Friday, April 5, 2013

"Meet the new guy"

A few weeks ago I announced that Gail and I are moving to Southern California for the next step in our lives and ministry, you can read about that here.

As we prayed about this move we quickly began praying for the person God would call to lead Rock Bridge Chatsworth. Our prayers included someone who:

  • already part of Rock Bridge - already understands and loves our mission
  • ...loves those outside the church
  • ...does or can live in and invest in Murray County
  • ...can join the staff before I even leave so we can transition together
  • ...and most of all, passionately loves and follows Christ, relentlessly believes the Bible and is called to this particular place at this specific time.
In honor of baseball season I simply say... GRAND SLAM HOME RUN! 

This Sunday, April 7, we will have a lunch following church to meet the man who nails everything on this list and more. He is a friend, a proven leader at Rock Bridge and I cannot wait to see what God does at Rock Bridge in Chatsworth through his leadership. I have for several months felt an intense sense of 'revival and renewal' brewing in Chatsworth and I know that Rock Bridge Chatsworth is right in the middle of this movement and I'm so glad to know that God has called such a Godly man to lead the charge.

You may notice I've left a few key details out of this note but I promise that on Sunday the details will come together. There are a few personal items that need completed before we go public but all of that will be done on Sunday so please join us at Bagley Middle School on Sunday at 10:30am to "Meet the new guy" - it's going to be epic.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Leaving home... Going Home

While living in Tarzana California in January of 1979 my parents called a family meeting. The last 'family meeting' we'd had was the announcement that we were going to Hawaii for a vacation so my brothers/sisters and I were pretty excited about the meeting. Sadly, instead of leading to a vacation, the meeting was to inform us that Dad had a new job and we were moving to Suburban New York City. Not the news this fourteen-year old warm-weather loving cold-weather hating Californian wanted to hear. In late July, as we pulled out of the driveway for the last time I vowed to return to my beloved state as soon I graduated from high school. 

Graduation came and went in 1983 but relationships, a great job and to be honest, some fear kept me in New York until I knew it was time to leave in 1992. It was then that I came to Georgia, fell in love with and eventually married Gail and after our first vacation in California we were hooked. Long ago we planned to move together as soon as a ‘few specific things’ worked out. None of those things worked out so a few years later we planned to move again once a few different things worked out... they never did. And so it went for twenty years. 

Until now.

Earlier this year Gail and I sensed God leading us to move and while it is agonizing to leave our family, friends, church [and animals] we have said “one-thousand percent yes” and after working through the month of April, on/near May 1st we will load up our van and begin the long drive to our new home in California. The details make a long story but the highlights include:

·      We haven’t settled on a final place to live but will start near Los Angeles in Calabasas.
·      I will sell real estate in/around that area.
·      We’ll stay in a hotel there while looking for the right place to live.
·      We’re selling most everything we own to fund this adventure.
·      We’ll rent out our house [and the garage apartment] for the foreseeable future.

I most certainly must acknowledge our time at Rock Bridge Community Church. It’s been more than amazing and I am overwhelmed as I consider the ways I have grown and changed and maybe even more importantly I cannot overstate the joy we have had with the people of this church. I can literally name hundreds of people who have impacted me in big ways and will forever cherish my memories here.

So we leave with a mix of emotions. Chatsworth Georgia has been our home since the moment we arrived seventeen years ago so we are filled with sadness to leave our family and friends. But in many ways, returning to Los Angeles is going home so saying “a thousand percent yes” to this crazy adventure brings some fear, some sadness but mostly it is filled with... peace.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Chatsworth Food Bank

I hope this finds you having a wonderful Thanksgiving week, I've seen hundreds of folks daily 'what I'm thankful for' lists on Facebook and it has been amazing to read the thankful hearts day to day. Gail and I are in town and hosting Thanksgiving for her very large family and I cannot wait to see everyone.

A have recently learned that the Chatsworth Salvation Army food-bank is in short supply of food to give to people in need and with that in mind I am asking everyone who can to help supply this organization with some food. Here is a list of some things that they need [Where to donate will follow]

  • SOUP
  • CORN
  • FROZEN FOOD ACCEPTED [Limited freezer space]
  • SOAP
Those in need of food can pick up on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9am - 3pm and MUST have a social security card and picture ID with them - they are closed this Thursday and Friday. You can contact them directly at 706.695.7605.

