Current Sermon Series

April 8, 2011


Church of the Heartland at a glance

April 7, 2011

Filled With Vision

November 1, 2012

Dear heartland leaders and workers,

I have a very important thing to talk to you about today. I see a lack of vision in the lives of the people in our church and in our leaders. We need to be fueled and filled with vision and excited about where God is taking our church. We need to be dreaming about where he’s taking our departments and our ministries. We need to be thinking and praying about what he wants to do in the lives of the people that we are reaching. We need to be wondering what our future looks like together.

Thinking about the future and what God has for us is one of the keys to bringing people to Christ. They see that compelling vision, they see where you’re going and they want to be a part of it. So fill yourself up with vision. Fuel your heart on it. And let’s see what God might do through us.



503 North Monticello

October 16, 2012

So, the family and I have moved into my old house.  The one I was raised in here in beautiful Winamac, Indiana.  The place is completely remodeled and looks fantastic.  But moving back into my hometown was one thing, but back into the exact house!  Wow 🙂

No really…  God is in this all the way.  I feel like Forrest Gump with his family house in Greenbough, Alabama.  Taking what was given to me and putting it into the next generation. 

I feel so very blessed.  So very thankful.  So very grateful.

So, stop by and see me some time.  503 N. Monticello Street – Winamac, Indiana 🙂



What is happening at Church of the Heartland – Fall 2012

September 28, 2012

Hey Heartlanders 🙂

Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in what your specific church is doing and miss out on what is happening at the other churches and ministries that we have. So, this is a chance to get caught up with what has been going on and what will be going on all over the 574.

– This church has been seeing seeing steady growth.
– There is an awesome event taking place on Saturday Oct 6th called the “Pumpkin Run”. It is a fall festival/carnival/pumpkin giveaway/party that is going to be amazing. It will be both indoors and outdoors with lots of things for families to do.
– Pastors Jim and Michele continue to build teams here that are taking this church to the next level.
– The building has a new roof. All they need is about $5,000 more and the entire thing will have been debt free. What a major undertaking for a building of that size.
Biker Church of the Heartland:
– bcoth is wrapping up a very succesful riding season.
– The season started with an amazing trip to Tennessee that changed my life and so many others. I thought it was going to be a time of just riding motorcycles, but the devotions that we had were so deepening and wonderful, that they became my favorite part.
– The new format of Thursday nights is working well too. Bikers get to choose to do church on the road (mp3 players loaded with worship and the teaching from the Sunday before) or having a live Bible study format back at the base.
– Our annual ride (The Ski Run) was the largest one we have ever had. We had bikers from all over come out. And a ton of money was raised for our fund that helps injured bikers.
Project A1:8:
– Our missions front has had a tremendous year.
– With Mission America – Southern Indiana, God used us to help a community torn apart by vicious tornadoes.
– With Mission America – 574, we saw lives in our very own communities touched and changed forever.
– And within the next couple of weeks we will be hosting Pastor Richard Kaaya from Entebbe, Uganda with us. He will be sharing what God is doing through the “Hope for Africa” children’s sponsorship.
– Every month we receive a missions offering. It is powerful to see that money be used to reach people around the block and around the world.
-The banquet has been moved to February 2013

