Sunday, December 19, 2010
In the first season of NBC's "The Sing Off", an Adventist group called Nota with six graduates from Antillean Adventist University in Puerto Rico won the $100,000 cash prize and a recording contract with Epic Records/Sony Music [click here to read the Adventist Review article about their story]. Now, in its second season, the judges on the reality singing competition has whittled the acappella groups competing down to four and these graduates from Forest Lake Academy [Apopka, Florida] and Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama that comprise Committed are also in the running [click top pic for NBC's bio and middle pic for their Facebook page].
Whatever happens, they've promised to continue being committed to God and each other and to use their notoriety to tell others about Jesus. Click the vid below to hear them explain. And PTL that God is finding creative ways for His followers to WIN the right to be heard!!! Tune in tonight to watch Committed @ 8pm EST and don't forget to vote for them at the end of the show!!!
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
a. The Sea of Galilee boat ride
b. Floating in the Dead Sea
c. Worship @ Golgatha and Garden Tomb
d. All of the above [click here or pics above and below to see 30 more from Israel]
2.) In January 2010, what was Jackie’s fave part of being in Israel?
a. Seeing places the Bible describes “come alive”
b. Changing planes in Italy without seeing any of it
c. Menachem, our long-winded tour guide
d. Only A
3.) Which happened?
a. Joshua broke his adult front tooth
b. Joshua won the Daytona 500
c. Joshua won 2nd place in the Pinewood Derby
d. Both A and C
4.) What did Mike’s church do this year to show people that God loves them like crazy?
a. Raised money for victims of NW Ohio Tornado
b. Became the “American Family” for 9 International Students at University of Toledo
d. Both A and B
5.) What else did Mike’s church do this year to show people that God loves them like crazy?
a. Gave away free Panera Bread every Friday morning
b. Went on a Mission Trip to America in McDowell County, West Virginia - America’s poorest county
c. Threw a Valentines for Africa banquet
d. All of the above
6.) What was Joshua and Lydia’s favorite movie?
a. God Grew Tired of Us
b. Waiting for Superman
c. Praying with Lior
7.) Joshua [age 11] loves:
a. Designing tracks online
b. Feeding his albino constricting corn snake named “Peaches”
c. Cleaning his room
d. Both A and B
8.) Lydia’s [age 8½] loves:
b. Singing in church
c. Hannah Montana reruns
d. All of the above
b. Got no speeding tickets this year
c. Haven’t even started converting all their Hi8mm tapes to DVD or BluRay
d. All of the above
10.) Mike’s favorite books [click any title for more info] read include:
a. Crazy Love by Francis Chan
b. Who’s Afraid of the Old Testament God? by Alden Thompson
c. Who Stole My Church? by Gordon MacDonald
d. All of the above
>7 Fortunate—Cool as the other side of the pillow
>5 Unfortunate—Missing some grain in the silo
>3 A misfortune—Sharp as a marble
Answers: They're all D!!!
Stay connected online [click any link below]
Sunday, December 05, 2010
This year, as part of our Christmas Presence series of sermons preceding Christmas, we’re going to be partnering with the Adventist Development and Relief Agency [ADRA] using their 2010 Really Useful Gift Catalog to raise money each week in a special offering for goats! Why? Because item #43 says one breeding doe will give an impoverished family overseas additional income and access to milk for their children. And each goat costs only $70!!!
So when you come to church Sabbaths December 4-25, don’t be surprised to see “the poor man’s cow” tied up inside right beside the other Christmas decorations and manger scenes to help us remember how we can help impoverished families grasp the significance of Jesus’ Presence this Christmas. The wise men gave gold. We're giving goats to help families fight their way out of poverty!!!
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Carla snapped this next pic from some fun we had at Gomez and Morticia's house [Emmett and Eniko] one recent Saturday night. We thoroughly enjoyed the mystery dinner. Even though Frankenstein [Randy] was pretty scary.
This one is taken in Joshua's room with his cousins Conner and Jessica and Maegan's friend Ena. Lydia is holding Joshua's new pet - Peaches the albino corn snake. Which is very docile and tame until Fridays when she snaps the thawed out once frozen mouse Joshua dangles from the top of its cage, constricts around it, and then swallows it whole. It's very national geographic.
Jeff archived this last photo for posterity of Joshua and his 2nd place winning Pinewood Derby car and trophy. No, he didn't get into a fight. The road rash on his face came earlier that evening from taking a face plant on the sidewalk outside the church while goofing around with some friends. He was wearing his other pair of glasses [goggles] at the time because he had broken his "nice" pair of glasses at school earlier. So now both are broken and one of his adult front teeth broke off into tiny pieces. It has since been replaced with a plastic tooth. But who knew he could again be singing, All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth...
Hope you are your families are well and enjoying the season. God is good. All the time!!!
