Sunday, April 27, 2008

Kid's Book on Autism - VERY COOL

We have some really cool people that are on our teams at GCC. One of those people is Meagan Church. She is part of our drama writing team and is pretty amazing. She just recently published a book for kids on Autism called "Unique as Pete". This is a really cool concept and helpful to so many families that are affected by Autism. Check out the summary from Meagan below:

The first in its series, Unique as Pete: How Autism Doesn’t Mean Different, has been created to entertain and educate people of all ages on autism. A portion of the proceeds from the book will go to support the Autism Society of North Central Indiana, South Bend Chapter (ASNCISB) and their efforts to open an Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy center in the South Bend area. We are very excited about the book and we hope our work will help many local families in their dealings with autism through the ABA therapy center. We also hope it will educate countless others – from children to adults – on what it means and doesn’t mean to be autistic.

My wife, Lisa, has been working in an classroom for autistic pre-schoolers this year. It has been a great journey for her. She loves her kids and is continually amazed by the progress that these children make. A good book to support. Way to go Meagan!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Step Up and TRAIN

Been reading Dallas Willard's "The Great Omission" - God's perfect timing in my life right now. Amazing stuff. I've often struggled with the idea of "training vs trying". John Ortberg's book, "The Life You've Always Wanted" covers this quite a bit. We can't only TRY in the moment. We need disciplined TRAINING over months and years to handle whatever comes our way. Dallas has a great quote that I think is the challenge to anyone who leads (especially church leaders):

"But only constant students of Jesus will be given adequate power to fulfill their calling to be God's person for their time and their place in this world. They are the only ones who develop the character which makes it safe to have such power."


Let's do it - TOGETHER. Be watching as our church takes steps toward this in the coming weeks and months.

Where I'm At Right Now

I've been on a journey using a Bible study technique by Wayne Cordeiro from New Hope in Honolulu, Hawaii. He wrote a book a few months back called The Divine Mentor which really helped me get a new perspective on study/journaling and then application. I'm finding it helpful. I blogged about this HERE. The technique, again, uses the SOAP acronym.

S - Scripture
O - Observation
A - Application
P - Prayer

Here's yesterday's entry. Maybe it might be helpful.

S - Rescue those beingn led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, "But we knew nothing about this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done? (Prov. 24:11-12)

O - Our job & our responsibility - RESCUE. People around us are literally "staggering toward slaughter." We are held accountable according to what we DO for these people. As ministers for Christ (all followers are), every moment is a choice - do we live for the Kingdom or squander our time?

A - This responsibility is certainly making me look a lot closer at my use of time. As an artist, I kind of like "going with the flow"; letting my days go by without a lot more planning than that particular day. My friend, Rob, plans life a lot further out - 3 to 4 weeks! I have trouble with tomorrow! This is a challenge to me. Not that I should miss out on the Holy Spirit's leading in the moment, but like we often tell people about planning in the arts - "the Holy Spirit can move 4 weeks out as well as 1 day out". This a great reminder for me to give my daily, weekly, and monthly schedules to God. Literally, praying over my use of time. Doing this will allow me to better focus my life around the prime task of Christians - RESCUING people who are "staggering toward slaughter."

P - God help me today as I seek to make every moment count for You. May my time be fully given to building Your kingdom on this earth. Protect me from distractions that would pull me away from your purposes. I give my time and the fullness of my life to You. For Your glory. In Jesus' name.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Prayers for Our Leaders

The other day I read Acts 12:5 "So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him." The end of that story is that angels show up and release Peter from his chains and he gets out. Peter, as a key leader in the early church was in trouble and the church earnestly prayed for him. This reminded me of our job as followers of great leaders like our Senior Management Team (SMT) - we MUST be praying for these people constantly. So much rides on their decisions, wisdom, care, and connection with God. Not just when they are "in trouble" like Peter was, but in relatively smooth times as well.

Our SMT is meeting for the next two days with 24 pastors from around the nation at Leadership Live to pour into them and give them a behind-the-scenes view of GCC. The person I have been praying for is Tim Riddle from St. Mark's Church. My hope is that he is encouraged, enlightened, refreshed, and refocused on God's plans for St. Mark's.

So. Go ahead. Pray for our leaders. Consistently.

