Thursday, December 18, 2003

HEY!
I wanted to let the faithful readers of "deurty" - all 3 of you - to know that I am going on a bit of a fast. I am fasting from web browsing and web use at home. Therefore, I will not be able to update this blog as regularly as I do now. I may end up updating it while I work at some different venues.

Why fast from web browsing? For a few reasons:
1) I feel like I am not in a good rhythm at the moment with my schedule
So I want to begin to focus on top priorities and getting my schedule in shape
2) I want to create more time to spend with God and family

So - feel free to check back in, but understand that I may not be writing regularly until Jan.1st.

God Bless and Merry Christmas!
sd


Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Here is a flash made by Brad for Watermark. Enjoy.

iam.swf
Today I had the pleasure of watching my daughter perform in her pre-school Christmas "concert." She is hilarious. She gets focused and doesn't always follow the crowd in what to do... Everyone goes low for a song and my daughter is standing tall. I like to think she is a non-conformist. She is standing for all those kids who have been forced down by "the man" to do such nonsense! Go for it honey! Stand up for what is right - as long it is what daddy thinks is right! :) The joys.

Otherwise I spent time chasing down little details and doing message preparation. I think this week's talk will be fun to do - neat concepts. (did I just say "neat?")

I heard from the guy who sold us the chairs that fall apart... He said that there was a flaw they found in the colors we ordered. That made me feel better. I guess the other ones are fine and hold up well, but our color choice had been in boxes throughout the very hot summer in a very hot storage shed... So - we are sending them back, but have to get new chairs - which is tough, because we don't have the cash for a big old fat purchase like that (for sturdy chairs)...

Well - c-ya
sd

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Yesterday we had the staff and spouses over for dinner. Steve T. had to stay home with his sick son, but was nice enough to send his wife. It was great to celebrate them and thank them for their service. My wife did an amazing job with the meal, room decor and environment! My wife rocks - and I mean that - because she typically doesn't read this... :)

This mid morning I joined other Watermarkers at a food drop off. We sponsored a food drop held at a local church parking lot. Tons of people come out for fresh produce and other goodies... It was great to care for people who are under-resourced (as Takas would say) and just serve. I was proud of the Watermarkers who came - they worked hard and made an impact.

The Watermark web site is coming together thanks to Ked and his wife Amelia. Learn about them at: www.ailema.com

POMO - A - GO GO!
sd

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Today was a good day in the life of Watermark and our family. We had a great gathering focussed on spending time with God. We went to lunch with Chris and Ann (friends who come to Watermark - in fact Chris has been a close friend since high school.) Then we attended the Watermark Kids Christmas Musical - which went awesome! Tons of people - the kids did great - the parents were proud - the video cameras were in motion - the servants were serving and God did some cool stuff!

Anyways - great day! Great work from our amazing kids people - especially Kristen Jones and Jennifer Smith...

SAM X!
sd

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Had an awesome meal at Wade and Michelle's tonight. Curry pork with oranges. Wade is a master chef and can be hired for all your catering needs. Anyways - we had a lot of fun with them and really enjoy spending time with them and their family.

I have to get stuff organized for tomorrow and go over my message.

- out

sd
Before I hit the showers I wanted to encourage you to support Watermark's efforts to impact the community and world. We are set up in the "community benefits" program at Meijer. When you shop and use your card - a % goes to Watermark for our local and global outreach. Interested? Click on "WATERMARK STORIES" to the left for the details. Thanks! Now I'll shower!

sd
Finished up my message a second ago... Needs some more work later to bring a bit of life to it.
I need to shower and shave! I have been staying up late and getting up early and as a result I am tired and not so clean. :)
This weeks message will be a huge challenge for me... I struggle at stopping activity and entering into God's rest.

Tonight we are supposed to go to some friends for dinner. Should be fun!

PS - I have a Mike Morgan CD: "A Dream." It is great and I highly recommend it. You can get a CD at Watermark for $10 or email Mike at michaelthomasmorgan@yahoo.com.

Hitting the showers!
sd

Friday, December 12, 2003

Changed the layout a bit... Not totally satisfied. If this is hard to read or annoying please let me know. steve.deur@iamwatermark.com
I had meeting after meeting today. Good times of encouraging, challenge and connection. More and more I am going into meetings and get togethers prepared... To first of all be real and interested and truly care. Secondly, to list, to question and understand. Finally, to tell stories, cast vision, and speak encouragement. I there is more to it than that, but the care, listen, & share thing is a good start.

I used to know I was supposed to meet with people (maybe a leadership book told me that or training from my first full partner JB) but I haven't been a good steward of the time, relationship and opportunity in the past... So - I am trying to proactively be intentional. (The danger comes when it seems like the meeting is about accomplishing a task and not investing in a person. But I definately in my spirit don't feel like that is a problem for me...)

Had friends over tonight from our life group - good time and chats about God. Man, I love my life group!

Well goodnight - got the video done!

SAM X!

sd

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

I have been playing with the template and whacked it all out - so I need to redo my links and stuff... I am looking for a more interesting template and how to utilize it... Sorry for the incovenience - we'll get the links back. sd
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Today I just soaked up as much as possible about the subject we are tackling this week in our conversation.
It was good and I gained a lot of interesting ideas and things I can use in my personal walk with God.

My hope and prayer is that this Sunday - we can - as a church - stop and let God catch up with us. My desire is to see our whole church take time to experience God - to build a sanctuary, an altar, a temple in TIME and allow God to dwell with us. I think if we want to see lives changed we have got to have people meeting with Jesus. To meet with Jesus is not a destination in space, but in time... I AM NOT GOOD AT THAT. I have got to live that out and learn it and champion it - and I am a poor example of stopping and resting in God. But - the great thing is - that it is God's idea and not mine and I am on the journey together with our group.

Had a great meal with some people who have been a part of the gatherings. I love meeting new people and hearing their stories. Vicki does an awesome job at hospitality and it shows on my belly.

Be still,
sd

Monday, December 08, 2003

Great meetings with the some some of the fellas today over lunch. We also had some good planning for the next few weeks. Anyways - I had a great evening with the family...

Tomorrow I have to hit the message hard. Pray it comes quickly. :)

sd

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Just got back from the movie: "Timeline." It was a fun movie to watch. I am a self declared science fiction geek and nothing is more exciting to me than movies about time travel. Anyways - I read the bookby Michael Crighton that it was based on. The book was awesome and the movie was a decent telling..

One line from the movie was good and interesting. Instead of saying, "The future is what you make of it," they had the line: "The past is what you make of it..." Or maybe it was like: "You make your history" rather than "You make your future." As you can tell - I have a stellar memory... BUT the concept is very cool. I think I like it because when you focus soley on making the future happen you end up looking for the easy way - the pleasure filled way - the get ahead any means possible way... BUT when you look at making your history (or another popular term - LEGACY) you begin to see that our decisions, actions and lives form a history that will impact those around us.

Anyways - I guess the question of the day for me before I go to bed is: what history am I making? I recently looked through photos of my great great grandfather and great grandfather. I heard stories about them and heard interesting facts... Their reputation has lingered and built into our family values. In 100 years another Deur kid will be looking at pics of my family and come across my Bible and the question is: what stories will they tell?

I hope they tell of a guy who was genuine and loved God and his family and those around him. I hope they leave out the fact that I don't pick up after myself well...but I guess I make my history so that can change - right? :)

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Had a gathering and life groups orientation today - Big Day! Steve T. did the bulk of the teaching and handled the subject manner and the load well. We have a phenominal team and I am proud to partner with them in raising up ministers.

Well - good night. I am going to make my history...HIS story. WHAT! That could be on a Christian T-Shirt! Scary- it could be on the clothing rack next to the "His pain our gain" shirt and "My boss is a Jewish Carpenter."

sd

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Today I finished the video for our SAM X coversation (series). It is funny - I think...but it may be self-bias...

Tonight we got together with a family connected to our daughter through pre-school - so it was fun to get to know them better and build a relationship. It was a lot of fun - we had pizza and then we went over with them to the JINGLE BELL PARADE in downtown Grand Haven. Following the parade we hung out in the coffee shop and listened to Mike Morgan and Sir Wade Breeden as they played songs off Mike's new album entitled: "A Dream." Anyways - it was so cool - tons of Watermarkers and many of my students from my youth pastor days... Very cool. I saw so many people I knew and I felt a warm sense of satisfaction and joy being with these people. It was the picture of what I want my life to be... Living life constantly with one another in unity... Connecting with new people as we live in community together. Anyways - it was one of those nights that makes you happy to be doing what you're doing and becoming who we are becoming.

I still have leaves in my back yard. Trouble is brewing for the lawn. Oh well - maybe I'll get to it before it snows.

Tomorrow is the gathering and Steve Thompson is speaking. To get to know Steve you can go to his blog listed on the left. I know the content I have been blogging has been weak - but I don't want this ever to be preachy or a place to train people (I need that!) - so any suggestions? steve.deur@iamwatermark.com

My wife is looking over my shoulder as I type this - I love her and will type it, but won't say it to her.... just kidding - now I am in trouble - because she is reading this line. I love you honey. I am so happy to be married to you.

Well in my attempt to be utterly postmodern and one of the EMERGING POSTMODERN LEADERS in the new century I submit my list of terms to get noticed. WHAT?

Postmodern Church, Emerging Church, Ancient Future, Torah :), Gathering, Vespers, ?, Worship, Interactive worship, experiential, a horse with no name, I got my first real six string, we are living in a material world and I am a material girl, what! Sorry - I got lost.

My wife just informed me I had to go. So good night and POST MODERN! :)

PS - the twisted banana has a funny leadership article about "being a lone ranger" if you are interested: link to left.

