Friday, May 29, 2009

Home Court Advantage



I LOVE sports! In fact I was home last night...working on soccer camp stuff and listening to my Cavs win on their home court. The Q is the greatest NBA arena...and that is just fact! Do you notice that teams play differently when they are at home...they play with more passion...they seem to be more comfortible. I was thinking about that and how it relates to the church...I have to say that when Grace gathers at Movies 14 on Sunday mornings...I feel that home court advantage. I see people that have "my back" as we live life together...I LOVE cheering on people and seeing them walk deeper in their walk with Christ. I know that we can take a risk...step out into the unknown...and this group of people will be RIGHT THERE stepping out with me! When we go against "the enemy," I know that the "owner and general manager" of my team is going to give us the best chance to win...In fact WE HAVE ALREADY WON...cause he took care of that on the cross and then rising again!! Then for me, as coach...I get to lead the best team on the planet!! There is a passion that come out in me, as I serve God and the people of Grace...there is a comfort level knowing that God has already run out ahead of me...that he is right there with me...AND that I have a team that is ready to do some battle! It is good to be at Grace! Good to have Home Court Advantage!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

That's why we do this...

I started our Soccer Camp meeting tonight by asking the question..."Why do we do this?" Why do we spend all of this time? Why do people give up HOURS and HOURS and HOURS of time to put on a soccer camp?

Chloe answered first..."Because people need to hear about Jesus."

Then Sharon simply points to Kim W...Kim came to camp last year...then showed up on a Sunday and has been with us ever since...

Why do we spend this time? Because we love Jesus...AND love our community! We want people to hear about Jesus AND see him through how we serve them...I LOVE DOING THIS!

THEN, in the middle of our meeting a person in our group was interrupted by a phone call...it was some tough news...So, we stopped and prayed for the situation. THAT is church! THAT is why we met tonight...so we could pray for each other...We can make all of the plans we want...AND when the time comes...we MUST remember, this is about PEOPLE not PLANS!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

We must keep learning...

I'm getting creative this year...every year I try to attend at least 1 conference a year...to make sure that I'm continuing to grow and learn. This year I made it a goal to "create my own conference." To look for an area of my ministry that needed to be amped up and to find the man to work with me. I FOUND THE MAN! Bob Combs is a pastor in Norton, OH who I did an internship with back in '95. He is a passionate leader...just LOVES people...and is very gifted at counseling people...I want to learn from him! I enjoy investing myself in people...counseling them, so I wanted to learn from the best so I can grow in this area.

Ron Boehm is another man that I am going to be meeting with...he has been a coach/mentor for me for years. He has invested A LOT of his life in me and the questions that he asks really shape how I lead. I look forward to connecting with Ron!

I also like to connect with guys who are doing what I'm doing...My Aunt attends a church in Ohio that is a 2nd campus and doing services in a theater. I am trying to connect with the pastor there so we can "talk shop." See what they do...learn from him...I LOVE talking with campus pastors and church planters! I think that campus pastors are the GREATEST men in the world. (No bias of course!)

I'm excited about this "conference." AND my family and I will get to hang out with "grandma and grandpa!" It is not often that my family gets to come to a conference with me...AND I'll get to spend some quality time in the Buckeye State!

I sure appreciate these men taking some time to pour their lives into mine...I can't wait!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Reflections...


I was soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo nervous 13 years ago today...it was the night before my wedding and I was about to marry the love of my life...Kelsey Krynock...I mean LOOK AT THAT PICTURE...she is BEAUTIFUL!!!! Now here I am 13 year later remembering that night...remembering my questions of what married life would be like...wondering what kind of husband I would be like...dreaming of having children with Kelsey...And simply trying to survive the night before with my "loving" brother and my "friends"...ANYWAY...
I couldn't wait to marry Kelsey...BUT, I had NO IDEA how much I would love her 13 year later! I love her more now...the struggles and the fun...having kids together...job changes...surgeries...home owners...STUPID mistakes...GREAT vacations and some pretty good thunderstorms while camping...I sure love this woman and pray HARD daily that we will go even deeper and love each other more 50 years from now...(WHOA...that would make me 86 years old!) Kelsey, I love you and LOVE living life with you..."Thanks God for picking Kels for me!"

Saturday, May 23, 2009

OH YEAH BABY!!!!


What an amazing shot by King James last night! My Cavs are alive in the playoffs thanks to his game winning shot with 1 second left...Soooooooooooooooooooooo glad that I get to think of that shot now, instead of the one of Jordan over Craig Ehlo!!!! THIS is THE Shot!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Moving Experience...

Today, I had the AMAZING honor to attend Grace College's graduation at Indiana State Prison in Michigan City. My dad in law is the site coordinator and prof at ISP and led the ceremony. I was in tears as I watched these guys graduate...their heart...their love for Jesus...their love for my Father in law...his passion for them...It really left me in tears. These men really see this as something that will help to change their lives...I am GLAD for this program that gives these men hope...and not just hope of a shorter prison sentence, but hope in JESUS CHRIST...and it give them hope that they CAN accomplish things that no one thought they could!

