Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire

I finished this book last really challenged me again on the importance of prayer. The book reminded me of the power of prayer...the urgency of prayer...that prayer is our LIFE LINE...our communication line with God.

The book talked about how church's prayer meetings are empty and then Churches wonder why they don't see life change and growth. HELLO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I believe that part of the struggle is that prayer isn't always glamorous...frankly there are times when it is WORK! It is not always easy to come and pray...and there are times when you don't see the results right away and sometimes you don't see the results. BUT WE NEED TO DO IT! If not, our friends and family...people in our community...will be heading to hell...if we don't pray...we may not have the wisdom and discernment needed to make the best decisions...if we don't pray our church may grow stagnant instead of vibrant...if we don't thank THE CREATOR OF THE WORLD WE ENJOY...COME ON CHURCH!!!!

When I was in the middle of the book, I COULDN'T WAIT to get back to Prayer Encounter...I was SOOOOOOOOOOO excited to pray again...I LOVE getting with people and getting to work...getting on my knees. When I wasn't a pastor, you would find me every week at prayer meeting...I believe that some of the prayers we prayed "back in the day"...some of those prayerwalks around the city that have opened doors for us to see people come to Jesus today. So what will happen to our church if we don't pray now...COME ON CHURCH!!!!

Here is the deal...The urgency for prayer NEVER ENDS. We never "arrive" as people until we see Jesus...we never have enough people and resources to make the impact we could...AND more than ANYTHING ELSE we should NEVER, EVER tire of coming to our God WHO GAVE HIS LIFE FOR US and telling him thank you.

It's time to wake up Church...both Grace Community and THE Church...and get on our knees and start crying out to God in thanks and in requests. DO IT!

Nuggets from my reading...

Proverbs 9 & 10

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." (9:10)

"A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son grief to his mother." (10:1)

"The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out." (10:9)

"Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs." (10: 12)

"Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning, but a rod is for the back of him who lacks judgment." (10:13)

"He who heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray." (10: 17)

"When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise." (10: 19)

"The fear of the Lord adds length to life, but the years of the wicked are cut short." (10: 27)

"The way of the Lord is a refuge for the righteous, but it is ruin of those who do evil." (10:29)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

10 Hours BABY!

I worked again today! 6 1/2 hours! That makes 10 for the week...AND IT FELT GOOD! GREAT spending time with God as I prepped my message for Sunday...I am looking forward to Sunday morning...God has been doing something in be "officially" back on Sunday and to have it be Easter Sunday...WHOA.

I also had the chance to meet for 2+ hours with Jerimae today...hear his heart of how things are he is doing...Do you know how blessed I am to get to work with work with not just an amazing man of God...not just a guy who is EXTREMELY gifted...who loves this church and what God is doing...BUT more than that...he is a GREAT friend! I cherish that guy more than I can express...and am so thankful that he and Karen, Kaleb, Z-dawg and Maeci moved up here from Indy...J has done a fantastic job while I have been away...quite a lot to jump grateful that he was able to step in and take things.

Good day.


Tim and Lisa Welling are good friends of mine...last night they had a banquet and silent auction. They are adopting a child from Nepal and this was a time to educate all of us on Nepal's culture and to raise some money. They had a friend from Chicago come and prepare the meal. They met her when they went to a Nepalian (is that a word!?!?!) restaurant...they have become good friends with her and are learning A LOT about the culture from her. What a VERY COOL God contact!

The food was REALLY REALLY good...Jaden had 3 HELPINGS! He loved the spicy was cool to see some friends as well. I haven't been over to Goshen since early December! PRAYING for the Wellings and their kids...praying for God to bring them the right child and to do it THIS YEAR! Thanks for a GREAT TIME Tim and Lisa!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday Reflections

One month ago I was getting ready to head into the lab to get a stent put in...I had a lot of hope a month ago...that I would be "better than ever." That this would pass and I would come back firing. A month later, I have more questions than answers...I have to be more patient in this process than I have with anything in my life...I realize more of how this will change my life, yet I don't even know it all yet. (Did that make sense??? It sure does to me!)

