Friday, April 29, 2011

Tornado Relief! JUMP IN!!

Hey Grace Community Church...NOW is the time for us to step in and help!

We have an opportunity to partner with Church of the Heartland (the church that used to run Ugly Mugs) and provide relief for the families in Alabama. Church of the Heartland is partnering with a church in Alabama to bring supplies and possibly a team of volunteers.

We will also be collecting items throughout the week and next Sunday.

Here are the ways you can get involved…
#1 Items to bring church:
-Diapers and wipes
-Baby Food/formula
-Bottled Water
-Juice (individual)
-Packaged food for distribution

#2 Give monetary donation (Check to Grace Community Church and note “relief”)The money will be given to trusted ministries DIRECTLY involved in the relief effort.

#3 Drivers are needed to take donated items either to a ministry connection in Indianapolis or straight to Alabama

#4 Volunteer a few days…working side by side ministries helping those affected by this disaster.

Mr. Douglas...a teacher with a legacy!

Today was our staff vs. the students basketball game at Jackson. It was fun to beat up on the boys a little bit...they are always sooooooooooooooooo cocky (unlike me!) and then the old games take 'em apart a little! It was fun!

Today reminded me of the my first staff vs. student game when I was in 8th grade...I will NEVER forget the EVER COMPETITIVE Mr. Douglas shoving me into the wall!! I was a LITTLE upset, BUT he is a teacher that I just LOVED! (He did finally apologize!)

Mr. Douglas ran his gym class in a way that he truly invested his LIFE into his work and into the boys. Back in the day we had separate classes for girls and boys...Mr. Douglas would then split us up in AAA, AA and that everyone would have a chance to compete and win...not politically correct today, but it gave EVERYONE a chance to be successful at their level...we would give $.25 at the beginning of each new sport and if we won our division he would give us trophies! The battles in his class were INTENSE...FUN memories!!

I'll never forget one time I was complaining about a call in basketball...Douglas grabs his whistle and in his unique voice starts yelling..."Boucher...if you want me to blow the whistle...I'll blow the the game Boucher." The next time I touched the ball..."WHISTLE" "Foul on Boucher!" I looked at him in disbelief! The next time I got the ball..."Whistle" "Boucher walked with the ball...come on Boucher...what's the problem...get your head in the game?!?!" Seems mean...but you can bet I didn't whine about any calls for the rest of the year!!

At the end of every school year...Douglas would use his own money and put on a SPORTS DAY...Mr. Douglas had people from all over the world come and check out "his program."...Sports Day was an ALL DAY LONG event...and it was a CARNIVAL! Races...Pop drinking"6 pieces of peperoni...more than you'll ever get in the cafeteria!")...he would pay for a band to come and they were usually ROCKIN! THEN...we would earn points and get prizes...and he bought A TON of stuff for prizes!! He was a VERY generous man!!

Douglas was also good at pouring MANHOOD into his students...he was a man's man and he expected us to man up. To walk like treat the girls compete with EVERYTHING we had...and to "not wear polka-dotted shorts..." He wanted us to battle against the odds...he would tell us..."give me the worst team and I'll beat all of you in volleyball...doesn't matter who I have...we'll win...I'll will us to win!" Crazy thing...he was right! His intensity was contagious...he longed to pull the best out of each of us and in his unique style he sure did!

My brother and I can go on FOREVER telling Douglas stories and using his unique voice to do it...I am grateful to him for the fire that he burned in me...for the time that he took to pour his life into us! I have A LOT of great memories from Manchester Middle School...MANY of them revolve around Mr. Douglas!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

How you live matters!

What you do...both when people are watching and when they aren't matters. Plus you just never know when someone is watching don't know when their eyes are on you.

Those of us that have children see this in them ALL THE TIME! We "catch them" doing good or otherwise...and the look are their faces is priceless! The look of "OH you just saw that?!?!" Just priceless!!

Here is a good thought your children grow up...or maybe they already are...what will they see in you? Will they see a life that is consistent with how you raised them? Will they see a lack of integrity in your life? Will your life reinforce the principles you are teaching them? How you live really matters!

Over the years...between teaching and pastoring, I have heard parents say: "I don't understand why he/she acts like this...why do they act this way." At times, it is obvious that mom and/or dad are trying to teach principles and values that they are not living themselves. SO OF COURSE their kids aren't going to buy it! They aren't going to follow!! HOW YOU LIVE REALLY MATTERS MORE THAN WHAT YOU SAY! Another way to say it is...what you teach with your ACTIONS is more important than what you teach with your words!

