Wednesday, January 28, 2009

With All His Heart?

Adam Bender, 8, was one of several kids who played baseball in Kentucky's Southeastern’s rookie league at Veterans Park last year. But what makes Adam stand out is he plays one of the toughest positions on the field, catcher, with only one leg. Because of cancer, he had his left leg amputated when he was one. But he doesn’t use a prosthesis and only uses crutches when he reaches base for the Astros. Click the pic to read his story. Or the triangular play button below to see him playing with all his heart.
UPDATE: Since the story of 8-year old cancer survivor Adam Bender was published in the Lexington Herald-Leader, and on, on June 1, 2008, the one-legged catcher has been invited to throw out first pitches at a Chicago White Sox game, a Cincinnati Reds game, a Houston Astros game, and has been invited to a Garth Brooks benefit in Las Vegas. He is also being profiled for a story that will air on ESPN. On Sunday June 6, 2008, Adam threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Adam Dunn of the Reds. Edited and adapted from articles by Mike Fields and Charles Bertram.

Hot Pockets?

My neighbor Dave introduced me to Jim Gaffigan's "Beyond the Pale" DVD a few years ago. His 5 minute bit on Hot Pockets always makes me laugh. Gaffigan is the source of my "Awwwkard..." response to many things. Enjoy!!!

Who Cares About the Souper Bowl?

We do!!! At TF, it’s not just a game. It’s never been just a game. It’s an opportunity to invite someone in your world to your church for a seriously non-threatening social event. And this year, it’s even more. Because we’re collecting cans of soup to give to the needy!!!

So if you can, bring TWO cans of soup [or more] AND a friend. If you forget, we'll have cans you can buy there...You’ll both enjoy bowls of free chili, plenty of Gino's pizza, and pop and [hopefully] a great game on a ginormous 25' screen between the Arizona Cardinals [go Kurt Warner!!!] and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Click the triangular play button below if you want to see a clever ad about the Souper Bowl of Caring.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Where Your Heart Is?

If it's true where your treasure is, your heart will be also [Matthew 6:19-21], shouldn't the reverse should also be true? Where your heart is, there your treasure will be also. But what's your treasure? In the past, I've been taught that my "treasure" is money and the "storehouse" of Malachi 3:10 is the organized church's headquarters. But to be honest, I don't think that's what the prophet Malachi had in mind when he wrote what he did 2500 years before the Adventist Church existed!

So in the coming weeks at TF, we'll be talking about what else Malachi meant. And how badly Jesus wants to be Lord of all our time, talents, and treasure. With the economy tanking and anticipated giving trends changing, we all need to be proactive and take more ownership and responsibility for the ministry and outreach opportunities Toledo First provides. Not from a spirit of fear, but of faith [2 Timothy 1:7]. So what can you do?
  • Pick up the invitation cards at the back of church and share them with your friends and family
  • Plan to attend/read/watch the entire series January 24 - February 21, 2009
  • Pray for me as I prepare to share!
  • Email me [] your helpful YouTube vids, illustrations, cartoons, or anecdotes about any kind of giving
  • Tell me your story. How has God blessed you when you sincerely give and live for Him?

Who Needs Batman?

I don't. Because I married Batgirl!!! Before Christmas, Jackie captured a bat in our house with an oatmeal container. We don't know if it was the same one we saw flying through our living room one evening a few weeks earlier. But from the look on her face when she saw him, I knew she wanted him gone.

So being the brave man that I'm not, I ushered the kids into their bedrooms and shut their doors. Then I went to my office to call a pest control guy. But before I could hang up, Jackie informed me she had captured the intruder, read him his rights, and was about to drive him miles away from our house to a park. Since then, every nook and cranny of the inside of our home has been screened, caulked, and sealed. And if there are any more in here, we're told they will leave in the spring through the small opening under the eaves in the front of the house they used to get in. Then that opening will be screened, caulked, and sealed as well.

