Family Photo 2015

Family Photo 2015

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Can I just say that ministry is hard? Though, extremely exciting, and rewarding...there are several days that are harder than others. I would most definitaly consider today as a hard day of ministry. Today I officially announced my resignation as Worship Arts Minister of Venice Church of the Nazarene. After much prayer, I recieved and accepted the call to serve as Worship Arts Minister at First Church of the Nazarene in Hutchinson, know as Hutch.
I will confess that the Lord has been dealing with mine and Ashley's hearts for a while. There was a since of unrest, but not sure what it meant. So we waited and prayed. And just when I was ready to make a plan on my own, God presented this opportunity to us. An opportunity that we did not seek out. And so we had conversations, and prayed; more conversations and more prayer; and finally leading up to an actual interview in Kansas. Going into the interview process, I knew that this ministry possibility would be a challenge for me and that it would take me out of my comfort zone. Even still, God made small confirmations throughout the journey that this was the plan He had in store for us. Now here's where it gets difficult.
We love our Venice family. This congregation and staff will mean more to me then they will ever know and more then words can describe. We have been blessed for over five and half years. But I understand that we are not called to location. My desire and goal is to live a life of worship. A life that is responding to who God is and what He is doing. I truly believe that true, genuine worship requires sacrifice. That is evident when read about Jesus. Honoring God with all that we are and all that we have requires sacrifice. For us, leaving behind good friends, a great community, a place of comfort, to journey into the a sacrifice. But I also know and believe that God will bless the journey and bless both the Venice and Hutchinson congregations. So, with excitment, we begin this next chapter in our journey; never forgetting the time that we have shared with so many and celebrating how we have grown through grace. Below is a copy of my official resignation letter:
Dear Loved Ones,
“To God be the Glory for the great things He has done.”
That is one of my favorite hymns lyrics because it reminds me of the greatness of God and how He works and moves and shapes all things for our good. For over 50 years, Venice Church of the Nazarene has been a faithful community of Christ. As a community, VCN has worked well and we have shared our gifts to respond to God’s call in each new day and time. It is amazing to see how we have grown as pastoral staff, as lay leadership, and as a congregation. Over the past five and a half years, we have had an amazing partnership because we have lived, loved, worshipped transparently, where we are, and I believe that always leads us into God’s surprising future.
With that being said I would like to inform you that the First Church of the Nazarene in Hutchinson Kansas and its leadership have asked me to assume leadership in the Worship Arts ministry as they pursue its calling of making Christ-like disciples in the community of Hutchinson. Now, I must inform you that I have received and accepted the call to serve as the Pastor of Worship and Creative Arts. First Church is an established congregation that is eager to grow in relationship, discipleship, and community. It is clear that the worship arts ministry, and the congregation, have a desire to become Unquenchable Worshippers and to deepen their passion to make worship more than music…but a lifestyle. And Ashley and I feel that God has called us to unite with their ministry and continue alongside them through this journey.
Ashley and I, along with several others, have been praying for weeks about this entire situation. This decision was not made lightly as Venice has been a blessed community in which to serve and raise our family. You have embraced and loved our family deeply. That love was displayed instantly with the birth of Keller. We will NEVER forget how you saturated us and Keller with prayers, and your encouragement and support. Because we are confident of God’s promises, we are excited and empowered to take on this new venture in faith and in ministry. We ask for your prayers in the weeks ahead.
VCN, you have much to be thankful for. The warmth of this fellowship, the depth of our ministries, the creative ways of worship, the outreach, service and creative engagement with the local community is all inspiring, is known throughout the surrounding communities and the Church at large. And while a member of the Pastoral team leaves, a vibrant and blessed ministry continues. Ashley and I will be praying for all of you as you begin this new chapter of faith.
In closing, my feelings the VCN congregation and the community of Venice are best reflected in the letter from Paul found in Philippians 1:3-5
“I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy for all of our, because of your sharing in the Gospel from the first day until now. I am confident that the one, who began a good work among you, will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.”
May God-who is able to do immeasurably more then we could possibly hope or imagine-continue to extend grace and give peace to you.

You are loved,

Thank you to all those who have prayed for us during this process and for your continued prayers as we make this transition. Over the next couple of weeks, I will be sharing post on reasons I will miss Venice; the church, the community, the coast.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Worship With Us

I am once again speechless and amazed by our God. I am overwhelmed by His grace, love and mercy in my life.

