All Posts By

Pete Heiniger

Man Club And Such

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I know you might be introverted, or independent, or carry a wound that keeps you from trusting people. I get it. Me too!

The crazy thing is…Jesus knows that too. But, he did something we all need to be aware of…he created all of us to live in community.

He made you and I feel empty, like there’s something missing when we don’t do life with others. I know, I’ve done it before too. Stop trusting people, figure you can “go it alone” and just keep everyone at a distance. Feels safer.

The truth is, it is not safer. You are actually putting your heart and spiritual life on a bad course. When we go it alone…it leaves us open to the enemy whispering in our ear – lies about ourselves, lies about others, and it robs us of true joy.

Jesus didn’t create you like that. He knew you needed to go through life with others. You need a community. A group where you’re safe to let the walls down and let into your life. You see, when the enemy whispers those lies in your ear, you need bros and sisters to destroy those lies and affirm who you are.

I know you might want to avoid getting to know others and letting them into your life like a 52 day flu that leaves you farting like an ape after barbecue. That said, you need to do it. At DCC, we always are going to push each of you to find a group to get into. We have a lot of them. There are Thursday night groups that meet every week in our building. We have Wild at Heart and Captivating groups starting all the time. We have SERVE groups that you can join…just ask Kelsey Shaw who needs Production volunteers!

If you’re not currently in a group, please find me in the Garage after a weekend service (big guy, red beard) and I’ll find you a group. Heck, I’ll create one for you if I have to.

Hope From the Ashes Of Infidelity

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When Greg and Stacy look back at their story…they find hope and rescue out of the most unlikely place. As Greg was planting a church, he sought manliness and masculinity from the wrong source. He brought his questions about his worth to the wrong people. Then, out of that desire there came an opportunity to disregard his vows, forsake the family he loved, and give into a moment of pleasure. Stacy was left to pick up the pieces of their marriage that had just faced its biggest challenge: infidelity. Greg blew up their lives and their marriage.

But, that’s not where their story ends. God showed up in the midst of that brokenness and through years of counseling, forgiveness, and plain gut-wrenching hard work…God rescued their marriage. In this process, Greg learned that his infidelity had come out of a bigger wounding from his past. That wounding had led Greg to ask his wife and anyone else to answer questions that they never could possibly answer. God alone had those answers. Greg learned that he needed to bring those questions to God.

Stacy, the real hero in this story, also learned from watching Greg’s transformation. She saw her marriage as one that could be lifted from the ashes of infidelity to new heights. That their relationship and marriage could be better than ever before. That Greg and their marriage was something worth fighting for.

Now, years later, it isn’t always peaches and cream….it’s still a challenge and a fight. But, Greg and Stacy don’t hide anything from each other now. They talk, they listen, and they share everything with one another. It isn’t always pretty when a husband and wife are transparent with one another. There’s a lot of times that faults, bad thoughts, anger, frustration, insecurity and so much more have to be shared and that takes courage and a fierce commitment to not allow infidelity to have the final word on their marriage. God has the final word as long as they stay faithful to him and each other!

You’re Not Insignificant

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Do ever feel insignificant? That you don’t matter? Or what you do doesn’t really make a difference? Me Too!

Many times we lose sight of how important just the little we have to offer can impact so much. Sometimes we think big non-profits like Compassion are funded by very wealthy, big donors. And while that is true to some degree…the lion share of their donations comes from people like you and me adopting a child and paying a small amount per month to support them. Thousands upon thousands of children’s lives are changed because of individuals and families who contribute a small amount of $$ each month.

At DCC, we have so many ministry partners that need our help, we have many SERVE groups that need our help – and truly, it doesn’t require very much from us. But, when we all do it together…it does some pretty amazing things! We have so many people who have been reached, fed, given warm housing….who have experience life-change and rescue…BUT all of whom would not have had that opportunity if it weren’t for people just like you and me giving our time, money, and margin.

