Archive | June, 2007

Today’s funny from Mikey

20 Jun


10. Download MP3’s of the Righteous Brothers for entertainment while on those long, tedious missionary journeys

9. Visit about that persistent pain in flesh

8. Spiritual armor would include virus protection software

7. “To live is Christ, to die is to have a 28K modem”

6. Book boat tickets using

5. E-mail pictures of Peter eating pork to the gang back in Jerusalem

4. Church officers: Pastor, Elder, Deacon, System Administrator

3. Use decryption software to interpret tongues

2. Describe conversion experience as the “Divine Reboot”

1. Add Spam to list of cardinal sins

(Copyright 2002 Gary Cantwell. Permission is granted to send this to others, but not for commercial purposes.)

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Goin to LA

19 Jun

Ed and I will return to Los Angeles (Lake Forest, technically) next week for the Purpose Driven Worship Conference. Last year, we returned full of ideas and ready to tame the world. I pray for that this year.

Ebenezer is in a great place, but at a crossroad: We have people who are not returning to our church because there is no room (no physical space) for them. We need to do something about it, and yesterday. A building program, if started TODAY, will be too late. It will take some thinking out of the box, and we baptists are not known for being good at that.

I hope God gives us some clear direction and a good plan for how to accomodate our current situation. It does no good to reach a ton of people if we have no room at the inn . . .

The Imperfect Pastor

18 Jun

I hope no one ever hears me preach and thinks that I think I am the perfect man or dad. I hope I do not come across as one who thinks he does it all perfect and right, because I do not. I am not perfect. I make mistakes and I struggle with being a good pastor, being a good husband, and being the right kind of father. And sometimes, I think the struggle is beating me to death.

It is the same struggle we all face . . . EVERY DAY we are called upon to make decisions and set a course. God is here to help us with this, and even with His presence and offer of help, we still make mistakes. The great thing is that He is there to help us correct the course when we are headed in the wrong direction.

Does Ebenezer care, part 2

16 Jun

I think the feeling that Ebenezer does not care about kids is based on things said by, honestly, only two or three people. I have been in meetings before, or heard “water cooler” talk that would make me believe there are people who do not like children around here. But I firmly believe it is only a couple of vocal people.

There are some who do not believe we need to build, or that we are capable, or that I am capable of leading such a task. And, they are RIGHT!! Only GOD is able to do ANY of that anyway. There are some opposed to calling a minister of chidren, because they do not have children that age anymore and this person will not impact them directly.

Remember that God is in control. HE CARES ABOUT KIDS, and because He does, WE DO TO!! We have to be obedient to Him, even if a couple around us are squealing because they don’t like it. They (actually, we all) will answer for things like that one day.

Does Ebenezer care about kids?

14 Jun

Seems like a ridiculous question after this week . . . Last night our VBS numbers were a little off. We only had 450 total folks there!! Tons of visitors and folks who have no church connection. One of my friends and I were talking about all of this, and honestly, there is a feeling out there that this church does not value children.

That hurts. On one hand, I hope no one would say that I do not place great value on the children of EBC. Because that would be terribly wrong. But on the other hand, what would we do if all of these people showed up this Sunday?? Where would we put them?? What are we doing to prepare for this??

We, as a church, need to answer these questions in our hearts, and we need to do it YESTERDAY. Our new facilities team is working hard on a long-term solution, but that will not come soon enough. We need to do something, and we need to do it NOW. Do we need to add another worship and another Sunday School?? Do we need to immediately build more education space, and add worship space later? Do we need to get over ourselves and move worship to the Family Life Center??

God has given us a great opportunity, and He will hold us accountable for how we respond. And, as for the “Ebenezer does not value children” thought, I will agree there are a few people who do not care for the number of children we host at Ebenezer. There are some who do not care for our Weekday Ministry. There are some who would not care at all if we did not do the CLC this year, or if all of our youth left. Yes, there are a very few people who feel that way. And a couple of them are squeaky wheels.

But I believe there are far more that DO care about youth and children at Ebenezer, and maybe it is time THEY were a little more vocal. It is obvious God has blessed us with youth and children in abundance, and it is so true that He will hold us accountable for how we respond.


13 Jun

A little girl is trying her best to do the right thing . . . Other kids around her pick on her because she does not join their activities, because she knows it is against God’s will. Yet, she goes on. That, my friends, is COURAGE. The frightening part is that she is a THIRD or FOURTH grader at Ebenezer.

Peer pressure is unreal. When you started reading this, you probably thought it was about a high-schooler facing what we know they face everyday. Sadly, it goes much younger than that now days. The question, for us parents, is how do we help our kids in such situations?

BE THERE FOR THEM. Listen to them. Enable them and allow them to succeed, even in this kind of situation. The best thing we can do is encourage them to succeed, remind them of right and wrong, and monitor their progress. The worst thing we can do is lead them to tuck and run . . . They will face situations like this all of their lives. They need ENCOURAGEMENT, because that is an instillation of COURAGE.

And YOU teach courge, not only by TELLING them, but also by SHOWING IT TO THEM in how you live your life. SO DO IT.

In the words of Gunney Ermey, “Semper Fi, Carry on!”

Why is VBS so cool??

12 Jun

It is because of the PASSION in the hearts of the workers. The hearts with which this VBS (and every one for the past few years) was planned and done MAKES A DIFFERENCE. It filters down into the lives of the kids. THEY CAN TELL IF WE ARE FAKING IT!! And, from what I see, there are over 100 workers who are passionate about what is happening. And that is a good thing.