Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Kyle Wallace, Tom Brady, & Life Change

Just recently i was able to sit down with a passionate man of God.

God dramatically turned, Kyle Wallace who was a star basketball player at Plymouth high school, into a preaching machine.
A few men took a hold of his life and discipled him and showed him what it meant to live a radical life for Jesus. He is planning on going into the medical field but is taking four years to dedicate to campus ministry at a secular college before continuing.

The other day we were able to sit down and encourage each other as we are going through a similar stage of life.

We talked about a lot but there were to specific stories he shared that stuck out.

1. The Tom Brady Interview

He mentioned a 60minute Tom Brady Interview from 2005

He mentioned how Tom Brady who seemingly has everything a man could dream or aspire for:
  • Most eligible Bachelor (all the women want him)
  • Dating a supermodel
  • Three superbowl rings
  • Fame
  • Playing a sport for his career
  • So much money he doesn't know what to do with it
But then he says he is still empty. His exact words after all these accomplishments are listed off are, “Why do I have three Super Bowl rings and still think there's something greater out there for me? I mean, maybe a lot of people would say, ‘Hey man, this is what is.’ I reached my goal, my dream, my life. Me, I think, ‘God, it's got to be more than this.’ I mean this isn't, this can't be what it's all cracked up to be.”

Interesting thing that all the world offers you can still turn you up empty.

The Blind Man Sees
The second story he brought up was the blind man who is given sight in John 9
I forget the conversation but all i remember is his emphasis on the blind man's response when he was being interrogated and pushed to discredit Jesus as God. His response was, "Whether he is a sinner or not, I don't know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!"
In those moments when you are trying to explain Christ, or you are looking for all of the answers, or your looking for what makes Christianity so different, one of the ultimate things it will come down to, is a changed life.

You can convince a man to think something different, or persuade him to feel a certain way that could later be refuted, but when someone experiences a life change or turn around, like being born again or seeing life through different eyes because of the power of Christ, that person is going to be hard to dissuade.

They may not have all the answers, but they will know that they were touched by a God greater than themselves.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Cedar Point Trip & Taylor Time

Just this last Friday, the teens at Plymouth Wesleyan went to Cedar Point.

Here is a quick video of the bus ride and the beginning of a ride.
(quick side note, i do not recommend recording while on the rollercoaster. I saw a bunch of videos on youtube so I didn't think it was that big of a deal, but they definitely stopped the ride and told me to put it away, so if you were thinking about it, be forewarned.)


Here is the crew we hung out with, (except for Charlie Brown of course!)
Taylor Hulse and i have been hanging out. We found out that we both are competitive, love to talk trash and are equally good at the Nintendo 64 and sports ...Deadly Combo.

007 is the game choice this day.
Can you tell i just beat him right there!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What God Delights In...

This is what the LORD says:
"Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom
or the strong man boast of his strength
or the rich man boast of his riches,

but let him who boasts boast about this:
that he understands and knows me,
that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,"
declares the LORD.

Jer 9:23-24

I have been studying biblical references where i find what God deserves to be given credit for in different aspects of life.

This verse especially stood out.

The things that i would desire most as a man: Strength, Riches, & Wisdom are not to be boasted of!!!

Instead i am to boast in knowing the Lord who exercises kindness, justice, and righteousness.

HOW INTERESTING!!! The things God delights in are not hard to attain or not just for the gifted. We may not all come by strength, riches, and wisdom even if we try, but administering kindness, justice, and righteousness in your world are only really a choice away!

This has been my verse for the last month or so. So good.

Monday, July 21, 2008

July & Weddings

All of my friends are getting married!
Sabra, one of my betters friends i have made while living in Plymouth, IN, got married to Michael Egardton this July 4 at Culver Lake, IN. They will soon be moving to Hawaii where he will be based.

One of my best guy friends in San Diego that i met getting my Masters got married on July 11. Corey Adomitis married Tahnee and i am so excited for these two. I was totally bummed to miss their wedding in California, but i applaud them for making their anniversary on a memorable day... Free Slurpee day at 7/11!
On July 12 i was able to be a groomsmen in my college roommate Steve Anderson's wedding in Traverse City, MI. It was so great to spend a few days leading up to the wedding just spending time together and catching up!

Here he is writing a note before the ceremony
Steve and Elizabeth Anderson and Steve's side of the family.
I officially got beat in every game we played up there including bocce ball, shuffleboard, and a friendly game of cards.
Contrary to popular belief, a palm tree can provide just the right amount of shade!
On my way back i decided to spend a few days in Holland visiting friends and enjoying the beach. These are two pictures i took of he pier at night. It is impossible to describe or try and capture the scene in its fullness as i sat in still night with a slight breeze and the small waves rhythmically lapping up against the pier. It was serene and definitely a place where i met and enjoyed God.
One day as i headed to the beach to possibly play volleyball, i found myself heading into a thunder and lightning storm. By the time i got to the beach, i was stuck under the big shelter with about 30-50 people waiting for the storm to pass and with none of my friends insight.
The storm did pass, and before i knew it, everyone was playing volleyball again. I asked if i could join in and got rejected by two team before the third team that rejected told me there was supposed to be a tournament going on! Finally i found a fun group that let me just jump in and play! They turned out to be from Hope college and were a great group. The team, including me, ended up winning the bracket by default because the other teams had left!
So i made some new friends.

It has been a time of people and God lately. Learning a lot, and really appreciating the people God has placed in my life.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Is Coldplay the Next Generation's U2?

