Friday, June 30, 2006

SE Chronicles… - Last one…I promise

Two weeks ago, I was traveling with Josh to Lubbock right now, getting ready to enter into a great week. Just wanted to reflect on some of my favorite things of SE 06

  • Family – It is so cool to get to work with blood family at SE. From nieces and nephews as students, to brothers working along side me….it was just excellent. It was cool to get Elven indoctrinated to SE this year. What a great help he was. I love my brothers and sisters…every one of them!! The best thing I love about them is that they love God!!! This week was just a reminder to me of how blessed I am with family that loves God. One of these days, we’ll get Twila to come and help!!!
  • Family part 2 – It was awesome to have Everett there with me. He is the son I don’t deserve!!! He is way too good for me. My favorite times of the week were when he would sit next to me at the computer and worship with me. There were several times I was so moved I couldn’t sing because I was watching my son lift his hands to the Lord and worship Him. That was priceless!!!!
  • Family part 3 – Laci Richardson – She is not blood kin but married into the family. It is such an honor to work along side Laci for SE. She is perfect for SE!! She is such a great woman of God and wants so badly to be in His will. She gives herself sacrificially so that others will know the love of God. She is a great Mom and wife. Laci is just awesome. AND….her favorite joke is SO funny!
  • Family part 4 – Josh Watkins – Ok, Josh isn’t “family”…he didn’t even marry into the family, but he is a brother to me. What a great partner in ministry. He is fun to work with, he challenges me, I think I challenge him. When we are together, I laugh (a lot), I am challenged to grow in Christ, I am encouraged…It’s just one big pile of cool!! Love this guy. On the way home the other day we talked about planting an SE church (more on that later). And we talked about our Dream Team of SEers to be at this church. That would be too much fun.
  • Family part 5 – Quaker Ave. Church – this is the church I grew up in in so many ways. It is just cool to get to go back there at least once a year and be a part of that family. I love worshiping with them on Sunday a.m. I love seeing how they serve SE because of their love for Christ.
  • Confession – much healing happened this week because of confession. Let’s hope we can all be real enough to never let this stop.
  • Long rides in the golf cart with my girlfriend…..ok just kidding

Top Ten Things I Miss About SE

  1. Rainbow Celebration – not necessarily the worship…just saying the words!
  1. Cookie Crisp with Chocolate Milk
  1. Riding around in a golf cart….I gotta get one for the house!
  1. The nurses….Charmaine and Lanna are the COOLEST
  1. Pizza and a Hamburger (and cookie crisp) EVERY DAY for lunch.
  1. Mbale
  1. Kick-ball

2. Mbaleball

  1. Late night hugs from Jake!

Make sure you check out the SE website for all of the pics!

OK, for all of those (both of you) who are reading this….WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SE 06 memory? Or…..what is your favorite SE memory of all time? Or…what would you add to my top ten list.


SE Chronicles… - Friday, June 23, 2006

Ok, it’s actually Saturday morning. I didn’t have time Friday to journal so here is the recap of Thursday and Friday. Thursday morning is always the hardest day for me. We are in the home stretch…the end is near...but I don’t want to lose energy or power at all. I was tired Thursday morning…bad tired….I’m getting way too old for this! Now I understand why Richard would head out in the middle of the day….NAP TIME!! But God gave me the energy to get through the day!

Thursday was another great day though….people continued to respond to the call of God. Thursday night Rainbow Celebration was great…at least I thought it was. I love the “Lonely People” video….because of the message, “you have never been unloved”. What a powerful message for kids….for everybody…to hear. Then I loved how the Deans connect all of the school themes to the overall SE theme. It just worked great. One of the cool parts for me was getting to sing with Josh. We sang “If You Say Go” over the students as they prayed…I can’t begin to tell you all of the coolness that happened within that…just trust me…it was awesome.

