Monday, October 31, 2016

UPDATE Year1 Week 10


Anna Rose, Lia, Dave Dave and Ned's pumpkins


We had an EVENTful week this week at the Winston-Salem Fellows.

Monday: we joined a large crowd in the basement of the Benton Convention Center for the Annual Young Life Banquet - one of my favorite evenings of the year. John Wagner, a Wake Grad and current Vice President of Young Life gave an impactful call to action. 

It was great to include the Fellows. Camille wants to be a Capernaum Leader now (Woo Hoo! She will be soooo good at that). more on Young Life Click Here

On Wednesday: we helped serve at the ABC Child Development Gourmet Lunch fundraiser. It was a powerful time. Camille, again, was incredibly engaged, and was so excited to introduce us to her Awesome Club director. 

I was so excited to meet Doug Flutie! (Didn't plan on us matching!) More on ABC Click Here

Then Thursday morning, bright and early: Chad Brown and I headed to Raleigh for a fundraising breakfast for Hope International. Click Here for More

If you didn't know it, great things are happening all around us! So honored to be invited to hear and support what is happening in our cities and around the world. 


Christina, Sean, Reese, Ned, Rahel, and Camille getting ready to pass out candy
We were also invited to help serve at the 7th Annual Trick or Treat in Old Salem Event on Sunday Evening. 

It was NUTS! (Actually nut-free because of allergy concerns). But man! I've never seen so many costumes in one place. In less than two hours, we each passed out easily 7,000+ pieces of candy (one per child!)

Camille Stogner as Herself
Sinbad the Sailer AKA Sean
We also lit 375 pumpkins. A Fellows record, I believe. 

Christina fulfilling a life long dream

Personally, my favorite part of the evening was watching Dave Dave pass out candy. He had so much joy - and told me later that he actually liked passing out candy more than going around getting it! that's my boy!!!

Passing out pencils.
He is Emmit from the Lego Movie

Thursday night, a few of us went out to John and Pat Gerstmeyer's home in Kernersville to meet and hear from Tony Nzah Nzah, the head of Scripture Union (a Young Life Partner) in South Africa. 

Christina said it was one of her favorite events so far. 

Friday night, several Fellows joined in a community potluck at the Glenn's home. 

So much love in this picture.
Others were involved with Homecoming at Wake Forest. 

Dakota and his band actually played pre-game!

Dakota and his bass
Others headed to Priddy's General Store by Hanging Rock for some blue grass and dancing

Julia and Jessica. Love the hat
Down by the Dan River for a campfire
Sunday morning, I preached at Southside Commuity Church. (Love those people). A few Fellows played hooky from their church to come and support me. 

We went out afterwards to an El Savador Restaurant called Cuchifrito (Coochie-Frito. Don't think they focused grouped the name very well...) 

I recommend the papusas
The food was delicious, and the company just as delightful. 

As for the sermon, I take some pride in the fact that according to my daughter, I mentioned Jesus 46 times and did not say Christian once! Ha! 

Here is a picture of another child's sermon notes. He pretty much got the whole sermon summed up on this one sheet of paper!

This pretty much sums up my sermon
Thanks Steve Angle for asking me to come. I'll do it any time. 

Here is a photo from River Oaks Community Church where Rahel was reading Scripture...

Rahel and I need stools some times
North, South, East or West - we have Fellows bringing it on Sunday mornings and evenings. Woo-Hoo!


I took my car into the service department on Friday because the Coolant was a little low and my Engine Fan had been running after the car turned off. I thought that perhaps my Engine Filter had gotten dirty (it happens when you go to the mountains on dirt roads as much as we do). Turns out it was the radiator. Uh-Oh. 

Fortunately, it was three days under warranty!And a $1,600 bill went to $0. Praise Jesus!!! So glad I didn't wait until Monday. 

My loaner
So we have been driving this puppy around all weekend. My kids like it because "it smells good." 

