My 7-year-old daughter created this Christmas note out of her Banana Gram letters on the floor in her room. Thank you, sweetie. Daddy and Mommy love you to the moon and back!
Kristy scored some "awesome wife points" today (not that she needs them) when she encouraged me to go on a trail run as part of my post-Christmas staycation. So, obliging her, I drove up to Woody Gap and ended up running to Gooch Gap and back on the AT. Below is a photo of snow … Continue reading Snow on the AT
Hello Creekstone friends! I am on vacation this week and will miss you on Sunday. However, since Andy will be teaching, you are in for a treat! And with Sunday being January 1st, I can't imagine a better way to start the new year than by being reminded of the gospel. My prayer is that … Continue reading Last Week of 2011 Update
Here are the notes and audio from the Creekstone Christmas Eve message for those who were unable to attend. Hope you and yours have a happy New Year!
Hey parents, I just had an idea. Let's put down the laptop or iPad for a minute and go find one of our kids, look 'em in the eyes and say, "You know what, I'm so glad you are my son/daughter." That's it. If they ask, "Why?" say "Just because you are mine." That may … Continue reading A Thought for Parents: Giving the Greatest Gift Your Kids May Get All Day
Just got the kid's presents wrapped and about to hit the sack. Wow, Kristy is an amazing gift wrapper. Anyway, I think we are ready for the morning. Also, I'm really grateful for the folks who helped with the Christmas Eve service tonight. Even with a few technical difficulties, they rallied and received the grace … Continue reading Christmas Eve Wrap Up
With the weather today being perfect for an outdoor adventure, I took the my three Caston kids on a hike on the Dockery Lake Trail, a spur of the Appalachian Trail just south of Woody Gap. Here are some memories. By the way, Ann Ferris, the budding photographer with quite the creative streak, took these photos. See … Continue reading Dockery Lake Trail Hike with the Kids (Photos)
via youtube.com This video shows Tim Tebow mic'd during his recent game vs. the Chicago Bears. Pretty good model of sportsmanship and leadership for those of us who are raising up boys. A rare combination of both humility and toughness. His words to a receiver who drops a touchdown pass are priceless.
Dear friends, As we reflect upon the cradle and the cross at the close of 2011, it is our prayer that 2012 will be a year of grasping the glorious grace-implications of the gospel even more deeply so that we will be compelled to extend them even more widely—from Dahlonega, through the north Georgia mountains … Continue reading The Caston’s Online Christmas Card
via youtube.com Thanks to Matt Nielsen for making this video of Creekstone's practical demonstration of grace ministry to the community on Saturday, Dec. 17. Can't wait for more opportunities like this!
Here are the notes for this week's Creekstone Christmas sermon on Romans 5:12-19, "Letting Hope Out of the Box." The audio is on the Creekstone website here and on iTunes. Hope to see those of you in town for our Christmas Eve service on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. at the High School. NOTE: We are not having a … Continue reading Christmas Sermon Notes and Audio- “Letting Hope Out of the Box” (Romans 5:12-19)
In order to show our community a practical demonstration of grace, Creekstone regulars wrapped presents for free outside of our local Wal-Mart today. It was such a joy to describe grace and turn away all donations and tips! Thanks to all who volunteered, especially to our coordinator, Rick Nielsen. See the full gallery on Posterous
I will be spending the next two days (today and tomorrow, Dec. 14/15) on a prayer and planning retreat as I look toward leading Creekstone into 2012. Pray for me if you think about it—not only that I would be given a clear vision for the ministry and receive wisdom for leadership, but also (and … Continue reading Prayer and Planning Retreat
The audio of and notes for this week's Creekstone message from Romans 5:9-11, Rediscovering Joy, are below. The audio is also on our website here.
If you are a regular at Creekstone, you know that one of the biggest influences in my spiritual formation (my understanding of, experience with and teaching of the gospel) is Dr. Johnny Long. Not only has he preached twice at Creekstone, but also he and his wife, Becky, led our fall Marriage Conference. Now, he … Continue reading A Year-End Gift for a Special Friend to Extend the Gospel
Creekstone's Gift-Wrapping MissionBy wrapping presents for busy parents next Saturday in front of Wal-Mart, we will be offering more than a great service—we will be offering a practical demonstration of grace. Our gift wrapping can’t be purchased by those in need. It can't be earned. It can only be accepted, just like God’s gift of … Continue reading A Practical Demonstration of Grace on December 17
Here is the message on Matthew 27:45-50 that I taught on Tuesday, Dec. 6, for the Dahlonega community advent luncheon series, entitled, "Waiting Through the Pain." Both audio and sermon notes are included below. I love teaching in that context, where believers from all over the community come together to celebrate the gospel of Jesus. Thanks … Continue reading Advent Luncheon Message: “Waiting Through the Pain” • Matthew 27:45-50
This is a photo from our "Tacky Christmas" K-Group gathering on Sunday, Nov. 27, at the Turk's house. When I look at this picture, I can't help but smile—not because of Jesse's outfit or Nixon's (which were classic!), but because this group of folks didn't know each other not too long ago. Now, we gather to … Continue reading The Caston/Turk K-Group (Photo)
Perimeter Church distinguishes between three kinds of items on the agenda for a Pastoral/Elder Team meeting. I recently "re-discovered" these and found the break-down helpful. 1. Items that are FYI 2. Items that need input/discussion 3. Items that require a decision (ideally, items should have been previously discussed with all members of the team, with … Continue reading Distinguishing the Items on the Agenda for a Pastoral/Elder Team Meeting
Here are the sermon notes from this week's Creekstone message from Romans 5:6-8, "Loving the Unloveable." The audio is here. Romans_5.6-8.loving_the_unlovable.pdf Download this file
On Friday, Schaeffer and I hiked to the summit of Springer Mt (3,780 ft.), the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. Some snow was still on the trail from Wednesday. See the full gallery on Posterous
Before my family moved to Dahlonega, GA, to plant a church, a friend of mine told me not to plant a church. He wasn't saying for me not to move to Dahlonega or that he didn't want a new church established there. He simply said, "Go live the gospel (teach it and preach it as … Continue reading Should We Stop Planting Churches?