Today Needs A Name

It’s time we give the day after Christmas an official name.  Yes, I know some of you are going to suggest that British type countries already solved my little problem with “Boxing Day” but I’m not jumping on that bandwagon.  One, I’m not British.  Two, it was started as a holiday to give gifts to servants for working on Christmas and, last I checked, I’m fresh out of servants.

But we still need a name.

I’m thinking something to link it to its closest holiday relative, “Black Friday.”  Honestly, there’s so little difference between these two holidays that maybe we just roll with “Black 26th”?  Nah. I don’t like that very much.  But somehow we need to commemorate the greed fest that marks the day after Christmas.

I checked my email this morning and was bombarded.  There were companies I haven’t bought anything from in 5 years letting me know that they hope I had a great holiday but just in case I didn’t they were having a huge sale today that would take away all of my cares.  Honestly, one email announcing that everything in America is 50% off would have been more efficient.

It’s funny because I seem to remember getting some gifts recently.  Yes, I remember…it was yesterday.  Hmm.  Guess that didn’t last very long.

At some point we’ll realize greed is never satisfied.  At some point we’ll realize materialism enslaves our souls.  At some point we’ll stop spending money we don’t have on things we don’t even really want.  At some point.

In the mean time, I have to go buy a car seat with Laura while they’re on sale.

Happy Whatever We Call Today!

A Perfect Christ In An Imperfect Christmas

Christmas is a wonderful time of year if you have a perfect life.  Or at least that’s the message I get from our culture.  If you’re good looking, are in a wonderful relationship, have plenty of money for gifts, a beautiful family and a couple of Clydesdales kicking around your snow covered back yard, this is the season for you.  If you’re one of the seven people in the world who actually like fruitcake, even better.

The problem is I don’t have that kind of life.  Yes, I’m married to a wonderful woman and we have a ridiculously cute son but life isn’t always easy.  The cute kid also pukes a lot and seems to enjoy screaming, often in the middle of the night.  Sometimes our house is a mess.  Sometimes I just wish we could make it to the end of a day without being exhausted.  And, for the record, I hate fruitcake.

Add to that all of the fears, hurts and frustrations in my heart.  Planting a church is scary work – what if we fail?  How will I explain it to people if we follow God into this and it doesn’t work?  It’s been a hard year for our family.  We said goodbye to a church we had been at for 10 years.  We said goodbye to friends in DC.  We set out into something new.  There were people who loved us well but also people who hurt us.  Many times I wonder why the high road can’t be the easy road.  I think about friends who have lost parents this year and friends who are uncertain about their future and friends who just want their kids to be healthy.  Not exactly the stuff of a perfect Christmas.

So we do our best to ignore it all.  We turn a blind eye and hope like crazy next Christmas will be better and we won’t have to fake it so much.

And we miss the whole point of Christmas.

Jesus wasn’t born because we had it all together.  He didn’t come on a perfect night, to a perfect family in a perfect place.  He was born to two poor, unmarried and terrified teenagers.  He made His royal entry into our world in a smelly, dirty cave.  Yes, angels sang.  But only shepherds came that night.

He didn’t come as the cherry on top of a perfect world.  He left perfection behind to taste our pain, to experience our temptations, to identify with our weaknesses and to show His Father’s love for us. He never asked people to clean themselves up before they came to Him.  He was called a friend of sinners.

The more tired, broken and hopeless you are, the more Christmas is for you.

The infant King offers hope, a fresh start and a life that never ends.  It’s not the life we deserve.  It’s the life He purchased for us on the cross.  His cross makes our forgiveness possible.  His death secures our life.  And His life offers hope to us all.

So, Merry Christmas.

You may not have a perfect life but you do have a perfect Christ.

January 19th Interest Meeting In DC

Restoration City Church will be hosting our first interest meeting in Washington, DC on Sunday, January 19th.  If you live in the DC area, want to learn more about RCC and might be interested in joining our launch team, this meeting is for you.  Even if you’re just curious about church planting in general, you are more than welcome to join us.  All we ask is that you RSVP online at:

For the last five months, Laura and I have been recruiting a launch team from The Summit Church in Durham, NC and God has blessed our team beyond all our expectations.  As we’ve been building our team in Durham, we’ve been so encouraged to hear from so many of you in the DC area.  It turns out there are quite a few “Summit Alumni” already in DC as well as friends we’ve known for years.  We would love to tell all of you more about what God has been doing in Durham, what RCC is going to look like and how you can be involved.

We are waiting to hear back from several venues and will confirm the exact time and location of the meeting as soon as we are able.  But I can tell you the meeting will be in the afternoon of the 19th.  So, please, save the date on your calendar.

There is so much ahead for our church and our city.  We would love to see you as we take our first step in DC on the 19th.

For Christ’s Fame In DC,


Whew…What A Month!

There’s hardly been a day this month when I haven’t wanted to blog and yet I’ve done a pretty miserable job of actually getting around to it.  Not cool – there’s so much I wish I had been able to capture.  Laura and I spent a week in DC having meetings, praying over locations and getting more excited than ever about planting in DC.  The only down side to the trip was Jack getting the flu – turns out sick infants and hotel rooms are a really unfortunate combination!  After that, we went to Baltimore for Thanksgiving.  I also got to preach at the Chapel Hill Campus and spent three amazing days on a retreat with the other Summit residents.  We’ve also hosted our 2nd launch team meeting in RDU.  Add into that many meetings with potential launch team members and some great times with family and it’s been a totally packed but wonderful month.

But life is finally starting to return to manageable (or maybe I’m just learning how to handle the chaos better!) and I’m looking forward to more regular posts in the months ahead.  But for today, I wanted to give you an update on how you can be praying for us:

1.  Clear Commitments To Join The Launch Team.  Since our initial interest meeting in November, I’ve been talking with many university students, young professionals and families about making the move to DC with us in the middle of May.  Almost all are looking forward to the upcoming break (whether that’s a month off for the college types or a few days for others) as a time to get space to pray through the decision.  I’m praying the Lord uses this season to give people the space to process this decision and get clarity on where He’s leading them.

2.  DC Interest Meeting.  Interest in Restoration City is growing to the point where we are going to be hosting an Interest Meeting in DC in January.  We’ll be able to share more info at the end of this week but please be praying the Lord brings the right people alongside us for this time.

3.  Rest Over The Break.  It’s been a really busy fall and Laura and I are looking forward to shutting down from December 23rd – January 1st.  It’s going to be a great time to connect as a family and spend time with both sets of grandparents.  Please be praying we are able to rest in the midst of all the activity.

Thanks so much for all of your prayers, your love and your encouragement.  It means so much to us as we are on this journey.  Laura and I are praying you have a wonderful Christmas.

And I promise it won’t be another month until I post!