A Cure for DMD… 

I am so ANGRY… HOPEFUL… and DESPERATELY DETERMINED… all at the same time after watching this video “To The Edge Of The Sky” http://www.upworthy.com/their-sons-disease-has-4-families-racing-the-clock-to-get-a-promising-experimental-drug-approved?g=2

How much does it cost to get the FDA to stop blocking a proven cure from our son Samuel that would save his and thousands of other children’s lives???

“I feel like we have been locked in a prison with our son, with no food or water and the key that unlocks the door has been placed just out of reach on the edge of a table filled with food and water, that we are daily forced to look at, while crowds of other people are just standing there watching us slowly dehydrate and starve to death.”

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God Loves You and There is Nothing You Can Ever Do to Change That Fact…

“thanks for the reminder, DP!”

( I took the title from something my friend and fraternity brother, Rob Howard told me…)

I know that many of you who read this are going through some major struggles right now, physically, mentally and spiritually. How do I know this, well some of you have told me, and because I go through struggles of my own. Anyone who would say that they have not and/or are not, are just not admitting it to themselves.

These struggles that we all continue to go through at different seasons in our lives are probably the best thing for us and definitely where God is strongest in our lives (according to his word in 2 Cor. 12:9 and don’t forget Isaiah 4:31) for it is through these times of darkness and/or times in the desert that God is teaching us to depend on Him. This is a tough and humiliating lesson to learn that is vital to our survival and growth as Christians. Are we up for it, do we really know what we have gotten ourselves into when we gave our hearts to Jesus?

Well, it does not matter if we are up for it or not, because Christ said that he loves us and he will never leave us or forsake us (Dt. 31:6, Josh. 1:5, Ps. 94:14, Heb. 13:5. Yikes, that promise in the Bible always sounds so great when we need God, yet it can be annoying when we are doing fine or are running from the Lord. I personally got tired of running from the Lord back in 1998. And I am no longer annoyed with God’s amazing promise through His Son, Jesus Christ and yet it does not make it any easier to live in the reality of growing, knowing and daily living as a Christian in a world that is a total mess… However, knowing that the struggles are always going to present themselves and that they have a purpose allows me to respond differently and run to the cross for help. That is why when I read God’s word and get to a place in scripture like this morning, I am overwhelmed with thankfulness and renewed vigor for pressing on in my pursuit to be a godly man and want to pass it along…

‘Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love, and teach me your statutes… Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them. The unfolding of your word gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple (amen). I open my mouth and pant, because I long for your commandments. Turn to me and be gracious to me, as is your way with those who love your name. Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me. Redeem me from man’s oppression, that I my keep your precepts. Make your face shine upon your servant, and teach me your statutes. My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law… [Psalm 119: 124 – 136, ESV]

Don’t give up, God bless you today…

I close this morning with 3 things that I have taken from a friend and say to my boys every night: (1.) God loves you and there is nothing you can ever do to change that (2.) I love you and there is nothing that you can ever do to change that (3.) God has a very special plan and purpose for your life…

Sincerely in Christ,

Rob Springer

Proverbs 21:21


Build THE Dream – Nehemiah

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Rise Up & STAND Samuel – Mark 2:11-12

Thank you Karl Martin for your brilliant book “Stand” http://www.amazon.com/Stand-Karl-Martin/dp/1910012033

Thank you Thomas Dean for encouraging Samuel as well as our family.  Thank you for your fantastic songs (http://www.heknowsmyname.co.uk/)…  beautiful reminders that Jesus knows our names… soaring truths that we are never forgotten or alone in this life…

Thank you Central Church http://www.jesusattheheart.org/ for jumping in heart first for the sake of the gospel and loving the people you are given with the fierce love of Christ!

Hope to see you again soon!


Antonio Ciseri's depiction of Pontius Pilate p...
Antonio Ciseri’s depiction of Pontius Pilate presenting a scourged Christ to the people Ecce homo! (Behold the man!). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,

the Creator of heaven and earth,

and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,

born of the Virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died, and was buried.

He descended to the dead.

The third day He arose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven

and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,

whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy universal church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and life everlasting.


I believe in one God, Father Almighty,

Creator of heaven and earth,

and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,

the only-begotten Son of God,

begotten of the Father before all ages;

Light of Light, true God of true God,

begotten, not created,

of one essence with the Father through Whom all things were made.

Who for us men and for our salvation

came down from heaven

and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit

and the Virgin Mary and became man.

He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate,

and suffered and was buried;

and He rose on the third day,

according to the Scriptures;

and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father;

And He shall come again, with glory,

to judge the quick and the dead;

whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life;

who proceeds from the Father;

who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified;

who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins;

and I look for the resurrection of the dead,

and the life of the world to come.

