Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Here’s a tribute a local news station did for my friend Gabe’s son. Take a few minutes and watch it, it's incredible. As I read the title,”A Father Speaks About the Tragic Loss of His Only Son,” I wondered if the author realized the impact of those words. I’m guessing he did given what Gabe had said during the interview. Never has one sentence rocked my world so much. “A Father Speaks About the Tragic Loss of His Only Son” isn’t that the gospel? Isn’t it for my sin that that had to happen? The short answer is yes to both. I don’t think I’ve ever had a better picture of the cost of my sin. It’s heartbreaking that it took such a tragedy to make that apparent, but I’m thankful for the ability in a tiny way to feel that pain. Through that pain the ultimate act of love is made real. I’ve seen first hand the agony in mourning a child’s death. I’ve cried with Gabe while looking at pictures at Deacon. I’ve seen the suffering and now I see the gospel going forward through it. How great is our God that he uses this for his glory? God is good, so good.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Catch up. or is it ketchup?

I think that if I updated my blog more often it would be easier to write entries. I haven’t done too well on that front. My wife told me just to write, so here it is...

The last few months of my life have been totally overwhelming. Here are the major events. Negative first so we can end on a happy note.

About 6 weeks ago we learned that a pastor in regional leadership had been having an affair with his assistant for over a year and that for the last seven months it had become physical. The pastor was wholly unrepentant and abandoned his family and moved in with this woman. This was difficult news to process with our elders and leadership, especially given this pastor’s incredible ability to communicate the gospel. It was sobering to realize that no one is exempt from falling to temptation.

A week after that news a guy in our church threatened the lives of our pastors and others in the congregation. At one point he was standing outside our building cussing at the pastors. This also was difficult to handle given the degree to which the gospel had changed this man’s life. He’s an ex-biker with a violent past who was actually baptized with Jessica and I last summer. It was heartbreaking to see him in such a low place and to have to ask him to leave the church.

The last news is certainly the most devastating. A few weeks ago the two year old son of one of my friends was hit and killed by a car backing out of a driveway. I still really haven’t formulated anyway to explain the sorrow this brought. Even writing this I just don’t know what to say. I think the hardest part was being in England when it happened.

Now for some good news. The men’s conference that I was helping to plan was a huge success with over 500 men hearing the gospel preached. There’s nothing better than a bunch of dudes singing to Jesus. It was encouraging to see so many men who desire to see the gospel change their lives.

That weekend Nick was also appointed the director for our region of Acts 29. This means that he is in charge of coordinating all the churches within a 5 state region. Also, this means that a ton got added to my list of responsibilities which I always enjoy. Seriously. I’m not being sarcastic.

Two weeks after the conference I had the privilege of heading to England to visit our partner church in Leeds led by Gary Aston. The trip was incredible. We flew into London and spent a few days being real touristy before heading to Leeds. Being in Leeds was incredible. We were blessed to spend time in prayer with Gary’s core team. I was totally blown away by their hospitality. It was a privilege to get to know those folks and offer encouragement.

That pretty much catches us up to date. Life is beginning to seem normal again after the frantic pace of the last couple months. I’m trying not to get used to it because I know that things always change. With all that’s happened, good and bad, I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else or doing anything else. It’s truly a privilege to be able to do what I do. I look forward to doing it for a bit. I really appreciate everything the six people who read this have done to make this job possible. Thanks a ton.

