Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Monday, December 28, 2009


This is one of my favorite songs. As you listen to the words take some time to reflect on this past year and this next year ... what are you living for? who are you living for?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Nativity


(The pics are from my cell phone camera - sorry they're not too good)

Growing up we had a small nativity, most of the pieces were broken or missing, and honestly I always saw it as something you put out at Christmas time ... it really had little meaning to me. As I grew older and entered into a relationship with Christ the nativity became a symbol to me - it was something I saw at Christmas ... but still I really didn't care if there was a nativity or not ... I guess for me it had been lost in the "commercial" Christmas.

All that was true for me until this year ... and everything changed. Christmas for me was different this year, and honestly - I'm glad it was. At church we did a four week series entitled "Christmas Outside the Box". We were challenged to rethink Christmas, spend less, and give to those truly in need. I took part in it and it helped to make Christmas more "simple". Throughout the month we had also been adding pieces to what would be a Nativity Scene on Christmas Eve.

Thursday (Christmas Eve) came and wow what a Nativity Scene we had and for the first time in my life the Nativity Scene was real ... it really felt like what it might have been like to be there the night Jesus was born. For starters, it was inside our building - which helped to create some interesting effects and atmosphere.

#1 - There was the smell ... inside the building there were people, animals, hay, and all the things that go along with that stuff and it was HOT ... so hot that the sheep were panting and we kept having to open the doors to cool them down. This made for an interesting aroma throughout the building ... and some of the same smells that Jesus first encountered as He entered this world.

#2 - There were the people ... remember how there was no room at the inn? Well, there was no room in the church. It was PACKED and not just for one service ... ALL 5 of them! Wall to wall people and standing room only, in fact some services had people seated in the lobby watching the service on monitors. Moving through the halls and lobby must have been like moving through Bethlehem the night Jesus was born trying to find a place to stay (or in this case ... sit!)

#3 - There were the gifts ... Jesus was sent as a gift - to redeem us and reunite us with God and on Thursday I watched as children and families offered their gifts to Jesus. What a symbolic moment as I reflected on how Jesus was a gift given to us and now we have the opportunity to give to Him by loving those who He loves.

Ultimately, a Nativity Scene will never be just another "Nativity Scene" to me ... it will forever remind me of this Christmas Eve and the true meaning of the Nativity, the Gift God gave, and what it might have been like the night Jesus was born!

I hope you had a great Christmas and took some time to stop and just reflect!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Monday, December 21, 2009



I LOVE to cook! Baking isn't bad, but I'd rather cook a meal :-)

But, every now and then I like to bake ...especially if I have some helpers! I borrowed the kids of one of my friends last weekend and baked Christmas Cookies with them. We had a TON of fun baking the cookies and even more fun decorating them!

In the end I think we had more icing than cookie, but that made them yummy :-)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Saturday x2

Last Friday night I didn't sleep ... it's only the second all-nighter I've ever done. Both have been church related, none were college related. My brain pretty much quits functioning exactly at midnight, and for those of you who have seen me after midnight you know its a good laugh and a very unpredictable time as to what will come out of my mouth! So, in college it was no good for me to work on papers and projects all night. Granted, there were nights I went past midnight, but never did I pull an all-nighter.

Like I said, last Friday was my second one and it was fun. I spent the night in our youth building - NorthBeach - with my small group of 8th grade girls. There's TONS to do in that building, but the girls were more interested in spending time with my co-leader and I. We baked cookies and played four-square nearly all night. The girls finally laid down and watched a movie well after 3a and during it all of them fell asleep! With it being nearly 5a, my co-leader and I decided to just play cards until the girls' parents arrived to take them home!

Here's a few pics from the evening...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I LOVE sending Christmas Cards. I feel like it says to the people who receive them that I care about them. But, over the last several weeks I have been challenged to rethink what I spend on Christmas and how I could use that money to help those truly in need. One thing that I chose to do was not send Christmas Cards. In the end, with postage and cards it adds up to a lot of money! E-mail is free and while it's hard for me to not address and mail the cards I did spend awhile tonight making this Christmas Card that I'll be emailing out to friends and family.

I used the money that I would have spent on cards and postage on a child in a local Headstart Program. He is 3 and his name is John. If you think of it, please pray for him this Christmas ... that he would feel the love of Jesus and one day understand what Christmas is truly all about.

I hope you enjoy the Christmas Card! Thanks for visiting my blog!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Social Media


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Village Church

Would you join me in praying for Matt Chandler and The Village Church in Texas? Matt is the lead pastor and was diagnosed with a brain tumor on Thanksgiving. Listen to his words here, the day before surgery ...

