyst. We’re leaving late Tuesday night.

The Red Bulls will be flowing and we’ll be poppin David Jalapeno Hot Salsa sunflower seeds all night…

Will you be coming??

Here’s a peek into what happens at Catalyst West Coast:

Ash Wednesday & Lent.

This morning I had the great privilege and honor to participate in an Ash Wednesday Mass at Mt. Carmel Catholic Church. Brian and I and our good friend Colby went together early in the day and took part in this ancient tradition that precedes the Season of Lent. If you’re reading this and are unfamiliar to exactly what Lent is, this season is a period of 40 days of “fasting” from something in your life in preparation for Easter. It’s traditionally a time to fast, a time of committed prayer, and of giving to others, all in a conscious effort of refocusing on Christ before celebrating Easter.

It was a new deal for me, seeing as how I’ve always been immersed in mainly Western evangelical Christiandom if you will. But it was great to experience the liturgy of the Mass. To see the dedication of the people that were there. It was a fresh new approach to meeting with God this morning.

There are some things that I will be trying to focus on praying through this Lent season (sin issues and what not) and I’m going to try and drink JUST water for 40 days. Yikes! Hope I make it, haha. In any case, the daily choice to remember to drink just water will remind me of the season and the sacrifice that was made for me.

Easter 2009

We have a Creative Development meeting for Easter today at 1:30pm. The cool part that I am stoked about is that we have invited people outside of our community to come and pour out their ideas and creative thinking. There are going to be artistic, driven minds from several different churches coming together to create and plan and cast vision for what God would want to say to our people this Easter season.

And the beauty of it is that we’re all going to be helping each other. Many churches becoming the Church. At least for a few hours.

I can’t wait till we start inviting leaders from outside the church walls to these meetings. That will be sweet and stretching all in the same breath.

What are you doing this year to tell the rescuing story of Easter in a fresh way to the thousands of people that step foot inside a church door only on Easter and Christmas?

2009 New Things To Try.

As 2009 looks us square in the face, I have decided to committ myself to a string of new things to try this year. Things to cut out of my life. Disciplines to strengthen myself with. New ways to explore and uncover the great vastness of who God is. And who He created me to be. I’m sure some of these ideas, hopes, and motives will never come to fruition…well…because let’s face it. Sometimes I can be mayor of Procrastinationville.

But I’m going to put these notions down on paper. Or rather pixel space. And try my best to accomplish them in the 09. We’ll look back at the start of twenty-ten and see how well I did!

1. La Biblia. The Word. The Bible. Lord, please help, guide, encourage, push, challenge, and motivate me in whatever ways You see fit to commune and learn from Your word more this year. I’m sorry that I have put Your voice to me in the coat closet. I would love to change that this year.

2. TV. I’m committing myself to watch less TV. Not that I watch a ton, but I feel like it’s mostly a waste of my time when I could be living life and spending more productive time with my family. (This of course excludes LOST.)

3. The Great Outdoors. I want to be outside more this year. Breathing in God’s creation. Whether that be simply taking an evening stroll with my family or driving to new fantastic places with the windows all the way down. Or sitting outside some little street cafe with my dog Audio and some tea just watching people. Heck maybe, I’ll even go fishing.

4. Crafting the artistic side of me. I’m taking time this year to hone my photography skills and make myself a better musician.

5. Fellowship. In 2009 I’m going to commit to building and fostering deeper relationships with my friends and colleagues.

6. Leadership. I know that God instilled me with some leadership qualities. I’m praying that He would help me to find ways to develop these more this year and place great leaders and mentors in my life to glean off of.

7. Read. Read. Read. This is a big one. I’m disciplining myself to read WAY more. And not just the typical Christian spiritual life books either. Not that those are bad, but I want to get lost in some great fiction as well.

8. Debt Detonation. I’m charging hard this year to get rid of our household debt, Dave Ramsey style.

These ideas are really important to me so if you’re a friend that does everyday life with me please keep me accountable!

What are some resolutions that you are taking on in 2009?

I Am Second.

If you haven’t heard of this incredible site yet, please take a few minutes to dive into it a bit. Some of the most amazing stories of courage and redemption I’ve heard in a long time.

Go there and let us know how it may have impacted you.

It made me think twice about how I’m REALLY living this journey we call life.

Visit I AM SECOND.

Future of Forestry @ Cornerstone.

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No.

I’m not talking about some tree-hugging campaign to eliminate the eradication of the world’s rain forests. Don’t get me wrong. I love me some earth.

But I’m referring to the band Future of Forestry. And they’ll be lightin it up on Sunday December 21st. This Sunday! They are touring a new Christmas EP this year and we are honored to have them all day for all of our services.

Let me enlighten you a bit…if you are one of the poor souls who have yet to have this bands explosive myriad of soundscapes and ambient assaults melt over you, then you need to listen HERE. Future of Forestry is simply one of the most impressively musically talented groups around right now. And their arrangements of some of our most treasured Christmas favorites have been on constant repeat around our office this season…just because they are that amazing.

Again the band will be here all day on Sunday at all our services (8, 9:15, 10:35, 11:15am & 5pm). And they will have their small string section “stringing” along with them…ok, I couldn’t resist.  So take a listen to the link and tell me what you think. I’m confident that the new spin will have you listening more than once. And come join us on Sunday for our Christmas celebration with Future of Forestry!