Sunday, December 19, 2010

Is Committed Committed?

Some people don't think so because they think Christians shouldn't sing anything but overtly Christian or "sacred" songs. Because, they say, God cannot be praised any other way. But for the 2nd season in row, a group of Adventist guys are proving them wrong!!!

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

Truth About Poverty?

When we think of those in poverty, certain questions automatically come to mind. Why don’t they get a job?! Why are they so irresponsible?! Are handouts really all they want or need? What should a church know about serving those in poverty?

These are just some of the questions that will be answered after church potluck on consecutive Sabbath afternoons in January starting January 8 and continuing January 15 and 22 from 1-3pm.
Geared toward churches and organizations who are currently [or who are thinking about] working more intentionally with the poor, these classes teach participants what generational poverty is, the reasons why the poor stay poor, how to really help the poor, and how we can align ourselves with God’s heart for the poor.

Elijah Jones, long time Toledo resident with a wealth of experience serving the poor, will be teaching these classes and facilitating the follow up conversations. Elijah is a friend of Toledo First Church and serves on the Haven of Hope board. If you're at all interested in the next steps Connections takes to a possible storefront location downtown, please make these classes a priority!!!

Your response to these classes will help us determine whether we have the interest or "manpower" we need to proceed with a storefront. The classes are free and open to the public but RSVP @ 419.882.6200 is required.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Merry Christmas Card Quiz 2010?

1.) In January 2010, what was Mike’s fave part of being in Israel?
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
c. Nothing
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
d. Tangled

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:
a. Drawing
b. Singing in church
c. Hannah Montana reruns
d. All of the above

9.) Jackie and Mike...
a. Are still dating 20 years later [still happily married for 14]
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!!!

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Sunday, December 05, 2010

Random Acts of Culture?

Random acts of culture by musical groups singing songs in public places have been popping up everywhere from a recent episode of Modern Family to this latest example Rachel sent me most recently. I think it's my fave because of the way it begins in a food court with the soloists braving the crowds all by themselves at first. Would you ever do something like this?

Retooning the Nativity?

Did you know that neither of the Gospel stories mention Mary traveling by donkey? That the Bible doesn’t mention an inn keeper? Or for that matter an inn? Click triangular play button below to see why.

Christmas Presence?

Last year during the weeks leading up to Christmas, we partnered with Toledo Junior Academy students and families in giving gifts to local families who could not afford to buy presents. We also raised some money for Serentity Farms — a local non-profit organization specializing in counseling services and therapeutic riding through the use of certified therapy dogs and special horses.

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!!!