Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday Sum-up.

Today was a good day at Oasis Church. Attendance was low as I'm sure most churches also had low attendance this holiday Sunday. However, today was awesome because everyone seemed to be very excited about gathering together to worship today. We actually set everything up an hour or so ahead of schedule and tore everything down a good thirty minutes faster than normal, which was odd since we were short handed. Like I said, for some reason, everyone was very excited and moving at a rapid pace to prepare to spread the message of Jesus. I'm very excited about the next few months because churches typically see good attendance during the first few months of the year and I'm hoping to see a lot of visitors and there-by people accepting Jesus!

I have been taking a break from blogging if you haven't noticed, but I did want to take a minute tonight just to give a quick update. Here are a few random thoughts.

-We hired a worship leader as of lastt week. His name is Evan Beaver and he is amazing! he has a staff blog, so check him out at www.EvanatOC.blogspot.com

-Christmas was great. I always love celebrating the birth of our Savior.

-I'm excited about our discipleship 101 series that we will be starting in a few weeks! If you know anyone who breaths, invite them. There will be much to take in.

-We launched a new series this week called Girls and Glitter and it is going to rock!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Guest Blog (Eric Hawthorne)

This weeks guest blogger is Eric Hawthorne. Eric is our creative pastor and I must say that he does a fantastic job! Thanks Eric for all that you do and for your passion for Jesus!




I find it odd that Curt would ask me to be a guest blogger because I have my own blog to contend with. But, since I never blog there, why not blog here. That kind of sounds like a Dr. Suess Book.

A few weeks ago, Johnna and I were riding with some good friends to a Clemson football game and I was asked a deep and profound question. "What's so good about the iphone?". Well rather than answer this question in this blog posting, allow me to share with you what I realize looking back on the conversation. I have recognized that I have become an advocate for products and services among my friends and family. There is nothing new about this concept, some call it word of mouth and others call it bragging. If you pair my love for all things Apple with my passion for consulting others about the latest technologies, I would say I have a pretty powerful testimony. It doesn’t stop with the iPhone either. I recently found myself proclaiming Kasasa Checking the best investment since gold. Even while I write this, I fight the urge to explain what Kasasa checking is and how it works. The question I'd like to pose is simply this; what are you an advocate for? Or better yet, who are you an advocate for?

If you know Jesus, then you should be spreading the word of Christ. Not just saying; "hey, Jesus is awesome", but rather being passionate about God's word as though you believe in what you're doing in your life. You should be unable to stop talking about his grace, mercy, and love. So much that people around you actually see how amazing Jesus is -> to be quite possibly so convincing that others believe in your product, your service, your savior.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Guest Blog (Meredith Haynie)

This weeks guest blogger is Meredith Haynie. She is an awesome follower of Christ. She joined in with Oasis about 10 months before we actually launched. So she's been part of the core group almost from the very beginning. Here is what she had to say about what God has been doing in her life through Oasis.

Oasis Church has changed my life in more ways than I could ever explain. Before finding Oasis, my life (during my college years) revolved around partying, drinking, and going out. I made decisions that I still don’t understand how God could ever forgive me for or why He would. Even though I was doing these things I still claimed to be a Christian. During that time being a Christian, to me, was simply believing in God and calling on Him when I had no one else to call on. God was not number one in my heart and He fell pretty low on my list of priorities. Looking back, I now realize that not a single part of me was acting like a child of God, I knew Him and knew what He expected of me but I was too wrapped up in the “fun” life to worry about God. That “fun” life began to take a toll on all aspects of my life- school, family, relationships, etc. For years I continued this party life until one day I could no longer deny the need for some major changes in the way I was living. I stopped the partying and drinking and began to try and rebuild my relationship with Christ. I knew I could build it back up to a certain point on my own, but to get where I wanted to be with God I needed a church and a church family that could help me through the difficult, trying times.

For way too long I didn’t find a church home, I tried to do it all by myself. Not because I didn’t want to find one, but I never felt confident enough to go to a new church by myself because of the fear of looking like an outsider. However, about a year ago, a friend and I were talking about church and I was telling her the issues I was having with finding a church in Greenwood when she told me about Oasis and invited me to come. I decided to go the next Sunday. This decision has proven to be one of the most amazing and life-altering decisions I have ever made.

That first Sunday, a year ago, when I walked into the Oasis service I knew I was finally where God wanted me to be. I felt so accepted and welcomed by everyone. But more than that, I felt God’s presence. I realized immediately that these people were REAL. Their love for God was real and their desire to bring people closer to God was real. It was not a show like I have seen before; it was real people simply doing what God had called them to do. I have never been as happy as I was that day, when I knew I was finally doing what God wanted me to do.

Since that first Sunday, my relationship with God has grown immensely. Because of Oasis I am truly experiencing God’s presence in my life now. I smile just thinking about Him, I love talking to Him, and I have the most amazing, indescribable feeling knowing that He is right there with me no matter what. I now know what being a Christian really means, but more than that I know what it feels like to be a true Christian, no other feeling in this world can compare to the feeling I have knowing I have given my life to Christ. Oasis gave me a second chance and a new life, a life that revolves around God and fellowship. Without Oasis, I don’t know where I would be today. Not only have I developed a new, deeper relationship with God through Oasis, but I have also made wonderful friends who I know I can count on for years to come. Oasis has shown me what God is all about. Being a part of Oasis has renewed my spirit, my faith, and my love for life.

God is so incredibly AWESOME! He knew exactly what I needed in my life…Oasis Church.


Oasis, as your pastor, I want you to know what a difference your love for Jesus and your love for others is making in the lives of people. Just keep being real! Meredith, thank you for your love for Jesus, for all that you invest in Oasis, and for all that you invest in my children!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday Sum-up.


"You can be a christian with out being a fanatic." Really?! Seriously? I've heard this statement before, and every time that I hear someone say it, it gives me chills. Why is it okay to be fanatical about something as long as it doesn't have eternal significance? Perfect example... Sports. Now I love painting my entire body orange or garnet just as much as the next guy, but let's face it, most all of us have an easier time with fanatical behavior at a sports event than in our morals, actions and beliefs. Today was our second week in our practical atheist series. A practical Atheist is someone who says that they believe in God, but they live as though He does not exist. Here are a few thoughts from today. The basic mindset that we sought to challenge is "Hey, you can love Jesus without going crazy about it."

-ANOTHER PERSON CROSSED OVER FROM DEATH TO LIFE TODAY!!!!

-Christians have a distinct ability to make God want to puke.

-Jesus gave everything for us, but we don't want to give much of anything to Him.

-When it comes to Jesus, here are a few things that we are stingy with; time, money, possessions, family, relationships and much much more.

-Lukewarm Christianity is an oxymoron.

-Yes, I did say nipple today in the message...Sorry, I didn't know that it is a "bad word."

-Listen to the podcast from today, I feel sure that it will challenge you. www.OCgreenwood.com and click on podcast.

-Our volunteers are AMAZING!

-I don't really think that nipple is a bad word.

-People's lives are being changed because there are people in Oasis church who choose to love!

-I'm so looking forward to this weeks guest blogger. One Miss Meredith Haynie.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Morgan Hanna (Guest Blogger)

So this week's guest blogger is none other than my own beautiful wife. Here's her thoughts.

I was 17 years old when I went on my first missions trip. Lake Russell Baptist Church took a leap of faith and sent 3 fearless leaders on a van with 13 teenagers to New Brunswick Georgia to do missions for Golden Isle Ministries. I remember it like it was yesterday, the not so air conditioned gym, where we slept, ate and showered. The wake up calls from our cook at 5:30 am came way to early because our nights didn't end until well after midnight, yet, we made it. We moved our ministry from place to place, setting up our sets, making things from scratch, working our fingers to the bone to get things "just right" because we had to give God our best. From that trip on, our motto was "set it up, take it down". To this very day we all know exactly what that phrase means, it is engraved on every single part of our being because we knew what it meant to pitch in and give it all for God's glory. The phrase seems silly and yes we still get so tickled thinking about those amazing adventures that we sometimes wet our pants from laughter, but that phrase is now one of the reasons Oasis Church means so much to me.

