Friday, December 26, 2008

Lights Out // We're Leavin' on a Jet Plane

Erica and I are leaving for Vancouver/Camas, Wa today to visit my family. Hopefully we can's very snowful up there. I don't know when I'll blog next, but it may not be until we get back on January 2nd. We fly back into Cali on the 1st and drive to Santa Rosa for one night. Time for our final Christmas celebration of 2008. Gotta go, my nephews are waiting for us to open their gifts. tags: , , , ,

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Are you an Angel?

Erica took part in a very different kind of Christmas experiment this year. Her part was to come up with an artistic way of expressing the character of the Angel in the nativity story. Angel means "messenger" and thus is a bringer of good news. She asked different kids from the children's ministry to take part. On one side of the cardboard is written who told that person about Jesus and on the other side, who they can in turn tell. It was a powerful moment in the production. The song used is Majesty by Casey Darnell. It's not great video quality, but you get the idea. One of the little boy's signs said that the could tell the kid on the playground who is not nice to him about Jesus. It was pretty cool.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Adventures of Grandma Potter

This is my grandma (and nephews). She is the sweetest lady you'll ever meet.

Here's an exerpt from her Christmas letter that I received in the mail yesterday.

An unusual thing happened to me this year.  I ordered some items from a specialty catalog and didn't receive them, so I called the company. They assured me they were sent on June 15th. I asked what address, and it was NOT my address, so they sent another shipment to me. Meanwhile, I decided to go see WHO got my package, since it was fairly close by. I met another family of Potters who had indeed received my order and sent it back. She invited me in and we talked quite a while. Some similarities were apparent - she married a service man during WWII; she moved to California from New Mexico, etc. She doesn't drive, so is stuck at home and said she had been praying for a friend for 2 years! So I've tried to be that friend, taking her with me to shop for groceries and to one of my Bible classes. She loves to wander through the stores, so I have to plan to have time to spend with her. She never even gets out to grocery shop. Her birthday is March 10th, so she is 1 year and 1 day older than I am. She and her son went back to Albuquerque to the big balloon festival. I would like to see that. She brought me pictures.

Here's my question to you. When was the last time you let God lead you into a friendship that could have an eternal impact? When was the last time you did something out of the ordinary for someone else? There are millions of people looking for a friend to drive them to the store or take them to Bible study. Who are your neighborhood Potters?

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Card on Crack!

I've seen these videos around and I finally got around to creating one after I saw one of my brother's family on his facebook account. Enjoy. And that's an old picture of Coop as a pup.

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Psssst...the funniest part of this is that I can actually dance like that. Don't tell anyone though.

It's my brother's fault!

Last night I was iChattin' it up with my brother and sister, they're in Washington. They told me about a site with gadgets and toys deluxe. It's called Here's the problem, I want everything on the site. This is like Toys R Us for adults, wow. Go ahead, browse it...I dare you. This video is just one of the many wonderful products these guys have to offer. How bored to you have to be to come up with this stuff?

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Monday, December 22, 2008

A Bicycle with an Identity Crisis

Shall I be extremely small or shall I be huge? I'm not sure. I'll be both.

Here's a picture of the guy, just in case you missed it all in the video.

Stuff like this always happens when we're with the @haugens. (@haugenpaul and @haugenjenn)

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Friday, December 19, 2008

You've Got Video Mail

I went to check my account and this was waiting for me. If you've got a tokbox account, you probably had the same thing waiting for you. Sometimes people are just bored. Haha. Thanks Los. The funny thing is that you play it directly from tokbox it has a frosty the snowman template...but it's funnier this way.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Worship Music 2008

These have been in heavy rotation in my iPhone, worship planning and/or iTunes over the past year...

  • Fee, We Shine
  • Casey Darnell, Words in Motion
  • Kristian Stanfill, Hello EP
  • Eddie Kirkland, Orthodoxy
  • Desperation Band, Everyone Overcome
  • Remedy Drive, Daylight is Coming
  • One Republic, Dreaming Out Loud
  • Worth Dying For, Ammunition
Songs (not on the above albums):
  • Brandon Heath, Give Me Your Eyes
  • Chris Quilala, Your Love Never Fails
  • Chris Tomlin, God of this City
  • Coldplay, Viva La Vida
  • Family Force 5, Love Addict
  • The Fray, How to Save a Life
  • Grey Holiday, Glorious
  • Hillsong, Hosanna
  • Robbie Seay Band, Song of Hope (Heaven Come Down)
  • Tim Hughes, God of Justice
Unknown Talent (I may or may not actually have their songs, but like them):
Who am I missing here?

