Monday, June 29, 2009

Softball Awesome-ness

I don't know about you guys, but the softball game turnout last night really blew all my expectations out of the water! We were hoping for enough people to make two teams and boy! did we ever exceed those numbers! At one point I counted almost 60 people and I'm sure I missed some coming and going! Wow! Way to invite friends and family! Way to get involved! Everyone's participation made the event truly "sponsored by SpiritFire"--you guys owned every part of it!

Check out Softball Night Pictures here.

John, thanks for being the head grilling chef! We seriously couldn't have pulled the "food" portion off without you! You did a great job and I appreciate the fact that a teen was grilling instead of giving the responsibility to the adults.

Katie, thanks so much for all the picture taking you did. I knew I could count on you to capture some great moments. I'm so glad you were there cheering us on!

Shelby, despite the fact that you were royally upset you couldn't play the full game, you were an irreplaceable part of it. We needed you back there making calls and catching! And came out and took some great swings! Thanks for letting us run for you. :)

Travis, without your hard work in mowing and weed whacking and trimming we really couldn't have pulled this event off at all. Thank you dad for us too! You guys are really appreciated...especially for braving that heat last week!

Chris K, thanks for stepping up to help out with pitching and making calls and for being a great team player! Even the smack talk between you and your mom kept the game entertaining! lol

Chris F as well as John, Chris K, Katie and Heather and Brittney helped out a lot by coming early and helping us set up and staying later to help us clean up.

Kevin and I got lots of great feedback from this event and we're hoping we can pull something like this off again! What do you guys think?

I loved having all the teens and kids and adults intermingling and competing and talking and cheering and of course eating. That's what the church is meant to do--be ONE body (of Christ)!

As far as next Weekend goes:
-you and your families are all invited to The Eccles' 4th of July party!
1pm at the parsonage
bring some food to share
bring your own meat to grill
bring sporting equipment--we'll be playing lots of games!

-there is NO Sunday School.
-at this point we are still planning on having youth group Sunday night the 5th at 5:30pm. If something changes, I'll let you know asap, but there are so many weekends this summer that we have to cancel, I'm hoping to meet despite the holiday weekend.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Softball Game!

hey everyone! I hope you all enjoyed last Sunday with your dads and made them know how much you love and appreciate them!

The main purpose of this update is to reminder you of the BIG event coming up THIS Sunday! Do you remember what's happening? At 6pm Sunday, June 28th WE--the SpiritFire youth group--are hosting an All Church Softball Game & Hotdog Night!

PLEASE COME! And brings all your friends (and your families)! It's the perfect chance to invite those who might not be comfortable in the whole church scene! NO "church" involved this Sunday! Just hotdogs and softball!

If you can come around 5:30 to help set up and stay for a bit afterwards to help clean up that would be awesome!

  1. Softball Game in the field behind the church
  2. 6pm THIS Sunday! (come at 5:30 to help)
  3. Hotdogs & Chips & Drinks provided
  4. Bring lots of equipment--bats, balls, mitts!
  5. Bring Friends & Family
Questions? You know where to find me!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

good times.

I just thought I should let you all know that I had a blast at youth group on Sunday! I was totally stoked to see three new additions and of course you "vets" were just as amazing as always! I seriously love hanging out with you all. Ultimate Frisbee was great, the food was good (minus the completely burnt pizza!), our future plans are totally exciting, and our conversation and challenge time was as intense as always. Thanks for participating!

Just a quick reminder:

June 21st--Father's Day! BBQ after church! NO youth group!
June 28th--ALL Church Softball Game & Hotdog night
August 8-9--night at Mel's parents' house and THE FEST!

Also, keep your ears and eyes open to announcements concerning some possible upcoming fundraisers for our 2010 Jamaica trip!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Something I had to re-post

Just because you guys might be interested. Don't forget to check below to see my other post from yesterday in case you guys missed it. I don't send cool emails when I update...maybe Mel will take pity on me and send one for me.

I've been trying to boil down my faith to something that I can easily explain that doesn't rely on Christian-ese. When I'm surrounded every day by people who literally laugh at the thought of a God that has a relationship with people...referencing the Bible to explain why Christianity is my "world view of choice" just doesn't seem to work well. Go figure.

