Monday, December 28, 2009

Monday Reflections...Tech fast!

What a fun Christmas! I sure enjoyed family...our services...and more family! Our service yesterday was AMAZING...deep...powerful...challenging end to our We Are message series...VERY POWERFUL to see families coming up and writing their names on a scroll that read I will "FIGHT FOR MY FAMILY" Awesome!

I'm off this week...been a long time since I had some time off and looking forward to hanging with the family...I'm also am going to have a tech fast this week...no laptop...no email...no cell phone...I get attached to that stuff and it is all very helpful, BUT this week is a refueling and family week...there is plenty to do when I get re-plugged in next week and we charge forward with the building and the New Year.

So...I'm off for now...Happy New Year and see you next week!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Today has been fun! Hanging out with the family...my parents and Aunt Judy are here. VERY FUN DAY! The kids LOVED their gifts and were really grateful this year...that sure makes it fun. I really enjoy having everything at our house now...I remember having my grandparents come over and now my kids get to do that...pretty cool! Building memories...

My dad got "The Karate Kid" movies for Christmas...we're about to watch the first one...I was 11 years old when that came out...NOW I HAVE A 9 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER!!!! Looking forward to educating Chloe and Jaden on "Wax on-wax off!" GO DANIELSON GO! Let's see if you can still win after 25 years!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Flash-forward

Grandma and Grandpa took the kids tonight...all night...so Kels and I went out to dinner and then went to see "Blind Side." (GREAT movie...a must see!!) It was so good to hang out with Kels...I LOVE her so much AND I LOVE spending time with her...13 years of marriage and I still just LOVE being "out" with her!! When we got home I went up stairs to change and walked by the kids rooms...their empty rooms...suddenly I flashed-forward to a day when we are empty nesters...when those rooms will be empty until they come home to visit...my heart sank a little...I don't want to wish away my kid's childhood AND I want to seize the moments that I have with them...enjoy them. I love those 3...and I long to enjoy every moment...to grab the teachable moments...and to make A LOT of memories, so that someday...when we send them off...that I won't have regrets...that I will know that we POURED our lives into them...gave them our best! Enjoying tonight...looking forward to seeing them tomorrow!

Empowering Families

At Grace we LOVE to empower families...to come along side of families and support them and share Jesus with them. Our last outreach is a favorite of mine...we have given out 300 toys to kids in the community...BUT instead of giving them to the children, we gave them to their parents and provided the wrapping paper for the parents too. WHY? Because then MOM AND DAD are the HEROES and not us! We don't get to see the kid's smiles, but it is so worth it to make mom and dad the hero...I don't care if they EVER tell their kids that the gifts were from us! Making mom and dad the hero...I like that!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Breath of Fresh Air

Took a prayer walk this morning...had breakfast with a good friend and then took a long prayerwalk by the river...taking in the sights...at one point there was even a bird curping...it was so good to come to God and just talk...to stop and listen. I even found a new spot at the East Race! Another spot...just for me!

As I watched the current flow...I prayed...thanked God for picking me to be his kid...that he gave me an amazing family...a home...food...a church family that I passionately love...for putting me in a community that I care deeply about...it was good to stand in silence and just listen...to have my heart just long for more...it was good...ended the time throwing snowballs into the river...even "skipped" one like skipping rocks...fun...Good way to start the week...good to be in nature...GREAT to be with my Savior

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO GRACE!

The State of Indiana just gave us a Christmas present...we have our approval to move forward with our building project! We have been waiting...waiting and NOW WE GO! "Thanks God!"

Monday Reflections

I'm not sure how to put it all in words...yesterday was not my best Sunday...it was CRAZY...my prep was on...I had CRIED OUT TO GOD for direction...pleaded with him to work...put in the time needed to prep the message, BUT my delivery was weak...just felt disjointed...WEIRD...it wasn't even as good a when I went through it on Friday and Saturday...I was near tears after the service...I always want to bring my best, but it just wasn't there...

BUT...something happened in that service anyway...a man came up to me after the service with giddy excitement as he shared that his step-daughter gave her life to Jesus during the message...another woman came up to me asking for prayer for freedom from bitterness and anger...Then, I get to the office today and have AN AMAZING conversation with 2 new visitors to our church who were encouraging their families to come to our church because the service was GREAT and the atmosphere of the people touched them! CRAZY STUFF...that's not how I felt, but then again my feelings aren't what matters!! This church isn't mine...it belongs to God...so he will use whatever our best offering is on that day...especially when we have given our best in that moment...

Here is the deal of what I am learned again today...when we pray...when we seek the heart of God...when we beg him to move...that grabs God's attention and he moves inspite of how we "perform." Thanks God for moving inspite of me...Thanks for answering my prayers...good to know that HE runs HIS church.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas 2009

Looking forward to the morning...praying hard...preparing like crazy...trusting that God will respond...begging God to move!

Having our Chirstmas Eve service at our Goshen Campus...always a fun night!

Looking forward to Christmas Day and weekend...mom, dad and Aunt Judy will be here for Christmas...then my bro and family will be coming over the weekend...Kelsey's parents and my family will be having a big dinner on Saturday...it will be fun to have everyone over here!

ALSO looking forward to the week after Christmas...1 week of vacation...should be a refreshing time!

DID I MENTION THAT I'M EXCITED ABOUT THE MORNING?!?! COME ON GOD!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Legacy...

THAT is the message this Sunday...Christmas Sunday...LEGACY...ummmmmm...I'm getting more stirred up every minute that passes...In 48 hours I will be in the middle of the message...still pleading with God in my head that MANY will give their lives to Jesus as the service closes...lives changed for ETERNITY...what a responsibility...what a priviledge...what a joy...the opportunity to share Jesus...PRAYING HARD for THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS to come to Jesus around the world this weekend...Ummmmmm...it's going to be good...Jesus wins...the enemy loses...I'm in!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mindset

I have been praying a lot this week that God would raise my leadership #...Pastor Jim asks us in our personal evaluations for our leadership #...scale of 1-10...where are we? How are we using the talents and abilities God has given us?

I long to get the most out of my life...but to get there means there are serious times of refinement. This season of life is one of those for me...And everyday...sometimes every hour...I have a choice...will I make the most of it? Will I accept the challenges in front of me? Will I learn from my experiences or run from them?

Whether I am in my brightest or darkest hour...I LONG to be known as a person who persevers and learns...grows...EVEN GETS STRONGER through trial...anyone can be STRONG in the bright times...God make me a sponge in the dark times...soaking up what you are teaching me...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Multisite Church Road Trip

I had the opportunity to read "The Multisite Church Road Trip" by Geoff Surratt, Greg Ligon and Warren Bird. For the rest of the week I'm going to hit some of the key point that stood out to me. TODAY THOUGH...I had the opportunity to review this book and ask the guys a question...

Question:
As you have connected with multi-site campuses around the world, what are the key factors/characteristics that churches have which keep momentum “hot?”

Reply:
The vision that keeps multi-site going is not a vision to have multi-sites. That's like Heinz trying to keep the loyalty of ketchup lovers by emphasizing the shape of the bottle. There may be novelty with a new design, but it quickly loses steam.
Every multi-site leader we've interviewed across the U.S. and beyond is motivated by reaching lost people, and using multi-site as a tool to do so. Or by saving lots of money on buildings that can be redirected to helping people in need. Or by taking the church to where responsive people are. On all of these, multi-site is merely the container. The excitement and momentum is in the product, which for us is the life-changing good news about Jesus Christ.


AND I SAY...YES, YES, AND YES...this is what I love about the multisite "movement." The leading church leaders get it! It's not about their model, BUT using this model to reach more people for Jesus!!

If you are interested in more conversation about this check out the author's blog www.multisiteroadtrip.com or contact them via Twitter: @geoffsurratt, @gregligon or @warrenbird. To order Multi-Site Church Roadtrip, click here http://bit.ly/7pmFZQ, and to order Multi-Site Church Revolution (AMAZING BOOK...shaped what we do!!), click here http://bit.ly/5q5AaD.

More in the next few days!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday Reflections

Phrases that jumped out at me from Pastor Jim's message:
-"Sin breeds sin."
-"We are flawed"
-People in the Bible were SCREWED UP, BUT they didn't stay there!
-You have to let the pain in your life surface or it will never get dealt with
-God sees us for who we are TODAY, not who we used to be (PRAISE GOD!!!!)
-What will your tribe produce?

That last one has been something I have been thinking about for weeks...what is the legacy that I will leave behind? The way that I live...the way that I lead my family and the church impacts the future...How will people view my family line 50 or 150 years from now...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Well done!

WOW...AMAZING...BETTER THAN MY EXPECTATIONS! That is how I would explain today's blitz. Everybody did a fantastic job in making this happen...It is so enjoyable to watch people using their gifts and abilities to make it happen...the room had an amazing atmosphere...greeters were friendly...tons of people...great connections...times to pray with people...wrapping paper roll fights (after everyone left of course!)...laughter...tears...gratefulness...JESUS was honored today!

My favorite story is a selfish one! At one point Chloe came over to me (she served today for 7 HOURS!!!!) and said to come with her...I went and she had been talking with a lady while they were wrapping paper and invited her to come...AND Chloe told her that we might be able to pick her up! That is why she came to get me...We talked and Chloe took down her name and phone number. I was in awe! I was proud!! My little girl is growing up and bringing connecting people to Jesus and HIS church. THAT is cool...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Toy Blitz & Building Projects

WHOO-HOO!! I LOVE TOMORROW...It's not even here yet and I CANNOT WAIT...WE are going to be a two-headed monster tomorrow. #1 is our Christmas Toy Blitz...we were given 250 toys from a biker club in Sturgis, MI...they are $10-15 toys and we will have a chance to bless over 100 kids with toys. We have contacted families that we have been touched before through our food vouchers and other blitzes (outreaches) that we have done. This is one of the few "come to us" outreaches that we do...the ladies did an AMAZING job decorating our office building for Christmas...looks like a store-front!! (HEY...I cleaned out my office...THAT is a HUGE task!!) Cookies have been (and are being) baked...gifts organized...trees put up...THE OFFICE LOOKS GREAT AND I LOVE THE ATMOSPHERE!!

YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE I LOVE?!?! #2 We have this building that we are working on and several from our campus and our Goshen campus will be working on the building. I LOVE THAT WE ARE DOING BOTH THINGS ON THE SAME DAY! Why?!?!? Thanks for asking!! I was asked that question on why we would do an outreach (actually 2 outreaches in the past month!) in the middle of this building project...THAT was easy for me! I DO NOT...under ANY circumstance EVER want to stop looking out...EVER! WE CANNOT STOP touching lives...Jesus didn't and neither will we! I will fight for that...

SO LADIES...THANKS for getting this outreach going...for the impact we all get to make from your work! AND THANKS to the gang at the building who will be working as well...your impact is HUGE and MANY will come to know Jesus in the very building you are working on! CAN'T WAIT FOR TOMORROW!!

"Stop Blowing"

Kelsey and I read a Bible story to our kids every night...they call it doing the "Bible Book." I love this time with the kids...the book is falling apart...we've been through it several times. There is one story that Luke just loves. Jesus and the disciples are on the boat...Jesus, who POURS his life out, is asleep...sound asleep..."The wind is blowing, the storm is crashing, the wind is rocking the boat. Jesus said..." When we get to that point, Luke just SHOUTS OUT: "STOP BLOWING!"

It is so cool...the passion he says it with...he is learning that God, the almighty powerful awesome God can stop a storm. THINK FOR A SECOND that he can't handle your concerns...he can...he will...so cry out to him...call out to him...DO IT!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hey Jimmy Brown...I'm calling you out!!

I have never confronted anyone before via my blog...BUT today is the day!! Many know Jim Brown as a strong leader...AMAZING envangelist...one who DEEPLY cares about people...But I have to say...there is a VERY IMPORTANT area of his life, where he just doesn't get it! One where he needs some "serious" confrontation...Just follow his blog and listen to his messages...you'll understand...no really...do it! He doesn't get it! Jim HATES the idea of having pets...He can't stand the thought of it!! He is depriving his family! Honestly, I thought of giving him a little puppy for Christmas...coming to the Christmas party with a special family gift for the Browns'...Only I wonder what might happen to that cute little furry animal!

HEY JIMMY...the time is now to come to grips with your flaw...to finally give in to what you know to be the RIGHT THING...And hey...

"You'll be glad you did!!"

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Post #500

This is my 500th post...I've been doing this for 1 year and about 10 months...It has been fun to do it...been quite a journey...highs and lows...victories and defeats...cold days and HOT ones...

Check out this quote from my first post back in February '08...

"Speaking of the journey...I heard a GREAT QUOTE this week...the essence of it was that we have to learn to enjoy the journey of our lives...there will be many twists and turns...many victories and failures, BUT we must learn to enjoy the steps of our journey...I hope that this blog will leave a trail of just that...nuggets of enjoying the journey..."

And what a journery it has been...

So, what now...what would I say to launch into the next 500 posts...Bottom line..."God, renew your fame in our day...give us fresh stories...YOUR STORIES...stories that could have only happned when YOU are driving them...Renew your fame...Make it clear to us...to our community...to this region...to our nation...to the world...that YOU are THE Famous One."

Monday, December 7, 2009

The direction of my life changed...December 7, 1989

20 years ago today...I was 16 years old...a junior in High School...BIG dreams...I had met with Grace College's soccer coach and was planning to go there to play keeper for them...I was starting for the varsity basketball team...dreaming of playing hoops at Grace possibly...

THEN BAM!

I went crashing to the court 20 years ago today with a knee injury...I can remember laying at the foul-line grabbing my knee thinking "my season is over..." Little did I know at that time that I was DONE playing...

Basketball was my passion...my life...my spare time...my thought time...I just LOVED the game...I played 3-5 hours of ball everyday in the summer...went to bball camp...played in the backyard...at friends' houses...at the courts at the school...if there was a game I WANTED TO BE THERE! (Hey...I learned to play on grass and our gravel driveway!!) I would even go outside after a bad game...shovel the snow and work on my shot!

My dream was to play in college and that injury SHATTERED my dream...The doctor told me after my surgery that my growth plate wasn't closed far enough, so they couldn't do reconstructive surgery...so my ACL would stay severed and it would end my time playing. I was devastated for months. I didn't know what to do with myself...I remember a friend at one point pulling me aside and speaking into my life that I had to quit feeling sorry for myself.


I talked to my dad tonight about what "could have been..." Honestly...it was fun to think about...it doesn't get me down at all...why? Because: I WOULDN'T TRADE THE LAST 20 YEARS OF MY LIFE!

Did you catch what was missing in the story? GOD! God wasn't center in my life...Basketball-Soccer-Stuff was...God didn't rule my heart...I DID! Look how many times I wrote the word "I" so far! A LOT! Tim Boucher was about HIMSELF...what he wanted...what he dreamed about...what he desired...BUT God wanted my heart...he didn't want some of me...he wanted all of me.

I will tell you this...20 years later...it is worth it. December 7, 1989 changed the direction of my life...I'm glad it did.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Sometimes "it's" just right in front of you...

Often I am looking for God to move in BIG ways...in miraculous things...looking for the Big WOW moments...sometimes though it happens simpler than that...and if I'm not careful, I'll miss the moment. I had 3 of those moments in the past 3 hours...

First was the text..."...Satan is trying to slow us down but God is Great and Great things are coming..." The person writing was talking about our church and the struggles we have had with the building. I got that text and must give a BIG "RIGHT ON!" The text encouraged me...

Second...The kids and I put up our Christmas lights outside...it was fun doing it with them (or doing it "around them") They pulled out the lights...stepped on the lights...raced up and down the street...Then we had some hot chocolate and off to bed...after they went to bed I knew I had a few things to finish up for church, but decided that I would finish the lights outside...It was like therapy for me...the cool air...the neighbors lights...was just what I needed...a little break to slow down...Even took a few of those way down deep in the lungs breathes...

Third...I was about to go inside and I looked across the street and what did I see?! It was lightly snowing...I just stopped...took a couple of moments to just let the moment sink in...was it simple? Oh my yes! But if you have ever just had a moment...way down in depths of your heart...not INCREDIBLE, but deeply profound...moving...encouraging...for me tonight it was the snow...the lights...the text...God used them almost like an encouragement card to me..."Hey Tim...just stop sometimes...I'm here...in the business...in the craziness...I'm here...I'm here for you..." He was right there in front of me and it felt good.

Words that stick...

The power of the spoken word...when and how they are shared means A LOT...someone can say something and it can DEEPLY impact someone, yet it wasn't intended too...others say things intentionally to encourage someone...I also believe that the situation can dictate how much power there is to the words...I was remembering back...back over 10 years ago to when my grandma was dieing...I remember...remember CLEARLY her last words to me...I can still see the passion and love in her eyes...I can almost feel her hand touching my arm...she leaned up as much as she could in the bed...stared DEEPLY into my eyes...it felt like she could see into my soul...and she said these words..."Serve the Lord, Timothy, serve the Lord." WOW...there are tears in my eyes right now thinking about those words...I remember saying "I will grandma...I will." THAT was the last thing she EVER said to me...POWER...ENCOURAGEMENT...CHALLENGE...She went to be with Jesus hours later...

There have been times when those words have haunted me...because I knew I wasn't on track with my Savior...other times when they were the encouragement I needed to take a step of faith...to step out when the only known was that God said GO.

I pray...more than that...I PLEAD with God for the opportunity to encourage people with my life like that! That my words would be encouragement...challenge to live for our God. "Thanks God for encouraging words that stick!"

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Holy God...

As I was texting a friend today these words popped in my head..."Keep or get your eyes on our Holy God...it's blinding." My point? If we have our eyes on God...fully on him...the his GLORY will blind us...will make us only see him...we will shrug off temptation...we will "stand up under it"...we will cling to his strength in times of intense struggle...we will CELEBRATE like crazy when there is victory in our and other's lives...God is PERFECT...PERFECT...he is sooooooooooo set apart...soooooooo holy...that when Moses saw his BACK he had to cover his face because it glowed! Let's all stop today...let's get our eyes on Jesus...on Father God...he is PERFECT...PERFECT...I can't even imagine perfect! I'll tell you this though...when I get my mind thinking about this...when I turn to how holy and perfect THE God of the Universe is...I'm encouraged...more than that...I get encourage way down in my gut...at the very depths of my soul...and it feels good.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I'm a dummy! 2x's over!

Earlier today I saved a dummy and tonight...I was the dummy that needed saving! NO I didn't have a real heartattack, but it was close! I was on-line...getting our vacation plans done for Christmas Break...I had typed into the hotel search...2 adults and 3 kids...I went through all of the steps and then confirmed it...THEN I went to the final page...you know the one...the one you print off...the one that says the $$ is out of our account! I looked over everything and saw the price...IT WAS 3x's THE AMOUNT OF WHAT IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN! BUT I HAD ALREADY CONFIRMED IT...ALREADY PAID FOR IT...ARE YOU KIDDING ME! I felt scammed...betrayed...angry...

THEN...

I read the details...Someone (denial starts now!)...yes SOMEONE typed in 2 adults and 3 ROOMS instead of 2 adults and 3 KIDS! OH MAN! BIG MISTAKE...needless to say I started scrambling for a phone number to call...and you bet...the lady was LAUGHING at me on the other end...LAUGHING! I almost had to perform CPR on myself...BUT...we've got it right now...

2 adults...3 kids...1 room...

I saved a dummy today!

It's true! Today I took a CPR class (so I can get my teaching license back) and saved the same dummy over and over and over again. Although one time I did tilt his head wrong...so he may not have made it! BUT...I passed...and the dummy gets to live to see another day.

