Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The impact of a life.

I am not going to take the time today to adequately communicate about our family friend Jim Fuller. Jim passed away last week. He was dealing with ALS.

Jim was a great mentor, friend, and supporter of Vicki and I. He was a very dear friend of my father and mother. At Jim's funeral my dad asked those who were under forty years old to stand if Jim invested in them. I stood and looked around and saw countless people - it was amazing. He was heavily invested in people all over the world.

I was reminded again that the greatest fruit of a life is a life that loves and serves and gives and invests in others. Jim certainly did that and the fruit was obvious. It was a great challenge to have life mean more than getting all we want and making ourselves the center of the universe.

I thank God for Jim and the LEGACY he leaves. Shoot a prayer for wife Sharon and daughter Kym.

Puts things in perspective,

Thursday, December 07, 2006

My loneliest Christmas.

Christmas 1996 was my loneliest Christmas.
Vicki and I lived in Sydney, Australia for two years - from 1995-1997.
It was THE shaping experience of our marriage and ministry.

But, thanks to a trip to a buffet, (Sizzler for my aussie friends), I came down with horrible food poisoning. It wasn't so much the food that made me sick - it was what someone had left on the food if you get my drift.

So a couple days before Christmas I started releasing the contents of my stomach to the toilet. For days it went on until I was quite dehydrated. Christmas fell in the middle of this experience and I found myself lying alone on the bathroom floor on hot and sunny Australian Christmas day. I ventured out briefly to visit dear friends who became family to us, but the day was essentially spent alone. There were moments my wife came in to feed me water from a spoon. Thanks honey.

I have always enjoyed having family and friends around me. I have been blessed to be surrounded or connected in meaningful ways with people I love in special times. But that Christmas, in 1996, was my loneliest Christmas.

As I prepare for this Sunday's teaching on the hope of "God with us" within the Christmas story - I am reminded that for some people Christmas is not the "most wonderful time of the year."

It has been almost ten Christmas' since that loneliest Christmas and I am hopeful that maybe in some way - we may all experience the "God with us" and find that even as we sit alone in a movie theatre, or lay aching on a bathroom floor, or even find ourselves alone in a crowd - we might recognize that we aren't as alone as we may think or feel.

ho ho hidey high ho,

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Speaking the truth in love.

On Monday we enjoyed a staff training time with Dr. Peter Newhouse.
We walked through handling conflict and how to speak the truth to others.

I was challenged again by the importance of following Biblical wisdom on dealing with issues of relational hurt and distance. The point of processing the issue personally first is important. I think it is so easy to feel something and when hurt we want instant support - so we jump on the phone and call that one person... the spouse, the parent, the spill our disappointment in someone. After processing the issue personally we next should go to God in prayer. Pete mentioned that as followers of Jesus we should be going to God before going to others. This is vital because it puts us in a position of humility and asking for a wider scope of understanding than just our feelings. Then - in accordance to Scripture - we go directly to that person and not everywhere else.

I am an avoider by nature. I let everything run off my back and into my heart where often it sits and causes bitterness, frustration, and low level anger. I have improved in truth telling over the years, but I was reminded again how important it is if I care for other people's growth and the unity of my relationships.

How about you? Who do you need to speak truth to in a humble, gentle, and kind way?

How do you often deal with conflict issues?


Friday, December 01, 2006

Ever felt alone in the holidays?

Thanks for those who gave good fiction book ideas... please continue to weigh in on your favorites.

I would also like to get your opinion and experience over this holiday season.
I've heard that the holidays are a very difficult and lonely time for many people.

In your opinion - or from experience - why is the Christmas season a lonely, empty, and difficult time for people?

I really value your input and perspective - it will help shape a discussion that I'm leading in a couple weeks.

Remember to also stop by: Our new site!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

I need to run away into a good book...

I would like to read a great fiction book over the holidays, but I need a recomendation.

I really enjoy supernatural/sci-fi stuff, but I am open to other ideas... no chickflick books. :)

ANY THOUGHTS? What is the best fiction book you've read in the last year?

Leave a comment with your answer... thanks for helping get me educated.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Check out our new website.

Go to: to check out Watermark's new website.


Friday, November 17, 2006

Kiddie Gambling

I dropped $10 on tokens (got a special deal of 80 tokens!) at Chuck E. Cheese. I had "guy time" with Harrison last night at the mouse house. While I was there I noticed something interesting. First of all, there is very little available for grown ups to do. However, the point is to have fun with your kid and do kiddie stuff - so that shouldn't be a problem.

Some kids really get into playing games to win tickets so that you buy junkie toys. But, I noticed two men last night who didn't appear to be with any kids. (If they brought their kid - they must have been in hiding from the giant Chuck E. Cheese guy.) These two fellas were on ticket rich machines and working them like nickel slots in Vegas. They were intently playing by themselves and the machines were spitting out tickets in a mad frenzy!

Chuck E. Cheese is secretly owned by Donald Trump for the purpose of getting kids addicted to gambling so that he can make money in the future off of his casino. If putting a casino in this area will get these two Chuck E. Cheese junkies off their knees staring at a kid's game and into a big boy place - then I am all for it. Not really. But, anyways, I thought it was funny. It would be one thing if there were man toys available for ticket purchase.

Any thoughts on what would make a great man prize at Chuck E. Cheese and how many tickets it would cost?

I vote for an IPOD NANO for 5,000 tickets...
Maybe a MACH Three razor for 750 tickets...

Any other takers?

Addicted to skeeball,

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I've been hit!

Well Sunday evening I finally got the flu. For about 30 hours I was in the fetal position except for my trips to the bathroom.

I take health soooooooo for granted. So for thanksgiving this year I want to focus a bit on giving God thanks for health.

Why does chicken noodle seem so good when you're sick and so boring when you're healthy? (in my humble opinion)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Sickness in the house.

For over twenty four hours we experienced the joy of kids being sick. I went all pentecostal and told the sickness not to touch me. Thank you God I didn't get it... or did I? Now you are infected! :)

Anyways - I am hurt about the whole Ted Haggard saga. Another reminder that no person is "untouchable" and all of us need grace and forgiveness. I hope people offer love and truth in the way of Jesus in this time to all involved. I am reminded to guard my heart and keep it tied to God.