This much I know...God is not done with me yet...he wants me here...on earth...for a reason. I know that my life is much more fragile than I ever thought...I'm not as good as I thought I was...not as "invincible." Some reality...

Today I'm at the church building...prepping my message this morning...feels good to be here...calling on God for his wasted wasted time...time is of the essence! You just don't know when the end will how will we live? THAT is a question that eating at will I live? What will I do with the days, weeks, months, years that God will give me to be will I invest in and will I be different? Looking forward to seeing God's plans...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Jaden!

I have told Jaden many times that I always wished that I had a friend like him when I was his age! I NEVER had anyone who wanted to play and play and play as much as I did. And Jaden is the same way...this kid could play outside from sun-up to to watch. I will never forget his face this morning when we play the "hot and cold" game so he could find his new basketball hoop outside. He probably played ball for 3-4 hours today!

More than anything I love Jaden's heart. My prayer for him is that he is a tender warrior...that he channels his passion...his competitiveness to protecting the hurting, reaching the lost and CONQUERING the enemy. I love to hear him hear him pray for people...I loved going to our new building during the construction and listening to him pray for people to come and get saved...

I'm so proud of how he is doing in school as well...the kid reads like crazy! He is devouring books...doing great with his studies...AND has great behavior! Well done son!

I CANNOT WAIT to see what God has in store for my big see what he chooses to do with his life...who he will marry...until then, I'm going to do what I can to enjoy these young years...full of passion and play...innocence and fun...

Jaden Blake Boucher...I love you more than I could EVER express in words.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Prayer Works!

I want to thank EVERYONE who has prayed and kept in contact with me over the past month. Your prayers have been felt...and it has been good. Your prayers are the reason I have been able to get through this time...I still have a while to go, but am very grateful for your prayers. We need to realize that prayer is THE lifeline for us. God LONGS to be in communication with us...longs to have us call on his name. To come into his presence and talk to him.

Last night I gave a prayer request for Luke...he has been waking up at night and tears your heart out to hear it. I shared this request last night at Prayer Encounter...a couple of people prayed and then Michele DEMANDED God to was said with a humble heart and with passion...GOD RESPONDED! Last night Luke slept GREAT...very peaceful sleep.

Prayer is so is how we get God's attention with what is most important to will show our heart to him...AND to top that off...he KNOWS what the motivation is behind the words we are saying.

Here are some prayers that I've been praying over the past month:
-For God to restore me better than ever
-For God to work in my life in ways that don't make sense..."Didn't that guy have a heart attack?"
-For God to not just guard my family...but to have us THRIVE on the front lines of ministry...
-That I will NEVER-EVER push them to the back burner because of ministry
-For God to grow HIS CHURCH while I'm "out"
-For God to stir HIS CHURCH to pray...and pray PASSIONATELY
-For God to show us THE BEST ways to connect to our community (Loving families to Jesus and touching EVERY family in St. Jo County with the GOSPEL!!)
-For God to send us leaders...lots of them...from the harvest because we need them to reach every family in St. Jo County!
-For God to show me how to restructure my life...cut out the access junk...things that waste my time
-For self-discipline in eating, exercise, studying the Word, prayer.........
-To be the best man, husband, father and leader the HE desires of me

"God...HELP! I'm weak...I'm broken...I need you more than I ever have...I love you...long for you...want more of you...LONG to see you change me, my family, my church and our community...why not here? Why not now? Why not us? I love you Jesus name...Amen."

