Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Back to Rapid City - Day 6


Day 6? Honestly ... I have no idea what day this is!  Things have begun to run together this week :-)

We wrapped up this morning in McLaughlin and headed back into Rapid City.  Our morning was full of goodbyes - the kids did a great job connecting with some of the neighbor kids this week, so it was hard for them to leave them behind.  But, we had some great talks about how to say goodbye and looked at a passage in Acts where Paul said goodbye to the church at Ephesus.  It was a great time of discussion and learning for everyone one!

We left McLaughlin around noon mountain time and drove about 5 hours to Rapid City.  Tonight we took a hike ... or rather a climb ... up one of the hills here in Rapid City.  There was a beautiful sunset and we had some time to just sit and share as a group.  

Tomorrow we'll head into the Black Hills for a day of fun and relaxation before heading home on Thursday.

Monday, June 29, 2009

McLaughlin - Day 4


Hello all!  I happened to stumble upon an open wireless signal tonight outside the church in McLaughlin!  It has been a tiring couple of days, but everyone is doing well!

The past few days have been very busy!  We have talked a lot about WHY we're here ... which is to encourage the pastor and I think tonight the kids learned a HUGE lesson about what Sonya deals with on a daily basis.

You see, we've worked really hard on tearing out and replacing a sidewalk this week, as well as a few other projects.  We went for a drive tonight and when we returned someone had dug into, drawn in, and scraped up the cement that was still setting and drying.  

At first, there was frustration and anger, but everyone then realized that this is life here.  It's hard and there's a lot of anger.  What we talked about earlier this week about how we're here to encourage the pastor who is in this environment everyday became a real life example to the kids.  They saw an example of life here.  

As a team, we gathered around the sidewalk and prayed for those who had done this, as well as for those here on the reservation and for Sonya, the pastor here who ministers to the people here in McLaughlin everyday.

I'll blog more once we get to Rapid tomorrow night ... I have everything in a Word document right now :-)  We will leave here for a 5-6 hour drive around noon tomorrow and then spend a day relaxing before heading home!  See you all in Indy on Thursday!

Friday, June 26, 2009

We're Here!


(I don't think anyone was ready when Jim took the picture - but its the only one I have of everyone!)

How long does it take to go from opposite ends of the Minneapolis Airport?  About 25!  Which is the exact amount of time we had after we got off the plane from Indy and got on the plane for Rapid City!  The final call for our flight was made just as we came running around the corner.  Sweaty, out of breath, and tired – all 15 of us made our flight to Rapid City!  Everyone did a great job staying with the group and not complaining when there wasn’t time for a bathroom trip between flights.

 Northwest Air has been amazing all day long.  From the ticket counter at Indy where they were extremely helpful and accommodating for a group our size to Minneapolis where they held the plane (much to the dismay of the 10 or so people who thought they were going to get to bump flights and take our seats!).  An attendant even boarded before our departure from Minneapolis to ask me what flight we had come in on and how many bags we had to make sure that they made it on our plane to Rapid City!  Everything has been extremely smooth.  And they have even begun serving peanuts or cookies along with their in-flight drinks!

We got into Rapid tonight a little earlier than expected, so we took advantage of the evening.  After dinner we went out to Mt Rushmore.  What a sight it is ... especially as the sun is setting!  We spent some time together as a team and then watched the lighting ceremony.  

Everyone is in bed and exhausted (don't worry ... they've been in bed for awhile now!)!  Tomorrow we leave for McLaughlin after we have devotions with a Lakota Pastor here in Rapid City.  They all say hello :-)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

South Dakota

I head out today with a team of 15 for Rapid City, South Dakota.  We'll be spending most of the week on the northern side of the state at the Standing Rock Reservation working on some construction projects and with the kids there in the town of McLaughlin.
Please pray for the team while we're gone.  Pray for hearts of team members and those we minister to, for safety, for travel, and that we would be flexible and willing to follow where God leads!

If I have internet access I'll update during the trip ... if not I'll update when we return next week!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Rhino


This is a passage from The Barbarian Way, written by Erwin McManus...