Which is good I guess. But even if it weren't, I'd have nothing to be afraid of. Since my wife is not afraid of bats or the needles the following injections would require to ward off rabies. Shortly after this heart warming episode, I was browsing Despair's website and found this T-shirt I had to buy. Click the graphic for more.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What’s Your Dream?

Martin Luther King, Jr., whose birthday as a nation we celebrate January 19, 2009, was a driving force in the push for racial equality. In 1963, King marched and protested non-violently, raising the ire of local officials who aimed water cannons and sicced police dogs on the marchers whose ranks included teenagers and children. The bad publicity and break-down of business forced the Caucasian leaders of Birmingham to concede to some anti-segregation demands.

Thrust into the national spotlight in Birmingham, where he was arrested and jailed, King organized a massive march on Washington, DC, on August 28, 1963. On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, he evoked the name of Lincoln in his "I Have a Dream" speech, which is credited with mobilizing supporters of de-segregation and prompted the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

I don’t know about you, but that speech still moves me. Click the triangular play button below to watch it again. It only takes 12 minutes. What’s your dream? For the church? For your family? For the least, the last, and the lost?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Take Charge?

Bills rolling in from Christmas spending? Ready for some changes? Want to have a little money left at the end of the month?

Taking Charge Community Finance classes are for you!!! We’ll be offering the classes on two Wednesday nights, January 21 and January 28 @ 7 PM. It’s free!!! So invite everyone you can and plan to fill a space at the table. Our good friend and Financial Advisor, Shanyn Stewart, will walk us through what we can do to Take Charge! At the conclusion to each class, a representative from FirstMerit Bank in Sylvania will be there to give away to one lucky guest a Visa gift card!!!

Securities offered through NEXT Financial Group, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC, 3040 Consear Rd, Lambertville, MI 48144.
Leach Stewart & Associates is not an affiliate of NEXT Fiancial Group, Inc.

Sponsored by FirstMerit Bank Sylvania Branch 7530 King's Pointe Road
Liz Farley, Personal Banker 419-843-9680

Family Movie Night?

Remember Sunday nights when you were a kid [or an adult] and you couldn’t wait to watch The Wonderful World of Disney? Want to see a fun family movie, one for kids of all ages? Then come to TF on January 17 @ 7 PM for a night of laughs!

Toledo Junior Academy will again be hosting Family Movie Night in the fellowship hall! If you came last time, you’ll remember what fun we had!

We’ll provide the popcorn free of charge. Drinks and other movie snacks will be available for purchase. We’re inviting all our friends and families from Toledo Junior Academy and James Meade Learning Center—why don’t you invite yours too! Special thanks to the Home and School Association for this info.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Where's JFK's Plane?

His VC-137C Boeing 707, known as "Air Force One" when the president was on board, is in Dayton, Ohio at the best "air and space" museum outside of Washington DC. Pastor Rachel and her brothers joined Joshua, Lydia, and me and the Jessops for this little field trip during winter break. If you have never toured this museum, you really should [click pics for more info]. Admission is free, but get there early to sign in for the bus tour to the Presidential Hangar and the Cold War Gallery to see the Blackbird SR-71 and the only one of two Valkyrie XB-70's ever built. Special thanks to Leonard, Julie, and Andrew Jessop for their excellent guided tour!!! I LOVE airplanes!!!

Is Torture A Moral Issue?

Whether you voted for Obama or McCain, approved of the bailouts for Wall Street or Detroit, or are Christian or Muslim or Jew, please take 60 seconds to watch this clip and consider signing the petition to end "advanced interrogation techniques" in the USA like I did.

YOU have a voice. Use it!!! Because Isaiah 59:15-16 NLT says, "The Lord looked and was displeased to find there was no justice. He was amazed to see that no one intervened to help the oppressed."
Click the "Help Obama End Torture" link to the right for more info.

What If Starbucks Marketed Like A Church?

This is religious satire people. Enjoy!!!