Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Uncle Bob & Aunt Judy

There are tears in my eyes as I type this post today...tears of joy as I remember back and am thankful...As I was praying today and thanking God for a variety of things...Uncle Bob and Aunt Judy rose to the surface...They were WAY MORE than an uncle and aunt...they were HUGE in helping me develop into who I am...the man that I am today. A little over 3 years ago Uncle Bob went to be with was at the cemetery that I realized the influence he and Aunt Judy have had in my life. After the graveside service was over, Pastor Bob Combs (AN AMAZING MAN HIMSELF and mentor of mine!) pulled me aside at the cemetery...he has known my family for a long-long time...he told me that he saw what a MAJOR influence Uncle Bob and Aunt Judy had in my life...the investment of their time...investment of relationship...THEY LOVED Paul and me...they treated us like their own children. It's one of those things that I knew...but I didn't KNOW. When Pastor Bob said that to me it really grabbed my attention. And I can NEVER thank them enough for all that they had and have done for me.

I spent COUNTLESS nights at their house...many meals at the ol' Brown Derby, Woody's and "the Pizza Place." We picked out cars with them (I'll never forget the "pink" car!)...went to the fair...ate a TON of candy-root beer floats (with the frozen mugs!!) and french bread pizza's...I'll never forget watching Nightrider (I can hear the song in my head!)...Matt Houston...The Dukes of Hazard...playing tennis in their basement (HOW IN THE WORLD DID THEY EVER PUT UP WITH THAT, but I won A LOT of Grand Slam titles down there!) games at Akron U (I can still remember joking with Uncle Bob about some young coach named Bobby Huggins throwing his jacket during the game!!)...they took us to Daytona rides after dinner at Woody's...countless games of Flinch with Aunt Judy and Uncle Bob's ENDLESS humor...he was soooooooooooooo funny...MAN I miss him!

Each of those things (and many more!!) were wrapped in they invested themselves and influenced me in ways that I never realized until I got much older. THEY INVESTED THEMSELVES in me...I thanked God for their influence in my life...for the hours and hours and hours they spent with me...I am eternally grateful.


Chloe and Jaden had their Lap-athon today to raise money for their swim team. They had to swim laps for 1 hour. I WAS AMAZED!

Jaden swam 63 laps in the pool! 63 laps! Which is almost 16 football fields and nearly a mile!! His goal was to swim 20 laps!

Chloe swam 97 laps...YEP YOU READ IT RIGHT...97 laps in the pool!! That is 24 football fields and over 1.3 miles! WOW! Chloe's goal was 85...she did 78 last year!

I am soooooooooooooo proud of both of them!! GREAT JOB KIDS!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Jesus' prayer for us!

Jesus prayed for you...did you know that? While he was still here on earth he said a prayer for you. He had just finished praying for his disciples and in John 17: 20 he says:

"...I pray also for those who will believe in me through their (the disciples) message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me."

POWERFUL WORDS! Jesus prayed for us...and what did he pray for? UNITY! That we would experience unity as he and God the Father experience unity! Whoa...that is cool! May we experience that unity together with Jesus and with each other!!

Monday, June 28, 2010


During our month of prayer I'm encouraging all of us to write down 5 things each day that we are thankful for...things that we can praise God for. IMAGINE the end of our month of prayer we will have 150 things that we have praised God for! THAT IS COOL!

Here are the things I wrote down earlier today:

-Salvation…thank you for saving me…for giving me ETERNAL hope!
-Thank you that Kelsey, Chloe, Jaden & Luke know you!
-For life…4 months ago almost to the minute…I had a heart attack. Feeling much better!
-Wisdom that you give when we ask for it!
-Church family…I love the people here and am thankful that I get to serve with them

I encourage you to keep a journal this month...write down your praises...your requests...victories...people that need prayer.

