Saturday, May 13, 2017

Getting Back To Ministry

It has been such a blessing to working for Eagles Wings Disc Golf over the past few months. It always feels good to be doing work that feels directly related to the ministry over doing personal support raising. I have rather enjoyed writing curriculum for the programs we are running across the country. But with limited time and so many ways to help the ministry, my time actually running program has been limited. This is part of the reason why a chance to go to a disc golf tournament and actually run program is a huge blessing to me.

Every year Eagles Wings Disc Golf picks one or two big tournaments to go to as a team. These are times where we get to be together as a staff and to run program together. It is always a blessing to be with the team. This year we all decided to show up at the Glass Blown Open in Emporia, KS. This tournament has become one of the biggest tournaments of the year with over 1,100 disc golfers signed up to play in the tournament and many more that come to be part of the festivities. This provides an amazing opportunity to make an impact in the community that we all love.
The clinic with Emporia Baptist Church

The Sunday before the tournament began we were able to partner with the local Baptist church to run a disc golf clinic. The church helped us spread the word and we ended up with a good turnout of young and old from the local community who were interested in trying disc golf out for the first time. Everyone had a great time, but there was one young boy who threw an approach shot into the basket from about 100 feet away and appeared to be on top of the world. We hope that all of the people at this clinic we blessed during the time and continue to play and get involved with community at the Baptist church or one of the other great local churches.

Building a temporary bridge.
In preparation for the Junior Challenge event to be run after the main Glass Blown Open, we as a team at Eagles Wings prepped the course and the local middle school. We picked up trash, painted lines for out of bounds and marked tee pads. We also did a little bit of yard maintenance on some over grown trees and rebuilt a temporary bridge over a little stream that runs through the course. The course looked great for the kids who were so excited to play.

The announcement of the Eagles Wings Chapel
After the players meeting on Wednesday night we also partnered with a local Presbyterian church to host a chapel service. We also partnered with a group from a camp in Colorado who came to the tournament to volunteer. We had a speaker and musicians from the camp who were part of the service and helped us connect many of the Christians who came to this year’s Glass Blown Open. We had a great turnout for the chapel service. There were many old friends who had been to one of our chapels before and many new friends who we met there. It was super encouraging for everyone.

I was blessed to play in the tournament and watch many of the people who attended our Chapel service play really well. I always have fun play and meeting new people on the course. We had really good weather until Saturday when the final round of the tournament we canceled due to excessive rain and lightning. The weather was such that we almost missed out on the opportunity to be part of the end of tournament celebration which had to be moved indoors. But we were still able to be present and share with others from the tournament what Eagles Wings is up to.
Glass Blown Open Junior Challenge

While I did not personally get to be part of the Junior Challenge, Eagles Wings had a big presence at the event. Despite moving half of the festivities inside because of the weather we had three staff from Eagles Wings there helping out. I heard there were plenty of smiles to go around and that Eagles Wings might be invited back to help out with future youth events in Emporia, KS.

It was a great time for Eagles Wings to continue growing and meeting new people to partner with moving forward. What a blessing it is to be part of the Eagles Wings Family.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Start Of Something New


Over this past year I have been through all the emotional highs and lows of support raising. God has been there helping me grow through the whole process. I have felt the sting of failure and the joy of moving towards an incredible opportunity to impact the kingdom of God. I am blessed to announce that Push The Rock has offered me the opportunity to begin working with Eagles Wings Disc Golf on a part time basis.

It was never really the goal to just be working part time with Eagles Wings Disc Golf. But I have to remember that my plans for this may not exactly be what God’s plans are. In the present moment I do feel like a failure. I wonder where the provision I expected is. But, as I look back at where I was when I started the support raising process and where I am now, I can very easily see how God has shaped me to be someone more closely walking with Him. I am more surrendered to what God wants to do through me and saying yes to the opportunity with Eagles Wings Disc Golf was only the first step.

Chapel service in Las Vegas
Part time means that I will get the opportunity to work about ten hours per week in support of all the programs that are being run by the full time staff. Most of the work I do will be administrative tasks that will free up the other staff to connect with people and impact the kingdom. I will still get to work with program as well. I have already helped with one chapel service at the disc golf tournament in Las Vegas this past February. I may get the chance to help out with two to four more this year. I will also continue to work on smaller programs here in Colorado. This will include working with Ponderosa Camp and Conference center as well as helping support local tournaments.

