Blog Archives

Happy Birthday to The Daniel Plan! by Shellie Loughry

Yes! THE PLACE Daniel Plan was born at the end of April 2014! It is 1 year old now and started out strong, remained strong, and is now stronger than ever!

During the last year we have seen many life changes being made, some small and some HUGE! But that is the glory of The Daniel you do not have to change over night, you can start out with baby steps making simple little changes or you can take it by storm and make changes by leaps and bounds! It is all up to each individual!

The Daniel Plan was sparked at THE PLACE by one individual that wanted to make one little change in their life, and that was to become healthy. That individuals spark to change spread like wildfire to others who all wanted the same thing, to become healthy, and that my friends is how The Daniel Plan at THE PLACE was born and still sparking others from all around THE PLACE Church and in our community!

The funny thing is that is pretty much how it all started with Pastor Rick Warren and his congregation! Check out his story:

During an afternoon of baptizing over 800 people, Pastor Rick Warren realized it was time for change. He told his congregation he needed to lose weight and asked if anyone wanted to join him. He thought maybe 200 people would sign up, instead he witnessed a movement unfold as 15,000 people lost over 260,000 pounds in the first year. With assistance from medical and fitness experts, Pastor Rick and thousands of people began a journey to transform their lives.

Here’s the secret sauce: The Daniel Plan is designed to be done in a supportive community relying on God’s instruction for living.

Amazing Story by Rick Warren author of The Daniel Plan! Although THE PLACE is a much smaller church than Rick Warrens church, it is wonderful to know that we have very similar stories! Read more here!

THE PLACE Daniel Plan just wrapped up their 4th Season! Yes! What an amazing season this has been! We have several people that have lost weight, become far more healthier than they could ever imagine, and have accomplished things that they never thought possible!

The Daniel Plan is even more than all that, it is also about the friendships that are made and the happiness that is shared when one accomplishes something, or the tears that are shed when one needs love and support.

During this 4th season of The Daniel Plan there are two major accomplishments we would like to share with you and here they are!

‘Guess what I have lost over 50 lbs!’ Congratulations Craig Melfi you are an amazing inspiration to each of us!

‘Oh My Goodness I DID IT! I ran my first 5K and did it in 38:28 minutes, my goal was under 40 minutes and I  finished 82 in a pack 168, at a pace of 12:23! This was a major ceiling buster for me. As Pastor Greg has said ‘the high is the doing of it.’ Boy do I have a high! I must say I thank GOD for being there and providing friends like Craig, and Pastor Greg, and the Daniel Plan friends. WE all say it but in my case it’s true IF I CAN DO IT…. SO CAN YOU! So get off the side lines and come join us, the pain is overcome by the joy and high you WILL recieve!’ Wow Congratulations Roy Fegley! You are Amazing!

So as you can see the Daniel Plan is going strong. It did wrap up a 4th Season and will be starting Season 5 very soon! Ask yourself am I ready to make a change and am I ready to accomplish something amazing! If you are then please stop by the Information Center and we would love to get you started on your journey to great health.

Remember you can do all things through Christ who will strengthen you! Welcome to The Daniel Plan!



We are happy to announce The Daniel Plan is starting up again on Saturday, March 7th at 5:30 pm at The Place 4 Kids and facilitated by Craig Melfi and Roy Fegley. If you are interested in checking out The Daniel Plan please feel free to just stop in and see what it is all about at 881 W. America St. right next door to The Place Church.

The Daniel Plan has changed many lives in one way or another. It all depends on the individual and how they wish to apply the plan to their life. Some people make instantaneous change and some take baby steps, it all depends on them! This is a 6 week program geared up to get you started on a healthier you!

Here is what few of our Daniel Plan Alumni has to say:

“When I started the Daniel Plan one year ago I was skeptical as to whether this diet would work, as for I become disinterested in things quickly, until I read the book The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier You. Then I was hooked. It has great recipes, and basically easy to follow. If you’re hungry, you are not eating enough! I discovered this is not a diet, it is a plan, also it’s a walk with God. Making friends in the group I believe has helped my faith in a lot of things. I have lost 81 pounds to date and still am doing The Daniel Plan today! Join, Commit, and Succeed!” What an amazing testimony by James Loughry!

“I learned that it if you ask God for help with trying to be and get healthy he will show a strength you never know you had. Also that doing it with friends is easier than alone.” Thank you Craig Melfi!

Jayne Hellier says, “Knowing God is with us and sharing reasons for past struggles and how to stay focused is so helpful to success!”

Carroll Pulis has a great point here she says, “Having an accountability partner is really important to keep on track.”

