Wednesday, August 31, 2005


God is so Good!!!! I met another on fire young adult today....Rolando and his wife and two children. Rolando is a health access Coordinator for a local hospital, he is very sharp, with a big smile and a compassionate heart. Rolando has a passsion for neighborhood ministry and someone told him about me. His heart is in the midst of Garden Square Apartments, he knows many people. He just showed up at the church, this afternoon. He told me how he, his wife and some volunteers used to use the church on Friday night for a kids club. They would feed the kids and divide them by ages and have a great time. They often had more than 40 kids. WOW!! They haven't met here for a couple years and would like to start up again. If the church says okay then we got another ministry here. Please pray that God keeps moving as he is now. Even if it is hard to keep up I don't want it to stop. Jeff

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Good two days

I have had two good full days. Yesterday I spoke with four funeral home directors, offering to provide pastoral care for families that do not have a pastor. I also met with folks from the Gilead House(a drug rehab house) for women, the director of the Howard County Foundation, checked in with the guys from Bridges at the Middle school, I went to CAM which is a homeless drop in shelter, I visited with a group that recently bought the YWCA(it ended up being a private Christian School), I went to the Nesting Doves a group home for teen moms, and I visited a parishioner in the hospital. Last week I went to the Crisis Center and First congregational Resale Shop. Today I made arrangements to have a mothers morning out at the community center in the apartment complex next door. We are offering cooking classes the second week of September, I have a friend coming from Texas to teach the class along with how to shop. Pray that people participate. I still need to line up child care. Today I made brochures for our new intern ministry at the church and revised the Kokomo Urban Outreach brochure. While I am tired it is a good tired, I am at complete peace and know that I am doing what God is calling me to do. Oh yeah, someone bought a book. Thanks to whoever it was. Jeff

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Boy what a mornin'

Today I presented the vision that God has laid on my heart for the church. The Reader's Digest version goes like this: Not every church is called to be or become a Mega church, where all services and programs are found under one roof like a Walmart, we are a small church that needs to specialize in a particular kind of ministry(a sort of niche ministry). I likened it to Dan's Donuts that is only about five blocks from the church(they are the worlds best hands down) anyway, they only do two things sell donuts and drinks(coffee and milk). I told the church we are going to be like Dan's and do only two things really well. Of course worship, Sunday school etc are givens and don't count against the two things. The first thing is that we are going to become the church next door. A church that is involved in the neighborhood. I then asked them to begin to think about what neighbors do. At that moment a young man entered the back of the Sanctuary and just stood there. After about a minute I ask if I can help him. His request: "do you have a phone cord we can borrow". Odd, but like a good neighbor we told him we could get him one in just a few minutes, just as soon as I could dig one up. Remember this happened in the middle of the sermon. He said he would come right back, when I invited him to join us. But isn't that one thing that neighbors do borrow stuff and feel comfortable enough to ask? We are becoming the church next door.

The second thing we are going to do is to provide a place where people, especially young adults, can discern if God is calling them into ministry. They will work with me as I mentor them and they gain experience through Ministry(in the church), Outreach(community ministry) and Reflection(being sure they are being called). It will be called, Ministry, Outreach, and Reflection Experience (MORE). Trinity could be a training and discerning ground for those that are being called to ministry, while gaining practical experience in church and neighborhood ministry. There seemed to be a positive reaction to the plan. Jeff

