Friday, December 31, 2010


As we say goodbye to 2010 tonight, I look back on the year and realize it can be summed up in a few words ... "Getting back on your feet" ... again and again and again.  A year ago I knew I needed to hang on tight and get ready for the ride, but I don't think I realized quite what was ahead!

As 2009 closed my job changed at work, well not quite a complete change - more like an increase, promotion, etc ... its best said by the fact that I took on more responsibilities at work.  While it was a good thing, it knocked my "rhythm" completely out of whack and I spent the first few months of 2010 trying to re-find that rhythm.  It wouldn't be easy though as we moved into a new building, hosted 2 grand opening services, and had a large volunteer event during Easter Weekend.  And suddenly the first few months became the first half of the year re-finding that rhythm I desperately longed for.

Summer came and went quickly this year.  It was hot!  I got a dog ... seriously a dog that I might have asked God to provide a few times over the years.  She's an English Bullie - the only type of dog I've ever wanted, but also one of my most expensive types of dogs you can ever own.   She was given to me after her old family had to relocate.  Not only is she an answer to prayer, she has been the best thing about this past year!  But, once again I found myself refinding a routine at home now that there was a dog to take out, run home at lunch for and spend time playing with.

June brought a move to a brand new apartment, which turned out to be cool looking, but has its own set of issues.  12 more months and I will be re-looking at where I'm living - its been a little ridiculous!

By the time school started, I finally felt like things were coming together, I was finding a routine, and life seemed to be calming down. 

I had no idea that the upcoming holiday season would be one of the worst ever.  I've found myself in a lot of hospitals lately, and not just hospitals - cancer units at the children's hospital.  It is a sobering sight as you watch children fighting for their lives and parents worn down, yet hoping that the next treatment will be the one.  We have two families there now with children fighting for their lives - it is a reminder daily to pray and not just for those you know, but for all the families affected.  Then, my grandpa (basically the "dad" figure in my life) fell ill just before Thanksgiving this past year - from nearly perfect health to a very frail state in just a matter of weeks.  Just before Christmas things looked like they were finally headed in the right direction as he was moved to a rehab center to prepare for him to go home - we had no idea it would be his Heavenly Homegoing.  It was just days later that he began to lose consciousness.  A week later we were saying goodbye, four days before Christmas.  I still can't believe it.  Services were on the 23rd and then we proceeded to get through the holidays - numb.

The past year has been nothing short of a roller coaster - with extreme highs and extreme lows.  It is a year that will stick in my mind for many reasons, but as this year passes I am left with a numb feeling, yet hopeful for what lays ahead.  There will no doubt be moments in 2011 that will be hard as well, but it is a new year and a new beginning and God is there just as He always has been.  He's gone before us into this new year and already knows what lies ahead and I'm trusting in Him to lean on, to be loved by, and to know that He already knows the year ahead.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Snowstorm #1

This has been our first true "snow" of the season ... complete with schools closed, high winds, and nasty driving conditions.  It was also my bulldog's first real experience in a lot of snow and she LOVED it!  She's spent the past few years in the snow-less area of Phoenix, Arizona - so I totally had fears of having to shovel her somewhere to go to the bathroom, or worse her refusing to go outside!

Here she is insisting that she walk through the deepest part of the 2ft drift outside the apt ... yes it comes all the way over her legs!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Through A Child's Eyes

***NOTE: Somehow this never got published and I just found it from the spring!***
(NO we weren't playing outside in 5 degree weather!)

My friends are adopting, in fact, I have several friends who are adopting, fostering, or talking about adopting.  The other night I was watching my friends' kids ... there's four of them now and they're at the age where I can sit back and watch them play ... they can negotiate their own issues, stay in the backyard, ride bikes, etc.  Their yard is also a "kid magnet" ... all the neighbor kids like to be at their house.

So, last week as I was watching them, a couple neighbor kids were over and I couldn't help but notice what they wanted to play.  To you or me it looked like a pretend game of house on the swingset ... complete with the youngest being the family "dog", but instead of house ... their game was called "orphan".  There was a "dog", a "lady in charge", a "sister", and an "orphan".

Like I said, it looked like just another game of "house", but it was so much more.  It was an example of children playing out what they are familiar with in their home - lives lived outside of themselves and focused on others.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The 5th Floor

I made my first trip to the child oncology floor at Riley today.  It was like nothing you can ever prepare yourself for.  Driving down I kept picturing in my head what I thought it would look like.  But, once you're there there's no "mental picture" that can prepare you for what you see.

Ultimately, childhood cancer became real. 

No longer something you read about on someone's blog or you see in the mall on tv or the internet - its not a prayer request or someone you heard of - it's your friend and their child that you're now looking at - and its real - and it sucks.

The past few weeks in life group we've been studying Habbakuk - a book that's all about questioning God, which lately I've found myself asking God why people have to suffer, why kids get cancer, and babies unexplainable tumors - ultimately I "know" the answers - the sin, the curse, its all part of it - but it doesn't help the "why" that the human brain just can't wrap around.

I sat in the "family" room spending time with a friend just talking about life, the hospital, and the trials that they are facing.  My heart broke - yet I am thankful that they are able to be there and that they are close so that others can be there with them too.  So many kids come from out of state and don't have family there with them which makes things even harder.

So, would you join me in praying for them and all the kids on a very full and very large floor at Riley ... and if you ever need some perspective on life, just take a stroll through the hospital.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

This Thanksgiving

As I reflect on Thanksgiving, I sit in a hospital room watching - more like mesmerized by - the O2 Stats as my grandfather struggles at times to breathe.  Doctors say he has a terrible case of pneumonia and as a former smoker at 81, that makes for a very terrible case of pneumonia.  It's not been the only hospital situation I've found myself in lately.  In fact, there have been difficult conversations over the past several weeks with my own family and families in our ministry.  So many have been facing difficult medical situations over the last several weeks.

This Thanksgiving won't be like Thanksgiving's past.  No gatherings at grandma's and grandpa's - instead we'll meet together for a simple meal, drive my grandma to see grandpa and then spend the rest of the day being mesmerized by the oxygen meter - its really a wait and see situation.

But, this Thanksgiving, I can tell you that I'm thankful for my health and for a God who never changes.  As the last several weeks have unfolded I have seen how in a moment life can change.  One phone call, one doctor visit, one moment and everything can be upside down, different, changing, spiraling out of control.  Yet, through it all there's a God who knows each of these circumstances, who loves each and every person involved and whom we can depend on in these times of uncertainty.

