Thursday, March 31, 2011

Don't Burn Bridges!

I will never forget the winter of '94...I learned a VALUABLE lesson that winter...I had taken a semester off from school (which is a blog post for itself!) and my dad had gotten me a job at his work. IT WAS SOOOOO BORING! Not because it was my dad's work, but because it was winter and the warehouse at a lumber yard is just not that busy... After working there for a short time they cut my hours because there wasn't enough to do...naturally as a young guy I was pretty ticked off! So I decided to start working for my neighbor who owned a landscaping business...BUT instead of going to the manager and giving notice...OH...I gave"I'm done today!" He was a bit upset...(and so was my dad!)...of course at the time I didn't think I was wrong, but as time passed I realized that for AT LEAST my dad's sake I should have given more notice...and frankly, I should have talked with my dad about it! STUPID! (Hey Dad...I'm still sorry for that!!) After about a year I wrote the manager a letter and apologized for how I handled things...told him that I wanted to be a man of integrity and I just BLEW IT! The lesson I learned is that you just shouldn't burn bridges...I claim to be a follower of Jesus Christ and I just didn't handle that well...not for the job or for my dad...and you just NEVER know when you might need a job or the help of someone you are GOING OFF on! What sparked this story was a guy from our church used to the the worship pastor at a church in Michigan...and when he was leaving that job he had a choice to make...he could either go off on everything he didn't like...OR he could finish well! He chose to finish well...really well and here is the CRAZY PART... Because of that...he was able to go back their this week and talk about how his family was going to go to China...and the people gave him a SIGNIFICANT amount of money!! HOW COOL IS IT that he and his family were able to do this! Had he burned that bridge...had he said things to hurt people on his way out...had he not finished well...this opportunity would have NEVER happened! 2 Things...make sure you finish well with whatever you are doing! If for no other reason than for the sake of your Savior Jesus Christ! AND...who do you need to talk with and apologize? Apologize for the way you have handled your family...former clerk??...go make it right and STOP burning bridges!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Check the mirror first!

I wish that I had $100 for every time my students ask me why? Why do we have to do this assignment? Why do I have to write this paper? Why did you GIVE me THAT grade? WHY do I have to have a detention? Why...why...why???? As many of you know...when someone asks me a question, I simply LOVE to send it back at them..."What do you think?" or "Why do you think you EARNED that grade?" AT TIMES it is in that moment that they realize or become honest with themselves and admit what got them the grade or consequence... It is sooooooo easy to see this in my students and my often do adults do the same thing...we blame our boss...or better yet...GOD for the situation that WE put ourselves in! We blame him and wonder why he won't change our circumstances...YET the choices we are making are helping to create our circumstances. What would happen if we decided to look in the mirror take responsibility for our actions...if we do that...I bet we would end up BEGGING GOD for forgiveness...and it is then...within our repentance that changes will start to happen...that we will begin to see breakthrough... Let's stop blaming others and God for our circumstances...rather...let's take responsibility for our his forgiveness where needed and then take the matter how difficult that will result in real life change!

Monday, March 28, 2011

A little Competition...or is it!

We are doing a little "friendly" competition between the guys and girls at the church...whoever brings in the most eggs for our Egg Dash on Easter gets to have dinner made and served by the other...WELL...the ladies were in the lead...well...a SIGNIFICANT lead after Sunday morning...

THEN I GET A PHONE CALL today...a lady wants to "drop something by the office..." When she shows up...she has 1000 EGGS (That is the 5 boxes on top of the women's box...which was ALREADY full!!) This is quickly becoming a LANDSIDE advantage for the ladies...GUYS...we have some SERIOUS WORK TO DO!!

The good news is we are well over half-way to our goal of 5000 eggs...maybe we will end up with 10,000 eggs by the time this is over!!!!

