Archive for the ‘worship’ Category

Sunday was a blast of a day.  Started with quite a few hiccups – rain (which we desperately need…but doesn’t make for great motorcycle riding), blown fuses, computer/monitor problems, smoke detectors going off, etc.  BUT by the time we started everything was remedied and doing great.

In Living Stones Church tradition, we grilled and served brats (which we called “breakfast sausages” for the 9:00 am service).  We had a great set design, including a sweet Harley Davidson (thank you Scott Hancock), “Born to be Wild” as an opening song, a funny video to celebrate Fathers, a time to pray over our dads, and a rocking worship set, followed by a message on following King Jesus (you can listen to the podcast here).  At the end we called up our RECESS counselors and prayed blessing on them.

Great mornings with a lot of energy!

Thom & Tom grilling up some brats before the service!

There are message series that I get excited about and then there are message series I get REALLY excited about.  This is one of those REALLY excited message series.

We kick off on Sunday, Father’s Day, June 17th!!!  Men…there will be grillin’ going on with as many bratwursts as you can eat, a fantastic worship experience along with a message about King Jesus.

If you have a motorcycle, feel free to ride it to church on Sunday and we’ll give you some premium parking!

See you Sunday 9:00, 10:30, or 11:55 am!

Postcard sent out to 10,000 homes on the South Side of South Bend!

A lot of people are interested in discovering how to survive the impending zombie-apocalypse.  Well…we won’t be covering that topic.  BUT…how to survive and recover from a “living dead” state in your spiritual life, marriage, finances, job, etc. (or just life in general)…THAT we’re talking about!!!  And we begin the conversation this coming Sunday, April 8th – EASTER – @9:00, 10:30, or 11:55 am at the Living Stones Church!!!!

The church has been buzzing with help and activity all week:  labeling post cards, putting candy in plastic easter eggs (for our easter egg hunt on Saturday with the families at Monroe School), putting together the set design for our new series (I love it by the way!!!), preparations for our Good Friday service, practicing for our Easter celebration, invite banners in the front yard, etc.  It is going to be a great weekend!!!!  See you there…and rent vans and bring as many people as you can find!!

Good Friday – noon

Easter Egg Hunt – Saturday 10:30 am

Easter Celebration (Walking Dead series) – Sunday 9:00, 10:30, or 11:55 am

I got an e-mail message from Kyra Hammett that The Nate Show (which I don’t watch on principle 🙂 ) today was highlighting upcycled art.  What is upcycled art you ask?  Good question!

Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.

It’s like the Macgyver of the art world.  You take pieces that in-and-of-themselves seems like mundane, ordinary, or even – junk and you use them to create something of greater purpose and value:

Ordinary items or junk

and you turn it into this:

An Upcycled Bike Handlebar Bag w/reflectors

In the same way – God takes what seems like mundane, ordinary – and sometimes “junk” people and through the power of the Holy Spirit  he “Upcycles” our life into greater purposes and beauty!

So, this Sunday, we begin a new message series out of 1 Corinthians entitled “Upcycled Church.”  It will be an expository series as we walk through 1 Corinthians together.  Because of that – if you have a Bible – you are encouraged to bring it…along with a friend (or two…or 15!)

One last thing:  In conjunction with the Upcycled Message series we are working on an upcycled art project.  To help us, you are invited to bring us your “trash” over the next several weeks.  We will be collecting items that represent you…anything will do:  cans, bottles, a pair of jeans, a gift from a relationship you’ve left behind, wrappers, shredded paper…anything.  And with your trash, we will form a piece of art that represents for Living Stones:  We want an upcycled life.  If you have questions, feel free to send an e-mail to Jennae Gee here.

Every year there are usually a handful of Sundays that if I had to pick – out of all the Sundays in the year – I would pick that one to bring a guest to church.  THIS SUNDAY is one that I would pick.  There is someone in your life – it could be a friend, a co-worker, a neighbor, a family member who is searching for a church and a purpose greater than themselves.  This Sunday we are going to be talking about the Living Stones Church – our story, our vision, our calling, our mission, what God is doing, what we believe God is going to do – and it gets me super fired up!  Like…talk too fast…spit flying out of my mouth (but not reaching the front row)…and maybe even an incidental snort (that was for you 10:30ers last week) in my delivery – fired up!!  And I believe it will get you AND your guest fired up as well.