As you enjoy family and friends today don't forget those who will be spending this holiday in a hospital - waiting with uncertainty for the next doctor to come through the door.  Take a few moments to stop and pray, to thank God, and to cherish the time you have with those you love.  Here are a few I'm praying for in addition to my grandfather ... Jake ... Kendall

Saturday, November 20, 2010



Growing up I would spent time each year addressing Christmas Cards for my mom, yet somehow they ended up never getting mailed … every year.  As I moved out on my own I knew that the Christmas Card tradition was something that I wanted to include in my plans each year … well that is the tradition of addressing them … and I was planning to start a new tradition of mailing them :-)

The cool thing though is that Christmas Cards now are SO much cooler than those of the past, and being crazy about photography I can’t help but LOVE the photo cards from Shutterfly!

For several weeks I’ve been carefully choosing my favorite designs and have it narrowed down to a few!

Here’s my top 3 

In random order...

… you’ll have to wait and see what I finally choose when it arrives in your mailbox!

 So, to those of you who are my friends … I’ll be sending you a Shutterfly Christmas Card this year … now the hard part of choosing which photo(s) go on the card.   And just in case you're looking for a last minute gift ... check out what Shutterfly has to offer in that category too!

(look for more "Traditions" posts this holiday season!) 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I haven't been posting "Wordless Wednesdays" quite as much BUT I have been working on my photography blog.  Its still a work in progress, but it's coming along!  You can check it out below!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Most Un-Free, FREE* Word

Prayer. That single word can make the entire room go quiet at the end of my life group ... well admit it - it probably happens in your life group too.  There's something unknown about prayer - will I have to pray? outloud? does God hear me? what if I don't use the right words? will others look down on me?

Now, add Experience to that simple word and well, those thoughts and feelings can be amplified.

BUT, who said prayer has to be scary, that you have to have it all together, that God cares about the words you use ... because in reality, it's not, you don't have to, and He just wants to hear from you!

I entered the Prayer Experience last Wednesday, not quite sure that God had much to say to me.  I have been getting a lot out of FREE*, BUT I entered the time more as a "let's check this off the list" than a "let's meet with God".  It had been a long day, on top of a long week and I just needed to "get it done".

God had other plans though.

As I entered the first area I found myself in another world, relaxing, forgetting about all the things I had to do.  I sat there for awhile, with no real purpose - just taking in the sights, the people, and the music playing on the small mp3 player.  God gave me a word, a picture of freedom - yet - I didn't know how that word had anything to do with freedom ... boundaries???  Seriously... that's the most "un-free" word I could think of.  But, I went with it and I began to move along the path to the upstairs hall.

I moved through several elements and then I came to a room decorated for the holidays with packages all around.  The words played in my ears - saying "these packages are filled with gifts God has for you ... will you receive them?"

I paused for a moment and then approached the packages - there were many to choose from, all with a different "gift" inside.  I took the first one off the shelf and the word inside was REST - what an incredible moment that was.  I knew that God had met me right there at that time, with just a subtle reminder that He knew I was tired, stressed, and wondering how I was going to get through the next few days and weeks with a busy schedule coming up - HE KNEW - and for me that made the entire experience worth it.

I finished the experience, moving from room to room - praying for others, praying for myself, but in it all meeting God in a different way - a way I normally don't experience Him. Through quiet, words, surfaces, and thoughts the Prayer Experience became less about prayer and more about experiencing God - a God who loves each of us and wants the very best for us ... even when He has to literally put things right in front of you!

As I made the drive home that night, I knew that my original picture of freedom made a little more sense and that God was speaking to me through it all.

This post can also be read here on the Northview Blog.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I was totally going with Bayley's "heavy breathing" as a great reason why she should be a MONSTER for Trick-or-Treat ... couple that with the fact that PetSmart has their costumes on clearance for $3 this week and you have one cool looking blue monster.  And then I realized it went perfectly with my blog name ... so enjoy - Bayley in her "Monster Suit"

Friday, October 8, 2010

Something Bigger


Title Package: "I Love My Church" from North Point Media on Vimeo.

Here's a little video I found a few days ago from NorthPoint ... it captures so many of the opportunities available in churches across america during the weekend services!  Love your church ... and get involved :-)

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Reaching children is a passion of mine, however I truly believe that a child can not be ministered to until their basic needs are met.  These basic needs include shelter, safety, food, clean water, and love.  Fostering and adoption are two things that I have a HUGE interest in and hope that one day the Lord will allow me to make both of those things part of my life.

Today I saw this video and was deeply moved by it - especially knowing that I one day want to foster and adopt children it shed a whole new light on what that child goes through and why the church can be and is the answer to the foster care crisis in America.

I hope you'll be inspired as you watch this...

Fostering Together Launch from North Point Media on Vimeo.

Well, you'll actually need to click here to see it since it is only available for embedding with the subscription to Vimeo!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Music Monday

We've sang this a couple times during Weekend Services and I absolutely love the words in this song...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hand in Hand

Each quarter we gather our families together and serve.  The projects range from things around the grounds of the church to our urban church on the near-eastside of Indianapolis.  But, no matter where the project is, its guaranteed to be kid-friendly and an opportunity for families to engage with one another for three hours in a setting and situation that is different from their "normal".

Saturday, was no different than any other Saturday, except that a group of 60 people ranging in age from 2 years to 60+ gathered in Noblesville at Janus Developmental Services to serve alongside the employees there and complete many projects.  Ranging from gardening and organizing to painting and washing windows and walls.  All over the property families were serving alongside one another.

And since I love photos, I think these are the best way to truly communicate the power of families serving alongside one another, so sit back and enjoy...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Menu Monday

Fall ... football ... AND ... CHILI!  I don't know if there is anything better each fall than the return of chili.  Typically, I go with a simple chili, but I HATE beans - the texture, the taste ... everything = GROSS! But ... I believe I've found a substitute ... potatoes!

Here's the recipe ... it gets "judged" tomorrow, so we'll see if it receives raving reviews, but no matter what I enjoy it!

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (29 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups water
  • 6 potatoes, diced
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
Chili Seasoning Mix...

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon dried, minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Brown meat, then add in onion and minced garlic. 
When onion is soft, add 2-3 Tbsp of the chili seasoning to the meat mixture
Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and water
Add potatoes and boil for 45 minutes
If necessary, add a couple dashes of hot sauce and/or additional chili powder
Serve with cheese, crackers or your favorite toppings!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Below is a post I wrote for the blog that my church/employer runs ... it basically outlines the changes that have taken place over the last few months, that resulted from a 200+ family growth in our ministry over the last 6 months.  You can read it below, or here on the Northview Blog (and maybe somewhere in this post you'll figure out why I haven't been blogging ... there's a "summer recap" coming soon!)

