Monday, June 24, 2013

AN AMAZING PLACE

OK, FOR THE NEXT FEW MOMENTS I am going to brag about the great bunch of people we have here at Felton Bible Church. Though all the numbers are not yet in, this has been another amazing year at Vacation Bible School. Lots of Kids, lots of staff, lots of money donated for our Hope Farm project in Haiti, lots of amazing work done by amazing people, not least of all Andy Williams and his crew of maze-building-minions.  From music to missions; from crafts to snacks; from dramas to Bible lessons; from games played to verses memorized, this has been another amazing year. A giant "THANK YOU" to NASA/Ames for the incredible props and prizes that added that special touch to the whole event.

Then there was the money raised (not to mention counted by our stalwart penny-pushers) for our mission project of helping the families of Haiti establish sustainable, income-producing farms.  And of course, we cannot forget the most important aspect of our week, witnessing a group of 101 children make a public profession of faith to follow Jesus and to obey His Word. It was truly an amazing week.

THE MAZE THAT ANDY & CREW BUILT!

To all who once again proved there is something beautiful in seeing God’s people come together in unity for the sake of the King of kings and His desire to see the little ones come to Him, I say a most humble “Thank you!” Blessings upon all of you who patiently cared for the children, who lead them from place to place and listened to their joyful voices and some tearful whining. Your love for God and His children will have long reaching effects.

This was truly an amazing week as we learned that God knows all, is always present, He created and cares for us, and our response is to follow and obey, to go and show and tell of His greatness!

Our God is truly amazing! Praise to His glorious Name!
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Monday, June 17, 2013

TO ETERNITY AND BEYOND

IT’S A GOOD THAT OUR CHILDREN HAVE A FAIL-SAFE mechanism that keeps them from remembering much, if anything, of their first year of life. If they did they would surely carry with them the memory of their father throwing them 10 feet in the air and they would most likely need life-long therapy. I have come to see that there is a fine line between giggles of glee and shouts of terror.  I’m sorry kids if dad marked you for life, but you did look like you were having fun.
 
Speaking of high-flying fun, this year’s Vacation Bible School theme is: “To Eternity and Beyond,” although I am a little hard-pressed to think about what IS beyond eternity? But I do get the idea and it is a good one. Our desire is to help our young space cadets discover the greatness of their heavenly Father (See Psalm 139:1-18 for our flight plan) and to discover His great love for each of them. He is the God who is big enough, strong enough and loving enough never to drop them no matter the heights from which they may be falling.

Our flight plan will take them from gazing at God’s work in the heavens to His work in the earth. We shall sing, shout, dance and laugh as we discover the wonder of our God. We shall get some dirt under our fingernails as we discover the work of planting a garden, while learning about our mission project of helping families build sustainable farms in Haiti. And of course we will have a delicious time at snack-break, delightful time constructing our week-long craft project and a delirious time with Captain Andy and the crew of the Gameship Surprise!  All-in-all it will be a week that shall be out-of-this-world.

You can be part of this eternity-shaping event, even if you can’t breakaway to join us, you can pray us through this journey of discovery. Please join us as we seek to set a straight course for the children and their families as we fix our gaze upon God and His eternal plan. The count-down has begun, pray with us for a safe and life-changing  adventure.


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Sunday, June 09, 2013

LIVING THE LITURGY

Horologe3
Horologe3 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
SAY WHAT YOU WANT but there is something comforting about liturgy. It’s nice to know what’s coming next in the order of things, and even nicer when you know what those elements mean in the larger scheme of things.

A few weeks ago we took a huge step (literally) and had laminate flooring installed throughout our house. I really like the look, but there have been a couple of drawbacks. First laminate flooring feels and sounds different when you walk on it, which makes it more difficult to sneak out to the kitchen for a late-night cookie jar raid. Second, is that we rearranged the furniture, making it more difficult to get around in the dark. It’s amazing how accustomed one becomes to having furniture in certain places.

The lesson for me thus far is to take it slow when traversing the den when the lights are out. The goal is to keep my toes from banging into the newly rearranged furniture. Now, I suppose we could have put things back the way they were, to live in the old pattern of things, but the truth is I like the new lay-out. Sure it’s different and it’s taking some getting used to, but it actually makes more sense the way we now have it. Soon I am sure I will get around in the dark with no problem and to that cookie jar.


Every church has a liturgy, be it high church or low or somewhere in between, we all have ways we like to have things and most of us feel it’s best to leave things the way they are. I don’t care if you’re young or old, change never comes easy, but sometimes it is needed if for no other reason than to see that there may be a new way of experiencing an old truth that allows that truth to glow with new life. Sure there may be a few stubbed toes along the way, but soon enough a new comfort is reached and an old way can brim with new life, in fact you might even find it more comfortable that you’ll wonder why we didn’t do this sooner. 
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Wednesday, June 05, 2013

DEATH IS NOT THE END...

THIS POWER SHORT FILM reminds us that death can bring a community together. Death is not something that should be shrouded away, but rather embraced.

For the Christian community death is not the end, but it is the doorway to the glorious reality of God's presence for eternity. In death we are allowed to once again practice the communal act of carrying another. Death, with all its inherent pain and loss, can also be a time for us to practice what we believe as those who have trusted in the death, and the resurrection, of Jesus Christ.

I am thankful for this short film and for the artists who created it to remind us of the power of community and caring and of passage.
 
The Coffinmaker from Dan McComb on Vimeo.

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Sunday, June 02, 2013

A SABBATH'S REST

A couple in a Hammock.
A couple in a Hammock. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
TAKING A DAY OFF FOR REST is increasingly more difficult. Whether it's more games our kid must attend or it’s the extra work our boss expects us to complete, or maybe we’ve been going at it so hard that when that day arrives we are too overwhelmed to even rest.

Yet, the Sabbath, that day created by God for us, is still part of the Commandments. Yes, I realize that Jesus fulfilled the Commandments for us, but that does not mean they are still not good for us. When you take a close look at them you will notice they were created for our good. Those who seek to keep them, even in a incomplete way, can still draw a huge benefit from them. Especially that middle Command that unites the upward focused Commandments with the outward focused ones. The command to remember the Sabbath, and to keep it holy, maybe better, to keep it wholly.

Jesus reminded His followers that the Sabbath was made for us, not us for the Sabbath. It is a gift from a gracious God for our good. The sad reality is that Sabbath-keeping, especially among the Jews, became more of a burden than a blessing. This was not what it was created to be, so how do we keep the Sabbath a blessing?

First, see it as a gracious gift from a gracious God who truly desires you to enjoy it. Second, be proactive in practicing Sabbath, by that I mean; plan for it and keep it religiously. Here are some things to include in your Sabbath that will help you reap the greatest blessing from it. Let’s form those ideas out of the word REST.

   R = Remember = plan for it weekly. Give thanks for it daily.
   E = Exercise = take time for play. A walk in the park, catch with the kids. Get your hands dirty.
   S = Sleep = take a nap. Read a book. Give space for repose.
   T = Talk = To God, to family, to friends. Take time for worship and fellowship.


Well, surely this list is not near complete, but it’s a good place to start. We all need this gift the Lord has given. For some it may fall on a Sunday, for others on a Monday. The day is not as nearly as important as the choice to celebrate this gift from God, and to do so unto His glory.
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