Thursday, July 26, 2007
Grylls, who has served in the British Special Air Services, has been filmed stranded in the deadly swamps of the Florida Everglades, paragliding onto the edge of the Andes to follow rivers into the Ecuadorean jungle and demonstrating how to make a snow cave, find water in deep tunnels and avoid frostbite in Iceland's arctic environment. The series features Grylls purposefully demonstrating extreme methods of survival in harsh conditions. The program has shown him eating raw meat and live fish, staving off hypothermia after intentionally jumping in a frozen lake, and drinking the fluids of elephant feces and his own urine for hydration.
In advertisements for Man vs. Wild season 3, the screen shows a disgusted Grylls eating an enormous grub while the announcer states, ‘Does Bear Grylls really need to do these things? Probably not. But you might.’ And because he does, Joshua gets to “exercise his eye” by watching it with me.
After reading some Berenstein Bears, it’s fun to sit back and watch a real live Bear do his thing!!! It’s educational. And entertaining. And before you know it, it’s time for Joshua to take his patch off his eye. [Joshua has a condition in his right that requires him to wear some pretty thick “cool goggles” and before the summer was told he also has to wear a patch on his eye for 2 hours a day]. Click any graphics for a link to Bear's Blog.
[Due to fear of infection, we have been informed that we CANNOT collect stuffed animals. So please do NOT bring them to this event!!! Instead, we will be pooling resources with our co-sponsors, friends, and family to purchase and deliver Sabbath afternoons specifically approved stuffed animals that come pre-wrapped and sealed in a box].
Our hope is Cars 4 Kidz will provide a fun event in our neighborhood helping to brighten the day of a sick child while inspiring cooperation within our community making it a better place to live. So save this date!!! If you or someone you know would like to register their car to show, please download and mail in the Registration Form and Invitation Card available on the church website by clicking here or on the awesome hot rod that will be at our car show!!!
Then, out of the blue on Tuesday this week, before we spent the $2k, I received an unsolicited email that made it past my spam filters and into my inbox about a 15 passenger bus. So I called the owner and asked some questions. Turns out he does not know any of the people I've told about our need for a bus!!! He was browsing websites and found ours [in addition to some other churches no doubt] and sent me some pictures. We were the first church to call about it. It's just the right size, has a lift gate and for a diesel at 118k miles, is barely broken in. Original price 9 years ago: $60k.
Long story short: I believe God wanted us to have this bus. And a bunch of you inside and outside Toledo First obviously felt the same way. So far we have received pledges totaling $5k in the amounts of:
After that, two anonymous donors were willing to “make up the difference” putting us at $7k!!! So we have a bus for us!!! If you’d still like to contribute to God’s bus for us, feel free to do so!!! We still have to pay for taxes and tags not to mention fuel and maintenance!!! Pastor Nathan and I already have plans for a new outreach called Midnight Cry consisting of picking up drunk people from bars and driving them home for free!!! Sober night owls with a good driver record [and maybe a CDL] apply now!!!
Some of you noticed that the paint job on the bus even matches the colors of our church. So God even painted it the right colors!!! Join me singing “God is SO gooooood....God is SO goooood....God is SO goooood...He’s SO goooood to WE!!!” Thank you thank you thank you for reminding us this week that “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it and all who live in it” [Psalm 24:1].
Thursday, July 19, 2007
On the morning of June 24th, 2007, members of Toledo First Seventh-day Adventist Church left the building. We jumped into our cars and headed off on a mission trip. Fifteen minutes later we arrived!
Our mission field was a women's shelter in downtown Toledo called The Aurora House. Our goal was to show people that God loves them like crazy!
Check out this 8 minute video to see highlights from the carnival. Requires DSL or high speed internet connection. If you or your church would like a copy of this video to share in your church, please send a note to Toledo First care of Shawn Flack and include a check for $10 and we’ll send you one. Enjoy!!!
Our contact info is on our website: toledofirstadventist.org
Their newest roller coaster is called the Maverick. It's track length is 4,450 feet. The vertical drop is 100 feet. The angle of descent is 95 degrees!!! Which means we went up and over and in before out "falling" at 57 mph then "catching" the track [and my stomach] and zooming up to 70 mph throughout the rest of the ride.
Maegan lost her voice from screaming. But none of us lost our lunch. Praise the Lord!!!
Amer is super nice and looks forward to our visits. He prays with us in a big circle on the sidewalk after we’re all done. He believes God will bless him for giving us space to serve the community. He accepted my invitation to attend our “Confessions of a Bridge Builder” event coming up SEPT 22 on the campus of UT and promised to bring some friends.