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Smallest Breakdancer in the World

Well that's true it his finger-shoe size anyway.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Weekend Recap // Lmtd. Edition

We went to Santa Rosa, Ca this past weekend for several reasons:
I know what you're thinking, "Why would you consider moving from your home, Clovis/Fresno, Ca to Santa Rosa, Ca and work at NVC?" Well, maybe not everyone of your are thinking that...but certainly a handful. Here's a few answers to that simple question:

NVC is a place with Momentum:
  • Starting Jan. 11, 2009, NVC's Sunday morning services will be combined into one service and be moved into the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts
  • NVC is aligning with the North Point Community Church ministry model
  • Hillside Church of Marin's senior Pastor is retiring in the Spring and is thinking about merging his church with NVC to become a multi-site, video-venue campus
  • Over the past year, a ton of people have been baptized at NVC, well over 100 (I can't remember the specific amount)
NVC would provide elevated Leadership Training and Development:
  • I would work under a pastor that God has used to take a dying church, shut it down and reboot it to see 1000-1200 people a weekend
  • I would also work with John Alan Turner of River Park Community Church, a North Point Strategic Partner, when we was in town
  • I need to develop as a leader because I believe God has huge things in store for my family
NVC needs help:
  • NVC has had the same staff for a long time, but the church has grown exponentially
  • Sonoma County is something like 98% un-churched!
  • Andy is the ONLY full-time staff member
  • They are about to move from an established building to a mobile-church
  • The woman running Children's Ministry is Andy's mom, she needs to strategically retire because that is a tiring job (it just so happens that I'm married to a CM genius)
There are three drawbacks to moving:
  • We'll be far away from both of our families
  • We'll be far away from our best friends (Paul and Jenn)
  • We'll be in the poorhouse, for awhile
What do you think about all of this?

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

An Update // Our Life Journey

As most of you know I no longer work for New Harvest Church. The process has been stressful, painful, good and terrible...all at the same time. I've had tremendous support from co-workers, former bosses, my lovely wife, family, friends, students, volunteers, twitter-friends, blog-friends, facebook-friends, and lots more. Tomorrow, Erica and I will be driving up to Santa Rosa, Ca to investigate a new possibility up there. Please pray for us. You'll be seeing lots of exciting things in the next few years...keep reading and let me know who you are, if you haven't already chimed in on a post.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The High Drama of Decision Making // Bill Hybels

I attended this year's Willow Creek Leadership Summit. If you're a regular reader, you may remember. I am revisiting what Bill Hybels said about decision making, becuase I've got a lot of decisions to make right now. I just came across a short summary from this blog. Here's the key points:

Traditionally Christian leaders ask:
1.    Does the Bible say anything about this?
2.    What do my leaders or advisors say?
3.    Pain, Gain, and Experience. Chronicle your decision making process so you can come back and learn from it.
4.    Is the Spirit prompting me?

Some helpful hints:
  • Sometimes you should make a trial decision and then walk around with it and see if brings life and peace.
  • Leaders can’t be decision adverse.
  • They also have to be able to take responsibility for it. If a decision turns out well thank God. If it doesn’t don’t blame others, take responsibility.
  • Leaders can distill and test their learning’s into short mantras or axioms that can be easily distilled throughout the organization.
  • Do you reflect often enough that you are operating out of the leadership axioms you have created from your learning?
Here are some of Hybels Axioms:
  • Vision leaks
  • Get the right people around the table
  • Facts are your friend – Reveal study
  • When something feels funky – engage
  • Leaders call fouls (on others or ourselves).

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Psalm 138 Tidbits

When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stouthearted. - Psalm 138:3

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever- do not abandon the works of your hands. - Psalm 138:8

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

This Caught My Eye

A couple months back I went to the Fresno State University campus with some students that have been involved in Re:action, a college ministry I launched at New Harvest Church. While walking around campus this locker (by the theater department) caught my eye. What kind of person do you think created this art on their locker?

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Friday, December 05, 2008

The Cousins // Ben's Wedding

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Ben and Sunny's wedding. Ben is my second cousin. His mom is my first cousin. My family tree gets really confusing. But pictured below are SOME of my second cousins. I don't even know everyone's names...sad, I know. There are way too many sides to this tree. See what Jeremy and Amber had to say about the wedding.

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Rising Star // Becca Bishop

You heard it here first. Becca Bishop going pro. That's my prediction. She is the daughter of my old choir teacher, Mrs. Heather Bishop. Check out her stuff for yourself on her music myspace.