There are three ways to donate:
  1. Deliver directly to the Salvation Army building at 211 West Fort st [Diagonally across from the Chatsworth post office - it is the Former Red-Cross building on Alt 52]
  2. Bring it to Rock Bridge Chatsworth church service at 10:30am on Sunday
  3. I can meet you at the new Rock Bridge Chatsworth building at 822 North 3rd Ave in Chatsworth. You can email me at nd we can arrange a meeting.
Most of us are not living in a place of major overflow, but most of us can share something to make a difference. You can also serve by volunteering time between 9am-3pm Mon, Tues, Thurs and Fridays. I am praying that we can meet their needs in a MASSIVE way and I pray you have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

"Surrender Dorothy..."

After a wild storm took her away from her home in Kansas, Dorothy Gale began her now infamous journey across the yellow brick road in hopes of being able to return home to her beloved Auntie Em'. As she trod the canary colored causeway, Dorothy encountered extraordinary beauty, unique characters and the wicked witch who brought unspeakable terror hoping to destroy her as she wrote "surrender Dorothy" with exhaust from her flying broom. Okay, maybe it doesn't sound scary now, but as a young child watching the annual presentation of The Wizard of Oz, it brought chills. Along the road Dorothy met strangers who became friends and together they found that they were smarter than they knew, had more heart than they believed and had the courage to face their challenges together and instead of surrendering [spoiler alert] they defeated the evil witch.

Almost three years ago a group of people from Rock Bridge Community Church began our own journey. Our road wasn’t yellow or brick and there was no storm at the front of our trip but the storms did come and from there the similarities arise. We’ve faced an enemy that wants to destroy us and he has spared no weapon in his efforts. Unexpected location changes, personal tragedy, along with financial and facility challenges seemed to await us at every turn, but there was something else there too… strangers. Strangers who became friends and they brought with them brains and heart and courage and together we never surrendered.

Our journey began 'portably' in a school, and then another school and all along we had prayed for a home of our own. Several times along our not so yellow and never brick road we thought we had found our way ‘home’ but in each case, instead of a building to call home, we found more road.

In The Wizard of Oz, the wizard informed Dorothy that the ability to go home was always within her own power, just three clicks away. In our more real world we are thankful that the power did not rely on ourselves. If if had, we would have clicked our heels ages ago and ended up in the wrong home – at least three times.

Instead, we’ve faithfully walked a road peppered with storms, the attacks of our enemy, flying monkeys and a bunch of new friends to celebrate the good times and make the hard times a little easier. Okay, there were no monkeys but we have been faithful amid some crazy stuff. And now it seems we stand at the precipice of launching into the work that will lead to us having a home of our own. The light at the end of our portable tunnel is approaching and it is beautiful and exciting but we must stay the course. Let's take the joy [and let's face it, glee] we feel about eventually not being portable and turn it into the work of cleaning, demolishing and building all that we can to be the best possible stewards of the money God provides for us to get the work done. And even more importantly, let's take the energy and excitement we feel about what God is doing and share it with our community today, not waiting until we get into our new home.

Rock Bridge Chatsworth, I am truly proud of your perseverance. You have stayed the course, fought the fight and most of all you NEVER surrendered. And now we are in the strongest growth pattern we've ever seen and lives are being changed because you've moved about a million chairs, hung and removed miles of curtains, ran enough cables to reach from Chatsworth to the moon and back, and pushed thousands of tons of carts back-and-forth - and that doesn't include the endless hours serving our local school staff and community events.

So hang in there and continue the faithful work of 'portably' sharing God's love with our community. Soon enough we will stand in the place He has set aside for us and live out those infamous words "...there's no place like home"

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Another exciting work day...

As summer marches on it continues to bring amazing happenings to Rock Bridge Chatsworth. Our attendance is growing - that's right, while summer typically brings with it a decline in attendance we have seen steady GROWTH. I of course give God all the glory and also acknowledge the incredible work you are doing to invite friends, neighbors and even strangers. After church this last Sunday I was practically tackled by someone that wanted to introduce me to a friend that she had been praying would attend Rock Bridge - and the friend was there - and had asked to come all on her own! Keep it going folks, God is blessing our efforts.

As I write this, we are eleven days from Adventure Week [our VBS styled event] and I am beyond excited about this opportunity to reach tons of kids and their families with the Gospel. We are planning on 150 kids... but with the way things are going... who knows what God has in store?!

That said, we are continuing our major children's area redesign and plan to be done in time for Adventure Week. Last Saturday we had a great group of folks come and we got the ceiling painted tons of classroom prep completed and we got a lot of reorganization done as well. I've ordered some really special backdrops for the hall, a crew is working on a spectacular entry into the hall and the "WOW" factor is going to be massive.

