Showing posts from October, 2013

Retreat Day

No, I am not talking about retreating from Halloween.  
But instead, I set aside the day today to spend in prayer and planning for the year ahead.  Today, marks the end of my 5th year at Hesston MB Church.  I am looking forward to many more years to come.  So, I use the retreat as a day to pray and listen and read the Word and listen and worship and listen.  Notice the pattern. 
I find that I am so busy during my normal routine, even with morning devotions, to listen much.  Today's retreat gives me that wonderful opportunity.  I had several items to pray specifically about, but I also give a lot of time to go where the Holy Spirit leads.  I love these days as they are an encouragement to me and help me grow as a follower of Jesus.  After today, I have better direction regarding upcoming preaching, summer trips, finances, VBS, Hesston MB, and much more.
I would encourage everyone to take a half day retreat to do the same which brings me to my final thought today:
As I was praying and l…

Happy Halloween and posts on #parenting from #d62013

This is the third post I am doing based on D6 Louisville.  Below you find a description of my plan.

I was in Louisville for the D6 Conference on Oct. 16-18.  During that time, I posted several posts from various speakers.  I decided to group those posts based on topic for your convenience.  Below you will find the first of several themed posts from the D6 Conference.  The links in this post are on the topic of parenting.

Robert Morgan's Notes

Dave Stone's Notes

D6 Mini Notes

More D6 Mini Notes

Beth Guckenberger's Notes

Remembering Guatemala

As pastors, we have been discussing mission trips a lot lately.  We are praying and seeking God for where the youth should go in the summer of 2014.  Today, as we were discussing a location over coffee, I was reminded of the mission trip I took to Guatemala in 2003 with GracePoint Community Church Youth. 

We worked with an organization called People for Missions and they operate House of Hope which has orphanages in several different countries.  They are located in Zacapa in Guatemala.  It brought back many great memories and made me reminisce about my youth from Colorado.  Below is a picture of one of the girls from House of Hope.  It makes feel old to think that she might have graduated from high school by now.

Posts on #marriage from #d62013

This is the second post I am doing based on D6 Louisville.  Below you find a description of my plan.

I was in Louisville for the D6 Conference on Oct. 16-18.  During that time, I posted several posts from various speakers.  I decided to group those posts based on topic for your convenience.  Below you will find the first of several themed posts from the D6 Conference.  The links in this post are on the topic of marriage.

Notes from the Parrott's

Todd Wagner's notes

Operation Christmas Child and Si from Duck Dynasty

What happens when Uncle Si from Duck Dynasty tries to fill an Operation Christmas Child shoebox?  Find out below.

You Are Victorious

You Are Gifted

Posts about #grace from #d62013

I was in Louisville for the D6 Conference on Oct. 16-18.  During that time, I posted several posts from various speakers.  I decided to group those posts based on topic for your convenience.  Below you will find the first of several themed posts from the D6 Conference.  The links in this post are on the topic of grace.
Tim Kimmel's notes
Darrin Patrick's notes

Book Review of "Growing Up"

I received an advanced copy of Growing Up by Robby Gallaty.  The byline of the book is "How To Be a Disciple Who Makes Disciples."  It releases on November 11.
Gallaty's book is based on teaching he received as a new believer as well as ten years of leading discipleship groups in his own life.  He mentions there are many books on why discipleship is essential for the church.  His book offers a practical plan of how to be a disciple who makes disciples.  He uses what are called D-Groups.  He writes the purpose of D-Groups is "to help you grow in your relationship with Christ, give a defense for your faith, and guide others in their relationship with Christ."
Gallaty offers a plan selected from the life of Jesus.  He has chosen six disciplines that not only grow disciples but also helps them become disciplers of others.  The intention is to create disciples who are self-feeders and not dependent on the church for discipleship.  But this does not happen by chance.  …

What I Learned at #d62013

Yesterday, I shared thoughts from the pre-con labs.  Today, I want to focus on what God spoke to me during the D6 Conference on Thursday and Friday. D6 always does a great job reminding us about the importance of parents passing on faith to their children.  I will continue to prayerfully determine how we can best do this at Hesston MB. I noticed a strong theme of grace at this year's conference.  Tied in with grace was the importance of our identity in Christ.  For those who know me, I have been teaching often on this topic of identity and grace.  I will continue to be led by the Spirit to share the power that comes in relationship with Jesus Christ.  It is not about our strength, but instead moving from head to heart to hands. Marriage is key in the area of family ministry.  As couples, we must invest in the relationship. We need to learn best how to deal with our conflict and realize we have an Enemy who hates marriage and will do whatever he can to wreak havoc. We have a great …

