Monday, March 31, 2008

To Clear Up Any Misperceptions

Apparently there are some misperceptions regarding how I interact with folks at church and how I choose people for my illustrations.
1. There is a misperception that I may not speak with everyone at church. I say this is a misperception because for the last 5 months, every Sunday including the Sunday my son was in the hospital, I was the last one out of the building. So, if you hear someone saying that I did not speak with them, please ask them why they left early because there are Sundays that I have missed lunch because I have and always enjoy talking to people. I'm usually easy to find.

2. A couple of folks have asked why I usually use one of the guys for my message illustrations. #1 I have one wife and always will. She is more important to me than anything else along with my son. I occasionally use her in illustrations with her permission about the story I am going to tell. I most of the time will not use other ladies in an illustration simply because I refuse to allow the integrity of my marriage to be compromised by constantly referriing to other women. I have one woman in my life and make no apologies for that. The guys I usually tell stories about are usually friends that I hang out with and usually when I tell a story about them it is becasue they have done something stupid or a mutual interest. I don't get into deep conversations with other women about mutual interests because usually that leads to one place and that is an affair. I am in no way trying to shun women stories but I am protecting my marriage and I always will. I am very passionate about this. I can always get another job but I can't go out and get another family.

In the same way, please don't be offended if I don't give you a hug. I am not a hugger. Maybe side hugs but real hugs are reserved for my wife. Unless your dog Rover has died and if you're crying then I may give you a hug.

Again, this is not the big news but it is 1:30 a.m. and I can't sleep. Please continue to pray about decisions that need to be made.

2:10 a.m. update- Still Awake

3. The third misperception that I have heard is that women are not involved in leading any teams. To clear this up, let me just say that we currently have many women leading teams. Hospitality, Greeters, Information, One of the Co leaders for Homegroups is female, we have females invloved in worship and are adding more, the Children's Team led by Erin and Paige do an awesome job. The only teams we have led by males are ushers, media, and music. I am very hands off when it comes to these people running thier teams. Only when it comes to budget stuff do I put my insight. I encourage people to use their gifts and run with them no matter who they are.

Ok I'm going to bed now. Still pray


I need your prayers over the next few days. I won't elaborate but just pray as Melissa, Isaac and I have some things to think about as a family. It's nothing health related with Isaac, just prayer needed. I place the utmost priority on Melissa and Isaac and the well being of us as a family.

One thing I have learned over the years is that no matter what, they are always there for me. I need to be there for them as well. Being there doesn't mean just physically but also having my mind present as well. (Some would argue that I lost that years ago). I think many times people don't realize what pastors go through on a daily basis. Many times I find myself physically there for my family but my mind is off somewhere else dealing with something that has or is happening. Today I found myself having to apologize to my son on one of the biggest days of his life(more on that tomorrow) for not being there. I was there in person but my mind was filtering through the outcomes of different church related stuff. To be honest, I'm tired of that. I've done this for years and it's not fair to the ones that love me most. So what that means, I don't know. It probably means big changes in what and who I listen to, what I focus on, what I give a second thought but it could mean other things as well.

PS this is not the big news, the big news won't be so sucky.

Something Big Happening Tomorrow

Tomorrow something big is happening. I have waited for 10 years to see this. You'll have to wait one more day to find out.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

More Space on the Way

Today was a great Sunday. I am constantly reminded of how awesome our Children's Area is doing. The adults and teenagers create an awesome learning environment for our kids. Just a note to parents and kids, more space is on the way this week. We have rented the other half of the front part of the building that we will begin using next week and it couldn't come at a better time because this week we had all time highs in our kids area which is awesome considering we had several of our core families gone for spring break. The kids are loving it and it is awesome to see what all is taking place in there.

The band with Justin and the guys did a great job as their first week as the Powdersville Band for Stone Bridge. Mark, Anna, Randy, Josh, Will, and Evan will be heading to Anderson to be the band for the Anderson Campus. These guys and girl have been doing an awesome job for the last several months and I am extremely grateful for all of their hard work and dedication to making all of our worship awesome.

