Pete Rose Appearance Attracts Widespread Media Attention

Pete RoseI’m really stoked that besides all the national media press (including Cincinnati), many major Philadelphia area TV and radio stations and newspapers will be at CCV this Sunday, March 30th, to cover my interview with Pete Rose.

But…

I’m WAY more excited to hear all the stories from CCV’ers about how so many of their non-church going friends are planning to join us that day.

Undoubtedly there are going to be many join us who have never heard about the amazing #SecondChances that are available to us all in Jesus Christ.

I’m praying Sunday changes that for a whole bunch of people. Will you join me? [Read more...]

Pete Rose To Appear At CCV March 30th

Pete RosePete Rose, Major League Baseball’s all-time career hit leader, will return to Philadelphia and appear at Christ’s Church of the Valley in Royersford on Sunday, March 30, 2014, to talk about how everyone deserves a second chance.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 12, 2014

Pete Rose, Major League Baseball’s all-time career hit leader, will return to Philadelphia and appear at Christ’s Church of the Valley on Sunday, March 30, 2014. Rose will appear live and be interviewed during each of the church’s three services that day: 9:00, 10:15 and 11:30AM.

This event is free and open to the public. Pete’s visit marks his return to the Philadelphia area, where in 1980 he helped lead the Phillies to their first ever World Series championship.

Rose is recognized as one of Major League Baseball’s all-time greatest players. He holds the league’s records for most hits (4,256), games played (3,562) and at-bats (14,053). [Read more...]

Results From Catholic Visitor Survey

Catholic ChurchA few years ago our teaching team was trying to understand the unique challenges a person with a Roman Catholic background has visiting a Protestant Church, particularly the church I serve.

So we asked visitors to CCV with a Catholic background to fill out a brief survey.

I thought you might find the results interesting and helpful…

How did you hear about CCV?

  1. Invitation to church
  2. Flyers/mailings
  3. Kid’s Camp
  4. Signs
  5. Saw church from highway 422

Describe your first visit. What were your initial thoughts and feelings?

Positive:

  1. Liked sermon
  2. Felt at home immediately
  3. Liked Music
  4. Friendly people
  5. Liked children’s program [Read more...]

I’ll Miss You Aunt Lyn

Thelma Lyn MartinToday is my Aunt Lyn’s funeral. She passed away a few weeks ago after a long battle in the hospital.

Lyn had special needs, and growing up she was more like a cousin to me than an aunt. Present at every birthday party I remember, always ready with good-natured ribbing, a laugh that made you laugh right along with her.

These past ten years or so my mother faithfully took care of Lyn, overseeing all of her medical care, decorating her room at the Wee Care facility, filling in as her surrogate mom after my grandmother’s passing, and serving as her health care advocate.

Lyn’s story is as much about my mom, and the love siblings have for one another, and the way God can help you do extraordinary things in the midst of really difficult circumstances.

And so it is on this day I want to say a big thank you. Not only for the privilege of knowing such a wonderful person like my aunt, but for the example my mother set for what it truly looks like to be family.

I wrote about my aunt a few years ago in chapter 8 of my book Second Guessing God. I thought I’d share it with you today… [Read more...]

How My Childhood Church Affected My Life

Eastpointe Christian Church, the church I attended from birth till high school graduation, recently celebrated their 60th anniversary. They asked me to share how the church impacted my life. Here’s what I shared with them…

1967 Baby BrianOne of my favorite memories of Eastpointe is walking into church and knowing that Bob Berridge would be sitting on the back right pew, all the way to the left, next to the aisle. He greeted me each week like I was the only person in the building that day. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one that thought that each Sunday.

What I remember most about Eastpointe isn’t the creaky folding collapsible doors between Sunday school classes, or the “clapping in church controversy of 1978,” or the years getting skunked by the Catholic Church in the Madison softball league.

But people.

I’ll never forget the time Dave Darby, Jeff Mangas and I cooked cheeseburgers in the church kitchen during Sunday School. That did not go over really well with the elders. Or the time we stumbled upon “The Songs Of Songs” during one of Bill Walker’s sermons and we howled with giddy laughter over realizing the word “breasts” was actually in the Bible. I miss those guys. [Read more...]

No Little People, No Small Places

Jack Tanner reading Romans 8 before the President's eulogy

Jack Tanner reading Romans 8 before the President’s eulogy

Jack Tanner has been a fixture in rural Connecticut and the East Coast for as long as I can remember. As a member of my own fellowship of churches, Jack was faithfully serving Newtown Christian Church in rural Connecticut long before I came to the suburbs of Philadelphia to plant CCV.

