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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Jesus Gives Us Power

Jesus Gives Us Power was the theme of the Power Lab VBS material we used in our Mission Outreach Vacation Bible School in Garden Grove last week.

We experienced God's POWER in many ways.

The Power of SHARING. What an awesome power this is. Last year Trinity Christian Church in Decatur shared their Power Lab material and props with LeRoy Presbyterian Church. This year LeRoy Presbyterian Church shared the same materials with our mission outreach in Garden Grove. When the Decatur church heard of this they shared even more, giving our outreach project enough craft projects for 30 kids for 3 nights. The kids loved them and got the message that not only God, but other Christians love them also.

The Power of COMMUNITY. Wow! the Garden Grove Community Club, the kids and their families, and helpers from nearby churches all came together to create the family of Christ on those 5 nights.

The Power of GIVING. The kids excitement for our mission project grew every night. Their offering was going to build a Shallow Well in Malawi through Marion Medical Mission. Every night the kids brought pockets full of coins, and the Community Club helpers brought also to share with those who had no coins. 9 families, 15 kids. And we gathered $110 toward the $350 needed for a well. The kids were mesmerized by the video clips of a well being built, and drawn in by the "Thank You Jesus" song we played each night from the end of the DVD. It seemed to really touch their soul. On the last night the kids all had an African shirt to wear during the program.

The Power of PRAISE. The kids really got into the songs, especially the old favorite re-done, Power In the Blood.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

# 64 - Father's Prayer

Every good father prays. Prays for his children whatever their age. Prays for them in the morning. Prays for them in the evening. Prays in their waking, aloud, that they might learn also to pray. Prays in their sleeping, selflessly, that they might increase in Christ. Every child whose father prays is truly blessed. On this Father’s Day, be a godly father. Pray for your children. Never have? Start today. Kids grown and gone? You’re still their father. Pray, man of God, pray.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

# 63 - Reality Prayer

Are you like me when you pray? Since in prayer I’m talking with God, I kind of clean up my act and pray from the “more ideal” side of me. But God knows me through and through, the Psalmist says, having formed me in my mother’s womb. So the question is, “how can I be really real and honestly down-to-earth in my prayers?” Here’s a suggestion. Everyone keeps records – calendars, check registers, old “to-do” lists, diaries and journals, tax files, travel or usage logs, and, on the internet, “cookies” and “favorites.” Go back to some past month. Select one of the above and pray about each and every entry. Now that’s reality! and a solid basis for genuine prayer. But watch out. Reality prayer has been know to change lives.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

For Father's Day

Jason loaned me Tony Dungy's great book, Uncommon. It is a must read.

About the same time I reconnected with my old friend Damion through Facebook. Damion works in pro sports (for the Cavaliers) and recently spent some good time with Tony Dungy at the June 6 All Pro Dad event at the Football Hall of Fame in Canton. See Tony's Hall of Fame June 13 Blog post.

Damion, like Tony Dungy, is an active Christian man and really good Father.

Father's Day is coming. I found a timely message from Tony Dungy. This Video Clip shows Dungy, whose son James committed suicide in Dec '05, reflecting on being James's Father and having Jesus in his life.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

# 62 - Poet Prayers

Poets, like Mary Oliver, get right to the heart of a matter.


It doesn't have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a fewsmall stones; just
pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don't try
to make them elaborate, this isn't
a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

# 61 - Doodle Prayer

When you need to pray and words don’t come, try the Doodle Prayer. Take a blank paper and colored pens or crayons. Write the name or topic of concern in the middle of the page and doodle around it. As other words come to mind, write them randomly elsewhere on the page and doodle them. Slowly your prayer will find words; your soul will find expression and relief; and you will have a colorful reminder of God’s mysterious way of love.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Owen's Gift

On Sunday, Pastor Dale told a story from his vacation to Branson. It was about Owen, one of the 6 Knudsen brothers who perform in Branson as the group called SIX. The brothers sing. But they do so without any instrumental background, choosing instead to make the many instrumental and percussion sounds themselves, hissing, blowing, popping, whining into the mic.

The key to it working so wonderfully is Owen's talent as a vocal percussionist. Pastor asked us to imagine how many times as a child Owen's "gift" might have been perceived as something other than a talent, an annoyance perhaps and cause for discipline. Probably a lot. But now, his "gift" is the very foundation of SIX.

The lessons, of course, are simple. 1. Everyone has a gift, and 2. we must invite and welcome the gifts others are willing to offer for the good of the whole. St. Paul makes the same argument in writing to the Corinthians (chapter 12, first letter).