Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Kids' Weekend Fun


It was so great to worship this past weekend with the kids at Granger Community Church.  Check out the service here.




Friday, December 12, 2008

Successful or Faithful?

This morning, I read this:

"God is not easily impressed - but then He never asks us to try to impress Him.  It is as if He turns to us when we are consumed with our own unworthiness and are tempted to avoid meeting with Him, then He cuts across all our excuses and says: 'Relax, I already know you.'

Amy Carmichael captures this feeling of such an exchange in her book His thoughts said... His Father said...

The son said, But I am not successful.
His Father said, 
At the end of the day will My word be,
Come, thou good and successful servant?
If only thou wilt walk humbly with thy God it will be, 
Come, thou good and faithful servant.

We are not called to be successful, but faithful - relax!"


Sunday, November 23, 2008

School of (Worship) Rock

I'm proud of these kids.  This after only 1 hour of practicing together.



More to come soon!  With kids singing!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Catalyst OneDay(Later)

So, it's the day after the awesome Catalyst OneDay event that we hosted at Granger Community Church.  More OneDay events are coming to Georgia and Texas in the winter.

I love conferences I think because I like to learn new things.  Only thing is, I've been to a lot of conferences that I seem to not remember a whole lot from even when I take good notes.  I like the the idea of trying to work on a couple or three things, so I thought I'd think back to yesterday and pick 3 things that I felt I learned or was reminded of:

1. Personal spiritual momentum is fueled by greater amounts of time spent in your area of giftedness. (Andy Stanley) This is huge for me.  I think I'm in a season right now where personal walk and using my gifts are lining up well.  I can look back to dry spells when I wasn't using my gifts as I should.  Now to help others do the same thing.

2. Never sacrifice your relationship with Jesus at the altar of doing ministry.  (Craig Groeschel) There will be busy seasons, but make sure you are proactive enough to schedule recovery time.

3. Your people need your leadership gift more than they need what you can do.  (Andy Stanley)  For those of us charged to lead people, this is a kick in the head.  I often get trapped in the doing of things and then don't have time to lead the teams I'm leading.  Delegating by giving people authority (not tasks) helps us to develop the leaders around us.

If you were there and have one to share, feel free.

MAJOR HIGHLIGHT: Got to hang out with Steve Fee and Matt Adkins from Fee. VERY COOL GUYS.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

They Say Imitation is the Sincerest form of Flattery





Nice job on this! You guys rock!

More Advent Conspiracy

I'm loving so much of what Advent Conspiracy has to say. Check this out from Rick McKinley - pastor at Imago Dei.



This is the promo which several bloggers in my world have posted:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Can or Should?

I've been thinking about this question a lot lately.

There are a lot of things I CAN do each day.  I have a certain set of gifts/abilities/opportunities that I can invest my time into.   The bigger question to consider for me now is, "SHOULD I?"

For me, this seems to be a stewardship issue.  How we steward our time tells a lot about our walk with God.  If I consider my return on my investment, how am I doing in building the Kingdom values in my life?  The Bible often talks about consecrating things - or separating them - for holy purposes.  What does consecrated time look like?  What does today look like?  

Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Look Up


When I walked out of GCC last week after Wednesday night rehearsal, for some reason I thought I should look up.  When I did, I saw this.  I thought it was pretty cool.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Is it Art?

Question: Is this art?


How 'bout this?

Or this?

Or this?

Maybe this?

Or this?

The truth is that all of this could be art.  It all depends on perspective and delves into the world of aesthetics - "critcal reflection on art, culture and nature." - as scholars discuss it.  This is a quite complicated question and has been debated for centuries.  If you'd like more on this discussion, check out the wiki HERE.

As we think about creating art for the Church setting, several questions arise:
- who is art for (our target audience)?
- what art forms will express what that audience will understand?
- how do we handle critique? - both the affirming and the disdain

Have you ever been in church and experienced a piece of art that inspired you to worship?  Have you then left that service and had someone make a comment about the same piece of art that they thought "missed the point"?  THIS HAPPENS ALL THE TIME.  And it has everything to do with what people value in art (aesthetics again).  One set of people may love a particular element, while another are either bored by it or flat-out hate it.  

So, as artists in the church, what are we to do?  We have a responsibility to bring our best to God.  But what is best?  

1. Pray - Ask God for great wisdom to lead as you plan and implement great art for His glory.
2. Listen - this is often the part we skip!
3. Plan - ask the questions about target and purpose to get you there
4. Work - work diligently (with as much feedback as possible often gets the best results.) 
2 Chron.24:13 says "The men in charge of the work were diligent, and the repairs progressed under them. They rebuilt the temple of God according to its original design and reinforced it."  In rebuilding the temple they had to be intentional.
5. Be a DUCK - realize that not everyone is going to "get it".  You can't please everyone.  Just make sure that for the most part, the people you want to reach are being reached with what you craft.  

Go great make great art for the Lord who considers YOU his masterpiece! 
"For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." Ephesians 2:10

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Connect the Dots


When I was a kid, I LOVED "Connect the Dots" books!  Especially when you couldn't quite figure out what the thing was when you first looked at it.  The tough ones were a challenge, but the reward was better at the end, because it was usually something cool like a rocketship or Darth Vader.

The more intricate and challenging it was, the more dots were needed.

This is similar to our dealing with our volunteers.  Especially in the arts ministry that we do, the complexity that we are asking for week in and week out is astounding.  With this in mind, we need to constantly point people back to the "WHY" of what we're doing.  

CONNECT THE DOTS.

Ultimately, a technician who pushes a button throughout 4 services on a weekend, must understand that his/her button pushing is helping people see Christ!  A drummer needs to know that each hit of a snare can be inspire people to worship God.  We certainly should affirm the technical/artistic skill of our volunteers, but they can get that kind of affirmation in other arenas.  What they can't get is the reminder that when they serve, they are directly impacting people for Christ.  This is what the Church offers that other artistic venues can't. 

When people are pointed back to the vision and affirmed as they use their gifts to further that vision, our volunteers serve with better motive, are more satisfied, better equipped, and ultimately will give their lives for the cause of Christ.  

