Showing posts from 2010

A Time to Build

Several weeks ago NorthStar Church voted to embark on a building project. This is something that has been in the works for years. The dream of building a new building for a Southern Baptist church in this area predates the the planting of NorthStar. Since the land was purchased major new neighborhood developments have sprung up around the property (satellite image). The road just south of the land has become a major thoroughfare, and they built a Wal Mart nearby!

Since the beginning of NorthStar plans have been made, funds have been solicited, the neighborhoods have been prayer-walked and surveyed. We had a meeting with the city of Hayden to get a special use permit. Still, after setbacks along the way, the dream of an established, church-owned place to meet seemed just out of reach.

Well, now we have a set of plans and we have enough money to get started on them. God has provided us with funds to complete the "shell" of a building. Our roof, windows and exterior walls…

Merry Christmas from Idaho

Let Peace Flourish Christmas Card Get custom photo Christmas cards online at View the entire collection of cards.

Top Ten Signs the Winter is almost Here

I'm taking a break from sermon writing to bring you this very important information about the culture in North Idaho. Enjoy.

10. You have to wear a jacket when you mow your yard.

I grew up in Mississippi where the grass stops growing and turns brown before the leaves fall off the trees. Here in Idaho the grass only seems to slow down and won't really stop growing until we've had a good freeze. In fact, I have even mowed while ice was pelting me in the face. Proof of the fallen state of Creation.

9. The Cars sound like bees.

Two words-- Studded Tires. This time of year all those super-prepared non-procrastinator types get their studded snow tires put on. On the dry pavement it makes this annoying buzzing sound that makes me think of the dentist's office. This also results in all of our roads needing to be resurfaced every two years or so. The plus side is, once you get into the right ruts your car will steer itself.

8. Steam is shooting out of the ground.

In Mis…

Catching up Part 3

Catching up on posting Videos 2

Catching up on posting videos 1

Uh Oh, I'm a Pastor!

A couple of weeks ago NorthStar Church voted and elected me as lead pastor.

Let that sink in for a minute. Lead pastor? Does God know what He's doing? Those of you who know me, I'm sure, will agree that it is an unexpected play on God's part. I'm 100% sure that my high school guidance counselor would not have picked "Pastor a freshly formed church in North Idaho" as my vocational path. When I first began my path toward vocational ministry, "sr. pastor" was about the last thing I thought about doing.

However, here we are. Sure of God's calling. At peace with his direction. Yet, surprised.

My church members assure me that they know what they are getting into. I doubt any of us really know that at this point! Still, we will move forward in faith, excited about seeing God work around us and through us. I know I have a lot of growing to do. My prayer is that I won't compromise or hold back one thing from God.

About an two hours ago in my …


We took a vacation from North Idaho and visited family.  It was great.  We got to see so many people and even attend a wedding of an old friend.  Now we are back in Idaho working with NorthStar church.  There are a lot of exciting things going on at the church.  After discussions with the Pastor Search Team and much prayer and consideration, they have decided to ask the church to vote on calling me to be the lead pastor of NorthStar Church.  This past Sunday I preached "in view of a call" and answered questions from members after the service.  Next Sunday the church will vote on whether or not they believe it is God's will for me to be the lead pastor.

It is an interesting and, for me, a unique situation.  I've sought a lot of counsel and tried to proceed with wisdom through this potentially tricky situation.  What I've learned is that often there is no such thing as a sure thing.  Any decision we make could go wrong or lead to risk and trouble.  There comes a poi…

About: Jesus in my life

I was recently asked to write down my testimony.  I thought I would share the result with you.

Salvation Testimony
My ancestors identify themselves as Christians as far back as I have been able to research it.  I was born into a Christian family who saw church attendance and moral living as the expected way of life without other options.  My early life provided a spiritual environment where I consistently learned biblical truths mostly through church attendance.  Before I could read I had been taught by my Sunday School teacher, Mrs. Mary Smith, to recite a simple Gospel message: “Jesus is God’s son, and He died on the cross to save ME from MY sins.”

