Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wednesday - Leaders Corner

Ephesians 3:7-9 - 'I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.'

1). Paul considered himself a servant of the gospel. (v.7) As leaders, we are God's servants, working to do as He pleases. We should strive to work hard for our King. 2). God gave Paul a gift, the grace of preaching to the Gentiles. (v.7,8) God had to powerful change Paul to make this happen, but that was all part of God's grace for him. When God makes us a leader, it changes our lives for the better, and is a tremendous sign of His grace. 3). Paul remembered that he wasn't worthy of what God had done for him. (v.8) He considered himself the lowest of all God's people, because of how he had acted before he was a Christian. Yet God, in His grace, made Paul one of the most effective disciples in his church. 4). Paul wanted to make God's mysteries plain to the Gentiles. (v.9) It was important to him that his followers understood what God was teaching them. As leaders, we must be sensitive to the cognitive abilities of our followers, as well as the student friendly material we deliver in our messages. 


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tuesday - Bible Trivia

What a day. Yesterday I took down my outside Christmas decorations, but I also helped my kids make a miniature snowman. Somethings not right with this picture...

Anyway, congratulations yet again to Larissa. She is in fact 'on a role' as the chosen correct comment from Friday's quiz. Yes, Wayne Nestor is a pastor in Columbus. Larissa is now up to $6 in prize money to be used towards any NYM event or piece of merchandise. Great job. For all of our users, since it is year's end, please let us know exactly how many dollars you've earned to this point, so we can start off the new year with accurate amounts.

Here's today's trivia: Special year end prize!!!!! Every correct comment will be a .50 cents. Name as many events in the Bible that lasted for only one full year.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday - Life Lessons

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday week last week. I had a great time visiting family and friends in Bellevue. 

Christmas Eve night, we were sitting around the tree with my in laws and other relatives. My father in law opened a gift from his son in Toledo: it was a new cell phone. His son manages a Verizon store in Ohio and he had setup the phone entirely for his dad to make it easier for him. You could tell that my father in law wasn't too excited about it, probably concerned about the learning curve with new technology. But he knew that he needed it.

Just the day before, he was heading out the door to get a root canal, when my wife handed him her cell phone, just in case. Well, he only got 6 blocks away and his car konked out on him. Without that cell phone, it would have been a very cold walk home. So as we sat around the tree, he tried to think up a reason that he could stall with the adaptation of cell phone use, "This won't work for me. At work, I'm always bending over to pick up things and the phone will fall out of my pocket" The next gift he opened from his wife, a cell phone holster. No excuses now!

It's funny how things work out for good in the end. Soon, I'm sure I'll be receiving texts from my father in law, or at least, sometime before next Christmas.

Friday, December 26, 2008


Hello everyone! I hope you had a holly, jolly Christmas. Mine was joyful and triumphant. Leading the carols at our Christmas Eve service was great, but my daughter did a great job on a solo, and it stole the show! My kids got a new Wii system from their mom-mom and we've had a blast playing on it since. 

Congratulations to Larissa for two in a row! She was the correct comment chosen to win this weeks $2 prize. the VIEW FROM MY PICTURE WINDOW got very theoretical on us, but still answered correctly as well. Larissa is now up to $4 in prize money, but at the rate she's going, she'll have a 100 by camptime.

Here's the trivia for today: I got a message on my phone from an old Master's Commission student of mine, Beth Nestor (maiden name). She was in town visiting some old friends and homeopeners from her Master's days. Her father is a credentialed minister with us, Wayne Nestor. He formally was a missionary to Europe, and now he is a pastor at Lutheran Church in central NE. Can you guess what city he pastors in:

A) Holdrege
B) Grand Island
C) Broken Bow
D) Columbus
E) Funk

Have a great weekend

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Thursday - Testimonies

Here is a testimony I received in email from Amandi Graf. Merry Christmas everyone!

 i just wanted to tell you about a praise report that happend this last week. well, my 3year old cousin got a hold of one of my aunts medicen patches, and know one knows how long he had it on, he passed out and they rushed him to the emergency room. Afterr about 3 or 4 hours of prayer we got a call that he had waken up and is perectly fine with no side affects. it was a complete God thing, and we are so amazed. God is great!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wednesday - Leaders Corner

Matthew 2: 2,11 "They asked, 'Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him." "On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and the bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh."