Take aways from pre-con labs at #d62013

Last week, I was in Louisville for the D6 Conference.  On Wednesday, the day is filled with labs and few main stage speakers.  Here are a few take-aways from Wednesday:
As churches, we must continue to disciple no matter what culture or statistics say.  How our churches disciple fathers is crucial in the faith development of our kids?  I must continue to seek the best way to empower dads to pass on their faith.  D6 Dads is a good start, but more is needed. Reconciliation is essential both inside and outside the church.  What example am I setting for my children and for the watching world?  God has called us to reconciliation.  Are we letting our emotions get in the way of our ministry of reconciliation? For too long in the church, we have kept behavior in check by warning of dangers of the road.  We need to instead focus on the goodness and greatness of the meadow.  How can I help my children and others understand the blessings and joys of following Jesus.  It's not about rules b…

Favorite Quotes from #d62013

Don't give up on our young people. Keep praying. Keep trusting that God is working beyond what we can see and imagine. Prodigals have a way of coming home. (Robert Morgan)

Activity for Christ does not equal intimacy with Christ.  You can do.  But first you must be. (Dave Stone)

So many of our decisions in church are based on pragmatism rather than the Bible. (Rob Rienow)

We are not always fighting about reality, but instead our perception. Every fight can be attributed to a perceived threat or perceived neglect. (Les & Leslie Parrott)

Your marriage takes place on a battlefield not a romantic balcony. The Enemy hates marriage. (Todd Wagner)

USC Researchers found that a close relationship with a parent, especially a dad, was biggest predictor of passing on faith. (Ed Stetzer)

My father was a moral compass and a lighthouse.  (James Dobson)

Biblical orthodoxy is about what we know.  Grace is how we come across.  Grace should describe what we are. (Tim Kimmel)

If I keep reminding t…

Songs that remind me of our Great God

As you have been following the blog, you know that I have been sharing about our identity in Christ.  I will continue with this for the next week or so.  Following that series of posts, I am going to start sharing a YouTube video of a song that reminds me of the great God who loves me and you.  Check back beginning in November for these song posts.

You Are Saved

“For it is by graceyou have been saved,through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—9 not by works,so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Calling all dads, grandpas, and uncles!

Hesston Elementary has started a new program at the school called Watch D.O.G.S.  It stands for Dads of Great Students.  The purpose is to get more men involved at the schools as well as safety.

Today was my first day.  It was a great experience.  I walked around the halls and perimeter of the building several times throughout the day as well as helped in classrooms.  My highlight was eating lunch with my daughter, playing with the kids at recess, and working with groups of students.
I highly recommend and encourage each father figure in the Hesston area to sign up to be involved with Watch D.O.G.S!  It is a great program for many reasons and it a blessing to receive smiles from the students throughout the day.
To learn more, contact the Hesston Elementary school or visit

You Are Righteous

“God made him who had no sinto be sinfor us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Prayer Walk at Hesston Schools

Today, was Service Sunday at Hesston MB.  On this day, our congregation divides into groups and heads into the community to serve in various ways.  My family split up this year.  Mitchell helped paint at youth room, Mackenzie delivered cookies to families, & Bethany, Megan & Molly pulled weeds and picked up trash at the school.

I joined three other ladies to prayer walk at the elementary, middle and high schools.  We decided to circle the schools as we prayed.  Just like Jericho, we circled the high school seven times.  We circled the middle school three times & elementary school two times.  It was a blessing to pray God's Word as we circled these schools.

It was a joy to pray big prayers to occur in each of these schools. I look forward to seeing how God will answer the prayers for His glory.

For a great book on praying big prayers and circles, pick up a copy of The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson at Faith & Life Bookstore in Newton.

