voices of encompass

See how the people of enCompass are experiencing God both in the church and in their personal lives.

when God said, "enough already"

By: Al Wetzel, Church Chair


I was going to write about a cavemen Bible study group but that vignette was dropped when I heard the need for a story about “Giving up resistance to God for obedience to God”.  It’s a story that’s easily recalled and at times I’m compelled to give.


From the age of nine to thirty-six there were probably a half dozen times when I could feel God calling me and a strong urge in me to yield, but I just couldn’t.  In my youth my family, including cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents, attended a charismatic church.  Sunday evening services were not fun; school was the next day, homework was not done AND there were altar calls.  Altar calls were accompanied by the beckoning sounds of Softly and Tenderly played by the organist (typically the pastor’s wife), all heads bowed, and the preachers’ exhortations to prostrate ourselves at the altar and accept Jesus.  Usually I shuddered at the experience, but one time when I was about nine, there was an overwhelming desire in me to heed the urging and accept Jesus at the altar.  This same evening my cousin Tom was altar bound but I noticed my parents wanted to leave so I resisted the altar.  Tom’s life became God filled, dynamic, and productive from that point on.  For me, the urges became harder to feel and they lay dormant for many years.


It took twelve more years for me to feel God’s calling again…and in Vietnam of all places!  I had been ‘in country’ for about four months so had become desensitized to just about everything.  By this time the days and even months began to blend together, but there was a Sunday when my friend, Gerry, asked if I would accompany him to a missionary led church service held in an empty Quonset building.  What’s to lose, so I went.  There was an incredible feeling of peace that filled my heart and I pondered it for the remainder of the day.  However, I put it aside and continued my crazy life.


Over the course of the following years my life got crazier but there were still a few times when I felt God calling and sensed a peace he alone could give.  Unfortunately, alcohol does not like to share its dominion so I continued my increasingly downward ways until God said, “enough already”.  Sometimes choices are imposed in a way where there is only one choice and for me it was to quit the booze.  But it wouldn’t leave my mind – it was all I thought about.  At my first AA meeting a friend, Doctor Dave, casually mentioned he had prayed for God to remove the urge to drink.  That night under the oak tree I asked God to remove the urge to drink and that I give up and submit to whatever He gives me.  Life started to make sense again.  Nine days later I realized that I hadn’t thought of alcohol and it no longer controlled my thoughts.  To this day I can feel completely comfortable in a ‘alcohol rich’ environment and not feel the need to partake.


What a deal, you give up some crazy thing to God and he gives you something over-the-top in return.  For me it was the emptiness of alcohol addiction for a wonderful and loving family.



Additional Posts


  • my time on death road

    By: Amber Harder, Communications Specialist

    "Back in 2004, there was only one way to get from La Paz, Bolivia to Caranavi, Bolivia. One tiny road called El Camino del Muerte – which translated means “The Road of Death.” This one-lane road held two-way traffic, and it was estimated that between 200-300 people died on this road each year.


    In 2004, it just so happened that I needed to get from La Paz to Caranavi, so I needed to travel Death Road." --Continue Reading

  • who is the one hurting?

    By: Darcy Mears, Children's Ministry Coordinator

    "Forgiveness gives us warm fuzzies, it is a happy and welcoming word. Forgiving someone a small transgression is easy enough. Letting ourselves off the hook for human foibles is doable. We bump into each other in the hallway and say ‘I’m sorry’ or ‘excuse me’ and we do truly mean it. How quickly do we ask for forgiveness for the ugly and hurtful actions in our life?" --Continue Reading

  • on giving things up

    By: Alex Blackwell, Student Ministry Pastor

    "Alli and I started a diet 19 days ago that lasts for 30 days. It's hard. But I'm a fan. I'm not a proponent of dieting for everyone - some people eat healthy all the time. I am, however, a proponent of every single person finding something in their lives to give up - even if just for a season every once in a while. " --Continue Reading

