Showing posts from October, 2011

Good fun, good books, & good conversation

Today, I enjoyed some great food at Faith & Life Bookstore for Pastor Appreciation Month.  Way to go, Bethany!  It was fun to talk with some Newton pastors that we bumped into while eating.  And of course, a coupon is always a great addition.

After eating, Brad and I stayed at the bookstore to discuss a book we are reading as a staff.  It is The Legacy Path by Brian Haynes.  I have written a review of the book and highly recommend it to pastors and parents.  We are only in Chapter 2 and we cannot ever finish a chapter as it is so full of great thoughts and ideas.  Today, our discussion was on abiding.  We had a great conversation about what this means and what it looks like and how to share it with others. Haynes asks this question, "How do you currently abide in Christ?"  How would you respond?  I look forward to our discussion of that question when our Discipleship Ministries Committee meets next Tuesday.

Yesterday, I was at the Perk and I started a new book called, Th…

Marriage Conversations

Yesterday was a good day for marriage conversations.  I had two separate meetings where the topic was strengthening marriages & helping marriages in crisis.  I am excited about these new ministries within Hesston MB Church. 

My first conversation was regarding a ministry called Marriage 911.  This curriculum is used by churches to help those in crisis in their marriage.  It allows the church to walk alongside couples and become a place people turn to rather than avoid.  For more information, check out the website at here.

During this meeting, we also began planning a marriage seminar called "The Art of Marriage".  We will be hosting this seminar in February 2012.  We are looking at dates and locations as well as beginning to work on publicity.  This will be a Friday night and all day Saturday seminar that will help strengthen marriages.  My hope is that it will be well attended by the Hesston community. 

My afternoon meeting was discussing marriage mentoring.  I have fe…

Would You Rather?

Tonight, after we finished supper, the girls were in a hurry to leave the table.  I decided it would be fun to have some more conversation.  The girls looked at me like I was crazy.  By the way, Mitchell was at a birthday party at Pizza Hut.  So, I started by asking Would You Rather be a princess or President of the United States?  Or how about this one, would you rather be a hairy gorilla or slimy snake?  Or would you rather be an armpit or slimy mud (Molly's word for toe jam)?  The girls finally got into the conversation and came up with some good ones as well.  We all had some good laughs and  it was a fun way to spend a little extra time together as a family.  Try it tonight and see what your kids come up with.

Serving on a day off from school

Typically, on a day off from school, I will take the kids to Lincoln Perk, the park, or Wellness Center Pool.  Today, I wanted to do something a little different.  As I was praying about this, I felt led by the Holy Spirit to find a way for the kids to serve on their day off from school.  I felt led to contact the Hesston Resource Center to see what we could do for them.  It so happened (or better yet God orchestrated) that our church had just finished a food drive for the Resource Center for Thanksgiving. 

 So, we were able to take all of the bags of food donated and deliver them to the Resource Center. At the Resource Center, the kids weighed, counted, and sorted the donated food.  The kids had a great time doing it and it only took us about an hour. 

Thank you Hesston MB for your donation of 388 items which amounted to 373 pounds of food for Thanksgiving bags for our community!

Book Review: Intentional Integrity

I finished reading Intentional Integrity by Garnett Reid today.  The cover of the book states, "Ten Life Strategies For Wholeness From the Book of Job."  In the book, Reid looks specifically at Job Chapter 31 where he sees ten areas of integrity that should be present in our lives.  These ten areas include: purity, honesty, contentment, loyalty, equity, compassion, worship, forgiveness, confession, & stewardship. Each chapter has the same format: What Job Says, What We Face (our culture), & What We Must Do. 

The format made the book easy to read in many aspects.  However, I kept wondering to whom would I recommend this book.  The first part of each chapter at times became cumbersome and difficult to wade through.  However, due to the predictability of each chapter, I kept going to the less academic sections which looked to culture and application.  Reid is an Old Testament scholar and it shows in those sections of the book.  But I kept wondering, would others be wil…

Need A Boost?