But my favorite of all is the group designation for rhinos. You see, rhinos can run thirty miles an hour, which is pretty fast if you consider how much weight they're pulling...just one problem with the phenomenon. Rhinos can see only thirty feet in front of them. can you imagine something that large moving in concert as a group, plowing ahead at thirty miles an hour with no idea what's at thirty one feet? You would think that they would be far too timid to pick up full steam, that their inability to see far enough ahead would paralyze them to immobility. But with that horn pointing the way, rhinos run forwarrd full steam ahead without apprehension, which leads us to their name.

Rhinos moving together at full speed are known as a crash. Even when they're just hanging around enjoying the watershed, they're called a crash because of their potential. You've got to love that. I think that's what we're supposed to be. The church should be a crash. We should become an unstoppable force. We don't have to pretend to know the future. Who cares that we can see only thirty feet ahead? Whatever's thirty one feet ahead needs to care that we're coming and better get out of the way.

We need to move together as God's people and become the human version of the rhino crash. We may not be able to see what's at thrity one feet, but we don't have to be blind to what's right in front of us... The future is uncertain, but we need to move toward it with confidence. There's a future to be created, humanity to be liberated. we need to stop wasting our time and stop being afraid of what we cannot see and do not know. We need to move foward full force because of what we do know."

-Erwin McManus

What a great picture of what the church should be.  It doesn't matter what's at 31 feet ... or 5 years into the future ... what matters is what's here and now ... we are God's people and we need to be working together to accomplish the work that He has given us.  I hope that you choose to be part of a crash and not apprehensive about what the future might hold!  God has that all figured out!

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Zoo

I love going to the zoo!  And I love my job ... because sometimes I get to go to the zoo for my job!  Like today :-)  We went to shoot video for Elementary Camp!  Here's a few pics from the day!

Watch for more pics during upcoming Wordless Wednesdays!


I've played softball for 21 years now ... wow 21 years - that's a long time!  I'm not as old as that number makes me sound ... I started playing when I was 4 in a ragball league near my hometown in Ohio and fell in love with the game that I continue to play today!

During last Sunday's game I saw a great reminder about perspective.  

It was the 5th inning, my team was up to bat, and we were leading the game.  With one more run we would run-rule the other team and win the game.  I was on third base ... basically the "winning" run.  The guy coaching 3rd base and I had just talked about how if I scored the game would be over.  He was next up to bat and hit a long line drive into the outfield, which allowed me to score.

No one realized though, except for the two of us, that the game was over once I crossed homeplate.  As the player on my team neared third base a throw from the other team nearly hit him, so he reached out and caught the ball ... knowing that the game was already over.  

The reaction of both my team and the other team really caught me off guard, because I thought they all knew what I knew ... that the game had already ended.  But, they didn't have any idea and quickly became upset and frustrated that he had caught the ball.

This made me think about myself and how upset and frustrated I get when things don't go the way I thought they would.  You see, God has quite a different perspective than we do.  He knows the things we don't.  We get frustrated and upset with things in life, while God has all the information.  Trust in Him and know that from His perspective it all makes sense ... even though it might not from our perspective!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
      do not depend on your own understanding.

Proverbs 3:5

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Puddle

Have you ever watched a small child?  I mean ... really watched them.  Have you noticed how they can find joy in the smallest of things, a toy from a piece of trash, or can fall asleep amidst the chaos of life.  Simplicity is their life ... and it should be ours too.  We get so caught up in the go, go, go of life ... sometimes we just need to stop and take time to splash in the puddles ... no matter how big or small!

Sunday, June 21, 2009


“Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds — his name is the LORD— and rejoice before him. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.”- Psalm 68:4-5

This is a verse that has always meant a lot to me.  Several years ago I fully embraced the concept that God was my father ... and stopped viewing him as I viewed my earthly father.  My entire relationship with God changed because I saw Him as someone who was loving and wasn't going to leave ... He truly is the Father to the fatherless!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Family Service Project

What a great morning at Chaucie's Place in Carmel!  We had just over 40 people total come out on a warm and muggy - but beautiful morning to help with landscaping around the property. 

My morning began by fitting almost 65 Build-A-Bear Boxes (donated by Nursery and Preschool families from S67 @ NVCL) into my SUV ... it was a tight squeeze, but I got them all in and 
over to Chaucie's - where the kids helped take them in!

The remainder of the morning was spent working on the landscaping around Chaucie's Place.  Everyone did a GREAT job and really helped things to look wonderful by the time we left!!!

Friday, June 19, 2009


Are you a list maker?