Getting Stronger

This past week has been very good...for the last 2 weeks every time I had 1 "full" day, I would be in my chair for 2 days. I have put together 3 or 4 "full" days. Of course, a full day is a little different now than a month ago! A full day consists of actually going out of the house...going to at least 2 places...walking close to 2 miles...playing with the kids...not the usual busy schedule. The good part is that I am feeling better...My mind has gotten as fatigued this week and my body is feeling better too!! I can tell I'm feeling better because I'm starting to write with more "!" !!!! I even got to be the mystery reader for Jaden's class today...when they were giving hints as to who the reader was...Jaden said: "It can't be my has to be my dad had a heart attack!" His face just LIT UP when I came in the room! VERY COOL!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Confessions of a Reformissional Rev

GREAT book by Mark Driscoll! I heard him speak live at a conference a few years ago and liked him then as well. He has an honesty that is really rare among pastors. He shares the story of Mars Hill (Seattle, Washington) from the ground up...he shares his personal struggles and church struggles very clearly. I really appreciated the book.

Some key things that jump out to me:

-"As a church grows it changes." OF COURSE...the point here is that the change can be hard for people who liked things "the way they were." But if we are going to continue to make an impact as a church, we HAVE TO change.

-"Adolescence (for a church) is achieved after the long and painful season of doing the hard work it takes to get a church functioning with healthy systems, competent leaders and clear expectations of people." This is hard and worth it...this is the season we are working on right now at Grace.

-I was impressed with how important THE Word is to Mark...he has a deep passion for the Word of God and for Truth...there is a misconception about a lot of large church leaders and that they compromise seems from listening to him and reading that is not the case here!

-"I knew that unless everyone gave (money) we would never make ends meet because we did not have a sugar daddy to bail us out." WOW do I relate to that now!!

-One of the main themes was what he did to himself and his he really neglected them both and came to realize how important it was to protect his home first. He was VERY open about struggles that he had and how God grabbed a hold of his life!

-He spoke of a pastor from Cali who asked him more about his personal life than his ministry and how this grabbed his attention. I AM SO THANKFUL for the atmosphere Jim has built on our team. From my 1st month at Grace I believed that he cared more about me than what he got out of me. It's one of the things that I deeply miss about staff meetings. (I miss our regular staff meetings because of teaching...Jim and I talk weekly, but I'm not there with the whole staff.) It is not rare for Jim to take the whole meeting asking us how we are life stuff. It isn't rare for the guys to share how they are struggling either...I believe what we have is rare...but oh is it good.

-Mark's church has 3 FULL TIME staff members devoted to church planting...both for their church and for the nation! THAT is mission...THAT is a lasting impact! Not just about Mars Hill, but about THE church...very cool...

Good book...gave me a lot of things to think through to process while I'm off...I pray that Mark stays faithful to his his THE Truth! The church needs leaders like him...

This one is for you Grandpa Messner!

When I was a kid, grandpa Messner had heart trouble. I remember that he wasn't supposed to work in the yard and other stuff because of one of his meds would make his blood not clot as fast. One day he came inside with a little smirk on his face...he had gone out to the garden (he didn't tell grandma of course!) and had cut his finger...I remember everyone getting all worked up about it...but when I looked at him, he gave that little smirk that said "It's o.k. worries!" If grandpa was going to live...he still wanted to LIVE!

With that though in mind...I found out today that my anti-clotting meds really do work! I was putting together Jaden's hoop that we got for his birthday...(We are hiding it in our neighbors garage 'cause his bday isn't until Saturday)...Well...I cut my finger! It took FOREVER to clot...bled through 2 band aids!! It wasn't that bad of a cut, but MAN it took a loooooong time to clot...I guess I'll have to start waiting longer for the bleeding to stop...and I may have to give a smirk or two to my kids like grandpa did to us. (OH...I did get the hoop finished BTW!)

AND I guarantee you this...If I'm going to live...I plan to LIVE! God has given me more time here and I plan to use it!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday Reflections

Yesterday's service was ELECTRIC! Jerimae and the guys just took me to the presence of God with their music...I felt good (which helps!) and it was great to see everyone. Jim preached the first message of our series on Parenting...Excellent! I have a page and a 1/2 of notes!! Challenging...funny...just good.