So, let me tell you…you may feel insignificant, you may feel like you don’t matter – but that is a LIE that the enemy whispers in your ear and mine. Your effort, your life, what you have to offer…Jesus can take it and make big things happen! So, yell back at the enemy and call out the lie for what it is. Then, please tell yourself and KNOW that you have infinite worth and you do make a difference!

Marking Encounters With God

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Okay, I’ll admit it…I’m not good at keeping a journal! Frankly, I suck at it. But, I still believe in keeping track of moments in my life and you should too.

When I was a kid in Pennsylvania, my dad taught me to walk through the thick, forested mountains that surrounded our house. He taught me to cut markers or tie-off markers on trees to mark my way back.

If you’ve ever been in Pennsylvanian mountains you know that they have hills and nooks and valleys…so if you aren’t careful you don’t really know if you’re walking up the mountain or down the mountain. You might even be walking around the base of it. It can be intimidating if you don’t learn how to put markers down.

In a similar way, if we don’t take the time to journal, or use another way to remind us of the times when Jesus came through for us…we can lose our way. We often only remember the hard times…the times where we felt lost and now we’re feeling lost again.

Since I don’t journal, I find really interestingly colored rocks and pieces of wood…and I keep them to remind me of the times where I know Jesus came in and helped us. There’s so many times where I felt desperate, without answers, but then, just in time, He stepped in and rescued us.

When I mark those times…then when I experience times like that again, it helps me trust him and go to him and cry out to him.

Don’t forget to figure out what works for you in marking down the moments where God stepped in and turned a situation around for you.

Grandma Lowe

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I grew up part of my life in Elimsport, PA…a town you’ve probably never heard of. It is just over the mountain from Williamsport, PA – which you probably have only heard of if you’re familiar with the Little League World Series.

Elimsport was this small, small town that had a General Store that was also where you cashed your checks and sent out your mail. My dad pastored the Baptist church in Elimsport.

In Elimsport there was a sweet elderly woman…I called her Grandma Lowe. I used to walk to her house often. She had these huge vines of Concord Grapes. I used to devour them each time I stopped by when they were in season.

But, Grandma Lowe had a huge impact on my life…because she used to teach me and share her wisdom with me. I learned so much from her and I knew she loved me. That was a big deal for a kid with a hard childhood.

It also taught me an important life lesson. I need mentors who are older and wiser in my life. I know sometimes it seems like older folks won’t understand you, there’s too much of a generation gap…but I’ve found that to rarely be true. They’ve often gone through what I am experiencing..and they have helped me navigate my life better.

I hope you work hard to find a few mentors in your life who can do your heart good..and share a little wisdom with you. Trust me…you need it. I know I do.

Be Like Me

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The area of North Galilee where many of Jesus’ disciples came from was an area known for being dedicated to learning the Old Testament scriptures..and having Rabbi’s who were calling disciples to follow them. They weren’t just known for fishing.

But, one thing we know is that the disciples like Peter, James, John, and Andrew…were of an age where they had an opportunity to be called to follow a Rabbi…but they didn’t make the cut.

When a Rabbi said, “Follow Me.” He was saying, “I believe you can learn to be just like me.”

So, imagine what it meant when Jesus shows up and tells Peter, James, John, and Andrew that “Follow Me.” Jesus was saying… “I believe you can be just like me.”

Jesus also calls us to follow him…and that means he believe in us too! I don’t know about you, but it makes me stoked that Jesus believes in me!

Zoom Out

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Sometimes, we need to change perspective. Circumstances can make us zoom in and get myopic just on what we’re going through – or what someone is doing to us or others.

But, if you were to watch a video that was all zoomed in on a knife plunging into someone’s chest….and that was all the context you were given…you could feel like that is violent and horrible.

However, if we took the same video and zoomed out and you saw that the knife was being wielded by a doctor who was cutting open someone’s chest to save their life…it would change our perspective.

That’s how life is a lot of times. We get drawn into our problems or a person’s actions – where we zoom in and it can blow up our day…sometimes our week. Yet, if we only zoomed out and tried to understand the context of what’s going on. When someone wrongs me or a friend of mine, often times it is because of their story or a wound they are carrying. If we zoom out we get perspective and it changes our take. It can also often lead to understanding and forgiveness.