Falling leaves are the devil,

Saturday, October 28, 2006

I can get on with my life now.

They lost. They didn't just lose... they looked lost.

But, thanks again to the Detroit Tigers for an outstanding season with more ups and downs than an inning with Todd Jones on the mound. (You know I love you though Todd.) It was fun and we will soak in the great accomplishment...

And then - somebody better get on the horn and get a couple of big bats for the love!!!!!!

I planted Tulips again today. It is my way of telling the oncoming winter that it will die as it runs into spring. It also brings me back to my first job at Veldeer Tulip Farm. I sorted Tulip bulbs and pulled out the damaged nasty ones for just over $3/hour. ("Tulip" is capitalized by Americans of Dutch descent.) I also had the opportunity to mow our lawn again (which had tons of leaves on it) instead of raking... Hopefully the mulched leaves will blow into our unsuspecting neighbor's lawn. Just kidding. Kinda. :)

Gotta jet. Tonight is daylight savings, but I call it depression savings, because it gets dark soooo early! But, on the "bright" side - we get an extra hour of sleep... oh wait - our kids don't sleep in so scratch that! :)

Tomorrow is Dibs (Dave Deur - my dad) birthday! He will be fifty eight and the guy keeps getting better and better. So I raise an imaginary beverage in my hand (a "lift" from Oz would do nicely) and say, "I love ya dad and happy freaking birthday ya raging stud!"

Go over to the Dave Deur experience blog and say "happy birthday" to the rub that shows

Friday, October 27, 2006

I love the Tigers...


Come on fellas - have fun playing again! It's been a great season - enjoy the moment - have fun!

Come on Steve - have fun watching again! It's been a great season - enjoy the moment - have fun!



Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I couldn't sleep a wink

Last night was a tough night to be a Tigers fan. The errors, the poor swings, the wild pitching, and the deflated emotion all created a night filled with yelling at the television and probably caring too much about baseball.

I am not typically a very emotional person. I have talked about this before, but in 1987 I cried and was heartbroken at the Tigers losing to the Twins and their stupid "homer hankies" (which makes me dislike the whole towel waving thing now.)

Following the game - I again reminded myself that this has been an awesome year and not to get to worked up over a loss - but I do care (maybe too much) and getting to sleep was not an option.

I say all this to share my emotion - so that I can watch tonights game with a clear head and again remember that it is only a game! Not to mention that I am not even playing for the love!!!! :)

I won't give up on the Tigers, but last night was hard.

Someone help Pudge find his swing - someone help me find a life. :)

Friday, October 20, 2006

The little sleazer

Well, Mike Illich, saved some prized World Series Tickets for fans who missed out on the first push to get them... Nice guy huh? Until you recognize that to get one of these very expensive tickets you have to also buy Red Wing tickets! AHHHHH! Why is it always about the Red Wings! It is his team, but that kind of thing leaves a bit of a bad taste in my mouth and those who I've talked to about it. But, I am willing to over look it and even buy a Little Caesars Pizza because the team of my youth is in the BIG GAME BABY!

By the way - I love Jesus too.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Too slow on the draw.

I tried to buy two $90 tickets for the Tiger's game (Game six on October 28th), but my wonderful computer couldn't handle the wait and I missed out. Drat! So it looks like we'll have to have some parties to watch the game. :)

What food and drink are necessities for the big game party? VOTE NOW! EAT LATER!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Bless you boys - again!

I jumped off my chair. threw my arms in the air, pumped my fists, yelled like a little girl, and woke up my five month old son!

Thanks Detroit for a continued story!

Now I gotta figure out how to get to a game. OR maybe we should throw a big watch party with big screens - big food - and big fun. Any thoughts?

I'm loving it!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Lapping it up & Living it up.

I am totally loving the playoff run of the Detroit Tigers. Now is the time in which I claim to have been a fan my whole life and even during the very very very very dark years of the 1990's (which I was). BUT, even if you haven't paid attention to the team until this year - this has been a very special season.

I find great pleasure in listening to the radio broadcasts of the Tigers and have enjoyed having it on in the house in the evenings. Thanks Tigers for a great season and keep going! :)

Tomorrow we throw Kenny Rogers (the roaster) -

We have taken an online personality (Myers Briggs) test and I was curious what your personality is...
It is not too long so take it and leave your style in the comments. :)
Here is the link:Personality Test.

I am an ENFP / Psycho,

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

My interests...

I have complained before about my lack of hobbies. I have come to the conclusion that having three children under the age of seven, being involved in starting a church, and trying to have a healthy home life do not give a lot of time for extra activities. So, I feel better about not having a specific hobby at the moment, but the day will come when that little justification won't fly and I should have another life giving activity to experience (hopefully with Vicki).

In the meantime, I find that my interests are in food. On my birthday my parents and my wife bought me some chocolate treats... when thinking about celebrating my birthday, I struggled to think of an activity and instead thought about restaurants. Apparently food is something that I enjoy and therefore, maybe even a hobby.

Not cooking it and reading about it, but eating it.

I think it might be time to fast, :)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Thirty plus Five

Today I turned thirty-five years old.
I think I am officially an adult.

Time to go buy a tie.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Pastor Blaster

Steve T. and I hung out with area pastors at a prayer retreat at Maranatha yesterday. I really appreciate getting together with fellow pastors from different church backgrounds and denominations. I think what makes it a meaningful time is the fact that we all are local - we share a common community. The other value that I appreciate is the emphasis on unity and the desire to work together. Unfortunately, there was a small turnout compared to how many pastors there are in the community, but that will build over time.

I enjoyed seeing humility and authenticity from other pastors. We spent some time praying for our community and for each other (especially for those feeling burned and beat up). Anyways - good stuff that I pray will continue to grow in our community.

In other news... my wife finally bought a vacuum after saving up for a year. (we are on a bit of a budget) :) Our vacuum died a year ago and we have been borrowing my folks regularly until now... It is baby blue and I helped assemble it this morning for her. She had a smile on her face while she sucked up dirt from the floor... It is the little things in life that bring so much joy.