Month of Prayer

Today kicks off our Month of Prayer. Yesterday we passed out a prayer card to everyone and encouraged them to use it EVERY DAY to guide them in prayer. We have been SERVING LIKE CRAZY at our church for the past 9 months...people have stepped up in ministry...they have given of themselves...between our building project...then people stepped up when I had to 0n medical leave...THEN we jumped right into Soccer has been a whirlwind...

NOW it's time for a season of prayer...a season of making sure that what we desire is what HE desires. We are going to pray...going to make lists of things that we can praise God for...pray for 3 people that we know need Jesus...confess and repent DAILY the things we do wrong against God...we are going to beg him to come through for each other and other needs that we see...AND we are going to seek out the things HE DESIRES...what does GOD want us to be doing...what does HE desire. What does HE WANT US TO BE DOING!?

I look forward to hearing the stories of answered prayer...I look forward to getting to heaven one day and hearing about how the prayers that will be spoken this month influenced our world. "Open our eyes to what YOU desire of and from us...then grant us the courage to ACT!"

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Good stuff!

I met with several of our sold out for Jesus-we're in-GRACE IS MY HOME-families this morning. We took time to praise God for the AMAZING things that are happening here at Grace...people getting saved...deepening atmosphere...people who REALLY care for each other...a family that celebrates and hurts together...people stepping up more to serve than EVER...and on and on.

We talked about how unity is VITALLY important for the church to thrive. That we must guard unity with EVERY PART OF US. We looked at Ephesians 4...and how JESUS holds us all together. That HE is the head of the church.

We also looked at areas of the church that "need improvement." Areas where the family needs to do a little work. We broke down into 3 small groups and each group came up with a list of areas of our church that need improvement. The discussion was lively and VERY productive. As a leader, I MUST HAVE honest feedback and I must be willing to hear it! Each group listed the things we need to work on AND THEN (the most important part!) they provided solutions to 2 of the concerns that were raised. AMAZING IDEAS came out of the meeting today!

It was SOOOOOOO fun to hear each groups discussion...they hit about every key area that I had on my list! THEY GET "IT!" I LOVE THESE PEOPLE! God has given me the honor of serving as their pastor. We laughed A LOT together...we PRAISED OUR GOD...and we wrestled through what we need to do next. I am thankful that God has allowed me to work along side each person! I am truly blessed.

Friday, June 25, 2010

What if...

-Jesus returned I ready?
-We never thank God for the AMAZING things he has done in us?
-We never evaluate ourselves?
-We don't deal with problems?
-Persecution came to the American Church...would Grace Community be ready?
-EVERY PERSON at Grace said "I'm in" with their actions & $$?
-We touched EVERY SINGLE PERSON in St. Jo County with the love of Jesus?
-Screwed up...spiritually dead...people came to Jesus?
-500 people came through the doors THIS SUNDAY?
-The leaders in our community gave their lives to Jesus?
-We stopped doing ministry to honor God and did it to grow a church?
-Grace backed the moving truck and headed out of South Bend...would anyone notice?
-We didn't share Jesus with as many children as we possible can?
-We don't care for orphans and widows?
-We ignore single moms?
-We reach men for Jesus? What would happen to our church...our community?
-Jesus were to come back today...would we be ready to see him?

Just some questions running around in my head this morning!

"The Motions"

Matthew West's song is how I started my day today...listening to his song "The Motions." POWERFUL! "I don't want to spend my whole life asking, what if I had given everything?"

Matthew has an interesting story...he lost his voice and it was quite possible that he would never sing again...God brought him through that...Listen to this quote from him in an article I read online...

"My surgery and silence really brought this song to life for me. Trials force movement. Pain makes you feel. I’m thankful for the difficult time I had to go through, because God used it to remind me that going through the motions is not really living." –Matthew West

"Trails force movement...pain makes you feel..." That is DEAD ON! Last night we had a prayer request for a former pastor who is DEEPLY struggling with depression...anger toward heart broke for him...He was a man that was deeply passionate for God...wanted to live his life for him...BUT life happened...the not so good parts of life...and now he is floundering...spinning downward. I pray for that man...for God to restore his faith...

