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