Time to step up men!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Jaden Blake Boucher

Jaden turns 8 today...Many parents have said over the years "to enjoy every moment because they grow up so fast!" That is soooo true! I feel that the last 8 years have just blown by...He is growing up and I am soooo proud of him! Friday was Report Card day!! Nice way to jump into the weekend, eh!? It could have been a long weekend for him...only he is doing an outstanding job...He really does his best on projects...actually I think he has done more projects and presentations already in school than I had to do in all my years in school! He is reading at a high level...very sharp in math...(you bet I'm's his birthday!!) Here is the thing though...I love that he is doing so well...that he is excelling at school...But I am the most proud of him for his attitude...he continues to come home with "O's" for outstanding behavior on his report card. His teacher tells us that he is a leader in the room and will do the right thing even when others aren't...THAT is what we are looking for! For him to be a leader in his do the right thing and lead others to do the same... 8 years ago I started to pray for him...for the boy...young man and man that he would become. I PRAISE GOD for who he is today and PRAY like crazy for him in the years to come...that he will continue to allow God to shape his life...That Kelsey and I would have wisdom on how best to raise him...that he will find a woman of God to marry...that he will follow Jesus for life! Hey Jaden..."I love you big man and am sooooo proud of the boy that you are! I look forward to continue to watch you grow up and getting to be part of your life! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!"

Friday, March 25, 2011

We aren't that poor...

I am on the board for Grace In Action USA...GIA works hard to reach love kids and give them the tools...the life skills...they need to succeed in life...the curriculum is simply FANTASTIC!! (AND NO I'm not the one who wrote it...I'm not that shameless!!) Last week at the board meeting Pastor Mike Tabor from "The Happy Church" shared their story...Sure is a funny name for a church! TOTALLY fits their community. They live and minister in one of the poorest areas in our COUNTRY...SO...when they bring in a HAPPY CHURCH it is the perfect name. As he was sharing I was deeply convicted...convicted on how much stuff I have...I know the worldwide stats...the ones that speak to how wealthy we are here in the US...When I was in China, I saw some neighborhoods that were simply "houses" made out of scrap. That affected me, but there was something about hearing stories of things that are happen so much closer to home... His talk is shaping how I make financial decisions today...what do we need vs. what I want...whatelse can we give up to help others? Do I really need something THAT nice or can I be content with less? It was a really good perspective shift for me!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


What does it take for you to do your personal best? What has to happen for you to "kick into gear" and improve at something. Today at school, as I was heading to the office I passed the gym class...truth be told...I have OFTEN thought that I should have been a P.E. teacher! The class was running the 40 yd. dash in the hallway...OF COURSE...where there is a competition and race happening I HAVE TO STOP and see what is happening...

As I watched student after student run down the hall, it became QUITE obvious that they were NOT giving much young man...a 7th grader...about as big as me and he was OBVIOUSLY an athlete ran the 40 in 6.7 seconds...REALLY!?!?!?!?!?!?! 6.7! Of course being the very mild-mannered...quiet person I am...(Sarcasm for those you who may not know me well!!) I told him that I could beat that time EASILY wearing my dress shirt...dress pants...AND dress shoes.

OF COURSE...after I said this I went down the hall to run the 40...LET ME REMIND YOU that the students are in their gym clothes and I am in my dress pants AND DRESS SHOES! I might add that I already ran 3 miles this morning before I went to school! (Just have to make sure you have all of my disclaimers out there!! ;)

I got to the starting line...those nervous feelings were there...CAUSE the music teacher HAS to be under 6 seconds or it will be COMPLETE embarrassment! I took off running...with my cell phone-keys and wallet still on me...and ran it in 5.4 seconds...not bad for the old guy!

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT IS HUGE...You should have SEEN the students run after I got the fastest time...they were FLYING down the hallway! A little motivation...can't let the "old teacher" MUCH LESS the music teacher beat one did until the young man who had the 6.7 sec. time went again...only this time...he finished with a 5.2! He was MOTIVATED to do his personal best!

A couple things hit me when this happened...

FIRST...WHY do we wait for others to bring out the best in us? When will we STEP UP and take responsibility for ourselves...for our be the best we can give our best! Not wait for someone else to motivate us! Because when we start to take responsibility for our lives and work to be our best...THE SKY IS THE LIMIT for what we may accomplish!

