Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Thoughts on Camp

With the final issue of the paper finally off to the printer, I have started to prepare for a few up-coming events... the first of which is 3rd Grade Camp. I've realized a few things during this prep time.....

This will be my 3rd year to go to 3rd Grade Camp... and I love it. Two years ago I went and I had a broken foot... it was hysterically funny... really!!! A week or so before we left I stepped of a curb incorrectly and broke a couple of bones in my left foot. That same week, Jeremy Kane, who was also signed up to go, blew out his knee and had to have surgery. When we showed up for service at church our camp Dean, Sha Marcum, had a "deer in headlights" look about her. She even announced from the front that she might need back ups because it appeared that a portion of her camp staff was wounded! Jeremy and I both assured her that we still intended to go, and we did. Bob Marcum, who attends every year, managed to get a golf cart and he hauled Jeremy and I around (WHEN he remember to pick me up!!)... and Jeremy's dad, Phil, even came and helped Jeremy get around in a motorized wheelchair. We were the "Gimp Squad for God" that year... and we still had a great time.

Last year, just prior to camp, I was diagnosed with Osteoarthritis, and I have to say, I was in a great deal of pain at the time. I still opted to go, and had a blast. It took me a little while to hike up to the campfire, and there were a few times where I was just plain worn out from the day and the pain, but in the end, it was worth it all.

This year, well... nothing is broken, but I still have the OA. I have been working at getting it under control, and things are better. I guess I just actually deal with it better now than I did then. Will I be able to hike to the campfire? Sure... I'm just guessing it will still take me some time to get it accomplished! That's okay... the time I get to spend with this kids makes it all worthwhile!

Okay, by now you are asking yourself... where is she going with all this... so here it is...

While preparing for my lesson on the power of faith, I realized that through my previous two experiences with camp, I have had to rely on faith to get me through. Faith that God would provide me with the energy needed to keep up with 3rd graders. And in each instance God has pulled me through the 2 1/2 days of camp with flying colors. And if you look at the people that are mentioned in our lesson this year, they all had tremendous faith, in spite of their limitations.

Moses is mentioned in this lesson, and we are looking at Moses and the exodus in our VBS as well.. and you know... it took a great deal of faith for him to accomplish what God required of him. He didn't let his limitations (inability to speak clearly, age, relationship to Pharaoh) hinder his desire to fulfill God's call on his life. I believe that it should be the same for us.

Is God calling you to work at VBS, or go to camp, or participate in a mission trip? Do you feel that you have limitations? Maybe your health, your financial status, your lack of "bible knowledge".... this list could go on and on... but the upshot of this is simple... YOU limit yourself... God... who is calling you has NO LIMITS in what he can accomplish THROUGH YOU!!! So heed the call... and remember... you aren't doing this on your own... God is accomplishing his work THROUGH you and he will equip you to finish the job!!!! Even if you are broken....

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


For the most part, I would say that I am an NIV type person... that is my preferred translation when it comes to reading the bible. King James strikes me as a little stuffy (sorry to all you KJV followers!) and The Message can be just a little too loose, so typically you'll find me using the NIV.

As I have been trying to decide what to write for my final column in The Good News, I began thinking about the journey I've taken over the past three years. So, off to bible gateway I headed and I typed in the word journey, searching through the NIV. This search turned up.... NOTHING! Okay... how can I not find journey... so I changed the translation to The Message. Now I was cooking... and what I read there really struck me... I'm going to give you the NIV for this first... then the Message... and you'll see why I was amazed...

NIV 1 Peter 1:18 - 21
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

Good stuff... Before Christ our lives were empty, as were the lives of our fathers, but through Christ's perfect sacrifice, which was decided upon before the world was created, we now have faith and hope in God! But I want you to see how The message puts this verse... same concept but a little more powerful....

The Message 1 Peter 1: 18-21
Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ's sacred blood, you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb. And this was no afterthought. Even though it has only lately - at the end of the ages - become public knowledge, God always knew he was going to do this for you. It's because of this sacrificed Messiah, whom God then raised from the dead and glorified, that you trust God, that you know you have a future in God.

Okay... dead-end, empty headed life... pretty strong words... but actually right on the mark. Without Christ, where would our lives be headed? Nowhere! And empty-headed... I agree! Our thoughts, when not centered on Christ, are just that.... empty!

And God ALWAYS knew that his son would have to die to save his Creation... and he gave us ample opportunity to get it right... and we still botched it. So he knew... Christ knew... even as he was The Word... speaking all things into being... that the ultimate sacrifice would have to be made... and he did so willingly... and God raised him from the dead... bringing Glory to God, so that we could have a future....

