Monday, October 20, 2014

Teen Haven Camp

Flashback Summer 1993 ... I had the honor of working with Teen Haven Camp ..and with Vinnie and the crew there.

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Celebration

this past Sunday I had the honor to partake in a celebration of Delaine Hilborn and her family and have renewing of vowes for her daughter, Coral and her husband, Angel. It was a good time.

Continue to pray for Delaine. Thanks.

Learning from Cows

Flashback Friday: Water Street Mission

I spent the summer of 1992 there serving the Day Camp and later 1993 the Teen Haven Camp they had.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Top 10 Things to Give for Minister Appreciation Month

Top 10 Things you can give for Minister  Appreciation Month

By Gerrard R. Fess

October is Minister  Appreciation Month. The following are some suggestions to help show your leadership that you care. As a fellow minister  some of these suggestions were given to me and helped encourage and show that I was valued as a member of the church body.

1. Gift cards – cards from local grocery store, home value places,, I-tunes etc. Be creative. 

2. Groceries. Get what their grocery list is or what they usually buy. Some churches in the South I’m told do what is called a “Pounding” and basically what a pounding is a challenge to fill the cupboards and fridge to the brim with stocks of food. Imagine saving $$$ on groceries. Very practical idea.

3. Free babysitting and complimentary funds for a date night.

4. Money – always works. Sometimes you don’t know what the family’s bills, struggles or what they need – it might be they need more clothes for the kids but the budget is tight so some extra funds come in handy.

5. A hand written card. Nothing says Thank You like getting the personal touch of someone saying thanks. Even an e-card would do too.

6. Subscription services to magazines (Leadership, Rev, Journal of Student Ministries, Group), online services and websites, podcasts. There are some online services like that have a subscription and might help with their ministry. Maybe get a wish list here of magazines or online services they’d dream of subscribing to.

7. Gadgets. Help the leadership maybe update their software, laptops, PDAs, cell phones. Maybe even have several families go in to help purchase some of this higher dollar items. This not only shows love but an investment in their ministry. It is only a matter of time that some leaders have to quit using Windows 2000 and eventually go MAC. even having an E-reader like a kindle or nook.

8. Books – get a wish list of books you church leader has (note the favorite authors) or would like to buy. A good leader is a lifelong learner and always could use more reading resources and books. E-books too!

9. Extra Vacation days. Help organize more time off or see that they can get renewed by having their own personal retreat. Perhaps there is someone in your congregation who has a vacation home to offer, or see what your local camp ministry offers or other resources.

10.  Help send them to that seminar or convention that they always wanted to go to. Conventions can be expensive. Making sure they get there, have all the funds and don’t have to worry about how this affects their own personal budget or the church’s – set them at ease. There are many ministers, pastor, youth leader, marriage, conventions out there.

Honorable Mention:
-Do any of the above and more on any other day other than Minister Appreciation Month will go a long ways too.

-Specifically pray for your church leaders. Ask them for prayer requests. Send them a note telling them that you are praying for them.

-Have a special ceremony to recognize them in front of the church body.
-Celebrate those holidays, birthdays, anniversaries. Recognize the anniversary of the number of years that they been at the church. Promote and celebrate longevity.

-Take them out. Treat them to dinner, lunch, a fun activity. Sometimes it is the little things that say a lot. Be creative and have fun with showing love.

Some resources:

What is minister appreciation month?

Difference you can make!

Genuine Ministers – Marshall Leggett
Becoming Your Favorite Church – HB London, Neil Wiseman.

Friday, October 03, 2014

The 4 As in Life

I got thinking about life and what most people want and are excited about: Especially in the Christian life and this journey we call: Faith. So here are 4 things I see that we need in life.

1. Assurance. We need to know that everything is ok. We need to know and have the confidence that what we are trying to achieve is the right thing to do. As someone once told me "If you can't do the right thing; do the next right thing."

