voices of encompass

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

The Intersection of Faith, Vocation, Stewardship and Pie

By: Deron Vaupel, Ministry Administrator

 

Tuesday night has become one of my favorite times of the week. A group of guys from enCompass gather each week to catch up on life, consume amounts of coffee that seem extremely unreasonable given the time of night, indulge in half price pie, and spend some time in pretty engaging conversation. 


While I would love to write a second consecutive blog post about pie, I will instead elaborate on one of my other passions. In high school, a mundane moment led to Ephesians 2:10 becoming one of my favorite verses: 


For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. 


Over the past 20 years, this verse has become pretty influential to my understanding of purpose and calling. By the grace of God, we can be saved from sin and death, made alive through Christ so that we can do the things that God has gifted us to do and be a blessing to the rest of creation. And God has already been at work, setting the stage so that we just have to join in with what’s already happening. It requires effort on our part, but there’s freedom in understanding that we’re working with the creator of the universe to accomplish something that he’s passionate about (the restoration of creation to a right relationship with him). It’s pretty exciting. 


Coming back to Tuesday nights…Our recent course of discussion has revolved around this concept, directed by a book called Kingdom Calling. It’s all about deepening the integration between our faith and vocation and what happens when we understand and apply God’s call to stewardship with our whole lives. Don’t believe what any of these guys say about their naivety regarding faith-based discussions…the level of discourse when it comes to practical theology is quite spectacular. I’m constantly challenged and humbled by this group of men. 


As we unpack this concept, there’s a renewed sense of excitement in me about what it means to be created by God for a purpose. I’m blessed to be able to work through this with a group of people who are open to understanding and applying Paul’s words. With that in mind, two questions for pondering: 


  • How has God created you to be a blessing to the world around you?  
  • Who can explore this with you? 


Conversations like this can give great perspective and insight. enCompass offers several different Connect Groups each week that can provide a venue for those conversations. And I’m always willing to sit down for coffee and conversation. I love to talk about how God is at work. And pie. 


Additional Posts


  • the chain breaker

    By: Brenda Wetzel

    "In grieving the recent loss of my dad, I've been reminded of the many wonderful characteristics he has blessed me with, but of also the shortcomings we share. I credit him with my deep faith and heart for God, adventurous, independent spirit, persistence and resourcefulness. But there are also some less attractive traits, one of which I will call "Right." For me this includes the need to be right and the need to do it right (perfectionism). Both of these are toxic to relationships. Ask Al." --Continue Reading

  • PRIDE AND AUTHENTICITY

    By: Hickory Smith

    "The reality is that my own pride is unstable. Sometimes it’s fragile, sometimes it’s volatile. Sometimes it’s both.

    What I notice sometimes is this: Where I gristle at others’ confidence and pride is often where I am one of two extremes – either I am envious of their own strength in that area because I am lacking, or, on the flip side, I am over confident in my own position thinking I have it all together." --Continue Reading

  • my epic journey to leave the house

    By: Amber Harder, Communications Specialist

    "Attempting to control anything when it comes to small children is futile. The absolute worst is trying to get out of the house. I make my plan to leave at a specified time, taking into account missing shoes, bathroom breaks, and little people running around elusively. Yet with all those things factored in, I still cannot leave at the time of my choosing because of unforeseen circumstances and meltdowns…sometimes my own meltdowns!" --Continue Reading

  • what about the missteps

    By: Sarah Arend

    "The Lord seems to work in ways that often that don’t make complete sense to me until down the road when I look back and see His hand in them. I have had many failed projects, missed opportunities, and missteps that I’ve taken. It’s easy for me to focus in on those failures or screw-ups." --Continue Reading

  • Pie for dinner is wonderful, but...

    By: Deron Vaupel, Ministry Administrator

    "As I’ve thought through my own (vast) experiences with excuses, it’s pretty easy to see that they are an incredibly powerful tool of self-delusion, usually just trying to appease some aspect of my perceived emotional/physical/spiritual well-being at the expense of my actual emotional/physical/spiritual well-being." --Continue Reading

  • when god said, 'enough already'

    By: Al Wetzel, Church Chair

    "...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." --Continue Reading

  • 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