Monthly Archives: November 2013

An Advent Prayer

This Sunday, 12/1, begins the Advent season. Advent is time of expectant waiting and preparation for the birth of Christ. For me, it’s a helpful way to keep my heart and mind focused during the busy Christmas season. Here’s a prayer that I thought was particularly fitting for the beginning of Advent.

O God, take me in spirit to the watchful shepherds, and enlarge my mind;

Let me hear good tidings of great joy, and hearing, believe, rejoice, praise, adore,

my conscience bathed in an ocean of repose, my eyes uplifted to a reconciled Father;

place me with ox, ass, camel, goat, to look with them upon my Redeemer’s face, and in him account myself delivered from sin;

let me with Simeon clasp the new-born child to my heart,

embrace him with undying faith,

exulting that he is mine and I am his.

In him thou has given me so much that heaven can give no more.

–From The Valley of Vision\




I’m very excited about investing in the missionaries we support. We have 2 great ideas, and we need your help!


First, in July 2014 it will be my privilege to travel to Mozambique, to visit our missionaries Tim and Beth Wood( I will be spending about 10 days with them – seeing firsthand how God is using them and seeking to encourage them in any way I can. It is very rare for a missionary to have a supporter visit them in their place of ministry, so to do this helps express our full support and love for them.


Secondly, we’d like to send a generous Christmas gift to each of the 5 missionary families that we support: theNystroms, Pfaffs, Tabbs, Woods, and Kendzoras. This gift, over and above our regular support, can be used by them as needed. This will serve as a tangible expression of our love for them.


This is what our 2013 year-end giving project is all about! It is our goal that by December 31st we collect $15,000 to fund these 2 initiatives. Together we can reach this faith goal and be a blessing to our missionaries. You can give online or simply write “year-end” in the memo line of your check.


Thanks for giving generously.



O Come, Let Us Adore Him

Thanksgiving is next week, which means Christmas is right around the corner.  I know many people have a tradition of waiting until the day after Thanksgiving to listen to Christmas music, but I can’t help myself … I usually start listening in late October!  There seems to be an abundance of good Christmas music out there, but my favorite albums are the ones that are intentionally worship-oriented in their content.  Below is a list of five of my favorite Christmas albums that have come out in the last 2-3 years.  All five have a mix of classic Christmas carols and newer Christmas songs, and there’s a good chance we’ll be singing a few of these arrangements at ACC in December!


-Joy: An Irish Christmas (Keith & Kristyn Getty)

Joy An Irish Christmas


-Advent Christmas EP’s 1, 2, & 3 (Future of Forestry)


-Glory In the Highest: Christmas Songs of Worship (Chris Tomlin)

Glory In the Highest

-We Have a Savior (Hillsong)

We Have a Savior

-Let there Be Light (North Point Live)

Let There Be Light

What Matters Most

Last week, I had the privilege of attending a 1 day conference with some of the ACC staff team. It was a great day for us to catch up as friends and coworkers and to grow as we learned from some great teachers – Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel.

I want to share with you something that really stuck out to me from one of the sessions. Craig Groeschel was sharing about the importance of time management and he said this: “The difference between the values you embrace and the life you live equals the frustration you experience.” He said this in the context of scheduling our values…of giving priority in our schedule to the things that matter most to us.

I can so relate to this! There are so many times where I’ve gotten to the end of a day or week and thought – I really didn’t accomplish the things I wanted to. It’s easy to let the urgent crowd out what’s important. That’s not to say that the things being accomplished aren’t good and worthy things…BUT…there are plenty of good and worthy things looking for our attention and our time is limited. In order to ensure time for what’s most important it makes sense to schedule those things in first.

Here are a few ways I’m trying to put this into practice:

- Getting my 2014 vacation time on the calendar now

- Blocking out important events (birthdays, anniversary, first day of school, etc)

- Scheduling more face to face meetings

- Working farther ahead




An Ever Morphing Relationship


matt myers


I love how some relationships change, yet endure. Let me tell you such a story.


I have known Matt for over 23 years.




When we first met he was in 4th grade and I was the new youth pastor at his church. Matt was a twin, and him and his brother Mark were known as hell raisers. (At least as much as a 4th grader can be a hell raiser!)




Fast-forward a few years… I remember as he was about to enter the junior high youth group; our adult ministry team began to strategize on how we were going to handle the “Myers boys”. We basically settled on 2 goals: to make sure they didn’t kill anyone, and to make sure we didn’t kill them.




Fast forward a few years… I remember him entering the high school ministry with a very large and rowdy freshman class – they took over the youth group immediately. Matt was loud, fun, unpredictable, and constantly hopped up on Mountain Dew. He was really, really good at bringing his friends to youth group. To my astonishment, he slowly developed into an excellent leader.




Fast forward a few years… I remember the privilege of officiating at Matt’s wedding – as he definitely married up, winning the heart of Jessica! It was fun serving with Matt and his wife as they very effectively served on our high school ministry team. Matt poured his life into the guys in his small group.




Fast-forward a few years… Matt and I served on a leadership team seeking to develop an alternative worship service at our church (Common Ground). Together we studied, planned, prayed, and worked hard to honor God in this new venture.




Fast-forward a few years… With great excitement I learned of Matt accepting a youth pastor position in a church in Kenosha. Not surprisingly, Matt kicked butt and took names! And he loved his job – he had most certainly found his niche.




Fast-forward a few years… Matt becomes senior pastor of that church in Kenosha. What???!!!! Not surprisingly, Matt is kicking butt and taking names.




Matt and I stay in touch regularly. We get together about once a month and spend half a day together – sharing a meal, talking ministry and family, and praying. He is my colleague and my friend. I learn a lot from him every time we get together and I never fail to be inspired by him.




It has been a very cool journey with Matt. Together we have been eyewitnesses to the faithfulness and grace of God. Amen.











Surprising Act of Compassion

Have you seen this yet???

Simply amazing! What an outstanding act of compassion. Middle and high school students never cease to amaze me. Such great potential. With the right influence, they can make a huge difference in our world. Praying for God to turn the hearts of this generation to Him.



105. 105. 105.


That’s the number that’s been on my mind lately. 105.

Our goal, fueled by prayer, is for us to receive 105% of the pledges made towards our three-year Growing Together Campaign. There has been a lot of very visible progress on our construction project recently, but I am even more excited about the faithfulness of our people in fulfilling their pledges towards the project. We have completed the first 2 years of our campaign and enter into our 3rd and final year – and our pledges are being received slightly ahead of schedule, as you can see here:

Total GTC Donations to-date: $613,387.58     70% donated
Total GTC Pledges to-date:     $876,113.21
Week 102 of 156  65.4% elapsed (as of 10-24-13)


At the beginning of the campaign we were told that in a typical three-year campaign, a church will receive 90% of what was pledged. We took that as a challenge! We believe we will not only receive 100% of our Growing Together Campaign pledges, but we will go past that – thus the 105% figure.

Please join me in praying that God will provide for us in such a generous way. And thank you for your generosity in fulfilling your pledge. Together we can do it!

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19