Friday, June 29, 2007

I Would Die For That

Great song...very powerful, moving, and inspiring. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 28, 2007


I'm not sure if it's just been too long since I've seen an action movie but I went to see Die Hard yesterday and it was awesome. I started thinking that it's been a long time since I've seen an action movie without mythical creatures or based on a comic book or toy. So, this was a nice change of pace. After all I grew up watching Arnold, Jean-Claude, Steven Segal, Sly, Sigourney Weaver and Bruce Willis save the world several times over from every possible bad guy imaginable.

A good friend of ours gave me a gift certificate to the movies for my birthday. So, I went out to this theater that I have not been very impressed with in the past. However, yesterday changed my impression. I walked in to a theater with the biggest screen I have ever seen besides IMAX. But then when the previews started it got even bigger. Within the first ten minutes of the movie the action started and never let up. It was really a fun movie (IMHO). I told Karin that I might have to take Tayler to see it and now she wants us to all go as a family. It can be Taylers first "adult" action movie. I guess this is kind of a review so I would say that if you like pure action with a viable story then go see this movie. Justin Long (the "Mac" in apples commercials) did a nice job as Willis' co-star.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Happy Birthday to me...

Yes, today is my birthday. I turned 33. NBD- Just wanted to share. We saw "Evan Almighty" yesterday and went shopping with a gift certificate. I got a really cool "Inspi(red)" shirt. Today I went to lunch with some friends. They gave me a great idea to use for my research proposal to finish my Masters program. Yes, I am in my last class and have a 3.9 GPA. In seven short weeks I will be done and a lot will change in the next seven weeks-including my ordination and our first service. Tayler starts football camp and seventh grade. Karin celebrates being at Bethany Christian Services for a year. We have a lot to be thankful for in our lives.

Anyway, it was a good day- they hydroseeded our backyard- which they were supposed to do in the spring. I'll post pics tomorrow. I went out and got straw to put down which who even knows if I'm supposed to but it was cathartic. We have done nothing with our yard and very little with the interior of our house (if you remember some of our grandiose plans from waaaay back in the beginning of this blog We have slowly begun this process but it is taking much longer than we had hoped.

That's all for now. I'm gonna go party like it's my birthday...not really, but you know.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Thank you and more updates

We are so grateful for everyone's encouragement and support. There are times when we start questioning the sanity of what we are doing but then someone will come along and say or do something exactly that we needed. We have only been working on the church now for a couple of months and have seen God's hand in this clearly. People are joining our launch team, offering prayers and signing on as financial partners.

Some people have asked about making a one-time donation for the church and wondered if there was anything specific we needed for start-up costs. I will list a couple of things and if you would like to help with any of them please contact us. The first thing that we need to do is become a legal entity. We want to work with a company that helps church planters get their churches running. The cost to become incorporated, get a Federal Employee Identification Number, 501c3 and a constitution drafted is $850. There are a couple of extra fees that we pay separate: $30 to the state of Indiana and $750 to the IRS. We can become incorporated and have a FEIN within a couple of weeks but the 501c3 could take up to six months but will be retroactive to the date of our incorporation. Once we are incorporated we will be a legitimate entity and can start accepting tax-deductible donations for the church.

The second item is the cost of our website. It is $40/ month to operate or $400 for the year. This has already been visited over 500 times in a little over two weeks with over 6,000 hits on it. It will be an effective ministry tool for reaching out beyond Sunday mornings.

I also wanted to address some questions people have about sending us monthly support. First, you will make the checks out to myself (Brian) and/or Karin. These are not tax-exempt and will be used for personal expenses (groceries, bills, etc...) Once we become incorporated the church will have an account and donations will be accepted separately for it. Those donations made out to "Restoration Church" will be tax-deductible and will be used to meet the church budget.

There are lots of things going on right now and we are praying for God's spirit to start preparing hearts for what he wants to do in these communities through Restoration.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Restoration Church Update

We have opened our website. It is We want to keep the forum active and the newsite up to date with interesting news stories and devotional thoughts. You will see that we have tentative dates for our preview services, themes that will be developed and meeting dates for the launch team. See our blog on this website if you would like to be a part of the launch team.

Log onto the website and register as a user. You can leave prayers, answer the polls, engage in the forum discussions and let us know you were there. We are excited about this new tool for ministry.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

I just have to make a shout out to one of the best dads I husband, Brian. Brian is a wonderful father who lives his life as an example to many but today I want to acknowledge his leadership in the life of his son, Tayler. On a daily basis, Brian leads with gentleness, mercy, humility, humor, forgivness, sacrifice... the list could go on and on. (within sacrifice includes the fact that he does most of the cleaning and ALL of the cooking!)...can I get an Amen from Tayler's future wife?:) Most of all he leads with the example of Christ. I couldn't ask for a better father for my son.

