The Original Mud Puppy

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v.3.0

Mud Puppy v.1 – 2004 – 2006
Mud Puppy v.2 – 2006 – 2012
Mud Puppy v.3 – 2013 – …

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SOLD

NewSong Community Church is now the proud owner of it’s very own property! #GIG

Thanks to all who prayed for us, as well as those that contributed monetarily. God has some special plans for this facility, and this community. I can’t wait to be a part of it!

5211 S Occidental Rd., Raisin Twp, MI 49286
4.58 acres. Great Location—close to Ann Arbor, Adrian, Dundee, Saline. Can accommodate up to 385 people, beautifully landscaped 30 ft. gazebo area seats up to 175 people for outdoor ceremonies. Second building consist of 38×39 office/storage space and a 39×39 storage area with 1 large garage door and 1 double door garage door. Can be used with hall or other business. Ample parking with handicap access, spacious kitchen, office, dressing rooms…

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Building Fund Update

We’re on the homestretch now!

The bank has accepted our offer, and we now have 12 days to fill the $15,000 gap between the required down-payment and our cash on hand.

Looking for an end-of-year, tax-deductible, Kingdom-advancing, place to donate some money?

Wonder if we could get 3,000 people to donate $5.

*Click here for more information and the backstory.

Filed under: Uncategorized

We Are The Body

I want to extend a challenge to my extended church body.

A few years ago I was a part of a group of friends that planted a church with aspirations of reaching the 80,000 non-church-going members of our community. We’ve been meeting in various community buildings throughout the city. Currently we are in the High School. Recently we decided to take the next step and find a space of our own. However, we don’t buy in to the idea of going into massive debt to support a building which would take away from other more important ministry opportunities. So we’ve capped ourselves at a a very modest debt load, and have trusted God to provide the rest.

Last year we located a foreclosed facility that would meet our needs at a reasonable rate. We’ve slowly been saving money to make up the extra not funded by our self-imposed debt cap, trusting that God would provide if it’s His will, or would close the door if He has something else in store. It’s been fun watching the meter slowly rise on our donations.

Fast forward to today.

We recently made a new offer on the facility, and they came back with an extremely reasonable counter. We are aware there are others in the area looking at this facility, so the pastor put the challenge to us yesterday to try to meet the remaining amount by the end of the week.

God is bigger than a number.

This number just happens to be $35,000.

We are not a “big” church. Less than 200 men, women and children.

God is bigger than a number.

To get us to this point we just had a mother who recently lost her father donate her entire inheritance of $10,000 to the building fund. We had multiple people this weekend pledge $1,000 toward the fund. This afternoon the realtor we are working with donated her entire commission toward our fund—I should mention that she doesn’t even attend our church.

This is where you come in. I am appealing to you as a member of the body. I have been looking around all day trying to figure out where I could come up with some extra change in a hurry. Then I thought about you. I probably don’t even know you, but I thought about you because we’re all in this together. This isn’t a high-pressured sales pitch. This is simply me following God’s lead and presenting an opportunity to the larger body of believers to see what happens.

We all have bills to pay, and prior commitments to fulfill. I completely understand that. But I just can’t fight the feeling that there might be someone out there that has $1 or $10 or $100 or whatever that they would love to give toward another part of the body advancing the Kingdom in another part of the country, or another part of the world.

I have three requests:

1. Please pray for us.

2. Please consider making a donation toward our building fund.

(leave a comment noting it is for the building fund)

3. Please pass this opportunity along to someone else.

God is bigger than a number.

This one just happens to be $35,000.

————–

You might be interested in learning more about our church. Here is a recent article in a local pub about our work in Kenya to provide clean water wells. The pastor is heading back there later this month (begins at page 38).

Filed under: Uncategorized

Mortality & Children

“Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.”

Since becoming a father, two of my greatest fears involve death and my child. This week I’ve read blogs that directly relate to both of these fears—one from a friend of a friend, and one from a close personal friend.

Fear #1 : Death of My Child
I don’t believe I knew what love was until I met my son. I also don’t believe I truly understood the sacrifice God made for me until I had a child of my own. I simply cannot fathom losing Tanner at any age, much less at such a very young age.
http://www.clarkkiddos.blogspot.com/

Fear #2 : My Death
I don’t fear death for myself. I’m confident in my future. But it haunts me to possibly leave my son without his father, and with such pain.

http://www.grassrootsconspiracy.com/blog/

Such stories of those living out my greatest fears gives me pause, and much needed perspective. Please keep these families in your prayers.

