Archive for August, 2010

2010 YoYo Winner

Posted: August 31, 2010 in Uncategorized

Thanks Marko for posting this…had to share!

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It’s a book I read back in Illinois and really changed my view of ministry as a whole.

The book is…

7 Practices Of Effective Ministry

And for the cheaters out there…here’s a link to a PDF that flies through the main points of the book:

DISCLAIMER – I’m not a big book kind of person. Really. Think about it…I have 2 kids both under the age of 2, a full-time ministry position, a husband earning his RN degree through hectic college courses and no family anywhere close (which means when they are close they visit for a while…and when they are not close we rely on one another to get things done). POINT BEING…If I find time to read, the book is going to be SHORT, INTERESTING, EFFECTIVE and most of all…PRACTICAL! I don’t have time for “fun” reading anymore (though I kind of wish I could). Instead, I need to read things that get my mind going, re-centers my focus and calling to ministry as a whole.

A few weeks ago I picked this book back up and truth be told I’ve been done for a week now…just been spending my quiet time trying to apply these principles to my thinking and the family ministry at PBCC.

Every ministry is going somewhere…this book provides the right questions and strategies to get everyone going in the right direction.

So…would love to see a few of my volunteers give this a read…anyone up to the challenge??

When You Can’t Speak…

Posted: August 27, 2010 in Uncategorized

I lost my voice…enough said, literally.

All day I’ve been trying to get a few last minute things done…on my day off…perhaps its God’s way of saying, “Bethany, if you are not going to be quiet, I’ll have to help you.”

Stop and rest. It’s a concept I STILL struggle with and it seems to happen that at least twice a year now I lose my voice (usually in conjunction with a cold as in this case) and it forces me to just relax for a bit.

I find that annoying actually…

Steve asks me questions…I can’t answer.
I get a call from a friend…”Are you sick.”…umm..yea…I’ll get back to you later!
Josh just whispers back at me now….EVERYTHING SEEMS QUIETER!!!!

Yet, God does want us to stop (by our OWN doing) and rest…just BE with Him. I try my best to have my time with Him everyday before the insanity of life begins…and really, my day is not functional without this daily conversation with Him.

But see, that’s my problem….

So often times its a conversation…not just me listening to Him…until times like this that I get the subtle reminders that my voice is really not needed.

I’ll be doing a lot more listening this weekend…it really does do a body good (not counting a marriage and a ministry good too!).

Getting Ready For Another Year…

Posted: August 25, 2010 in ministry

Its Wednesday night and that means Kmotion (Kids In Motion) is back in full swing. As I was getting things ready for our second week back, I started getting the name tags out for our fearless leaders…or perhaps I like to call them recruits…they don’t want to be called “leaders” (too much responsibility) but a volunteer, to me, doesn’t put into words how these fine men and women literally make ministry happens. They are not just the back bone to the children’s ministry…they are the children’s ministry. I get paid to think of the ideas, recruit, train, motivate and counsel…then they help make ministry happen. I’m not saying my job here is easy either…I’ll save that for another post.

As I put each lanyard on the table today, I started praying for our volunteers. I started thinking how each is either busy with kids, school, job…or a few have all three! Yet, I watch as they enter, most of the time with caffeine in hand and I feel blessed to have volunteers who LOVE doing what they do. We have teachers that are gifted at putting together lessons that are hands-on and interactive. We have 2 teens that are devoting their next 5 weekends (Saturday and Sunday AND Wednesdays) training to learn the church’s tech booth. We have one volunteer that literally went out on a limb and bought crafts and prizes for our Country Party last week…because “she loves parties!”…and she loves our kids! Another volunteer is putting together the motions to every song, while teaching and pregnant! Another scheduled doing real estate school to be completed so she could help with our program!

I could go on…and on…

I can’t wait for another year! I really do LOVE our Wednesday night volunteers (recruits!). Ministry happens WITH you!!!!

Smiles

Posted: August 24, 2010 in God Moments

You know you are a working mom of two when you are looking forward to sharing life on a blog at 11:57pm at night (and then to bed of course!). Ah…this thought has been racing around in my pea brained head all day and I wanted to get it out…

So…

Have you ever thought about what makes God smile? Granted, this is somewhat of a deeper, all-conclusive thought being that God, being all-knowing, purely holy…fully God…having emotions…well, to me, its a deep thought.

But seriously…what makes our Father look at us and smile?

When was the last time you smiled…and remembered it?

