Things have gotten hairy

Friday, March 27, 2009
Sorry i haven't been able to get to this over the past week.

This will be brief but let me give you a quick update. This is bad, I was at homes yesterday that had water halfway up the sandbags and the water is 23 feet above the flood stage. The have evacuated the most in dager parts of the FM (Fargo Moorhead) area. Because of this there is a sense of fear and tension. Many people have already left but many are staying behind. The water is supposed to crest on Sat between 41-43 feet this is an all time record for the red river in Fargo. The biggest flood here was in the late 1800's. The problem with this crest is it is not supposed to recede until 3-7 days later. That is a lot of pressure for a long time on a very vulnerable structure.

On a family note Abby and Julia are safely on their way to St Cloud MN where they will wait for a few days until the danger has passed. I am waiting it out until, is such a time occurs, an evacuation takes place. Our prayer is that it won't come to that but it is a lot easier to get me in and out of places than my family so their safety was first priority.
Secondlyh I am staying here to help wherever I can and minister to our friends we have made in thier time of greatest need. Please pray for the safety of our city and the people we love so much.

Flood News

Thursday, March 26, 2009
I just talked to John, he has been at the south end of Fargo-Moorhead all day helping with the sandbagging efforts. He said it was amazing to see how much water there is on the other side of the sandbag dikes they are building.

The people of Fargo-Moorhead, along with volunteers from all over the country, have built 12 miles worth of sandbag dikes in just a few days. Keep them in your prayers.

Again, John, Abby, and Julia are doing great, no need to worry about them.

Keep up with the flood coverage at the Fargo Forum Website.

Watch this video of the river by WDAY

Bracing for the big one...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

If you have watched the national news the last few days then this is no news to you, Fargo is gearing up for possibly the worst flood in the cities history. You can read all about it on the the Fargo Forum (the city newspaper) website.

They are projecting over 40 feet of flooding possibly by the end of today or tomorrow morning. I just checked it here and it is now at 38.43 feet (major flood stage is 30 feet). If you want to get updates via twitter you can go here.

Please keep John, Abby, and baby Julia in your prayers. They are safe and seem not to be threatened by the flood directly, but it does affect travel and stress level quite a bit.

In other news...

I (Jeremy) am making my first radio debut this Saturday in Jacksonville. Actually my father-in-law is making the real debut. He has started a weekly radio show called "Journeys with Christ" that will air on WAY Radio 550 AM in Jacksonville every Saturday night at 11pm Eastern time. It is a real neat story of how this got started, I'll share the quick version.

For over a year now my father-in-law, Carldon Lahey, has been running a nonprofit foundation called Christ's Starfish Foundation. Their primary focus has been helping kids with noncancerous diseases in the Jacksonville area (there are two foundations in Jax that help kids with cancer).

The foundation started after Carldon had a health scare well over a year ago. It really woke him up to what he was living for and what he was doing to make a difference in the lives of hurting people. So he started the foundation as a way to share the love of Christ with hurting people.

That is where the radio show comes in. Carldon realized that there were all kinds of ordinary people doing extraordinary things and their stories needed to be told. So back in November we started working on the first show. Just this past weekend with finished it up and sent it off to the station. I play a very small role in the whole thing, but I am truly proud to be a part of it and honored to have a father-in-law that is so passionate about helping others.

You can listen to the show via the web here, just click the "Listen Online" button. It starts at 11pm Eastern Standard Time (that's 10pm CT for those in Bowling Green, Nashville, Fargo).
Monday, March 16, 2009
Look at what my fam did for Julia, toooo sweet!

Click Here

Jules is here!!!

Well to all of you she is here. A whooping 7 lbs 34 ounces. 21 inches long!!

My old co-workers at Jersey Mikes

Friday, March 13, 2009
Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Well everyone is asking!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009
UPDATED 12:05 p.m.
FARGO – Blizzard conditions have brought the Fargo-Moorhead area to a standstill, closing businesses, schools and government offices and forcing the city of Fargo to close one of its main east-west thoroughfares.

By: Forum staff report, INFORUM

UPDATED 14:25 p.m.

FARGO – Blizzard conditions have brought the Fargo-Moorhead area to a standstill, closing businesses, schools and government offices and forcing the city of Fargo to close one of its main east-west thoroughfares.