One of my dummy saving classmates and I had several connections...her husband and I played hoops together A LOT several years back...he was a children's pastor and now teaches at LaSalle Academy where I used to teach...pretty cool...the teacher of the class knows a lady in our church really well and would like to come "check out" the church sometime...cool connections...cool people...dummy's life was saved...I passed...AND we got out VERY early! YES!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Team is VITAL

LOTS of changes are happening at our campus right now...some are AMAZING...some are tough! I have shared these things in the past, but what keeps rising to the surface for me is how important "team" is...the team I'm on with the staff...our team of volunteers...Last night my guest speaker, Jay Bell, talked about the 80-20 rule...that 20% of the people do all the work...So I started writing down families that serve in our church...I didn't exhaust the list and came up with over 1/2 of our people are serving in different ministries. THAT was encouraging...I LOVE TEAM!

One thing I know too is that in January, Jerimae will not be on staff anymore...we have had to cut back our budget...DON'T GET EXCITED YOU GREEDY PASTORS he is still with us, but the role will change. It is tough...but he has put together a TEAM of people to help facilitate worship.

TEAM is VITAL!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday Reflections

-Thanksgiving was fun...good time with Kelsey's family
-Good to see Kelsey's grandma this past weekend...been a long time
-Started a new series...We Are...talking about family
-Reading a book...Multisite Church Road Trip...good stuff
-Wishing I didn't have a headache again today! Medicine from last week, doesn't seem to be making my eyes better...
-GREAT time with Jerimae today...LOVE THAT GUY!
-Lots of sick people around church yesterday...
-Great time of singing...challenging message...
-FIGHT FOR YOUR FAMILY...it's the only one you've got
-Tough challenge for people at the end of the message...being willing to forgive...to let go...freeing if you're willing to go there...TOUGH to go there
-PRAYING HARD for approval THIS WEEK for our building stuff
-I'm bummed that I'll miss hanging out with the pastor gang again tomorrow...miss those guys!
-Kels took her gma back to Indy yesterday becasue gma didn't feel well...hope she feels better
-Funny how I just had some time off, but hardly spent any of it with Kels...
-Played some serious NBA-LIVE with Jaden and Kels' brothers
-I stink at video games!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday Reflections

Mondays are hard...busy...lots of switching gears as I go from task to task. Interesting day...

-Services yesterday were very good...God moved!
-It was good to share my heart yesterday morning...
-Sin really is like mold...sometimes it is hidden behind the walls and sometimes it is OBVIOUS to everyone
-God is so unbelievably holy...perfect...the slightest sin would soooooooooooooo noticable compared to him.
-Jerimae is POURING himself into other worship leaders...we had our 4th guy in 4 weeks leading (Jerimae-Colin-Marty-Mike)
-Mike did a GREAT job leading us to God
-I love Chris Tomlin's Amazing Grace
-Communion was great last night
-We are BEGGING God for favor from the building department
-We got word today that there is a possibility that they will approve things this Wednesday...PRAY!
-DId I mention PRAY?!
-I wonder who the first to come to Christ will be in the new building!? Cool to think about!
-My class tonight had great discussion
-Mondays are a lot harder after I preach...before I was teaching again...Monday a.m. was a time to debrief...now I'm "ON" with teaching kids...it was an adjustment today
-I love God more today than ever in my life

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Blitzed!

A breath of fresh air...that is what I would call this morning's blitz. The chance to go out and serve families...to share Jesus in a simple and practical way. Someone asked me a couple of days ago if "they could bring their kids with them." My thought...ARE YOU KIDDING ME, OF COURSE!! I LOVE going out with Kels and the kids...Love serving people TOGETHER! I feel refreshed...kinda funny...get up early on Saturday morning...run around like a madman...drive around the city trying to find people's homes...give food to families...AND IT CHARGED ME UP! "Thanks for the opportunity God...LOVE IT!"

5 Lies of Satan

Tomorrow morning we complete our series on the 5 Lies of Satan...looking forward to speaking and sharing my heart with people. Every time before I speak, I am concerned about the impact...I don't want to just share information...don't want to just give facts and be done...I LONG to see the Spirit of the living God IMPACT the lives of the people who come. If they come then they are seeking God to some level...I don't take that lightly. Tomorrow, I begging God that people would be open to examine their lives...to search for the areas they just let slip by and the areas that they let slip, but those are leading to something worse...little by little...Can't wait for the morning!

Friday, November 20, 2009

No Distractions Allowed

I usually turn off my phone when I'm at school...there is good reason for that. My students deserve my best and if I hear my phone my mind won't be on them. As I left school today I turned on my phone and had a text from Rusty...our building was broken into last night. They broke the glass window in the door and went in. Praise God nothing was taken...they couldn't get the lights on! (When we left after Prayer Encounter, I had thrown all the circuits...didn't know which was which, so I did them all!)

Here is the thing though...I am not surprised this happend and happened today. I am prepping for my message this Sunday on the last of our "5 Lies of Satan" series...the message title: "At least it's not a BIG sin." I went to bed last night thinking about it...I woke up this morning thinking about it...actually I woke up and the main illustration I'm going to use Sunday came to my mind...it is a deeply personal one...SO, I WILL NOT STOOP DOWN to these distractions...will NOT allow Satan and his pepole to have their day...Nehemiah said it best "I'm about a great work and CANNOT COME DOWN!" No distractions...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sharing your faith...

Last night I posted about wanting to share my faith this week...THEN, I walk into our building for Prayer Encounter and the electrician was working...GREAT GUY! I hadn't met him before and intro-ed myself and he started asking questions and talking about his view of God. Sounds like there has been some tough stuff in his life...he isn't sure that God is real. I encouraged him to pray and ask God to show himself...and if he sincerely asks, God will respond!

Here is the best part...I got to have the conversation because Rusty and Don had already talked to him earlier in the day...they didn't give quick answers...they listened and shared about how God has impacted their lives...they were real...they wrestled through questions with him...they really stirred up his heart! Then tonight I had the chance to share and then listen to Don share his heart too. It was GREAT! I never get tired of hearing people search for God...

I have often said that if God has changed your life you have enough information to share your faith. God doesn't expect us to be able to answer every question...he wants us to be available and to use what we know and then to learn more about him. TODAY...Rusty and Don listened...they shared their story...they made an impact...I LOVE WATCHING THE CHURCH WORK!

BTW...did you catch that...If God has changed your life...YOU HAVE ENOUGH INFORMATION to share with other people! So what are you waiting for...GO SHARE!

Is it Saturday yet?!?!

A lot of people have this question because they CAN'T WAIT for the weekend...I have this question because I can't wait for our Blitz Saturday!! We have an outreach on Saturday morning...we connected with Boy's and Girl's Club and have 50 families that we are going to take groceries too. People have called all of them and asked for 5 items that they need and then we purchased those, a turkey and a few "extras" for each family. THEN on Saturday we get to deliver them to the families! I LOVE THIS BLITZ! Providing for practical needs of people. Another cool part of this is the idea came from students in my Grace College class!! COOL! SO...is it SATURDAY YET?!?!?!?!?!?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My thoughts...

Whatever comes to mind...

-I just got off of Skype with Dave Griffith in France...Great to hear from him!
-Ran tonight for the first time in months...was ok
-My son could outrun me right now in a 5K...Jaden ran a 5K a few weeks back on a treadmill...did it in under 28 minutes! HE IS 6 YEARS OLD!
-I love music...the way it can just grab your heart
-Peace Be Still by Rush of Fools is still my #1 song right now...
-Breakthrough by Jerimae is a close 2nd...sometimes I just play those 2 over and over on my iTunes
-What is God came back tonight...am I ready?
-I pray that Luke comes to Jesus before the rapture!
-My eye is still a mess...can't see well...had more tests today
-God is perfect...holy...bigger than my imagination...
-Since I hurt my foot in January I have put on 23 lbs...I'm pushing 200!
-Starting to read a book called "Mulitsite Church Road Trip" Get to do a blog-tour with the authors in December...kinda cool...
-What would happen if Grace Community Church grabbed the vision of multisite...no really grabbed it...not just Jim and some of the leaders, but the church...What kind of mess could we make for the enemy?!
-I really like dreaming about what I just wrote!
-WHEN WILL THE BUILDING DEPARTMENT GIVES US THE GREEN LIGHT!!
-We have amazing volunteers at Grace
-I'm dreaming of a day when we right here in South Bend have 3 campuses...make that 5...One right where we are now...one in downtown...one on the west-side (here we come Williams')...one in Granger...one in Mishawaka...AND let's cross the boarder into Michigan and get one in Niles...WHY NOT! THERE ARE 175,000 PEOPLE WITHIN 5 STINKIN' MILES OF OUR CAMPUS...WHY NOT?!?!?!?!
-What would happen in THE church, if the people obeyed God with their $...what if...
-My heart BREAKS for my students...their people...beautiful people...some with great struggles...some with deep hurts...some with HUGE smiles...
-If Aldo doesn't come back to school soon and give me one of his HUGE-BRIGHT SMILES...Get healthy young man!
-What would these kids do without teachers like Mrs. Werner and Mrs. Evans...these ladies LOVE their students...the invest part of themselves in their students...it's an honor to teach with them
-Tell me this...what in the WORLD would I do without Kelsey! Aside from Jesus...BEST decision of my life was asking her to marry me 14 years ago THIS MONTH!
-Kelsey is doing the Book Fair...reading in the kid's classrooms...organizing and cooking the teacher's luncheon AND STILL our house looks amazing and we had an amazing dinner tonight...HOW DOES SHE DO IT?!?!
-Chloe placed in her last swim meet...AND better yet...took time off of her times AGAIN.
-I have not met a student yet who works harder than Chloe...I had to get on her about being to hard on herself!!
-Jaden Blake Boucher...THAT YOUNG MAN IS GETTING STRONG! Wrestled with him for 40 minutes today...Whoa...dude's a stud!
-Luke would like to be his brother...everything Jaden does...Luke does...the good, the bad, the disgusting!
-Do we realize that people are watching us in the same way that Luke watches Jaden...
-Do we realize that GOD is watching us...even closer than Luke watches Jaden!
-ARE YOU STILL READING THIS?!?!?!?
-I am really having fun writing all of this tonight...cheap therapy!
-I am grateful tonight that I have men who have invested themselves in me...that have poured themselves into me...I long to do that for others
-If we pray for something and God says no...are we o.k with that?
-My knee just started hurting...BUT at least it was because I exercised!
-If I could have it my way...EVERYONE in this community would give their lives to Jesus
-So...who am I going to talk to about Jesus tomorrow?!
-God...thanks for your grace...something I sure didn't deserve, but you gave it anyone...thanks.
-"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Phil 4:7)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Why?