Portable church....whoever heard of a portable church? I never had until my crazy, insane, Christ following husband informed me that a portable church is exactly what Oasis would be. Now, 10 years after our first mission trip, Curt and I and the rest of Oasis is setting up and taking down, just like God had planned for us so many years ago. I'm not sure I can explain this because I am terrible with words, but being portable has taught my kids and I a valuable lesson in what church really should be. Church isn't a building.....seriously??? YES, seriously! Church is the body of Christ, the people who gather together, worship together, fellowship together. Church is about forming relationships with new people, inviting them in and then sending them out to continue the cycle. Church is NOT about the color of the walls, the flowers in the vestibule or the size of the auditorium, church is your congregation. My prayer is that Oasis NEVER has a permanent building.......we don't want to be content, we don't want to become complacent! If every single church we plant is portable, then so be it. I'm prepared to "set it up and take it down" for the rest of my life, are you? Oasis is preparing me for the next step and even though I am uncertain of what that step may be, I know that God is preparing my heart and the hearts of those who need to be reached. Thank you God for allowing me the opportunity to serve you in this life, I am so unworthy.

My wife is so amazing! To this day we still laugh about "set it up, tear it down." We had no Idea what God was preparing us for. Morgan, I love you so much. I am blessed to the nth degree to spend the rest of my life with you!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday Sum-up.

Today was awesome! The highlight by far was that one person at Oasis Church gave their life to Christ today! That is so freakin' awesome! That brings the total to 4 people who have given their lives to Christ since we launched 14 weeks ago! I feel like we have been going for years and yet I feel like we just started last week. I am sooooo full of excitement for what God is doing in our presence. Steven Cathcart led worship today and I must say that he did a fantastic job. I've known Steven for years and I love him dearly. He has more musical talent in his pinky toe than most people have in their whole body. I absolutely LOVE that he has a desire to use his talent for God's glory. Today we began our series entitled "Practical Atheist". What is a practical atheist you ask....? A practical atheist is someone who believes in God but lives as though He doesn't exist. A recent Gallup poll has shown that some 94% of Americans believe in God or some form of God. Yet, how many people actually live as though they believe in Him? This is a huge issue in the American church. Here are a few random thoughts from today.

-So many of us claim to know God, but our actions tell a completely different story.

-God expects us to strive for perfection, but He doesn't expect us to attain perfection... That's what Jesus is for.

-Someone gave their life to Christ today!

-We can so easily miss who God is due to our blind conceit.

-Our volunteers ROCKED IT OUT today!

-I love our volunteers!

-I love our staff!... As always, I'm am looking forward to this weeks staff meeting.

-Hell is one person less crowded today!!

-If you are really all in with God, instead of fixing your life, He will ruin it... In a really good way!

-We have got to understand what it means to fear God.

-If you missed today, listen to the podcast. www.ocgreenwood.com then click on Podcast.

-We saw salvation take place first hand today!!!

-Many people made a renewed commitment to God today! AWESOME!

-I absolutely LOVED the new bulletins today. Eric did a fantastic job on them.

-I love how our volunteers own the call that God has placed on their lives.

-Jesus took on YOUR SIN!... Yes YOURS!

-If you are coming to Oasis next week BRING A FRIEND!... or 10, it could change their eternity!

-Remembering a quote from this week, "People aren't looking for friendly churches, they are looking for friends." Oasis, it is soooo imperative that we be completely real with people!

-We've got camping for cans coming on Dec. 4-5th!

-God is AMAZING!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Laura Beth Fields (Guest Blogger)

So I was thinking the other day about some awesome stuff that has been happening in Oasis Church and I wanted to share some of it with all of you, so that you can celebrate with me. I decided that it would be stupid for me to try to describe what's been taking place when I could just let people tell you first hand. So I'm going to try to have a guest blogger each week to share with you how God is using Oasis to impact their lives and the lives of people that they know and love. Our very first Guest blogger is Laura Beth Fields. She is such a sweetheart. I encourage you to read what she has to say, and give God the glory. So, without further jabbering, here is Laura Beth Fields.

This past Sunday was amazing to me, it was the best service we've ever had at Oasis. I brought my Brother, Nephew and Cousin with me. We had a packed house!!! The message was on fire and my boys were completely focused and quiet . After church, my little nephew came running out and told me he made some new friends and learned to forgive others. My heart began to smile. On the way home the only thing the kids talked about was church and how much they enjoyed it, and how cool the preacher was and that they wanted to come back every Sunday. I think i drove almost the whole way home with tears streaming down my face. I was so overjoyed I thought I was going to burst, and i still feel like i am going to burst with joy. God is doing some major things in my life and in my heart. He knows exactly what I need and where I need to be, and that's Oasis! I was welcomed and accepted right away. They wanted me as much as God wants me! When I come home from church, I am ready for the week to fly by so I can come back. I have never been so hungry to hear Gods word before, and I have never been fed the way I've been fed lately. The layers of hurt, shame, fear, bitterness, guilt and doubt are being stripped away week by week. Before I re-dedicated my life, I forgot what it was like to have joy and happiness in my heart. I also forgot what it felt like to have control of my life . I had no rules to follow and no boundaries I couldn't cross. My morals and values had been buried. But most importantly my soul and my very being was decaying, right before my eyes. I can't even begin to describe how thankful I am to God for His love and mercy, and how thankful I am for Oasis church! Everyday i am reminded of my past, but God reassures me of my future and everlasting life!

Now that is FREAKING AWESOME! Kids and teens excited about church! A life restored by love, grace, mercy, acceptance...... and JESUS! A value and moral system restored. Hope Restored. A LIFE RESTORED BY THE POWER OF A RISEN SAVIOR! The love of a church family. Oasis you people are amazing! I am so proud to be the pastor of such passionate people! Do we have everything figured out?...NO! Are we perfect people?... NO! as a matter of fact, that's the whole deal. We are all really really screwed up people and we know it. Jesus is what makes the difference in our lives. The thing about Oasis is that you guys are real. Keep it up Oasis. For all of you reading this, Thank You for celebrating with us. Give God the Glory. It is His power and His salvation that changes lives!

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Just a quick update

I just want to take a second and remind everyone about the November 6th show at Homemade genius. Standing small and a few other bands will be there. The show starts at 8:30. Come on out and buy some snacks and listen to the great music. The proceeds go to help homemade genius.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Prejudices (Sunday Sum-up.)


Today was intense. It was a hard message for me to preach. We had a lot of audio, video and lighting elements and I must say that our production team did a fantastical job! Seriously! If you listen to the podcast, just know that it won't do justice to what happened today. But listen to it anyway if you missed. Warning though: if you are churched, it may be a hard pill to swallow. I know that it was for me. Here are a few random thoughts.

-Our preferences are often times prejudices.

-We had a packed house today!

-Jesus is stirring the hearts of people with excitement about what is happening at Oasis and in Greenwood.

-We had a family today who is planting another church in Greenwood. It's called New Vision and they meet in the Greenwood Community Theater once a month right now. Dickey is a great guy and a great friend. He loves Jesus with all that he is. God is doing something amazing in Greenwood now!

-We make big statements with our small actions that come from our prejudices.

-Your kids know why you want let them spend the night in the home of people of other races! It speaks of your heart to your children... Just so you know.

-When we get to heaven, we will be worshiping with people of all Nations, tribes and languages. The same people that we treat as second class citizens will be at the feet of Jesus right beside us. At the great white throne! Why can't we worship beside them now!?

-We didn't talk about this today specifically, but when it comes to interracial dating, here is a statement that I think is ridiculous. "Well you don't see redbirds with bluebirds." man! a friend reminded me of that statement today after church. I've heard that so many times, and before I knew Jesus I bought that crap. I didn't just buy the crap, I took it home, cooked it and ate it... yea, ate the crap! But you know what I realize now... It's just a load of crap!... You know what, by that same logic we could justify walking up to visitors who come into our homes and humping their legs as a welcome.... Seriously! we've all seen the dogs that hump peoples legs. When I was growing up, we had a little black poodle that would hump everyone's leg. Needless to say, we got rid of the dog. But I mean, if we are going to justify our actions and prejudices by what we see in the animal kingdom, then HEY, let's at least be consistent. Why don't we all just start sniffing each other's butts every time that we see each other. If you are going to be prejudice, please find a better way to justify it.