Friday, August 26, 2005

Map Quest

I have been doing some streetwalking over the past few days. I have been walking the same route at about the same time and meeting people, along the way. I also have been mapping the neighborhood using observation and the US census Data. In an 5 block by 5 block square around our house there are 473 homes, with 1339 people. Included in these blocks are 16 businesses: Tommy's tattoo and Body Piercing, Galloways car upholstering, positive Results physical therapy, 2 insurance agents, a Village Pantry, a Pizza Parlor, a , glass shop, and two bars. There is also a branch of Ivy Tech State College that specializes in Medical science, in the same building there are technology companies and research labs for I.U. and Purdue. There is a very large workshop and building that houses a program for those with mental and physical disabilities. Of the 25 blocks in the neighborhood, 7 blocks are vacant a factory was torn down about three years ago leaving at least 7 blocks of grass and weeds. There is also at least 6 blocks of parking lots that were used for the factory, I counted 2000 parking spaces in the area. Half of the neighborhood is business, parking lots and the Vacant lot. Sixty-Five percent of the houses are rented and well more than half are under 30. The average rent is $200 and the average mortgage payment is $400. There are 155 apartments in the government housing with the average rent there being $65 which includes utilities. Spent a great deal of time walking the neighborhood this week. Thank you for keeping us in prayer. Jeff

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Secret is Out

My friend Dave and I recorded our first podcast today. A podcast is like a radio show that is created by individuals. We are planning on reviewing books about Christianity once a month. You may listen to our first podcast here . It last a bit more than 40 minutes. Please email and let me know what you think at .



Met two young men today, Casey Cline and Travis Taflinger, they are directors of a ministry called Bridges Outreach. God gave Casey and Travis a vision of ministry in which they would reach youth. Their original vision was for a sort of Christian Boys and s Club, it evolved into an afternoon program at the inner city middle school. Each day. Casey and Travis and some volunteers tutor, mentor, feed and help teens develop study an life skills. At the end of each week the group goes on a field trip sometimes a Christian event, other times something like swimming and bowling. During this past summer, they took the kids to church camp where 15 of them gave their lives to Christ. These two guys, get it, they live out loving God and loving others. They build into the lives of those they work with and point them over time to Jesus. They started this program in January of 05, and as with every ministry, have limited resources. They are looking for people to work with them, I think they need 60 people in a database that they could call on(this is me saying this not them). They need chaperones, drivers, office workers, mentors, tutors and life skill speakers. If you are reading this in the Kokomo area call me or email me and I will put you in touch with them. I am asking my prayer partners from all over to pray for Casey and Travis and the Bridges Outreach Program. God is answering my prayers that God would raise up young s to do His work. Jeff
PS: D.M. Casey participated in he thinks a program like this would benefit Kokomo and those young s particpating.

Monday, August 22, 2005


Please be nice in the Laundromat

Today I did volunteered to do a disabled person's laundry. I went to his house and picked it up, only one person right? Yes, however, he had not done laundry for three months and had enough clothes to last for three months. I was going to do it at home, but the 4 large plastic storage tubs was more than I could do at home quickly. I went to the Laundry matt and got an education. It is no wonder that people in the poverty cycle can never get out of it. I had 9 front loader washers packed full of clothes each one cost 2.75 and then I had 20 driers full of clothing each one cost me 2.00 to completely dry the clothing. Forty dollars. WOW!!! While this was three month for one person. A family of four could easily have this much laundry each week. There was a young mother with two children doing laundry, her children were about 5 months old and 4 years old. The mother's mother was with her. This mother was so kind, she helped me figure out which clothes belonged to me, since there were so many machines going and I didn't recognize the clothing. She explained that the machines have letters on them to help you remember. She gave me a great deal of helpful hints. Obviously a laundry mat guru. The problem was that she screamed constantly at her daughter. She wanted her daughter to stay put without any toys, coloring books or anything at all to do. I felt so sorry for the as she really wasn't doing anything wrong. They made the daughter fold towels, which gave her something to do, but would give her bath towels taller than her, and would yell at her when they touched the floor. We have got to get into the laundries with a children's program. Please pray for that. When I returned the man's clothing he was so excited, and humbled, I only had them for three hours. He talked to me about his 22 years in prison for selling drugs and being out for 7 years. He offered to talk to any youth that I would know about how drugs steals your life. He seemed very gruff and mean on the outside, but he was really a teddy bear on the inside. Please pray for him. Jeff

Friday, August 19, 2005

Re: Church

I am trying to keep this page a journal of what I am doing with Kokomo Urban Outreach and in ministry at the church. However, I have a need to talk about my thoughts and write commentary on the Church. I have started a second blog for such ramblings. Please feel free to make comments in agreement or disagreement. Let me know what you think. The page can be found at

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Thoughts for the day

Today has been a day for reflection and rest. Everyone needs a Sabbath day. Today there has been a great deal of "Chatter" on the conference email about issues that for me doesn't really matter. To the best of my understanding there is a disagreement of who will be in control. It seemed to have little to do with Jesus. I mostly just shook my head, as most churches are in decline or near death. My friend posted on his blog
There he lays out his list of why he believes the church is dying. I agree with him wholeheartedly.

