Monday, September 28, 2009

New Adventure

This last week marked the beginning of a new adventure for Karyss and I. It is both scary and exciting! As most of you know, I have been on staff at Central Christian Church since June 2007 in the high school ministries. We love being a part of a ministry that is reaching a city that desperately needs Christ!!

Two weeks ago, Central launched a new service on Wednesday nights called Weekends on Wednesdays. It's really geared towards those people who work on the weekends (which is a lot of people in Las Vegas!)

What's really cool is that they asked me to lead worship for that service! So starting last week I began to lead and work with the team on Wednesday nights to really make that a great experience for anyone who is able to be there. My prayer is that this would not just be another service option for people, but that it would reach a whole new group of people that were not able to be a part of the weekend experience at Central.

The turnout and energy has been great so far, and I know God has big plans for this service and I'm so excited to be able to participate in it!

I will continue to be a part of the high school team at Central during the week as well as the weekends working with student teams to make that experience a great one for students in Las Vegas.

It's really an exciting time for Karyss, Ollie, and I!! We just wanted to give everyone a quick update!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Forgotten God

Just read the introduction to Francis Chan's new book "Forgotten God" and I'm already nervous. The tag line of the book is "reversing our tragic neglect of the Holy Spirit." I'm nervous because I know that my intellectual understanding of the Holy Spirit as well as my experiencing Him is ... Hmmmm....lacking. Just from the intro I know Francis will be bold and clear and that pumps me up.

I know this isn't quite as easy a conversation as church production, but I know there are a lot of very different and very STRONG opinions and beliefs about the Holy Spirit out there and I would love to hear your thoughts/interpretations/experiences.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Interesting Conversation

So, last week I wrote just a little note on facebook that sparked a great discussion about production in churches and the line between magnifying the "message" or the "vehicle of the message." My friend Sam and I went back and forth a little bit, and I would love to see if anyone else would like to chime their opinion into the conversation.

The particular production we were talking about was the Hillsong song "With Everything." You can watch the youtube video here.

So . . . I would love to hear your thoughts. This production (lights, video, live video stuff) is obviously VERY involved, but I would love to know where you stand.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Organizing for Control vs. Growth

The Senior Leader at my church said this a few months ago, "You can organize for control or you can organize for growth. You can't organize for both!"

How true and difficult that statement is. I find that organizing for control is much easier than organizing for growth. In fact, that statement "organize for growth" is a little bit vague.

Control is easy. You run it, you call the shots, you are responsible for failures and successes, you do everything. It requires no leadership because you are DOING everything.

Growth is difficult. What does it look like to organize for growth? Is it a lack of control? Is it the opposite of organizing for control? Does it mean things are OUT of control? To be honest with you, I still don't really know. I believe that one of the elements of organizing for growth is trust. To release control, I must trust others to control. I must trust that other people will have the ability to carry out whatever I would normally do on my own. Organizing for growth requires an infinite amount of leadership. I will never be a good enough leader for my "organization" to cease growing and improving. If I stop growing as a leader, I believe whatever I am leading will also stop growing.

These are merely random thoughts that I am dealing with today. Anyone else have thoughts on how to organize for growth vs. control?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

long leave

it's been a long time all ye who read my blog . . . and I'm back. I got to connect with Rich from RKWeblog this weekend at Central and it was awesome! He is the one who convinced me to start blogging when we were at Re:create a few years ago and hanging for a bit has re-inspired me. Here is a quick update on my life:

karyss had a baby
he is amazing
his name is Oliver
we call him Ollie
got to take 2 wks off
it was amazing
he is now 5 wks old and the best thing that has ever happened to us
family/friends have been in town for 4 of 5 wks
it's been amazing
it's also been exhausting
We appreciate our parents now more than ever
I took a trip to LA to serve the homeless with Resonate
missed my family like crazy
but it was an amazing week!
we're still in Vegas
it's hot!
power bill is expensive . . . REALLY expensive

And now we are to today
caught back up
good friends again
it's like we never left each other

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

YouVersion 2.0

Just discovered my new favorite Bible study website! I've heard people talking about it, but I never checked it out until this morning. I saw it on Chris' blog . . . thanks Chris!

