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.

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.