So, where are you right now... are you at a dead-end... leading an empty-headed life? Or have you accepted the sacrifice Christ made for YOU? And did you get the part about the "end of the ages"? Time is running short, and it's time to make a decision... an empty way of life or a life filled with faith an hope in God... the choice is yours!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Hope you enjoy this brief history of Father's Day.

Father's Day, contrary to popular misconception, was not established as a holiday in order to help greeting card manufacturers sell more cards.

In fact when a "father's day" was first proposed there were no Father's Day cards!

Mrs. John B. Dodd, of Washington, first proposed the idea of a "father's day" in 1909. Mrs. Dodd wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart. William Smart, a Civil War veteran, was widowed when his wife (Mrs. Dodd's mother) died in childbirth with their sixth child. Mr. Smart was left to raise the newborn and his other five children by himself on a rural farm in eastern Washington state. It was after Mrs. Dodd became an adult that she realized the strength and selflessness her father had shown in raising his children as a single parent.

The first Father's Day was observed on June 19, 1910 in Spokane Washington.
At about the same time in various towns and cities across American other people were beginning to celebrate a "father's day.".

In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea of a national Father's Day. Finally in 1966 President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the 3rd Sunday of June as Father's Day.

Father's Day has become a day to not only honor your father, but all men who act as a father figure. Stepfathers, uncles, grandfathers, and adult male friends are all honored on Father's Day.

I had always thought this holiday was just another created by "Hallmark" to boost sales. It is nice to know that it truly was created to honor a father who loved his children so much.

Happy Father's Day to Mickey, our Dad's, and all the dad's we know. Hope you have a wonderful day!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Fly Poop and Pepper

Lately I have been in the midst of many discussions on the bible... in studies... at home... at church... and if there is one thing that I have learned it is that we just aren't going to be able to figure out everything! Sometimes I think that we focus so closely on one aspect of a topic that we miss the entire picture... Mickey likes to call this "trying to pick the fly poop out of pepper"... and I like that term.

I find this to be especially true when it comes to the Old Testament, we just find it plain hard to understand why stuff happened the way it did. My question... does it really matter? Don't get me wrong... the old testament is important... after all, if it wasn't God wouldn't have included it in his love letter to us! I look at the old testament as an insight into the character of God... it helps me to understand him better. Do I know why he wiped out entire nations? Nope... I just know that he did. Do I know why David was chosen as the King... and still messed up? Nope... I just know that he was God's choice. What I get out of the old testament is this... God created us for his pleasure... for us to worship him, and to put him first... God gave us chance after chance to "get it right" and we continued to fail. God, who loves us even though we mess up, dropped hint after hint about His son, who would bring us eternal life, and that with his death and resurrection our world would be changed forever... and if I learn nothing more from the old testament than this, then I think I've learned plenty.

There are a lot of unanswered questions in the old testament, and in reality, they don't determine a thing about our salvation, so why expend a great deal of time an energy on them? We won't find the answer this side of heaven. I find it much more important to concentrate on the task at hand... spreading the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins and that through him one can have eternal life. I think that this is a far better use of our time.... just a personal opinion, and if you don't agree that's fine... I don't mind agreeing to disagree!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

In the US

The DR team has made it back into the US! Mickey called around 11:00 and said that all was well. It was great to know that they are all safe and sound.

Can't wait to hear about all of the excitement that they had. Mark your calendar for June 25th at 7:00 PM. The DR team will be taking over Wednesday night service at GCC and having a presentation on their trip. Hope you can all make it!

Monday, June 9, 2008

The wait is nearly over....

Tomorrow Mickey and the members of the DR team will return! Their flight should be in around 11:00 PM. Now... I was going to go to the airport, but before he left Mickey told me not to come. He said that with his flight coming in so late, he would be worried about me driving into Louisville with the kids. You see... I don't do well driving in Louisville when it is DAYLIGHT, so the dark... that probably wouldn't be good. And I believe that I could do it... but I also know that Mickey would be worried about it the whole flight. I am what you would call a "white knuckle driver" when it comes to going places I've never been... and breathing? Well, I do eventually remember to do it! So, I guess that unless Mickey calls me from Miami and tells me differently, I will just wait for him here at home.

Michael has asked where Daddy is every day that he has been gone. We have been counting down the days until his return from his "field trip" as Michael calls it. I could tell last night that he was missing Daddy. He generally spends the better part of an evening climbing all over Mickey... asking him about a million questions and rough housing some. I got all that last night! He'll be happy to see his daddy.

We went and ate with Joe and Erica after church yesterday. I really enjoy this young couple, they have such hearts for God and for the youth at GCC. It was great to get to know them a little better. Their company helped to ease some of my loneliness. Then the kids and I came home and passed some time in the pool. Michael soon picked up where he left off last year. Even as the temperature cooled and his lips began to chatter, he insisted on staying in the pool. I finally forced him out. He really enjoyed it, and so did Carly and I... it is always nice to fill an afternoon with laughter.