I will probably be stating this everyday for the next week but just as a reminder, service times for the Anderson Campus at Whitehall Elementary begin at 9:15 a.m. and Powdersville will be at 10:55 a.m.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Invite People

Tomorrow at Stone Bridge should be challenging for us all. Invite people. Tomorrow will be an exciting day and I'm looking forward to seeing the awesome things in store for the next few months. It all begins tomorrow. Be there and bring someone.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


I was off today which felt nice. Last week was crazy and I was gone to meetings and church stuff 5 nights last week. It was a long week needless to say. This week has been much better. Last week was not the norm and I was pretty tired by Sunday. This week I have caught my breath and looking forward to the next couple of weeks.

Today I pretty much hung around the house. Isaac and I planted a garden today. We planted corn plants, Jalepeno pepper bushes, tomatoe stalks, and we experimented with some upside down hanging tomatoe plants. Thanks to Jeff, I think I have the gardening skills to have some upside down tomatoes. I'll try and post pictures of this in a couple of days.

My second project was organizing the garage and getting ready for a monster of a yard sale in a few weeks. This took about 4 hours of not fun time.

I am a little down because Survivor isn't on tonight because of some stupid basketball tournament. Yes, I watched it last week until my bracket went to pot. Now it's just a stupid tournament. I know Don Vito our youth minister is happy because his Tarheels are still alive.

And finally, just a reminder that starting April 6th, our service times change. The Anderson Campus kicks off every Sunday at 9:15 a.m. and the Powdersville Campus is at 10:55 a.m. .

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Dan Dan The Easter Bunny Man

Here is what happened when Dan our Anderson Campus Pastor put on his Easter Bunny Outfit Backwards.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Dealing with Disappointment

I recently purchased I Am Legend because I loved the movie back when it came out a few months ago. I bought it on Blue Ray Disc in order to experience it in better than HD format. I eagerly waited the chance to watch it. There were two main reasons I wanted to see it. The first is because I wanted to slow it down and see if the manequins head turns while it is standing in the street. I was able to slow it down and the manequin does move his head. Kind of freaky.

The other reason I wanted to see it was because they had added an alternate controversial ending. I am not going to ruin the ending for anyone but let me just say that it was a huge disappointment. I sat there thinking, I just went all out and bought it on Blue Ray because I thought this new ending had to be awesome because I enjoyed the first ending. Now I know why this ending failed to make the cut.

The movie overall was awesome with the original ending. I have watched it three times and I am afraid to go in the dark places each time after I see it.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Day That Was

Happy Easter. It is Easter you know. Apparently the check out lady at Wal Mart last night didn't realize that when she wished me a Happy Thanksgiving. I' guessing she was just getting a jump on things because they probably will have Christmas Decorations out in a couple of months.

Church today was awesome. The band did a great job with worship. The audience was engaged in the message. The new sound system sounded great after a 10 hour install by Mark, Josh, Randy, Dan, and Evan. The other sound sytem isn't old or anything we will be taking it on the road to our new Anderson Campus since the subs and mains on that unit are powered. (This just means quicker and easier to set up). The funny thing is I wondered how many people even noticed that the speakers were no longer on the stage and were flown.

Today I banned 5 things from our Easter service
5. Little Jeremy's Empty Easter Egg Forwarded Email
4. White Suits
3. Peeps (This created quite an uproar and resulted in a visit from an unexpected guest-I'll share more at the bottom of the post)
2. Cantadas-Bad Music+Bad Soloist+ Bad Drama= Cantada (If you've had to sit through one of these you feel my pain)
1. Clip on ties

I shared with our folks that we are going to start exploring the possibility of a fourth campus. The fourth Stone Bridge Campus is going to be located in Berea and is going to be a Spanish Speaking congregation. We've got a lot of details to work through and in the next couple of months we will be searching for a Spanish Speaking teaching pastor. I barely can speak English at times so it is doubtful that I will be speaking Spanish anytime soon.

I spoke on Matthew 8:1-3 today and talked about allowing compassion to move us beyond our walls to Impact the world in which we live.

