Monday, September 24, 2007

The Party

Sunday we celebrated Michael's fifth birthday with family and friends. Not only was it his birthday, but it was exactly one year to the day that we landed in Louisville,KY after receiving him in China. We were greeted there by many of the same people who attended his birthday party.

It was a great day, and Mickey and I were just so blessed by those who made this a priority in their day. Tables were filled with people eating, chatting and enjoying one another's company. A high point for Michael was when Kailyn arrived. He has missed her since they moved and he couldn't wait to run over to the car to greet her. They ran around together all day long.

When we finally sat down last night I had the opportunity to think over the day. I couldn't help but think that this will be what heaven will be like. Family and friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, gathered around the banquet table, anticipating what is to come. Excited about the gift we have received. A celebration to end all celebrations... or should I say to BEGIN all celebrations???!!!!! And like Michael... I believe that Christ will run to us, excited to greet us, eager for the fun to begin. Sounds great doesn't it?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

One of those days

Have you have had one of those days where the bomb shells of life just seem to keep coming at you? My Wednesday was one such day, and I am glad that it is coming to a close. Of course, even that isn't running smoothly. I am on the second or third try to get a part of the paper to email to the printer and it is 10:30 PM and I AM TIRED!!

I was dragging by the time I got to church tonight and I wasn't really sure if I could manage teaching the kids, but you know...they just seem to bring the energy level up when you are around them. It is just so cool to have all those little faces looking up at you. They have some of the neatest smiles I've seen and they are just so ready to soak up all you have to offer.

I am an "old school' teacher, and I love doing the older songs with the kids, and they seem to really enjoy it. Of course, they are 4, 5 and Kindergarten age, so what do they know??!!! We have been singing "Deep and Wide", "This Little Light of Mine" and "If Your Happy and You Know It" this month. We have even been learning the names of the disciples to the tune of "Jesus Love Me". Several of them are actually picking up on the names.

I hadn't taught a group of kids for a long time. While I have worked at VBS I haven't had a weekly one on one with a class in ages. I had forgotten how much I enjoy working with little ones and my class at GCC is great. Not to mention that Michelle Newton and Carly are two awesome co-workers. I realized tonight what I think that I have missed the most since not teaching... the hugs. There is nothing better than a child hugging you when they enter the room and hugging you again when they leave.

So to those of you who are allowing me the opportunity to teach your kids, thanks. They are awesome, and I am honored to be teaching them about our Savior. Thanks for sharing them with me.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Belly of a Fish

We are currently being blessed with a sermon series at GCC (see link at left or go to iTunes and type in Chad Doerr) on Jonah. As usual I have walked away from both sermons with plenty to chew on. Last night Mickey and I were discussing the sermon and I told him that I had been struck by one thought in particular... Jonah was very effectively removed from all distractions so that God could capture his attention. I mean, come on... how many distractions can there possibly be in the belly of a great fish?!

The only place he could focus his attention was on God, and the only thing he had to think about (other than the horrible smell!) was what God wanted him to do, and why he hadn't just done as he was told!!! Now, Jonah was a prophet, God spoke directly to him, and he STILL didn't comply. How much more do we, who have to kind of take a stab at what God is asking, block out his voice with our daily distractions? Often times, we not only fail to comply with God's requests, but we manage to effectively drown out the sound of his voice with TV, radio, computers, kids, phones... and the list goes on and on.

While Jonah didn't have those types of distractions, I am sure that he certainly had some way of placing God's call on the back in the the belly he went. No more distractions!!!

While I doubt that we will ever have a "big fish" moment in our lives, I think that it would do us all good to find some quiet time with God. We all need to lock out the distractions that might keep us from hearing his voice. Who knows how our lives might just be changed.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Gotcha Day

One year ago today we entered the civil affairs office in Nanjing and met our son, Xu Xiao Tong... okay... Michael. How time has flown by. Yet, it seems as if he has always been with us. He is such an amazing little guy and we love having him in our family. He is growing, both physically and spiritually. The little guy won't eat a meal unless we pray! How awesome is that???!!! Thanks to everyone who has been such a great support through this adventure.
And BTW... next week is Michael's birthday... he will turn 5 years old. Watch out world!!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Article on Leadership

I received an article for the paper from Delbert Gray, Professor Emeritus of Louisville Bible College. Now, Mr. Gray is from the Pekin area, and he has on occasion sent things to the paper. I love what he has to say and enjoy the way he says it. This article was great, and while I don't want to spoil the entire read to you, I have to share this part with you...