The awards time was kinda anticlimactic for me. So many great things had already happened. Although….I LOVED recognizing kids for being Christ-like. We need to do that EVERY DAY. I loved the ovation that Josiah Shelburne got. I loved the ovation that Amber got….and that Justin got….all deserving…for totally different reasons…but everyone in the room knew why.

I think the most rewarding time of the week though was yesterday (Friday) lunch. As we sat around with TLs, TLCs, and Staff, and shared victory…God gave me a picture of what he is doing with SE. I just saw these stories…these victories for Him, multiplying over and over across this nation, and to the nations. As I listened to victory after victory, I praised the God who made all this possible. The God who planned this before time began. I just sat and worshiped as we shared with each other. (And I got to play with Leah for a lot of that time!)

SE 06 was a great success. Thanks to so many people, but primarily thanks to God. And now, we continue our Journey. I told the TL/TLCs yesterday...”don’t let this be the greatest day in your life.” I want that for myself, I want that for all who attended or volunteered at SE. Don’t let this be your mountaintop experience. Let this be another incredible stop on your Journey…but let the mountain top experiences be the everyday decisions we make to follow our Rabbi, Jesus.

Father, you took care of us again. You answered prayers before we even prayed them. You brought people together that needed each other. You put people in leadership positions that needed to lead. You are truly and awesome God!!!! I don’t know how else to say it. God protect SE from the evil one. Protect our students and TLs as they go home. Remind them with Your Spirit of the things they learned and the promises they made to you. Bring yourself glory. We pray that our work has been fruitful and is producing “fruit that will last”. If we are not fruitful, prune us so fruit will grow. We love you God and depend on you not just for SE but for our lives. Continue to amaze us as we go back in to our “normal”lives….make our lives abnormal!!!

Your Son,


As I read back over the last week’s blog entries, it makes me sad that I missed so much. So many stories, so many God honoring victories…there is just no way to cover it all. I guess this is why for the last 22 years, we have all been saying, “I can’t describe it, you just had to be there!”

My summation is, if I can ever describe everything that is happening perfectly….it probably isn’t of God.

Sorry, I forgot to post these when I got back....HERE YA GO!

SE Chronicles… - Thursday, June 22, 2006

Oh….wow….am I tired. Just when I think I can’t get any tireder (ok, I know tireder isn’t a word but for me it is what works right now!!), I get even more tireder!!! And then when I think I can’t give any more….God gives me this incredible burst of energy! Sometimes I’m afraid to act on that burst of energy because I’m afraid people around me will think I’m on drugs!!! What gives me the most energy is things like last night… matter how tired I got, live giving….true life giving energy was returned to me through watching as people’s lives changed.

Wednesday night is always special at SE. But last night was different than any SE Wednesday night I have been a part of. First….I loved how it started. We were all sitting there before “starting time” and just started singing…and before you know it…we were worshiping!!! I loved watching as the “old people” came in to this atmosphere of worship. The looks on their faces were priceless. Our worship time together was excellent…at least in my estimation of what excellent is!! Ian’s analogy of Tumbleweeds and Fencepost was very cool and thought provoking. Are we being blown by the Spirit as we spread seeds everywhere….or are we a dead piece of wood, stuck in the ground, trying to keep other tumbleweeds from spreading their seed? Good question. Then came the invitation…a time where in years past so many kids responded to what was going on in their heart. And as we sang the “invitation song”….nobody “responded”. Well, I’ll take that back….I think many of us were responding…just not in the traditional way of coming down front. As we guided the students into their families….I watched as hundreds of kids responded. I saw the tears begin to flow…not necessarily a sign of response but many times it is an outward sign of what’s going on in the heart. I watched as kids confessed to each other and prayed for each other. I counseled with kids as they looked to God for help. While some might have thought, “Oh no, nobody responded!”, the truth is…so many responded…and are still responding to what God is doing in their heart.

