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Showing posts from July, 2009

D6 Dads at Hesston MB

Well, after several conversations and an email survey, the times and dates have been decided for our dad's group. Drum roll, please. Starting in September, we will be meeting on Tuesdays at 6:30 a.m., Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. and Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. Pick the day that works best for you, your family, and your schedule. I hope these three different times will allow everyone who is interested to participate. At these gatherings, we will discuss a book together, challenge one another to be the dads God wants us to be, and pray for one another. We will meet every other week. I will have exact dates soon. Watch the website and bulletin for more information! I am excited about the opportunities awaiting us as dads!

Article by LifeWay about parenting

LifeWay Research: Parents Look Inward Not Upward for Guidance
Written by Mark Kelly

NASHVILLE, Tenn., – Most American parents feel their parenting skills and family life are pretty good, but they are reluctant to describe their homes as peaceful, relaxed or joyful and their daily family time consists mostly of eating dinner and watching television, according to a new study from LifeWay Research. While most parents are trying to improve their skills, far fewer look to the church or the Bible for help. (italics mine)

The Parent Adventure
The national survey of 1,200 parents with children under 18 at home was conducted by LifeWay Research, the research arm of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.The study found that 96 percent of parents agree they consistently try to be better parents. Fifty-eight percent agree strongly and 38 percent agree somewhat with this statement.“Parents claim they are trying hard to be better parents but they are not welcoming outside guida…

Fall is coming!

I cannot believe that summer is almost over. We leave on Sunday for our vacation. We will be staying in Paris, TN for a few days and then end the vacation in Branson. The kids are very excited! Bethany and Shirley are working on things for the kids to do in the car. Once we get back to Hesston, the kids will start school is a little over a week. They are ready! So is mom.

What else does the end of summer bring? Fall-which means activities get started again. Hide N Seek (our children's program) will begin with a cookout and parent meeting on Aug. 26th at 6:45 p.m. I am working on implementing a new ministry to our 5th/6th graders that will also kickoff that evening. I am very excited about this new ministry and think the 5th/6th graders and their parents will be too. New Sunday School teachers begin on Aug. 16. It makes your head start to spin a little. But I am ready.

Starting in November, I missed out on all of this last year. I have enjoyed evaluating curriculum. …

A D6 Legacy

This past Sunday, my message was titled, "A D6 Legacy." I thought I would leave an outline of my message for you. The message was based on Deuteronomy 6:1-9. A video that I was going to introduce my message was the promo video for the D6 Conference. Check it out at www.d6conference.com.

Background
The Israelites have been wandering for 40 years at this point.As they prepare to cross into the promised land, Moses gives them speech similar to what we would hear at a high school graduation. Preparing them to go into a "new land." We pass on the most important things at times like these. Think of these two points as you read the text.We need to look to GOD for help in leaving a D6 legacy. A D6 legacy is:

Generational (vs. 1-3)
Importance of passing on "commands, decrees, and laws". This was not Moses' agenda, soapbox, or choice but instead what "the Lord your God directed me."It was important that their faith be passed on to other generatio…

Highlights of the Week

Here are my great times from the past week:Molly's birthday on MondayCoffee with a pastor friend on TuesdayPreparing to preach on "A D6 Legacy"Finishing up some devotions for Hide N SeekGreat Aunt Onie's funeral on ThursdayWalking around the Arboretum with Bethany's familyMeetings to discuss puppets and Sunday SchoolFamily Service Project at World Impact on SaturdayPreaching this morning and an afternoon nap and a walk with MollyTrip to the pool with the kids

Serving at World Impact

Today, I had the privilege of going to World Impact in Wichita to do a family service project. Mitchell and Megan joined me. After some initial complaining, they were ready to go. Along with Hank, Anna, and Jackson Humphreys, we pulled weeds and trimmed some bushes. The six of us were able to make some noticeable improvements within a couple of hours.

It was fun working alongside the kids. They worked hard for about 1 1/2 hours. Then the kids played together and Hank and I finished things up. We were able to complete about 5-6 flower beds. Chuck, our contact at World Impact, told the kids that what we accomplished today would take him 2 days by himself. We were able to do it in about 3 hours. He also showed us their mobile medical unit and told us about their ministry to the community.

On our way to visit Grammie and Grandaddy, the kids told me how much fun they had and realized they would have missed out on a fun day if they would have stayed home (which is what they wanted a…

D6 Conference

I wanted to share with all of you about a conference that will be September 23-25, 2009 in Dallas, TX. It is called the D6 Conference and will look at how we can help parents effectively pass on their faith to their kids. I am really excited about it as this is an area that is lacking in most churches. We tell parents to pass on their faith and have family devotions, but then do not go the next step and help them know how, why, and where to find resources. It is not too late to sign-up. Check out the website at www.d6conference.com for more information about pre-con labs and main stage speakers and their topics. I encourage pastors, youth pastors, children's pastors, CE directors, Sunday School teachers, and interested parents to attend.