I was in a conversation today and was reminded of this question: WHY IN THE WORLD are you a pastor, Tim?! AND another question that was asked of me several years back before I became a pastor by a friend: "Tim, is it about church planting or about church planting in South Bend?" The question was and still is a no-brainer...it is about South Bend, IN. I LOVE THIS AREA...I LOVE THE PEOPLE...I want to die doing this work. That's how I feel today...honestly. With the ups and downs...the victories in lives and the tragedies...(hey...someone remind me of this post in the low times!) I love what I do...I love pouring myself into the people in our church and our community. "Thanks God for giving me my dream job..."

Monday, November 16, 2009

Back in the groove...

About 12 weeks ago I started teaching after school classes at Perley...It had been 3 years since I had taught a music class...I felt very awkward...it felt forced...didn't really feel "in the gear." Things have started coming back to me little by little...I can feel a rhythm again when I'm in the classroom...it feels good! How true is this of our spiritual lives too...if we don't work on our relationship with God...if we don't spend time...then we never get in that groove...it just feels awkward...know what I mean...We must take time with God...take time to know him better...SO quit reading this post and go spend some time with God!! I'm going to dive into the book of Esther tonight...

Monday Reflections...

We had a guest speaker yesterday via video...Darin Holsopple, a teacher with Fairfield Schools, gave a message on creation...FANTASTIC JOB! He really stirred in people and his PASSION was obvious. I LOVE seeing people using their gifts and passions...very cool!

Our Sunday was a good one...Marty Myles led our worship with Yoder being out of town...cool to see him there...GREAT heart for Jesus and worship. (Any church out there looking for a worship leader...give the guy a call...he's open!) Great heart...the cool thing about our worship time over the past few month especially...it has become much more than music...more than just a prep for the message...truly an experience of God and an act of worship to God...Jerimae has done a GREAT job pouring into his team and then them leading us.

I love to see people step up too...we had to fill in some gaps because of people being gone or sick and BAM! people just step up to serve. FUN TO EXPERIENCE!

Building update...still waiting for final approval...wrestling with when to start...well...some of that is out of our hands...without approval from the city we can't go with full-steam-ahead...I would LOVE to start on Christmas Sunday...we'll see!!!! "GOD...show us your favor with the building dept!!!!"

BTW...I just love being married and being a dad...I love discipling my kids...it is HARD sometimes, but I just LOVE it! (Not sure why this popped in my head, but thought I'd share!!)

Until later...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I LOVE CHURCH PLANTERS!

I just got off the phone with Mike...a church planter...I just LOVE talking with guys who are starting churches...their faith...their questions...their passion...LOVE IT! This is the 2nd guy I've spent time with in the past week...Pray for Mike at Virginia Beach and Jeremy here in Mishawaka...both guys are starting churches after the first of the year...both guys love Jesus...I CAN'T wait to hear their stories of how God brings things together.

Another thing hit me while talking with Mike today...they are looking into meeting in a theater and he asked me about how many volunteers it takes to get set-up and tear-down done...I realized again what an amazing group of people we have right now...they work SO hard and make things happen so quickly! I'm so proud of our team...I can't wait to get there in the morning and hang out and serve with them!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Goals...

Why set goals? How do you set goals? I have been thinking about my goals for the past couple of days and then got an email from Jim, our lead pastor, asking for a year-review...good timing I guess! So how do you measure how things are going in your life...Personally? Spiritually? With your family? With your job...with ministry?

I personally list out 5 key areas that I want to work on each year and then make goals for each...
1. Personal
2. Visionary Leadership
3. Evangelism and Outreach
4. Training Leaders
5. Shepherding People

Once I get my key areas, I write out measurable goals for each one...for Personal Goals I make goals for my physical health, spiritual disciplines, family...I break each area down into measurable goals...WHY? Because if we don't have a target then we aren't aiming at anything! How can we possibly measure success if we don't have something to compare it too. I review these goals monthly and write up something so I can track how I'm doing...It helps me to keep focus...to re-focus...

I do the same thing for our church...set out goals for the year and every month I review them...it's cool to see God work through these goals...how he adds things to it...how he comes through...

HEY...I best get back to it...I reviewed my goals today and there is A LOT to get done!! ;0)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I dreamed of this day...

Most of you probably won't get this...many of you will make fun! BUT...I have dreamed of this day happening...no not the part where I didn't feel well for most of the day...the part when I was looking outside in the front yard...I just wanted to see what was happening...to see if it finally would happen. AND IT DID...here is the background...when I grew up there weren't a lot of kids around (I used to think poor people lived in house that were close together! Funny...I LOVE living with houses close together now...and I don't feel too poor...) So, I would play in the backyard and play football...there wasn't another team there, just me...scoring touchdowns...hearing the crowd roar...breaking tackles...it was fun! (And easy to go undefeated!!) I have dreamed for MANY years of watching my kids someday do the same thing...and it happened today. Jaden was in the front yard playing football...he had no idea that I was watching him from inside the house (SO DON'T TELL HIM! YOU'LL RUIN HIS and MY FUN!). He was scoring touchdowns...passing to himself...breaking tackles...SMILING A LOT...he even put stuff in the yard so he would have to make "moves" get around them...I so enjoyed watching his free-creative spirit out there...made me remember "back in the day." Made me wonder if my parents ever stopped at the window and watched like I did...THANKS JADEN for making me smile today!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thoughts...

Teaching my class on Monday nights at Grace College has really opened my eyes...opened them to the fact that MANY young people have not been discipled...mentored...one of my students was very honest last night and said in front of the class, that he knows he needs to be mentoring others, but he himself has never had that...never had someone invest in him personally...walk with him...challenge him...so I thought about it...how did Jesus do it? He shared with many, but invested himself personally in a few...Grace Community is a place where we desire to do things the way Jesus did...its not about tradition...the way things have always been done...so it made me think...what is happening, really happening here at Grace...I have been on a couple week journey thinking about this...haven't talked to anyone about it yet...(well, until this post!)...the bottom line is I want to make sure that our people are on a journey of becoming more like Jesus...I long to see them truly ROOTED...deeply ROOTED with Jesus...in the Word...prayer...other spiritual disciplines...sharing their faith with others...serving...using their gifts/abilities...I believe this is happening here...I believe that we can do better...my heart is stirred up...wondering what God will do with this...looking forward to continuing to learn as we go!

Is that true?

"God doesn't give you more than you can handle..." That was our message on Sunday...And the point? THAT IS A LIE! God gives us more than we can handle or we wouldn't need him! I know...1 Cor. 10:13...BUT that is speaking of temptation, not testing and trial...Check out 2Cor. 1 & 11...check out Paul's list of things that happened to him...Sometimes we get pushed beyond what we can bear...AND it is then that our Savior through the work of his Spirit gives us strength...strength that doesn't make sense...strength to endure when we can't on our own...THANK YOU JESUS for strength like that!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Peace Be Still

What a great song by Rush of Fools! I am listening to it while I write this post...God will give peace in the middle of any storm...ANY STORM! Jesus says in Matthew 5 "He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." God DOES NOT promise us an easy road...He promises to be there...walking with us...carrying us...giving us the strength to STAND UP UNDER whatever comes our way! THANK YOU JESUS FOR THAT!

IT'S BACK!!!!

MY VOICE IS BACK!!!! I lost my voice a week or 2 ago and I said a simple prayer..."Lord, when I get my voice back will you let me have my falsetto back?" For over a year my voice hasn't been right...I used to (and am again!) a music teacher but I haven't had my "head-voice"...you know the part of a man's voice that can sound really, really high pitched...It has been KILLING me because there are songs I can't sing and sounds that I want to make when I teach and I lost it. BUT I prayed that prayer and TODAY I could sing with Rush of Fools AND Jerimae Yoder!! I AM SOOOOOOOOO EXCITED! OK, so maybe you don't care, but it's exciting to me!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Refreshed

This week has been a blur...teaching...building stuff...relationship stuff...time just flies by...today I got a breath of fresh air...Luke woke from his nap crying (doesn't sound to fresh does it!) But I went up and got in bed with him...and sang to him...it was a worship experience honestly...a chance to encourage my son and praise God...I felt refreshed when it was done...I needed that time! Funny sometimes what will refresh us...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday Reflections

Whoa...TOUGH message from Jim on Sunday...TRUTH HURTS...many of our people felt that yesterday, but here is the deal...if we are willing to obey God...willing to follow what HE wants, then the truth will be freeing.

We kicked off our 1 of 5 messages on the 5 lies of Satan...sex was the subject...POWERFUL...to many people have scars from past relationships...to many times people believe the lie that "everyone is doing it...it's just sex!" NO NO NO!!! GOD INTENDED SEX FOR MARRIAGE AND MARRIAGE ONLY...if you are "messing" around...if you are viewing porn...if you are having emotional affairs on Facebook...RUN and RUN RIGHT NOW! Do not wait another second! Save yourself and your mind for your spouse...DO IT!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Rookie Season

Hanging out in Warsaw tonight with some ol' college buds...played some ball and in the morning I'll do my first fantasy basketball draft. This is the 15th year the guys have done this...my first...it has been fun seeing the guys-catching up...off to bed now! Only wish that I could have picked LeBron in the morning!! Maybe I'll get Shaq!

Sickness...

