Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Fire Cantata

I am probably the world's worst blogger, since I have not added anything since November. That will all change when I have Internet in my home. Which needs to happen in the next week, since we are hopefully getting a computer for the house.
This past Wednesday our youth praise band, The Fire at 4th and State put on a Christmas cantata. It was Todd Agnew's "Do You Hear What I Hear?" It has 11 songs written from the different points of view of those associated with the Nativity. It was a very meaningful night for all who attended. I know for certain that I didn't have a dry eye most of the night. There are probably apologies owed to those around me who had to listen to me singing along with the tunes. The music of Christmas is powerful. To think that our God sent his one and only Son to earth to live and die for us is incredible. As I work on sermons for this weekend and Christmas Eve, I am constantly reminded about the real meaning of the season. Please join us here at Grace Church this weekend and on Christmas Eve at 4:30 as we explore salvation through Christ! That is the best gift of all.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Historical Night

What an incredible evening in the history of our country. It was neat to watch the reactions of so many people on the election of Obama as our next president. I must admit when he first announced and started his campaign I wondered if our country would elect an African-American as president. Our country has such an awful history of hatred and violence towards blacks. You could see the joy on the faces of many African-Americans in the crowd last night in Grant Park as president-elect Obama gave his speech.

We definitely need a leader to come and help to clean up the mess that is our country right now. Obama seems to be that leader. His ability to reach out and bring people in is exactly what is needed currently. I appreciate his knowledge of history, and I think that the world will stand up and take notice as to what has happened here. We will all look back one day and remember exactly how we felt when we heard that Obama was elected president and I hope we don't soon forget the civil rights activists who risked so much to bring our country to a point where this could happen.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

Today is Tuesday November 4th, and I would imagine most bloggers are writing about their experiences today. I took advantage of early voting and did my civic duty last Thursday. It is very encouraging to see how many folks are out and about already this morning voting and it appears that turnout will be at a record high. Personally, I am very excited because there are a couple of teens in the youth group here who will be voting for the first time today! I still remember the first Presidential election I participated in. It was President Clinton's first election as he challenged the incumbent President Bush (sr.) The opportunity to vote is not something that we can take for granted, nor is it something to take lightly. There are many countries around the world today who do not have the opportunity to take part in their countries governmental proceedings and I encourage all of you to get out and vote today!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Can a Rock be hungry?

Yesterday I had the chance to spend hiking around Starved Rock. I never knew why it was called that, but I learned yesterday. Interesting. Starved Rock State Park derives its name from a Native American legend of injustice and retribution. In the 1760s, Pontiac, chief of the Ottawa tribe upriver from here, was slain by an Illiniwek while attending a tribal council in southern Illinois. According to the legend, during one of the battles that subsequently occurred to avenge his killing, a band of Illiniwek, under attack by a band of Potawatomi (allies of the Ottawa), sought refuge atop a 125-foot sandstone butte. The Ottawa and Potawatomi surrounded the bluff and held their ground until the hapless Illiniwek died of starvation- giving rise to the name “Starved Rock.” See, I told you it was interesting.
What is truly amazing about being in a place like that is the natural beauty. Our God is so incredible. Being around His creation is inspiring and makes me continue to wonder why he chooses to love us like he does. He loved us all so much that he sent His Son to die on the cross for us! There is no greater love than that. As you see our earth's natural beauty, thank God for it, and thank Him for loving you too.

Monday, September 29, 2008

See You at the Pole

The annual See You at the Pole event took place this past week. It is where students all around the United States and the World gather at their school's flagpoles to pray. What an exciting morning it was. I had the opportunity to go to Pekin High School for both of their pole times. 6:00 am was when the early bird folks came to pray. 32 students attended and prayed for the lost in their schools and they even sang a couple songs. At 7:00 am 80 more students came to pray.
Seeing students pray and lift their cares to God is an incredible experience. That evening there was a rally where the Gospel was clearly presented and many students came to accept Christ. One of the students even came to Grace this past Sunday morning. She came all by herself! What a bold step to show her family and friends that she is ready to follow Christ. Please be in prayer for all of the students who prayed this past Wednesday as they begin their incredible journey with Jesus.

