Costa Mesa workshop with Nelson Search

Concordia is using principles from a book by Nelson Searcy called Fusion: Turning First Time Guests into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church.(available HERE at Amazon) He is coming to do a live event in Costa Mesa on September 18 and I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to give new people to your church the best opportunity to “stick.”

Concordia Lutheran Church has incorporated these ideas into our Mission Training in preparation for our new mission launch. We help our people think about these principles during the week through our blog and have another site which is our Concordia Mission Training “University” where we are able to post large articles and other things to study and ponder deeply.

The principles of Nelson‘s book have occupied most of our summer. You can read many of the Fusion concepts on our blogs.

We are convinced that the Lord will not send us more new guests until we have a plan to receive and connect them. The Fusion book gives such a framework and system. Nelson‘s research demonstrates that using a system like his will allow churches to retain 1 in every 3 guests not 1 in 20 which is the average for most churches.

I will see you there. The cost is only $39 dollars and you can find out more information at this link:

Here are some of the details of the seminar:

Product Description
The Fusion Seminar: Turning First-Time Guests into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church
Thursday, September 18, 2008
9:00 a.m. – Noon
Costa Mesa, CA (Greater Los Angeles Area/Orange County)

In conjunction with the release of Nelson Searcy‘s book ”Fusion: Integrating Newcomers Into The Life of Your Church,” Nelson is excited to spend the morning discussing the principles of assimilation with Pastors and Church Leaders in the greater Los Angeles area and Orange County.

We’ve all faced the questions that arrive with first-time guests… ”Are they comfortable? Do they feel welcome? Will they come back?” Now, some practical answers are coming your way with…

The Fusion Seminar: Turning First-Time Guests into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church

Thursday, September 18, 2008
9:00 a.m. – Noon
Costa Mesa, CA (Greater Los Angeles Area)

This seminar is being hosted by:
The Crossing Church
2115 Newport Blvd
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Need Directions?

The Fusion Seminar will include:

– Principles to help you create an inviting environment for first-time guests
– How to ”wow” first-time guests into wanting to come back
– The Journey’s complete ”Assimilation System,” used to follow up with the 30+ first-time guests who attend the service each week
– Plus much more!

A reservation is required. To reserve your spot, simply add this item to your cart and check out.

Questions? Contact Cristina @ 212.730.8300 x212 or

How could there be a loving God when there is so much suffering?

It is said that this is the number one question of those struggling with issues of faith. On Sunday Pastor Schmidt talked about seeking the heart of God not trying to understand the mind of God and demand answers to the tough questions of life (at least to us they are the tough questions). Are you ready to respond to those around us that wonder “How could there be a loving God when there is so much suffering?”

I can’t wait until we have the technology in place so that we can video tape pastor’s sermon messages and be able to play them again until God’s message entirely penetrates our hearts, minds and spirits and we can share powerful messages with others. I mentioned on my blog that I visited Messiah Lutheran CHurch in St. Louis last month. I just found the video of the sermon message that I heard that day on this very topic. I was amazed that Pastor Schult kept it together for the whole message. I was not so successful. That message was videotaped and you will be tremendously blessed by hearing his message from God’s own heart. You will be reminded that God really does have an answer to suffering and it is Himself! He is a God of great love.

Please…..view this video . It is a little more than 20 minutes but you will be gripped with the overwhelming message of God’s love and compassion for mankind. I promise.


Fast layout

Little time requires me to scrapbook on the fly and keep the layouts simple.  Here is one of Fusse at the Concordia pre-kick off of their summer tour.  I used a square punch to keep the small photos uniform and cropping photos small makes you really focus on the important elements of the shot. I absolutely LOVE the top photos of Jacob and a girl who wasn’t clapping until Jacob took her hands and showed her how to clap and then clapped beside her.  It was a precious moment!

Purity Pledge

Liz and I had been talking about this for some time.  With her cousin Sara here for a visit I thought this was a perfect opportunity.  I think the girls appreciated doing this together too.  They received identical rings (and they even have the same ring size!)  Pastor Lutz designed a special private celebration/ceremony at church….just our family and Pastor Lutz and his wife and Pastor Schmidt.  Each member of the family got to pray a blessing on the girls….this was special because grandpa at 99 got to participate.

The pledge:

PURITY PLEDGE Adapted from the words of Kathleen Burton

On this day that the Lord has made,

Before my Heavenly Father, parents and family,

I make this solemn pledge.

Heavenly Father, Eve broke your heart

When she disobeyed your will for her.

I wish to make this pledge of purity until

You give me my Blessing.

I make this pledge to comfort your heart

And to fulfill my responsibility

To my future spouse

To our future family

And to our future descendants.

I wear this ring as a reminder of my pledge.

I wait in purity and faith until you give my Blessing.

I look forward to realize the full blessings you desired to give to Eve and Adam.

This is my solemn word from the bottom of my heart.


Interesting singer

This guy can sing. I won’t spoil the surprise but this is really HIM singing the whole song.

Another amazing thing is that almost 6 million people have heard him.  The power of technology!

A simple layout of the convention/Kentucky

Journaling: “We had a training in St. Louis with 12 of the International directors.  While there, it was a good opportunity to gather as our region.  We also celebrated Ken Peterson’s 25th year anniversary in the LHM ministry.  We presented him with a memory book containing heart-felt letters and photos of Ken in our regions.  Some of the directors especially Paolo from Brasil and Alberto from Argentina had photos from many years ago!  Those were fun to see.  From St .Louis we caravanned to the Convention in Kentucky. Courtesy of our District partnerships, we were able to speak to the convention goers, prayer partners and district partners.  It also gave us the opportunity to get to know some home office staff that we had only known via email before….Elizabeth, Noel, Eric and Nancy.”

Grrrr….This is not well written but I rarely rewrite my journaling. I am naturally very critical of my own writing and I would write and rewrite forever if given my druthers……and nothing would get done!  So, I write down things when they are fresh and commit to them….imperfect as they are because the most important thing is to preserve the memory and that is pretty perfect all by itself! Scrapbooking (and blogging for that matter) has helped me overcome some of that need to sound and write it “right”…..I want it to sound true to life and as if you can hear me talking as you read.  That is what I want to leave behind….something that reflects my true “voice.”  That is part of my commitment to live an authentic life.

Fusse Rocks the Cabana Club in Hollywood

The Cabana Club in Hollywood is a posh venue. The Fusse moms/dads and one grandma! flew in or drove up for this special performance.  The boys got an opportunity to see what it feels like to play with an audience screaming for them and their music! They finished their set with their new song “Definition of a Kiss.”  The FUSSE moms (and new friend Renata a visitor from Brasil) stayed overnight at the Hotel 6 and took a leisurely drive back to San Diego today stopping in San Juan Capistrano for lunch.

(for those new to my blog… my son, Andres is the lead singer, guitarist and writes all the music for FUSSE….half of the boys Andres knew in Lutheran High School San Diego and the sax/bass player has been his best friend since he was 10!)

Listen to the screams.

Look at this bass transfer here.  Javier is still playing the bass in mid air….then he goes into his sax solo. 

Here is the intro to “Definition of a Kiss”  ( a slight audio glitch….. )

End to their set. Check out Hector’s solo here.  What an evening!