"Well, if you helped me keep mine clean, ours wouldn't smell bad." Is what I say!


This week, we brought in $4,400 in pledges and donations from several individuals and businesses, which brings our total to $9,770 for the fiscal year, just under 25% of our budget. That's awesome!

But we need your help to get us to our goal of $40,000. 

Please pray about how you can contribute. We don't need to be your biggest donation. But we believe that what we are doing here is something worthy of your support. 

To donate now. Click Here. 

To receive a support card and special gift from the Fellows, email or Click Here. 

Or fill out the support card we have already sent you!

THANKS! With your help we can continue to make an impact here in Winston-Salem!


Anna Rose and her Bunnicula

It's Halloween!

Several of our Fellows are having family nights with their Host Families. Others are having a family night with us and passing out candy at our house. 

It's a festive start for a VERY FULL WEEK!

Wednesday, we are having our Leader Lunch with Kathy Carr at SECU. Then, we are off to the Center for Creative Leadership for some Networking Training. Then, off to Charlie and Ruth Jones' hotel/house for dinner and a community worship night. 

Thursday morning, we are attending the Joe Gibbs Game Plan For Life Event. (Let me know if you want to join us, we have a few seats available). 

Friday, we have our first class with Jack Wilkerson. Then, we are heading to Chapel Hill for the Wilberforce Conference on Faith, Work and Justice. THEN, we are continuing on to Oxford, NC to Camp Oak Hill for the Regional Fellows Micah 6:8 Retreat. 

No rest for the weary. 

Lia is leaving for Phoenix on Thursday for a five day conference. Still figuring out what to do with the kiddos!!! That's a place you can pray. 

You can pray for me and my left foot. I injured it a week ago and it needs rest, which is something I don't like giving it. 

Otherwise, things are looking up! I can honestly say, there is no place I'd rather be. Thanks for encouraging me to be there!!!

I stopped by and had lunch with Anna Rose today
I found Dave Dave on the playground

I came to pump them up!!!

Monday, October 24, 2016

UPDATE Year 1 Week 9

It has certainly been another great week to be a Fellow. 

Alex Loy agrees
Thanks to the Glenn family for opening up their home to us on Monday night for Round Table. Campbell may be down one leg, but he was able to have a full week of Fellows time and work. 

Campbell reluctantly allowing us to sign his cast. 
At Round Table, we read a letter from a Zimbabwe pastor on his way to be martyred. We had a great discussion, but I was unsure how it resonated...then the next day, Jessica posted it on Facebook. Wow. Was that moving!... I'll include the letter at the end of this update. 


from left to right: Campbell, Jay Helvey, Will, Reese Alex, Sean, Camille, Julie, Rahel, Dakota, Christina and Jessica 
Unsurprisingly, Jay Helvey did a masterful job sharing his story with the Fellows. He talked about three things: identity, community, and obedience...

I'll tell you. I've always looked up to Jay (not just because I'm short), but the honesty and humility and Kingdom focus this man displays is truly inspiring. Thanks Jay!

Cassia Capital, his company, also hired a Fellow (Will Troxler)!

Speaking of companies that hired Fellows...

I made a surprise stop to Pilot Environmental to visit Christina Sandstedt and her boss Michael Brame. And surprise I did. You should have seen her jump! It was worth the stop just for that. But it got even better. After Michael Brame and Brian Luckey told me how great a job Christina was doing, Michael gave me some Venison Sausage to take with me! That's what I'm talking about!

Thanks Michael!

Me and the kids enjoying some venison (David is trying to convince us to let him be a Zombie Lego for Halloween - make-up cred: Anna Rose)


On Friday, Greg Keener of the Piedmont Land Conservancy, gave us a personal tour of one of the properties they are protecting in Bethania.

The weather held up, and we were able not only to learn a bit, but have some fun along the way. 

