Archive for December, 2011

2011 – Buh Bye

Posted: December 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

This Sunday is January 1, 2012.  2012!!!!!!  Good-bye 2011.  This year has felt exceptionally fast to me.  But I always love to see a new year.  New Years is one of my favorite psychological holidays.  I love assessing the previous year and doing two things.  One, expressing gratitude for the things God has blessed me with or done within the past year.  And second, saying “adios” (that is Spanish for “don’t let the door hit you on the way out“) everything, anything, and anyone that I don’t want to carry into my New Year.  It could be a life habit, a sin, a disappointment, grief, anger, a situation, a pattern of thought, a way of doing things, a person who is a negative drain on my life, etc.

After appropriately assessing the past year and doing those two things – I’m ready for a new year!  And with it, whatever I’m resolved (yes…I’m really into the New Year’s Resolutions) to see in the coming year.   I know not everyone is a resolution person.  And that is OK.  You have your language I have mine.  What will be constant for the both of us will be intentionality.  You won’t accidentally or haphazardly experience growth or movement in any area of your life without vision, intention, or means.  And that is what I resolve as I look into a new year.

And I think the Scriptures have a lot to share in regards to this twofold movement – looking back and going forward; letting go and moving on.

That is what we will do on Sunday.

P.S.  We will not be having a 9:00 am service.  We will have two Sunday morning service times – 10:30 & 11:55 am.  Enjoy your extended sleep.

Visual proof we had a trombone present

This past Saturday evening Living Stones Church had two Christmas Eve services.  I thought they were excellent.  It was a great way to enter into Christmas!  Because I get a view “behind the scenes” I know how much time, energy, effort, planning, and preparation goes into the service.  And ESPECIALLY when it comes at an already hectic and busy time, I’m especially appreciative of those who made Saturday night such a great experience.  So I want to say some thank yous to:

Greg Frohna (our Creative Arts Pastor)

Doug Harsch, Emily Bayer, and Don Martin (Our Worship Leaders and the ones who planned the entire service)

The most incredible band and vocalists:  Josh Hren (hello Acappella solo!), Jim Waltman (guitarist extraordinaire), Michael May (displaying the versatility by moving to the Bass), Mark Osterhout (triple duty on keys, vocals, and trumpet), Jeff Harness (I think “the lovely Jeff” whose posture is always ready to rock it out but also knows how to lead a section in foot stomping), Sarah Thompson – (who had is like an explosion of energy – “Go Tell it On the Mountain” mmm…good), Sky Medors (dude…I’m still singing that “Beautiful” song), Isaac Barrington (my Little Drummer Boy…don’t tell him I said that), Kelly Barrington (my Little Harmonizer…that doesn’t sound very affectionate does it?  Kelly can harmonize anything.  Anything.), Ed Holstein (playing on the trombone!).

Thank you to Sherri Vreugdenhil (amazing dramatic reader) and Clive Neal (who may or may not be a good dramatic reader but no one really knows because his English accent entrances everyone) 🙂

Thank you to Paco Bayer for bringing in a digital board and all of the technical equipment necessary to pull off all the elements of the evening and being and extraordinary sound technician.

Thank you to Jim Ruth, Chad Newport, and Michael Russell who kicked butt on the lighting and MediaShout presentations.

Thank you to Ann Lynn & Jennae Gee on the LSC staff for helping all the prep work for the service.

Thank your Amy Osterhout and the Children’s Ministry team (Meredith Waltman, Sarah Wilken, Dawn Lentych-Hack, Melissa Holstein, Buffy Gerndt, Sarah Boyce, and Karin Gilbert) for executing a “Happy Birthday Jesus Party” for our Kid’s Kanyon.

Thank you to Jeff Gritton and Diane Barrington for all of your help in regards to ushers and 1st impressions team.

And thank you to the Living Stones Church eldersRandy Templeton, Chuck Barrington, Jeff Gritton, Jim Ruth, and Jim Silk for the very moving interpretative dance to “Grandma Got Ran Over By a Reindeer.”  It was so elegant and dramatic in movement that it left us stunned.  (OK…this last part might not have really happened) 🙂

“Our present system penalizes experimentation and failure and doesn’t expect mastery.  This paradigm expects experimentation and failure and expects mastery.”  – Salman Khan

I’ve never been a fan of the ISTEP test.  I hate that the entire educational agenda and process (for teachers and students) now revolves around this one standardized test.  It forces every kid into a paradigm with no regard to learning styles, personalities, strengths, weaknesses, etc.  It denies teachers who have a passion and skill in a particular area to forgo their talent in preference to a stupid standardized test.

I found this yesterday.  It is about the Khan Academy.  I wondered what it would look like if the South Bend Community School Corporation abandoned their present model and adopted this as a new paradigm of learning and education.

I also found in the resources practical help for any student struggling in a host of areas of school (especially math).  Maybe you have a kid who needs some help.

If you have time to watch it (and I do because I’m on vacation 🙂 ), I highly recommend it.

Check out their website for over 2600 videos on various subjects:

Christmas Eve Services

Posted: December 23, 2011 in Christmas, Living Stones Church

Just a reminder that this weekend’s worship services are going to occur on Christmas Eve (Saturday evening).  We have two different services – 5 and 7 pm.  At 5:00 pm we will be offering a full Kid’s Kanyon as they blow out the roof with a “Happy Birthday Party to Jesus” celebration.  And 7 pm it will be a family worship gathering as everyone will be in the Quarry (although we will offer a Nursery for 2 and under).