I can understand why that pastor is struggling...these past months have been brutal! I was close to this over the past months...Deeply hurting...depression...questioning everything...wanting at times to give up the to comfort and what "seems easier"...really wondering if going the motions was really so bad. ARGH!! I CAN'T EVEN STAND THE THOUGHT OF THAT! Just going along...WHAT KIND OF LIFE IS THAT!! I would rather die LIVING than live and give up on dreams and direction that God gives.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Grillin' & Prayin'

I LOVE THESE NIGHTS! During the summer we change our Thursday nights at church to Grillin' & Prayin'. People bring meat to grill and other food to share. It is soooooooooooo fun hanging riding around in the parking lot on their of GREAT SMELLING food...and great time of prayer. I LOVE THIS...and I love the people...amazing hearts. Good to be together!

The Journey

Sometimes the journey is smooth...other times it is rocky and tough...and still other times the journey is dangereous. There is one thing that remains the same through all of it...

"I am your refuge and strength an ever present help in trouble."

Thanks glad you allowed me to have you running my life on this journey!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Random Thoughts

-Ran a 5k in 25.45 today...COMIN' BACK BABY!
-Chloe left me notes in different spots around my office...VERY COOL!
-I love to glad that God listens to us!
-Will is doing a FANTASTIC job as an intern this to watch him grow
-Had a bunny tragedy on Saturday...had to have one put to sleep
-Gave my dad a President Obama Father's Day card...he just loves Obama...I'm sure it was more fun for me to give it than for him to receive it!!
-Fun night last night with Jaden's soccer team...had our family picnic...great group of boys...great families!
-LOVE hearing the AMAZING stories of LIVES CHANGED from Sunday morning...two emails today sharing about how people came to church who hadn't been to church and then gave their lives to Jesus! LOVE IT!
-Plan to get away and pray in a few minutes...seeking God's direction...just God & creation...with my Bible and a notepad!
-Get to study the Word tonight with some AWESOME guys...Can't wait!
-Wondering what heaven will be like...wondering how much more we'll understand about God's plans...
-I'm done typing...I want some time with my Creator!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Blake Cooper Tuttle

Saturday I had the honor to perform a funeral for a baby of some very close friends of mine. Little Blake was born pre-mature and passed away less than 24 hours after his birth. He is a cute little bigger than my hand!

Rusty and Kari LOVE Jesus and they are holding on to their faith right now...grabbing it with EVERYTHING in them. I don't know how people live through these things without Jesus. We talked about a lot of scripture over the past week...we've prayed and cried together...lots of questions...don't have all the answers...but the best one is that we KNOW that Blake is with Jesus! (Imagine what he has ALREADY gotten to see!!)

I am so thankful for verses like 2 Samuel 12: 19-23...King David's baby just passed away and he says "I will go to him, but he will not return to me." The baby will not come back to earth...BUT David will go to him in heaven one day. It's the same for Rusty and Kari...Blake will not come back to them...BUT OH! ONE DAY...They will be reunited in heaven! NOW THAT is hope!

I do hurt for my close friends...and I am thankful that THE God of all creation is a loving and gracious God!

Favorite Moment

Yesterday morning we had our first ever combined service at was Father's Day and we did things differently...the service was outside...we had competitions for dads...gave away a motorcycle...had a PASSIONATE service and a message that BROUGHT the gospel! It was fun...inspiring...felt like a festival.

MY FAVORITE MOMENT came at the end of Jim's message...I was standing in the back and started praying...praying for God to open people's eyes and hearts to him...that they would fight through their doubt. THEN I looked to my right and there was Rex...he was standing at the back...hands raised...praying just as I was! THEN I looked again to my right...there was another lady...hands raised...PRAYING as well that God would open hearts...I know that there were others doing it too...IT WAS A POWERFUL MOMENT! Because we were providing a prayer shield around the people...AWESOME!