-Jesus went to the socially unacceptable places and showed grace, mercy, love and kindness to those who were referred to as dogs back in the day.

-I'm so sick of justified hate in the church!

-I think that often times, the most prevalent prejudice from church people are of those who we deem dirty and hopeless. Oh, we would never say it, but our actions say more than our words could ever say on this issue.

-The first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord, and the second is to love your neighbor. You can measure how well you are really living up to the first commandment by measuring how much we live up to the second command. If we truly love Jesus, the rest WILL follow.

-BEER!

-Wow, how many of you cringe at that word? Maybe for legitimate reasons, but is it because there is a prejudice within you?

-We have got to take active steps to tear down the walls of prejudice in our lives and the walls that we build in the lives of others.

-God commands us to share Jesus with the world, but we tend to actually build walls between people and Jesus with our preferences... Prejudices.

-I'm going to post the videos that we used in our gathering today on Facebook and You tube.

-Here are the you tube links

-Video #1

-Video #2

-Video #3

Monday, October 19, 2009

Jibberish

So Today I was sitting on the porch putting new strings in my boots while waiting on my family to get home. When they pulled up, my wife rolled down the back window to reveal a sweet little girl talking away 90 miles per hour. The only thing that I could understand was Hey Daddy! owjdonvnvnalk jasdlnueuj kjhgunfhwaponzghfgh. You know, even though I couldn't understand anything but "hey daddy", everything that she was saying completely thrilled my heart. Let me ask you this. When you talk to God, Do you think that it's the words or the attitude with which you speak the words that matter the most? Do you think that it's the fact that you give God lip service on occasion that matters most to Him or the fact that even though you don't fully know what you are saying to Him, you say it with such complete adoration for who He is?
God's desire is for us to completely adore Him for who He is. You may say "Well, I want to adore Him, but how can I control what I feel?" My response would be "How much time do you really spend getting to know Him? How much time do you really take to learn who He is?"

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Sum-up


Porn and masturbation were that topic of the message today. I know, not the most thrilling topic, but considering the fact that 70% of men struggle with porn and 25% of women also struggle with porn, don't you think that the church should be talking about this issue. Yea yea, But that's just the perverts that don't go to church right?... Um, wrong. These statistics are just the same in the church.... seriously. I can hear some people saying in their holier than thow voice, "But the pulpit just isn't a place to talk about that issue." Well, I happen to think that you would be wrong if you said that. Here is my logic. Church people are struggling with this issue, but no one wants to talk about it because it's just taboo. Well how about this, why don't we forget taboo for a change and think about grace and mercy. That's what Jesus would do, even if he didn't have a bracelet to remind Him. Here's a few random thoughts from today.

-We ALL sustain sexually impure injuries at an early age.

-We have no idea how to deal with these injuries because no one wants to talk about it.

-We'd rather have people in the church suffering through Hell on earth thinking that they are the only sicko dealing with lust, pornography and masturbation; rather than talking about the issue with grace, mercy and love.

-Today's message was not a comfortable message to preach... The cross was infinitely less comfortable for Jesus.

-Pornography, Lust and masturbation is wrecking marriages right now, today.

-For all of those who deal with this issue. Jesus Loves you, I love you and you are not some weird sicko.

-However, just because you're not some sicko, that still is no excuse to not pursue holiness as we are called to by God.

-Here are some practical steps to deal with this issue in your life.
#1. Bounce your eyes. You will see things that make you deal with lustful thoughts. Whether it's a magazine in the checkout line, an email, a pop-up on the web, a scene in a movie or TV show or just someone of the opposite sex at the mall, you will deal with it. But just because you WILL SEE that doesn't mean that you HAVE TO LOOK. When you see something, immediately look somewhere else. Bounce your eyes.
#2. Capture sinful thoughts. When you do see something. do what ever it takes to capture the thought. When you deal with the thought, you can do a lot of things. Call a friend, read the bible, turn off the TV, beat the TV with a baseball bat, unplug the computer, Go for a walk, read a book... Whatever it takes. You can go to www.XXXChurch.com and get software for your computer that will email every web page that you look at to a friend. Good stuff! There's a lot of other stuff on that site too for parents and teens and women and men and all sorts of great stuff. If you are dealing with this issue go to this site now!!!
#3. Run for your life. Seriously, run.

-Please, if you deal with this issue, please listen to our podcast. God loves you and He wants you to have a life of freedom.

-I have sooooo many more thoughts, but this blog is already really long.

-Don't justify this sin in your life. I know that it is a struggle, but it is not right. I'm not going to plead my case for this right now but you can listen to our podcast online from today to hear in more detail. www.ocgreenwood.com then click on "podcast" or just search in the itunes store with key word ocgreenwood.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Worn down, Worn out...


So I was sitting in the foyer of Chili's waiting to have lunch with another gracious pastor who is chalked full of wisdom, and I noticed that just before the door that enters into the restaurant, there is a worn down place where people have to stop and pull the door open in order to walk through into the restaurant. I just starred at it for a while and I felt like God was saying to me. "You know Curt, in your life there are going to be some spots that are worn down with a lot more stress. but what you cant see right now is that those spots that are full of stress are just like that spot in the floor that you are looking at. They will always exist at those places where you are about to enter into something sooooo good." Just like the worn out spot on the floor at Chili's is just before the door that leads into the part of the building that has so much great food, our stress spots in our life will be just before the doors that lead into times where God will do something amazing in our lives. If you are feeling crushed right now, just remember that just like grapes in a winepress, God crushes you to get the good stuff out. I'll leave you with this quote from Reggie Joiner "God doesn't use perfect pictures, He uses broken people."

Sunday Sum-up.


So sorry that it has taken me a few days to get this blog up. This past Sunday was AWESOME! I'm serious when I say that. God put some things on our minds and hearts that I know will strengthen marriages. Both currently existing marriages and marriages for the future. If you are married or plan on getting married some day, please take some time to listen to the podcast. Here are a few random thoughts from Sunday

-Sex and Marriage go hand in hand. Don't plan on having a successful marriage if you don't want to work at having a successful sex life.

-A healthy Sex life begins the day that puberty starts.

-We need to be teaching our children even before they reach puberty, to protect their marriage bed. this requires difficult/awkward conversations.

-I will not hold back from talking about a Godly perspective of sex from the pulpit just because there are some teens in our service. I LOVE our teens, and I'm going to do everything in my power to teach them what God wants in their lives... by the way, you ladies ROCK!

-Men have got to learn how to bounce their eyes... and women too, but especially men.

-Women need to learn how to bounce away from negative emotional thoughts about their spouses.

-Please don't bash your spouse! PLEASE!

-Just like smokey the bear says..."Only you can prevent Adultery."... okay so he actually says something about forest fires, but it is the same principle... take preventative measures.

-Adultery begins with YOU!

-We have got to do everything that we can to protect our marriage bed.

-The divorce rate of church people is no different than that of the unchurched...... Um, what is that saying.... Well, I know what it says to some people. I appears that Jesus makes no difference in our lives. We have got to fall in love with Jesus!

-Speaking of people calling themselves Christian but not living it. The next series that we have planned is going to ROCK! It's called "Practical Atheist" ... Gonna be intense! soooooo intense!

-This coming week is going to be a hard one to preach, but it is going to be jam packed with tough truths. Do everything that you can to be there! Set your alarm... don't hit the snooze bar... too many times.... BE THERE SUNDAY....BRING A FRIEND!!!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Quick Thoughts


Here are a few quick thoughts.

-This past Sunday Eric, our creative Pastor was speaking with one of our teenagers and he mentioned to her that he could use her in the creative area on Sundays. Her response was "I'll do whatever I need to do." That's why I love our church. Oasis will do whatever it takes to see people's lives changed.

-We had some technical difficulties with the podcast for this past Sunday, so it won't be available. I am so sorry, but as a young understaffed church, these things will happen. Just wanted to let you guys know.

-Eric and I will be going to Catalyst conference tomorrow. We will be gone through Friday. I'll be giving updates on Twitter. Please be praying that God will use this conference to speak to us.