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Our God Will Fight For Us - Song

Last time I was in Mexico on a mission trip we studied the story of Nehemiah. Nehemiah encountered incredible obstacles in his journey and one verse always stuck out to me in his story. It's a point in the story when he must choose between his workers fighting against their enemies or continuing to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. He says, "Our God will fight for us." (Nehemiah 4:20b)

This one line has been stuck with me for over a year now. Today I came home and put it in Garage Band and played around with it a little bit. What do you think?

Download Micah Foster - Fight For Us - chorus only rough cut

My Brother and Nephews // "Clone Wars"

This is a video my brother shot with my nephews. They're so funny.

Our Clone Wars from Jason Foster on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Office // Church Spoof

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Pat Callahan for posting this video on your blog. This is amazing.

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Monday, December 01, 2008

Saying Goodbye // New Harvest Church

The past 24 months have been pretty fantastic. I wish I didn't have to leave, but God's got a plan. I just don't know what it is yet. Please pray for the students, parents and volunteers at NHC that I have grown to love. And please pray for Erica and I as we sort through everything and figure out our next move(s). I've had a ton of affirmation from people over the past couple of of days. The worship set in student ministries was amazing yesterday and the service was spectacular. I pray it's even more spectacular this coming Sunday, without me. What happens when I leave will be the measure of my success. Have I replaced myself? Have I set up systems that can withstand transition? We'll see. Here's an email I got this afternoon from a student.

"Hi Micah. I didn't get to talk to you on Sunday but i really wanted to tell you what an impact i feel you've made on this youth group. You have changed us for the better. You've brought me and I'm sure many others into a more intimate walk with Christ. You've also bonded this youth group so close together so we can all go on our journey with God together. I know i would do anything for anyone in this youth group. I wanted to personally thank you for all you've done for us. We're going to miss you Micah.You've changed our lives. I can only hope that our future youth paster can be half the one you were. Thank you."

Yesterday was a tear-filled day. I'll write more later, but I just wanted to give you an update on what's going on. My blog has been relatively quiet the past couple of weeks. It's been a difficult exit-process for me, so I haven't said much on here and I didn't want to announce anything before we talked to the students.

Have questions? Want to know what happened? Email me.

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Too Late for Biggie Fries // YouTube Video

Casey Darnell had this video on his blog today. It's awesome.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade // Rick Roll'd

Some of you remember when Google did an April Fool's day joke by playing the Rick Astley music video Never Gonna Give You Up for every youtube video. I believe that was the start of the term "Rick Roll'd" and today every one who watched the parade was Rick Roll'd. Watch the video.

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When you're done, click here to see other people being Rick Roll'd.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I don't have a huge readership here, but I'd like to know who and where you are from. I check my stats and can see where people come from, mostly Cali, Georgia and Washington.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Volunteer Highlight // Chris Hudiburgh

Meet one of our GREAT volunteers…


Chris Hudiburgh


Volunteer Role: Worship Coordinator – Relational Magnet


Environment: Turnpike / Catalyst


Where did you grow up? Southern California (Chino, Ponoma)


Family? One Brother, One Sister (Jordan, Katie)


What’s the last movie you saw? Reign of Fire


What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? Rainbow Sherbert


What was the first concert you went to? Spice Girls


How and when did you get involved serving in Family Life? Micah Foster met with me and got me hooked up in June 2008.


What’s your favorite thing about serving in Family Life?

Working with the kids


Could you tell us about one moment when you were serving you’ll always remember? I’ll always remember leading my grandmother to Christ.


What’s your favorite message or series from “big church”?

Not sure yet. I like them all.


What’s your favorite Bible verse or Bible story?

The Prodigal Son and Samson


What’s something interesting about yourself that most people don’t know?

