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Is this THE END or A NEW BEGINNING?

Whether I am reading a book, watching a movie, or listening to someone share -- I absolutely love a great story. I love watching the plot develop and I especially love the possibilities surrounding each new beginning.

I hate endings. Closing the page of a book I've loved, the screen fading to black and the credits rolling after I've enjoyed a good movie, and a chapter in my life coming to a conclusion that has been life changing.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. Ralph Waldo Emerson

My daughter and I are in the process of turning the page of an incredible chapter. The details are too many to describe. Yesterday, we said goodbye to Tiger's Edition, affectionately known as Eddy, our 12 year old, thoroughbred. Today, both Chelsea and Eddy begin a new chapter.

In the spring of 2006, Eddy was adopted by us through New Vocations -- a race horse adoption group located in Ohio. He came to us very green with little experien…

Hungry for More of God?

Why is it so hard for us to create space in our life to be with God? Maybe it is because we not sure what to do with the time we've set aside or space we've created. Maybe it is because we choose to run around allowing the urgency of our to-do list to consume every minute of our day. Maybe it is because our souls and minds have become so distracted.

Unfortunately, all of these can be true of my life. Yet, when I have created space and taken the opportunity to sit down and be with God -- I realize he is always waiting for me and he brings most everything to the table.

All I need is waiting for me... the question is will I choose to sit down and be with God. Will you?



Mindy Caliguire will be with us at Grace on Saturday, October 3rd to walk us through time with God as we do some soul searching. You'll walk away from this morning having been with God and be able to take what we've practiced and experienced and begin to integrate it into your everyday, ordinary li…

The Attentive Life... in a rush?

I've been reading The Attentive Life -- it's our September Bagels & Books selection that I am responsible for facilitating the discussion. It's ironic that I've had to crunch in a chapter here and there - among all the other things in my life. Feeling pressure to finish the book yet knowing that I can't be attentive in a rush.

There is much to be considered, learned, and mostly savored in this book. Today, I am thinking of two things....

1 What does it mean for me to be still and still moving?

2 To see tears as a gift. So when tears come, instead of avoiding them I am trying to pay attention, to pause and ask: What makes these tears come?


Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
The author (Leighton Ford) encourages us to sit with this verse. To repeat it over and over, leaving off a word or phrase each time. Spending a minute or two on each phrase. Write down impressions and thoughts that come to your mind and heart.
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still an…

Beyond My View

God's seems to be stretching my frame of reference these days. Okay, maybe he does everyday, the only difference is some days I actually notice.

You've got to check out Get Compelled, the blog created by our outreach team here at Grace. Inside this blog, you'll read about amazing stories of ordinary people paying attention to God moving in and through them. Plus, you'll find a whole new vantage point to view your corner of the world and beyond!

Their latest post shows one of our groups from Access (the college ministry at Grace) who decided to be called the “In Action” group. Every week they make breakfast and serve it to the Hispanic guys standing on the corner looking for work in downtown Indianapolis. If you look closely at the video below, you can actually see a couple guys getting picked up for work in a mini-van. It is incredible to see the relationships build as the team shows up every week. There is nothing quite like sharing a meal together!



Check out their blog …

Summer Time Intentionality

I hope your making time for those you love the most this summer. Often I walk into summer with big dreams of how I will spend my time and who I am going to be with... then way too often it seems August is upon us and I've barely scratched the surface of my big dreams. How about you?

What were you most hoping for this summer?

What are you doing to reach toward those hopes?


