Monday, March 31, 2008

Verse of the week...


Psalm 103: 11 "For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;" Oh, man...what great words...what encouraging words! We cannot out run, we can't get away from the love of God. He loves us all the way up to the heavens...he loves us infinity x2. (That's how my kids would say it!) Feeling discouraged today? GOD LOVES YOU! Feeling like your world is falling down on you? GOD LOVES YOU! He really does...now go live in victory today!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Life is a distance race not a sprint

I have been thinking about this a lot this week...often I want to see things happen in my life or in the life of our church RIGHT NOW...no process, just instant change. Just like a sprint, I want the race to get over quickly and to see the results NOW. Often, reality is that life is a distance race...there are times for bursts of speed, but the key is to know when to push ahead and when to lay back. I often have to remind myself that lasting change takes time...it's a process...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

My boy is 5!

My son Jaden turned 5 today! He is growing up sooooooooooooooo fast...he spent the whole day today acting out Star Wars with his friends! I love that boy...looking forward to Friday night and his b-day party with friends...you guessed it...Star Wars theme...that will be COOL!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hobbies...

Ron Boehm is the midwest director for church planting for Go-2 Church Planting and I was at a conference with him last year. Ron has been a HUGE mentor in my life and ministry. He asked me at that conference how healthy I was...not just physical health, but spiritual and personal as well. Ron hammered home the point that if I am not taking care of myself...if I'm not passionately in love with Jesus-totally connected and loving my family-AND finding fun things to do for me...I will not be healthy.

Then, he asked me a simple question: "Tim, what hobbies do you have?" I wanted to say playing basketball, but I hadn't played consistently in over a year... I got back from that conference and knew that I had to find an outlet that wasn't ministry related...

THEN CAME THE "amazinGrace." A 5K run that our Goshen campus puts on...I HATED TO RUN, but was challenged to run in the race by our led pastor Jim. (He has a way of doing that!) Let me tell you...I have found my outlet!! I ran in 2 races last year...lost 20-25 lbs...and it really has helped my focus and health...running really clears the mind...and I love competing and trying to improve my times!

So, I have been running for about a year now and I just started an 8 week training program for another 5K race...my goal is to run a 21 minute 5k...my fastest time last year was 22.59.99 minutes. You got it...just under 23 minutes but it still counts!!!!

Hey...thanks to Ron and Jim...you guys changed my life last year!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Mind Blowing....

God is truly amazing...I feel like I got a taste of what the 1st followers of Jesus experienced in the beginning of Acts. On Easter Sunday our campus saw 16 people express faith in Christ and our Goshen campus had 175...WOW! GO GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot express to you how amazing it is to see God move like this...Incredible...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Moving forward...

Yes, my Buckeyes are moving on to the final 8 in the NIT! They are just proving again that they should not have been overlooked for the Big Dance...GO BUCKS!!!!

Cool to see...

I think our church thinks I'm crazy, but I LOVE being portable and I love setting up...it is a great chance to get to know people and fun to work together. As we were setting up at the movie theater for our services and the egg hunt, I was really moved. I realized that everywhere I looked there were people giving their best...setting things up...standing in the cold putting out easter eggs...setting up tables...making coffee...getting the kid's areas set up...setting up the auditorium...Soooooo many people made yesterday happen...why go to all of that work???? God gave his best, Jesus, AND PEOPLE MATTER TO GOD! That's it...the people that we were able to touch yesterday because of everyone's hard work makes it all worth it...

Let's make sure that we are always a church that pours ourselves into people...

BTW...we set a tear-down record yesterday...in 15 minutes we had EVERYTHING in the hallways and both auditoriums torn down...then we got to go Egg Hunting! GREAT JOB TEAM!!!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

WHAT A MORNING!!!!

Wow...Wow...and WOW! That is all I can say about our morning...We started a new series call "The Final Four" and today was called "On The Bubble." Jim had a clock ticketing through the WHOLE SERVICE and just put it out there that we MUST give our lives to Jesus while we are still alive or we have no hope. Then at the end of the message we invited people who prayed to accept Jesus to come down and shoot a basketball to make the statement that "I'm In!"...12 adults did that for the first time today! And others came up and shot to make a statement that they love Jesus. HOW AMAZING IS THAT!