It's been a long week for the Boucher's...Chloe was home from school Monday and Tuesday and Jaden Wednesday and Friday...right now Luke is at the doctor because he has had a fever for a couple of days...Looking forward to getting this sickness OUT of the house!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Rolling along...

(Don & Michele moving a doorway)


(Putting up the Kidzone wall & doorway)
(Kidzone's new "house")


(Some of the AMAZING workers!)


Things are coming together...the building is looking more and more like the pictures in my head! I am so encouraged by the people that have come out to help. Rusty and Don have the be dynamic duo and now MANY others have come this week to work with them...VERY COOL!

Tonight our Prayer Encounter was at the new building...praying for each other...and then praying about the future impact...the lives that will be changed there! MAN...I can't wait to see what God is going to do...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Building Update


(Auditorium)
OH YEAH! Our team is WORKING HARD on the building...getting it ready...Rusty and Don have been over there every day and others keep coming to help...Demo is DONE! UNBELIEVABLE!! The floor has been fixed...(I got to help with that!!)...and I received a text from Rusty tonight and 2 new walls are up...WE ARE MOVING AHEAD...

These pics are before demo pics...MOVING FORWARD!
(from the auditorium and looking up at Kidzone)
(Kidzone...isn't that BEAUTIFUL carpet?!)
(Women's Bathroom...I think it needs a little work!!)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sittin' in class...

On Monday nights I teach a class at Grace College to Youth Ministry Majors. They are quoting verses to each other right now...VERY IMPORTANT to have the Word IN your mind!! Next they will be doing presentations on an outreach that they come up and then did in their community...I'm excited to see what they have done and their responses...How cool...college students making an impact in their "adopted" home!

Alright...they are coming back in...until later...

Can I be honest?

Is it o.k. if I'm honest? Really? Here is the deal...I have a PIT in my stomach right now...know why? I DO NOT LIKE what I have to do this week...My task this week is to prioritize my life and time...Doesn't sound to awful, but since I have gone to 2/3 time at church I have 15-20 less hours for things that I used to do. THAT IS HARD! And I am not enjoying this process...trying to work through things that I enjoy doing...things that I'm passionate about...time with people...time to plan...time with people...time to lead...time with people (HEY...I'm a campus pastor and the majority of my time is connecting with people!!!!)...time with God...time with family...time with administration (I actually like some admin stuff...SOME is the key word though!)...between things that are important...Argh! But it must be done...for my health...my families health and the health of our church...The past 3 weeks have been crazy...There are seasons for that, but this one won't be changing any time soon, so I have to prioritize now...I can't keep telling Kelsey "My schedule has just changed, so we'll get in a new pattern." At some point I have to start saying "no." I just hate that word sometimes!! So, I'm seeking God's heart...asking him to help me see what is most important...to help me discern between what is best and what is good...Praying more than ever for DISCERNMENT and WISDOM!

Monday Reflections...

Perception is a funny thing...I left yesterday's message on Crazy Stuff and felt uneasy...I get home and Kelsey tells me it was one of the best times that she has seen me. Maybe that is because the impact of the message yesterday is to be seen...you see we talked $'s yesterday...we talked about in everything that we do GOD MUST BE our motivation...that HE must give us direction...We talked about what we need $$-wise to more forward with our campus-I have to confess that I get EXCITED when I think of God's people obeying HIM and giving...It EXCITES me to think of what HIS church WILL DO when HIS people step up and give their $...NOT out of duty...BUT out of passion for what HE will do through HIS church!

So we did it yesterday...I asked people to examine and pray through their finances...to see where they are and to commit to giving to the church...WHY? BECAUSE WE HAVE 175,000 PEOPLE WITHIN 5 MILES OF OUR BUILDING WHO NEED TO HEAR ABOUT JESUS! I WANT EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO HEAR ABOUT JESUS!!!!

So, I'm praying for God to do some CRAZY STUFF...we have 4-Phases to go through...and you know what...WE CAN AND WILL DO THIS! But this is a step of faith...probably why it wasn't a emotional high yesterday after the message...Without God...without CRAZY STUFF...Whoa...

"God...thanks for being IN the details...for allowing me to be involved with a church that wants to be on the front lines of ministry...that LONGS to see lives changed...and because of THAT, I KNOW that you will move in each of us to EXCEED our goals! IN JESUS NAME...AMEN!"

Saturday, October 17, 2009

THIS makes me happy...

"Therefore, there is now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus..."

WHY?

"Because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death." (Roman 8:1-2)

I'm sitting in my office...finishing up my message for tomorrow...listening to the band practicing...singing "You'll find me seeking you, you'll find me seeking you!" OH...I just feel overwhelmed with the FACT that Jesus took care of my condemnation...I was on my way to hell, but GOD PICKED ME...He sought me out...He WANTED a relationship with me...he WANTED to free me from my sin...he WANTED to give me freedom from ETERNAL punishment...THAT is Power...THAT is grace...THAT is love..."Thanks, God!"

Friday, October 16, 2009

Been that long?!

This week has come and GONE! Yesterday I had the opportunity to pray with a guy as he made Jesus Lord of his life...that just NEVER gets old!! I LOVE IT! I love it when God works in someones life like that...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

MORE CRAZY STUFF BABY!

Colin and I prayed today on the phone that the owner of our office building would allow us out of our lease at the end of this year. (Our lease is through June '10) 4 MINUTES LATER...DID YOU CATCH THAT?!?!?!?!...4 MINUTES LATER I received a call from the office building's management saying that the owner would release us from the lease at the end of the year! THANKS GOD!!!! WHOO-HOO!

CRAZY STUFF BABY!

I have been searching for a new location for our church for a loooooooooooooooooooong time...searching and searching and searching...CRYING OUT TO GOD...BEGGING GOD to show us the right place for us. We need to be out of the theater in January due to the amount of $$ it costs to be there.

So over the past few months I have looked at over 30 locations...I'll confess I WAS SICK OF IT! One night at Prayer Encounter I SLAMMED my Bible down and just PLEADED with God to show me the right spot for us. THE NEXT DAY I decided to go prayer driving around our target area...as I drove there was a building that I had never seen before...AND IT WAS VERY CLOSE TO THE MOVIE THEATER...I made the call and we started to look at the place. LOVED THE LOCATION! LOVED THE BUILDING! COULD GOD REALLY GET US THIS SPOT?!

It didn't look good...we negotiated with the owner and were off by about $9000...I called one Monday and asked him what he was thinking...One of the guys who had seen it had told someone that we probably wouldn't get the location...that we were too far off...BUT GOD CAME THROUGH AND HE DROPPED OFF $6000 MORE $ and we saw how we could make it work! CRAZY STUFF!!

This is a location that we would want whether or not there were financial issues!! GOD IS SOOOOOOOOOO GOOD! I have said for a long time that we would know when the right spot came along and BAM! Here it is!

THANK YOU JESUS! CAN'T WAIT TO SEE PEOPLE GIVING THEIR LIVES TO JESUS IN THIS BUILDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CAN'T WAIT!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Our inconvenience...God's opportunity Part 2

If you didn't read my post "Our inconvenience...God's opportunity" from last week, scroll down and take a look. BUT IT HAPPENED AGAIN! Here we are...11 guys traveling back from Maryland in our church van...We even got out of camp early, so we were looking to be home between 10-11 p.m. WE WERE EXCITED...then...as we are going up the FIRST mountain, the van is dieing...the gauges are going HOT...the van is slowing down...we pull into a rest area and the van is done! We don't have a way home...OH BUT DID WE PRAY!!!! Groups of guys standing around seeking what God wants...

So, we call a couple of people traveling with us and THANK OUR GOD...they went the wrong way and were still behind us! They pulled up and had a mechanic with them...BUT he was unable to fix it...(not really a lot of tools at a rest stop!)...BUT the 2 vans that came up had 6 seats available AND THEN Pastor Jim's friend Mike (we stayed on his property for our retreat) gave us his Explorer for the week!! We ALL got home, although it was 2:40 a.m. when I walked in the house...GOD put the pieces together to take care of us!!

BUT THAT IS NOT ALL...Jim made the statement before we left that "God has put all of you in a vehicle for a reason." WELL, we get 5 minutes away from our camping spot and God shuffles the deck! He puts guys in different vehicles and we had UNBELIEVABLE conversation in the Explorer of 5 guys for HOURS! AMAZING...LIFE CHANGING AND CHALLENGING conversation...So, once again...Our Inconvenience is God's opportunity!!

"Thanks God."

Wild At Heart

GREAT Wild at Heart this year...Unbelievable...God worked in guys lives...guys were brutally honest...I long to see how God is going to use these men. What an honor to be with them this past weekend...the competetions...the conversations...the food...GOD MOVED in very real ways! AWESOME!

I was excited to get back to my spot from last year...my dried up creekbed...when I was all dried up personally and spiritually...then to say..."THANK YOU GOD FOR RE-FUELING MY HEART!" couldn't find the spot, but I thanked God anyway!

Had a friend bring a steak for me...OH WAS IT GOOD! Steak cooked on the open fire...ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!

"God...thanks for showing up in men's lives...may we be back there next year with EVERY MAN not just "making it" but THRIVING in their relationship with you!"

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

GRACE LANCERS vs. INDIANA HOOSIERS!

No that is NOT a misprint...I couldn't believe it either!!! I got an email from the Grace Alumni and didn't believe what I was reading so I went to the IU b-ball page for proof...AND THERE IT WAS!