So before I knew what sin was exactly (I remember thinking “sins” were tiny black rats that would infest your home) I had a strong confidence that God generally loves us and wants to help us.  When I was 6 and a half years old I was attending a winter revival at our church.  I do not remember who the speaker was or what he was talking about.…


Yes, summer is awesome here.  There are tonnes of stuff to do.  The weather is generally great.  And God doesn't take summers off!

Yesterday was a very good day at church.  We had around 70 people (which is pretty sweet for summertime).  We had returning visitors, new visitors, and guests just passing through.  It is always encouraging when people who are on vacation chose to stop in and worship with us.  One family from Canada was with us this week, and they went out of their way to encourage us and tell us to keep serving faithfully.  Another couple was in town for only three weeks, but they faithfully attended our services and even attended to Sunday morning Bible study.  The returning visitors are very encouraging because it reminds us that we are a part of something special.

Kid's Camp
Last week I was privileged to take part in a Children's summer camp.  A couple of our members were serving as staff for the camp and they couldn't find a worship leader.  So a week and…


Hey there, faithful blog readers.  I see its been over a month since we have updated.  Here's what's up.

This summer we have been challenging the church to take part in a series of tasks we are calling Journey 2010.  So far this has included doing a drive-through prayer for a neighborhood, praying through the phone book, praying for a stranger, and handing out a Bible.  These are not tasks meant to boost our legalistic tendencies but rather meant to help us encourage one another to good deeds.  Its so hard to schedule things together during the summer, we've given the church tasks they can accomplish on their own time yet still be doing it together. 

We have recently formed a pastor search team and will begin the process of finding and naming a new pastor soon.  Please pray for our search team and church as they seek to discover God's will for our church

I've been leading a weekly music activity for kids, creatively named "KidSing".  Basically, parents brin…

Why its hard to trust the media Part 2

Back in February I did a couple of posts complaining about the actions of the American media regarding a team of humanitarian workers in Haiti.

I just wanted to follow up and basically say, "I was right." It now seems that the media got every major detail of the story wrong. They were very quick to capitalize on the plight of the workers when it was easy to cloud the facts, but now that details are easily attainable there has been no attempt by the mainstream media to set the record straight.

To read about it for yourself check out theBridge. Pastor Paul Thompson, one of the workers who was arrested, has done several posts about his experience. Since the final worker was released he has been featured in an article in the Baptist Press and in an interview with the Good News Network. You can listen or download the interview in three parts below.
You could accuse Paul of making it all up, I suppose. Bu…

Why do I keep harping?

From Bennett

HarpingMain Entry: 2harp
Function: intransitive verbDate: before 12th century
1 : to play on a harp
2 : to dwell on or recur to a subject tiresomely or monotonously —usually used with on


In my preaching, without trying, I am finding that I tend to dwell on and recur to some subjects to an extent that some may deem tiresome or monotonous. Two of those subjects are truths that I seem to never tire of expounding on. They are:
The Gospel is not the result of our works, our moralism, our righteousness, our fitness or even our doctrinal orthodoxy.The Gospel is not intended to produce our temporal comfort.Why do I keep coming back to that? One reason is that these are counter to myths that I myself used to believe. Even though I was taught that those who responded to the Gospel were saved because of God's love, in the back of my mind I really believed that there were stipulations to this agreement. As if the Gospel was thi…

That's My Face

(By Bennett)
That's my face. Really, that's what I look like. You may be thinking, "I've never seen a bigger lower lip on a white dude." Well, I just want you to know, because I care about used to be bigger.

That's really irrelevant. I just wanted you to have this image in your mind as you pray for me today. Right now, actually. As you read this I want you to pray. I don't feel greedy or selfish in asking you to pray for me. I'm not asking you to sacrifice anything. I'm asking you to speak to the Almighty God, and while you're at it, tell him I need him. It's a win win. If you are wondering what to pray for me today, here's a suggestion:

Pray that I would neither try to escape the difficulty
of God's task for me nor cling to the comfort of familiarity. Pray that
God's work in my life will have its full effect. Pray that as I represent Globe Outreach, NorthStar Church, our supporters, and Christ
our King, I w…

Welcome to our Church: "A Great Place to Suffer"

This morning I read a post at Bridge Bloggin' just as I was thinking over what the vision for our church should be. "Vision" is one of those words that everybody uses but almost never defines. By "vision" I simply mean how we define, pursue and present our mission. So reading the post got me to thinking about appropriate church slogans. You know, church slogans--those short pithy statements that come after the name of the church to remind everyone what is most important to you. Most churches have them. "Real, Relevant, Relational" is popular. "First Church, First Love" is another I've heard. Some churches borrow from Cheers "The place where everybody knows your name."

