Showing posts from August, 2011

Prayer for Schools

Today is Prayer for Hesston Schools. We will gather at the flagpoles of the local schools to pray for the upcoming year. Everyone is invited whether you have a child in school or if you are an interested community member. The schedule is as follows: Hesston Elementary at 7 p.m., Hesston High at 7:25 p.m., & Hesston Middle School at 7:45 p.m. I hope you will join us!

As I think about the importance of prayer, I am reminded of a few people who have helped me to grow in the area of prayer. I fondly remember praying with my friend, Carol Conner at the Denver Coliseum before Acquire the Fire or Dare 2 Share or at Littleton High School before school began. Carol and I prayed weekly for our youth ministry as well. She taught me much about the ministry of prayer.

Also, I remember praying with Melanie Soard for our church and other needs. We had many great conversations about prayer together. I was glad to learn from Fred Lian & others as we incorporated a prayer team into t…

Prayer Ministry

Today, I had the privilege of leading another group of people through prayer team orientation at Hesston MB Church. This is the 3rd time I have led the orientation over the last year. I think I am finally getting the orientation to focus on the most important things. I am so excited about this ministry and how God uses it. It is hard to believe that it has been a year since we started this ministry. Today, I thought I would share some barriers to prayer ministry and some resources that I recommend.

What are the barriers to having a prayer team?
Getting people to realize prayer team membership is not about being a superior or perfect intercessor, but instead being available for God to use you.Getting the congregation to realize that people can come forward for any type of prayer requests. It does not just have to be a major prayer request. God cares about us and hears our prayers whether big or small.Congregation members being willing to be vulnerable and share when they have a p…

Good Books & Good Coffee

On Thursdays, I spend the morning reading at my favorite coffee shop, Lincoln Perk. I read some great books yesterday and wanted to share a few quotes from each of them. Those books are Spiritual Parenting by Michelle Anthony & Not A Fan by Kyle Idleman. I hope these quotes will challenge and inspire you and maybe encourage you to pick up the books and start reading.

Not A Fan
"In the Old Testament it says "God with us"--but in the New Testament it's "God in us."

"Fans eventually get burned out from trying to live the Christian life out of their own efforts . . . Followers of Jesus understand that it's a journey they were never to make alone. Instead we keep in step with the Spirit and he supernaturally gives us the strength and the power we need."

"A belief, no matter how sincere, if not reflected in reality isn't a belief; it's a delusion."

"More than he wants our acts of piety, more than he wants our adherence t…

Helping Children Get More Out of Worship

Have you ever wondered how to help your children engage in worship more? Do they sit there not knowing the words to the hymns or new worship songs? Have you ever stopped to think if they understand what they are singing anyway?

The family devotions that I just completed are trying to help parents answer these questions. What did I do? I took the songs we most often sing in worship at Hesston MB and picked one for every week. I printed the lyrics for parents and then asked them to sing, listen, or read the lyrics to the songs. Then I posed the following questions for them to discuss:

Send Me Out

My new favorite song right now is called "Send Me Out" by Steve Fee.

Here are the words below:

Verse 1

Jesus, Lord of my salvation, Savior of my soul
Send me out to the world to make You known
Jesus, King of every nation, this world's only hope
Send me out to the world to make you known
Send me out to the worldChorus
I wanna be Your hands & feet
I wanna be Your voice every time I speak
I wanna run to the ones in need
In the name of JesusI wanna give my life away, all for Your kingdom’s sake
Shine a light in the darkest place,
In the name of Jesus
In the name of Jesus. Verse 2
Carry to the broken-hearted mercy You Have shown
Send me out to the world to make You known
And to the ones in need of rescue, lead me I will go
Send me out to the world to make you known
Send me out to the world(Repeat Chorus)Bridge
Here am I, I will go
Send me out to make You known
There is hope for every soul
Send me out, send me out
Are you willi…

D6 Dads

Yesterday, I blogged about Daddy Day and the realization I had as I took Molly to preschool. As a parent, when days are long and hard and kids are difficult, we wonder when we will have a break. But when you send your child off to preschool, kindergarten, middle school, high school, you realize that time is flying by.