SECOND...Are you bringing out the best in others? By the way you are living your life...are you bringing out the best in other I did in a race...but I have been really challenged to make sure that I am doing what I can to pull the VERY BEST out of people...the very best!

You just NEVER KNOW what lessons you might learn when you are just trying to walk the halls...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Take Aim!

Our church turned 4 years old this month...we launched our South Bend Campus from our church in Goshen that has been there "forever!" For much of the first 3 years we had a split direction...and a lot of that happened because of our locations...we had our services in Movies 14 in Mishawaka and then our office in Downtown S. Bend...about 10 minutes away. Now 10 minutes doesn't seem to be much if your from a town like I grew up in in Ohio...we had a McDonalds...and an AMAZING pizza place and we drove for everything else! But here, those 10 minutes are a change in culture!

The deal is...we really tried to impact both areas and did to some level...but the truth is...we were making a random and not overly focused impact...if you have a split aren't going to maximize your influence...So...we have mapped out a 1 mile radius around our building...there are 14,975 people in that 1 mile...and 3,598 households...our target is to focus our energy and resources into this area...THEN we can have a maximum influence.

NO...we aren't going door to door and "attacking" people...but we will be OUT in our community and finding ways to love people and do things for them. We have had a HUGE opportunity open for us with a school that we partner with...the principal is VERY open to community partners and we are blessed to have someone working at the school! This summer we will be doing a Field Days camp at the school...For the 3 weeks after the camp we are having Community Family nights (OK...we will be coming up with a better name than that, but it works for today!!)...including a WATER FIGHT...possible an outdoor movie night...and we talked about creating portable walls and providing paint for kids to come and create "stuff" on the walls...constructive graffiti! We ended our Community Hope food vouchers and are transitioning it to help families right here within a mile of our building...We are also dreaming of doing an after school program that engages kids in fun...learning about practical life skills...AND about Jesus! We have some AMAZING curriculum for this! Can't wait to see who God raises up to lead it!!

Oh...and we will be going Egging too! Passing out 1 dozen eggs to 500 homes in our target people something practical that they can use and letting them know that Grace Community is around! At Easter we will have our 5th Easter Egg Dash...with 5,000 eggs! We call it a dash because there just aren't any eggs hidden!! We are giving away a prizes, including a family of 4 trip to a water park!! Hope we win!

Our church MUST focus in on a target...Jaden played a Wii archery game during the the first round he shot all over the place...up in the a waterfall...random shots...I bet he hit SOMETHING! round 2 he took aim at a target...he NAILED all three of his arrows on the target...Bottom line...we will have MAXIMUM influence when we focus our energy, gifts/abilities, $ and resources on a focused target...

Random Reflections from the weekend....

Random things from the past weekend...

-NCAA Tourney...I went from best to last...THANKS NOTRE DAME!
-The Buckeyes are ALIVE AND WELL!
-Luke told me on Saturday "I want to die, dad." I was about to respond with "No you don't!!" Then I stopped and asked..."Why?!" Luke: "Because then I get to see Jesus." Love that little man!
-Finished off one of my most challenging weeks of teaching EVER...Glad I'm in a building with some AMAZING principals and staff!
-Sadie best be up to her birth weight...the Bouchers' need some sleep!
-Kelsey is sooooo amazing...the things she accomplishes in one day...I long for her efficiency!
-Hide 'n Go Seek Tag in the yard...with the kids and neighbor kids...I JUST LOVE IT!
-Bought some exercise equipment...after 3 free treadmills...I used my bday $$ and bought some other equipment...NOW to rearrange the basement!!
-Why, oh WHY can't Notre Dame go deeper in the tourney (sorry...I just can't get it out of my mind!)
-Sunday morning...GREAT ambushed and then had a FANTASTIC service!
-Jaden got to play the Wii during our service...he was my "expert" on hitting a target...he was SOOOOOO excited to help me!!
-I think I drove 10,000 miles on Sunday afternoon...too many places to go!
-Ended Sunday with a GREAT couples group...talking about sex!
-We were all challenged to make sure we talk with our kids about the GOOD of simply AMAZING it can be if you keep it in marriage...and it can simply be amazing! actually ended my Sunday with my tourney bracket being BLOWN UP by Notre Dame! (yes there is a theme here!!) The Bucks are my only hope!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I was under attack!!

