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Showing posts from 2015

New book on gospel-powered parenting by Farley

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In December, I started reading Gospel-Powered Parenting by William P. Farley.  Here are a few quotes from the first few chapters:
I am convinced that the gospel is sufficient to answer all our parenting questions. The gospel is the incarnation of God's Son, his sinless life, his substitutionary death, his bodily resurrection, and his ascension into heaven, from which he will someday return to the earth in glory. But the cross is the heart and soul of the gospel. As do all parents, we have learned from God's gracious discipline that we are absolutely dependent on God's Spirit to complete the parenting process...It is God's job to bring results! this book will assume that effective parents equip their children to overcome the world--not by changing and controlling their environment (things external to their children), but by going after their children's hearts. We change their hearts by teaching the gospel, modeling the gospel, and centering our homes on the gospel. …

Christ has defeated death

Because Christ has defeated death
4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. (Revelation 21:4)17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! 18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people.19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. 20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our…

Promises of God from Revelation, Part 1

Here are selected promises of God from Revelation compiled by Kenneth Boa:

Those who read the words of this prophecy and who hear it and take to heart what is written in it will be blessed (1:3). Jesus Christ loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father (1:5-6). Christ is the Living One who was dead, but is alive for ever and ever, and holds the keys of death and Hades (1:18). “I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will go in and eat with him, and he with me.  To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne” (3:20-21).

Posting today at 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting

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Today, I am posting over at 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting on the topic of "being a dad."  This will conclude a 3 part series on "man up".  I hope it will be a blessing and encouragement to you.  It's not what you think.  Go here

You Are A Masterpiece

“For we are his workmanship (or masterpiece), created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)

Day After Christmas

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As you have the let down from Christmas being over, be reminded the "light of the world" is still here. Enjoy this great song by Matthew West.


Merry Christmas from the Martins

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The Martin family wants to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Enjoy your time with friends and family.  Remember the greatest gift of all is Jesus coming to earth because God loves us and wants to be in relationship with us.


Go Tell It on the Mountain

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Enjoy this song from Mercy Me's new Christmas album.  It is one of my favorite Christmas songs.  Be reminded of the great gift of Jesus for you and me.


Christ is the Great High Priest

Christ is the great high priest
16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants.17 For this reason he had to be made like them,fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:16-18)14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. (Hebrews 4:14-15)
therefore in Him we are priests
4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him—5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual houseto be a holy priesthood, offering spirit…

Promises of God from Jude

Below are selected promises of God from Jude compiled by Kenneth Boa:

Those who have been called are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ (v. 1). God offers believers the abundance of his mercy, peace, and love (v. 2). The Lord gives us the power to build ourselves up in our most holy faith and to pray in the Holy Spirit (v. 20). The Lord is able to keep us from falling and to present us before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy (v. 24). The only God our Savior will receive glory, majesty, power, and authority through Jesus Christ our Lord before all ages, now, and forevermore (v. 25).

Word for 2016: gospel

Over the last several years, I have chosen a word from the Bible to try and better understand.  Usually I do this by printing all of the verses that use that word.  As I read the verses, I think and meditate on that word and how it is used to grow in relationship with God.

For 2016, I have chosen the word gospel.  I look forward to better understanding how it is used in Scripture by Jesus, Paul and others.

For now, the Greek word translated gospel in English literally means "good news."  I look forward to sharing good news with you throughout 2016.  This will replace the promises of God from Scripture as we will finish in January.

May you and I better understand the gospel in the coming year!

Hallelujah (Light Has Come)

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This is one of my favorite Christmas songs Bethany has done as a trio.  It is by Barlow Girl.  Jesus is the light of the world and the Savior who sets us free.


You are Loved

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved usand sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”         (1 John 4:9-10)

Favorite Book Friday

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I am sharing my favorite books on Fridays over the last several weeks.  Today's favorite book Friday is by Elyse Fitzpatrick titled, Found in Him. I love the focus on the incarnation of Christ and our identity in Christ.  Check it out!




