Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My Great Adventure!

So I went on another fly-fishing, overnight trip again this weekend. It was an opportunity to try out some new gear and get out into the wild:) It was a great 23 hours. Here are the trip highs and lows, combined with some outdoor gear comments:
  • Beautiful weather
  • New rubberized trout net worked really well; flies and hooks didn't get caught in the net!
  • Coleman Peak 1 Single-Burner micro stove worked very well. Heated up food and water in a hurry and was super compact and packable!
  • Had some good snow this morning while I was fishing. Made for a beautiful view and was a pretty awesome moment. Nobody was around this morning while I fished; just me, the river, the snow and palisades.
  • I stayed on the camping spot on the island near the beginning of the Dix River. It was difficult to find a place for my tent, but there was fire wood galore! I practically had a bonfire going for four hours and a fire in the morning for breakfast. Nothing like free firewood that requires no cutting!
  • Caught quite a few fish! I caught my limit both days; nothing huge but most were decent.
  • There was a beastly wind at my face on my way home this morning. I'm pretty sore from rowing my rear off because of the wind.
  • My new 0 degree, feather lite, Ledge sleeping bag was kind of a bust. It was very tight, and I could probably use an extra-long bag. However, the worse part was when the zipper broke in the middle of the night. I got up to take the rain fly off the tarp (it was windy, but no clouds). When I got back in the zipper snagged as I was zipping it up so that it didn't zip as it went up. While I was pulling it the zipper piece broke off. I finally got the seems to match up and managed to zip it up using the inside zipper piece. I was a little bit cold when I woke up at 3am. It's supposed to be a 0 degree bag, but at 23 degrees I'd be afraid to take it any lower.
  • I didn't sleep as well as I would have liked: wind on the rain-fly, took the rain-fly off, zipper broke, woke up a little cold, etc.
  • Had to leave for work. I really wanted to stay a couple more days! It was a great trip, despite the zipper issue!
Did I mention it was a solo trip? It was fun, but solo trips always make me a twinge nervous. Nothing like hanging out in the woods of Kentucky by yourself to live on the edge. I might go to the Smoky Mountains with some friends in a few weeks. That will be another adventure to share later:)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas for Christians??

As I get older there are some elements of Christmas that are well focused and some that are increasingly bothersome (and I don't throw out the word bothersome everyday). Gift giving does promote an unselfish and giving aspect that I think is important. It would seem to correlate with the wise men and their gifts, even though they gave gifts to Jesus and didn't receive a tangible gift back. I think I struggle with the Americanization of Christmas, especially as it leads to consumerism. It does create a flux in the buyers market unlike any other time of the year. So much so that many business' count on the flux in order to survive. Kim just text'd me to share her current disdain for the season for the first time ever. Why? Because she has been on a big, brown truck that delivers gifts to many since after Thanksgiving week. It has put a lot more money in our pockets, but she is exhausted and ready to hibernate. I think somehow, for Christians, Christmas needs to change. It should somehow celebrate the birth of the Messiah and reflect the values and goals the Christ child has for us all. So, any ideas as to what that might look like for a Christian community? Christmas Eve service is great, but its more like the anasthetic for a post-Christian society. Just about everyone goes and walks out feeling like they did their duty for the year. I think we need something that creates community interaction and demonstrates thankfulness and worship. Maybe someone is already doing something like this?? What is it:)??

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Incredible Testimonies about addiction and faith

Check out this website! - It has testimonies from different famous folks about their relationships with Jesus Christ. They talk about everything from sex and drug addiction to greed. All of it contains a message of how God worked with them and through them as a result of it. They even have people ready to talk with folks who desire help and a relationship with Christ via phone, text and I.M.! Check it out and send it to friends.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Jim's Christmas List:)

Here is what I want for Christmas. This is really just for Kim, but everyone else feel free to contribute anyway you'd like:)

Jim’s Christmas List

Fishing Kayak (used or new)

Car Top Rack for a Malibu Max 2005 (used or new)

Frisbee Disk (Driver or Midrange)

0 or 10 degree mummy style sleeping bag

Baseball Cap

Cool stocking cap

Ultra light camping stove

Bait casting reel

Waterproof Outdoor Medkit

2 Way Radios

Coffee Press (larger than single serving)

Backpacking Water Purifier

Gospel Commentary

Wedding Band (lost during ’07 ice storm)

Under $10

Fly Line tippet (7x, 6x, 3x)

Trout flies (midges, scuds, dries)

Gift Cards


Bass Pro

Dick’s Sporting Goods

Monday, November 10, 2008

Last mega-church blog not real! Bummer!