I learned what God had to say about taking care of my body and by choosing a healthy lifestyle you actually honoring Him. Also that when you make healthy choices you feel better and can be more effective in every area of your life so you can be the person and live the life that God wants for you!” this is a fabulous testimony from Michal Combs!

There are many others that have lost weight, changed the way they look at food, and have taken up exercising. But the one thing they all have in common first and foremost is they found a closer relationship with God.

“Many diets and fitness plans use guilt as a motivation, but that never works in the long run. You can guilt yourself into doing anything short-term, but the change will last only as long as the guilt (or fear) does. In contrast, The Daniel Plan is built with love as the motivation: Experiencing God’s unconditional love for you, learning to love him back, learning to love whom God made you to be, and learning to give and receive love from others in a small group setting” from The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier You.

As you can see The Daniel Plan has and is impacting people in our community! Speaking of community The Daniel Plan is open to anyone interested outside of THE PLACE Church! So why not grab a friend and see how the Daniel Plan can effectively impact your life, we hope to see you there!

TV Family #2: Follow the Follower (audio)

This is the message from the second week of our TV Family series at THE PLACE. Now that we have dug the foundation of family, we begin to examine the most important part… LEADERSHIP. And we uncover the harsh reality of leadership that if you want to lead, then you need to follow. In your life, who or what are you following. Allow yourself to be challenged as we dive in and commit to become a follower and call our family to ‘Follow the Follower’!

9/11… A Day to Honor Our Heroes (audio)

On Sunday, September 11, THE PLACE chose to pause and remember the event that affected our nation in a major way… September 11th. We took a look back at the victims and heroes of this memorable day and weaved a message about God’s call for all us to be Everyday Heroes today in the world in which we live. Take a moment to remember and to move towards becoming an everyday hero!

TV Family #5: The Culmination (audio)

This is the final message in our TV Family series at THE PLACE. For this message, we examine how the keys to a healthy family are more like a marathon instead of a sprint. We talk about how steady steps each day will get us closer and closer to the goals that we have of having a strong family that reflects the character and love of Christ.

TV Family #3: The Bomb Clean Up Crew… When everything blows up (audio)

THE PLACE‘s campus pastor, Jeremy Courliss, opens up God’s Word and takes a look at our reaction to life and family when it seems like everything is blowing up. You will enjoy his message as he goes through the steps of rebuilding after a natural disaster and how we can apply those same steps to our families.

Football Follies at THE PLACE for teens (video)

We have been having a blast with our newest series at THE PLACE for teens on Wednesday nights! (Jr. High from 630p – 800p and Sr. High from 700p – 8:45p) The series is called “The Gridiron” and we have been talking about football and relating it back to our walk with God. Each week is something different:

Week One: The Lockerroom ~ We talked about different things that we can find in the lockerroom and how they link back to life. (ex. Play book = Bible, Cleats = maneuvering around obstacles, etc.)

Week Two: The Coaches Corner ~ We opened up a discourse with Questions and Answers. The kids could ask ANYTHING (and they did) and then I was able to ask them some questions too.

Week Three: Huddle UP ~ This was last night and all of the teens were able to break up in groups and discuss with their group and some leaders what it means to walk with Christ in their school and among their friends. Great conversations took place! It was a blast!

Please continue to pray for these teens as they strive to live out their faith and impact the world in a very practical way.

Last night, we watched a video that CRACKED me up! Check it out ~

Much Love,

God is Not Good… Or is He? (Video)

There is a common discussion right now that is centered around the idea that the existence of evil in the world negates the goodness of God. In other words, if God is all powerful and strong, how and WHY does He allow evil to happen.

Why do children starve while dictators feast?
Why do people die from terrible illnesses?
Why do tragedies visit every town and city around the globe?
Why… (fill in the blank)?

The question is ancient and is reignited every evening as the newscasters spew every crime and injustice committed on earth into our living rooms each night. So, we wrestle and eventually the question overwhelms us and we begin to ask, “Can God really be good?”

The answer? Hmmmm. Let’s think for a minute…

(Click Play)

Now, I ask you a question. In the midst of pain and tragedy and injustice… is God still good?

I vote YES!

Much Love,

THE PLACE is back in CyberSpace (links)

Well, looking back at the history of THE PLACE I can honestly say that we were ahead of our time. We were streaming live in our very first days. I remember nestled in our 800 square foot church for 2 people who showed up to our horribly planned 4:30pm Saturday service and preaching my heart out. This message was being sent to the world through the internet and because you could only see me, you would have thought that I was preaching to 1,000 people. Needless to say, we never had any crowd shots!