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, December 15, 2009


The opposite of poverty isn't wealth ... it's enough.

I heard that statement last weekend and it has had a HUGE impact on me. In my life, I have ENOUGH ...and that's all I need. I'm not wealthy, compared to America's standards, but God has provided so that my basic needs are met. For this, I am thankful.

Monday, December 14, 2009


The Christmas Messages this month at church have been unlink anything I have ever heard ... yet they have been more challenging than most messages I have ever heard. And I've heard a TON of messages - I went to Cedarville University where you go to chapel every day for four years ... I'm not going to do the math on how many messages that is in four years (just Monday to Friday, not including weekend's at church).

These messages have really challenged me to not just sit tight, but to do something ... anything, for children who don't have a voice. This past weekend (video is available on the website) the message was on poverty and service finished with a powerful video about how much money we spend on things like potato chips and soft drinks a year and how that money could be used to help children around the world. Over the past few days I've been reflecting on what I can do to make a difference and I hope to share a few of these things with you in the future.

For now, think about what you can do to make a difference.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Thinking Literally

We all know little kids think literally. Its hard to use any amount of sarcasm with them because they think its fact. They're still learning about the world around them and don't pick up on the extra things we constantly add into communication.

Tonight, I was teaching about 20 or so 3, 4, and 5 year olds during our smallest service ... its also our latest service and after very little sleep I was faced with trying to find the right words to say.

The story was simple ... well it is if you've slept the night before ... if you are sleep deprived like I was tonight, you might find yourself questioning whether Joseph was really the name of Mary's husband ... or if somewhere in your sleep-deprived state you might have made that up.

Well, there I was - 20+ preschoolers staring at a HUGE box wondering what might be inside and hardly able to contain their excitement ... when I said the wrong thing...

Me- "Can you help me open this box?"

Preschoolers- (Thinking in their heads ... "YES!!!" "I"M GOING TO TOUCH THE BOX" I"M GOING TO OPEN THE BOX!!!!!!!!!!!!")

And then I was rushed by more than 20 kiddos all hoping that they would be one to actually pull the lid off the box.

Immediately realizing my mistake of wording I quickly had them all return to their seats ... and with much dissapointment I asked the question that my mind had said, but that hadn't come out of my mouth correctly...

"Can you help me count to 3 so that I can open the box?"

And so there you have it ... another evening of randomness and fun ... and my near mauling by 20+ kiddos!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Lessons in Parenting

Now if you know me, that title might have made you laugh ... and then wonder what this post was all about! I don't have kids of my own, but every now and then I am privileged to keep someone else's kids.

Last week was one of those times. And it was the first time I had spent an entire week, full time, with kids younger than high school/junior high age. Boy did I learn a lot! It was a great experience for me and gave me an understanding of what the parents I serve go through on a daily basis. It now makes sense on how it can take several days to check emails, complete forms, and just get basic things done! Last week by the time I got home from work, got homework done and everyone fed it was time for bed ... and I was ready to crawl in bed too!

Overall, it was a great week and we had a ton of fun! There was only one meltdown the entire week ... and it was quickly overcome with a little ice cream :-)

So ... if you wondered where I was last week ... let's just say there was little time to blog or do much of anything else!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thursday's Tip

I find that Small Group Labels is one of the biggest hits on my website ... which means apparently a lot of people are looking for info! So, I'm going to spend this Thursday giving some basic info on how our Preschool Ministry is structured.

Beginning around 2.5 years old children move into a ministry structure that is based off of the Small Group/Large Group Model. However, instead of a traditional small group that you or I would sit in (believe it or not - preschoolers DO NOT sit!) the kids go through 4 activity centers in place of their small groups.

No, the small groups aren't consistent - but preschoolers make friends based on who is in close vicinity to them and tend to be open and honest, no matter who is around!

In order to divide the children into small groups they receive a sticker at their classroom with a color box on it. Since the kids can't read, there are no words on the sticker - just simply a color block and a number. The number coordinates with the bin that they put all their things in and the color block tells them which center to start at. The stickers are printed on Avery Labels (1 sheet per service)

Centers last about 10 minutes each - taking a total of 40 minutes during the service. In addition to the centers there is also a 15-20 minute large group teaching and worship time!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, December 8, 2009



At my church we have an incredible ministry called GraceWorks. The sole purpose of the ministry is to meet the needs of children with special needs and their families. GraceWorks is an "area" within our children's ministry, just as the nursery, preschool, or elementary are. Within each age group of the ministry functions GraceWorks and the GraceGivers who serve. GraceWorks also functions within special events that we host throughout the year, including our summer camps. Basically, whenever a child who has special needs is present at an event, a GraceGiver is asked to serve with the child (if needed).