Just a side note to my most recent blog post. As I began reading the comments made directly to the blog article, I noticed people kept making comments about satire. I just realized at the bottom of the article there was a note stating that the article was satire and intended to bring about discussion on possibilities. So, not a true example:( I'm kind of bummed. Sorry that I initially pumped it as a real example, I didn't know.

A mega-church that sells its building to become missional!

I already posted this on facebook but I'm going to post it here as well. I read a blog today that is very much inline with Barna's predictions in Revolution. A mega church pastor noticed that a majority of the church's members were apathetic to mission and discipleship. So, he sells the church and closes the door on Sunday morning worship productions. They create home communities instead, which means many leave but many stay! Read the blog- it's very thought provoking and inspiring!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tithing again

Tithing is something that I learned very early in my life and have practiced pretty regularly (until recently anyways). I actually learned it in college while going through a membership class in a Presbyterian church. They spent quite a bit of time talking about it and its importance- but I guess I forgot. When we moved to Kentucky I decided that we couldn't afford to tithe. After all, we are taking out government loans just to survive. This made quite a bit of sense. There were some months where I wasn't even sure if we could pay the bills! But low and behold, all the bills have been paid and continue to be paid. We have received blessing through scholarships, extra jobs, gifts from friends and family and yes, loans (mostly no interest to low interest). And the more the provision comes, the more conviction (guilt really) I feel. So, we have decided to begin tithing again based on the income of our jobs (not our loans). Ultimately, I have learned two things:

1) If the church (and other organizations, but primarily the church) is about promoting the gospel, doing good, helping, providing and supporting- why would I not want that organization to have my finances, especially in a time of recession more than any other. I also benefit from this community and have given very little to it. Even though it will be very little, I need to financially support the structure because the structure supports the community (others, Nicholasville, our family, etc.)
2) It's about faith. As far as I can tell, the budget still does not balance out. It doesn't appear that the funds coming in will match the funds going out, especially now that we are tithing, but somehow it always does.

We do continue to cut back in many ways as a family, but this has been for our good. It has helped us realize that we need far less than what we want. Most recently I have learned this about food. For some reason we have, as Americans, this intense fear of not having a large quantity of high quality, eclectic food. Its crazy how much we can spend on food and we often justify because it has a dual purpose: entertainment. But that's going to have to be another blog:)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Filling your cup

I'm looking back on the last three or four months and feeling pretty blessed to have taken as many 1-2 day camping/fishing trips as I did. This is something I haven't had the opportunity to do for a while. Heck, having two days off in a row was something foreign to me for four years until I moved to Kentucky. I learned that these trips fill my cup! They give me energy, joy- they give me something to look forward to outside of the everyday plan (I want to use the word rut- but life has been pretty good lately so I don't think rut applies). I've learned that I love adventure, nature, silence and simple living. It's not what I want all the time, but its what I need from time to time. I now realize it's a part of who I am and something I need to function well. When I knew a trip was coming I focused on getting homework done so I wouldn't have to worry about it while I was out. When I don't have something on the calendar I get bored and waste my time with video games and facebook applications that really distract me more than they pour into me. So, do you know what fills your cup? What excites you, helps you focus, gives you something to look forward to? I'm glad I know (for this season of life anyway) and I hope you can know too!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Meeting a gay friend at Starbucks