I have to confess ... I'm a list maker.  In fact, I make the most lists on my busiest days!  Sometimes, I even make several lists, then rewrite them all onto one piece of paper.  I have a certain way I make my lists - always handwritten.  I'm sure that if you stopped laughing at the moment and really thought about it you too would find that you do things a certain way every time too!

I don't know what it is about lists ... but they help me organize life at its very busiest, craziest times and this past week has been one of those times!  However, I have my list, I'm working through it and by next Thursday it will be complete ... and I'll be ready to head out for a mission trip and then return to what might possibly be one of the busiest months I've had in the last two years.

There's so much happening ... and its exciting!  July and August are going to be incredible months ... and they're probably going to be filled with lots of lists!  I hope your next month is just as exciting!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

One Week


A week from now I'll be in the land of South Dakota.  

We're heading to Standing Rock Reservation to spend the week there working with a local church in McLaughlin, South Dakota - near the North Dakota state line.  After the busyness of life here near the city I'm really looking forward to the slower pace of the west!

Hopefully while there I'll be able to post some updates - but there's a good chance we'll be out of cell phone reception and internet access - if I'm not able to update while there I will update about the trip once we get back!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, June 16, 2009


June 5
Current Location
Your Heritage
Native American / German
The Shoes You Wore Today
Flip-Flops ... just about the only shoes I wear!
Your Fears

oh yea ... and I might be a little jumpy around bungee cords!
Your Perfect Pizza
Your Most Overused Phrase On Instant Messenger
Your Bedtime
around midnight
Pepsi or Coke
diet coke w/ lime
Chocolate or Vanilla
Cappuccino or Coffee
Do you want to go to College
been there ... done that!

Cedarville University
Do you play an Instrument
Alto Saxaphone
What country would you most like to Visit
China and India ... and I'd love to go back to South Africa

Monday, June 15, 2009



The Nursery and Preschool Ministries of Studio 6.7 have been collecting new Build-A-Bears for Chaucie's Place in Carmel, IN for the past month.  All together we have collected 58 brand new bears - which is awesome!  

Families have gone together, built a bear, prayed for the child receiving it, and then given it to Chaucie's Place.  We'll be delivering all the bears this coming Saturday to Chaucie's Place - so if you haven't gotten your bear in yet, but still want to feel free to drop it off at church this week or bring it with you on Saturday.  We'll also be helping with some yardwork while at Chaucie's.  This is a great opportunity for families to see where their bear is headed!

God is good and it's been exciting to see families serving together and learning about giving together!

Saturday, June 13, 2009


I often find myself stressing when I'm not able to plan out things.  

This past week I have seen example after example of God's provision in my life.  And after week's like this you would think that I would stop getting so stressed when I can't figure out how something is going to work out ... but I always fall right back into that same trap!

Yet, each time I fall short and begin worrying God is right there - reminding me of just that.  That He is there and that He has the plan ... not me.

To all of us planners out there .... may you remember that God is in control and He has the plan ... and that's the only plan we need!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Woman at the Well


This is such a refreshing look on the story of the Woman at the Well - hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

2 Weeks...


In 2 weeks I'll be in Rapid City, South Dakota.  I am looking forward to this trip and the way that God is going to use it in my life and in the lives of those on the team that is going with me!  Today I received the rest of the funding I needed for the trip.  I am always amazed at the way God moves people to give.  


My mom came out this past Monday and while she was here we went to IMA.  The building was closed since it was Monday, but the grounds were open and the flowers were beautiful!  I, of course, had my camera and had fun taking pics of the flowers - hope you enjoy a few of the pics I took!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Value of Consistency

This past Sunday I walked into one of my preschool rooms to find two children who looked very sad.  One had his chin resting on the checkin counter, just staring straight ahead and looking pitiful.  The other was sitting in a corner underneath a play structure in the classroom, refusing to play or engage in the activities.

I quickly asked the volunteers in the classroom if everything was okay and they began explaining to me how the children's favorite volunteer was on vacation and they were missing him.

What a picture of the impact each of us can have on a child by loving them and being a part of their lives each week.  These two kids look forward to coming to church each weekend to see their favorite leader - because he's there every week, talks with them, plays with them, and teaches them about God ... and they love that! 

Monday, June 8, 2009

Menu Monday

I made this amazing dip for Life Group last night.  I got the recipe from a friend ... give it a try - I'm sure you'll enjoy it as well!