Take a leisurely stroll through Studio 6.7 and you’ll find that it can turn into more of a hike, involving all three floors and fifteen different rooms!

Photo by JoanettaHendel

With this past August’s promotions, Studio 6.7 opened a new Early Childhood classroom and re-organized the layout of the Elementary Ministry. 

In Early Childhood, children now can be found in nine classrooms; seven on the Main Floor and two on the Upper Floor. Children from birth through about three years of age are in still in the original Studio 6.7 Classrooms on the Main Floor; however the 4 and 5 year olds have moved upstairs to the Attic, which opened in August 2009, and the Loft, opened August 2010.

In Elementary, children have moved from the original two Elementary Classrooms (Studio and Stadium) into five rooms.  Kindergarteners now meet in the Stadium, having both their small group and large group teaching and worship in this classroom, while the Studio is used as a Large Group and Worship Area for the other four grade levels.

Photo by JoanettaHendel

First to fourth graders meet in four grade-level specific classrooms in the Lower Level. This gives children in these grade levels the opportunity to connect with peers who are their same age and with their small group leaders in a more intimate setting.

The Studio 6.7 Team has spent a good part of this past summer preparing for these changes.
Volunteers have moved to new classrooms, and supplies have been re-divided so that all children and volunteers have the things they need during services.

The changes have been exciting as each area has seen many months of preparation come together to create a fun-filled learning environment for all the children in Studio 6.7.

Ultimately, as Studio 6.7 prepares for additional growth and manages the growth that has been experienced over the past year, these classroom changes have been positive -classroom sizes in all age groups have been reduced, and volunteers now have a greater opportunity to connect with children and families, and yet, it has also allowed Studio 6.7 to prepare for the future.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Veggies Video

This is a beautiful song about adoption and the video is filled with many "gotcha day" photos and videos - VeggieTales new movie is all about adoption ... enjoy!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Beyond the ABC's - Thursday's Tip

Sometimes, succeeding at school isn’t about the child at all … it’s about the parents’ approach to it.  Here are a few tips to help your child do their best!

Expect THEIR best … not THE best

Know what your individual child is capable of – it might not be what their big sis or brother is capable of.  Study your child – learn their learning style, talk to their teachers, and understand child development for their age group.  Then expect THEIR best, if it’s an “A” – then expect an “A”, but if it’s a “C” – then expect a “C”.

Words DO Matter

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” – yea right!  We’re hurt by words constantly … and so are our kids.  We’re also motivated by words – saying: “I love you” “You’re doing a great job” “Your grades are improving”, etc will help your child try harder and do better.  Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the frustration and forget the words that matter!

It’s about THEM

Keeping up with the Jones’ has gone from the bigger, better boat to the bigger, better kindergarten derby car.  Keep in mind that it’s YOUR CHILD’S work. Your child needs to do the work so that they can LEARN – that’s really what its all about.  Don’t step in and do the work for your child – instead, provide “scaffolding” (a support structure) – if needed. By supporting your child you teach them that you think they’re doing a good job.  When you do their work for them, you send the message that their work is never good enough.

Ultimately, CELEBRATE your child’s accomplishments … even when it means getting a “D” on the weekly spelling test instead of the “F” they’ve been receiving.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


Monday, September 6, 2010

Compassion International

You may, or may not, be aware of the ministry called Compassion International - more than likely you know them for their Child Sponsorship Program, which enables thousands of people around the world to support thousands of children ... making the world a little smaller by connecting those who have, with those who have not.

But Compassion does more than just enable thousands of people to sponsor thousands of children.  In addition to the orphanages, food programs, schools and countless other things they are involved with, Compassion works to bring a voice to those who aren't heard.  They work right in the heart of the need and enable those who otherwise would have no voice, to be heard ... around the world!

In less than 48 hours a team of seven will leave for Guatemala with Compassion International.  While there, they will work right alongside those using the money from Child Sponsorships, meet children who are sponsored, maybe even meet the child they sponsor, and see life with sponsorship; and life without.  Each night they'll post their stories and pictures - their thoughts, ideas, and in the end, give those who have no voice ... a voice and share it with the world.

Compassion Bloggers: Guatemala 2010

You can follow each of their stories and hear from those they meet at the links below...

Amanda Jones ::: Baby Bangs

Lindsey Nobles ::: I'm Just Sayin

Ann Voskamp ::: Holy Experience

Lisa-Jo Baker ::: The Gypsy Mama

Compassion International

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The 4th

This month I'm starting a new tradition on my blog ... the 4th day of each month I'll open the 4th photo folder on my computer, select the 4th photo and tell you a little about it!  So, here's September's 4 of 4 post...

This is Dale Jr's Hauler.  Speedway, Indiana is a racing town ... everything there is all about racing and every July when the NASCAR Series comes to town - Speedway REALLY becomes a town that's all about racing!  Each year, on Thursday evening the NASCAR Haulers arrive in little Speedway, Indiana - just outside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and parade down "Main Street" in this small town, nestled within Indy.  Fans have the opportunity to walk through the haulers, take photos, and even go inside a few!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Adventures With Bulldogs

A couple months ago I was presented with the opportunity to get a bulldog.  I've NEVER had a dog and honestly, there's only one kind of dog I've ever wanted and that's an English Bulldog.  Through a few connections there were two dogs available, a boy and a girl.  I took the girl and she has been wonderfully amazing ... and what's even nicer is that her "boyfriend" lives just 3 minutes away and she gets to see him often.

In fact, the past few days we've been staying with her "boyfriend" while his family has been away.  They get along great ... well most of the time, but together can get themselves in lots of trouble.

Tonight happened to be one of those nights when they decided not to be well behaved.

As we passed another friendly dog they both decided to take off after it ... thats 60lbs in the left arm and 60lbs in the right arm bolting after another dog, unfortunately, they split around a tree ... and I was stuck in the middle.

Then just around the next corner I saw a terrible sight ... a 5lb chihuahua with about 5" ears running towards these two bulldogs, who together weigh almost as much as I do. Thinking quickly I knelt down and grabbed their collars and within moments I had been knocked to the ground.  As I'm getting up I hear the voice of a 3yr old say "do your doggies always knock you over like that?"  Resisting the urge to scream "only when they want to eat your doggie" I calmly ask him if he can take his dog back home ... his answer, "I can't pick up my doggie when I'm riding my bike" ... and once again I resist the urge to scream "but you would if you realized my dogs want to eat yours!" 

