Monthly Archives: July 2007

Food Stories

Here are a couple of interesting stories that relate to the Go ’07 Food drive:

On Monday I received a box in the mail. It was one of the Impossible boxes we handed out about three weeks ago. It was from a couple that had been visiting from the Cleveland area. Evidently they were here and wanted to participate in Go ’07. They filled the box with food and mailed it us (it cost $11.00 to ship it).

That is exciting to me because so many people participated in this drive. I think this has been the largest most far reaching outreach we have done. For a visitor to take the time to take a box, fill it and mail it shows how much people want to make a difference and be a part of something exciting and meaningful.

Here is the other story I received by email:

Saturday we came back to the church to see if we could buy another angel food kit for my brother. We found out that the program wasn’t set up to do that, so you generously let us pick and choose some of the food from the food drive. Mike and I randomly picked out some food not knowing what they needed or would like. I hadn’t even talked to my brother for a good while. This was just a strong feeling that came over me after we had picked up our angel food kit. We took the box of food you gave us and went straight to my brothers’ house. He looked so surprised when he saw the food. We also gave him some gas money and shared some of our meat with him and his family.

My brother started to cry as he told me he had been praying and even told God he felt like a failure, because he was having trouble supplying for his family. He has even been looking for a second job. He said he even felt like God didn’t care anymore. He told me too, that as he went through the box of food that a lot of the items we picked out for him were items that him and his wife had to put back the last time they went grocery shopping. He could hardly believe he ended with those items anyways.

I reminded him of how God cares about the desires of our heart, even if it is a certain kind of cereal, God truly cares about us.

This even reminded me of how much God loves us. It amazes me how God shows us His great love with such small things.

Yeah God!

Current number of boxes = 1,286 We are accepting food through this week and will distribute food next week to the four food pantries.

Food, Food and more Food

Saturday morning was the first food distribution for Angel Food Ministries at NewPointe. My wife Vikki and I helped serve. What a great group of volunteers, I didn’t count them but we had around 30 people out to help.

Many of us got there at 7:00 a.m. to prepare and help unload the truck. The truck got delayed in Cambridge and did not arrive until almost 8:30. While we were waiting for the truck many of the volunteers helped box food for the GO ’07 food drive. We boxed 122 more boxes Saturday morning. That took our total to 554 boxes going into Sunday morning! Thanks to all who helped.

When the truck got there we unloaded it and stacked all the boxes of food in 20 minutes. Soon after that people began to arrive to pick up their food. We had 216 orders from 178 households.

Jesse & Wilma Mast are the leader’s of this ministry and did a great job of organizing the distribution. Dave Miller was a big help as well in planning and organizing things. The system worked well and people moved through quickly. We are taking orders for next month right now. You can order online at our website http://www.newpointe.org/content.cfm?id=2139

If you would like to volunteer for Angel Food please let me know. This is a great opportunity to make a difference.

I was a runner which meant I helped take the loaded boxes of food out to peoples cars. I got to meet some new people and talk to some friends. I also got in nearly 9,00 steps! It was fun asking people where they lived and how they heard about us.

It was a fun morning and many of the people were very grateful and excited about this ministry to help families save money on their groceries. An exciting part of this ministry that not many people know about is that for every box of food that is ordered through NewPointe we get One Dollar donated to our Helps fund. All that money goes to help needy families and individuals in our church and community.

I encourage you to check it out and tell your friends and neighbors. With the GO ’07 Food drive and Angel Food, NewPointe will be distributing a very large volume of food into our community. I hope that this will encourage people to continue to help the local food pantries. There are people that struggle to buy or find enough food for their family. At the end of the day Sunday we ended up with nearly 1,300 boxes of food. That is really amazing! Yeah God! All that food will be distributed to Four local food panries, three in Tuscarawas county and one in Holmes county.

I am so glad I am part of a church that wants to meet needs and change lives. We want to impact our communities in a real and practical way. Food is a great start, but their is much more going on. To get involved in reaching out in the community contact me at NewPointe, we have several projects in the works right now. Together we can make a big difference.

