Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Purpose of Christmas

Well, it's closing in on us again - Christmas. This time of year brings about many emotions for people depenging on where one is in their life. Rick Warren of Saddleback Church and of "Purpose Driven Life" fame was recently on The Today Show.


He has also recently released a book "The Purpose of Christmas." Thought you might be interested in these.

Dean

Monday, November 24, 2008

New Survey

At the risk of getting too controversial, what is your opinion on having and/or taking your kids to the adult service? I've been involved in a discussion at another blog and am curious what prompts parents to make the decision they do.

Take the survey and post a comment about what you do as parents.

Dean

Happy Thanksgiving!




Happy Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Check this Out!

You don't want to miss this!
Click on the poster to see it in a large format.

Tap Someone's Shoulder

I love working with children and the volunteers who are working with children! I think there is no other place where you can have greater potential impact into the lives of people than if you interact with children. One of the greatest messages of the Bible is the passing down of our faith to our children and grandchildren (Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Psalm 78:1-8).

So here's the thing - I ASSUME YOU DO TOO! I assume you are involved in children's ministry because YOU too want to make a difference in the lives of kids. I assume you are involved in children's ministry because God has laid a burden on your heart for kids and their families. I assume you are involved in children's ministry because you find it valuable to bring about changed lives in kids.

So, here is what I would like to propose: That sometime in the next two months, you pray about and seek out one of your friends to get involved in Children's Ministry with you, and then tap their shoulder simply saying "Hey, you should come and observe our children's ministry! The kids are so much fun and we could use you to make a difference in the lives of kids."

Why am I asking you do to this? Many reasons:

  • The Bible encourages EVERYONE to get involved in service somewhere.
  • The more volunteers we have, the smaller and more succinct we can make the tasks which means less stress for everyone.
  • This is the most effective means of increasing the number of volunteers, far more than bulletin annoucncments or pulpit announcments from the pastoral staff.
  • If you volunteer with a bunch of your friends, imagine how close you can become with them to help in times of crisis and change.
  • I am only one person and can therefore only know and invite so many people, combined we know and have influence over a WHOLE LOT MORE!

So, what do you say? Willing to give it a shot? If you DO invite someone, let them simply observe your classroom, and see if they enjoy it. If not, perhaps there is a differnet ministry setting or age group they would prefer. Let's try it and see what happens.