Some of you may be asking where is the 3rd campus. The third campus is still set for the Traveler's Rest area. We will be putting the core group together over the course of the next couple of months and are looking to launch the Traveler's Rest Campus in September or Early October. Jason Patterson is going to be one of our teaching pastors that will speaking in our rotation at the different campuses as well. We are currently looking for a Worship Pastor for the Traveler's Rest location. If you know of someone please let me know as I would love to sit down and chat with them. We have two bands currently in place for the Powdersville and Anderson campuses. Our goal is to have a band at each location and that will be our next step for the TR Campus.

And finally, when I mentioned that we were banning Peeps from our service, we had an unexpected visit from the Easter Bunny. Actually, it was just our Anderson Campus Pastor Dan delivering Peeps for all of our Peeps. Quite possibly the funniest thing that has happened ever in our church was the fact that Dan put on the Easter Bunny Costume backwards. I hope that it was caught on our video. If it was, Dan will live in youtube infamy.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Quick Hits

1. Pray for Melissa's grandmother. She is in St Francis with acute kidney failure. This all just happened in the last day. She is really close to her grandma.

2. Church Sunday 10:30 a.m. Invite your friends and neighbors.

3. 4.06.08 - Stone Bridge Church - Anderson Campus Launch 9:15 a.m.

4. I'm waiting on the Clemson Game to start.

5. Al Nardone opens up his Nascar season tommorrow night Greenville Pickens. Al is one of our trustees and he races Nascar. How awesome is that? We took Isaac by to see his car tonight. I like the fact that Al isn't afraid to rev up the engine even while living in a neighborhood.

6. The show "Your Mama Don't Dance" is a total waste of air time. I was flipping through the channels waiting on the Clemson game and all I see is a 60 year old lady wearing MC Hammer Pants dancing to "U Can't This". That pretty much summed up that show plus the fact that Ian Zerig from 90210 fame is the host pretty much dooms the show from the start.

7. The game has started.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Easter and 4.06.08

This will be our first Easter service with Stone Bridge. Someone was asking tonight what was in store for Sunday. I think the reason they asked is because I preached on the death of Christ at Christmas so who knows I may speak on the birth of Christ this Sunday. Whatever the case, be sure and invite your friends because statistics tell us that most people will attend an Easter Service if they're invited.

Tonight was a good meeting with the Anderson Core Group. The launch is only two and a half weeks away. 4.06.08 at 9:15 a.m. located at Whitehall Elementary. If you live in the Anderson area, I encourage you to invite folks to be there. Here's the thing, that morning following the service, we are taking all of our first time guests to lunch at Chili's in Anderson. This is an easy way to bring a lost friend or neighbor. You invite them and bring them and we'll buy their lunch. If you have been to Stone Bridge before or are a regular at Stone Bridge then we encourage you to go too but you have to pay for your own. This launch is a huge step of faith because after all we are less tahn 6 months old but it is a part of the vision of the church to impact communities across the Upstate.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Stuff I've Learned

I know I said once a week I'd post stuff I've learned but when I learn two things in less than a week I figure I'd share because after all it is pretty rare.

Lesson 2- Don't just talk about it.
There is a really interesting phenomenon taking place in the modern church that I saw for years in the traditional church. It seems as lately many church planters of today have turned into full time conference attenders. I have received invitations to no less than 15 church planter/ modern church conferences that have taken place in the last two months. Most conferences last 2-3 days. The amazing thing is that I personally know some pastors who have attended over half of these. So in the course of the last two months they have been in conferences almost half of that time period. Don't get me wrong, conferences can be a learning experience and you can take things to apply to your church. The key there though is apply.

I could sit around and talk about it in round tables and conferences until I'm blue in the face but if I never do anything, then I have accomplished nothing. I don't have time for people who are all theory and no action. Maybe God has called some people to be professional conference goers. The same is true in church. I have litttle time for people who talk a good game but fail to deliver. There comes a time each of us has to step up and stop talking and act on what we know we should do. You can theorize, debate, talk about what needs to be done but I like to surround myself with people who take action. I think that is what makes our church great, people who are willing to act on what God has called them to do.