You Version

YouVersion 2.0 was released on Friday. This great resource from just continues to get better and better. Here are several links for more information.

Catalyst West | Perry Noble #2

This post, along with the others titled "Catalyst West," is a way for me to process and record as much as I can about what I learned at that conference. Here is a brief explanation.

I could probably write all night long about what Perry Noble said at Catalyst, but here was another great nugget that had immediate impact on my life.

Perry talked about the struggle of knowing what to do next when it comes to God's plan and vision for your life. The thing that I struggle with, and I think many of us do, is the unknown and what to do "next." I struggle with it so much that I overlook the NOW while I'm looking for the NEXT. I lose sight of the task at hand and the current vision that God has given me because I'm worried about choosing the right path for the next time.

I loved this quote: "Do what I've told you to do, then I'll tell you what to do." - GOD

Do what God has lain out before me now . . . then he'll tell me what to do next. Not only is this completely common sense, but it is also one of the most freeing concepts.

These past few months have been difficult for my wife and financially, they have for everyone. But I've spent so much time being consumed with how I can provide for my family that I lost sight of how God wanted to use me. Now, I need to be careful because I want to emphasize that I need to work my butt off to provide for my family, but I was letting that consume my life. I lost sight of what God wanted from me NOW because I was too concerned about LATER.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Catalyst West | Perry Noble #1

This post, along with the others titled "Catalyst West," is a way for me to process and record as much as I can about what I learned at that conference. Here is a brief explanation.

If there was one moment at Catalyst that stood out to me it was the second half of Perry Noble's talk at the end of the conference. He was talking about the size of the vision that we receive from God. He gave three reasons that we don't realize that vision in our lives. One of them stood out to me and has been ringing in my head ever since:

"I am obsessed with being noticed, not with being developed."

When he said that line I almost cringed. It was convicting thinking about how much time I've spent these past few months worrying more about people noticing what I'm doing than facilitating development in my life.

How much have I missed out on what God has for me because I'm more concerned about what God has for ME than who God wants me TO BE for him?

That is changing now . . . I can say that with honesty. These posts are actually part of my plan to facilitate growth and development in my spiritual life, along with reading every Andy Stanley book I can get my hands on! (more on Andy coming later)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Catalyst West Programming

Well, it would be hard to talk about all the creative program elements without being able to show any, so I thought I would just point out one of the best ones. One of the speakers was Guy Kawasaki who used to work for Apple in the 80s. My guess is they used that for inspiration to create this hilarious video . . . a commercial for the iBible.

Check it out here!

Catalyst West

Over the next few days/weeks I'm going to be processing some of the things that I learned from the amazing two day leadership conference called Catalyst West. I was truly blessed to be able to go and experience what turned out to be an incredibly inspiring weekend!! Jud Wilhite, the senior pastor at Central was the host for the entire conference and did an awesome job! It was so cool to see him up there . . . it definitely brought a sense of pride.

There was a group of us from the student team that were able to go and be a part of the experience. One of the best parts of the entire week was just being able to hang out with those guys. There was no meeting agenda, event to promote, numbers to count, or services to plan. We were just able to relax, eat, hang out, and be led. Anyways, I'll leave it at that for now and continue to write about what I learned.

These posts are mostly for me to process and put on "paper" my thoughts, but I hope that they bring some insight and encouragement to anyone who may read them. Feel free to comment, ask questions, challenge my thinking, or add insight to what you may see or read.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

You know you're an adult when . . .

So I'm starting to feel the pressure of becoming an adult. It's exciting, but difficult for me. I realize that a lot of responsibility comes with this! So I thought I would share this list with you so that you too can know when you are becoming an adult.