Mark Beeson
Tim Stevens
Mark Waltz
Rob Wegner
Butch Whitmire

Friday, April 18, 2008

Maximizing the Arts

We're excited today to present Maximizing the Arts - a workshop for anyone interested in leading/doing/creating art for the church. Our fearless leader, Butch Whitmire, will start the day. He lays out the basic philosophy for using the arts at GCC. Later, we get into programming, worship, and finish the day with a session on things we're learning.

I like this final session a lot, because I think it lets everybody know that WE'RE STILL IN PROCESS! Sometimes, the bigger or more influential a church gets, the perception is that they've arrived. This is so NOT TRUE! We're trying to figure out solutions to problems every day. We may have a few more people around and maybe a few more resources, but we still have tons of issues to solve. We're still dealing with people - and that is always beautifully messy! Our hope is to help other leaders by highlighting some of the issues that we're dealing with. Looking forward to a great day!

The Truth is Out

Two sides. Often heated debate. This result:

Mac vs PC

Hard facts here, kids. I'm not gloating though... :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Bald Men are TAKING OVER!


We've decided to worship the way God fully intended - completely uncovered heads! Yes, we're working on the all bald guy team at GCC. Apparently there is talk out there about us!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

What a Team!!!

We finally MOVED! And what a great team we had over the two day process! We had a Special Ops (smaller) team come in on Friday and knocked out a great deal. Gene, Rob, Dustin, Ben, Sherry, Kim, Kelsey - you guys were AMAZING!!! Food from Nancy R.!

Then on Saturday (with perfect weather) we had the big team come and finish the job. We got done so fast (thanks to my wife's great packing) that we ended up setting up the entertainment center, the bedrooms, and kitchen.

As we experienced the love from people over these two days, we were overwhelmed by God's goodness. So many people with great hearts - willing to serve. I captured those moments as what the church really looks like. Like in Acts where the believers shared what they had and made sure those in need were helped. We were in need and WE WERE HELPED! Praise God!

Thanks to: Ted, J, Angie, Sarah, Brian W., Brian G., Buster, Michelle, Nancy, Dan, Harold, Don, Bill, Cody, Randy, John N. and John L. Not to mention great food from Nancy L. and Marge!

We are so blessed. Thanks everyone for your love and kindness.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

New Delirious

Check out a free preview of the FULL SONGS

Delirious Listening Party

This is going to be a good album. Check out Kingdom of Comfort and get ready to be whacked in the head! These guys are world changers with their music. I still remember seeing their North American debut at Creation '98. Incidentally, it was at this festival that I officially felt the call into full-time ministry. "Deeper" is still one of my favorite songs.

Thanks for the heads up Corey.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A Glimpse of the People We Serve

Each week we are emailed a list of the prayer requests from the weekend services that people put on our comment/prayer cards. Reading these can really help us as leaders catch a glimpse of what our people are going through and thus what they need to hear from us. I am humbled that God has chosen us to serve these people. Here are just a few examples:

My husband was recently killed. I have lost my best friend and the children have lost a wonderful father. If you could please say a prayer for our family I would appreciate it.

I have so many people who are close to me who I love dearly but they don't know they matter. It breaks my heart. I want so desperately to show them they're loved and that they matter. Please pray with me about how God may use me to reach them; how my influence can become viral.

I lost my job this week so I need you to pray that I find a new job ASAP.

Ever since we started giving tithes our lives have been easier and more complete. Thank you for teaching us about giving.

Pray for my daughters and family. Tuesday is the one year anniversary of my youngest daughter's boyfriend's death in a car accident at 18 years old. Now my oldest daughter's boyfriend has been diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Please pray for my mother who has pancreatic cancer; may her journey from this world to the next be a peaceful, pain-free journey.

Our people are experiencing REAL LIFE. They need REAL FAITH to match up with it. Not, pat answers like "all things work for good", but to help them know that God meets them in their trials and struggles. This is our calling as a church to hold up a banner of HOPE. It is this kind of hope that becomes VIRAL. My friend, Rob Wegner spoke of us being salt this weekend. Lives poured out for others. People with prayer requests like the ones above are all around us. May God give us eyes to see and the margin in our lives to PAY ATTENTION.