Onie's Service

Today, I was blessed by attending Bethany's Great Aunt Onie's memorial service. It was a great day. The music was great and the message was encouraging and challenging. The lunch after the service was chicken and in my book you can't beat that. But the best part of the day was listening to the impact that Onie had on others' lives. There were about 5 people who shared and each one was a blessing to me. They told of how Onie had shared the gospel with them, taught them how to teach others, helped them better understand the Bible, could tell a wonderful and compelling story in VBS, how much she loved and had compassion for them, encouraged them, and the list could go on and on. I hope the service was taped because I would love to hear it again.

I wonder what kind of impact my life is having on others. Am I sharing my faith as faithfully as Onie? Am I teaching effectively the next generation? Am I showing love and care to others? Am I willing to sacrifice "…

May All Who Come Behind Us

As I have been working on my message for this Sunday, I keep singing the popular Steve Green song, Find Us Faithful. If you are not familiar, the chorus says, "May all who come behind us find us faithful. Let the fire of our devotion light their way. May the footprints that we leave, lead them to believe and the lives we live inspire them to obey. "
As I reflect on those words and Deuteronomy 6:1-9, I am challenged to teach my children well. My conviction over the last few months has not been what I am doing to be a good dad, but instead what am I not doing. I wonder if we as dads sometime assume that as long as we are somewhat present in our kids' lives and support them financially then we are doing enough. However, as I read God's Word and read different author's perspectives, I am discovering that what I don't do sends a message too. Here is an example: I come home tired from work and want to relax by reading the paper or watching tv. One of the ki…

God knows best

As Bethany and I were reminiscing last night about Molly's birth, some important truths were reinforced. I remember it clearly-my birthday-2 years ago (Dec. 6th) going out to eat and Bethany taking a pregnancy test. The results were clear: we were pregnant again. I remember being anxious and stressed. Why? First, because I was worried about financially taking care of another child. Second, because according to my plans-I was happy and content with three kids. Third, I would have to listen to people say, "Don't you know what is causing that?"

Fast forward to July 20, 2007-I was so excited to meet my new daughter. I remember being in the operating room as Bethany had the c-section. When Molly was born, she did not make any noise at all. I was not too concerned until the nurses starting acting a little concerned. Her apgar scores were very low in the first few minutes of life. I remember offering a quick prayer and after some suction of her lungs-she quickly …

Happy Birthday to Onie & Molly

Today, my baby turns two. It is hard to believe that Molly is that old. I cannot believe how our "surprise" baby has brought so much joy to us. Her smile just lights up a room. I can remember two years ago the anxiety the night before her delivery date. I remember leaving 2 days later for camp. She is so much fun to watch and listen to her talk. She thought about pottying on the toliet today, but got distracted by the toilet paper and that was it. Molly shares a birthday with a wonderful woman-Aunt Onie.

Aunt Onie went to be with Jesus yesterday. She would have been 89 today. As Megan put it, she gets to have her party with Jesus. In honor of this faithful woman of God, I am going to repost an earlier tribute to her. She was not expected to live through the week, but lasted over 3 weeks. After she survived the week, the family discovered that she had just been laying there praying for people. What a woman! Fighting for her life, yet still "prays without ceasing." Th…

Highlights of the Week

What were your "highs" for the week?

Here are mine:
Date with my wife on her birthday. We just spent the afternoon together. It was great!Great conversation with several from church about reaching out to our communityBook discussion at church on Lord Foulgrin's LettersLunch meeting to discuss the past 8 monthsWorking on Hide N Seek devotions and new ministry for 5th/6th graders at our churchReading some great books at the Perk (Shepherding A Child's Heart, Vintage Jesus, and Uncommon)Trip to Topeka with my aunt Marilyn, cousin Karly, their grandkids & kids, my nieces, nephew and Mom and Sister. We went to eat at Sonic (they have a great play area connected to it-21st & Wannamaker, the zoo, park, rode the Carousel, and supper at Red Robin. Breakfast at church, worship including commissioning of Dominican Republic team, and a nap

Tony Dungy on Fatherhood

As I mentioned before, the pastoral staff is reading Uncommon by Tony Dungy and discussing at our weekly staff meeting. The book has already prompted some great discussions. Today I wanted to share some quotes from Tony on what it means to be a good dad. I hope these quotes encourage and challenge you.