One of the greatest joys I have had in ministry was starting a group called D6 Dads. What is D6 Dads you might ask? Well, first of all, I "borrowed" the name from the D6 Conference put on by Randall House. They have t-shirts that say this. They got the name from Deuteronomy 6:4-9. Go ahead and read these verses to get a better understanding about what the D6 Conference is and what the goal is for our D6 Dads' groups.

But D6 Dads is a group of fathers who gather every other week. During these times, we pray together, read a book together, and discuss what it means to be a godly father. I have come to look forward to each and ever…

Daddy Day & First Day of Preschool

Well, as many of you know, Mondays are Daddy Day at the Martin household. For many of the years since we have had kids, whatever day I have off, Bethany has worked a part-time job on that day. I have come to love these special days with my kiddos.

What happens on Daddy Days? It depends on the time of year. If warmer weather, it usually involves a park, pool, or walk. On colder days, it might include a trip to the library or indoor pool. My kids have decided to make Lincoln Perk a part of Daddy Days too. Daddy does not complain.

If you are dad reading this, my challenge to you is to make the most of the time you have with your kids whether they are infants, toddlers, pre-teens, or teenagers. This is a great way to make a heart connection with your kids. Don't waste these years-make the most of them. Do what your kids love. Introduce them to something you love.

If you are a mom reading this, let your husband make "Daddy Days" his own. This might include leav…

Highs of the Week

Here are my highs from the past week:

Last Daddy Day with the kids on Monday before school startsFirst day of school excitement from the older kids (Molly starts preschool tomorrow)Meetings with individuals on ThursdayFinishing The Legacy Path and writing a book review on it
Finished editing family devotions for Hide N SeekCelebration SaturdayStarting new "Life in CHRIST" Sunday School class todayWorship with my church family this morning

Morning Walk

Since we had such a cool & beautiful morning, we decided to take a walk to the Arboretum. It was fun to see girls get excited about flowers, feathers, & hedge apples. We used this "God Moment" to talk about our awesome God who is creator. Enjoy the picture of God's beautiful creation below!For those from Hesston area, come to Heritage Park today from 4:30-7:30 p.m. for free food, fun, music, & more. Hope to see you there!

Project Complete!

You might recall me blogging about an idea to write devotions for our mid-week program. I had been searching for the perfect curriculum which also included family devotions. I had found one or the other, but not both in one curriculum. So, I started to wonder what to do. Then as I was praying God gave me the nudge. Write your own. Not what I wanted to do and not something I felt equipped to do. But I obeyed and started and did my best.

I can say with excitement that the family devotions are now complete. I finished the editing and proofreading this afternoon. They are now ready to be copied and shared with the families. I hope they will be a blessing. I enjoyed writing them and I hope they will be a great resource for parents.

So, what did I do? As I have been reading several books on family ministry lately, three things seem to always become the focus in the area of family devotions or worship. They are Scripture, Song, & Prayer. Therefore, I put together weekly de…

Book Review: The Legacy Path

I have been looking forward to reading "The Legacy Path: Discover Intentional Spiritual Parenting" since I heard Brian Haynes was writing a second book. Haynes' first book, "Shift: What It Takes To Finally Reach Families Today" was a discipleship strategy based on Haynes' research and study, but more focused on a theology of family ministry. I wondered, how will this book be a repeat and how will it be different? In reading reviews of his first book, several challenged Haynes' on his strategy leaving out the church and wondered about children from non-Christian homes.

I loved Shift and did not understand the critiques coming from bloggers. However, I read Shift as one who had talked personally with Brian on the phone and as one who had attended workshops he had led at the D6 Conference. For more information about D6, visit Needless to say, I was excited about a practical way to implement family ministry in the church set…

Child Training by Boyd Bailey

Here is a daily email that I receive. I thought it had some great insights for parents.

Child Training

“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6 Child discipline and child training are similar, but different. They are similar because the desired outcome for both is a child with a heart for God and love for people. The end goal for each is a Christ-like character. But there are some real differences between the discipline and training of your child. Discipline is more reactive; training is proactive. Discipline many times is a consequence of negative behavior, while training seeks to develop positive behavior. Training educates the child on the “why” behind the “what.”

