Archives for December 2012

How to Make 2013 Better than 2012

Looking back on 2012, did you accomplish everything you wanted to accomplish? Were you intentional about your year, or did you allow another year to slip through your fingers? Did you spend more time watching CSI than reading a worthwhile book? Did you spend more time playing Angry Birds than working on your personal growth? If so, don't let 2013 be the same as 2012. Be intentional. Here are four simple steps to make 2013 better than 2012:1. Set worthwhile goals. I know this seems … [Read more...]

Merry Christmas!

Have a Merry Christmas! See you next week. … [Read more...]

How to Spot the New Family

It’s the eyes. Do you want to know the secret of spotting the new family the first time they come to your church? Watch the eyes. New eyes are always timid, unsure, hesitant. Their steps don’t have the purposed gait of someone who knows where they’re going. If you spot a nervous, deer-in-the-headlights look, then you’ve probably got a first-time guest.To those who seek to make a good first impression, to those who are practiced and intentional about welcoming first-timers, knowing this can ma … [Read more...]

The Unsung Heroes

In yesterday's post about Tomas, I briefly mentioned Shawn and Jen Rhineholt, an amazing American couple who transplanted their lives (along with their five kids) from the East Coast to the Dominican Republic to see the gospel come to life there. They are the unsung heroes of Christianity. They're the ones with the vision for Tomas and so many others to receive an education. This video below captures a bit of their story. You can find them online here: … [Read more...]

Meet Tomas

This is Tomas. He is five years old. He is Haitian by nationality, living with his grandmother in a slum in Baharona, Dominican Republic. His family escaped the poverty and chaos of Haiti only to be trapped in the Dominican Republic. Tomas doesn't have legal papers, so he is in the Dominican Republic illegally. The DR government is therefore under no obligation to provide Tomas with clean drinking water, electricity, or an education. Since he has no papers, he can't go back to the Dominican … [Read more...]

Why I'm an Unashamed Facebook Stalker

At a recent church function, a new church family came up and gave me a nice compliment. They were impressed that I knew their names and their children’s names. They know that Mt Vernon isn’t a small church. There were several hundred that called Mt Vernon home when I got here, and in 2012, several hundred more have visited. This couple had visited and gotten plugged in within the last few months. They haven’t gotten plugged into a Life Group yet, so they don’t know a lot of people. Yet I know the … [Read more...]

The Power of Knowing a Name

Here’s part of an email our church recently received, “Thank you for making us feel so welcomed, we have been enjoying the church services and my heart is so happy that my children are also enjoying it too!” This is from a family who’s recently attended and has decided to make Mt Vernon their church home. What helped make the difference? We knew their names.This family came late to our 10:30 service, dropping their kids off and slipping in before anyone could properly greet them. But our staf … [Read more...]

Five for Friday

Here are some great links that will get you to think. Enjoy!The Danger of Calling Behavior 'Biblical' - Great article by Rachel Evans. Read slowly through this one.The Business Case for Reading Novels - Why I've read every book by John Grisham and Tom Clancy (among many others), and why it's not a waste of time.Create a Great Experience - Incredible insight by Brad Lomenick. Why we work so hard to make the Mt Vernon Church experience what it is each week.Dave Ramsay's 3 Keys to … [Read more...]

Abby's Story

Everyone has a story. When you know their story, you get a glimpse into God's beautifully redemptive work throughout an entire life. Here is Abby's story, one that we shared at Mt Vernon Church earlier this year.Thank you Abby, for sharing your beautiful story with us. … [Read more...]

Everyone Has a Story

Earlier this year my family went down to New Orleans for a short vacation. While there, I able to engage in a favorite past-time: people watching. "People watching" sounds much nicer than "creeping," so I'll stick with that.Two guys captivated my attention while there. The first guy worked at the New Orleans Insectarium. He was in his late 20s, and he screamed 'beatnik' with his Shaggy-like beard. He looked like the guy who would hit the hippest coffee shop in town after work. Here's my … [Read more...]