Posts Tagged ‘Friends’

A little over a year ago, my good friend Matt Nelson, his lead team, and their families launched City Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I am proud to say that NORTHchurch helped launch this church.

Check out what all God has done in one year through this awesome church…

On September 13, 2008 I wrote a post asking you to pray for my good friends, Ryan & Keeley White.

Ryan and Keeley learned in April 2008 that they were going to have twins. After checkups and doctor visits, they have found that one of their twin sons has a a congenital heart defect called “Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome” or HLHS. They learned about this condition after doctors realized that one twin had an underdeveloped left side of his heart. HLHS is a complicated condition that will require three stages of surgery all before their son turns three years old.

On Wednesday, November 12, 2008, Braden and Reed White entered this world.

That day Ryan and Keeley found out that Reed needed a heart transplant.

More than two months later on January 19, 2009, Reed got his new heart after successful heart transplant surgery.

Exactly two years later on January 19, 2011, I received this email from Ryan White (Reed’s dad). It was seriously one of the best emails I’ve gotten in a long time.

Here’s the email…


Two years ago today, my life, and the life of Reed was changed forever.  Reed was 69 days old, and had never been outside the walls of Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.  Looking back, those 69 days seemed like a life time.  Reed would not live w/out a new heart.  He was born with a heart defect known as Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS).  Around this time 2 years ago, we got a call from the hospital saying Reed was going to receive a new heart!  To this day, I don’t think I’ve had a better moment.  69 days of wondering if my child would live or die was so difficult…wondering why he was having to deal with this…why after losing Kyle, our family had so see Reed suffer, and deal with possibly losing him.  Today is a proud day for my family.  We are thankful to the Lord, we are thankful to the family who decided to donate their child’s organs so Reed and others could live.

I’ve learned a lot the past 2 years and 69 days.  The thing that stands out the most is a simple thought : “It could always be worse”!  The 69 days of waiting were the hardest, and most challenging days of my life. It was in those days my Faith was revealed.  It was in those times GOD revealed himself as Creator and Lord.  It’s was in those times I learned how much I’m loved.  It  was in those times I saw GOD was good, not because of STUFF, but because you know He has suffered too.  I am blessed not because Reed was given a heart, but because God sacrificed Jesus.   God sent Jesus knowing he would die.  God sent Jesus knowing he would suffer.  God sent Jesus knowing I would sin against Him.  God sent Jesus because he has a Love that words can’t describe.  God sent Jesus despite you & me.  It’s the sacrifice that makes God so good!  It’s the sacrifice that gives us Life!

In closing, I ask you to consider being an Organ Donor.  This is a way we can give Life to someone who needs it.  This is way we can be a miracle to someone like Reed.  For more information check out:

God is good!

Ryan White

Our God is the God who hears the cries of his people. He is the God who listens. He is the God who heals. He is the God who saves. He is the God who provides.

Thank you for praying and caring for this family over the years.


Friends are extremely important. In fact, your friends and relationships will determine the direction and quality of your life. Connecting with the right friends and making wise choices in your relationships is crucial.

The Bible speaks a lot about the importance of connecting with the right friends.

Check out Mark 2: 1-5 (NLT)

When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.”

Let’s focus on the phrase “dug a hole through the roof”. Other translations say “made an opening”, “removed part of the roof”, and “uncovered the roof”.

It’s very easy to pass over this simple phrase. We often think the roof was some ancient, primitive, thatch roof. But that was not the case.

If you study 1st Century architecture, you will find that this specific roof was more than likely a mud clay (a lot like cement) roof with tiles. To lower the paralyzed man through the roof, they literally had to do major construction and demolition to the roof.

Can you imagine this picture? You’re in this packed house – wall to wall people – trying to listen to Jesus. All of a sudden you start to hear some banging on the roof. Then the roof begins to fall in on you. These friends literally tore the tiles off the roof, tore a hole in the roof, and lowered the paralyzed man by a rope into the house.

Imagine the people’s responses. I’d guess anger because they are there to listen to Jesus. They earned their spot. They got there early. He could have been in the middle of a life-changing sermon and they missed part of it because of the whole roof being torn open situation. What about that person who owned the house? That’s not a quick fix. That’s not a minor, cosmetic problem. That’s a huge hole in your roof.

Now look at Jesus’ response. “Seeing their faith…” Did you get that? The Bible does not say “seeing his faith”. No, the Bible says “seeing their faith”. Jesus didn’t rebuke them and say “Don’t you know how much a roof costs?” He didn’t say “Have you ever heard of a door?” No, he saw their faith and their lives were never the same.

Here’s the truth: the paralyzed man would have never gotten to Jesus or been healed without his friends.


From Week 2 of the REVOLUTION series CONNECT 4 entitled “Connecting with the Right Friends”.


