Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Teachable Moments...

Tough practice tonight for Jaden...he tends to not like losing. (I think that mostly comes from his mom 'cause I'm not that competitive...I really don't like to keep score... ;-) ANYWAY back to some truth! During our scrimmage tonight Jaden got a roughed up and his team lost...even had some tears out there. HERE IS THE COOL we are "debriefing" on the way home...(I just love this time...he really LOVES to talk sports and's fun!)...and we're talking about how we don't like to lose...talking about how to handle it pushes us to get better...and then something happened...something REALLY COOL...we start talking to stop the other best to handle a guy who is quicker than us...THEN, he wants to go practice the things we were talking about...So, we get home...jump out of the to the front yard and practice some more! MAN...he was into it...IT WAS GREAT! He was so coachable...he really seemed to get was DEFINATELY a teachable moment...

I just love moments like this...when circumstances seem negative and yet there is a teachable moment to be parents we just HAVE TO be on the look out for those times when we can pour ourselves into our kids...those times when they are teachable...when they are ready to learn...these moment happen at unexpected times...tonight was one of those moments...a moment when Jaden indirectly learned that we don't hang around in our self-pity, BUT we pick ourselves up and figure out how we can make ourselves better.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Men's Leadership Training

Now THAT is how to spend a Tuesday evening! Tonight we kicked off a men's leadership group in our church...this is not a select was open to any man in our church that wants to grow as a leader. We are going through Axiom...a book by Bill Hybels. MAN...I sure was challenged by the conversation...we have a GREAT group of guys that are all trying to learn how to be better men and leaders...8 guys came and I learned a lot from them...Fun to see how each guy has something to offer...from what we read, from their life experiences...and the key for me is, these guys don't want to just talk about it...they want to use what we are talking about with their families...their THAT is a group I want to be involved with! I CAN'T WAIT for our next meeting in 2 weeks!!

Hard work + Creativity = 75/70

Last week Chloe had a project where she had to memorize a poem and then say it to her class. She had been sick when the project was presented so she was behind...THEN with all of the homework she had to make up, she forgot to memorize the poem...AND Chloe, being Chloe, hadn't picked an easy poem...She really works hard at school...So, here she was...already behind because she was sick and had a choice to make...should she try an easier poem? Should she do the minimum and just say the poem and be done...See the poem had a catch...if she acted it out and used props she could get bonus points. Sooooooooo Chloe, doing what we are getting used to with her, grabs some props and performs her poem...SHE WAS AMAZING...she picked everything out herself...rehearsed for us and Jordan (one of our babysitters!) AND she listened to "coaching" from Jordan that made the "performance" even better. She ended up with a 75/70 on the project AND really seemed to have fun doing was a lot of work, BUT in the end sure looked like she had fun!

That was challenging to me...We need to have that kind of work ethic in our jobs...We need to be work hard...AND to do it when we do and don't feel like it...when we do and don't think we have time...don't people deserve the best from us? And you know what? Once we are done we will be like Chloe...we will be glad that we did!


Monday, April 27, 2009

Random Thoughts on Monday...

-Great service yesterday
-Our new series on the End Times is going to be POWERFUL!
-Our "Direction" meeting after the service was very cool...
-AWESOME to hear what people see happening at Grace...
-We are in a great season as a church right now...GREAT time to be at Grace!
-My 3 mile prayer walk today was WINDY
-The St. Jo River is VERY high
-WHAT IN THE WORLD IS WRONG WITH MY KNEE?!?!...feels like a knife is jabbing it's been 20 years since I blew out my knee for the first time! (I'm gettin' up there!)
-I wonder what God has up his sleeve next for us...
-We have incredible people at Grace
-I LOVE serving with them!!!!
-Pastor Jerimae is just FIRED UP right now...
-His vacation time just got him all worked up AND I like it!!
-I tracked how far I walked today in my car...hit a I have a funny "gong-like" sound when I turn...Grrrrr...
-I wonder who will be at the next Direction meeting that I haven't even met yet...

Friday, April 24, 2009


I sent out an email a few hours ago with a question to several pastors...Here is what is cool...within an hour I had 4 emails with GREAT information that will help me make a better decision. Too often pastors work in their own bubble...they don't connect with others...try to do things on their own OR feel like they have to do things on their own...GUYS...find other pastors to connect will encourage you...challenge you! We are in this together! MAN I'm glad there are guys in my life both on staff at Grace and "outside" of Grace who encourage, challenge and help me! (Cause I need a lot of help!! ;-)


"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." (Ps. 19:1) What a powerful statement...I have not looked at the night sky the same since I preached a message on how AMAZING and POWERFUL our God it relates to the stars. Imagine a God who created a universe so big that we have found a galaxy 31 billion light years away...31 BILLION LIGHT YEARS AWAY...WOW! AND to think that THAT God cares about me and knows me better than I know myself...MAN...I'm glad that he picked me to be in his be on his team!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

God is up to something...