Other cool stuff this morning...
-The helicopter delivered our message from our Goshen Campus' 1st service on time...(the message at our church is often on video!)
-230 kids came to our Easter Egg Hunt! (We had 90 last year!)
-We had our largest attendance ever, that didn't include a lot of people from our Goshen Campus.
-And did I mention that 12 people gave their lives to Jesus!

Ephesians 3: 18-20...God DID more than we could ever ask or think...THANK YOU JESUS!!!!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

I Can't Wait for Easter!


I am soooooooooooo excited for our Easter service. Between our Goshen and South Bend Campuses we have already seen 13 people give their lives to Christ! God is really moving and I look forward to seeing what he does through our services and the egg hunt tomorrow...


Have to say that I'm praying for more sun and NO MORE SNOW! We have 2-3" right now but the sun has finally peeked out...Here is a pic from last years hunt...best thing is that the kids don't care about the snow...it's fun no matter what!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

My bracket...

Yes...I picked 13 out of 15 last night...good night for me! Glad to see the hometown Irish get a win and have to confess that seeing USC lose at anything makes me happy! I am in a smack talk email "thing" with Kelsey's family in Cali...GREAT TO SEE THOSE BOYS LOSE! Hey...my Bucks are alive in the NIT baby!!!! And my Irish looked good!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Angels rejoice in heaven!

Nothing is better than seeing people give their lives to Jesus! 5 kids expressed faith in Christ tonight...what a great way to start the Easter weekend!!!! Do you believe that God can do more than you can ever ask or think?!?! I do!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Cool Scavenger Hunt

Our staff went out in the community today on a evangelistic scavenger hunt. IT WAS COOL! We went out and had our pics taken with people in the community who: were wearing a sports team shirt/cashier who worked at their job for 3+ years/a grandparent with 3 or more grandkids/a bartender/a Cadillac/a person who doesn't know Jesus...We had GREAT conversations, saw 1 person come to Jesus...got to pray for several more. The biggest lesson for me was how simple it really is to connect with people and how hard I make it because "I have to get my task done." Time to slooooooooow down and realize that people all around me need the touch of Christ's love...

Monday, March 17, 2008

TV Commercial about our church...

This is a commercial we are running on our local TV station...Jerimae, the ultimate worship pastor created it...his boys are the stars!! Good stuff...
video

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Turned 35 yesterday...

I turned 35 on Saturday, but I feel like I'm 25! Spent the day at a soccer coaches clinic at Notre Dame. (AMAZING CLINIC) Then Kels had a few of our friends over for a suprise party...played some Guitar Hero and ate cake...(I love that game...not good at it, but it sure was fun playing the old 80's songs!) The cool deal today was setting up our new 17' x 10' camping tent...I can't WAIT to go camping this summer...that tent was HUGE!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Coaching Clinic...

I love coaching soccer and today I get an AWESOME opportunity to go to a 2-day clinic at Notre Dame. Both of ND's coaches will be there and I'll get to see a game between the ND women's team and Mexico's national team...IT IS GOING TO BE FUN!!!! A new experience for me...I can't wait to learn from these guys and to meet a lot of new people...I don't know anyone who is going...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Reading the Word...

I am working to read through the Bible this year...my reading plan today had me in 3 AMAZING passages...first in Numbers I read about when God told the Israelites and Moses that they were not going to enter the land until after that generation died...I pray that I don't get so wrapped up in myself and complaining to God that I lose opportunities! Then I went to Matthew 25 and read about multiplying what God has given me...what a responsibility we have to use what God has given us and to not bury it! Instead we are to multiply it!! To top off my reading I read the end of Romans 8...not only will all things work for the good of those that love God, but NOTHING and I mean NOTHING can separate me from the love of God!! YES!!!! You just have to have a GREAT day after reading those verses!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Now that was fun!

What a blast last night at our Celebration Bash! We had over 70 people attend and celebrate our first year. The Upper Deck at Coveleski Park was perfect...very well done...great food...the team there just made everything great. The night was everything that I pictured...Our chance to thank God for where he has brought us...our chance to thank the Goshen Campus and our leaders there for their vision and faith...our chance to celebrate our volunteers...WHAT A BLAST!!! Great night...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Celebration Bash TONIGHT!