For me, I began the summer asking myself what I most hoped for this summer. I knew I wanted to spend time with my family and friends this summer. You see, my parents are growing older and my kids are fast approaching adulthood... so I am feeling a bit of urgency to make the most of my days. I walked into the summer knowing I needed a plan that began with being less hurried. Almost everyday, I must be diligent in what I say YES to and what I am say NO to.
Truthfully, it's already been a challenge to be wise in how I spend my time. My parents live 2 hours east and my oldest son is living 4 hours west, not to menti…

Open to God through His Word

I don't know about you, but I have a great need and desire to hear from God. I am thankful God is a God of communication and words. Deep inside us, he has planted the desire to know him. And in respone to our need for God, he has chosen to speak to us through the words and images we find in the Bible and through the promptings of his spirit. Fortunately, as we read and reflect on Scripture, we see God speaking so that we may gain insight into who he is, who we are, and why we are here.

Scripture is a primary way that the Holy Spirit opens us up to the God who is beyond us. In the Bible God reveals to us both our sin and our belovedness. Our desires for nourishment, strength, comfort, and joy are all addressed in Scripture. Reading God's word, listening to Scripture puts us in a place to attend to the God who speaks. God is still speaking today and guiding us personally and intimately through the word. Regularly being with God in scripture is a way we open ourselves to truths a…

Engaging with God through Scripture

Here are a few suggestions for engaging with God through scripture. Try and different method each day for the next week. I am confident you'll find God speaking to you!

The Artist Method
Read a passage of scripture, considering these three questions as you read.

What speaks to my heart? Draw a heart beside the word that speaks to your heart.What new thought or idea comes to me? Draw a light bulb beside the new thought or idea.What does scripture move me to do? Draw a hand beside the action you want to take.Now, consider how you can apply one of your insights today and take action.
The Detective Method
Read a short narrative passage of scripture from one of the Gospels. Let the story take shape in your mind's eye.
Imagine the scene. Observe the facts. Ask who, when, where, what questions.Once you have the facts, interpret the facts. Ask they why and wherefore questions. What meaning did the actions have for the characters? What meaning do the actions have for you?Then apply your stud…

Marked By His Words

I have a fond attachment to my Bible. I doubt anyone would want it. It's the one with the scuffed blue cover, torn inside pockets, sections nearly falling out, varied colors of highlighting and personal notes strewn throughout the pages. I purchased this Bible back in the early 80s while I was in high school. It’s pretty basic. It is a NIV (New International Version) with a mini concordance in the back.

One of the reasons this is my favorite Bible is because in these pages I see evidence of God coming alive in me. If you were to take a look, you’d find notes of my journey with God. You’d find notations of the God working in my life, teaching me more about who He is and who I am.
As I flip through these pages again, I notice the bits and pieces of a leaf found at the base of an old oak tree some 25 years ago. These dried fragments mark a moment in time which represents much of my journey with God.

My mind wanders back to a picnic table in Mounds State Park in Anderson, Indiana. I wa…

Choosing a Bible

Bible 101—some helps for choosing a Bible.

Reading the Bible – sounds simple enough! Warning – there are dozens to choose from!

Check them out. Get familiar with a few different translations of Scripture. You can easily do this online at http://www.biblegateway.com/ Check out the different translations by looking up Psalm 23. Read them and see which style you most perfer.

Translations – New Living Translation (NLT) is a current, accurate, easily read translation. In the end choose one you will read! Other good options include: New International Version (NIV), New American Standard Bible (NASB), and New Revised Standard Version (NRSV). Keep in mind all texts are translated either word for word or phrase by phrase.

A word on using The Message ®. We’d suggest using this version of the Bible as a compliment to any translation. Just keep in mind The Message ® is not a translation but rather a paraphrase of scripture based on the author’s perspective, personal insight, and is geared toward ma…

The Father's Love Letter to You

This is God's love letter to you. watchreadlisten





Father to the Fatherless

But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand. The victim commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless…. You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more. Psalm 10:14, 17-18


Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds—his name is the LORD—and rejoice before him. A father to the fatherless, defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing;... Psalms 68:4-6a


Go to God

Father God,
You are my heavenly Father, my true Father…that has been one of the huge things I have come to realize over these past five years. You are so great and powerful, yet You are a Father to Your children, defender of the widow, setting the lonely in families, and leading prisoners with song. You are so righteous, great, and…