-Thank you so much to all of the volunteers in Oasis Church. You guys are amazing!

-I just started the process to be a book reviewer for Thomas Nelson publishing. I'll be starting my first book in a few days.

-I have an amazing family. My children are growing up too fast.

-On Sunday I'll be talking with Oasis about beginning our first small groups!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday Sum-up.

Today was intense. Not the most comfortable message that I have had to preach, but I know that God spoke to people in a powerful way about their struggles. This was the first of a 4 week message series dealing with issues that we typically don't deal with in the church, because let's face it.... Christians don't deal with things like adultery, pornography, gossip, overspending, excessive gaming, drugs, alcohol or anything like that... Or maybe it's just that we're all to ashamed to admit our struggles because of how we know other Christians will look at us. Today we talked about addictions in general. Here are five practical steps to take to deal with addictions. If You want all the details, you'll have to listen to the podcast.

#1. get your addiction out of your territory.
If you deal with porn, cut off your internet. If you are a shopaholic, get rid of the sales paper. If you are addicted to gaming, get rid of your gaming system. If you are an alcoholic, get rid of the alcohol... even the wine.

#2. Make sure that your addiction doesn't have a team.
If you struggle with lust, don't hang out with perverts. If you are a recovering alcoholic, don't hang out with people who drink. If you love to gossip, don't hang out with people who gossip.

#3. Make sure that you don't deal with it alone.
God has put us on earth together to do life together. Find someone that you can confide in and let them help you and pray for you.

#4. Have an easy thought for when you are tempted.
Make sure that you memorize some key negative results of what will happen if you give in to your addiction.
such as, broken marriage, fatherless children, cancer, heart disease.

#5. Don't take that first bite.
Do what ever it takes to avoid the first bite. As long as you don't take the first bite the ball is in your court, because the first bite is always so good.

Sorry Sally, didn't mean to make you want to molten chocolate lava cake. I'll work on that message about cokes.

If you are dealing with any form of addiction, this is a website that has a few resources. http://theelephantinthepew.com/?page_id=21

Also, for those dealing specifically with an addiction to porn, here is a great site. www.xxxchurch.com this is also a good site for anyone who just would like to make sure that they protect themselves and their family from ever dealing with the affects of pornography. They have some great accountability software that will email every page that you visit each day to anyone that you specify.

Take hold of your addiction today!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

This and next Sunday!


This Sunday was great. We had our first new official volunteer... So excited about having you LBz. We also tore everything down in record time today! We are getting this thing down to an art form.

Next Sunday is going to be the beginning of an new intense message series. It's called Elephant in the pew and we are joining with 5 other churches to talk about what God has to say on some very important and often times taboo topics. Here are the next few week's topics:Addiction, adultery, pornography, and prejudice. Please invite your family and friends. God can change lives over the next few weeks, but people need to have to opportunity to hear the message. BE the CHANGE!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rick Warren


In my experience as a church planter, I've noticed that it is difficult to find Godly pastors who have time to pour into your life. I have two Pastors who have been hugely supportive to me, and to Carl Martin and Phil Keowan I want to say, from the bottom of my heart "thank you." You have had a part in every life that has been and will be touched through Oasis. The other day I had an amazing experience. Rick Warren of Saddleback church began following me on twitter. I thought that it was so cool that he took the time to look up church planters on twitter and that he cares enough to follow people like me, so I sent him a quick note to tell him thank you for caring. I did not expect him to respond, but he did! That's right, Rick Warren of Saddle back church, the Author of Purpose driven life actually took the time to respond! I don't say that because I'm bragging on me, I say that to brag on him. A lot of people can say that they believe in and support church planters, but few people, especially people of his status actually prove it on such a personal level. Thank you Rick for being and encouragement. It came at a much needed time! Thank you God for Calling Godly men Like Rick!

Hey Oasis, This is Rick Warren's message for Oasis Church, word for word.

"Curt, we're in this together man.Tell your church we're partners in ministry &that I asked you to tell them I prayed 4 u & them! rick"

What an amazing dude!
JESUS get's the glory for that one!!!!!

P.S. Clay, this mid week post was for you man!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday Sum-up.


Today we were in the third week of our "One Man's Journey" Series. Here are a few random thoughts, some related to the message and some not.

-Living as a follower of Jesus is an amazing experience.

-Living as a follower of Jesus doesn't guarantee you that you will always have the "Warm Fuzzies."

-If we are not willing to abandon the normal (What we have always known) we are guaranteed to get the same results that we've always gotten... and for the huge majority of us... The results of our normal lives isn't usually God using us to do AMAZING things... Why? Because we refuse to give up the normal...

-Was it Albert Einstein who said that the definition of insanity is "doing the same thing expecting different results."?

-Hey... FYI... Jesus' methods weren't normal then and they're not going to be normal now.

-Just for the Super Spiritual... Yes, normal is a relative term, but by normal, I mean our normal every day lives... Get off of your high horse!

-If Jesus came today instead of 2,000 years ago, I'm sure the results would be the same... Yep, I think that we'd crucify Him. We'd make some pretty good Pharisees.

- When we abandon what we've always know to be... our normal... we are going to deal with some difficult emotions. If we're not careful, we can confuse the emotions that occur with abandoning the normal with the Holy Spirit convicting us of sin. Abandoning the normal will rarely feel right, but what we feel isn't what's important. What's important is what's actually right.

-People WILL abandon you when you follow Jesus.

-You MUST be willing to abandon EVERYTHING if you're actually going to follow Jesus ANYWHERE that He calls you.

-Jesus abandoned everything for you!

-If you are one of our attenders and you would like to volunteer on Sunday mornings, please let us know. You can email us at Web@ocgreenwood.com or you can just let the ladies know at the Guest Services table on any Sunday morning.

-For those of you who are pouring your lives into Oasis, Thank YOU!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday Sum-up.

Today was awesome! The volunteers did an amazing Job. We had a lot of people out sick and EVERYTHING still got done. You guys rock!
Here are a few thoughts from the day.

-I LOVE to see people excited about church!

-Pansy Christianity has got to stop!

-The YMCA is doing a fantastic job with the renovations.

-Jesus matters far more than any of our agendas, including my own.

From John 9:6-12
-There are four things that you need to know about for when God wants to do something amazing in your life.
#1. Many times you will FEEL like God is spitting in your face.
#2. God will ask you to do some RIDICULOUS things.
#3. God will place the right people around you at the right time.
-Is He calling you to help someone do something ridiculous today?
#4. God will ask you to follow Him blindly before He gives you sight.

-Today, my son on his very own, suggested ways to reach out to other children and get them into church! AMAZING!

-I wonder if Jesus actually hocked a loogey.... How do you actually spell loogey....?

-Jesus loves you!

-Please invite your friends over the next couple of weeks. Help them to see what God wants to do through their pain.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ready

I know that I'm a couple of blogs behind and for that I am sorry. I am so excited about tomorrow. Carolina and Georgia are currently playing the highest scoring game in the history of all history and yet, all that I can think about is tomorrow. Since I last blogged we have seen another profession of faith. That is sooooo awesome! last week we were able to be a presence on the campus of Lander University for the first official time since launch. Many of the Students seemed very excited about Oasis and we hope to see some of them over the next year. Tomorrow is week 2 of our "One man's journey" series. If you have anyone who needs to know how God wants to use the pain in their life to do some amazing things through them, please invite them to Oasis. I truly believe that God has an awesome message for many of us over the remaining 3 weeks of this series. Lord, help us as a church to do what's right no matter how hard it is, and grant us the wisdom to know what's right. Break our hearts for the lost and heal our broken land. We love you Dad! Amen.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday Sum-up

Today was absolutely AMAZING! From the time that we showed up this morning, the core team was on their A game. Kevin was right on with the music. The lights and sound and video were all top notch. Guest services, VHQ and OC Kids were on it. However, I'm not just bragging on our core group for doing an awesome job, although I am bragging on them. What I am so through the roof excited about is that people's hearts were stirred. Most importantly 2 people gave their lives to Christ today! That is so freaking awesome! You can't see me right now, but I cannot sit still. I have been so overjoyed all day long. Everything that we have done over the past year and a half was worth it today. This is the third week in the life of Oasis Church and Hell will now be 2 people fewer and Heaven will now be 2 people more crowded. My hope and my prayer is that this is just the beginning. Here are few thoughts from today.