Robert Moeller gives one of the most powerful insights.... "If I wanted to raise my children to be atheists, I wouldn't remove all the copies of the Bible from our home. Nor would I sit them down night after night and lecture them on the non-existence of God. I wouldn't even spend my time trying to have the motto, 'In God We Trust' removed from our coins."

"No, I would turn them into little atheists in a much more efficient fashion. I would just let them observe me consistently criticizing the pastor or another church member, refusing to go along with any decision of the leaders. I would allow them to witness us engaged in vicious gossip about the church leadership. Perhaps for good measure I would also hold a meeting of concerned members in my home to discuss the faults and sins of people in the church. Two or three years of such unloving behaviour and I could almost guarantee my children would never darken the doors of a church as adults."

Wow... when I read that I couldn't help but realize the damage that we can do to our children's chance for salvation just because we don't always see eye to eye with our leadership.

I hope that you will take the time to read this article in the October issue of the paper. I was blown away by what I found there. In the meantime... I loved this verse shared by Delbert...
Let your gentleness be evident to all. Philippians 4:5

Sunday, September 9, 2007


Today we met Chandra, Jeff and the kids in Salem and said our goodbyes. Now... I have been reminded several times today that they are only going to be an hour and a half away, but when you are accustomed to seeing someone several times a week, that is a hard adjustment no matter where they are going!

I am very happy for the kids, it will be great for them to be together again. It is hard to have a good marriage when one of you is gone all week long. Solid relationships cannot be built on weekends! And this is awesome for the "grands", they need to have their daddy. So on both of those counts I am thrilled. And I have found that I can be thrilled, even with a sad face!

Keep my kids in your prayers as they begin this new adventure in life. I am sure that they will have adjustments to make, but I also know that with Christ as the head of their home they will do just fine.

And me....???? Well, I will just have to learn to focus on the fact that they will now live near the outlets in Columbus, and I will begin to make my Christmas list!!!!! Shopping... it is the universal cure-all!!!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Back in the saddle

Last night we had our first Wednesday night program at church. I couldn't believe the numbers that were there for the meal. I think that we actually topped 100, which is great. Following the meal various programming went on throughout the church. The adults headed to Round 2, a new program designed to build on Sunday's sermon. The high school and junior high headed to their respective buildings and those below the 5th grade headed downstairs.

The 1st through 5th grade have a program called K.I.A..... Kid's In Action. It is a great program filled with music, drama and lessons. Unfortunately, it was a little too much for kids below the 1st grade. They seemed a little overwhelmed. So...beginning this year we have a program for kids who are between the ages of 4 and Kindergarten... I like to call us the "Wee K" class. We ll have music, but it is a little different than the KIA group. We are going to focus on the "older songs" like This Little Light of Mine, His Banner Over Me is Love and Deep and Wide. Songs that have motions more geared for little ones. We are also going to work on building on Sunday's lessons. Repetition is the key with the little ones. We are even going to work on learning the names of the disciples through song this month.

While I have filled in on occasion downstairs, I hadn't taught a class in a long time. I really enjoyed it and it was kind of nice to get back in the saddle. The ten children in our class were great and I think we will have a wonderful year ahead. And from the looks of everyone following class I'd say that all who come to Wednesday nights will have the opportunity to be blessed! If you weren't able to make it, I encourage you to come and check it out!!!

Monday, September 3, 2007


I have been going to church for a long time and I can't remember the last time I have walked away from so many services feeling convicted about something. Since our Pastor, Chad Doerr, began his series on holiness I have gotten something out of each sermon, and it has often left me feeling blown away.

Sunday before last I wasn't able to attend church so I made sure to check out GCC's podcast, burning a disk to take with me on my paper deliveries. I listened to the sermon twice while I was out and finally had to call Chad... I needed a few clarifications, which he graciously talked me through.

I have to say, if you have been coming to GCC over the past few weeks and you haven't gotten anything out of the sermons then you haven't been listening. There has to have been something that touched your heart, or stirred your mind. I can't believe otherwise.

I think that many of us have forgotten that a pastor's job is to seek God's will for the sermon to be preached and to take that Word and feed it to us in a way that will capture our attention. Once our attention is in the right place, God will speak to us through his servant, and when God speaks we should be all ears!!! There is no room for distraction. Our focus should be on God's message, and we should be drinking in all that He has to say to us.

So... if you haven't been feeling a little convicted lately... I would suggest that you pay closer attention to what God is saying... you might just be amazed and what you will learn!