GraceWorks supports the families of these children as well! Our first endeavor into this has been our Afternoon Away program held a few times each year. Parents have the opportunity to bring their children to the church (including siblings) and then spend three hours doing whatever they want!

This past Sunday we had the opportunity to serve families through an Afternoon Away event, which went incredibly well!

In addition to serving the children and families, my favorite part of our GraceWorks Ministry is that it is completely volunteer led by people who have a passion not only for God, but for children with special needs!!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Some Christmas Cheer

To help you get in the Christmas spirit ... here's a video from one of the guys I work with...


Saturday, December 5, 2009


Photos can tell a powerful story! Check out this Photo Blog. It contains pics of a slum in Rio De Janiero ... it is a life that most of us reading this will never know, yet a life that exists here in our world. God knows these people by name ... just like He knows you and me by name.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


December is a fun month, especially in kids ministry. Its a BUSY month, but the kids make it fun! I love to tell the Christmas Story - I think its one of the stories that the kids can relate to ... simply that Jesus was a baby. But in the grand scheme of things the Christmas Story is the beginning of God's plan to redeem the world and to provide salvation for each of us ... what an amazing story!

This December how do you plan to celebrate Jesus' birth? Do you have any special traditions that remind you about the real meaning of Christmas?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Feeling Old

Yesterday I was playing Wii with a couple of kids and this conversation came up ...

8 yr old "hey, have you ever played Super Mario Brothers"

Me "yea ... on the original Nintendo"

8yr old "woah"

Yes ... I felt INCREDIBLY OLD!!! And I wasn't that old when the original nintendo came out!

So ... there's a good laugh for today!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Menu Monday


Looking for a yummy, warm soup on a cold winter day? Check out this recipe for Loaded Baked Potato Soup.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Stand

An AMAZING song! Take a few minutes to listen :-)

It's from Hillsong United and available on iTunes!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday

I'm not a HUGE fan of Black Friday because of the consumer mentality that has made it what it is, however I am cheap ... which means that if there is something I'm looking for, or wanting to purchase for Christmas ... I will go out and get it at the best price!

So this morning ... after only about 3 hours of sleep my mom and I ventured out. I saw the first tiny snow flakes of the season and found a few good deals! Here's a couple observations from the day...

#1 - Hospitality. Let's face it - everyone is tired ... shoppers and retailers and its early in the morning, but hospitality still goes a long way. We were at 2 different Wal-Marts before 8a this morning. At store number 1 we had a TERRIBLE experience, and I mean TERRIBLE TERRIBLE TERRIBLE. There were cops patrolling the aisles, including one on a bike. The store is brand new and had taken the opportunity to hide "doorbuster" items in the nooks and crannies of it causing complete frustration and chaos. And because they had hidden the items the employees were unable to help frustrated shoppers find items ... to say the least, it was utter chaos.
At store number 2 items were near their normal locations, the employees were helpful and there were lots of them! There was no need for the cops because the store had things well under control ... they were friendly, greeted you at the door, and were more than helpful in helping find items. To say the least ... a smile went a long way this morning :-)

#2 - Early Hours. There's a widely held belief that 4-5am is PACKED and CHAOTIC ... well we always head out a little after 5 and (other than the TERRIBLE Wal-Mart experience) crowds weren't bad, people know exactly what they're looking for and lines move fast ... simply because the serious shoppers with a plan are the ones out at this time. The trouble seems to arise when the "gazers" arrive between 9 and 10a ... these are the people who think they missed the crowds and are now out to shop and look at items ... they have no plan.

So my advice ... go early and go to stores you are familiar with (you know they have good management, friendly people, etc)

So all in all ... did we get some good deals??? YES!!!

Bath Towels for $2, 4gig photo cards for $8, some great deals on clothes and much more!

Hope you had fun today! Anyone else find good deals?

Now, I'm heading to bed!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I had a post ready to go, but then I came across these words yesterday and I think it touches on something I so often take for granted ... thanking God for who He is ...

"And so this Thanksgiving, although we still have much to be thankful for, I am reminded that some times, some seasons of life, we must be thankful simply for who God is, not just simply for the pain we have avoided." You can read the rest of the post by clicking here.