I think back on the memories we have had with Brian and they amaze me. He taught Tayler how to tie his shoes (when his mother didn't have the patience), how to ride his bike, how to swim, has done countless school projects with Tayler, is in a father/son bowling league, has been an assistant coach for sports teams since Tayler began playing in kindergarten, collects Star Wars and goes on mad hunts for characters, been on the news a few times with Tayler (for the aforementioned statement:), took Tayler to see his first Star Wars movie at the theatre when Tayler was just four years old (gotta train the Jedi's young:), gone sledding, played flashlight tag, been at camp with Tayler, gone on spiritual retreats with Tayler, had the "talk" among many other talks.....the list could go on and on.

Although the above things are wonderful, the most important thing he has taught our son are spiritual truths through the venue of discipleship at church and at home. Again this has come through example not just words. That is one thing I love about Brian....he does what he says he believes. Since Tayler was six years old, he has sat on the sidelines watching his dad lead others, reach out in mercy, start a hip hop club in the inner city (what kid can say that about their very white dad?:) pray over and cry with hurting teens and adults, house over a dozen hopeless and homeless children, all of this in obedience to God's call on his life. I can't think of a better way for Tayler to learn about faith and what it means to be a man than from his own father.

Happy Father's Day, Brian!! Really, it would take many posts to say everything we would want to say to you, but I hope this is sufficient. WE love you!

Happy Father's Day, Brian!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A New Direction and An Explanation

Restoration Church will be interdenominational and not a Wesleyan church. Karin and I started this process with the intent of being church planters within the Wesleyan denomination. However, we became more and more uncomfortable with this direction. There are many things that we like about the denomination but there are many things we like about several denominations. We felt that as we communicate to people who we are that it would be important for us to be as inclusive as possible while remaining orthodox in our beliefs.

While in the short-term it would have been far more beneficial (from a human standpoint) to remain in the Wesleyan denomination I believe that in the long-run this is the best direction for us. It will require more work, more people, more money and ultimately more faith. Karin and I believe that if God does not show up in this thing then I will be looking for a new job by the end of the year. But, we do believe God is in this and "where God guides, God provides".

I talked with one of the leaders in the Wesleyan church and explained what was going on with us. I explained that I did not want to commit to the Wesleyan process and then a couple of years down the road become interdenominational. I did not feel that was showing much integrity- even though I know many people take advantage of denominations that way.

I will be honest and say that this whole endeavor is exhilirating, scary and humbling. We continue to see God's hand leading us and people joining us weekly. It is our desire that people will consider Restoration as one of their church families.

We are in the process of putting together a launch team. The requirements will be:
1. An active faith life in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior
2. A heart to minister in the Church and community
3. A commitment to participating in the monthly preview services beginning in August
4. Participation in Launch Team Meetings beginning in July to pray and help plan the worship gatherings
5. A commitment to Restoration church for six to twelve months after the weekly services begin in January

If you would be interested in being a part of the launch team then you can contact either myself or Karin (who will be one of the launch team leaders).

Our launch date is set for January 13th, 2008 with five monthly preview services beginning in August. We will have our website up and fully functioning in the next week or so. There will be launch team meetings beginning in July and finish in January. Once we launch our weekly gatherings the launch team will disban and can go on to serve in other areas of the church.

We are looking to associate with other churches perhaps through Willowcreek Association or some other network. We believe this will be important for accountability, training, encouragement and friendships.

Thank you for your continued prayers and encouragement.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Unspoken prayer request

If you are reading this, you may very well know what this prayer request is. If not, please pray all the same. Monday is a BIG day for us. Please pray for God's hand to be with us and HIS will to be accomplished. Also pray that He keeps our hearts in perfect peace. Thank you so much blogger friends!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

One Chapter Ends...

I have been wanting to write this blog for a while but there are some very strong emotions behind it. I think I have gone through all the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The truth is that I could write a book about all my experiences and I have a fear that everything I have to say will be taken the wrong way or feel detatched. My hope is that this post will be both cathartic and celebratory.

I began serving in youth ministry when I was eighteen and a freshman in college. I first felt a call to ministry when I became a Christian and soon believed I was going to be a youth pastor. My youth pastor (and personal hero) took me under his wings and gave me a lot of wisdom and strength.

I entered college pursuing a degree in youth ministry and quickly got involved in a large youth ministry in town. I served there for a year doing whatever I could to help. I learned a lot and stepped out to become a youth minister in the fall of my sophomore year.

I remember that first church and some of the kids that attended. As a matter of fact I still have a follow-up post-it in my Bible of a kid that attended. While I was at that church I got my first taste of what it could be like to lead a youth group and I liked it. I loved seeing students go from being apathetic or hostile towards Christianity to becoming curious to eventually growing Christians.

Through fifteen years I have served in various capacities in youth ministry from leading breakfast Bible clubs,volunteer, internships, co-youth leader and full-time ministry. My ministry has spanned from west Tennessee to east Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Indiana. I have served in rural, inner-city and suburban churches. They have all had their unique ups and downs. The experiences I have had have shaped me into a better person and minister.