– Team is the name of the game here. Teams are starting to meet and gel and we are seeing direct fruit from it.
– Everyone at Logansport can sense that God is about to do something BIG! I can’t wait to see what all God has in store.
– God has been showing up at the church services in a mighty way. The Lavere Soper Healing service was really impacting as we saw several miracles, and healings that could only be explained by God.
– Yesterday this church plant signed a lease for their first permanent home. 411 East McKinley in Mishawaka. Right by Mazatlan’s restaurant. (which is awesome btw) It is not a huge space but will definitely do the trick for the near future.
– It is so great to see a church back in that area. It means a lot to so many people to see God continuing to use Church of the Heartland in St. Joseph county.
– Pastor Dave and Mona have such a heart for people that it is inspiring for me to see. I love the way they love people.
– The next thing coth-mish will be doing is remodeling and painting this new space. I can’t wait to see what it is going to look like.
North Central Indiana Bible College:
– We have made some changes this year to NCIBC.
– We have our live campus now out of coth-ply but a live video feed to coth-logan. This has really been a blessing to us because it expands our ability to develop leaders in the body of Christ without having to have them all in the same facility.
– NCIBC also has a new director this year. Pastor David Sharp is doing a great job with the transition to his new position.
– The limits are coming off for NCIBC. This year and the coming years will be so crucial as we build upon where we are on the way to where God wants us to be.
– This church is going the right direction in many areas.
– The youth ministry continues to reach teenagers like I have never seen before. I got the privilege to be the guest speaker at Rock Youth while G and Chris were on vacation. And all I can say is how impressed I was with their love for God, genuine love for each other, and overall thoughtfulness. Most of these teens are the only Christians in their families and to see them change right before your eyes is absolutely amazing.
– Pastors Herb and Sandy are having staff meetings and team meetings and ministry meetings and counseling meetings…. And the fruit of those meetings is evident every time you walk in the building.
– We are livestreaming the church services from coth-ply each Sunday morning. What a wonderful way to reach people right where they are at and give them a taste of what God is doing at coth.
– They recently purchased an enormous tv screen style sign. Pastor Herb is an ebay/online shopping master and he got it for a song. I can’t wait to see it all hooked up.
– Foundations Christian School is off and going on another year. The teachers and the students have such a joy inside of them. I love seeing new students come and love the experience of FCS as well as veteran students return. God is going to do something very special this year at FCS.
– There is a very special service coming up there at coth-ply. Kim Phuc (please google her name to know more about her) is coming on Monday night Nov. 19th. This one night service will be one of the largest attended services we have ever had. You will not want to miss it.
– Pastor Ted and Marie are on a short break right now. They have both been burning the candle at both ends for a long time. So coth-bourbon is taking a brief hiatus right now as well.
– One of the coolest things though is that during this break, everyone continues to stay connected to coth and to all the other great people there. It is wonderful to see connections so deep that they cannot be stopped.
– Once again the thing that is making the most difference here is the team. People are really pulling together to see Starke county be reached with a powerful message of love and hope.
– The radio program is back on WKVI. The program is called “Hope for the Heartland” and it is on Sunday Mornings at 10EST or 9 CST. We haven’t been on the radio there since about 2005. We have seen new people at the church almost each week that have said they heard us on the radio. What a powerful outreach tool this is going to become.
-Foundations Child Care was recently voted the best child care in Starke Co. It continues to serve families with excellence. They also received a perfect on their semi-annual inspection from the state. The staff and parents are seeing children graduate ready for Kindergarten and excelling in school.

I am sure I am missing something that is happening or has happened somewhere at our church. I myself can barely keep up with all that is going on each week. But that is a very good thing.

I mean it when I say…

I love doing life with you 🙂




574 Devo Day 25 – Acts Chap 25

May 25, 2012

The Five-Seven-Four Devotional has 3 parts.

1) Read a Chapter in the Book of Acts 5 days a week.

2) Pray through the 7 prayer points.
– Pray to grow in Christ
– Pray that COTH fulfills it’s vision to reach the 574
– Pray for your personal needs to be supplied
– Pray for specific people to be healed
– Pray for your family
– Pray that God uses you to reach other people
– Pray that doors of opportunity will be opened for you

3) Target 4 people for Christ.

Here are the scriptures for today with some of my thoughts afterwards.

Acts 25
New International Version (NIV)
Paul’s Trial Before Festus

25 Three days after arriving in the province, Festus went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem, 2 where the chief priests and the Jewish leaders appeared before him and presented the charges against Paul. 3 They requested Festus, as a favor to them, to have Paul transferred to Jerusalem, for they were preparing an ambush to kill him along the way. 4 Festus answered, “Paul is being held at Caesarea, and I myself am going there soon. 5 Let some of your leaders come with me, and if the man has done anything wrong, they can press charges against him there.”

6 After spending eight or ten days with them, Festus went down to Caesarea. The next day he convened the court and ordered that Paul be brought before him. 7 When Paul came in, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him. They brought many serious charges against him,but they could not prove them.

8 Then Paul made his defense: “I have done nothing wrong against the Jewish law or against the temple or against Caesar.”

9 Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and stand trial before me there on these charges?”

10 Paul answered: “I am now standing before Caesar’s court, where I ought to be tried. I have not done any wrong to the Jews, as you yourself know very well. 11 If, however, I am guilty of doing anything deserving death, I do not refuse to die. But if the charges brought against me by these Jews are not true, no one has the right to hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!”