So – start right now…seriously…quit looking at this blog (or…wait…what?) and contact someone you know and tell them to meet you here (or go pick them up…or take them to breakfast and then bring them here…or bring them here and then take them out to lunch…well…you can figure out logistics) for this Sunday’s worship and message.  Seriously.  Go do it.   Now.

[This blog post has been brought to you by the grammatical symbols – ellipses and parenthesis. 🙂 ]

This coming Sunday we begin a two week message series entitled, Deeper.  Perfect for a brand new year!  See you this Sunday at the Living Stones Church at 9:00, 10:30, or 11:55 am!!

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.

This Sunday we begin a new series (our Christmas series) entitled:  Unwrapped.  It is about the vulnerability of God.  I’m excited because I don’t think we ever think much about God as being vulnerable.  And I think the depths of His love can illuminate the possibility, or reality, that God has made himself vulnerable for our sake.  So, we begin this Sunday a conversation of what that means if true…

I look forward to seeing you there.  9:00, 10:30, or 11:55 am.  Bring a friend!

This Sunday we begin a new three-week message series entitled Dashboard!

The ‘low fuel’ light comes on in your car, and you know just how far to push it before you give in and stop for gas.  When the ‘check engine’ light comes on, the feeling in the pit of your stomach says you’re about to shell out some dough.  If you own a car, you know how important those little dashboard lights are…and you know ignoring them could be disastrous.  Wouldn’t it be nice if life came with some dashboard lights?  ‘warning: spiritual fuel low.’ ‘caution: check relationship for malfunction.’ ‘alert: thoughts leading to undesired consequences.’  Maybe there is a life dashboard of sorts…a way to run the ‘diagnostics’ and choose to address the problem before it’s too late.  Come join us for a three week series and learn some of the right diagnostic questions to ask in life, and which dashboard lights should not be ignored.  Because recognizing life’s warning signals is a first step toward a healthy life.

See you Sunday at 9:00, 10:30, or 11:55 am!!  AND…bring a friend (or 2 or 12).


Sunday was a big day in that we were doing several new things.  First, we launched a new message series entitled Sucker Punched.  If you missed the message you can catch it here.  And I would highly recommend you watch Joddi Quam’s video story (also found at the same link) about being Sucker Punched.  Very powerful and moving.

At the same time we launched a third Sunday morning service.  So, now we are doing three Sunday morning services – 9:00, 10:30, & 11:55!

Here are some of my thoughts from Sunday:

  • This is exhausting!!  It was my first & predominant thought. But I’ll get used to it.
  • An apology is in order for the 11:55 attenders for the parking lot fiasco, the check-in at Kids Kanyon, and the late start time.  We obviously have some time issues to work out.  If you go over (like…say…10 minutes) from what you planned, it is impossible to begin another service with a ten minute turnaround time.  Sorry everyone.
  • Going to church at 9:00 a.m. sounds good on Tuesday, but when Sunday morning arrives, those who intended to go at 9:00 end up coming to the 11:55 service!!  I love you, but I don’t trust any stated intentions of what service you will be attending! 🙂  Prior to Sunday everyone acted like 11:55 was way too late to have a service.  *snicker*
  • Great to see so many people!
  • Lots of first time guests!
  • The dynamic between a speaker and an audience is powerful for me.  Because of the time requirements, I actually timed my sermon on Saturday and then early Sunday  morning I got in the pulpit and preached out loud to an empty auditorium (I NEVER do that…like EVER).  The sermon was so bad I literally started to panic afterwards begging God to rescue the morning because it was too late to write a new one.
  • Great job to the band for a long morning as they played back-to-back-to-back.
  • Thankful for three solid teams of volunteers all over the building for three services.
  • After my message I invited people to write on slips of paper in the seat pockets about their sucker punched moment, or a next step, or a prayer request.  I’ve read the slips of paper.  I am completely humbled by the stories that were full of such pain and suffering and also God’s grace and mercy.  It shakes the trite out of me to read them and causes me to seriously reflect the nature of my calling and pastoral ministry to pastor people that God is crazy in love with that have been wounded in life so deeply.  Truly honored.
  • My normal routine between services is now gone.  I’m in the process of trying to quickly discover a new one.  And it feels weird.
I’m looking forward to Sunday.  Week two of Sucker Punched.  This one is dealing with sickness.  This one hits closer to home for me.  See you there.  Bring a friend.  9:00, 10:30, and 11:55 am (or so we hope 🙂 )