1). The wise men came to worship the king of the Jews. (v.2) They loved the stars, they looked to the Scriptures to find out the meaning of different mysteries in the stars, and it led them to Jesus. They realized that Jesus was the reason the stars were as beautiful as they are. They worshipped God for the beauty of His creation, and so should we. Even these old, wise, rich, kings were bowing in worship to the newborn babe surrounded by farm animals in a smelly manger. Remember that every knee shall bow. It doesn’t say that they bowed to Herod, but they did bow for Jesus. 2). They were there to worship Jesus. (v.11) They had brought gifts, but instead they first presented themselves. God wants you more than your gifts. You are on His 'Christmas wish' list.  If you give Him all of you, then and only then will you fully appreciate the gifts in your life and use them for His glory. 3). They brought gifts to Jesus. (v.11) Giving is an act of worship. We can give money, give time, give advice, resources, commitment, etc. What do you have that you can give to God as an act of worship this holiday season?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tuesday - Bible Trivia

Hello everyone! Congratulations to LARISSA for being the chosen correct comment from our trivia on Friday. Yes, Pastor Dwight was a pastor in Minatare before coming to the District Office. You won $2 in prize money to be used towards any NYM merchandise or event. Keep track of your winnings and we'll see how you do down the road.

Today's trivia: (without looking) Which two gospel books contain the story of Jesus' birth? See ya tomorrow, Merry Christmas Eve Eve.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Monday - Life Lessons

This past Saturday, my brother Corey had his 19th birthday. My wife and I were in town for the holidays, which is nice because we almost always get to see him on his birthday. We have a couple of nephews whose birthdays are right around Christmas as well, so we had one big birthday party together for all of our holly birthdays. Since we have so much gifts floating around, we decide to do a gift exchange for the adults as well, with a ten dollar limit. 

The gifts are never anything that I had on my list, but there are not necessarily that bad either.  A starbucks gift card, a men's shampoo set, candle, etc. My brother in law James was almost last to pick a gift in the exchange. About 6 months ago, he was working on a ladder at his job, and was electrocuted. He pulled himself away from the shock and fell two stories to the ground, severely injuring his lower back. He has not been able to do any physical work since then and he is still bothered by it immensely. 

There were only a few gifts left, and one was from my brother Corey. Most people didn't pick it because Corey isn't exactly known as the best 'gift giver'. As a young recent high school graduate interning in Grand Island, we figured he found something in his churches storage closet, wrapped it up, and brought it to give. James lucked out and picked Corey's gift, being a good sport. He opened it up, and it was a professional strength back massager, especially highlighting it's ability to work on the lower back, JUST WHAT HE NEEDED.

There's a lesson to be learned here; don't judge a gift for it's packing, or even, for the reputation of the one giving it. Wait to open it to see what you think. You never know, it might be just what you need.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Sorry that we didn't get Todd's picture up yesterday, but it is now on the post below. The pic is from Thanksgiving with us back in November.

Congratulations to Pastor Tim for being the correct comment chose to win our trivia from Tuesday. He earns another $2 in prize money to be used towards any NYM event or piece or merchandise. Please inform us where you are at in your winnings to the present time...

Today's trivia - our illustrious leader for Assemblies of God churches in NE, pastor Dwight Sandoz, will have a crazy and exciting holiday. His oldest daughter, Bethany, will be wed in Grand Island. It should be a great affair, with plenty of family and friends coming in for the occasion. Here's the question: at what western church did Pastor Dwight serve before coming to the district office?

A) Oshkosh
B) Minatare
C) Bridgeport
D) Ogallala
E) McCook

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thursday - Testimonies

Todd Mohrmann (established youth leader from Columbus, will have a picture up later this afternoon) works for a large manufacturing company. They send him out on deliveries and many weeks, he piles up more miles than I do. On one such trip, he was driving near his hometown when he saw a car pulled off the road and into the ditch. He stopped to help, and the owner of the car recognized him; it was someone who had just started visiting his church. Todd helped him out and became a great example of the church being the church.

Make sure to take advantage of your opportunities to help others out when they come your way. It's a chance to be the church again!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday - Leader's Corner

Matthew 2:3,4 'When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born.'

1). Herod was disturbed when he received news of Jesus' birth. (v.3) In the same verse, we find out that Jerusalem was disturbed along with Herod. The nation followed their leader, showing the effectiveness of that leader in his leadership. Even though it wasn’t the right behavior, this act shows that Herod was a strong leader. The large group should take on the identity of the leader casting the vision.

2). Herod pulled the leaders together to discuss the situation. (v.4) Knowing that the people were disturbed as he was, he brought the leaders together to discuss a plan. It appeared that he didn’t just step out in his own direction, but he sought the counsel of his leaders and wanted to move together. Instead, he just wanted to find out where Jesus was, because he already had a plan to kill him. Sometimes, leaders appear to be doing their job well, when in fact they have ulterior, selfish motives that aren't right. Don't use your position of leadership to secretly advance your own cause. Great leaders have tried to do the same thing and taken a hard fall because of it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tuesday - Bible Trivia

Congratulations on the winner of Friday's trivia challenge, A VIEW FROM MY PICTURE WINDOW. I think you are now up to $12 in prize money; great job. Nice try to Pastor Mike. The church is definitely Lyons, in the Northeast corner of our great state.

