Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Today I met with GHHS about renting their facility for the new church. I took some fellas with me for their wisdom, insight and relationship with the school. It was a meeting to get the ball rolling...

Following the meeting we went to look at the school. I was impressed at the cafeteria area. It is spacious and has a refreshing feel to it.
We also looked at the classrooms - which are carpeted - and imagined meeting there. Anyways - it was helpful and I am seeking God's direction for where he wants us to be.

We are meeting on Friday with some people to look at the school and get their input - most are kid's people.
Anyways - we are looking for God to guide us. This is the adventure of planting a church!

Hung out in town today and worked on planning the teaching for the fall. I am thinking about starting the year with a teaching series called: origins (working through genesis in the bible). A great book dealing with who God is, who we are and how God initiated his redemptive story... I think there is a great parallel in dealing with starting a new church with God creating us.

Going to a minor league baseball game tonight to hear one of our core members sing the national anthem. Go Laura!

stay cool,
sd
On Sunday we enjoyed another gathering. I was again amazed at the team work of a group of people to make that happen! We have an awesome group of people forming this core group.

A few quick items:
> I had a great meeting today with Dennis S. from our core team - we are working at helping people identify and utilize their spiritual gifts.
> Dennis S. and Jeff B. shared about their trip to India and it was big time powerful - they gave great challenges to us.
> We have 10 high school students and 3 adults in NYC. They are returing Tues. and have been there since last week - hearing great stuff.
> Greg Striker played drums this past Sunday - he is a smooth character - it was great having him there.
> Steve Thompson was able to get permission to leave his wife, new born daughter and family to be involved at the gathering!
It was great having him there and we look forward to having them around all the time.
> We tried out a great sound system (thanks to Carter) and we are looking at getting one soon - pray for everything to work out! :)
> Went out tonight on a friends Pontoon boat with my parents, our friends and my sister and brother in law. Awesome time tooling around
Lake Macatawa (Macatoilet) in Holland. Scarfed down about 3 chickens from KFC.
> Meet tomorrow with GHHS about their facility.

Saturday I had a very enjoyable dinner and hang out time with our friends William and Elizabeth and their son little Will. I have been close friends with William since 2nd grade. We have been through a lot together - even puberty! It was awesome hanging out and I thank God for his friendship over the coarse of my life and even now... I have many William stories, but I fear saying them because he is a lawyer and he knows how to take care of talkers... :)

Sorry about the random thoughts but it is 12:38 am and I need to hit the sack.
Great day on Sunday and looking forward to a big work week ahead and vacation over the weekend into next week...

nighty night,
sd

Thursday, July 17, 2003

One of the things I have been spending time sharing about (i think) on this blog is that the church is the body of Christ and not a building or program. Therefore, we have people say - "I am the church." To help keep that truth, about who we are, fresh and in front of us we say, "I am watermark." I am excited because that vision of "I am watermark" is now our web domain name! So eventually when things get finalized we will be at: www.iamwatermark.com

Thanks to Scott and Ked for their help in this cyber gig! :)

Working on my message and hoping to finish it tomorrow - I need to rework stuff! Lots of info - need to trim and make it more personal and real. Praying that God would move in cool ways.

Hey - Congrats to Steve and Jessica Thompson on the birth of their daughter Zoe. See more info at Steve's blog (link to the left).

Bye,
sd

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

I spent some time this morning going through the online prayer labyrinth. It was a great tool in getting focussed on God.
Try it out! The link is to the left. It will take you some time - so check it out now and go through it when you get a little time.

I just was reminded of the importance of keeping God at the center of my life. That my life in reality is not my life, but God's life. That kind of changes things...

Anyways - have a great day! Today I need to work on my message and get some people organized for this weeks gathering!

High fives,
sd

Saturday, July 12, 2003

Enjoyed a super meal at Scott and Kathy's tonight. They even served me up some frog legs! They are supposed to taste like chicken, but they tasted more fishy. Maybe it was the stretchy feel to them. They were not bad at all! I like trying new things so it was fun. We then did some badminton. I forgot how much fun that game is! Running around. Powerful swings. Hitting something called a "bird." Anyways, it was a great night!