2. Affirmation. Everyone wants to be loved, encouraged and told they are doing a good job. Affirmation goes a long way. The little notes, cards, gifts make it all worthwild. I know when "Minister Appreciation" comes in October I look forward to it ...and being told that I'm doing ok. Everyone wants that encouragement. This is one of the primary reasons we get together as a church to "Not forsake the assembly, and to encourage one another."

3. Assessment. We need to be evaluated. How are we doing? Are there any areas we can improve on? Doing this gently and in love. Sometimes the truth hurts. I don't always like to be assessed. I get evaluated all the time ... by people listening to my sermons ....Some are homeruns; others are not. But always prayer, seek God and let Him do the speaking through His Word.

4. Being Anxious. There are some days I just can't wait to start the day. Other times, where I feel like "Oh, boy is this going to be good or bad ..." And then we, like the Apostle Paul, can look forward to heaven and our Eternal Home. This world is not our home ...we're just passing through.

So What things do you think can help us keep focused and press on towards the prize

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Things to Say to Christian Kids

This morning I had the opportunity to speak at Piedmont Christian School's Chapel. The age range 3 to 17. Yes, you read that right.

So what does one speak to at a Christian school? (Last time I spoke on the Greatest commandment - to love God and love others ...(also I had a Bible Coloring book for an object lesson)

I spoke on the importance of what it means to be a Christian. the lessons of:

1. Be Transformed different from Romans 12:1-2

2. Be loving from 1 John 4:7,8

3. Be Courageous - have a heart for Jesus and the lost from Jonah 4.

So if you had a platform to speak to Christian kids and children what would you tell them?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Coyote near my home

I was cutting the grass of my yard on my riding lawn mower when I came across this creature. (I looked online to see exactly what the animal was) At first I thought it was a gray fox but too big (It was the size of a dog) ..... It crossed the road into my yard and then into the woods behind my house to never be seen again. There have been a few times I've seen this animal near our home. A fox, coyote, wild dog? Seems odd for the animal to be here but oh well ..welcome to the neighbourhood ...along with the turtles, frogs, deer, skunks, mice, cats, wolf spiders, racoons and other creatures that we've sen in the year or so we been here. There goes the neighbourhood.

Aging With Grace Seminar

I recently went to an "Aging with Grace" seminar sponsored by the Virginia Council of Churches .... very interesting session. It had a variety of churches, health care organizations and resources in the Central Virginia area ...

I went to two breakout sessions: From Prayer to Practical and Legal documents (From wills, to end of life care) both well worth it. Then we broke for lunch and had time for to see all the different vendors. The facilities (Glen Allen Cultural Arts Center) were amazing.

The afternoon, key note speaker, was ok. His premise of King David aging with grace was flawed .... and dream of "Building the temple" so therefore if we have a dream we might not see it but it can be completed. (A bunch of crock if you ask me almost a name it and claim type but I digress). Overall, the day was good ...lots of networking and resources for the ministry. The only disappointment for me was I wish more people were there. One of the vast criticisms I kept hearing was that those in the ministry don't visit in the hospitals, nursing homes, the shut-in because they don't care or have the time. I pray we change this view.

So what resources do you have to help the aging boomer population?

Friday, September 19, 2014

An old post from 2003: Dare to Dance with a cat.

Dare to Dance with a Cat

Yesterday I did it. I danced with my cat. His name is Pepe. It was a fast song some group named the Supertones. Anyways, I picked him up and we danced. Not really good and not really too fast. But do know know what happens when you dance with a cat?
Yesterday, I found out quick. It wasn't the pain, nor the clawing that got me. It was the shock. Here I had a peaceful loving pet; and suddenly ...without warning I was toast or rather a scratching post. Will I do it again? Probably not for some time. But some of us would dare to.

Now I got thinking that is how it is with us in our lives. Something looks good, but actually is bad for us. We dance with it; thinking it. (Let's call it by its name Sin). would not harm us. But soon there is the shock, the pain, and the wanting to do it again. So easy to dance with sin than it is with God isn't it? Sometimes in the midst of my own sinfulness I forget.

Dancing with a cat, how silly is that? Its as silly as dancing with sin, but a lot of people are doing that too.