Here's our trivia challenge for today: Can you name the 3 different places that Jesus lived as a young person?

Happy Searching!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday - Life Lessons

Last week, Kim and I had the chance to take our kids to Kearney and experience the infamous 'Disney on Ice'. It was a blast. We love Disney films and our kids have had the chance to visit Disneyland, so it reminded us of great memories.

As we first came in, we went to find our seats. We were having a hard time so we asked a helper nearby, and we found out we were in the bleachers above the seats in the arena, about as far up as you can get. I asked Kim what had happened, and she has quickly bought the least expensive tickets, without looking to see where they were located.

We considered moving, but then the show started, so we figured we'd wait a bit and see what seats were available. Very quickly, we came to the realization that we had some of the best seats in the house; though we were up high, we had a great view of everything going on around the ice. Later on, during a break, we walked up close and saw that you couldn't see everything in that way, so we really did have good seats.

Sometimes, we need to wait a bit and experience something before we just rule it out based on our expectations. Sometimes, the cheap seats might be the best seats in the house.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Congratulations to Pastor Mike for submitting the only correct comment from our Trivia Challenge on Tuesday. Archaleus took over after Herod died. Pastor Mike is now up to $8 in prize money. Way to go Pastor Mike, (by the way, he is not an outcast, he's a winner)

Today's trivia challenge is this: Look at the church building above. What wonderful NE city is this church located in:

A) Ord
B) Beatrice
C) Aurora
D) Holdrege
E) Lyons

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thursday - Testimonies

1). Brian Korell, youth pastor at Gering, told me this story. He and his wife also oversee Children's Ministry and they have plenty of students coming that aren't church kids. One kid was in worship holding his I-pod up, evidently playing with it, which is against the rules. Just as Brian was about to tell him to stop, he realized that he had been recording the worship so that he could listen to it again. Not up to copywrite standards, but pretty impressive nonetheless.

2). Mike (the guy I picked on from yesterday) Maroney, youth pastor at Valentine, told me this story. One of the young ladies in his youth ministry was interested in attending a school function with a boy from the city on a date. Mike's rule is that he has to meet the young man first. So, she brought him to youth group. God took over and that young man became a Christian that night.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wednesday - Leader's Corner "OUTCAST"

1 Samuel 22:2 "All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their leader. About four hundred men were with him."

Do you ever feel like an outcast? Are you having money problems, never feeling like you've got enough? Do you have ongoing issues that cause you much stress? Are you unhappy and uncontent with where you are in life? Take heart, there's hope for you.

God sent David these kinds of people, to be his army. David kept them in the cave and trained them to be warriors. From this group would come great leaders, generals for the future exploits of Israel.

When forming our leadership teams, don't neglect to consider the outcasts. Remember where God called you from, and don't be afraid to take a chance on a few people. Who knows, you might find a great leader like the one pictured above in their ranks. (Mike Maroney, youth pastor of Valentine, former outcast, executive youth committee member)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tuesday - Bible Trivia

Hello everyone! Today was officially the first day that I had to scoop my driveway because of the snow. Fortunately, it was only a few inches, and that's pretty good for central Nebraska.

Our WHERE IS THAT IN NE? trivia challenge from last week wasn't answered correctly. Thank you to THE VIEW FROM MY PICTURE WINDOW for trying. The correct answer was Clinton, close to Crawford, but not quite.

Today, here is the Bible Trivia challenge. Joseph took baby Jesus and his mother to Egypt to escape King Herod. God told him to do this through an angel in a dream. Herod was so furious he killed at the baby boys in Jerusalem and it's vicinity. Joseph stayed in Egypt until Herod had died. Who replaced Herod, reigning over Judea (no looking!)?

A) Zeruiah
B) Gamaliel
C) Archelaus
D) Pontius Pilate
E) Achish

Monday, December 8, 2008

Monday - Life Lessons

God speaks to us in many ways. 7 Major Ways are 1) The Bible, 2) The Holy Spirit, 3) Leaders, 4) Family, 5) Friends, 6) Circumstances and 7) Supernatural. Not many times have a I experienced a 'supernatural' voice, but I recently had that opportunity.

The other night I had a strange dream. I was in a school, in front of a some bleachers full of students. In the middle at the top was Barack Obama. I was explaining that churches can sometimes struggle with judging others. Barack stood up and said that the issue of judging would make it difficult to connect with Muslims and Mormons. Then, I began to preach. I was trying to tell the people where to go in their Bibles, but I had lost my reference. I stalled by asking them to talk with each other about their favorite book of the Bible. While thumbing for my place, I looked up at Barack, hoping that he wasn't noticing my mistake. Then, I woke up.
Strange! I guessed I had been a little too involved in political talks to that point. But then, I had a meeting with a friend of mine who was concerned about certain issues with spiritual gifts. As we were talking, I was becoming agitated; frustrated that he wasn't seeing things my way. The problem was that I kept quoting verses, he would ask me where they were found, and I couldn't give a reference. Suddenly, I remembered my dream and the themes of judging others and losing my Bible reference.