I have an interesting story about work today. A regular customer who comes through the drive-thru often, opened up with me briefly today. I was telling him why I was attending seminary (since he asked) when he asked me if I was like those guys that came to his door dressed up in white shirts and ties. I told him, "No, those are Mormons". Then he told me that he had them in one time to talk. They seemed very nice and interested in him until he told them he was gay. When they seemed opposed to that, he told them "it's not my fault God made me this way". Then he just laid it out there and asked them, "Do you think I'm going to Hell because God made me gay"? KABLAM! He dropped the bomb in their laps and their reply was more or less a courteous, but politely stated "yes". So, at this point I think the story is going to work towards a "Christians suck" statement, but it didn't. His next statement about ripped my heart out of my chest. He said, "I really worry about this a lot. I don't want to go to Hell, but I am what I am." And he seriously meant it from deep within his heart and right out of his eye sockets and into mine! I could see it, he was scared! He seemed like a kind, compassionate man who believed in God, heaven and hell and didn't want to be punished for what he was. He told me that his brothers and father stopped talking to him because they didn't want anyone to know that they were related to a faggot! And I knew what was coming, then he asked me what I thought. I told him that folks like the mormons, and even some Christians will say that going to heaven is dependent on doing some things and not doing other things. But I told him that going to heaven is about your relationship with Jesus Christ who wants us to be in relationship with him and end up in heaven with him. To which he replies, "I read my Bible and pray regularly". (I'm going to cuss here, so stop reading if you can't handle it) Damn it, that's more than a lot of regular church going Christians (of course, I just said it's not about what you do or don't do, right). Here's a guy who prays and reads scripture and is gay and tells me he has a relationship with God! So, I tell him it sounds like he is on the right path. So, once again I'm frustrated! I've really seen in my own life lately where if I really allow Jesus to transform my mind than I am able to be transformed more and more into his likeness. I really wanted to sit down with the guy and share my own story and find out more about his and share this concept with him. But I'm selling coffee, not on a church staff. But chances are, this guy isn't going to church, but he is buying coffee. So here is my tension- I love God and I love God's law that leads to truth and freedom AND I love people, who are made in God's image! So, here is my plea to those of us that claim an evangelical view of scripture and God's perfect, sanctified will in our lives and the lives of others: if we are going to look someone in the eye's and say, "because of your desires, celibacy is the best way for you to honor God with your life", let's make sure that our churches and our families are places that they will be able to retreat to and find unconditional love, support and commitment even if they constantly fail in trying to do so. Maybe I'm just a push-over and need to be more stern about the commandments of God (which I fully believe in), but my heart breaks wide open every time a gay person is ostracized by their friends, family and church. Some claim the orientation has always been in them. I'm not them, I'm not sure if that's the case or not? But I do know that many would probably appreciate a Christian ear to speak into along with some Christian friendship, support and teaching. I think one of the important elements is giving unconditional friendship amongst it all. That's stinkin' tough, but I believe is of fundamental importance to the gay community. Well, that was all very stressful for me to write. I need some coffee now. I'd love to hear what anyone else thinks about this:)

Family Camp

Kim, Alexis and I attended a family camp this weekend. It was at Aldersgate United Methodist Camp out in the Kentucky mountains (really hills). It was a gorgeous area between four or five beautiful, tree covered hills. We got to hang out with all of our friends from Sunday School and church (Nicholasville UMC). I played some disc golf, flag football and basketball- which is why walking is difficult today. We all played group games, sat around a camp fire and worshiped together. Shawn M. did a three series lesson on Wesley's three simple rules (do no harm, do good, grow with God). All in all it was a great weekend. Now I need to write four papers, though:(

Monday, October 20, 2008

NCLI Church Planting Conference

Well, I did a lousy job blogging as I attended the NCLI Church Planting Conference last week in Fayetteville, Arkansas. It was because I had to do homework most nights when the conference was over at 6pm. It was a "little sleep" event- I ran off of adrenaline mostly. It was a good conference. They have made quite a few good adjustments since I last attended a few years ago. I am somewhat pleased that there were very few surprise insights to church planting. Hopefully this means I have attended enough of these events that I have learned a good portion of the information needed to get a church off the floor. My favorite speaker was Dr. Elaine Heath from Perkins School of Theology. She has created communities of people that are monastic/evangelistic in nature. They are folks that are tired of the traditional church model that sucks up huge amounts of resources in order to survive. I really relate to what she was saying. Many of our churches lose their missional goals out of survival: keeping the building going, paying the staff, etc. These are communities of people that meet mostly in homes. They worship together, experience genuine community (sometimes even living together) and serve together in a very missional way that often involves not just serving the poor, but knowing the poor. If you are interested, Dr. Heath has two books out that approach this emerging model of church and community:

The Mystic Way of Evangelism, Elaine A. Heath

Longing for spring; a new vision for Methodist ministry, Dr. Elaine Heath

Overall, the conference was a good investment of time. It also represented the light at the end of the tunnel for me. I've very excited to begin life as a senior pastor either in a current UM church or a new church plant opportunity. I've had to meditate and pray quite a bit lately to get my heart to stop racing. And now for homework:)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Let's refocus:)

So I've completely fallen off the earth with the blog thing. My original focus was to cover the life of our family while here in Kentucky. That was good for a while, but I have some other stuff I'd like to occasionally pump in here. So, I'm going to give myself some freedom to do so and hopefully that will get me back in the swing of it. This week I am at a church planting conference in Arkansas called the NCLI Conference. I'm going to blog some different points of the conference so maybe you can glean from it as well. I look forward to sharing more as the week goes on!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Camping at Cumberland Falls, Kentucky