This week, in addition to our regular worship set, we are introducing a new song titled "More than Amazing" by Lincoln Brewster. I am attaching a link of a video with the lyrics.

Take a moment and reflect...and prepare to be amazed.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Power in His Name

One would think that the title of this post would be enough for any believe. "There is Power in His Name." The simple step of calling out to him-in any situation-and soon, He has revealed himself in a new way. That should be enough for us...and yet, some times, we still are asking the question, who is God?
Recently, I started reading the bible again from the beginning. Once again, I found myself rereading the story of Moses. It is comforting to know that, people like Moses, Noah, David, Paul-all these biblical characters- are just like us. We try to describe who God is, and yet words fail, or we over think and over analyze who He is. Which brings us to Exodus 3:13-15.
Of course we know the story: Moses is hanging out, going about his day, when he spots a burning bush...that isn't really burning! That would just stop me in my tracks. God chose to reveal himself to Moses at Mount Horeb and reveal His plan to Moses. He has heard the cry of his people...and it was time to act. But he needed a messenger to proclaim the news to the Israelites. That messenger was Moses. We have all been there...the moment when God has showed you His plan and it leaves you dumbfounded. "How is this even possible?" "God, You want me to do what??" etc.
Face down in the dirt, Moses puts the question out there; "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them,
'The God of your fathers has sent me to you' and they ask me 'What is His name?' Then what shall I tell them?"
God's response is the best part! He says,
"I AM WHO I AM. This what you are to say to the Israelites:'I AM has sent me to you' God also said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites, 'The LORD, the god of your fathers-the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob- has sent me to you' This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.
I have to believe that Moses did not understand this statement at first....thinking that he would get a much more clear answer. But this name-"I AM", tells Moses and us, that God is unchanging, constant, immeasurable...He is God.
This is a powerful reminder for us today. When we start looking around at the things happening in the world, and in our personal lives. When we are calling on his name and we don't quite understand His response. Now more then ever we need to be reminded that He is the One that "exists and who will be dynamically present then and there in the situation to which He is sending us." (paraphrased from Expositor's Bible commentary). God is always with us and will never leave or forsake us... and always working on our behalf.
I am reminded that God-though He is vast beyond measure- is a personal God. The story of Moses reminds me that God is who He is and forever will be...which is the God of our salvation. We can face whatever we are called to because He is always with us. We glorify and magnify His name because we know that we can healing, hope and joy in His name.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Statements by Keller: Kindergarten Edition

This week has been a busy week in the Gage house. Our son, Keller started Kindergarten! I must confess that it is really hard to process the fact that we have a kindergartner in our house. Of course he has been ready to go since May! In fact, there were times that he wanted to skip the summer altogether, so that he could start school.
So of course, I had to post a blog about his first statement in the classroom. He was really excited about meeting his teacher and new friends. My wife and I, along with all the other parents were helping getting the kids settled into their seats. The final bell started ringing...and before the teacher could say anything to the parents, this little voice chimes and says:

"Okay Moms and Dads! That was the bell to start school, and now it's time to say good bye to your little ones."
He then began to way good bye to us and all the other parents in the class room.
So clearly, our child has made his mark on Garden Elementary. The rest of the week consisted of our child being reminded that he was indeed the student and not the teacher, and that he needed to as he would say, "worry about Keller and let them worry about themselves."
Week 1 many more to go?

Worship With us

Our songs for service this week are listed below:


All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name
Hallelujah! Your love is Amazing
In Your presence Praise
Worthy is the Lamb
I have a Hope


Is our monthly, Summer Hymn Sing!

Friday, August 12, 2011

To Boldly Go....

It was a once in a life time opportunity...literally. I was one of the lucky 150 people chosen to attend the NASA tweetup for the final Space Shuttle Launch. Many people don't know that I am a science geek and proud of it. It started with my love for all things Star Wars and Star Trek. There was even a point in my life that I thought that I would be a singing astronaut. As I got older, I discovered that I my natural gifts for singing would out weigh all the studying I would need to do to comprehend the complexities of Science. So I chose music, but never lost the wonder and awe of space and space travel.
I was in first grade when I watched my first shuttle launch. It was the Challenger Incident. It was a sad day, and yet, I remember being ever so curious about how they were about to launch people into space. More importantly, I wondered if they would ever do it again! And of course they did!!! So imagine my heart jumping out of my chest when I found out that I was chosen to attend the final launch...which was the ending of the Space Shuttle Program.
The two day event consisted of our group meeting astronauts,administration, and Elmo.

