Duck! Bald Faces. More Beards?

Last week our church had a little costume fun with
a Duck Dynasty Theme.
Here’s a few pictures from that day.
(and in case you’re concerned… NO, it didn’t distract us from
worshiping Jesus with all our heart and listen to the Word
and then talking about it with small groups of friends at the end.)

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Now… THIS Sunday our building will be filled
NAKED-FACED men because many of them have
taken the “Grovember” Challenge. It’s
about “Manning-Up!” It’s starts with a clean face.
Then no shaving for the whole month!
Besides NOT shaving, men are committing to
“up-ing” their walk with Jesus! Click here for
all the fun details.

So, by the end of the month the
men in our church may just look a whole like the
men on Duck Dynasty! However, considering it’ll
bring out the best in these guys… we woman are
OK with it all! (But Chilly, can you please
promise to shave most of it off on December 1st?)

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Not sure how to say this…

For over a week I’ve written this post in my head, crumpled it up
and tossed it aside. I’m going crazy to say it… but how?
Nothing creative enough has risen to the surface of my brain.
Nothing deep enough as been able to form itself into words.
How do I say this?
I’ll just jump in and say, “OH MY WORD! THANK YOU!”

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A week & a half ago my husband spent the weekend as a
guest of Celebration Christian Center in Midland, Mi…
and our family was invited to joined him. From the time
we set down a suitcase they poured giant heaps of kindness all over us!

– welcome notes
– huge bag of snacks
– lovely hotel room
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– swimming pool (shaped like the state of Michigan!)
– yummy meals in restaurants
– spending money to “have fun with the family”
– trip to the frozen yogurt bar
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– amazing pizza (that Mom didn’t make, nor did it come in a box from a little
Roman guy for $5, already prepared & still warm)
– specific gifts for each of our children
(including our oldest daughter who stayed back in Detroit
to “hold down the fort” and also preach on Sunday morning!)
– a membership to one of the country’s most fantastic museums
– a serious chunk of money to purchase the sound system
that we’ve been borrowing & had to give back unless we
could buy it
– Even more money beyond what the sound system cost

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But that’s not really the whole story…
– So many people from this church actually pray for us, our family
and Courage Church!
– They asked specific questions about how they could continue
to pray
– They’d been on our website and cared about what they saw
– They believe in what we’re doing and pray for Detroit
– They prayed for us by name… and for all those who
minister/volunteer with us
– People walked up to us and blessed us with all sorts of
gifts and services… personally sacrificing!
(They include provision for a cavity-free mouth,
a vehicle, a winter coat and more!)

My heart just bubbles with joy as I recount their warm,
expressions of love, support and encouragement.
They believe in what we’re doing here in
the city!

Thank you, Jesus, for sending these wonderful people
into our lives! Thank you, CCC, for loving us in so
many ways!

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A weekend that’s hard to put into words,
but forever in our hearts and memories!

Celebration Sunday!!!

Happy Birthday, Courage Church!

It sounded crazy!
It was in an interesting part of Detroit
culture where 28 languages are spoken in a
2 mile radias.
It was nine years ago this weekend
that Chilly & I,
along with our three daughters,
8 young adults and a handful of newly arrived
post-high school students opened a brand new church
we lovingly called, “REAL CHURCH!”
Relevant
Equipping
Alive
Loving

Over the years we’ve meet in different locations-
including rented spaces that had never been churches
and probably never will be again (like a bar/concert
venue and a condo penthouse clubhouse!) ha!
Then, in late summer of 2012, God unexpectedly
plopped a gorgeous old building in our laps.

Besides building changes, amazing people from
around the area & around the country have
committed to this ministry. Others from
the dedicated “original starting team”
moved on to other places were God directed.
The heart of the church has remained the same-
“Living a real love from a real God in a real
world.” And that is not for the faint-hearted!

Following this exciting gift we changed our name
to Courage Church. Notice that both names are far more
than titles, they’re VERBS! It tells who we are and
what we do! Carefully listening to the voice of God’s
leading, being in Detroit, making constant changes,
always rejoicing over the beautiful things Jesus
does in the hearts of anyone who will let Him.
Anything worthwhile takes hard work & faith…
a faith in God that is lived out in Courageous
ways on a daily basis!

So today… we rejoiced together, all of us in
one historical old building with room to grow!
A building made special only because people
who love Jesus meet there… and people who
join them can meet Jesus, there, too!
(Several did exactly that today!!!)


To the many of you who have been a part of
this wonderful story of Courage Church,
thank you! Your priceless involvement
has left an eternal mark on the lives
of every face in this picture (and the
many people they represent).
Your efforts matter…
…..
Oh good grief… I started typing zillions
of ways that many of you have given to
this ministry, but that’s not possible!
I had to delete that attempt.
Some of you have never even set foot
in this state, yet you’ve joined
with us!

Thank you for loving Jesus & having the
Courage to believe in His love for
Detroit and His calling on our lives!

Courage Church online giving

4 Days Detroit- recap

 

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Ministry Teams of teenagers & youth leaders came to
Courage Church, Detroit from Michigan, Ohio, Iowa and Indiana.
Each morning the students benefited from quality (and fun)
teaching followed by outreach ministry in the afternoon.

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The evenings services left HUGE and lasting impressions
on students and adults with the ministries of Reggie Dabbs,
Edgar Cabello, Richard Crisco, Sounds Good Ministries
and my favorite… Chilly Chilton!