The question we all need to answer is...Are we consistently living our life in the way we expect our children and others to live? THEN...the 2nd question is do we acknowledge our mistakes...our we make things right? Do we say we are we show our kids that we are a work in progress...OR do they just see inconsistencies...

"Train a child in the way he should go..." PART of that training is living the example in front of them.

This is the thing that is most convicting to me...AS Jesus looks at our he sees how we live and what we he knows every motive that we have...What does he see...For starters...I'm glad he is a forgiving God AND I'm glad he gives us HIS Spirit to help us! 'Cause we can be inconsistent at times...

How you live your life matters! You are influencing way or the ARE influencing people...MAKE THE CHOICE to POSITIVELY influence others!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Enjoy the moment!

WAY TO OFTEN we run from one task to the next...from one event to the next...from project to project and we never take time to breath...never take time to enjoy the moment...



ENJOY THE MOMENT...enjoy how 8 people are now sure that when they die they will be in heaven! They responded to Jesus Christ...made him in charge of their lives!

Enjoy the moment...that we had our largest attendance ever (next to our Sunday after soccer camp last year)...MANY visitors...Some people that have been prayed for and invited for a few YEARS came!

Enjoy the moment...your hard work paid off! You went out in the community and EGGED delived a dozen eggs to over 400 homes and many people showed up because of it! WELL DONE!

Enjoy the moment...the powerful and moving moments of worship on Sunday...the priceless time of reflection...BIG POWERFUL music!

Enjoy the moment of all the smiling faces at the Egg Dash.

Enjoy the moment of all the work that went into filling the eggs and it took less than 30 seconds to finish the dash!! LESS THAN 30 SECONDS!

Enjoy the moment of seeing soooooo many people serving...serving because they love Jesus...this church and our community!

ENJOY THE MOMENT because you know as well as I do...that trouble isn't hard to we HAVE TO-HAVE TO-HAVE TO enjoy these amazing moments!


Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Special Day!


This morning was one of the 2 very best church services and Sunday mornings that I have EVER been involved with!! I beg God a lot...plead with him to show up...I long to see people in our community come to Jesus...I plead with him to change people's lives...ask him to allow us to influence people right here in South Bend, Indiana. That he would give us the opportunity to share HIS story with people and then have the respond to it...

There was a lot happening today...people praying...playing instruments...singing... teaching children...setting up food...putting out eggs for our egg dash...greeting and welcoming people...setting up people...and so many more! There was a GREAT DEAL of investment into this morning and frankly these people invest like this weekly! So when God shows up the way he did is breath-taking and rewarding!

The building was electric (It was our 2nd highest attendance EVER!) and you could sense THE Spirit of God moving in people. The music and time of reflection was priceless...and then it happened. And I just LOVE IT when God allows us to see this...people responded to follow Jesus Christ...It is SOOOOO fun to see people take the step to make Jesus in charge of their is a moment to CELEBRATE! After we prayed and people acknowledged that they turned to Jesus...POWERFUL...just powerful!

Then we headed out for our egg's a dash because it is over in about 30 seconds!! 5000 eggs GONE in 30 seconds! CRAZY! It was a really fun atmosphere and Michelle and her team of people did an INCREDIBLE job making this happen. What a fun time for our church and the community!

On a morning when we celebrate the amazing miracle of Jesus' resurrection it is soooo FANTASTIC that God comes through and changes people's lives! Our goal this morning was to honor God...that he would be pleased with EVERYTHING we the end...he blessed us beyond our dreams! Yes! Yes!! Yes!!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Still Blown Away...

I first gave my life to Jesus over 30 years ago and I am still blown away by what God did for me...for all of us. Jesus LEFT HEAVEN...HEAVEN!! It's perfect there...NO screaming...crying...sadness...and he gave it up to come down here and be hated, beaten and die...and to do that when he didn't do ANYTHING wrong! We are barely willing to suffer at all! We LONG for "the easy life." AND JESUS HAD IT ALL...but gave it up for 33 years to live down we could have the opportunity to experience heaven. I am overwhelmed today...overwhelmed with his sacrifice...I am sooooooo thankful too...thankful that he didn't stay in that grave...that he ROSE UP! Ultimate victory!! Now if we choose to follow him we can experience heaven...(what a day THAT is going to be!!)

