what people are saying about our new meeting place

Six weeks into our new Sunday meeting facility people are talking. I asked them to tell me their feelings about our new digs. Here are the comments as they have come in.

“I like it and think it is great!”

“Two Words! Love It!!!!”

“Much better. I like the closeness due to smaller size of the room. The kid venture is much better now w/ the separate rooms. I like the new setup!”

“It’s closer to my house. I enjoy the small rooms for the kids. Less space for the service, but overall its cozy.”

“I think the new meeting place is great!  The location seems to be getting some new faces, the sound quality for the band and your sermons are clear.” 

“Close to home logistically. In a good spot. Not 100% on the physical/cosmetic appearance.”

“It’s good – wish we could start some “other” classes.”

“LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION. That’s all I have to say :”)

“Love it! Great area for KidVenture.  Made it to service last week for the 1st time and loved the cozy feel of sitting near people!”

“LOVE IT! Smaller space, more convenient, open to more neighborhoods nearby to draw members.”

“Love the new location.. Feel more like church and still we can be relaxed.. Love that the kids have there own space also”

“Love it. Great for the kids. Getting used to the acoustics/sound but that will come. Adds to the family atmosphere. I am a little worried visitor can slip in and not be noticed. Several people have seen our signs and asked me about our church. ( invite was extended ) Overall I think it was a good move.”

“We enjoy the new location and like that the space feels cozy. The facilities for the children are an extra bonus. :)”

“Love it! Love the smaller “sanctuary”…it really contributes to a closer worship experience. Love the classrooms downstairs….Love the way the band sounds. Love the opportunity to socialize after while cleaning up. Love the location. I really can’t think of anything negative at this point. Let’s just keep on keepin’ on!”

“We like the proximity to our home, it is closer and easier to reach than the school was. The new location is more churchy, so less relaxed. But, I applaud the choice of location, I don’t think there is a busier street in the county.”

“The new location is amazing, and the perfect place for us to grow as a church.”

“I think the new location feels more like a “close knit” group because folks are not spread all over. It is much easier to take down the stage and I like the Kid Venture set up.”

If you have been to one of our gatherings since moving to 530 Courthouse Rd., I would love to hear your thoughts and feelings about the new location.
And if you haven’t visited yet, I hope these comments from “those who know” will excite you to give New Venture a try.



I just want to stay home.

I can’t tell you how relieved and excited I am to be home with no prospects of another trip for quite awhile. The last three months have been in the extreme to ridiculous category when it comes to travels. We were involved in five major road trips that included a trip to Cincinnati for our third grand child’s first birthday, a false alarm trip to Lexington, KY for what we thought was our fourth grandchild’s birth, a return, two weeks later, for the actual birth, a trip to Delaware for the funeral of my mother and a trip to Indianapolis for the North American Christian Convention. We returned late Saturday, July 10, after having logged over 7000 road miles in the five trips. It is so good to be home for awhile.

On top of all the travels I had to maintain my regular responsibilities with the church, help move the church location from the Tomahawk Creek Middle school to 530 Courthouse Road, endure a house construction project that included living for two months with all our downstairs furniture in the garage and hold an open house at our place for the entire church. If I seem to be acting a little strange, I am. It’s OK. I will get back to “normal” soon. Sharon is experiencing her version of the same “strangeness.” She has been in the middle of it all with me.

It is so good to be home and into a regular schedule and routine. Since returning just four days ago I have been …

Reading more
Praying more
Exercising more
Watching TV less
Connecting with people more
Planning more
Listening to God more

So, I don’t want to go on any more trips for awhile. I acknowledge, there is so much value to getting away from it all and into a new environment but, there is also tremendous value in just faithfully and enthusiastically doing the day to day things that bring growth, enjoyment and value to others and self. No more road trips for now.

My next “scheduled” one is in August when I will be spending five days in a monastery where I can enjoy some uninterrupted time connecting with God, listening to God and planning the next year for New Venture.

All this in less than a week

On Tuesday, May 11, Sharon and I received word that our daughter-in-law had been admitted to the hospital in Lexington, KY with pre-birth complications. Her fluid level was low, 4.5, and if it didn’t rise to at least 5 by the next morning they were going to take the baby seven weeks early. So we went into emergency mode and prepared for the journey. We first poured ourselves into a week’s work in one day so we could get some things off our plates before we left town. Tuesday was a mad dash to get the week’s tasks well under way or completed. Finally, at a little after 9 PM we had everything packed and were on the road to KY. Here’s a replay of the week.