Have a great day and go TIGERS!!!!!!

Monday, September 25, 2006

D-Town to the playoffs!

Congrats to the Detroit Tigers for making the playoffs! Exciting stuff! I have been a Tigers fan my whole life and it feels good to see the team have fun playing ball again after the past decade of total and utter humiliation. :)

Our softball team won two games this fall. We continue to incrementally improve but, our season is now over.

This past weekend was crazy busy with Vicki's family coming into town. We had a wedding to help plan and organize, Sunday gatherings, Core Focus, and figuring out how to balance life in our little house with all those people. It turned out to be a meaningful weekend, but we were wiped out! It felt good to have it be just the five of us last night...all of a sudden five felt small - but that is okay by me...

Congrats to Ryan and Brenda Vredeveld who had a "little" boy: Luke Curtis Vredeveld. 22 inches of cuteness.

Tonight begins the new TV show : Heroes. I am a sucker for superpower shows (ever since "the greatest american hero." I hope this is a good one...

My superpower is seemingly ignorant/innocent sarcasm in group settings, what?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Peace be with you...

I think an important aspect of leading is being a peaceful presence. I think back on difficult circumstances... me getting cut from a sports team and my dad caring and being a presence of peace in my time of frustration and humiliation. I remember sitting around my grandmother's bed and watching her die and in that moment the hospice helper being presence of peace and walking us through sorrow. I recall moments in ministry when it felt like things were falling apart and chaos was spreading and someone needed enter into the moment and be the presence of peace.

Could it be that sometimes we just need to see someone not get swept away in the circumstances that surround us?

I think that being a presence of peace comes from perspective... having a view that there is more to what is going on... that there is hope... that someone bigger, more powerful, more wise, and loving is there and involved...that this moment isn't all there is.

Peace out,

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The first time I flipped the bird.

I remember like it was yesterday the first time I flipped (or is it flicked) the middle finger (the bird) to someone. I was in grade school, and was walking back to my house with my sister Jody after getting dropped off from the bus. (By the way - this is back in the day when they dropped you off a half mile, at least, from your home - none of this "door to door" stuff!) So as we walked home on that sunny day some boys from my neighborhood who were naughty (also the first to show me a movie with naked people and their dad's mags) yelled some words at us and I did the statue of liberty with one middle finger raised up and I yelled something... I am not sure what I yelled and I know I didn't fully understand what the "tall man" meant, but my sister knew that we were not supposed to do it... so she did what every good younger sister would do... run home and tell mom. Thanks for caring about my holiness Jody. :)

Innocence lost. :)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Laundry Hub

We recently finished the "Laundry Hub" at our office (called the Hub.)

The garage was outfitted into a laundry room with about five washers and five dryers. Ben Hall and some great volunteers put it together and did an awesome job turning that dirty old garage into a pleasent washing environment.

The idea is that people who are struggling to make ends meet can do their laundry for free. We work through LOVE INC. I am very excited about this Laundry Hub because it provides a practical way to help people in the community. It also gives us an opportunity to care for people and just be a friend.

I just walked in there today and found a European Style Coffee Vending unit that makes all those crazy hot drinks... Anyways - a great team is being put together to run the Laundry Hub and I thank all those who served to make it happen and continue to help it get going! :)

Wash behind your ears,

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

This Sunday: a rock and roll show for your enjoyment.

Sunday night, September 17th, Three Season Ant in concert at Covenant Life Church at 7 pm.

$3/door or 2 for $5.

For all ages.
Check them out at:

Also - this Sunday is Vicki's birthday! She is an unbelievably awesome partner in life and I am so fortunate to share life and love with her! Make sure you say Happy Birthday to the Vicster on Sunday! She will be turning the big 33. :)

TIGERS!!!! Hold it together... PLEASE!

Monday, September 11, 2006

It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine...


Five years later and it still feels fresh.

Watching the coverage reminds us of the people who have personally been impacted.

Today they were reading the list of names at ground zero - it was moving...

CBS ran it without commentary - just the names - simple - powerful - no spin - moving.
NBC ran it behind the voices of their talking heads and experts reviewing the political ramifications.
ABC ran Regis and Kelly.

I chose CBS.

Five years ago I heard about the tragedy driving into work at Spring Lake Wesleyan. I remember feeling angry, dazed, numb, and trying to process what was happening. I wanted to just sit and pray and listen and watch. I knew that we would need to be available to the church on this day. Honestly - I wasn't looking forward to being there for everyone else - I wanted to just deal with it myself and my family. Maybe, I had this attitude because I felt that I couldn't share in the moment - that I had to some how rise above it to be available, when perhaps the best thing I can bring is a shared experience - feeling it together - processing it together - questioning together - seeking God together... I resist the "holy man" syndrome, but it is so easy to fall into those expectations.

So, today, I again share grief and mourn those lives lost. I am frustrated that this event has become political and an opportunity for people to point fingers, blame, and huff and puff... Let's make today a day about the names.

Psalm 39:4-7
"Show me, O LORD, my life's end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting is my life.

You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Each man's life is but a breath.

Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro:
He bustles about, but only in vain;
he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it.

"But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you."


Thursday, September 07, 2006

Roll with the punches to get to what's real...

Well, in pastor-land in this area, September brings an increased pace and a new sense of excitement. The life of the church family adjusts to the school season and the change of weather.

This Sunday marks the re-beginning of the ministry season. :)

We have a bit of a time change for our gatherings... 9:15 and 11:00 am.

Did I mention I am "playing" softball still? Did I mention that we won a game. But now we are in our nice comfortable rut of losing... Hell is happy to be unfrozen.

Get this,

Monday, August 28, 2006

24-7 time

We are once again participating in the 24-7 prayer vigil across the world.

This week - every hour - on the hour - someone is praying at the HUB.

I really enjoy these weeks and find myself challenged, filled with hope, and enjoying my times with God.

Interested in participating? Give us a ring to sign up for an hour slot...

