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 was real good...Then Jim's message just opened my mind again to many stories of how God has moved in the past..."Alright we 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 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 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 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! 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 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 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 life...I want the Savior to say "Well Done, 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 was a chance to take a deep breath and truly connect with God...through music...prayer...reading scripture...looking at pictures...through was so good. The service was very different...there wasn't preaching...just all of us together experiencing our God...enjoying 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 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 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!


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 it's CRAZY all started Tuesday during our staff meeting...(it was a GREAT one by the way) 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 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..."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hey may want to skip this one!

The boys LOVE to take the last 24 hours both Jaden and Luke have gotten a little WILD AT HEART...I LOVE IT! The most impressive part for me was...Kelsey let Jaden do this first...GOOD JOB MOM...way to let your boy step out there!! Enjoy the pics...(just remember...I warned you grandma!!) can read this one...

Chloe and her friend have been wanting to make a Kool Aid stand for a while...well this past weekend they finally started their business. Al, our neighbor, built it and the girls went to work...even the UPS guy stopped and bought some yesterday! VERY FUN!

I was very impressed with my daughters business of our neighbors offered to buy up her "stock" of Kool Aid for $5...Chloe JUMPED at the deal...knowing that she probably wouldn't sell out AND there probably wasn't $5 of drink left! GOOD JOB SWEETHEART! I'll jump into a business with you any time!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Jimmy's back...

Pastor Jim is back from his was really good to see him. Things that I learned about our Goshen pastors while Jim was gone:

He has put quite a team together at our Goshen Campus...Jerimae and I LOVE working with these guys...both the pastors and elders. I was very impressed with the leaders of our church during this time. There were some tough decisions that needed to be made during his time away...the leaders stepped up and worked through it...there was not a sense of "we should just wait until Jim gets back..." No, we really moved forward during this time.

A few thoughts on the guys...
Pastor Jon is VERY gifted. (Please don't tell him I said that!) He is the children's pastor at our Goshen campus, but his fingers were in about EVER SINGLE area of the church while Jim was away. It seemed that everything we talked about...whatever area of the church...Jon had something constructive to say about it. He really stepped it up!

Pastor Jeremiah was the voice of Jim during our meetings when it came to Sunday mornings and keeping the vision "hot." It is VERY obvious that Miah has spent the most time with Jim...he oozes the DNA of Grace...he is really fun to watch and work with...

Pastor Rich is the steady one...he developed and kept things moving forward in his subtle ways...from accountability with our office getting thoughts to Jon and me about the Refuel series...Rich is creative and a solid leader...he does not just JUMP OUT and lead...what he does is lead while he is moving ahead...he doesn't seem to want praise...I gained even more respect for him during this time...

Pastor Jeremy just finished his first year here at Grace...That really shocks me...because the input he gives and the ownership that he has taken with leading worship in the LINK (a 2nd venue at our Goshen Campus) and with Grace as a whole is OUTSTANDING. I feel like he has been around A LOT longer than one year. The sky is the limit for Jeremy in his leadership...can't WAIT to see what God is going to do in and through him!!!

Mitch is AWESOME...this man VOLUNTEERS as a pastor for us in Goshen...he WORKS GREAT input...his help during this time has been priceless!! (Pun not originally intended!!)

The elders are AMAZING...I knew this...but I watched these guys step up both at Goshen and in helping with the budget plan of our campus. Like I said...we had to make some TOUGH decisions and these men were up to the task.

I LOVE SERVING AT GRACE COMMUNITY CHURCH...and I LOVE serving with those guys in Goshen! Good job stepping up me and doing more than just filling in while Jim was guys PUSHED FORWARD! I believe that God is pleased with your work!

As for Jim...MAN it was good to see him today...his passion for God...his passion for his family...his passion for the lost and his passion for the church is just contagious...Good to have you back should be proud of your Goshen team!

Monday, August 17, 2009

1st day of school and random school story...

First day of school much anticipation in our house! The kids are EXCITED and nervous...I can't wait to see how things go this year... new friends... old ones... homework... tests... Chloe's last year at Kennedy... new teachers... I can still remember the night before school...FUN...EXCITED...SCARED...(I mean...what if my teacher is mean?!?! I'll never forget the recess "yard ladies" sending me to the office..."no really...I slipped on the ice and pulled him to the ground...I wasn't trying to tackle him after he had kicked me earlier..." Yeah...big trouble with the principal on that one! That is the day I learned that telling the truth gets you in LESS trouble!! )

Monday Morning Reflections...

