Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hungry To Serve?

Mission Trip to Toledo 2008
Theme: “International Neighborhood Days”

Kids with cancer have been comforted. Firemen, policemen, and EMS workers have been thanked. Hospitality to the residents of two nursing homes and one assisted living center has been extended. Winter is long gone. And Spring is giving way to Summer. So with that in mind, please save the dates for the following ordinary outreach opportunities rapidly approaching. And please remind your friends and family that they do not have to be members of Toledo First to participate in any of these activities!!!

Prayer At The Pump
Date: Friday June 20, 2008 [Time TBA]
Location: Muslim and/or Christian owned gas station(s)
Action: A handful of representatives from both the Islamic Center of Toledo and the Toledo First Seventh-day Adventist Church meet at a gas station to pray that Allah [God] would: 1) increase volunteerism while lowering gas prices worldwide and 2) help us highlight our shared responsibility to protect the environment. *If our Muslim friends decline our invitation, all co-sponsored events will become local Christian partnering events.

[All night] Prayer Service and Concert
Date: Friday June 20, 2008 from 7 pm - 7am
Location: Toledo First
Action: A simple shared program of music and readings and blessings asking God to increase community volunteerism, lower gas prices, and help us all be better stewards of the environment.

International Neighborhood Day Block Party and Fashion Show
Date: Sunday June 29, 2008 2pm - 6/7pm
Location: Downtown Toledo campus of The Aurora House
Action: Provide a co-sponsored block party downtown for the approximately 21 women and children of the Aurora House and their neighborhood [500+] closing with a 45 minute program highlighting music, art, dress, or apparel from all countries represented with representatives from the Aurora House and City Hall commending our partnerships and celebrating the diversity of the world that makes Toledo home.

Evangelistic Picnics In The Park

Date: Every Sabbath in July
Location: Wildwood Metro Park
Action: Making Sabbath miraculous and delightful for the many walkers and joggers who love free lemonade!!! Donna’s wrist is getting better so she’ll be prepared to defend her Ladder Ball supremacy. And don’t’ forget nature walks, roller blades, bike rides, face painting, the playground nearby and Connections worship @ 5pm will also be available. Serving is so fun!!! Are you hungry to do so?

Extreme Home Makeover

Date: End of July
Location: Downtown Toledo campus of The Aurora House
Action: Women’s Ministry leaders will again be leading us in the makeover of one small home recently acquired on the campus of the Aurora House. A local financial firm has awarded the non-profit organization we created last winter, Haven of Hope Toledo Inc., recipient of a grant for the make over. So their money plus your labor will show many people how much God loves them like crazy!!!

Cars 4 Kidz

Date: September 1, 2008
Location: Toledo First
Action: St.Vincent Children’s Medical Center will be sponsoring our 2nd annual car show raising more money for Webkinz to comfort kids with cancer all winter long. There will be more live oldies music, food, and lemonade with 3 People's Choice awards and invitations to Kid Connect, Circles, and Pathfinders galore. The "Cool Bus" won't be there, but plenty of other cool cars ready to "burnout" will!!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A Thankful Memorial Day?

Leave it to a beer company to make the most poignant video commemorating Memorial Day. Enjoy anyway!!!

Why Worship?

This music video has the best theology on why we worship. I wish everyone in every church would watch it over and over and over again.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

YO Athlete Of The Week?

Alex Jessop is an active member of Toledo First and Youth Operate [YO]. Seventeen months ago, he fractured a vertebrae for the 2nd time in his young career. Most people [like me] would have quit gymnastics but Alex showed he had the spine [groan] to keep competing. WTG Alex!!! Click the triangular play button for more on 13abc's recent athlete of the week.

Elevator Music?

Serdar Ferit from the UK created a beautiful little parable for Pangea Day that reminded me of 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 when a 15-year-old girl who likes to play loud music from her mobile phone walks into the same elevator as a conservative older man. Enjoy!!!
It reminds me that "Love is patient and kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs."

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Too Hot To Handle?

Starbucks is trying to get back to its roots. And part of that involves bringing back the original logo [click pic for more info]. But Mark Dice, founder of a watchdog group called "The Resistance", explains why he's calling for a boycott against Starbucks over this logo. "We wanna send a message to Starbucks that they can't put a half naked, half mermaid type figure with her fins, or her quote unquote legs, spread open like a prostitute," says Mark. What do you think? Is this logo too hot to handle? Is it grounds [sorry...couldn't help it] for divorce? Or perhaps we should be boycotting coffee for a more significant reason...