"LET'S GO LANCERS!" (Clap-Clap-Clap Clap Clap)

"LET'S GO LANCERS!" (Clap-Clap-Clap Clap Clap)

"LET'S GO LANCERS!" (Clap-Clap-Clap Clap Clap)

"LET'S GO LANCERS!" (Clap-Clap-Clap Clap Clap)

Our inconvience...God's opportunity

I had a tire that was going flat yesterday...I didn't have time to take it to Discount Tire, but I don't have time to go to the hospital either when it makes me wreck!! So, I took it in yesterday after I taught school...The tire shop is only a few blocks from my house, so I decided to walk home...As I was walking I noticed a friend's dog running around his yard...So being the nice friend that I am I called him and made some smart-comment about getting his dog back in the house...ended up he was the one home...So I ran across the 4 lanes of traffic and we had a chance to talk...After some small-talk for a few minutes he shared with me some stuff happening in his life that needed prayer...RIGHT AWAY I realized that God has a plan for EVERYTHING...think about it...I had a flat-tire...there were a TON of people in line, so I had to wait 1 1/2 hours to get my car back, so I decided to walk home and work from home...AND THEN I saw my friend's dog and had a chance to talk with him and pray with him...GOD KNEW that my friend needed encouragement, so my tire went flat and BAM! God put me in the right place at the right time!

OUR INCONVENIENCE is GOD'S OPPORTUNITY!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday Refections!

We had 2 people during our service yesterday put Jesus in charge of their lives! THAT DOES NOT GET OLD!!!! PRAISE GOD! It was an amazing and challenging service...Challenging in the fact the we MUST, MUST show grace to people...we must not hold things over them...this doesn't mean that we ignore sin...it means that we show TRUE love to people...that we forgive...that we accept people back the way the father did the prodical son! We must not beat people up for their mistakes...

This Crazy Stuff series has been amazing...Seeing how God has worked and seeing how he is working VERY COOL!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Puzzle Pieces...

Life sure feels like a HUGE puzzle sometimes...a puzzle that only God see the whole finished picture...BUT when God starts to put the pieces together, and we get to see more of HIS picture...WOW! Sometimes we are just living...without a CLUE as to what God has in store...we pray...we plead...we seek...but we just don't see it yet...THEN comes the time when things start to come together...RIGHT NOW is one of those times for me and for Grace...God is putting some BIG puzzle pieces together and it is VERY COOL to see him work...

Want details?? Soon...very soon!

Friday, October 2, 2009

"Today is a battle, not a game"

I wish I could claim this quote as my own...I was on the phone today with a good friend, Miah, one of the worship guys at our Goshen campus when he said those words. He was talking about life and the spiritual battles we fight. POWERFUL WORDS!

Too often we don't treat life as a battle...we just let things go...or ignore warning signs in people and ourselves...caution flags that should tip us off that something is wrong...that something needs to change...but we are too busy "just livin' " and we miss it...we waste our days...Let's get in the battle for each other...I spent time praying for people today...battling for God's work in their lives...for their encouragement.lives and don't work to walk closer to God and encourage others. LIFE IS A BATTLE GROUND...let's fight for each other!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The church of today...Prayer Encounter on the move...Teachable Moments

Alright, so I couldn't figure out how to title this post...Tonight we did our Prayer Encounter a little differently...we were mobile...we started at Movies 14 where we have our services then went to a potential new location down the street...It was very cool to pray ON LOCATION...another cool part was that 4 kids were with us...all boys! When I say "kids" I mean 4 boys...1 is 8...2 are 6 and one is 4...Here is what was cool to me...we all knelt down in the building where we may start leasing and prayed...kids too...then we went up into the room where the kids would have their spot and 3 of the boys prayed...IT WAS AWESOME! You think that didn't get God's attention?!?!?! WOW!

Kids are the church of TODAY...If they are followers of Jesus God listens to their prayer in the SAME WAY that he listens to adults...GOD LONGS TO HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM, so why not have them right there with us...Think about those boys tonight...if God continues to move and we end up there, they will be part of the first group of people to do battle in the spiritual realm in our building...HOW COOL IS THAT MEMORY FOR THEM...What a moment for the dads too!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Crazy Stuff Report

CRAZY STUFF just happened officially today! Here is the background...In June the elders and I started to look VERY seriously at our current financial position at church...Although we had seen growth (30% in 2 months) we were not hitting our budget...The bottom line: I was going to need to get a part-time job...So, at the beginning of July I sent this email to South Bend Schools...

"Hey Mary Jo…I would like to chat about some possibilities for this coming school year. I’ll explain more when we talk…

Thanks and I look forward to talking with you…
tim"

When we talked I told her that I need 1/3 of a contract...the bad news was that there was nothing like that open...UNTIL NOW! That sounds exciting, but I will admit that this process has been hard...faith stretching...it has been quite a bumpy road...ups and downs...opportunities that should have been there then fell through or just never materialized...

BUT THEN IT HAPPENED! You know...the thing that God has planned all along...the thing that make you say..."That's CRAZY STUFF...it had to be God!" Several teachers were using their plan periods to teach disabled children music, art and P.E. at one of the schools. The position was covered by 1 person last year, but she took a full time teaching job...So, rather than fill the position they just tried to cover it...THEN FOR SOME REASON (GOD!) they decided not to "just cover it" and hire someone...AT JUST THE RIGHT TIME FOR ME TO APPLY! I probably wouldn't have looked at it a month ago, because of some of the other options out there...BUT now it is actually a better fit all the way around for me...I started on Monday and found out officially today that the position is 1/3 of a contract...THE VERY AMOUNT I WAS PRAYING FOR 3 MONTHS AGO! THANK YOU JESUS! THAT is crazy stuff!

I do want to say a public THANK YOU to Mary Jo Kaser...she is the Fine Arts Curriculum Facilitator for South Bend Schools (THAT is a long title!)...she has been AMAZING at seeing options for me...spent a GREAT DEAL OF TIME connecting with people...throwing ideas my way...She has been a gift from God actually...I love how God uses all kind of people to make his CRAZY STUFF happen! Hey...she has now helped me get hired with the schools 2x's now!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday Reflections

Thoughts on the weekend and this morning...

-Hog Roast was AWESOME! A LOT of people there...great time...Rusty and Kari did a fantastic job
-Had a KILLER headache Saturday night...my 2nd one in a week and several in the past month
-Usually only get headaches like that 1 or 2x's a year...
-Time to go to the eye doctor...I think my eyes are the problem!
-SUNDAY MORNING WAS INCREDIBLE...I'm still moved by what God did yesterday! (read my post from yesterday for more info!)
-Started teaching at Dickenson Fine Arts Magnent in South Bend today...
-THOSE KIDS ARE REALLY COOL! Neat hearts...great smiles!
-Had lunch with Colin and Andre...talk about a couple of guys that God is working in and through!!
-Moving forward with talks on a location...GOD IS MOVING! More later...
-Interesting schedule today...about to head to my 3rd job of the day...interesting times
-Yep...South Bend still has not told me what my contract looks like...interesting way to do business
-I LOVE my kids...
-Chloe is maturing before my eyes...she is beautiful...smart...LOVES Jesus
-LOVED having my parents here this weekend...
-I apologized to my dad Saturday night for how I used to talk to him...God says "honor your father and mother..." MAN...I didn't honor him back then...Appreciated his response!
-Sat through the end of the message yesterday next to my dad...he was tearing up as Jim spoke on forgiveness and had his arm around me and mom...GUYS...THAT IS CRAZY STUFF...GOD HAS RADICALLY CHANGED HIS LIFE.
-Have I mentioned how grateful that I am that God changed my dad's life before it was too late. "Thanks Jesus."
-I honestly believe that I have the BEST wife in the world...she loves me...supports me...is willing to sacrifice for the sake of what God wants for us...I SURE LOVE HER!
-Oh...did I mention that my wife is GORGEOUS?!?!?!?!?! I still melt when she looks and smiles at me!
-Hey...I'm going to get going and head over to Perley School and teach some piano!

"God...thanks for the way you work in our lives...KEEP IT UP!"

Sunday, September 27, 2009

WOW!

This morning was...................that is it...it was...it was our overall best service ever...our intro...our greeting time...Jerimae leading us to write out our prayers and bringing them up to the offering buckets up front...the video on worship........worship is about ONE thing...GOD...it's not about me...not about music...its about God...God being lifted up...doesn't matter whether or not I love the music...whether or not it is an emotional high...it is about God...and today...it was a high...it was moving...and I believe God was honored...THEN Jim brought the message on forgiveness...DEEPLY MOVING...we invited people to come to the front and pray for God to help them forgive others...The service ended and everyone just sat there...no one moved until we said: "you're dismissed." I honestly believe that people would have sat there for 5 or 10 minutes in silence...UNBELIEVABLE SERVICE...GOD SHOWED UP...CRAZY STUFF...CRAZY FORGIVENESS..CRAZY WORSHIP..."Thanks God for allowing me to experience this morning."

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Hog Roast Tonight

Looking forward to our church's Hog Roast tonight...never been to one before...BUT I'm looking forward to hanging out with GREAT people...eating some GREAT food...Rusty and Kari (the people hosting it) are having a prayer walk through the woods...going to be a really fun night!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Reflection...

Feast on these verse today...They have been running in my mind for days now...

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek ame and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord and will bring you back from captivity." (Jeremiah 29: 11-14)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tim 11 - Jazmine 0

Yep...I'm in a competetion with our neighbor cat...you bet...I'll compete with ANYTHING, ANYTIME, ANYWHERE! So, a couple of months ago I noticed our neighbors cat was hanging out in our garage...so I went to investigate and noticed some mouse "droppings" laying around. Well, I quickly set up my traps and went to work...now over the past 2 months I have caught 11 mice and Jazmine (the neighbor cat) still is waiting for her first!

Today I found one and Luke said "I want to see it dad!" So, I showed him and he wanted to pet it! How funny! Then he kept saying "aw...the mouse is dead dad...aw...aw...aw...let me see it dad...awww..." It was adorable!

I will confess though that I hope that the competetion is now over...would love to stop at 11!

Hanging out with Luke...

Today has been fun...good time with Luke! We built a road with blocks for his cars...went on a bike ride...played Wii...and went "hunting" for a frog. The funny thing was Luke said..."Dad, let's go find a frog!" And the first place we looked...there it was! THEN he caught a cricket ALL BY HIMSELF! I was so proud of him! I sure enjoy my little man...I can't wait to see what he grows up to become...Some FUN years ahead!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Packed Weekend...




