Archive for October, 2009

>Grand Opening November 8

Posted: October 31, 2009 in Uncategorized

>We’ve rescheduled the grand opening to November 8 at 2:30PM. We will spend this week cleaning, fixing, and getting ready. Today, we clean carpet and walls. Praise the Lord.


Posted: October 31, 2009 in Uncategorized


We are officially in the mall

>We are getting there…

Posted: October 26, 2009 in Uncategorized

>We are quickly approaching our start date for this ministry. If all goes well, we’ll get our keys sometime on Tuesday (or Wednesday). Then we’ll get on it fast and hard to clean the spaces, set up our equipment and make sure everything is ready to go for our grand opening on Sunday, November 1st. God has made this work relatively easy for us. He’s provided all the needed funds and manpower. We have a good solid core of people ready for the work. We are excited and a bit intimidated. We do not know what to expect, but it is exciting to see God at work.

The potential here is that during the Christmas shopping season, 20,000 people will encounter us and have a great experience (free ice cream and a smiling face). Some of these will ask about the “answers” part of the name, some will get our information about the seminars, some will attend the seminars, some will come to the workshops, some will engage us on spiritual matters, some will hear the Gospel and some will receive Jesus. That’s the plan, pretty simple. Outside of the obvious evangelism, we want to help the community. We hear of marriages and family falling apart, we hear of the stress and pressure of life that parents and children are enduring and we know that the Bible has the answer. We can teach/train people to deal with the situations that cause the pain and stress and we can help them through these tough times in their lives. We want to help people. Ice Cream and Answers and the seminars are the way we will minister to the community.

OK, just for fun…20,000 ice cream cones is 175 gallons of ice cream. Laid end to end will be 1.25 miles, and will weight about 900 lbs. Ice Cream and Answers will be open for business 72 hours per week. During the 8 week shopping season, we’ll be open 576 hours which will mean we’ll give out, on average, 35 cones per hour. That’s one every 97 seconds. Every 97 seconds, on average, we’ll have the opportunity to impact someone’s life positively for Jesus Christ!

So, where did we get the original 20,000 cones number? I made it up. We may find out no one likes ice cream and only the cones I eat will go out. Or we may discover that the Mall of the Bluffs gets 8.5 million customers per year and that the bulk of these come in November and December and everyone loves free ice cream. We may already be overwhelmed. We trust God to do something awesome. Pray for workers.

>Slight Delay

Posted: October 22, 2009 in Uncategorized

>There has been a slight delay in signing the lease and moving into the space. The new target date is Monday. This may put us behind a little, but if we get enough help during the week, we’ll still not miss any of the Christmas Shopping Season.

>That’s a lot of Ice Cream

Posted: October 20, 2009 in Uncategorized


On Wednesday we’ll officially sign our lease for two spaces in the Mall of the Bluffs! We’ll have nine days to get ready for the Grand Opening, but we can do it. Most of the preparation has been completed.

On October 28, I’ll speak briefly at Grace University to recruit students to help in Ice Cream and Answers. The school organization Grace World Outreach has adopted us for their November ministry project. I’m excited about working with these students. They will be a great blessing.

I’m grateful to the many people who have volunteered to operate the Ice Cream shop. This will be an amazing ministry.

We spoke at Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Council Bluffs on Sunday and had a great time. Pastor Chuck Kizer and several of the Ridgecrest people went to the Mall with us for lunch and we toured the spaces and talked about our vision. They were as excited as we were. I’m looking forward to a great ministry working with the folks at Ridgecrest.

This week I’ll order 63 gallons of ice cream, 2500 cones and a few napkins. Awesome!

>Last night, LifeSpring’s financial committee approved a large sum of money for our church start. Earlier in the day we submitted all our paperwork to the mall to lease the spaces. The cooporation that owns the mall now must have a couple of meetings to discuss this rental agreement. We’ll know Friday their decision. If all goes well we can start moving in and fixing things on the 19th of October (or sometimes near that). We’ll have our inspection from the health department on October 30th. I looked at the freezers and they are in great shape (about $4000 worth of equipment on the used market). Pastor Pat Smolen, his son Chris Smolen and I drove down to Glenwood to look closely at the sound equipment and Pastor Pat was pleased. He thinks we’ll only need to purchase a couple of items, on being a “stage snake.” (I’m not sure if he’s just pulling my leg – sort of like 50 ft of flightline or a can of “prop wash”). Our dry run with the Marriage Seminar went very well with several people with the gift of criticism coming out and providing probably the best constructive criticism ever. Next Monday we’ll have a dry run of the Raising Children seminar. I’m really looking forward to the feedback.

>First Meeting Ever

Posted: October 7, 2009 in Uncategorized

>What an awesome day! We had our very first meeting of the new church. We gathered at LifeSpring in the chapel at 7PM tonight. We prayed together, shared some testimonies and stories, heard the Word of God taught, we challenged, talked about our vision, talked about where God was leading us, picked some potential names, and prayed some more. It was great. I really enjoyed being with the group knowing that these were the people God had especially prepared to start this work.

We’ve looked at Sojourn as a name. The group really likes it. We also liked Journey Junction and U-Turn. We’ll check these out and see which one works the best. Give your opinion.

We now have an ice cream freezer (free) from the Mall Manager, Mr. Karre.

OK, that is exciting. More to come….

>The Space at the Mall

Posted: October 1, 2009 in Uncategorized

>We have not settled on a space for our meetings in the mall quite yet. We’ve looked at many spaces and discussed the good and bad of each. Mr. Karre (Mall of the Bluffs Manager) and I have logged several miles walking around and looking at spaces. We had one in mind but someone else had dibs on it before me and they finally came through and claimed it. We’ve looked at a few others and today, we found the perfect spot and settled on it. It’s the old Famous Footwear spot across from Old Navy. It has about a million square feet and an extra room in the back (dodge ball size). This place should meet all our needs for space, availability, and keeping the noise down. Mr. Karre is getting the numbers and the paperwork ready. Pray that this works out, please.