had a great night at Ruths Chris Steak House...the girls, Pattie, Marcie, Valerie, Winston, and Steve and I were all decked out...It was a great way to celebrate their 50th birthday...

Ps 63:1 O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you,


Jesus is the greatest example of someone who was surrendered to the will of the Father.

Ps 40:8 I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your law is written on my heart.


Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had.

Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God.

He made himself nothing;

he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form.

And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal's death on a cross.

Because of this, God raised him up to the heights of heaven and gave him a name that is above every other name,

so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

He came to do the father's will...always obedient, always connected, always concerned, always caring, always giving, always healing, always looking for ways to serve others, only doing what he saw the Father doing. His food, His drink was to do the fathers will. He was obedient not holding on to his rights but letting the Fathers will to be His will...

So many times we seem to hold onto our rights, and have less than perfect attitudes...What's a right? The next time someone takes 'your' parking spot think about the feeling you have and why you have it. The next time your boss asks you to do something you don't want to do, or to do something you will not receive recognition for, what do you think? How do you feel? More than probably all the above can be seen as our rights, or our entitlement.

One person i talked to was very upset because they were recently married and her perceived entitlement to security, care and love were not being met according to her expectations. So she pushed for her rights, you can guess what happened, He pushed for his rights, fireworks...not a good way to start a marriage that's for sure. Learning to let go of our expectations takes time...

Last night we had a table reserved for 6 we arrive table is set for 5, so we had to wait...but wait a minute, this is an expensive place!...my expectations were violated...how did I handle it?...I just smiled, said no problem... and let it go. However, I have seen emotional outbursts over such small deals...Why? the bottom line entitlement or perceived rights violated.

Jesus had a way of being firm yet, humble...able to let go of his rights to be a surrendered servant even while suffering.

1 Peter 2:18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. 19 For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. 21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; 23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously...

How'd he cruse through life...he kept entrusting Himself to Him who has the final say. He was surrendered...

Out flow

at Starbucks...resting and having a good time in warm weather of Birmingham Al...I think I needed the rest...the 'Grisbos' arrived at the Greers...Patties triplet sisters here...tonight we go out for a special 50 Birthday dinner...amazing being married for 25 years to a great gal...

thinking about the three S's again, revisiting the thinking about the three stages of Discipleship... / servant hood... which is really what Discipleship is all about...knowing God and making Him known...



Lu 11:9

"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Jesus

the ask, seek, knock are a written in a continuous present tense...keep on asking...keep on seeking...keep on knocking...consistent, constant, focused, pressing in, believing,

i think in my past i understood this principle much better than i practice now...However, the seeker who lives somewhere deep in side of me is again emerging...a longing to know God...not just knowing about Him but knowing him in a personal way through His son

...Jesus said we can do nothing, nada, zero, zilch a part from him...this means fruitfulness is only realized when I continually seek to stay connected to Him on a moment by moment basis...

Each January I reread Mike Bickles book Passion for Jesus...the best quote: it takes God to know God...His passion for us awakes passion in us...

It is all about Outflow allowing Him to flow in us so we can allow him to flow out of us...this takes time...Pattie and I will begin reading the Sjogren Ping book Outflow in Jan during our mornings together:...
I had the privilege of being one of the creative consultants on the book and on the dvd...some aspects of my journey is in the book ...stories of everyday people I encounter during my days and some Vineyard church people connections...our church really exemplifies the book...there are so many people who are seekers, becoming the surrendered and are emerging as servants...i'm grateful for their encouragement and example...

Seeker:One that seeks: a seeker of the truth...someone making a search or inquiry; "they are seekers after truth" ...
a life long learnee

wrap it up

wrapping goes on until Sat night...hundreds of people have had their present wrapped up...i think the record is 26 presents wrapped for one person! We've been able to talk to many about the Vineyard, given guidance, and prayed. All the wrappers have their own style...i'm a speed wrapper using only 4 small pieces of tape. It is fun to see wrapping style connected to personality...some are slow and deliberate, others are perfectionist, some are rip and wrap...

Sunday we have 5 Christmas Eve services...we will be giving Krispy Kreme donuts to the people who come to the services to take to police stations, fire stations, fast food places, filling stations etc...to show God's love in a practical way...