Dean

Camp Christmas

~~~It's the most wonderful time of the year!~~~

Come on you know you want to sing with me! I love this time of year: Giving-Thanks, food, Christmas, food, snow, christmas light, food....foood... :)

Every year around CW we do a special program designed for all of the busy families that have children or grandchildren. Camp Christmas, held on the first 2 Tuesdays in December, is a time for parents to bring their kids to a safe and fun place while they go out and have a date night, do Christmas shopping, just relax...whatever they want. One of the greatest gifts you can give your kids is a healthy, vibrant relationship with your spouse.

The kids meanwhile will have a blast playing games, jumping inflatables, doing crafts, eating, and attending an amazing worship program. This year we are privledged to have Paul & Jessica Dietzel with us from Servant Hands World Outreach. They are AMAZING!

The cost is minimal - $7 per child with a max of $20 per family. You can register your kids on Sunday mornings in the lobby or call the church office: 810-984-5571.

We of course have lots of volunteers to have the privledge of being part of this unique opportunity, and I would like to invite you to be a part of it. Grandparents, youth, DINKS, this is your chance to start making an intentional difference in the life of kids. Consider it!

See you there,

Dean

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A View of Two Worlds

I am sitting in a hotel room in Granger, IN of a new hotel and am just awed at the decadance. Granit countertop, 50" LCD HD TV, brand new couch, new beds, 2 laptops (mine and my "roommat's"), etc. All this while the economy goes down the tubes.

Also today, I had the privledge of blessing someone with a simple and very small gift of someone who needed it far more than me. Honestly, it was VERY small, especially in relationship to how much money I spent today (most of which were things for the church). It put a few things in perpsective for me.

Just some food for thought.

Dean

Friday, October 31, 2008

We Need to be Careful!

OK, I normally do NOT post controversial things on my blog, mainly because I want parents to make these decisions for themselves; but this is one I think you need to be aware of. I ran across this story at FoxNews.com in which a Kindergarten teacher asked/encouraged her students to sign an "Ally Card" for LGBT. You can see a picture of it by Clicking Here.

I bring this up for two main reasons:

1) How might this affect your voting next Tuesday? What would McCain think about this verses Obama?

2) How long is it before we have teachers inside the so-called "Bible Belt" doing this same thing? As a Christian, how might this affect your view of Public vs. Christian vs. Homeschool?

Food for thought!

-DB

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Have you attended one of our Take-It-Home Events?

Just curious if ayone who checks out this site has attended one the Take-It-Home Events we have held at Colonial Woods.

If so, what did you think? Are you or your kids actively using the resource provided to you?

Just curious?

Dean

Serving Opportunity

Teachers and Parents: It is coming upon that time again for Operation Christmas Child to provide an opportunity for kids to learn a little bit about serving others and having gratitude for what THEY have been given. Teachers, this would be a great opportunity to put together a couple of shoeboxes as a Sunday School class. Parents, this is an awesome opportunity to have your family learn about what it means to give.

We will be actively promoting this over the next four weeks with a table in the lobby and brochures in the bulletin. The drop off dates are November 16th and 23rd.

Dean

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Changes are Coming!

If you get the chance, stop up and see what is going on in our 4th & 5th Grade room (#205) upstairs at church. Some VERY cool things are happening. This just a picture that has inspired the look of what we are going for:

Stop up and I'll give you the run down.

-DB

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Thoughts on Halloween

I'm curious what Christian parents and families think of the holiday of Halloween and why. There is a great article from the History Channel about the origins of the day, back to the Celtic roots. To the right of this post you will find a survey of what you do on October 31st.

Here are some of my general thoughts:

  • The holiday does indeed have pagan roots in which an attempt to transform the time into at least a semi-Christian base was made by the RCC.

  • It is, in recent tradition, come to be known as a "dark holiday" and is highly celebrated by Wiccan and other pagan religions.

  • The Bible tells us there are ALWAYS demons and angels around us, regardless if it is October 31st or Februay 14 (a Day of Love).

  • While I firmly believe in protecting our children from negative and sinful influences, as a family we are still called to be light in this dark world. I think there is an opportunity to be just that on Halloween.

What are your thoughts?

Trunk or Treat

Well, it's coming again...


The annual Trunk or Treat event of Colonial Woods. Every year, if you have never attended, brings over 2000 kids through our parking lot from 6:30-8:00 PM. Also, this year we are adding something special: a Kid's Costume Contest.

Have your kids dress up in their favorite costume and come to the judging area (announced during the event) and they could possibly win a cool prize.


So come and check it out October 31st @ CWMC in Port Huron, MI.

Dean

Monday, October 13, 2008

Special Event Helpers Needed


With the special event of Don Piper coming to speak on October 22nd, I need to get a few subs to help out for just one night only. I have room in all the ages and could use you if you are willing.

Let me know and thanks,

Dean

Special Night with Don Piper



In case you were not aware, the church is having a special event on Wednesday, October 22 at 6:45 PM with author of "90 Minutes in Heaven," Don Piper. It promises to be an amazing evening.

The reason I am blogging about it is to let you know that we will be running our normal Wednesday night programming that evening. I am excited about some of the things happening on Wednesdays, especially in our elementary program, 2:52 Basics. If you are coming to hear Don speak, be sure to drop you kids off in room 205 for a night of music, drama and relationship building.

Dean

In case you were not aware...


You can now access CWMC's montly newsletter, the Beacon, online (www.colonialwoodsmc.com) or by clikcing the picture.

Equip Meeting