1 Pkg Cream Cheese

Top with...

1/4 Cup Pesto
1-2 Plum Tomatos
1/4 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Place in aluminum foil and grill for 8-10 minutes.  Serve with Wheat Crackers.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My King


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Quote of the Night...

The first weekend of each month right now is my weekend to teach large group.  Since its just me I often tell the story and skip over the into skit since it often involves 2+ people.  Tonight though the skit was just too cute to pass over and it made a great connection to what the preschoolers are learning this weekend ... at least I thought it did!

This month we're learning about the Bible ... and how God gave the Bible to us so that we could know about Him.  The skit helped children connect how a cookbook helps us cook, just like the Bible helps us know God.  We searched through several books on a shelf and found the cookbook during the opening skit ... so after we found the cookbook I showed the kids a recipe in the book and began to make the snack mix in the recipe when...

One of my preschoolers says...

"What does this have to do with anything anyway?"

Of course I lost all train of thought and began laughing - then ditched the intro skit and went right into the Bible lesson!  

Friday, June 5, 2009


Last weekend was Baptism Weekend at church.  It was such a great weekend to celebrate all the things that God has done in the lives of those who shared their stories and chose to be baptized!

Baptism always brings up interesting conversations with the kids ... here's a couple from this past weekend...

5 yr old ... 

"When I get baptized, can I wear my swimmies?"

4 yr old ... (waiting to watch his parents be baptized) 

"Mom, I thought we were going swimming later today!"

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Picture of Patience


This is a true test of patience ... and how well an adult has learned to take turns!

This little bridge ... and I do mean little ... is on my way to work each day.  Its not in the middle of nowhere and it is on the beaten path - it just hasn't been replaced yet.  Honestly, I hope it doesn't get replaced because it reminds me each morning to slow down and be patient instead of rushing around everywhere.

However, I do have to laugh each morning as I watch the continual game of chicken that occurs at this bridge!  If only we'd slow down - you see I've decided that I'm really not going anywhere faster by being the first across the bridge.  In the 3 seconds it takes to let the other car go first I'm reminded each morning to slow down ... and its a reminder that I need!

***Sorry about the poor photography ... I took this on my way home from work on my phone!

Thursday's Tip

I've spent the majority of the past week getting ready for our summer camp in July.  Here's an idea I came across several years ago and have used ever since!

Pocket Schedules.  Using an excel document I place each small groups specific schedule on a luggage tag sized rectangle, then laminate it and attach it to a lanyard.  These become very helpful to the leaders throughout the event as they are easily able to take the schedules with them wherever they go!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Word(less) Wednesday


Typically Wednesdays are just photos ... but this one needs some explaining!  This is  a picture from a vacation a couple years ago.  Below is the advertisement for "The Divide" housing development.  Notice that it advertises PAVED STREETS.

The third picture is the road that leads to this subdivision ... all 2 hours of it that it takes to get up the dirt mountain road.  Now, the cool thing is that it borders a National Park ... and the Catalooche Valley is one of the coolest places in Great Smoky Mountain National Park ... stay tuned for an entry on that soon!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Build-A-Bear for Chaucie's


The Nursery and Preschool Ministries @ NVCL have a cool outreach going on with Build-A-Bear and Chaucie's Place here in Carmel.  Families are being encouraged to take their child to Build-A-Bear and make a bear for a child who will be interviewed by police at Chaucie's
 Place following a traumatic experience in their lives.  All children in the family receive bears when they visit Chaucie's!  

Families are asked to take a picture of their bear and post it in their home as a reminder to pray for the child who receives the bear.  

I went today with a family from church and made a bear!  It was so much fun ... and knowing that a child would be receiving it made it even better!

Fairness and Grace

Have you ever pondered these two words ... grace and fairness?  Is grace fair?

In our human minds grace isn't fair.  We do something and we deserve punishment - or someone does something to us and we think that they deserve to be punished.  Yet, God gives us grace through a relationship with Him that destroys our earthly understanding of fairness!

Grace isn't fair.  Yet, God gives it to us!  Maybe there's someone in your life this week that needs grace from you - it won't be fair ... but that's not what God's looking for.  He wants us to show the unconditional love and forgiveness that He has shown to those who follow Him!

Think of someone to extend grace to ... and extend it!