So when you're not allowed to reference the Bible...what does Christianity boil down to. And if there is a God, why bother following Him? If He cared, wouldn't he let you know? Why hide, right? And why in the world would you wake up on Sunday morning to listen to some crazy guy read from an old, error prone book, just to tell you that the world came into being over 6 days, and is less than 10,000 years old?

Valid questions, I've got to admit.

Sure, we know that Jesus died for our sins, and we know that God loves us, and we don't want the people around us to burn in h-e-double hockey sticks, right? The bible says that we shouldn't lie, shouldn't kill, and it definitely gives us the responsibility to go into Iraq and bomb Sadaam out of power, right? He was a bad guy! Maybe these are all true, maybe they aren't...but the point is that those are all hot button issues that will get you ignored if you assert them with evidence that starts with "The Bible says that..."

As Christians, we've got to quit talking to each other so much. Fellowship is important, I get that. But when Fellowship Halls are more used than the altars...we have a problem. When Fellowship halls are only used for Christians to get together, and not for communities, "unsaved" friends, and people wether or not they belong to the church, why are we meeting on Sundays again?

Now don't get me wrong...I love learning about Jesus on Sunday morning, and Jesus taught in the synagogue "as was his custom" so we know that the Big Guy thought that church and meeting as believers was important. But I think that Jesus spent far more effort on the sick than the healthy...and I bet he didn't quote the Law to the Gentiles. Not because it didn't apply, but probably because He knew better than today's church does that the people who don't respect God already won't respect that old book that is supposedly "written" by him.

I think we need to simplify our view of Christianity. It's not about systematic theology, excatalogical speculation, and certainly not dogmatic teachings of one denomination over another. I wonder if Jesus would head over to the Playboy Mansion to try to chat with Heff about God. I wonder how many churches today would condemn any public evangelist who went into the Playboy mansion. I wonder how concerned Jesus was with "avoiding the very appearance of Evil." Yes, to clarify that one a bit. I don't think Jesus engaged in sinful activity...but that doesn't mean that he didn't go to a (likely shady) party with tax collectors that got him severely judged by the religious establishment of the day.

Jesus was simple. Jesus was clear. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We want to get to The Father, we go through Him. God isn't into this whole complicated business...we live His way, we go to heaven. No debates over Eternal Security, Denominations, whose church condoned slavery 150 years ago...none of it matters.

So here's my take on Christianity. You may feel like I left something out, but I challenge anyone to find something wrong with it.

1) God made us for a relationship with Him
2) We (as humans in general) ran off
3) God sacrificed Jesus to restore our relationship
4) EVERY rule in the Bible is there for our benefit, because He knows what we need better than we do.
5) Our job is to follow those rules, because it's in Him and in fulfilling our purpose that we are truly happy.

Not lying, not coveting, not stealing, killing, or being a jerk to the cashier in line in front of us. It's all for our benefit. Jesus put it well. "Love God with everything you've got. Love people as much as you love yourself." (the Kevin Paraphrased Translation) It's that simple, and I'm sick of people getting wrapped up in the details.

So you want to know how to talk to an unsaved person about God? Tell your own story. I guarantee that we all have a story about that time that we committed a sin and it screwed us over. Tell them about a God that loves us enough to give us all the answers we need. He made us for a relationship with him. We messed up, so he made a huge sacrifice to fix it. If we want to, we can live His way and be happy.

Who wouldn't want that?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Song to Listen to

I may be showing how old I am...but some of you have heard me talk about this song before, and how much I like it. So I decided to throw a link to an MP3 of the song up on the web so you all could download and listen to it. Here's the URL

This is a song that you've got to know the words to fully appreciate, so I'm going to post the lyrics below. The song is by a band called Five Iron Frenzy (which broke up a few years back) that you guys may or may not have ever even heard of, but they wrote a number of songs that really changed the way I looked at my Christian walk when I was in high school. These guys are great.

And now, for your reading pleasure...I present the lyrics to "Dandelions" by FIF.

