Archive for June, 2010

Last week the South Bend School Corporation received the results of the ISTEP test scores.

Do you know which school (out of the entire corporation) had the highest increase in scores from last year to this year?!


They jumped 22% points in Math alone!!!  It is incredible.

Do you know why?  Because they are awesome…and the Living Stones Church is praying for them! 🙂

Congratulations to Principal Jill VanDriessche, the teachers, the staff, the students, and the families of Monroe!!!

Just wait and see what happens next year when they finally get to return to their newly remodeled, state of the art, technologically savvy building!!!  If you haven’t been by Monroe lately, drive by and take a look at what they have done with the construction!!!

More Unashamed Bragging

Posted: June 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

Because the Holsteins are awesome

You’re welcome.

Unashamed Bragging

Posted: June 23, 2010 in Uncategorized


Monday night our Living Stones Church minor leaguers from SouthEast Little League were playing in their second tournament game.  They lost the first on Saturday, and since it is double elimination, they had to win this game or we were done for the season.

It wasn’t good.  By the fourth inning the Living Stones Church team was losing 7 – 2 and the kids were demoralized and giving up.  Quite honestly, I think all the parents in the stands thought our loss was inevitable too.

Then, in the 4th inning, my son Caleb walked to the pitcher’s mound to begin pitching.  He normally plays 3rd base and I think has only really pitched once before in a game.  He likes to at home all the time.  And he is really quite good, but when he performs in front of the coaches, it just isn’t the same.  So…I’m instantly nervous.  Like…heart beating out of my chest nervous.

Caleb’s first three pitches were balls (but close).  With the count 3 – 0 Caleb threw three straight strikes to strike the kid out!  And then, he struck out the next two batters.  Three up / three down!  Now things were getting excited.

In the top of the 5th, LSC came back and scored some runs to make it close.  Caleb returned to the mound in the 5th inning.  Before it started, he removed his mitt, bowed his head, and prayed (sweet and theatrical at the same time).  He had another great inning striking out two more batters.

Then in the top of the 6th, LSC scored more and went on top 10 – 8!!  We were winning.  So, in the bottom of the 6th, we just needed Caleb to hold them to win the game.  He began the 6th inning praying on the mound again.  And then, one out occurred due to fielding.  Then a guy got on 2nd and another on 3rd.  With one out and two on base, it was starting to get intense.

And then…Caleb struck out the last two batters to hold the score and win the game!!  We were yelling.  Caleb was yelling.  The kids at the end of the game rushed the pitching mound and hugged him.  We got a hug from a parent in the stands.  It was simply awesome!!!  I was so proud.

OK…bragging over.  Thank you for your patience.

This Sunday is one of my favorite Sunday’s of the year!!!  Baptismal celebration at the YMCA!!!  One combined service at 10:00 a.m. It is always encouraging to have the WHOLE church together so you can see what God has done in our midst over the past year.

Doug Harsch put together this video from last year’s celebration.  Love it!

Yesterday was our annual Father’s Day celebration at Living Stones Church.  I love Father’s Day at LSC.  HUGE thank-you to Ann Lynn & Jennae Gee for pulling everything together and everyone who helped us by loaning us games or grills or setting things up.

  • We grilled brats (at 9:30 a.m. we called them “breakfast sausages.”  We had jalapeno and onion toppings…sorry to those who sat around a dude downing that! 🙂
  • We had corn hole games;
  • The band played Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing as our “introductory – ‘get your brat or coffee and have a seat’ song”;
  • The band was great.
  • Sky Medors did a great job leading.
  • My son, Isaac, played drums for the very first time – I was VERY proud.
  • Great communion comments by Jim Ruth (9:30) and Jeff Gritton (11:30);
  • preached a message from the life of Joab (which means Jehovah is Father);
  • high energy worship;
  • great attendance (in spite of widespread power-outage from the storms last Friday);
  • got to see Doug Harsch’s baptism video from last year’s service at the YMCA (I’ll post on blog soon);
  • prayed for Fathers –

And then…went with the family after church to Red Robin for a whiskey BBQ cheeseburger and then watched Toy Story 3 (which made we want to cry in a masculine way for a very long time!  How could Andy grow up and go to college?  Isaac is not allowed now to go to college.)