The prep for the the last 2 messages that I preached have been the 2 hardest ever...this one is hard because it is soooooooo hard to practice being quiet...hard to truly STOP and listen for God...WAY TO OFTEN I say that I don't have time to stop...don't have time to be quiet...but I must. The quiet is not days and days of quiet...not even hour after hour...but a moment...a minute in the middle of our day...A moment to exhale and simply ask God to Refuel us...

The past two weeks have been a RACE for me...Even though I was on vacation, I still had several church calls to handle and was pursuing possible jobs with South Bend Schools...(still no job yet BTW!)...and when I was in the office, it seemed that more was piling on than usual...Which was no surprise since I was speaking on quiet...the enemy is good at his job...good at working to distract us...WE MUST STOP...GET QUIET...and listen for the voice of God...REST in him...

Do it right now...STOP reading...Take 30 seconds...turn off the radio...block out the sounds around you...push back everything you HAVE to get done...and sit in silence...asking God to Refuel your heart-soul-mind...

Ahhhhhhh...I just finished my time...just good to refocus my mind on my Savior...the one who loves me...died for coming for me...


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Good verse!

"...Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings." (1Peter 5: 8-9) What a powerful verse...the enemy is active and he wants to DESTROY your life...Here is the deal though...I skipped the first part of the verse..."Be self-controled and alert." HOW OFTEN DO WE SKIP THAT PART?!?!?! We must be self-controled so that when the temptations come, we are ready to resist...we can't start preparing for the battle when the battle is starting...we must ALREADY get is the deal...we MUST...MUST be growing in our walk with Jesus so much that when the battle comes we are disciplined enough...alert resist! BE READY! The battles are coming...prepare yourself...

Friday, August 14, 2009

"The Nines"

I just found this GREAT "conference" and it is free..."The Nines" will be held on 9-9-09...with leaders sharing their hearts for 9 minutes...YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO LEAVE THE HOUSE OR OFFICE! I can't WAIT to learn from these men...Looking forward to it!

Monday Reflections on Friday!

Vacation is over and I'm back at it! I have to say that my time this past Sunday in Goshen was really good...I really enjoyed seeing how things work on their end. They produce a video of the message for our campus the following week, so it was fun to see how that works. I WAS IMPRESSED! Our tech team in Goshen is OUTSTANDING! VERY PROUD of the job that they to work with them! The worship guys at our church...J, J and J...Jerimae, Jeremiah and Jeremy...are all fantastic...each with their own style, yet each with the same passion for God, worship and leading people...

We are in the middle of a Refuel series and it is really challenging be the man God wants me to make sure I Stop and be is hard! BUT it is worth it.

Read this today: "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and oung men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Is. 40: 29-31

POWERFUL! Feast on those words today...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


GREAT WEEKEND! I really enjoyed my time in Goshen and having the chance to speak to them...LOVE OUR CAMPUSES!!

Hey...I'm on vacation, so I'm gettin' off is to be our fun day...been working hard on the house the last two days!!

Later...see you later in the week!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I'm excited...

I am soooooooooooo looking forward to the morning...we are starting (or continuing...depending on which campus you go to!) our Refuel series...I'm preaching at our Goshen campus on "Quiet." God has been CHALLENGING me in this area...I look forward to sharing my heart with the gang in Goshen tomorrow...I WILL SURE MISS MY SB/MISH FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can't WAIT to hear their response from Pastor Jon's Refuel message on "STOP!"...he NAILED IT! I think it was his best message that I've heard him preach...


Friday, August 7, 2009

Ummm....what will happen...

I shared on Monday that I am hunting for part-time work...There are a few opportunities happening with South Bend Schools, but A LOT of pieces have to come together to make that happen. The factor with all of this is that I allowed my teaching license to expire back in 2006...I wasn't sure at that time if I would teach again and didn't want to spend $$ to take 2 classes...Bottom line #1...we need God to act if this is what he wants!

-Part-time teaching (2 or 3 full-time positions open, but I am not available for that much time!)
-Part-time at Perley...possibly get some hours at the Elementary Fine Arts Magnant School...good conversations with the coordinator and another teacher there...definately an after-school opportunity, but possible school hours too...
-Athletic/Academic Coordinator...LONG SHOT opportunity...this is a position that will coordinate after school programs for athlets who need to work on their academics...

We'll see what God does with all of this...bottom line for me...I want to impact people for Jesus...I want to care for my family...I want to see Grace Community Church SB/Mish growing and thriving...I want to impact the South Bend/Mishawaka region...ummm...I can do all of those things being a pastor and teaching...we'll see what God wants...