Monday, September 15, 2008


What a wild weekend of rain and storms. I know there are many who have spent a majority of their time dealing with flooded basements and power outages. Isn't it comforting to know that we have a God who is always in control and will never leave us nor forsake us? With so much going on in the world today, it can be easy to lose heart and become discouraged. Let me encourage you today to look to Him for guidance and direction.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Busy times are a comin'

This first week in September starts a whole lot of craziness. When I say craziness, I really mean busyness. For the kids in JOLT, cross country, swim, football, etc. are getting going. Which means for me, I have a lot of events to go and see. I love to watch my students be involved with activities, and showing those around them the love of Christ in a practical way.

The class I am taking is entering its third week, and the next two weeks are jammed packed with assignments! I am not a lover of homework. I have a book critique to write, and next week, I have two papers and a midterm exam.

As most of you in Pekin know, this weekend is the Marigold Festival. Which for Grace Church means the baked potato bar. This will be my first foray into this, so next week I will report back on how it went.

Find a way to show the love of Christ this week!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Trip Report

This coming Sunday August 24th, the high school students will be giving their full mission report. All of the students have prepared what they are going to share, and we had the chance to practice after youth group on Wednesday night. Believe me, this is not something that you are going to want to miss. We will be doing the report during both services, 8:15 and 10:45, so whichever one fits better into your schedule is fine.

The message that I have prepared is entitled, "How do we get there from here?" I will be talking about how the students and all of us can stay close to God in a way that will change our lives. I am so excited about the opportunity to share and to have all of these great young people share their hearts with the congregation.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What a Trip It Was

The youth from Grace have returned from Bayou La Batre, Alabama and the impact has been amazing. The students that went were incredible! They all worked so hard and learned so much about how God works. We spent two days doing work projects and two days helping with a local kids club. Each night we spent together doing some traveling around the community and seeing some local sights.
The highlight for me was our club time and church time every night. The club time was a a time when the whole group was together and a YouthWorks staff member led us in worship and with a lesson. Afterwards, we went into church time. This was a chance for just our Grace group to meet and talk about what had happened that day. I enjoyed hearing what the student's experiences were and what they had learned that day.
I can assure that the students that we took on this trip were changed. The way that God worked in their lives was incredible. We studied Luke 1:37, which says, "For nothing is impossible with God." I know the students believe that and I know that I will never doubt that again.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Alabama we a comin

There are nine high school students from Grace heading to Bayou La Batre, Alabama this Saturday. Three adult leaders will also be accompanying them :) While there, the students will be assisting with Hurricane Katrina relief and doing neighborhood kids clubs. This is going to be a fantastic opportunity for them to grow spiritually. I really don't think they have any idea how this trip is going to impact their life. I am excited to see what I learn from it also. Getting out of your comfort zone can do so much to help you grow.
In preparation for Saturday, tonight at JOLT we will be studying Acts chapter 10. It is the amazing story of Cornelius and how he received a vision and sent for Peter. Peter also received a vision, about how he was to go to Cornelius. I guess God didn't want any miscommunication on this one. The moral of the story is how everyone is good enough to receive the Gospel. We as believers need to take it to all the world. It also challenges us not to take someones answer that they are religious. Cornelius was a religious man, but he didn't know the truth about Jesus. Our world needs to hear about our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and what he did for us on the cross.
Who can you tell about Jesus today? Go and do it!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Wet and Wild Wednesday