Simply who God is ... not what He's done for you or provided for you or not done or what you're still asking Him to do ... how often do we just simply rest in WHO God is and be thankful for that?

I don't know what this past year has held for you. For me, I have a lot to be thankful for and I don't take any of that for granted, but I think its important to remember that ultimately we need to thank God for WHO He is and that He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow - no matter what those times may have held, are holding, or will hold for your life.

So today, as you enjoy time with family and friends, take time to reflect on who God is to you and how He is the constant in our ever changing lives ... and thank Him for that!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mercy Me

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to help out with the MercyMe Concert that was held at FarHills in Dayton, Ohio. I spent the day "running" for the band ... anything from dropping off the bus drivers at their hotel to running to Walgreens for some cold medicine and chapstick ... basically whatever the band needed, or wherever they need to go - it was my job to make it happen. I honestly have no idea how my mom and I ended up with that job, but it was pretty cool! During the event I got some good pics! Here's a few...

Johnny Diaz (the opening act for the opening act)

Tenth Avenue North (the opening act)

Mercy Me

There was also a proposal at the show ... catch that below!

To see more photos go to...


Monday, November 23, 2009

B ::: Bible

Continuing on with the Thankful Alphabet ... B is for Bible.

I was thinking the other day about how thankful I am that I can read God's Word in my language and that I can legally have a Bible and that I have the money to purchase a Bible ... even several Bibles. I take it for granted that I can at any moment reach for God's Word and simply begin to read it. Many find themselves unable to get the Bible, restricted from it, or simply unable to read it because its not in their language.

While at Cedarville I heard a Wycliffe Bible Translator speak during the MIssions Conference one year and her story simply fascinated me, but also reminded me that I take it for granted that I have an English copy of the Bible! There are so many waiting around the world for the Bible to be translated into their language!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I saw this last night while at the Mercy Me Concert and just had to share it! Pretty funny!

Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New Website

Kate Mcrae has her new website up! Check it out at!

Friday, November 20, 2009



So, one thing that God is teaching me more than anything right now is ... FOCUS. With the changes in my job lately I am learning in a tangible way what the Bible means when it talks about focusing on the prize.

When I stay focused ... I can function. I get my stuff done and I don't get overwhelmed. But, as soon as I allow my mind to wander to all the things I need to do and lose focus I am overwhelmed.

When we focus on Jesus the problems of this world are manageable, but when we allow our focus to drift we become overwehelmed by our problems.

Stay focused on Him!

What are you focusing on?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I saw this cool idea today ... its called the Grateful Alphabet. Over the next several weeks I'll be blogging through the alphabet, stopping at each letter to identify something I'm thankful for. Let's start with the letter A!

A ::: Africa

I am thankful for Africa. It is the place that God used to change my life. The people, the culture, the land ... I'm not sure that I would be who I am today or if I would have experienced God in the way I did without traveling to Africa seven years ago! I hope to return to this amazing place soon!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Steven Curtis Chapman has an incredible new song out that he wrote after the loss of his daughter last May.

Here, he shares about the song...

Now, take a moment to listen to his new song...

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Joy

I found this video on a friends blog today and it could not have come at a more perfect time. Yesterday, I was sharing with someone how my trip to Africa changed my life completely 7 years ago. And this video pretty much wraps up the reason why.

You see, I landed in Africa less than two weeks after my dad had died. It was a time that could have been all about me, all about my suffereing, my problems, my wants and needs ... BUT ... the JOY of the people in South Africa (and all around Africa) showed me a different way of thinking, a different way of life. My happiness isn't based, on what I have or don't have, or the sorrow that was currently surrounding me in my life. My happiness is based on WHO I know ... and knowing that this life isn't all there is ... there's so much more with Jesus!

What are you basing your happiness on?

Thursday, November 12, 2009


The planning for Thanksgiving has begun! This will be the second time that I've cooked the meal for my family. I LOVE cooking ... and especially Thanksgiving Dinner! It also makes it easier for me to know what ingredients are in the food and makes the day much more enjoyable without having to avoid a potential allergic reaction!

So as I put together the Thanksgiving menu ... what's the dish you can't go without at Thanksgiving?

Social Networking

The other night I had a few of my friends' kids over for a little bit. We watched a movie, colored, and ate snacks. Then, it came time to go home and that's when I had a conversation with the two year old that really struck me...

It went something like this...

(After seeing my Macbook laying on the countertop)

2yr old: Where's your big 'puter? ('puter = computer)

Me: What?