Have You Ever Felt Hopeless?

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I used to listen to this song all the time by The Proclaimers called My Old Friend the Blues. The song began like this: “Just when every ray of hope was gone; I should have known that you would come along; I can’t believe I ever doubted you; My old friend the blues…”

If I’m honest, sometimes the blues is like an old, well-worn leather chair. It’s too comfortable, because it’s all too common. I just want hide my weary soul in the blues.

Many of us grew up singing this song, The Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock. That song comes from Matthew 7:24-27. What’s interesting is that when Jesus is telling it…we often miss one truth. Both the wise man and the foolish man experienced storms, rain, and wind.

Building the house on the foundation of Jesus only keeps us from falling completely apart….but those storms, they still come.

But, another thing we often miss is the hope we can find in Jesus. I know Jesus is the Son of God…but he knows storms.

When Jesus hung on a tree nearing death…he cried out to the Father… “Why have you abandoned me?” You see, Jesus knew exactly what it felt like to feel abandoned by God. This is good news….because now when you are facing a storm and pray to Jesus….you’re not talking to someone who is out of touch with what you’re going through. He knows exactly what you’re feeling…and he can give comfort. Today, remember Jesus gets it…he understands where you are.

Daddy Doesn’t Pray Anymore

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Continuing with the music theme…I’ve been listening to a lot of Chris Stapleton. The song that hit me this week was, “Daddy Doesn’t Pray Anymore.”

My dad was a pastor for 47 years. He wasn’t a scholar…he wasn’t a prolific speaker. But, he loved people. He put 100K miles on his car visiting people in the hospital and in their homes. When they were at their worst…he was at his best.

He’s the only man I knew that could walk into a funeral parlor and up to a family going through the worst tragedy of their life and say exactly only what needed to be said….and then right at the right time…he’d tell a joke and have this family who was just crying…laughing and smiling.

I didn’t get that gene. But, because of my dad’s example…I did hold a dying veteran’s hand in a hospital outside of Brainerd, MN. I jumped into counseling many couples in their marriages. I walked beside bros who were going through consequences of poor choices.

My dad spent hours and hours every week praying with people. His love for people was undeniable.

If there is anything we can take from his life…it is that when we have opportunity to be there for people…we need to jump at the chance. You never know what your words…your hand on their shoulder…just your presence will mean to them.

When I was in WA state…on a Saturday night…I came home from church and there was a sheriff in my driveway. He told me, “Son, I hate to break this to you like this, but your father was in a severe car accident and he’s been killed.”

Today I followed daddy down to church
And listened to the preacher read god’s word
We sang his favorite hymn but daddy didn’t make a sound
This afternoon we’ll lay him in the ground
Daddy don’t pray anymore
I guess he’s finally walking with the lord
He used to fold his hands and bow his head down to the floor
But daddy don’t pray anymore

I miss you Pops…thank you Jesus for allowing me to learn to love people from him! Let’s all love a little more…before we don’t pray anymore.

If I Could Kill A Word

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Eric Church’s song, “Kill a Word,” speaks to the idea that our tongues can do a lot of damage. We can make vain promises. We can tear someone to shreds. We can tell ourselves lies with words like “never” and “can’t” – and we can depress ourselves with words like “regret.”

“I’d poison NEVER…Shoot GOODBYE…beat REGRET…I’d hang HATE so that it can’t be heard…”

“If I could kill a word.”

“You can’t unhear….you can’t unsay…”

James 3 likens the tongue to a spark that starts a huge forest fire..and destroys miles of forest. The tongue is the most powerful weapon for good….and yet it can also be the most destructive weapon for bad.

We’ve all said things we regret – we can’t unsay. We’ve all heard things that still ring in our ears and hurt us deeply – we can’t unhear.

Today, prepare your mind to think before you speak…and use your words for good. Kill the bad words…the destructive words.

For those words that someone said to you that cause you deep pain…bring them to Jesus and let him heal those wounds. Jesus can bring you peace and joy!

Have a good day!