What I’m Thankful For…My Family, My Friends, My Church and Adoption

I am one EXTREMELY thankful person!

God has been really good to me. He has been really good to my family! As I think about how much He has blessed me…it’s literally OVERWHELMING!

So, today I am Thankful! I choose to be Thankful! I will be Thankful!

Here’s what I’m Thankful for…

One…My Family! They’re precious. They’re wonderful. They’re amazing. They’re christmas card photoincredible. They’re life-giving. They’re fun. They make me smile. They bring me joy. They light up my life. They are the greatest part of my life! I love them!

Two…My Friends. I have some great friends. Don’t why I’m blessed with such great friends. I have 20 year old friends. I have friends around the country. I have friends in my own back yard. I have friends in IL, MI, WI, OH, NY, PA, MA, FL, GA, TN, CA, CO, TX…Ok, this is silly! I have friends in almost every state! We’re all not BFF’s and talk every moment, but I am blessed!

Three…My Church! I love my Church! I have dreamed of this Church since 1995 whenIMG_4652 I first started working at Churches. I have given my Church my time, prayer, heart, tears, sweat, blood and every penny of our savings. I love that we run after people who are far from God. I love that our hearts break over people who are messy and desperately need Jesus. I love that we are passionate about Jesus. I love that we are high challenge Church and challenge the comfortable! I love that we are a Fun Church. I love that we keep it simple. And, I love that we are REAL!

Four…Adoption. I am thankful for Adoption! I am thankful that Jesus adopted me into IMG_3316His family and I am thankful for the millions who adopt every year! And, I am thankful that the Raitz family is joining the Adoption family! I can’t wait to bring Winona Mae home to our family! I love that our entire family is so excited to welcome her in!

I am Thankful! I am Grateful! I choose to be Thankful even when everyday I face excruciatingly tough situations. I choose to be thankful even when I face discouragement. I choose it because the reality is, God has blessed me! God has blessed my family! God has blessed my Church!

And…I am Thankful!

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Good morning from Puerto Lago, Ecuador

We made it! A flight to Atlanta, a lay over, a 5.5 hour flight to Quito and then a 1.5 bus ride to Puerto Lago! IMG_0524

Whew! The absolute best part of yesterday was spending all day with Bekah! We laughed. We laughed some more. We talked. And we just hung out. Plus, she’s amazing to travel with because she’s darn on it. I didn’t get lost once! Hah!

I love just her heart for people!

Today begins really soon. We got in last night at 2am and breakfast is in a few minutes and then a Compassion orientation. Then, it’s on the bus and we’re heading San Lorenzo and then by boat to Limones and we get to see, tour and experience Compassions Students Center there.

That center provides sponsors children with a Christian education, health check ups, health education and academic training.

Plus, it was absolutely to meet up in the airport with 20 or so Pastors, kids and ministry leaders from the around the country. You would have thought we all knew each other!

Double plus for me…a few of my ministry hero’s are on this trip. Jeff Forester and his wife Bonnie, who pastor Heritage Church. Jeff and Heritage is one of the reasons Thrive even exists. Without their support, I don’t know where we would be. And, Greg Nettle, the President of Stadia is here with his daughter. I love Greg and he’s been a tremendous mentor and support to me as well.

Again, I am so thankful I was given this tremendous blessing. And, I’m so thankful for the group of people who financially supported Bekah so she could come on this potentially life changing trip!

I dream of the day when Thrive Church can help plant a Church here in Ecuador and continue to support Compassion’s and Stadia’s amazing  and ongoing work.

You’re Invited to Thrive Church

Yes, that’s right…you’re invited to Thrive Church. We meet at Celebration Cinema at 930am! Bring your kids, your family and friends.


Tomorrow is a HUGE day for Thrive…here’s why:2013-08-16 13.38.12

1. It’s our last monthly service! This will be our sixth and final monthly service. Come tomorrow to find out why.

2. We have the privilege of gathering together! I love the community that God has brought together and I can’t wait to see everybody.

3. Our community is building bonds with each other! It’s one thing for me to be excited about connecting with everybody, but, it’s awesome that they are connecting with each other.

4. We’re meeting outdoors. We discovered a scheduling glitch with the theater and instead of seeing it as a Problem, we saw it as an opportunity. So, we’re setting up a tent and meeting outside!

5. I’m teaching about New Life. We’re going to talk about the New Life we have in Jesus and how we can move past the stuff that holds us back!

6. It’s our 1st BBQ & Baptism! Right after the service, we head 15 miles to a great park where we will do baptisms in the lake and then have a great BBQ!

Hope to see you tomorrow!

Oh yeah…don’t forget that Thrive exists to help people find and follow God!

Live Now T-Shirts are almost here…

I am very excited!

That seems to be my current theme in my life, but, soon we will be offering 4 different Live Now shirts for people to buy. And, when they do, the profits from those shirts will go to help Live Now partner with schools to help end bullying!

Her’e s a little preview of our upcoming shirts…

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I would be honored if you would consider buying 1 or 2 or 3 of them for yourself and your kids, friends, co-workers, neighbors, relatives, McDonald employees and anybody else you know. Hah!

Information about on to do that will be posted soon!