Thursday, August 30, 2007

What's Your Love Language?

According to Dr.Gary Chapman, there are Five Love Languages [click graphic above for details]. To determine what they are, everybody in the office took an online quiz so we can know how they most like to be loved. While I can’t share their results without permission, here for your learning pleasure are mine [drum roll please!!!]

5) Acts of Service [Ironic for the Ordinary Outreacher in me!!!]
4) Physical Touch [Not a big hugger...but getting used to it Mary!!!]
3) Receiving Gifts [SEPT 6 is my birthday!!!]
2) Words of Affirmation [Is that where WTG came from?!!]
1) Quality Time [Time After Time, take it away Cyndi Lauper!!!]

What is your love language? Do those near and dear to you know how you like to be loved? Click HERE to find out!!! Take the online quiz!!! Share the care and spread the love!!!

Jingle All The Way?

Hear ye, Hear ye!!! We could use a small army of volunteers in their blue "Church Has Left the Building" T-Shirts on Monday SEPT 3rd @ 8 AM to help set up and serve during Cars 4 Kidz!!! [If you don't have a shirt, one will be provided while supplies last. You do not have to be a member of Toledo First to help out!!!]

Big Thanks and Way to Go!!! to Greg and Heather, Steve and Kendra and Chuck [who has such a SMOOTH radio voice!!! Casey Kasem eat your heart out!!!] for creating our Cars 4 Kidz radio jingle. It will be on the Oldies 93.5 station on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday this weekend before our Cars 4 Kidz show begins on Monday September 3rd.

If you hear it on the radio, let me know!!! Or if you simply can't wait, you can LISTEN TO IT NOW by clicking here or the graphic above. I think it's awesome. What do you think?

Calling All Ragamuffins?

A recovering alcoholic and former Franciscan priest, Brennan Manning has spent the past 40 years helping others experience the reality of God's love and grace. Brennan is perhaps best known as the author of the contemporary classics The Ragamuffin Gospel [one of my Top Ten all time faves], Abba's Child and Ruthless Trust. Brennan's latest book is The Importance of Being Foolish: How to Think Like Jesus.

Long story short: I'm going to hear him live in Cleveland on FRI SEPT 14 @ 7:30 PM!!! I can't wait!!! We'll leave Toledo First at 4:00PM and stop somewhere fast to eat supper on the way. Cost is $10/person. I share this with you because Quality Time is my number one love language [click here for more on that] so I would love to have YOUR company!!!

Please RSVP TO ME [] before SEPT 6 if you want to go because pre-registration is required. Click the graphic above for more details. And even if you can’t attend, remember as Brennan says, “Once you come to know the love of Jesus Christ, nothing else in the world will seem as beautiful or desirable.”

Friday, August 24, 2007

Preach Wit Me?

Larry and Pastor Nathan gave me a great idea this week. It’s about how you [and even Nelly or Al Gore] could Preach Wit Me. I discovered this week that Larry’s young adult Sabbath School class is studying the book of John. Which just so happens to be the book I’m preaching through at the 11AM service... SO whether you’re young or just an adult, here’s what I’m suggesting: Help me preach through John!!!
Each of you read ahead with me a passage I’m chewing on and then either email me [] your journal musings, devotional thoughts, illustrations or stories, questions, or applications [or post them on the new forum Shawn is launching on our church website. Click here or on enthusiastic Al Gore for more]

I’ll read them by THUR each week [when I’m usually holed up in my office writing my message] and look forward to including some of YOUR insights into MY message.
Seriously. Try it. It’ll be fun!!! You can save me time and be part of my research team!!! First up for September 3rd — John 2:23 - 3:21.

Butterfly Kisses?