This coming Sunday evening will be another opportunity for Children's Ministry volunteers to come together and share food, share laughs and learn a little bit about the Power within you. I have chosen the theme of the show "Heroes" on NBC. I love this show!!! It has some amazing parallels in the life of a Christian.

As always, I will provide some food and your kiddos are welcome to attend the Pioneer Club Olympic Night. See you at 6:00 PM in the Fireside rooms.

Dean

1st Grade Families Take it Home Event

This coming Sunday is our next Take-it-Home Event at CWMC for 1st Graders and thier families. We will be talking about how to Cultivate a Servant's Heart in our children and how families can impact the community and world around them.

You will also get to take an active part in doing a service project together and take home a resource to encourage family interaction around this topic of serving together.

If you can join us, you are welcome to at 10:45 in the gym of Colonial Woods Missionary Church.

Dean

Friday, September 26, 2008

Typically not a political blogger...


But a Pastor forwarded this to me and I thought it was great. I wanted to share it with you. Of course, inflation would go through the roof, but.....it does make you think!?
___________________________________

Hi to All,

I'm against the $85,000,000,000.00 bailout of AIG. Instead, I'm in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in a "We Deserve It Dividend".

To make the math simple, let's assume there are 200,000,000 bonafide U.S. Citizens 18+. Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman and child. So 200,000,000might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up..

So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billion that equals $425,000.00. My plan is to give $425,000 to every person 18+ as a "We Deserve It Dividend". Of course, it would NOT be tax free. So let's assume a tax rate of 30%. Every individual 18+ has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes. That sends $25,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam.

But it means that every adult 18+ has $297,500.00 in their pocket. A husband and wife has $595,000.00. What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00 in your family?


  • Pay off your mortgage - housing crisis solved.

  • Repay college loans - what a great boost to new grads.

  • Put away money for college - it'll be there.

  • Save in a bank - create money to loan to entrepreneurs.

  • Buy a new car - create jobsInvest in the market - capital drives growth.

  • Pay for your parent's medical insurance - health care improves.

  • Enable Deadbeat Dads to come clean - or else

Remember this is for every adult US Citizen 18+ including the folks who lost their jobs at Lehman Brothers and every other company that is cutting back. And of course, for those serving in our Armed Forces. If we're going to re-distribute wealth let's really do it...instead of trickling out a puny $1000.00 ( 'vote buy' ) economic incentive that is being proposedby one of our candidates for President. If we're going to do an $85 billion bailout, let's bail out every adult U S Citizen 18+!


As for AIG - liquidate it. Sell off its parts. Let American General go back to being American General. Sell off the real estate. Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up.


Here's my rationale. We deserve it and AIG doesn't. Sure it's a crazy idea that can 'never work.' But can you imagine the Coast-To-Coast Block Party! How do you spell Economic Boom?


I trust my fellow adult Americans to know how to use the $85 BillionWe deserve it more than the geniuses at AIG or in Washington DC do.



And remember, The Birk plan only really costs $59.5 Billion because $25.5 Billion is returned instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam.


Ahhh...I feel so much better getting that off my chest.


Kindest personal regards,


Birk


T. J . Birkenmeier, A Creative Guy & Citizen of the Republic


PS: Feel free to pass this along to your pals as it's either good for a laugh or a tear or a very sobering thought on how to best use $85 Billion!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

What do you think about the Prosperity Gospel?

video

Ran across this video on our church's network today and thought I would share it.

Jesus should be our everything. Not our kids, not our spouse, not money, cars, boats, a nice house, not a good church, not health - JESUS ONLY! Praise God that we can trust Him no matter what!

-D

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Behold the Power!

So, over the last couple of weeks I have been reading in Ephesians to coincide with our Senior Pastor's series "Downpour: Living Life in The Spirit." There is a lot written in Ephesians one could focus on, so let me pick just one...


In the show Heroes, there are average humans living in the world with special powers and abilities. On the outside they look just like regular everyday folks. But each of them, because of a genetic quirk, have some unique ability - one can fly, one can heal herself, one can slow down time and time travel, one can hear the thoughts of those around him, and so on.

The Spirit of the Living God, who raised Jesus from the dead (not to mention Lazaurs, Jarius' daughter and others), is living inside of us. We have access to the power of the living God as the life of Christ, if we have accepted Him into our lives, has been exchanged for our own. While we may never be able to literally fly or hear the secret thoughts of others, I wonder just what could be accomplished if we were to fully abide in Him.

What area of life do you struggle with? Are you happy in your relationship with your spouse and kids? Do you think that Christ has the power to change that within you? The Bible tells us he is ready and willing, we just have to accept it and make the choice.

Him, Dean

Monday, September 22, 2008

Heroes is Back...So Am I!


I'm sittitng here watching the Season Premier of Heroes - and loving it - keeping an eye on my loosing fantasy football team - thanks for nothing Carson Palmer - and putting together a blog entry - the first one since the beginning of July. Who ever said men cannot multi-task?

We live in a world of constant connectivity - we are always wired, or wirelessly wired, to someone or something outside of ourselves. The Internet, the fable world of television, cell phone with text messaging, etc. I have often thought if that is how our life in Christ should be like? God wants us to be in constant contact with him (i.e., pray without ceasing) and to always be looking for Him in the world around us.