Last night we had a cookout and played some water games at our house. It was a great night as we had 24 students come. We played drip drip drop, Alkaseltzer tag, and did some relays with water guns and water balloons. The students here are so much fun to be around and play games with. I haven't had a chance to mess with the pictures yet, but I will be doing that later today. Our new website, www.gracejolt.weebly.com will also have pictures up very soon.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I have some exciting JOLT news for all of you today. www.gracejolt.weebly.com Is up and running. You can to there and keep up to date with all that is going on. The best part about it is, Marjorie is the webmaster. It is very exciting to have a student who is willing to run the site and keep it up to date. Her creativity is far above mine, so that will help the site immensely. She will be putting a link to this blogspot on the site. Now there are more ways than ever to keep up the JOLT ministry here at Grace United Methodist Church.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Big Sale

Last Saturday we had a fantastic 1st annual big sale here at Grace. It was sponsored by the youth and the hospitality committee. Let me assure you, it would not have happened without their help. The ladies on the hospitality committee were fantastic, they did so much to help make sure everything went off without a hitch. Which it almost did.... we found out on Friday that the Pekin Daily Times had not placed our ad. This was not a good thing. I know many garage salers plan their Saturday route on Friday, and we were not in there to be looked at.

As we all know, God is in control and he works to bring good to His children. Of course, the sale went great on Saturday. There were a lot of great students who came to help and of course the hospitality committee and my wife were there to help also. Many of the folks who came through found some great bargains and I think we helped the community out with the a bag sale we held at the end of the day. You bought a bag for $1.oo and you could fill it as full as possible. There were many satisfied customers leaving with full bags of great stuff.
Thanks to all who donated and helped and shopped.

Monday, June 16, 2008

What a trip

The junior high mission trip to the Midwest Distribution Center in Chatham was a great success. The students had a great time working with the other volunteers there and learning about all the good that the center does. The students put together health and school kits. Some worked on preparing flood buckets, while others mowed the grounds. There was time for fun too as we went to Knight's Action Park and to Dell's Popcorn Shop in downtown Springfield.
Below you can see some of the fun we were having as we played some water games one night at the dorm. This Sunday June 22nd we will be giving a report to both services about the trip. Please come and here all that happened on our exciting journey.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Off to Chatham!

Now you are probably asking, "why are you going to Chatham?" Located in Chatham is the Midwest Distribution Center. We are taking a group of junior high students there to serve at the center for a couple of days. I can't tell you exactly what we will be doing, but I do know it is going to be hot down there. The temp is supposed to reach 90 degrees over the next couple of days! The good news is we will be heading to Knights Action Park on Saturday.
If I can find a computer with internet access I will post about our trip here on this blog. Otherwise I will have to wait and do it upon our return on Saturday. Please pray for our group!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

School Shopping

Now that might sound like shopping for clothes, but we were actually looking at schools. With the new job and the move into Pekin, we as a family are looking at school options for Emily. This afternoon we visited Faith Baptist School here in Pekin. http://www.faithchristianofpekin.org/ It is a K-12 school located on Koch St. They have very high academic standards and teaching about the faith is a major part of the day. There are some differences from what Emily is used to. There is a strict dress code. Modesty is definitely the policy. There is a fine line between high standards and being legalistic. I don't want Emily to grow up thinking there are rules to follow to be one of God's children. However, having high clothing standards can make school a very safe place to be.
Please pray for us as we decide where our school will be next year. Thanks!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Graduation Weekend

Graduation weekend is here. The seniors of Pekin Community High School will be going through their commencement exercises on Sunday afternoon. The weather for that day looks fantastic and I am very excited to go and see it. This time of year can be filled with stress also. Houses need to be cleaned for open houses, and the prospect of leaving home and starting the next part of your life can be scary. This weekend I am preaching the services at Grace and we will be studying Matthew 6:25-34. In these verses Jesus teaches us about worry. He tells us that worry is not necessary. As a matter of fact, in verse 33 it says "seek first his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

Come this weekend and we will learn how to actually do that.
Of course, Congratulations Graduates!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Jr. High Missions

