Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Did The Son Still Shine?

During our Summer of Service picnics in the park this year, we got rained out twice. Leaving the jogging paths and playgrounds empty. But we still managed to have a delightful day. Even when it rained, the SON did shine!!! Big thank you to Donna for organizing the delicious food and to the Wilkins and Riegers for their help in setting up the lemonade stand!!!

Fortunate Vacation?

I can’t wait to go on vacation August 1-12. And do [next to] nothing for two weeks. Which means I'll be floating in my parent's pool reading my new fave James Michner novel Chesapeake [click pic for a great summer read] while pretending I'm actually in Aruba!!!

Also on the agenda: Taking the kids to Warren Dunes, watching the Redskins in the HOF Game [if I still lived in Canton I could walk to the game!!!], making my annual pilgrimage to Willow for the Leadership Summit in Chicago, and not blogging!!!

Was Her Majesty Impressed?

I don’t know, but Glen of The Glen Mansell Show was. His radio show on the British Forces Broadcast Service deals with current affairs, defense, welfare and consumer issues that impact upon the lives of British service personnel around the world and often contains interviews with people making the news in politics and the arts.

On July 29 toward the very end of his show that day, he put me on live radio in Afghanistan, Belize, Bosnia, Brunei, Canada, Cyprus, the Falkland Islands, Germany, Gibraltar, Kosovo, the Middle East, and Northern Ireland as well as all Her Majesty’s Royal Navy ships at sea so I could talk about praying at the pump. Click the pics to hear Glen and me going global!!! LOL!!! Who knew asking God to intervene in the most ordinary aspects of our shared lives for the sake of others would be such a big deal?!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What's The New Gym Gonna Look Like?

So we started fundraising money for a new gym and classroom addition to Toledo Junior Academy. Here's a picture of what the finished project will look like with the last 2 sections on the left added. With an estimated price tag between 1 and 2 million, this is certainly a God sized project. But already many things are revealing His favor.

Kyla Reams is coordinating the subcommittee bringing excellent advice to the church in business session from her dad. Who, get this, just so happens to be the contractor who has built many of the most recent schools and beautiful buildings and churches in NW Ohio. We've raised $107k so far. But need another $500k before we can even think about getting a loan for the rest from the Columbia Union Revolving Fund [CURF].

So spread the word!!! And leave a legacy!!! Growing from the children's divisions up a Christ centered church shouting the Gospel with our lives is attractive to people. And it requires more space!!! If you have any time next week, stop by the Rummage Sale to contribute!!! No treasure is too small or large to give. Click the pic for details about that.

Junk For Jesus?

Thank you for packing all that precious stuff in your house these many years. And thank you for bringing it to our Rummage Sale. We're raising money for a new gymnasium and classroom addition for the kids in our church school — half of whom are from the community areas of NW Ohio.

Please consider this your invitation to donate your unwanted items to the Toledo Junior Academy Gym Fundraising Rummage Sale!!! Drop your items off at the church fellowship hall located at 4909 W Sylvania Ave in Toledo on these dates & times:

Sunday, July 27th from 2pm-6pm [Drop off]
Monday, July 28th from 3pm-6pm [Drop off]
Tuesday, July 29th from 3pm-6pm [Drop off]
Wednesday, July 30th, from 9am-4pm [Let the sale begin!]
Thursday, July 31st, from 9am-4pm [The sale continues!]

Drum Roll Please?

My 30 gig iPod is nearly full with 4,532 files on it. Not all of that is 80's music. I've got the Bible Experience actors reading me dramatized portions of the Bible when I wake up in the morning. I've got a hilarious book by economist [!!!] Steven D. Levitt called Freakanomics that is so thought provoking you have to listen to it more than once. I've got Walter Wangerin Jr.'s book called Jesus: A Novel which does such a good job of weaving the Gospels together into one cohesive but riveting story it makes me cry. And a bunch of 80's music.

But with Playlist, you can share that music with others by creating an online playlist of your favorite songs and then adding them to your Facebook, Myspace, blog, or website for free [click pic for details]. So this week, that's what I did.

To the right you can see some of my easy listening faves. I tried to pick songs that wouldn't give you a headache while you're reading my blog, but if that still happens, feel free to turn your computer volume down or click pause on the top left of the media player. After all, they're a few of MY faves not necessarily yours!!! Drum roll please!!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Who Prayed @ Night?

In Luke 18:7, Jesus asks, "And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night?" The implied answer to His question is: Yes!!!

And while we're learning to do so during the day, my new pastor friend, Brother Paul of the Anglican Church of the Pentecost, challenged us to do so at night as well. He actually prays all Friday night every Friday night as he explained in his presentation called
Night Watch during our National Pray Down the High Gas Prices Summit we hosted June 20, 2008.

Click the pic to read more and see some of the presentations that were shared that night including Stacy Rankin's personal call to stewardship entitled
God Is Green and the very animated Pastor Niboro Colomba of Son Rise Community Church tearing the roof off ours [figuratively] with his presentation entitled Spiritual Warfare. Big thanks and WTG to Shawn and Mindy for making these available on our church website!!!

