Celebrating the Launch of Redeeming Grace Church, Nashville

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Last night was a wonderful evening, marking the first official public meeting of Redeeming Grace Church, Nashville!

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Honoring the Faithfulness of God

God has been so kind to us. A year ago this fall, my family and I relocated to Franklin, TN with the desire to help Dave Odom plant a gospel-centered church in the greater Nashville area. The Lord provided an incredible job for me, and I’ve been working with the Provisions Group in downtown Franklin for a year.

In many ways, this church plant is something that my wife and I have committed to the Lord in prayer for over 15 years. So, last night was a very special night for us. A year ago, I would have never dreamed we would have 103 people attend our first meeting, but God has been very gracious to us.

IMG_8388Dave Odom, the lead pastor, is a gift from God to us and an answer to prayer. It was such a joy to hear him preach on the person and work of Jesus as we launched Redeeming Grace Church. For the first few months, Dave is going to continue to preach on the person and work of Christ. May our focus always be on Jesus!

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Standing next to my long-time, close friend Howard Varnedoe and worshipping the Lord together on this plant is simply a dream-come-true for me and my family (and another answer to my prayers). I continually thank God for my rich friendship with Howard and his Christ-saturated influence on my life.

Our good friend, Seth Rosen, led us in worship and we sang about the faithfulness of God. (Seth is a very gifted song writer and worship leader, and the acoustics in this small venue are really incredible; it was so wonderful to sing together in praise to our faithful God!)

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Together on Mission

“As for the saints who are in the land, they are the glorious ones in whom is all my delight” (Psalm 16:3)

I love these people, and I love our mission together:

We exist to exalt, enjoy, and extend the grace of God in Christ.

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May Jesus Christ be exalted through Redeeming Grace Church, and may many sinners come to find refuge in the Savior as they walk through our doors!

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If you are in the Franklin / South Nashville area, we would love for you to join us. We are currently meeting on Saturday evenings at 6pm at Hillview Baptist Church (1642 Lewisburg Pike, Franklin, TN 37064).

For more information, you can visit our new website at www.rgcnashville.com.

I’ll leave you with a link to a short video clip (1:51 sec) from the evening for you to enjoy:

RGC Nashville 1st Meeting. 10.12.13

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Crazy Busy

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The fall has officially set-in, and life is very busy again. Crazy Busy.

At least for everyone I’ve talked to. And everyone in our house.

School, Work, Baseball, Gymnastics, and Church-planting

I have 4 kids under the age of 10. Three are in school, two are doing gymnastics, one is playing fall baseball, and my fourth is a 2-year old (enough said on her).

I’m working hard as a recruiter and by the grace of God, I finished the 3rd quarter strong last week. I’m jumping head-first into the 4th quarter and praying to put more people to work October thru December.

On top of this, I have the wonderful privilege of helping plant Redeeming Grace Church. Our first official meeting is this upcoming Saturday night (can’t wait!).

Home life for our family is full, fun… and at times frantic.

That’s why when Kevin DeYoung recently released his new book Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book About A (Really) Big Problem, I immediately wanted a copy (NOTE: Ironically, this is an entirely different book than the one I recently wrote about, with the same title).

I’m half-way through the book now and I’m thinking through (and discussing with my wife), how we can prune our schedules “for rest, quiet, and calm.”

As I’ve been reading this new book, I can hear my Savior say, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest” (Mark 6:31).

Extrovert, Introvert, or Something Else Entirely?

I’ve always considered myself an extrovert. I’m the kind of guy whose tank is filled up by regular and meaningful interactions with other people. My wife is the same way. She has a wonderful gift for hospitality, and our home is regularly filled with guests. So much so that some of my friends have nicknamed our house “Cooper Manor.”

We LOVE being with people. But if I had the choice of any leisure activity for a morning or afternoon, I would opt to spend time reading, writing, or taking a walk alone. So, am I an extrovert, or an introvert?

A book I read recently suggested a completely new category to me: that of an Ambivert. An ambivert is someone who exhibits the qualities of both an extrovert and an introvert. I think that’s me.

Maybe it’s one of the reasons why Mark 6:31 ministers to me the way it does. It comes on the heels of the apostles doing significant ministry. Verse 31 tells us that they were pouring themselves out to serve others so much that “they did not even have a chance to eat.” It is then that Jesus beckons them to pull away from the crowd, find a quiet place to be alone with him, and rest.

You and I Need Time Alone

It’s not selfish to pull away at times when being alone with Jesus is the very thing that will enable us to effectively serve and minister to the needs of others when we are with them. This is such a freeing thought for me.

In order to serve and enjoy meaningful interactions with others, I need regular time alone with Jesus.

So many soul-enriching activities are best pursued in solitude. Reading, writing, meditation, journaling, private prayer, study, message preparation, and planning are just a few of the activities that are best suited for time alone.

So, being Crazy Busy can be a good thing, but it can also be dangerous if it means we’re never alone. I’m convinced we need both, and I’m grateful for Kevin DeYoung’s book to help me think through life in the Crazy Busy world that we live in. Here’s a quote from the book to drive the point home:

“As much as we must pray against the Devil and pray for the persecuted church, in Jesus’s thinking the greater threat to the gospel is sheer exhaustion. Busyness kills more Christians than bullets… The seed of God’s Word won’t grow to fruitfulness without pruning for rest, quiet, and calm” (page 30).

May we be known as those who have been with Jesus (Acts 4:13), and may we spend and expend ourselves in the service of Jesus, all for the glory of Jesus, even in this Crazy Busy world!