Why we are Dying…
Here's my top 10 list on why are we dying?
I'm sure there are others.
10) Because we believe salvation is within our walls.
9) Because we are so busy with our own stuff.
8) Because we have no idea what we are doing and we stopped being a long time ago.
7) Because we don't really understand (or care to understand) what is going on with the people around us.
6) Because ministry is what is done to us (rather than what we can do for the others)
5) Because in all our breadth, we have forgotten our depth.
4) Because we don't know how to be neighbors to the strangers.
3) Because we like the good gig we've got going.
2) Because mission is somewhere out there, not somewhere right here.
and the top 1 reason on why we are dying.
1) Because we seek to not die and thus never really live.

I think the emails of today reflect why we are declining.

I also read something about Popeye the Sailorman. Until we as the collective church get to the point where we can say, "that's all I can 'stanz', and I can't 'stanz' no more" will things change. Debating budgets, salaries, clergyincompetencee or how difficult lay people are--- is just all talk, meanwhile most of the world lives without Jesus. Jeff


My friend Dave led me to a new website late last night: It is an on-demand book publishing service where a person may sell their book. The company only prints them as they are ordered, and there is no cost to the author. So for fun, I published the paper I wrote last year in book form. Now you can go to
and order a book. I am sure it will be a best seller! :) ha! Take a look at it - it was fun to do. -Jeff

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

It is Wednesday already

I spent the past few days reading, praying, reflecting and visiting. On Monday we received a very nice gift from the Thrift Shop in Attica. The folks there do a great job of providing the community with nice clothes at a good price. They then share the profits with missions and a host of other good causes. It is a privilege for me to have them partner with me in Kokomo.

I met a friend today who has a very exciting, interesting and much needed ministry plan that I know is from God. It is an out-of-the-box sort of idea. I can see how it would easily compliment what I am doing here in Kokomo. Everyone, please pray about this new ministry idea. I hope I can share more details later.

I shared with my friend today that every night since we have moved to Kokomo is like Christmas Eve. I can't wait to go to bed so I can get up the next day to see what God has in store for me and for us as a family. Andrew has been in school since Monday and seems to be enjoying it. Since the school is so large and four middle schools funnel into the high school, "new kids" go unnoticed. Everyone meets new people all the time. He is enjoying the ethnic diversity and the block schedule. He has 4 ninety-minute classes on one day, and 4 different ones on the next day. He starts school at 7:10 a.m. and is done at 2:00 p.m. He is getting used to the schedule.

Tonight is Bible Study and we are still looking at prayer. Please keep us in your prayers.


Sunday, August 14, 2005


Yesterday was such a gift. I was able to see so many old friends, even if but for a short time: Macos, Jack, Ken, Alan, Carrie, Joyce, Greg, Bob, Carolyn, Marcia, Amy, Ann, Judy, David, Libby, Kate, Lowell, Justine, Jeff, Trudy, Dave, Charles, Sandy, Rusty, Robin, Dan, Charlie, Valarie, Howard, Sallie, Park, Anna-Lisa, and J.T. Then I got to meet some new ones: Tony, Eric, Tom and Clint. I am working on a "Walk to Emmaus" that took me to Attica for a meeting and then I attended a funeral for a great friend.

On the way home I remembered I left my house key in the house and was locked out. My family was out of town. I had no idea how I would get in. Another gift...neighbors. I was able to get a window open and a little neighbor was able to go through the window to unlock the door.

