Monday, August 25, 2008

Connections Group

We capped off a week of creative camps with our Friday night Connections Group.  We had two new families that showed up.  A family of 6 and a family of 3.  Both of these families are very musical.  I think we had a drummer, keyboardist, guitarist and I'm pretty sure they all sang.  We went from no band to potential full band in one setting.  God continues to prepare us for what's next.  
As I think I mentioned before, we hired a BSU student to work with our kids.  She is doing a great job!  Our next big challenge is someone to work with our preteens.  We have another new family moving in this week with 2 preteen guys.  Add to that 3 others that are "regulars" and one more from one of the new families and we have 6 kids between the age of 10 and 12.  So add Jr. High specialist to your prayer list.  I can't wait to see what God delivers!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Some Days Are Better Than Others

And this was a great one.  I started early this morning at, "The Griddle."  Two good friends of mine and I spent our morning together coming up with creative ways to reach more people in the Meridian area.  When it comes down to it, a church planters number one goal is to recruit people. We came up with lots of ways to do just that.  
My afternoon was spent at our Creative Camps. We had a new student in our guitar class, a 19 year old sophomore at BSU. We've been trying to figure out how to connect with some BSU students and this just fell in our laps. She will be joining us Friday night for Bible study.  That's a huge win!
At home after camp, I got an email from a gentleman.  It said this . . . 
Hello Dusty,
My name is (being kept secret) and my wife, daughter and I would like to come to group this Friday. I found your church in the musician section of craigslist. We both are seasoned musicians. We have been looking for a church or a group of followers of Jesus figuring out this journey. Is there a meeting this Friday. Let me know.

We sent a couple of emails back and forth and ended up on the phone for 20 minutes or so. I told him that we were a church plant and that every time a new family comes, it's like reeling in a big fish. It's not very often one just jumps in our boat! We both laughed.  He's been part of a church plant before (another huge bonus) so he knows what it is like.  
After all that Tam and I had a date night tonight. A famous Dave's just opened around the corner and we had enough food to last us throughout the week. Also while we were there, we bought someone's dinner, or at least most of it (all I had was a 20).  I gave the, "" card to the waiter and ask him to use the cash towards their meal and give them the card.  Let's hope he didn't just pocket it.  Who knows what will come of that, but I did what I was suppose to.  
All in all, a great day.  I wish everyday was this fruitful.  We'd have a church-full in no time.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Let the Creative Camps Commence

We started our creative camps today.  For those who have no idea what that is, we decided to do free camps for our community. We offered Guitar, drama and dance all for free at the local library.  
I had a great time today with our guitarists.  My students were between the ages of 7 and 11 so we started with the very basics. We learned how to hold a guitar, how to sit properly and how to pluck a guitar string. Two of the moms stayed and learned with their kids.  We encouraged that.  I think everyone had a good time.  
If you live in the Meridian area and want in on free lessons, I'll be back at the Ada Community Library tomorrow at 1.  It'd be great to see you there!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Day Off

I took last Thursday off and celebrated, "Super Dax Thursday."  My first offspring and I went out for a fun filled day with just the two of us. Our first stop was Boondocks.  Dax and I both got the unlimited ride tickets.  It's like an all-you-can-play-buffet.  We were some of the first ones there and got onto the go carts almost immediately.  Dax is about 2" too short to be a driver, so he had to ride shotgun with me. Since he's only 4 it's probably a good idea that he's not behind the wheel yet. 

After the carts, we spent some time on the water.  The first ones to be in the bumper boats that day, we raced around the lagoon and shot each other with the attached powered squirters. Dax does really well navigating these tubes. Better than his dad.  Soon, others began to see all the fun we were having  and joined us. Everything was great until one kid said, "Let's get this guy!" and proceeded to water down my vessel.  For some reason my shooter shot up over all their evil little heads, but theirs hit me straight in the noggin.  It was time to move on to something else.

