Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hear's to a Good 2009!

On behalf of Whipple Creek Church, I just want to thank you for allowing us to be a part of your Advent Season this year. We hope you know and have received the "Ultimate Gift" this year, the Gift that God himself gave us. Advent was meant to change the world. I believe it has and it still can. I hope you worshipped more this Christmas season. I hope you spent less and gave more and loved all.

The story of Christ's birth is a story of promise, hope, and a revolutionary love. We believe that with our whole heart at Whipple Creek. My prayer is that you would continue to explore that promise, that hope and that revolutionary love that God has for each of us. If you are in the Vancouver, WA (or you can do it via podcast & vodcast) come journey with us as we discover more what it is to be a revolutionary church on a journey and quest to change the world.

God Bless you and yours this new year,

Brett Aljets
Lead Pastor
Whipple Creek Church

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Should Be Different

Christmas was meant to change the world.
It still can.
Worship more.
Spend less.
Give more.
Love all.

We're helping people to understand how to give better, that we should give like we've been given to from our Heavenly Father, so that it is more relational & purposeful.

There is a great missionary story of young missionary teacher that is teaching her class about how in her culture they give gifts. A week later the little boy brings back a sea shell. She understands that his village, his home is miles from the ocean, it’s miles from the beach.He would have traveled quite a distance to get this shell and bring it to her.

She looks at it, she loves but before she could even catch herself she says “you shouldn’t have done this. You shouldn’t have gone so far to get me this shell. It’s beautiful but you shouldn’t have gone so far.”

And the little boy, without thinking, looks back and says, “but the long walk was a part of my gift.”

Our giving should reflect the walk as well. A gift should change the relationship between the giver and the reciever--and that takes work. There are still some days left before Christmas, what is the long walk you need to take in order to give differently this Christmas? It will be worth it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Does God Still Heal?

This Sunday is our last Question we'll be answering, at least this year, in the "Behind Closed Door" series. The questions is "Does God Still Heal Today?" Christian Jung will be bringing us this great message. When we think of "healing" we often think of a preacher type slapping someone on the forehead or blowing on someone and then they fall down and are healed. We want you to shift that picture to a picture of a Holy God who cares about you and and can heal you. And by healing I don't just mean physical, God is interested in our emotional and spiritual healing as well. This is going to be an awesome Sunday! Then, on Sunday night @ 6:00 p.m., we are going to have a time of worship and prayer where people will be available to prayer with you, for you and over you. I promise, it won't be weird. We really don't know what is going to happen that night, but we believe God wants to work in your life and do a thing in and through you life.

If you are unsure whether or not you want to come to that time, at least come Sunday morning to hear what Christian has to say, then make that decision. God is at work among us, exciting times ahead.

I received the following email from Ed Young ministries this week and thought it rather timely, so I am posting it here for you to read as well. I hope and pray to see you Sunday. Remember, when we pray and ask God for something, expect something to happen!


Daily E-votional from Ed Young Ministries
November 17, 2008

Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.

James 5:14

When one of us is sick, the first thing we normally do is call a doctor or physician. And as an afterthought, we may ask a few people to pray for us.

God has blessed us with modern medicine, and many times he uses these earthly methods rather than miraculous healing. At the same time, why is God sometimes our last call instead of our first?

During a time of illness, one of the most important things we can do is pray. That's true when it's us who are sick. And it's true when we know others who are sick. This is where intercessory prayer can be used by God in an extraordinary way.

When you pray for someone who is sick, you are telling the Great Physician that you believe he can heal them. And while we don't know exactly how he'll answer, we can have faith in knowing that he is in control.

Take some time today to pray for someone you know who is experiencing health issues, physical difficulties or even a spiritual battle. And have faith that God, in his sovereignty, will provide the best answer.

Ed & Lisa Young
A Prayer for Today

Dear Father, Please bring people to mind who are struggling with their health. And help me to pray for them. I trust you and have faith that you are able to work in miraculous ways. But I also know your ultimate purpose and plan will prevail. In your Son Jesus Christ's name I pray, Amen.

Ed Young Ministries
P.O. Box 619005
Dallas, TX 75261-9005

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

This Weekend & Isaiah 35


I believe we are standing at an incredible time in history. I have been overwhelmed this weekend by God's love and grace and Jesus' sacrifice for us. I think I am being to see (not always understand) the amazing gift of freedom Christ gave us. God moved powerfully this weekend. I know paradigms were shifted and people were set free. As I was reading this morning, I read Isaiah 35. Man, this pumps me up. I think it is a word for each of us, Whipple Creek Church, and God's Children. I don't know what you've all been through or what "beast" are on your roads but the good news is, God Wins! God Loves! God Saves! God Knows! God Cares. Shall I go on? Here read it for yourself. Spend time pressing in on this amazing passage of Scripture. Spend time "losing" yourself in God's extravagant love for each of us. Enjoy!

