A Lasting Impact

A Lasting Impact

 For most of my life, church was simply a place. More specifically, a building that I went to. 

When I was in my early 20’s, I can remember working through the first big steps of adulthood. You know the drill. Finish school. Get a job. Get married. Buy a house. Today, I think they call this “adulting.” Back then, I called it a whirlwind because it all happened at once and it was a lot to navigate. 

Rachelle and I settled into a community on the west side of Indianapolis, ready and eager to develop a rhythm as a new married couple. One of those rhythms was to find a church home. It took us a few years, but eventually we landed at Plainfield Christian Church and began attending services and serving. 

The Joy of Hospitality

The Joy of Hospitality

When I was a kid, I grew up in a small house in Washington, IL.  I didn’t think it was that small, but I knew that my parents were feeling cramped and had a desire for a larger space. As a junior in high school, this dream my parents had of a bigger space became a reality: they were going to build a house.

As I look back on this, what was cool was the reason behind why my parents wanted a bigger space. It was so they could use their home for the Kingdom. They wanted me to be able to have larger groups of friends over or invite the youth group over. They wanted to be able to host our ever-growing family for holidays or offer a space to people who might need it. I can look back and see that they loved being able to do this: to show hospitality to those around them in the church and outside of the church. They have been living in their home now for over 10 years and they are still showing acts of hospitality by opening their home and their lives to those God puts on their path. 

The Worst and Best Summer of My Life

The Worst and Best Summer of My Life

It was the worst summer of my life.

On May 22, 2011, our lives came to a screeching halt. It was a Sunday evening, and I was at a party with my church youth group. It was a cloudy evening, and rain was in the forecast. We had heard about a tornado watch, but we were used to those. Growing up in Joplin, Missouri means you get used to the sound of tornado sirens. By the time I was in high school, I’d seen multiple tornados with my own eyes. They are terrifyingly beautiful.

So, when the warnings came on and the sirens went off that Sunday evening, I didn’t think much of it. The storm blew over and I left the party to go meet up with the rest of my family. You can imagine my shock as I drove back into town and found that my cozy little hometown had turned into a war zone.

At 5:41pm, a mile-wide EF5 tornado tore through my hometown, leaving a path of carnage in its wake that would change our lives forever. It was the worst summer of my life.

Neighboring

Neighboring

Back in November we embarked on a journey called The $100 Difference. We gave out $100 gift cards to members of our congregation with the belief that the simple act of blessing someone else with a gift card can make a difference in their life in the name of Jesus. 

Sometimes a neighbor can be a person that lives in close proximity. Other times a neighbor might be defined as someone you work with or cross paths with in one way or another. If there’s one thing we know about God, it’s that He doesn’t make mistakes. He has placed you around the people who frequently cross your path for a reason. Here are a few of the beautiful stories from The $100 Difference of how God used a $100 gift card to help people connect with their neighbors.

Acts of Generosity

Acts of Generosity

Back in November we embarked on a journey called The $100 Difference. We gave out $100 gift cards to members of our congregation with the belief that the simple act of blessing someone else with a gift card can make a difference in their life in the name of Jesus. 

God did some amazing things through this simple initiative and I wanted to share a few stories this week about how God used some acts of generosity to make a difference.

2 Corinthians 9:6-8 tells us that, "Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” God certainly used His people as cheerful givers through The $100 Difference, and here are some of the stories of generosity.