Introduction of One Way Love

I began reading the introduction of One Way Love by Tullian Tchividjian on October 10th.  There are some amazing quotes in just the few pages of the book.  Here are a few:
Performancism is the mindset that equates our identity and value directly to our performance and accomplishments. . .Sadly, the Christian church has not proven to be immune to  performancism. The unintended consequence of this push (a robust, radical, and sacrificial expression of Christian faith), however, is that if we're not careful, we can give people the impression that Christianity is first and foremost about the sacrifice we make for Jesus rather than the sacrifice Jesus made for us; our performance for him rather than his performance for us; our obedience for him rather than his obedience to us. The hub of Christianity is not "do something for Jesus." The hub of Christianity is "Jesus has done everything for you." And my fear is that too many people, both inside and outside the church…

Song playing in my head since #d62013

We had the great privilege to have Shane & Shane lead us in worship at the D6 Conference in Louisville this past week.  One of the songs we sang has continued to come to mind on the plane and even today.  I decided to share it with you today.  Enjoy "That's How You Forgive."

Robert Morgan at #d62013

I had a great lunch at SmashBurger with Jared.  Now, back for afternoon session with Robert Morgan.

As he was writing a book on parenting, his thesis was Deuteronomy 6 as the seminal passage on raising children.

Sometimes we learn more from our children than they do from us.

Psalm 121; 2 Samuel 14:14-words of comfort during difficult season in parenting

L15 Parenting-Luke 15-Parable of the Prodigal Son
Jesus is making one point in Luke 15-we should celebrate when anyone makes a change for Christ in their livesThe older brother is the true prodigal in the story.  He was the one the Lord was most concerned about. A prayer for the prodigal, "Lord, bring them back to their senses."The Lord turned the grief cycle into a grace cycle.Grace cycle
PainPrayer-James 5:16-Best verse on prayer in Bible. I could alter situation through praying Scripture. Patience-Time is on our side in the area of prodigals because of process of maturation-Romans 12:19Peace-Calming Verses-Isaiah 7:4; Prov…

Dave Stone at #d62013

After our morning break, we heard from Dave Stone.

Kids can bring the worst out in parents and leaders.

Psalm 127:4-5-Kid needs to be sharpened, straightened, aimed, released

"Three Gifts Every Child Needs"
Value-We don't ascribe value to anyone but ourselves. We need to make certain we have a concern for the church tomorrow or we won't have power in church today. Every night my parents would pray for me and I would fall asleep not wondering if God would use me but instead how God will use me.We attach value as we use people's names.Extend Grace To One AnotherHelp others know you want to get involved in their life.People are messy. We must extend grace.Because Jesus extends grace to me, I must extend grace to others.We show grace because we need grace. We must be on the lookout for people we can show grace to. God will put people in your path.  Will we show grace to them?We understand God's grace.  We understand showing others grace. But we have a hard time re…

Rob Rienow at #d62013

Rob Rienow shared about the generations at D6 2013.

He has spoken every year at the D6 Conference.

Family ministry is not just another department or silo in the church.

How was family ministry woven into the early church?

2 Timothy 3:14-17
The sufficiency of Scripture-The Bible is true and enough for every practiceTeaching-how to think rightReproof-how not to think wrongCorrection-how not to act wrongTraining in Righteousness-how to act right Four levels of ScriptureDoctrine-the truth of GodRighteousness-the will of GodMethodology-the ways of GodJurisdiction-the call of God  The Jurisdiction Principle-When a larger jurisdiction usurps responsibility from a lesser jurisdiction,the crisis will not be solved andthe proper jurisdiction is robbed of motivation, time, and resources to do the job.The patterns and commands for the early church, given to us by God in the Bible, are to be followed by us today.Ephesians 6:4Family discipleship begins in the home Children were included in the corp…

Les and Leslie Parrott at #d62013

Our first speakers for Friday morning were Les and Leslie Parrott.

How many of you have ever had a fight?

Every couple has a story.

Round 1-Why We Fight
What do you fight about?We can fight about anything and everything.Romans 12:18-favorite verse about conflict We are not always fighting about reality, but instead our perception.Every fight can be attributed to perceived threat or perceived neglect.Perceived Threat-critical, judgmental, controlling, demanding, attackingPerceived Neglect-uncaring, uncommitted, neglectful, selfish, disengaged Men and women are differentGoal of Conversations: Men-Report Talk; Women-Rapport TalkRound 2-How to Fight a Good Fight
The Conflict Card-Available on their appSharing Withholds (can be positive or negative)-Each couple shares three withholdsOne positive-respond with only two words-"thank you"One negative-respond with only two words-"thank you"One positive-respond with only two words-"thank you"

