Showing posts from May, 2015

Rewards in Children's Ministry

One of the thoughts I am considering for next school year is to get rid of "Bible Bucks" on Wednesday nights.  I asked my Wednesday night workers about it and half were against the idea.  It is so rooted in most children's ministry that we cannot imagine the absence of it.  I was encouraged when I read an entire chapter in Show Them Jesus by Jack Klumpenhower.  He shares many of the reasons why I would like to stop.  Here are some thoughts from Klumpenhower on rewards in ministry:
It wouldn't do to teach that God's rewards in salvation come freely, by grace, but that rewards in the church come by being good and memorizing verses. God's greatest rewards are based on his generosity, not what we've earned. Our class would work the same way...In my class the bucks were a gift, not a reward. Creating a Good-News EnvironmentA good-news environment is sin-awareA good-news environment is grace-awareA good-news environment focuses on the heartA good-news environme…

What A Friend We Have in Jesus

Jesus is both fully God and fully man.  He is both near and far.  Be reminded of Jesus as your friend this morning.

New Book Friday

On my trip to Nashville to visit Byron Yawn, he recommend the book below so I purchased it.  As he explained, there are many writing about the practice of justification, but this book focuses on the root which is theology of justification.

You Are Sealed

“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firmin Christ. He anointedus,22 set his sealof ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)

How To Teach Good News

I am still reading Show Them Jesus by Jack Klumpenhower. The second section of the book talks about how to teach the good news.  Here are some quotes:

Don't: Look for a moral lesson about a human character.
Instead: Look for the worth and work of the main character, God.

The only way to avoid either the softie God or the monster God is with the God of the cross.

The full good news regarding any of God's rules is that believers are (1) eternally forgiven for breaking that command and counted righteous in Jesus, no matter how badly they mess up; (2) made eager to follow that command in gratitude and hope as children of the Father; and (3) made able to follow it by relying on the Holy Spirit's transforming power.

The difference between the Old and New Testaments isn't the attributes of God they reveal, but the point we're at in the great story.

7 Methods for getting to Jesus from an Old Testament passage: (1) what God does; (2) who God is; (3) Jesus solves the problem…

Promises of God from John

Here are selected promises of God from the gospel of John compiled by Kenneth Boa.

Whoever receives Christ becomes a child of God, is given eternal life, is no longer under condemnation, and has crossed over from death to life (1:12; 3:16; 5:24). Jesus came as the good shepherd to offer his sheep rich pasture and fullness of life (10:9-10). He who believes in Jesus Christ will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in him will never die (11:25-26). When we abide in Christ, we are given the power to bear lasting spiritual fruit that will glorify the Father (15:1-8). When we come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, we are given the gift of life in his name (20:30-31).

More from Show Them Jesus

I picked up Jack Klumpenhower's book, Show Them Jesus last Wednesday.  Here are some great quotes from the chapters I read:

That is the way everyone's hearts naturally works. Our kids (and us) are programmed to try to earn points with God. At such a moment the issue is not what those kids should do--it's how to reach their hearts. They need to rest in Jesus until they have such joy over his beauty and what he's done for them that it spills out into the way they live.   The good-news teacher skillfully steers a kid's heart by showing the breathtaking beauty of Jesus.

We often imagine the Christian life is like a game of king-of-the-hill played between our heart and our head...Only a stronger love for Jesus can overpower and displace our love of sin.

If we cut individual stories off from the Bible's central story arc about Jesus, we miss the main thing the Bible wants to say...

The good news is the Bible's drumbeat. To ignore it at any point is to misplay the…

O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

Be reminded today of the great love that Jesus has for you. Enjoy this great hymn of the faith.

Learning from leaders while on Sabbatical

My first trip for my sabbatical was to the St. Louis area to visit with Jason Zellmer and Jason Meyer from Peine Ridge Church in Wentzville, MO.  The second visit took me to Community Bible Church in Nashville, TN where I talked with lead pastor, Byron Yawn and also visited friends from Liberate 2015, Arnie & Marci Preheim. Both of these trips were valuable as I learned several things from each location.  Here are a few things I learned:
SIMPLE-At Peine Ridge Church, their philosophy of ministry is simple.  They do a few things and seek to do them well.  For example, they do not have Sunday School or age segregated small groups.  This leads to the second things I observed and learned.ALL AGES TOGETHER-Peine Ridge does not separate parents from kids very often.  They do have a ministry for children 5 and under during the worship time.  I was interested in visiting a Peine Family gathering and was both surprised and impressed.  I would make the assumption of keeping kids and adults t…

New Book Friday

Sarah Taras was quoting this book on Twitter so I asked her about it. She recommended it so I picked it up. I will begin reading as soon as I finish other books I have started.

You Are Forgiven

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darknessand brought us into the kingdomof the Son he loves,14 in whom we have redemption,the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14)

Personal Thoughts from Sabbatical

I have been on Sabbatical since May 1st.  In many ways, it is going so fast.  I cannot believe school is out this week.  Here are a few thoughts from recent days at home or from prayer/reflection days:
ABIDE-This word continues to be brought to mind. During this time of sabbatical, I want to spend time in relationship with Jesus.  Some days this includes a nap, other days it is reading His Word, sometimes it is showing love to my family, or bike rides while singing songs of praise. I read John 15:1-17 and was amazed at how much Jesus wants to be in relationship with us.  Do you understand? The God who created the world, the Son who lived, died and rose again, the Spirit who raised Christ from the dead, this Triune God wants to be in relationship with you and me.  What a wonderful gift!What should I be DOING?  When you don't go to work from 8-5 each day and do not have meetings to attend, you have some free time.  As a human, my tendency is to do something.  But I am asking myself o…

Field Day at Hesston Elementary with Molly

Today is field day at Molly's school. Here are a few pictures of her & station where I helped.