We drive to Birmingham on Christmas Day

I need a break...

food relief

drove 3 hours down to Lower Salem OH...a small town in the lower Ohio hills near WV...a couple of years ago there was a flood that inundated the town...FNMA failed to help sufficiently...homes that couldn't be recovered were abandoned...high unemployment and mistrust of the government leaves the people looking for help from the church...over 90 families will now receive winter assistance from a Methodist Church. We took over 250 bags of groceries to the town and unloaded the bags in a Peoples Bank...the bank allows the food pantry to operate in the unused side of the building...sheet rock is still stripped about 3 feet from the floor due to flood damage...

People gratefully wept when we unloaded the last bag...their comments, "this will get us through the winter'... I asked on lady, 'how has the food pantry helped you?' she replied, 'I receive $54 dollars government help per week...the food bank helps me save some money for other things than food. I don't know what I'd do without their help.' Doug also gave the food bank a check for $1000...it was worth the 7 hours on the road...again generous Dayton Vineyard people provided the groceries by bringing a November Thanks to God bag to the Vineyard...we stored the bags until yesterday...

small thing, huge impact

here is a note from Lue the pastor

Hi Steve,
Thank you for your wonderful presence here at Lower Salem....We were ecstatic
and blessed beyond all belief....to see the crew rolling into our lil town
and bringing gifts of food and money....it was beyond our expectations...

This will go along way to feed more of the hungry here in this area...the
hill culture is a different way of looking at things....the people are out
of work and trying to make ends meet but do not want to rely on the
government..most have a distrust for the government but they will rely on
the churches whether they go to church or not....!!! So we meet them where
they are at and we help them without strings attached wherever possible...

The crew you met will work hard to make this a go of it....and your help just expands our capabilities to serve...We get food from a Regional distribution center but they do not always have all we need so we go out to the local markets and beg borrow and beg some more...It cost us approx 8-10 dollars a month per family to feed 90 families...just two years ago it was 25...sooooo you see the problem...your gifts will certainly take care of close to 2 months of monetary needs and more grocery needs so God Bless you!!!!

We will travel wherever to get things so if you work out a deal with GFS or someone else we will come and pick up....We usually have shortages in canned fruit...meat....cereal....so keep you ear to the ground for us and we could piggy back off someone else we will....

You have your own ministries to eat up your time...so only when you hear of something keep us in mind....

dreams, a dream

great day at Sinclair College...it was the most smooth running Christmas Dreams I've worked on in the last 4 years...we have grown as a church and have a great team of leaders and volunteers...

What made this years event a great one.

we started early, our team meetings were timely, to the point, encouraging and informative...

we have had the same team leaders for the past few years
, this was huge, every leader had led in the event before therefore they all knew what to expect, what to tweak and how to lead positively

we have very generous people, most gave beyond their means to make the party a real party, the generosity was not only seen in dollar terms but in commitment, time, emotional energy terms...

we connected the volunteers at a special volunteer meeting in the meeting we cast vision, encouraged serving and honored special people...

we prayed a lot, this was the engine behind the event, our prayer team focused on the event for at least a month

God cares for the lost
, the least, the lonely, the Holy Spirit was sensed, peace reigned, His presence is there when we care

What we are learning...

we need more education concerning serving and servant-hood
, every year a few not so experienced servers eat food that is designated for the guests before the party is over, therefore some late guests didn't receive potatoes, or brownies...

because i failed in the education, communication department...sadly one or two aspiring leaders missed the mark(see Luke chapter 14),didn't get the point that the servers come to serve, not for a meal which leads to the revelation, duh...

we need a volunteer care team
...a team that just focuses and cares for the 'all day people'...i missed this, this year...food brought in for all day people was scarfed up in seconds, my assumption: people serving for an hour surely don't need to be fed, after all they are adults and probably will eat before they arrive to serve, or they can go out to eat with their friends afterward...wrong, my bad leading in this area led to some attitudes expressed by a very few people who came to serve...