Last Friday, there were 25+ children listening to music and coloring pictures of Jesus on the sidewalk until midnight!!! All of the local teens and adults from that community were respectful and grateful and some of them were even willing to take this hilarious live action shot.
If you’re an adult or a teen with your parent’s permission, join us for our next FNL on JULY 27. We leave Toledo First @ 7:30 pm and return by 1:00 am!!!
Thursday, July 12, 2007
You get there by crossing the Mackinac Bridge and heading East 15 miles later until you run out of road.
Then you take a ferry [that we missed both coming and going!!!] to the island and another road you follow until that ends too and THAT'S where my father-in-law goes to fish.
My friend Cheryl told me God's throne is up here cause it's so beauuutiful. And while I can't say I found it, I may have stumbled across His front porch. Because this was the view from it.
Joshua's "Grumpy" let him drive the boat a.k.a "The Green Bean"
Lydia pretended to be a Mermaid.
And somehow [I still have no idea how] a few Herring jumped onto my hook. Jackie and Joshua caught more than I did and even Lydia got one. Grumpy and Laure are great teachers and we all had fun.
And THAT is no "tall tail.".
Click any of the pics for a link to over a GIG of high res digital photography [A GIG is BIG!!!] sorted and categorized by day and event. Way to go Shawn and Mindy for taking off work to take pictures!!!
NBC 24 interviewed me and the mayor.
Over 30 volunteers from inside and outside Toledo First installed our God Sod. What a great crew!!!
Victory was ours. And theirs.
So we shared with her our dream to be a consistent transforming presence in the community and invited the Aurora House to continue playing a key role by providing space for us to teach some classes offered free of charge about health and wellness that would benefit both the residents and guests in the community.
She enthusiastically agreed, answering an unknown [to her] prayer request for a cheap [i.e.–free!!!] space downtown we could continue doing ministry. She volunteered a classroom inside their Educational Learning Center [ELC] behind their main building that is well equipped for a class up to 12 people. She even allowed us to use her phone number to pre-register guests during the Block Party and to promote the class in their newsletter as part of their curriculum. Thank you Denise!!!
Please pray for this ordinary outreach and the 8 teams of volunteers willing to give up one TUE evening every two months for Jesus’ sake!!! First up: Nutrition [JULY 17 David & Debbie Putano]. Other topics will include: Exercise [JULY 24 Dave & Sheila Case]; Water [JULY 31 Carla Szczechowski]; Sunshine & other cancer prevention related issues [AUG 7 Dr. Marsa]; Temperance [AUG 14 Judy Riley]; Air [AUG 21 Rose Cross]; Rest [AUG 28 Dr. David]; Trust in Divine Power [SEPT 4 Pastor Mike].
Thursday, July 05, 2007
2. Thou shalt not mock the labeled veggie dogs
3. Thou shalt not be shocked to see “holy cow” hot dogs
4. Thou shalt remember to bring a hat and wear sun screen [or at least remind me to wear mine!!!]
5. Thou shalt sign up in the church lobby to volunteer at the Lemonade Stand; the Grill; or the Helium Tank
6. Thou shalt smile and laugh and delight in the Sabbath activities
7. Thou shalt stuff your pockets with dog biscuits and invitations to VBS and our SEPT 3rd Car Show to give away from 4-5 on our Holy Hike [complimenting the dogs we see NOT its owner because nobody turns down compliments and gifts for their pets]
8. Thou shalt not be half naked [but thou shalt not wear church clothes either even if you just came from church!!! PLEASE change your clothes BEFORE you arrive or you will be given a baggy Church Has Left the Building T-shirt to cover up whatever church thing you’re still wearing]
9. Thou shalt stay for worship @ 5:00 pm [a crowd draws a crowd]
10. Thou shalt remember we’re doing all this to SHOW people that GOD loves them like crazy!!!
At the back of the park at Wildwood Metro Park, there is a children’s playground in front of a large parking lot. To the left of that playground, there is a covered pavilion we’ve rented from Noon to 6pm for every Saturday in July. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find that pavilion and join us for our S.O.S Picnics in the Park taking place from 1pm to 6pm every Sabbath in July. Here’s an hourly breakdown of what’s happening:
Noon - 1pm - Decorate pavilion; set up Lemonade Stand [between pavilion and playground]; and start giving away Lemonade until 5:00pm [sign up in lobby of church]
1-2:30 pm - Eat [This requires food. So please bring some to share potluck style.]