We've got to pray just to make it today.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Hey gang - been on vacation and got back for Coast Guard Parade. Good fun serving thousands with free water... :)

Tomorrow we are back at the High School at 9:30 and 11:00 am. Back in the saddle -the pocket - the groove...

Go Tigers,

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

this week...

hey gang (all two of you beautiful people you!),
last week i spoke at a youth camp in indiana. it went well and our family had a great time.
autumn cut her self and received nine stiches. it is a hard thing to watch your child in pain and to know they must go through it. she was brave and i was proud of how well she did.

autumn and i got to go sailing, which was a real treat. i really had a great time and found it relaxing. i would love to get a little sailboat (sunfish). good fun!

the past couple of weeks we have been meeting at mulligan's hollow on the lawn and it has gone very well... in michigan you need to take advantage of the weather in the summer or you are bumming all winter!

this week we are meeting at the waterfront stadium near downtown GH town. 10 am.

lots to do this week so i will say hasta lavista,

Monday, July 10, 2006

This week in gathering...

Meet with us for the next couple weeks (July 16 & 23) at Mulligan's Hollow behind the YMCA in Grand Haven.

We are getting together at 10 am.

Bring a lawnchair or blanket.

The weather is supposed to be amazing! So get out into the sun and hang with the gang...

Hola & Adios,

Friday, July 07, 2006

I am a sci-fi dweeb, but I am okay with that.

I have been hanging out with J-Z (Jerry McCammon) on Tuesday evenings to watch the short lived series, "Firefly." I have totally been sucked in to the story, the characters, and the whole backdrop. I am bummed that this series didn't make it beyond a season, but they did get a full length feature film called, "Serenity," which is good, but you miss some of the clever interactions between the characters... Anyways - if you enjoy science fiction and want to try something different - I encourage you to rent the series on DVD... A little joy in the middle of the week. Plus, I get to hang out with J-Z.

This weekend we will be gathering at Grand Haven High School at 10 am.

you can't take the sky from me,

Monday, July 03, 2006

Throw your arm out

My brother in law and I decided to throw the baseball around yesterday afternoon.
I felt like a kid again as we threw fly balls to eachother, tagged out imaginary runners, and fielded ground balls. Playing catch has been one of the most simple and meaningful connecting events in my life. I know that is a big fat statement, but I think it is true.

Playing catch with my dad is a huge memory for me.
Pitching with my mom as she squated like a catcher for me as a young high school boy on a Colorado vacation.
Playing long toss and spending countless hours with William as we threw the ball around.
Warming up in high school with friends.
Out on the lawn with Paul, at Spring Arbor, while cutting class on an exceptionally warm day.
Playing catch with new friends in Australia as a part of the Seven Hills baseball team.
Warming up with Watermark softball fellas - the perfect moment, before the perfect storm!
And now a time of chucking the ball to Bif.

Good times with two gloves, one ball, and hope.

Happy fourth of July - and if you have a kid - go play catch with them.

Friday, June 30, 2006

This Sunday: Waterfront Stadium - 10 am

See you this Sunday at the Waterfront Stadium at 10 am.
In fact all gatherings in July will be at 10 am.
Here is the schedule:

July 02 Waterfront Stadium - 10 am
July 09 Grand Haven High School - 10 am
July 16 Mulligan's Hollow (behind YMCA on the lawn) - 10 am
July 23 Mulligan's Hollow (behind YMCA on the lawn) - 10 am
July 30 Waterfront Stadium - 10 am

In case of rain on the days we are outside we will be meeting at the YMCA at 10 am.

Hope to see you there... Bring your own chairs and blankets when we are at Mulligan's Hollow.

Pray for sun!

Thursday, June 22, 2006


I guess I don't need to ask for permission to slowly plow through some stuff, but I wanted to give you a heads up. Last year I began to find words, books, ideas and feelings to describe and speak to what was stirring inside me. I read an amazing book and gained great insights and courage, but found all the momentum gained from this was lost in a very tough, but fruitful year.

So, I am going to take my time and try to see some positive changes take place in my life and call of being a pastor. I must be patient.

Here are some questions: What is a pastor? What is it to "succeed" as a pastor? With these questions in mind...what does a pastor's schedule look like? How does a pastor live? How can you pastor and serve without your own soul and life deteriorating and finding your self becoming bitter and angry?

I have been in some sort of pastor role since 1993 and I may be too far in to this to be asking such basic questions... AGAIN, but I don't think the first few times these questions came up were resolved with answers that aligned with how God put me together.

So - I am re-reading and taking time with two books particularly.
"The contemplative pastor" and "the unnecessary pastor" - by Eugene Peterson and Peterson and Marva Dawn respectively.
Peterson has been the most patient and helpful guide for me in the past year.
Here are the books:

My question for you: what is the role of a pastor?

Softball is pain,

Monday, June 19, 2006

Father's Day

I thank God for my father and grand fathers.
They are great examples and inspirations for me as a man, husband and father.

The Tigers blew out the Cubs! Excellent. I have been a long suffering Tiger fan and now it is finally paying off. My favorite thing to do is to listen to the Tigers on the radio - old school! (minus Ernie Harwell) :(

Anyways - hope all you dads had a great fathers day.

July 2 we will be at the waterfront stadium in Grand Haven at 10 am.
You are invited.


Friday, June 09, 2006

Summer feeling

Summer is here and with it comes a fresh season of life.
I tend to think I am more relaxed and relational in the summer.
I don't know if this is the case, but it is a strong perception that I have.
It is amazing how often I find my life, my feelings, my focuses going in seasons.

So... for now I'll stop analyzing, give myself a break, and enjoy the sun.

Sunny side up,

PS - I had my first aussie burger of the summer. A big fat burger with friend egg on top... no beatroot though.

Monday, June 05, 2006

The streak is broken

Well - I did hit 8 out of 10 free throws but the Pistons lost...maybe though I was supposed to hit 10 out of 10???? hmmmm. Or maybe the world doesn't revolve around me. nah - I need to hit 10 out of 10. :)

Anyways - bummer the Pistons lost, but they played horrible in the play offs.