God Will Comfort His People
1 The desert and dry land will become happy;the desert will be glad and will produce flowers.Like a flower,

2 it will have many blooms. It will show its happiness, as if it were shouting with joy.
It will be beautiful like the forest of Lebanon,
as beautiful as the hill of Carmel and the Plain of Sharon.
Everyone will see the glory of the Lord
and the splendor of our God.

3 Make the weak hands strong
and the weak knees steady.

4 Say to people who are frightened,
“Be strong. Don’t be afraid.
Look, your God will come,
and he will punish your enemies.
He will make them pay for the wrongs they did,
but he will save you.”

5 Then the blind people will see again,
and the deaf will hear.

6 Crippled people will jump like deer,
and those who can’t talk now will shout with joy.
Water will flow in the desert,
and streams will flow in the dry land.

7 The burning desert will have pools of water,
and the dry ground will have springs.
Where wild dogs once lived,
grass and water plants will grow.

8 A road will be there;
this highway will be called “The Road to Being Holy.”
Evil people will not be allowed to walk on that road;
only good people will walk on it.
No fools will go on it.

9 No lions will be there,
nor will dangerous animals be on that road.
They will not be found there.
That road will be for the people God saves; 10 the people the Lord has freed will return there.They will enter Jerusalem with joy,and their happiness will last forever.Their gladness and joy will fill them completely,and sorrow and sadness will go far away.r

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Call and Response--It's Our Call

A non-profit movie that was filmed, produced and released without the big hollywood hype and backing, is making a big showing. It is a documentary that talks about something we don't think could happen in the good ol' USA, but it does. Check out the clip here, go to the movie (it's currently playing in Porland) and then join Whipple Creek this Advent Season as we bring Christmas back to what it was meant to be--the light and hope of the world. Our focus during the Advent Conspiracy is going to be releasing girls from the sex trade in various countries. I will post more about it later. We are really excited to see what God is going to do.

Also, join us this Sunday starting at 8:30 am until 9:45 am for an all you can eat omelet feed. Following breakfast, we will worship and I will be probably giving one of the most controverial messages I have ever given--"is it okay for Christians to drink alcohol?" You are going to have to come and here this one. It's going to be a fun one.

Love you guys, still celebrating the 6 dedications and re-redications from last Sunday. That was awesome! I also have some exciting news to share about how God is fulfilling a long time dream I've had for our church! Whoo Hooo! Stoked for Sunday!


Friday, October 10, 2008

Where We've Been-Where We're Going!

I think it's time for good ol' old testament remembering. I was always struck by how God always had altars built to remember what he had done for His children. They would stop, worship and erect an altar of stone. I think as a church, we should do the same thing. We need to remember where we've come from, because it gives us a direction of where we are going.

We were recently asked "What has God been up to a Whipple Creek since last year?" At our staff retreat last weekend, we had a time to remember and we jotted those things down in bullet point format. This list is not to impress or say, "look how cool we are!" or even, "hey, look what God is doing in our church." but it's to remember how God has been faithful to us in the past and how we can trust that He will be faithful in the future. I hope you enjoy reading through "the list." Each one of the bullet points represents a story of a changed life (or lives in some cases.) As you read, remember God's faithfulness in your own life, your own ministry and your own church (if Whipple isn't your church.)

Oh yea, for those of you in Vancouver, we kick off our new series this Sunday, "Behind Closed Doors." We asked you what questions you had about the Christian life and we went to the Bible for answers. This Sunday is "End of Days" or Are we living in the end times? I look forward to it!

In His Grip


At Whipple Creek Church we aim to make it hard to get to hell from Vancouver, Washington. We measure success by changed lives. Here is evidence of changed lives from this past year:

• Our prayer ministry has been developed. We began a weekly prayer meeting, developed a prayer team that is available on Sundays and throughout the week and have gone on prayer walks throughout the neighborhood.
• Our worship ministry has developed. We have gone through a transition in our worship ministry with a new worship pastor coming in and developing new leadership as he and his family our transitioning to the foreign mission field. We now have four worship leaders and a few different teams in rotations. The sense of the Holy Spirit’s presence during our time of worship on Sunday mornings is very evident.
• Our skate church ministry has seen 51 conversions since January. A new skate church pastor is transitioning into leadership. We are developing leaders from among our sponsored skaters. We have taken skaters on trips to California and other skate parks, doing outreach.
• Our youth ministry has gone through transition this year as a new youth pastor has come on board. They are developing a phenomenal leadership and seeing new youth come.
• We have had 35 baptisms.
• We have invested a lot of time and resources in community outreach. We had a Luau and campout and a movie night on our property in the back. We gave over 30 backpacks with school supplies to a local elementary school to be given to children from low-income homes. We served hot dogs to public service employees downtown. We made a float and were in a parade in our local community.
• We launched our first Vacation Bible School in our community where 60 to 80 children came everyday, 70% of which were not children from our church, 7 of which gave their lives to Christ. We had 70 volunteers come out to help.
• We started a coffee house on Sunday nights where local Christian artists perform to create an environment where people in the community can have coffee and connect with others.
• We have hosted Christian hard rock shows where 200 young people who may never darken the doors of a traditional church have come to hear about Jesus.
• We built a recording studio upstairs at our church where we record and produce local Christian bands, helping local musicians.
• We have started many small groups for all ages and walks of life where community happens.
• We have had 3 miracles babies, that from a medical perspective, shouldn’t have been born. We dedicated these babies and many more.
• We remodeled our children’s ministry wing and moved into it.
• William P. Young, author of “The Shack,” came and spoke at our church.
• We launched our young adult ministry where as many as 50 young adults come for fellowship and to grow in their walk with Jesus.
• We established Whipple Creek World Missions. We sent people on our 2nd short-term missions trip to Poland. We have sent out full-time missionaries from within our body to Oregon, Kansas, Mexico and Mozambique and are in the process of sending out a family full-time to Poland.
• A former drug-user who is a professional painter volunteered his time & came and painted our church building .
• One young man who gave his life to Christ at skate church brought his parents to church. His father who was raised Mormon and his mother who was raised Catholic turned Buddhist both received Christ on separate Sunday mornings and now serve at Whipple.
• One family who had been away from the church for 15 years and just lost a child to a motorcycle accident saw our church sign that says, “Real Life, Real Hope,” received healing and has been at church ever since. Their autistic son is a part of our greeting team on Sunday mornings.
• We’ve had the biggest Northwest Passage group we’ve ever had. We look forward to the changed lives that result in this leadership development.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Heart--Body---Crema--Good Espresso

Enthusiasm is the expression of a passionate relationship with Christ. Without it our Christian witness is like decaffeinated and bitter espresso. In 2 Corinthians 9, the Apostle Paul gives us a java jolt about the power of enthusiasm to move the heart of God and impact the lives of others.

Paul wrote this piece of inspired mail to the church at Philippi while he was chained to a Roman guard. Paul could have been worried, stressed out, or riddled with fear. His disposition could have been that of criticism, rudeness, or ingratitude; but it wasn’t. Instead, the theme of the book of Philippians is outrageous, contagious enthusiasm and joy.

Philippians is a shot of real espresso for every Christ-follower because joy is mentioned 14 times in 104 verses. How did Paul remain so enthusiastic in the midst of such hardship? He was enthusiastic simply because he chose to be. He was intentional about enthusiasm because of his relationship with Christ and because of the important work Christ had called him to do.

In Philippians 1:12, Paul says, “What has happened to me has really served to advance the Gospel.” The word “advanced” means to progress the Gospel. This is a picture of a group of men who clear the path for an advancing army.

Once the path is cleared, the advancing army is able to proceed with the battle. Paul said that what happened to him occurred so that the Gospel could be preached and more people could come into the family of God. Despite his circumstances, Paul chose to be enthusiastic about his role in furthering the life-changing message of Christ.

Enthusiasm is the caffeine behind our expression. It’s the love of God that we share with a lost and dying world. God does not communicate to us in an arms folded way. He communicates his love enthusiastically to us with his arms wide open. And that supernatural enthusiasm in our lives gives us the power to mark the lives of others.

Enthusiasm also gives us an opportunity, like appreciation does, to move the heart of God. As you give your enthusiasm back to God, as you worship him with enthusiasm, it can change the course of your day and the course of your life. Choose enthusiasm this week, because as Christ-followers we have the ultimate reason to display contagious, outrageous joy and enthusiasm.

This Sunday will be our last in this series. Find out how to know if you're getting the perfect espresso shot and at the same time, if you are giving perfectly "espressoing" yourself.

Love you


One of the Coolest Things I've Seen in Worship

New Creation from FC Post on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Thanks & Aunt Dora

Children do not naturally have an inclination for appreciation. Parents have to constantly remind their kids to say “Thank You” by asking the chiding question: “What do you say?” As the Giver of all good things, our Heavenly Father is asking his children the same question.

Almost twenty centuries ago God inspired the Apostle Paul to predict today’s global attitude: “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come from men who will be lovers of themselves, unthankful, unholy.” (2 Timothy 3:1-2, emphasis added).

Many people today are self-centered, discontent, and ungrateful. But in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 Paul counters the general attitude of the world with what the prevailing attitude of the believer in Christ should be: “…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Christians, more than anyone else should be thankful people. In a world of ingratitude, we should be thankful to God in times that are painful as well as in times that are pleasant, in times of war and peace, in times of famine and plenty, in times of poverty and prosperity.

An attitude of gratitude is an earmark of spiritual maturity. Those who have been gripped by grace spend time daily thanking God in private as well as regularly thanking God and others in the public domain.