On Tuesday, August 21, 2007 Lydia Kay Fortune attended her first day of school. It was an emotional day for some of us. Alright, just one of us. Lydia was fine. Jackie did much better than I thought she would. But I was up for much of the night before tossing and turning in anticipation with the lyrics to Butterfly Kisses [click any pic to watch the YouTube video] tumbling through my mind. I don’t remember losing any sleep when Joshua went to all day Kindergarten...which is why I was caught by surprise I think...Here’s some pics of her first day with back packs and lunch boxes and the lyrics to that dang song I can’t get out of my head!!!
There's two things I know for sure / She was sent here from heaven and she's daddy's little girl / As I drop to my knees by her bed at night / She talks
to Jesus and I close my eyes / And I thank God for all the joy in my life / Oh, but most of all / For butterfly kisses after bedtime prayer / In all that I've done wrong / I must have done something right / To deserve a hug every morning and butterfly kisses at night

Wanna Adopt 150 Webkinz?

A Webkinz is an individually boxed stuffed animal that our Cars 4 Kidz sponsor St.Vincent Mercy Children’s Hospital recommends as THE toy 7 year olds and up really love. Not only is it soft and cushy comforting kids in crises battling cancer, it also allows its owner to connect to the internet for continued “care and learning.”[Click the graphic for more info about Webkins].

Through the generosity of St.Vincent’s Mercy Children's Hospital, we have received enough money to purchase 50 Webkins so far. The goal between now and September 3rd is to find 50 more people/families/giving units inside Toledo First and 50 more outside Toledo First willing to part with $20 each so we can double the number of Webkinz we can give to kids in crisis as an ordinary outreach of our church.

Will you or your brother or sister pool your allowance money together to sponsor one Webkinz? Could you collect some loose change from the couch? Could you do some odd jobs around the house? We want to give away 150 Webkinz to comfort children battling cancer. I KNOW we can do it!!! Thank you for considering this small gift to show one child that God loves them almost as much as He loves you!!! Just kidding. As much!!! As much!!! As much!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

No Joke?

A pastor, lady rabbi, and professor walk into a bar...Think you’ve heard the punch line? You haven’t! But you could if you register in time!!! [If you book Skybus, maybe you could even fly there for $10!!! Click here for details on that] The 2007 National Conference on Innovation • September 30 - October 2, 2007 • Columbus, Ohio

This year's event promises to be power-packed, and of particular value to congregational leaders. The presenters are nationally and internationally recognized.

Jon Paulien is a renowned expert on the book of Revelation, Professor of new Testament Interpretation, and incoming Dean of the Faculty of Religion at Loma Linda University. He is the author of several books, including: Knowing God In The Real World [one of my all times faves!!!], The Day That Changed The World, and Everyday Faith.

Rabbi Marcia Prager is Dean of the ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal Rabbinic Program and serves as rabbi of both the Philadelphia and Princeton P’nai Or Jewish Renewal Communities. Reb Marcia is the author of Path of Blessing, which has been called, “One of the best introductions to Jewish Renewal learning and practice.”

Philip Jenkins is a distinguished Professor of History and Religious Studies at Pennsylvania State University. A graduate of Cambridge University, he has published widely (over 20 books) on contemporary religious phenomena, but is best known for the highly acclaimed The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity.

Some have asked: Is this just for pastors? The answer is NO!!! Nathan, Aly, and I will be there. But we’d love to have some company!!! Some have also asked: Is there a group discount? And the answer is YES!!! For every three persons who register, one comes free [the third person's $99 registration fee is waived]. Don't miss this chance to learn from some of the best and brightest innovators God is leading today. For more info and registration information, click the graphic above.

Wanna Fly [No Lie] For $10?

Skybus offers all non-stop flights to 11 destinations on brand new full-size Airbus A319 air planes with at least 10 seats offered at $10 on every flight, every day. How do they do it?

A few of the ways they do it are by booking flights only through the internet, so there’s no expensive call center or 800 number to operate. By flying brand new, fuel-efficient jets to keep fuel costs lower. And by flying into smaller, regional airports where it’s less expensive (and more convenient) to land. The bottom line? You pay less, so you can afford to travel more. Click the graphic above for more details.