Like modern day slavery. Look for the Fair Trade logo on coffee, tea, cocoa, chocolate, fruit, and some clothing items that are most likely to be produced and distributed slave-free.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dancing Queen?

"By sharing stories, we have begun the process of turning strangers into friends," filmmaker Jehane Noujaim told the U.S. studio audience gathered to experience Pangea Day. The live global film fest broadcast simultaneously worldwide highlighted 24 short films meant to promote dialog and cooperation on universal themes such as food, home, water, laughter, sorrow, hope, landscape, despair and joy. Click the pic for reaction to Pangea Day and the triangular play button below to watch one of my fave films shared. This one from a guy in India [Sumit Roy] who created the entire thing on a cell phone!!! Enjoy the great ending.

Is Jay Okay?

Jay's broken neck is stabilized. He can move all his extremities [so he's not paralyzed]. And when he's not sedated and being forced to rest, he's wide awake making plenty of demands of those nearby. Rolling his eyes when those nearby can't guess what he wants!!! He's received over 300 visitors to his CarePages website [click the pic for more on that] and has heard his family read each of the 188 messages of support you've left for him. Thank you!!! Please keep praying for Jay's strength, healing, and comfort. And thank God that the injuries Christopher sustained [the 10 year old boy and only other person hospitalized in the accident] are not life threatening and that he is getting better too. Click below to watch a short video of the news coverage from the prayer vigil held at his St.Charles high school. FYI, the clip shows a picture of Jay's upside down car at the accident scene.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

What's CarePages?

CarePages is a website devoted to connecting, sharing, and encouraging. Which is exactly what we need right now. Because on Saturday May 10 @ 8:45am, my 18 year old brother-in-law Jay was driving his Buick Park Avenue to bowling practice but missed a stop sign and collided driver's side first with an Oldsmobile Cutlass. The other car was carrying a family of 5 including 3 triplet boys. One of whom [Christopher] was hospitalized. As was Jay [for more read this Saginaw News article].

Jay is in critical care with a broken neck and torn aorta. Which was miraculously repaired following surgery. For more on that, follow the directions below. Our God who knows the number of hairs on our head and when a tiny bird falls from the nest [cf. Matthew 10:29-31!!!] is already comforting us. Along with the many Mariettas, we solicit your prayers for both Christopher and Jay.
  1. Click either pic
  2. Register [only requires name and email address]
  3. Type "jaymarietta" [minus the quotation marks] into the "Visit" search engine
  4. Choose to receive Jackie's email updates
  5. Thank you for leaving encouraging comments and support!!!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Will The Empire Strike Barack?

All you other Star Wars fans will appreciate this—whoever ends up winning the Democratic nomination for President. Enjoy!!!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Unleaded Divine Intervention?

Rocky Twyman, an active member of an Adventist church in Washington DC, started the "Prayer at the Pump" movement asking God to lower gas prices. Twyman knows his approach to gasoline prices is simplistic so he's quick to point out that anyone praying for cheaper fuel also has an obligation to do something more active about the problem. "People have to walk more, leave those cars at home, and carpool, man," he said. "We have to become more practical." Click the triangular play button to watch the short interview from April 25, 2008.

Can you correctly match the alphabetically arranged countries below with the converted prices for the average US gallon? Note: one US gallon = 3.78 liters [rounded off to 4]. One liter of gas = 1.53 Euros [as of 4/26/2008]. Answers below right.

A. Belgium
B. France
C. Germany
D. Italy
E. Netherlands
F. United Kingdom
G. United States
H. Scotland

What Does Jackie Sing?

Three pastors' wives from the Florida Hospital Adventist church in Orlando [where I spent 5 years as a kid] decided they were tired of having their latest household fiasco show up in sermon illustrations. So Vickie McDonald (married to senior pastor Andy), Tami Cinquemani (married to associate pastor Jeff), and Amy Achata (married to youth pastor David) made a parody video to get their point across, revamping Carrie Underwood's popular "Before He Cheats" with their rendition of "Before He Speaks." And if I'm not careful, Jackie may be ready to join them!!! Press the triangular play button. Enjoy!!!