Who Cares About The Crummy 13%?

This is probably a crummy way to introduce today’s post so I hope you don’t toast me for it. All my other ideas seemed half baked. I knew we kneaded something to increase our appetite for serving the less fortunate and this was fresh out of the oven. So crusty as it may seem, I’m going to serve it anyway. Hoping that you, like my friend Nestor, will do something about the 13% of Ohioans who cannot afford to buy bread.

Psalm 37:25 says, "I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread." My friend Nestor believes this verse. And God is using him to see that it is fulfilled.

He went to Panera Bread, brought me a piece of paper I signed representing our church, and now he is giving away free bread to those who can't afford to buy it. Much of it is available to be picked up on Fridays from 7-9am at the church. Some folks at church are going to add some of their own freshly baked bread to the distribution pile. And what's left over will be hand delivered by Nestor and friends to those who cannot drive to the church to pick it up. What a great ordinary outreach. WTG Nestor!!! Special thanks to Lee Vendon for that punny intro [click pic for more!!!]

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What You Doing This Summer?

Last weekend some friends invited us to their place in Port Clinton [thanks Eric and Sharon!!!]. Nearby we saw Marblehead Lighthouse. Took a ferry to Kelleys Island for a day at the beach. And introduced the kids to their first roller coasters and rides at Cedar Point. They also enjoyed driving their own cars!!! What have you been doing this summer?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Why God Rests?

Joshua finished the 2nd grade, but he just showed me his Jesus journal he made in school. In case you can't read it, his entry from September 27, 2007 says, "God made a day of rest because he wanted to spend time with his children. I love Jesus." Isn't that a good reason to rest?

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Were We Courteous Christians?

In the June 21, 2008 Toledo Blade article "Fueled By Faith" [click pic for more], it was mentioned that the Exxon station lost 2 diesel sales while we were there praying. What it doesn't mention is that one of largest gas stations around only had 1 diesel pump and while we were there, we PAID for ours.

The other sale was lost because the reporters from The Blade and the cameras from all 4 TV stations continued blocking the pump. We moved our people and vehicle when we were done. They did not.

And finally, everybody knows gas stations make their largest profits by the food and beverage items they sell, not the gas that's pumped. So highlighting those loss of diesel sales makes very little sense aside from making it appear that people were displeased. In fact, they were not. Photos courtesy Lisa Dutton/The Blade.

Fueled By Faith?

Reaction to our Prayer at the Pump [click the pic to read the June 20, 2008 article "Pumped To Pray" in the Toledo Blade] has been mixed [Google it!!!]. But what I find most interesting in the reaction [especially among professed Christians] is the reason why we prayed in the first place is ignored: 13% of Ohioans can't afford to buy bread!!! Much less gasoline.

So mock me if you want to. But turning to God and asking Him to intervene in the most ordinary aspects of our shared lives is not crazy. That's called normal Christianity. And asking God specific things for the sake of others is not crazy either. That's called intercessory prayer. And while I don't understand how it works, I do believe it does. Both in Bible days and in ours [click here for proof].

What's crazy is that many intelligent Christians either don't know these things or, even worse, don't care!!! God have mercy and save us from ourselves!!! Maranatha!!! Photos courtesy Lisa Dutton/The Blade.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Average Joe July 4th?

Over a million people have watched "American Joe" explain his 4 part plan to solve the energy crisis in this 10 minute video. If Ron Paul won't run for President, I wish this guy would. What do you think this July 4th?

Fortune Fun?

On June 4, Lydia graduated from Kindergarten. Next up, 1st grade!!! But not before she spends some some time at the YMCA's huge outdoor pool!!! Joshua's tolerance for baseball is growing. I'm coaching his YMCA Little League team this summer. Here, we made it through nearly an entire 9 innings of Mudhens baseball!!! On June 15, we celebrated with Jay at his high school graduation party. God is good!!! On cool evenings when I'm done mowing the lawn, I let the kids [and their friend Cassidy when her daddy is around] take a victory lap around the drive way...on "turtle" speed. Does that look fun or what?!!

How Was International Neighborhood Day?

International Neighborhood Day went great!!! Volunteers started arriving at 10am at the church garage. We loaded the juicers and bottled water, generators and extension cords, and caravaned downtown. After getting rained on twice earlier in the day, many of the 250 people who braved the weather gathered @ 4:00pm in the Aurora House parking lot to pay respects to the countries represented, listen to special anthems and music, special remarks by Denise Fox, Executive Director of the Aurora House and resident Laura. Last year we emphasized that God loves people like crazy. This year, with the cultural displays and music and fashion show, we emphasized that God loves ALL people like crazy. And next year promises to be even better!!! So save the date for our Mission Trip to Toledo 2009 a.k.a International Neighborhood Day. Sunday June 21, 2009!!!