GEAR Up for the Game – Go Bears!

First I have to say thank you to Noah’s (and his teammates) Coaches and here’s why…

It’s a cold Sunday morning (which I love by the way… don’t tell anyone :0) and we are out on the football field watching our son Noah and his ‘Bear’ Teammates get ready for one of their final games. I guess you could say we have taken the church to the football field today… sort of…

This short story began last week as a result of a brief conversation the prior week with one of Noah’s coaches about my desire to help Noah understand the values and priorities of God, Sundays and Football…

It’s so cool when the gospel gets spoken without the need for words. And for me, being a guy with absolutely no lack of words, this was an unusual and special experience.

My son Noah told me that the coaches approached him after practice and said they knew how important church was to our family and since the game was on Sunday would your dad want to say a few words and pray for the team before the game.

When Noah told me this my whole spirit lit up, like a spark plug igniting an engine!

Well, here we are this morning and this is the word and prayer God had for the team. Go Bears!

GEAR up for the Game:
In Ephesians 6:10-18, Paul gives the team the pre-game pep talk and reminds us to check our football gear. He’s talking about gearing up for battle, but football players also gear up for the game. If he’d been thinking about football he might have phrased it this way, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the uniform, so that you can take your stand against the opposing team… Therefore put on all of your gear so that when the game day comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the shoulder pads of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the shoes of readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the face mask of faith, with which you can conquer all the opponents’ plays. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, your playbook, which is the word of God. Let’s all commit the game to God as we kneel for a locker room prayer, that we might prove victorious in this game.”

Ephesians 6:10-18
The Whole Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation,
and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints…

Rob Springer
Proverbs 21:21


Samuel Is An Alien and So Am I – Take Me To Your Leader

As I begin my day this morning with my usual routine of stumbling to the coffee maker, then to the shower, then to my knees at my favorite chair I begin to talk with God…

My mind is so full of thoughts about my son Samuel… hopes, fears, joys, concern, hope, love and, well, the words will not come out to express my emotions…  I am not even sure I have a good grasp on how I am feeling… regardless of me, and my thoughts, my heart continues to cry out to God and here is how God answered in his still soft way this morning…

Psalm 95:1-96:13, “Come let us sing to the Lord, let us shout to the Rock of our salvation…”

Then I looked down at my right hand and saw the yellow plastic hospital bracelet with an aqua snap.  I was given this bracelet to wear when I arrived at the Ronald McDonald house…IMG_4884 and met my amazing little boy with a smile bigger than his face waiting with great anticipation behind the sliding glass doors to tell me about his days adventures and show me his new comfy PJ pants and super cool Colts slip on slippers.  I was bursting with joy to see him and my amazing, beautiful, incredibly accomplished super, wife, mother and friend… IMG_2226The reason for my excitement was not only because I was thrilled to see them both and be able share this monumental experience together, but also because I had a totally unexpected gift for Samuel that I knew he was not expecting, really wanted and was sure it would be a while before he might get it.  So as I, with great pride and joy  grabbed him up in my arms and kissed his neck and squeezed him as tightly as I dared, I then gently set him down on his precious feet and casually gave him a plastic Game Stop bag and stepped back to take in his response!  Precious, beautiful moment, nothing to do with the gift, everything to do with the look on my precious, beautiful sons face…  His reaction and surprise was like having warm liquid joy poured all over me and soaking me to the bone!

Ok, back to the yellow plastic bracelet with the aqua snap.   As I looked at it again today (thinking about Samuel being in a brain scan tube today and the numerous blood draws and PT that are down the road, and many other new, unexpected things…) I was reminded of my private vow that I would not take it off until Samuel was through this and/or I was given or asked to put on a new one to wear during our different stays at the hospital.  This morning, with my head full to the point of bursting and my heart filling with joy and hope from the Lord and his soft, gentle, faithful voice I saw with new eyes the word “GUEST” on the yellow bracelet with the aqua snap that I had been wearing since Tuesday.  I was immediately reminded of God’s very clear word that we are not of this world, we are aliens… in this world, but not of this world.  I think this little yellow bracelet with the aqua snap changed my life this morning…

God reminded me in this gentle, quiet, incredibly loud moment… that He is in control and the worries, sicknesses, diseases and problems of this world do not apply to me, Samuel or my family.  God is in control and these outward, human things (for lack of a more descriptive way of expressing) are at worst only distractions and at best (and probably more correctly) incredible opportunities, and precious moments with God to know Him more and draw into Him closer…

