Showing posts from June, 2012

Dad & Kid Water Day

Today was the 3rd annual Dad & Kid Water Day at Hesston MB.  This is one of my favorite activities because it is a lot of fun and dads and kids get to enjoy it together.  Thanks to all who came and a big thanks to my girls who helped me set up.  Here are a few pictures for our day:

Law or Grace in parenting?

On Thursday, I read a couple of chapters from the book, Give Them Grace, which talks about the importance of grace in parenting.  Often we focus more on obedience and law than we do on grace in our parenting.  Here are a few quotes:
"In an effort to teach our children about the Bible, we frequently employ the stories in the Bible as a way to compel obedience." "good news about Jesus' obedience and shameful death was the only motif that would grant my children a heart to obey." "And when they (our children) tell us they can't love God or others in this way, we are not to argue with them.  We are to agree with them and them of their need for a Savior." "everything that isn't gospel is law." Christian righteousness is different from human obedience because it is granted to us by God's grace, not because of our works or our children's merit."

Books I Am Reading

Today, I am reading at the Perk again. Here are the three books I am reading right now:
Give Them Grace by Fitzpatrick & ThompsonFamily Shepherds by Voddie BauchamThe Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler Check back later for quotes and thoughts from these books.

Guess Who?

On Sunday, June 24th, I delivered a message entitled, "Guess Who?" based on Ephesians 1:1-14.  Here are some notes from that message:

·Greetings-In verse 1, Paul addresses them as “saints in Ephesus”.  As I read these words, I wondered if this was a special greeting for a really good church.  As I studied, I discovered that Paul begins his letters to 6 out of 7 churches this same way in Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Philippians, Colossians.  If Paul was writing to us today, he would begin our letter “to the saints at Hesston MB.”  In Christ, you are a saint!
You are: ·Vs. 3-Blessed with every spiritual blessing oSpiritual blessings are contrasted with blessings of OT which were based on following the Law.  These blessings are freely ours because of what Christ has done not what we have done.  So, what Christ has is ours.
·Vs. 4-Chosen oHow many of you can remember or have endured the dreaded picking of teams at recess or after school?  Do your palms get sweaty or get a lump in y…

Gospel Centered Discipleship

I finished Gospel Centered Discipleship by Jonathan Dodson on Thursday.  I highly recommend the book.  It along with Jesus + Nothing = Everything by Tullian Tchividjian have been great reminders of the importance and need to focus on the gospel for all of life not just salvation.  I plan to share some quotes over the next few posts about the book. 

"the gospel of grace wasn't just something that makes you a disciple; it matures you as a disciple." "Instead of being the church, we have fallen into merely doing church, and far too often our doing is disconnected from being." "But the biblical gospel is much more than personal conversion to gain a reservation in heaven. It is conversion to Jesus Christ as Lord. Moreover, the gospel has two more "thirds." The gospel calls us into community and onto mission." "Unfortunately, many of us have a disembodied Jesus, perhaps a bobble-head Jesus, all Head and very little body.""When we …

VBS Review

It is VBS Week!  In many ways it is both exciting and exhausting.  We have some great leaders who are making this week great.  Thank you for your service to God and our 3rd/4th graders (We participate in a community VBS so five churches work together and divide up the age groups)!

We chose the Go Fish Guys VBS called "Praise."  I highly recommend it.  It has excellent music, it is centered on the Bible, a focus on missions, and has been well received by our kids.  We did make a few changes in crafts and games, but it has been a good choice for us. 

On a side note, tonight I get to rap as part of the weekly skit.  Pray for me!

14 Years Together

Yesterday was my 14th wedding anniversary!  I shared some memories from the wedding week on the blog yesterday.  Today I thought I would share a few highlights from the past 14 years. These are in no particular order:
We have lived in six different homes (4 in Denver, Iola & now Hesston)Bethany worked full time to put me through Denver SeminaryI have had the support and encouragement of my wonderful wife each time we moved to new ministriesWe have prayed about and discussed many key decisions over the years regarding life, ministry, and parenting We have four wonderful childrenBethany has been able to stay at home with the kids while they were younger and has had flexible jobs that worked around our schedules.  Currently, she is an excellent manager at Faith & Life Bookstore in Newton.  She has great ideas and loves helping her customers. We have had great support from our parents over these yearsWe have served in three supportive churchesWe have many friends from each of the c…