* Drove 500 miles in eight hours through the night and arrived in Lexington at about 5 AM. The last hour was horrendous.
* Caught a couple hours of sleep and was awakened by Sawyer, our grandson a little after 7.
* After breakfast, dropped Sawyer off at his preschool and headed to the hospital. The ultra sound was scheduled for early morning. Got the results a little after 10 that the count was back up to 5.5 and our daughter-in-law would be released in the early afternoon. The instructions were to rest and drink lots of fluids and come back on Monday morning for another ultra sound.
* Went to their house and helped out Brady and Elizabeth get some house items covered since it looked like Luke Kennan (Our next grandchild) was going to make his entrance earlier than planned.
* Packed our suitcases again to drive a couple hours to Cincinnati the next morning for our middle son’s back surgery scheduled at noon.
* Got up on Thursday and took a four mile jog to get the day started.
* Ate breakfast, took Sawyer to pre-school and headed to Cinci.
* Arrived at the hospital about an hour before surgery and stayed through seeing Timothy in the recovery room. (He actually returned home within about four hours of surgery to rest and further recovery at home. Wow, what a change from the days of 5-10 days in the hospital for a discectomy.)
* Left to check into our, Priceline reserved, room at the downtown Hyatt Regency, 22nd floor and to rest for an hour or so.
* Met Matthew and Jess, our third son and daughter-in-law at Chicago Gyro for a lamb Gyro, at the edge of the U of Cincinnati campus. Spent the evening visiting with them and returned to our room for the night.
* Started Friday a little slow and then met Matthew and Jess for brunch at I hops and some more time with them.
* Made a stop at Target (have to get one of those in) and drove to Timothy and Daphane’s to see how the recovery was going and spend some time with our two granddaughters, Audrey and Eloise. Stayed there for the afternoon. And then headed back to Lexington to attend a Lexington, Youth for Christ banquet with our son who serves on the board of directors for the organization. (I almost opted to take in the Reds and Cards baseball game, a few blocks from our motel. It was a battle for first place in the National League Central, but decided to return to Lexington instead. And it was fireworks night. But the banquet was great)
* Spent most of Saturday and Sunday helping Brady and Elizabeth finish plans and preps for the arrival of Luke that could come at any time, including four hours of painting on Elizabeth’s parents house they will be moving into in a few weeks, from Indiana. (How did that prepare for the baby? Well, Brady volunteered to paint the house and was planning on having more time to get it done, but might not, so it is urgent to get it off the plate and out of the way.)
* Went to church with Brady, Elizabeth and Sawyer Sunday morning at Southland Christian, a church of over 10,000 each weekend. What a service!
* Ate lunch at Ramses before beginning the paint project. (By the way, I put on three and a half gallons in three and a half hours. I was motoring.)
* Grilled out and worked on some projects for the evening.
* Got up about 7 on Monday morning, packed and loaded the suitcases again for the “possible” trip home.
* Before the decision, we all gathered at the doctor’s office for the weekly ultra sound to check the fluid levels again. The great news was that they were back up to over 8 and she was to continue doing what she had been doing and return again on Monday for her weekly check.
* So we said our goodbyes, filled up with gas and headed out of town for Richmond at about 11 AM, arriving home between 7 and 8 PM.

WOW! All that in less than a week. In fact, it was actually a little less than six days. God is good and we are tired and now in recovery ourselves.

overwhelmed with wonder

I just stumbled on this verse a couple weeks ago in my morning quiet time that I don’t recall reading before. I’m sure I have, because on a couple other occasions over the years I have read through the entire Bible. I never saw it any of the other times but this time it just jumped off the page and I have not been able to get it out of my mind since then. It has excited my mental processes more than any verse I have read in some time. Here it is. It comes from the New Testament book of Mark, chapter nine, verse fifteen.

“As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.”

A couple phrases are packed with color and imagination. The first is where it says they were “overwhelmed with wonder.” What was it about Jesus that His mere presence would overwhelm a group of people with wonder? What was there about His presence and person that brought forth such a response? Was it His countenance, His confidence, His mercy, grace or love, His humility? Whatever it was, it was overwhelming.

A more personal question though, is how long has it been since you were overwhelmed with wonder at the thought or connection with Jesus? Have you ever been? Isn’t this a response that we should frequently experience?