So as I cry out to God with praise, and all my human emotions, fears and questions, I also praise Him because I along with Strong, Unwavering Samuel…

IMG_2566 IMG_2479 IMG_2913

and the rest of the Springer crew (Precious-Faithful Mary, 20130401-111642.jpg

Compassionate-Wise Noah… IMG_4651…Noble-Determined Elijah and Joyful-Passionate Levi)..IMG_4878 …are all fearfully and wonderfully made… (Psalm 139:14), precious treasures that will not lose heart… (2 Corinthians 4:6-7, 10-18), God knows the plans He has for us as we seek Him with all our hearts… (Jeremiah 29:11-13); so we will continue to praise the Rock of our salvation through this… (Psalm 95:1-96:13) and continue to pursue righteousness and love in all things… (Proverbs 21:21)

Then I got in the car and headed down Van Avenue to City Hall and this is the song God sang to me “Our God” by Chris Tomlin…

Ahh… God is good… All the time… God is good…


Phillip Samuel Michael Springer my Hero…

Hymns vs. Contemporary Songs… True Worshipers… Finding a Church Home…

When you are struggling with the music you experience at church stop for just a moment and realize that there is a difference between biblical values that have nothing to do with likes or dislikes and religious preferences which have everything to do with likes and dislikes.

While both are important and God uses them to guide us to the right ‘church family’ and culture, one is definitely more important.

When looking for a good church home to plug into (and before you get distracted and frustrated over the wrong thing(s)), stop for a moment and do the following:

1. Ask yourself, “Can I sing to God and praise him even if it is with a song I may not like or am not familiar with?”

2. Also ask yourself, “Can I hear God’s voice even if the preaching is bad or the church service is weird or boring?”

3. Then get to know some of the people in a small group in and outside of the church setting.  Relationships have a way of making religious (music, etc..) preferences not seem so important.

4. Once you have done the above ask the most important question, “God is this where you want me and desire to use me and grow me in my relationship with you?”

In my experience God usually (well almost always) takes me out of my comfort zone and stretches me in the areas of my preferences so that he can grow me up in my understanding of his biblical values to refine me for his purpose and ultimate glory.

John 4:21-24, “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.  You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.  Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

Could the ‘mountains’ Jesus was referring to when speaking with the Samaritan women be our modern day churches today?  Because of the work Jesus did on the cross we know what/who we are worshiping today… or do we…  Regardless of how you or I might answer these questions the fact remains that, “the time has now come…”  So the BIG question that we must all wrestle with in church is, “Am I a true worshiper?”

I pray for you and for me the answer is yes and we can step over the mess we have made and get on with what is important to God… worshiping him in Spirit and in truth…

Purpose is BOSS… Planning is KEY…

Purpose Is Boss & Planning Is Key

“Slow and steady wins the race.” “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” “No man is an island.” “Good things come to those who wait.” “You get what you pay for.” I have heard these and so many other wise sayings all my life and I have even come up with one of my own (well its original to me any way…), “The team that works together grows together.”

One of the most incredible gifts in life is having a part in creating something and helping it grow. In my opinion there is nothing better than being a part of a high functioning team with a clear purpose, working strategically together to execute a well thought out plan.

In my years of working literally around the world with wonderfully different, challenging and incredible people, groups and organizations, I personally have learned 4 simple truths: (1.) you cannot grow by your self, (2.) you need to know who you are and what you stand for in order to be flexible and teachable (3.) it is vital to seek out and surround yourself with people you can identify with, learn from, trust and listen to, (4.) and you need to know your limitations and not be afraid to ask for help.

These 4 simple truths have led me to the discovery of 3 key elements that are an important part of building a strong foundation for the sustainable, long-term growth of any large group or organization. First, you have to know and be able to clearly state your purpose (why you are here and what you want to accomplish), second, take time to gather the right people and come up with a plan that is comprehensive and easy to communicate (where you want to go and/or take people), and third, have a strategy for getting the right people in the right place to execute the plan (how to grow and attract others). It is important to write these down and refer to them often. Without these 3 vital elements, combined with strong agreement and accountability, there is no way that you can consistently lead a large group of people, attract strong leaders or expect any sustainable growth. You will end up with many differing opinions, more critics than team players and very few if any good leaders. Change, creativity, strategy and relevance will become negative words and people will end up leading out of obligation and fear rather than passionate conviction.

