Thursday, May 28, 2009


I got this video a few weeks ago from a friend ... what a powerful message!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day

From the post a couple days ago you can see that I spent most of the weekend watching soccer - which was awesome!  What was even more awesome was spending time with friends!

For those of you who don't know about this amazing state park just about 90 minutes west of Indianapolis on St Rd 47 ... you need to check it out!

After the 90 minute drive through corn fields the state park appears like most covered with trees ... but in those trees are amazing rock formations and some incredible hiking trails.  I went with a family from church and we hiked in the rain - which was a ton of fun!  The trail was amazing ... taking you through a beautiful creek bed for most of the time - then climbing through the rocks!

Check out Turkey Run State Park here ...

Unfortunately with the rain I didn't get my camera out ... BUT ... next time I go there will be tons of pictures :-)

Monday, May 25, 2009


My Life Group got into a great discussion about tolerance a few weeks ago during our time together.  Tolerance is preached in our world today ... but what's the Bible's take on tolerance?

Here's a great article on Biblical Tolerance.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Evolution of Soccer

I played soccer growing up ... and for many years played select soccer.  I played for a team about 30 minutes from where I grew up - I knew no one else on the team at first, but soon developed friendships.  We practiced a lot and practiced hard.  Basically, select soccer meant that you were just more devoted and you probably had a better chance of making the high school team.  For me, I never made the high school team in soccer - a knee injury just before high school ended that, but the time I had spent playing select soccer taught me a lot and was a great experience.  I moved on to softball - playing in high school - and really haven't been around the game of soccer in about ten years.

I just got back from a soccer tournament - and I really can't believe how much things have changed!  The game is still played with a round ball and you must use your feet, but the differences seem to be in the preparation for the games.  Teams now have paid coaches ... even at 8 and 9 years old - no longer does the parent who knows a little more than the rest coach the team and some kids even attend private instruction.  Teams have coaches and trainers, some even have academies that the players attend together like a school.

I'm really still processing the changes in the sport ... and kind of wondering if the fun of it has been lost in the attempt to be the best.  As you ponder that ... enjoy the pictures from this past weekend!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Just Average?

I often find myself having just average days.  Nothing bad happens ... nothing overly exciting happens.  I just go about my business, completing my tasks, worrying about myself.  BUT ... in Crazy Love, by Francis Chan he says this at the beginning of the second chapter...

"'s easy to think about today as just another day.  An average day where you go about life concerned with your to-do list, preoccupied by appointments, focused on family, thinking about your desires and needs.

On the average day, we live caught up in ourselves.  On the average day, we don't consider God very much.  On the average day, we forget that our life truly is a vapor.

But there is nothing normal about today.  Just think about everything that must function properly just for you to survive."

That last sentence ... have you ever stopped and really thought about everything that must occur just for you to take a breath?  For your heart to beat?  For blood to go to your toes, then return for fresh oxygen?

Just to begin thinking about it can be overwhelming and yet - God created every single process that makes us function!  

In college I was required to attend chapel everyday ... and most days the speakers were wonderful.  After a few years though only a few of the many hundreds stands out.  One that stands out was a missionary from South Africa.  He stood up on stage with a spray bottle ... spraying it and saying the word vapor over and over throughout his message.

In the course of time our lives truly are only a vapor ... a short burst of mist ... how are you going to use your vapor?  What can you do to live differently knowing that each day is not just average ... but extraordinary?

Friday, May 22, 2009


We reached the 18-month mark this past weekend for our building campaign.  The message was a celebration of the mid-point and all the things that we've seen God do.

This stood out to me...

"Remember all the Lord has done for you ... and never lose sight of God's grace"

This seems to fit right in with what God has been teaching me lately - to never forget your experiences and God's work in your life.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thursday's Tip


FellowshipOne is a great check-in and database program.  It has a secure check-in system, changing the parent pick-up number every 24 hours.  They provide awesome support 7 days a week and are constantly advancing and listening to the needs of churches around the country.  Learn more by visiting

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

IMA - A Local Treasure

Personally, I'm not a HUGE fan of art or art museums, but there's just something about the IMA that keeps me coming back.  First of all - it's free ... and it's beautiful.  There are acres and acres of gardens and walking trails to explore on a wonderful day.  And during those times when the weather isn't so wonderful - there's tons of stuff to explore on the inside too.  IMA provides not only a look into some fine art pieces, but more intriguing to me is its look at culture around the world.  My favorite gallery is the African Gallery - filled with ceremonial dresses, wood carvings, jewelry, and tools from all over Africa, it is a beautiful picture of the tribal way of life there.  Another plus for IMA is that they let you take your camera in and photograph anything, except for the 3rd floor ... but don't try to take your camera bag in - as I found out they really frown on that!

Here are some pictures I took on a recent visit to IMA ... hope you get a chance to check it out!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Paint, Paint, Paint

After 2 years I finally painted my office.  I decided I couldn't take the gold, pink, brown, maroon combo any longer ... so today I painted everything that wasn't brown - including quite a bit on myself!  It is now an awesome looking brown and blue combo!  The next task is to find some pics to hang above my board!



Sunday, May 17, 2009

Homemade Play-doh

Play-doh is simple and easy to make!

Here's the recipe (I usually double it)...

1 cup flour
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup salt
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vegetable oil
Food Coloring

Place all of the ingredients into a pot and cook on low heat ... stir often ... you will notice the dough beginning to form. 
Once the dough has formed (there may be a small amount of the original liquid left), remove the dough from the pot and knead on a floured surface - this will finish the dough and create a great consistency!  While kneading you can add the food coloring for color if you want.

