chadsimpkins

everyday is gameday…

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nascar nation!

Posted by slykwyk on June 9, 2010

A little over a week ago, I went down to Charlotte with my friend Mike Eppes (not the comedian, my friend isn’t that funny) for the Coca-Cola 600.

Igrew up in NC and NASCAR is a way of life for many people here, but it was my FIRST time attending a race.  I learned a few tidbits while there I thought I would share…

1 – It’s ok to be scantily clad in public

I’m not talking about the women, but the dudes.  I have never seen so many guys without shirts!  And the truth is, 99% SHOULD have their shirts on!  I felt violated…

2 – Race car drivers going at 170 mph can see you wave to them while they are racing!

I never knew this!  The fans would wave with a whole hand or with only 1-finger as these guys zoomed on past.  I have to admit that is pretty cool that the drivers can see you wave and I guess respond.

3 – There are only 2 beers you can drink…

Bud or Miller.  You will be shot on site if you try to bring in a Guinness or a Sam Adams.  Save yourself – do NOT bring another beer anywhere near the raceway!  Or better yet, just take in your Vitamin Water like I did…

4 – Drunk people are VERY nice

Seriously, they are.  The 6 young people sitting in front of us were sunburned and drunk but they were very friendly, very kind, talkative and we had a blast with them.  Plus, they kept their shirts on!  Not sure they felt well the next day, but they were fine citizens during the race.  And I did not see 1 fight the whole time there.  Not one, which REALLY surprised me.  I don’t think Joey Logano’s dad was anywhere close…

5 – Get the radio headsets so you can listen to the drivers

You can watch TV and they give you a glimpse into what the drivers and crew chiefs talk about, but at the race you get to hear it all.  And there is good quality conversations that are happening that I can’t repeat here.  It’s worth the money!

6 – Smoking is still allowed

You can smoke ALL DAY at a race!  No limits.  I hadn’t experienced that smell in a while.  Took me back to my early days in NC.  Real nostalgic.

7 – I would go back

Yes, I admit it, I would go to another race if the opportunity came up.  Not soon, but in the future.  I would never take my kids (thats just me) but it was a great glimpse into a different culture I had not experienced, it was a look into the passion people can exude when they believe in something, it was LOUD (which was very cool), the cars were fast (we went down and stood beside the track – HOLY CRAP if one of those hit you you would be obliterated!), and it was a great time.

So send me your tickets to the next race and I will gladly use them.  And I will keep my shirt on…

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varsity update

Posted by slykwyk on May 17, 2010

A busy week last week.  We spent a few days back in Northern Virginia with family.  I do apologize to all our NOVA friends for not getting

togetheror telling you we were there.  Our weekend was so packed we hardly had time to breathe!  We’ll be back in the future, don’t worry.

So here is what is happening for us right now at Varsity Church…

Logo

We have our logo down to 2 choices.  Both look great!  One is what I would call a fun logo that could do about anything we wanted it to do (stand along, on a shirt, on a decal, etc).  The other is a little more what I call corporate, but is a smooth, good looking piece of creativity.  Hoping to get this nailed down this week!

Launch Team Party

We have our FIRST launch team party tomorrow night!  I am scared, excited, looking forward to how this church begins and grows.  I know we will have only a few people tomorrow night and I am ok with that.  We build from there.  Great stuff so say a prayer!

Fundraising

Over the last week, I have had some new opportunities that have ‘popped up’.  Really excited and anxious to see how they play out over the next few weeks.  Say a prayer!

Coaching

Enjoying coaching the Chapel Hill Dodgers baseball team – great kids!  We are 0-6 which stinks, but we look good out there and the kids are having a great time!

Keep praying and I will keep you posted.  Things are starting to take shape with each passing day…

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sticky

Posted by slykwyk on May 12, 2010

I finished reading the book of Joshua (again) yesterday.  He is one of those leaders I hope I can someday be like.  He is sticky.

No, he doesn’t cover himself in honey each morning and people stick to him.  What I mean is his vision is sticky.  It adheres to him AND the people.  Because of that stickiness, the Israelites are able to do exactly what God had always intended for them – to take the promised land.

Here are a few reasons why I think Joshua was so sticky…

1 – He focused on God

Dude always was looking for God’s guidance when he made decisions.  And the one time he didn’t, he paid the price.  Everything he said was focused on God.  Everything he did focused on God.  Every decision he made was focused on God.

2 – Be strong

These two words were like the moto for Joshua – Be Strong.  He would always remind the Israelites ‘Be strong.’  Again, a way to be focused but also a way to encourage the other leaders.  Be strong in what you do.  Be strong in how you act.  Be strong as you remember how God has brought us to this place.  Be strong when temptation hits.  Be strong.