THEN...Jim challenged people to come to the front if they just gave their lives to Christ and all around the field they stood and went forward...the best was seeing the people come all the way from the back and work their way to the front...MEN were stepping forward...COUPLES were walking hand in hand...AWESOME!

Jim obeyed God and gave the gospel...we prayed and covered the people with prayer...GOD MOVED and changed hearts...people RESPONDED to God working in them! YES!

Friday, June 18, 2010


Where are you headed? Do you realize how short that life is? That it is only a mist...a vapor in time? That we are here for a short time...who are the people that you are influencing and how are you influencing them? Are they being drawn closer to God? Closer to the King of Kings? Closer to the ultimate comforter? What are you living your life for? What relationship needs restored? Are you ready to do it? Ready to let go?

How are you doing...really doing?

As I write, I'm praying for each person that reads this...that we would remember that our days are numbered...that we still have an opportunity to influence people toward Jesus and in a closer walk with him. I pray that you will find a way to show love to someone TODAY...that you will work to help someone...

Don't let busyness...sadness...struggle...victory...just "living life" so distract you from the opportunity you have to show love and invest in people.

It's time to a life that loves and influences others TOWARD our Creator.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

This is cool!

This is very cool! Ben Berger is going to play 600...YOU HEARD IT RIGHT...600 holes of golf to raise awareness and money for autism. He has a family member with autism and this is his way to help. He will play from sun rise to sun set! You can learn more about it here.

"Examined" by the IRS! happened today...8:30 a.m. I made my way downtown for an inspection of my 2008 taxes by the IRS! I received a letter last Friday saing that we were going to have our '08 taxes "examined." I'll confess it was a bit unnerving...I've watched a lot of movies and when the IRS comes...WATCH OUT!

BUT the IRS agent was EXTREMELY informative and nice...he wasn't out to get us...he asked A LOT of questions but we had everything he needed to see. (THANK GOODNESS we keep good records!) I was very impressed with the processs!

AND YES...everything checked out just fine and we don't owe anything else...interesting experience is good that we keep records and files! Sure made it easy today!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Another Thing Down!

Whoo-hoo! Yesterday morning Will (our intern) and I jumped in the car and headed to Goshen nice and early...we went over extra early to play some basketball with the guys! It was my first full-court b-ball game since my heart stuff...MAN IT FELT GOOD! The best part was still having some "gas in the tank" after we were done. (we played about an hour) GOOD TIMES! Great to be back out there...

Hey mom...if you are reading this...this is the part you are supposed to skip!

So...the last thing Kels told me before I went to play was to not get elbowed in the eye! OOPS! I drove in the lane to get a layup and you got it...ELBOW TO THE EYE! I got NAILED...and thanks to my blood thinners, I have a black eye today! Battle scars!


I should mention...any guesses out there for who threw the elbow? Come is REALLY obvious!! You GOT IT! JIMMY BROWN! I'm sure he was "going for the ball" when it happened...

I do think I will start to count down the days until I'm off the blood thinner! I have bruises EVERYWHERE from the lightest bump! It's crazy...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Monday Reflections

I had this question asked of me last week: "What if there aren't as many people come as you think are coming?" (Talking about Sunday morning) The answer is we prep for what we believe God may do...if we don't prepare then we will either be under prepared OR never see God do more than we could imagine. So that is what we did for the the Sunday after camp...we prepped like A LOT of people were going to come...We had Kidzone outside...we set up about every chair we had...and then God moved...and they came!

Sunday was high energy! We celebrated what God did through soccer camp...the kids...the volunteers...the salvations...the weather!...the fun...We had the kids come up on stage to the "Olympic Fanfare"...everyone gave them a standing ovation! Then we watched a video recap of was really fun!