I couldn't figure out what Obama had to do with anything though. I figured it must have been something to do with sitting before leaders, hidden in the crowd of students, leaders that can change the world. Soon after, I found out that my friend was the president of republican's at his Christian College in the Midwest.

God still speaks through dreams and the supernatural and I encourage you to be open to that means of hearing from Him in your life.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Hello, and welcome to the weekend. (Pray for my daughter Abby, she's sick today) Congratulations to an old friend who apparently forgot about us, PASTOR TIM, for being the selected correct comment from Tuesday's Trivia. Unfortunately, I lost the record of how many dollars in prize money he had earned, so we will give him a total of $10!!!! Way to go, and stay in touch.

Almost one month ago we finished our Fall Youth Convention (pictured above). Many of you might remember that we had a snowstorm Thursday night and many were concerned that they might not be able to come. In spite of the weather, only one church wasn't able to make it. Can you name what city they were from?

A) Clinton
B) Crawford
C) Butte
D) Coleridge
E) Omaha

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thursday - Testimonies

In a recent post from a few weeks ago, I wrote about an interview I had the opportunity to do for a 700 club piece on Nebraska residents opinion of the old Safe Haven Law. Here's the link to that interview, if you'd like to see it:

Also, Chris Puccini, our youth pastor from Kearney (pictured above) told me a great story about an instance in his youth ministry, IMPACT. During a recent service, a popular student was worshipping near the front. The service had just started but Chris noticed a commotion and went to see what was happening. This student was praying and many other students had gathered around him and were praying for him. That moment, he accepted Christ as his Savior, and Chris hadn't even preached yet! Isn't God awesome?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wednesday - Leader's Corner

My wife and I at youth convention
Psalms 16:11 - "You have made known to me the path of life"
Recently, I had the chance to attend a church that had just changed their mission statement. The new statement showed an increased emphasis on reaching out to the community. After the service, I was having lunch with some of the members, and they were concerned that the new mission statement wouldn't work. They felt that the statement was too forward thinking, arguing that most of the people who come to church do it to make themselves feel better and aren't concerned about helping others (thus, showing the need for a new missions statement).
Then, the most amazing thing happened. The waittress came to take our order and struck up a conversation. One thing led to another, and we found out that she had a mother who was battling cancer. Well, one of the people in our group had just fought that battle and so he encouraged her with her ordeal. We prayed for her before our meal and then invited her to the church for the next service. Surprisingly, we didn't talk much anymore about the vitality of the new missions statement.
God knows what HE's doing! How could we argue against a mission statement that just proved its purpose in our lives? Let God direct your paths, and you can be sure you are right where you need to be.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tuesday - Bible Trivia

Hello everyone! Our WHERE IS THAT IN NE? challenge from Friday went without comment, so unfortunately, there are no winners. Incidentally, the correct answer was SOUTHRIDGE church, which meets at Twin Creek Cinema in Bellevue, and is only about 3 miles away from the mall.

Here's our trivia question from today: Where is the shortest verse in the OLD TESTAMENT found?

A) Ezra
B) 2 Samuel
C) 1 Chronicles
D) Psalms
E) Hezekiah

Monday, December 1, 2008

Monday - Life Lessons

This past weekend, I had the chance to go back to Bellevue and visit family and friends for Thanksgiving. We had a great time eating turkey, talking about what we are thankful for, watching the lighting of Christmas trees across town, and of course, shopping. We also enjoyed a Sunday morning service at my old church, BCC.

I loved everything. The worship, the message, the announcements video, seeing old friends. But something happened in worship that I particularly enjoyed. Since becoming the DYD of NE, I sit in Sunday services across the state and see the service from a totally different perspective. I see it as one of the members of the congregation. I see different people struggling to stay connected because of various distrations, and wonder what we can do to help.

Well, the same thing began to unfold this past Sunday. A young man in front of me, with his wife by his side, was trying to stay connected during worship, but having an obviously tough time. Evidently, he was visiting and wasn't used to such charismatic praise. When the pastor got up to transition, I glanced forward to see if he had completely disengaged by this point. To my surprise, he was sitting down and completely focused on the cover of the bulletin. Somehow, someway, God was getting through to that man. It wasn't with the worship, the message, the pastor, etc..; it was with the bulletin.

God speaks to people through a large variety of ways in our churches. We need to realize that and make sure everything we do is of the best quality we can produce. Who knows when someone will come in our church and be completely changed because of what they saw on the bulletin?