2yr old: Your BIG 'puter (now gesturing with arms), where is it?

Me: That's my computer.

2yr old: No, your BIG 'puter (once again motioning with arms)

Me: Oh, that's my computer, I just have a little computer.

2yr old: Do you like your little 'puter? Do you want my big 'puter?

Me: No, I like my little computer!

It was a strange conversation, especially with a two year old, but then I realized ... he only knows a world WITH computers ... MULTIPLE computers. He sees a desktop and a laptop on a regular basis, sitting next to each other many times! Wow how things have changed ... it makes me wonder how fast and far technology is going to go as these kids begin to grow up ... and how the church MUST change the way it communicates as Web 2.0 begins to take hold. I don't think social networking is just online fun, I think its the future and how we utilize it is going to determine how we reach people!

What are you using ... how are you connecting with others? Is your online networking meaningful? Have you ever thought about the potential you have to reach people? The internet is never going to replace real life connections with people - and it shouldn't, but it is going to change the world as we know it.

In the last two days I've seen three examples of social networking and the church at work. People are seeing a need, sharing a need, and being the church to people they don't even know! You can check out some of these examples at the links below... ::: raised $25,000+ in less than 24 hours to build a kindergarten in Vietnam (original goal: $30,000 by December 31st) ::: collecting Christmas presents for children at Phoenix Children's - already have more than enough Children's Bibles two days after they posted the need

realtimechurch ::: bringing social networking and the church together to share the need and be the church

Maybe one way you can do something this Christmas is by helping someone you've never met by following their story and bringing it into your home via the web, blogs, social networking sites and getting it into your life through prayer and actively doing something to help!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, November 10, 2009


This past weekend I was looking over some materials for the upcoming month of December. As I read through the stuff I was thinking through resources and materials that can be provided to help bring home the point that Christmas isn't about YOU ... its about JESUS.

Just after reading those materials I read this post at

"So we wanted to share an idea that we have been talking over for some time. I kept stalling, not sure about doing it. And then well, the night one of the kids up here passed away I felt an urgency to go ahead with it. It is about Christmas. Reality is, we could be up here for Christmas, which means, no Christmas with all of the kids together. And Kate's birthday is the day after. The thought is so very discouraging. How could we not enjoy such a special holiday together. 2 kids at home, and one in the hospital going through an extremely tough and rigorous chemotherapy? No family breakfast, no opening stockings together, no traditions, no Christmas with the 5 of us. So the more we thought about it, the more we realized, we may get the chance to be home, we just don't know. But the reality is, there will be families up here. On the oncology floor, away from the traditions, their immediate families and extended families, fighting for the lives of their children. Some their resources spent to get their children treatment. Others deciding which children to spend Christmas with. Others wondering if this will be their last Christmas together. The thought never ceases to bring me to tears."

Would you begin praying about what you and your family will do this Christmas to help someone less fortunate or who is going through a difficult time in life? Is there a family who's lost a loved one you could come alongside this Christmas, open your home to a widow and share Christmas with her, buy gifts for those who have none? The possibilities are endless ... but begin now praying about it, and asking God what HE wants you to do this Christmas to honor JESUS!

Monday, November 9, 2009

20 Years Ago


An era ended ... but its one of the first things I remember. At the very young age of 5 I remember seeing the people coming over and through the Berlin Wall as it fell 20 years ago today. I didn't understand what it meant at the time or even where it was, but I remember watching the television, knowing that the people had been kept on their side for a long time and that they were ready to get out. Its one of my earliest memories of the world outside my home (I have earlier memories from childhood in my home) and rivals only with watching the Gulf War begin that same year (which I thought was happening in Arizona ... it was the only place where I knew a desert existed!).

Times have changed and honestly I'm not sure how many 5 year olds should really be watching these types of things, but I think it helped me begin to understand that there were people all over the world and that not everyone lived like I did - there were people hurting, in trouble, happy, sad, and of all races and sizes all around me. For that, I am thankful - not only that the wall came down 20 years ago today, but that it began to help me grasp a world that was bigger than me. I think its one of the many things that God has used in my life to develop a heart for people, the oppressed, and a passion to want to help others.

A Word

From the Book of Common Prayer...

"Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten; nor the hope of the poor be taken away"

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Solo Sunday

The story of Joseph and his brothers is a familiar one, but have you ever really thought about the story of forgiveness that is wrapped up in this Old Testament story? I mean, really thought about it. About how God used the brothers plans for evil, for good and how Joseph forgave his brothers for those evil plans.