Next to the launch itself, one of the best parts was the tour of the facilities...which included the Vehicle Assembly building and driving down to Launch Pad 39A. And here's the deal, when you watch this on TV for so many years, you understand that these places and things are big, but you don't really get it, until you are standing in the center of the VAB and you realize that the Statue of Liberty can fit inside and still have over 250 feet lift.
And of course there was the shuttle itself. It is beautiful, amazing, astonishing...the list could go on. She is a marvel to behold. There is nothing in the world like it. When I saw it for the first time, I was just frozen in amazement. My admiration for the people who dreamt, designed, and constructed this vessel, grew 100 more then ever before....and we hadn't seen it take off.

The day of the launch had arrived. When we concluded our tour the day before, they were not sure if Atlantis was going to fly due to the weather. But we all believed that she had to do! She just had to make her final launch! So as we waited, we were greeting by more NASA Officials, talked about future space projects, previewed a song in honor of Atlantis, and more. Then the moment arrived! We were go for lift off. As were waiting for the countdown to resume, a gentleman told me that if at all possible, I needed to just watch the launch with my own eyes and not through the lens of a camera or recorder. The man was right...however, i was able to guide my camera with my gaze and take some really great photos of lift off.

To all the NASA Team members who made this Tweetup possible, I offer my sincere gratitude for this experience.
To all the NASA employees who spent 30 years developing, maintaining, the Space Shuttle program, Thank you for your years of service.
To the Astronauts, Thank you for dreaming big and reaching for the stars...literally. And for inspiring a new generation of space travelers.
To Anderson Cooper and the team of CNN, I am sorry for unplugging one of your plugs. It was my clumsy feet and my desire to meet Anderson, AKA, the Silver Fox!!! I am a fan of your work and am proud to be #cooperized (for more on this last comment, you would have go on twitter and search the hashtag #cooperized...that's all I can say!)

Worship with Us

Worship Sets for August 14th

Days of Elijah
Revelation Song
Friend of God

God is Great
Today is the Day
Lord I give You my heart
Your Name

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Worship With Us

Here is our song listings for this Sunday!

O For A Thousand Tongues
O Praise Him
We Love You Lord
One Body One Spirit
Everlasting God

To God Be the Glory
Worthy is the Lamb

Worship Wednesday 7/6/11

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Worship Wednesday 06-29-11

Through this song, I am reminded that my worship is about my life and my response to who God is within my life. My prayer is that he will truly be everything to me.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Statements by Keller: God, Love, and Snoring!

I confess that this has been a really hard week for me emotionally. I find it interesting how kids can pick up on things. The last night, I was tucking Keller into bed and here is what he said to me.

Keller: "Daddy, I know you are sad...but I just wanted to say I am proud of you!"
Me: "Your proud of me? But I didn't do anything!"
Keller: "Yes you did daddy!"
Me: "OK! Well tell me what did I do?"
Keller: "I am proud of you because you love me just like God loves me...and that's a lot of love!"
Me:"Your right buddy! I do love you a lot"
Keller: "And you are funny and silly and you snore!"
Me:"What does snoring have to do with me loving you?"
Keller: "I don't know. You snore a lot and so you can't stay in my room for the slumber you can leave now."

I am choosing to hold on to the part of the conversation about love and God...not about the snoring!


Parenthood 2.0: Trading Places

So this has been an interesting week...for many reasons. But it has been a pleasure to spend the past four days as Mr. Mom...or #domesticdad if you are following me on twitter.
My wife was offered a job at the local high school to work in their main office for their final week of office hours before summer. It was a great opportunity and I was happy to have a little one on one time with the Gage kids! In my mind I thought how hard could it be right?....WRONG!
It was actually a busy week! It was Keller's first time at attending Vacation Bible School. So it was a matter of finding the right rhythm to the day! There were some sweet moments with Kerrington, but I discovered something about myself. I am not the multi-tasker that I thought I was! Or maybe I am not a good multi-tasker when it comes to the needs and plans of the kids! The schedule of a stay-at-home parent is detailed, accurate, precise and well executed! Even better, there is room for adjustments for kid's temperament, naps, potty accidents and so on!
I must confess that it was a sad experience to spend so much time cleaning the kitchen and dishes, loading the dishwasher and so forth...only to go and start another load of laundry and when you walk back into that once beautiful kitchen there are new dishes, and spells on the floor and a trail of food crumbs because it was time for a snack! And then there is the laundry...there are no words in the universe to describe how disappointing that process can be! IT JUST KEEPS COMING!