After about five minutes of being knocked around by two bulldogs trying to get the small dog the little boy's dad finally comes out and freaks out that I'm a stranger ... and all I really wanted to do was scream "please come get your dog!!!"

Oh what a night!  Bulldogs are a ton of FUN, but they sure are strong!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Menu Monday

Everyone has "that" meal that takes you back "home" - a special recipe or meal that you remember from childhood.  I have a few of those things and to this day they're some of my favorite foods.

One is a simple spaghetti sauce recipe that I thought I'd share with you...

1 lb hamburger
1 small onion (chopped)

1-2 cans tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
Water (fill can of each sauce/paste used)
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
Garlic Powder/Garlic Salt to taste
Salt to taste

Brown hamburger and onion, mix in rest of ingredients and simmer long enough for ingredients to mix together (the longer the better!)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father to the Fatherless

“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.”

In 1987 my world was rocked by divorce.  My dad didn't really stay involved - he went off and did his own thing, separate from my life.  We didn't go to church much, in fact his 'visitation' time was Sunday mornings at 10 a.m.  And when we did start going to church I really really struggled with God ... Father?  

Are you serious?  My picture was one of abandonment - how could "God the Father" really be loving and involved in my life when my only ideas of a father didn't quite go along with those traits.  Then, during the summer of 1999 I heard a woman give her testimony before she was baptized ... we'd been in church maybe a year and I was entering high school.  Her words were simple, but I could connect with them.  She said that she had decided God was HER FATHER since she really didn't have an earthly father who was involved in her life.  It was simple and something I knew, but I just needed to hear it from someone who had been there.  God crossed our paths that day to remind me that HE was my FATHER.

My dad died on Father's Day 2002 - it's been eight years ago now, but still seems like yesterday.  It was two weeks before I left for South Africa and two weeks after I turned 18.  Ready to enter my senior year of high school I faced the reality that my earthly father would never see graduations or grandkids - yet my Heavenly Father would lead me through all of lifes events.

Father's Day now is a little different - its a reminder of my dad - maybe one I would have overlooked had he not died on the actual day AND a reminder that there are people everywhere in my same situation and to them I want to say those simple words... GOD IS YOUR FATHER and He is loving caring and involved ... maybe not the picture you have of Him based on your earthly father.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


So, I thought you all might like an update on what's been going on lately ... maybe it will explain my absence lately :-)

First of all ...  this is Bayley - she's a 60lb lap dog.  Actually, she's an English Bulldog, but she sure does think she's a little dog!

Second of all, I had friends come to visit and play in a soccer tournament during Memorial Day Weekend!  We had a great time catching up and spending time together!

 Third, I flew to Dallas for a few days to learn more about our Database System ... FellowshipOne

Fourth, I MOVED - not out of town, just to a new place in town!  It's really nice and I'm enjoying getting settled in and meeting new neighbors!  Check back soon as I'll be posting a few pics of the new place, once we get furniture and my roommate gets settled in!

And finally, ADVENTURE WEEK is not that far away and I am busy busy busy getting ready for hundreds of kids (yes, like more than 800 or so!)  You can check out Adventure Week here!

So, there you have it!  A quick update!

Friday, June 18, 2010

CM Telesummit

Interested in hearing from some leading people in Children's Ministry???  Check out this FREE Telesummit...

It takes place from 9a-5p next Monday and Tuesday ... go to the link above to register!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Touchdown Jesus

So, 2 exits south of where I grew up there's a fairly large church that has caused a fairly large bit of controversy over the last several years with this fairly large statue.  Actually, let me restate that - it's a little bigger than fairly large ... it's 6 stories tall and sits on the side of Interstate 75 (one of the busiest roads in America). 

Affectionately named "Touchdown Jesus" or "Big Butter Jesus" by the locals - the statue has appeared in many photos over the years including the famous O-H-I-O photos for the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Needless to say, the locals have had a lot of fun with this rendition of Jesus :-)  Well, this past week during some very bad storms Touchdown Jesus was struck by lightening and quickly burnt ... leaving just the steel frame after the Plexiglas and Styrofoam burned away.

Now as a lasting tribute the Bob and Tom Morning Radio Show in Dayton put together this video of Touchdown/Big Butter Jesus...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


Friday, June 11, 2010

A Word

 8 Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?”
   I said, “Here I am. Send me.”

Isaiah 6:8

Thursday, June 10, 2010

15 Days

So, it's been 15 days of silence on my blog.  I wish I could tell you its been a purposeful 15 days of nothing, but honestly it hasn't.  It's been pretty quiet as I've begun the moving process to a new place.  In fact, at the moment all my belongings are in boxes ... BUT ... only a few more days and the unpacking will begin!

So more to come very very soon, but for now enjoy the summer sunshine and the warm weather :-)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


Monday, May 24, 2010

Music Monday


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Word

 7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
 9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.

1 John 4:7-9

Sunday, May 16, 2010

God is God

God has chosen to heal this man on the other side of Heaven, but what an amazing story he shares on this video...

The Story of Zac Smith from NewSpring Media on Vimeo.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Food Allergy Awareness Week

This past week has been Food Allergy Awareness Week and I've been in Dallas with very limited internet, otherwise I would have posted before the week ended :-)

Funny thing is, I'm sitting in the Lobby of Prestonwood Baptist Church writing this while the final session of the Dynamic Church Conference is taking place ... because for the final snack of the conference popcorn was the choice, which means I need to stay far, far away.  But, its given me an opportunity to share a couple things I hope you will find helpful when around anyone with any type of food allergy.

1. Know them for WHO they are
Often, when meeting new people, I find that my food allergy becomes the subject, not who I am. Get to know the person and if they want to share about it, talk ... but if they don't that's ok too.  Get to know THEM, not the allergy.

2. Realize that they CAN eat
One of my biggest pet peeves ... "You can't eat ANYTHING!"  ACTUALLY, I can make almost anything and it probably is better than what you eat ... at least its healthier than processed foods.  You just have to know the brands.  Simply because one brand of spaghetti sauce contains the allergen, doesn't mean that all brands of spaghetti sauce contain it.

It's hard enough to speak up and say "I can't eat there" or "I can't go in there", so when it does ... just say ok and move on.  Help select places to eat, but don't be frustrated when menus have to be checked, etc

4. "It's a SECRET"
Those three words are the MOST frustrating three words that can be heard when attempting to gather ingredient information.  What's really more important ... a secret recipe or someone's life?  Realize that the person asking who has a food allergy doesn't want to copy your recipe ... they want to enjoy your recipe!

