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.