Some people find it difficult to show appreciation to God and the people around them. They have a hard time saying, “I enjoyed that” or “I like that” or “Thanks for doing that.” If you are one of those people, maybe its time to do an inventory of your spirit and to ask the Lord to develop an attitude of gratitude in you. With the help of the Holy Spirit, your life can be transformed from the inside out by a two-word phrase that packs a powerful caffeinated punch: “Thank You.”

Looking forward to sharing with you this Sunday about my Aunt Dora.

In His Grip,


Thursday, September 18, 2008

I'm Number One (or so I thought)

Not long ago I was driving getting ready to pull out on a very busy road. I "thought" the way was clear for me to pull out. I was wrong. I pulled right in front of a car that quickly swerved around me to avoid an accident. I gave the "I'm sorry wave and shrug" (what I always thought was the appropriate way to say "I blew, my bad, my fault.) As this guy drives by, he makes a gesture (I think you know which one). My son says, "Dad, that guys who pasted us was telling us we're number one!"

I was truly sorry and wasn't trying to be jerk or anything like that, but I realized, rudeness has become a national pastime. From in-your-face reality T.V. to road rage to obscenity-laden popular music, we have become a culture of the loud, the crude, and the rude. And while many today write off etiquette as passé, God’s definition of true love in 1 Corinthians 13 conveys the timeless nature of good manners.

Love is not rude (1 Corinthians 13:5). In other words, rudeness decaffeinates love. The word “rude” means to display an attitude that is inappropriate. The root of it suggests something that is shapeless or in a rough, rudimentary form. When we are rude, we are out of shape. And as Christians, such an attitude can disfigure ourselves, others and more importantly, the image of God. Rudeness discredits our faith in the eyes of those around us. It turns people off to Christianity, pushes them away from Christ, and gives a false impression of the character of God.

When you find yourself in a situation where someone is being rude to you, don’t return rudeness with more rudeness. (I could have told that guy he was number one back.) Instead reverse rudeness with respect.

Think about what God did for us. We’ve been rude to God by sinning. We’ve failed to comply with his rules, his order for our lives. That’s rude. It flies in the face of God’s love. But does God return rude for rude? No. God returns rudeness with respect, a respect that flows from his great love for us--a love that commissioned his only Son to die in our place to pay the penalty for our sins.

So, the next time someone cuts you off in traffic, is late for an appointment, or talks on a cell phone in a movie theater, respond in the same way God does to our rudeness: with love and respect. Because when you know God’s love and humble yourself before him, that leads to respect. And respect reverses rudeness.

I look forward to being with you and sharing with you all this Sunday. God has really been impressing this lesson on me this week. It's not always fun to have something "impressed" upon you, but through it we grow, right? Don't come alone. Bring someone. We have a great church, with good music and great people. Most people are just an invitation away from coming to church. All we have to do is ask.

See you Sunday,


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's Time to Help.

Watch this, then read:

Hurricane Torn Baton Rouge Needs Our Help!!! from Catalyst on Vimeo.

Want to help? It's time to step up and stop talking about it. It doesn't matter if you are a Christ-follower or not. It's time to do somethig. Seriously.
Time to sacrifice the date night this month.
Time to sacrifice the family dinner night out this month.
Time to sacrifice the twice a day Starbucks habit.

Go over to this site and buy a case of tarps for the victims of Hurricane Gustav.

Let us know in the comments section below if you were able to pull this off.
Power has been out in parts of southern Louisiana weeks; homes are destroyed, and many people in “the bayou” have yet to be reached. They need help! But how?

The answer… Blue Tarps.Blue Tarps.Blue Tarps.Blue Tarps.Blue Tarps.Blue Tarps.

Order your blue tarps at this link and have it shipped here:

Healing Place Church
19202 Highland Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70809

We can all step away from our own comfort to provide it to those who have none.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

What's Up with Twitter?

So, yea, I've been twittering. It has been a great place to connect with other pastors and churches from around the country. At first I thought, "this is weird. What do I care what anybody else is doing." But now my eyes have been opened and I see the possibiities for getting information out, connecting and even praying with others and other churches. Watch this video. Get on twitter. Add me as friend (search for brettaljets). You can also add our church (search for whipplecreek).

Maybe see you in "twitter" world.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hokey Pokey @ Church

This is funny if you know the characters involved. See, you don't want to miss church, you'll never know what is going to happen!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Outside The Walls

If you missed Sunday, wow! Don’t know what to say. It would be like trying to describe a banana to someone who has never seen or eaten one before (try it sometime). Anyway, Christian put together an awesome video. You can check it out here (see below). It will be available for download on Viddler later this week. I think we got the whole service recorded today, so you will be able to see that too.

I’m so proud of you (the Church)! Way to go. I am amazed at the impact our church has in Vancouver and around the world. Many of you are at Whipple because we dare to get out from behind the walls of the church. I’m proud of those of you (45) who came forward and answered the call to “go” into the world whether that is local or global.