Vicki and I actually slept more than four hours last night! Thanks to Willem (our new baby) for sleeping a little bit.


Thursday, June 01, 2006

Here we go again!

Well last night the Pistons won. Many people would think it was because they played hard, worked together as a team, and made their shots, but I know better. The reason was... that I made 10 out of 10 free throws at home before the game.

Now, before you shoot down this down as just superstition and think I am being to full of myself (to think that the world and a dumb sporting event outcome would hinge on me making free throws... let me submit last years track record for your consideration: (here is an excerpt from last year's blog entry detailing my own little quirks of thinking everything depends on me):

BUT - I have proof that it all depends on me (aka: I am a god) During the Detroit Pistons Finals series with the Spurs I often would shoot hoops in my front yard before the game. I started to hit a bunch of free throws and told myself that I hd to hit eight out of ten free throws for the Pistons to win. I did not do it for games one and two and the results were losses for the Pistons. I hit 8 of ten for games 3-4 in which the Pistons won. I didn't do it for the next Pistons loss, but did make 8 of 10 for their game six win. For game 7 we were in a hurry to leave out of town and I realized I needed to hit my free throws before leaving... so while the kids were getting loaded into the mini-van I was frantically trying to make 8 of 10... Finally after Vicki's third pleading with me to go and give up my stupid free throws I stopped at hitting only 7 of 10. I got in the car and said - "it doesn't depend on me... silly." That night the Pistons lost.

Anyways - I need to figure out what to do before our softball games so we can start winning! :P

Oh, but I am so small - so very very very very very small... I went to a funeral today and was again reminded of how short life is... mmmmmm free throws. :)

Hub a dub dub,

Friday, May 26, 2006

Willem Steven Deur

The dude arrived Thursday, May 25th around 2:30 pm. 7 pounds and I think 12 ounces. 20 inches. A little smaller than our other two, but a half week earlier too. Cute, quiet, soft, and carrying weapons... you should see his guns! :)

Vicki did an AMAZING job in the labor. Vicki and Willem are fine.
We are hanging out in Holland and should be back soon.

PS - seeing a baby born takes your breath away. a freaking miracle.

Three kids=pushed over the edge and ready to buy a Quiet Riot album,

:) - metal health!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

baby wait

We are about to go into the hospital for an induction.
Hopefully by tomorrow the baby will be out and healthy.

I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Fab Life of Worship Leaders

NOTICE: Watermark Church is currently looking to hire a worship pastor.
This is currently a part time position. (20 hours)

Do you know someone who would be a good fit with Watermark?
Email me:


If you are the praying kind - please pray for God to bring us the right person to our close knit team. :)

Friday, May 19, 2006

Baby, the house, and the assessment.

Three updates and comments:
1. My wife typically does not enter into labor naturally. So, our pregnancy's tend to go long and produce big kids. Therefore, if she does not have the baby by Wednesday - we will be going to the hospital for baby number three to be induced and ripped from the comfortable environment of my wife's womb. :) So next week at this time - God willing - we will have another diaper to change. I am pumped up!

2. As a result of the baby countdown - my wife is in full nesting mode. She is like a well oiled machine getting the house ready, cleaned, prepared. This nesting thing is pretty powerful. If we could harness that energy we could run a fleet of SUV's on that power!

3. I served as an assessor for our church planting assessment center. In a nutshell, this is a couple days of intense work where we look at people's lives and help bring clarity to whether or not they would be an effective church starter based on 13 characteristics. It is challenging, draining, but enriching work. For me I am always challenged to be more effective in what I do as I watch and learn from others. We had a great time with great people.

Our softball team lost while I was away. So we are 1-1.
The Pistons are one game away from losing to the Cavs. (By the way - I dislike Lebron James.) COME ON!

Rack em,

Monday, May 08, 2006


Our softball team won on Wednesday.
This is a new experience.
I am not sure how to process this...

Baby is due in about 3-4 weeks.
Getting the house ready.

Like the time I dug a hole,

Monday, May 01, 2006

Michael Thomas Morgan

Well, we had a bit of a final staff dinner with Mike and Joni Morgan, before they travel to California. We had the dinner at my folks... they put together a great meal and it really special to be all together. We really have a great team and it is an honor to work with them. We had a good time remembering funny stories, important moments, and the time we've spent together. We also spent some time affirming Joni and Mike. As you may know, Mike has been our worship leader since Watermark began. Mike and Joni are going to San Diego for college and work and we'll miss them.

Anyways - I'm not going to take time here to get sentimental. :)

Nate did a good job yesterday speaking about "gathering people" and not "judging people." Our job is to fish for all people (all kind of fish) and not to be the ones to decide who is in and out. It can be easy to focus our attention on trying to intellectually win an argument of faith with someone. Although, I don't think you ever "win" an argument like that - if anything I think people get turned off by that. But, if our focus is to love - is to gather - is to a community that is marked by radical inclusion and loving our enemies... then something happens. First of all, I think we actually listen. Second, I think we are more aware of our own need for grace and therefore offer it to others rather than feeling superior. Third, I just wanted to say I had a third point.

Fish fry,

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Pastor Prayer Gathering

Today we are hosting the pastors of our community for the monthly prayer gathering. We are all going to be crammed into the HUB (our office/meeting space). We'll have worship and prayer from 11-12 and then food and chatting from 12-1.

I enjoy getting together with other pastors. It gives a sense of unity in the Christian community. I have no idea how many people are coming. It could be big or a bust.

I just said bust.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Show me the money

My life group has been going through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University DVD. It has been really good and really challenging! For example: He actually tells you not to spend money that you don't have! The nerve of that guy! :)

Last night we learned about negotiating. I am a terrible negotiator! I'll walk in and say a lower price and then the salesperson will say no. So then I mumble, "Just kidding" under my breath and pay full price.

I just do not like trying to get a deal, but I love getting the deal! Any good negotiating techniques????
Here is one from Dave Ramsey: Show your cash! People know a deal is about to be done and they get emotional.

Any thoughts?

Deal or no deal,

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Direct Connect blow out!

