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Showing posts from June, 2009

Who is the Holy Spirit?

The question above has been one that has confused many in the church over the years. This Sunday, I will be preaching on the topic and hope to make it more clear. I have enjoyed my study as I prepare for the message. It seems that we go to the extremes in trying to understand. We either dismiss the Holy Spirit as not being that active or influential in our lives-we minimize His power or we elevate the Holy Spirit to the most prominent member of the Trinity. Either extreme is not Biblical.

Without sharing my points from my message, let me share several passages from the gospel of John that are helpful in the study.
John 1:32-34John 3:1-8John 3:34John 4:23-24John 7:37-39John 14:15-17; 25-26John 15:26-27John 16:5-8;10;12-16John 20:21-22Three key points as I close:

The Holy Spirit dwells within believers and is active in our lives. He is personal, not some impersonal force.The Holy Spirit helps us to understand better who God is and what He has done.The Holy Spirit empowers us to be b…

Highlights of the Week

Here are a few of the highlights from last week:

Visiting the Browns in Hutch and ice cream at Bogey'sParent/Child Dedication at Church for Molly (and being a part of it for other families)Supper at Applebee's with my momLeading Children's ChurchChurch Family Zoo Trip on TuesdayBall games for the kidsVBS for 5th/6th graders on FridayDaddy date at the Perk with Mackenzie and Megan on Friday night (they had a Hello Kitty Blender)Spray Park twice this week and pool with Mackenzie and Megan on SaturdayHearing about Mitchell's trip with Grandaddy to TennesseeBaptism Service at church yesterday

Paul and the Underground Church

Right now, I am taking a break from my church's VBS. Our theme is "Paul and the Underground Church." Our church as been transformed into Rome with a marketplace, Paul under house arrest, and an underground church. I have the privilege of being Paul and I am chained to Brutus, my guard. I am sharing stories about what it is like to be a Jesus follower in Rome. I have explained that I am under house arrest because of telling others about Jesus. I have also shared with the children that believers can be physically hurt or put in prison because of their faith in Jesus.

This VBS, reminds me of all of our brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the world that live like this every day. We take our faith for granted in so many ways. We are fortunate that we can pray, read the Bible and worship without fear or persecution. It reminds me to pray for missionaries throughout the world sharing God's love and His Word with others with the real possibility of being beate…

Response to Jon & Kate Plus Eight Episode

First, let me say that I hardly ever watch the show. However, twitter and facebook is full of peoples' responses to this past week's episode. I have attached an email that I received that responded to the situation. It definitely gives us all something to think about. How would we respond to them if they attended our church? What if they were our friends or neighbors? No matter whether you watch the show or not, this letter has some valid points.
Words for Kate Gosselinby Ginger Kolbaba If I could speak to the star-mom of Jon & Kate Plus Eight, here’s what I’d tell her June 24, 2009 | Dear Kate:In the past you’ve been vocal about your Christian faith. To be sure, I don’t know all the circumstances of your situation. I haven’t “walked in your shoes” or carried the burdens you’ve had to bear. I’ve heard the rumors that there’s been infidelity with possibly no repentance. And if that’s true, my heart breaks for all you’ve had to experience through that situation. I’ve seen “…

A Trip to the Zoo at 100 degrees

Yesterday was our church family trip to the Sedgwick County Zoo. It was very hot. I think our van said 100 when we pulled into the zoo parking lot. Our kids were so excited because they had not seen the new tiger exhibit. I thought to myself, "If I had not planned this trip, would I be here?"

Once we got into the zoo, it was a great trip. The best part was there were no crowds. I could walk up to any window and not worry about getting crowded out like my last two trips to the zoo. I could push Molly up to the penguins, reptiles, gorillas, and tigers and she could see clearly. I even made it through the jungle without bumping into anyone.

Despite the heat, our kids had a great time. Everyone was so excited to see the tigers. It is a new exhibit that opened about a month ago. It was a great exhibit and part of it was air conditioned. The tigers were laying around, but we commented that most of the other animals were very active. The penguins did a show for us, bird…

Obama on Fatherhood

I read a great article in the Sunday paper in the Parade section. It was by President Obama on fatherhood. I thought I would share a few quotes from him.

"As an adult, working as a community organizer and later as a legislator, I would often walk through the streets of Chicago's South Side and see boys marked by that same absence (referring to his own absent father)-boys without supervision or direction or anyone to help them as they struggled to grow into men. I identified with their frustration and disengagement-with their sense of having been let down."

"I came to understand that the hole a man leaves when he abandons his responsibility to his children is one that no government can fill."

"That is why we need fathers to step up, to realize that their job does not end at conception; that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child but the courage to raise one."

"And that disengagement (speaking of physically present, but emotionally d…

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all of the dads out there! What a great day to celebrate the men in your life who have shaped who you are and influenced your life especially your father. The man who has provided for you and taught you and cared for you.