I can't explain it to you, except to say that I can just sense that God is up to something...Things are just stirring in our church...I don't even know what all of that means...I can just tell you that it is the same feeling that I had when I knew that Kels was the woman for me...when I knew what job to take...when I sensed God leading us to get involved with this church plant...when I jumped in with know...BIG life decisions...GOD IS UP TO SOMETHING...something in our church...something GOD SIZED and I can't wait to find out what he is up to...HEY...I'll keep you posted! ;-)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

Psalm 52: 9

"I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name i will hope, for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints."

That is a good verse...things must have been going well for David when he wrote that? NOPE!!!! David was being pursued by Saul...Saul wanted to kill him! YET David praised God like that! WOW...that is challenging to me...David should have been concerned about saving his life, yet he was still praising God...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A different kind of sermon...

Early this week as I was preparing for today's message I was researching one area...Obedience...I really thought that was going to be my topic for today's message...but something happened this week and it turned in to something different...something I do about 1 or 2x's a year...I call it a nuggets message...Today during the message I sat on a stool (Only got up once to the amazement of everyone...I just can't sit still!) and we talked during the message...chance to talk about several different topics...things that are on my heart...things that I see happening in people's lives around me...things happening in my life..."stuff" that I read in my quiet time with is like sitting around a campfire and just talking about what is happening...It's nuggets to take home...something to encourage you or challenge you...a chance to touch a lot of different people right where they are...Everyone was really engaged in the conversation...very cool to see God working in the room as I talked today...

We had a guest worship leader Rick today...he hadn't been here for over a year...GREAT to have him back and leading...AMAZING heart...passion for God...AWESOME!

We also said good-bye to a family that has helped us since our launch...they are from our Goshen campus and have continued to come for over 2 years...driving 45 minute or more every 2-weeks to serve is sad to see them leave us, but it has been AWESOME to have them with us...we love you Mike and Jodi and the kids!! Praying with you...Cool part is that they are not "gone" just not going to be here as much! BUT we will miss seeing consistently!

A few highlights from this morning...
-The week after Easter is supposed to be a "downer" for attendance...our 2nd best attendance of the year with more 1st time visitors and several back again! (Guess I didn't scare them away last week!!)
-There are a lot of hurting people out there
-Great to watch people encouraging each other...talking with each other in the hallways
-I'm not excited about summer hours at the theater...we really like having extra time at the end of the service!!
-Two nuggets that grabbed me today...
*"They deserve what they get" How many of us have said those words about someone? And I ask the question...What if Jesus would have said that about us? MAN...that is a tough one...we then looked at the end of the Lord's Prayer...the 2 verses after it was over...we will be forgiven in the way we forgive others...Whoa...we need to take a good look at who we are bitter toward and we need to be ready to forgive them...
*"THAT is happening!" We read about the early, early, early church in Acts 2: 42-47...and looked at how this is starting to happen here at Grace...we are experiencing these type of things...lives changed...people loving each other...people starting to hang out together...very cool! LOVE being here and seeing God work...

It was neat to talk with people after the message and see which nuggets got to was something different for how God uses different styles and methods to touch people...Fun!

Friday, April 17, 2009

One of those moments...

I was typing an email today...writing it out...trying to encourage the person that I was writing the background on my iTunes I was listening to the New Testament...As I was typing this message Romans 8 was playing...actually I didn't even notice it until I heard favorite passage in the Bible...Romans 8:28..."And we know that in all things God works or the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." I didn't plan for that verse to happen then...BUT God did...God knew that I needed that scripture to share in my email at that moment...PEOPLE...Our God is alive and well AND he cares about YOU!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Coaching your kids...

I LOVE coaching...I love pulling the best out of kids and seeing them accomplish more than they think they can. We had our 2nd practice with Jaden's U6 soccer team...GREAT group of boys! It is going to be fun to work with them...My struggle is to make sure that I don't expect more out of Jaden...basically to remember that he is 6! Tonight was one of those nights...I was ON HIM...most of which he deserved of course :-), BUT he needs to know how proud I am of him...AND I AM! Best part is he still prayed tonight and thanked God that I was coaching him! I'll take that!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


So here I am...our Easter service is over...I'm standing outside at our Easter Egg Hunt...meeting families...seeing all of the smiles...enjoying the moment...celebrating what God did during our service too...and my mind jumps to the fact that we MUST be out of the theater in about 30 minutes! My first thought was to run back in and see if anyone was tearing the rest of the stuff down...BUT I stopped and thought...Nay...I bet my tear-down guys are getting it done...GUESS WHAT?!?! I was sooooooooooooooooooo RIGHT! Those guys just took initiative and got EVERYTHING taken care of...they even packed up my stuff and brought it out to me! I never had to go back in...I am so thankful for all of the people of Grace! I really believe that we have the best people to work with in the world...they dive in with both feet and make things happen! I am so proud of how everyone just helped on Sunday! GREAT JOB CHURCH!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

"Thanks God..."