The frustrating reality is that most if not all the people in a group or organization that lacks purpose, planning and strategy know that there is a very real and dangerous problem but refuse to do anything about it or don’t feel they have the time or safe place to say anything. Business, confusion, ambivalence and pride keep them distracted, making creativity awkward and change discouraging allowing fear, burnout and complacency to paralyze any hope for change. These 3 vital elements, purpose, planning and strategy are nothing new, hidden, complicated or hard to obtain. The reality is that when something is not working we just have to have the conviction and guts to acknowledge it and be brave enough stop doing what’s not working, find others who are passionate about purpose, planning and strategy and do the hard work with the right people to get back on track.

It all boils down to the simple fact that purpose is boss and planning is key. Strategy is nothing more than putting the right people in the right place once you know your purpose and have a plan. The groups and organizations that continue to attract great people and grow live by this and the groups and organizations that don’t… don’t.


Taking a Ride On the Crazy Train: What I Got, What I Learned, Destination Truth Stops Here…

recently, i found myself on what i can only refer to is “the crazy train…” here is what happened before i woke up… came to my senses and jumped off…

it was a normal day, started out the same as every other day… yet here i am over 12 months later waking up on this crazy train and the only word coming out of my mouth was (an expression used by my 2 year old) “WHAT…”

the following is a very brief glimpse into my “crazy train ride” spending the last year or so going through what i thought was just a need for a ‘new look,’ a fashion update of sorts… however after throwing out all my old clothes, buying new clothes then losing weight and having to throw out the new cloths and buy more new clothes… deceiving myself by buying ‘vintage’ clothing on ebay, spending waisted gas, time and $ driving to and from  macy’s, goodwill, marshall’s and tj max (both of the last two have great inexpensive coffee…) that really did not work and traveling down a desperate fashion trail for the perfect jeans, shoes and hair style for a guy in his 40s… selling my cool vintage bmw for a cooler ‘newer’ vintage mini cooper… auditioning for every singing reality show I could get to, creating a really weird (yes, Adam i am finally admitting it) Youtube page… trying to update our house and make it look like something from HGTV all the while working at being a devoted husband (and not drive my wife too crazy) and a good dad without losing my patience, freaking out or burning out… i won’t even get into my work and life as a pastor (for now anyway)… WHEW…

i began to think… i am really missing something and creating a silly, dramatic mess for no reason…

through all this vain concern and futile pursuit (another way of saying, “how embarrassing and what a waist of time…”) i came to the realization that perhaps i had not lost my fashion sense and what a silly concern in the first place… the only real dilemma was the financial, mental, crazy one i created on the crazy train of self-discovery that… I WAS SMACK DAB IN THE MIDDLE OF MY VERY OWN MID-LIFE CRISIS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midlife_crisis)… “SUPER UGH!”

ouch… i thought i would be able to skip this or at the very least it would not catch me by surprise…

CRAZY TRAIN EXPERIENCE: what i got, what i learned and the truth i turned back to…

what i got on the “crazy train” was a good pair of jeans (ok 2 pair) for a guy in his 40’s (buffalo, NOT skinny jeans), discovered a great cheap bottle of red wine (lucky duck), a collection of vintage T-shirts (from macy’s and ebay) a great camel winter car coat from ebay, spent fifty bucks on a pair of converse sneakers (WHAT) and began riding my bike, watching what i was eating and lost 20 lbs…

what i have learned (again…) is that none of these things will ever make me happy… infact unless i continue to chase after Jesus i could easily spend the rest of my life on the crazy train and one day… in my vain pursuit of self, probably fall of the crazy train and get run over… WHAT!

the truth God continues to mercifully teach me… when you find yourself on the crazy train… don’t think, don’t rationalize, don’t buy another thing… jump and turn to the Lord for help…

– 16 But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
2 Corinthians 3:16-18

taking a ride on the crazy train: what i got, what i learned and the truth i turned back to...

A Good Day to Start…

Until today, every time i would stop to think, “I should start a blog,” immediately a distraction or pressing need would interrupt my thoughts or the time just never seemed right… also, I was not sure ‘how’ to start or research enough to decide which one of the numerous blogging forums to use…

…then this morning as I as found myself in a quiet moment with the rain softly tapping the window of my favorite room in our house… sitting in my favorite chair I ran across a pastor and church that I have been somewhat stalking; Paul Stewart and the gateway church in Des Moines, IA… http://www.thegatewaychurch.com/

…Paul does not know me and I only know of him by happening upon the church website one day… I was immediately attracted to the beautiful, eclectic and creative presentation of the gospel through their website and a noticeable freedom and cool understanding of God…

Sooo when I noticed that Paul was blogging using typepad (I decided to go with word press… more compatible with my ipad2) I thought… why not… today’s a good day to start…

Jeremiah 29:11-13


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