The challenging part of the reality of what is happening right now is that I will need to find some other work that will continue to allow me the spare time to work with Eagles Wings. Yes, I will still need a team of supporters for the work I am doing with Eagles Wings Disc Golf. I am hoping the second job will be something that looks more like a career and will hopefully still be ministry focused. Please keep praying for me as I go through this process of finding a job. I can only describe that reality as not exactly the most fun thing in the world to be doing. Also keep praying for Eagles Wings Disc Golf as the ministry continues to push forward. We have already hosted two chapel services and are about to send a team to Costa Rica.
If there are any questions you would like to ask me I am open to discuss what God is doing in my life. I am genuinely excited to be doing what I am doing and I am grateful to once again be feeling like I am making a difference for His kingdom through Eagles Wings Disc Golf.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Family Is Family


When I think about all the times in my life when I have needed encouragement there is a common theme, Family. It is amazing how it started with my parents from a very young age but as I grew up and moved on with my life how there were people who became family to me because they were like my family in the way they were able to encourage me.
It is no surprise that taking the time to build a team of partners is a difficult experience. It has been tough to be half way across a country from the base of the ministry while raising supporters. Ultimately, it has left me feeling alone. But, I recently had the opportunity to travel to Pennsylvania to be part of the first Push the Rock Summit. It was one of the most needed and encouraging times.
Push the Rock Staff and Family
The Summit was a chance for everyone involved with Push the Rock to meet in one place and share what is going on with the ministry. There were missionaries present from Zambia, Costa Rica and Brazil. There were future missionaries preparing to go to Spain. Everyone from the local Pennsylvania area were there as well as myself and the other out of state Eagles Wings guy. There were over 30 people there, all who love ministry and enjoy sports.

I was encouraged to meet people who were going through the same support team building process that I am in. I was encouraged to meet people from all over the world and even to play disc golf with someone from Zambia. I was encouraged by the deep focus on spiritual growth and through hearing the stories of how God is working. I was encouraged to feel like I was part of the family. It helped me remember that I am not in this by myself. It was encouraging to spend time with the next full time staff that will join Eagles Wings specifically. There are so many great things that God is doing through this amazing group of people.
As I am reminded of the family that surrounds people working together in ministry I am also reminded of one of the reasons I love disc golf and why disc golf ministry could be so impactful. Time after time I am reminded of how the disc golf community sees itself as family. At the world Championships the executive director of the Professional Disc Golf Association commented on the fact that we are family. As a local tournament here in Colorado held over a holiday weekend the tournament director thanked everyone for coming and said that no matter how long you had been playing in his tournaments, he still viewed you as family. I have been blessed to be part of this family. I am blessed to still be part of this family. Now, I want to spend more of my time as part of the Push the Rock family reaching out to my disc golf family. I need you help to be able to do this. I need partners who are willing to give their money and time. There is no telling the impact we could make.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

300

Recently as life has been happening I have taken notice of a simple truth that really makes a big difference. The reality is that there are so many people in this world. We all long for a sense of belonging and to know that people care about us. The simplest and best way to do this is something that one can do every day in very simple ways. Taking the second read a name tag and call your cashier by name. Noticing the little thing someone did that makes a big difference. It all comes back to simply being present in the lives of people around you and placing value on who they are.

Recently I have been incredibly blessed to be part of the lives of over 300 people through the programs of Eagles Wings Disc Golf. There are so many incredible things that God is doing through the ministry and it is a blessing to be used by him to simply be present in the lives of others. I guess I never really thought about the number of people that I might come across as part of this ministry. I never imagined that God would put me into a place where I get to be part of so many people’s lives. It has been more of a blessing than I could have ever thought.


Praying Before The Clinic At Worlds
It all began at the Professional Disc Golf World Championships in Emporia, Kansas. It was a good opportunity for everyone involved with Eagles Wings and some volunteer supporters to come together and make an impact. We partnered with a local church to run a disc golf clinic. There were about 130 people there of all ages. I specifically had the opportunity to teach a kid who was about 3 years old and some very nice ladies who were probably over 60 but very young for their age. There were so many smiles, very contagious. Additionally we ran a chapel service and had about 65 people show up, our largest chapel service to date. It was also one of the first chapel services where I remember having people there who were exploring their faith and what they believed. There was also the opportunity to connect with some people from Colorado who will be a big help in the future of Eagles wings Disc Golf in Colorado. God is clearly working.
Ring of Fire Game During Worlds Clinic

After arriving home from the world championships, it was not more than a week before I went down to Ponderosa Camp and Conference Center near Larkspur, Colorado. There I was the guest teacher of Disc Golf as part of their outdoor education program. A local charter school in Colorado Springs brought their entire high school program to be part of three days of outdoor education. I had the opportunity to teach over 180 kids to play disc golf. There were a couple of really interesting conversations with a few of the students, all of whom were considering their future. What an incredible opportunity to build into their lives and speak truth.