I love to play chess.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

SM WINS from 11/16

Ok, lots to write today, it's been a great week:
  • The worship band introduced a new song called "Glory to God" and it was received really well! Even as the band was practicing pre-service Blake Stephens, a 7th grade student, was singing along with the band. It's just that kind of song that declares what your soul has been trying to scream.
  • A couple of weeks ago a two-year-old asked an adult volunteer if she could meet the student ministry band. That volunteer took her in and introduced her to the band and all the guys got down on her level and talked with her. That moment meant more to her than these guys will ever know.
  • Kristi Robison, 9th grade girls SGL, emailed me Sunday evening saying the worship response was the best since they've (Kristi and Kent) started serving and they really feel like they are in the right spot!
  • Chris, a student I've mentioned once or twice, played with the worship team. Yet another small step towards Christ for this student!
  • I was in INNERchange, our 5th and 6th grade ministry environment, on Sunday and was able to be the Host. We decided that one or two times a year it would be good for me to pop in and introduce myself in some way so that they are familiar with my face before they move up. I have a blast and got a text from one of the parents later in the day that said the kids had a great time with me.
  • I had the opportunity to speak with visiting family before service. They just stopped by to see what we do for students between services. I think they'll try it out this next week.
  • Carly, a 14-year-old girl, came to our student services for the first time on Sunday. She's been attending our adult worship services since we moved into the plant. According to Kristi Robison, she loved it and will be back next week!
  • I got this email from Erica, our Children's Ministry Director (and my wife), "Also, a win for you. There was a girl (I forget her name) serving in Rosi’s area. She is in high school, and was serving at 10:45am because she didn’t want to go to Catalyst even after we tried to encourage her several times. She hasn’t been showing up to serve, so Rosi called her and she is now going to Catalyst every week. I was pretty excited! Now, maybe she will serve at 9am."
  • Nic Smith has been able to channel his energy into serving as a classroom facilitator during first service for a while. Erica made checklists to help the CF's do their job more effectively and Nic did awesome this past week!
  • I met a new adult in our church named Tim. Tim has worked with teens in Southern California for a number of years and wants to help out in our student ministries department. He sat in on our service on Sunday and loved it. We're meeting to follow up when he gets back into town next week.
  • Most of our volunteers met together pre-service on Sunday and had a time of prayer was encouraging to see the bond of our leaders deepening because of the Spirit leading us into more prayer.
  • This past week, some of your may be aware that a student at Buchanan died, I got a text during the week asking if we were going to talk about it on Sunday. I held a time of prayer with some students from Buchanan after service on Sunday and it really felt like they were coming together on the issue. They want to be the hands and feet of Jesus on their campuses.
  • Ryan Smith, 10th grade SGL and communicator, spoke to our high school students on Sunday and asked them to respond by laying something down at the foot of the cross. He brought the cross down in front and had Kai DiMino play some acoustic guitar while students wrote their sins, fears, frustrations, struggle, or whatever they need to give up and they brought those things forward. I have 41 little pieces of paper with all kinds of stuff written on them. For many of these students, this is the big step of faith. We will continue to pray over these requests.
  • Greg Zuffelato, Family Life Director, spoke to our Jr. High school students on Sunday about how God is the God who heals. He interviewed Rosi Borsch, our pre-school coordinator, about her struggle and healing from Leukemia. You could tell that her story and answering their questions made a real impact on their lives.
  • Dawn Moats, 7th grade girls SGL, told me last week that she was trying to help her girls understand how big of a deal it is that Jesus would actually sacrifice himself for us. She asked them if they have pets and if they'd be willing to let their pets be beaten and slaughtered through a long drawn-out death. Some of them understand how big of a deal this really is for the first time through this little analogy. This week one of her girls came up to her and told her that her dog had been attacked by another dog and they found it this past week. She said, "I get it." Through a really tough and hard situation that girl understands on a personal level, in a very small way, what a big deal it is for Christ to sacrifice himself in that way for us.
  • We reminded the students about the discipline and act of worship called tithing on Sunday and several of them gave for the first time. One of these students gave even though his family is going through a really difficult time financially. That's awesome!
  • Kabi Bane, one of our students, has received tons of pray from both volunteers and students over the past few weeks. I texted our high schoolers asking them to pray for her last week before she went into surgery and many of them texted me back and said they would. Kabi is coming home today.
  • Gail Dunn was at our adult services on Sunday! Some of the doctors didn't know if she would make it...and she's home! Praise God! I know our church family surrounded her in prayer!
  • ALL of our Thanksgiving boxes (200) sold on Sunday! This Sunday they will be delivered to families connected to the Patty Project.
  • In 2 weeks, Nov. 30th, student ministries is inviting Parents to join our service @ 10:45am. The focus of the morning is to promote OPEN communication between parents and teens.
  • Sunday night Erica and I were able to connect with ministry leaders from Clovis Hills Community Church, New Covenant Community Church and River Valley Church. It was a great time...I love sharing and hearing their ideas.
  • What WINS are you experiencing?

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Prosperity Gospel // A Video You Don't Want to Miss

Wow. This is so funny and believe it or not, people really do say these kinds of things.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Worship Response

Yesterday our worship response was really cool in Student Ministries. Students actually surrendering to Jesus is a great thing to see. We introduced the not yet released Fee song, Glory to God and it was a huge hit.

Today as I was reading through the Christmas story preparing for our two-week Christmas series I came across this really cool passage:

"Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.'" - Luke 2:13-14 (NIV)

Even the heavenly host's rejoice that God favors mankind. Wow. Glory to God Forever!