Are You Listening?

Do you consider yourself a good listener? Most people would rate themselves above average as a listener, but few people are really good listeners. I read a quote today that jumped out of the page at me and made me start thinking about how I listen and see the world around me.

Here it is; “That’s why I am talking to you. You are one of the rare people who can separate your observation from your preconception. You see what is, where most people see what they expect.” That was from John Steinbeck in East of Eden.

It made me ask the question; Am I one of those rare people that sees what is? This can be a very difficult thing to do because we all view other people in a different way based on our own experiences and beliefs. It is so easy to make judgements about a person before we even get to know them. If we see a poor person we tend to think and act a certain way with them. If we see a person that looks wealthy again, we tend to act and think a certain way.

Do people want to talk to you? Do you find that people come to you often for advice and counsel? Do you wonder why this is happening? If so you are one of the rare people that God has given the gift of discernment. You are able to see the real issue or problem before others. You are able to quickly realize if someone or something is good or evil. You are able to see through the fronts that most people put on. You can even tell if people are lying or telling the truth.

Most people go through life with a mask on, not letting people too close to their world. The rare person can see through that because they really see and really listen. It’s the rare person that patiently listens to a problem or situation, asks a few clarifying questions to draw out the real issues and helps a person feel better. It’s an even rarer person that can see the problem without even having to hear a word.

I know some of these rare people and I am amazed at their ability to discern and see what is. I have to keep working on it because I still sometimes see what I expect. Slow down and really listen to people. Observe them and become curious about what is going on with them. This is especially true in our close relationships with family and spouses. Listening and trying to understand and empathize is a great gift to the people around you. All of us can listen and see better. Take off your blinders and begin to see other people the way God sees them. Listen with compassion instead of judgment. That will raise your compassion level and cause you to see what is, not what is expected.

Food Drive Update

Wow, what an exciting morning at NewPointe. I spent most of the morning sorting, boxing and counting full boxes of food. I want to thank all the great Team Members that helped out all morning. Dave & Phyl Gilmore’s Host team did a great job of directing people and even helping box up the food. Thanks guys! To all the children that helped haul the food on their wagons, way to go!

You know what, we have incredible people at NewPointe. People that understand the vision of “Leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.” People that give significant time and money to the vision. NewPointe is all about the people that are on the team, volunteering, giving, praying, and growing. I am so thrilled to know so many amazing people.

The people came through on Sunday with over 400 boxes (432 to be exact). We are nearly half way to our goal of 1,000 boxes. We handed out a bunch more empty boxes, we actually ran out. So next week should be another busy day as the “people” come through with over 600 boxes. I believe it will happen, and it will make a difference in the community.

Here are some quick stats on the Uhrichsville food pantry. They served nearly 1,000 people in June. Of that number 365 were children and they added 39 new families. So far this year they have added 189 new families to the ones they serve. I was surprised at those numbers. I hope that the people of NewPointe will continue to give to these Food Pantries throughout the year. Let’s make a difference against hunger, housing, and other basic needs people have in our communities. If you want to help make a difference in the community call me to find out how you can help. We have ongoing projects to help families in our communities. You can help make a difference year round.

Obligation or Opportunity

I am reading a small but powerful book called “You Don’t Need A Title To Be A Leader” by Mark Sanborn. That title says a lot, and I have always believed that, but I have not always lived it out. I grew up in the corporate world of banking and consulting and titles were very important. What level of Vice President you were gave you status and power. My goal was to become President and CEO. Great titles, right, but those titles didn’t make you a good leader, it just shows who is in charge.

Some of the best leaders I have seen were not the CEO or President. Great leaders don’t wait on a title to start leading. They take initiative and help get things done. They look for ways to make a difference and improve things. They make suggestions and give their opinion. They don’t back down when confronted, but take a stand for what they believe in. They persevere and are patient when they have to. They are humble and yet persistent. They get things done and work well with other people. They encourage team members and are willing to do the dirty work.