As a parent of young children, I have begun to see my own children being drawn into the world of technology via computers, the ability to record live television to play back later, cell phones (mine that is)... What I must watch out for is that my kids don't REPLACE the relationship to technology with genuine ones with friends and adults. We are created to be social beings - somethting that must never be replaced with technology.

Dean

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Volunteers Needed!

SEE POST BELOW THIS ONE FIRST!!!

With those new programs, come some much larger needs for Children’s Ministry volunteers. Here is a run down of what is needed for these new programs as well as the returning ministries

  • Lead Teacher – Teaching a set curriculum to a specific age group.

  • Teaching Assistant – Helping the Lead Teacher in a specific classroom.

  • Small Group Shepherd – Leading a group of 6-8 kids in a relational connecting time.

  • Actor/Actress – Memorizing and performing a script for elementary kids.

  • Tech/Computer Asst – Running a computer and soundboard for worship and bible lesson.

  • Pianist – Someone with experience to play the piano (preferably by chords) during kid’s worship.

  • Guitarist – Someone with experience to play the guitar during the Worship time.
  • Percussionist – Someone with good sense of rhythm to play a set of bongos during kid’s worship.

Most of these positions are available on both Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. While it is preferred that the volunteers are there each week, especially for the Elementary groups, some of the positions can be less (1 or 2 times per month).

A more detailed job description will be provided if you are interested. As always, you must be attending CWMC for a minimum of 6 months and be willing to submit to a background check. Call the church office for questions or to sign up.

Fall Programming Changes

Believe it or not, it is time to start thinking about the Fall and all the Children’s Ministry programming that will get up and running again. With that in mind, it is time to sign-up to get involved in ministry making a difference in the lives of kids!

This year we have two significant changes we are making. On Sunday mornings, during the 2nd Service, our 3rd-5th Graders will be starting a new program called Elevate! Elevate will take the kids on an exciting journey into God’s Word to show them Biblical truths in the stories they have grown up hearing about.

On Wednesday nights, we are starting a new curriculum called 2:52 Basics! This curriculum is created around the verse found in Luke 2:52 – “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men.” We will be exploring how kids can grow in Faith, Wisdom, and Friendships. These 3 basics areas of life hold keys that will unlock their potential to speak into the lives of their friends and in their schools. You will definitely want to check this out.

Celebrating Port Huron

The next two weeks in Port Huron hold a great number of events in the city of Port Huron worth checking out. Tonight is the annual Parade Night and this year Anchor Children's Ministry is sporting a float in the parade. Come downtown and enjoy music, candy and fellowship with other families.

Tomorrow night is the Family Night of Boat week put on by Operation Transformation. This is a time of fun, games, face-painting and music for the entire family. You can check out more information about it HERE.

This weekend is the Port Huron to Mackinaw Island boat race taking off Saturday morning.

Finally, next week is the annual Cruise Night in which the church will be hosting an outreach event on the front lawn followed by a drive-in movie in the parking lot. Pop, popcorn and other concessions will be available for purchase during the movie. The movie they are showing is "Over The Hedge."

Finally, don't forget SonWorld Vacation Bible School coming up July 20-24th from 6:30-8:30 PM. You will not want to miss it.

Dean

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What car do you drive?

OK, so it has been WAY to long since I last wrote anything, so I wanted to come back with something simple to ease back into it. So my question is this: What kind of car do you own/drive? My family currently only has 1 vehicle, a Ford Windstar - providing you don't count the riding lawn mower I give my kids a ride on after I mow the lawn.

I saw an article that said the minivan is slowly dying because of rising prices on food and gas (among other things). Also, with four kids who have to be in car/booster seats until they turn 8, if we have one more child we may get into trouble (our minivan seats only 7). I have been considering options of what to do when the time comes to purchase our next vehicle: 8 passenger SUV, 12-Passenger Van, or do I fork out a bunch of money and get my dream vehicle: The Dodge Sprinter? (I just threw in this picture because the Buckeyes Rule!

So parents, have you had to make these kind of tough decisions recently? Living in this society is tough because of the amount of money it takes to keep afloat. Feel free to express yourself by leaving a comment or two.

Dean

Monday, June 30, 2008

Summer Happenings

Well, there are of course a few special things happening this summer for kids at The Woods:

1) July 9th - Parade Night in Port Huron - Anchor Children's Ministry will have a float in the parade to promote for VBS and the church as a whole. Be sure to check us out - the parade starts at 6:30 PM.

2) July 20th-24th - "SonWorld" VBS - This will be the theme for VBS this year. You won't want to miss it this year. I even heard you may get a chance to have a Diet Coke explosion on someone???

3) July 18th - Cruise Night Drive-In - After the annual cruise night event, there will be a drive-in movie being shown in the parking lot complete with pop-corn, a snack shack, and sound through your FM Stereo.

4) August 27th - Back 2 School Bash - This annual event has become one of our most popular times for kids and families to enjoy food, fun and fellowship. Come enjoy some games, inflatables, music, and food on the front lawn of the church. Good times will be had by all.

Enjoy the summer time!

Dean

Friday, June 6, 2008

Our secret lives!

The other day I was at the Dollar Tree purchasing some things for Sunday Children's Ministry and noticed the necklace of the cashier ringing up my purchases. It was a replica of some ancient stones found in northern Canada. When I asked her about it she said it is supposed to bring peace and luck, to which she stated she needs a lot of.

Then today at KFC, I noticed a young baby girl in a car seat. The girl's father said it was his first, but his girlfriend's second. That is not sooo extra-ordinary, but gets me thinking what is happening in the lives of people we run into.

