Friday, June 6, 2008

Think Veggie Tales meets The Office more...

I was asked to tell what we'll be doing at the clubs...

The clubs are held around our area in the homes of our church members. They are asked to canvas the neighborhood to invite kids from their area, esp. those that they consider un-churched.

Our youth come in and put on a mini-Vacation Bible School for them with games, skits, a Bible story and Gospel presentation. This happens for four days. On Friday our church hosts a big cookout at a local park with games, inflatables, etc. in hopes of having all the kids and their families attend. We share with the parents what we've been doing and then give one more gospel presentation.

The theme this year is "Treasure Hunters". The kids will help write the skits this week with the help of a very gifted theater teacher, Kristi Easley. We've already begun brainstorming because the skits will show the difference between the captain of a ship who is putting together a crew in search of his long lost treasure and Jesus. Think of Steve Carrell as the captain with a "yes" man (Dwight) and a guy who is actually normal (Jim/Pam) as the crew! Mix in a little "Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" and you've got the picture. So the stories are:
  • Monday - the calling of the's not about what you can do to measure up (captain makes the crew show off their skills)'s about what Jesus does in you
  • Tuesday - healing of the paralytic who was brought to Jesus by friends...captain doesn't know what he's doing, how to sail or even how to read a map...Jesus knows everything, even what is in men's hearts and can give us knowledge of Him
  • Wednesday (water day) - Jesus calms the storm...storm hits and captain tries everything to get it to stop (think Jonah story)
  • Thursday - review of stories from previous days along with the shortest parable Jesus told about a man who finds a treasure in a field and in his JOY sells everything to have it...Christ is worth whatever it takes to find Him. The captain has led them on this perilous journey which ends with them finding a completely worthless treasure (think: long lost stuffed parrot).
The final day is really the most critical for me. I want the youth to be able to tell this one from their really look at these little ones and tell them that Christ is worth it. He's worth them giving up weeks for training. He's worth the loss of money they could have made as many took time from work to do this. He's worth giving up their very lives.

Pray with me that this would be the first of many times in their lives that these high school kids will believe this...that Jesus is worth whatever it costs. Pray for me that I would go first in believing this and showing it in my everyday life.

I give up

I kept thinking that surely I would have time to post stuff even though Backyard Bible clubs is about to start. But I was wrong, wrong, wrong...sorry it's been so sporadic.

The three girls and I leave for training camp with all the youth Sunday and won't be back until Friday evening. Wayne can't join us as he will be here earning money for the GA and Ukraine trips! We haven't forgotten about him, though he may wish we hadn't tried so hard to make sure he had plenty to do in the evenings! Brennan will come back to a whole different room after her week away! She's so excited.

I did put the thought in his mind that this would be a great time to spend the later evenings watching all those movies I would prefer never to see...movies where lots of people die, lots of things blow up and the guy always gets the girl (who looks beautiful even when bloody...not fair).

Needless to say, this will be the last post this week...with very few to follow the next week when the clubs actually start. Before you click away, will you pray for our teens and the kids they'll be with. I'd love it if you added a note to your calendar to remind you to pray each day. You already know what a difference it would make.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Happy, happy birthday, Brennan

Our baby girl is 11!!

She's has spent the last weeks telling us every day how many days were left. This means either she's really excited or she doubts very seriously that we'll remember without her help. The real answer probably lies somewhere between the two.

