Monday, September 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Shelley!

So hard to believe I didn't even know this incredible woman 5 years ago and now I feel like I've known her all my life. She can see through roadblocks to the beauty beyond. She has boundless compassion and I can't imagine life without her! She's my friend and I love her.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Friend or Enemy?

These 88 cent plastic Walmart creatures are some of Aidan's favorite toys. He has a game that we've played over and over again. He never gets tired of it. He calls it the dinosaur game in spite of the fact that many of the animals are not dinosaurs. It goes like this: I am the Raptor (that mean looking guy in front). Aidan lines up all of the other animals on the floor. One by one, they climb up my leg and are confronted by the snarling Raptor who asks, in a mean growly voice,

"Are you a friend or an enemy"?

The response is always the same: "I'm a friend".

Then the Raptor says "Ok, you can stay".

The welcomed animal then rests in my lap until all of the animals have been welcomed. No script ad libs allowed. Changing the sequence or the words is grounds for a tantrum. I can't figure out why this game is so engaging for him. He'd play it forever if I'd agree. I'm good for about three rounds. Anyone have ideas?

Friday, September 19, 2008

What's Next?

Two weeks ago almost 400 people went public with their faith by choosing to be baptized on the lawn at GCC. Last week over 1600 people came to the launch of the Journey classes and today we wrapped up the two day Innovate08 conference on our campus. Church leaders from all over the country came and allowed us two days to pour into them the best of how we do what we do. God continues to be glorified.

The most amazing thing to me is that I've been allowed to have a part in each of these events. I've had some sleepless nights lately wondering what in the world I'm doing here. I know God doesn't make mistakes but I have to ask, "what are You thinking"? Not that long ago I was living a life very far from Him. And tonight I'm basking in the glow of His favor. I didn't do anything to deserve this kind of privilege. For me, accepting grace is a truly humbling experience.

I enjoyed the conference today so much more because I could share it with Jim. This is the first year he's been able to attend. He volunteered to serve as a greeter which surprised me. He's usually not very comfortable in a role that means he has to talk to people he doesn't know but, wow! He was incredible! Almost every time I saw him he was engaged in earnest conversation with guests. And he loved it. Who knew?

He's been talking all evening about the people he interacted with for the past two days. He couldn't sleep last night remembering everything he saw and heard. For an introvert who's also kind of shy this much stimulus can be exhilarating. I'm so proud of him!

Another great feature for me was that I got to spend some time with my friends from Sunset Bay Chapel.

I've talked with Julie Siefert (front row next to her cowboy) for the last few years about her role as the Front Door Connections director, Sunset's version of our First Impressions. Julie's passion for people is evident after about 2 seconds in her company and the whole team is just a blast to hang out with.

I also got to sit in on my boss's breakout of his new book, Lasting Impressions. I'm hoping I can persuade him to autograph my copy when it's released later this year.

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity but through it all the evidence of God's blessing is pervasive. I've stopped running many times to just wonder at how great He is to me, to all of us. I don't ever want to forget, even for a moment, to be grateful to the Author of all of this.

Next month we launch GCC Elkhart . The holiday season is just around the corner. I can't wait to see what's next!

Monday, September 15, 2008


In our ongoing attempt to teach Aidan the basic courtesies such as "please" and "thank you" the following exchange took place last night while we were watching Toy Story:

Aidan: "Grandma, get me some juice and chippies"

Me: "Aidan, that's not how you ask for something. Ask again, nicely"

Aidan: "GRANDMA PLEASE do what I TELL you PLEASE!"


Friday, September 12, 2008


What follows is a list of movies I've seen in the theatre for the past year. The movies in blue were engaging enough to keep me from dozing off, the ones in red are the ones that really made an impact and the yellow ones were just not worth the bucks. Not even Raisinets and movie popcorn could help those dogs.

Transformers - so awful we walked out midway through.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
No Reservations
The Simpsons Movie
The Bourne Ultimatum
Across the Universe - bought this one as soon as it was released on DVD.
The Brave One
Into the Wild - hard to feel bad for a self indulgent rich kid.
Feast of Love
Dan in Real Life
No Country for Old Men - still can't decide how I feel about this one and I saw it twice.
August Rush
The Golden Compass
I Am Legend - saw this one twice.
27 Dresses
The Spiderwick Chronicles
Be Kind Rewind
Run, Fat Boy, Run - sophomoric but made me laugh, a LOT.
Smart People
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Baby Mama
Iron Man
Made of Honor
What Happens in Vegas - borderline awful.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Sex and the City: the Movie
Kung Fu Panda
The Happening
Hancock - Will Smith is always fun to watch.
The Dark Knight - saw this one thrice!!
Mama Mia
Swing Vote - unbelievably bad, left halfway through.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 - the scenes in Greece brought this one up from yellow, just barely.
Vicky Cristina Barcelona - MUST visit Barcelona one day.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


why, after cleaning up my house for a party, the cat (aka the Thug)
feels it necessary to yack up a hairball in the middle of the floor moments before guests arrive?