Showing posts from April, 2010

National Pastor's Orientation in Phoenix

Last week, Bethany and I had the privilege of attending the National Pastor's Orientation in Phoenix held by the Mennonite Brethren denomination from April 19-21. I did not know what to expect for these three days. I did know that I was looking forward to 4 days and nights with my wife without kids. Anything else would be a bonus.

We arrived at Wichita airport and quickly got through check-in and security. It was fun to sit and relax. When it came time that we should be boarding our plane, we learned our plane was late. Not a big deal, but we hoped we would make our connecting flight in Denver. As the time continued, we realized our connection was in jeopardy. We found out from a airline representative that they hoped we would make it, but if not we were booked on a later flight. That was good news because we didn't want to be stranded in the airport.

Our flight eventually left and we landed at 6 p.m. Our flight left at 6:10. We knew we were not going to make it. Now…

Tribute to Steve Toews

Wow-it's been a long time since I last blogged. I have at least two I am planning for the coming week. The first is a tribute to Pastor Steve and the second is a summary of my last week in Phoenix. I hope they both will encourage you!

Today, we at Hesston MB said goodbye to Pastor Steve and Deborah after 14 years of faithful service. We had a great time of sharing memories, presentation of a scrapbook, and a travel voucher. Steve shared during our worship some reflections of the past 14 years. It was a great morning of celebration of how God used Steve at Hesston MB and in our community. He will be missed and I look forward to see where God will take him next.

I wanted to share a few things that I appreciated about my colleague in ministry. From the first conversation I had with Steve over the phone, I knew he was a man of God. He shared about a new position at the church. I was not looking to leave my current ministry in Iola, but after seeking the Lord in prayer, Bethany…

The Treasure Principle

I finished reading "The Treasure Principle" by Randy Alcorn today. There is a lot of great stuff in this book about giving and generosity. I wanted to share a few that challenged me and hopefully will challenge and bless you.

"Tithing isn't the ceiling of giving; it's the floor. It's not the finish line of giving; it's just the starting blocks. Tithes can be the training wheels to launch us into the mind-set, skills, and habits of grace giving."

"Ironically, many people can't afford to give precisely because they're not giving."

"giving is a skill. With practice, we get better at it. We can learn to give more, give more often, and give more strategically."

"What does it mean to give beyond our ability? It means pushing our giving past the point where the figures add up. It means giving when the bottom line says we can't."

"The more you give, the more comes back to you, because God is the greatest giver…

Easter Blessings

Today, I was so excited to start the day by taking Easter pictures of my kids (which by the way didn't turn out well because the sun must have been in the kids' eyes). They were so excited to do the yearly routine of pictures in their Easter outfits. We then headed to church where I had to get a few things ready for Children's Church. It is fun to watch the older three watch and take care of Molly. Mackenzie usually turns out to be the best caregiver.

We had a wonderful breakfast at church and I was able to supervise the fuzion kids as they hid the Easter eggs. Then we had a very powerful worship service for Easter. The music was great and full of joy. What a great way to celebrate that Jesus is risen! We also had a slide show which showed the story of four people from our church who experienced victory through Jesus. I was moved by their stories! As we sang the final song, I turned my joy and excitement to Jesus as I sang with lifted hands. I believe God was glo…

Easter Week Family Devotions

This week during our family devotions, we have been focusing on Jesus' last week on Earth. I have been reading from the gospels and talking about details that the kids might not understand completely. On Monday, I read up to the Last Supper. Last night, I began with Jesus' prayer in the garden and went through his death and burial. This weekend, I will read about his resurrection from the dead.

We have been singing songs related to Palm Sunday and Easter. Something different we did this year was to go to the site, This is a wonderful site for those who have kids who love legos. It uses legos to tell Bible stories. So, we used this idea last night and the kids made lego scenes from the passion week as I read God's Word. It was fun seeing their creativity!

Here are few other ideas for this week:
Watch a cartoon or video about passion week such as God Rocks: Rez The Rock That Rolled or many others that tell the story well.
Hide "Resurrection…