12 After Festus had conferred with his council, he declared: “You have appealed to Caesar. To Caesar you will go!”

Festus Consults King Agrippa

13 A few days later King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea to pay their respects to Festus. 14 Since they were spending many days there, Festus discussed Paul’s case with the king. He said: “There is a man here whom Felix left as a prisoner. 15 When I went to Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews brought charges against him and asked that he be condemned.

16 “I told them that it is not the Roman custom to hand over anyone before they have faced their accusers and have had an opportunity to defend themselves against the charges.17 When they came here with me, I did not delay the case, but convened the court the next day and ordered the man to be brought in. 18 When his accusers got up to speak, they did not charge him with any of the crimes I had expected.19 Instead, they had some points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a dead man named Jesus who Paul claimed was alive. 20 I was at a loss how to investigate such matters; so I asked if he would be willing to go to Jerusalem and stand trial there on these charges. 21 But when Paul made his appeal to be held over for the Emperor’s decision, I ordered him held until I could send him to Caesar.”

22 Then Agrippa said to Festus, “I would like to hear this man myself.”

He replied, “Tomorrow you will hear him.”

Paul Before Agrippa

23 The next day Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp and entered the audience room with the high-ranking military officers and the prominent men of the city. At the command of Festus, Paul was brought in. 24 Festus said: “King Agrippa, and all who are present with us, you see this man! The whole Jewish community has petitioned me about him in Jerusalem and here in Caesarea, shouting that he ought not to live any longer. 25 I found he had done nothing deserving of death,but because he made his appeal to the Emperor I decided to send him to Rome. 26 But I have nothing definite to write to His Majesty about him. Therefore I have brought him before all of you, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that as a result of this investigation I may have something to write.27 For I think it is unreasonable to send a prisoner on to Rome without specifying the charges against him.”

v.1-5. What should you do if someone is plotting against you? Nothing… Just let the Lord work it out. What they are saying against you or doing to hurt you will never work out anyway.

v.22. What God is doing through you and in you will arouse curiousity in the people around you. That is not a bad thing at all. It is easy to feel like the curiousity has a judgemental side to it, but most of the time it is just people wanting to know if you really are what they say you are.

v.23. King Agrippa went the way of all the kings of history… Forgotten… But this humble man that God was working through goes down in history as one of the greatest followers of God that has ever lived. When we look through the lens of thousands of years of history things begin to clear up. Don’t understmate what God can do through you when you see the very long term effects of the people you have touched in your life.


574 Devo Day 24 – Acts Chap 24

May 24, 2012

The Five-Seven-Four Devotional has 3 parts.

1) Read a Chapter in the Book of Acts 5 days a week.

2) Pray through the 7 prayer points.
– Pray to grow in Christ
– Pray that COTH fulfills it’s vision to reach the 574
– Pray for your personal needs to be supplied
– Pray for specific people to be healed
– Pray for your family
– Pray that God uses you to reach other people
– Pray that doors of opportunity will be opened for you

3) Target 4 people for Christ.

Here are the scriptures for today with some of my thoughts afterwards.

Acts 24
New International Version (NIV)
Paul’s Trial Before Felix

24 Five days later the high priest Ananias went down to Caesarea with some of the elders and a lawyer named Tertullus, and they brought their charges against Paul before the governor. 2 When Paul was called in, Tertullus presented his case before Felix: “We have enjoyed a long period of peace under you, and your foresight has brought about reforms in this nation. 3 Everywhere and in every way, most excellent Felix, we acknowledge this with profound gratitude.4 But in order not to weary you further, I would request that you be kind enough to hear us briefly.

5 “We have found this man to be a troublemaker, stirring up riots among the Jews all over the world. He is a ringleader of the Nazarene sect 6 and even tried to desecrate the temple;so we seized him. [7] 8 By examining him yourself you will be able to learn the truth about all these charges we are bringing against him.”

9 The other Jews joined in the accusation, asserting that these things were true.

10 When the governor motioned for him to speak, Paul replied: “I know that for a number of years you have been a judge over this nation; so I gladly make my defense. 11 You can easily verify that no more than twelve days ago I went up to Jerusalem to worship. 12 My accusers did not find me arguing with anyone at the temple, or stirring up a crowd in the synagogues or anywhere else in the city. 13 And they cannot prove to you the charges they are now making against me. 14 However, I admit that I worship the God of our ancestors as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets, 15 and I have the same hope in God as these men themselves have, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. 16 So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.