CONNECT THE DOTS.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Chewing...

I've been chewing on a worship song for a while now.  It's basic premise is that God is good.  This is a basic concept that I would love for our people to internalize and truly believe.  Mark Beeson spoke of it this weekend that even through tough circumstances, we must trust and believe that God is ultimately GOOD.  It's the premise behind Romans 8:28 - "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."  

A few thoughts/verses that I've been thinking about for the song:
  • His love and mercy endure for all eternity
  • Taste and see that the Lord is good.
  • His unfailing love draws us in
  • He is close the brokenhearted
  • The Cross is the ultimate example of his goodness
  • His kindness leads us to repentance
  • We (His people) will declare His goodness to all nations
Anything that you might suggest?

Friday, October 03, 2008

Worship Smackdown

So, lately, three of modern worship's BIG GUNS have released new CD's:

Chris Tomlin's "Hello Love"

Charlie Hall's "The Beautiful Sadness"

Lincoln Brewster's "Today is the Day"

I'm going out on a limb here and saying that Chris Tomlin's has to be my favorite due to it's accessibility for corporate worship.  MANY good songs that can be used in the church setting.  My favorite new ones for the congregation (post-Passion releases) are: You Lifted Me Out and Praise the Father, Praise the Son.  I'm thinking that Jesus Messiah will be a great song for Christmas this year to give some variety.  For personal times, the song I Will Rise is absolutely stunning!  Musically, both Charlie and Lincoln have some edge (some great theology in Charlie's stuff which is usual of him), but for the group setting, Chris' album seems to win hands down.  

If you had to pick - which one would be your favorite?  

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Anticipation vs. Expectation

As I was approaching our time of worship for our 1st Wednesday (midweek) service yesterday, I had a few thoughts.  For this particular service, I had done more spiritual prep than I probably ever have for a service at GCC.  Regular intentional prayer for about 4 weeks using the prayer (by N.T. Wright) that we presented to the congregation last night:

Abba, Father, maker of heaven and earth:
Set up your Kingdom in our midst.

Lord, Jesus Christ, son of the living God:
Have mercy on me, a sinner.

Holy Spirit, breath of the living God:
Renew me and all the world.

Check out the online version here.

What struck me in my preparation was that I wanted to wary of expectation for the night.  I wonder if that is how we as people who plan worship (and worshippers in general) might approach corporate times.  Do we come to God with a list of expectations as to how He needs to show up?  Do we have certain criterion that need to be met in order for us to engage?  

OR

Do we come in anticipation of what God MIGHT do?  That He might move in ways that are completely unexpected by us?  Do we leave the slate open for God to reveal Himself in ways that are beyond our preconceptions?  

Anticipation vs Expectation

My prayer changed the last day or so approaching last night - "God, do something unexpected - something I haven't planned for!"

It happened.

We were playing along, doing our normal thing - we entered into the song "Jesus Paid it All" by Kristian Stanfill (an arrangement of the old hymn).  During the bridge section, my brother Trace Rorie boldly led, "Oh praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead!" I WAS UNDONE!!!  I could hardly hold back the tears.  Immense gratitude for all Jesus has done and continues to do for us.  I think approaching the night with anticipation rather than expectation made all the difference.  

"I wait for you, O Lord; you will answer, O Lord, my God." Psalm 38:15

I was grateful for a great night of worship.  I'm hopeful that the next month of using the this Trinity Prayer as a church focus, will help our people move further up and further in with their devotion and love for Christ.  I believe that God was well loved by His people last night at GCC.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Words of Wisdom

I'm reading the book "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch.  It's about a man dying of pancreatic cancer.  As I'm reading he reflects on life lessons.  Here are two lessons from one chapter that particularly struck me:

One was about his youth football coach:

"Coach Graham used to ride me hard.  I remember one practice in particular.  "You're doing it all wrong, Pausch.  Go back!  Do it again!"  I tried to do what he wanted.  It wasn't enough.  "You owe me, Pausch!  You're doing push-ups after practice."  When I was finally dismissed, one the assistant coaches came over to reassure me.   "Coach Graham rode you pretty hard, didn't he?"  he said.  I could barely muster a "yeah."  "That's a good thing," the assistant told me.  "When you're screwing up and nobody says anything to you anymore, that means they've given up on you."  

This is a different look into criticism and how we take it.  I often think it's because someone doesn't believe in me, but is a great perspective.  

The second quote: 

"There's a lot of talk these days about giving children self-esteem.  It's not something you can give; it's something they have to build.  Coach Graham worked in a no-coddling zone.  Self-esteem?  He knew there was really only one way to teach kids how to develop it: You give them something they can't do, they work hard until they find they an do it, and you just keep repeating the process."  

I like this.  This is why we want our kids to be good at something.  It is important for them to know they are loved beyond "doing" anything, but once a kid takes off at something, it can really build confidence.  I remember learning the Rachmaninoff "Prelude in C# Minor" for my Senior Piano Recital.  I honestly didn't think I could do it.  But, after MUCH practice and hard work, I was able to get it down.  I remember thinking, "if I can do this, I can do anything!"  

Friday, September 19, 2008

My Dad: A Tribute

There are a few things you only do once in your life.  On Wednesday I did one of those - I buried my dad, Robert (Bob) Vukmirovich.  Many friends and family gathered to pay tribute to a very special man.  On Tuesday night, after a short Eastern Orthodox memorial service (my parents are Serbian Orthodox), I had the chance to talk about my dad.  Though it was hard to do, I felt like it was something that I NEEDED to do.  With my mother, wife, children, friends and family watching, I spoke of dad.  This is basically what I said:

So many people over the past few days have told me how kind and patient my dad was.  I thought about how they perceived these character traits.  What it really came down to for me was that my dad was FULLY PRESENT wherever he was.  If he was talking with you, he would put aside distractions and really focus on you.  This was often in contrast to my mom and I who are frequently known to say things like "there's a bird!" during conversations.  My dad gave of himself to you, enjoying the moment.  A particular example of this was when he and my daughters would play "the quiet game" while they traveled in the car.  Who could be quiet for the longest was the goal.  My dad, (they call him Deh-da - the Serbian word for grandpa) would usually let the kids win as all grandparents should.  On one particular playing "the quiet game", Deda "lost" by saying "I love rainbows!" - one of those random, kind of out-there statements.  If you saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory think "I love grapes!"  So this phrase began to be adopted by our family as a message of being in the moment.  You'll hear my kids every once in a while say "I love rainbows!"  A great way to remember Deda.