What a good weekend...I was EXHAUSTED on Sunday...feel asleep in the chair for a couple of hours! Our Blitz on Saturday was GREAT! I LOVE serving our community...it is so fun getting the chance to do something for people with no expectation of them giving something in return...we served close to 300 people breakfast on Saturday at a kid's football game. WHAT A BLAST! One cool thing for me was close to the beginning of the day...I teach a class at Perley School and one of my students came up to me...the cool part?! He ended up serving food with us for about 2 hours! Here he was...flipping pancakes...rubbing shoulders with people who love Jesus all morning! VERY COOL!

Sunday morning was good...good time of worship...Jim really hammered on us about dealing with our sin...imagine how our prayers would be answered if we cleaned our hearts before God...WOW! God make us clean!

Then Sunday afternoon the ladies in our church put on a baby shower for moms from Hope Ministries a local homeless shelter...Kelsey took our daughter Chloe with her...what a great experience for mom and daughter together!

OK...so this isn't the weekend, but yesterday I turned in a proposal for a new location for our campus. Praying for God to intervene...by all outside appearances they should reject our deal...BUT I am praying for the MIRACLE WORKING GOD to do some Crazy Stuff through this...BUT EVEN IF HE DOESN'T we KNOW that he has something in store for us!

Isn't it fun to trust God...to see how he will put the pieces of the puzzle together of our lives and our church...LOVE IT!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Blitzin' Tomorrow!

I CANNOT WAIT FOR THE MORNING...I am so ready for this blitz that I am about to jump out of my skin...bounce on the ceiling! Tomorrow we are going to serve breakfast for little dude football players and their families. I CAN'T WAIT...to serve people and just share Jesus' love in a practical way...I am just ITCHING to do an outreach like this...it is just fun and a great touch to our community! WHOO-HOO!!!!

Thoughts...

"How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!" (Ps. 139: 17)



God's thoughts...imagine that...imagine what he thinks about...imagine how he spends his time...

Then think about the fact that he wants what is best for us...I want to look at people and things that happen the way God does...I long to have thoughts that honor God...thoughts that would make God say..."How precious are your thoughts..." God...help me to think like you...to have wisdom like you...to discern things like you do...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Stuff...

-I am thankful tonight...Kels came home and said something was rattling in the van...turned out that a bolt had come loose and was GONE from the brakes...they were just banging in there...THANKFUL that Kels is o.k.
-Had a job interview yesterday...we'll see if the schedule works out...could be a good fit
-Checking out a location for our campus that is near Movies 14...PRAYING...looking for God to do some CRAZY STUFF
-Football season is rough so far...The Brown...Bucks and Irish all lost this past weekend
-GOD is moving in people's lives...VERY COOL to see
-I CANNOT WAIT FOR OUR BLITZ ON SATURDAY...cannot wait to serve some breakfast to football families...JUST WANTING TO SERVE
-I had to STOP myself in the middle of the road today...I was off to the races...mind was running...running from store to store for parts for the van...then realized...TIM...it'll get fixed...SLOW DOWN...TALK TO GOD! CHILL OUT!
-Kels is back downstairs, so I'm signing off!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday Morning Reflections...

Our service yesterday was unlike any other...the anticipation that Jerimae and I had going into the service was intense...we both had a week of intense prayer with God...times of confession and BATTLE for our own lives...our families, our church and other people...We just sensed that God was going to do something...Pastor Jim made a video that we showed at the beginning of the message...then Jerimae and I invited people to come to the front and pray...to confess and repent of sin...to renounce the enemies work in their lives and the lives of others...to BEG AND PLEAD with God to do something new through all of us...to reach our friends and neighbors...It was a moving service...We spent A LOT of time in prayer...BATTLING in prayer...it was good to be in God's presence with the church...very good.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Anticipation

I anticipate great games that my teams are playing...In fact there is a HUGE one this weekend with my Buckeyes and some team on the west coast. I can still remember the feeling inside of me before a big game in High School...the feelings of wanting the time to pass by faster...watching the clock...thinking about what might happen in the game...

OH...I cannot express to you how much I feel that anticipation right now about Sunday morning...We have the opportunity to ENCOUNTER God TOGETHER...to come to him...Cry out to him...CAN'T WAIT...can't wait to see how people respond...how I respond...how everything comes together...CRAZY STUFF is happening..."GOD may it happen here!"

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Desire...

What happens when your focus turns 100% on Jesus Christ? What happens when your motivation is him...driven by and for him? What would that look like in your life? What would be different about you? What behaviors would change...what things would you say...or not say? How would you pray? What would need to be confessed to get you moving toward him?

"God...please change any motivation in my life that is not geared toward you."

THAT is a scary prayer...know why? Because God will answer it...he will respond...and I must be ready to follow through...Ready to confess...repent...AND change...Are you willing to pray that? If so, join me and walk with me as we move closer to our Savior...he promises to give us the strength to stand AND let's battle the enemy for our lives...the lives of our families...the lives of our church...the lives of our community...why not today? why not now? Let's not wait any longer...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Future is BRIGHT!

OK...so it has only been 2 weeks, but I am excited about the future leaders in our churches...I am teaching a class at Grace College again this fall and the students are FIRED UP. The depth of their questions and discussion...the heart...their passion...LOVE IT! I have been very impressed with the spirit of the class. I look forward to challenging them and being challenged by them this year. I learn A LOT from these students...they provide a perspective that I can learn from...I pray HARD for each of these students...that their love for Jesus GOES DEEP...that they will LIVE OUT what they believe...it's going to be a GREAT year!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Forgiveness...

What a GREAT word...I cannot express how amazing it feels when I know that God has forgiven me or someone else who I have hurt. I wonder though...when is the last time that we have really, really asked God for forgiveness...asked God to "search my heart..." AND to show me "offensive ways..." that I have hurt my relationship with him...How about today? How about setting aside time to ask the question..."God, how have I offended you? How have I hurt others? What unconfessed sin is there in my life?" And then...DEAL WITH THE SIN! Because the God who saved you IS faithful to forgive...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Monday Morning Reflections...

Well...by the time I finish typing it will be Monday morning! Overall today was a very good day...our service was fantastic...great worship...great message...then Jerimae encouraged people to come up and sing the final song with him...people came and came and came to the front...standing together...praising our God...saying together that we LONG to see CRAZY STUFF happening in our time...RIGHT NOW in fact! I already can't wait for next Sunday!

Then Chloe and I headed to a pastor party at a lake house of one of the families from the Goshen campus...Kels told me by the way to "why don't you go..." "REALLY?!?!" was my response...so Chloe and I had a BLAST hanging out with other pastors and their families...AND I had fun getting thrown...pushed (thanks Josh!)...dunked...beaten...bruised...into the water off of the spinning tube! AND YOU BET...I'd do it again in a second...memories were made today...CRAZY STUFF happened out there...stories will be shared...like 6 guys on a 4 man tube...trying to get it to spin! GREAT TIMES...

I'm looking forward to some time with the family today (after some sleep of course!)...It will be good to be home with them!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Oh Yeah...now it begins!

Ahhhhhhhhhh...the fresh smell of a football Saturday! OH MAN...I love this! The Buckeyes are on...(although I have to follow them on-line...no ESPN at the Bouchers!)...the Irish are going to be on soon...OH YES! Everyone is 0-0 and the future is bright...How about a Buck-Irish national championship?! Anything seems possible on the first week of September!

Listen

I want to ask you a favor...are you ready? When someone you respect...when a mentor or coach speaks into your life...Listen! You may not agree with everything you hear...you may not take their advice...BUT make sure you listen...seek God...THEN move forward.

How many problems that we have would be solved by listening...seeking God...THEN moving forward?!

Friday, September 4, 2009

I can't wait to get the bill...

Does that sound strange to you?! It does to me and I wrote it!! But here is the deal...Kels and I are working hard to get our finances in order...we have paid off most of our debt, except our house and we were on a GREAT path financially, especially with the changes that are happening with my job. THEN, Jaden broke his arm...and you bet there will be expenses...here is the deal though...3 different people...3 people who don't even know each other, have blessed Kelsey and me with financial gifts over the past 3 weeks...we didn't ask for it...weren't looking for it...CRAZY STUFF...I just have to wonder what Jaden's bill is going to come too...what has been given will make a GOOD dent into our bills...CRAZY STUFF!

Crazy Stuff Report


A man from our campus went to the hospital yesterday for surgery...he had a VERY bad accident earlier in the week and had broken his nose, eye socket and cheek bone...with the cheek being the worst injury...he went to the hospital and they fixed his nose and eye, BUT his cheek was fine...no break! Some may say that they just "thought it was broken"...I just wonder...that just maybe our God took his most sever injury and healed it...sounds like CRAZY STUFF to me!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I love to pray...

Tonight I had time to pray with Colin...a very good friend of mine from the church...we started praying through Habakkuk 3:2...we started with "Lord we know your fame"...we just started praying to God and thanking God for the stories of the Old Testament...IT WAS FUN! We started with creation...hit Moses and MANY stories of the Israelites...Ruth and Boaz (God cares for our relationships)...Elijah...Jonah...Noah...propheses of the Messiah to come...and MORE...

Then we cried out and even SHOUTED out to God to move today...PLEADING with him...BEGGING him...LONGING for him to move RIGHT here and RIGHT now at Grace Community Church South Bend/Mishawaka in bigger ways than ever before!

Why is praying so energizing?!?! Hebrews 4: 16 "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." WE GET TO APPROACH THE THRONE OF GRACE...THE THRONE OF THE LIVING MOST HOLY GOD...AND

HE LISTENS TO US!!!!
Enough said!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

4-mile Bike Ride

Luke and I are hanging out today...Chloe and Jaden are at school and Kels was having lunch with a friend. I've said before that Luke is now riding without training wheels...So today he wanted to go on a bike ride...We went around the block 3 or 4 times, but he wanted more! IT WAS GREAT...we went all over the place...ended up going over 4-miles! AND he still had energy left! It was fun!!