GREAT JOB MEN...GREAT JOB DAD...AND GREAT JOB GRACE COLLEGE...I was proud to be a child of God...and proud to be a Grace alum today.

YES!

We got our first win tonight in softball! We did enough to win...hit well early (Batted around in the first inning) then held on for the win...FELT GOOD! I sure enjoy this group of guys...love being out there. AND I'm glad it rained last week...cause I wouldn't have been able to play...So, tonight was the make up game...BEAUTIFUL night...Great win!

NOW...if the Cavs will just put the Magic away it would be a perfect evening!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pastor's Update...

Click on the pic for this weeks video update...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ugh...

Ugh!

I went for a run today for the first time in MONTHS! I hurt my ankle back in January...then my knee was giving me problems, so I haven't run in FOREVER...I have been without pain for 2 weeks and figured I had no excuse...so off I went...beautiful day...not a cloud in the sky...I took off...pushing Luke in our bike-stroller...AND MAN WAS I SLOW! I think I could have run faster running through water last year! It was the slowest 2 mile run EVER for me...19 minutes 50some odd seconds...(NO IT WAS NOT a 20 minute 2 mile run...nay...that didn't happen!!) I think Kelsey would have beaten me today with her hurt foot! So, I have a long way to go...today is the day you just have to say..."I'm just glad I got back out there."

Ugh!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What if?

What if Jesus were to come back today? Are you ready? Are your friends? Family? Well...what are we going to do about it?!?!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday Reflections

We had another great morning yesterday...worship time...message...relationship "stuff" happening in the hallways. God is working in people's lives...he is dealing with sin...he is raising people up to serve in the church. IT IS FUN TO WATCH!

I have often said that when I preach...plan an event...even when I plan a meeting, that I will seek God's heart and make the best plan that I can...BUT if the Spirit is working while I'm preaching or leading and says to go another direction...I'll throw the plan in the trash and move on.

Sunday had one of those moments in it...As Jim was preaching on the End Times, he got to a point where he really sensed it was time to give an invitation...he did it WAY OLD SCHOOL and asked people to stand and repeat after him out loud...We had a man stand and give his life to Jesus. YES, YES, YES! THEN, Jim just closed his Bible...put his notes away and ended the message...He had more information to share, BUT the Spirit directed him differently! If you have ever prepared for a message you know that you want to get all the info out that you prepared...BUT I like following a guy who is willing to put his work to the side to follow what God wants! And because he did, we got to see another name written in the Book of Life! NICE!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A long walk in the rain...


I was thinking back today to 3 years ago this May...I was leading a church through a process of starting over...we were looking to launch the church in September '06 and some things seemed to be falling into place. We had a location at Bethel College...we had some people...about 25 or so at that point...we had just sold our old church building...I was going to be full-time in just a few weeks...



Then the roof fell in...a key family chose to step away and several others went as well...I still remember the night one of the families came and talked with Kelsey and me...I remember the walk and talk I had with God afterwards. It was raining, but I couldn't stay inside...the dream and vision that God had given me to start a church that would see people coming to Christ, caring for each other AND impacting the community here in South Bend seemed to be falling in...so I started walking and it started raining! I CRIED...a lot actually and cried out to God...begging him to show me what he wanted...I remember that night as if it was yesterday...I remember this sense in all of my being...that God wanted us to start a church here...It is a feeling that didn't make sense under the circumstances, BUT it was the confidence that moved Kelsey and me forward...I even remember praying..."God, if Kelsey and I have to start this alone, we will do it!" God dealt with me that night and kept the fleeting vision alive...



It amazes me to look back...to think of my prayers on that very dark and rainy night...to think about how God has and is coming through...14 people continued with us and then instead of launching new in Sept '06 we merged with Grace and launched this campus in March '07...Since then God has allowed us to see HUNDREDS of people come to Him...over a hundred in attendance...AMAZING life change in people...AND incredible friendships. Bottom line...our God is BIG AND he has the BIG PICTURE in his mind...TRUST HIM I am so thankful for my long walk in the rain in May 2006...

Friday, May 15, 2009

My girl...


Chloe turns 9 today...Sure love that girl! I'm going to brag about her a bit...HEY...it's my blog! This week she has been working with her neighborhood friends putting together plans on how to help Hope Ministries. (A homeless shelter in our community.) They are planning to sell stuff to raise money...ask for donations of clothes and food...VERY COOL! She even wants to present this to the leaders of KidZone at church and see if they can help too...This is all coming from her...It is so fun to see her putting her passion into action...


HEY GIRL...HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I'm sooooooooooooo proud of the young lady you are becoming!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Remember the 3rd part!