Friday, December 24, 2010


For as long as I can remember Christmas has been my favorite time of year. Over the past week we have had numerous discussions about the Christmas season and the birth of Christ at the Veritas office. Through these I have began to evaluate my heart condition. This year as I reflect on the birth of Christ I am made aware of why I “love” Christmas and why I’m always let down. Here’s a couple realizations I’ve made:

  1. I have loved Christmas because I love myself. I love the idea of people giving me things, eating good food, and of course drinking Christmas Ale. Christmas allows me to be consumed by myself. It gives me that excuse to be selfish which I really don’t need.
  2. I have ignored the significance of Christ’s birth because it’s easier to pass it over than to deal with the junk in my life for which Christ had to be born. If I really dwell on what it means for the eternally existent God of the universe to take on flesh for my sin, there’s a good chance that I will be convicted of that sin. Conviction always makes life difficult for me.
I’m let down after Christmas because I constantly make myself the hero of the Christmas story. This year I’m thankful to be surrounded by folks who gently remind me that Geoffrey isn’t the center of the story. I'm most thankful to be loved by God despite all my junk and how easily I forget him. It’s a great blessing to be in a community where I am reminded of God’s love for me because I so often make life about my love for God.

So there are my Christmas realizations...

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Life post-Seattle

The past month has flown by, I think that’s how I should start every blog...anyway. Seattle was a blast. It was a great mix of learning/being challenged and hanging out. The bootcamp was definitely a great experience and really challenged me in how I’m going about pursuing not only my future calling but also the roles I currently fill. I was really convicted about not viewing my current role as an assistant as a stepping stone to something bigger but rather serving faithfully where the Lord has lead. It was eye opening to see how the church will rise and fall with its men and if men aren’t living the gospel then the church has no hope for success.

It’s interesting how as I sit to write this I can’t think of anything that interesting that’s happened in the last month, but during that month I felt that I didn’t have the time to sit and write this. I guess what I’m getting at is that life in Columbus is pretty busy for the most part. Everything at the church is going incredibly well. This Sunday will be our first with two services, which is really exciting and a little stressful. It’s funny that when I was interning at Veritas we had this dream of two services...two months later and 100 more people and here we are. It’s incredible to see all of this in the scope of God’s faithfulness. It’s incredible that so many people are coming each week to hear his gospel preached. It’s humbling to be part of it.

I would be dishonest if I said that our growth has come without some benefit to me. What I mean by this is that I finally have an actual wood(ish) desk in a shared office (for the last two months my desk and office have been a plastic table in the corner of Nick’s office). I also have a snazzy fake leather chair. I’m a pretty big deal. That’s a joke. I’m told my tone doesn’t translate through blogs...

Again, I just want to thank all of you who are supporting us in one way or another. It’s really encouraging for Jessica and myself to have people come behind us and what the Lord is doing in Columbus.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

So much for blog accountability

So, it's been a while. I really thought I would be on this whole blogging thing, I guess I can make that resolution again. Jessica assures me that if I never update the blog no one will ever read it. She's pretty smart, so I'm listening to her.

I should begin with an update of the last month. Life has been pretty crazy. Last week I spoke at Lutheran West chapel. It was a pretty good time. I'm not the best at public speaking so being in front of a bunch of high schoolers was kind of intense. If nothing else, I at least presented the gospel which is something that I missed for most of high school. It was cool to see all my old teachers and how the high school has changed.

Support raising has been a really cool experience. A good amount of you reading this are the reason why. Despite a rough beginning, the Lord has really shown up in a huge way to provide our living expenses for the last few months. It's really encouraging for Jessica and I to see people sacrificially giving to our ministry. It's definitely humbling to be entrusted with such a responsibility. Please continue to pray that we will trust the Lord to provide for our needs.

I'm writing this from an airport in Charlotte waiting to head to Seattle. Simply that I can write that sentence is testament to the grace of God. The church has really blessed us by covering a lot of our expenses which has made the trip possible for both of us. We're looking forward to hearing from some great speakers and being challenged to live out the gospel in our community.

Veritas itself has seen tremendous growth over the last two weeks. Our weekly attendance jumped from about 210 to 285 last week to 325 this passed Sunday. It's amazing to see the building full and know how many people are hearing the gospel. Pray that more and more people will be hearing the gospel as we celebrate our two year anniversary this Sunday. It's going to be a huge party, I recommend you check it out, even if it means a trip to Columbus.