Today, I am dragging.  I just could not get out of bed today.  Part of it is the change in weather and it still being dark outside when I wake up.  The other part is a cold that I am battling right now.  Either way, I could use a boost today.

What are things you do to get a boost on those slow start mornings?  Coffee, Running, Loud Music, Conversation with Friends,  Lifting Weights, Projects Around the House or Office, etc.

As we continue our study on being Holy Spirit Empowered, I am reminded of the word, "power", as it is used in relation to the Holy Spirit.  Many times we are told that we receive power from the Holy Spirit.  So, today I am going to ask for the Holy Spirit to give me a boost. Not just so I can get moving, but so I can be available to be used by Him as I go through my day.

Sterling Homecoming Pictures

Here are pictures from Sterling College Homecoming 2011.  All of the ladies in this picture were roommates during their years at Sterling.  Ed & I roomed together all 4 years.  Ed, Barry, Jenia & I all were business majors so we had a ton of classes together.  Robin & Barry have an RP Church connection.  That is all to say, we were connected to each other in many ways and are good friends.

These are the kids from these 3 marriages.  Molly & Gracie (in green Sterling shirts) & Sydney (red Sterling shirt on right) are Barry & Jenia's kids.   Caden (only other boy except Mitchell), Lydia (in pink on front row) & Kelsey (back row in red shirt) are Ed & Robin's kids.  The other four are mine.  They had fun playing together today on inflatables, games on Cooper Lawn, at petting zoos, at a football game, and a cookout after the game.

It was a beautiful day to spend with friends.  Needless to say, the Martin's as usual forgot our sunscreen.

Sterling Homecoming

I am so excited to be headed to Sterling College Homecoming tomorrow.  My kids are just about as excited as we are.  We didn't make it back last year because Bethany had to work at Fall Fest which is Bethel's Homecoming.  Boo! It just felt weird to be on Bethel's campus when we really wanted to be at our alma mater.  Tomorrow will include a parade, pancake feed, games for the kids on campus, football game, cookout at friend's house, and of course seeing friends from the college days.

Sterling will always hold special memories for me.  It was where I met my beautiful wife the first day on campus and experienced love at first sight.  She was a little slower to realize it about me.  This is where my faith in Christ grew deeper.  It is also where I received a great education in business/accounting as well as a great foundation in Christian Education.  It is where I made some of my best friends.  It is where God orchestrated a call into ministry.  It also allowed me to begin…

Huddle Up Family Night

Last night, we had our first Family Night of the year.  The theme was "Huddle Up".  I used a curriculum called F3 published by Standard.  It is well organized and done well.  I have done several family nights in the past, but felt this one did a great job of keeping attention and still keeping the Bible as central.

I asked my kids what their favorite part of the evening was and they all responded the skit.  It was really funny!  Thank you Tahlia, Simon, Joanna, Rick & Hank for being such good sports!

I thought all of the pieces of the curriculum work really well together.  From the activity to the skit to the discussions about the Bible passage, it all works together seamlessly.  Way to go, Standard on this resource!  But I still have to say that my favorite part of each and every Family Night is looking out and seeing families eating together, laughing together, reading the Bible together, and talking together.   I am exhausted at the end of Family Night, but the image …

Recommend Resources

Tonight is Family Night at Hesston MB.  I am looking forward to food, fun, & learning together as families.  I will share more about it on Thursday or Friday.  Today, I want to share my recommended resources that I put together each year for those who attend.

Anthony, Michelle. Spiritual Parenting. Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2010.
Castleman, Robbie.  Parenting in the Pew.  Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1993.
Dobson, James.  Preparing for Adolescence.  Ventura: Gospel Light, 2006.
Fowler, Larry.  Raising A Modern Day Joseph.  Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2009.
Haynes, Brian. The Legacy Path. Nashville: Randall House, 2011.
Holmen, Mark.  Faith Begins At Home.  Ventura: Regal, 2005.
Ingram, Chip.  Effective Parenting in a Defective World.  Carol Stream: Tyndale House,  2006.
Kimmel, Tim.  Grace Based Parenting.  Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2004. Rienow, Rob.  Visionary Parenting.  Nashville: Randall House, 2009.
Tripp, Tedd.  Shepherding a Child’s Heart.  Pennsylvania: Sheph…