17 “After an absence of several years, I came to Jerusalem to bring my people gifts for the poor and to present offerings.18 I was ceremonially clean when they found me in the temple courts doing this. There was no crowd with me, nor was I involved in any disturbance. 19 But there are some Jews from the province of Asia, who ought to be here before you and bring charges if they have anything against me.20 Or these who are here should state what crime they found in me when I stood before the Sanhedrin— 21 unless it was this one thing I shouted as I stood in their presence: ‘It is concerning the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you today.’”

22 Then Felix, who was well acquainted with the Way,adjourned the proceedings. “When Lysias the commander comes,” he said, “I will decide your case.” 23 He ordered the centurion to keep Paul under guard but to give him some freedom and permit his friends to take care of his needs.

24 Several days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus. 25 As Paul talked about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.” 26 At the same time he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe, so he sent for him frequently and talked with him.

27 When two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, but because Felix wanted to grant a favor to the Jews, he left Paul in prison.

V.1-9. Notice how they speak a version of the truth. Sometimes a lie is just portraying the truth in our point of view instead of accurately. Let’s do as the bible says and speak the truth in love.

V.16. Striving to keep,our conscience clear should be a day by day goal for us.

V.20. Let’s live a life so clean that we can say what Paul says here. If you have anything against me, bring it 🙂

V.25. Paul had a way of saying convicting things without coming off offensive. I want that ability in my life. Once again I think the key is truth in love.

V.27. Justice might be on the eternity side and not on the earthly side. But rest assured, when it is all said and done, the universe will have justice.


574 Devo Day 23 – Acts Chap 23

May 23, 2012

The Five-Seven-Four Devotional has 3 parts.

1) Read a Chapter in the Book of Acts 5 days a week.

2) Pray through the 7 prayer points.
– Pray to grow in Christ
– Pray that COTH fulfills it’s vision to reach the 574
– Pray for your personal needs to be supplied
– Pray for specific people to be healed
– Pray for your family
– Pray that God uses you to reach other people
– Pray that doors of opportunity will be opened for you

3) Target 4 people for Christ.

Here are the scriptures for today with some of my thoughts afterwards.

Acts 23
New International Version (NIV)
23 Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin and said, “My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day.” 2 At this the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth.3 Then Paul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit there to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck!”

4 Those who were standing near Paul said, “How dare you insult God’s high priest!”

5 Paul replied, “Brothers, I did not realize that he was the high priest; for it is written: ‘Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.’”

6 Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, “My brothers, I am a Pharisee, descended from Pharisees. I stand on trial because of the hope of the resurrection of the dead.”7 When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided.8 (The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, and that there are neither angels nor spirits, but the Pharisees believe all these things.)

9 There was a great uproar, and some of the teachers of the law who were Pharisees stood up and argued vigorously. “We find nothing wrong with this man,” they said. “What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” 10 The dispute became so violent that the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them. He ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force and bring him into the barracks.

11 The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said,“Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”

The Plot to Kill Paul

12 The next morning some Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul. 13 More than forty men were involved in this plot. 14 They went to the chief priests and the elders and said, “We have taken a solemn oath not to eat anything until we have killed Paul. 15 Now then, you and the Sanhedrin petition the commander to bring him before you on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about his case. We are ready to kill him before he gets here.”

16 But when the son of Paul’s sister heard of this plot, he went into the barracks and told Paul.

17 Then Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the commander; he has something to tell him.” 18 So he took him to the commander.

The centurion said, “Paul, the prisoner, sent for me and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you.”

19 The commander took the young man by the hand, drew him aside and asked, “What is it you want to tell me?”

20 He said: “Some Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul before the Sanhedrin tomorrow on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about him. 21 Don’t give in to them, because more than forty of them are waiting in ambush for him. They have taken an oath not to eat or drink until they have killed him. They are ready now, waiting for your consent to their request.”

22 The commander dismissed the young man with this warning: “Don’t tell anyone that you have reported this to me.”

Paul Transferred to Caesarea

23 Then he called two of his centurions and ordered them, “Get ready a detachment of two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen to go to Caesarea at nine tonight. 24 Provide horses for Paul so that he may be taken safely to Governor Felix.”

25 He wrote a letter as follows:

26 Claudius Lysias,

To His Excellency, Governor Felix:


27 This man was seized by the Jews and they were about to kill him, but I came with my troops and rescued him, for I had learned that he is a Roman citizen. 28 I wanted to know why they were accusing him, so I brought him to their Sanhedrin. 29 I found that the accusation had to do with questions about their law, but there was no charge against him that deserved death or imprisonment. 30 When I was informed of a plot to be carried out against the man, I sent him to you at once. I also ordered his accusers to present to you their case against him.