This morning I was preaching on the direction of our church...the title of my sermon was "Take Aim!" During our announcement time (and without my knowledge!!) A guy (I will not give them the gratification of having their names in print!! :)...he yells from the back of the auditorium "Hey Tim...what is the title of your message this morning?!" THEN 4 or 5 guys pop up around the auditorium and "Take aim" on me with Nerf guns! IT WAS SOOO FUNNY...and a GREAT way to start our service!! I had no idea they were planning this!! (I should mention here that some of them are AWFUL marksmen!!) Then...when it was about done...Colin comes from behind me on stage and gets me from close range! UNBELIEVABLE...our worship leader shoots me from behind...

Paybacks are sweet boys...PAYBACKS ARE SWEET BOYS!!!!

OH...I should mention that I did get hit by one "bullet" from the BACK balcony area...NOW THAT is a Nerf gun!!! LONG RANGE!!

Welcome to Grace Community...where you just NEVER KNOW what is going to happen...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Priceless Bday gifts!

I LOVE my kids...and it is always so cool how the simple things make a HUGE difference...Chloe, Jaden and Luke each made me bday cards...they are sooooo very unique and just touched me. Then Luke made me another card and put $1.12 in it! It was sooo cute...he went to his bank and gave me $...And drew a picture of a big storm and a tornado! Quite the interesting bday card I must say!

In the morning, Jaden made me close my eyes...he led me to the garage...I was expecting something that he built or a stick...some sort of contraption! When he told me to open my eyes...I looked up and he had straightened the WHOLE garage! AND IT WAS A MESS BEFORE...HOW cool was that!!?? It really looked good and organized...VERY COOL!

It reminded me again that OFTEN it is the SIMPLE gifts...the ones from our own hands...the ones where we invested part of US in it that make the most impact.

I'll never forget those gifts...the time that Chloe took to make a sign and then a card for me...Luke's card with $$ in it and then Jaden-using up HIS play time to help me and clean up the garage...PRICELESS!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Trust...hard to build...EASY to destroy!

I have been thinking a lot about trust...both the building of trust and the destroying trust...It started with Coach Tressell and his issues at Ohio State...not telling the truth...and trust...a career based on integrity has been brought into question...I have had MANY talks with husbands and wives...where trust was there, but through choices was destroyed...children with their parents...workers with their bosses...students with their teachers...workers with their bosses...and on and is soooooo hard to build trust and it just takes a few moments to destroy it all!

I also believe that trust can be rebuilt...that relationships can be restored...and sometimes even made better than before. A poor decision or MANY poor decisions doesn't have to ruin a may ruin a season of life...maybe even a LONG season of life...but IT DOESN'T HAVE TO DEFINE who you are, who you will be or what your legacy will be.

Live is a way that allows you to build AND KEEP that trust...make choices today...maybe in this VERY MINUTE that allow you to build trust with others. AND make sure you are doing it when no one is watching you too!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I've Waited...

"Back in the day" we used to sing a song over and over and over again called "I've Waited on the Lord on high...I've waited and he heard my cry." For the past year that was my song...waiting...waiting and often not really patiently waiting for God to move in restore my love and passion for him...his church and people that need him. Slowly...often VERY SLOWLY...he has done it!

We all go through dark times...the trouble for me was when I was out of the dark time of my life I expected to jump RIGHT TO spring and summer seasons! But (as this winter proves over and over this year!) the winter season is a process...but when it is finally over beautiful things happen. I really sense that right now in my life...Spring has just sprung...Even though I'm VERY tired from our new little girl...there is just so much growth happening...I like it!!

One of the last to things to jump into the Spring season of life for me was a passion to lead...I LOVE to meet with hear the their story...what God is doing in their encourage them on that walk through struggles and victories with people...AND I LOVE casting a picture of what God longs to do through people and his church...BUT for a long time that has been dried up in has felt like a long winter season!

