Tuesday, October 16, 2012

November 18, Day of Generosity

As I mentioned in my last blog post, the focus for our November 18th, Day of Generosity was announced last Sunday. (scroll down on the link to see past Day of Generosity focuses) 
Each year Encounter takes a Sunday morning offering in November and gives 100% of it away.  It is promoted weeks ahead of time and usually is the largest offering of the entire year.
This year's focus is the purchase and delivery of an SUV for our ministry partners down in Cruz Blanca, Guatemala working with orphans through the ministry of Vision Trust International.
On Sunday I had some fun showing the congregation "potential" vehicles the elders considered.  Most of them were quite silly. But after talking with Matt Storer, president of Vision Trust and another couple at Encounter who also had this project on their hearts, it was decided the vehicle would be a Honda Pilot.
The hope is that it would be five years or younger with really low mileage. It will need to be a four wheel drive version and the plan right now is to drive it down instead of shipping it.  It's approximately 2,800 miles, in case you were wondering:-).
As I said above, 100% of the November 18th offering will go towards the vehicle and its delivery, though people are encouraged to send support money into the church office prior to that date as well (Encounter church, 6160 Riverside Dr., Ste. #103, Dublin, OH, 43017)
More details will be discussed this coming Sunday in the service.

October 14th was a great Sunday!

This morning had a number of amazing church body life moments.  It started off with three great worship songs led by our worship band.  Then we had two people baptized: Jean Griffith and Ted Dresnek. They both spoke about their journey coming back to God and now wanting to go public with their faith.

Then Kyle Mielke, shared about an opportunity he has to go to India to see a former workmates wedding and also amazingly visit the child their family sponsors through Vision Trust.

Then finally, before the the message, I shared about our upcoming Day of Generosity. The Sunday where we give away 100% of our mornings offering to a specific need.  The date is November 18th and it is the fourth time Encounter has has it.  Check out my next blog entry for details:-)

Friday, October 12, 2012

My Wife...the Writer and Speaker

From knowing my sweetheart as far back as our college days at Moody Bible Institute, I've known she likes to write.  If I have to admit it, she may have helped me on a paper or two or three:-)  I remember her actually signing up for the classes where she knew the profs assigned large essay papers.  And I wonder why we hardly had class together but came out with the same Bible Theology degree.
Throughout the years there have been small opportunities for her to use this gift for writing, but lately I see more and more larger ones presenting themselves.
Within the last two years she's written for our fellowship of churches women's magazine Spectrum, Jill Briscoe's magazine for women: Just Between Us, and most recently for Life Way's ParentLife Magazine.  This last one is the most exciting because it came through her sending the publishers at Life Way the manuscript she wrote for a women's Bible study in the book of Jeremiah.  You might ask yourself, how is the book of Jeremiah relevant in the life of a woman in 2012?  You'd be amazed how many practical applications can be made!  If you ask Melissa, she'd tell you Jeremiah is the book for our time.  
So one of Life's Way's top editors got his hands on Melissa's Jeremiah study and a dialogue between them began.  It's been almost two years now and she has written and re-written the entire study, tweaking, sharpening and making it more applicable to the reader.  
What's newer in her life is speaking; specifically to groups of women.  Now I've always known her to lead women's Bible studies, teach in Sunday school classes and large groups of students.  She's especially passionate about speaking to middle schoolers.  But through her research, writing, and leading a women's Bible study in the book of Jeremiah, a desire to publicly speak has emerged.  
After receiving her Jeremiah study, Life Way asked Melissa to send them a video of her teaching the material.  At first she wasn't excited to do this but after a few weeks of prayer and an amazing connection made with a video production company, she decided to move ahead.  Sending an e-mail to friends and neighbors back in January of this year, she took her first major step in speaking the message God placed in her heart.  85 women were there in the basement of the church that sent us to plant Encounter.
It was so fun for me to see her in action.  I even got to be one of the three cameramen in the room:-)  To view a 10 minute YouTube clip from her message CLICK HERE.
So now while we wait to see what Life Way will do with her Jeremiah study, over 2,800 people have viewed her video and she has a dozen speaking engagements lined up over the next 12 months. 
Only God knows how He will use the message He's placed in my wife's life out of the book of Jeremiah, but this husband is excited about the possibilities!

That Time Of Year...

Ahhh, Fall.  The time of year you take the children to a fruit farm to pick apples...whether they want to go or not:-)
This has been a tradition for the Spoelstra family for years and years.  Beyond the few sibling squabbles, it really is an enjoyable time.

This year we bumped into our long time friends from Grace Church, the Bowers, whose twin girls were born one week after ours.
So far the apples have been used for five homemade apple pies. Yum!  Melissa is sooo good at making them.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My Twin Girls

So this Fall my daughters tried out for their middle school volleyball team and didn't make it. A sad day to be sure. Then we signed them up for our communities volleyball league, Dublin Youth Athletics (DYA) and who gets to be their coach?...yep! Me. Then the next week they, at their mother's prodding, try out for the tennis team...and make it.  Hilarious!
Here's a pic of them this morning in their tennis warm-ups.  Abby's on the left and Sara on the right.