Monday, April 28, 2008

Ding-Dong - The Semester's Done

animated brain

I did it, well, not perfectly, but I did it. I finished another semester. Some advice, in the unlikely event that any young readers actually read this. Go to College straight out of High School!

I think my brain is bleeding!

D is going to take a nap!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Community - It's Larger Than We Think


Yesterday, I was reminded of how important it is to make our best effort in welcoming our guests to Grace Fellowship. I was working in the office when a fellow minister from the area stopped in to introduce himself and to express his gratitude for his invitation to attend our Celebration Service, held on April 6th. He was touched at how welcome he felt and for the way we celebrated all of the churches in the area during that service.

In our conversation, I learned that he had been serving with the pastor who had founded the church that had built the amazing building that God has blessed us with. I could see his excitement at what God is doing at Grace Fellowship and for what we are praying that God will do in all of the area churches.

I think, we often forget that God's Kingdom is far greater than our own church, our fellowship or our denomination. My takeaway from this unexpected visit gave me a real sense of community, in our area and in God's Kingdom.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Jumping In

jumping on the beach
It never ceases to amaze me. Take a new Christian, get him/her plugged in to a ministry suited to their gifting and maturity, and watch what God does. Ministry involvement is so key to guarding the back door of our churches. At Grace Fellowship our mission is to help people CONNECT: With God - With People - In Ministry. In order for that to happen, it is our desire that every person who attends Grace Fellowship be both a mentor and mentoree (M/m). It's all part of creating real community.
Serving in ministry offers so many benefits:
1.) Serving gives us an opportunity to worship and please God.
2.) Serving gives us the privilege to come alongside people, to reach them and grow together.
3.) Serving exercises our God-given gifts.
4.) Serving creates accountability in each of our lives.
5.) Serving incorporates us into all that God is doing in our world today.
6.) Serving allows us to be a part of something far beyond what we could be on our own.
7.) Serving allows us to be obedient to God and scripture mandates.
1 Peter 4:7-11NIV
The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
Looking for a opportunity to serve? Want to grow in Christ? Jump In and Serve!

Monday, April 21, 2008


Les Miserables
Went to see 2 performances of Les Miserables at West Branch High School this past week. Wow! That's the first word that came to my mind. I've seen Les Mis in Toronto with a professional cast, and, actually, I think I enjoyed West Branch's performances more. Such a talented group of students. Great lighting, effects, revolving stage and the works.

I came home from Saturday evenings performance and said a prayer to thank God for giving me the ability to hear and appreciate the melodies, harmonies and the haunting lyrics of the show.

The over-arching theme of the show is redemption. The main character, Jean Val-Jean is a convict, who broke his parole and changed his life for the better. He later confessed his true identity to save an innocent man. Key to his changed life was a bishop, who made a gift of some silver for Val-Jean to become an honest man. That act of kindness changed Val-Jeans life!

When we look at people who have suffered, by their own doing or others, what have we done to show them mercy, love and to offer them a second chance. Isn't that what Christ did for us? Did he not offer us a second chance? And, a third, fourth, fifth...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


to love another person is to see the face of God
You are probably thinking that this will be some mushy and sappy post about relationships. No, not really. Last night I had the opportunity to watch a dress rehearsal of a high school musical that our second oldest son is in. The musical is called Les Miserables and one of the final lines in the last scene claims that "to love another person is to see the face of God".

That line reminds me of the many times that Christ spoke about love while he was on the earth. He said that people will know that we are his followers by our love for one another. That when we do the simplest thing for someone else with pure motives, we are doing it as unto Christ. We are told to love our neighbor as we love our self. Love!

I'm trying to look at everything I think, say and do through the lens of love. To my embarrassment, I often cringe as I think about something I did and realize that it wasn't very loving. Jesus help me to love like you love.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Ministering to the Un-Churched

We see them everyday, hurting people who feel as if they have no place to go and no one to turn to. They often will not consider going to church for fear of rejection, humiliation and judgment. So, they suffer in silent obscurity.

Last Sunday, our Lead Pastor asked two questions. First, what kind of people are we? Second, what kind of church will we become? Will we be a church that exists only for itself, never impacting our community with the Gospel or compassion? Or, will we have an impact that reaches far into the community, meets felt needs and proclaims the love and forgiveness of Christ in both word and deed?

There are those times, while ministering to the un-churched, that they say something or admit to something that shocks us. An important key to reaching them, is to not allow shock, surprise, disgust or fear show on our face, or be heard in our voice. If it does, the person will probably feel unaccepted and judged. These people hurt, they need a savior just like you and I. Jesus loved them, so much so, that he spent a great deal of time with the "un-synagogue" crowd. Can we be any different?

Monday, April 7, 2008

A Celebration!

Yesterday, we were officially welcomed as a family to Grace Fellowship. It was an amazing day! The Holy Spirit moved in both the AM and afternoon Celebration Service. God kept working miracles of provision throughout the day.

The highlight of my day, out of so many, was when a sister in-the-Lord, grabbed my hand and said that she felt like she has known me all her life and that she is so excited to have us there.

It was great to see so many of our fellow ministers from the East-Central section of the Ohio District A/G there! Their prayers for us were so heartfelt and appreciated.

This is and is going to be exciting! God is good!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Blessings word art
The last few weeks have been extremely busy. I wanted to take some time today to express my thanks to God, my family and friends for all the love, support and blessings that each has given me.
God is amazing and what he is doing is really exciting. In all of this I never want to lose sight of the fact that it's all about Jesus Christ and people. Christ loves mankind so much, that he moves mountains of obstacles to see his will accomplished. That is such a blessing!