I was having lunch with a friend today and all of a sudden someone's Nextel Direct Connect went off.
The whole place looked over at the man as a loud unintelligible voice filled the place.
I started to laugh a bit, because it was insanely loud and annoying, and yet, the guy had this blaring phone held up two inches from his ear! The dude must have had his ears ringing!

The great part was when a waitress came over to him and loudly asked him to turn down his phone because he was annoying the customers...and yet her voice was loud and piercing.

I chuckled. I am not a fan of cell phones.

Just a little moment of techno-insanity!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Softball guy - part 3

Well almost three years ago Watermark put together a softball team and we did not win a lot. Here is a quote from me, dated September 16, 2003 regarding my time playing softball with our team: "I am utterly humbled. I struck out looking in softball. Wondering why I play." Now here is a quote from last year- June 14, 2005, "so...our softball team got beat 65 to 5 or something outrageous. My attitude went a bit south during the game - how can it not?"


I am like a dog that keeps getting kicked and still loves its master and comes when it's called. This year we aren't doing the church league - we are hanging with the normal people. :) So it should be fun, but I may end up complaining about my lack of skills, but then again I have no excuses after reviewing my past exploits... I know what could be coming my way.

Here is a video from a past post (last year) for inspiration.


Sunday, April 16, 2006


great day of celebration of Jesus and the power of God!

i found out you need to download flash 8 for the iamwatermark site to see the videos bradley put together.

laying everything in the hands of the risen savior.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

on my knees

in humility - in utter dependence - i am not my own

Monday, April 10, 2006


We are hosting another 24/7 prayer vigil this week leading up to Easter.
If you are interested in participating please contact the HUB (office) for available slots.
(There are a couple open still, but won't be for long...)

The spirit in that room is special...
...unbroken prayer makes you want to remove your shoes sizes you down and up at the same time

mmmmmmm prayer.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


I really love teaching.
I think I really love the study (teaching me) the most.
I really hate cutting stuff out.
I think I really hate the process of condensing piles of stuff the most.

What to put in and what to take out?

When I used to draw more regularly the question I would run into was, "Am I done yet?" There is always something more that could be done, but there is a moment when adding begins to ruin a good picture.

Maybe I should treat the messages that I prepare more like a drawing.

Erase this,

Monday, April 03, 2006


i encourage you to look at and watch the "fab life videos."

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Stopped in to say hi and to say I am excited about the new conversation series about Jesus.

Want to see funny videos?
Go to: and download some hilarious clips of our warped views of Jesus.

Buying bunkbeds,

Thursday, March 16, 2006

the end?

I am seriously thinking about taking a big fat break from blogging.
I write this to say that I may not be around for a while, but I will be checking in on others.

blah blah blah

I may change my mind... i may blog occasionally at certain points... i may just throw it out for a spell and come back another day.


love you like a healthy diet of government cheese :)

The social game of first graders

My daughter recently came home with an interesting story. She shared that some kids in her class said some things to exclude her. She was frustrated, but loyal to them as I tried to squeeze out the details.

First, let me say that it is hard to get information from kids when they want to avoid talking about something. I need to go to the "Law and Order: Criminal Intent" seminar on kid interogation. :)

Second, my own emotions got clouded quickly. I was defensive and angry for my daughter. I was hurting for her. I was remembering my own experiences of being left out and sidelined through words. My clarity on the situation was harmed by my own emotions as a father.

Third, I wanted to get back - to make it right - to fix it! First, call the parent and shame them for being such a terrible parent that produced such an evil child. Second, to make small hurtful - almost undetected comments to the kid who set this up - so that I would knock them back into emotional pre-school. Third, protect, protect, protect - my daughter. Fatherhood is a powerful thing - I think it could move me to almost anything...

My first reactions seem to be as childish as the first grade child that started this thing! I think we keep a lot of the same games of first graders when we become a "mature" adult, but we get better at spiritualizing them and dressing them up.

Anyways - protection isn't always the best policy on all levels. Where can my children have freedom to fail - to feel brokenenss - to be hurt? I can't rob them of shaping moments that will make them more wise, kind and dependent on God - because I am an emotional first grader ready to pounce.

I really sense a need to rely on God as a parent.
To teach my kids their identity in Jesus Christ.
To give support and care as they navigate tough stuff.
To allow them to be the key player in bringing resolution to a tough situation.
To listen first and try to give advice second.
To take a step back and get some wisdom.
To learn. ("you gotta learn" - dave deur)

Anyways - parenting is hard work, but one of the most rewarding, joyful, and life shaping experiences!

rattle and hum,

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Fabulous Life of Jesus of Nazareth

In a couple of weeks we will begin a conversation series with the above title.
In a nutshell we will be looking at the life of Jesus.
We often see Jesus as the universal - Son of God - savior, but we will be looking at who the man Jesus is why his thirty three years of living is important to us.
Should be fun to explore the man, the mission, and the methods of Jesus of Nazareth and what this means to us as followers of Jesus.

I now prefer Diet Coke over regular Coke,

If I start liking TAB... hurt me.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

drive and prayer

Well we are loading up to head back to Michigan.
Vicki woke up sick and we are hoping it is morning sickness.
Please pray that she will feel better for the long car ride ahead.

Praying and thinking of the Watermark crew as they gather together today...


Saturday, March 04, 2006

Little H-bomb

Today my son, Harrison, turns three.
Today my sister, Lisa, turns thirty.
Today I got burned.
Today we pack up to come home.

Happy Birthdays all around.

I think there are churches that need to be planted in Florida for just the winter monthes... :)

red skinned deurty boy,

Friday, March 03, 2006


Today we go to Busch Gardens.

Went to Lakeland to hang out with retired Free Methodist people. Good time in the pool, but I think the kids splashing frustrated some of the older people who wanted to retire in Florida with a crabby disposition. :)

Last night we went to the Globetrotters and the kids loved them. When they actually played basketball they looked extremely athletic, but a bit sloppy. Their tricks were fantastic and they are great entertainers and the kids had a blast. The Nationals (the team they played) were playing "no hands up, a step behind" defense.