For those who don’t live out here, the East Coast is some of the most resistant soil anywhere, and tilling spiritual ground to raise a harvest in Connecticut is like hitting bedrock. Yet Jack has served faithfully, and without fanfare, for an entire generation.

So it came as no surprise to anyone that when the President of the United States flew into Newtown, Connecticut, to speak at the vigil for the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting, Jack was the one who was chosen to read Romans 8 before the President spoke to the nation.

While everyone’s thoughts were drawn to the Presidents words (and rightly so, for I found them incredibly comforting), I couldn’t help but think of the opening words of a sermon written by theologian Francis Schaeffer entitled, “No Little Peoples, No Small Places.”

[A Christian will often say to himself] ‘It is wonderful to be a Christian, but I am such a small person, so limited in talents – or energy or psychological strength or knowledge – that what I do is not really important.’

The Bible, however, has quite a different emphasis: with God there are no little people.

Thank you Jack for your years of faithful service. Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you continue to do what you’ve always done – loving, caring and serving the families in your community.

My 4 Favorite Ministries Extending Radical Grace To The Lost And Broken

For “Share Sunday” I want to share my 4 favorite events/ministries leading the way on reaching and loving lost and broken people…

1. Vault Conference – Las Vegas, October 15-17, 2012

Ministry friend Vince Antonucci is hosting The Vault Conference, a one of a kind event designed to share ideas with church leaders on how to reach truly unchurched people. Trust me, if you need to enlarge your vision for reaching lost people, Vince is the guy to spend time with. A major plus will be Jud Wilhite from Central Christian in Vegas will be there too. Register HERE. [Read more...]

Blue Like Jazz Movie Preview

I was invited to attend the preview of the movie adaptation of Donald Miller’s New York Times best-selling book, Blue Like Jazz, tonight in Philadelphia.

Miller is doing a 22 city nationwide tour to allow movers and shakers in the Christian community to preview the movie ahead of time and, if they like it, help promote it to their constituencies.

I am excited to attend for two reasons:

1. Leaders in the Christian community are finally recognizing my ability to sway the masses for good or evil.

Not since I was asked to ghost write The Purpose-Driven Life for you-know-who (lost out that contract to the guy who wrote Fireproof) have Christian leaders pointed to my natural ability to incite mass pandemonium and/or spiritual revival. Miller, obviously recognizing my gift to cause untold millions of you to leap out of bed each morning to hang on my every word, issued the invite.

2. It’s about dang time I got something free.

I never get free crap. Ever. In 11 years of killing myself to start CCV from scratch here in Philly – land acquisition, 2 building projects, 3 capital campaigns, locking myself in my basement from 3-6 am everyday writing books to help people, serving and loving and preaching so that 1258 people to date could come to Christ – this is the FIRST time I have ever received something for free that recognized my effort and influence. And to that I graciously and humbly say: it’s about frickin time.

Miller, thank you for the freebie tickets, but know this – the entire 5,000,000 person Philadelphia metro area will either love or hate this movie based on my review.

So Don please be forewarned- if Kirk Cameron makes a cameo appearance in this thing I’m standing up in the theater and yelling “FIRE!” faster than you can reject propositional truth.

I’ll see you tonight. Bring it on…

My Car Ride With Francis Chan

Last night I had a dream that I was sitting in the back seat of a car driving around the streets of 1950ish Clearwater, Florida.

Everything I saw in my dream had a yellowish tint to it, like the way the Cohen brothers filmed the movie “No Country For Old Men.”

At some point in my dream the scene shot changed and I saw who was driving the car. It was Francis Chan (or it could have been Daniel Dae Kim from Hawaii Five-O…I don’t know…Francis is bald, right? Daniel has hair…well this guy had hair…but looked like Francis Chan).

Anyway, Francis Chan was driving the car, in my dream, with a wig on, trying to look like Daniel Dae Kim.

Whoever it was, we had that “wiser older Master Po Asian guy / young David Carradine grasshopper thing from Kung Fu” going on in the back of an old Studebaker cruising the streets pasts palm trees and shiny new houses.

At some point Francis looks in the rear-view mirror and says, “I don’t see it. Brian, I don’t see the obedience in your life.”

[Read more...]