As I reflect on my role as a dad, I am challenged by God's Word about who I am to be. It is not enough that I provide financially for my family-I must also be involved in their lives. It is not sufficient that I teach them a few good "sayings"-I need to help them understand who God is and how His Word affects how we live. It is not OK if I am just a good guy and live alongside my wife-I need to love her unconditionally, serve her, set an example of how a husband treats a wife, show my daughters what a godly man will look like.

Fathers are so influential in the lives of their kids. Statistics support the importance of an engaged and loving dad in the lives of both boys and girls. No, I am not saying we are more important t…

Highlights of the Week

I have had a great week. I just wanted to highlight a few of the really great moments.

Mitchell's excitement about Camp Invention and hearing all of his stories and what he is learning.Going to the Hesston Pool with Mackenzie and Megan.Hearing two missionaries share about what God is doing in and around them.The older kids sharing what they have learned at VBS.Bethany and I sitting in the living room and talking during VBS on Thursday night.Visiting with families about the parent/child dedication this Sunday.Finishing the books, Parenting is Heart Work and Family Driven Faith.Getting the opportunity to get to know several couples through visits.

Reading at Lincoln Perk

This afternoon, I spent a couple of hours reading at Lincoln Perk. For those of you not from Hesston, it is a great coffee place with great atmosphere. I will often see at least one person I know when I am there. I have learned this wonderful practice from my fellow pastors. Thanks Brad and Steve!

I was amazed at how much I learned today. As I mentioned before, I am reading two books on parenting right now. Both have given me a lot to think about and put into practice. I will finish both of them within the week or so. The first is Parenting is Heart Work by Turansky and Miller. The second is Family Driven Faith by VoddieBaucham. I wanted to share some great quotes and ideas with all of you today.

Parenting is Heart Work

This chapter focused on helps in correcting or disciplining your child.

"Repentance requires the following six steps: 1-Settle Down and Stop Fighting, 2-Be Willing To Admit You've Done Something Wrong, 3-Realize There's Something Different You Could…

Family Worship

I am excited about this weekend as we are having Parent/Child Dedication at our church and Molly is going to be dedicated. It will also be my first opportunity as Associate Pastor to be involved in this special event. I am enjoying meeting with families to talk about the significance of their role in the faith development of their children.

Let me share a little about what I am learning about family worship. I had heard about this concept before, but only used in a negative sense and most often associated with the word, "boring." I also realized that as a father I am to be actively involved in the spiritual training and instruction of my children. I cannot delegate this important responsibility to the church alone. But I have also come to understand that the "how to's" are lacking. It seems the church has challenged the family in this area, but resources are not readily available.

However, I discovered several resources that are helpful. First, I send a w…

Why Do I Go To Church?

This question, was posted on the Hesston MB facebook page, so I thought I would answer it here. The number one reason I worship on Sunday but also throughout the week as well is because God is faithful, holy, just, awesome, and worthy of worship. When I show up on Sunday, it is not about the great music, great preaching, great people, but it is about an offering of praise to the Audience of One. It is all for and about God and my attitude should reflect that.

But there are many other reasons as well. In Hebrews 10:25-26, we are told to "not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing" because we are to "encourage one another". When I show up I should be looking for ways to encourage others in the body and to allow them to encourage me as well. We should be strengthening each other's faith as we gather on Sunday. Similarly, my gifts are needed in the Body of Christ and if I am not using my gifts then the church is not ministering at 100%. I…

Love At First Sight and Forever Too

Today, I celebrate my 11th anniversary with my beautiful wife. I thought I would share why I fell in love with and have continued and grown in my love for Bethany.

I remember the first time I saw Bethany. I truly can say it was love at first sight. She was wearing red (which shirt we disagree on) and it was Sterling College orientation. We were both freshman. I remember seeing her and being attracted to her. She was beautiful and I knew I wanted to date her. We began dating in January 1995 and spent 3 1/2 years dating before getting married.

I remember my proposal. Before I proposed, I met Steve and Shirley at a Braum's to ask their permission to marry their daughter. I then planned the proposal for Bethany's backyard. Shirley had done some amazing things with plants and flowers and it was beautiful. I took her through several "stations" where we talked about our memories of dating. Finally, I got down on one knee and asked her to "marry me." If you wonder if…

Psalm 119

In my Bible reading this morning, I was reading Psalm 119:1-64. I have always loved this Psalm because of its focus on the law, commands, decrees, etc. Each of these points us to God's Word as the best way to experience life. Many times in this Psalm we are told to meditate, learn, seek, hide, follow, live, teach these things. You may ask, "Is there really freedom in following a bunch of rules?"

Before answering that question, I need to preface it by saying we are not saved by following the law or seeking to do more good than bad. We are saved by a relationship with Jesus Christ. He is the way, the truth and the life. So, ultimate freedom comes in our relationship with Christ.

Back to Psalm 119-But God's Word can give us direction and guidance today. God's Word is "living and active" ((Hebrews 4:12) and useful for "teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good wo…

Live The Word At Home

As Associate Pastor of Family Ministry, one of my joys is meeting with couples/parents to get to know them better and for them to get to know me. I enjoy hearing their stories of how they met and to find out more about their lives. Currently, I am visiting families to talk about parent/child dedication. This serves as a reminder to me of the importance of the partnership between parents and the church. What a blessing it is to know you are not alone in parenting, yet at the same time to stand before your church family and commit to raising your children to love God and love others. I look forward to Molly's dedication as well as six other families at Hesston MB on June 21.