Moreover, what would happen if we responded to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to speak into their lives by asking them about it? How about, at least, using it as an opportunity to ask them if we can pray for them? What about having our kids take time to pray? Jesus said the fields are ripe for the Harvest, but the workers are few - are we ready to help reap the Harvest for God's Kingdom?

Dean

Close Call!

Not sure if you saw this news story or not, but a man was hit by a car without anybody coming to his aid for nearly 50 seconds. [I won't put the video here, but you can check it out on YouTube.] It appears as though two cars were racing or something, as two of them were across the yellow lines when they hit him. Luckily several people had made phone calls to 911 as a police officer showed up one minute after the hit occurred.

Also, I was returning to work after lunch break and observed a near accident between a car and a bicyclist. But the reaction this time was very different!

The young man in the car pulled into one of the church's driveways, got out of the car and APOLOGIZED to the guy on the bike! What a mature and responsible person. It is not very often that you see someone go out of their way to own up to their mistakes. Though I do now know for sure, I wonder if that young man is a Christian?

I would like to think that Jesus followers would act like that when they nearly seriously hurt someone. But I know I have hurt people emotionally and never have asked thier forgiveness. Is there a difference? I don't mean to be hard on myself, but how hard is it for us own up to our mistakes

-Dean

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Do you ever feel like there is not enough time in the day, week, month or year to get stuff accomplished? That is what the last month has felt like for me - problem though is that I KNEW it would be coming...
What am I talking about?

The annual push for summer program volunteers! Every year, you may know, I try and bring in a new group of people to help give the school year volunteers a nice break. And every year I struggle with it...

How can I get more people to understand that EVERY Believer should be serving?!!! Imagine every one of our 1600 church folks each serving in one area? What an amazing thought!

But, this is reality, and I still need over 20 more volunteers starting in 2 1/2 weeks (one of which I will be gone for to graduate from Seminary). Chances are, if you are reading this, you are already volunteer or attend an entirely different church. But if you attend CWMC, and you don't volunteer anywhere this summer, consider jumping on board...YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT and will experience more joy than you can imagine.
Yours, Dean

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Announcements, etc.

There is a lot going on over the weekend and into next week, so I thought I would give you a brief update...

1) Our Children's Spring Musical is this Sunday evening, April 27th, at 6 PM in the church sanctuary. My wife, Lori, is the music director along with Annie Aschauer as the drama director. "Livin' Inside Out" is about kids learning to live out their lives for Jesus and being the same on the inside as they are on the outside.

2) I will then be gone from Monday until Thursday afternoon attending "The Orange Conference" in Atlanta, GA. This Children's Ministry Conference is something I am excited about attending and hope to implement some of the ideas on Wednesday evening and during children's church (2nd Hour) on Sunday mornings. I posted about it earlier, but you can check out some of the info at http://www.theorangeconference.com/.
3) A brief thought for the day: What do you think God thinks of you? As a person, as a father or mother, as a husband or wife? Have you ever truely thought about the fact that the God who created the massive planets, stars and solor system know YOU by name? When you look at yourself and see all the ugliness of life, who's voice do you hear: Your own, satan's or God's?
He knows you so well because he has been watching over you since before you were born. He has protected you from things you may never know about. He has gently led you along the path he placed you on. HE LOVES YOU...and He wants to spend time with you. Take comfort in knowing that The Creator of the universe cares for you more than anyone else, EVER!
God Bless, Dean

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Priorities VS. Time

I ran across this story today of J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter Series, is suing a man from Michigan over a fan-based site call the Harry Potter Lexicon. The details of the suit, the issue of copyright infringement, are not important; but I want to highlight something about the initial creator of the website, Steven Vander Ark. If you have not already, take a look at the site...it is extremely detailed. It is also cross-referenced upon itself as a sort of a "back-up" to what they are saying. There are summary to each chapter to each book, atlases, encyclopedias of magic spells, potions and characters from the magical world, and it goes on and on...


I wonder how in the world Mr. Vander Ark found the time to write all this - the staff section states "He started the Lexicon back in 2000 as a tiny little website with a few lists on it. He's the one who created the graphics and most of the writing on the 700+ pages of the current Lexicon is his." Mr. Vander Ark used to be a Christian school librarian when he became enamored with the books. He claims, also, to have read each of the books 30-40 times! He certainly knows what he is talking about.

Now some of you may have a problem with the Harry Potter books all around, others do not - I am not here to debate that. But imagine if this man would have put the same amount of time into studying, researching, cross-referencing and creating a lexicon for the word of God (assuming he was a Christian while working at the christian school).

Moreover, where is OUR passion for the word of God? I know it is often times a straggle for me to find 10 minutes in the Word, let alone spend hours (like I do on the Internet each day) reading and researching God's Word. Do I have my priorities straight? What about the time I spend with my kids, 3rd on my list of importance in my life (behind God and my wife), as compared to how much I watch TV?

Thoughts to chew on...

Dean

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Case in Point!

If you read my last post about the disconnect between stated belief and actions, I have a case in point for you. Last night, April 9th, the biggest show on TV "American Idol" closed their special (Idol Gives Back) with Darlene Zschech's song "Shout to the Lord." It was a great redition of it. I even thought, "Wow, the great praise song sung on national television! Way to go!" (BTW, they also changed the first phrase from "My Jesus, My Savior" to "My Shepherd, My Savior").