My dad also had an incredible desire for touch.  It would have been one of his top Love Languages - a book by Gary Chapman.  This was true every time we got together.  I wouldn't just give him a quick "hey there" hug.  No, these hugs were the real deal.  It was intentional touch time.  I remember one time when I was very young.  Waiting for Christmas Eve guests to arrive.  Now our family is Serbian.  And Serbian time runs anywhere from 15-45 minutes behind the rest of the world.  So I was waiting for cousins to come open presents.  I was getting tired too from all the excitement.  So, I cuddled up to my dad in our sweet Avocado green La-z-boy recliner.  This was the type with the smooth, kind of pleather finish.  Bring on the 70's baby!  So we squeezed in the chair together and we both took a little nap.  I felt safe in the lap of my daddy.  So I rested.  I think that's kind of what my dad just went through.  He was tired, so he crawled up into the lap of his heavenly daddy and is now at rest after a long and tiring journey.  

So that's what I said.  Much more could have been said, but I wanted dad to be honored by brevity.  He would have liked that.  More smiles about his life than tears about his death.  I think that's the way I want to go out.  




I thought I'd finish by letting people know some things about my dad:
- he loved tech toys - we had the first "portable" VCR (11 lbs) on our street 
- he loved model trains - we used make a track that would go around the entire basement
- he loved to sing - a church choir member and director for over 50 years
- he was a chemist - 41 years at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit
- he loved crossword puzzles - everyday Detroit Free Press, New York Times on the weekends
- he loved gardening - especially flowers
- he hated eggs - any kind, prepared any way - even in this last hospital stay he asked "no eggs"
- he had the driest sense of humor - many a groan at his jokes
- he never had an unkind word to say about anyone
- he adored my mom - in his last years he called her "his hero"
- he was my biggest cheerleader (before my wife) - his words were always "you can do it!"
- he was enamored by his grandaughters - always on his mind and heart
- he was a man who was well loved
- he was a man who loved well (for this I am forever grateful)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Baptism: A Dad's Perspective



Just had to put these up.  It was a sacred honor and privilege to baptize both of my girls.  This was a next step in their growing faith in Christ.  We've seen their growth as they pray, as they serve, as they share their faith.  This was the year.  On Sunday, both of my girls drove a stake in the ground to remember the covenant they made before God and many people - to love, follow and serve Christ all their days.  It was, as I said before, a day to remember.


Monday, September 08, 2008

A Day to Remember

Yesterday was one of those days.  If you saw the movie, "Groundhog Day", it was one of those I would feel great about repeating.  

Quick rundown of the day:
  • Slept in.  (Bonus: kids slept in!)
  • Coffee mix was just right
  • Read Bible and praised God for some amazing things the day prior
  • Took a shower/shaved my head - NO CUTS
  • Prayed with Lisa and my girls for the upcoming baptisms
  • Came to church during the 9:30 service and there was ONE PARKING SPOT available!
  • Baptized a whole group of people with Dr. Bob, including my new neighbor Marcie Herman 
  • Between baptisms, hung out with my brother, Jason Miller.  I always walk away closer to Jesus after hanging with him.
  • Completely overwhelmed by the attendance at the 11:30 service and was brought to tears as almost half the crowd came forward to receive Christ. 427 at that service alone!
  • Baptized John Nace.  A special guy with a special story.
  • Felt so loved by our church family and friends who came to watch Anna and Sophie be baptized!  Our friends the Geschkes and Longcors (who came from Goshen) were cool surprises!  
  • Baptized Anna.  I couldn't even get the first words out.  Seeing my wife in the pool and Dr. Bob.  After catching my breath, I was able to finish.  I saw a radiant young woman of God emerge from the waters.
  • Baptized Sophie.  Her sweet, calm responses to the 3 questions about her commitment to Christ.  Then as we lifted her from the waters, hearing the crowd around us cheer.  That was great!
  • Gave each of the kids a cross necklace to commemorate the day.  And they were fully grateful!  
  • Went to Logan's after church and had a great steak, baked potato, and the ROLLS, baby!  Our server, Kaitlyn, was top notch as well.
  • Hung out on the bench outside of Walmart with my brother, Corey Mann.  Great to catch up and hear his heart.
  • Got home and a slew of little girls were hanging out around our house.  Lauren Baker and Sophie got heavily into dressup.  No fights between anyone!  
  • Kids off to bed.
  • Watered our plants outside.  Always a time for reflection on the day for me.  Good time with God.
  • Spent some great time with Lisa
It was a great day.  One of the best in recent history for me.  God is good.


Monday, September 01, 2008

Holding Steady

Thanks for everyone's prayers. My dad is holding steady. Fairly lucid - He asked for Diet Coke :). Yesterday the doctors were telling us that we had hours. Today they are telling us weeks. We are now asking what is next. This is where we will need a great deal of wisdom. Thanks for anyone who would lift up a prayer on behalf of our family.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Update on Dad

Thanks for all your prayers.  My dad is stable but in pretty rough shape.  They didn't catch him before the 3 hour window that can make all the difference in rehabilitating most of the stroke damage.  He is at Detroit's Henry Ford Hospital (where he worked as a chemist for 40 years) and they are performing an MRI today.  I'll be heading up to Detroit after services tomorrow.  My mom felt that not much will change between now and then, so we're going with that.  