Tweet-up Sunday

Today I've been around more tweets than ever. This morning I started with my own neck of the woods, New Harvest Church:
@newharvest, @ericafoster, @gregzuff, @emilysilveira, @kaidimino, and @kellycha26 (we missed @stacyws and @redjester91)

Then we went to the Clovis Hills worship night and worshiped along with:
@ericafoster, @haugenpaul, @haugenjenn, @thilanirodrigo, @dhuff4, and @emilysilveira (we missed @nhuff and @aronstrong)

Then we went to Sarah Mundy's 25th birthday dinner at Red Robin with:
@ericafoster, @haugenpaul, @haugenjenn, @sarahmundy, @lukemundy, @chadlonetree, @liegedavis, @timbalint and @trhanson

Wow. That's a total of 16 different Tweets + me.

I love the Fresno/Clovis Twitter-network that has formed. I would have never hung out with these people if it weren't for Twitter. I guess that's why they call it "Social Networking."

I met four of these people for the first time today! And I felt like I already knew them. Strange, I know.

Who's in your extended network? Why haven't you set up a tweet-up?

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Friday, November 14, 2008

My Screaming Wife // 2

A couple of weeks ago I told you about how Erica woke up screaming. Well, it didn't stop there and I forgot to inform you about the follow-up-scream.

A few days later we were coming home after dark. Erica was driving and she pulled up close to the garage door and pressed the open button. Our garage door makes some strange noises and she was sort of making fun of it. She said, "It sounds like one of those hitchcock movies." While saying this she was making the classic knife motion towards me. While she was making this killer motion I saw an old man come around the corner of the building, he was probably only 10 feet away. I said, "Can you please just pull in." And I guess my eyes looked a little alarmed because she turned around to see an old man staring at her through her window.

She screamed and scared the poor old man. With our hearts racing we pulled into the garage and the old man walked in and apologized profously for having scared us. He said, "I'm sorry I'm just looking for my wife. She's been gone a long time and I'm worried about her." Right after he said that, his wife pulled up and she looked at him like, "What are you doing bothering those nice young people."

When was the last time you had a good scream?

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Majesty by Casey Darnell

So for the past week or so Erica has been telling me about this Christmas song that she heard on Casey Darnell's blog. He wrote it last year and there's an audio recording on his blog, but I like videos better. Take a look-see, and a listen-hear.

I personally love Christmas songs that don't sound like traditional Christmas songs. What do you think about Christmas music?

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

the green room:: healthy people.

I stole this quote from a blog I read and thought it was very interesting. Are you a healthy person?

"someone i respect shared yesterday real quickly about their definition of a healthy person...
1) healthy people believe they are profoundly significant.
2) healthy people are self aware and authentic.
3) healthy people have the capacity for empathy and love.which one best represents you? which one is hardest to achieve?"
the green room:: healthy people.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

WINS from 11/9

Here are some WINS from Student Ministries,
  • Sunday, Cole Hoover, a 7th grader signed up to work in Student Impact as a Classroom Facilitator. Very Cool!
  • I was also informed that a student that had been serving in SI, but had never attended a student service before, just stopped serving. She just didn't come back from one Sunday to the next. When her area coordinator checked-in on her to see what had happened, she said that she had been attending our student services for the past few weeks and decided to go to that instead. Hopefully she'll start serving at 9am now!
  • Last Friday/Sat our 8th grade girls were very busy. They went out to eat Teppen-Yaki together (a small group outing) and they served food at the Two-Cities Marathon expo on Saturday. It's awesome to see our students taking an active interest in building relationships with one another and serving our community. (Picture Below)
  • I also stumbled across this little video/slide-show one of our students made. Click here.
  • Chris Hudiburgh, our volunteer Worship Coordinator/Band Leader, was able to attend the Orange Tour Conference in Simi Valley, along with some of our Family Life staff. He came back very fired up and I can't wait to debrief with the entire team this coming Monday.
  • Saturday night, 25 high school students went to Fresno Indoor Soccer and played some good ol' Dodgeball! I'm still sore, but it was a blast.
  • Sunday after service Ryan Smith told me that one of his students opened up to him and let him in on some things he's been struggling with. This is a huge win because that student felt comfortable and loved enough to let Ryan in on his world. Students don't do that with a lot of investment. Glad to see students being real.
  • Before our student service on Sunday most of our small group leaders gathered to pray over the morning and Ken Horton (small group leader / communicator) who was speaking to our high school students. He hasn't been feeling well and needed some support. It was a great unifying moment for us.
  • 5 of us also met post-service to talk and pray for over an hour. It was also a great time for us to just sit and celebrate some things together as well as pray for our students.
  • Some great things happening...and there's more right on the horizon. What are your WINS?  

