Thursday, March 29, 2012

Met My Friend Aunt Leweez?

This dude in my church is such a riot. He's the closest thing I know to Tyler Perry / Madea. He plays percussion and bass in worship and is very well known in Toledo. It was my pleasure to be invited into a packed courtroom full of city officials and Ohio government dignitaries present to give him The Thomas E. Gahl Line Officer of the Year for the Great Lakes Region (November 2010) Award for his excellent work in law enforcement with the Federal Probation & Pretrial Officer's Association. But as much as he loves music and his job, he loves Jesus even more!!! And everyone he meets from judges to juries know this. Please blow up the comment section for my friend Lewis and ALL his alter egos including Uncle Lewkas, Uncle Lenny, Uncle Lewigi, Uncle Lewie, and my personal fave Aunt Leweez!!! Enjoy!!! PS - In case you're wondering what the song and title is about, here's what Lewis says: "Pastor, you too let your freak flag fly and I truly feel this is what the world needs. Yes, we have guidelines by which we are all expected to follow, but what is wrong with going beyond what's in black & white or what someone else thinks is the 'right way?' I have always worked outside the box to get things accomplished and I see you do as well. In order to get more people into the Kingdom, I feel we are going to have to continue to tell the truth, based off the Bible, but also work outside the box (Let our freak flags fly) just as Toledo First does with it's Outreach, Connections, and ways with 'working individuals slowly' back to the truth. Please continue to be encouraged and continue to do the work God has placed on you to do. You do it very well and if I must say so, you Pastor truly 'Let Cha Freak Flag Fly!'" Thanks Aunt Leweez!!! Much love!!! Click below to see the LOL outakes.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Not the Way I Heard It?

Jesus was the master storyteller. He used parables to capture the attention and imagination of his audience. If Jesus were here sharing those parables today he might update them to capture the attention and imagination of our current culture. And that's what actor / storyteller extraordinaire Chuck Neighbors will be doing in Toledo First Church on Saturday May 19 @ 11am.

You will hear The Parable of the Talents set in a psychiatrist’s office from a patient who is struggling with life after losing his job. The Parable of the Prodigal Son from the “other son’s” point of view as he communicates his feelings toward his wayward brother. The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard from a disgruntled employee trying to come to terms with the boss’s apparent favoritism. The Parable Good Samaritan from the victim’s perspective, as he discovers what it means to “love your neighbor as yourself.” The Parable of the Sower and the Seeds from a grandfather sharing the sorrow and joys of the differing paths his children have chosen. In the same way the original parables encouraged the faith of listeners over 2000 years ago—this retelling will encourage your faith as well! Plan now to invite a friend and bring them to Friendship Sabbath @ Toledo First.

Truth Is Jesus?

Ephesians 4:21 (NIV) says, "Surely you heard of Him and were taught in Him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus." That's the text the entire week of Camp Meeting 2012 is built around. Meetings and classes feature grace based Ohio speakers/presenters! (click here for topics and speakers).

Bring your Bibles for worship, work clothing for service projects, suits for swimming, etc. Early Morning Walks with Jeba Moses gets your heart pumping. Soul CafĂ© with Lori Farr will help campers begin their day in the word of God with new friends. Pick up your favorite drink and muffin and join the small groups around the tables to engage in an interactive study group to deepen your understanding and love of God. Joint worship for all ages in the Cafeteria precedes morning classes. Campers can enjoy afternoon family-friendly classes and presentations Cradle Roll through Teens. Afternoon Activities/Outings for ALL ages – swimming, bowling, Camp Mohaven Day, and area outreach service projects. Women’s Tea at the Gallagher Center Thursday, June 14 and much, much more! Worship every morning and evening Sunday night (opening night) – special showing of Forks over Knives. On Friday night, join us for a free meal and countdown to Sabbath Our Lord's Delight.

Saturday June 16 concludes the week long spiritual feast with more intergenerational worship, a free meal to registered guests (RSVP online here), an afternoon sacred talent show called Ohio Has Gifts featuring the spiritual gifts of people from across Ohio Adventist churches, an evening watermelon feed, an update on Adventist Health Study, a Camp Meeting recap in pictures, more worship featuring a youth production of Esther: Queen of Persia and a community concert. Don't miss it!!! (You do not have to Adventist or a member in Toledo First to participate)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Film Fest Legal?

For our Family Film Fest with students from Toledo Junior Academy on MAR 11, we showed the recent Warner Bros film Dolphin Tale. We had a great turnout including some guests from the community who saw our sign advertising the free showing. Did you know Warner Bros has contracted with Swank Motion Pictures allowing churches and other non-profit organizations the legal right to advertise and show their films to groups? And that you can contact them, choose from their huge library of films by clicking here, many that come with discussion questions and advertising posters, and host your own legal Film Fests? Click here for all the details and contact account executive Meghan Edwards for any questions or help @ 1-800-876-5577.

Israel Pics?

I organized a tour to Israel in January 2012. Here's a few highlights.
Jesus told the waves on the Sea of Galilee to be still. They still are (most of the time).
This hill has the only first century wine press unearthed in Nazareth. Which means Jesus likely played and partied right here growing up.
Four people from our group got baptized while we were there. The Holy Spirit descended on that place like two doves!!!
Zechariah 14:4 says when Jesus returns, he is going to step onto the Mount of Olives. Here's a view from the top.
Would like to return Spring Break 2013 or 2014 when it's a little warmer over there. Wanna come?

Can a Ten Year Old Help Haiti?

Some of you read my post about Michou - an HIV infected orphan in Haiti (click here if you haven't). My 10 year old daughter Lydia read/watched Michou's story/vid and wanted to help. But didn't know how. Until she heard a friend Sabrina was making Duct Tape pens and novelties to raise money for kids like Michou in/near Eden Garden Orphanage in Haiti. So she decided to make $5 Friendship Bracelets. She got a book "How to Make Fancy Friendship Bracelets." That's basically it.

Her supplies are donated so 100% of the money you give to buy Friendship Bracelets here helps kids in Haiti there. She's trying to raise $1k. Wanna help? Click here to securely donate online ($10 min - there is no maximum!!!). The more you give the faster she reaches her goal. Check her progress in the top right of the page. For every donation, she will send you at least two of her fancy colorful friendship bracelets so you have one to keep and one to give away. If we don't have your address, we'll email you to get it from the receipt of your online donation. Thanks SO much for encouraging and helping Lydia help Haiti!!! Who knew ten year olds could make such a big difference?!!