I’m excited to see to see what God is going to do over the next year. I’m taking some time over the next few weeks to rest and regenerate. Part of the plan is to get away from the computer and stuff (technology fast).

Church is going to be awesome the next few weeks as you get to here from Andrew Young (youth pastor) on Why Youth, Christian Jung on Why Worship and Russ Manning on Why Volunteer. It’s going to be awesome—you won’t want to miss it.

Again, Wow, thanks for being the Church—may God open the eyes of your heart for you to see the inheritance, the blessing and plans He has for you in the coming year.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What is going on here?

I hear that question more and more, especially from the staff and the leaders of the church. The only thing I can say, "it's a God-thing!" This last series has been off the hook. I really enjoy and get excited talking about our calling (kaleo) and how it connects in with the Church--I get fired up just thinking about it. We've had a great response talking about our call (kaleo) to community, our call to generosity and our call to go (you can listen to these messages through our podcast link or watch them on Viddler.) We are going to conclude the Kaleo series by looking at all the places Whipple has its hands (and feet) in ministry. You'll be seeing & hearing from our various missions. We are excited to have Mark & Naomi Hale, the missionaries from Poland, here with us this Sunday. It's going to be a blast. It was so exciting to see so many hands raised last Sunday that committed to go on a short-term mission trip in the next 12-13 months. (We didn't forget about you raising your hand--you will be commissioned this Sunday!)

Also on Sunday, we had baptisms. What can I say about baptisms--WhooHoo! God absolutely showed up. We knew 5 were going to get baptized but by the time it was all said and done, we baptized 11 people. It was so awesome to not only see the faces, but know the stories behind those being baptized. I was especially moved because my youngest son was baptized. What a special day for the Aljets.

God is moving in the hearts and lives of people. We have so much to share with you this Sunday, don't miss it. Invite someone to hear about a Church that wants to make a difference in it's community, it's city, its country and the world. It is going to be one of the greatest times together in the history of Whipple.

There is so much more to share with you, but I'll save it for another time (ask me about the prayer walking!) God is up to something unique in our community, in our country, in our world and especially in our own lives. Please, I pray that God would open up the eyes of your heart so that you can see it tool

In His Grip, standing Amazed,


Thursday, June 26, 2008

5 days, 500 hot dogs, 70 volunteers, 6 decisions.

If you've been following our church at all, you know we ventured into the arena of Vacation Bible School. You know we don't like to be to old school so we called it Survivor Safari Summer Camp. We just finished day 4 and all I have to say is "WOW!" God is up to something. We've prayed over kids, teachers have lead some of their students in prayer for Jesus to come into their heart, and for some kids, it's just been a safe place for them to meet new friends and be themselves. I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings. We conclude the week with a big Celebration BBQ Friday night where we invite the families back to see a video, hear some of the songs and to, of course, eat!

We have such a good group of volunteers. They are all excited, but a little tired at this point, but they know it has all been worth it this week. Some have taken time of work (unpaid), others delayed vacations and family plans to be able to invest into our community and to these kids. Our volunteers are the best!

I can't some up all the stuff that has happened this week, but be looking for pictures and a video soon. In church this Sunday, we are concluding the OnePrayer series with Perry Noble giving the message on Dangerous Church. It will be good.

I'm looking forward to see where else God's footsteps lead us over the coming months, I hope you are too!


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

One Prayer & Fasting

Instead of me writing a bunch of stuff go to the OnePrayer blog (click link) to check out the blog post and click here for fasting info and resources. God is doing some awesome stuff, I hope you are praying for revival!

In His Grip


Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Dangerous Mission

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Matthew 28:19-20

Mission work is not all about doing extravagant things. A lot of what we are called to do doesn't require us to fly over one mission field to get to another. Sometimes we get so caught up in romanticizing mission work that we overlook the greatest mission fields in America: our own neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, and grocery stores.

You can influence people for Christ right where you are, no matter where you are. Your neighbors and friends need Christ just as much as people across the globe. And you can be just as much of a missionary here as you can in Africa, South America, or Europe.

Jesus promised us that he will be with us always. And when we live according to his will, others will see Jesus in us and be influenced by the way we live our lives.

As you go through life, make it your daily mission to be that example of Christ for others. Because when they see the passion you have for Christ, your influence may help others discover what it means to be changed by him forever. And that is a Dangerous Mission!

Starting this Sunday, we are going to be talking about "Dangerous Mission." It all has to do with what God has called us a church to be and do. If you've ever wondered, "What is Whipple Creek all about?" You won't want to miss this next few weeks.

Wanting to Live Dangerously,


A Prayer for Today
Lord, prepare my heart to go out into the mission field of my own life and share your gospel. Use my life as an example for others to see how good you can be to them. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Living in the Dash Conclusion This Sunday

“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times."
Matthew 18:21-22

There are going to be times in life when people will hurt us so badly that we don't even want to think about forgiving them. But when we choose not to forgive, we are choosing to be attached to a bunch of anger, resentment, hurt and bitterness that will only weigh us down, like a big rock.

