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,