The service was electric...we had 68 people in Kidzone alone!!!! Kelsey was leading and did AMAZING!...broke our attendance record from our launch by 50+ people...

Pastor Jim was speaking on temptation from James 1...POWERFUL!

BUT THEN IT HAPPENED! (For the 2nd week in a row I might add!)

The DVD stopped with about 10-15 minutes left in the message...there was NO STINKIN' WAY that was going to stop us from having an AMAZING finish to our service! I grabbed a mic...jumped on stage (and prayed "LORD HELP!!) then finished the message...AND OH DID HE HELP!!!! IT WAS A MOVEMENT OF GOD!! HONESTLY...I completed the message and then gave a salvation opportunity to least 6 hands were raised giving their lives to Jesus! I wasn't going to originally finish the service that way...the Spirit moved and changed lives! VERY COOL!

God took our technology mess-up and turned it into changed lives...THANK YOU GOD! Sometimes we take ourselves and our plans to seriously and he just has to show us who is really in charge! Great morning...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Soccer Camp 2010

What an amazing week! It started with rain...LOTS of rain...and finished off with 2 beautiful nights with kids coming to Jesus! It was awesome!! I love watching our people, the Wooster Youth and our other volunteers giving up their time to serve the community...OUTSTANDING JOB EVERYONE! WNDU came out last night and ran another story on our!

Tonight is our volunteer BASH! CAN'T WAIT!

THEN Sunday is going to be fun...we have A LOT of people that have said "YES...we're coming!" We are planning to have Kidzone outside...SO pray for BEAUTIFUL SUNNY weather!

Thursday, June 10, 2010


-Soccer camp has been amazing
-the first night having camp in the pouring rain was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO FUN!!
-We have more people volunteering this year than EVER before
-The Wooster Grace youth group is so amazing...HEARTS for Jesus and serving!
-I love the Church
-"IT" is waking up inside of me know what "it" is...sometimes you have "it" and sometimes you lose "it"
-Ericka has done a FANTASTIC job of directing camp this year!
-Tug of war STUNK last night...I NEVER like to lose!!!!
-Did I mention how great our volunteers are?!?!?!
-KIDS gave their lives to Jesus last night! HOW EXCITING IS THAT?!?!

-The next several months are going to be HUGE for our church...plans are brewing and I'm getting EXTREMELY excited about it!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Day 1 of Soccer Camp...So many volunteers have helped us! They have done such an outstanding job. A youth group from Wooster, OH is here helping us...Wooster Grace is an AWESOME church that has helped us for several camps. They serve the community all day and do camp at night...great group of kids.

Almost 400 kids have registered for camp. I CANNOT WAIT to see them all out on the field...there is a moment every year that just gets the middle of the camp everything stops and all over the park are groups of 8-10 kids...sitting together in a circle...and they're talking about Jesus! IT IS AWESOME!

Looking forward to getting this rolling!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Powerful Words

Chloe, Jaden and I were reading the Bible before I put them to bed tonight...I just had to share the passage we read together from "The Message"

"Don't you know anything? Haven't you been listening?
God doesn't come and go. God lasts.
He's Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn't get tired out, doesn't pause to catch his breath.
And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired,
gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don't get tired,
they walk and don't lag behind."
(Isaiah 40)

Soccer Camp

We are 3 days away from Soccer Camp...CRAZY! I LOVE watching sooooooo many people get involved and help. So many people come together to make this happen AND give us the opportunity to provide 350+ kids from our community the chance to play soccer AND learn about Jesus. (THAT was a looooong sentence!!) This coming week is EXHAUSTING and EXHILERATING! Kids come to Jesus...over 1,000 people will hear about Jesus...and people serve their guts out.


Friday, June 4, 2010


How have you invested your life? Who will show up to your funeral and what will they say?