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
"The law of God is still in force (Romans 3:31), and still demands fulfillment. And the only way to fulfill the law is by doing good works. But ultimately there is only one good work; the work of God in Christ Jesus...all our good works are the works of God" [The Cost of Discipleship, p.296]. That's what this video my friend Phill sent me reminded me of recently. Enjoy!!!
On September 25, the snacks and beverages were laid out for the last time, the praise team played our all-time favorites, and memories and testimonies brought us back through the years. Although it was Connections last service in our building, the message was loud and clear this is not the end of this ministry. Because the church is leaving the buildilng!!!
We still believe God is calling us to a shared ministry in a downtown storefront similar to the one our church first operated in 1899. And we will proceed if God raises up a core team of committed volunteers willing to contribute their time and talents. If you are interested or willing to serve in such an outreach, please contact me @ 419.882.6200 or Ron Szczechowski @ 419.866.8951. Stay tuned to Fortune Cookies for more information. And click the triangular play button below for a little trip down memory lane. Video courtesty Ryan Warner
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Yes, I'm still convinced based on research inside and outside the Adventist church that meaningful Bible study and worship, active ordinary outreach, and grace based churches are three of the most influential factors that help young people and the increasing number of unchurched Americans all around us develop a positive outlook about God and lasting interest in the church [click here to read more].
So why should we continue to spend ourselves for the sake of the Gospel? Because there are plenty of people from Chile to Holy Toledo and the rapidly growing mission field where you live that are far from God!!! So let's exhaust every avenue and media to show them grace and live the love that still astonishes a watching world. That's what the rescue of those 33 trapped miners reminded me of recently. [BTW, I stopped blogging because my PC died. And my temporary replacement lacked the muscle needed to upload pics and vids. But I've got a MBP now so Fortune Cookies is good to go!!! In the meantime, click the triangular play button below to hear Toledo native Crystal Bowersox belt out her hit "Holy Toledo" and see you in two weeks!!!]
From the San José mine, Copiapó, Chile
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
We stumbled onto this resource a few months ago and have been working through its contents together ever since. With CDs just for parents in addition to CDs for you to listen to with your child, the content will prepare you for "the sex talk" in addition to bravely answering difficult questions about sexuality [such as those surrounding masturbation which Christians usually ignore or leave shrouded in guilt]. Nothing is out of bounds. And everything is answered for boys and girls thoroughly, kindly, and [I believe] Biblically.
Dobson suggests listening to this content on a long road trip over one weekend culminating in a father / son [mother / daughter] fun day s/he picks. We're still going to do that "just us" weekend, but what we're doing before then is listening to 15 minute segments of each CD at night before Josh goes to sleep. We turn all the lights out and lay on his bed and listen, pausing when necessary, to laugh, talk, or wonder about what was just said. The number of questions and honest reactions to the content I thought too complicated for him to understand has staggered me. It has not only given Josh a clearer understanding of what is happening now, it has diminished some of the fears I didn't even know he already had about the future! And it has drawn us closer together. Lydia doesn't know what adolescence is all about yet, but she's already looking forward to it [!!!] so she can go on her "mother / daughter" weekend as soon as she and Jackie finishes the CDs too!!! [PS - This material has been re-packaged and updated recently. The new pic looks like the smaller one above]
In the video below [there's a short commercial first, click the tiny triangular play button in the lower left of the box], Roy explains how important it is to continue to reach out to the community long after the immediate need is obvious. If you have time, whether you're a member of Toledo First or not, please consider heading over to east Toledo and volunteer a couple hours to organizing the contents of the warehouse with Roy by calling 740.381.7703. It's not glamorous, but it is appreciated!!! To read the CBS 11 News story click here. Video courtesy Toledo CBS 11.
Samir will be coming to Toledo AUG 27-29, 2010. He will be signing copies of his book at the Family Christian Bookstore [4015 Secor Road] @ 7pm on August 27 and will be making presentations August 28 in the Toledo First Church at 11am and 5pm. In addition, he will also be speaking at the Washington Church [3925 West Central Avenue] on August 29 @ 9:30am. You will not want to miss this!!!
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
There weren't as many canines this time [it was pretty hot], but we managed to give away quite a few doggie biscuits anyway too. Some friends from Parkwood Church joined us giving away free blood pressures. And the mostly musical Connections service in the park did in fact connect us with a guy named Vince. Who wandered up to our pavilion with his guitar and, playing by ear, started playing all the songs with us even though he'd never hear them before!!!
Afterward, he introduced us to his friends at the table nearby all of whom are music students in Toledo and unconnected to any church. Of course we invited Vince to play in the praise team next week at church too [he's really good!!!] so please pray for him and all his friends. Thank you for making last Sabbath a delightful day. And setting aside AUG 14 for our next and final 2010 Picnic with Purpose.