It seems to me that we have created some kind of monster with our response times in churches. It’s like you can only “respond” to what God is doing in your life at a certain time on a certain day during a certain kind of song. That is so wrong. What I saw the kids doing all week was respond as they were going along the journey. As we journey, there will be many, many times where we will be responding to God and to the holiness we are called to. I loved seeing that all this week. I loved seeing that last night….I will love seeing it tomorrow. Father, thank you for the gift you gave us last night of “no responses”. Teach us through this that our journey with you is just that…a journey. Not a destination that we arrive at and are never called to more..but a journey where you continually call us to follow you. Give us more of this teaching Father.

Then the baptisms started happening….yeah we had responses!!! Praise God for drawing those to Him. I think we had 5 baptisms last night and two decisions to be baptized when they get home. Awesome. You know…that’s not our primary goal at SE…to get the students here to be baptized….but it happens every year. I’m sure there are deep lessons in that….too tired to expound on it now!!

Then there was the party...Quaker Church is so awesome. They help in so many ways with volunteers and financial support. They pray for us like crazy (including a 24 hour prayer vigil before SE), but the most visible way they help is with Jailbreak (the party). When I first saw what they were doing I thought….”Oh my…this is over the top!!” But the kids loved it. It was over the top!!! The kids loved it, the volunteers at Quaker had fun. Last night in the dorm, someone told me that Jailbreak was “the best dance I’ve ever been too. Even better than prom!”. Then someone said, “It was even better than the FFA dance!” That cracks me up. So…the church of Christ throws a party and kids come away saying it was the best dance they’ve been too!! Too funny! I love this time because it gives the kids time to release….to just be themselves and have fun….with no worries of what others think. Life should be like jailbreak!!

Then in the other room, kids were still responding….we would take a break for a baptism here and there. God was glorified last night.

God, thank you. That seems so small to say…but I don’t have words to praise you right now. Thank you. I love you.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

SE Chronicles… - Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I’m getting to the point in the week where it is very hard for me to remember what I am doing from one minute to the next!! I think it is a combination of lack of sleep, lack of coffee, lack of um….I can’t remember what I was saying!!

Yesterday was an incredible day at Summer Excitement. God is doing so many fantastic things!! God is totally using the testimony of Amber to change lives!! Yesterday, both Josh and I were lead (at the same time but in separate places) to Amber to ask her to share her story with us last night in worship. At the very same time, Amber was in her quiet time….wrestling with God of where she needed to go. All that came together last night when Amber bared her life to us in worship time. She did something that all of us as followers of Christ must do. She walked directly into the thing that scared her the most. She confessed sins that were scary to confess in front of people who thought she was something different. She was real….she didn’t tie up the end of her testimony with a tidy….”and now everything is alright and I’m not sinning any more” type statement. She made it very clear that she is in the midst of a journey with God. She is not perfect and she hasn’t arrived…but at the same time….she is perfect and she has arrived. Today…Amber is FREE….she no longer is a slave to hiding who she is….PRAISE GOD!! And now…all over this campus, kids are experiencing freedom for the first time. They are able to be real with each other a deal with real issues….they are FREE. Isn’t that what followers of Christ are supposed to be doing….living in freedom and delivering freedom to others??? God, I praise you for Amber. Thank you for bringing her to SE this year….even though she did not want to come….did not want to follow you here….you delivered her…thank you for orchestrating all of this….thank you for delivering us and cleaning us up over and over and over again. Thank you God for all of the others that are experiencing freedom today. You are amazing God. Let me continue to walk around today and be amazed by you!!

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

- My Rabbi….Jesus

Then there was Kyle Hutton….I have to admit…I was very nervous about this. I knew Kyle was going to be very talented…I knew that he was cool…but I was worried that some of the kids wouldn’t like his music (country music). I was worried they would check out…and hate it. Of course…Kyle was great…he was real…he was authentic…he told stories about his journey….God did more than we asked or imagined. What an incredible gift. Then he sang with Brooks (his son). He sang a song with his son that his wife wrote….HOW STINKING COOL IS THAT!!! There is so much more to that story that is just plain glory to God in the highest….maybe one day I will blog about it. Thank you God for how you orchestrated Kyle being here. How you put him in community with Brian…how you put me in community with Brian…which lead to Kyle ministering to us…and us to Kyle last night. This is a true picture of who you are…always taking care of your children. Thank you God. I am still amazed by you!