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Monday, November 10, 2008

What if Starbucks Marketed like a Church?

I've seen this video a few times in the past couple of weeks...but for some reason it hits me today as hillarious. I love the "Tip Jar" and bumper stickers...soooo funny. If we can't make fun of ourselves, we're in trouble.

Check out the video creator's blog.

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Fee Says Hello

A couple of weeks ago, you may remember reading about a great concert (worship experience) I had in Bakersfield.  Or maybe you remember the video of a new Fee song called Glory to God. Well, I showed this video to Catalyst and Turnpike the following Sunday. Pretty cool eh?

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

5 Parenting Skills

Yesterday I had the pleasure of sitting in on an Orange Leaders Lunch ( at Merlo Park Presbyterian Church in the Bay Area hosted by Sue Miller (formerly of Willow Creek). The main theme of the lunch was brainstorming how to equip parents to take the spiritual reigns in a student's life. We were given 5 parenting tips that will help families and parents. I'm keeping these for when I have kids! They are taken from Deuteronomy 6:4-9 which reads:

"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."

Here are the 5 Parenting Skills that Carey Nieuwhof from Connexus Community Church is writing a book about.

1. Imagine the End
This can be summarized by "keeping your eyes on the prize." If you start with the end in mind and you keep your
eyes pointed that way you can weather storms and build the necessary steps now to
accomplish that goal.

2. Make It Personal
Put your own spiritual growth before you kids. If you don't have a vibrant relationship with Christ, how can you show it to your kids?

3. Create a Rhythm
Make a quantity of quality time. Find those small moments through the day to encourage, pray with, pray for, give scripture to, and be the loving parent you want to be with your kids.

4. Fight For the Heart
Sometimes parents (and teachers, and small group leaders, and church leaders, and and and) want to be "right" on the rules, but we forget to keep our cool. We forget that over-reacting actually pushes them away. Discipline with a reminder that you still love them is important. Always remind them that you love them.

5. Multiply Strategic Influences
Ever heard of the 5-to-1 ratio. The theory is that every kid needs at least 5 adults who care about them and who are willing to share biblical truth and life principles with them. If your kid listens to and loves his best friend's dad, ask that dad to share some biblical truths and life principles with him.

I'll be watching for that book!

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Glory to God - Fee Band

Sorry for my shakeycam.  This is from Wednesday's concert.

Embedded Video

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Into the Throne Room

Last night @ericafoster, @haugenpaul, @haugenjenn and myself went straight from work to Bakersfield, Ca. I know what you're thinking, "Why? Besides the occasional mention of Bakersfield in overly-dramatic TV shows like Brothers and Sisters, why would anyone have any interest in that place?" Before you judge, read ahead.

We went to the Phil Wickham & Fee Tour featuring Merideth Andrews at The Bridge Bible Church. We got to the concert right after Merideth Andrews had finished her set, but judging by her duet of Happy Day (Kim Walker style, minus the signature giggle) with Fee...she's got skills.

Fee's set led me right into the thrown room. His Louie Giglio-esque interjections and prayers were exactly why I needed to hear. I love this line from his song We Shine:

    We're Going into all the world
    Carrying the light of Jesus
    We shine, We shine
    In the Darkest Place We shine

Then he taught the crowd a new song. A song that had come to him in the middle of a concert and he has spontaneously sung. The four of us were the only ones in the place who already knew it, because we had heard Los sing it in a video on his blog. When we asked him about it, he said it was a new song from Fee and that it'd be out on his next CD. The song's lyrics are simple, yet powerful and the melody is catchy (which is a key component of a great worship song). The lyrics are:

    Give Glory to God
    Glory to God
    Glory to God

    Take my life and let it be
    All for You and for Your glory
    Take my life and let it be

After the concert I went up to him and asked him when we can get a copy of it, he said he'd put the chord charts up on his website in the next week. I can't wait to do this song in Student Ministries! Fee also said a hello to Turnpike and Catalyst on my flip camera...I'll be showing it on Sunday!

The tickets were only $12/person, but I would have paid $50 or more because you can't put a price on soul-filling worship! Let me put it in perspective. I don't cry much, but I had tears streaming down my face during that set, not because an awesome band was playing...but because an awesome God was filling the room.

I'll be putting up some video highlights later, but for now you'll have to settle with some pictures. (Oh yeah and Phil Wickham was great too.)

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What a typical Sunday in Student Ministries looks like

Here are some pictures of last Sunday morning (10/26) in our student ministry environment:
Photog credit goes to Kelly Chandler, a Re:actionary.

