The Northview Blog

stories of community, faith, and values

Walking in someone else’s shoes

Posted by on Oct 23, 2010

by James Young

Kim Daniels attended Northview’s West Lafayette campus the first day it opened back in 2007.

At that time, the new campus was looking for outreach projects to become involved within the local community. Kim felt a calling to walk for a cause that was near and dear to her and her family for years. She captained her team-which was actually comprised of her Life Group-in the Memory Walk to support Alzheimer’s. At the age of 66, Kim’s father, Don Weaver, was diagnosed with the disease which also claimed the lives of his five siblings.

Don lost his battle with the disease in November 2009.

After receiving a lung transplant in 1993, Kim was diagnosed with lymphoma and passed away earlier this year in February. They are survived by Karen Weaver, who is Kim’s mother and Don’s wife of 47 years.

Karen has captained Team Northview at the Alzheimer’s Walk for the past three years now. The one-mile walk was held in the neighborhood around Cumberland Park in West Lafayette and raised more than $47,000 to help fund research against this dreadful disease.

Karen continues to act as power of attorney for Don’s 79 year-old brother who is in the Indiana Veterans’ Home with Alzheimer’s.

Don struggled with Alzheimer’s for nine years of his life here. A retired mechanic, in 1996, the disease eventually rendered him unable to even check the oil. Don was unable to speak the last two years and Karen stated, “The wear and tear on the care giver is tremendous because they become increasingly dependent.”

During the event on Oct. 10, the Hatke family from Boone County spoke to kick off the Walk. Mike Hatke 47, father and husband was recently diagnosed and has been placed on disability. His 14 year old son, Jason, inquired if ‘my dad will actually know it’s me when I graduate high school.’

Karen’s heart immediately went out to the Hatke family because ‘what Mrs. Hatke is experiencing is a mirror image of what I went through.’

Karen says she is “thankful to God for the people of Northview Church”, characterizing its members as “common, every-day passionate people” and added, “The Life Groups are great!”

Late last summer Kim wrote a short essay about her father before he passed away in the fall. Don had lost recognition of his family for two years at that point and wasn’t calling them by name anymore. He called Kim his ‘baby girl’ for awhile until his memory had completely faded.

That is an example of how this disease devastates the victim’s loved ones.

In the paper, Kim recounted her father’s upbringing in a small town and how sports were intertwined into the fabric of growing up there, and the stories that spanned the generations therein-a favorite being how Don had broken his arm pitching in a baseball game. She went on to tell of her parents’ meeting on a blind date upon his home from the army, his working as a mechanic at a filling station for the first half of his career before he went to work for Purdue University’s Fire and Safety Department until retirement.

As all people their teen years, Kim went through the same confrontational stage. She emphasized being in these times and butting heads with her father when in her youth.

‘Because of this nasty disease called Alzheimer’s, those and many other moments are gone, but I’ll always be daddy’s little girl,” she said.

When asked about its being part of the Memory Walk has shown her about Northview, Karen said, “[It brought] people in the church, both young and old, together for a common cause.”

And that it makes her “feel good that they want to do something to help.”

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What holds us back from freedom

Posted by on Oct 21, 2010

BY AMYRA

It’s strange how we don’t know just what is holding us back from true freedom in Christ until we search for it. For me, Free* has been a chance to understand many limitations that I have in my life – ones that I did not even know existed.

Until I began this spiritual growth campaign, I had never really recognized that: I have to please everyone – to the point where I change who I am, and I’m afraid of God’s dreams for my life because I fear failure and embarrassment.

I’ve found that most of the limitations in my life relate back to my desire to be liked and accepted by everyone I meet. I suppose the reason I did not realize that this desire was hindering my freedom was because it never seemed like a bad thing.

It wasn’t until I was going through the exercises in my journal that I realized how much being such a people-pleaser has changed my school, work, home and social life.

I find myself transforming into the friend a certain person wants me to be. So then I pride myself in having so many friends and acquaintances, when in reality, so many of those “friends” love the “me” that I have personalized for them.

In week three, when we chose a verse in our journals that really spoke to us, I chose Galatians 1:10: “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

This verse has made me remember the dreams that God has given my life – dreams of serving him in some serious ways. Yet this verse also shows me that the reason I fear His dreams and plans is because I have been drifting from being His servant.

When I’m not serving Him and not focusing on Him as my reason for living, I lose sight of the fact that everything I am is because of His glorious plan for my life up to this point– He has never let me down before, and I have no reason not to trust Him.

A line in one of my favorite gospel songs is this: “I don’t believe He brought me this far to leave me.”