Exactly one year ago we launched on church! Tonight we are going to celebrate that with food...prizes...worship...praise...and whatever else happens tonight. I am soooooooooo looking forward to celebrate both what God has done and the people who have helped to make it happen. Many people that have volunteered and helped to get Grace South Bend-Mishawaka started are coming...Many of the leaders from our Goshen campus are coming...what a time to celebrate them and their vision to launch our site.

I just hope that my wife wins some of the gift certificates we are giving away!!!! I want to go to the Vine Restaurant or Logan's Steakhouse, Baby!!!!!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

What do you know????

I'm putting together a game for our 1-year Celebration Bash tomorrow night...it is soooo fun to think back over the past year and all that God has done. THIS IS COOL! A couple of the questions are How many blitzes did we do? How many people gave their lives to Christ? How many times did I have to end the message because the video froze? And several more...it is so fun to think back on what has been happening this year and I pray that we will be able to continue to touch our community! I can't wait for tomorrow night to be able to celebrate the people of our church!!!!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sunday Night Thoughts...

I just finished studying for my licensure test (a test to get licensed by our district of churches) and the section that I was working on is talking about the Holy Spirit. It is sooooooo important that we all stay filled with the Spirit...that we take time with God and allow him to work in us...to keep our spiritual gas tank filled up...I can get caught up in doing things and many of them good things and forget to take the time needed with my Savior.

This week I plan to take time to do that...there is a spot in our city that I call "mine"...I think it was made just for me. The cement slab has just the right lean to fit my back and it is right on the St. Joe River...I LOVE THAT SPOT! I try to get there to spend time praying and thinking about how I'm doing with God and stuff...I can't wait to take that time. (Sure hope it isn't under water...the river is VERY high right now!!)

I had a GREAT time playing with my boys tonight. Kelsey and Chloe went to a birthday party and Jaden, Luke and I got to play Stars/Guns/Battle...The bad guys are gone and we definitely won! It is so fun to watch Luke trying to act like his big brother...I was sweating while we were running through the house battling! Good stuff and a great way to wrap up the weekend!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Oh the feeling...

I sure remember last year at this time...It was the night before our launch...just hours before we kicked off Grace Community Church's 2nd campus...Many hours of prayer and planning went into this...It was the night before a dream come true for me and something that I sensed God had wanted me to be involved with for a few years. The best part of our first launch Sunday is that 2 people expressed faith in Christ that morning...NOW THAT IS A GOOD START!!

A year later, I see even more clearly that this is a dream that continues to come true. I do not want to be involved with a church that appears for a year and then fades away. I long to be involved with a community of people that is still making a HUGE impact on this community when my grandkids and their grandkids are living...that in 3-5 years, if our church were to be removed from this area...that we would be missed...missed because we loved on people that other people wouldn't love...missed because we were deeply rooted in the community...missed because we loved Jesus and represented him well here in SB/Mishawaka...tall order for sure, but WHY NOT!?!?!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Facing your fear...

I love my kids...so for me when a man broke into our offices last week and my sons were with me...it really got to me...I really struggled with it. Tonight was a special moment for me though. My 4 year old Jaden went back to the office for the first time since we found the man in the office...He has been talking to mom about it all week...but tonight he went with me early to the office and walked right in...he asked me a lot of questions about the guy and if the locks were changed and who changed the locks and if we have found the man yet...but he went in...he faced his fear...So, we walked through the office and then prayed...prayed for the man, prayed for us to face our fear and to allow the all powerful God to give us strength...What an amazing moment with my little-big man...He is growing up so fast and I sure love him and am proud of him...I am thankful that nothing happened to him or Luke last week...

God blew our minds...

110 expressions of faith in Jesus Christ...400 kids and their families touched...What a soccer camp we had in our first year. We prayed for God to send us 100 kids and have 15 kids give their lives to Christ and he did that and so much more! We consistently pray Eph. 3: 18-20..."God to do more than we could ask or imagine." Then BAM...He blows us away! God is good!







Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Humble Man Of God...


