Further Up, Further In Weblog

Chronicling the Journey of the Homeyers

New Things January 28, 2009

Filed under: Fellowshp Baptist Church — furtherupfurtherin @ 9:46 pm

So some of you may get annoyed at my newsletter articles, but others have asked that post them each week.  Here it is for this week!

It seems to me that growth always means change.  Although change only sometimes means growth.   We Americans tend to like things continually bigger and better and therefore often hear, “Growth,” and think of rising numbers (Homework assignment for the week – go look at Jesus teaching and parables on the Kingdom of God and contemplate whether bigger really is better).  But “growth,” especially as it relates to the Kingdom of God, takes many different forms and numerical gains are only one of its components.

Fellowship, we are growing.  We are maturing as a community.  It can be quantified in those that have joined and visited and have chosen to be a part of Fellowship and in our building quickly approaching completion.  It can be qualified in the discipleship, service, Bible study, and worship of the members of Fellowship each day and week.

   We are growing and quite necessarily, we are changing.    It is my hope and prayer that the ways in which we are changing will position Fellowship to be good stewards of the different components of growth with which God has blessed us. 

Over the past two Sunday’s I have introduced from the pulpit quite a few “new” ways in which to plug into Fellowship and participate in the Kingdom of God that I believe will help us be good stewards of all that God has blessed us with and called us to.  In short, they are ways in which to help us Love God and Love Neighbor. 

With all things new, we often react like a calf looking at a new gate:  We hesitate, not knowing whether to go forward or retreat.  To help us move forward, I want to give a quick explanation of all the new opportunities we have visited about these past two weeks. 

  • 1. Fellowship House Ministry
  • a. A new ministry that focuses on families of Fellowship developing intentional relationships with those in their neighborhoods. Those called to be a Fellowship House will commit to develop relationships with 10-15 families in their neighborhood. See last week’s newsletter or the church webpage for more details.
  • 2. Ministry Interest Survey
  • a. Many of you involved in Fellowship have expressed frustration in being able to get involved in the ministry of Fellowship and in knowing what the Fellowship’s opportunities for service are. This survey will be mailed out this week and will list in detail every possible area of service within Fellowship. We ask that you check those ministries and opportunities that you are interested and are feel led to be involved in. Checking a box is not signing on the dotted line to serve, but is merely an expression of your interest that will help us to plug people in and recruit volunteers. A copy of this can also be printed off the webpage and will be emailed out. Please email your copy back filled out, drop it off at the office, mail it in to the office, or bring it to church on Sunday.
  • 3. Ministry Teams
  • a. We are forming three ministry teams to help us prepare to serve in the coming months. These will be temporary teams and anyone can volunteer to serve on them.
  • i. Neighborhood and Building Ministry Team
  • 1. This is not a cleverly named team, but it will be formed for one year and its purpose will be to seek ways to 1) Reach out to the neighborhoods around Mormon Mill Rd. 2) Use our building to bless the neighborhoods around Mormon Mill and the larger community.
  • ii. Children’s Ministry Team
  • 1. As we get into our building we have the opportunity to expand our Children’s ministry and better meet the needs of our kids, this team will explore the specific ways in which this should happen.
  • iii. Mission Trip Ministry Team
  • 1. This team will explore options for our summer mission trip, choose a location, and help plan the trip.

Read again through these opportunities and pray about how God is leading you to be involved.  As I shared Sunday, it is my hope and prayer that we would be a family of faith where no one sits on the sidelines of God’s Kingdom, but that we are a family who ALL participate together in ministry. 

There is a place for you to plug-in!  Seek it out!  Dive in! 

You can call or email Kathy or I during the week to volunteer for any of these.  We will have sign-up sheets for each of them at church on Sunday.

The deadline to sign up for each of these will be Sunday, February 8.


