Monday, June 23, 2008

VBS and Ice Cream Bars

We enjoyed a wonderful week of Vacation Bible School last week at Ridgway First Baptist Church. The kids and the workers enjoyed the Outrigger Island theme, and it gave me a perfect opportunity to wear some Hawaiian shirts in the pulpit.

I personally want to thank the parents and grandparents who entrusted their children to us. We value deeply the confidence you have in the church to provide your children a safe and inviting place to come. We hope that your children experienced the love of Christ in us for them throughout the week and that they learned the truths taught from God’s Word.

Without apology our desire is that your children will know personally the truth that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and receive Him as Savior and Lord. One of our memory verses for the week was this: “Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’” (John 14:6). There are many competing and confusing ideas today about spiritual things, but our heart’s desire and prayer is that your children (and you) will believe in Jesus and become His fully devoted followers.

I also want to say a public thanks to the church for their support of VBS. Truly this is a church-wide effort. Many covered us with prayer support, many gave generously of their finances, and we had 40 workers who gave sacrificially of their time to help in different ways during the week. From the kitchen crew to the rec staff, the music leaders and craft workers, and to the teachers and their helpers who carried out their mission with great grace upon them, I offer a humble and heartfelt thank you. I wish I could list them each by name, but I’ll settle for a special word of appreciation to our co-directors, Theda Miller and Becky Mitchell, for outstanding leadership. Oh yeah, we also were privileged to have a couple of young men who did a fine job of ringing the bell!

After the final bell rang on Friday night at 8:00, when the children went home and the lights were turned off, my family and I went home to celebrate a great week. We celebrated with chocolate and peanut butter ice cream bars. We don’t just get these treats out every night and eat them mindlessly while watching television. This was an occasion of celebration!

While our two boys tore into their ice cream with the grace of a hungry wolf on its prey (not unlike the way many of your children ate their snacks this week!), I carefully unwrapped my ice cream bar and began looking at it. Holding the stick I slowly turned it and examined it from different angles saying, “Man, this looks sooo good! What a combination: chocolate and peanut butter – and ice cream! This is going to be delicious. I am going to enjoy this like it’s the last ice cream I’ll ever eat!”

Tyler knew I was just playing around and asked incredulously, with chocolate all over his face, “What are you going to do? Aren’t you going to eat it?” Ah, yes, that’s the question! Are you going to eat it, or what? That thing’s going to melt if you just hold it there. Everyone knows that you have only a short window of opportunity to decide what you’re going to do. Either shut up and eat the thing or waste the moment.

Friend, do you know that time is running out on us here on earth? I’m not talking about global warming – I’m talking about that day when the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men (2 Peter 3:7). There’s only a short window of opportunity in which you have to choose whether you’re going to keep examining the claims of Christ Jesus, merely talking about Him, or truly “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8). Either bow before Him now and confess Him as your Lord and Savior, or waste the moment.

God is patient with you – He does not want any to perish. He wants everyone to come to repentance. He wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. And in His great love He gave His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins and raising Him from the dead, making the way possible for us to be saved from death and made righteous before Him for eternity. “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ, who gave himself as a ransom for all men” (1 Timothy 2:5-6).

“Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts” (Hebrews 3:15), and miss out on God’s promise of salvation. The Truth is before you. “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). What are you going to do?

Thursday, June 19, 2008


We took the chance at the SBC to view a screening for the new movie, "Fireproof," coming to theaters in September. All I can say is this - if your marriage is struggling but you want to make it work, you need to see this movie.

I won't give away the plot, but if you'd like to see a trailer and get more info you can go to and check it out.

If your marriage is strong and you want to keep it that way, you'll want to see this show. If you're thinking about getting married or want to someday, you should go see this movie.

God has ordained marriage (think one man, one woman) as a covenant for a lifetime. He has given men the incredible task of loving their wives as Christ loves the church. He commands women to submit to their husbands as the church submits to Christ. It's a beautiful picture of Christ and the church. It's a profound mystery, Paul says in Ephesians 5:32. How can two become one flesh? I can't explain it but God makes it happen.

I'm so thankful for a faithful, loving, God-fearing wife. God has blessed me far beyond what I deserve. I truly feel like I married "above me." We're not without our disagreements and different perspectives, but we complement each other and work toward building each other up. Amy is a treasure - a true gift from the Lord.

"He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord." (Proverbs 18:22).

Is your marriage "fireproof"?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Back Home and on Outrigger Island

My wife and I spent a few days last week in Indianapolis at the SBC Pastor's Conference and Southern Baptist Convention. Although I came home just about exhausted, the messages we heard were challenging, inspiring and Spirit-led.

I hope to write more about some of our experiences and how the messages impacted me personally this week, but this is also our week for Vacation Bible School in Ridgway. That's enough there to keep us busy as we pray and prepare for God to move in the hearts of children and draw them to Jesus.

More to come from Outrigger Island!