Alexis and I took a trip to Cumberland Falls, Kentucky last week. We went three days and two nights to a beautiful area. The camp site was decent, but for being a major state park it could have been a little nicer. It makes me appreciate Missouri camping areas all the more. There were a ton of great hikes in the area. We did one to Eagle Falls and it was the best. A lot of rock climbing, hills and scenic opportunities. We attempted to get to Dog Slaughter Falls but we got on the path too early. We jumped on the 4.4 mile path which ended at the 1.5 mile path. Alexis and I turned around at about mile 3 and headed back to the car. We saw several snakes and Alexis even spotted the first one right off of the trail. She thought they were pretty cool! We found an awesome cove on Lake Laurel that we hung floated on for a few hours and that was the extent of the trip. If you want to check out our pictures on Facebook follow this link:
I went on a fly fishing float trip last week as well and caught a ton of fish. You can see some of those pictures at:
There will definitely be more trips in the future!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Job Transition

Kim starts a new job this week. She resigned from "Kid's Place" a couple of weeks ago and worked her last day on Friday. On Tuesday she will start with UPS. The "Kid's Place" job was difficult for a lot of reasons; she was expected to work four different areas by herself, she was away from Alexis all day, she occasionally had to work weekends, and the list goes on and on. She will work from around 4am-9am, Monday through Friday at UPS. It's a tough time commitment but it will allow her to be home most of the time with Alexis which means we can cut out paid childcare from the mornings. She is going to also pick up a few more hours at the gym that she coaches at on a very slim basis right now. So, she will work less hours but we will save money. Did I also mention that UPS offers full and incredible benefits after 60 days? Theirs are actually better than Starbucks! So, that's what's up. As a side note, I went on my first Kentucky trout fishing trip last week. Someone at church was nice enough to let a friend and I borrow his canoe on a short term basis. We canoed all the way up the Dix River for about two hours and fished for trout. It was an awesome trip and fish were caught. You can check out some of my trip pictures at

Monday, April 14, 2008

Large Church Pastors- learn from Starbucks CEO

Howard Schultz (Starbucks CEO) was interviewed recently about re-inventing Starbucks under the current pressure of a difficult economy. One of his answers particularly struck me in light of a younger culture that does not particularly care for "large church" as the Boomers did (and still do). Read Schultz' answer to how Starbucks plans on being large and getting larger:

You were once a real growth company, innovating all the time. How hard is it to grow when you're already so big?

I guess the question is, can you get big and stay small? And I think when you get large and very successful, you have to balance creativity and entrepreneurship with process and strategy. We got a little out of balance, and we weren't as creative and entrepreneurial as we were when we were smaller. And what I'm trying to do is infuse the company with the kind of spirit and innovation [we had] when we were younger. At the same time, I recognize we're a big company and have to do things in a different way. But we are going to bring more excitement and more innovation to our customers over the next 12 to 18 months than we have in the last five years. The other thing—and I think it's hard for people to understand—is that the headwind of the economy is very, very tough. Every consumer brand, every retailer, is under significant pressure. So it's really hard to separate the challenges every company has from what's going on in terms of consumer confidence. For example, mall traffic in America is down in consecutive months between 9% and 10%. It's very difficult to manage through that. But the job of every retailer and every merchant is to put yourself in the shoes of the customer and ask yourself: Are you exceeding their expectations? That's what we have to do as a business.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My first piggy-tails!

Since I'm Mr. Mom now, I get Alexis ready for preschool in the mornings (however, Kim still sets her clothes out because of my inability to match colors up properly-I blame the color blindness on my Dad). Kim has recently told me that merely combing Alexis' hair doesn't get the job done. So today I did my first piggy-tails- and I'm quite proud of them. They aren't perfect, but they are close, right? So the back of her head looks like a big "S", maybe she'll be a trend setter at school because of it?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Alexis and Kim in the snow!

So we lived through the huge mideast snow storm! It really wasn't too bad here. I think we received four to six inches but most of it melted off in a few days. Just a little bit north of here they really got hammered- up to a foot of snow! Well, around here that is really getting hammered. Alexis and Kim took advantage of the snow yesterday before it all melted. I uploaded a few of the pics, but to check them all out you can go to this site:
Alexis has a bad cough today. Probably a combination of beginning school last week (new kids, new germs) and playing in the snow yesterday. We were supposed to go to Kim's work (Kid's Place) today and Alexis was going to play while I studied, but we decided she should stay home and rest since she has school tomorrow. Alexis is pretty bummed! Maybe next week:)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Alexis' first day at preschool!

Today was Alexis' first day at a preschool in Wilmore! She will be in class most afternoons during the week. Kim and I are incredibly happy that she will have an opportunity to learn and grow with other children. Our little girl is a social butterfly and definitely needs "friend time". However, the biggest thing that she did today was ride the bus home for the very first time! She did a great job and loved her time on the bus. We have a couple gals in the area who watch children in their homes for affordable hourly amounts. So, after two months we finally have Alexis locked into a schedule. Kim's first day of work was Tuesday and she is off to a great start. She really likes the people she works with and is naturally great at anything involving children. She will also be working a night or two at a gymnastics place in Lexington. She had a great night tonight with a class of very talented gymnasts. TWO MONTHS- that's how long we have lived in vagueness and chaos. However, it appears our waves have subsided and we can hopefully live on the beach for a while. Granted it is the part of the beach for poor folks- but we're just happy to be on the sand and out of the water!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Launch Day for a New Church in Nicholasville!