In Sanborn’s book he talks about opportunity versus obligation. This is what he writes “How do you live your life? As an obligation, or as an opportunity? Those who see life as an obligation want the task at hand to be done with as quickly as possible, with little regard to the outcome. The people who change the world around them-for themselves, their companies, communities, and families – rarely act from a sense of obligation. In fact, the people who act as leaders almost always act from a sense of incredible opportunity. They don’t interact with the world around them because they have to. They do so because they want to.”

So how are you viewing your circumstances, your job, your marriage, your church, your community, your school? Are these obligations or opportunities? When the phone rings do you respond to each call as an opportunity to impact someones life or an obligation to answer a question. The busier you get, the more pressure you are under, the more you tend to view things as an obligation and you miss many opportunities. As you feel the pressure and the stress your motivation goes down and your sense of obligation goes up.

To change your perspective maybe you need to simplify your life. Maybe you need to narrow your focus and re-evaluate your priorities. Viewing life as an opportunity to do your part in God’s bigger story will increase your motivation and drive. You see, God has a plan for your life and my life. Every day God gives us opportunities to make a difference, to be a miracle for someone, to be a light, to be an encouragement. Begin to look for opportunities to make a difference and pray for the courage to dive into God’s story.

Steps

We kicked off a wellness program this week for our staff at NewPointe. We are on three teams and competing in several areas. The idea of course is for all of us to get healthier. I am excited about this new program because it has already motivated me to get into better shape. I went on walks the last two evenings. I would like to invite all those fellow blog readers to join us in this wellness effort.

This week we are counting our steps for an entire day. On day one I only had 9,300, but I got my step counter after first service Sunday. Todd Colucy was the big winner on day one with over 36,000 steps, wow! Today I am at 13,000 steps.

I know we all want to get in better shape and for me I need a little motivation. This may be the catalyst that I need to get over the hump and lose the weight, body fat etc while lowering my cholesterol.

I want to challenge everyone that reads this to set some goals for the next month. Get out and walk once or twice this week. Go on bike rides, stretch every morning, whatever it is for you. Then get out and start doing it.

It is the same for us spiritually. Set some achievable goals to pray, read the Bible, listen to messages or read a book. Then start doing it. Spiritual and physical health doesn’t just happen, it takes some effort, planning and accountability. Next time you see me ask how my diet & exercise is going. You can also ask me how my prayer and Bible reading are going too. If you ask me, I will ask you.

Vacation 101

I have not been posting much because I have been on vacation this past week. It was a week at home with my wife. We spent part of it doing day trips to area sites like the flea market in Hartville and the shops in Dresden. We even went to the Mt. Hope auction on Wednesday for produce. I love blueberries bannana’s and pineapple!

We went out with some friends on Thursday night to one of our favorite restaurants in Canton called the Sahara Grille. Blake Wood introduced us to that place a couple of years ago. The Lamb and seasoned rice are great!

We also spent two days working around the house. I finally got the mulching done and pulled a bunch of weeds. Vikki and I also like to go rock hunting. No this is not like snipe hunting, although that is fun as well.

We spotted some rocks that would work well around some of our flower beds by a large oak tree beside the road. I pass it ever day going to work. We stopped on Friday and asked the Amish family if we could take them. They said to check with the Amish farmer up the road. So off we went and asked the farmer if we could take his rocks. It turns out that I am related to this guys wife and his last name is also Stutzman. He took us back in his fields and showed us a bunch of rocks. His farm is covered with rocks. I guess that is why they call it stoney point.

We went and got my father-in-law’s pickup and started loading rocks. Three pickup loads later we were exhausted and very dirty. He was actually in the process of burrying a bunch of rock in one of his fileds. So they were exposed and easy to find. One week later and we would not have gotten nearly as many.

We also got to see his work horses up close. It was a great day, even though my back is a little sore.

We all need time off from work to recharge and reload. I have come to find out that taking vacation is critical for a few reasons. I used to not want to take vacation, because I thought I had to be at work to get things done. I think that was pride and I now realize that life and work goes on without me.