I want my kevinstinehart.com t-shirt!
sd

Friday, December 05, 2003

Hanging out with my daughter today while Vicki and H-Bomb hang with my folks. Vicki is helping my folks with the house they are building. I think Vicki is going to try to start doing more people's homes in the new year. Maybe I'll put together a brochure for her. I love starting and launching things! PS - for those who don't know - my wife is an interior designer.

Anyways - I had a great meeting with Dennis J. yesterday. I am trying to set up systems that make my time and schedule relfect the values and priorities that are needed.

Well - back to working on the video. Have a great day. Tonight is the open house for our friends SALON... "Gingers." Pretty cool.

"If loving the lord is wrong - I don't wanna be right." huh?

sd

Thursday, December 04, 2003

I had an insight from God about the vision recently that I wanted to write so I won't forget. This is more for me I guess then... Anyways. Our vision statement is a picture of what we are becoming. It describes where we are heading and who we will become. In that statement are descriptions of how we will live... For example: we will constantly live life together in unity; the wider community is being served and transformed; the next generation is a cataylst for the movement and examples to all believers; churches are being planted from Watermark through out the world... etc... Anyways - I want to see these vision marks heated up so that we are passionate about them.

I realized that the most important and first priority is to lead people to care and ultimately live out - not the vision marks - but the first line of our statement... JESUS IS THE CENTER OF OUR LIVES AND WE ARE DEVOTED TO HIM. When that happens - life change with Jesus enters the room and makes the marks a way of life. I was figuring it backwards. Interesting.

Had small group tonight - went well - not everyone could make it, but it was a lot of fun and we enjoy our group.

Working on a video for sunday as we speak...

The high school group is going to chicago tomorrow - I hope to send them off tomorrow with the reminder from above and a call to be catalysts to out adults and church...

Justin Timberlake... :cry me a river...

sd

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Picked up my daughter's school picture's today. SHE LOOKS OLD! Scary!
I think the hardest thing about being a dad right now is when I hear her tell me that someone says she is not beautiful or she gets called a name or a friend wants to play with a different kid. I just feel like throwing the kid causing her pain across the room. That isn't the way Jesus would do it I don't think... hmmmm... no i don't think so, but that is how this fella feels. You want the best for your kids.

I think it gives me insight into how God sees me.
He wants what is best for me. He wants to hear me say "I love you." He wants hugs and kisses.
He desires to spend time and inspire me and help me understand that I'm special.
He wants to be my defender against the enemies of darkness. He wants to throw them across the room.
He wants me to trust Him and listen to Him.
Daddy knows best.
Being a daddy - I get that - but being God's kid I forget that He is the ultimate ABBA (daddy.)

Our vision statement for Watermark and I guess for my life is: "Jesus is the center of our lives and we are devoted to Him." Jesus is to be at the very core of who I am - shaping me - loving me - changing me... I am to be responding to Him with devotion and all out commitment. This goes with the whole daddy thing. God above all wants me to focus on Him. To put away all the childish chadder and concerns and run to Him with my life and trust Him. From being His child and His pride and joy I will experience new life with God - but it starts by being God's kid... Plain and simple.

Wanting to please my daddy,
sd

Monday, December 01, 2003

Hello. Meeting day yet again. We hammered out the gathering for the next two weeks. We begin the conversation entitled: SAM X. For those who need a little help - that is 'X MAS' backwards. It basically is about a guy who is a Christmas planner who takes you away from the meaning of Christmas. He has Christmas backwards - hence the name.

Enjoyed prayer tonight. (I wrote a whole thing about prayer and how it is vital and how I want to pray more and spend more time with God out of love.... BUT I accidently deleted it and I don't want to re-write everything.)

I am hoping to get a ton done tomorrow on a bunch of little projects: office stuff, notes, cards, video, orders, etc... All those little annoying things that you put off... Well - have a great sleep and see you in the morning!

Keeping the vision fresh,
sd

Sunday, November 30, 2003

Whoa! We experienced quite the church planting experience today in our gathering time! I arrived to the high school at around 7 am to set up when I saw our trailer and the fellas heading the other way. I stopped and asked what was up and they told me that the school had a fire and we couldn't meet in the cafeteria!

Apparently someone broke into the school, poured petrol around the library and struck a match and left. There was obviously some damage and odor issues. We ended up in the Performing Arts Center at the High School. It is a very very very nice auditorium that we could not afford. Kid's had to move as well - so we were all being flexible and we had an awesome team of people rise to the challenge.

Everything went smoothly and seemed to come off well. I enjoyed the room, but would not want it regularly... wierd. I think it feels too performance (hence the name). It also did not have a ton of room to move around and allow for connecting - which is a staple in our gathering diet. Soooo - it was fun to be fast on our feet. God was good.

We finally finished up our ORIGINS conversations (series). Today was on Joseph - which went fine - but it is a HUGE story and it took a while. I look forward to the shorter topics ahead for a change.

Spent some time with family after the gathering. Great time - also got to see my parent's house that they are building - very cool and closer to us! :)

Well have a swell evening and God bless!

sd
About to hit the sack after finalizing my message on big Joe from Genesis. I had to cut about 3 pages off of it. It is difficult to cut stuff out that would make great insights and other messages, but that is the point! I need to have a point! Not two or three or four of them! Stay with the program DEUR! :)

Went to a wedding of one of my past students and current friend and her new hubby/youth leader/buddy. It was good to see a ton of our old teens and youth leaders and friends. Vicki and I even got to dance a little. I did a bit of an 80's dance move and it felt like old times sake - plus about 30 pounds... Anyways it was good to get out, see people and have fun. I need to do more of that "fun" stuff I've been hearing about.

My neighbor bagged a deer and I helped hang it up in his garage. It gave me the itch to get out into the woods and kill something (for their own benefit of course - as well as my benefit in the food department.) Pretty cool to see the heat rising off the body of the deer as it hung in the cold garage. Sorry if this offends the anti-hunting group, but well... I guess I'm not sorry. Oh well - hope you have a nice day!

"Without vision the people can't see." - Steve Deur (Leadership quote) WHAT?

sd

Friday, November 28, 2003

I am at my folks right now. We are about to eat a big ole meal. I got done with my message but it is waaaaay to long - so I'm trimming the fat tonight.

The message deals with dreams and having our dreams and our lives bow to God. It made me think about what my dreams are... Interesting to think through.

I have dreams for my family - that they all follow God and devote their lives to Him. I have dreams for Watermark - that the vision would be fulfilled. I have dreams for myself - different opportunities and experiences I would like to have... BUT would I be willing to give up everything for God if required?

Well - gotta go eat. :) Have a swell day!

sd

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Thanksgiving was great. Did the usual family gig. Hang out at the gym at my folks church. Eat a lot and play hoops. I played hoops for quite a while and was extremely tired. It was fun, but I only play basketball once a year at Thanksgiving now... (bad knee and bad jump shot.)

In the game I got totally smashed in the nose by the basketball! My nose still hurts. A guy was basically throwing the ball as hard as he could to a fellow player and my nose was in the way. OUCH! That's okay - I was very manly and handled it like a champ (or maybe chump.)

Hanging out with the family was good fun and a good recharge. Tomorrow morning I need to finish my message. We also need to get cranking on our office area that we are renting soon!

Tomorrow is shopfest and I never partake - maybe I fear it...

(Hello to my cousin Mike!)
sd

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Pushed hard on my message today. This week we are looking at Joseph (Gen.37 - till end).
We'll be talking about dreams... Anyways - it will be our final conversation in the ORIGINS series we are doing. Next up: SAM X.

Anyways - we are still not finished raking and bagging our lawn and I don't know when we will get time between the rain and snow that is coming... AHHHH! It was good to get out in the late afternoon and do some lawn work and appreciate the weather.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving! My favorite holiday! Allow me to write a few things I'm thankful for...
> My God who loves me and does not give up on me.
> My wife who is my friend, partner and love.
> My kids who give me joy and help me understand God in a deeper way.
> My family who support, encourage and love me.
> My friends who know me and still like me and even put up with my talking. :)
> My church - you are a dream come true and I can barely type this without tearing up...
> My current staff team and leaders - you are the dream team and working with you in a joy.
> My ex-coworkers - from Crossroads, to Daybreak to Watermark -
you are more than staff, you are friends, partners and you have deeply impacted me.
> My mentors - you invested in me and believed in me. (From Mrs. Spoelhoff to Dennis Jackson)
> My past students, kids and leaders in ministry - I love seeing God work in and through you!
You are the church of today! You have impacted me more than you can imagine!
> My heritage of faith and family.
> My home, food, clothes, warmth, job, health, hair and other things I regularly take for granted!
> For you - :)

Anyways - some day I'll lay out all the stuff and be more specific, but I don't think a blog is the best format for that.

Let me close with a prayer: "God thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have so much to thank you for. I thank you for your Son Jesus and for the love that sent Him to live and die for me. I thank you for the life you've given me - even though I don't deserve it. I thank you for your presence in my life. God as we celebrate Thanksgiving - be the CENTER of my thanks! Every good and perfect gift comes from you! In Jesus name, Amen."

Have an awesome thanksgiving and God Bless,

sd

ps - I am thankful for kevinstinehart.com :) shameless plug for Kory's site.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Well - the hair has been redeemed by the clippers of Michelle. The new salon that she co-owns is great. The name is "Gingers." It was very nice and it was a long way from my SUPER CUTS days! :)

Anyways - I think I'm ready to roll now that I killed the beast that was sitting on my head.