This morning I was blessed to visit a church that celebrated its initial launch service this morning. They have been preparing for 8 months and it was obvious that was the case. It ran very smoothly and even though they had a few kinks, overall it was impressive. Here are some of my observation in bullet form fashion:
  • Great signage! They had professional, 3 foot fold out signs two miles back on the main street of Nicholasville that directed you to the location of Catalyst church. The church also had a large sign outside the school (Jessamine East High) that kept me from almost driving out into the sticks.
  • Decent publicity! I found out through word of mouth. Some of the launch team folks have hung out at Starbucks in the past and introduced themselves. They have professional cards made which also has the service time and place on it. They let me listen to their commercial that they aired on the radio and it was done very well. But other than the personal contact I haven't seen or heard anything about the church. I was told this morning that they put some door hangers in the area the week of.
  • Great space! Jessamine East High School is likely a well known building within the community. It seems very new and was incredibly user friendly for the church. They had a great stretch of hall that many people were gathered in and utilizing. They had a sign up area at the front, a free (and very nicely stocked, organized and decorated) beverage and snack area at the opposite end complete with cafe' tables and child care rooms in between. They had a pretty impressive check in system for children for a new church plant. There were cards that had numbers on them. You would stick one on your child and keep the original card that also had the number.
  • Great worship space! The auditorium was awesome! It had padded fold down seats with ample knee room. My biggest critique of the worship space is that the projection screen was a little low for everyone in the auditorium to see. It needs to be about five feet higher, somehow??? The auditorium could probably seat around 400 packed which is about perfect for a new church.
  • Great critical mass! There were probably 250 people in the auditorium for their first official service. 250 people made the place feel pretty full. It could have held more and it could have held less- I don't think the place will feel lonely until you have under 75-100.
  • Phenomenal Band! John Kelley leads the band and is excellent, however the guys he played with today had solid stage presence and energy which made everything twice as good! They looked like they were having fun and it was obvious they were all seasoned instrumentalists. There weren't any female vocals, but the guys did a good job singing at comfortable levels without a lot of vocal flux. There opening song was actually "Bad to the bone"! Overall, worship felt very authentic, well rehearsed and had excellent flow. John, the worship leader, spoke a little too often between songs for me but I felt that what he had to say between songs developed a better understanding of who he was and who God was. It was not fluffy or fill time- but I tend to be a bigger fan of worshipful song gaps as opposed to informational song gaps. Overall, this church is blessed with a killer band who I think will have a lot of positive influence in filling seats!
  • Great team structure! I very much felt like I was walking into something that was established and not just coming together for the first time. For me this was a good thing because it created positive energy. I (as a Christian, seminary student) could tell that many people had been planning, working together and worshiping together for quite some time. It did not feel like the work of one person to me but of many as a team. I did see Dave (I think it's Dave but it might be David- he's the point pastor) give some orders to folks a few times, but for the first service he really was doing very little when it came to setting up and just spending time with people- which is great! I could tell that volunteers had been empowered to lead and conquer. At least, this was my overall impression as a first time attender.
  • Good first sermon! Dave is a very good preacher and preached for around 20 minutes with no noticeable notes (by the way, no one in the band used sheet music either- it all appeared to be memorized- very professional). It was a good sermon, but I did find myself at times wondering off- of course, keep in mind I mentally wonder off during the day every 1.5 minutes. There was at least one video-technology glitch in the sermon, but Dave moved on without it and it did not distract from the point he was making. What is most important to me about Dave's message is what he conveyed about the values and vision of Catalyst church. Between the message and his announcements at the end this is what I currently perceive the values and vision of Catalyst to be:
    • Authenticity
    • Church is for sinners, broken people and bored people (sounds like Alpha)
    • We are all sinners, broken people or bored people
    • Missional- from the get go they have announced a mission trip in the Fall. Their closing song was about serving in the city- which Dave shared was a theme song for the church. Though there weren't any immediate small ways to serve I did since that the church was there to be in mission to the community and world.
    • Bible based- David asked folks to open their Bibles where he shared about God's power to save us and provide us a future that is greater than out past. He conveyed this point very well and even I felt greatly encouraged and lifted up by his scriptural message of God's desire to save people.
  • Initial programs: He announced at the end that the initial programs the church would be offering and directed folks to a blue sheet outside that contained all the information (no bulletins at the door):
    • Men's Bible Study/Women's Bible Study
    • Men's Mission Trip to Dominican Republic
    • Home Groups (kind of vague- must be local, social groups)
    • College Adult Twenty Something groups
    • I spoke to the youth guy and he said that youth ministry (Middle school and High School) will kick off at a later time once the church is on it's feet. Childrens ministry seems to happen in the nurseries and kids 5 and older left right before the sermon.
    • Opportunities to serve on the Tear Down/Set up team and in Children's Ministry. It's impressive and helpful that they offer opportunities to serve right at the start. I stayed and helped them tear down and felt excited and a part of the group right away.
    • Mission Statement stated on Sheet as well: We exist to help non-Christians and Christians alike find their way to God.
    • Web site: - good, simple and informative.
Catalyst had a great launch today and I think they are on the right track to becoming a healthy church in the community. I was concerned about their commercial that states they want to be a church for people who hate church. They still might attract folks with some harmful values and differing agendas, but the core group appears to be very "churchy"- for better or worse. I was amazed at the amount of folks who showed up with Bibles for people who didn't like church. I was amazed at the spirit-filled worship for folks who didn't like church. I really think its for folks who don't like traditional church and who may be unfamiliar with more modern forms of Christian worship- ie: the use of technology, secular music, casual attire, coffee in the auditorium, authentic messages, etc. I think the slogan "church for those who hate church" is probably a good technique to bring in folks who are unchurched or dechurched. There desire isn't to coerce churched Christians into leaving their place of worship but to bring in those folks who have spiritual desires but have no church home or who are dissatisfied with traditional church. I look forward to attending future worship services with them and watching them grow. I could probably say a lot more but I think this is a good foundation for future blogs about their growth and change!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Kim has a job!