But here came the most humbling experience for me. I was picking Keller up from bible school and I had to enter into the church's main sanctuary! One of the volunteers informed me that he was in the restroom and would be right out! As I am standing there, I hear this lady whispering to her friend about me. "Oh, he must be new at this parenting thing...I would never let my baby not have any shoes." EXCUSE ME!!! Did she really say that out loud?! Of course the inner Madea was getting fired I decided to turn around and face these "ladies" and let them know that they were totally out of touch. With the pivot of my foot, two things happened. First, i noticed the lady was holding a baby not much older then Kerrington...WITHOUT SHOES!!!! Yes, you read that correctly! The child did not have on shoes and she was trying to talk about my baby not having her was just.....sorry got off track. The second, as I turned, Keller ran out of the bathroom and saw me and decided to run to me. As he gave me a really big, nice hug, somehow he ended up pulling my gym shorts down! And there I was, standing there with a baby on my hip, a child on my leg, and my shorts somewhere in between but not where they should! If you ever wanted to see a black man blush...this would be the moment! But I overcame this obstacle...I pulled myself together and pulled my shorts up and continued with the rest of our day! As we got in the van, the three of us were having a great laugh about the whole. Although I think Kerrington was laughing because she could...or she had gas.
The rest of the day and week continued and I somehow managed to survive!

I never thought of myself as one of those "husbands" who doesn't understand what their wives go through in raising kids and doing all that they do. But after these four days, I am deeply aware of what goes on in her life and it has made me all the more grateful for who she is and what she does for our family! So to all you stay at home parents, know that you are loved and supported. You may not hear it enough, but we are grateful! And to my wife, You are the best! You are the hardest working person in this family! You are loved by your children and adored by your husband!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Worship Wednesday

Here is our latest edition of our web series! Hope you can take a moment in the middle of your work day and worship the One that knows you by name.


Worship with Us

As weird as this sounds, I am looking forward to a normal Sunday. Since May we have had several special Sundays including Mother's Day, Father's Day, Graduation Day, Memorial Day, Baby day, and so on. Sometimes, I feel this time of year can become a little out of control, but the important thing is that God is still able to be the midst of all our pomp!

So here is what we have lined up for worship music this week.

How Great is our God
Made me Glad
Let Your Holy Rain fall Down
Worthy is the Lamb
In Christ Alone

This week is Summer Hymn Sing. The last Sunday of the month this summer, we are allowing the congregation to pick their favorite hymns...just like the old day!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Grilling with Gage!

It is no secret that I love Barbecue! I love to eat it...and I love to cook it! My first Father's gift was a Weber Grill and my cooking life has never been the same. Grilling has given me the opportunity to experiment with different foods and flavors; and this weekend was no different. Occasionally, I will post on facebook and twitter some of the things that I am grilling...but I have never received the response that I did with this Father's Day recipe. I even had a gentleman send me his address, in the hopes that I would send him a bottle of the special sauce. Move Over Martha...there's a new cooking Diva in the house!!!!!!! Ok, not really, but here is my recipe for Grilled Pork loin with Cranberry Barbecue Sauce. It's a super easy and quick recipe for the sauce. I know there are other versions out there that take a little more time, which I will also be working on, but for the time being, my family and friends enjoyed the quick version.


2 cups fresh cranberries(I used the Ocean Spray Bagged Cranberries)
1/2 cup Orange Juice
1/2 barbecue Sauce
3 Tbs sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 gallon sized freezer bag

Pork Loin

In a medium pot,combine cranberries, juice, barbecue sauce, and sugar and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes.

Sprinkle salt and pepper on pork loin and place in gallon sized freezer bag.

