Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years Eve Day @ the Creation Museum

Our family was invited by the Mielke family four years ago to see the almost completed Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. It was/is the dream of Ken Ham, who was one one my guest lecturers 20 years ago in Bible college, to have a state of the art museum dedicated to teaching Biblical truth about the world and how life began. It took more than $27 million and has hundreds of volunteers and paid staff members. We were so impressed by it that we became charter members. That allows our family of six to visit anytime over a five year period of time and also provide up to four individuals a free pass in anytime over the same five years. If you're reading this blog and want to see the place for yourself, give me a call. It's just under two hours from Dublin, OH.
Here are some fun pics. from our visit. They had a live nativity outside where it was 27 degrees Fahrenheit. That's why you see me standing beside the fire with a shepherd. And no, that's not MY purse!I was simply holding for my wiffy.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Last Sunday Service at Grace Church

Yesterday was not only the final Sunday of 2008, it was also the last time I'll likely attend a service at Grace Church. That is unless they have me come as a guest speaker:-) The entire service was dedicated to people testifying about the goodness of God. I also was given the opportunity to share about our next steps and introduced those from the launch team who were in attendance. I hope to add a video clip from the morning once they send it to me.
I will always cherish the years I spent learning the ropes of ministry from my friend, mentor and boss Rick Nuzum. I am so grateful for the time he spent pouring his godly life and advice into mine.
Of course there are many others that have also influenced my life over the last ten years. The Elders and other pastors of Grace Church, friends who partnered in leading ministires like Neighborhood Bible Clubs and the family campout in the summer; Sunday School, UPSTREET LIVE, and AWANA throughout the school year; and of course my wife Melissa who always ends up having the greatest influence on me. And why not, she is my best friend!
Next Sunday, January 4, 2009 our launch team will celebrate by having communion together as we meet for the first time in our rental facility Eli Pinney Elementary. I'll be excited to share about that next week.
video

Saturday, December 27, 2008

1st Ever for the Spoelstra's

It's Saturday night December 27th and we've just gotten home from a fun night of card playing and supper with some great friends.

This Christmas vacation is different than any other we've experienced in 10 years b/c their have been no family from afar staying at our home and we didn't go out of town.

Don't get me wrong, we love to have guests in our home and usually do, but with all the transitions this year has brought and will continue to bring, dedicated family time has been awesome!

Our kids got a Nintendo Wii for Christmas. I have been resistent to having a gaming system in the house for years until my son carefully appealed to me to pray about it six months ago. It's a large ticket item for the Spoelstra household so we told our children to pool their allowances. Six months later and with a financial gift to each child from great-grandma they are now the very, very happy owners of a Wii as you can see in the picture below:-)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Here is a well done video that tells of a tragic story but leaves you with hope. The narrator is a pastor friend of mine named Todd Scoles from Marysville Grace Brethren Church.

Have a very Merry Christmas and give a big hug to those close to you.


The Christmas Bells from Clay Productions on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Our Final Meeting at the YMCA

This morning ended what was five months of launch team meetings. I'm sure our 17 families are ready to quit talk'n theory and start living out the practical.
Here are some pics. from this mornings meeting. We had an extended time of prayer together and then talked through the next few weeks









Beth Fields pictured below also led a discussion on spiritual gifts. It's late into December so many of our people were not at the meeting but those who were there participated well. This coming Wednesday is our mother churches Christmas Eve service which many of our people will attend as well as the 10:00AM service on the 28th. After that our launch team will be onsite at our rental facility Eli Pinney Elementary getting used to the building before services start in February.

Monday, December 8, 2008

ENCOUNTER CHURCH Christmas Party

Last night was really fun. Our mother church allowed us to use their very nice basement for our Christmas party. It allowed the perfect combination for connecting, playing games, enjoying desserts and listening to to a couple share about how they came to follow Jesus Christ. We had a number of visitors and almost the entire launch team present. There was much laughter and some deep conversations. Melissa, my sweetheart, led a very fun game for the whole group. Here's how it is played: -three people sit on stools, something is read allowed that is only true about one of them but they all have to answer questions from the crowd as though it is true of all of them -then the crowd votes on who they think it is and then the person it is true about stands up.
View the pictures from Sunday night by CLICKING HERE, then read the captions and then vote yourself about who the statement is about.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Personal Finances and Church Budget

It's been two weeks since the Encounter Church launch team has been together. That seemed like an eternity since many of us usually see each other two, three or more times in a normal week. As usual we had a couple give their testimony. Today we heard from Jeff & Sheila Persall.
Then Sheila informed the group about Antioch Adoption Agency out of Washington State. It's an organization that helps families adopt American children for little to no cost. This may be a group we partner with in some way in the future because many of our launch team families have a heart to foster or adopt.
With the time that remained we had an open discussion about Biblical giving and many people shared openly their thoughts and personal experiences as God has grown them in this area.
I was able to share my heart in a number of ways and lead the group through the six key of the book, "The Treasure Principle", by Randy Alcorn.
The meeting ended with Kyle Mielke laying out the vision for our offerings once we begin to recieve them in January 2009. The simple breakdown by percentages is as follows:

40% Personnell (my salary, future staff, interns)
20% Operations (office and ministry supplies)
20% Facilities (rental, future land/building)
20% Give Away (15%-missionaries,5%-church plant)
Ultimately it is all for ministry and all the Lord's. We are HIS stewards.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Since We Last Met

This is the longest I've gone without an entry in months. With the normal busyness of life and then going to a mountain in West Virginia for Thanksgiving that was out of cell phone and internet range, I simply haven't been able to write. Sorry to make the three of you who read this blog wait so long:-)
Since we last met...I've moved into an office in Dublin, the launch team visited Marysville Grace Brethren Church on a Sunday morning, we bought an 18 foot trailer to store all our church supplies, our family went to WV and met up with all of Melissa's immediate family, I got my jeep covered in mud off-roading and we attended Grace Church, our mother church this past Sunday morning.
Here's a few pics. of our time in WV.