-Church planting is necessary!

-OC Kids does an amazing job. We had a kid arrive today who's mom said that he would cry the whole time, yet when he left, he left with a huge smile and he told me that he had a bunch of fun. Wow! kids enjoying church. That's a noble idea.

-2 people met Jesus today!

-Pastors who don't worry about reaching young adults simply because they don't have money, really piss me off!

-People are dying and going to Hell! What are you going to do about it?!

-2 people met Jesus today!

-Our core group is amazing.

-I am so fired up right now. God is awesome!

-I'm ready for next week.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

little girl lesson

So, I was taking a shower... I know, not the way you want something that you are reading to start... Anyway... I had the door closed, naturally, and my little girl who is about 1 1/2 years old starts knocking on the door. She always knocks on the door. Every time that I get a shower as a matter of fact, she knocks on the door. The routine is always the same. She just jabbers, and I can only assume that she is telling me about her day. This particular night she was telling me about her baby doll. I could hear her knocking the baby's head into the door. Every time that she knocks on the door and jabbers away about what ever it is she is telling me, I can't help but smile. I take such delight in my daughters joyful noises, even though she doesn't always know what to say or how to say it. Every now and again she'll say something recognizable like baby or Brooks (her brother's name), but it's 99% jabbering. I was thinking, a lot of times I have no idea what to say to God or how to say it, but I imagine that He just delights in our joyful efforts to talk to Him. Think about it... God knows everything, so what can He learn from us. He understands our thoughts, and our desires are no mystery to Him. We have no piece of information that is of value to Him. Something tells me though, that He delights in our attitude of joy that we so ineptly try to express to Him... Even if we have no idea what to say or how to say it, our joyful jabber makes Him smile. Try to pray, even if you have no idea what to say or how to say it. He delights in your joy!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sunday Sum-up

Today was our second official week as a church and I must say that yet again, our group hit it out of the park. Everything looked really great this week and we actually had several visitors, 5 to be exact. Now many people would look at 5 visitors and measure it against the 40 that we had last week and call it failure. I however want everyone to know that we have got to celebrate today. Yes, last week was amazing. I mean, we ran out of chairs for goodness sakes. That is awesome! But let's think about today. we have 25 core group members, so 5 visitors is 20% of our group. In a church that has 100 in attendance, that would be 20 visitors. In a church of 500, that would be 100 visitors. In the world of church planting, a 20% visitor to core ratio is awesome. We have got to celebrate today!
God moved in our midst today and many people left with a renewed commitment to God. Today walls were broken down and hearts were shattered with a real sense of repentance. Here are a few random thoughts from today.
-There are far too many church people who are just not passionate in the least about Jesus.
-The reason that we are not passionate about God is because we are not committed to Him.
-We are more likely to keep to our commitment of watching a football game, playing golf or exercising than we are to keep our commitment to God.
-Religion stinks! we'll talk about this on week 4 of the revolution series.
-Church planting is essential! we'll talk about this next week... among some other great stuff.
-Jesus is passionate about you!
-If we treated our relationship with our spouse like we treat our relationship with Jesus, how long would it take us to get a divorce?
-Yea, I do believe that there are a ton of teenagers who are more in love with Jesus than many adults.
-I think that many of us have lost our first love... didn't talk about that today, but that is a real problem for many of us.
-The first line of Psalm 51:12 needs to become the cry of our hearts.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Oasis Launch!









So, as you can tell, we start them early. Today was it! Launch day August 2nd, 2009. I must say that I am so amazed by our Core group. Everyone was there and did an amazing job. We had approximately over 60 people in attendance today, which is pretty awesome considering our core group is only about 20 people. Thank you to everyone! Any one of you who prayed for us, supported us financially or helped Oasis in any way, you had a part in today's launch. Tomorrow night we will sit down as a staff and really talk about all that took place, but right now I want everyone to know that I believe God placed seeds in some people's hearts today that we will get to see sprout. Today we began a 5 week series entitled Revolution. I truly do believe that God wants to do amazing things in the life of the Church and in the life of Oasis and I am so excited about all that He has in store for us.
Here are a few random thoughts from today.

-We have a huge responsibility to spread the Gospel of Christ!
-I believe that many church people aren't passionate about Jesus because they don't truly believe in the hope that Jesus offers.
-Hope is the catalyst for passion.
-Jesus is passionate about us!
-Church is not a country club, but that is often times what we make of it.
-What have got to have a sense of urgency.
-People are dying and going to Hell every day!
-Please come and attend during this Revolution series if you want to understand why we are planting this church.
-Get over yourself...
-Fall in love with Jesus...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sunday Sum-up.

This past Sunday was awesome! This was the last practice set up before launch and we are very excited about next week. Everything is ready from the front door to the kids area to the worship. We even had a guest worship leader who did a fantastic job. His name is Kevin and he will be back for our Launch. Please continue to pray for us. Pray that God will use Oasis church to bring people to Jesus!
A message to the core group...
Please call some people for this Sunday! Remember that we are not advertising. We are having a soft launch, which essentially means that we are DEPENDING on our core group to invite people. You guys have been amazing, please know that the next several weeks is what we have been working for and we have got to invite people, lots and lots and lots of people.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The last practice

This Sunday will be the last practice set up. We launch next Sunday and I am very excited! I can't hardly believe it. I don't think that reality has really sunk in just yet. Our Core group has been working very hard and my hope and my prayer is that everything that we have done so far will be part of bringing people to Christ. I want to say thank you to everyone who has been so supportive. For over a year many of you have been sending in financial support and praying for us... you are amazing people! Over the past couple of weeks there have been many extra donations and much extra prayer. Thank you! We launch August 2nd and the service starts at 10:45am at the YMCA. come early and hang out a little. The whole core group will be there at 7:50 although I don't expect any of you other than the core to be there that early. However, we do have a few friends who are coming in for launch to help out a little. Mike West, a good friend who has always supported us, is coming in from North Carolina. Morgan and I are so excited. The first message series is called "Revolution" and it is a five week series. The series will explain to everyone who attends why we are planting Oasis. Week three will be especially interesting. Again, thank you for yourd support. Be praying that people will meet Jesus through Oasis Church.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday Sum-up.

Today was the second of four practice set-ups and it went great. We got to set up the lights and sound for the first time and it went really smooth. We still have a few material things to get, but for the most part we have what we need to launch. We still have to get all of our signage. Eric has been working very hard on the signs and they are going to be awesome. Here are a few things that we set up today. Guest check-in table, Children's checking table, VHQ area... this is for our volunteers, Children's area... we still have a few things to get for the kids area, and in the worship area we set up lights, sound, pipe and drape, chairs, projector and a few other odds and ends. Hopefully I can get a few pictures posted on the blog this week, if not then they will at least be in the next newsletter. The real work over the next several weeks will be making sure that we have effective systems in place to deal with visitors and supplies and such. The core group is doing an amazing job! Thanks again to everyone for the support and prayers.
Don't forget that launch is August 2nd at 10:45am if you can make it.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sunday Sum-up.

Today was absolutely awesome! For the first time we rolled the pods off of the trailer and set everything up... Everything that we have right now. We still have a few more things to get before launch, but overall, we have most everything. The Core group was awesome. Everyone pitched in and worked so hard. We had a guest worship leader who did a fantastic job, we at breakfast in the VHQ section and The worship area was great. I was blown away by the excitement and hard work. This week we will focus on filling in the gaps. Thank you to all those who have been praying and supporting us financially. I do believe that people will meet Jesus because of your support. The next three weeks we will continue to set up as practice and then on August 2nd... Launch!

You can watch this video to get an idea of what a portable church is.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

This Coming Sunday

This Sunday is going to be so intense and so awesome! The Core group will all meet at 8:30 am to set everything up that we currently have. There are several more items that we need to acquire, some of which will have to come after launch, but we will have a lot to do. It's going to be amazing. Only 4 weeks to go until launch. Thank you to everyone who has continually shown us support. Let's do this thing!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday Sum-up.

