The Rising 2010

•January 4, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Kicking a little shout out to any college-aged students looking to be challenged by the Gospel in a very strategic multi-cultural, inner-city environment. “The Rising” is essentially a mission trip/conference hosted right in the heart of one of the most diverse urban centers in America… Memphis, TN. I had the privilege of taking our college ministry (back in Denton, TX) to The Rising last year. Truthfully, I’ve been to a lot of conferences and one-day events- but none that have exposed and challenged me with Gospel-centered paradigms & opportunities like this one.

Go. But be forewarned… it will mess with your junk.

From The Website:

The Rising is a two-day, multi-cultural experience in the urban core of Memphis, TN designed to engage the mind, heart, and soul. Combining the best parts of a teaching conference with unique “hands-on” opportunities to experience and serve the city, The Rising exists to teach, encourage, model and facilitate gospel living fleshed out in every facet of life. The Rising 2010 includes 3 programs at The Orpheum Theatre (Friday Night, Saturday Morning and Saturday Night), 3 workshops (optional) and a ½ day of service at the Zion Cemetery.

Two options available…

The Rising ONE NIGHT is a one night concert and program featuring performances from Reach Records’ 116 Clique (Lecrae, Sho Baraka, Trip Lee, and Tedashi) along with worship from Integrity Music artist Carlos Whittaker. This experience is designed for a broader audience who is unable to take part in the entire Rising weekend. This is a ONE NIGHT experience you won’t want to miss! Join us Saturday, March 13th at 7pm in The Orpheum Theatre.

The Rising EXTENDED is a unique opportunity to invest in the city of Memphis before or after The Rising weekend. Designed to be flexible with your Spring Break, our team will help you craft meaningful experiences for your group, including trips to the National Civil Rights Museum, Stax Museum, Rock & Soul Museum, Slave Haven, etc. We have strategic relationships with a multitude of ministries and non-profits, serving a variety of needs in our city, that love to include visiting teams in their efforts. We would love to have you for an “Extended” visit to our city!


Update & Prayer for Pastor Matt Chandler

•December 1, 2009 • 3 Comments

By now many have heard that Matt chandler (Pastor of the Village Church, Flower Mound, TX) had a seizure on Thanksgiving that sent him to the hospital. The doctors found a mass in his brain and an appointment was set up with a neurologist for today. The following is an update from the elders concerning his situation…

Update from our elders concerning Matt and his health:

Matt will undergo surgery Friday afternoon. Pastor Matt Chandler will have surgery Friday afternoon to remove a tumor located in the frontal lobe of his brain. The surgery will be performed by Dr. David Barnett. Dr. Barnett told Matt that he was positive about recovery but won’t know the full results until the surgery is performed. The doctor was uncertain about the malignancy of the tumor, and a biopsy will be performed as part of the surgery.

The outpouring of support and prayers from all over the world has been overwhelming to Matt and Lauren. Continue to pray and fast on behalf of the family. The church’s monthly prayer service will be Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Highland Village, Denton and Dallas Northway worship centers. We encourage you to fast throughout that day and join us to pray that evening. If you cannot join us, pray wherever you are.

We continue to rest in the knowledge that Matt is in the sovereign hand of our heavenly Father who loves him immensely more than we can comprehend, and He alone understands the reasons for this trial. Along with your prayers, continue to give Matt and Lauren and their family time and space for their continued rest.

I just wanted to send this out to continue to rally prayer support for Matt and his family during this time… More information and updates can be found at

David Robinson’s Hall of Fame Speech

•September 18, 2009 • Leave a Comment

It always encourages me to see people who are in great places of influence, to use that influence to bring glory back to God. David Robinson is no exception.

However, I do find it interesting that right at the exact moment he starts to talk about Jesus, ESPN throws up a bunch of sound and logos on the screen… interesting timing… 🙂

Fun Halloween / Fall Festival Event Ideas…

•September 11, 2009 • 7 Comments


As I do every year, here’s some fun event ideas for the upcoming holiday season, starting with Halloween & Fall Festivals… This year, I’m listing ideas for my new context: The Greater Fresno, Ca Area. (For those in Denton, TX – feel free to look at previous year’s posts for ideas). These are great ideas for family outings, date nights, or roommate/friend opportunities…

Thanksgiving & Christmas posts coming soon!

News Story on The Well/Cross Merge…

•August 25, 2009 • Leave a Comment


Thought this was interesting… the local news paper here in Fresno just did a brief write up on the merge that’s about to take place between The Cross Church & The Well’s Fig Garden Campus…


Cross Church and The Well prepare to merge

Published online on Friday, Aug. 21, 2009
By Ron Orozco / The Fresno Bee

A church merger is drawing a lot of interest in the area’s faith community. Beginning Sept. 13, The Cross Church will begin holding Sunday morning services with The Well Community Church’s satellite congregation that has been holding services and other activities Sunday evenings at The Cross Church. The merged congregation will be known as The Well Fig Garden, under pastor Shea Sumlin.

“They’ve rented from us for seven years, so we know them,” says The Cross Church’s pastor, the Rev. Sam Freshwater. “It’s time to get married.” It’s refreshing to see churches helping each other. The Cross Church has deep roots. It was organized by German immigrants from Russia in 1892 in southeast Fresno. Although the church thrived in the 1960s with 2,200 members, it has fallen on hard times with just 130 people. That happens. Adult members die off and their children move on.

The Well is a success story. It began as a college ministry at Northwest Church under Brad Bell in 1998. Then, he turned it into a fledgling congregation in February 2002. Its first home was the rented sanctuary of The Cross Church. The Well has grown to more than 2,000 members, mainly those in their 20s and 30s. They have worshipped at the church’s main venue on East Nees Avenue since August 2007. Satellite venues were also added at Sunnyside High School and Maple Creek Elementary School.

The merger doesn’t affect The Well’s other sites. But it allows The Well to make deeper connections with neighbors near The Cross Church — and that pleases one of the church’s longtime members, Sharon Crabtree, 66. “It helps sometimes for young eyes to see new vision,” she says. “You can get stagnant in what you’re doing.” Freshwater says, “We see it as a God-given opportunity to reach the Fig Garden area. I’m not an evangelist. My heart is for the lost.” The merger, he adds, is “one that has a great facility and one that has fresh eyes in ways to reach people.”

Before the merger is complete, The Cross Church will hold special events to celebrate its history. A legacy service will be held 9 a.m. Aug. 30 at the church, 4545 N. Palm Ave. Former members are invited to attend. A luncheon featuring German foods and videos will be at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 6 at the church’s fellowship hall. Reservations should be made. Details: (559) 222-3700.