"And today fatherhood remains one of the critical foundations for the health of our current generation and for those that will follow."

"I worry that we've forgotten what it means to nurture our children, believing that as long as we provide financial support, the mothers of our children can provide whatever emotional growth our children need. I strongly disagree. Strongly."

"Be there for your children! Too many young men and boys are growing up without a male role model in the house to show them what it means to be a man."

"Studies have shown that the father's relationship with his daughter will be the primary predictor in the success of her…

Tuesday Night at the Martin's

On Tuesday night, we had gathered together for our time of family worship. We have been exploring different ways to do this over the last few months. I finally decided to focus on Deuteronomy 6:4-9. We hope to memorize this passage as a family. I then told the kids that we would be looking at the "commandments" mentioned in these verses. So, we are starting with the most logical place and looking at the 10 Commandments.

I started thinking about ways to make this more interactive with the kids. So, I decided that each night we would look at one of the commandments and the kids are to come up with a creative way to explain or teach that commandment. I was so excited on Tuesday when I got home from work because the kids were practicing their activity for our family worship. They could not wait to get to family worship that night. Mitchell prepared a skit about worshipping the bear god or the only true God. Mackenzie made up a song. Megan did a dance. Molly joined in…

The Fragrance of Him

Today, I had a great meeting with a group of people. They were sharing their hearts and desires for outreach as a believer and the church. They had all been prompted by the Holy Spirit to pray about how to get more involved and more intentional about sharing their faith. It was so refreshing to hear them take the initiative to pray and move forward with this idea without my direct involvement. Don't get me wrong-I enjoy praying and seeking the Lord for creative ways to reach out to my community, yet I was brought into the process for listening and sharing ideas or insights.

Another highlight of this visit was our discussion about not just talking about evangelism, but actually doing it. One of the quotes from Lord Foulgrin's Letters illustrates this point. This is Lord Foulgrin (a demon) speaking, he says, "But don't bother trying to convince him it's bad to evangelize. Let him think it's good, admirable. Just as long as he doesn't actually do it.&…

Leaving a D6 Legacy

In a few weeks, I am going to be preaching on Deuteronomy 6:1-9. I chose this passage because of almost every book I have read in the last few months have referenced or made this passage central to their topic. As I have begun reflecting on the passage, I am thankful for Moses charge to the Israelites. Here is my paraphrase of what he says, "don't forget what you have been taught and don't just listen to it-but live by it too."

What does it mean to leave a D6 legacy? I look forward to attending the D6 Conference in Dallas in September which will be addressing this topic. But here is what I am learning as I study. Leaving a D6 legacy means that I do everything I can to teach my children who God is and how to live for Him. This is not just verbal instruction but must be backed up by my actions. If I say Jesus matters to me and dramatically impacts my life and my kids don't hear me talk or live for Jesus between church on Sundays then I am not leaving the leg…

Highlights of the Week

Here are my highlights from the past week:
Visits with couples from the church on Monday and Wednesday nightsThe last week of ball games!Finishing Lord Foulgrin's Letters for the 2nd timeMinistry discussions with staff and other leadersDay at Marion Reservoir which included swimming and tubing for me-kids and others also enjoyed jet skisFirst overnight tent camping with Mitchell, Mackenzie, and MeganCookout with my church familyBaptism at Marion Reservoir today (even though the park ranger wanted to shut us down)Cake (made by Shirley) for Bethany's birthday and seeing Steve and ShirleyEarly bedtime tonight!

Book Discussion on Lord Foulgrin's Letters this Wednesday

This Wednesday, I will be leading a book discussion on Lord Foulgrin's Letters by Randy Alcorn. I have read the book twice and highly recommend it. As I reflected on what to write, I decided to quote Alcorn from his afterword.

Alcorn writes, "This is reality, not myth-we are actually being watched, hovered over, and whispered to; not only by God and righteous angels, but by fallen angels, demons. These beings are likely present in this room as I write, and wherever you are as you read. If God were to open our eyes we would see angels, both fallen and unfallen, as clearly as I see this computer screen or you see these pages.

"Paul took a particular course of action 'that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes' (2 Corinthians 2:11). The degree to which Satan outwits us will correspond directly to how informed-or ignorant-we are of his schemes against us. Lord Foulgrin's Letters is intended to make us more aware of those schemes an…

Our journey to Hesston

Today, I am going to be writing about our journey to Hesston. It all began about this time last year. We were content ministering in Iola, KS. My ministry included leading the children's and youth ministry as well as some preaching and teaching adult Sunday School. The church was in the process of building a new church. Our children and youth ministry were growing. Things were going well!