Conditions are so bad, the United States Postal Service announced at 1:30 p.m. that mail delivery had been suspended in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

Minnesota officials closed Interstate 94 from Moorhead to Fergus Falls and Highway 10 from Moorhead to Lake Park at 11 a.m.

Fargo closed 19th Avenue North between 18th Street and Dakota Drive shortly after 10 a.m., according to a news release from the Fargo Public Works Department.

Fargo Police Sgt. Greg Stone said officers responded to crashes at the intersection of 19th Avenue and Dakota Drive, and visibility on 19th was greatly reduced.

Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist advised residents not “to go anywhere unless they have to,” as roads were quickly blowing shut with snow.

“The deputies are getting stuck. We’re heading up right now to rescue one near Felton. It’s just getting to be a pain,” he said.

Stone said he'd heard an unsubstantiated rumor that officers were pulling people over just for driving in the blizzard.

"We're not doing that. I mean, if you drive around a barricade on a closed street, you're subject to being cited. But we're not stopping people that are out going to work or doing whatever."

Hector International Airport remained open, but a number of flights had been cancelled.

The cities of Fargo and West Fargo, and the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, have issued no travel advisories for the city and rural areas as roads continue to fill in with blowing snow, while shopping centers and MeritCare clinics will not be open.

MeritCare locations in Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo - including walk-in clinics and FastTracks - will close at 10 a.m. today. Innovis Health announced its clinics in Fargo and Moorhead will close at noon.

The number of cancellations have poured into The Forum this morning. Check weather-related announcements on to see the latest.

WDAY Radio News is reporting both West Acres and Moorhead Center shopping malls will be closed. However, the Herberger's store in Moorhead will be open.

The city of Fargo announced just before 10 a.m. that all non-essential city offices will close at 11 a.m. and reopen Wednesday, weather permitting.

MeritCare Hospital announced that clinics in Halstad, Mahnomen and Ottertail in Minnesota and Hillsboro and Mayville in North Dakota will be closed.

Elsewhere in Minnesota, MeritCare clinics in Hawley, Perham and New York Mills will be closing at noon today.

MeritCare's emergency center at 720 4 St. N., Fargo, will remain open.

The Fargo Park District announced it was closing all of its facilities and canceling programs for the day.

Courts Plus Fitness Center & Court Plus Southwest plan to close at 10 a.m.

Four vehicles were abandoned on Cass County 10 this morning between West Fargo and Casselton, Cass County Chief Deputy Jim Thoreson said.

Drifts on the road were 4 feet high just west of West Fargo this morning, Thoreson said at 8 a.m., adding he expected the road to be closed soon.

“As soon as they make a pass, it’s closing in behind them,” he said of the snowplows.

No serious accidents had been reported, he said.

“I’m hoping people just kind of hunker down and ride this thing out at their homes,” he said.

Interstate 94 remains closed between Fargo and Jamestown.

In Fargo, a water main break flooded 10th Street at Seventh Avenue North with water up to a foot deep in the gutters and 6 inches deep across the street, said Reid Graf, the city’s water department supervisor.

City crews got the water flowing down storm sewer drains and were moving slush off the roadway as they attempted to shut off the main about 7:45 a.m., Graf said. Age and weather both likely contributed to the break, he said.

Traffic was being diverted. One lane of 10th Street may open this morning, but it will probably be mid- to late afternoon before the road is fully opened, Graf said.

The Fargo Public Works Department said it’s becoming difficult to keep primary and secondary roads clear, and some may be closed if public safety becomes a concern. Residential roads won’t be plowed until storm conditions improve and all primary routes are in good condition.

Dozens of metro area business were closing.

“Business operations should be advised that throughout the day weather conditions are going to becoming increasingly worse and travel will become nearly impossible for employees trying to return home in afternoon hours,” a Public Works news release stated.

Any stranded vehicles found on city snow emergency routes or other primary routes will be towed at the owner’s expense, the release stated.

The Cass County Courthouse will open at noon today.

All morning and afternoon appearances scheduled at Fargo Municipal Court were canceled. Court offices will remain open to provide other services.

The city of Fargo announced that all residential and commercial garbage pickup will be suspended at 11 a.m.; the landfill will also be closed at 11 a.m.

Metro Area Transit will cancel all bus service starting at 11:15 a.m. Storm detours will be implemented at 10:15 a.m. Detour maps are available online at

All Fargo Public Library locations are closing at 11 a.m.