Promises of God from Luke

Below are selected promises of God compiled by Kenneth Boa. Be reminded of who God is and remember He keeps His promises.
The Lord God will give his Son the throne of David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end (1:32-33). “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind,to set at liberty those who are oppressed,19 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.” (4:18-19) Just as Jesus showed compassion by laying his hands on lepers and delivering people from their afflictions, so he is personally concerned for each of us and ready to meet our needs (4-5; 12:22-34). When we hear Christ’s words and act on them, we are building on a foundation that well never be shaken (7:47-49). As children of God, we can rejoice that our names are written in heaven (10:20). We serve a seeking God who values each person and rejoi…

Oh, How I Love Jesus

Our love of Jesus is rooted in His love for us first. Enjoy this hymn about his love and how He demonstrates it to us.

Favorite Quotes from #TGP15

On Monday, the Gospel Project had an online seminar.  At Hesston MB Church, where I serve, we use the Gospel Project Kid's Curriculum on Sunday mornings.  I searched several months for a curriculum and this one was the best I found.  These short videos feature many different speakers and topics.  They are available to watch for one more week here  Below are my favorite quotes from 6 of the videos I have watched:

Good news is not just good advice. Good news is the announcement about what Jesus has done for us. (Derwin Gray) We don't believe in a system of redemption.We believe in a Redeemer whose name is Jesus. In grace,transformation occurs. (Paul Tripp)  Put your hope in God not in your parenting abilities. A sign you are grasping the gospel as a parent is that you can rest. (J.D. Greear) After Jesus says the kingdom of God is here, he doesn't follow w/ do something, try harder, or be a better person, but repent. (Trevin Wax) Common mistakes in Children's Ministry re:…

New Book Friday


You Are Redeemed

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the lawby becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus,so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.” (Galatians 3:13-14)

Molly's Field Trip

Today I am with Molly on her second grade field trip. Here are a few pictures:

God's Story

One of the things I am doing on Sabbatical is reading. Surprised? I didn't think so. 
I wanted to be reminded of God's Big Story. I want to see God as hero as I read the Bible. So I am reading The Story over the next few months.

O Worship the King

I am continuing to share great hymns of the faith. Be reminded of the great King we worship and love.

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!  I am thankful for the great mother and mother-in-law I have.  I am also blessed to have a wonderful mother to my children.  Saying thank you doesn't seem to be enough for all you do and have done. I love you all!

Promises of God from Mark

Here are selected promises of God from the gospel of Mark compiled by Kenneth Boa. The last two are my additions.  Be reminded of who God is and what He has done for us.
God has identified with us in our humanity through the humility and servanthood of the incarnation.Christ experienced the conditions of human limitations including his encounters with the temptations we face (1:12; 14:32-41). Jesus offers the glorious gift of the forgiveness of sins (2:1-12) so that we can be cleansed and lifted up into a relationship with him. Jesus welcomed the children. "When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, Le the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." (10:14)  Remember Jesus. 22 And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.”23 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it.24 And h…

New Book Friday


Sabbatical Trip 1

This week, I am on my first trip for sabbatical.  I am visiting pastors at churches in Wentzville (near St. Louis) and Nashville.  Below are the two churches I am visiting:

  Community Bible Church

There are three priorities which are at the heart of all we do here at Community Bible Church—God’s Glory, God’s Grace, and God’s Word. The exaltation of the Glory of God in the Cross through the finished work of Christ is the aim of all our ministry. It is our desire and privilege to proclaim the Excellencies of His Grace to the world around us (I Peter 2:9). The Grace of God in Christ Jesus Our Savior has abounded to all those who know Him. We are committed to sharing the mercy of Our Savior’s Sacrifice with all who come through our doors and with all whom we encounter in our community (I Peter 4:10). Submitting all our lives to the Gospel of God’s Redeeming Work, depending upon its power, and applying its truth to our lives is …

You Are Adopted

hepredestinedus for adoption to sonshipthrough Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasureand will. . .” (Ephesians 1:5)

God is for you!

When you mess up, how do you think God views you?  As you go through your day to day life, are you concerned if God likes you?  Do you wonder if He might be up in heaven mad at your for your lack of good works or your sinful thoughts or actions? 

Many people see God as angry and if not angry, only putting up with them. Their view of God is dependent on how well they are doing. If they are doing well in loving others or in the spiritual disciplines, then God is happy.  However, if they are selfish or skipping devotional times, then God must be disappointed.  Others view difficult circumstances as punishment from God for their sin.

As I was listening to the radio recently, I was amazed at a truth that quickly emerged.  This truth is my favorite Bible verse which is Romans 8:31.  It says, "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can beagainst us?"

Be reminded of this truth: God is for you.  No matter what happens today. God is for you.  God's love for …

How Great Thou Art

As you think about the greatness of God, this hymn probably comes to mind.  Here is a powerful version of the song by Carrie Underwood.  Remember the great God who loves you.  Enjoy!

Promises of God from Matthew

God is always faithful to his covenant promises, and his fulfillment of the messianic prophecies far exceeds what anyone could have imagined.The people were hoping for freedom from physical and political bondage, but Jesus offered something far greater—freedom from the bondage of sin and of death. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (11:28-30). Because Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God (16:16), he is bigger than our problems and worthy of our supreme trust and obedience. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus, and he has empowered each believer to manifest and share the good news of new life in him (28:18-20).

Sabbatical-Day 1

Well, it's here. My sabbatical begins today. I wanted to start with a day of prayer & reflection. So, here is my view today:

Check back over the next 3 months for thoughts and reflections and what I am learning.

Posting today at 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting

As this is the first day of my sabbatical, I have a post here on the topic of rest.  Go and check it out!