Today was amazing...just mind-blowing...we saw 10+ people pray to put Jesus in charge of their lives!! I NEVER want to get used to that...I can still remember praying...begging...pleading with God to allow us to see 1 or 2 people IN A YEAR give their lives to Christ and TODAY God allowed us to see 5 or 6x's that! THANK YOU GOD! Our worship band was just incredible...steering us to the presence of God...their passion and excitement for God is AWESOME! (Great to see Kelsey playing violin again too!!) Our KidZone leaders made the outside of their auditorium look like a tomb...with the stone and everything! REALLY COOL! Then they had balloons lining the isle inside the theater...A real atmosphere of celebration! LOVED IT! We about doubled our regular attendance...Largest Sunday since our launch! We have such amamzing volunteers...all of these amazing things are happening AND we are putting on an Easter Egg Hunt after the service. People were EVERYWHERE today making things happen...GREAT to see THE CHURCH working together to serve people...the people of Grace get is not about us...It is about God and OTHER people..."THANKS GOD for an amazing Sunday...A Sunday that I won't soon forget...Thanks that we got to see people walk from darkness into light! Thank you that we got to celebrate ON THE SPOT people who are now headed for an eternity in heaven. Thanks for the new people that we got to meet today...God...more than anything else...thanks for Jesus...for his work on the cross and his resurrection that allows us to have the opportunity to celebrate!"

Saturday, April 11, 2009


"God...what are you going to do in the morning? All of those years ago you did something that continues to blow our brought your Son, Jesus, back to life AND in doing that you gave us a clear path to you, if we believe. So, question is the same...if you did that all of those years ago...what are you going to do at Grace in the morning? BLOW OUR MINDS AND the minds of EVERY Jesus-following church in the world today...In Jesus name...Amen!"

Friday, April 10, 2009

What really matters...

Today we "celebrate" one of the darkest yet most amazing days of the people of God...Dark because when our Savior said the words "It is finished" I wonder what the disciples were thinking...They would have to have been taken back a little...their faith would have to have been rattled a little...thinking..."isn't the Messiah supposed to save can he do that when he is dead?" I can't imagine what the disciples must have been thinking and feeling..."Lord, we want to believe..............please.............please show us what you are doing......."

And on the other side of this is the fact that our Savior just took on our sin...he put ALL OF IT on his back...he shouldered it so WE could have the opportunity of heaven...umm...."Thank you Jesus...thank you..........................."

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Housing Market...

"YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!" I think those words, and a few others, went through my mind yesterday when I heard what our house appraised was $25,000 less than what a house sold for LAST YEAR in our neighborhood...kind-a put a damper on the the whole refinance idea! WOW...the house is appraised for about what we bought it for 8 years ago...a sign of the times we are in with the economy...$25,000 less...huh.........

Monday, April 6, 2009


We ended our 21 day fast last night with a communion service. One of the highlights for me was looking around the room and seeing the conversations happening at EVERY table. People are connected...people enjoy being around each other...It was great to hear testimonies of what God is doing and has done in people's lives. We had people in tears...people laughing until their sides hurt...stories of the greatness of our God...stories of how the PEOPLE who ARE the church have encouraged and helped each other...Just amazing! Praise God for what he is doing in our church!

Sunday, April 5, 2009


It's Sunday afternoon...we just finished our longest service ever! And it was a good one...we wrapped up our "He Is..." series today and announced the winner of the essay contest...the essay selected was about Clarence Eichorst. This guy is 90 years old and still living for Jesus...still praying A LOT...and still has his funny sense of humor!! I LOVE THIS MAN! I pray that I will finish well like Clarence is...

We gave a recap of our China trip during the service...God really has stirred me up...this trip really rattled me...there were times as we were going when I really, honestly did not want to go...BUT I knew that I needed to...I knew that I must trust God and that leaders in China. I learned that there are times when I literally went against EVERYTHING that I was feeling, because my feelings said "STOP! DON'T GO!" but in my heart I knew that I had to keep going. Does this make sense?! I can tell you this...I have never sensed the spiritual battle before like I did on this trip...AND I never have been more proud of my teammates! GOD DID MIRICLES while we were there...from Colin's sickness going away to guards allowing us to go that stopped us earlier in the day...AWESOME to see God work in this way! So, as you can see, it was a roller coaster 10 days!

THEN...Jim NAILS the message..."He Is Loyal"
Some Highlights:
-MEN...we have made a DEATH TO US PART commitment to our wives...
-We can be loyal today
-Jesus didn't go away, so neither will I!
-Let's change the divorce rate!
-Let's not just survive, let's thrive!
-Let's rebuild the future
AMAZING to see couples up front...lead by their men...saying..."WE WILL THRIVE! WE WILL STAY LOYAL!" YES!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Random Thoughts...

Ummm...I have been back from China now for a little more than a day and I'm trying to process the experience. Trying to get my mind around the amazing people that I met...their faith...the challenges they face...How do I possibly inspire other people to go and step out in faith. I was stretched personally in ways that I have not experienced before. I have never had my faith tested in this I really and truly believe that God is in control or do I want the control. I have gained a great deal of respect for people who follow Jesus in nations where it is not easy to follow. I have gained a new appreciation for the freedom we have here in the much to much to many people that need Jesus...