(Click on the pics below to go to their links)

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The final evening a rally was hosted at Courage Church
for the entire neighborhood of Southwest Detroit, also
proudly known as Mexicantown. (pictured below)

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Our building was SOOO full of people, and everyone
had a chance to hear about the love of Jesus and about
150 people raised their hands to signal that they wanted
to give their lives to Jesus!  SOOOO wonderful!

Nearly 25 of these new friends attended our regular
church service on Sunday morning and several of them
are taking their committment to Jesus so seriously that
they’ve asked to be baptised in water!  YAY!
In the words of NOT-so-spiritual song The Hokey
Pokey… “That’s what it’s ALL about!”

Thank you for praying (if you did)!
If you didn’t… please start now!
Pray for these new friends who just beginning their
journey with Jesus!
Pray for our family & leadership team!

THANKS!
(Many of you reading this helped make this amazing week
possible!  THANK YOU!  You have made a nice spot for
yourselves in our hearts!)

Dreams fulfilled

I wrote the following things in my journal last week when I was thinking about
“dreams come true.”

 

Dreams are fulfilled in relationship, not accomplishments.

Relationship with Jesus, Chilly, my children, family and church, etc…

It doesn’t mean that these people fulfill my dreams-
that would be setting us all up for failure.

But rather, it means that the joy of
loving them,
serving them
and having them in my life is enough for me!

I’m livin’ my dreams!

 

 

 

Dictionary Headlines

Dictionary Headline = a fusion of two genre’s of communication in an effort
to explain all the life-changing things that are happening.

——————————————————————————————————-

Freaky Friday = realizing on Friday at lunchtime that your three youngest children
will no longer be homeschooled because God has miraculously made an opening
for all THREE of them in a wonderful school right in your own the city!
But…Now you must frantically buy school uniforms since they begin on Monday morning.

Satisfying Saturday= attending your oldest daughter’s
graduation from Xmin Academy where she’s gone through
Global University
, plus many other tests and the
memorization of over 400 scripture verses and will
continue to serve in Detroit where God has called her…
as a soon-to-be licensed minister.

PraisePrayPreachingParty = (sure, it’s a real word) when
you completely love your church and enjoy every
second spent with them on Sundays (and Saturday
in small group, and Wednesday in Bible Study and
any other days throughout the week!)

Reality Dream = when you take the children you’ve homeschooled
to a “real” school where they happily bounce into a classroom for the
first time in their lives and excitedly begin to made new friends, but
none of it feels very real.

Power Packing= helping your husband pack a suitcase before
he leaves on a three day trip called “Manuvers” with the current
Xmin students (who are from MI, MN and CA).

Xmin= X is from the first century letter that was an abbreviation
of “CHRIST,” and Min represents “ministry.”  (see details here)

Second First Day = the second time this fall that your children
have a first day of school because the first day was in September
when you started homeschool; the second is this
Monday when they started a Charter school.

A Nine Day*= A day that doesn’t feel like
any particular day of the week;
a strange one; the type of day that makes you
wonder around the house because you’ve
been at home with ONE or MORE small
children to care for  the last
TWENTY years
and now, suddenly, they’re
ALL in school. All day.
And you’re home… with no little ones.
(I had 5 Nine Days)

Hardcore Nap = when you sleep so hard that when
your alarm goes off you panic cuz it’s light and you think
you’ve overslept and made the entire household late for school.

Free Lunch= having lunch with a friend without having
had to find someone to watch
the children (for the 1st time in 20 years!)

Birthday Bonanza= when you bake approx. 8 dozen “monster” cookies for your son’s
6th bday so he can take treats to school and to church that evening; then bake & decorate his spiderman cake (with his help & instruction, of course!)

Perpetual Progress=
the constant commitment and hard work of my husband & a zillion other amazing people from Courage Church who
are working hard to finish a project only to begin
another one in order to have the 3rd campus of
Courage Church open by TOMORROW! (October 7th!)

 

 

Courage Church has campus locations in Hamtramck,
Midtown Detroit and now Mexicantown!
You can help us celebrate our 8th anniversary as a church
by attending the Mexicantown Grand Opening tomorrow,
October 7th at 3pm!  Or you can watch it live beginning
at 3:30 here!

 

*Nine Day is a phrase coined by Courtney Chilton a few years ago
that is very fitting on many days… for many reasons!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer so Far (part 2)

July 4th we went to the Detroit Tiger’s Game. Right after this pic was taken it rained for 2 straight hours. But we stuck it out & had a blast!

Really hot days are good for staying inside & racing cars

 

Messing with the photo programs just never gets old, does it?
  
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visiting a friend’s new, teeny baby girl when she was just a few hours old

Enjoying another sweet baby born to our church family

Swing Set water (and mud) park that got great reviews. (Notice the swin noodle hanging above their heads. It has holes cut in it & the hose is attached to the end)

Real Church became “Courage Church.” Check it out at www.couragechurch.com

It’s not every church that gets to hold it’s baptism on the “beer deck” of a local venue.

Courage Church is giving a beautiful new location & huge opportunities to reach a whole new area of the city with JESUS’ love! (it needs numerous repairs… maybe you have the ability & resources to help spread HIS love. Look here )

Lots & lots of board games & card games