Saturday, January 26, 2013

If You're On Time You're Late!

I once heard someone say, "If you're early you're on time. If you're on time you're late. If you're late you're fired."

I realize this may be a little harsh, even though I have repeated it a time or two, but it certainly emphasizes an important leadership principle - showing up on time and ready to participate is one thing that sets leaders apart from average.

This could be a rant, but it is certainly is a pet-peeve of mine, and a real issue for many of the business owners I know.

On the negative side, being late communicates loud and clear that the meeting you are attending is not high on the priority list. It also devalues the time of everyone else that showed up. "Fashionably late" is still late, and it is reserved for kings and nobility, of which I am neither. Dedicated mediocrity is still mediocrity.

On the positive side, being early and ready for a meeting speaks to my willingness to focus and participate. There are so many wonderful conversations and insights you can gather before the meeting. It also says you care about others and look forward to working with them. If this point is not true, perhaps you need a change of jobs.

When I worked for others, I decided that I would make sure I arrived at work before my boss did and leave after he or she did. I wanted to be ready. Of course, there were times of extenuating circumstances and I was happy my boss didn't fire me. I have even forgotten a couple meetings to my embarrassment. I hate humble pie, but I have eaten my share of it. I am not as harsh as my first quote; however, I would much rather be early to a meeting than have others wait for me.

What about you? Does it bother you when others are late?

Rant Complete

Do I need a theapist?

Friday, January 25, 2013

One Point of the Story

Sunday, I will be speaking from Chapter Two of The Story. 
In this chapter, we are introduced to a man named Abram, a man from Ur, whose name later becomes Abraham, whom Christianity, Jews, and Islam all point to as their founding father. There are many things about Abraham's journey that are fascinating: his call, his influence, his travels, his battles, his wells, his wife Sarah, etc, etc.. However, the most important part of Abraham is his willingness to believe and obey God' voice even though it made no sense.

Has you ever done anything that made no sense? How quickly did you respond? Did you make any mistakes while following God's call (Abraham sure did)? 

Think about it.

See you Sunday.
Pastor Keith

Monday, January 21, 2013

Two Points of The Story

Yesterday was a great day at Centerpointe Church as we started reading "The Story" together. 

We discovered the first eleven chapters of The Bible show us the redemptive heart of God. For a short reflection of the message, visit our blog at The Story. The two great points are:

1. The real point of Genesis is so amazing it’s almost unbelievable: God wants to be with us.

2. The rest of the story of the Bible unfolds his plan – His relentless pursuit of you and me.

You can also listen to the message on our website

Friday, January 18, 2013

Preaching on Science and Faith

From Enrichment Journal, Fall 2012
 On Sunday, Centerpointe begins a yearlong series called “The Story”, which is the Bible condensed to 31 chapters with transition passages to bring clarity. I am very excited about taking our people through the Bible because it changes lives.

Preaching is a passion of mine, but it is not always easy, especially when you are not an expert on the subject matter you are covering. For example, the very first verse in the Bible says “God created…”, which I believe. It’s the only thing that makes sense to me; but not to everyone. Once I say, “I believe”, I am immediately confronted with preaching creationism in a world that teaches evolution and often shows disdain for people who think otherwise.

I’m not a scientist. It was never my strong point. (It wasn’t even my mediocre point), so I can’t get caught up in arguing young earth vs. day-age creation vs. old earth or big bang vs. intelligent design. This is not an excuse for lack of study or being ill prepared, but I will certainly not be able to answer every creation question in 30-45 minutes in a way that makes sense to everyone. I will tell you that I will preach what the Bible says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” I don’t need to know how or how long it took. 

I think a larger issue is whether science and faith have a place at the same table of truth discovery. I believe they do, as long as both are willing to learn from one another. However, if you make assumptions and draw quick conclusions, you close yourself to the amazing handiwork of God.

See, here is what I believe. The deeper you dig the closer you get to God. So dig, explore and discover. After all, God created the universe and he enjoys you finding out about his creation because.

For those who are wired for study in the sciences, I did come across a great resource. In the fall of 2012, The Enrichment Journal (A journal for pastors and church leaders) dedicated the theme to the co-existence of faith and science. The articles are fascinating and educational. You can find it at Enrichment Journal. In it, there are many other resources listed for further study.

In the meantime, I still get to preach God’s incredible word on Sunday and I can’t wait to talk about God’s story of redemption. If you want to hear it, go to our website It should be very interesting.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Soul Detox

In January, there are many Christians who are setting aside time to fast and pray. Some are doing Daniel fasts (fruits and vegetables for 21 days), some are fasting from any food for a set amount of time and some are doing some sort of self-defined fast, like abstaining from media or sweets or hot sauce. Whatever the fast is, or for however long, people are creating space in their lives for God to speak to them or intervene in some way.

Centerpointe Church takes the first full week to fast and pray. It always makes a difference in the spiritual temperature and atmosphere of the church. For me, I feel refreshed and re-invigorated. It gives me clearer vision and passion.

Fasting is also a time of humbling ourselves before God and asking him to cleanse us from sin. Like our physical bodies benefits from this time of detoxing, our spiritual life also needs a time of cleansing. 

I have already recommended people to get the book Second Chronicles Seven Fourteen Journey. It is a 28 day journey in prayer that will help guide you in your days of fasting. Others are reading Mark Batterson's book Draw the Circle. This is a 40 day prayer challenge. Hey, anything Mark writes I highly recommend. 