Vicki and I are going to celebrate our 10th anniversary (a bit early) by going on a cruise in March! We are cashing in a retirement thing from a past job and doing it. That may be dumb - but you only can celebrate milestones like this once! So we are totally excited! We will be going with my sister and her husband, who are also celebrating their 10th anniversary.

SOOOOO - I must begin the workout routine to get into "take my shirt off the whole trip" shape. :) HELP! Anyways - it will be a great thing for us. My folks are watching the kids. I am so glad that we have an INCREDIBLE team of staff, volunteers and leaders who can step into the gatherings and leadership and have Watermark not skip a beat! God has blessed.

Tonight is '24' and JACK BAUER TIME! After that is Joseph and the Bible time! Even more exciting... really! :)

sd
I had a meeting with other guys starting churches in Lowell, Michigan. It was great to hear their stories and how God is moving in their situations. It again reminded me how small I am... Think about it...

I am one of billions of people,
on a average sized planet,
rotating around a mediocre star,
in a ho hum galaxy,
that is a part of millions of galaxy's...

AND GOD CHOSE TO LIVE WITHIN ME!

I don't know science, but I understand the scope and scale of who I am - dust. How is it that God choses to reside in my human soul? How is it that I can know Him? How is it that He cares for us puny people... What awesome love. What is man and woman that you are mindful of them? That puts God's story of bringing us to Him in powerful perspective.

I think I take forgranted that God is the lover of my soul. It almost seems like something I deserve, but God out of His love and grace lavishes me with His love and mercy. Little ole me and little ole you. Cool.

Well - gotta get crackin on the conversation for this week: Joseph! The dreamer... DREAMWEAVER...

Geeky saying of the day: 'My boss is a Jewish carpenter.'
sd

PS -getting my haircut tonight by Michelle.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Yo - what up? It snowed big time today! Today is test day... We chose to follow God and live in West Michigan even though we knew this would happen... I am very anti-snow, but I think this year I will try not to complain about it - too much... After all we followed God and chose to be here. :) So for all of us trapped in the "wonderful winter wonderland" let's make a pact to press on and be positive and know that God put us here together! (Wow - I wonder if I can follow that...)

I am a natural complainer when it comes to snow and ice - is not complaining about that a spiritual issue? Oh wait...
Philippians 2:14 - "Do nothing without complaining or arguing," Does that fit the whole snow thing? huh.

Well we planned stuff out today with the staff team. I am excited about our next conversations in December called SAM X. For three weeks we are going to be under the guidance of SAM X - the "Christmas planner." He helps us spend more, get more, run more, jam more in our calendar and confuse what Christmas is all about. It will be a lot of fun!

I am hoping that the band can pull off the Van Halen song, "dreams," this week since we are talking about Joseph and the God of the dream and dreamer. I love the 80's! VH1 junkie!

Though none go with me - I still will follow,
sd

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Today was sick day at our gathering. We had a ton of people out sick or with sick kids! Wow! I'm just glad I am finally getting healthy. Anyways - we had some real battles this morning with the tech stuff, but it all came together at the last minute. Thanks to Mike for stepping in as a super sub! Brett did a good job sharing the message. It would be great to keep he and Kristin around longer! But i'm excited about their ministry in New Zealand too...

We had a "What is Watermark?" lunch and had about 20 or so people there hearing the vision of the church and some basics of Watermark. It was cool to see new people catching on and getting plugged in.

We spent the rest of today with my family and I went over to my folks church tonight with them. Good day! I am excited to get together with the fellas tomorrow - I am feeling energized. Giddy up.

Well - have a nice evening!
sd

Saturday, November 22, 2003

This is a test...
A lot of individuals, including myself, enjoy looking at trends of emerging churches and how the church will look in this new era. So - to become one of the heroes of the new "post modern" church movement you have to be seen in the blog world as part poet, part philosopher, part ranter and all around innovative fella. The goal is to be trendy by being anti-trendy. Anyways - I like the post modern ideas and definately fall into that category (even though we are supposed to hate those right?) So I thought I'd joke around and see if this blog would attract the masses of pastors in my shoes looking for the next thing... I think I've found that the next thing is the Bible. Weird huh? But alas, I love my Leonard Sweet and Emerging Church stuff... So if this lost you - sorry - I'll get back to my mind numbing stuff about my terribly exciting life as a guy starting a church later... So I am going to type a bunch of "key words" and terms that may catch readers... If I got you this way...HELLO - I hope you don't feel used - that was so modern of me! :) Maybe you'll stick around - since I may be a bit like you (not to label or anything.)

Here is my statements:

"Postmodern Church"
"Emerging Church"
"Worship Stations"
"Generation Next"
"Worship Evangelism"
"Ancient Future"
"Leonard Sweet"
"Briand McLaren"
"Narrative"
"EPIC"
"The Journey"
"Connect"
"Dialogue"
"liturgy"
"holistic"
"missional"
"Celtic"
"emergent"
"relevant"
"mosaic"
postmodern, postmodern, postmodern, postmodern, post modern, next generation, candles, stained glass and a cross.

:) Just an experiment. If this wasted your time - sorry - hopeful you found it amusing. But I did realize something in this process... The whole "emerging church" has its own heroes, verbage and lingo... Postmoderneze is the new language. We are becoming that which we despise. Our parents. :) although - my parents rock.

Lots of love and time to finish up stuff for our "gathering" :)

sd
Today I'm home with the kids while Vicki does the lunch and shopping adventure with my sisters and mom. I always find it difficult to manage my expectations on the days I am alone with the kids. My inner expectations drive me nuts! I WANT to spend great time with them and make them a priority, but also struggle with wanting to get other stuff done. So in other words... When I'm working I feel like I should be spending time with my family and when I'm with my family I feel like I should be working... AHH! Anyways - I'm doing better with this than I ever have before because I know the drill. But that is the struggle inside me that I wrestle with.

Last night I went to the movie "ELF" with my dad. It was pretty funny and a great holiday flick. It was great going away with just my dad. Vicki will from time to time encourage me to catch a flick for a recharger - she is awesome!

Tomorrow we have a gathering and we are going over the life of Jacob. It'll be a fun morning and I'm looking forward to hanging out a bit with the kids ministry. As far as church stuff goes - I am excited about a "What is Watermark lunch" tomorrow. This is a lunch for those who are more recent to Watermark and want to connect in and get to know what is up. This gives me an opportunity to cast vision - which I am hungry to do and have to look for more ways to do...

I need to get out today and finish my lawn!!!! HELP! :)

Aint no lie, baby, bye, bye, bye,

sd

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Hey - me again - I think this little article explains my reason why I sometimes get frustrated in figuring out some amazing thing to BLOG. Like I have to change the world through a few key strokes and 15 people a day reading. :) Anyways - this little thing from the Twisted Banana (link to left) is a rant on serious bloggers. Kinda funny and true I reckon in some ways.
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NOVEMBER 2003

The Serious Blog writer bites!
Have you ever read a blog that spews out serious content?
They are painful to read... Why? Because no one cares!

We at THE TWISTED BANANA appreciate the personal blogs.
These are full of fun stories and self debasing humor.

We, however, find the so-called intellectuals of the blog world to be the lowest form of blogger. If you have something serious to say - get published! If you can't get published - look in the mirror!

If you are unable to be published - don't drag your sorry enlightened thoughts or your life changing views to the common man in blog form.

The serious blogger is our TWIST of the month.
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I want to be a serious blogger. I have words to say that will change you. Gaze into my blog, I see the future. Pay only $25 cash to my assistant. :)

sd
Had small group tonight. I really like my small group. Cool people, great meals, lots of laughter and great to connect. I really see our group growing more together and with God. So anyways we meet every other week from 6-8 pm. We also meet once a month just as couples and do something on the town.

My sister Jody is in town from Oklahoma City with my niece Savanah. It will be great to connect with her and begin some awesome family time over the course of this next week with Thanksgiving and all...

I am feeling uninspired in writing this so I'll just let it go. :)

sd

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

I spent the morning at Western Theological Seminary in their library. I went up to the 5th floor and spent time getting quiet with God. I just opened up the notebook I and wrote down what I sensed God sharing with me. For a while I just wrote down praises to God - everything from family and friends to the gift of life. I also spent time praying and read a little while.

Afterwards I stopped in to visit my grandpa and my friend William. Then I finished my day reading and preparing for the message next week. Anyways - it was a great day and I enjoyed my time praying and connecting with God.

Right now the Bachelor is on the tube and I think Bob will choose Estella (not that I should care...) Oh well - reality tv is the new stories of our culture... I hear people talking about that stuff all the time in public! You can have an instant connection with someone if you have an opinion about who should be with Bob the bachelor... It is a community builder!

Well - I enjoyed chatting with Josh Jackson on the phone tonight. Josh is working at the church Vicki and I helped start in Sydney with his wife Kari. You can check out their blog to the left... I enjoy chatting with Josh because he is so eager to grow, learn and honor God. I think he is a living sponge who is humble and wants to absorb as much as he can. I know God has amazing things in store for him...

Anyways - thanks for stopping in...

sd

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Tonight I met with a prayer partner. His name is Paul and he prays for me through out the week. Anyways - I always enjoy getting together with him because we get to chat about stuff and pray about it. It also gives me a chance to pray for him. I am amazed that there are people who pray for me. It is a humbling experience. It is a VITAL NECESSITY! I don't always treat prayer that way, but I believe that it needs to be a bigger priority in my life, because initmacy with God is the most important thing.

Anyways - tomorrow I have my once a month DAWG (Day Alone With God). For those of you who don't know what this is... I spend a day reading, praying, worshiping, talking to people about God and just being quiet with God. This is a time to creatively spend the day with God to grow my relationship with Him, seek His guidance and just align with Him. Tomorrow I am going to spend time listening to God.