Here are the top ten signs that you are growing from "young adulthood" to just plain "adulthood"

10 - you get a cat because they are such little work, but still a sign of maturity (kinda)

9 - You get a dog of your own because you realize how boring and stupid cats are. You also think you are responsible enough for this, but not responsible enough for a kid.

8 - You get a Costco membership

7 - You use your costco membership to buy more than mac & cheese and soda (I'm talking the frozen chicken, fruit, toothpaste, movie tickets, make-up, gas for your car . . . as you all know, the list goes on)

6 - You spend more time going through the coupons in the news paper than actually shopping at the grocery store (but it's worth it!)

5 - You get excited about buying furniture for your house

4 - You get even more excited about buying furniture from a garage sale and talking the guy down to less than half of the original price

3 - Dave Ramsey becomes the 13th apostle and you follow his every word (because it works people!!)

2 - Having a kid becomes exciting and not AS scary as it used to be

1 - You stop talking about putting other people above yourself, and you actually start living that way.

Ok . . . maybe this is just my list, not everyone's (minus the cat, I would never in any situation agree to have a cat).

Anyone else feeling like they are growing up??

Friday, March 6, 2009

Summer Noise Project

On Tuesday the High School team at Central took a quick day trip out to Los Angeles to check out our summer Noise Project location. It was a great trip that really opened our eyes! We are going through a great organization called CSM. They have been in LA for 21 years now. What I love about them is that they partner with other existing organizations in the city to give support, and also to build into the students that come and serve. We are taking 100 students this summer to the heart of South Central and Watts to serve on Skid Row and other "notorious" locations in LA.

CSM does a great job of breaking down the cultural walls between the students and the city by immersing the students in the culture in every way possible. Like I said, we will be staying in South Central and Watts, two heavily gang controlled neighborhoods. Also, every night the students will eat at a different ethnic restaurant . . . Thai, Indian, Ethiopian, Korean, and the list goes on.

It is obvious that CSM has two equal passions, the City/the students. I am so excited about seeing myself grow on this trip as well as seeing our students grow!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Just joined the TWLOHA Street Team! Great organization that I totally support. Check out their website and join the street team!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Single Ladies Vid

Another great Central Video . . . kind of.

This one is much lower quality, but we showed it in our student environments. The girl who plays Beyonce is one of our high school leaders and the other people are the worship leaders from our 4 different student environments. The kids LOVED IT!! If you aren't familiar with the skit, it was an SNL spoof a few weeks back when Beyonce was the musical guest. Pretty funny stuff!

Monday, February 23, 2009

L2YL cont. . . .

Alright, here is the video that I promised . . . pretty dang funny! Our video team at Central is so creative!! By the way, that is not me singing, I only wish I could sing like that . . .haha!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Don't Stop Believing

Oh my gosh . . . classic song . . . but SO HIGH!!

I'm singing this song tonight at our High School reach event . . . pray for me!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


At Central, we have an amazing video team that is incredibly creative and very talented!  If you haven't seen any of our videos, you gotta check them out . . . just check out Justin's Youtube page.  

Anyways, we are in a relationship series . . . which always lead to some making fun of either guys or girl stereotypes.  The video this weekend, titled "Listen to your Lady" is gonna rock the house.  I don't want to give too much away because I have a feeling these three guys below me are going to be some memorable characters this weekend!!


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I'm a painting man!

So if you have been over to my house at all in Vegas you know that we have some very tall ceilings! I don't know exactly how tall, but we have a 20' ladder that doesn't get all the way to the roof . . . so they are TALL. Anyways, when we first moved in we painted like crazy for about a week and then never finished! There was a corner up on the tall wall that I never finished painting. Mind you, this was all a year and a half ago :) But this last week I was painting our loft for the baby room and just got a surge of motivation to bring back out the 20' ladder and FINISH!!!