The thing that excites me the most is that the church is not missing a beat without me. I'm so proud of everyone...Jerimae is an amazing leader and he is showing everyone just how skilled he really's cool to see! I'm watching others step up as well...very good! I look forward to rejoining this team...looking forward to storming the gates of hell and grabbing as many people as we can from the pit!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Who needs a bracket anyway?!

Brackets for the NCAA tournament are over-rated and not much fun. At least that is my opinion this year, since I am having the WORST YEAR EVER! I only got 18/32 right in the first round...My favorites lost and the upsets I picked lost too! CRAZY! I have a Final 4 team out only hope is the Buckeyes! Yep...I stepped out and picked my Bucks to win it all! Better than picking Kansas and UK like everyone else!! (NO I won't tell who my Final Four team was...I'll just say the school is close to home...LEAVE ME ALONE! THEY WERE HOT WHEN THE ENTERED THE TOURNEY!)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Words to live by

"Keep vigilant watch over your heart...that's where life starts."

"Don't talk out of both sides of your mouth...avoid careless banter, white lies and gossip."

"Keep your eyes straight ahead...ignore all sideshow distractions."

"What your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither to the right nor left...leave evil in the dust."

(From Proverbs 4)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

On the lighter side...I LOVE our neighborhood!

Our neighbor across the street is selling his house. Jason is an AWESOME neighbor...he is GREAT to have around...hosted our neighborhood Super Bowl party...loves our kids (he took Jaden to a Globetrotters game!)...we've had him over for dinner and have hung out a lot in our neighborhood. (Our 'hood "comes out" about every weekend when it is decent outside for a even have a neighborhood portable TV for ND football...when they're winning!)

Jason is a grad student at Notre Dame and is getting married in April. So, soon he will be moving. STINK! We will miss him!! Well the signs went up at his house today and one of our neighbors showed him how we really feel about it! I LOVE THIS!
That is just AWESOME! I think people will get the point that we want Jason around here for a while!!

I have often said that if we were to move our church out of this city or if your or my family moved...would anyone care? Would they notice? Are we making that kind of impact?! Jason sure has on us!! SO STAY AWAY FROM THIS HOUSE!!


Took some time today to go to the East a spot I call "my spot!" The contractors built the spot just for me when they poured the concrete! (Although I couldn't sit there today because the water is so high!)

Here is the view from my spot...

Here is another view from my spot...took these this morning! I get to see water AND my city!!
I have spent hours and hours in this spot praying... crying... wondering... dreaming... wishing... longing... PLEADING with God...and today was a mixture of feelings...I was tearing up as I started to walk...thinking about the past couple of weeks...I had times of feeling sorry for myself...wondering.....................I was asked today by a good friend if I have felt depression...I said no, because I haven't stayed down long...but I also said that this has not been easy and to say that I've been a pillar of strength would be a lie. To say that I haven't felt alone, even with all the people that I know love me, would be a lie, to say that part of my emotional/spiritual heart isn't hurting...It has. I am encouraged...I am thankful...AND there are moments when I really struggle...struggle to understand...struggle to wrap my mind around all that is happening........... it's in those moments that I do what I tell others to do...I talk to to myself with what I know to be the truth...the truth of the Word of God. I remind myself that I'm a child of THE King...that he loves me more than I could ever imagine...I remind myself of the people that have contacted me and shown me their love...I remind myself that Greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world...I remind myself that HE has a plan for my life and that plan is RIGHT NOW and not just when I start feeling better.

So my walk and time of just sitting and listening to God today was good for my heart...physical, spiritual and emotional...good to just sit for part of my time and just push everything out of my mind...(that takes work, because my mind RACES to 100 things!)...but I took the time...time to simply listen, and listen in silence for God...It was good to be in his presence...real good. Sometimes he just wants us. He simply wants 100% of our attention directed to him...and it was good to give it. I love my spot. I LOVE meeting with God.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How do you fit?