(did you know that sometme I miss the over all good, and great things by focusing on issues no one else sees, i sweat the small stuff and sometimes miss the big picture, people, their feelings etc. I think I still need Jesus to help form me into His image...hello mcfly, wake up)

over all it was a great day...l400 people served, cared for, prayed for, loved on, encouraged, and appreciated by 400 vineyardites...

our people are the most generous, caring people on the planet...it is humbling to see their love in action, together we played in the game and helped make Christmas Dreams Come True for many needy people


every year I'm always amazed how the vineyard people step up during a long holiday season to help us reach out to the 1400 people who are invited to the event...over 200 people gathered last night for our Making Christmas Dreams Come True 2006 info meeting.... over 350 people are now willing and ready to serve the less served of Dayton...Our leadership team is amazing leading what they are passionate about...

Our wrapping team have wrapped hundreds of presents...one guy came in from 9:30am and stayed until 2:30pm he wrapped 65 presents, bikes, gifts of all sorts are being readied for the day, one lady is donating $1000 and will be purchasing a lot of presents today, another couple is ready to purchase any last minute presents if needed, another couple wanted to donate $500 if needed for presents...We are sensing faith rising as people step forward to make the dream a reality...

Now we will be loading trucks on Thursday, unloading trucks on Friday and have the party on Saturday.

it all is an amazing act of faith of our people and seeing God's grace in action, Judy mentioned last night that she was amazed at the sense of God's presence at last years event... it is an interactive event

the song below sums it up...

Your love is amazing, steady and unchanging,

Your love is a mountain, firm beneath my feet,

Your love is a mystery, how You gently lift me,

When I am surrounded, Your love carries me.


Hallelujah, hallelujah,

Hallelujah, hallelujah,

Hallelujah, Your love makes me sing.

Verse 2:
Your love is surprising, I can feel it rising,

All the joy that's growing deep inside of me,

Every time I see You, all Your goodness shines through,

And I can feel this God song, rising up in me.

Yes, you make me sing

Lord, you make me sing, sing, sing

How you make me sing

Why would you wrap presents for free?

two skater guys walk by see the sign free gift wrap...they stop look in and ask, 'why would you do that?...do what?...'wrap presents for free?' 'just doing good...showing God's love in a practical way.' 'Cool, can i have a peppermint?' yep' 'Hey, Are you guys Christians?' yep, 'would you pray for for a friend of mine, he's in a coma?' yep, let's pray...so the small group leader gets ready to pray the guy holds out his hand we all hold hands and pray for the friend. It was quite a sight to see a small group doing the practical ...wrapping presents and having fun and...seeing the spiritual connection...sincerely praying for a guys friend...at the end of the prayer...they shake all of our hands...and say, 'thanks'.

nice night, good day for wrapping it up...redefining Jesus to the community one present at a time.

whole lot of wrapping going on

started in new room yesterday...9hrs of wrapping...that's a lot of wrapping...I was able to pray for a lady whose husband just returned for 2nd tour of Iraq...kids at home etc...

makes me think about our freedom paid for by a high life cost...not just the wounded, and dead but the missing dads, moms, sons and daughters for months or years at a time...

anyway...wrapping is a great way to connect to the community...showing God's love in a very practical way

my favorite Christmas picture

What's a Vineyard?

What's a Vineyard?

Have a look at the video feed on the Dayton Vineyard home page. Sums up what our Vineyard is all about.

www.daytonvineyard.com click link on side bar


Making Christmas Dreams Come True 2006
Awake at 3am...sugar plumbs not dancing in my head...Christmas Dreams and all we have to do is dancing in my head.

how you can help

purchase presents and bring to the Vineyard this weekend Dec 9-10 hundreds of presents are needed
help wrap the presents at the Vineyard:

5 Dec 6-8pm
7 Dec 6-8pm
11 Dec 6-8pm
12 Dec 6-8pm
13 Dec 6-7pm

help with admin run up at vineyard office
stuffing letters, making vol packets etc call 427.1912

sign up to serve at a seating

help set up on friday dec 15 at Sinclair College and at the vineyard(we'll be moving trucks all day) 8am Donuts served

pray for funding, presents, vols, people connection, God's peace on the day, lives touched by His kindness

Wrap it up

we begin to wrap presents at the Dayton Mall this week. the run up has been interesting. New counter tops, a better room, and fresh opportunities.

We also are heading toward Making Christmas Dreams Come True. We still need hundreds of presents to come in this week and next.

200 people have signed up to serve on the day...the next few weeks are always exciting.