All i know is that coldplay's new album Viva la Vida is a top seller, so a lot of people like them.
Beyond that, this band's listeners seem to have a special loyalty and love for their music as a whole. I have a lot of friends who are definite cold play fans. I am not a big concert man so i don't know much about a coldplay concert in comparison to a U2 concert(which i hear is incredible).

This is a sample of coldplay's new song
And i know that a lot of U2 fans would get mad at me for putting Coldplay and U2 on the same level, but i would expect nothing less from their loyalties!

The music, the following, the loyalty, and many other similarities make is seem like it is inevitable.

Please correct me or give me your opinion if i am wrong.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Practice & a little prayer

I'm in the church Softball league right now
and so far i have done not so good.
i mean i do okay and i make some catches and the occasional hit, but up until last nights game I had already hit the last out of two close games and struck out in a game with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 6th(only play 7 innings) of a game we lost in extra innings.

So last night Taylor, Bryce and I went and hit around before the game. I was feeling better about my hitting after that.

First at bat: solid contact but grounded OUT to first
Second at bat: the same
Third at bat: Hit a TRIPLE of the back fence with the bases loaded!
Fourth at bat: GRAND SLAM! Hit a in the park home run off the back fence with the bases loaded!
Fifth at bat: Grounded Out
Sixth at bat: Off the fence DOUBLE, but I got out in a pickle trying to relive my Sandlot memories. I am just not as fast as Benny!
My practice paid off, but i know better than that too. I know God may not stack sporting events, but someone was definitely praying for me to do well tonight because i just don't think there is any way possible that i hit that well otherwise.
So whoever you are praying for me... Thanks! :)

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Sometimes life catches up to you.

it was homework this time. I am currently working on my Master's of Divinity through Liberty University online. It it convenient, well priced, and will allow me to continue schooling my first year in New Zealand

I really do enjoy the classes, the discussion, and although i would prefer personal contact in the class setting, this is helping me to enjoy reading and become more of a researcher for the personal studies and research i will do in my alone time and for sermons.

Family vacation was great and worked a head on my homework so i could have some much needed down time.

When i got back, i had work to catch up on and finish though.

This weekend was probably the most of a crash course i have had in my schooling.
my Homework left required me to write 27 pages in 32 hours.

I got it done. and i got an A on the 18 pager!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

You have to do the extra to live an extraordinary life

When i was living in New Zealand i visited a church called City Impact Church.
What impressed me about this church was that their advertisements were EVERYWHERE
and everything they did seemed to be done with excellence.
I went in with a somewhat critical attitude. I had been told by a friend that they had felt pushed to be fake at times. They felt pressured to always be smiling and praising God to show he was good.

Although I knew this was unfair because it could easily be a miscommunication or insecurity on my friend's part, my perception was already tainted. I went and...

I came out PLEASANTLY surprised!

After the service Dan(picture below) and I were able to talk to a man that had been with the church since its beginning.
I jotted down a few of the thoughts that he said that really impressed me. I just found them and i am still equally impressed. Here they are. They are all separate thoughts:

"I began to get depressed because i was dealing with things outside of my control."

"You have to do the extra to live an extraordinary life!"

"We pursue excellence not performance...
an excellence that shows authenticity takes time and commitment!
Excellence not extravagance."

"People value what they have to pay for."
(in regards to material they sell)

I felt privileged being able to talk to this man who represented the heart and purpose of this church and the body of Christ. His intentions and motivation were pure.

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."
Colossians 3:23-24

Thursday, July 03, 2008


Just recently I introduced myself and a lady said, "Oh, like Dongell batteries: D-O-N-G-E-L-L?" and i said, "Well that is at least my name!"
So I google searched "Dongell Batteries" and the closest thing i found was "dongle batteries." But the lady had definitely spelled my name right when she asked...
(Click on picture to ENLARGE)
Anyway, the search intrigued me because the third hit down that came up was my blog! I was impressed! from what i understand:

Google automatically organizes the search results in order from the most viewed relevant site at the top and down accordingly

I got curious and started Google searching my name with different words to see if i was the top search result.

As you can tell by my search topics, I was being a little facetious at the same time.

"Dongell Hot" was my next search and i was the top hit!
(Click to ENLARGE pictures)
"Dongell Stud" top hit.
Jamie commented from behind me, "and so prideful too"

so i typed in "Dongell Pride" Top Hit again!
So to prove a point i smugly typed in
"Dongell Humility" expecting to be the first hit.
Are you ready for this...

....My blog didn't show up in the first TWO PAGES!

Talk about humbling. Jamie laughed and I buried my head.

It was a fun joke to laugh at, but something like that really makes you think. I always considered myself to be confident. But i also figured i was humble, knowing that my self-worth and everything i did was only through Christ. But what i seem to write and think about begs to differ.

Lord help me to understand and grasp your humility better

Just for further entertainment, i would have you know i was also the top hit with food and cocky!

But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."[h]
John 3:21

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

North Carolina Jamie & Her friends

During the last days of family vacation, me and the family were able to spend time with an old family friend, Jamie Thompson.
I was able to stay behind in North Carolina and meet a few of Jamie's friends in Raleigh.
We were able to stay at Dean, Erin, and (14 months)Wynn's
house for the few days we were in Raleigh.
One day we visited the famous Duke gardens and
The last night Jamie had a group dinner with a lot of her old friends from the area. Here are the food preparers!
Ironically, one of Jamie's friends from Providence church, Becky Keller (on the left), is the daughter of Mike & Debbie Fletcher... whose beach house we stayed at in Holden Beach only a week earlier. Her husband Mike is in the brown. We had a great laugh about having mutual friends in North Carolina, considering we both grew up mainly in San Diego, CA.