5. Show you CARE
The best way to show someone you care who has a food allergy is to get to know them and not make a big deal about the allergy.  One of the best ways to do this is to learn how to read food labels and take the initiavtive and the time to do so.  Invite them over for dinner and let them know you'll be serving "safe" foods.  Offer ingredient listings the first few times to make sure you're getting it and let them know that they can trust you to serve allergy-friendly foods.

If you'd like to learn more about food allergies and support the millions of americans affected by them check out this website:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Church World...

Here's a funny video Northpoint did on church...

"Sunday's Coming" Movie Trailer from North Point Media on Vimeo.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Music Monday


Saturday, May 8, 2010


For awhile now, I've wanted a dog, but there's only one type of dog I've wanted.  You see, I've watched a TON of different types of dogs, so I know all the types I DON'T want, but there has been one type I've wanted for a very long time ... an English Bulldog.

Now, they're very very expensive so there was no way I was ever going to buy one, but this past week an opportunity presented itself to get an adult dog (already housebroken!), from a good home ... the situation could not have been better ... so I'd like to introduce to you my English Bulldog, who is currently snoring beside me :-)  Currently, her name is Deja (day-sha) ... but I may be changing it - I'd love to heard your suggestions :-)

Friday, May 7, 2010


Looking for ways to help the flood victims in Nashville?

Check out this website it includes great information on what you can do with your time, money, supplies ... even the internet!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


Saturday, May 1, 2010


May is Brain Cancer Awareness Month.  You might remember that in the past I've posted about Kate McRae and her family, friends of some of my friends who live in Phoenix.  Would you pray for her and her family as they finish up radiation treatments and begin to find out what lies ahead in their journey?

You can follow Kate's Story here ...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Orange 2010

Kudos to the reThink team at Northpoint for providing the Orange Conference online this year!

If you're interested in hearing some of the top speakers in the country go to...

for live streaming of the conference!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Past 8 Weeks

For those of you who don't know, the past 8 weeks have been some of the busiest most amazing weeks of my life!  It all began the last weekend of Februray when we did this and has continued in a way that only God could carry on.  We've seen this and these and even a marching band.  Ultimately though, I've witnessed changed life after changed life.

This past weekend we welcomed more than one thousand kiddos through the doors and thousands more adults.  The last eight weeks have been nothing short of experiencing God in a constant way.

Yet, through it all God has been working on me.  Its a work that isn't finished, but that seriously began last fall when I transitioned from overseeing 3-5's to 0-5's ... a transition I was ready for, but that would have never done on my own ... God knew that.  I enjoy having the control, knowing exactly what's going to happen and how it's going to happen.  Knowing that rooms are well covered for weekends and that everyone knows exactly what to do, but that's what God has been working on me about.  And in a lot of ways He's taken all control away.  It's hard to grow quickly and stay in complete control.  But, that's ok, because its really not me who needs the control ... it's God. 

So, for all of us control freaks leading ministries, families, lives ... take my advice ... just let God have the control ... its so much easier that way :-)

And with that, I'm going to get back on the blogging train ... sharing thoughts and life ... instead of trying to control what's happening :-)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Music Monday


Friday, April 23, 2010

My Church

This past weekend was powerful ... not that the last six or so haven't been.  So, maybe the better way to put it is that this past weekend was extra powerful.  Yet, I don't know that it was actually what happened in the service that struck me as one of the most powerful parts ... its actually what will happen next week and the weeks to come.

Before reading on, do me a favor and watch this.  Don't just be overcome by the power of the moment, but ask yourself what your response would be if that was your friend, your small group leader, your child's sunday school teacher walking across the stage...

...and that is one thing that I LOVE about my church.  More than 40 people told their story on stage last weekend ... they didn't think twice about people's reactions to their story, they knew that their story is part of God's story, so they proudly walked across the stage last weekend to exclaim what God has done!

And this weekend ... they won't be outcast, but will instead be loved and embraced by their friends and others they may not know as we rejoice together over the work that God is doing.  I don't know about you, but I think it takes a lot of courage to do that, but thankfully I've found a place where you can be exactly who you are and you'll be loved just because God loves you.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


Monday, April 19, 2010

Grand Opening...

Sometimes we do things a little different...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thursday's Tip

No, I haven't quit blogging, just have had a bit of writer's block lately and since life has been pretty busy, I haven't really stopped to think about what I should write.

However, I had an experience this past week that I want to share, because I think its something that we should be mindful of.

After three years at my current apartment, it's time for a change ... so in a few months I'll be moving into a brand new place.  Now, the place I'm at has been juts fine, but the new place has a little more to offer, so I'm choosing to move - in the end, its going to be a better fit for me.

Which, brings me to what I want to share...

"It's going to be a better fit for me" ... there's lots of reasons why, and I won't bore you with all the details, but that's what it comes down to - and sometimes I hear volunteers say that when choosing to serve in another ministry, age level, or even service time.  When I hear that from someone I honor it, I don't question it - I know that between them and God, they know what's best.  So, on a weekly basis I have these types of conversations.

This past week I had to have the conversation with my current place about moving and well, it was met with friction and an attempt to nearly beg me to stay where I am ... listing all the "bad" things they had heard ... it literally made me WANT to move.

Yet, it was such a reminder of what people want to hear ... we all want to be encouraged to do what is best, not questioned and begged to stay.  So, let this be a reminder that as you work with other's, encourage them to do what's best ... for them ... even if that means you might lose them in your ministry area ... maybe God has something better for them ... don't get in the way of that!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Go Butler!!!

Yay for the Butler Bulldogs from Indy ... good luck on Monday night in the National Championship!!!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


Monday, March 29, 2010

It's Not About Being Safe


Sunday, March 28, 2010

No Worries


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Kuyasa Kids

I had the opportunity to hear the Kuyasa Kids Choir perform at Northview.  They are an amazing group of children from South Africa who share their joy with everyone they meet.  Below is one of the songs they sang tonight and a little more about their ministry.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

"Put Your Feet Down"


I had the opportunity to experience the ocean last week.  Now, I've been to three of the world's four oceans ... seen them all but the Arctic Ocean and been in three different countries when seeing the other three, but I've never ventured in.  There's something about fish swimming in there with you and not being able to see the bottom that just freaks me out ... let alone there are jellyfish and sharks that could get you too.  But this time, a friend convinced me that riding on the waves far outweighed the thoughts of fishies, jellyfish, and sharks ... so in (to the VERY cold) Atlantic I went last week. 