How will I listen to God?
1) Get in a quiet place and bring a notebook, Bible and pen.
2) Be quiet and listen to God in my spirit.
3) As ideas pop into my head (usually things I SHOULD be doing) I just write them down as reminders.
4) As those ideas and worries dump - I get to a quiet time and focus on God with an openness to what He wants to say.
5) I decide that I will do whatever He tells me to do (after checking it with Scripture).
6) I write down thoughts from God.

I look forward to seeing if I can be patient enough to quiet myself to hear God's voice... I'll let you know how it goes (if appropriate I will get specific.)

Anyways - that's tomorrow. Tonight I watched '24.' I love that show. I better go to bed, but first I need to finish sending the program stuff for Sunday's gathering.

Break like the wind,

sd

I know I have been talking about the Twisted Banana - I just want to highlight an interesting "sermon" they have listed regarding vomit... Maybe I'll preach it sometime! (link to left)

Monday, November 17, 2003

Brad is back in the blogging world - check him out on the link to the left.

"STAY IN THE BOX! God put you in that box for a reason!" - The Twisted Banana

sd
MEETINGS!!!!!!!!
Today I had meeting day and it went well. We are now over a week ahead in planning for gatherings. This week I am going to try to get ahead in my message preparation. (Yeah right)

We went to LOWES tonight to look at microwaves and price them out. Ours died in mid-warm up of left over meatloaf. Fun!

Our gathering went well yesterday. We dedicated children and looked at the story of Abraham offering Isaac up as a sacrifice. It was fun to study and teach, but I had way too much to say and way too little time. It could have easily been a two week study by itself! But I think the main thoughts cam across when I had to cut the last three pages off because of time! :) STEVE LEARN TO TRIM! THIS IS A MARATHON NOT A SPRINT!

But one thing I do realize is that now that I am speaking more regularly I am still feeling like there is not enough time in the year to get all that I want to teach on out there! I thought the hardest thing about speaking regularly would be coming up with stuff that was fresh, but the hardest part is deciding what not to do and putting away cool ideas for another day. (I guess the veteran pastors are saying - just wait sonny!) I know I am ignorant, but let me stay in my bliss for a little while longer.

Vicki is currently painting the kitchen green and I am plopped on the sofa with the dog. Wow, I am a helpful husband! WHAT!

Be kind, please rewind,
sd

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Great leadership mock articles at the twisted banana. Check it out... link at left.

sd
Watermark has a partner church in New Zealand named SHORE GRACE. It is led by Mike Yates. They launched today! Here is their report! I am excited about developing relationships with churches like SHORE GRACE to advance what God is doing! For more info. on this new church we are in relationship with: www.shoregrace.org

Here is the report email from Mike following their launch!
*************
AWESOME!!!!!

Steve I haven't e mailed anyone else yet...wanted you to know...
201 in attendence! Way exceeded our expectations. Many of them well wishers and fellow Wesleyans but you know what's great...i (know) all these different people who we didn't know last week who are now saying they want to be a part of Shore Grace!!! (from the local area) Worship was awesome...Matt and the team did a great job. The Lord blessed. Non Christians were there and some redemptive conversations were had with people and bystanders interested in knowing what was going on. We even feed some street youth at the BBQ before hand. I don't know that they stayed for the service but they experienced the Lord's hospitality. Such a good location. Right in the hub of the village. The Lord challenged others on different levels......He's building his church. We got a great offering from the Lord's faithful servants.

We have felt so lifted in prayer and supported from you guys. Let me know how you are doing and how we can pray for you. Thanks for the encouragement notes Steve, it was just what I needed for the countdown.

Another church is planted, praise God!

Mike
*******

God is moving all over the world! It is fun to be a part of it!

Happy Birthday Wade!

sd

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Hey - I just added a counter to see if people read this... but to be honest - I guess I do this more for myself. Maybe though, you get encouraged some times through this... If not keep reading and maybe someday you will. :)

Today we went to the Flint area to celebrate the 99th birthday of Vicki's grand father. 99! Holy Cow - one year from now he will be able to be highlighted on the Today show for the Smuckers old folks celebration moment with Willard Scott. (Boy was that a horrible sentence!) Anyways - it was good and we had a good time eating fast food and driving in the dark while the rain beat down on our easy tip Trooper. BUT we are home and safe and we are gearing up for tomorrow's gathering.

Our web site for Watermark should be up Jan.1st. It will come down to whether or not we get the stuff to our graphic guru and his wonderful wife. We hope that it will be a great front door for people as well as an information hub.

Have you ever watched "Clean Sweep?" It is half decorating and half pop psychology. People wrapped up in their old stuff and the organizers talking them down from the fear to let go... It is whacked yo! But it is my wife's favorite show - maybe because I need to let go of my old junk - like baseball cards, clay heads, old toys and college notebooks with notes from classes I hated. WHAT! I AM WHACKED!

I close with lyrics from an old song I loved back in the day,

"Last night I dreamt
that somebody loved me
no hope - but no harm
just another false alarm"

The Smiths -  LAST NIGHT I DREAMT THAT SOMEBODY LOVED ME

Keep punching,
sd

Friday, November 14, 2003

Got back today from the "Marriage Rendezvous." Vicki and I went to the marriage conference where we got to help and soak stuff up. I warmed the crowd up with questions to couples like, "what habit do you wish your spouse would get rid of?" We then would put them on the big screen in front of thousands while sticking a microphone in their face. It was fun. We even had the crowd dancing to Barnie's "I love you song" which was performed by an attendee... Vicki helped with merchandise and we both helped tear down. We also were able to attend and get some great insights into marriage. It was inspiring and we had a great talk about our marriage and areas we want to grow in... I'm praying that I can make some great strides.

Anyways - my mom stayed with the kids over night so we could go to a hotel in Grand Rapids! Very cool to just get away and be able to sleep in this morning! Friday's are typically my day off so it worked out well... (Even though some of you think that everyday is a pastor's day off - right fake blonde bongo boy?) :)

Well - I need to finish up my message right now. I am pumped about the story we are going over this week! Abraham offering up Isaac! WOW - incredible story - fantastic foreshadowing of Jesus - deep and big stuff! Also we have child dedication this week - so it should fit well.

Enough jibber jabber - may God bless you this weekend!

Oh, I want to close with another lyric from a song from back in the day that I like.... (I think only Kevin Stinehart will care and maybe Kory - but it's fun for me...)

I know the PERFECT SONG! It was the ultimate slow dance song for my kind of teen back in the 80's... And it fits the theme of loving my awesome wife! Enjoy:

Depeche Mode Somebody lyrics

I want somebody to share
Share the rest of my life
Share my innermost thoughts
Know my intimate details
Someone who'll stand by my side
And give me support
And in return
She'll get my support
She will listen to me
When I want to speak
About the world we live in
And life in general
Though my views may be wrong
They may even be perverted
She'll hear me out
And won't easily be converted
To my way of thinking
In fact she'll often disagree
But at the end of it all
She will understand me
Aaaahhhhh....

I want somebody who cares
For me passionately
With every thought and
With every breath
Someone who'll help me see things
In a different light
All the things I detest
I will almost like
I don't want to be tied
To anyone's strings
I'm carefully trying to steer clear of
Those things
But when I'm asleep
I want somebody
Who will put their arms around me
And kiss me tenderly
Though things like this
Make me sick
In a case like this
I'll get away with it
Aaaahhhhh....


Oh Martin L Gore is so sensitive.

sd

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

If you are reading this and have skills in setting up templates for blogs and think this site could use some serious help - drop me an email if you can help or have a template I could use. Thanks!

Steve
Today I am sick. I have been laying low all day and feeling horrible.
I did get to study the scripture we are studying this week at the gathering... (Gen.22)

I wanted to let everyone know (all 3 of you who read this) that my Dad's Blog is back in business! Check out Dave's Dusty. I happen to think that my dad is an incredible man of God and the real deal - so maybe his thoughts and chat about life can be beneficial to check out...

Tonight "24" is on! Jack Bauer Time!

Anyways - tomorrow we have a planning day to plan out the gatherings for the next month or so... Hopefully I'll be back in action. :)

I think I'm going to close these blogs out with lyrics from songs I like from back in the day:
"When the routine bites hard
and ambitions are low
And the resentment rides high
but emotions won't grow
And we're changing our ways,
taking different roads
Then love, love will tear us apart
again (4) - Joy Division

sd

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Great gathering this morning! It is always so much fun to see the different people connecting in and building relationships. I walk away from gatherings every week totally amazed and uplifted that we get to be invoved with this movement of God.

Tonight we got together with the "core team" for some hang time, hearing stories and being reminded of why we are doing what we are doing - or rather - why we are being who we are being.

IT IS SO EASY TO LOOSE YOUR WAY IN CHURCH PLANTING!

So it was awesome to get together, encourage, love, listen and praise God. It was awesome to share the vision and mission again. I need to hear it myself at least once every week...or I get selfish, tired and discouraged.

Thanks God for your Word the Bible - it is the ultimate vision book - it is the greatest mission manual - it is the ultimate love letter!

Gotta jet -

sd

Saturday, November 08, 2003

I came across a site from a friend and thought they had some funny takes on Mike Ilitch - who I am not a fan of...
Anyways: It is called: The Twisted Banana (seems twisted)

I found that it may keep you out unless you go to it and back in and out of it... Maybe it was just my Mac. :)

The link has been added in case you want to go there... Also KevinStinehart.com is a fun place to check out. Kory has put that page together (under the link: Kory's book) For your enjoyment. We love KevinStinehart and the web site made in his name!

sd

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Had a great dinner with our neighbors - we took them out to Damon's - the place for ribs. Hopefully we were able to just be encouraging to them. We are trying to make a connection with them - they are great. They've been coming to Watermark, which is cool too...