Der Aggie Untergang January 23, 2009

Filed under: Etc.,Uncategorized — furtherupfurtherin @ 9:54 pm

I want to apologize upfront if this video offends any of you, but I simply found it hilarious. 

I have no great hatred of A&M and it’s football team, but I certainly have no love for them either.  As my father-in-law and brother-in-law and half of my church are big fans of UT, I have slowly become a fan as well.  And I am one of those ridiculous individuals who tends to take sports rivalries a bit too seriously, and subsequently my love for Baylor and my like for UT led me to laugh heartily at this video. 



Love God, Love Neighbor

Filed under: Uncategorized — furtherupfurtherin @ 9:46 pm

This is an unedited post from our weekly newsletter.  I thought those of you who may not get our newsletter might like to hear about a new ministry we are beginning at Fellowship.  I got the idea for this type of ministry from a seminar I attended with Community Renewal International in Shreveport, LA and their founder, Mack McCarter. 

Sunday in the State of the Church Address, we discussed Jesus’ words in Matthew 22:34-40 where he says the greatest commandment is to love the Lord Your God with all your heart, and all your mind, and all your soul, and the second greatest was to love your neighbor as yourself. 

Love God, Love Neighbor. 

Jesus said the whole of the law and the prophets hung on these two commands.  I believe Jesus’ life and teaching show us that the whole of the gospel and our life lived in Christ hangs on these two commands as well.

Our life in Christ is to be spent actively Loving God, and Loving neighbor.

Love God, Love Neighbor.

This will be our theme, our mantra, our purpose in everything we do as Fellowship Baptist Church as we move forward in 2009 and beyond. 

Love God, Love Neighbor.

Sunday I introduced a new ministry of Fellowship that will serve as a great opportunity for us to both Love God and Love Neighbor.  It is called our Fellowship House Ministry. 

It is a ministry to those who quite literally are our neighbors in the most narrow interpretation – those who live in the same neighborhood, or on the same street as we do. 

As the average square footage of the American home has grown over the past decades, we have lost much of what it means to be a neighbor to those who live right around us.  Many of us will travel all over the world to share Christ with those in need, but for years will drive by those who live next to us every day and merely wave and say, “hello!”  Loving neighbor certainly extends to those neighbors in need around the world, but it just as certainly begins with those who live right next door. 

For those who feel led to be a Fellowship House in your neighborhood, you will commit to be an intentional neighbor to 10-15 houses near you.  Here are some of the requirements of a Fellowship House


  • You will commit to meet and, over time, develop friendships with each of these neighbor families.
  • You will let them know you desire to help them and be a good neighbor in any way you can if they need one.
  • As you meet these neighbors, you will attempt to connect them with one another, and encourage them to be good neighbors to one another.
  • Twice a year you will host or organize a neighborhood gathering like a BBQ, or a dinner, or having everyone over for Ice Cream. Community is developed in these times. Neighbors connect, and ministry happens.
  • Once every other month, you will gather with other Fellowship Houses and pray for one another, share ideas on how to be reach out to your neighbors, and support one another.


This sounds incredibly simple.  Get to know the people living around you.  And it is simple.  As you visit you will meet some who are faithful followers of Christ.  With them, share your mission and your vision and ask for their prayers, and if they are led, their help.  But you will also meet those who need a neighbor.  You will meet those who need help mowing the grass and picking up their mail when they are gone.  You will meet those who need prayer, who need someone to listen to them, and who need Christ. 

Many of you are already faithful neighbors.  If so, then sign up to be a Fellowship House and join this ministry.  Those of us who don’t know our neighbors will need help and ideas and support from you. 

For those of you who are uncomfortable at the thought of this, don’t let your uncomfortability hold you back.  We grow when we fight through such feelings. 

Pray about your involvement.  We will have a signup sheet at Church Sunday.  You can email me or call the office if you want to get involved.  Do the same if you have any questions.  Sunday I will stay after church and answer any questions anyone has as well. 

