Saturday, February 28, 2009

It is cute now

My boy, Michael Dean, put his first sentence together this week, “No Daddie.” Man- did it make my heart melt, it was so cute. I know that cuteness will not last for long so I am going to enjoy, “No Daddie” for now.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

2 Down. 10 More to Go. Every Man’s Marriage

Before I began reading “Every Man’s Marriage” by Stephen Arterburn, Fred Stoeker, & Mike Yorkey, I was afraid it was going to be a man-bashing book. So I really didn't have an open mind about it. I wanted to read this book so I could be a better husband to Courtney and a better example of a husband to my boy.

I don’t have all the answers or know what to do all the time as a husband, so I muddled my way through it. Also, Courtney and I have only been married for 6 years this May, and I don’t want our marriage to grow cold. I want to learn to be a better husband. I want to make our relationship better. I want our marriage to set an example for my boy so he will know what to look for in girl and also how to have a Godly marriage. By the time I made it through the first chapter I realized this was going to be a good book.

The day we get married, we don’t set out to have a cold and empty marriage. We have dreams, passion and love for each other. As life begins to happen and that “honeymoon” period ends, distractions begin to detour married couples from each other. It's not intentional, it just happens.

“Every Man’s Marriage” is a jolt, a shot in the arm, a wake up call - whatever you want to call it - to maintain your focus on your spouse. I am a selfish person and it challenged me to put Courtney before my needs, and by doing that my needs are fulfilled. I highly encourage you to read this book. I read it about every two years or so.

I do want to give a plug along the same lines of marriage: this past Sunday, Jimmy (my lead pastor) and I went to a conference in Atlanta. On our way there we visited a church in Anderson called New Spring Church. The lead pastor, Perry Noble, was preaching part 3 of a 4-part series called “” This was the best message I had ever heard on marriage. It was good for married couples as well as singles. When you get a chance, take time to listen or watch the podcast at:

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Confessions of a Wolfpack Fan

I don’t really know why I am an NC State Wolfpack fan. No one in my family went to college there. In fact, everyone in my family pulls for UNC. There were only a few of us State fans in high school - Jennifer Lancaster, Monty Murdock and the Fishers. We were very out-numbered , but that didn't matter to me. I loved the Wolfpack and watched as many of their games as I could. I knew we would be competitive in basketball. But over the years that excitement has somewhat left me.

Jimmy V had fire and got us excited for the games. Then Les Robinson coached the team - come on, you don’t get athletic directors to coach. That’s why they are athletic directors - they can’t coach. Then after Les was Herb Sendeck. He was pretty good. He gave state a chance to beat UNC. He was a good coach but could never really advance the team further than midway in the ACC.

Now we have one of the heroes of the Cardiac Pack, Sidney Lowe, to save team. Honestly, I have zero excitement. I love State. I still pull for them. But I feel the way Tarheel fans felt with Matt Doherty. I am not one of those fans who pulls for one college team in one sport then another college team in another sport (there seems to be a lot Florida Gator football fans out there who pull for UNC basketball - I call that a band-wagon fan, folks.)

I know we beat Wake this year, but UNC is our rival and I want that game to mean something again.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Man- what an intense but awesome daylong meeting with the church staff today. If I had hair left, it would have fallen out today. I tell- I work along side of some of the most Godly and wise people there are: Jimmy Britt, Travis Bush, Darren Libby, Randy Mauldin and Tiffani Cochran.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentines Day

OK - I'm going to be honest here. I'm not a big fan of Valentines Day. I don’t understand this day and I don’t know why it is such a big deal, until yesterday. I went to get Courtney a gift after beating my brains out for the past couple days wondering what I was going to get her. Then somewhere in the process it began to click in my mind about this day. I remember feeling lonely on this day when I was single. As I was looking for a card for Courtney, I was reminded what a great wife she is to me. On days like this she goes out of her way to make me feel special and make me gifts. This day is a celebration of love between you and your spouse. It is a day to let your loved one know how much you care for them.

