Thursday, February 18, 2010
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wow! It’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone already. God has been so good to us. Although it’s been some time since we’ve seen so many of you, please know that we love you dearly and miss your all very much. We wish you a very merry Christmas and a blessed new year.
Our kids are doing really good in school. Joshua is loving big boy school—now in first grade. He’s reading, doing math, and has developed an amazingly colorful personality. Jonathan is still excelling beyond the other students with a 9th grade reading level as a fifth grader. He has been enjoying reading 300-500 page novels in his spare time. Jordan is now in all honors level classes and still keeping his A/B honor roll. He has been extremely involved with the youth group where he is on the drama team, helps run the sound board, and will soon be in the worship band playing the keyboard. And lets not even talk about the girls chasing after him.
Chrissy started substituting at both public and private schools just before Christmas last year and is really enjoying it. It gives her a chance to be with students outside of church and build relationships. I’m so proud of her. PLUS, we bought our first NEW house!
Our church and youth ministry has been blessed and we stay pretty busy. We’ve hosted numerous concerts and events and have seen just over 100 students commit their lives to Christ and over 120 recommit to their faith. Our mission trip to Paris was amazing, going to National Fine Arts in Orlando was incredible, raising $20,000 for Speed The Light was unthinkable, and taking over 60 to camp was off the chain! I can’t wait to see what God is going to do in 2010!
Now, of course we’ve had some bumps in the road this year as you may have had as well. Through it all we’ve trusted in the love and grace of our Heavenly Father and He has NEVER let us down. Our prayer for your family this new year is that God will provide for your every need, heal your sickness, strengthen your marriage and relationships, and direct your every step. Merry Christmas and God bless your new year.
With all our love,
Roger, Chrissy, Jordan, Jonathan, & Joshua
Monday, December 21, 2009
It’s so exciting watching my kids get all anxious about Christmas morning. They beg me to get out and bed and let them rip open their presents. I love the look on their faces as they see that new toy.
Let’s face it, we all get pretty excited about Christmas. We even at times drive ourselves crazy looking for that perfect gift or trying to figure out what our loved ones might be getting for us. What are you waiting for this Christmas?
Israel waited along time for that first Christmas when their Savior, the Messiah, would come and rescue them from foreign rule, not to mention their sin.
Lucky for us, we don’t have to wait for that. We don’t have to wait and be lonely, empty and lost.
She will give birth to a Son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. (Mt 1:21).
You don’t have to wait anymore. Receive His gift.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife, Lisa, and their little boy, Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.
I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.
As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.
The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.
The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, "I know why."
Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation.
He said, "People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?" The six-year-old continued, "Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.
Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:
o When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
o Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
o Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to enjoy pure ecstasy.
o Take naps.
o Stretch before rising.
o Run, romp, and play daily.
o Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
o Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
o On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
o On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
o When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body
o Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
o Be loyal.
o Never pretend to be something you're not.
o If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
o When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
ENJOY EVERY MOMENT OF EVERY DAY!
Friday, September 11, 2009
Surviving Junior High!
JR High for me was a scary place. I was afraid of everything!
- The way I looked, my size, clothes, hair, teeth…
- My beliefs
- Getting beat up
- Yelled at by teachers
- ACCEPTANCE: I wanted people to like me…
To be honest, acceptance is over rated. My tortured years in JR High were spent similar maybe to what you’re experiencing now. I fought for acceptance. I wanted good grades to please my teachers and parents. I wanted to look cool to impress the girls. I wanted to be athletic and funny so the guys would want me around. I tried not to cry when I got hit in the face playing dodgeball in gym class. I also tried to live the way I knew I should as a Christian. More often than not I failed at them all.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to fit in and be accepted. It’s part of the way we were created. Belonging is one of the more basic needs in Maslow’s Hierarchy (refer to chart). The lower the needs in the hierarchy, the more fundamental they are and the more a person will tend to abandon the higher needs in order to pay attention to sufficiently meeting the lower needs. For example, when we are ill, we care little for what others think about us: all we want is to get better.
“But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you – from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.”
(1 Peter 2:9-10, TM)
How many of those friends at school do you think you’ll still be friends with a year after graduation?
You belong – you’re accepted, not because of what you have or what you accomplish, but rather because of WHO you are. You have been created in the very image of God with gifts, characteristics, personality, talents…all with a purpose!