Kelly and Isaac came home from worship practice last night excited and said it was going to be “good.”

And, I’m delivering a short message so you KNOW that is going to be great! 🙂  And although Greg Frohna doesn’t know it yet, I’m going to sing a solo – O Holy Night!  I’ve been practicing over the last 30 minutes.  I’m sure I can pull it off.  You can hear a preview of me singing it here.

See you tomorrow evening!  Bring as many friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, complete strangers even that you can fit on the chartered bus you rented for this special occasion!!!

Just wanted to post a quick THANK YOU to the Living Stones Church for your participation and generosity over the past few weeks.  It has been busy I know.  And I appreciate in the midst of all of the personal obligations you have to attend to during this time of year, that you were involved and engaged with a lot of ministry here at Living Stones.

Two weeks ago Friday – Element (our Junior High Ministry for 5-8th graders) gathered together and baked a bunch of cookies for the Ridgedale Rehabilitation Center.  On Thursday of last week, they went and sang songs, played games, and handed out the cookies and goodies to the residents of the Nursing Home.

Two weeks ago Saturday, we, once again, participated in the Candlelight Walk on Erskine Blvd.  It was a great event and our I Love South Side team did a great job of coordinating and making everything smooth from our end – from the nativity scene, to the fire pits, to the luminaries, to the cookies and hot chocolate, to the farm animals and carriage ride!!  Thank you thank you thank you.

This past week we executed Give 2011!!  We wanted to put together gift boxes for every student at Monroe Primary Center (containing hat, gloves, toys, etc.); and then a goodie bag (containing cookies, candy, small toys, etc.) for every student at Lincoln Primary Center.  That is 1000 students total!  So, we packed Santa Claus (thank you Bob Wiley) up and sent him off with Living Stoner “elves” to distribute the goodies on Monday & Tuesday.  It was a phenomenal event and much thanks goes to everyone who participated – from donations, to wrapping party, to delivery!!  In addition, as part of Give 2011, we wanted to raise money to renovate our youth space (called the Pit).  You gave beyond what we even requested!!!!  Thank you thank you thank you.

As I said Sunday, the truth is, I can’t think of a SINGLE time that when asked to do something for the sake of the community, that the Living Stones Church hasn’t risen to the occasion in generosity and participation.  I’m very proud.

So…thank you so much!  May God bless you for your generous hearts and spirits.



Come Follow King Jesus

Posted: December 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

Hobo Jim’s Hot Sauce

Posted: December 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

Guess whose Administrative Assistant bought him his favorite hot sauce for Christmas!  Mine.  It’s Hobo Jim’s!!!  It is my favorite hot sauce.  It is made by Jim Silk (an elder here at Living Stones Church).  I’ve had hot sauce that was hot but lacks taste.  Then I’ve had hot sauce that has a good taste but isn’t hot.  Jim’s stuff (no kidding) for  some reason knows how to combine both – heat and taste.  It is good.  And in this gift box, I have three new flavors I’ve never had before.  I’m very excited!!

I sincerely believe that every grocery store in America should have his product on the shelf.  If you’re interested you can find his stuff here. (and I highly recommend it)  You can also find him at the South Bend Farmer’s Market on Saturday, Tuesday, and Thursdays.

One thing, and I’m not sure what to do with this.  Attached to the gift box is a “ghost pepper.”  (you can see it in the top left corner of the picture) It is from India.  It’s official name is bhut jolokia.  It is considered the hottest pepper in the word.  Watch this video of the kind of power and effect this pepper has:

So…I’m not sure whether I’m supposed to be grateful for my gift, or figure out if Ann Lynn is trying to kill me with a ghost pepper (aided by an elder here at the church).  Either way…I love it!!  Thanks Ann!!!  Merry Christmas!!!  Ho..ho…it burns…I can’t breath…*cough* *pain from the inside*

Facebook Killed the Christmas Card

Posted: December 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

I’ve noticed with each passing year the number of Christmas Cards we receive seems to be getting less and less.  I suppose it is possible that people simply don’t like me and are crossing me off their list and out of their lives.  But, that seems most unlikely when you really think about it.

So, I’m going to guess that there are two main reasons people are no longer sending out Christmas Cards:

1.  The cost of postage.  Who wants to pay $.44 to send out a card?!!!  It is crazy.  Especially in this economy.  Thus ends my argument.  It is clear, obviously correct, and irrefutable. 🙂

2.  Facebook.  The reason why we send out Christmas Cards is often to catch up on the lives of people we love but simply don’t see.  Christmas is an opportunity every year to have a quick letter to update someone on the happenings of the family.  But now with Facebook, we get to have that all year round.  I know what is going on with the McKenzie’s in Georgia.  They just adopted a little girl from China (she is beautiful!).  I didn’t need to wait until Christmas to find that out.  I saw it the day they returned from China.  Thanks Facebook.

BUT…if I were going to send out Christmas Cards, this is what I would want it to look like:

Tim Tebow

Posted: December 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

A lot of controversy.  A lot of criticism.  He seems to be a polarizing figure for reasons I don’t intend to go into here.

But I’m becoming a huge fan!!  I know how this game ends.  I know the result.  And still, as I watched this, I found myself getting nervous and excited as if it was just happening.

Tim Tebow mic’d for the Bear’s game.

This is why I’m becoming a huge fan and think the critics can suck it! 🙂