Dates to Remember

Here are a couple of important dates coming up to remember.

April 6th - Anderson Campus Launch- 9:15 a.m. at Whitehall Elementary School. Invite a friend to church that day and then take them to Breakfast afterward.

April 13th- Membership Class -Immediately following the service at our Powdersville Location. Be sure to sign up at the info table.

April 20th - Kids World 3-5 p.m. This event is going to rock. We will have inflatable games, cotton candy, popcorn, xbox360 games, movie on the big screen and more. This is event is free for all kids through 5th grade.

April 27th - Kevin Campbell will be speaking in our services. Kevin is the lead pastor at Elevate in San Diego. Elevate is a new church launch beginiing in Janauary 2009.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Highlights from Bristol

It was a lot of fun. Isaac blew $60 in about 5 minutes on souvenirs. It rained. We had to seek shelter from the lightning and metal bleachers. We saw lots of wrecks on the track. Wrecks are always good as long as no one is injured. Isaac and dad couldn't make it back to the car so I hired them a bicycle taxi. Dude was super fast pulling all that weight. Not Isaac's weight but dads. Not that dad is too fat or anything, just an adult XL shirt wearing kind of adult. Jason got owned by mad highway driving skills. Be sure and ask him about it. Paige discovered that I am willing to push a girl to the ground to win a foot race. I took a picture of a guy with a checkered flag and the words Thanks Dale cut out in his hair. Here are some pics from the day including the hair guy.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Stuff I've Learned Week 1

I know stuff I've learned sounds like it will fit in one paragraph. But I've been thinking about once a week posting little tidbits of stuff I've learned over the years as it applies to church. So here goes.

Week 1 Lesson

Where you park on Sunday Morning at church says a lot about what you are there for.

You are there to serve or be served. It fires me up to no end to pull up at a church and see a reserved for Pastor or reserved for Staff sign right next to the door. That says to me right there that as a staff or as a pastor you are not there to serve but instead to be served. It's almost as if they are saying, I am the most important person to walk through the door today, let me grace you with my presence.

Now if your staff or pastor is handicapped, I have no problem with that. Seriously, I understand that some people have disabilities and have to park next to the door. I have no problems with that at all. But, if you are healthy, what are you saying to those you say you serve. If a visitor pulls into your parking lot and has to walk a quarter mile while the church staff is all parked up next to the doors, what have you communicated to them before they even sit in your service?

I have not told all of our volunteer staff where to park but instead I have tried to show them through example. I have shared with some of them that where they park says a ton about why they are here that Sunday. If we truly believe that the church is God's way of reaching the world then we have to realize it starts in the parking lot with our attitude of why we're there. Try parking far away, most pastors need the excercise anyway.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

To Bank or Not to Bank

After reading about the changes made to the Darlington Speedway during the off season, I have been considering some changes to the backyard go kart speedway. Speeds right now are approaching 35 mph heading straight toward the garage. This is exciting because it adds an element of danger as you turn right before your momentum should carry you straight into the garage. On the other hand an encounter with the garage at full speed would not be fun.

So I have decided to look into some track changes including a 30 degree Super Speedway type banking and a new layout that no longer sends you down the hill toward the garage. Spring is just a few days away and the proposed changes should not affect the upcoming scheduled races including the Home Group 150 coming up in May.

The Back Yard Speedway is still looking for corporate sponsorship as well. A corporate sponsorship gets you naming rights to the back yard speedway as well as two box seats on top of the swing set in the back yard. I'll update with pictures if I go forward with the changes.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Bristol and Beyond

1. Saturday, I'm indoctrinating my son into the world of Nascar. He will be making his first visit to a big race. We are heading up to Bristol,Tn to watch the Nationwide Series. This ought to be interesting and I'm sure he may learn some new words Saturday. I may learn some new words Saturday.

2. The last two days have been filled with meetings and they have been all good. We are praying through a timetable for the launch and location of the Travelers Rest Campus. I have also been praying about something that God has laid on my heart for another location. I will be sharing that in next weeks message. It is an area not being reached and no one seems to care. Next Sunday should be good and challenging.