Specifics for prayer:
  1. My mom and I will need to make some pretty tough decisions regarding my dad's care from here on out.  This could include semi-permanent nursing home care.
  2. My mom's house is way too big for her to handle and though she has been doing most of the maintenance (and hiring a lot), she'll probably need to move.  The Detroit housing market STINKS, so we'll need that to pray about.
  3. If my dad somehow is able to recover from all of this, his "good leg" often will get a bed sore on the heel which takes months to heal because of his diabetes and poor circulation. If we could pray for a well-taken-care-of heel, that would rock.
Thanks again everyone for all the well wishes and prayers.   

Friday, August 29, 2008

Prayers Needed


Hi everyone,

Just need prayers for my dad, Bob, who had a stroke this morning.  He has total paralysis on his entire left side.  He was taken to the hospital this morning by ambulance.  My mom is shaken.  Our hope is in Christ that His Kingdom is revealed in all of this.  

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

5 Years (and 3 days)

I just remembered that it was five years ago on August 24th that I came to Granger Community Church to be "Pastor of Music and Drama".  Since then, my role has evolved to drop the "drama" part of the title.  Kristin Baker is much more capable than I and is running point on an amazing drama ministry.

Five things I've learned in these past five years (I've learned a lot more, but this is a blog you know):
  • It's either about Jesus or about me; it can't be both.
  • Prepping to lead worship is much more than musical - it's "on your face time" before God 
  • The team outperforms the individual in the long run, everytime.
  • The three P's of ministry with volunteers: PEOPLE, PEOPLE, PEOPLE.
  • Key friendships are just that, KEY.
We've grown so much here.  I'm thankful for 5 great years.  GCC is a great people to be part of.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Chalk Dan

This is me through the eyes of my daughter Sophie.  Check out the sweet KICKS!  

"For we are God's masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." Ephesians 2:10

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Creating Space


This morning I had the chance to have my monthly breakfast with my daughter Anna.  We head to Bob Evans restaurant on or around her birthday date each month.  I stole this idea from Mark Beeson about a year ago.  She ALWAYS gets the Little Farmer's breakfast (which is quite the deal for $3.00).  I ALWAYS try to LISTEN with both my EARS and my HEART.  Making the space for this is crucial to me in really knowing my daughters well (I do this with Sophie too).  

This particular morning was great since we had a chance to wander the campus of Notre Dame as well.  Through a few comments that Anna made, I was able to literally hear her heart.  Knowing what my daughter is going through allows me to be much more specific in my prayers for them.  I have a focus for this next season that I will bring before Christ daily, on behalf of Anna.  I'm fully expecting God to do some amazing things in this area of her life.  

Without the breakfast and the time to just pull away from everything that distracts - TV, computer, cell phone, etc - I would not have had the opportunity to hear this.  I'm grateful for Anna and for the time we intentionally spend together.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Thoughts on Worship

I've been reading Marva Dawn's book: Reaching Out without Dumbing Down.  It has been challenging me in several ways with regard to worship.  I don't agree with all that she writes (as if that would be a good thing).  I do love her heart.

Here are a few things I like so far:
  • "The entire act of Christian worship is a gift to God of the entirety of the worshipers' lives."  This goes against an attitude which might say "I didn't get anything out of the service today."  Ultimately, who are we gathering for?  Us or God?
  • "Genuine praise of God depends upon truth.  It is not just an attitude of appreciation or an emotion of well-being or delight; instead, it acknowledges a superlative quality or deed.  Praise does not express our own yearnings or wishes; it responds to something given to us."  This is a what we are moving to at GCC.  More time to respond to God's truth.  I think it's working.  It is so good to be presented with truth and then have the space to process it and ultimately respond in praise of the One who allows us to recognize it.
  • "Churches actually do worship participants a disservice if their praise of God ignores life's harsh realities and God's presence in the midst of them.  To be only upbeat is to be unbiblical."  Agreed.  If people experience only the aspect of joy in church, they may come to suspect that the people of the church are plastic.  That "real life" is being swept under the rug while we put on happy smiles for weekend services.
  • "Worship must center on God, glorify Christ, involved people, express praise, communicate the truth of the Bible, encourage faith, promise redemption, reflect the incarnation, build up the Church, instill vision, make an offering, nurture communion, and evoke an 'Amen'."  This is certainly not an exhaustive list (from C. Welton Gaddy), but it is a good place to start.  The challenge is to discern what emphasis God desires in a given service.  Obviously all of these elements cannot receive the same amount of attention in one service.  In the fullness worship over a given season, I agree that these should be covered.
As we move through different changes at GCC, I'm sure we'll continue to wrestle with defining what our worship looks like.  I'm thrilled at this challenge.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Our Newest Family Member


We just picked this little guy (or girl) up last night.  Waiting on the name since our hamster will be shared with Lisa's Montessori classroom.  The thing is just so stinkin' cute.  It's so cute, that I'll tolerate poop.  Yes, it pooped on me about 12 times when I held it this morning.  Should be a fun pet.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

TODAY

This is me.  Many moons ago, in ancient times, when bad hair days meant something to me.

I am older now.  

I have less hair.

I believe I have more wisdom.

I am less fully dependent on others.

I am more in need of true friends.

I need an "'atta boy!" less.

I choose to give extravagant encouragement whenever possible.

I have less time to sleep.

I make more time to dream.

"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.  When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me." 1 Cor. 13:11

I'm thankful that God has given me the incredibly blessed life that I have.  A Savior who lives, breathes, and is fully present in every aspect of my life.  A wife who shows me what true loyalty and sacrifice is all about.  Two kids who help me learn to celebrate the JOY of the moment.  A church that, beyond a shadow of a doubt, has helped me draw closer to God.  Friends who lift me up and challenge me to greater things.  Today, I am truly grateful.  TODAY is the best gift I can receive.





Tuesday, August 19, 2008

New Blog


Hey everyone,

Just wanted to let you all know that I'm switching the series on OneThought to a new blog at www.onethought.net.  

My hope and desire is that this will be a helpful tool for people desiring to simplify by simply focusing on OneThought each day based on Scripture.  I may add images in the future.  If you have any ideas for making that particular site more engaging, let me know.  This blog, will be more sharing of what God has going on in our lives as a family, church and community.  Thanks.  Take care.