You know, things have gone well here since Mickey left. There were a few bumps in the road... I was sick and ended up at the Urgent Care Center; Carly's car was fixed, but still needed a new battery so I bought one and Robert put it in for me; the pool filter was clogged and with the help of Carly's friend Joanna, we fixed that and DIDN'T empty all the water from the pool. And surprisingly, I managed to not only take the trash down to the garage when it was full, but I remembered to take the trash out to the driveway for pick-up this morning. And even though I managed very well, I have to say, I wouldn't want life to be like this all the time. There is something to be said for "sharing" life's ups and downs with someone you love and who loves you.

I realized this morning that this is kind of like our relationship with Christ... we can live life pretty well on our own. We can still have our homes, our family, our friends... we can can take care of anything that comes along... but why would we want to handle life on our own? It is so much easier to take life as it is thrown at you if you have someone to help you make it through the day... and that is what God longs from us... he wants us to allow him to carry our load, he wants to celebrate our victories with us... more than that, he wants us to THANK him for those victories. Each day is a gift that he has given to us, and like anyone who gives a gift, he desires to know that we appreciate what we have been given.

And today... I am just thankful that God has been with me each day... especially while Mickey has been gone. He has kept his hand over our little family, and I have felt his presence, especially when I have started to feel lonely. I know that Mickey has been about God's work... and I know that God has kept an extra watchful eye over us all... and I am anxious to hear all about Mickey's trip and the people he met. Yeah... I could have done this on my own, but I'm so thankful I didn't have to. I've appreciated each and every "God hug" I've received this week.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A picture is worth....

Meet Levi Robert Vuyovich! Look at that hair!!!!

And leaving no one out... these little darlings round out the Nanny Brag Book.... Camden, Emma and Kailyn! Christmas this year will be AMAZING!

Stork Alert!!!!!


You read right... around 10 PM on Tuesday evening Rachel gave birth to a beautiful little boy - Levi Robert. He weighed in at 6 lb. 9 oz. and was 20 inches long. Mom and baby are doing fine.

What a mircle it is to see a newborn baby... so tiny and untouched by the world. I just wish that Mickey had been here to welcome this little miracle.

Carly was a great help, staying at the house to take care of Michael and Emma. And thanks to my friend Kendra and her boys for hanging with Carly and the kids. It was a little stormy in the Pekin area and it was a comfort to know they were in good hands. Can't wait for Carly and Michael to meet their new nephew.

As soon as I get some good digital's I'll post them. Thanks to all who have been in prayer over this blessed event!!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Journey Begins

Today my husband, Mickey, along with 10 other members of Greenville Christian Church have embarked on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic. This team will be gone for one week, during which time they will help to build a nutrition center and put on a Vacation Bible School.

The team, led by Denise Manias, varies in age and background. There are those who have participated in missions trips before, and those for which this will be their first step into the waters of missions. The one thing that binds this team together is their desire to be Jesus to those they meet. They all know that the days will be long, it will be hot, and they will get tired. They also go knowing that they might be the only Jesus some of these people ever see. That knowledge is what drives them.

Other than a phone call to the head of our missions committee to let families know they have arrived safely, we won't hear a word from them during the time they are gone. Mickey has been gone for extended periods since we have been married, but we have never gone and entire week without contact. It was made doubly hard for him to leave as I have been sick for a few days, and still continue to run a fever. Then there is the fact that on Thursday, our 4th grand baby will makes its long awaited arrival, and he won't be able to know how that goes. We don't know if this baby is a girl or a boy, and last night he told Rachel that he would be the last to know. The last thing that Mickey said to me this morning as he left was "Take care of all my kids", and in the blink of an eye he had left, and I won't see or hear from him again until next Tuesday.

When God places a call on your life, and you accept that call, sacrifices are made. When Jesus approached a fishing boat and said, "Come with me and I will make you fishers of men" sacrifices were made. Have you ever thought that these men who opted to follow Christ in his ministry for 3 1/2 years most likely had family? That for much of the time, their families didn't hear from them. Didn't know if they were safe? Didn't know if they were ill? Didn't know if they were even alive? And for the men themselves, they had no contact with their families on a regular basis. They missed out on births, weddings, and the deaths of loved ones.

Ministry isn't always easy. Following God's call on your life can take sacrifice, and not just YOUR sacrifice, but the sacrifice of those you love as well. But in the end... it has to be worth it. If just one person... just ONE... comes to a relationship with Jesus Christ, then there is victory.

Be in prayer for this GCC team: Denise, Darryl, Rachel, Adam, Jeff, Ashley, Russ, Blyss, Chris, Joy and Mickey. Today they are beginning a great adventure, and they will need our prayers for safety and strength!