3. Get here early Sunday and be ready to give your seat away to a first time guest.

4. Tonight I am going to be leading the youth. Justin and Barbie are honeymooning in the South of France. Not really they're in Florida. But the South of France sounds so..........European Chic. Of course male bikinis are European chic as well. The thought of Justin in a European male bikini just made me throw up in my mouth. And speaking of Justin, some have wondered why I call him Don Vito. Well, that's because in just about every picture he takes he has this mafia look to him. The way looks at the camera gives you the sense that at any time he could call up Louie "The Hammer" or Paulo "The Hatchet" or some other guy with a mob sounding name and have you knocked off. I'm going to stop messing with Justin now because I believe Paulo is knocking at the door.

5. That's about it for today. I will be playing Call of Duty 4 online later on tonight after youth. Look me up on Xbox Live clydetorkle is my screen name.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Random Stuff

Here is some random stuff that has crossed my mind in the last few days.

1. Rudy the movie almost makes me cry when I see his dad walk into Notre Dame stadium at the end of the movie. I have seen this movie probably 25 times and it gets me everytime. I watched it again last night.

2. My favorite line in the movie, the big lineman walking into Coach Devine's office saying "Coach, I want Rudy to dress in my place"

3. Justin made a couple of qoutes in my office the other day. I 'll share them with you. Justin speaking " I had them eating butter out of my hand" First of all eating plain butter is nasty. Secondly, what in the world is he saying when he says that they were eating it out of his hand? Seriously, who would want to eat butter out of Justin's hand? The second qoute made no sense " Sugar wouldn't melt on his tongue. I think I may have just made that up." At this point Barbie and I just looked at him not having any clue as to what he was talking about.

4. I am extremely tired. I woke up at 3:30 am each morning for the last two days.

5. I need to be more encouraging to others because encouraging type of people bring me up. I want to be like that. I currently don't do good at this. On the other hand, people who have nothing positive to say or are always negative are really a drag. It drains your energy just talking to them. I'm not talking about anyone in particular but just speaking of life in general.

Just some random thoughts in my head.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Awesome Sunday

I have been on staff at churches for the last 15 years. There are three Sundays each year that you can always count on as being your lowest attended days at church. They are New Years Sunday, Father's Day(I'm not sure why this phenomenon exists because Mother's Day is one of the highest attended. Fathers get no love.), and the last one is the Sunday that you move your clocks forward. The reason is because many people fail to move their clock forward and usually show up right as service is getting over.

This has always been the case in every church I have served until now. As a matter of fact, I even told our band that we probably would have a low crowd today.(There's nothing like a lead pastor with little faith.) Anyway, today was jammed packed. We had to pull out extra chairs and pull in extra help in the kids area which was jammed packed once again. For the second straight week we had our highest attendance but that wasn't the best part.

The best part of today hands down was the message. I am not being arrogant here because I didn't speak. Jason Patterson spoke today and did an awesome job. I know some of you are thinking why did you schedule him on a Sunday you thought was going to be a low attendance day? I didn't realize this week was clock change week until this week. I had scheduled Jason to speak back a few months ago when I agreed to do Justin and Barbie's wedding.

Jason did an awesome job challenging our people to not just talk about it but to live it. If we are going to impact our community, then we have to do more than just talk about it but we have to live it.

I am worn out and I didn't speak. I think the time change is already catching up with me.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Saturday Morning

Remember to move your clocks forward one hour tonight, otherwise you will show up for church about the time we are letting out.

Right now I am going over the service for Justin and Barbie's wedding. This should be fun.

Sitting in the waiting room at the hospital always brings interesting conversation, like on Thursday as I had to listen to an older lady (50 and older) discussing with her daughter what type of tattoo she was getting on her butt. I threw up in my mouth. Some conversations are better left at the beauty salon and not the hospital waiting room.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Hospital News

1. Isaac is back at home. We have to wait for a couple of days to get the results of some tests that were done today. We are not anticipating anything major although depending on the tests results he could have to have surgery or it could be nothing and require no treatment. Now we wait.