3 – On mission

Joshua continually reminded the Israelites what the final outcome would be – the promised land.  No matter where they were in the journey, he reminded them of their mission – the promised land.  When they were winning or getting their booties kicked – remember the promised land.  He kept the mission in front of them and it didn’t waver.  It was very focused.

I wonder if as a leader I focused on God, encouraged the people, and stayed on mission where we could end up?

I wonder if our churches focused on God, encouraged people, and stayed on mission where our world would be?

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the week ahead…

Posted by slykwyk on May 4, 2010

WOW!  This week is packed with good things!  I am already looking forward to looking back on Friday afternoon and saying, “This has been a great week!”.  So what is so great about it?

  • I am meeting with a couple of local church planters, one whose team is getting set up right now.  They have no launch date, no timeline in place but are meeting in Raleigh.  The other is a church planter who came from Crosspointe Church in Cary (this is the church we hang out at).  He started a church in Raleigh that is doing great stuff.  I think they started with 30 people and have grown to over 1200 (mostly young professionals and college students).  I always learn from guys like these two!
  • Logo work is going on!  My man Alek in Poland is putting something together for Varsity right now.  He has done some amazing work from what I have seen and I am excited to see what pictures he paints for our church.
  • Website – not only are we working on our logo but also our web site.  Working with a guy out in California.  He has done some great stuff too.
  • Potential band members – Put up an ad on Craigslist for area musicians and we are starting to see connections from doing that.  Meeting with a couple of people this week who are interested in playing.
  • Setting up our launch team meetings for the next few months.  Excited to see WHO joins us!  And why!
  • I am continuing to find out how we can serve this community.  I have a couple of meetings this week talking to community leaders.  Excited about the possibilities…

Baseball games, coaching calls, fund raising calls, lots of GREAT GOD stuff going on this week!  Say a prayer…

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varsity update

Posted by slykwyk on April 30, 2010

So you want to know what is going on here in Chapel Hill and with our new church plant?  Read on…

Launch Team

We are in the process of finding our launch team and setting up our first meetings.  Getting excited to see how God builds this group!  Praying for people to join us…

Meeting locations

I began checking out some local venues for meeting space on Sundays.  We still have a time before we launch, but one thing you learn in church planting is never wait!  I found a great place in Carrboro called The ArtsCenter.  It houses 2 theaters and other rooms for use.  Working to get in to see the place soon and hoping it is a possibility.

We are also looking at other options – a movie theater, local schools, possible 24/7 space – we’ll see how it goes!

Fundraising

This is the FUN part of church planting (sarcasm intended)!  Every church planter I talk to right now is struggling in this area.  It just means you have to be creative.  So I continue to make phone calls asking for support, figuring out if I can handle living on only one kidney, trying to sell my dog, and whatever else I can come up with!  It is an adventure but one that in the end can pay HUGE dividends!

BTW, if you pray, throw up a couple for us this week.  We are waiting to hear about a couple of potential large donors for our church.  We are asking God to be at work in their decisions!

Staffing

I have begun the process of looking for additional staffing for Varsity.  I am out looking for part time and full time and no time people.  Praying the right people will be evident and stand up as we move forward.

Good stuff is happening here!  Keep praying for us and shoot, if you have 10, 20,000 sitting in a bank account you want to get rid of, I know of a way to get a tax break!

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sick breath

Posted by slykwyk on April 28, 2010

Yesterday I fasted.  I don’t mention that to say “Look at me!” at all.  I say that to explain the title AND to let you know why.

The funny story – I went to kiss Kara yesterday afternoon and she said, “No way!  You got sick breath!”  I guess not eating makes your breath kind of nasty!  Oh well.

The real reason for the fast – because I DO like kissing my wife – was I sometimes find myself beginning to rely on what I can do and I lose focus on what God can do or is doing.  I spent the day reading, journaling, praying and listening to my stomach grumble.  I asked for God’s leading in my life, in the life of our new church and at the end of the day realized I don’t give the Holy Spirit enough room to work in and through me.  I felt like at the end of the day my physical hunger could only be taken care of by being spiritually fed.

I enjoyed the time alone, the time to reflect, the time to ask questions, the time to be focused, the time to listen, the time to be open to God’s leading.  I highly recommend it when you are feeling like you are in control.  Funny how God reminds us he is.

