Thursday, October 26, 2006

Connections Ministry

Our Connections ministry is a vital part of our church. Angela Sustala is doing a great job at leading that team. She is really making a lot of things happen. I have asked her to be a part of our Sunday Team meetings and she has graciously excepted! I am so excited. She will bring a lot to the table!

So excited. Angela Thanks for being a part!


I helped a buddy of mine this week for a couple hours this week on his farm. He has a couple hundred head of cows and babies. We had to get feed, grain, separate weaning babies from their mamas, and move yearlings around to feed. I remember why I stopped helping wrangle cows between my freshman year and sophomore year in college.

It was fun helping Shane, but cows are just not very intelligent. Shane got kicked in the head pretty hard, and nearly passed out. It was pretty crazy. I was holdng about twenty head over on my side of the corral, and trying to open the gate. He had one rascally one he was trying to keep out of the fenced area we were releasing the others into. His just got real crazy and kicked him right in the jaw. Argh.

Yeah, I am going to stick with what I really love doing. Living in town and helping people. Much better.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


Ever noticed acorns, really? They are amazing little things. Within the tiny seed of an acorn holds the genetic material, given the right circumstances could literally cover the earth with oak trees. With the right timing, rain and sunlight, nurture and care, that acorn could grow to be a huge strong oak, that in turns creates hundreds if not thousands of acorns.

The issue though with acorns is that some of them don't get planted, others get shuffled away, and still others just dont have a great environment to thrive it.

So the ones that grow and flourish are good seeds, and the ones that don't are bad seeds right? No. The seeds themselves are equally good, but the environment determined their growth pattern.

The same is true for us. We all are created in God's image. Not as a mistake or second thought, but too often our environment, choices, and experiences have shaped us into who we are today. All of us would go back and change some things, but those things have created some amazing attributes in our life.

Now there have been things that was stunted us, or crushed us, or hurt us. But that is no reason to just stop growing. To stop trying. To stop attaining. Actually it is all the more reason to grow and bear more fruit. To produce more "acorns" and recreate who we can become.

Remember God is wanting to shape you into what He has created you to be. We arent there yet, it takes time. It is part of the journey. Enjoy the process.

Friday, October 20, 2006


I am learning so much about being a paremt all the time. Especially being a Dad to a very observant little girl. I picked her up from school the other day. We were quickly walking out the doors, just getting out to the truck. She got a distant look on her face and I knew something was up. I asked her what was wrong. She looked up at me and with her hand on her macaconi necklace she made that day she said, "I just can't believe that you didn't notice my new necklace I made."

I had noticed it but just hadn't said it anything yet. I was crushed and so was she. I am learning maybe rather slowly to just say what I am thinking about my girls when I see them.

I have wonderful and beautiful girls, yet at times I fail to really express that to them.

Good thing we have one more day to try to do better, huh?

Monday, October 16, 2006


Had a good weekend at church. I spoke about another really practical matter, careers. The last two weeks I have addressed finances and careers. Not usually considered a "super spiritual" sermon, but I think has application to the life of the believer.

These are things that everyone sees daily. I think that the church has typically addressed a lot of things that no one sees. So I thought I'd get real practical and go after some things we deal with everyday.

Too often as Christ followers we compartmentalize God to Sundays or other churchy events. I am really entrigued right now with the Hebrew thought and traditon. Hebrew culture dosent seperate secular and spiritual. Basically it connects with Rob Bell's new series "Everything is Spiritual." I can't wait for the DVD series.

So we went spiritual this weekend while being practical, since everything is spiritual anyway...

Bandanas Bar B Q

Jason and Shari brought us the best bar b q in all of Des Moines! It has just opened up here in Ankeny. It is a STL bar b q joint, and it is awesome. It has actually been voted best in STL for a couple years now.