Going to matrix revolutions right now. :) Giddy up!

I am the sci-fi geek!
sd

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Last night I was in the hot tub with my daughter and it was raining a bit.
I stood the cover up against the deck next to the tub.

All of a sudden a huge wind kicked up and knocked the cover down back onto the tub.
I didn't see a thing and whammy I got nailed on the top of the head.
This thing is HEAVY! I tried to re-orient myself and figure out what happened.
Autumn was missed because it landed on my head! :)

Anyways - the reason I was in the tub in the first place was to bring relief to a head ache.
I was totally foggy and had a horrible pain in my head.

I think I have a very slight concussion. Feeling nausea a bit yesterday and slightly today. A bit clumsy. And also feel like I am in a fog - like I can't fully wake up. Anyways - my message prep. today was not real helpful because I kept forgetting what I read.

I think I just need to take it easy today. :)

Maybe a trip to the hot tub will help!

sd

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

I am reading a ton on Abraham today.
There, I blogged.
:)
sd

Monday, November 03, 2003

Wow - what a great sunday!
7 people baptized from Watermark and a guest who decided to go public right there at poolside!
Anyways it was amazing! Baptisms are always my favorite because they are full of stories.

Steve T. did a great job with a groups orientation following the gathering. I am extremely excited about where we are heading with groups. We are ripping off New Life Church in Colorado - we are using a West Michiganized version of their system. For more info or understanding go to:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0785265147/qid=1067916666/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_1/104-9330237-4598325?v=glance&n=507846
Check it out and read about it. Good thoughts on de-centralizing ministries and helping people far from God make the connection.

So overall a great day - our small group rocks and Alicia is doing a tremendous job at organizing us. Baptisms! Great team! Groups getting going! God is blessing and it is all because of Him! Wo to me if I ever feel like it's me!

Well - tomorrow I'm doing the message prep. thing. :)

out
sd

Saturday, November 01, 2003

My wife rocks!
I spent over six hours today editing a video and when I returned home late... I was greeted with a hot meal and an understanding smile!
Anyways Steve Thompson and I slugged out the video for tomorrows baptism stories. Seven people are scheduled to be dunked!

I want to again thank Spring Lake Wesleyan for their generosity and Kingdom spirit - they let us use their video editing suite. Also I got some left over candy from their candy carnival last night... Yumm...keep me fatted up!

Tomorrow I am speaking about Genesis 3 - the rebellion of man and woman and the pull to sin. We are looking at God's Question that opens us up for repentance... that question is: "where are you?" I pray that tomorrow people will respond to that question with a heart that is open to God.

We have a life groups meeting following the gathering. Going over our philosophy and all that jazz...

By the way - if you live in the Grand Haven area and are looking for a salon to have your hair done... then check out a new one staring soon - GINGER'S. Cool look inside - cool people cutting - cool style all the while. WHAT!

There - I promoted a great new business. :)

See you at the YMCA tomorrow!

sd
Hey.
Good week, but busy. Tracking down people who are getting baptized - going over stuff - video work... yada yada yada.
I had a very cool time with one couple that made a cool decision in following God - which was the coolest thing of the week!
(Can you tell the word, "cool" is on my mind.) I am the Fonz.
I am excited about the baptisms - this will be a great encouragement!

Vicki speaks tomorrow at a women's conference with my mom. They are doing a talk on 'The in's and out's of mother & daughter in laws'
Vicki has been sick most of the week and without a voice so we are praying that God will give her back her voice before tomorrow.

We are back at the YMCA this week - then back to the highschool! Gotta be flexible! :)

Anyways - got some good stuff done this week... Chairs ordered and being shipped... Office rental finalized with a great local Christian ministry in town... Insurance stuff taken care of... Baptisms organized... and heaps more. Not bad for a week of feeling a bit sick and dare I say crabby.

Well - tomorrow I'm with the kiddos - hopefully mowing the back yard - setting up for sunday - and working on the baptism video.

OHH YEAH!
sd

Sunday, October 26, 2003

We enjoyed our third official gathering today. We started off the morning with a game show. Andy was the host and led us through Battle of the Sexes. It was funny and we had some great answers to some basic questions. My favorite question to a girl was: "What is a loogy?" I think my dream has always been to say "loogy" in a church gathering. Maybe God should have said, "Where two or three are gathered saying, 'loogy, ' there I am in the midst of them." :) Speaking of flem I have sinus troubles.

Nate spoke this morning and did a great job. We have a great team of people serving in a variety of capacities!

Tonight we hung out with Brett and Kristin and hit the hot tub and watched Alias. It was nice catching up with them and hearing about their time at the planters assesment center. They are heading to New Zealand in January and we will dearly miss them personally and as a church. (a could use the word 'corporately.') Wow - word power!

Tomorrow Wade is "job shadowing" me. He usually asks me what I do all week and throws in comments about golfing and other classic time wasters when speaking about what I do - so now he is hanging with me and seeing the basics!

Tomorrow we order chairs! No we just need to figure out how to get them to and fro...

Well goodnight - I am dead tired.

Bubbles,
sd

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Tonight we hung out with our small group. Pizza and coffee out on the town. We had a great time connecting!
We really enjoy our small group and look forward to seeing how we grow with God and each other.

Tomorrow is our third public gathering. I put an ad in the paper for today (Sat.) because I have been getting calls wondering about the basic times and places of Watermark. Hopefully that will communicate to those looking for info. about the new church in town.

I had a blast this morning doing a devotional for the church planters assesment center. It was a wonderful experience to be with people who are passionate about planting. I spoke about the story of the paralyzed man getting healed by coming through the roof. One point I want to highlight or I guess it is a question to ask myself. Why is it so easy to loose focus on who really makes changes in people's lives? These guys bringing their friend to Jesus knew that only He could change their friends life. Why do I become so preoccupied with dropping people through the roof and worrying about the method of bringing people to Jesus? I think the method is a huge piece, but sometimes I focus on ripping the roof up, dropping my friend through the hole and forgetting that Jesus has GOT TO BE THE CENTER! Without Jesus in the room it is just a nice stunt. That probably doesn't make much sense, but it does to me and it means that I ahve got to stay focussed on WHY we are launching Watermark.

Well - TURN YOUR CLOCK BACK TONIGHT! :) Thank you God for extra sleep. Although I am officially sick.

Wade called me from the Blue Man group concert in Chicago. Sounded good - he just yelled in the ear piece that he couldn't hear me and he'd talk to me tomorrow. Pretty cool. We should start something like that. Call it the orange man group or something whacked like that!

Keeping the beat,
sd

Friday, October 24, 2003

Just finished up a video for this Sunday's gathering. We ask people what "completes them." Interesting responses. One dude mentioned God as one of the people that completes him. He said, "God does a pretty good job at that too..." and then he chuckled.

One woman became so annoyed with us that she punched me. Just kidding - sounded more fun though... People were responsive to the camera. Except for one family that parked, saw the camera and what we were doing, and drove around until they found a space where we weren't. A simple "no" would have been fine, but they wasted at least 5 min. of their life driving around - trapped by fear. I thought we should sit at their car waiting for them to return from PET SMART. It would have been interesting to see how they would respond. Do they walk home? For the love - just say, "no."

That leads me into a point that popped into my head. What is it about people that makes us avoid conflict or saying no at all costs. I personally hate to talk to someone when I have to challenge them or confront them. It is an agonizing experience. I think if you like it - you have a problem. But, I have been called to be assertive. I have been called to see a church launched. There is a HUGE impact that must be made and if I care enough for people and care enough for the cause then I can surely care enough to confront. But - it still is hard. It's easy to sweep things under the rug. But then it gets stinky. (like the time we put a dead raccoon above a cealing tile on BETA II in college) Beautiful!

Well - I don't have to confront anyone, but it just made me think about that.

Hot tub is up and running! Thank you God!

Gonna make me sweat!
sd

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Got back from a Willow Creek conference on communicating God's Word. It was great. Some good insights.
The thing I took away was that God's Word is a life changing book. It must be communicated effectively because the stakes are sooooo high. The world around us is communicating a totally different set of values. Communicating God's Word deserves our best - deserves our passion - deserves us living out what we preach.

Anyways - the importance of preaching and communicating was raised in my mind. Also - we want to be more creative in our approach to sharing truth.

I enjoyed my time away with Nate Smith and Brett Jones. Getting to know Brett better was a joy. He is from New Zealand and will be here until January with his very cool wife Kristin.

Well - we have a baptism coming up on November 2nd. I pray that people will be moved through watching others go public with their faith. Baptisms are always my favorite Christian experience. I love that it represents new life!

Anyways - have a great day and God Bless,
sd

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Today we had our second public gathering. One of many to come. It was quite a creative and interactive time.
Everyone did a play doe sculpture. Aaron Z. did a pot on a potters wheel. The morning focussed on us being God's creation and how we have been created:
1. To bring glory to God
2. To be God's representative
3. To make a difference - do what he planned for us to do
4. To have a relationship with Him

It was a great morning. I was so excited to see my neighbors come! They are pretty cool and I invited them to come last week but they couldn't. We are going to try to have them over this week some time.

Anyways - the hard work of leadership is here! :) Now more than ever I have got to stay close to God and to His voice. Being in the hot tub helped tonight! AWESOME! Thanks God for that!

Well - see ya - going to willow creek tomorrow with Brett and Nate for a conference on speaking. I am looking forward to it!