  • cutting through the chaos to listen

    By: Deron Vaupel, Ministry Administrator
    "My house is pretty loud. That’ll happen with a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old. Hourly nonsensical screaming, arguing with each other, and songs randomly being sung at the top of their lungs are the norm. Trying to cut through the noise can be challenging, but it’s often necessary because important things need to be communicated: go brush your teeth, don’t sit on your brother, and many other statements I never really expected I’d have to say." --Continue Reading

  • connecting with and knowing jesus

    By Vince Miller, Teaching Pastor

    "But as Jesus breaks bread, this moment of devotion opens their “eyes.” So why? Clearly it had something to do with their communion that changed what they knew and how they connected to Jesus." --Continue Reading

  • fresh coffee

    By: Mark Deisinger

    "Where I work we have a newly-opened café area. My employers believe that what software writers do is turn coffee into code, so they provide coffee and a few other amenities to us. Some other outfit keeps things stocked and functional. It's a nice arrangement, though the coffee and donut table at enCompass wins, hands down, for friendliness and, let's be honest, because of the donuts." --Continue Reading




  • what are my kids learning?

    By: Amber Harder, Communications

    "It was Sunday morning and I was tired. It had been a particularly hard night with the baby, and not just that night but the 100 nights prior to it too. The thought of making it to church early to attend 9am Connect seemed overwhelming, exhausting, and next to impossible.

    We broke the news to our kids over breakfast. “We’re not going to make it to 9am Connect today. We’ll just be going to church today.”' --Continue Reading

  • ...And That's How you make lemonade

    By: Deron Vaupel, Ministries Administrator

    "Just like any other August, I expected our conversation to be about budget revisions for the coming fiscal year, but I was very mistaken. Instead, I was hearing from Kevin about his new job with Young Life, and my mind started going several different directions. What does that mean for me? What does that mean for enCompass? What time frame? What needs to happen in the next few months?..." -Continue Reading

  • hearts to serve

    By: Matt Deitner

    "I don’t want to alarm anyone but enCompass seems to have a problem. As problems go it’s a good one to have. From the very beginning we had made up our minds that we wanted to be a church that impacted the local and global community positively for the Kingdom of God. We intended to do that through both the time that we spend serving and the gifts that the church receives. The problem that we realized existed is that we lacked a clear strategy for how to do exactly that..." -Continue Reading


  • Mirror Neurons and role models

    By: Alex Blackwell, Student Ministry Pastor

    "...A few weeks ago we had a student ministries event getting Nelson’s ice cream. When we walked in to the room we would sit down in to enjoy our MOUNDS of ice cream, I noticed what was very likely a date outside the window. I looked up at the students at our event and I started making up the voices and words that the couple was conversing about. Very innocent, I assure you – nothing against the couple..." -Continue Reading

  • Growing Through Connect Groups

    By: Deron Vaupel, Ministry Administrator
    "...There’s something special about younger dads coming together with ‘seasoned veterans’ to talk about our mistakes, successes, challenges, and hopes (not to mention the interspersed YouTube videos). We’ve learned a lot from each other about different ways to teach our kids and how to incorporate our faith into the day-to-day of parenting..." -Continue Reading

  • Thoughts on Happiness

    By: Mark Deisinger

    "...It’s widely understood that the overwhelming majority of people on social media portray only the positive, happy parts of their lives. This leads to an insidious trick we play on ourselves. Here is the lie we tell ourselves: A lot of people, maybe most people, are happier than me..." -Continue Reading

    Photo credit: Nick Harris1 via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-ND


  • Weird Uncles, Crazy Cousins, Wacky Aunts – Our Family

    By: Samantha Sir

    "...When I first came to enCompass, I did not let myself get attached. I have been hurt by the Church in the past and have been a part of several church families, causing me to stay guarded. Through a combination of the authenticity of the sermons, music, and most importantly the people, I have really felt accepted and valued in this family..." -Continue Reading

  • Fortifying the City

    By: Sarah Arend

    "...We need to internalize the truth before the attacks come so that when they do (which they will) we will already be equipped. In times of peace, or even when things seem mundane, it is so easy to get lax. It’s easy to look at past hardships and think, 'Well I’m glad that’s over so I can rest,' or even to think, 'Hey, you know I deserve a break after all this hard work.'..." -Continue Reading