One Thought

Today:

HOLY

"As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God's life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, "I am holy; you be holy." 1 Peter 1:14-15

Monday, August 18, 2008

One Thought

Today:

TRANSFORMED

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:1

Sunday, August 17, 2008

One Thought

Today:

BELIEVE

"Then the man said, 'Lord, I believe,' and he worshiped him." John 9:38

Saturday, August 16, 2008

One Thought

Today:

GOOD

"Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!"
Psalm 34:8

Friday, August 15, 2008

One Thought

Today:

SATISFIED

"My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you." Psalm 63:5

Thursday, August 14, 2008

One Thought

Today:

PRAY

"This, then, is how you should pray:

'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.'"

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

One Thought

Today:

SING

"Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting of the upright to praise him. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy." Psalm 33:1,3

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

One Thought

Today:

ABBA

"For you have not received a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." Romans 8:15

Monday, August 11, 2008

One Thought

Today:

PEACE

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27

Sunday, August 10, 2008

One Thought

Today:

HOPE

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Intentional Silence


Hey all,

Just letting you know that I'm taking a little leave of absence from blogland. Nothing bad happening, just that I'm refocusing for the next few weeks. God's teaching me some stuff. I'll be back soon. Take care.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pure Ambition


This little guy climbed all the way up our screen last night in search of bugs to eat! Amazing what can happen when your eyes are on the prize.

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Phillipians 3:14


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sacred Places


This is a picture of my front porch stoop. It is a place that has been special to me in every house that we've lived in. It is a sacred space for me. Probably not for the reason you would think. You might think it's because that's where people enter my house. Nope. Good guess though. You might think that it's because the stoop is where we launch into the world. Wrong again.

This place (with each house we've lived in) has given me a place to think and pray. I usually go running in the morning. After a long run, I absolutely LOVE sitting on the stoop, to recover, and more often than not, meet with God. Many a song lyric has been written from the stoops of the houses we've lived in. Many a prayer has been offered to Christ on behalf of my family and my church. There is nothing super special about the place, except for the fact that I have met God there. I think it has something to do with my being ready to listen.

I have a feeling that this is how it was with the patriarchs of the faith, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Wherever they met with God, it became a sacred place.

They built altars there to remember:
Gen. 12:7 The LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your offspring [a] I will give this land." So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him.

They "raised their Ebenezers":
1Sam. 7:12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far has the LORD helped us."

Do you have a sacred space? A place where you regularly "meet with God" in a special way? I know of friends who have special chairs in their houses where they meet with God. In the woods? On a beach? Where is yours?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Do You Think This Kid Will Rock for Jesus?



Yeah, it's Lincoln Brewster's kid. Lincoln has brought us some amazing songs to worship God with, including "Let the Praises Ring", "Majestic" and his new one "Today is the Day". I think this kid has guitar chops probably running through his veins! Also, check out a sweet jam by Lincoln and his band below:

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Watch Out For Snipers


Yesterday, I had a moment when things were going just great. Conversations were flowing. I could really sense the hand of God on my life. Then, IT HAPPENED! From completely out of the blue I was hit by sniper fire. There was literally a chink in my armor and the bullet penetrated.

Now, this wasn't really a gun or a bullet, but I got hit in a weak area of my life. No, this wasn't porn or major integrity issues (FYI), but it was an area that I can tend to get my feathers ruffled. I think this is how God works. When we ask (and I have been asking) Him to reveal areas of weakness, He doesn't just say "you should work on that". I think He helps send situations into our lives that help us grow. Often those areas are where we are most apt to: get angry over, covet, hide, rationalize, dismiss, etc. We need to ask Christ to help us "put on the FULL ARMOR" of God, so that in the moment we are prepared to resist. Training vs. Trying. Important.

Eph. 6:10 "Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It's about people, stupid....


It's about people, stupid...(This was my hit upside my head). A great reminder of why we do what we do. This morning, I listened to the Entermission podcast. Glen Wagner reminded us to be about the business of what Jesus was about PEOPLE. On any team there is always a tension between building community and accomplishing task. What Glen and Rob told us was that our main purpose in building the Kingdom is going to be in building people. Filling positions will not be our chief goal. It will be about getting the right people with the right motives into the right places. No matter if they are on our team or not, this will best build the Kingdom - when people are gifted, passionate, and encouraged in their service of the King. A great reminder. It's about people!

"Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others." Phil. 2:4

Monday, June 23, 2008

Mission: Find a Teaching Position - SUCCESSFUL!


Hey everyone,

Some people probably already know this news, but I thought I'd post it. My wife, Lisa, did, in fact, get a teaching position!!! Fabulous news. She will be teaching at a new Montessori Academy that the South Bend Schools are starting down at Marquette Primary Center. Lisa has always loved the ideas behind Montessori. Now she gets the chance to be trained in the philosophy and then apply it. We're thrilled because she will be working with really little ones - 3-5 year olds. She has fallen in love with this age group, having worked with them this past year. Thanks again for everyone's prayers!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Good and Faithful Servant


Lisa and I had the privilege of attending a surprise 50th birthday party for our friend, Dan Blacketor today. It was wonderful to see so many people there whose lives have been touched by a true man of God. If you haven't met Dan, he runs point on most of our local missions work at GCC. The key doorway for this is our Monroe Circle Community Center on near downtown South Bend. We celebrated at the Oliver Bed & Breakfast near downtown as well.

The legacy that this guy continues to leave is, in a word, AMAZING! God is working through Dan to bring glory to the King of kings. When we celebrate a guy like Dan, it reminds me of Paul's instructions to the Phillipians:

"But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs...Welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor men like him." Phil. 2:25, 29.

This is a right thing to do. I'm not sure that we do it enough.

On a completely random note: THE WEINER MOBILE SHOWED UP! The drivers were staying at the Oliver Inn and were nice enough to give people at the party tours of the mobile AND PASS OUT WEINER WHISTLES!!!! How cool was that?!!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Leadership Thoughts from Camp


Just got back and what a GREAT week we had at Camp Adventure!!!