WINS from 10/26

Here are some WINS we experienced this past week:
  • Last Saturday we had our first SG (small group) Challenge. We had 30-something students here playing human foosball, dodgeball, taking a silly cultural quiz and hanging out. It was a lot of fun for those involved. We'll be praying for our next one to be even better! (Feb 21)
  • On Sunday we did a combined service for Turnpike and Catalyst. That means after our worship time was over I spoke to both crowds. It was a great and energetic Sunday. Lots of students and a message that asks the question "are you all in for Christ?" Everything just came together to provide a high impact service. It's great to break the pattern every once in a while and just give students something they don't expect. We camped on the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Obnego...they were ALL IN. Then we talked about how Christ went ALL IN for us and how he wants us to be ALL IN for him. During the last song, after I spoke, we had students come up and get a poker chip from me, which represented being ALL IN.
  • After service on Sunday afternoon I recieved txt messages and myspace messages saying, "I'm ALL IN" and "I've been falling away a lot, but I want to be ALL IN" and the like.
  • I get pumped when people ask me about the worship music. Dawn Moats emailed me this week and asked for the recording artist of one of the songs we did. I love it!
  • Kelly Chandler, a freshman at City College, took some really cool pictures of the service on Sunday. I'll attach some of them.
  • She is also going to speak to our Jr High students in three weeks! This will be her debut as a speaker and we're so happy to finally have a female voice!
  • David and Veronica Mendez, parents of one of our students, were baptized on Sunday! Julian, their son, gave his life to Christ about a month ago!
  • I had some students txt me pre-sunday and tell me they weren't going to be there this week, but they'll be here this next week! Do you know why this is cool? They've only come twice so far! This is in large part due to our welcome team, small group leader and Debora Keeney - she calls all of our visitors! Thank you guys!
  • We had 4 registered visitors on Sunday! I txted them yesterday to say thanks for coming by and I hope we'll see you again and one of them (Jimmy) said, "Thanks man. It was good to meet you too. I really wish I came way earlier. You taught me a lot with just the short time there. I'll see you Sunday." YES!!!!!!!
  • Re:action, our college-age ministry, has now launched 2 different small groups. One meets on Sundays at my home and the other meets at the church building on Monday nights. I visited our Monday night group this past week to see how they were doing and I was greatly encouraged to see their openness and love for each other. They're learning a lot, going through Romans!
Here are some wins in response from Alicia Negri to last weeks' email:
  • 10,11,& 12th grade girls I had yesterday are really excited for a community project.  They came up with great ideas!!   My small group girls may end doing a project a month!!!
  • I spoke with Melissa Peterson again yesterday, she has attended 2 Sundays in a row. Ya.
  • I have to agree it was such a blessing to see Kyle Barker return!! 
  • The Marita girls from Clovis west returned yesterday.  They participated in sm group time.  One is a senior and one is a sophomore.  Great Family!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

My Screaming Wife

Last night Erica and I went to dinner with our friends Paul, Jenn, Luke and Sarah. After dinner we decided to head back to Paul and Jenn's apartment to watch a movie. The guys went to blockbuster and came back with The Happening. I like M. Night Shyamalan's movies. They are strangely void of human emotion right up until a really emotional part. He understands the concept of scarcity. Anyways, the movie was creepy and I know if we weren't in a room ful of people, we wouldn't have watched it.

So we get in the car to go home (11:30pm) and my wife starts saying "We have to get Cooper in the house before it blows up!" over and over again. You see in the movie one of the signs of "The Happening" is that people stop making sense when they talk. So I said, "You don't want to start that game with me." You know the game I'm talking about...the kind where you keep trying to freak each other out because you just watched a freaky movie. So I'm being very good until she walks into the hallway by herself...I start to close our bedroom door and she freaks out before I actually close it. I did this a couple of times, it was funny.

We watch TV for a while to get our minds on normal stuff and then fall asleep. Success, we're resting right? Wrong! At 3:46:57am I am sound asleep. I am deep in sleep. I'm probably dreaming. I'm peaceful. At 3:47am I awaken to Erica escalating her voice from a quiet protest of "Oh my Gosh," to yelling the same phrase, to the loudest scream (not exaggerating) I've ever heard from her! I didn't know she had it in her to be that loud. Imagine what I think is happening. (see my tweet about it here)

Here are some thoughts running through my mind: "There's someone in this room." "There's a killer on the loose." "There's a creepy old lady with a doll in here." "There's something HAPPENING!"