Anyway, most church slogans are positive, catchy and geared toward making the church sound like a place where happy people come to be happy together. What if your church had a slogan like, "1st Ave Church: A great place to suffer!" Or how about,…

Hacky Sack and Demographics

Yesterday I went to a park to eat my lunch. It was about 2 o'clock on a Wednesday. I expected to see a few mothers with their kids taking an afternoon in the park. Instead I noticed that the parking lot was quite full. The disc golf course was crawling with people (mostly younger males). Three guys walked up and started playing hacky sack. You know, the game where you kick around a bean bag.

When I finished eating I joined their circle and demonstrated that I still had what it takes to be awesome at an inconsequential sport (that's my specialty). As we played I found out these guys worked as cooks at a local restaurant. They are young, probably early 20's, and have dreams of building good lives for themselves. I asked them if they'd rather make more money or work with people they like. They both said that making more money wouldn't help them if they hated their job. I told them I was a pastor, which didn't seem to impress them so much as confuse them.…


NorthStar men have been helping to sheet rock a sister church in Rose Lake, ID.  They've worked three Saturdays and hope to finish in another couple of weeks.  Please pray for our guys as we finish up helping this North Idaho church.  Also pray for Cross Roads Baptist Church and Pastor Joe Masterson, as they finish up their building project and work on reaching people in the Silver Valley.

NorthStar still meets in a rented building that is a great blessing to us.  It is not, however, where most of the church envisions being forever.  We have property in a great area that was given to us for the purpose of building a church building.  We have quite a bit of money saved, but we are still far from having all we need.  There are a lot of opinions about what needs to happen.  There are also some fears about the future of our church.  So on one hand there is great possibility.  On the other there is a lot to worry about.

Please pray that it will become clear to us what we should do, and i…

OH yeah, we have a blog

I know its cliche to say it, but we have been very busy for the last month!  Sorry if you've been waiting with baited breath for this post, but now it is here.

We did have a rough couple of weeks at the church.  If you are interested in details email me or call me, and I'll explain it the best I can.  What I would like to share here without any doubt is that God is good and in control.  He has shown that he can use any situation to glorify himself and has been active in the least likely of places.

For now Tom and I are leading as the pastors of NorthStar.  This means that I will be preaching most Sundays and the church has some decisions to make about its future.  For now we are focusing on the next few weeks as everyone re-evaluates who we are as a church.

For Easter we are planning a special service that will be a reminder of what it might have been like to worship in the first century church.  We are still working out the details, but my hope is that it will be a very special …


Hi folks, We would appreciate your prayers.  Our church is going through a rough patch.  I can't share much now, but the light of Christ is shining through it all, and I believe He will do some great things!

Sanderson Family

Hi friends,

Its been an eventful couple of weeks for the Sandersons.  God has blessed us with a new addition to our family.  Our son was born last week 8 lbs. 21 inches long.  He is a healthy baby and enjoys sleeping, eating, and long walks on the beach (in his dreams).  Thank you for all of your prayers, well-wishes, and support.

Our church family is taking great care of us, providing meals and offering to babysit Laurel when mommy needs a break.  Our regular families are making plans to visit us soon.  Jana's mom is here now for a week which is a great help and encouragement to us.  Our daughter is doing pretty good with the adjustments.  She seems to like having a little brother as long as it doesn't interfere with here accustomed way of life.

As a result of the birth I've been out of pocket for a week and I feel a little disconnected, but church was good yesterday.  We had about 70 people with several of them being new faces.  Our youth band filled in because our worship …

And Here's a video

Watch this video.  It is some of the American's being transported.  They are pounced on my media and practically manhandled.  Scary situation.