God is Victorious

Because God is Victorious
Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. (1 Chronicles 29:11) He will not quarrel or cry aloud,
nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets;
20 a bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory;
21 and in his name the Gentiles will hope.” (Matthew 12:19-21)
therefore we have victory
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corin. 15:57)  For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. (1 John 5:4)

fuzion end of semester party

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Celebrating who God is with fuzion tonight

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Tonight our fuzion group (5th and 6th grade ministry on Wednesday nights) is headed to Get Air in Wichita for an end of semester party.  Why?  Because God is good, great and awesome.  In previous years, we have only allowed those who memorized half of the Bible verses to attend.  This year, I changed it to allow everyone to be able to attend.  Why?  Because grace is a free gift and is available to all. 

The gospel is about Jesus and not about what good or bad we do.  We all sin.  We need a Savior. So rather than focus on us, we are focusing on Jesus and what He has DONE for us.
Before we have a lot of fun on the trampolines, I will share who we are celebrating (God) and the great gift available to us in the gift of Jesus. 

Check back later tonight for pictures from the evening.

Promises of God from 3 John

Here are selected promises of God from 3 John compiled by Kenneth Boa:

Faithfulness to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ is a great source of joy to other believers (vv. 3-4). When we serve and support those who are ambassadors of the truth of Jesus Christ , we become colaborers with them and participants in their ministry (vv. 5-8). Anyone who does what is good is from God (v. 11).

New book I am reading by Elyse Fitzpatrick

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This past week, I started a new book by Elyse Fitzpatrick titled, Counsel from the Cross which she has written with Dennis Johnson.  I loved Elyse's book, Found in Him and have already enjoyed the first few chapters.  Here are a few quotes from the opening chapters:

Our need of Christ does not cease with our believing...It is always on His "blood and righteousness" alone that we can rest.(Warfield)

When we lose the centrality of the cross, Christianity morphs into a religion of self-improvement and becomes about us, about our accomplishments, and about getting our act together. We become become who ask WWJD (What would Jesus do?) without ever considering the gospel or WDJD (What did Jesus do?).

We need to hear the gospel again because if we have forgotten his work on our behalf, it will skew the way we think of God, the way we think of ourselves, and the way we think of others.

God's disposition toward us is entirely different because we are beloved. As long as I hav…

Give More Gospel

Today I preached on the topic of "Give More" from Advent Conspiracy.  Below are my notes from my message which tied in with our kid's Christmas program.

My theme is Give More. I have one point this morning-Give More Gospel

Define the gospel or draw a picture of what the gospel is.

How people understand gospel
§It’s what you say or what is shared at end of sermon that gets people saved
§It’s what starts the Christian life, then we move on to something deeper
§It’s a philosophy. For example, the gospel according to JL.
§It’s a genre of music
§It’s evangelism-It’s door to door, shouting from street corners (Repent)
§It’s a lifestyle or how we live (be the gospel or live the gospel) You might be the only Jesus someone sees. It’s being good. It’s WWJD.

Quotes on the gospel

§We are not only saved by the gospel, but we also now grow by the gospel…We never leave the gospel behind. (Tim Keller in Galatians For You)
§The gospel is an announcement, not about what we are to do for God, but abo…

Kid's Christmas Program Today

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Today at Hesston MB is our annual kid's Christmas program.  I am excited for the program as we decided to base the program around Christmas hymns. There are so many great Christmas songs to sing during the year and often we run out of time during Advent. 

As always, anything can happen on Kid's Christmas Program day.  I am also preaching a message entitled, "Give More" and my notes will post later this afternoon. 

Join us at 10:10 a.m. to see the kids sharing their gifts through music and words. 

O, Holy Night

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Bethany told me about listening to this version of "O, Holy Night" while driving the other day.  It is by David Phelps and worth your time. This is one of my favorite Christmas songs ever.


Favorite Book Friday

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Happy Birthday, Mitchell!

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Today, my oldest son turns 16.  Happy Birthday, Mitchell. I look forward to celebrating this weekend with you.  Here are a few pictures of him through the years:





You Are Holy

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselveswith compassion, kindness, humility,gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)

God Adopts and Cares

God Cares For & Adopts Us
4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love5 he predestined us for adoption to sonshipthrough Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. (Ephesians 1:4-6)7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)
therefore we are adopted
4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba,Father.” (Galatians 4:4-6)  For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15)

Sex. Do I have your attention?