Enough

All of You is more than enough for all of me
For every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with Your love
And all I have in You is more than enough

You are my supply
My breath of life
And still more awesome than I know
You are my reward worth living for
And still more awesome than I know... listen to Chris Tomlin's Enough

Proclaim the power of God, whose majesty is over Israel, whose power is in the skies. You are awesome, O God, in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God. Psalm 68:34-35

The heavens praise your wonders, O Lord, your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones For who in the skies above can compare with the LORD? Who is like the LORD among the heavenly beings? In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared; he is more awesome than all who surround him. O Lord God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O Lord, and your faithfulness surrounds you.Psalm 89:5-8

Go to GodFather God,
There is no doubt in my mind …

Good Shepherd

As you read the Bible you’ll find a variety of descriptions and metaphors for God.

One of the metaphors you’ll notice is that of “shepherd.” Most of us are familiar with Psalm 23 which begins with “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want….”

We’d love to invite you to think about God as your shepherd. Although it’s a stretch to imagine the full significance of this metaphor (since we suburbanites have little reference for sheep and shepherding) there is still much to be discovered about Who God is and how he relates to His sheep (oh I mean people).

There are two passages of scriptures we’d love to encourage you to read. Psalm 23 and John 10:1-18. As you read these two passages, what are you discovering about Who God is and how He thinks about you?
Meditate on this VerseI am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me…John 10:14Go to GodFather God,
I am SO thankful that You are my Shepherd…leading and guiding me. You are all knowing and Your wisdom I cannot fathom so hel…

The Times Maybe Uncertain YET....

As the new year begins, we find many are facing economic crisis and if not crisis at least concern. It seems life as we know it is changing all around us. These are uncertain times. We don't know what will come to pass in the days and months ahead. YET... {I love that word}

YET adverb
inspite of everything
used to stress that it remains possible that something will happen or that you are still determined to do something despite present difficulties

{Here's what I know} God never changes. He is dependable, consistent, immovable, reliable, steadfast... He is CERTAIN.


Now faith is being sure of what we
hope for and certain of what we do not see.Hebrews 11:1



I don't know where you are on your journey with God, but I know God longs for you to know Him. Over the next several weeks, we are going to be blogging about the many attributes of God. We hope this is a great way to help in your pursuit of God.

We believe that as we focus our eyes on God and who He is, we'll be encouraged t…

Getting the Picture One Frame at a Time

I hesitate when I begin talking about the different attributes of God. Why? Because every time I begin to look at one, I find that I have to look at another, and another, and another. You just can't pick and choose. You can't cut and paste those things you'll like and disregard those things you don't understand or aren't sure you like.


Think in terms of photography.


I have a few photographs of our visit to the Grand Canyon on January 1st, 2006. These pictures just don't do it justice. Let's admit it right now... a snapshot doesn't ever tell the full story. But, it does help us capture some of the essence and attributes of a place, person, or experience.


Together we are going to build a picture of God, one frame at a time as we consider attribute, after attribute, after attribute.

So, let's begin.

Rehearsing the attributes of God is a great way to allow us to be more aware of God's constant presence in our lives. As we pray and meditate on God, we wi…

Alpha and Omega

"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end." Revelation 21:6

Father God,
You've always existed and You always will...I praise You because You are eternal and everlasting; Your presence always there. Today, I felt a deep sense that You were present with me when I was a child playing alone even though I was not aware of You at the time. It seems strange to have this early childhood memory, but what comfort and security this gives me because I know that even when it doesn't seem or feel like it, You are there. You are in all my moments...even when I am feeling alone and unsure like I do today.

Today, I will remember Your constant presence when . . .Sometimes, I just pray my words in my head and other times when I am all alone at home I pray my words out loud. Other times I find it helpful to journal or write my prayers down. I'd encourage you to to journal along with me. What I find is when I write my prayers they seem to permeate my thinking throughout t…