Notes from the Trail

Video: Northstar’s 2015 Highlight video

Each year at our State of the Church Sunday, we show a highlight video from the previous year’s ministry moments. I’ve not had to do one for a long time. Our former worship leader was proficient and very creative with video. While I enjoy video editing (probably too much), I was deeply thankful to have the opportunity to put this year’s video together. It gave me time to reflect, smile, and be amazed at all God did.

Snow and the Jonas brothers

The winter of 2015-2016 has been abnormally warm. It’s been incredibly disappointing for this snow lover. In fact, I may be a little snow-obsessed. I don’t know what it is, but if the weatherman says “snow,” I become giddier than a school girl who bumps into Taylor Swift at Payless Shoes. You can’t imagine how…

Star Wars a cappella tribute medley song

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Thanks to Aaron for emailing me this. It was released a few years back, but it’s just too good not to highlight again. Also, if you haven’t seen the video I posted here that Jimmy Fallon, The Roots and the Star Wars: The Force Awakens cast put together… well, watch it:

Review: Christ at the Coffee Shop


Don’t you love discovering a book that no one else knows about? Read on and hear about an unknown little book that is a surprising source of great encouragement: “Christ at the Coffee Shop.”

The first post of the year: blogging


The first post of 2016 is about blogging. I began blogging in 2005, and I’ve seen blogging go through many phases. It’s currently enjoying a renaissance as a new generation turns from social media to more substantive creative content.

People watching and pleasing God

Pleasers of God web

Just some quick thoughts as I watched people at Starbucks one morning in preparation for a sermon series on pleasing God.

The Top Ten Posts of 2015

Here are the top 10 most-read posts on “Notes from the Trail” (aka for 2015. Did you catch them all as they were published? Did one slip by you? Leave your comments below about what was your favorite.

Merry Christmas 2015 from the Nobles


Christmas morning reflections and the annual Noble family Christmas letter. We hope that you too had a settled and joyful Christmas morning. It’s not just about presents – but about presence. The beautiful quality of being there is a discipline. Enjoy this read and… Merry Christmas!

Happy birthday, wifey

Caro Birthday2

It’s Carolyn’s birthday, and here are helpful guidelines for any else who has a Christmas season birthday to ensure it’s treated as a real birthday and not as an extension of Christmas.

Seven things Apple doesn’t do well

I know. I hear the collective gasps of disbelief. I imagine the following comments being made over coffee with smirks: “Jeff is falling off the wagon.” “The Mac fan boy has finally seen the light.” “Steve is turning over in his grave.” “First the demise of the laser discs and now Jeff is talking bad about…

Nuff Said: Bonhoeffer too popular? When $17.38 changes a life.. Churches & communication… The death of cultural Christianity… A college president stands up… Star Wars cast acapella

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Nuff said: The latest random assortment of thoughts from the inter webs is collected by Jeff and includes: an article that questions whether Bonhoeffer is too popular. Also, read about how $17.38 can change change someone’s life. “Communication is the hardest thing we do,” as a church. The death of cultural Christianity (and why it’s a good thing). Finally, a college president stands up.. And, you’ve got to watch this Star Wars cast acapella medley with Jimmy Fallon and The Roots.

10 Recommended Books (that you may not have heard of) #3


The next installment in the “Recommended books to read (that you’ve never heard of)” series is “The Pursuit of Holiness”

Review: Life with God


A brief review of Richard Foster’s “Life with God: Reading the Bible for Spiritual Transformation.”

Planning for spiritual growth when your schedule changes

Is your schedule about to change? College student? Job transition? Don’t allow a schedule change to derail your spiritual discipline. Here’s a spiritual growth plan for transitions.

God the Includer


Do you think you’ve messed up, that you’ve missed your spot with God, that you’re relegated to second string – or worse, you’ve missed the team bus? God is an includer. We don’t have to impress Him or clean ourselves up. We just orient our life in His direction through repentance and wonder.

Donald Duck and our Christmas tree


Donald Duck made the Noble’s Christmas tree take a dive this year. Is Donald Duck related to the Philistine god Dagon? Read on, and… Merry Christmas!

Our Story: From planting to growth


The next chapter of Jeff and Carolyn’s life adventure called “Our Story” features the development of Journey Church in Monticello, Arkansas.

Video: Make It So

A special holiday video guaranteed to get you in a festive mood for your holiday treks…

Another thankful year

Each year on the blog it’s a tradition to offer up a post of thanksgiving. It’s never been a chore. The joy of looking back with the intention of being thankful is pretty overwhelming, actually. When you view life through a lens of gratitude, you see that everything, everything is a seed for thanks. Even…

Feedback on the Apple Watch from my kids


What do two teenagers think about the Apple Watch after owning it for a few months? What are the top three things that each identifies as the best feature that they appreciate about the Apple Watch?

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