This sign-up period will last until Sunday, February 8.  When we see who is led to be involved, we will provide some training, and hopefully begin in earnest in mid-late February. 

I am praying for 15 families to commit to be a part of this ministry and be a Fellowship House on their street. 

Can you imagine what God could do in Marble Falls with 15 families each ministering actively to 15 other families?  

Pray about this opportunity to Love God and Love Neighbor.


Wow January 11, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — furtherupfurtherin @ 4:39 am


A buddy of mine from Fellowship sent me this picture that he took while flying this morning.  It’s beauty is worth sharing.


News, News, News January 10, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — furtherupfurtherin @ 4:52 pm
Tags: , ,

So, in case you haven’t heard, Kelley and I found out on Thanksgiving morning that we are going to be parents!

It was, obviously, incredible news and we are more than excited about it. The little guy/girl is due on July 25 which makes Kelley 12 weeks along as of today.

Kelley has had a great pregnancy thus far – no morning sickness! She went to the Doc thursday and everything looks healthy and right along schedule.

As we have been told no less than 1000 times since we told family, friends, and church – Life is about to change.

I haven’t posted anything in months, and frankly, haven’t even visited the site in a few weeks, but I see that a surprising number of people still visit this site, so I promise to post with some degree of faithfulness (is that sufficiently vague?)

Here are my thoughts I included in our newsletter this week.

It is amazing at how quickly the lens through which we view this life here on earth can change.  We can live through hundreds of days, weathering the highs and lows, experiencing joys, frustrations, sadness, complacency, satisfaction, and contentment, but maintaining the same basic perspective on life; or, said another way, viewing life through the same set of lenses. 

But suddenly, something happens that forces us to change the lenses through which we see life in order to still see clearly this world in which we live.  Someone very close to us dies and the world just doesn’t look the same without them.  We cross a mysterious threshold between one stage of life and another and suddenly the world looks completely different.  We find out we are going to be a parent and all of a sudden all aspects of life are viewed as if of a completely foreign hue.                

I have found myself surprised at how quickly life has changed at just the announcement of Baby Homeyer, much less his/her actual arrival!  I drive more cautiously.  Little weaknesses and inconsistencies in my life seem glaringly large to me now that I know there very soon will be a little person watching me to learn about faith, character, integrity, and honesty.  I approach spending and saving differently.  I love and act toward Kelley differently. 

 Our world has changed with the miraculous faint appearance of a second line on a little plastic strip.  How dynamic and wonderful life can be! 

 As I have reflected on this change of lenses and perspective in my life in this new year of 2009, two things jump out at me. 

  • 1) Fellowship will face a similar changing of perspective when we walk in to worship in our building in March. We won’t simply be meeting in a new space that we own: I believe that much of the culture of our church will be changed. Much of what is wonderful about Fellowship will only be enhanced – the community that exists between us, the love, and fellowship, and relationships between us will only be deepened and strengthened. Much of what we have been waiting, hoping, praying, and working for will be realized – having our own space to use to bless the community, the ability to better minister to our children and youth, a physical place for our identity and existence in Marble Falls to have its center. If we are good stewards of this new phase that we are approaching, I believe it will prove to be a blessed time of growth and Kingdom work for Fellowship. Get Ready!
  • 2) When we become a Follower of Christ, the lens of Christ’s call on our life becomes the lens through which we see everything we do. Chance encounters become divine appointments. Our skills and talents are suddenly seen as gifts to be used by God for His Kingdom. Our time, resources, and careers shift from being used as we so desire to being used as God leads us. When we become Followers of Christ, His will for our life is the lens through which we view life, especially through the changes life brings.

So my encouragement to you in this New Year of 2009 is to be aware of the lenses, through which you are viewing, and therefore living, your life.  Is the perspective of Christ the perspective with which you view your world and that colors all areas of your life?  The challenge, as it always is, is for each of us and for all of us to live for Christ.  May it be so in your life this week and this year!