Then I received an email. I remember it clearly-it was June 30. I was sitting in Steve and Shirley's living room checking email on their laptop. The email was from Steve Toews and he mentioned he was a graduate of Denver Seminary and would like to talk with me. I received a phone call the following Monday and Steve asked if I was interested in applying for a ministry position at his church. As I mentioned above, I was not looking to leave Iola. However, I said I would pray about it and talk it over with Bethany.

At lunch that day, I brought up the subject with Bethany. I was expecting her to no…

Holy Spirit Living

This was the title for my message on Sunday. I mentioned in a previous post that I would add more after Sunday. So, here is a brief summary of points from Sunday.

My text was John 16:5-15.

Background of the the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is personal, not an impersonal force (different than Star Wars)The Holy Spirit was present before Pentecost. He did not show up in Acts 2. Look for examples in creation, with prophets and kings, Jesus' birth, baptism, temptation, etc. Also see more examples in salvation, sanctification, fruits of the Spirit and spiritual gifts.5 Symbols of the Holy Spirit: Dove-Luke 3:22; Fire-1 Thessalonians 5:19; Oil-Acts 10:38; Wind-John 3:8; and Living Water-John 7:37-39The Holy Spirit dwells inside believers-John 14:17 & Romans 8:113 C's of the Holy Spirit to help us better understand and help in our daily Christian walk

Counselor-vs. 5-7vs. 7-Greek word, Paraclete can be translated helper, comforter, counselor, advocate-literally means to come alon…

Highlights of the Week

It was a busy week as I prepared for a Sunday message and took the 4 kids to Yates Center Friday and Saturday. Here are a few highlights from the week:

Evening with the Humphreys on MondaySermon Preparation all week-it's always good to study God's Word and meditate on itChurch Family Park & Pool Night on Wednesday-fun eating together, playing kickball and swimming. Thanks to Brett & Ron Buhrman, Jon Ewert, Derek Roth for help in moving ice cream machine. And thanks to Chris Roth for letting us borrow the machine. The kids loved the ice cream!Kids' ball gamesVisit to Yates Center with fireworks on Friday night and time spent with the cousins on SaturdaySafe travel throughout the weekPreaching today and great time of worshipSunday afternoon nap

A Tribute to Aunt Onie

Today, I had the privilege of reading Aunt Onie's story. For those of you who don't know Aunt Onie, it is Bethany's great aunt. As I mentioned in a previous post, I remember the two things that Bethany shared about Aunt Onie before I met her the first time: she was a faithful prayer warrior and had been ministering among African Americans for over 50 years. Even as I type these words, Onie is in the hospital very sick waiting to go and be with Jesus in heaven. I look forward to her funeral and hearing the stories of those she has impacted. I wanted to share a few things that I discovered about her as I read her biography.

Leona Schneider was born July 20, 1920 (she shares a birthday with my Molly). She was raised 2 1/2 miles in the country outside of Moundridge, KS. She was the third of four children. As a child, she remembers the anxiety and pain that she caused her mother and father when she disobeyed one time involving a cow and the barn. Her disobedience showed sorrow a…

Rain

I was awakened today by the rain. I was glad to hear the rain as my lawn definitely needed some moisture. When I think of rain I think of several things: refreshing, nourishing, relaxing, cleansing, growing. As I laid in bed, I thought about how this rain was soothing and helping me go back to sleep. I also wished I would have left my van outside so the rain could clean it off (I hate washing my van and I do it rarely if ever). I also thought about our flowers and trees and grass and how this rain was bringing needed growth, refreshment and nourishment.

All of these things reminds me of what God does in our lives. God brings us relaxation and peace as we trust in Him. Through forgiveness in Jesus Christ, we are cleansed from our sins. When we are dry in our spiritual walk, he brings refreshment through His Word. As the Holy Spirit works in us the process of sanctification, we are nourished and grow and are made more like Christ. May the triune God be the "rain" we ne…

Make A Difference

As I drove to work today, I was thinking about life. Great Aunt Onie (Bethany's Great Aunt) is in hospice in Wichita. She has had a hard fight in her health over the years. Her most recent health problems revealed cancer in several places. With that discovery, she is ready to go and be with Jesus. I am going to be reading her biography this week and blogging about her. She is an amazing woman. Two things I remember when Bethany first told me about Aunt Onie-a faithful prayer warrior and her ministry to African-Americans. Onie truly made a difference for Christ's kingdom and I look forward to sharing more about her life in a later post.

Another friend of ours was diagnosed with cancer in the past year. She fought the cancer with great faith and hope. She truly was an inspiration to many as she went through the treatment. She is now cancer free and one of things I remember her sharing recently was how important it is to live each day well. Her courage and testimony al…