How to describe Brennan to you...she's a mass of contradictions and temperament...
  • She never walks when she can run, skip, spin, crawl, crab walk or roll to get there.
  • She is the child most likely to be outside, riding her bike, playing basketball, up a tree, chasing a dog, befriending a stray cat, catching a lizard, digging in the dirt...
  • Unless, of course, she's got a book. Then she can stay still for hours, literally. The one who can't watch a movie without spinning in circles also can't stand to stop reading a book. So, now at 11, she can read a 400 page book in a couple of days if we'll let her.
  • Even though she's so excited to be 11, she would go back to being a toddler if she could.
  • Thus, she loves being taken care of...snuggling, being held tight, grabbing a hug every time you pass by.
  • And yet, out of the three girls, she's most likely to be reticent with people...even those she knows pretty well. (Notice the convenient clickable wording, Cassie? You're welcome.)
  • She battles fear daily. She feels an overwhelming need to know what is going on in our lives on a detailed basis...definitely doesn't do well when we tell her to just relax and enjoy the day.
  • But she's also the most spontaneous of our kids. She's constantly asking to do something spur of the moment. As long as she plans it, it's fine!
  • She's not given naturally to crafts and art stuff...unless you can stand on your head while you do it or you make it while jumping on the never occurs to her that you can just get a box and think of something to do with your hands. That's our Aisley.
  • But when she does decide that what Aisley is doing looks like fun, she never makes just one. Thus for a while origami swans turned up everywhere...followed shortly by popup cards for everyone, just to say hello. Then it was anagrams of everyone's names. Then snowflake after snowflake after snowflake. Meanwhile, Aisley has made her one card and is off.
  • But this energetic child has also been our sickest this year. All told, she probably missed more than 40 days of school work due to one virus after another. If it was out there this season, Brennan caught it. It got so bad that her friends were surprised each week if she showed up for art class or choir.
  • She loves babies and small kids...
  • until she's done. And then she's the one who's quick to hand them back!
  • She's blunt to a fault sometimes when you ask her opinion...
  • but she's so quick to make sure that others don't feel bad when others offer their opinions!
For all these reasons and so many more that I could list, Brennan is a delight to us. Finding out I was pregnant with her was such a surprise given that I already had an infant at home who couldn't even crawl. I remember trying to figure out with many tears how in the world we could manage to have one more. Now, tears come to my eyes as I try to figure out how in the world we could have lived without her.

Brennan, we are so proud of who you are. You tug our hearts and make us smile. We are so grateful that God chose us for you and you for us. We love you so much more than you could ever know...and are so very pleased that He has chosen to give us these 11 years together. I can't wait to spend some one-on-one time with you next year since Aisley's going off to school. We can find our favorite spots on the swing...grab a good book and rock...really, really fast!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

But, Lord, look at all my books!

I love books. I love reading. But I love my husband more. So even though it might look like I'm making my way down the same road as this couple...I promise, Wayne, you can keep the manure shed.

(You can fast forward to 45 seconds to skip the introduction.)


Monday, June 2, 2008

Go straight to the throne

I love this quote by Charles Spurgeon. I wonder if you long like me to get to the point where we might see the promises of God and truly understand that they are the PROMISES of God. They are not telling us what He intends, what we might hope can happen. They are as sure as His faithfulness. When we doubt His promises, we doubt His character. What He says is, is. What He says will be, will be. Who He says He is to us...that He is, right now, at this very moment. There is nothing left to be done to satisfy Him. His Son has seen to the payment needed to procure for us not only right standing with the Judge of the Universe, but the Father's care, compassion and love for us. We are not simply right with though a paper transaction has taken place. We are in the family. The adoption is secure. We belong.

This needs to move us to claiming what comes with being in the family. We have the Father's attention. Let's not defame Him by coming hesitantly to Him. Let us stride boldly to the throne of grace that we may find grace and receive mercy in our times of need. (Heb. 4:16) Paul even went so far as to tell us that in Christ all the promises of God are "yes"! (2 Cor. 1:18-22)

So, read the Word again today with new eyes and search out a promise. Ask Him as Spurgeon tells us to below, "God, I come asking that You do the very thing You have said you will do. Here is Your promise. Do as You promised." And wait, expectantly, knowing that it is not even possible that He will fail you. He is faithful...He will do it.

“God’s promises were never meant to be thrown aside as waste paper. He intended that they should be used. Nothing pleases our Lord better than to see His promises put in circulation. He loves to see His children bring them up to Him, and say, ‘Lord, do as you promised.’ We glorify God when we please His promises. Do you think that God will be any the poorer for giving you the riches He has promised? Do you dream that He will be any less holy for giving holiness to you? Do you imagine He will be any less pure for washing you from your sins? He has said, ‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are red as crimson they shall be like wool.’
Faith embraces the promise of pardon. It doesn’t delay, saying, ‘This is a precious promise, I wonder if it is true?’ but goes straight to the throne with it, and pleads, ‘Lord, here is the promise. Do as you promised.’ Our Lord replies, ‘Be it to you even as you will.’ When a Christian grasps a promise but doesn’t take it to God, then God is dishonored; but when one hastens to the throne of grace, and cries, ‘Lord, I have nothing to recommend me but this, You have said it;’ then the desire shall be granted.
Our heavenly banker delights to cash His own notes. Never let the promise rust. Draw the word of promise out of its scabbard, and use it with holy violence. Don’t think that God will be troubled by your importunately reminding Him of His promises. He loves to hear the loud outcries of needy souls. It is His delight to give favors. He is more ready to hear than you are to ask. It is God’s nature to keep His promises. Therefore, go at once to the throne with, ‘Do as You promised..’”