The Hiatus

Posted: June 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

Dear David – my faithful Sam I Am reader –

You may be my only reader by this time.  I know this has been a substantial break.  Thanks for checking on me.

I took a week vacation two weeks ago and during that time tried to limit my time on the computer, Facebook, blog, etc. (with limited success).

Last week I was at 5th & 6th grade church camp and didn’t have access to internet.

Thanks for missing me.

I’m now back.

Paths Require Choice

Posted: June 4, 2010 in Uncategorized

You see, paths require choice.  Choosing one path invariably requires rejecting other paths, and it is impossible to walk on more than one path at once if you are actually trying to get somewhere.

– Brian Walsh & Sylvia Keesmaat in Colossians Remixed

It seems most churches in discussing which individuals are in good standing within their “boundaries of fellowship” use the pattern of:

BelieveBehaveBelong (meaning you have to believe certain tenants, behave in certain ways, and then you can belong).

This seems contrary to the ministry and example of Jesus, so at LSC, we follow a pattern that looks more like this:

Belong – Believe – Behave (meaning you are given a rightful place of belonging with Jesus, and from that position, you will find beliefs and behaviors change).

That is why we welcome without reservation MESSED UP people.  And Living Stones Church has a lot of broken, sinful, messed up, “blew it royally” people suffering in everything you can imagine.  But it is a directional thing.

They are headed towards Jesus.  And we’ve got all the patience in the world for someone who is moving towards Jesus and along the is struggling with whatever.

What is entirely different, however, is when someone is moving away from Jesus.  They have belonged to Jesus, they have had their thoughts transformed by Jesus, and their behavior lived in conformity to the Ways of Jesus, and now, they have decided to turn away from him and move in another direction.

In that, we have little patience.  And don’t expect the Pastor to smile and say “everything is going to be OK.”  Because it won’t be.  You are moving AWAY from Jesus.  And the end of that journey is NEVER O.K.  And my call, with as much love and grace as I can muster, will be for you to repent and head back towards Him.

Direction is everything.

Kelly and I signed up on-line to be receive a FREE (and new) Spicy Chicken Sandwich from Chick-Fil-A.

You had to get a reservation.  You couldn’t just come in anytime.  So, our reservation was yesterday 11:00 – 2:00 p.m.

When we arrived, we were seated in a VIP section and had a little Spicy Chicken Sandwich placard placed on our table.

And then a Chick-Fil-A employee came and took our order and served us as at our table.  Come to find out, not only did we get a free sandwich, we got a free side and a large drink as well!!  And when we were finished with our meal, the server came back with a half a brownie with chocolate drizzled over the top.  And a “my pleasure” in response to our “thank you.”

The sandwich was good.  And it was spicy.  Not over the top, but it packed some heat.

I have never seen a business give away as much free food as Chick-Fil-A.  It is really amazing.  They are one of my favorites in regards to promotion, charity, customer service, and quality!

And This is the Problem

Posted: June 3, 2010 in Uncategorized

From a federal report put out today by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention:

Attitudes about pregnancy are also changing. Nearly 64 percent of teenage boys think it’s acceptable for a teen to have a baby, compared with 50 percent in 2002. Among girls, more than 70 percent now approve, compared with 65 percent in 2002.

After dropping steadily for more than a decade, the teen birth rate in the U.S. rose between 2005 and 2007. Compared with other developed countries, the U.S. posted the remarkably high rate in 2007 of 42 babies per 1,000 teen girls. In Canada, by contrast, only 13 babies are born per 1,000 teen girls.

70% of girls approve of teenage pregnancies!