Looking forward to church today.... I'm not sure why, but I just am. -Jeff

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Prayer cards

I finally found the time to go to each door in row A of Garden Squares Apartments. I spoke to many people. The folks were friendly and seemed to appreciate the offer of prayer for their families. I also received a few specific prayer concerns. All in all it was a very good time.

We were surprised by the Nadolskis from Lowell. They were on vacation and came to Kokomo on the way home. They hadn't planned to come to see us or even come to Kokomo; they have never even been to Kokomo. They did not have our address or phone numbers with them. They just drove in. They followed US 31 and took the downtown exit and just started turning. They stopped at a convenience store and asked for help. Of course, our names are not in the phone book, as we only have cell phones. They told the clerk I was a pastor of a United Methodist Church and they couldn't remember the name of the church. The clerk called a few, hoping that an answering machine would be found with my name on it. Finally, the clerk went back to a computer and somehow located us. Funny thing - the convenience store named "Mac's" is on the corner of Webster and Hoffer and we live on Hoffer. They traveled about 10 blocks east of the store and in about three minutes they were at our house. For those that are not familiar with Kokomo, there are 50,000 people in town and many, many neighborhoods. We had a great visit. It reminded us we have many friends all over the state. -Jeff

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


I met with my friend, Dave, today. We meet almost every week. Dave is much younger than I, a bit more "hip," and much more of a tecno-geek. He taught me in the mid-eighties how to use a computer - a Commodore 64. He told me nearly 20 years ago about something called a modem that you put on your computer and connect to other computers. My response: "Why would I want to see in someone else's computer?" He just said, "Wait and see; it will be great." A few years later the internet came along.

Then he showed me email - how it worked, etc. I told him that it was a fad that would never catch on, since a phone call is quicker. He even had an article published in our denomination's magazine, basically stating that pastors will have to email in order to survive. I laughed my way all the way to an email account. He has since introduced me to instant messaging, routers, firewalls, spam blockers, virus protection, skype (an internet phone system), RSS, omea readers, bluetooth and blogs. He has always been a visionary in the tech field. He is a person I highly respect and trust.

Today I committed to do a new project with him. This is something that makes me scratch my head, but it sounds exciting, and he has always been right in the past. So, while I am not at liberty yet to discuss our project, we hope to soon be able to announce to the world our bold new technologically-driven stream of ministry. Maybe the reason I can't talk about the details yet is because I don't quite get it, but I will. Keep watching this page for further updates as the launch of this new endeavor gets closer. -Jeff

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Events of the day

Yesterday we spent all day driving to Lowell and Olivet to finish school stuff for both boys. We drove over 300 miles! Today I enrolled Jonathan in College. We went to the High School to enroll Andrew, but found we could not enroll him today. (We made an appointment for him tomorrow at 8:00 am.)

This afternoon Chris and I are traveling to Indpls to visit a parishioner in the hospital. Later I will be going to Greentown to call on a 101-year-old woman in the nursing home who is approaching death. There is also a man I need to see in the local hospital. I plan on being home around 6:00 so I can go out and pass out Praying for Your Family cards.

This past Sunday the Trinity Church committed to pray for their neighbors. Every two weeks we will pray for a section or a whole street, praying for each family living on the street. I will be going to each home to tell them we are praying for them and ask them if they have any prayer needs. I will give them a card telling them that we will be praying for them on Sundays. The card tactfully explains there are no strings attached. Please keep us in your prayers as we move into new territory.

PS: Thanks M for editing my posts.

Carpet "continued"

I received a call from a lady that I have never met, who heard about our spontaneous carpet giveaway a couple of weeks ago. She is changing her carpet in one room and her old carpet is in great shape. I will be picking it up and bringing it back here tomorrow to give away to whom ever needs it. Who would of thought my ministry would include carpet giveaways?