Yes, it is time for me to earn some more points to my man card. There is no better way to do that than by participating in “No Shave November” and growing a manly beard.

No Shave November is as simple as it sounds. All NSN consists of is picking a part of your body you normally shave and do not shave that area for the month of November. No Shave November is not gender biased. Women are encouraged as well as men in participating in this awesome month-long journey. It is not a competition. So if you know you have patchy, inconsistent facial hair that might be considered weak, you have nothing to worry about. Let it grow proudly. No Shave November is all about giving our Pro Glides, Mach 3s, Venuses, Fusions, Quattros, Norelcos, and Remingtons a well-deserved break for one month.

I participated in No Shave November for the first time in 2007 and it was awesome. It was my first time to sport a beard and I promised myself that it would not be my last time. I hope to grow a fuller, thicker, more manlier beard this year.

In 2008, I kept a daily record of my No Shave November experiment (not on the blog because that would have been super boring for you, thus guaranteeing the loss of all my consistent readers) and posted sporadic updates on how the beard was coming. My goal was to take a picture everyday at the same spot, mesh all the pictures together, and make a sweet animation video of my beard growing before your very eyes.

Here is my No Shave November 2008 video…

So are you going to join me in participating in No Shave November 2010?

Men, are you going to join me in rocking the best beard you can grow in 30 days? Women, are you going to join me in letting your legs, your armpits, one leg/one armpit, or even a patch on your knees grow free for 30 days? Those of you that may have some rules and regulations about facial hair in your school or workplace, let me encourage you to grow something in the spirit of NSN. If you go to school where you can only have sideburns to your ears and hair above your upper lip, then I encourage you to rock the best sideburns and stache that you can for 30 days.

Can I count on you joining the No Shave November army starting TODAY, November 1?


Recently, REVOLUTION associate student pastor Michael Bergstrasser – that’s B-E-R-G-S-T-R-A-S-S-E-R – went to the Memorial vs Sante Fe high school football game and met some new friends. Here are some of the highlights…

Shown at REVOLUTION on Wednesday, September 8, 2010.

After seeing this great idea on Rodney Fout’s blog, I thought I would share some of my tweets I sent out this week…

  • “The local church is the hope of the world.” // I LOVE BEING A PART OF THE CHURCH. THERE IS NOTHING ELSE ON EARTH LIKE THE CHURCH.
  • You cannot choose IF you are a leader. You can only choose HOW you lead.
  • When something amazing happens, it is a natural thing to share that w/ others. Wed, Aug 4 was a historic night –
  • “Good is the enemy of great.” ~ Jim Collins
  • “Being classy is lame.” – Heather Cromer at the opera // I LOVE MY WIFE!!!
  • Looks like Benji Molina has been hitting those buffets with Joba Chamberlain. #Yankees #Rangers #MLB
  • Happy Birthday @shannonfoutsnc! Heather & I love and appreciate you so much. Make sure @rodneyfouts spoils you more than normal today.
  • Had a moment I will NEVER forget in Maine. Got the privilege to pray over two of my heroes – my Papa & Mimi. Love them so much.
  • Happy Birthday @benpirtle! Proud to be serving this generation alongside you. Keep changing the world.
  • 3 generations of Cromer’s. Do we look alike???
  • Happy BDay to the creative ninja @bergstrasser. Love this world-changing, bearded man of God. Couldn’t ask for a better partner in ministry.
  • Just landed in #OKC. The temperature when I left Maine = 71. The temperature when I arrived in OKC = 105. It’s good to be home!
  • Love isn’t a feeling, emotion or sexual encounter. Love is a choice to handle your relationships the way God would want you to. @rodneyfouts
  • RT @Kyle_Fox: The Chinese join two characters to form a single pictograph for “busyness”: heart and killing.


Follow me on Twitter HERE.

I love presents. I love getting them. I love giving them.

I embrace the fact that after reading The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, it was obvious that my number one love language was indeed GIFT-GIVING.

In modern American culture, there are two common days for getting presents – Christmas and one’s birthday.

I want to give a very big THANK YOU to my parents for having me on June 20, 1981. Being born on June 20th is about as close as you can get to having the two major present-receiving days exactly six months apart. Every six months, I’m rolling. It is awesome. I have always felt sorry for those people who are born on December 20 and their birthday gifts get lumped into their Christmas gifts. Those people do not even know the goodness of spread out gift days.

This year was no exception.

For the first time since 1996ish, I was not at church camp on my birthday. My wife was amazing (as always) by inviting 20 of my closest friends over to the house. We had amazing food, good weather, and great conversation.

I got this book

And five movies on blue-ray that I have not seen yet – Avatar, The Blind Side, The Book of Eli, Invictus, and Sherlock Holmes.

It was a great birthday. Thanks to all my family and friends who made it possible. I love you all!

Now it is time to own being 29.