To accomplish the remaining work we have our next work day this Saturday, July 21. We will work from 10:00am until 4:00pm and the work will include:

  • Basic Labor
    • Organize some PVC pipes to ready them for new backdrops in the hall
    • More room organizing
    • Prep curtains for the next work day

  • The design team' will continue the following:
    • Finalizing design plans - if you have artistic vision - get on board!
    • Artistic painting [This is more specialized, but you don't have to be Van Gogh]
    • 3-D Tree creation
    • General decorating to have proper design flow from hallway to rooms

Hope you can join us! Let me know if you have any questions.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Big Happenings at Rock Bridge Chatsworth!

Tons of exciting stuff happening in our midst this summer and it's just getting started! In the coming weeks we will have our first Adventure Week [VBS on STEROIDS] at Bagley and we're right in the middle of some VERY cool Independence Day [week] activities that have been amazing. Join us Friday night in Eton as we play some Skee-ball, basketball and T-ball with kids!

So what's next? Glad I asked! We are about to embark on an incredible journey to transform our Children's Ministry space into a spectacular jungle/tropical rain-forest. We've collaborated with some incredible volunteers and staff to get a general plan and the new space will ABSOLUTELY ROCK YOUR WORLD. Our very agressive goal is to have the work done in time for Adventure Week which begins on Sunday July 29. This is a perfect time to capitalize on the momentum we are already seeing and it will also give those visiting us an incredible experience and a chance to build on board that momentum!

With that in mind, I will be in contact very soon to give details and work-day schedules that will allow all of us a chance to be part of this incredible journey, it will indeed take an army but I am confident we will get it done and much of the work is easy painting and basic labor.

The first thing we need to do is get both of our storage rooms cleared out so we can convert them to class space that is closer to the lobby. Two amazing volunteers have already cleared one of those rooms so this Sunday we will gather right after service and clear out the other room. I suspect this will take less than thirty minutes.

Here's a look at some pending projects you can help with:

  • Basic labor:
    • Basic painting [Even I can help with this]
    • Getting new storage rooms organized
    • Remove and replace ceiling tiles [Lots of ladder time - but NOT high up]
    • Remove existing and/or hang new themed curtains - GONNA BE AWESOME
    • Possibly some sewing to recover furniture
  • Vic Webb is heading a 'design team' and will need help with the following:
    • Finalizing design plans - if you have artistic vision - get on board!
    • BASIC painting [Even I can help with this]
    • Artistic painting [This is more specialized, but you don't have to be Van Gogh]
    • 3-D Tree design [Steady with a utility knife - not too hard, but slow work]
    • General decorating to have proper design flow from hallway to rooms
You get the point. We are beyond excited about how this transformation will raise our kids ministry to a whole new level - get involved to make it happen!

Please email me at with questions or to volunteer.

More details soon!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

July 6 Fireworks in Eton!

I am still in awe at how incredible our folks did at the fireworks in Chatsworth last Saturday afternoon and night. It was SO STINKIN' HOT and nobody complained and even more than that, it was FUN! Our silly attempts to keep cool led to us spraying folks as they went by which ended up being incredibly well received! While I can't totally connect the two, Sunday was among our largest 'holiday' weekend services ever. Just saying.

Our return to the Rec on Sunday was nothing short of spectacular. Watching entire families [young children to the not-so-young] work together to clean up the Rec in over 100 degree weather, and again no complaining was a true picture of the church serving the community.

That said, this Friday, July 6th, is the fireworks celebration at Eton Park in Eton. We will again have a booth setup to focus on helping kids and their families enjoy this event and 'wander the park' to simply help people have a great time. [We will not be giving away water at this event] Here are the details:
  • FRIDAY Afternoon
    • We will begin setting up at 5pm at the Park. We will not know our exact location until then. Feel free to call my cell phone - 706.264.4196 if you can't find us.
    • We are asking our folks to wear the matching t-shirts throughout the day. We still have some shirts available and they will be ready at the booth at 5:30 and they are first come first serve for sizes. If you already have a shirt please save the remainder for new folks. There is no charge for the shirts for Rock Bridge'ers
    • The basic plan is to hang out and show people our Christ filled lives and have fun together [Again, we will not be giving away water at this event]
    • We need two folks [each hour] to commit for one hour during the following hours:
      • 6-7
      • 7-8
      • 8-9
      • 9-10 [Chatsworth started the fireworks at 10:15ish - I suspect the same will be true here]
    • The success of our 'water-squirting' last Saturday leads me to believe we will do this again so If you can bring a cooler FILLED with ice it will help a TON to keep some bottled water [for our volunteers], us and others cool
This is going to be another great night and I am excited to hang out with you!