Our family has been blessed by the birth of our second son, Caden on June 29th. He is going to be eight weeks tomorrow (mommy gasps…). For weeks I was telling people how different Josh and Caden are from one another. Josh was always moving…from inside the womb to his playful days and even in his sleep! Caden, on the other hand would have days in the womb where he would find the most uncomfortable position and simply stay there…all day…and really never moved (which would make mommy insane!!). Josh smiled all the time…I had pictures of him smiling at 4 weeks old…Caden just, well, we call it “gazed.” He would look at you as if to say, “What? I’m a baby…want me to fart or something?” We just wanted him to smile…

…And this past Friday night, he did.

I was holding him in my arms. Steve was watching tv and studying while Josh (finally) was asleep. I was gazing at my son, smiling saying, “Caden, can’t you please just crack a smirk at mommy!” And his lip quivered and moved and his face lit up…and so did mine! The more I smiled, the more his face got brighter and just joyful. He was happy. He recognized that I was happy. I was content because I knew my son was well…he knew what I did for him.

So the next hour was filled taking video, getting pictures…daddy even got his time in…and I remember feeling tears run down my cheeks…and I remember thinking, “Why is this making me cry? I can’t use the ol I’m pregnant and the hormones are still out of wack excuse…so what is up?” Ah, it was obvious…I was elated to see my son smile at me, with me…because of me.

I think sometimes as Christians we live our lives forgetting to smile. Seriously…even at church we trudge in after a rough morning with the kids, see that we are too late for the coffee, the music is too loud, the sermon was too long and don’t even get me started on the parking….(Hmmm…hitting any bells here?).

I think too many Christians have lost their real joy…the reason they have to “rejoice in the day that the Lord has made…” (Isaiah 25:9) God has chosen YOU for such a time as this. It was with great pleasure and passion that He called YOU forth…YOU were chosen as a royal priesthood, a holy nation. Yet, we walk around, counting the hours left in our day until we can go home, flip on the tv and relax.

What have you done with your life, your gift, TODAY that would make God smile? Granted, grace is not earned, it is given freely…yet as Christians, should we not live each second, each opportunity as a chance to glorify our Father? Should we not look up at our Dad and smile as to say, “I need You, You make me smile.”

Make Him smile…

I see God smiling when I give high fives to the kids at our preschool. I see Him smiling through praying with worried parents not sure about their kids first day at school. I see Him smile when I buy two drinks at Starbucks…one for me and the other for just a random person on the street. I see Him smile when I witness a family come to Christ for the first time.

I love seeing Him smile. I love being excited about God…doing things that may seem out of the norm…but why not? You only get this one day…so today is August 24th…who are YOU going to make smile? Is God smiling at you today?

"As Is" To As His

Posted: August 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

I thought I should start this new journey by quickly describing my intentions for the title of this blog. No, don’t read it fast because it will indeed sound like something that would make your mother cringe…as mine might be doing right now.

John Ortberg gave me this concept a few years ago after listening to his small group sermon titled, “Everybody’s Normal Til You Get To Know Them.” Indeed…its true. The idea hit again when Jon Weece of Southland alluded to Ortberg’s “Huts of Refuge” illustration a few weeks ago during Southland’s Countdown To A Better Lexington” series (I’m a few weeks behind still).

What’s the big idea you ask? Ortberg describes it a bit like this…

Have you ever been shopping at the clearance section? There are great items to be found…but they are purchased with two little words attached, “As Is.” Its as if the company is saying, “There is something wrong with this shirt. You may not see it now…the button that is sewn on backwards, the zipper that doesn’t work correctly, the pants missing a pocket…but you will find it…and when you do, don’t come crying to us!” As sinful people here on this planet called earth, we are “as is” in many ways. We all have our failures, our habits and sore spots. Perhaps we are held back by our pasts and define ourselves by the historic failures we made. Maybe its addictions that lead us to the dark corners to hide. Maybe its the fear of relationships after being hurt for the tenth time. The list could go on….we all have defects…and when we put our guard down to others, we accept the chance that they will see us for our “as is” value…there is a defect here, BE WARNED! We prepare secretly for rejection and proceed with caution.

Yet every Christian has a different ending. We were bought “as is” over 2000 years ago by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our Father saw us, all of us…the faults, the sins, the major defects and said, “I can use that” and paid for us ten times our thought worth. If you have been bought by our God, you are not “as is” any longer…you are simply HIS. Yes, we totally mess our lives up…over and over again…but with this new found relationship with Him, each trial should be a way for Him to chisel us into His masterpiece.

In other words, you are still “as is” to the world…but use your faults, your failures…those hurtful experiences in your life to show the world that you are His. He rewrites the “as is” moments and truly makes it His story.

This is mine….

Some days my writings here may be lengthy, deep with much thought provoking theology. Other days it may just be a random, texted in thought. Nevertheless, to the reader (if any) it is your opportunity to see my “As Is” and see HIS way of shining through…even if it may not be seen until several posts later.

So here we go…a new chapter has begun!

Posted: August 22, 2010 in Uncategorized

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