This Sunday at Preston

Tomorrow we begin a series on stewardship. While usually these types of series are done at the beginning of the calendar year, I thought we would try this series near the beginning of our church fiscal year.  Each year the Department of Stewardship Ministries at headquarters sends us a CD with all the info for a stewardship emphasis.  I will be using this info (outline and powerpoint files.)  The title is God Rebuilds and tomorrow is the first of this five-week series.  I typically don’t preach topical sermons — I tend to preach through books and passages of the Bible.  So this is a stretching exercise for me.  Tomorrow’s message is “The God of Hope.”  I’m looking forward to preaching this series.  So often we think of stewardship as just money, but there is so much more than that — time, talent, relationships and so on.  The question ultimately becomes, “How are we using what God has given us for building the Kingdom?”

It’s Finally Official

Beginning tomorrow, Rebecca begins her job at the local KFC and beginning Tuesday I begin my new adventure at the Salvation Army Thrift Store.  I am really looking forward to the change.  Next week, I do finish up my time a RadioShack.  It’s been seven good years, but time for a change.  The move to The Salvation Army really flows into the way the Lord has been leading me.  And that would be into a more missional bi-vocational position.  As the Captain said when he was interviewing me, this is definitely a missional (God’s kingdom) type job.  My job will be to drive the large moving van to pick up merchandise for the store as well as do other things that need to be done.  Thank you for your prayers over the past weeks as Rebecca and I found out about these jobs.  Have a great weekend!

Cheese Steak Stromboli

Monday I wrote about the adventure it is to go shopping anymore and the expertise it takes to make meals go further.  Monday morning we took James along grocery shopping and showed him how to shop for the best value.  I already posted about the poor man’s surf and turf we had for our Memorial Day picnic.

Last night we had something different.  Several years ago, my sister-in-law Sharon gave us a recipe for Stromboli.  We love to get this recipe out from time to time although what we did was give it a twist.  Instead of using salami, ham, pepperoni, provolone and mozzarella cheese, we made a cheese steak stromboli.  I got the inspiration from Food Network’s Diner, Drive-in’s and Dives.

What goes into it?  First, I usually make my own crust.  It’s the same recipe I use for pizza — a package of yeast, a cup of hot water — mix those together and let sit for about 10 minutes.  Then add 3 cups of flour, a teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of sugar and tablespoon of olive oil (If I’m making pizza, I’ll add a clove or two of crushed garlic and some oregano.)  I mix that in the mixer with kneading hooks and then let it sit to rise.  In the mean time, I put some preformed steaks on the griddle and cooked them up.  I also put some onions on there to soften them up.  I separated the risen dough into two balls and flattened them both out with a rolling pin (I’m not that good to form regular crust.)  I placed some pizza sauce on the bottom followed by a layer of steak, followed by a layer of onions, some more pizza sauce, then a layer of mozzarella cheese, followed by another layer of steak.  I only loaded up one side of the dough and then brought the other side over and folded it in half.  I had enough ingredients for two strombolis.

I cooked them in the oven at 400 degrees until brown.  By the way, they were delicious!

Weekly Lectionary Readings

Proper 4 (9)
June 1, 2008

Genesis 6:9-22; 7:24; 8:14-19; Psalm 46; Romans 1:16-17; 3:22-31; Matthew 7:21-29

I’ve asked Pam to write this week’s devotional.

One Saturday when we were living in New York, Dale and I awoke with the ground shaking under our bed. The freeze which was on the other side of our bedroom wall was banging against the wall. We thought the freezer was on it last leg. It was not until our children came to our door and announced we had an earthquake. Psalm 46 talks about the One we can go to when it seems like our lives — our are experiences — seem to make our world shake. The psalmist tells us it is God who is our help in times of trouble. I know for the past 6 months my life has been shaking out of control. There haves been times as I drink a Diet Coke that I wondered if something stronger would take away the pain and trouble. By the way, I would never find out. It is so easy for people to do things or put our faith in other people then God. The interesting thing is this chapter is my favorite chapter in the Bible and I totally forgot its promise.

The psalmist goes on and talks about God’s power. Sometime we forget that God is powerful because we want to do it on our own. God is powerful enough to take care of all our problems, not just the big ones. He can take care of the little ones like finding the cell phone that we lost yesterday. The earthquake which we were in it did some damage further upstate, but did you know that every day there are hundreds of tremors that nobody feels.

If you do not get anything out of this, please remember this, “Be still and know I am God.” We need to get to know God’s voice before we go though troubling times. So when we are in those times and everything is crashing down on us and when it seems that there is no way out of the hole that we are in — We can hear the quiet voice of God telling us everything is going to be alright and he is there to put his loving arms around us.

Worship Mythbusters

If you look over at the blogroll section on the right, you will see that I have several different categories of links — some are leadership oriented, some Wesleyan oriented, some small/rural church oriented and so on. Recently, I stumbled upon this worship blog. Rich Kirkpatrick is a worship leader and has written a thought provoking series called Worship Mythbusters. This has been a series several months in the making and there may be more posts coming, but I’ve outlined the posts that are available right now.