Today was the last official day of our Launch team phase. This coming Sunday we will have our first trial set-up. We built pods yesterday and it was a looooong day. For those of you who don't know, Pods are simply storage containers with wheels on them. Everything that we use on Sunday mornings will be stored in Pods during the week and on Sundays we will roll each Pod to it's area, take everything out of the Pod and set everything up. When the service is over we will pack everything back into the Pods and roll them into the trailer where it will stay until the next week. This set-up and tear-down is what we will practice for the next 4 weeks. We have a guest worship leader coming this Sunday and I am very excited about it. The next 4 weeks is a good time for anyone to visit who may want to help us launch. We officially launch August 2nd. We also have a video up on the Website that anyone can take a look at. It's just simply a few words from the hearts of our core group about why they would love to have you join us. Today we talked about what's going to happen over the next 4 weeks and how we need as a core group to have our hearts completely focused on Jesus. At staff meeting tomorrow we will finalize a few more things for launch such as signs and things of that nature. I love you core group. Remember to be spending time with Jesus!

P.S. you can take a look at the video by going to www.ocgreenwood.com

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday Sum-up.


Today was great. We got to use the new screen and projector for the first time. The crew set up the pipe and drape to get measurements again in order to fit the screen in just right. Sarah brought the computer for the first time and did a great job. Matt did awesome with the music, Eric did awesome with the screen and tech stuff, Hick and KG of course handled the pipe and drape and everyone helped clean up afterwards. We have an awesome core staff. In two weeks we'll be having our Pod day and we are really looking forward to it. I'm very excited about it. Pod day is June 27th, Location is still TBA. Sarah just finished the video and she did a fantastic job. We'll be posting it sometime soon. The video, for those of you who don't know, is just a few clips of people in our core group that we hope will inspire others to get involved.

Here are a few thoughts from today.
-God is not concerned with our convenience, He is concerned with the salvation of people.
-If you are a believer, your desire to be convenient has the potential to send people to Hell.
-If you are an unbeliever, your desire to be convenient has the potential to send you to Hell.
-When people tell me that they just need to get some things straight in their life before they get into church what I really hear them saying is "I'm just not ready to give up doing some things that I know are wrong because I love them more than Jesus."
-I wonder how frequently I choose convenience over Jesus? It breaks my heart to start listing.
-If we took a shower as often as we pray, our spiritual lives would smell just like our bodies, and most of us would stink!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sunday Sum-up.

So I'm sorry for being late on this one. I've been really pushing things to get a tree business going this summer. For those of you who don't know about my tree climbing fetish, it would take time to catch you up... so... anyway. Just a few thoughts from this past Sunday.

-We invest in what we value, and we value what we invest in.
-Try writing down your regular weekly schedule... not what you want it to be, but what it actually is.
-Where do you spend most of your time?
-What comes in second and third?
-Determine what you do because you have to do it... AKA work for some of us.
-I love my work, so I have to pace myself with it.
-Determine why you spend time doing what you do and if you should spend as much time with those things.
-What should you be spending more time doing?
-Jesus invested in us through the cross because He highly values us.
-He paid the ultimate price because He loves us ultimately.
-I really do believe that if more people could honestly evaluate their priorities through the simple exercise of actually writing down where they spend their time. Marriages and families would be saved.
-Notice that I didn't say businesses and bank accounts would be saved.
-Dude, half of all marriages end in divorce.
-Church people don't have any better statistics.
-I wonder where the Devil has a strong hold on us?...
-Umm, Marriages maybe... Just a thought
-How fast can an affair happen?...
-Faster than any of us can conceive...
-The bible tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, so in other words "Be afraid of God". So if we should fear someone as good as God, shouldn't we fear the possibility of infidelity?... I think that we have got to be afraid, because fear will keep our guard up.
-Always be on guard.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Safety (Sunday Sum-up.)


Today was really exciting because it was the last day of our breakout planning sessions. The past 4 weeks we have had a quick devotional and then we broke into our 4 different areas through which our services will function in order to plan, and I must say that it has been interesting and exciting. First off, Core group, you are amazing. Thank you so much for your excitement and planning. I can't wait to start going through your lists tomorrow night at lead staff meeting. Second, beginning this week, we want ANYONE who has the slightest thought that they may like to come join in and help us launch to decide now that you will visit with us with in the next several weeks, preferably some time in June. We meet at 10:45 AM at the Greenwood YMCA each Sunday. If you have any questions, you can contact the church by email at web@ocgreenwood.com or you can call the church office at 864.229.2105. Heck, just call me if you want, my cell is 864.344.8381. We want to make sure to answer any one's questions who may like to be involved. You don't have to join Oasis Permanently. Just come out and help us through August or September and then go back to your home church if you like. This is your opportunity to be a missionary in your own community. Hey, how easy is that... You can be a part of missions and still get to sleep in your own bed! It's almost like brownies in a box... just too easy.

Just a few quick thoughts from today.

-Yes, I did say that safety is not a biblical value.
-For some reason, we tend to teach our kids that if it's not safe, then it's not of God... That is just a lie straight from the pit of Hell.
-Yea, we do have to protect our kids. Yea, we do have to think about safety. But we can't determine if something is God's will simply by asking "Is this the safe thing to do?"
-Judging from most of the disciples in the New Testament, we'd be more successful at determining God's will by asking just the opposite question. "What's the most dangerous route?"
-If Safety were a biblical value...
-Inner city kids wouldn't get reached.
-The Church in China would be non-existent.
-Homeless shelters would close their doors.
-Many many missionaries would come home
-Any Pastor with a child would need to quit the ministry and get a safer job for his family
-Jesus would have really been off the mark when He decided that His Father sent Him to DIE on a cross.
-The Apostles would have kept their mouths shut and never told anyone about Jesus!

Here's a question that could truly change your life... "What are the beliefs that drive you to determine what God's will is for your life?" I know that safety used to be one of mine years ago... Until I started BELIEVING the bible!... That's a serious statement, not a joke. If you really want to believe the scriptures, then allow them to challenge the things that you've always assumed were true.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

6 years ago....

As of today, Morgan and I have a son who is 6 years old. It's so hard to believe. It seems like just yesterday Morgan was telling me that she was pregnant. I can remember being so worried in the hospital room because Brooks' heart rate was dropping sporaticaly. Oh, I can remember the anxiety of watching his heart rate. I kept buzzing the nurses and asking them if they were paying attention to the monitor and they would reassure me that they were watching, but they were just being to calm and seemingly unconcerned. His heart rate dropped to about 26 and next thing I knew they were rushing Morgan out and throwing a pair of scrubs at me. by the time I got my scrubs on and got into the surgery area they were ready to cut her open. They didn't even have time to give her an epidural so she felt everything. Turns out Brooks decided to try and hang himself with his umbilical cord. He had it wrapped around his neck twice. He came out all blue. I have never in my life been so glad to hear a baby cry, I just knew he was dead. Now after two more C-sections I know that they always come out blue... but I didn't know that then. I am still so grateful to those doctors and nurses. Thank you guys so much!
JB (Brooks), I love you so much son! You are an amazing kid. ever since I can remember you have been so loving. You have always been so ahead of the curve in learning and everything. Your smile is my sunrise! My prayer for you is that you will follow God with all of your heart, risking everything that you know, just to see the name of Jesus made known in the hearts of men. Live life to the fullest. Don't ever back down from what you know God is calling you to do, no matter who says you're crazy. To be honest son, you have to be a little crazy to follow God everywhere that He calls you to go. Be the change that you want to see in the world!! I LOVE YOU!!!

Your daddy

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

This Coming Sunday


This is it! This Sunday each group has to have all of their information in. For the past few weeks each group has been gathering information that will help us develop a finalized budget for launch and begin the process of buying things. This is a very exciting time. Starting June 7th we need to begin inviting people who may want to help with the launch to visit with us. This will officially be the beginning of our Launch team phase. If any of you reading this would like to be involved with Oasis, please come and visit with us one Sunday in June. Core group, be sure to bring all of your info. Also, Later in June we will have a work day where we all get together and build pods... to organize everything on the trailer to get ready for some practice set-ups through July. It looks like the date is going to be June 27th, so mark your calendars Core. This will be a really fun day where we can all get together and hang out for quite some time. Plan on spending the whole day busy. It's going to be so fun! Gee golly wiz, I sound like such a goof. But honestly, it will be a blast! We are almost ready for Launch!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sunday Sum-up.