Last night we had our first jr. high parent and student mission meeting. We are going to the Midwest Distribution Center which is located in Chatham, IL. The students will be going down there to serve in the Center. This will be the first mission experience for these students, and the first for me here at Grace. We will be heading down on a Thursday and working all that day. Friday will also be a work day, with Saturday being a trip to Knights Action Park. The students we are taking are super, and I am so excited to have the opportunity to work with them.
This week is busy as graduation nears, and I am excited to see the students prepare to move on to the next phase of their lives.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Tuesday Morning. I am sitting here writing to you all as I listen to messages from Teen Leadership Conference 2007. http://www.bbc.edu/tlc/ This conference is very special to me. I went there in 2006 and it was there that I said to God, "God, I am willing to go wherever you would send me to do your will." At the time I was pretty sure that would mean full-time youth ministry. Little did I know that God would choose to use me and my family for full-time ministry right here in Pekin.

This past summer I was unable to attend TLC, because I was working for Pioneer. I have tried to listen to all the messages that took place that week. They definitely challenge me and cause to dig deep into God's word. The amazing thing is, these speakers are geared toward the students. I challenge all of you students out there to click on some of these speakers and take some time to listen to their Biblical challenges. Adults, you can benefit from the teaching also. Listen to God's word being taught, it can do wonderful things in your life.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Long Time

It has been a while since I have put anything new up here! You will find a couple of pictures from our JOLT/YAM class game night. This past Wednesday was exciting as the sixth graders came up and joined our jr. high group. It was a full house and we had the chance to continue our study in the Book of Acts. We read about Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch. Philip is a good example for all of us to be prepared to share the Gospel with whoever we meet, wherever we meet them.
Don't forget that tomorrow is Mother's Day. Call your mother and tell her you love her, or maybe you will have the chance to see her in person. Not sure yet what our family plans are going to be. Emily and I have already got Leslie the perfect gift. (something she asked for) It is an angel for outside. She loves to decorate and garden outside. You will all be able to drive by and check it out soon.
Have a great day!

Friday, May 2, 2008

"That must stop now"

"That must stop now." Those were the words from my doctor yesterday after she asked if I was still playing softball. I had to go back, because my wrist hasn't been feeling any better. Now I am officially on the DL. She wants me to take the next 4 weeks off and begin physical therapy to get the wrist back to full strength. I love playing ball, so this is not great news. Now if you ask the coaches that I play for, they may have a different view of the news :) It has been a long time since I have had any kind of physical therapy. Unlike Chuck, who has spent the last few years of his life there.
I had a chance to go to Dragon Pride last night. It was a neat experience. Seeing all the students up there was downright awesome. There are so many great students who are doing great things at Pekin High School. The work that was displayed last night was very well done. I am very proud to be able to call a lot of these students friends. Keep up the good work!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Games, no sleep, and preaching

This past weekend offered many great opportunities for ministry here at Grace. Friday night the JOLT students and the YAM class had a game night. They played many different board games and we had a Wii bowling tournament. It was so much fun! I think everyone had a great time getting to know each other. Thank you to the YAM class for coming and being a part of the evening.

After the game night, the JOLT students stayed for a lock-in. This was my first lock-in experience with these kids. I can tell you they definitely enjoy playing sardines in the church. There are many great places to hide and scare people. I need to say thank you to the high school students who were great leaders for the night, and helped to make sure everything went smoothly. It was so wonderful to get to know all of you better and enjoy some real relaxed time. We ended the evening with The Princess Bride. It is my favorite movie. A group of students watched it in the sanctuary, and a group went over to the youth room, so they could enjoy the couches during the movie.

