Showing posts from April, 2015

Sabbatical Begins Tomorrow

I am excited and thankful for my sabbatical which begins tomorrow, May 1st and goes through July 31, 2015. I appreciate the opportunity provided to me by my church, Hesston MB.  To me, this is a great blessing and sign of a healthy church as they allow their staff to take time to grow as individuals and leaders.  Below are my tentative plans as shared with the congregation.

Sabbatical 2015

Dates: May-July 2015
As I prepare to go on Sabbatical in the summer of 2015, I have been praying about what this time of refreshment, renewal, and relaxation should include.Here are a few possibilities:
·Time of prayer & reflection
·Attendance at various churches to observe what their Sunday morning looks like

·Visits to specific churches who are ministering effectively to children, couples and families. Also, interested in what discipleship looks like. Already contacts have been made to churches in Missouri, Tennessee, & Texas.

·Vacation-Extended vacation with the family to Florida

·One-on-one tri…

You Are Loved

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved usand sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”         (1 John 4:9-10)

O, For A Thousand Tongues to Sing

Here is a great hymn by David Crowder Band.  It is a great reminder of who God is and what He has done for us.  Enjoy!

Sin and Free Will

What is sin? If I had to define the word, I would typically say something like "missing the mark." This implies a focus on missing a standard which we naturally conclude to be the Law.  As you think of sin, what is the root?  I have always understood and concluded that it was a breaking of the law. The law's purpose is to crush and reveal our sin.  However, is sin deeper than breaking the law?

I have started reading a book called Lutheran Theology by Steven Paulson because I wanted to better understand Martin Luther as the key turning point in protestantism. I know enough church history to remember his 95 theses, but really didn't know much more about his theology. If I had to summarize what I knew, it would have been "salvation by faith alone by grace alone."

As I have been reading this book, a few thoughts have begun to percolate. They relate to sin and free will. Let's look at sin first. Luther defined sin as "incurvatus se" which means bein…

Hide N Seek Program Pictures

Tonight was our end of year program for Hide N Seek. This is our Wednesday night ministry for children. 

Hide N Seek End of the Year Program Tonight

Check back later tonight for pictures from our end of the year program for Hide N Seek.  It will include songs and Bible verses by each of the classes & more.  This is our ministry on Wednesday night for 4 years olds through 4th grade. It has been a great year!

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Here is another great hymn of the faith by Chris Rice.  Enjoy being reminded of our great God!

What's Next? Sermon at Hesston MB

Below is my sermon from April 19, 2015 at Hesston MB Church:

New Book Friday


The law and our hearts

The following is a quote from Lutheran Theology by Steven Paulson on the law and our hearts.
The real issue in the law is the first table that concerns the sinner's relation to God, not her neighbor. That relation comes down to the first commandment that demands a good, clean heart. One is either good in heart or not; there is no cherry picking by Jews or Gentiles for which law accuses and which one excuses. Judges point the finger rightly at the wicked, but miss the point about their righteous selves. The real matter concerning the law is the heart, and the heart cannot be made good by the law. The law is not spiritual, meaning that it cannot create anything, especially not a new heart. The law reveals your heart as good or bad as light reveals what hides in darkness, but Paul now claims that the law has already made its universal judgment and come to its fatal conclusion: there is no good heart anywhere...The reason is that the wrath of God has been revealed, the end of self-jus…

You Are Blameless

“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, souland body be kept blamelessat the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.24 The one who callsyou is faithful,and he will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

As you listen to this hymn, be reminded why God is worthy of our worship.

How Christian Growth Stalls

As I mentioned in a previous post, last week I started reading Show Them Jesus by Jack Klumpenhower. You can visit his website here Below, I have included a section from Chapter 3 on growth for kids.  It was so helpful to me and will impact how I teach in the future.
Church kids come in one of two types--unsaved and saved. Both types desperately need to see Jesus. . .We make a mistake if we think kids are saved by hearing the good news and trusting Jesus, but then grow as Christians some other way. . .We grow in the same way we became Christians--rooted in Jesus, with our hope in the good news. As kids learn about God's goodness and holiness, they ought to increase in aw of him. That's growth. And as they examine themselves and see the ugliness inside, they ought to increase in conviction of sin. That's growth too. But the combination of these will drive them to despair--unless their understanding of the forgiveness and righteousness they have in Jesus also grows. In short…

What's Next?

Here are my notes from my sermon today at Hesston MB entitled, "What's Next?"

Last week, Pastor Brad had two main points: Holy Spirit gives glory to Jesus & Disciples give glory to Jesus by testifying. (See John 15:26-27). Jesus shared his vision-tell others about me.
Introduction: When Mitchell was younger, he loved to know the schedule for the day.As we would talk about our plans, he would say “what’s next”.Even if we gave him a whole day’s schedule, he would respond “what’s next.” Today’s message is one of the final times Jesus has with his disciples and I am sure the disciples are asking “what’s next.”
Read John 16:5-14
·Good (vs. 5-7)
oVs. 5-Where are you going?
§Disciples were ordinary people like you & me. They doubt and do not understand (see vs. 18-what does He mean? We don’t understand.)
oVs. 6-Bad News: Jesus is leaving-filled with grief
oVs. 7-Good News: Jesus is sending Holy Spirit
§(Paraclete) Transliteration of a Greek word meaning “one who is called to som…

Promises of God from Malachi

“My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun.In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations,’ says the Lord Almighty” (1:11). “See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me.Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,’ says the Lord Almighty.But who can endure the day of his coming?Who can stand when he appears?For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap.He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver” (3:1-3). “I the Lord do not change.So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed” (3:6). “For you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings.And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall” (4:2).