Things I was reminded of at camp this year:

1. Developed leadership = a great hope. There is great HOPE for this next generation. There is an awesome group of middleschoolers at GCC who LOVE JESUS! I am looking forward to seeing what God does through these kids who are surrendered to God's work in their lives. DC and his team are working to develop leaders all the time.

2. Faithful leadership = great opportunities for God to work. The consistent, courageous leadership that Mark Beeson, DC Curry, John Keim and Jeff Myers presented, really helped students meet with God. Their commitment to the keeping "the main thing, the main thing" really paid off once again. Especially the way they train/encourage the counselors throughout the week makes all the difference in the campers' experience. THIS WAS MARK BEESON'S 35TH YEAR AT CAMP ADVENTURE! Hold on... gas was 35 CENTS A GALLON when he started his involvement!!! Amazing!

3. Shared leadership = greater results. It was great sharing worship leading duties with my friend, Seth Bible this week. He has amazing talent, but an even greater heart! Kids really engaged under his leadership. His song "So Beautiful" went over great this week. Check it out HERE. Go down the playlist to hear it.

4. SHAPEd leadership = exponential experience. Listening to Mark Beeson on commitment night, watching a leader with amazing ability coach a kid through the high ropes course, seeing a high schooler, Steph Park, help with my kids, experiencing
Dustin Maust's amazing guitar and photography skills, watching Jeff Myers put together a fantastic media. All great things which each person's SHAPE helped make even more amazing.

5. Self leadership (partnered with the Holy Spirit) = taking next steps. The picture above is of my daughter Sophie on the climbing wall. Sophie is 7. This was her first attempt which was a great challenge. However, this time, she stopped at about halfway up and came back down. After coming down she told us "I wish I could go again." Cue to all parents: when your kid wants to try to be successful in something - MAKE IT HAPPEN. I did help make this happen. She got another shot. The second time around, SHE MADE IT! And slid down a huge zipline as well! SHE DIDN'T GIVE UP! I was so proud of her. She was determined to succeed and led herself well. I'm sure this experience will stick with her for the rest of her life. (More pix coming of my 9 year old, Anna, doing both the high ropes AND rock wall.)

A great week. I'm glad to be home and see my wife after 2 weeks away with the Willow Arise Conference and then Camp. Good to be home.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Arts Conferece Session 6 - Francis Chan

Arts Conference – Session 6 - Francis Chan

THERE’S GOTTA BE MORE!

Hard work and effort behind what we present – this partnering with God. 2 Tim. 2:15

The hard work has to be there but there is more. We can work ourselves into a frenzy (a la the prophets of Baal) or we can truly seek God’s and allow for the mystery, the Holy Spirit of God to move.

You can’t manipulate true life change. Only the Holy Spirit can do this.

Goal: When everyone walks away, not in awe of me, but in awe of Him.

Question:
Has anyone “seen my good works and glorified my Father in Heaven”?

I don’t want to just what I can do.

Is it only human effort or is it the Holy Spirit?

In Acts 1:6-7 – Christ tells the disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit.

So when they met together, they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?"He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

When the Spirit moves, people don’t just say, “WOW! You guys are amazing!” They say things like, “WOW! I can’t explain what happened to me, but I God met with me.” This should be our goal.

Shouldn’t there be a difference between a person in whom the Holy Spirit of God resides and a person who does not have such a presence?
- We are temples of the Holy Spirit
- I am a temple of the Holy Spirit
- The Spirit of Him who raised Christ from the dead lives in me!!!
- The power that is available to us is beyond comprehension.
- Everyone was filled with awe – Acts 2

Caterpillar becomes a butterfly. What must be going through its mind?

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come. Eph. 2:10

When we use our gifts and the power of Christ is breathing through us, there SHOULD BE AN EXPECTATION for God to move!!!

Our people are now coming for so much more than a good show. They come to experience the awe and wonder of God!!!!!!!

This is crucial for our programming.
1. Praying for God to move during the planning, during the implementation, during the execution.

Gideon’s army – 32,000 vs 300 – God wants the glory

“Something happened to me when God’s Spirit came upon me.”

Do we really pray with confidence that the God we love hears us?

Pour out on us – Your spirit and your love

THIS SESSION WAS WORTH THE WHOLE CONFERENCE!!! GOD’S PRESENCE, TANGIBLE IN THE ROOM. PRAISE YOU JESUS FOR SENDING YOUR SPIRIT!

Arts Conference Session 5 - Richard Allen Farmer

Arts Conference - Richard Allen Farmer

We are curious people as artists.

This curiosity, keeps us pushing the edges. It can drive non-artsy people crazy.

DaVinci wouldn’t take “yes” for an answer.

Artists are pushing limits constantly. Asking “why” or “why not” or “what would it look like?”

Friction is a good thing – this causing

Unceasing Worship – Harold Best
It is the rubbing, creating stylistic syntheses that is a good thing. Pairing odd combinations.

Friction is not merely tolerated, it is encouraged. CREATIVE RISK!!!
Can our team handle the tension? That we risk on a weekly basis.
We don’t want everything to be smooth. This is where you find beauty.

How we define ourselves can often limit our creativity.

Can we be truly intelligent as artists? The WHY behind the WHAT.

“I believe there is a form of profanity that goes beyond our current definition.
Taking language in vain, is second to taking the Lord’s name in vain. The words that we use were God created. We must use them wisely, clearly, and with articulation.”

Christ is called “the word” – apparently words are important.

“We must never overlook the fact so often forgotten by Christians that God’s word itself is a work of art.”

I want to be made speechless, to be held in awe. Creating awe and wonder in our services.

Being lost in love, wonder and praise. Managing the mystery of this all. Silence and mystery. Not everything being explained. Enjoying that mystery. A vapor, a cloud, hanging all over our heads. 2 Chron. 5 – the priests could not ministery due to the density of the God’s presense.

An outrageous relationship to our art. How God works through it and speaks through it. (I think of THE TRUTH media that we had a couple years ago. Now, 1.1 million hits on youtube)

Cannot define the mystery of our relationships.

In the tour of the artists head. We find the Bible. We are not simply religious. Lovers of God in Christ. Serious theological thinking INFORMS our art. This is crucial.