To me the word forgiveness means unconditional. Forgiveness doesn't expect anything in return. Often in our consumer world we expect that if we do something for someone, then they'll do something for us. But, that's not how it works. Forgiveness can't be earned and its not a trade for anything. It is a heart issue that is up to us. Forgiving someone means letting go of a hurt, and expecting nothing in return.

Do you forgive unconditionally?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Something Bigger

We all want to be a part of a story. 21,000 people learned the moves to this dance for the season kick-off of Oprah this year ... they were part of a bigger story ... they helped play a part in the overall story.

What story are you a part of? What story can your kids play a part in? Are you living for something bigger than yourself?

Friday, November 6, 2009


Follow the adoption of bringing home another Ethiopian Orphan here...

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Ok, so I've been a little MIA this week ... I mean there's been a lot going on and I just haven't had time to sit down and type, in fact I haven't even had time to think about what to blog over the course of the day. Oh wait ... am I complaining? I HATE complaining ... I mean really really really really hate complaining.

After a long day yesterday I couldn't wait to get home, I just wanted to sit down and rest, but what I wanted more was to tell someone all the things that were stressing me out at the moment. I wasn't about to pick up the phone and call someone, because like I said ... I HATE complaining.

Then, I opened up my devotional last night and it said ... "If you were to complain to God right now, what would your complaint be?" Um, woah!!! Complain ... to God??? What is this about???

You see, the Israelites complained to God ... they complained that there was only Manna and Quail and that the Manna only came at a certain time and that they couldn't take whatever they wanted, and that ... well it could go on and on. But, they were missing that God had provided for them EVERYTHING they needed, it just wasn't what they thought they needed.

So, how has God fulfilled things in ways you weren't expecting, or maybe haven't even realized yet ... is God "enough"?

Take some time to tell God of your "complaints" and ask Him to show you how He's provided in those situations!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Friday, October 30, 2009

The Power of Hello

This past week I was at Conner Prairie. Every fall they have a fun event called the Headless Horseman. Its not just fun, its amazingly well orchestrated. The evening that I was there was PACKED ... and it was a weeknight! When I arrived with friends we were handed tickets for the 11pm hayride ... and its was only 630p!!! But, by giving us the tickets we had the opportunity to enjoy the evening festivities, then jump in line about 20 minutes before it was time for our hayride!

The evening was wonderful, but there was something that stood out to me more than the festivities. It was the people who were serving at the event. Normally, I'm the one saying hello and goodbye to families as they come into and out of our ministry area. But, this time it was me who was on the receiving end of it. As I was leaving I realized the importance and the power of the words. I felt that they truly cared about the people who were there and that they appreciated that we had come.

So, who are you saying something to? What are you saying? Making just that short connection can say a lot about the ministry ... are you reaching out to families each weekend? It certainly leaves an impact and my evening at Conner Prairie was a great reminder that my words do not fall on deaf ears!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thursday's Tip

I came across this great article from Waumba Land @ Northpoint Community Church! Take a few minutes to read it, there are some great ideas and tips on children and behavior!

Kids and Behavior Issues - Part 1

Posted using ShareThis

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, October 27, 2009



This is a fun website I came across the other day! Ever wondered what words you use repeatedly on your blog? Check out Wordle!

Monday, October 26, 2009

I'm A Mac

I LOVE Macs ... there was little to think about for me when it was time for a new computer about a year ago and honestly I've never regretted it! Their creativity is great too :-) With the release of Windows 7 last week, it gave Mac a whole new set of commercials to develop :-)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Solo Sunday

Lectio Divina: its the ancient method of reading, thinking, praying, and living Scripture. Basically, its developing a conversation between you and God.

During the recent RESET Series I have been challenged to really take a close look at my quiet time with God. To really dive in and develop it into what He wants it to be, not what I want it to be - how fast or slow or deep or shallow or existent or nonexistent I want. It's not about me or my comfort ... its about developing an ongoing conversation with God between me and Him.

There are 365 "devotions" within Solo:Remix, based around The Message Bible, thought, prayer, and living out faith. But, every 7th day is missing ... its a time to go back over the previous week, reflect on it, and just talk to God. I'm hoping to use Solo Sundays as a time to reflect about what God is doing.