So many things yesterday that allowed me to see more of God…those were just a couple of them…but there were more…and will be more. It seemed like all day…all day…I was praising God for what he was doing. I want to walk every day like that!!

Looking forward to what God is going to do tonight. Wednesday night at SE has always been special….but something seems to be building…the Spirit is very thick today around here…it’s like God is going to blow the doors off tonight. Father, protect us from the evil one today….I know he’s scared…your children are getting real and confessing and loving each other and praising you and satan is scared….we depend on you to defeat him. You are a MIGHTY WARRIOR…crush the darkness. Amaze me once again tonight. Speak amazing things through Ian and Josh. Anoint them with the fire of your Spirit tonight. Cut everyone in the room…students, staff, non-se, EVERYONE…cut them to the heart so that you may be given glory. Bring us to You. Father…will you let confession be our language tonight. Don’t let one person leave the room with a mask on…totally change who we are. I praise you for answering this prayer already. YOU ARE GOD!!

I’m also looking forward to jail break. Jail break is always fun but Quaker goes the extra mile. Quaker is just so awesome at this. I’ll report on this tomorrow!!!

Last thing….here is a picture from Wild n Crazy Games yesterday….courtesy Carey Jones.

God is even working through “noodle hockey”!!!!


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

SE Chronicles…Day ??? (I’ve lost count!) - Tuesday, June 20th 2006

Didn’t write yesterday. Not that it wasn’t great…just didn’t take time!

I just got out of a great time with our staff where we talked about some of the great victories that are already happening. I want to share just a few. Not so you’ll know what’s going on (if anyone is reading) but so you can join me in Praising God for his goodness.

  • Josiah Shelburne – wow, this kid is incredible!! He is “handicapped”…whatever that means. Yeah, he is physically different but he is already a huge blessing to SE. Yesterday morning, he was feeling sick, a little scared, maybe a lot scared at how people would treat him because of his physical limitations. I love what Charmaine told him. She said, “This is the safest place in the world.” Praise GOD!!! Oh, that we could say the same thing about our churches. Anyway, this has been awesome with Him. He is totally bonding with his family. His “Dad”, Justin Osborn, has been incredible with him. Sarah Hendrix, his “Mom”, has also been incredible. His family has been incredible. Yersterday, Josiah played flag football and got knocked down and had a BLAST! I watched as his family cheered as he helped drive in the nail at WNCG. God is blessing Josiah with SE and maybe more so….he is blessing SE with Josiah!!!
  • Worship last night: God answers prayers!! DUH! Worship last night was incredible. Josh was great….GOD WAS GREAT. Many times I was here at my computer just weeping as I watched kids lay the masks down and worship…including my own son! Josh’s testimony touched so many hearts. Awesome. Dave’s message…right on target. “LET’S GO!!!”
  • Cleto – Sometimes people are sent so they can bless others. Sometimes they are sent so we can bless them. Cleto was a great comedian and we had a lot of fun. What I loved though was that he needed to be in our worship time…so God brought him here. He said, “I thought angels were singing during that worship time.” I said, “THEY WERE!!!”. Cleto was moved by the worship and by David’s lesson. Thank you God for orchestrating all of this.
  • Leader’s popping – Uh! Isn’t that what this is all about? Training leaders. We were talking a minute ago about how God uses all of these things….from shooting coco-puffs out your nose, to tying cherry stems in a knot with your tongue, to sports, to worship, all of this to pop leaders. God’s recipe for leaders: Take a willing disciple of Christ….add cereal up their nose, wrap them in toilet paper, have the tie cherry stems in a not, cover them in sun screen and sweat, don’t let them sleep, add a lot of pizza and grilled cheese, focus them on your Word, put them in community with other disciples….cook for 1 week at high temperatures in Lubbock, Tx…..and out pops a leader. A leader like Laci Richardson…who is speaking God’s truth through poop analogies! A leader like Josh Watkins…what a great man of God. A leader like Steve Gomez….shining Christ into the world of Basketball. God’s plan….WOW!!!