Highway 46 near Litchville in Barnes County, N.D., was closed after two jack-knifed semis blocked the road.

Tonight's Fargodome concert by the Beatles tribute act, Rain, has been rescheduled for Wednesday night at 7:30.

What an orientation!!!

Monday, March 9, 2009
So I (Jeremy) am here in Fargo for the week and I must say it has been quite the orientation.

A group of college students from Western (John and I's alma mater) are here working with us this week, doing some discovery and scouting for us. I am also here looking for a place for Pam and I for our big move in May. It has been quite eventful thus far, here are some interesting highlights:

-I email Pastor Dude Garrett at Temple Baptist a few weeks ago about borrowing a car for the week. Here was his response:

I recently gave a minivan to a blind man in our church. He of course cannot drive, but wanted to have the car for his college daughter when she visits. However, the doors don't work properly. You must use the sliding door to enter the vehicle. When I gave it to him, he said he might have someone who fixes cars look at the door problem, but I don't know if he did. If you are interested in using it "as is" then I suspect it would be available.

My dad always told me that beggars can't be choosers so I accepted the offer and went to pick the van up on Friday. After an hour of digging it out (it was lodged in a couple feet of snow), jumping it (the battery was dead), and climbing in the sliding door I was on my way.

-Remember the door problem mentioned in the email, yeah that was no joke. At one point while driving to John and Abby's place I was talking on the phone, making a right turn, and reaching out to grab the swing driver door. It was quite invigorating.

-Keeping on the subject of the van, while driving home from the church the group is staying at, I was backed into by a cab, yet no visible damage was done to the van, further supporting my theory that the worse the car looks and functions the more indestructible it is.

-This morning we awoke to something North Dakotans are quite accustomed to, snow.

Needless to say we are really getting a great orientation to the Upper Northwest today and tomorrow. Here is what we have to look forward to tomorrow:

Tuesday, Mar 10
High: 10°F RealFeel®: -14°F
Blizzard conditions with strong winds, low visibility and heavy snow, accumulating 6-10"; colder
Winds: N at 28mph
Wind Gusts: 56 mph
Amount of Precipitation: 0.25in
Amount of Snow: 6.6in
Hours of Precipitation: 12 Hrs
Low: -5°F RealFeel®: -38°F
Very windy; mostly cloudy with snow tapering off, 1-3", blowing snow

We are living it up, keep on praying for us, especially for the group to get back to KY on time.

Heres what's going on!

Sunday, March 8, 2009
This article is very telling and convicting about the state of Churches nowadays and how we can be apart of the remedy.

Churches blame empty pews on fewer babies

Denominations see membership drop as boomers age

By Bob Smietana • THE TENNESSEAN • March 8, 2009

Too many old people. Not enough babies.

That's what almost every major Christian denomination in the United States has in common — from Southern Baptists to Missouri Synod Lutherans.

In fact, 21 of the 25 largest groups in the United States reported a decline or flat line in membership last year, according to the 2009 edition of the Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches. In most cases, the so-called birth dearth is the reason.

Carl Royster, a Church of Christ statistician, says that churches are seeing the aftereffects of the baby boom.

For example, in the mid-20th century, conservative groups like the Southern Baptists and Church of Christ saw their membership spike. "You had humongous growth in the '40s, '50s and '60s," Royster said. "Now, the baby boomers are beginning to die off."

Those boomers had fewer kids than their parents, leaving fewer descendants to replace them in the pews.

Royster said that he's not panicking about the church decline. But he's worried about the future.

"The sky is not falling yet," he said. "But in a few years, it might be."

Paul Prill, professor of communication at Lipscomb University and the part-time preacher at Acklen Avenue Church of Christ, says the congregation once averaged about 120 but fell to 50 when kids in the church grew up and moved away and older members became too frail to attend.

In recent years, young married couples settling in the area have begun returning, at a trickle's pace, bringing the congregation back to about 80 members.

But it's a slow process, Prill said.

"It's hard to reach people who are in their 20s and are not going to church," he said.

Trend hits conservatives

Until recently, the membership decline had affected mostly mainline Protestant denominations, like Episcopalians and Methodists. Now the nation's two largest groups, Southern Baptists and Roman Catholics, are watching their numbers drop. In the 2009 Yearbook, Roman Catholics lost about 398,000 members, or 0.59 percent. Southern Baptists lost
about 40,000 members, or 0.24 percent.

