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!


5 Keys to Common Sense Biblical Counseling

Now, I’m not talking about the kind of counseling where you need a plaque on the wall to do it. I’m talking about the “‘down and dirty’ representing Jesus to help someone” kind of counseling. As Christians, we are called to be available to help others throughout life.

Let me give you five quick keys to making sure that your Biblical Counseling time is fruitful:

Key #1: Keep Christ First and Last

If you are going to sit down and provide someone with counsel, make sure that you start and end the time in prayer. This is the moment where you can invite the Holy Spirit to be part of the conversation. Ask Him to lead the conversation and help you hear what needs to be heard. Too often we just dive right in without taking time to pray. Take a few minutes to focus on God… it will make all the difference in the world.

Key #2: Listen More Than You Talk

This simple key has revolutionized my ability to counsel. There is something about silence that makes us want to fill it. I get uncomfortable when no one is saying anything so I try to fill it with words. When counseling, you need to embrace the silence. Sometimes, the silence allows the opportunity for the person you are counseling to say what they normally avoid saying. Don’t be afraid to sit, be silent and let THEM fill the void.

Key #3: Don’t Excuse Behavior or Make Excuses for Them

In the past, I would find myself trying to defend or “make sense” of people’s situations. This is not my responsibility. Trust me… people can make enough excuses for themselves and they don’t need my help. I am not here to justify mistakes or actions that they have done, but simply hear them through. Bite your tongue next time and don’t let yourself make excuses.

Key #4: Delineate Between the Need for an Ear and the Need for Advice

Sometimes people just want someone to listen to them. In fact, I’ve found that some people can actually come up with great conclusions for their lives by simply hearing themselves speak. Others, however, need an action plan or steps to apply to their lives by you. As you are counseling them, try to keep an ear open to what their need is. This can happen by asking them near the end of your time, “What are you going to do with what we talked about?” If they don’t have an answer, this may the moment for your two cents.

Key #5: Don’t Tell Them What to Do, But Allow Them to Search Scripture and Pray to Make Decisions

In Biblical Counseling, I want to point people to the Bible and Prayer. God wants to speak to His children. He wants to lead them in their decisions. The more that I can get someone to focus their heart, mind and attention on God… the more wisdom they will be able to attain from Him. This will happen, sometimes, by opening up the Bible and pointing to verses that deal with the subject of the counseling time. It can also come from giving them portions of scripture to read, think about and commit to memory. Point them towards spiritual action and you allow them to develop strong, healthy habits.

There it is! A few keys to help you help others. Now, get out there and get busy helping people make great decisions and find wholeness in their hearts and lives.

– Pastor Greg

Dancing in the Minefield ~ Embracing Life Amongst Difficulty Pt. 5 (audio)

This is the final message in our ‘Minefield’ series from THE PLACE. This is the culmination where we take all the principles that we’ve learned so far and use them to examine chapter four of the book of Philippians. We focus in on two verses where Paul stresses the importance of controlling those things which take place between your ears… your thoughts. We look at this subject from different angles and then watch a video which left many in tears.

Enjoy listening to this week’s message:

Dancing in the Minefield: Embracing Life Amongst Difficulty

Oftentimes in life we experience great difficulty, pain or fear. It is important that we reach the point where we are see our todays and tomorrows through the eyes of Jesus and not our scratched lenses from yesterday. This is the first message in a five part series all taken from the words of Paul to the church in Phillipi. Allow yourselves to partake in a discussion of destiny… YOUR destiny!

Read the Bible? Where do I start? (links)

I recently received a great question from someone who is on the road of Christianity and wanted to start reading their Bible. They didn’t really know where to start though. I think a lot of people are right at that point. They want to read and learn more, but they think that they should start at the beginning and read all the way through. Even though that may be a great way to read the Bible, a new believer will make it to about Leviticus before they grow tired and give up. So, I sent out this email with advice. Maybe it’ll help you today. Enjoy.

Well, let me just say that you are about to start the adventure of a lifetime! The Bible is absolutely amazing! Let me give you some personal advice about how to tackle reading the Bible.

It’s broken down into 3 overall sections. The Old Testament (Genesis to Malachi) is the Jewish history, The Gospels (Matthew to Acts) is about the life of Jesus and the early church, and the remainder of the New Testament (Everything after Acts) are letters to the different churches giving them advice on how to live and handle issues that are coming up. I want to encourage you to focus on the Gospels.

I think that Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts is a great place to read and gain a better understanding of the teachings of Jesus and His life, death and resurrection. It is four different perspectives on the life of Jesus, so you will hear the same story four different times with each author pointing out different points.