It was COLD ... I mean really, really cold, but the cold was quickly forgotten as I began riding the waves on a boogie board (or maybe I was just frozen and numb at that point).  It was FUN!!!  I loved the waves, but I kept finding myself struggling ... getting knocked in the head by a wave, having trouble keeping my board with me, or an array of other issues.  And each time I would begin to struggle my friend would say ... "Put your feet down!" 

I was having trouble keeping myself afloat in the water ... but ... it wasn't that deep and I could touch - but I was so wrapped up in staying above the waves that I would forget to just put my feet down ... I had just always pictured the ocean as this deep body of water that you can't touch the bottom of.  Obviously though when you're that close to shore that isn't the case ... even though I felt like it was.

At one point as I was trying to stay on top of the waves I realized that sometimes this is how it is in life.  I (maybe you too) get so caught up in all the junk and sin going on around me, in my own life, and in the lives of others - yet God is saying "Put your feet down!" ... stand on Me, on my Truth, on my Word ... I'm right here.  Just like the sand was right there God is too and He wants us to stand on Him, rest in Him, and trust that He is what will keep us going even when the waves of sin are crashing into us. 

So, as you go about your day ... just remember to put your feet down and stand on God ... you don't have to do life alone ... He's right there!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fort Lauderdale

I've been on vacation the last several days.  And while I have a moment to update the blog I thought I'd share with you a few pictures of this beautiful place!  The weather has been better than what we've had at home, but "cold" for the locals standards.  It hasn't stopped us from playing in the ocean, even with temps in the low to mid 70's and winds upwards of 30mph!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Flamingo Road

I had a chance to attend Flamingo Road tonight with a friend.  It's late so I will share more later ... but I was intrigued with their internet campus.  If you happen to miss church this weekend or don't attend church, but are interested in checking something out go to the website below ... they have more than 3000 in attendance each weekend over the internet from countries around the world!  God is using Flamingo Road in mighty ways!

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Word

Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (The Message)

God our God!  God the one and only!  Love God, your God with your whole heart: love Him with all that's in you, love Him with all you've got!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Forgotten God

Forgotten God, by Francis Chan

... having LOVED Crazy Love (his first book) - I knew that this couldn't be a bad read and having just read Crazy Love I figured just by the title that this book had to be about how we get so wrapped up in ourselves and our own lives that we forget about God and His role in our life.

...I was WRONG

...Forgotten God isn't about how we forget about God ... its about how there's a third part of the Trinity that we forget ... the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit and I have quite a history ... you see ... I knew He existed, but I had NO IDEA who, how, why, what, etc He fit into the Trinity.  I'm not quite even sure I understood that there was a Trinity.  I wasn't really raised in the church and only began attending as I entered my high school years. 

It was a Southern Baptist Church. 

To say the least, Southern Baptists are fairly conservative when it comes to the Holy Spirit - He's there, but they'd just prefer to keep Him in a box acknowledge His work in the big moments and contribute the rest to the skill of the preaching, programs, etc.

My first day of college was the first time I had ever had the Trinity explained to me.  I knew at that moment that I was WAY over my head and knew absolutely nothing about the Bible, Jesus, God, and especially the Holy Spirit.  I spent the next four years learning about all those things, but have still preferred to keep the Holy Spirit in the box that He's always been in - safe - right where I have the control.

I began reading Forgotten God on the plane earlier this week and in the first sixty pages it has already challenged me about my understanding of the Holy Spirit.  Not only that, but it has challenged me to ask myself the question of "am I allowing the Holy Spirit to control my life ... or am I controlling it?"

It's a question I'm working through as I read the rest of this book, but for now if you would like to take a fresh look at the Holy Spirit ... maybe even learn about Him for the first time - check out Francis Chan's new book Forgotten God - it is well worth the read!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Today I head out of town to a location much, much warmer than the midwest.  It's been a long time since I've been on vacation, but after three years here in Indiana it is more than overdue!  Life is incredibly busy right now, but when is it not?  So ... I am off to a beach with some books, some cards, my music, camera, and macbook ... looking forward to an incredible week of fun with friends.  We have no plans ... kind of tough for a planner like me, but I'm looking forward to the change of pace and getting away from the "normal".  Look for stories, photos, and thoughts upon my return :-)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Music Monday


Friday, March 12, 2010

Living It Out

Ashley Molina is one of my volunteers at Northview.  Currently, she is serving in Nicaragua at a school for the deaf.  Below is an article I featured on Ashley during last month's Volunteer Newsletter.

God, Sign Language, people, children, service – those are just a few of the things that Ashley Molina, an eighteen year old high school graduate, is passionate about. Currently, Ashley is serving for the next three months at a Christian School for the Deaf in Nicaragua – learning Nicaraguan Sign Language, while serving as a dorm chaperon, planning games and meals, and working as a teachers aid at the school, but her story doesn’t begin there. It has been a journey as she has learned to live out her faith and follow the calling that God has placed on her heart.

Ashley’s journey to where she is now begins almost a year ago when she chose to spend Spring Break of her Junior year serving with a team from North Beach in Nicaragua.  It was her first experience with missions, but one that has changed her life forever. While there, Ashley, and fifteen of her peers from North Beach served in a multitude of ways during Holy Week. From handing out rice and beans at a food distribution site to running a sports camp for students at a local school; the teens built relationships with the people in Managua and Los Pricilles.

Upon returning from Nicaragua, Ashley was contacted by K.Paul Maurer, Missions Pastor at Northview, about serving at Brookside Community Church. Ashley said that, “God calls us to serve more than ten days a year – you don’t need to send money, time is more important.” With this in mind, Ashley took the opportunity to begin serving here in Indianapolis with the Summer Program at Brookside Community Church. Over the past eight months, Ashley has built relationships with the children at Brookside while helping with homework, joining them on field trips to the local swimming pool, and eating meals alongside them – all while teaching them about a God who knows and loves them!

Brookside has not been Ashley’s only involvement in Northview’s Ministries over the last several months. In addition to attending North Beach on Sunday evenings, Ashley has served in The Sea with the three and four year olds each Sunday morning at 9 a.m. and with an elementary age child through the GraceWorks Ministry on Sundays at 10:45 a.m.

Over the last several months Ashley has found many ways that God has used her gift of sign language and her love for people to serve others. She has been willing to follow God’s leading in her life and He is using her to accomplish His plan.