2:30 - 4 pm - Games/Music/Activities [We’ll be dividing into groups spread under the shade to play the Amazing Race: S.O.S Edition. THIS is a great mingling event so don’t pretend you’re too cool to participate.]
4-4:45 pm - Holy Hike where we walk around giving away dog biscuits and ice cold bottled water to the walkers and their pets
5-6:00 pm - Connections [2nd Service] under the pavilion. PLEASE STAY for this. Worship is the most important thing we'll be doing there. A crowd draws a crowd.
On Friday I forgot to wear my [not so] Indiana Jones [floppy] hat and my forehead got sunburned!!! [Which I didn’t think would happen since it was cloudy that morning. But by noon it wasn’t and I was toast.]
So I slapped some sun screen on my receding hairline and took the kids tubing on Lake Erie, swimming in the pool, and kayaking on the pond before running to WalMart for some Solarcaine!!! [Which is Aloe Vera + Lidocaine — the medicine they put on baby boys before they circumcise them in the hospital...takes the pain away!!!]
Sabbath meals were provided [thank you Toledo First!!!], the speakers were Christ centered and grace based, the music vibrant, the SON sets unforgettable. I can't wait till next year!!!
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Instead of good jobs few Americans want to do anyway [such as hand picking pickles for the big burger you grill today], recruited workers wind up trapped in oppressive employment, often unable to repay their debts to their recruiters or find other jobs.
Unlike U.S. citizens, legal guestworkers do not enjoy the ability to change jobs if they are mistreated. Instead, they are bound to the employers who “import” them. If guestworkers complain about abuses, they face deportation, blacklisting, and in some cases death. This is simply modern day slavery in disguise.
That’s why Baldemar Velazquez, President of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee here in Toledo, whom I met at a funeral for one of his employees that had been assassinated [Santiago Cruz was tortured and murdered April 9, 2007 in Monterrey Mexico at the FLOC office for helping Mexicans recruited into the US guest worker program fight for their rights as legal, temporary workers in the US] testified June 7, 2007 before the United States Congress in an effort to support Congressman George Miller's (D-CA) “Indentured Servitude Abolition Act of 2007.”
So on this Independence Day, while we polish off our burgers and iced tea, here’s what I’m wondering about modern day slavery in the United States: If labor unions are so bad, why are they the ones fighting the hardest to end it, some with their very lives, while too many in the church just want someone to pass us the chips?
Exodus 22:21 [NLT] says, “21You must not mistreat or oppress foreigners in any way. Remember, you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.” Leviticus 19:34 [NLT] says, “34Treat them like native-born Israelites, and love them as you love yourself.” Numbers 15:15 [NLT] says, “15 Native-born Israelites and foreigners are equal before the Lord and are subject to the same decrees. This is a permanent law for you, to be observed from generation to generation.”
To donate to FLOC or find other ways to eliminate abuses of indentured servitude in the United States, contact Baldemar at 419.297.7528
To read the press release about Miller's bill click here
To read about the “The Indentured Servitude Abolition Act of 2007” click here
Hi Pastor Mike,
I'm sorry I couldn't answer your questions sooner as I went on the Dreams Across America Campaign in Washington D.C. this weekend. I would be glad to answer your questions.
My parents came to the United States legally as my dad studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Toledo for 10 years, and then they went back to South Korea (with me) for a period of about 6-7 months.
My dad was a sushi chef at a local Japanese restaurant still in business today on Monroe Street, “Koto Buki.” When we came back to the United States my dad initially wanted to go the Michigan Language School in Ann Arbor to improve his English. He received his I-20 from there which was his legal status of being in the United States as a student. He then decided to go back to the University of Toledo and study Business Administration.
The University of Toledo accepted his tuition money, but never transferred his I-20 back to UT. From there, my parents' immigration status spiraled downward. The process my parents went through is different in that they came to the United States as legal immigrants, and did not try to sneak into the United States.
However, due to the inability of the University of Toledo to transfer my father's I-20 and bad legal advice, their immigration status was ordered deported in 1995. Ironically in 2000, my dad was given an I-140 to work in the United States, but he did not have the right to live here.
The recent failure of immigration legislation in DC effects my message positively because it shows the government the failure of the current immigration system, and a desperate need for immigration reform to hopefully reunite my family as well as prevent the separation of families due to the current unjust immigration laws.
I hoped I have answered your questions, and I will see you later.