Today was really amazing. I am so excited about launch and everything that we have to get done before August 2nd. This morning again, we broke into our groups and again, everyone was planning away so passionately. Thank you so much Core, for being so head over heals in love with Jesus! You guys are awesome! I spoke to the core group before the break out sessions on the topic of finances. Really though, I spoke about sacrifices. But to be honest, I don't think that we as believers should ever be able to separate our finances apart from the idea of sacrificing. I mean, in all reality, if we as the church would always ask ourselves this one question, there would be so many less people spending eternity in Hell. That question is "How can I sacrifice in the area of finances in order to make sure that my material possessions are used most effectively to spread the Gospel of Christ?" Another way to ask this question is "Where is the best opportunity for me to give what I have so that more people can know Jesus?" If we as Christians would ask this question seriously of ourselves on a regular basis, imagine how many more people could have their lives changed by the Gospel of Jesus. Here's what I believe about not using your money for the growth of the kingdom. If you're not using your money for the kingdom of God then you may as well be doing what the picture above suggests that you would be doing with your money. I'm not saying that Oasis is the only way to invest your money in the kingdom. Oasis is one of many many options, but find the best option for you and invest in it! NOW!

Here are a few random thoughts from today.
-When is the last time that you did something so crazy for God, that you knew if He didn't intervene, you'd never make it?
-If you've never done anything like the question above, are you really following God?
-I can't think of any example in the bible of a disciple who had it easy.
-Jesus Gave His life. Why do we think that it's not going to cost us anything to follow Him?
-It's a hard pill to swallow, but collateral damage us unavoidable when you follow Jesus.
-Jesus has never been, is not currently and will not ever be a boy scout!!!
-Does any of what I am saying and asking make any sense what-so-ever? If not, please check your discipleometer.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Movement



I was reading this verse the other night and I just got to wondering a little. What if the gospel was being preached today in such a way that certain business owners were worried about their lively-hood. Imagine if a huge multitude of people stopped buying drugs, stopped buying enough alcohol to get wasted, stopped sleeping with prostitutes, stopped gambling, stopped buying excessively on credit... What if people just stopped living lives that support these businesses. I'm not talking about boycotting or Legislating in order to get these changes. Paul didn't set out to change the law or get as many people as he could to boycott the idol craftsmen, Paul set out to be used by God to change people's hearts. I'm talking about repentance, an amazing movement of God where multitudes of people repent of their current lifestyles in order to follow God with all of their hearts. I'm talking about a situation where people are being saved out of prostitution and drug addictions. What if divorce lawyers lost half of their business because the divorce rate in America dropped from 50% to 25% because husbands and wives began to MUTUALLY lay down their pride for the sake of their wedding vows. That would be so awesome. I can see it now in the headlines. "Divorce lawyers call conference, Fear for lively-hood." I'm talking about restored relationships, changed lives and a spread of God's redemptive forgiveness throughout America. Wow, now that would be amazing!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

This Coming Sunday



I am so freakin' excited about what is ahead of Oasis Church! Millions of people celebrated over American Idol tonight, and it is a good show, but I tell you what... It's going to be so much more amazing to stand with the multitudes in heaven and Worship or maker! What if America was as excited about Jesus as we are about American Idol? Imagine the lives that would be changed, imagine the hearts that would break, imagine the souls that would be saved! God is moving in our Nation, He is turning the tides of spirituality and we as the church should do everything in our power to make sure that when this next generation searches, that they find Jesus, the one who seeks them. Hey Core Group, make sure that you are doing your homework... And if anyone reading this sees Kris somewhere, tell him that I said congratulations. I think he does much better than Adam... Oh yea, if you see Danny walking around, mention to him that we need a worship leader, I think that he would do a pretty freakin' awesome job for Oasis.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday Sum-up.

Today was yet another amazing day with Oasis Church. Being a pastor has been a huge learning experience and one of the most difficult things to do sometimes is to just stop, but that is exactly what I did today. This morning during our Core Group meeting, I just got out of the way. After almost a year of teaching and speaking to the group I was able to literally let them do what God is calling them to do. After speaking for about 7-8 minutes, I literally played with the children. I took the kids in the kids room and we played with toys and read books and I wiped snotty noses. I did this because I trust Oasis to do what God is calling them to do. We are preparing for launch and it is so exciting. When I came out of the Children's area, all the groups were still planning hard away and it was a wonderful thing to see. Everyone seemed so excited to do what needed to be done. Core group, I love you guys! Here are a few random thoughts and recaps from the first few minutes of the meeting.

-God has given His disciples AUTHORITY to do amazing things.
-Doing amazing things requires action... not JUST participation.
-Fans sit in the stands... Fans are good.
-Players are on the field... Players are necessary!
-God has called every disciple to be a player of something.
-Oasis has fans, and the support of these fans is awesome!
-God has called the core group to be players and you guys are running with the ball!
-Yes, Ministry in most American churches is very comfortable compared to the ministry of the 12 disciples.
-How would we react if God told us to take nothing on a journey... NOTHING LITERALLY!?
-We'd probably ask Him if we could at least take our cell phones.
-The Church can NOT get comfortable, it's so easy for us to because our ministry is so much more comfortable than that of the 12.
-Our ministry is no less of a calling than the 12's.
-God desires to do amazing things through Oasis and every American Church!
-Jesus told the disciples that they would be persecuted... Flogged... Beaten... killed.
-They still followed Him.
-They still preached the gospel.
-We shy away from the gospel because we don't want to make anyone mad...
-We have GOT to preach the Gospel whole heartedly!
-Our call is to carry a message of hope!
-Let's act like we have something to offer the world!
-Because we do... It's a message of HOPE!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sunday Sum-up.

Today was a great day to be part of Oasis Church. The Core Group began the process of developing supply lists for each section and setting firm launch budgets. We met all together for the first 15 minutes and then we broke off into separate groups. The groups were Worship Team, Children's Team and Guest Services Team. So for the next three weeks we will continue with this process. It was really exciting to see each group working together so effectively. I had the opportunity to just walk around and observe passionate people putting forth passionate effort in planning to be used by God to impact the community of Greenwood with the gospel of Christ... Man that was a long sentence, probably a lot of grammatical errors in it. This summer is going to be an amazing experience!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

This Coming Sunday

This coming Sunday is going to be really interesting. We will begin by meeting in one large group to talk about vision and how each area can meet the vision of Oasis. After a few minutes, we will break out into our four different areas and each group will begin dreaming and planning for their particular positions. I'm sure that there will be plenty of homework, so be ready core group. The next three weeks will have this same basic format. I'm waiting to hear back about our Launch Team Phase video and I believe that it is going to be a great tool to bring more people on board with Oasis. I will let you guys know something on it just as soon as I find out more. Please keep in mind that we labor not for ourselves, but for the gospel of Christ! I love you guys. Oasis, you are an amazing Church!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sunday Sum-up.

Today was really awesome! We talked about how God uses messed up people to do great things for His Glory. So if you feel like you are a messed up person, then you are exactly who He wants to use. Think about it, who gets the most glory when God uses messed up people to do amazing things?... He does. At the end of the message everyone filled out papers signifying in what areas they would like to serve, and tonight we sat down as a lead staff and went through all of the papers. We were able to place everyone in their number one choice for what area they want to serve in. God really is moving in the hearts of the core group and I believe that we had just the right amount of people sign up for each area because God has the right people involved in this church plant and they are truly listening to His call on their lives. I really enjoyed today and I'm already so excited about this coming Sunday when we get to do breakout sessions and see our core work together in each of their teams. It's going to be amazing!
If you are reading this blog and you are not currently involved with Oasis, you need to know that there are still many, many positions that God can use you to fill. In a few weeks we will begin our launch team phase where anyone will have the opportunity to hear about the opportunities of service within Oasis Church. Please feel free to come join us. We will let everyone know about the Launch team meetings through facebook, personal invitations, our newsletter and I will let you know on this blog. Let's do this!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

This Coming Sunday

I am so excited about this coming Sunday! RRRRRRR! that's me clinching my teeth, while thinking about rushing at the enemy with our Core by my side! We will spend time this Sunday talking about being in the right place for the Glory of God. Our Core will get a chance to write down where they want to serve and then all during next week the Lead Staff will spend time praying over every name and each position. Then the fun begins of finalizing Items, processes, budget and so much more! This past week we bought a trailer and now it's time to look at what we are going to fill that trailer with. In the UFC Referee voice "Let's get it on!"