I encourage you to spend some time in John 18-21 this weekend...allow yourself to be overwhelmed with the greatest gift ever given!

Monday, April 18, 2011

So much to carry...

I don't even know where to start this blog today...I left school this morning with tears in my heart aches for some of these young people...The choices they are making...the things that they have already been exposed to by friends or their own families. It leaves me with a heavy heart for them. Many of them have struggles at home...parents that fight or just don't pay attention to them...some don't live with their parents. There are some that are really the ones raising their syblings...

Every year that I have taught school I leave with kids that I would love to to take in and provide a place of safety...of encouragement...of structure...a place where they can see how much a mom and dad love them...and hear about the God of the universe that can help them. They carry such a load.

It is a priviledge to be a be part of their have the opportunity to influence them and to know them. I only wish that I could get into their heads and provide the message that GOD LOVES THEM...that HE thinks they are BEAUTIFUL...HE longs to know them...and he will meet them RIGHT WHERE THEY ARE AND WALK WITH THEM FROM THERE! They don't have to be perfect...God will walk with them...and will provide the strength to overcome...more than thrive.

DON'T GIVE UP...DON'T EVER GIVE UP young out God...learn to trust again...MAN...the load they carry!

JESUS said: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11: 28-30)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Going Egging!

Part of the mission of our church is to be IN the community...we don't expect people to simply come to us...AND I simply do not like going door to door...I don't like it when people come to my door selling stuff so we don't go selling Jesus that way. SO...on Saturday we went egging! It was quite cool to take a dozen eggs to 400 homes around our church building and egg people...NO...NO...we didn't throw the eggs at people...instead we give them the eggs that were picked up from a farm that morning! It is sooooo good to simply serve people with nothing expected in return! Fun sharing Jesus' love in simple and practical ways! And definitely a more constructive way to go egging!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It's YOUR job!

This is YOUR one is YOUR responsibility...YOU get the blame...bottom line? It's on YOU! Huh? SOOOOOOO glad you asked! I am reading through a book called "Axiom" by Bill Hybels...I read it a while back and am going through it with some leaders in our church. A quote in the forward got to me it is... "The leader's third responsibility (if you want the other two, you'll have to buy the book!) -and toughest of them all- is self-leadership, the commitment to constant improvement as a leader. Few things are more tragic than seeing zeal, talent and a God-given goal fail because a leader neglected to get better." MAN...that is many people blame EVERYONE ELSE for things that happen...even for their own personal failures...when we MUST take responsibility for ourselves...we must be LIFELONG learners...keep growing...learning...being stretched. When we do we will more effectively lead others!

Monday, April 11, 2011

A GREAT Vacation...even some blood!!

Vacation was really good! We got some projects done and I played A LOT of hide-n-go seek tag with the kids and neighbor kids!! We basically run and run and run until someone gets caught...I LOVE THIS GAME! Jumping fences...falling around corners...the kids get skinned knees...holes in their pants...grass stain...PERFECT! We also played a serious game of "fumble." It's a game we created where you use a small football...inside the team "fumbles" the ball and you score when you get the ball under the piano bench...THEN...IT'S ON...not a whole lot of rules!! Bodies flying around...tears shed...A LOT of laughter...and even some blood! I got a knee to the nose and ear...after the game I was bleeding behind my ear...I HAD NO CLUE THAT I WAS BLEEDING...the game must go on! Then we found some of my blood on Jaden's shirt...might be because he had me in a serious head-lock!! IT WAS SOOOOOO FUN! Then of course there was Wii Bowling...I had to "step away" for a minute and Chloe "bowled" for me! ONLY she threw it in the gutter EVERY TIME and I lost my pro status!! I OWE HER! We ended vacation with our first family trip to Strikes and Spares...road some go-karts...played mini-golf and bowled. Chloe and I raced with the go-karts and Luke road with me...You should have seen Luke! A great week!! Good times!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Tech Fast!

I am just about to leave the office and head on vacation! Looking forward to a week of hanging out with the family...This vacation is going to be a technology fast for me...I'm not going to be checking email...blogging...visiting blogs...heading to Facebook...I'll be turning my cell phone off and no research on the internet...I try to do this a couple of times a year...I get soooooo reliant on tech stuff and it is just good to put it aside and focus on family! SO here we go...see you next weekend!! Looking forward to some time with the family and getting things done around the house!!