Happy Birthday REESE!
 Friday was also Reese Schaffner's birthday, so after our hike we had an afternoon of fun at Reynolda, where we broke in his new Spikeball kit and celebrated post game at the Village Tavern.


Christina, Alex, Jessica, Camille and Rahel showing off their pumpkin skills
 Lia and I had our fellowship group, I guess I'm supposed to say Life Group now, and the Fellows who could make it up to the mountains on Saturday for a little day of Fall Fun.

David is holding a pumpkin
Serious concentration around the table during a game of Spoons
Reese drove his motorcycle. Anna Rose only wore his helmet
Lip Sync Battle

Loving our pumpkin colored jackets

Christina, Alex and Reese

Anna Rose and her dog Summer
It was not warm...but it sure was fun!!!


Donations are trickling in...thank you so much to those of you who have committed to supporting us this year. 

We received $5,370 in pledges and donations last week. That gets us just under 15% of our $40,000 fundraising goal. 

Please pray about how you could invest. There is no better time than today! Click here to do it now!


Monday. Pray for the Young Life Banquet tonight. The Fellows will be there as adults. Pray for a spirit of generosity and inspiration!

Wednesday. Pray for the ABC Lunch on Wednesday. The Fellows are attending and serving at that event. Pray for more generosity!

Afterward, we are heading to the Center for Creative Leadership for another professional development day. 

Thursday we are meeting with the General Director of Spiritual Union of South Africa, Tony Nzahnzah. 

Friday, we have our last class with Professor David Speakman

Saturday, we are helping serve at The Awakening at Dash Stadium You should totally come!

Sunday, I'm preaching at Southside Community Church. COME IF YOU CAN: 
10:30am at the Enterprise Center on 1922 S. Martin Luther King Blvd. 

Then Sunday afternoon we are passing out candy down at Old Salem for Halloween. 

What a week!

Catching the sunrise on the way down to Winston-Salem
Here is the letter I wrote you about. 

from Brennan Manning's Signature of Jesus

I’m part of the fellowship of the unashamed.   I have the Holy Spirit power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made– I’m a disciple of His.   I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.  My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I’m finished and done with low living, sight walking,  smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.
I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized,  praised,  rewarded. I now live by faith, lean in His presence, walk by patience, am uplifted by prayer, and I labor with power.
My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way rough, my companions are few,  my Guide  reliable, my mission is clear.  I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed.
I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, preached up for the cause of Christ.  I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me. And when He  comes for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me… my banner will be clear!

Monday, October 17, 2016

UPDATE Week 8 Year 1

As if the Fellows year couldn't get any better...

Camille, Christina, Alex, Dakota, Will, Rahel, Julia, Jessica, and on the bottom: Reese, Sean, and Ned
The Fellows year did!

Here are some highlights from week 8.

MAD, SAD, and GLAD at the PERRY'S

Chris and Virginia Perry blessed us with a scrumptious Lasagna, Salad, and Garlic Bread dinner, chased with some fine beverages and laughter-filled conversation. 

The Perry's are expert hosts, and they welcomed the Fellows with open arms. They introduced us to a Perry dinner tradition of going around the table and sharing something we each were Mad, Sad, and Glad about. We kidded them that there were two negatives to the one positive, but none of us had any problem coming up with responses. Ha!

Afterward, we sat on the back patio around a fire and had a wonderful Round Table time of studying Scripture, sharing and praying for each other. 

Thank you Chris and Virginia!


On Wednesday, Forsyth Country Day (thanks Gardner) hosted our leader lunch with Ella Long, the Vice President of Talent Management at RAI Services (Reynolds American). Her living in a basement with her husband and a baby to successful business woman story was incredibly inspiring. 

Of all the Vice Presidents I know (true, I don't know too many), Ella is by far the most bubbly when it comes to personality. As one of our Fellows said, "No matter what you think about the tobacco industry, I'm glad that it's led by people like her!" 

Couldn't have said it better. 