Another one of my favorite moments in our first year was during our communion service near the end of '07. Clarence is an elderly man who loves Jesus and is an amazing example for all of us. We did foot washing during our communion and Clarence got out of his wheelchair, knelt down and washed another man's feet. OH MY WORD...I was in tears...What an act of humility...here is a man that we all should be serving and caring for, stepping out and serving us. WOW! I pray often that 50 years from now that I will have the same heart as Clarence...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Kids are the church of TODAY!


One year ago this week we were about to launch our church! Excitement was in the air...we anticipated chances to pour ourselves into people and our community. We have had the chance to do that this year.


So, this week I'm going to share some highlights from our first year. The first one is one of my favorites...The Kids Kare & Share Blitz. (NO I didn't spell it wrong, the spelling was on purpose!) The kids came up with the idea to pass out school boxes to kids...they gave money to buy the supplies, picked what would go in the boxes, packed the boxes and took the boxes to people on the street, coming out of stores, kids in hospitals, and anywhere else that kids were...HOW COOL THAT OUR KIDS WERE SERVING OUR COMMUNITY! I have long believed that our kids are the church of TODAY and not just the generation of the future! Great job youngins!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Playing Balloonie...



I love playing balloonie with my kids. It's the fun game of seeing how long you can keep a balloon in the air without it touching the floor...We do a good job at this game when we work together and when there are only 1 or 2 balloons...more than that and it gets crazy. WELCOME TO OUR LIVES!! WE get so many things going...WE get so many areas of our lives that WE want to work on that WE can't keep them all going...WE can't keep all of the balloons of our lives up in the air...So what do WE usually do...WE quit! WE stop altogether and go back to how WE used to be...I say...Let's ask the GOD of the universe...the GOD that promises to come through for us...the God who says that we can "do ANYTHING through HIM (Christ) who gives us strenght" to play balloonie with us. Let's let other people come and help us too...God wants to use his people to help us through the good and tough times...Imagine what WE can do when the WE includes God! Let's go play balloonie with God!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Ahhhhhhhh.....

That is exactly how I feel after our service this morning...."ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh..." The goal of the morning was to have everyone leave feeling and knowing that God can carry the load for them. Our theme for the year is "Raise the Bar" and we have set goals in different areas...Here is the thing...setting goals is fun - living the goals out is TOUGH. We ended our service with a video of sunrises and sunsets with the Rush of Fools song Peace Be Still... Oh that was an AWESOME ending...

Another thing...we had sooooooooooo many people helping this week with set up and tear down. We meet in a movie theater and set up A LOT of stuff...Man, it is fun to serve with such a great group of people...

Saturday, March 1, 2008

I lost to a 9 year old!

Kelsey and I had some friends over tonight for dinner...WHAT A BLAST and just what I needed. A chance to just hang out, talk and play American Idol dance-game-thing...yes I was dancing on the dance pad-video-game-deal and YES I LOST TO A 9 YEAR OLD...But I had fun doing it...(OK, so I even hate to lose at that!!) This week has been a wild one so it was cool just to be with friends...

I am excited about our service tomorrow. As a campus pastor, I get to preach live 1x every monthish. This is the time...here is what is cool though...whether we are on video or live, I LOVE OUR SERVICES. Just love being with people who want to figure out how to follow Jesus better today than yesterday. I cannot wait to wake up early tomorrow, set-up and meet with our church...BRING IT ON!!!!

Thick skin, but a soft heart

I read that quote this week and little did I know how much I would have to live it...This week our church office was broken into and we had 2 projectors and a laptop stolen. The day after this happened I went to the office with my 2 boys and found the guy in there again trying to steal more stuff! (He somehow got in the door and locked it behind him) I have felt like 2 different people over the past 2 days...one side is VERY angry...wanting justice and then some! My boys were there!!!!The other side is broken for this guy who needs to find Jesus...I just go back and forth...IT IS A BATTLE WITHIN ME RIGHT NOW! My boys were with me!!!! (Did I mention that!?!?)

Here is the deal though...no matter what happens to me...no matter how hard it is at times...I can't stop loving and helping people...I have to keep my heart soft and be willing to help people...I confess that it is hard right now, but that is the road I'm working to walk down.

Today, I'm thankful that my boys are o.k.!