Ashley will be spending the next three months in Managua, Nicaragua with missionaries Matt and Eva Barlow. Please join Studio 6.7 in praying for Ashley and her time in Nicaragua. She will be returning early this summer.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Word

“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. 
Always be prepared to give an answer to 
everyone who asks you to give the reason 
for the hope that you have. But do this with 
gentleness and respect,”

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


Monday, March 8, 2010

Blogging for Kenya

Compassion Bloggers: Kenya 2010

I came across this on a blog I follow from time to time. At first, I have to admit, I was a little unsure of the whole idea. While I didn't know that much about it - it sounded to me like Compassion was taking bloggers to another country to "show" them something - to show them a life that we'll never know and ask them to tell the rest of us about how the people in Kenya live.


I was wrong in so many ways. More than likely only a small percentage of the millions who follow these six blogs will ever travel to Kenya and experience life there. BUT through the words of these bloggers millions have been made aware of the life of the people in Kenya.

Not only have they made millions aware of a life most of us will never know - they've called us to action. This was one of my concerns when I heard about this ... why are they just going to "see" ... why aren't they going to "do" something. Wrong I was! They are "doing" more by "seeing" than they would have ever been able to accomplish with just their mere hands.

They have called us to action to do something ... whether its for a child in Kenya or a child across the street they are challenging their readers to do something for someone less fortunate.

You see, these six bloggers are doing more for the children in Kenya and around the world by telling their story and being their voice than they ever could have done with their mere hands. The children of Kenya have had a voice this week - they have had their stories told ... I hope these six blogs move you the way they've moved me this week...


Brad Ruggles

Kristen Welch

Kent Shaffer

LV Hanson

Ryan Detzel

And if God so leads you ... you too can sponsor a child through Compassion International.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Like I said in my last post ... "this weekend is going to be pretty special" and it so was. To the point that I have no idea what to say...

I have the privilege each weekend of experiencing all three services - attending one and walking the early childhood hall during the other two - although I'm always "on call" for any "massive vomit" situations! Like I said, its a privilege that especially on these really really cool weekends that I get to experience it with everyone during all of the services.

This past weekend was no different as Steve asked at the end of each service for anyone who wanted to, to come up and be baptized. It was the first time we had done this, so there was no way to know what to expect. God was there and moved in so many hearts - leading more than 300 to be baptized during the three services.

I'm still trying to process it all ... but I know one thing that I've taken away from this weekend is that we don't dream big enough ... God is more powerful, mighty, and amazing than we are and more than we will ever understand and when He shows up in a mighty way lives are changed forever! Our supply of about 60 shirts and shorts didn't even come close to the number that actually responded during each service - leaving us to "warm" wet towels for those yet to be baptized!

I'm also reminded of a devotional I heard about a month ago ... it was about stepping out in faith and having God meet you there. It's much like what David did when he faced Goliath - he stepped out and God met him there. I'm so excited for all of those who "stepped out" this weekend in faith - God met each of them where they were and gave them the courage to come forward ... what a great reminder to me to step out in faith and dream God-sized dreams.

God is BIGGER than anything we will understand and MIGHTIER than anything we will ever face!

Dream big :-)

Here's just a tiny part of what went on this weekend...

Saturday, March 6, 2010


This is baptism weekend ... and its not only going to be special ... its going to be a memorable one as people in service are given the opportunity to respond immediately and be baptized!

Every baptism weekend it takes me back to a conversation I had about a year ago with a five year old. This little boy had been pulled from class and was sitting with me in the hallway until he could settle down and return to class. As we were sitting in the hallway the live baptisms were on the screens ... which led to this conversation...

Kid: "Can I be bap-ti-tized?"

Me: "Yes, when you're a little older"

Kid: "Oh, well ... when I get bap-ti-tized can I wear my swimmies?" (swimmie = flotation device)

Me: "I don't think you'll need your swimmies"

Kid: "Yes I will, can I wear them?"

Me: (now trying not to bust out laughing) "I'm sure if you need your swimmies they'll let you wear them"

Oh how I hope I see the day this kid wears his swimmies into the water on Baptism Weekend :-)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Four of Four

I saw this on a friend's blog ... and since I LOVE photography ... I just HAD to join in!

Go to wherever you keep your photos, for me its iPhoto :-) and go to the 4th folder, then open the 4th photo and explain it.

Here's mine...

This is such a cool photo and a memory of a weekend that probably changed myself and my church in unbelievable ways. It was taken from the roof of the Wheeler Building (10 stories) on the near-east side of Indianapolis during Good Neighbor Weekend (hosted by Northview). I was on a video crew that weekend, which is why we made it onto the roof - below us on every story of the building were teams working to paint, carpet, repair, and prepare the building for Wheeler Ministries to use. What's even cooler though is that looking at this photo, there were really thousands of Northview people in it ... spread all across Indianapolis that morning and throughout that weekend in October 2007 - loving people and serving the community.

I'll never forget that weekend. We canceled services, gathered for a moment of prayer and then just spread out all over! There were teams that painted, served meals, landscaped ... did all sorts of things from the south side to way north of carmel ... more than three thousand people serving and serving. What's cooler though is that it didn't end that weekend ... it turned into "Good Neighbor" ... a way of living, a way of loving your neighbor as yourself.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thursday's Tip


Tweens ::: 9-11 Year Olds

Found in the Stadium and Arena, they're often called the "tweens" - they're in transition from being a child to a teenager and are caught in the midst of a changing world. Coming to the realization of the world around them, tweens are no longer egocentric; they now understand that there is a world that exists outside their own. Friendships are very important at this age. The "tween" thinks about the future, is goal oriented, has great ideas, but struggles to follow through, and enjoys games with more complex rules. The girls in this age group are also typically two years ahead of the boys in maturity.

At this stage, the tween has begun to realize that adults make mistakes too and may defy or belittle authority. They would rather be with their friends than their parents and can at times be cruel to their peers through the use of “put downs”. The tween also sees things as either right or wrong and does not allow for a difference of opinion.

The family is still the central influence in the child’s life, but it is important to them that they belong to a group of friends, often of the same gender. At this age, they realize that actions have consequences and are beginning to take responsibility for their actions.

What does this mean for me as a volunteer?

As a volunteer in this age group it is important to connect with both the child and their family, since the family still has a great amount of influence into the life of the child. Providing opportunities for them to lead in times of reading, discussion, and prayer is also important. Share your story, this age group has realized that adults mess up too and make mistakes, so incorporate your own stories and lessons into your discussions with this age group. Be open and willing to talk with the child about issues that concern them, they are likely to share their thoughts and opinions. Watch for children who may be excluded from groups or “put down” by other children. Encourage groups to incorporate “outsiders” into their group and to only use encouraging words with their peers. Finally, encourage the child and their family to take part in service projects. Studio 6.7 offers Family Service Projects quarterly and the Good Neighbor website is always available for families to find projects that interest them.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Power of a Name

The power of someone's name is like nothing else in the universe. It is something that we all have and identifies who we are. When you say someone's name, often, you immediately have a picture of that person in your mind. Not only is it a reference for you, but it also says to the person that the name belongs to that you care about them, you know their name, and you are interested in who they are and what they do.

