Bragging on My Children

Here’s a little break from the usual as I share some family things. The picture above and the one below were created by my son James. I was quite impressed by his drawing and he loves to draw. James just brought the creation below home this afternoon. It is a beautiful picture made from tissue paper. I think it’s pretty good.

Here are my two girls just after their performance this evening. You both did a wonderful job. You represented us well.
As you can tell, I am a proud father this evening. I have wonderful children who love the Lord and want to make a difference in their world. I am proud of them. Keep up the good work.

Beauty and the Beast

Tonight, my family attended our high school’s production of Beauty and the Beast. My daughters both attend the school and were both involved in the production in the ensemble cast. The cast and crew did a great job. I was impressed by the young cast. Quite a few of our congregation came to see the musical as well.
Several months ago, I posted on the movie “Cars” and the transformation that happens to young Lightning McQueen. As I see it Beauty and the Beast is also a story of transformation. I remember the first time we saw the movie version with Rebecca when she was 4 years old.
I loved the way the illustrators depicted the transformation after the beast died and the prince received new life. It’s one of my favorite parts of the movie. This seems to be a common thought in my thinking over the Lenten season. It is Christ who transforms us. We move from the old life to the new. As the song from Mercy Me goes, “So Long Self.” There isn’t room for two. Christ desires for us to be transformed into His image. This is my prayer for myself and for the congregation I shepherd.

Missional

What does it mean to be missional? A friend of mine, nominated my blog as “missional.” I was reading through a recent issue of our offical church publication Wesleyan Life. Jeffrey Mansell, District Superintendent wrote this in an article that asked that question.

Being missional is more than having great programs and nifty acronyms, although those can be integrated into a missional organization. The term missional implies a systemic approach to fulfilling the Great Commission in which evangelism becomes a lifestyle that weaves itself into the very fabric of our being.

Missional living means:

  • Seeking opportunities to engage in spiritual conversations with the unsaved.
  • Practicing intercessory prayer for those person who have not personally received Christ.
  • Prioritizing available resources for the purpose of Great Commission ministry.
  • Demonstrating unbridled excitement over the announcement of a new birth into God’s Kingdom.

A New Record

Over the last two days, I’ve received 25 visits. Normally I get 5 or 6. Part of that was probably due to that “under appreciated, under valued, missional” blogger thing. See the post below for more. Thanks to everyone who has visited lately.

Mosaic Student Ministries

Tonight was our regular student ministries night. We call it Mosaic, because God has brought us together from many different backgrounds and yet He is making us into one beautiful picture. Like mosaics when you look at it too close it doesn’t always make sense and yet when you back up you see the picture appear before you.

We experienced God’s provision tonight, helping us get our students to and from church despite some heavy weather (thunderstorms w/heavy rain and hail.) God is continuing to work with our students. They have great potential to change their world as they allow God to change and transform them. Continue to pray for this ministry to the students of Martinsville and Henry County.

Must Have Worship Hits?

From Bob Kauflin’s WorshipMatters blog. Bob Kauflin was keyboardist, songwriter, and background vocalist for the band Glad. Some of the first contemporary Christian music I was exposed to was Glad. He has a great post on Must Have Worship Hits!

Here’s a teaser:

If you’re a worship leader or music minister there’s a good chance you’ve heard another leader talking about the new song they just introduced. They describe it as the most “incredible, life-changing, awesome, heaven-releasing, God-calling-down, what-you-haven’t-heard-it-yet” song they’ve ever done. You heart sinks as you realize that not only have you not heard the song, you didn’t even know the CD was out. When you think of the 80 CD’s on your desk you still haven’t listened to, you really feel like a loser. “How can anyone in my church even worship?” [MORE]

Under Appreciated Missional Bloggers

Imagine my surprise this evening when I went to my friend Mark Wilson’s blog Revitalize Your Church and I found my name at the bottom (at the time) of this list. I’ve added a few of my own to the list that you can’t get at other blogs.

Here’s a quote from Mark’s blog:

Brother Maynard started a list of “under valued, and under appreciated” missional blogs.I was surprised to see that I was listed in the early going.