This is NOT the video camera we used.

We have now returned to live streaming and are very happy that so many of our friends around the world will be able to tune in and worship with us each week. In addition to actual services, we will also be streaming important meetings that we will be having so people who can’t come out, can still tune in and be part of the stream of information. In fact, they will be able to tune in with their own opinions through on online chat that is available to online viewers.

The easiest way to stay in tune to what is going on at the church online is to simply *Join Crowd*. It is so simple.

1. Follow this link to the Ustream webpage
2. Click the *Join Crowd* button
3. Put in your email

That’s it! It is as easy as one… two… three.

If you are unable to come on out this Sunday, feel free to tune in for the services. We are on in Arizona time (no daylight savings) and currently air at 9a and 1045a. Starting on Sept 18, 2011 we will go to three showings at 8:30a, 9:45a and 11:15a. We look forward to having you be part of our online church.

"I Think the Man Upstairs is a Lover"…

Greetings! Well, I just returned from the beautiful state of Washington as I was able to see the fertile soil of a state that is probably the polar opposite of my home state of Arizona. However, even after the culture and weather shock, I can honestly say that I loved it. Not for any other reason but that I could sense the hand of God moving my every step and guiding me through encounters and discussions that were slowly affecting me in a miraculous way.

I could go through all of these encounter in great detail, but I will save that for another day. But, I will tell you about my last night in Olympia. I was at my friend Eddy’s house and he has a guy living there by the name of Jeff (who everyone called “Hef-Ay”. Why? I have no idea.) Jeff is a missionary… or a lover of Jesus… whichever is better. He reaches out at a college called ‘Evergreen’. I don’t know too much about the school, but I do know that whenever I mention Jesus and Evergreen in the same sentence, the response is normally a grin or a huff under the breath like these two words don’t belong together like ‘blow torch’ and ‘suntanning’. But, he is there and his goal is simple ~ reach out with the love of Jesus to people who may be vehemently opposed to the very message that he is sharing. However, he still continues to share it.

Well, back to the last night. Eddy and Jeff are music people. They are talented and have some great eclectic musical skills. (One night I came back there and Jeff had an accordion strapped to his chest. Eclectic for sure.) On the last night we chose to jam. Passing around guitars and bongos and a tambourine connected to a kick stand, I thought… this must have been what 1968 was like. (without the ganja smoke of course). We played and played until Eddy asked Jeff to play that one song he played the other night. I had never heard the song, but as soon as Jeff strapped on the “Bob Dylan”esque harmonica holder around his neck I couldn’t wait. He started to sing…

“Met a man who said
he had the secret to life…”

I looked back at my stay in Washington and started to think that I was tapping into something great. Maybe I was starting to get a fuller understanding of what this life was all about. The conversations that I had in the past few days… the deep rich conversations that made you think were bubbling to the surface and I was pleased. The idea of friends sharing lives and their hearts and their struggles and their desires. There was something holy about that. There was something very special about that. I was sitting in it. I was there. My mind came back to the lyrics…

“Mama had a notion
She brought it to life
A simple explanation seemed right… seemed right
She said, ‘Son, I think the man… the man upstairs
He is a lover
And He’ll love us… yes, He’ll love us
Yes, He’ll love us
Even after we die…”

The words were real to me. I was learning love and grace and friendship and what it means to truly be led by the hand of God. Even though it is hard sometimes to be led, we need to trust the loving hands of God. He is leading us where He wants us to go. He will take us places we never thought we’d go to teach us things we never thought we’d learn to pour out into the lives of people we never thought we’d meet. This is the road of God. This is the path for all of us.

And I believe the words of “Hef-Ay”. I believe that the man upstairs is a lover. His love is amazing and has transformed my life and is continually transforming my life. And it is a love that isn’t only for me, but a love that is poured into one vessel with the expressed purpose of being poured out into another. I am honored to serve… breathe… live a life that honors this God of love.

Today, remember that God loves you. I love that the song says that God loves us even after we die. Death isn’t always the absence of breath. Some of us, right now, may feel like we are dead. We may be numb and broken and far from the hope of God. We may not even want to get out of bed in the morning. But I want you to know, that God loves us even after we die. And, the best news of all is that God is committed to bringing the dead back to life. Spend some time with Him and ask Him to bring your dead bones back to life. Leave a comment if you need prayer or some words of wisdom. God is alive, and His will is for you to be alive too!

Much love to my new friend “Hef-Ay”. You can check him out on ReverbNation. The song that I reference is called “The Journey: Part Two”. You will also hear some great harmonica ~ well worth your time!

Much Love, GP