Mark Driscoll, a pastor from Seattle, wrote that we could some up everyone who goes to church in a few groups:

Observers: They come...see...leave...they don't get involved and you never really know they're there. Like someone who goes to a movie...they say hi to the usher and bye when they leave.

Consumers: They look a lot like observers...they don't get involved...they just come and go. BUT they LIKE to give their to share what needs changed and what THEY want. Me needs...BUT don't contribute ANYTHING to the solution!

Participants: THEY ARE IN! They give their are hooked! They serve...are dedicated! THEY are the church!

So where do you fall? Do you just come and go...and never jump in? Do you come and go and complain about things? How you think things should be, but never jump in to help? OR are you IN?

I remember back about 13 years ago...Kelsey and I were deciding which church we would attend. We decided to come up here to South Bend (we lived in Nappanee then) and go to her dad's church. I told her..."Let's not jump in right away...let's give it some time and then jump in after a couple of months." That lasted 1 WEEK! I couldn't help myself! I saw some places where I could contribute and just HAD TO JUMP IN! HAD TOO!

I encourage you...if you come to Grace or you live somewhere else and go somewhere else...JUMP IN! You will be soooooooo glad you did!

Sunday Morning!

This past Sunday I got to go to church! It was good to be back with felt strange to be there and not have any just come in a little early and leave when things finished. I could never be a person that just goes to church on Sunday gets "fed" and leaves...ARGH! That's what I do at the movies or a concert...that's not church!! VERY THANKFUL that is not my usual experience...I can't wait to get up early in a few weeks and get back at it!

Sunday was good for me...good to see the church working...Colin did a good job leading music...I love this guy's heart...he has a servant's heart...ask and it gets done. I love serving Jesus with him! Good to hear the band as well...I have to say the songs meant more to me than ever before!

Jerimae preached and used video of Jim...a good tag-team approach! He did a FANTASTIC job!! I love his style...his passion...his heart...he loves the church and not just THE church, but THIS church. LOVE serving with J!

The message was on Uncharted Generosity...ummmmm...good stuff! Really challenged me to think through how generous I I willing to give away things that are important to me. I love the phrase: "You can't outgive God!" and "EVERYTHING belongs to God!" Here in the U.S. we don't like the 2nd one...we like to fight that...and to those who want to hold on to their stuff go read and argue with Psalm 24: 1! Good luck!!

Jerimae also challenged us that when we don't give, we don't give money back to God, we are robbing God! How true is that!?!?! Yet, we cry out to him to provide for us...we blame him when we don't receive help, YET we ROB HIM! I imagine there were some uncomfortable and maybe even angry people out there...GOOD! 'Cause as a pastor we will stand before God one day and he will ask us if we taught the Word...and Jerimae, Jim and I all have to answer for it's worth making a few mad down here for the sake of truth! Better making people mad than God!

AND IMAGINE THIS...imagine if EVERYONE who comes to Grace Community Church gave at least 10% of what they matter how much or how little...imagine it...imagine what we could do to impact this community with that money! I'm praying for that...I'm praying AGAINST the statistics that say that only 20% of the people give...I'm praying against the statistics that say that the average giving FOR THE YEAR at churches is $650 PER PERSON! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! I'm praying that people will give of their money, their stuff and their time in UNCHARTED GENEROUS WAYS! That 100% of the people at Grace will give at least 10% this year...that God will raise up families that are convinced that God is doing some SERIOUS work in South Bend/Mishawaka area and they decide to give 20%...and I say: WHY NOT?!?! WHY NOT RIGHT HERE! WHY NOT NOW!

Monday, March 15, 2010

This one is different

Today is my birthday...37 years old...every year someone asks the question: "So do you feel older today?" Usually I laugh and say "nay...I don't feel any older..." This year is different though. With everything that has happened over the past 2 weeks, I do feel older. I feel less invincible...less in control...more aware of my humanness and weakness...a greater understanding that God is God and I'm not...not even close!

