About Impact

Sunday, September 30, 2007


I don’t want to give away too much of Corey’s message since he will be sharing it again on Wednesday but there are some things that are so good you have to mention them. And since DC did it, I think I may be safe.

-- It was our immature hearts that deceived us.
-- He gave us everything we need to play the supporting role he gave us. (I don’t remember the exact wording but it was good.)
-- WRONG QUESTIONS – How close can I get to the edge? How far is too far?
-- The new filter peels back layers of deception we have lived with for too long.
-- Careless vs. Careful – Ephesians 5:1-17
-- RIGHT QUESTION/NEW FILTER – What is the wise thing to do?
-- Three levels of application: What is the wise thing to do in light of…
1. my past experience
2. my current reality and surroundings
3. my future hopes and dreams
-- Don’t rob yourself by fooling yourself!
-- When you answer this question you learn something about yourself. You uncover something you don’t want to cover again. More importantly, you discover something about God.
-- When you reap the consequences everyone around you feels it too.
-- Your heavenly father will walk you through it with wisdom and council.
-- Romans 3:22-26 this is what we do with what we’ve done

DC Quote of the Night:
It is good to dig up the stuff we have let settle.

I’m glad I’ll be hearing this message again on Wednesday. I’m going to hear it over and over again.

The Hero Within...

Rob kicked off our new Heroes series this evening with an amazing message. I think this series has come at the perfect time. For the last couple months I’ve been trying to answer lots of questions. What am I here to do? What are my golf clubs? What am I passionate about? Am I where I need to be? Okay really I’ve been trying to answer those questions for the last three years. But I’ve reached a point were I’m sick of trying to figure it out. I want answers. I’m tired of floating around. I want to be doing the thing I was created to do. One of many reasons why I loved what Rob had to say.

-- Have I heard my new name?
-- What name do I carry with me right now?
-- Romans 11:29 – I really like the way The New Living and The Message read
-- I was shaped for a purpose. I am unique. I am wonderfully complex.
-- Strengths are a part of the wonderful complexity.
-- Signs of Strength
-- Don’t believe the lie “I don’t have any strengths”

Rob talked about Marcus Buckingham’s book, Now Discover Your Strengths, or something like that. I’ve heard the book referenced several times over the last month in messages and conversations. I think it will be next on my list.

Why we call it New Community…

I loved New Community this week. When I was taking a class with Dr. Bob I would find myself frustrated at times because his thought process was like a ball in a pinball machine. The days that he was especially passionate about the topic were the worse. I’ve noticed his teachings at church are the same way. The great thing about those messages is that so much wisdom pours out of his mouth, my hand can hardly keep up. And I have to write it down because there is no way I can process it all as fast as he is sharing it. Here is a look at this week’s New Community.

-- Ephesians 3 – I love this book more and more every time I read it.

-- It all starts with you accepting His love. – Umm...eeek!

-- Keep answering the door!!!!!

-- Why we do new Community?
+ We need a family – Psalm 68:4-6
+ We need to bring others in
+ We need to remind each other to keep answering the door.

-- The Father, Son and Holy Spirit
+ always together
+ always loving each other
+ always in deep pursuit of my heart

-- What we all need is a real home and that is going to take hard work.

-- One of Satan’s most sinister methods is to get you alone. We are the most vulnerable when we are along.

-- Our common call is to follow Jesus out into a hurting world.

-- KOINOS – beautiful word picture!

-- The Kingdom is to be in the midst of your enemies. –Martin Luther

It's late!

This is the latest I’ve been up in several weeks. I’m not feeling very well and I can’t sleep. The pile of work is overwhelming and there seems to be so much to process right now. Life is changing; it seems more bad than good. I don’t like it. It seems the older you get the more disappointed you get. When I was younger I always thought it would be easier to have joy and find the good. The reality is, it seems harder then I ever thought it would be. But things change, people change and life goes on.

God, I sure do wish I was a stronger person these days.

Friday, September 28, 2007

ND vs. MSU

It took me a little while to get the pictures posted but here are a few pictures from the game last weekend. Lindsay's camera has all the pictures of us. Yes I know there are more pictures of the bands than the game. Deal with it!

What do you do on Wednesday Nights?

I love Wednesday nights. Why? OASIS!!!!! I was sad we didn't meet this week but since I've been sick it was a good thing. Check out pictures from the last couple weeks.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Doctor's Visit

You know I'm sick when I break down and go to the doctor. For a week I haven't felt well and have had a fever for several days. The doctor hooked me up with some medicine that should take care of the sinus infection. Tomorrow I will have blood work done to see if she can determine what is causing the fatigue and dizziness. Nothing huge, really, just annoying.