Why its hard to trust the media

I've never been a part of a national news story.  I can only hope that I never will be.  After hearing about the 10 Americans arrested in Haiti I started following the story online.  You see, one of those 10 is a guy I know through ministry here in Idaho.  Before they left he expressed a strong desire and calling from God to take action.  His heart was moved with compassion at what he saw on the news and knew that he had to do something to help.

I couldn't have been more surprised when I read headlines like these:
Haiti earthquake: One third of Haiti orphans 'kidnapped' by
American church ...
US citizens face Haiti kidnapping chargesHaiti could send US 'child-traffickers' home for trialBaptist "Human Trafficking" Update: Some Haitian Children Weren't
Sense of superiority drove church to 'help' Haitian childrenIf you have the time, you can go read those articles from early on in the situation, but just by the headlines you can tell that…

Prayer Needs

I was reminded recently that we haven't shared specific prayer needs in a while. I'm glad that you're paying attention! Here's the latest.

Prayer Update from North Idaho
Please pray for children's ministry at NorthStar. We have a lot of babies in our church but not many older kids.We are planning to do a major emphasis on VBS this summer. Please pray that it will bring children and their families to Christ.Praise the Lord our church member serving in India finished her service and made it home safely.Pray for our pastor's wife, Cindy, who is just now moving to Idaho after being apart for 9 months.Pray for our small group ministry. We have about 45 people involved, but we need more leadership.Pray about the future of our building process. We have a good start on a building fund. We have some land, but its not a lot. We have other options, but we need to know what God wants us to do. Thank you for your prayers for our church. Also, here are some prayers re…

the book that found me

A book found me twice so I decided to take notice and read it. Actually I won a set of Christmas books on a blog a subscribe to, and I decided to give the books away as Bunco prizes (I know I'm so resourceful). Well the other day while L and I were eating lunch the doorbell rang, and the UPS man dropped off another set of the same books I had won before. I took it as a sign.

The book I am reading is The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir, and I am really enjoying the author Katrina Kenison as she writes about the adventure of being a mom and her journeys with her two boys into adolescence. I know I have quite a way to go until I experience that transition; however, I can't forget what one of my bridesmaids wrote on a card she gave me the day I was married to sweet Bennett,

"Live in every moment, life picks up speed from here ..."

That's pretty much the theme of the book I am currently reading, and what I have found to be so true since I read Shauna's

2010 (Its Pronounced "Twenty Ten")

What is our ministry going to look like in 2010?  Many of you who read these updates are either financial or prayer supporters of our work through Globe Outreach in North Idaho.  I hope that's a big deal for you.  Its a big deal for us.  To know that people are willing to give and pray in order to make our work possible is a humbling thing.  To be honest I don't always think about that.  I don't wake up every morning thinking, "What will FBC Houston (or whoever) do today through me?"  But that is really what is going on.  When Jana and I are here being obedient to God, working for his Kingdom, everyone who prays for us is playing a part in that work.  That is humbling, but it is also a relief.  It is a relief to know that it is not about me.  If it were about me I would be anxious to prove myself to the world.  I would be frantic to justify my faith with results.  I would desperately need to know that I was responsible for producing something.

But the truth is I a…

Why the electric guitar was invented?

Since about the 1930's the Christian world has been faced with a worldview shaking dilemma concerning the character of God.  If God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and absolutely loving toward his creation, then why, oh my soul, did He allow the creation of the electric guitar?  This question has befuddled red-faced, tight collared clergy and purple-haired, white gloves alike.  What Heaven honoring purpose could such an instrument have?

Now I'm no rock music hater.  I quite appreciate it actually.  Just, like most things, I've always seen it as a neutral force in our world that can be used for good or evil.  Of course, most often it has accompanied what many of us would consider more or less, evil.  Did I qualify that enough?  I mean when you talk about rock, especially electric guitar laden hard rock, you immediately get images of tongue wielding, animal biting, frizzy haired, crazies that are one chemical experiment away from becoming a VH1 special.  I should also mention t…