HEY...make sure you are using...LIVING...all three parts of this verse...SORRY...you can't pick only your favorites! (Hey, don't I look good in a tie!!)







video

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mama Mania...Monday Reflections Part 2





OH BABY! The mom's got into it again this year! Look at their faces in the picture above. They 2 that made the longest Play-doh snake ended up in the "final round." The winners won Kohl's gift cards...Did you notice the kids faces in the background?!?! How good for those kids to see their moms having fun...playing hard...VERY COOL! The moms were AWESOME!



Whoa......Monday Reflections Part 1

About 6 months ago, I wrote out a list of 50 things that I longed to see, taste, smell, feel...at Grace in the next 3-5 years. One of those things was to smell bad smells RIGHT NEXT to good ones...to see business owners and managers sitting RIGHT NEXT to people who don't have a home or are seriouly struggling...To see our church helping each other and encouraging each other...OH MY...it is already happening...God is bringing in people to Grace from all walks of life...it is exciting...it's overwhelming...there is NO PLACE I would rather be!! I saw 4 people from our church help a man get his perscriptions yesterday...they stepped in...provided transportation...provided the $...They didn't throw $ at the issue...they took care of EVERY ASPECT of the situation...God is dealing with sin...providing peace for people in AWFUL situations...blessing businesses in a hard times...giving strength to the struggling...I'm glad I get to be in the middle of it!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mama Mania and The End Times...


Tomorrow morning is going to be an ACTION PACKED Sunday...we are continuing our series wrestling through "the End Times" AND we are doing Mama Mania! Mama Mania is...well...I'M JUST NOT GOING TO TELL YOU! Last year, we blew circuits at the theater and Kelsey won the "friendly" competetion by winning a boxing match on the Wii! This year is going to be different...and it is going to be A LOT OF FUN! I CANNOT WAIT until the morning...can't wait to encourage and love on moms...CANNOT WAIT to go further into our study of prophesy and Jesus' return...

Friday, May 8, 2009

God is faithful...

Do you believe that? me too! GO GOD!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I Will Overcome. Pastor's Update

Made a pastor's update about overcoming...this theme is really sticking with me!

video

"I will overcome."

"I WILL OVERCOME." I love explanation points!! (Actually Kelsey thinks I use way to many of them!!) But did you notice that when I wrote "I will overcome." I used a period? Why? (I'm sooooo glad you asked!) Because here is the deal...no matter what you are going through...no matter what obstacles you face...you can say the words..."I will overcome." WHY? BECAUSE if you are a follower of Jesus Christ you have the ultimate power source...he promises to help you stand up under whatever is thrown your way.

SO...What if, every struggling child, parent, single-mom, married person, young adult, teen, elderly person...every person of every race and economic background said the words "I will overcome." INSTEAD of listening to the negative voices all around them. OH...I'll tell you what if...we will see people thriving when it just doesn't make sense...people who have hope even though their world is crumbling...

Jesus said: "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

So say it now...and say it often...
I WILL OVERCOME.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday Reflections...God is moving


I'm sitting here in Ugly Mugs...about to do my monthly goal review for April and I'm overwhelmed...I see lives being changed and challenged all around me...I see God dealing with sin in people's lives...I see the "enemy's" work, as he tries to rattle and tempt people...I see God giving people in difficult circumstances have the strength to push on...I see people falling away too...and it breaks my heart! I see God taking people who haven't ever followed him, beginning to allow HIM to control their lives...God is working...Yesterday we had our best non-holiday attendance...people are just showing up. Why? All I can tell you is that we have been praying...seeking what GOD wants...and trying to love people as best we can..."God, thanks for a season of growth...give us the focus to keep our eyes on you...the strength to stand strong in trial...the courage to step out and share YOU with new people...the PASSION to praise you and WISDOM where we fall WAY SHORT in our knowledge and understanding...Love you God...In Jesus Name...AMEN!"

Friday, May 1, 2009

An Honor...

Kelsey and I were honored tonight to go to Bethel College's graduation dinner with Laci...she is graduating this year and invited us to come with her...I really enjoyed myself...great food, good speakers, GREAT music (I was having flashbacks of my choir days!) and fun getting to know a family at our table...they are from Maryland (thank goodness I found someone other than Pastor Jim who is from Maryland...now I know they all aren't like him!! :-)

We have several students graduating from High School and College and we are sure going to miss them...sure love the energy and heart that they bring...I know God is going to use each of them in AMAZING ways.

I have really grown to love Bethel...(If anyone knows Dick Gingerich, please don't tell him I said that!!) They really love God and have outstanding programs...they truly are a great example of Jesus in our community...very well respected by both people who go to church and those that don't...I am proud to have Bethel in our community...

AND to you graduates...I AM SOOOOOOO PROUD OF YOU! I cannot WAIT to see what God is going to do in and through each of you!!