Place generous amount of cranberry BBQ sauce over pork loin and seal bag(make sure there is not air in the bag.
Set aside at least a 1/2 cup of sauce for garnish.

Massage the pork loin and sauce together for full coating. Let pork loin Marinate at least 45 minutes and up to 3 hours.

Prepare grill (gas or charcoal. For best result, use/create a indirect heat flow in your grill. This will stop the pork loin from cooking to fast and burning the marinade.
Grill meat for 10-12 minutes on each side (depends on the temperature of your grill).

Once grilled, remove pork loin and place on serving dish and cover. Allow at least 5 minutes for grilled pork loin to rest.

Once side dishes are prepared, cut pork loin and drizzle remaining sauce on top of the meat.

***OPTION**** If you would like a smooth texture to your sauce, you can puree sauce in a food processor. Simply follow recipe as written, once sauce is warmed, pour into processor and blend. Return to pot and simmer.

***OPTION*** Cranberries can be switched with blackberries or use 1/2 cup sugar free blackberry preserves.

Happy grilling!


Friday, June 17, 2011

Harnessing the Power of Social Media with Mandisa & NASA

I must confess that I am not the person that would usually enter into contests. But with the internet and now facebook and twitter, I find myself entering all kinds of contests and drawings. It's as if I were tapping into my inner Grandma Gage. She was always buying a lottery ticket or putting her name in for a prize at the local grocery store. "What's the worst thing that could happen...I don't win.", she would tell me. But I just never got into it...until recently!

It is no secret that I am big fan of Zumba! If you have not tried should! It will change your life...and after all, the hips don't lie! Anyway, the local radio station was hosting a drawing to have a Zumba class with Christian Artist Mandisa (who is a favorite in the Gage house).Mandisa and Christian Comedienne Anita Renfroe were coming to the area to do a concert. In fact, it was a Girls Night Out event for the ladies of the church(remember this side note for later in the story) Naturally, I entered my name, and Ashley entered her name as well! In the mean time, I decided that I would use my twitter page to express my joy and excitement about this opportunity to work out with my wife, the radio DJ's, and of course Mandisa. So the days went by and the humorous tweets were flowing! Two weeks before the Zumba Contest, I stumbled across this email about NASA hosting a tweetup for the last Shuttle launch! If you were selected, you would spend two days at the Kennedy Space Center...including the day of the final launch! This news thrilled my science, Star Trek, Star Wars, loving heart! So of course I put my name into the hat...along with 5,000 other people!

The week of the concert and zumba class had arrived. I had worked hard using twitter as a campaign to get me and Ashley a spot in the class. There was even some response from the radio station. At last, the moment had arrived...and we didn't get the tickets! But here's the good news, because of my humorous tweets, the DJ's offered me two free tickets to the Girls Night Out Concert! Most men would have passed on the chance to go to this all girl event, but you better believe I used it!
A few days after winning the concert tickets, I get a tweet from NASA telling me that they have sent out email confirmations about the tweetup. I didn't really think anything about it. In fact I almost didn't check it out! But when I did, I was thrown in the floor with delight! I, along with 149 other people were selected to attend the tweetup! There are no words to describe how I felt and are feeling!

But the story continues! So I decided to attend the Girls Night Out Concert (because my wife asked me to drive the church van. It was an interesting evening from the get go! I once again decided to take the opportunity to tweet about my experience leading up to the concert...including the fact that I was hoping to keep my man card after the evening was over. Little did I know, Anita Renfroe had planned to use these tweets and pulled me up onto the stage to perform a special rap with her titled "In Da Muthahood." Clearly I do know scream hip-hop, but I was determined to make the most of it!

So it's safe to say that I am on social network overload. I could go on with more details, but after these experiences, it is safe to say that I will be a fan of social media for a long time.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Worship With Us

This Sunday is Father's Day! I hope you are planning something special for your father! How does your church celebrate Father's Day? Does your worship service coordinate with the theme of the day?

Here's our worship songs for our service this week!