In a field of yellow flowers,
underneath the sun,
bluest eyes that spark with lightning,
boy with shoes undone.
He is young, so full of hope,
reveling in tiny dreams,
filling up, his arms with flowers,
right for giving any queen.

Running to her beaming bright,
while cradling his prize.
A flickering of yellow light,
within his mother's eyes.
She holds them to her heart,
keeping them where they'll be safe,
clasped within her very marrow,
dandelions in a vase.

She sees love, where anyone else would see weeds.
all hope is found.
Here is everything he needs.

Fathomless your endless mercy,
weight I could not lift.
Where do I fit in this puzzle,
what good are these gifts?
Not a martyr, or a saint,
scarcely can I struggle through.
All that I have ever wanted,
was to give my best to you.

Lord, search my heart,
create in me something clean.
you see flowers in these weeds.

Gently lifting hands to heaven,
softened by the sweetest hush,
a Father sings over his children,
loving them so very much.
More than words could warrant,
deeper than the darkest blue,
more than sacrifice could merit,
Lord, I give my heart to you

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


I am crazy proud right now. Bursting at the seams even! I just found out this morning from Pastor Dale that two of our very own teens--Chris and Megan--have volunteered to fill the need of teaching children's church on Sunday mornings! How cool is that?! Leave it to the youth to step up when the adults don't. :D So many of you are getting more and more involved in the life of our church as a whole and that is just awesome! Each of your are discovering your gifts and putting them to use--whether it be working in the nursery, helping with technology, being on the worship team, volunteering for potlucks and other church service projects and so much more. Keep up the great work. God is setting aside some amazing rewards in heaven for you. :)

You guys are setting an amazing example and doing a great job of stepping out on a limb trusting that God has a great plan for you. Way to use your spiritual gifts and fully live out the truths in I Timothy 4:12--

Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.

Thanks, Chris and Megan for following God's prodding in your lives. Let Kevin and I know if you need any prayer or guidance or advice. We will help as we can.

Monday, June 8, 2009

a little bit of this and that. oh and it's almost Summer!

:::How's life? School is nearly out and I'm pretty sure if I were sitting next to you right now as I said "school is nearly out" you would shout for JOY! :D I hope you're holding out strong through these last few days! Keep doing your absolute best. And remember the end is in sight!

PS. I'm super proud of each of you especially where school is concerned. You work hard and I'm constantly impressed with your brilliance! :) Each of you have special areas of giftedness and I'm loving being a part of your lives as you discover those talents.

:::Have you been shining Jesus lately? Are you friends noticing those little differences in your life that point them to the only ONE who can change us to be like Him?

Are you in the Word? What are you reading right now? Guys, how is the book of Mark going? Girls, what books are you exploring? Are you loving it? Is it challenging you? What are you learning? How is your life changing because of it? Do you find yourself coming up with questions that need answering? Well...write them down and ask me (or someone else who has a knowledge of Scripture!)

:::Summer Camp anyone? Somerset Beach is the place to be. Here are the dates for youth camps:

Young Teen Camp I (grades 6-8) June 14-18
Senior Teen Camp (grades 9-12) June 21-25
Young Teen Camp II July 26-30
Young Teen Camp III August 2-6

If you have any questions about camp or about SBC or about summer or about life in general, you know how to find me. :)

:::Youth group is ON for this coming Sunday, June 13th! See you then!

PS. Anyone willing to bring a snack for all of us?????

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


It was great being with all of you again on Sunday night.  We really do miss you all when we're not together!  :D  I'm looking forward to the great activities coming our way this summer, and hopefully we'll also have a few weeks of regular ol' youth group time too!  Thanks for understanding our need to take an anniversary trip and graciously encouraging Kevin and I to get away together this weekend.  We really appreciate you guys!  

Remember these days:
June 7th:  no youth group
June 14th:  YES!  we have youth group!
June 21st:  Father's Day...NO youth group
June 28th:  Youth Group sponsored All-Church Softball Game and Hotdog Night

August 9th:  The FEST in Ohio!  Keep an ear open for details!  Check out the website:

For now enjoy a few pictures (thanks to Katie!) of our awesome girls against guys soccer game! :D

::shelby shows us how it's done::
::toe to toe combat::
::and Megan said she couldn't play soccer!::