A lot of people read a verse like the one above and think, "I'm not going to let anybody get away with hurting me 77 times!" But Jesus was not being literal in his math. He was simply telling Peter how ridiculous to count how many times he forgave people. Forgiveness is designed to be immeasurable.

Christ wants us to experience the most out of life. And a person who is experiencing the most out of life doesn't allow themselves to be weighed down by the junk and funk of unforgiveness. Don't hold yourself back from experiencing life just because someone hurt you. Instead, ask God to help you experience the power of forgiveness. He wants you to live in the dash and have this life you are living to be full and overflowing.

This Sunday, we’re going to conclude the message series “Living in the Dash” and we are going to experience the Easter Resurrection. You may be thinking, “didn’t we just do that a few weeks ago?” The answer is “yes,” but we should be experiencing the Easter Resurrection everyday. After all, that is what Jesus came for, isn’t it?

So, come Sunday prepared for the resurrection. Dress for Easter, if you wish, in all the pastels and splendor of Easter. We’re going to be filled with worship, God’s Word and His wonder. Hopefully, you can change the rock that is holding you down for the rock of salvation so that you too can live this life to the full.

Living in the Dash,


A Prayer for Today
Lord, true forgiveness can only begin with you. Free my heart from the weight of unforgiveness. I want to experience the life-changing power of forgiveness through your son, Jesus, so that I can share that forgiveness with others. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Living Incarnationally in the Dash

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

One of the greatest things about being a Christ follower is that we are on the receiving end of the tangible and intangible blessings of God. But the best thing about being a Christ follower is that God has a “custom” plan for each of our lives. No two people have the exact same purpose in life.

God has different plans for each of us because there are specific things that he wants to do through us that no one else can do. God doesn't just bless us for our own enjoyment and satisfaction. He wants us to experience great things in our lives so that it can have a ripple affect in the lives of those around us.

If great things are happening in your life, people are going to notice. And if you are reflecting God's glory though those things, those people will begin to think, "What does she have that I don't?" or "Why does he always seems so happy?" They may even ask you about it, which opens up the perfect opportunity for you to tell them about your relationship with God.

God wants us to tap into the amazing plans that he has for our lives because it has the potential to benefit the world. He wants us to tell others about the hope and future that he has already promised us. Live what you believe and be the ripple affect that spreads the promise of God's plan to everyone around you.

A Prayer for Today
Lord, thank you for thinking enough of me to create such a great plan for my life. I pray that you will guide me in the right direction today. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Living in the Dash: Rock #1 that Holds Us Down-Anger

We come face-to-face with anger as often as any other feeling. And yet, anger is one of the most misunderstood and distorted of all human emotions. We all get angry, but do we really understand what anger is? This past Sunday, we tackled this subject head-on to not only learn where anger originates, but how to handle it. We learned there are two types of anger: sinful anger and justified anger.

Sinful anger is when our anger causes us to sin. Justified or righteous anger (or what I like to call righteous indignation) are things that anger us that also anger the heart of God. One kind of anger is good, one is wrong. We have to learn that when we deal with anger God’s way, it can actually help us discover a fulfilling life--a life that is lived in the "dash."

If you want to dig deeper into this topic, download the "Rock of Anger" Study Guider HERE.

This next Sunday, we're going to look at the Rock of Envy. I hope to see you all there.

Living in the Dash


PS check out Viddler for latest messages including our Easter Worship

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Passing of a Legacy

Many of you know, I went back to be with my family this week as my dad had a massive heart attack on Monday. This morning, he went to be with the Lord. I was able to be with him when he passed also was able to spend the last few days with him. These have been rich and blessed days for me. Thank you for your prayers. I would appreciate your continued prayers for my family as we make funeral arrangements and plans.

Easter service is going to be all about the Dash (that time between birth and death.) I've really experience what it means to live in the dash this week and what really counts. I spent time reading the Bible to him and telling him stories of our church and stories of you--the changed lives. He was overjoyed and what is happening in the hearts of Whipple Creek.

We talk everything from baseball to Christ purpose for us and about leaving a legacy. I am so thankful for my dad, the legacy he has left to me. Cherish you moments you have with those you love. Have deep conversations. Tell them you love them (even guys you can tell other guys). Share your heart and what's really important. Drink in "the dash." Our moments here are fleeting.

God has given us such a precious gift we often take for granted. I am renewed and encouraged in my thinking about lingering with people and drinking in deeply the friendships and conversations--my dad has taught me that this week.

I will share with you sometime, what we talked about since we spend several hours together and I knew it was my last moments with him on this earth (we did talk quite extensively about the Yankees!)