2. Dad is still in the hospital. They found two blockages of 80-85 percent blocked and they inserted two stints. He is fine and was awake when we left the hospital. He will stay overnight and then be released tommorrow.

3. Justin's dad has improved dramatically and is alert and talking after being in sort of a coma for almost two weeks.

4. Justin, Isaac, and I were sitting in the lobby before we went back for Isaac's stuff and we were talking about Justin and Barbie's wedding this weekend. (Justin is getting married and I am performing his wedding. If that is not scary enough, in my mind as I have been preparing what I am going to say, I have to keep reminding myself not to pronounce the couple Barbie and Rio Ken.)
Anyway, we were talking about where they were staying for their honeymoon and he was saying how much the hotel cost. Isaac spoke up and said " You should just stay home because do you realize how many lego sets you can buy with that kind of money?"

5. Just a reminder, Sunday is time to move your clocks forward an hour.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

We Own the Hospital

Sometimes I kind of feel like we just kind of own the hospital with all of the time we spend there. With the millions that Isaac's procedures have cost it feels as though we should have our own suite. Thursday will be staff day at Greenville Memorial. Justin(Our youth minister) is at Greenville where his dad has been in the hospital for the last couple of weeks. Justin's dad is showing improvement but continue to remember him in your prayers.

Isaac and my dad both will be in Greenville Memorial having procedures done on Thursday. It's kind of like going on a youth retreat where you look for the group package. If we can bring 15 or more we get a free colonoscopy.

Isaac is not looking forward to this at all and was pretty much upset at his docs. He did better when he realized he might score a prize out of the deal. My dad gets no prizes because he is a big boy now. He is nervous as well but everything should be fine. So as it stands right now I will be wandering around Greenville Memorial all day Thursday.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Three Things Around the House

I've been thinking the last couple of days. What are some of the basic "things" or stuff that I own that I really enjoy. I'm talking about things that everytime I use them I always enjoy them. Two are subtle and I usually don't really think about them everytime I use them but I honestly am thankful for them. They are the following listed in order of importance:

1. Ice Maker- Seriously. I don't usually give the ice maker much credit for adding to the quality of my life, but the other day I was thinking and the thought of going back to the plastic trays in the freezer really scares me. Actually it doesn't scare me but I really didn't enjoy the thought of refilling the trays everytime I wanted ice. Most of the time I didn't refill them, I simply put them back in the freezer half empty. I do enjoy my ice maker although I never use the water squirter thingy.

2. Recliner- This may possibly be one of the best inventions that was ever created. It is part chair and part bed. What kind of better invention is there than this? Here's the thing, when company comes over to the house, I ususally offer the recliner for guests to sit in. They usually leave wanting to go buy one. It's soft and makes sitting an enjoyable past time.

3. Go Karts- Since it has become clear that I will never make it on the Nascar Circuit, I guess the next best thing is having go karts and a go kart track in my back yard. Whenever I get tired of sitting in my recliner eating fresh ice cubes or crushed ice from my ice maker I can simply walk out the back door and quench my insatiable desire for speed.

That's my three, what are yours?

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Service this morning was excellent. The energy in the room was great. Today was our highest attendance not even counting the folks who showed up twice to help with tonight's preview service. We had several new families and the nursery was bursting at the seems. More kids means there are more families getting plugged in which is awesome.

I spoke on the Power of the Holy Spirit versus our attempts to manufacture power in our attempt to impact the world for Christ. Acts 1:8 has always been one of my favorite passages.

I joined the band today. It was quite by accident when I walked on stage thinking the interlude was the ending of the song. It still had a couple of minutes to go. I stood awkwardly and pretended to be looking at Will on the keyboards. There is only so long that you can look at a keyboardist hands before you feel like you're some sort of weird stalker.

The second service was a little more apprehensive over the pyrotechnics attached to the watermelon. That could be because I actually lit it during the second service.

A big thanks to all of our Sunday Morning crowd that came back out for tonight's service and helped out.

I'm tired and have a long day tomorrow.