Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Discuss Ragamuffin?

Many believe God's grace in theory. But somehow we cannot apply it in our daily lives. Yet God gives [and continues to give us] His grace, willingly, because He loves us like crazy!!!

Join us on Wednesday nights in Toledo First or follow along as we discuss one of my fave books of all time—The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning [click pics for more info]. Everyone at Toledo First willing to read this book can have one for free while supplies last. Additional copies will also be available free to the first five people who post a comment below and request a copy. [You may privately email me your snail mail address:] Good luck!!!

BTW, a few years ago, I got to hear Brennan live in Cleveland [see pic below]. Brennan's now-classic meditation on grace and what it takes to access itsimple honestyhas changed thousands of lives [in addition to my own]. Let it change yours as well!

Pray the Devil Back to Hell?

Leymah Gbowee and the Women of Liberia are the central figures in the 2008 award winning documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell. This celebrated film concluding our Fall and Winter Film Fest series tells the dramatic success story of the women’s peace movement of Liberia where Christian and Muslim women banded together to pray [!!!] which ended their country’s civil war. You will not want to miss this! Join us at Toledo First on March 20 for worship @ 5pm and stay for the film starting right afterward @ 6:15pm. Free snacks and beverages provided. You and every guest you bring will be entered into the drawing for the "Andrew Award" mystery prize given at the conclusion of the discussion.

RSVP is required. 419.882.6200 or [Film may not be suitable for all children]. Click the triangular play button to preview or the pic above for more info.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Who's Afraid of the Old Testament God?

On March 5-6, Professor of Biblical Studies and author Dr. Alden Thompson will be presenting for the community a lecture series entitled "Who's Afraid of the Old Testament God?" based on his book by the same title [click pic to purchase].

With sensitivity and clarity, Thompson will help us grapple with the violence of the Old Testament and even the devastation of catastrophic suffering today such as the fallout from the recent earthquake in Haiti.

The lecture series is free, but collections for Haiti will be collected at each session. Thank you for saving these dates and planning to invite your friends and family!!! What breaks the heart of God—even the God of the Old Testament—should still break ours. Join us!!! Bring a friend!!!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Could a Church Secretary Start an Orphanage?

Paula Leen did. In 2002, she took her life savings and donations from two friends and started the Murwira Orphanage on 20 acres of drought-scorched hills and scrub brush in the east African country of Zimbabwe. And THIS SATURDAY NIGHT, February 13 @ 6pm, her nephew Carl Wilkens will be telling us all about it during our Valentines for Africa benefit banquet. Cost is $15/person and reservations are required. You do not have to be a member of Toledo First to participate. Please call 419.882.6200 or email: to reserve your seat now!!! Click here for a map and directions.

We're trying to send her $5k. If you cannot attend the banquet, but want to help her feed 2k orphans/day, make your checks payable to: Toledo First Church and your tax deductible gifts will be added to the monies we raise Saturday night. Small things done with great love still change the world!

Click pic to learn more about Murwira Orphanage

Click here to read an interview with Paula by Pastor Rachel
Click here to read the Toledo Blade "Valentines for Africa" blurb

Valentines for Africa?

In 1994, nearly 1 million people in Rwanda were slaughtered in 100 days. Carl Wilkens, at the time serving in his position as director of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency [ADRA] in Rwanda, was the only American who chose to remain in Rwanda after the genocide began. His choice to stay and try to help resulted in preventing the massacre of hundreds of children. Please make your plans now to join us THIS SATURDAY February 13 @ 11am in Toledo First Church [click here for a map and directions] to hear Carl share the courage and resilience of the people he witnessed facing unimaginable choices. You do not have to be a member of Toledo First to participate.

Click the pic to learn more about Carl or the triangular play button below to watch a preview vid.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Is the Holy Land Still Holy?

If by holy you mean sinless, then no. The people there harbor the same prejudice we have here. But if by holy you mean special, then absolutely!!! Click the pic to see my 30 fave shots on Facebook or click here to watch the video presentation Jackie and I made in church last week. It got good reviews!!!