Everlasting God
Your Grace is Enough
Praise to the Lord the Almighty
In Your presence Praise
Your Name
All Things are Possible

The Solid Rock
Sing to the King
Glorious One
Shout to the Lord

Praying for you and your congregation as you prepare to celebrate on the Lord's Day!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Worship Wednesday

So I decided to start a new worship resource for anyone who is interested. But I also thought it would be a great way for people to pause in the middle of their busy work day or week and reflect upon who God is in their life. May he be glorified as we lift our hearts to him. Blessings, RG

Monday, June 13, 2011

Summer Fun List 2011

The time is going by entirely to fast. I say this because our son Keller, graduated pre-school at the beginning of May...and he is ready to start Kindergarten! Even though he is ready, I am not sure that his parents are as ready!
In honor of his big accomplishment, I thought it would be a great idea to make this summer extra special. Those that know me well, know that I am a list maker. I have several note pads around the house with ideas and to-do's that come to mind. So in order to pass along my OCD gene to my son, I decided to create a Summer Fun List! It is the Top 10 things (actually 13) that he wanted to do before he starts kindergarten. I wanted to do this list for a couple of reasons. The first, I wanted him to have something to look back on and say "Hey that was a great Summer." Maybe it will inspire a new family tradition. The second, has to do with my own personal need to be active in the lives of my children. Growing up with a single parent did not necessarily provide the opportunity have a summer that was filled with activities and events every week for 3 months. The opportunities I did have I cherish, but I confess I want my children to have a totally different experience.
We will be tracking our success on this blog, facebook and twitter. I hope you will come along on this journey with us! Maybe you will even create a summer fun list for your kids! Of course there are other activities that Keller will be doing that are not included with this list...these are the items that were top priority to him...and yes he did come up with this list, with only a little help from his us.


1. Going to church camp (for the first time)

2. Learn to tie my shoes

3. Make a really big Sand Castle

4. Ride a Bus (public transportation system)

5. Ride a real train

6. Go Bowling

7. Go see a Movie...especially Cars 2

8. Play in the water hose in the front yard.

9. Library Days

10. Go Roller skating

11. Go to the Zoo

12. Always play with my trains

and 13. Summer Trip to Disney World. He actually doesn't know about this last one. It will be a surprise for him at the end of the summer!

Let the Summer begin!!!


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Holy Bunches of Worship

Those who serve in ministry...especially worship pastors can relate to this video clip!

Worship with Us

Here are the songs we have for this Sunday's Service!

O For a Thousand Tongues
O Praise Him
I Adore You
Take My Life
Blessed Be Your Name

Did You Feel the Mountain Tremble
God is Great
Be Everything
Made Me Glad

Hope to see you on Sunday!


Friday, April 15, 2011

Kidnapping the Kids!

So the past month has been super busy since I committed to be in "The Drowsy Chaperone" at Venice Theatre(don't worry, there will be a post about that experience later)! So today, being my day off, plus all the crazy stuff mess that is happening, I decided that I wanted to Kidnap my kids for the day!
Of course I had created this wonderful plan of action in my mind as to how the day was going to go...Kinda like that target commercial where the lady is in the apple orchard with the perfect know what I am talking about right? Anyway, the day started off earlier then I anticipated because baby girl was up super early. However she fell back asleep and so did I! I was awaken by the pulling of my arm by my son!
Keller: Daddy! Daddy! It's time to wake up!
Me: Ggrrrrikpkjgbspwe (trying to wake up)
Keller: Daddy! I am already for school! (keep in mind, he dressed himself and it looked a hot mess! But I give him an A for getting ready all by himself!)
Me: But Keller I have a wonderful surprise! You get to spend the whole day with Daddy and Sister! We are going to have a special lunch and play at the beach! Doesn't that sound fun!
Keller: Well I have an even better idea! let's stay home and play with my trains!
Immediately, I could feel my dream of the perfect day deflating. But to my surprise Keller had quickly gone to his room and started collecting all his beach equipment!
I know some people do not recommend taking more then 2 children to the beach...especially if you are the only parent! But there is something magical about the beach that makes be so nice. There was a couple on vacation who took it upon themselves to be my personal beach assistant. The gentleman was kind enough to take Keller out to the water! I know this is a side note but it needs to be said that it is nice to know that there are still nice, helpful people in the world! As we continued with our beach adventure, there was this moment where all of a sudden, I could literally feel His waves of blessings coming over me. My life is grand! Sure there are things that could be better, but in that moment, while I am watching my daughter wiggle her toes in the sand, God was calling me to stop and take stock of His hand of blessing and favor and to remind me that We are not walking this alone! Those who are close to me, understand all that occurred this week. Needless to say, this day was a great day for me to gain a more clear perspective, and to release the things that were weighing me down!
All in all, this was a successful kidnapping! Although I do not recommend you go around kidnapping kids...that's just creepy!