BUT...over the past couple of months something has been happening in me...a restored vision and passion for what God is and wants to do through me and HIS church...and feels REALLY-REALLY GOOD! I CAN'T WAIT to go to work...Instead of longing for a day off...I can't wait to dive in...can't WAIT to meet with people...Can't wait to see what God is up to next...It feels soooooooo good to be in the Spring time of good!

It is a pretty good bday present!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Past vs. Present


This week is going to be a TOUGH one! My hometown teams are in the NCAA tourney and they are playing each other! Zippy from Akron U. takes on the Mighty Leprechaun from Notre Dame!!!! (I know...the Zips Mascot is a Kangaroo!! Really!?!?!?!)
I grew up in Akron...I remember watching Bobby Huggins throwing off his suit jacket on the Zips sidelines...NOW...I live a few minutes from ND and our church is walking distance away!! People park in our parking lot for Irish football...So...a decision has to be made...deny the original hometown or my current one...

GO IRISH!! I have to go with the Irish on this one! The Irish are my #2 team after the sorry Zippy...the Irish are going to SHOOT ALL OVER YOU!
As for the rest of the tourney...I have long said that I'm a Buckeye fan, but as long as the Irish and Bucks don't play...I pull for the Irish...SO GO IRISH...right up to the final game and LOSE TO THE BUCKS by 1!!!!

Weekend Reflections

We closed out the Upwards hoop season on Saturday with the closing ceremony...I was quite impressed with Trinity Church's new lighting in their gym...really makes the place feel like an auditorium...very nice! The director shared a story from the funeral he attended the day before...a funeral for a 30 yr. old young woman...She loved Jesus so the funeral was a celebration he said...that is still so young to be gone from here...But the CHALLENGE he gave was moving...bottom line...we really don't know how many more days we will get here...have we chosen to follow Jesus AND are we making the most of our life. Whoa...deep and powerful!

Then Sunday morning comes and we finish our "I am Legacy" message series...We all long to hear the words "Well Done!" from our Savior...from God...are we living in a way to hear those words? How are we investing our lives? How are we influencing others closer to Jesus? Hopefully we are influencing others close to him!

The bottom line is...we have to...HAVE TO...HAVE things with love! Toooooo often we do the right thing to check another thing off our list...but we must work to do it out of love for God and other people...YEP...even those that are hard to love! AND YEP...that isn't always easy!

We finished off our morning yesterday with our first Chili Cookoff...I said I wouldn't eat much Chili because I'm a spicy-food wimp...BUT I did anyway and am paying for it today! BUT it was worth it...some REALLY good Chili! It was a really fun afternoon...there were people still hanging out 2+ hours AFTER service was over! Good times!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Whoa...this is powerful

I was just about to head to bed when I ran across this blog a good friend of mine posted...THIS is celebrating the Word of is just moving..."Lord, renew my thirst for your Word..." Click the link and CHECK THIS OUT!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Read through Leviticus...A LOT OF LAW! Something NAILED me though...all of those offerings and sacrifices...all of the rules that God had...HE WAS SERIOUS! If his people didn't come prepared...if they didn't come in a certain way...they just might die! Imagine that...GREAT CARE had to have gone into preparing a sacrifice...

I was deeply challenged as I read that a few weeks back...challenged to make sure that in all that we do here...prepping for a Sunday morning...that we make sure we are giving God our personal best...nothing less!

How are you doing with this? Are you giving Christ your personal time with him? Are you falling deeper in love with him? Man...back in the day they lost their lives for a lack of prep...may we ALWAYS give God THE best of us!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunday Reflections

A year ago I spent the first Sunday in March in my chair at home...created my own service...I had had a rough week and had the morning off...I remember listening to "I Will Rise" and being deeply moved...that although my world was suddenly my Savior rose from the grave...I would rise up out of the circumstances I was in...

I have had that same feeling...same sense in our church...that God is up to something...the past 6 weeks have been some of the VERY BEST at Grace...AND THEN there was the first Sunday in March 2011...TODAY...WOW! God is doing some incredible things at our the people. It is sooooooooooo good to be involved in it!