In the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie says that:

"We should be aware of the magic contained in a name and realize that this single item is wholly and completely owned by the person with whom we are dealing . . . and nobody else. The name sets the individual apart; it makes him or her unique among all others.

The information we are imparting or the quest we are making takes on a special importance when we approach the situation with the name of the individual. From the waitress to the senior executive, the name will work magic as we deal with others.” (Carnegie, 1981, p. 83)

As a Studio 6.7 Volunteer you can have a HUGE impact just by stating the name of a parent or child in your conversations with them. Northview is a huge place, but through the use of a name, you help it to seem just a little smaller and more personal to the families you work with.

Here’s a challenge: this weekend (or the next time you serve): make a point to look at the nametag of each parent you encounter and use their name when greeting them and their child.

Sunday, February 28, 2010


I have to admit, God has blessed me with an incredible opportunity over the last two and a half years to work with some amazing people at an amazing church. As this staff team has come together over the last few years its been amazing to watch everyone - both the staff team and congregation - working towards the goal of reaching our community. This past weekend we added one more piece to the puzzle with the opening of our new Auditorium. With the additional seats (we doubled our seating capacity) we now have space for new people to join us ... potentially those who have never heard the message of Jesus Christ before. It was a very, very exciting weekend ... here's a small glimpse of one of the opening songs the worship team and band did live on the stage before we entered into worship!

Check us out here:

Friday, February 26, 2010

Picture This ::: GraceWorks

During Picture This earlier this month we honored one of our GraceGivers. He is a freshman in high school and is very committed to serving each weekend in the ministry. He and the little boy he serves have become friends and look forward to spending time together.

One of the girls at church wrote this great article about the Christopher Beltz Award that was given to Gregg. You can read it here.

You may remember that Christopher was one of the kids in our ministry, who passes away last winter ... I was excited to honor his memory this year at our dinner and am excited to continue to honor Christopher in the years to come!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Word

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we ever imagined,
according to His power that is at work within us..."

Ephesians 3:20

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


Monday, February 22, 2010

Thoughts on Puke...

"help massive vomit"

Those are the exact words that came to my phone less than five minutes after sitting down in service last Saturday night! After leaving service (yes ... the only seat I could find was near the front!) I got back to the room where it had happened and well, to spare you the details I had to ask which child was sick since there were three kids covered in it.

But, here's the deal ... this was the fourth weekend in a row that I've had a situation like this! It's been a rough winter with many many cases of the stomach flu (thankfully, I haven't had it yet!) And to be honest I've gone from not able to handle it to not having a problem with cleaning it up in four weeks.

In the midst of the past few weeks I read this blog post about puke - you too can read it here! It really got me thinking about what would happen if we responded to sin the same way our body responds to being ill. When we're physically ill our body attempts to rid itself of the illness in whatever way possible. But, when we're spiritually ill we make little attempt to rid ourself of the sin.

What would your life look like if you "puked" your sin and just got rid of it?

Not that I want to puke every time I sin, I do want to react to it as if I did puke ... basically I'm saying that when I sin I want it to be a big enough deal to me that I change ... I change what I'm doing, who I'm around - whatever circumstances led me into a situation where I sinned.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Chapter 5 ::: Skeeples and Lomes

Now, did that peak your interest? Well, you're just going to have to read Think Orange to figure out just what a Skeeple and a Lome is!

Order your copy of Think Orange by clicking here.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Love Has Come


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Observations on Curling ... and Life

Curling ... I can't even give you a definition or a single rule. In my mind it is something played on ice that involves human beings, a large rock, and some brooms. Yet, it intrigues me. I found myself sitting in front of the television for several hours this past week engulfed in Curling and as I sat there pondering what on earth they were doing with this large rock ... I began to ponder the things of life.

You see, I realized that curling doesn't make sense to me for one simple reason ... there's no celebration. Hours passed ... no one smiled, no one jumped up and down, horns didn't sound and lights didn't flash. I don't understand the rules of hockey either, but I do know that when they jump up and down and hug each other it is a good thing ... and over the years I've correlated that response to the fact that the little black puck is always inside the little net. Same thing with football ... when the ball lands at the end of the field in a players arms and they jump up and down ... well it must be good!

There has been no moment in Curling yet where I have watched a reaction and said ... something good just happened ... and it has left me utterly confused and unable to figure out the sport of curling.

Yet, as I watched it, I realized that for this same reason we need to celebrate the good things in life. We need to celebrate when a child makes a good choice, another year that passes, the time with friends ... for it is our celebrations that help us and others to identify what is good in our lives.

So, what are you going to celebrate today?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chapter 4 ::: Both/And

From Reggie Joiner - Think Orange - Page 79...

"When it comes to entities that God has created specifically to make disciples and accomplish His mission, there is the church ... the family ... and ... nothing else"

The church can't change the next generation on its own ... the family can't change the next generation on its own ... its a both/and situation. The only way to change the next generation is a both/and approach where the church and the family work together - each realizing the others importance in ministering to the next generation.

When the church assumes that the parent knows what to do and how to do it - the process breaks down, just as it does when the parent assumes that the church knows what support they need in raising their child. As silos - the church and the family can't reach the next generation effectively, but together they can have a HUGE impact!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Chapter 3 ::: The Family

It is the smallest unit of society - the family. God created ... the family is intended to show us how God loves here on earth. You don't earn a mother or father's love ... just as you don't earn God's. Our family influences us and helps to mold who we are - yet somewhere along the way I think we lost what it truly means to be a family. In keeping up with the Jones' we've forgotten what quality family time looks like. It's not just being together, but actually interacting in a meaningful way that has a lifelong impact on a child.

God hasn't called anyone to be a perfect parent ... in fact, there is no example of a perfect parent in the Bible. But there are numerous examples of parents - living, making mistakes, acknowledging their downfalls, and interacting with their children.

The family is an integral part of a child's life ... it displays the heart of God.

From Reggie Joiner - Think Orange Page 50

"Although the concept of family has had different expressions in every generation, it has always been significant to our existence. Governments are organized, walls are build, and battles are fought for the sake of families. It is the core of civilization and a primary influence on the human condition."