3 points and the truth,
sd

Saturday, October 18, 2003

I have been doing some study in the Sabbath and look forward to exploring that at a gathering in December. I am attempting to take a half hour a day in contemplative/listening prayer and worship. I'll let you know how it goes....

Tomorrow is gathering #2. We had a super small group meeting at the Rosebergs on Thursday. Our small group is awesome and we always have a good time together. We are going out to eat and bowling next week. Our group is slowly opening up to deeper sharing and spiritual issues. I am learning not to microwave a group and focussing on having a crock pot approach that breeds true life together that is lasting and tasty! :) What!

Finishing up the hot tub tonight hopefully so we can get using it!

Hello to my aussie friends who read this - we miss you and invite you to come over and hang with us! Although we have no money to offer... But the invite is here!

Flight of the falcon,
sd
Today we looked at a possible office/meeting area for Watermark. It would serve as a hub where people can come and help, junior highers could have a program and prayer meetings could be held. We would use it for band practice and storage of our trailer as well. Anyways - we hope to have it come together and be in by November. This would help with communication.

Also - I hung out with Vicki today while my parents watched the kids. We did the Lowes thing and looked for possible window blinds etc... It was just nice to be out with Vicki and no kids... :)

We visited the Van Hekkens and got a peak at their new baby boy: Carson David. Very cute kid with a ton of dark hair! My son Harrison is still Hairlesson at 7 monthes! But my kid is incredibly cute - or I am incredibly biased. GUILTY on two counts.

I am still in process over my message. It has been a great study in Genesis 1 and 2 to learn more about God and who He is and who we are to Him. His grace and unmerited and unshakable love is totally and utterly amazing. Genesis 1 paints such a transcendent and huge picture of God and His sweeping authority. Genesis 2 reveals a God getting his hands dirty and his mouth blowing life into Adam's very nostrils. Intimacy, closeness, artistic passion and care are obvious. Love so amazing - so divine - demands my all!

Anyways - gotta finish up. Have a busy day tomorrow gearing up for Sunday. I pray that Watermarkers will continue to BE the CHURCH and be active in bringing their friends to Jesus -not just to gatherings - although I'd love to meet them as well! :)

Well - goodnight and remember that the dutch have a mafia too... What?

sd

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

I feel like I am writing for the sake of writing... So I'll keep it short.
I really want to make some strides in my relationship with God.
I want to move my ambition and desire to be with Jesus into a deeper reality.

Now is the time I believe that something deeper will take place.
I feel like being involved in this church plant has made me hunger more after God.
However, I find that my focus is challenged more now than ever.

So... I want to learn more of what it is to follow Jesus.
This may be boring, but I guess I'm asking you to take a second and pray and ask God to take me deeper with Him. I can't do this thing... God has got to be at the center.

Anyways - feeling a bit sick - had some cookies - watched the Cubs loose (which was great) - sorry Cub fan! And gearing up to do some more prep work on the message.

Desiring to go deeper,
sd

Monday, October 13, 2003

Got together with Brett, Nate, Steve, Mike and Mike today for our usual Monday lunch. It was great to hear about the launch gathering from their perspective and hear about people who are connecting in. We also laid out the gathering elements for this Sunday - we are looking at having a really cool interactive element for everyone to do. Should be a lot of fun... I'll share more later.

Enjoyed the night with the kids while Vicki went to aqua aerobics. Harrison was hilarious! Bobbing his head - grunting - coughing and trying to eat my face... Autumn sat next to me while we watched the Lion King.

The Lion King is a great movie. Amazing wisdom in a stinking cartoon. Why does it seem like Disney Cartoons can deliver a message better than the Christian flicks I've seen. It has to be more than budget - because as followers of Jesus - we have the greatest stories! But we only focus on the END TIMES! HELP! .......... Vicki has just been raptured and I've been left behind! What? :)

Cranking on the message tomorrow. Any thoughts? :)

We are having a baptism on November 2nd! I can't wait!

(I hate the show full house)
sd

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Well the first of many public gatherings of Watermark is now in the past.

GREAT MORNING! Awesome volunteer team that showed up at 7 am to set up!
Amazing worship team that led us into God's presence.
Kid's ministry rocked and handled a huge number of kids! We have the coolest kid's team!
Hospitality gang made people feel welcome once again... Even made a cake!
Greeters...Cleaners...Loaders...Drivers...Readers...Cheerleaders... WHAT! Yes - we had Brad and Buffy get us going!

Anyways -great morning uncovering the mystery and wonder of God!

I praise God that everything came together - but it is more than just a program - it is God's people opening up their arms for others to hear about Jesus. Met a lot of new people today - many who gave up on church - but I think - did not give up on God...

301 people showed up. 70 of those were kids and kids workers. Lots of fun... We also had some well wishers there which was very encouraging. Well - time to rest. We enjoyed hanging out with Watermarkers at Pizza Hutt following the gathering. I love this.

:) Thanks God for letting my family be involved in Your work with Your people!

sd


PS - HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Mike Morgan and Brett Dieroff! F.O.M. and Pokerface forever! :) Bungee Chord!

Saturday, October 11, 2003

My neighbors do this cool MEDIEVAL thing where they dress up like vikings and pitch tents and do midevil type stuff. Cool community thing. I heard them banging around tonight. I stopped over and invited them to the gathering. Anyways - I just was reminded at how people hunger for community. I am excited because we are develping a small group system that could take something like my neighbors MEDIEVAL fun and it could become a small group. Anyways - the hunger to connect is strong. I know that I personally desire to have friends beyond the casual chats...

Anyways - tomorrow is the big day.

God it is in your hands.

I realized today that I told God that I was giving him the church... Now that sounds like a good thing... the only problem is that it isn't mine to give. It always has been God's - I guess what I mean is that I again want to fall under the leadership of God and trust Him with the church and my own life.

Time to go over my message again - BIG CONCEPTS! Also need to pull together little detailed JUNK!

sd

PS- Dr. Love - good luck on "Atkins" I don't know why you would want to change perfection! :)

Wade - thanks for the spelling help.
Tomorrow we are cracking the door further on the transcendence of God. I found a great quote by Abraham Heschel (Jewish Scholar) - He writes regarding our advancing civilization and its resulting lack of wonder and mystery:

"What we lack is not a will to believe but a will to wonder."

I'll leave it up to you for your own thoughts...

sd
My dad came over this morning and helped do some work around the house with me. We are getting our hot tub going - slowly but surely. There was a dead frog in it. Gross. I am a wimp. Anyways - my dad is so helpful and supportive.

I have been working most of the day on finalizing the message for Sunday as well as pulling together details. I am looking forward to Sunday for a lot of different reasons - one is to just get it over with and get cranking on Watermark... I am hungry to see God do His God sized stuff!

Tomorrow we have a prayer time and will do some prayer walking.

** We are going to have a special baptism gathering on November 2nd! We are doing this at the YMCA and not at the high school because the school was booked. We had this date set anyways for baptism so it should work well! I hope we have a good group go public with their faith. For me that is my favorite time in being a pastor! **

Time to hit the sack - I need to start going to bed earlier! This after 12 am to 1 am has got to stop if I am going to stay healthy! :)

Cherry Ripe is for softies, (for my aussie friends)
sd

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Today I had brunch with my district superintendent and two other guys in church plant situations. One of the guys just had his first launch service last weekend. It went awesome and they are helping a ton of unchurched or dechurched people connect in to God!

Very cool! We have very supportive local denomination leadership in Mark Gourvette. What a great man of God that is constantly challenging us, encouraging us, resourcing us and praying for us.

Anyways - a great reminder that this is a Kingdom thing!

out

sd

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Pulling together details for our launch this Sunday.
I need to make sure I spend some good time tomorrow on the message.

We are going to be starting our conversation called: Origins.
It is a 2 month journey through Genesis. I believe it will be impacting for the young and old of the faith.

This Sunday we are starting with Genesis 1:1 and looking at the assumption of the passage that God is here.
I find that when the book of Genesis comes up it becomes a monster battle ground for people to discuss the proper interpretation of the creation story. The charts come out, the theological books open up and the arguments fly. A lot of great stuff is out there on these subjects and I respect people with differing views on the hows of creation.

We are not going to be looking to Genesis for the hows for this series. We are going to focus on the who.
This week we are going to attempt to enter into deeper water... entering into more of the mystery and wonder of God.
Being in awe of God.

I have been a follower of Jesus (I do think it is okay to say Christian - those from Antioch were described that way and they seemed to have a great kingdom vision) - but anyways... since 1985 I've known Jesus personally (got beyond religion).
Along the past almost 20 years God has been someone to study - to understand - to lay out in arguments - to set up clean logical systems to know... God has- it seems- to become predictable and almost silent in some respects. It is all figured out! Yeah right!

It seems like in the past I lost the wonder of God! The HUGENESS and AWESOMENESS of Him.
I have been on a path of redisovering the wonder of who God is...
We want to recapture the mystery and experience God. For those on the journey a long time or just starting...

Any ideas or resources? Email me at: steve.deur@iamwatermark.com

PS - Can people doing the Atkins diet do something different for communion? (you know who you are!) :)

sd

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Today is my 9th wedding aniversary!
I freaking love my wife Vicki.

She is very talented, loving, kind, supportive and beautiful.

I thank God for uniting us in marriage!

Cheers,
sd

Sunday, October 05, 2003

We enjoyed our final gathering this morning at the YMCA. We took time to go through various worship stations. We had the following stations:
> Meditation (Scripture)
> Giving
> Prayer
> Serving
> Community Outreach - how to serve in community
> Prayer for people who need God
> Communion

Anyways - a ton of people stepped out to be involved and I pray it was a moment where they encountered God... It was a moment where people were stretched. Well - it was a great morning gearing up for the public launch of the gatherings...