A lot of times I fail to let Courtney know what she means to me. She is an awesome wife and an awesome mother. I love seeing her play with my son. I love coming home to her and Michael Dean talking and playing. I love the walks we share in the evenings. I love winding down our evenings watching TV together before bed. I love it when I come home early in the morning from the YMCA and our small talks we have as she gets ready for work. I love my wife’s long red hair. I love it when she laughs at my “dorkiness.” I just flat out love my wife, Courtney Brezina Icenhour.

Happy Valentines Day.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

1 Down. 11 More to Go. "Built to Last"

In January, I set a goal to read 12 books this year - basically 1 book a month. I set out to read 12 because I'm not exactly the fastest reader. I read like I spell and if you know me, you know I can’t spell! So, I thought this was an achievable goal and so far I'm on task. My first book was “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies,” by Jim Collins and Jerry I. Poras.

“Built to Last” looks at visionary companies like Disney, Wal-Mart and Merck. These companies are at the very top of the business world and demonstrate longevity and great brand image. After reading this book, I definitely want to buy from these companies. In the book, these companies are compared to their counterparts - who are not as successful, but well-known. For example: Disney is compared to Columbia Pictures; Ford to GM; Merck to Pfizer; and GE to Westinghouse.

My favorite company is the 3M Company (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing.) 3M really fosters a culture of creativity from their employees and allows them to spend time researching ideas. They started as a defunct mining operation and soon realized they had to do something different. With the by-products from their mining operations they developed water-proof sandpaper. This kept the company afloat until they developed Scotch Tape in 1925. The Post-it Note was invented by of one of their employees as well. How cool is that? This is why the 3M Company is one of my favorite companies.

I also found things in this book I tried to carry over into my experiences with church operation. There are some business principals the church as a whole, can learn from such as organizational structure, laser-like focus for purpose, and the possibility for new ideas and creativity.

I really liked this book and would recommend it. But, if you're just not that into business-related stuff, you mind find this book a bit boring.

Darren Libby

I just can't say enough about RRCC's latest staff addition, Darren Libby. From the moment Travis, Jimmy and I received Darren’s resume, I knew there was something awesome about this guy. I've really enjoyed, for the past few months, getting to know him as a friend and as a brother in the Lord. I love to hear him sing and lead worship and I really look forward to our Sunday morning worship times. God really does use him to prepare our hearts for Jimmy’s messages.

It's been a smooth and almost seamless transition adding him to our staff. I gotta admit, I forget how young he is because of his great insights and wisdom.

Darren, I look forward to serving with you for many years to come.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Randy Mauldin

I have known Randy’s wife, Greta, since high school. So, getting to know Randy over the past few months has been awesome. Since joining our staff at RRCC he has made a big impact on our church's ministries through pastoral care. He has a tremendous gift of mercy. He fills a void that has been empty in our church for quite some time.

It was so encouraging having Randy at the hospital, praying and hearing his comforting words of encouragement, the day we had to put tubes in my boy’s ears back in December.

In spite of the fact that he is a Tarheel fan, he is a great guy with a huge heart for people and for God. Thank you, Randy.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tiffani Cochran

OK, so last week I wrote about Jimmy and Travis. Now I want to write about one of the most under-estimated and under-valued people on our staff at Rocky River Community Church. Tiffani Cochran. She is the assistant to Jimmy, our church’s lead pastor. She's also his personal trainer and I sometimes tap into her for fitness advice as well.

She kinda feels like a sister to me. Someone I can bounce ideas off of and know she'll be honest with me (sometimes a little too honest!) You won't see her giving announcements, leading worship or preaching a sermon - but ALL the stuff she does is so valuable. With her many talents she frees up time for Jimmy so he can spend more time on his messages, with the church's staff, with his family and with the members of RRCC.

Thanks "Tif" - for ALL you do.