Uncategorized

The sweetest text from my dad about Winona

Last week I received literally hundreds of texts, emails, cards, messages and calls from all the over the world about the news that Winona (the baby we were working towards adopting) had passed away in China.

They all meant the world! Every single one. 

Here’s one that I’ll cherish forever and its from my dad

What I’m really sorry for is Winona won’t get the chance to experience the love that you and Tracie would have given her here on this earth. Right now she is the presence of perfect love. Right now Winona Raitz is playing with Winona Riker (Tracie’s grandma). Love you.

My dad is my hero. He’s my spiritual hero. He’s a man of great faith. He’s a man in love with Jesus. He’s a man in love with family. And, he seemingly always knows what to say.

Sunday Night Thoughts on Life, Family and Thrive Church

Honestly, this week has been a tough one. Can’t really sugar coat it at all.

So, it’s hard to process some thoughts about it, but, I’ll give it my best shot.

Here’s what I know…

Psalm 34:17-18 (msg)

Is anyone crying for help? God is listening,
ready to rescue you.

If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there;
if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.

In the midst of some pretty good sadness, some pretty good ‘why’ questions, I know that I know that God is right here with me and my family!

He is faithful. He is loving. He will never leave us or forsake us.

Thoughts on Life…

This week, Tracie and I asked God a lot of questions. If you don’t know, we found out that the little girl we were going to adopt passed away over the weekend. She had been fighting a virus and her orphanage didn’t have central heat and her little body couldn’t fight it off. It was heart breaking to get that call.

Even though we had not held her in our arms yet, she was very much a part of our family! So, it’s tough to understand why this had to happen. But, we trust God and know He has a plan.

Thoughts on Family…

I’m just overwhelmed! This week, our family experienced such an outpouring of support, encouragement and love from friends and family all over the country. It was just so humbling!

We have decided to continue our home study for the adoption and we told our adoption agency that we would like to see more information on other kids with PKU. So, we’ll see what God has in store.

On a side note, its just amazing how awful people can be! I’ve received a few pretty hateful and hurtful messages about our future adoption. It’s just awful how mean people can be. But, we’ll just keep loving.

Thoughts on Thrive Church…

Wow! I am just absolutely and completely blown away by how amazing God is! He just amazing!

I have no idea why I get the GREAT privilege and JOY and blessing of leading Thrive Church! I am completely overwhelmed and I am so thankful!

Today was just an awesome day for Thrive. The energy and enthusiasm was awesome. Our  volunteers were just incredible!

Here are a few highlights:

  • The Central Michigan University 6th Man (Pep Band) played in the lobby before and after our experiences. They were amazing!
  • Our creative team made this commercial and people loved it!
  • The Thrive band was awesome today! They opened with ‘eye of the tiger’ and then lead us in worship with some amazing songs!
  • We kicked off our new series…XOXO…friends, flings and relationship things. It was a GREAT start!

IMG_1914

Faith…Football…Fun = Today at Thrive Church

What are you doing this morning? tailgate

Maybe you’ve thought about checking out Thrive Church for awhile now. You have a few friends who go to Thrive and you’ve read a few posts on Facebook about Thrive.

Every Sunday you come up with an excuse and that’s ok.

But, what about taking the leap of faith and checking out Thrive?

Why today?

Thrive is hosting our annual Tailgate Party and it’s the perfect Sunday to check out the Church. Free food, the CMU pep band and cheer leaders are at Thrive. It’s Jersey Sunday, so wear your favorite teams swag! And, we’re starting a new series about relationships.

Who doesn’t have relationship questions?

So, check out Thrive today. 

  1. Head to Celebration Cinema by either 830am or 945am. The experiences start at 9 and 1015 and the adults head to theater one and the kids are in a bunch of different theaters.
  2. Wear your favorite teams swag.
  3. Come hungry.
  4. Come and be a part!

We’re ready for you! See you soon!

6 Things Every Thriver Needs to Know for tomorrow

Happy Saturday Thrive Church!!!!! OH MY GOODNESS!! I am so EXCITED for tomorrow at THRIVE!!

It’s our second annual TailGate Party!!

tailgate party
 

Here are 6 Things every Thriver needs to know about tomorrow at Thrive:

1. PRAY! Seriously, pray like 1 Thes 5:17 says…’without ceasing’. Pray for the lost to be found. Pray for a spirit of unity and of fun. Pray for people to experience God’s love! Pray for kids to fall in love with Jesus. Pray that God would be glorified.

2. INVITE. There is still time. Share the Facebook post about it. Use the Facebook header. Text someone. Call them. Message them. Pick them up.
 