Today a fellow Wesleyan church got started in Lowell. The name of the church is "impact." Anyways - they had a great opening!

Finally I am in the process of organizing chairs for our gathering... FUN!

Oh - I love the show "Joe Shmo" on Spike TV. A reality show that is not reality. Funny stuff... Good night!

sd

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Went to Outback last night with the VanHekkens. They are a part of Watermark, but we haven't hung out with them in a while - so it was nice to connect again. They are going to have a baby boy in the next week or so! hopefully stuffing our faces with huge chunks of meat will accelerate the process.

I love the Outback Steakhouse. Maybe it is because I lived in Australia and enjoy the horrible over the top stereotypes of Australia... Kind of a memory maker... The food totally rocks - except that Vicki had a hair in her food which resulted in taking it off our bill. We are not complainers and get more embarassed by bringing it up, but Chris VH outed the situation. I got a free cheesecake for my birthday. Anyways - it was a great night with Vicki. The kids were at home with my folks.

We then went to the movie "School of Rock" which was entertaining and I thought funny.

We finished a video today that we are using for part of the message. It is a look back at where we've been and what we've been doing with Watermark. We then will put out the challenge to those undecided on Watermark to sign on to this adventure.

Well - gotta go - my son said "da da" today! I love being a dad. I certainly am old enough... :)

swiper no swiping,
sd

Friday, October 03, 2003

Today I turned 32.
When my dad was this age I was nine! Yikes - he seemed more wise - I still feel like a kid.
Anyways - my wife gave me a mini statue from a Frank Lloyd Wright home that I saw in August.
It is really cool - it is of a guy coming out of the earth in a ball shape - kinda like creation of man.

Well 32... hmmm... seems like this is going to be quite a year. I am an adult. There, I said it.
I am an adult. But, I don't know if I mean it. Enough babbling.

My folks are coming over - in fact they just pulled in... Gotta go!

man child,
sd

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Here we go! Yesterday we found out that we can't be at the high school for our weekend gathering. Not a big deal - except we told people to go there and we wanted a week run through before going public... But it is part of the adventure of church planting! We will be at the YMCA one more time... They have been wonderful.

We are still planning on having a public launch on October 12th at the high school. Bite the bullet baby!

Today we worked on a video for Sunday - we went to all the places we had core team meetings or vision chats and filmed the environment and reviewed what we did or covered. It was cool to remember all the things God has done to bring us to this point. This gives me a deeper trust and faith in God as a result.

Rack em,
sd

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Wade shares a cool story at the Watermark Stories blog (link to the left).

Tonight we pick up my parents from the airport. They were in Europe for about 3 weeks! We missed them a ton.
Anyways we look forward to seeing them.

I have been marching through my huge TO DO list and find it oh so exciting. Not... but it has got to get done.
Today I was able to make some headway on chairs for our gatherings and signage.

Well - have a good one... I turn 32 on Friday and find myself watching the Johnny Cash video "hurt" everyday as a reminder of how short, sweet and powerful living life is... I need to get in shape for my health - I'd like to live to at least 90. That would be cool. I am not really interested in a heart attack at 40 or something along those lines. :)

This week we are at Grand Haven High school for the first time! I'll let you know how it goes. Going to have a worship time and a look back and look ahead. Gearing up for October 12 public launch.

Our web site got a basic landing page organized and the real deal is in development. Thanks to Ked for the design help! He is the graphic guru - it is not a myth or lie.

high fives,
sd

Sunday, September 28, 2003

This morning for our time of gathering we spent time experiencing our children's ministry: surf city.
We had everyone go through some of the things that our kids do. For example we all did a craft, we moved to a story/teaching time and we had a game/activity. It was a lot of fun and very different for people, but I think that it was a great way to move kids away from being just a ministry of the church to the kids being seen as the church.

Anyways - our kids team did great and I pray that through this time people will value the next generation more and even pursue serving in that extremely important way.

We then hung out with the staff families for lunch at our place - good time to just hang and connect.

By the way - I went golfing on Saturday with 3 guys from our small group. I shot a 48 - which for me is good. It was a lot of fun.

Lots of work to do this week!
Figure out and organize:
>> Signage
>> Chairs
>> Rental facility for storage/office/small meeting space
>> Newspaper and other advertising
>> Series stuff finalized
>> Big mailing coming up

Lots to do! I wanted to type some of it in so that I'll be reminded to do it by all who read this - or so you can help with it! :)

ta,
sd

Friday, September 26, 2003

We had small group last night and had a great time. I have been thinking alot about what a small group is and what it does. I think for a long time I felt like a small group had to be a very intimate, deep experience for it to be effective. I think that is amazing when and if that happens, but the problem for me is that I want to go to that place now. So - instead of dragging people to a place they do not want to go - I have decided to lead my group to the place they do want to go. Yes, they want to grow in their marriage and they want to grow with Jesus, but not through the methods and experience I so often deliver. Now I am trying to find ways to grow a step closer to Jesus in the context of enjoying each other and at the pace that is natural for people. We will get there, but it takes the pressure off when you don't treat the group like a project and start treating it as people.

The question is: would I want to come and belong to my group if I wasn't leading it? Wow.

Anyways - it was great and I am beginning to care more and more for those in our group. I pray that we will continue to grow and develop.

edie chiao baby
sd

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Sending out a letter today to area pastors and churches about Watermark... Basically letting them know who we are and what we are about. I made it clear in the letter that we are not interesting in seeing people come from other churches, but our prayer is that unchurched folks would get connected. I also shared how to contact us if they wanted to chat. I hope that the letter will be a bridge building tool for Christian unity in this area.

Anyways - gotta jet,
sd

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

We lost in softball.
I was bad.
It is over...
But it was a great opportunity to connect with the fellas.

Good night sweet softball - until next time...

sd
I had lunch with my grandpa Deur today. It was a great time of playing pool and feasting on a pork chop.
He beat me in the few games we played. He also showed me photos of his dad and mom and my great great grandfather and mother, etc... In a document, I read how our family came from the Netherlands for religous freedom and how they were very active in the faith. What a great heritage.

Anyways - it was a year ago today that my grandma Deur passed away. I miss her. She was such a fire cracker of fun!
LIVA! is what she'd call her grand kids. Anyways - thanks God for my family.

sd

Monday, September 22, 2003

On a recreational level:
Tomorrow night is our final soft ball game. It is at 7:10 pm.
I am asking all of you who read this to pray that our team will win!
I know God doesn't really care, but it makes me feel better.
If we are mercied again - I fear for our safety and salvation.

So please pray - even if you read this the day after... Why? Because I reckon God is not bound by time and knows you are going to pray and therefor applies the extra prayers even before you pray them. Does that mean we can pray against the evils of history and God will act in the past? Why not! God isn't bound by time and he can change things - but you'll never know if it worked because history would have been changed and you would never know! WHAT! Just having a little fun. Wierd thought though. (If you are new to the Christianity thing - ignore this and chalk it up to bad humor.)

Swinging for the fences on Tues. the 23rd!

sd
Wow! What an amazing gathering we had on Sunday!
I think the key word is "gathering." My morning was turned upside down by God when I got that.
Over the past few "gatherings" I have seen these Sunday times more as a service or even a program.
This idea goes against the very ideas I even have shared - that is the frustrating part!

My belief is that our Sunday morning times are "gatherings" of people who are living life with God and others and where we together celebrate, grow, connect and follow God corportately. However - I can get so caught up in trying to make it into an entertainment environment that impresses people. This is not my desire, but my instinct. So this week I just again sensed God reminding me that Watermark is Jesus' church - not mine. Man this leadership stuff is hard. It is so little about me and so much about Him. Leadership is so not about me advancing, but rather God advancing. SIDE NOTE...

Well, anyways - I was reminded that Jesus said that he would build his church... I am the branch - he is the vine - apart from him there is NO FRUIT! NO CHURCH! NO NOTHING! So when I caught the vision fresh for myself that we are celebrating Jesus and acknowledging him as leader - the whole burrito changed!

This made sense to me on the morning and my heart was different. My experience was genuine. My trust was unwavering. My relationships joyous and pure.

Anyways - all that to say - life naturally pulls you to be the center and the only person who deserves to be there is Jesus.

"Tho none go with me - I still will follow."

sd

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Hey -my buddy Kory is starting to write a book and is posting it online along the way.
Check in and give a read from time to time.

I know I'll enjoy it because it will be set in the 80's - my favorite decade.

The link is on the page under: Kory's Book

Had a great time in Detroit with family this weekend and looking forward to our gathering tomorrow.
We have to load in and set up tomorrow at 7 am! AHHHHH! Here we go! :)

Go Tigers! Fire Mike Illich!

sd

Thursday, September 18, 2003

We are starting a new blog for watermarkers to write in... This may or may not fly.

If you want to write in the Watermark Stories blog follow the instructions below:
Go to: www.blogger.com
User name: Sign in as: watermarkstories
Password: iam
On the right hand side of the screen click on "Watermark stories"
Type in the "post" windom.
Click "preview your post"
Then hit publish your post.

Have fun sharing God stories of being the church and making disciples.

sd
I had a great day of wrestling with the talk for this Sunday... We are looking at the vision of the church.
The key phrase is: See it to see it. The idea being - you have got to have a vision and picture of where you are going and what you are becoming before you can see it happen.

I look forward to laying the vision out.

I will put our vision statement down here in case you are even remotely interested... if not tough. :)

vision:
Because Jesus is the center of our lives and we are devoted to Him, there is a contagious sense of awe, joy and generosity. As a result...