Discipline is more concerned with the “what.” Training is motivated by teaching the child “how to fish,” not just “giving them a fish.” Discipline in some ways is easier and takes less time. Training is more involved and takes hands-on effort from bot…

The Soul of a Leader

Steve started his second session by reading the parable of the soils from Luke 8. According to Macchia, this is a parable about the heart and if it is receptive or not. The 3 soils that are unreceptive are the path, rocky, and thorny. He then explained that he believes that the soul of the leader is the most neglected part of a person. He shared how leaders are quick to take care of themselves emotionally, physically, relationally, professionally, but often our souls are forgotten.

To receive from God, we must be unhurried. He shared his personal experience of doing many great things for God and being involved in many spiritual disciplines. However, he was doing so many spiritual disciplines all at once that he became overwhelmed. Because of this imbalance, he narrowed his practice of spiritual disciplines to focus on the Word of God, Prayer, and Reflecting through journaling. He said, "Running yourself ragged is damaging to your soul."

His solution? As a leader, we…

First Day of School

Today was the first day of school for Hesston.Dear God, I pray that you will bless our schools this year. Thank you for teachers & staff that help our children to grow & learn. Help my kids to Love God & Love Others each day. May you be honored & glorified in USD 460!P.S. The community is invited to pray for our schools on Tuesday, August 30 from 7-8 p.m. Watch the paper or local church bulletins for schedule.

The Heart of the Church

After the MB Pastor's Get Together concluded, we then began the Southern District Convention. Our speaker for the convention was Steve Macchia from Leadership Transformations. Here is his website:

His first message was titled, "The Heart of the Church." He started by asking the following question: What is God's desire for our church? He then looked at Hebrews 11 and asked what was similar in those listed in the hall of faith. His answer: people who were willing to listen to God and obey. This is a list of ordinary people made extraordinary by God. Are you willing to be made extraordinary by God?

He shared about 3 concentric circles which are a life of worship, life of love, and life of service. Each of these are important, but the heart of the church is where they overlap. Churches can focus on one of these and neglect the rest. The heart of the church is at the center-a place of spiritual discernment. Look at Acts 1-4 a…

God Moments by Brian Haynes

Check out this short video from Brian Haynes, author of The Legacy Path, about God Moments. Are you capturing God Moments in your children's lives?

God Moments from The Legacy Path on Vimeo.

Unforced Rhythms of Grace

Recently, I attend the MB Pastor's Get Together in Norman, OK. It was a good time to get away with Bethany and the kids and be refreshed. Our speaker was Michael Cusick. His website is He shared some great insights about our soul. He started by asking this question: God feels _______________ with me. If the response is anything but positive, we need to focus on our soul.

He read Matthew 11:28-30 to us and asked us to pick a word or phrase and meditate upon it. I encourage you to do the same.
28-30"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."I picked the phrase "unforced rhythms of grace." As I meditated on…

Soul Surfer

So, we decided to watch Soul Surfer tonight as a family. We were not sure how the younger kids would respond to the shark attack. They were excited to watch the movie, but asked to be warned ahead of time. So we did. For those who have not seen the movie, the shark attack is done well and is very quick.

Mackenzie, our sympathetic and compassionate one, had to look away often. I think each of the kids took something away from the movie. After the movie, we had some kids pretending to surf and trying to do regular tasks with one hand. I hope it will spark some discussions in the days ahead.

So, would I recommend it to families? Definitely. But remember you know your children best and if you have one that is more emotional or empathetic, you might want to watch it first alone. For older children, teens, and adults it is a great movie about faith, courage, and perseverance. I could watch it again!

It makes me want to head to the ocean and try surfing. Probably won't, but at…

Transition Complete

On April 30, 2010, Pastor Steve Toews left Hesston MB which began a transition of looking for a new lead pastor. As I look back, I am amazed at what God has done. The first Sunday after Steve left I preached on the importance of prayer during a transition like this. I put together a purple bulletin insert with things to pray through over the months to come. God has answered some amazing prayers.

Like what? First, churches can become divided during a transition and our church has remain unified. Second, usually churches decline in numbers during a transition. However, we have seen many new people attend and join our church. Third, many times ministries go on hold during a transition. Amazingly, new ministries such as our movie ministry & CHICKS were started during the transition. Our leadership or staff do not take credit for any of these things, but attribute them all to the prayers of the people. To God Be the Glory!