"Here I am...send and use me"

Over 15 years ago I wrote those words down on a little piece of paper and shoved it in my wallet...I told God in that moment that I would go anywhere and do anything that he asked of me. That road has been bumpy...there have been potholes...there have been detours along the way...but it has been the best ride that I could have ever been on...what could be greater than being EXACTLY where God wants you.

Here's what is cool...I get to go on this ride with my family and a a group of people that love Jesus and each other. THAT makes the ride even better. We NEED each other...last night we had "Grillin' and Prayin'" at our's our summer Prayer Encounter at church...people bring their own meat and food to's an easy-going time...we eat, and eat and eat and pray together...Last night was special for me though...we ate...we prayed...we ate...we laughed...and people stayed...and stayed and 3 1/2 hours later the night was over...I LOVE BEING WITH THE PEOPLE OF THIS CHURCH! I am soooooooooooooooo glad that I get to go on this ride and follow God with these people!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Happy Birthday Kels!

Kelsey's birthday today! There are a lot of things that I could say about my wife...the biggest is what an encouragement she is to me...Just the other day I opened my laptop at work and there was a card from her there...I affirmed her love for me and commitment to go wherever God leads...I STARTED CRYING! There is nothing better for a man to hear than "I'll follow you, baby!" I LOVE YOU KELSEY BOUCHER! Happy Birthday!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Monday Reflections...Tough morning...

Yesterday was draining for me...The atmosphere was amazing, the service was GREAT...the people incredible as usual, BUT I had to share with the church some major changes that will be happening at our campus over the next 4-5 months...The changes are VITAL to the future of our campus, but they will not be easy...they will be worth it!

Here is the deal...we launched our campus with a 3 year plan financially...and the bad news is we are not meeting the budget end of that plan. We must be proactive in making changes TODAY, so that we can make an impact in the future...if we continue as we are, we will end up hurting ourselves...Better to have short-term pain for long term gain!

Here is the good news...we are growing...attendance is up over 30 people a week from the beginning of the year and we are still seeing people come to Jesus and growing closer to him!!

So, the TIME IS NOW to be proactive...we have the funding (through the sale of church property from a church that merged with Grace 3 years ago) to make our budget for 2009, but in 2010 that $ stops and we will need to cut back so we live within what we are bringing in, plus a portion from our Goshen campus. (HEY...what a blessing by the way that we have had funding to get started this way AND we have another campus to help us! I PRAISE GOD FOR THAT!)

What will this look like?!?! (GREAT QUESTION...glad you asked!) The WHOLE budget is being cut back and the ones that we are feeling the most will be Jerimae moving from 1/2 time to receiving a stipend to lead worship, I will move to between 1/2 and 3/4 time and we are looking hard for a more affordable location. It is GREAT being in the theater, but it is costly...We have a GREAT team of leaders at Grace...they have worked hard to help come up with this plan...I'm grateful that I'm not in this alone!!

Our plan for this has been:
1. Identify our priorities (Outreach/Key Ministries/Staff/Location)
2. Put a Budget Team in place (Group of Goshen and SB/Mish leaders to walk through the budget...AMAZING GROUP!)
3. Communicate with the Church Body
4. Implement a plan for scaling back
5. Present phase for launching forward

BOTTOM LINE? This is HARD...VERY HARD...BUT WE MUST continue to impact our community...we are working hard to get an outreach going in August...we REFUSE to let up in reaching our community...So although it is difficult to go through change...I CANNOT WAIT to see how God blows our minds through this!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The absolute worst...the absolute best

Last night was our last 2 games of the softball was bittersweet for me on the field...I played my worst fielding game since little league! I'm an o.k. hitter, but I take pride in making tough catches in the outfield...SO...last night I had at least 3 errors...and another 2-3 catches that I should have made...I WAS FRUSTRATED! I actually tried to catch the air...with my non-glove hand...So...NO errors for the whole season and AT LEAST 3 in one game...NICE!

Our team got KILLED in game the last 3 innings we left 8 guys on base! THEN in game two we are winning by 7 in the bottom of the 7th and the other team comes back to tie...we get our last at bat and GUESS WHO IS UP?! Yup...the error-king...ME...hoping for some redemption! The winning run was on 3rd, so I hit the ball as far as I could (which is just enough to get it over the center-fielders head) I DID IT AND WE WON! So, there was a little sweet redemption...made the AWFUL fielding night rest a little about the highs and lows of a game!!