STRONG THEOLOGICAL UNDERPINNINGS.

Exodus 31:1-6 – God’s craftsmen – Bezalel and Oholiab and others

These artists work together in a team.

Arise Film Festival


Very cool that GCC won in the drama category at last night's Film Festival for our media "M & M's". My friend, Adam Tarwacki did such a great job acting. And the cinematography from Jeff Petersen, our director of media is fantastic.

Watch it again HERE.

The best in show came from Community Christian Church in Naperville, IL. It is HILARIOUS! Parody of Justin Timberlake's "Sexyback". Here's "Serving Back."

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Tim Stevens - Pop Goes the Church Breakout Session

Tim did a great job in presenting one of the passions of his heart, the church's use of pop culture. Here are some notes.

Pop Goes the Church

Spiritual Reality #1 - Most churches aren’t impacting their communities.

Spiritual Reality #2 – Spiritual interest is on the rise

People are having spiritual conversations but they aren’t going to the church to find the answers.

Churches are too busy answering questions that no one’s asking.

What if talking back to the preacher is what people really need?

When people do come, they don’t feel like they’re in a safe place to ask questions.

Acts 17 – Paul in Athens
- Sees many idols around town
- Begins to preach and is rejected by most
- Uses the culture to reach them. “An unknown god”.
- Uses songs – “We are his offspring.”

We need to figure out how to best use our culture to reach our communities.

We must stop being irrelevant to those truly seeking God.

We don’t often like the questions. We like giving answers. We must engage the culture conversations around us. This is crucial.

You can use pop culture to package a topic and attract a crowd.
- not a church yet
- speaking to topics that will make it easy to invite our dechurched or unchurched friends
- Finding cultural ties

Use pop culture to get people thinking or laughing.
- people are waiting for us to mess up.

Provide a new interpretation for a pop culture element.

Use pop culture elements to encourage the people who are making the ministry happen.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Arts Conference - Session 3 - Brian McClaren

Session 3 – Everything Must Change – Brian McClaren

Youth camp experience – giving the talk
- what issues are people in the church struggling with –
- what issues are people in the world struggling with

These lists are quite different.

Dunder Miflin – “Limitless paper for a paperless world.”

Church people put their energy towards the wrong list

8 millenium development goals – UN

www.un.org/millenniumgoals/

Crisis 1: have prosperity – this is unsustainable – our environment can’t handle it.

Crisis 2: keep things equitable – some of us are getting prosperous so fast that many people are getting worse. A child born in Chicago is given 30-40 years due to where they are born. Where you live should not determine whether you live.

Crisis 3: Crisis of Peace – the hatred of the have’s and have not’s. The strong pull out their weapons rather than their compassion. Violence rules.

What is so unsettling about these issues?

Status quo Christianity makes people feel good about their own relationship with Jesus. Insulates us.

The poor you will have always. There should be no poor among you. Check out Deut. 15

We get the gospel backwards. Our theological systems are great at giving us the results we currently have. A backwards kingdom mentality begets a backwards ministry.

We need a both/and approach to the kingdom. Blessed to be a blessing. We receive the gospel so that we can become world changers. Pass it on.

Reframing our view of Jesus:


4 framing ideas in Bible:

Domination: Saducees, Herodians

Revolution: Zealots

Scapegoating: Pharisees – blaming on others

Isolation: Essenes – withdrew to the desert

God’s Kingdom

Don’t dominate: serve
Don’t get revenge: reconcile
Don’t scapegoat:
Don’t isolate: engage

Churches are to be:
- places of healing
- places of teaching- helping us to live the Jesus revolution

God cares about souls and bodies. Not a Gnostic God.
He is a God beyond time and IN time. (God with us – Emmanuel)

Trade As One – Fair Trade Marketing – tradeasone.com

Arts Conference - Session 2 - Giles Ste-Croix

Giles Ste-Croix – Session 2

Creative Process – 2-3 years before – show concept
- you have to know what you want the show to carry before you find what it is that you want to present.
- Content before vehicle
- Gather a team around a director – very
- Always looking to “find” the show – looking for the best idea

“the Lion’s Den” – having a pre-release of the show prior to opening
- feedback 4 weeks before the show opens
- 3 of these before the dress rehearsal
- organic process – sharing ideas and working together to make the show appear from the Malestrom of ideas.
- Discovering it as we move along.

Pulling people in along the way – have a rough rehearsal ahead of time to get feedback. Ordinary audience members to give this. Rather than the artists or people who are in the process.

Beatle’s LOVE –
- buckets approach to idea gathering
- building ideas upon ideas

Cirque gives back 1% of revenue to streets kids around the world

Fighting gravity is a form of art.

A taste of beauty and wonder. Staggering awe.

Why does art matter in the world?
- need to create things that are beautiful around us
- this speaks to our emotion
- necessary for our living
- function without form is DEAD!
- When you experience beauty, which helps us change our perceptions of what we encounter everyday.

Willow Creek Arts Conference - Session 1 - Nancy Beach

We have our full arts team here at Willow Creek's Arise conference for the arts in church. Updates for each session are coming.

Psalm 40

A miry pit – David is waiting. Waited 3x for God. Intense, passionate longing to be pulled out of the muck.
• Think of Mienmar – Typhoon
• We all fall into the muck – to be out of control
• Beyond hope

Drama – montage – this clever – 3 people – woman business, man porn, girl bulimia
- actors actually sing lyrics of song

Each of us has a spot – where weakness can creep in

Jealousy, envy, covetness

A point of confession. Only through this can we truly be healed. I think for me it has everything to do with satisfaction. Setting up idols before God. Whether it be approval or food or position or whatever. I must find satisfaction is Christ alone. He alone is able to satisfy me. “My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.”

Nancy confesses – laziness and apathy – numbness and superficial escape
- ministry often seems like an uphill battle
- God refocuses her negative thoughts
- She’s rescued when God gives her a glimpse
- Called to be faithful – not to producing results
- Called to intentionality

Thinking about the times when God has rescued us. Standing in silence as a testimony.