Today, Brad Burkholder will be installed as the new …

Summer is over?

This post is not intended as complaining, but instead a simple observation. Where has the summer gone? For some reason, this summer has flown by for us. It seems like just the other day that I was picking up kids from the last day of school.

My explanation: trips every 2 weeks packed into about a month and a half. I went to AMFM conference June 20-23, ICRS on July 10-15, & MB Convention and Vacation Aug. 3-9. So as soon as I got caught up from being gone for a week, I had to get ready to go again. This is not complaining because I have loved every minute of each of these trips. I would not change a thing.

All of this is a reminder that time is flying by. I have to ask myself: Am I using my time wisely? Am I making memories with my wife, children, family, friends, & others? Am I passing on faith to my kids intentionally? Am I sharing the hope I have in Christ? Am I using my gifts for God's glory?

So, did your summer fly by? I encourage you to ask yourself th…

Simple Ideas to Memorize Scripture

As a family, we are memorizing one Scripture at a time together. This is a way to hold each other accountable. Right now, we are focusing on Philippians 2:3-4. The first simple idea is repetition. We will say the verse several times as we gather together as a family. A twist on this idea is to have your kids come up with an action for words or phrases of the passage. Read through the passage once and then discuss key words. Read it again and have the kids do the actions as you say the word and/or phrases.

The second simple idea is making a game or activity out of it. Mitchell is always a fan of this. This week, we have tried two different games to help memorize. The first is to go around the family in a circle and each say one word of the verse until it is complete. When I was a substitute teacher in Iola, they would play a game like this with spelling words. After the last letter, the next person would say Sparkle and the next person was out of the game and would have to …

Psalm 1 & Romans 1

For the last two days, I have been spending some time in the first chapter of the Psalms & Romans. I have included the verses below that I have been reading.

Psalm 1
1Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.3He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers. 4The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.5Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6for the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.Romans 1:1-6
1Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3concerni…

Out of this world

We had an "out of this world" time as a family. Here is the proof:

Day 3 (last) of OKC Vacation

Here are a few pictures from OKC Science Museum:

Day 2 of OKC Vacation

Here's a picture from Day 2 of our Oklahoma City Vacation. We spent the day at White Water Bay.  Then all the kids wanted Chick-Fil-A. Tim Hawkins would be so proud because Molly started singing his song.  I also included Molly modeling a hat while shopping yesterday.

OKC Vacation

Here's a picture to start our vacation in Oklahoma City.

MB Pastor's Get Together

Well, today is the last day of the Pastor's Get Together for MB pastors of the Southern District. It has been a couple of good days of learning and relaxing and fun. Unfortunately, our speaker had a flight cancelled so plans had to be changed. However, Ed Boschman did a great job sharing from God's Word with us with little to no preparation. He shared from 1 Corinthians 3 & 1 Peter 5. Our speaker has arrived now and will share this morning.

We are staying at NCED (National Center for Employee Development) in Norman, OK. It is hot! But the hotel is nice and cool. I have been several times to the salt water pool. It has these floatie things that are so relaxing. That has been a treat! NCED also has great food and a lot of it. You do not go away hungry. Last night, we played some games in the gym. It was fun, but I learned that casual shoes are not good for carrying a quarter. It has been nice to be away again with Bethany without kids.

Today, we pick the kids up …

MB Convention & Vacation

Starting tomorrow, I will be out of the office for a week. I will be attending the MB Pastor's Get Together on Aug. 3-5 in Norman, OK followed by the Southern District Conference Convention Aug. 5-7. I am looking forward to a time of refreshment and relaxation with my wife and kids.

Following the convention, we plan to take a mini-vacation in Oklahoma City. We are still deciding what to do, but it will probably involve air conditioning or water. I would appreciate any fun family ideas from those who live in the Oklahoma City area. We only have two days. Leave a comment with any great suggestions.

I will try and update the blog with any great quotes or thoughts from both of these events & also any pictures from our family vacation. Check back throughout the week.

By the way, Happy Birthday, Dad!