Miracle today

On Friday, July 29th, I put up a post asking for prayer for Jonathan and his school situation. Out of nowhere God supplied our financial need in regards to paying for Jonathan's unpaid bill at Olivet. We drove to Olivet yesterday with certified checks in hand, paid his bill in full and received his transcripts. He had applied at I. U. Kokomo but couldn't be admitted without transcripts. This morning we took Jonathan to I.U. Kokomo, turned in his transcript and he was admitted. Now we need your prayers that he can get into the classes he needs and that all of the rest of the details of starting school will happen. He plans on taking 16 hours this semester. Also, pray that he can find a job that will work around his school schedule.

God is on the move

This morning I met with a young woman who has been attending our church who has a burden for new mothers, especially young single mothers. God has given her a vision of how these mothers might be reached. She is working on putting together an event that will be fun, informative and could lead to support groups for new moms after their babies are born. Please pray for her and that the details of her vision will come to pass. I am very, very excited about the way God is moving here. I can barely keep up! (Maybe I don't have to.) - Jeff

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Tour Guide

Yesterday I spent the day at the UAW passing out school supplies. We gave away nearly 5000 items. I was able to meet some very nice people and it was so good. Today I worked at a school with a group passing out school supplies through a carnival. It, too, was good. Our Bible Study at the church last night was exceptional. After Bible Study, Patric and Laura were at our house and spent the night. We had a great time with them. Yesterday and today were such gifts. I am very, very excited to see what God is doing here.

I just finished a book, Velvet Elvis, by Rob Bell. It is a great book everyone should read. I learned in the book that missionaries do not take Jesus to anyone; Jesus is already there. What missionaries are to do is to be "tour guides," pointing out Jesus to those who have never seen him. I am enjoying being a tour guide. It is so much easier to say to people in conversation, "Didn't God do a great job then?" or "I know that God has something good in mind for you - let's try to find out what it is!" or "We can pray about that." I am not sure when I have felt more alive.

I continue to ask for you to pray for us, as we continue to reach out to others. Jeff

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Productive Days

Today I met with a community leader. I was very encouraged by him. He gave me many names of people that have a heart for reaching people in the near downtown area. I soon will be meeting with downtown church pastors and leaders who have already discerned needs. One of the things I am excited about is the possibility of having a rolling food pantry, a food pantry that would have scheduled stops throughout the city. The idea is to combine some of the smaller food pantries to form one larger one. I see great potential here. I also found out that short-term child care is a big need in and around the city so mothers can run errands, etc. I see this as a starting point to mentor mothers.

I am planning a grocery shopping/ cooking class in September. A teacher has been lined up and I hope that we will be able to teach folks how to shop for the best bargains and how to cook meals that are nutritional, good-tasting and cheap.

Tomorrow I will be help pass out school supplies at the local UAW hall. This is a United Way project in conjuction with local businesses. I am anxious to hear how all of this came about.

Tomorrow night at the church I will begin teaching a study on prayer. I am hoping to help those in church go beyond simply praying for those on the prayer list and moving their prayer times (and mine) to become more of a way to build a relationship with God. I will spend a great deal of time teaching how to listen for God.

On Thursday, I will be working at a local school (the poorest one in the community) with our Sunday Night group (see July 12), as we put on a carnival where the prizes will be school supplies. There will be no charge to play the games and the children will win paper, pencils, etc. This is registration day for the children. We will be there from 11-7.

On Saturday the boys and I, along with Chris' mother and maybe her sister, will travel to Anderson, IN (about 1 hour from here) to hear Chris sing at Choir School. We will return on Sunday for the sacred concert in the afternoon.

It is time for me to go. I have 100 ice pops to pass out to neighbors as it is well over 90 degrees outside. Thought the frozen treats might be helpful.

Keep us in prayer. This week I have applied to be a substitute teacher, inquired about working in the local prison as a chaplin, and will be visiting some funeral homes to see if anyone needs any help. I found out that the high school is looking for a paraprofessional to work with special needs students. This is the same job Chris had in Lowell, so I filled out her application on line. Jonathan has applied at many business hoping to find a job. Pray that we might find the right jobs for our schedule. -Jeff
PS: Boy, do I need someone to proof and edit these can be done from your home.. :)