That's still relatively healthy compared with other denominations.

The United Church of Christ, for example, lost more than 6 percent of its members. The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church was down more than 3 percent. The mainline Evangelical Lutheran Church was down 1.35 percent, while the more conservative Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod lost 1.44 percent.

On the other hand, four denominations reported growth.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gained 1.63 percent. The Assemblies of God were up 0.96 percent, the Jehovah's Witnesses grew by 2.12 percent, and the Church of God, based in Cleveland, Tenn., was up 2.04 percent.

But John O'Hara, statistician for the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, said even those groups are struggling.

"They may not have lost members but their rate of growth has slowed," he said.

Then there's the issue of U.S. population growth. While membership in the largest 25 churches dropped by 0.49 percent in total, the U.S. population grew by an estimated .98 percent.

"It's not just a matter of decline," said Conrad Hackett, a postdoctoral fellow in the Population Research CenterUniversity of Texas at Austin. "It's a question of not keeping up with population growth." at the

Hackett agrees that most of the decline of mainline churches can be linked to declining fertility rates. As early as the 1930s, women in more progressive or liberal denominations had fewer children than women in conservative churches. Now conservative Christian women are having fewer children as well.

"The fact of the matter is that there are demographic trends that hit the liberal or progressive denominations earlier," Hackett said, "and some of these trends are now catching up with the more conservative denominations."

Go forth and multiply

Ed Stetzer, director of Southern Baptist-owned LifeWay Research, believes that denominations got complacent during the baby boom.

"We had home-field advantage," he said. "We had gotten used to being the place where people went when they had spiritual needs. And now we are like bears fed by tourists, and the tourists are gone."

Until the 1960s, Christian denominations faced little competition in the United States. Until that time, immigration from non-Christian parts of the world was largely banned.

Once those immigration barriers were lifted, people from other faiths, such as Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists, came here in large numbers. But established churches weren't ready to reach out to people of other faiths or other ethnic backgrounds.

"We send missionaries overseas," Royster said, "but we neglected our own backyard."

Now, several denominations have begun intensive outreach efforts to reverse the decline in their members. The Southern Baptist Convention, for example, starts more than 1,000 new congregations every year. The United Methodist Church and Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod also plan to aggressively plant new churches.

Those efforts will help, Hackett said, but not as much as having more babies.

Sociologists of religion like Rodney Stark argue that the early Christian church grew from a small group of followers to the dominant religion in the Roman Empire by having more kids than non-Christians.

Churches might want to try that approach again, Hackett said.

"The fact is that one of the most reliable predictors of growth is fertility," Hackett said. "In the long term, for denominations, having members who have more children is one of the most likely means of growing the denominations."

Books that have been very influential to me and Mission Fargo

Saturday, March 7, 2009
No Perfect People Allowed: Creating a Come-as-You-Are Culture in the Church
-John Burke-

They Like Jesus but Not the Church: Insights from Emerging Generations
-Dan Kimball-

Confessions of a Reformission Rev.: Hard Lessons from an Emerging Missional Church
The Radical Reformission: Reaching Out without Selling Out
Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods
-Mark Driscoll-

Total Church: A Radical Reshaping around Gospel and Community -Steve Timmis & Tim Chester-

Simple Church: Returning to God's Process for Making Disciples-Thom Rainer-

Please Know that I do not agree with everything any of these authors say and think but I do find a lot of good in different things they say and believe it is well worth the time to read and ponder.

what we've been up to

Friday, March 6, 2009
I got advice from some wise sages a few months ago and one of the things they told me to do was do things that you and Abby enjoy but might be more difficult when you have a little one.

So we have been doing just that!

We've been frequenting restaurants that might be a little more difficult to go to-

Double dates have been a regular occurrence-

For 6 weeks we had out birthing/parenting classes every wednesday night well we replaced them with movies, abby and I love movies. We did a midnight showing of one the other night and it was so much fun-

Lots of us time and it has been soo wonderful-

Well today is 3-6-09 this is the day Abby wanted to give birth so lets see what happens. Alll of our friends up here have gone early so .... Our due date is Mon but here's hoping!

still no little one here

Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Keep holding on soon and very soon we will have the pitter patter of little feet (well not really but it sounded funny)