Thanks so much!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Rob Bells verbage

Man that guy messes me up. Just thought I'd leave a link to his "about us" page. He so eloquently tells the story -not about Mars Hill Bible Church- but about the plight of God's redemptive plan. Simple, yet so profound.

Check it out here.


If all the coke ever produced where bottled in 8 ounce bottles, it would reach to the moon and back over 1300 times.



Thought I'd leave a link for SOY. Take a minute and check out our latest investment into the local community.

I think that the local church in the New Testament was so successful becuase the impacted their immediate community. They werent afraid to "get their hands dirty." I fear that part of the collapse of the western church is the concept that we become and exclusive group that is only for our small group of beleivers.

I firmly believe that it is God's plan for every single person in this city to know who Jesus Christ is. I think that the church is much larger than JCFC, or another church in town. It is the collective group of Christ followers in the this city. THE church of Jesus Christ.

So consider your heart, your drive, what is the catalyst for your journey with Jesus Christ, THE savior of the world. Where do you fit?

Thursday Thursday Thursday

Well I have decided that what the IT guys at the church consider easy and no problem is not easy and a problem.

The guys told me that to fix my computer all I had to do was reformat and reinstall XP pro again. Just a few simple things they say, and after that no problem.

Well, not so. After several hours on the phone with Dell and Microsoft, and Jason Huffey, I am pretty much back up and running. There are a few drivers I couldn't get installed or functioning, but over all I am good to go.

I must admit, that it is a good feeling to know I did this. I don't want to do it again though.

I am ready for a Macbook. I was Mac in Ames, then went back to PC with the new church plant, thinking it was better since more people have PC. Argh. The old line is true, "once you go Mac, you cant go back."


Today was frustrating to say the least. But at the end of the day profitable for me.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Trying to get back to normal life

I brought Dara home from the hospital today. Then headed off to get her some real medication. It is crazy to be a dad and a mom. I am learning that working two jobs is easier than being a full time mom.

Everything is going OK, and Dara is recovering. I have once again remembered how much I hate to fold laundry. My normal jobs are helping with the trash, mopping, and helping clean up with dishes. Dara usually handles the clothing department. I am accustomed to switching the loads some, but the whole nine yards isn't fun. I am thinking about how we can make this a better system in our new house...

There has to be a better way. Maybe it is taking it all to the cleaners! So my new prayer is that we can get a dry cleaners owner to become a regular part of our church and want to "bless" the pastor by taking care of all the laundry... Is that a carnal prayer? nah... Its all about the kingdom with me.

I do want to say thank you to everyone who has offered to take my kids, and bring food an flowers. Amazing. It really shows how much we are loved. Thank you.

Now that I think about, Pastor Lori offered to do the laundry...What was I thinking when I said that I had it under control?

Thanks again to everyone.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Dara and the surgery

Well the latest scoop on my wife is that she stayed in the hospital last night after her surgery yesterday. She should get to come home sometime today. We are all looking forward to having her at home today.

She is recovering well from the surgery and we want to just say thank you for all the help, kind words, and the prayers.

Thank you!

Monday, October 09, 2006


Just a quick update, I had to take Dara to the emergency room last night for some stomach pain. Turns out she had an inflamed appendix. Argh.

She is recovering well, and thought if everyone could pray that would be great!

I will update more later.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

A quick year

Wow, how crazy it is to think we have been doing this for over a year now. This month is a busy one as we are doing evaluations, budgeting and planning for the next few months. As I have been looking over the last year in finances, growth patterns, and changes, I noticed that our average attendance in September 2005 was 42 people per weekend. This past month we averaged 108. I am into 150% growth.

I have been doing a lot of reading and listening to "automobile university" lately. My heart is really challenged and engaged as I think about what Christ would have us do in this next year.

One of the things I really think is at the top of the list is helping those who need help. I am excited that SOY (serve our youth) will be with us in service this weekend. Bernie Van Reukel will be telling us about this ministry to high risk and at risk teens in the Des Moines area.

Should be great.