You never know what to expect at Thrive

At Thrive, every Sunday is just a bit different from the last Sunday and that’s very purposeful.

This past Sunday was Thrive’s Tailgate Party and it was just AWESOME! 

And you know what? It was ridiculously different from the Sunday prior to that!

When we started Thrive Church over 121 weeks ago, we said we would always EMBRACE CHANGE. 

We love Change at Thrive!

Why? Because we don’t ever want to get stuck doing the same thing over and over, even though its not effective any longer. I know for some Churches, they embrace some traditions and that’s great for them. We have decided to take a different route with our vision and mission. We value tradition as well.

But, we don’t want the traditions of the past to dictate our future if they’re not effective any longer.

So, we embrace change. Two Sunday’s ago, we had a very different feel for the experience than our Tailgate party. We had experiential prayer stations, longer worship with communion, 3 speakers, an artist who was painting and a video that helped us concentrate on Jesus.


Then came the TailGate Party!

Two days ago at Thrive…well, it was just the total opposite! We had the Central Michigan University Pep Band playing the lobby! People wore jersey’s to represent their favorite teams on Super Bowl Sunday. We grilled hot dogs, and had popcorn and pop. Matt and the band kicked off with ‘eye of the tiger’ and we had a lot of fun. We even had a T-Shirt cannon!

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Don’t get me wrong. It’s not just about the FUN!

Fun in Church gets too much of a bad rap sometimes!

We believe the fun helps build trust with people who have given up on God or Church. And that fun helps break down barriers and then people will start to trust you. And my goodness, when they will laugh with you, they will trust you and they will be so much more open to learning!

So, in the same Sunday, we still worshipped, we prayed, I taught from God’s word and we challenged people to turn away from the sin that’s holding them back.

It was just different. And, it was awesome!

So, we embrace change. We love change. We want to keep changing so we can reach the people that nobody else is reaching!

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Are you ready to experience God?

I hear it more often than I could possibly explain.

‘I just don’t know if God is real’ or ‘I have never experienced God before’

Well, today is your day to Experience God!


Seriously, God is wanting to connect with you. God is wanting to remind you of His unconditional love for you. God is wanting to move in your life.

So, the question is…

Are you ready to take a step or two towards God? 

Are you ready to stop running from God? 

Are you ready to Experience HIM? 

Than, take a major step and head to Thrive Church this morning!

We meet at Celebration Cinema at either 9 or 1015am. I suggest getting there at least 15-20 minutes early. We have coffee for you. We have donuts for you. We have an amazing area for you kids called Thrive Kidz.

So, head to Thrive. Bring a friend! We’ll see you soon!


Find your way back to God today and stop running

Have you been running from God? 


Maybe you can’t even remember how long its been. Maybe you think there’s no way God would be interested in you because you’ve been running for long. Maybe you love God with all your heart, you just feel far from Him.

Here’s the question…

Why do you keep running?

It could be because of your past. It could be because you have some bitterness or hate or anger toward God or others. It could be because you’re tired.

Whatever the reason…Today is your day to stop running.

And, it simply starts by heading to Thrive Church. Yup, that’s a GREAT first step. Just get ready, don’t worry about to wear (just be comfortable) and head to Celebration Cinema.

Thrive has two experiences. One at 9am and the other at 1015am. I would recommend getting there about 20 minutes early. And then just soak it all in. Listen for God to speak to you. Be ready to hear from God.

And stop running. 


My personal ethics for Facebook in 2016

Here’s the deal…I freaking love Facebook! I love it! 

It’s true, I do. I think its awesome and I think it’s one of the best things ever!

But…and this is a BIG BUT…

If I let it, it can take over so much of my time. If I let it, I can let its negativity ruin my day. If I let it, I can let the jealousy of watching everyone’s best moments get the best of me. If I let it, it can be really destructive.

But…there’s the deal…


I don’t have to let it. I can search and recognize and scroll and reap the benefits of how freaking awesome it can be!

Now, I’ve almost given up on it in the past and I wrote about it here. But, I decided not too.

Why? Because ultimately I believe Facebook is a great tool for the Kingdom of God. 

Even though I think its great, I still have decided to set up some Facebook parameters and safety guards. These help protect me and my heart  from all the crap that can happen on Facebook and also protect others from the moments that I decide to say something hurtful or hateful or ridicoulous on Facebook.

My personal ethics for facebook

1. I will NEVER like or engage with anything that is even remotely negative.

If someone is bashing another person, an organization or whatever it is, I just don’t have time for that.

And, if I start reading and get the hint that the author is heading down a crazy negative trail, I immediately unfollow, not unfriend. It actually takes a lot for me to unfriend someone. It happens, but it takes awhile.

Here’s the deal. There is enough negativity in my life, so why would I want to add anymore? Now, I’m not talking about people who push back on a philosophy or a worldview or anything like that. I’m great with people who disagree with each other’s stances on issues and I routinely read authors who fall in different camps than mine. But, I’m done with the negativity. I’m not with the negative person, just their negativity on the Facebook airwaves.

Here’s my guide verse for this:

 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. ~Phil 4:8

2. I will do everything in my power to represent Jesus as His ambassador.

Now, I’m not perfect. Actually, far from it! I don’t have all the answers and I screw up a lot. But, I will do everything possible to not make Jesus or His Church look bad on Facebook. I want to represent Him well and so that means I have some questions that I ask myself before I post something:

  • Will this post honor Jesus?
  • Will this post honor someone else?
  • Could what I say be easily taken out of context?
  • Is this post something I would be embarrassed of if I read it later?

Here’s my guide verse for this:

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. ~2 Corinthians 5:20

3. I will not send or post subliminal messages.

Have you ever done this? I have! You’re trying to get a point across to someone and you hope they see your Facebook page and the post you put up just for them. Well, my days of doing that are over!