Seriously, when I begin to doubt God, I just remember how much He’s brought me through, and how He would never save me from eternal death in order to forget about my earthly life.

So, breaking free from the belief that I need to conform is requiring an intense amount of faith in Christ.

I cannot break free on my own. Cannot.

Once I first accepted that my life was heading down a sinful and God-less path, and once I gave control back to Him, HE began untangling the web of chains that my heart has been under. All I need is faith that He is undoing the mess I made of myself.

Thank God for His forgiveness and that when we call for help, He doesn’t say, “I told you so” and leave us to fix our own problems. He loves, He heals, He saves.

With the help and prayers of my best friends and my incredible small group, I am now in such a long, but amazing, process of learning how to only be one person – the child who God not only wants me to be, but made me to be.

As a church body, we’re getting back to the followers that He intended for us to be. A people who are free from earthly limitations.

My prayer is that we continue to use Free*, this spiritual growth campaign, to be His body – a body that is not bound by chains of destruction, but instead freed from “everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” – Hebrews 12:1.

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Healing bodies and souls at Brookside

Posted by on Oct 18, 2010

by Scott Hiller

When God brings together a human need and our desire to serve, amazing things grow.

That’s what’s happening at Brookside.

Urban Pastor Aaron Shelby had noticed first hand the tangible medical needs of those in the Brookside community.

Colleen Adcock, a Registered Nurse with 32 years experience, had just completed a Health Ministry Workshop at Community East Hospital.

The Brookside Health Ministry began as God put the pieces together. When asked about the idea for this ministry, she says that it started at the workshop she attended at Community East Hospital.

“Needless to say, it was incredible. God spoke to me about starting a Health Ministry at Brookside,” Adcock said.

This fell right in line with Shelby’s view of having a church that, in his words, “is relevant to the needs of the community.”

A match made in heaven, truly!

The Health Ministry is just starting out.

Adcock said, “Much of the focus of faith community nursing is educating, referring and advocacy for people in the congregation. We will be providing monthly blood pressure checks, but the majority will not be hands-on nursing/healthcare.”

The ministry has its own office that is located on what is known as “the path.” This is the hallway leading from the sanctuary that everyone passes on their way out. Besides a private office, there will also be bulletin boards located nearby with information about services and upcoming events so that people can quickly become aware of health-related services in the community.

A Health Ministry Committee has been set up to help direct the activities, and Shelby is working hard to identify existing medical resources in their Brookside neighborhood, or what he refers to as “the impact zone.”  The idea is to try to fill in the gaps that are missing, instead of duplicating efforts with other sources of aid already in the neighborhood.

“We need persons with healthcare training and other caring persons willing to visit shut-ins or offer a ride to a clinic if needed. We could definitely use a person to make calls to organizations and request their free resources,” Adcock said. “Most of all, we need persons to show the love of Jesus to our congregation in a real way—to be the hands and feet of our Lord.”

Anyone interested in volunteer opportunities may e-mail urban@northviewchurch.us.

Adcock meets with each volunteer after they go through the Urban Ministry orientation to explore their passions.

That’s how it could start for you!

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Women Connecting One On One at West Lafayette

Posted by on Oct 15, 2010

by Brooke Reynolds

As simple as it seems, sometimes it’s tough for women to ask for help. Now there’s a women’s mentoring program at Northview Church’s West Lafayette campus that makes the asking a bit easier.

“As women, we sometimes feel we have to be perfect but feel so flawed,” said Betty Charlesworth, founder and director of the women’s mentoring program called Women Connecting One On One. “We are stronger than we think. With God’s help, we can overcome and learn and grow both emotionally and spiritually.”

That kind of growth sounds great, but it can also seem like a tall order to fill – especially when you feel like you’re going at it blindly and alone. It’s easier to address the challenges associated with betterment when you’re partnered with a reliable friend who will be a good listener and help you achieve your goals.

Women Connecting One On One is a seven-week program that encourages women who were paired by Charlesworth to meet once a week and work through a thought-provoking booklet. The booklet addresses a new topic each week, and it encourages conversations focused around the participants’ relationships with God and people who are important to them.

Anyone can sign up to be a mentee. It doesn’t matter what you may be going through – whether you’re dealing with personal struggles or just wanting to have a friend in the church. Charlesworth said she tries to match up women who have similar personalities and circumstances. She wants women to feel comfortable, talk freely and know they won’t be judged.

Charlesworth is also hunting for mentors.

“I am looking for women that have a right relationship with God and are confident in sharing their faith,” Charlesworth said. “I hunt for different life situations, such as a widow, or someone that has been divorced at a young age and has grown through trials and become stronger for it.”