> people are constantly living life together in unity
> the wider community is being served and transformed
> the community's understanding of what it is to follow Jesus is being redeemed
> the lost are becoming followers of Jesus
> the next generation is a catalyst for the movement and an example to all believers
> God's Spirit of creation inspires innovation throughout the body
> new churches are being planted from Watermark throughout the world

The entire time the church is giving praise, credit and recognition to God.

And the Lord is rapidly expanding His Kingdom...
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Anyways - I really enjoyed my afternoon of planning and study and sense the passion and purpose of where we are going more now than ever.

In a dissappointing turn - the high school is taking FOREVER to clear everything for us to be there. We may need to push the "public launch" back one week so that we can be ready and it the school. God is in control and we are trusting Him. We can use the school, but we may not get in by the time we needed. Praying that God would build a strong relationship with us and the school...

See it to see it,
sd

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

I went to Autumn's first "cheerleading class." This is a time for kids aged 4-12 to learn how to cheer. Does that really require a class? Do we need classes in how to encourage with style? Apparently, because there were quite a few kids and the bill made me shudder. Anyways - I think Vicki and I need this class more than Autumn. She loves it and we find ourselves struggling to let this little lady go. I see her not catching on as quick and I want to jump in and grab her and protect her... AHHH! How am I ever going to survive! Gotta keep giving her to God.

Anyways - while we were there I hung out with "the cool one" Wade. (I just gave him that nickname.) We met another guy there who has quite a tough life story. He seems to be desiring to make some changes in his life. It was cool to chat with he and Wade. I think that over time Wade and I will be a good connection for him and hopefully help him connect with God. But, I have to say - meeting people who are in need of God is a VERY good thing for me. It reminds me that I need God. It reminds me of my purpose in life. It adds to my life. I never want sharing God to be a conquest or a "let's get em" mentality. I want it to be about loving God and loving others.

Well enough said.

If loving the Lord is wrong... I don't wanna be right! :) WHAT!?

sd
Today is my honey's 30th birthday! Welcome to the club sweetie! :)
She rocks as a wife and mom and I am so grateful for her.

Thankful for my wife,
sd

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

I am utterly humbled. I struck out looking in softball.

Wondering why I play,
sd

:)
I had a great conversation with some pastors of another church in town. We discussed how to be active partcipants within the community. I was excited to hear another church talking about breaking apart the mentality of "come and see." I hope this leads to a partnership of learning and service between our churches.

I am trying to get my self back on a set schedule. I met with my awesome coach - Pete Yoshonis - and again realized that I often spend too much time in areas that do not require my attention at this stage in my life. I have got to prioritize and be focussed in my efforts.

Another thought. I have been realizing how I lack brilliant intelligence. This may be obvious to you, but we all have self bias. I believe that great leadership is born out of an accurate understanding of who we are and who we are not. The vital understanding is the answer to : "where are we going?" Simple - but often missed and easy to forget. If I can be like my dumb dog and stay focussed on something with prayer and action - things will happen and will be aligned. Anyways - I am seeing how simple leadership is, but at the same time - incredibly profound!

Well - gotta go and play softball. I choose to have a great attitude and be like Jesus (minus the homeruns and no errors).

Softball guy,
sd

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Today we had our second pre-view gathering. The whole morning was a journey through the core values of Watermark.
Our core values are: intimacy with God, everyone a minister, seeking the lost, reproduction, innovation, life together and community influence. It was a good morning as we continue to establish alignment and unity in what Watermark is called to be about.

I saw a little bit of the planet of the apes on tv today - the old one. I absolutely love planet of the apes. I have a self declared sci-fi geek. Star Wars, Star Trek, the outer limits, the sci-fi channel and all things space and time travel... I just disclosed a piece of my soul.

One thing regarding our pre-view services - I feel like we need to do a better job at following up people who visit and building momentum for people plugging into small groups and coming to gatherings... Anyways - we'll work through some of this tomorrow... :) We are improving each week.

I have been feeling sad over the death of Johnny Cash. His song, "hurt" - a cover of a nine inch nails song is pretty moving and the video is powerful. I have been thinking a bit about life and how short it is and how we influence others. Our lives are a story... When I see Johnny Cash I think of my grandfather - I miss him and wish he could see what is going on in my life...

Anyways - see ya,

sd

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Well......hmmmm..... oh! I know - I murdered 2 bees today with my bare hands. Those evil stinging creatures that strike fear in the hearts of my family succumbed under the pressure of my palm. Smack! Your dead! Then guilt.... Thou shalt not kill Steve!

Today I worked on some ideas on how to get the word out regarding this new church we are living. We are looking at everything from newspapers, television, door to door, posters, cards, movie screen slides etc... I am always torn on the whole advertising thing. I want people to know we are here, but I would rather have them find out through experiencing life alongside a "watermarker." I feel uncomfortable promoting stuff - it feels kind of fake, but I guess it is needed to inform people. It can be done in a way that is fun and informative... I just need to get over the whole over thinking thing. It seems like there is a whole sub-culture out there that slams anything remotely resembling church growth strategies and ideas to help people connect with the church. I have to admit - I am probably in that sub-culture - but not everyone in our community aligns with that sort of thinking. Different methods are needed to reach different types of people. All people are valuable and deserve to hear the good news about Jesus in a way that they can understand and experience.

Sorry about that mind meld there.... got off the subject - I'll hop on the whole "post modern" thing sometime in the future. I am smack dab in the middle of it - I breath it and live much of it - however I hate what it is becoming with all its celebrities, blogs, rantings, sites, conferences, etc... I read em, go to em, love em, but hate that I am sucked in. Huh... I'll save it for another day.

Back to real life - we had an awesome night tonight as a family going down town and having a meal together. We then ran into Brett and Kristin (Brett is from New Zeeland and interning at Spring Lake Weso and Watermark). We had ice cream and hung around. It was a nice time of sharing life together and learning each others stories. Brett and the other staff fellas have done an amazing job in laying out this next weeks gathering! It will be innovative, experiential and fun. Above all - God will be the center!

Well - I gotta go.
Shout outs:
Greg S. - Pinyatas are life
Wade - keep eggs out of your harmonica
Marci - the blog is with you
President Bush - keep it real - yo.
Bees - you can buzz but you can't hide.
Kevin - the beard is a terrible thing to taste. what?
Rev. Thompson - thanks for keeping up with Watermark! :) We are better because of your kids.

shalom,
sd

Monday, September 08, 2003

We had our first pre-view gathering yesterday. We talked about the mission of the church. Over the next few weeks we will go through the basics of Watermark. Today we are going to meet and debrief the gathering. Our kids program went awesome!

Anyways - we had our first small group meeting last night! It was a great time of connecting with people. I think that we are going to really enjoy living life alongside these people. Every single person senses they need to go deeper with God and are looking forward to pursuing that.

Well - I don't feel like writing anything - so I'll download later...

sd

Thursday, September 04, 2003

A young man in our area was presumed drowned yesterday. He was a buddy of a young man I know. It is pretty sad. Another Grand Haven high school kid... Praying for the family and the community...

That has brought up an issue for me... How do we as a people who follow Jesus - respond to this situation and others like it. Of course there are always the prayers, listening, flowers and cards, but what else can a group of Christ followers do or BE to the community and those impacted at times like this?

I think we need to put together a task force of people from Watermark to work on possible plans for a variety of situations. So that we can be ready to respond - know how we can serve - and be able to be Christ to someone in pain.

Anyways - just some thoughts... This dove tails into what I am talking about this Sunday as we talk about the mission of the church... Being the Church and Making Disciples. How can we move beyond WWJD (What would Jesus Do?) to allowing the very person of Jesus to live through me? Being Jesus to the community! Also we are talking about imprinting others with Christ and have a little suprise for everyone to see... I can't give it away. :)

We start our first pre-view gathering this week and then we are in the weekly schedule! HERE WE GO!

Had a great time yesterday with Pete Yo. helping us with some structure ideas for ministry. Got to hear about the kids ministry a ton - which I am super excited about! Then we hung out at Steve and Jessica's home with the staff families. Great group of people! It is a joy and honor to work along side them!

Well gotta finish up my message for sunday...

Late-

sd

Saturday, August 30, 2003

My daughter turned 4 today! The statement that "time flies" is overstated, but never fully understood until you have a moment of clarity and reflection.
Today was such a day... My little princess who identifies herself with Disney Princesses is growing older. She dreams of princes. She is still at an age where she wants me to be the prince. Some day she will call me the court jester and ask me to give her more space. Now she calls out for one more Bible story, one more hug, one more kiss, one more moment together.... I just want to get back to my book, computer, television show, conversation, etc... BUT BUT BUT!!!!!! There will never be this moment again! The times of her asking for me - wanting me - hoping to be with me are numbered as she grows older. Independence shows up and slaps a parent in the face. Anyways - I say this all to make me think about how I am spending my time with my family... I say this to shake my self to wake myself - to be in the moment and catch the awe and very spiritual moments I share with my growing daughter.

She may want to be called "arial" but she will always be my little "goo."

Our celebration of her started last night with pony rides and fun at Teusinks Pony Farm (http://www.teusinksponyfarm.com). My dad grew up going there, I grew up going there and now my little lady got to go. Today we went down on the farm (Bob Evans) for breakfast and then hung out with my folks in the evening. Great day. Thanks God for the gifts of eachother.

Chatting at a Wesleyan church tomorrow about Watermark. Catching a Detroit Tiger game on Labor Day! SCARY! I just want to say that I am calling for the selling of the Tigers by Mike Illich to an owner who would like to do something to win. Thanks Mike for running the team into the ground while building the Red Wings. I better quit now - I am getting frustrated. God bless Mike I. (pray for those who persecute you) :)

bless you boys,
sd