Ridge Thoughts

a blog to keep you up-to-date on what is going on at the ridge

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

beatin' the blues

We are in a series right now called "beatin' the blues" and I love the practicality of the messages. Almost everyone deals with being down from time to time and there are lots of people who battle depression on a regular basis. I love how the Bible speaks to all of our issues and problems and how it can help us through tough times. Isn't amazing how such an ancient document can be so relevant to us today?

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I Love Volunteers!

I get to work with some of the best people in the world at our church. There are tons of people who gives tons of hours to serving at the Ridge. Everything from cleaning to cooking to parking lot attendants to the worship team and the media team and the creative team. It just goes on and on. I am amazed on a weekly basis. Being the pastor of a church can be a tough job - but having the opportunity to work with such high capacity, servant-hearted volunteers is a thrill. I'll end with an anonymous quote I recently ran across:

"Volunteers are not paid - not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless." Amen!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

What's the Big Idea?!?

Man, am I fired up! I just got back from a great one-day conference at Granger Community Church near South Bend, Indiana. We talked about staffing and structure...and although many people wouldn't find that particularly exciting - the day held lots of great information and encouragement for me and Rollie. (my soon-to-be fellow pastor)

But even bigger excitement comes from a book I bought at Granger's bookstore called "The Big Idea". The Big Idea concept is about focusing in on one topic for a series of messages and then drilling down to include small group and students and childrens material. The Big Idea is also about long-term planning, collaboration, and creativity.

I doubt that the Ridge will implement all of the ideas from this book - but I am excited that many of the great ideas will help us become better at what we do. It is so cool to see how God is using creative people to share the Good News. Thanks to "The Big Idea" authors Dave Ferguson, Jon Ferguson, and Eric Bramlett. You can find out more about their book at www.bigideaonline.org

Friday, January 12, 2007

New Year, New Challenges

2007! Wow, what happens next? God was so good to the Ridge in 2006. We got into our first building after renting for almost 8 years and I became full-time pastor at the same time.

Attendance has gone through the roof. We have doubled in a year. From 199 average to 420 average. We have added a third service. We have started tentative plans for building Phase Three in 2008.

Most importantly we have seen a good number of people give their lives to Christ since we got in the new building. 25+ people as of the end of 2006...and another half dozen since January 1.

God is so good. I feel blessed to be part of a church like Sycamore Ridge. I can hardly wait to see what God will do in our midst in 2007.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

We call Christmas "the most wonderful time of the year"...but is it? I know for me and my family it is. But I also realize that Christmas is a painful, lonely time for some people. My prayer is that Sycamore Ridge will celebrate Christmas in an exciting, powerful way while being sensitive to those who struggle emotionally during the month of December. Take a few minutes from your busy holiday schedule to call or visit someone you know who finds Christmas a tough time of year.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Holiday Tug-o-War

Thanksgiving...mmmmmmm. Turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy and pumpkin pie. Football in Dallas and Detroit and naps in the recliner. Friends and family and laughter and board games. In many ways, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year.

Sadly Thanksgiving is getting shoved aside by Christmas. I work part-time at a radio station (www.wlqt.com) that plays Christmas music 24/7 for over a month before Christmas Day. Retailers move directly from Halloween to Christmas.

While I love Christmas and all the memories and the deep meaning - I think Thanksgiving is so important because it makes us stop and think a moment about the things for which we are thankful. Too often we push through each day taking for granted the incredible gifts God has given to us...like family & friends, freedom & liberty.

I encourage you and your family to stop and show gratitude to God for all He has done...it will change your attitude and perspective. Also on Thanksgiving make sure you eat that turkey and take that nap after the big dinner...because on Friday you'll need the rest and the strength to fight your way through all the crowds trying to get those special Christmas Deals offered at the mall!

Happy Thanksgiving/Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Getting Wet!

It's been an incredible month at the Ridge in regards to people's lives being changed. We have now baptized 10 people over the past four weeks. We have several children and at least two more adults awaiting baptism in the coming weeks. God is good!