31 So the soldiers, carrying out their orders, took Paul with them during the night and brought him as far as Antipatris.32 The next day they let the cavalry go on with him, while they returned to the barracks. 33 When the cavalry arrived in Caesarea, they delivered the letter to the governor and handed Paul over to him. 34 The governor read the letter and asked what province he was from. Learning that he was from Cilicia, 35 he said, “I will hear your case when your accusers get here.” Then he ordered that Paul be kept under guard in Herod’s palace.

V.1-5. Paul is very smart. Notice how he chooses his words very carefully. We should probably be more aware of the words we are saying as well.

V.6-9. The old divide and conquer method right there. People can’t focus on the enemy when they are fighting amongst themselves.

V.11. When we are really discouraged it seems that God comes through for us with a word of encouragement in just the nick of time.

V.12-15. Since Paul survived this plot, did these men all die of thirst? Jesus said not to make vows. Because they usually end up making you look foolish.

V.16-31. God’s plans are the only ones that are guaranteed to be completed. People make plans, but God guides every step. Rest in the thought of his plan being unstoppable for you.


574 Devo Day 22 – Acts Chap 22

May 22, 2012

The Five-Seven-Four Devotional has 3 parts.

1) Read a Chapter in the Book of Acts 5 days a week.

2) Pray through the 7 prayer points.
– Pray to grow in Christ
– Pray that COTH fulfills it’s vision to reach the 574
– Pray for your personal needs to be supplied
– Pray for specific people to be healed
– Pray for your family
– Pray that God uses you to reach other people
– Pray that doors of opportunity will be opened for you

3) Target 4 people for Christ.

Here are the scriptures for today with some of my thoughts afterwards.

Acts 22
New International Version (NIV)
22 1 “Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense.”

2 When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic, they became very quiet.

Then Paul said: 3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. 4 I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, 5 as the high priest and all the Council can themselves testify. I even obtained letters from them to their associates in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.

6 “About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. 7 I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?’

8 “‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked.

“ ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. 9 My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me.

10 “‘What shall I do, Lord?’ I asked.

“ ‘Get up,’ the Lord said, ‘and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.’ 11 My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me.

12 “A man named Ananias came to see me. He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there. 13 He stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very moment I was able to see him.

14 “Then he said: ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. 15 You will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away,calling on his name.’

17 “When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying at the temple, I fell into a trance 18 and saw the Lord speaking to me. ‘Quick!’ he said. ‘Leave Jerusalem immediately, because the people here will not accept your testimony about me.’

19 “‘Lord,’ I replied, ‘these people know that I went from one synagogue to another to imprison and beat those who believe in you. 20 And when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’

21 “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’ ”

Paul the Roman Citizen

22 The crowd listened to Paul until he said this. Then they raised their voices and shouted, “Rid the earth of him! He’s not fit to live!”

23 As they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and flinging dust into the air, 24 the commander ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks. He directed that he be flogged and interrogated in order to find out why the people were shouting at him like this. 25 As they stretched him out to flog him, Paul said to the centurion standing there, “Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been found guilty?”

26 When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and reported it. “What are you going to do?” he asked. “This man is a Roman citizen.”

27 The commander went to Paul and asked, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?”

“Yes, I am,” he answered.

28 Then the commander said, “I had to pay a lot of money for my citizenship.”

“But I was born a citizen,” Paul replied.

29 Those who were about to interrogate him withdrew immediately. The commander himself was alarmed when he realized that he had put Paul, a Roman citizen, in chains.

Paul Before the Sanhedrin

30 The commander wanted to find out exactly why Paul was being accused by the Jews. So the next day he released him and ordered the chief priests and all the members of the Sanhedrin to assemble. Then he brought Paul and had him stand before them.

V.2. They listened to him when they thought he was one of them. We need to try to build bridges with people if we are going to reach them.

V.3-20. He tells the whole story and they are sitting on the edge of their seats. He basically just told them that I am just like you in all of these ways.

V.21-22. Bringing God to the Gentiles was totally off limits, Even though the Old Testament had prophecied it many times. Strangely enough, churches that actually reach people for Christ are still rare to this day.

V.25-26. When the law can be used to help the cause of Christ and help build His kingdom, we should not be afraid to use it.