Todd Wagner at #d62013

Impression without expression leads to depression.
When God's people show up, there should be an impression.
How can we leave a lasting impression?
3 Institutions ordained by God: Family, Church, Government
Purpose of government-to prosecute evil and protect innoncence.
Purpose of marriage-covenantal love. The church has a love view of marriage.
Marriage is a big deal because it forms a family. Marriage is a big deal because He loves us.
Marriage is a picture of God on earth. The best picture of Trinity is marriage.  To best explain Trinity, you must have Equality, Unity, Diversity
Headship is your role not your rank.
God restores all things. 
Marriage is where we model God's love for a fallen world.
Church attenders don't change a thing. Disciples do. Pastors: Your job is not to get them to come to you, but instead to come to Jesus. Love is not an adjective about how you feel. Love is a verb.
4 Things You Can Do To Have A High View of Marriage
You have to be authentic. Practice what…

Ed Stetzer at #d62013

Bad news motivates people to act.
The stats make good ad copy, but simply are not true.
Stats for Young Americans: 32% are religious; 32% are spiritual, 3 in 10 are Nones

Study from USC (followed 358 Californian families 1970-2005) to be released soon:
Jews, Evangelicals, Mormons, and Nones are best at passing on their religion to their children.74% of married couples who were both Evangelicals also had kids who were Evangelicals57% of Evangelicals in interfaith marriage had kids who were EvangelicalsUSC Researchers found that a close relationship with a parent, especially a dad, was biggest predictor of passing on faith. Nones-14% in 1970 and 57% in 2005 had parents who had been a None. Secularism is growing. From the book from Lost and Found
Beliefs, view of church, spirituality, view of outreach of Age 20-29 compared with those 30 are older Younger age group were more favorable in all these areas.Lifeway research of Church dropouts
When combined, the following characteristics are mo…

D6 Minis, Part 3 #d62013

Rodney Cox

How do you deal with differences in your marriage?
I thought it was a job to change my spouse. Only by the grace of God are we together today.
We communicate if you want to belong, you need to be more like me. That is not God's plan.
God's plan is for our differences to complete us not defeat us.

Leneita Fix

I have 4 kids who are adolescents which makes us a youth group.
I began to have a broken heart for kids from the inner city.
God thinks he's funny.
I began to meet parents and families who are run down and a little bit broken.  As I invited them to dinner, I found parents who were filled with shame.  I thought I was the hero of the story.
 The family was broken before it came to suburbs, city, or rural areas.  God's plan for the family is to be whole.
I separated the churched from the unchurched and believed these families needed me.
I wasn't asking the families what they needed. I thought I was better than them. I removed myself as savior and pointe…

D6 Minis, Part 2 #d62013

Skit Guys gave us great laughs talking about their understanding of D6 which is "Designate 6" people to impress our kids.  It was a humorous way to think about role of parents in life of kids.

Timothy Smith

What is our family identity?  Who do we want our kids to be?  So, we started to plan.
Do they have a plan for generational discipleship?
Cookie cutters work good for cookies, but don't work on the hearts of our kids.We need a plan for generational discipleship.
We must give people small wins in discipling their kids.
He shared his family faith plan which incorporates senses and times of day.  This is followed by a family time experience.

Lydia Randall

Busyness. I'm tired?  Are you?
We don't say fine any more, we instead say "busy."
We wear our busyness as a badge of honor. Busyness is killing our hearts.
Most of our families at Lake Pointe will give us two time slots.
Faith Path-includes path as well as tools

D6 Minis, Part 1 at #d62013

The afternoon session began with several speakers sharing briefly on a practical topic.

Mark Holmen
Deuteronomy 6:1-12
Our choices not only affect us but it will also affect multiple generations. If you follow God's way, it will go well for us. The only way to true wellness is the one true God. Are we in love with God or are we just doing church? First thing that will impress others is our love. I believe our problems in Christianity is not what is happening at church, but instead what is not happening at home. What is your intentional strategy to making the home the primary place where faith is developed?
Mike Trimble
My goal was not to have a talk. My goal was to begin a lifelong discussion. Luke 2:52-Jesus grew in wisdom and stature & in favor with God & men. I wanted to raise godly kids not good kids.  I also wanted to talk about troubles of the teen years.
Five broad issues we discussed on bike ride: physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual

Tommy Sanders

Our boys a…

James Dobson at #d62013

What legacy are you going to leave?