The joy I have watching him makes me remember the first time I started riding...I wasn't 3 yrs. old like him, BUT dad took me to the High School parking lot...I can still remember gettin' it going and not knowing how to stop...I was flying across the parking lot and noticed the wire "fence" there...fence may be the wrong word...it was a thick wire that was between 2 posts! SO I ran into the wire fence and held on...HEY...I stopped! What can I say...Luke is doing much better than me!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Thoughts...

Random thoughts...and I MEAN RANDOM...my not be profound...just what popped in my head at 8p.m. on a Tuesday

-Jay Bell ROCKED last night at the class I teach at Grace College...
-I am gaining weight, but my foot hurts too badly to start running
-I love coaching...
-I hate it that Jaden can't play soccer this fall...doctor said NO WAY today for the whole season...stressing HOW SERIOUS this break is...
-I wonder where I will be working 6 months from now...(the church of course...but where else!)
-I LOVE my wife...
-Chloe is growing up toooooooooo fast...she is turning into a young lady...GENTLEMEN BEWARE!
-Teaching kids is fun...it's been a while
-I'm tired...but it is a good tired.
-Wondering when God will show us our location for our campus...Up to over 30 places contacted!
-I love teaching the class at Grace College...those students will be WORLD changers
-What if...
-I PRAY HARD that Chloe, Jaden and Luke all come to Jesus...live for him...find GODLY spouse...PASSIONATELY live for him
-I'm glad my kids get to experience Grace Community Church.
-Even if I am part-time...I have one of the best jobs in the world.
-Hab. 3:2 is ROCKING MY WORLD
-MAN...the South Bend Community School Corp makes decisions VERY SLOWLY! (Been waiting to hear about a job for a month now...in case you didn't know...school has already started!)
-I had a great date night with Kelsey...one of the best we have had in a long time...
-Battell Park is VERY pretty
-If I wasn't in love with South Bend...didn't feel like God wanted me living here, I would move to Mishawaka or Blair Hills in A SECOND!
-I LOVE SOUTH BEND!
-I praise God for people who care about South Bend and our campus the way I do
-I treasure friends...people who encourage you
-I am blessed to be on a staff that likes each other...
-I like our pets...
-I think people who don't have pets are missing something!
-Anyone remember Band Camp???? (Where did that one come from?)
-I sure enjoy a breath of fresh air
-Teaching a percussion class today was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO FUN!
-Teachers are so cool...they get to impact kids lives every day
-There is one job better than being a teacher...know what it is? A full time mom! I'm not kidding...a full time mom has one of the most important jobs EVER...
-I'm glad that my kids get THE BEST full time mom! (She's cute too!)
-I'm listening to Chloe's piano lesson with mommy as the teacher...wish I would have taken piano...(I would NOT have liked it back then though!)
-Jaden.........he was so disappointed about not playing tonight...my heart ached for him

Well...I'm outta here...have a meeting in a few minutes downtown...better get rolling!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday Morning Reflections...

CRAZY STUFF...we started our new series yesterday...coming out of Habakakuk 3:2...We long to see God move in real ways TODAY! We need to tell the stories of how he has moved in the past...AND I want to LIVE new stories of seeing God move today! CAN'T WAIT!

I was in tears through parts of the music yesterday...God was PULLING my heart closer to him. I feel much different today...less anxious about the future and more determined to find what it is that God wants from me and our campus. Jerimae and the guys really took me to the presence of God yesterday...it was real good...Then Jim's message just opened my mind again to many stories of how God has moved in the past..."Alright God...here we are...show us what you want next!"

Friday, August 28, 2009

High School Football

I'm looking forward to heading out to watch some football tonight...I'm going to hang out with the Riley H.S. band and see if Riley can get themselves into the win column! I sure remember the days of marching band...Band Camp (Talk about CRAZY Stuff!)...sweat...friendships...then rain...cold...football games...I LOVED IT! I can still remember the sights...sounds...smells!...of marching band...GOOD TIMES...GOOD memories...very cool friends! Looking forward to some flashbacks tonight when I hang out with the band...(One difference though...my high school used to win games by 20-30 points a game!!) GO WILDCATS!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Crazy Stuff...

I was asked today "why did you get into ministry?" GREAT question! It was fun to reflect on my life...from being a kid listening to missionary stories and thinking "I want to do that..." to God changing the direction of my life through a high school knee injury...they turning down the "job of my dreams" leading worship at a church that I LOVED...because I sensed that was what God wanted...and that lead me to teach...then to South Bend...and now...doing something that I LOVE to do. God is faithful...

NOW...I'm anticipating what God is going to do next...as you know from previous blogs, we are looking to change locations and Jerimae and I are looking for part-time work...And things aren't VISIBLY happening there...We just heard yesterday that Bethel College turned down our offer...I have now been to over 25 locations...a few may still work out...BUT...I look forward to telling the story some day of how God came through! CRAZY STUFF!

In the mean-time...I'm seeking the heart of God and what he wants...I'll be the first to confess to you that this is not easy for me...I LOVE MY JOB! BUT I know that God has something in store for me...people that I will meet in the next year, that I never would have had we not gone through this...I can't wait to tell the stories of CRAZY STUFF that God IS going to do this year!

HEY...is it Sunday yet, so we can get this new series kicked off! CRAZY STUFF! Can't wait!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Oh My Luke!

Luke and I went on a bike ride today...We were heading down Michigan St and I notice he is swerving ALL OVER THE PLACE! He is usually very good with his bike (especially because he has training wheels!!!!) Later, I notice as we are riding on a not-so-busy-street that his training wheels are hardly hitting the ground...so I figured when we got home that TODAY WOULD BE THE DAY!

We get home...grab the bike without training wheels and we are off and running down the street...we live on a slight incline, so we headed to Southgate Church (thanks for "letting" use your parking lot Pastor Edgar!)...I held him for about 10 feet and he was off on his own...riding like a champ! IT WAS GREAT...SO that means that both Luke and Jaden learned to ride their bikes when they were 3!! NICE! Luke just turned 3 in June! WHAT A STUD...I'm so proud of him!! Way to go Lukie!

Finishing well...

Played golf today for the first time in 2 years and the 3rd time ever in my life...(Unless you count putt-putt golf too!) It was good to be out with the guys, but by the time I got to the last hole my frustration got to me...I had hit a few bad shots on the 200+ yarder and so I just went up to the ball and NAILED IT...not aiming...not trying to hit it well...even gave a BIG GRUNT when I hit it...needless to say I just knocked the ball around and ended with an 11 on the hole! 11!! On the final hole! I ended up in next to last out of 8...and guess what? Had I focused in more I could have been up a couple of places. (Not that it mattered, but stay with me!!)

Fast forward to tonight...it was our final meeting for our Men's Leadership for the church...we have been going through Axiom...a book on leadership from Bill Hybels...GUESS WHAT THE FINAL CHAPTER IS????? FINISHING WELL! After the guys had left I got to thinking about my golf game...although I'm a terrible golfer, and hadn't been hitting well...I sure would feel better had I finished out well! Really...showing my frustration in my hit (can't call it a swing and I don't know golf terms anyway!) didn't make me feel better...

How often do we do this everyday...frustration gets the best of us and instead of finishing the task well, we just give up in frustration...MAN...I plan to watch my days well...I don't want to waste a day...a month...a year...my life...I want the Savior to say "Well Done, Tim...you finished your life...the big things and small...the best way possible." "God help me do that!"

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday Morning Reflections...

We all needed that service yesterday...it was a chance to take a deep breath and exhale...to truly connect with God...through music...prayer...reading scripture...looking at pictures...through media...it was so good. The service was very different...there wasn't preaching...just all of us together experiencing our God...enjoying him...it was good.

We must find ways to do this during our day...times to stop ourselves...get quiet and connect with God. I'm talking about a minute...to stop...clear out our minds and focus on God. I imagine if we do that, we will want more time...we will like the connection with God so much that it will leave us wanting more...I sure want more of God...I long for more...

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have POWER, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." (Ephesians 3: 16-29)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

OUCH! The first one...

Well...we have our first broken bone in our family...The kids and the neighbors were playing hide-and-go-seek tag...Jaden was running through the back yard...scaled the fence...got tagged as he was about to the top and that sent him over the top to the ground...of course I thought "It's not broken." So we took him inside and put some ice on it...Well...I was wrong! (And Jaden told the doctor: "My dad was wrong...he said it wasn't broken." Double oops! So...big man survives the top of the swing set but loses to the fence...Poor dude!

Refuel

Tomorrow is the last Sunday for our Refuel series...Connection...making a connection with God...I am excited about what this can do in the lives of everyone who comes...the service will be different! We will be ENGAGING God...very personal...longing for more of God...CAN'T WAIT.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Somethin' is going on in me...

I can't explain this to you...I can't put my finger on it...I cannot put into words clearly enough what is happening in my heart and mind right now. I have had 2 weeks of some of the biggest personal-internal stuggles since we launched...wrestling through all of the changes that are on the horizon...BUT just like our God...he provides a pinhole...something for us to hold on too...today it's CRAZY STUFF...it all started Tuesday during our staff meeting...(it was a GREAT one by the way)...my head was THROBBING from a MAJOR headache...I hadn't eaten well for breakfast...BUT God was doing stuff through the staff...we started talking about our new series...CRAZY STUFF...and it started to stir something in me...NOW TODAY...I started thinking about Prayer Encounter tonight...started thinking about our Refuel series...and a new anticipation is stirring in my heart...something new in me...a new hope...something FRESH...I LONG to see God do some CRAZY STUFF here...

"God...move here in South Bend/Mishawaka and Goshen like you did 'back in the day.' We want to see CRAZY STUFF happen...I BEG YOU FOR IT GOD...BEG YOU...BEG YOU to move...to move BOLDLY...COME ON GOD...SEND YOUR SPIRIT...YOUR ANGELS...YOUR POWER DOWN HERE AND LET'S GET SOME WORK DONE FOR THE KINGDOM! WHY NOT HERE...WHY NOT NOW?! In JESUS Name..."