Which is all very interesting. But here’s what I’m wondering: If an airline can learn to not only survive but thrive in an industry plagued by rising fuel costs and poor customer service, don’t you think the local church can too? Did anybody read last week’s post about that little church in Wisconsin that could? [Click here to read it] What comparisons do you see between the local church and Skybus? Do success stories like these from the business sector motivate or de-motivate ordinary outreach?

As you ponder these questions, hum with me the encouraging lyrics of Martin Smith’s 1995 praise song “Shout To The North”: Rise up church with broken wings / Fill this place with songs again / Of our God who reigns on high / By His grace again we’ll fly

Which Logo You Likey?

At the conclusion of our Vacation Bible School, Pastor Aly reminded the children and their parents/guardians that VBS is not over.

Instead, it continues every Saturday @ 11AM and 5PM. Just with another name.

Which logo you likey?

Friday, August 10, 2007

Who's Invited To Cars 4 Kidz?

Our first annual Cars 4 Kidz carshow to benefit children in crisis will occur Monday September 3rd from 11 - 4 in our church parking lot and you're invited!!!

If you know a friend or family member [or complete stranger!!!] who might be interested in showing their car, they're invited too!!!

Click here for online pre-registration for car owners with any kind of car [classic, muscle, hot rod, etc.]

Click here to print a hard copy of the pre-registration form to give to them to mail into the church office. On site walk up pre-registration the day of the event will also be available from 9 - 11 AM.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Who Is Dakota Joe?

Dakota Joe and his dog Digger were the video leaders of the Quest For Truth vacation Bible school this year.

Pastor Aly led 35 children [divided into 5 groups] and 35 total volunteers throughout the week [WTG!!!] in a week long adventure discovering clues about the truth of Jesus.

I was the Bible Challenge leader. Which meant teaching them Scripture songs around the "campfire."

You think they enjoyed it?

Is Jesus Always Relevant?

Jesus is always relevant to every culture—to every person—to every age. We will not criticize church leaders. And we will not dump on other denominations or religions. These are a few things one little Adventist church in Wisconsin decided to emphasize before they started growing again. Click the graphic above to read the entirety of this fascinating article online.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

God Sod Video?

Those of you who liked Shawn's carnival day recap of our Mission Trip to Toledo June 23 - 27 will love his latest creation -- The God Sod Soundtrack and Video.

I give it two thumbs up!!! WTG Shawn!!! Requires DSL or high speed internet.


Holy Cal?

An integral function of the Hall of Fame is putting the best players' careers into proper perspective. Keeping with that theme, Cal Ripken took time out of his speech this past week during his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame to try to put his most famous accomplishment -- The Streak -- [playing 2632 straight games] into perspective, noting that he's not the only one who showed up for work every day.

"I know some fans have looked at the streak as a special accomplishment, and while I appreciate that, I always looked at it as just showing up for work every day," Ripken said. "As I look out on this audience, I see thousands of people who do the same. Teachers, police officers, mothers, fathers, business people and many others."

"You all may not receive the accolades that I have throughout my career. So I'd like to take the time to salute all of you for showing up, working hard and making the world a better place. Thank you, all."

No wonder the Hall of Fame set a single-day attendance record at the induction ceremony with an estimated crowd of 75,000. I'm not the only one who still admires Cal. Do you?

Wanna Monster Jam?

Joshua turns 8 years old on AUG 6. For part of his celebration, as a family we went to Monster Jam at the Toledo Speedway. In addition to baking in the bleachers watching monster trucks like Superman [driven by a guy no lie named Chad Fortune!!!] Grave Digger, and Monster Mutt crush cars, we also witnessed the American Thunder Jet Powered Jeep, the Crazyboy Jet Powered Recliner [now THAT'S a man chair!!!], and the Extreme Street Bike Association doing motorcycle tricks and wheelies on the 1/2 mile fast track.

Joshua's favorite Monster Truck, the Hot Wheels truck, wasn't there. But he enjoyed watching Monster Mutt take the donut competition, Grave Digger the freestyle [jumping over 50'], and Superman survive a horrendous crash rolling upside down to the delight of the crowd. How many of you think Josh will still be into Monster Jam next year?