My uncle took another turn for the worse this morning. He is working with a new doctor who seems to have a good plan of attack. Basically, it sounds like his body is taking longer than it should to recover. He had another tube put in today and is still in a lot of pain. Keep him in your prayers if you would.

Now it is off to do more school work before getting up early to go have blood work done. Yippee!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Where I've been...

There have been so many things I’ve wanted to write about in the week but I just haven’t felt well enough to write or I haven’t had the time. Here is a brief look at the last week.

Thursday – I had the privilege of serving communion with my buddy Kyle. I’ve never heard Mark Beeson laugh while serving communion until that night.

Friday – I was able to attend the filming of the guys’ music video at the State Theater. Then I ate some amazing Hacienda food with a couple Lifeline students.

Saturday – I worked my butt of all morning grading papers and figuring grades. Then I went to the ND game and dinner with my incredible friend, Lindsay. I love how she can always make me laugh.

Sunday – Like every Sunday morning I spent some time with Dominic, who decided we were going to have a dance party. After lunch with the Lifeline gang it was back to the grades. Lifeline was a blast and Corey had some excellent thoughts once again.

Monday – I missed a meeting with my principal at Edison because it was scheduled for ten minutes after my last class at Dickinson ends. It takes 25 minutes to get from one school to the other. I also found out they want to add a 45-minute duty to my already jam-packed schedule. Problem!

Tuesday – The band directors at Edison are both encouraging and cruel, all at the same time. I have discovered candy is all it takes to get them to do what I want! We are creating a plan to take over the music programs at certain schools that will not be named at this time.

Prayer Request

Please pray for my Uncle Tarry, my dad’s twin brother. He went into the hospital this week because of a bowel blockage. The doctor said the surgery went well and thought things would be okay. However, last night he took a turn for the worse and is having some serious complications. When your colon is touched it falls asleep and his hasn’t woken up yet, which is causing some vomiting. They put a tube down his throat to prevent that.

He is in a lot of pain and probably looking at a five-week recovery. He and my aunt are two of the three music profs at the school and I know that is probably the only thing they are thinking about. So if you could pray for them and our family, I would appreciate it.

Dad went to the doctor today and was given a different prescription that should help with the pain. He is very excited he can drive again. His school year is off to a good start and he hasn't had any problems making it through the day.

My little buddy Logan loves that he can eat whatever he wants. They have introduced almost everything into his diet and the kid loves chocolate. He is healthy and strong. You would never know he has been through all that he has been through. Thanks for your prayers friends!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Past the point...

I'm past the point of stressed out. I've hit a huge wall at school and have no idea what to do from here.

I'm past the point of tired. I'm so exhausted, I can hardly stay awake, but I still have grades to finish and figure out something to do in class tomorrow.

I'm past the point of not feeling well. I've felt horrible all day long. My head and stomach both ache.

I'm past the point of trying. There are some people in my life that I just can't seem to please. It doesn't matter how hard I try, you just can't please some people. And the sad thing is some of those are people that I consider an important part of my life. Why?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I am so glad that Oasis is back and we are running hard. Last week we had our huge kick-off with tons of fun. There will be pictures soon! We started out the 301 series with a fantastic message from DC about the WHOLE story of the Gospel. Corey kept the momentum going talking about the gifts God has given each of us.

Last week I remembered my Bible but not enough paper to jot down some of DC’s wisdom. Here are a few of the things I did manage to get down.
--There is hope in a guy named Jesus.
--You said you would always have a place for me.
--Each step you take towards God shortens the gap.

I’m glad I came prepared with paper tonight because Corey knocked it out of the park.
--We compare ourselves to others because we are afraid of who we really are.
--Our job is to figure out what our clubs are and how to use them.
--We fall short of our calling because we lack courage.
--Talents and gifts lead you to your purpose.
--Are my circumstances defining me or is who I am leading the decisions I make.
--God did note make you or I generic. We need the first YOU.
--Our talents are the gifts God has given us. What we do with those gifts is our gift back to God.
I loved the golf analogy and Corey’s challenge to ask others what they see in us to help us discover our gifts.