Tomorrow I speak at the conference sunday school class in Hastings Michigan. This is for people who go to the wesleyan district campground. I'm chatting about Watermark and church planting. The hope and prayer is that they will catch the vision of church planting and support planting in the future.

Vicki and I have really enjoyed having people over as well as going to other people's homes. I think the benefit of not having a church facility is that you are forced to meet in homes, which makes it more relational and less business oriented. So we are having a blast!

hugs and kisses,
sd
Went out last night with some friends to a great pizza place and then hit some ice cream. It was great just hanging out down town while the kids were with a sitter.

Yesterday in the morning and afternoon we had our Wesleyan District Conference. It is extremely drawn out and I would even say boring. A lot of it is good and necessary, but some of the reports are not that flashy. Nate and Mike came with me and they had us come on stage with other church plant guys and they prayed for us.

The highlight of the afternoon was going to ponderosa. That gives you an idea of how the conference was.

This upcoming week will be pretty busy getting ready for the july 20th gathering.

Autumn got a hair cut and looks like she is 12! NOOOOOOOO - I need to have her stay little! :)

bye,
sd

Thursday, July 10, 2003

We had a great core meeting last night. Tons of people - sitting in a circle - in my backyard - singing songs - sharing life stories - doing crazy motions and making strange sounds... To an outsider it may look a bit strange, but it was the church! Great time of looking to the Bible for direction.

I love those times together! I love this group of people and this community. I used to lean more on the community next door... You know what I mean? Grand Haven was never "my town", but now that it is - God has given me supernatural passion for it as well as for West Michigan.

Anyways - outstanding night together - God is moving. We have to continue to remember to "be the church!"

Thinking about landing on our missions statement as: Watermark exists to BE THE CHURCH and MAKE DISCIPLES.
That seems to be as biblical as you can get and true to what we are and called to be about. There is a ton wrapped up in that "be the church" line...

Have a great day - tomorrow I have district conference with Nate and Michael coming along - should be boring---eeeerrrr I mean fun. :)

hugs and kisses,
sd

A quick shout out to Greg Striker for being the pastor's pet this week. You know what I'm talking about! :)

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Check out Daves Dusty for a rant on those "gazing balls" - good insights from my dad. I have to agree..
Afterall in a great yard and garden you would expect: green lush grass, strong trees, healthy plants, nicely trimmed shrubs, a purple "gazing ball" on a cheap pedastil... WHAT?!

My daughter has been saying some cool things about Jesus. She knows that Jesus lives in her (in her heart) and she has said the following things in response to that truth:
1. I want Jesus to come out of my heart so that I can talk to him.
2. I want Jesus to come out of my heart so he can hold my hand.
3. Jesus is in my heart, but does he go down to my knees?
4. My Jesus talks to your Jesus daddy - isn't that cool?

I tell her a lot of stories about Jesus and she seems to enjoy them - especially the one about him calming the storm.

Well - we have a core group meeting tonight - talking together about ephesians 4:1-16 - unity / everyone a minister / truth

See ya!
sd

Monday, July 07, 2003

I today at 5:05 pm quit the Atkins diet. This is after only two days! Last time I tried this diet I lasted 2 weeks. Let me just say that I know the diet works. I understand the so-called benefits... But I feel horrible. Sure, I can hear it already - "your body is adjusting to having no caffeine..." I can almost hear someone saying - "it is the blood sugar!" But let me just say - I am miserable and feel terrible. It couldn't be anything I've done! :)

Chalk it up to whatever - I am less creative, more crabby and downright frustrated at every meal to come up with something to eat. So I say to you Atkins maniacs - way to go! But I will take the road less traveled. The road of candy bars and soft drinks... Wait - that isn't right. I mean - I'll jump on a new program! Body for Life!

Well - the goal is to feel and look better - so no matter how I get there - I'll keep you posted. Even though you don't care. What?!

