Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday - Life Lessons (serving)


Yesterday, I had the chance to celebrate with two of my children as they were baptized. Our church had a picnic after Sunday services at a state park near our town. We brought out some food and had fun hanging out with different people we hadn't had much of a chance to get know before.

There was a lake at the park and the church had planned to baptize people. Mostly children were involved, but it was open to everyone. My two kids were at the front of the line and I was excited to see them, because I had to leave quickly to get to a speaking engagement I had two hours of north of us that evening.

But Pastor Steve wasn't there. It was discovered that he was having vehicle problems and was stranded. Everyone looked around, and found the youth pastor, his son, Jay. Jay wasn't prepared, but he was ready to serve. He found some shorts, changed quickly, and then went into the lake and did the baptisms. It was wet and freezing, but Jay did it when he was needed.

Will you be ready to step up in the last second when you are called on to serve?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday - WHERE IS THAT IN NE?


Congratulations to REBEKAH (or should I say, Rebekuk) for being the random correct comment chosen as our winner! I believe that she is now up to $8 in NYM prize money. Great job!

This is the last week we will carry over this wonderful trivia question that has stumped our blog subscribers for 3 weeks. What is the first NE city with an Assembly of God church that you will pass driving north on I-29 from Missouri? (HINT - it does not have an exit off the interstate!!!)

Have a great weekend. I'm speaking in O'Neill Sunday night so come and see me if you'd like.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thursday - Testimonies

                         Nate, taking one for the team (thanks to Cory D.)

We had a camp review meeting earlier this week. I opened up the meeting asking for testimonies. One of our leaders from Kearney spoke up. His son had attended Youth Camp 1 with other boys from Kearney, and they were in a dorm room with a youth leader named Nate. They had a great week together and made a strong connection. Kearney's church had been looking for a youth pastor, and after camp, Nate began to talk with the pastor of New Life. Now, Nate is the youth pastor at the church, and he already had a strong connection with the boys from his dorm! Isn't it great how God puts things together?!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wednesday - Leaders Corner

                                       Praying together at youth camp 2

Tonight, I'll be speaking at River Hills Church in South Sioux City with the youth ministry, DRIVEN. I'm excited to visit them at this crucial time of the year, when school is just beginning. I'll be speaking about reaching their friends, using a story from John 1, when Andrew brought his brother Simon (Peter) to Jesus. Had it not been for Andrew, maybe Peter would never have come to know Jesus and be a main disciple in God's plan.

We have a wonderful new FREE resource that has just been released for churches and youth leaders, The Fifty Two . Com Volume III. It's 52 weeks of messages, graphics, small group discussions, training, and strategies. This will benefit all of our churches, and especially those with volunteer youth leaders who may lack the time to plan accordingly for these things because they work a fulltime job outside the church. 

But for those pastors who feel like they don't need The Fifty Two . Com, I have an idea! What if you decided to use the messages and plans, and take the time you would have spent preparing your own material, and use that for reaching out to more families and students in your city? What a resource to help us all grow more in the kingdom! Check it out at:

www.thefiftytwo.com (click on volume 3, and then log in with your Assembly of God passport username and password. If you don't have one, talk with your pastor to log on)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tuesday - Bible Trivia

                                 Building the Bridge at Youth Camp 2

Unfortunately, once again we don't have a winner from last Friday's Trivia. I appreciate that THE VIEW FROM MY PICTURE WINDOW chimed in, but they were incorrect. We will carry the trivia over this coming Friday, one last time.

I often like to make nicknames for people. One of my favorite types is to use a form of their name that closely resembles a book of the Bible. My sister Jenny became Genesis, my sister Amy, Amos, and so forth. Their are others not as quite as fun because nothing really changes - Matthew, Luke, John, etc.

Regardless, can you name a book of the Bible that would be a good nickname for you and your name?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday - Life Lessons (prayer)

                                        Preparing the food at Youth Camp 2

I was in my home church yesterday (first time in 11 weeks) and the pastor talked about a great time at General Council. He mentioned one disturbing thing. He saw many leaders and pastors gathering and praying for their Fine Arts performers. But there were many people with crutches and casts walking around, and never did he see anyone stop to minister to them. 

National Fine Arts is a wonderful event, but very time sensitive as well. I literally was running between performances this year, as I'm sure most of our students and leaders were as well. It would be a hard thing to stop and minister to someone in that moment. But what a thought - we tend to only pray and minister to the people WE ALREADY KNOW. Jesus would constantly minister to those around him on the street who were strangers. 