So, look for weekly Solo Sundays as I hope to share with you what God is doing and maybe even cause you to reflect on what He is doing in your own life!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tanker Explosion

If you didn't hear ... there was a HUGE Tanker Truck Explosion on the northeast side of Indianapolis yesterday ... check out these incredible photos! And hopefully the loop will be open soon - its going to make for a long drive to the south side tomorrow :-(

Friday, October 23, 2009


The Prayer Experience @ NVCL was pretty cool. Beyond anything it was peaceful, relaxing, and a time when I was able to focus on nothing else ... except God! I really enjoyed the time to get back on track and reset the assumptions that I've carried about Jesus for a long time. It did a great job pulling out the things that you don't even think of ... it goes beyond the obvious and really digs at the heart.

On the way home I was listening to a "take home" CD about prayer and it was going through P.R.A.Y.

P - Praise God for who He is
R - Repent of any sins in your life
A - Ask ... boldly ask God
Y - Yield ... just be quiet and listen, give God and opportunity to answer

To be honest I'm terrible at the Y ... I can't even listen to an entire song on the radio - even my favorite song, so its especially hard for me to just sit and be quiet waiting for a potential answer from God.

Tonight though, I was determined to make it through all four parts of the prayer activity. I was listening to the CD and was trying to spread it out over the course of my approx 15 minute drive home. Granted, I might have rushed a little and was already at the Y part of the CD with several minutes still left in my drive. After listening and sitting quietly for a couple minutes I decided to turn off the CD and turn on the radio ... it was then that God answered my prayers. I had boldly asked God about a couple things that I'm dealing with right now ... and His answer? "It's all going to be okay" .... as I turned on the radio my favorite song was on, it was almost as if it was waiting for me to turn it on and those were the first words I heard! God is amazing and He works in and through us in amazing ways!

Take a few minutes to listen to this song ...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Jim Abbott


Find something you love,
and go after it, with all of your heart
- Jim Abbott

Do you know who Jim Abbott is? I fell in love with his story of overcoming the odds when I was a young child. Jim Abbott was a pitcher in the major leagues who only had one hand. He was told so many times that he couldn't follow his dreams and that he wouldn't be able to play baseball.

Looking back on my childhood I can see how my story was much like his. I heard the statistics over and over again that I wasn't going to amount to much because my parents were divorced, that I'd end up in the same situation, that I wouldn't finish high school or go to college ... but through stories like this of determination I set my mind to overcoming the statistics and not becoming one of them.

Who inspired you as a child? Who's story can you relate to that helped you be who you are today? Who are your creating a story for?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Monday, October 19, 2009


Please continue to pray for my friends who are adopting from Ethiopia. They received word last week that they are #46 ... that means there are 45 families in line before them awaiting their referrals also. Please pray for all these families and all of the children who they will be bringing home!

Here's a quick video they put together...

You can follow their story and help them adopt at

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Sad Day in Buckeye Land...


I had the chance to go to the Ohio State vs. Purdue game on Saturday ... it should have been a great day and an easy win, but in the end it wasn't :-(

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Saturday's Song


Friday, October 16, 2009

Slow Down

This past week I ventured out to Parke County. It's west of Indianapolis and is full of small towns, curvy country roads, and covered bridges. It's a beautiful area and I had been there once before, but never for the Covered Bridge Festival. It's a festival that is apparently famous around the country and is on of the largest in the United States! There were vendors from everywhere!

On the suggestion of a friend, my mom and I went to the town of Bridgeton. I had been here before when I wanted to get away from the city a few months ago. When I came upon Bridgeton there was a new bridge next to the covered bridge. It looked like all the others I had stopped and taken pictures of, so I just glanced and kept driving.

However, Thursday we walked to the other side of the bridge and what I saw was beautiful. There was a waterfall just under the bridge - it was an incredible sight.

I was immediately reminded that I need to slow down and take the time to enjoy the small things in life. That day a few months ago I raced on past, hurrying off to other things, instead of stopping and taking the time to take a look at the bridge. It wasn't just like the other bridges, what I missed was one of the most beautiful sights in the whole county!

What are you missing as you race about in your everyday life? Take time this week to slow down, and look for the details in the things around you!

“Always remember to slow down in life; live, breathe, and learn; take a look around you whenever you have time and never forget everything and every person that has the least place within your heart.”


Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Wedding

This past weekend my brother got married. He and his wife met at Cedarville University in Ohio. In all, it was a great weekend filled with amazing friends and a wonderful wedding ... in a VERY cold Chicago!