We knew it was only a matter of time. Kim was offered a full-time position with Kid's Place in Lexington, Kentucky. She will be the front desk supervisor beginning next Tuesday. She is getting ready to go in today to go over the benefits program they offer. It's right next to a big Gold's Gym and she has been told that she will have a membership there as a part of her benefits. So, in three months she will be "Body Builder Kim", or maybe not. She has also taken a part-time job at Legacy Gymnastics in Lexington. She will work there a couple of nights a week and Alexis' classes will be 1/2 off that way. It's a huge gym! So all of this couldn't have come a moment sooner. If she didn't get a position in the next two weeks we were looking at a very large Federal loan- that's no good. Alexis went to preschool screening on Monday. It's in Wilmore and its supposed to be fabulous (of course, everyone knows that Jesus lives in Asbury's backyard). It's a public preschool for mostly poor folks like us, so it will be a lot of seminary kids and local kids. We will find out shortly if she has been accepted, which will be very necessary now that Kim has a job. So, we are taking a deep sigh and looking forward to a schedule.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Take the good with the bad

Well, on my way to Starbucks last night I received my first traffic ticket in a long time. I was going through a yellow light (let me emphasize yellow) when someone pulled up on my tail pretty quickly. When I saw the lights go off I thought it would be a good idea to get off the phone with my dad. Could we correlate the cell phone use with the unwise traffic decision . . . . . maybe??? Anyways he slapped a fantastic ticket on me. The fine for running a light is squat, it's the court fees that get you! I'm thinking about pleading my case to the judge- wet roads, fast yellow lights (as opposed to Springfield, MO), poor seminary student. But on a happy note I had an iced zebra mocha at work last night- WOW! It is definitely my new favorite drink. If you haven't had one yet you need to! Maybe I could add that to my court case- I'm hiped on Starbucks. Speaking of Starbucks, every Starbucks in the nation will be closed tomorrow from 6-9pm to learn our new national quality standards for baristas. So, make sure to get that iced zebra mocha before 6pm!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Book title idea!

Okay, I have a book idea for someone out there to jump all over. I checked out the title on Amazon and no one has published this idea yet. It can be kind of a historical, ideological, cultural book. It's name??? The name is "Affirmational to Transformational: The last 50 years of the Christian Faith". The idea is that it covers the current trend of American (very limited there, but that is where you are probably living) Christianity in the last 50 years. It'll unpack the understanding of the popular movement of Christian faith moving from a confessional movement (you know- saying the prayer, the creed, the affirmation of faith, etc.) to a lifestyle/missional movement. Now, let me emphasize the word "popular". Both of these church styles are still operating within our culture, but one is a response to recent culture and one is a response to culture 50 years ago (regardless of whether they would admit it or not). So, as much as I hate for someone to make yet another post-modern/emerging church book- that's kind of where it would fit. I've got a couple of scripture ideas for it too. The first is from the Old Testament: Amos 5:22- the prophet speaks about God not accepting their burnt offerings but desiring justice and righteousness. The second is from the New Testament: Matthew 21:28-31- the parable of the two sons; one said he would not work and did, the other said he would work and didn't. I'm ashamed to say it took me about thirty minutes to find that last one. So, as much as I'd like to unpack further, I need to study. You can unpack it when you write it:)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Asbury Chapels are Amazing!

