My time on earth is limited. It’s important that I make each moment count. How do I make the most of my life now and leave behind a legacy that impacts others?
Series begins September 2nd.
Have you ever read something in the Bible that caused you to think, “Are you serious? What is that supposed to mean?”
In all honesty, Jesus made some pretty outrageous statements at times! He seemed to think differently than most people and even had some ideas that could be called “upside-down” to how many people live.
Join us for our new series beginning August 5.
We are excited to welcome Pastor Cullen Allen and his family to DSM First! Pastor Cullen is a seasoned pastor with over 22 years of full time ministry experience at Allison Park Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pastor Cullen is a faith-filled motivational leader, communicator and team builder. He is passionate about seeing breakthroughs in people’s lives, releasing emerging kingdom leaders and seeing multitudes come to Christ.
Cullen is an avid cyclist and sports enthusiast. He also enjoys playing disc golf and loves being active in general. Cullen and Shelley have been married for over 22 years and have 3 incredible boys, Ryan (18), Kyle (16), and Evan (12).
God often uses times of transition to do something fresh and unique. God often takes interruptions in our lives and uses them to launch us into something new. These special moments are often possible because of the foundation that was built by others who paved the way.
We honor the past and those that were a part of it, as they are our gateway into the future. So with great anticipation, we look to continue what God has started by stepping boldly into what’s ahead. It’s exciting to know that our best days are still waiting to be written. It’s a time of “New Beginnings!”
“Maybe next week.” “We can start checking out churches when we aren’t so busy.” “There are so many churches in the area, we will definitely be able to find one that we like.” “It will be easier to check out churches in the summer when we aren’t busy.” Excuses. Sarah and I said each of these lines more times than we would care to admit. After college, we moved back to Des Moines, got married, and talked about visiting area churches to find our “together church” for about two years. We both grew up going to different churches, different denominations, but we wanted to have a common church that we could both call home. Somewhere we could grow and potentially have a family. But as each Sunday would come and go, we formulated excuses. But God seemed to have other plans in our lives that we were not even expecting.
Going into my second year of teaching, Sarah and I both thought the crazy stressful first year was behind us. Many Sundays during my first year of teaching were spent in my classroom, lesson planning for the week ahead. But I believed the second year would be simpler, that I would be ready. I even took on a new role as an assistant drama coach, where I would be helping out with the musical, Beauty and the Beast, Jr. Both Sarah and I grew up participating in speech and drama at Nevada High School, so I thought this would be an awesome opportunity to help other students see how fun, how creative, and how freeing plays and musicals could be. Sarah, too, took on a new role, going to grad school at Drake University to get her Master’s in education. However, within the first couple of weeks of the school year, things took an unexpected turn.
During auditions for this musical, I was asked if I would be able to take over the production. I had no experience at that point with directing a show, especially not one that ended up with a cast and crew of 204 7th and 8th grade students. I did not want to see the show just stop. So many students look forward to their junior high drama experiences, so I knew I had to keep it going for the kids. But I knew I needed help. With Sarah just starting grad school and this large task added to my own plate, I remember how stressed both of us were. She helped as much as she could in between her homework assignments for her classes and I did have co-workers that answered the call and helped me out. But the biggest area for stress for me was how the set design and construction was going to come together.
For those that know me, I have no experience nor expertise with building, construction, or really any kind of hands-on creation. I do remember praying for help in this area. I was left with some cool designs for the set for this show, and I did not have time to re-invent the wheel with different designs. A meeting was arranged for any interested parties and Sarah and I both sat in the auditorium waiting to see who might show up. This was when we met Jason and Stacie Moore.
Caleb, Chaim, and Caden were all involved with the show either as cast members or in the crew. Although Sarah and I did not know Jason and Stacie at this time, they took the time to come in and help us draft plans and begin building the complicated set, even when they knew little about us. Their help was such a blessing through the whole musical. We learned that both Jason and Stacie worked at a church, and they showed us Christ’s love through their own service to
us. Sarah and I distinctly remember when the Moore family prepared a ready-to-make dinner for us during show week of the musical. We both talked about how thoughtful this was and that it reminded us of our own church families growing up, serving others when they were going through painful and stressful situations in their lives.
After the play, Jason and Stacie asked us if we would be interested in attending a dinner theater at their church. We had a great time, laughing at all that Uncle Phil’s Diner had to offer. Jason showed Sarah and me around the church after the dinner theater and we went home. Sarah and I talked over the next couple of weeks about returning to Des Moines First for a service. The dinner theater and the welcoming environment we had experienced at DSM First, and the love we were shown from the Moore family made us curious for more. We also felt good about our decision to come to a service after Jason emailed us about attending the Christmas Eve service, almost like he was checking in on us. Almost like God was speaking through him to us, telling us that this was where we were being called. Where we belonged. Where we would be loved and be able to show love to others.
Sarah and I began attending DSM First the first week of January in 2017. And we never stopped coming. From how we were welcomed right when we walked in the door, to others coming over to talk to us as we sat in a section by ourselves, we recognized that this was the place God was calling us toward. For two years, we made up excuse after excuse for why we would not check out churches in the area. But in our own time of need, God showed us a path toward our “together church,” the church we could grow in Christ together as husband and wife. And since we have started attending DSM First, we both feel that we have grown in our faith. We have both reconnected with God as He intended all along. We believe wholeheartedly that God worked through Jason, Stacie, and the entire Moore family to bring us to DSM First and we are forever thankful to Him and to the Moore family for extending loving hands and allowing us to get involved right away. So many things had to fall into place for us to be at DSM First, to be where we are now. It wasn’t a coincidence. It was God.
