Joining the Team at Valley

How sweet it is to be back in the west and what a thrill to join David Rudie, Paul Ice, and Mike Durrill at Valley Community Church in Louisville, CO. I am now the newest pastor—but sadly, not the youngest! Mike planted this church three years ago and God has been doing amazing things since then. In his book Experiencing God, Henry Blackaby challenges us to find out where God is at work and then go join Him. That is what we believe we are doing.

Diane and I arrived last Thursday evening after a trek from Wisconsin. We have been impressed with the focus, philosophy, vision, and energy of these pastors and their wives; and now we just hope to contribute and build upon what God has already been doing. The Boulder Valley of Colorado is so ripe for a spiritual harvest and as we drive through this metro area, we are overwhelmed with the needs of hundreds of thousands of people.

Pray for us as we settle in. My role as one of the pastors will be to focus on the preaching and teaching of the Word as well as discipling men. We have started a series through Philippians on Sunday mornings entitled, “Joy in the Valley.” I am looking forward to communicating the truths that God has been working in us over the past five years. Diane also plans on investing in the lives of women through teaching and discipleship. We are now in a stage of life where we have more to give—and that is thrilling!

Below is a picture of me, Dave Rudie, Paul Ice, & Mike Durrill.


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I Missed It!

Last Saturday, while talking a walk with Diane, I commented on how I thought that this was the most beautiful fall we have enjoyed since we moved to northeast Wisconsin eleven years ago. Her take? “They’ve all been that way, you just haven’t noticed.” Hmm…

Looking back, I can see how often I have become so intensely focused on the task at hand that I have walked right by these works of God. I have probably walked by a lot of other important things.

Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” He is the same God “who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (I Timothy 6:17).

How much do we notice? How much have we missed? My prayer is that we will do a better job at pausing, contemplating all that God is showing us about himself, and then praising him!

I would love to connect with you! If you have any questions or would like to connect please use the contact page.

Distracted Shepherds?

Sheep are distracted and harassed. “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). What happens when the shepherds that serve the church are also distracted and harassed?

Over the past decade people and pastors alike have been wowed by an endless stream of “time saving” devices. Have you ever noticed that every “time saving” device you add to your life seems to leave you with less time? It is one more thing to manage, one more thing to distract.

Technology certainly speeds things up, but not all of the effects are good. Pastors are not exempt. With our desire to stay “connected” and “be in touch with everyone at all times” we end up falling into this same trap. When I am in touch and connected with everyone 24/7 is it really possible to have a meaningful relationship with God? With my wife? With that One person who really needs my undivided and uninterrupted attention to address the needs of their frazzled soul? I don’t’ think so. I don’t think it is possible.

Once again, we as pastors are victims of the same sins of busyness we observe in others. We are occupied with many things and so begin to believe that we are being spiritual and productive. Who are we kidding? Christ made it a regular habit to pull away to the quiet, undistracted place because he knew that without that he would never enjoy the richness of the relationship with his father. All meaningful relationships need that. We all need that – sheep, and their shepherds.

“In the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:35).

Are you taking time to “unplug”?

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No Better Adventure

After eleven years of being away from a shepherding role in the local church, I have the opportunity to reengage in that work! I am incredibly thankful to the Lord for directing Diane and I to the college environment this past decade where we could serve alongside some amazing people and invest in a future generation of young leaders. Now we transition back to where our hearts long to be—the church. More and more we see how God has most perfectly designed this living body as His way to bring glory to himself by making disciples of all nations.

We find ourselves more excited today about the future prospects of ministry than we were in our early twenties driving to Colorado for the first time to start a new church. We have a fuller perspective now—and this has enlarged our comprehension of the incredible needs and unlimited opportunities that are in the west, particularly in the Boulder Valley of Colorado. We look forward to our first Sunday at Valley Community Church in Louisville, CO, on November 10, 2013.

I plan to continue writing from the local church perspective—what we have learned and what we are learning. I look forward to that.

I would love to connect with you! If you have any questions or would like to connect please use the contact page.

A Worthwhile Blog

Dan Dumas“Leaders Don’t Panic” is a blog published by Dan Dumas. Over the past several months I have gotten to know Dan and have grown to value his counsel and friendship greatly. He is the Senior VP at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, Director of the Center for Christian Preaching, as well as Professor of Christian Ministry and Leadership. Dan is also a church planter and pastor at Eastside Community Church.

You can subscribe to his blog at

I would love to connect with you! If you have any questions or would like to connect please use the contact page.

Future Plans are Set

After much prayer and seeking the Lord’s will, I have accepted the gracious offer to partner with Mike Durrill and the other elders at Valley Community Church in Louisville, CO. Joining Valley’s team will allow me to continue my passion of preaching and teaching, and focusing on developing the future generation of leaders within the context of the church.

Mike and Diana led a small group of believers in planting Valley Community Church in the Fall of 2010, all of whom have poured their hearts into this work over the past three years. I have had the privilege of watching closely as the church has flourished and continues to expand its vision and ministry. We are excited that God has now allowed us to be a part of this next phase of growth.