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sunday

Yesterday we talked about VHQ which stands for Volunteer Head Quarters. VHQ is one of our four areas that we will have on Sunday Mornings by launch. The past four weeks we have talked about each of the four areas. Guest Services, Children's, Worship, and VHQ. I was really excited to talk about the importance of volunteers to everything that we do. We have an amazing opportunity placed before us and volunteers are what will make the difference. This coming week will be Aces in their places. It's going to get real for the core staff over the next several weeks. Let's do this!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Awesome!

Last night a few of our Core Group members gathered at a home to make a short video for our Launch Team phase. The purpose of the video is for the core group members to have something that they can give to their friends to watch so that their friends can learn about Oasis in a very un-intrusive way. When we thought up the video I new that it would be interesting to do, but I had no idea how I would be impacted. As I sat there in the room with people talking about Oasis, why they got involved and their desire to see lost people come to Christ, is was so touched. Most of the time all I could do was close my eyes and hold back the tears as I heard their statements. I am so excited about the video and I know that it is going to impact people. Thank you so much for all that you guys do as a core group! I love you guys! You've got this vision and passion.... Keep it strong!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

this coming sunday

I'm really excited about this Sunday because we will be talking about volunteers. The way we handle volunteers is hugely important to me. I believe that we must highly value them and they need to know that we value them. The reality is that if someone doesn't know that you value them, then it's very likely that you don't value them enough. I love to observe relationships between people, and what I've noticed is that when someone doesn't think that they are valued, often times it's because they are not shown that they are valued. I believe that if we truly do value someone then we will do our best to show them. This Sunday we will talk about valuing volunteers and how we want to show that we value them. This must be a high priority of ours. The reality is that people want to volunteer, but for some reason many people hate volunteering for a church. We will talk about why many people hate volunteering for church and what we need to do shift this existing condition.

P.S. Tomorrow I will blog about a video project that some of our core group helped us with tonight. It was amazing!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Update

This Sunday was really good. The YMCA hosted a triathlon and asked us to host a service for any of the participants who wanted to attend, although the triathlon ended early enough for all of the participants to get to their own churches. We got to get just a very small taste of what it will be like at launch. When we Launch, we will have a lot more set in place. I really enjoyed actually having a sound system. We have been meeting without any sound and this week we will go back to that format until we get closer to launch. I think the biggest thing that we saw was that we will need more people to keep from draining our core group. We only set up a few things and I must say that it is draining... but very exciting at the same time. The folks we had setting up did an amazing job. You are an amazing Core Staff! I want to say thank you to the YMCA yet again for their amazing partnership. Please continue to pray for us. God is going to do an amazing work through Oasis Church. Please don't forget that now is the time to give financially with many purchases for Launch coming up soon.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Columbine Anniversary

Monday will be the 10 year anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings. I can only imagine the pain the Columbine classes of 1996-1999 still deal with to this day. Take a minute right now to say a prayer for those affected there and the emotions and memories that they still deal with today. Being a teacher reminds me of the fragile lives of teenagers. We can all look back and remember the things that we experienced that shaped us in middle and high school. There have been many school shootings over the years, as a matter of fact you can click on this link here to go to a map of the US with all the school killings since 1983. Note that our own Oakland Elementary in Greenwood is on that map. There are a lot of students who have been and will be hurt in their adolescent years that can only be healed by a miracle working God. Please pray for the church, that we will be a healing ground for hurting people, an avenue through which people meet an amazingly loving and gracious God. Pray for Oasis Church, that we will have a heart of compassion for hurting people. The church is the only hope for a dying world. Let's act like with know that is true!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Update

This Sunday we will be hosting a service at the Y for all of the triathlon participants. I am so excited about it. The service starts at 11 and we will be setting up in the back of the Y in the Exercise room. This will be a wonderful opportunity for us to see just a tiny little bit what we will look like on launch day. We are going to set up the pipe and drape and we will actually have a sound system this time. We are going to need some help setting up, so anyone who can come and help needs to be there at 9:30. We will be loading in from a back door on the Y, so just come to the back and look for Rick's truck. Anyone who can't help at 9:30 needs to be there by 10:30 to help greet people. You are an awesome Staff.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Jesus ain't no Boy Scout!

I never got to be a boy scout, but I think that I would have really enjoyed it. What boy wouldn't enjoy being outside camping and building fires and learning how to do all sorts of cool stuff? The boy scouts are nutorious for being prepared, and being prepared is not really a bad thing. I think about this being prepared mentality in the ministry quite often. I often feel like we as Christians should always be prepared because it is the responsible thing to do. Shouldn't we as Christians be responsible? Sure, that sounds right. I wonder though, is this being prepared a biblical model? I've always assumed that it is the biblical thing, but most of us know what assuming does... As I have grown in Christ I've come to the harsh reality that the biblical model is not always the "be prepared" model. If you don't believe me, then just read this scripture where Jesus tells his disciples to take NOTHING on their journey. Luke 9:3 "take nothing" Wow! now that's intense. Why would Jesus tell his disciples to do such a "foolish" thing as we see it. With this type of journey there is a required level of trust in God that few of us will ever experience. I think that many...most every.... almost all Christians in America miss out on some great blessings simply because we convince ourselves that Jesus is a boyscout when in all reality he more resembles a vagabond. If God calls you to do something, then do it. Especially if he calls you to "take nothing." I really think that we have a long way to go before we even come close to what it means to be believers.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Blogging....more...maybe....

Well, this is the very first blog that I will have written from my house. We finally have internet at home. I'm not going to say that I will blog a whole lot more because I just don't want to commit to it until I know how much I will be able to get my wife off of the computer yet. I must say though that it is so very easy when I have a computer at home and I can get online. thank you so much to all of you who have been so supportive. I am so excited about core group tomorrow. We will be talking about guest services and how extremely important it is to what we will do in the church. God is amazing and He is very much capable of doing some absolutely amazing things.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bowling with the family

For some reason I feel like it's been a while since I've gotten to
just hang out with my precious family. Any church guys out there
reading this, we have got to slow down and see the miracles that live
in the same house with us!

Mountain Climbing

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Egos

"while knowledge makes us feel important, It is love that strengthens the church." this is a translation of 1 Cor. 8:1 NLT. When I read this it really seemed to scream at me, "see, this is what I am doing right now." The Church has too many egos. There are far too many people and pastors who love to feel important. Why do we love to show off our knowlege? Because it makes us feel good... US... Not Jesus, us... I just wonder what would happen to the kingdom if people made a shift from showing off their knowledge to showing off their love and passion for Christ. I hope to never preach with the desire to make people say "man, that dude is smart." after people hear me preach I hope that they say "man, that guy is broken hearted over lost people and the current condition of the church." I think that it is high time that we admit that we are the church, and our egos are way too big.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Awesome!

I'm at the office tonight about to continue working on a message and I just wanted to say a quick word while I have a computer that can access my blog. I usually have to type on my phone because we have no internet at home and that gets a little difficult. I just want to say a couple of things so this will be in a simple format.

#1. This past Sunday was awesome. We had our first baptism. I had the wonderful opportunity to baptise my oldest son and it was way way amazing. God has given us a powerful illustration of new life in Christ through baptism.

#2. Eric is our Creative Pastor and He does a lot of different things for us, the best way to describe his role is that he is in charge of most anything that you look at. He does the website and I must sayt that he does an awesome job. Go by and take a look at it when you get some time. He recently updated several things on the website. Please take some time to read the why are you hear letters, they are very powerful. Our first official message series is on the front web page. We are very excited about it!

Thank you to all of you who are so supportive of us. May God use us to reach the lost and empower the saved.