Today started ROUGH...I couldn't find my out late...but there was NO WAY that was going to stop me from bringing my best! I had spent Saturday night praying...listening to some music and reviewing my message and holding my little girl...AND I was preaching on Legacy...and BEING YOU! I was letting Satan win that easily...

When I got to church...right before the worship team practiced...I was up in the sound booth giving them my Powerpoint...Jerimae started to talk about what God was doing in his life...JUST MOVING! POWERFUL! People started coming for the service and we had several visitors to watch people talking and interacting...there is a REALLY REALLY good spirit at church...

WE celebrated Jamie today...he has been drummin' with us since about the beginning...God is moving him to a different ministry and we had the chance to pray for him...he has been SUCH a huge encouragement and servant here!

WORSHIP WAS AWESOME! I realized that we pray A LOT during our services...I really like that...Think about it...if we are going to worship God...we should spend significant time talking to him!

Then Anita kicked off the message with a video and sharing about the youth doing a 40 Hour Famine to raise money for food for starving children. She IS the message I preached today...she is ALREADY living it! PERFECT way to kick things off!!

Our message today focused on LIVING as God has wired YOU to live...not how others think you should live or how YOU THINK others want you to live...God has uniquely wired you...crafted you a unique set of talents, spiritual gifts and abilities...STOP WAITING and go live!

Ended the message talking about that day...when all of us will be sitting on the Judgment Seat of Christ...those that have made Jesus Lord will be the only ones there...and it will be there where how we lived is judged...good and bad! DON'T HAVE ANY REGRETS when you get there! LIVE TODAY...find that one thing that you can do great for God...and do it...

The cool part of this message is that I can list examples of people in our church, like Anita, who are living this out!

The excitement of what God is doing is GROWING at Grace..."Thanks God for allowing me to be involved in it!!"

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lessons learned from Kickball!

Since it is ISTEP week (Indiana's standardized test)...I took my choir class into the gym to challenge them in California is a REALLY fun game and you get to RUN A LOT! I love to play with my classes...they realize that Mr. Boucher can do more than teach music!!

ANYWAY...our team went into the last inning with a slight lead...those choir kids can play! But then something happened...there was a call that some of our team didn't like...only instead of "asking" about it after the play, they started to argue the call DURING THE PLAY! This allowed for 15 runs to score. YES 15 runs...see in Cali Kickball...1/2 of the team runs on each kick and you don't stop running! (YEP...I've scored more than once on 1 kick! IT IS FUN!!) We ended up losing the game...of course I JUMPED AT the teachable moment there...The bottom line is...a close game ended in a blowout...NOT because of the bad call (if it was really even a bad call!) BUT because our team lost their composure!

HOW OFTEN does this happen in life?!?!?! Something happens to us that we don't like...maybe it was even unjust...BUT we respond sooooo poorly that we miss opportunity after opportunity...they just run right by us! We have to GET OUR HEADS above the mess...keep an ETERNAL perspective, so we don't let something even worse happen because of our response or lack of response!

OH...the things we can learn from a little game of kickball!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Track it cause the facts don't lie!

Over the past couple of months I have noticed that my energy is not where it was...being a heart patient this concerned me some so I went to the facts...I tend to over analyse things so I went to the facts...I'm still exercising...I have been keeping cholesterol is actually better than what it was...BUT THEN I went to the HARD know...the ones that you write down!

For the past year I have been keeping a log of my exercise...I log my time-distance-pace-heart rate avg and max-inside or outside running...Late last week I looked over my log for the past 3-4 months and realized that I have been exercising...but not nearly as much or for as long! SO THE FACTS showed me that reason for less energy is that I have been exercising less. My doctor told me early on that I can keep an intense pace if I keep up with my exercise, diet and rest.

SO...I am now reworking the "rhythm of my life" so that I make sure that I am taking care of my body the way I need too.

This has made me many times do we "adjust" the facts in our we make ourselves believe we are ok when really we are hurting ourselves? How often do we make excuses or plain out lie to ourselves...believing that the way we are living is "all good." I challenge you...take a look at the HARD FACTS in your life...make sure that what you THINK is actually reality...if it isn't...take the steps to make the changes sure will be glad you did!!