Wedding Week Memories

Today is my 14th Anniversary! So, I thought I would share some memories from our wedding week 14 years ago.
Talking in hotel parking lot to my soon to be bride after the rehearsal dinner Seeing my beautiful bride walk down the aisleDiscovering a large hole in back of my tux coat.  I'm thankful for Denice Julian sewing it together for me.  Guests being evacuated to the church basement because of a tornadoGreat decorations in the sanctuary and gym by Shirley & BethanyNot eating anything but cake at the reception. For those that know me, that is amazing.Eating at our favorite restaurant, Carlos O'Kelleys before leaving townAlmost losing my wedding ring down the drain the first night in the shower when trying to get bird seed out of my hairSpending a week in Myrtle Beach, SC for our honeymoonBethany getting sunburned on our first day after a long walk along beach and cityEating at some great restaurants & doing fun activitiesStaying at a great bed & breakfast near the b…

Prayer Points

On Sunday, our congregation heard a message on prayer from Pastor Brad.  At the end of the service, we had the great opportunity to pray in small groups as a church family.  It is a joy to see the Body of Christ praying together in a room together.  As pastors, we put together a list of ten "prayer points."  For those from Hesston MB who were gone this Sunday or those interested, I have included the list below.

Prayer Points
1)Facility Needs– Immediate and Long Term 2)Glorify God by Knowing, Living, and Sharing Life in CHRIST 3)Stewardship– Allowing God to direct us as we use His Treasure, Time, and Talent 4)Summer Activities– VBS, Camps, Bible Studies 5)Guidance for Pastors and Church Leaders as they plan and prepare for t

Gospel Power

I am reading through Gospel Centered Discipleship by Jonathan Dodson.  I am thoroughly enjoying the book as it resonates with many of my thoughts regarding evangelism, discipleship, and the gospel.  On Thursday, I read a great chapter on the Holy Spirit. 

Here are a few quotes for you to ponder:

"Fear of charismatic excess has driven many evangelicals to emphasize Jesus to the exclusion of the Spirit." "Evangelicals rarely emphasize the role of the Spirit in motivation for discipleship." "What is gospel holiness? In short, gospel holiness is obedience to Christ procured from belief in the gospel, not from one's moral effort. . . Morality is self-centered; gospel holiness is Christ centered. . . .Gospel holiness requires both truth and grace." "What if you began to expect unplanned change and interpreted it as an opportunity to rely on the Spirit?" "Yet, instead of failing at each temptation of food, faith, and fame, Jesus succeeded.  How…

Happy Birthday, Megan!

Today is Megan's 9th birthday!  Here are two pictures of her today and my favorite picture of her as a toddler.  I can remember seeing her for the first time with her red hair.  It has been fun watching her grow up and watch as her personality develops.  She is a spunky, independent, imaginative, girl who loves to sing.

Happy Birthday Megan!

Real Marriage by Driscoll

On Thursday, I finished reading Real Marriage by Mark & Grace Driscoll.  It was a good book on the topic of marriage and sex.  The best chapters focused on friendship as a couple, being a servant to your spouse inside and outside of the bedroom, and finishing well in marriage. 

I would recommend the book to couples looking for a good book on marriage.  However, I would caution couples regarding the chapter entitled, "Can We _____?" This chapter comes from many counseling sessions with couples on what is "ok in the bedroom."  It is a frank discussion and in some ways talks about certain topics that most couples are not asking. Driscoll keeps the standards of Scripture while encouraging couples to have conversation and be thinking of their spouse.

The Driscoll's open up personally about their own struggles and joys as a married couple in ministry.  They both have great wisdom to share regarding ministry and healing from abuse.  Here are a few of my favorite …

Holding A Baby

There is nothing like holding a newborn baby.  Today, I had the great opportunity to hold Kohen Hershberger.  This is one of the perks of being a Pastor of Children and Family that never gets old.  Congratulations to Chad & Tara on the birth of their baby boy!

As I was driving home, I was thinking about my own kids as babies.  In many ways, it seems like yesterday, but when looking at my 12, 10, almost 9, & almost 5 year olds, I realize the time is actually flying by.  It has been a joy watching them grow up and I wonder if I am passing on the most important things.  I know my most important goal is to raise my kids to love God & love others.  Let me leave you with a verse to remind us as parents (especially fathers) what we are called to do. 

 "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.(Ephesians 6:4) By the way, this is a picture of me holding Molly not baby Kohen.

Salina, here we come!

Today, I am headed to Salina to Kenwood Cove Waterpark with a group of fuzion students.  fuzion is our ministry to 5th/6th graders.  Today's trip is for 5 students who memorized all 12 verses of the year in fuzion.  It definitely challenged them, but it was worth it.  We will enjoy an afternoon at the waterpark and then eat out before heading home.

Way to go, Ian, Jessica, Laura, Luke, and Tahlia!

Christian Leader Article

Here is an article that I contributed to published in the June/July issue of the Christian Leader.  This article was birthed as a result of a workshop I presented with Jenny Wall, Ken Ediger, & Steve Fast in Oklahoma last summer.  We will be presenting a similar workshop in Omaha this summer.  Hope you enjoy!