Here’s my guide verse for this:

Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil. ~Matthew 5:37

4. I will use Facebook to encourage others. 

Whether it’s through helpful articles, inspiring pictures, helpful thoughts or just good old fashion humor, I will use this incredible tool to bring encouragement, not hate! I try to send dozens of encouraging messages a week through private messages, posts on walls and my commenting and liking posts.

Here’s my guide verse for this:

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. ~ 1 Thes 5:11

5. I will use Facebook to invite people to be a part of the Kingdom. 

I am unashamed to use Facebook to talk about Jesus, the CHURCH or my Church. I know some people disagree with that, but I think it’s a tremendous tool for the kingdom. Now, I will never become soap box preacher and finger pointing preacher on Facebook. That stuff is ridiculous and I think makes little 7 pound, 5 ounce baby Jesus cry! See, I probably just offended someone with that last sentence, but it was funny! Haha.

I will post scriptures, encouraging quotes, helpful articles and challenging Christ filled messages that hopefully will bring hope and joy and peace and truth to someone’s life.

Here’s my guide verse for this:

 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.  ~ Romans 1:16

6. I will NEVER bash another human being, organization or the CHURCH! 

This happens all the time on Facebook and it makes me nauseous. This just hurts the Kingdom of God and makes Satan smile! Even when someone bashes me, I’m just not going to lash back out on Facebook. Or my food took too long at a restaurant, or the cashier was rude at Target. Nope, just not going to BASH!

Here’s my guide verse for this:

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. ~Eph 4:29

A few last thoughts…

Obviously, I’m not the Facebook captain of the world and these are just my thoughts and ethics. But, for me, I have found these helpful as I passionately do everything I can to follow Jesus with my whole heart and life.

And lastly, its easy for your identity to get boosted by Facebook. Likes, comments and friends. But, don’t let it. Our identity is rooted in the fact that we were created in the image of God and we’re His children!

Imagine if Jesus followers used Facebook to make a giant impact on the world for Jesus? Wow!

Sunday Night Thoughts on Life, Family and Thrive Church

We’re home! It’s Sunday night! I should be sleeping. I can’t!

I am so charged up and so EXCITED about a GREAT morning at Thrive and a GREAT weekend with my family!

Some Thoughts…

on Life…I continually find myself in situations that there is NO reason I should be in that situation! Honestly, it’s head scratching!

For instance, it was awesome to be back at Camp Timber Lee for my 10th year this weekend! Can’t believe I’ve speaking there that long and I can’t believe they keep asking me back! Just crazy!

I am so humbled that they have given me that many opportunities in summer and winter to teach students about Jesus!

on Family…This week is Tracie’s Birthday! She’s an amazing wife and mom and my prayer is that we will be able to bring home Winona Mae sooner than later. That will be a GREAT present for her birthday!

I had a really cool moment today. At lunch, my kids gave me some amazing feedback on my speaking and my stories. Its so much fun hearing them bring ideas to the table! I love that they feel safe enough to critique their dad!

It hit me today that in just over a month, my Bekah will turn 16! Just unreal!

on Thrive Church…What can I say? I love my Church! I’m proud of my Church!

We have an amazing volunteer team! We have an amazing staff team. Even with the weather this morning, our teams pulled it off and lives were changed!

We even saw an answer of prayer from last week. At Thrive last Sunday, we wrote names of people we want to see find their way back to God. And, already today, some of those people came to Thrive!

Plus…it was so much fun to see Facebook blow up about Dr. Tom’s message this morning! It’s still crazy to me that Thrive Church has his wisdom, his knowledge and his handle on God’s word! I LOVE IT!

It was a GREAT week! 

I can’t wait for what’s ahead and I’m so thankful for all God is doing!


Monday morning thoughts on Life, Family and Thrive Church

Whew, it’s Monday Morning!

My goal is to write some thoughts on Sunday night about the previous week, but I’m absolutely failing at that lately.

So, Monday’s will have to suffice!!

Thoughts on Life…

Here it is in a nut shell…I’m so thankful to be loved by God and to be loved by my amazing family! Its just unreal how much He’s blessed my life and my families lives. Its hard to not wake up everyday and be thankful!

Today I woke up with Jeremiah 29:13 on my heart…

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Thoughts on Family…

My family is my life.

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Thoughts on Thrive Church…

Yesterday was one of the most powerful Sunday’s we’ve had as a Church. So many people took the challenge to pray for 30 days! It was just awesome!

I’ve already heard so many great stories of people praying…

“God if you are real, make yourself real to me.”

Want a GREAT way to start 2016? Learn how to Find your way back to God at Thrive Church

It’s 2016!! It’s a new year! It’s full of potential!

We all have resolutions. We all have goals. We all have dreams.

We want this year to be better than the last. We all want a better version of ourselves, right?!?

Ok, I have an idea for you. It might sound a little crazy at first. But, hang with me here. And, if you like this idea, it would bring you unconditional love from the God who created you.

Wouldn’t it be awesome to find your way back to God? 

Maybe at one point, you felt close to God. Maybe at one point you were ready and then you decided to stay away from God. Maybe you feel like its impossible to find your way back to God?535239_918949341533714_4415655848475955547_n

Or…maybe you want more of God? Maybe you’re ready to take the necessary steps of obedience to experience more of God. Maybe you’re hungry for more of Jesus in life.

Why not start 2016 at Thrive Church?

Today we start a 5 week teaching series called…’Finding your way back to God’ and it’s the PERFECT Sunday to come to Thrive!

So, whether you’ve been away from God or Church for years or weeks, this is your Sunday to come back!

Whether you told God you were done with Him or you want more of Him, this is your Sunday!

See you at Celebration Cinema at either 9 or 1015am!