This weekend also happened to be a weekend that Pastor Ford asked me to preach the services. I enjoy the opportunity to lead worship in this way. It is great to study God's Word and prepare a message that teaches and is good to listen to. This week I taught on Acts. 17:22-31. The focus was on Paul's conviction and how he was determined to preach the good news of the Gospel to the Athenians. If we believe what we are sharing with others, they will listen to us! Share with someone today what Jesus Christ means to you!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Earlier today I had the pleasure of visiting Methodist MedPoint. My wrist has been sore for about a week and this morning it just flat out hurt. Being the tough guy that I am, I tried to tough it out :) Chuck and I even went to Wal*Mart to look for a wrist brace. Nothing seemed to work, so I went and got it x-rayed. The radiographer is going to look at it tomorrow, so for now I am wearing a wrist splint. Which makes typing this whole thing a lot more difficult.

I think I hurt it playing softball last week, and then last night I must have aggravated it a little. Leslie tells me I am too old to be playing softball two nights a week, and maybe she is right. (don't tell her I said that)

Our God works in magnificent ways, and I know I will learn something about Him and His will for me through this. My week is pretty packed. It isn't the best time to have a splint on my arm. Our first game night with the YAM class is this Friday, and following will be a lock-in. I will also be preaching at all three services this weekend. I guess that means I will have to get through some more typing. The message will be on Acts 17:22-31. More on that next week.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Rain and Friends

What a lovely rainy Saturday. The good news is Leslie's track meet was canceled, so she is able to be home all day. Tomorrow is Grace United Methodist Church's Friendship Sunday. There will be one service that begins at 10:30 am. Sunday School will precede it from 9:30-10:15. Today I will be making sure all is set up downstairs and helping some wonderful ladies from the hospitality committee beautify the place for our guests. We will be serving a potluck meal after the service.
Also, my great friend KT is being baptized tomorrow morning at Pekin Bible Church. That is incredibly exciting. Kaitlyn accepted Christ two summers ago, and she has continued to grow in her knowledge and faith. I am very proud of her for taking this public action and showing to her church family the love she has for Jesus. Way to Go KT!

Monday, April 14, 2008

bowling, climbing, and rockin out

This past month has offered a lot of opportunities for me to hang out and have some fun with the JOLT students. Over spring break we had the chance to go bowling at Roxy's here in town. We were able to secure a great deal! I would suggest making that the place for all of your group bowling needs. Two weekends ago, we headed to a farm in Canton and did some rock climbing. One of our parents took us and showed us how to climb the wall properly. That was a blast. I think everyone was a little sore for the next couple of days, but it was well worth it.

Last Friday, some students, with Chris and I went to a great concert. Superchick, Disciple, KJ 52 (not that great), Britt Nicole (Chris' favorite), and Starlit Platoon. Their lead singer is the drummer for Superchick. They were surprisingly good. I had never heard any of their stuff before. It was a really long night! I think I crawled into bed around 3:30 am. Let me tell you something, I am way to old to stay out that late. Unfortunately, the nap I attempted to take the next day didn't go so well. My ears were still ringing from the great music the night before.
There will be pictures coming from those last two events very soon!

Friday, April 11, 2008


On Wednesday nights at JOLT we are studying the Book of Acts. I am very excited about the coming weeks, because Acts is like a history book of the church. I love history, having taught it for the past ten years, this is a great chance to teach history again. Acts was written by Luke. The book picks up where the Book of Luke ended. Jesus has ascended into Heaven and now the disciples are left to continue on the message of Jesus Christ. God provided them with the Holy Spirit and now they have the power to go and spread the news.
This past week we read how the disciples filled the position left by Judas. We can learn how we need to make decisions for ourselves from this passage. They narrowed down the choices using certain criteria. They knew the man chosen needed to have been there since the beginning. There were two qualified men, and they didn't know which one should be selected. They prayed and asked God to show them which one should be chosen. God aswered their prayer and the men choses Matthias. We need to look to our God in prayer when we have a big decision to make too. He will guide us in the way he wants us to go. It is important for us to follow his lead and not resist what we are told.