Thanks for allowing me to ramble a bit. I will miss him a great deal. Thank you for your prayers. I love you guys.

Living a legacy


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Going Retro: Leisure Suit

"Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all our work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God."
Exodus 20:8-10

In the 1970s, leisure suits were the ultimate combination of style, comfort and relaxation. But most people would agree that wearing that suit today would be a serious fashion faux-pas. But God tells us that leisure suits us all well.

God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. He didn't rest because he was tired or needed a coffee break. He was simply setting the example for us. He knew that we would have the tendency to overwork and under-rest. And he also knew that our tendency is a formula for frustration.

God wants us to reserve one day each week—to recover our strength, realign our lives, and most of all, remember him. It's true that everything we do should be an act of worship to God, but the Sabbath is a day that God commands us to set aside for rest.

When we make rest a priority in our lives our lives will be restored, our priorities will be refocused, and our relationship with Christ will be re-energized. Make it your priority to wear your leisure suit and reflect on all that God has done for you in your life. It is only then that you will discover the amazing benefits that God has in store for you.

Join us this Sunday for our last message in this series: Retro: Back to the Basics. And remember—dress retro this Sunday (it really is okay to pull out those ugly sweaters and those “Members Only” Jackets, roll up your jeans, or do whatever is retro for you!)


A Prayer for Today
Lord, you set an example of rest and reflection at the beginning of time. Help me to follow that example so I can discover the great things you have in store for me. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

"I Had These Friends. . ."

"Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man. Do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared."
                                                              Proverbs 22:24-25

"I had these friends..." It's amazing how often that starts the explanation of where the wheels came off in life. Relationships have a powerful impact on our lives. The characteristics of our closest friends are contagious. Your friend's common phrases make their way into your every day vocabulary. Or a friend's taste in music could find itself in your radio's presets or music collection.

Vocabulary or music tastes are two common characteristics to catch, but there are many other contagious elements in relationships. Bad habits like smoking or binge drinking can creep into your life unnoticeably as a result of time spent together, so we have to be extremely careful who we spend our time with.

But the Bible points out that one of the most dangerous personality traits that we can pick up from a friend is a hot-temper. Those types of tempers are extremely contagious. And if we surround ourselves around people who are easily angered, we will find ourselves in lots of unwanted trouble.

The wrong friends can lead us down a dangerous path, but they can only lead us down that path. Our friends cannot force us down a dangerous path. Relationships are intentional, and we are free to cut them off any time we see them heading in a bad direction. It may not be easy to sever ties, but allowing yourself to fall into the trap of a bad relationship is not wise.

I even realize how this even applies to my family. My attitude and actions effect it them as well and if I'm hanging out with the wrong people, guess where those bad habits, actions, etc. show up? Yep, in my home!

Sunday we're going to continue to go "Retro" as we look at how do we develop that inner circle of friends that will spur us on and be there for us and we can be there for them.

Look forward to another "acoustic" Sunday in the worship and learning more about friendships.

In His Grip

Brett (aka Al Jet)

A Prayer for Today

Lord, associating with the wrong kinds of people can get me in a lot of unwanted trouble. It puts me at a greater risk of picking up behavior that is not pleasing in your sight. Help me to filter my relationships with the truth of your word and sever ties with those that are harmful to me. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Monday, February 25, 2008

"Friends are Friends Forever."

A song that lives in infamy at youth camps, but there are some truths in that song by Michael W. Smith. The Bible says this about friends:

"A mirror reflects a man’s face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses."
Proverbs 27:19 (TLB)

Our God is a relational God. After all, relationships are perfectly modeled within the Trinity – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. And since we are all made in his image, we are innately relational creatures as well.

We all yearn to connect with other people, yet many people are so hungry for relationships, they’re so desperate to have someone in their lives, they latch on to anybody. And out of that desperation for real community, they ultimately choose the wrong friends.

Choosing friends isn’t something that should be done at the drop of a hat. You can’t hope to just fall into great friendships. Developing quality friendships is intentional, not accidental.

You’ve got to put some time and energy into finding great friends because toxic relationships will burn your time; they’ll drain your energy. But if you invest some serious time and energy into finding consistent and committed friends, those relationships will continue to reenergize your life.

The church gives us the best place to develop those quality relationships. The church is the context where our closest friendships should be played out. That’s where you can find people of character, commitment, and consistency.

Don't get me wrong, we need to befriend and be friends with those outside the church walls (after all, Jesus did). But if you are a Christ-follower, when it comes to our best of friends, who we do life with, whom we look to for guidance, counsel, truth and a listening ear, we need those friends in the church.

So take the initiative to plug into great relationships at the church. Don’t invest your time in the wrong people, instead connect with quality people of commitment and consistency who can help you achieve God’s will for your life.

Looking forward to sharing with you Sunday.

In His Grip,


P.S. Have you begun preparing your heart for Easter? Who are you going to bring with you on Easter Sunday?