When was the last time you stopped to minister and pray for a stranger. We should make it a goal to do that often, maybe once or twice a week, and then look for those opportunities as God presents them. 

ACTION POINT - Sign up to be a PRAYER ZONE PARTNER (PZP) and pray regularly for the schools in your area. Get another parent to join you as well (http://youth.ag.org/pzp/)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday - WHERE IS THAT IN NE?

                                 Trying to win a challenge at Youth Camp 1

Congratulations to Kevin Libby for being the correct comment chosen as our winner from Tuesday's trivia. He is now up to $4 in prize money, to be used towards any NYM event or piece of merchandise.

Last week, no one was able to pick up the prize for our Friday trivia, so we will carry it over to today. Here it is:

I will be driving into Nebraska today from Missouri. As I drive up I-29, in Iowa, I will pass a few exits that could take me into NE, but I'll wait until Omaha, so we can pick up our little dog. What is the first NE city with an Assembly of God church that we will pass by on our way north on I-29?

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thursday - Testimonies

                         Dave Busch, incredible rec director for kids camps

The following is an except from my assistant Jenny, who is also a member of our NE Children's Ministries Leadership Team:

August 10-12 Burwell Assembly of God hosted a Kid’s Max Live outreach to their community.  In a church that averages under 10 kids per week, they had over 40 kids the first night and grew each night!  The first night we saw at least 18 kids give their heart to the Lord and many of those were unchurched kids.  Pastor Faith and Dennis Tyson, Scott Murrish, and I presented the Kid’s Max Live with help from the local church and Taylor Assembly of God.  Each night they had inflatables set up in front of the church to draw kids.  They would feed the children supper each night then they would come in for the program and end with more inflatables and a snack.  It was a tremendous blessing for us to come to Burwell and bless their church and town and especially to be able to pour into the pastors lives there.  We would love to be able to come to your community!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wednesday - Leader's Corner - 9ine

The upcoming date, 09.09.09, presents an important STL giving opportunity for us! Better known as 9ine, this is a day of giving that will make STL history. If 90,000 Assemblies of God students (which is just 1 in every 4) give an extra $100 to STL on Wednesday, September 9, 2009 (or sometime that week), there will be an additional $9 million available to strategically meet our missionaries’ equipment needs. By giving, we can accelerate the spread of the gospel and the fulfillment of the cause of Christ!

Why be a part of 9ine?

  • Short-term goals are effective
  • Students will be motivated by the challenge
  • Your group will be a part of a nation-wide effort
  • We can meet our missionaries’ needs NOW!

For more information, graphics, promo videos, sign-up information, etc...


Join the thousands who have already committed to making this the biggest STL offering in its 65-year history!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday - Bible Trivia


Unfortunately, no one was able to pick up the winnings from Friday's WHERE IS THAT IN NE? Trivia. Keep trying, because there is more to be won today.

Today is my sister Jenny's 10 year anniversary of coming to work at the Nebraska District Offices of the Assemblies of God. In addition to being my secretary, she also worked with Rod Whitlock and Rick Lorimer, the two DYD's before myself. 

10 years is a long time to be in her position, constantly juggling schedules, event registrations, updates to the website, etc., etc.

Can you name an event in the Bible that also lasted this wonderful length of 10 years?????

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday - Life Lessons


Yesterday was my 12 year wedding anniversary with my wife Kim. We just got home from a 4 week trip on the road and she is starting her daycare job today, so we had a lot of work to do around the house. We plan on celebrating together on a date next week. I still took the time to get her some breakfast and some flowers, and I did dust and clean around the house a bit as well.

The picture above is from Disney's Magic Kingdom. We were just getting ready to go into the 3-D show MICKEY'S PHILHARMAGIC. We have a photo just like it from our honeymoon at Disney 12 years ago. We look a little different, but you can see the same committment and love in our eyes today.

In 12 years, we've had 3 awesome kids, bought 5 different houses, 4 different cars, countless dentist and doctors appointments, and 4 different jobs in 2 different cities. A lot has changed, but our love for each other hasn't.

It todays world, committment is fading. Things are changing at such a fast pace, but not everything has to. We can stand out from the crowd and show the world an example of God's love in it's truest sense, a committment that lasts through time. What a great witness for the world to see!

I love my wife and I'm so happy that we're together today. I can't wait to see what the next 12 years has in store for us.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday - WHERE IS THAT IN NE?