These are the moments that remind me of why God asked me to pursue this opportunity with Eagles Wings Disc Golf. These are the moments that push me to something greater. They remind me of the simple things that make a difference in the lives of those around me. It reminds me that in ministry and in life in general, there are many simple moments when simply using someone name and being present in every situation can have an incredible impact, even greater than we may ever know.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

On And Off The Road

There are so many things that I love about the silly little game of disc golf. I have always loved golf games in general because of the unique mind puzzles that they provide. I love that you get to be outside and being active. I love how it has made me want to improve my performance. I have loved the community of people that I found playing disc golf. I love how they have been so selfless and so respectful, all because we share a common interest. I love how big the community is. I love the fact that I can travel all over this country and play disc golf. I love that disc golf has given me reasons to travel all over this country to play in tournaments.

Over the last few months I have had plenty of opportunity to experience all of these things that I love about disc golf. I have had the opportunity to travel, most recently to California and I have had the opportunity to connect with my local disc golf community and talk about how I can serve that community better moving forward. I am so excited that my opportunity with Eagles Wings Disc Golf will allow me the time and resources to have a greater impact on this community.


While in California I was fortunate enough to play in one of the most well respected national tour tournaments. I was able to share with a small group of people a brief chapel service and talk to several others who would be interested in the future of our ministry. I was able to connect with several local Christians who were excited about what we are doing. From there I was able to go visit old friends at the camp I used to work at in way Northern California before I drove home.

Helping put in signs to find the next tee at a new course.

Since California it has been my focus to raise support and stay connected to the local disc golf community here in Colorado. The best parts of my day are when I get to share with friends the mission God has put before me. I have been blessed to talk with several people in the local disc golf club who are genuinely excited for what I will be doing. I have even been able to be part of a service project in conjunction with a local Christian Camp that is reaching out to the disc golf community in Colorado Springs.



All the kids and Eagles Wings Team in Zambia
I am looking forward to one last big disc golf trip for the year back out to Kansas for the Professional Disc Golf World Championships. I will have the opportunity to connect and be part of the disc golf mission’s trip that Eagles Wings is putting on. This will include service projects to help the tournament director as well as what should be one of our largest chapel services of the year. It is a very exciting opportunity and I will be blessed to see the friends I have made throughout my disc golf travels.
Playing disc golf in Zambia

Additionally Eagles Wings Disc Golf is really starting to gain momentum. In addition to all the chapel services at tournaments, youth events in both Michigan and Pennsylvania and a trip to Zambia have all seen great success. It makes me excited to finish raising support and begin to be part of both running local events as well as being part of the trips overseas to bring Jesus and disc golf to local communities.

Youth disc golf tournament in Michigan

In building a team of partners for my ministry with Eagles Wings Disc Golf I have experienced a roller coaster of emotions. I continue to make progress in working towards what God has called me to. I continue to have meetings with people within my own circles and have begun to look for other people who might be interested in being part of this ministry. I am not sure when God’s provision will be complete, but I am beyond excited to be there. If you know anyone who might share in my excitement in this endeavor, please let me know.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Steps of Faith

Jim, Myself, Dustin and Hannah @ Fountain Park in AZ
­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­The last year has been a journey of faith for me. God has guided and pushed me to things that I would have never expected. Now, having returned from Arizona and the first Professional Disc Golf Association National Tour Event for the third year in a row, I am even more excited about what God is doing in my life and the opportunities that He is placing before me.

Within the last year God took me from a place where I was searching for what He wanted me to do to a place where He has given me a clear direction and an opportunity to make a difference in His kingdom through a passion that He has given to me. Eagles Wings Disc Golf is in a place with some incredible staff excited to make an impact. I will get to use the sport of Disc Golf, which I have grown passionate about over the last seven and a half years, to grow God's kingdom. It is not just a sport but a growing community of people in need of a savior.

