We’ve Moved… again

moving in (filtered)

Cencebaugh family update:  We’ve finally moved to our target area of Bradenton. Florida.

This past month, we were finally able to move from Ruskin, FL (approximately 30 miles north of Bradenton) to our church plant target area of Sarasota-Bradenton. What does this mean? Well, besides the fact that we’ve moved yet again (we lost count once we got into our teens)… it also means that we are now located in the community that God has called us to reach with the Message of Jesus… which also means that we can begin to transition our focus more towards building lasting relationships within our community, and getting a clearer understanding of the needs of our neighbors…. so that we can begin investing our lives into the people whom God loves and has sent us to.

We are asking that you would please pray with us for the following as we continue this Church Planting journey:

  1. Church Finances & Resources
  2. Church Location
  3. Launch Team
  4. Personal Finances
  5. Favor with the Community

Also, you can financially support this mission by contributing in one of two ways:

  1. A single, one-time gift or
  2. Regular monthly support (whether it be $25, $50, $100 or more per month) over the next 12 months.


You can give online


You can give by check

Please make checks payable to: 

Synergy Church  |  768 Rosemary Circle  |  Bradenton, FL 34212

All contributions are 100% tax deductible. You will receive a statement next January for tax purposes.

Keep watching for more updates. Until next time, let’s keep working together to make Jesus famous!


SOUTHEASTERN BOUND (and Successful Parenting)

Kelsey's acceptance letter

My oldest daughter, Kelsey, received her acceptance letter in the mail recently from Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida. She sent me a text with the photo (shown to the left) of the letter with a pendent included, and, well, I paused for a moment to reflect on this good news as tears welled up in my eyes.

Ask anybody that knows me very well and they’ll tell you that I don’t cry… ever (well, I did cry one time when my favorite team lost in the final seconds of the big game, but that’s a another story for another day). But when I received Kelsey’s text that day with this exciting news… I cried. Yep, I admit it. I sat down in my chair behind my desk, and in that solitary moment of emotional reflection… a few crocodile tears welled up in my eyes as I tried to deal with the emotion that my baby girl was “officially” growing up.

I guess you could say my tears were a mixture of joy, sprinkled with a dash of pride, all colliding with the reality that my little princess would no longer be sleeping in her bed, under our roof, eating at our table, commandeering “my TV remote”… well you get the idea. Yep, it’s the stark reality that her mother and I now have to come to terms with that our oldest daughter is no longer our cute little princess, sitting on our laps, asking question after question, many times not even pausing long enough for us to answer, barreling down the highway of discovery. She is now a growing, beautiful young lady, full of passion, vision, dreams, creative ideas and plans for her life and… who also loves Jesus with all of her heart. By any definition, I would say that’s what true success looks like!

As Karine recently posted on her Facebook wall: “My greatest gifts to this world are Kelsey Cencebaugh, Ashley Cencebaugh, Rebekah Cencebaugh, and Andrew Cencebaugh. All four of you will be greatly used for and by God. What more could I ask for!”

What a treasure. What an accomplishment. What a gift. What a success in life!

If you are a parent who’s reading this post right now, I want to encourage you by saying, you are not defined as a successful parent based on how much money you make, how big your house is, how many cars you own or how many big screen TVs you have hanging on your walls. You are deemed successful as a parent when you lead your child into a growing relationship with Jesus! And once you have both taught and modeled what it means to be a growing follower of Jesus, you can send your children off into the big, scary, dark world without fear, knowing that you have dedicated them to the Lord; that His hand is upon them; and that the Holy Spirit is the best guardian you could ever ask for.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once wrote:

There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings.

So, we are challenged, as parents, to supply our children with the basic faith essentials of helping them to find their roots in Jesus as their lives are being built on him, the very foundation of our faith.

Colossians 2:7 (NLT) says,

Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught

Remember this…

True success in parenting is not measured so much by how our kids behave as by who they are becoming under our watchful care!  So, let’s lead them wisely… and then stand back and watch who they become and what they will accomplish for God’s glory!

Oh, by the way, grab some Kleenex… you’re gonna need it!

Raise Up A Child

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

Andrew Cencebaugh 3If you’re a parent, you’ve probably referred back to this Scripture from Proverbs 22:6 many times, especially when you’re children do something really dumb or that drives you crazy… but that’s for another topic for another day.

While this Scripture is not necessarily a law, it is a strong principle from God’s Word that reminds us of our responsibility, as parents, that our first priority is to raise our children to love Jesus and to put Him first in their lives.

However, many who may be reading this entry right now are painfully aware that there are no guarantees. We may do everything right, modeling and leading our children on the right path of following Jesus, only for our kids to grow up and walk away from their faith that we have helped to instill in them through their early years. How does this happen? Simply put… Free will. Ultimately, each one of our kids will have to make their faith in Jesus personal; they will have to own it someday if it is ever going to endure.

You see, this reality is fresh on my mind because a couple weekends ago I had the awesome privilege of baptizing my son, making him the last of our Cencebaugh household to follow the Lord’s example in this wonderful experience. And just like the times that I baptized my three girls, I was once again overwhelmed with emotion and a deep sense of pride and gratitude as I led him through this moving encounter. It was a priceless moment that I will always remember and cherish… even as my own children grow older and begin to “walk on their own”, slowly but surely becoming more and more independent. My only prayer is “Lord, I trust that Karine and I have raised them right and that they have cultivated a faith that will endure.”

Deuteronomy 6:5-7 gives us some great steps to building this kind of strong family:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (NIV)

As you can see, it all begins with loving God with everything you’ve got, giving Him all of your passion, dedication and devotion. It all starts there.

We are also given some basic instructions as to how we can demonstrate our love for the Lord and building a solid Christian home. In verse 7, there are three golden opportunities that we can take advantage of and begin to apply every single day. But, I’m also a realist, and I understand that with today’s family schedules as they are, every single day may not be feasible. However, the following is a solid pattern. Let’s strive to instill “faith talk” in our families on a regular basis…

  1. at the dinner table,
  2. when you travel, and
  3. at bedtime.

This is a great way to raising children in “the way they should go” and creating a home that is filled with faith in God and love for one another. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.