Friday, April 4, 2008

A Sad Day in History

Today, April 4th, marks a sad day in the history of our country. This is the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King was shot while staying at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN. The motel has since been transformed into the National Civil Rights Museum. http://www.civilrightsmuseum.org/

King was in Memphis in support of the garbage workers strike. After years of working for desegregation in the south, he had changed the focus of the movement. It did no good to have the ability to go into a restaurant, if the means were not there to buy anything in the restaurant. The Memphis garbage workers were very poor, and really had no way to change their current situation. The workers were not allowed to go inside during breaks. One rainy day a worker was taking his break in the back of one of the trucks, when it engaged and he was crushed to death. This outraged the workers and inspired them begin a strike. Dr. King was asked to come and help the workers. It was in Memphis that he gave his last speech. Here is an excerpt:

"Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now, because I've been to the mountaintop.
And I don't mind.
Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!
And so I'm happy, tonight.
I'm not worried about anything.
I'm not fearing any man!
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!!"
Many believe that Dr. King preached the fear of death out of himself that night. Take some time and really read those words. Powerful! He was killed the next day.
Dr. King is a great American hero, and today we need to make sure we try to understand all that he has meant to our society.

Monday, March 31, 2008

What a Day!

Yesterday was quite a day around my home. First, I had the honor and pleasure of preaching at both Sunday services. I taught on John 20:19-31, the famous portion of scripture that tells us about Thomas's honest doubt. I have come to the conclusion that we all doubt, and have probably all doubted our faith at some time. Thomas teaches us that we can face those doubts and come out with a stronger more meaningful faith. It was a pleasure to study this scripture and put together a sermon based on what I learned from it.

Later that evening I had the opportunity to go and see Denver and the Mile High Orchestra. http://www.denvermho.com/ (check out the video on the front page) They are a modern day big band. The members are believers in Christ and the message intertwined throughout the concert was outstanding. Denver stressed that God has a plan for all of us, and we need to use the special gifts that we have to serve God. This is a great reminder to all of you students out there. You can't be someone that God hasn't made you, you can only be what God wants you to be. Whatever he has planned for you is amazing and more wondeful than you could ever imagine.

Monday, March 24, 2008


He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Yesterday we celebrated Easter. This is the day that celebrates our Lord and Savior Jesus Christs rise from the grave. His resurrection gives us all hope and the assurance of eternal life in Heaven. We can accept Jesus' free gift of salvation by acknowledging that we are sinners and asking for his forgiveness. What is so awesome is that Jesus can really save us because he is alive. All the other truth claims have "prophets" who are dead! Jesus is alive! This gives us confidence and assurance that what we believe is true.
Yesterday here at Grace, we had a sunrise service at 6:30 am . Now I realize that is really early, but it was a great service. The high school students read scripture and Chris put together some great videos that took the congregation through the Easter weekend. It was a very meaningful service and it was a joy to work with Chris and the students putting it all together.
This week, lets not forget that Christ is alive and we can have a relationship with him at anytime. Have a great week and I will have pictures added to this blog soon!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Tower of Babel

Genesis 11 tells us about the Tower of Babel. You see, after the flood, God told Noah and his family to populate the earth and scatter. The earth was becoming repopulated but the people were not scattering. The people decided to build a tower that would reach the Heavens. This would allow them to stay together and make a name for themselves. This was not what God wanted and this did not make him happy. God decided to come down and confuse their language so they would not be able to accomplish what they wanted.
On Wednesday night as we studied this, the students found this account very interesting. The Book of Genesis gives us great detail about creation, and the Tower of Babel is no different. Here we learn how the different languages of our world were created. Just like the earth, and everything on it, God created the languages we speak.
We closed our lesson time by asking our students to consider what their "towers" were. What are we putting up in front of God? Many students mentioned activities that they were involved in. These activities take the place of time with God, and give them their worth. God wants us to put him first and allow him to give us direction as to where we should go and what we should do.
Take some time this week and pray that God would help you to put your priorities in order, with Him at the top spot

Friday, February 29, 2008

Camp Man Comes to Town

Last Wednesday we had the opportunity to hear from Camp of Champions director Peter Lindell. He came and talked to our high school students about Camp and the staffing needs he has for this summer. Camp of Champions is a christian day camp located on Broadway Road here in Pekin. There are also locations in East Peoria, Eureka and Peoria. http://www.cocusa.org/.