Some would say read one chapter or three chapters, but I say read until you feel like stopping. And then pause and think about what you just read and talk to God about it. You will find different portions of scripture really ministering to you.

If you are a visual person or would like to share this experience with someone else, there is another great resource called THE VISUAL BIBLE. This is what we use in our community group. It acts out the Bible word for word. They have at least three books of the Bible done, Matthew, Acts and John. It is an AMAZING resource! Here is a link so that you can read up on it…
Also, I do most of my reading online. In fact, most of my studying is done online anymore. Here are a few of my favorite websites… (They have personal reading plans that are really good) (A ton of study tools for taking it to the next level) (A free download so that you can have the Bible on your computer even without internet access) (filled with devotionals and other resources)

Finally, let me tell you the most important thing. The version of the Bible that you are reading matters A LOT! There are a lot of different bibles, and they are written at different reading levels. Check out the differences here…
I would recommend the NIV or NKJV or NLT. The Message Bible is more of a paraphrase which is great for leisure reading, but not as good when it comes to studying.

Well, there’s a little to look at. Let me know if this brings any more questions to mind and I will be happy to help any way I can.

Have a great day!

Entire Book of Colossians from the Message Bible (audio)

OK ~ well we are finishing our ‘official’ series on the book of Colossians this week at THE PLACE. We’ve covered a different aspect of the character traits of a SIMPLE CHURCH, examining a different area each week. It has been a GREAT series that has spoken to me personally in many deep, profound ways. If you would like to hear any of the messages, feel free to check out our audio page at

Each week I’ve posted a different chapter that I’ve read from the MESSAGE BIBLE written by Eugene Peterson. These chapters have been mixed with some beautiful Mozart. I’m including these links in this blog ~ along with a very special compilation of the entire book of Colossians. I pray that the words of the Apostle Paul will be as riveting and life changing to you as they were to me. Enjoy!

Colossians Chapter 1

Colossians Chapter 2

Colossians Chapter 3

Colossians Chapter 4

Entire Book of Colossians

Let God’s Word be a light to your path! With Him, you’ll never fail!


Join THE PLACE as we focus on the book of COLOSSIANS (audio)


That’s right my friends… for the next four weeks at THE PLACE we will be focusing on one book of the Bible and one book alone. This book is…


Each week we’ll be covering one chapter. Each week we’re going to challenge one another to read through all four chapters. This way, we would read this one book four times in a month. This will allow our spirits and minds ample opportunity to sit and meditate on the great truths found in the book. They will correlate with the sermon series we are doing called…


To help in this process, I am producing you your very own audio track to listen to. Maybe the idea of reading the Bible is too much for you right now. Well, all you have to do is click on the link below and listen to some great relaxing music and a chapter from the book of Colossians that was penned by the great Eugene Peterson’s THE MESSAGE BIBLE. And all this is only six minutes…

I want to encourage you… take six minutes, close your eyes and let the words from the Apostle Paul seep into your heart.

Click HERE to listen to Colossians Chapter 1.


p.s. You can also find this on our AUDIO MESSAGES page of the website

Rebuilding the Walls of Your Life with THE PLACE (Photo)

Rebuilding the Walls of Our Life

Rebuilding the Walls of Our Life

Last week, we started a series at THE PLACE called “Rebuilding the Walls of our Life”. It is centered on the life of Nehemiah and draws a parallel between what he was doing in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and the words of 1 Corinthians 6:19 “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God…”

In our first week, we examined who Nehemiah was and how important the FOUNDATION of our life is. We looked at a story that Jesus told about two people who both built ~ but chose different foundations to build on. We also took a closer look at a great American architect by the name of Frank Lloyd Wright and even moved into the world of art and galleries and an odd choice for a representation of peace. If you missed it, but would like to hear it… check out the message entitled “Rebuilding the Walls of Life – Foundation” on our message page.

This past week, we added another brick to our wall and examined the area of FAITH. This path led us into the realm of professional running, animal sacrifice and a little Brazillian boy named after the juice that is put over prime rib. We continued looking at Nehemiah and his prayer to God and his understanding of authority. If you missed it, but would like to check it out… log onto our message page. and listen to “Rebuilding the Walls of Life – Faith”.

This next week, we will be trekking into the area of friends and relationships. There are three opportunities for you to join with us. You can choose our Sat. service @ 4:30p or one of our Sunday services @ 9:00am or 10:45am. We look forward to seeing you there this week!