It feels kind of like being on the ground floor of some Amway pyramid scheme. I’m honored to be on the list — but not sure I’m crazy about the idea of being “under valued” and “under appreciated.”

It looks like I’m in good company.

Emerging Grace
Robbymac
Lily
Nathan Colquhoun
John Smulo
Todd Hiestand
Theopraxis
Chuck Warnock
John Lunt
Webb Kline
Mark O. Wilson
Rick Meigs
Brother Maynard
MakDaddy
Glenn Hager
Paul Mayers
Jamie Swann
Paul Walker
Jerry Frear
Phil Wyman
Rainer Halonen
Shannon
Matt Stone
Erika Haub
John Santic
Colin Lamm
Julie Clawson
Duncan McFadzean
Adam Gonnerman
Les Chatwin
Matt Wiebe
Rupert Ward
John Lynch et al
Ra’Ah Australian Bloggers
Mayberry Driven Church
Dale Argot
David Rutler
Rod Pickett
Joel Gorveatte

I’ve edited my own post to add one more. Dean Brown

To participate, copy this list into a new post on your own blog, and add the names you have to the bottom of the list, and encourage others to do the same. It could get fairly long, but that’s part of the point — helping us all discover those undervalued blog’s profile. Include these instructions with your post. When you’ve done that, leave a comment at Brother Maynard’s blog so he can keep track of who ends up participating.

Monday Night Bowling League

Tonight was our final night of bowling for the season. We had a roll-off, which is a playoff to determine the champions. We have 16 teams and teams 5 through 16 competed for the roll-off championship. Next week we have our awards banquet and annual meeting. If our team wins any awards, I’ll post them next week. It doesn’t appear that we were in the running for the championship the way we bowled as a team.

As usual I was consistently inconsistent, bowling a 170, a 118, and a 109, for a total set of 397, which is a 132 average. That does come several pins over my season average, so I was pleased.

If you’ve been following the posts over the season, there has been a theme. We may not have been very good this year, but we had fun and fellowship. I got to know members of the congregation I serve better. Our rallying call over the summer can be “wait until next year.”

Random Sunday Night Thoughts

Today was a great day of ministry. Last night put me in the mood to worship and preach today. I came home feeling great and here’s why.

All the Way

Worship was great from beginning to end. We began with “That’s Why We Praise Him” and continued with “Knowing You” which echoed this morning’s scripture from Philippians 3:4-14. We then sang “Take My Life” and finished with opening worship set with the gospel song, “I Am Resolved,” which echoed Paul’s words to press on toward the goal. Our ladies sang Bill Gaither’s “He Touched Me” for special music. After a time of prayer, we took the offering and sang another Gaither style song, “What a Day That Will Be.” Before the message we sang “Open My Eyes that I May See.” We covered quite a bit of ground musically today beginning with contemporary worship songs, some southern gospel songs, and some revival era gospel songs. Then we proclaimed God’s Word which says we must be All the Way Christians — there is no middle ground. I challenged the congregation to live their lives that way.

On a side note, this morning I preached in a t-shirt. All of the adults and teens who were at the youth rally last night wore their t-shirts to church. At first I had a suit coat over top, but as I began to preach I took the suit coat off. We also had to turn on the A/C this morning. And that was just the beginning.

18 to 0 or Four More Years

After worship our Local Church Conference met and voted on the renewal of my call at Preston Wesleyan Church. All 18 said yes, they feel God is calling me to four more years. We have accepted the call to continue to be Preston Wesleyan’s shepherd. It is a call that I do not take lightly.

The Moving of God

Tonight’s Bible study was on the Moving of God. Why don’t we see God move? Do we not expect it? As asked the congregation to list times in both the Old and New Testament when as Drury puts it “God showed up.” They did a great job of identifying many times when God moved among his people. We started taking a look a scripture about the moving of God, but we ran out of time. We did look at James 5:14-16, which was a good time of study about healing and how God moves among us.

I felt good about coming home tonight. While I was writing this, I got involved in a dialog on my sermon site. So I think that is it for tonight. God bless