Peter then led us through a lesson from 1 and 2 Kings. He pointed out a list of kings who were good kings, but they didn't really do all that God had wanted them to do. They didn't serve and look out for their fellow man. At the end of their lives, they suffered or died. However, one king came along who did more then just love God. He did what God asked and he served others. He was given 15 extra years of life. The lesson was a real challenge to our students to look to serve and minister to others. We are not here just to love God, but to show God's love to others. Hopefully some of our students will have the opportunity to serve others through service at Camp of Champions this summer.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Noah and the Flood

Wednesday night at JOLT we started studying Noah and the flood. The account of which can be found in the book of Genesis. It starts in chapter 6 and carries on into chapter 9. On Wednesday, we started the story of Noah. We learned that Noah was a man of God and that God decided to use Noah to carry out his will. The world had turned wicked, and God decided to blot out humankind. He was instructed to build an ark and God would send animals two of each kind to it. Upon completion, there would be a great flood and only those on the ark would survive.
God had a plan for Noah, and God has a plan for us too. We only need to follow and trust God to learn what that plan is. We are never to young or old to be used for God's work. As teenagers, I think it is important to realize that you are not to young! God can and will use you right where were you are. Remember, God can accomplish anything. What seems impossible to us, is no problem for God. Don't be discouraged, remember that God is in control and you can depend upon Him for strength and guidance.
Next week we will continue with Noah.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Temptation Message

Saturday night I had the opportunity to lead the Saturday night service here at the church. It was a great experience, except it was very clear that I am not qualified to lead singing. :) There was a great crowd there Saturday, which was a great help to me.
We studied Matthew 4:1-11, The Temptation of Jesus by Satan. On Wednesday nights, we have been studying Genesis, so I decided to compare the tempataion of Eve with the temptaion of Jesus. The 1st temptation was an appeal to the physical appetite. Eve was told she could eat the fruit, and Jesus was challenged to turn the stones into bread so he could eat. Remember Jesus had been fasting prior to these temptations. The 2nd temptation appealed to personal gain. Satan told Eve, she would not surely die if she ate of the fruit. Jesus was told that he would not be hurt if he hurled himself down, because the angels would come down to him and save him. The 3rd temptation appealed to power or glory. Eve was told that she would be like God. Satan told Jesus that he could have all the world's kingdoms if he would align himself with him.
All of Satan's temptations were going against God's Word. Satan wants nothing more than to see us go against God's Word and His will for our lives. How do we stay connected with God?
We need to spend time each day reading his word and having time in prayer with him. That way we will be ready to face the temptations of this world, and more importantly recognize when things are not jiving with God's will for us.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


No school on Presidents' Day? Great. Come play Walleyball from 4-5 at Parkside. I have reserved two courts, so we can divide up as much as we need to.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

In the beginning...

On Wednesday nights we have been studying the book of Genesis. We have learned that God created the Heavens and the Earth. There were six days of creation, as God rested on the 7th day. This of course, is our example for today. Things were perfect in the beginning. However, when Adam and Eve took at bite of the fruit from the forbidden tree, things changed. Sin was brought into the world and Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden.

This brings us to our need for Jesus Christ. We as humans have all sinned and God's son Jesus is our road to salvation. As you can see, Adam and Eve's original sin is the reason we need Jesus!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Figuring this out!

I have just signed up to begin this whole blogging thing. I want to use this to reach out to the students at JOLT and onto others in the community. It will be my goal to keep this site up to date and with as much relevant info as I can. Send me your suggestions and other stuff I need to know to make this work most effectively. I look forward to communicating with all of you through this media.