Snoeyink Family Update

The first Grace Beyond video featured the Snoeyink family talking about being on the journey of adoption.  Kent and Amy shared how God made it clear adoption was the right way for their family to follow the biblical command to care for the fatherless.  You can watch the video on our Aug. 14 blog post.

Here is a beautiful picture of God’s faithfulness as Josie officially became a Snoeyink last month:

SPraise God for guiding the Snoeyinks through the legal process of adoption as that faithfulness will sustain them as they continue the journey of adoption.

If you would like to read more, you can read the blog of their trip to China at

Welcome to Calvary Church Josie Joy Snoeyink!

All is well,


The Little Way of Ruthie Leming

Several weeks ago, Jim mentioned this book in a sermon.  Several people have asked about the book title (it is a little tricky to remember) so I wanted to post the information.

OB-XG686_bkrvfl_GV_20130429130208The whole title is The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good Life.  It is written by her brother Rod Dreher, a journalist who goes from living in the “big city” back to his hometown of St. Francisville, Louisiana with a population of 2,000.  The book is the story of his journey out of a small town but ultimately his return home.

The book is his memoir but toward the end it shifts to an insightful discussion of history, family roots and community.  In our culture where many of things are not valued, it is a good reminder of why we should consider these ideals.

The catalyst to his return home is his sister’s death from cancer so the book also highlights issues of loss and grieving.  It is beautifully handled but with such vivid imagery that I would suggest a large tissue box near you for most of the book.

My only caveat to the discussion, and one important aspect that is not addressed in the book, is Jesus’ response to Peter in Mark 10.

Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.…”

The Little Way of Ruthie Leming would be a great book to read and discuss with your community.

All is well,


Happy 90th DTS!

Dallas Theological Seminary began In the fall of 1924, when 13 students met together to study under the teaching of Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer.  From those humble beginnings, DTS now has more than 14,000 alumni that serve the Lord around the world.

DTS’ story is our story too.  We individually felt God’s call to attend DTS and our lives intersected on the small campus in the heart of downtown Dallas.

As part of the school’s 90th birthday celebration they asked several alumni to record short birthday greetings. This is our video.

Jim and Lisa

Grace Beyond Worship Night Video


Thank you to each person that was part of the Grace Beyond worship service last Sunday night.  It was a beautiful evening and and an exciting time to be part of Calvary Church.

If you were not able to be there, or if you want to see relive some of the highlights, I encourage you to go to the Grace Beyond website.  In the “Stories” section is the Grace Beyond Worship Night video, a 12-minute recap of the evening.

Unfortunately, due to copyright issues we couldn’t include the Oceans dance but most of the other elements of the evening are part of the video.

All is well,





Ice Bucket Challenge

I would normally pass on these kind of social media crazes but due to our connection with several dear friends who passed away from ALS, and for those who currently suffer as a result of an ALS diagnosis, I decided to accept the challenge.

Since Pastor Ed Dobson and I often sparred over our respective love of Notre Dame and Michigan football, I did his ice bucket challenge at the Big House on Saturday.

Ice Bucket Challenge

Note:  we did tell the people around us first!


Rewire (Again)


This summer our family was able to spend a week in the Adirondack Mountains at Camp-of-the-Woods (COTW) on Lake Pleasant.  While we were at COTW, Jim gave the Rewire series talks, a biblical look at how to live faithfully in a technological world.

Spending time hiking in nature (the picture above was at the summit of one of our expeditions), rappelling down mountains, and playing in the lake became ideal backdrops for reflecting again on the biblical principles of how God wants us to view technology.

Psalm 19 reminds us that:

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.  There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.  Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.

Spending time in nature allowed me to hear creation shouting the praise of God without the competing bells and beeps from the devices I carry around with me.  The voice of nature proclaims God in a way that technology often masks but can never match, and the majesty encourages me to join the chorus.

If you missed the Rewire series earlier this year at Calvary, or if your small group or class is interested in doing the study together, DVDs and workbooks are available for purchase.  Contact Technical Services ( at Ext. 5150 for details or to order materials.

All is well,



Grace Beyond Video

We have been talking a lot about Grace Beyond at Calvary this year as we continue to seek the Lord regarding his plan for our proposed building project.  Several weeks ago, Kent and Amy shared their Grace Beyond story during the worship service.  I posted it here in case you did not see it.

Grace Beyond is a building project, but it is more than a building project as Kent and Amy’s story so beautifully details.  It is extending the grace we receive to others…even to a little girl who lives in China and needs a place to call home.

As we move forward with Grace Beyond, we will be sharing even more glimpses of grace.

All the details for Grace Beyond can be found online at

All is well,



St. Peter’s Day

This Sunday, June 29, is St. Peter’s Day.  It is a day for Christians to reflect and remember Peter’s martyrdom in Rome.

Several years ago, we were in Cambridge and attended Evensong (an evening chapel service) on June 29 at the breathtaking King’s College Chapel.

We heard the choir sing this 2006 composition commemorating St. Peter.  While I have not been able to find the song online so that I can share it with you, following are the words to the anthem.

Anthem for St. Peter’s Day

‘Will you leave everything and come with me –

Yes, bring your brother, leave the nets and sea,

And fish for human souls?’

‘The mother of my wife is ill.’

‘Her raging fever I will still

Before this high sun rolls

Behind those hills.’   ‘We trust your nod,

Jesus, Son of the Living God.’


‘Blessed are you, Simon, for this!

My heavenly Father in his bliss

Opens your eyes.

I call you Peter now, the rock

On which my church will stand all shock.

You hold the keys

To bind or loose, in heaven, on earth.

Have faith, as I have in your worth.’


The High Priest’s maid said: ‘Galilean

Warming your hands, that prisoner’s friend…’

‘He’s not my friend.’

Another pointed: ‘He’s one of them!’

‘Girl, you offend!’

A Roman sneered: ‘You share his accent.’

‘I resent and I condemn

Inept lies!’ The cock crowed. Peter wept.


They dined deep. Risen Christ bent down

To wash their feet, to Peter’s frown.

‘Simon, John’s son, do you love me?’

‘Yes, Lord, I do.’

‘You know I do!’

‘Simon, John’s son, do you love me?

Feed my sheep.


When you were young your ways were free.

When you are old you’ll follow me

With outstretched hands.’

And do it was. Agrippa tried

Peter as godless; crucified

As Rome commands –

But upside-down, the martyr’s own request

Lest he should equal Jesus every blest.


Words – Francis Warner

Music – David Goode


All is well,


Josh and Shelly Buck

refuge logo

On Sunday we were reminded through the amazing testimony of our friends Josh and Shelly Buck about God’s grace to us.  Jim’s summarized both their story, as well as each of our stories, with the following paraphrase of our benediction:

God is taking each and every one of us who are believers in Jesus on a journey through life.  That journey will by definition involve suffering and difficulty, but God’s grace and his power will lead us safely through.

If you want more information about Josh and Shelly Buck Ministries, you can click on the logo or visit


All is well,