I wish I had a camera to take pictures of the finished product, but it is still in repair at Best Buy (worst warranty ever!) It's been sent back 4 times with the same problem!!

That is besides the point . . . I feel fulfilled this week . . . I'm a painting man.

What projects have you been putting off for a long time that you need to FINISH?!?!

Monday, February 9, 2009

New Budget

Well, Karyss and I have been on a new budget for the past two months now and it's going great!  We started going through Dave Ramsey's 7 baby steps and it is really challenging us.  One of my best friends got us started on this process and we have been going through the Financial Peace University class at Central.  I'm telling you right now . . . IT IS HARD!!  But we are finding that it is so worth it!!  I really believe that God has brought this plan into our life to give us some discipline and perspective.  We were never living outside of our means, but we are now able to feel that we are being the best stewards of God's money that we can be as a family.  I strongly recommend going through FPU no matter where you are at in life and with your finances!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

I love to register!

So one of the best parts of getting married was registering at some of our favorite stores.  For those of you who have not experienced this yet, this is how it goes:

step 1: tell an employee you want to register at their store
step 2: they say OK
step 3: They give you a scanner (looks a lot like a laser gun or something)
step 4: You shoot every item that looks even close to cool with your scanner
step 5: Receive gifts that are awesome

It doesn't really get any better!  I registered for a big screen tv, an xbox 360, an ipod . . . i didn't get any of them, but it was still fun to register :)

Now . . . this being my prior experience with registering for gifts, I got really excited when Karyss reminded me that we needed to make a baby registry.  Naturally, I thought this would be just as fun and I would probably want to have a lot of babies, just so i could register over and over again.

However, I can promise you that trying to pick the right design and weight limitations for a car seat, crip, pack n play (i had no idea what that was before yesterday), and sink bath (seriously??) is not nearly as fun as registering for a big screen tv.  We were at the store for about an hour and I was about to explode.  There is NOTHING cool in a baby store . . . at least not for the dad!

But alas, I have a lot to learn.  I have a feeling that is what life is going to be like in just a few short months . . . pray for me :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

5 year plan?

I was hanging out with some great friends last night in the spa just talking about all sorts of things going on in our lives, and one of them asked me what my 5 year plan was . . . or where i wanted to be in 5 years.  I was shocked that I really didn't have a good answer.

I came up with something to say that was true, but it was so vague.  I feel like right now I don't have the "luxury" of a 5 year plan when Karyss and I have to take it one day at a time.  But I found myself challenged by this question and challenged to really evaluate the goal setting in my life.

I've always been a more rational, in the moment, short term thinker.  It works to my advantage in getting things done in the short term, but I also know that is something that will hold me back from ever reaching my dreams.  Is this justified?  Am I just making excuses?  I don't really know the answers to those questions . . .

Friday, January 9, 2009

Elevation part tre

Ok, so Annalise got upset at me for not posting more pictures of Elevation, our high school winter retreat that happened in November. It's actually quite funny because she is the one who took all these pictures and I got them off of her camera . . . but alas . . . here they are.

We were at UCYC in Prescott, AZ for three days. It was an awesome weekend for our students as we talked about what it meant to be a real man/woman of God. Some really powerful messages from our speakers and some incredible worship moments where our students were able to meet God in a real way.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Again, I apologize for the gap in the updates . . . I guess you'll just have to get used to it :)

Karyss and I have decided that our New Years Resolution every year is going to be a prayer. We did this two years ago and our prayer for 2007 was to be generous. In 2008 we somehow forgot to make the resolution . . . quite an interesting year for us anyways :) But now, in 2009, we have decided to once again make our resolution.

This year, our prayer is simple: GROWTH

In all aspects of our life, we are praying that we would grow. 2009 promises to be a year full of new experiences for us as individuals as well as a pair (and soon to be trio) of a family!!

- - -Just a quick update that everything is going really well with the pregnancy. We have decided to name our baby boy on the way Oliver Alexander Bollen. We'll call him Ollie!!