I always knew that death could come at any moment...I'VE PREACHED THAT! But when one moment you're walking around church on a Sunday morning...feeling fine...and in an instant you have pain in your chest like you've never felt before...a pain that had me hunched over in the restroom wondering what was wrong with me...something happens that changes your perspective...or at least it gave me a greater understanding that I really am but a vapor...that God can take me away in a a brief moment...This is changing me...I don't even know what all that means yet, but he is doing something in my heart and mind...he is "crushing me" in ways that I didn't even know I needed...and I'm glad (sounds weird huh?)...I don't want to be the same...

So on this birthday I'm thankful...thankful that I get to see my family every morning...send the kids off to school...that I get to kiss them and tell them I love them every night. That Kelsey and I get to keep learning TOGETHER how to be husband and and dad...maybe someday grandma and grandpa...I'm glad that I'm here...that God isn't finished with me yet...I know I'm not finished here yet!

"Thanks God for another birthday. I've never had one mean this much...thanks for saving me... for your forgiveness... strength in weakness... thanks for another birthday, I gladly turn 1 year older today! Hey are soooooooo good."

Friday, March 12, 2010

Got me!

As I was reading parts of Philippians today 1 verse penetrated my got me...almost like I had never read the verse before. I love it when the Spirit of the LIVING God does this...makes something we have read many times come alive. There is chapter 4 verse 9...Paul wrote:

"Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."
The assumption here is that what people have learned, received, heard and seen in ME is what I want them to practice! That it actually models what God wants...who he he longs for us to be. THIS is what I long for in my life and our church. That we each could say the words of Paul. That what people have learned, received, heard and seen in it because it is what God longs for from us.
What needs to be removed from your life to be able to live this? What needs to be added or improved? What is already there? Seek the heart of our God...thank him for what already lines up with him...confess what doesn't...AND make the necessary adjustments in your life, so people can look at us and say...THAT is how to follow Jesus.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What I'm Reading...

One of my goals while I'm on "leave" is to work on my heart and mind...and not just the physical heart...I want to gather all I can during this time and not regret wasted time...with that in mind, I grabbed these books to read while I'm "out"...looking forward to learning from some great leaders...

I have wanted to read this book for a long time...have heard AMAZING things about it (actually my book cover doesn't look like this one...I have an OLDER one!)

I have to read this book for an on-line class I'm taking to renew my teaching license. Good information so far.

I have always LOVED President Reagan...I remember "voting" for him in a mock-election in elementary school. I look forward to learning more about him and his journey...

I heard Mark Driscoll speak at a conference a few years back...he has a depth to him that challenges me...I look forward to learning from him...

The elders and pastors are going through this book...I've read about 75% of the book...should have it done today...GREAT stuff...see my post from yesterday for more nuggets...

Change up

Woke up this morning feeling pretty tired...fatigued...Every morning so far, I wake up feeling a little better and ready to go...I have been aggressive with my walking. The only guidance I was given from the hospital was "do as much as you feel like you can." OOPS! I told them that probably wasn't great advice to me! So since I've been home I've done A LOT of research on target heart rate after a heart attack...exercise plans and such...I realized this morning that the plan I have in place is probably too aggressive right now. So, I backed off a bit today...still walked, but not at the same pace. I'm still going to walk every day, but going to switch up the pace each allow my body to bounce back better. Figure I'll be learning what I can and cannot do for a while...the goal? Be better than I've been in not have to tell Jaden "Sorry bud...can't play football with you right now." I want to be playing football and basketball with my grandkids...SO, restructuring today, so I don't have to later!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Follow up to "Tough Decisions"

Just read a friend's blog...he is a PASSIONATE leader in our community...he cares about this city like I do...His church LOVES ON THE COMMUNITY...Yesterday, I posted about the tough decisions that our school board has to make...Sam had a post today that I believe is a GREAT example of how to handle this...he loves the Southside of South Bend and he is looking to fight for his cause AND get more information so he can give solutions...I like that! Here is a link to his blog...