Peace, love and harmony,

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Sand as white as snow

Our days have been filled with sitting at the pool and eating.

Yesterday we went to Siesta Key to go to the beach. The sand is unbelievable. White, cool to the touch, extremely fine, and soft texture. It is like a whole beach of cocaine. Or maybe powdered sugar. In anycase - it was nice.

Today we go to Lakeland to visit family and tonight we catch the globetrotters. I am sure they will remind me of the Wesco Ballers. :)

Been reading a book entitled, "the Question Behind the Question." Basically a book that is filled with common sense and a push toward personal responsibility. The premise is: the questions you ask will determine the answers you get. So ask the right questions - the solution oriented questions... Questions that start with HOW or WHAT are good questions. Questions that involve you are solution oriented are good. So in a situation where we want to throw a pity party and say, "Why are they... or When will they... or Who will do...?" We say, "How can I help find a solution?" "What can I do to communicate better?" See, basic. But, it is always good to be reminded to be action oriented, a team player and positive.

Have a swell day!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Woke up on top of the world

I woke up today on the eighteenth floor, looking over the bay and city of Tampa. We are at my father in law's condo in sunny Florida. Had a good trip down. I ate at least five Cadbury Eggs (so much for my diet). :)

Today will be filled with swimming at the pool and going to a Lightning game tonight.

Anyways - just wanted to say hello and tell you where we are at...

Love and rockets,

Friday, February 24, 2006


Well, there has been some talk around this joint about soil.

Neil Cole's book entitled, "The Organic Church" has a discussion dealing with the parable of the soils found in Luke 8. The book makes the case to primarily invest in good soil. In other words - invest your life, energy, focus, and God's message in the lives of people who are hungry for these things. Often the good soil are those who truly need God and a friend. People going through crisis, people who are in need, people who are abused, poor, struggling, and broken are often good soil.

Jesus speaks of four types of soil (disciples) that receive the Word of God:
1. Path - seed falls on it and it is trampled and eaten by birds.
2. Rock - seed falls, produces some life, but whithers because it has no moisture.
3. Thorns - seed falls, produces some life, but choked by the plants among it.
4. Good soil - seed falls, produces abundant life - a hundred times more than was sown.

Then Jesus says, "He who has ears to hear (obey), let him hear (obey).

Jesus seems to be touching on a similar theme that the Jewish Sages also taught on...

In Abot 5:12 it speaks of four types of disciples:
1. Quick to grasp, quick to forget - he loses what he gains.
2. Slow to grasp, slow to forget - what he loses he gains.
3. Quick to grasp, slow to forget - a sage
4. slow to grasp, quick to forget - a bad lot indeed.

Or another way to look at four types of disciples would be through images:
1. A funnel - take in and quick to forget
2. A smonge - soaks up everything without discrimination
3. A sifter - takes in and retains the good and discards the unimportant
4. A strainer - lets out the good and keeps the things that don't matter (miss the bigger picture)

In the parable of the soils Jesus is talking about disciples and calling for commitment and obeying and living the Word of God. The reality is, that, not everyone is open to making this kind of commitment, even though they may believe and nod along.

Am I good soil? Am I a sage? Am I sifter?
I am challenged to give priority to encourage and disciple those who are good soil, sages and sifters.
But, I often chase people down who seem to be avoiding or uninterested... So I do more and more for them. So this is a challenge for me.

I guess it comes down whether or not we as disciples are humble, broken and recognizing that apart from Christ we can do nothing. (John 15:5)

I have soiled myself. :)

Monday, February 20, 2006

Weigh in.

Well, as you may or may not remember, I have been trying to lose weight.
We started a contest among Watermarkers to see who can slim down the most in eight weeks.
This is my last week to lose before our final weigh in to see who has won.

I have lost twenty pounds.

I do want to lose another twenty before August so I can walk around town with my shirt off. Ouch - sorry - I won't put my community through that! :)

I am going on vacation soon to Tampa, Florida to visit Vicki's dad. Should be fun. We're driving, which means, I'm driving. I am a control freak when it comes to these kinds of trips. I like to be locked into the front seat, given a drink, have a bag of snacks handy, a few music and teaching CD's at my fingertips, and the cruise control ready to rock. I think I like the drive as much as sitting at the pool. Okay, that may be a bit of a stretch, but I love seeing the country side, experiencing new places and smelling new smells. (Please avoid a comment on that Big Dog) :)

I think my trip will kill the diet, but for now... protein shake and bake baby!

Monday, February 13, 2006

does my life match my blogging?

Good quote from Rabbi Haninah b. Dosa says, "Anyone whose deeds are more than his wisdom-his wisdom will endure." "And anyone whose wisdom is more than his deeds-his wisdom will not endure." - Abot 3:9 II C.D.

This continues on the theme of my past blog and many that come before it. When we put our little words down on these comments, pages and web sites we are adding to a discussion that hopefully is leading to wisdom. I know that writing things down helps me think about things. I really enjoy the quote above, because it is action oriented without taking away from the world of ideas. Wisdom, is, I think, more than just ideas anyways. Wisdom is a way of walking, living, deciding and going.

Do I desire wisdom to follow me - to stick to me - to leave a legacy? This quote exhorts me to live out the wisdom and way I am talking... then - there will be lasting fruit.

James says it nice too... "Faith without works is dead."

Quick heads up: I am not claiming to be putting out wisdom. :) But, when I think I have a thought or nugget - I guess I need to realize more and more that, by throwing it out into the web world that, it will only go as far as it is a reality in my life.

Faithfulness in little things is where I think much of this begins.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Just when you think you have it bad...

Last night, following the outstanding "Daddy and Daughter Dance" with my beautiful daughter, Vicki and I watched "Frontline" on PBS. They had a feature on the sex trade in former Soviet states going into Turkey. It was difficult to take in. Pure evil was on display in the form of modern day slavery and total degradation of women.

When I watched this I wanted to help. Then I thought of Aids in Africa and other parts of the world. Then I thought of hunger, homelessness, genocide, terrorism, and all the senseless acts of violence. It seems as if the weight of pain and hurt and needs are pulling the world down... dragging it to its knees...