 When God speaks to you, you know it.

Be careful with what you tell God you will or will not do. Saying "no" to God is a dangerous thing to do. Many of the OT patriarchs said "no" to God.

 I learned to pray before I learned to talk.  I imitated the sounds as my parents did their devotions.

When I was 4, as I was listening to my dad preach, I went forward to receive Christ. This was the highlight of my life.

It is a dangerous thing for a young man to be too successful too quickly.

My father was a moral compass and a lighthouse. 

There is nothing more important than the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The culture is at war with your children for their hearts and minds.  It is also at war with your families.

Dobson said this to his son Ryan after Pistol Pete died while playing basketball with him. "I want you to know this. When I die, remember this, I care about what you accomplish in life and how you use your talents.  But there is s…

Tim Kimmel at #d62013

The solution is not slicker programs, but what happens at home.

God's Love is best nurtured through spiritually thriving families.

Family is a domestic church. Church is a gathering of domestic churches. God has not caused us to raise safe Christian kids, but instead strong ones. Unfortunately, many church programs enable us 
The gospel is best illustrated through churches and homes that reflect God's heart.
Churches that are strong on truth, but short on grace are not teaching truth. God's heart of grace must be how people feel the truth coming at them. Amos 5:21-24 (The Message) Grace makes people nervous.  Grace makes pastors nervous.  Why? They misunderstand grace. Discipline and correction are a form of grace.
Law and truth are easy to measure.  Grace is hard to measure.   Biblical orthodoxy is about what we know.  Grace is how we come across.  Grace should describe what we are.
God love is best transferred through churches and families that are guided by God's  trut…

Darrin Patrick at #d62013

The story of and glory of the church became more important than the story and glory of Jesus Christ.

"I don't want to build a museum, I want to be part of a movement."
Spiritual fruit equals spiritual maturity.  Spiritual maturity equals biblical manhood.
Galatians 5
Are we using methods that are ineffective?
Paul's argument is there is something more powerful than rules.
How Men Grow Spiritually
Fruit grows holistically     Not separable traits     There is a difference between the fruit of your personality and the fruit of the Spirit.     What book should I buy on biblical manhood?  The Bible
Fruit grows internally

You cannot legislate inner character

Law cannot do anything about the source of sin.  Law can discourage.  Law can deal with actions of sin, but cannot deal with root.

Only the Spirit can change the heart.

Most of the time we will use fear or pride to change behavior.
How do I know if I am doing spiritual transformation or behavior modification?  Pay atten…

Ed Stetzer at #d62013

Bad Stats:       Christians and non-Christians divorce at same rate       Christians and tippers       Christians and Disenfranchised Youth       The church is dying
Why do we love bad stats?       Our brains are wired to be on the lookout for danger       Bad news motivates people to act       Sell books
Bad stats don't solve problems. Bad stats lead to panic.
What are some real stats?       General growth--Mainlines are decreasing; Evangelicals are increasing       Age 18-29--Mainlines went from 25 to 5%; Evangelicals are stable at 25%
About half of Americans (44%) will change faiths before they are 22.        Most from mainlines-decline in 30% in 30 years
The "Nones" are growing.  The behavior has not changed, but their identification has.       32% are religious       32% are spiritual (not using the term Christian any longer)       3 in 10 are Nones
Jews, Evangelicals, Mormons and Nones are the best at passing on their religion to their children. (Research from USC) 
97% dropped out bec…

Diana Pendley on "Reaching Your Community Through Outreach MinistryEvents" at #d62013

Acts 1:8 "To infinity and beyond"

What is the best community outreach?      The one that works in your community!      The one that fits your church's mission!      The one God has placed on your Pastor's, Leadership Team and your heart!
The #1 Key Component to Creative Community Outreach Prayer planning not event planning         Touched Lives
First Impression of outreach ministry will bring families back to your church OR not          Changed Lives Keep the Main thing the Main Thing Planning       It takes TIME       It takes a good TEAM       Keep things Fresh              Don't do the same thing over and over-be creative. Life changes-keep things fresh & relevant!
Promote       Create awareness early       Use all channels             think creatively             what works in your community? (posters, social media, free channels/marquee)             who are the people in your church in your sphere of influence?
Calendar Out       12 Months before ministry eve…