Filed under: Children, Death, Perspective

Rest & Peace


Listened to the following Mosaic podcast during my run the other day and wanted to share.

Rest & Peace – Hank Fortener, Mosaic


Filed under: Peace, Rest

Russell 3.6

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…”

Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Last year on my 36th birthday, I thought I had reached the ceiling of life here on earth. I couldn’t fathom living a better life, or having better friends or family. The Monday following my birthday, I learned the hard way that the higher you are, the farther you can fall. This isn’t a post to psychoanalyze the how’s and why’s of how my life crashed, but I am definitely here to describe the process of my own, ongoing, personal metamorphoses.

I have a hard time describing the hell I’ve gone through for the last few months. It came out of nowhere, and totally consumed me. From all outside cues, my life couldn’t have been any better. I had just recently completed a life-goal of completing a marathon (under my time goal). I just attended my first U2 concert. I even received an unexpected (and nice) raise at work. There were so many great things that happened in 2011 that it’s hard to figure out how I got to the place I ended up.

Where I ended up was weeks and weeks of 2-4 hours of sleep per night. Weeks of thinking about when I can take my next Xanex. Months of relying on Paxil. The loss of 15 lbs. on a frame that was already thin to begin with. The lack of desire to be out in public for a guy that loves hanging with people. Coming home at lunch and doing nothing but cry uncontrollably for an hour. Getting to a point where I prayed multiple times for God to come quickly because I couldn’t take this feeling any more.

Don’t forget, this all comes in the middle of the most incredibly rewarding year of my life.

Again, I’m not here to figure out the physical or mental reasons this might have happened. I’m here to tell you that it was a necessary, and grace-filled, season that God allowed me to go through. Up to then, I’d been more than a “good little Christian boy”. I was actively involved church, studied theology in my free time, and didn’t engage in any of the “big” sins (drugs, alcohol, swearing, etc.). But I had plenty of not-so-blind spots in my life that needed to be fixed.

Years ago in college I heard a testimony from someone who prayed to God one night to do whatever it took to allow him to be closer to God. The next day he had an accident that nearly took his life. As you might suspect, his prayer was answered and his relationship was taken to another level. I’ve always wanted to pray that prayer, but I’ve always been afraid to. I really didn’t want God to do whatever it takes, especially if that meant losing a loved one or something similarly tragic. I even lamented these thoughts here on this blog a few years back. God knew that, and I believe he did the next best thing since I was unwilling to ask Him myself. God brought me to my knees in such a way that I had no choice but to rely solely on Him to get out of the pit. Rather than losing someone close, or even my lot in life, I lost the closest thing I could think of. I lost myself.

The process sucked, as you can imagine. But the process fixed some gaping holes in mine and God’s relationship. For example, I have always had a problem with praying on a consistent basis, but now I pray all day long. I start every morning with this prayer: “God, guide my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my mind, my feet and my hands. Be my guide today.” I set aside time in my lunch break to pray specifically for others. I pray every night with my son, something I had never done in his previous eight years. I read from the Bible and pray every night right before bed. Not to mention the continuous prayers throughout the day for strength, and of thanksgiving.

There are many other things that I’ve been able to adjust in my life through this experience that I would never have been able to do without this “holy push”. Too many to say in this already long blog post, but today I am eternally thankful for the people God put in my life to get me through this. The words and deeds of those around me were invaluable. I’m not back to were I was in August 2011, but I think that was sort of the point.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble.

But take heart!

I have overcome the world.” —John 16:33

Filed under: Life

Night of the Livin’

Night of the Livin’Andy Mineo (formerly C-Lite) ft. Ravi Zacharias


“The biggest difference between Jesus Christ and ethical and moral teachers who have been deified by man, is that these moralists came to make bad people good. Jesus came to make dead people live!”