Congratulations to REBEKAH for once again being the correct comment chosen at random as our winner from Tuesday's Trivia. She is now up to $6 in prize money - GREAT JOB! It was also good to hear about THE VIEW FROM MY PICTURE WINDOW's recent venture to use their prize winnings for giveaways for the vacation Bible school this past week. Once again - GREAT JOB!

I will be driving into Nebraska today from Missouri. As I drive up I-29, in Iowa, I will pass a few exits that could take me into NE, but I'll wait until Omaha, so we can pick up our little dog. What is the first NE city with an Assembly of God church that we will pass by on our way north on I-29?

Have a great weekend. 

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thursday - Testimonies

                                           Cinderella's Caste

Earlier this week, I was on vacation in Florida. My father-in-law came with us and the first night, he took everyone out to eat at a Golden Corral buffet. We were going to go to one real close to our hotel, but the traffic had backed up because of an accident, so we went to one a little further away.

The food was good and the atmosphere was nice as well. The waitresses were all foreign ladies who had moved to Orlando for the summer as part of a school abroad program. They did a great job taking care of our group of 20 people, so we gave them a nice tip. My father-in-law had asked them were they were from, and they had said that they were business majors from the Ukraine, formerly of Russia, a very atheistic society because of communism.

When we got out to our car, my father-in-law felt like he was supposed to go back in and witness to the lady. He ran back inside and talked to her and asked her if she had ever heard of Jesus. She replied that she had heard of him, but knew nothing about him. He told her about Christ and pointed her towards some Christian churches in the area. She exchanged emails with my sister-in-law so they could continue to talk about Christ online. They hugged and left, with tears on their eyes.

Sometimes, God redirects our paths for a reason. Just go with it and let God have his way. Be a light wherever you go.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wednesday - Leader's Corner

                                    My daughter and niece, in line for a park

Genesis 8:6-12 - 6 After forty days Noah opened the window he had made in the ark 7 and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth. 8 Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground. 9 But the dove could find no place to set its feet because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark. 10 He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. 11 When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. 12 He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him.

I am finishing a wild trip. We visited some relatives, spoke at a camp, went to National Fine Arts, and spent some time at popular vacation destinations. We were gone several weeks. Throughout the trip, I had to learn how to wait. We took 4 days to drive a route that should have taken 2 because of car problems. We waited in line over 2 hours for a ride that should have taken us much less but it had technical difficulties. I took a Dramamine pill that made me sleepy, but was then stuck in a line for a ride that was in a dark room and it was extremely hard to stay awake. Twice, I waited about an hour for a ride, only to get off at the last second because one of my children was scared. We followed a car that had a GPS, only to find ourselves in heavy traffic on unknown roads many times.

Waiting is hard, but not always a bad thing. Noah had been on the Ark a long time, but when it was time to leave, he sent out the birds and had to wait. He had no other choice, in order to be safe. He had to wait on God and His timing, which was best. Though we'd like to speed things up sometimes, it's important for us to remain on God's timeclock and take things at His pace. 

Here's a good song that helps us with this lesson: http://blip.fm/~bil5r

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tuesday - Bible Trivia

                                            Mr. Potato Head grabbed Eric

Congratulations to REBEKAH for being the correct comment chosen at random as our winner from Friday's Trivia. Dale is from Valentine and Bill is from Thedford. Great job! You are now up to $4 in prize money.

Today, my family and I hope to visit Animal Kingdom, a Disney Theme Park. I'm reminded of the great stories of animals in the Bible. Probably the biggest story was that of Noah and the animals on the ark. Can you tell me how many sets of each animal did Noah bring on the Ark?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday - Life Lessons

This past week, at National Fine Arts, we stayed at a nice Homewood Suites. I had my boys and their cousin downstairs at the pool, and we were getting ready to run upstairs, to the 2nd floor. They ran ahead of me around the corner. When I came around the corner, my boys had run uptstairs, but their cousin Tytus was holding a door open for an older couple. As I walked closer, he stayed holding the door as the man took his time getting some large bags into the hotel. I could see a subtle look on his face of wanting to catch up to his cousins, but he still stayed at the door, holding it open, as his dad had taught him to do.

What a moment, to catch him in an act like that. I was so proud of him for doing that on his own. It also made me realize that I needed to teach my boys a little bit more about respect and such. Never be in such a hurry that you can't open a door for someone in need.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday - WHERE IS THAT IN NE?

Congratulations to THE VIEW FROM MY PICTURE WINDOW for being the correct comment chosen at random as our winner from Tuesday's Trivia. Please let us know where you are at in your current winnings.