But immediatly following the performance, actor Ben Stiller (Night at the Museum, Meet the Parents) came out to an empty theatre pretending he was late to the show. During the final 30 seconds of the show, he uses the F-word FOUR times; albeit with the necessary but still getting the point "bleeping" at each one. You can watch the clip at YouTube HERE.

In absolute poor taste and judgement, the producers of American Idol simply don't get it - there is a disconnect. However, with that said, at least they allowed the opportunity for God to shine. If perhaps one person was watching that is riding the fence, maybe it will prompt them to come back to God. One can only hope and pray.

His, Dean

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

There seems to be a disconnect...

I ran across THIS ARTICLE today while browsing the Internet. According to recent research, the favorite book of most Americans is the Bible - by far! Second place was so varied that a clear winner could not be indicated, but Gone With the Wind, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter were some of the one listed.

I wonder, though, if a follow up question should be asked of these same people: How much of it have you read and followed in your life? I say this because it takes more than simply "enjoying" the Bible as a book to live out our faith. There seems to be a disconnect in the fact that we say we like and/or read the Bible (as apparently most Americans do) yet we are not fully living out our lives with Christ at the center.

I bring this up because I wonder if I am guilty of the same thing? It's the age old question: Do we practice what we preach? As our kids grow up, they are watching, modeling, listening and mimicking everything we do and say. If we claim to believe in Jesus, yet our lives do not match up with that, our kids will pick up on this. There must be continuity between what we say we believe and the actions we carry out with our families.

On a lighter note, I found this cartoon online and thought I would include it here.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Thoughts on a new video

I am thinking about showing this video soon to help recruit some new volunteers.

Let me know what you think!

Dean

video

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

What are you doing on April 28th?

I will have the priviledge of traveling to Atlanta, GA to attend a Children's Ministry conference called The Orange Conference. The is the 2nd annual conference put together by a great group of Children's Ministry workers (The reThink Group) and leaders from across the country. My hope is to attend this conference to get new idea and renewed vision for future ministry at Colonial Woods.

If you would like to check out a video from last year's conference, you can do so by clicking HERE. I will also try and come home with some goodies to give away at our future Equip meetings.

Dean

Why do we have children again?

There is currently a series on MSN.com regarding kids and money. They have produced articles and video on three ideas so far, with three more coming. You can access the series by clicking HERE! It provides some great insight into kids and families nowadays. Take a look at some of the videos and post some comments. For instance, check out this quote:

"According to estimates in 'The Kids' Market in the U.S.,' a 2006 report from market-research publisher Packaged Facts, kids aged 3 to 11 comprise a U.S. population subgroup of 36 million that had a collective $18 billion in purchasing power in 2005. The report projects that kids will command $21.4 billion in discretionary spending by 2010, with annual family expenditures on kids' products set to reach approximately $143 billion."

That is some major power and influence our kids have over us! I also recently heard that we will spend around $235,000 to raise our children from Birth to age 18. You can check out THIS calculator. Once again, some major bucks. It's a wonder we even have kids!
So why do we? Let me put a couple of Bible verses in here:

Psalm 127:3 - Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward.

Psalm 127:4-5 - Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

We have children because God blesses us with them. We also have children because as a means of carrying out the Great Commission - making disciples who make disciples. The more children honest Christian families have, the more disciples there will be, and the more people will be reached for God's Kingdom. I, for one, would like to produce as many disciples for Christ as I can, so I allow God to bless us with as many children as He sees fit.

That's why we have children.

Dean

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Just finished

I just finished reading this book by Dr. Voddie Baucham, Jr., called Family Driven Faith. I was convicted, enlightened but also a little disgruntled with the book. I agree with mostly everything he had to say, mostly because he certainly covers the Biblical basis for his arguments.

Some of what he covers in this book includes:
  • Amount of time families pour into sports vs. church and family life
  • Biblical worldview and why it is important
  • Multigenerational faith—passing down Christianity
  • Priority of good marriages
  • Parents being the main teachers of their children
  • Homeschooling
  • Biblical manhood and womanhood
  • Stay-at-home moms—importance of motherhood
  • Failure of modern day youth ministry
  • Emerging Church
  • Family Integrated Churches
  • Qualifications of a man to be in ministry

I would encourage all of you to get your hands on a copy to read. Dads, I especially recommend this for you, and begin to implement some of his ideas.

Let me know if you decide to get it and read it, I would love to start a dialouge about it.

Blessings, Dean

Finishing Well

Our next Equip meeting is scheduled for this coming Sunday night, March 30th at 6:00 PM. We will be discussing the topic of Finishing Well. Basically, every year there are thousands of Christian pastors, leaders and teachers that end up bowing out of ministry for one reason or another. Most of them we never hear about, but some we do (Ted Haggard, Jim Baker, Jerry Fallwell, etc.). In fact, the Bible is riddled with all kinds of examples of people who do not finish well (Solomon, Samson, Judas, etc.).

So what does that have to do with Children's Ministry. Well, you can come to our Equip meeting on March 30th and find out!

...OK, I'll put it here too...

What kind of Children's Ministry volunteer will you be? Will you bow out because you don't have the energy? Have you been staying connected to the Vine (John 15)? Finishing Well is not about what is done at the end of your life, but is about what you are doing NOW! It is about living a Christ-centered life here and now.

