18 05 2010

It has been said we are connected to everyone by a mere 6 connected relationships.  A great deal of business opportunities and community projects and ministries become successful by utilizing this phenomenon well.  It has been through these types of connections the snowdome has moved forward as far as it has right now and where we can see God at work.  Here are a couple stories of recent activity in this realm.

A couple weeks ago a guy I know who has moved to Florida and is now connected to a ministry there came out to visit with a person he is connected to.  They both love the type of ministry we do at The Farm with missional church flavor.  So they came to Colorado to visit our ministry along with some other stuff happening here in Greeley.  While they were here I got the chance to really present the snowdome idea to them which they were excited about.  Well, their connection to a very successful Christian businessman and investor has potential to move our project forward significantly.  So as they went back to Florida excited about our project, they got the chance to share with this investor about what we are attempting here.  As God has continued to show us favor in this pursuit we again saw another person get interested in our project.  So he is now interested in hearing more about the project with the possibility of getting involved financially.  We don’t have a timeline from him but we know he is interested in continuing to learn more about the snowdome ministry.  Please pray for his heart to be positively drawn to this project.

Back here in Greeley I got the chance to ask for some advice about the snowdome project from a person here in Greeley who is very well connected to some successful businessmen from our area.  He liked the idea so much and got so excited about it he decided to sponsor a lunch and invite the people he knows to come hear about the project (that was today.)  So I got the chance to present this project to some of the more successful business people in our community that I’m not connected to personally again seeing how God is using our relationships to move this project forward.  This presentation went very well with some of the more encouraging comments coming from people about our preparation and the project.  One of the people attending this meeting commented that he has seen many Christian organizations present ideas of this nature over the past ten years and this is the best presentation and most prepared and well thought-through ideas he has seen.  Everyone in the meeting at one point or another commented on how impressed they are with our preparation and the quality of work we have put into this project.  I’m very excited about the way this presentation was received because now those in attendance will have confidence to share with even more people about this project because they have confidence about our competence and ability to professionally present what we are pursuing giving our project some much needed validity.  I’m excited to see where the meeting today will take us as we go further into the never ending network of relationships we have entered into.

Thank you for making it possible for me to take the time to be prepared in the way I have been able to so we all can move this amazing project forward and see God move powerfully through the snowdome.

Love, The Neels.


Healthy Lifestyle Choices

4 08 2009

When you look at helping kids stay off drugs and remain physically pure, you can boil down those decisions to a positive view of making healthy lifestyle choices.  As we have pursued helping kids and families on the front end of these choices, we have discovered some great research from those who have gone before us.

First, their are factors used to determine if a kid is increasing their chances of making poor choices.  We are using these factors to help us identify individual kids who we may need to focus more on.  Second, we have found their are factors in a kids life that when they partake in these factors they are less likely to make poor choices.  We are using these factors to develop our approach to serving our kids, their families, and ultimatley our community with an over arching program based on Christ and aimed at healthy choices.  Our hope for this program is to impact kids lives directly toward healthly choices with the reason being Christ.  As these lives are impacted, we look forward to the doors this will open to explain it is because Christ loves us that we have loved our community and it is Him that gives us the hope that is in our hearts.

We have had a few focus group meetings to develop this program and really sharpen our approach.  We are at the point now of seven basic areas to address: individual, community, peers, school, family, substances, and sex.  We are now discussing how we can best address these areas to mesh well with what we currently have in place and figure out what we need to add in order to give a full strength approach to healthly lifestyle choices.

I’m very excited about the potential for this addition and clarification of our ministry in this area.  The potential impact in our community we can make for Christ is incredible, tangible, needed, and valuable.

To hear more about how God has been devloping my heart for this you can check out my post Our Suffering, Our Hope.

Thank you for journying with us.

Love, The Neels

The Addiction of Love

20 04 2009

We have a business here in town that is having to close which means a fair number of people losing jobs. With the economy the way it is, we all know being out of a job is a tough place for anyone to be. Now we don’t have jobs to offer, but what we do have is love for people and so we offer what we have.

As our hearts went out to those in this tough position we looked for a way to practically express our hearts to the hurting. We also decided to invite our friends and kids from
The Farm as our practical expression of love. So once again we entered the kitchen where we seem to find love as a common ingredient in the goodies we make. We made a bunch of goodies (as about 250 people lost jobs) and a big card. Wrapped everything up, signed the card with some encouraging cards and sent everything with some of the high school kids who joined us.

The great thing is that these high school boys got the chance to be the carriers of our love to those who our hearts have gone out to. And the beautiful thing is that as these high schoolers delivered our love, they got a taste of the addiction–showing God’s love.

I just got off the phone with these guys after they delivered our gift and I am excited to hear what they were feeling. It was so much fun to hear their excitement for how well received our gift was and how much impact it had in the lives of those hurting. I think this experience is more impacting than any message I could have taught and more life changing and I’m excited to see that change.

Now I don’t know who will be more impacted, those who received the gift or those who delivered it, but I do know living out God’s love is addicting both to those who receive it as well as to those who deliver it–I’m grateful to be on both ends of that.

Love, The Neels