Tonight I meet with my prayer partner who prays for me daily. We meet once a month and I am humbled at his commitment to pray for me. I need it - especially after two days with Atkins foods crammed down my stomach.

Welcome back to the normal steve - now I'll go have a piece of bread.... mmmmm bread.

sd

Friday, July 04, 2003

My dad just started a blog at: davesdusty.blogspot.com
He may end up sharing why he called it that - so I won't steal his thunder.
I have it on my links...
sd

Happy 4th!

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

One quick note. I spent a few hours downtown at this cool shop called "a la mode." They know me there as "the minister." I worked on some stuff out side and just took in the sights and sounds of downtown while I worked.

Anyways - I thought of another great community connection tool. I think I'm going to get a cooler with ice and buy stuff from a place like "a la mode" and stick it in the cooler out front while I work. Then as people walk by or I connect with someone - I can offer them a drink. This is a win win for the store - who sold drinks. A win for the person drinking. A win for me to show Jesus' love and just a connecting tool.

Any thoughts? Other ideas? Feel free to email me sometime if you have ideas or thoughts: deur@charter.net

God bless,

sd

PS - we have a park night tonight - should be a fun time to hang with people.
I had two great conversations today with younger leaders. One is with my friend Josh Jackson whose Blog is listed on my links. The other was with Paul Kind and intern at the church I came from. (Spring Lake Wesleyan: www.slwc.org)
one
Anyways - I will be connecting with Josh every 2 weeks about stuff for mentoring. I usually don't see how I impact him, but I know that I value the time to chat and share and talk about life.

I was again reminded today through my time with these fellas that I have to be investing in people. It is easy to begin to start seeing people as projects to fulfill the vision. These guys may never be a part of Watermark, but the important thing is that they will be involved in the work of God.

When I take time to chat and invest in someone else - I grow big time. The time with these guys gave me a new sense of priority and passion. If you've never set up a mentoring relationship I want to encourage you to do it sometime.

Want a mentor?
1. Identify who you want to meet with. (someone older, someone wiser, someone further, someone different)
2. Identify where you want to grow. (spiritually, emotionally, relationally, skills, etc...)
3. Set up a meeting with that person (go to them, make it easy for them, explain why you want to meet)
Great mentors rarely pursue someone - often they are busy - pull the trigger and pursue them.
4. Have questions ready with a pen and paper handy.
5. At the end ask them about their life and family and pray for them.
6. Set up another time or just have that one meeting (mentors could be a one off thing or a regular thing)

(Thanks to Dennis Jackson for numbers 4-5!)

Want to be a mentor?
1. Identify someone that you see with potential.
2. Set up a time to connect with that person and share with them your belief in them and desire to connect.
3. Establish goals or areas for growth - teach them to come prepared for your meeting.
4. Give them your life, your knowledge, your ideas, your prayers and your support.
5. Have a gift for them handy - keep them learning. (small book or tape or some resource) (thanks again Dennis)

A great book on mentoring is by Josh Jackson and you can probably connect with him about getting some by emailing him at: agent19mil@yahoo.com

I will post more stuff in a second, but this lesson is over! praise God! I don't like being the lesson guy, but this helps me work through stuff. In fact Paul asked me why I blog and I think the reason I do is because it helps me sort out things in my head!

I pray you will find a mentor and be a mentor!

sd

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Finished painting our living room tonight. It is 1:08 am and I am going to bed, but thought I'd say hello and check the email. We just recently got done painting the room a copper type orange/brown something color. Now is not the time to go into the guy/girl color thing. You know - guys know the basics and the girls seem to know everything but the basics... Women know colors I can't say and certainly can't spell.

Anyways - we finished the room and I again realized that by working on the house I speak her love language. She feels loved when I work beside her in a project she cares about. So instead of stalling (this time) we went after it and got it done - looks cool.

So - goodnight and sweet dreams. We picked out some t-shirt stuff today for Watermark. We'll have to get a funky one for the Wade man and a kid's size for our worship leader Mike. :)

have a great day!
sd