So how do you accomplish that? Check out this article that I will use in my presentation. Of course, it is not that cut and dry, but these are some great insights in starting today to end up finishing well.

Dean

Easter Weekend

Just thought you may like to know how crazy our weekend was here at CW last week. Over the 5 services, we had over 2100 people in attendance, at least 400 of which were kids. While the numbers are not necessarily important, they do give an indication of the potential impact you are having as Children's Ministry volunteers.

Also, we had 12 kids accept Christ on Sunday during our Elementary Children's Church (2nd Hour) program. We used a cool salvation tool called The Big Cube from EvangeCube. Praise God!
Dean

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ressurection/Easter Services

Don't forget this Sunday is Resurrection/Easter Sunday and brings a little different schedule around CW. There are 3 Service slots on Sunday mornings: 8, 9:30 and 11:00. Our normal 1st Service routine will take place at the 9:30 AM slot, with the 2nd Service classes taking place at 11:00 AM.

One more thing...


Happy Resurrection Day!

Dean

Money, Money, Money.....Money!

My family and I typically go out to eat Sunday after church, often to Olive Garden (my wife's favorite). Last week, as we were finishing up our meal, our waitress came by and told us that a gentleman from another table has paid for our bill because "he had never seen so many, well behaved children" - I have 4 kids. We had never met the man, but he simply chose to bless us.

Then again, later in the week, my family and I went to DayBreak Cafe (a local joint), where once again someone picked-up our bill (this time we knew them from church). What a powerful blessing once again! I took the 2nd opportunity to share with my kids what had happened to let them know what kind of testimony they were being when they were well behaved.

Then I ran across THIS video. There are some points that need to be made about money and how to teach your kids about it:

1) Your kids will learn about money more by what you DO than what you SAY. It's part of legacy living - they will learn from YOU about how to manage money. If you don't do it properly, they will not do it properly either.

2) The purpose of money is the same purpose that the rest of our lives should be - to be fully living for Christ and sharing his good news with others (especially our kids). If we teach them how to manage money, but to manage it for the purpose of gaining wealth and possessions, we miss the point.

3) Keep clear lines between money managment via God's Word versus how the world teaches about money. Often times, these lines can become blurred: retirement, saving for college, etc. It can all get rather messy.

Keep the purpose in mind: TO PRODUCE GODLY DISCIPLES OF YOUR CHILDREN. The point is not to raise millioners, sport stars, rich politicians, or even good citizens of the country. Everything we do with our kids and everything we allow them to do should point back to the goal.
Dean

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Where's the balance?

It is a fact that, in America anyway, we live in a money driven society that requires people to work to make money in order to survive. A long way off are the days of Star Trek in which things can be replicated by a computer and consumed (a little shout out to my fellow Trekies). So how do families balance it all?

Should both husband and wife work? Can we make it on one salary? What if the two of you are at odds about this issue? It is an ever brewing and controversial topic in society and even more so in the church. As you may have guessed, or just know about us, my wife is a stay at home mom (SAHM).
Before my 1st child was born, we made the decision for her to stay at home, which has now turned into homeschooling (or will as my other three kids get older). We had to make tough financial choices along the way, some of which are not popular either; but we feel that this is God's design for our family (Deut. 6:4-9, 1 Timothy 5:14, Titus 2:4-5, Acts 20:28-29, Proverbs 27:23).

I do have opinions abou this, and won't get into them here, but want to offer to my readers the opportunity to comment about where they are, where they would like to be, and how they got there. Just remember, we are all in the Christian family here, so be kind and loving. {Any disrespectiful comments will get edited or deleted all together.}

Dean

The Problem with Intelligence

Sometimes, I can you can be too smart for your own good! I ran across this article about supposed research by a Israeli professor who claims that Moses must have been on narcotic, psychedelic drugs during his Mt. Sinai experience receiving the 10 Commandments. Here is his quote:

"As far Moses on Mount Sinai is concerned, it was either a supernatural cosmic event, which I don't believe, or a legend, which I don't believe either, or finally, and this is very probable, an event that joined Moses and the people of Israel under the effect of narcotics."

How can he say this? He has a presupposition that a miraculous encounter simply could not exist! Since that is out of the question, it must be something else. This is an example of someone who's intellect has super seeded wisdom.

So what's are your presuppositions when it comes to working with kids? Do you ever look at a kid and say: "That kid simply wont' listen." Or have you ever said: "Oh she comes from a singe family." Those statements imply something that we believe, but may not necessarily be true.

Remember, there is no substitute for knowing your kids! The best way to teach, love and help the kids in your ministry grow is by knowing them PERSONALLY and knowing their situation.
Dean

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Family Driven Faith

I ran across THIS CHANNEL of videos from YouTube and thought I would share them with you. Dr. Voddie Baucham is the Preaching Pastor at Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, TX. His family legacy is riddled with family problems and divorces - 22 out of 25 marriages in his family have ended in divorce.

What he is talking about in this video is his book Family Driven Faith that, from what I read, is supposed to be phenomenal. I have already purchased it and my wife is currently reading it (since she reads a lot faster than I do).

So why am I bothering to write about this? Check out this video:

I agree completely with Dr. Baucham - we have been wathcing the breakdown of the Family since the 50's - and yet we wonder why we have all of these social problems and issues within society. I don't blog about this claiming to have it all together, but to open the lines of communication within our churches at how to bring our families together and raise Godly, Discipled kids of the faith; because the way we have been doing it does not seem to be working.

It's time for a wake up call.

Dean

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Here is a little video I thought I would upload for you to look at. Children's Ministry is important to Jesus, and it should be important to me!

Blessings, Dean

Struggling Families

Everywhere we turn today we see messages of economic and moral struggles within our community and families. Every day I hear of a family struggling with crisis. Marriages in turmoil, families in danger of loosing their home, kids being molested by extended family members, church families at odds with each other - and those are just from this week!

I'll bet it breaks the Heart of God to see His creation in such trouble and turmoil. This was not the way He intended for things to be. He created a world that was supposed to be perfect and without these issues...but humanity's flesh and Satan had different ideas.

But while some may seen pure devestation, Paul saw the opportunity for God to be glorified (Romans 4:20-21). I know that during some of my darkest moments, I came out of those KNOWING that I was closer to God than I had ever been. It certainly does not feel like it, but when the shadows are the darkest is when the 'Son' is shining the brightest! So if this is you or your family right now - trust that God is watching during this "valley of the shadow of death."

Moving....again!

Well everyone, my family is moving again! This time right across the street from where we are now. If you are available and so inclined, we could always use more help. We will get started around 9:00 AM this Saturday, February 23, going from 1433 Jones Place to 1446 Jones place. I told you it was right across the street!

Joking aside, any help you could provide would be appreciated. I will provide some donuts, drinks and pizza (for lunch).

God Bless, Dean

Equip Meeting

In case you were not aware, or in case you forgot, there is another equip meeting this coming Sunday, February 24th at 6:00 at the Church. We will be talking about issues of filling the spaces of time we all have at various times AND some ways to handle transitions. Check out the opening video here:

video

If you can make it, you should definitly come - I promise you will enjoy it!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Colonial Woods Kid's Choir

Perhaps you have heard about this already, but Sunday, February 3rd, we are starting the CWMC Children’s Choir (we still have yet to come up with a fun, creative name). This group of kids, in Grades 2nd through 5th, will be practicing during the 10:45 Service getting ready for the Spring Musical on April 27th at 6:00 PM. In the future, this group will also perform at various times on Sunday mornings in the Sanctuary (similar to what the hand bell groups do currently) and also put on the Christmas Musical near the end of the year.

Leading this group will be Lori Butterfield assisted by Ann Aschauer for the Spring Musical. If your child enjoys singing or performing drama, this is the group for them! Have them attend their class as usual, they will sing the worship songs with all the other 1st through 5th Graders, then break off for their practice. For now, the kids will be practicing in the 3rd Grade room upstairs, so be sure to tell them where to meet you after the service is completed.

Hopefully we will see them there.....

Dean

Lest you think I am just crazy......which is true

I am not the only person who think that Children's Ministry is where EVERYONE should invest their time. Check out what this blogger (Gina gets a lot more hits that I do) has to say:
"If you want a place to cast nets that strain from the weight when you pull in your catch, march your evangelistic hind parts into your elementary age experience and share Jesus with the same amount of passion as you do to adults."

Gina goes on to say that she is not usally this intense, but is "just ruthlessly passionate that my 8-year old son is a walking Temple filled with the Holy Spirit. That he received power when the Holy Spirit came upon him and he is a witness to Jesus. That because he believes in Jesus, the works that Jesus did, he will do also; and greater works than these because of the Holy Spirit that dwells within him today."

Children's Ministry is more than just child care! It is more than just giving parents the opportunity to worship. It is even more than just "preparing them for the future." They can and should be making an impact RIGHT NOW. When you are interacting with them, help them to understand that God has given them power to impact the world around them - however little it may be.
His, Dean

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Danger is Always Lurking!

Perhaps you heard about Jose de Jesus, a man in Miami, FL who is claiming to be the 2nd Coming of Jesus. He believes he is Jesus because of a vision he had several years ago. What is worse is just how many millions of people are believing him.

Of course we know that he is a one of the false teachers talked about in Matthew 24, but is scary to know that these dangerous influences are always lurking around the corner. As children's workers we have a tremendous opportunity and responsibility to be an influence in the lives of kids. You are part of the influences that kids will lean on when tests come into thier lives.

So what type of influence are you in the lives of kids, your own other someone else's? What will keep our kids on solid foundation when trials and negative influences come? Do you want to be a part of that? There is NO BETTER time to influence the lives of people (even into adulthood) than when they are children! We should be as blessed to be able to have this opportunity.

God Bless, Dean

I'm Excited...

This coming Sunday evening (January 27th @ 6 PM) I get to preach my first sermon here at Colonial Woods. You should come and enjoy a time of getting to know a little more of my heart and hear from God's Word. In preparation, if you are interested, you could read Mark 12:28-31 and Deuteronomy 6:4-9.

I am also excited because of our next Family Journey in Faith Take-It Home Event. February 10th, during the 2nd Service in the Gym, we will be inviting 4th & 5th Graders AND their parents to join us for a family experience in prayer. These events are part of what the Family Journey ministry is all about - partnering with you to bring about the spiritual discipleship of our kids.

Be sure to put both of these events on your calender and hope to see you there.

-Dean