One reason to take vacation is I get to spend more time with my wife. Hanging out together and going out together is very important in our relationship. She is my best friend and I love spending time with her. Another reason is it gets my mind off of the work I focus on all the time and I can catch up on my reading. If all you do is think about work it will eventually consume you and begin to hurt your family relationships. Work is important, but family is more important. Another reason to take a vacation is to have other people cover for you at work and maybe they will appreciate you a little more, or maybe not.

Anyway, I am back to work on Monday and I am excited about diving back into some of the projects I am working on. God has answered some prayers and I can’t wait to get started.

Personal Growth

My personal mission statement is “Growing in Faith, Character & Leadership” To me the most important part of that statement is the first word; “Growing”. Growing means that I am learning, changing, adapting, failing, planning, attempting new things, going, doing, thinking and focusing.

If I am not growing then I am declining. I want to grow in my personal faith, becoming more intimate with my Lord. I want to know Him and experience His presence and learn His ways.

I also want to grow in character, which usually happens through adversity. I want to be known for the character qualities others see in me, not the accomplishments. Qualities like dependability, flexibility, patience, responsible, determined, gentle, wisdom, discernment and courageous.

I want to grow in leadership as well. To become a better leader with the people that I have influence with. Leadership is about influence and I want my influence to grow. I want to be the leader that God created me to be. To step out and take chances and live life to the fullest.

So how do I grow? One way is I read a lot of books. I love to learn from other people. The more I read the more I grow in knowledge and understanding. I just finished three books I had been reading over the last couple of months. Each of those books challenged me in a different way. It fed my desire to become a better husband, employee, pastor, friend and Christ-follower.

Reading is very important in growing. Remember as a child how reading played a significant role in your development. In school I had to read, in college I had to read even more. Now I read because I want to. I read books on leadership, Christianity, discipleship, business and management. I also read fiction, usually stories about ordinary and extraordinary people. My favorite fiction writer is John Grisham, my favorite non fiction author is Erwin McManus.

As important as reading is in personal growth, so is going and doing what what I read. I need to put into practice what I am learning or it is wasted. If I read the Bible and don’t do what it says, all that reading is wasted. My challenge to you is to Grow. Don’t stay where you are at spiritually, emotionally or intellectually. Read, listen to Cd’s, watch DVDs whatever works for you, but don’t stop learning and growing. The more you grow the more God can use you.

Baptism Sunday

Today was baptism Sunday at NewPointe. What an amazing morning. John Bunn talked about Jesus’ miracle of turning water into wine. Great stories John about baseball and your wedding. John challenged us all to be obedient to what God is calling us to do. By acting in faith we could experience a miracle.

We also got to hear nine life change stories, it is unbelievable how God is working in peoples lives. That is why we do church at NewPointe. Our desire is that everyone that comes to NewPointe is changed forever. We call it life transformation. I am so pumped for these nine people that have publicly declared that they are followers of Jesus Christ.

They all talked about there experience of making a decision to surrender completely to Christ and live for Him. Each one has grown in their faith and trust in God. What a special morning.

Congratulations to Paul & Sharon Wolodkin, Dave Cantwell, Cheryl Warther, Dani Engstrom, Jessica Rilke, Tom Troyer, Diana Young and Benita Miller. They all took the plunge so to speak. It took courage to step forward to record their testimony on video and then get on stage in front of hundreds of people. But each one was there for a reason and had a story to tell about how God has changed them forever. I hope and pray their stories touched someone today and that life change will continue on in others.

One last thing, John also threw out the challenge for our church to fill 1,000 boxes of food for our local food banks in Dover, Uhrichsville, Newcomerstown and Millersburg. I know we can meet the challenge. I called each of the food banks and they are excited about our goal. Let’s make a difference one meal at a time.

Some great items to bring in would be dry cereal, canned soup, canned chicken and tuna. Make sure you only donate something that you would eat, no old or damaged cans please. To God be the Glory!