If your reading….Give God praise for these victories and all of the others that I don’t have time to write. Father, give me eyes to see even more of what you are doing this week. And let praise always be on my lips as I see what you are doing.

I better get back to the office…..they probably think I’m taking a nap!!


SE Chronicles…Day 3 - Sunday, June 18th 2006

Oh man…this morning was incredible….at least for me it was. God was praised. The most meaningful time for me this morning…all of it was so great I hate to point out one time…but the most meaningful time was during the singing of “Amazing Grace”. As I stood in the place…in the church where I “grew up”….I sang, “Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.” That’s all it took. That took me back to may wretchedness. It took me back to all the times I stepped into 1701 Quaker as nothing but a wretch. And had it not been for the Lord, the anger of the enemy would have swallowed me alive. But GOD DELIVERED ME!!! That all hit me during that phrase yesterday. Tears flowed….not tears of sadness…tears of joy. I once was lost…BUT NOW I’M FOUND!!!! PRAISE THE LORD!!!! The pushed my heart to its knees in praise to God for saving a wretch like me. Thank you God!!!!

Yeah…a great morning. Everybody there seemed hungry…not just for great pot-luck…hungry for more of God. I loved looking into the eyes of the worshipers as they looked into the eyes of God. Incredible. God, you bless me beyond my wildest imagination this morning! Thank you Father. Thank you Father for saving me…delivering me from my sin. Amazing Grace. Thank you Father for allowing me to stand in that building and lead those people in Praise to you. What a wonderful gift you have given me today!!! Thank you.

So, how can God do even more now? Well he’s gonna! Kids are on campus now. They have know idea what God has in store for them. Many of them will go home forever changed by God. There parents won’t know what hit em!

The Worship Time tonight was pretty cool. Just kinda down from what we expect. I pray that that will increase through the week. The “Quaker Baker” kids did a great job tonight. God, bless our worship times together throughout this week. Take off the masks of all the kids. Help them let down their guard and worship you with all that they are. Use Josh in a way that will even amaze him! Use his love for you to lead the kids. Use his life with you to inspire all in the room. Use the technology and the tiredness and the energy….use it all for your glory! Thank you for already answering this prayer.

Your Son…Doyle

Tomorrow…Quick Start, 1st Teaching, WnCG, Cleto…God, use it all for your Glory!!

SE Chronicles…Day 2 - Saturday, June 17th 2006

Not much time tonight to write!! Need to get to bed and get ready for tomorrow. Today was excellent!!! The TL’s are starting to bond and come together. We are already seeing great victories. I’ll have to admit, when I first thought about us teaching Jonah, all I could think of was this VBS like teaching with lots of whales and singing “Jonah, Johna, in the belly of the whale” over and over again. Not the case. This teaching is going to be incredible for everyone who will let God speak to them through it. The Jonah story is SO good. Just reengaging with it a little today has been a blessing to me.

So…tomorrow, the kids come!!! I have incredible peace about that tonight. I trust everybody will get the jobs done that they have been gifted to do or asked to do….I trust that God will use all of this to change lives….AGAIN!!!