So what did I do? I did what any loving and FREAKED out husband with adrenaline pumping their his veins would do. I started yelling "Erica! Erica! Erica! Erica!" at the top of my lungs. (I'm pretty sure our neighbors think we're crazy.) I jump off the bed and for some reason I knew that if I just could hold her, everything would be fine. As I'm yelling, I'm trying to pull her in for a hug and she's flailing her arms and turning around in a circle doing a sort of dance. The only way I know how to describe this dance is to say it was to the sounds of "I'm so excited," yet you should replace the word excited with insanely-scared.

The problem with trying to pull my wife in for a hug while she's in this state is that I have skin and she has fingernails. Not long or big, just normal nails. But my finger gets cut in the process by one her fingernails. But I successfully pull her in for an embrace to calms her and allows her to almost laugh, after a few minutes. To add the scene, imagine having a small dog that sleeps in your bedroom. He barks at anything that moves. Imagine his response.

So what did freak her out so much? What was the big deal? She saw a huge spider on top of our bed. That's very strange because there weren't any spiders in the movie.

So we turned on the TV for like an hour and watched a dog show, CNN and random stuff. We were awake for at least another hour after this episode. What's the lesson here? Don't let Erica watch movies with a hint of horror if you want to sleep at night.

Do you have a post-movie dream/hallucination story? Do share.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

WINS from 10/19

Here are some WINS from 10/19
Read 1 Cron. 16:8-12 and you'll know why we put these wins out every week!
  • Yesterday we had 44 Jr. High and 38 High School for a total of 82 students in CatlyPike yesterday...hahaha, I think that's a funny name
  • Mario Torres might be our new 8th grade boys small group leader. This would be HUGE!
  • Anita and Barbara, 8th grade girl leaders, are planning an outing to Sakura Chaya and a service project! This is what I like to see!
  • An 8th Grader, Robert Acevedo, gave his life to Christ on 10/12! Thank you Christian Hunt for leading him to Christ and following up with him during the week!!!!!!!
  • Students are starting to get the hang of actually moving in closer together away from the entrance and towards the stage. That helps a lot!
  • Despite our check-in computer problems yesterday we were able to capture two new students and 6 returning visitors. I believe this is largely due to the follow-up work Deborah Keeney has been providing with visitors! You are so awesome!
  • I saw Kyle Barker, a senior that's been gone for a few months, two Sundays in a row! I like these returner stories!
  • Rusty Karraker was greeting students and making them feel welcome! With his personality in that kind of can't get much better (though Josh Phanco gives him a run for his money)
  • I've had one Turnpike SGL contact me today saying that the discussion in their small group was great! This is a huge deal! The SG discussion is perhaps the most beneficial part of Sunday be
  • 10 people are scheduled for baptism this next Sunday! There are several others that are pending (Tanner Melton, 7th grade boy, is one of those pending people). IF YOU HAVEN'T BEEN BAPTIZED, NOW WOULD BE A GREAT TIME TO START THINKING ABOUT IT. There is a baptism class on this Wednesday night for adults. Just call the office to set RSVP. (797.7000)
  • Kelly Chandler, college student, is going to be taking some photographs for us the next couple of weeks. She's taking a class and we need more pictures! It's a WIN/WIN
  • On Saturday night NHC hosted an event called MarriedLife Live. It was AWESOME! If you are married and were unable to attend, the next one is Feb. 14. I know what you're thinking...but it really would be a GREAT valentine's date! There were 300 + people there and at least 80 of them are not Christians. Wow! I've heard several really cool stories of connections and God moving through that event. Can't wait for the next one!
  • The new church website is almost online! Want a preview? Click here.
  • What are you WINS? Seriously, share.
WINS I got last week via email:
From Alicia Negri
  • The cousins that came to church yesterday liked it!!! That is a HUGH win. They don't go to church. The twins Alec & Arianna are in 7th gr at computech. Alec told me he really liked it and wants to come back. They all remembered the lesson & understood it! I will share more about this latter.
  • A 9th grade girl Melissa showed up again. I called her this weekend and ran in to her in the cafe. I pretty much kidnapped her to get her to come to catalyst. LOL. She seemed to enjoy it.
  • Cole hoover came to turnpike. Ya!
  • Jaycee is attending and sharing!!
From Barbara Hamel
  • I took role when we split the eighth grade girls, I had seven (in Group #2) two were visitors who said they would return next week.  Yeah!  We spoke of our Small Group Challenge and they seemed razzed about it.  Then when we talk about a community project they brainstormed a million ideas but settled on visits to retirement homes with emphasis on those who don't receive company.  Even though I explained the tasked may be pre-assigned, they were incredibly excited!

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