Yesterday, the last performance for NE students at National Fine Arts in Orlando was a worship dance performance. The 3 girls did a great job. I was sitting next to two pastors from NE who were cheering them on with me, Bill Trumblee and Dale Williams. Can you tell me where either one of them pastors? (Bonus for both!)

Have a great weekend

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Thursday - Testimonies - 9ine


Last night, at the National Youth Service, a student named Mike Durbin was honored as the STL student of the year. He felt like God was encouraging him to do something great for God, so he walked from his home to Springfield, Missouri (National Headquarters). It was almost 500 miles, but he did it all, raising money for STL.

Jay Mooney and Chet Caudill promoted a National Event called the 9ine, a nationwide STL offering being taken up on Sept 9, 2009. The goal is 9 million dollars, which would add up to about $25 a student. The goal for each student is $100 and we have 35 days to get there.

Will you join us for the 9ine? Go to youth.ag.org/9ine to sign up, and join the Facebook cause4. Also on twitter, @9ineSTL. You can also find a 9ine promotion card in our photos on our facebook group Nebraska Youth Ministries

Wednesday - Leader's Corner

                                     Phil Stacy - American Idol Contestant

Jude 8 - 'In the very same way, these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings.'

Jude is a book about guarding the church against heretics and keeping people from being led astray. In this verse, he is referring to these heretics and giving characteristics to identify them. First of all they pollute their own bodies, they don't take efforts to take care of themselves. Second, they reject authority, and don't have someone leading them and mentoring them. Finally, they slander celestial beings, and tend to make a joke of serious things. 

It seems that I've seen these characteristics on the rise in leaders among us. We must fight to make sure we guard ourselves from these traits which can lead us down a path where we don't want to go.

1. Make efforts to make yourself the best you can be.
2. Find someone that can pour into you and develop you into a stronger leader.
3. Keep a respect for the things of God, so they don't become 'normal' in your life.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tuesday - Bible Trivia

Congratulations to LARISSA for being the correct comment chosen as our winner from Friday's (Saturday's) Trivia. The message was about Joseph of Arimathea. Larissa is now up to $18 in NYM prize money. Great job.

Last night was the first night of our National Youth Convention and Fine Arts in Orlando, Florida. Mark Vega was the speaker. He's the DYD of the Southeast Spanish District and the chaplain for the New York Yankees. He told a brief story about David on the run in the wilderness from King Saul. God provided David with an army of 400 down and out men like himself, to fight King Saul and be strong. What chapter from 1 Samuel is that story found in?

A. 2
B. 12
C. 22
D. 15

Monday, August 3, 2009

Monday - Life Lessons

This past week, we started a drive to Orlando with my brother-in-law and his family, from Massachusettes. We figured it would take us 4 days, taking our time, and planning some fun stops along the way.

We got about 2 hours down the road, and hit rush hour traffic in New York. Suddenly, my brother-in-law inched his car off the road, informing us that the transmission had just crashed. We found a Ford Dealer deep in the Bronx and they gave his car the death warrant. After calling his district, we knew we weren't leaving New York that night. The closest hotel was an expensive Holiday Inn right across the street from the Mets stadium, which was hosting 2 baseball games in a double header. The traffic never stopped.

We checked out family in, and went to a rental place. The gave him a cost of over 2,000 to rent a car and take it back to Massachusettes after our trip was over. We had to drive the rental back to Massachusettes, spend the night on the couch, rent another car there (so it would be a cheaper return trip rental) and then drive both back to New York the next day.

It was hectic and horrible. We were both exhausted and wondering, GOD, WHY? 

When the tow truck came to take his broken down car back to Massachusettes, we weren't there, so my brother-in-law's wife helped him. She started to witness to him and was able to lead him to Christ.

Well, I guess that's WHY? Things happen, and it may seem like God missed something, but trust me, He's still in control!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Saturday? - WHERE IS THAT IN NE?

Sorry that I didn't get a blog out to you yesterday, as is my normal pattern. We were stuck in New York the night before and I could never get to a decent wireless spot. Downtown Manhattan traffic at 3:00pm is not fun, though my wife loved the sites.

We also did not have any correct comments from our Trivia this past Tuesday. So, the question will carry over to today, and the winner announced on Tuesday.

When I told the story of the Alamo, which Bible story was my main text for the sermon?

A. Thief on the Cross
B. The Star of Bethlehem
C. Jesus on a Mountain
D. Joseph of Arimathea