Here's a few pics from the day...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

CTA Part 2

Alright, so like I said ... just say things with confidence :-)

Well, after the excitement of the taxi cab we arrived at O'Hare ... where we found a train and started to board, however I soon realized it was the train to the parking lot ... not the city! So, off to find the CTA train we went! We were in the wrong part of the airport which meant about a 20-minute walk to the train station where we bought our farecards and headed for the train. Now, in my previous experiences the train stations are well layed out with maps available for you to take and plan your trip while you ride the train. So, that was my plan ... grab a map, get on the train, and figure it out ... but not so fast. Chicago doesn't give out fun little maps showing you the city and the sites of interest.

So, at O'Hare the train only runs one direction ... into the city ... so we got on the train. Quickly to be ushered off the train by CTA Staff. I didn't mind the extra wait, but for the people from Chicago they were not at all happy!

Finally, after waiting several minutes we were allowed to board the train and begin our trip downtown. The trip was uneventful and after about an hour ride I guessed that we should exit at The Loop and begin walking towards Lake Shore Drive (after I asked a lady which direction that was just to find out we were walking the wrong way).

So, after an afternoon downtown the trip home begins...

Monday, October 12, 2009


Chicago. Transit. Authority.

Enough said.

No seriously, I'm pretty sure the mafia is still running parts of the city.

I went downtown yesterday to walk around and we took the train to get there.

Now, if you say anything with confidence others believe you know what you're doing ... so that's what I did as I said "let's take the train".

Now, there was so much more to "let's take the train". First, we had to get to the train, then get a fare card, get on the train, ride the train, get off the train, and then once again find the train and get on it in order to complete our trip. I mean, that's all simple ... I've done it in DC tons of times, so why would Chicago be any different?

Our excursion began with quite the sight in the parking lot of our hotel. The hotel runs a shuttle to the airport (also the end of the train line) every hour. So, when we showed up for the 2p shuttle ... the hotel employee informed us that ... "2p is the only hour the shuttle doesn't run, but don't worry. I've called a taxi."

Oh no! A taxi I thought ... I've never been in a taxi, but how bad could it be.

Well, this is where the mafia part comes in as we're waiting for a taxi. We have our voucher sine its on the hotel for not running their shuttle. Well, TWO taxis pull up and the drivers begin to argue over who is suppose to take us to the airport ... finally one of the drivers threatens to arrest the other driver which causes the driver who wasn't suppose to be there to leave.

Now, that we're in the correct taxi and the police haven't been called we speed off to chicago o'hare ... where we begin our trip downtown...

stay tuned for the rest of the story ... its a good one :-)

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Do you ever find yourself praying for someone ... but in a secret way hoping that you're not part of God's answer. We all do it ... "Dear God, I pray you would surround this person with positive influences, etc" It's hard sometimes to say ... "Dear God, I pray that I would be a positive influence in this person's life"

This blog post by Jon Acuff ( really got me thinking about how many times I am guilty of this ... instead of praying for someone, I should be praying about how God can use me in the solution! Click the link below to read Jon's thoughts on this...

Praying that God will fix a situation as long as you’re not part of the solution.

Posted using ShareThis

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Millennials

Known as the "Millenials" but also the "Trophy Kids" my generation is the next one to begin bringing kids through children's ministries across the US ... so how do we reach this new group or parents? Here's a great article explaining more about this generation that is more connected and technologically advanced than ever before.

Relevant Children's Ministry: Millennial Parents...Do You Know Them?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Think Orange

The Church - Yellow - God's light to the world
The Family - Red - Unconditional love

Together red+yellow = orange ... BUT its so much more! The family AND the church is the hope of tomorrow, not just the church or just the family. Together anything is better than when its alone.

I just finished reading Think Orange by Reggie Joiner. It is a candid, easy read about a very deep journey of moving towards a family ministry model where both the church and the family see one another as partners ... not experts. In the book there are many great ideas and thought provoking concepts. You won't find "the answer", but you will find thoughts that will get you thinking and evaluating yourself, your ministry, and the partnership between the family and the church.

It's a great read for anyone in any type of ministry ... staff or volunteer or any parent!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Kate is back in the hospital for a third round of chemotherapy. You can follow her here ... Please pray for her and her family. Currently, since its flu season, her two siblings can't be at the hospital.

Monday, October 5, 2009

White River State Park

Have you ever been to the National Mall in Washington DC ... the open space in the middle of the big city busyness is AMAZING! Well here in Indy there's something a lot like the National Mall, but maybe just a bit smaller. Just to the west of downtown is White River State Park. Yes, a state park nestled right in the middle of downtown. Its a great place to just go enjoy a beautiful day! I love going down there to walk, ride, or just sit. Today was gorgeous here in the midwest, so I took advantage of the day and headed downtown!