Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Fave Apps?

Aside from carrying thousands of songs from my iTunes library, five of the latest Toledo First Church podcasts and six "Jesus books" [Jesus on audiobook by Walter Wangerin Jr is great for kids and what we're listening to for family worship, click for details], what I like most about my iPhone is its apps especially some that Pastor Anna showed me recently. Here are a few of my faves. If you have some too, do share!!!
  • Dragon Dictation [free] records what I say and is amazingly accurate in turning the content into an email I can easily edit [if necessary] then send with the push of a button instead of texting messages on the tiny keys or typing them later on the computer.
  • Dropbox [free] is worth adding to your PC or Mac even if you don't use a smartphone because it allows you to sync content when online to more than one of your computers [or someone else's if you invite them] by simply dragging a file into a folder on your computer.
  • JotNot Pro [99 cents] turns your phone into an amazingly accurate scanner for pics and Word docs. Amazing really.
For seven more good apps, click pic or here to read Chis McConnells' article "10 Essential iPhone Apps for Pastors and Other Church Workers" in Outlook Magazine.

Have You Watched Earthlings?

Earthlings may be the single most thought provoking documentary I have ever seen in my life. It simultaneously disturbs and inspires. Not for little kids, I still think parents and churches and high-schools [with parental consent] should watch it and talk about it.

If God loves us like crazy, don't you think He loves the animals He created just as much? Shouldn't we? Especially since God told us to take loving care of them [what "dominion" really means cf. Genesis 1:26]? Click the triangular play button below for the Earthlings preview or click here to watch the entire 95 minute film for free. It's makers offer it free because they're pretty sure after watching it, you'll buy it and share it with your friends and family. They were right. That's what I did. The first five people who request a copy by emailing me your name and US Postal service address to will receive the Earthlings DVD free.

Make the Connection.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Trip of a Lifetime?

Some of you know Jackie and I [back row middle] went with a bunch of pastor friends to Israel in January 2010. Seeing the places Jesus walked made the Bible "come alive" in ways you must experience to understand and I have wanted to return ever since!!! So I want you to know I am planning an eight-day tour back to Israel JAN 23 - 30, 2012. The tour is approx. $2500/person [not including travel to NYC where we depart] but will include visits to Tiberias, Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, Mount of Beatitudes, Site of the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes, Capernaum, the River Jordan, Mount Carmel, Caesarea, the Dead Sea, Masada, Ein Gedi, Qumran, the Garden Tomb, Calvary, Pool of Bethesda, Garden of Gethsemane, Mt. Moriah, Mount of Olives, the Western Wall, the Via Dolorosa, Bethlehem, the Kidron Valley, the Room of the Last Supper, and King David’s Tomb [click pics to see some of these places].

I'm hoping with enough notice, some of you may be able to join me! You do NOT have to be a pastor, Adventist, or a member of Toledo First Church to participate. If we get 30+ people to sign up, we get our own coach bus in Israel and hopefully Menachem my fave tour guide extraordinaire from last time!!! Click here for all the details and to download a flyer.

Happy Resurrection?

He raised us from the dead along with Christ so God can point to us as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace!!! — Ephesians 2:6-7 NLT (photo taken by me from inside Garden Tomb in Jerusalem January 2010)

Friday, April 22, 2011

For His Glory?

Years ago a monumental study of young people revealed that emphasizing grace, actively participating in community service, and teaching children how to pray, read, and share during family times of worship are three of the most significant factors that contribute to whether they will see God as significant and the church as a positive place to stay when they're adults [for more info read Valuegenesis]. This summer, you're invited to see how these things can work in your lives today.

We make time for sporting events [go Caps!!!] and theme parks [Sea World rocks!!!]. But when was the last time you and your family intentionally set a week aside to worship God and serve those He loves like crazy all together? Camp Meeting JUN 12-18 is coming fast and YOU are invited to join me there!!! Click above pic for details and room / RV reservations. Click here for a schedule of the week. And click here for bios and speakers. You do NOT need to be Adventist or a member of Toledo First Church to participate!!!

Your Easter Prayer?

I thank you, Lord Jesus, for becoming a human being so I do not have to pretend or try to be God / I thank you, Lord Jesus, for becoming finite and limited so I do not have to pretend that I am infinite and limitless / I thank you, crucified God, for becoming mortal
so I do not have to try to make myself immortal / I thank you, Lord Jesus, for becoming inferior so I do not have to pretend that I am superior to anyone /I thank you for being crucified outside the walls, for being expelled and excluded like the sinners and outcasts, so you can meet me where I feel that I am, always outside the walls of worthiness.

I thank you for becoming weak, Lord Jesus, so I don’t have to be strong / I thank you for being willing to be considered imperfect and strange, so I do not have to be perfect and normal / I thank you, Jesus, for being willing to be disapproved of, so I do not have to try so hard to be approved and liked / I thank you for being considered a failure, so I do not have to give my life trying to pretend I’m a success / I thank you for being wrong by the standards of religion and state, so I do not have to be right anywhere, even in my own mind / Into your hands I commit my spirit.
Adapted from Hope Against Darkness, p. 38

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

Fortune Family Update?

The last few weeks we've been on the road. First stop? Greeneville, TN for my 94 year old grandma Mabel's memorial service. Aside from forgetting my Bible before the service and botching the words I thought I had memorized to Psalm 23 in the KJV, it went okay. I learned my grandma whistled alto in a trio back in the day. Why? Because she loved Jesus like crazy!!! So I reminded my family that one day, "The Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the dead in Christ will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words." [The dozen pink roses are from Toledo First Church. Thank you!!!]
Second stop? Florida! Jackie's grandma and grandpa and my brother and his fam live in Florida so since we were halfway there, we drove there for the kids Spring Break. Though it rained hard a few days, Joshua and Lydia did enjoy feeding the Sting Rays and Dolphins @ Sea World and watching the sharks!!!
Third stop? Mount Vernon for 2011 Worship Fest. I chaperoned the boys in grades 5-8 and our kids from TJA sang their hearts out. Joshua also learned how to do puppets. What fun!!! The entire Worship Fest will be archived @

Rev It Up Revival?

The freedom of the open road, the rush of the wind in your face, and the thrill of an IMAX® theater view of the world are things a person must experience to really understand. And knowing Jesus isn’t any different. To show biker enthusiasts this, there's an event occurring soon [June 2-5] I'm happy to share and invite you to invite your friends to join [click pic or see below for more info].

So please pick up some flyers to share from church and share them with your biker friends. Offer to go WITH THEM to this event. You and they may be eternally grateful you did!!! Download a brochure here. Contact my biker pastor friend Tom @ 740.739.0750 or for even more info. Call this number to make room reservations or RV / Camping sites @ 740.397.5411 extension 228 or email Click here to register for FREE meals

Sunday, April 10, 2011

21st Century Samaritans?

"You don't have to know somebody to do good for somebody." That's what one anonymous Mennonite told NBC News recently when a reporter asked why over 5 years after hurricane Katrina, teams of volunteers from Wisconsin and as far away as Canada continue to pour into Louisiana to help their neighbors a week at a time. With no fanfare. Ulterior motives. Or strings attached. Click play button below to see what I mean.

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