"Killing Cockroaches" by Tony Morgan

This has been a very good book...I have a few more pages to go, but have really enjoyed the book...the idea is that too often leaders spend time on killing cockroaches...on tasks that take up way to much time, therefore they don't spend the time on what is most important. Some thoughts from my reading yesterday and today...

-Are we just adding to people's already loaded schedules or is what we are doing in the church making a maximum impact on them and the community
-Christ came to give LIFE...not to drain people and burn them out
-People will put their $ where their heart is. (convicting and sobering!)
-when a cause is big enough people will give their time. (OH, we have seen this!!)
-Mark Batterson was quoted as saying "I need to know less and less about more and more." (He was talking about if the church was to continue growing, he didn't need to be in on everything. I say AMEN to that one! Get capable people around you and let them lead...I was already working on this...NOW I have too!)
-Don't say yes because it is to hard to say no. (OH MAN! CONVICTING!!!!)
-Church can't be EVERYTHING to EVERYONE or they won't accomplish ANYTHING...OK...this one is mine...something that came out of the book. We have to love families to Jesus and be careful that we don't get spread too thin
-Train your assistant to handle all requests for meetings (You have to have an assistant for this to be possible!!)
-Our message has to cut through the noise of people's lives
-While a building program cannot make an unhealthy church healthy, it can equip and inspire healthy churches to become healthier. (We are experiencing this right now!!)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tough Decisions

I do not envy the South Bend School Board...the group has a HUGE mountain in front of them! THEY HAVE TO CUT $8million off of the budget...YOU GOT IT...$8 million!!!! Picture that for a minute...think about that task..then think about the fact that the WHOLE COMMUNITY WILL BE WATCHING AND OFFERING THEIR INPUT...Tough job!

Here is the deal...often people fight for their cause...fight WITH PASSION to keep this or that program...AND I AM GLAD THEY DO...Hey, I did when I first started teaching in SB...they cut 12.5 music jobs after my first year here, including and orchestra was going out of the was a good cause to fight for...the arts are important part of a child's education. There will be many causes to fight for over the next weeks...and I ask our community members to do a few things:

PRAY for the board members...pray for wisdom

TREAT THEM WITH RESPECT...You can disagree...state your thoughts STRONGLY, yet show respect. They are people AND the PUBLIC voted them in! (BTW if you didn't vote, you might want to next time or don't complain!! A little Boucher Soap Box right there!!)

OFFER SOLUTIONS...this is a big one...far too many people are more than willing to fight for their program, but NEVER OFFER A SOLUTION...Can you imagine the job they have in front of them...what would you do? what would you cut? Something has to happen!

FIGHT for the programs you believe are most important...DO IT! It helps the board know what matters the most to the community...helps them make better decisions.!

Docs Orders

I was shoked last week when the doctor told me that I would have to take a month off of work. I hadn't cried yet about having a heart attack, but that about made me. I LOVE WHAT I DO! LOVE IT! The thought of "checking out" for a month, because I was forced to...really disheartened me! I LOVE WHAT I DO!!!! (Did I mention that already?!?!) I was expecting a couple of weeks, but not 4+ weeks! What I didn't realize was how long it would take to feel better...yesterday I finally got to get out of the house. I drove (boy did that feel good!) the family to a park...watched the kids play...walked some...shot a couple hoops with Jaden (which got me in trouble with Kels!! I got a call from her from over at the playground..."I can see you over there Tim!") was really fun to get out.

When I got home, I was EXHAUSTED!! We weren't gone for 2 hours and I was tired...CRAZY!! It was crazy...didn't feel bad while I was out, but took a 15 minute nap when I got home...I'm OLD!! Looking forward to getting my energy back and I understand why the doc gave the orders now...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday Reflections

I had my own Sunday service yesterday...I played a few songs on iTunes and then listened to Jim's message on-line that everyone else was seeing that morning. It was a deeply moving time for me...At one point, Kelsey called me and put her phone on speaker so I could hear Jerimae and the band leading...I had tears in my eyes...