I finished chapters 6-7 of VoddieBaucham's book, "Family Driven Faith" this afternoon. This book is definitely a challenge to the way we do children and youth ministry. The basis for his book is Deuteronomy 6. He does a great job of integrating the Bible into everything he says. Let me sha…

Happy Birthday Megan!

Today is Megan's 6th birthday! I cannot believe that my little redhead is six years old. She has the whole day planned. Breakfast at McDonald's, treats for park day, lunch with Dad, opening presents, and her Grammie making her a cake. She is so excited!

I cannot believe that six years ago today, I was at Colorado Christian University at M-Fuge with the youth group for camp. I remember getting a phone call about 6 in the morning from Bethany saying that she didn't sleep well and was in labor. She drove the car to CCU and picked me up and I drove her the rest of the way to the hospital. What an amazing woman! I was so blessed to have great adults who stepped in at the camp for me so I could be with my wife and new baby. Thanks Ben Borger!

We arrived at the hospital around 7 a.m. and Megan came into the world at 1:10 p.m. She was truly an answer to prayer as you know from Bethany's previous pregnancy with Mackenzie. She was supposed to be early, but thanks to pra…

Arboretum

Mondays are my days off and I always enjoy them. It's not that I don't love ministry-I just enjoy being with the family. Today, Bethany had to run to Newton to drop off some things at the Salvation Army so I took the 4 kids to the Arboretum. The oldest three rode their bikes and I pushed Molly in the stroller. It is so funny because as we walk Molly sings songs. I occasionally will catch a word, but it is so fun to listen to her. Mitchell can be a good big brother and he gets his sisters to stop at streets and lets them know when it is safe to cross. He also will yell if they get to close to the street when a car is coming.

Today, we took some old bagels to feed the turtles at the Arboretum. We walk (or ride) around the Arboretum. Molly and I usually smell the flowers. I love watching the flowers and plants change from week to week. After making the circle walk, we go and feed the animals. The first time we went it was ducks. The next time it was fish. Lately, it …

Highlights of the Week

Here is my latest installment of "highs" for the week:

First ball games for the kidsApples to Apples with the family twice this weekMcPherson Water Park with church familiesSmall Group Cookout on Saturday nightWorship at Hesston MB Church todayReading some great books at Lincoln PerkSinging at bed time with MollyNoon basketballMinistry visits with couples and individualsEating a Brownie batter blizzard with my wife

Uncommon

Our pastoral staff meets every Wednesday morning to pray together and discuss church matters. We also have been reading a book and then discussing it together. We just finished 15 Characteristics of Effective Pastors. Our new book chosen by Brad was Uncommon by Tony Dungy. I read Chapter 1 today and believe it is going to be a good book.

Here a few quotes that I highlighted:

"The kind of ideas that our young people are buying into and the pressure to conform are causing teenagers to follow that path of least resistance."

"We live in a world in which things are accepted as normal without any thought as to whether they should be or whether there might be a better way. Too often we resign ourselves to accepting that things are just the way they are."

"Right now, our society also needs to get back to the fundamentals, those basic principles that will allow us to succeed as men."

"I won't apologize for or shy away from that, because that's the way…

Ball Games

Last night, we had our first ball games. Megan played her first ever t-ball game. She had a great time. She had three good hits. I had to laugh every time she went into the field as she always forgot her glove. I had to remind her which hand the glove went on the first time she went out in the field.

Molly was a great cheerleader. She yelled, "Go Megan". She sat on my lap for the whole first inning and then spent the rest of the time eating crackers or playing in the dirt. Mackenzie was busy playing with a friend to pay much attention. She was happy when she was able to help by passing out snacks after the game.

Bethany and Mitchell were in Goessel at a ball game at the same time. Mitchell had two hits and his team won. He is playing pitching machine this year. I think he is enjoying the game.

We all ended our night by stopping at Sonic for free root beer floats. It was packed and we arrived exactly at 8 p.m.! I was able to end the night with the kids' new fa…

Summer is here!

Well, last week was the kids' first week out of school. It included ball practices and trips to the pool and lots of outside time. As I think about summer, I usually associate it with more time. The kids are home more often during the day. However, this summer I am realizing that activities can quickly fill our schedules. Our evenings are packed-between now and July 9th, we have 3 open evenings. This is not me complaining; it's just the facts.

It reminds me of the importance of balance. Even though we are so busy, it does not mean that I should spend less time with the kids. I just have to become more creative. As a dad, I need to remember the following important times:
meal times (include more than eating such as "highs of the day", prayer, worship, Scripture memory)bed times (pray for your kids, read Bible stories together, sing together)driving (talk about the day, ask questions as you drive)church (activities should not replace Sunday worship-not legalism…