Worship with Us-Palm Sunday

Obviously this Sunday is Palm Sunday! More importantly, this Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week! Does your church do anything special during this week of reflection?
If you live in the Venice area, consider coming to one of our worship services!

He Brought Me Out
Crown Him with Many Crowns
Jesus Paid It all

Hosanna(Praise is Rising)
Prepare Ye the Way

Your Grace is Enough
Everlasting God
The Wonderful Cross
Grace Flow Down

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Come Thou Fount, Come Thou King

I confess that this song is one of my favorite songs to sing. How else can we cry out for the Spirit, then through these lyrics:
“Come Thou Fount, Come Thou King
Come Thou precious Prince of Peace
Hear Your bride, to You we sing
Come Thou Fount of our blessings.”

I think it is safe to say that there are many times when we may feel embarrassed to say that we are needy. That being Christian means we’ve got to have it all together, know the score, keep up appearances. Inside, we’re dying-sad, desperate, and full of pain. That need to “look good and keep up a brave front” is keeping us from the very thing that we really need– the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
The opposite is true-He said He came to heal those who were willing to admit their need, not act as if they didn’t need. Jesus said, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink...To him who is thirsty I will give drink without cost from the spring of water of life.” (John 7:37; Revelation 21:6)

As we begin this season of Lent, maybe some of us are thirsty. Maybe some of us are in need of a spiritual down pour. As we gather over these next 6 weeks, let us pray for one another and the needs of our church...that the Holy Spirit would come and quench our thirst as only He can.

{reference comes from More Songs for Praise & Worship 3}

Worship With Us-Lent I

It's the first Sunday of Lent! Do you have something special planned for your congregation this year? Is your church doing special Lenten Services (Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday)? Even though we are not doing special services, we at VCN are taking these six weeks and creating new worship service orders...we will see how they go.
Here is what we have lined up this week!

Praise Him, Praise Him
Lead Me to Calvary
Nearer, Still Nearer

Sing, Sing, Sing
Come Thou Fount, Come Thou King
You, You are God
Choir Special: Breathe on Me

God is Great
Jesus Messiah
There is None Like You.

Praying that your congregation will be blessed as they worship together!


Friday, March 4, 2011

Worship with Us

Here is our set lists this week at Venice Church of the Nazarene. Where do you attend church? What style of musical worship does your church offer?

Love Lifted Me
Praise to the Lord the Almighty

Alive Forever Amen
Your Grace is Enough
Holy is the Lord
I adore You
We Fall Down

Concert featuring ADAM'S VOICE!

Praying that the Lord will be among your congregations this week!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Statements By Keller: First Time Listening

Our son, Keller, is getting ready to start Kindergarten in the fall. So while he is in pre-school we have been working with him on being a first time listener. Those of you who are parents know what I am talking about. But there are times that it feels like he as already developed selective hearing.
A few week ago, while eating dinner, Ashley and I decided to have a serious conversation with him about this issue. Though the chat was not terribly long, Keller did express a very honest answer. And when push comes to shove, we really do want our kids to be honest people...right? Here how the conversation went down.

Me: Keller, Mommy and I want to know how we can help you be a first time listener.
Keller: What?
Me: What can we do to help you listen to your teachers & Mommy & Daddy, the first time, instead of us calling your name several times?
Keller: Well, Daddy, I hear you when you say "Keller, Keller" but I just want to do what I want to do! That's all.

I was speechless! I had no response! So pray for us!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Worship With Us

I am looking forward to this week's worship sets! Hope to see you at Venice Church of the Nazarene.

Great is the Lord
I will Praise Him
Seek Ye First

Everlasting God
Blessed Be Your Name
Mighty to Save
I Will Sing of My Redeemer/You Set me Free
He Knows my Name

Sing, Sing, Sing
God is Great
Amazing Grace...My Chains are Gone
I Give You My Heart

Parenthood 2.0 - The Importance of Family Restrooms

So I decided to bring back this series of stories about my journey in the world of parenthood. I hope that my experiences can be a learning experience for some new Dad's...or maybe they will just be good stories to laugh about! Here's what happened...