Birthday Cake for Traci

When I arrived home today, I was greeted by Molly and Jacob and their "dirt" cakes in the driveway.  Molly explained to me that hers was for Aunt Traci.  That was interesting since Molly does not have an Aunt Traci.  Then she explained to me that she went to eat at Pizza Hut for Aunt Traci's birthday and I was getting more confused.  Finally, I got the scoop from Bethany.  Molly went to eat with Traci Thiessen today for a birthday lunch and since everyone around her was calling her Aunt Traci, Molly decided to join in too.

That girl is always making me laugh.  But it just reminds me of the simplicity of a child's world.  It was not weird for her to call her Aunt Traci because that was what she heard.  It not unusual to have a great imagination that can make birthday cakes out of dirt or pies out of sand.  It just reminded me of the joy of being a child.  What do you miss from when you were a child?

By the way, Family Night at Hesston MB tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m.  …

Highs for the Week

I wanted to share some highlights from the last week.  I continue to want to practice thankfulness for the many blessings in my life.
Date Night Hesston Supper & Ice Cream with college friends Faith @ Home Training in Wichita last weekend Daddy Day with MollyChurch meetings looking to the futureVisits with church members throughout the week at the Perk, in my office, around town & at hospitalD6 DadsFamily Movie NightSoccer games

Not A Fan

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I had a great day of reading on Thursday and was able to finish two books: Spiritual Parenting by Michelle Anthony & Not A Fan by Kyle Idleman.  If you would like to read more about Spiritual Parenting go here & here.  But today I am focusing on Not A Fan.  For those who attend Hesston MB, this will be our study when we move into "Transparent Relationships" as we move through the CHRIST acrostic. 

I highly recommend this book as well.  I had several posts about Not A Fan several weeks ago.  If interested, they are here, here, & here.  But Idleman finishes this book stronger than he began.  Don't get me wrong-I was intrigued from the minute I picked up the book.  But at the end, he hammers his point home.  His last section is about denying ourselves.  This is not a popular topic in Christian circles even when it is clearly biblical.  Here are the titles of the last 3 chapters: wherever, whenever, & whatever.  I will …

Spiritual Parenting

Yesterday, I switched up my routine a little and headed to Mojo's in Newton for my Thursday morning reading.  I had a great pumpkin spice latte and sat down to do some reading.  Currently, I am reading several books, but two were close to being finished so that became my goal.  I was able to finish Spiritual Parenting by Michelle Anthony & Not A Fan by Kyle Idleman.  As I have been saying from the first few chapters, if you are a parent you need to read Anthony's book.

Let me start with Spiritual Parenting.  Tomorrow, I will post about Not A Fan.  Not only did I love this book, but it also was the "open door" to begin a conversation with someone at the Perk a few weeks ago.  For more on that story, go here.  Anthony does a great job of reminding parents of our true goal in parenting.  She backs that up with great practical ideas of how to do it.  Let me share a few quotes from the last few chapters.  Anthony writes, "Spiritual parents recognize the brevity o…

What's Next?

The theme for the D6 Conference this year was NEXT.  Brian Haynes shared his next steps on his blog. So, what is next for Hesston MB as a result of my attending the D6 Conference? 

Here are a few thoughts:
Always keep the gospel at the center of everything we do.  David Platt reminded us that God's kingdom is more important than our family.  Always return to the root rather than focus on side issues. Voddie Baucham challenged us to not spend all of our time fighting the hot button issues of the day (abortion, homosexuality, politics, etc.), but to remember the root of it all began in Genesis 3 with our sin.  Our only hope for victory in the culture war is the Promised Redeemer, Jesus.Always remember that we are called to make disciples.  For those with children, it starts with them.  For grandparents, it is discipling your grandchildren and children.  For those without children, it is discipling those around you.  We are all to make disciples.  This is the fruit of John 15.  Alway…

Calling All Men!