We are extremely excited our church is partnering with missionaries Jim & Ester Mazurek to construct a church/school complex to house the Santiago Children’s Ministries Outreach Center. ink of this as a church, a school, and a rescue mission for abused kids all rolled up into one.
The Santiago Children’s Ministries Outreach Center is a place where needy children in Santiago, Chile, are being reached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ in word and deed. Some of the kids they are reaching are the o spring of prostitution, others live with parents who deal drugs, and others come from more stable homes. Most of them live in poverty. Seventy percent of all babies born in Santiago are born outside of a marriage. is results in many thousands of children living in high risk environments in extreme need of Christian ministry and witness. is project will play a key role in reaching hundreds of such kids for Christ.
DSM First will be sending a team in November of 2018 to work on this project.
Special Project Dinner Saturday, May 5, 2018
You will have the opportunity to hear more about the Special Project. Please mark your calendar now for Saturday, May 5, 2018. The dinner will be held at “The Conservatory” in East Village. You will enjoy a fantastic meal and hear from special guest missionaries. Tickets will be available beginning April 8.
Special Project Offering Sunday, May 6, 2018
Our goal is to have everyone give sacri cially to a cause much bigger than ourselves. Your gift will impact lives now and for future generations for all eternity. Please pray about what this means for you. We are believing God for 100% participation. On Sunday, May 6, 2018, a special offering will be received at both of our campuses.
My wife and I have been married for 14 years. In that time, we’ve learned a lot about what it takes to be married. It’s easier than everyone says it is.
Here are seven things we’ve done that have made our marriage work really well—and helped us have a lot of fun.
In 14 years of marriage, we’ve never had the bad year. We don’t fight and never have. I can remember three kinda fights in 17 years of being together. But they diffused very quickly. Within the hour.
I’m not bragging. I’m just saying that if youre in a dating relationship and you fight all the time, it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s possible to be in a long-lasting relationship, without fighting. My wife and I are ridiculously laid back. We don’t take anything or ourselves too seriously.
We laugh all the time. We talk smack and jokingly mock each other. She’ll ask me to take out the trash. I respond with: “I’ll take YOU out to the trash.” Then, she’ll respond with “Your face is trash.” Then, we both die laughing.
This constant joking is hilarious, fun and such a healthy dynamic in our marriage. It’s our love language in a very hysterical, and slightly disturbing way.
My wife is relentlessly selfless. She gives and gives and gives like no one else I’ve ever seen in my life.
I try to be selfless, but she wins by a mile in that category. It’s just who she is.
I love that my wife is not a fan of mine. She loves me for me and not my career or anything. I’m an idea guy and I bounce ideas off her all the time.
Most of the time, it goes in one ear and out the other. It can be frustrating, but it keeps me humble. But sometimes I have an idea that causes her to break down into tears immediately.
One of those moments was when I told her about an idea called Help-Portrait. I recently had another idea that made her cry. It’s a massive dream of mine and shes always pressing me and asking, “When are you going to pursue that one?” She is the ultimate idea barometer and always seems to be right.
My wife averages me out in my confidence.There are days that I feel like I suck. My ideas suck. Everything sucks.
As an artist, many times I have absolutely zero confidence. Those are the days she somehow figures out how to remind me I don’t suck and I’m actually quite good at what I do.
Every now and then, I’m a little too high on an idea or a project. I think for a minute that I’m kind of awesome. She’s quick to bring me back down to earth in those moments. She’s an expert balloon-popper. The balloon being my ego, of course.
I’ve always admired her trust in me. Not every wife would say: “sure, go tour with Britney Spears for three months.” Or “sure, go shoot all these beautiful women and make them look even more beautiful.” But she does that and continues to trust me.
It’s amazing how, the more she trusts me, the more I want to earn and respect that trust. Jealousy kills relationships. Shannon has never once been jealous of what I’m doing or who I’m working or traveling with. That’s a strong woman.
So guys, its possible to have a successful career, travel the world and stay faithful to your wife. Crazy concept, I know, but its pretty amazing. Our culture tends to celebrate sleeping around and showcase men as strong and tough if they get a lot of women. I think it’s the complete opposite.
Staying faithful to your wife as a man is strong and tough. Cheating on your spouse is weak.
My wife is so patient with me. I tend to be quite spacey. I’m always thinking or dreaming of something. Its part A.D.D. and part dreamer in me. It’s hard for me to be present sometimes. I can be in the room and not present at all.
But Shannon understands that about me and is patient with me. She’s patient every time I drive the wrong way and miss all those turns. She’s patient when I forget those groceries or forget the important story she told me about her day. She’s patient when I simply don’t listen.
That’s a tough one for most women. She gets frustrated sometimes. but shes still more understanding than she should be.
I love my job and I love technology. Its easy to be glued to my iPhone. I’m also a people-pleaser. I feel like I have to respond to every email, text, Facebook comment, Facebook message, Twitter reply, Twitter DM, blog post comment, phone call, LinkedIn message, Instagram comment, etc. Did I cover them all? Probably not. But you get the idea.
Keeping up with it all is hard. Family comes first, obviously, but it’s hard sometimes to balance it all. Shannon is extremely patient with my struggles there.
We’re not perfect. We dont have it all figured out. I don’t mean to imply that. But marriage these days seems to be in a lot of trouble. It feels like divorce is far more normal than happy marriages. But from a guy who has a good, healthy marriage, these are simply a few of the things that have helped us. And I hope they help you, too.
– The Married People Blog, Guest Writer
Read more from our Connect Magazine by visiting www.dsmfirstmag.com.
If you have been thinking about how to show your love and support for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey, we want to let you know that you can give now online or during our services tomorrow. We will receive a special offering and 100% of the money will be forwarded to our trusted partner, Convoy of Hope, who is already in Houston providing help and hope.