Where to start? What is my slice? I suppose the important thing in this is to do something...anything...and not to allow the size to intimidate me.

I give a nod to the one who stands in opposition to evil in the world:

"He came to Nazareth where he had been reared. As he always did on the Sabbath, he went to the meeting place. When he stood up to read, he was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it was written,

"God's Spirit is on me;

he's chosen me to preach the Message of good news to

the poor,

Sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and

recovery of sight to the blind,

To set the burdened and battered free,

to announce, "This is God's year to act!"

He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the assistant, and sat down. Every eye in the place was on him, intent. Then he started in, "You've just heard Scripture make history. It came true just now in this place."

Luke 4 (Message)

Living on a prayer,

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Ants are marching.

A few years ago I began telling my daughter a story about a little ant named, "Boogie." This story has become a favorite to tell on car rides and bed times. The story has expanded to include friends and family like: "Snot," "Fart," and "Loogie." I may go into the basic premise sometime...

My daughter and I made a book over our Sabbath this week. She dictated the words and I wrote them down. She then illustrated the book. The book was about "Boogie" and his two friends, "Snot" and "Fart." It described their first day of school, finding and consuming a huge piece of cheese, and having a play date.

Anyways, my daughter decided to take this book to school and wanted it read to the whole class. I instructed her to have the teacher change the names so my daughter wouldn't be accused of bringing potty humor into the first grade classroom. She told me that she would tell the teacher to change the names and my wife double checked with the teacher on this. But on the day, a sub was teaching, and he read the story without changing the names. I guess the boys couldn't stop laughing at hearing the words, "Boogie," "Fart," and "Snot." My daughter enjoyed every moment of her junior high humor and the kids went home telling their parents about the pastor's kid who writes stories about bodily fluids and discharges. :) She is quite the little creative kiddo.

So on behalf of "Fart," "Boogie," and "Snot" have a good day!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Trump this.

Money, money, money... money.
Where your treasure isn't gives a good indication of where your heart isn't.

My wife and I decided when we were first married to regularly give financially back to God a portion of what He entrusted to us. We have been faithful in this, but I have been more challenged over the past couple of years to take a second and third look at how we use money, what we spend it on, and how we can be more generous.

John Wesley posed four questions that helped him decide how to spend money:
1. In spending this money, am I acting as if I owned it, or am I acting as if I owned it, or am I acting as the Lord's trustee?
2. What Scripture requires me to spend this money this way?
3. Can I offer up this purchase as a sacrifice to the Lord?
4. Will God reward me for this expenditure at the resurrection of the just?

How could I bless others if I made some small changes?
What if I cut mochas out of my spending? I'd have about $200 a year to give toward something of significance.
What if I packed a lunch instead of ate out an extra time? I'd have an extra $150 a year to help someone out.

What if I realized that I am not the owner, but just a manager?
Then, I'll start asking: "God, how do you want me to manage what you have entrusted to me?"

I guess saving up for the ipod will have to wait another couple of years. :) I like antiques anyways.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Being a dad

I love being a dad.

I am doing swimming lessons with my two year old son. I am in the pool with him and I am trying to help him learn how to kick, be okay about getting his face wet, and reaching out with his arms to paddle. When he gets into the water he immediately crawls up my outstretched arms to my neck and puts a death grip on me. He holds me close and his panicked look goes away and is replaced with a smile.

I love being his dad - the one he holds on to in the deep end.

I know he doesn't have to fear - that he has what it takes - that I won't let anything happen to him - but all he knows is that he needs to hang on tight in the deep water.

Right now I need God to be my daddy in the deep water.


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

What can you do in twenty-four hours?

AWESOME! "24" - my favorite show in the world (with Lost as a close second) is back in action. Jack Bauer (pictured) experiences more in two hours than most people do it two years. I spell suspense: "twenty four." BOY THAT WAS CHEESY - like some of my kids Mac and cheese. (again cheesy.)

Anyways - we are digging into the ten commandments and this week we are gazing upon the commandment about remembering the Sabbath.

I grew up with Sunday being our day of rest unto God and it usually involved me trying to fake a fever to get out of evening church. Did you grow up with a day of rest and if so do you have any interesting stories about your practice of a day of rest with your family?

Rest in fleece,

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I always wanted to open my gifts before Christmas too.

We found out.
It is a boy.

Let the name game begin.

Eleva-Deur is taken,

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Less of a man.

Well, I am in week number two of becoming less of a man. (In the waist department that is.)

The diet has been good and I have been enjoying losing weight. I won't be able to tell for a while, but I think there is movement in the right direction.

Played basketball last night with the fellas and played awful, but at least I can blame it on terrible knees and pain. I don't think those had anything to do with my inability to catch or shoot or dribble since those deal more with my arms and hands. Shoot!

Gotta jet - starting to look ahead at my chat for next Sunday on the Sabbath. I have personally really enjoyed the Sabbath time that Vicki and I have been taking with the kids and the things we have been doing. It is like a Old Country Buffet for my soul - minus the food poisoning and starchy foods. :)

Later Seder!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Tip Toe through the clouds.

Today the sun came out!
Praise God! I thought we had entered a nuclear winter. A bit dramatic, but the clouds have been thick and unrelenting until today.

We began our conversation series entitled: Life is Waiting. It is a study on the Ten Commandments.

This week my lovely wife, Vicki, and I will be getting an ultrasound for this little one in the belly of my wife. The question... Do we find out the sex or not? We already have been blessed with healthy kids... a boy and a girl. So... do we find out or wait?

I'll accept your counsel.

Thou shalt leave comments or thou shall surely die,

Monday, January 02, 2006

24/7 prayer if you dare.

We have just launched 168 straight hours of prayer from the Watermark Hub prayer room. I have already taken two shifts and the time flew for each. If you are interested in being prayed for or are in the area and would like to take an hour shift let me know. I am personally excited about the fruit from this time.

Happy New Year.
January 1st - I ate well. Now I just gotta keep that up so I can shrink the waist down! :)

deurty deurty deur