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We as a people are fascinated with sex.  The church over the years has not always handled the topic very well.  In Scott Sauls book, Jesus Outside the Lines, he has some great thoughts for us to consider. Below are some quotes:
Like fire, sex can be incredibly life giving, comforting, and healing when handled with care. It is among the most delightful of all human activities. It is also among the most dangerous. Like fire, when sex is taken outside its natural and created boundaries, it becomes destructive, leaving burn marks and scars. That's why God is in favor of chastity, or sexual abstinence, for those living outside the covenant of marriage. Biblically, the most interesting and attractive women and men are those whose hearts are at rest because they know that God loves them. Until we learn to see people as people instead of things, as image bearers to be loved instead of objects to be used, sexuality will only become more confused and broken.  God is favor of sexual freedom-…

Promises of God from 2 John

Here are selected promises of God from 2 John compiled by Kenneth Boa:
The truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ “lives in us and will be with us forever” (v. 2). As those who know Christ, we have received grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son (v. 3).  When we walk in obedience to God’s commands, we are walking in the truth and in love (v. 6). Whoever abides in the true teaching of the incarnate Christ has both the Father and the Son (v. 9).

O Come All Ye Faithful

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Here is another song I love during Advent.  It is a great rendition with addition of "Sing to the King" as well. Be reminded of our Faithful God.

Favorite Book Friday

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You are Gifted

“We have different gifts,according to the grace given to each

of us.” (Romans 12:6)

The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification

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I finally finished The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification by Walter Marshall. It is a book that was recommended by my friend, Russell, in Texas. We had a great gospel conversation outside of Starbucks this summer while I was on sabbatical.  Here are some quotes from the final chapters:
assurance is very important for you to have if you want to grow in your faith and grow in holiness.Jesus tells you first about the work of believing.  Faith is the work of works, because all other good works proceed from faith. Many other people ruin their souls because they seek to have their sins forgiven through faith in Christ, but then they try to produce holiness in their lives by their own efforts. This is the truth of the gospel: no matter how sordid your life has been, no matter how many your sins have been, they are small compared to the grace of Christ. Don't "just do it." Instead, continually go to Christ first, by faith. Then, you will receive a gospel motivation to live a holy …

God is Blessed

God is blessed
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen. (Psalm 41:13)Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. (Psalm 72:18)  Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
3 who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases, (Psalm 103:1-3) So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” (John 12:13)therefore in Him we are blessed
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28) And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. (Genesis 12:2) T…

Posting at 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Today

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Today I am posting over at 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting on the topic of being a husband.  Check it out here

Joy to the World

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It is the first Sunday in Advent so it's time for some Christmas music.  One of my favorite Christmas albums is by Pentatonix .  Here is there version of Joy to the World.

Grace in our churches, workplaces and in messy relationships

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I recently finished reading Everyday Grace by Jessica Thompson. The adult class I teach will be going through the book in the Spring of 2016.  Below are some thoughts on church, work, and those difficult people in our lives from Thompson:
The truth of our belovedness is what sanctifies. The truth of the wonderful story of redemption is what sanctifies...In your struggle against sin, in your struggle to be a more "sanctified Christian," remember the truth of God's love for you in Christ...Our sanctification is completely about him and his work in our lives, his completed work, his ongoing work. Instead of fixing each other's broken parts, what if we started bearing with each other's broken parts?  So we are humble with one another, not thinking we are better than others. We are gentle with each other, instead of beating each other over the head with a long list of "you-should." A. W. Tozier writes, "one of the greatest hindrances to internal peace wh…

Favorite Book Friday

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Happy Thanksgiving from the Martins

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Happy Thanksgiving from the Martins! We have much to be thankful for.  Thank you God for the many blessings we have received.  Enjoy time with family and friends today.

Promises of God from 1 John, Part 2

Here are selected promises of God from 1 John compiled by Kenneth Boa:

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!And that is what we are!” (3:1). “Now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known.But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (3:2). “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (4:9-10). “There is no fear in love.But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.The man who fears is not made perfect in love” (4:18). “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (5:11-12). “This is the assurance we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything ac…

You are Free

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)

God is Father

God is Father
Pray then like this: “OurFather in heaven, hallowed be your name. (Matthew 6:9)  Grace to you and peace from GodourFather and the Lord Jesus Christ.                        (1 Corinthians 1:3)  And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” (Galatians 4:6)  therefore we are His children
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become childrenofGod (John 1:12)16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:16-17)  See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called childrenofGod; and so we are. (1 John 3:1)

Henderson, Nebraska, here we come

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This afternoon, Bethany and I are headed to Henderson, Nebraska to host a book table for Faith and Life Bookstore.  I have enjoyed going along to help Bethany specifically with the heavy lifting.  Maybe she will take a picture of me flexing? It is also a good time to spend together and we usually sneak a date night in one of the evenings we are gone.