BTW, I did brush my teeth and use mouth wash later in the day.  And yes, Kara kissed me…

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a trip to disney

Posted by slykwyk on April 27, 2010

Kara and I had the opportunity to go to Orlando last week.  Logistically we were near Disney World but the closest we got was Downtown Disney.  I mean, does Orlando exist WITHOUT Disney?  In my opinion, if you are in Orlando you are in Disney.  So technically we were not IN Disney but in the town Disney built.  So, a trip to ‘Disney’…

We were down in Orlando for the Exponential Conference.  This is a conference for church planters, church planting organizations, wanna be church planters, and people who want to get away for the week.  About 3500 people were a part of the conference this year.  If you are a New Lifer, know that you basically put this thing on every year.  That is HUGE!

Kara and I had a great time.  We spent quality time together alone – sans kids – were able to catch up with some close friends from NOVA, caught up with some of our new church planting friends, made new connections, and were challenged by the conference.

The one thing we learned as a couple was that in the end, it’s not about us but it’s about listening to the Holy Spirit and God’s leading.  When we do that, we have no clue where we can end up.  But who cares, because God is there leading us.  Probably something we all can use a reminder in…

Next year, if you get the chance, and whether you are a church planter or not, join the fray at Exponential!  It’s worth it!

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varsity update

Posted by slykwyk on April 17, 2010

Some highlights for ya from this last week for Varsity Church and our family…

Community Impact

I met with 7 community leaders this week.  Two social workers at local elementary schools, two people who lead the Crisis Unit at the Chapel Hill Police Department, a local church planter, a social worker in charge of an organization for at-risk kids and the head person for Chapel Hill Public Housing which oversees 336 families.  What I am finding is that Chapel Hill does a really good job of impacting under-resourced families.  That being said, there are still many unmet needs and although there are lots of programs to help, there is very little interaction of groups working together.  I am beginning to see where we can help out, but more to come later…

Marketing

I found a design guy to do our logo from Poland.  Check out his website.  I love the way Alek creates a picture with the name.  I also connected with a web designer who is going to do our web site for FREE!  A sample of Brook’s work for Vince Antonucci in Las Vegas.  Great artists!

Baseball

One of the greatest parts of being here so far has been the chance to coach a local baseball team for 7-8 year olds.  I have had a blast (as has my daughter Savana who is playing), but it has also given us the chance to meet local residents.  A fun group!  Plus, I think half the team is in Savana’s class!  The ‘Dodgers’ begin play this week!  CONTROLLED CHAOS!

Exponential

Next week Kara and I (sans kids!) head down to Orlando for the Exponential Conference.  Very excited about that for many reasons – away from kids, quality time with Kara, great church planting conference, and catching up with great friends.  Should be fun!

Good stuff is happening here!  God continues to bless us in this place.  If you pray, say some prayers for us!

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depression

Posted by slykwyk on April 14, 2010

I have had the opportunity to meet with 7 local leaders here in Chapel Hill over the last 5 days to talk about the state of needs in this community.  Sometimes that can just get you depressed!  Chapel Hill is a great place to live and is known as a place of some wealth, but like anywhere, there are unmet or slightly met needs here.

These needs range from from food, to books, to educational assistance, to mentoring (the biggest need I have heard so far), to parenting help, to transportation, to supervision of kids who are at home alone.  Some of us live in a world where those needs are met and we lack in nothing.  Yet, even in places like Chapel Hill, there are people who wonder where they will get help and support.

I am the type of person who wishes they could make it all disappear in a second.  As we move forward as a church, we will do our best to make a scratch, a dent in this community to make a difference in people’s lives – physically and spiritually – and hope we can bring others along on this journey.

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Varsity update

Posted by slykwyk on April 12, 2010

I figured this past week that it would be good to begin to share weekly what we are up to and how things are going here in Chapel Hill.  This will help keep everyone updated.  So here is where we are up to now…

Varsity Church

Well, we got ourselves a name AND became incorporated as a church here in North Carolina!  Glad to get those two things out of the way.  As I have said before, choosing the name was the hardest part so far!

Community Connection

Savana decided to play baseball this spring and I figured it was a great chance to connect in the community so I am coaching her team.  Our first practice was this week and we had a great time!  Looking forward to enjoying the next few weeks with these players.

Community Impact

If you read my previous post, you know we are moving forward on our Community Needs Assessment.  I had my first meeting with a nurse and social worker from one of the local middle schools.  They passed along some GREAT information and also some GREAT people to connect with later on.  I already have 4 of those on the books for upcoming weeks.

Fundraising

The majority of my time up to Easter was spent fundraising.  I have a LOT more to do.  It’s not the best time to be trying to raise funds, but I believe in our project, this community and what we are doing here that I know God will provide!

Processes/Papers

Staff handbook, values, beliefs, web sites, craigslist, volunteer roles – I have spent a lot of time writing documents, thinking about our DNA and looking for staff.  There is a lot to do when you plant a church!

The best part is we are having fun, enjoying our time here, and looking forward to our future here in Chapel Hill!

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