I think that the first key to surviving JR High – life in general – is for us to realize our IDENITY, the fact that we belong and are loved!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
The Little Engine That Could: Here is this long train that comes up to this big mountain and he can't an engine to take him up and over. He approaches some large engines and they refuse for various reasons. The only train willing to accept the challenge is a little engine whose only job was to switch trains cars from one track to the next. He thinks about his heavy load compared to his little engine. He looks at how steep and seemingly impossible that mountain is and he starts doubting his ability, doubting what he was made to do. Although somewhat intimidated by the daunting task he hooks up the train cars to himself and pushes forward. “I think I can, I think I can.”, says to encourage himself. His doubt begins to disappear and he through hard work he makes it up and over. So now he says, “I know I can, I know I can.” Now he has confidence. He did doubt but now he has confidence.
There is a lot of times that we doubt. We doubt things in our lives. We doubt we can. We get up to mountains in our lives and we get insecure and think we’re not good enough. We live in fear of doing what God has created to do. Doubt can destroy you. You know your weaknesses and imperfections. You begin to doubt things that God has called you to be. Jordan Edward said this, “He who believes, can; he who doubts, can’t.” Sometimes, we can’t because of doubt.
1. Believe in God’s Purpose
God has a purpose for everything He created…YOU!
A - Relationship with HIM
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Gen 1:27)
Psalm 139:14 says, “I praise you because of the wonderful way you created me. Everything you do is marvelous! Of this I have no doubt.”
For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected…(1 Tim 4:4)
For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. (Col. 1:16)
B - Relationship with His creation
For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
2. Believe In God’s Forgiveness! - “While we were yet sinners, Christ died…” We don’t clean up our act or attempt to be worthy of His love. - “As far as the east is from the west…” His forgiveness is complete! 3. Believe That God Believes In You! - silence the voices of negativity - Loneness! Matthew 28:20, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” - Lack of confidence! Matthew 21:21 it says, “Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more.” - Illustration: impala…midget deer…jumps 12ft high & 30ft long yet is held in a zoo by a three foot wall…it will not jump if it cannot see where its feet will land - If he didn’t believe in YOU he wouldn’t have sent His ONLY SON to die for you - If he didn’t believe in YOU he wouldn’t have given you His Holy Spirit power - If He didn’t believe in YOU he wouldn’t have equipped you with talents, abilities and gifts in order for you to live an abundantly fruitful life!
- You may be your reading this and you doubt God period. Agnostic…doubts the possibility of the existence of God Atheist…denies the existence of God BUT - What if I’m right? - What if God does exists? - Maybe you doubt God’s purpose - Maybe you doubt God’s forgiveness - Maybe you doubt yourself – your own capabilities or usefulness BELIEVE!
2. Believe In God’s Forgiveness!
- “While we were yet sinners, Christ died…” We don’t clean up our act or attempt to be worthy of His love.
- “As far as the east is from the west…” His forgiveness is complete!
3. Believe That God Believes In You!
- silence the voices of negativity
Matthew 28:20, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
- Lack of confidence!
Matthew 21:21 it says, “Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more.”
- Illustration: impala…midget deer…jumps 12ft high & 30ft long yet is held in a zoo by a three foot wall…it will not jump if it cannot see where its feet will land
- If he didn’t believe in YOU he wouldn’t have sent His ONLY SON to die for you
- If he didn’t believe in YOU he wouldn’t have given you His Holy Spirit power
- If He didn’t believe in YOU he wouldn’t have equipped you with talents, abilities and gifts in order for you to live an abundantly fruitful life!
- You may be your reading this and you doubt God period.
Agnostic…doubts the possibility of the existence of God
Atheist…denies the existence of God
BUT - What if I’m right? - What if God does exists?
- Maybe you doubt God’s purpose
- Maybe you doubt God’s forgiveness
- Maybe you doubt yourself – your own capabilities or usefulness
Thursday, March 19, 2009
I don't know about you, but every time I go into a service - whether it's a Sunday or Wednesday - I want God to move in power! I believe as scripture tells us that "signs and wonders will follow the preaching of His word" and that "where two or three are gathered in His name, He is in their midst." I think we would agree together that God, being omnipotent, omniscient, and sovereign, can do anything whenever, however to whom ever He wants. However, why is that some services it seems as if "He moves" and other times it's as if He doesn't?
I love the answer that Blaine Bartel gives. "It is not a matter of God moving or not moving. It is a matter of men lining up with what He wants to do."*
Chew on that today and do what you need to do before the next time you come together to worship and see what happens. Let's get in line and give God permission to MOVE!
10 Rules of Youth Ministry, Blaine Bartel, Harrison House, 2002