3. BE EARLY. Seriously, like 30 minutes! Come and hang out. Listen to the CMU PEP BAND, watch the CMU cheerleaders fly through the air and get ready to have fun!
 
4. BE EARLY to the experience. Please sit in the middle of rows and if you can, attend the 9am if you can. The 1015 has been stuffed lately and this will free up seats. If you can’t switch, don’t worry.
 
5. CREATE the ENVIRONMENT. Clap, cheer, sing loud, worship Jesus, raise your hands, pour out to God, listen, learn and soak it in.
 
6. WEAR something fun. Your favorite team jersey or sweatshirt or t-shirt or hat.
 
Alright, we’re ready! We have some really fun things planned during the experience, you don’t want to be late!!!!
 
Plus we start our new series…XOXO!! Woo Hoo!!
 
See you tomorrow!!
PS…Bring cases of water for FLINT!! Just leave them by your car!

We’re just heart broken and crushed

Yesterday afternoon we found out from our adoption agency, Children’s House International, that our sweet Winona Mae passed away over the weekend.

944055_1547378482239772_5527609299950381179_n

We are absolutely heart broken and completely crushed.

For the Lord will not
    cast off forever,
32 but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion
    according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
33 for he does not afflict from his heart
    or grieve the children of men. ~Lamentations 3:31-33

From the moment we first saw her photo and read about her, we were just convinced that God had called us to be her parents.

I was in town working out when Tracie called me and I was just shocked. I immediately felt numb and just sat down and stared at the wall trying to wrap my mind around this.

We still don’t have all the details, but we do know a really bad virus was going around her orphanage. Winona was very small and frail and way under weight for her age. Plus, the orphanage doesn’t even have central heating and the air quality is very bad in that region of China. And, her little body just couldn’t fight off the virus.

It’s just heart breaking. We’ve been praying, our family has been praying and our community has been praying for this little girl. Her picture is up at our house, on our phones, her crib and stroller and have been bought and we were just getting ready to paint her room.

Honestly, in the midst of the sadness, I’m angry. We are jumping through hoop after hoop to bring her home and she has a home ready for her with a family and a community ready to love her, and she had to stay in an over crowded orphanage with barely any heat.

‘He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” ~Revelation 21:4 (esv)

Lot’s of tears have been shed. Lot’s more will be as we think about the memories we wanted to share with her.

Our calling to adopt hasn’t changed. There are so many kids who need forever homes. There are even more babies and toddlers with PKU. We will regroup. We will finish our home study and I know God will lead us to another baby who we can bring into our family.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. ~Matthew 5:4 (niv)

Monday Morning Thoughts…Thankful for an Incredible Weekend!

It’s Monday! Our kids are in a state of mourning because every other school district has cancelled and their school was only a 2 hour delay. But, they’ll live!

All I can keep thinking about is how thankful I am! We had an incredible weekend as a family! It was full! It was busy! It was crazy! But, it was awesome! It was great! It was fulfilling. It was amazing!

 

Thankful for my family!

  • We had a great weekend as a family! We swam together on Friday night and had dinner with my parents. I can’t even begin to express how much I love the fact that my parents live close to us!

Thankful for my friends!

  • We are doing quite a bit of painting at our house to get ready for our home study. And, friends have volunteered to help! So humbling and such an honor!

Thankful for my Church! 

  • Sunday was an just an incredible day for Thrive Church. I don’t know if I have ever felt the presence of the Holy Spirit so strong at Thrive! I fought back tears most of the morning! And honestly, I started the Sunday pretty tense. I don’t know. God dealt with me. Broke me. I worshipped. Learned. Prayed and saw God move!

What an amazing weekend! I’m praying for this week and I can’t wait for next weekend!

IMG_0654.jpg

Thrive Church…A Rewind Video of 2015 and a Major Announcement!

 

Yesterday was an amazing Sunday at Thrive! Actually, one of my favorites EVER!

Here’s why…

ONE…We celebrated Baptisms!! It just doesn’t get any better than that! What an honor and a privilege to baptize amazing people going public in their faith! What a day!

TWO…I made a major announcement about Easter at Thrive. It’s a HUGE step of faith, but one that is so EXCITING! It will position us to increase our REACH and IMPACT in Central MI and it’s pretty darn exciting!

We are going to have Easter at Thrive on the campus of CMU!

The crazy reality is this…Easter has grown exponentially the last few years at Thrive and by moving it to CMU, we will be able to reach more people with the Gospel. If we stayed in our current location, we couldn’t reach many more people than normally come on a Sunday.

THREE…And, we showed our Rewind video from 2015! 2015 was a GREAT year for Thrive Church and God did some amazing things!! It was so awesome to celebrate together as a Church!