Monday, February 18, 2008

"I'm too Busy!"

When you ask someone how they are doing, the typical response is, “I’m busy.” In today’s crazy times, busyness has become a badge of honor. We have more opportunities and options available to us than at any other point in history. Even when we aren’t busy, we’re busy. We answer our cell phones at restaurants (and sometimes church), check e-mails on the golf course, text message other's when we are with someone, and plug in the latest Disney movie for the five minute trip to the grocery store.

But our busyness is more devastating to our time than we realize. We spend so much time being busy that we ultimately miss the greatness of time. The bottom line is that our busyness is killing our intimacy with God. But God offers us a remedy.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

The greatest way to manage our time is to first spend time with the author of time. When was the last time you were still before God? I mean no cell phone, no e-mail, not texting, no iPod, no television or radio. When was the last time you just listened to God without competing with the distractions of everyday life?

If you are serious about getting your priorities in line with your commitments, if you are serious about making the most of your time, then be still before God. Be strategic. Set a place and time where you can talk with God and focus on his will for your life. Set aside a time each day where you can focus solely on God’s business, and not your own busyness.

I look forward to being with you as we talk about being still.

In His Grip


Tuesday, February 5, 2008


My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight.
Proverbs 3:21

Life is a circus. We juggle this activity and that activity; we walk the tight rope of day-to-day life trying to balance everything that comes our way; and we stretch and mold our schedules to accommodate even the tiniest of obligations. We don’t want to miss out on anything, so we try to do everything. And this circus-type life leaves us over-scheduled, over-committed and overdone.

The truth is that what we say is important and where we spend our time often don’t line up. In short, we say one thing and do another. We say it’s important to spend time alone with God, but we get to the end of each day and wonder where that time was supposed to fit in. We say that church is a priority, but when playoff season comes we wouldn’t dare miss the big game. We claim that our spouse is the most important person in the world, but at the end of the week we look back and see that we didn’t spend one waking hour alone with them.

There’s a gap that exists between our priorities and our commitments—many times without us even realizing it. And it’s a gap that desperately needs closed. Look at everything that comes across your calendar and ask yourself, “Does this activity or obligation line up with what I hold important? Does this sync up with my priorities set forth in God’s word?” If it does, then do it. If not, then don’t. Don’t just say yes to something because you have a few hours to kill. Instead, close the gap by saying yes only to the best.

Sunday we'll continue to explore how to bridge the gap so we can have the best.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:33

We love to go retro these days. From cars to clothes, from music to makeup—retro is the way to go. But you can’t go retro without talking about time. And you can’t talk about time without thinking about priorities.

There seems to be a lot of hype about setting priorities. But God has already given us the blueprints on where we need to spend our time. It’s not about setting your priorities. It’s about agreeing with God on what your priorities already are. That is what determines where your commitments will fall. Priorities are simply saying yes to the best. But for many of us, there is a huge gap between our priorities and our commitments. Instead of saying yes to the best, we say yes to the good or just good enough. And over time, the good crowds out the best.

Do you ever get to the end of your day and wonder, “Where did the time go? Did I accomplish anything I set out to do?” One of the best ways to ensure that you set your days on the right path is to spend some time with the author of time. I challenge you over the next month to make it a point to spend some quiet, personal time with God(pick up a journal at the church office). Give him the first few moments of each day. When you do, the gap between your priorities and commitments will close and you will begin to see that God’s priorities for your life will free you from the constant bondage that the immediate pressures of life can so often bring.

In His Grip


Friday, January 25, 2008


"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
Matthew 28:19

Numbers are very important throughout the Bible—from the five smooth stones that David found in the creek to Jesus feeding the five thousand. But what exactly is the relationship between numbers and God? Is there some biblical code that He has constructed that we're supposed to crack?

Of course not. But God has developed a very important equation that is essential in the building of his kingdom. And it all starts with the number one.

God works through people like you and me to reach others and bring them into his family—one person at a time. He doesn't have to, though. God could easily snap his fingers and have a church filled with thousands of people appear, but that is not how He works. He wants us to share the good news with others and recruit disciples to follow Him—one by one.

So remember, you are a major factor in God's equation. Don't overwhelm yourself by trying to save the whole world all at once. It's all about reaching one life at a time. So go out and find that one. Share with them God's love. And show them that God is still counting—one life at a time.

This Sunday, I'm going to share as clearly as I can the message Jesus came to show. It will not only be a great opportunity for yourself to hear how much God loves you but an opportunity for you to invite someone to hear how much God loves them, "4ever."

I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we journey together discovering how much God loves us.


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Question for the New Year

Through all my contacts (myspace, facebook, blog, church community, etc) I'm asking this questions and looking for feedback. So if you could respond to the post, I would greatly appreciate it. I pray you have a great year in 2008!


If you found out you were going to die and God granted you one more day, what would you do with the day?