Another great week hanging out with some of my favorite middle school students and amazing friends. The next question...How do we help our students discover their gifts?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Icky Day

All day I have felt icky. I woke up exhausted and as the day went on, I kept feeling worse. You know the sore throat, headache, earache bit.

After school I had a meeting at Studebacker, which means scary teacher guy who freaks me out and makes me very uncomfortable. So of course around 7th period I start getting a little anxious. Fortunatly, Mr. Kurtis came to my rescue and sat at my table so we could complain about the meeting and scary guy would stay away.

Then it was off to another meeting and home to get things ready for school tomorrow. I was given two big booklet I have to be familiar with before I give the ISTEPs tomorrow. Needless to say I haven't made it that far yet and all I want to do is sleep.

I think I'll go curl up in my bed and cry. I hate being sick...and deaf.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


I am really excited to be able to serve at Lifeline. I still don’t know a ton of students but I can tell it is going to be a great year. Tonight DC shared the gospel…only the whole story. It is probably one of the best teachings on it I’ve ever heard. One thing I love about scripture is how alive it is. You can here the same thing several times and each time you see it in a different way and find yourself challenged. I love that I’m serving with a leadership team that gets that and is passionate about sharing it with students. I am truly blessed to be part of an amazing ministry at an amazing church.

Great Quotes From The Weekend

skoutz: Do I look like a bug? Call me McFly!

Sarah B: Will I go to hell because I parked in a handicap spot?
Lindsay: Are you kidding me? We forgive everything around here BUT that. You are going to be marked for life.
skoutz: It is the mark of the beast.

Jason: Sarah, your life is going to be a movie.

and because it was so good the first time…
Jason: What do you call that one?

100th Post

I feel like I should be writing something profound since this is the 100th post but I’m not. All you get is a quick overview of the weekend.

Friday night and Saturday morning I attended our church’s women’s retreat. The content was great and included some excellent points. However, the overall package was a bit disappointing.

After the retreat ended and there was some fun dancing in the parking lot, I was talking with some friend when someone walked up behind me. It was my friend Kris, from Lansing. I was shocked to seem him here with his whole family. He and Emily were passing through with their kids and stopped to grab lunch with Jason. It was so great to see him, a very exciting surprise.

The afternoon was spent grading papers and sorting through things from school. I have to make some major adjustments to my lesson plans that I wasn’t expecting. ISTEP isn’t helping the situation any.

This morning Dominic beat me to church. His mom told me today it was time to go to church and see Sarah and he told her, “No Sarah today. Stay here.” He laughed when I asked him about it. Silly kid.

This afternoon I made fajitas, watched some baseball and took a nap. Now it is off to Lifeline!!!! Wahoo!!!!

More good quotes from the weekend to come.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Exhausted Beyond Words

I am completely exhausted right now. Words can’t even explain how tired I am. I’ll post some thoughts on this weekend’s events soon. But for now I’ll leave you one of my favorite quotes from the day.

Jason: (as he points to our friends’ five week old son) What do you call that one?

Friday nights

What should you do on a Friday night after a bad week?

Get together with a bunch of girls and challenge yourself to rethink how God views you and what he created you to be. Then hit up Hacienda, laugh a lot and eat too many chips. End the evening with late night talks about just about everything.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

How did I get here?

One thing I wish I understood in life is why we go back and forth so quickly between mountains and valleys. Over the last few days, it seems like every aspect of my world is starting to crash in on me, and today most of it plummeted. I was too insignificant on Monday. I wasn’t smart enough on Tuesday. And today I just wasn’t good enough. All day I’ve felt completely inadequate, even to the point I didn’t want to go to Oasis. I kept thinking, what do I have to offer our students? I seem to have failed yet again so why keep trying.

I know for a fact those are all lies from Satan. I know God has shaped me in a way he has shaped no one else and has placed me where I am for a reason. But what I know is VERY different than how I feel. I am tempted to crawl behind some huge walls and fake a perfect life. But that lie doesn’t help anyone. But how did I end up here again after working so hard to move out of the valley.

Why even bother mentioning all of this? It isn’t for pity or attention, it is for taking next steps. It is about me learning that I don’t have to be perfect and that I need others to help me along the journey. That is why he gave us each other. I share so I can ask you to pray because it is the only thing I know that will help get through the valleys.

God, I honestly don’t feel worth very much right now. It is hard for me to understand or accept that you would want to invest and love someone like me. Help me to believe that all you ask for is obedience; you will take care of the rest.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Lions Hunting

I've seen several clips of lions hunting their prey but none that have gone quite like this. It is a little long but watch the whole thing anyway.