This dough does not crumble and is safe if kids eat it :-)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Challenges and Growth

I met with the team that will be going to South Dakota for the first time this morning.  I am excited for the trip and it looks like its going to be an awesome team!  Throughout the morning I was challenged in many areas, but one really aligned with what God has been teaching me lately.

I've been here now for 2 years ... its been a fast and busy 2 years, but its been really great.  Lately, I've been reflecting on my past and how I've changed in the last couple years.  God has been teaching me that its ok to be who He created me to be and not who others want me to be.  He's been showing me my past experiences and how through those experiences He has molded me into the person I am today. Ultimately, He has been teaching me that my past is my past - and it can be used to help others ... its not something to hide!

This will be my fourth trip to a Native American Reservation.  I sat down last night and began thinking about this trip ... and asked myself ... why?  Why Native Americans?  Why the United States? Why?  Through my thoughts and conversations with God I realized that I have a lot in common with those I am going to minister to.  My background is much the same as those I will minister to - we come from different places, yet there is a commonality between us.

We all have a culture ... it's where we're from.  What's your culture?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Hard To Love


You know who they are ... the kids and adults you come across each day who are hard to love. Maybe they're a little bit more active than the rest, or maybe they need a little more attention, maybe you find yourself constantly having to discipline them, or maybe its the child who sits off in the corner refusing to participate in ANY activity you come up with ... even the ones you spend hours preparing for! They come from all walks of life and all types of backgrounds, but in the end they are created by God and loved VERY much by Him.

Make a list...

Who do you struggle to love?
Why is it a struggle for you to love them?

Now, think about this...

God has created each of us and loves each of us the same. There is nothing that we can do to lose his love and doing good things won't even earn it for us - it is simply ... UNCONDITIONAL - He loves us for being just who we are. Now, yes - He wants us to become more like Himself every day, but His love is still unconditional. God loves these people on your list just as much as He loves you and me ... so would you make a commitment with me this week?

Would you commit to pray for these people?
To ask God to help you see them just as He sees them?

See how God works in your life and in the life of these people this week!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thursday's Tip

Use pictures instead of words!  Most preschoolers aren't reading yet, but they are capable of understanding where to place things, what to put in a certain bin, etc.  Through the use of pictures children can better understand what's expected of them and what they need to do.

Here are some examples of things you can use pictures for in the Preschool setting...

-Toy bins

Boardmaker is a wonderful program that is often found in the Special Needs setting - but its perfect for Preschoolers.  Find a Special Needs Teacher in your ministry and ask if they would help you prepare pictures using the software.  They can "print" the pictures (often called boards) into a PDF document and email it to you - you can then print, laminate, etc!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Poop and Pride


As a PreK Director I’ve come to find that there’s something that should automatically be included in every PreK Director’s job description … and that is Bodily Fluid Cleanup.  In the last two years there have been times when I have cleaned up every bodily fluid known to man … in one service … sometimes even multiple times in one service.  It’s something that just comes with the territory!

This past weekend I found myself in one of those situations.  During one of the Weekend Services I was greeted by a panicked volunteer who had come to tell me that one of the kids had had an accident and there was “poop everywhere”.  I went to the room to inspect and see if poop really was everywhere.  Sure enough – there was poop everywhere!

One of the 3 yr olds had gone potty and then begun the cleanup process – which led to poop being smeared everywhere as he struggled to wipe himself.  It was on him, on the toilet, on the floor, on the sink, the toilet paper dispenser, even on the bag of wipes he had found in his efforts to clean up himself, the toilet, the floor, the sink, and so on.  As I ran to begin the process of calling mom and the cleaning crew our Children’s Pastor, Joe, helped me out by taking additional wipes and helping with the cleanup process in the bathroom.  In the midst of all the chaos the little boy couldn’t help but tell everyone that his mommy “was going to be so proud” – he had gone on the potty!

You see, all the little boy saw was that he had gone potty on the toilet … a HUGE accomplishment for any 3yr old – and especially when not at home.  But, we saw the mess that he had made in the process of his attempt to go potty. 

This week I’ve spent a lot of time preparing for an upcoming short term mission trip. I can’t help but think of this situation in light of that trip.  Often, in our efforts to “make God proud” we can only see the things we want to do during our one week trip … we want to fix everything and help everyone, but sometimes we have a tendency to make a bigger mess.

 Take a look at Isaiah 64:6a “We are all infected and impure with sin.  When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags.”  At some point you’ll be excited about something you “did” for God – yet, in this verse, He compares it to a filthy rag because we are so messed up by sin.  It is God’s grace that allows us to do our very best … fall short every time … and yet still receive God’s never ending and everlasting love.  And its this same grace and love that covers those you encounter each day throughout your journey in life.


Who can you love today and show God’s grace and never-ending love to?

Monday, May 11, 2009

So, what's a monster suit?

Monster Suits and Ministry to PreK's ... they go hand in hand - just keep reading, you'll see.  

But, what's a monster suit?  

For me, its a reminder about the faith of a child.  The faith that each of us are called to have as followers of Christ.  

Several weeks ago I found myself sitting with a 3yr old - who was refusing to put his pajamas on. The only reason ... he was scared of monsters.  His pajamas quickly became his Monster Suit ... and with childlike faith he believed that these PJ's would protect him from monsters all night long.  

We're called to follow Christ with faith like a child - just like 3 yr olds wear their monster suits to bed each night ... fully believing that they'll be protected from monsters.

In my blog you'll find many examples and stories of faith like children - through the eyes of children ... I'll tag these posts as Monster Suits ... always reminding us to follow Christ with childlike faith.

New Look

Working on a new look :-)

The new look is mostly finished - I'll probably make a few tweaks here and there, but for the most part its done!  Unfortunately, I lost the pictures that were in the old format.