Saturday, October 6, 2012

More than Entertainment Focused Kids Programs

Great story about the Connection Studio, a 4,5 & K class Westwinds Church in Jackson, Michigan, where I used to be the kids pastor. The Connection Studio used Sonja Steward and Jerome Berryman's "Young Children in Worship" curriculum.

This story is from Sarah who both taught in the Connection Studio and had a young daughter in the class.

The school started doing "Book It" program where kids earn a free personal pizza for reading so much. Ryan, now in first grade, loves reading so she decided she would read her Bible for Book It. Tuesday evening she was in the yard reading her Bible and I noticed that she kept putting it down, so I went out to see what she was doing. When I asked her she replied, "Ugh, mom, didn't you know that when you read the Bible you are supposed to stop, think about it and then pray?"

I am so thankful for the people who invested in our kids at Westwinds Church; who believed that kids can connect to God and didn't need to be "entertained" to learn about God. God meets us in silence, in play, in nature, in literature, in relationships. Our kids ability and desire for repetition is inate.

It's no wonder that our kids who have been brought up with entertainment focused programs, seek entertainment based "big people's" church when they grow up.
. . . Just saying

Sunday, September 23, 2012

New Beginnings

Since leaving Westwinds on January 15, my constant prayer and desire has been, "God, let me provide for my family and use the gifts I've been given." Since we don't understand God's ways, our answers to prayer often look different than what we anticipate. But thanks be to God, He does far more than we can ever imagine or even dream of asking.

As this time the doors to a steady 9-5 job have remained closed. Hoever, opportunites to provide spiritual direction, to teach COR300 (a spiritual formation college course), to provide teaching for church elders and leaders, to teach a montly class called Soul Dig, to write kids' curriculum and to clean houses have been abundant.

Go figure, I'm back to cleaning houses! I started when I was 10 years old and now though I'm considerably older, still find it to be good, well paying, mindless, task-driven work which I seriously enjoy! Crazy but true!

Through conenctions that only God could orchestrate I was offered affordable office space in which I could provide spiritual direction and small classes. I'm finally beginning to believe that this is how God is answering my prayer to provide for my family and use my gifts. I am stepping out on faith and opening an office for my Soul Dig:Creating space for God ministry at 429 W. Michigan Ave., Suite 200, Jackson, Michigan.

My goal is to have office 80 percent complete by Saturday, October 27. That is the day I will be hosting my first Soul Dig workshop called, "The Unforced Rhythms of Grace," which looks at Jesus' prayer life and practices.

    p e a c e

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Songs of Allie

My 8 year daughter, Allie loves to write songs and sing. She asked me one day if I had any songs. I pulled out my Bible (The Message translation) and showed her the Psalms. I told her these are songs that David wrote. Maybe you will find some words in here. She looked through my Bible which numerous things marked and she is what she found.

"Show me how you work God.
Take me by the hand.
Lead me down the path of truth." (this was her chorus, sung 3x)

Plan only the best for me God.
Every road I travel will take me to God

(NOTE: if you don't have the Message translation of the Bible, you can check out this scripture on

Monday, September 17, 2012

I am a teacher

The other day I was picking up a few things for the Soul Dig class. As I checked out the attendant asked if I was a teacher. I hesistated and said, "yes, I am a teacher."

What a statement of proclaimation. I am a teacher.