Before I start this story I should make this declaration. I have a fear of changing diapers in public places. Its not because I am a man and we sometimes look awkward changing diapers and doing other baby care things. For me, it would seem that any time I am required to change a child's diaper in is never a simple process. Things always happen, like not having enough wipes, or no extra diapers. At this point, if a PDC (Public Diaper Change) goes smoothly, then I begin questioning what the day has in store. Anyway, back to the story. A few weeks ago, I was out shopping with Ashley and Kerrington. Our daughter has this love/hate relationship with her car seat. But every time we travel somewhere...without fail she feels the need to "make a stinky" as we would say in our household. So as we are pulling into the parking lot of the Sub-par Craft Store (it is sub-par because it is not Hobby Lobby), my wife quickly handed me the diaper bag and sent me on my way. The words exchanged between us went something like this:
Me: I don't the men's restroom has a changing table.
Ashley: Don't worry just put the changing pad on the floor and change her.
Me: Are you sure about that?

Of course I asked if this was okay (and men will agree with me) if this was my idea...I would have received "THE GLARE." I know ya'll know what I am talking about. I digress, so Kerrington and I make to the back of the store into the restroom waiting area. I walked into the men's restroom to have my fears confirmed...there was no changing table. Upon surveying the floor, it looked clean enough for me to use the changing pad and clean this baby up! Here is where the breakdown begins...
I start to set up shop, only to discover that the changing pad was NOT in the diaper bag. I was at a crossroads. There was no time to go all the way back to the car...the smell was to strong. Then it hit me...I could use the women's restroom.
It was as if there was this invisible shield around me. That no one would see what I was about to do!!! With my man card in place, baby on my hip, & Vera Bradley Diaper bag in hand, I quickly ran into the Women's restroom and straight to the last stall where the changing table was located.
At this point I would love to tell you that changing her diaper was real simple and quick...but that would miss the whole point of the story. Clearly, the only plan I had in place was to get in, change the stinky, and get out. So you can see that this was not going to go well. As I was moving quickly to make the change, it became clear that Kerrington was not finished going to the bathroom...and not only was the mess in the diaper, but it was moving to the wall and to the trash can. I scramble to grab more baby wipes, only to discover there were 4 wipes in the container, and I had already used 3 of them. The paper towels were a good arms length way...however not my arms length. So now the juggling act is in full swing! As I am moving back and forth, I was stopped in my tracks by the sound of the bathroom door swinging open.
In walks "The Golden Girls" needing to use the other 3 stalls. I knew I could not speak to the baby, and of course she was getting fussy because the mess was not getting better. Tapping into my inner black woman's voice, I did my best to comfort the child. It's moments like this that I am thankful that God made me a Tenor. As I was finishing up the stinky mess, I noticed that the golden girls were talking to each other. Side note, do women really talk to each other while in the rest room? Anyway, lady 1 was complaining about her stomach hurting and that she was regretting going to the local Mexican food restaurant. Little did I know that I do, would be regretting her lunch time choice.
To make a long short, Kerrington and I had to wait an additional 10 minutes before we could leave the bathroom. While waiting in that stall, attempting to hold my breath, I decided that I would forever appreciate the gift that is called "The Family Restroom". Especially the big one at the mall!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Worship With Us

So in a attempt to reach out to others, I am starting list our worship sets. If you are a worship pastor and you follow this blog, I would love to know what your church is singing...Let's talk!

It is Mine
The Love of God
Have Thine Own Way, Lord

Rise Up and Praise Him
Come Thou Almighty King
You're worthy of my Praise
Worthy is the Lamb
Jesus, Your Name

All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name
Glorious One
Take my Life

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

Once more we gather to celebrate the dawn of a New Year. The birth of a new day! As much as I enjoy the beginning of the New Year, as a Christian, I rejoice that we don't need a new year to start over, and start a new. Through salvation, redemption, and grace, our lives have been made new. Praise the Lord!!!!
I do not know what kind of year you had in 2010. I can assume that there were some milestones and some hardships. There were moments of joy and maybe some moments of sadness. But I hope you will take heart by the words from the book of Isaiah:
"Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past. "Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert." (Isaiah 43:18-19)
I don't know about you, but I can't wait to see what God has in store for this coming year. On behalf of my family, May God richly bless you in 2011!