Man, first thing’s first
The covenant was made,
it was painful and hurt
The Savior was slain but He raised from the dirt
Now, I’m covered in His blood ain’t no stains on my shirt
He conquered the grave now my faith is secure
Cuz my God’s still alive, while I await His return
So people think they safe cuz they stay in that church
But if they only knew it was by faith and not works

By His grace and His mercy, the Father
He take a sinful man and make him something outta nada
He washed away the dirt that I did when I tried to
Satisfy my thirst outside the living water
Oh what a great mistake, I wasted so many years
I tried to do it my way instead of doing His
That’s probably why I tasted salt from my tears
But now I be the salt of the earth to my peers

Sin brought me so high but when I came down
There wasn’t enough folly to keep my mind sound
I wanted all the hotties to come get a piece of mine
But there wasn’t one hot enough to give me peace of mind
I wanted fast money but when I finally got it
The only thing that was filled was my front pockets
I blew all my cash on the kicks and the summer gear
By the time I got home I done got my eyes on another pair

Never satisfied in the pleasures that’s fading
Cuz I can’t take them to the grave, man
From babes to the stacks of the paper
Now I only put my faith in the Savior

It only makes sense
I really don’t care if I never make a cent
If my pocket’s full of lint I can still sleep well
Cuz the God of the universe know me by my covenant

He always save me
He ain’t take a bad man
Try to make a good man
He just took a dead man
Then He let him live
He told me “Get up and walk!”
He told me “Get up and walk!”
He told me “Get up and walk!” so I did

He saved me
He ain’t take a bad man
Try to make a good man
Nah, He took a dead man
Then He let him live
He told me “Get up and walk!”
He told me “Get up and walk!”
He told me “Get up and walk!” so I did

“Man is not just unethical, he is lost and dead.

If man is only lost in guilt, what I have given to you is bad news. But he is lost in sin, and our great privilage is to tell him we have a Savior…”

Download Sin Is Wack by C-Lite (Andy Mineo)

Download Formerly Known by Andy Mineo

Filed under: Lyrics, Music, YouTube

Thrive

ThriveSwitchfoot


Been fighting things that I can’t see in
Like voices coming from the inside of me and
Like doing things I find hard to believe in
Am I myself or am I dreaming?

I’ve been awake for an hour or so
Checking for a pulse but I just don’t know
Am I a man when I feel like a ghost?
The stranger in the mirror is wearing my clothes

No I’m not alright
I know that I’m not right
A steering wheel don’t mean you can drive
A warm body don’t mean I’m alive
No I’m not alright
I know that I’m not right
Feels like I travel but I never arrive
I want to thrive not just survive

I come alive when I hear you singing
But lately I haven’t been hearing a thing and
I get the feeling that I’m in between
A machine and a man who only looks like me

I try and hide it and not let it show
But deep down inside me I just don’t know
Am I a man when I feel like a hoax?
The stranger in the mirror is wearing my clothes

No I’m not alright
I know that I’m not right
A steering wheel don’t mean you can drive
A warm body don’t mean I’m alive
No I’m not alright
I know that I’m not right
Feels like I travel but I never arrive
I want to thrive not just survive

I’m always close but I’m never enough
I’m always in line but I’m never in love
I get so down but I won’t give up
I get slowed down but I won’t give up

Been fighting things that I can’t see in
Like voices coming from the inside of me and
Like doing things I find hard to believe in
Am I myself or am I dreaming?

No I’m not alright
I know that I’m not right
A steering wheel don’t mean you can drive
A warm body don’t mean I’m alive
No I’m not alright
I know that I’m not right
Feel like I travel but I never arrive
I want to thrive not just survive

I want to thrive not just survive

Filed under: Lyrics, Music

In No Time

In No TimeMuteMath


Where’s your heart gone
and where’s your soul
Where did all of your faith go

And where’s our old spot
that failure stole
Well I bet we find it in no time, at all

We’ll find it in no time
We’ll find it in no time
We’ll find it in no time
We’ll find it in no time, at all

Where’s your love gone
and where’s your hope
and where’s that sunrise you’ve been waiting for

And where’s that one day
you count it all
Well I bet we find it in no time, at all

We’ll find it in no time
We’ll find it in no time
We’ll find it in no time
We’ll find it in no time, at all

When the bombs start falling on the world you are in
Just hold tight and in no time we can get it back

When the skies come crashin’ on the world you are in
Just hold tight and in no time we can get it back

We can get it back
We can get it back
We can get it back

Filed under: Lyrics, Music

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About

The Original Mud Puppy is a 36 year old Christ follower. Father of an amazing son. Husband of a woman that makes me a better person every single day. Book, music, and movie junkie. Avid runner. Part-time cook.
Two creeds that I try to live by are: Stop Existing and Start LivingLove Wins. (more...)

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