Archives For Misc.

I blog about a lot of controversial things and receive my share of flak for it, but I anticipate today’s article will top them all.  Today we are diving deep into the heart of America to shine some light on the one and only:


You would be hard pressed to find a bigger fan of football than me during the first 33 years of my life.  I was born into a Packer and Badger family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  While as a youngster I always pulled for these teams, my independence sprouted at age 5 when my family moved to Kentucky and I started liking the teams that were on TV, namely the Philadelphia Eagles and the Michigan Wolverines.  I’ve owned an extensive wardrobe of Eagle and Wolverine garb throughout my life and can pretty much name you every player and stat line from these teams from the past 25 years.

I started playing John Madden Football for Super Nintendo when it came out in 1991, with steady doses of Tecmo Bowl and Tecmo Super Bowl prior to that–and I’ll still whip any of your tails at any of the above.

We moved to Ohio when I was in 3rd grade.  I soon began idolizing Troy High School football, as most of my town did.  I played at Troy from grades 7-12, my sophomore year getting to be on the roster with the 1998 Mr. Ohio Football (best player in Ohio) Ryan Brewer, who went on to be Outback Bowl MVP at the University of South Carolina, and Kris Dielman, a 2x NFL All-Pro and 4x NFL Pro-Bowler with the Chargers.

After high school, I played as much flag football as I could, continued my Madden addiction, and dominated* my friends in fantasy football (which I began playing in 8th grade).

*ok, the dominated memory is a little foggy…

Noah Filipiak Capital City Stealth football

Noah Filipiak playing for the Capital City Stealth in 2012 (a.k.a. the glory years, pre-ACL tear #3)

In 2012 I took a summer work sabbatical and strapped the pads on one last time, playing for Lansing’s semi-pro team, the Capital City Stealth.  I played safety, was a team-captain and had 7 interceptions prior to re-tearing my ACL. Continue Reading…

Crossroads Church's Youth Director Kyle Lake leading the Summer Lights summer youth outreach

Crossroads Church’s Youth Director Kyle Lake leading the Summer Lights summer youth outreach

Kyle Lake is our Youth Director at Crossroads Church.  He does an awesome job leading our youth group of around 30 teens, most of whom are from the inner city and whose parents don’t attend church with them.  He also leads our summer park ministries.  There are two of these each week, at two different parks, with each park bringing in around 40-70 youth per week (over 350 unique youth over the summer).  (Check out photos here)

Kyle is called to go to seminary.  He’s found an awesome program at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary called the Urban Cohort.  It is a once-a-week program for urban ministers only, with a majority of the tuition coming from a GRTS scholarship.  It takes 3 years, doing one class per semester and you graduate with a master’s degree.  Kyle never finished his bachelor’s degree at Wayne State University, but GRTS/Cornerstone has made arrangements for him to get his bachelor’s equivalency through their adult degree program on the undergrad side so he can be official for his accredited master’s degree!  Kyle can start these classes in October and begin seminary course work in January, but here’s the hang-up:

It will cost $3367.74 to get Kyle’s transcripts from Wayne State.  This is tuition and fee bills from Kyle’s time there.  Did I mention that Kyle took a HUGE pay cut to work as Youth Director at Crossroads?  He was making a great salary with benefits working for Apple and now makes $30,000/year with no benefits at Crossroads.  (We’d pay him more if we could!)

Will you help us raise the $3367.74 needed to get Kyle’s transcripts from Wayne State so he can start seminary???

Blog Nation, we can do this!  Rather than using GoFundMe, which takes a large percentage of your gift, you can give directly to Crossroads Church on our PayPal button below.  Write “Kyle’s seminary” in the “Add special instructions to the seller” line (this will appear after you log in).  We will mail you a year-end tax deductible receipt (PayPal takes a 2.4 – 2.8% fee out of your gift, vs. GoFundMe’s 5% fee).  You can use the PayPal button below OR you can do it the old fashioned way and mail a check to Crossroads Church, 105 W. Allegan St., Lansing MI 48912.  Write your check out to Crossroads Church and write Kyle’s seminary in the memo line.

Update: 100% of the $3367.74 has come in!  Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, here we come!!!  Thank you to everyone who gave!!!!

Thank you to those who have given.  Here’s an important update about the need for this money that I didn’t know before–which is why Kyle has these fees in the first place.  Kyle enrolled for the winter 2014 semester then had a severe fire accident where he was out from work and had a lengthy hospital stay.  When Wayne State was sending him bills to pay for the 4 classes he enrolled in, he appealed it with doctor documentation.  Wayne State took away some of the tuition (around $6000) but kept on the administration fees, kept $1500 of tuition on, and other fees (late payment, fitness center, registration fee, and collection fee).  We still have $2600 more to raise!

Let’s get this Ninja Turtle into seminary!
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Crossroads Church's Kyle Lake teaching the youth group

Crossroads Church’s Kyle Lake teaching the youth group


Crossroads Church Youth Director Kyle Lake thinking he is Brett Favre at the Summer Lights summer youth program

Crossroads Church Youth Director Kyle Lake thinking he is Brett Favre at the Summer Lights summer youth outreach

What does the Bible say about tithing and money?

Does Tithing Apply to New Testament Christians?

It was a good week to skip church a couple weeks ago: the tithing sermon!  Just kidding, of course, but it can certainly feel that way can’t it?


Tithing (giving 10% of your income to the local church) has become a debated issue in some church circles and theological circles.  New Testament (new covenant) Christians are not under the Old Testament (old covenant) law, so can churches teach tithing based on the Old Testament commands for it? Continue Reading…

Top 10 Ways to Know that You are Passive Aggressive:

1. You use happy face emojis / emoticons in sentences that aren’t happy 🙂


2. You use “lol!” after an insult you don’t want to be taken as insulting.  People who write “lol” after making a cloaked insult sure aren’t fooling anyone, lol!


3. You use “just sayin'” in any sentence, ever.  Just sayin’.


4. You would leave your church without telling your pastor you are leaving (or why you are leaving)…(or you’d lie about why you’re leaving)…Seriously folks, we can handle it and in fact long for it so we can know how we can improve.  I promise you it will make that awkward moment we run into each other at the Kroger dairy aisle much less awkward for both of us.


5. You unfriend people on Facebook as your solution to a conflict (hint: blocking me would be much more effective; then I won’t see your face along with “you share 25 mutual friends” in my suggested friends-to-add section the next time I open Facebook)


6. You use your Facebook posts to anonymously vent at someone who obviously knows you are talking about them.  Yes, I knew you were talking about me…

Continue Reading…

What does the Bible say about anger?

Ditch Your Goals for Adventures, Ditch Your Anger for Peace

I’ve struggled with anger for most of my life.

There are generally two types of anger.  One is projected toward a specific person or persons like the spray of a machine gun, the other is brooding and internal and tends to explode when disrupted; like impatience slathered in gasoline.  A spark is bound to find it eventually.

Both wreak havoc in families.

Both wreak havoc in relationships.

Both are huge blockades to peace.

Both seem impossible to manage or control.

It’s one thing to hear a great sermon on anger and say, “Yes.  I will stop getting angry.” Continue Reading…