The Resource Table @ Chapel
I have been blessed to be able to come back from Arizona this year having had a great opportunity to play some disc golf and meet some incredible new people. I am so blessed to be part of the Eagles Wings Disc Golf team including Dustin, Jim and Hannah who are also so passionate about disc golf and using it to make a kingdom impact. I have been reinvigorated by being in meetings where we discussed the programming that both Dustin  and Jim are planning in Pennsylvania and Michigan respectively. I have no doubt that we will be able to reach many current disc golfers and youth through these programs.  

In Arizona we were able to host our first chapel service of the year. We met some new faces and reconnected with others that are supporting this venture. We were blessed to have many resources including a devotional for athletes that we plan to use to stay connected with those who attend our chapel services. We were able to host our service on site at one of the three courses used for the tournament. Moving forward we are going to have some amazing opportunities for chapel services this year. We have been amazed at how people have grasped on to this idea and desire to be part of what is going on.

Jim speaking during the Chapel Service @ Vista Del Camino
With all of this excitement, and through much prayer, I have recently stepped down from my now previous job with Open Door Ministries. It was not sure how I was going to be able to say goodbye to the kids that I have been investing in. It was tough for me to step out and trust in God’s provision. But I know this is a step that needs to be taken in order to get to the ministry that God has called me to. I am so excited to get to Pennsylvania for training by the early part of the summer and to spend time helping Dustin run some amazing programs. I am curious to learn more and figure out what program focuses I will have when I return to Colorado. I think it is simply amazing that I will get to serve God through Eagles Wings Disc Golf.


Please be praying for this process that I am going through in raising up a team of partners in this ministry. I am still incredibly nervous about the process. I still struggle as I learn to trust God more and more. I am not sure what, when or how this is all going to happen but I am intrigued to see how God works. I am excited for the story I will be able to tell when I am temporarily done with this process. I cannot wait to meet the people, some whom I already know and some who I do not, who will be a partner in this ministry.
The schedule of Chapels to be held this year. Please be praying for all of them.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Struggle of Progress

Sometimes life is busy. You find yourself doing more and more things. I am blessed to be able to continue working full time with an inner city ministry in Denver, CO as I build a team of partners to work full time with Eagles Wings Disc Golf. But it also makes life really busy. I have learned that I need to celebrate the milestones and to be constantly looking for God's provision. I am blessed to already be at 10% of my goal and although that seams small, it is really big. Thanks you to all my partners and the blessing they have been and will continue to be. As I sit here now I wish I could find more time to devote to getting to the field sooner. But I know I am where God wants me at the present time. I will continue to seek out those who can grasp the vision of the kingdom difference that Eagles Wings will make.

Since I last wrote, God has been doing some amazing things with Eagles Wings Disc Golf. I have been able to travel and be part of yet another chapel service at the last major tournament of the year, The United States Disc Golf Championships. We saw a great deal of interest and many people who are excited to see more of Eagles Wings in the coming new year. Being in South Carolina for this event and being involved in the disc golf community at this tournament, seeing the building excitement for chapel services and being able to speak truth into the lives of some of the top pros as well as other competitors has made me yearn even more to get to my partnership goals.

As I now sit at home I am constantly fighting the struggle of time and energy. It is tough to know when and where to invest time. It is sometimes difficult to see the future and how God is going to work through me. I know that I must keep reminding myself of what I have already seen. I know that I must listen to the stories of how God is already working with Eagles Wings and the others I will be working alongside with. The following is a brief story that was shared with me and helps remind me of the impact this ministry has and will continue to make. This was shared with me by Dustin Leatherman, the director of Eagles Wings Disc Golf.

This past summer we offered our first Eagles Wings Disc Golf internship to a local 16 year old disc golfer, Dan Lackner.  It was a volunteer experience that provided the opportunity to be involved in a variety of aspects of the ministry.  Here is how Dan described his experience:

Working this summer with Eagles Wings Disc Golf was a truly awesome experience, and I was really encouraged by the people I got to work with. Teaching kids disc golf from a Christian standpoint was an amazing experience, and it taught me a lot about responsibility and sharing God’s word with others. The trip to the PDGA Disc Golf World Championships was an unforgettable trip. Being a part of the first Chapel was really cool, and it really taught me a lot. Also helping organize the Fish Bowl and the Eagles Wings youth league was a great experience. I am really thankful for the opportunity I had this year, and hope I can come back next year. 

While Dan enjoyed various components of the internship, it was also very evident he was growing in his walk with the Lord.  One of our primary objectives at Eagles Wings is to equip Christians to use disc golf as a platform for ministry, and it was exciting to see this happen through our internship program.

Please continue to pray for me, for wisdom and diligence as I continue in the process of building a team of partners.