 Since before Tam and I married, she has always been able to beat me at miniature golf. We've played many times and I've won exactly once. I attribute my embarrassing win loss record to Tammi's near professional putting skills.  After playing a round with Daxton, I realized one of two things.  Either he's been blessed with his momma's golf genes.  Or, more likely, I'm just a sub par miniature golfer. I was impressed at Daxton's patience, we played all 18 holes of two different courses, and he did very well at keeping his thumbs down. Mom would be proud!

 After a few games of skee ball and air hockey we ate a late lunch at Taco Del Mar. At 2:00 we saw the movie, "Journey to the center of the earth."  I let Dax order the snacks at the counter, "We want the biggest box of popcorn you have." The clerk looked at me and I concurred with Dax, "That's right, the biggest bucket of popcorn you have!" At the local cinema here you get to put on your own butter.  We put on just enough to make it completely unhealthy and then sprinkled on some cheddar powder.  The movie was in 3-D. If you haven't been to a 3D movie in a while, you should go. The movie was pretty good but the 3-D effects are amazing.  More than once Dax and I both jumped out of our seats. 
After the movie ended, we went back to the fun park.  Dax wanted some more golf and bumper boats. I'm not big on back tracking, but it was after all, "Super Dax Thursday."  Luckily we had purchased the unlimited passes.

I knew Daxton was having a great time all day, but the big compliment came late in the day.  Probably around 4:45 or so Dax said, "This is the best day EVER!" Can you guess what would lead him to say that?  After all the fun things we did that day, what would make him say, " . . . best day ever?" That super compliment came after we bought gas for the van and I let him have his own 1 liter of Mountain Dew. A liter for Dad, a liter for Dax. That made us both very happy.  

 All that was left to make the perfect day ever "perfecter" was some ice cream.  We'd been planning to have ice cream since when we designed this gaming, sugar-filled adventure.  We ended up at Cold Stone, a favorite of ours when we lived in Sacramento. Daxton ordered the largest mint ice cream and I talked him into adding chunks of Heath Bar so I could share too.  We Sat out on the fountain and talked about all the fun stuff we'd done that day.  After it was all said and done, we arrived safely at home and told mom all about it!  We even shared some of the candy we bought with all the fun tickets we won in skee ball. This is what a day off should be!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I've Been Served

This last week we gave away money to those that attended our Connection Group.  Along with those crisp green fun tickets we included preprinted cards that said, "" on them.  I challenged our people to pay for someone's meal or part of their gas and give them one of the cards.  I was thinking, if someone paid for my food and handed me one of those cards, I'd at least check out the website!

We're doing this for a number of reasons.  Part of it is to the get the name of the church out there. I think people will talk about this.  But, the second and main reason is to serve our community. Paying for a meal or someone's groceries is a minor thing, but the spirit of service rings loud and clear.  We're not here to take, we're here to give, to bless our community!

Take a moment to check out the website We bought this domain name and hope to use it a bunch!

Friday, August 8, 2008

More Leaders . . .

I met with Doug Armstrong today.  He's the president and general manager of KTVB7, the biggest news channel in Idaho. Needless to say he is a very busy individual.  It was nice of him to take a half hour and share with me what he sees as the most severe concerns in our area.  
We both agreed that one of the major issues, not only in Boise, but probably across our nation is the technical divide between parents and kids. Most moms have no idea how to check what their kids are looking at online or listening to on Satellite radio.  Most guardians do well at limiting the amount of time kids can play video games, but do they have any idea what games they're playing? What message is the publisher trying to get across?
Since Connections is going to be a fairly tech savvy place,  I figure this is an area where we can help out. I'm not sure what the end game looks like, but I'm hoping to find a way to connect with parents and put some tools in their hands to help patrol what their kids are listening to and looking at.  Things have definitely changed!
Bible study 8 is tonight.  Hope to see you all there!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Group Last Night

We had four new families at group last night.  One was visiting from out of town, but the other three are not only locals, but very cool families. I must admit I tried to kill one by undercooking her burger, but besides that we had a great time.
We are a few weeks away from our creative camps.  There is more information on our website. We just put up a new video too. Swing over to and look around.