I challenge you to identify ways to be overwhelmed with wonder at the presence of Jesus. Here’s a suggestion. Designate a time each day, or as often as possible, to get alone with your Bible and God. Read from the Gospels and connect with Jesus there and let His presence overwhelm you.

The other phrase is the one that follows “overwhelmed with wonder. The verse continues, “and they ran to meet Him.”

The natural response to being overwhelmed with wonder at the presence of Jesus is running to meet Him. Here’s a question? What in your life might be standing in the way of you being overwhelmed with wonder at the realization of Jesus and running to meet Him?  Isn’t it time to deal with it?

best message ever

That is at least what others have said about the subject I addressed last Sunday. It was the last of three messages in the “Its All Relative Series.” On Sunday I addressed UNCHANGING PRINCIPLES OF PARENTING. Since it was a holiday weekend and many of the NV people were out of town I am sending this email with an easy link to the free online listening of the message. http://www.relaxedchurch.com/wmspage.cfm?parm1=57

I have contacted my married children and strongly emphasized that the message is required listening for them. I would encourage you, not only if you have children, but if you have any relationships at all, to take a few minutes and listen to the recording. You will want to have a pen and paper with you and maybe a few Kleenexes. The principles addressed apply to all relationships. If you would, let me know how the content spoke to you.

Comment or not, please listen and share it with other you think could also benefit as well.

facebook holdout

I have labeled myself as a facebook holdout. I hear others say, “Everyone is on Facebook.” Which makes me question who everyone is? Is everyone on facebook? I know lots of people are. The latest figures exceed 50 million active users. 40 billion pages are viewed daily. 11% of users are over 35 and the fastest growing demographic is the over 30 population. I think that includes me.

On February 4th, 2004 Mark Zuckerberg launched The Facebook, a social network that was at the time exclusively for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 weeks, half of the schools in the Boston area began demanding a Facebook network. Zuckerberg immediately recruited his friends Dustin Moskowitz and Chris Hughes to help build Facebook, and within four months, Facebook added 30 more college networks. Today the social network is valued at $6 billion.

But I’m still not on facebook. I have even filled out the registration page two different times but never activated my account. I’m a holdout.

Here’s where I’m coming from. It comes down to a single issue, from my perspective. How is facebook able to save me time and enhance my ability to do effective ministry? My life is already overfilled with demands and responsibilities. I don’t need something new to take up my time. I need something that will save me time and increase effectiveness.

Meanwhile, I hear people all the time talking about this new social disease called “facebook addiction.” I don’t need another addiction. And I’m not interested in ease-dropping on the personal details of people’s everyday life. When people want me to know about something significant happening in their life they call me or email or text me. They might even do the unheard of and arrive in person. The crucial stuff already gets to me. And I’m not into fads. I don’t do something just because everyone else is doing it.

So I need your help. In fact I would like to begin a dialogue. Share with me how you think it would be a benefit for me to get on facebook when it comes to saving time and enhancing ministry. And I have to caution you. I will respond when I feel it necessary to do so. I would even like to hear from those of you who are not on facebook. Why are you holding out too?

I really do want to get on facebook but the verdict is still out on the time saving and value it can bring to my life. That’s where I need your help. Now, if I had teens I would have been one of the first ones to sign up, but I’m not there either.

So help me on this one.

Oh, I forgot to mention. I’m even reading a book on how to use facebook in ministry. Maybe that will push me over the edge.

Why moms are so special!

Here are some of the comments expressed Sunday about what you appreciate so much in your mom. Moms are special and here are some of the reasons why.

“I mostly appreciate my mom’s unwavering faith in me, even when I don’t believe in myself.”

“She was always there when I came home.”

“Being there when I was young.”

“My mom is very supportive about my education and career goals.”

“She is ALWAYS there for me, loves me no matter what, giving caring.”


“No matter what I can always depend on my mom to be there to support me.”

“Her weirdness…uh, I mean uniqueness.”

“Mom always wanted the best for me.”

“I am thankful for her strong will.”

“I love how patient she is and how she never lets me second guess her love.”

“She made me feel safe–always.”

These are some of the reasons why you said your mom was special to you. I hope you took some time on Mother’s Day to express your gratitude to her.

Here’s an idea, how about letting her know how much you appreciate her and are grateful to her on a regular basis. Go ahead, I bet her heart can take it.