“I want ages from just-out-of-college on up,” she said. “We have lots of college students attending church and some need a friend to connect with. Some of the most important qualities of the mentors are that they must be non-judgmental and won’t repeat what is talked about.”

Bev Carnes, 61, is a mentor for Women Connecting One On One. She’s able to offer a unique perspective and important life lessons to her mentees. Here, she gives her testimony about what it’s like to be a mentor and talks about what she’s learned from it, too:

“I have been married for 37 years, and we have two daughters, two sons-in-law and four grandsons. With all of the relationship webs I have been part of over the years, I have learned to trust God even when I do not understand a circumstance, and I have learned to count on the Word for strength and guidance. Everyone’s life experiences are so different, but there is always a need to have someone who will listen without judging and care about their struggles and joys.

“I have been involved in two mentoring relationships so far. I have been so touched by the pain and loneliness that these young women have shared with me. The thing that has really struck me is that they felt like their situations and struggles were going to be part of their life forever. Seeing them come to the realization that this is a lie of the enemy and that God would indeed change their hearts over time and fill their needs was amazing.

“This is a richly rewarding ministry for good listeners. It is not so much about giving advice, but about walking beside them and sharing my struggles, too. I find myself reading scripture I have not read in a long time because the mentees’ challenges are so different. This ministry has breathed new life into my spiritual growth, too.

“I am hopeful that God will use my life for His glory. Mentoring is a great way to reach out to other women and extend His love.”

If you are interested in becoming a mentor or mentee through Women Connecting One On One, please contact Betty Charlesworth at bjcharle@comcast.net.

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The Prayer Experience has begun

Posted by on Oct 15, 2010

by Kim Morrison

What does God long for us to do?  Be with Him…talk to Him…trust Him.

A unique opportunity to spend one-on-one time with God starts today and runs October 15–24 at the Carmel campus. The Prayer Experience in West Lafayette starts October 18 and ends on October 23.

The Prayer Experience has been designed to encourage us toward better communion with God through prayer. Many people feel uncomfortable when praying, due, in part, because there are a lot of preconceived notions associated with prayer.

How should I pray?

When should I pray?

Am I saying the right words?

This Experience is designed to allow you to let go of those notions and just simply be with your Father. It is an open opportunity to walk and talk with God.

Administrative Pastor and Director of Prayer Ministry Rick Thompson describes the Free* Prayer Experience as “a series of encounters with God that allows you to open your heart towards Him and His heart towards yours. The Experience takes about one hour as you journey through different environments of sights and sounds and opportunities to be completely silent.”

On this guided journey you will travel through several environments where you can visualize particular events or topics in the Bible that relate to the Free* spiritual growth campaign.

Each person will be given an MP3 player to use for the Experience, or the files can be pre-loaded on personal MP3 players by going to www.northviewchurch.us/free. These tracks provide music and sounds to enhance your individual experience in each environment.

Last year’s spiritual growth campaign marked the first Prayer Experience at Northview.  Approximately 1,000 people of all ages completed the journey. At the end, many of them paused to write a message to God on the prayer wall before leaving.

I spent time reading hundreds of those messages. Over and over, I read how God revealed himself to each person.  The writers of those messages were humbled, thankful and healed. One individual wrote, “Thank you for seeking me when I did not know you – for pursuing me when I ignored you – for loving me when I sinned against you.”

Many messages revealed how the writers felt loved, safe and affirmed in their faith.

“I am your bride. You love me just as I am.”

“You are so much bigger than any battle.”

“I am your son and now I understand what you are asking of me. I understand what you mean when you say to LOVE!”

Betty Hamer, a volunteer for last year’s experience, commented, “I could definitely see that God was behind the Experience. To see and hear people’s reactions, their brokenness, was very emotional.”

The Free* Prayer Experience will reaffirm that God wants you to open your heart and be free to share your inner most thoughts with Him.

God uniquely created you. He knows how you think, and why you feel the way you do. He knows your heart. Most importantly, He wants you to know He is right here with you.

Take this opportunity to let God minister to your heart.

Free* Prayer Experience at Carmel Campus

October 15-24

Monday–Friday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Saturday, October 16: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sunday, October 17: 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturday, October 23: Closed

Sunday: 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Other questions? Visit www.northviewchurch.us/free!

The Prayer Experience at the West Lafayette Campus

October 18-23

Monday, October 18 through Friday, October 22: 7 a.m.-9 a.m., 12-1 p.m., 5-9 p.m.

Saturday, October 23: 8 a.m.-noon

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