New Book Friday


You Are Holy

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselveswith compassion, kindness, humility,gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)

Heart change vs. behavior change

So often as parents and/or teachers, we want kids in our homes or classes to be good and behave.  We know this is selfish in many ways, but we still do it. I do it.  I started a new book a few weeks ago called Show Them Jesus by Jack Klumpenhower.  This book might change the way I parent and train and equip teachers in children's ministry.  Here is a quote from Chapter 1:
The message of Jesus' death and resurrection is a tool of the Spirit to change hearts. Nagging is not. Rather than coax kids into temporarily acting better, Joe told about Jesus and trusted God to use that message to make the kids become better. What is your motivation in your home? Your church? Can it really be as simple as preaching and teaching Jesus?  Check back for more quotes from this great book.

Holy Spirit

Here is a new song by Francesca Battistelli called Holy Spirit.  Be reminded of God's presence, goodness, and glory. 

Misunderstanding when preaching the gospel

Today, I am sharing a longer quote from D. Martyn Lloyd Jones that was in The Naked Gospel by Andrew Farley.
There is no better test as to whether a man is really preaching the New Testament gospel of salvation than this, that some people might misunderstand it and misinterpret it to mean that it really amounts to this, that because you are saved by grace alone it does not matter at all what you do; you can go on sinning as much as you like because it will redound all the more to the glory of grace. If my preaching and presentation of the gospel of salvation does not expose it to that misunderstanding, then it is not the gospel . . . There is this kind of dangerous element about the true presentation of the doctrine of salvation.

Promises of God from Zechariah

“Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion.For I am coming, and I will live among you, declares the Lord.‘Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people.I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you.The Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem.Be still before the Lord, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling’” (2:10-13). "Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty” (4:6).
“I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem; they will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God” (8:7). “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!Shout, daughter of Jerusalem!See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. . . . He will proclaim peace to the nations.His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth” (9:9-1…

Life Is _________

If you have been reading this blog for awhile, you will remember that I enjoyed and quoted often Jesus Is ______ by Judah Smith.  I started reading his new book, Life Is ________ a few weeks ago.  Here are a few quotes from introduction and Chapter 1:
Life is to be loved and to love. The order of those two phrases is intentional, because until we realize we are loved, it's tough--probably impossible--to truly love. The major theme of the Bible is that God's love passionately pursues humankind. He (God) genuinely loves us and wants the best for our lives. When it comes to God, love isn't just an action--it's a state of existence. God is love. God is saying that his love is not like ours. Against all common sense, in contrast to our human ideas about justice and commitment, God's love never quits.

New Book Friday

No, I am not switching denominations. However, since Luther was so instrumental in Protestant Reformation, I wanted to read more about him and his theology. Here is today's new book:

You Are Chosen

“For he chose usin him before the creation of the worldto be holy and blamelessin his sight.” (Ephesians 1:4)

Identity Matters

About a week ago, I finished reading The Naked Gospel by Andrew Farley. I liked the book. There were times where I disagreed, but that is true about most books I read.

The last part of his book talks about one of my favorite topics--our identity in Christ.    Here are some quotes on that topic:
Paul first affirms our true identity. Then he acknowledges that we have a choice to put on one thing or another. He urges us to "wear" qualities that match who we are and how God treats us. The outcome of indulging the flesh can be stressful and divisive. But living form our new identity leads to peace, fulfillment, and unity. And as we focus on our newness and Christ's presence within us, our behavior changes. Rest. . .This safe harbor is a spiritual attitude we adopt because of the finished work of Christ.

Christ Arose

I love this version of the great hymn by the same name.  Jesus is Risen!  There is an empty tomb. Hallelujah!

Then Came the Morning

Since yesterday was Easter, I am sharing two of my favorite songs from Easter today and tomorrow.  Enjoy!  We serve a risen Savior.

Easter at Hesston MB


Easter--He is Risen!

Christ the Lord is risen today!  What a great reminder that we serve a risen Savior.  Jesus is alive! Today at Hesston MB during Children's Church, we will have an Easter Egg Hunt and I will tell the story of Easter using Resurrection eggs.  Check back later today for pictures!

Promises of God from Zephaniah and Haggai

“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save.He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).
“This is what I covenanted with you when you when you came out of Egypt.And my Spirit remains among you.Do not fear” (Haggai 2:5). “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land.I will shake all nations, and the desired of all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord Almighty.‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the Lord Almighty. ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty.‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty"       (Haggai 2:6-9).

Good Friday

Today we celebrate Good Friday which is the day we remember that Jesus died on the cross for us.  Think about it.  God in the flesh died for you and me.  Why is it good? Because Jesus defeated sin, death, Satan, and sickness on the cross.  And there is so much more.  I would encourage you to look into God's Word and be reminded what Jesus' death on the cross accomplished for you.

"It Is Finished!"

Today, at Hesston MB, we are fasting and this gives us time to reflect on the sacrifice Jesus made for us.  We do this not out of obligation or duty or to earn God's love or make Him do what we want, but instead it flows from a response of love.

Posting at 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Today

Head on over to 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting today and read my post on power for parenting.  I hope it will be an encouragement to you.

Service Project for Hesston Resource Center

Here are a few pictures from fuzion service project tonight:

You Are Blessed

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realmswith every spiritual blessing in Christ." (Ephesians 1:3)