This week...

This has been and is going to be a crazy week.
-Sunday was a great day hanging out with Dominic, attending our baptism service at the cove, and then dinner with the Brooke and Erin. See pictures from Baptism 2007 in the previous post.

-Yesterday was full of school and meetings during the day. Last night Becky, Jeffrey and I were going to continue our little tradition of dinner at Logan’s but Jeffrey couldn’t make it. So Becky and I had an amazing time hanging out and catching up on the last few weeks. Let me tell you that girl is a blast. She is such an incredible person and it is evident how passionate she is about following Christ. It is always a privilege to spend time with her.

-Today is all about grading papers and getting schoolwork done.

-Tomorrow night is a big night of Oasis. It is going to be awesome and you won’t want to miss it.

-Thursday I have an appointment after school and then a fantastic time worshipping with friends at New Community. I love the series we are doing right now.

-Friday and Saturday I’ll be attending RETHINK, the women’s retreat at church. I’m excited to spend the weekend refocusing and being stretched with some good friends.

ISTEP testing starts next week and it looks like I will be administering it each morning. Boo!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Baptism 2007

What an incredible day! There is nothing better than sitting witnessing your friends taking huge steps towards Christ and committing their lives to following him. I am so proud of all the students and friends who took that step this weekend. I loved every minute of it. Talk about one huge party.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Good Songs

The last several weeks I have had the song “The Breaks” by Rich Mullins in my head. Then while I was cleaning this weekend his song “Creed” came up on my play list. I couldn’t help but notice a connection and I love it.

It is the sea that makes the sailor
And the land that shapes the sea
And I do not know yet what I am made of
Or all I may someday be
And it is the wood that makes a carpenter
It's the very tools of his trade
And it is love that makes a lover
And a cross that makes a saint
-- The Breaks

I believe what I believe is what makes me what I am
I did not make it, no it is making me
It is the very truth of God and not the invention of any man.
-- Creed

I love the line “and I do not know yet what I am made of or all I may someday be.” This weekend as I found myself singing the song I kept thinking I don’t have to have it all figured out right now. I don’t know all that God has in store for me and I don’t have to try and figure it out. He has me where I am now for a reason and that is what matters. And where I am now it what he will use to shape me for what comes next. What I need to do is live where I am now and let him do the rest.

Long Weekend

I was very thankful for the long weekend. After going nonstop for three weeks trying to sort out things at school, I was ready to sleep in and enjoy hanging out with some friends. Then after hearing Mark’s message on Sunday morning I knew I needed to take time to rest and relax.

Friday and Saturday I spend with my parents. Sunday I played putt-putt with Nate, Heather and Bridgett and then headed over to Baker’s to hang out with the gang. Monday I did a lot of cleaning around the apartment and then headed to Plymouth to hang out with Brooke and Nate. We played putt-putt again but it wasn’t so pretty this time. Then we grabbed some dinner and rented a movie.

Good times had by all. At least I hope so. Right Nate?!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Broken Heart...

I’m so overwhelmed with emotions right now there is nothing to do but cry myself to sleep. There is a ton of junk going on right now but school seems to be the one that stands out the most. This has been a horrible week as far as discipline goes. 

- I lost one of my favorite students today. They probably won’t be returning to school at all because of some very poor choices. The progress this student has made in these first three weeks has been astounding. One bad decision and all of that is gone. It breaks my heart. 

- I had to write up one of my best students yesterday. I found out this morning the student got in a huge fight this morning and is now suspended.
- I heard another student’s story today that broke my heart. This student is only a 5th grade and has been expelled from at least one district in the area. It doesn’t look like the student is off to a great start in this district either.

- The student taken away in handcuffs should be allowed to return to school next week, but may be not my class.

There are so many other stories I could tell. This week was just one after another. Broken students living life in survival mode and having no idea how much they matter.. How do I show them they matter? How can I show them the limits set are for their protection and to help them? How can I get them to understand the expectations I have for them are because I know they can reach them? 

Almost a year ago, my friend Jason and I were talking about teaching. He asked if I had ever thought about teaching in the inner city. I think may be he saw something in me, I didn't know existed. I hadn’t really given it a ton of thought at that point, but I knew I could never do it. Now I know why. You are emotionally open all day long with your students. You become attached and when this stuff happens it breaks your heart.

Let’s just say Dr. Bob’s message couldn’t have come at a better time.