Today I had the opportunity to perform a graveside service for a lady who passed away at 91 years of age. She lived a FULL life...her first husband passed away after 19 yrs. of marriage and she had 3 teenagers...IMAGINE THAT...raising 3 TEENS! I loved hearing the stories that her daughter told about her was moving...funny and just beautiful.

This is the 2nd funeral I attended this week...Sunday was another...Mr. Balog is a band teacher at a local high school and his wife passed away last week of a heart attack...she hadn't been happened rather suddenly...shocked many people...Sunday's service was very moving...there were A LOT of people there...she had invested her life into so many...

As I was sitting at Mrs. Balog's funeral I reflected a lot on my own life...on the fact that God spared me at this time for a reason. And I asked myself..."How are you investing your life, Tim?" This much I know...I don't want people to say that he gave up after his health-issues..."man he was for Jesus...investing himself in people...but after that heart attack in 2010............" I want to finish the race that God is allowing me to run in the way HE sees fit....investing myself well into people around me...I LOVE PEOPLE! Love learning to live life with share their victories and struggles...

I want people to say "Tim loved Jesus...loved his family...and gave his life investing in people."

May that be said of all of us!

Thursday, June 3, 2010


On Tuesday nights I have been studying John with a few guys...It is AWESOME! I LOVE their questions and their insights. I learn something new and fresh EVERYTIME I go through a study like this...People don't need a Bible degree to understand the Word of God! The Spirit lives in them and reveals truth and application to our lives. IT IS AWESOME! I was PUMPED UP when I got home! There is nothing better than God revealing his truth and doing that with learning that with other people! GREAT TIMES!

My little buddy turned 4!

Luke turned 4 yesterday! I sure LOVE watching this little guy grow up!! He gave his life to Jesus this year and I enjoy listening to him pray...I have to think that God just smiles when he hears those prayers! LOVE THAT LITTLE GUY!

He looks up to his big brother...he wants to do EVERYTHING that Jaden does...and he thinks he can already do it! He is such a passionate little guy and I cherish the times when he comes in and says..."Snuggle daddy...I want to snuggle you!" Then we play "big stormer" (You got it...Luke likes to make up words like I do! GOOD MAN!)

I can't wait to see what all God has in store for Luke...I look forward to walking beside him and then sending him off on his own one day!


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

BUSY weekend! Good time hanging out with family on Saturday...celebrated our nephew's first b-day! GOOD STUFF!!

We had a really fun and great service on Sunday! We have never done a service that was geared toward our country, but we did on Sunday...the reason was...if it wasn't for the 1.5 MILLION men and women who have given their lives protecting us, we wouldn't be able to PUBLICALLY praise God! We too often take our soldiers and their families for granted...SO we celebrated them!!

I played drums on Sunday for the first time in 6 or 7 years! It was really fun and went to do that again! Colin did very well leading and it was a BLAST watching kids marching around the auditorium. (We had the elementary aged kids in with us again this week) Great Sunday!!

Sunday afternoon Greg...a local pastor...invited several pastors and their families to his house for a cookout. It was really fun! We (the pastors) get together every monthish to hang out and talk random stuff that comes to mind...and it was fun to have our families connect together. We are all from different church in South Bend area and 2 guys are in the same denomination! Our kids played and hung out and it was good to be together! And it is true...I did hit the ground several times during just have to dive!! Always "just" playing to have fun!! Amazing guys...GREAT families!! THANKS FROHNA'S for a WONDERFUL evening!

Great time Monday too...had some friends over and hung out...Unfortunately our corn hole game was canceled due to rain... BUT I will say that Kelsey and I were up 6-2 when the rain started! Great time with friends!

Very good weekend!!

School is out!

I had my last teacher day at school today and school is out for the summer! I am extremely thankful for this teaching position and for the school system having a job for me. It has been a good year with the students and I learned A LOT about students with special needs...A LOT! I will miss their smiles...their love of life and people. I received hugs EVERY morning when I walked in the many jobs do you have where that happens?!?! I'll miss those kids!!