It's a D6 Dads week and I thought I would share a little from the book we are reading.  If you are a dad in the Hesston area, come and join us.  There are three times available to fit into your schedule: Tuesdays at 6:30 a.m., Wednesdays at 6:45 p.m., or Thursdays at 9:00 p.m.

We are reading a book inspired by the movie, Courageous, called "The Resolution for Men" by the Kendrick brothers and Randy Alcorn.  If you have seen the movie (if you have not, you need to go), the book is based on the resolution the dads sign.  I am excited about how God will use this book to challenge us.  I am only two chapters in and I am already recommending it.  Here are a few quotes to get you thinking today.

"God's Word commands husbands and fathers to lovingly lead their homes.""An all-out assault has been declared against you as a husband and father." "I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, which we have heard and known, and our fa…

Are You Abiding?

Currently, Pastor Brad & I are reading through, "The Legacy Path" by Brian Haynes.  I have written a review of the book here. As I mentioned in that review, Chapter 2 is worth the price of the book in my opinion.  In it, Haynes takes us to John 15 to learn more about what it means to abide.  Before reading his words, he encourages us to go to John 15 and read & study this passage.  I have included it here for your convenience from the ESV:

1"I am thetrue vine, and my Father isthe vinedresser.2Every branch in me that does not bear fruithe takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes,that it may bear more fruit.3Alreadyyou are cleanbecause of the word that I have spoken to you.4Abidein me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.5I am the vine;you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is thatbears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothi…

After Courageous

So, hopefully you went to the movies this weekend as part of Date Night Hesston or just to see a great movie.  As someone who now has seen the movie three times, I am amazed at what God does in me each time I see it.  My prayer for this movie is that once the credits play, people will not just say, "That was a good movie and continue life as is."  I am hoping the Holy Spirit will empower people to be who God has created them to be.  For some, this might mean reconciliation in damaged relationships, for others it might be a decision to follow Christ for the first time, or maybe for some it might require some changes in how we interact with God, our spouse, our children, or those with whom we are in relationship with.

Therefore, I want to share a a few opportunities with you while the movie is still clear in your minds.  First, if you were challenged to go deeper with God, we have several opportunities for you through Sunday School or small groups.  Currently, I am leading a cl…

Holy Spirit Empowered

Today, Pastor Brad began his month long series on what it means to be Holy Spirit Empowered.  Along with this, I am teaching a 7 week study based on Francis Chan's book, Forgotten God.  As I was preparing this week, I am excited to see how God is going to use this study.  It is full of Scripture and challenges our thinking in many ways. 

But I wanted to share a story of how I experienced Holy Spirit Empowerment this past week.  The story actually begins about 2 weeks ago.  I was at Lincoln Perk (I know you are surprised) and doing my weekly reading on Thursdays.  I was drinking coffee and reading Spiritual Parenting by Michelle Anthony.  Then a guy approached me and asked about the book.  Eventually our conversation turned to parenting & I shared that I was a pastor and I would share some resources if he was interested.  He was so I took down his email and he left.  Immediately after he pulled out, I was convicted by the Holy Spirit that I should have prayed for him.

So, when …

Favorite Quotes from D6 Conference

Here are my favorite quotes from the D6 2011 Speakers:

Doug Fields said, "Church needs leaders who:
Can authentically say, Follow me as I follow Jesus.Walking & talking with JesusValue a collective visionAre acutely aware of the twisters impacting families.David Platt shared, "Our goal in parenting is not for our kids to get a great education, have great relationships, make a lot of money, etc. Instead, our goal in parenting is to follow a great God!"

Emerson Eggerichs said, "But in reality, how do men & women respond when in conflict? Men-Without respect, he responds without love.Women-Without love, she responds without respect."John McGee shared, "God used His Word, His Spirit, His People to speak into couple's lives."

Tim Kimmel said, "God is the best family ministry model we can find."
Dannah Gresh shared, "Our theology of sexuality is weak at best."

Ron Hunter said, "Some conversations you have with your kids wil…