Since the battery on my computer can only hold a charge for an hour, I have to wrap this up. Thanks so much for your support and prayers. I look forward to telling y'all about Seattle.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The "highly anticipated" New Orleans post

Two weeks ago I visited New Orleans for the second time, this time I had the privilege of being shown around by a resident. There are some cities that I think you could visit as an outsider and still come to know the city fairly well, New Orleans is not one of those cities. I know my first trip was clearly one of a tourist and the impression that I left with is very much the one I arrived with, that New Orleans is a city of debauchery. It took a local perspective to shift my focus from that of consuming what I thought someone else’s culture was to participating in it myself. What this meant for my most recent trip was going to a brass band concert that started well after I’m typically asleep as well as eating shrimp in as many forms as possible including: as bbq shrimp, roast beef and fried shrimp po’ boys and shrimp etouffee. For real, shrimp is delicious.

Being in New Orleans for a few days, hanging out with church planters, opened my eyes to a couple things. First of all, the intentionality behind planting a church in a certain area. The necessity of being familiar with the culture in which you are planting was something that I didn’t think too much about before this trip, but it became so clear that ministry must be adapted to culture. For example, ministry in the Midwest looks totally different than in the South. It’s not that the gospel message changes, but rather how it is conveyed and what the expected response should be. This was quite radical to me, although it really shouldn’t have been. I think that in some ways this is where the traditional church has let people down. Too many churches have sought to bring their message to people without first understanding the people they are trying to reach. Sorry for the rant.

Secondly, I was struck by the power of the gospel and the need to have churches that are passionate about living the gospel out in community. In raising support to join staff at Veritas I have at times lost sight of what it is that church is all about, the weight of sin exceeded only by the glory of Christ’s sacrifice. Being surrounded by people who were so excited to see the gospel transform their city brought me back to truth. All of this was solidified this past week in studying 1 Corinthians 13, the infamous chapter on love. Coming to the understanding that love is not a checklist of things to be accomplished, but rather seeing that I will never love or be fruitful in ministry without first seeing love in the person of Jesus was really convicting. Before all things I must recognize that I am nothing without the love of Christ, not only that, but anything I do if not through the scope of love is worthless.

Since I haven’t been too faithful in updating my blog, I thought that if I put what I’m thinking about writing next at the end of the post I may actually do it. So I guess this is my form of blog accountability. Hopefully in the next week I will have a post that gives more details of my heart for church plants.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Big News for the week of July 27th

Here's a few things that are going on this week. First off, I get to preach another 15 minute sermon for the pastors and interns this week. The text I picked is Romans 1:16-17 ("For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, 'The righteous shall live by faith.' "). I thought this would be a great text until I saw that John Piper preached 6 sermons on these two verses...Needless to say, my work is cut out for me. Secondly, on August 1, two of the pastors and the five of us interns are headed to New Orleans for a few days to help some churches in the area. It's a great opportunity to see how the gospel is applied in a much different context than what we are used to. Also, it will be great to serve a community who desperately needs a break.

The most exciting news is that I have been offered the chance to serve at Veritas full-time as a Pastoral Assistant. It's a great opportunity to get down to the nuts and bolts of church planting. As the gospel is preached in our city, our church continues to grow. Being a young church with a small staff the pastors have quite heavy workloads. It will be my job to help them in the day to day tasks necessary to the growth of the church. Some of my responsibilities will be scheduling meetings, helping with weekly sermon preparation, discipling other believers and working with the pastors to cast vision for our church. This summer has affirmed my desire to be a part of pioneering churches. This year long staff position is a great way to get started.

You may have noticed the new support section to the right...The position at Veritas is full-time, as a result I must raise my salary in order to support Jessica and myself. If you feel lead to give you can do so there or if you would like to talk more about what it is that I will be doing or about support, give me a call at 440-655-3486. I would love to share with you what's going on! You can click here to view my support letter, which many of you will be receiving in the mail shortly.