Monthly Archives: March 2011

Happy Baseball Day!

It’s that time of year again!! I’m so excited. For me Opening Day really is like a holiday. That makes last night Baseball’s Eve.

My favorite baseball carol is probably “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” but that is probably everybody’s favorite. I also like the clapping song, you know, the one with 2 claps followed by a pause then 3 quick claps. It goes like this; clap clap…. clap clap clap. Yeah… that’s a nice baseball carol.

If I had remembered to leave my stocking out last night, I’m sure that George Brett would have come down my chimney and left a tube of liniment or lucky socks. I forgot to leave up my stocking, but I still have the hope and anticipation that comes with the start of a new season. No one knows who will win and who will loose. There will be many surprises and some teams will overachieve while others fail to live up to expectations.

It life, however we KNOW that Jesus has already given us the victory and conquered our foe, the devil! AND All things are possible in Christ; As we live out this life, we are more than conquerors. True, that nothing will surprise our Lord, but we will continually be delighted and surprised by what he does in us, through us and all around us. We will see Him do things that we just shake our head at and say “WOW.” We’ll call these thing miracles.

For those of you who enjoy baseball…. Have a Happy Baseball Day. And to ALL of you; may you know the blessing and joy of living each day “In Christ.” In Him, you are more than conquerors, the victory is already here, Christ has won it and he invites us to join his team and share in that victory.

Birthdays Matter

Today is Nathan’s 3rd Birthday. We can’t believe that he is so big! He was such a surprise blessing to us 3 years ago. We never saw it coming, but God did. We are thankful! He is 10 years younger than his next sibling, Jared.

Jared turned 13 before Christmas. We are so proud of the young man he is becoming. He has so much to offer the world, and Christ is living in him and growing him physically and spiritually. We are having a party for him and invited guests this Saturday. It will mostly be family and a few friends, and just for the guys.

Several years ago, Mel and I decided that we would make the 13th birthday a special experience for each of our kids. We try to emphasize how we see God growing them into the young man or (young woman in Hannah’s case) that he designed for them to be before the ever took their first breath.

On Hannah’s 13th she had a tea party – I wasn’t there (Girls only)

Timothy’s 13th was spent in the woods at Clinton lake because he loves the outdoors and enjoys time in quiet solitude – we had a fish fry and the mentoring men in Tims life were their to encourage him- (Guys only)

Jared’s 13th will be at our house and we will spend time playing board games – because Jared is a socializer – he loves to spend time with people. My prayer is that this will be an encouraging time for Jared too. (Guys only)

Have any of you reading this blog done something similar to recognize your kids “Growing in Christ?” Please leave your comments below. I’d love to hear your ideas; things you’ve attempted and if they were successful or not. Maybe you have participated in one of our kids birthdays and have some feedback.

I hope we have been successful; we’re trying. We love our kids so much and look forward, expectantly to the great adults they will become as the grow in Christ.

Is Jesus Center?

I’ve really been enjoying this book over the last month. Some terrific theology can be found in this book which takes deliberate steps to restate Christ as the center of our faith. While reading this book, I have been very encouraged and affirmed, as I’m reminded of who I am “In Christ.” I remember being told as I grew up in the church that, because of Christ, God no longer sees my faults and shortcomings when He looks at me. Instead, He see the righteousness of His Son, Jesus.Jesus Manifesto also does a great job of glorifying Jesus as the “Firstborn of all creation.” It reminds us that the whole of Scripture points to Jesus, just as Jesus says to the pharisees in John 5. Jesus, addressing the pharisees in John 5 says these words.

“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life.”

Reading Jesus Manifesto has reinforced this lesson; that the purpose for which we study the Word is to know Jesus. Sometimes in my life I have been guilty of looking to the Bible for a quick fix or a “How To.” But the Bible is not a “self help” book, it is in fact quite the opposite, a “deny self” book.

As of today, I’m 2/3 of the way through this book, but I have read enough that I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to put Jesus back at the center of their world.

60 minutes in an hour?

Stoppuhr (Chronometer)

Stoppuhr (Chronometer) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was taught early in grade school that 60 seconds are in a minute, 60 minutes are in an hour and 24 hours are in a day. I’m starting to have my doubts about that math! This weekend an full hour just disappeared but it seems like a whole lot more than 60 minutes was lost.

I’m still trying to figure out why it is taking me 3+ days to catch up with the 1 hour of sleep I lost over the weekend. Haven’t especially stayed up later than normal. In fact, by last weeks time clock, I’m going to bed an hour earlier each night. It’s not adding up!

1 Hour missing over the weekend. Add back in the 20 minute name Sunday, plus a 45 minute nap yesterday. And by my calculations I’ve gone to bed 30 minutes earlier each night. That comes to an additional 125 minutes minus the 60 and I should be 65 minutes ahead! Why am I still tired? I’m still missing that 1hr.

Here is my theory— I think the hours during sleep are longer than the hours we are awake! They must be. Because the hour we lose is supposedly the 1:00 or 2:00 o’clock hour. I theorize that if we set our clocks back on Saturday morning after we wake up, we would be much less tired because that hour on Saturday morning is truly only 60 minutes and the hour in the middle of the night is probably like, I don’t know… I just know it’s longer than 60, because my tired body is telling me so.

Fun, Fellowship and Rock-n-Roll

I’m still contemplating the devotion, talents and skills of our members involved in Phil’s Diner 2. This past weekend was an awesome time of fun, fellowship and rock-n-roll. I enjoyed that our church was saying to our friends and neighbors “Just come and have fun with us.” And FUN it was indeed.

Now we are all exhausted. I fought the temptation to cancel a Monday 5:15 creative team meeting. A team of which each member was involved in the Dinner Theater. I’m sure they were all as exhausted as I was and still am. I didn’t cancel and we had a great meeting.

It’s a good kind of exhaustion we are feeling. Job well done by all of you!! It was worth it. People came and some came back Sunday morning. Others will trickle in to our presence again, down the road and they’ll remember the joyful spirits and presentation of Phil’s Diner. They’ll remember that we are a church. They have recognized that we are a family. They have seen us work and play well with each other. We set an example of being the body.

Here is a warning. In your exhaustion you (and I) need to rest. But it is tempting to turn inward and become self focused. This happened to Elijah after the big show at Mt. Carmel. God used him to put the prophets of Baal to shame, then Elijah ran and hid in Horeb. I’ve experienced this Elijah syndrome myself and it is the pits!

What am I trying to say? Cast, Crew, Leaders, Musician – You did a fantastic job Friday and Saturday and all the days leading up to them in which you worked hard a prepared. Now, rest and prepare yourselves to lead and serve again. But don’t go hide and don’t despair. The Lord is on your side and is with you. He will give you rest and He is not done doing great things IN you!

New Life Has Begun

As Christ followers, we hear how we are new creations, but what does that mean?When each of us first came to Christ we confessed our depravity and our need for Him.We made a conscious decision to believe that He is the living Son of God who came to die for our sin, taking our penalty upon himself.We also made a statement to make Him our LORD.

His role of Savior AND Lord are purposefully interlinked.Trusting Him as Savior may happen for us at a single point in time, while giving Him Lordship is a daily decision.This truth is at the heart of our 2011 theme TRANSFORMATION.

2 Corinthians 5:17

17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

It is as we daily surrender ALL the details of our lives to Christ, that he TRANSFORMS our lives.In 2011 may allow Jesus Christ TRANSFORM OUR LIVES, by letting Him live through us.

Ezekiel 36:26-27

26 And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.