Tonight we had an Operation Barnabas team arrive at our church.  I have been excited for this team to arrive for a couple of reasons because….

  1. I went on OB in high school
  2. I met my wife on that team in high school
  3. I met 4 guys in my wedding that summer
  4. I led OB in 2005
  5. HSM and Grace Church have 9 students on OB teams this summer
  6. I haven’t worked at a church when an OB team visited.
  7. We have some awesome ministry planned including a special needs camp, an inner city FCA camp happening at our church, and of course manual labor.
  8. I have some great friends who are leaders on this team. (It was so encouraging to hear of their summer already and see what God is teaching them and doing through them).


We are hosting OB orientation next year at our church and I am honored to train, assist, and send off 100 ministry minded high schoolers for the summer.

Stay tuned for an update of how this week goes.


To make room for being a dad I have had to part with some things.  My turntables got sold and my music gear is now kept in a closet so we could have a nursery.  Below is a picture of me throwing some old clothes out a couple of weeks ago.  In 2002 when I was at the peak of my ghettoness and Eminem and 8 Mile were huge I rocked this velour suit to death.  Before I gave it to goodwill I took one last pic with Malachi in his velour suit that he is quickly outgrowing.  You can take our suits, but as the pic shows we will always be thugs.

Goodbye 2002.


I had the chance to bring a little hip-hop to the service at Grace Church last week.  Pastor Rick interviewed me and let me share my testimony in the service and to close, I got to do “content”.  It was fun for me and honestly worshipful even though it was not your fun of the mill thing in Powell, Ohio. I am so blessed to be a church where I am not only invested in and loved but they even let me pretend I am ghetto from time to time:)

You can check out the sermon in full here (July 6th Got Stress) or download it at this link.

It is also still on my markartripmusic myspace.

FALL RE-UP…thoughts for vacation

I don’t post as much as I used to, so I would say I am going on vacation but you probably won’t even notice I am gone.

Anyway, we are leaving Sunday after church for a one-week vacation.  We will be traveling to Tennessee with the Godshall’s and staying at the vacation home of a family from our church. I am very grateful for them gifting us this week.

*Side note-we stuck around because I am leading worship as well as singing/rapping a song of mine called “content” in the Sunday morning services.

Here are the things I will be working on and thinking about as we are away…they are basically how I will accomplish and sharpen our values since those are my continual job description.

  1. Staffing-Many adult volunteers will be back in the HSM family from last year but roles are changing so I am thinking and praying about who goes where.  I will ask/confirm those when I get back.
  2. Worship-Our Wednesday night gathering is our time of worship.  Dustin and I will be planning the teaching and series’ for the year.  For the first time we are using XP3.  I am also looking at how we do music and bands and rotation and all that jazz. This year I want to use the big idea concept so big that no one can leave without knowing what they heard.
  3. Growth-Our grace groups are going to get more emphasis than ever as the avenue that discipleship happens in.  I have to know that after we know the adults and the sites that they have tracks to run on to accomplish biblical truth, prayer, caring relationships, and accountability.
  4. Serving-I need to know that I am motivating and empowering high school students to serve.  This starts with a week to week foundation in our church, but expands to local and global.
  5. Outreach-I am really proud of HSM and the level of outreach that has happened in the last years.  What does it looks like to build upon that.  How can we still make a first time guest welcome in a larger group?  How do we teach so that students are equipped even more for conversational outreach?

That is what is on my mind and I would appreciate your prayers as I take a “week off” and think about this stuff. I am gonna pray through it with Kristin and not approach it until I am back in town.


I try to prioritize my life roles in order of importance.  The list goes like this; Follower of Christ, husband, father, family member, friend, pastor.  As you can tell by where it landed that I think being a good husband is my most important role behind following Christ.  It doesn’t mean I am always perfect at it but I do try to structure my life so that I can help myself be a good husband.

Today my friend Ron Moore who works with facilities at our church had a tough day, he had to say goodbye to his wife.  She passed away last Thursday from a long bout with cancer just two weeks after she was told she had 4-6 months to live.  Through this whole process it has been incredible to watch Ron love his wife.  He never once seemed tired or defeated.  He never seemed to doubt God’s plan.  He always praised his wife and kept pursuing her and believing in her.  I want to be like that.  It has been neat to see and I have been taking notes. Thanks Ron.