Thanks Ella! (Sorry for the photo failure)

Steady Neddy and Ewa White, hosts of W-S Game Night

Afterward, I was back to helping host the Opening Retreat for Leadership Winston-Salem. Our team, once again was great, led by Mike Ford, Lea Metz, Jenny Scholl, and Robert Egleston. 

It was year two for my job of hosting Winston-Salem Game Night - basically Young Life for adults. Fun was had by all. Only one minor concussion. I'm happy to report she's ok. 

Of all the volunteer things I do, volunteering with Leadership Winston-Salem is no doubt one of my favorites. I leave the opening retreat utterly exhausted and utterly inspired by the men and women who live in this city. 

Here's to a great year LWS!


It was a quick transition for me as I came home Thursday night from the Leadership Winston-Salem Retreat to get ready for The Winston-Salem Fellows Fall Advance. 

By a set of quite fortunate circumstances, we were blessed with the opportunity to hold our Fall Advance at one of the most beautiful camps in North Carolina (aka anywhere) Camp Merri-Mac. 

I can't thank you enough Adam, Ann and Mary Page Boyd. 

The leaves were every color of the rainbow. 

As for content, I want to thank my wife Lia. She helped me big time, thinking through what to share this weekend. 

All in all, it was one of the most powerful two days we have had as Fellows and that I have had in years. One of our Fellows texted me last night and said: "Ned - hope you're enjoying time with the fam and getting some rest. Just wanted to thank you for facilitating my favorite days in NC thus far. I had an amazing time this weekend."

It truly was amazing. Some highlights: 

solitude up in Craggy Gardens

cooking together 

playing in Asheville and catching some college football and catching up with Kyle Welch and Erin Burgess

sitting around fires, worshipping together, bouldering, playing ultimate, playing our favorite games, watching the sunrise on top of Lookout, and simply being with each other...

I only teared up five different times.

thank you Merri-Mac! 

Rahel and Camille in Craggy Gardens

Julia, Alex and Will preparing dinner night 1
a happy ending to a paper towel roll fight

Post Ultimate Glory

Christina is about to eat Dakota's face

Julia, Alex, Christina and Rahel

Sean, Christina, Julia, Rahel, Will, Mary Page (our newest honorary Fellow!) and Ned enjoying the sunrise Sunday morning


Not all was great at the advance. 

Our Fellow Campbell Anderson had surgery on his ankle and was forbidden to come by his doctor. 

We are taking him out to lunch today and our hope is that he will be back to a fully functioning Fellow by the end of the week. 

For those of you with weak stomachs, look away now...

here is Campbell's foot. 


We sent out a bunch of cards and support envelopes last week. Very few (like none) have returned. 

I'm not freaking out yet, but we would love to stay in solid financial footing. 

Mail your support intentions today!!!

To donate online click

If you did not receive a support card and would like to donate, please email me.



As I look at the calendar, we have a pretty quiet week. Dinner at the Glenn's. Leader Lunch with Jay Helvey. Our first Guy/Gal Small Groups. A Board Meeting. And a Friends and Fellows Mountain Day next Saturday (can anyone say Pumpkin Patch, Corn Maze and Square and Line Dancing at the Allegheny Jubilee?) 


We had some breakthroughs this weekend with several Fellows. Pray that what happened on the mountain would continue to transform us down in the foothills. 

Pray for family time this week. I was gone basically five days last week and would love to reconnect well with the kids and Lia. 

Pray for our finances. Pray that folks are generous. Pray that we continue to be good stewards of the resources we have been given (Like our amazing Fall Advance that cost us less than $350). Thank you Jesus!

Pray for Friends and Fellows Mountain Weekend that we can enjoy each other in God's creation. (If you want to come - let us know! there is room for all!)

Thanks all. Keep sharing the story, supporting us, and spreading the love.

Dakota celebrating a birthday with his host family

Anna Rose showing off her latest field hockey trick