Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Archiving this blog...

This blog will continue to be accessible. You can find my sermons from the first 3 years of the Launch on the right side bar. But moving forward, I will be blogging at I don't know how frequently I'll be blogging, since I'm making more use of twitter, facebook, and constant contact. You can get to the new blog by clicking here

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Blog is Still on Summer Break

But the sermon mp3 archive is still being updated. Check out the right side bar to listen to recent sermons.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Launch Blast - March 7th

We dealt with a pretty tough subject on Sunday. As a part of our Life Together series, we explored how the act of confession (as in confessing our sins) can be a tremendously meaningful and necessary habit to develop.

Let me just go ahead and confess that I was preaching to myself on Sunday. This isn’t something that I do well or do much at all. But as I dug into those Biblical passages about the need to confess our sins, I was deeply moved by the power and meaning of that act of confessing.

Now in case you missed it, we looked at James 5:16 where it’s written that we should confess our sins to one another and pray for one another so that we may be healed. And without a doubt, it’s the confessing to one another that’s the hardest and scariest part.

So I just wanted to follow that up with a couple of thoughts for some ways to grow in the exercise of confession.

Practice the habit of confession privately at first. Make it a regular part of your daily routine. Every time you pray, try to include a time where you allow God to show the parts of your heart in which he wants to do a little work.

Practice the habit of specific confession. Identify specific instances and specific behaviors. Remember the point isn’t to make yourself feel guilty. The point is to be set free from the effects of our sin and to experience healing and wholeness. It’s about receiving the deep assurance of complete forgiveness.

Find a close and trusted friend that can be an accountability partner. Someone who will tell you the truth, but will also look you in the eye and say that your sin is washed away by the blood of Jesus. If you are married, consider trying this with your spouse. If that doesn’t work, Pastor Chuck is available for marital counseling.

I pray that we would all find the experience of confessing our sins to be a tremendously healing and sanctifying action within our Life Together.


Launch Blast - February 28th

Hey there Launchies,

If you weren't around on Sunday, you missed a good one.  Jaron preached and he brought it home!
He preached about authenticity being a core value of our LIFE TOGETHER as a community of faith.  As I was sitting there listening to Jaron, one question kept popping into my head - "what's my mask?"

What do I mean by "my mask"?
I'm talking about the fake front I put up to hide who I really am or how I'm really doing.  I'm talking about the Super-Me that I try to impress you with.  It's the Shiny Happy me that I hope you see (and believe) because frankly, the real me isn't all that impressive or attractive.

Here's the deal.  This isn't just a minor deal.  There are big implications to this tendency to act like we've got it all together before we head to church.

The biggest concern for me is the fact that our neighborhoods are full of families that are just a mess.  Full of people whose lives are broken and falling apart.  And for most of those people, church feels like the least safe place they could go.  How many times have you known a family that had a major crisis or a marriage that fell apart and those folks just disappeared from church? 

Shouldn't it be the opposite?  Shouldn't the body of Christ feel like the safest place to land when your world gets ripped out from under you?

What would it take for us to be the kind of place where people could just be real?

What would it look like for us to be authentic in our life together?

How do we get there?

I'm not sure I have any answers, but I know this:  It starts with each one of us identifying our Super-Self costume and chucking it in the garbage.

What's yours?

Launch Blast - February 21st

I have to admit, I'm dancing on the inside watching the snow melt. (Just be glad I'm not dancing on the outside).

Anyway, hope you are having a good week. If you missed it last Sunday, we heard from Dr. Sue Makin who has spent the last 11 years in Mulanje, Malawi which is right in the same neighborhood as the village that our Meet Malawi Team is partnering with. Sue had some great things to say and I was dancing on the inside again when she quoted one of my favorite verses: John 20:21 "As the Father has sent me, I also send you."

The honest truth is that life is complicated and fast paced and stressful. Sometimes its all we can do to just keep our heads above water. But somehow in the midst of that, there remains this deep underlying truth about our lives. We are SENT. Just as Jesus was sent to the world, WE ARE SENT to the world. Maybe the trick isn't trying to add MORE to our already crazy lives. Maybe the trick is to add SENT-NESS to the things we are already doing.

This week, I hope you can find a way to weave your calling (as a SENT one of Jesus) into the daily routines and places of your life! I challenge you to spend some time thinking about what that might look like for you! If you really want to get crazy, maybe even trying praying about how you might live SENT!

And in so doing, may you find PEACE (which is what Jesus gives right before sending in the above verse: "Peace be with you.")

Hey, don't forget - we've got the annual meeting on Sunday at 10:05 am. It'll be short. We won't have the normal reports or presentations. Just a quick run through of the official business (which is the approval of pastoral terms of call). But please don't let the brevity of the meeting lead you to think it's not important. Don't worry, we'll have the coffee ready to go!

Oh yeah - one other thing: We are mixing everything up in worship on Sunday. Everybody is doing something different! You don't want to miss this! I promise.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sermon mp3's are still available!

The blog may be in temporary hibernation, but we are still adding the weekly sermon mp3's to the blog. You can access them in the right column of the blog.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Under Construction...

I'm taking a little break from blogging. Over the next month, I'll be retooling the blog, working on some new content, and thinking down the road a bit. But there won't be any updates for several weeks. When the blog re-"launches", we'll let ya know!

Happy Holidays.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

No Worship at Barkstall this Sunday...Join us Downtown Instead

One last reminder. We won't be at Barkstall this Sunday but will be having a single joint service at our Downtown Campus at 10am.

That's 10am at our Downtown Campus!

See you there.

Advent Conspiracy TOTALS....

I can hardly believe how amazingly generous the good folks in our church are.
Just in the month of December, we collected over $30,000 for the Meet Malawi Project. And the total we have now collected for Malawi is right at $50,000.

Just amazing!!!

Stay tuned for updates on the progress of our project to dig a deep well and a church and school.

Well done good and faithful servants!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Water for Malawi

I'm sitting here looking at the ornament Leslie Barr made to go along with the Malawi donations she gave. Awesome stuff. I hope she sticks with that theme for a few years!

That got me thinking about all the incredible ways our folks creatively and enthusiastically shifted their Christmas celebrations around to be able to give to the Meet Malawi Project.

I am super excited to reveal the grand total raised through the Advent Conspiracy. We'll be announcing it at the 7pm service at the Launch!

Hope to see you there.