I have attended chapel now, twice a week for two weeks in a row. Wasn't really my plan when I started classes but I just can't help myself. The worshiping community here is amazing! There are three things that make chapel amazing:
1) The people attending- there is such a feeling of awe when you come into worship with hundreds of people who have a heart and a thirst for God. You can feel hearts flowing from voices when they open their mouths. This could be a wrong assumption, but most of the individuals there are singing out of a fullness as opposed of an emptiness. The campus community is well known for that. And even those that are there and empty are looking for a fullness; that's why they are there.
2) Worship style- they really do blended worship well. It doesn't feel pieced together or disjointed. They have a guy on a piano who plays hymns and modern songs incredibly well! He composes music so well that most of the time you can't tell what's a hymn and whats a modern piece. The songs flow very well, the musician sings and plays well.
3) Speakers and Chapel Pastor- We had an incredible speaker today who spoke about prayer and her connection to the Holy Spirit. Tuesday we had a guy who was local who spoke about Mary and her love of Jesus. Everyone they bring in has more of a practical spiritual message as opposed to a dry theological message. And then there is the Chapel Director- JD Walt. He is a very soft spoken man who seems to have a real spiritual sense to him. Whenever he preaches he shows a great deal of insight and faith. Overall, the the speakers are always deep in knowledge and faith encouraging.
Well, now I'm going to go play with Alexis. Our classes were canceled for the afternoon because of the ice storm. A little bit of play time and a whole lot of reading- fun, fun!

Sunday, February 17, 2008


So, I guess I'm sick. I don't remember being sick much until I moved to Springfield. Then I started developing headaches and having days where I just feel crappy. I don't know if it's part of getting older, stress or allergy changes? Probably all of those things. I'm not bouncing back well from working the weekend closing shifts at Starbucks. When I go to bed after 1am I generally don't bounce back well. This morning I woke up with a headache and have had one most of the day along with a lot of coughing. It is interesting that the temperature shot up about 16 degrees today, too. Seems like whenever we have big temperature jumps my head aches. I'll be better tomorrow after a full nights sleep. Speaking of blaughhh, Kim wasn't offered the position that she interviewed for three times. We are both pretty bummed. She was offered a position with another company here in Nicholasville, unfortunately it starts out as part-time and not a whole lot of money. She interviews with a placement agency tomorrow morning for positions that guaranty a little more money than what she was offered with the other company. So, the saga continues. We all went to a $1.50 movie tonight to break free of the homestead. We saw the VeggieTales- The Pirates that do Nothing. It was pretty good- I enjoyed it, maybe you will too?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A scatter minded persons dream come true- OneNote

So I recently bought a Sony Vaio laptop from someone at Asbury that was used but only 8 months old. It came with Microsoft Office, Student Version. One of the software products that comes with Student Office is called "OneNote". OneNote is a program that is like Word on crack, with tabs! The tab system allows you to keep every document open, organized and editable in a few clicks. You can basically organize everything in the following way: Theme>Sub theme>Page. So I have a theme set up for Seminary/Spring '08. Off of that I have all of my classes each as it's own sub theme (ie.- Concise Greek, Methodist Polity, Matthew, etc.). And then off of each I have my lectures listed as their own pages off to the side (ie.- 2/12/08, 2/14/08, 2/19/08). I also have the syllabus listed as the first page of every sub theme. This has also been great because I am blitzed by ideas all the time and have always struggled with finding a way to keep and organize ones that I like. So, now I have a "Church Planting" theme folder. I have it broken up by the following sub themes: ideas, resources, events, rules to live by. Since I just attended a Wesleyan Church Planters Event I made a page off of "Events" named "Wesleyan Church Planters Event" and took all my notes there. So, instead of accessing "File", then "Open" and then opening the file "Church Planting" it's all one the page in front of you. So, you go to the left and click "Church Planting", go to the top of the page and click "Events" and go to the right of the page and click "Wesleyan Church Planters Event". Now that I have thoroughly confused you, let me just say I highly recommend Microsoft OneNote to anyone who could use a software system that will organize and compile all of your thoughts, ideas and work! I think it would be invaluable to anyone who is writing a book, in marketing, enjoys chaos journaling (yes, I made that up) or is in ministry and enjoys brainstorming. It has tons more features that make the software three times as user friendly as any other Microsoft Office software program. So, two thumbs up!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