Here is another. My daughter got it for Christmas and I picked it up today. It is Craig Groeschel's Soul Detox, Clean Living in a Contaminated World. I have only read the first chapter, and I recommend it already. 

"The Bible consistently reminds us to check our spiritual diet for toxins. Proverbs 25:26 says, 'Like a muddied spring or a polluted well are the righteous who give way to the wicked.' How muddy is your water right now? Is your well polluted by all the cultural toxins seeping in? Or does your spiritual well draw on Living Water as its pure, thirst-quenching source?" (pg 17)

During your time of creating space for God, allow Him to speak to you about the areas of your life that need correction. This is no laughing matter. As society intentionally pushes us toward dysfunction, let's go counter-cultural and draw near to God.

Drawing Near,

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Who Are You Hanging Out With?

Nothing to do with post, just the view from my window.

Yesterday, I had the privilege of hanging out in beautiful San Diego with church planting leaders in the Assemblies of God. These people have an incredible passion for starting new faith communities around the United States. Even better, I get another day with these folks. My roommate even took me on my first Geo-cashing quest. We found 4 cashes (I guess that's what you call it). 

I love learning from leaders who are doing something beyond themselves. It stretches my thinking and searches my soul. They bring me back to what's really important and challenge me to think on higher levels.

For example, last night, I ate with an old friend of mine, Terry Broadwater. He now pastors in Colorado. We have known each other for years, pastoring in neighboring communities a long time ago. Our paths have taken us to different places, but we both are now pastoring again. This guy loves to see people grow in Jesus. We shared some stories about our churches and found our situations are very similar, although his context is a little larger. Web site: Grace Community Church

We talked leadership structure, renovations, life groups, staffing, technology, connecting, app developing, etc. So many new ideas... So many new thoughts... So many changes to come. I love it! I can't wait to get home.

And... I get another day of being around these great leaders. Our conversations will revolve around coaching for church planters and how we can support the vision of establishing new churches. Furthermore, I will get to meet one of my distant heroes, but I can't tell you who just yet.

So, who are you hanging out with? Are they helping you grow? Are they challenging you?

Just asking.



Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Looking Back... Looking Up... Looking Forward

It is early Tuesday morning, January 1st, 2013. We celebrated the end of the year in our house with friends eating snacks, playing games and watching the ball drop in Times Square (To be honest, I still don’t get it.).

For years now, I have taken the last week of December and the first few weeks of January to reflect on the previous year and ask the Lord to prepare me for what He has in store for the next year. This year is no different.

Looking Back

On a personal level, Esther and I celebrated our 24th anniversary. It’s been quite a journey, filled with joy, laughter, some tears, transitions and incredible relationships along the way. Stephanie turned 22, Brittany 20, Kristi 16 and Melanie 13. Yes, there is another driver in the Edwards’ household. I am one proud dad.

I had shoulder surgery in August, which is still no fun to deal with. I was able to travel to Argentina to work alongside Centerpointe’s missions team and work on building a dorm at Instituto Biblico Rio de la Plata. I also joined the Assemblies of God Church Multiplication Network to work with their coaching for church planters. This is my investment back into the next generation of pastors and churches.

Centerpointe Church also took major steps forward. In March, we took 52 days to raise the funds and remodel 90% of the church building. The impact on our lives as a congregation and the lives of people that will join us in the future will be felt for a long time. We called this time, “Ready the House” so we could fill the house, and God has added to our congregation already. We also took more steps in building relationships with our neighbors at Ragan Oaks and Gables. We have come a long way since March of 2011 when we first arrived.

Looking Up

Yes, it was hard. Yes, there were moments of concern. Yes, at times I wondered if we were going in the right direction. And, Yes, God did honor our steps of faith. Whenever I questioned God’s direction, He sent us the right people at the right time to keep us moving forward.

All I can say is “God is Good.” I like to use the phrase, “We have too much history with God’s provision to let one season discourage us.” 2012 was another year of provision, thus another year to look back on as a reminder of God’s goodness.

Looking Forward

I don’t know exactly what the future holds, but I have a sense that God is going to work wonders in our lives.

For me personally, I am going to invest more in the lives of pastors and leaders. I am going to also invest more time into the men God has put in my path. Once again, I will read through the Bible, although I haven’t chosen a translation yet. As a family, we are going to invest more into the Kingdom of God financially through missions and our church.

As for Centerpointe Church, well, that’s a long list, but here are a couple of key initiatives (details not included):
•    Spiritual Disciplines – “The Story”, prayer, fasting, journaling, tithing and generosity
•    Outreach – serving weekends, prayer communities, ESL, sheltering homeless
•    Internal Systems – Constitution and Bylaws revision, follow up and connection, benevolence
•    Leadership – development, coaching, mentoring, interns
•    Discipleship – “Disciple Makers”, more baptisms, small groups
•    Care and Community – military families, family services
•    Ministries – hospitality, kids safety, fine arts
•    Awareness – Internet, marketing
•    Facilities – windows in doors, repair parking lot, foyer, video cameras, upgrades
•    Missions – trips and special projects

This list should get us started.

Lord, how desperately we need you in our lives. May our desires be to know you more and to make you known.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20–21 NIV)