Sunday, July 31, 2011


We are now on our way back home to Northern California.  I was extremely blessed being at Camp with the White Station teens and adults.  Of all the camps I have done, White Station does it extremely well.  There is an amazing flow of Spiritual desire and fun that are woven together for a very experiential time of Spirit Formation.

The worship is intense.  There is no air condition nor padded seats to settle you in.  They battle the heat along with other distractions but always seem to come back to honoring the fame and renown of GOD.  I am allowed and expected to bring Spiritual meat to the table.  Each night, just when you think the campers have reached their limit, they draw deeper into the flow of God's Spirit and shake the rafters.  I also love the fact that adults from the church are moving around laying hands and praying over the campers.  Of course, several of the teens were praying over them as well.

With nothing but road before us, it has given me time to reflect, praise God, and pray.  I will say that I am doing that with my eyes opened for those who are already concerned about my driving ability.  We spent last night in Kansas City and are now departing for Colorado.  On a positive note, I only heard Parker ask "are we there yet" about fifty times.  Jon just wanted to know when we were stopping to eat.  All in all, we are off to a good start.  Thanks for the prayers as we travel.  I am looking forward to being back in Gold Country and continuing our journey of building community.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


We are beginning week two of our Kelley family adventure.  This week though Jennifer is at her parents with the little boys and I am speaking at a teen camp.  This is my second year to speak for the Church at White Station out of Memphis.  Their teen camp is very well run.  I love the interaction I see between adults and students as both lean in to the word and will of God.

I have been tasked with speaking on the theme of "both/and".  Jesus is both Savior and Lord.  It is a continuous challenge to find creative ways to connect the story of scripture with teens who live in a techno world. As I have been thinking through the saving work of God, I continue to be humbled by the overwhelming presence of HIS complete love.  But like most, the challenge for me is to remain in the presence of Christ the Lord.  I love being reminded He has saved me.  I don't always like being reminded He is Lord.  That His will is perfect. His way is the way.  I struggle with going my own way and doing my own thing.

These past seven months of transition have been a test of following Jesus as Lord.  From hearing His call to move to California and planting a church, to leaving the security of an "established" church with people we love and that loved us, each day has been a call to surrender.  What we have found is that God is faithful.  He has provided.  He has given us people to love and that in turn have loved us.  He is showing us His will. He is maturing our faith and challenging our view of life.  This week of camp is reminding me that life is just a big camping trip.

As I look back over this transition, what I see is my faith and comfort were in what I had in the place I was in and not necessarily in God.  I had become settled and secure in what was before me and not so much in the God who had called me.  I am hopeful this week my story will be a picture of God's desire for our lives to be fully submitted and committed to Jesus as Lord.  After all, the important thing isn't about where we find ourselves on a map, but what Christ is doing inside us wherever we are.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Red Eye Recovery

We took the Red Eye out of San Francisco Sunday night and landed in the deep south Monday morning.  I usually love Red Eye Flights as I can sleep and be ready to hit the ground running.  This was my first Red Eye with kids along and hopefully my last.  To keep them up way past normal bedtime and put them on an airplane expecting them to sleep is little not smart.  Ok, well a lot not smart.  We  are still recovering from the experience.  Jennifer is beyond tired so I won't even go there.  The kids were so zombie like that after they ate two donuts they still passed out.

We have experienced a great time with my family which always includes amazing food.  The deep south warmly welcomed us back with a heavy dose of humidity.  Not having missed that old friend I am still wishing him to go away.  It is quite an experience to get out of the shower and need another one because you can't stop sweating.

I feel out of sorts though.  I have become so accustomed to life in Northern Cal that I feel out of place.  It is a weird feeling.  I am praying over and with situations that people are facing.  Even in the Red Eye stupor I am clear headed enough to join in praying over some friends who have been called to minister in a tough situation.  I love the fact that so many in this new church plant are taking on the call of God to walk along side of people in need.  We prayed that would happen and it is!  One of our hopes with the new church plant is that it would NOT be dependent upon a Pastor to mandate ministry.  Hopefully we are modeling in our life relational discipleship and others are choosing to live that way.  It will make for a healthy way sharing Christ with the Auburn CA area.

So while I recover from the Red Eye flight, others are ministering in Jesus name back home.  I love it!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

the trip

Tomorrow evening we leave California for the three week Griswold family vacation.  How else can you describe a trip that has a family of seven driving across the country with three four year olds, a fourteen year old talker, and a fifteen year old child with autism.  Jennifer is going to video the adventure and I will attempt to market it to a film company.
We begin with a drive to San Francisco and take the Red Eye to visit my family.  Over the course of the trip we will see grandparents, put a floor in Nicole and Chad's house, and speak for the White Station Church's youth camp.  Of course the real adventure begins once we load up in the van my parents have given us and trek from Tennessee to California.  I will go ahead and beg now for all to be in prayer for me and my family.  For me in that I keep a sense of humor and for my family in that they remember God has mandated they have to forgive me.
So over the next week I will try and keep the blog updated with pictures and posts of the grand adventure.  Stay tuned... Clark is taking the family across country again!

Monday, July 11, 2011

special people

This weekend we got to visit with some dear friends.  Don and Jane Gann as well as Rodney and Alice Higginbotham were in Auburn CA for a few days.  As exciting as it was to see them Friday morning it was equally as sad to see them leave Sunday afternoon.  For eight years the Gann family has been special to Jennifer and I.  Don and Jane are like a second set of parents and their boys are like brothers.  We have walked together through death and new birth.  Each time I am with them I am reminded of the joy of having deep friendships that aren't limited by time and distance.

Rodney and Alice came into our lives six years ago.  My wife Jennifer will tell you Alice is a Spiritual mother to her.  They have prayed some mighty prayers together, cried more than a few tears, and both heard the Holy Spirit calling us to a new ministry.  When we connected with these two couples, Jennifer, Alice and Jane went to a quiet place and spent time praying over each other.  Don, Rodney and I picked up with conversation like we had never been a part.  Oh the comfort and peace of dear friends.  They are traveling out on the coast for the week.  It was amazing and blessed to have them at GCC this past Sunday.  It made GCC feel even more like home!  I hope you have those kind of friends!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

there and back

Last night I returned from a quick trip to Alabama to lead my friend Rex England's funeral.  I realize funerals aren't supposed to be fun.  It wasn't fun in the sense that we were all excited to be there.  It was fun in the real sense that we celebrated a man who lived life fully.  I want for my funeral to be a celebration.  I told Jennifer I want music, food, drink, and laughter.  Though we grieved for his passing and for the loss  Valerie and each of us feels, it was a rejoicing over faith and hope and love.  Yesterday as I returned I thought through the impact of funeral that celebrates and a funeral that regrets.  They are worlds apart.

As we gathered this morning with our new church that is still in it's infancy, I was overwhelmed with the season of worship we experienced.   In every way it was healing and refreshing.  We took time to really think through the work of Christ in our lives and connect with God.  I had the biggest smile as we sang "The Stand".  Rex was experiencing on the other side the beauty of what we were proclaiming.  We sang in anticipation.  It was awesome!

By the way, GCC is experiencing an amazing season of worship!  Thank you for all who are bringing hunger and desire for the renown of God.  You are blessing my journey!  I hope you are being filled with the sense of laughter and joy as we encounter God.  I look forward to many more experiences like this morning.  My friend Rex got to worship in midst of the Holy of Holies!  We were pretty close ourselves!