We need to put ourselves in places of waiting and surrender.
- solitude to be able to hear from God. Ministry must be preceded
From solitude to community to ministry – Henri Nouwen

True worship should always result in a fresh surrender.
- God responds to a surrendered heart
- Even using postures to signify this surrender

Proclaiming a NEW SONG to God. Let the congregation sing!

We need to remember that our people are in a miry pit as well. So what do we offer them?

We begin to think new thoughts when we listen to the still, small voice of God.
New songs aren’t limited to music:
- leading our team in a new way
- medias with creative ideas

We often aren’t creating enough NEW SONGS. Listening to God for INPUT in order to create OUTPUT.

If we are not careful, we will do ministry more out of memory than imagination. – Mark Batterson

Recreating weekends is SO IMPORTANT! We must fight against routine. Therein lies deadness. Our people miss out on the mystery.

Have you ever heard a worship song that you can complete the next line? We need NEW SONGS with NEW THOUGHTS on our experience of God. So much more about the full picture of God. Holiness on one side another on grace/mercy.

Present the word of God in its fullness. - Paul

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Exploring God New Believers Growing in Christ Christ Centered

Willow is not doing a good job helping their people Growing in Christ and people becoming Christ Centered.

Classes available for their midweek. Even college level.

What does this mean for weekends?
- they become a primary gathering for ALL groups
- Creating services that help ALL groups take a next step
- Podcast with Jim Mellado and Bill Hybels

Are we telling the full story of God in our services?
- Getting alone with God to give us the new songs – solitude is crucial
- Christ loves the Church more than we do.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

13 Years Today!


I have been married to my wonderful wife, Lisa, for 13 years today!  I consider myself a fortunate guy.  I think of the knight in Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade telling me, "You have chosen WISELY."  

Here is a short list of great things about Lisa:
- she is fiercely loyal
- she is passionate about whatever she's doing
- she points me toward Jesus
- she loves popcorn
- she has an amazing smile
- she keeps a short account - no mind games
- she respects me as a husband
- she is an amazing cook with a great gift of hospitality
- she is a diligent worker 
- she loves Diet Coke
- she loves the Beatles
- she digs 80's movies (we did a John Hughes marathon last night!)
- she sings with all of her soul
- she is my best friend

I love you honey!  Thanks for 13 wonderful years!  


Thursday, June 05, 2008

We got THE POINT!!!

We had an amazing time at Cedar Point these last three days!  

Tip of the week for families: go to Cedar Point when Michigan and Ohio schools are still in session.  We had NO CROWDS whatsoever!  It was amazing.  Walking on almost every ride.  The weather was perfect for our schedule.

  1. We stayed on site at Breakers Express which was a nice place for the price.  This gives you access to the parks 1 hour ahead of all the regular folks.  Particularly good on busy days.  I would recommend this.  We did the package which included park tickets and discounts, and FREE parking!  A $45 dollar benefit - plus you can go in and out for food - check out below on that.
  2. We hit Castaway Bay - Cedar Point's indoor waterpark.  


  3. This was great on the rainy day that Tuesday was.  Great slides, a wave pool - perfect for our kids. I would say that this might top off at about 11-12 years old.  Older kids will loose interest since there aren't any major thrill slides.  Go to Soak City for that.Don't eat in the parks - THEY ABSOLUTELY ROB YOU!  It would have cost $50 dollars for us to eat at Chik-fil-A.  Not kidding.  This same meal would have been $16 here in Mishawaka.  A great option is to go to
  4. East of Chicago Pizza Buffet which is right on the Cedar Point drive, near the entrance.  Go about 2pm when crowds are craziest and fill up!  Your only meal for the day.  Then snack and hit ice cream on the way out.
  5. Watch height requirements - This can be frustrating if one sibling is above the limit and the other isn't.  We found that most of the rides we wanted were at the below 48" rating.  A couple, like Cedar Downs and the Mine Ride were above 48".  This was frustrating for our youngest.  Check out height requirements here.
Hope this is helpful.  

Here were some highlights from the trip:



Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Prayers Needed!


We're pretty excited. On Thursday morning at 10am, Lisa (pictured above before a hot date a couple years ago :) ) has her first interview with the South Bend schools for a position opening next year! We've really been praying over what kind of job, which school system, all of this. Lisa has taught 5 years in the Coldwater schools, up in Michigan (where we're from). I'm not lying here when I say SHE IS SO TALENTED as a teacher! Our prayers are that God uses her to bring His light wherever she lands.

A few areas of specific prayer:
  • feeling comfortable in the interview setting
  • having composure to think 
  • being able to be herself and not say words that aren't hers
  • that the interviewer(s) would be relaxed and encouraging 
Thanks everyone, in advance, for praying!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Volunteers: The Musical

This was so much for to do. After the 5th service, we were saying, "Aw, it's over! Rats!" Great job everyone on this!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Why I LOVE our Volunteers

Why I LOVE our volunteers:
- they often work 2x as hard as people who could get paid
- they serve with JOY!
- they are the first to encourage one another and our leadership
- they get/breathe/recast the vision of our church
- they understand that they are a PART of the bigger picture of what God is doing
- they know that it's really not about them, but about others
- they go the extra mile to make something good, GREAT!
- they give around 15-20 hours of volunteer time every weekend that they serve
- they challenge me to take my leadership to new levels in order to serve them well
- they simply are the BEST around

Here are some pics from our weekend celebrating volunteers, including smooth stone award winners Leroy King (vocal team, Heir Force Band team leader, MC3 teams), Dalene Stuteville (drama team, drama writing team), and Brian Warrell (weekend band team, Heir Force Band, First Impressions Team).

:




A friend of ours overheard a comment from a person behind them coming for the first time. They said to their friend, "I'm glad your brought me here." Love that!

Another friend of ours brought her husband for the first time who was burned by church in the past. Sunday afternoon he asked her, "Honey, what are we doing this coming Saturday?" "I dunno? I was thinking of going out with the girls," she replied. "Oh, 'cause I was hoping that we'd go to GCC as a family this Saturday." God doing a thing. I love it!