Tomorrow morning…that’s what I’m excited about right now. It’s one of those nervous excitements. I LOVE leading worship…anywhere!! I love worshiping God in such a way that others are lead to the throne. But tomorrow will be special….tomorrow, I will worship at home. That brings both nerves and great excitement. I can’t wait till in the morning with Christy and Devon and Kendra and Julie and Kevin and Ross and Josh and Heath….I can’t wait till the crowd starts rolling in…I can’t wait till we speak together, “What a wonderful God we have”….I can’t wait to see what God does….to me. It never fails, God does something to me in these times. I know that he uses our corporate times of worship to bless many…but I think I get to be blessed more than all. I not only get to worship….I get to watch others worship. I get to look into the faces of people whom I’ve grown up with, and see the reflection of our Lord as we worship Him. I can’t wait to remember Christ with them. I can’t wait to look back in the back corner and see my parents singing “Here I Am To Worship”. What a great Father’s Day gift that is for me…to worship my heavenly Father with my earthly Father. I can’t wait to sing “There’s A Stirring”. God, do something amazing as your people gather to praise you in the morning. Anoint this time with your Spirit. Remind us of who you are. Let us make a LOUD noise to YOU!!!! We love you God. I love you God. In the morning, make me invisible so that you may be seen. Make me visible only when I am reflecting Your Glory. I love you God!! I can’t wait to see what you are going to do. AMAZE ME!!!

Your Servant…Your Friend….Your Son,


Tomorrow is going to ROCK!!!

Note: For the next week I will be in Lubbock at Summer Excitement ( Throughout over half of my life, Summer Excitement has meant so much to me as I have grown both spiritually and physically. Over the next few days, I will be journalling about my SE experience....I hope that this will be an every day happening...we'll see how it works. Please do not expect these writings to make sense at all! As the week goes, I will be functioning on less and less your reading out there...enjoy the ramblings. By the way...someone asked me the other day, "Who are you writing this for?" The answer....ME!! I'm writing this as an act of Praise. This journal is a way for me to continually be engaging with what God is doing in my life. So, if somebody else reads it...I hope it blesses you. However, if no-one else reads it...and God continues to reveal to me what He is doing here...that's totally fine by me!!! God, do it AGAIN. Change lives through this great event called Summer Excitement. Show your Glory!!

Your Servant,


SE Chronicles…Day 1 – Friday, June 17th 2006

TL Training

I love this feeling….I don’t know how to describe this feeling…It’s kind of a not in control feeling combined with an absolute confidence that I know that whatever happens this week is God ordained and going to reflect His power…not mine….thank God for that. Let me tell you, if the week of Summer Excitement reflected the power of Doyle or Laci or Josh or John, etc. WE WOULD BE IN TROUBLE. But what we expect, what we expect is this…we expect that “the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in [us], he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to [our] mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in [me].” Romans 8:11

True wisdom for me this week is not to have all the right answers and to keep everybody on schedule and all that stuff….true wisdom is believing scripture. Believing that the Spirit of the living God is in me and is giving life to me and is the power that will lead this week. When I believe that….SE will be incredible.

I love this feeling!!!!

What I want so bad is for our TL’s to claim this feeling. Last night was incredible. In our prayer time, we had so many TL’s who said, “I’m not ready for this”, or “I’m not good enough for this”. I want them to get this truth….without the power of the spirit of the living God in you….you aren’t ready and you aren’t good enough. But Paul said…where I am weak, then HE is strong. I want to be weak so that HE is strong!! These TL’s are going to be incredible this week. Right now, I’m watching them go through their first family time with Mike. I see them…already…going deep into their hearts….looking at who they are. God, continue to draw them to each other and to you….for the ones that I see that are checking out, not wanting to be a part of the team….bring them in. For the ones that are loving this and eating it up….draw them deeper. Most of all, for all of us…God teach us what it really means to GO this week. Teach through Jonah, teach through your Son’s words, teach through your Spirit speaking into our hearts. God, I believe you are going to do INCREDIBLE INDESCRIBABLE things this week. I believe…forgive me when I don’t believe. Father, these TL’s need more of You and less of themselves. Break the ones that need broken…build up the ones that need healed. God we depend on you for this!


This is going to be such a cool week. I love talking about “Going”…because it means something different for each person…this is going to be great. Jonah is a great story, all of us can identify with Jonah. God, teach us all this week. Show us all what you want for us. This is all for you.

Your Son,