Post 1.0
Myth: Worship is a lifestyle
Myth: Worship is not music
Myth: Worship is not about me
Myth: Worship is better with a certain style or structure
Myth: Worship with hymns is deeper theologically than with modern music.
Myth: Worship should make me feel good (or bad)
Post 1.1
Revision of 1.0, and addendums…
Post 1.2
Revision of 1.0
Post 1.3
Revision of 1.0
Post 2.0
Myth: Worship is NOT entertainment
Post 3.0
Myth: Worship is NOT horizontal, it is ONLY vertical.
Post 4.1
MYTH: worship leaders are about themselves, since they get to play music and be in front of people.
Post 4.2
MYTH: I am a lead worshiper, so my job is simply to worship while I am leading.
Post 4.3
MYTH: Worship leading is not performing.

Wednesday Mosaic Update

To say that I was concerned with the number of students who showed up would be an understatement.  It appears that Mosaic has hit a bump in the road.  Tonight we had 9 students and 8 staff people. If you’ve been following this blog, you know that Wednesday nights have dropped off from the days of 20 to 30 students.  Perhaps we are going through a refining process.  I have a lot of questions on my mind.  Yes, the Lord has given us this ministry and it is His and yet, it is disappointing when it doesn’t appear to be happening.

I would love if you would remember the Preston Wesleyan Student Ministry.  I really hesitate to call it a program, because we have designed it to minister to the students and not just give them something to do.  Blessings….

Worship Wednesday

This morning’s video is just me at Frankfort, IN.  By Thursday morning my voice was a little rough.  I’m not used to singing with a band and so I over exerted my voice the first couple of days.  This has happened at several FLAMEs.  As I go this summer, I’m going to try to remember that.  Anyway, this song is always one of those that sticks in my mind.  It’s easy to praise God when everything is going the way we want, but what about when things aren’t going so well.  Can you praise God then?  I like that this song is called “Praise You in This Storm.”  When I originally heard it, I thought it was praise You in the storm.  It makes a difference.  Sure we can all sing I will praise You in the storm, but to me it makes it much more personal to praise You in this storm — To praise you in what I am going through right now.  Blessings…..

Nothing’s Changed

Yesterday Rebecca who is almost twenty decided to go back to her childhood. She went in to Anna’s room play with their American Girl Dolls. It is something the girls used to do to, but they would usually end in a fight. Rebecca thought it would be great to have Anna come in to play with her. Anna on the hand did not what anything to do with the American Girl Dolls. It was not that she did not what to play with them, but Anna has gotten wiser when it comes to doing things with her sister. Rebecca can no long push Anna around like she used to do before she went to college. There was actually a fight but it did not start after they had been playing together. They never played American girl dolls because of the fight. They still have disagreements with each other. The only difference is Anna is wiser.

Biscuitville, Wal-Mart, and the Grill

I think I have your interest now. Pam and I were up early and so was James, but he’s always up early.  We decided to take James with us grocery shopping.  Before we did we stopped at our local fast food breakfast joint, Biscuitville.  This is a North Carolina/Southern Virginia chain that serves breakfast and only breakfast.  Unlike Waffle House they aren’t open 24 hours.  Here in Martinsville they are open from 6AM to 2 PM.  The menu is southern breakfast.  The typical ingredients are biscuits, sausage, eggs, bacon, along with country fried steak, pork chops and chicken.  And you can also get sausage gravy and grits.  Not what you would call diet food.  They do a very steady business.  Sometimes the drive thru is backed all they way to the street.  Anyway, we took James for breakfast this morning, to do something special.  After that it was a trip to the library to deposit books in the drop off and then on to Wal-Mart.

Shopping is getting to be a real adventure, just like getting gas.  Wow!  Tonight, Pam was planning on hamburgers.  As we walked by the seafood I thought it might be nice if we try some shrimp.  The kids love it.  It wasn’t too expensive, so we had poor man’s surf and turf picnic tonight.  We fired up the grill for hamburgers and shrimp.  I used a cool little marinade for the shrimp and a basting liquid of 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 tsp. of Old Bay Seasoning for the burgers.  Along with that we had baked potatoes and a salad.

We enjoyed just taking the day off.  You really need those days from time to time.  Have a great week.

Forwarded Emails

Today I watched an interesting exchange in my email inbox.  It’s always interesting to see who is sending emails and what they are sending and yes, I get my share of forwards and this is not a complaint.  Just know that typically if you forward an email to me, I probably won’t forward it on to someone else.  In all the time I have been receiving emails, I’ve only forwarded a few, usually a cute story, but what I will always do is edit it and take out the part that puts the guilt trip on.  You need to pass this on to all of your email friends.

Anyway, someone forwarded me an email today and it’s one that I have seen before and really didn’t think much of it.  About an hour later, in comes to my email a rebuttal to the email saying how wrong it was to send it.

In the case of me getting an email that has blatantly false information, I will contact the sender directly.  About a year ago this happened and I contacted the sender quoting correctly the person he had misquoted. I feel this was a better way rather than a blast to all the people he emailed it to.  He appreciated my response but proceeded to forward the whole list another email. This time i just ignored it.  Sometimes you just have to do that.

Anyway, I usually check with one of the rumor sites to confirm or deny the email anyway.  One of the things that we Christ followers need to do is make sure we are distributing correct information.  In this information age, there is a lot of crazy information out there.  Let’s be careful that it is correct information and use the Matthew principle in response to false emails.  Not only it is biblical, but it’s the right thing to do.