I have been on innumerable overnight trips, have heard the same fart jokes over and over, been to dozens of concerts, stayed up at all-nighters, created a night club, organized a rap festival, gone on ski-trips, lead small groups, worn make up and dresses, licked peanut butter off of a friends foot, swallowed goldfish (live), introduced "Ramone" to hundreds of kids, served on mission trips,lead fifth quarters,brought students to summer camps, disciple nows, have lived on pizza and mountain dews, dove off of bridges, gone through muddy caves, rapelled off of cliffs, snow skied, water skied, camped, hiked, lead worship, played paintball and laser tag. I have been with students and families in their darkest hours, have heard students talk about suicide, cutting, running away, problems with parents and friends, drugs and sex. I have seen students at the point of desperation and turn to God. I have seen God grab hold of a student that everyone else had written off and change their life. Youth ministry is heart-wrenching, usually thankless and often times a labyrinth of politics. But, it can also be rewarding, fun, and life changing.

My time serving as a youth pastor ended without much fanfare. As a matter of fact it ended on a night when not many students were present. There were times throughout that last night when the enormity of the moment would overwhelm me as I thought of the lives I have been a part of over the years. The joys, laughter, stories that will be told for years to come, tears, silence, prayers and friendships. Even as I write this I think of the impact student ministry has had on me.

I did not leave this calling lightly. I did not leave it because I was tired of it or had lost my passion for it. I left because I feel a burden from God for the lost and unchurched in the Northwest Hendricks County area. I believe God is leading me in a new and exciting direction and has a wonderful plan for our lives. Karin asked me on my first Sunday night without youth group if I was happy to not have it. I responded by saying that I loved youth group and being with the students. The question was not the right one. Am I happy to be following God's will and am I excited about the road ahead? Yes. But, I am sad to be leaving students and families that I have poured my life into for almost four years. Outside of college I have never been a part of a community for so long.

To everyone that has served with me, allowed me to be their youth pastor or their student's youth pastor, or has supported my ministry over the years in any number of ways (from being chaperones, volunteers, cheerleaders, providing meals, scholarships and general encouragement)- thank you. It is humbling to think of how God has used me and has used youth ministry to grow me up. I know God is going to continue to do amazing things and I am looking forward to what this next chapter will include.

Finally, and this is a shameless plug for comments, if you have ever been involved in a ministry that I have lead or been a part of could you leave a comment of a memory or something you have gotten out of it. Thanks.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Surprise Party!!

30 never felt so GOOD!! Just when I thought it couldn't get better than the post below....Brian threw me a surprise party! I was completely surprised! We had soccer tournaments all day, so today was the last day I would've suspected. I went to Starbucks with one of my bestest, Christy and she totally had me convinced. After spending some time together, her hubby called to say her son was sick. She was so convincing, we left in a dash to get home.

She even had me thinking I might catch the bug!! We got home and after a few minutes talking in the car, she pulled out of the driveway to rush home to her little one. I walked in only to find a room full of my lovely friends. Christy, of course, pulled back in and came inside. I came in to find not only a room full of people, but lots of food prepared by these very friends. Each person brought an appetizer and my friend Shirley made lots of vegetarian friendly cuisine and a cake. My friend Christy also prepared a cake with pink icing and mocha filling.....doesn't get much better than pink and mocha!

The house was decorated and I even had a tiera, a sash, and barbie napkins (Thanks Rich!) It was so nice seeing all of my close friends in one room. There were several other friends who couldn't make it and some not pictured that came late....(Griblers, Rutherfords, Weese's, Holly) don't worry I know you love me:) All joking aside, I felt very loved and valued. I have the bestest friends ever (Thanks guys)I have received affirmation from Brian and from my friends, and there is not a better feeling than that!

And Brian, your not too bad either!..and really...your beginning to make other husbands look bad:)

Friday, June 01, 2007

Happy Birthday to my wife...

In honor of Karin's 30th birthday- here are thirty things I LOVE about her:
1. Her passion for God and desire to follow His plans
2. Her focus and determination
3. She makes people comfortable
4. She supports me with words and actions
5. She is encouraging
6. She inspires lots of people
7. She has a strong prayer life
8. She allows me to have a Star Wars room and doesn't get embarrassed when I talk about Star Wars endlessly
9. She loves to learn
10. She speaks her mind (see the post two down from this one!)
11. She loves all different cultures
12. She has a passion for mission work
13. She has overcome a lot of hardships
14. She embraces people from all backgrounds
15. She is willing to step out on faith
16. She likes being fashionable
17. She loves her children
18. She is high maintenance but thinks she's low maintenance
19. She loves her family
20. She has a lot of wisdom
21. She pushes me to grow in my faith
22. She supports my education endeavors
23. She's always willing to meet new people
24. She loves the Church
25. She is a great listener
26. She's my smokin' hot wife
27. She tries to be interested in sports
28. She trusts me and believes in my leadership
29. She is not satisfied with mediocrity
30. She said "i do".