Diane and I have been led by God to take this step of faith, trusting that He will provide for our needs. It is Valley’s goal to take us on in a full time capacity as quickly as possible. In the meantime we will be helping in the planning, preparing, and working through to that end. For us, this an answer to prayer as God continues to fuel our passion for church planting in the West.

We believe God has great plans for Valley Community as they live out the vision God has given them for making a gospel impact in their community and around world. Visit their website at for more information about this growing ministry.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” — Ephesians 3:20, 21 (NIV)

I would love to connect with you! If you have any questions or would like to connect please use the contact page.

Finding God’s Will?

“Finding God’s will,” or “getting an answer.” Is that really your pursuit? For many of us prayer becomes our means to an end and the end is only selfishly getting something from God, not communing with Him. Prayer should be the constant, intimate communion with God. “Asking” is a natural part of that communion—but only a part. Where is the praise, the worship, the confession, the enjoyment of living in His presence and communing with Him? Quit spending so much time seeking the “thing” from God and seek Him alone—the joy of constant communion and fellowship with Him. Day by day you will find yourself full of joy, in His will, and with every need supplied.

“One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.” (Psalm 27:4 NIV)

“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (Psalm 16:11 NIV)

I would love to connect with you! If you have any questions or would like to connect please use the contact page.

Gospel Functionality

Do you understand how the Gospel relates to living your life? Most of us understand, at least on paper, how it fits as the centerpiece of our  belief system—but we struggle when it comes to applying the theology practically. There is a “functional gospel disconnect”.

Mike Bullmore, pastor of Crossway Community Church in Bristol, WI and frequent Gospel Coalition writer and speaker, recently taught a grad class for us at Northland International University. I would consider his work on gospel functionality as a “must read.” You can download both some notes and the audio lecture below.

Audio Download | Document Download

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Common Sense & the Will of God

We tend to think that what “makes common sense” will most likely be the will of God for us. It is not wrong to use the common sense that God gave us but don’t count on your calculations unless you have figured God into the equation. There are times that God will lead us contrary to popular opinion, pragmatic reasoning, and common sense. But He will never lead us in ways contrary to His Word and His Spirit, and that is why it is most essential for us to walk by these means.

“Notice God’s unutterable waste of saints. According to the judgment of the world, God plants His saints in the most useless places. We say—‘God intends me to be here because I am so useful.’ God puts His saints where they will glorify Him, and we are no judges at all of where that is.” Oswald Chambers.

“But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” I Corinthians 1:27-29 (ESV)

Do not be surprised when God leads you down a path that makes no earthly sense. He delights in doing impossible things, confounding the world, and exalting His name.

I would love to connect with you! If you have any questions or would like to connect please use the contact page.

The Wisdom of God in Indianapolis and Beyond

This past week we travelled to Indianapolis for the funeral of Chad and Courtney Phelps and their unborn little girl. Chad was born in Denver when Chuck and Linda were serving with us at Tri-City Baptist Church. Being with our dear friends and sharing in their grief, pain, hope, and joy, is something I don’t think I will ever have the words to describe.  I am so grateful to the Phelps and Gaddy families who have demonstrated for us the power of the gospel through grace-filled living. Our prayers continue to be with them.

There are times we won’t understand God’s wisdom or His ways in the events that touch our lives. During such times we must believe what we know to be true about God because our emotions will take us to some very dark places. God tells us He has all wisdom. He weaves this incredible wisdom throughout the tapestry of His sovereign plan for our lives to present a beautiful work of His grace that brings Him great glory.

Wayne Grudem writes, “Wisdom. God’s wisdom means that God always chooses the best goals and the best means to those goals. This definition goes beyond the idea of God knowing all things and specifies that God’s decisions about what he will do are always wise decisions: that is, they always will bring about the best results (from God’s ultimate perspective), and they will bring about those results through the best possible means.”

Grudem goes on to say, “‘We know that God works all things together for good for those who love him, who are called according to his purpose’ (Rom. 8:28, author’s translation). Here Paul affirms that God does work wisely in all the things that come into our lives, and that through all these things he advances us toward the goal of conformity to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29). It should be our great confidence and a source of peace day by day to know that God causes all things to move us toward the ultimate goal he has for our lives, namely, that we might be like Christ and thereby bring glory to him. Such confidence enabled Paul to accept his “thorn in the flesh” (2 Cor. 12:7) as something that, though painful, God in his wisdom had chosen not to remove (2 Cor. 12:8–10). Every day of our lives, we may quiet our discouragement with the comfort that comes from the knowledge of God’s infinite wisdom: if we are his children, we can know that he is working wisely in our lives, even today, to bring us into greater conformity into the image of Christ.” Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine.

May we rest  in these words:

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!  Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them? For from Him and through Him and for Him, are all things. To Him be glory forever! Amen.  -Romans 11:33-36

I would love to connect with you! If you have any questions or would like to connect please use the contact page.