Thank you Grammie for watching the kids for a couple of days!

Promises of God from 1 John, Part 1

Here are selected promises of God from 1 John:

“God is light; in him there is no darkness at all” (1:5). “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from every sin” (1:7). “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1:9). If we sin, “we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (2:1-2). “The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever” (2:17).

Favorite Book Friday

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You Are Forgiven

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darknessand brought us into the kingdomof the Son he loves,14 in whom we have redemption,the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14)

Thanks for your help!

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Thank you to all who participated in Operation Christmas Child Night at Hesston MB tonight! We had a great meal, great fun and helped a great cause. Because of your generosity, we filled 165 boxes. A few pictures are below:

OCC Night Tonight!

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Below you will see a few pictures from last year's OCC Night.  We hope you will join us tonight for a great evening of food, fun, learning and filling Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. Here is a schedule for the evening:

6:30-Meal
7:15-Fun/Learning
7:30-Fill Shoeboxes

Hope to see you tonight.  Remember this is for all ages and is open to the community.












God is Holy

God is Holy
 “There is none holy like the Lord: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God. (1 Samuel 2:2)  Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at his holy mountain; for the Lord our Godisholy! (Psalm 99:9)  “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” (Revelation 4:8)
therefore we are made holy by Him
 “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. (Leviticus 19:2)3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love5 he predestined usfor adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, (Ephesians 1:3-5) Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, (Co…

Are you a hypocrite?

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Yeah, me too.  All of us fall into the hypocrite category because we say one thing and do another. Scott Sauls has an excellent chapter in Jesus Outside the Lines on this topic.  Here are some of my favorite quotes from the chapter:
It reminds me that God's relentless grip on me, not my relentless grip on God, keeps me in his love. Shouldn't we evaluate Jesus on his own merits rather than the flaws of his followers? There is something incredibly attractive and inviting about people who stop pointing fingers and posing and pretending to be totally good and totally right, and instead start taking themselves less seriously and openly and freely admit that they are not yet what they should be. The Bible helps us see how: it is the loveliness of Jesus, and only the loveliness of Jesus, that can make hypocrites lovely. Humbled by our own hypocrisy and drawn to how the loveliness of Jesus can transform us, we must preoccupy ourselves less with trying to be like him and more with simpl…

Playing on the Radio

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Feeling down?  Wondering if God can love you based on what you have done?  Be encouraged by this song by Sidewalk Prophets called Prodigal


Its been a long time, since you felt peace
in the valley you made, where you're not meant to be
where the shame throws shadows on you,
but don't you forget.....
that you're headed for more, but you settled for less
don't by the lie, it's as good as it gets
the same feet that left you lost and alone
are the very same feet that'll lead you back home Wherever you are, whatever you did
its a page in your book, but it isn't the end
your father will meet you with arms open wide
this is where your heart belongs... Come running like a prodigal (x2)
 there will be nights, when you hear whispers
of a life you once knew, don't let it linger
cause there's a grace that, falls upon you
don't you forget.... In the places your weak, he is very strong
don't ever believe you don't deserve love
the same God that protects…

Operation Christmas Child Family Night

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This Wednesday, November 18th is our third annual all-church family night.  On this evening, all of the Wednesday night ministries are canceled and everyone gathers at the church.  It is for all ages not just those with kids in Wednesday night ministries.  Our family night includes a meal provided by the church, fun/learning, and filling Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

Last year, we filled around 100 boxes.  So, we would like to try to match the number again this year.  Below you will find the suggested items to donate as well as those items that are not allowed.

You can also donate $7/box for shipping costs.

We hope to see you next Wednesday!

SUGGESTED ITEMS: 

► Start with a “WOW” Gift A doll, a soccer ball with pump, soft toys, plush stuffed animals, a musical instrument, an outfit or shoes. 
► Toys Balls, toy cars, skipping rope, marbles, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yo, slinky,  finger puppets, wind up toys, toys that light up and make noise (with extra batteries), puzzles, etc.��…