D-Day over, but not over

Well, it's been a long day. It didn't help that I got to bed late. I closed at Starbucks and got home around 12:30pm. Then if took me until 2am to fall asleep. And in my anxiousness for the day I woke up two or three times until I finally got up around 8am. My classes were great, though! I was very impressed with my professors. My "Pastoral Crisis and Intervention" class was like listening to a heart wrenching sermon for over an hour! He used several different stories, songs and videos that ripped your heart out for those who have experienced loss in their lives- very powerful and very well done. Once again, at Asbury there is a continual focus to make what you learn ministry applicable from the very get-go! So, that was my day. Kim had a good interview and was told that she would receive an offer or not on Friday. So, once again, we wait. She was told that they now have another store that has an assistant manager opening, so now they need three. Kim was very nervous about the interview and is relieved that it's over. As for Alexis, school was canceled today because of snow and ice. So, maybe that'll happen tomorrow. Thank you for everyone who has been praying for us- we're getting closer!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

D-Day for the Voigts

A lot happens for us this Tuesday. I start classes at Asbury, Kim has her third interview with Kroger for an Assistant Manager Position and we turn in some initial paperwork for Alexis to hopefully attend Nicholasville Preschool. So we would appreciate any prayer support we can get for Tuesday the 12th. I got my first taste of what a slammed Starbucks tastes like yesterday. I worked an 8 1/2 hour shift and it only calmed down in the last 30 minutes. It was nutso! So, if you live in Nicholasville and ordered a tall, decaf, skinny, cinnamon dolce latte and received a venti, triple, breve (also known as 1/2 and 1/2) mocha then I apologize that you gained 5 pounds and didn't fall asleep until the sun came up.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Church Planters Event with the Wesleyans

The first day of the Wesleyan church planters event was pretty good today. They shared a lot of helpful books, websites and resources. All of the presenters today were very intense. Not so much a serious intenseness as much as a hyper intenseness. At times they were serious intense, but mostly hyper- but good presenters all the same. It was good to hang out with my Wesleyan (denomination) brothers and sisters. The Wesleyans seem to be pretty focused church planters. I would have never known that because I don't know of many Wesleyan churches in Missouri. I'm sure they are there, I just don't know of many of them. I go back tomorrow to close it out. I'll have to list all the resources and most important statements over the weekend sometime. On a family note, Kim and Alexis worked on Valentines today. Evidently Alexis left the kitchen for a few minutes while Kim was doing something. Kim found her in the living room cutting her hair with a pair of scissors they used on the Valentines- not a happy mommy. I guess part of their plans tomorrow include some time at a hair salon to trim up- since Alexis focused her cutting focus only on one side.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Crazy Storms!

Family and friends have been checking in on us because of the crazy storm activity here in Kentucky. We had an actual squall come through here yesterday along with a few tornadoes. It did a lot of destruction but fortunately we didn't incur any loss in Nicholasville. We have more high winds moving through tonight and the temperature dropped about 20 degrees this afternoon. So, no more 65 degree days:( We went to an indoor swimming pool today so Alexis could utilize her built in fins and gills. She is a swimming machine- 2 1/2 hours straight. Kim and I are pretty exhausted tonight and looking forward to a full night of sleep. Kim has the sniffles tonight and is starting to feel a bit under the weather. Hopefully just a short term deal. Tomorrow I start a two day church planting seminar with the Wesleyan church. Hey, I'm not picky- any information is good information. I'm sure I'll have more to share on it over the weekend.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Newport Aquarium Visit

Last week we took a great trip to Newport Aquarium- one hour away from Nicholasville, right outside of Cincinnati Ohio. I uploaded the pictures on Facebook. Here is a link that will allow anyone to check out our pictures:

Monday, February 4, 2008

One month as Kentucky residents!

Well, it's been over a month now. We moved here to Nicholasville, Kentucky at the end of December. It's taken a while to get adjusted to all the changes that come with moving. Transferring everything over from Missouri to Kentucky has been immensely time consuming but has almost come to an end. I received a job at Starbucks pretty quickly after moving. They offer health benefits at part-time which made it pretty alluring to me; not to mention free drinks and coffee beans. I didn't sleep for the first week of training. I have to put in three months with the company before benefits kick in- one down, two to go. Kim has had several interviews with one company and has a third next week. On the day of her third interview I start classes and Alexis goes to a local preschool screening- it's a big day. We went to the Cincinnati-Newport Aquarium last week. I'll upload some pretty cool pictures and movie clips of it later. I'm looking forward to sharing my thoughts on my Asbury classes and Voigt family life here in Kentucky!