Songs I listened to:
New Beginning by Jerimae...he wrote the song for our church and our new beginning at a new location...for me it rings true very personally. I have a new beginning in my life right now...this is a whole new chapter in my life...I'm seeking God's heart for all he wants to teach me.

"Slow Fade" was next...I don't want to slip up as I'm getting restored to health...don't want to slip up personally...but I really got convicted as I listened to this song...realizing that I run to snack foods and junk when the pressure rises...I cried as I realized how I need to I need more self-discipline...self-control in my life. (THEN Jim touches on that in his message too..the Spirit was coming for me!!) VERY convicting...

I was planning to listen to another song, but "I will Rise" came on and I was undone..."Jesus has overcome...the grave is overwhelmed...the victory is won..." OH MY WORD! How true...I still still get to share that amazing message with people, because Jesus didn't call me home...what a honor...a responsibility I have...POWER!

GREAT time experiencing God through song...I would listen and worship through the song and then I'd sit in silence, reflect and write a response...Powerful time...moving time...good to be with my Savior!

More to come...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Random Thoughts

Random Thoughts:
-It's hard for me to sit for long
-Walked a mile this morning on the treadmill...
-Got my heart rate up to 114...felt good
-Can't believe how tired I still feel
-I have a hard time just sitting!
-People have brought AMAZING food
-GREAT times in the Word...reading through Revelation
-I told a friend a couple of weeks ago that everyone is expendable...everyone can be replaced...of course we should be missed, but the church goes on...I didn't want God to prove that through me so quickly!!
-My family is amazing...I cherish them
-What do people do without having family and friends that care?
-I never want to be back in the hospital and know that I could have helped to prevent it!
-The staff at Memorial was amazing...they genuinely care for their patients
-If Jaden beats me at one more game, I might end up back in the hospital!
-Had a friend bring some "older" movies over for me...Red Dawn...Italian Job...Masters of the Universe (REALLY!)...Mission Impossible and more...haven't seen a whole movie yet
-Missing Jaden's last bball game today...
-Chloe is home "watching" me!
-Chloe made me lunch today...warmed up some venison stew!
-Grateful...every morning...for another day.

Make the most of today!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

What happened?

Many have asked me what was the reason for the heart did this happen? The biggest reason is family history...genetics...I did a family tree in college and half of it was all heart disease...I had a cousin die at aunt with a heart attack at mom had by-pass surgery in her 50's and most of my relatives on my mom's side have passed away due to cardiac issues.

ALSO...I need to rope in my diet and exercise...If the average guy would eat what I do and be as active, he may never have a problem...BUT with my history, I must make changes! I will try not to drive Kels NUTS as I look at labels on foods! Sodium...Saturated Fats...Cholosteral...protein...fiber...I never realized how much I needed to look at...and how bad some of this stuff was on my body...It's more than just eating in moderation...there's some stuff that needs CUT OUT of my diet...

I had a couple of injuries last year on my feet and then got out of the habit of exercising...this must change as to ease into it, but from the research I've done they want you to start right away.

SO I'm off to the treadmill for some walking!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I am grateful today for life...I often wake up in the morning and thank God for another, after having a heart attack at 36...I mean it even I say...Thanks to God for sparing my me more time here on earth to love on my family, friends, church and community in his name...for allowing me to see my kids grow up...Thanks to Kelsey for all of her love...for the way she took care of the kids and ahead of time for the next I recover...Thanks to my kids, who I love more today than I did before this...can't explain that, but I just feel it...Thanks to family and friends...for your prayers...your to the doctors, nurses and staff at Memorial Hospital...I received amazing care and I am grateful. I cried when I got home from the hospital today...just overwhelmed with the love that I and my family were shown over these days...